Second Visit to the Blanton Museum of Art

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Art Tour” Austin, 2019

Today I dropped Koa off at UT Austin for his third and final band camp of the summer. The dorm he is staying at is right next to the Blanton Museum of Art, so after Koa was squared away, I decided to check out the artwork. As a bonus, I bundled my ticket with parking so I saved a few bucks. 😁

As luck would have it, I bought my admission at about 3 pm, right when a free guided tour was starting. It was “Best of the Museum” and we stopped at nine pieces of art and had discussions about each one. It was very interesting and illuminating! I’ve been interested in art all my life, but I find it hard to understand the purpose of it. Some of the art we saw today from the early 20th century was clearly made to make a social statement, but other Italian art from the 1600s was more of a depiction of a typical everyday scene. They were very different, but both are “art”. I suppose the hangup I’ve always had in understanding art is that for some reason I thought art should have a singular purpose, but that is clearly not the case. Some art is meant as a protest against the status quo, some art is religious and devotional, portraits can simply be a likeness of the subject, etc. I guess the art is more about the artist’s vision, rather than the objects in the art themselves?

Listening to the museum docent describe what the artists may (or may not) have been trying to say opened my eyes as to what art might mean to me. I’m excited to think about it more, and maybe I can use my creativity to make some more meaningful art. The first step is figuring out what I want to say, which honestly could be a challenge.

It’s funny to think that although I’ve been interested in art since elementary school, took classes throughout high school, majored in Art Studio and minored in Art History, then interned at a museum, that finally at 50 years-old I am giving serious thought as to what art means to me. All this time I’ve just been making things just because I liked the aesthetic. But there can be so much more, right?

I hope you had a nice Sunday!

またね~

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/50 sec, ISO6400
“Replicas” Austin, 2019

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Replicas” Austin, 2019

Band and Orchestra Camp at Baylor University in Waco

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 42.5mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Wind Ensemble” Waco, 2019

こんばんは。Today was the final day of the Band and Orchestra Camp at Baylor University in Waco. This was Koa’s second year attending, which means that he enjoyed it enough last year to do a repeat. In fact, a few of his classmates also attended for the second straight year, which says a lot about the quality of the program.

The camp finishes with the “Grand Concert” and Koa played in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. I recorded the two band pieces that he performed in, which you can watch below. In the first piece, he plays the timpani on the right side of the screen, and in the second video, he plays the claves and the bass drum on the left side of the screen.

Tomorrow Koa starts his third weeklong band camp – the High School Band/Honors Wind Ensemble Camp at UT Austin. He’s never been to this one before but he’s looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to having a short drive to drop him off/pick him up. 😆 The 3.5-hour drive up to the University of North Texas was a killer, and the 1.5-hour drive up to Baylor was pretty long as well… It usually only takes about 25 minutes to get to UT, but I saw a sign on the freeway that said part of the route would be closed tomorrow, so we’ll see.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO200
“Percussionists” Waco, 2019

またね~

Koko Ramen in Waco, Texas

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/4.5, 1/160 sec, ISO400
“Tonkotsu Ramen” Waco, 2019

こんにちは!How’s it going?

Today after I picked up Koa from his band camp in Waco, we decided to get some lunch before heading back home. He was tired of burgers, pizza, and Mexican food (I guess those were on the menu during camp all week) so we checked the local listings on Yelp for ramen. I didn’t think there would be much, but the first result was a food truck named “Koko Ramen” so we decided to give it a try. I wasn’t sure if it would be open on a Saturday afternoon but we were in luck and Koko Ramen was serving food.

The food truck is situated in a small parking lot and shares a nice outdoor eating/drinking area with a bar. We didn’t go check it out, but it seems like a nice arrangement. I can imagine grabbing a few beers and then slurping down noodles… sound like a fun evening!

Koa ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen and I ordered the Miso Ramen and we were both pleased with the flavor and amount of food. I guess we weren’t expecting too much from the food truck, but it really delivered! They don’t skimp on the toppings, with a whole ajitama egg, menma, pickled veggies, etc. The noodles were also satisfying in their texture and amount.

The ramen was served in a disposable cardboard bowl, which was interesting, and the soup spoon was also a strange cardboard/paper disposable type. I’ve never seen disposable noodle spoons before, but I guess it makes sense since food trucks don’t have the means to wash dishes.

We also ordered the pulled-pork egg rolls, which were pretty much what you’d expect. So if you’re in the mood for a taste of barbecue, why not try some? Speaking of barbecue, the pork in the ramen was a special barbecue style. According to the website, their proteins are smoked at a local bbq house. Sounds like a win-win arrangement. You can read more in the Texas Monthly article about Koko Ramen.

By the way, one of Koa’s nicknames is “Koko” so that made the experience extra special. 😊🍜

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/280 sec, ISO400
“Koko Ramen” Waco, 2019

While I prefer the ramen at other traditional restaurants, as a food truck, Koko Ramen rates pretty highly in my book. Give it a try if you’re in Waco!

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/4.5, 1/140 sec, ISO400
“Double Egg” Waco, 2019

Minimalist Backseat

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/30 sec, ISO6400
“Minimal Backseat” Austin, 2019

Today a convertible Jaguar was parked next to me and I just had to take a photo of the back seat in the car. The front seats were completely backed into the rear seats so that there is literally zero legroom. Not even a centimeter! If I recall correctly, one reason why these rear seats exist is so that the car is classified differently (2+2) for some kind of regulatory or insurance reason. But I hadn’t seen this in practice in a while. I think some modern sports cars have like the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ have the tiny back seats as well.

When I was growing up, my mom had a Toyota Supra and the back seats were so cramped that I remember it was better to site sideways, and if the entire back row was a chaise longue. Only it wasn’t comfortable at all. Still, it worked in a pinch and since our family is relatively small, it wasn’t an impossible situation.

Anyways, I was happy to see the back seat of the Jag today. It brought back so many memories, even the memory of my sore lower back as I sat sideways in the back of that old Supra!

またね~

Time to Ride

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO311
“BMW 650 GS” Cedar Park, 2019

Today is the last day of Spring, but it sure seems like Summer is in full swing already! The temperatures are hovering in the mid-90s, but I really wanted to go for a ride so I donned my helmet and riding gear and went for a spin around town. Boy oh boy was it toasty! But of course, riding a motorcycle is so much fun that I didn’t mind it too much. But when I got back home I quickly took off my helmet and jacket so I wouldn’t make them all sweaty.

I haven’t ridden my motorcycle in a while (the desire comes in cycles) so the registration has expired… I guess I should get that taken care of, right? Oh well, in the meantime I’ll just be riding dirty. 😁

I hope you had a good day!

またね~