やっと日本語にがんばっているよ!

日本語に書きたいから、そのブログが難しいよ! 最近友人のヨオコのブロクを読んでみている。 習ったものはめっちゃ日本語が分からないよ! しばしば 電子辞書を使っていた。 もしこの地域に話せる人がいたら、もう少しかんたんかも。 けど、その人を見つけるのが難しいね。
今 夜は二度お好み焼きを作ってみた。 一度からたくさん事を習ったから、ちょうよかった! 中国のYamが使わなくて、ほんとお好み焼き粉があっ たんだ よ! そして、そのサイズがもう少し小さく作ったから、Flipするのがやさしくなった。 ルームメートと友達がおいしいと言ったから、うれしいよ!!  :)
もし日本語が分かったら、間違うものを教えてね ;)

This entry probably took me the longest to write so far, which is sad being that it is one of the shorter ones. Japanese is hard though. Doubly so when you dont get to think in it often. I suppose the same could be said for any language though. Perhaps I should have learned a language more easily practicable. Or just learn english properly considering that I severely doubt ‘practicable’ is a real word. Or perhaps it is… which I guess is my point :/

So I tried making okonomiyaki again tonight and I must say that the results were much better than the initial attempt. Instead of using a yam I went out and found real okonomiyaki powder. Its amazing how much less it was just without having to grate a yam. I also used a slightly different recipe this time. Last time it was some random that I found on the net, but this time i used the one right on the back of the okonomiyaki powder bag. Although it was all in Japanese I think it was much easier to use.

Daily slap of wisdom:
“If you do it right, no one will realize you’ve done anything at all”
Daily winning numbers:
46, 22, 8, and 37,605

Read More

Okonomiyaki is FRIGGIN HARD

So I got the bright idea to try making one of my favorite Japanese dishes. Okonomiyaki has been described by many as the Japanese pizza because it is somewhat pancake-ish and is topped with various meats and vegetables then smothered in sauce. I had seen it made a few times while I was in Japan and it didn’t look TOO complicated. Apparently I either suck at remembering how it was made, or I just grossly underestimated the ordeal that is making okonomiyaki. For those of you that don’t know I will give you a lesson in its preparation, and those that already know, I will try to make it an entertaining description.

I wasn’t sure what went into this concoction so I scoured the net trying to find a recipe only to find that ever one of them varies wildly depending on who makes it. One of my friends had told me once that REAL okonomiyaki has some sort of Chinese Yam in it, so I discarded any recipes that didn’t make mention of that. After having found one I drove on down to the asian market and picked up all the stuff I thought I needed.

Basic stuff you need to get are flour, some eggs, green onion, a cabbage, a chinese yam, japanese mayonaise (Kyupi brand), okonomiyaki sauce (otafuku brand), katsubushi (dried fish flakes, and YES they are required), and dashi no moto (fish broth mix). This will make you a very very basic okonomiyaki, but we need to add some extra stuff to make it tasty. You can toss on anything that you think might be good and even some things you think wont. I chose squid and pork.

Grate or grind your yam (still not sure the best way to deal with this), then combine it in a BIG bowl with your flour and around 6 eggs or so. Toss in a couple dashes of your Dashinomoto and mix it up real good. Chop up your ENTIRE cabbage and mix it in with the batter, if it looks like a ridiculous amount of cabbage in there then you have the proportions about right.

Now go ahead and slice your pork into thin strips about .25″x.75″x1.5″ or whatever looks good to you. Then chop your green onion up in the way that green onion generally are chopped. Now we get to deal with the best part, SQUID.

I had never actually handled a squid before, so this was quite an adventure. Grab your squid by the head thingy and by the face and pull until they separate and all the guts fall on your lap, or somewhere else if you prefer. Toss the part with all the guts and legs hanging off on a plate or in a bowl and make a snide comment to your friend that his dinner is done. Then cut the little ‘ear’ flaps off of the head. You will probably notice some other random guts hanging on to the inside, go ahead and try to yank those out and flick them at someone. Apparently squids actually have a backbone, but it looks more like a plastic straw. REALLY. Grab this thing and yank it out. Now if you have ever seen squid served up then you will probably remember that it is white and what you are probably looking at now is kinda off white with purplish specks. Thats cuz these things actually have skin and you now get to rip it off. Fun huh? After you figure out a good method for that let me know. Then you wanna slice it into like 1″x1″ squares. Fry this up either with the pork or separately. You don’t have to fry it very long.

Now we have an ass-ton of ingredients and you should properly feel overwhelmed. So lets get rid of some of these things. Find the hugest pan you can find and get it hot. If you have a big hot plate thing then use that. You are gonna dump the batter on it and then cover it with all of the other ingredients and anything else you thought might be good. The best one I’ve had also had cheese and noodles in it. Let this puppy fry a bit and then flip it. DOESNT THIS SOUND INSANELY EASY!?!?! Yeh, you are looking at a Mt. Fuji of food and you are just supposed to casually flip it! If you figure out a plausible way of doing this for gots sake let me know. Cook on this side and then flip onto a plate.

Now we need to smother it in our mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce and then toss a couple of hand fulls of our katsubushi on there. The katsubushi should make it look like its all crawling and squirming. Appetizing? HELLS YES!! Cut yourself off a piece and yell at your friends cuz you have just made the infamous Okonomi-friggin-yaki!!

If you follow my instructions to a ‘T’ then you should have a couple of piles of stuff frying in different pans and then thrown onto your plates in a huff then irritably coated in sauces and thrown at your guests. Should taste about right, but will look nothing like real okonomiyaki. If only I had taken pictures of this tasty abomination…

Read More

考えすぎるかも

I have been searching for an exceptional way to study/practice my Japanese in the interim before going back, and had thusly briefly considered writing this post in its entirety in said language. Luckily for anyone reading this now, be you English or Japanese speakers, I regretfully came to a stunning loss for words. It appears they come and they go, and seem to be going more often than coming.

For a class I was once taking, I started reading a book entitled “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” and have since continued the reading of it. This in itself is no remarkable feat, I know, but the book itself is something I think most have sadly missed putting on their ‘to read’ list. For within this novel Murakami weaves an intricate and dream-like tale of a very ordinary man with nothing particularly wrong with him. This vague description might lead you to the thinking that it would be a boring and trite story, but nothing could be further from reality. As much as it must irritate, I’m finding myself disinclined to elaborate on the subtleties of this masterpiece, but I would nevertheless recommend it to anyone who finds the bazaar interesting.

“Attraction is the worst parts in you connecting with the worst parts in someone else.”

Read More

Attack of the Nostalgic Order

While I was digging through some old files, and organizing some pictures ‘n stuff I came across the dump of my blog from my trip to Japan last summer (2004). It is kinda long and there are tons of spelling and grammatical errors, but I think its worth a good post. Enjoy!

It Starts (2004-05-14 14:53:22)
All my crap is packed, but there is no way in hell I could be considered ready to go. Ah well. Here are some random pictures of me. “Why?” You might ask. Because I have them, and I want to test out this little blogger that a wrote in a couple of hours.
*insert obligatory your mom comment here*’


First entry — a bit long (2004-05-18 23:15:40)
Took me a while to get situated up here. I had a horribly long flight. The flight plan made it look like the trip over here was going to take 14 hours. I was obviously WRONG. I got to the airport at about 3, got on my first flight about 6. Plane left at about 6:30, I got to dallas about 7:00. Then I got to wait untill 10:30 to leave on my next flight. The second flight looked promising: nice comfy chair, some free food, and a personal tv for each seat. Well, MY TV was broken. As far as i know it was the only one that was broken and the airline people didnt feel it was neccissary to do anything about it. Oh well, im not bitter. Really.When i first got here I thought I was going to have to find a way to get a hold of Masa and Misuzu, but Misuzu was so nice. She showed up and waited for me for like 2 hours. I really cant thank Misuzu and her family enough, they were so nice. Misuzu took me to this festival in Asakusa, which is some where in the vacinity of Tokyo. I missed the parades and stuff but I got to see some temples and shrines and too little bands playing taiko.

After that we met up with Masa and went to Misuzu’s parents house. They offered to put me up for the night, and they treated me to dinner. Such nice people. I tried speaking broken japanese to them, and they spoke some broken english to me. It was a realy fun night. I wish i had thought to take a picture of them.

Next day me and Masa went out shopping and looking around in Tokyo. We went to Akihabara, the famous electronics district. There was all kinds of stuff there. Didnt buy anything yet, though. Maybe on my way back I will. After that we met up with Masa’s friend Ryoto. He’s is also a really cool guy, we went all over Tokyo. And hit Shinjuku area and ate some lunch at Otoyoo’s. Its some little restaurant that is popular around stations all over Tokyo. Iced soba is pretty good btw. Then we hit some stores and eventually met up with Misuzu and Masahiro. Then we ran around a little and went to a pub. After getting sufficiently buzzed we went and tried some kareoke. In japanese and english. I realized that I cannot sing, and can barely remember the words to some of my favorite songs. Go me. Somewhere during the day I bought a cellphone. Not to bad, only set me back like 5000yen.

Next day I got on the Shinkensen(bullet train) and went down to Kobe. It was a really interesting trip, but unfortuneately Im not sure how to explain it right now, and my battery is running low.

First few days in Summary:
Japan rocks ass. Tokyo especially rocks ass. Sushi here is 10x what it is in OK. Trains are confusing, but the people here are really nice. Strangest things I tried eating: a fish eye, and somethings brains made into a fine paste. Retrospect: Pack lighter.


Catch up. (2004-05-20 02:21:12)
So first, what happened yesterday and someother stuff I left out.Yeh, my experience on the Shinkansen trying to get from tokyo to kobe was fun. But really. I hadn’t been on a train in my life until I got here, and up till that point I had been running with Misuzu and Masa. When I tried navigating those damn train terminals I was SOOO fscking lost. Imaging a very confusing layout for a building with lots of signs pointing seemingly random directions and you have a glimps at what i was going through. But then you have to remember that most of the signs are in japanese. Yeah, that rocked my ass. And not in that good way.

After I got to kobe I tried to find Jason (the guy Im currently staying with, who btw is very cool (btw, his family is also very cool (nesting is fun))), but he was not home yet, so I had to once again run around on my own and try to find something to do. I ended up randomly finding this little shine in the middle of the neighborhood. Very cool. After I finally got connected with jason and his family we went down to the bar. Had a little beer and a little yakisoba (fried buckwheat noodles), and tried talking with the natives. I met some interesting characters that night. A man named fisherman who nicely brought us some freshfish, and a man they call owl man, cuz he stays up (im guessing, not sure though). I tried talking to owl man all night with no success. *shrug*

Now the next day, I came down to Sannomiya. Forgot my umbrella and got really wet. I did get to do some shopping though. Found a really big dept. store called Joshin’s I think. I wish the US had even a 10TH of the cool stuff they have here. Specifically the video games and the fscking TINY laptops. Also ran into some big store called Sogo. Not sure what was all was in it, after going through 3 levels of just food I left. Also found a bunch of super trendy stores that sell shoes starting at 50,000yen (~$500). Later that night I went back to that bar with Jason, this time drank a bit more beer and sake. Learned a lot of japanese and finally was able to talk with owl man. I dont know why people said that a lot of the older people have hostility still. In fact the old men that I was hanging out with said that if our conversation had happened years ago, there never would have been a pearl harbor. Im finally becoming comfortable speaking japanese with people. BTW the little internet cafe Im sitting in right now deserves some props, cuz they are super cool. www.batterycafe.com. Awesome joint.

Havent uploaded any pictures recently cuz my script is kinda broken. I will go back and add some soon. This is the kind of crap you get when you use some cheap software made by some hippy in a few hours. I will have to track him down and kick his butt… wait… thats me… *punches self in face*

Read More