Showing posts from 2018

The Secrets of Sake: Part 3, SHUBO

Part 3 SHUBO (Part 1 is   HERE ) An alien race had descended upon the sleepy land of Tanbo. Abducting every last villager, uprooting their verdant homeland in the process and tearing it to shreds. The people, known as Sakamai, were subjected to all manner of torture by their insouciant captors. Starved in the cold, and then worked over mercilessly. In a sudden 180, they were reunited with their brethren and plumped up, only to be separated once more. Finally, they found themselves subjected to some bizarre biological experimentation at the enormous hands of the towering aliens. Latched onto by hundreds and hundreds of previously harmless house pests they recognized from Tanbo, slowly the Sakamai began to link telepathically with these simple creatures, who they came to learn had their own thoughts, and a name: "We are Koji. Soon we will become one..." True to their word, the Koji were not shy as they latched directly onto each and every Sakamai, adhering like le

The Secrets of Sake: Part 2, KOJI

Part 2 KOJI-KAKE (Part 1 is HERE ) The once robust and happy Sakamai, villagers of Tanbo, were already quite unrecognizable. Stripped not only of their brown clothing but their very layers of body fat and protein, only to then be engorged with steamy hot water. They looked like a new race; fluffy, round, and starchy white like snow. The mysterious alien beings who forced such change upon them without mercy or explanation were not finished with the Sakamai's transformations - not by a long shot. For all the brutality and advanced technology they utilized up until this point, things were about to get incredibly, deeply weirder. Resting in their latest prison, the Sakamai were trapped but momentarily reunited, warm, and fed. Despite the terror they had endured, the villagers were grateful, some even overcome with joy for the respite. It seemed as though throughout the chaos and torturous conditions, everyone had somehow survived, undergoing the same process. Just as reli

The Secrets of Sake: Part 1, SAKAMAI

Part 1 Sakamai Our heroes' journey began in a small, agrarian village called Tanbo. All of Tanbo's residents were known as Sakamai, and they enjoyed abundance, growing happy and plump as if divine intervention had chosen them for a life of comfort, ease, and opulence. Until one day in late fall. A day like any other... Suddenly, horrifically, alien beings of unstoppable power and size laid waste to the village. Uprooting homes mechanically and devoid of remorse, whole families of Sakamai were ripped apart and bound - seemingly at random, and in defiance of the laws of gravity. A quiet behemoth works methodically. For weeks they hung motionless, quietly suspended midair above the only land they knew. Devoid of life nourishing resources, most importantly water, the Sakamai became so parched from the sun's dull rays, even cool autumn breezes were abrasive and withering. While each of them prayed for an end to this misery, and a return to the land that taunted t

Adulting 101: Part 7 - Career

Welcome back, class. This is part 7 of "Why Did No One Tell Me?!?" Normally I would link you to the 1st lesson, but instead, ( Part **5** is here. ) That is because today's lesson correlates so closely  to personal, romantic relationships, the parallels are almost creepy! Today's lesson is:  Choose Your Career Like You Choose a Lover  Again: Understanding lesson 5, " Relationships: By the Numbers " should help this lesson click easily. First. everything in K-12 education is designed with two messages: (1) " Go to college! ", and (2) " Fit in! "  FORGET THAT. As soon as you finish high school, you are tossed into a world with countless trades and entrepreneurial routes that already exist and require zero college education, and the highest echelons of society are filled with outliers who refused to conform to a previously existing model. For examples, look at the founders of Apple, Snapchat, Facebook, Netflix, or Amazon. No m

Dry Sake or Sweet?

You spot a small Sake section while shopping for wine. You know enough about wine styles to tell a Riesling is sweet, a Merlot dry, but what about Sake? Can Sake even be sweet or dry? Do you know your preference? When shopping for Sake, you might look for something you tasted at a restaurant. If you can't find that, you grab whatever is cheapest, or something priced in the middle with an appealing label. Sound like you? Everyone, myself included, has shopped this way for some kind  of specialty item. For Sake, this means consideration of sweet and dry becomes an afterthought, and you may end up with something terrible  - or worse: something great that just wasn't for you! To help you judge dry and sweet, Japan developed a Sake Meter Value, or "SMV" ( Nihon Shudo , in Japanese). The scale is simple: any positive (+) number would mean dry, zero neutral, and negative (-) numbers sweet. Turns out, that scale was too simple... Japanese importer and distributor JFC, c

Go Ham for Hamamatsu

"Hold on, I'll Man-splain" - Ieyasu-kun It's unusual for me to talk about a city and not go straight to talking about the food. I promise I will get to that. First, I want to talk about Hamamatsu, "The City of Music". Having taken my third trip there last year, I noticed more and more, the city has an authentic identity. Home to Yamaha, Roland, and Kawai, Hamamatsu has flourished thanks to these internationally recognized companies, and the city has shown their support in kind. I laughed out loud when someone pointed out that my hotel in the Act Tower, was very literally designed in the shape of a harmonica, down to the elevators lighting up the teeth as they ascend. That is so wonderfully  Hamamatsu! The manhole covers and other promotional materials, depict Hamamatsu's  kawaii,  mascot-version of Tokugawa Ieyasu (pronounced: E.A. Yeah, Sue), the powerful Daimyo who conquered and occupied Hamamatsu in the 1570s. His piano-key pants a nod t


Welcome back, class!  Like any good substitute teacher, I'll start off with a video: I really like this, because it rings true! If you get out and attend a rally or a protest, that is great, but nothing sends a louder message to an elected official than your vote. And for the record, I already voted, from the comfort of my living room, and it is STILL not too late for you to do the same. More info on that is available at the bottom of this post. This. This is what democracy looks like. An extremely important election is just two weeks away and young people - historically - never turn out. Whether you are 18 or 34, most young adults today never took an actual civics lesson. Furthermore, voting has never been presented to us in school in the correct context:  A battle for control. I'm not talking about Republicans or Democrats. I mean old people and young people. Like this video suggests, it matters. Most old people do not change with the times. They elect other

Adult Swim Festival

Two of these cat-decorated projection booths displayed fun images on the brick wall to the left Months ago, I noticed Adult Swim was holding their first-ever music festival. As a diehard Rick and Morty fan, I immediately knew I wanted to be there for the Day 3 lineup, with performances by Chaos Chaos, Run the Jewels, and something called a "Rick and Morty Musical Ricksperience", but with a one-day pass costing over $100 after fees, I resigned myself to sitting this event out, in the name of fiscal responsibility. Then something magic happened: a couple of days before the event, some magical algorithm on Instagram gifted me a discount code! My impulse-buy cost just under $74. It was too late (and costly) to get someone to cover my lunch shift at work, which meant I wouldn't actually get to see Chaos Chaos perform, and not knowing anyone else, I hopped in a Lyft, worried I set myself up for a boring and expensive evening. Once again, fortune smiled upon me: By the

Sake Ain't Easy

Remember TRON? TRON took the complex, dry world of computer processes and made it theatrical and exciting. That's how I want to talk to you about Sake. In a way no one ever has before. I've started that in series of posts I call, " The Secrets of Sake ". Before I jump into what Sake  is , this post will be to share what I see as  unhelpful.  The national alcohol of Japan, Sake, appears in the occasional newspaper article. These authors recommend this or that, but their selection process is arbitrary at best and explanations still feel snobbish, shrouded in outdated Oriental Mysticism. Here are the pitfalls I recommend avoiding  on your Sake adventure: - Wine Scores : Often referred to as "Rice Wine", Sake is sometimes scored at wine competitions. The intention to measure Sake as a premium beverage with complexity, depth, and value on par with fine wine is well-meaning and deserved. Unfortunately, the scores come from wine experts with barely any more

ADULTING 101 - Part 5

Welcome back, class. If you're just joining me, this is part  5  of " Why Did No One Tell Me?!? " or, " What High School Should Have Taught Me. " ( Part 1 is here. ) Standard foreword : None of these lessons are new. Some, I am only just learning myself. Many people never learn them, but those that do think it is all just "wisdom that comes with age", even though it would benefit you to learn, and especially learn early! Anyway: Today's lesson is a tough one: Relationships: By the Numbers As I have mentio ned before, I am embarrassingly single, unmarried, and without children. Unlike most men in my situation, I have actively sought a serious partner, commitment, and want children. In fact, as I will admit here, I have overactively sought someone. No matter what you want in life, the following relationship advice should still apply to you, too. I hope you will all learn from this, my greatest personal revelation so far: *