Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve in Japan

My husband and I arrived in Japan last night. We had been enjoying our travel in Shanghai until yesterday. I was going to update my blog, but I was not able to access to my blog. I guessed that Chinese government doesn't allow people who are in China to access some sites. Thus, I gave up updating my blog in Shanghai. I'll write about our travel in Shanghai later.
My husband and I are staying at my parents-in-law's home now, and they are always nice to me. This afternoon, we received a potable WiFi device, which my husband is renting. It costs 750yen each day. I thought it is not too expensive, but its performance is very good. We were glad that its Internet access is strong enough. :)
My parents-in-law gave us a ride to my parents home. It had been three years since I saw my family. My parents looked older than I remembered. I felt how years passed because we hadn't met for so long time. After talking with my family, I took my family's dog, Chappy, for a walk. I don't know whether she remembers me, but she was really excited. :) After coming back my parents-in-law's home, we ate toshikoshi noodle, which Japanese people traditionally eat on New Year's Eve. :)
toshikoshi noodle

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We Are at LAX Now

My husband and I are in a waiting area at Los Angeles International Airport now. When we left our home at 6:40, it was raining. I didn't expect wearing rain boots today, but I wore them instead of my black boots. Although we saw a car accident on the freeway, the traffic was not too heavy. When we arrived at the parking lot, it was at 7:50. We got on a shuttle bus and went  to LAX. I think that it took about 10 minutes from the parking lot to LAX. We think that it has gone smoothly so far. :) We are going to board to go to Shanghai at 10:30. :) I haven't slept much last night but am not sleepy now. Haha. I don't know whether or not I can update my blog every day during our travel. However, I will try to do it as much as I can. I hope that the next my update will be from Shanghai. :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Accomplished My First Challenge

Today, I accomplished my first 26-day challenge, which was going to my apartment gym everyday for 26 days. :) My husband also tried the same challenge, and going to gym became our daily habit. My backache decreased because of the exercise, and I got back my normal life without pain. I was able to work out for 26 days. In addition, as I achieved my goal, I got confident with myself. Before trying this challenge, I had usually avoided exercise and felt hopeless since I had to tolerate my backache. I had never imagined that I could exercise everyday. I realized that I can do anything if I really want to do something badly enough. My husband said that we should continue to exercise, especially me. :) However, we are going to travel to Shanghai and Japan tomorrow morning. As soon as we come back to U.S., we will try our next challenge.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Little Drummer Boy

 My husband bought Justine Bieber's Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe, on December 6. Since then, I have been constantly listing to the album.

The songs from the album makes my Christmas season bright. :) One of his rap song, Drummer Boy, has been lingering my head. :) It was not easy to catch the words during rap rhythm. I have searched about the song because I was curious. The song, The Little Drummer Boy, originally called "Carol of the Drum" and was written by an American composer in 1941. In the lyrics, a poor boy is invited to the nativity and wholeheartedly plays his drum since he doesn't have a gift to bring.



 Justine Bieber modernly expressed this song. In his lyrics, he used "twitter". :)

Justine Bieber / Drummer Boy  


Lyrics

Come, they told me,
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our new born king to see,
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring,
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the king,
Pa rum pum pum pum,
Ra pum pum pum,
Ra pum pum pum

Ra pum pum pum,
Ra pum pum pum pum pum,
Yeah I'm on the drum,
Yeah I'm on the stand drum,
Yeah I'm on the beat cause the beat goes dumb,
And they only spare heat cause I'm playing for the sun,
Playing for the king, playing for the title,
I'm surprised you didn't hear this in the bible,
I'm so tight I might go psycho,
Christmas time so here's a recital,
I'm so bad like Michael I know,
I'm still young but I go I go,
Stupid, stupid, love like cupid,
I'm a drummer boy so do, do

Little baby,
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too,
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gifts to bring,
Pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our king,
Pa rum pum pum pum,
Ra pum pum pum,
Ra pum pum pum
[Busta Rhymes]
At the table with the family,
Having dinner, blackberry on the hip and then the game a little slicker,
Then it gave a lil' flicker then
I took a look to see, Before it activates the ringer
Came to realize the homie Bieber hit me on the twitter,
Then I hit him back that's right I had some food up on my fingers,
Sipping eggnog, with a little sprinkle of vanilla,
Even though it's kind of cool I'm pulling on a chinchilla,
Bieber hit me back and said lets make it hot up in the winter,
I said cool, cool,
You know I will deliver let's collaborate and make the holiday a little bigger,
Before we work I gotta get this off,
See the other family members and drop gifts off,
Then I'm headed to the studio cause aint nothing stopping,
How you know we about to turn it up and really get it poppin' now,
People everywhere and all our twitter followers,
Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, happy Hanukkah!

Mary nodded,
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time,
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for him,
Pa rum pum pum
I played my best for him,
Pa rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
Rum pum pum pum
If you wanna give it's the time of year,
JB on the beat yeah yeah I'm on the stand,
It's crazy how some people say they don't care,
When there's people on the street with no food it's not fair,
It's about time for you to act merrily,
It's about time for you give to charity,
Rarely to people don't wanna even help at all,
Cause they wont bother buying getting toys getting dolls,
Not thinking there's a family out hungry and cold,
Wishin' wishin' that they had somebody they can hold,
So I think some of you need to act bold,
Can we give to a tribe let's change the globe,
Ima drummer boy boys so do, do
Ima drummer boy boys so do, do
Ima drummer boy boys so do, do
Ima drummer boy boys so do, do
Ima drummer boy boys so do, do






   Today's Vocabulary
・ the nativity : 《the Nativity》キリストの降誕
・ wholeheartedly : adverb /  心をこめて、心から、心底から
・ modernly : adverb / 現代的に、現代風に
・ lay before : ~に提出する
・ go psycho : 気が狂う[変になる]、発狂[狂乱・狂喜]する
     ex) Marijuana has made him go psycho. : 彼はマリファナのせいで気が狂った。
     ex) Students went psycho for the graduation party. : 学生たちは卒業パーティーで狂喜しました。
・ flicker : noun / 揺らめく炎[光]、フリッカー、ちらつき、点滅ライト、揺らぎ
     ex) I get so excited when I see flickers of light on a Christmas tree! : クリスマスツリーのチカチカする光を見るとワクワクする!
hit back : 殴り返す、しっぺ返しをする、反撃する、やり返す、打ち返す、対抗する、反論する
・ hot up :  暖まる、暖める、熱くする、熱くなる、激しくなる、危なくなる


    This is my entries related to my favorite songs.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/songs

    This is my entries related to my favorite Christmas songs.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/songs%20-%20Christmas



Sunday, December 23, 2012

My New Suitcase

Today, my husband and I went to T.J. Maxx to buy a new suitcase. We bought a 28 inch London Fog suitcase for $99.99 (was originally $320). While my old suitcase is about 15 lb, this was only 9.5 lb. I was really impressed. :) We are flying to Shanghai on December 26. I need to work on preparing for my travel. To tell you the truth, we haven't decided on our plan in Shanghai yet even though we have booked our hotel.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Have to Do It Before Christmas Eve

I have four days until my travel. I haven't packed my stuff in my suitcase yet, but I need to do it as early as possible. It's because I have to buy another suitcase if I need it. I should make sure if I can pack all of my stuff before I decide to buy a new suitcase.  However, most stores close on Christmas and close earlier than usual on Christmas eve. That's why I need to decide if I need to buy another bag tomorrow. Maybe I will buy a super light suitcase so I can put in more of my belongings. I have checked that T.J.Maxx closes on Christmas and closes at 6 p.m. on Christmas eve.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Consideration of Tragic News in Connecticut

    On December 14, twenty children and six adults were shot and killed by Adam Peter Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Before driving to the school, he had shot and killed his mother. After killing many children and adults, he shot and killed himself. This was tragic news and gave a shock throughout U.S. Many people have been trying to get to the root of this tragic affair. Some people say that we should stricken gun control. Other people say that we should stricken violent video games. Some people say that we should enhance psychological treatment.
   I agree with these opinions, especially on gun control. U.S. citizens are allowed to have guns to defend themselves. However, many people use guns for the wrong propose; moreover, people have been killing innocent people accidentally. In Japan, people are not allowed to own guns except for police. I know that even if guns are prohibited by law, there are still many deadly weapons in our society. However, I believe that the prohibiting ownership of guns reduces problems significantly. For example, many people have bad days and good days in our life. Some people feel too stressed out from various reasons. When a person possesses a gun in a situation where the person suffers from something unbearable, the gun may potentially become a temptation to escape reality. I can easily imagine that person under pressure may possibly use the gun for the wrong propose. Because using a gun is much easier than any other deadly weapons, owning a gun is huge problem. Another example is mental illness. I was working for a psychiatric hospital for three years in Japan, and I knew my patients' episodes. In many cases, after having a big trouble with people such as neighbors, they were forced into a psychiatric hospital. Before hospitalizing, some patients always had carried knives to defend themselves because they had been apprehensive that someone was coming after them trying to kill them. Even though nobody was trying to kill them, their fear had been incredibly real and serious from obsession. If they had been allowed to have a gun, they could have possibly killed somebody because of their obsession. People usually don't recognize the psychiatric problem until the accident occurs. Enforcing psychiatric treatment is good idea, but it is not easy and it takes time. Thus, I think prohibiting a gun is top priority.





   Today's Vocabulary
・ tragic affair : 悲劇的事件
・ ownership : noun / 所有権、所有、所有者[持ち主]であること
・ possess : verb / 〔財産などとして物を〕所有[保有]する
・ unbearable : adjective / 耐えられない、忍びがたい、我慢できない、気に食わない、鼻持ちならない 
・ temptation : noun / 誘惑、衝動、誘惑物
     ex) The temptation is to look for a quick solution. : どうしても即効性のある解決策を求めようとしてしまう。 
・ apprehensive : adjective / 恐れている、危惧している
・ obsession : noun / 
  1. 〔頭から離れない〕強迫観念、妄想
  2. 〔人が強迫観念に〕取り憑かれていること

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It Has Grown on Me!

   A year ago, I made the title of my blog, which is "It's a piece of cake!" Because I found it difficult to write in English, I thought that I hope someday I would say, "Writing on my blog is a piece of cake!" My goal was continuing my every blog for at least a year in order to get used to writing English. When I achieved my goal in November 2012, I had become used to writing in English because of my blog. In addition, I was able to become more confident in writing than before. :) To me, writing on my blog is a piece of cake now!
   Today, I changed the title of my blog, which is "It has grown on me!" I used to dislike studying English when I was in grade school. When I started learning English in 2009, I still felt the same way about English. However, as I studied English, it has grown on me! Now I can enjoy my English study.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Passed Over Two-Third Until I Meet the Goal

It has been 19 days since I started my 26-day challenge which is going to my apartment's gym everyday. I haven't skipped it so far. I passed over two-third of the way until I meet my goal. I have noticed my body became toned gradually. I hadn't weighted myself for several months, but yesterday I checked to see if I have lost some weight. The purpose of my 26-challenge was not to lose weight, so I hadn't cared about my weight until yesterday. I was surprised because I was certain that I have lost weight. By doing exercise, my calorie consumption has increased, but I haven't increased my calorie intake. Naturally, I have lost my wight. However, I felt that I became too thin. I can't give up my 26-day challenge because it reduces my backache. Thus, I need to eat more nutritious foods to maintain my body. 





   Today's Vocabulary
・ toned : adjective / 〔体・筋肉が〕引き締まってたくましい
     ex) If he wants a nicely toned body, he has to work at it. : 彼が格好いい締まった体になりたきゃ運動しなきゃね。 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Last Day of Fall Semester

  Today was the last day of this semester. I took the final exam for the grammar class this morning. It wasn't very easy, but I think I did well on the test. :)
  The result of the final writing exam, which I took yesterday, has already been posted. My final writing score was 94%. I thought it was not easy for me to finish up the essay within 90 minutes, but I think I did well, and I should give myself credit for it. :) In total, I scored 96% without extra credits in this semester, and my grade of the writing class was A. Yay! I am afraid to move up to the next level, but I should have confidence in my writing and study as hard as I usually do in order to keep up with the next class. I know that my weaknesses are reading and vocabulary skills. I believe that these are very important to write better essays. I think that I have to read many books for the next writing class. I don't usually read books, but I need to get used to it in order to overcome my difficulties. I should find the way of self studying for them. Frankly, I don't usually read books even in Japanese since I am not avid reader. Hmm...  Many of my friends has been recommending me to read English books until now, but I have never seriously considered it. However, I can't avoid it now.





   Today's Vocabulary
give oneself credit : 自分を褒めてやる、自分の手柄にする
・ have confidence in : ~を信頼している、~に自信を持つ
     ex) You'll have more confidence in your use of English. : 英語を使うことにもっと自信を持つでしょう。
     ex)  have confidence in one's knowledge : 自分の知識に自信がある
avid : adjective / 熱烈な、熱心な

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Finally Submitted the Documents

Today, my Japanese nursing license, which was translated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan, finally arrived. I was waiting for it for about a month. I carefully checked all documents which would be needed to submit to the Board of Registered Nursing. Tonight, I finally dropped them into a post box! I was glad that I ended up being able to submit them before I travel to Japan next week. I hope I can take NCLEX next year. :)





   Today's Vocabulary
drop ~ into a post box ~を郵便ポストに投函する
     ex) All you need to do is to fill it in and drop it into a post box. : お客様にしていただくことは、それにご記入の上、郵便ポストに投函することだけです。
・ submit : verb /
  1. ~を提出する、投稿する、提示する、提起する
    ・Have you submitted your project proposal to your boss yet? : もう上司に企画書を提出しましたか。
  2. ~を服従させる
  3. 〔通例that以下が事実または必要であると〕言う、考える、提案する
    ・I submit that these arguments are wrong and misleading. : これらの議論は間違っているし、誤解を招くものであると考えます。

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Am Going to Take the Final Writing Exam

Tomorrow, I'm going to take a final exam. My teacher said the final exam would be writing summary and ones response. I will be allowed to use a dictionary during the exam. :) However, I can't use a pencil and an eraser. We can only use a black pen. Even though I can cross out my mistakes on the exam, I was little nervous. It's because I am used to writing essays on my computer and could write wherever I needed. Writing essays on paper is much more difficult for me.
I have written many summaries in this semester, and I hope I can write well on the exam. I should pay attention to the time and grammar errors. I think I can do my best! ;)  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Güd Deal :)

Today, I went to Rite Aid to buy Güd products, which are subsidiary of Burt's Bees. Their products were on sale at 25% discount at Rite Aid throughout this week. In addition, when you buy two of their products, you can get a $5 Rite Aid +up reward. I bought a Orange Petalooza Natural Body Lotion for $5.24 (was originally $6.99) and a Orange Petalooza Natural Hand Cream for $5.24 (was originally $6.99). I used a $3 off coupon and paid $7.48 plus tax. Because I purchased two of their products, I got a $5 Rite Aid +up reward. These came out $2.48 plus tax for both! That was a great deal. :) I had used Güd body lotion before, and I had fallen in love with the lotion aroma. The fresh orange scent makes me happy. :) That's why I was always looking for a good deal for their products. :)
Güd Orange Petalooza Natural Body Lotion 8 oz / 235 ml

Güd Orange Petalooza Natural Hand Cream 3 oz / 85 g





 Today's Vocabulary
subsidiary of : subsidiary of 《a ~》~の子会社
     ex) Japanese subsidiary of a US company 《the ~》米国企業の日本子会社

Friday, December 14, 2012

Academic Writing Class

A few days ago, my teacher told me that my English skill has been improving because of my every day's blog, and it was a wise idea to start blogging. :)  He told me that if all ESL students tried it like me, their English skill would improve. He suggested to me to take an academic writing class, which American students take, someday in order to be bilingual. I was surprised because I believed that I will never be able to become a fluent bilingual. I told him that I noticed my writing improvement but still struggled with speaking nonetheless. I don't think my speaking will improve to the same level as typical American people. He told me that even though my speaking is not good enough, my speaking will improve when my English level meets the academic writing class. One of my goals was finishing all advanced ESL writing classes, but I became interested in taking an academic writing class. I don't think I will be bilingual even if I continue to study very hard for the rest of my life. However, I want to try and see how my English will improve.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Our Meeting Group Is Getting Smaller and Smaller

Today, I went to a Chinese restaurant to meet my friends. We made our meeting group consisting with classmates back in 2009. After I transferred to my college, I have been meeting them periodically nonetheless. The beginning of the group consisted five people. Then, a Korean woman joined the group in 2010, so the members in total were six people at the time. However, a Korean man moved to Korea in 2010, and a Japanese woman moved back to Japan in 2011. Then, another Japanese woman moved back to Japan in this year. Today, one of member who is a Japanese man said that he would move to Japan next February. I have had to say good bye to my members three times so far, and I have to say that again next year. I am really sad. Our group will finally consist only two members. I gave them hand soap and chocolate as Christmas presents. I hope they will have a happy holiday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cooking for a Potluck Party

Tomorrow, my grammar class is going to have  a potluck party. When I was in ESL school in 2009, I attended a potluck party every three months. However, since I entered my college, I have never had a chance to attend a potluck party at college. I used to think that college was only for studying, but my current teacher's thoughts are different from other teachers. I think potluck party is one of good English activities, and we will also be able to enjoy cultural exchanges throughout our potluck. I think the party will be fun. I cooked Japanese curry to take it to the party because my former ESL teacher liked it before. I hope everyone will like it. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Health Adviser

As soon as I came into class this morning, my Japanese classmate asked me for advice about her husband's health condition because she knows I was a nurse in Japan. After her husband came back to the U.S. from Japan, he felt a chill and shivered. Soon after, he experienced high fever and threw up. Then, he has had persistent diarrhea. He told her that he had blood in stool. They went to doctor's office, and a doctor instructed him to go to an emergency hospital. He needed to stay the hospital for a few days and underwent a colonoscope. Because of diarrhea, he was given intravenously fluid and antidiarrheal during hospitalization. She thought that he became weak, and she was confused what she needs to do for him. I advised her that I assumed that he could have come down with stomach flu or norovirus because high fever, vomiting and diarrhea are typical symptoms of these. However, I thought blood in stool might be symptom of colon or stomach problem. I couldn't get information of the color of the blood and the amount. However, he has already taken a colonoscope, so the result will become apparent within few days. I advised her that she should take care of him as stomach infection person until the result appears. He shouldn't take antidiarrheal without doctor's instruction. He should drink a plenty of water and rest. They should wash their hands to prevent transmission of it in household. She was relived to hear my advice. She told me that people needs health advisers like me just in case.





   Today's Vocabulary
・ feel a chill and shivered :  寒気がして体が震える
・ have persistent diarrhea : 下痢が続いている
given fluids intravenously : 《be ~》〔主語に〕点滴で水分(を)補給する
・ come down with : phrasal verb / 
  1. 〔病気に〕かかる、〔病気で〕倒れる
    ・I feel like I am coming down with a cold. : どうやら私は風邪をひきかけているらしい。
    ・I think I'm coming down with the flu. : インフルエンザになりかかっているようだ。
  2. 〔金を〕出す、寄付する、支払う

Monday, December 10, 2012

Near My Former Workplace

My husband and I are planning on traveling to Osaka, Japan in January. We haven't made reservation for hotel in Osaka yet, but I think I'll stay near my former workplace because I know a lot about the area. There are many good reasonable restaurants there. I'd like to have sushi, takoyaki, tonkatsu, yakitori, ramen, and ohagi. In addition, I'll meet my coworkers there. :) I will also enjoy sightseeing, shopping, and going to hair salon whose owner used to cut my hair. I can't wait going to Osaka!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Progress Report of My 26-day Challenge

 My first challenge is going to my apartment's gym for 26 days. On November 30, I started to going to the gym, so it's been nine days since then. I passed over one third until I meet my goal. I'm going to share with you about the progress of my challenge.
 Before starting my challenge, I often had had severe backache, and I had felt guilty about not doing exercise. However, now I don't usually have backache. :)  I had already understood exercising was very important to reduce my backache, but I disliked exercising nonetheless. Furthermore, I needed to break the shell in someway. That's why this challenge was perfect for me. :) The most difficult part of my challenge is that I need to manage my schedule. I go to gym every evening, so the time of dinner is very important now. I try to eat dinner as early as possible every day because I don't want to go to gym shortly after finishing dinner. My schedule became packed, but I think I regulate my daily life more than before I did.
 I hope I will meet my goal. :)   





   Today's Vocabulary
・ pass over : phrasal verb /
  1. 経過する、〔時を〕過ごす
  2. 除外する、省く、候補から外す、考慮に入れない
  3. 見送る、見逃す、見落とす、見過ごす
  4. 聞き捨てにする、黙視する、大目に見る、目こぼしする、不問に付する
    ・The policeman passed over his friend's small offense. : 警官は友人のちょっとした違反を見逃してくれた。
  5. 死ぬ
  6. 横切る、通り越す、通り過ぎる
    ・The hurricane passed over the Bahamas on the 16th. : そのハリケーンは16日にバハマ諸島を通り過ぎました。
  7. 避けて通る、避ける
    ・They keep passing me over.
  8. 引き渡す、譲る
 ・ progress : noun /
  1. 前進、進展
    ・Some analysts seem to feel that progress is too slow. : 一部のアナリストは進展が遅過ぎると感じているようだ。
  2. 発達、進歩、向上
  3. 成長、発育
    ・The drug prevents the progress of the cells around the newly formed bone. : その薬は新しく作られた骨の周りにある細胞の成長を阻害する。
  4. 〔作業などの〕進捗、進み具合
  5. 《progresses》〔王室の〕行幸
     ex) final progress report 最終経過[進捗]報告(書)
・ shortly after : ~の直後に、すぐ後に、程なく、_時ちょっと過ぎに、間もなく
     ex) shortly after infection 感染後間もなく
     ex) shortly after takeoff from ~からの離陸直後に
・ regulate one's daily life : 規則正しい生活をする

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Forever 21 and Foreign Exchange Haul

Yesterday, my husband, my friend and I went to Irvine Spectrum Center to buy some clothing.
I'm going to share with you what I got there.


I bought two scarves at Forever 21. I bought a vivid pink scarf for $8.50. I like simple colored clothing, so this will be an accent on my daily fashion well. My husband bought a black scarf with snowflake patterns which was $9.90, and I thought I could wear it too.


We found Foreign Exchange was having big clearance sale for outwears. All outwears with a tag were on sale for $29! I bought a dark orange coat with faux far, which was originally $119.00. My husband bought a faux black leather jacket with a hoodie, which was originally $99.I thought these were a great deal. :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Christmas Song

I have been listening to The Christmas Song, which was first recorded by The Nat King Cole Trio in early in 1946. I think this is one of the most well-known Christmas songs in the world.



Many famous artists has recorded this song. Specifically, I like the song by David Choi and Inch Chua.

I found that Justin Bieber has also recorded the song. I played the song on youtube for my husband one day, and he found a liking for it. Last night, he bought Justin Bieber's Christmas song's album. I was surprised that he likes the song more than I do. :)





Each song has different characteristics sung by different artists. Who's song do you prefer?

 
lyrics 


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire 
Jack Frost nipping at your nose 
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir 
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
 

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe 
Help to make the season bright 
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow 
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
 
They know that Santa's on his way 

He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh 
And every mother's child is gonna spy  
To see if reindeer really know how to fly
 
And so I'm offering this simple phrase 

To kids from one to ninety-two 
Although it's been said many times 
Many ways, Merry Christmas to you
 

And so I'm offering this simple phrase 
To kids from one to ninety-two 
Although it's been said many times  
Many ways, Merry Christmas to you





   Today's Vocabulary
Jack Frost :霜の妖精 (雪とで出来た妖精といわれる。
その姿は小人であったり、白髪の老人であったり、雪だるまであったりと様々な説がある。基本的には悪戯好きだが、無邪気で子供のような性格で、の間にしかあらわれず、ツララの垂れた真っ白な衣装をきているとされる。
しかし、一度怒らせると、その相手を氷漬けにして殺してしまう事もあるという。元来は雪男のような怪物で、笑いながら人間を凍らせるという恐ろしい妖精。そのためジャックフロストの触れたところには霜柱が付くとされている。
冬が厳しい時は、ジャックフロスト達が悪さをしているといわれ、笑い声をあげて寒気をふりまき、春には溶けて消える。 そのときには枯れ葉や窓の霜の模様を残していくとされる。)
・ nip : verb /
  1. ~をかむ、~にかみつく、~をつかむ
  2. ~をかみとる、~をかみ切る
  3. 〔寒さで~を〕ひりひりさせる、凍えさせる
  4. 〔成長や発展などを〕抑える、妨げる、阻む
  5. 〈俗〉~をひったくる、~を盗む
 ・ Yuletide : noun / クリスマス(の季節)      ex) yuletide joy クリスマスの楽しみ
・ tot : noun / 
  1. 〈話〉小さい子ども、ちび、小児
  2. 少量、〔飲み物の〕1杯
  3. 足し算
     ex) tiny tot おちびさん、ちび助
     ex) tot lot 幼児の遊び場
・ aglow : adjective / 
  1. 〔赤く〕輝いて
  2. 〔人の顔が興奮・幸福感などで〕輝いて
     ex) Her face was aglow, but Tony's was very gloomy. マイミーの顔は赤らんでいましたが、トニーの顔ときたらまっさおでした



    This is my entries related to my favorite songs.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/songs

    This is my entries related to my favorite Christmas songs.

http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/songs%20-%20Christmas  



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Teaching English Grammar

Today, I took an advanced grammar class, and we learned about modals to express degrees of certainty. While taking the grammar class, I found that my teacher was teaching wrong to us. He explained an example sentence, "We should solve it soon.," on the textbook and said, "Hmm..., should + base form isn't future speculation. I think you can always use it as present advice but not future speculation." I thought the example sentence was used as future speculation, and there are many ways to say in future speculation. I asked him, "How about "you should do well on the test." Is this sentence advice or .... " He said, "Oh, you're right! It's future speculation! Thank you." I sometimes corrects my teacher in this class. Because I have learned grammar for three years, I think I know most grammar rules and am picky about grammar. From a teacher's point of view I think I am an annoying student. :P While ESL students need to understand grammar to use English, Americans can use English without understanding grammar. While ESL students learn English grammar from their mistakes, Americans don't need to learn it because they don't usually make mistakes. That's why sometimes American teachers teach us with their intuition without logically explaining it. I often think being English grammar teacher is not easy for Americans. Teaching English vocabularies and writing are no problem though. It's because it is the same as that I can't teach Japanese grammar even though I am Japanese. After class, I asked him about writing assignments for extra credit. He told me that I wouldn't need to do that assignment because my grade would be A without extra credit. I guess my grade might be A, but I wanted to push myself. I just wanted to do my best to get the highest score as possible, but I lost my willpower.





   Today's Vocabulary
・ intuition : noun /

  1. 直感(力)◆あるものやことについて、考えたり知覚したりする前に、従って思考や感覚に頼らないで分かること、またはその能力。
  2. 〔直感で得られた〕知識、洞察
  3. 《哲学》直観◆思索によらずに直接に対象を捉えること。
with one's intuition : 直感で[的に] 
     ex) make a purchase decision with one's intuition : 直感で[的に]購入を決める

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Find Your Way of Studying

  My friend and I went to cafe to enjoy chatting after our class. Our writing class is going to finish in two weeks. We talked about how we felt this class.
  I have done different kinds of numerous assignments in this class. Doing those assignments needed a great deal of effort for me, but I didn't feel much stress. It took me many hours to finish each assignment, but I was able to enjoy it nonetheless. Because I became interested in writing and found a liking for writing through my daily blog, I was really glad to take this class. I'm going to take the final exam in two weeks later from now, and I expect this to be difficult for me, but I think I can do my best.
   In contrast, my friend told me that she is stressed out to do each assignment. She told me while writing essays, she often cried because of difficulty. However, the more she learned, the less stress she felt. I told her I was nervous to take this class in the beginning of this semester because it was my first time to take writing class. I was worried whether or not I could keep up with the class. Because I have been writing in English on my blog everyday and have never skipped it, I ended up being used to writing in English. That's why I didn't feel much stress in my writing assignments. I suggested writing everyday to my friend, but she told me that her life is mostly a routine, so she doesn't have any exciting idea to write about on a daily basis. Let alone, she doesn't have enough excess time that she can spare for this activity. Everyone prefers different way of studying. Writing on my blog is the most effective way to improve my English skill, but I understand there are various ways to learn English. You can find your way, but I believe that never giving up and continuous work are significantly important to improve ones English ability.





   Today's Vocabulary
・ let alone : ~はもちろん、~は言うまでもなく、まして~なんて◆【用法】名詞・前置詞句・述部・不定詞・分詞・節などを従える。
     ex) ・He doesn't want to see anyone, let alone me. : 彼は、私はもちろんのこと、誰とも会いたがらない。
     ex) ・He can't read, let alone write. : 彼は読むことも書くこともできない。
     ex) ・I haven't ever heard the name of the shop, let alone know what they sell : 何を売っている店かはもちろん、店の名前さえ聞いたことがない。
     ex) ・I still don't understand hunting, let alone murder. : いまだに狩猟というものが理解できません。ましてや殺人などなおさらです。
     ex) ・We are not going to establish British companies across Europe, let alone across the world. : 私たちはイギリス系の会社をヨーロッパ全土に作り上げるつもりなどありません。まして世界中なんてとんでもない話です。
     ex) ・She's never even held a tiny baby let alone changed a nappy. : 彼女は小さな赤ん坊を抱いたことすらありません。ましてオムツを替えたことなんて。
     ex) ・Few companies had much idea of how much waste they produced, let alone what it consisted of. : 生み出される廃棄物の量を考える会社など、ほとんどなかった。ましてやその廃棄物が何でできているかなんて。

・ spare : noun / 余分な、余っている
     ex) have money enough to spare for ~するだけの余力がある
     ex) have no energy to spare for ~をするためのエネルギー[元気]がない
     ex) have the money to spare for ~する経済的余裕がある

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Preparing for Vacation

Three weeks later from now, my husband and I are going to travel to Shanghai and Japan. That's why we need to work on preparing for traveling. However, we haven't done it yet because we have been way too busy recently. It's because I've started studying vocabularies for about two hours everyday. Studying vocabularies is worth of my time, but I think I need to stop studying it for a while. :(

These are lists we need to discuss for our traveling.
・ what we are going to do in Shanghai
・ what the perfect souvenirs for our families, relatives, and friends are
・ what we should take to Shanghai and Japan
・ whether or not we are going to Osaka to meet our friends (If so, I need to contact my friends.)
・ what we are going to do if we go to Osaka (If so, I might go to hair salon, and I need to make a reservation.)
・ whether or not I'm going to visit to a doctor's office because of my back pain
・ where we can renew our driver's license in Japan (It's because our Japanese driver's licenses has already expired.)
・ whose car we should use (I gave my old car to my parents, but I don't know its insurance covers us.)
・ whether or not we should rent wireless internet (My parents' house has wireless internet access, but my husband parents' house doesn't.)
・ where we are going to rent cellphones
・ what we are going to do in Japan
・ what I am going to study during vacation
・ how much weight of each luggage we are allowed to take to each airplane 
・ our schedule during the vacation

Monday, December 3, 2012

Letter of Recommendation

Today, my writing teacher explained about letter of recommendation, which is a letter in which the writer assesses the qualities, characteristics, and capabilities of the person being recommended in terms of that individual’s ability to perform a particular task or function.
 When you get a job, get a scholarship, or transfer school, you might need to ask your teacher or your supervisor for letter of recommendations. She told us that a student asked for it one day through email. Because the student didn't tell her when he/she took her class and didn't reply to her email, she had to look through all the papers she had from previous students. She explained us about some cautions from a professor's stand point just in case when we need it someday.
 First of all, teachers usually can not remember students after the semester is over. If you know you need to ask your teacher for a letter of recommendation, you should try to keep in touch with the teacher; for example by giving a thank you card, connecting through Facebook, or exchanging email. When you need to ask for letter of recommendation, you should always provide your information such as your name, when you took the class, your grades, your episode with your teacher. The best way is by finding the teacher and ask in person. After meeting the teacher, you should send some your information to the teacher through email because teachers can easily recognize your name and face by face-to-face meeting. In addition, you should ask your teacher at least one month prior to the date you need it. It's because writing letter of recommendation is not easy work, but if you ask for it too early, the teacher might forget about it.
 I don't know if I need it someday, but it was a new information for me. :)






   Today's Vocabulary
・ letter of recommendation : 〔他人に書いてもらう〕推薦状
     ex) request a letter of recommendation from ~からの推薦状を書いてもらうように依頼する
     ex) A good face is a letter of recommendation. 美人ならそれだけで推薦状になる。
・ in person : 〔代理ではなく〕本人が直接に
・The president will appear in person tomorrow. : 明日大統領本人が姿を見せるでしょう。
・If there's something you don't like about me, I want you to tell me in person. : 気に入らないところがあったら私に直接言ってほしい。
・I shall come to present my congratulations in person. : 私が直接出向き、お祝いを申し上げたいと存じます。

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Our First Time to Use Our Waffle Maker

I bought a waffle maker at Kohl's online on Black Friday Day. These days, I've bought many kitchen appliances. Haha!
Few days ago, my husband made a banana chocolate waffle for me. It was our first time to use our waffle maker, and we had had an experience to cook waffle only several times as our breakfast at motel before. That's why we were not sure whether or not we were able to cook well. However, the taste of our first waffle was very good! The waffle was crisp on the outside and soft inside. The combination of the ripe banana and chocolate was really amazing! This was the best waffle I've ever had! :) Someday, I'll share the recipe on my blog.


      This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes

      This is my entries related to cooking.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/cooking


 Today's Vocabulary
・ crisp : adjective / 〔食べ物などが〕堅いが砕けやすい、パリッとした、カリッと揚げた、カリカリした、サクサクした、新鮮な
     ex) bake ~ until it is crisp ~をカリカリになるまで焼く
     ex) fry ~ until it turns golden and is crisp ~がキツネ[黄金]色になりカリカリとするまで揚げる
・ ripe : adjective / 
  1. 熟した、熟れた、完熟の、完熟した、熟れきった、成熟した、円熟した、食べ頃の
    ・Soon ripe, soon rotten. : 《諺》早熟れの早腐れ。/大器晩成。
  2. 赤い、化膿した
  3. 腐った、嫌な匂いのする、臭い、下品な
  4. 出来上がって、完全に酔っぱらって
  5. 素晴らしい
     ex) ripe enough   《be ~》よく[十分に]熟している、熟しきっている、完熟である 
     ex) ripe for picking   《be ripe for (the) picking》〔果物などが〕熟して[たわわに実って]収穫時だ
     ex) ripe fruit 熟した果実、熟果、完熟果実
 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My First Challenge

As I mentioned in yesterday's entry, I started trying 30-day challenge. I have decided what I would be doing for 30 days last night. Actually, my challenge is not for 30 days because I'm going to travel to Shanghai and Japan on December 26, so it is 26-day challenge. My first challenge is going to my apartment's gym every day. Last night, I went to the gym with my husband. :) I'm typically lazy, but I want to achieve this goal!

Friday, November 30, 2012

30-day Challenges

Today, I watched the video, Try Something New for 30 Days by Matt Cutts, and I was inspired by his speech.


A year ago, I made my goal which was continuing writing in English everyday for at least a year. Finally, I was able to achieve my goal and got many benefits from my challenge. I realized through my achievement that continuing something everyday is worthwhile of our life. After watching his speech, I thought that trying something new for 30 days is a good idea! It's because the length of time of 30 days is not too long for anyone! As I mentioned before, I need to exercise on a regular basis because of my back pain. So, I want to try 30-day challenges for my exercise. I haven't decided what I was going to do, but I will share my goal within few days for sure. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

David Choi - Missing Piece

Recently, I have been listening to songs by David Choi. I'm obsessed with his songs. :) While I'm doing home chores, I enjoy listening to the songs. The songs make my housework more enjoyable.
The song, Missing Piece, is used as a back ground music on Chriselle Lim's Youtube video. :)



David Choi / Missing Piece


Lyrics

I feel like a boat without a sailor
I go where the wind blows
Just moving around like a lonesome stranger 

I got no home

In search of a treasure
Some place I don’t know
It feels like forever
I’m making my way
Through the hills and deserts
I thirst for hope


I don’t know
What I’m looking for
But I’ll know
When I find it


There is a missing beat
Inside of me
The rhythm of my heart
Hits unevenly
There’s a missing piece
Inside of me


Trying to figure it out
But it amounts to nothing
I want to realize
 

But nothing I find
Ever feels like the real thing
Can you empathize?


I don’t know
What I’m looking for
But I’ll know
When I find it


There is a missing beat
Inside of me
The rhythm of my heart
Hits unevenly
There’s a missing piece
Inside of me


I’m lost inside
A cold bitter world
I can’t understand the need
It’s makes it so hard to breathe


There is a missing beat
Inside of me
The rhythm of my heart
Hits unevenly
There’s a missing piece
Inside of me











   Today's Vocabulary
lonesome : adjective / 独りで寂しい、心細い、孤立した
・ unevenly : adverb / 不規則に
・ amount to : 結局~(ということ[意味])になる、要するに~ということになる、~を意味する
empathize : verb / 〔自分も同じような経験をしたことがあるので〕他人の気持ち[感情]を理解できる、共感する
     ex) empathize with ~に感情移入する、~に共感する 
     ex) empathize with a patient 患者に共感する 
     ex) empathize with others 人に共感する

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I Got on Black Friday in 2012

I bought some products with a great deal at Kohl's online on Black Friday. 

I ordered this Food Network Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven, which was originally $99.99, but it was on sale for $59.99. In addition, they offered $20 rebate. :)

This Bella Rotating Waffle Maker was originally $39.99, but this was on sale for $19.99. In addition, they offered $10 rebate. :) 
 My sister requested me to buy a watch for her because I had bought some watches with an incredibly great deal from Kohl's before. Before ordering this watch, my husband and I went to Kohl's store and found this adorable watch! After going back home, I ordered them online. Actually, I bought one for my sister and me because I wanted the same one! haha! :)   This watch was originally $39.99, but it was on sale for $17.99. :)


I also ordered this Madison Park Catalina 4-pc. Duvet Cover Set. This was originally $229.99, but it was on sale for $114.99. I like simple color and was always looking for white bed cover. I think a bed accounts for majority of the bedroom, which is why its color is important. White color fits the carpet and wall color. In order to make the bedroom feel more spacious, I believe white color is the best choice.  This was perfect for my preference!

In addition, I purchased a black long sleeve shirt for my husband. It was originally $20.00, but it was on sale for $7.99.

In addition, Kohl's offered 15% off from entire purchase because of Black Friday's Sale. Total retail price was $469.95, but I ended up paying $203.10 plus tax. Kohl's offered $15 cash coupon with every $50 purchase, so I got a $60 cash back coupon with my entire purchase. Furthermore, I ordered these through Ebate.com. Ebate.com offered 10% off cash back, so I'm going to get a $20.31 check from them. :) Then, I'm going to get $30 rebate from purchasing a cast iron dutch oven and a waffle maker. After considering all the rebates, the entire purchase will end up $92.79! It comes out to 81% off! That was a great deal! :) I should stop shopping. haha. However, I have to use my $60 Kohl's cash coupon within six days.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Strained My Back Again

I still have a back pain. It's been a month since I strained my back to a point where I became immobile. After that day, I stretched and exercised almost everyday. However, I haven't done it for a week because of holiday. No, actually it's because of my laziness. Last Wednesday, I used hot pack, and it worked very well. Usually, you shouldn't use hot pack during acute phase. It's because during acute phase, you have an inflammation in your back. If you heat up your back during this phase, it leads to further inflammation and can increase pain. However, it's been a month since I strained my back, so my case has already become chronic phase. It's a good idea to use hot pack during chronic phase because warming up brings more blood flow and releases muscle tension as well. Which means it will improve your recovery and release your pain. That's why I tried hot pack. It worked very well, and I didn't feel pain while using it. Then, I stopped exercising again even though I understood how serious I need to exercise regular basis. :P Two days ago, I strained my back again and feel hopeless now. I don't think my back can sustain for many years if I keep avoiding exercise. If my length of life is 50 years more, I need to maintain my back to last longer. Now, I need to tolerate my pain when I sit on chairs and walk with my heavy bag to my class. Anyway, all I can do for it now is only exercise for strengthening my muscle.





   Today's Vocabulary
・ have an inflammation in : ~に炎症を起こしている 
・ heat up : phrasal verb /  温める 
・ bring more blood flow : 〔主語によって〕血液の流れが良くなる 
・ release muscle tension : 筋肉の緊張を解き放つ 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Need a Great Deal of Effort

Today, my writing teacher taught us about the proper procedure of ESL writing class. Students in my class are basically required to finish the same class next semester in order to go up next level. She told us even when students ask her for permission to go up a level, she doesn't allow them because she doesn't have authority to do it. In order to skip that class, we must take ESL assessment test, which I took few weeks ago, and must pass it because there is no another choice. She told us the writing assessment test is evaluated on one-to-six scale. If your writing assessment score is five or six, you can go up a level. She told us getting six score is way too difficult for our level, and next level's class is much harder than current class. I was lucky to pass the exam, but I'm afraid to go next level because keeping up with next class must be hard for me. However, I've already decided to take that class, so I need a great deal of effort and commitment for it next year!





 Today's Vocabulary
authority : noun / 〔付与された〕権限、職権
     ex) We don't have authority to compromise a civil tax claim. : われわれには納税請求を示談にする権限はない。 
・ commitment : noun / 献身、深い関与

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our Roast Turkey in 2012

Last Friday night, my friend, my husband and I cooked a roast turkey for Thanksgiving Day. Last Tuesday, we bought 12lb of a frozen turkey, which was about $7 at Ralphs.


On Thursday, we soaked the turkey in salt and sugar water. Then we let the turkey sit overnight in the refrigerator. On Friday, we filled stuffing into the turkey and rubbed grind garlic and onion, salt, pepper and oil on the surface of the turkey.

We roasted the turkey for five hours or so. Every thirty minutes, we poured the broth onto the turkey in order to keep the turkey moist until it completely cooked. 

The taste of the turkey was as good as one in last year. :) Even though we have a lot of left over, we can enjoy sandwich, au gratin and Japanese curry with them for a while. :)


      This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes

      This is my entries related to cooking.
http://itisapieceofcake2011.blogspot.com/search/label/cooking

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

Last night, I went to Irvine Spectrum Center to see Black Friday sale. I had never gone to a mall at midnight on Black Friday because I wanted to avoid crowded area. However, I tried it for the first time this year. At 1:30 a.m., the parking lot was almost full and the mall was very crowded. Most people looked like teenagers or 20s. Many people were waiting in long lines at front of the entrances of H&M, Hollister and Urban Outfitters to enter these stores. The line seemed like it wasn't moving and I didn't want to wait long at this time of the day, so I passed shopping there. Some stores didn't have long lines outside. However, inside the stores were very crowded, and there were long lines to check out.  Once I saw the long line at the register, I thought no way that I would shop there. My husband bought an iPad and an outerwear. I went to Forever 21, but Most clothing was not on sale, so I didn't buy any thing.

When I came back home from shopping, it was at 3 a.m. We were very tired and sleepy. By the way, I had bought something online before Black Friday. :) Shopping online at home is much easier than shopping at a mall on Black Friday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner

Yesterday my husband and I were invited to my friend's house to have thanksgiving dinner. My husband made Japanese sushi which is called chirashi zushi, and I baked a chocolate cake and took these to her house.



My friend prepared many foods such as a roast turkey, fried squash, pumpkin soup, red bean rice, steamed vegetable and sweet rice drink. She cooked turkey for the first time yesterday. She told me she didn't refer to any recipe and was never taught how to roast a turkey. She cooked it with her own instinct. I was very impressed. I have roasted turkeys four times and always had to check the recipe while cooking. We enjoyed talking and eating with her family, which is consisted with herself, her husband, and two sons, and two home-stay girls. Her husband's birthday is October, so we celebrated his birthday as well. We sung happy birthday, and her younger son entertained us with playing trumpet. Her older son looked very tired and too skinny but was always nice to us. He has been hospitalized a week ago because of a surgery of spontaneous pneumothorax. He was doing labored breath. Because he needed to be skip school for a week, now he needs to catch up with all the arduous school works. After while, he went back to his room to do assignments.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at her house for five hours. After coming back home, we headed toward a mall to enjoy Black Friday sale.    





 Today's Vocabulary
・ one's own instinct : 自らの本能、自らの直感

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Peruvian Restaurant

Yesterday, my friend, my husband and I went to a Peruvian restaurant to celebrate my blog's first anniversary. I like Peruvian cuisine very much. :)

We chose ceviche as an appetizer. This was marinade with some seafood which were shrimp, squid and white fish and some vegetable which were onion, lettuce, potato, and corn. I liked the fact that it tasted sour with lemon juice, and raw fish was fresh. 


 My friend ordered Ajaco de Camarones. It tasted like my grandmother's curry. :)

My husband ordered Cabrito Norteno, which was lamb stewed. The lamb was very tender and it melted in my mouth.

I chose Arroz con Mariscos, which is Peruvian paella. This is my favorite menu, and I always order this whenever I go there.

Because we were full after eating appetizer, we took most of these home as left overs. These became my lunch today. Unlike most restaurants in Japan, restaurants in the U.S. allow customers to take left overs home. Thus, I don't have to eat too much and enjoy the left overs at home. That makes me happy and don't have to feel guilty with not being able to finish at the restaurant. People in the U.S. can prevent to waste food even though we use a lot of plastic boxes.





Inka mama's
http://www.inkamamas.com/





   Today's Vocabulary
・ melt in the one's mouth : 口の中でとろける、特別においしい