kung_fu_monkey: (B&W profile)
April 1 is our nominal anniversary; though the actual date is sometime shortly before Thanksgiving, we enjoy having the April date as it's about halfway between our birthdays, so we have two months of gifts and love to enjoy. Yes, we spoil each other. This year's anniversary gift was ordering silverware that matched the set we have now, which goes to show that we've finally resigned ourselves to growing up and caring about housewares and such. Yay.

That date also marks my 15th year of not smoking, which I chose to reward myself with some foodstuffs ordered from Japan. One of them arrived today, in fact. It's Sakura Confiture, a jelly made from sakura blossoms. Getting authentic sakura flavor out here in the US is hard to do, this gift to myself is one I get to give to my friends as they probably don't know what it's like. As of this moment, I haven't tried it yet; I'm waiting for Beemer to get home so we can have it together. I'll update after we give it a shot.

In the meantime, here's my silly photo for your enjoyment.


Update:
This jam is very, very sweet, meaning that we would add this to other goods to add a gentle sakura flavoring to the food. When adding a small amount to heavy cream and mixing, we found this to be true. At a later point, I'll attempt to make some sakura cookies or some such.
kung_fu_monkey: (Default)
Where to start?

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kung_fu_monkey: (Chibi avatar)
Damn. Down to 173 lbs today. Sure, I'm a bit hungry and dehydrated after my workout, but that's less than I weighed even after coming home from Japan! RAR!!
kung_fu_monkey: (Noir Monkey)
I might be out of school, but I'm not done studying these things. (For those of you who are new to my blog, bakemono translates to 'monsters' in Japanese and is one of my favorite topics which I studied during my year abroad.) Netflix happened to have two interesting films for me to view: House and Hiruko the Goblin, both of which feature malevolent creatures preying on humans.

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Domo

Apr. 1st, 2012 08:37 pm
kung_fu_monkey: (Default)
Just got back from Domo, a truly authentic Japanese restaurant here in Denver. The ambiance, the food, the adjacent mini-museum; it's all very Japan. I had a starter of battara yaki, Domo's version of okonomiyaki, and sake udon with a side of unagi over rice. The noodles were served in a large bowl with salmon steaks, seaweed, ground mountain potato, and a lightly sake flavored broth. Added to this was one pint of hot sake and an 18 oz. bottle of Kirin, and I'm both full and drunk. Beemer had gyoza as a side and daikon vintoro donburi; a bowl of rice topped with albacore tuna. We were also given seven different small side dishes ranging from spicy cabbage to meatballs to savory stewed potatoes and beef.

OMG I'm so full. Here I was trying to lose weight, too.

As I finished my beer, we explored the mini museum, mainly showcasing small sake serving bowls custom made for the WWII Japanese soldiers who managed to make it home. Numerous household objects, masks, straw shoes/boots, etc., were on display, bringing back a tidal wave of memories. I started crying. I miss Japan so much, but... the pain. The pain of being alone for a year in such a wonderful country still wounds me so deeply that I can't help it sometimes. We've promised each other to return someday, making memories that aren't so damned bittersweet, hoping to ease this psychological scar I bear. I'd like that, but it's a ways off. Someday.

My emo-ment aside, it was a wonderful evening. If you're a local, or just visiting for a time, I highly recommend Domo!



kung_fu_monkey: (BM)
Despite the dark undertones, it's a fun, cute title that takes a fair number of design notes from The Legend of Zelda. The Majin is much like having Labyrinth's Ludo as a teammate; tons of power but kind of stupid, thus making him an instant hit with kids of all ages. It also seems to be a shorter game, as I'm just less than halfway done with it with over 6 hours played.

---

The guest bathroom has been repainted. The previous owners left a yellowish white latex paint poorly coating the walls, leaving it both uneven and chipping. The new color is an off-white and covered the Silent Hill-like walls quite nicely. A few touch ups are needed and I'm aiming to reapply caulk along the tub, but it'll do for now. While I've got the paint I'm moving on to hitting at least one other bathroom. Honestly, I'm enjoying the home repair projects far more than I should.

---

Warriors Orochi 3 was released this week, flying in under most game site's radar. I'll be picking it up today or tomorrow. That's about the time that my new laptop should be arriving, which makes me quite happy. This model, though it got me through both school and Japan, is dying. Sigh. RIP, little one. You did well.

---

There's a rather small testing session this Saturday at the studio. I think maybe one or two adults are testing and a handful of kids. Shouldn't be that long, but I might be proctoring for the KF test so my attendance is mandatory. (No complaints here.) Later that evening, Beemer is running his Star Wars game which I'm participating in. I'm playing a pilot/smuggler (more Mal than Han) with an enormous rebellious streak against inflexible authoritarian organizations, leaving him with a strong distaste for the Empire (and any talk of fate). Also, I get a security hacking hover droid. <3!
kung_fu_monkey: (Hanshin Tigers)
Since many of my friends are mystified by Japanese mythology, I've got a NSFW link provided by i09 that covers the devious Tanuki and their magical testicular powers. Below that is a series of questionable artwork featuring human genitalia. At least the Tanuki knew how to party; "I'm a scary pile of dicks" just isn't as impressive.



http://io9.com/5892181/the-raccoon-scrotum-monster-and-other-awful-creatures-from-1800s-japanese-artwork
kung_fu_monkey: (Default)
Before I begin today's tale, let me offer you a link to a quick read regarding Sadako Suzuki and 1000 paper cranes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki

Most of us are at least passively aware of the tale, and even though I've been to both the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima and actually stumbled upon that very statue in the Wiki article, I did have some of the details of her story incorrect. I'm glad I re-read it.

Now, on to my point.

Read more... )
kung_fu_monkey: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] dr_tectonic is off to DC for a conference, and I'm utterly proud of him. That's my Doctor, and he's saving the world. <3 (So much for being a villain.)

In the meantime, I'm in the doghouse again. I've made a mess of things here, so I'm doing damage control while trying to give G&R time to cool off. Yeah, I keep mucking things up with Robb and I accept his anger. This rift grows ever deeper.

Most of the jobs I'm seeing out here that aren't retail are tech jobs, and as I'm swearing off QA or similar positions while my pride and self-confidence heal up, that doesn't leave me much. Still, I search. [livejournal.com profile] dr_tectonic and I agree that while the teaching position in Japan is a great opportunity, now is certainly not the time to pursue it. I'm not in any position to up and leave again, and his patience with me hasn't run so low as to deport me. In the meantime, resumes away!!

The snow has returned, and with it comes stiff joints, an inescapable chill, and ever-present gloom. There are young squirrels hopping about the bare branches of the trees, discovering what is and isn't edible from the poor offerings they find. I find that I'm enjoying their acrobatic frolic, knowing full well that they are too young yet to have been recruited into the Squirrel Mafia. I'm safe for now.

While bar-hopping with [livejournal.com profile] musikub on Monday night for Halloween events, I dressed up in the yukata and got a number of appreciative comments. The one that caught me off guard, though, was "Are you a Japanese priest?" Ha! I corrected him, but then told him about the time I saw the Buddhist monk zipping about Hirakata on a moped. I never tire of that tale, and from his laughter I could tell that neither would he.

COMPLETE

May. 3rd, 2011 04:07 pm
kung_fu_monkey: (Hanshin Tigers)
I have finished all finals for my classes. Two of my grades have already been returned as passing, though there's still no word on the thesis. I'll be attending the East Asian ceremony this Friday, but I'll pass on the formal Commencement ceremony.

There. I've done it. I've *finally* completed my Bachelor's Degree.
kung_fu_monkey: (animated)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aVaStxxqa3KfS3KSgCOlVT6cpN6BirWQ4nHqtchjth4/edit?hl=en#

This link should take you to the Google Docs page where I've uploaded my thesis. It seems to work for me, but let me know if you have problems accessing it.

Yes, there are formatting issues in the G-Docs version that do not exist in the original. It can't be helped.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed the research.
kung_fu_monkey: (animated)
After one last round of revisions, the thesis is complete. I will be turning it in tomorrow to Shimazaki Sensei. *whew*
kung_fu_monkey: (Angry Deer)
You know the scene in Japan is bad when your Japanese friends say that they can't take the earthquakes anymore. :(
kung_fu_monkey: (Hanshin Tigers)
In other news, both [livejournal.com profile] mahannie57 and [livejournal.com profile] zalena state that my thesis is good, needing a few tweaks here and there, but otherwise quite close to completion and fun to read.

This makes me very, very happy. My thanks to you both!!
kung_fu_monkey: (Hanshin Tigers)
I am not watching the Oscars. I have never watched the Oscars, and I highly doubt I will ever do so willingly. As such, I have a nice chunk of time to address the influence of Neo-Confucianism in the Tokugawa period regarding my monster studies thesis paper. La la.
kung_fu_monkey: (Default)
While I'm flitting about fueled by excess energy, I want to toss out a note to the locals about an upcoming event at CU Boulder

In the Humanities building, the original version of Godzilla will be shown at 5 PM. It's free to attend, but you might want to bring a snack as it's long and can be a bit slow at times.

"Godzilla" Film Screening
Thursday, January 13 at 5:00p.m.
Humanities 150


I bring this up since it actually prefaces a very significant lecture by one of Japan's leading literary critics who rarely has talks here in the States. His discussion is directly related to my 'monster studies,' so if you want to know a bit about what I'm delving in, feel free to attend! It's virtually mandatory for me to attend this lecture, so if you want to arrange a meeting point or whatnot, lemme know!





____

From Godzilla to Hello Kitty
A lecture by Norihiro Kato, one of Japan's most prominent public intellectuals and professor at Waseda University's School of International Liberal Studies


Friday, January 14 at 4:00p.m.
Humanities 250


Why does Godzilla continue to haunt Japan, coming back over and over again to Tokyo? And why, despite Godzilla’s destructiveness, do we still love him? Where does Hello Kitty come into this picture and why has she been so important in talking about popular culture and national identity? “From Godzilla to Hello Kitty” will explore the deeper meanings behind two globally famous cultural icons—Godzilla and Hello Kitty—that speak to us about postwar Japan, trauma, and the still unresolved issue of war responsibility.

Professor Norihiro Kato (Waseda University) is one of Japan’s most important and controversial Japanese literary and cultural critics. He has published more than thirty books on topics that encompass history, film and visual culture, cultural studies, economics, and political science. Recently he published a widely read and cited op-ed piece in the New York Times expanding his critical engagement beyond Japan.

The event will be preceded on January 13th by a film screening of the original 1954 Godzilla, which was only recently released in the US.
_____
kung_fu_monkey: (Noir Monkey)
[livejournal.com profile] saintpookie added a few new anime to our Netflix queue, one of which is a series called Mushishi. Essentially it revolves around a wandering man who specializes in dealing with the 'mushi' spirits; insect-like beings that live just on the borders of our perception which can cause numerous illnesses if people get infected by them. Mushi, in Japanese, means bug (though snails, tentacled horrors, and other small critters also qualify), but it can also refer to an infestation, swarm, or decay.

While watching the series, it became immediately apparent that this is almost precisely what much of my Monsters and Mythology class included, making me terribly happy to share this title with you.

For the few of you who were there with me, the main character has almost direct comparisons to GeGeGe no Kitaro, as well as the monster classification that happened in Early Modern Japan. It's a bit on the slow side, but it's a well done anime that shouldn't be missed.
kung_fu_monkey: (Gaymer Flag)
Not all of the entries I'll be posting will be US releases. During my time in Japan, I acquired a few titles that would almost assuredly never see the light of day on these shores and I would like to share one with you now.

I offer up Geemu no Nanashi, or "Nameless Game" for the Nintendo DS, published by Square Enix, developed by Epics.

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kung_fu_monkey: (bunbo bridge)
I've uploaded the entirety of my images (nearly 100!) over on Flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kansaimonkey/sets/72157624212538701/

Yes, I'm late on getting to the Flickr craze, but now that I've tried it, I'm sold. It's fast, easy, and sorting stuff is a breeze. Quite nice.
kung_fu_monkey: (NO)
No, really.



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