Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Magic 8 ball...

I saw this on Badger Meets World and thought it looked like fun. Put your iPod on shuffle and answer the questions below based on the songs that come up - the honour system applies kids!

How does the world see me?
"She's Alive" - Outkast.
(That's true, I am - though you might not think so if you saw me before coffee!)

Will I have a happy life?
"Sooner or Later" - Madonna
It won't happen overnight, but it will happen)

What do my friends really think of me?
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana

(I think what they mean is "young at heart")

What do people secretly think of me?
"Look Good In Leather" - Cody Chesnutt

(Especially my shoes & bags!)

How can I be happy?
"Show Me Your Soul" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

(People, I want nothing less)

Will I ever have children?
"Buch Dich" - Rammstein

(I believe this is German for "no way, Jose"!)

What is some good advice for me?
"15 Minutes" - The Strokes

(Yes, the fickleness of fame is not something I should strive for)

How will I be remembered?
"Diamonds On The Inside" - Ben Harper

(I hope they'll be on the outside too!)

What is my signature dancing song?
"Zebra" - John Butler

(Hmm...more my signature animal, methinks)

What do I think my current theme song is?
"Someday We'll Know" - New Radicals

(Ha ha, but I'm not telling you now)

What does everyone else think my theme song is?
"Drums A-Go-Go" - Hollywood Persuaders

(Must be my manic energy levels!)

What song will play at my funeral?
"Thunder" - The Mavis's

(That's right, cos I'll be going out with a bang!)

What is my day going to be like?
"More Money Tonight" - Violent Femmes

(What a fantastic ending!)

So now I bid you to go forth and shuffle...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Natsukashii World!

So everyone seems to be on a Natsukashii (nostalgia) trip recently. Elsa's Buzz posted a brilliant video clip of The History of Dance, My Float ruminated on the wisdom of Mothers and I got the following email today:

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning . . . uphill BOTH ways . . . through year 'round blizzards. Carrying their younger siblings on their backs . . . to their one-room schoolhouse, where they maintained a Straight-A average, despite their full- time, after-school job at the local textile mill . . . where they worked for 35 cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death!

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!! There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter . . . with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

And talk about hardships? You couldn't just download xxx! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of "Hustler" at the 7-11! Those were your options!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it! And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, a collections agent - you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids" and the graphics sucked ass! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!! Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed! Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little brats!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire. Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot. That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!!!!!

And I'm gonna add...we had to learn to type on manual typewriters and if you made a mistake, the backspace key wouldn't help you, because there wasn't one - you had to use a fresh piece of paper, or some white-out if you had a generous teacher! Ahh memories!

Add your reminiscences to the comments!

Monday, May 29, 2006

The road to...

This is one of my favourite photos from a trip to Airlie Beach I took back in 2001:

This was taken from the back of a truck we were on in Proserpine ...we were about to take a cruise to spot crocodiles in their natural habitat before learning how to make damper . I love the colour of the earth in this shot!
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Sunday, May 28, 2006

She's here...

Brangelina have given birth:

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt debuted in Namibia, Africa on the evening of May 27, 2006.
(Shiloh doesn't mean pickpocket in Japanese!)

Photo from
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Friday, May 26, 2006

Lay & Skilling - GUILTY:

After 6 days of deliberation by the jury, Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay - the former CEOs of Enron - have been found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and other charges.

Skilling could now face up to 185 years in jail, and Lay could face up to 45 years. Both are planning to appeal.

Image from here
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Oligarchian opulence...

Next time you are in Moscow perhaps you'd like to dine at Turandot a $50 million replica of a baroque palace specialising in "Imperial Asian" cuisine:

Peruse the gold embossed leather menu and perhaps select a bottle of the 1990 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild - a bargain at only $2875!

Photo is courtesy of
The New York Times

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Camel Thing" explained...

In the neverending battle against mould and mildew, "Dorai & Dorai Up" is an essential household purchase.

Japan is about to experience tsuyu (rainy season) closely followed by a hot and steamy summer...perfect conditions for growing mould!

So we have several jyoshitsuki (desiccants) in various places around our apartment. Moisture from the air is absorbed into the container and collects in the bottom. It's actually kind of frightening how quickly the containers fill up!

Jyoshitsuki are generally sold in packs of 3 for about 200 yen and make the hot summers here a little bit more bearable (in that there's less cleaning to do)!
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And the winner is...

The Photoionary Queen of the Universe is....

(Drumroll please)

My Float

Omedeto (congrats) My Float...thanks to everyone for playing...and an extra special domo (thanks) to
Quiet in the Stacks for having the inspired idea to play Pictionary in the first place!
(Picture is from Queen of Credits)
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What on earth is it?!

Well our game of Photoionary is proving to be fiendishly difficult!

Let's recap what it's not: a diaper, a tray, a styrofoam container, coffee filter, pencil case, bathing bucket & sponge, portable sink, bucket full of tapioca balls destined for bubble tea, cat play basket, rice storage container, rice, food related item.

And for the clues already given: it's something you'll find in Japanese houses, the
1st photo is the top of the 2nd photo, and for the biggest clue of's an essential purchase for the upcoming rainy season & humid summer!

Photo 3:

Photo 4:

Puzzle away... Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

Photoionary - Part Deux...

As I post the second clue of our game of Photoionary, methinks it's rather apt that today happens to be the birthday of a shrewd mystery writer - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! So with our deerstalkers perched firmly on our heads, puzzle away my fine friends.

Photo 2:

This may prove to be elementary to only some of us...but I have faith in you all! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

What is it?!

Welcome to Photoionary...the drawing-free game of fun!

Photo 1:

Post your answers in the comments...

(Photoionary was inspired by
Quiet in the Stacks' brilliant Pictionary!) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Remember this?

Well, not only did our begonias survive...
...But they are now positively thriving:

Note how close we live to the train station...
...Noisy but oh so convenient!
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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Fight Like A Brave...

I had an exciting delivery last Thursday and have been engrossed by the contents ever since... (to the detriment of this blog!)

The first book out of my
Amazon Japan box was Scar Tissue:

And what a page-turner it is this man still alive and kicking holes in the sky?! I had my fave RHCP CDs on high rotation while reading this especially "What Hits!?" and "Blood Sugar Sex Magik".

After the gritty realism of modern day urban life I switched to the gritty realism of the Crusades!

This was an escapist page-turner with the added attraction of having female characters as the protagonists. I always enjoy a good feminist historical retelling!

Both images are from
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cooking with Chimps...

Tanihara-san was the special guest on Chimpan News Channel tonight...he made salada which was highly entertaining as Gomesu - the anchor-ape - tried to eat every single ingredient including the salad dressing. The highly complex salada consisted of lettuce, carrot, spinach, yellow capsicum (AKA pepper), cabbage and salad dressing! Gomesu spilled the salad dressing and got quite upset when Tanihara tried to stop him from licking the spill...he was coaxed into good behaviour with some crisp cabbage leaves.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rain, rain go away...

It's been wet and miserable here since Sunday which makes me think of....


(Photo taken in London, January 2006)
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Sunday, May 07, 2006

More Wackiness in Akihabara...

These two had us mesmerised for a considerable amount of time...they did the most bizarre dance!

Shot in Geek City - March 2006
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Saturday, May 06, 2006

More than sushi...

Since moving to Japan my food vocabulary has expanded remarkably. So many Japanese dishes have become my favourites, so I'm listing some of them for your vicarious pleasure:
  • Takoyaki - Little balls of octopussy goodness smothered in a rich tare sauce, mayo, katsuobushi flakes (shaved, dried bonito) and a light sprinkling of nori.
  • Sushi & Sashimi - sashimi is the raw fish, sushi is the lightly vinegared rice served with raw fish. I particularly love salmon, tuna, squid, octopus and shrimp.
  • Onigiri - the Japanese sandwich. A ball of rice with a small amount of filling inside ranging from ume - boshi, tuna, salmon etc., wrapped in crispy seaweed. Portable, nutritious and delicious - what more could you want?
  • Edamame - Boiled, salted soybeans cooked in their pod. You suck the beans out through the pod. Excellent with beer!
  • Imagawayaki (I'll have kuriimu please!) - A Japanese sweet made with a slightly salty dough filled with cream (a kind of custard) and shaped into a circle and cooked on a hot plate.
  • Okonomiyaki - Savoury Japanese pancake (most translations say pizza but in my opinion pancake is a more accurate description!) Fillings range from meat, fish, veges, to the limit of your imagination. Always contains flour, water, egg and cabbage. Cooked on a hot plate and served with a rich tare sauce, mayo and nori...often with katsuobushi too!
  • Miso shiru (Miso soup) - simple but perfection in itself. I prefer it with negi, wakame and fresh tofu.
  • Warabimochi - Looks like eyeballs but tastes like heaven...gelatinous bracken starch balls served with kinako powder and a rich black sugar sauce...they are divine when refrigerated!
  • Gobo salad - Julienned gobo (burdock root) with carrots, sesame dressing and usually sprinkled with sesame seeds. Slightly nutty flavour.
  • Daikon - the giant white radish. Delicious grated on top of meat or served in salads, soups or casseroles.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

My iPod Mini Top 10:

What I'm listening to this month:
  1. Idiots Rule - Jane's Addiction
  2. Just A City - Voice of the Beehive
  3. Killing Lies - The Strokes
  4. Shake Your Bon-Bon - Ricky Martin
  5. Charmless Man - Blur
  6. We Are Nowhere And It's Now - Bright Eyes
  7. The Man That Got Away - Judy Garland
  8. Love Is Only A Feeling - The Darkness
  9. The Future - Leonard Cohen
  10. I Think That I Would Die - Hole


This time last year one of the biggest news stories in Tokyo, was a Lesser Panda called Futa in Chiba Zoo as he could stand up on his 2 back legs. Shortly after, Dale in Yokohama Zoo Zoorasia was found to be able to actually walk around on his hind legs. Every night, the news programmes would show footage of these amazing pandas and attendance at the two zoos surged. We saw this Lesser Panda at Tama Zoo - unfortunately not a standing one, but still very kawaii (cute)!

Lesser Pandas are also called Red Pandas and have very thick red fur. They spend most of their day sleeping with their tail wrapped around their head...I know some people like that!

They live in Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal and Japanese zoos and are related to Giant Pandas and feed mainly on bamboo. They are the dieters of the animal world due to their very low calorie diet - I guess fur doesn't hide figure flaws after all ;)
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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

"Great British Entertainment" Disappears...

Online Movie Rentals