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Photo: U.S. Navy sailors parading a mikoshi in Yokosuka.

Happy Independence Day!

In about three weeks I shall no longer be an expatriate. Oh, to nestle in the supersized bosom of my native land. Scares the shit out of me, if you want to know the truth. After almost five years as an ex-pat in London and Yokosuka, will I kill someone by driving down the left side of the street? How will I catch up on the hip lingo? Can I buy good sake there? Will I die of happiness when waitresses serve me giant glasses of ice water without my asking? Who will give me a job?

Hauling Ass

Moving day is approaching.

I’m preparing for the move to D.C., sorting through our stuff, drinking down the bourbon on the sideboard. I need a new name for my blog: You, madam, are no [insert American diarist here]. Any ideas?

I’m hoping to find an appropriate American diarist, male or female, from any era, preferably with a Washington, D.C. connection. The diary should be either still in print or easily obtainable at the library/though the Internet. One interesting contender so far is Mary Boykin Miller Chestnut (1823-1886), but she’s a little obscure and her four names would make for a tedious blog title. On the other hand, her name does scan nicely in two-syllable sing-song. Yes, I went through my Anaïs Nin period when I was in college and read every volume of her diaries, but I don’t think she’s exactly what I’m looking for. Robert Shields and Arthur Crew Inman are tempting in a Amy/David Sedaris satisfyingly creepy way. This is fun!

The person who suggests the diarist I select will receive a permanent credit on this blog, a link to his/her blog (if applicable), and perhaps a free drink/meal, depending on how conveniently we can meet. Family members with Master’s Degrees in English Literature (Saul) are strongly encouraged to submit entries.

Enjoy the Fourth of July!

ETA: The search is over. Please see the resolution on renaming the blog.


Happy Independence Day!

Today I taught some Japanese ladies how to say “ell” (it was a bit pornish watching everyone touch the tip of their tongues to their upper front teeth). I got involved with Ozu’s A Story of Floating Weeds from 1934. Hardcore silent action. Then a second throw with commentary by Donald Ritchie. Yummy. I might get up the energy to say more about it later.

I heard sounds outside, opened the window and realized I was missing the fireworks on the Navy base, 3 miles away. Damn! I love fireworks. Good old America, I miss you.

I miss the Bolivian and Vietnamese restaurants in Washington, D.C., my grandmother’s house in Maine near the Lobstermen’s Co-op, the Night and Day Cafe in Coronado, CA, Sophia’s BBQ in Montgomery, AL, and I miss diners. Oh, diners, diners, diners. And pizza, foldy, floppy pizza. I miss the weight of the Sunday New York Times and the smell of bagels. I miss my friends and family and the home I don’t own yet.

I miss my gorgeous, immigrant, all-American, naval officer husband out there at sea. (Hey, baby, enjoy your time off the ship in some foreign port.)

I miss the horse I had when I was 13, on which I rode one day into an alfalfa field and interrupted a couple naked and screwing. I miss that one July 4th when we were in Leavenworth, KS in 100-degree weather watching some historical battle reenactment and I thought I was in hell. I miss my apartment with the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. I miss New Orleans, especially the time when things got a little out of hand, but we were ok enough to drive home the next day listening to that Cajun radio station. I miss Ithaca, NY and NYC and Memphis and San Francisco and Santa Fe.

Do I miss America or do I miss my life? America, you give me a headache, but baby, you’re the keeper of the flame, and you burn so bright.


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