Tuesday, November 30, 2010

J for "jealousy"

One of the ugliest human feelings is jealousy. Also, it's one of the most difficult emotion to conquer, at least for me. If it were not for jealousy, relationships with people around me would have been much better and easier. As I'm an adult now, it's time I dealt with this emotion positively, not negatively. Jealousy or envy can make you motivate to achieve the goal that someone has reached. You can raise the bar for yourself because you have a model who you want to be like.

Long time ago, my friend told me that no one can get everything the person wishes for. At that time, I understood the meaning literally, but not sincerely. But I started to know what it really means these days. Happiness varies to person to person. You shouldn't be distracted and measure your happiness with other people's rules. Also you shouldn't be too greedy. Think thoroughly what is essential for your dream life, and focus on it.

There are somethings that I cannot agree with, even I know I should. This is not only because of being jealous, but my standard of thoughts that I grew up with. I learned to avoid this conflict in myself; just to be indifferent and give up.
It needs time for the idea to sink in, so as time goes by, I might be able to agree with the opinion that I couldn't accept.
...I didn't expect to be troubled with girly friendship problems at this age....sigh.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I for "In the Mood"

These days, I'm in the mood of going out. It's really BEAUTIFUL outside! The trees I see on my way to work have turned colours to vivid red and yellow. I realized how much I love those colours. That's why I like fall. (By the way, I love spring, too. I like "in-between" seasons.)

However, I'm not active enough to go out without a plan. Some kind of plans are always necessary to make me move. Fortunately, I recently got some invitations to get me out to the city. Last Tuesday was Labour Thanksgiving Day in Japan, and one of my friends was participating a concert as an orchestra member. It had been so long since I went to the recital last, so I was happy to visit there to hear her (and the members') performance. It was great. And tomorrow, I'm going to another classical music concert, this time, with my friend. We are going to have lunch together before the concert, so I'm excited to have a chat with her to catch up. Additionally, I'm going to have another outing to my friend's place on Tuesday, and hang out with another on Wednesday the week after next. I have been a bit away from my friends lately, so I'm looking forward to spend some time with nice people.

In the office, I'm now working on ESL materials to teach basic grammar and phonics. These are for the new reading program that will be launched next July, and the purpose is not to make students learn rules by heart but to let them understand English language briefly so that they can read easy books. Teaching tools are mainly made on Power Point, so I'm getting better at using this software day by day. Except the sharp pain in my shoulders, I like creating something on PC. But the difficult part is how to introduce the teaching points "briefly." I'm doing my best to be in learner's shoes, but still, nobody is sure whether the materials are useful enough until we actually start using them. Moreover, it takes time to conjure one material. My boss understands my situation pretty well and let me work more hours. I need to go back to the planning chart again to schedule how fast I have to complete each task.

The town is already filled with Christmas decorations. I started to think about Christmas shopping, but I won't spill the beans about the gifts! Well, though no one who I'm going to see in December is reading this journal.......just in case. ;)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

H for "Honestly"

I don't usually use the word "honestly," but probably it's a good idea to increase my vocabulary. So today, let me talk "honestly" what in my mind. (Say it with rising intonation, just like how teenagers say.)

Honestly, I think today's my grammar lesson was quite successful.
Honestly, my first trial lesson as a tutor with kids was fun although I had half expected to fail.
Honestly, I think dad shouldn't have called grand dad early in the morning because it would have just annoyed my aunt.
Honestly, chocolate is too seductive these days.
Honestly, I have bitter-sweet feelings about my visit to Vancouver in December.
Honestly, I really like Emma Watson.
So honestly
, I was delighted when my friend told me that I have some similarities in characteristics with Hermione Granger.
Honestly, I still think about my ex, but honestly, I think he doesn't the way I do. (How sad.)
Honestly, I have to start studying seriously for the test.
Honestly, Dali Lama's words often touch me.
Honestly, my bedroom is far uncomfortably colder than my brother's.
And honestly, I'm VERY glad that tomorrow is Sunday and I have no plans!

Now, you try! ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

G for "Gâteau"

OK, I cheated again. This time, it's French. But please understand how hard it was for me to come up with the topic that starts with "g" and also matches with what I want to write about.

Ma maman a fait un
gâteau aujourd'hui. Mom heard about a savory cake called "cake salé", which looks like a combination of an English and French word. She found a recipe on the Internet and baked it today. It was very tasty. It contains ham, cheese, and vegetables. I'm always surprised how her curiosity and interest move her. I mean, she's often busy and tired. I thought there would be no time to do something extra beside her regular routine. But once she thinks that she wants to try a new recipe or make pretty cushion covers, she does it very quickly. (And I just enjoy the result. Hehe.) Cake salé will definitely be one of her repertoire of cooking :)

It's time for preparing New Year greeting cards. (Another "g"!) We don't formally celebrate Christmas in Japan, but instead, we traditionally send New Year cards. This year, I'll have to start sending them out early since I'm going to go to Canada at the end of December. (If you mail them by December 25th, the post office will deliver your cards on January 1st.) Dad has got a book with a CD which is filled with beautiful designs for greeting cards. I've got a hand-me-down printer from Dad, so I can print cards with my own PC! (I used to use Dad's PC and printer to make greeting cards.) I'm wondering when I should send out Christmas cards for my friends in Canada. I'm going to meet them, but I want them to get my card before Christmas. I think Canadian people started to receive cards early in December, so probably it's OK if I mail them way before Christmas....I'll check the Internet if I can get the right knowledge.

I'm starting a tutoring job. I don't really like tutoring since I have to visit the student's place. But I'm generating too little money that barely covers my monthly budget and a bit of savings, I can't complain. And nothing will be wasted for sure.

Monday, November 8, 2010

F for "Fugu"

I kind of cheated because "fugu" is Japanese. Is this word used in English as it is? According to a translation dictionary, it's called balloon fish, puffer fish, swell fish, or some other names, so pick one that makes sense to you.

This weekend, we had my sister for a night. Dad was delighted and took us to the restaurant to eat balloon fish. This fish is now in season, and it's not something we can eat everyday. It has very dangerous poison, so the chef has to be licensed to deal with balloon fish. Since this is the food for special occasions, this was my only second time to eat this fish in my life, and the first time in a proper restaurant.

We had sashimi and hot pot, and they were really good. It was kind of tricky to eat balloon fish in the hot pot because it was chopped in small pieces with bones inside. And the meat was really white as bones. We had to be careful not to bite into the bones. But the meat was tender and moist, and the skin was gelatinous, which was the texture I like. It was a fun evening.

This has nothing to do with "fugu", but I'm now reading a book called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (since I finished reading Jane Eyre!!). A friend of mine recommended this book to me long time ago, and I finally got one the other day. So far, I have read two-thirds of the book and found it really interesting. This story is about a super-smart autistic boy, and the mysteries and incidents around him. This is written in a journal style so that readers can experience how this boy looks and feels the world. But I learned how hard it would be to live with autism, for people around the person and also for the person himself. If you had so many limitations when you try to live safely and comfortably, you would have to feel anxious and nervous all the time. The author wrote really well how the boy is confused in busy places or unfamiliar surroundings, and that makes me really worried about this main character. (Am I too absorbed into the book??) Anyway, I can't wait to finish reading this story!