Archive for the ‘drinking’ Category

I just heard the news that my old friend Christopher Sawyer was named Sonoma County’s top sommelier in The Bohemian’s 2014 “Best Of” awards.  Being named top sommelier in one of the most renowned wine-making regions in the world is no small change.  Sonoma County has changed dramatically since Sawyer and I grew up there, […]


08May13

A set of shots from a night out with friends at one of my favorite local izakaya, 楽.  楽 (raku) means ‘enjoyment’ in Japanese, and is part of two of my favorite kanji compounds: 音楽 (ongaku) and 楽ちん (rakuchin).  音楽 means ‘music,’ but since it’s made up of the kanji for ‘sound’ and ‘enjoyment’ I […]


oh, the holidays, originally uploaded by troutfactory.


Distance traveled: 671 miles (1,080 kilometers) Route: From Bradford, north on Highway 219, then east on Interstate 86 until Binghamton, then switch to I-88 and transfer to 90, eastbound, at Schenectady.    Over on Interstate 90 until it crosses I-495, then north on I-495 until I-95, then north on I-95 until Portland, Maine. At Portland, take […]


It’s beautiful weather here in the North Bay, the first time for six years that I’ve been back in Sonoma County during the spring.  It’s taken a bit of time to readjust to the paces and rhythms here, country suburbia being just about as opposite as possible from the deep urban space of Osaka.  Here […]


2011 is the Year of the Rabbit and I ushered in the New Year by watching Kohaku Uta Gassen (紅白歌合戦) down at the Hartland with a few friends, downing quite a bit of champagne and gold-flecked nihonshu at midnight, and then belting out a very raspy karaoke rendition of “I Am the Walrus” before heading […]


Elizabethan comedy traditionally ends with a marriage that resolves the tensions that have, up to the point of the marriage, been driving the plot along.  My Ayabe trilogy, on the other hand, really has no plot at all so it makes perfect sense to put the happy ending first and then fill in the details […]