January 1, 2024

This diary entry is part 1 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

2024!  How about that!!!

So this morning we got up early – well, some of us did, the adults were pretty fried.  We got bundled up (it was pretty cold) and went to a nearby park to watch the first sunrise. It’s not something we usually do in America, but we have five and a half (Yuki stayed over) Japanese people here, so I thought it’d be a nice thing to do.

And, actually, it was.

It was like all the possibility of the year was in that sunrise.

Sometimes the Japanese do pretty cool stuff, I think.

So after that, we went back, and crashed some more.

We had a late breakfast.  They would have visited a shrine, but there isn’t one.  I let them bow and clap at me, and they were surprisingly not embarrassed to do it. I was, but I knew they weren’t doing it to me, they were doing it at me, and if nothing else, we know I represent someone, so it was fine.  I didn’t ask what they prayed for.  They didn’t tell me.  But sometimes that’s how it works.

I felt a little left out.  I can’t really bow and clap at myself.  I can’t have a shrine visit when I am the shrine.  Aww.

2024 will be a year of change.  I will graduate.  I will probably go to college.  Maybe even in Japan.  Something… will happen with Jack, and neither of us knows what.  And who knows what kind of stupid things those those Very Smart People in charge of countries will do.

But there’s no point in worrying.  Things will happen or they won’t.  At the end of the day… 2025 will come.  It is inevitable.  It’s just what our situation will be when it does that’s up in the air.

Tomorrow we’re taking the girls down to Houston to spend a day with Emiko.  I hope they have fun.  Emiko will take them to the airport.

I’ll miss them.  They’re fun to have around.  I don’t want them to miss me… but I hope they do.  You don’t miss people you don’t care about.

They spent much of the day packing their stuff up and getting ready to leave.  Minami was a little teary.  I asked her why.  She just said that she’ll miss being around a real family that cares.

I understand.  Maybe more than she thinks.

I did ask her why she doesn’t feel the same way about Mariko’s… or Yuuko’s… or even Ai’s family.  She just said they treat her fine, but they’re Japanese.  People don’t really work that way there.  They treat her like…  their daughters’ friend.  Not family.  That’s sad.

Love you all!!! ❤️

January 2, 2024

This diary entry is part 2 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! it’s me! Lily!!!

So we took the aidols to Houston today.  It was bittersweet – they had a good time and they said they really liked spending time with all of us.  The aidols hadn’t really hung around many gaijin and they like how expressive and warm we can be.  They also think we’re a bit intimidating.  Maybe we are.  But they all gave us a hug before we went home, and I stopped in to say hi to Emiko and her family too for a little while.

I was looking through my old posts, and I feel a little sad.  It’s funny how much I’ve changed in the past couple of years.  I used to be so bright and cheerful and happy… I still am, but not in the same way.  I’d bounce around the mall and just be happy… and now I’ve got stuff to do and things to think about and a rapidly approaching graduation that frankly scares me.  And there were a few things that I talked about that I mentioned were going to happen and never talked about again.  Like David learning a language, for example.  I never told you how that turned out!  Basically, he tried for a few weeks, got sullen, and Sabby just gave up.  That was around the time she sent him to the summer camp too for the first time.

But they kind of gave up on trying to make me all mechanical too, so it all evens out.  Even though I did rebuild that engine.  I guess that was just a matter of necessity, though.  The engine needed to be rebuilt, and it was a good learning experience.  But I could say the same about David – he went to Japan and knew very little Japanese, and he could have learned a lot more!

I’ve written so much stuff here I’m compiling it into a kind of book!  So there will be some changes here once that’s done.  I’ll let you know how that turns out.

And I wonder when I’m going to stop posting here.  I can’t do it forever.  Eventually I’ll just have too much life.

Aww.

Maybe you’ll miss me.

Anyway…  I’m tired.  And a little lonely.  It was nice having four girls sleeping in here every single day.  They’d chatter or say “sharekoube” or just fall asleep and it was nice to hear them breathe.  They mostly didn’t girl-pile but that’s okay.  It was still nice having them here.  I’ll miss them.

But onwards.  There are a lot of things coming up.  There’s the culture festival, and sports day, and…  oh wait.  This isn’t an anime.  But there is a concert I need to prepare for, actually two, and then there’s Beth and the band, and applying to Meiji, and…  and it was a nice holiday, but it’s over.  Time to move on.

Love you all!!! ❤️

January 3, 2024

This diary entry is part 3 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Well, back to the grind.

I was looking back on more of my posts today… was I really like that?  Was I that…  young?  Or annoying?  Or…  lots of things, I guess.  I feel so different now.  I guess I feel like an adult, with adult problems… even if you adults would say “you don’t have adult problems, you’re just a stupid young girl”.

Maybe so, but my problems are important to me.

I tried so hard to do different things.  I tried doing YouTubes, I even did a twitch stream, I did lots of things to try them out… and this diary’s the only thing that stuck.  Maybe it’s because with them I was trying to be something I’m not, and here… I’m never something I’m not.  I’m just Lily.  I’m not a streamer, I’m not a video personality, I’m… Lily.

And I seem to be at my best when I’m talking about my life… and my friends.

Maybe it’s because my friends are the only really important thing I have.

There’s Liz… my best friend ever who knows me almost as well as I know myself…  has been there almost as long as my actual family… Beth… my sister in everything but name and even in name…  there’s Crystal, my little sister who’s been through so much and is one of the strongest girls I know… and Diana, for whom family is so important and her culture means so much to her.  There’s Rebecca, my half sister who I just got to know…  she’s pretty well off but doesn’t let it go to her head…  Ai, my cousin who is so Japanese and such a sweetheart too…  and so many others as well… all of them my sisters and my friends…  and they’ve been the only constant in my story.  Every day I think I say something else about my sisters, or my parents, or someone else that’s really important to me.  That’s what it’s all about, that’s what it’s always been about.

And Liz and Beth always remind me that somehow I make peoples’ lives better just by existing.  I mean, look at Minami.  she came here to Texas kind of a mess, and so sad because she saw how my family was and how broken hers was… and somehow she left with an audition with a Japanese recording studio…  and I know I didn’t have anything really to do with it, but somehow I also had everything to do with it.  And that happens all the time.  Yuki gets to be an idol a little bit here and she seems so much happier than when I met her… Crystal is such a broken girl but she’s also so strong and I’ve watched her blossom since the first time I met her, when she smushed food in Beth’s face (Beth deserved it!).  And Beth too… she’s learning to sing now and she wants to be in a band, and she’s gotten so much better with her jealousy…

I’m not really taking credit for it… but the aidols told me I was like a walking shrine, and maybe… maybe that’s what walking shrines do.

And of course there’s Jack, too…  who I love in a very different way, but just as much.  None of the girls will ever be allowed to touch me like he is allowed to.

Some days I wonder who will be there for me, when I’m there for everyone else… and then one of my sisters gives me a hug or talks about something silly with me or makes a girl pile and cuddles up to me and lets me hold them like a big teddy bear… and I know they’re there for me too and they love me too.

That’s what it’s all about, that’s what it’s always been about, ever since I started this diary, and before.  I’ve done a lot of things.  I helped start a business, I started going to community college classes, I performed piano in front of a lot of people…  but the only thing that really matters… and ever will matter…  are the people I know, the people who I love, and the people who love me too.

Love you all!!! ❤️

January 4, 2024

This diary entry is part 4 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

I GOT RID OF PATREON!!!

Yup, it’s gone.  All gone.  In its place is a subscriber mechanism. Up in the upper right corner you’ll see an account dropdown.  You can register with a new one.  It’ll give you a user profile and everything.  I might need to tweak it a bit, but I’ve never liked Patreon, and it’s gone.  Gone gone gone!!!  YAAAAAYYYY!!!!

And now I don’t have to follow their rules anymore, so I can be as honest as I want!!!!

That was a lot of work, though.  It was pretty mashed in there…

Anyway…

The aidols are back in Japan now.  I got a few different texts all saying they’re home safe and that they’re happy they met me and they can’t wait to meet up again.  They’re so nice!!!  I’ve got more sisters now!!!

Anyway, that was a lot of work, and I’m tired.  This will be a short one.  All that work and I practiced a lot today too.  Time to work up that piece for the concert…

Just so you can test your account if you sign up, I’ll put something right below that only subscribers can see.  Ready?

This content has been restricted to logged in users only. Please login to view this content.

Hahahaha!!!!!

Normally that box won’t be there, but I left it this time so you can see where it would go.

Love you all!!! ❤️

January 6, 2024

This diary entry is part 5 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

(There’s subscriber content in this post… and it’s not PG-13, it’s R.  I’m not worried about Patreon anymore.)

And I have NEWS!!!!!

You know how usually we have the girls over on Friday nights and we eat pizza and play games and make girl-piles?  Well, that didn’t happen last night.  I think Beth did have the girls over, but Jack wanted to go out with me.  So, well, we went out.

He asked me to his prom!!!!

I’ve never been to a prom!!!

He said he didn’t really want to go, but he felt like it was important, and I was the only one he’d consider going with.

Of course I said yes.

I mean, I’m homeschooled.  I’ll never get a prom if I don’t go with someone else!  And, I don’t think i’d go with anyone but Jack anyway.  So…  add “prom” to my list of things to do this year!!!

I have a nice dress, so I’m not too worried about all that.  He said he explicitly does not want to make it a huge deal where I wear an expensive dress and he wears an expensive tux and rents a limo and all that kinda stuff.  He just wants a memory… with me.

Awww.

I love that about Jack.  Some people might think he’s really lax about things that are important.   I think he takes things seriously that are important, but doesn’t care much about things that aren’t.  Besides, we’re already dating.  We don’t have a whole lot to prove to each other, and he knows it.

We did go back to his house – his parents were off on a date and Grace had a sleepover with one of her little friends, and, well, it’s been far too long since we’ve had time alone like that. 

We talked a while about the future while we were cuddling, and we’re both a little scared.  It’s really easy to play boyfriend and girlfriend, but soon we’re going to have to make some hard and very adult decisions.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to Japan, that is, of course, if I’m accepted, and we’re pretty sure he’s, well, not.  But he tells me he can’t imagine being with another girl, and even if I’m in Japan, he can’t imagine finding someone else that could possibly match up to me.

I kinda feel the same way.  It just wouldn’t feel right if I were with someone else, even if we were to break up.  I don’t want to break up just because it would be inconvenient… that just feels so wrong.  Breaking up with him just so I can find someone who’s there just seems… disrespectful somehow.  Thankfully he seems to feel the same way.

The compromise I’ll probably have to make is… I’ll probably have to bring him to Japan for visits.  He might not be able to afford the trips.  I…  think I can do that.  It’s not that expensive and the shop has been doing well….

His parents came home while we were cuddled up watching a movie together, and we had a bit of a chat before I went home.  They worry about us… and maybe they’re right to, if I’m being honest.  For many different reasons.  But they do approve.  They think I’m a good girl.  Maybe I am.

Anyway, we’re going to practice for the band with the girls tomorrow.  I wonder how much Crystal has improved.  Yuki has been working with Beth too.  Beth’s like a sponge.. she’s good at everything she really wants to do.

Oh.  Today I changed things around a bit on the site.  I think this font is a little more readable, and I finally deactivated a few plugins I wasn’t using.  Hope that speeds things up a bit!!!

Love you all!!! ❤️

This diary entry is part 6 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

HI! It’s me! Lily!!!

I HAVE SOME PICTURES!!!!

I was looking through my pictures and found one of Crystal I thought I’d share… and… um… one of cat-girl.

Well, you know cat-girl.  That one’s going behind a subscriber-wall.  I’ll show you her face, though.

Here we go!!!

Crystal

She likes to dress like that.  It’s cute, but I think she’s trying to say something?  I’ve never asked her what.  I should.

And…  here’s cat-girl.

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She… um… likes to dress like that.  See why we have to keep her reined in?  That is…  less revealing than what she wore on Halloween.

WAY less revealing.

Anyway… here’s her face.

 

She’s really, really pretty.  I mean, I guess you have to be to be in, her… ummm… line of work.   But I kinda wish she’d… tone it down.

Anyway, I’m looking for other pics of me and my friends, too.

January 7, 2024

This diary entry is part 7 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Our band stinks!!!

But it’s getting better.

Everyone’s actually been practicing… which actually surprises me a little.  No one’s actually given up yet.  I mean, there’s been a lot of stuff going on this holiday, but Crystal came prepared and she’s been really making progress.  She…  she’s passable now.

I don’t mean good.  She really can only do like three chords, but she’s shifting through them pretty well and seems to be getting comfortable with her instrument, so that’s good.

I’ve been looking back on my posts, and there are so many things I talked about and then let drop.  Some of them were just because life got in the way – I mean, i wanted to learn how to make chocolate, and I got all the stuff, and never really did!  I should go back to that.  Thankfully, baker did, so we still have homemade chocolate, but it’s not like I’d make!  Baker’s a baker, I’m a connoisseur!!! Haha!!!

Minami’s got her audition this week.  I hope it goes well.  I think it will.  She told me she had a big blow up with her mother, and called her father and basically told him that if things didn’t change, she was going to leave soon and if she did she might not talk to either of them much ever again.  He kind of blew her off…  so, well, she might have to call that bluff.  I guess we’ll see how it turns out.  I wonder if Yuki’s parents would take her in.

I wonder if that’s a good idea.  But they do seem nice and they seem like they’d at least support her.

He doesn’t seem horrible, it’s just… he’s got his work and that’s what he does.  He doesn’t really pay much attention to things that go on at home.  But neglect is its own form of abuse, right?

Things are pretty quiet at the shop.  They were bustling for a while, with Christmas and the concert and everything, but now they’ve quieted down.  Sabby had to talk to cat-girl – again – she dressed up for Christmas.  She wore a festive red and green ribbon, and, well….  nothing else.  It covered everything but just barely.  At least it was more than a few inches wide.

Girl just doesn’t seem to get the concept of don’t piss Sabby off.

Sabby puts up with it, though, because, as I’ve said, man does she drive the business.  That was one of our higher grossing days.

Sigh.  It feels like we’re making a deal with the devil, though, sometimes.

I wonder if someday Sabby will be like “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, and that’s when I’ll just throw my hands up and ride off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

Dave’s birthday is coming up soon.  I wonder what we’ll do…

Love you all!!! ❤️

 

January 8, 2024

This diary entry is part 8 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Well, back to practicing after the holidays.  I really love the piece I’m learning – Saint-Saens’ concerto #2.  Technically, it’s hard but not that hard.  It’s really hard musically though.  Every note is important and even just messing one up slightly can take you entirely out of the piece.  It’s really emotional too.  I played it for Yuki (well, I found a youtube video) and she started tearing up.  “It’s just so passionate“, she said, softly.,

It is, I  guess.  I really hope I can do it justice.

The third movement is awful though.  Where the first movement is relatively simple but passionate, the third movement is the opposite.  Technically difficult but kind of just smacks you in the face.

Liz wants to start practicing for her recital too.  I don’t know where I’m going to find time!  Oh well.

I would actually buy a real piano, but if I’m leaving for Japan in a few months…

Oh.  Speaking of which…  I started filling out the application to Meiji though.  It’s difficult because I don’t have a real transcript, and I’m not sure what to do.  I guess I need to sign up to take the SAT tests.  I guess there are some times available the end of Feb., so I guess I should get to studying for that too.  More stuff to do!  Arrrgh!

I need to send them a mail and ask them what they require.  I guess they’re a little different than Japanese colleges, because they’re kind of like a western college in Japan… well, kind of.

It helps that I can pay for it in cash, though.  No need for a scholarship or anything.  Though I guess I should see if I qualify for one anyway, why spend money I don’t have to?

Oh well.  Lots to do.  I’ll try to keep posting here though!!!

Minami has her audition soon.  I hope it goes well!!!  It’s funny how I have one friend who was a very famous idol and got sick of it, and another who has a very real chance of actually becoming an idol or singer.  I wonder how that will work out.  Maybe they’re right that I’m just a walking shrine.  Things just seem to happen to me and people around me.  Mostly good… but not always, it seems..  I asked Yuki if her parents would take in Minami if she needs it.  She said they seemed to get along, but…  I don’t think it’s their first option, but she doesn’t think they’d let her be homeless.  Besides, if she gets a job as a singer or an idol, she’d just need a bit of help until she can support herself.

Ganbatte, Minami.  We’re all rooting for you.

Love you all!!! ❤️

January 9, 2024

This diary entry is part 9 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Well, we’re back to boringly boring days.  It was cold and windy today.  Yesterday it rained a bit, but today was nice, just really cold and windy.  I went out for my run and needed a tracksuit!  Aww!!!

But it warmed up a little, yay.

Minami had her audition today.  Well… last night for me.  She said it went very well, but they were going to take some time to talk amongst themselves.  They scheduled her for fitting of a costume, though… so maybe that’s a good sign.  She said her mother’s really pissed off, but she doesn’t care.  She’d feel differently if her mother was actually disabled, but she’s just a useless alcoholic (according to Minami) so as far as she’s concern, she’s made her bed.  If her father wants to man up and take care of her…

Man, she gets a little bitter.

She’s been talking to Yuki’s parents about having a fallback place to stay if she needs it.  They’re not opposed to it but don’t think it’s the right time.  They might be right, but oh well.  We’ll see what happens, I guess.

Apparently idols who are pretty like she is and can actually sing aren’t very common, so she’ll go far.

The shop’s calmed down a lot now that the holiday’s over.  Now we have to take everything to the accountant and get our taxes filed, etc.  I used to do that but I think it’s better if someone more qualified than me does it, I kind of gave up.  At least I tried.  We had a really good year.  I mean, maybe it wasn’t a banner year, but we are well in the black, and we might even be able to afford a bonus (don’t tell cat-girl yet, who knows what she’ll buy before she has the money in hand…  bet it’s naughty… that girl…)  But we’ll see what the accountant says.  As I keep saying.. they’re no denying she and the other girls are a major draw.

We’re getting lots of inquiries from Japan about if or when Yuki’s going to hold another concert.  We’re not sure.  It’s all up to Yuki.  She does seem to have fun, though…  so, I guess we’ll see what she thinks.

Who’d have thought a little shop in Round Rock would be so popular in Japan?  It’s kinda weird.  Maybe it’s another consequence of my being a “walking shrine”.

I don’t think we’re all going to Japan this summer.  For Sabby and family it was a once in a lifetime thing (well, you know what I mean), for my friends it was really fun but they’re not all that interested in Japan like I am… Emiko might want to, but truthfully, if I’m going to college it’ll just be going home and then going right back, and what’s the point in that?  I guess we’ll figure it out.  I might go to Japan to see Minami perform if she ends up as big as I think she might.  That would be fun.  But then it’ll probably be just me.

Alright… I practiced my cute little tushy off today so I’m going to park that cute little tushy in bed with a warm dog to keep me company, so…

Love you all!!! ❤️

January 10, 2024

This diary entry is part 10 of 28 in Lily's diary dated 31 - January 2024

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

Today was another boringly boring day.  I went to classes and did a lot of practicing, and that’s pretty much all I did.  There’s so much to learn!  There are some parts of that concerto that are a little challenging.  I hope I can pull it off.  I think my constant practicing annoys Sabby, but she never says anything.  I think she appreciates the finished product, even if she’s not too keen on the process.

Dave’s birthday is still coming up.  I need to buy or make or something him a present.  I never know what to get him, though.  Men are so hard to figure out what to give them.  I know he likes to grill and pressure wash.  I’ve given him all the grill stuff I can think of.  Hmm.  I have an idea or two.

I hope they’re decent ideas.  It’s still hard to figure out what to get him.

It’s supposed to get really cold next week!  Awww.  But it doesn’t look like it’ll rain or snow much, so it’ll just be cold.  Cold sucks, ice sucks far worse.  Especially here.

I have some new pictures of me and my friends!  I’ll post them below.  The ones with cat-girl, though…  umm… no.  Crystal’s is scaled wrong – she’s actually the shortest of us all!!! You’ll see in group photos.  She looks angry.  She’s not always angry, but sometimes…  sometimes it shows.  And I don’t blame her at all.

And, of course, Liz is beautiful as always.  She complains sometimes about the size of her chest, but none of us care at all, and neither does her boyfriend, apparently, so it’s all good.

Love you all!!! ❤️