Tempura, miso soup, teriyaki, seaweed roll, Wagyu beef, yellow tail sashimi, spicy mashed tuna…these are all well-known Japanese foods. There are dozens more, ever more exotic like sea urchin and eel. Most are served in America. I could add shabu shabu, my favorite. You can enjoy thin slices of prime beef dipped in hot broth laden with noodles and vegetables. It is sublime. I wish more people would try new dishes. I enjoy exploring new restaurants, especially of the Asian variety, and even trying cooking them myself. You can ask chefs for recipes or get them in books or online. Just make sure they are authentic, especially if you want to invite people over who are tasting your cuisine for the first time. While many chefs are loath to give away secrets, most will help you out with pride. They always advise me to only get the freshest fish and never sacrifice quality. I love getting tips on presentation as Japanese cooks are incredible artists.
I have friends who share my interests and taste in food. We go out a lot, but it is not always for Japanese fare. Even diehards need a change of pace now and then. Recently, we went to a sports-themed restaurant that offered various games including an indoor basketball. It seemed like a fun change of pace. When we arrived en masse, we all exclaimed together, “now this is a novelty.” I had never done a shooting activity like basketball in a small space. I was willing to give it a go. Why not? I’m a good sport. We decided to make it a real competition and make the loser pay for everyone’s dinner. Some of us wanted to try our hand at pinball and video poker first so we could warm up a bit before our big event. After all, the evening was all about socializing, not just sports. We did as we wished for about an hour and then were ready for our trial.
I was first up and did fine, but I knew I would have another chance. I didn’t panic. One friend, oddly enough, was so serious about his score that he put on an arm compression sleeve (like these on Baller’s Guide) before taking his shots. Where on earth did he get it and was it already in his car? Who would bring this kind of thing to a restaurant? Probably he was at an unfair advantage because he won the basketball “tournament.” It was no surprise. Some of us were a bit peeved, especially the person who was the big loser, who had to pay a small fortune for the dinner and drinks. But he obliged as a good sport.
I have heard that many pros use these shooting sleeves and no doubt my friend found out about it. He didn’t have an injury that I knew of. They are akin to an ankle brace, only they protect and strengthen the arm. It is an odd piece of information to acquire.