June 5th, 2010- Denver, Colorado

No. 1: The brand of a nation. Everyone I meet keeps talking about how they have begun to love America more and more. I guess I have, too. Yesterday I was in Wal-Mart with my sister to get her a bra for this certain dress she wants to wear to a wedding when I saw an entire section of the summer clothes dedicated to the American flag. My favorite was the bikini with white and red stripes on bottom and one boob stripes and the other stars on top. I pointed and laughed at it and then I bought it. Always before I thought it was embarrassing to buy clothes from the brand “Faded Glory.”

No. 2: Madeleine and I went swimming in the outdoor public pool yesterday. Impossible. I swear the pool was, like, olympic size or something. Now I’m sunburnt and sore. The best part about summer.

No. 3: Right in line with tradition. This was several days ago now, but I dont think we told you about our major pit stop in North Platte, Nebraska on our way to Denver. I totally forgot that that was where Buffalo Bill had a big ranch (where he called home). So we spent 2 hours in what they’ve deemed Fort Cody and dedicated to various items of kitsch whether of the West, America, hillbillies (for some reason) etc. It was pretty great and you would have enjoyed yourself there. Madeleine bought moccasins and I bought postcards and socks with decorated with horses and WILD written across them. It’s a little embarrassing.

No. 4: So I want to hear more–as much as you want to tell me–about your time in Israel. How is your family? How is that holy city?

love, grace

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June 5th, 2010- Jerusalem, Israel

No. 1: I hope you walk around downtown sheridan wearing the american flag bathing suit with the “wild” socks. I am frankly very sad  that I a. did not get to experience the euphoria of Buffalo Bill Land and b. that I do not live in a city where this wonderful brand, “Faded Glory,” can be easily purchased. I think every time you get a little (or a lot) down in Sheridan, you should buy another piece from the collection. My cousin keeps criticizing the States (i am trying really hard not to say America, but it keeps slipping out). She lived in the US til she was eight and has an American citizenship, yet completely rejects that identity. I have said much worse than what she talks about (today she mocked me for my indoctrination to believe the New York Times and compared it to Nazi germany… she was only kinda joking. Then she talked about how it is so ridiculous that her american friends cannot even ideologically consider the idea of splitting up the states, but she goes into a fit at the suggestion of ever giving up any of Israel’s settlements.) But despite the fact that I might have even deeper criticisms of AMERICA, I just want to hit her and tell her to take a road trip while listening to graceland. Although everything she says might be true,  she is missing something about the US, the same thing I am missing about Israel. but unlike her, i keep my mouth shut about my real opinions….i want to strut around in an american flag bikini and cowboy hat in front of her.

no. 2: i saw a man masturbating in a very crowded public park at 2 pm. it was very very disturbing (and not at all expected like it is with homeless men on the subway). And I keep getting cat-called from cars and not in a fun way. in a way that I feel a little creeped out walking around. apparently it is because of my blondish hair.
no. 3: My other cousin  (I have five first cousins who have taken turns going out to dinner with me each night. I actually had a really good time with all of them this trip, although I like them to varying degrees. The youngest, who I never really had anything to talk about with, watches community and modern family and lost and now we are buds.), who is the only one married with two kids (I always thought he was really cool. He was a paratrooper in the army, is a special education teacher and was the only one who got excited about my summer job. But we don’t really see each other much or have ever really hung out) anyway, this cousin asked what one theoretically does with an American Culture degree. I explained to him about cartooning and stuff and he said “So basically what you want to do is somewhere between your mom’s documentary job telling people’s stories and The Simpsons?” He just got it. That is now what I am going to say when anybody asks.
no. 4: I really don’t want to start the summer by failing my life guarding test, but i think it is going to happen…
no.5: the pool sounds awsome!
love,
Bex
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