火曜日, 7月 20, 2004

3-Day Weekend

    My neighbor Josh agreed to take care of Zedrake for me while I'm in China. I made inquiries at some pet hotels, but the ones that accept small animals seem to be both expensive and far away. I was afraid I'd have to take Zed on a bus or a train, and I'm not sure how he'd cope with that, but Josh is right next door and I think he's fond of Zedrake. I'm really glad.
    It was a 3-day weekend due to Marine Day. On Friday I met my friends M. and J. for coffee, and later food. J. started imitating an annoying burikko customer she had at work. I asked what "burikko" meant. M. looked it up for me on her electronic dictionary. It said something like "burikko: a girl who pretends to be cute." How funny. I learned that burikko talk in a cutesy, affected way that grates on the nerves (you may have noticed them saying things like "arigato" and "ne" in a childish tone of voice) and smile a lot with their heads tilted to one side. There are some special poses associated with burikko, for example making an L out of the thumb and forefinger of your right hand and supporting your face with it, with the thumb under your chin. My friends told me that a bit of a burikko act is good to put on in front of your boyfriend, but too much burikko and everyone will hate you. M. pulled out her purikura collection and we were able to identify several of her friends who looked suspiciously like burikko, at least in front of the purikura camera.
    We had fun imitating burikko for the rest of the night.
    Yesterday I went out to Suzurandai for a dinner party and as I was about to head up the stairs to my friend's apartment this huge spider came running out at me. It was as big as a tarantula, but not one because the legs weren't fat and hairy. Monaco and I backed away to let it go past, and Mike started chasing it away from the entrance to the stairs with a broom. It was then that the spider started jumping. It was the funniest thing. It ran a few steps and then jumped, ran and then jumped, which looked really strange for such a huge spider. I couldn't stop laughing. Our friend told us later that she found a spider bigger than that in her house...gulp.
    On Sunday I made soba, buckwheat noodles which are eaten cold in the summer. Last year I thought ew, cold noodles, and never tried this particular dish. But the other day when I saw it in the supermarket I wanted some. If you buy the soup for it (tsuyu) at the store, it always has fish stock in it. I made my own version by reading the labels of the tsuyu at the store and approximating it without the fish. I cut up a package of fresh shiitake and boiled the pieces for a few minutes with some konbu dashi powder, then added soy sauce, mirin and vinegar. Then just strain the shiitake out before you serve it. You can eat it with ginger or wasabi paste and/or sliced green onions for extra flavor. It was good. I had it again for lunch today.
    You probably think that's an acceptable soba variation, but last night I started craving something really weird. We were on the train home from the party in Suzurandai and the subject was cinnamon. E. said that whenever she makes desserts here, Japanese people always comment on the cinnamon in disapproving tones. Apple cobbler, gingerbread, pumpkin pie, egg nog--oh, those have cinnamon in them, they taste like cinnamon, people say, as if they are either allergic to it or ethically opposed. I started thinking about how much I like cinnamon and then it hit me--cinnamon on tofu. One of those combinations that no one has probably ever tried in human history. So when I got home I tried some cinnamon sugar on some silken tofu, and of course I thought it was good. Am I crazy? I think it would be even better if you put it in a food processsor and made a pudding out of it. But I may be crazy or my taste buds may be seriously out of whack. I live alone so I have no one to check these things with, to re-synchronize my sense of taste with that of another person. Another American-Japanese fusion food I invented (this one is more for winter though) is azuki beans in oatmeal. Use canned sweetened azuki beans to sweeten your cooked oatmeal, and sprinkle crushed peanuts on top. This is the one I really want to promote and have named after me. It's delicious.
    The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. Oh, wait. I found a
previously undiscovered video shop and rented Blue Velvet, which I'd never seen before but I thought was cool due to the brilliant Lynch/MacLaughlin combination that made Dune and Twin Peaks so great, and several taped episodes of Atashinchi, which is the greatest show for learning Japanese and so easy to understand compared with other anime and TV programs. So I started watching all of the episodes of Atashinchi in order from the first one. On the third tape I had a surprise: Little Mikan gets a job in a supermarket giving out food samples, and when people say she looks young she protests that she's is in her second year of high school. Until that episode, based on her small stature relative to adults and general level of maturity, coupled with the fact that the target audience for this show is preschool aged, I had assumed she was still in elementary school. That makes Mikan older than my students. *Big shock.*


  • At 9:27 午後, Anonymous 匿名 said…

    There's no such thing as "imitating" burikko. Burikko IS an imitation, so congrats, you are the real thing.



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