Happy Chanukah!


I just learned about sufganiyot.  To celebrate the miraculous Temple oil that lasted for eight days and nights, some Jewish folk eat fried dough (with tasty jelly or custard interiors) during Hanukkah (which means “consecration” or “dedication,” in reference to the rededication of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the successful revolt of the badass Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire).  Any religion that includes doughnuts is all right by me.  A joyous festival of lights to all of our Jewish brethren and sistren!

Around the Horn: Surprises

Last Thursday, I woke up early, went for a walk, read part of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, got a root canal, checked my e-mail and discovered that the brilliant David Henry Hwang had experienced a far less pleasant day (less pleasant than a 3-hour root canal?  Yes!  It is possible).  

David Henry Hwang

who would attack this handsome fellow?

For those of you who don’t know the story, David was on his way home from the market, chillin’ and minding his own business, when someone approached from behind and stabbed him in the neck.  It was a big relief to hear that he made it to a hospital in time and is now at home recovering.  I hope he does not mind me mentioning that before walking himself to the hospital (all the while losing blood), he stopped off at home first to drop off his groceries.  Egads!  

Around the Horn: Imagedrooling

Years ago, I saw an ad in a Japanese magazine that depicted a couple enjoying a refreshing, sumptuous lunch on a wooden platform built over a resplendent yet gentle waterfall in the midst of spring.  I think it was a sake ad.  I salivated over the memory of this magical image, and asked a Japanese friend where I could find something like it.

“That was just an advertisement,” she said, smiling.  “There is no place like that.”

Recently, while watching an NHK nature/food/culture documentary (the kind with a tranquil English speaker’s voice and Ryuichi Sakamoto playing contemplative, tender piano), I caught a two-second glimpse of something resembling the ad, and the words “Kibune kawa-something.”

“It EXISTS!!!”  I ran to my desk for a pen and paper.

The sake advertisement had depicted a gloriously Photoshopped version of kawadoko, a summertime dining treat made famous in the Kyoto area (and particularly in the mountain village of Kibune).  Folks seeking escape from the heat and humidity enjoy kaiseki-ryōri and cold nagashi-sōmen on a deck over a rushing mountain stream.


Around the Horn: Dream Home

I collect Japanese “mooks” (magazine-books) that feature home decor, design, architecture, lifestyle, etc.  They are probably my favorite possessions.  I pet them and salivate on them.

Here are a couple of pages I scanned from Casa Brutus magazine (please pardon the sub-excellent scan job):


Coil, by Akihisa Hirata


Optical Glass House, Hiroshi Nakamura

Around the Horn: Regret Minimization Framework

When deciding whether to leave his secure Wall Street job in order to take a risk on starting Amazon, Jeff Bezos used what he calls “regret minimization framework.”  He imagined himself as an 80-year-old reflecting on his life and the choices he’d made.  He knew that the old man would regret not taking a leap and seizing the opportunity “to participate in this thing called the internet,” so the choice became suddenly clear.

What would you like to do now in order to avoid feeling regret in later years, or what choices have you already made that you imagine you may regret?  For those of you with few regrets, what choices did you make that were the right ones?




My mom’s Zodiac animal is Pig, so I like pigs.  She loves them.  Whenever I see a pig thingamajig, I always stop and eye it as a possible gift.

Mom is my free art director.  She gives a solid thumbs-down to nearly everything I draw, which I find kind of hilarious and occasionally painful.  Her feedback is usually a raised eyebrow-frown (sometimes combined with her walking away) or just an “UGGH.”  To an extent, I trust her eye since she was an architect and is pretty good at looking for - and distilling something down to - the basics.

I was afraid she’d disapprove of this drawing, but she actually said, “Cute.”

Relief (pig bias works in my favor)!

Happy October, everyone!