7/31/2010

ペンタブレットの購入



やっと購入してしまいました、ペンタブレットを。
もう長い間ほしかったですな。
そんなに高くなかったです。
子供の頃から絵を描くのが好きですが、
大人になってからはまじめに描いてません。
たまには描きましょう。

7/30/2010

はじめてのおつかい

『はじめてのおつかい』のエピソード。
この番組が意外と面白いように思う。
アメリカでこういうのは絶対しないよね。



Japan Probeより

もう一つの話です。今回は問題が起こります。


7/26/2010

最高の天気

夜10時半ぐらいに親友の家から帰ろうと外へ出たら、
なんてパーフェクトな天気だった。
暑くもない、寒くもない。湿度も下がった。
風はちょっとだけ強くて、ちょうどいいぐらい。
大きな雲の中に稲妻が光っていて、
大雨が今にも降りそうな感じ。
すごく気持ちがいい。

帰る前に、池のほとりのベンチに座り、音楽を聴くことにした。
嵐が接近している、やや強い風を伴う26℃の夜が最高。
最近、こんなに気持ちのいい天気はまったくないね。
数滴の雨が降り始めるまで、ベンチで一人で
この夜の雰囲気を満喫した。

新しいデザイン | New design

長い間、ブログのデザインを変更したいと思ってまいりましたが、本日をもっていよいよ新鮮なデザインができました。そんなに変化はないと思いますが、アーカイブメニューもよりご使用しやすくなりましたし、最近のコメントというメニューも改めて載っておりますので、ご覧になる皆様には快適にご利用できるようブログ界の最新機能が当ブログに設えられております。ごゆっくりお読みになってください。以降もどうぞよろしくお願いいたします。(今日は敬語の練習に挑戦してみたが、やはりかなり難しいね。)

I've been wanting to update my blog's design using Blogger's updated tools for a while now, but today I finally got it done and I'm pretty pleased with the results. The new tools are great and make organizing things a lot better. We've got an improved archive menu and the "recent comments" feature is back too.

Welcome to the Journal 2.0. (I'm still tweaking it, though.)

7/24/2010

湘南ビーチを久しぶりに

Tea, Please | お茶をください

今晩は部屋で写真編集しながら
久しぶり湘南ビーチFMの放送を聞いている。

"Back To The '60s"って番組をさっきまでやってて、
これは60年代の米国のヒット曲を流す番組。
ネットで日本のラジオ番組によって、
自分の母国の音楽に触れるなんて、
現代の素敵なところだね。

という気持ちをメールにして送ってみたら
DJさんがラジオで読んでくれたんだ!
(岡崎の「ラジオのジョン」はまたラジオで!〈笑〉)
男性のDJのほうはヒューストンにいらしたことがあり、
お二人がその話してくださった。
なんと30年も前の話だって。
僕が生まれたばかりの頃だね。
当時のヒューストンってどんなところだっただろうか。

日本語の聴力をアップするために
日本のラジオをもっと聞こうと思っている。
生の日本語に触れるチャンスが少ないんだもんね。
継続は力なり・・・というんだね。

7/23/2010

『うぬぼれ刑事』

さっき、『うぬぼれ刑事』というドラマの第一回を見終わったところだ。これはおもしろいよ。

Bikenglishさんのおすすめだったので、見てみようと思って見たんだけど、こういうコメディーが僕は好きだな。キャストもすばらしいし、原稿もいいし、ユーモアもいい。毎週、見ることにしよっか!ありがとう、Bikenglishさん。感謝感謝。

ドラマの話が面白いことは面白いけど、このドラマのキャラクターの日本語がなぜかあまり解りやすくないんだ。字幕をつけて見ることができるけど、挑戦して、落ちている聴力のために字幕をつけずに生で見ようかと思う。字幕を使うならせめて1度,見てからにする。オーディオをMP3にしてMP3プレイヤーに入れるかもしれない。そうするのは時々、映像なしで日本語を耳にするのがわかりやすいからだ。

(勉強した「めんこい」を初めて聞いたのが嬉しかった。)

7/21/2010

Using Japanese-Japanese dictionaries

As I like to mention from time to time, I'm a firm believer that higher-level learners of Japanese should use Japanese-Japanese dictionaries in addition to Japanese-English dictionaries at least some of the time.

This point was again illustrated to me just now when I tried to look up a couple of words in WWWJDIC.

【哨戒】 しょうかい
WWWJDIC: patrolling
Genius: patrol
大辞泉: 敵の襲撃を警戒して、軍艦や飛行機で見張りをすること

I had a feeling that there was more to this word than just "patrolling," so I checked the Japanese-Japanese dictionary 大辞泉 online at Yahoo! and was a bit shocked to see just how much. (For those that can't read it, it says, "To use warships or aircraft to patrol as precaution against enemy attacks.")

So, apparently, you can't use it to refer to, say, a security guard patrolling a building. Eijiro, that font of example sentences, agrees. Fascinating!

If you are reading and just want to know what the word basically means, "patrolling" is fine. But if, like me, you want to really know what the word means and how it's used, Japanese-Japanese dictionaries are the way to go.

One more example:

【参入】 さんにゅう
WWWJDIC: coming; visiting; going
Genius: no entry (!)
大辞泉: (1)高貴な人の所を訪問すること。(2)市場などに新たに加わること

I looked this one up in WWWJDIC and felt that the definition was too vague, so I tried 大辞泉 again and got just what I was looking for. (That translates to "[1] To visit a high-class or noble person's location. [2] To add something new to the market.")

This is not at all to bash WWWJDIC, which is generally fantastic, or other Japanese-English dictionaries. They sometimes come through even when Japanese-Japanese dictionaries don't. It's just that Japanese-English dictionaries often seem to just translate words and not really explain things very much.

So if you want to really understand the words you're looking up—especially how they're used—be sure to supplement with a Japanese-Japanese dictionary as well! And checking out a few example sentences at Eijiro isn't bad either.

(WWWJDIC accepts user submissions, so maybe I'll take some action to improve these entries. My charity work for the day.) Update: Changes submitted.

7/20/2010

『日本人の知らない日本語』 ドラマ版の第1回

ドラマ『日本人の知らない日本語』の第一回を昨日、見てみた。気に入らないね。

設定は原作の漫画と同じで、日本語学校で勉強している外国人の難しい質問に、日本語教師が答えていくという簡単な設定なんだけど、ドラマの先生は原作の本の主人公のなぎこ先生ではなく、こんな人物だ。


げっ?表情から性格がだいたいわかるだろう?ふむ~なんか好きじゃないんだな、僕は。しかし、先生の他に、原作の学生のキャラクターがドラマに出ているのがいいところだと思う。(とくに超まじめなジャック。)だけど、そういっても、ドラマのユーモアは原作の本ほどできてないと僕は思う。

もちろん、このドラマを見てみたいと思った一番の理由は、面白い日本語を紹介されたいと思ったからだ。まあ、ドラマの中で、難しい言葉の説明があるけど、第1回だったせいか単語の数がかなり少ない。「これぐらいの単語のために、こんなくだらないドラマなんかあまり見たくない」とまで思うぐらい。

ちなみに、第1回の一番面白いところは下のシーンだったと思う。





それがジャックだよ。

一応、第2回を見てみようと思っている。いいドラマとは言い切れないけど、このふうに外国人の視点から日本語習得や日本生活を描写するのがいいことじゃないかと思う。(今回は日本語が不自由のせいでバイトで困っていた学生の話があった。そういうのあるよね。)

7/17/2010

Japan 2010: Days 13b and 14 (The Final Days)

On the evening of Day 13, I arrived back in Tokyo for my last evening in Japan before returning to Houston the next afternoon.

I didn't know the way back to Yamamoto's pad, so I had to have some guidance from him over the phone. While checking in with him from time to time, down the street I walked.


A most fantastic restaurant indeed!
(Note: It's named "Jonathan.")

Japan: Protecting the Earth with toiletbots.

And thus was I back at Yamamoto and M-Girl's place. I was pretty tired and just hung out for a while.

That evening, Yamamoto, M-Girl, and Shuu-san went and ate at the best restaurant in town: Jonathan. We went to the one that I passed on the way to Yamamoto's place. Jonathan is a pretty nice family restaurant. (It would be nicer if they let me eat for free.) This Jonathan is in Tokyo, so it's more vertical than horizontal, an interesting twist on my Jonathan's experience (which consists on the one that I used to visit with Mikawa Ossan back in day--and now neither the restaurant nor the Ossan are around anymore!).



Very nice just having dinner and chatting with these folks again.

After that, we returned to the apartment where, finally, I was initiated into Mahjongg, the "it" game for a while now out there. I've played a 3D one-person tile-matching version of Mahjongg and thought that I was at least half prepared for the game.

As Yamamoto made clear to me right off the bat: Wrong.

I was taught the game from scratch and it is indeed very different from what I was doing. (Reminds of me when I first got into go and thought that the way to win was capturing more stones than your opponent. Oops!) I think I've already forgotten some of the details (ごめん), but I'm sure they'll come back to me when I make it back.


Sometime in the evening, our Taiwanese friend Melody appeared. I haven't seen Melody in over two years now, but like I've said of so many people during this trip, she was the same as ever. It was ... reassuring in a way.

Throughout the evening, we had our friend Yo on Skype across the room, bantering with us as he (supposedly) worked. He was in the country working and was going to come say hi the next morning before I set sail, so to speak, but was unable to make it because he puts his clients before Me. Real cold, dude.・・・なんて。

We stayed up until around 2 AM. Melody and Shuu, who stayed over, were up talking the whole night apparently, though.

Which is why Shuu was dead to the world the next morning--Day 14, the final day-- when I set out to the station to catch the train back to Narita. Tsk tsk. Yamamoto, I think, was busy with work, so M-Girl and Melody escorted me to the station. I left my good friend Yamamoto with a promise to return again. (泊めさせてくれてありがとう!)

It was raining that morning, so we opted to hail a taxi to get us to the train station I'd first arrived in, Keisei Ueno.



 ありがとうございました。



 The press was there, undoubtedly to catch the final
glimpses of me before I left the country.


After purchasing my ticket and killing some time before my train was to depart, I said my goodbyes to Melody and M-Girl (さらば、マイ・フレンド!ありがとうね) and headed to my train.



So long, Tokyo!









I arrived at the airport just in the nick of time. This always seems to happen with my returns from Japan. (ほら!) I got checked in and took my seat on the plane. On this flight, I took an aisle seat for the first time but ended up kind of regretting it. Fortunately, there was a Japanese guy at the window seat who needed to get up and lot and asked if I wanted to switch. Score! The flights home were fine, though I was a bit annoyed at getting flagged for random searches at Narita and Detroit.









When I got home (around 5:30 PM), I was greeted by my mother and the fact that my luggage was not in Houston.

 WHERE IS MY BAG?って

After some mild panicking, I discovered that it had been delayed by a day because I was supposed to have checked it again in Detroit. I hadn't heard that announcement. Since I experienced the loss of some items in a shipping accident when I first left the country, I was pretty concerned about my suitcase, which was to be delivered to me the next day, but it arrived quickly with everything intact. My thanks to Delta for that one.

And that brings my two-week trip back to Japan to a close. I had a fantastic time and, except for a couple of scheduling hiccups, everything went very well. I'll write another post about my thoughts regarding the trip and Japan soon, though. ("Soon.")


My thanks to everyone who made my trip a rousing success. I'm hoping that I can do another week or so next year too (hopefully with my mother), but we'll have to see if that works out.

というわけで、僕の2010年日本旅行記を終えます。ぜんぶ英語で書いてすみません。が、もともとこのブログはアメリカの友達に、僕が日本で何をしているかを教えるためのブログなのです。久しぶりの再来日のため、ここの友達がわかるようにしようと決めました。できるものなら日本語でも書いたのですが、時間的には無理ですね。が、いつか和訳してみようかなと思っているので、日本語で旅行記が読めるという日が来るかもしれませんよ。

ムービー『江ノ島電鉄 (江ノ島→稲村ヶ崎)』

今日、このビデオを紹介された。
シンプルなムービーだけど、なんか大好きだよ。
I stumbled upon this video today.
It's so simple but I absolutely love it.



この電車にはいつか乗りたいなあ。
I want to ride this train someday.

7/12/2010

My 一日

今日は夕方までアパートでゆっくりしてた。
 
時間をかけて、当ブログの日本旅行記の
13日目の前半の投稿をブログに載せたね。
(それらの投稿は全部英語で、ごめんなさい。
いつかまた、和訳も載せようかなと思ってる。)
 
夕方は公園の湖のほとりのベンチに座り、
音楽を聴きながら漫画を読んだ。
 
その後、親友の家で親友と晩ご飯を食べながら
 『Dr.HOUSE』というアメリカのテレビドラマを観た。
(超お勧めだよ、第1,2シーズンは。)

親友の応援を、応援団長としてしたし。〈笑〉
(僕も一人でやってるけど、親友より先に進んでる。)
 
時々、こういう穏やかな一日も休みたいものだなあ。
明日は仕事だから、気合を入れて頑張るゾ!

Japan 2010: Day 13a (Okazaki Homestay 2)

On the morning of Day 13, I awoke on a futon on the floor in my friend Y-san's family's house. This was my second day awakening here and, just like the previous day, it began with a delicious homemade breakfast.


This morning, T-kun was much more awake and we played a bit of New Super Mario Bros. Wii together. I am a Super Mario veteran and have gone through this particular game with my friends here, so I quite impressed T-kun with my l33t skillz. (He admitted quite plainly that he was 下手くそ at the game, which was amusing and a bit endearing too.)

I am always Luigi.

It was raining this morning, so T-kun got a ride to school.



When we dropped T-kun off at school, the personnel there invited me to visit with the students again. The previous day had been very enjoyable and the flesh was willing, but the spirit was weak. I wanted to rest, so I politely declined the offer. I do intend to visit again whenever I next make it up there, though.

On the way back to her house, Y-san asked me if I'd like to see the nearby Shinpukuji (真福寺), the oldest temple in Aichi Prefecture. I was shocked that such a place was in Okazaki without my knowledge (not that I'm some Okazaki encyclopedia or anything!) and, of course, I said yes.

We drove up some very narrow, winding mountain roads (just a bit unnerving in the rain) and arrived to find the place empty. We parked in a large open area surrounded by towering, rain-soaked trees and began walking around. (The rain really helped the atmosphere.) These snapshots don't do the scenes justice.










This bridge traversed much of the grounds.







Hydrangea (アジサイ)


And that's Shinpukuji. (I found a Yamasa page with some more info on it and some other temples in the area, for those that are interested.)

After this, we returned to the house where I took a much-needed nap before I left Okazaki for Tokyo.



The Japanese have a reputation for putting
mayonnaise on everything. This is a salad.
With mayo. Y-san asked if I wanted to try it,
so I did. And you know what? It was good.

Some pudding that I bought for the family while
in Hamamatsu. It, too, was quite delicious.

And what better for an after-meal activity than a little American anime?


(Yeah, I guess you can't 直訳 that ...)


Since it was Tom & Jerry, who don't talk, watching this was not too unlike watching it in America, except for the occasional brief spoken lines that they added for the characters when they were off-screen (which they did, I assume, because they wouldn't need to match the dialogue to the characters' mouths). Not sure what was up with that.

This, by the way, was the (nice) ofuro that I used:


After this, it was time for me to hop the bullet train to Tokyo.







But first, I had a couple of stops to make. The first stop was W-san's house. I wanted to say goodbye to her husband, since I was unable to when I first left Okazaki. (While we were there, an Okazaki council member stopped by and derailed the goodbye a little bit, but he was nice enough and gave me a card too. I found his Japanese very difficult to understand.)


The second stop was down the street to Daiso to buy the sake glass that my friends Sharkbait and Spida-Woman requested. I just bought a whole set, with a bottle and two shot glasses. (They were very happy to receive the set, I'll say.)


After this, a trip through my old neighborhood. (I wanted to stop by the Yamasa Villas to see how they were holding up, but never got a chance. Maybe that's good, because I might have hassled whoever's in my apartment, ”お父様城.” Whoever's in Yamasa Villa 3 #203, I'm watching you.)




At last ... Okazaki Station. This is it ...



Toyohashi is where I boarded the actual bullet train.

So long, Okazaki.
You'd better believe I'll be back.




Toyohashi:











And after a long ride, I arrived in Tokyo. More on that soon.