Friday, October 21, 2011


Today was the Halloween party at my dorm, and last Friday as well as today we had parades through the campus to advertise.  I actually went last Friday as well; I just didn't take my camera so I didn't have any pictures to show off.

Here, have some pictures.

Little Red Riding Hood is actually my suitemate, Hi-chan.  Also, the girl in the bloody nurse outfit did a brilliant job with her make-up; she had a piece for her forehead that looked like she'd be gouged by something.

Some people were super excited to dress up.

Also, the cop girls kept shooting people and then handing them flyers. I'm not sure if that made them more or less effective...

Hi-chan's elbow and SKELETON MAN, who managed to terrorize people as he handed them flyers.

Also, for some reason there were a huge number of middle and high school students going through the campus on tours during the lunch hour today.  You have never seen so many kids looking thrilled by people in costume.

Here's the transformed community room, pre-party start.  This is the bar.

Some of the decorations were...uh...really interesting.  There was a lot of tinsel, for some reason.  I think there was some holiday confusion going on...

The balloons on the ceiling were a really cool idea...except that they came off in the middle of the party and had to be taken out of the room before they popped.

The entrance into the lobby of our building.

Super cute ghost hanging from the ceiling.

Speaking of appropriate decorations, I bet you didn't know that cranes and sakura petals are Halloween-y.

Before the party we all gathered downstairs and took pictures of each other's costumes.

The swan princess was definitely my favorite, hands down.

Everyone in this picture is male.

And the guy dressed as a miko apparently had another guy hit on him during the party, thinking he was a woman.  OOPS.


Huge lines of people waiting to get inside...

A swan princess, a miko, and a salaryman walk into a bar...

If you don't recognize these guys, you haven't been watching enough Lupin III.

We have a surprising number of really good artists in the dorm.  All the promotional materials for the party were hand-drawn.


These guys didn't even coordinate their costumes, but that night a beautiful friendship was forged in the fires of shared love for Power Rangers...

...and this was the actual party.

I'm not going to write anything more about the party, but suffice to say that it was like the Transfer Orientation We Swear This Party Will Be Dry Except That There's Beer and the Non-Alcoholic Punch Is Spiked Epic, except that I couldn't ditch it 10 minutes in because I had to work the last shift (even though I explicitly asked for the first shift and was assured I would be assigned to the first shift), and there was 200% more puking in the hallways, being grabbed around the neck by drunk guys, and having my shift-partner be so intoxicated that he couldn't walk in a straight line and was sending his friends to get him more drinks.  I think the only reason I got through the experience in more or less one piece is that I hid in my room for about an hour and ate copious amounts of chocolate.*

I miss Tech House.

So instead of writing about my inability to enjoy Normal People Parties, I will write about FOOD.

I like food.  It's pretty tasty.  Today for lunch and dinner I made This Thing which sort of looks like udon in a swamp, so I call it

(I am the greatest at naming things.)

(This will make two servings.)
2-3 cloves of garlic
more ginger than you deem strictly necessarily**
1 onion
2 bunches of spinach
1 satsumaimo
1 bunch of udon
2 shishitou
1 Japanese green pepper
some kind of meat, preferably pork or beef shavings
hon dashi
soy sauce

Step 1!  Chop up the intuitively obvious stuff.


Step 2!  If your satsumaimo looks like it fell off a building and was hit by a truck (like mine did, since I bought it from the discounted produce bin), peel it.  You'll be left with something that looks distinctly inedible.

Then microwave it for about four minutes.

You'll be left with something that looks like the love child of a mandrake and a banana slug.

Chop it into little cubes and ignore how nasty it looks.

These are shishitou, which my dictionary helpfully tells me means "green pepper."  This is not, of course, to be confused with piman, which...also means "green pepper."  Thanks a lot, dictionary.  Anyway, you wanna chop these up too.

This is hon dashi.  It's basically fish stock pellet things.  If you're vegetarian, you can substitute konbu dashi.

Step 3!  Add some hon dashi to your water.  You probably don't want to add as much as the box says you should add, unless you want everything to taste really strongly of fish.

Step 4!  Add sake and soy sauce.

Step 5!  Add all the non-green ingredients, except the udon.

Step 6!  When it starts looking like this, add the peppers.

Also, if your stove isn't set as high as it can possibly go, you're doing it wrong.

Step 7!  When your broth starts getting weird and congealed, add your udon.

Note that your udon may look like traditional spaghetti...or it may look like some sort of bizarre pasta bobby pin.

Step 8!  Boil everything for a while until your udon is pretty much cooked.  This could take as long as 15 minutes, depending on how competent your stove is/what brand of udon you're using.

Step 9!  Add the spinach and cook for a few minutes.

Step 10!  Enjoy!

It looks gross but tastes delicious, I swear.

*I don't have an addiction; I can stop any time I want!

**I don't have an addiction; I can stop any time I want!

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