Monday, June 29, 2015

what an "interesting" week or so

let's just hope that i don't have to live through that sort of bullshit again. and that, perhaps, things will get better. let's just fucking hope. 

now i can spend the bulk of my energy in getting this house ready to sell and getting the fuck out of washington. wish us luck. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

will be mia for a bit

it's another one of those things that i won't ever be discussing in public. just, wish me luck, ok? and enjoy the vending machine candies that arrived from japan.

it tasted like cc lemon!

and this new zealand canned spaghetti?

the can suggests eating it on a burger?

also "enjoy" this canned meat product from australia???

i still don't understand the serving suggestion?

these little four week old chicks from the farmer's market are cute though, ne?

(i will try to stop saying "ne" by the time i post here again. bye.)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

the post is the most

still haven't readjusted to this place. not sure what to do about it? not sure that i care? i'm not particularly attached to this region (understatement of the year? decade? hahahaha) so w/e. 

still it is nice to get cool stuff in the mail. here you will see a card from bunny and destructo and a postcard from jens' latest trip! :D

also arriving via post two japanese wind chimes that leff got for me! hooray!! a maneki neko

and AN OWL!

both in situ.

they haven't been very bell like lately since it's not been very breezy but they sound similar to this furin.

in non post news, this japanese battleship curry recipe is amazing and you should make it even though it sounds bizarre.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

tokyo souvenirs

as promised, here is the post of our non edible tat that we bought in tokyo (excluding leff's headphones and gorgeous hankachi. (if you want to see edible things, please see either "tokyo fruits" or kit kats posts.)) i know you're thrilled. w/e, *i* am because i get to look at this stuff all the time!

first up, our ghibli horde.  three jiji items. THREE!! I KNOW but i LOVE jiji ESP THE MUG

the tiny jiji is technically for peel but the thought of her ripping it to shreds with her one tooth makes me sad so i have reclaimed it.

and now you'll see it's totoro to to ro. kawaiikute! we could not leaf him in tokyo!

here are our gachapon! i got a koppu no fuchiko at nartia! this is the EXACT one that i wanted out of the machine too!

leff's ojipan from the shibuya kiddy land!

and my sad little anime girl in a green cup that i bought in fucking akihabara. (ugh, akihabara.) still, she is kawaii and resides on my bag now.

(i can't find the paper that identifies her. apologies. i'll try to remember to update when/if i locate it.)

want to see our sampuru from kappabashi-dori? ok! first up is leff's chicken wing!

and my takoyaki ball! (i keep wanting to eat this. haaaaa :/)

by far the most ridiculous things we bought were at tokyo tower. i mean, at least leff was practical. he's said that this coaster is perfect for hot bev.

but i mean, this is just ridiculous and I LOVE IT TO BITS my 500 yen plastic tokyo tower. sometimes i imagine that i can see a tiny plastic version of myself on the observation deck. (that was a lie. i just like putting plastic monsters next to it.)

right, so that's absolutely all of tokyo. i'm gonna try to not be depressed about it. (i am already failing. :/)

Sunday, June 07, 2015

we are readjusting. sort of.

i always have trouble coming back to the states. long time readers know this. it's not that i don't try to reacclimate to my native culture it's just that...i don't particular care for my native culture even though i am very much a product of it. 

prior to this trip, i think leff might've thought i was being a tad silly when i was depressed about reentering the states. but this time he gets it as he's having a hard time too. tokyo did a number on us, guys. we are culture shocking HARD at being back and we were only gone a week. it's ridiculous. i KNOW it's ridiculous. and it's such a damn bougie complaint to have. :/

anyway, one way i cope with the listlessness is to cook food from the trip. we've already bought two new japanese cookbooks. here's the one i'm currently devouring. 

i've made yakitori a number of times both shio and tare.

also been going off the rails with the omurice. (it's just so easy to eat and quick to make.)

don't get me started on the noodles. we have been eating SO MUCH RAMEN (i'm making stock tonight from the soul food book) i was really excited about the rice noodle ramen because it looks super cool

but GOD it is so bland. american company targeting an american audience, amirite? (i KNOW i am fucking rite.)

in addition to food, i've been stuck in a japanese movie rut. think, ozu, kurosawa, tons of ghibli. we watched "when marnie was there". so sad, so good.

but also things like "executive koala", "death kappa" i am not always discriminating in my tastes. 

"tokyo waka" is terrific though. (many thanks again to matt for recommending it!)

and we've ventured to the international district. mainly for supplies from uwajimaya.

on the way, we stopped by james harris for the akio takamori show. i would suggest that you catch this if you are in the seattle area.

i had not been to the panama hotel tea house in years but the promise of wagashi took me back past the japan town sign.

there was no wagashi. :( but my matcha latte was good.

leff got a bowl of ramen from samurai noodle. he said it was tasty.

hit up the 100 yen store. it is reassuring to know that i can get a version of the face masks that i used in tokyo (usually at 3 am when i couldn't sleep.(i used the diamond one on my birthday. haha!))

a ningyo-yaki food truck is outside of daiso now. (i knoooow, i know.) i got one of the fish shaped ones. i mean, it was ok but 1) it was called a "waffle" 2) the anko wasn't very sweet. eh, it'll do, i guess. it was certainly attractive.

not japanese but there was dragon practice going on near the food truck.

speaking of dragons, i finally got to see one of kieran gormley's ground meat sculptures!

and there's a fresh takoyaki stand in the uwajimaya food court now.

here's video of the dashi responding to heat.

idk, guys. it's good to have access to the international district. leff and i have always loved hanging out down there but, BUT the people in seattle on the way there are horrible. seattle makes me culture shock THE HARDEST because, honestly, what is up with that place. why is everyone so damn gawky and in the way and loud and just so...irritating in their bland fucking way. (omg you saw "phantom of the opera" both the movie AND the play on broadway?! shut the fuck up, white bread. i don't want to be stuck hearing you scream about it.)

it's culture shock. it's easier to deal with in bremerton where people aren't obsessed with keeping up with some idea of coolness (seattle is NOT cool. hahahaha god, no. fuck off.) or whatever it is that is driving the fucking unicorn techbros these days. i don't fucking care, i just don't want to be in the middle of it.

hey, at least the cats are glad we're back even if i don't want to be here. haaaaa haaa. :/

tokyo souvenir post coming up soon. then i'm sure i'l get back to my usual bitching about this place until we finally fucking move away. but i'll burn that bridge when i come to it. ;D

Friday, June 05, 2015

japanese stamps!

stamps are a big deal in japan. we all know about hanko stamps, right? the stamp that is your signature? (both the wonderful clerk and his supervisor at yodobashi camera used their hanko stamps on the official duty free document that we needed to present at narita. i think perhaps the immigration officials at narita also used hanko but i don't recall. sorry.) 

did you know that you can collect stamps from PLACES in japan?  this might have started with eki stamps which are stamps from train stations (i think (it might refer to all tourism stamps? i don't really know, apologies.)) but WOW stamps are EVERYWHERE that people visit! i came across my first one at tokyo tower!

this is not a very good impression. i was crazy jet lagged and ha, my hands always shake badly on my first day after a long flight but you can see how detailed the stamp is. my tokyo tower is on a piece of paper that i took from the stack on the table that is there for that purpose. 

at hama-riku gardens though, i wised up! THE BROCHURES HAVE PLACES FOR STAMPING ON THE BACK!! 

it is a GORGEOUS stamp that depicts the floating tea house which is the major attraction of the park. leff and i are debating who gets to put this stamp in their notebook. haha haaa :/ (it might be me. lol)

at kyu shiba-riku i wised up EVEN MORE though and got TWO stamps, one on the pamphlet for leff and one in my notebook. (lots of people have specialized notebooks for stamps. i might get one when we go back!)

i love how all the stamps show both the most important thing at that location and the date visited. these souvenirs are so thoughtful. and beautiful. i want to collect more!!

(fyi:  most tourism stamps are located near where you pay admission. i'm not sure how to find them at train stations yet but the eki stamps link above is very informative!)

my last stamp from japan just made me sad though.

i mean, YAY NEW PASSPORT STAMP but boooooooooooooo i DID NOT want to leave. why did we leave? LET'S GO BACK NOW I NEED MORE STAMPS!!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

kitto kattos!!

i have a deep and abiding love of japanese kit kats. (this goes waaay back as this photo from 2005 will attest! (ok, those are from guam (and the amazing chotda!) but guam is still pacific island, yeah? and all the good flavors come from pacific islands.)

i'll admit that i went a little kitto katto nutzo while in tokyo. i'm not ashamed. i'm just concerned about how i'm going to make these last until i can get back to japan!

anyway, first up in the kit kat parade is a small bag of matcha and adzuki bean flavor! i LOVE these but leff was not exactly a fan. 

no problem, it was a small bag which means that i got to eat them all myself! :D they kinda' look like weird peas, don't they?

the sakura matcha kit kats, however, we had to split evenly. oh my god, these are WONDERFUL with a very light cherry flavor that nicely balances out the matcha.

i also love the packaging but i am a big fan of pink/green combo.

the sakura matcha flavor went faaaaaast. and, if i'm honest, so did the raspberry variety. this is actually the second box of raspberry that we bought on our trip! 

the minute that the tiny packet is opened, there is a lovely raspberry smell. the taste is nothing to scoff at either as it is so like the real fruit that you could almost trick yourself into thinking these are healthy.

another AMAZING version is the chili powder kit kat. these might be my absolute favorite of the entire bunch due to the wonderful dark chocolate and very slight burn of chili that really hits at the end.

this was one of the larger packages and i lovelovelove the packaging! and, fun fact! these are regional and specific to shinshu/shinano province/nagano prefecture!

wasabi kit kats are from the shinzuoka and kanto area (regional! :D) but they aren't as spicy as i would have thought they would be. they are still lovely with a great horseradishy ending and smooooooth as smooooth can be.

i dunno'! i might actually describe them as tasting "smokey light green" which is weird i suppose.

leff's favorite, hands down, is the tokyo rum raisin. it's odd because 1) he doesn't like rum 2) he's not really into very sweet things but he has been eating these like crazy!

i do not know how the kit kat chocolatiers were able to make chocolate taste like sweet alcoholic raisins but THEY DID. the smell is also intoxicating. (not really, they just smell nice, vaguely rummy and fruity.)

and now we make it to the bags of kit kats! i won't dwell too much on matcha kit kats as everyone who goes to japan brings back a bag or two or fifty of these. they are still wonderful, still grassy, still one of my standbys.

it's an oldie but goodie, amirite? (iamsorite)

but THESE. HOLY HELL KIT KATS MANUFACTURED TO BE BAKED IN YOUR TOASTER OVEN!!! i've read that these are the second version to be produced! (the first flavor was custard pudding which was released last year.) THESE THESE ARE CHEESECAKE

here are directions on the back.

and the adorable plaid wrappers!

we don't have a toaster oven so we placed them under the broiler. would it work?

why YES! IT WORKED!! just look at how bubbly they got after a few mintues! :D


i remain in awe of the kit kat flavor magicians. THEY CAN DO NO WRONG WHEN CAN WE GO BACK TO GET MORE FLAVORS god i miss tokyo....

(need more kit kat flavors? here are two more!)