Friday, December 16, 2016


This is the first draft of our family's Christmas card, but I have a feeling that my mom will make me change it, so I'm going to post this sarcastic and somewhat snarky version on here because I want to. Ha.

Merry Christmas fellow friends and family that I probably don't know.  With the emergence of social media, Christmas cards aren’t exactly necessary to humble brag, but we’re conceited enough to send a hard copy out regardless.

Lily returned home from her mission in the Japan Tokyo Mission.  (Not to be mistaken with the lesser Tokyo South Mission.) Although the semester immediately following missions tends to be rough, Lily took ridiculously hard and time consuming classes because she’s a boss.  She also still loves to consume a lot of vegetables, primarily cabbage and carrots because they’re cheap.

Kristen is teaching her first year of high school English and will now stop referring to herself in 3rd person because she hates how teachers do that.  I teach about half of the 10th graders at Payson High and am surviving.  My students also seem to be alive, and have managed to not hurt each other in my classroom, so I’d say it’s going well.  I also still ski and roller skate which I try to mention to my students often so that they think I’m cool.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor

Jenai is working in a chiropractic office and gets a free adjustment weekly, so she’s pretty much living the life.  She also has embraced her Latina side (jokes) and is not only salsa dancing on the reg, she has joined a salsa team and owns that dance floor.  She also picked up skiing after a little hiatus and hopefully will be joining me on the slopes to shred the gnar.

Mom is as cute as ever and has picked up tap dancing.  Seriously folks, she’s a little daredevil although she recently told me that last week’s practice was the first time that she didn’t feel like crying from frustration.  You try tap dancing and tell me how it goes.  Dad may have had a mid-life crisis and bought a motorcycle and grew a goatee.  He also still roller skates frequently thanks to moi.  This year, Mom and Dad were called to teach Early Morning Seminary.  Although they are learning a lot and (I’m sure) are grateful for the opportunity, are extremely sleep deprived and looking forward to this Christmas Break.  They also went to a French speaking camp for a week or so and I think they had a good time.  Poor Mom isn’t fluent, so it probably wasn’t as fun for her.  But she’s a tough one, so don’t worry.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

As a family, we went to Maui for summer vacation and we all felt very #blessed and #spoiled to be spending time in paradise.  We got awesome tans, minus Lily, because she had just returned from her mission and had pasty white legs.  

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing, sky, ocean, outdoor and nature

Love you all.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I’ll be flying back to Utah New Year’s Eve, so enjoy your night for me because I’m not planning on kissing anyone on the plane.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

After School Detention

Take a good look at this photo of me back in eighth grade.  I'm pretty sure it was my first Facebook profile pic, and I had to have my mom take it of me because selfies weren't a thing yet.

Does that look like the face of a trouble maker?  A trickster?  A punk?  No!  It looks like a half Japanese Mormon girl who didn't even drink caffeine.  She wasn't a total kiss-up (she talked too much for that), but the teachers (I assume) liked her well enough.

Wait, when did I start referring to myself in third person?

So like I said, I was a pretty good kid and didn't get detentions.  I mean, sometimes I had lunch detentions when you stay an extra five minutes in class before going to lunch because of forgotten homework or something like that, but not because I was BAD.

That is, until eighth grade.  I just read Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape today for an English class, so I thought I'd tell you through the "theatre" lens.  #theatrebecauseartsy



Mrs. Jansen
Orchestra kids


Cafeteria stage

Scene One
You enter in the middle of the eighth grade orchestra class.  The students are seated in formation on the cafeteria stage hacking away at their stringed instruments.  Mrs. Jansen, the director, is obviously frazzled because the majority of her students cannot keep a beat and/or are tone deaf.  She is working with the cello section and although they are not as hopeless as the violas and bases, she doesn't hold much hope for them.  That is, except for Kristen: She was the one cellist who actually had a musical background and although Mrs. Jansen wouldn't admit to it, she often gave Kristen preferable treatment.  The horrible screeching continues.

Mrs. Jansen: Ok let's try that section one more time at measure 23...Yes, 23...Where we started last time...After your ten measure rest!...Will someone please show Mike where measure 23 is??! (The cello section plays from measure 23 and Mrs. Jansen gives a defeated sigh and moves on to the second violin section; she typically has to work with them more than the talented first violin section.)

Nolan: (Turns around with a mischievous grin and whispers to the cello section) Hey guys--you want gum?  (Wanting to prove their rebellious natures, despite the fact that they are upper middle class students living in the suburbs of the midwest, a few of the students eagerly take the gum.  Kristen does as well.)

Mrs. Jansen: (Already thinking about the Starbucks she will be getting in the next hour, she calls the whole orchestra back together.) Alright everyone, let's all play from measure 23...Yes the same 23 we've been playing from this entire time. (The students play and start chewing their gum conspicuously after getting absorbed in the music.) Are you all chewing gum?? Go spit it out right now.  If I catch any of you chewing gum from now on that's an automatic after-school detention! (Many students make the walk of shame to the trash can to spit out their gum, but Nolan and Kristen don't budge.  They exchange impish grins.) Nolan! Are you chewing gum?!

Nolan: Yes.

Mrs. Jansen: (A bit worked up, but satisfied because she doesn't really like Nolan) That's an after-school detention for you!!  I was serious! If I catch any one else with gum, you're getting detention!

Minutes pass and the orchestra still sounds pretty lousy.  Kristen gets bored and starts chewing her gum mindlessly.

Mrs. Jansen: (Speaking in an almost unbelieving, regretful tone) Kristen, are you chewing gum??

Kristen: (Softly, yet somewhat defiantly) Yes.

Mrs. Jansen: (Her eyes glistening with unshed tears of disappointment) Well, I'm gonna have to give you a detention...

Kristen:  Ok.

The End

Ok, so that was really fun.  Maybe I should become a playwright when I grow up.  I'd be just as poor as being a teacher, so what's to lose? Anyway, that was the first time I got an after-school detention.  Nolan and I had to stack chairs in the choir room while Mrs. Jansen stood in the doorway eating popcorn.  And that's about it.

How's that for edgy and rebellious??  The funny thing is, I got another after-school detention in high school for being late to Honors Chemistry.  The principals (we had like five--don't ask) had this thing called Hall Sweeps where they'd pick a section of the school and have all the teachers close and lock their doors right when the tardy bell rang.  That day we were having a lab, so I had to go to my locker to grab my goggles.  And then I was late and got a detention.  I was obviously really acting up with those goggles of mine.

So there ya go.  Judge me if you will.  I am not ashamed!!