Thursday, February 4, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Azuki Bean Bar for Setsubun
Black Kit Kats from
Caramel & Salt Littles
Caramel in a Jar
Caramel Macchiato McFlurry
Caramel Pudding for Halloween (2008)
Caramel Pudding for Halloween (2009)
Cherry with Free Music Download
Chilli Pepper Littles
Chocolate & Rose
Chocolate & White Chocolate Minis w/ Sakura & Message Packaging
Chunky Caramel Bar from
Chunky Cookies & Cream Bar from
Cookies + Chocolate
Cookies + Minis
Daigaku Imo (Candied Sweet Potato)
Dark Noir from
Easter Bunny (from
Green Tea Terimisu
Ichigo (Strawberry) Littles
Ichimi (Red Pepper) from
Ito en (Fruit & Vegetable Juice)
Jyagaimo (Baked Potato) from
Kic Ker from
Kinako (Soy Bean Powder)
Kit Kat Bar with Sakura Packaging for Exams
Kit Kat Coffee Mug
Kit Kat Eraser in the Shape of Bars
Kit Kats from
Kit Kats from
Kit Kats from the Phillppines (International Recipe)
Kit Kats from
Kokuto (Brown Sugar)
Matcha (Green Tea)
Matcha with Kinako Bar
Melt in the Mouth
Melt in the Mouth
Milk Chocolate & White (to write on) for Exams
Nescafé Gold Blend Special
Olympic Gold for 2008 Summer Olympics
Peach & Yellow Peach
Raspberry & Passion Fruit for Valentine’s Day (2009)
Raspberry & Passion Fruit Happy Pack
Rich Soy Powder
Rilakkuma Ichigo (Strawberry Milk)
Royal Milk Tea
Santa Claus (
Satsumaimo-aji (Sweet Potato) from
Shoyu (Soy Sauce) from
Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Mailable from
Strawberry Cheesecake from
Strawberry Happy Pack
Takimorokoshi (Grilled Corn) from
Uji Tea & Chocolate
Lemon for Valentine’s Day (2009)
Wasabi from Kanto Plain (regional)
Watermelon & Salt
Yakimo Baked Sweet Potato
Yakimorokoshi (Corn Butter) Mailable from
Yamanashi Grape from Nagoano (regional)
Yokohama Strawberry Cheesecake (mailable)
Yubari Melon Mailable from
Yuzu (Citrus)Zenryufun Bar (Whole Wheat Flour)
Thursday, January 28, 2010
-Sydney is on the second page (with the map) above "Hollywood" and you can click to zoom in.
-On page 4, "Have a Fantastic Trip" she's on the left, and on the following she's sitting on the airplane.
-Page 7 she's standing in front of the Eiffel Tower holding the lunch box.
-Page 10 her "mom" is giving her bunny ears. This girl was 17 and European...Poland I believe. She was very nice and Sydney loved her.
-Page 11, top of the page, she's the second kid from the left.
-Page 21, picture on the top.
-Page 27, boxing gloves and holding the bus. They were throwing a balloon around for her to punch.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I have a new favorite restaurant in Japan! On Friday Sydney and I met up with my friend, Corayls, in Yokohama. Thanks for being such a good sport and letting me record you, Coralys! We went shopping, she took me to a great Kaiten-zushi (sushi train or sushi-go-round) restaurant and then we went shopping some more. I was like a kid in a candy store...this place was so neat! We've been to Kaiten-zushi restaurants before, but have never seen anything like this. With a lot of these types restaurants if you want to order something you can by speaking onto the box above the table and then it's delivered by the waiter or waitress. This place is different. The ordering process is by touch screen and then it's delivered on a motorized car on a track above the conveyor belt. Corayls explains it in the first video below and in the second you can see the process in action!
After you're done eating you slide the plates down the ramp and under the conveyor belt. This immediately reminded me of the TV game show "Scrabble" (from the mid 1980s) where the contestants picked a tile that corresponded to a letter and then dropped it in a slot in front of them. Anyways, the plates float underneath and into the kitchen. For every five plates deposited a game comes up on the screen that's interactive. One game was a sumo match and you pick the opponent, another was fishing and picking the lure and the third was slot machine sushi. We had 16 plates so we were able to play three games. There's a clear box above the touch screen and it's filled with little prizes like pins/buttons, cell phone charms, etc; when you win one slides down. If you want to find out whether or not we won you'll have to watch this video. It's about four minutes long so you can skip ahead if you like, or watch it to see us playing the games.
Parking is limited and under the building, and if you're not there by opening time (11 am) you'll be waiting in line to park; Coralys said it's even worse at dinner. The reason it gets so packed is because it's a ¥100 Kaiten-zushi. That means each plate costs ¥100 no matter the color. Sydney and I are anxious to go back...with Bob and Keanna this time!
To those of you that subscribe to this via email, you'll need to click here to watch the three videos.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Amazon Japan is selling it for the cheapest I've been able to find (¥4662), and believe it or not, on a lot of things they sell they offer same day delivery.
They did the same premium box set for "Twilight," and that can be seen here.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This is from the USS George Washington's homecoming on September 3rd. They were in port for about a month before leaving again; they returned home the week of Thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I believe the submarine in the picture is the USS Connecticut (SSN 22) because of another photo posted here.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
If you or someone you know can help please leave a comment below. You don't need an account with Blogger, just select "Anonymous." Another option is to scroll down on the right and fill out the "Contact Katie" form.
For you email subscribers you'll need to click here to be brought to the blog's website, then follow the instructions above.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It opens in the U.S. on Friday the 20th, in Japan on the 28th and comes to the base theater on the 28th too. I'm exhausted and am going to bed but wanted to post a few pictures first...details will come tomorrow. If you want to know more right now you can click here to see Twilight Singapore's site. They have a little blurb about it and I emailed them from my cell phone while we were waiting to get in. It's long passed my bedtime, oyasuminasai!
The girls took pictures of our progress, so I'll include those to help give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.
Soon I will post the instructions for the spaghetti and meatballs costume. Last year I wrote the instructions for Keanna's bucket of popcorn costume and Sydney's movie ticket costume.
It's simple, I promise, just a little time consuming! Gambatte (try your best/good luck) if you make this next year!
Here are the supplies you'll need, and what they cost me.
- clean styrofoam cooler from the fish market- $0
- bag of pillow stuffing (300 grams) - $5
- bag of 200 cotton balls - $2
- shower cap - $1
- back brush (or any accessory for that matter) - $4
- rubber ducks - $0
- rubber ducky sponge - $1
- bath tub letters/numbers for outside of the tub - $0
- slippers, slippahs or flip flops - $0
- hot glue gun with a lot of glue - $3
- white scrap material or a white pillow case - $0
- for a grand total of $16
I took the rest of the pillow case and hot glued it to cover the surface of the cooler. I glued about 1" below the top edge and went all the way around. The batting will rest on this. In retrospect I wish I glued the pillow case around the edges before putting the cotton balls on the straps. It wasn't a big deal, but probably would have been easier. Once the entire surface is covered cut a round hole for Peter to fit through. I made it big enough for her head, then cut slits on the four sides of the circle. I found that the best way to put the costume on is to hold it over her head and put iton like a shirt; it's easier than having her step into it.
I started putting hot glue down on the pillow case and piling the batting on top of it until it covered the whole surface. The batting will come loose, so I put glue in random areas to help keep it together. Let some "over flow" over the side and put hot glue down to keep it in place.
Find some bath toys, rubber ducks, etc. and hot glue them to the top. We have two bigger ones and one tiny one, so I put the smallest one on the cotton balls on the shoulder strap and the two larger ones in the batting. I found a rubber ducky sponge at the ¥100 store (like the dollar store in the U.S.), hot glued his feet and butt and stuck him in the back making it look like he was standing up. We have these animals with letters inside (a giraffe with a "G" inside) so I took the letters and used those and hot glued them to the outside of the tub. If you can't find letters or numbers for the bath, look for magnets, that's what I used when I made Keanna's a few years ago (see last paragraph).
In my opinion the accessories make the whole thing come together, so when I was buying the cotton balls I looked and found the shower cap and back brush. Anything you have will work, but the cost of both was so low that I bought them, and I have a brand new back brush now! My neighbor, Sarah, gave Sydney a small bottle of bubbles to blow, and you can see [in the first picture at the top] that she's holding them but forgot to open them up. Sarah thought having bubbles floating up around her would be cute and it hadn't occurred to me. Thanks Sarah!
For the costume contest at the New Sanno in Tokyo on the 25th Sydney wore a pair of shorts, a bathing suit top and slippers, but on Halloween she wore jeans and a white sweater with sneakers.
I actually made this costume for Keanna in 2006 while we were in Hawaii, so she went out with the bathing suit on and slippahs (Hawaii's way of saying "flip flops"). I did a better job this time around and felt like it came together a lot easier.
Here's Keanna in the costume the first time I attempted it. I didn't do the pillow case lining then, but I got a piece of felt instead and attached it on the left and right sides letting it kind of drape around her. The way I did it with Sydney's was much better and certainly more sturdy, and it was actually easier with the larger cooler too.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Pass the Chopsticks is getting more visits than ever before! There are 202 subscribers (email, feed fetcher, etc), 127 followers and I have a counter on the right margin and get the numbers emailed to me daily; here's what I got last night.
Total ............................ 31,110
Average per Day .............. 169
Average Visit Length .......... 2:17
This Week ...................... 1,181
Total ............................ 51,259
Average per Day ............... 268
Average per Visit .............. 1.6
This Week ...................... 1,873
Sitemeter.com explains the difference between a page visit and page view.
When you are browsing a site, every time you follow a link to a new web page, it is treated as a single page view. Site Meter defines a visit as a series of page views by one person with no more than 30 minutes in between page views. If you click on a link to another site, and then come back to your site within 30 minutes, you are still on the same visit and Site Meter won't increment the counter. But Site Meter will increment the number of page views recorded for your current visit.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I emailed my friend Mayumi and asked her about it and here's what she had to say:
Those letters are Hiragana. 『ぶ』 ( Bu ) and 『う』 ( U ). 『ぶう』 is the "sound" we would say
if we wanted to put a word explaining about pigs. Your other three toes have a pig on each, so, I guess they put the word.
I bought these toe socks in the Shibuya Ward of Tokyo and they've become a big hit with the girls. Every time I wear them they don't stop with the "This Little Piggy" nursery rhyme.
This little piggy went to the market,
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef, This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried "Wee! Wee! Wee!" all the way home.
My friend Laurel teaches English to Japanese kids at a school nearby. She said they play this out once a week and the kids get excited yelling "Buta!" Buta is the Japanese word for pig, and that's how they ask her to do it. Instead of a piggy buying roast beef, in her version it buys pizza. At the end she'll chase them around during the "Wee! Wee! Wee!" part and they climb under the tables trying to hide from her!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
Armistice Day Becomes Veterans Day
World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The actual fighting between the Allies and Germany, however, had ended seven months earlier with the armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Armistice Day, as November 11 became known, officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.
In 1968, new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Microsoft celebrated the release of Windows 7 here in
Measuring 5.1" (13 cm) in diameter, the Amerikanbanzu ("American sized buns" in English) Windows 7 Whopper has seven ¼ lb (113 grams) beef patties totaling 1 ¾ pounds.
Bob and I talked about it and I told him I wanted to at least get a picture of it, so after we got it [to go] Keanna wanted to send him a picture. I took a picture of her holding it with my cell phone and emailed it to him with the subject "Hungry?" He wrote back immediately (this surface ship thing is still amazing to me, if he were on a submarine I'd hear back from him in a month or two, and I wouldn't have been able to send him a picture in the first place) with the response, “Have friends to help eat it?”
We headed back to
Thursday, November 5, 2009
They had a translator for Rob and Chris and the audience too. I would say, from what I saw, at least 95% of the 550-600 member audience was Japanese. Understandably so, don’t get me wrong, but I was surprised there weren’t that many foreigners there. Like I said in my last post, we tried to get tickets when they first went on sale, so when they became available again I don’t think the word got out.
Chris introduced himself and said hi and promised to keep it short. Rob asked, “Genki?” and that means “How are you?” A lot of girls in the audience responded with “Genki desu,” which means “I’m good.”
They immediately moved into the question & answer period but only had time for two questions. A little disappointing, but this was scheduled for an hour. The first question was about their favorite thing to film in “New Moon.” Rob’s answer was “Anything with the Volvo in it,” and Chris’ answer was “Anything with Rob in it.” –See video #2-
The second question, asked in English (very impressive!) was “Would you lie to protect someone you love?” Rob said he would and compared it to his character. He put more thought into this answer so that was refreshing. After that they said they ran out of time for questions and immediately moved on to the drawing for the
Rob and Chris each selected three tickets which were seat numbers. -See video #3-
Rob and Chris were directed to the balcony portion of the stage…if you want to call it that, where each girl had 15 seconds to plead their case of why they deserved the trip. I took a lot of snapshots at this point and didn't get it on video. A few of them cried, a few laughed, and with all the emotions from the finalists the audience got just as emotional. The translator for the audience explained each girl’s answer and then Rob and Chris were told to choose the winner based on their reasons.
Chris said it isn’t fair and he couldn’t decide, so they pulled out “The Red String Machine.” This was totally planned as you’ll see in the video. The six girls had one end and Rob and Chris had one. They all had to pull to see who was holding their string. The one with Rob won the trip to
The other four girls didn't walk away empty handed. They each got a hug from Rob and Chris and one of the red robes that were worn in
They showed us three clips from the movie, but all were ones I had seen online before. Staff walked around making sure no one was recording anything. As soon as the clips started the room got quiet and we could hear everything. I remember watching something on TV where they showed a clip and the audience just kept screaming. Everyone sat in their seats too and didn't stand. We were asked to do that in the beginning, but I wasn't sure if everyone would actually follow the directions.
Rob and Chris said goodbye and thank you and Chris asked that we go see the film so he could get another job. That got a laugh from the crowd and after the translation and applause and waving they left the stage. -See video #5-
About a minute later they popped out of a balcony on the left side of the room, but I was sitting too close to it and couldn’t see them.
On our way out we were given a gift bag with four 5"x7” promotional pictures (nothing that hasn’t already been online or in magazines) and a “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” poster; we joked that it’s our swag. We went out into the lobby and chatted for a few minutes, took some pictures and I was pinching myself making sure I still wasn't dreaming. One of the girls that won a robe was letting people try it on, so I asked her, “Daijoubu desu ka?” “Is it okay?” She didn’t mind one bit, so I put it on and Mel snapped a picture. This was the neatest thing as far as I was concerned, and I emailed the picture to my husband, Bob, who asked if I dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween. He knew darn well I didn't, don't worry.
We had a great time, met two women from
To see all 71 pictures I took click here. You do not have to log in or create one, just hit "View Album" under the picture.
On November 17th at 7 pm (that’s Nov 17 at 5 am EST) I’ll be in the Shinjuku Piccadilly Theater in