Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Writing can be scary, Tom says so

And fall semester I'm registered for the class that he claims proves this point--Creative Non-Fiction.
I suspect the choking cathartic emissions that plague the future will drown October, Novemeber and December in throat snot. The only thing I dread is the assurance that this sort of writing activity, while temporarily freeing, is not, in fact, theraputic. So what? What is the use?
What is a glowing moment in a day: teaching and encouraging teenagers to not be afraid of their pens.
In 48 hours I should be standing at the base of Nebo having summited four hours earlier.
Who do you believe that you are? Does what you do clarify that for you? Is what they call you part of that definition?
I write. I climb. I answer to more names than a person should.
My stories won't lift anyone. They just confirm that people are cruel and this world is not fair. If anything that means what I have to say is just affirmations of the truth.
Truth is...
Life hurts. And yes, that is scary.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Love letter to a lab rat

To that one rat (you know who you are):

Hopefully, you won’t find this too forward of me, but I’ve noticed that you’ve noticed that we’re running the same maze.
This may or may not be attributed to the intelligence-boosting injections they’ve been giving us for the last three years, but it is a pleasant and welcome surprise. I don’t want to brag or anything, but I think the drugs kicked in sooner for me than for you. I actually noticed you first, maybe a few months ago, and I must say that the unfortunate period of hair loss that you experienced, either from the injections or from necessary cranial shaving for further experimentation wasn’t enough to throw me off. No sir. I’m a bright rat.
So now, since we’ve noticed each other, and you seem to enjoy me as a distraction as much as I enjoy distracting you, maybe I should inform you that the profuse perspiration issue is a side-effect of the injections. I know some rats think that’s hot (perspiration in female rats, not medical experiments) and you don’t seem to mind, but that much sweat pouring out of a rodent can cause all sorts of problems both unsightly and irritating—itching, dandruff, acne—and I don’t want this to crop up later as a potential problem if we ever happen to interact beyond running back and forth past each other in the gauntlet or running side-by-side on the wheel.
I’ve also noticed that we seem to be silently competing for who can stay the longest in the maze. Thank you for being a gentleman and letting me win. I find that extremely attractive in male rats, especially in one with superior deltoids, biceps and lattisimus dorsi. You know, you don’t really need to stay as long as you do. A rat burgeoning with as much mass as you have could easily get by on 45 minutes a day.
I got that you made note of my lower body conditioning today. If you ever want pointers on building your gastrocnemius maybe I could trade what I know in exchange for some spotting on the chest press. I’m not saying that your legs are small, but if we ever get to the point that our injections render us capable of speech, it might be a good starting point for interaction.
Considering that it is our lot in life to be lab rats, I think we both have to accept the fact that the aforementioned experimental psychological achievement may not come within our generation. This is an unfortunate possibility, but if your level of intelligence has progressed to the same level as mine, you will understand the gift we have been given that is our cognizance of one another and our admiration for the physical product mutually displayed in conjunction with the intelligence-boosting injections we receive, which thankfully has not yet lead to our untimely demise.
It is a gamble that you will even be able to read this letter, but I must say, it is a privilege and a delight to see you, day after day, problem solving with your uniquely rodent strategy.  I will keep watching. Don’t even pretend that you won’t do the same. If only I could convey an adequate token of my admiration. I push the levers after you leave, again and again, hoping each time that wherever you are, five-pound blocks of cheese fall before you from the sky.

Until tomorrow,
That other rat (me)

Making sense of a marriage

This marriage, it’s been a lawnmower
of faith, a cleaver of the animal,
bundled in disguise—a deboning
of need, a skinning,
until want of wholeness
discards all but wantonness.

I drove past
your street tonight and thought
of dropping in
for a final fuck
to add to all the other
so we could finally agree
that’s all it’s been,
a crazy string
of random fucks and me
cutting your grass.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Some of the words are theirs

I need to know how to break up with my mother in as painless a means possible. 

I can forgive. But only fools who want to be repeatedly hurt forget, and I have already forgotten far too often. The forest offers peace. We join hands in mid-afternoon light and wander together for hours, drinking in the rainstorm, feeling the water slide from the slippery skin across our bones, remembering the immortal words of Norman Maclean:

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. 

I am haunted by waters.”  



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Train ride to the Capitol

 My father worked for Union Pacific. I remember visiting the station when I was a small child. I can recall the dim lighting, the marble floor, the smell of aging things. B— rightly loves trains. With a day with little to do and only two children I cooked up the idea to take the public mass transit rail into the Capitol of Jell-O. 

I picked up the box of macarons that I'd ordered from my poetry buddy Jack, whose husband Brian is THE best cookie chef in Happy Towne, and L— and B— and I munched on those delightful confections all the way to the Capitol.

This is where the importance of connections comes in. You see, L—'s uncle owns one of the oldest, most renown grills in the city. He's also opened up a hot dog shop a couple of doors down, and as it was dinner time I thought hot dogs sounded like the perfect sin to follow the macarons. Unfortunately, the shop's hours didn't wait for us to arrive. L— wanted to say hello to her uncle before we left, and when he kindly offered us dinner at the grill instead. This is no small treat. Dinner entres average $25. L— and B— both had grilled cheese sandwiches and I chose the French dip. The grill has my recommendation.

Next, as the mountains were too far away, we wandered to a lovely building a couple of blocks away.

Where we found a litter of wild kittens living in the hedge along the outer walls. This is as close as they'd let us get.

And then B— found water.

I told him that I knew a little girl who'd been equally fascinated with the fountains around that building. When she was about his age she'd discovered that people threw money into the water, large quantities of money. That little girl liked money, and since the people didn't come back for what they'd thrown in the little girl decided to go fishing for what she could get. She loaded up wet handfuls of change in each of the front pockets of her jeans until they bulged and water ran down to her ankles. It was about that time that a nice older woman, who looked something like a grandma but with a name tag, came over and filled the little girl in on a secret. "We clean out that money and give it to a children's hospital to help little ones who are sick." The grandma with the name tag gave her a squeeze and then walked away. The guilt set in, at least half way. The little girl commenced to empty one of her pockets back into the fountain. She walked around the grounds with her parents with one pant leg dripping for the rest of the day. I've never known why her parents didn't notice to say anything, but I'm certain if they had she would have been reminded that thieves and liars go to hell.

None of my children are going to hell.

Then we wandered up this ramp to a huge room where we listened to a recording of the words of Jesus Christ. B— told me he wanted me to take two pictures of him with the statue, and that before I took the second I needed to let him know it was the second. This would be that picture.

Then we wandered to another building where L— has another relative on display. This guy is the architect for that big building next to the fountain. He is also her fourth great grandpa. L— is fairly proud of this connection. She should be. We examined a large model of the building, and an East Indian woman asked me questions about the different rooms and what happens inside. There were plenty of people around with name tags on, but I guess my answers were good enough because no one butted in to set me straight. It was kind of one of the coolest things ever.

I asked B— how all of this stuff made him feel. He said, "It's like Jesus lives here, and I feel like he wants me to come inside His temple and to be a member of His church." The funny thing is, all doubts and skepticism aside, I feel the same way.

Home again, home again, jiggity jog

She was home for five hours. Then I loaded her up with E-- and they rode off with a bunch of young people from our ward to visit the temple in the town where they both were born. This temple is actually across the street from the apartment where they were both conceived, but no kid wants to dwell on that. And after getting wet in the font in the temple basement they drove to a lake where M-- tells me she has burnt herself to a crisp. She texted me yesterday: "today part of the lesson was about how mountains are like unto temples and how god often/always calls his prophets into nature and it reminded me of you." I'll be back on Nebo in a week. My two oldest should return this afternoon and my conglomerate progeny with inhabit the same house for longer than a day. I believe I'm ready.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Last eM—ail from Japan

Hey! I'm sitting here at Golds, sweaty, tired, and stuck because I ran over a screw in the parking lot. Screw my life. Anyway, life here is pretty normal. B— went to cub scouts this morning, L— is doing baptisms with the 12 year olds at Timp cuz Provo is still closed. E— stays up all night. So i haven't seen him yet today. Your dad is supposed to help me with the flat. I'm waiting... I don't know if you leave today out tomorrow, but I'm getting excited to see you again, and to hear your stories. :) I love you, sweetheart. You make me proud.

augh, man, i'm sorry about the tire! i hope everything went ok. i'm excited to see you. we get to the airport here at 8:30 tonight and i'm not sure what time we leave? but i think we're going to an amusement park for an hour and a half today! cool. i have to get breakfast fast this morning so i can get all my luggage downstairs. i love you mommy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Needles and fumbling fingers

A lot of my chick friends concur with my daughter. However, for most three out strikers, Google paints prospects in much darker shades. 

You say, Who gives credence to Google? Most do. That's the pain of it. That's what gives the agony of my masochism its sense. One pain to supplant another. Feel emptiness, loss, the tears in emotional tissue? Take to the miles of mountain trails that bring us to cathartic release. If you have not wept on the mountain, you have not climbed high enough, are not remote enough, are not yet in touch with the brevity and vulnerability of each of your heart's beats.

Loneliness is a bittersweet freedom. No harassment, no abuse. No companionship either. And as L— and I talked it over, that longing isn't a bad one. It's human. Pairing off has been genetic tradition long before the ark was built.

But humans get skittish when members of our species can't seem to strike a strong hold. Nothing but my children have stuck fast. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Parents of my Divine Origin. I was young and floundering and headed fast for early demise, and yes, I get the biological factors and consequences involved, but still, my four little ones, turn for turn, came along and saved me, gave me a rudder, took my finger in their mighty grasp and said, "Mamma, come this way. Remember who you are."

And now my baby girl, wispy darling budding woman, dances in and out of my struggles with her streamers of hope. "I would date you, Mom."

She, of the ilk who know me best. 

I don't know what I want. I don't want to marry. I don't really want to date. I don't really want to hang out. What I do know, I want the tears to mend. I tell her I must take responsibility for the people I've allowed into my life. My trusting nature, which could much more accurately be described as a lack of appropriate boundaries, it betrays me. 

I have bits of evil I haven't rooted out. Selfishness that needs digging. I kneel at the base of the tree and scratch at the earth with raw fingertips. Mostly, I give in to the hopelessness of the task and resign myself to sitting in the mixture of the excavated ground and my tears. The tree grows up around the blight. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Missing my M—

Crazy eM—ails, day 8 1/2

okay, i know this is on the crazy side... But how would you feel about going to Youth Conference with E— the morning after you get home? It's three days. Baptisms at the Logan Temple on day one, then two days of games and spirituality building at Bear Lake. Let me know, yes or no. I'm good with either way, but E— was asking tonight if you'd be going with him.

Love you OODLES!!!

i'll go with him!! i'll be tired but i'll try. i already said no on the signup paper so you'll have to tell them for me!!!! 

I got everything set up for you for Youth Conference. I'll pack for you too. The paper is signed, all you need to do is come home and get some sleep before you leave with E— the next morning. He's so happy you're going. :) He's also been putting in crazy amounts of time on a video game that he's making with B—. It's AWESOMe. I can't wait for you to see it.

Don't freak out over souvenirs. Just bring home things you think people might like. What matters most is that you come home safe. :) 

Sorry about the mosquitoes.  Fortunately, you are now in a club. Congrats! I don't know if I've ever been so lucky. ;)

I'm definitely missing you. Just two more days. Try to enjoy Japan while you can, though. You probably won't return for quite some time.


thank you so much!! i'm excited to spend time with him! my temple recommend is in my drawer that i made at school in case you can't find it! i gotta go to breakfast now so i'll talk later. i love you mommy!

eM—ail, day 8

I'm thrilled that your homestay went so well. Your email got me all teary. Happy teary, but emotional all the same. I can tell how much and how quickly you came to love these people. It's touching and awesome, and I love that you don't sound homesick anymore. It's a relief. I can't wait to see your yukata. And I'm curious... In your two days with your host family did you learn to tie an obi? :)

L— volunteered to climb Santaquin on Friday night. I'd been getting angsty, dealing with stupid stuff with the opposite sex and personal crap, and climbing seemed the only way to deal with it. I happened upon a break in the weather (Mountain weather, that it. It's been hotter than hell here on the valley floor, while most of the rain and thunderstorms have been hovering over all my proposed peaks.) and decided to jump on the opportunity while my foot was doing better. L— and I have been spending a ton of time together anyway; we spent Friday evening shooting pics on Center Street and it was a blast. When I told her I was planning to climb she started asking how it would compare to Squaw. I had stats, elevations and distances, but not much more. And honestly it isn't a difficult trail, but it is BUTTS long—almost 12 miles. I warned her, but she seemed all for it, so we geared up for two, shopping for supplies and stuffing our packs Friday night. Saturday morning, 7 a.m., we got up and drove to the Nebo Loop. L— was pumped for the first three miles, and then her blood sugar dropped and so did her morale. I was as patient as I could be, but I could tell she wanted to go back. We munched on an early lunch, I gave her some ibuprofen, and gave her the Red Bull that I always bring for the summit. She was weak and tired, but asked if we could say a prayer. I did my best to really tune in to what the Spirit had to say about the matter as L— prayed. What I got was that going slow and just going a little bit forward at a time would be okay. And so we'd walk another 1/2 mile and evaluate the trail and where we thought we were headed. We ran into a group of old men coming off of Loafer Mountain, which is adjacent to Santaquin, and asked them what they knew about the trail. At this point we were across a small valley cirque from Santaquin, at least two more miles from our destination, but having the voice of experience to guide us perked her up and she was the more positive of the two of us about bagging the peak, so on we went. It took us 5 1/2 hrs to summit, and 9 1/2 total roundtrip, but we made it, and I think it did wonders for L—'s self esteem. "I can do hard things," she said all the way down. 

We actually went to church today. I'm not sure how we pulled it off. L— is sunburnt and my body is aching, but we did that too. More hard things. I've been asleep most of the time since I got home, so I'm sorry if you get this before you need it. E— says he'd like a sword, or weapons. Not sure that can be done with TSA, but I asked. L— is jewelry/clothing/kawaii focused, as you know. I love paper and boxes. You know B and I think you'll be a good judge of choosing for him. I think your dad emailed you on his own because I asked and he went in his room and didn't really tell me.

I'm looking forward to Thursday morning, though I'm sure at this point you could stay another half month and not feel badly. If I could have one wish it would be that you get to go back, for a longer stay, and that you can do it soon. First, however, you must come home and watch Despicable Me 2 with me, because I'm struggling with the wait. ;)

I love you, my amazing girl. You too, can do hard things.

hitomi and yumiko told me to look up youtube videos on how to put on a kimono, and obi on yukata are easier to do than kimono ones, i think. it has a ropey thing on it and you wrap it around and tie it tight then attach a pre-tied bow!!

i am so proud of you and l—. of course she can do hard things! she's amazing and talented and cute and she can do anything. i'm glad you went to church even when it is hard. i'm not allowed to get real weapons because of TSA, but i'm going to look for a model sword because one of the boys got a model in asakusa. i hope there are more somewhere!! D: i got b— some toy weapons from zenkoji temple and i've got a bunch of small things for everyone but i'm a bit nervous i won't run into the right things now... :( 

i'm SO EXCITED to come home, actually, minus the summer homework part! running around all day every day has been exhausting and i'm sunburned and have mosquito bites. i was officially initiated into the Mosquito Bite Club earlier today (i am the only one who knows about the club). 

i really want to see despicable me 2 with you. i'm reminded of it every time we see something cute in a store and everyone says "IT'S SO CUTE (fluffy) I'M GONNA DIE!!!" i miss watching movies with you all the time!!! i love movies. i want to hug everyone! the one picture i have on my camera of family is of e— making a huge funny smile and it keeps me going every day because ethan is awesome. 

i need to clean my stuff and go to bed because i have to get up early tomorrow, so i'm going to cut this off here. i love you so much!! i'm excited to come home. 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Obi bound eM—ails, day 7

Hey babe!

Hope all went well with your homestay. I miss you. Drop a line when you get a chance.

Huge hugs. Love you,

hey mom!

i'm writing from a wifi hotspot up the street from the traditional japanese hotel. we got back from our homestay earlier and it was difficult to say goodbye. hitomi, my host student, asked makenna and me not to forget her and her family. as if i would! they were really sweet. yumiko (our host mother) was tremendously generous and a fantastic cook. staying in her house was a huge privilege, even if our conversation was limited to a few trivial subjects. hitomi even bought the two of us yukata! i was really surprised, each one must have been at least 30 dollars. they're super pretty. mine is black with different colored flowers and the obi is red. 

i was nervous before nobuyuki (our host father. i may have misspelled his name) came home because i was afraid he would be a serious businessman but he was a TOTAL GOOFBALL and it was reassuring. he seemed to be interested in our lives and america and spoke a little english! when we went to a temple with a tightrope course next to it he left us to eat lunch while he tried to balance on the ropes. it was endearing. 

hitomi was a lot better at english than i was at japanese so her language skills made up for our lack thereof. she showed us japanese fashion magazines and we watched tv and went shopping together. it felt like she'd been my friend for a long time by the time we had to leave, but it had only been two days. her sister, ayumi, is a basketball player and she's really good at this japanese game i don't know the name of but it involved catching a red ball with a hole in it on a stick or in a cup thing. i can catch the ball in the cup but not on the wooden stick. 

they had a fat gray cat named M (emu, pronounced eh-moo) and he was nervous about makenna and me. he skittered around the house at sudden noises and i think he was avoiding us. he let me pet him sometimes and was really cute and his meow was funny.

we went to a matsuri with hitomi and she GAVE. US. YUKATAS. i said that earlier in this email but that is a huge thing. i get to KEEP IT. I AM WEARING IT RIGHT NOW because we're going to another festival later! oh, and at the festival yesterday there were some people in an alley we were waiting in while hitomi got some food and they invited us to do hanabi (japanese fireworks; read: sparklers) with them. they thought we were kawaii and took pictures with us to put on facebook. when they asked where we were from we said utah and they commented on how there are mormons there and laughed, and we said "watashi wa mormon desu!" and they said "gomennasai!" (sorry) and we said "daijoubu!" (it's ok!!) they were SO. CUTE. they were happy about the festival and laughed a lot. it was adorable. there was a guy who had been to ohio before and we said that was sugoi (cool/amazing). 

i should probably walk down to the hotel again. i love you mom. tell everyone i love them too. i will write more once we are back at shinagawa prince hotel in tokyo!

OH and tell dad i haven't seen a toy car yet but if i see one i'll be sure to get it! ask him if there's anything else he likes. and tell me what you like! actually, ask everyone if you can!!!! esp. e—, i haven't found much for him. if we get to shop in akihabara i'm going to look for anime stuff he might like (samurai champloo, cowboy bebop, kids on the slope, attack on titan maybe????) but i don't know how much merchandise they produce for those first three anime. i wanna get him something cool!!!!!!! this obi is making my stomach hurt and i kind of have to pee. 

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Foot be damned—Peak #2

 Santaquin Peak
10,685 ft
3,195 ft gain
11.4 miles roundtrip
I was accompanied by my amazingly tough little daughter, L—. 
We summited in 5 1/2 hours; finished the hike in 9 1/2 hours total.
It was some of the sweetest time I've ever spent with her.
I should probably ice the foot before I got to bed.




Friday, July 19, 2013

Two days with no eM—ail, or stupid acronyms

Buggered by hormones,
Angsty to get high,
Missing my kid

I'm thinking Santaquin. The foot is better.

I'm beginning to understand my rebounding nature. (Except for those five years after Ex No. 2 took off, when I went on three dates with random guys, and hung out with an alcoholic poet knowing nothing would ever come of it.)

The difficult part of understanding yourself is coming to terms with what it means to live as healthily as possible, when your first instinct isn't to heal.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life with M— on another continent is strange. I feel her, through the planet, but obviously I'm quite on my

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nagano eM—ail, day 3

My dearest baby girl,

YOU ARE DOING AWESOME!!! Don't let your anxiety steal the fun from you. Have faith in yourself and your decisions. You have every right to be confident. So someone called you a gaijin; there's people in every country, every town who are that kind of person. You ARE a foreigner. Japan INVITED you. The Japanese gov't is giving you the star treatment BECAUSE you are gaijin. If you were Japanese, I guarantee you wouldn't be staying in the hotel you're at, and you wouldn't have the chance to spend the time enjoying the country the way you are. Slurs like that are nothing to be embarrassed by. It means the person who spoke it is either uninformed, scared, or just plain prejudice. It happen everywhere. Forgive. Love them regardless. Move on. :)

As for the spending, we gave you the money with the intention that you would spend it. You CAN'T overspend. If you have 42,000 yen left and about a week to spend it, you should plan to spend approx. 6,000 yen a day. If you want to save one of those days so you can spend 12,000 yen on amine/games, you have my permission. The itinerary has you slated to return to the National Museum, so if you'd like to get the item you psyched yourself out of getting before, you can purchase it then. I believe that is next Tuesday. So hopefully you get this email today before you head to Nagano. I know you love Katy, and you should get her something, but the money sent with you is primarily for YOU. Keep her gift discrete and treat yourself, my dear. That is an order. ;)

I'm totally jealous of your miso diet. Hahaha. Just make certain you are drinking a TON of water to balance the salt intake. I'm also excited to see your blurry pictures. Make sure the camera mode is set for automatic on the top. It will help cut down on focusing problems.

I'm so glad you get this experience. You sound homesick. I understand, but I also want you to know that we want you to be there. We love you, but you are doing something that we are all excited about. Enjoy it for us. L— especially sends her love this morning. I think she's gaining a greater appreciation for you with recent female events and also having you far away. 

When your anxiety and worries creep up, become aware of your surroundings. Feel the ground beneath you, smell the air, experience the softness of the humidity wrapped around you, be present. Take deep breaths and be calm. Know that your feet are rooted to the same planet as mine. Know that your Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are watching over you. Know that you have infinite help to call on spiritually when you need it.

I love you, sweetheart.


i saw this email and i'll have to fully reply later because savanna needs to use the comp real quick but i promise i'll reply again when i get internet!!!!! <3 LOVE YOU! (OH and mom your camera battery died so the pictures i've been taking are on my red camera!! i forgot to tell you that i'm sorry :( ) i emailed dad just now and i'm going to email u again later when i get a connection. 

Tokyo eM—ail, day 2

I'm so glad your headache didn't last long, and I'm super stoked that you got to email. It's good to hear from you. :)

I checked your itinerary and it looks as though you visited the National Museum today. How was that? Again, soooo jealous. I'm glad you get to take in art while you are there. Are you getting any time to sketch? Sketching is obviously not the most important thing right now, but if you could do quick studies here and there I think it would be cool.

I don't know how you're doing 5 a.m. I am NOT a morning person and I don't think you are either, hahaha. At 2 p.m. I think I was at the gym. I'm missing you too and my friends told me to keep busy so it's not so bad. I keep busy with exercise. Then I took L— to The Pie Tin and we visited the Philosophy Dept where I got info on requirements for a philosophy minor. Looking over all the classes I have to choose from felt like Christmas; I was so excited. I know, kinda lame, but that's what gets me hyped up. When we came home I helped L— set up a blog. It's http// She's stoked, as you can imagine. E— and B— played video games all day. E— begged me to play Halo with him because he doesn't have you to play with. He was also glad that you'd emailed. I read it to him. He loved the part about the guy fanning the cats in cages. 

I think I'm going to sleep in your bed again tonight. It's comforting. :) Even if it does come with bizarre dreams.

How is the passport/money thing working? Is the food good? I'm looking forward to seeing the things you bring back. Don't worry about a $10 bowl of seafood for you and your friends. That's no big. Just make sure that people are as generous to you as you are to them. They should have their own money to spend as well.

I hope you're taking lots of pictures!!! That's why I sent the camera. :) And cuz I kinda like you. Lots. 

Big hugs from the USA!!! You are LOVED and missed.
Keep having fun and practicing those mean Japanese language skilz. ;)

I'm immensely proud of you.

we did visit the museum! i took a lot of blurry pictures of my favorite exhibit because i thought you might like it. it was a painted screen called '36 immortal female poets" and each lady wore a kimono that looked like ocean waves. i was thinking about buying a souvenir but i messed up and decided not to because i got nervous about spending.

no, i haven't drawn anything. :/ i doodled a bit on the plane to LA but since then, nothing. i will try though!

aaaah, i'm glad e— liked to hear my email!!! i miss him a lot. i miss you a lot. I MISS ALL OF YOU A LOT!! i heard a person call us "gaijin" (foreigners) today and i was embarrassed. 

i'm excited for you! i'm proud of you for pursuing things you like. i'm sure a philosophy minor will be super fun and intriguing. you should tell me about the stuff you learn!

i keep having a hard time buying things because i'm nervous i'll overspend or waste my money on useless things...but i still have 42,000 yen!! if i see a play sword i need to get one for b— because mr. c— got one in asakusa and i didn't even think to buy one. i hope i see more later D: i got a little model thingy of the big lantern in asakusa and some rock candies for anyone who wants them when i get back. they're cute little sugary pastel things that look like stars. 

i hope you won't be too disappointed in me if i spend most of my money in akihabara (the electronics and manga/anime sort of district). katy asked me to find something about dangan ronpa (an anime/playstation portable game) for her so i hope i see something there. maybe i will find something neat for e—! in nagano maybe they will have more play swords at the obon festival. i'm not sure. man, i am worrying a lot.

today was super humid and it rained and i got an umbrella because i left mine in my suitcase. the umbrella see-through!!!!!!

i will definitely check out l—'s blog!!! <3 what a cutie. 

the food is really good. i've had miso soup in every meal! :D 

I LOVE LOVELOVELVOEOVLEOVELLOVE YOU!!!! I miss you mommy. i'm in front of starbucks mooching their wifi with a bunch of other kids. we probably look stupid.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The little death

i dreamed of pixies and got an email from Japan

hey mom!

i finally got internet at the shinagawa prince hotel. this place is INSANELY fancy. the whole lobby is pretty much made out of marble and the building is connected to a mall sort of thing. i set my alarm on my phone for 1 pm so i would wake up at 5. we ate breakfast this morning in a room with a tall ceiling and raised platforms and we saw a bunch of kids from other schools involved in the kakehashi project! they seem nice and one of the boys from maryland is LDS. he was on the elevator with us and when he heard we were from provo he seemed excited.

yesterday was fun but also rough because lots of us had headaches. makenna had a migraine and i had a headache yesterday! but now i think we all feel better now. yesterday we went to tokyo tower and zojoji temple and a government building with a tourist trap on the 45th floor. i got something for l-- from tokyo tower but it's pretty small so i want to get her something else, too! actually, yesterday i bought a bowl of seafood for marites and makenna and i because we didn't know that breakfast would be provided for us, so i kind of wasted ten dollars but the ladies were fun to try and talk to and one of them said "nihongo ga jouzu!" (your japanese is skillful!) and i had to reply "sonna ni nai!" (that's not right!) she was a really sweet lady. today i asked a hotel lady if this was where breakfast was and she was like "hai! djksghnvidsjhgjdkb (i didn't understand)."

zojoji temple was so peaceful. it was like the buddhist temple in SLC but the shrine thingy was a LOT bigger and on a raised shiny platform of dark wood. there was one person praying in there. 

OH and when we were leaving the tourist trap place in the government building there was a guy with some cages and there were a bunch of cats in there and he was fanning them!!!!!!!

this email was kind of unintelligible but yeah. thank you for emailing me, mom. i was eager to get on the internet because i wanted to talk to you. i miss you all a lot. when i woke up at 5 i was wondering what all of you would be doing at 2 PM because i think that's the time there!! i love you mommy. i'm having a good time but i miss home. it's really different here.

(if you sleep somewhere i have slept my essence will give you bizarre dreams about pixies. it is a scientifically proven fact!!!!)

(tell l-- congratulations and good luck!!!!)


Monday, July 15, 2013

A panty-pad-ibuprofen kind of party

 L—, my little signet, has cast off her downy fluff. We're eating pizza and watching the chick flick of her choice in celebration that the longest stretch of nightmarish PMS has finally come to an end. Tonight, all the women in my house are women.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nihon bound

M— is 20 minutes from taking off for Japan. I left her at Jell-O Int'l Airport at 7:30 p.m. with two advisers from her high school and nearly two dozen other students.

She just texted me: ilu!!
Then again two minutes later: I'm plane

This is only happening because when the Japanese government brainstormed ways they could stimulate their sagging economy, they thought shipping in American high school students for a week and a half to introduce them to the culture and all things cool about the country might be highly beneficial. I don't know whether it's going to help Japan, but we're certain it's a huge opportunity for us. M—'s excellent grasp of the language and her stellar grades earned her a place in the Kakehashi Program.

I'm doing better with the separation so far than I thought I might. M—'s about where I expected her to be. We've been apart for weeks at a time before, but never on opposite sides of the globe. There were jitters at the terminal; there should be. She finally asked me to define jetlag as we sat waiting for the group to head for the boarding gate. I think her sense of self and the world are about to experience their elastic extremes. I'm so excited for her. And just a smidge jealous.