Friday, October 30, 2009
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:09 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday was the annual Nagasaki City 6th Grade Sports Festival. Sixth graders, from over 100 elementary schools participated in basketball, soccer, track & field, jump rope and something that is called "tama ire" which is basically "how many bean bags can you throw into a peach basket that is on a pole about 12 feet in the air in 30 seconds?" Each 6th grader throughout the city chose one event to participate....and Issei chose soccer.
Just for the record....Issei? My manga drawing, classical musical loving, DS addicted young man....is NOT exactly what one would call "an athlete". Oh....he plays sports with his friends, but that is all for fun. So, when he told me he signed up for soccer, I was a bit......surprised. He likes soccer okay..."better than basketball and running"....and jumping rope and throwing bean bags into a basket were just a bit too
The kids practiced most afternoons. They got some pretty snazzy uniforms. They were ready to go. Our elementary was in the 7th Block of teams (I think there were 10 different groups), and each school was guaranteed at least 2 games...more if they won.
Issei...in the morning, as he was leaving for school.
Not exactly the pose I was looking for when I told him to "Act tuff!!" Goof!
The boys played their hearts out...even Issei, in his own way. But...the best part of the morning?The other parents that were there and I had such a great time. I haven't laughed like that in quite awhile. One of the principals even mentioned in passing that it was nice to see parents enjoying themselves so much!! (She might have been insinuating that we were too noisy, but we didn't really care!!)
As for the matches....I had my camera but....it was hard to take pictures, cheer, holler and laugh all at the same time. There were so many things that I missed. Things that, if I think of them now, make me smile:
When the goal keeper kicked the ball and it was debatable as to which went further: the ball or his shoe.
When one of Issei's friends just kicked the crap out of the ball only to have it wing back up and fwomp him in the head!! A great combination...kick AND header....THAT one put the mom next to me almost to the ground.
When one girl who, during the girls' game, was in perfect position to head the ball and as it was slowly coming down to her, struck a pose....not unlike that of The Karate Kid (arms out, one leg up and on the ready to attack!). Her mother just sighed and then laughed until we were all almost in tears.
That is when I officially lost it!! Tears, my friends, I had tears running down my cheeks!!
That said....I did actually manage to get pictures I can share....
In the first game, he did see some action...he got to throw the ball in, but..sadly, there was a penalty...something about one foot coming off the ground.....whatever!!
Another of the boys before the first game. The relaxed a bit before they actually had to get on the field.
Seriously? A peace sign? ~sigh~
His Japanese DNA shines through pretty loud and clear sometimes!!
Issei (now #15) in an action photo. This one was actually taken a few minutes before he
One of my favorite parts of sports here in Japan? Win or lose, a team will go to the opposing team's bench and coach (and on this day, the girls' team who was cheering for the boys) and bow and say "otsukarasama deshita"...which is like saying, in this particular case, "That was a great game, thank you for playing against us."
("Thank you for playing like crap, giving us the chance to beat you.")
Issei and his team won their first match, but lost their second. Even though they lost, they played really hard and only lost by one point. The day was all in fun and no one was upset about losing...which was good to see.
When he got home later that afternoon, he informed me that our school had actually won 3rd prize. "Really? How did that happen?" asked I.
Issei's reply? "We're not sure, but we don't care...we got something!!
He was just beaming!!
After talking about how much fun he had had that day, I asked him if he might want to play soccer in junior high next year.....hahahaha....I really wish I had a picture of the look on his face after THAT question!! Let's just say that, no...he's not really interested in doing that.
But still....Tuesday? Yeah..Tuesday was a great day for Issei...and soccer!
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:53 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Something unexpected and irrelevant, but often amusing. A very over-used word now, please people, use it when something really is random.
A few days ago, I got a small package from my mom. In it were the usual county paper, Sunday crossword puzzle, Sunday comics and other various clippings and what-not and......yes....manna from heaven....4 (count 'em)....FOUR Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
Now...to you...if you are a lover of these particular little bits of wonderfulness...this may not seem like such a big deal. But....for those of us (and there are many...not just here in Japan!!) who can NOT get them....it truly is a special treat.
Opening up the package, I realized that Mom had sent something that she had bought for the purpose of
eating them herself while ignoring the costumed ones ringing her doorbell handing them out on Halloween to all the cute little trick-or-treaters that come to her house.
But...after being packed in a light cardboard package...okay...an envelope...and sent across the big water a gazillion miles away.....
God bless ya, Mom.
(One down, 3 to go, by the way...just in case anyone was wondering!!)
Saw this poster hanging on a convenience store window.
Tokyo....in March, 2010.
Too far away, but still.....
The 18-year-old in me REALLY wants to go!!!
Yesterday...I was going through some stuff in the bathroom and came across a tube of lipstick that was in a box of things that my Aunt and Uncle had sent a few months ago. After my Grandmother passed away, they had gone through her things and all of us "kids" got some bits and pieces...some things that were definitely "Grandma".
My Grandmother used to wear this color. I had seen her quite often with it on.
I wasn't so sure about it...okay....so it was a little bright...a bit over the top...but...it was pink.
After I put it on,
Issei saw me....and got a little frightened.
The K-man? Yeah....he just said, "Nice lips." (but in that sarcastic tone that said, "Holy Hell woman!! You're not going out like that, are you?")
Went to my favorite discount store on Saturday.
Saw this as I walked in.
(He added his own bit of "style" to a Halloween invite I had written out.)
Done in black magic marker pen in about 2 minutes.
Not bad....not bad at all.
(We may commission him to do our Christmas cards this year!!)
I'm in dire need of a 'chick flick' and have been looking forward to seeing this movie:
As with a lot of movies, they don't use the actual English title here in Japan, instead, use something they think is the same (or close enough) in Japanese. I went to the movie theater site, in hopes of finding a movie poster, at least, to let me know if they were even showing it yet.
I am not you become a son-in
Margaret wield the pre-eminent publisher in New York as editor for 40 years. From the first time in the company being called a tyrant that had her secretly sucks. , And suddenly one day, to the dismay was told to leave the country. In fact her Canadian citizenship, had been inadvertently neglected to apply for a visa. If this is losing a long-awaited career built. Is in trouble, with 28 assistants, but absolute obedience at once to declare that the age to marry Andrew ....
Did you get that?
**This is too funny...Issei and Koji get caught by the spellcheck every damn time....
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:07 PM
Friday, October 23, 2009
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:54 PM
Saturday, October 17, 2009
English....on t-shirts, on signs, in Japanese commercials and ads....is laughable. No Really. Sometimes grab your side-fall over-roll on the floor laughable. In the 18 years that I have lived here, I have become almost blind to the "Engrish" that is everywhere you look. In the beginning, I noticed every misspelled word, every wrong phrase, every sentence that made absolutely no sense ("These are the day of our lives. We are dancing monkeys.".....one of my faves!! I have the t-shirt!!)
When my sister and her husband were here, I could no longer ignore the blatant "raping of our native tongue" because they, not used to the stupidity that popped up every few feet or so, were noticing it at every turn. We took pictures. We stopped conversation in stores as we were all falling over each other almost in tears from laughing so hard, and none too quietly, either. They bought t-shirts for omiyage (souvenirs) for friends (and at really great prices so that shopping spree was a bonus!!).
After my sis and her hub left...life got back to normal (or as normal as it can get), but....there's one thing that is slow in returning to the way it was~~~I am still noticing the bad English. The other day as I was walking down one of the main shopping arcades on my way to get a coffee, I passed a window display in a lingerie shop....on the way back, I took out my cell phone camera and snapped a picture...all the while, giggling slightly maniacally. And you know what? I didn't care. It really was funny.
Posted by dkuroiwa at 9:54 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
The chatting class is one where I offer my students
But....in my true fashion....I tend to procrastinate. I truly believe that I do better under pressure...under the gun, so to speak. It is an idea that was proven time and time again in high school and university. When I was teaching in South Texas, I was famous for not doing lesson plans (that needed to be turned in to principals on Monday morning) until late Sunday night. Even when I was working at the public school and then again at the private girls' school here, I would wait until the very last minute to make tests and grade papers.
I thrive on that feeling that I'm just not going to get done and all hell is going to break loose...and then....in the end....I finish. It almost always turns out way better than I expect and probably, if I had taken a lot of time and planned and organized...nah....pretty sure that things would not have turned out as well.
I give you yet another example of this.
I have known for weeks my schedule for this class. I have 3 (uh-huh....three!!) schedule books and all of them have "Circle of Friends" written on October 16th AND 30th.
The boys got on their way about 7:45 this morning...and it was time to get busy.
....I ran to the convenience store to buy some small candies to fill the little-bitty Jack O'Lanterns for each student and we were ready to roll.
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:23 PM
Monday, October 12, 2009
A few months ago I started a chatting class ....one that I have twice a month, but the students only choose one of those days to come and enjoy something to eat, something to drink and "lively and entertaining discussions on various topics".
I have a great idea for this month's topic....talking about Halloween and all that is involved. (I can't tell you what I'm making to eat as some of my students read my blog, but we'll be safe in saying that it's going to be a delicious afternoon!!! Guaranteeeeeeeed!)
Here in Japan, especially in Nagasaki, the basic concept of this fun celebration is there...but...it...just...doesn't...quite...work. There are decorations and candy and the language schools have parties and yet.....no trick or treating. No soaping of windows or toilet papering of yards. No candy corn. No popcorn balls. No miniature-sized chocolate bars.
The last Halloween I celebrated in the States was in 1990. I was teaching 6th grade at that time down in the Rio Grande Valley in Pretty-damn-close-to-Mexico Texas. Teachers wore costumes (I was a hippie protesting the low wages for teachers...yeah, my principal loved that one!) and the kids changed into their costumes in the afternoon for a parade through the school and a party in our rooms. I'm sure that later that night, a bunch of us teachers were probably at the Holiday Inn (or some other equally cheezy place) for a party and waaay too much alcohol (of that I'm almost positive!).....in costume, of course!
6. Does the town where you live have a Halloween parade? Or do they do something else? of nothing at all?
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:49 PM
Friday, October 09, 2009
We have eaten
We have been to
We crammed so much into the 8 days that my sister and her husband were here, I'm thinking it will take them awhile to recover.
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:28 PM
Friday, October 02, 2009
and it was a wonderful thing.)
After the excitement of Aunt and Uncle coming for a visit, the boys had a really hard time getting to sleep last night.....
I finally got them out of the futons and while I stepped outside to get the newspaper, they made their way to the sofa.....and they were out again!!!
(and really...that sofa? yeah...not so big.)
Today, because of the rain and getting a lazy start.....we drove around for a bit then went to the Nagasaki History Museum. It opened up a couple of years ago and I had never been. It's quite interesting and a pretty nice thing to do in a torrential downpour that lasts most of the day!
We introduced Sara and Jarrett to some local specialities (for those who are familiar, we had champon and saraudon--at Ringer Hut!!).
We walked around China Town tonight, saw some interesting lanterns, ate some wonderfuly delicious sweets and had just a really nice time!
Tomorrow, we are heading over to the eastern part of the island to see a castle that is over 400 years old...a beautiful Japanese garden and pond/small lake that is listed as one the "top 3 in Japan"....and then, I'm thinking we might let them experience an onsen (hot spring) on our way back....we'll see!!!
Let's just pray that the weather is nice...I'm sure we'll enjoy the day, rain or shine, it's just that a little less rain would make it oh so very much better!!
Posted by dkuroiwa at 11:00 AM