April 2007

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saru… i’m a saru.

saru means “monkey”.

“watashi ha, saru desu. anata mo saru desuka?”
(i’m a monkey. are you a monkey too?)

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since i’m feeling milky these days, here are 3 milky videos for you:

japanese ad for “jersey milk” cookies.
i think beethoven would be proud…

american ad for “milky the marvelous milking cow”, 1978.
don’t drink the milk, kids…

milk, milk, miiiiiiilllllk.
beautiful and hypnotic song from sesame street, 1970s.
teaching kids without talking…

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i can’t wait to breastfeed poko-chan. i hope my milk is as tasty as a fresh apple.

i spend most of my waking time thinking about poko-chan and our life together as a family of three. i’m really looking forward to meeting poko-chan in seven weeks. people like to tell us horrible stories about giving birth or bringing up children. but i listen to them with a grain of salt. of course it will be difficult because we are new parents and poko-chan is new to the world, but i think our effort will be nothing compared to poko-chan trying to live.

like my dad always says, “you’ll forget about all the hard things that happened when you look at the angel face of your child”.

you can view the progress of this drawing here:

art recipe 1
art recipe 2
art recipe 3

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i’m starting my 33rd week today, and my belly is very big. my waist is now 94 cm. i have to support my belly with my arm when i get myself up, in order to keep my balance. i can’t button up my spring jackets. with this big belly, i walk like a penguin — not that different from usual, unfortunately. people tell me my belly is going to get even bigger in the next two months, but i think it’s just a rumor. my skin is hitting its limit already.

even though my belly is getting bigger, my weight hasn’t changed over the last month. i gained about 15 pounds (7 kg) during the first 28 weeks, but since then it’s the same. i have a humongous appetite, i’m eating all the time, and i’m eating a lot at every meal. i even eat beef, which i didn’t care for before. in fact, i want to eat burgers all the time…

i feel like i’m getting bigger and bigger, but i was worried that i may not be taking enough nutrients to help poko-chan grow. i got an ultrasound two weeks ago and they estimated poko-chan’s current weight at 4.5 pounds (2 kg) already. this was even bigger than average at 32 weeks. my doctor assured me not to worry, so it’s probably okay.

i think poko-chan has grown even bigger since that ultrasound. poko-chan continues to kick and punch with no mercy. i can clearly see waves and bulges on my belly as s/he moves. i like watching and feeling those movements, even though i get kicked so hard sometimes i can’t sleep.

(paul took these photos)

having this huge appetite reminded me of the opposite problem i had in early pregnancy – morning sickness.

i started getting morning sickness around 7 weeks. at first, i was happy to experience it. since i couldn’t feel any movement of the baby yet, it was the only sign i had that i was pregnant. but it soon turned into a not-so-pleasant experience.

my morning sickness was more like “evening sickness”. i was fine in the morning, but later in the day, i started to feel unwell — no appetite, headache and nausea. i guess my body is still in japan time — it was morning-in-japan sickness in the evening here in canada. anyway, this soon became all-day sickness.

i felt like i was having hungover all the time. food smelled weird. all kinds of food i used to like turned into a nightmare. i couldn’t eat, look at, or think about:

  • any vegetables, especially leafy ones and potatoes – tasted strange.
  • tomato-related food – i couldn’t understand why tomatoes exist on the planet.
  • crackers – some people suggested i eat crackers, but for me, they tasted like sawdust.
  • milk products: yogurt, milk, ice cream – usually i love ice cream, but i felt sick when i thought about it.
  • meat in general, especially beef. tasted odd, even though now this is my favorite food.

the food i could eat:

  • udon, soba or rice
  • fruit, especially oranges
  • apple sauce
  • potato chips (plain, salt flavour)
  • sweet potato
  • bread (only white part)

it was really hard to go grocery shopping because i couldn’t look at food. so i kept my head straight all the time and when i saw what i wanted in my peripheral vision, i grabbed it.

it was probably not a good time for paul either, because i couldn’t taste the food i was making for him. one time, i was trying to make a pasta dish for supper. i started sauteeing mushrooms and spinach. it didn’t look good, so i added a can of tomatoes. it didn’t look good so i added more herbs and spices. somehow this combination just didn’t work — it was really awful pasta. of course i couldn’t taste it, but paul did. he was very kind to say just, “mmm…. (silent)”. but i could tell it was awful. so i asked him how the taste was. he said with the most agonized face, “not very good…”. i should probably note he was kind enough to eat most of it. we started buying frozen food soon after that.

around my 14th week, i started to feel much better and have more appetite. i broke off my morning sickness period by wanting to eat MEAT. one day in the 14th week, i had a huge craving for beef. so paul and i went to a restaurant and i ordered a hamburger. it was a big hamburger, but i ate it all. people who know me are often surprised to see me eating meat since i’ve never been a big meat eater. but now i love it. i didn’t know cows and pigs are so tasty.

my appetite has just grown and grown now, and so has my belly. now that i see poko-chan getting bigger and moving so wild, i feel much better. s/he makes a big wave on my belly by stretching and pushing. it looks like an effortless belly dance.

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i like how the colour pencil pigments blend. it feels good.

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i layered those colours about 10 times to get the result i wanted.

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jan jelinek, from “loop finding jazz records”. i love this kind of quiet, dark microhouse music.

(originally posted to videosift by farhad, the leader of the obscure).

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(with my friend amalie atkins, an artist and filmmaker)

the opening reception last friday night went really well. it was an opening for two exhibitions: “lasting impressions” – works from the art gallery of hamilton, and “personal :: political”, the artists by artists exhibition by dave geary and me.

it’s been a year since i showed my work in a gallery here. people seemed curious to look at my drawings in person. up close, you can really see the different color pencil pigments and how they blend. i pay a lot of attention to that technique when i’m drawing, but you can’t really see the details in an online digital image. so i was happy to get to show people my work in real life.

it was great to see so many people at the reception. some friends of mine were there, and i got to meet some of my blog readers in person. there were also lots of people i’d never met before, from the art community. they said very nice things about my drawings. i was talking, talking, talking all night. when i got home i was supertired, but it was a good night.

the best moment of the reception for me was at the end of the night, when one of the security guards came up to me and told me she really loves my drawings – they’re beautiful and they make her think. she shook my hand passionately. she said she first saw my work at this year’s women’s art festival, which was on at the mendel art gallery in march. she really liked the chickens. when my drawings were put up for this show, she brought her kids to see them.

i was touched. she wasn’t obliged to say anything nice about my drawings to make me happy. everyone at the opening reception was very nice, but you know that it’s not all sincere. i thought this woman’s thoughts were very genuine.

the show is on until june 3rd. admission is free, and i hope many people come to see my work in person. if you can’t make it, you can view images of the drawings from my show in my online gallery.

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