Monday, July 30, 2012

Forest of Dreams


This is the cover for my original demo album "Forest of Dreams" released today, which you can listen to and download here:

The album includes some of my favorites from over the years, and are mostly the demos I made from the time I wrote each of them. Therefore, the quality kind of varies, but I think they still capture that pure, raw feel that can only be touched in the first few takes of a new song. 

I want to let the songs speak for themselves, so I won't ramble on too much here.
Also, info about the upcoming live show in mid-August will be coming in the next few days!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tanabata in Blue


 Today was a rainy Tanabata in Tokyo.


 My friend and I went to Tokyo Tower for the special Tanabata lights. We didn't know that there was also a special campaign that people who came wearing yukatas could get to the observatory for free...! Therefore, there were tons of people in line to go up the elevator for the view.




 Many girls and some guys wearing yukatas.


 I don't own a yukata and have never worn one, but I'd like to try one day! They look so beautiful and have such a summery feel.


 A couple embracing under the Tanabata lights while gazing at the view from inside Tokyo Tower.

There are many different versions of the traditional story associated with Tanabata, but one of the most famous involves Orihime, a weaving princess, and Hikoboshi, a cow herder. Thanks to Orihime's dad, who got pissed off at his daughter for slacking on her weaving after she fell head over heels in love with the dashing Mr. Hikoboshi, the two are now only allowed to meet one day a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. Furthermore, if it rains on that day, apparently the two can't meet and have to wait all the way until next year.

How messed up is that?! Well, it was rainy today, but around 9 or 10 pm it cleared up. So maybe the two got to meet up for about two hours? And furthermore, Orihime's dad sounds like an overly strict and possessive parent... isn't it okay for her to go pursue her own life after she's all grown up and married her guy? She can do other stuff than just sit around and weave all day, right? Well, I guess roles were more firmly set in those days, and obedience was more key. Hikoboshi should also learn to swim and cross the Amanogawa to be with his lady.

If it were me, I don't think I could deal with meeting my partner only one day out of the year. Even if we emailed, chatted online, and used all the technology available these days... I think that to truly know a person, there is something about being there in person with them. Being next to them, breathing the same air and sharing the same space, feeling the touch of their skin.
Orihime must have a really steadfast kind of love. But I bet she still really misses her Hikoboshi. 
Or maybe the two of them have already snuck off together since a long time ago, leaving just the story to giggle at as they watch down from the sky on the humans celebrating Tanabata.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Animals of the Bay Area!


 Animal post!! I came face to face with these cute critters during my trip to Cali last month, and I wanted to share them with you all.


 Gotta love jellies! At the Monterey Bay Aquarium.


Banana slug! I had never seen so many of them, on a moist and earthy hiking path through the forest.
Doesn't it look juicy?


My brother is holding this awesome California Newt. :)


 And finally, we spotted two beautiful swans with their babies walking along the sidewalk in San Francisco. They must have usually lived at the Palace of Fine Arts, but somehow wandered over near the highway... people were gathering around worriedly and calling animal control to get them back to safety.


Look at the fuzzy babies!!! Adorable! They were munching away on the grass in someone's front yard.



 I've always loved animals, ever since I was young. For pets, I've had fish, a mouse, insects, and birds.. and speaking of birds, I went through a time during middle school when I seriously wanted to become an ornithologist. My mom and I would go hiking and discovering new birds on the weekends, and I relished marking a small dot in my bird field guide next to the pictures of birds I had spotted. My goal was to one day have seen every single bird in North America.
Although that childhood dream slid backward and made way for other pursuits and activities in my life, birds still hold a special place in my heart. And so do most other animals (except maybe mosquitos... sorry guys). There's just something captivating and emotionally releasing about seeing animals in the wild. Since coming to Tokyo, I don't get to see them so often... but I'll still keep my eyes open for animals that live around here. In Tokyo, there are definitely many pigeons, sparrows and crows, cats that especially like to wander around shrines, and the occasional bat :) Oh and lots of koi fish (carp) in the parks!

What wild animals live around your area? What pets have you had, do you have, or want to have?

~from Lisa in rainy Tokyo!