Monday, December 31, 2012

DTRIC Gangnam Style

I can't stop laughing at this photo that Dean has on his blog.  I wish there was a video.  That's Dean under the light.  So frickn funny!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Japan 8th Day - Araiyakushimae, Hawaii

On the morning of our last day in Japan we took a quick trip to a small town called Araiyakushimae in search of a candy store. Turns out the candy store closed down, but we still had a nice time walking around the area.  I ended up not taking too many pictures, but here are a few.



This is the cute lady that Leslie fell in love with.   She was so adorable.

Leslie bought some handkerchiefs from her, even though she really didn't need any.  I love this shot 'cause you can see Leslie's thumb holding on to the lady's fingers . . . so cute.

We had lunch at a one-man shop.  This is the soba that I had.  

This is what Les ate.

We paid first at this machine and got a ticket which we gave to the man.

There was a bakery along one of the streets. I took a quick look inside.  I thought this was intriguing. Looks like it's some kind of manju.  I regret that I didn't buy any.  I'll always wonder about it.


I did buy about six of the dorayaki on the left to bring home.  I'm glad I did 'cause it was the best I ever ate . . . so fresh.

Our flight home was scheduled to depart at around 8 p.m.  I took this picture while waiting in line to check in.

Here we are back home!  Notice my luggage on the left compared to Leslie's stuff.  Wouldja believe that during the trip Les kept scolding me for buying too much stuff.  I must admit . . . every square inch of my suitcase was stuffed. 

Here are my omiyage. I shoulda taken stuff out of the packages so you could see them too.  There are six bags of senbei and six boxes of mochi that are in the packages in the back.  Amazing yah!

Well, that wraps it up for our Japan trip. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  I like go back again already.  Let me know if you plan to go and need company :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wendell's Salmon/Shrimp Fish Cake

Wendell made this a couple of nights ago.  It was really, really good. I took the leftovers for lunch the next day.  He got the recipe from a cookbook that his coworker Darren gave to him for Christmas. The cookbook is called Everyday Harumi.  The beautiful plate that the fish cake is on is also a Christmas present.  I got it from Dean Nakamaru.  Thank you Dean!!  It's beautiful.


1 lb. salmon
Little over 1/2 lb. of shrimp
Small onion, minced
2 tbs. sake
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil

Remove skin and bones from salmon and mince. Mince shrimp. Both salmon and shrimp should resemble ground meat.  Combine salmon, shrimp, minced onion, sake, salt and pepper.  Shape into small fish cakes.  Fry in oil. Drizzle ponzu soy sauce on the fish cake before serving.

Ponzu Soy Sauce

1/2 c. mirin
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. lemon juice
2-inch piece of konbu seaweed

Bring mirin to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add soy sauce, lemon juice, konbu and leave to cool.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Japan 7th Day - Shibuya

Day 7 was Shopping-in-Shibuya-Day for us.  We purposely went during rush hour to catch the crowd at Shibuya Crossing.  

We musta had manju for breakfast 'cause that's what Leslie is eating here.  I forget already where we got it from. Our breakfasts throughout the trip were pretty much small stuff like this.  We had originally budgeted ourselves $20 each per meal.  We ended up spending about $20 PER DAY each instead.

I had to put my camera away into my bag before boarding.  There wouldn't have been room for it once we got on the train, that's how tightly we were packed.  They actually have attendants there who are people packers.  They shove and push the people into the train. There is absolutely no space between you and the next person. Almost 40 years ago I was in a similar situation.  The car was filled tightly. The guy standing behind me had his arms dangling at his side. As the train bounced up and down, his arm would rub my butt up and down.  I didn't know if he couldn't help it or if I should be offended. I just let it go.  Almost the same thing happened on this trip.  We were packed so tightly that I could barely breath. Only difference . . .  the guy behind me didn't end up rubbing my butt.  Instead, he kept elbowing and kneeing me trying get me AWAY from him.  The situation was so hilarious to me that I just wanted to lauuuugh!  In fact, maybe I did.

This is on the outside of Shibuya Station.

This is the statue honoring Hachiko, the dog who continued to wait  daily at the station for his master even after the master had passed away.

We went straight to the second floor of Starbucks to try and get shots of people at Shibuya Crossing.

It was raining slightly.

And things looked good photo-wise at first.

But my pictures ended up kinda disappointing.

We didn't stay too long at Starbucks.  There was shopping to be done. So we headed up this street.

We were a little too early so we had to wait a few minutes for Tokyu Hands to open up.

I thought this was so cool.

It's long, skinny plastic bags for you to put your wet umbrellas into.  That way you won't leave puddles in their store.  Clever yah!

My friend Bobbi had told me about washi tape, so I got really excited when I saw this.  There was so much variety.

For lunch we had my favorite thing - ramen.


Then it was back to shopping.

We went to check out Mandarake where there are anime and manga stuff and even costumed girls.

These stairs were so steep that it felt like we were going down into a dungeon.  I dreaded climbing back up.  

It wasn't what we were expecting. More books than anything.  I found out after taking this shot that picture taking is actually not allowed. The girl who informed me was so, so cute.  She was so apologetic.  She made an "x" with her right and left forefingers and bowed real low and said in Japanese something like, "Oh venerable o-customer-sama, please, I'm so sorry, but no picture taking is allowed.  So sorry."  That was the sweetest "no pikchas" I ever got.  So Japanese.

We shopped some more.



Me and Les wasted more than 10 bucks trying to get one of these cute coin purses.

After shopping on our way back home, we tried again for a good Shibuya Crossing picture.

Near our hotel was a 7 Eleven.  This was my favorite, favorite thing from there.  Vanilla ice cream with azuki beans and mochi. Sooooo goooooood.

We rested  up in the afternoon and for dinner we decided to get something from nearby.  I got this mushroom donburi dish.  It was yummy and cheap too.

This was Leslie's meal.

I just got a few more pictures from our last day in Japan . . . not too many, but I'll still post them.  Coming soon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yee Haw!!!

It's ova!!!  Hallelujah!! One more time . . . Yee hawwwww!!!!   The Christmas "giving" season is no fun for me . . . it stresses me out to the max.  I am so Scrooge-ish that I didn't even attend our company party.  Bah, humbug.  Make sure you check out Leslie's pictures from the party here

The last two Christmases, have been small-kine different for me. There's a guy named Dean Nakamaru in my life.  His blog is Courtsdawnpatrol.  Dean just loves Christmas.  And its because he is such a caring and giving guy that it brings him joy to be able to show his appreciation to others.  Dean's heart is starting to warm my heart. 

In the meantime, while my heart is warming, and now that my favorite time of the year has just bitten the dust,  I can go on with the blog. I still have Japan pictures to share with you . . . two more days worth.  I'll be working on them next.  Here are just a few miscellaneous stuff for now.

Les gave me this Nakata ume (11%) that she brought back from Japan.

CQ loooved it.  I thought it was sowah.

I was missing Japan ramen with the boiled egg in it.  I went online to find out how to make that egg . . . you know the kine with the shoyu on the outside.  I found out that all you do is cook the boiled egg in shoyu. That's all.

I used this soy sauce.  Came out goooooood.

Here are a couple last-minute holiday photos that I took. If you didn't do yours yet, let me know.  I'm free now.  This is Noreen and family.


Runa and family.


And lastly . . . I bought this bird feeder from the swap meet awhile back, just before going to Japan.  It was $1. I finally put it together two days ago.  Sweetie gave me some bird seed.  I was soooo excited to watch the birds gather at my feeder.

I hung it on the tangerine tree.  So far, no birds. Not one. What do I gotta do now?  Help!!

Grandpa update:  Wendell's dad is still in the hospital.  It looked really bad at one point, but he's been improving slowly.  Luckily, Wendell has some excess leave so he's been able to stay home to watch Aunty (his disabled sister).  We're now looking into an adult day care program for her.  

That's all for now.  Will be back soon.