Monday, November 26, 2007

More about small town life...

Growing up in Piedmont was funny... at least now when I look back at it. I often felt as though I was in The Twilight Zone and the only other person who felt as out of place as me was my brother. Here are some of the (now) funny questions I was often asked by others from Piedmont.

"What are you?" (translation: what is your ethnic background? I found it amusing to say "human" when asked that question)
"Where are you from?" (translation: you can't be from Piedmont because you don't have an accent and you don't look like you are black or white.)
"You're going to college in Vermont? What state is that in?" (No comment.)
"Is your dad Japanese?" (believe it or not, I was asked that question a lot b/c my dad had black hair, but is Caucasian and my mom had white/blondish hair and she is Japanese but albino)
"I heard that you eat dog." (Common misconception about Japanese, but it is not true. Plus people didn't realize that everybody in Asia isn't related.)
"Aren't you that girl that goes to that smart school?" (I moved from Piedmont at 16 to go to a math & science magnet school in Mobile, AL. People knew me from this fact only, it seemed.)

It is sad, yet funny. Most of my friends who left Piedmont after high school talk about our town as if it was a prison sentence and we escaped.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Piedmont Journal

Living in a small town can sometimes make life a little difficult. For one thing, there is no anonymity; everyone knows all your business and the business of your parents, grandparents, and so on. I didn't like that too much when I lived in Piedmont, AL. Now that I have moved from there, I have found humor in that small town life. When I go to my mom's house, I immediately have to catch up on all the great news from the weekly "Piedmont Journal." The Journal has improved in the past years, but there are still remnants of the old journal left now and then.

For example, it is commonplace to see things such as: "Lordy! Lordy! Linda is 40!" or an article about how the Wolf family took an Alaskan cruise during the summer, or a little too much detail written into the Obituaries, Wedding Announcements, and children's birthdays. My favorite article to date goes a little something like this (names and details have been changed to protect the innocent):

"Jerome Johnson Came to Visit Piedmont Here Lately"
After moving from Piedmont 25 years ago, Mr. Jerome Johnson decided it was time to come home for a visit. Mr. Johnson has been living in Tennessee since 1983. His family and about 15 of his old friends met up at Hardee's for coffee Sunday morning. Mr. Johnson stayed in town for a week or so and then went back to his new home in Tennessee.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Summer Olympics

I'm from this small town in northeast Alabama called Piedmont. I say I'm from this town because I lived there from the age of 6 to 16. I kind of loathed the town, the people, the accent, and almost every aspect of living there. Now, when I return for a visit, like a bad relationship, I only seem to remember all of the good things about living there. I remember my neighborhood where all the boys (and me) would have our own version of the Summer Olympics. Rob was in charge. He was always in charge of the neighborhood sports. He was the coolest guy in the world. He taught me how to play basketball, tag football, Whiffle ball, and he even had a golf cart he would drive around the block like any other cool kid would. We would all line up waiting for him to pick us to ride with him on that awesome cruise.

Rob mapped out the paths we would take for the cycling event. I had a pretty bike with huge handle bars with red fringes hanging from them. My brother Clarence, Curtis, and Rob had BMX bikes. I could barely keep up. For the medals, we used discarded beer cans we found in a nearby field (this is the kind of redneck town I grew up in) and used the different colors- Gold (Michelobe) and Silver (Bud Light)and Bronze (Coors, I think) to represent each prize. Since I was the tag-a-long little sister, I was almost always in 4th place. Rob was kind enough to let me have my own prize for 4th place because he was super cool like that. He looked around our carport and found a wet sponge and that became our last medal.

One race will always stick with me in my fond memory. I remember we all took off on our bikes down the street. Rob was in first place, as usual, and Clarence and Curtis were neck and neck until they reached the curve at the end of the street. Like the Talladega 500, there was a nasty wreck at this sharp turn and the two became tangled up in BMX bikes. I remember peddling so hard to catch up...and my dreams.. I was able to pass my brother and Curtis as they tried so desperately to pick themselves up. Rob was waiting at the finish line and, for the first time, I got that silver medal. What a momentous occasion. I got the Bud Light can! It meant so much to me. When I see Rob now, we still joke about that wet sponge. I remind him that I didn't get it every time.

Answers to "Guess Who?"

A. Maya
B. Reili
C. Maya
D. Maya

The Latest...

I have been working quite a bit since I came back from Alabama. Man, working outside of the home is harder in a sense but easier in another. I guess the whole "sticking to a schedule" thing is hard for me in my day to day life but much easier for me when I'm getting paid for it. I am extremely neat, organized, and can keep a chipper appearance at work but pretty much none of that at home. Now, if I could just figure out a way of getting paid at home.

I work at health screenings checking blood pressures, cholesterol, body fat/BMI, and other fun stuff. It is interesting to see what kind of shape an average American is in. Most people are doing well with their blood pressure, but not so well in pretty much every other area. We live a very sedentary life style. It is such a contrast to my relatives in Japan. I remember visiting my family a few years ago and riding down one of those huge alpine slides with my aunt who was then in her mid 50s. She laughed so hard and had a lot of fun with me. We would hike up this huge mountain, ride down the slide and do it over and over again. Japanese women view this time in their lives as a bit of a second youth/childhood except this time around, they have money, time and no kids at home. They take care of their bodies, eat healthily, and try their best to look great, too.

I'm working on the whole early to bed early to rise bit this week and next. Most of my jobs begin around 5-7am and I usually travel one or more hours to get to the event site. I like the early mornings. My house is quiet and I don't have to beat any morning traffic. I've been going to bed right after I put Maya to bed lately. Does this mean I'm getting old? Next thing you know I will be eating the early bird special dinner at 4pm with all the other old people.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tagged by Mikelle

My friend Mikelle tagged me for this little game so I thought I would give it a try.
Here’s the rules:
A. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
B. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog, for these rules.

1. I sucked my thumb until I was in kindergarten. Yes, I had to wear braces to fix the damage.
2. I have dated 5 guys named Jason: Jason Crook, Jason Bass, Jason Smith, Jason Ryder, Jason Tanner and now I live on a street called Jason Drive. Yes, weird, I know.
3. I'm liberal to a Mormon but conservative to a liberal. I listed my political views as moderate because I don't know what else I am.
4. I'm strangely obsessed with celebrity gossip ( is my fave) and I go to the library to 'relax' by reading magazines (not books!)
5. I marched in the Million Dollar Band as a mellophone player. Not that exciting unless you are a Bama fan or a band nerd.
6. I met my husband on, an internet site for single Mormons. I wanted to meet/date/marry a guy that was a member of my church, had an appreciation for Japanese culture, and would live in Alabama (at least at the time). Jeff was stationed in Japan with the Navy, was LDS (Latter-day Saints), served his mission with one of my best friends (character reference), and grew up in Alabama. Ah, even works with online dating.

So now I tag Kim, Jamie, Glittersmama, Fauna, and Michelle.