Ghibli Food

I know the general consensus is that the food in Ghibli movies looks amazingly delicious, but I’m going to have to say that it never seems appetizing to me. It always just looks flat and blah and I always think what a missed opportunity it was. It’s a shame that I cannot feel enthusiastic about the food, but I guess it’s just a psychological mismatch I will have to bear. I’m happy (and a bit jealous) for everyone who can get excited about it, though.

Anyways, I do follow illustrator Nabatame Kazutaka, whose food looks absolutely delicious to me. Just look at this curry and this shumai bento box! おいしそう!

RPGs from the Past

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO157
“Old RPGs” Cedar Park, 2021

When I was growing up in the 80s, I played Dungeons & Dragons with my brother and our friends. It was such a fun time, and really neat to know that these are shared memories amongst us. Because of the popularity of D&D, there were a bunch of other tabletop RPGs coming out, and two that I remember looking at, but never buying or playing, were Gamma World and Boot Hill. So it was really neat to see them for sale at the local Half-Price Books. The price for these was sky-high, but that made me feel pretty good actually. I’m not sure why, but maybe the high price it was also elevating the value of my memories?

Anyways, it was nice to get out of the house for a bit as we’re still in pandemic mode and limiting contact with others.

I hope you had a good day! またね~

Using Gender Pronouns

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO500
“Good Book” Cedar Park, 2021

I’ve been using the gender pronouns he/him in my online profiles for a while now to build inclusivity and show support for those who get questioned about their gender identity. However, I’ve only just recently (as in the past few days) encountered the use of they/them/their in books. At first, I was confused, but after I realized the reason, it made sense and just felt good.

With so much racism and discrimination showing up in the world, seeing non-binary pronouns being used gave me a feeling that there is hope in the world. It’s probably just a small step in the right direction, but it’s a step nonetheless.

FYI, the book in the photo is The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo.

Here’s some more information about the importance of gender pronouns. It’s been a busy couple of years of education on social and cultural issues for me, and that continues.

100% Mixed Webinar

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Webinar” Cedar Park, 2020

I attended 100% Mixed 100% Nikkei – Experiences of Mixed Race Nikkei Webinar hosted by the JACL, in which the discussion centered around the experience of mixed-race people, and specifically those with Japanese ancestry as part of their makeup. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and especially the discussions that touched on where we fit in with today’s events surrounding racial inequality, the BLM movement, and the rise of white supremacist rhetoric in America. I didn’t realize (and I still need to explore) how the Japanese-American community was affected by the civil rights movements in the 60s, and became the “model minority” as a response to anti-blackness. It’s something that not a lot of people think about, but I think it’s worth exploring.

I’m happy that organizations like JACL exist and provide resources for helping Nikkei explore their roots. It’s refreshing to see and hear people of mixed race speak about their individual experiences that make up a collective experience that so many of us share, even though everyone’s present situations might be different distances from when our ancestors came to America. And it’s also wonderful to see people of different age groups too! There are many differences generationally, but we all are the same in that we are curious and want to know more, and share our experiences.

It seems to me that first-generation Asian-Americans share a stronger bond with each other, and with each successive generation, those bonds becomes weaker, or perhaps less-easily defined. Japanese-Americans (and Chinese-Americans) have been present in America for a relatively long time as compared to other Asian groups, so the Nikkei bonds have to extend a greater distance. And each generation may have additional ingredients added into the mix, so it’s harder to identify a dominant flavor. I’m not sure if that is a good analogy or not. At any rate, I think third-generation (Sansei) or fourth-generation (Yonsei) Japanese-Americans have less common identity to use to connect with each other as compared to first-generation Asian-Americans. It’s very complicated, yet fascinating.

I’m a Yonsei, so Bay and Koa would be Gosei (fifth-generation). But since Mariko is an Issei (first-generation), they could also be considered Nissei (second-generation). 🤷‍♂️

A 1.5 hour webinar is not nearly enough time to cover such a complex subject, but it’s a great start! I’m very happy that I attended. Thank you, JACL, for putting it together! Much more to learn…

Motorcycle Maintenance

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/60 sec, ISO111
“Maintenance” Cedar Park, 2020

Today was another maintenance day for Kiki! A quick trip to Walmart to pick up some motor oil, coolant, and distilled water and I was all set for a couple hours of motorcycle work.

Including last night’s work, here’s what I completed:

  • Bled brakes/replace brake fluid (DOT4)
  • Changed oil (20W-50 dino oil)
  • Changed coolant
  • Topped up battery water (distilled)
  • Lubed the chain (PJ1 Blue)

Changing the oil and coolant is not difficult, but it’s a bit messy and more complicated that it should be. Did you know that BMW stands for “Bikes Made Weird”? I can attest! 😄

Ready to vroom-vroom! 🚀

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/40 sec, ISO112
“Kiki” Cedar Park, 2020