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January 29, 2006

happy year of the dog!

today begins Year 4703 -- or possibly 4704, depending on who's answering -- according to the lunar calendar. the new year begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, so that's why it's never a fixed day. according to the Chinese zodiac of twelve animals and four elements, it's the Year of the Fire Dog... which i suppose makes it the Year of the Hot Dog... in any case, there will be no char siu bao making this year (my usual celebratory food) as i just started a new show that will most likely be at least 70 hours a week, so apologies if HadashiWorld is a little silent over the next few weeks. remind me in March to make a belated new year's batch of steamed pork buns.
at least i'm wearing red all this week...happy new year everyone!

Posted by hadashi at 8:37 AM | Comments (2)

January 24, 2006

it's the darned umlauts!

i tell you, this whole quest to prove (scientifically or no) the stereotype that Germans are unfunny people, or to prove that they are, in fact, completely hilarious, continues to fascinate me. thanks to the ever-alert Ms. Jen, this interesting development was brought to my attention. this time, it's an American professor claiming that the pronounciation of umlauts in German vowels cause the mouth to turn down, and therefore, negatively affect one's mood. no really, i am not making this up. HadashiWorld thinks that the official German response: "We can give no comment on this as it is too scientific," is actually quite amusing, and will continue to document this debate...any other submissions?

in the interest of fairness, when the in-house (scientifically proven) funny German (that would be T.T.) was asked for his opinion, he said, "oh, is that why the Swedes shoot themselves in the wintertime? because their language has more umlauts?"

Posted by hadashi at 10:28 PM | Comments (4)

January 19, 2006

snack? or friend?

stories like this make me feel really, really happy. perhaps because my first pet was a hamster, and my last pet was a snake, this tale of unlikely friendship has me especially overjoyed. somehow the fact that the hamster even falls asleep on the snake renews my hope that there is still some good left in this world.
and now, an update on last year's big animal friendship story: it involved a baby hippo that was left stranded after the Indian Ocean tsunami. he was befriended by a 130-year-old tortoise that lived at the zoo which took him in. it's now been a year, and the story has a new twist: will the pair's friendship survive the ultimate test -- the introduction of a (gasp!) girlfriend? many male bondings in the human world can't even deal with this one...

Posted by hadashi at 2:47 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2006

Judge Alito, name my baby!

no, i am NOT preggers. however, with the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings in full swing, there's been a lot of spiffy Latin legal terminology flooding the airwaves, and with it, great baby names! i'm thinking that if i ever have a daughter, i should name her StaRae D'Sysis (hip-hop artist). or Starry Dysysyss (can i buy a vowel?). or Starri Dee Sisiss (cheerleader). in any case, stare decisis literally means "to stand by things decided," and if all that the fabulous Mommybloggers say is true, having and raising a kid certainly fits that definition, don't you think?

Posted by hadashi at 9:58 AM | Comments (2)

January 8, 2006

the grin is still plastered on my face

the first time i ever rode the Stateline roller coaster, i was with a bunch of my college friends, driving out to Zion National Park for a few weeks of camping. the ones who had ridden it before couldn't stop talking about it -- how this ride at the California-Nevada state border was the greatest coaster ever, how it even blew away the ones at the roller coster mecca known as Six Flags Magic Mountain, etc. etc. i didn't believe it, really -- i mean, a roller coaster in the middle of the desert? at a casino? come on! when we did pull up to the casino that hosts the "Desperado" -- its real name -- i was still unimpressed. the track that curved over the parking lot seemed pretty flat. there were no spirals, no corckscrews, no loops, no upside-downs. it all looked disappointingly tame. i was so gloriously, completely wrong.
the first drop is about 225 feet, a straight-down plunge to the desert floor. then, for the next three minutes, you can hit up to 90 miles-per-hour speeds, with a few more death-defying plunges. it's nothing short of complete exhilaration. later, i would find out that when it first opened, the Guinness Book of World Records listed it as the world's tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster.

since that first ride, i've made it a point to ride the Stateline coaster every time i've passed it. sometimes my fellow passengers want nothing to do with it. sometimes they love it so much they want to go again (i never argue). it continues to be one of the few redeeming features of a trip to the Neon Digestive Tract of America, aka Las Vegas, where T.T. and i spontaneously went this weekend. he needed to attend a trade show; i wanted to visit a good friend from Okinawa who now lives there. of course the ride was a required stop.
as you have obviously guessed, i am a huge roller coaster aficionado. i love the adrenaline rush, the defiance of gravity, the breathless rushing of earth and sky. i ride in complete silence -- no screaming, no shouting -- with a giant toothy grin plastered on my face. how good the coaster is can be directly measured by how long that huge smile lasts. T.T., on the other hand, is Not A Fan. for him, that rushing of earth and sky is directly linked to the rushing of stomach contents upward. so i was quite surprised when he got two tickets and boarded with me -- that sure is true love! although he did not exactly, um, ride in silence, that man is absolutely my hero. thanks for stepping waaaaay out of your comfort zone, my dear... you wouldn't want to go to Magic Mountain with me now, would you? well, i thought not...
yeah, i'm still grinning! (any takers for that Magic Mountain trip?)

Posted by hadashi at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2006

the lights are packed away for now

now that the rain has stopped and we no longer really have an excuse to bask in the warm glow of our Christmas lights, we took all the decorations down today. we'd taken the plunge and made the big post-marriage investment of a so-real-it-should-smell-piney tree, complete with pre-strung lights, which as far as i'm concerned is one of the best holiday innovations next to eggnog lattes. it quickly became our favourite piece of furniture in the living room... well, okay, it's one of three pieces, so it didn't have much competition, but in any case, it was a bit sad to stuff it back in the box. no more light radiating from the living room in a sort of alien-invasion-type way. sniffle, sniffle... so we cheered ourselves up by watching this video -- at three minutes it's a little long, but well worth the show! honestly, Google video is our new internet time suck (beware, it can be addictive). of course, good old regular Google returned this background story about the creator of this festive light show.
well, gotta go -- we've got lots more hilarious foreign commercials to watch on Google video! this is what happens when you don't have a television, i suppose...

Posted by hadashi at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)