Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yes...I'm still here....

Not much going on...but thought I had better put something up as it has almost been a week since I last posted. Wednesday today....I have only one class and that is in the morning. Even though I have other days where there are 4 and sometimes 5 classes, Wednesdays it seems I am the most's a "good" kind of tired, but still 'tired' nontheless.
My class in the morning is...well...a bit on the crazy side! (imagine that?!) There are 24 students and they are all so excited to get together, learn English, and have a fun time, but, it really does sometimes wear me out (in a wonderfully good way!!)! I love them and look forward to their class every week.

There are the "hens"...the group that sits in the back and talks....and talks....
There are the ones that, like today, made it seem, in a good way, like class of elementary school students...questions (so many questions some days!! love that!!), comments, talking....HellLLLlloooOOo....I really did plan something for today!!!

Almost every week, someone brings omiyage ("souvenirs", or sweets from some place they have traveled)...sometimes someone just goes shopping and buys cookies for us to eat....we have to have our morning snack!! :-D
And there is always laughter...lots and lots of laughter!!

The name of the class is "Sunshine" by the way....thought that was a great name for such a genki ("energetic") group!!

So now...I am going to put down the futons, turn on the heater for a bit and maybe read before I go to sleep...tomorrow is another day, she said raising her fist to the sky. (Move over Scarlet...!!)

Good night...oyasumi nasai....

Friday, November 24, 2006

A movie...and a group of should see!!

( first...let me say that NO (dammit!) I did not COULD NOT get a picture of Mr. Watanabe, she said with tears in her eyes.)

Tonight, was a very memorable evening. First of all...I met my friend Hiroko at the movie theater...we stood in line with all the other ticket holders and waited as each person's bags were cameras!! *Mine was hidden at the bottom of my bag, but I just didn't have the guts to get it out later on!!

We watched the movie...which was incredible!! Despite the fact that there were no English sub-titles, I could understand about 50% of the dialogue. After the movie, Hiroko was quizzing me about things and I pretty much understood what was going on. I'm actually glad I saw it this way first...if I had had to read all the sub-titles at the bottom of the screen, I would have missed some of the action, I think. I will get the movie on DVD when it comes out and watch again.

At the end of the movie...the audience was...hmmm..."blown away" would be a good way to describe the feeling in the theater. It is common for Japanese movie-goers to sit until the final credits have finished, but even after the lights came on a bit, no one was quit strange. THEN....the spotlight came on and out came Ken Watanabe and another actor, Tsuyoshi Ihara. I have to admit that when I saw them, I had them in my mind as their characters in the movie, and almost started to cry...again!

*A note about Ken...he was dressed all in black...Hiroko speculated that he was wearing suede...both he and Tsuyoshi looked great!! ("kakuii"...any similiar adjective will work here!!).

Both seemed very moved, themselves about the movie...answered a few questions...It seems that both men visited families of the people they portrayed (Ken was Gen. Kuribayashi and Tsuyoshi was Baron Nishi, who was actually an Olympic equestrian rider). The time was a bit short, the unwritten Japanese rule of entertainment goes, "things must be finished within 2-3 hours"...and so, they left. they were leaving, I do believe that I made eye contact with a bit of a head nod...I'll take it!! *smile* !! I's not like he could miss me or anything...picture if you will a theater filled with about 300 Japanese people and there....right there in the a blonde foreign woman....COME ON!! HE HAD TO HAVE SEEN ME!!!

It was a good evening....thanks Hiroko for sharing the evening with me!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! it is...yet another Thanksgiving that has come and gone...and me NOT feeling too stuffed to go to bed! (I had caramel popcorn and a beer at the movie!!)Actually, today was a holiday here also...not sure actually which one...maybe something like "labor day"...that is what I could gather from the explanations I got!!
As I sometimes do...I start thinking about food...the turkey, dressing (a little sticky, please!), the cranberry sauce, candied yams, and oh! the desserts!! Yes...the feeling of being homesick hits kind of hard.
No, no no...this is not a "pity party" invitation...But...I do want to say
that even though I am far away, I still think about oh so many of you and am thankful everyday for your love, friendship and support.
I hope that you all had a wonderful day.
**Oh...and please go and eat a turkey sandwich (warmed up with cheese and Miracle Whip) for me, will ya?!?!?!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Guess who's coming to Nagasaki!!!!

(....and when you read this next line, please kind of sing it)....and guess who has a ticket?!?! :-D

So...the deal is...Ken Watanabe is coming to United Cinema next Thursday to promote his new movie, "Letters From Iwo Jima" (the Japanese side of the American movie "Flags of our Fathers"...both directed by Clint Eastwood). Anyway...he will be at the theater before the preview of the movie and tickets are given out lottery style. Of course, I entered to get a ticket ....but...come to find out (and what a lucky girl am I!!), one of my students, now one of my best friends, works for the TV station that is one of the sponsors...and she gave me and my good friend Hiroko two tickets!!! (Seriously...I am just smiling and typing here!!!)

I'm sure that people think I am a bit crazy...I'm getting used to that....but, I really do like Ken Watanabe (and have, on ocassion, referred to him as "my next husband"...I'm joking!!!)...I first saw him in the classic "Tanpopo"...that is really a good movie and I thought even then that he was a good actor and well....he's hot!! :-)

One of my students was a bit concerned about me going to the movie. Here was the conversation:

student: But...Debbie sensei...the's Japanese.

Debbie:'s Watanabe!! :-D

student: (smiling) wakatta!! ("I understand!!")

I will try my best, without being 'stalker-like', to get a picture....and if I have to do a bit of stalking...well, then, so be it!! :-D I'll just say that it is "for my mother"!!! :-D

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's a crazy kind of world, huh?!?

This news item has been all over the TV here....along with the earthquake in Northern Japan, 8.1 on the Richter...and I'll just say this...yes, maybe he is good....but.....

Boston paid $51 million just to talk to Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka!?!?!?!
(I got that out of the article on Yahoo by Jeff Passan . You can read it here: Red Sox's winning bid Bold move )

**Thursday--Actually, in today's paper it said that the precise bid was $51,111,111.11.
(Am thinking they really didn't need all those 1's as the next bid was only $38 million!!)

Makes Ichiro's $13.125 million look a bit like 'chump change', doesn't it?!?!

I am amazed and am thinking that I REALLY need to get Issei and Koji out on the least clubs could save money as they wouldn't need tranlsators 24 hours a day!!! where are their gloves...?!?! :-D

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

FINALLY....a bubble worth mentioning!

After what seems like weeks and weeks of practicing....Koji FINALLY produced a bubble....that even popped!! He was so excited...and so were we!!! He has been so incredibly jealous of Issei who has been doing a "bubble-gum superior dance" (so to speak) around Koji for quite awhile....but no longer, my friends!! Congratulations, Koji...a job well done.
*Not bad for a 4-year-old, I think!!

Christmas canNOT get here soon enough!!!

I am such a happy camper right now...and have been ever since I got an e-mail from my dear friend, Lila in Colorado. She is coming to Nagasaki for Christmas!!! (she sang as she typed on the keyboard!!) I told her this morning that I could say that she doesn't know how happy I am that she will be here....but she does know....and for that, I love her!! Not being able to come "home" for a vacation this summer was really hard....I didn't realize until much later,just how much I missed not being there. Coming to the States is such a time to regroup and with her coming and bringing a bit of Colorado with her (and maybe some Cocetti wine, if I can convince her that it is a good idea and can be packed so it won't break!)....I can make it to next summer!!

I have become friends with so many different people in my 15 years here...most have gone back to where they came from...but only a few do I keep in touch with regularly....Lila, Kim, Lauren and Eduardo, Assunta and Augie, Helena and Eli, Rachel....there are a few others, but these particular friends are the "special" ones. So...I am now already planning a Christmas party....not quite a blowout as in previous years (ahhh...nothing can beat that one with 65 people in a house the size of a large walk-in closet!!!), but it will be good and we will be thinking of all of you and wishing you were here!!!

So....we have started "X"-ing off the days on the calendar!!
Plus, I am hoping that I can get my house cleaned up a bit by then.....Gosh, but I do love a challenge!! This may call for large bottles of beer to help me meet this challenge!!!

Welcome to the family, Jarrett!!

As of about 5:00 in the afternoon on November 11, my sister Sara and her boyfriend became "Sara and Jarrett....newleyweds"!! They live in Chattanooga ("choo choo") Tenn. and were married on the banks of the Tennessee (?) River. I received a short report from a very tired Dad, and he said it was beautiful, Sara was beautiful, Jarrett was handsome, Anna (my youngest sister) was beautiful, lots of dancing, possibly too much (if that is possible!) beer/wine/and other assorted "spirits" was just a great time!! (I, of course, was missed terribly...and was sad I couldn't be there...but that's the bad part about living half a world away!!) The happy couple are honeymooning in Canada and will also visit Niagra Falls....which leads me to believe that Sara and Jarrett truly are "old souls"!! We met Jarrett last summer...and we think that he is a "keeper"!! We wish them a lifetime of happiness!! I am looking forward to seeing some pictures....hint, hint, to any family member that was there!!! :-D

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hahaha....a laugh to share!

This was just too cute to pass up...and just in case maybe someone just really needed a giggle today.
Remember when it was okay to just laugh for no reason at all?!?! And...people actually encouraged that kind of be a kid again!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Something new in Nagasaki....

Here is the new bridge that was opened up just a few months is called Megami Ohashi...megami means "goddess" in Japanese.

This photo was taken by the husband of one of my students....he and their son were flying their ultra-light over the city and took this incredible shot! We are looking north into the harbor...Mitsubishi and alot of its "stuff" is on the west side of the harbor. The bridge connects the west and east sides of the city....they have built a lot of housing areas on the west side and with most people working in the city, on the east, the bridge was a needed addition to the it also makes coming into the city easier for those that live further down the coast....they can by-pass the morning traffic in the city! And....the bridge itself just looks really cool!! :-D

The bridge at night is so beautiful!! They have different colored lights on the bridge, so they can change the image a bit.
One of my students said that even though the name was "Goddess", it should have been named "Angel" because it looks almost like angel wings!!

**This particular post was not only for anyone who happens to read this, but mainly for those of you (and you know who you are!!) that used to live here......I will try to add more pictures....Nagasaki has changed so much....You really should come back and see!! :-D

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A short note about the shirt....(See photo below )

Just in case anyone was wondering about the particular shirt that Kiyoshi was wearing on our hike today and before anyone sends in a comment I thought I'd give you a brief explanation...
A few years ago, either for Christmas or birthday, Dad and Carlene sent Kiyoshi this shirt...when they came to Japan, Daddy had quite a few of that style of shirt and Kiyoshi thought that they were kind of cool. So...after more birthdays and Christmases, we now have several, but this one is the *brightest*!!
So...along with many a cowboy and country/western singer, MOST of the Hutches men and the "Hutches men" by marriage, Kiyoshi looks pretty damn good in his cowboy shirt.
Daddy would be proud. :-D

*By the way...if you want to see a bigger picture, just click on the picture and a larger one should pop up!

"just another day in paradise....."

Yesterday was a national holiday here..."Bunka no hi" or "Cultural Day". It is a day that many schools, community centers, and various groups choose to have bazaars, festivals and whatever. Our day was spent at Koji's daycare...eating lots of good food, playing games and visiting with our friends. It's a good day especially, because, when most of us are dropping our kids off, it is "hiya, good morning, see ya" as we are all rushing to our respective we have a day when we can actually talk to each other...or in my case, do the best I can!!! :-D

Today, Kiyoshi took a day off and we spent the day climbing a mountain....Nagasaki is surrounded by mountains, (not Rocky Mountain caliber, but still 'mountains' nontheless!!) all with trails going up and they offer a beautimus (yes, that's my own word!) view of the area. We climbed Mt. Konpira, altititude 363 meters...pretty good hike, but it was fun. The leaves haven't 'turned' yet, but it was still pretty.
There is a place up there where in the 1870's (I think that is what it said!), it was chosen as one of the best sights to see Venus as it was coming close to earth. Japan was the best place and there were 4 or 5 sights where people gathered and Nagasaki was one. Astronomers from many countries came to watch and there is a special monument on the mountain....quite cool, if you really think about it!!

Oh...and just in case anyone is wondering....Issei and Koji just got their hair cut this morning....Koji's hair is still too soft to go very short, but Issei's....personally, I think that he looks like a Buddhist monk! :-D It is quite short....but we love it!!!

*and yes, Mother....this was yet another place that you haven't too....we will put it on our list for the next time you come!! (and that would be.....when??) :-D

This was the first time that I had actually been on this particular mountain...seems strange if you think about it 'cause, ever since I met Kiyoshi, we have been driving all over Kyushu and hiking up mountains...seems funny that we are just now getting to the ones close to home!!
It was a wonderful day....unseasonably warm for November...I think my arms even got a little sunburned!!
I hope you all had a great day too...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Evolution of Dance

**I just checked to see if this worked and it doesn't look at if the connection was made...hmmmm....oh well...until I figure this out....try going to

Maybe you can view it this way.......

"Comedian dances to clips of music from the 60's to the 2000's"

The Evolution of Dance AND Music!! This guy has waaaayy too much energy...and the 6 minutes spent watching this will be well spent!! Actually....I have some nephews that could probably do this....will be expecting a "show" next time we come 'home'!!

Also...I had to laugh when I saw the T-shirt he was wearing....anyone who is a Bronco football fan will remember that shirt...or if you are like my brother, you are probably still wearing it!!!

This particular post is a bit of a test for me...yes, another chapter in the continuing saga of "Debbie and her blog"!! I read other people's blogs and they always put links to other sites and videos....was wondering if I could do it to!! I'm thinking that I passed!!! *yeah!!*

So...while I was typing this, a futon salesman came to our door...after recovering from the shock of having a foreigner answer the door, he proceeded to tell me that 1)I was very beautiful 2)my eyes were also very beautiful 3)I looked really young and 4)that my body was very nice (said as he was NOT looking at my eyes, but a bit more south....). The man really wanted to sell me a futon!! And if he had been an older salesman, I probably would have said something about his "unwanted advances" and shut the door....but because he was kind of cute and, let's face it...the flattery was great....I just listened to him talk. **I feel pretty...oh so pretty...** :-D