About making stuff.

Inspiration is low. Work ethic is at an all time low. Holding the pen in my hand feels foreign, and I shake these days. I have hardly produced anything for the past couple of months. I have to remember that I have to make stuff, because I get sad if I don’t. I do not have an end goal, I just know I have to make things for me. Showing them off online is an added bonus, sure, but that is not why I have to make stuff.

I have a hard time explaining this feeling of control to people who do not experience the same discontent when not making stuff. I feel in control and on top of my life when I make stuff. It doesn’t have to be pretty, and it doesn’t have to be useful. if it is, it is always a bonus as well, though.

I hate writing about art / illustration / photo / creativity, because I feel it makes me seem self-righteous and full of myself. I don’t know how I can write about creativity and creating stuff without sounding pompous.

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Catch up, January – March;

It happened again. I fell off the wagon, and now I have 300+ pictures and posts dated back all the way to January which I should really get off my phone and camera, and onto the screen.

A beer tasting in Roppongi at Brew Dog, and take-away sashimi for a dinner at home in solitude watching SVU. I have watched all the episodes of SVU at least three times, but I re-watch them every year just because of detective Olivia Benson.

Sashimi at a restaurant 50 meters from my house I finally tried. It was decent. // A random sake-bar in Kagurazaka. I want to explore Kagurazaka more. They say it is like Tokyo’s “Little Paris” with all of its little bistros. And I do believe it, but all the shops are closed after lunch and before dinner, and I can never seem to get to Kagurazaka just in the right time to catch either lunch or dinner. I will make another attempt next month.

It snowed for a total of one day this year in Tokyo. It was back in January. I compensated with Dominos and a ton of snacks.

I finally did a manicure myself I was very happy with.

This is the ceiling of a the Pelican bar in Omoide Yokocho (Memory lane / Piss Alley), in Shinjuku. If you ever go to Shinjuku, you should check this tiny alley out. It is on the north side of the station, and you can not see much of it from the street. If you enter, you will be transported into an entire other world completely. The streets in the little maze are very narrow, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of tiny tiny bars and restaurants. Whenever I have brought visiting tourists to this area they have absolutely loved it, because it is very different from anything else.

Semi-homemade salad with tobiko. // I visited Calico Cat Cafe again in Shinjuku.

Thank you Engrish. // A dessert from an Alice in Wonderland-themed resturant in Shinjuku. Themed restaurants have lost most of my interest, but my friends wanted to go, so I tagged along. I do not recommend this particular place. The interior was very Alice in Wonderland, but the food was nothing special, and the service was absolutely terrible, we had to wait over 1 hour for a plate of pasta. Do go if you are obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. Don’t go if you are obsessed with good food and decent service.

A walk in Yotsuya in February. Right now all the trees in the right picture are probably covered in sakura.

Some random salmon sushi from a random place in Shin-Nakano. // OMG. This is ankimo (monkfish liver) and shirako (fish sperm sack), and it was probably some of the best I have ever had. I found this tiny out-of-the-wall izakaya in Shin-Nakano by chance, but if you are in the area, I highly recommend Retto. Absolutely everything I had there was incredibly delicious.

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make something every day 92

These lungs. (I should stop smoking.)

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大相撲 // Sumo

I had the opportunity to go to sumo again a couple of weeks ago. The sumo tournaments happen a couple of times a year in Tokyo, and last for 2 weeks each time. I first went maybe five years ago mostly because I wanted to experience something “Japanese”, little did I know that I ended up really enjoying it. There are tons of fights, they are fast paced and it is incredibly entertaining. This time around I was very lucky, a friend of mine managed to get excellent seats, and we were sitting all the way down in the front. That was a new experience for me, seeing all the facial expressions and muscle movement of the wrestlers. I don’t know how it works other places in Japan, but in Tokyo you can show up early the same morning as you want to go, and they always sell some cheap “nosebleed seat” tickets if you don’t want to spend a fortune for a ticket.

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Gyukaku・NYC

Some pictures from the yakiniku I ate while I was in NYC. Def. worth a visit, their selection was quite decent. However – compared to the cheap prices for decent yakiniku in Japan this was a somewhat pricier option, but still worth the money.

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Black Dahlia (gaming)

I recently got hooked watching gameplay videos on youtube with all the old games I used to play in the 1990s. Black Dahlia was one of my favorites. Black Dahlia is a 1998 FMV adventure game by Take-Two Interactive, a fictional story inspired by the real life Cleveland Torso Murderer and the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short “Black Dahlia” in Los Angeles. This gameplay video series comes in 36 parts – all between 12 – 15 min long, so here is enough entertainment for quite a few hours. In reality it took a lot longer than this to play through the game, because some of the puzzles and queues were near impossible to figure out. This particular game can also be watched as a murder mystery movie, there are long movie sequences throughout the game. Dennis Hopper has a role in the game as well!

I really miss this genre of adventure point-and-click games with puzzles and riddles to solve. I wonder what ever happened to that category? I can not think of many newer games without much violence and without time restraints. If anyone has any recommendations, please do let me know.

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from the chapter “Economy” in Walden

“I too had woven a kind of basket of a delicate texture, but I had not made it worth anyone’s while to buy them. Yet not the less, in my case, did I think it worth my while to weave them, and instead of studying how to make it worth men’s while to buy my baskets, I studied rather how to avoid the necessity of selling them.”

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最後の沖縄・座間味

I miss this place so much I could not look at these pictures for the past months. I finally decided to go though all the pictures from the past six months, and I found the rest of the pictures I took when I went to Okinawa and Zamami.

I have been so busy this summer I can hardly remember anything but working, but looking at the pictures, I realized I was more successful than I first thought when it came to enjoying the time I did have. Between working 50+ hours pr week split into an internship and a part time job, I did find time to travel, eat lots of delicious food and drink my fair share of awamori, nihonshu and beer. In retrospect, I did… enough. I need to learn to stop and enjoy the moment. I was never an expert in that area.

Above; The road down to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever visited, Furuzamami beach on Zamami island, 1.5 hours with ferry from Naha, the capital of Okinawa, a 4 hour flight south-west from Tokyo. The next time I go there I will get an underwater case for my camera, because the water with all the coral and tropical fish looked absolutely unreal. Spending the day on the beach with local beer was just what I needed.

The village on Zamami island consists of around 500 people, and they have beautiful and funny little gardens outside their houses. I loved the Totoro-themed driveway.

You are allowed to bring dead coral back with you, and I found this beautiful piece washed up on the beach.

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make something every day 58

Been too busy to really get into drawing over the past 6 months. Here are some small sketches that was made in-between work work work. The top left one is finally done, I hope I can scan it and post the entire picture soon. I haven’t been working on anything that took me several days of work for many years. It feels gratifying to not rush, but I am impatient when it comes to making things with my hands and I like seeing results quickly.

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Tokyo, June, 2014

(Tokyo, June, 2014) I am obsessing. Make meaning when there doesn’t seem to be any. I am puttering away, feeling like a little choo-choo train without any breaks. I want to go home.

What a strange year. I am immensely grateful, but I am lost for words. I read a mundane blog post about five things you wish you wouldn’t have done when you are ten years older. One of the points said to not micromanage. It did not say how not to do it. I am wondering if I am hard wired to get my shit perfected down to the very tiny, nitty-gritty details. You do too much, please too many and fail miserably and disappoint your surroundings and yourself.

I spend too much time on the Marunouchi-line. I don’t have any pictures of it because it is so crammed I can not even lift my iPhone to snap a picture. Also, my iPhone is the Japanese model, meaning it is impossible to shut off the shutter sound when I take pictures.

Blame the chikan, those pervs, taking so many up skirt pictures of Japanese school girls that an entire nation of people are condemned to mandatory shutter sounds.

A lot of the things I used to find odd about this county I no longer think about. I have stopped taking pictures of the fancy toilet seats with a ton of options to clean both your front and your behind while taking a dump, excuse my language. I no longer raise my head to gaze at the crazy Harajuku-girls with their multi-colored hair and over the top dresses. And I didn’t even raise an eyebrow when a man, nicely dressed in a fairly fancy suit sat across from me on the Fukutoshin-line, shirt covered in blood and holding his hand over the left part of scalp to stop the extensive bleeding. Neither did anyone else. This city makes you passive, it is hard to explain, but “none of my business” have taken on a life of its own here.

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