Sunday, June 30, 2013

Puzzler Hints

And now an entire day off! I'm gonna jog, practice the violin, do some blogs, study Spanish and drink. I can't wait! Puzzler Hints CLICK HERE. The pic downstairs is the rice field this AM.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Puzzler

June had no holidays. I am looking forward to July and the hot, hot summer. Puzzler CLICK HERE.
The rice field below is from this morning.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Friday, June 28, 2013

Yokohama 4

 Our final adventure of the day was a taxi ride to the Landmark Tower Hotel. There we went to the 70th floor lounge. We attended my student's wedding last February at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. (We stayed here one night. After the wedding we ralexed at the lounge and I drank whiskey. It was so enjoyable. I have wanted to do that agian for the longest time. So, here was a chance.) We first sat at the bar to see the night view. We had drinks there. But, off to our right, in the lounge was a 4-piece band playing some very good sounds. They went on a break so M and I moved to the lounge in front of the stage. When they came back all was so good. They payed some very mellow jazz/mood tunes. Of course more whiskey made me relax feel the music more. Heaven.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yokohama 3

China Town. I am sure everyone has been there at least once. We went to Yamashita Park after checking into our hotel and napping for an hour. At the park we drank a couple of beers while watching the Sun Princess set sail. Then to wine and dine in Chinatown. It was rather crowded. The Hanshin Tiger fans abundant (many) as there was a game that afternoon. We tried two places. The first place was bad. It was kind of a family restaurant. From there we cruised around looking for another place. We found one (see pic). It was on a narrow side street. It was excellent. I had piitan (salted and preserved duck egg). I love it! I had another Chinese sake (shoukoushuu). It was much better than the first place. Happy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yokohama 2

Then we went for a cruise of Yokohama Bay. There were a couple of options(choices). We booked one and then cancelled it when we got more info. We took a 55 minute cruise of the bay and there were only a handful (8) of passengers with us. It was cool. The APL (All Presidents Line-USA) is a cargo ship unloading. The guide said it is rare to get so close. Bay Bridge was majestic. We went under the Bay Bridge and saw several large ships. One was the SUN PRINCESS which does 10 day tours around Japan and Taiwan or Korea. We were lucky to see her (the ship) in port. We also got very lucky when we saw her weigh anchor (leave) at 5PM! The blue ship is an automobile transport ship. It holds over 1,000 cars. The It was quite a fun as well as informative trip. Did you know that Commodore Perry visited here after his famous landing in Shimoda?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yokohama 1

We were really looking forward to this trip. We left home Sunday morning at 9:30 and arrived at 11:15. Miwako reserved a room for us at the Hotel Monterey Yokohama. It is located right in front of Yamashita Park. We were on the 10th floor with a view of the bay. First, we parked in an all day parking place and went straight to AKA RENGA. There we got  a bite to eat (sandwich and dessert-I had MonBlan) then shopping. There are two buildings to go through. There is a large mall between the two and many people are cruising and walking in an out of the buildings. (Lots of people with very expensive dogs!)  M bought a couple of  ornaments for the house entrance, I bought a sailor figurine for the school and a whiskey glass for myself. M bought a nice handkerchief for Yumiko. Perfect weather; not hot, no rain.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
No bridge or RINRI yesterday so all day free in Kanagawa. A very good weekend indeed. It went something like this:

1. RINRI Morning Seminar.
2. Teach kids at my school. 3 new kids at 11AM. Yeah!
3. Two Kenkatsu adult classes.
4. RINRI staff meeting. We have to decide next years officials.
Sunday
5. Jog
6. Spanish week review.
7. Violin practice 30 minutes.
8. Wash the car.
9. Go to Yokohama.
I will have the Yokohama story this week.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Puzzler Hints

As I said we will be in Yokohama today. We were looking forward to this for a while. We have discount tickets for the hotel! The weather looks good. We plan to go shopping. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.
HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Puzzler

M and I will go to Yokohama for one night tomorrow. Mini-adventure! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。


June 18th


Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice


Click on pic to make it bigger
 It's the longest day of the year today. i.e. the summer solstice. There are many festivals around the globe during this special day. One is at Stonehenge. Here is some info from the official website.

1.Access to the stones themselves is expected to be from around 7pm on Thursday 20th June until 8am on Friday 21st June.
2.There's likely to be casual entertainment from samba bands & drummers but no amplified music is allowed. When you visit Stonehenge for the Solstice, please remember it is a Sacred Place to many and should be respected.
3.Van loads of police have been present in the area in case of any trouble, but generally a jovial mood prevails. Few arrests have been made in previous years, mostly in relation to minor drug offences.
4.Rules include no camping, no dogs, no fires or fireworks, no glass bottles, no large bags or rucksacks, and no climbing onto the stones. Please use the bags given free on arrival and take them out, filled with your litter, to the skips provided. Please respect the rules so that we're all able to enjoy the solstice morning at Stonehenge for years to come.

Read more at http://www.efestivals.co.uk/festivals/stonehenge/2013#CK4WDI0OCw1WIDPA.99

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rainy season


Click on pic to enlarge it.

It's the rainy season here in Japan. I really enjoy this season. It's not hot yet and the rain cleans everything; the streets, sidewalks, the trees, the roof tops. I especially enjoy riding my bicycle to and from work in the rain. It makes me feel alive. And I never use an umbrella when I rode my bike in the rain. I always wear my rain gear (See pic). I bought the coat for 23,000en and the pants for 12,000en at an outdoor goods shop. I also use them for birding. They are Gortex so I do not sweat in them. They are very comfortable and will last for many years. I always take them to my school in the AM even if it doesn't rain. That way, I have them just in case it does rain at night when I go home. The pic is in front of my school. Notice the sign behind me.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

massage

Click on pic to enlarge it.
I get a massage once a month. They started about 5 years ago. I used to have terrible muscle aches in my shoulders especially the left side. I remember I couldn't get into my car with pain streaking through my shoulder to my neck. That happened when I bent my head down. I was so lucky to find a guy to give me massages. His name is Hisao. He is one of my student's husbands. He is a professional. I started once a week. It hurt so good when he massaged me. I asked if I could come the next day! He said that I should wait one week. I did and continued once a week for several years. Two years ago I decided that only once a week was necessary. The pains were gone but the 30 minute massage is very relaxing and feels great. I really look forward to my visits to his house for my massage.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days. Father's Day was created to complement Mother's Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood.
Father's Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father
was a single parent who raised his six children. After hearing a sermon about Mother's Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. She suggested June 5, her father's birthday, but the celebration changed to the third Sunday of June.
Me? I relaxed outside (see pic)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Monday, Monday! Can't trust that day. (Mamas and the Papas) Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

My weekend was excellent. It went something like this.

1. RINRI Morning Seminar from 5:30 to 7:45.
2. To school to teach.
3. To Kenkatsu to teach.
4. Go with Miwako to BUNRAKU. I am the designated driver so she can drink beer.
5. Back home to drink Shochu and watch a bad Bruce Willis movie.
6. Sunday up at 5AM.
7. Call my mother but no one is home.
8. Spanish week review.
9. Make BLOGs
10. Violin practice.
11. Bridge with Miwako.
12. Jog
13. Father's Day = Relax at home with Yamazaki.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Puzzler Hints

I've got bridge practice today. I just cannot wait! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Supe Scrabble BLANKS: horn/bounce  shield/deer  straw  and of course: violins

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Puzzler

Saturday and all is well. I'm free tonight. I should do something. Karaoke? Puzzler CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Super Scrabble blank answers from yesterday. bounce/horn  shield/deer violins

Friday, June 14, 2013

Super Scrabble


Click on the picture to make it bigger

It's been a while since any students have wanted to play Super Scrabble. So, it was a nice surprise when one student elected (chose) to play this interesting and challenging game. There are three students in my 8PM Tuesday class. One girl is 16, one is 15 and the boy is 15, too. The older girl took the Eiken 2 exam so we studied every day for two months. Naturally, this Tuesday we needed a break so I declared it Game Day and asked her what game she wanted to play. Since she chose SS the other two had no choice. I was ecstatic (very happy!). I started the play and what a surprise I got! Just by chance I could use all 7 tiles to make one word. If you check out the middle of the board you will see violins, including a blank. COOL! I let the kids make their own words. Other cool words:  debt  pony  zany  haunt. Blank answers tomorrow.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The violin

One year has passed since I took up the violin. Of course I have improved but, let's face it, it will take years to become good at it. Recently I have discovered two things. One is that when I practice I clench my teeth. That is, I am too tense. Also, my bowing is NG. My bow strokes are too long. My teacher has said that several times but. So, I have shortened the strokes. When the strokes are too long I cannot keep up with the music. It forces me to rush. And then there is how to hold the bow; how to support the violin with my left hand and my chin; how to bow straight; how to hit the correct notes. There is so much to learn. I really enjoy the challenge. I can't wait for my next lesson!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review

I finished reading "the Elephant Vanishes" by Murakami Haruki. One teacher recommended him to me. This book is all short stories. At first I didn't understand what was going on in his stories. What was his message? The people were real. But, strange things happened to them. Most of the story was about what and how they were thinking. One lady couldn't sleep for weeks but she was fine. One young couple go out and rob a McDonald's...but not for money, only for the food. People are always meeting other people and Murakami tells how their lives mingle and then separate. BUT there is never a concrete (absolute, solid) ending. The reader is usually left hanging when the story ends. I mean there is no ending. GREAT READING, I think. I can' wait to buy another of his books and read it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dentist

As I said the other day, I clench my teeth when I practice the violin. I thought this is the reason for some tooth pain I have had recently. I believed the main problem was my right eye tooth. I suddenly felt the pain two weeks ago during lunch when I was eating. So, I immediately called my dentist in MinamiUrawa. I couldn't wait to get it checked out. Unfortunately my schedule and his schedule didn't match. I finally had to settle for this past Sunday at 10AM. I was free all day Sunday so I was really looking forward to an entire day off. So I went there and he shaved down one tooth and now all is fine. I really did look forward to this visit. Be sure to brush after every meal. The pic is my dentist from my supine position.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Puzler Answers


 "my" rice field this AM.
 And now Back To Work. You can get your Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
My weekend went like this:
1. RINRI Morning Seminar. I made the Member's Speech. 3 minutes about teaching young kids.
2. To school. No 9AM class so practice violin.
3. Three first-graders take sample lesson at 11AM. All sign up. Yeah!
4. To Kenkatsu Center to teach 2 adult classes.
5. 6PM go to restaurant in Kounosu. I am sub for Okegawa RINRI president.
6. Home to sleep early.
7. Up at 4:30 to jog.
8. Call mom
9. Go to school to practice violin, blog, see Internet, mail, etc.
10. Go to the dentist. Get one tooth grinded a little to correct bite. Pain is gone.
11. Home to record CD6 for adults.
12. Nap.
13. Visit the grave with Miwako and Yumiko.
14. Drink at home.
15. Pass out.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Puzzler Hints

I'm free all day BUT I have to go to the dentist this AM. Actually I'm lucky he is opened on Sundays. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Puzzler

Saturday has come and I will abstain from drinking again tonight. I will probably go for the gusto tomorrow! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for June 2013:   “can’t wait+不定詞 vs  “look forward to +動名詞
「~することを楽しみにしている」という表現を使ってみましょう。
“look forward to” の後ろには動名詞がきます。間違えやすいので注意が必要です。

1. I can’t wait to see the exhibition.  私はその展示会を見るのを楽しみにしている。
2. I’m looking forward to seeing the exhibition.
3. I can’t wait to play the violin with them.  私は彼らとヴァイオリンを演奏するのを楽しみにしている。
4. I’m looking forward to playing the violin with them.

They have exactly the same meaning.
But, ”can’t wait “ の方が ”look forward to” よりも強い期待感を表します。

Friday, June 7, 2013

Road Support

Street cleaning is included among my RINRI activities. Four times a year our members meet at the east side of Okegawa station before 6AM. The president makes a little speech. We have two choices of "weapons"; tongs and a bag OR a broom and a dustpan with a handle. My choice is the dustpan/broom combo. With these I don't have to bend over. Then we head out either south or north and pick up any trash we spot (find). It is early morning so there are people on their way to the station and then to work. Some come by car others are on bikes but the majority are walking. So we do have to be careful not to get in any one's way or get run over by a truck. This time there were only three of us and one of us came late. It takes about 30 minutes. It's not a big deal. I don't mind doing my share of this as I feel I have done my good deed for the day.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bridge


Last Sunday Miwako and I had our bridge lesson. It is twice a month and this was the second Sunday in a row. Miwako and I really enjoy this game. There are so many rules and applications and deviations and strategies and know-how and luck involved in playing this game that we cannot hope to become very good. But it is a learning process. It takes time and effort including homework. It is the same for any endeavor (endeavor = an earnest attempt; an effort to accomplish something). For example: play a musical instrument (violin?), or cooking or billiards or ENGLISH.  "Don't give up" is the key phrase here. It is gradual (little by little) and it takes time. The best is to enjoy while you learn. The pic is at our lesson last Sunday.
Answers to yesteday's SS blog:  intro  treaty  combat  brag

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Super Scrabble

Well, I thoroughly enjoy Super Scrabble, but it seems the kids are not too thrilled with it. It was the final week of May last week and that generally means that it is GAME DAY week. The kids (and sometimes I) play a variety of games. Of course, in all the games the students must use English. There is BINGO and CHUTES AND LADDERS for the smallest kids. Then CHIP-O and GO FISH for the older kids and DOMINOES and SS for the oldest. The Thursday night group has some kids who can play Super Scrabble. They study Eiken pre-2, 2, and pre-1. So, their vocabulary is high. But last Thursday only two students came; and two boys at that. They were quite sure they did not want to play SS. So, I joined them in two games of DOMINOES. Now, this is also a very interesting game. However one of these boys always wins. The hour passed before we knew it. COOL WORDS in this game: teeny  maimed  dunce ow  stow  handy  fusion.  Can you figured out the blanks? Answers tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finally finished

I was worried about "my" rice field. It is the one right (directly) in front of our house. The frogs croak, the water reflects the trees and the sky and the rice grows and grows little by little every day. I thoroughly enjoy watching the drama unfold for 4 months. But, all the other rice fields had been planted while "mine" stayed dry and desolate (lonely). I wondered about that so I asked the neighbors and they assured me that the farmer would be planting soon. Sure enough, he started last week. I watched him and said Hello a couple of times. He is a cool old guy. I was quite happy when he finally did get started and now he is finished. The pic is from May 31st, last Friday. I don't have to fret (worry) anymore. I can enjoy "my" rice field every day.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Back to work. How was your weekend? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

My weekend went like this:
1. 6:30AM Okagawa RINRI meeting.
2. Kids' lessons BUT I combined the 10 AM and 11AM classes so I finished early at 11:00.
3. Kenkatsu lessons from 1:15 to 4:30.
4. Home to relax and watch TV.
5. Early AM Morning Seminar committee meeting. I was informed that I will not be co-chairperson next term.
6. Bridge with Miwako.
7. Bar hopping with Miwako. Some fun.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Puzzler Hints

This pic is Thursday May 29th.  Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for May 2013:  比較級と最上級(形容詞)

何かを比較するときに、形容詞の語尾を変化させて表現します。
比較級(ABより~) -er をつける。 最上級(Aが一番~) -est をつける。 

more(比較級), most(最上級) を前に置くだけの形容詞もあります。
EX)  real, wrong, common, handsome, beautiful, etc.

1. Mt. Fuji is taller than Mt. Akagi . 富士山は赤城山より高い。
2. Mt. Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan .  富士山は日本で一番高い山です。
3. Male birds are usually more colorful than female ones. オスの鳥は大抵メスよりカラフルです。
4. Kabuki is one of the most traditional entertainments in Japan. 歌舞伎は日本で最も伝統的な芸能のひとつです。

Please use these kinds of adjectives throughout the day and especially at the lessons.

oremostを使う形容詞は、まだ他にたくさんあります。
知っているものを、コメント欄に書き込んでください。

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Puzzler

This pic is Monday May 27th. Puzzler: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for May 2013:  比較級と最上級(形容詞)

何かを比較するときに、形容詞の語尾を変化させて表現します。
比較級(ABより~) -er をつける。 最上級(Aが一番~) -est をつける。 

more(比較級), most(最上級) を前に置くだけの形容詞もあります。
EX)  real, wrong, common, handsome, beautiful, etc.

1. Mt. Fuji is taller than Mt. Akagi . 富士山は赤城山より高い。
2. Mt. Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan .  富士山は日本で一番高い山です。
3. Male birds are usually more colorful than female ones. オスの鳥は大抵メスよりカラフルです。
4. Kabuki is one of the most traditional entertainments in Japan. 歌舞伎は日本で最も伝統的な芸能のひとつです。

Please use these kinds of adjectives throughout the day and especially at the lessons.

oremostを使う形容詞は、まだ他にたくさんあります。
知っているものを、コメント欄に書き込んでください。