Here is a humble water color I made of a fantasy role playing character years ago. I am not particularly talented, but my sister said how much she liked this.

My nephew’s grandmother, Ruth Iodice, was friends with my dad in the seventies and eighties before his death. She still had some of Dad’s business cards.

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in 1976 when I was fifteen. I was so entranced with costuming, theatre, and especially Shakespeare. My stepmother’s co-worker also volunteered and she arranged for me to meet her. I made my first costume, not all that historically accurate, especially compared to the sophistication seen nowadays at renfaires, but this was the early days. Even the SCA was still only about 10 years old. Although I was pretty young, it seemed to me there were several factions and what ever one I belong too was not the SCA. I made friends with several Berkeley students who were kind enough to give me rides to and from the site. We also did the faire in southern California in the following Spring. Here are my few and faded pictures of me, my father and sister, and many people who’s names I’ve long forgotten from the Novato Faire in the summer of 1976.

Here are some link about the Faire:

I heard a report on NPR about the new Google-Adobe font that will be available for the major Asian languages. Ken Lunde, who wrote “CJKV Information Processing: Chinese, Japanese, Korean & Vietnamese Computing” which has been one of my most turned-to books, My ears pricked up while listening to Marketplace on Monday when Kai Ryssdal has a brief segment that announced a new font that Google and Adobe collaboration on that will make Asian text more consistent. See “New Google-Adobe font makes Asian scripts consistent, and that’s a big deal.” I really like fonts,Asian languages andI contracted at Aldus before Adobe bought them in the late 1980’s shipping products  like PageMaker 3.02 for Japanese and PageMaker 4.0. I focused on high-end printers at the time.

All that reminded me of a book I bought years and years ago, “日本字デザイン” published in 1958. I was fascinated by application of Western typography design to traditional kanji. Here are a few select pages of this book.


Although I am super busy, I enjoy working with my hands in my garden or arts and crafts projects. I made this mini album feature costumes I made for my son Isaac from preschool through eighth grade. I went through the Apparel Design and Construction program at Seattle Central Community College in the 1980s, interned at The Intiman Theater, and worked in local theaters here and there before sensible taking a job as a software tester. I did not put my skills to waste: Isaac has the best costumes of any child!

Front & back of the mini album.

Isaac as a teddy bear just before his 2nd birthday and as Abu a year later.

A cute Pierrot and his infamous “princess” costume with a tiara and wand. I cleverly designed it to come apart into an elf outfit, but his preschool teacher reassured me at least one other boy was a princess that year.

A Power Ranger followed by a big, bad Beetleborg. Boys.

Then into the save ninja space, followed by a super elaborate Charizard costume. He won many prizes in 1999.

A dragon and then a knight. He was really into Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is where I learned to spray paint gray knit sweaters with silver paint for armor.

Then another dragon costume, followed by Captain Jack Sparrow. I had a lot of fun with the pirate outfit, although the tricorn was a modified store-bought item.

The last costume in middle school was Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings. Ngila Dickson had been a favorite designer of mine since her Xena, Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. A book on the costumes had details on all the layers of the outfit, so I faithfully followed the original design. Isaac even fit my hand-made black leather lace-up boots that year.

I remember the first day of MTV on 1 August 1980. I had moved back home and I wasn’t even 20 years old yet. My parents had cable TV and it was just chance that I was watching on the first day of MTV broadcasting.

Yes. I remember the Buggles “Video killed the radio star.” I have the LP to this day. It was a very exciting time musically,  I can hear Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and not be catapulted back to this ear.

As I watched my favorite kdrama “W” this past year, I was reminded of of the Aha video “Take on Me.” in 1984.

I cleaned out a lot of boxes of old stuff this past summer up in the barn. I finally decided I could parted with my old cassette mixes.  But I couldn’t part with the carefully created labels. These were mixes I actually listened to on a daily basis in the 1980′. I was a full time study in the Apparel and Costume Design program at Seattle Central Community College at the time.

This is my 1986 mix:

  1. Addicted to Love. Robert Palmer
  2. Everybody have fund tonight. Wang Chung
  3. One of the living . Tina Turner
  4. Burn. Doctor and the Medics
  5. Girls and Boys, Prince
  6. Two of Hearts. Stacy Q.
  7. Change in the Weather. John Fogherty
  8. Nobody’s Fool. Cinderella
  9. Don’t Forget Me. (when I’m Gone). Glass Tiger
  10. Mountains. Prince
  11. You Give Love a Bad Name. Bon Jovi

I’ve collected books since I was a child. I have way too many books, but even as I cull them, they seem to increase in number. I love bookbinding as a hobby and I’ve made a few small books in my time, mostly hinge, post, or Japanese stab bindings. I adored the Japanese drama “ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖” (Biblia Antiquarian Bookshop) which is a delightful mystery and reverence toward books. Ayame Goriki as the proprietor of an used books store with in depth knowledge of books and literature and Akira as her employee who struggles to read. Each episode revolves around one book or series of books and a real world mystery.

I was thrilled when futurelearn offered a course “Japanese Culture through Rare Books” from Keio University. it is in Japanese with subtitles. It is easy to follow with my 2 years of college Japanese with the subtitles. I created a flashcard set on Cram for the terms in the course to include language learning as well.

In November I visited the Portland Art Museum. I hadn’t had an opportunity after several visits to Portland to view the collection and a wonderful Andy Warhol exhibit convinced my less museum fanatic friends to agree. I enjoyed the museum immensely.

There was one small exhibit that was just wonderful exhibit up my alley “Cranes, Dragons, and Teddy Bears: Japanese Children’s Kimono from the Collection of Marita and David Paly.” Here are few images I took of these darling garments.

I’ve listed my favorite Korean and Japanese dramas. Now here’s my take on Chinese language dramas, focusing on my favorite genres of historical and fantasy (or better yet, historical fantasy) dramas.

First is the 2015 Taiwan drama The Crossing Hero (仙剑云之凡)  starring Jiro Wang(汪東城)as a modern day detective who gets mixed up with two imperial military guards from the Ming Dynasty played by Bruce Xie (謝孟偉) and Hu Yang (胡洋).

Next I watched the Chinese take on the Korean drama “My Love from Another Star” which was one of my favorites (not to mention very, very popular in China. My Amazing Boyfriend (我的奇妙男友) is a similar, but not identical story starring Korean fashion model Kim Tae Hwan (김태환]) in his first acting role as an immortal, rather than alien. I watched the story and thought it was an interesting adaptation, but I found the heroine played by Wu Qia (吴倩) to be extremely annoying and petulant.

Now I am in the middle of Scarlet Heart (步步驚心). I planned to watch the upcoming Korean version Scarlet Heart Ryeo (달의 연인 – 보보경심 ) but started to watch the Chinese (2011) version and was hooked. The story of a modern young woman cast back to the Qing dynasty during the Kangxi Emperor’s reign. My son calls this “who’s that prince” since there are so many of them vying to become the crown prince and next emperor.

I started watching a current Chinese drama Yun Zhi Fan (仙剑云之凡) based on the Taiwanese video game The Legend of Sword and Fairy (仙劍奇俠傳) in part because the costumes looked great and Elvis Han (韩东君) was adorable in his purple wig. This drama hasn’t finished, but it is enjoyable.