as i am

Just another Monday

The Loop, Chicago

Empty nest syndrome… oh wait, I’m the one who left.

Oh gosh. Akito & Jinsuke <3

Getting up at 5am to make heart-healthy, low-sodium lunches for my dad quickly filled mornings with grumbling… but when he sends photos on Kakao Talk with too-cute-to-stomach stickers expressing gratitude, I can’t say it’s not worth it.

Hmm.. Nagoya & friends, I miss you.

I wish it were 3 weeks ago again.

Had an easy day so I felt like cooking. Simplified ratatouille & quinoa (:

Maybe if I ask nicely they’ll come play at my preschool’s Christmas concert

Date night with Papa Lee :)

Wrigley Field, Chicago

(Notice what the shirts spell out?)

"Paris Montparnarsse": voyeuristic glee

"Qatar": awe

“Pyongyang V”: goosebumps

Inspired by the composition of his photos and appreciation for detail

The National Museum of Tokyo, Japan

Lost in an invisible pantheon of idols that clamor for the heart’s worship
Dazaifu, Japan

Ten hills I’ve had the pleasure of hiking this last year:

Mt. Sobo (祖母山) 1756m
Mt. Aso (阿蘇山) 1592m
Mt. Kaimon (開聞岳) 924m
Mt. Hassan (八山岳) 659m
Mt. Kirishima (霧島山) 1700m
Mt. Miyanoura (宮之浦岳) 1936m
Mt. Kuju (九重山) 1791m
Mt. Boroishi (双石山) 509m
Mt. Yufu (由布岳) 1580m
Mt. Koya (高野山) 800m

A special eleventh awaits me next weekend:

Mt. Fuji (富士山) 3776m


The forests inspirational. The heights indescribable. If only I had the strength, not just the desire, to freeze time and stay in the serenity of this natural fantasy world. The storm clouds roll in and flood the island with torrential rain, exposing the frivolity of the worries I bear. A glorious week of isolated hiking and camping, circumnavigating the mountains of this surreal island.

Adjusting to the busy-ness and noise of even my country town is painful.

A first-year HS student of mine was one minute late to school today. Our school’s policy conducts the student to approach, apologize, and give reason for his tardiness to three teachers — his homeroom teacher, the teacher of the class for which he was late, and the grade supervisor. I overheard the following exchange between my student and his homeroom teacher:

Student: Sensei, I’m so sorry for disrespecting our school, the teacher, and my classmates.

HR Teacher: You did, didn’t you? Do you understand that it was also a disservice to yourself, to miss even a minute of class? Why were you late to school today?

Student (in complete seriousness): I was really hungry this morning… I had an extra serving of rice.

I’m going to really miss these kids.

Dear Yakushima,
I&#8217;m coming.