Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Other Man in my Life

This is one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jason:

Isn't he adorable? 

Jason and I were EFY counselors together about ten billion years ago and instantly became besties.  We bonded over so many things, dancing being only one of them.  Here we are, dancing together, back when I was skinny and cute:
What's up with all the big open mouth cheesy smiles on my part??  There is more than one face you can use when you dance, Kar.  Sheesh.
 He and I are the two on the right in this pic:
Again with the hugely open mouth.  I don't get it.  I still make that face all the time.  Time for a new arsenal of  "I'm having fun" faces.  I'll have to go practice in the mirror. 

So.  We were counselors together for two years and had so. much. fun. We drove from Rexburg to Provo once together and laughed the whole entire time.  And he gave my purple Dodge Neon a name - Grimace.  I remember he and I driving around Rexburg, listening to his Rent CD.  I remember him coming up with the best EFY cheer I have ever, ever, ever heard.  Wanna hear it?  I knew you would.

We're turbo!
We're spastic!
We're turbo! And we're spastic!
And we're sprinkler heads!
Sprinkler heads!
We're turbo spastic sprinkler heads!

And then you do this sprinkler head dance move.  The one where you go ch-ch-ch-ch-chchchchchchch. 

At the end of the summer, we went to a photography shop and picked out frames for our dancing pictures.  We vowed to be friends forever.  His EFY nickname was Showtime, and mine was....Kar.  Well, it depended on the week. One week I was Disco Diva, another week I was Karate Hottie...long story.  Mainly, I was Kar.  Like now.

Anyways, sadly, we lost track of each other.  I tried, and I'm sure he tried, but we went to different colleges, and after he graduated, he moved to Japan and has been there ever since.

And this is why I love Facebook - you can find long lost friends.  He found me!  And I have had the greatest summer getting to know him again.  We skype all the time.  He puts a smile on my face every time we talk.  He's hilarious and very sensitive and kind.  He's been exactly what I've needed during this difficult time in my life.  He is, quite literally, an answer to my prayers. 

This is the first picture I saw of him on his blog:
He wore this outfit in tribute to Donna Summers' death.  So fun.  He's just as skinny as he was in college, the twit. :)  He eats really healthily and still dances and works out like a maniac, so of course he looks fantastic.  He was whining about being like one pound over his ideal weight, and I laughed and laughed.  Try thirty, bro.  And then we can talk.

So what has he been doing?  He is an expat (I've always wanted to use that word in a sentence that didn't have anything to do with Ernest Hemingway) living in Tokyo, and he's an actor! He's living his dream. He performs on stage in various plays all the time, plus he does this traveling show.  Aaaaand he's on TV.  From what I can tell, it looks like he's on this show that reminds me of Kathie Lee and Hoda.  He teaches bits of English on the show.  He has fans, you guys!  He actually has to wear sunglasses when he goes out and about!  I told him he's the Japan version of Jennifer Aniston. 

He has a blog for his fans.  You really should go check it out HERE.  He's so good to his fans.  He responds to every single comment, and he blogs almost every single day.  He always has something sunny and positive to talk about.  Just snapshots of his daily life.  And he's sunny and positive without being really obnoxious, you know what I mean?  He's like, "Look!  I have cute ladybugs in my apartment!"  Instead of, "Look at how perfect I am and how perfectly I do everything."  There's a difference, right?  I love reading his blog and seeing what exciting, fun thing he's doing.

Here's one of my favorite pictures from his blog recently:

He ran into a friend in Tokyo, and they were dressed almost identically.  He's on the right.  Aren't they cute? I love their little model pose.  Adorable.

Jason lives with his partner, who is equally adorable, and I often get to speak to both of them when we skype.  I've kept him up wayyy too late too many times, and vice versa.  And I love it.  That night I was crying so hard, the dear friend who cheered me up when he called me on skype?  Jason.

He's the best listener.  He totally listens and asks reflective questions and is just so kind.  And I love that we can talk about artsy stuff together. I show him the cards I'm working on, and he gives me all kinds of good feedback, and the very first time we skyped, he showed me some choreography from a cruise show he's working on.  The other night, he was looking at my facebook page while we were skyping, and he told me I had good lines.  That's dancer speak.  And I love that we can talk about soutenous and sousous and any other dance-related thing.

He just had a giveaway on his blog, and guess what was one of the things he gave away?  Some of my cards that he bought!!!  It was fun to see them up there on his blog and peoples' kind responses to them. Once, when we were skyping, he was telling his partner about the cards he bought from me, and he told his partner, "Karlenn is an artist."  And I just about cried.  He gets me!  He really gets me!  Hahaha!

He and I are on a mission - to talk Ben into letting Ben and I go and visit he and his partner in Tokyo.  Jason and I are of the opinion that I should go "pick up" Ben in November when he's done with his job (like parents sometimes go "pick up" their kids in foreign countries when their missions are done) and that we should head over to Tokyo for a week.  We're really working hard to talk him into it.  If you talk to Ben, put in a good word for us going to Tokyo, mmmmkay?

Anywho, Jason is just the best, and I thought you should meet him.  Oh, and because I want to print my blog into a book, I want to paste what he recently wrote about me on his blog.  It's just something I want to have in print for myself.  I hope you don't mind:

As you saw from my recent GIVEAWAY, the beautiful cards were handmade by an artist in America.  Today, I’d like to introduce her to all of you.  This is Karlenn and her husband [he had a picture of us], she is from Idaho.  Originally a junior high school teacher, Karlenn has seen many parts of this big world.  Having lived in England, China, and various parts of America, Karlenn has an amazing perspective on life, tolerance, and aesthetics.  She is an incredible writer (what you’d expect from a caring teacher), and has a really great blog.  You can check it out at it is witty, caring, and fun.  She writes about her family, her feelings, and other things that I always think are interesting.  She also has an account where you can place orders.  Karlenn is so talented, and can also customize cards for anything.  Send her a message- tell her I said hi.

I met Karlenn while we were in college.  We both did the same summer job, and had a great time!!  Our paths went separate ways after the summer was over, but recently we were able to connect again.  This is a picture of us during those days. [he had one of the above pictures right here] (we are the two on the right- don’t laugh at how young we look.  We haven’t aged a day since this picture was taken!!)  She is also a dancer- AND we were actually dance partners for a while, too!!  Here is a picture of us, again, being silly. [another of the above pictures right here]  Thank you, Kar!!

Love ya tons, Jason!!


Lyndsay said...

Okay, did Jason also go by the name Riley? Because I swear he looks (and his personality sounds just like) a guy I knew for a little bit at Ricks who if I remember correctly his name was Jason, but at the time he liked going by Riley (just like my baby sister's name). He was good friend with a friend of mine from home - that's how I knew him. But, he was such an awesome, funny guy. If it's the same guy that would be hilarious. I may have to contact him on his blog to find out...

Lyndsay said...

Oh, and he gave me a picture of some Kanji words, so the Japanese tie-in there too, makes me really wonder if it is the same guy!

megan said...

He sounds like a really great guy!! I'm glad you guys have been able to reconnect lately. I really hope you and Ben get to go visit him!:) Good luck with that!!

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