Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

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Life seems to pass by quicker and quicker as you get older. You’re always told this as a kid. Because life goes by so slowly as a kid; with lulls and boredom, its hard to believe adults. I’m just starting to see my life passing by quicker. I think it may be because as adults, we just have so much going on at any given point of time. Work, commuting, after-work activities, keeping up with errands.

What I’m trying to say, is I can’t believe it’s already July. I haven’t spent any time writing here. I procrastinated for too long to discuss my last trip to Japan (though, I could still write about some of the things I did). I also have not been sharing my latest acquisitions throughout the year (they’re all filed away, so I forgot what I’ve purchased throughout the year). Honestly I’ve been wasting time, consuming and buying instead of enjoying. Being distracted as opposed to focusing.

Truthfully, I’ve been less than enthusiastic about many things this year. The magazines I subscribe to, have not been appealing to me as in the past. I don’t know if it’s because I now have over three years of Kyou no Ryouri and Kyou no Ryouri beginners to browse through, but the issues of both magazines have not produced as many new and interesting things for me. In fact, I may cancel both magazines. They’re still great magazines (and if you’re looking for a magazine in Japanese to subscribe to, I highly recommend them). But I’ve been wanting to narrow down my interests a bit more to singular topics.

Speaking of singular topics, I am very happy on an couple of recent purchases. I’ve been really disappointed in my local Kinokuniya lately. One of my favorite sections at Kinokuniya used to be the Japanese literature, and Japanese history section. However, my Kinokuniya is almost exclusively devoted to manga and anime; and on gift like items. So the once large selections of history/fiction have become one shared shelf of these items. I get it, a Sherlock coloring book probably has a higher sell rate/profit margin. But its no longer fun to peruse through the aisles like I used to be able to.

I’ve also been very disappointed in the Japanese cookbooks in Japanese section. The section used to be larger, but its now in a forgotten, low volume area of the store. I’ve completely combed over every single cookbook in the section, and have picked it clean of the books interesting to me. But it seems like the rate of books that come in, and the topics of those cookbooks have been dwindling. So I simply don’t have the interest or enthusiasm I once had going to my local store. Many of the cookbooks I picked up in Japan earlier this year have yet to make it over, so I know there are continuously new and interesting books, but there isn’t enough interest to bring them here.

Okay, enough complaining, because as I mentioned, I have found many new interesting purchases. Lets start from the top left:

  • Pug manga me go (パグまんが めー語), by Yoshiko – Pug manga; I’m not too sure what this is about, as I bought it for the Pug on the cover and it was a gift. But I found the person who wrote the manga and it looks like it’s about a pug and you get to hear his thoughts.
  • Planetes, by Yukimura Makoto, Volume 2 – I haven’t started volume one…but the art looked interesting and takes place in outer space
  • Sokosoko Eko, Hajimemashita – Shingle Mother no Hanjikyuu Jisoku Nyuumon (そこそこエコ、はじめました。 -シングルマザーの半自給自足入門-), by Takagi Chieko – I picked this one up because its something about cooking and ecology. I have not had time to read through this one yet (sorry, none of my descriptions have been useful, but maybe the titles may spark others to look into them).
  • Somen, The recipe book(そうめん), by Mitsudome Kuniko – I have looked through this one! This cookbook has really excited me. It’s a cookbook that is devoted to learning about and making Somen, a type of noodle dish that is typically served in the summer in Japan. I will try to write about this one more in detail sometime. Her website is here.
  • KnR and KnR Beginners July issues – Not much to comment on here, but there was an interesting pun in the KnR beginners issue. Basically there was a recipe for a vinegar based smoothie. Because vinegar in Japanese is su (酢), the title of the recipe is 「酢」ムージー, otherwise “sumuujii:, Smoothie. Get it? I thought that was pretty clever.
  • Tegaru ni tsukurete, kirei ni kiku! Miso maru (手軽に作れて、キレイに効く! みそまる), by Fujimoto Tomoko –  I was really interested in this cookbook. Basically this cookbook shows you how to make a compact ball with miso and other dehydrated ingredients so all you have to do is drop the ball into some water to create miso soup. There’s some other creative recipes as well. I thought this was really cool, because you can just make a bunch of these, and instead of carrying around a container full of soup, take the ball with you in a small container and just add water during lunch. I definitely will talk about this again in the future. Note – I found her blog here!  Also the website for the book here.

I’ve been working on my Japanese, to hopefully be a bit more useful in discussing these more in detail in the future. While I can do a pretty good job of translating recipes for me, its harder to read the larger bodies of text. Even harder, is to take the Japanese names and put them into english. So apologies for the crappy translations for the titles (or lack thereof).

 

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