Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for May, 2015

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My tastes are NOT “Vanilla” !

Mirei Kiritani vanilla

I look at this and wonder if I will be eating beaver …

When someone asks my favorite ice cream flavor I always say “vanilla” — but often to a look of indignant disbelief. “You must be boring” they think. I guess my tastes are vanilla – but I am referring to the real vanilla.

“Vanilla” does NOT mean “flavorless.” Vanilla IS a flavor.

Good_Vanilla-Bean-Ice-Cream

I also think that vanilla complements the true flavor of ice cream better than other flavors. Oh you can have your “50 shades” of different syrups if you want. Maybe you want to try it all, that’s OK. You have the right to experiment a little — but you are deviating from what is really ice cream.  If you have to dress your ice cream with all kinds of syrups, nuts, springy-jelly things and the like, then I would say that you are missing the point of ice cream! That weird stuff is NOT a real ice cream experience.

Somehow in your mind all those strange add-on things are taking the place of the real ice cream. I will just mash my face in vanilla thank you.

Just the vanilla ice cream is all I need. Me, my mouth, and the ice cream. I love how I get that “pre taste” from the ice cream just as my mouth glides to it.  The anticipation — the excitement — the electricity. Before my mouth is even on it I can perceive the affective flavor.  My tongue will glide forward, that’s when I am hit with my favorite flavor. My mouth and the mounds of creamy goodness become intertwined. Real vanilla is rich, deep and luxurious. Toppings? I do not want or need anything weird or distracting.

Vanilla is not “bland” – in fact, real vanilla is a very intense and sumptuous flavor. Vanilla flavor is derived from the orchid pods of Vanilla planifolia, a flower indigenous to Central America. There are three sub-species of Vanilla, the best and most famous is “Bourbon vanilla” aka “Madagascar vanilla”.

vanillaflowerlongitudinalsection

The wonderful flavor comes from a special place near the ovaries.

Madagascar and surrounding Indian Ocean counties are where much of the world’s commercial vanilla is grown. Check that bottle of vanilla extract in your cupboard! I bet it says that it is a product of Madagascar. I hope it does.

I love the scent and taste of vanilla extract! … as long as it is the real thing. When I purchase vanilla ice cream, I never buy those with “artificial” flavoring. There I might agree … THAT artificial vanilla is boring. You might as well just be eating a picture of vanilla, because “that ain’t vanilla.” Nothing artificial should be part of the ice cream experience.

Let me warn you, there is another way to obtain — quotes: “natural flavoring” — of vanilla. Extract from the anal oil glands of beavers is used to create “vanilla” flavoring. (No, I am NOT making that up.) Now, the real Vanilla sp. plant is very labor expensive because it must be hand pollinated. (The plant can only be pollinated by a species of bee found only in a small region of Middle America.)

The substitute vanilla, made from beaver, is very common in ice cream packaged as “naturally flavored” vanilla.  You see, if you create a vanilla-like flavor from an animal – then that legally counts as “natural”. It is just our human taste chemistry. Thus, the best part of a beaver tastes like rich, creamy vanilla.

I admit, I like to eat the beaver on occasion. You have probably licked beaver yourself. It is highly likely that you were munching the furry rodent if have eaten some “naturally flavored” vanilla.  Naturally flavored, but not naturally flavored with Madagascar vanilla – naturally flavored with – ahemyou know.

Pick up some “vanilla bean” ice cream today, and dive into its intoxicating creamy flavor.

https://www.beanilla.com/madagascar-vanilla-beans

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/01/beaver-butts-emit-goo-used-for-vanilla-flavoring/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castoreum

EAT_BEAVER_RK

They should wait, maybe the dessert will be “naturally flavored”.

Starlight: I can’t count how many times I was actually munching the furry rodent. 

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Looking into the future with Emi Takei

Emi Takei is one of the most popular Japanese actresses. She has appeared in dozens of films, including the great Rurouni Kenshin live action films. Is there any actress who looks better in a kimono?

Remember that you saw these kimonos here first! Commander Sulu from the USS Excelsior was able to “beam back” these images from her 2016 kimono collection. Oh my …

emi tumblr_nhsxvi5ora1sg9jhao1_1280

Actually, George — if you wanted it to rhyme, shouldn’t you say: “Oh – MAY”. Everyone else, just enjoy this refection from the future.

I also invite you to warp ahead to 2017, to enjoy this slideshow:

emi tumblr_nm4xt0cgGN1sg9jhao1_1280

No Kidding, each photo is more lovely than the next. It is very hard to pick a favorite! Emi Takei all the way!

Emi Takei — my last K.O.M. in May!

Starlight: Don’t worry about all of that light speed, space-time continuum science stuff, just enjoy the kimonos!

 

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Pokémon Nicknames: Audino

audino_gijinka_17_by_ayaluthien-d8kzul7 great

Audino (in Japanese: タブンネ  “Tabunne”) is a Normal-type Pokémon.

audino plush on ama

Audino is the “hearing” Pokémon. Audino does not evolve from or into any other Pokémon, except that it can Mega-evolve into Mega Audino using the Audinite stone.

mega audino

I thought that the Mega-evolved Audino looked like it was wearing a lab coat, so I named a female Audino “Dr.Goodhead” after the character Dr. Holly Goodhead in the James Bond movie “MoonRaker”.

Bond ... Goodhead, Goodhead ... Bond.

Bond … Goodhead, Goodhead … Bond.

The “doctor” angle may be appropriate because Audino has been Nurse Joy’s assistant nurse.

Other names I have used: “Dino”, and “Dean-O”  – after the nickname for Dean Martin and other Italian singers. “Tin Ear” – after the early “funnel shaped” hearing aids. Later that term was used for those who are hard of hearing. “Tiffany” – as in the famous jewelry store and the singer. (I would like a Tiffany ear better than a “tin” ear.) It may be obvious to use “Audrey” – because this name sounds like Audino. I use the names for females, however at one time “Audrey” was used as a man’s name.

If you have a male Audino, I suggest the name “Tommy” – after the character in the rock opera by The Who. “Tommy Can You Hear Me?”

The Bulbagarden website has this description for Audino: Its auditory sense is astounding. It has a radar-like ability to understand its surrounding through slight sounds. It touches others with the feelers on its ears, using the sound of their heartbeats to tell how they are feeling.”  This reminds me of the Who’s deaf-dumb-and-blind “Pinball Wizard” and messianic  leader! (A fun scene from the movie Tommy is linked here.)

Another possibility is “Chi” or “Chobits”. Audino’s ears remind me of the female robot character  “Chi” from one of my favorite all-time anime series “Chobits”. Chi’s ears are a lot like Audinos. I wonder if Gamefreak meant Audino to be an homage to Chi.

cosplay_Chobits_Chii-11

Remember how Hideki found out where her “ON” button was located?

Perhaps “Chi Audino” , or “Persocom” or some variation of the Chobits/Persocom theme may be fun, especially if you loved that series as much as I did!

I know that it is a little dated now, but when it came out it was way ahead of its time, and the series holds up very well today!

Here is some Pokémon cosplay for lady Audinos.

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It is always good to train up in the wild against an Audino. You get a lot of training points for defeating Audino.

audino_by_humanoid_magpie-d3eifrr funny

If you want to train up your Fighting-type, it is super-effective against Audino’s Normal-type.

What do you call your hearing Pokémon?

Starlight: It has been fours years, since my son first taught me to play Pokémon with Pokémon Black and White.

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My 12-Step Iwasa Misaki Recovery Program

Oh that voice, that face, those kimonos.

I will have to admit — I (HEART) Iwasa Misaki.

Of course — if I like something too much that must mean that there is something wrong with it. Makes sense… maybe. True, my Iwasa Misaki addiction got to be so bad that I had to have an “intervention”. I have enrolled myself into a 12 STEP PROGRAM in order to kick my Iwasa-habit. Yes, it is my big announcement …

DSC_0686

The following is my 12-Step program to sober up to harsh reality.

iwasa misaki tumblr_nlwkz35Xcl1s82ar1o4_500

Oh, I’m going to need two more, dear girl.

Step One: First one has to ADMIT that one HAS a problem. I accept the fact that I have long failed to recognize my Wasamin problem.

misaki diappointed in me

I am a fanboy, and Iwasa Misaki is my oshi. I will finally admit, I had a hard time confessing it to Wasamin. Look at that impatient face.

Step Two: I believe that I must turn to “A HIGHER POWER” and ask for help.

Akimoto Yasushi, blog, Iwasa Misaki

Ok, a higher power … um … Mr. Akimoto?

Step Three: I will turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have ALSO STRUGGLED with the same addiction. I would use any help.

yes friends with hands

Yes, our fellow men and women — with the extra hands.

Step Four: I have made a LIST of the situations when I am most likely to listen to Iwasa Misaki. At the computer, while driving, while working, while fantasizing.

someone should write this down

Someone should write these down. Write something Iwasa …

Step Five: I will try to AVOID those situations … or put on a Todd Rundgren record instead. Oh, yay … the 70s … ugh.

keeping my hands busy

Yes, I will try to keep my hands busy. NOT going over to YouTube …

Step Six: I am ready to ACCEPT HELP friends give me. I will not make fun of other’s musical tastes, unless it is rap crap. 

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Back to metal I guess. Party on Garth, Party on Wasamin.

Step Seven: Continue to HOPE. I earnestly hope that OTHER MUSIC will help. Oh my Buddha, just no country music recorded after 1974.

mexican dancing misaki

Buenos Tacos, Senorita Misaki — Try some Mexican jumping bean music!

Step Eight: I have made a list of persons I HAVE HARMED and to whom I hope to appologize. (I think my wife is getting very impatient waiting for me out in the car.)

wasamin is angry

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her angry before: “But you look so cute when you get mad … come here you.”

Step Nine: I promise to DO ALL I CAN  to make those amends. Maybe cut my Google image Misaki searches down to maybe a few hours every day.

Iwasa Misaki img_0

It took me less than two hours to use this … er … I mean … find this! 

Step Ten: I will continue to make lists and REVISE them as needed. Oh yeah.

yes make some lists

I’m making notes, and a list … Still trying to read the notes …

Step Eleven: I am in turn willing to HELP OTHERS who may come to me in their hour of need with their own particular idol addiction.

yada yada yada

Selfies? No need to go it alone, Iwasa.

Step Twelve: … er… um …SCREW THIS … What? … No Misaki-san? … NO WAY!  … Forget it!

Iwasa Misaki fa2775ec

Starlight: I am outta here … on another Iwasa bender …

DENNY’s RE-BLOGS: “But Where are You REALLY From?”

what kind of asian

The guy is pretty silly, but he is not mean spirited. I liked how she handled the situation with humor. I think he should have actually asked her to get some of those English “Fish and Chips” … as they are pretty good. Maybe they could have a good conversation.

They should set the misunderstanding aside and just be nice to each other. She is a very pretty lady! He is a little dorky, but I think that she would see that he is a kind person – if she can give him a chance. She will straighten him out and he will come around and realize what he said.

Consider the big picture. Perhaps after a few dates they could be making love. Perhaps after a couple of years that could have a nice family.

He will probably realize that he said some dopey things to her when they first met, but his heart was probably in the right place. He wanted to know her.

Dig this: He might make a toast on their wedding day: “When I first met her I thought she was the most beautiful, vibrant woman I have ever met … I just HAD to talk to her. She kids me about it now, but the only thing I could think to say back then was to ask her about her Asian ancestory.”

Look, the world is too full of meaningless conflict. Try to set misunderstandings aside.

Just love each other kids …

Reminder to Vote 4 Iwasa Misaki

VOTE WASAMIN 2015

Wasamin gives her appeal speech here. She says it all.

When you buy your multiple copies of the 41st single, please save one vote for the great Iwasa Misaki. Yeah, I know, I know.

Do I think that she will win? No.

Do I think that she will finish in the top 10? No.

Is it all just a popularity contest?  Well, yes indeed it is. However it is not a SINGING contest. A lot of factors come together to make an Idol a favorite. Sometimes it is a combination of cuteness, sexiness, roles they play, etc.

Are YOU going to vote based on singing talent? Hmmm?

iwasa misaki akb_20141006_162

My gut feeling is if she finishes very low this year she will announce her graduation.

Now the young lady is NOT washed up at age 20! She should have a pretty good singing career after AKB. I am hoping that she will finish high enough that she will continue with the group, however — and I also hope that the group will give her a larger singing role within the group.

My other gut feeling (and I have a lot of gut I have been told), is that her Enka-singles have actually hurt her rank in AKB. Since she releases solo material on a regular basis, she is not often a focus for the AKB singles. Perhaps some fans do not see her as part of a team.

If she could win the Janken-tournament, then she would get another shot at a larger, but non-Enka singing role.

If she graduates I hope that she continues to pursue an Enka-singing career.

Want is my fantasy? Come ‘er… (Denny whispers in your ear:)  I would like to see a collaboration between Iwasa Misaki and Hanako Oku. Wait, it is not all that far-fetched. Wasamin has said in interviews that she is a fan of Hanako Oku. They are both from Chiba, Japan. True, Oku-san is nearly twice Wasamin’s age, but I think they would be a good team. Oku could write the songs and Wasamin could sing them. Think Simon and Garfunkel (only with songs you might actually want to listen to). Sometimes Hanako Oku is criticized for her singing strength. I do not agree, but no doubt the young Misaki has a stronger voice, and would probably be a pretty good interpreter of Oku songs.

I know what you are going to ask: Denny aren’t you just imagining your top two fantasy women together?

Well no … and I would not do that.

Iwasa Misaki 266LC

Starlight: AKB48 41st single selection General Election preliminary results will be announced at Takahashi Team A LIVE performance on AKB48 theatre at 20 May 2015.

PS: We have to have some music. I found an English traslation of “Abayo” here.

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KIMONOS ON MONDAY: The “Kimonos Era” of RUSH.

rush_2112_chibi_ver_by_wasawasawa-d576vgg

“Chibi” version of Alex, Neil and Geddy !

I know what you are thinking: “Denny … you know that those are DUDES, right?”

Well, way back when I was a progressive rock/heavy metal teen, one of the bands I liked was RUSH – the subject of this special kimonos post.

One of the stories in the great Rush “rockumentary” – “Beyond The Lighted Stage” is the anecdote of how the band came to wear kimono robes as part of their stage show.  Rush were a great hard rock power trio, and their working-class fans were a “T-shirt and jeans” crowd. (Include me in that.) Geddy Lee also said in BTLS that he might have preferred to just wear jeans and T-shirts onstage, but the record company wanted them to have an “image”. Rush toured with KISS and other bands who had all kinds of crazy costumes. The group was assigned to find a “look”.

Hi Fellas! The record company wanted us to change our image!

Hi Fellas! The record company wanted us to change our image!

The members wondered what type of stage get-ups they might wear, in order to look like “rock stars”. One day while they were on a concert tour, they visited a shopping district where shops sold “ethnic” goods. A Japanese shop had kimono-robes  — and the rest is history.

rush wearing kimonos

The kimono-robes looked somewhat “futuristic” I suppose, which would fit with their sci-fi “2112” rock epic. I’ve noticed on many episodes of “Star Trek” and the like, that people from all these advanced civilizations on other planets always wear ROBES. Why the robes? Does wearing a robe make you smarter? Does it show that you are technologically and philosophically advanced? Maybe in the utopian future, people are so used to robots doing all the work that they are just too lazy to find pants. Or is it that in the future only dumb people will wear jeans? (Cough) … but I digress.

Thus this explains the Rush kimono period. I know what you are going to ask: “Denny, were these ridiculous outfits scoffed at?” Of course! … and this despite being the “glam rock” period of the 1970s with its ridiculous androgyny trend.

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During the BTLS doc, Geddy Lee tells a great story about he was always made fun of by the heavy metal group UFO (link here in new window). The guys in UFO considered the kimonos “effeminate” and would call them ladies bathrobes. Lee also said that the UFO dudes would sarcastically (and in a fem-voice) would call Geddy Lee “Glee” as in “Oh, Glee are you ready for your bath now …”. UFO would open for Rush, and they would nail pink ladies bath slippers to Geddy Lee’s microphone stand. “Oh, you forgot your slippers … GLEE …”

You can get a good look at the Rush robes in this performance of “Farewell to Kings”. I actually bought this LP record, the week it came out in 1978. Oy.

Rush Kimonos made a return in 2012, but fortunately not on the guys. Although this young lady is not in Rush, she was part of the stage show for Rush’s “Clockwork Angels” 2013 tour. The group had a much more elaborate “Steampunk”-type stage show than earlier years.

SteamKimonofor RUSH tour

This is an example of the “Steampunk kimonos” the ladies in the orchestra wore. The kimono looks amazing!  (Full concert linked here.)

Starlight: From the first time I heard “Check out this Rush album”?

… the light will have now reached star Rho Cancri (which has 3 planets) and would also have reached star HR3259 (which has 4 planets).

KEEP ROCKIN’ IN THOSE ROBES SPACE DUDES!!!

real men wear kimonos

 

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