Cats Are so Funny

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Special Delivery” Cedar Park, 2019

Cats are so funny, aren’t they?

When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead / に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています (2018) – Movie Review

The latest movie I watched was When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead / に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています, a movie based on a manga that was inspired by a question posed on Yahoo! Japan. The story revolves around a young married couple, and how their relationship evolves after the wife, Chie (Nana Eikura 榮倉奈々), starts to “play dead” whenever her husband, Jun (Ken Yasuda 安田顕), returns from work. It’s a really strange premise but definitely captured my interest.

************* SPOILER ALERT **************

The first prank death was surprising (if you don’t know the backstory at all), but turns out to be kind of funny, although I really felt for Jun who was understandably panicked. The subsequent prank deaths were increasingly silly, hilarious, inventive, and clever. Those are funny scenes, but they have Jun wondering what Chie’s intentions truly are. Is she dissatisfied with their marriage? Has he done something wrong?

Over the course of the movie, several marital themes are explored, but not too deeply, and the tone of the movie is kept very light. The serious themes of infertility, separation, and divorce were played out by Jun’s coworker and his wife, and even though the couple decided to end their marriage, they showed growth and maturity… and maybe this is a lesson the writers were trying to teach us?

Chie and Jun’s relationship becomes stronger during reflection and also because of the illness of Chie’s father. It’s during a visit to Chie’s childhood home that Jun gets a clearer glimpse into Chie’s childhood and gains a greater understanding of her. But the mystery of why Chie would fake her own death every day remained unsolved until the very end. Unfortunately for the viewing audience, when Jun reveals to her that he knows why she did it and is explaining the reason, there’s a strong wind and we don’t get to hear his words. I think it was meant to be funny that the audience doesn’t find out, but to me, it was just frustrating. I got the feeling that the writers really didn’t have an explanation either, and it was just a cop-out. But perhaps that’s true to the mystery of the original story. At any rate, it was an unsatisfying ending to a story that had seemingly been advancing towards a good conclusion.

I have to mention one major point that I didn’t like about the movie. There were several scenes where the music didn’t match the mood of the story at all. In fact a few times, I was wondering if I had left Spotify going, or a browser tab was open that was playing music. The generic rock and roll background songs were inappropriate and cheesy, and I kept thinking how much better a scene would have been if there was instead just silence in the background. I admit to wondering if the director’s teenage kid begged to have his band be in the film…

Anyway, if you can ignore the terrible ending and horrible musical overlays, then you are left with a fun, lighthearted movie, with some marital wisdom tidbits thrown in. The performances from all the actors were excellent, especially Nana Eikura, who was quirky and charming. Ken Yasuda played the straight man while also subtly letting us in onto his frustration. In summary, When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead is a watchable movie, worth your time.

My rating: 7/10

またね~

Mother’s Day Meals

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/75 sec, ISO1250
“Breakfast Burrito” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。Mariko had a simple request for Mother’s Day: please feed me and let me watch my tv shows. 😆

With that in mind, Bay was tasked with preparing breakfast, and Koa would help with the grill at dinner, and also make sure Mariko had mimosas on-demand. 🥂

First up was breakfast, and for this, Bay made deluxe breakfast burritos with eggs, cheese, chorizo, jalapeño sausage, bacon, and hashbrowns. Since we couldn’t find super-gigantic tortillas, Bay divided them into smaller burritos, but they were still awesome. 🌯

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/75 sec, ISO400
“Breakfast Crew” Cedar Park, 2019

For dinner, Bay prepared garlic mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot, while Koa grilled the sirloin steaks on the deck barbecue. This was Koa’s first time grilling, so I helped him with the meat-thermometer and seasoning the 4 Top Sirloins from Omaha Steaks. They turned out nicely, with perfect medium-rare doneness. I threw in some broccoli for good measure, plus some rolls that Mariko had baked earlier, and it was a yummy dinner! 🥩

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO400
“Grill Crew” Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/75 sec, ISO640
“Steak Dinner” Cedar Park, 2019

And as a little bonus, we also gave her a bouquet of fresh flowers. 💐

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Mother’s Day Bouquet” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

p.s. We ordered a bunch of food items from Omaha Steaks, and if you’d like to try the Top Sirloin steaks like we had, please click on the delicious-looking steak photo (affiliate link) below.

Final Piano Recital

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 18.8mm, f/2.8, 1/15 sec, ISO640
“Teacher and Student” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today is bittersweet because Bay’s last piano recital was this afternoon. He’s been taking lessons since he was about 9 years old, which means he’s performed in about 16 recitals (which seems crazy to me!). But since Bay will be going to college in August, this was his final recital.

Surprisingly, he had chosen to work on Franz Liszt’s Campanella for the recital, which is a notoriously difficult piece to play. We were worried because he’s pretty busy with school, and also he’s not the most eager to practice, but happily, his performance at the recital was great. He only slightly stumbled a couple of times, and they weren’t any pauses. During the intermission, his instructor said, “Bay almost gave me a heart attack, but he did it!” I had the same feeling. 😄

After the performance, his instructor said a few nice words about Bay, and Bay told the audience about his future plans of studying Architecture. It was a really special moment. 😂 We’re sad that he only has a couple more months of formal lessons, but I am hoping he continues piano on his own in the future!

Anyways, here’s a couple of photos and a video from when Bay first started his piano career:

Photo info: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. E-PL1, 19mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO800
“Piano Lesson” Austin, 2011
“First Recital” Austin, 2011

I hope you had a good day!

またね~

My Movie Reviews

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/75 sec, ISO3200
“Imitation Game” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

On this blog, I sometimes will post a movie review including a rating from 1 to 10, and then add to my list of movies (and books watched for the year. But sometimes I go back to my list and revise my rating. Oftentimes it’s to lower a score a bit because since some time has passed I can now adjust it for memorability. Usually, the movies that have more of an emotional impact will keep their rating, but those that don’t have that impact will have their ratings dropped.

It’s related to the thought that “you remember how a person makes you feel, rather than what a person tells you”.

I’ve also been thinking about my movie and dorama reviews, and how simplistic they are. Of course, I’m not a professional reviewer, so I can only write from a certain level. But I enjoy writing about movies that I particularly enjoy, in the only way I know how to write, and since the movie reviews tend to be my more popular posts, I think people might relate to how I write. That said, it would be nice to learn a bit more about how to write more elegantly and compellingly. Perhaps someday I can take a class or two, but in the meantime, I’ll keep blogging as usual.

Anyway, today I watched The Imitation Game, which is today’s photo. I thought it was pretty good, and shed light on a dark time in history, both because of the war and the way homosexuals were treated in the mid 20th century.

またね~