Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

So if I grab then hold on — Drifloon will carry me away someplace?

Ahem. I have a lot of name suggestions and a lot of cosplay to share this week, so clear the hanger …

Drifloon and Drifblim were introduced in Generation IV (Diamond and Pearl.) These Sinnoh Region Pokémon are both Ghost-and-Flying types. From Bulbapedia:

Drifloon (in Japanese: フワンテ  “Fuwante”) is known as being one of the more “creepy” Pokémon because it supposedly captures unaware children.

From Pokémon HeartGold:  “It is whispered that any child who mistakes Drifloon for a balloon and holds on to it could wind up missing.”

From Pokémon Black 2: “These Pokémon are called the Signpost for Wandering Spirits. Children holding them sometimes vanish.”  

Drifloon evolves into Drifblim (in Japanese: フワライド “Fuwaride”) beginning at level 28.

I like to make my balloon a flying advertisement. I like to name a Drifloon “YOUR-AD-HERE” then send it out on the Wondertrade. Ha … because your fellow players want to know if they are missing out on advertising opportunities. ”Eat-At-Joes” is an old Looney Tunes running-joke reference.

Hey! You might even name your crazy balloon “Looney”!

Now some balloons are made of rubber. Some are made of latex. Go and have fun with those types of names. “Rubber Baby” is from the tongue twister:  “rubber baby buggy bumpers“.

Drifblim is more of a hot air balloon rather than a blimp, but I have used “blimp” type names such “Goodrich” or “NotAGoodyear”. Speaking of blimps, please enjoy this balloon cosplay:

My favorite name for Drifblim is “Zep Leddelin” as a play on the name of the famous rock band Led Zeppelin. Yes, zeppelins may be shaped differently than hot air balloons, but it is still fun.

Hindenburg” might be another example. Maybe “Branson” after the Virgin Co. CEO who is always trying to set hot air ballooning records.

PaperBalloon” might be a good historic reference to the Japanese Paper Balloon Bombs which were used in World War II. Japanese scientists figured out a way to launch a balloon  from Japan which would be carried by the westerly jet stream winds to North America. This resulted in the only civilian casualties on the mainland United States in WWII. A Sunday school teacher and his family were on an outing in the Oregon woods when his children – not knowing what it was –touched  it, and the explosion killed them all. In this case a balloon did take children away.

I also imagine that Drifloon may work as a weather balloon, so I name it “Radiosonde” after the instrument package carried aloft in a weather balloon. Of course, most UFO sightings are merely stray weather balloons.

I also suggest the names “Nadir” and “Nadar” as references in the history of remote sensing. Balloons were once used for military reconnaissance. In 1858, Gaspard Felix Tournachon (later dubbed “Nadar”) captured the first recorded aerial photograph from a manned balloon.

The word “nadir” is a photogrammetry term referring to the line to the ground directly below the remote sensing platform, and the center of the Earth. This term means that your balloon is right on top of things when you take your photo.

Drifblim trying to find the nadir point

“Blim” and “loon” remind me of “Bloom“, so one name might be “Bloomers” as in … ahem …a ladies unmentionables. “Buys -Ballots” is another meteorology term (despite how it sounds, it does not have anything to do with George Soros).

Then I thought of “Bloomberg” after the former mayor of New York City who – I am not making this up — tried to ban 32-ounce sodas from being sold in NY. The idea there is that consumers suck up too much of the liquid candy. Thus they need a government nanny to stop New Yorkers from becoming a bunch of fat, lazy, government dependent, entitled welfare cheats. Really, drinking too much sugary soda can really make one balloon up – ha ha – balloon up! …get it?

Others? How about “Blimpie” — as in the name of a submarine sandwich company. “Up and Away” is a reference to the famous song by “The Fifth Dimension”.

Readers: This may be my last post for some time. I hope that I have provided something for everyone here!

What do you like to name your big purple balloons? Please comment!

When I met her in that Ohio coffee shop, I kept telling myself “Denny, don’t stare  … don’t stare at her legs… don’t stare at her legs you idiot …”

Ohio!  Ha … “Ohio” that is how you say “good morning” in Japanese!

Ha … please don’t correct me, I know that the phrase is really “Ohayō” お早う or “Ohayōgozaimasu”.  I have become a big fan of Japanese singer Moritaka Chisato these past few months. Every morning I look forward to the perfect combination of 1) my morning mug of coffee 2) my iPhone on which I can watch YourTube videos, and 3) my headphones. It is the best time of the day, sitting there, having a good morning coffee … of course my life is complete shit at work, but at least I am happy for those 25 fleeting minutes. Ahem, I am particularly happy when listening to music videos from this wonderful artist.  All Japanese culture comes to me by starlight, and Moritaka Chisato is a good example. I first learned about her from another blogger’s post (MorningBerryz48). The original post is linked here. Moritanka Chisato had her first hits in the late 1980s and was popular through the 1990s. I guess you could call her stuff “nineties music” — but she recorded a variety of great music in many different genres. She was a little different from many pop/idol singers of the time because she wrote her own music and was an accomplished instrumentalist. Ohio! Lets us get to the videos!

The first song is 気分爽快 translated as “Refreshing Feelings”.  There are several different versions and live performances of the song on YT (check out the “drums” version linked here), but this particular MV is very intriguing. I would have to ask my friend Bob to identify the guitars which the guitarist plays here. Oddly, at one point in the video, he is playing a different one than moments before! Now I have watched this MV like the Zapruder film, detailing each moment. There is a “Mystery Woman” dressed in a green sweater-top. She never turns to face the camera, even during the big wide-shot group dance part. We … never… see… her… face. I was thinking that perhaps she is the Moritaka from the future, or perhaps visiting from another dimension … but then again I’m a nut.

Moritanka Chisato portrays a teacher in this next video “Song of Study” or “Study Song” depending on which order you read it. There are a lot different versions of this MV too, but I think that this one is the most endearing. Musically, it sounds like the mid-eighties. Somewhere between Cindy Lauper and DEVO.

Ms. Chisato plays a teacher. I have taken some notes: The superiority of the Japanese educational system is clearly on display here. Ms. Chisato is clearly better than any boring teacher I ever had. Who wants to listen to some dork lecture about rocks? I prefer Ms. Chisato’s suit. Oh, man in that tight suit, nice hose and pretty shoes — she reminds me of a young Mrs. Sinnoh. I like how at one point she gives a boy the choice between a comic book and a study guide, and he chooses the manga, much to her disappointment. After she teaches for a while she gives him the choice between the workbook and a Nintendo Gameboy, and he chooses the schoolbook! (Notice how much larger Gameboys were in Japan. Those things were HUGE!) I noticed that she gives pretty big tests. They are easy (look close) but they are really BIG tests. You will also notice that the school day goes by very fast with her. The hands on the classroom clock fly around very quickly. I sure would like to be this teacher’s pet : )

“They say that the big band sound is coming back!” (Sorry about that stupid comment. I have had to put up with that one half-my life.)  Now, if you have not exited my post yet, you are in for a treat. The next song is “So Blue”. Despite the big band, dance hall atmosphere, this song rocks out pretty hard.  I might even call it “progressive” rock, as it is so interesting and complex. Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir? Forget that, you will find a much better guitar/drum/strings arrangement from Chisato-san here. (Denny sups coffee.)

This next song is “August Love”. My comic-book reading otaku friends like Matthew and The Otaku Judge should recognize the lovely Moritaka is singing inside one of Superman’s fortresses. Now, this is not his Arctic isolated fortress. Instead Superman keeps Mori-chan forever young in this PACIFIC fortress. (It has a slightly different coloration.) Can you imagine the fun Superman has in that place, listening to Ms. Chisato – trapped in time — kept forever young, singing about August Love – with that facethat hair … and that red lipstick. (Denny gulps.)

Gentemen, hold on to your hearts, because if you have not fallen in love with Moritaka Chisato yet, you will succumb during this next beautiful song — “Watarase Bridge”. She was going for a Beatles “Let It Be” sound and video. Well, screw the Beatles. At least Chisato-san did not have to lie about who was playing the instruments. SHE IS!  Clearly one of her best songs, even my other Jpop hero Hanako Oku loves it. Psst: Watch for the “mystery woman” to walk through right at the end.

If you love Jpop, make sure that you add some Moritaka Chisato to your collection! Her official web links are here:

Official Website: http://www.moritaka-chisato.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/chisatomoritaka
Twitter: http://twitter.com/moritakastaff
Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/108720770772129735479/posts
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moritakachannel

She has a great volume of music and video to explore. She is older now, and not publishing as much as during her hey day in the 1990s. She is married to a nice guy and has two lovely children.

I have also started a Pinterest board for Moritaka Chisato linked hereThanks MB, for introducing me to another great artist, I might otherwise never would have known about.

Starlight: I discovered Moritaka Chisato on November 16, 2016 through MorningBerryz48’s blog. I can’t do justice to MB’s post. She has all this great album cover art, photos, live performances, songs lyrics, etc.

Wha … Why are you still here? go have  a look!

What is the greatest popular music song of all time?

Is it “She Loves You (Yeah,Yeah,Yeah)” by the Beatles? Could it be “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin? Is your choice “YMCA” by the Village People? Well, all of those are valid choices to be sure …

However, please allow me to make a case for “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni”, which translates from Japanese as “Like the Waters of a River”.

The music was composed by Akrika Mitake with lyrics by Yasushi Akimoto. They composed this ballad for the famous Japanese enka singer Hibari Misora. The song was to be her last single, and she died shortly after it was released in 1989.

From Wikipedia:  “… was voted the greatest song of all time during a national poll in 1997 by NHK, with more than 10 million votes. It is often the song of choice for artists  performing live tributes to Misora.” According to linguistics blogger Larry Kenny “it is learned routinely by high school students in Japan.” and “The song embodies the very essence of enka, if not the very essence of the Japanese people.”  I would be able to agree with that, as it is a very moving song. Mr. Kenny has provided a great English translation, and has written a wonderful article about the song linked here.

Several famous singers have recorded the song. I am including a little YouTube playlist here.

As performed by Hibari Misora:

This recording is by Cantonese singer Teresa Teng.

Here is a version with American “soul” singer Diana Ross and opera singers Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras. Dam!

How about this version by Mexican singer Mariachi Vargas?

You can probably find many others through various YuteTube links. If I was not tearing-up so much, I could probably practice the song with this karaoke:

Mr. Kenny also has created this version that [his singer Evan Ross] sings in English. Now the singing is not as “enka” as some others, I will admit, but [they have] created a very respectable, heartwarming rendition.  (Much better than I ever could.)

[Evan Ross] sings his beautiful translation of the lyrics in English. [Mr. Kenny] actually provides two English translations of the song in the article. One is a “literal” translation of the words from Japanese, and then he created another “non-literal”  descriptive version. Wow. Just wow. Mr. Akimoto’s original lyrics are so meaningful, so filled with eternal truths … that they may transcend language barriers and even create new meanings. The following is Mr. Kenny’s non-literal interpretation.

Like a dream, like a dream, passing day after day
down this long, narrow road I’ve been walking
If I turn, looking back I can see far away
the old town that I loved long ago.

Roads that wind and twist in every way,
Bumpy roads that have seen too many days
With no map to guide us, every path we cross in our lives,

Ah, just like the waters of a river, countless bygone days,
one by one how gently, how slowly they go,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, on unendingly,
into the sky painted colors of evening flow.

In our journeys and lives, though they start and they end,
still the road never stops, on forever,
as we reach toward a dream, making memories and friends,
we draw near the people who we love.

As the rain beats down upon our heads
and the mud covers all the road ahead
on we walk because soon a bright new day will come again

Ah, just like the waters of a river, slow and gracefully,
lay this body down, let them take me away,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, like the seasons flow,
as we wait for April sunshine to melt the winter grey.

Ah, just like the waters of a river, slow and gracefully,
lay this body down, let them take me away,
Ah, just like the waters of a river, on eternally
as we hear the rushing current flow out to the bay.

http://www.larrykenny.com/enka/kawa.php

I think the lyrics are especially poignant as Hibari Misora passed on soon after the song was released. The lyrics introduce imagery about the philosophy of life — by analogy — flowing like a river. It is nostalgic in that the singer/listener is looking back over their life, not with regrets but with the appreciation of a life that was lived. I have to wonder if she knew she was near the end of her life when she made those live performances. If she had no regrets, and had nothing but love at the end … well — it shows.

I hope you can find your own fluid meaning there.

Finally, “Kawa no Nagare no Yō ni” was also recorded by my favorite enka singer Iwasa Misaki. There are no [legit] music videos of Misaki-san’s recording on YourTube. There are even a few non-Misaki fakes out there! However, let me share this SoundCloud link to Miss Misaki’s great interpretation of the song.

Are you ready? Sitting down? Clasping the armrests? Tissue box nearby?

Wasamin’s version always turns me into a big, blubbering sack of protoplasm. If you enjoy it even half as much as I do, you can order the CD single from CD-Japan linked here. The song 川の流れのように is the third song (a second B-side?) of her three-track CD-Single of Gomen ne Tokyo. Note: Only the REGULAR edition CD-single has the song!

If you want one, I will buy you a copy!

Why not listen to some Enka music? … What feelings do the lyrics pull out of you, or what pictures from your life can you imagine?  … Try to observe nature as if it were a beautiful sound of a song … think of someone you loved … Think of your favorite memories of places you enjoyed … 

Find again what you love about your life. Enka.

Starlight: It took 28 lightyears for 川の流れのように to reach my world.

PS: What is your favorite all time song? You can list your choice in the comments below. If there is a YouFlube link for your favorite please provide that too.

Japan is twelve hours ahead of me, so Snivy and I wanted to be the first in my time zone to wish “the Little Great One” Ms. Hanako Oku-san a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tomorrow (today) on March 20! She is lucky — her Birthday is always the Spring Equinox.

Ms. Oku has always been one of my favorites. Of course, Snivy is a huge fan. The adorable and talented Ms. Oku has written the opening theme song “Kimi No Hana” for the romance anime “Seiren” currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

The marketing geniuses at the Pony Canyon record company have blocked any and all Hanako Oku music videos in Unova, so it is difficult for us to share the song over YourTube, or Twatter, or Glueggle +, etc.  One of these links might work however.

https://en.musicplayon.com/Hanako-Oku-Kimi-No-Hana-635494.html

http://www.jpopasia.com/hanakooku/videos/62181/kimi-no-hana-%E3%82%AD%E3%83%9F%E3%81%AE%E8%8A%B1/

It is a pretty good anime theme. A good anime theme always gets you in the right frame of mind for the show. The song certainly does have its moments where Snivy and I are in our “Hanako Heaven”.

Something else is notable about the show. Hanako Oku also makes her voice acting debut in the series! She plays a pancake house server in the ninth episode. I freeze-framed her line in the photo below. The Little Great One’s only line was “Here’s your next plate” (in Japanese).

The next day, Snivy kept saying “Here’s your next plate … Here’s your next plate”. The cute little guy.

You only get to see the animated-Oku’s hand as she delivers another plate of pancakes to the main character at an all-you-can-eat pancake buffet. Perhaps this will mark the beginning of larger voice acting roles?

Starlight: HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANAKO OKU – BORN MARCH 20, 1978!

A L O L A    C O U S I N S !

Cute little wolf-cub/puppy Rockruff (in Japanese: イワンコ  “Iwanko”) is a Rock-type Pokémon introduced in the Alola Region (Generation 6 ).

Rockruff evolves into Lycanroc (in Japanese: ルガルガン  “Lugarugan”) starting at level 25, where it remain a Rock-type. Lycanroc has two forms however. The Midday Form – when Lycanroc evolves in the Pokémon Sun game, and Midnight Form – when it evolves in Pokémon Moon. (Reference: Bulbapedia.)

I often like to give a Rockruff a “rock” type name from the rock and mineral terminology I learned in Geology 101. Names like “Silica”  are cute for a Rockruff, and I think it still works if you evolve it into the Midday-Form Lycanroc.

Names like “Granite”, “Mica” or even “Formica” are examples. You should choose “rough” type rock names, or rocks which are sandy in color/texture. You would not name a Rockruff “Obsidian” although that might be OK for the Midnight-Form of Lycanroc.

Ha! A nice geology joke!

A related name might be “Brownstone” after the type of apartment building condos which rich yuppies like to purchase and gentrify. Those in my generation may be tempted to name Midday Lycanroc “Steppenwolf“. Get your motor runnin’.  Or how about “Wulfie” which was what Mozart’s wife called the great composer in the film Amadeus. … (Denny sighs) … Oy.

The Midnight-Form of Lycanroc is a Werewolf of sorts. This form has a deep-red coloration which matches the bloodthirsty character of a were- beast. I named my first Lycanroc Red Moon, then another as Blood Moon. (An alternative name is “Luna Rossa”if you want to be fancy.) A “red moon” occurs during a lunar eclipse. A Blood-Moon (as in “The Blood Moon Prophesy”) is astronomically the same thing as a red moon, it just sounds scarier. Fortunately, the four blood moons in a row predicted by the Christian prophesy, came and went in 2015 … and yet there was no end-of-the-world apocalypse. Wow … I am so glad that I did not cash in my retirement account, and then exchange it all for lap dances and boom-boom rooms … and … yes … I can see that I digress once again.

Bloodlust” might be a good name for this horny red wolf. On this theme of werewolves, lycanthropes and moons you could name Lycanroc “Bad Moon” as in “A Bad Moon Rising. Hey … if you have the SHINY version of this Pokémon , you should name it “Blue-Moon”!

How about “Red Whine” or “Red-Blooded“? “Aunt Flo” might be another lunar-cycle name for female Lycanroc.

Ahem … oh yeah … I like to think that Rockruff is a playful wolf pup.

Oh yeah? Well the Japanese name for Rockruff is “I-wank-o” … so there.

Ha. You catch easily catch these low-level Rockruff and name them something silly. What would you do if you received a wolf pup named  “I-Poop-Rocks” over the Wondertrade?

One of my favorite Rockruff names is “Roofies”, but not for the date-rape drug utilized by frat boy jocks. Dogs say “roof!” as a bark – so a name like  “Roofy” is appropriate.

If you are going to sue about that bad night, maybe don’t use a dog as a lawyer.

There is the old joke about the guy who has a talking dog. He takes the dog to a vaudeville talent scout, and says that the dog can talk. The owner asks the dog: “What is on the top of a house?” The dog barks, and the man says “SEE … he said ROOF.” Next he asks: “What does sandpaper feel like?” and the dog barks again. “See ..he said ROUGH”. The talent scout is getting annoyed when the man asks the dog “Who was the greatest baseball player ever?” and the dog barks again. “See…” the dog owner says “He said RUTH … as in Babe Ruth!”. Of course the man and his dog are kicked out to the street, where the dog looks up and says “Maybe I should have said Stan Musial?

What is the name for your wolf-pup Pokémon? Please comment!

That’s right … explode … explode with a fury of great scrapbooking and home craft-making ideas.

These are some sample pages I made for for my scrapbook. (Click on an image to start the scrapbook.) I have also been working on Nao-inspired greeting cards, decorative throw pillows, and new laundry room shelves. I can’t help myself … I just EXPLODE with unique project ideas when I think of young Miss Furuhata.

I hope that the intriguing face of Miss Furuhata will inspire your own explosion of creative hobby ideas!

Nao says: “Now get out there and get crafting!”

Please see more of Nao on my Pinterest board for her linked here. Also, watch the YT video clip below and it will leave you exploding with unique home craft ideas!

Alola cousins! After a hard day of battles and trials, the last thing you would want is to have your dinner fight you back!

wiseguyehbef7843ab8179f880b56476cd74fdf65dcbe68e3e92ebb029ec0f71b49487dd1_1

Crabrawler (in Japanese: マケンカニ  “Makenkani”) is a FIGHTING-type Pokémon introduced in Alola. (Reference: Bilbapedia) You often encounter a Crabrawler when you try to pick up the cache of berries near certain palm trees. The Crabrawler jumps up, because you are messing with his lunch …

crab-p1hqbe7

… but the trick is on him, as you can make this crab YOUR lunch!

crabimg_0341

crabsimg_0342

Crabrawler has a very special evolution. This Gen Seven crab evolves into Crabominable (in Japanese: ケケンカニ  “Kekenkani”) only when leveled up at Mount Lanakila.

busterevolvesimg_0354

It then becomes a FIGHTING and ICE dual type. Ice makes sense – as Snowcrabs are a popular seafood. Crabonimable is likely named after the “abominable snowman” of Yeti legend I guess.

thebouncerimg_0350

My favorite Crabrawler name is “The Bouncer” after “Benny the Bouncer” a song by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It is the tale of a fearsome pub bouncer who finally meets his end. A YourTube user has posted a nice annotated version of it here.

The song is a departure from other ELP progressive-rock songs … ahem …  as it is short by prog rocker standards for one thing … plus Greg Lake sings it in a Cockney accent. Here let me ‘ave a go at my Cockney accent:

Denny: “Sidney grabbed a ‘achet … buried it in Benny’s ‘ead”.

I know what you are thinking: “Denny, how did you learn to imitate the British Cockney dialect so well?” My answer: Andy Capp comic strips.

‘ello gov’nah!  Sure. I can see how Crabrawler could be a rough-and-tumble, rugby-playing, Guinness-slurping, pub bloke. Quick to fight, but also likely to have a beer and a game of darts with you after.

andycapp2-11-1961

I suggest using “punch” based nicknames. Crabrawler has the “Iron Fist” ability which powers up punching moves.

misc-crabs-img_0358

Punch-N-Judy” after the famous puppet show “Punch and Judy”. “Punchline” after the good part of a joke. I think that this Alola Pokémon might be asked “How about a Hawaiian Punch”?

Raging Crab” or some derivation — after the boxing movie “Raging Bull”. “Let’s Dance” after the David Bowie song, and the euphemism for “Let’s fight”.

Cruisin’” as in the expression “You are Cruising for a bruising!”.

The Contender” is a classy reference  – after Marlon Brando’s famous line in “Requiem for a Heavyweight” … “I coulda been a CONTENDER! … now I’m just a bum.” Yes, we mediocrities always think about what coulda been – had we lived up to our potential. “Palooka” is another name used there by Brando referring to washed-up boxers.

Some players use “Rocky” movie themed names. Crabrawler has this one beat-up eye, and does looks a little like Sylvester Stallone saying “Yo Adrian”.

img_0361

You can use other crab or crustacean names I have previously suggested for other Pokémon.  Here is hoping that my names will lead you to create your own crab-like names

please comment!

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