Friday, December 30, 2011

Paul

I have fixed the light fixture in the living room and the bed room.  When I had changed a light bulb a couple of weeks ago it sparked and scared me. The house is very old. I noticed wires in the fixture were bad condition. Part of them were totally naked. I believe that was the cause of short circuit. I cleaned a Glass light shade and covered the naked electric wire with insulation tape. It was a just little job but I felt great afterward.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Park

I was invited to friend's Christmas eve dinner and helper. I went there in the morning. I don't cook but I helped moving tables carrying heavy boxes, things like that.We were expected ten guest for the dinner. However, one guy showed up unexpectedly. We have more than enough food for eleven guests but table was not big enough for eleven guests.  So, a beginning of the dinner, one of the guests who came later was standing by the table and enjoying dinner.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Otter 2

Masa, he is my artist friend. He moved to Oregon from New Orleans a year ago. But he changed his mind. After he had lived there for six months he decided to move to Japan. He had stayed there over three months and now he moved back to New Orleans again, exactly one year after he left the place.  He is a busy man.

I was on the net checking some information one day, then someone tried to contact me by Skype. It was Masa. However, it was unsuccessful. I presume, his new place doesn’t have a good internet environment. From what I know, He is using dial-up system.

I attempted skype him again late and it was successfully this time. A Problem was I couldn’t hear him. Also, I don’t know if he could hear me or not. Anyway, I keep talking as if to say he can hear me. I said “can you hear me” or something to that effect. Then I saw him picked up a small sketch book in front of the camera. There were black large prints on it. It said “I can hear you.” great! At least he could hear me. After that I talked him and he responded by writing. It was interesting communication. But it was so slow. Finally, we switched to skype telephone. I felt that how wonderful to talk each other like this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Otter

I found Norm's restaurant in my area. When I had a dinner at Norm's in Hollywood I enjoyed so much, After that, I have been looking for one close by my house.  I decided to take my friend there and check that if they have same quality of food as the other one.
We took his car to the restaurant. We didn’t have any trouble get there. But he missed an entrance into parking area. And our trouble started. Because, the location of the restaurant is near the freeway we couldn’t come back same place easy. We lost in a maze of streets. finally, my friend said “Forget it! let go somewhere else.” It was already late for lunch and we were hungry. So, We were heading to Marukai store instead. We planed to do some shopping there anyway. They have a nice food court. Happily, we had a good ramen-noodles there. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oak Tree

Out of the blue, Mori Called me on early morning. He lives in Long Beach. I haven’t seen him for long time. I send my news letter every month, so, he knew my latest activity. “Let have a lunch together soon” He said. ”Yes, that’s good idea. ” I said. “I  like to have a good ramen-noodles.” He said. I suggested the ramen restaurant I like in Gardena. We went there before. He knows the place. But he said that he found a better place in pacific square. That where I go shopping to Japanese food market often. It’s located in the square. I didn’t know there is a ramen place. He told me an exact location and I realized that the place where many restaurant come and gone in the past. Finally, I stopped pay attention what kind of restaurant in there now. “They are good, you should try it.” he said.

We made that conversation week ago, and I got curious about the restaurant. So, I went to the new ramen place finally.  It was quite busy place. When I got there some people were waiting to be seated. So, I stood in the waiting line myself. Fortunately, the line moved quickly. I didn’t have to wait that long. Soon, waitress came and I sat at the counter.  I ordered Syoyu-Ramen. I believe this is a basic of ramen. If it’t good I would say this is good ramen place.

To make a long story short, it was good. I enjoyed it. However, if I have to choose my old ramen place or this one, I will take the old place with out hesitation.

I imagine that ninety five percent of Japanese like a ramen. As matter of fact, I can’t recall that any Japanese said  “I don’t like ramen.” or something to that effect before. I think ramen is very popular among Japanese people as popular as hamburger in USA.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Summer

I buy gasoline when it get lower than the half tank.  But some time I wait until it get one fourth. However, when I saw the fuel gauge in the car this time, it was all the way down almost empty. So, I decided to go to chevron station. I always buy fuel at the chevron station, because I have a card. If I buy it with cash, I have to get in a store and wait at the counter. I don’t like to wait.
I took the card and slid through a machine, lifted hose connected fuel tank, and pumped. While I waited, I was watching numbers of gallon and price were moving quickly. Since fuel tank was almost empty, I thought this is a perfect time to find out how many gallons of fuel get into the tank to fill it.

I was not sure, but I presumed that the tank could take ten or eleven gallons. So, I was watching the number carefully. Finally, it hit eleven gallons but it kept going up. I couldn’t believe it possible to take more than eleven gallons. When it hit almost twelve, I turned to my car and I saw gasoline was leaking from the hose. I stopped pump immediately, but it was too late. Floor was flooded with gasoline. I smelled strong fume. Is was scary condition. It might catch fire. I was afraid to start engine. Fortunately, nothing happened when I turned the ignition.

Autumn Leaves

     I got an audition notice. Its time was five thirty in the evening. Please don’t force me to drive in middle of rush hour. I  mumbled to myself. However, I have to go, unless I have a good excuse such as my mother died or something to that effect. Unfortunately, I don’t have parents to help me for that anymore.

     I tell you from my experience, audition is all about the rejection.  If you can’t take it you are in wrong business. I am taking it pretty good. I have been rejected by audition 98 percent of the time for last over two years. Surprisingly, I am still hear.

     Hey guys, don’t get me wrong. Actually, I am enjoying to be rejected. After all life is all about the rejections.     really.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Waiting for a Grandson

My friend who lives in Laguna Wood retirement community sent me a DVD. He visits Japan in Spring and Fall twice a year. Every time he is in Japan. He challenges to 88 temples pilgrimage. The DVD was all about his experience and he made it by himself. It was a good job. I didn't know that he has a talent to create DVD like this. After I enjoyed it I wanted to go to Japan and try shikoku 88 temples pilgrimage myself.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bishop Creek

My friend N gave me a box of chocolate and said “Share this with your students at the watercolor class.” So, I took it to the class. However, we didn’t eat them. A one of the students suggested me that we should take it to community center office downstairs. I thought that was a great idea. To tell you the truth, We are in the middle of negotiations of our room reservation for next year. So, we went to the office and handed the box of chocolate and said “We want you to enjoy this in the office.” Sure enough, near the and of the class we got a good news from the office. we got the permission to use this room for next year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Studay from an old master oil painting

I made three watercolor instruction videos. They were made for a net watercolor class students. Video is the great tool when I teach students using internet. This time I tried to explain about Thumbnail sketch and Negative painting for beginners. After I finished them I upload to You tube and send the address to the students. It was an easy work.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trees

When I got in the watercolor class room, I was surprised to see there were only three tables in the room. We need at least five tables. I went to the office immediately and requested two more tables and ten chairs. It was demonstration day. I didn't want any trouble important day like today.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Welcoming Cat

Watercolor class is located in Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gadena Ca.  Two blocks toward west on the same street, there is an another Japanese American community center. I use to go to a ukulele club at basement of the center. We had a lot of seniors there. I thought there were almost  60 people or so.
I wonder if it still there. If it's still going, I like to try ukulele again.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Snow at the River Bank

I visited one of my friends H. He lives in Wastchester. A new residential area near LAX. We were planing to have a late lunch at his place. On the way to his place I stopped by a Japanese food market and bought a pack of assorted  sashimi.  And H served brown rice and green tea. It was a potluck lunch, so to speak. It was almost three in the afternoon. I should say, it was early supper. I think it was the last meal for today. Even though, I might have a little snack before I go to bed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daisy

Almost no exception, I go to  Little Tokyo every Sunday. I have a breakfast gathering. A restaurant where we have the breakfast open eight in the morning. However, with no reason, I go to Little Tokyo thirty or forty minutes before the time. Because, one of the members John is always there when I arrive there. So, we take a walk around the town.

At the breakfast we talk about things that happened last week.  John's favorite conversation would be a navy experiences during the Vietnam War. Also, he likes Japanese history and he watches Japanese television often. Especially, historical drama, in another word Samurai story. As far as Japanese history concern, he know hundred times more than I know. I am a Japanese and he is an American, there is something wrong in this picture.
   
Also, he is studying Japanese language. He can handle basic things in Japanese. Actually, he has  visited Japan once six years ago. And he is planning another one near future.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bellflower

I have been struggle with a huge pumpkin pie. My friend gave me the hole pie when I went to his dinner party, Just because I said that I like pumpkin pie. What more, It was not a regular size but twice the size. It's from Costco. As you know every thing in that store come with huge size. Yes, I like pumpkin pie. I finished half of it already. And I am going to eat some more after I finish this diary.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dancing Light

I go to a drugstore near by my house once in a while. Walgreens is the name. The store opens twenty four hours a day. So, it very convenient place for me. I can stop by during my early morning walk. This morning I stopped by the store. I needed a toothpaste. I went straight to the toothpaste display shelf without change my walking pace.  But I couldn't find one I use.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Clear Water

J came to my house in early Saturday morning. He has been taking care of his wife for long time. She has terminal cancer. We talked, well mostly he talked and I was listening. But it was not about his wife. He was telling me about his happy days for long time ago.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Koi #1

I thought I heard knock on the door while I was working in my computer room. I could see the front of house through thin white curtain of the window.  But from my angle there was nobody I could see. So, I returned to my work. Then I head knock on the door again. This time it was louder. Finally, I stood up and went to the front door.  There were two men in white shirt and black pants.  As soon as I saw them I could tell that they are people from some kind of religious affiliate. Usually, I say some thing like a "I don't speak an English" and chase them away. Fortunately for them, I was in good mood in that morning. So, I had a nice conversation with them. May be I wanted to have someone to talk to, because I had been working in my room alone. Anyway, when it over I became Jehovah's Witnesses member.        not!!!








Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bodega Bay

"What seems to be the trouble?" As soon as I got a train station he asked me. "It was a long story." I said. "OK, let get on the train first and tell me all about it"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chrysanthemum

My friend N and I went to Farmer's market on Saturday.  It was the original farmer's market, it located corner of Fairfax and third Street in Los Angeles. N wanted buy some candles for the Thanksgiving day dinner party. I haven't been there for long time. I think it was more than a year since the last time. I use to go there often until the place had remodeled and parking lot started charging big money. After the shopping we had light supper at a restaurant in the market.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yosemite Sunrise

During my morning walk I saw some autumn leaves at one of the streets. A resent cold weather triggered to changing color of leaves. However, the color of leaves are not bright as leaves in valley.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Waterfall


I contacted an old acquaintance. I haven't see him many years. Even though our living location is not that far apart. I guess I am not good at keeping a good relationship. Anyway, I fond his mail address in my old diary and decided to contact him. 

And then,  I visited his house this afternoon. We were planning to go lunch together. However, when I went there he said "I made soup this morning do you want some?" I said "Yes" and then one thing after the other, we ended up eating lunch at his place.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rocky Shore

Weather was suddenly changed to cold winter days after heavy rain on last Friday. I am not good with cold weather. It depresses me.But I don't have to worry about it this winter. I got a new heater in the nick of the time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Corner of the Park

Hey, I got a callback from the audition I had on Tuesday. It was a nice audition. There were lot of people in the room. I thought I did good.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hotel Room

My friend John bought i-phone 4. I have been kidding him that when are you start to learn how to use  a computer. But now he is a head of me. I don't have i-phone yet.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Morning mist

     I started reading novel “Snow falling on Cedars.” I saw the movie based on this novel long time ago. The year of 2000, I believe. But I never read the book. My Japanese friend lent it to my other friend, but he didn’t have time. So, it ended up with I am reading it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

El Capitan

I tried to talk to a friend in Japan by Skype but the connection was bad. I tried it three time and finally I gave up. I guess the skype was busy because it was Saturday in Japan. I will try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bishop Creek

I took a trip to Japan early October. Yes, I have just came back from the trip. It has been six years since I went to japan last time. This time one of my friends with me. We arrived at Haneda air port. I believe it was second time I went to Haneda. It was late at night. So, we couldn't activate our rail pass at JR office. It's closed seven. Therefore, we have to pay for a monorail and some of train to our hotel by cash. The JR rail pass is great. We can take JR train as much as we want for two weeks. I take an  advantage of the pass every time I go to Japan.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bruce

John leaned across the table and whispered  "I don't like this waitress. She is not careful as previous one." I was surprise to hear that from him. I wasn't pay attention to waitress. However, after that I became more conscious about her. It was not busy morning in the coffee-shop but she didn't come to our table or longtime. Our coffee cups were completely empty but she didn't show up. Where was she?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Birch Trees

When I went to Japan six years ago,  I took lot of photograph of birch tree. I grow up in a cold country, specifically, the northernmost island Hokkaido, Japan. The birch tree is very common tree in Hokkaido. It's remained me my childhood.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autumn Wood

We had a lively watercolor class Today.  Eight students attended. The student who has been absented the class last three weeks showed up that made me happy. I had  guests last night and we talked until midnight. I was a lack of sleep today. But as soon as I got the class I felt much better. An enthusiastic students gave me an energy.

My house guest Masa-san is artist. He had to take Korian airline to Japan this morning. He said " If I had time, I like to visit your watercolor class, but I have to go" Yes, I like that myself. Maybe next time.

A lady came to see the class. She likes watercolor and wanted see the class. I need more students. I hope she will come to the class near future.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The First Snow in Aspendale

Countdown for the Japan trip has been started. It was six years ago for the last time I visited Japan.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stone Bridge

9/3/11/
 I wrote about hiked the Mirror Lake on second day in Yosemite. The same day at my first watercolor class, One of my students told me about very nice area further way passed the lake. Even though, I went there for three or four times I never seen the place. Because, I thought that there was nothing beyond the first part of the lake. I got so curious about this secret pond (It more likely part of Mirror Lake). I felt that I have to go there and find it. So, I tried it after breakfast and before the class. Even though, It was not really enough time. I was happy I did. It was a kind of mystical place. I took a lot of pictures. I will paint them when I go back to Los Angeles.

 Also, on the way back to art center from the lake, I saw five young people gathering on the mountain road and they were looking something in the wood. One of them, young girl came to me and took my arm and said "Look over there, Bear cub. Do you see?" I looked at the area she pointed and I saw the little bear eating something on the ground. It was kind of cute, but my concern was were is mother.

My last watercolor class was excellent. I did the good demonstration. The picture for today is my last day demonstration piece. (Stone Bridge)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Trees

9/2/11/Fri.
 Since yesterday's miserable experience, I was much wiser today. I chose a location carefully. I decided to go to the place it called "Church Bowl. It was a nice shady spot surrounded by big trees. My choice was perfect this time. Nice breeze a lot of benches even portable toilet in the location. As long as working condition is right, even a dull subject became great painting.

 I was almost sure that I don''t have any messages in my answering machine in my Los Angeles home. But I checked it anyway. Surprisingly, I had four messages. and all of them were from one of my friend. He must called me every day. That was strange that he didn't know I am here at Yosmite. I told him about this trip and he was checking his schedule book. I hope I am not in a missing person's list at a police department by now. Immediately, I called the friend and no answer. Now, I am getting nervous, I have to call him again later. Problem was I couldn't use my cell phone in Yosemite. So, all my friend couldn't contact me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smoky Half Dome

9/1/11/Thurs.
 I played Tai-Chi three times and took my morning walk. Also, I took a lot of photographs. When I go back to Los Angeles, I paint from these photos.
It was a tough demonstration today. Location I chose was a hot spot without shade. It was nice and shady when we started but the sun moved wrong direction and a nice shade moved wrong direction, too.  The end of the day, I was so tired. That evening I was sneezing a lot. I thought I got a cold or something. The room I was staying had an air condition and It worked very well. I thought it was too cold.  I tried to save demo piece but result was not good. I didn't like it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yosemite falls

8/30/11/Tue.
 It was the first day of watercolor class today. We went to in front of visitor's center and painted Yosemite falls.  I come to Yosemite park on the first week of September. In this season the Yosemite falls almost dried up and no visible water there. But this year, the falls has enough water to create  nice waterfall. At the first class, I had eight students. I had great time. And when I came back to art center I fond that one of my paintings had sold.  Good start!

8/31/11/Wed.
 Suddenly, I had twenty four students for the second class. There might be more. I lost count.
The first day's demonstration, I was feel tight. So, It wasn't came out right. However, I changed my approach to ward painting today. I did more relaxed and I painted freely. As result of that I painted very good piece. As the mutter of fact, I sold it before even display at the gallery.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Entrance to Yosemite

 Yosemite Experience 2

8/29/11/Mon.
 The next morning, I fond that my pick-up truck was towed away. I didn't know they had late night parking lot construction. I must have missed the warning sign. Unfortunately I had to pay towing fee and it hurt my wallet. Later, I saw the sign it said " do not park here between ten pm. through eight am." and it was behind the tree. What a trick. I thought that only LAPD would do that kind of dirty thing but I was wrong. LOL. But, as wise man said, a good thing always happen after the bad news. So, I would hope for that.
 It was free time today. I took a hike to Mirror Lake and Happy Isles. Yosemite had a little more water than last year in this season. I was surprised to see the water at Yosemite falls.  So, I hoped the lake might have some water, too. Usually, the lake is dried up for this season. As I hoped, I saw a little bit of water and stream trickled down in the creek from the lake. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

El Capitan

 Yosemite Experience  1

The night before I would leave to Yosemite Aline called. She is the manager of art center where I will stay for a week. She said "We had mountain fire and the high way I would take has been closed. So, I could not be there on Sunday. However, I arranged that you can get your key at the bookstore."

I left my house at 8 am.  Driving to Yosemite was easy. Even though it took six hours to get there. I have been doing this every year since 2005.  I arrived to Yosemite art center at 2:30 pm. Immediately I went to the bookstore and asked the key. A tall white bearded man in counter said "Your key supposed to be in art center. I will come with you and let you in."

Finally, I got my key and unloaded stuffs into the room from my pick-up truck. Now I am ready for a week in Yosemite. "Banzai!!!!" it means "Great!!!" in Japanese.

Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you why I went to Yosemite. I teach watercolor at Yosemite  art center for a week..

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sunset

I found a fish called "Hokke." It was popular fish in Hokkaido in Japan where I came from. I am not sure What is the fish name in English. I think it is mackerel family. Anyway, I don't see it in market often. So, I bought a pack of Hokke. There are two of them in the pack. However, it was smells bad when I started cooking. It was not fresh. As a matter of fact, it was almost spoiled. But I hated to waste food so, I cooked and ate for lunch. It was smells bad but I thought taste was almost a OK. I finished it.

Monday, August 22, 2011