Saturday, November 19, 2011

Korean cuisine

Kankoku ryouri

Sundubu jjigae is a hot, spicy Korean soup with tofu, seafood, and vegetables. It's served in a hot iron bowl, and you drop a fresh egg in it while it's still boiling.

Japan doesn't do red chili as a condiment to the extent of Korea (we usually do wasabi, and even when we do red chili, it's much sparser than in Korea). Kind of interesting, if you consider the geographic proximity and cultural similarities. That, and the combination of seafood and tofu (both frequently used in Japanese food) makes for an exotic, seriously yummy combination.

Friday, November 18, 2011


E? (you can use this one like the Canuks use "eh?")

So now, when you google "Masi Oka Asahi Gakuen," this blog comes up first.

Disclaimer: All this Asahi Gakuen and six degrees of separation between Pumpkin Mommy and Masi Oka is all speculation, albeit educated speculation.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'd love to meet him (her) once!

Zehi ichido oai shite mitai!

I have very few claims to fame, but I do have some claims to fame by association. One is that my junior high school best friend's dad went to college with Scott Glenn.

My recently discovered claim to fame by association is that I (probably) went to the same school as Masi Oka. Now, this is a very loose association. First, said school is a Japanese language school that Japanese speaking kids attend every Saturday, not the five days a week gig most people think of when someone talks about school. Second, said school has something like three or four campuses, and Masi Oka has never clarified which campus he attended (in fact, as far as I know, he has never actually named the Japanese school he attended for nine years, but it's a pretty safe bet it was one of the campuses of Asahi Gakuen, the only Saturday Japanese school in the Los Angeles area where he grew up). Third, I was only there for three months in 1977 (I moved from the LA suburbs to the Chicago suburbs), while Masi Oka probably didn't start school there until around 1980.

Still, Masi Oka is a pretty cool person to be associated with, even if only distantly, and he doesn't know me from...from...


Monday, November 7, 2011

It was the best tasting I've ever had.

Imamade de ichiban oishikatta.

A couple weeks ago, the Pumpkin Princess brought home a notice from the Pumpkin Day Care announcing that her class was going on a picnic to one of the big parks in town. It was going to be a big deal for them, walking to the bus stop and taking the regular commercial bus line to the park. But the part that made me cringe was the part that said the kids needed to bring their own box lunch (bento).

The Pumpkin Princess decided she wanted a Disney Princess lunch. How on earth anyone is supposed to make a Disney Princess lunch is anyone's guess. I managed to talk her out of that one, but she announced she wanted a Melodicci bento. Melodicci is a character in the anime "Tamagocci." Yes, that Tamagocci. Yes, it's a TV show. No, don't ask.

Much web surfing, a trip to the grocery store, and an hour or so of cursing later, I came up with this.

The face is plain sliced cheese, the kind you peel off the wrapper to eat. The hat, eyes (including eyelashes) and feet are nori (dried seaweed). I stacked an additional slice of cheese under the brim of the hat to give it some dimension. The "dress" is a slice of ham I cut with kitchen scissors. I used a straw to cut the tiny circle shapes for the white sparkles in the eyes and her necklace. I had cookie cutters to cut out the shapes of notes from ham and pumpkin.

When the Pumpkin Princess first saw this this morning, her initial response was not that of joy or happy surprise or utter and total amazement at my skill. No, the first thing she said was "where are her earrings?

I think I have created a glass half full person.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It was like Disneyland

Disneyland mitai datta

My beautiful talented co-worker returned from work stuff in an English city that wasn't London. I asked her how she'd liked it there, and she said, "there wasn't very much touristy stuff going on like London, but the city was pretty to see, especially the older parts. It was kind of like being in Disneyland."

(Pictures taken in Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, and the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel)