1/31/2007

今学期のスピーチコンテスト

ティカさんとゾーイさんと一緒に昼ごはんを食べていた時に、ゾーイさんは僕がスピーチコンテストで漢字などについて話すことをサジェストしてくれた。そのアイディアを聞くとピポーン!と僕の頭の中にベルが鳴ったような感じだった。もちろん、日本語に興味がたくさんあるから、漢字というトピックにすることは当然じゃない?スライドショーを作ったりしたらとても面白くできると思ってやる気が突然に増した。

でも、さっきの授業で廣江先生はスピーチコンテストでスライドショーが使えないことになっていると言っていた。すごい残念。それで、新たなやる気が全部消えてしまった。図を使わないで漢字について話すのは面白くなく感じる!

ところで、学校中のスピーチが全部集まって載る記念の本(正しい言葉は何だっけ?)のため、廣江先生は僕にクラスの絵を描くことを頼んでくれた。ちょっと心配だ。だって、僕はそんなに上手がないから!でも「何でもいい」って。そっかー。

1/30/2007

カクカンフーIII:伝説が続く

新しいカクカンフービデオがアップロードしてあるよ。先週の金曜日とって、いつもと同じカクさんが出てくるビデオだよ!カンフーはカンフーに上手になってきたようだね!頑張って!

1/28/2007

007 in ... Japan

The James Bond film Moonraker is on now, dubbed in English. Apparently, next week Men In Black will be on. I'll see if I catch that one. (Apparently, Men in Black are thought to be real by some.) And apparently, The Mask will be on the following week. Slick.

囲碁の本!

今日、やっと囲碁についての本を買って、『絵で見てわかる初めての囲碁入門』という本だ!

今日、つまらなくてどこかへ行きたいと感じて、AEONへウィンドーショッピングしに行くことにした。その中の未来屋書店という本屋へ見に行って囲碁の本を探してやっといろりろ見つけた。(漢字が読めば便利なものだね。)前の悩みを考えず読んでみたけど、本がたくさんあってどれにしようか決めにくかった。

決めてみている時、スクールメートのウィレムが近づいてきて、あいさつしてくれた。ウィレムさんは恋人と来たそうだ。少し話し合ってよかった。

結局、『初めての囲碁入門』にした。未来屋書店で何かを買うのは初めてだった。僕はこの本を読めば囲碁能力が強められるだろう!日本語の本だからいい日本語の勉強にもなるはずだ!ふりがながないし。

Summary: I finally bought a book about Go today from the nearby mall. It seems to be a good book and I'm looking forward to reading it. I decided to get a Japanese book over an English one for the sake of practice. That's how you get better, right! There were a number of books, so deciding which to get was tough, though. It boiled down to readability, difficult of the concepts it covered, and, of course, price. I think I chose well.

Thinking about (the lack of) Japanese friends

I've been thinking recently how difficult it's been to make Japanese friends here. Several months ago, I was getting to know someone in the area pretty well but that fell apart, which is a shame because we got along quite well, had similar interests, and enjoyed being together. (To be fair, however, it was a moderate but admittedly stupid misstep of my own doing that sparked the problem. I was supposedly forgiven but, despite my best efforts to save it, it effectively, though unnecessarily, ended our friendship and my association with that person's very kind family.) Since then, not too much success. I do know some very kind older folks, but no one that's around my own age. This is a common complaint among students.

It'd be nice to get to know some of my neighbors but that's been difficult too. And it does little to help when the neighborhood as a whole has fought to keep all of us out of their neighborhood in the first place. (To be fair, I can't blame them too much.) Maybe I should try to reach out a bit. But, frankly, everyone seems rather ... cold. It's not very bright around here, I suppose.

(And again, I miss my friends back in Houston.)

On the brighter side of things, though, I'm making more and more friends at school. The sucky thing about becoming friends with folks in SILAC, the short-term program, though, is that they are often set to leave as soon as you meet them. Kind of sad, that. Still, it's nice to meet them. Also, a number of my AIJP friends are set to leave at the end of March Tik Ka, Zoe, Brian, Andy (possibly), Rhoda (possibly), Donna, and so on. It will be a big change.

Wait ... that wasn't any brighter at all ...

No pants

Sentence of the day: "We have no intention of allowing children in pants into the ring." (From Japan's professional sumo association, Nihon Sumo Kyokai)

Uno with Ruru-tachi

The other night's Uno party was quite fun. There were about 12 people there, as it was Ruru's big day, and we played some pretty big games. (Inside joke: I like saying that I have the Blue-Eyes White Dragon and, when I'm in a tight spot, dramatically saying I play the card of confiscation. Nobody gets it, of course, and I chuckle to myself and miss my friends back home and imagine them groaning.) With the rules we use, the biggest loser gets his or her ears flicked by the winner and, for the first time after several nights of Uno, my beautiful ears got assaulted. Twice. (Somehow, someway, this is Matt's fault.)

Hangover the first | 初めての二日酔い

It seems that I am now undergoing what I believe is my first hangover.

初めての二日酔いを経験しているようなんだ。少しだけけど。

Last night's dinner parties went very well and, unexpectedly, combined into one large party in Villa 2, near my place. The hosts were quite kind and the evening was fine. There was a lot of alcohol there and one of the hosts was quite insistent that everyone drink freely.

昨夜の2つのディナーパーティーは期待していたよりも楽しくて、結局ヴィラ2で1つの大きなパーティーになった。ホストも優しかったし、うまくいった。お酒がたくさんあったので、みんなはホストに「自由にお酒を飲んでください」と頼まれた。

I don't really drink alcohol but, as an experiment and to get myself a bit more acclimated to it for the sake of social situations not too dissimilar to last night's, I drank more than I usually do when I decide to partake. The amount wasn't much greater, but I underestimated the strength of the whiskey, I believe.

僕はお酒をあまり飲まないけど、実験としてもう少しお酒に慣れるようにある程度まで飲もうと思って、飲んでみた。しかし、思っていたよりウィスキーが強かったんだ。

So I spent most of the latter half of the evening somewhat inebriated. However, I have no intentions of repeating the experience, of course. My experimented has concluded and my limits are defined enough for my satisfaction. Furthermore, I have developed no affection toward alcohol, though perhaps a slightly greater tolerance (of attitude) toward drinking it. But it's still nasty. I'll take water any day. (I'm drinking apple juice at the moment, though.)

なので、パーティーの後半、酔っていた。でも、またそれほど飲みたくないと思っている。僕にとってはおいしくなければダメな効果もあるんだもん。お酒の限界を知って満足している。実験を完成した。その上、お酒には愛情とかのような気持ちが全然ない。飲めるけど飲みたくないんだ。もういい。まずいから。お酒より水のほうが好きだよ。(今、アップルジュースを飲んでいるところだけど。)

1/26/2007

今日の囲碁報告

Well, I lost my Go game with Lee today. I felt that I started fairly well, and he was tired to boot, but as the game progressed, his position got stronger and stronger until he managed to trap me into a 20-plus–stone capture which pretty much sealed the game for him, along with the eyes that I let him build. Well done.

今日の囲碁勝負をクラスメートのリーさんに負けてしまった。最初はよかったけど、だんだんリーさんが強くなって、彼の領域が大きくなってきてしみった。僕の白石は20個とられたことがあったよ。よくできた。



先週も、久しぶりにリーさんと勝負をやって勝った。実は、時間がなくなってしまって途中で中止にしなきゃいけなかった。でも、中止にした時の碁盤で、僕が勝ったを一緒に決めた。

I also played with Lee last week and won. We ran out of time because Lee had an appointment and we came to the conclusion that I had won.



それに、今日、囲碁を教えてくれるボランティアが暮らしの学校へ行った。僕は初めてじゃなかったから、あるボランティアと9石のハンディキャップでやってみた。もちろん負けたけど、いい勉強になった。毎週、来てくれるよ!

Today, volunteers came to Kurashi no Gakkou, where I play Go, and taught the level-one newbies a lesson about the basics of the game. I am a level-two newbie and so went straight to playing with one of the volunteers. I, of course, got terribly crushed, though, to my credit, I had a living area of some size at game's end. The volunteers will be coming every week! Excellent.



By the way, did you hear Lee and his sister Ling on Shaberiba Waiwai today? It went quite smoothly. Next week will be On and Kaku (who's recent name, by the way, is Mop-chan). It'll probably be the most interesting broadcast yet.

ところで、今日のリーさんと妹さんのリンさんの『しゃべり場わいわい』を聞いたの?うまくいったよ。来週はオンさんとカクさんが出る予定だから、楽しんでね。今までの一番面白い放送のはずだから。(最近、カクさんに「モップちゃん」というあだ名がついた。)

1/25/2007

敬語など

今晩、三河おっさんと一緒に外食しにために刈谷市へ電車で行った。岡崎に戻って駅で急いでいた永木先生に出会った。驚いた時に、いつも日本語能力が突然に弱まるので、なかなか話せなかった。永木先生にはまだ授業をしてもらったいないけど、時々学校で出会って、明るくて優しい人だと思っている。

この間、ある先生に僕が敬語をちょっと使いすぎると言ってもらった。先生だから、尊敬を表すためにできるだけ必ず敬語を使ってみて話したほうがいいと思っていたけど、そうしたら僕と先生の間に壁(かべ)をつくってしまうかもしれない。練習のためならいいけど使い続けたらちょっと冷たく感じるって。ダメだね。それで、仲を強化するため、もう知っている先生なら敬語を使わないで話そうと思っている。どうしてかというと、僕は日本語がまだペラペラに話せないから、敬語もたくさん使ってみたら話すのはもっと難しくなるんだもん。話のスピードを速めるように、自然に話せるようになるように!

ところで、今日の聴解練習はかなりうまくいった。よかったね。もしかしたら、問題は集中に関する問題かなと思う。

これから、囲碁をやってくれるボランティアが毎週金曜日『暮らしの学校』に来てくれるそうだ!いいよ。明日、『しゃべり場わいわい』に出ないけど、クラスメートのリーさんと妹さんのリンさんが3時に出る野で、行って応援したいと思うけど、囲碁は2時からだから、ちょっと残念だ。それなのに、友達を応援することのほうが大切だ!時間があればFM岡崎に聞いてね!

I don't eat pickles, for the record

I'm in a bit of a pickle at the moment. I'm supposed to be writing a paper that's due tomorrow right now, but I have no will to. We've had a week to work on it, but in part due to my not feeling so well earlier this week, I'm starting it on the night before. It's not that much to write. And as one can see from this very blog, I can write a good deal when I want to. That's not the problem. See, this assignment is related to an upcoming speech contest. Apparently, one student from each class will be selected, somehow, to represent the class at the contest, which is a fairly major event. And herein lie the problems:

(1) I have no desire to enter this contest. It basically falls into the category of "extracurricular activities" and I have had my fill of extracurricular activities for a while. Granted, this particular paper is for class tomorrow, but as it is directly related to the contest, it's tough to generate the necessary amount of willpower to complete it. Of course, it being The Night Before does little to help, I admit. My classmates, who have already practically voted for me to enter the contest, will be rather disappointed, but I don't care to enter this contest and put yet another something on my plate to drag me away from my studies. (One caveat: if there's a substantial cash prize, I might enter solely for the sake of helping my parents, who are backing me financially at this point.)

(2) The real problem tonight, however, is the subject of the paper, which is also the subject of the contest: first impressions upon coming to Japan and things that shocked us. Last week, Yo and I had a schoolmate named On on the show and we asked her this very question (solely as padding) and she replied that she's heard that question enough times such that a callus could appear in her ear (that's a Japanese expression). I understand what she meant at the time, but now I feel it. This sort of question has appeared sporadically since I arrived here and I too have come to rather despise it, partly because I can't think of one significant thing that truly surprised me. You know what the only thing that comes to mind is? The water glasses in most restaurants are too small. That's it. And while that does get on my bloody nerves, that's no speech contest topic. (The assignment asks us to explain our experience with details, at that. "The glasses are a mere 9 centimeters high. As you can see from this graph, the volume of water they hold, on average, is ...") And even when I try really to think of something, only small things come to mind: "Wow, they have five-second commercials." "Oh, the Japanese stand on the left-side of escalators to allow people to pass on the right." "I see! So when driving in Aichi, it's common to run through the red light for three seconds or so." "Oo, that's what an address on an envelope looks like." Stuff like that. (My viewpoint of humanity and culture, perhaps, and the fact that I checked and largely knew what to expect before I came, don't lend me to be easily shocked in a significant way.)

So I'm staring at this paper thinking, "... no." I'm looking at the "Watashi no teema (theme)" part and I can think of nothing.

Maybe I'll just go to bed and show up empty-handed tomorrow. As least I'll be fairly well rested. It's disappointing, but alas.

Update (8AM): Well, nantoka shita—that is, I managed to get it done. I woke up early today—earlier than expected—and got a page of text out. About what? How water glasses are too small. If I don't think of it in terms of a speech contest speech and instead look at it as just an assignment, it's not as troublesome a thing. I just printed it out. Now I need to study for my kanji quiz this morning.

So, a small victory for me.

1/24/2007

Long day at the office

Today, I was at school from 9 AM until 9 PM, studying and chatting with schoolmates and sensei. As you can imagine, I'm pretty tired. I bothered my sensei a few times with various grammatical questions and such during the evening. On the way home, I ran into Kaku.

今日、朝9時から夜9時までずーっと学校にいた。授業が終わったら友達としゃべたり勉強をしたり先生に教えていただいたりしていた。2,3回、先生の教務室へ質問をききに行ったけど、ちょっと迷惑を掛けたかもしれない。1回目、廣江先生は机を外していて会議中だったそうなので、羽田先生に質問に答えてもらった。その後、また行って、原田先生に30時間もいろいろな質問に詳しく答えてもらって、よかった。3回目、廣江先生に「遅らせる」という言葉について相談してもらった。それに、帰る途中で道にカクさんに出会った。より、切ったばかりの髪形がかっこいいって言ってくれた。いいね~。

1/23/2007

何時のかの言い方

たった今シャワーを浴びたところなんだけど、テレビがある部屋へ戻ったら、日本語の言葉についての10分間の番組があった。その番組のおかげ、僕は「9時10分前」より「9時前10分」のほうがいいって習った。

ところで、髪を切ったばかりなんだ!(この間、日本に着いてから初めてティカさんも髪を切ったそうだね。)明日、この短くてステキな髪型で元気をたくさん出すつもりだぞ!

I am at a loss for a post title

I've been rather worried about my healthy for the past several days, as I've been feeling increasingly odd. I felt pretty terrible yesterday afternoon and today until lunchtime. Even now, I still feel pretty blah. I'm not sure what the problem is, unless my crappy diet has finally caught up with me.

I scheduled my appointment with my English conversation student for two o'clock today, but have since discovered that I have a class on Tuesdays from 2:40 until 3:30. I forgot to call him until the middle of the previous class, around 1:00 PM. I had to duck out to do it. So we're meeting at four instead. After that, I expect to sleep and then wake up to study until late. First, though. precious sleep.

Yesterday, we ended up talking about some philosophical issues in our class. I got a bit frustrated when I couldn't explain my positions well (the positions that I felt like explaining). We were talking about the preference between a short and eventful life or a long but uneventful life. All but one of us chose the former, but really, my vote depends on how you define "uneventful." As the one student, Cynthia, brought out, whether one's life is boring or not basically depends on one's point of view. That I agree with. And indeed, I prefer a pretty casually paced lifestyle. At the time, I understand the "uneventful" option to mean something of like "painfully uneventful," but if's it more like simply living a quiet life, that's the way to go for me. I'm not a "fast lane" sort of guy. I'll just live (with my wonderful wife) until my health fails me. But no further.

Let me also briefly state that I don't understand the search to find meaning in life. Or rather, I understand the search to find meaning in one's life (you pretty much have to make it, I feel), but not the search to find meaning in human life in general. Of course, when one believes that life has no relevant inherent meaning, I suppose that's natural.

Enough of this. To class with me.

1/22/2007

日本日記シアター:カクさんと地下鉄

I wish to present two videos.
4つのビデオを紹介したいと思う。

First, the second video in our Kaku Kung Fu series. Again, thanks to Ren for the upload.

まずは、カクカンフーシリーズの2つ目のビデオだ。レンさんへ、ありがとう!



The second is a just a video that I took of a subway in Nagoya arriving at the platform. I used the camera that Mikawa Ossan is letting me borrow, as it does take videos but with no sound. So I added sound that I felt would be appropriate.

次に、名古屋での地下鉄が着くことをとった。ヒューストンには地下鉄がないので面白いと思っている。三河おっさんが貸してくれたカメラでとったけど、音がとれないから適当な曲を付けた。



以上

董万初先生死去 | Bansho Toh passes away

Yamasa's headmaster, Bansho Toh, passed away of terminal cancer on the morning of January 18. He had been away from the school for several months due to his illness. I didn't know him very well, but almost everyone remembers his standing out in the front of the school every morning helping to guide traffic and greeting everyone passing by. He was a kind person.

YAMASAの校長の董万初(とう・ばんしょ)先生が1月18日に癌で亡くなってしまいました。董先生のご病気でもう何月も学校からお休みになっていたのです。私は董先生をあまりお目に掛からなくてしまいましたが、董先生が毎朝学校の前に立っていらっしゃったのはみんなお覚えしております。とても優しい方でございました。

私はまだ正しく警護をお使いできません。申し訳ございません。

文句などを言う時間!

ごめん。ちょっと暗く感じている通りにこのポストも暗い。

今日はちょっとつらかった。あまり集中できなかったし、元気もかなりなかったし、やる気も少なかったし、頭痛もしているし、特に自信が少なくなってしまっている。

今日、生き生き会話という選択授業が始まった。先生は羽田先生なんだ。羽田先生に教えてもらったことがある。いい先生がと思う。でも、今日ちょっと遅れてしまって、頭にきた。(先生と同じだろう。)それに、授業の間に「何年も勉強しても、僕にとっては生き生き会話ができない」と嫌な気がしてしまった。たまに、こういう感じ始めてしまう。頑張って消えることを待たなきゃ。

今晩、友達は何人も集まって食事する約束をしたけど、僕は行けない。土曜日も同じだ。隣人に夕食に誘ってもらった後で、クラスメートから別の晩ご飯に誘われた。

じゃあ、これから、明るくしようと思っている!

先週の木曜日、2級文法②の選択授業も始まった。石井という先生が行っている。石井先生は世界のどこへも行ったことがあるような気がする。楽しくて面白そうだと思う。

{19:40時の修正}今晩、みんなと一緒に晩ご飯が食べられるようになったけど、全部19人が集まってレストランへ行った。それなのに、予約がされていなかったから困った。19人の学生は分かて別のレストランへ行った。僕はウィレムさんとアンドリアさんとアンディさんと予約がされていなかったレストランで食べることにした。でも、注文した物の部分を40分間も待っていたのに、来なかった。だれが聞くかと聞かれたら、その3人は僕にした。「さっき注文した物はまだ来ないんですけれど」と言った。どうだった。

今日、立石先生とかなり長い話をする機会があった。先生はとても元気で、うれしい。僕には日本語を教えてくれた先生はみんな大切な人だと感じている。それが変なのをもう知っているよ!だけど、僕が日本語を勉強して上手に話せるようになることの重みは誰にも分かってない。

気分がよくなった。いいよね。

1/21/2007

Super Sumo

I found this video via Japan Probe just now and couldn't resist sharing it.

たった今、このビデオを見つけたばかりだけど、とても見せたい。



[stamp of approval goes here]

納豆ダイエット

僕が期待していた通りに最近の大人気な納豆ダイエットはフジテレビによると誇張だそうだ。 テレビに出てきても本当じゃないかもしれないよ!信じる前に事実を調べてみようね! (Thanks to Japan Probe.)

This post is about the so-called "natto diet" that became the rage around the parts recently when some folks appeared on TV lauding its ability to help people lose weight. Not so unsurprisingly, it was a bunch of crap. Natto, generally held to be a nasty thing to eat, has been selling out recently due to this. {sigh}

1/20/2007

28 + 1 = 29

Well, as was pointed out earlier, it's that day on which my numerical age is increased by a factor of one and, thus, I'm now 29 years old. It's tough to believe that I spent the majority of my 28th year of life in Japan, away from my family and best friends. It's tougher to believe that my 29th year might be the same.

今日は年齢が変わる日なんだ。つまり、誕生日だ。二十九歳になった。まだ若いけど、だんだん…。二十八歳の4分の3は日本で過ごしたのをちょっと信じられない。また、二十九歳も同じように過ごせるかもしれないのも信じられない。

I tried to keep this a secret from everyone over here, so as to not make a fuss, but that idea was kind of thrown out of the window when a certain Yamasa staffer wished me happy birthday right in front of Yo. The night's UNO party ended up being a sort of pseudo party for me, which was very kind of everyone. I think I made a bit of a misstep in trying to keep it a secret, though, as some folks (especially Yo) were a bit disappointed.

誕生日のことは、だれにも言わないほうがいいと思っていたけど、あるYAMASAの方がヨウさんの前に「誕生日、おめでとうございます」と言って、無理なことになった。でもいい出来事じゃないかと思う。その方のおかげで、その夜のUNO(最近の大人気なカードゲーム)パーティーはちょっと僕のためのパーティーにしてもらった。(ありがとう!)多分、秘密にする決定は間違いと思い始めている。子供の頃、両親の宗教で誕生日を祝うことは最近まで全然なかったので、まだ慣れていない。皆さん、許してください。

<修正>先生、誕生日カードにたくさん書いてくれて、ありがとうございました!「うれしい!」と感じる。

1/18/2007

"Shaberiba Waiwai," episode 4 preparations complete

Not too much to write at the moment. I'm feeling pretty good but my mind's dead tired. The preparations for tomorrow's show are basically complete, though, and I'm pretty jazzed about it. It was tough getting it together, but it'll be a good show, I think. There'll be a lot of talking and shorter songs as well since we have four people, which will be a good thing for those of you listening online.

今、とっても疲れていて頭がなかなか働かないから、少ししか書けない。明日の放送の準備を一生懸命した。すばらいい放送のはずだ。楽しみ~(寝)

Quick note at the end of lunch

Time is short. I started this morning feeling pretty crappy but, as I suspected, I managed to start feeling better by the second period, though I'm still keeping a fairly low profile. It's the end of lunch now and I've got to run.

Friday's broadcasts's preparation

This week's been good but kind of rough. Yo and I have been working on a special four-person edition of the radio show. Yesterday, I had to consolidate a lot of thoughts in the afternoon and evening, up to the point of mental exhaustion. A four-person show is a bit rougher to put together than I thought. But we've recruited two additional two-person teams so we're going to get two weeks off after this Friday's broadcast. This is necessary to make sure that I (and Yo too) don't start this term off exhausted and burnt-out.

1/17/2007

Eavesdropping

So just now, two or three guys were standing in front of my door having a conversation. Noticing this, I sneaked up to my door and stood beside it, trying to take in as much as I could. They were speaking Japanese but this was very much native-level Japanese. I wasn't sure what was going on, though. Either two Japanese guys were standing outside of my door speaking or else one was (or both were) a student at such a ridiculously high level of aptitude that I can't imagine why they are even studying here. I listened for about five minutes (mainly studying the pronunciation and inflection) until they dispersed. I notice that one on them is in my neighbor's room right now. I could go for a stethoscope right about now. Nah, I'm just joking.

さっき、僕のアパートの前に立っていた2人の男の人の会話が耳にした。聞くと僕は静かにドアまで歩いて、ドアのよこに立って聞いてみた。2人は日本語でしゃべっていたけど、外にしゃべっていたし、寮の隣にYAMASAⅤの工事もされているし、2人は日本人みたいなレベルで速くしゃべっていたし、あまり分からなかったから、発音に集中してみた。その2人はだれかなと思い始めた。日本人ならどうして外人日本語の学生の寮でしゃべっているのか、学生なら日本語がそれぐらい上手だったらどうしてYAMASAで勉強しているのか、考えても全然わからない。5分間話が止まるまで立って聞いていた。今、1人は隣の部屋にいるようだ。だれかなぁ。とにかく、いい勉強になった。

Update: Holy crap, it was my neighbor!
修正: あれっ!本当に隣人だった!すごいっ!

1/16/2007

目がない

I got thrown by an expression today: "目がない" (me ga nai). Literally, it means "doesn't have eyes" or something like that. When this is applied to something, you'd think that it would mean that someone is not interested in something (i.e., they don't have an eye for something) but, in fact, it's the opposite.

Thus, "甘い物には目がない" (amai mono ni wa me ga nai) means that someone is extremely fond of sweets, not that 'they have no eye for sweets' (which is pretty much literally what this says). This is rather bizarre to me and I'm not sure what the logic behind it is.

Everywhere you look ...

Full House is on right now.

This is the first American sitcom that I've seen live on TV. It's dubbed, oddly enough. I don't know—I would have expected subtitles for some reason. The voices are of varied quality but they actually hired a young girl to play Michelle, the youngest daughter, and, well, her voice is pretty cute and it rather sounds like the American actors' (twins) voices. The middle daughter's voice is pretty awful, though. It's an adult on helium.

You see, Uncle Jesse is late for his wedding and somehow was stuck hanging in a tree by his parachute ended up in jail and—oy, what am I doing? Okay, still, as I'm typing this, they're singing that "I say 'potato' and you say 'po-tah-to'" song in Japanese. That's pretty interesting. (君はポテイト、君はポタト、君はトメイト、君はトマト・・・)

Still ... I'm oddly fascinated ...

1/15/2007

Mega Mac

Have you seen the new Mega Mac from McDonald's? What in the world? メガマックなんて大きすぎるじゃない?僕はアメリカなのにそれはちょっと…と思う。

1/14/2007

第1聴解、大成功

ところで、先週の今学期の最初の聴解練習は何とかなった。ラジカセのすぐ前に座っているので、うまくできたと思う。

"Cat named stationmaster of unmanned station in Wakayama"

Awesome. In part due to the article's photograph.

KINOKAWA, Wakayama -- A 7-year-old cat called Tama has been named a special stationmaster at a railway station here by the local Wakayama Electric Railway. [from Mainichi]


A stationmaster. A special stationmaster!

(Alas, if only one of the cats' names was Skimbleshanks.)

And now back to you, O Evil One

I've managed to get myself into a pretty good study session today and decided to keep the TV on as I did. When I turned it on, a marathon was being broadcast, but now there's a long sumo tournament on. Makes a pretty good background show.

As I'm studying, I glance up and catch a look at the three commentators and see one very interesting figure in the middle. And what's more—what makes it work—is that he's sitting there normally, just plain' ol' commentating. His name is Demon Kogure and his backstory is gloriously insane.

NHKの将棋番組、そして囲碁!

今、NHKの将棋番組を見ているところだ。面白そうなゲームだね。瀧川先生は将棋が少しできるって。西洋のチェスはしたことがちょっとあるが、将棋はまだだ。でも、習いたいと思っている。相手がいないはずだけど。そのため、インターネットが発明されたね!

次の番組はNHKの囲碁トーナメントの番組だ。2人の相手はプロで、僕は初級の以下のレベルだから、なかなか分からないのに、見るのは面白い。あ、岡崎駅の近くに囲碁サロンがあるそうだ。行きたいけど、囲碁がもう少しできるまで、僕にとっては行かないほうがいい。

囲碁の本が買いたいけど、英語の本と日本語の本と、どっちがいいかなぁ。決定しにくい。英語の本なら、分かりやすくて囲碁の細かいポイントもはっきり分かるはずだ。しかし、日本語の本なら、いい日本語の勉強になるはずだ。囲碁に関する日本語の語彙力を強化できるし。だけど、細かいポイントが分からないかもしれない。囲碁能力を増えたいから、それはいけない。考え中。(⇐カクさんの好きな表現。)

見つけた例文:「ジョンはチェスが好きだ。」ん~、そうだね。興味がある。「ジョンはチェスがうまい。」違うよ!

雪! Snow!

Image © 2007 Jonathan's Japan Journal


先週日曜の朝、冬の2回目の雪が降り出した。10分くらいだけ降っていたけど、美しかったと思う。ヒューストンには雪が少ししか降らないから、雪が降り始めると、びっくりして笑顔がつく。子供のように「雪だぞ!」と思うというより、むしろ感じる。(ヨウさんはまだ岡崎の雪を見たことがないそうだ。寝坊するな!)来週、また雪が降ってくるそうだ。本当かどうか、言えない。

Last Sunday, the second snow of the winter fell. Just like the first snow, it only lasted a few minutes but it was pretty. There's barely any snow in Houston, so when it snows here, I find it to be quite pleasant. "It's snowing, it's snowing!" (Yo keeps sleeping late and still hasn't seen Okazaki snowfall!) A little bird told me that it'll snow again this week. Can't say if it's true, though.

FM岡崎の新しいURL | FM Okazaki's new URL

ところで、FM岡崎のウェブサイトアドレスは変わった。新しいアドレスはwww.okazaki.fmだ。『しゃべり場わいわい』のアーカイブライブカメラやオーディオもそこにある。(放送のインターネットバージョンは音楽が流れてこないから、生放送よりつまらない!)

By the way, FM Okazaki's URL has changed. The new one is www.okazaki.fm. Shaberiba Waiwai's archive page and the live feed page are, of course, there as as well. (Again, I caution that the archived versions of the show lack any sort of background music or featured songs, so it's going to suck more than the live broadcast even does.)

土曜日活動報告!

今日、天気が晴れていたから、自転車に乗らないで歩いて羽根食堂で朝ごはんを食べることにした。先週末、三河おっさんにキンバルというリサイクルセンターへ連れて行ってもらって、約5枚のCDを10円ずつで買った。帰ってから、音楽をコンピューターとMP3プレーヤーに入れた。今日、歩きながらその音楽を聞いていた。

食堂で食べてから、道路を渡してフカツCDレンタルショップに入って、CDを見た。その前、会員権に申し込んでみたが、携帯電話番号が教えたくなったからできなかった。その後、三河おっさんに相談して、日本の会社はアメリカの会社のように迷惑電話(?)をしないようにすると言われた。だから、番号を教えることを決めておいた。今日、申し込んでみたら2つの電話番号が必要だと言われてしまって、またできなった。ちょっとくやしいよね。その上、申し込む時に緊張していて、なかなか日本語を話せなかくて、恥ずかしかった。バカだと感じてしまった。でもつらくても必要な体験じゃないかと思う。それなのに、今日の結果は不成功だった。

それから、ショップを出て、SEIYUへ米と肉を買いに歩いて行った。買い物しながらクラスメートのカンフーが上手なカクさんに出会った。カクさんはイェンさんという友達と一緒に買い物していた。紹介の時は面白かった。

カク:「これはお父様です。」
イェン: 「お父様?」
僕:「あの~、ジョンといいます。はじめまして。」(恥)

イェンさんはカクさんのカンフー先生と言われた。そっかー。(先生じゃないとはやく答えた。)物を買って一緒にSEIYUを出た。その2人は自転車で来たが、僕は歩いて来た。歩いて帰るのは問題ないと思っていたのに、その2人は「重そうな10キロの米を自転車で運ばせてね」と言ってくれた。僕は、「ありがとうけど、要らない]と何回も言っていてももう決まったような気がした。だから、一緒に僕の寮まで歩いていった。ありがとう、カクさんとイェンさん。

それから寮で掃除したり勉強したりした。(『しゃべり場わいわい』のよく出てくる冗談の通り。)去年4月に着いたばかりの僕がキンバルで買ったプリンターを机の上から隣のテーブルにおいておいたから、机の上がちょっと広くなったように感じている。だから、もっと勉強したくなって漢字復習をした。

後、晩ご飯を食べながら『スーパーマンII』という映画の新しいバージョンをコンピューターで見た。

今、寝るところだ。おやすみ!

1/13/2007

Collection of random thoughts

今、漢字を勉強中。「意外」と反対の言葉は「意内」じゃなくて何となく残念に感じてしまう。(笑)

Roppongi English turned out to be a pretty strange but linguistically useful romp into the world of dating. I actually should mention that the series becomes progressively more NSFW. 『 六本木英語』という本は変なのに(キャラはみんなバカだ)、慣用日本語の勉強にかなり役に立ったようになったと思う。例えば、「頭に来る」が「アッタマきた!」で表されるのは面白いと思う。「とっとと」も役に立つ言葉じゃない?

Go on the XBox360? This is the first thing that I've ever read about the 360 that actually made me desire one in any way. (Don't worry, it was just a flash.)

Also, an amusing little something from the decayed carcass of The Simpsons.

1/11/2007

4学期目の初日報告

今日はうまくいってよかったと思う。新しい学生が1人しかいなかったし、先学期の5人の先生の中で今学期3人に教えていただけるし。今学期の先生は廣江先生(担任)、瀧川先生、浅間先生、原田先生、山田みほ先生なんだ。「山田先生」を見たら「あ、去年4月に着いたばかりの僕にプレイスメントテストをした山田先生だ!」と思ったけど、別の山田という先生がいらっしゃってその他の山田先生になった。また、先学期、僕の敬語選択授業先生は原田先生で、とてもやさいいと思っている。

山田先生だけにまだ教えていただいていなかったんだけど、今日山田先生と書道を少ししてみた。漢字4字以下を選んで今年の目標をその漢字で書く授業が行われていた。「何の言葉、というか、漢字で書ける目標を選んだらいいか」と思って、「進歩」にした。今年、会話能力を中心に日本語に上達していきたい。(選んだ漢字について、「上達」のほうがいいかもしれないと思い始めちゃった。)書道をしてみたことがなかったので、字をあまりきれいに書けなかった。リーさんとティカさんとゾーイさんの字がすごくきれいだったけど。

日本語進歩を目指していくぞ!

今日、選択科目を選んでおいた。僕は、2級文法②・いきいき会話・会話②・生活語彙①という授業にした。(本当に会話を中心にしているよね!)文法はいつも面白いし、会話がいちばん大切になってきたし。

今朝、9時になると学生3人がいたから、廣江先生はちょっと困っていたと思う。初日なのに。やっぱり先学期と同じようなクラスだね。ダフニさんの代わりにみんなが遅刻してくれることにしたねぇ。親切すぎなんだよ!(笑)

それに、明日のFM岡崎『しゃべり場わいわい』放送は先週より面白いはずだと思う。お時間がありましたら、ぜひお聞きくださいませ。

1/10/2007

Tomorrow: term four! | 明日、4学期目!

Well, tomorrow begins my fourth term here at the Yamasa Institute. Though technically, we're supposed to find out tomorrow, I have discovered that I will be in G class. (Thus, the progression is M, K, J, and now G.) Apparently, our classes will be roughly the same as the last term, which is pretty much a good thing, though it looks like I won't get to study with Tik Ka and Zoe for their last term here. Hopefully, Andy and I will have another chance. But Bill's gone. And Daphne too is gone. (Can I study at Yamasa without Daphne by my side?!)

明日、YAMASA言語文化研究所の新しい学期が始まる。僕にとって今学期は4学期目だ。どのクラスに配属されたのか、明日教えてもらうことになっているので、教えてくれている紙が学校でもうはってあるそうだ。あの紙によると、僕はクラスで勉強するそうだ。それに、今学期のクラスメートは先学期とほとんど同じだそうだよ!(もう一つのいいニュースをもらったけど、それは秘密なんだ。)今学期は先学期のように楽しそうだよね!でも、今学期が最後のティカさんとゾーイさんと勉強できなくて残念だ。アンディーさんはもう3ヶ月ほど残るかましれないから、もう一つの同じクラスで勉強する機会があったらいいと思う!でもビルさんもいないし、ダフニさんも初めていないし。(ダフニさんがいなかったら本当に勉強できる??(笑)

I'm feeling pretty rested mentally from my break, which I think it is good. I'm going to try to put more vigor behind my studying this go-round. I'm kind of worried about the radio show because it takes a lot of time to prepare and I can't let it interfere with my studies. We'll see what happens.

An expression of my feelingsよく休んだから、元気だ。それはよかったと思う。今学期、エネルギーをもっと出して大切に勉強したいから。でも、出ているラジオ番組についてちょっと心配している。いい番組を作るのには時間をたくさんかけなきゃならないから。一番大切のは日本語の勉強だ。しかし、そう言っても、番組を作るのも役に立つ勉強だね。とにかく、学校のほうが大切だぞ!どうなるか、待たなきゃ。

Please continue supporting me!
応援し続けてください!

I must sleep now ... Good night.
寝なくちゃダメ。おやすみ!

Tommy Lee CMs

Tommy Lee Jones, who is quite famous here, is in a series of commercials now in which he plays an alien named 宇宙人ジョーンズ (uchuujin joonzu). They amuse me. Via Japan Probe, you can see one or two.

Call me 宇宙ジョン.

もらったCD

最近、かなり忙しくなったから、面白いことを忘れちゃった。FM岡崎からいいプレゼントをもらったよ!何のCDだろう?広瀬香美の新しい「GIFT」というCDシングルだ。「GIFT]と「愛は特効薬」と「甘いお話 part3」という歌が入っている。いいな。

1/08/2007

擬音語や擬態語辞書

インターネットで役に立ちそうな擬音語や擬態語辞書を見つけて、みんなに教えてあげるよ。

I found a great-looking Japanese onomatopoeia dictionary. These words are quite prevalent in Japanese.

こうかい

やっぱり日本語が難しい~。以下の文は僕がたった今作った文だ。

公会の更改を公開するために後悔しながら黄海ではなくて紅海という公海を航海しています。


漢字が読める?この文の漢字は全部「こうかい」と読むんだよ!

でもこの文で「こうかい」と発音する言葉を全部覚えるようになるかもしれない。

Okazaki overview

Here's a nice little one-page overview of Okazaki that I discovered at the website of Okazaki News. I learned a bit myself from that.

1/07/2007

訪問してもらったばかりだ

さっき、先学期のクラスメートのシンシアさんが僕のアパートへあいさつに初めて来てくれた。アメリカへ帰って戻ってきたばかりなんだから、一時間ぐらい話し合った。

Mario BGM on variety show

I have this variety show on TV in the background and just now they used the music of the Special world from Super Mario World as BG music. And as I was typing that sentence, they used the map music from World 7 from Super Mario Bros. 3. Interesting ... I dig that.

A night of dinner and Uno

今晩、ヨウさんのアパートでティカさんが集まっていた6人の友達のためにおいしい晩ご飯を作ってくれた。ティカさんは料理がとても上手だから。その後、一緒にUNOというカードゲームをやった。UNOはいろいろなやり方があるんだけど、今回ティカさんが教えてくれたやり方を使った。僕は中学生の時、毎日友達と一緒にUNOをやった。(もう15年ぐらいが過ぎてなんて…)だから今晩、中学校の思い出を思い出して本当になつかしくなった。

また、ヨウさんとカクさんはライバルになって2人のUNO勝負をやった。カクさんが最後のカードを置いたのに結果は同点だったから、カクさんは不満足だった。

Tonight, a group of six of us had dinner together at Yo's apartment. Chef Tik Ka did us the honor of preparing a nice meal, and after that, we played Uno. Uno, man. I haven't played Uno in about fifteen years (already fifteen?), when I played every day with my friends in middle school during lunch.

The thing about Uno is that there are a myriad variations of the rules that people use. Tonight, we used the rules that Tik Ka brought with him from Hong Kong. The most fascinating one was the "cut" rule, which states that if someone plays a certain card, then any other person holding that exact same card can play it and play will continue from that person, as if it had been their turn originally—and the effects of function cards (such as draw cards) could stack like this as well. Also, the winner got to flick the ears of the person with the most points at the end (yes, points!), the number of flicks being the number of points divided by ten (e.g., 93 points results in nine flicks). Of course, we're all pals so no one got to see my Nuclear One Thousand Years of Pain Flick.

Kaku and Yo built up a nice rivalry to the point that the rest of us allowed them a one-on-one match. Kaku technically won the game, having played the final card, but Yo held two zero cards and, thus, had no points and Kaku got no flicks off of him. Man, was she disappointed. I bet she wanted to kung fu Yo's ears pretty bad.

楽しかったよ!

Slowly but surely ...

The other day, as I took a leisurely walk down the street—something I don't do as much these days—I had a small revelation: The thing that makes me feel like such a foreigner in Japan is not that I'm not Japanese but, indeed, that I don't speak Japanese.

I've been noticing lately, via various experiences, just how important communication is in becoming a member of a community and just how easy it is to feel out of wildly place when you're the only one that can't speak the common language in a group. And reading former Yamasa student (and "spiritual mentor") David Chart's most recent blog entry only reinforced this feeling.

It's painful for me to be among Japanese people and only to be able to communicate at such a low level. I don't understand a lot, and that's embarrassing. (In terms of listening ability, I think I'm near the bottom of my class, if not at the bottom.) But on those rare occasions that a conversation goes well, it feels extremely good. (The most recent occurrence of this feeling, I think, was at a restaurant that I went to with Mikawa Ossan. We ended up having a brief conversation with a nice waitress and it was a pretty good success for me, as my parts went pretty surprisingly smoothly.)

I greatly admire Mikawa Ossan because he came here not knowing much Japanese and, in a sink-or-swim situation, fought to teach himself the language, and now he knows Japanese at an amazing level. Too, David Chart started at Yamasa, just like me, and now he's able to speak Japanese extremely well also. Sometimes I feel that I'll never be able to reach these guys' level of proficiency.

But I know that's just my impatience talking. When I feel like that, I try to think along the lines recommended by faithful reader and fellow Houstonian Brian K. Mitchell a month ago: "keep in mind how far you have come and compare yourself now with your self before you came to Japan and you will see you have come along way." It's true that I've made a lot of progress since April. It's easy not to notice your own progress, though, if you're not careful. We all start at the bottom. You have to earn your way up.

For whatever the reason, I want to learn Japanese. More specifically, I want to be able to handle conversations (casual and at places of business) with few problems; I want to be able to read a newspaper (mainly a kanji problem, this one); I want to be capable of (whether I end up doing so or not) living here in Japan without having Yamasa as a crutch. Slowly, I'm getting there. I think that, at this, point, it's largely a matter of vocabulary and experience. Knowing that, I can adjust my methods as need be and progress.

I think my goal this year will be to read a newspaper article or two everyday. (I don't really do New Year's resolutions, but the timing is close enough to one that you could call it such, I suppose. It's really a coincidence of timing, though.) I need to study more as well.

Thanks to all of you back home, here, and even around the world, that are cheering me on and wishing me well. It's appreciated.

1/05/2007

デクランさんにインタビューしてもらった

放送の後、YAMASAの国際部の部長(?)のデクランさんにYAMASAニュースレターのためにインタビューしてもらった。1時間くらい、アオイホールの部屋に座って話し合った。なぜ日本語を勉強しているのかとか、日本へ来る前に何をしていたのかとか、聞かれて答えた。(さっきの日本語、正しい文法かな?)

デクランさんに聞いたんだけど、YAMASAヴィラの隣の新しい建物はヴィラ5だそうだ!でも、多分レジデンス・ハネと同じ家賃だそうだから、僕はここに住み続けるつもりだ。ヴィラ3は本当に寮で文句がない。

カクさんのカンフー | Kaku's kung fu

面白いビデオについて教えてもらった。先学期のクラスメートのカクさんが出てカンフーをすごく上手にしているビデオがYouTubeにアップロードされた!(今回のカクさんは一昨日のカクさんと違って別の人なんだ。)カクさんのルームメートのレンさん、アップロードしてくれてありがとうね。皆さん、見よう。いい勉強になるはずだから。

I just heard about an interesting YouTube video starring none other than my classmate Kaku in the midst of demonstrating some kung fu. Thanks to her roommate, Ren-san, for uploading the movie. If you pay attention, you just might learn a thing or two.



Did you learn anything?
何か習ったのか?

『しゃべり場わいわい』の第2放送

Tomorrow is the all-new Shaberiba Waiwai's second show and the first one of 2007. It's at 3PM Okazaki time. If you're in Okazaki, feel free to come sit in the cold and watch us at Aoi Hall.

明日は『しゃべり場わいわい』の第2放送で、2007年の第1放送だよ!午後3時!岡崎にいたら、スタジオの前まで聞きに来て。

More details are available in my announcement from last week.
放送情報は先週の広告に書いてある。

Last week's broadcast isn't posted at FM Okazaki's site yet, it seems, so many of you haven't ever heard the first broadcast. It was pretty embarrassing, though, maybe that's a good thing. This week's will be a bit better, I think.

先週の放送はFM岡崎のウェブサイトにアップロードされていないので、まだ聞いていない人が多いかもしれないと思うが、僕たちはDJすることが下手だから、聞かないほうがいいかなぁと思っている!今週の放送のほうがいいはずだ。



Post-show wrap-up: Man, today's show didn't go so smoothly. Our topic was fairly difficult, there were a lot of kanji in the script that slowed me down, we had a large last-minute change to the schedule to accommodate, and we didn't get to practice enough. All of this led to a fairly mediocre outing. Next week will be much better, though.

But I did discover that there is no music in the Internet broadcasts by design. It costs extra to procure the rights to do that so ... there you go. That's rather unfortunate. The broadcast is all the weaker for it.

放送後コメント:アーーー!今日の放送はうまくいかなったと思う。話題も難しかったし、スクリプトにも漢字がたくさん書いてあったから僕にとって読むにのは時間もかかったし、放送のすぐ前に時間割の内容が変わられたし、お正月の活動で準備も足りなかったし、ちょっと困っていたね。もちろんいい勉強になったけど。来週は大成功のはずだぞ!楽しんで!

インターネットで放送の音楽が出ないのは決めてあることだそうだ。お金がかかるので無理だって。残念だね。

1/04/2007

An aside: enormous adversarial crab battle

(If you don't understand, then just pay it no mind ...)

So today in this part of Japan, the weather is cool and sunny, I'm pleased to report. I was asked by my school to run a short errand: just transporting a spindle of about 50 Windows XP installation discs from one office to another. Well, sure.

So I began the moderately long trek and, when I turned a rather nondescript corner into an alley, a giant enemy crab suddenly jumped out at me from out of the blue, its giant mouthparts glistening with what could only be enemy crab drool. I dropped the spindle and Windows discs scattered in every direction.

Of course, I was scared out of my mind and didn't know what to do. It was my first time. Should I run or should I try to fight it? I attended one of the community's free disaster-preparedness seminars a while back, sure, but it was held in Japanese and, as I spoke even less Japanese then than I do now, I didn't understand most of it and got pretty much nothing from it. I did receive some sort of worksheet with a simple diagrams depicting a young schoolgirl fighting a giant crab (probably an enemy sort, I would assume) with some helpful-looking points printed beside said diagrams, but I'd never really looked at it and, further, had not the slightest idea where it might be.

I got to thinking to myself: "Self," I thought, "you probably can't progress any further if you don't defeat this thing." Streets here in Japan are like that, which is part of the reason that trains are so copious in Japan and why this country is, essentially, on rails, you might say. Not to, in any way, imply a lack of vehicles on the roads, however. So crowded are the streets, and so strong is the influence even on the sidewalk traffic, that one can do little but allow oneself to be swept along with the flow of things, helplessly watching the autos scroll by. You might say.

Alas, a digression most uncalled for.

Thus, I was confronted by this sizable, unfriendly crab. I unsheathed the katana that I was issued upon my arrival here—I only have a pre-college student visa, so it is of inferior quality as compared to the Hattori Hanzo katana that permanent residents are issued—and attempted to slash at it. My lack of training was immediately evident to even me, as the crab effortlessly deflected my swipe with one of its giant legs. I tried a different type of swipe, and yet another third type of swipe, and found those equally worthless.

I was doing something wrong. That much was obvious. But try as I might, I was unable to recall any specific method for dealing with this sort of threat. Right then, I heard a giggle. Was this monstrosity ... giggling at me? No, it came from behind. I whipped my head around and saw a schoolgirl of about twelve years of age—one not too unlike the one pictured in the diagrams of that worksheet from so long ago—standing at the entrance to this godforsaken alley.

"Help me, please! What do I do?!" I pleaded in broken Japanese. But she merely giggled again—that accursed titter!—and continued walking down the sidewalk and out of my sight. Beyond the entrance to the alley, the autos scrolled by.

I grew angry and turned back to the crab, which sat quietly, emitting an enemy-like aura of menace. Why the refusal to help? As a student of Japanese schools, she was drilled about how to handle giant enemy crabs almost weekly. She knew what I should do! Was it because I was a foreigner? And carrying an unsheathed katana? Or, perhaps—and it hurt my pride to even think so—was the situation that I was in not nearly as dangerous as I felt it was. (Or, as I later discovered, was it I had actually said, "Help! Please do me!" to her instead? O woe is the inexperienced Japanese student!)

My anger intensified and, feeling a bit more careless, I leapt at the crab and swiped a mighty swipe at it. How, I don't know, but somehow, I managed to damage the beast and it reeled back in pain. Giving in to the adrenaline- and embarrassment-fueled rage, I swiped again and again, missing most of my hits but still leading the creature to reel farther and farther back on its back legs until it seemed in danger of falling onto its back. I finally delivered a mighty swipe that so frightened the monster than it did indeed fall onto its back, and onto some of the Windows discs as well, unfortunately, it's giant legs wiggling helplessly.

And then it hit me: this was the critical time. I had to do something now or, perhaps, it would right itself and I would be forced to do this entire exercise again. I remembered that the final diagram on that worksheet that I'd received so long ago was of the giant enemy crab on its back and ... and what? The schoolgirl on that paper had done something to the crab—something damaging. And, I realized, she had been standing on top of it at the time!

I had to board the blasted monster to finish it off!

Utilitizing a series of jumps, I reached the top of the overturned creature and, as I stood on it's crabby belly, the final image on that months-old paper became as clear as the clearest of clearnesses in mind. I raised my visitor-issue katana above my head and, while yelling "Die!!!" in Japanese (I've seen much evidence in the historical documents supporting that this is the proper method for such things) plunged it deep into the the crab's belly. With a start, the crab's body briefly spasmed violently, shot its legs toward the sky, and dropped them flat onto the ground.

Needless to say, I was pleased at myself as this. Unfortunately, many of the Windows XP installation discs were scratched or broken beyond repair, so I just recovered what I could. I figure I picked up about 41 XPs and then continued on my way through the alley and onto the boulevard beyond.

Soon, at the target office, as I was relating the experience to one of the older ladies that works there, and she explained to me that I had performed as is generally recommended at the end of the sudden battle. I think. I can never understand her Japanese very well, but I did pick up on the words "omoi higai" (重い被害) and "yowai supotto" (弱いスポット), which should mean that I was, luckily, able to strike its vulnerable area to deal it serious injury, I believe. Thank goodness!

Unfortunately, I soon discovered that it was my responsibility to recover the crab's carcass, divide it into garbage bags, and set it out for trash collection, as is the way of the trash-conscious Japanese. Would have been nice to know this beforehand.

Are giant enemy crab carcasses burnable trash or nonburnable trash?

1/03/2007

Iクラスのカクさんへ

先学期が終わる前に、Iクラスのカクさんに面白い事実を聞いた。カクさんはYAMASAに来る前に、このブログを読んでいたと言ってくれた。本当?すごいよね!もしかして、まだ読んでくれているの?これからも読み続けてね。

そうだね。みんなに読んでもらうとうれしくなる。よろしく!

ミクシィ

ミクシィのアカウントを持つようになった。なんでアカウントを作ったのかというと僕もちょっと分からない。好奇心だったから実験として作ってみた。実験の結果がいいように友達になろう。

1/02/2007

笠置山 | Kasagiyama

先週、三河おっさんと笠置山(かさぎやま)という場所へ行った。行くために、車でとても険しい山道を登らなきゃならなかった。雨も降っていたし、本当に怖かった。でも、登ったらいい景色が見えるようになってよかった。僕らの2人しか人がいなかったので静かだった。

Last week, I went to Kasagiyama in Kyoto Prefecture, where the Seige of Kasagi took place, with Mikawa Ossan. To get there, we had to ascend a pretty dangerously steep mountain road in the rain without the benefit of railing. It was actually rather unsettling. But you know, boldly going where no one has gone before (on that day—possibly).



囲碁の広告が前にはってあったけど、閉まっていた。
There was a Go flyer posted outside but, alas, they weren't open.



面白くてちょっと不思議な場所なんじゃないかと思う。機会があったら一回行って。

Kasagiyama turned out to be an interesting, somewhat mysterious place. Check it out if you have the chance.

回転空揚げ屋

今晩、ヨウさんとティカさんとゾーイさんと一緒ににぎりの徳兵衛(とくべい)という近い回転寿司屋で食べに行って楽しい時間を過ごした。まず、思わず空揚げ(からあげ)をとって食べ始めたけど、ティカさんもヨウさんも「なんでブライアンさんのように空揚げばかりを食べてるのか?」と聞いた。僕はその通りだったのに気付いて、「最初の食べ物だけだ」と答えた。寿司みたいな物を食べたような気がしているのに、最後まで寿司を食べなかったと思う。回転空揚げになったようだね。

How I spent New Year's | 僕はどうお正月を過ごしたか教える

平成19年が始まったね。週末は三河おっさんと楽しく過ごして、『宇宙大作戦』の映画とテレビエピソードをたくさん見た。昨夜、やっと『ルパン三世』を初めて見た。見たのは『ルパン三世 カリオストロの城』という映画だった。アニメーションの質もいいし、物語も面白いし、好きだったよ。『ハウルの動く城』も見た。それもよかった。日本語でも英語でも見たけど、やはり日本語の映画なら日本語のほうがいいよね。

Welcome to the all-new 2007 Japan Journal. Well, I spent the weekend with Mikawa Ossan watching a ton of classic Star Trek fare. I have to admit that, for the first time, I really see the appeal of the show. I thought it was just '60s cheesiness, but it was quite good for the most part. The old generation is a lot less sterile than the "Next Generation." I also finally saw my first Lupin III feature, a movie named The Castle of Cagliostro. We watched part of it in English and part of it in Japanese. The English dub was pretty terrible, easily one of the worst and most liberal dubs that I've seen. I finally saw Howl's Moving Castle as well and liked it well enough. Ahh, good old traditional animation is good stuff.

今週のラジオ放送の準備を始めなきゃならないけど。曇りだし、寒いし、元気がちょっと出しにくい。眠りたい。

I need to prepare for this week's radio show, though. But it's cold and cloudy and hard to get started.

By they way, Japan's had its own "wardrobe malfunction"–type of event, thanks to the personally-reviled DJ Ozma—or rather, thanks to the people that control him, I suppose.

Video: Kind of sad. Kind of weird.