Sunday, January 25, 2009

Live and from Japan

Sorry for the delay in posting folks, but I did just travel 6 hours via car, 16 hours via airplane and 2 hours via bus to get here. Actually, the laptop took a harsh crash from a certain well-meaning little girl and this moment, at 9:29pm, was my first chance to get on here to post. I wish I was feeling more creative and editorial but my body is screaming like 10,000 little pins are pricking it, so I will be short.

We arrived. The damages were minor.

WTF Husband took one for team. The aforementioned well-meaning little girl knocked over a cup of hot coffee off the seat back tray table and Daddy threw his body in the oncoming fire. So he spent the next 14 hours with a coffee stained shirt and pants. Too bad I rethought packing a change of clothes for the adults. Olivia had a mommy-wanted-one-last-good-mexican-meal-before-moving-to-Japan-and-thought-it-was-a-good-idea-to-feed-me-black-beans diaper and exploded out of her clothes and onto Mark's lap. Thankfully, the coffee stains camouflaged the diaper stains. Poor Daddy!

We were on the receiving end of what I am pretty sure was Japanese mocking as we tried to push a stroller, two carseats, a dog kennel and 13 pieces of assorted luggage and carry-ons piled onto 3 airports carts through the airport. Mark took the two heaviest, whilst I pushed one and pulled the stroller and carseats. All the while Georgia yelled that she had to go poop, repeatedly and then again, pause to catch breath, and again. What great ambassadors for the US! The airport itself was easy to navigate and we had no problems going through immigrations, quarantine or customs. My preparedness paid off. Oddly though, I felt proud despite the laughing and pointing fingers. We survived it and did it mostly gracefully, which was more than I had hoped for. Mark and I are still married so that is a testament of our fortitude. Maybe they weren't laughing at us, but rather impressed that a bunch of gaijins did it so well.

Tha-tha-that's all folks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Government layaway

Time again for a little government layaway. Didn't we just do this for Hawaii? All that we have to do to get to Japan is put our continental United States life on hold. We'll come and pick you up in 24-36 months. Hope the country doesn't go bankrupt by then and sell our things in a fire sale. I'm holding on tightly to my receipts Uncle Sam. A few notables:

  • Family and an incredible network of friends. I find the words lacking in how I will miss this everyday part of my life.
  • Weekly, who am I fooling, sometimes daily, runs to Target. At least I ranked family and friends above Target on my list of priorities, though most of my friends and I enjoy each other's company in those heavenly red and white aisles.
  • Our church. Mark and I finally agreed on one, it only took six years of marriage, one pink church, one very gay church and a one mistaken Methodist church to find you.
  • The poorly timed (how were we to know) and newly acquired travel trailer. We thought we'd use you more than twice, dreams of crabbing off a pier in Maryland, instead you get to sit, covered all nice and tight in a gated lot.
  • The minivan and truck. We can't even enjoy you now that there are no payments left, all the while you'll be depreciating like the state of our stock portfolio these last several months.
  • *Sniff, sniff* Our house.
  • Our happy red couch and most other worldly possessions

Just some of the things that we must leave behind and put on hold.

Holy Batman, Japan

In case you've stuffed your ears with cotton balls to drown out the noise your children make, like I do every day, and haven't yet heard, we're picking up shop and heading westward, way-way-westward to Japan. Consider it a "gift" from the Navy. Years of dedicated service, countless sacrifices for the "mission" and promises of greener pastures (within the great forty-eight) be damned. Okay, so maybe my attitude is a little sour since these orders aren't even close to what we wanted or assured were coming our way, my usage of air quotes was your first tipoff, right? I would have preferred some other kind of gift, like maybe a KitchenAid mixer or riding lawnmower, how cute would I be on a John Deere! Lawn equipment aside, I know what you're thinking, how can you be upset at the opportunity to live abroad, to experience such a wonderous culture? I have to say it though, to get it out of my system, we've already done our overseas tour, remember Navy, we volunteered for that one. There's a Yogi somewhere saying, "cleanisng deep breath...Ommmm, Ommmm." Through countless meditations to reveal my inner peace, I've to come around to this eventuality. Yogi would be so proud. We are moving, no amount of talking will change that, and being upset will get me nowhere. So in the spirit of being adventurous and channeling my once audicous self, I've decided to embrace all the amazing things The Fegley Four are going to be exposed to in Japan.

We just gotta get there. I checked, a cruise to Japan is out of the question. Something about pirates at the Horn of Africa. I thought Johnny Depp wasn't going to make another sequel. *Yes, Husband, I know you'd never cruise in that direction to get to Japan, you'd cruise by Hawaii, but I thought the whole pirates off the coast of Africa showcased my knowledge of current events better. Anyways, we're going to have to rely on the lovely folks at PSD *insert snickers and sneers* to lead us the right way.

Memphis-->Dallas (7 hours driving) to drop off the van in vehicle storage
Dallas-->Seattle (4.5 hours flying) staying overnight
Seattle-->Yokota Air Force Base (14 hours)

They're known as the friendly skies, though I suspect that moniker will change after having Georgia up there for 14 hours. Have you ever seen Georgia sit still? Or be quiet? The child is in perpetual motion and so is her mouth. She is seriously cute and adorable but that wears off around hour 4. Throw wild card Olivia into the mix, who rather run than sit still in your lap, and those skies could get downright warlike. Can you say Benadryl! *no MOMS friends, I would never drug my child, I was talking about myself.

Sorry for the aside, back to the trip...
Yokota AFB-->Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (3 hours driving)

Good times.

Ready, set...Blog

I've spent a lot of time, and by a lot I mean I've neglected my children as they wandered the house looking for me, eating cheerios off the floor because they were hungry and scratching at the office door like dogs to let them in, to bring you this blog and update our website. The move to Japan is so huge and there is so much distance, both tangible and intangible between us, that I had to do this to make our lives more accessible. Also because I like to read my own writing. Back in the day, I used to be quite a talent. That's me looking in the rear view mirror however this is a good way to dust off some cobwebs and see the light is still turned on inside this mommy-brain of mine. So in the spirit that this blog is brought to you, I want you to participate too. Leave me comments. Share this blog with others. Ask me questions about Japan. Come back often.

If you'll turn your attention to the right sidebar. So you don't mistake the time and call me at 2:45 in the morning one day, I've included a very appropriate sushi clock so you'll always be aware that it is already tomorrow in Japan. Also, a lovely weather geisha, a currency converter so you too can be reminded how weak the US dollar is, interesting Japanese news headlines (for both sets of parents who seem addicted to Fox News) and lastly, a totally trivial, but addictive, sushi game to wile your time away. Ooh, I almost forget the best, an audio file so you can learn along with me a new Japanese word or phrase a day. By the time you come to visit, you'll be able to ask important questions like, "how much sake is too much sake", "where can I find the nearest discotheque," or the ever necessary, "where is the toilet."

And now for our technology-challenged readers (I'm thinking you Dad), some pointers on how blogs work: the posts are organized by newest first, and archived monthly on the right sidebar. If you want to check out an old post, just go to the archives to find it. Posts will also be tagged, so if you're interested in food specific posts for example, you can search by the tag "food." Pictures will be clickable to view larger and sometimes I might hyperlink text in another color, meaning you can click on it and be directed to another website with information about whatever topic I was blogging about. Finally, to leave a comment, after the post you will see a link to comments, it might say "0 comments" if you're the first to post or hopefully someone out there will have honored my request for comments and it will say "12 comments". Click, leave your comment and then choose how you want your name to appear. Please leave your name. Most users, at least family members, click on Name/URL and put your name there.

Arigatou Gozaimasu!

Japanese language lesson #1: Thank you = Arigatou gozaimasu (Ah-ree-gah-too-koh-zie-mah-soo)