November 26, 2007


"Pocky is a Japanese snack food produced by the Ezaki Glico Company of Japan. It was first sold in 1965, and consists of a biscuit stick coated with chocolate. Pocky was an instant hit among Japanese teenagers, and brought in sales of 30 billion yen in its first two years. The name was changed to "Pocky", after the Japanese onomatopoetic word for the sound Pocky makes when bitten, pokkin. The original was followed by "Almond Pocky" in 1971, with an almond coating, and "Strawberry Pocky" in 1977. Today, the product line includes such variations as milk, mousse, green tea and coconut flavored coatings, and themed products such as "Decorer Pocky", with colorful decorative stripes in the coating, and "Men's Pocky", a dark (bittersweet) chocolate."

Boxes of this delicious confectionary, as well as actual pocky sticks, can be seen in various anime productions and printed manga. This includes Spirited Away!! "In the beginning of the movie when Chihiro and her family are driving to their new house a empty box of 'pock' can be seen bouncing around the back seat." -- quote taken from one website that is dedicated to Pocky -Pocky Shrine.

November 17, 2007

Grief and Fire

Revenge and Forgiveness: an Anthology of Poems edited by Patrice Vecchione
Grief by Gaius Valerius Catullus (translated by Jacob Rabinowitz)

Grief reached across the world to get me,
sadness carries me across seas and countries
to your grave, my brother,

to offer the only gift I can still give you –
words you will not hear.

Fortune has taken you from me. You.
No reason, nothing fair.
I didn’t deserve losing you.

Now, in the silence since,
as in the ancient custom of our people,
I say the mourner’s prayer,
do the final kindness.

Accept and understand it, brother.
My head aches from crying.
Forever, goodbye.

Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth
by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Meilo So

"From forest fires and prairie fires to the fires on backyard grills; from chili peppers to birthday candles; to jack-o-lanterns and menorahs; to dragons who provide their own central heating--a collection of lyrical poems presents a fresh and insightful view of fire of all kinds."

Fire has contradiction
at its heart,
from that wintry blue part
to its jagged golden crown.
It gives comfort
in a candle’s cozy flickering.
It brings terror
in a forest’s burning down.
It is both the bolt of lightening
that splits a summer sky
and the burst of July fireworks
that unites a wide-eyed town.
From its smoldering end
to its sudden start,
Fire has contradiction
at its heart.

Fire Fighters
Wailing and pulsing, the rig
rips down the street
Inside, truckies and pumper crew,
turned out in their own kind of armor,
ready with crowbars and axes,
a thousand gallons of water, a hundred yards of hose
to knock down the angry Orange Man.
In the heat of battle,
they don't think about winning
till they've already won.

Remember the human, animal, and plant life lost in the recent California fires.

bonfire, n. (Oxford English Dictionary)
-A large fire kindled in the open air for a celebration, display, or amusement.
-(In general modern use) in celebration of some event of public or local interest, or on some festive occasion, as a victory, jubilee, the birth or marriage of the heir to an estate, etc.; but also applied to any great blazing fire made for amusement, or combining amusement with the burning of rubbish, thorns, weeds, etc.
-1552 (in Leland Brit. Coll. I. p. lxxvi), "In some parts of Lincolnshire..on some peculiar nights, they make great fires in the public streets of their Towns with bones of oxon, sheep, &c. which are heaped together before. I am apt to believe..that from hence came the original of Bonefires."

November 14, 2007

New critters @ Bealeton library

November 9, 2007

Sock population explosion!

Fresh black and white socks awaited the creative fingers of Fauquier teens at Bealeton's Monday night Teen Coffee House. Googlie eyes, safety pins, fake fur scraps, silk flower petals, duct tape and more! Local students of creativity flopped on the floor amidst a great array of supplies and crafted their puppets.
Ruby red mouths made of duct tape smiled. Leftover dust decorations from Spirited Away on the walls clung to the socks as second heads. Does this bring the puppets second sight? Rabbit-like ears sprout as chenille stems (formerly known as pipe cleaners).
See the black Scotty dog sock with green gelatinous protuberances like a beard?
Pairs stuck together.
By the end of the night, some socks were graced with names and became such close friends that an impromptu marriage was necessary. Professor Mousey Mouse acted as the officiate at the wedding of socks Dr. Readnmeow and Mr. Bluedude. Notice the glittering diamond ring before them. And the lightness of the bride's veil. Stunning, yes, but was is merely a performed puppet show or will this marriage last?
To create an entire puppet population, check out these books below:
Transform "worn-out gloves, mittens, and socks into a menagerie of whimsical creations, in a guide that presents thirteen entertaining projects that include monkeys, elephants, piglets, bunnies, and fish." Friendly smiles greet you on the first page of the book. Billy the dog and Marcus the monkey introduce you to their new friends made from things that otherwise would have been thrown away. The stitches are few and the rewards are many. Good for all ages and crafting skills.

The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo
"Provides instructions for making different kinds of felt dolls, including monkeys, frogs, and aliens. The world of craftsters is full of things Japanese Cute - kawaii, and the look created by Aranzi Aronzo is familiar to many but not until now has a single one of the hundreds of bootleg American copies they've sold been in English. Finally these priceless books of mascots, accessories, clothing and well, just about everything, come in ready-to-read English!"
The patterns won't boggle the mind, but the cuteness might. This is a great book for those of us previously averse to sewing needles and patterns. You will still enjoy plenty of creative freedom whether you stick to the originals or modify the mascot. Have fun!
Now that you may have created a cute puppet of your very own, here is a story to scare you! Read The Puppet Wrangler by Vicki Grant. It records a fictional time when "twelve-year-old Telly Mercer is sent to Toronto to spend a month with her aunt on the set of a television puppet show, she makes a surprising discovery that launches her on an adventure with an unpredictable and angry puppet." Yikes! Better call in the sock giraffe to help! OK, OK, any brave sock will do.

November 6, 2007

Asian foods @ Bealeton Library

These photos were taken before the Teen Anime Party on Monday, October 22 at Bealeton Library. Obviously, this is pre-decimation* by ravenous costumed characters. The tables were nearly licked clean, implying the food was indeed tasty and we may need a greater supply next time.

Pocky, pocky, pocky. Strawberry sweet, bitter dark chocolate "Pocky for Men", regular milk chocolate-dipped pocky, extra long pocky to weild in the air like a samurai sword before eating...ah, pocky. And for the brave, many a mouth tasted wasabi straight from the tube. Or tempered their tongues with the dried and coated wasabi peas. Thank goodness for the cool soda that flowed like a Japanese mountain spring and soothed the expressions on pained faces. Similarities to Bunraku puppets not withstanding, all costumes were superb.

*American Heritage Dictionary

dec·i·mate (děs'ə-māt')
To destroy or kill a large part of (a group).
To inflict great destruction or damage on:
The fawns decimated my rose bushes. (The teens decimated the delicious food.)
To reduce markedly in amount:
a profligate heir who decimated his trust fund.
To select by lot and kill one in every ten of.

November 5, 2007

Build sock puppets @ Bealeton Library tonight

Heidi Ann and Magpie: Human and hybrid sock-bunraku puppet

November 3, 2007

Time lapse food

Botulism by Maxine Rosaler
Are you afraid of the food that lurks in your refrigerator? Has it grown a warm moldy coat? Read this book about botulism "examining how one gets it, how to treat it, and its symptoms." Time to retire the tomato, whack that watermelon, and run away from the strawberries (they might take on a life of their own)!



Rotting strawberries