Kale for Color Sense

31.07.2012 § Leave a comment

When my children were learning violin during their youth, they got into it pretty competitively. I was a bit worried when they went to sporting events that they would hurt their hands and not be able to practice violin for a long time or that they would hurt themselves in such a way that they would lose their fingers’ sensitivity and would not be able to play as well.

Likewise, I realized that I rely on my eyes to make my living. To keep my eyes healthy and maintain good color sense is an important thing. « Read the rest of this entry »

California Camellias and Jade Trees

02.03.2012 § 2 Comments

Just got back from California. My brother-in-law’s camellias and jade trees are blooming furiously. These rare indoor plants were mundane in California. So many of them were blooming, the old brown-turned blooms mixed with the new ones, looking sloven as a whole under blinding sunlight but still beautiful up close in the shade.

jade tree image
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A Letter to Jascha Heifetz

10.02.2012 § 2 Comments

I like Noh theatre and Japanese music. This morning while driving to work, instead of having my CD play, the WFMT radio station got turned on by mistake, and violin music flew out in such a passionate and expressive way that it stopped me from switching back to the music I had intended to play. I was awed by the impact made by the contrast: while my mind was ready for the stoic theatre of the east, the powerful music and the violinist’s prowess seized me. I stayed in the parking lot to finish the concerto just to find out who was playing. It was Jascha Heifetz playing Tchaifovsky’s violin concerto in D major with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the 1957 RCA recording.

Ah, yes, Heifetz, one of the greatest violinists of all time. I wrote to him once, his identity unbeknown to me. « Read the rest of this entry »

Same Moon

14.12.2011 § Leave a comment

This past summer when I took a Japanese composition class, my Japanese teacher was a Japanese American. She has been supporting a group of psychologists in Tokyo who run a social program to help counsel the Tsunami victims. At the end of the semester, she brought little knick-knacks to the class to fundraise for the program. The money is used to buy “American” candies or toys for the children when they come together.

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (bottom right)

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (right side)

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New World Symphony

17.10.2011 § Leave a comment

I remember when my older boy Leo was in high school; he would have his string quartet practice at our house. Leo invested in a bunch of Antonín Dvořák’s string quartet sheet music, and the quartet played gigs throughout their senior year. The sheet music was expensive, and they had just earned enough to cover the investment when they split up to go to college.

It just so happened that I had to remodel my house during my sons’ adolescent years, and I built a light maple floored room with a 14-foot pitched ceiling. The room reflected sound so well when it was completed that the boys used to call it the Echo Room. However, the room provided a good venue for their music practices and I got to listen to live music. They were no professionals, but they were good enough for my amateur ears. I enjoyed those pieces and was pleased to discover and learn more about Dvořák. Before, I had only known of his symphony no. 9, the New World Symphony. « Read the rest of this entry »

Garage Door and Kung Fu

29.03.2011 § 1 Comment

The house was bright this morning with the sunlight streaming in through the windows. While I rushed to my car and pressed the opener for the two car garage door, I thought, what a large, heavy thing that is, can I lift it myself if the electricity is out?  What would I do without this little thing day in and day out?

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