Dec 31, 2008

Thanks goodbye 2008

2008 is almost gone.

I'm watching Kohaku uta gassen(紅白歌合戦), annual famous music show on TV.

We'll go to new year in 15 mins after this music program.


I started this year in MN, USA.

(I never forget the temperature on that day. minus28℃!)

I visited many places---San Francisco, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Minneapolis, Chicago (twice!), Beijing China---

I met many people---I don't say their names here. When I had hard time, you guys helped me a lot.

2008 is almost gone.

I really thank you guys.

I will give you one of favorite songs this year, GIFT by Mr.Children. I listened this song and played it with piano often. (Right now, Mr.Children appeared on music show to sing this song!)

GIFT by Mr.Children

May the new year bring happiness to you guys, my 'sisters and brothers' all over the world!!

Dec 24, 2008

JP-standard Christmas song

How do you spend Christmas Eve? I'm preparing for tomorrow's class..gosh. haha

I already had Christmas dinner with my family yesterday because 23th, yesterday, is one of national holidays. I guess some people did enjoy Christmas dinner or party like me yesterday.

On TV, many Christmas songs are aired like All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, Last Christmas by Wham and Happy Christmas by John Lennon...

Let me introduce a Japanese standard Christmas song here.

Christmas Eve by Tatsuro Yamashita (1983)

Can you feel a little bit solitary atmosphere? The motif of this song is lonely Christmas. It seems he also sings this song in English. You might feel it from lyrics

Dec 22, 2008

My new 'enemy'

Christmas is coming.....I think you feel the Christmas mood wherever you are.

BUT! This posting is TOTALLY unrelated to Christmas.

I may have found 'new enemy'.

That is, Chinese yam!

(山芋(Yamaimo) in Japanese)

Actually, I love Chinese yam pretty much. We ground yam, put it in hot pot and had it for dinner tonight.

The incident happened last time I was grinding it.

I started to feel itchy on my hands.

My hands were getting red!

I guess it's kinda allergy.

Today, I was trying to 'revenge'.

My mom recommended me to put a glove on my hands but I declined it!

Well, I didn't feel itchy this time.

Um...itchy a little bit?

Anyway, it's only clear there's no problem about EATING Chinese yam. haha

Dec 13, 2008

Sparkling night

The moon between the Chiristmas illuninations
Last Friday, my mom and I joined one-day bas tour to go to Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture.

Before seeing the illminations, we visited a brand-new outlet mall. It's like typical malls in America. There're many stores to see...but, we had only 3 hours to enjoy there. I bought a sweater. The tag price was almost 100 USD but I could buy it for around $30! Good deal.
After leaving that mall, we headed for downtown in Sendai. My mom visited a department store and I wandered around the downtown and saw some shops. Pictures below were taken around Sendai station.

Flower shop
After shopping, we went to the main street which was decorated with illuminations.

It's really fantastic....but, I'm not sure if you guys can feel it from these pictures...It's really hard to take these illumination beautifully...Last Friday, this illumination event started so many people were gathering this place. You can see this until the end of December.

Official homepage for this event called 'Sendai Pageant of Starlight'. It's Japanese only but you can see more beautiful pictures there.

Dec 10, 2008

Mission completed!?

Almost 7 months have already passed since I came back to my home after finishing 1-year exchange program in the States.

I established some goals before going to the States.

Just YESTERDAY, one of my goals was finally accomplished! Yea!!

That is, I wanted someone to admit my English was Americanized! I thought it would be a positive proof of studying in the States haha. So simple.

In my seminar for grad thesis yesterday, my prof pointed out an expression in my handout and said 'it's totally American usage.'

It's about the verb 'get'. I always pay attention to make academic English sentences in my thesis. But, unconsciously, I used 'get' in a casual way. I reviewed my handouts several times before that class though.....Seems I wasn't able to notice it.

My prof told me not to use that 'get' in academic situation. Still, somehow, I felt satisfied as if I finished mission. (Is it a little bit exaggeration? haha)

Dec 8, 2008

This reminds...that reminds...

I have a cousin, who is in her 12 grade student. Now, she's studying so hard to take an entrance exam for university. If you wanna enter the national university, you have to take two exams. One is held in the middle of Jan. The other is given at the end of Feb.

The first one is called national center test for university admissions. After this test, each applicant takes second one in the university they wanna enter. Each university has different subjects and questions for test takers.

My cousin aims at entering a university which offers so-called most challenging exam. The other day, she asked me to correct her English answers.

I really paid attentions to all of aspects...whether grammar is correct (especially, it's difficult for us to decide whether a word she's using is countable or not), whether her argument is clear...Different from this blog, I really-frickin focus my mind on follow the prescriptive grammar. kkk

This time and whenever I wanna check something, I always rely on the book used especially in high school. I have lots memories with this book.

I had English grammar class after entering high school. The teacher in that class, elderly retired teacher hired as a temporary teacher, gave us lesson. Her class is really strict and I don't think almost all of my classmates had good feeling about her.

I asked so many questions to her after class. Actually, I don't think some of that questions were necessary for preparing for university entrance exam. But, I'm not the type I can ignore only slight, tiny questions. I'm so stubborn when it comes to studying. haha.

For instance, Japanese language doesn't have present perfect tense. The textbook can't explain about it clearly.Sometimes, the explanation was incoherent

The more I read some sentences using perfect tense, the more I understood. Still, if I go back to read the explanation in the textbook, somehow I felt awkward. Then, I asked her until I could understood what the textbook is telling us. . Whenever I asked her, she welcomed my questions.

It's only one year I learned English in her class. I have never seen such a strict and cooperative teacher. I appreciate her kindness.

I heard from a little bird that she passed away after I graduated from high school, that is, after I entered my university.

I guess she's around 68 year old.

If she saw my blog, she might scream because of my broken English. (sorry...)

Whenever I see my textbook, that reminds me of that memory with her.

Do you have that kind of stuff, scenery, sounds or smell/scent?

I do pretty much other than this textbook.

Dec 5, 2008


Today's lunch~Pescatore. It's 1100 yen ( 12 USD)
I feel 1100yen is kinda expensive for lunch but it's really good.

Compared to restaurants in the States, it'll be reasonable I guess.

One of favorite points about Japan is that we can visit restaurants if we don't have so much money. In case of America, I feel I will need $20 dollar at least to eat such pasta stuff (Regarding to chained stores, it will be another story though) Oh! and also, we have to keep in mind that we have to give some tip in the States. In Japan, we don't have to think about a tip. If it's 1100 yen, it's the sum!

Dec 4, 2008

Super concentration

I wanted to concentrate on reading some academic paper today, so I decided to go to the library near my home. It's 2km from here. That prefectural (=state in the U.S?) library is biggest one around here. When I'm getting bored of studying, I can read some books. It's good place.

I didn't notice it's closed today until I went to the library...why...? Usually, it's not open on Mondays.

Still, I could keep motivated, so I went to another library near the station. It's city library. I arrived there around 12:40pm and concentrated on reading for almost 4 hours. Too much concentration made me exhausted. The room for studying is prepared like in the picture.

Around 3, high school students came to study... A glance at textbooks they have reminds me of my high school times...

I thought "I don't wanna go back to that time anymore"...Studying or club activity (brass band). That's it. I really didn't hang out with my friends after school as typical students do...Actually, I didn't hate such a student life filled with studying but I just don't wanna experience it again haha.

Still, this concentration might have been acquired by studying hard at high school? If so, it's a nice fruit~!

Dec 2, 2008

Time flies!

This year's thanksgiving day has past...Now, it's already December!!

December 1st, yesterday, let me down every year. On this day, I notice I have only 31 days left until next year starts. Then, I start to recollect some resolution I've got on Jan this year. I ask myself how much I could attain my goal. What did I learn this year? How much did I grow up? Rather, what did I do?---I always somehow regret for something undone every year haha.

Then, I notice I have STILL 31 days to try my resolution. Oh yeah, I can do it!! I say it to myself. That's my typical Dec 1st lol.

Well, there're many Christmas decoration outside now. Actually, we can see such decoration easily everywhere after Halloween. Our country enjoys events such as Chiristmas the U.S celebrates EXCEPT Thanksgiving. It's one of really important events for people in the States but Japanese don't know it. I was really surprised to know how much significant this event was. In Japan, malls and department stores decorate with Chiritmas stuff right after Halloween. I hope I can show some scenery to you through pictures later.
About this photo, It's not relevant to this article though...
this matcha latte was yummy. Available at convenience store. It's like 1.5 USD.