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Monday, June 16, 2008

Tribute to Puerto Rico

Last night a few of us in the Sasuke Fans Site were up and talking about.. oh.. just about everything :) We ended up talking about tree frogs and I got all nostalgic about Puerto Rico. It's a love hate relationship considering my involvement with Figure Skating (long story.. and I don't have the heart to talk about it right now...) but last night I was nostalgic.

This is a Coquí - Video from YouTube
For those of us born outside the island (I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).. THIS is the sound we crave when going "home". I was born in the United States (first Generation) while my parents were born on the Island of Puerto Rico. I remember when I moved to the Island, when I was 15 years old to live with my Aunt, that after a couple months.. I no longer "heard" them as they started to sing (usually starting around 5 pm'ish and going on all night). For the first month or so I was sitting at home and I would hear the first Coquí start to sing while my Aunt and her kids would look at me strange... only when they stopped everything they were doing and strained to listen would they hear the first calls. Around 7pm all bets are off as they start singing by the millions. If it's raining.. they can start singing early in the morning! I was so depressed when I didn't hear them start singing.... It was after I returned to the US and got used to the deafening silence of the evening that I can hear the Coquí's again start singing when I return to the Island.

Slideshow of Puerto Rico created by arevir99rivera - Video from YouTube
I found this link on YouTube. I adore it for many reasons. I love the song "Preciosa" (which means "Precious" or in this instance "Beautiful" - relating to the sheer beauty of Puerto Rico) as resung by Marc Anthony (it's a remake of a oooooooooooold song that my parents grew up with sung by famous composer Rafael Hernandez). The Marc Anthony remake really takes it's own flavor around 3 minutes in and was done quite well! When I heard he was going to remake the song I threw my hands up in the air in dismay... I was pleasantly surprised how close he kept the first part of the song close to the flavor of the original. The Ricans born outside of the Island sing the second part of the song usually so loud that we go horse (is that the way I spell that word?). The second part of the song is a tribute to Rafael Hernandez and poses how those born out of the Island inherited their love for the Island because we carry it in our blood and will always love the Island of Puerto Rico.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sasuke Maniac – June 1/2

Sasuke Maniac - A 1/2 hour show that runs every Sunday night (into Monday) on TBS in Japan featuring Monster 9 events.

I've been getting emails about WHAT I use to take pictures of the show as I watch it. This is it. It's called Clipper. I got it eons ago from Cnet.com and quite frankly love it. I can't take pictures from Flash but it works nonetheless :) It doesn't embed itself anywhere.. I just pop it on and it takes pictures of whatever is on my desktop.

Ube’s blog for this week can be found here!

Beginning clips featuring Makoto Nagano doing a mock Sasuke Course called "Sasuke Attack"

Personal note alert: I spent the weekend peeved at a person I considered a friend but now know better. Everyone knows who reads my blog that all I do is read what’s on the internet and make my own comments based on how I see from my perspective as a woman. The same information is out there for everyone to see. Ube does it all the time from his own perspective. Things that I enjoy a lot, I do a lot of research on. It’s my nature. I never claimed to know everything .. I just link the sources I have found that I find very interesting and would hope someone thinks is interesting as well. I write it for fun and frankly I enjoy doing it! I spend more time looking at funny pictures I’ve taken with my trigger finger and read what others have to say about it. Even if no one reads I enjoy doing it! I’ve only been doing this for about 2 months now. Heck I’ve gotten a lot of my information from others with the same hobby via email, etc. Considering the growing popularity of a private blog.. I figured odds on end everyone is outnumbering this one insensitive person.

Toshihiro Takeda doing.. er.. bridge of destiny? Nope.. it's called the Devil Steps

No one - even in anger - considers their friend an attention seeking know-it-all with a God complex. So to hear an insensitive comment like that coming from a “friend” only revealed that person’s true nature and revealed their true feelings for me. There is no defense for someone attacking my character. This isn’t a debate. It’s a child’s pissing match using name calling as if I was back in grade school. I don’t get into that. So if that person doesn’t particularly like my company than so be it. Nothing I say can change that. That said I won’t EVER do that same mistake again. So I won’t put myself in that position again to get hurt. My conversations with said person are at an end. No apology could ever cover those words. They were from the heart and that’s what she truly feels. I have no interest in pursuing such an empty friendship. I’ve had that in my life. I don’t ever want to repeat it. Nor should I have to. I don’t need a “bunch” of friends. Just a few that I know their nature and truly care for me is all I’ll ever need in life. Life is too short to go for such empty promises.

Shingo Yamamoto staring at his fingers.. wtf is up with all the tape I'm seeing? Looks like another whipe-out.. either his or someone else's.

This weekend was also my 11th wedding anniversary so it was a little sour since I couldn’t get that out of my head. It really hurt. So hubby and I decided to spend the day playing video games and changing the subject as much as we could. Can’t believe it’s been so long.. good lord.. I’m not that old! That said.. It’s been a great 11 years and look for many many more J I truly am a lucky gal to have a man that still looks at me with much love and desire. I wish more people could experience what I have. Lord knows in this day and age what I have is rare. I will do my best to protect that and cherish it as long as I live. I truly am blessed.

BUG IN MIKI (must use caps as Ube suggested) is held in Katsumi Yamada's Hyōgo Prefecture (so his home state)

Thursday I was happy to get an email from Ube again telling me that in fact there was a new Sasuke.. sorta related Maniac coming this week! He writes: “The All-Stars are going to be at "BUG IN MIKI", a kind of Volkswagon lovers thing. Apparently there was a course there: Yamada was there and Nagano too: The fourth picture down is a hilarious shot of Yamada running. Go past the halfway mark to see Nagano chilling out.”

Nagano signing autographs and meeting people .. immediately after he did this they cut to 3 giggling girls all having kittens.. I can just imagine.. "I touched Nagano's hand!!"

At this point neither one of us couldn’t figure out if it was Bunpei and Nagasaki (those were my guesses) in the picture with them doing autographs so I’m tuning in to find out! (eta.. I was wrong about Nagasaki.. that was Takeda's arm in the picture.. he's actually getting a tan!)

Lineup for today! Bunpei Shiratori (yay - first Sasuke related appearance for him this year!), Shingo Yamamoto (makes 2 events in a row!), Makoto Nagano, Katsumi Yamada and Toshihiro Takeda

I check the TBS and I find the most HYLARIOUS description yet of the show! (this was on the TV section mini description for the evening of June 1st on the TBS site.)

[sasukemania] large incident Nagano Yamada Taketa…Finally defeat of long-awaited supernova birth humiliation

Speaking of supernova birth humiliation .. TBS hates Katsumi.. THIS was his introduction.. the guy that crys.. I can almost feel Ube's head imploding..

(description in the actual Sasuke Maniac section of the TBS site) In “local Hyogo prefecture Miki city 'BUG of [misutasasuke]” Yamada Masaru oneself in MIKI' beginning disappearance!! Even in how this celebration specially installed SASUKE set!! It collects also [sasukemania] of [sasukeorusutazu] and entire country there!!! In the performance which is unfolded as for the meeting place the large rising! But, as for waiting for [orusutazu] conclusion of astonishment!!!As expected, something happens whether!?

Shingo Yamamoto's introduction - Sasuke 3 appearance in Stage 4's Rope Climb

Did I already explain my love for Bablefish? "Supernova birth humiliation" ....If that doesn’t inspire a wtf.. I don’t know what else will.. so… I go back to my trusty program and tune in to find out!

Toshihiro Takeda.. I should know which Sasuke this was.. but I don't remember right now..

ETA: Oy.. 464 pictures I took.. this is going to take just as long as last week LOL!... Anyway.. Watching JSpo before the show starts.. cracking up at watching a Baseball video hightlight reel to the song.. “Beat it”.. and not the MJ version :p

Bunpei Shiratori's introduction of him completing the 3rd Stage on to his only Stage 4 appearance in Sasuke 12

Started late today.. after 1 am local time (poor Ube)! (12:15 pm my time)… a chicken using Intel (eta: Glad Ube also found it .. disturbing..)? Talking Lemon water machine.. okay that.. freaky.. Looks like something that’s out of a horror movie..

Makoto Nagano introduction from Sasuke 17 - need I say more?

They show the obligatory wipe outs from the Maguro Festival (back in April) and peeping Takeda picture that Ube loved so much :p Now they are in Yamada's prefecture doing a mock Sasuke course (apparently taped May 18th).

Bunpei Shiratori - Office worker from Chiba, Japan at work.

They spend time showing who is going to be in this week's show (with clips of their successess). Line up is Katsumi Yamada, Shingo Yamamoto, Toshihiro Takeda, Bunpei Shiratori and Makoto Nagano.

Bunpei cheering on someone at the event. His health won't allow him to participate yet but I'm happy he's out and about promoting Sasuke!

They place emphasis on Bunpei being there and that's good! He's been hurt since last Summer and missed Sasuke 20 (March) and the Maguro Festival (April) so I'm happy he's able to come out and cheer his fellow All-Stars, get his Tshirt and meet and greet fans.

Old video of Toshihiro at work as a Fire Fighter in Gifu Prefecture.

Old Video of Nagano's ship the Konpira Maru

Now for the actual course they will be running today! Let's review the look of this week's event called "Sasuke Attack".

The course for today - Pipe Slider (less grind and more pipe by comparison to Maguro Festival)

The course for today - Globe Grasp

The course for today - Great Wall.. sorta.. it's more of a climb :p Check out the kids LOL that's awesome!

The course for today - Devil Steps

The course for today - Salmon Ladder .. er.. MINI Salmon ladder.. has 3 rungs...

The course for today - Cliffhanger.. not quite the Shin one.. it's close.. but no cigar.. first section is waaaaaaaay too close.. and something seems off on second section.. Still hard though.

I'm sorry.. English is my second language too.. but.. I couldn't help laughing at the misspell.. It's a friggin' sign too.. Event SCHEDULE (because there's a friggin' H in it.. (channeling my inner Eddie Izzard)).. and DEMONSTRATION (has no second O after the first T).

Next is the formal introductions of the All-Stars to the crowd. Please notice.. Shingo is REALLY happy to be there! He's hooting and hollering and raising his arms in celebration in just about every opportunity! LOL

Ladies and Gentlemen - Makoto Nagano (Shingo Yamamoto doing his jumping cheer)
Ladies and Gentlemen - Toshihiro Takeda (Shingo Yamamoto doing his jumping cheer) (L-R) Shingo, Toshihiro, Makoto and Katsumi
Katsumi channeling his inner John Travolta.. Well you can tell by the way I use my walk I'm a woman's man.. no time to talk.. Music loud and women warm, I've been kicked around since I was born.. And now it's all right, it's okay and you may look the other way.. We can try to understand the New York Time's effect on man.. Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother.. You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive...
YATTA!! Shingo STILL raising his arms when introduced!
Toshihiro has to get into the action and starts to wave his arms like he don't care :p
Bunpei, ever the gentleman, just bows to the crowd in appreciation
Makoto, remarkleably subdued.. just smiles.

Oh same guy from last time.. Mr. Meditates under Waterfalls.. (Yahagi Makoto is what Ube is telling me) that fell off the Shin Cliffhanger at the Maguro Festival. He's back again this time being given the opportunity to THIS event too.. so counting at home.. he was in Muscle Park, Prelims for Sasuke, Maguro Festival and now this one. Sucks.. he died at the Cliffhanger yet again. Poor guy.

Yahagi Makoto, who is serious about Sasuke doing the meditation under waterfall thing.. is he whiter than the water?

So in the end we have a course with the Pipe slider, globe grasp, great wall, bridge of destiny, salmon ladder, shin cliffhanger (fell off again) Takeda laughing at him again (the waterfall dude... )

Remind me to NEVER fail in front of Takeda.. he's MERCILESS!

Next to follow is a steady progression of competitors (Ube counted at least 6) all failing in the same place - Shin Cliffhanger. Speaking of..

Not entirely sure what is that they are showing in terms of difficulty. But it's a diagram that TBS showed about this week's Cliffhanger.

Nagano going through physical pain watching the suckitude at the Cliffhanger...
Meanwhile Yamada and Takeda enjoy the Schadenfraude
Again.. Takeda having WAY too much fun watching the massacre .. oh.. Yamamoto is not doing bad either...

Another guy who was actually in Sasuke but fell at Jumping Spider is introduced. All is well until he falls on cliffhanger here.

Yamamoto giggling watching more death by Cliffhanger.. (Ube says he' commenting on Tokyo guy who is up next)

Another challenger.. (green shirt) - Urushihara Yuuji (Ube tells me) makes the course look easy! He gets to the cliffhanger and beats it to an Allstar chorus of “ooooooh”..

Urushihara Yuuji defeating the cliffhanger.

He beats the course with a 51.54 time. Next to follow is an awkward but typical Katsumi half-butted congratulations... I'm glad Ube picked up on this too..

Urushihara Yuuji starting to bow to Yamada Katsumi....

And Yamada Katsumi totally blows off Urushihara Yuuji.... /sigh.. and people wonder why we hate this guy...

Yet another guy (blue shirt) makes it! Looks like they are all trying to show-up the All-Stars and put pressure on them! He finishes in 51.80 Gah.. just short of the Tokyo guy.

Another competitor showing up the All-Stars! Keita Tomino

At this point what follows are the oh crap pictures of the All-Stars feeling the pressure. Remember.. in the Maguro Festival no one passed the Cliffhanger.. now we have 2....

Takeda: "Dudes, we're boned, right?" Nagano: "Yeah.. we're boned.."

Yamada's turn.. feeling pressure since he's technically at home.. slow again… his time is already the same as the other guys who completed the course and he hasn’t even gotten to the cliffhanger LOL Yamada doing Devil Steps.. er... check out the time... Does he like taking his time or what??

He swings forever.. again.. and…. falls off cliffhanger.. Massive laughter and he cowers in a corner.. I swear Takeda's taking Nagano's previous cues and starts to have kittens. I'm sure he won the bet this week... I mean.. who DOESN'T bet against Yamada...

Didn't I say to never piss him off? He will LAUGH at your face.. Takeda is MERCILESS! I mean he's busting a gut he's laughing so hard!

Yamamoto is literally in tears laughing at Yamada.. Ah.. Takeda is such a bad influence LOL

Shingo’s turn.. much faster this time around (and no screw ups in the course like he did in the Maguro Festival. Helps when you get there on time and actually learn the course :p) doing well doing well.. C'mom Shingo!

Shingo jumping off the section off the Great Wall to get to the Devil Steps.

BUT Shingo also falls off cliffhanger :p Again... /sigh.. he's 0/2 so far in Festivals this year... He has to come out to more so he can fix his record :p

Shingo falling off the Cliffhanger.. still laughing..
Shingo recouping from falling off the Cliffhanger.. laughing hard he's bent over. Check out dude's fingers! Wtf is up with all that tape? Did they run out of SASUKE Spray?
Makoto laughing at Shingo's fall.. he seems.. off somehow this week. He's tired.
He's physically there.. something tells me he's burnt out from this whole first quarter of the year.. and what's with the tape??? FIRE SALE ON STICKY FINGERS!

Takeda’s turn... did he just taunt Nagano?? Ube said YES! "I'm not going to lose to Nagano".. okay I didn't need a translation.. I can spot trash-talk in any language..

Takeda: Nagano.. I'm going to pwn you..

Nagano is shaking his head.. Dude .. don't predict anything you can't deliver I'm sure he's thinking to himself.. that or .. Man.. I'm tired.. don't do this to me.. I'm leaning towards the second one.. Dude looks TIRED.

Aww crap... He's taunting me now before he goes..

Takeda is FLYING again.. .. doing great.. and looks like he's going to beat the other guys times.. by friggin' 20 seconds! Nah.. he's not competitive or anything...

Takeda doing first part of Cliffhanger.. now everyone at home knows first and second sections are NOT right next to each other.. so yeah this one is much easier..

Then.. Falls off Cliffhanger!! LOL He trash talked and it came back to bite him in the rear end!!

Takeda totally face plants off the Cliffhanger! Servers you right cocky bastard! (hugs I still love him)

Next to follow are the prerequisite kitty birthing pictures of the rest of the guys finding this whole spectacle hysterical!

Nagano doubling over in laughter after seeing Takeda faceplant
Shingo just can't STAND it.. can't STAND it I say!
Takeda: I totally asked for that... I really did.. yep.. where's my humble pie?

Nagano’s turn :p Massive intro.. Good lord start already LOL They are getting their cues from TBS aren't they?

What's up with the tartan on a Japanese woman? Oh well.. Check out the clipboard.. I whole the whole page is not Nagano.. wait for it.. yeah.. sounds like it.. I think I'm going to take a potty break.. yep.. still going..

Okay.. finally the chick screams “Ready! Go!” (no break in between.. it was all one word..) LOL they are playing his theme song! LOL He's flying through course again.. and time for the cliffhanger.. and he jumps.. Commercials.. /sigh I am watching Sasuke after all LOL

Nagano jumps off to catch ledge on the Cliffhanger (now.. this is TBS.. THIS is where they cut to commercials...)

Back to salmon ladder.. then Cliffhanger.. he FALLS OFF! DUDE FALLS OFF! That's it.. no All-Stars cleared the course!

Nagano falling off the Cliffhanger.. He had it.. he had it.. Check out that time too.. just under Takeda's whipeout!

Nagano doubling over in laughter after his own demise!

Massive laugher.. especially from Bunpei.. (who didn’t even run the course). I'm happy to see him there.. but it's just hysterical seeing him go totally insane after Nagano missed! I see he won his bet! :p

Shingo and Bunpei reacting to Nagano's fall from the Cliffhanger

Bunpei pointing at Nagano .. YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!!

Did I explain how much Bunpei was laughing? He's friggin' busting a blood vessel in his neck!

More pointing! Remind me to never fail in front of him LOL

After wiping away the tears and composing themselves.. the somber All-stars realize they just got pwned by 2 regular Joes :p

Posing for the crowd after their demise (L-R) Bunpei Shiratori, Shingo Yamamoto (still fidgeting with his fingers), Katsumi Yamada (striking a pose...), Toshihiro Takeda and Makoto Nagano (apparently comparing STICKY FINGERS)

Guy in green shirt wins Sasuke Attack! Yuji Urushihara (Sorry Ube trying to stay consistent :p ) is this week's hero :)

Yuji Urushihara is our Sasuke Attack Winner!
Makoto: "Yay it's over I can now go to sleep!.. crap I have to go back to work.."

Back to commercials… I'm glad I'm not the only one disturbed by the new Chicken Intel commercial... Apparently they followed Yuji home! He's shown.. I guess at work where he sells shoes or something.. Then back at home where he's reading someone’s blog on his computer? Ah.. Ube says there's a Sasuke Community online.. really...

Yuji is a pretty boy by day and sells you shoes!

On his wall is hanging Nagasaki’s autograph? Dude you are lucky! I still dont' have an autograph from anyone in Sasuke.. not even ANC guys.. /cry..

Shunsuke Nagasaki's Autograph :) Lucky guy!

They are interviewing his Mom.. Mom seems happy. Oh .. did they just tell him he's coming to Sasuke 21?? Niiiiiiiiiiiiiice :) (checked Ube's blog.. yep.. he is coming).. You should see his eyes light up!

Attention now recruiting for Sasuke 21! Send your requests to TBS! Because remember.. TBS and Monster 9 own the show.. not G4.. /end of rant

Participants Wanted - Those interested in participating in the SASUKE 21 Competition. Please write your name, age, occupation, address and where to contact you to the following address. Photos and video tape recordings are also accepted. 107-8066 TBS Television"SASUKE Maniac" Recruitment (Ube did the translation - Ube’s blog for this week can be found here!)

Sasuke 21 announcement! Shows the Allstars blowing out.. one by one.. then on the last shot they show Levi winning stage 2. Credits and done.

Remember always Ube does a MUCH better job (See his blog.. it rocks.. - link always on the top left side of my blog or Lost in Ube blog link .. Also.. my previous Sasuke related posts can always be accessed through the tags under Sasuke or Sasuke Mania ;)

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