Friday, March 30, 2007

And the word for today is......

So I was going through the usual blogs that I read and my sister, Sara, had written on one post that she had "ganked" a link from a friend's blog. Ganked? Was this a real word...or just something she made up? (Don't laugh....I find myself using "Debbie-isms" in class....they may or may not be real words!!! Case in point: re-invent. As in "I'm trying to re-invent myself this year....I try to do it every now and then." Not in the dictionary of any of my students....I knew what I was talking about!!)

Anywayyyyy....back to gank. Did a bit o'checking and on the trusty Wikipedia site....there it was....gank....(transitive): To swindle.
(transitive): To rob, steal.
, (Internet) To copy, reproduce, reuse, or save an image, idea, or work of another person, often in the context of materials posted on the Internet. Ganking can occur with or without permission.
May I gank your icon?
(slang), (transitive), (Internet) To kill, ambush, or defeat with little effort; used in online games.

I'm thinking that I like this word. I think that I will try to use it whenever I can. I might be a pretty good ganker and not even know it! I just hope that when I DO use it, my students have new dictionaries so it will be in there and I don't have to look like I'm making up words...again!!

Have a good day all! And remember, if you have to gank something (like I ganked the word 'gank' from my sister's blog!)....make it something good!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Will the Simpsons have a chance to put Springfield (Colorado, that is!) on the map?!?!

So...have you heard the news?
According to FOX, the opening of the new Simpsons' movie will be held on July 27th at a Springfield...somewhere!
They are asking for all the Springfields to send in videos giving reasons why their particular Springfield should be chosen!!
Now...color me "partial", but...I do believe that my hometown should be chosen!! And I am not the only one....if you go to;jsessionid=C30A8FF0F8518EE5A7F788BC99271FA3?contentId=2746790&version=3&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1
you can see the video clip that Denver Fox did.....and, if you click on the link at the bottom of the page ("Friday H.S. Pride: Fun in Springfield") you can see even more fun stuff.
Well....I (and most of Springfield!) think it is pretty funny.
It's amazing how many of the kids at the school I know...or, shall we say, how many of their PARENTS I know!!
On the second video you can link to, my cousin's son is actually on camera doing a pretty good "Napoleon Dynamite".....go Blake!! What a funny guy!!
AAAANNNNnnnndd...on the third one, when the band is playing the "fight song", the saxophone player in green is my nephew, Bo!!! (Will someone tell me where Todd is?? I keep looking for him, but can't seem to locate him!!! Toooooooooooood.....come back!!!!)
So....will keep you posted...not sure when the results will be announced, but will post here!!
I can tell you this....IF Springfield, Colorado is chosen....I can almost guarantee that my youngest brother, Guy and his sons Matt and Jason will make a trip from South Carolina. From the very beginning, Guy has been a fan and his sons just fell right in there with him!!!
So....for all of MY fingers are crossed!!
(I wonder if I could say a special prayer at a temple for this?!?!)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Sunday funny for you....

Got this in an e-mail from Mom...Hey. It made me laugh, so thought I would share it with you!! Hope you had a great weekend!!
Live big...laugh loud!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hello, hello, hello....and how are you today? you think this looks like me?? either...but...I kind of like it!! A few years ago when Issei and I were in Denver, we drug our good friends Dena, Lila, Cheryl, Marcella and Kim (who was visiting from Seattle) to Casa Bonita. Now, if you are not familiar with this particular eating establishment, don't know what you are missing. Though the food is mediocre, the atmosphere is what you go for! Cliff divers, mariachi bands, gorillas running loose and all the sopapillas you can eat (as long as you keep raising the flag on your table!!)'s just too much fun!!

So while we were there, I had a picture drawn by a caricature artist....and this is just part of what he drew!!

A few months ago, I decided that I needed business cards to give to students and for a giggle, I put this on to see what it would look like!! ("Debra Kuroiwa, English Language Consultant"!!) Personally, I kinda like will leave it on until I can find something better!! Obviously, I was much younger then....

Anyway....let's see....Oh...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our good friends Lila (ageless!!) in Colorado and to Aida (9) in California!! We wish you both wonderful days full of fun, cake, lots of presents and laughter!! I spoke to Lila today for about an hour (how does the time go by so fast?!?!) and both of us were sniffling, coughing and sounding pretty damn nasaly (is that a word?)!! I hope you are feeling better soon....

Okay....let's see (#2)...not really much happening here....Issei is looking forward to next week as it is the end of the school year for him. He will have about 2 weeks holiday and then it will be time for 4th grade!!! Doesn't seem possible!! We are looking forward to getting his report card...he has done so much better these last few months in math and science, so we are hoping his grades came up. His kanji (Chinese characters) grade is what we are worrying about...though he has improved a bit, he doesn't really try very hard....Science and bugs are his forte these days. Will let you all know next Friday what the results are!! Keep your fingers crossed!!

We have been hit by some kind of "bug" here...lot's of people out with the flu...but we just have a cold we keep passing back and forth to each other. Hoping this is over soon and that all of you are doing good!! The cherry blossoms are about to "do their thing" here so am looking forward to the spring season!! It is my favorite time of year!!

Take care....peace, love and hugs & kisses to you all!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Another festival for children...

March 3 was the "Hina Matsuri", or 'doll festival' here in Japan. Families all over Japan who have girls, put out displays to celebrate the girls in their family!! There are also special foods that are made to help with the festivities.

This picture is of my good friend Masami's little girl and her display. The display is actually the one that Masami had when she was will be passed down to Kanon-chan, who was born in November...she's such a cutie-patootie!

Each doll, starting at the top with the prince and princess, and working down, all have specific purposes and roles.
Everything is to make sure that the little girl grows up strong and healthy and happy. AND....if the family takes the display down as soon as the festival is over, then she will be guaranteed an early marriage....the longer it sits out passed the festival, the less chance she will have of finding her "prince"....alot of people say that is just a superstition, but you bet your bippy those dolls are neatly packed away in most houses by the 4th!!! *smile* I better call Masami and see if she followed tradition.....I'm thinking they got put up on Tuesday!!!
So....for those of you with little girls out's a little extra special *love* for you!!

Oh...and if you're wondering if we have forgotten the assured, they get their day in May....we fly fish "windsocks" and display Samurai-armor -looking stuff!! It's great!!!

On the Rocks...

...and no, I don't mean "how someone drinks whiskey"!!
For those of us from Colorado (and surrounding states), "on the Rocks" can only really mean one thing....a concert at Red Rocks!!
For those of you who don't know this particular place....go to (I think that's the address) and see for yourself.
It is one of THE best outdoor concert venues in the U.S.
Carved out of the mountains looking out over the city of is quite a thing to see.

So, when Kiyoshi came home the other day, with the Dave Matthews DVD from Red Rocks, I thought that it really couldn't get any better than that!! (Dave's "the man"!!!)
Anyway....watching the DVD, I got to remembering my first concert in Red Rocks....such a memorable experience, even for a 12 year-old!! Back then, it was open seating and if you wanted the good seats, you got there as early as you could. The concert was Gordon Lightfoot and my cousins (being the totally cool high schoolers that they were!!) got there early enough (think early morning, before the sun came up!!) to get front row seats!! It was awesome!! One of the funniest "concert stories" I have comes from this event....Keep in mind that this was the mid-70' outside concert....lot's of "stuff" being passed around.....sometime in the early evening, a guy sitting next to us asked my aunt if she wanted a hit from his which she replied, "No thanks, I just had a hotdog."
Even as young as I was, I realized that that particular aunt was a far from cool as you could ever get,....I'm laughing even now, thinking about it....and rolling my eyes!!!

I hope that as you read this, if you have been to concerts "on the Rocks", you are smiling.....I love it when that happens!!!
Ciao all!!

Nagasaki "Rantan Festibalu"...or "Lantern Festival" to you and me!!

Sunday was the final day of a two-week festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year here in Nagasaki. It has become a very large event and one that the 'powers that be' of the city are, I'm sure, grateful for as it brings in tons of people from all over, spending lots and lots of yen all over town!!
2007 is the "year of the pig", so there were pigs of many shapes and sizes throughout the area. We went on Friday night and the park we went to was completely packed...lots of entertainment (Chinese acrobats, dances, drumming, etc...), good food....the streets and other venues were just as crammed full of people....It was pretty fun!!
The boys and I agreed that the real pig heads in different places around the festival were a bit disturbing (that was my word...Issei's was just "yuck...where's the bodies??").
It is amazing how many lanterns--- tiny, small, big and some absolutely HUGE--- there to be a bit too much!! In my classes, I like to take the time to explain what the word "gaudy" means....very fitting at times like this, sometimes!!
This picture was taken looking up one the main roads into the park in China Town. Everywhere you look are red lanterns and people!! At one point, I felt as if we were the only ones going in that direction and everyone else was going the opposite way!!!

This picture is for our friend Rachel.
Back in 2000 when Rachel was here working at one of the high schools, she joined an Okinawa taiko group and made her "debut" during the Lantern Festival that year. While she was here, Issei and I went to most of her performances and have such fond memories of that time. She worked so hard and spent so many hours practicing.....and had the rock-hard butt to prove it!! *smile* (Take my word for was amazing!!) this kind of drumming, the drummer carries the drum while dancing and moving about in the performance area. Okinawa music is quite unique and different from the music much, that it is very easy to distinguish it from regular Japanese music. This form of taiko ("drumming") is very energetic and personally, one of my favorites.

Kiyoshi tried to take a picture of the group's performance while we were there on Friday night. It's a bit far away, but....that's okay...I think that if Rachel sees this, she'll know what's going on!!
I have to admit....while we were watching...I got a bit choked up. Rachel is just another great friend that has moved on (she and her husband, Ben, live in New York). Being there...outside, watching the group perform made me really miss her....and then I smiled....gotta love those memories!!

We took a "temple tour" in the old Chinese settlement. There are four temples and we bought candles to put in each one as we prayed to the gods.
Issei kept praying for a DS....I told him he should pray for other things too!!!

All in was a great night to spend as a family.

I hope you all had a good was positively spring-like here and we enjoyed being outside under the stars and an incredible full moon.
(I refrained from doing our "moondance" that we usually do under a full moon until we got home....just another silly family tradition!! "What a wonderful night for a moondance..."!!)