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.

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.

This is a good month for locating Dad’s paintings. Here is a lovely fresco called “The Publican.”

The Publican

This was a gift to Leo and Ruth Iodice in the late 1970’s.

I found another painting when going through stuff in the barn.


A girl with unicorns dancing around. I am not sure if it is me or my sister Gretchen. Probably me, as I had a Raggedy Ann doll.

A very small selection of patterns I photographed in Beijing in May 2012 in the Forbidden City and Summer Palace.




Here is another image of a fresco by my father, Allyn Hogoboom. (See my earlier post.), courtesy of Kaki L.

The Last Supper, Allyn Gwyn Hogoboom

Kaki contacted me via my blog and later sent a copy of the fresco “The Last Supper.” She believes her former husband had purchased it for her from the flea market that used to be in Sausalito or Mill Valley.


Chymera Costume NWCVII by Norah Hogoboom If you notice my stream of Pinterest pins on the right, you will see many of them are of historical costume. I loved dress-up as most children, and as I learned to sew at a very young age from my mother, I made lovely clothes for my dolls. I also created paper dolls of many eras.I started attending NorWesCon in the early 1980’s. I was thrilled by the costume contest and the talented people who participated. This was the pre-dawn of the CosPlay era.One year, I was inspired to create a costume. I headed to my mother’s house and over a weekend at a cost of less than $5 dollars, I created what I called “Chymera” from old curtains, scraps, feathers and dye that my mother. When I need wire for the wings, I found some bailing wire in the cow pasture. Perfect!
 Chymera Costume NWCVII by Norah Hogoboom Award  Chymera Costume NWCVII by Norah Hogoboom
 My friend Don has been posting the past costume contests on YouTube, and the one of my effort can be found mislabeled as “Tamera.” I had such terrible stage-fright, I barely remember any of it, but I actually won “Best Fantasy Costume” in the end.

My mother, Virginia, painted this lovely water color for my birthday.


She was a very talented woman.