January 2007

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art recipe 1

art recipe 2

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Just because the everyday objects around you don’t say much, doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling something. Maybe they’re just waiting for someone to pay attention to them, for a change.

The Rahmens are the comedy duo responsible for the “Japanese Tradition: Sushi” documentary video, which did so much to explain the truth about Japanese culture to people around the world. The Rahmens know the secret language of inanimate objects, and they can translate it into Japanese. Objects have lives that are full of pain, so there’s a lot of shouting. It’s a good thing we don’t have to listen to them all the time…

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originally rickegee posted this on VIDEOSIFT.

so good. i must share it with everyone!

cross-posted on TV in Japan.

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i’m just starting my 21st week. it’s our first baby.

my belly has really started getting bigger recently, so i’m visibly pregnant as well. the baby is already quite active. it started moving in my belly around 17 weeks. at first, it felt like bubbles popping. some pregnancy books describe this as “butterfly flapping”, but i’ve never eaten any live butterflies, so how would i know?

more recently, i can really feel the baby kicking. this involuntary movement (on my end) is absolutely amazing. sometimes, when i feel its kicks, i tap it back around the same area. a few seconds later, it kicks back :) i’m enjoying this non-verbal communication so much. the kicking feels like “poko-poko” to me (the japanese language has lots more sounds to describe things than english does), so i gave the baby a nickname: “poko-chan”.

yesterday morning, i could feel the baby pushing out against my left and right sides at the same time — like stretching out, slowly. the baby is building a new body, and it’s going to be crowded inside me.

just before i found out i was pregnant, i started drawing the baby in my drawing “numb“. after i found out, i went to the doctor and saw the heart beating on the ultrasound, and heard the heartbeat sound with the fetal doppler. i did another drawing: “new heartbeat“.

paul and i went to get an ultrasound last week. the radiologist gave us a 3D image of one of the photos, which shows our baby’s face, with the right hand held up shyly in front of it.

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mmm~~ good looking. as you can tell, i’m already starting my “oya-baka” (foolish parents) plan (親ばか実行計画). :D

during the ultrasound, we saw our baby open its mouth and wave its hands around. the baby got much bigger since the last ultrasound. now it actually looks more like a human. it’s got fingers, toes, ears, eyes, and a cute bum. at first, i thought i might give birth to some sort of animal, but now officially it’s a human. :)

i knew something was living inside of me… no wonder my belly is getting so much bigger. i’ve never experienced this type of rapid physical transformation before, except in my mind. it’s interesting — all the changes seem to happen according to a schedule. it’s like my body is a machine. but i’ve never felt so human before.

some other time, i’ll post about my early pregnancy experience, and my weird “morning sickness” behaviour, which lasted about 8 weeks.

in a meantime, this is me with our baby inside. :)

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16 weeks 2 days

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20 weeks 1 day

(paul took the photos of me)

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(click the image to go to the youtube page for this video)

Zbigniew Rybczynski

posted also on videosift

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“A Film by Clemens Kogler together with Karo Szmit. Voice by Andre Tschinder.

Le Grand Content examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential. Intersections and diagrams are assembled to form a grand ‘association-chain-massacre’. which challenges itself to answer all questions of the universe and some more. Of course, it totally fails this assignment, but in its failure it still manages to produce some magical nuance and shades between the great topics death, cable tv, emotions and hamsters.”

Clemens Kogler

music by aphex twin…

posted also on videosift.

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these drawings are for a local show called “art-o-rettes” organized by a local artist, donna wawzonek. she has (i don’t know why, but) a cigarette machine and she wants to sell art from it. so each art is 4 x 4″ to fit in a small box.

it looks like a lot of artists joined this group show. i hate cigarettes, but what the hell. it’s a community event.

the cigarette machine is set in mendel art gallery until march.

oh yeah! the art is for sale.

mendel art gallery
950 spadina crescent east
saskatoon, sk open daily: 9am to 9pm

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i was in a pretty good mood while i was drawing this, even though it was very stormy outside.

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i have no idea what this is.
in japanese, “creation (創造)” and “imagination (想像)” are pronounced the same way: “souzou”.

i like this, so maybe i’ll show it at my spring show in saskatoon.

i drew this around new year’s day. this was my first drawing for 2007.

this drawing’s art recipe 1
this drawing’s art recipe 2

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among the other osechi dishes, chikuzen-ni is one of my favorites. first of all, it’s good for you. it’s full of fiber. it contains gobo (burdock), renkon (lotus root) and konnyaku. second, it’s delicious. my mom makes killer chikuzen-ni. i tried last year too, but it turned out only okay. i probably didn’t cook it slowly enough…

this year, i wanted to make it as close as my mom’s chikuzen-ni as possible. so i cooked it slowly, like she does. i also used chicken thighs with bones, so that bones added more flavor.

chikuzen (筑前) was the name of a local administrative area in the west of fukuoka prefecture, from the nara period to the meiji period (710 ~ 1871). chikuzen-ni is a local dish from this region, but now it’s popular all over japan.

it is very hard to cook authentic japanese food in a small canadian city like saskatoon, let alone osechi ryori. it’s hard to find the right vegetables. luckily i was able to get some ingredients from the asian markets in winnipeg when i was there over the holiday. and i also had some japanese food that my parents sent me. so in the end, i managed to cook up some dishes for the new year. paul was very happy.

i ended up making only nine dishes. so i call it “petit osechi” :)

chikuzen-ni recipe (for four)

  • four slices of chicken thigh with bones
  • sake to marinate the chicken
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 gobo
  • 1 small renkon
  • 4 dried shiitake
  • 1/2 konnyaku
  • 8 snowpea
  • some flower shaped carrots

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  • 1 cup of the liquid from shiitake
  • 1 1/2 dashi (japanese soup stock)
  • TBSP 6 soy sauce
  • TBSP 4 mirin
  • TBSP 4 sake
  • TBSP 4 sugar

also you need parchment paper
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  1. cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and massage the chicken with sake. set aside.
  2. rough chop the carrot, gobo and renkon. (cut the vegetables at an angle and rotate the vegetable and cut again, so that the pieces have more surface area.) soak the gobo and renkon in a bowl of water with vinegar to prevent them from discoloring.
  3. remove strings from snowpeas. blanch in hot water, then transfer to cold water.
  4. boil the konnyaku and cut into bite-size pieces.
  5. re-hydrate the dried shiitake in one or two cups of water. remove the stems and cut in half. strain and save the liquid.
  6. heat oil in a pan and add the chicken. when it’s cooked, add all the vegetables except the snowpeas.
  7. add the dashi and all the seasoning.
  8. make a lid with parchment paper. place the lid directly on the food cooking in the pot.
  9. skim off any scum that forms. turn the heat to low.
  10. cook slowly until reduced by approx. 30%.
  11. decorate with snowpeas and flower shaped carrots.

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