this weekend my friends came up to visit hiro. he's so cute, he's attracting visitors from as far away as kagoshima! anyway, on monday we all met at costco. on my drive there, i listened to the radio, an activity i usually avoid because japanese deejays tend to talk over the music. well, the first song i listened to was 'wake me up before you go-go' by wham!. then, it was 'like a virgin' by madonna. and next, it was 'girls just wanna have fun' by cyndi lauper. well, cool, an eighties block of music! natsukashii!

but then the song 'dancing in the dark' by bruce springsteen came on, and it brought back memories. in 1984, when i was ten years old, my dad was transfered from charleston, s c to a small town in western washington. my parents decided to drive all the way. they bought a brand new van with nothing inside, and my dad furnished it--siding, carpets, lights, seats and a fold out couch. and, for everyone's sanity, a radio/cassette player.

it took us about two weeks to make our trip. we spent a few days with realatives in ohio and michigan. then we camped our way across the US. it was pretty amazing, even to a ten year old. i remember long drives, peeing in a folger's coffee can and sleeping in the van. i think my parents slept in a tent most nights. wisconsin is where the mosquitoes dive-bombed our spaghetti-os. north dakota had pretty trees. mt. rushmore took my breath away. craters of the moon national park was so weird. in yellowstone national park we saw buffalo and old faithful (and i got a pair of shoelaces, which were so cool in middle school.)

my parents brought along a cassette of the beatles' early hits. and for some reason, at a stop at k-mart before we left, they let me get a cassette of the thompson twins and we listened to it on the trip. we also listened to the radio frequently. i don't remember fighting with my siblings (did we mom?) but i do remember listening to the radio and doing invisible ink books. two hits that summer were 'dancing in the dark' and 'eyes without a face' by billy idol. i remember those two most because for a ten year old and a seven year old, a song about eyes without a face is just hilarious. in the song 'dancing in the dark', there's a line 'you can't start a fire, you can't start a fire without a spark.' which just sounds so incredibly stupid when you're ten, that you make up substitutes to make your seven year old brother laugh. 'you can't start a fire without a lighter!' bwahahaha 'you can't start a fire without a....match!' bwahahaha i think my parents got sick of that.

in case you're wondering, we did stop a few times at motels. clean beds and ice machines are awesome when you're ten.

all our lives changed after we reached our destination; it changed the most for my brother and me. we were able to be close despite being a boy and a girl, though things changed as we hit our teenage years. we had a hard time fitting in at our new school. sixth graders and second graders didn't have recess at the same time. but i remember the good times in south carolina, and still being able to make my little brother laugh at stupid songs on the radio. i wanna be ten years old forever.