Storming — Ha. I bet you thought that I was another American “fake news” writer! No, I don’t allow such things here. Actually, I do want to share these photos from those SKE48 members in the “sturm generation”. (Yes, that is how they wrote it in this reference.)
The poor 20-year olds had to celebrate their Seijin no Hi (coming of age day) 2021 separately from the main AKB48 family due to the COVID Crisis. Masking up, distancing during the ceremony, etc. SKE was up first on January 8.
The SKE48 “now adult” members are Takeuchi Nanami, Ikeda Kaede, Tanabe Mizuki, Ota Ayaka, Aoumi Hinano, Kitagawa Yoshino, Nakano Airi and Nishii Mio. Enjoy, this slide show (click for larger).
Starlight: Do you remember that time that I fell off of the top of Kushida Shrine? (Remember Denny saying “Doh” as he fell and hit each one of the bridge and road turns.)
I will try to snag some more kimono photos when the other AKB sister groups have their ceremonies! You may want to visit www.akb48.at for more Idol information, they seem to be an honest source. Thanks to them for these photos!
It is with great sadness that I need to report about the passing this week of American actress Dawn Wells. Ms. Wells is most famous for playing “Mary Ann Summers” on the legendary 1960s TV comedy program Gilligan’s Island.
Boxers or Briefs? Football or Baseball? Mary Ann or Ginger? These were questions posed to men in my generation used to gage what kind of a guy you are. I am definitely in the “Mary Ann” choice (that is, if I can’t have both). The late Ms. Wells played the pretty “girl-next-door” persona perfectly. A generation of adolescent boys grew up in love with the Mary Ann from Kansas. Millions of us were in love with her. Her “short shorts” were a good point of discussion for teenage boys. Sure, we teenage wannabes wanted to have our fun with the Gingers, but we wanted to marry a Mary Ann.
Years later, while listening to Marshall Crenshaw’s Mary Ann song, I was reminded of the youthful beauty of Ms. Wells, and I would always slip into a reverie …
I know the song lyrics do not describe the Gilligan’s situation, but I could stretch my fantasy a little. What if Mary Ann(e) was my girlfriend? I know that there is the extra “e”, in Crenshaw’s fantasy-girl, but I think what the song captures the impossible, unrequited longing of a young boy in love with this everyday-encountered-but-impossible-to-reach girl next door. Also, thinkin’ about those “short shorts” is part of the nostalgic mood of the song.
Here are the guitar chords if you want to learn the song.
Delibird (in Japanese: デリバード or just pronounced “Delibird”) is an ICE and FLYING dual-type introduced in Pokémon Generation II. It does not evolve into or from any other Pokémon.
Delibird is the “Delivery Pokémon” which explains the “deli” part, in case you were thinking the corned-beef sandwiches kind of deli.
This Santa is packing some gifts for sure!
Delibird wears a Santa Clause outfit, and apparently has a feather beard. The beard is problematic for naming, as the male/female ratio is 50-50. There is some gremlin algorithm in my Sord and Shield games where the only Delibirds I encounter are female. When I do encounter a male, it always faints itself.
On the off chance I will encounter a male, I name it “Festivus” – after the made-up pseudo-Christmas holiday introduced in the TV Series Seinfeld.
With that extra bit of challenge, let me proceed with my favorite names for this Christmas bird.
“Santa Baby” is a good name for a female, as the song is best when sung by a woman.
I like to use “JustBearding” if I catch a female, as we can pretend that the beard is a fake. Note the term “beard” or “bearding”.
Thanks to this cosplay, I do not mind a female Delibird. I like to think that maybe I will receive something nice.
“New Deli” as a play on the name of the capital of India (New Delhi).
“Hello Deli” after the New York city delicatessen often featured on the old David Letterman show.
“N.D. Sack” which is a phrase you should always add to the end of ANY Chinese fortune cookie note.
“X-mas Bill” because you are going to be gifted with a lot of bills after Christmas!
Speaking of mail, another user suggested “Going Postal” as a name. You see, working at the US Post Office is so stressful that some workers have been known to freak out. They start shooting random people with automatic weapons instead of just sorting and delivering the mail. Hence the American saying “going postal”.
Here we are between Christmas and New Years … I suppose you could name it “Kwanza” except no one knows what the hell that is.
July 15th —>Happy Birthday Yukirin! (Japan is 12 hours ahead of my zone, so I wanted my favorite neice to receive my birthday wishes on time.)
There is an American expression for when someone turns 29 years old. Since 30 is considered the start of “being older” — at least to young people. Many Americans say that “they stopped celebrating birthdays” usually meaning the last one is at age 29.
Miss Kashiwagi created her own YouTube channel which can link to here:
There has not been a lot to celebrate this year (because of the bio-weapon plague sent to us from China), but I hope to see one more good music video from Yuki before her graduation. Of special note will be the upcoming celebration going out LIVESTREAM on Youtube on July 15:
I was very surprised to hear that you have retired from show business. Not just retiring from singing and idoling … but retired from acting, commercials and endorsements too? As of this writing I have only seen a few news reports:
They all say the same thing (in fact they all appear to be written/copied from the same person). There is little detail. It concerns me that you had to retire for “health” reasons. To me, you look at the pique of health for a 26-year old! You sure look good … er … and I mean that in a complimentary way. If your concern for your health is the reason you have to step away from the entertainment industry, I will respect that. I will not pay attention to rumors.
Mayuyu – if I may be so familiar to call you that – I wish you all the best in your retirement from show business. You definitely deserve a break from entertaining. Perhaps you will return creatively some other year.
You have always been one of my favorite AKB members … no, favorite entertainers … no, favorite people. You are one of the world’s most beautiful women. Much has been written in the fandom about your … um … assets, but I sincerely do not mean that it in a snarky way. You were and still are lovely.
We can be honest with each other here. I know, that you know, that I know that you know.
The early-era of AKB48 is one of the best things in all of popular culture – Japanese or otherwise. You were a big part of it. I don’t think that AKB would have been the same without you. For that matter … I would not be the same if not for you.
Original Kami 7
There was nothing like the original AKB team memberss. No one was ever better than you girls at your peak. I have worn many musical suits in my lifetime. Hard rocker, Heavy Metalist, Punk Rocker, New Wave, Nude Wave, No Wave, Nick & Dave. I have experienced them all. I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die … and yes … I see that I have digressed, my dear girl.
You were a good singer, actress, comedian, model, spokesperson, etc. I would say that you are still at the top of your game. Your solo work is a primer for anyone in the idol-anime culture. More than a decade later, your early material still holds up well! Your work with Watariroka Hashiritai was among the best in pop music history. It was Power Pop that just exploded off the record. It is what idol music is all about!
You girls were better than the Beatles! (I know the Beatles had a lot more records, but you girls at your best were better than the Beatles at their best).
Mayu, you added a lot of beauty and good humor to this world. Know that you will be missed. Have a good life. I hope you raise a big family of little idols someday!
Starlight: Mayu … I love you kid … I wish you all the happiness in this world and any of the multiverses.
Update 2021 — her graduation song MV is finally on Youtube! See it here:
Readers: This is the last single which Mayu centered. Notice that she is wearing my red sweater that I lent her!
One of my favorite pieces of classical music is “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. Here’s my story on that: I was a fan of the Japanese musician Isao Tomita, and I bought his “The Planets” record way back in 1976 when I was just an impressionable teenager. I was listening to a lot of synthesizer music back at the time. Otherwise, I was not educated enough to know the first thing about Holst.
Much later in life, I bought a CD of Planets by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Recently I started a playlist of several different symphonic versions. Indeed, There are a lot of good ones to choose from all over YouTube … but I will share this recent one with you today. This is from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, recorded live at the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore, on November 8th 2019.
I love it of course! The Planets is kind of like a “concept album” that a rock group might make. Each part, or “movement” is a musical description of each planet. Let me also share with you, this gallery of “The Planets” album covers. Do you own any of these?
Before I proceed much farther, I also want to share this video from YT user Classics Explained. His video is a whimsical history about how Holst came to write “The Planets”. CE vividly and accurately describes how each movement relates to each planet musically.
This music history got me thinking about the ORDER of the planets in the symphony. The order of Host’s planets are Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. This order does not seem to make sense at first — and where is Earth, anyway? If one were to navigate in a space craft, and view and explore Mars (the fourth planet in our solar system) first, then how or why would one go back to Venus (the second planet) next? The order should be: Mercury, Venus, (Earth), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Part of the wrong order of the planets may have to do with the order that Holst wrote the movements. He wrote “Mars: The Bringer of War” first, and “Mercury: The Winged Messenger” was written last.
So … what ever was the flight plan through “The Planets” by Gustav Holst? The only way I can excuse the order when I listen now, is to envision this travel plan scenario:
Our craft zips from Earth out to Mars first. Modern planetary explorers are in a hurry to explore and colonize Mars, so it does not surprise me that the planet is explored first. Our craft circles Mars, but not before dropping two surface probe-droids — which land, then drive around Mars to measure, dig and modify the Martian surface. The two land probes may even be in competition with each other, and may even have “wargames” at the surface. Our spaceship uses the gravity of Mars to fling our craft back to the other side … the inner side … of the solar system. We will use a GRAVITY ASSIST – similar to how the Cassini spacecraft used the gravity slingshot technique to zip around Earth twice to get to Saturn.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah … man those cats can really swing!
Our ship will need more speed to travel the outer solar system, so our spaceship next flies AROUND Venus. (The surface is too hot to land anyway.) The path around Venus gives it a gravity boost – and propels it rapidly to Mercury, where our craft picks up even more speed through the fastest planet’s gravity.
After that gravity boost, our ship begins the long journey to the outer solar system, eventually graduating to the pull of Jupiter. At this point, our journey is in the correct order. We get flung around Jupiter and voyage out to Saturn where after a dance there, we are flung out to Uranus, then finally Neptune.
Oh — I forgot to tell you – our craft does not go back to Earth. I probably should have said something. We keep going as the music to “Neptune” fades. Oh Ok … OK … if you really, really need to go back, listen to “Space Trucking” by Deep Purple for a straight path back. DP song linked here. Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah … the freaks said: man those cats can really swing! And yes, Bob, I digress once again.
Do you know what would have been a hoot? if Host had wrote music for Earth, or perhaps even Earth’s moon – Luna. Why not a special movement for the Asteroid Belt? There was no planet Pluto at the time Host wrote, so we cannot blame him for not including it.
Remembder to use the “gravity assist”!!!
Starlight: Forty-four light years it has been! Do you have a favorite “Planets” album? Please share with me in the Comments!
Readers: I wrote this post while listening to Jethro Tull’s 1977 album “Songs from the Wood”. You can listen to the title track on YT linked here.
Phantump (in Japanese: ボクレー “Bokurei”) is the “Stump Pokeman” introduced in the Kalos Region Pokémon X and Y (Generation VI). Phantump is a Ghost and Grass dual-type. Phantump only evolves into Trevenant by trading, where it remains a Ghost/Grass type. Trevenant (in Japanese: オーロット “Ohrot”) is the “Elder Tree Pokémon”.
This is all set to evolve when traded.
I like to give spooky, ghost, or death-themed names to Phantump. My favorite name is “The Departed” after the Martin Scorsese movie in which so many people joined the departed at the end. You can watch most of the deaths here. Yup, Everybody gets shot in the head … but I digress.
Alternatively, use “Depart Now” … as in a wish, or an order. I like to name a Phantump “Your Death” then send it out on Wondertrade. The other player gets a message “Denny sent over … Your Death”.
The name “Lost Limb” could refer to lonely tree limbs broken off after a storm or clear-cut. There is an actual medical phenomenon where people will feel “phantom pain” where a lost arm or leg used to be. Medical reference here. That’s pretty creepy, I know. Are there any other names for a dead appendage? “Deadwood” works even after evolution.
On a more playful and humorous note, you could name it “Stumpy” or “Peggy Stump” … or maybe just “Peggy” for the situation of … no, no don’t make me describe it!!! It gets worse, of course — so let’s not go there. Too perverted even for Denny’s jokes.
I also like to catch Phantump in a Dusk Ball, especially if I intend to evolve it.
I know what you are thinking: A good name for Trevenant is “TreeBeard” after the famous Lord of the Rings character. True, Tevenant is like those Ent tree herders, especially if you view their in-game description … From X: “It can control trees at will. It will trap people who harm the forest, so they can never leave.” From Y: “Using its roots as a nervous system, it controls the trees in the forest. It’s kind to the Pokémon that reside in its body.”
A high-school friend of mine once named his green VW Mini-Bus “Treebeard”. Yeah there were a lot of ghosts and grass back then. I initially named Trevenant “Treevert” as a play on the joke name “preevert” which is a joke because that word is how some people read “pervert” … but I’ve lost interest in such things. Enough with the snarky nicknames …
Hmmm …. this tree wants to “frisk” you …
All kinds of “wood” names could be used I suppose — “Morningwood” for example. How about “Dendro” or “MyBro’Dendro“. This tree is not exactly a willow, but I can see this ghost as forever weeping about its wood gone to rot. Catch it in a Timer Ball, and then call it “Dendrology” after the science of tree rings.
Let me suggest a better name theme for Trevenant. My favorite to use is “Absinthe” after the intoxicating, hallucination-inducing alcoholic beverage that is banned in the USA. Absinthe is considered a “spirit” which is appropriate for a part Ghost-type. Another name for Absinthe is “La Fée Verte” — meaning “the green fairy”. A good name would be “Thujone” which is the chemical associated with the effects of the drink. Sometimes the plant is known as “Wormwood” — another suggested name choice.
There is a famous quotation related to the Absinthe drinking experience from Oscar Wilde:
“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were.
After the second, you see things as they are not.
Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”
More of Oscar Wilde’s observations on the drink are linked here:
What is the name for your rotten and scary little woodstump? Please leave a cooment below:
Hanako Oku and What is the answer to Six times Seven?
I wanted to wish Hanako Oku a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! It is the 20th … I think in Japan. It is still the 19th here in the USA. I guess I am a little time-trippy today, even more than usual. It might be all the fumes from my hand sanitizer.
You do the math! What is Six times Seven?
Starlight: Ms. Hanako Oku, born March 20, 1978.
Although it is a Happy Day we hope there is one sad note. The Fan Club linked on the Oku Hanako web page will cease operations on March 29. Also, her radio show also is ending.
I am very proud of my young neice Lucy Sinnoh. The little lady has been busy leveling up her Galar Pokemon, trying to get all of her team up to level 100. Here is a quick peek at her recent team members. I did help her with some of the names and cultural references.
Lucy chose Scorbunny as her starter. She kept it in baby form. She also used a Gold Bottle Cap to hypertrain it. It may be still pre-evolved form, but the little bunny can hold its own with any Pokémon in the Tournaments.
Boltund was caught as Yamper. The incorrigible little yapper stayed with Lucy most of her adventure.
Lucy caught a girl Chewtle and named it “TheMunchies” due to her biting skills. This Drednaw was also employed as Lucy’s main “False Swiper” and Pokémon catcher.
KnightFlight (a Corvinight) was raised from a little Rookidee through Corvisquire. Unfortunately, its Corvinight form does not GigantaMax. This loyal knight was often used in battles where she had a type-disadvantage. It was Hypertrained for each stat as a reward for its loyalty.
Lucy needed a Grass-type, and caught a Gossifleur which soon evolved up to Eldegoss with the help of some Experience Candies. This grass type flower evolved. Lucy is like me, she likes her grass types to have a very strong Special Attack. I suggested that Lucy name him “Green Revolution” after the famous global food production miracle. Unfortunately, that is too many letters. Green-Revolt still sounds kinda revolutionary.
Lucy caught a lot of fish Hulbury trying to get an Arrowcuda with good stats. This one evolved into Barraskewda. At first Lucy tried naming the fish as they were caught. I suggested that she just put them all in a box and have the Galar Name Rater change them all later. You can change a name from your box now, it does not have to be in your party. Yet another of the privileges of the Galar Region. What do you name a Barracuda with a spinning-torpedo tail. In fact, its Hidden Ability is Propeller Tail. I like to name them after Caribbean island imagery. “Barbados” is a tough name. Names like “Bahama” “Bahama Yama” or “Bermuda” are cool. Lucy named it “Bermudashort” because she says I look ridiculous in them. To be short — as in a short temper — may be characteristic of these angry little fish. I named this cigar-shaped fish “Just-A-Cigar“. Touche Lucy.
Fortunately, the little RolyColy she caught had the “Flame Body” ability. I suggest naming females a name like “D.Motherload”, after the mining jargon. When “Motherload” evolved she became the main egg-hatcher while biking and battling through the wild area. So many ice-types succummed to this firery rock! She usually holds a Quick Claw, so ice never stands a chance. Many a Max Raid was carried out with her combo of Rock, Fire, Ground and Fighting moveset.
Lucy caught several of these fire-bug types. I think that they are one of the more interesting new Galar Pokémon. Sizzlipede and Centiskorch are a kind of Chinese Dragon, only it is a centipede. (I must say … good call GameFreak! You have NOT run out of ideas.) Lucy almost always named these after some type of Asian Stir-Fry. Later, she could a Gigantamax version who she named “DanDanNoodles“. Lucy would never let me cook up one of her fire centipedes. I bet that “tastes like chicken” would be appropriate. Speaking of that, I have noticed that whenever I search the “Asian” Tag here on WordPress, all I ever see are stir-fry recipes and porn advertisements … and yes, I digress once again.
This post is getting a little long, so I will just show you some more of Lucy’s team next week.
Readers: I have been very slow about posting new Pokémon Nicknames recently. I wanted to take-on a partner, and who better than my “niece” Lucy Sinnoh.
Lucy and her Mum are originally from Valor Lakefront, SR. I knew (cough) Lucy’s Mum when she worked as a cocktail waitress at the Seven Stars Restaurant at Hotel Grand Lake, I tried to help out the struggling single mum and her pretty young daughter as much as I could. Times were tough. We stayed home and played Diamond and Pearl a lot.They moved to Galar a few years ago. Good that they did, as Lucy has become the new Galar Champion! Here is her trainer card:
I’m so proud of her and how well she grew up. She’s a Pokémon Champ, plus the little lady can cook up a great curry!
I also like teaming up with Lucy for new Pokémon Nicknames, because many of names are from cultural references from decades past. Many younger players in search of nicknames might not “get” or appreciate my generation’s names. Many of the nicknames you will be reading about on this blog will be Lucy’s idea.
Denny: Lucy – I will still help you with the naming Lucy …
Lucy: OK Boomer. (giggles)
Denny: “OK Boomer” … What? … that quip again? Wait … “OK Boomer” might just be a great name for a Drampa!
Sword and Shield has made a few changes to the nicknaming system. There is an important change for users who choose to view/use nicknames. As the Name-Rater in any Pokécenter will tell you — trainers may change the name of a Pokémon already nicknamed by its previous trainer. You do only get one chance. Once you change the name of a traded Pokémon it has to stick forever. The 12 letter space format continues. However, I have noticed that the various symbols available in previous generations are no longer available. Darn it! No “Heart” symbol anymore? Also, I have noticed that if a Pokémon comes in from the Surprise Trade in of another language, the name cannot be changed. (Please leave a note in the comment section if you know otherwise.)
Likes: Pop Culture, Humor, Japanese Culture, Iwasa Misaki, Hanako Oku, AKB48 History, Kurosawa films, Kimonos, Anime, Lolita fashion, Buddhist philosophy, and finding the perfect nicknames for my Pokemon.
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