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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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:: Sunday, April 29, 2007 ::

Jidai Matsuri




The Jidai Matsuri, or Festival of the Ages, is one of the newest festivals in Japan, meaning it started only a couple hundred years ago. The parade showcases historical figures and the various eras of Japanese history. I don't know what period these guys are from, but the girl's look is timeless.

(full size at flickr)

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:: Kazen 7:45 PM [+] ::
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Crazy Crazy Day


A crazy day full of tourists at work... so of course I have to rant. ^_^ This is taken from a post I made elsewhere to other Starbucks baristas, so I'll explain some bits.

Customer: I'd like a small latte.
Me: Sure, a tall latte, anything else?
Customer: Oh, and a small coffee.
Me: Tall coffee, no problem.
Customer: When I say "small" are you saying "tall" on purpose?


A single order--three venti lattes, four venti cappuccinos, a grande non-fat CM, an orange juice and a no sugar added blueberry oat bar. Without a blink.


Translation: eight drinks requiring over a gallon of milk and some other add ons, ordered without a second thought.

A guy who is very obviously on something comes into the store and asks for a paper $1 for his random change. We're sorry--can't open our till without a transaction. (No bills in our tips at the moment, thank god.) He proceeds to yell at us, punch the air violently, and generally scare customers. We ask him leave. He does so, slowly, in stages. He comes back two more times within half an hour. We called the non-emergency police line, but he was gone before they could come.


Another order--five venti caramel fraps.


Fraps are no fun to make: you gotta get the base, you gotta measure everything out, into the blender, out of the blender, it's messy... and five of the biggest size at once? Ugh.

Three completely separate cases that went exactly like this:
~I get handed a $50/$100~
Me: Do you have anything smaller? Or a credit or debit card, by any chance?
Customer: I don't.
Me: Well, I can break this, but if I do it's going to be all in $1s and $5s with a couple rolls of quarters thrown in, and I don't know if you'd want that.
Customer: Here, put it on my credit card.
~head bangs register~


The drink from hell--grande, half-caf, single shot, two pumps of vanilla on top, two pumps of vanilla on the bottom, soy, bone dry, 130 degree cappuccino. Oh, "and I only get charged for a tall".


Okay, this one requires the most explaining. A cappuccino is half milk, half foam. Soy cappuccinos are a pain--having no fat, soy doesn't foam well at all. It's hard, often taking until 170 degrees to get something decent. But she wants it at 130, bone dry--all foam, not a drop of liquid. And all of the other stuff is just picky, picky, picky. The vanilla will sink to the bottom no matter where you put it.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But some days...

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:: Saturday, April 28, 2007 ::

Crazy Thoughts




Uh... yeah.

(full size at flickr)

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:: Thursday, April 19, 2007 ::

バンビ~ノ!


A new drama season has started in Japan, which has given me a lot of first episodes to go through. Sometimes the acting is so bad I can't get past the ten minute mark before deleting the file. There are a couple of good shows this season, and the first one I've been able to watch all the way through is バンビ~ノ!, or Bambino. The story is about a country boy who loves to cook. Everyone in town thinks he makes the best pasta, which has swelled his head some. He gets a chance to go to Tokyo to work in a real Italian restaurant and test his skills, leading to all sorts of adventures and realizations.

I usually watch everyday type dramas with little specialized jargon, so Bambino has been a bit of a stretch with all of the cooking terms thrown in. Every once in a while, though, a 30 second passage makes perfect sense and I get the urge to translate it.

「何だその顔は。え?バンビ。」鉄幹が言う。
「え?バンビ?」
「今日からお前の名前だ。イタリアのバンビーノ。一人じゃ何も出来ない、生まれたての赤ん坊。ま、ガキんちょっていう意味だ。どうだ?お前にぴったりだろ。バンビーノ。」
「・・・うっす。」


Chef: What happened to your face? Well, Bambi?
Ban: Huh? "Bambi?"
Chef: That's your name starting today. From the Italian bambino--a newly born child that can't do anything on its own. Well, "brat" would be a better translation. It fits you perfectly, don't you think? Bambino.
Ban: ...yes, sir.


I wonder if my Japanese will ever get to the point where the entire show would flow as easily as that.

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:: Kazen 2:42 PM [+] ::
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松本潤ね~(^^
 
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:: Sunday, April 08, 2007 ::

Good News


My apartment hunt is over! Come May 1st I'll be moving into a place not three blocks from my current apartment. And down the hill too, which will spoil me, hehe. Really close to work, and within a block of at least two of my coworkers. My new flatmate's name is Sarah, and she rocks--wouldn't move in with her otherwise! ^_^ All in all I'm as happy as a clam!

Thanks to everyone for your help and support. The next time I call on you will be for help choosing which IKEA lamp will look best in my new room. -_^

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I knew you'd get that place. I'm so very happy for you. Good luck in the move. Love, Aunt Pat
 
Congrats!!! I was praying for you!!
Love ya. Thanks for the note with your response. Love Ya Bunches!!!!
Aimww
 
Yaaaay!!!! I'm sooo happy for you!!
-e
 
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Two for One


If you ask me, knitting is more annoying than crochet. It takes longer. You knit and knit and knit and then look at your sock to see it's the same size. If one loop jumps ship rows and rows of complicated work can be ruined. On the other hand, crochet is fast. Flexible. It's easy to make lace--actual doilies, with thread. Mistakes don't threaten to unravel an entire piece.

Lately, though, I've been knitting more than crocheting. Why? I've been crocheting for as long as I can remember. Mom set me down with the beginnings of a towel topper when I was five or so, and I thought it was cool. My grandmother taught me the basics a little after that and I've been at it ever since. If a technique exists, I've done it--thread crochet, tunisian crochet, hairpin crochet, filet, dishcloths, hats, baby stuff, doilies, afghans... I've conquered it all.

But knitting? There's still lots of stuff to learn. Lots of things to challenge me, to wrestle with. I like that. So... knitting it is. Here's the project du jour:



A sock. Knit on big needles, with thick yarn, but still, a sock. But wait, what's this?



It's actually two socks I'm knitting at once!

I found a great tutorial at knitty, an online knitting zine. Double knitting, the technique's called, and the tutorial dubs it the "ultimate knitting party trick -- extreme knitting at its best". So of course, I had to give it at try. ^_^ I'm tempted to move to sock weight yarn and needles right away... but I should make sure I'm able to turn a heel first. Just in case.

(And knitters, you know I was kidding in the first paragraph, right? Well... half kidding? Good. ^_^)

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:: Friday, April 06, 2007 ::

Sharpie on Paper


I like my handwriting. I think it's distinctive and somewhat stylish... even though it may be a little sloppy. Of course, I think of my ideal handwriting--when I am sitting at a desk and have all the time (and patience) in the world.

I have none of those things at work, though, so my cup writing leaves something to be desired. The drink itself--number of shots, extra hot, kind of syrup and whatnot--is completely legible, but the name scrawled on top is not. At the beginning of my shift I try to write neatly, but when the first rush hits things degrade in steps, like so:



By the last one there I'm barely looking at the cup while I write--speed is most important! Get the cup to the bar as quickly as possible! My poor coworkers. T_T

But look at the middle example. Wouldn't you say it has a little... style? -_^

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