Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Santa Buddha Baby

Wii-Shmii...all I wanted for Christmas was this little guy. Two Japanese parents got to the Super Kawaii Kidstore first. Dang.

He wouldn't let the scary white woman hold him, either. But at least I got a pic of Mr. IAMSOHOTINTHISSTUPIDSANTASUIT. What a sweetie.

The Month That Seemed Like a Day

Gasp. Will someone please stop this crazy ride for a few minutes? I need to catch my breath...

So much has happened in the past month that it's going to take me a while to catch up. Since the beginning of December, we have not traveled to Thailand, visited Singapore in lieu, attended numerous Christmas parties (one at the Japanese school I teach at), survived several Christmas Cooking Disasters and celebrated the holiday with Japanese and German friends. Stay tuned in the next few weeks...details will be forthcoming. But not in any particular order.

Oh, yeah. The girls would like me to mention that we have finally, after months of intense and heated negotiation, become a part of the Wii generation. The campaign/trial started in earnest last summer. We were accused by the two plaintiffs of being supremely "uncool" for not having a video game platform. NO ONE wanted to spend the night at our house. It was apparently too boring due to the lack of expensive electronics.

Although the "boring" label stung a bit, their case was not furthered by pointing out that extra children, other people's children, did NOT want to come to our house on the weekend. Awww, that's so very sad....No buying $50 worth of snacks. No listening to the Neverending Giggle Fest. No vacuuming up $10 worth of said snacks from under the couch the next day.

That reality nearly broke my heart. I searched my true feelings, explored my heart, looked in my darling angels' sweet eyes and said: Nope. Never gonna happen.

(After all, the best part of being a parent is that, when being beaten down as a defendant, you suddenly realize, Hey, I'm the judge, too. Totally sweet.)

Nonetheless, they persisted for weeks, relentlessly, like Chinese water torture, all the while pointing out the amazing health benefits of the Wii and how the whole family could enjoy it. Finally, I snapped and shouted: I'll think about thinking of letting you ask Santa for one IF you write me an essay detailing the many life changing qualities of The Wii and why you deserve one! They had 6 weeks of summer to accomplish 2 paragraphs each.

Fast forward to the beginning of November and the debut of the faux goodness season. Much to my surprise, no essays had yet been completed. Claire decided to jump the chain of command and ask God directly for one. If that didn't work, there was still the benevolent grandparents.

Lily got busy and typed up a report...all of which was directly plagiarized from the Wii official website. I called her on it and she let out a plaintative yet defensive Whaaat?! that might have moved anyone but a Lit Crit major. Honey, I know the ole cut and paste strategy.

Fast forward to a week before Christmas. Every morning at breakfast, Claire details her actual dreams about waking up and finding a Wii on Christmas morning. She feels indescribable joy but then wakes up to cold, hard reality. Lily listens attentively and nods her head in sober solidarity.

So imagine their ecstatic elation on Christmas morning (we made it to 6:30 this year) when they rushed in to find that Santa had delivered a bonafide Christmas miracle. Tim and I couldn't believe the Big Guy would undermine us in such a brazen manner. What a softy wuss.

The Wii is, however, actually fun for the whole family. Imagine that.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Kurisumasu

The picture above illustrates the love born of this season and the essence of what our family wishes for you and yours during this most miraculous time of year. May the peace of the Lord be always with you, now and forever, wherever in the world you may be. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Good News

Introducing Miss Mary Katherine Whitten Harrison, first daughter of my nephew and his wife. Newborn babies are a miracle but especially so this time of year. For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given...And she is perfect.

Monday, December 8, 2008

This Haiku Will Change Your Life

Claire has been diligently working on her Japanese poems as of late. Haiku, in the very likely case you slept through 7th grade English, is a short poem composed of three metrical lines of 5, 7 and again 5 syllables. The verses do not rhyme. I never used to be a fan of The Haiku--it seemed too short and simple to express the vast depth of human longing.

But that was until Claire wrote the most profound poem I have ever read. Now, I am determined to defend this medium to the death. Witness this piece of poetic perfection that changed my mind forever and helped articulate one of life's most ardent passions:

The smell greets me now
Coffee is like paradise
I will never leave

So true. So true.

Before you call DHS for hooking a 13 year old on a cup of Joe...really stop and think about the pared down beauty of this petite poem. Can't you just feel the calm, yet impassioned commitment? The quiet, yet enduring love? The heavenly bliss?

I can. And I don't know about you, but I ain't leaving either.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Kristi Yamaguchi's Worst Nightmare

As seen recently in a Japanese antiques stall at a local bazaar...

Buy these and falling through the ice is probably the least of your worries.