Let’s Dance

 

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Your Lie in April – 四月は君の嘘 Review

こんばんは。Tonight Your Lie in April (四月は君の嘘) was on TV Japan so Koa and I watched it together. Surprisingly, Koa said he had already seen it on the plane when we traveled over Christmas break. I guess he enjoyed it enough to want to watch it again. I’m not sure if it is because there is a lot of musical performance in it, or if he’s now interested in girls/romantic stories, but whatever! I was happy to have his company while I watched it.

******* SPOILERS FOLLOW – YOU MAY WANT TO SKIP DIRECTLY DOWN TO THE TRAILER *********

I’m a fan of Hirose Suzu 広瀬 すず (Anone, Umimachi Diary) and will watch anything that she stars in, so it was great to find a movie of hers on TV Japan, and in HD with English subtitles! w00t! I didn’t know much about the story beforehand except that it’s an adaptation from a manga and I was expecting it to be a very light teen romantic comedy, but it turned out to have a deeper story, and was actually kind of a tear-jerker! I’d categorize it as a “teen romantic musical tragedy”. 😆

Your Lie in April follows the main characters, Kaori (Hirose) and Kosei (Yamazaki Kento 山﨑 賢人), two musically talented high school students who team up to perform in a musical recital. Actually, Kaori convinces Kosei, who has quit piano years earlier, to be her accompaniment. Her carefree yet determined attitude helps him overcome his fear of performing, and it seemed like the story will follow the formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, both confess their love for each other and they reunite with a triumphant concert performance.

Well, things take a big turn when Kaori falls seriously ill and Kosei, Kaori, and their two close friends Tsubaki and Watari confront their feelings and confess to their love interests. However, things get complicated and the confessions didn’t make complete sense to me so I was wondering if there was some kind of hole in the plot.

Anyways, the story continues on, with Kosei telling Kaori in the hospital that he has decided to enter a regional piano competition and that he wants to perform together with her in the future. With this in mind, Kaori decides to undergo a risky operation to cure her terminal illness.

Soon after, she goes into surgery while at the same time Kosei is performing in the concert. This musical performance was probably the most touching scene in the movie because while he plays, Kaori’s image appears and accompanies him on violin. However, towards the end of the song, she stops playing, lowers her violin, and, shedding tears, fades away, signifying the fact that she did not survive the operation. 😭

"Your Lie in April" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO250
“Your Lie in April” Cedar Park, 2018

The story picks up a few months later, with Kosei reading a letter that Kaori had written to him before she had her operation. In it, she reveals how she had known of Kosei since they were small kids when she saw him at a piano recital. It was then that she decided to play violin in hopes that she could play with him one day. Years later in high school, as her illness became more serious, she decided to live the rest of her life to the fullest and made an effort to become closer to Kosei and his friends in order to make her dream come true. The lie she told (to which the film’s title refers) was that she said she loved Watari (in order to go on a double-date with Kosei and Tsubaki). The truth was that she was actually in love with Kosei. 😭

I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I thought I would, mainly because the plot made complete sense after Kaori’s letter was read by Kosei. And Hirose Suzu’s acting is always charming and she can seemingly let the tears flow on command. Although not an amazing film, Your Lie in April is a solidly entertaining story with good acting and some touching scenes. And the musical performances are great as well. I recommend it! My rating is 7.5/10.

Flickr

Barton Springs, Austin TX

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Yesterday Smugmug announced that it was buying Flickr. I’ve been using Flickr for over 13 years and have loved it this whole time, mostly as a paying “Pro” user. The photo above was my first upload to Flickr, back in 2005. I took the photo with a Holga camera using 120 film.

Through all the years, and many cameras, I’ve often wondered why people have been so damning of Flickr. Sure, it hasn’t been the most cutting-edge service, and the mobile experience is not very compelling, but for a desktop/laptop user it’s been a consistently solid place to share photos and have discussions in different groups. I’m hoping that never changes.

Anyways, I wanted to mention how fun it is when a photo gets chosen to be on Flickr’s Explore page. When that happens (and it’s a mystery how a photo gets chosen) your email inbox suddenly starts getting a ton of notifications and you can watch the number of photo-views skyrocket. It’s lots of fun!

Just yesterday, the sunset photo that Koa took got “Explored” and the views and favorites took off. I thought it was a nice coincidence that it happened on the day Flickr was bought by Smugmug. 😀

Daily Photo – 2018.04.18

As an amateur photographer, I love Instagram on my phone, but I’ll probably always be a Flickr user. 😄

I hope you have a nice Saturday!

またね~

Friday Night Drinking Buddy

"Osaka Obasan" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Osaka Obasan” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

We made it to Friday! I’m celebrating by sipping on a glass of whiskey with my friend from Osaka. She’s a little odd, but very funny. 😆

I hope you had a great week!

またね~

Bread

"Baking Corner" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Baking Corner” Cedar Park, 2018

🍞🥖❤️Bread Life!

Simplifying Multiple Items

"Sunset" Leander, 2018
Photo info: SONY NEX-6, 16mm, f/18, 1/60 sec, ISO100
“Sunset” Leander, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today’s photo was taken by my son. As you can see, we were driving along during a beautiful Texas sunset and I had him use the camera I keep in the glove compartment to capture the image.

We’ve long since moved on from using the Sony NEX-6 camera for everyday use (I use my Fujifilm X100T and Mariko uses her Olympus E-PL9), but it is such a nice camera that I didn’t sell it. So, I put it in the car where it serves as a backup camera. It’s actually a perfect car camera because it can be operated quickly with just one hand. Flip the power button on and it’s ready to shoot at its widest angle. Plus the grip is beefy and easy to hold. And it has come in handy many times!

It got me thinking about how I am trying to simplify and get rid of items that we have multiples of, but it doesn’t mean being totally minimalistic or getting rid of all but one item. There’s a balance for everything. For instance, we have accumulated laptops over the years, many of them are still perfectly functional. But I really only need one, so I donated/recycled the rest of them.

On the other hand, I have multiple Kindle devices and although I only need one, the others are very convenient to have. For instance, I keep one by the bedside, one in my messenger bag, one in the car, etc. I use all of them.

So, the usefulness of the item, and more specifically if it is being used or not, is the determining factor of what to keep and what to get rid of. And it’s not difficult to figure out what is being used and what is not.

One example is my fountain pen collection. I did a quick inventory (looking at my Amazon.com and Ebay.com purchase histories), and it turns out I have 12 fountain pens! But I use seven of them (two at work, and five at home). I guess I’ll remove the ink from the five I forgot about and put them in the Goodwill box. Those five unused pens were out of sight, but I honestly believe they weren’t completely out of mind. After they go to Goodwill, they truly will be! The knowledge that my collection has been narrowed down to what is essential is what will be freeing to my mind.

I hope you had a nice day!

またね

Tuesday Snapshots 📸

"Old Stuff" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.5, 1/150 sec, ISO3200
“Old Stuff” Cedar Park, 2018
"The Ivories" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.5, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“The Ivories” Cedar Park, 2018
"Comfy" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.2, 1/25 sec, ISO3200
“Comfy” Cedar Park, 2018
"Well Used" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.2, 1/13 sec, ISO3200
“Well Used” Cedar Park, 2018
"Gohan Time" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2.5, 1/105 sec, ISO3200
“Gohan Time” Cedar Park, 2018