Thursday, September 30, 2010


It’s Thursday, that means it’s time for another thrilling episode of
ANNOUNCER: The exciting game where contestants apologize for fabulous prizes – aaaaand now everyone’s favorite host Jon Hostington!
JON HOSTINGTON: Starting a new business is stressful, and when things are really rough it’s easy to get carried away and say things that you really don’t mean. This week’s guest knows that all too well. Put your hands together for this week’s contestant Yumi!
ME: Hi world!
JON HOSTINGTON: It says here you’ve had a tough week – and maybe you’ve said some things that you regret.
ME: That’s true.
JON HOSTINGTON: Well, haven’t we all. You know the rules – we’ll tell you what you should have said – and you get points for telling the world what you really said. Are you ready?
ME: As ready as I’ll ever be.
JON HOSTINGTON: Round one. What you should have said was “Thank you for calling me to say the delivery will be late.” For ten points, tell us what you really said.
ME: Do I have to?
JON HOSTINGTON: No, but I’ll remind you that it’s worth ten points, and there is a prize at the end.
ME: Okay – here goes. I believe I said “Late?! LATE?! Your stupid face is late!”
JON HOSTINGTON: That’s…correct! Ten points – also, that’s a pretty terrible thing to say.
ME: I know. I know, I’m super sorry supplier guy, I don’t really think your face is stupid. I was just worried that if I didn’t get the ingredients in time I wouldn’t be able to have food for my customers in time for lunch. It wasn’t nice, at all.
JON HOSTINGTON: That sounded pretty sincere, hope you heard that, supplier guy. Round two. What you should have said was “Thank you for your opinion.”
ME: Right. Oh, the woman who told me that the bento place across the street was better. This one’s bad…here goes. I said “I couldn’t take someone wearing that outfit seriously if I tried.”
JON HOSTINGTON: Wow, that is really mean!
ME: I know…but she hurt my feelings – but still, it wasn’t right. Your outfit was fine, I’m sorry I was mean about it.
JON HOSTINGTON: I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear that. Now. Final round. This is the toughest round, are you ready? If you get this correct, you take home the prize!
ME: I guess so.
JON HOSTINGTON: What you should have said was “Miwako! It’s great to hear from you! How are you?”
ME: Oh. This is going to sound bad to the audience, I don’t know if I should…
JON HOSTINGTON: I’ll remind you that the grand prize is on the line.
ME: Ok. What I said was. “Whatever it is you’re going to say, why don’t you just shut up! I don’t have time for your or your whiny problems right now.”
JON HOSTINGTON: Wow…that’s a really terrible thing to say.
ME: I know. I know. She just makes me crazy some days! I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. It wasn’t very nice to say.
JON HOSTINGTON: Well that’s good enough. Congratulations, you win the prize!
ME: Hooray! What is the prize?
JON HOSTINGTON: The greatest prize of all, self respect.
ME: That is a stupid prize.
JON HOSTINGTON: And it looks like we’ll probably be seeing you back here next week too! Thanks for playing along at home!

Tl;dr It’s been a long week. I’ve said some things I didn’t mean. I’m sorry everyone. (_ _)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Building the Stand!

Yeah I’ve been busy! I was hoping to have the stand out of test runs and fully functional by this last Monday, but there are a lot of kinks to work out with delivery timings and the like.  So it looks like the Super Officialy Grand Opening is a little while off, turns out that opening up a bento stand is a lot of work…I’m not surprised about the work part – but I am surprised about how many decisions I’ve had to make. Here are just a few:

Would that guy be a good spokesperson? Also, what is he (or she?) An alien? A monster? A green…thing?

Should I think of the design on my mug as a bear or a mouse? (Okay, this is less relevant to the stand, but, still, I should come to a decision about it.)

Should I have my sign printed, or make it myself? Should I make a huge menu out of giant letters? Should I even have a menu at all? What if I just change what I have every day? Would people like the surprises? What if they don’t?
Are you sure he shouldn’t be the spokeperson? Look at that face! Also is spokesperson correct? Spokesmonster? Spokescreature?
How adorable should my cooking gear be? Is this too cute?      
Oh no! I found another cute thing! Can they be co-spokespeople? Spokesbuddies? Will they be able to share the responsibility? Will the stress eventually destroy their friendship? (I hope not…I mean, look at the two of them!)

Sould I serve cupcakes too? Is that crazy?
Exhausting! So many choices to make. I don’t want to make another decision for the next 24 hours. In fact I refuse to make a decision! I’ve decided to let the decision center of my brain recover! I will spend the next day just doing whatever signs, people, or advertisements tell me to to. (I’m guessing my day will be spent stopping, yielding, not parking places, and buying sugary cereals, but you know what – I can handle that.) In fact, I’m going to just outsource my decisions for the day. I’ll just do whatever the world wants and report on the outcome. (hopefully the world demands reasonable, and not crazy things!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


That’s right! It’s another installment of:
This week’s quiz
Are You Fashion Forward or Dangerously Drab.
No cheating! (unless you feel like it ^^)
Question 1
Bzzz! Oh no! It’s my alarm clock, I’m running late. I :
a) Put on jeans and a t-shirt, the world won’t wait!
b) Look at the closet, coordinate and accessorize on the quick, the world won’t wait!
c) Give up on life and hide under the bed until I’m 30. The world can take a hike!
d) See nothing I like in the closet, so I whip out my sewing machine and get to work! I’ll get there eventually.
Question 2
It’s time for a formal event, it’s time for me to put on my :
a) That floor length dress I’ve had burning a hole in my closet for a while.
b) Oh no! Didn’t prepare! Something made out of…clothes will do!
c) How formal are we talking, should I break out my couture chainmail shirt?
d) Cardboard boxes that have been spray painted by that one artist with the haircut.
Question 3
It’s family portrait time, so I:
a) Put on the ugly sweater as a symbol of my love for my family unit.
b) Eh, whatever – no matter what I wear it won’t be worse than the portrait disaster of ’06.
c) Quickly assess the sweater disaster, try to accessorize your way out of fash-zaster .
d) Embrace the awkwardness with a full on ironic ensemble, complete with outsized glasses.
Question 4
It’s movie night with the friends, so I
a) Go to the movies! It doesn’t matter, it’s dark in there. I’ll wear whatever I want!
b) Well…I mean, it is kind of dark in there, but I’ll at least try.
c) Two words. Post movie chitchat (chitchat isn’t really a word). Better be prepared. Classic casual.
d) All out. Research the movie’s costume department and try to match their individual style.

Question 5
Oh no! Big spill, my favorite shirt is ruined! RUINED! Ruuuuuinnnned!
a) Eh. Maybe not, completely ruined. I can still wear it under a sweater or something.
b) It was a good shirt, I’ll still wear it around the house.
c) Toss it!
d) Hold a memorial service and send the note back to the designer with a heartfelt apology.
Question 6
It’s time for the biggest costume part of the season.
a) The costume parties are rated? By season?
b) Hmm, maybe I’ll go, as long as I don’t have to prepare.
c) I’m there – I’ve been working on my custom costume for months!
d) Please. Every day is the biggest costume party of the season for me.
Question 7
I’d describe my personal style as:
a) I dunno. I’m pretty good at wearing clothes.
b) Reasonable, I know how to look good when I want.
c) A force of nature.
d) The reason fashion designers get up in the morning.

OK! Time to tally. Give yourself some points!
As = 2 points
Bs = 5 points
Cs = 10 points
Ds = 50 points
And now…the results!
If you got
1 – 13 points: You should check your math again!
14 – 34 points: On the go! You don’t mess around. There are things to do! And they must be done! You don’t have time for fashion. Whether you’ve got a full social calendar, a difficult social studies midterm, or an agenda of social change to attend to, fashion takes a back seat to living life!
35 – 69 points: Solid Style! You know those socks don’t go with that sweater, but you say “who cares!” as you run out the door for another busy day…then you think – maybe I care? Then you decide, no not really, I really don’t care that much.
70 – 299 points: Runway Ready! You know from fabrics, and probably have a tape measure or two. You know what’s going to be big two years from now, but you don’t let fashion rule your life. The world is your oyster…of fashion! Your fashion oyster!
300 points or higher: Fashion Forwardest! Wow – you’re ahead of your time, so far ahead that people accuse you of time travelling and try to pester you for information about the future. You could make a bucket seem like the latest must-have, you could make socks and sandals the next IT trend. Be careful.

Alright! Hope you did well! Tell me what you think of the quiz!!! Do you guys make quizzes with your friends? We make tons of these! I’m working on one about food and another one about ghost hunting.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Grandmother Powers are Terrible and Strong!

I’m not even kidding. Do they understand how powerful they are? They must know, right? (If they don’t know – NOBODY TELL THEM!) I don’t even know why countries even bother having armies – they should just send about twenty of their most grandmotherly grandmothers to trouble areas whenever they want something done – and just have all of the grandmothers give everyone that *look*
You know which one I’m talking out.
That “I’m so very disappointed and old-lady furious” look that drops the temperature in the world by about twenty degrees, and makes all of the pets and children in a ten mile radius feel sad. It also melts all nearby ice cream cones (despite generally lowering the temperature). Crazy, for sure, but that’s just how angry grandmothers roll. I don’t make the rules.
Thankfully most grandmothers have only faint ideas about how the internet works. (In fact that may be one of the two most useful uses of the internet: Email and safely venting about grandmothers. Also - Miwako if you say ONE word about this to our grandmother, I’ll tell her what REALLY happened to that guest tea set she liked so much. I am mega-serious.)
I guess I should tell you what happened this weekend.
I made the mistake of going to the ryokan. I was really excited about my stand opening, I was going to drop off some coupons for free bento boxes to anyone who stayed at the ryokan. Pretty thoughtful, right?
No. Apparently it was not thoughtful. Apparently it was like a war crime of some sort in the eyes of my grandmother.
She told me that it was time that I stop “playing pretend” with my business and grow up. I tried to tell her how well everything was going, but she didn’t care. She didn’t even want to come see it when it opens.
 I hope she changes her mind. She’s the one who taught me how to cook – I thought she’d be excited to see my place. Whatever. (;_・)
I was a little down, so I went to go cheer myself up by doing a little supply shopping.

Nothing cheers me up like looking for inspiration for new menu items! I haven’t come up with any great new dishes yet, but maybe it’s time to start thinking dessert! I mean, look how happy that bear looks!
Also – I got something you guys might be excited about. Some ingredients for a bento tutorial to take place this week! \(^ ^)/
That’s it for today! Oh – and also, I still have some unanswered questions from last week’s post that’ll I’ll be answering today. So check in with that post too if you want!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Interv-Yumi (it is a pun!)

Time to unveil another Fantastic Friday Feature. This week’s theme :
It’s easy. You ask me a question in the comments section, and I’ll answer.
I’ll get the ball rolling.
Yumi writes:
“Dear Yumi, why is your bento so delicious?
Thanks for the wonderful question, Yumi. Personally I like to think of my bento as delicious and heart-breakingly adorable. :D

I’ll be answering your questions all day!
Katie Asks
"Dear Yumi, How did you get such a great fashion sense?"
Good Question! I was not a natural. I have worn some outfits that were so bad they weren't fashion crimes, they were fashion atrocities. I guess my fashion sense comes from all of the time I spend with my friends working on new designs, maybe? Oh, and we read all of the magazines and go to see the debut of every collection in Kyoto (if we can get past the guy at the door.)
Panda Asks:
"If you were given a free vacation to anywhere around the world, where would you go?"
Thanks for the question, Panda! I think it depends. If it was a vacation for two people, and Rentaro found out about it, he would pester me until I agreed to take him to NYC. If he didn't, I would probably want to go to Greenland, because I hear it is really pretty, but mainly because I own a lot of sweaters that I haven't gotten a chance to wear. And I think it would be a funny joke to play on Greenland. I'd be like "Surprise, you have a tourist. Take me to that thing all the tourists want to see!" And they'd be like "Quick build a tower of some sort!"
Anonymous asks:
"What's your favorite food."
Mochi ice cream, all of the kinds.
Anonymous asks:
"Do you like a boy?"
Possibly. Who's asking?
Anonymous asks:
"Dear Yumi,
What's your favorite place to go?"
I'm always going places from when I wake up and rush to the market to get fresh ingredients, to when I meet up with my friends after work and we go out - but I think now my favorite place to go is my apartment. It is the best apartment that has ever been ^_^
Fashion Lover asks:
"Yumi, how do you design such cool clothes?
There's a trick to it! All of my really good ideas were buried under hundreds of really bad ideas. So I just kept designing until I ran out of bad ideas...then the good ideas started. Also I took some drawing classes to make my concepts look better.


Shadow42 Asks:
"Dear Yumi, do you like cats?"
I do like cats, I like when they're snobby. My friend has a cat, and it always cracks me up when her cat acts like he's too cool to hang out with her. She'll call his name and he'll just wander under the couch like "Sorry, going under the couch now. You can try to join me or whatever, but it's pretty exclusive under here. You're probably not on the guest list."

Curious Kitty Asks:
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

A pop idol or a dolphin. (okay, that was my answer from when I was five. But now, I'm not so sure. I'll have to keep thinking about that one.

Adriana asks
"Have you ever thought of opening your own fashion store?"
You know it! My friends and I are working on our collections this year and when we're all done we're going to see if we can find anyone to help us open a store. It's a big deal, and it takes a lot of work, and a lot of money, but I think we can do it. We're already fighting about what it should be called ^_^

Anonymous Asks:
"If you had to pick only one thing to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?"
Probably jeans and a shirt that says "I am so sorry about how dirty my clothes are." ^^


Megan Asks:
"Are any of your designs inspired by anime characters?"
Of course! I think my designs are inspired by everything I see every single day. When I'm out for a walk I think I must be collecting ideas. And when I'm at home later I can remember all of the things I saw and think "What if I made a bag that looked like a retro version of one of the posters near the noodle place?" And then I try it.

Anonymous Asks:
"What the weirdest food combination you ever ate and liked?"
I'd have to say chocolate and bacon. Oh! I also had a grilled chocolate sandwich once. That one broke all of the sandwich rules, but for all the right reasons! Oh and pizza with hard boiled egg on it. Also, I had blue cheese ice cream once. That was a mistake though. A terrible mistake.

Anonymous Asks
"Dear Yumi, what do you think of ferrets?"
I think that they are surprisingly long.

Anonymous Asks
"What is bento anyways?"

I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier! It's a box lunch, but it's made to be portable and cute, and stylish, and super tasty, know what, you should just stop by the expo center and I'll show you! And we'll be talking about bento on the blog soon!

Anonymous Asks
"Dear Yumi, which planet of the solar system do you most closely identify with?"
Pluto. Because sometimes people tell me that I can't do something (like when people told Pluto that it couldn't be a planet any more.) but I don't let that stop me! (and anyway! What's so great about Venus anyway?! "I'm the hottest planet, blah blah blah." It doesn't even have a moon. That's embarrassing, Venus. Pluto is just as good as you! But because it's off doing its own thing, and not hanging around with the cool planets no one takes it seriously.) Wow, I guess I have some pretty complex emotions about the planets. That is surprising.

Leahwill Asks
"Do you match your socks?"
Good question! I don't have an answer for this, more a general sock philosophy. Sock are like eyebrows. Most of the time they should be doing the same thing, but sometimes, if the occasion calls for it, it's ok to let one sock get a little crazy.

Gumiho Asks:
"what is your favorite computer game."
I like puzzle games, and games that make a lot of weird noises when you play them, and mystery games. I like some of the cooking games, but some of them aren't very realistic about how you make food.

Sofia Asks:
"What is your favorite place to go to in Japan?
Shibuya! So much fun!

GREAT QUESTIONS! I HAD FUN! I'm getting ready to go out and have some weekend times with friends
and I'm going to be working at the stand this weekend so I probably won't be able to answer questions until monday (but I might!)

It's Update Time! New Week, New Answers!

Katie Asks,

Would you like to take a trip to Paris, France? (P.S I luv your clothes!)

Thanks! I would *love* to go to Paris – especially on fashion week!

Minette Asks:

If you had to pick between blue and red which would you pick?

No question about it. Blue. And then also red. Also yellow. (Can I negotiate to get a little green in the mix?) Oh, right – also pink. Which shades are we talking about here?

Do you like sushi? If so what kind is your favorite?

Sushi is pretty good, but noodles! Noodles are the business. I just had some ten minutes ago, and…If I could travel back in to before I ate the noodles, I would. I guess I could also travel forward in time to the next time it’s time for noodles. Or, I guess I could just wait until the next noodle time.

Anonymous Asks:

Have you ever seen a ghost?

I don’t think so.

Tim Asks:

Do you have any enemies?

I’ve never thought about it before. Hmm. I don’t think so. If I do they’re not very good at being my enemies, I guess, since I don’t know if they exist or not. Bad job, potential enemies. :D

Anonymous Says:

You is the best

Thanks Anonymous! (I like you more than the other anonymice :D)((Just kidding)(((not really ^^)))


Why don't you live in the ryokan with your family?

I like being a train ride away from home. That way I’ve always got a fifteen minute head start. Also, I *love* living in the city.

Sarah Asks:

“How do you feel about elephants?”

I feel cautiously optimistic about elephants.

Anonymous Asks:

Do you have any phobias?


Pa Penny Asks:

Have you ever heard of a certain teenage girl from America named Nancy Drew? And have you ever heard of an individual named John Grey?

Does this John Grey run a website about ghost hunting? Is her super annoying? Does he bother people about contributing to his website even when you tell him you’re not interested? Does he post your pictures without asking your permission? If yes, then – yes. I know him. Unfortunately. Nancy Drew, I’m not sure if I’ve met her.

Anonymous Asks:

What is your favorite movie?

Hmm, that one is hard. I like a lot of American movies, except for action and those movies where a bunch of sad stuff happens to everyone for no reason, and then it just ends suddenly. Oh, and talking animals, not really a fan of those either – mainly because the animals only say sassy things and not things that they’d really say.

For Example:

Movie Giraffe “Oh uh-huh you did NOT just go there, Mr. No-Neck.”

Real Giraffe “I like the leaves from the middle of the tree! Oh! It’s time to run now! No wait! False alarm! Turns out it’s still time to stand!”

Anonymous Asks.

Does your sister ever help with your Bento stand?

No. She’s always saying that she’s way too busy to come to the city.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


It’s Thursday, that means it’s time for another installment of:
*cue theme music
ANNOUNCER: Are you ready for the hottest voicemail news and reviews around? Then pull up a chair for another thrilling installment of This Week in Voice mails! Take it away, Yumi!
Thanks, Fake Announcer that I made up, let’s start the show!
This first voicemail comes to us from none other than my own sister, Miwako. This is not Miwako’s first appearance on this show, longtime readers will remember Miwako from such voicemails as “Where are you? It’s late and you’re supposed to be here!” and “Seriously! Stop posting my voicemails on your blog!” Miwako is really in top form with her latest showing “Do I have to do everything around here?”
Miwako: “Hey, it’s me. I’m calling because you’re supposed to help me with the delivery we got in, and you’re conveniently not answering your phone. Again. Do I have to do everything around here?”
Excellent! Succinct, nuanced, spirited. Miwako is reminding us again that she is a voicemail artist to be reckoned with. Also, she sounded reaaaaaaly mad. I should maybe do something about that.
This next message comes to us from Rentaro. Rentaro is again revisiting a theme that seems to be ever-present in his voicemail oeuvre, that of urban drifting, of being a young man lost in a post modern society.
Rentaro: “Yumi!  I am lost, I think. Are you there? I got on a bus, and then I fell asleep.”
It might be too soon to tell, but if I had to guess I’d say Rentaro’s latest message will be on many top ten lists come the end of the year.
Well, that’s it for this episode of This Week in Voicemail. I hope you’ve enjoyed!
On a related note, I’m off to try to find Rentaro.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It’s Wednesday!
That means it’s time for another installment of
This week’s challenger:
Dog Duck Dog.

Dog! It is unreasonable how cute you’re being right now! Save a little for the rest of the dogs!
Update time! It’s been super crazy here at the expo center. Did I tell you that’s where my new stand is going to be? It’s going to open next Monday and all ready I’m getting really ex-
Ok, I’m not going to lie. It’s now thirty minutes after I started writing this post and I got a little distracted. I was wondering if the dog would look more or less cute if it was wearing a party hat.

You be the judge.
But then I realized that I had forgotten an obvious thing:

More tomorrow! Also, do you guys want some how-to bento tips next week?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Aaaand the wiiiiiinnnner is!

It was sooooo close! So close that at first I thought I'd name my new stand:

"Let's Wacky Super Cheery Bentocalypse to go...Bariuma!"

But think of how many letters I'd have to put on the sign! That's too much responsibility for just one little sign! It' be stressed out all day long! And probably super jealous of signs that just say things like "Stop." or "Sign Store, Next Exit." I can't do that to a poor defenseless sign. It just wouldn't be right.

So I decided to do the next best thing, I'm combining the most popular names into THE NAME FOR MY NEW BLOG AND BENTO STAND.

I present to you -

Let's Happy Bento!

Great job everyone! Thanks for all the advice and help! You guys are super creative, and really good at names! You should all join forces and start a company that names things.

But wait. What would you call that company?

Ask Yumi!

It’s been a busy week, I’ve been packing up the old catering business and getting ready to open up the new stand, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have time for another installment of my advice column, Ask Yumi! My inbox has been filling up with advice requests, so I won’t be able to get to all of them today, but I’ll do my best!
First up today -“Dear Yumi, my boyfriend never wants to go out and have fun on the weekends, he’d rather play video games. What should I do?
Sincerely, Warped to Level Bored”
Dear Warped,
Your boyfriend sounds boring. :D

Alright, whew! That was a tough one! Ok, moving on. This next letter comes to us from a longtime reader who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Dear Yumi, there is a boy at school I have a mega-crush on but I don’t even think he knows that I even exist, what should I do?
Sincerely, Schrodinger’s Cat”

Dear Cat,
Are you sure that you exist? I’d make absolutely sure that you do before you try anything else. :D

And finally today:
“Dear Yumi, I have a big chemistry test tomorrow, do you know any good tricks for memorizing the periodic table?
Sincerely, Failium”

Dear Failium,
I don’t! :D

That’s it for today, tune in next time for another installment of Ask Yumi!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Ok, I’m going to give you a second to guess how big the news is. Go ahead and guess. I’ll wait.
I’m waiting.
Aaaaaand -
Bad job! All of you guessed wrong. I am very disappointed in all of you!  Especially you, Tomoko! ^_^

I know you’re asking yourself – but what does that mean to me?
Good question, citizen. It means that Yumi’s Bento Catering Blog is CLOSED FOREVER.
Don’t even try to go to it. Don’t even try to type in the url. Don’t even think about it! This morning I walked my old blog to the woods and set it free. Sure, it was traumatic at first. I had to throw little pebbles at my blog and yell “I don’t love you anymore! You live in the woods now!”  But after a very emotional morning it’s running free with all of the other wild blogs now. I am sad but also proud.
I know, I know. You’re thinking “If your blog is discontinued, then I’ll be sad forever.” (;_・)
Don’t worry! I have additional good news.
Everything you loved about the old blog will be continued in this new blog. The advice column, the junk food reviews, the how-to’s, the pictures of things that are so cute that it is unbearable, and of course the daily updates on all things Yumi.
I know you’re wondering, why change everything? The old blog was great.I know, but sometimes it’s time for a new start.
So, in honor of new beginnings, I’m going to try something extra new. I’m going to let you, my friends and readers, name my new bento stand and blog! You can vote for one of these names:
Super Bento!
Let’s Bento! 
Happy Bentos! 
Or you send me your best blog / bento stand name ideas by leaving me a comment.*
*Votes will be counted by a scientist. Original names will be evaluated by a different scientist. Results will be posted when I feel like it ^_^