Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007


AWESOME I finally got a digital SLR Canon Rebel and have never had more fun. There are a few pics taken with it on my flickr account and I have been studying the hell out of it, there will be a ton more great pics to come. Particularily from Tokyo this winter!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I sprained my toe pretty badly surfing. It didnt hurt til hours later when we were standing around at the Murakami exhibition downtown at MOCA. I thought it was broken, I couldn't walk on it at all, but the swelling is going down and I am more mobile now. Damn these overstimulated monkey suits!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Momtrip '07

Mom realized it had been almost a year since we'd seen each other and I threatened to move back to Tokyo so she jumped on a plane and came down for a lovely relaxed weekend of sightseeing and replenishing her body with the sun's valuable vitamin D.

We took a ferry out to Catalina Island and toured the town in a rented golf cart. Pretty beautiful, not much there though. It was a good use of 7 hours.

The fires had started in Malibu so the sunsets were incredible. Love that air pollution!

Mom has a digital SLR camera that takes amazing photos like this one, and now SHE has created a monster. Dammit, I need a thousand bucks!!

You better come down more Mom! We had a great time!

SO... lately..

Dave has been coming down to hang out once in a while from SF, too bad it rained the weekend we were supposed to go surfing...

The cats have made friends/arch enemies with the squirrel who lives in the tree just outside the studio window and is well aware the cats cant do shit from behind glass.

Ah.. corrupting the youth of America with brain rotting videogames... Its what I do best! Here is my latest prey.. hooked for life! Just like that!

Our dear friends Sam and Aya and little Luke from Honolulu came out for a visit, we had a fantastic time, we used to hang out all the time in Tokyo (this was before Lukesters time) and hadn't seen them since we all moved out of Tokyo in 2003. Then we got to stay with them in May this year for a visit and a few months later they were out here! Some friendships just stay perfectly in place no matter how much time goes by between visits, and we can't wait for next time.


PICTURE DUMP TIME. I have a free hour and dammit I'm updating this blog enough to make up for the past few months.

We went to NYC to celebrate Sammy's bachelor party, and we had a blast. Dominick drove down from Montreal for the weekend cuz he's crazy like that and we had an awesome time.

Sams dog farts more and snores louder than me on a good day. Little piggy.

Our last night we had an amazing Lebanese dinner down the street from Sammy and Tammy's house. I love saying that.

View from the top of the Empire State Building, impressive.

Bright lights big city. Great photo ops everywhere.

My very first friend at Art Center Peter is now a product designer in Manhattan, he moved there the week we visited, it was good to hang out.

Dom, looking dazed and confused as usual. We're out in little Russia out in the far end of the Bronx, there are scenes in some of the GTA4 trailers from here, we recognized it in a heartbeat.

These ice creams covered in cherry coating went down hard and often.

Pay 5 bucks, shoot the freak with a paintball gun! Now thats entertainment.

I know this picture is begging to be painted. Great shapes and colors everywhere you look in NYC.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I wish I could share the stuff I am doing at work, I am having SO much fun designing sci-fi architecture and environments, big ass paintings, a couple a week. Hopefully I'll get clearance once the project ships. Here is a drawring for Joe.

Old friends

This is how you take an ice cream cone down like a MAN.

We had a great dinner with some old friends from Japan on Saturday night. They are all designers at Honda, and part of the crew that I did all my surfing and snowboarding with while I lived in Tokyo, they've since been transferred to work out here at Honda in Los Angeles. Kanchan was one of my first friends in Tokyo, we met just a month after I landed in Tokyo in 1999, I got to scare the bejesus out of his family up north in the countryside when I stayed with them for a weekend of snowboarding. I asked if I was the first white person they ever had contact with he said yes, jokingly except for his grandpa who probably saw them over the sights of his rifle back in the day!

Fujiwara san is leaving back to Japan next week, he spent 5 years here, living right down by the beach, one of the senior interior designers for Hondas. Such a nice guy, sorry to see him and his wife heading back so far away. I'll probably still get to see him at least once a year everytime I go back, its custom to go out for a night of drinking and revelry everytime I'm in Tokyo.

Jiro and Kyoko I met years ago as well but only really got to know them since we've all been in LA. Watching their son Mario grow up here in the states has been so much fun, he just turned 3 and doesnt speak Japanese! He understands it fine but speaks to everyone including his folks in English. SO CUTE. Jiro has been my main surfing teacher too, he is an incredible surfer and turned us on to our main weekend surf spot down in Manhattan Beach. This past week I caught some amazing waves! Some of the best yet! Such a trippy sport, there is so much you need to remember and organize mentally in a few split seconds when trying to catch a wave, its almost as if your brains perception of time alters so you can achieve everything you need to.. When I stand up in shallow water after riding a good wave, its as if I don't remember what just happened, I need to remind myself what I just did, absolutely unlike any other feeling I have ever had. Love it!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Halo 3

So, I finished Halo 3 tonight. Online, with 3 good friends. Two of them are here in LA but one is in Montreal. This weekend I will be playing with my best friend in Tokyo. Seamless voice chat, two player co-operative story based gameplay, teaming up to shoot lots and lots of aliens. The other night after a particularily brutal battle Hideto and I just chilled out and talked for like 45 minutes in a bunker with some wounded marines, the place was getting shelled way up above but the noise wasn't too loud down where we were. We had intended to quit playing and I was going to go to bed but the conversation just rolled on, the voice was clean and clear, and it was FREE. We just sat there and talked, it was so cool.

We live in the future. It was just like living back in Tokyo, playing Halo with my best friend, only now I am 3000 miles away and he is only virtually on my couch. And we both get full screen! And we're both at home so our wives aren't lonely even if we are a little cut off from them. Last week I played for hours with Darin, one of my oldest friends who still lives in Seattle. If it werent for Xbox I would get to hang out with him MAYBE a couple of hours a year. Now it can be whenever I want, and its more interesting than sitting around drinking beers, its like a huge crazy battle and we are making up strategies on the fly and generally having an awesome time. I love it. Although the story is a bit shit, the game itself is fully a worthy successor to what was until now, in my opinion, the best game of all time, HALO.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Gametime decision

I keep taking all these neat pictures for my blog and put off posting until they are all uploaded and organized and it just aint working out. Last night I made the decision to just update regularily and post pics when I can, even if they are old.

SO lately, switched teams at work, never been happier. I just paint and design all day, which is all I have ever wanted to do. It rained heavily last week and we waited a week, but when we did go down to the beach it was just like going to the dump, plastic bags and plastic cups and plastic straws EVERYWHERE. DId I ever mention how much I hate humanity? Everything in LA just goes straight into the ocean, the storm drains just roll right on in. Cuz you know, its the Ocean! Its Big! Its ok to dump all our shit in there directly, it just goes away!

I'm pretty sure humans are gonna take this planet DOWN, good possibility it will be in my lifetime. I could either be sane and depressed as hell about it, or think this is probably the most exciting time in history, I get to watch the end of the world!! LET IT BURN WOOOOOOOOO. People think I'm crazy when I say shit like this but what are you going to do, look reality in the eye and live in shame and fear of all the stupid decisions greedy oil companies and politicians have made? I can't do shit about it, I mean I try, I recycle like there IS no tomorrow, I avoid taking plastic bags at the store, but at some point you realize that change has to come from the top.

Someone BIG, like the President (not that asshole thats in office now, he can't tie his shoes without "assistance") But someone who realizes we are finite, and so our are resources. Make a law, say within 10 years all plastic packaging has to be biodegradeable. Its available now! There are all these farmers markets and festivals down here in Santa Monica where ALL the plastic plates cups and utensils are biodegradable. They just cost a few cents more each and people are cheap and greedy so the whole world sufffers. Speaking of the whole world, when we pass this law, we need to extend that to ALL things sold in the US. Meaning huge trading partners like CHINA and the rest of the world will be dragged kicking and screaming into a future we might actually be able to continue to exist in. Dammit I'm running, JAKE in 2008!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I have been so busy lately this blog is being sadly ignored. I have a huge photo dump from NYC waiting to be uploaded and processed, and just cant seem to get to it! I spent a week in NYC, shortly after getting back my old director/art director from Sega in Tokyo, Yuda-san was in town for the weekend, hours after dropping him off at the airport our good friend Travis Cook stayed with us for a night, an hour after dropping HIM off near the airport we went to an awesome UNDERWORLD concert at the Hollywood Bowl, got too drunk and was hung over and exhausted all day yesterday at the office. And Thursday our dear friends Sam and Aya from Hawaii will be with us for a week with their little boy Luke!

On the good news front, Sunday morning I went surfing with Travis and caught the best two waves of my life. Amazing. And both times, I literally surfed right over a small shark! I had only seen one ONCE in the year that I have been surfing and boogieboarding, and then two on the same day, both while on the best waves of my life. What are the odds?

This week is also my last week on the Speilberg project at work. Lots of policy changes and delays have had me looking for another project to join, and I am very happy to be joining the ultra-effective Command and Conquer team starting next Monday! The subject matter is much more my favorite genre and I'll be drawing and painting like a mad man for the next few months, which is really all I've ever wanted to do. Expect great things!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Recovery week

Its been a slow to fast recovery from the surgery. The first couple of days SUCKED, worse than I would have imagined, but then quickly got way better. I ended up going home early my first day back to work and worked from home the next, but have gotten progressively better since. My good buddy Dave from San Francisco came down fridy night and last night I had my first REAL big meal since the surgery, we had Japanese BBQ and lots of beer, and I feel fine so thats good.

Bunch of changes happening at work, nothing definite yet but may be swapping teams to something that I would really enjoy, working with good friends, so that would be really cool. I'll post news as it happens.

It rained today! And yesterday! For like 20 minutes altogether. I can't remember the last time we had rain. Seriously. I think it was probably like January or February, I honestly can't even recall when it was. Its been drier than usual this year, but I can't help chuckle to think how used to it I have gotten, everyone up north scarcely knows a week without rain at least once, the very idea I simply cannot recall the last time it rained here is funny. Its actually been a beautiful cool windy slightly rainy sunday here in Santa Monica, I have spent the majority of it on my ass on the couch reading through Harry Potters last adventure, it reminds me of a Seattle sunday!

Monday, August 20, 2007


SO I finally had my gallstone removal surgery last week, was hopped up on pain pills all weekend, finally feeling a bit better but over did it today by going to work and trying to sit in a chair all day. I think tomorrow I am going to try to work from home where I can take frequent lay down flat breaks.

Surgery sucks! Even though it went smoothly recovery is taking longer than I expected, and I feel like an old man, tired, cranky, and slow. Haven't updated the page at all, I will start posting some of the art and stuff I have been up to soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Happy Birthday Yoko!!

Last weekend Yoko and I drove 3 hours up north to the Sequoia National Forest for Yoko's birthday! Its all she wanted for her birthday so I couldn't refuse. Besides we have a brand new tent we hadn't even used yet. Around here all the hype is like Tahoe and especially Yosemite, (which IS stunning) so I hadn't heard much about Sequoia, but it turned out to be amazing. We went and saw General Sherman, a 2000 year old Giant Sequoia tree, the LARGEST LIVING THING IN THE WORLD and damn it was BIG. Pictures don't really do it any justice, seriously the branches at the top were as big as normal oak trees. I couldn't believe it. It was humbling.

This is just an average Giant Sequioa, not even as big as General Sherman.

With the blue blue sky reflecting into so many of the plants and rocks later in the afternoon the colors were absolutely stunning.

John Muir called this beautiful little meadow the "Jewel of the Sierra's"

Yoko shows a giant tree just how much she loves it.

These pictures honestly don't do it any justice. I had never seen a tree even close to so big before.

The water is a little swimming hole upstream from our camp site was sure, a bit cold. I came out screaming the first time I dived in. But the second time it started to feel reeeeeeeaaalllly refreshing and good, I swam with the trout and dived around for about 15 minutes. My skin was pretty cold and clammy for the next hour or so...

Yoko wasn't so keen on the refreshing frigid water. In and right back out!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Hey out there

I have no idea whatsoever if ANYONE is even looking at this thing, so I just changed the permissions so anyone can leave a comment on any post.

Please do!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Raj convinced me to get on the train to get to Comic-Con down in San Diego this year, which worked great and we had an awesome time. Got a ton of great books, mostly Japanese and French, and bowed out early cuz my bag was heavy and my wallet light. We were gonna get a ride home with my co-worker and buddy Randy, but he was still inside looking around so Raj and I went for some beers at a nice outdoor patio bar just up the street. We had been to the same place for lunch a few hours earlier, and strangely most of the staff was wearing BattleStar Galactica t-shirts. So I wasn't COMPLETELY blown away when Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol, strolled up into the bar.

I try not to nerd out too hard but I was already drunk and so I went up to him and told him I was a huge fan, and he was like the coolest guy. Totally into chatting, super friendly, we had neat conversation for a few minutes and then took a picture. Great. So I sat back down and then Lena Headey, the HOT WIFE of the lead Spartan in the movie 300 came and sat right next to us. No kidding. So Raj started chatting her up and we ended up partying with her and her husband all night, they bought us a bunch of beers and we had a really good time hanging out and getting to know them, they just moved to LA from the UK.

Towards the end of the night I got a tap on my shoulder and there is Aaron Douglas again, with Michael Trucco, who plays Samuel Anders on Battlestar Galactica! "Thought you'd want to say hi to him too", so I got a picture with him and was REALLY drunk by this time and I was just stoked. So Comic Con 2007 was all about beers at the pub down the street! I had just watched the first episode of Season 3 THE NIGHT BEFORE where both these guys blow up a huge Cylon ship on the occupied planet. They were both really cool and I was glad to meet them. Oh yeah, and the staff wearing the t-shirts was COMPLETELY unrelated. Wtf.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

GOODBYE, Mr. Gallstone

So Friday I'm finally having my gallstone laproscopically removed by a very good doctor, hope to largely recover over the weekend and be back to work either Monday or Tuesday. This weekend is Comic-Con in San Diego, which I had TOTALLY been planning to go to, but I finally arranged the surgery so no more waiting. I'm going to hit comic con on Thursday and hopefully I can rest over the weekend looking at some awesome new books!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I saw this movie today for the 5th time. I really realized just tonight that this is really absolutely my favorite movie ever made. And the director is an old friend of mine. Stunning. The most meticulously crafted film I think ever made. I can't even begin to imagine the man hours it must have cost to create this film. Watch it.

July 17th, 2007

6:30 am am wake up

7:00 am surfing long rolling waves under a foggy sky at Venice Beach, took the two support fins off my long board, making serious progress as a surfer. Amazing. Soul-fulfilling.

10:00 roll up to work. Latte and cheerios. I'm in charge of designing the front end and user interface for the second Spielberg project, my part to be finished in just weeks.

6:00 pm Leave work early to head to Hollywood for my class in Visual Storytelling with the master of Cinematography, Bruce Block, at Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

10:00 Get out of class, drive 30 min back to Santa Monica, to my favorite pub with most of my local game developer friends, for sweet sweet Dry Blackthorne Apple Cider and heated debate about the latest HBO programs and latest game industry gossip.

1:10 am Just got home, writing my damn blog about writing my blog.

Monday, July 16, 2007


In an AMAZING coincidence, I was chatting with a girl named Ayako at a dinner party last week of one of Yoko's best friends. She's an actress, and will be starring in a big upcoming movie which has yet to be announced. We were chatting about my job, as a designer and illustrator who used to work in Japan, "maybe you know my fiance, Terada Katsuya?"

OMG yeah I know him. I only have EVERY BOOK HE HAS EVER PUBLISHED and only one poster adorns my studio wall, and HE DREW IT. Turns out he was coming to town this week to visit and she invited Yoko and I out to dinner with the two of them! LUCKY.

It was rad, he was rad, she was rad, dinner was rad, and RADDEST OF ALL he signed some of my books and even drew me a portrait. (Yoko and I are debating the purchase of an iPhone) We had an amazing dinner on Main Street after a colorful walk down Venice Beach on Sunday evening. More than anything else this week this was definitely the highlight of my week. I hope to stay in touch with him!

Genki Rockets

Luckily for me, even though I no longer live in Japan, Japan often comes to see me. Usually in the form of Tetsuya Mizuguchi. I see him sometimes it seems only slightly less than when I worked for him. He is in LA ALL THE TIME. And we usually get at least one dinner and drinks session each time. This week was no different! The difference was I got to meet the rest of his amazing new pop band that opened the LIVE EARTH concert, and he got to meet Al Gore! So cool.

The Genki Rockets guys are awesome, and one of them used to work at Sega, in the same building as me! He says he used to see me eating lunch all the time downstairs. What, do I stick out or something??

E3 week chapter 1

So E3 this year basically sucked more than I could have imagined. No big announcements, only one good party, and tons of regulars didn't even come because there was nothing for them to do. LAME.

Fortunately I grabbed fate by the balls and made it rad by my own hand.

Ubisoft had a great party so I crashed it. It was the only "real" E3 party, with most of the regulars and tons of free drinks and good conversation and laughs. This was the only night I really got to see all my old buddies from EGM/1up, guys that have been TRADITION to party with for like 9 years. Jason, John, Dom, Yamachan, and everyone else that didn't make it you were missed!

Peeps in picture L to R Brian Inthihar, Mark McDonald, Sam Kennedy Shane Bettenhausen (all EGM guys) Cindy Lum from Ubisoft, and Ryan Payton from the Metal Gear team.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


I bought tickets today for Yoko and I to fly to New York City at the end of August. I've never been there and its my brother's bachelor party!! Sammy Seal is getting married in December, and besides, I owe him a visit. Pretty excited, so excited in fact I did a piece of city art to celebrate!

My camera is gonna be breaking a sweat filling me with inspiration come August baby

Sunday, July 1, 2007


So... this week..

I will be helping out on another project at work for two weeks, should be a nice distraction, just long enough. My gall bladder has to be taken out, so I am getting a lovely colonoscopy on friday to peep my butt, I went in to work yesterday to do some of my own work and with zero distractions, zero email and zero meetings I got like 2 days worth of work done. Crazy! Me, HP and his sister went up to county line today and surfed for 6 hours. Randy and some of his friends showed up and Randy and I caught some very big waves boogy boarding between surf sessions. I'm sooooooo tired right now. And while trying to pause my downloaded rental of "The Fountain" while talking to my mom just now I found out in order to fast forward downloaded content the download must be 100% complete. I had to shut my xbox down because it froze when I paused it and restarted it, and had to wait for the final 25% to download, which it just finished doing.

So I'm back to the Fountain! Great flick, check it out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Junkichi LIVES

As many of you know, I lost touch with my very first Japanese friend Junkichi over 4 or 5 years ago. The last I had heard he got mugged, beaten in the head while living in a bad neighborhood in Australia somewhere. Jun lived for years in the Ethiopian neighborhood in Seattle where he had at last count at least 2 or 3 people gunned down right in front of his front door. He's kinda weird that way, always likes living on the edge. Of, whatever. So you can imagine how worried I got when I didn't hear from him for like 4.5 years!

Thankfully through our mutual friend and ex-roomate Katsushi I finally tracked him down and have been in email correspondence, he is a reporter living in Manila, Phillipenes. Still doing the Jun thing, tripping around the world, peeking into random dark corners of the globe, always an outsider looking in. He tried moving back to Japan after 8 years or something in the US, but that didn't work for him. I had heard rumors from a friend of a friend that he was indeed in Manila, but even after exhaustive google searches nothing came up at all.

I've been friends with Jun since 1993, and we were roommates for over a year in Seattle. I've met his whole family, and have always really appreciated his friendship. My whole family is very fond of him too and I am very happy to be back in touch.

Viva la Jun! (this picture is from like 2001?)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Super Saturday

Yesterday we woke up early and drove up to Malibu with our friends HP and Kazu to go surfing at kazu's favorite spot further up North. It took us a while to get there and when we did, it was overcast, with a very uneven rocky bottom which terrifies me (still a total noob at surfing) and TONS of really good surfers competing for waves. None of which appeal to me. I tried catching a couple of waves but I was just too stressed to have a good time. So we wrapped up early and started heading back south, when just past there we glimpsed a couple of surfers at a sandy beach down a steep path. We parked and checked it out, and found an AWESOME point break, with a sandy beach and big slow moving beautiful powerful waves coming in. With only 5-10 surfers in the water at any given point, there was plenty of room for all of us. I caught some of my best waves yet, the sun came out, the water was SUPER clean and refreshing, and Yoko caught some HUGE WAVES on her boogie board too. One of the best days yet!

That night we went hiking in the Santa Monica mountains with Grampa, everyone had a great time. When we got home we had a bunch of beers and watched the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers extended edition. Grampa ended up sleeping over and today we hooked up my surround sound system finally and tonight we will watch Return of the King in surround sound, after a BBQ chicken dinner down by the pool!

Weekends in Santa Monica kick ass.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Robin Williams is awesome

I just bumped into Robin Williams in line at the surf shop. He was buying a wetsuit to use in San Francisco, I made a wisecrack about all the sharks in the water up there and he started going off, talking about how sharks have figured out humans taste just like chicken, and having sex with elephant seals. Everyone within earshot was laughing their asses off, he really is hilarious in person! I really shoulda taken a pic with my cell phone but wanted to respect him, even though he pretty much is one of my two favorite actors, right next to Jack Nicholson.

The weird thing was I wasted like half an hour at Costco, only to have my ATM card not work and it was all a huge waste of time. On the way to the surf shop I was so pissed because I wasted my time and I was asking myself why the universe does shit like that to me. Only to time my purchase at the surf shop EXACTLY WITH ROBIN WILLIAMS. TEH AWESOME.


After a long day at work I snuck downstairs to where EA was holding EA3, basically a mini E3 with only EA games. I got to see Skate, The Simpsons, Army of Two, Team Fortress 2, Mercenaries 2, Wii Sims and a bunch of others. Stuff looked pretty good, people were really buzzing about Medal of Honor:Airborne, which is good because those guys have been working their asses off and the game is looking excellent. Hopefully that will reflect on our bonuses next year...

Monday, June 11, 2007


My surfing buddy H.P. broke his damn finger playing Soccer saturday morning and is going to be unable to paddle effectively for like a month.


Anyone wanna go surfing?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Yoko and I watched Paprika, the new Japanese anime from one of my favorite directors, Satoshi Kon.

It was one of the trippiest movies I have seen in a long time, and very good. The story is very intricate and detailed and its subtitled so I got lost a couple of times but was mostly able to keep up.

I still prefer his film "Tokyo Godfathers" which may indeed be my favorite movie, his stories are always a clash of light and dark, joyous yet haunting, and a completely fascinating social commentary on Japanese society.

Its only playing in the states for a couple of weeks so I highly suggest searching this one out and seeing it while you can, although I am sure it will be on DVD as well.

Check it out

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Arizona Adventures chapter 2

On our way to Phoenix last weekend we stopped off at the Salton Sea.

Stunning. Unbelieveable. Disgusting. Amazing. Felt like World War 3 had finished, and this is was the world would be like next. Abandoned, scorched, dead, and dying. The sea was literally FULL of dead and dying fish, the shores were lined with bones. There was no sand on the beach, just bones. One of the craziest things I have ever seen. While exploring an abandoned hotel on the beach, I felt a funny tickling between my toes, only to look down at my flip flops to see a big rusty nail sticking RIGHT THROUGH THEM resting comfortably just between my two toes. Dang!

The shore stunk like mad, but it was crazy to see and very inspiring. And on the way back we finally found a "Date Shake" stand, where they serve milkshakes with fresh ground up dates which are very popular and grown there, near the Palm Springs area. We have been looking for them ever since we went to Palm Springs with Megan and Travis early this year.

Our our second outing in Arizona was the stunning Arcosanti architectural/social experiment just north of Phoenix.
Seriously, very cool, if flawed experiment. Definitely a step in the right direction.

Our tour of Arizona ended in Sedona, one of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen in my life. Red rock spires unlike anything else, deep blue skies and thick green trees everywhere. Stunning. So is Grampas bad fashion sense once he gets out of his 3 piece suits. My god, my eyes still hurt!