She's back!


'Member when I revealed my secret source of all things kawaii? And then that secret source vanished, making it even more secret than ever before?

Now it's back and just as cute as ever. So take note, all you crazed Sanrio and San-X fans, here's the link that you must bookmark immediately! 

Go to for much cuteness.


Further proof of conspiracy: Hello Kitty Bra Shop

Even Coke, McDonald's and Disney haven't taken over the world like this.


It should come as no surprise since the world is already graced with theHello Kitty AK-47, the Hello Kitty Rectal Thermometer or the Hello Kitty Lawnmower, and pretty much anything else an obsessed mind can conjure. Cute tissues, though.

And by the way, I'm not a monster

I give equal time to Good and Evil! So relax and have another eggnog.


Best parenting feedback ever

"You're the Sandy to my Cohen."

--Note from my daughter.

For San-X and Sanriophiles only


My Date with Satan confirms it: sometimes you just have to have the Nyanko pen and the Mashimaro paper to write anything at all. Maybe it's a little like musicians meeting for a soul-swap at the crossroads, but I can't help myself. Because I love my readers and because I'm a sick, twisted freak, I now give you the secret source of these and many other treasures:

Please note that I have acknowledged the Holiday 'o Love with the image above (and with those ever-so-sappy little gift bags full of candy plus a fiver -- my grandma taught me that it's all about the Lincolns, baybee -- that I hung on each of our 4 girls' bedroom doorknobs).

Oh, and Jeana? You still owe me a Keroppi hair dryer.

So far, so good

B = once again scores big time on the varsity debate scene, headed for State
T = kicks butt on math and science test scores, grabbing highest grades in her classes; makes the elite soccer team
S & J = join the basketball team (two of the tallest players) while maintaining A averages

Time is right

Today I want to publish something I wrote several months ago:

In recent days, a number of major life events have visited our household. Incredibly, in spite of everything, this is the place the children want to be. It's like a beating heart here, with an infinite number of inputs and outflows and influences; still, this is the place our children congregate with their friends -- and I am grateful to the ends of my being.

Our house is built on a strange foundation: a web of interconnectedness that began with my children's relationships to Jon's children, overlaid with my love for Jon (and later our marriage, and therefore, the strongest cables in the web), strengthened by additional community threads (friends and families that love us, thank God), shot through with all the love of our parents, siblings and Ave.

It's an intricate pattern of friendships/families that love us.

Into this, we gather any storm, any crisis, any conflict, any disruption -- and we have done so successfully, as many come to our home as a place of solace and security.

We bring love, acceptance and connection to each soul that comes into this house -- just show us what you've got.

As the parents of 4 teenage girls, we put all visitors to the test (young men, stand up for your test of respectability and accountability; ladies, please know that we'll call parents at the drop of a hat, and we don't mind being "those annoying tattletale parents" at all).

Our message: we welcome you all -- just be straight. The door's always open (and much to my sublime happiness, this is the place kids gather in safety).

la Mer's binding premise: absolute, ironpants control doesn't work. Welcoming as part of a community does work.

Come on over.

Rumor means nothing

Today's post is primarily for my daughters, who are in the midst of a heavy, heavy struggle, but perhaps there is meaning for others as well:

1) Rumor means nothing. Those who care will understand. Others don't know, and so they are scared, too. This is a graduate-level test for you, and you are doing great.

2) When others reach out, listen NOT to their words (because NO one knows what to say in a situation like this), but instead, listen to their INTENT. They desire to help, even if they don't know how. Ignore the clumsy words, and hear the love.

3) People are fragile creatures. For all our bravado, each of us is only doing our best.

Continue Reading Questions & comments 2

Sort of on-topic, by way of consumer behavior

Perhaps because of my penchant for all things Sanrio (the weirder, the better), I found this page on the PhotoMann site to be fascinating. Anyone remember that Vend-A-Goat thing, one that was spotted in Communication Arts a while ago? This is like the real-life version, including gems like the Rhinoceros Beetle vending machine. rhinox.jpg
More at the link here:

PhotoMann Travel Photgraphy - Images of Japanese Vending Machines

Source: Boing Boing

Snaps for Mike

More on Mike: just got his web site going. Friends, family, strangers, all of you, please sign in and give a big "Up With People" to the father of my kids:

Mike's Caring Bridge Site

Life takes a turn for the weird

Always knew these people were cerebral, just never thought we'd use the word "cerebellum" so often in casual conversation. Hear me now, believe me later, as my pal Kevin would say: Treasure every day, folks. And if you have a moment...

Prayer power to Mike (click for contact info and updates: Family)

Three cheers and continued support to Ave, my inspiration, my hero, my brain-smack wunderkind!

Cosmic high-five to Scott and Gale and Sean Smith, who by now must be thinking that the coincidences between our families are getting a little ridiculous and DANG let's see if we can focus on the fly fishing from here on.

Sanrio Blog: 315 yen per month

Seems like a steal.


Japanese Sanrio Blog

Honeymoon's not over

... but we have returned to Bozeman after a perfect wedding day in Big Sky and an unbelievably fun, romantic trip to Hawaii. A million thanks to all our well-wishers and guests. The wedding photos (c) Mery Donald will be ready in the next few days, so please email me for the link and password if you'd like to take a look.


I'll put up a preview of the other wedding pix on the Faith River Communications site, too.

Questions & comments 2

Hello Kitty Blogs

It can't be explained, but there are other freaks like me. And while you're getting her the sandwich maker, pick one up for us, too, wouldja? Muchas --

Hello Kitty Blogs

Questions & comments 1

Headed for the institution

...of marriage. As of this writing, we're just 18 days away from the Big Day. I'm thrilled to be marrying my best friend and ideal lover, the person I admire most in the world, and somehow, inexplicably, my counterpart. We have four teenage daughters between us, so you may hear about us next on the Jerry Springer Show, but for now -- spring break week 2005 -- we're chillaxin' at home with not just our kids but their friends, too. We've got half the freshman girls and most of the 6th grade over here tonight (and by the way, whatever you heard about young girls not eating, uh, that just isn't true, trust me). I'm never happier than I am with this great big ol' houseful of beautiful kids, all trying to tell the wildest story or shock with the biggest joke. They're smart, hilarious, articulate, opinionated about politics and society and culture, and for the moment, they still think their sappy parents are cute together. I tend to agree, we are a smashing couple. Here's a hip-hip-hooray for the blessed household that's anything BUT the Big EZ, and all about the Big EZ.

Our wedding web site: Mary & Jon

Straight from the bun's mouth

My Story (as told by Kogepan)
Source: kogepan-wp.jpg

I am Kogepan. I was from a bakery shop in Hokkaido. My bakery shop is very famous in Japan because the red bead buns that it churns out are so delicious that only 20 of such type are made each day. I was supposed to be a delicious red bean bun too, but an unfortunate accident had happened...

On the day I was supposed to be brought into the oven, I was thrilled because the moment has finally arrived for me to become what most breads have always wanted to be - a high quality red bean bread.

As I continue to ponder on that, I began to giggle in excitement.

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On the way to school

Soon, very sadly, my daily captive audience with my daughter will end.

That is, my 15 minutes in the car with her each morning and each afternoon are about to be replaced by her driver's license. This morning at 8, we got into the car as usual, but she was in the driver's seat. I still had the privilege of being in the actual vehicle with her, since for one more week at least, she is in Learner's Permit mode, meaning, I have to accompany her -- and may I just add that she is an excellent driver.

These aren't the only times we talk about boys and sex and fashion and cliques and big life changes and road trips and absurdity and memories and hopes and dreams and humor and money... but they were, until just now, guaranteed times.

Today, Bex asked me from the driver's seat what she oughta do about this one guy. Today, Bex asked me from the driver's seat if she'd handled a certain situation all right. Today, Bex asked me if I am having the same concerns and doubts that she is as we all go forward into our new adventure.

And from the passenger side, I said everything I have always said from the other side of the front seat, which is: I love you, you're doing great, thank you for trusting me, thank you for asking me, and yes... I worry sometimes, too. And we will handle anything that comes.

Then we changed places: she went into the school and I got behind the wheel and drove off alone.

So it goes.

Besides, Hot Topic is way too mainstream

The Cradle Rocks -- Punk rock paraphernalia for their next play date

Chequearlo! Detect rebellion in your toddler? A dark, brooding infant streak? "The Cradle Rocks" is your online source for punk and general evildoer merchandise for the under-3 set. I kinda like this skull-and-crossbones child's place setting, lovely really, appropriate for a visit from that late-thirties grandma who still likes her safety-pin fashion. You might also choose animal-print bibs, bling-bling bibs, and tattoo diaper bags. Or how about the cuddly, adorable two-headed collection? Your choice of monsters, bats, two-headed bunnies and more!

My final vice

Because how bad can this be for me, anyway? An insider tip for all my blog readers: I'm about to reveal the source of some of my more obscure and fascinating Sanrio gear (if your birthday is coming up, give me hints).

Continue Reading

My mother's sick, sad addiction

Written by: Becky D. (Mary's 15-year-old daughter)

Being the teenage daughter of a Sanrio obsessed 40-something woman is like being controlled by a 4-year-old girl. Ninety percent of everything my mother buys is either pink, a cat with no mouth or some strangly shapped creature with an unpronounceable name. Every time one of those techno-colored packages arrive at our door, my mother's shrieks fill the house, followed by, "Isn't that just the cutest thing?"

Think I'm kidding? The Hawaii incident: Spring break of 2003, my mother, sister, my mother's fiancee and his daughters all boarded a plane and arrived in Hawaii hours later. We spent the week on a small part of Oahu's north shore and planned on going to Honolulu later in the week. Every day my mother would remind us how many days until we could visit the Sanrio store. Finally the day arrived and my mom could not have been happier. We drove into town, to the mall and within a matter of seconds, my mother was off and running towards the underground cartoon hell. Her ohhhs and ahhhhs could be heard all the way to the sheets. I cringed when I thought about how long we would be trapped in the wonderland of toasters with cats on them, suitcases big enough for a pair of underwear and vaccums the size of small children. 3 hours and 4 large shopping bags later, we left -- much to my delight and my mom's dismay.

I thought it was just a phase, but nothing with her NOTHING is a phase. Soon all our pencils were replaced with pink pens with animals, all stationery was brightly colored, and I started getting notes at school on every type of Sanrio paper/envelope combination imaginable, "just because."

One night when all conversation had died down, my mother admitted that she would love to live in an Airstream trailer filled with Hello Kitty memorabilia. The idea still freaks me out.

Until she gets over this sick, sad addiction I'm stuck in a Hello Kitty Hell.

Good-Bye Kitty.

Cheese Family: Where Everyone is Made of Cheese!

My favorite San-X incarnation for the past few years (not counting Kogepan and Nyan Nyan Nyanko). I've aroused the suspicion of middle school and high school attendance office personnel by dropping off notes for my lovely daughters on Cheese Family stationery sealed with 3-D Cheese Family stickers. Here's a site devoted to these freaky cheeses: fan02.gif