Hey my bromides,

And that’s the most chemistry you’ll ever hear from me because I declared film studies a few weeks ago (I LIED; IT HAS BEEN TWO MONTHS). So there you have it. The answer to what will probably continue to be the #1 question directed at me for the next couple of years (ONLY TWO AND A HALF ALREADY???? DANG WHY DOES TIME GOTTA KEEP ON SLIPPIN SLIPPIN SLIPPIN INTO THE FUTURE LIKE THAT). I’m already behind somehow… don’t ask me if I’ve seen Pulp Fiction or The Godfather 2. And no, I’m not sure what I would want to do with it. There was a moment where I thought I might like to get into music supervision… but I am bad at networking and I kinda just listen to the same songs over and over again. Sorry grandma for getting your hopes up when I said I wanted to be a heart surgeon. If you would like another embarrassing fact about me, I am in the process of applying to an exchange program in Canada for the cash award, relative logistical simplicity, and poutine. (To be clear: I do not judge other people who did film or studied abroad in Canada. You guys are cool. I judge myself for having no aspirations.) Wish me luck. My mother will yell at me for how self-deprecating this is, so a positive update is that I got a job at my favorite restaurant, Karaage Setsuna! I know parking sucks downtown, but come in on a Thursday or Saturday night and I can get you that 10% discount—almost enough to cover tax! Food service is definitely up there in terms of life-changing stuff I’ve done. It has made me appreciate people more than I thought I could. It has also made me hate people more than I thought I could. It is nice getting free food and having money that enables me to do awesome adventures like go to the Hollywood Bowl in LA and the Sugar Bowl in (NO)LA. That money has also funded an obscene amount of boba (shoutout to the SBT that opened on the Ave… simultaneously one of the most wonderful and most terrible things to happen to me at school). Overall, I am one lucky kid. Who volunteered to write this letter as yet another method of procrastinating on her essay.

Dad (J. P.) is working hard (at increasing dat white hair count 😫). I think his #1 question is probably “how’s the new position?” To which he usually rattles off something like “it’s been busy, but good!” Idk. I could try to come up with some funny roast but he already has a lot to deal with and that seems like a pretty accurate description. He’s still a nice and generally helpful guy who wears perhaps too many hats. (And sometimes those hats are too small. He just got this fitted M’s cap that is lowkey not flattering to his fivehead. OKAY SORRY I’M DONE. His fashion sense could be way worse and he has some graphic tees that I would totally wear.) He’s a good dad who always puts us first, even when the things we want are stupid and petty such as acknowledging that I didn’t lose that fight with mom, wearing a pink lei to Barbie, or Baconator Fries at [redacted] am. He has gotten to do fun stuff like go to Korea by himself in January without us he went without us must have been nice (he also keeps spontaneously buying concert tickets and not inviting me). In fairness, we did go on an epic Brunei/Korea summer trip without him. And when I say epic, I mean epic in the way only a month-long, 3-generation, 13-person trip tempered by one (1) in-law could be.

Mom (Keren with an E) BROUGHT HOME THE BIG BUCKS THIS YEAR YEAHHHH LET’S GO PRIVATE SCHOOL!!!! If you didn’t hear, she taught in a classroom for the first time in [no idea, must be at least 19] years. Because the school is just down the block from us, the joke is that her commute was 3x as long as dad’s. I enjoyed supplying her with game and craft ideas and hearing the funny stories she told about her middle schoolers… and let me just say Praise God that part of my life has passed (more on that in approximately 2 paragraphs). The guy she was long-term subbing for finished his paternity leave, but she goes back and subs in random subjects whenever they need somebody, and it sounds like she’s made some good friends there. And she still tutors grad students online for Northeastern (very different vibe from 7th and 8th grade classrooms… I think she’s having a great time). And she does all the regular underappreciated mom stuff. And yes, I am still an ungrateful child. As you might imagine, she’s been a bit swamped for tennis classes, but I bet she would really love you if you took her out on a tennis and tea playdate. Or literally anything that gives her an excuse to get away from us. Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention her ever-unwavering appetite for K-dramas. It is [redacted] am and I believe she is in bed watching Sweet Home with her hand blocking half the screen. (Even though she told me she has to “wake up early to wake up Olivia” ????)

Speaking of, Olivia is having a TERRIBLE TIME RN. Literally. I witnessed her emerge for a few minutes before returning to her special basement room, isolated from the rest of us (lucky), probably on that APUSH grind. One of the more thoughtful things she has done for me this year is validate my decision to not take that class! I would not be surprised if she has consumed some cute, Korean form of caffeine in the past hour. At least she only has to take the SAT one more time! Maybe! LOL. Oh yeah, she’s a TA at Korean school now (I forget if that’s old news) and is basically fluent. Good for her. I do not feel insecure about this fact whatsoever. She is still in orchestra and thus still has more Asian friends than me. Good for her. I do not feel insecure about this fact whatsoever. They participate in cute activities such as bibimbap picnics and late night ramen study sessions. She is the founder/president/all that of Garfield’s KSA and very active within APISU in general (widely pronounced uh-pee-zoo HAHA). Can’t forget the golfing obsession. And I guess also soccer now because of Son Heung-min. Why is she so Korean! Meanwhile, the only thing KSA taught me last year was that I am… NOT Korean? Anyway. I think she may consume more boba than me, and that is disturbing. As you can see, she needs a lot of prayer.

As for my little bother Linus. When I’m home, I have stopped using the bathroom we share because it is disgusting. I’ve always complained about how the 7-year age gap sucks because I’ll never be able to relate to him. However, I’m increasingly finding it to be a blessing, because the timing works out so that I will be on campus during his middle school years. That school is in need of assistance, and he never has any homework for some reason, but he has been able to get pretty involved with newspaper and band/jazz. His main instrument is trumpet, but he also picked up alto sax. He practices way more than I ever did… and apparently also has more drama than I ever did 😳 His other hobbies include MLB The Show, making ungodly noises, MLB The Show, being influenced by peer pressure (but in a cringe way), and MLB The Show.

I won’t subject you to a conclusion. Thanks for reading!

With love, joy, peace, hope, happiness, faith, etc. Even though it sometimes feels like there isn’t any left.

Amanda, Olivia, Linus, Keren, and J. P.

P.S. Thank you for making it to the bottom of my long and grammatically unacceptable letter here is a special surprise for you:

P.P.S. Come over if you want to play Trombone Champ with us