Archive for October, 2011

Fall themed bento

Fall Themed Bento

I bought a new bento box that matches my Usagi chopsticks. I think it fits perfectly with a nice fall themed bento: salmon, rice with pumpkin seeds, and a shiitake-carrot udon soup with a pomegranate, raspberry, and green tea Jello. Sounds awesome right? Looks and tastes even better.

But I must say: I am not a chef. In fact, when I even talk about cooking, my family runs for cover and sets the smoke alarms. I can’t cook, but somehow Japanese food seems to turn out alright. When I put together a bento, it’s generally just Japanese inspired. Afterall, I’m cooking on a college graduate budget here. And I can’t say I cook traditional bento either: I don’t have time to make myself such a spectacular lunch in the morning. Usually, I just make it as a dinner and display it as prettily as I can in a bento style. Alright, now enough talk, it’s food time!

1. The Salmon
This is a personal favorite of mine. Whenever I cook Salmon, there’s only two seasonings I put on it: Soy Sauce and Italian seasoning. Yep, that’s right.  My brother’s Japanese fiance loved it when I made it for her, and that should be approval enough. Pretty simple: Set the oven to 375, lay the salmon (I use 1 filet, because I only cook for myself) out on the baking sheet, and coat it on both sides with soy sauce and a liberal shake of Italian seasoning. Cook for 6 minutes, and it

2. Pumkin Seed Rice
I washed and rinsed the rice (I use Botan Calrose Rice), then soaked it for an hour or so, as per JustBento. Then, I just popped it in my rice cooker. Once cooled, I balled it up with pumpkin seeds and cut a face out of nori (seaweed) to make a jack o’lantern. I wet my hands and shake the excess before I form the ball. The moisture does make the pumpkin seeds a little slimy, so I had to push a couple that fell off the sides into the middle of the ball.

3. The Udon Soup
I had a package of instant Udon noodle mix, much like it’s Ramen counterparts. I made it as per the directions. I also quartered and sauteed some Shiitake mushrooms for the soup and to tuck around the salmon. The carrots were cut using special cutters (much like mini cookie cutters) to cut the sliced carrots into star/leaf shapes.
4. V8 V-Fusion (Raspberry and Green Tea) Jello with Pomegranate Seeds
I wanted to do a dessert with pomegranate, my favorite fall fruit, and thought embedding it in Jello would be a good idea. The only problem is, I hate Jello. But, then I found a box of Jello’s “Mixchief,” which allows for the maker to use any juice. I picked the aforementioned V8 V-Fusion: a pretty red color, raspberry to mesh well with the pomegranate, and green tea. So much better, taste and nutrition wise, than straight Jello. I made it as directed, and poured it over pomegranate seeds in a small dish. To tip it out, I had to let it the dish itself soak for a few minutes in hot water and edge it out with a butter knife.

 

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Changes incoming.

Posted: October 22, 2011 in my life
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Woo! MeganeDanshi.com is live! Check it out!

I must warn you, however, there’s still a few bugs and kinks to work out.
From now on, my posts will be done through there.

Woo Hoo! Fifty Posts!  This blog, which I opened the first week of April 2011, just 6 short months ago, is doing so much better than I could have ever anticipated. I’m clocking between 100-200 hits a day, and to me, that’s impressive!

Thank  You Everyone!

My Kyoya desktop background

My Kyoya desktop background

I was trying to rack my brains for what I could do for a 50th post special, and I wanted it to be something pretty awesome. It dawned on me while I was staring at my desktop screen during the thinking session. Quite awhile ago, I was looking for a desktop background, and I wasn’t happy with any of the ones I found. Then I remembered that I’m a graphic designer and made my own. Ha! You can see it here on the right. It’s based around the part in episode 24 of Ouran Highschool Host Club when Kyoya has his epiphany. Right after, Tamaki remarks with, “Wow. Your face, it looks evil. So you’re finally showing your true colors.” The blooming flower painting represents the mural he ended up painting on the wall of his thoughts above the framed “canvas” that he was given in life to “paint the perfect picture.”

Megane Danshi desktop background

Megane Danshi desktop background

So I’ve created a thank you present for everyone who visits the site: a megane danshi desktop background. I’ve included Jade Curtiss (from Tales of the Abyss) and Kabuto Yakushi (from Naruto) along with Kyoya. It features my old tag line for the site “for the love of boys with glasses,” and has the same tea stain ring and ink splatters. It’s 1600 x 1200. To download it, click the image to the right, and it should appear in full screen for you to right-click and “save as.”

Enjoy!

 

Sket Dance

Sket Dance

I feel like a kid in candy store, with the promise of as much candy as I could possibly eat for free. Problem is, I don’t know where to turn first! I know it’s just an analogy, but the candy store I’m speaking of here is Crunchyroll, a pay by month, all you can watch anime (and drama!) site that’s trusted amongst anime goers. My friend Racheal sent me a “48-hour access pass,” because she can gift those as a paying member. Now I’m staring at a list huge list of anime, most of which I’ve never heard of, and I don’t know which to watch first.

On the downside, it doesn’t have any of the anime that I’ve started watching and haven’t finished yet: Samurai Champloo, Outlaw Star, and Clannad. But! It does have a large selection of other anime that seem really interesting.

SKET Dance is the first one I came across, which piqued my interest for the fact that it appears to be an Ouran knockoff. I watched the preview video, and it is focused around the stereotypical trio, two guys and a girl. This trio has their own club that is focused on helping people with their problems, hence the Ouran knockoff part. Also, it does have their own megane danshi (Kyoya, anyone?), a character who appears to be technologically minded. It seems to be an awfully predictable anime, but the 4.5 star rating (with over 700 votes) means I might just give it a watch.

Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop

When I’m looking for an anime, one of the tributes that makes me more likely to watch is the length. I’m more likely to watch a quick 12 episode anime over one that is still going. I keep up with Naruto, and that’s enough of a long-runner for me. Eleven episode Usagi Drop, rated 5 stars by over 900 people, is a new anime about a 30-year old single man who ends up raising a little girl. The watercolor styled animation is beautiful, but unfortunately, there’s no English subtitles. I was really looking forward to watching it too.

The Place Promised

The Place Promised

But, I think I might start with The Place Promised in Our Early Days. It’s an award winning movie, only available on Crunchyroll until October 22nd. It centers around three teens who grew up together, and keeping the promise they made to each other despite a war torn world. Unknown promise? Mysterious place? Beautiful cover with violins involved? Yeah, this is a winner. I’ve never seen a Makoto Shinkai movie, but I’m excited to get my first taste. I’ll let ya’ll know how it is. If it turns out to be anything like the end of Full Metal Achemist, though, I’m going to be miserable for a few days.

I think I’m going to get a membership. There’s just too much I want to watch! Anyone have a suggestion for a good anime on Crunchyroll? Characters with glasses are a guaranteed watch!

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

No. Really. HUGE spoilers here. I read and am completely up-to-date on the Naruto Shippuden manga. So, if you’re strictly an anime watcher, you won’t get to this part for awhile. Tobi has been a mysterious figure since his first appearance. The most popular speculation are Obito and who he actually claims to be, Madara Uchiha.

First, I’ll explain the “Obito is Tobi,” or OiT, theory. It’s pretty self explanatory. People who champion this notion do, in fact, believe that the main antagonist of the Naruto series, Tobi, is none other than a side character from Kakashi’s past, Obito Uchiha. Tobi started off as a goofball member of Akatsuki, a group bent on retrieving all nine of the tailed beasts to resurrect the “ten tails.” Eventually, he became the last man standing in the group and revealed himself as Madara Uchiha.

Now, this is bizarre, because Madara was friends, and eventually enemies, with the first Hokage who was rumored to have destroyed him. That was like, over a hundred years ago, so speculation started to swirl on how he could still be alive so long.

As far as Obito goes, he was a former team mate of Kakashi’s who was very much like Naruto. He valued friendship and the safety of team members over the success of the mission. Obito and Kakashi’s third team member, Rin, was kidnapped during a mission, and the pair ended up saving her. In doing so, however, Obito was crushed by a giant boulder. Before he died, he had Rin, a medical ninja, transplant one of his Uchiha eyes into Kakashi (who had previously suffered an eye injury) as a thank you for going along with him to save Rin.

Tobi and Obito

Tobi and Obito

To sum things up, both Madara and Obito are dead. In fact, every member of the Uchiha clan is presumed dead at this point except for Sasuke. Sasuke’s elder brother, Itachi, wiped out all the members of the Uchiha clan, except Sasuke, several years prior to the start of part 1 on orders of the third Hokage. Itachi later dies in battle with his younger brother. But, even after Tobi reveals himself as Madara, the OiT theorists have remained ever vigilant. Here’s why:

1. Obito and Madara are both Uchihas, a clan of people who are able to wield an eye power called the Sharingan. Tobi is also a Sharingan user, as seen through the one eye hole of his mask.

2. When Obito died, he had given his left eye to Kakashi. Tobi has a single eye hole in his mask, over his right eye.

3. Both have similar spikey haircuts, and Tobi appears to be too young, and his hair far too short, to be the wild Madara.

4. Their names are very similar.

As convincing as this is, there’s a problem. Obito was just like Naruto, ultimately good and valued friendship. What could have possibly happened, if Tobi is Obito, to have turned him into the picture of pure evil?

And, another hole in the works, during Tobi’s fight with Konan, his mask breaks and though you don’t see his whole face, he is shown to have both eyes. Both Sharingan eyes. So is he really Madara then? And here comes the major spoilers: according to the newest chapter of the Naruto Shippuden manga, perhaps not. Unless, of course, there’s other unforeseen circumstances at work here that we are unaware of yet at the present.

Madara Uchiha

Madara Uchiha

Kabuto finally reveals his trump card, the body in the casket that made Tobi nervous, Madara Uchiha’s body. It is made clear that it is, in fact, Madara, and he is unmistakably dead.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Naruto plot line from the past couple of months, here’s a short recap. All the major ninja villages have banned together to form the joint shinobi army against the forces of Tobi and Orochimaru infested Kabuto (it’s a tender subject. Look for my other posts on Kabuto). Kabuto has perfected the Impure World Ressurection Jutsu that allows the user to utilize dead bodies with all their powers. The bodies are back “alive,” but they have no control over their actions and are bent to the will of the Jutsu user. Madara is being used under this Jutsu.

So if that’s the real Madara, then who the !@$% is Tobi?! Sure, the OiT theorists are probably celebrating right now, but I’m not convinced for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Then what’s going on? Your guess is as good as mine, and I invite you to share your thoughts. But, here’s what I’m leaning toward. Tobi is probably someone related to Madara, such as a son we don’t know about, or his younger brother Izuna. Maybe Madara wasn’t the strongest son after all. Again, this is just a guess here. It could be something completely out of left field here for all we know.

Now that the real Madara has stood up, I can’t wait for Tobi to be completely unmasked.