23 December: Quick food in Japan

Tue, Dec. 23rd, 2014 12:45 am
starlady: Remy from the movie Ratatouille sniffing herbs for a stew (cooking)
[personal profile] starlady
[personal profile] umadoshi asked about easy go-to foods in Japan

I could cheat and say "walking down the street to the on campus cafeteria," which is usually what I do for weekday lunches. It's almost always less than ¥500, it's decent for the price, and it gets me variety. On the other hand I could say that large parts of Japanese cuisine actually evolved out of snack food (viz. sushi), and that entire restaurant categories (i.e. ramen joints) are dedicated to getting food into people and people out the door as soon as possible--though you'll hardly ever be pressured to hurry up with your meal.

But in reality this often comes down to the grocery store and to whatever random little food shop is in your neighborhood. Three years ago in Kyoto I only had one burner, which meant that most days I biked down to the grocery store at about 6:30pm and picked up a package of store-made gyoza with the 20% off "time service discount," biked back up to my place, refried them, and called that a meal. For variety's sake every so often I'd go to the takoyaki stand down the street instead. (Side note: my kingdom for a neighborhood takoyaki stand here in Tokyo, omg.) The downside to this strategy was that I eventually gave myself a vitamin deficiency, and indeed, for people who were basically all vegetarians until the 1860s, there are not a lot of vegetables (particularly greens) in the Japanese diet--especially up here in Tokyo, where people's habits are much more visibly influenced by the "modern" of, say, Germany in the 1880s than in Kyoto, where traditionalism and hippies meet and eat vegan cuisine together. (Fun fact: there is a statue of Townsend Harris in Shimoda, erected by the nation's grateful beef farmers. I like to think that the statue is Townsend Harris as played by John Wayne.) The other night at a Belgian bar in Akasaka I ordered a Caesar salad and got half of an endive with dressing, croutons, and bacon and was so happy, but I digress.

So, yeah. Basically the quickest you can get is a bento at the grocery store or conbini, or instant noodles at a conbini--99% of them have hot water and microwaves available for you to make the instant noodles in-store. I actually never eat instant noodles and don't eat bento very often, though I probably should given my positive paranoia about getting enough vegetables. (Vegetables! I miss them so much.) I keep a package of frozen gyoza in my freezer and eat them as desperation calls for. If I'm out and about and not planning on heading back to my house, though, there are many, many places where you can get food very quickly in Japan, particularly in Tokyo. I'm thinking of a curry joint I really like in Dogenzaka that is quick and surprisingly tasty. Mmm, curry. And in Tokyo a surprising number of places here have the ticket machines where you pay for your food before you sit down and then just leave when you finish eating. Tokyo, man.

CD Logging

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 10:41 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
This month, I tried a few different Christmas albums. These were the only ones I could get my hands on from the library before Christmas actually arrived. There about a dozen others that I'll have to look for next year. Or, I suppose, in January if I don't feel peculiar about listening to Christmas music off season.

Baez, Joan. Noel )

Belafonte, Harry. To Wish You a Merry Christmas )

Christmas the Mountain Way )

Denver, John. Christmas Celebration Concert )

Denver, John. Rocky Mountain Christmas )

Now That's What I Call Christmas! 3 )

Ronstadt, Linda. A Merry Little Christmas )

Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection )

(no subject)

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:50 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I was expecting to have two extra kids today, but the younger of the two had asthma issues overnight, and their mother decided to stay home with them today. I don't know at this point if they'll be coming tomorrow. I hope so because Cordelia will have an easier time of it if she has somebody to play with.

The Girl Scout meeting went okay. I mostly stood around being useless, but I was there as the required second adult. We talked about cookie sales first. We have until 11 January to sell. Cordelia doesn't care much about cookie sales. She enjoys the things the troop does with the money, but she's not at all motivated to sell. After that, the troop leader taught the girls to finger knit. She had a more complicated craft in mind, but just getting the girls started with finger knitting was as far as it went.

Scott managed to get his mother's Christmas present. He also went to the library and did the grocery shopping. He didn't get around to wrapping my present, so I'm going to have to retreat to bedroom for a while so that he can wrap it. He also has to figure out a way to find a present for Cordelia to give me. He dropped the ball on that one, and it's too late to order something off of my wishlist (which is mostly obscure CDs).

I should have left the butter out overnight to soften. I can't get started with my baking until it's soft enough to mix easily. I could, I suppose, start with the recipe that calls for margarine, but I want to do the butter recipe first because it needs a little bit of powdered sugar. The margarine recipe needs a lot. I only bought enough for the margarine recipe, but I figure I can spare a tablespoon or so from that. I didn't want to buy extra powdered sugar because it goes bad so easily (Well, not precisely bad-- The cornstarch in it picks up odors and flavors from the air and gets kind of nasty).

I want to try to get Cordelia to help me with the food preparations. She's old enough to learn how this works, and baking is enough fun to possibly hold her attention. I'm just not sure she's awake right now. I told her she could go back to bed when I found out the other kids weren't coming, and she retreated to her room without eating breakfast. Her light was still on the last I checked, though.

22 December: Japanese sports

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 09:32 pm
starlady: (orihime)
[personal profile] starlady
Goodness, I'm behind on everything. I blame Festivids.

[personal profile] seekingferret asked about Japanese sports.

I don't actually know too much about Japanese sports! The first time I lived here I went to see American football (Kyoto University vs. Ritsumeikan University), sumo, and a Hanshin Tigers baseball game. The football game remains the only one I've seen in its entirety; the interesting thing was the composition of the cheerleading squad: they had a mixed-gender band, a group of dudes in a made-up hakama/kimono outfit combo who were in the stands leading the crowd in cheers (we were given cheer sticks and a handout with songs to sing. Our side was terrible so all we sang were the defense songs), and girls in stereotypical cheerleader outfits down on the field.

The baseball game was much more interesting--in Japan in the seventh inning stretch everyone releases the balloons they bought on the way in, and since the stadium is so small (about 30K people?) it's like being in a sea of balloons floating upwards. Of course it's bad for the environment, but it was cool. And the style of the game is very different here--it's like baseball was in the States before the 1990s, when everyone started doping. The game is much faster-paced and more dynamic because the "home run or nothing" mentality also isn't a thing here. I like that, because the strategy aspects of baseball are something that has always appealed to me.

Sumo was cool, too. I need to see about getting tickets up here in Tokyo, though in recent years the revelations about bullying and match-fixing (not very surprising, to be clear) have somewhat tarnished the sport's reputation. When I went we made a day of it and watched the entire first half of the matches from ringside seats, because it's totally okay to sit in other people's seats as long as they're not there, not to mention eat food and drink beer. And then when Asashoryu lost everyone threw their cushions (zabuton), which was pretty hilarious.

It's my highly subjective impression that figure skating and horseracing are enjoying higher profiles recently. The figure skating thing I'm pretty sure of; Yuzuru Hanyu's latest sports feats regularly make the news, and I see his face around Tokyo fairly frequently. Other than that, I've seen the Seijin-no-Hi archery at Sanjusangen-do and mounted archery and sacred kickball (okemari) at Kamigamo Shrine. Sumo evolved out of shrine festivals, after all, and a number of shrine events still have a sports component. Those are all pretty cool because whatever people are doing, they're doing it in elaborate costumes.

Argh!

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 04:02 am
fayanora: Steph aghast (Steph aghast)
[personal profile] fayanora
Okay, so I had another irritating computer moment. For months and months, I've been unable to get sounds to play in Chrome, and I couldn't figure out why. Well today I stumbled on the cause of the problem, by going into the Mixer in the volume controls to try to get a loud program to be quieter, and noticed that Chrome was on mute for some reason. I thought, "No, it couldn't be that simple, could it? I mean, it was doing that in Ubuntu as well. Erm... on the same computer. When the Ubuntu runs through WUBI, a Windows program." So I tried it and yup, months of frustration for nothing. It was that fucking simple to fix the issue. >:-(

DM: Phineas and Ferb.

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 02:30 am
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
For those of you who don't know, Phineas and Ferb is a Disney Channel cartoon with various seasons up on Netflix. The main plot focuses on Phineas and Ferb, two stepbrothers (which I literally learned like a month ago, lol) with an older sister named Candace. They're on summer vacation and...oh, who am I kidding, just watch the theme song if you haven't seen it: it gives you the main concept, tone, and animation style. (Lyric transcription here.)

Mo-om! Phineas and Ferb are writing a journal post! )

Other topics

Poem: "Lines of Math and Verse"

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:51 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] aoifes_isle and LJ user Laffingkat. It also fills the "artistic endeavor" square in my 3-6-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"Lines of Math and Verse"


It's an artistic endeavor
to seek out the place
where the lines of
math and verse
cross each other.

Math begins with numbers
and shapes, flows into form,
adds letters and solves equations
until nothing remains except
the soft repetition of solution.

Poetry begins with words,
rhythm and rhyme and inference,
shifts into the subtle patterns
of stressed and unstressed syllables,
meaning derived from implication
become numbers of beats and lines.

Approaching the
wonder and beauty
of the universe
from opposite ends,

the mathematician
and the poet
meet in the middle.

Imagine a Book Cache

Mon, Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:07 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... with any ten books or similar cultural items from history, including lost ones.  [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is offering readers a chance to make a cache in the Heliodrax world.  I've already posted mine.
azurelunatic: Axial tilt is the reason for the season. (Festive red & green text; diagram of Earth's axial tilt.) (axial tilt)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Saturday: sleep, mostly.

Sunday: I woke up and then was slow about getting myself together to go off to the Gaymer December Shindig. I dressed up! ) The event is usually held in the church of one of the guys. It had stayed in the same location between this year and last year. I discovered a parking garage around the corner from the church, so I picked that instead of trying for street parking.

[personal profile] jd was there, and Dave, and [twitter.com profile] xlerb, and many of the usual suspects. I had brought a package for Dave and then a package for the White Elephant. I brought the Bigger Blacker Box. I brought a sack of little oranges.

The door of the church is kept locked outside of regular hours. I came in partway through an Ongoing Saga with some little old lady. Apparently earlier she had asked to come in and then cussed at people and told them they were Hitler when she was either not allowed in or shown the door. I was there when she asked to come in to eat her doughnut (and was refused). Later, she started messing with the security doors, and made them a hazard to the sidewalk, so someone had to go out to fold them back up.

[twitter.com profile] xlerb and I commiserated about our most favoritest ever helldesk software, to wit:

"Tell me you're not using $NAME."
"I'm so sorry. I wish I could."

Not only is it the $NAME he knows and loves ... knows, it's $NAME with a terrible and heavily redacted skin stuck over it, one that has no horizontal scrollbars so it becomes unusable even when wide content has tried to goatse it. (I used the little hand gestures.) Also, Beldorion was told off from the mob with torches and pitchforks for excessive vigor.

The thing about watching Dr. Who Christmas Specials on Netflix is that if you start from the same place each year, that's the same thing you'll watch. So there was the spider lady with all the eyes, and Donna, and the darling little adipose beasties, and the Doctor popping up over the side of the cube, and all was familiar and happy. I got some more loonembellishment done, and one of the existing buttons fell off. I'll have to sew it back on.

I joined in a game which had a lot of improbable beans. The politicking was hilarious.

Then there was another game, which I think was Betrayal at House on the Hill, in which Dave was the traitor and also won.

Finally there was the White Elephant (which waited for our game to finish up), which was fun. It combined White Elephant, Werewolf, and various characters from various Christmas/winter-themed things (The Grinch, Max the dog, Santa, Jack Skellington, various reindeer and elves, Elsa). Since I was wearing a tiara, I represented the 1% in the debate over who was the Grinch, in that pretty much everybody said "She's the 1%, it's probably her!" Although I did last until the final 3.

There was a surprisingly small amount of present-stealing, though it heated up at the end. I wound up with a tote bag from the Gaymer convention and a stuffed frog. It is a cute stuffed frog. Dave mentioned the origin story later.

The guy who got the chocolate shared, and there were some dramatic readings from the by-now-at-least-fourthhand book of porn. The pages did flip, and were not stuck together. There was also some kleenex in the package.

It was a lovely evening, and I think we did our part in holding back the darkness.

I gave JD a ride, and we got a chance to talk; we'll try and get together for Boxing Day.

I have a meeting tomorrow at 11am, to try and take a tour of the place we want to have the conference.

Strange question

Sun, Dec. 21st, 2014 09:29 pm
fayanora: Steph Pensive (Steph Pensive)
[personal profile] fayanora
I have a strange question that I feel I should preface a little. I am trans, but non-binary, even though I'm more toward the feminine side of the spectrum. I feel like there aren't any options of genitalia that I would be really satisfied with, and I'm basically fine with my current breast size. Female hormones are not going to change my voice or get rid of my existing body hair (which thankfully is pretty light and easy to manage), so I don't really see the point of hormones. I feel like they would just mess up the functionality of my genitals, which I'm not interested in risking. (I have had enough problems already in my life with loss of sex drive from depression.)

So the weird question is this: do I need to be on hormones to get my gender changed legally in the state of Oregon? Because if I can get my gender marker changed without being on hormones or having had SRS or any of that, that would be great. Because no matter what my body was like, I doubt I would ever be satisfied, so I'd prefer to just stick to what I know.

December posting meme...

Sun, Dec. 21st, 2014 08:41 pm
akamarykate: Headshot of Cosima with text saying Welcome to the Clone Club (clone club)
[personal profile] akamarykate
December 20: Orphan Black season 3 for [personal profile] frayadjacent

Hmmm...you know, I'm often the last person to make and then get attached to predictions for series, because it's so easy to be disappointed. But thinking about this, I realized I had some definite Do Not Wants and Do Wants, though most are probably more general than the question intended.

Do Not Want:

-- Heavy focus on the male clones. Look, I understand it's taking a lot out of Tatiana Maslany to carry so much of this show. But the biggest appeal of this show for me is that it's telling women's stories about women's agency and control over their own bodies and lives. I have this fear that it might turn into, "But what about Teh Menzzz!?!?" It's not an overwhelming fear, but it is there.

--Heavy focus on the military aspects of the mythology. I know there has to be some of that, but a little of that goes a long way for me.

Do Want:

--HELENA TO BE NEVER EVER AGAIN HELD AGAINST HER WILL, EXPERIMENTED UPON, PROGRAMMED, OR HELL, EVEN DETAINED FROM SOMETHING SHE WANTS TO DO SUCH AS BUYING ICE CREAM BECAUSE THE LINE AT THE CHECKOUT IS TOO LONG. They have told the story of Helena being controlled by someone else twice now. Move forward.

--Alison and Donnie's Crime Spree for Great Justice. With singing.

--Cosima healed and kicking scientific ass.

--Rachel and her effed-up life. Rachel wreaking havoc and unapologetic about it. Rachel realizing the thing she thinks she's always controlled has actually controlled her, and doing something about it. Preferably something reaaaallly effed up.

--Sarah being Mama Clone in her own kickass way.

--Sarah and Felix pwning everything.

--Mrs. S, International Badass. Perhaps taking down the military installation somehow.

--Mrs. S and Helena, actually. I would love to see the two of them interacting.

--Though it's no doubt too much to ask for, Beth backstory.

--And while I understand they have a limited number of episodes to tell a complex story, I just really want more small, quiet moments between/among the clones and the people around them, building their found family and bonding and getting to know each other. Sprinkle them liberally throughout the season and I won't actually care too much about the plot. I'm in it for the feels, man.

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

Sun, Dec. 21st, 2014 07:58 pm
havocthecat: spock wants everyone to live long and be merry (trek spock xmas)
[personal profile] havocthecat
You know, I don't think I've ever not teared up at the end of that film, especially as I've gotten older and come to understand more of the context and the plot of the film. (I first saw it in grade school, after all.)

Poem: "Clipped"

Sun, Dec. 21st, 2014 05:56 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the November 2014 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "orphans and runaways" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem features some intense topics. Highlight to read warnings, some of which are spoilers. Topics include runaway and homeless youth, mistreatment of a teen girl, religious abuse, hostility against superpowers, parental condemnation, superpower injury, pressuring someone to use a superpower, a horrible argument, questionable use of a superpower, and high stress. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your mindstate before deciding whether to read further.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Sun, Dec. 21st, 2014 06:19 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott just pointed me at a website I think I'll be spending a lot of time playing with. It's a spirograph sort of thing. It's here for those who are interested. I need to use the arrow keys to make the disks move, but somebody else said that clicking and dragging worked for them.

I've been having fun playing with the different colors of lines and background.

So let's try this again!

Sun, Dec. 21st, 2014 08:42 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon
Off to Durham in the morning, possible limited connectivitity, yadda, yadda, yadda, so have a good Christmas/rest from work/whatever, folks!
ruuger: (Big Damn Hero)
[personal profile] ruuger
Hooray! My 6,5-year-long Buffy rewatch has finally come to end! Or actually it already came to end last month, but - as usual - it took me a while to decipher my notes...

And now I kinda want to watch S1 and start over again...

These are pretty random thoughts; you can find actual meta from my old episode posts here, here, here, and here (alas, they only go up to "First Date"). I think I agree with most of the stuff I said then, so feel free to comment in those posts as well if you want.

Read more... )

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