February 2006

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2046

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probably my favorite movie ever is “in the mood for love”, directed by wong kar-wai. it’s subtly overwhelming. the tension, the distance … just so sexy. it’s all about mood: colour, music, clothes, food … ambiance. you can look, you can almost feel it, but you can’t touch…

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2046 was publicized as the sequel for in the mood for love. as soon as i heard wong kar-wai was filming, i wanted to see it…

2046 finally came to saskatoon last fall, at the broadway theater. i wanted to go the day it opened. but we waited until cheap night (tuesday). i then discovered there is no cheap night at broadway theater (of course not, it’s broadway…).

the movie was showing at 9pm, and i was planning to get there early, to make sure we got good seats. but we were late, so we showed up right at 9. i was so worried. we bought tickets (hmm, no lineup) and ran inside.

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no need to worry. no one there except us! we were at a loss. too many choices — we could sit anywhere. talk about home theater, this was it. just for fun, i sat in the front row left and paul sat in the back row right and we talked diagonally for awhile. then two guys who had been hanging out in the lobby came in. they had popcorn — how can you eat popcorn watching this sort of movie? i love popcorn, but not with a sentimental wong kar-wai movie.

paul and i met in the third row, centre and the movie began.

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about this movie, i don’t really remember the story, and it doesn’t make much sense anyway. that’s okay, it’s all about the smoke and the colours and the glorious music.

the story starts after the end of “in the mood for love”. tony leung becomes a sci-fi writer in hong kong and gets involved with many women. none of his affairs last long. there’s also a futuristic story about kimura takuya (kimu-taku!) riding a train with some beautiful robots. everyone’s in love, but nobody can do anything about it.

i don’t care for the time travelling train part, but i love the parts in old hong kong. tony leung is just as sincere as in “in the mood for love”, but now he’s a bit of a gigolo (what a mustache!). all the ladies love him.

many of the shots reflect similar images from “in the mood for love” (lovers in the back seat of a taxi, passing each other on the stairs). all the women have qualities of maggie cheung’s character (image and character), but no one can be maggie cheung. tony’s still in love with her, and he’s trying to find maggie in every woman. he’s always being reminded of some aspect of her, but he can’t find all of her in someone else. so even when he’s sleeping around, his heart is still purely in love with her.

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mp3: connie francis – “siboney”
buy: the dvd and the soundtrack

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curious


(click the image for a closeup look)

i didn’t realize i could draw such a handsome sheep. i wanted to have him do something funny. my first idea was to have the horn stabbing someone in the eye, but i thought that was too obvious. anyway, the key point is, this particular sheep isn’t violent, he’s just curious. and nothing is more curious than large strawberry panties.

this is part of my drawing show at phonographique, on until april 1st.

UPDATE: you can buy a postcard of this drawing from my SHOP.

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(click image for a close-up)

a page from my amigurumi storybook: “the boring life of spencer, the ennui dog”. spencer is my favorite amigurumi (he’s so handsome). his life is boring, but he has many adventures. also appearing in the book: maximum team power (duck), fiona (spencer’s love), goro-chan (a “lone wolf” on wheels), and a pink jeep cherokee.

i launched the book last night at the aka gallery / paved art book fair. this was my first storybook. i took pictures of my amigurumi (on location here in saskatoon) and paul did the layout. the story is appropriate for adult children (it’s a cute story with a hint of backstabbing).

i’ll be posting more pages here over the next couple of weeks. i’ll also explain how to make amigurumi.

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***baumkuchen***

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“der koenig der kuchen” baumkuchen-the king of cakes! this german delicacy was introduced to japan in 1917, by karl juchheim. he was a german pastry chef working in chintao, china, who was brought as a prisoner to hiroshima by the japanese. after the war, he moved to yokohama to work for meiji-ya as the head pastry chef at their “european cafe”. when his contract expired, he invested all his money to open his first bakery store, “e-juchheim”, where he could sell baumkuchen. he taught his japanese apprentices how to measure ingredients scientifically. but he made all his store’s baumkuchen on his own — he wouldn’t let anyone else do it.

his business flourished until 1923, when his store was destroyed by the great kanto earthquake. juchheim, his wife, elise, and their daughter were left with only a single 5 yen bill.

but they didn’t give up even then. they moved to kobe and borrowed a tremendous amount of money to re-open their store in sannomiya (kobe’s shopping district), this time as “juchheim’s”. designed by a british architect, their store was the first european style building in kobe. juchheim’s became very popular as an authentic german delicacy store, again featuring baumkuchen made by juchheim himself.

the new store was very successful and they were able to build a clean new factory. soon after, juchheim’s baumkuchen was chosen to be one of the admirable gifts to celebrate the new showa emperor. this great honour ensured baumkuchen’s popularity in japan.

karl juchheim died on august 14th, 1945, one day before the end of the world war 2. his wife was forced to move back home to germany, but his apprentices soon re-opened “juchheim’s” across from kobe’s ikuta shrine. in 1953, they were able to welcome elise juchheim back to kobe after a 6 year absence.

when i was a girl, my grandparents lived in higashi-nada ward, kobe. when we visited them, my mom sometimes picked a box of baumkuchen for them from juchheim’s. the baumkuchen came as a small ring, with many many layers. the texture was soft, but not too sweet (like canadian donuts). i always wondered how they made it.

i found a recipe for baumkuchen at sunny’s laboratory. i changed it a bit, though, to make it easier. i didn’t use cocoa powder on alternating layers, and i also left off most of the icing. i don’t like icing — it’s just sweet, no extra flavour. i added vanilla essence to the cake mix.

of course, my baumkuchen was not as delicious as juchheim’s. but at least i didn’t have to fly to kobe to eat it.

i translated the recipe into english:

recipe

  • butter 40g
  • sugar 30g
  • egg 1
  • flour 30g
  • corn starch 15g
  • baking powder tsp1/4
  • vanilla essence a dash
  1. mix butter(at room temp.) and sugar well. add egg.
  2. heat a thick frying pan and coat with oil lightly.
  3. pour a spoonful of the batter onto the pan. cook at medium heat.
  4. when it becomes golden brown, flip it and pour a spoonful of the batter onto the baked dough.
  5. repeat the process until you run out of batter.
  6. cool it on the rack and when it’s cool, slice it into cubes or any shape you like.

meshiagare.

(by the way, all the recipes at sunny’s laboratory are great, since they’re all designed to make small portions — just big enough for two people to share. that way, there’s not a lot of dessert left over. small dessert, small pleasure.)

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(click image for a closer look)

“self-portrait, age 17″

the opening of my drawing show was last night. you can see all the drawings here.  thanks, everyone for coming out! even on the coldest day of the year, there were more people than i expected. it was so nice to see so many familiar faces. sorry if i didn’t have time to talk to you all. i was doing my best to be affable, but i’m pretty shy, so…

i was kind of overwhelmed by the response. last night, when i got home from the show, a strange thing happened. my eyes started spinning and my hair was burning with excitment and started frizzing up. it’ll probably take a couple days for me to get back to normal. if you see me on the street like this, just ignore me…

the drawings will be up until april 1st, so if you couldn’t come to the opening, check it out. phonographique is open tuesday to saturday from 12-6. i’m selling a limited series of show posters, signed and numbered, which you can get from troy at phonographique or by emailing me (click on my author photo). they’re $15 each.

some of my original drawings on construction paper are still available, including “behave francois” (below). they’re $40 each. (update: you can see all the construction paper drawings from the phonographique show here).

my larger colour pencil drawings from the show are not for sale, but i’ll be selling prints of them through this website, hopefully soon.

if you have any comments on my artwork or the opening/show at phonographique, please leave them here. thanks again!

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(you can click the image for a close-up look)

the phonographique show is up! you can see how it looks here, under “exhibitions”.

only two more days ’til the opening! there’ll be free food and good music (the music is also free and the food is also good, i hope). i’m making some homemade japanese dishes, plus maybe baum kuchen (coming soon to “cafe yuka“). drop in anytime after 8pm — we’ll be there ’til at least midnight.

see you there!

(behave, yuka! the show hasn’t started yet!!)

(sold)

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(click to enlarge)

this is my amigurumi wrist band. isn’t he adorable? he is so cute that he makes me want to kiss him. i’ve been crocheting on and off for three years now. i still don’t like to add amigurumi arms and legs. i think they are unnecessary features.

when you are lonely, just move your arm up and down to your lips. you’ll get instant comfort.

make sure noboby’s watching you.

this is a maximum secret activity.

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ummmmm. my right hand really hurts. i was drawing all day long yesterday, getting ready for my show at phonographique. i’m going to be putting up the show tonight.

i did four more drawings, two of them featuring chickens. i’d never drawn chickens before. “chicken fight”, below, was my first shot at drawing a chicken. i was pretty happy with it, so i got wound up and kept drawing chickens. i’m planning to show the two drawings of chickens at the her-icane go-diva women’s art festival, because one of the chickens has nice and delicious-looking breasts. i’ll put those drawings up on my blog some another time.

i think birds in general are creepy creatures, but chickens are mega-creepy. they seem unnecessarily aggressive and stupid. since i tend to draw animals a lot, people think i like animals. actually, i loathe them. i can’t tell what they are thinking! i feel very uncomfortable when they’re around — especially chickens. imagine being surrounded by thousands of chickens — uuuggghhh…. (you can imagine my reaction to the hitchcock movie, the birds). a little bit of distance, preferred. still, i like chicken breasts, they’re delicious!

this is one of construction paper drawings. chickens are mean. so am i.

(sold)

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chicken fight!


(click the image for a close-up look)

UPDATE: i’ve made prints of this drawing, and postcards, available in my SHOP.

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“puku puku puku puku”

the sound of new me’s being born.

(sold)

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