rachelmanija: (Savor)
( Sep. 24th, 2008 01:18 pm)
I have just bought a four quart crock pot/slow cooker.

Can you please share any favorite crock pot recipes, tips, or sources of recipes? I especially like East Asian and Americana.

I don't eat eggplant, cilantro, liver, broccoli, or zucchini. I dislike cream sauces and traditional gravy, but other forms of soups, sauces, stews, and meat juices are fine.
Tags:
rachelmanija: (Savor)
( Sep. 24th, 2008 01:18 pm)
I have just bought a four quart crock pot/slow cooker.

Can you please share any favorite crock pot recipes, tips, or sources of recipes? I especially like East Asian and Americana.

I don't eat eggplant, cilantro, liver, broccoli, or zucchini. I dislike cream sauces and traditional gravy, but other forms of soups, sauces, stews, and meat juices are fine.
Tags:
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Apr. 25th, 2008 02:06 pm)
I had a lovely flying visit from [livejournal.com profile] rilina, which involved eating the following items: an aged provolone with artichokes and olives grilled cheese sandwich, an apple turnover, and a rhubarb square at Clementine; assorted sushi, chicken meatballs, and "LA-cut" kalbi at Place Yuu; and pork sauteed with kimchi, ochazuke (rice soup) with green pickles, teriyaki salmon (excellent!), and stingray (sliced, dried, and grilled; also excellent.)

And we discussed the significance of the bird mask and the letter Z in the Gundam-verse. I hope she will elaborate.

We watched the anime Bus Gamer, which begins earlier than the manga and continues the story farther. I suspect that Minekura is at least consulted, as the dialogue is classic her. Good animation, realistic martial arts. And a fowl of D00M! Highly enjoyable.

Unfortunately, I have a cold and feel lousy. [livejournal.com profile] rilina, hope I didn't give it to you. I blame [livejournal.com profile] telophase for sending me the article on Airborne getting sued and so ruining its protective placebo effect.
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Apr. 25th, 2008 02:06 pm)
I had a lovely flying visit from [livejournal.com profile] rilina, which involved eating the following items: an aged provolone with artichokes and olives grilled cheese sandwich, an apple turnover, and a rhubarb square at Clementine; assorted sushi, chicken meatballs, and "LA-cut" kalbi at Place Yuu; and pork sauteed with kimchi, ochazuke (rice soup) with green pickles, teriyaki salmon (excellent!), and stingray (sliced, dried, and grilled; also excellent.)

And we discussed the significance of the bird mask and the letter Z in the Gundam-verse. I hope she will elaborate.

We watched the anime Bus Gamer, which begins earlier than the manga and continues the story farther. I suspect that Minekura is at least consulted, as the dialogue is classic her. Good animation, realistic martial arts. And a fowl of D00M! Highly enjoyable.

Unfortunately, I have a cold and feel lousy. [livejournal.com profile] rilina, hope I didn't give it to you. I blame [livejournal.com profile] telophase for sending me the article on Airborne getting sued and so ruining its protective placebo effect.
rachelmanija: (Savor)
( Apr. 14th, 2008 11:30 am)
I've been reading this book called Road Food, about which I have serious doubts as an actual source of recommendations as I have eaten at most of the restaurants it recommends in California and was only really impressed with one (the astonishing taco shack La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara), but it functions excellently as a source of food porn.

I was especially entranced by its sections on such exotic locales and specilties as Maine (lobster rolls; Indian pudding; Grape-nuts pudding), Vermont (salt pork; red flannel hash; New England boiled dinner; maple cream pie), Pennsylvania (shoofly pie; scrapple; grasshopper pie), Kentucky (sugar pie; chess pie; burgoo), and Iowa (loosemeats.)

I am not even sure what many of those are, but they sound delicious. Has anyone ever eaten any of those items? If so, can you describe them to me?

If not... what are your regional specialties? The more regional, the better! Please describe in mouthwatering detail.

I would reciprocate, but I'm not sure what LA's regional specialties actually are. We seem to specialize in other countries' regional specialties.
rachelmanija: (Savor)
( Apr. 14th, 2008 11:30 am)
I've been reading this book called Road Food, about which I have serious doubts as an actual source of recommendations as I have eaten at most of the restaurants it recommends in California and was only really impressed with one (the astonishing taco shack La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara), but it functions excellently as a source of food porn.

I was especially entranced by its sections on such exotic locales and specilties as Maine (lobster rolls; Indian pudding; Grape-nuts pudding), Vermont (salt pork; red flannel hash; New England boiled dinner; maple cream pie), Pennsylvania (shoofly pie; scrapple; grasshopper pie), Kentucky (sugar pie; chess pie; burgoo), and Iowa (loosemeats.)

I am not even sure what many of those are, but they sound delicious. Has anyone ever eaten any of those items? If so, can you describe them to me?

If not... what are your regional specialties? The more regional, the better! Please describe in mouthwatering detail.

I would reciprocate, but I'm not sure what LA's regional specialties actually are. We seem to specialize in other countries' regional specialties.
Tags:
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Feb. 25th, 2008 10:10 am)
I had an unusually sociable weekend.

On Friday, I went over to [livejournal.com profile] branna's place and cooked lamb chops with a spice rub. They were delicious, perhaps due to both of us checking them carefully for the right degree of doneness, me by poking them to test the texture and then cutting them to test appearance, and [livejournal.com profile] branna sticking in a meat thermometer. Unfortunately, I ruined the asparagus by forgetting about them for, judging by the disgusting texture, about twenty minutes.

On Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] yhlee and I and her friend A went to Koreatown. We arrived early, and bought two bags of Corvette-flavored cupcakes. Then we proceeded to this fantastic teeny restaurant in a strip mall and had fried fish, salad over purple rice topped with chunks of raw fish, flying fish roe, and spicy sauce, and (my favorite) a soup listed on the menu as "delicious soup" which consisted of richly flavored broth with chunks of melt-in-your-mouth potato and just-chewy-enough flat, hand-torn rice noodles. I know it sounds boring, but seriously, it was not "delicious," but delicious.

The panchan (side dishes) included chunked radish kimchi, shredded radish kimchi, marinated fish cake, and delicious shoestring potato potato salad... with raisins. (I picked those out.) Then we went to a bakery and I got a slightly salty pounded rice dough pancake stuffed with red bean paste and a fantastic chocolate croissant. The employees all screamed something when I dropped some coins in the tip jar. I hope it was "TIIIIIIIP!" not "LOUSY TIPPPPPPER!"

Last night [livejournal.com profile] jeremytblack and I went to an Oscar party at [livejournal.com profile] chickflick1979's place. I brought home-made cake and Corvette cupcakes. Both were sadly underappreciated, I regret to say. But the party was very fun and the guests were great.

The only nominated films I'd seen were Sweeney Todd and The Bourne Ultimatum, so I had no dogs in the race. I always seen Coen Brothers movies, but missed their curent one in the theatres. What is Michael Conway about? The clips looked good.

I adore Tilda Swinton and have since Derek Jarman's Edward II, in which she played Isabella as a vampire, and was thrilled to see her win an Oscar and take the opportunity to discuss her agent's ass and the Batsuit. But less thrilled with her supremely unflattering garbage bag dress. Generally, I was unimpressed with the clothes. Feathers are in. Why? They cover up women's lovely cleavage, and wave gently and distractingly like sea anemone tentacles.

Jeremy tells me that if you have seen Daniel Day Lewis' undoubtedly extremely brilliant film, his acceptance speech about golden trees sprouting from his director's head does not sound crazy at all. I will take his word for it. I am sure the movie is a work of staggering genius. I have been put off it by the previews, which all show Day Lewis ranting maniacally while the camera doesn't move (three hours of that? Yikes), and by my general burn-out on depressing three-hour movies about white guys, which make me want to run back to Outfest to see cheerful ninety-minute movies about gay Thai schoolboys and Scottish-Indian lesbian chefs.
rachelmanija: (Default)
( Feb. 25th, 2008 10:10 am)
I had an unusually sociable weekend.

On Friday, I went over to [livejournal.com profile] branna's place and cooked lamb chops with a spice rub. They were delicious, perhaps due to both of us checking them carefully for the right degree of doneness, me by poking them to test the texture and then cutting them to test appearance, and [livejournal.com profile] branna sticking in a meat thermometer. Unfortunately, I ruined the asparagus by forgetting about them for, judging by the disgusting texture, about twenty minutes.

On Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] yhlee and I and her friend A went to Koreatown. We arrived early, and bought two bags of Corvette-flavored cupcakes. Then we proceeded to this fantastic teeny restaurant in a strip mall and had fried fish, salad over purple rice topped with chunks of raw fish, flying fish roe, and spicy sauce, and (my favorite) a soup listed on the menu as "delicious soup" which consisted of richly flavored broth with chunks of melt-in-your-mouth potato and just-chewy-enough flat, hand-torn rice noodles. I know it sounds boring, but seriously, it was not "delicious," but delicious.

The panchan (side dishes) included chunked radish kimchi, shredded radish kimchi, marinated fish cake, and delicious shoestring potato potato salad... with raisins. (I picked those out.) Then we went to a bakery and I got a slightly salty pounded rice dough pancake stuffed with red bean paste and a fantastic chocolate croissant. The employees all screamed something when I dropped some coins in the tip jar. I hope it was "TIIIIIIIP!" not "LOUSY TIPPPPPPER!"

Last night [livejournal.com profile] jeremytblack and I went to an Oscar party at [livejournal.com profile] chickflick1979's place. I brought home-made cake and Corvette cupcakes. Both were sadly underappreciated, I regret to say. But the party was very fun and the guests were great.

The only nominated films I'd seen were Sweeney Todd and The Bourne Ultimatum, so I had no dogs in the race. I always seen Coen Brothers movies, but missed their curent one in the theatres. What is Michael Conway about? The clips looked good.

I adore Tilda Swinton and have since Derek Jarman's Edward II, in which she played Isabella as a vampire, and was thrilled to see her win an Oscar and take the opportunity to discuss her agent's ass and the Batsuit. But less thrilled with her supremely unflattering garbage bag dress. Generally, I was unimpressed with the clothes. Feathers are in. Why? They cover up women's lovely cleavage, and wave gently and distractingly like sea anemone tentacles.

Jeremy tells me that if you have seen Daniel Day Lewis' undoubtedly extremely brilliant film, his acceptance speech about golden trees sprouting from his director's head does not sound crazy at all. I will take his word for it. I am sure the movie is a work of staggering genius. I have been put off it by the previews, which all show Day Lewis ranting maniacally while the camera doesn't move (three hours of that? Yikes), and by my general burn-out on depressing three-hour movies about white guys, which make me want to run back to Outfest to see cheerful ninety-minute movies about gay Thai schoolboys and Scottish-Indian lesbian chefs.
Yesterday Yoon and I successfully drove from Pasadena to Little Tokyo, after the previous day's foiled attempt. We played a lot of music. Expect an Angel vid to Aesop Rock's addictive song "None Shall Pass."

After making the alarming discovery that the parking lot I usually use has been covered with a mound of dirt the height and width of a large office building, we found another one and decamped to Daikokuya Ramen, home of LA's best ramen. Some joker on their staff wrote hilarious descriptions of everything on the menus they have up in the windows, explaining that the lines are due to their care for "the delectation of your taste buds," that the ramen tastes so good because it's made from vats of kurobuta pork bones simmered for hours at an undisclosed location, and that they open at noon and close when the soup runs out.

I was hit up by two punk teens for a dollar. "What for?" I asked suspiciously.

"For a mango!" replied eyeliner girl. "They cut them in slices and sprinkle them with chili."

"Oh, well, if it's for a mango," I said, digging around in my wallet.

"You failed your saving throw," remarked Yoon.

Waiting in line outside Daikokuya, I saw an adorable teenybopper Harajuku girl pass by in red-and-white striped tights and several layers of ruffled lace blouses and shorts. It was the first time I've ever seen genuine Japanese teen fashion in LA, and I am really curious whether she was an Angeleno or a homesick Japanese tourist.

The ramen comes in enormous bowls of richly flavored pork broth adorned with pork slices, scallions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and a whole hard-boiled egg. All conversation ceased as we inhaled it. I had a Ramune, a bubble-gum-flavored Japanese soda sealed with a marble which you use the lid to pop down into a compartment in the bottle, where it then rolls around in an entertaining fashion.

We went to LA's oldest mochi shop for dessert. I had sakura mochi and chestnut yokan. I think the owner was a little confused about which season it was.

Then we went to Kinokuniya, where we both pounced with glee upon the two copies of the Gundam Wing art book. Alas, it is not the one where the artists, who must be Duo/Heero shippers, drew endless pictures of them dripping wet, arms around each other, shirtless, and/or all of the above and also in a boy band AU.

I then became hypnotized by a $ 50 book on seasonal mochi, with Japanese and English and exquisite photographs and text like this:

Yuusuzumi (Evening Cool), August. When the evening comes, a hot day becomes bearable with the arrival of a cool breeze. The appearance of people enjoying the evening cool on the veranda or outside is embodied by white and pale blue soboro, intricate bits of bean paste.

But how could I justify spending $ 50 on a mochi book? Then the soul of the universe commanded me to buy it, and we all know what happens when you ignore that. Or maybe when you obey it. Hard to say. I now own the book, and must write a story featuring mochi and sell it to earn back its cost.

In conclusion, there are scans up of the bento otaku manga, for the three people here who read my LJ but not [livejournal.com profile] telophase's.
Yesterday Yoon and I successfully drove from Pasadena to Little Tokyo, after the previous day's foiled attempt. We played a lot of music. Expect an Angel vid to Aesop Rock's addictive song "None Shall Pass."

After making the alarming discovery that the parking lot I usually use has been covered with a mound of dirt the height and width of a large office building, we found another one and decamped to Daikokuya Ramen, home of LA's best ramen. Some joker on their staff wrote hilarious descriptions of everything on the menus they have up in the windows, explaining that the lines are due to their care for "the delectation of your taste buds," that the ramen tastes so good because it's made from vats of kurobuta pork bones simmered for hours at an undisclosed location, and that they open at noon and close when the soup runs out.

I was hit up by two punk teens for a dollar. "What for?" I asked suspiciously.

"For a mango!" replied eyeliner girl. "They cut them in slices and sprinkle them with chili."

"Oh, well, if it's for a mango," I said, digging around in my wallet.

"You failed your saving throw," remarked Yoon.

Waiting in line outside Daikokuya, I saw an adorable teenybopper Harajuku girl pass by in red-and-white striped tights and several layers of ruffled lace blouses and shorts. It was the first time I've ever seen genuine Japanese teen fashion in LA, and I am really curious whether she was an Angeleno or a homesick Japanese tourist.

The ramen comes in enormous bowls of richly flavored pork broth adorned with pork slices, scallions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, and a whole hard-boiled egg. All conversation ceased as we inhaled it. I had a Ramune, a bubble-gum-flavored Japanese soda sealed with a marble which you use the lid to pop down into a compartment in the bottle, where it then rolls around in an entertaining fashion.

We went to LA's oldest mochi shop for dessert. I had sakura mochi and chestnut yokan. I think the owner was a little confused about which season it was.

Then we went to Kinokuniya, where we both pounced with glee upon the two copies of the Gundam Wing art book. Alas, it is not the one where the artists, who must be Duo/Heero shippers, drew endless pictures of them dripping wet, arms around each other, shirtless, and/or all of the above and also in a boy band AU.

I then became hypnotized by a $ 50 book on seasonal mochi, with Japanese and English and exquisite photographs and text like this:

Yuusuzumi (Evening Cool), August. When the evening comes, a hot day becomes bearable with the arrival of a cool breeze. The appearance of people enjoying the evening cool on the veranda or outside is embodied by white and pale blue soboro, intricate bits of bean paste.

But how could I justify spending $ 50 on a mochi book? Then the soul of the universe commanded me to buy it, and we all know what happens when you ignore that. Or maybe when you obey it. Hard to say. I now own the book, and must write a story featuring mochi and sell it to earn back its cost.

In conclusion, there are scans up of the bento otaku manga, for the three people here who read my LJ but not [livejournal.com profile] telophase's.
Note: Please check my last couple entries; I am posting in chunks because I'm paranoid about posts getting lost. Also, do I not have very many Bleach fans reading my LJ, or do many of them hate Rukia/Renji, or what? I expected much more excitement over that post! Excitement to match my own at the thought of its existence!

After exhaustedly dragging our luggage past our ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), we checked the Magome tourist information office, which told us that we needed to go back down. The only English signage explained that while no bears had ever been sighted on the Nakasendo hiking route in modern times, the Magome tourist information office rented out bells, just in case.

We declined to rent a bell, suspecting already that we would be doing no further hiking, but headed over to our inn, the Tajimaya. It was a lovely old wooden building with a stuffed tanuki in front, blue curtains dangling from bamboo poles, and an amazing old hearth called an irori, with a pulley system dangling a kettle that could be raised and lowered over the coals. It did not, unfortunately, seem to be in use.

Our first thought was a bath, so we scrubbed off, sitting under the waist high showerheads under teeny wooden stools, then crammed ourselves into the rather small bath. To my delight, it had an jet like a jacuzzi. To the delight of the two Japanese guests who eventually arrived at the bath, we were just getting out-- the bath emphatically did not fit more than two.

Though our room was very large and quite nice, with tatami matting, closets full of futons and bedding, a TV (which we never turned on), screen dividing it into two sizable rooms, and a tokonoma with a nice wall scroll and a rather baleful-looking stuffed pheasant, what pleased us the most was that it was air conditioned.

Thus refreshed, we trotted about the town a bit, then returned for our luxurious eleven-course (not counting tea, rice, and miso soup) meal, laid out elegantly in separate dishes. Perhaps the best part was the cube of luxuriously textured tofu with tiny shrimp and a brunoise of carrots and mushrooms-- perfect cubes the size of this typed letter a. I have been watching Top Chef, so I know how difficult that is to achieve. There was also a miso-broiled and smoked whole (smallish)fish, two kinds of sliced seared beef in mustard or soy, eggplant and chicken in tomato sauce, soba, sushi rolls cleverly made with chopped soba instead of rice, a number of pickles, watermelon, and tempura of eggplant, squash, shredded carrot, and a green leaf that might have been burdock, which I held up to the light to see the delicate tracery of veins.

We then watched an episode of the anime Mushishi, which is already one of my all-time favorites, and collapsed into bed.

After a substantial ryokan breakfast including a poached egg made in a heart-shaped mold, the innkeeper asked me in Japanese if there was anything I'd like for dinner that night. Rather surprised, I replied that I liked everything except eggplant. He seemed rather startled, then told us there would be a dance after dinner. Hours later, it occured to me that he]d actually asked me how I'd liked my dinner last night! I proceeded to feel guilty all day over dissing his eggplant.

After insulting the innkeeper, we set out for the other town, Tsumago. Despite being dropped off at its bus stop, it proved surprisingly difficult to find. And boiling hot. And full of (almost all Japanese) tourists. Pretty, but not as restful as Magome. The hiking route looked gorgeously green, but also very hot and full of mosquitoes. I have been breaking out in enormous hives when bitten, it was hot, and Stephanie's ankle hurt, so we had a snack of sweetish grilled miso-brushed pounded rice molded onto a stick, and took the bus back. I fell asleep and we missed our stop, so we ended up doing a tiny bit of hiking after all.

That night, there was no eggplant served for dinner. Some dishes were the same, others were different, all but a gross slimy vegetable were delicious. We ordered a bottle of (somewhat harsh) sake with dinner. I drank more than Stephanie, I must confess.

Sure enough, after dinner the innkeeper gathered us up and taught us a Magome folk dance. Once he felt that we more-or-less (more less than more) had it down, he had us put on geta, which are wooden clogs, and led us out onto the cobblestoned public street, where we danced some more, in a circle, stamping our geta with loud traditional clacks.

Thus invigorated, we sat around the irori and attempted to have a conversation, albeit much hampered by Stephanie knowing almost no Japanese, the innkeeper knowing almost no English, me and a woman whom I think was from Taiwan and an American Worldcon guest not knowing much Japanese, and a slightly drunk Japanese man with an Asahi can not knowing much English other than the names of Japanese baseball players on American teams-- a subject which took up a lot of conversational space.

When the latter asked where I had studied Japanese, I confessed that it was from watching anime. But when I named off anime I watched, I couldn't pronounced Bleach in a recognizable manner. "Hold on," I said in Japanese, "I'll be right back." I jumped up and ran out.

Later Stephanie told me that they had remarked on me being "genki," which translates as "peppy," basically.

I returned with a stack of manga and a figurine of Renji Abarai from Bleach. "Abarai!" exclaimed the probably-Taiwanese woman.

"Shinigami!" exclaimed the Asahi man.

This confused the innkeeper, and required some explanation. Renji is indeed a shinigami-- a "death god" or "soul reaper"-- but as that figurine was from Bleach: the Styling, he was dressed in a school uniform.

The next morning I woke up with no hangover, and the Renji figurine beside my pillow.
Note: Please check my last couple entries; I am posting in chunks because I'm paranoid about posts getting lost. Also, do I not have very many Bleach fans reading my LJ, or do many of them hate Rukia/Renji, or what? I expected much more excitement over that post! Excitement to match my own at the thought of its existence!

After exhaustedly dragging our luggage past our ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), we checked the Magome tourist information office, which told us that we needed to go back down. The only English signage explained that while no bears had ever been sighted on the Nakasendo hiking route in modern times, the Magome tourist information office rented out bells, just in case.

We declined to rent a bell, suspecting already that we would be doing no further hiking, but headed over to our inn, the Tajimaya. It was a lovely old wooden building with a stuffed tanuki in front, blue curtains dangling from bamboo poles, and an amazing old hearth called an irori, with a pulley system dangling a kettle that could be raised and lowered over the coals. It did not, unfortunately, seem to be in use.

Our first thought was a bath, so we scrubbed off, sitting under the waist high showerheads under teeny wooden stools, then crammed ourselves into the rather small bath. To my delight, it had an jet like a jacuzzi. To the delight of the two Japanese guests who eventually arrived at the bath, we were just getting out-- the bath emphatically did not fit more than two.

Though our room was very large and quite nice, with tatami matting, closets full of futons and bedding, a TV (which we never turned on), screen dividing it into two sizable rooms, and a tokonoma with a nice wall scroll and a rather baleful-looking stuffed pheasant, what pleased us the most was that it was air conditioned.

Thus refreshed, we trotted about the town a bit, then returned for our luxurious eleven-course (not counting tea, rice, and miso soup) meal, laid out elegantly in separate dishes. Perhaps the best part was the cube of luxuriously textured tofu with tiny shrimp and a brunoise of carrots and mushrooms-- perfect cubes the size of this typed letter a. I have been watching Top Chef, so I know how difficult that is to achieve. There was also a miso-broiled and smoked whole (smallish)fish, two kinds of sliced seared beef in mustard or soy, eggplant and chicken in tomato sauce, soba, sushi rolls cleverly made with chopped soba instead of rice, a number of pickles, watermelon, and tempura of eggplant, squash, shredded carrot, and a green leaf that might have been burdock, which I held up to the light to see the delicate tracery of veins.

We then watched an episode of the anime Mushishi, which is already one of my all-time favorites, and collapsed into bed.

After a substantial ryokan breakfast including a poached egg made in a heart-shaped mold, the innkeeper asked me in Japanese if there was anything I'd like for dinner that night. Rather surprised, I replied that I liked everything except eggplant. He seemed rather startled, then told us there would be a dance after dinner. Hours later, it occured to me that he]d actually asked me how I'd liked my dinner last night! I proceeded to feel guilty all day over dissing his eggplant.

After insulting the innkeeper, we set out for the other town, Tsumago. Despite being dropped off at its bus stop, it proved surprisingly difficult to find. And boiling hot. And full of (almost all Japanese) tourists. Pretty, but not as restful as Magome. The hiking route looked gorgeously green, but also very hot and full of mosquitoes. I have been breaking out in enormous hives when bitten, it was hot, and Stephanie's ankle hurt, so we had a snack of sweetish grilled miso-brushed pounded rice molded onto a stick, and took the bus back. I fell asleep and we missed our stop, so we ended up doing a tiny bit of hiking after all.

That night, there was no eggplant served for dinner. Some dishes were the same, others were different, all but a gross slimy vegetable were delicious. We ordered a bottle of (somewhat harsh) sake with dinner. I drank more than Stephanie, I must confess.

Sure enough, after dinner the innkeeper gathered us up and taught us a Magome folk dance. Once he felt that we more-or-less (more less than more) had it down, he had us put on geta, which are wooden clogs, and led us out onto the cobblestoned public street, where we danced some more, in a circle, stamping our geta with loud traditional clacks.

Thus invigorated, we sat around the irori and attempted to have a conversation, albeit much hampered by Stephanie knowing almost no Japanese, the innkeeper knowing almost no English, me and a woman whom I think was from Taiwan and an American Worldcon guest not knowing much Japanese, and a slightly drunk Japanese man with an Asahi can not knowing much English other than the names of Japanese baseball players on American teams-- a subject which took up a lot of conversational space.

When the latter asked where I had studied Japanese, I confessed that it was from watching anime. But when I named off anime I watched, I couldn't pronounced Bleach in a recognizable manner. "Hold on," I said in Japanese, "I'll be right back." I jumped up and ran out.

Later Stephanie told me that they had remarked on me being "genki," which translates as "peppy," basically.

I returned with a stack of manga and a figurine of Renji Abarai from Bleach. "Abarai!" exclaimed the probably-Taiwanese woman.

"Shinigami!" exclaimed the Asahi man.

This confused the innkeeper, and required some explanation. Renji is indeed a shinigami-- a "death god" or "soul reaper"-- but as that figurine was from Bleach: the Styling, he was dressed in a school uniform.

The next morning I woke up with no hangover, and the Renji figurine beside my pillow.
rachelmanija: (Anime is serious)
( Sep. 2nd, 2007 09:58 pm)
I am sitting in a manga kissaten (manga cafe), side by side with [livejournal.com profile] telophase, [livejournal.com profile] bravecows, and [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga, all of us typing away on our respective LJs. It is a great moment in the history of geekdom, especially since it is the culmination of a day which also included manga-shopping, doujinshi-shopping, and a dinner in which we regaled each other with tales of how we discovered slash, fic, and fandom.

Meeting [livejournal.com profile] bravecows and [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga was definitely one of the best bits of Worldcon for me. I think some of you know the former already, but the latter is newish to LJ; she is a Japanese fan who is into manga, SGA, Supernatural, Sentinel, Star Trek,, and fic.

Today, after a brief stop at an English used bookshop, Good Day Books in Ebisu (where Stephanie was briefly trapped in the elevator), we met up at the statue of Hachiko the loyal dog at Shibuya station, along with approximately one thousand others attempting to meet friends at the same coordinates.

We went to a bookshop, where I bought several copies of Saiyuki Gaiden 3 and was irritated that many of [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga's favorite manga have not yet been translated into English, and where [livejournal.com profile] telophase [livejournal.com profile] bravecows bought bilingual Tale of Genji manga.

Then we went to Mandarake, a massive doujinshi shop, where [livejournal.com profile] bravecows talked me into buying a mysterious doujinshi with the subtitle "The love between an animal and a plant," from the RPS section-- I think it might be Russell Crowe/Paul Bethany. [livejournal.com profile] telophase made an astonishing find, detailed on her LJ.

Then we proceeded to an izakaya, where I had a lychee soda, and we all had a fantastic appetizer of Vietnamese/Japanese/California spring roll sushi-ish thingies, before proceeding to sashimi, fried chicken wings, soup with noodles and cabbage, and oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice). It turns out that me and both had original Trek as one of our first fandoms, and discovered slash when searching for it online. [livejournal.com profile] bravecows, the baby of the group, began with Hanson fic at the tender age of ten!

[livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga showed us some downloaded manga she can read on her cellphone (which also connects to the internet.) When it gets to the rape scene, the phone vibrates!
rachelmanija: (Anime is serious)
( Sep. 2nd, 2007 09:58 pm)
I am sitting in a manga kissaten (manga cafe), side by side with [livejournal.com profile] telophase, [livejournal.com profile] bravecows, and [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga, all of us typing away on our respective LJs. It is a great moment in the history of geekdom, especially since it is the culmination of a day which also included manga-shopping, doujinshi-shopping, and a dinner in which we regaled each other with tales of how we discovered slash, fic, and fandom.

Meeting [livejournal.com profile] bravecows and [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga was definitely one of the best bits of Worldcon for me. I think some of you know the former already, but the latter is newish to LJ; she is a Japanese fan who is into manga, SGA, Supernatural, Sentinel, Star Trek,, and fic.

Today, after a brief stop at an English used bookshop, Good Day Books in Ebisu (where Stephanie was briefly trapped in the elevator), we met up at the statue of Hachiko the loyal dog at Shibuya station, along with approximately one thousand others attempting to meet friends at the same coordinates.

We went to a bookshop, where I bought several copies of Saiyuki Gaiden 3 and was irritated that many of [livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga's favorite manga have not yet been translated into English, and where [livejournal.com profile] telophase [livejournal.com profile] bravecows bought bilingual Tale of Genji manga.

Then we went to Mandarake, a massive doujinshi shop, where [livejournal.com profile] bravecows talked me into buying a mysterious doujinshi with the subtitle "The love between an animal and a plant," from the RPS section-- I think it might be Russell Crowe/Paul Bethany. [livejournal.com profile] telophase made an astonishing find, detailed on her LJ.

Then we proceeded to an izakaya, where I had a lychee soda, and we all had a fantastic appetizer of Vietnamese/Japanese/California spring roll sushi-ish thingies, before proceeding to sashimi, fried chicken wings, soup with noodles and cabbage, and oyakodon (chicken and egg over rice). It turns out that me and both had original Trek as one of our first fandoms, and discovered slash when searching for it online. [livejournal.com profile] bravecows, the baby of the group, began with Hanson fic at the tender age of ten!

[livejournal.com profile] sho_sunaga showed us some downloaded manga she can read on her cellphone (which also connects to the internet.) When it gets to the rape scene, the phone vibrates!
I am having a hard tine getting net access, so I am way behind in recording what has been going on. Expect some out of order reports as I catch up.

A couple nights ago Stephanie and I were tired, so we decided to spend a quiet night in the hotel watching DVDs. But before putting in a DVD, we decided to check out Japanese TV. Two DVD-less hours later, we went to sleep. This is what we saw-- all in Japanese, but I translated a bit:

1. An international women's shot-put competition, held in Osaka. This was pretty amazing. I had previously not known what shot-put is: it's a very heavy-looking metal ball on a long wire, which you spin around your head until it spins you in a tight circle, heels digging a hole into the earth, and then release it to fly some ridiculous distance away. Those women were really built on the upper body, and it was great to watch.

ETA: Stephanie says that's actually the hammer throw.

(Speaking of women's upper bodies, a number of people at the con seemed quite hypnotized by mine, due to the spectacular outfit I had previously purchased in Harajuku and wore to the con. Several men asked to take my picture (and some women did too) and some of those asked if they could post it on their home page. Due to a language barrier, I momentarily thought one of them was asking if he could use it as a model for a figurine, but alas, no-- he just belonged to a figurine club and was indicating the home page on its business card.)

2. A sushi-eating contest. The contestants, three men, one of whom had matching green clothes, and hair, consumed plate after plate of conveyer-belt sushi in a leisurely fashion, with a loud DOING every time they finished a piece.

(We had conveyer belt sushi for lunch today. It was delicious! The sushi chefs stood in the middle of an enormous conveyer belt, bellowing (in Japanese) "Two uni for number thirty-nine!" HAIIIII!!!" My favorites were lush salmon striped in orange-pink and white like rock strata, a very nice tamago (egg omelet cooked in dashi), and cold but still fine and sweet unagi (sea eel-- not to be confused, as I did once, with usagi (rabbit.)

I did not care for the disturbingly cartilageneous crab salad or the natto roll, though Stephanie enjoyed both! A roll involving some fish and salmon eggs was also very good, and probably the first time I've enjoyed salmon eggs. We also got some nice broiled salmon-- finished by a chef with a blowtorch in either hand.)

3. An episode of an anime series I like, Naruto. It was the conclusion of the post-timeskip Sakura puppet battle of DOOM. Nothing can shamelessly break your heart like anime, and I especially liked the image of the lonely little boy with puppet jutsu, creating two life-size parent puppets after his own parents had died, and using magic marionette strings to make them embrace him. Awww!

4. A competitive glass-blowing show, in the style of "Top Chef" or "American Idol." This was fantastic and I think would do very well in American remake (probably in the works right now.) Four glass-blowes, three men and a woman, were first assigned to create donburi-- rice bowls-- in glass. One made an eel bowl, one made pork cutlets (tonkatsu) that doubled as a money box, one did a mixed one that doubled as a jewelry set (shrimp brooch, ginger rose ring, salmon egg bead necklace, etc.)

The last two continued to the final round, where they were tasked to create a goldfish bowl like none other. The methods were amazing, and the results were spectacular: the man did a fisherman's net with a crayfish peeking out inside a gold swirly bowl, all in a moat-dish with guppies in it. The woman did a three-tier planet thing with rings of Saturn! I kind of preferred his, but hers was the most spectacular and she won--Japan's newest Top Glassblower!
I am having a hard tine getting net access, so I am way behind in recording what has been going on. Expect some out of order reports as I catch up.

A couple nights ago Stephanie and I were tired, so we decided to spend a quiet night in the hotel watching DVDs. But before putting in a DVD, we decided to check out Japanese TV. Two DVD-less hours later, we went to sleep. This is what we saw-- all in Japanese, but I translated a bit:

1. An international women's shot-put competition, held in Osaka. This was pretty amazing. I had previously not known what shot-put is: it's a very heavy-looking metal ball on a long wire, which you spin around your head until it spins you in a tight circle, heels digging a hole into the earth, and then release it to fly some ridiculous distance away. Those women were really built on the upper body, and it was great to watch.

ETA: Stephanie says that's actually the hammer throw.

(Speaking of women's upper bodies, a number of people at the con seemed quite hypnotized by mine, due to the spectacular outfit I had previously purchased in Harajuku and wore to the con. Several men asked to take my picture (and some women did too) and some of those asked if they could post it on their home page. Due to a language barrier, I momentarily thought one of them was asking if he could use it as a model for a figurine, but alas, no-- he just belonged to a figurine club and was indicating the home page on its business card.)

2. A sushi-eating contest. The contestants, three men, one of whom had matching green clothes, and hair, consumed plate after plate of conveyer-belt sushi in a leisurely fashion, with a loud DOING every time they finished a piece.

(We had conveyer belt sushi for lunch today. It was delicious! The sushi chefs stood in the middle of an enormous conveyer belt, bellowing (in Japanese) "Two uni for number thirty-nine!" HAIIIII!!!" My favorites were lush salmon striped in orange-pink and white like rock strata, a very nice tamago (egg omelet cooked in dashi), and cold but still fine and sweet unagi (sea eel-- not to be confused, as I did once, with usagi (rabbit.)

I did not care for the disturbingly cartilageneous crab salad or the natto roll, though Stephanie enjoyed both! A roll involving some fish and salmon eggs was also very good, and probably the first time I've enjoyed salmon eggs. We also got some nice broiled salmon-- finished by a chef with a blowtorch in either hand.)

3. An episode of an anime series I like, Naruto. It was the conclusion of the post-timeskip Sakura puppet battle of DOOM. Nothing can shamelessly break your heart like anime, and I especially liked the image of the lonely little boy with puppet jutsu, creating two life-size parent puppets after his own parents had died, and using magic marionette strings to make them embrace him. Awww!

4. A competitive glass-blowing show, in the style of "Top Chef" or "American Idol." This was fantastic and I think would do very well in American remake (probably in the works right now.) Four glass-blowes, three men and a woman, were first assigned to create donburi-- rice bowls-- in glass. One made an eel bowl, one made pork cutlets (tonkatsu) that doubled as a money box, one did a mixed one that doubled as a jewelry set (shrimp brooch, ginger rose ring, salmon egg bead necklace, etc.)

The last two continued to the final round, where they were tasked to create a goldfish bowl like none other. The methods were amazing, and the results were spectacular: the man did a fisherman's net with a crayfish peeking out inside a gold swirly bowl, all in a moat-dish with guppies in it. The woman did a three-tier planet thing with rings of Saturn! I kind of preferred his, but hers was the most spectacular and she won--Japan's newest Top Glassblower!
This weekend I went for a walk with a friend who shall remain nameless, with her two dogs. It was very hot. We stopped at a Starbucks and got a glass of water for the dogs to lap from (we had both left our wallets in her car, so we had no money) and continued walking with it. Five blocks later, she was so hot and thirsty that she took a swig of the dog water.

Later, we collected her young son and had lunch at a fancy lunch place. I had the egg salad sandwich, elegantly presented on open-faced wedges and tricked out with green olive oil and capers. It was good, but not as good as the more traditional one at Clementine. She had the hummus platter, which was delicious, with swirls of olive oil and about five kinds of bread. Raisin bread is surprisingly good with hummus. We both had minted lemonade.

Then she stole an open jar of Belgian praline spread from a table whose occupants had left, and we had that spread on the rest of the bread for dessert.

This week I am going to attempt (with the same friend) an Autumn Feast. I have always wanted to try a recipe from the old Joy of Cooking for apples stuffed with sausage meat. (I think you can buy sausage meat at a butcher shop?) We will have that with lentil soup flavored with ham, and apple cider. Perhaps we will also attempt a ritual invocation of fertility and abundance, and our TV shows getting picked up.
Tags:
This weekend I went for a walk with a friend who shall remain nameless, with her two dogs. It was very hot. We stopped at a Starbucks and got a glass of water for the dogs to lap from (we had both left our wallets in her car, so we had no money) and continued walking with it. Five blocks later, she was so hot and thirsty that she took a swig of the dog water.

Later, we collected her young son and had lunch at a fancy lunch place. I had the egg salad sandwich, elegantly presented on open-faced wedges and tricked out with green olive oil and capers. It was good, but not as good as the more traditional one at Clementine. She had the hummus platter, which was delicious, with swirls of olive oil and about five kinds of bread. Raisin bread is surprisingly good with hummus. We both had minted lemonade.

Then she stole an open jar of Belgian praline spread from a table whose occupants had left, and we had that spread on the rest of the bread for dessert.

This week I am going to attempt (with the same friend) an Autumn Feast. I have always wanted to try a recipe from the old Joy of Cooking for apples stuffed with sausage meat. (I think you can buy sausage meat at a butcher shop?) We will have that with lentil soup flavored with ham, and apple cider. Perhaps we will also attempt a ritual invocation of fertility and abundance, and our TV shows getting picked up.
Tags:
rachelmanija: (Fowl of DOOM)
( Oct. 30th, 2006 07:38 am)
I really appreciate the birthday wishes, birthday gifts, and my adorable Her Majesty's Dog birthday fic from [livejournal.com profile] untrue_accounts and "manga fowl of DOOM" icon from [livejournal.com profile] oyceter. Thank you all very much!

I had a lovely birthday yesterday, culminating in my parents taking me out for lobster. Yes, at that same restaurant, with our $75 gift certificate. I informed the waiter that it was my birthday, so he brought me a free mud pie (mocha ice cream in an oreo crust heaped with whipped cream.)

My step-Mom reminisced that when I was a teenager, I was always pestering them to take me out for lobster, and they could never afford to. Dad added that when I was a child, I always pestered him for lobster, which wasn't available in Ahmednagar and which they couldn't afford when we lived in LA. (I know they did manage to scrape together the money occasionally, though, because I vividly recall the few occasions when I got it.)

It's great to be an adult and be able to indulge those childhood fantasies which you can still appreciate. (I would not get such a thrill over Jello now, though I loved it as a child.) For me, lobster, and college, and publishing a book, and living by myself with two cats and a whole lot of books are the fantasies which most lived up to my childhood imaginings.

What childhood fantasies and treats did you grow out of? Which ones were just as good when you finally obtained them as an adult?

The lobster, a live two-pounder flown in from Maine, boiled plain and served with melted butter, was delicious.
rachelmanija: (Fowl of DOOM)
( Oct. 30th, 2006 07:38 am)
I really appreciate the birthday wishes, birthday gifts, and my adorable Her Majesty's Dog birthday fic from [livejournal.com profile] untrue_accounts and "manga fowl of DOOM" icon from [livejournal.com profile] oyceter. Thank you all very much!

I had a lovely birthday yesterday, culminating in my parents taking me out for lobster. Yes, at that same restaurant, with our $75 gift certificate. I informed the waiter that it was my birthday, so he brought me a free mud pie (mocha ice cream in an oreo crust heaped with whipped cream.)

My step-Mom reminisced that when I was a teenager, I was always pestering them to take me out for lobster, and they could never afford to. Dad added that when I was a child, I always pestered him for lobster, which wasn't available in Ahmednagar and which they couldn't afford when we lived in LA. (I know they did manage to scrape together the money occasionally, though, because I vividly recall the few occasions when I got it.)

It's great to be an adult and be able to indulge those childhood fantasies which you can still appreciate. (I would not get such a thrill over Jello now, though I loved it as a child.) For me, lobster, and college, and publishing a book, and living by myself with two cats and a whole lot of books are the fantasies which most lived up to my childhood imaginings.

What childhood fantasies and treats did you grow out of? Which ones were just as good when you finally obtained them as an adult?

The lobster, a live two-pounder flown in from Maine, boiled plain and served with melted butter, was delicious.
.

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