life is not easy but it’s interesting.

it’s been a long time since i’ve written.  since i last wrote i’ve returned to the u.s. for the foreseeable future, started working again, got a second job teaching art part time, was accepted as an artist in residence at st. pete clay company.  in two weeks i’ll move to a small apartment in st. pete down the street from the studio.  i guess that’s the good stuff, in a nut shell.  it was hard to leave tokyo.  there was a moment where i knew i had to do it but it never felt easy.  it felt like getting torn out.  like a norplant stuck in scar tissue.  it sucked.  the hardest part was leaving masa, my partner of three years.  he understood, i guess.  it sounds cliche, but it would have been easier if he had been angry.  i had gotten so far away from knowing what it was that i wanted and he was the best thing in my life.  but unfortunately for me, having an awesome, kind, good hearted, respectful partner wasn’t enough for me. 

i got to the point in january or february where i thought my head was going to explode.  when i started crying at a saizarya in roppongi, my friend kiyomi wasn’t fazed.  she just told me i needed to stop thinking and just listen to my heart.  and that whatever i decided my friends and partner would support me.  that was exactly what i needed to hear.  i had gone over the facts a million times.  the people, relationships, money.  but at the end of the day, i couldn’t DEDUCE the right answer.  the answer was what it was and the facts were beside the point.   thanks for that kiyomi.

i went into a kind of hibrination when i got back.  i was totally broke, so i didn’t call anyone, didn’t visit the east coast, just concentrated all my efforts on getting back to work and making money.  i also forced myself to keep my nose to the grindstone in creating the best application and support materials i could for st. pete clay and following up on ads i saw online for arty jobs, and checked craigslist everyday. 

in tokyo, i don’t think i ever stopped trying.  but somehow, despite the energy i put in, none of it seemed to come back to me.  my game seemed to be off.  there were good times and good things but i couldn’t seem to get the big picture together. 

suddenly, the energy i’d been putting out in florida all summer came back to me to the extreme.  life is messy and imperfect but right now i have the opportunity to work on many things i am interested in and a chance to follow my passion.  and i am able to make some money doing it. 


it’s complicated.  but in my heart, it feels good.

work from miharu

thanks to kusakabe-san for having me out to his studio in miharu.  what a wonderful time and place.

Tempura-a-rama and mountain veggies.

there are a plethora of random interesting looking veggies in the super market called sansai or mountain vegetables. i have been a little intimidated to try cooking some of them, but the other day when masa and i went grocery store we found, on sale, kogomi (ostrich fern) and fukinoto (giant butterbur). we also picked up some renkon (lotus root), carrots, eggplant and mushrooms and decided to do tempura.


actually, that’s all kind of a lie, i saw these veggies on sale and wanted to get them cuz they looked cool, masa was like, what are those?  and i was like, i have no idea, but i’ll look them up on the internet.  in the end, the fukinoto tasted terrible and we decided to do tempura because we had the other veggies in the fridge and we do have a tempura nabe (pot) after all.  we thought the bitter fukinoto would taste good fried but we were WRONG.


Ostrich fern: there’s a whole lotta fern up in there, raw, stretched out and tempura-ed.   Unlike the fukinoto, the kogomi or ostrich fern was great!  very densely green tasting and just overall cool.

Pot for cooking tempura and finished product.  We made tempura bananas with nutella for dessert.  yum.

Awesome Show.

Right now at RBR we have a show up by 25 year old autistic artist Hirotaka Moriya.  Hirotaka is part of a special needs occupational center in Chiba, Japan called Marui Hiroba, which translates to something like Round Plaza.  Hirotaka loves food and menus and doing Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy) and Sumi (Japanese brush drawing) art.  He does hundreds of drawings per day.

Here are some pics of the show.


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Next month I’m going to visit Marui Hiroba as well as a clay studio run by Midori Takahashi, ceramic artist and organizer or Hirotaka’s and other art shows by the occupational center’s artists.

Last Saturday the Moriya Family came to RBR to spend some time at the exhibition.  I got to eat lunch with them.  The Moriyas are awesome, kind, crafty people who were totally meant to be parents.

My boyfriend’s crafty, yo.

masa, my wonderful partner is a huge geek for baseball.  and this summer when he visited the u.s. with me he wouldn’t stop singing the mcdonald’s commercial, “i’m lovin’ it!”.  i can remember driving down the street in okinawa a couple of years ago and him pointing to the navi screen and saying read this.  in my beginner japanese i proceed to sound out ma-ku-do-na-ru-do about 3 times before i realize that i’m saying mcdonald’s.  he thought it was funny.  anyway, his favorite team is the chiba lotte marines.  he, crafty boy that he is, married his love of all things geek and made this shirt. dcf_0256.jpg
he used really soft iron on that stretches with the t-shirt.