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The new job

Jun. 19th, 2006 | 12:39 am
mood: hungry hungry

I haven't had much chance to check in. The guard's quarters (more like a shack) that I live in don't contain a bed, let alone a computer. They're leaky, too. But at least I get lots of food. I snuck over to Patchouli-san's computer to post this while she was distracted by that witch; she hardly uses it anyway, from what I've seen.

So far I have voraciously defended the Scarlet Devil mansion from:
  • two fairies that attacked me
  • eight fairies that were being noisy
  • twenty-seven fairies that were passing by in a suspicious manner
  • one tree (it was a slow day)
  • three youkai
  • one youkai disguised as a mansion maid (she was missing the bonnet)
  • two would-be vampire hunters
  • one suspicious human calling himself Harker
  • one master spark (unexpectedly salty)

  • Sakuya-san instructed me to deliver the unarmed humans to her rather then eating them myself, and I have been very good at that. Harker was carrying a briefcase filled with legal documents that could have potentially been used to give someone a nasty whack on the head. I think I am doing a good job! Maybe I will get a second meal per day soon!

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    For Rent

    Jun. 13th, 2006 | 11:17 am
    mood: hungry hungry

    One netherworld tower, approximately 30 units. Conveniently located near the Gate to the Mortal World. Expected residency of about 25 ghosts off-season and 200 in peak season (they fit ten to a room, so don't worry about space.) Extensive library and world-famous cherry blossom garden. Arrangements for live music included, but other employees will have to be recruited by you.

    All rooms have cable TV, air conditioner, mini-fridge, telephone and coffee maker. Internet access is available in the lobby.

    Will take best offer, payable in food or cash on a monthly basis. Please direct inquiries to the Scarlet Devil Mansion. If you come in person, bring a white flag so I don't mistake you for an intruder and eat you.

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    It's been a while...

    Jun. 2nd, 2006 | 03:49 am
    mood: hungry hungry

    Sorry for not staying in touch! Since Youmu's sick, it's been very busy around here. The garden is a mess... spirits wandering around everywhere. I have my hands full just trying to take care of us both.

    Anyway, I found out that you can order food over this Internet thing. They have everything! I almost ate the monitor a few times, but stopped myself. Of course, there were a lot of things I wanted to try, but money was a bit of a problem... here in Hakugyokurou we don't have much use for such things, so we only keep a little on hand for emergencies. Not enough for more then a snack if I spent it frivolously, anyway.

    But amazingly, I asked around and discovered that there are people in the outside world willing to pay me to eat things! Currently I'm taking deliveries of something called "nuclear waste." It's very nice and spicy, and I get a lot of money for disposing of it. I wonder why they find it so unpleasant out there?

    The mail fairies have barely been able to keep up, with all the packages coming to and from. I may have to hire a special courier... Sometimes Yukari-chan helps out and portals them straight to me, but she's rarely awake.

    I hope Youmu-chan gets better soon.

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    Yuyuko's Great Adventure

    Apr. 11th, 2006 | 12:40 am
    mood: hungry hungry

    Gosh, the past few weeks have been a mess! I'm sorry that I couldn't keep all of you updated, but you'll read why in just a moment.

    Evidently Mystia Lorelei was tipped off that I was coming to her restaraunt. She must have feared a negative review, otherwise I can't explain the veritable army of assorted bird-of-prey youkai that were gathered in front of her stand. After a brief and conclusive exchange of danmaku, they convinced me to put off the critique until another day; but that wasn't good enough. They offered to escort me home, and evidently it was one of those offers I couldn't refuse.

    After a few failed attempts to convince them that I'd just recently taken up residence in the fried eel stand, I admitted that I lived in the netherworld, and they took me there and threw me back over the border of life and death. But as I soon discovered, they'd dumped me in the wrong place!

    See, there are two realms where spirits can go to after death. There's Meikai, where those spirits that have slipped off the endless wheel of reincarnation for whatever reason reside; they usually assume forms similar to those they had in life, and are known as the 'natural ghosts'. Most poltergeists live here as well, and there are even native inhabitants, the half-ghosts. Hakugyokurou, my home, is located here.

    The other realm is Higan, which normal souls pass through briefly on their way to judgement, then heaven, hell, or another life. The only permanent inhabitants are the shinigami and the yama, who process these souls, and among the only feature of its endless landscape is the Sanzu no Kawa- a river which cannot be crossed by any normal means (I'd say 'mortal', but ghosts can't do it either, as I found out.) Prior to that day, I had never been there, but Youmu told me all about it over dinner around the time of the flower incident (great for salads!)

    You've probably guessed which one of the two I ended up in. Not only was I in Higan, somehow I'd come to be on the wrong side of the river. That Mr. Thunderbird can sure throw hella far.

    I spent my first day there exploring, and was unable to find an exit on that side of the river, or even anything at all- except for a huge cherry tree with oddly colored blossoms. I've had some bad experiences with cherry trees in the past, so I didn't taste it. Instead I idled away the next few days eating the endless fields of higanbana, a treat I didn't enjoy often at home. After that I remembered why that was; they're a little *too* spicy, and prolonged consumption kills all sensation in the mouth. It's horrible, as you can imagine, but gave me a good opportunity to try and cross the river.

    I flew over the Sanzu no Kawa for three days. It was very boring, like the riverbank, but with even less to eat; just some shallow-swimming fish (there were some kinds I've never tasted before, though, like those armored fish- crunchy on the outside with a chewy center.) I never saw the other side, or any indication that I was making progress at all. After my tastebuds started to return, I flew back to the side I'd set off from; that took another three days. I spend the next couple of days on a varied diet of fish and higanbana before I finally saw someone.

    She was a red-haired youkai girl who seemed quite nice, apparently filling in as a boat guide for a shinigami who had a disagreement with her employer. After I explained my situation, she agreed to take me over the river on her next trip. I thought I would finally be able to get out of there, but then I helped myself to some of the spirits she carried with her- it speeds them onto the next life just as well as a yama's judgement, and they taste like marshmallows. Yummy!

    For some reason, this innocent snack of mine made her terribly nervous and upset, so much that she was at risk of hurting herself- she seemed previously injured, and this didn't mesh well with her flashy style of danmaku. As I didn't want to eliminate my only ticket out of there, and she didn't look like good eating anyway, I left her alone. We had several more meetings over the coming days; all of them ended similarly.

    Eventually, she brought her employer (a somewhat scary yama) to deal with me. The yama took one look at me and immediately sentenced me to eternal hell, but apparently there were complications in executing the judgement. The seal on my mortal body was one of them, but more fundamental was the fact that none of the hells wanted anything to do with me.

    After another week of fighting with various diabolical bureaucracies, the yama gave up and ordered her youkai to get me across the river and out of Higan, regardless of what I did in the meantime. Many s'mores later, I finally crossed the border into Meikai and headed back home to Hakugyokurou.

    Youmu-chan is nowhere in sight. I guess she went out looking for me, since I was gone quite a while. I'm hungry.

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    Restaurant Reviews

    Mar. 24th, 2006 | 12:33 pm
    mood: hungry hungry

    I have talked to Aya the reporter about a restaurant column for her newspaper in the past, but she seemed highly reluctant to hire me as a writer, saying something about liability. I think she was also rather upset when I tried to eat her crow. I didn't realize it was her pet at the time.

    With the discovery of LiveJournal, though, I can now have a culinary opinion blog of my very own.

    Scarlet Tea Room

    It is well known that the maids of the Scarlet Mansion are unequaled cooks, having been tasked to render human flesh & blood into innocuous, everyday foods when their vampiric mistress does not feel like taking her nourishment from the source. Because of that, I was unsurprised when I found they had opened a restaurant. Although the location listed on the website is rather puzzling- is Pasadena the name of the surrounding lake?- there's only one place where a tea room named Scarlet could be in Gensokyo. Of course, I resolved to dine there at once.

    Perhaps I should have made a reservation. The employees of the Scarlet Mansion seemed entirely unaware that there was a restaurant on their premises; instead of offering to seat me, they attacked me as if I were an intruder. This type of poor service is not unusual in Gensokyo, but even to one born and bred here, it seems terribly rude. Perhaps they think they're doing me a favor by allowing me to practice my danmaku, but I'd really rather sit down and eat.

    Eventually I fought my way to the salad bar, which, despite my misgivings, was exemplary. Most dining establishments neglect the tastes of ghosts and youkai in favor of the puny palates of humans; not so the Scarlet Tea Room, which had planted all manner of greens which the former find delightfully tangy, but the latter lethal. Such delights as belladonna, foxglove, oleander, wormwood, and even the unusual Death Cap mushroom- all were present. I had a wonderful time sampling them.

    Eventually, the head maid- a human time wizardess I've met once or twice before- arrived to take my order. I attempted to ask her about the five course tea service, but she responded by throwing knives at me. Clearly there must have been some sort of misunderstanding. Since the salad had been reasonably filling, I decided to excuse myself and return another day, this time after making a reservation.

    The Scarlet Tea Room is clearly capable of producing excellent food, but their service is unacceptable. I daresay that a lesser being would have dropped dead at the affront to their manners. Regrettably, I cannot recommend this dining establishment until they get their act together.

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    I like drinks too!

    Mar. 18th, 2006 | 07:18 pm
    mood: hungry hungry

    Hard drinks:

    Caribbean Paradise - Mostly safflower with a shot of coconut oil. Garnish with a pineapple slice.
    Honolulu Sunrise - Drain a can of Spam into the glass. Add 1 tsp mayonnaise. Fill the remainder with safflower oil and mix well.
    The Mafioso - One shot each of oregano, thyme and garlic-infused oils, then top up with extra virgin olive. Add tomato paste if desired. Serve with foie gras.
    The Plantation - Fry a slice of bacon until charred. Place result, including drippings, into a glass and fill the remainder with cottonseed oil.

    And some not so hard drinks:

    Chocolate egg cream - Another of those things Youmu got from Kourin once... they're never boring.
    Palm juice - A bit like the Caribbean Paradise up above, but lighter
    Tea - With lots of sugar, whole milk, and sometimes tapioca. The kind doesn't matter much but hemlock has a nice kick to it.

    This doesn't count as talking about food, does it?

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    Part 2

    Mar. 17th, 2006 | 05:06 pm
    mood: hungry hungry

    Dinner took me a couple of days so I'm making a new post. ^_^ This half looks shorter.

    Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?

    Makes my palms sweat? Well, there was that time Kourin sold Youmu-chan the pure capsicum extract.

    There's no food that really scares me though, it all tastes wonderful. :3 Are food-related lifestyles too much of a stretch? Vegans confuse me, and breatharians really creep me out...

    What would be your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?

    My most valued/used would have to be my mouth. I wasn't very impressed by George Foreman's Mean Lean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine- there's never quite enough in the grease tray for a refreshing drink with my snack.

    What are the three eatables or dishes you simply don't want to live without?

    1. Food
    2. Food
    3. Youmu

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    Waffles!

    Mar. 14th, 2006 | 04:29 pm
    mood: hungry hungry

    yukarin doesn't have a blog on lj yet but she sent me this from xanga <3

    What is your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?

    Well, when I was very young I wanted to eat the Saigyou Ayakashi (it was pretty small back then) but Youki-san told me that things like trees aren't good to eat. Later I learned that you're supposed to cook your food before you eat it. The sakura trees in the courtyard were blooming and all pretty then, so instead of cooking one of them, I went outside and set fire to a birch tree somewhere.

    It was nice and crunchy. Not much flavor, though. From then on whenever I cooked a tree I made sure to prepare a sauce beforehand.

    Who had the most influence on your cooking?

    My own cooking is original for the most part, but one person who deserves credit is good old Pabulumagus. Youki-san couldn't cook at all, so back then we employed an owl youkai, Pabulumagus Lorelei, who was Hakugyokurou's chef- and quite an excellent one he was. Sadly, one day he quipped "You are what you eat" while I was watching him cook, and of course I had to find out whether it was true.

    I don't think it was. He didn't really taste anything like the fried insects he liked to snack on... not to say he wasn't delicious in his own way. Though he was a liar, I must thank the late Pabulumagus for introducing me to the wonderful flavors of youkai. ^_^

    The food was kind of bad from then on until Youmu-chan grew up and taught herself to cook.

    Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world and would you like to share it?

    Not a photo, but there is a drawing I did when I was young.



    These questions are making me hungry! I'll finish them after I eat. :)

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