Ko-So-A-Do

Hikari's Food/Japanophile and Other Interesting Stuff blog

What ding-dong is dinging my dong? (and celebrity look-alikes)

I should explain…

At my new job (the same job that has kept me in blogging limbo since Summer) there’s a locked door with a doorbell so that I know when someone wants in. This week, painters were supposed to come by and proceeded to mash the hell out of the darn doorbell. I opened the door, stating “What ding-dong is dinging my dong?” We laughed, then I paused with an uncomfortable look, realizing what I just said. I think it was even funnier for the painters because I’m female. (If you don’t get why this is funny, then you’re not sick in the head enough.)

Just another example of me opening my mouth and letting my darn foot fly in.

But anyway, the real meat and potatoes to this post is about celebrity look-alikes. You know, when you’re minding your own business, you look around and notice that the guy perusing the organic apples looks just like that guy from that movie/tv show/band? This happened at an alarming rate during my University years.

(Sorry, no pictures of the non-celebrity people, for privacy reasons.)

First, (In honor of the Day of the Doctor going Global) was the guy in my Organic Chemistry class that looked like a 20-something David Tennant, glasses, fluffy hair and all. You know, the 10th Doctor?

david_tennant

This was before Dr. Who became so popular in the States, so no one really got it at the time. That classmate went on to cut his hair very short, which ruined the illusion, but he still had the eyes and chin. There was the occasional (private) look at him with fan-girly speculation. However, since both of us were married, I never even tried to go beyond class-mates/friends. (Self-control FTW!)

And then there was the Hagrid look-alike.

Hagrid

His beard wasn’t nearly as epic, but he was a BIG (tall) guy!

Hugo-Hurley-Reyes

If he had shaved his beard, due to his youth, he’d probably look a bit more like Hugo from Lost, but not as… heavy.

Another one, less of a look-alike, was a guy that kinda looked like Thor. Yes, that Thor. The hair, eyes, facial hair…

thor-chris-hemsworth

I had even considered going up to him and asking him once who he was going to be for Halloween, maybe suggest a costume from the Avengers

And last but not least, my most recent addition to “Hey, You Look Like…” Misha Collins.

Misha

Yup, A new guy just moved in, looks remarkably like him. He’s a little bit shorter, lighter hair and a bit… softer around the edges, but the blue eyes, the smile, even a bit of the voice. And the scruffy stubble that he’s been sporting since he started playing Castiel in Supernatural. I doubt this guy has Misha’s crazy sense of humor, though. (Here’s hoping Misha’s rabid fangirls never find my blog…)

Have you ever met someone who looked just like a famous person?

Leave your comments Below!

~Hikari

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When in Japan: Japanese Men

I don’t mean to come off as sexist, but yes, this is VERY simplified and meant to be humorous.

I was speaking with a Japanese friend about marriage and how difficult it is to find a good man. My advice? Give up on the pretty boys/men and see past a man’s looks to his personality. I’ve found this to be somewhat true in America as well, but the problem seems exacerbated in Japan and I’m sure in other countries as well. It’s odd though, considering the male/female sex ratio in Japan doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Pretty/handsome (Ikemen) Japanese guys: there seem to be two kinds. They are either gay or assholes. If a man takes care of his looks, and he’s not into other men, he knows he looks good and already has women throwing themselves at him. Guys like this tend to go through girlfriends quickly and cheat. (From a man’s point of view, how could he be blamed, with all the temptation?) I call this type the Asshole.

With this thought in mind, I came up with a great pick-up line for her to use when trying to meet men: “My friend says there are two kinds of good looking Japanese men: Assholes and homosexuals. Which are you?” (Later, I found this funny, considering which orifice homosexual men use for sexual gratification…)

If he tries to argue with you about being either, you know he’s an asshole. If he admits to being an asshole, you might at least get a fun night. If he’s homosexual, then you can stop trying. If he says he isn’t good looking, maybe… just maybe, he might not be an asshole.

 

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Uninspired

I have at least three different posts partially completed and sitting in drafts. And that’s only for this blog. That doesn’t include my half-finished short stories.

My blog’s one-year anniversary came and went at the beginning of this month without a post.

Even my cooking has fallen into a slump, as we rely more on easy to prepare foods.

And I thought I would have more time now that school was out.

What’s the holdup? My new job. I’m having to learn how to do my job, and DO the job all at the same time. Some days are slower than others, but then there’s weeks like this past one where I’ve stayed late every day and actually worked, both physically and mentally. When I get home, I don’t want to move, let alone cook or write. Hubby’s made fun of the things I’ve tried to say as my brain has shut down upon entering the house.

At least Hubby is being supportive. But eventually, I have to get off my butt and deal with it.

But, I look at it this way: I am lucky enough to have a full-time job and I’m paid well enough to have a savings account again! I’m already ahead of the curve!

*sigh* Off to take care of the mountain of chores that have been piling up since I started working a month ago. I think I’m finally starting to build some stamina.

 

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Need to re-organize my blog

Hiya, all, still working on the Vegas post. In the meantime, you know you need to do something about your blog when you have trouble managing your own posts.

Now that my post count is over 50, I really need to sit down and figure out an organization system.

The problem is many of my posts deal with multiple subjects. If I go with organizational tabs, do I have to include the same post in multiple tabs?

*Sigh*

And I’m not willing to go “pro” and pay for the upgrades as this is mainly just for fun and I don’t get enough hits to monetize anything.

Hubby paid for an actual website a year ago (through WordPress), but after he let the subscription lapse (after numerous attempts to cancel the subscription) he got charged with over $100. At least he got to keep his free blog.

I’m still with GoDaddy with an actual dot-com, but it’s just sitting there and has for years. They have a free blog system, but should I switch or stick w/ WP, maybe link over from the dot-com?

Ahh, too many things to think about!

Other Bloggers: What have you done to help keep your blog organized?

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The Japanese have a test for EVERYTHING (almost)

I was planning on a recipe for today’s post after shirking my blogging duties due to increased school pressures and reading the new book in the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison.  (What can I say? When I start one, it doesn’t get put down until it’s DONE.)

However, a Google+ conversation took me elsewhere. We were talking about learning Kanji and the subject of the Kanji Kentei came up. What is this? it’s an aptitude test to show your Kanji understanding level. It goes from Grade 10 (age 7 Kanji from elementary school) to Grade 1 (Past High School level, with a pass rate of LESS THAN 15%! Yes, of those who willingly take this test, over 85% fail it!)

2230_Kanji

Click for the Kanji Kentei full version!

This got me thinking about how the Japanese have a test for EVERYTHING (almost). They test to get into a good Jr. High (中学校 chūgakkō), High school (高等学校 kōtōgakkō, a.k.a. 高校 kōkō) and University (大学 daigaku).

Many Japanese are required to take the TOEIC or TOEFL if they plan to work in an international company.

Not a Japan native? Try your skills at the JLPT, the language proficiency test for “non-native speakers”.  Going to work in a Japanese company? Be prepared to take the  BJT for Business Japanese.

Want to drive legally in Japan? It’s actually EASIER for foreigners to pass their driving test than it is for natives to pass theirs (it’s a different test). But it’s still a nightmare. (This was true about 5 years ago. I dunno if the rules have changed since then.)

Okay, you got your license and got a car. Now it’s time for your every-other-year inspection, called the Shaken (車検). A typical shaken costs between ¥100,000 (US$1,285) and ¥200,000. (US$2,571). NOTHING can be wrong with the car! Oil leak? FAIL. Out of alignment? FAIL. Is your vehicle over 10 years old? Time for YEARLY inspections! Any rust that they find can FAIL your car!

Okay, enough about vehicles, just stick to the train…

I could go on and on about all the tests you can take in Japan.

But they don’t test for everything. However, many of the things they don’t have tests for involve so much paperwork you wish there was just a test. It’s difficult to find clear English rules about the Japanese side of registering for marriage, but for the Japanese partner, it requires showing a family register or koseki (戸籍).

Well all, I think that’s it for my little story about testing. Do you have anything to add about testing in Japan or another country?

 

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eBay and General Douche-baggery

Non-food/Japan related post, decided to add a rant section. Well, the cartoon character is Japan related, but that’s splitting hairs, since I never use the character’s name.

I have been a member of eBay since 2002 and have generally had good experiences. I’ve mostly been a buyer and have sold a few items here and there. However, it’s the few rotten experiences that make me want to rip my hair out.

I have a closet full of junk and decided to sell some of said junk at a low price to share it with whoever wanted to pay for it. It’s been a while since I’ve sold anything and the changes they’ve made to the system took some getting used to. Otherwise, it seemed to be smooth sailing.

After a couple of days, someone bid on almost all of my auctions for merchandise of a certain cartoon character. Well, I was excited I would get to do one shipment instead of multiples. But a couple of days later, I looked to see that all of that one person’s bids had disappeared from the auctions. Upon further examination, they had retracted all their bids with the claim of “Seller changed the description of the item”. Confused, I went to the community forums to research this. I found out it is a very easy process to retract a bid, all it takes is choosing one of 3 excuses:

It is ONLY OK to retract a bid if…,

  • You accidentally entered the wrong bid amount due to a typographical error. For example, you bid $99.50 instead of $9.95. If this happens, you need to reenter the correct bid amount right away. Changing your mind does not qualify as accidentally entering a wrong bid amount.
  • The item’s description changed significantly after you entered your last bid. For example, the seller updated details about the item’s features or condition.
  • You can’t reach the seller by telephone or email.

Starting on eBay as a buyer, I took the bidding process seriously and always read over the descriptions carefully before placing a bid. I knew that retractions were possible, but it used to require a LOT more digging and having an irate seller. I took this list of three reasons seriously and never imagined gaming the system.

I know I had not changed the item description, so what gives? Apparently there are people that do bid retractions frequently and this has made eBay show how many retractions the person has done in the past 12 months. However, it is found under “Feedback as a Buyer” and you have to know what you’re looking for. This person had retracted bids over 150 times in the past year. Following the suggestions of the community members, I reported the person, blocked them and updated my selling restrictions to block anyone with multiple violation reports. I had to use the community forum to locate most of these links. eBay does not make them easy to find.

I thought my slightly annoying ordeal was over and went about my merry way. The day my auctions were to end, I discovered a message from the blocked user, “thanking” me for the block and helping them avoid unnecessary expenditures. Wait, they wanted to bid again?!? Confused, I sent a reply saying that if they were to retract their bids fraudulently, then that was the consequence. Then the user went on to ask me to stop bothering them, proceeded to claim that my auctions HAD changed, and admitted to “accidentally” choosing my listings.

*SIGH*

I took the high ground and did not reply, my fingers itching to type out a scathing response that I wasn’t responsible for their inability to read an auction. But I was good, I avoided further conflict. Yay Me. ^_^

Continuing to read the community boards, I discovered an increasingly frustrated, unhappy and shrinking  seller community that has been trapped by policies that do not properly punish violators of certain rules. Understandably, eBay has a preference to favor buyers over sellers to help avoid fraud. However, the system in place to help sellers avoid fraudulent buyers is severely lacking and full of loopholes favoring the buyer. I could go more in-depth about this, but you didn’t come here to read a five-page essay, so I’ll leave the details out for now.

This has greatly helped explain some of the increasingly paranoid addendums seen on many auctions lately. Some sellers have a whole paragraph about not bidding if you’re not serious, all non-paying bidders get reported, items are marked, etc ad nauseam. It made me avoid many sellers when I saw unwelcoming language in their auctions. Now I think I understand why the Chinese sellers seem to have taken over the site.

I do have one question about Chinese sellers now. How can they offer free shipping on a $1 dollar item they then have to ship internationally? eBay’s current seller fee is 9% and Paypal’s fee is between 2 and 4% plus a flat fee depending on their international merchant status. Using the normal US rate of 2.9% plus 30 cents (International is more), this equates to the seller receiving $0.58 and then they pay to mail it? Is the Chinese mail system that inexpensive?

Ahh, I feel all ranted out now.

Anyone else been frustrated by an online buying/selling system? Please feel free to comment below.

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