Jason Truesdell : Pursuing My Passions

A life in flux. Soon to be immigrant to Japan. Recently migrated this blog from another platform after many years of neglect (about March 6, 2017). Sorry for the styling and functionality potholes; I am working on cleaning things up and making it usable again.

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Cheerleading and Chuuka

jason

Hiromi and her cheer team had a game on Monday, April 30, just before we headed off to Aomori for a little hot spring vacation and late hanami at Hirosaki.

She's part of Club Cranes, a 2nd-division X-League American Football team sponsored by Toa construction company.

Because there's a fairly long warmup, Hiromi suggested I could wander around the station or drink coffee for a while before heading to the stadium via taxi. But one of her teammates suggested that this was altogether unnecessary, and that perhaps I could serve as their paparazzo for the day. We grabbed some takeaway bento for me and some onigiri for Hiromi right at the station, and the entire group gathered into two or three taxis to head on over to the stadium.

I sat down in the stands at first, but was invited to come down and take a bunch of photos right from the sidelines.

Hiromi

Hiromi

Rehearsal action shot

Rehearsal action shot

Chillin'

Chillin'

High energy

High energy

Sidelined for a few weeks...

Sidelined for a few weeks...

Warming up

Warming up

The big guy heading back to switch to game gear

The big guy

After some warmups, it's game time... the Cranes players and cheerleaders change into their game colors. I got to stay close to the action...

The pre-game bow

The pre-game bow 

An early touchdown

An early touchdown 
Hiromi's team took the early lead, but missed the extra point... It put them at a slight disadvantage for the first half.

Rooting for the offense, down by 1

Rooting for the offense, down by 1

6, 7, 8 and hold

6, 7, 8 and hold

Charging ahead

Charging ahead

Most of the team

Most of the team

Miyu and the captain

Miyu and the captain 

Go Cranes

Go Cranes

Not without risk

Not without risk

Satoko's announcement

Announcement by Satoko

That looks painful...

That looks painful...

But at least I'm not at the bottom of all this...

At least I'm not at the bottom of all this... ouch

Announcement by Megumi

Announcement by Megumi

Trio 1

Trio 

Trio 2

Tough

Tough

A young fan and her mother

A young fan and her mother

The big win

The big win

More photos are on the Cranes Cheer Blog...

After the game

Everyone else ordered a kind of set meal, but since I'm the odd duck and don't eat animal bits, we ordered a few vegetarian items. With 40 or so people, we completely filled the tatami room at the edge of the little Chinese restaurant we visited.

We had a little to drink, a lot to eat, and some people made a series of little speeches and a few very personal announcements...

My poor camera's 2 GB memory card was completely full at the end of the day, thanks to a couple of days without transferring to my laptop and the excessive number of photos I took that day, but I found some completely blurry images I could toss and made room for a few hurried food shots...

Fried tofu, sweet chili sauce, and cabbage

Fried tofu, sweet chili sauce, and cabbage

Pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables

Slightly crunchy stir-fried potatoes

Slightly crunchy stir-fried potatoes

Chuuka fuu no goma-ae

Chuuka fuu no goma-ae 

 

,

Not enough time, some kind of dinner, blood orange and gin

jason

Monday night we had the dubious pleasure of completing my office shelving work… I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s actually organized, but it looks much less chaotic than it previously did. I’d actually be able to make good use of another shelf, but the next step is moving the remaining bits from my upstairs office to my storage facility. I have two spaces at ActiveSpace near the zoo, one of which is small and has a window, and the other of which is large, features high ceilings, but doesn’t get much natural light save for a partial skylight.

I’m planning to consolidate the two spaces into one, now that I really don’t see the office enough during daylight hours for a window to matter much, and don’t need quite the same amount of space as I once did.

We actually didn’t feel much like cooking after a long Monday… it was a day off from my contract project, but I never get a day off from my business. But we made something that was quite pleasant… we were hungry enough that we didn’t photograph it, though. It was tounyuu nabe, or soymilk hot pot, which I think I last had in Japan last spring, but Hiromi made it last Christmas when she visited. Basically, it’s thick, unsweetened soymilk, simmered with a bit of dried konbu, seasoned with miso and maybe a bit of salt. We used a combination of yuzu-miso (expensive, but adds a nice yuzu flavor) and komekoshi-miso. To the pot we added good, fresh tofu, some takenoko, and enoki.

Tounyuu nabe is simple food, but it is kind of special for Hiromi and me, because we ate a variation of it called toufu-dzukushi the first time we had dinner together at a fancy toufu restaurant in Kawasaki.

The last two nights, dinner was completely unremarkable, but tonight I made some yu tsai (a leafy green somewhat like nanohana) with atsuage, onions, and vegetarian “oyster sauce.” Hiromi made takenoko gohan, rice with bamboo shoots. We also had miso soup, but our itamemono wasn’t very Japanese.

Yutsai and atsuageTakenoko-gohan

After dinner I asked Hiromi if she wanted a drink, and she asked me to do something with the Moro blood oranges we got yesterday. I squeezed about four or five of them and blended the juice with a couple of shots of gin, a dash of bitters and a hint of vermouth, then shook everything up in a cocktail shaker with ice. After splitting the results into two glasses, I added an ounce or so of tonic water to each glass for a bit of effervescence.

Bloodorangeandgin

The result was quite refreshing. I’m not much an expert on mixed drinks, but I’m starting to have a bit of fun constructing them, and most of my recent endeavors have been quite passable.