This is where I plan on posting stories, updates, etc., for friends and family and whoever else might be interested in Our Little Family's Adventures in Japan.

31 December 2006

My Little Summy and the Dawning of a New Horizon

My little sister Summer was married at the dawn of Dec 31st, at about 7am, Japan local time. I was able to watch her walk down the isle and say her vows while the first rays of the rising sun split frosted volcanic mountains and danced with frozen laundry hanging outside my window. Of course, the ceremony wasn't physically held in my apartment, nor did I mix with the guests of this auspicious occasion whilst strutting my stuff in sweats and fuzzy slippers. With the help of expensive toys and high speed internet access I was able to attend via a video conference call.

The understandably nervous groom, Robert, sang a song at the beginning of the dinner program that followed the ceremony. He dedicated it to those who had not lived to see their beloved granddaughter or grandson get married, and said that he knew they would be there in spirit. I think I know how they might have felt -attending as spirits while I attended in spirit- but I think I was the only unembodied guest who had taken posession of an electronic device. Like those dear departed spirits, I know my presence was felt by those who I am close to, those who took the time to say hello to the talking computer. Their kindness made me feel as if I were there too. And as the digitized images came clear 'cross the world in an instant, I felt blessed to have been able to see the radiance and beauty of my grown-up little 'sis as she walked down that isle. I am sure I felt what our dear "Nanny" may have felt as the two of us were there in spirit, my eyes filling up with tears, watching the dawn of a new horizon break, as the sunlite danced with the frozen laundry outside my window.

21 December 2006

Manly Influences

As parents we naturally worry about a lot of things. Some of these things are important, other things are not so important.

Lately I have been worrying that my boy will not get enough manly influence while I, his most manly father, am a world away. It is not that I doubt his resolve to be as manly as possible, nor do I doubt the strength of his natural manly tendencies, but the day will soon come when he will want to join the burly hoard of savage masculinity which, unbeknownst to many, requires a certain amount of preparation before admittance is granted.

Without me there, who will teach him the proper use of tools like hammers, screw drivers, circular saws, assault rifles, and this 300 year old samurai sword?

Who will teach him how to dress himself properly? For instance, a hat is an article of clothing which has the primary purpose of covering our baldness, but also may be used to promote our favorite NFL team, delay getting a hair cut, or avoid combing our hair. Hats should certainly not be used to enhance one's cuteness.

Also, where will he learn the art of watching a ball game. To the untrained eye, a man who is glued to the tube and has lost all contact with the world around him - a trance-like state I like to call "spectation" - is simply a couch potato. If only it were so simple. It is like any other sport, it requires the correct stance and posture - belly out, feet shoulder width apart. It is also similar to Zen meditation - deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth - incorrect breathing might lead to the misfortune of breathing-in a popcorn kernel, and the resulting choking and distraction from the game.

The thing I worry most about is that he and I will embrace his cuteness, and forget about the brutish clan of meat heads all together. because - lets be honest here - though finding a photo of your boy dressed up like a princess is alarming, thinking that he is the cutest princess you have ever seen is absolutely horrifying.

14 November 2006

Our Little Worker Drone

The rumors are true. We have been secretly been putting our son through the "CIA Super-Child Program"... well, we couldn't afford the "CIA Super Series CDs" that give children encyclopedic knowledge and super human strength... but we decided to start with the "CIA Worker Drone CDs" and see how we like it first.

The first part of the series convinces the child that cleaning can be fun. As the commercials claim, he started sweeping the floor after only one week of listening to the CDs.

These are some photos taken of Ammon washing the dishes. One day he just pulled the chair up to the sink, then pointed and grunted until Mommy turned the water on and put some soap on the scouring pad.

He was vacuuming soon after that.

By the end of the series a child is supposed to be thrilled to do mindless work like ditch digging or data entry.

We are thinking of upgrading the program to the "super series" after he finishes the lessons: "mow the lawn with a smile unlike your father" and "shovel the snow like the happy little elf you are".

10 November 2006

Whirlwind Trip

About 30 hours of travel one way usually isn't worth it when you have to turn around and come right back, but it was worth it to me. I am not going to say that the trip was pleasant, but I will say that we made each of our four connections, our six peices of large luggage made it to our destination, and none of us sustained any major injuries. I have to admitt that we weren't looking forward to any of it, but we made it to where we were headed, and we were able to make a friend on our connecting flight from Minneapolis to Salt Lake.

I'll write about the rest of the trip in another post soon to come.

Now that I am back in Japan, I will have the displeasure of being away from my wife and son in addition to everyone else I care about for the next two and a half months. However, I will do my best to keep busy and be upbeat.

10 October 2006

Baby Genius?

It may be a father's wishful thinking, but there does seem to be a resemblence, no?

06 October 2006

My Sleepy Little Boy

This morning I woke up and quietly left the room to start my morning routein careful not to wake my precious wife and baby boy. I came back in for one last thing and noticed that Ammon had been watching me. When he saw me look back at him he gave me a big grin and layed his head down. I wispered "good morning Ammon." As I made for the door he sat up again, smiling as big as his seven teeth would alow, and waved bye-bye.
Sometimes it seems most of my interaction with my little boy is when he is waking up or going to bed. This is probably why I have so many of pictures of him sleeping or waking up. Though I probably won't easily forget the few nights he slept little and we slept less, the mornings his happy face makes me hurry home I will remember forever.

29 September 2006

The Angry Russian

As we've come to Japan we've begun to have more of an... understanding?... of the Russians. Maybe it is because I had the opportunity to play the role of a Russian sailor in a movie a few months ago (I didn't do it because it conflicted with work), or because I have been asked if I were from Russia, or because some of my favorite sumo wrestlers are from previous Soviet Bloc States.
Anyhow, we picked up some sheepskin goodies from our midwife before heading to Japan, and now they fit him. We got some good pics of Ammon before he started fighting for the camera with his Russian-looking hat on. He loves the hat because it feels good against his skin, but he hit the terrible two's a bit early as you can see. We couldn't help but call him an angry Russian at the time.
Back to the former Soviet Bloc sumo wrestlers, in the September tournament one of my favorites, Koto'oshu (Bulgaria) won against Hakuho (Mongolia) with a nice leg trap. Roho (Russia), however, tarnished his image when he picked a fight in a bathroom with Chiyotaikai who had just beaten him. He later smacked some reporters around. This post is in homage to Roho (not because I support his un-sportsmen-like-behavior, but because we all feel like angry Russians sometimes).