Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Hapa Bro-Cast 02/24/2015


So….. My brother and I randomly sat down to try our hand at a podcast!
Sadly, I think I derailed some of the finer points he was trying to make, but oh well, it was fun to make.
Here’s hoping we do it again sometime!

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Donnie Yen Says Be A Dude And Help The Japanese

The picture above comes from LoveHKFilm.com, a wonderful Chinese film review site.

I wish I could take credit for it’s awesomeness, I really do; but no, I just found it and “borrowed” it for today’s post.

Anyway, this is me doing my duty as a (half) Japanese and saying “Do what Donnie Yen says, or he’ll find your ass and tear it up.”

I’ve personally taken it upon myself to donate a bit of money, as well as quite a lot of clothing and toys for the orphaned kids over there; so at the very least, even if you don’t have the guilt of the Japanese being “YOUR PEOPLE” hanging over you like I do, I encourage you to please give a little something if you’re at all able.

Anyway, it’s mom’s birthday today; so I’m gonna’ get back to bein’ a good boy.

Well, that and stuff my face full of mochi.

Don’t make Donnie Yen have to come find you…

DONATE HERE

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The Azn Badger In Portland: A Story In Pictures

Pictured: The Azn Badger and Portlandia.

As mentioned in the previous few posts on this blog, I took a trip down to Portland few a few days this week.

I’d only been to Portland once before, as a very young child; so in heading down to Oregon, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the city.

While I’d rather not bog this post down with extraneous details regarding my adventures in Portland, I will say this:

Portland gave me tasty waffles via a window, and for that I give the city a thumbs up.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what’s up with the photo at the top of this post, so allow me to explain.

A long time ago, when my brother went to live in Japan for awhile, I remember him bringing some lucha libre masks with him.

During his time over there, he ended up taking photos of himself and his friends wearing these masks, seemingly just for shits and giggles.

Anyway, given the fact that I myself happen to own a few luchador masks, I figured I should do my duty as the “little brother” and follow in my brother’s footsteps.

That being said, the photo above, and those that follow represent my trip to Portland… While wearing a Rey Mysterio Jr. mask.

Pictured: The Azn Badger and "Dude Holding Umbrella."

The photo above was the first one I took while wearing the mask.

Not much to say about it, other than the fact that it was taken in the heart of downtown, and I was more than a little nervous about publicly making a fool of myself.

Pictured: The Azn Badger and "Awesome McElephant Face."

This was was also taken downtown, in a really neat part of town that played host to an incredible amount of FREE art galleries.

I had a lot of fun perusing the artwork and photography, however this photo; as well as another that had my buddy Mencius’ cousin striking a pose alongside me, were probably the highlight of my time in that district.

Pictured: The Azn Badger in front of an INFERIOR Uwajimaya.

This photo’s kind of funny because my expression is as much BWAAHHH!!! as it is disappointed.

I suppose it’s also worth noting that this is the only photo I took where I’m wearing my stinky El Santo shirt.

You see, upon setting out to see the Portland Uwajimaya; Mencius and I were under the impression that the store was going to be awesomely massive and far superior to our Seattle store.

Hell, up until we actually stepped inside the place, we were referring to it as the “SUPER Uwajimaya.”

Anyway, let it be known, downtown Seattle Uwajimaya kicks Portland Uwajimaya’s ass any day.

Though I have to say, the Portland Kinokuniya does have the advantage of having cuter employees…

CANDY BUS!!!

This one was just too perfect.

While traveling through Hawthorne, me an’ the Scooby Squad came across a sign pointing down an alley that read “Candy Bus.”

For whatever reason, I don’t have any pictures of said Candy Bus, however I will tell you this:

It is in fact a bus, and does indeed sell candy.

That novelty aside, I think the funniest part of this photo, is the fact that the “Candy Bus” sign is pointing at my cock.

If ever my dick were to have a pet name, I think “Candy Bus” would do pretty nicely…

Pictured: A 60 Second Portrait of The Azn Badger.

In case you’re curious, I got the above portrait done knowing full well that I was going to be using it as the finale to a blog post.

I’m really happy with how this portrait turned out.

I had it done at the Saturday Market in downtown Portland, and while it’s indeed quite well done; effectively capturing my facial structure and character (even with the mask on) pretty much as well as I could’ve hoped, probably the most incredible thing about it is the fact that it was drawn in 60 seconds.

I only paid 3 dollars for this portrait, making me tempted to say it’s the most value I’ve ever gotten for such a fair price.

 

 

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Happy New Year From The Azn Badger!

Pictured: A candid photo of the Azn Badger making mochi for New Year's while wearing his "Hapa" shirt.

I don’t know about the rest of you out there in the blogosphere, but New Year’s eve at the Azn Badger’s house is a day of tradition.

Not of the Japanese variety mind you, with the eating of soba and ozoni, and once a year praying to the shinto gods and what not.

No, the traditions observed by the house of Badger are what you would call “Hawaiian Japanese” in nature.

That is to say, much trashy food is prepared and consumed, and much television, equally trashy in nature; is watched while battling food comas on the couch.

An example of this evening’s programming:

Spam Musubi + The Soup = New Year’s bliss.

New Year’s Eve is a day of feasting and family in the house of Badger, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Every year, the Azn Badger and his mother work together to craft exquisite meals fit for the finest of palettes.

The centerpiece of said meals, is Spam Musubi.

I could eat this every day. No joke.

For the uninitiated, Spam Musubi consists of rice and seaweed wrapped around a slice of spam.

Some families use vinegar in their rice ala traditional sushi rice, however the house of Badger prefers to keep it’s rice plain.

Anyway, if you’ve never had one, you’re missing out.

Next up, mom makes her Chinese Chicken Salad, which is very likely not Chinese in origin, but is sweet, cleansing, and delicious all the same.

Pictured: The only remotely healthy thing on the menu for New Year's Eve...

Truth be told, I think this is the only New Year’s Eve dish we make that the Azn Badger’s brother can stand to eat.

He’s always been big on salads, but surely everyone knows…

Finally, the Azn Badger and his mom tag team to make microwave mochi with red bean paste.

Yeah, we're too cheap to buy a mochi maker, and too lazy to make it the old style. Microwave is best...

It’s kind of messy to make, (especially when the Azn Badger gets overzealous with his takakuriko AKA potato starch) but it always feels nice to commit to making mochi at least once a year.

It’s a healthy annual ritual y’know, burning your hands in the name of making tasty treats for others to enjoy.

Anyway, this time around we made reddish pink mochi, not my favorite color; but it all tastes the same regardless.

The last real New Year’s Eve tradition in the house of Badger, is that of placing okasane (mochi stacks with tangerines on top) in our living room and cars.

Pictured: The okasane in The Azn Badger's living room.

Mom says its good luck, so we all do it on New Year’s Eve, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

I don’t know what the symbolism of the okasane is, or what it’s significance is; but mom says it’s important, so we do it…

Anyway, hopefully you all are having as fun and relaxed a New Year’s Eve as I am.

Here’s to gaining 20 pounds tonight, and spending all of the coming year working to lose it!

To new beginnings, and hopeful futures!

To getting a better job and never having to work in a -20 degree freezer ever again!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE AZN BADGER!!!

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Azn Badger’s Top 5 Songs That Keep Him From Stabbing People (Japanese Edition)

In light of my ongoing blood feud with my virus infected laptop, I figured it would be a good idea for me to take the time type up an article (or 2) regarding a therapeutic topic.

In this case, said topic would be songs that keep me from stabbing people AKA songs that, for whatever reason; make me feel happy.

Being as I am indeed an Azn Badger, with relatively Azn interests; much of my song library consists of Azn tunes.

That being said, I foresee this post being part of a series, so I’ve thusly labeled this one the “Japanese Edition” of this particular Top 5 list.

Anyway, the only requirements for entry on this list, are that the track must indeed be a song; meaning it must have lyrics, and in this case, it must also be Japanese.

Expect other versions of this post for the next couple of days.

Apologies in advance to those that truly don’t give a shit about music, much less of the Azn variety…

Anyway, let’s make with the list!:

*PLEASE NOTE, I DID NOT WATCH ANY OF THE VIDEOS BELOW, SO DON’T COMPLAIN TO ME IF THEY’RE OBNOXIOUS, STUPID, ANNOYING, OR ALL OF THE ABOVE.*

5. Sanpo (A Walk) – Azumi Inoue


That’s right folks, #5 on my list of Japanese songs that keep me from stabbing people is the opening song from My Neighbor Totoro.

Honestly though, you can’t mention “happy” without including Totoro, can you?

This song brought me much joy as a child, both in English and Japanese, and it continues to put a smile on my face to this day.

Hell, being as it’s written for kids, it’s one of the few songs on this list that I can actually understand 100% of.

Azumi Inoue has a wonderfully sweet voice that’s perfectly suited for the Blue’s Clues-y, Wiggles-esque, sugar-coated pre-schooler nursery rhyme feel of the song.

The only other song I’ve heard her perform was Chiisa Na Inori (Tiny Prayer) from the Guyver Image Album, (yeah, I actually went and bought it…) and I’ve gotta’ say, the woman’s got some pipes.

Not necessarily of the “strong” or “booming” variety, but I think “sweet” describes her sound pretty well.

4. Yume De Aeta Nara (If We Met In A Dream) – 175R


DISCO POP = FUCK YES.

Yume De Aeta Nara was a song featured in the first film in the Kamen Rider Den-Ou series.

Around the time the movie came out, I was knees deep in my own personal period of “Tokusatsu Revival.”

Just a year or 2 before, I had rediscovered Ultraman and Kamen Rider; and so when the movie came out, I was really fuckin’ excited.

Like, REALLY excited.

Anyway, while Den-Ou was perhaps one of the best Tokusatsu series I can recall, the first movie of course turned out to be kind of “meh,” leaving me with a sour taste in my mouth until fairly recently when the Den-Ou franchise miraculously resurfaced.

That’s a story for another day though…

So anyway, the movie sucked, but the one awesome thing I took away from it, was this song, Yume De Aeta Nara, by 175R.

I’ve never heard any other songs by the group, but honestly I don’t feel I need to, as this one has since provided me with more than enough enjoyment.

Like I said man, disco pop is THE SHIT.

When it comes to making an Azn Badger happy, few things do it better than a disco beat and nostalgic ties to Kamen Rider.

3. Yuke! Tiger Mask! (Go! Tiger Mask!) – Hiroshi Nitta


Tiger Mask is the fuckin’ MAN.

Initially starting as a manga, and then later serving as the inspiration for countless videogame characters, an anime series (or 2), and even a legacy of real-life pro-wrestlers, Tiger Mask is brilliant to the point in which I’m actually jealous that I didn’t come up with the idea.

Really, I ask you, who the fuck wouldn’t enjoy a story about a man in a tiger mask wrestling the shit out of dudes, while protecting the children of the world from an evil Illuminati-esque organization?

Anyway, the song I chose for this list comes from the 1980’s anime series, and as such, it’s sound bears the remnants of the enka style of vocalization that was popular in the post-war period.

By the way, enka is THE SHIT.

That being said, the enka style of the lyrics, combined with the almost spaghetti western-like music, make for a wonderfully cheesy and over-the-top theme song to a cheesy and over-the-top hero.

By the way, I should’ve included this song on my list of ways I keep sane at work; ’cause I have a tendency to sing it when I’m on the shipping line…

I’m not retarded.

I swear.

2. My Lonely Town (Mai Roneri Taun) – B’z


Oh B’z, how the fuck did I live without you?

Seriously, B’z is a Japanese band that’s been around FOREVER, but me being me, I didn’t find out about them until 2004 when their lead guitarist, Tak Matsumoto; composed the soundtrack for the movie Ultraman: The Next.

Come to think of it though, news of stupid-ass movies about dudes in rubber monster suits duking it out seems to be how I get most of my news from Japan, so I guess that makes a fair amount of sense…

Anyway, I was really impressed with the soundtrack for that movie, (another one that I eventually bought) so I looked up the composer, which led me to B’z, which led me to finding a mega-awesome band that I hope will continue being awesome for years to come.

My Lonely Town is an unbelievably awesome song from B’z(‘s?) most recent album, Magic.

When I first put this song on, I was reading the Wolverine comic, Old Man Logan; and I gotta’ tell yah’, it just fit too fuckin’ well.

Seriously, My Lonely Town has a big, loud, Bon Jovi-esque rock sound to it, but at the same time it also has some amazing string work that gives it an epic, again, almost spaghetti Western-like feel.

It was a brilliant case of right song, right book, right time.

1. Let It Go – Yuna Ito


This one is special.

I can’t really put my finger on it why, but for whatever reason; Let It Go has been my favorite song for almost a year now.

I don’t have “favorite” songs.

I have songs I like, but never “favorites.”

This song is one of the few exceptions I can name off the top of my head.

Songs from Transformers: The Movie and the Rocky series don’t count, ’cause those are built in.

Seriously, I didn’t “choose” to love those songs, they chose me.

*Ahem!* Anyway, Let It Go is sung by Yuna Ito.

While it lends no credence as to why I like the song so much, it’s interesting to note that she’s a hapa girl.

That is, she’s half Korean, half Japanese, raised in Honolulu.

Way to represent the local people… By leaving the country and making music in a foreign country.

All kidding aside, while the music is definitely the biggest selling point for me in this song, with it’s beautiful, and surprisingly almost country-esque string work coupled with an unrelentingly upbeat tune, I have to say Ms. Ito’s voice is pretty fuckin’ good.

I’ve never really paid much attention to vocals in songs.

Like I’ve said in previous posts, I was a “hummer” as a kid; and thusly kept music in my head rather than songs.

That is to say, while the other kids annoyed their parents by singing “Under the Sea” at the top of their lungs everyday, I was busy pissing off my folks by incessantly humming music from Snow Bros. and Mega Man 2.

I can’t explain it, but for some reason I have a lot of trouble understanding the lyrics to songs, regardless of language.

Despite this, from what I know of Japanese pop music, Yuna Ito is a rare talent.

Near as I can tell, most Jpop stars are, like our own American ones, studio musicians I.E. pretty people that can do just enough of everything to appeal to the core demographic.

They have flat voices, and more often than not; hide behind backup dancers, high production value music and voice modulation.

Ms. Ito, while most likely guilty of all of the above, actually seems to have a genuinely strong singing voice.

While I’m probably wrong, my first thought process was that it may be a cultural difference.

She may be fluent in Japanese, and indeed have lived there most of her life for all I know, but being raised in Hawaii, as an American; would most likely lend some boldness to her style of singing.

It seemed to be the case for Utada Hikaru, who was from New York; so I don’t exactly feel dumb for making this assumption.

Anyway, if ever the Azn Badger seems primed for a stabbing session, just remember to put on Let It Go, or any of the above mentioned Japanese songs, and chances are you’ll be just fine.

Don’t quote me on that though.

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