02.27.2014 | 11:34 PM •
01.19.2014 | 09:46 PM •
A nice sunset in Coney Island on a beautiful winter day.
Click the panorama below for a bigger image.
11.01.2013 | 02:19 AM •
Max and Ozali starting their night of trick or treating.
09.10.2013 | 02:40 AM •
08.13.2013 | 05:46 PM •
05.26.2013 | 10:18 PM •
Max with his practice mates Kenzie and Scott and Coach Itai.
05.12.2013 | 06:16 PM •
4.5-year-old superhero all dressed up and nowhere to go.
05.06.2013 | 06:15 PM •
Max’s newest cousin, Hugo, born November 18, 2012.
02.25.2013 | 11:35 PM •
After fighting bad guys for awhile, it was time for a potty break…
02.16.2013 | 07:30 AM •
It’s the year of the snake, not a very auspicious one apparently though good for science and technology. At any rate, we had a lot of fun popping confetti canons, following the lions and marching bands hitting up businesses for donations, and eating dim sum at Jing Fong.
02.11.2013 | 07:28 AM •
Max had a lot of fun saucering down the gentle hills of Prospect Park.
10.13.2012 | 08:46 PM •
06.27.2012 | 11:05 PM •
06.25.2012 | 10:12 PM •
02.19.2012 | 10:44 AM •
Hard to believe, but my baby is not a baby anymore. Three and a half on Wednesday. As fun loving as ever, but definitely doesn’t want his picture taken—unless I bribe him...
11.01.2011 | 02:49 AM •
Max was a shark and his friend Ozali was Little Red Riding Hood. Below are some scenes from trick or treating around Park Slope.
08.31.2011 | 11:06 PM •
Q: How do you get a 3-year-old boy in the shower?
A: Give him a basketball.
05.24.2011 | 02:00 PM •
05.01.2011 | 12:57 AM •
The Botanical Garden held its annual Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating the blooming of its many cherries and all things Japanese from taiko drumming, to dance, to bentos, to Butoh, and manga and animé with a fair amount of cosplay (see next posting). It was packed and all in attendance did a great job pretending they were Japanese by relentlessly photographing the blossoms and acquiring endless gigabytes of digital memories.
04.19.2011 | 11:56 PM •
My mother’s matzah balls ready for Passover seder. Great soup and delicious matzah balls--not too dense, not too light--and flavored with handmade shmaltz!
04.11.2011 | 09:47 PM •
Max offers a hug to Estlin, one of his many girlfriends.
04.09.2011 | 10:25 PM •
Max had his first experience of rock jumping at Bear Mountain just north of the city.
04.05.2011 | 02:11 PM •
Max and his cousin Elena. Together they’re 100% Japanese (a quarter on the left and three-quarters on the right).
03.29.2011 | 06:01 PM •
Just returned from a week in sunny Sanibel Island, Florida. Got a chance to see our money’s worth of wildlife, including a few alligators, some flamingos, sand sharks, pileated woodpeckers, pelicans, and dolphins.
03.09.2011 | 10:49 PM •
Near the end of a French movie, L’Homme de Sa Vie, there’s a scene where a man visits his dying father in the hospital in Paris. He has not seen his father in over twenty years because his father threw him out of the house when he discovered his teenage son was gay. When the son enters the hospital room after embracing his mother, all we see is his face as he circles the bed and all we hear is the sound of labored breaths, his father’s. About forty-five seconds pass as you watch the son breathing in sync with his father, his expressions transforming rapidly from horror to compassion to grief, the breaths’ slow progressions mimicking the reckoning of lost time. Then you see the room from above, the bird’s eye view: the son lying in the fetal position next to his motionless father. I began to cry as I watched this on my laptop, and when I looked up, I noticed that it was one-fifteen in the morning on March 6th, which would be 3:15pm in Tokyo, which was about the time my father died five years ago. I’d selected this movie fairly arbitrarily, mostly based on the reviews and the praise of its cinematography (also because it was free to stream with my Amazon Prime membership). There was very little mentioned about its gay subject matter and nothing explicit about the end, so the ending was a total surprise and, it turns out, pure coincidence.
Five years ago, my father had been in a coma for over nine months. I’d flown to Tokyo to see him in the nursing home several times and on this trip, my brother and I had agreed that his “vegetative state” was pointless and undignified. Papa, we were certain, would not have wanted to “go on” for so long. This was around the time of the Schiavo case, when a family’s private anguish over euthanasia became a political debate, the intersection of God, power of attorney, and the economics of the healthcare system. When does life stop being a life? Like a fetus, a person in a vegetative state can’t communicate anything. There may be brainwaves, but unlikely any type of cognition. My father, indeed, by this time had been reduced to a breathing corpse. Early on, occasionally I experienced slight hints of squeezebacks when I gripped his hand, but now there were none, and though his eyes were open, they stared motionless into space. Still, I played music for him, Beethoven and Bach usually. The morning of March 6th, I’d played a Woody Allen CD, a monologue which I thought the real Akio Takeuchi would appreciate, a piece called Down South about the KKK. Then I put on Samuel Barber’s Adagio, which to me is a work about longing and loss. It was my last visit; later that day I’d board a flight back to New York, which likely meant that the next time I’d see him would be at his funeral. This trip had been for about ten days, with each day including a two-hour visit where I mostly played music for him and tried to tell him what was happening in my life, an exercise which seemed about as pointless as talking to a fish. On the last day, however, I forced myself to say a lot more, how I felt about him, that though I had a lot of conflicted feelings, I still loved him and was very sad that I would never hear his stories anymore. As it neared time to leave, I gripped his cold, limp hand and said goodbye several times, as if rehearsing for some grand finale. I pressed my head on the pillow next to him and kissed his cheek and told him I loved him and when I looked up from the bed, I noticed a video camera pointed at our faces, a video camera which was likely providing a live feed to the nurses’ station. Then I said my final goodbye and squeezed his hand very firmly and when I was loosening my grip on his hand, I noticed his eyes roll away and a tear slip out of one of them. Shocked at the possibility that he’d heard and understood me, I lingered awkwardly for a few minutes. Then I left.
It was noonish, the sky which had been mostly sunny, was now mostly overcast. In ninety minutes I was on a bus to Narita, a light rain falling on the windows as Tokyo receded in the grey gloom. When I presented myself at the airline counter to get my boarding pass, the agent handed me a note: Call your brother. A few minutes later, at a green public phone, I learned that my father had died while I was on the bus.
There are two sets of photographs in this posting. The ones above this text I took while walking to the nursing home to visit my father; the ones below were taken after I’d said goodbye and was returning to the train station. I feel the first set expresses a kind of hope, while the second set seems resigned to death. Finally, in black and white, as befits Buddhist funeral custom, are two shots from the wake which began the moment I saw my father again, at the funeral home a few hours later.
While the grief has long ended, the sense of loss continues. Papa, my father, was certainly the first and most important man of my life.
02.08.2011 | 02:07 PM •
Nearing his 2.5 year birthday, Max is looking more like a boy than a baby.
01.18.2011 | 10:18 PM •
Since Max is a lefty, perhaps Hendrix would be more appropriate. But did Jimi ever sing Wheels on the Bus? (Shot with a rented Sony A900 and the Zeiss 85 f1.4--a very nice combo.)
11.26.2010 | 12:46 AM •
Raindrops, Max’s daycare center, had a pajama day on Wednesday, and one of Max’s classmates showed up with the same puppy PJ’s.
10.31.2010 | 11:41 PM •
The Miles Takeuchi Family stalking scary Park Slope’s Fifth Ave. Max ended up being a frog. Julie is an extra from Cats—I think. And I’m your typical Park Slope Organic Cereal Killer--it’s hard to see my Friday the 13th stripes. Photo by Jane Udelson.
Below is the original costume we made for Max, a 2 Train subway car, now serving as a stuffed panda ottoman. A few hours were spent with a glue gun, cutter knives, stencils and paint. It was a great costume, just not for a 2-year old, who just didn’t want to get inside. Boo hoo hoo!
09.26.2010 | 10:26 PM •
Though he turned 2 on August 22nd, I didn’t get a chance to properly photograph until a month later. Less a baby than a boy now, but still damn adorable!
07.31.2010 | 11:40 PM •
Not bad for a self-timer image! 30 years since 5 high school kids took off on bikes from Jackson Hole, WY to Jasper, Alberta, 1400 miles. Here are Jonathan Durning, Alan Durning, Andy Neuman, Mark Skinner, and me with (most of our) families.
07.18.2010 | 10:21 PM •
03.01.2010 | 09:58 AM •
He was a very, very special cat, but his cancer had gotten so bad he’d stopped eating and was too weak even to seek affection. Clearly he was in pain. With the expert help of our vet Helen from Animal Kind, Mochi was euthanized around 4pm. We will really miss his unique, loving sentience.
02.15.2010 | 05:40 PM •
Sadly, we just found out that our beloved Mochi has cancer. He’d been losing weight for weeks and then suddenly stopped eating. We were close to saying goodbye, but he’s now on prednisone to reduce pain and inflammation and most importantly he’s eating again--shrimp, clams, chicken liver, whatever he wants. Hopefully he’ll be around for a few more months. He’s such a fantastic, loving cat and so great for Max.
01.30.2010 | 10:52 PM •
What happens when a 17-month old eats eggs and blueberry for breakfast.
01.01.2010 | 11:53 PM •
We tried a restraining order, but he refused.
10.03.2009 | 10:40 PM •
After a couple of weeks of baby steps into our arms, Max is proudly walking everywhere, usually with his arms out in true take-me-to-your-leader zombie fashion
08.23.2009 | 11:00 PM •
08.22.2009 | 10:58 PM •
05.25.2009 | 10:26 PM •
04.26.2009 | 08:18 PM •
04.09.2009 | 12:23 AM •
03.11.2009 | 11:05 PM •
01.15.2009 | 11:27 PM •
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01.04.2009 | 07:31 PM •
01.02.2009 | 08:30 PM •
11.20.2008 | 11:28 PM •
11.19.2008 | 11:33 PM •
11.04.2008 | 11:14 PM •
11.04.2008 | 05:18 PM •
10.08.2008 | 07:29 AM •
09.15.2008 | 07:56 PM •
09.11.2008 | 11:09 PM •
09.10.2008 | 11:07 PM •
09.08.2008 | 02:08 PM •
09.08.2008 | 02:05 PM •
09.07.2008 | 11:05 PM •
09.07.2008 | 10:04 PM •
09.05.2008 | 09:33 PM •
09.02.2008 | 11:04 PM •
08.27.2008 | 12:28 PM •
08.26.2008 | 11:38 PM •
08.26.2008 | 11:10 PM •
08.23.2008 | 02:55 PM •
08.17.2008 | 11:22 PM •
05.31.2008 | 11:54 PM •
Yours truly with Julie amid the mob of tourists searching for an authentic Moulin Rouge moment.
03.09.2008 | 11:09 PM •