Tuesday, September 13, 2011

International Chocolate Day 2011


Yay for another day devoted to chocolate!:drool:I love that stuff. I prefer milk chocolate, too.:icontinoplz:Occasionally, if it's not too dark, I'll have some dark chocolate. Read on one site that people 55 and older prefer dark more than milk. But, the 18-34 age group like milk more. Interesting. 

It's finally cooled down a bit. Got to about 88 on Sunday. These last 2 weeks, have been really nice and warm. But, it looks like that's changing.:icongermanyplz:Today's about 20-25 degrees less than it was on Sunday. Crazy!

Went to the Aki Matsuri or Fall Festival in Bellevue on Sunday. It was really amazing!:iconfrancisplz:Had a lot of fun. Just wished I could split up into 2 people, so I could see 2 things at the same time. That was the only real problem. So many things to see and do.:iconicelandfukkiretaplz:

First thing listed for the day was a martial arts demo on Iaido. It's a sword based martial art. It was, honestly, kind of boring.:iconwtfromanoplz:They pulled out their swords, 'attacked' their opponent, flicked off the 'blood', and then put the sword back in its scabbard. They just did different directions, but basically all the same. Cool for about a minute.:iconkikuplz:Next, there was a Jujutsu demo. That one was cooler and a bit more interesting. Painful looking, too.:iconraivisplz:In the same room, they had a display case in the back. Which had a few swords, and a samurai outfit. Those were cool.:iconchibinitalyplz:

Next we went over to the performing arts main stage. This was also where they had the 80+ exhibitors. We watched the Koto group play for a while. A couple of tunes were interesting. But, it eventually got tiring to watch.:iconchibijapanplz:

Then, we went to get lunch. Their system to get it was weird. But, I got their bento. Uwajimaya supplied the sushi and bentos. (Not sure what else they did.) I like Uwajimaya, so that was all good with me.:iconchibihungaryplz:I actually could eat most of it.:dummy:It had 2 large pieces of salmon with a little skin left on. A piece of teriyaki chicken. A really interesting and tasty potato croquette. That had like a mashed potato filling, with a tiny bit of corn and carrot mixed in, panko breading around it, and some tonkatsu sauce on top. There was also really nice and sticky rice with some black sesame seeds. The only things I didn't like were the edamame and this weird sliced pink pickle-y thing. Other than that it made for quite a lunch!:iconchibispainplz:Tasty and satisfying. Also, got some diet coke with it. Asked around to see if any of the booths had forks. They didn't. So, just in case I grabbed a spoon from the dessert section.:iconusaplz:But, I managed ok with just the chopsticks. I never know if I'm going to get too tired of it, or if I could get things like the rice. They should have cut up the fish more. But, other than that it was surprisingly easy with chopsticks. Oh, and after finding the soy sauce, I opened it and it squirted on me and the bench. Wahoo! Go me!:iconseychelles-plz:

Next, was a group called SHaYK, who sang and danced to some famous Jpop songs. Some songs from bands like Perfume and AKB48. Plus, some anime songs, too. It was pretty crowded. And if you were a minute late, they wouldn't let you in.:iconpolandplz:They wouldn't let you leave unless you had a screaming child or something. No flash photography either. So, only a couple of my pics from that came out ok. Of course with a lot of editing in Photoshop.:iconbraginskiplz:The girls were pretty good. Sound system wasn't so great sometimes. They forgot to translate a lot of what they said in Japanese about the songs. I actually understood one of the explanations.:la:It was really long. But, the only thing they said in English was the song title, so you lose all that background. Sad. 

I think the Yukata Fashion Show was right after this at the main stage again. It was really interesting. Only about 2 outfits I didn't like. The bridal outfit was really pretty. Not sure if I like how the veil was feathery in one area and swept into her face. But, other than that, it was awesome.:iconchibipolandplz:A sportscaster on a local network was the mc for it. It was weird, but interesting to see her this way. She seemed nervous. I also liked 2 of the yukatas that had a 'flower' on the back. The obi was tied into a 'flower'. It was pretty.:iconawwwplz:

We looked around at the various exhibit booths. A lot of interesting ones. I grabbed a lot of stuff from them. Some from the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle. There was so many interesting brochures and maps there.:iconchibiaustriaplz:Some from a tourism group. Info on Sakuracon, not that I'd be able to go. Even if I had the money, it's really expensive. Also, got some stuff from the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington. Some info on their Japanese conversation class. It's $5 if you're just dropping in. Not bad. They also gave me a flyer on a new fundraiser that's coming up. They said people can just come in and look at what their selling during the event. They apparently want me to get really involved. As soon as I told them I was interested in Japanese culture. There was some really interesting ones with people selling crafts and such. Some way too expensive to get.:iconbrothercanadaplz:

The last performance of the day was a taiko group. They were so awesome!:iconmochiplz:And, seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. I thought they were going to break their drums, with how hard they hit them. It sounded great, though. They have a school in Seattle for anyone who wants to learn how to play taiko drums. They said their current students range from 6 to 60-something. Anyone's welcome, and sometimes families join it together. Makes me want to do it.:iconheroamericaplz:But, I probably wouldn't be able to do what they did. 

After that, there was just enough time to look at the rest of the booths. Then, it sadly ended. Dad wanted to have some takoyaki, but we didn't have time. I might have had some too. Wanted to go to the tea ceremony and ikebana demonstration. Also, wanted to go to the flea market and do some of the games outside. Maybe even look more at the koi. Managed to get 2 of the newest issues of Ibuki, and a new issue of the North American Post. So, by the end of the day, my purse was really heavy.:iconwtfukplz:Since I stuffed everything in it. There was still room in there, though. 

I went through most of my old CDs yesterday, to see what I wanted to rip. I think I rediscovered some songs I had totally forgotten about.:iconenglandispervyplz:Some are from Sugar Ray, No Doubt, Cake, and various others. Also, went through a bunch of my old Jewish CDs. One's a 10 year old NFTY CD. Another, was Tuning the Soul. So, now I'm loaded with more Jewish songs. Still doesn't feel like enough. Have to find more!:iconberwaldplz:Up to about 290 songs on my mp3 player. That's a lot to me.:iconthailandplz:But, it's barely passed filling 1% of it.:iconswissplz:I was just thinking, that it feels like a more rounded and varied selection. Jpop, Jrock, Jewish, Classical, Blues/Jazz, 'old' (old to me) American songs, Alternative rock, punk, and more. Nice.:icondenmarkplz:

Edited and posted pics from the Matsuri to FB. Took a long time with editing. But, it's up! So, yay! 

Made mustard baked chicken, with tiny cute potatoes, and peas. The mustard chicken recipe was from an Irish cookbook. The potatoes were so small, it looked like I was boiling tri-colored pebbles.:iconcuteamericaplz:The whole thing was really good.:iconitalyplz:Next time, I might add a little more mustard. Instead of using whiskey mustard, I used some spicy brown mustard and a little brandy. Not sure exactly what I'll do tonight. I have ideas, just haven't gone through them.:iconchibisitalyplz:

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