Typhoon Soudelor and Saipan

For two weeks, Nathan and I basked in island life on my tropical home of Saipan. We swam. We laughed. We played in the sand. We lived Saipan.

It was a vacation of dreams–the kind you grasp at while packing your bags to head home, time like gossamer threads slipping through my fingers.

Two weeks after we arrived back to our Seattle home, Saipan was hit by Typhoon Soudelor. A typhoon that was wildly underestimated, one that was predicted to build up over days took took only hours to completely ravage an island where my son and I had just visited, one where my family, friends and heart still live.

This was right in front of my house in Susupe.

The devastation was immediate and is still being felt every day. There is no electricity, except for the hospital. Water is only available for a few There are hundreds of people living in shelters. There are thousands waiting.

There has been an enormous amount of support for my home, from people of Saipan, from people who have never even heard of my tropical home. It’s incredibly hard to restore a kingdom after it has been toppled and I sing the praises of everyone who is doing their part.

I wrote this article about the roller coaster of emotions I’ve been experiencing, the guilt of living life here in the states where I have luxuries like water that doesn’t turn brown with rust, beer that is tundra cold and batteries that aren’t the cost of a car payment. I’ve been trying to figure out my role, what I can do best, something more effective than crying and pacing and grieving.

I am a comedian. I am here to make people laugh. So let’s do more of that–more of the punchlines, more of the crazy dances, more of making my mom worry what kind of daughter I am.

If you are in Seattle, please come down to my show on August 19th at the Rendezvous Theater where your ticket sales will go to Saipan relief. Bring canned food donations and seventy friends. Also a hug for me because I need it.

Saipan bound!

I’m going to Saipan! I’ve been broadcasting loudly about my trip to Saipan and the two comedy shows I will be headlining.

It’s a big deal. I am going home. I am going home to tell jokes. This is my dream.

My plane ticket has been generously sponsored by Delta Airlines who also was very kind to give my family a discount to pay for Nathan’s ticket. TJ had accompanied me on my last trip and now Nathan will be able to experience the magic that is my home for the first time.

It’s going to be a long journey over. The flight to Japan is 10 hours, then there’s a 6.5 hour layover, then the last flight to Saipan is 4 hours. I’ve bought some snacks, battery pack, the first two Harry Potter books for him and anything that will keep him from yelling on the plane, “I’M BORED!”

We’ll explore the Narita airport, the Pokemon store, and on and on. I might spring for the Delta Sky Lounge passes if we burn through activities quickly, but I’m sure there will be enough for us to do and there will be places to rest when we need to.  I’m excited for real deal sushi and sashimi, he’s excited to get some Pokemon cards.

I can’t wait. I am beyond excited. I want to go home, swim on a beach, order a Budweiser and not hear some Seattle hipster crap judgment, eat all the foods and be with my family, the people who made me who I am and why I tell so many jokes about them.

Saipan is so far away. The flights are long. The journey is endless. You stare out an airplane window and the view is a vast expanse of blue and white waves below. Sometimes there are clouds. Sometimes there is sun. My flight will arrive early in the morning when it is still dark and black outside. First I will see a few lights below then a few more patterns of life. Then there will be the shapes of farms and neighborhoods and then the descent begins and I will see all the glittery beacons of homes and cars and I will grab my son to look through that glass so he can witness the small kingdom we are entering and the tears are there because Mommy is home.

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