Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The End of My Political Aspirations

Okay some quick housekeeping first and foremost.

-The Earthquakes in the Kumamoto area of Japan have not affected us in Nagoya.  For that I am thankful.  We are safe and sound.  And I am so incredibly grateful for the family and friends who have checked in with us to make sure we're okay.  But there are many who are not okay, and relief efforts are being hindered by the destruction of roads and railways in and out of the area, as well as more and more fierce storms battering the shorelines.  If you are so inclined, this article is a great guideline for where and how you can help:  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/17/national/kumamoto-quake-info-where-to-go-how-to-help/#.VxYJ95N96Rs

-The Mister and I are taking off at the end of the week for two very great reasons: a very needed vacation, and to celebrate my very wonderful little cousin get hitched, all from a resort in CANCUN.  So there shall be no blog posts the next few weeks while I tan myself to a crisp at a swim-up bar.  You understand.

Okay.  Got all that?  Great.  Let’s talk about the Penis Parade.
Maybe I should have added a disclaimer:  hey family, I really did go to a penis festival, so, you know, read at your own risk.

Spring sees a myriad of fertility festivals throughout Japan, and almost all of them center around the most easily recognizable visual representation of fertility.  I’m talking about d*cks here people.  Keep up.

Obviously, this is a festival which participants hope brings luck for new babies to be made.  It celebrates babies that are already on the way.  And in a less obvious way, is also about the vitality of the crops for the year.

About a month back, I went with a few people (who will retain their anonymity for their own possible political aspirations…but you could probably guess) to the penis festival in Komaki, which is both the closest fertility festival to us here in Nagoya, and also one of the more well-known festivals in Japan.  So that worked out well.  I’m happy to report we let ourselves get a little campy with it, which seemed in the spirit of the day.

Oh yes folks, I ate a corndog shaped like a penis.
I ate a chocolate covered banana with a marshmallow at the tip sculpted to make it look like a penis.
And I ate a sucker which was… you guessed it, shaped like a penis.  The number of SUPER amused Japanese folks who took pictures of us while we ate our penis suckers was out of this world.  And the more brazen ones actually asked us “do you know what you’re eating?
Nope, no.  We don’t have d*cks in America.

We waited in line to see the giant wooden penis in the shrine.  We waited in line to see the giant metal testicles… until we realized that women were touching the balls to be blessed with babies and then promptly exited said line.  We drank sake. We *almost* purchased little penis statues.  We watched the amazing parade that featured a giant wooden penis that was spun around like a hit record every so often along the route.  

Don’t believe me?  HA.  Hahahahahaha. hitplayidareyou. (NSFW)

I had a blast.  And, somewhere in Spain, I was broadcast on an English-speaking TV channel being interviewed about the festival while mowing down on that aforementioned penis-nana.  Japan, I hope you feel I represented your festival well.

from L to R: TV camera man.  Nana-weiner vending booth.  Fellow foreigner blurred for their protection. Definitely not me holding a penis-nana. And the reporter. This really happened.

What’s the most interesting celebration you’ve attended?  
Tell me about it in the comments!

today’s little language lesson
tabeteiru mono o shiteimasu ka?

do you KNOW what you’re eating?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I Have SEEN Some Stuff.

Guys, sometimes as a foreigner it can be weird to live here.  There’s a lot to get used to, and sometimes it’s just a little too much for my brain to handle.

On bad days, the things I see lead to me grumpily rage-writing about [for example] how frustrated I am that Japan seems to lack any sort of socially agreed upon rules for pedestrians when they’re pedestrian-ing around on the sidewalks. [and later deleting because that’s no fun to read as a blog post]

The point of THIS post is how on the good days, fellow foreigner friends are vital in instances of Japan being… well, Japan being Japan.  
  • When I see a three year old wearing a bright pink shirt that says “PERFECT B*TCH” while running around the playground (and you know it’s not that the parents are cheeky and got her the shirt as a joke, as much as they maybe just don’t understand the strength of the lingo).  

  • …Or even when the guy next to me on the train at 1:30 in the afternoon on a random Monday is drinking a beer and watching a porn with no volume on his ancient, pixelated flip phone screen.

If you’ve grown up living in Japan, these are the sorts of things that are not notable, as they are just normal occurrences (please note, I am not saying that Japanese people would be cool with a creeper watching nudie flix on the train, but it’s common enough that they’re not likely to do anything about it either).  So a foreigner being worked up about things falls largely on deaf ears.  For me, that has a great side effect of making me feel like I’m insane to have taken such note of things that Japanese people normalize.

Thus, there are times when I am intensely thankful for friends I can turn to and say “Dudes. Japan. What?” And they respond with “I know, that’s a bit weird, right?”  

All of those above examples are real life.  And each of my foreign friends have similarly weird-to-us examples.  The creeper on the train with the flip-phone porno?  That happened on my way to class just this week.  And it lead to me and KP2 coming up with a new game.  It seemed like a healthier reaction than just getting upset about something I cannot change.  Do you live in Japan?  Do you want to play?  Here are the rules.

In this gameshow, players must figure out which items in the room are real,
and which are made of chocolate... using only their mouths.

"Japan. What." Rules: (2-infinity players)
1.  Player 1 sees something out of "their ordinary."
2.  Player 1 texts all other players with their basic location and an “1 adjective + 1 noun” structure message followed by “Japan. What.  Go.
  • ex.  “on a train.” “old man.” “Japan. What. Go.”
  •  “at the park.” “child’s shirt.” “Japan. What. Go.”

3.  Players 2 - infinity respond to the text with guesses of what Player 1 could have seen.
4.  Once all players have entered guesses, Player 1 reports the actual sighting, and becomes the judge for the round.  The best guess which is deemed “more strange" than the actual sighting, is awarded a point.  If a guess is somehow accurate, guesser is awarded 5 points.  If the other players agree that the actual sighting is “more strange” than the guesses, Player 1 gets a point.
5.  Repeat ad nauseam.

Want to play with me?  
Start your own round in the comments!

Japanese friends, you could play this in a flipped version, FOR SURE.  For example, my Japanese lesson this week included a discussion on how confusing the concept of bulk-buying at a Costco is.  “How do you eat all that food?”  “How many people do you have to bring along to hold everything?”  “You go by YOURSELF?!  HOW?!”  “The cart is HOW big!?  It's not a cart?  It's a FLAT BED on Wheels?! That’s ridiculous!

yes. need all of this RIGHT now.
…Yes, I agree, Japanese Teacher.  Costco is insanity.  But it’s also the only place around here that I can get Mac-sized dog treats.  So there’s that.

today’s little language lesson.

Kosutoko wa kuruoshii desu.
Costco is insane.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Apparently This is My Annual Earthquake Post.

Hey I got one more year here Japan, let’s not make this actually annual.  I am not a fan.

[note: i’ve had a few gigs lately that require close detail pencil drawings - I needed a break for some looser sketching, so today’s illustrations are provided via the tiny white-board I procured at the local Daiso.  Enjoy.]

You may remember about a year ago, there was an Earthquake which I felt.  It was a decent size at 5.6, but the Epicenter was hundreds of miles away, so the only reason I felt it at all was because we live on the 11th floor of the building.  So up high, we get to swaying a little more than your average apartment.

Now, I had done a bunch of research about what one should do when an earthquake happens back then, but it was still not real solid information in my head, and I was so confused as to what was happening, and I barely felt it, so…
I didn’t really do anything but yell and panic in the middle of my living room.

I am… happy to say I was better this time? I guess?

So Japan, or at least Nagoya, has an alert system for people, should they be able to predict an earthquake with any advance notice.  Previously, I had understood this warning would come in the form of speaker cars, which I... was less than pleased with.  1.5 years here has more than taught my hearing to completely ignore the annoyance of the speaker cars who are generally spewing advertisements about sales at the local home good store at absurd decibels at all hours of the day.  I knew a speaker car wouldn’t get my attention for sh*t.

You know what DOES get my attention?

Japan has a new program (enacted last August) which allows them to hack into every phone and wi-fi enabled device in the area to make said devices scream “EARTHQUAKE IS COMING!” at their highest volume level.  THAT gets me to jump to action faster than when Bubba starts to make that “I’m about to vomit” *URK* noise.

related note: this is a real gravy boat you can buy
which mimics a barfing cat and I legit sort of want it.

Now of course, this alert was in Japanese, and as I do not use the word for Earthquake in my daily conversation, it is not a word I knew.  No friends, I did not know the word for Earthquake in Japanese - but when your phone starts screaming "JISHIN! JISHIN!" at you with "Emergency Alert" flashing across the screen, let me tell you there is a lot you learn immediately from panicked context.

I had time to grab a very fluffy Bubba and a very whiney Mac and we all sat in the doorway of the toilet room. 

And then our entire home spent about a minute rocking a good foot back and forth in the air while the earth beneath us made it’s best impression of a toddler flinging their body to the ground in protest of their galactic mom not buying an ice cream cone in a 6.1 Earthquake.

Mac whined and Bubba caterwauled, serenading whatever higher beings were clearly coming to collect our souls.  I am very thankful to say I had The Mister texting me to ask if I was alright and talking me through the whole thing (he was on the ground floor of his building and thus felt nothing but still heard the warning).  Still, as you may have gathered from any number of previous posts about small crisises in the life of KpMcD, I wasn’t like, SUPER calm, so much as just frozen in terror.

It only lasted about a minute… but when your whole house is moving of it’s own accord around you, let me tell you a minute is more than enough.  And as everything settled back down and I was able to walk around and take stock of the damage (two entire potted plants fell over on the balcony), I found myself torn between nervous sobbing and hysterically laughing at what can only be described as my continued invincibility.

Mac had no idea how to console me, and so I consoled myself y walking to the park for a Turkish Kebab.

Have you survived a natural disaster?  
Tell me what YOU’RE invincible to in the comments!

today’s tiny language lesson:


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This is Not a Drill - Hanami is Upon Us.

Last week Mac and I walked to the park and we were met at the entrance by a row of food trucks and a man juggling swords while balanced upon a unicycle.

I turned to Mac for my best Rafiki impression:  IT IS TIME.

Hanami season is upon us!  For the un-indoctrinated, Hanami/ 花見  means "flower viewing,” and it is one of the most popular celebrations in Japan.  Hanami celebrates the blossoming of the cherry trees (sakura/ 桜) throughout Japan, and it is celebrated by simply taking a tarp out into the park, finding a spot under a cherry tree in bloom, then settling in to enjoy the out-of-doors while drinking.  

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, immediately following Valentine’s Day, stores everywhere dedicate whole sections of their shop to everything pink and flowered.  Starbucks has a Sakura Frappuchino (though they only run the special through the 15th of March, which is before any of the trees start blooming and I fail to see the point in that…#marketingFAIL), KitKat puts out a Sakura KitKat for the month, and Mac?  Well, Mac gets a new bandana.*  So were were ready for the celebration, is what I’m saying here.

Real Men/ Dogs wear pink.

The bigger parks in the area which have cherry trees also set up the park during these times like a festival site; lots of food trucks, and beer tents, and random entertainment (see above re: juggler on a unicycle because I was 100% not making that up)

Last year, we didn’t get much of a chance to celebrate Hanami, and I didn’t talk about it on the blog much, because we were still trying to get our house fixed and unpacked and moved back into it from Okazaki.  So I’ve been really soaking up the sunshine this past week over in the park. 

Who am I kidding: forget sunshine, I’m soaking up the kebabs.

The Mister and I have a deep love for Turkish Kebabs.  Judging by the number of Turkish Kebab shops in the area, we’re not alone.  But during the Hanami celebration, there is a Turkish Kebab truck right in the park.  It’s as close to delivery Turkish Kebabs that we could get.  And the Turkish man who owns that Kebab truck, adores Mac.  So the first time we did a lap through the food truck court to figure out a snack, he waved us over and promptly threw Mac some chicken.  

It was pretty much over for us after that.  What I’m saying here is that we have had Kebabs at least once every day this past week, and there always seems to be  a little container of meat that the kebab man had saved for Mac on those occasions.  I’m pretty confident at this point that I could close my eyes once I got to the park and Mac would just drag me straight to the Turkish Kebab Truck.  I supposed there are certainly worse things my dog could be taught.

What’s your favorite food-truck dish?  
Tell me in the comments!

Sort of related note:  I’ll be getting to a few more Hanami gatherings in the next couple of weeks bringing FREE SAMPLES of KitchenQuePasa Hanami Cookies with me - so if you see me out and about, don’t hesitate to flag me down.  Specifically, I'll be at the Nagoya Adventure Club's Hanami Party this Saturday with Pink Grapefruit Meltaways and Mint-Chocolate Wafers

Speaking of, I’ve got some cookies to bake, aaaaaand then it’s probably time for a kebab.

today’s little language lesson
すみません、二つ ロール ケバブ 辛くない お願いします。
sumimasen, futatsu ro-ru ke-ba-b, karakunai onegaishimasu.
excuse me, two kebab rolls, not spicy please.


*Mac almost always wears a bandana when we’re out in Nagoya, because I have found that people interpret dressing you dog up as a sign that your dog is not vicious and terrifying.  So… bandana.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Making major life decisions "...based solely on a couple of hooters."

She looks like how I imagine every exasperated celebrity looks
when rabid fans run up and interrupt their day for a selfie.
Way way back, before the beginning of time I had agreed to move to Japan with The Mister and the Critters, I did an internet search.

You see, the Mister had come home that day and said “hey, you know that one time the company sent us to Mexico for a year?  What if… they did that again.  But this time… to Japan... for three years?

And I said something to the effect of “I AM NOT MOVING AGAIN YOU DOODIE HEAD HUSBAND OF MINE GET OUT OF MY FACE.”  Then I found a corner to rock back in forth in while visions of once again putting ALL our crap into boxes bounced through my mind’s eye.

I’m very mature, you see.

After I was able to come out of my box-crazed trance, I comforted myself in the warm glow of my companion; the internet.  I searched for interesting things to see in Japan.  And while I’d like to pretend that I was most attracted to Japan’s beautiful appreciation for culture, it’s immaculate and breathtaking shrines, or even Japan’s impressive attention to detail and hand craftsmanship in day to day life… I’d be lying.  
The first thing* that stood out to me, the thing that started the snowball in my head of “okay, maybe I can move internationally again”… was an article about Owl Cafes.

That ball got rolling pretty fast after that, just based solely on a couple of hooters. 
(a sentence I sort of just needed to type for the sheer absurdity of it all.)

Cafe culture here is varied - and my love of coffee has lead me to explore several.  You’ve got your standard Starbucks, handy because they’re all smoke-free and ’normal’ to my American sensibilities.  Then there are cafes that allow you to bring in your dog, which obviously I’m a big fan of.  Then there are cafes which are clearly more set up to handle businessmen - a little brusque, and more or less like walking into a brick of cigarette smoke (but they have a breakfast service where you get toast and an egg included with your cup of coffee).  Lastly, there are the critter cafes- those establishments that serve coffee, but that you really go to because they’ll let you drink that coffee while you hang out with a weird animal.

You may remember I brought The Mister to a bunny cafe in last spring.  We realized pretty quickly that men… don’t really go to critter cafes.  It’s totally set up to be a super cute time with lots of snuggles and pink and stuffed animals.  Thus, when I was out for a walk a few months ago and saw a sign for a new Owl Cafe, I knew KP2 would be a much better suited partner in crime.  

We arrived to the cafe, and after having to be let in by one of the staff (because I was too excited to see live owls to look at the kanji on the door and see it was a “pull” not a “push”), we were invited to sit next to a large sculpture of a tree.  Upon each branch perched a different, large species of owl, calmly watching the Cafe’s patrons.  There was one larger owl seated on a perch next to the Cafe’s window, who was more enamored with watching the birds fly by outside (admittedly a bit sad…), and a fence-post-style perch on the opposite wall which featured four smaller owls of differing species.  To the front of the cafe two more perches hosted a Great Horned Owl and a Snowy owl.  The lady staff member approached us and explained that you can pay to visit the cafe by the hour.  Coffees were included in the price, and were self-serve from a coffee vending machine in the back corner.  Pictures were encouraged, but no flash.  And if you really liked one of the birds, you could wear a falconry glove and have that bird perch on your arm for a few moments at the end of your visit.

Here’s how I felt while soaking in all that info:

KP2 wasn’t disappointed in the experience by any means, but I think she wasn’t ready for me to be snapping the 600 photos I took (I really did take 600.  Sorry not sorry.)

Here are my highlights:
The owls were all well cared for, and the lady staff member CLEARLY sincerely loved each of the birds.  And the birds were genuinely fond of her.  She snuggled with the snowy owl.  SNUGGLED.  

The Snowy Owl was the star of the place.  I suspect because she looked, obvi, like everyone’s favorite mail-delivery owl, Hedwig.  I head a lot of hushed exclamations while we were there “Ah!  Ha-Ree Po-Ta!(sound it out, it’s adorable, promise.)

To that effect, Shirotama (the Snowy Owl, yes I did learn all their names don’t judge me), was selected to sit on a young lady’s arm for pictures.  She didn’t hold the owl’s tether quite firm enough, and Shiro-tama decided to take a quick fly.  She landed over by the post with the 4 smaller owls, and I nearly peed my pants at the reaction of this little one who easily quadrupled in size out of fear:

My favorite owl was the Barn Owl: Torimochi.  She advertised (and prominetly features on) the cafe's twitter account.  I can’t.  She’s SO BEAUTIFUL.  And whenever the owl lady would come over to her, she’d cock her head in such a way that she looked just like she was smiling.  Notice me, Torimochi.  I want to be your friennnnnnndddddddd.

Long story short, when we originally sat down, I was all “oh, we have to pay for a whole hour?  I doubt we’ll be here for more than 20 minutes, this place is small.”  And then a little over an hour later we were sort of lingering over leaving.  I really enjoyed it.  And it was my entire bucket list for Japan.  So… I guess 'thanks for all the fish?'   Nah, but that was cool.  I’ll be back.**

What critter would YOU go ga-ga for if they had a cafe?  
Tell me in the comments!

today’s little language lesson:

*The second thing which piqued my interest?  The Fox village.  Don’t worry, I’ll get there.

**I have been back since.  So many times, in fact, that my FREQUENT FLIER CARD (it’s a real thing I’m not even joking) is 1 stamp from a free visit with Torimochi!

Friday, March 11, 2016

You know you’re starting to assimilate…

Listen, I am fully aware that I am an American living in Japan.  It becomes clear from the face of the barista every time I take my to-go coffee out on the street and sip from the cup as I walk.  It’s clear in my inability to squash my giant American feet into the adorable shoe selections I find in shops.  And it’s also pretty apparent in how poorly I speak Japanese. Cause, whah, guys - my Japanese isn’t awesome.

But sometimes I find myself doing things here that I simply wouldn’t be doing if I hadn’t lived in Japan.  Things that my mum (who’s visiting Japan at the moment!*) has noted as silly.  I present said things here for fun and posterity.

10 Things That Signal You’re Officially Getting Used to Life in Japan
(things which I definitely do)

I am pleased as punch with this purchase!
  1. You respond to most conversations with a tight-lipped “un!” and a head nod.
  2. You have enough packets of travel tissues stored up to stuff a taxidermic elephant.
  3. You walk into the street without paying any mind to cars because you have the light and are a  pedestrian.  
  4. (unless it’s a taxi.  taxis follow laws for no man.)
  5. You have purchased a pair of collapsible chopsticks that you carry with you just in case you are at a place that has those shoddy wooden chopsticks.
  6. You immediately assume anyone who is taller than you (at a whole hot 5’7”!) plays professional basketball.
  7. You don’t watch the weather forecast on tv so much as you check in for the laundry forecast to say it’s a good day for your pants to hang dry on the balcony.
  8. You have a favorite Daiso, because you know some are better stocked than others.
  9. When you’re out and about, you ball up your trash and put it in your bag to throw out back at home.  Because you know better than to bother looking for a public bin.
  10. You bow to everything.
I did not draw this, but I have DONE this.
Credit goes to Ms. Mary Cagle of marycagle.com.
Check out her comics about living in Japan!
Is there something you do in Japan that you 
wouldn’t do otherwise which isn’t listed below?  
Tell me in the comments!

today's little language lesson
Watashi wa amarini mo ōku no tisshu o motte imasu

I have too many tissues.

*yes!  mom's here, which explains the delay in blog post this week... and will likely cause a delay next week as well.  bear with me, this can only be fodder for good posts down the road.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mukkuru, I Choose You.

There are two things that disappoint me about living in Nagoya: 
  1. As a life-long fan of (Japan-based) Nintendo, my American consoles are not compatible with Japanese games… plus I wouldn’t understand what was going on in those games even if I could play them.  (Yokai Watch looks like SO MUCH FUN. *insert silent emotional cry to the heavens at my misfortune*)
  2. Big city = not so much in the way of wildlife.  Here we have pigeons (idiots of the animal kingdom that do little more than carry disease, IMHO), and crows (unrelenting bullies of the animal kingdom, who are also way too smart to avoid.  They’re like if Skut Farkus had a PhD in ruining your day.)  Also we have cockroaches, street cats, and on a good summer day, cicadas.  But that is the end of the list.  It fits on one hand. BOO.

(I mean, that’s not an exhaustive list of disappointments, but the pros outweigh the cons buy a mile and I’m using this as a introductory point for my blog post so LAY OFF ME, eh?)

I grew up in the States with a strong appreciation for nature - we always had a lush garden in the backyard, and making sure the bird feeders on the porch were full and the bird baths weren’t frozen was never considered an optional item on the to do list.  I volunteered and worked for animal shelters, wild animal rehabilitation centers - and that one summer - a zoo.  I’ve got that whole “accredited dog trainer” notch in my belt.  I have grown accustomed to seeing many critters in my daily life.  

What I’m saying is I need more nature variety in my life here.  

Variety, like what can be found in Pokémon (a Nintendo property.  You see how I brought that all back around?  I know, I’m good.  Just wait, it’s gonna get even better).  I think that the sheer number of different critters is part of the Pokémon series appeal for me.  I got the 1st gen Blue version of the game following an unfortunate high-school bout of appendicitis from a mum who maybe felt guilty after thinking I was faking a stomach ache to get out of church - which quickly legitimized into an emergency appendectomy.   I played the hell out of that game.  Then I got Pokémon Yellow and spent most of the game wishing my Farfetch’d could follow me outside of it’s pokéball like Pikachu did, because my Farfetch’d was a level 98 BAMF.  I traded with friends using that pitiful little link cable, and cursed them out when they’d be jerks and trade me yet ANOTHER level 3 Rattata for a beautiful Sandshrew… though I admit I once named a Magikarp “Bellsprout” and traded it for a Growlithe.  So I’m not saying I’m innocent in all this. 

Hello.  Why yes, I am a 30+ year old adult woman.  ...Ahem.

Somewhere along the line I sort of grew up, which is code for “I couldn’t afford the next-gen hand-held console from Nintendo while in Uni, so by proxy I cannot get the newest Pokemon game.”  Still, walking through any of the “Pokémon Centers” (aka Pokémon branded stores) scattered throughout Japan continues to make my little heart fill will glee.  

hahaha - butts.

So Pokémon and Critters.  I heart them.  Now that there’s context established, the meat of the post arrives:
Today while sitting in my 11th floor apartment, I heard a bird call.  From VERY near me.  I got stupid excited.  It HAD to be calling from the balcony.  I didn’t want to startle it away before I could see it, so I immediately dropped to the floor and slowly army-crawled across my living room to the window, you know, like a sane human being.  I carefully pulled back the curtain, and there it was: a non-pigeon, non-crow, bird.  And it was making fun little bird noises, and I instantly loved it, and wanted to hold it, and hug it, and squeeze it, and pet it, and I would call it George, and it would be mine forever and ever.  

I laid on my stomach next to Bubba (who had also heard the bird-call and was doing that cool cat-chatter thing that cats do when they see birdsand watched the bird for 10 or so minutes.  Then it casually flew away and I committed it’s markings and call to memory so I could zoom over to google and learn:

  1.  Our visitor was a White-Cheeked Starling.  They often travel in large flocks, and they enjoy persimmons.
  2. Nintendo designed a Pokémon based on this very bird named Starly (or in Japanese, ムックル).  Whereupon I lost my darn mind at my good fortune.

You see where I’m going with this, right?  My only next logical course of action is to figure out how to build a bird-feeder that holds persimmons which will lure the birds back to my balcony, and also I need to figure out where in the Nagoya Pokécenter they’re hiding all their pokéballs.  Gotta catch ‘em all.

How do you feel about nature-watching?  
Have you had any successes in Japan?
And who’s your top 6 Pokémon-battling squad?* 
Tell me in the comments!

today’s little language lesson:

Mukkuru-chan, watashi wa anata o erabimasu
Starly (Mukkuru), I choose you!

*I had Arcanine, Blastoise, Gengar, Dewgong, Dragonair (which I never let evolve because I thought Dragonite looked way too stupid), and of course, my Farfetch'd.  In case you were curious.