Monday, June 29, 2009

The Most Excellent Pre-Packaged Cakes Evarrrr

So I went to our local Japanese grocer the other day with my friend and she spoiled the hell out of me whilst there. I found this store (called ubiquitously enough, "Tokyo") back in college as it was like 10 minutes from campus. Back in those days they carried more frivolous items, more like a real conbini. However, over time they stopped carrying the most recent items, shokugan, drinks, etc. Most of the gimmicky items have disappeared from the shelves of the store now, but they do still carry some fun things, including traditional teapots/tea sets, sake cups carved from wood, chopsticks, various kitchen items, mimikaki (ear cleaning) tools & they do still carry a small selection of candy toys like Re-Ment food miniatures.

Anyway, disappointment over diminished stock aside, this trip was specifically planned to go buy can coffee after I bought a special edition Eva UCC can from J-List and was reminded of just how delicious it was after not having had it for some time. So I got a whole bunch of can coffee, UCC and others, a couple of bottles of the milk tea I used to buy when I was going to school down there and a ramune or two for good measure. I got a load of other things (which I'll write about later) but I ran across a most curious item...

Despite being a Japanese grocer (run by actual Japanese people from Osaka if I'm remembering correctly) they do carry a few things that aren't Japanese. There's a Korean brand of ramen called Nong Shim that I and all of my friends love. It comes with dehydrated vegetables in a packet and is really spicy. (They keep really well, too. I had a few for prolly close to 2 years and the vegetables were still intact even after that long a period of time.) They carry the ubquitous (sorry for using that word so much) Asian grocery staple sauce, Sriracha (the one with the green top and the rooster on it) as well. Both of these are marked with Korean and Thai languages, and don't look Japanese in origin. The product that I found this time, however, was very Japanese on the outside, even using the Japanese language on the outside of the package, but the company had a Vietnamese name: Kinh Do. Also, the label on the back that is required for all import products displayed "Product of Vietnam" on it, which confirmed my guess. the product in question was a box of Tiramisu Cream Cakes. Individually wrapped and tasting more like tiramisu than some actual tiramisu that I've tasted before, these are delicious! Kinh Do, you make some fine confections. I've honestly never seen such a thing before, a foreign-made product with Japanese packaging (other than American stuff like Frito-Lay, but that's often Frito-Lay Japan, based in Japan).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Youtube Reviews, Srsly?

I realize that the novelty of Youtube has by and large worn off for most people, and that's a good thing. For about a two year span there was this big deal about being a talking head on Youtube. If you owned a camera and had an opinion about something -- anything, YT welcomed you with open arms to sit there and "umm" and "ooh" at the camera while trying to "inform" or "entertain". This got staggeringly idiotic pretty quickly. (Though this still wasn't as bad as every AMV or "COVER, FULL VERSION!" shitty attempt at playing guitar that exist on there to this day) This "punditism" still exists now across a myriad of subjects that there are TONS of "experts" at, though they're not as popular as they were when Youtube was still in its heyday 3 or 4 years ago.

I really don't mean to come off as an elitist, because there are I'm sure, thousands of people that know more than me and get aggravated when I don't know what "Mac app X" is or how to code in "Programming Lang. Y", but when the entirety of thumbnails of results of any given search consists of a crowd of soulless faces jabbering about nonsense it gets grating. Yeah, it's great that your 14 year old is a computer expert, but that doesn't mean I want to watch his stupid ass on Youtube talking about games and movies. Now that isn't to say I don't like people reviewing things, hearing feedback from others is great sometimes, especially when you have sites like Gamepro being paid for their views on things. But I want to READ these reviews. This works two-fold: 1) I don't have to sit through 10 minutes of truly unintelligent tard-speak & wade through several of these videos to get to one with rhetoric of that above a fur-covered cyst and 2) If someone is intelligent enough to write something cohesively and I'm reading it, I know in about 2 seconds whether or not I'm wasting my time via red flags like "wut", "r" & "roflcopter".

If I'm reading an article on history or architecture or medical heuristics I can be kinda sure if someone has enough knowledge subjects like these and also bothered to write an article, that I'm not really wasting my time reading it. Conversely, entertainment is pretty much universally accessible, and opinions are like assholes - everyone has one. Therefore, pretty much anyone that can turn on a computer can "review" things now. And it certainly seems to be that way.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chopstick Rice & Miso Bra

Gives a whole new meaning (and identifying homophone) to "Miso horny!" Via Weird Asia News.

Ikea Loot

Long time no update! (10 days according to Blogger) Went with my friend over the weekend to Ikea to help her pick out a couch & dresser and do some wedding registry stuff ("But where's her fiance?" you ask. I know, right?). I picked up some smaller stuff for myself, including a battery-powered DIODER that doesn't cost $40 a strip, and that has a motion detector to light up instead of a switch, which I personally think is really stupid. Especially when you take into consideration the fact that they don't tell you about this anywhere on the display or package and when you open it up you're like, "Uh, I'm supposed to stick this in a drawer?" (per the directions, apparently the Swedes don't want you sticking it anywhere but in a drawer or some other dark hole)

I got a really cool retro-looking clock for like $5, I'm amazed at how cheap but sturdy just about everything is that they sell. As I'm writing this, my computer sits on a soft pine desk that's about 5 or 6 years old now that is still holding up well, from Ikea of course. I bought the most soothing apples and cinammon candle, as well as some ridiculous plates and bowls. I make sure to purchase at least one piece of flatware or a plate, bowl or cup everytime I go there. Granted, nothing I get ever matches because of this method of purchasing things, but it makes for an interesting and eclectic - and unending - combination of place settings. The candle was a big deal for me because normally candles or air fresheners end up nauseating me, this one is quote unquote juuuuust right. I'm a regular insomniac, and somehow that candle made me pleasantly drowsy. After all, smell is the most powerful memory receptor in terms of the five senses.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Foggy Day Picture

The other morning was really foggy, like Silent Hill or something, so I took a shot out of my bedroom window.

Tiny Origami Cubes & Flowers

Found a bottle full of old, tiny origami made from Japanese gum wrappers and the like, that I had stuffed into a bottle of Mandarin Absolut when I was cleaning out my closet. I'd say a good 3/4 were inflatable cubes or "balloons" and the other 1/4 consisted of 4-petaled flowers. I remember these taking a lot of painstaking detail and being really time-consuming.