Rick got me tickets to see Hayao Miyazaki-san in person. He will be at the Wheeler Auditorium in Berkeley come July. My heart is beating so fast. Ever since I saw Princess Mononoke in 1998 and Kiyoshi Kurosawa-san's Bright Future in 2004, I have been inspired by these two directors/artists to make films and animations. I had the honor of speaking to Kurosawa-san in person at the Asian American Film Festival this past March. He was such a humble, charismatic, insightful, and funny person. It's such a mind boggling experience to be able to meet the mentors who have shaped my artistic aesthetics. I told him that his film had inspired me to pursue film-making. He gave me a big broad knowing grin. "Don't blame me later on," he said and gleamed.

I look forward to July. When you think about it, so many artists have been influenced by Hayao Miyazaki-san. There is even the Totoro project last September in honor of the Sayama Forest, otherwise known as the inspiration and setting for Totoro. So amazing that a person/artist can make such a great impact in society.

Now if I can only find a way and meet Oga Kazuo-san (background artist for Studio Ghibli) and Shinji Kimura-san (background artist for Tekkonkinkreet, Studio 4c) . . .