Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!

Q: What’s your favorite winter holiday memory?

Rei-chan: My favorite “winter” holiday memory is of my family’s traditional holiday bbq, drinking virgin Piña Coladas and “coquito” and our traditional coconut-based xmas desserts XD Writing it, I realize it might sound weird for most of you, but I live in a Caribbean island, so we don’t really have the kind of winter that I guess most people do… It doesn’t really even get cold here, just more breezy. And my favorite PRican xmas-time desserts are the coconut ones XD And we love our piña coladas… So yeah, that’s one of my favorite holiday winter memories. And another one would be, of course, being a child and waking up on xmas morning to open the presents under the tree. Since I’m old now we don’t do it anymore, so I miss it a lot. Those are great memories. *__*

Suki-chan: All my winter holiday memories can be considered ‘favourites’ now coz I currently live in the tropics and we don’t get winter here! XD But my most memorable ones took place during the winter break of my third year at the University. That was when I got licensed as a diver with a small diving centre in Exmouth and it was crazy coz it was just before Christmas and FREEZING COLD!! *brrrrrrrr~!!*

My days would start at 8:30 in the morning and every day for almost two weeks I was out getting myself submerged in the waters off Devon and Cornwall. It was a painful experience because I had never carried so much weight/load in my life and a full tank of air isn’t the lightest thing in the world. And that’s excluding the rest of my gear that I had to carry around as well. I got home with my hips bruised from weights, my chest, arms and leg muscles hurting from the exertion of finning and hauling equipment around in a diving suit so thick that I couldn’t even poke my face without putting effort to it. But despite the physical pain and strain, I have never regretted going through the whole thing coz it was a really incredible experience. Like my first wreck dive for example. It was the most memorable of all because while we were making our way out to the wreck, we ran into a pod of dolphins and they were swimming and doing jumps just metres away! It was also during this dive that I first saw a scallop swim right by my face! It was unbelievable!! *LOL*

So yes. That winter holiday was definitely memorable coz every single day for two weeks, I was dog-tired, battered, bruised and chilled to the bone. But I earned my license and imo, that was and will always be the best Christmas present that I’ve given myself EVER.

Michi: I looooo~ve the holidays, so picking just one favorite memory is tough. My birthday is three days before Christmas and my family celebrates both Christmas & Hannukah, so I always get excited for the season. I think last year might’ve been one of the best, though. I was in Japan for the fall semester and my boyfriend came to visit me in late December after finals. Our holidays started with spending my birthday at Tokyo DisneySea — one of the best theme parks in the world! 😀 It was all Christmas themed so it was even better that day. We spent Christmas Day in Nikko, a town in the mountains north of Tokyo with a rich history. There wasn’t really any snow, but with how much we had to bundle up it still felt quite winter-y. Being from San Francisco means I barely get any winters that really feel like winter, so that was quite enjoyable. The day was spent exploring temples and shrines. We also bought a little Christmas tree at the 100 yen store along with mini ornaments and put it up in our hotel room. 🙂 We kept that tree and intend to put it up again this year!

Nosomi: Ow~ hard to choose between family and boyfriend….
1- the vision of the whole family waking up early on X’Mas Day and waiting in front of the X’Mas tree to open our gifts.
2- the love of my life, who was coming from far all the way to Paris, kissing me on the cheek for the first time while i wasn’t prepared…

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

December 16, 2008 at 3:34 am Leave a comment

Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!

Q: You just got a prize package to fly anywhere and stay there for a week. Where do you go?

Twissie: For just a week? Oh man… I’m tempted to say Tokyo, because I’d absolutely love to go back there. Re-live my days as a 留学生… but I think that having only a week to do it on would depress me more than fill my longing for the place. No, I think I’d go with a place that I’ve never been to. Perhaps Los Angeles would be a good choice. I could meet up with some friends, go to Disneyland, hang out and have a great time. Would also be awesome to get away from the cold weather here for a week ^o^

Rm88: I’ve never been to Japan, so Japan is the obvious answer ^^ First of all, I’d go visit my relatives while I’m there, I haven’t seen them in quite a long time. I’d visit Nintendo’s research and development building in Kyoto, that’s been one of my dreams for ages. I’ll get lots of (relatively) cheap videogames, including obscure RPGs that have never been released in America >_< I’d go to a Berryz Koubou concert! That would be one of the highlights of my trip ^^ I’d buy lots of Berryz Koubou stuff. I want to visit Kiyomizu-dera, it looks like such a beautiful place. I’d eat LOTS of misoshiru, that’d make me absurdly happy >_<

Chococat: Well… I’d love to go to Japan, of course, because I’ve never been. But only a week isn’t long enough to see and do everything I want there! Haha. So maybe I’d go somewhere else… maybe somewhere in southern Spain where the weather’s not TOO cold, and I’d go to stay in a quiet villa in the countryside, but still reasonably close to a town or village. I really like being surrounded by nature and beautiful scenery, so if I could stay in the hills where there’s lots of wildlife and plant life and just relax for a week, that would be lovely I’d take plenty of manga, books, and DVDs, and just relax and do my own thing for a week… if there was a log fire as well, then it’d be perfect! I don’t get on with hot weather, so autumn and winter are good times for me to go on holiday as long as it’s not somewhere really cold.

Odango: I’d go to South Korea~ I’ve really been into kpop a lot lately and because the music market is a lot smaller than Japan there’s more oppurtunity to see your artists perform so I’d love to go to a taping of Inkigayo or Music Bank and see some of my favorite artists perform live~ I also think Seoul would be so beautiful this time of year. Living in SoCal I don’t get much snow, and if I do it’s only up in the mountains, so I think it’d be nice to see what a snow white city would look like. ^^ I’d also love to visit the various Korean Castles and learn more about their history~ Seoul also has a lot of districts just like Tokyo, so I think it’d be fun to visit the different parts of Seoul and shop!!! …. If my plane ticket and hotel is free, I have to spend my money on something right~ ^.~ If possible I’d also like it to include a little mini-trip to Jeju island~ I hear it’s really beautiful and is considered the Korean Hawaiin islands XD

Michi: France! I’d usually say Japan, but I’m less likely to plan a trip to Europe for myself when I’d easily start planning to go back to Japan. 8D When I was little, I was really into French history and culture. Not to mention, I was taking French language lessons at school starting at age 5. I could speak it really well by the time I was 12, but then I started taking Japanese so I’ve forgotten most of it! Anyway, I’d love to go to Paris, see the sights, and then go to other places like the palace at Versailles. I’d also like to go really out of the way to the village of Domrémy-la-Pucelle, because I was obsessed with Jeanne d’arc as a kid and that’s her birthplace. Versailles would be for my love of the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, and the anime Rose of Versailles. Hehe.

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

December 9, 2008 at 5:34 am Leave a comment

Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!


Q: If you could be a member of any music group or band, which one would it be?

Maki Kanatsu: SNSD, Girls’ Generation. Rei will kill me for that, but the chemistry the group has and their amazingness even when times are bad, well it’s just very inspiring. If I were a korean girl, that would definitely be the group I would hope to be in. They have fun choreography, they all sing well and they’re just amazing and fun. I feel close with several girls in O!P to the extent that I would say SNSD feels around each other. Maybe we should create SNSD International. Haha~ Iiii love them. Don’t tease me because I’m young~

Reina: The answer will be simple

MORNING MUSUME!

It has been my dream to be a member of Morning Musume since I was 14, it’s still my dream now XD
Singing Morning Musume songs plays a big part in my Japanese self-learning journey, and Morning Musume is a really important group of people to me!
If I can only realise one dream, it would be standing on the same stage with Morning Musume, singing with them, dancing with them, I will be the happiest girl in the world! \^0^/

Anton: Well, first of all there’s Hello! Project of course, but the chances are rather… slim! xP If it was possible though, I would love being a member in Berryz Koubou! XD
I would also like being a band member in Katy Perrys gang. I’ve become a huge Katy Perry fan lately and I love her music. And she and her group seem to be having a good time on and off stage.
Aww, I wish I could play an instrument… any instrument! XD

Chococat: Oooohh… this is so hard! Obviously I’d love to say Morning Musume, but I know that I’d never be able to keep up with their schedule, and my illnesses keep me from being able to dance much… and besides, I’m far too old… ( T_T ) Well, it’s not a band or group, but I would love to be able to collaborate and perform with Utada Hikaru… besides having an amazing voice and an incredible song-writing ability, she seems like a really nice, down-to-earth person. If it had to be a band, though… haha, they could create a new character and make me part of Hangry&Angry XD But they already have a punk and a gothloli… what style character could I be? Maybe they need a cybergoth? Ahahaha~ That wouldn’t suit me XD;; Maybe I’d just have to be a solo artist XD Samishii~! ( T_T )

Ariah`: You have no idea how hard a question that is for me to answer, since I have no idea where the heck I would fit in in any group, genre-wise and stuff. As much as I love singing with other people, in the end I’d picture myself as a solo artist.
But, putting all seriousness aside, I’d totally want to be in one of those super hot Korean boy bands like DBSK or SHINee. You know, if I had a gender change. Or could pass as a boy, which I often can successfully do, especially in cosplay. o.o But, you know, just saw I could be like, “Hey, I’m in a super hot boy band.” XD

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

December 1, 2008 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

Monday Five

Monday Five is a weekly segment in the Ongaku!Project WordPress where we present five random O!P members with a question. Their answers to that question will be posted here each Monday. It’s a unique chance to get to know the O!P members a bit better!

Q: Introduce your pets (past or present) to us!

Tenkei : Ah! We’ve had so many pets in the past cus my mom’s a vet. Right now we have 5 dogs (whom suki was afraid to meet!) and 3 cats. At one point when I was little we had 12 cats, 2 birds, 2 turtles. Out of all of these animals, technically only 2 have been mine. One of the turtles, named Torty (lol). We lost him a few years ago when the guy who comes to read the gas meter left the gate open and Torty headed for the hills… And the other pet that was mine was a HUGE, fluffy, orange and white cat named Meatsa.

Odango : I currently only have one cat, but I treat her more like she’s my baby sometimes I think XD We got her about 2 weeks before Christmas back in 1998 so she’ll be turning 10 this year ^^ My mother and I decided to call her snowflake since she’s pure white and also because she’s a winter baby. Although, she never really responds to that. Instead the only name she really responds to is “baby” XD Some friends tease me because whenever I actually do hold her it’s like a baby, hehe~ But it’s just because I love her so much~!! Even though she’s an older cat she still loves to play with us and she’s always very effectionate. She loves to snuggle up to either my mom or myself when we’re sleeping, it’s so sweet and cute <333 ^^

Snowflake

Snowflake

Chococat : I have a lovely Tonkinese kitty called Tia, who’s 6 years old and has been living with me for over 5 years. She’s very small and cute, but terribly noisy! She has a typical Oriental cat meow, which means that it’s very loud and she’s not shy about using it as often as she likes! But she’s very chattery so you can hold conversations with her, and when I’m on my own in the house it’s like having another person around because she has such a personality. She’s a bit crazy – most cats like being stroked, but Tia likes having her butt spanked XD She likes it so much that she regularly runs up to people, turns round and shoves her butt in the air in the hope that they’ll slap it for her! Argh, I have a dirty harlot kitty XD

Tia

Tia

My other pets are a bit more unusual 🙂 I keep snails – I have Giant African Land Snails (achatina fulica), and some smaller tree snails from Barbados (caracolus marginella). I know that some people find the thought of having snails as pets a bit weird, but I find them really cute and fascinating. They really do have individual personalites, characters, likes and dislikes and so on. Currently I have four little caracolus marginella, all full grown, I have two young regular achatina fulica who I’ve raised from babies (Pilot and Moya), and I have two “rodatzi” variant achatina fulica – they’re the same as regular fulica, except that they have plain yellow shells instead of the brown stripey shells the “normal” fulica have. The rodatzi are called Shaiming and Meifeng. They’re all varying sizes – Shaiming is the biggest as he was born in January, so he tends to bulldoze the smaller snails out of his way when he’s got a destination on his mind! Snails are quite easy to keep – you need a big enough tank for them, something for them to live on (coir, moss, and compost are frequent choices for snail owners), and some hiding and climbing places for them (something simple like a plant pot on its side is fine, though I have various polyresin branches and logs). Then you’ll probably need a heat mat attached to the side of the tank to keep their habitat warm, and you need to spray/mist the tank with water a couple of times a day to keep it moist and humid. They also need a source of calcium to help their shells grow strong – cuttlefish is good and they happily eat it. Finally, you need food for them – they’ll eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, some species of snail also apparently will eat raw meat. They also like brown bread, and some people say that their snails will eat cat or dog biscuits, hamster food, tortoise food, and other things. My snails are all very fond of lettuce, cucumber, sweet potato, courgette, and mango, but they will happily eat other things too 🙂 I definitely recommend them as a pet, they’re great to watch and very cute! 🙂

Pilot and Moya

Pilot and Moya

Suki : I’ve had a grand total of four pets in the past. The first two were a pair of terrapins that lived in a veggie-lined basin at home. I had them when I was about four to seven years of age and after they died, I didn’t have any other pets coz our home was fully carpeted then so having a furry animal like a cat or a dog in the house equals more work for mom and grandma when it came to cleaning up. And it doesn’t help that I suffer from sinusitis and my dad’s skin is hypersensitive. So naturally, cats and dogs were, and still are to this day, banned from the house. 😛

The next pet that I had (very briefly) was a large black guinea pig that a Korean girl in my Bible study group got for me when I was in my 3rd year at the University. She came to me in a box and I was quite quite shocked when I first met her coz well. She was really quite large for a guinea pig and the moment any of us touched her, she would jump quite violently giving all of us quite a start. So seeing that I was quite scared of the guinea pig and being the dear that she was, my friend went brought the guinea pig back to the store and got for me my last pet. A golden furred hamster which my friend Alison promptly named ‘Ah Choi’ or ‘Fortune’ in Cantonese coz his shiny fur made him look like one of those old fashioned gold ingots. I had him with me for almost a year but I don’t think the poor thing lived very well with me coz well, hamsters being hamsters, they love running on the wheel right? But for some reason, the wheel in his cage was really really noisy and since he ran on it at night, even if I could ignore the noise generated from the spinning wheel, my neighbour in the next room couldn’t. So most of the time, his wheel would be off and he would be gnawing on the grills to his cage instead.

Anyway, when it came to the time for me to leave, I couldn’t bring him back with me so I had to bring him to the pet store to ask that he be given a new home instead. I have no idea as to how he has been since then but I’m quite sure that whoever that took care of him thereafter would have treated him very well coz he was quite a cute rodent indeed. LOL!

PS : What ten-chan said was true. I was terrified of his dogs coz they are HUUUUUUUUGE and hence while everybody else went to ten’s to visit, I just settled myself in the garden to wait instead. I kind of regret not going in coz I would have loved to see ten’s room and all but erm… Yes… Big dogs… Scary! >_<”’

Michi: When I was little, all I had was fish. It wasn’t until I was in my early teen years that my little brother got a hamster and the family got a bunny. I wasn’t attached to my brother’s hamster, but for five years I loved our bunny! We got him when he was just a couple weeks old, so I saw him grow from a tiny little bunny into a very large full-grown rabbit. He went through about four cages because he just kept getting bigger! He was all white so I named him Yuki, the Japanese word for snow. He was very sweet and loved it when we had a big backyard. He loved to munch on carrots, and would shove his head right under your hand to demand that you pet him. :] Sadly, Yuki died of cancer almost 3 years ago in February 2006.

Yuki

Yuki

Currently, we have a dog named Lonnie. I call her a puppy even though she’s about 6 1/2 years old now, because she’s a Pomeranian (mix?) and is really small. We had her for about 2-3 years at the same time as Yuki, and he was bigger than her! Lonnie is a sweetie and acts like my little baby. She loves being curled up in laps and snuggled, and is more like a cat during the daytime than her naps… up until she wants to go bark at something!

Lonnie and Yuki

Lonnie and Yuki

Lonnie gets really excited when it’s time for a walk, and she recognizes the word itself. She’ll start jumping up and down and running around in circles once her leash appears. Occasionally, she’ll accompany me on jogs as well. But sometimes she won’t want to keep up and I end up carrying her on the way back… >< That’s okay though, because I carry her around the house a lot anyway. 8D

Lonnie

Lonnie

If you have suggestions for future Monday Five questions, send them to twissie@raspberry-style.net

November 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm 4 comments

Pumpkin Cookies

With the biggest autumn holiday coming up, what better time than to share more pumpkin themed recipes! It may be past Halloween, but these cake-like cookies are probably better suited as a Thanksgiving dessert.

This is not my original recipe, but it’s been tested, tried, and proved delicious so I’m sharing it with all of you!

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (I recommend this stuff!)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
You’ll need two bowls. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar. (If there’s no time to wait for the butter to soften, try microwaving it for a very short time like 20 seconds!) Then add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and mix all together until well blended. In a smaller bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Add the flour mix to the larger bowl, and stir all together until you get a nice soft batter.

Use a teaspoon (or tablespoon if you want big ones!) and scoop the batter into rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Leave some space in between for the cookies to spread as they bake. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. You can check if they’re done by inserting a toothpick into one of the cookies. If the toothpick comes out clean, they’re ready! The cookies should be slightly brown on the bottom. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a plate or cooling sheet.

And here’s a picture of my finished cookies:

Good luck and enjoy! 😀

November 22, 2008 at 9:03 am 3 comments

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