Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Drama Review: My Girl

This drama is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. I was really excited when I heard about this at first because it’s Aiba’s first lead in a drama! I’d never really thought he’d be a great actor beforehand, but I really think he did a bang up job. The little girl who co-stars with him is absolutely adorable too, so if you like sweet family stories with cute children, this drama’s really great. While it wasn’t usually terribly exciting, the warm-hearted aspects of the show made it a pleasure for me to watch.

Masamune Kazama (Aiba Masaki) is a young man whose dream is to become a photographer, although he isn’t really progressing in his job as he often lets people walk all over him. He dearly misses his high school sweetheart, Tsukamoto Youko (Yuka), from six years ago, who he had a great relationship with until she suddenly told him she was moving to America and wouldn’t see him again. Masamune has always been waiting for her, until he suddenly finds out that Youko had passed away. Through a twist of fate, he meets a sweet little girl named Koharu (Ishii Momoka), who he quickly and unexpectedly finds out is his daughter! With Youko gone, Koharu is left to Masamune, who has no idea how to be a father. The show follows the story of Masamune and Koharu, who develop a close bond despite the many obstacles they face.

From the very beginning I knew I would like this drama, as I tend to enjoy the cutesy family stories. Masamune has believable flaws and continuously grows throughout the show, and despite his clumsy ways he always has good intentions and is a loveable character. Koharu is one of the cutest girls I’ve ever seen and she’s so sweet, polite, and mature for her young age. The relationship between father and daughter is so heart warming and entertaining to watch; Masamune is completely clueless about things like cooking or sewing, and his tough work life gets in the way of a lot of things, but Koharu adores him nevertheless. I really felt like Aiba and Momoka had a great bond off-camera, and the chemistry translates really well in the show. The emotional moments are effective too – both father and daughter are still dealing with the loss of Youko and the rough social transition that comes with a family, among other things. I shed a couple of tears throughout this show because, like I said, I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories, but the majority of the time the drama is light hearted and leaves you smiling.

Having said that, I don’t feel there was that much more to the show other than its cuteness. The plot isn’t too deep or complicated, and some of the acting did bother me a little. Don’t get me wrong, I adored Momoka, but sometimes her character was a little too polite and mature, to the point of it being unrealistic. I was really impressed with Aiba, but I could also sort of sense that he is still a fledgling actor. The music was nice, but not spectacular, and there were several supporting characters I didn’t care for (except for Tomoya Sensei <3). Also, the ending was a little unsatisfying for me – and I mostly mean literally the last ten seconds or so of the show. I also just sort of wished something a little bit more perilous and exciting had happened at some point, but this simply isn’t that kind of drama. Just don’t expect too much and enjoy it for what it is, and the show can still be a very pleasurable experience.

Ultimately, this drama is full of fluff, and I really loved it for that very reason. If you’re looking for something serious or full of action, then stay away from this one, as it might be too happy-go-lucky for you. If you don’t mind loveable characters, a cute plot, and many warm-hearted moments, though, then definitely consider this drama!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cooking Adventures: Tamagoyaki

I looove trying out various kinds of foods from all over the world, but I'm not very good at cooking (more like, not very experienced? ^^;). I have trouble finding the time and willpower to cook, but I really do enjoy it! I thought I might as well try out a new section of my blog where I have cooking adventures! Hope you enjoy!

As I just started my spring break from school, I have some extra time and resources at home to try out various recipes. Today I tried something simple - Tamagoyaki. By the way, I referred to this recipe from JustHungry.com :) So for this entry, I won't go into the recipe itself, so please go check out that awesome website! But here's my attempt at it~

Mixing all the ingredients is easy enough. This was my first time mixing things like mirin, soy sauce, and sugar into egg but it tastes soo good that way~

I kept almost forgetting to oil the pan before each layer of egg, so don't forget to if you try this yourself! Pour in the mixture, wait until it's a little cooked...

...then the rolling starts! For next time, I took note of the fact that I needed a different pan. Originally, I had just planned to use a spatula the first time making this instead of attempting to cook it with chopsticks. However, the pan I used was pretty small, and the rim was fairly high, so I had trouble picking up the edge of the layer with a spatula, or even a fork. So I was sort of forced into using chopsticks for the most part, which thankfully ended up okay.

Making sure the egg got underneath the roll was a little bit of a challenge as well. Also, in retrospect I realize that I actually let the egg cook a little too long, I think. I didn't want it to end up runny inside, but in the end the layers didn't stick to each other very well.

Another reason I need to use a different pan - it made my tamagoyaki such a weird shape! Like... triangular... which I don't think would have happened if I'd used a flatter pan. Of course, this was more or less taken care of by the next step (hey, for all I know it's supposed to be triangular...?).

Roll it up! Actually, this was a little harder than I anticipated, oddly enough - I had to unroll it and reposition it a couple of times to make it nice and tight. Let it cool for a bit...


You can see the gaps where the egg didn't stick too well, but it still tasted just fine! おいしかったよ!

This is such a great, simple recipe! It looks and tastes so good and is perfect for bentos! I was satisfied with my attempt and will definitely be making this again. ^^

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lang-8: Looking Back and to the Future!

So, first of all, if you don’t know about lang-8, go check it out: lang-8.com. I talked about it in my Japanese Learning Methods post. It’s a brilliant website for any language learner. You write little diary entries in the language you are learning and native speakers of that language will help correct your entries and comment on them (and you can help others with English or whatever language you’re fluent in). It’s a great way to learn in an interactive setting, so I strongly suggest for you to try it if you want to improve your Japanese.

I was active on lang-8 for only a brief time before losing track of it, and I’ve just started to try getting back into the habit of writing diary entries. So I thought, why not add this as another feature to my blog here? Every once in awhile, once I get, let’s say, ten or so lang-8 entries together, I’ll post the corrected entries here as a blog in Japanese (and, rarely, Spanish). That way I can track my progress while providing more content.

So… Here are the first few corrected entries that I wrote a long time ago:


Hello, everyone! I'm rather nervous doing this as I'm afraid to embarrass myself, but I might as well give it a shot - I won't learn unless I put myself out there! Mainly I am here to improve my Japanese. Although I've been studying for a few years now, I've only started taking college classes last year, so my grasp of the language isn't very strong yet.




今日はすごくいい天気です。 外でジョギングをしたいのですが、たくさん宿題があります。 文化人類学の作文を書くつもりです。 そしてちょっと日本語を勉強するつもりです。 今、私の母がラザニアを作っています。 あれはよい香りがします。 おいしそう〜! すみません、みなさん! 私は日本語が苦手ですよ。 これからがんばります。。。

ディル アン グレイのライブ

今日、私は友達にあう予定です。 車で私たちは新しい Dir en Grey のCD を聞くつもりです。

火曜日にディルのライブへ行きました。 すごく楽しかったです!! 私はライブへはあまり行けませんので、とてもうれしかったです。 ライブの後で、CDを買いました。 そこにはたくさんの人がいました! そして、としやさんとしんやさんに会って、ちょっと話しました。 夢みたいでした。

日本語を書くのは難しいですね。 ごめんなさいみなさん!XP

As I've been trying to write these journal entries, I realize more and more how insufficient my Japanese is! I know I'm a beginner, but it just makes me want to learn more and more! I ask for your patience. ^^

Honestly words (especially my clumsy Japanese vocabulary) cannot express how amazing that Dir en Grey concert was, and getting autographs from Toshiya and Shinya afterwards was even more incredible...

Thank you for reading!



昨日、車でヒュストンからオースティンに行きました。 テキサス大学の学生なので、オースティンに住んでいます。

たくさん宿題があるので、ちょっと心配しています。 今週も来週も時間がありませんですが、テストの後に時間があるから大丈夫です


先週は大変でした。 期末試験がとても 難しかったです。 でも、昨日、さいごの試験がありました。 そして、今日家に帰りました。 私はホッとした。 家族に会いましたから、とてもうれしいです。
クリスマスが来ます! いいですね! 私の妹はクリスマスツリーを飾りました。 とてもきれいですよ。


今、冬休みだから、私は家族の家にいます。 クリスマスはとてもよかったです。 本と服とビデオ•ゲームをもらいました。 とてもうれしかったです。 来週、大学に戻ります。残念です。。。

今、もっと日本語を勉強したいです。家で、勉強をするのはちょっと難しいです。 れんしゅうのために、たくさんドラマを見て、日本語のサイトを読みますが、また日本語のクラスへ行きたいです。



明日、オースティンへ行きます。 火曜日にクラスが始まります。 やった。。。

でも、うれしいです! 昨日、友達の家へ行って、日本の旅行について話し合いました。 夏休みに日本へ行くつもりです! とても興奮しています。 これは私の初めての日本旅行です。

日本でどこへ行ったらいいでしょうか。 2週間ぐらい行きます。 東京と京都と大阪へ行くつもりです。 もしかすると神戸へ行くかもしれません。 みなさんは、日本ではどこへいったらいいと思いますか。



いま、私は大学にいます。 クラスの前にちょっとエントリーを書きます。 そして、アパートに帰った時にもっと書きます。

今年の日本語のクラスはむずかしそうです。 ちょっとこわいけど、がんばります。 ほかのクラスもちょっとむずかしくてたくさんあります。 毎日勉強するつもりです。


いま興奮しています! 昨日Miyaviのライブのチケットを買いました!VIPのチケットです。信じられないです!四月にヒューストンへ行って、Miyaviのライブを見ます。


Un poco en espanol


Hace dos años que yo he practicado mi espanol. Se me olvida mucho! Estoy aprendiendo Japonés y entonces se me olvida todo el español. Quiero practicar de nuevo...

Ahora estoy en la clase de química (que es muy aburrida). No he comido mucho esta mañana y tengo un poco de hambre. En dos horas comeré con una amiga.

Ahh, escribir en español es muy dificil... Lo siento... Debo practicar más... Ah! Yo tengo la serie "Harry Potter" en espanol. Ya leí el primer libro y ahora estoy leyendo el segundo libro. Es más fácil leer:P Todavia no puedo escribir.

Tal vez sea difícil estudiar dos idiomas al mismo tiempo pero no quiero perder mi español. Ayudame por favor! XD


And, finally, here’s my new post I’m starting anew with:




Hope you enjoy these tidbits! And feel free to friend me on lang-8 :)