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Well hello there!

Welcome to a slightly freshened up version of For a while there I was still calling it "Asian Dotcom Millionaire" which used to be the name of my blog back in 2000 when I lived in San Francisco. It's 18 years later. Time to move on, yes?

I've decided to start sharing what I make. I've been hoarding a lot of what I've done over the years. And as a way to make up for it, I'm going to start dribbling out shit I care about here. Time to take advantage of my little plot of virtual land.

Stay tuned. Music, artwork, words, and pictures to come.

There may even be sandwiches.

Song Titles

For about four years now, I have been steadily maintaining a list of things people say. They could be really brilliant things or really nonsensical things. But when I hear something that catches my attention, I jot it down.

I have been using this list as my repository for working song titles. I make music in my spare time, and when inspiration strikes and I quickly record something to capture the idea, I use the latest addition to the list as the working song title.

This has worked out exceptionally well, especially since most of my music is instrumental.

Sometimes the music is actually evocative of the title, like this one:

But most of the time, they are musical non sequiturs. Lovely random juxtapositions. Like this one:

The Song Title List is my collection of life snippets. They remind me of people, places and moments. I have a terrible memory, yet a lot of these still stir scenes in my mind. Each one kicks up a little dust to remind me of someone somewhere.

Last month, I was in Singapore with my IDEO friends and I overheard a particularly interesting turn of phrase. I fired up my iPhone Notepad (where I have kept the same list going this whole time) and POOF.

It was gone.

The whole list. Gone.


I actually had to sit down. How could be so STUPID? Why didn’t I back it up? Wait didn’t I back it up? It’s got to be up somewhere in the cloud, right? RIGHT?

Ran back to my hotel room to check if my Mac Notepad had preserved a backup. Turns out it was more like Dropbox: if it’s not on my phone, it’s not on my Mac. It’s in sync. So no Song Title list. 

I panicked for about five minutes, drank a glass of wine then Googled for apps which could recover deleted backups from Notepad. There was one I straight up bought for $80 and was lucky enough to recover the last backup of the Song Title list. I’d lost about a month of work, but it was worth it. From the looks of it, I broke Notepad with the thousands-long list I'd created. The file was corrupted.

So yes, I’ve started backing it up in multiple places. Evernote is my new favorite thing.

And I’m also going start posting them up here, for you to enjoy.

I've added a section called Song Titles that will be my running list of musical non-sequiturs, starting with the ones I capture in Tokyo. Will also be linking ones that I actually record.

Check it out, and stay tuned for more!

Konnichiwa. Ni hao. Kumusta. Hello.

If you’ve known me for a long time, you’ll recognize the title of this blog. If you don’t, it’s taken from my first foray into blogging back in 2000, when I lived in San Francisco and documented my time working at a startup and finding out what I was made of (meat, it turns out).

After fifteen years (!!!) I thought I’d give it another go.

Since then, I moved to Seattle where I worked for Microsoft and shot a bunch of music for KEXP. I got married. I moved to China. I saddled up with IDEO. I traveled more than I ever did in my entire life, living and working in Japan, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. I got divorced. My mom died. I got married again. I moved to Tokyo.

A lot has happened. There’s a lot to say. But somewhere along that journey I got scared of writing. I used to be super prolific. I wrote almost everyday on adcm, and made so many friends and learned so much. I felt brave, open and honest.

And then the era of social media dawned on us. Suddenly, I was limited to 140 characters. Suddenly, I was “oversharing.” Suddenly, tl;dr.

So I stopped.

The other day my wife asked me to write something. Anything. For 3 pages. It’s something she does every morning, to clear her head, to jog inspiration, to put it down on paper. “It doesn’t have to make sense,” she said. “Just write something.”

I was sitting at a basement whisky bar in Shinjuku at that moment. We were texting on LINE. It made me realize that while I don’t write so much anymore, I definitely type more than ever. WE ALL DO. We are texting machines now. On our phones, on our computers, in emails, in documents. We type a shitload. But it doesn’t mean we’re writing.

I wrote my three pages into my little notebook at the bar with a Yamazaki on hand and a small bowl of edamame. And it felt amazing. I haven’t done it since.

This morning, I felt bad about that.

So, here we are. This will be my morning pages. It will be more than 140 characters. I will be oversharing. It will be too long, and you may not want to read it. And it may not always make sense.

But I just want to write something.

Additionally: Big ups to Mike Peng at IDEO Tokyo who inspired me to write more. He put up his first published essay on inspiring places to visit in Tokyo last week. It’s a good reminder to be brave and put yourself out there.