Ramen and a Movie

"Jinya Ramen" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2500
“Jinya Ramen” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going? Today was a day of leisure, with a little bit of DIY at home. Everyone slept in late today except for me, since I tend to wake up pretty early even on the weekends. But I enjoy having my morning coffee and watching YouTube or drawing before the rest of the family wakes up.

For some reason, Koa asked to have “real” ramen this weekend so we decided to check out a ramen restaurant that we haven’t been to before. It was just myself and my two sons together today since Mariko was out at a lunch party, and then off to a girls’ movie night. So it was boys’ day and that began at Jinya Ramen Bar. I’ve heard mixed reviews of this restaurant, but Mariko said the one ramen that she had was good so I was excited to try. She did mention that the other ramen that her friends ordered were not good, and I’ve heard similar reviews from native Japanese.

We each got different types of ramen, plus a side of gyoza and fried chicken. I’d have to say the ramen was just ok. Not bad, but definitely not one to recommend when there are better ramen places in Austin. But, I’m glad we checked it out so that we know where it stands compared to other places!

After lunch, we returned home and Koa and I took apart Mariko’s Kitchenaid Epicurean stand mixer to clean out the old grease and relubricate it. That was a messy job, but it went without a hitch. DIY mission accomplished!

To finish off the day, we went to see Solo: A Star Wars Story. I thought it was great! So many cool tie-ins to the original trilogy and I loved the action. The story was pretty good too, and we finally get to see the spice mines of Kessel and the famed Kessel Run, which is definitely not what I was expecting. After a disappointing (to me at least) Last Jedi, I was hoping to like Solo, and I was not disappointed! I can’t wait for the next Solo movie.

"At the Theater" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/17 sec, ISO6400
“At the Theater” Cedar Park, 2018

I hope you had a nice Saturday!


Hang Out

"Music Mural" Austin, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/25 sec, ISO500
“Music Mural” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I went with my sons to the new Korean supermarket, H-Mart, to buy some dinner at Donkey Mo’s fried chicken restaurant. The market has a pretty nice food court area with a small stage for live music. And it looks like they have a line-up of local musicians just about daily. It’s pretty cool! And also, there’s a little beer bar that sells bottles for only 99 cents.

I think Koa liked the place and he said it might be cool to hang out there with his friends and listen to some music (and probably eat wings!). It’s too bad that it’s a little far to bike to, but I’ll be happy to drop them off since it’s not a long drive.

The chicken at Donkey Mo’s is pretty good, but I think they use a little too much batter. It’s really filling but you feel a little icky because of all the grease. Still, it’s tasty and not too expensive. We bought four orders of chicken and four sides and the total came out to be about $42.

"Music" Austin, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/25 sec, ISO400
“Music” Austin, 2018
"Food Court" Austin, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/20 sec, ISO400
“Food Court” Austin, 2018

I hope you had a nice day!


New Kinokuniya and Eguchi Hisashi Step

"Notebooks" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“Notebooks” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’m really excited because the Japanese bookseller Kinokuniya finally opened their store here in Austin! It’s soft opening week so the shelves are not fully stocked, but there was plenty to look at and buy. I was hoping they would have a good selection of stationery there, and I was not disappointed. In fact, the selection of notebooks and paper exceeded my expectations by a huge margin! 😁

"Traveler's Notebooks" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/110 sec, ISO200
“Traveler’s Notebooks” Austin, 2018

Right at the entrance to the store is a display with Traveler’s Notebooks, refill paper, and accessories. I was like, whoa, did not expect this! In fact, it was my first time to see Traveler’s Co. goods in a physical store. Next, it was time to check out the pens, of which they also have a nice selection. They are fully stocked with Pilot Kakunos, of all colors and nib sizes! Of course, they have a great selection of notebooks too, and loose writing papers and envelopes. It’s so awesome! Austin really needed a good stationery store… it’s been long overdue.

"Eguchi Hisashi Step" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Eguchi Hisashi Step” Austin, 2018

While the store doesn’t have their full stock of magazines on the shelves yet, they do have a big variety of art and illustration books. I saw a book by one of my favorite artists, Ilya Kuvshinov, but I opted for Step by Eguchi Hisashi. It’s so awesome! I was not familiar with his work, but just flipping through the book in the store, I knew I had to have it. He is a master of the kind of style I want to create. I mean, just check out these fantastic illustrations for Honda:

"Supercub!" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/55 sec, ISO3200
“Supercub!” Austin, 2018

I found an excellent video about Eguchi Hisashi on YouTube… check it out if you have a few minutes. It’s really inspiring to me, and interesting because Eguchi talks about some Tokyo neighborhoods that I am familiar with. It also fascinates me that he draws females in the style NOT of women he finds attractive, but in the style of how he sees himself if he were born female. I’m still trying to understand what that means, but I feel like maybe I also want to draw like that.

I hope you had a great day!


Movie Nite

"Sixth Street" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/75 sec, ISO6400
“Sixth Street” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going? Tonight Bay and I saw a movie downtown at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz theater on Sixth Street. There is a special screening of The Road Warrior screening right now, and since Bay’s favorite movie is Mad Max: Fury Road, he wanted to see the movie that brought Mad Max to the mainstream.

I remember seeing The Road Warrior in the theaters back in the 80’s and I was worried that the movie wouldn’t hold up these days, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was still great. And Bay thought it was really good too. The stunts were actually pretty fantastic!

Now Bay has seen Mad Max, The Road Warrior, and Mad Max: Fury Road. He just needs to watch Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and his life will be complete. 😆

"Alamo Ritz" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.5, 1/60 sec, ISO6400
“Alamo Ritz” Austin, 2018

I hope you had a nice day!


Japan Nite @ SXSW 2018

"竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi" Austin, 2018
“竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

So at the last minute, I decided to go to SXSW to see Japan Nite 2018. It’s been many years since I’ve been to Japan Nite, so I was excited! There are two acts/bands I wanted to see: 竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi and Chihiro Yamazaki+Route 14 Band. However, I only had time to see 竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi because I didn’t want to get home too late. But I am planning on catching Chihiro Yamazaki+Route 15 Band on Sunday at Sa-tén!

I arrived at around 8 pm and watched the second half of hip-hop duo Rude-α’s set. It was pretty fun even though it’s not my favorite type of music. Still, a live show is a live show and they have so much positive energy, so you gotta love it!

"Rude-α" Austin, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO1250
“Rude-α” Austin, 2018
"竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi" Austin, 2018
Photo info: Motorola Moto G (4), 3.64mm, f/2, 1/15 sec, ISO1250
“竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi” Austin, 2018

Next up was singer/guitarist 竹内アンナ Anna Takeuchi. She was great. Lots of musical talent and at only 19-years-old she has a bright future! She played a few covers including songs from Lenny Kravitz and Guns N’ Roses, but the best songs, IMHO, was her originals “Alright” and “Tokyo Night”. Very cool! 🎸

After her set, I decided to head back home because Mariko is flying to Seattle super-early in the morning and I wanted to see her off… So, it’s 12:30 am and I should sleep. 😴

"SXSW" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/340 sec, ISO12800
“SXSW” Austin, 2018

I hope you had a nice Friday!


Light Rail

"MetroRail" Austin, 2018
Photo info: SONY NEX-6, 16mm, f/7.1, 1/60 sec, ISO100
“MetroRail” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Did you know that Austin has a light rail system? The Capital MetroRail network is not very extensive, but it’s a nice, clean train that runs between the north part of town (near our house) and downtown. Mariko is using it this week to commute to the convention center where she is helping out at SXSW. If you do live close to one of the stations, you can drive there and park for free, then take the train downtown, and return in the evening. Parking downtown is crazy during the festival, so lots of people end up taking the train.

I took today’s photo at the Lakeline Station, while I waited for Mariko to arrive. It’s a small, but clean little station. 😀


Look Up

"Skyscrapers" Austin, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO200
“Skyscrapers” Austin, 2018

こんばんは。Today I was downtown attending a conference and when I was walking to the parking garage, I took the photo above. One neat thing about the city is that there is cool stuff if you look up!

I hope you had a good day.