Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Richard's latest post has reminded me of this very post-worthy breakfast I had last Sunday. While Jenni stayed with us, she kindly made blueberry pancakes, some shaped like a mouse or panda, depending on your view, and others in various island forms. This picture is also an ode to happy blog, who always has amazing food-related posts. I hope she adjusts well in terms of nourishment; I just find it difficult to imagine that Canada has better food than Japan.


My dad claims that when I was a kid, my favorite part of the Lincoln Park Zoo was the cow-milking demonstration. Jenni and I went to the zoo last week (has anyone else heard of fries shaped like animals, or did I just make them up???) and we happened to enter the barn as they were wrapping up the milking demonstration. It is generally kind of gross, but I used to drink a lot of milk when I was young so I guess I appreciated this procedure back then. What young child pays attention to giant cow nipples changing sizes and being rubbed with vaseline-like balm anyway?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

UPDATE: "Who is this man? この人誰?" MYSTERY RESOLVED

Left: My photo
Right: From Mizuno

Earlier this month I posted a picture of a man at Narita Airport, unaware of his identity. It turns out that he is not a K-1 or MMA fighter like I guessed, but an OLYMPIC SWIMMER. I was perusing Japanese medals and didn't recognize the swimmer Matsuda Takeshi, so I clicked on his profile. I didn't match him as the guy at the airport immediately, but Mordecai did, pointing to the birthmark on his left cheek. It turns out he swam against Michael Phelps the other night in the 200-meter butterfly (not the 100-meter butterfly where Phelps barely won to the Serbian guy) and won the bronze medal. We're the same age! Even Perez Hilton dropped his name in a Michael Phelps post! He's an Olympian medalist! He's my new favorite Olympian swimmer! WOW!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Argo Shmargo

I just accidentally took someone else's large iced maté laté even though I ordered a small :D

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Homage to Yokohama Baystars Cheerleaders

We went to a Yokohama Baystars vs. Tokyo Giants game and sat in the bleacher seats. There is no point in going to a Japanese baseball game unless you sit in the bleachers! All the action is where the cheerleaders (ouendan) are--they tell you who you're cheering for, what to cheer, and how to cheer (the rhythm can be tricky; there are different cheers for various players and even moments during the game). These boys/men are all very passionate about cheering, and what they do is not insignificant--the cheering can be heard distinctly on TV, so if there is no guided cheering, the team and its fans look half-hearted and pathetic to everyone in the stadium and watching at home. They're like orchestra conductors! (See video below.)

And then there is this weirdo, who is apparently always present at Baystars games. He wanders around all of the stands on the Baystars side, always wears his sunglasses, and always carries a hand-made sign with weird messages. This one says something about not throwing stuff into the field even if you are angry...or something.

And here is a video of the bad-knee cheerleader guiding us into a victorious cheer for...Yoshimura? They seem to have a nickname for him. I can clap along but I never say anything because I don't know what to say, except that if I had a male child to raise in Japan, I'd encourage him to become of these guys! But maybe he wouldn't want to cheer for the weakest team in all of Japan, with the sorriest record ever? がんばれ横浜!

Watermelons of the Future

Top left: pyramid shape
Top right: 3-D trapezoidal & square shapes
Bottom left: Heart shape
Bottom right: Godzilla's egg shape

At the Yokohama Station (west exit) next to the entrance to Takashimaya, there is a fancy fruit store where years ago I witnessed the famed square watermelon in person. Supposedly they were made to fit neatly into refrigerators, but what you gain in efficiency, you lose in taste. Now they're just messing around with watermelon DNA. Maybe one day we will see human-shaped watermelon? It'll be like Anpanman, wandering around searching for hungry children and offering a piece of his head to stave off hunger.

Who is this man? この人誰?

On July 17, I took this photo from the bus taking Mordecai and me from Narita to Yokohama. I noticed journalistic frenzy surrounding a relatively built man; I figure he is an athlete of some sort, but because you can't enter images or objects into Google yet, I have no idea who he is. Maybe he's related to K-1, MMA, fighting stuff? He's got that look in his eyes, and either a scar or birthmark near his left eye. Or maybe he's just a famous sailor/seaman?