July 2006

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freshly drawn today.

the japanese writing on the left says, “i-ro-ha”. it’s the beginning of a japanese poem, the iroha. nihongo (the japanese language) has a syllabary, not an alphabet. the iroha poem contains each syllable exactly once. it was written sometime in the heian era (794-1192, when kyoto was the capital), and was used as an ordering system for the japanese syllables (kana) until the meiji era (late 19th century).

the original japanese poem:

(in translation:)
Though fragrant are the colors,
Yet shall the flowers scatter.
Who in our world
Could forever endure?
Over the mountain of transcendence
Let us today cross,
And there will be no more shallow dreams,
No more drunken illusions.

(translation from here)


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we’ve got nothing to hide.

freshly drawn today.

originally i was going to draw a monohoshi zao to hang my skin, but nodoca-san’s photo inspired me to draw a laundry hanger instead. he’s one of my favorite photographers on flickr. he takes photos of everyday objects and places that are forgotten. his photos show that they have lives. his photos are sad, lonely and tasty. they make me want to give a big hug. i love what he sees. he’s also a graphic designer. you can see his designs on his website.

speaking of “under the sun”, there’s a song i like called “under the sun” by the junior boys. you can listen to a sample.

i got to see the junior boys play live in kingston back in spring 2005. they played songs from their amazing first album, last exit. i was just so happy. it’s a great album to listen to, driving at night in the rain, i think.

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this is my pala pala book (flip book) day 4. in this episode, i am chosen to be a civilian visitor to the moon. i’m been interviewed on the departure day. of course, nothing in my life goes smoothly…

this book is 6 x 6 cm. there are 42 pages.

to read the whole stupid story of mine, you can click the images below and the large image will show up in the lightbox. you can click the arrow on the right side of the image to flip the pages of the book. pala pala pala….

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to read the previous episodes, click here.

these pala pala books are for sale in my online SHOP.

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i got some fresh rosemary from the farmers market last saturday. i remembered seeing a guy make a milky rosemary panna cotta on the food network one night. so i made my own last night, after midnight. that’s right, midnight cooking!

i was making obento for paul at the same time. usually people make obento in the morning, but i don’t like to rush (or get up early). i make a couple of small dishes so it takes some time.

cooking several things at once always makes me want to grow a couple of extra arms (like in this drawing). that way i could tackle multiple tasks at the same time. i could grow extra arms on my sides, but having extra arms on my back would be more helpful, because then i’d be able to cook up tamago-yaki on the stove while using my back arms to cut vegetables on the opposite counter. yes, my kitchen is that narrow.

speaking of extra arms, there are buddhist statues called senjyu-kan’non. “senjyu” means thousand hands. with some exceptions, usually senju-kan’non statues don’t have 1000 hands. they have 42 hands. the two hands praying are the true hands. the other 40 hands save 25 sufferings each, which makes 1000 hands. they’re beautiful. hands are special.

when i was little, a monk would come to my house to pray for my family’s ancestors. he was a very big old man with enormous earlobes and of course, a shaved head. he was a nice monk, but to me, at that time, he looked very strict and scary. for one thing, he was probably 6 feet tall and i was only 4 foot. my parents were both working, so usually my grandma and i were the only ones home. after prayers, my grandma would serve him a cup of tea. he’d bring some sweets and books to read for me. he would tell us some wise stories as well as a story about his son who was an american football player, a quarterback. he told us sadly that his son got severely injured during a game and was paralyzed. when he left, he would always pat my head with his big hand and give me cinnamon candies, which i hate. but i couldn’t say no.


rosemary panna cotta recipe

(for 4 small ramekins)

  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or any milk or cream you like)
  • one package gelatin (please follow the directions on the package)
  • one stalk fresh rosemary
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • a dash of vanilla essence
  • honey

warm 1 3/4 cups of milk in a milk pan. when it’s heated, add the rosemary and the sugar. in a different bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the remaining 1/4c of milk. add the dissolved gelatin to the warm milk. stir well and strain. pour into small dishes (ramekins) and chill. serve with honey.  enjoy ;)

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how cool is this theme song!

“yokai ningen bem” was my favorite animation when i was little. the title “yokai ningen” means monster human (yokai is pronounced “yoh-kai”.)
it was aired between 1968 ~ 1969. i wasn’t born at that time, but i watched re-runs. i really liked this great opening theme and the darkness of the story. especially the part in the theme song saying, “i want to become a human soon! (gasha~~n) ” stuck in my mind. powerful.

the main characters are bem, bera, and bero. they were born out of one cell in the dark and soundless world. they’re not a family. nobody knows where they were born. they are not humans, nor animals. they are monster-humans, who couldn’t become true humans. despite their monstrous appearances, blood of justice is running in their bodies!

they end up finding a big port city at the end of asia. in the city with a long history and culture, humans are foolishly destroying its beautiful nature. they notice a sinister atmosphere, so decide to stay. they fight against monsters that will attack humans.

sometimes, they find out some humans are actually dirtier than monsters. sometimes, they are abused by the humans they have protected just because they are ugly monsters. even then, they don’t cease to fight against monsters in order to protect humans. in their hearts, there’s only one belief: if they continue to do the right thing, someday they’ll be able to become humans….

the darkness really got me. i found it very attractive to live in the shadow and to suffer from unfortunate destinies. it didn’t strike me as just a scary horror animation. the story was really unfortunate and touching.

nowadays japanimation is very popular in north america. that’s nice, but i loathe anime that characters have big shiny eyes and incredibly long legs, like this or this. i i find it really really annoying and disturbingly ugly… it makes me want to scoop my eyeballs out and soak them in bleach for a couple of days.

hayao and tezuka forever.


we live hiding in the dark
we are monster humans
our beast-like bodies that we can’t show to humans

“i want to become human soon!”
blow away our dark destiny
“bem, bera, bero!” (gasha~~n)
yohkai ningen

by the way, the phrase “i want to become human soon” is “hayaku ningen ni naritai” in japanese. just another useful japanese phrase to remember :)

director: noboru ishiguro
song: honey nights

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finally finished… i’m happy but my right hand is whining a little. well, it’s a tough luck to be born as a right hand attached to me. she has to work for me more and more. luckily, my left hand seems to know better…

it was a long day. i spent most of the time colouring the lobster. i found a photo of a lobster on google image. my desk is right next to my computer desk. so i was switching back and forth from my desk chair to the computer desk chair to check the colours and so on. the movement was exactly like a crab. i’m a cancerian. that explains a lot about my crabwise movement :D

i use a kneeling chair when i draw. as the ad exclaims, “sit up straight and you’ll feel great!”. i might not be as cheerful as the model on the photo when i sit on the chair, but it certainly helps especially when i draw for a looooong time.

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

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midnight drawing with my supervisor: plastique monkey
the sun is rising. it looks like another nice and sunny day :)

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erik satie

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i took these photos in kingston. red back ground is an ikea chair. it had a nice grainy red cover. i was holding a spoon with my left hand while i was taking photos. the head fitted perfectly to the spoon. it looked delicious. “don’t eat me” one was kind of an accident – a happy accident. i was moving the spoon and the head moved at the same time. he looked real shy, which i like.

postcards of these images are available on my online SHOP.

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this video mashup consists of three music instruction videos: drum, bass, and guitar. among many not-so-great video mashups, this is amazing. sounds like dj shadow.

kel mckeown now makes electronic music as kelpe. he’s been compared to boards of canada

take your time, listen to the sound, relax…

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