I feel a bit bad when search engines lead people to this blog but it doesn't actually answer their question. So:
"Maido ari" (which accounts for an astounding 17% of my visits) is a shortened version of "maido arigatou gozaimasu" - 毎度 ありがとう ございます. Sometimes used by store employees, this means "every time, thank you very much" or loosely, "thank you, come again." I've only heard the short form in song lyrics and as a character catch-phrase in TV.
Ohisashiburi desu is お久しぶりです- the only kanji in that is 久 which, interestingly, can either mean "long time" or "old story." And there's often the softening ね at the end, "right?" There's a very particularly Japanese way to say ね (nee) that I can't quite get the hang of, and get laughed at when I try - they use it all the time. Less formal is 久しぶり.
I actually haven't been cooking with tofu much, not because I don't love it, but because it's so hard to work with, and not end up with a tasteless mush. I finally bought a pack the other day - it was the very soft kind (need to learn the characters for soft and hard), so I had to be careful with savory things. But I wanted to try some sort of sweet tofu dish. Also I was given a sort of sesame-seed-candy the other day, and I wanted to do something with those. I cubed the tofu, soaked it in honey, and cut up a frozen banana. (I love frozen bananas, I always have half a bunch in the fridge for fast snacking and half in the freezer for dessert, it's better than ice cream. I like banana flavor but I can't stand the texture so it's a good compromise. Only I always have a time getting the hard peel off - I should start peeling and wrapping in something before I stick them in.) Tofu and bananas on the plate together, then with the left behind honey I added crushed up sesame seeds - I'm lazy so they weren't very crushed. And recipes I'd seen with them usually had spices like cinnamon, ginger, etc. But my cupboard is sadly empty so I put in a spoonful of chai tea mix instead - chai here is much less sweet than American so it's pretty much just spices itself. The resulting honey-sesame sauce I drizzled over the top:
Per my usual cooking, ugly but delicious.
I was invited to go swimming yesterday by a fellow ALT, so I hurriedly bought a suit. Don't ask how much it cost or what it was like convincing the cashier that no, I didn't need it in a bigger size. Also, forget "Land of the Rising Sun" - Japan is Land of the Most Hideous Swimsuits You Have Ever Seen. The only thing decent on the racks was this two-piece with a marble print and short dress that slips over - well, three-piece, I suppose. Unfortunately I had to work late so I couldn't go swimming after all, but I'm now in possession of the first swimsuit I've bought for a decade, I think. Which calls for a photoshoot:
Today is the Japanese summer solstice, 夏至 (geshi) "attaining summer". So the ultimate feel-good song for the season is "Summertime" by six-member NEWS, the group of which (if you remember) Tegomass that I posted about earlier is a sub-group of. I love music videos that are just the members goofing around being total dorks, which is fortunate since Japan loves making music videos like that: