silver lining

every cloud has a silver lining.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Recitation contest

And the most tough one was waiting for me. That was the recitation contest. I had to memorize the extract from J.F. Kennedy's inaugural address, and recitate in front of students.

I couldn't get rid of the stage fright. On the stage, my mind suddenly went blank and now I can't remember how it was. There was no room for me to share the time or atmosphere at that time with the audience.

After my turn, I got relaxed and really enjoyed presentations finally. I enjoyed too much to almost miss the last train! Someone performed with action or sense of humor. The first prize winner was great. He really deserved it. He knew the effect of changing tone and the trick of pause. That gave the audience the time to think or feel. It was a kind of art.

I want to try it again. First I must get over the self-consciousness and concentrate on what I'm going to say. Someone says there are 4 elements of public speaking; inform, convince, appeal to action, and entertain.

I want to entertain others, and myself.

Friday, December 30, 2005

European History

Today was the last day of English school this year. I was so exhausted because there was no time to rest these weeks. I tried to do my best with all my might today.

I really enjoyed the class of "European History" and "British Culture", especially the first one. In the class, we listed up 5 important people in European history in each group. Our group listed William the Conqueror, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) and Gutenberg.

It was very difficult to narrow down to 5 people. Lots of famous people were listed in the class. James Watt, Elizabeth I, Leonardo da Vinci, Jesus Christ(?), Napoleon, Mozart, Julius Caesar, Martin Luther, Alexander the Great, Columbus, Karl Marx, Rousseau, Einstein, Lenin, and so on.

Although I majored in Japanese history when I was a high school student, I should know these important people more! I got to feel that I must study world history in English.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

BBC drama & TIME

In the afternoon, I took "BBC drama (S-Club 7)" and "TIME reading".

I didn't know that S-Club 7 was broadcasted on NHK. If so, I might not watch that program. Since the video recorder was broken with lightning, I got not to watch TV.

In this drama, characters speak British English, so listening was difficult a bit. I want to buy the original textbook and DVD. I'm sure I will study British English next year.

I've been thinking that I wish I could read TIME or NEWSWEEK. Now I read the Japan Times and no time to check these magazines, I want to subscribe to those magazines near future.

On the other day, I found a good tool to read English articles on line. That is "POP". It's free! There are not only English-Japanese dictionary, but also English-English dictionary (Merrian Webster). It's very useful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Method acting

The first class on Sunday was "the Method Acting". In the former class, I was a new student, a sub-leader and a script leader, so I couldn't afford to think about acting seriously. Now I'm busy as a leader of a drama class and I can't imagine I really act on the stage as well, but I need to take how to act seriously this time.

In the class, the teacher explained us Method acting called Meisner technique which is taught at an actor traing school, The Neighborhood Playhouse, in New York City.

After the exercise of Talk & Listen, I understood a bit what the teacher said in the class. First, accept partner's saying, after that speak out my feelings. I want to leave notes here.

*Acting is the art of feeling real emotion, not pretending. That feeling is a result of communication. In order to communicate, we have to speak less, listen more.

*Acting is reacting. Not overreaction. Emotion is not what is put. Emotion comes. Situation gives birth to emotions.

*Good script has clear depiction of situation. It gives actors the purpose or goal. They can understand what they are going to do to reach that goal from the script.

... I wonder we can make such a clear script.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I want to make a new database from next year with Access, but I have no time to make it in the working hours this year. So it get to be my homework in holidays.

Actually I'm not so familiar with Access, so today I asked how to make it to a woman who is in WCM and helps me reduce my heavy workload.

She was willing to comply with my request. Moreover, she taught me useful sites to use Access; "Mahoutsukai no Kaihatsu Koubou" and "MOUG (Microsoft Office Users Group)". Thanks! I want to take this chance to improve my PC skill.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Japanese Folk Tales

On Saturday, I also took the class titled "Japanese Folk Tale". The textbook is the edit version of serial articles on Syukan-ST. On this day, I read "Old Man Blossom".

I like reading aloud the story. This kind of exercise makes me feel like I became a storyteller. Someone said that "the best leaders…almost without exception and at every level are master users of stories and symbols". I want to be able to use these kind of story, I mean... allegory or metaphor. Aristotle also said "The greatest thing in style is to have a command of metaphor".

Aside sayings, I really enjoyed reading this story. I didn't know the end of this "Old Man Blossom" actually. Every time the greedy man (and his wife) appears, I laughed.

Now I remembered that I've borrowed an English picture book of Japanese children's favorite stories at the city library, and forgot to read it. I want to read it in these holidays.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Hato bus tour

After I made a Christmas cake in the early morning, I got on the first train of Gotemba Line to get to Hamamatu-cho. I joined in the special course of English Hato bus tour. This day, I joined in the half day tour called "Cityrama Tokyo Morning". The tour included Meiji Shinto Shrine, Imperial Palace East Garden, Asakusa Kannon Temple and Nakamise Shopping Arcade.

I've been interested in a tour guide. I've tried the exam twice before, and I failed either. I didn't much prepared. Next time I try this exam, I want to study harder.

This was the first time for me to see a Japanese tour guide speaking English. I think studying Japanese things in English is very interesting, but memorizing figures (fee, height, area, population etc) is tough for me. It seems like I have to put all figures on Japan Almanac into my brain!

Well, I want to join English Hato bus tour by myself again. I'm so interested in "Kabuki Night" tour. I wonder how Kabuki story is explained in English.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Hectic Christmas day

Happy Holiday!

I'm almost stressed out.
... to be continued later.

Christmas cake

I made it!
Wow, I've got to go!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Is There a Santa Clause?

A woman next to me is one of my coworkers and also one of my good friends. She has 10 years old son and 12 years old daughter.

This morning, just as I sat at the desk in the office, she told me, "My children have already known that there is no Santa Clause!". It seems that her children have pretended to believe the existence of Santa Clause because they can get the present twice (I don't know why).

At that moment, I remembered a book which answers the children's familiar question "Is there a Santa Clause?". If I remember right, that's an edidorial in a newspaper. I wanted to recommend her that book, but I couldn't.

I found that book now. It's "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus". This article tells us the importance of imagination. You can read this story here. I want to give my friend the Japanese version of this book.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

English through lyrics

I also took the class titled "English Through Lyrics".
In the class, we listened Tom Well's one of his songs "Diamonds & Gold", and filled in the blanks in the lyrics.

His voice was not so clear and difficult to catch, but I learned a lot by this song. I want to leave notes here.

*violet... violet color is the symbol of love or sadness.

*ladder... social ladder

*mad as a hatter... hatter is a person who makes and sells hats.
This idiom is from a character in Lewis Caroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Because of the chemicals usen in hat-making, workers often suffered from mercury poisoning, which can cause loss of memory and damage to the nervous system (OXFORD).

*thin as a dime... skinny

*small-time... not very important or successful. =petty

*Napoleon... actually, he was so small man.

*stay in the saddle... continue to try

*disciple... someone who believes in the ideas of a great teacher or leader, especially a religious one (LONGMAN)

*hobo... a person who travels from place to place looking for work, especially on farms (OXFORD)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


There are year-end special courses at the English school these weeks. I'm going take many classes as much as possible. This weekend will be so hard for me...

On the other day, I took the class titled "Movie English Listening". It took over 4 hours and I was too exhausted, almost got to sleep in the latter-half of the class, but it was so interesting.

In the class, we listened "New York Detective Story" and learned Enlish sound changes. It was the first time for me to hear the word "schwa", a vowel sound in parts of words that are not stressed. I'm lucky to know even one thing that this is the key of listening and speaking natural English.

It was so fun to learn logical sound change process, but what I need to do is exercise pronunciation a lot and feel that process with my body. I think unless I can pronounce well, I can't listen well.

Monday, December 19, 2005

To do list in holidays

I have a lot of things to do in the New Year holidays (12/29 to 1/4), so I want to make a list here and prioritize them.

I have to master Access soon. The fault code which I deal with every day at the office change from the local code to the international code next year. Now I deal with it using FileMaker, but I don't know how to make a new form with it. I think it's better to make it with Access on this occasion.

I hasite to say that I got back to dial-up again now. Maybe I have a time to set LAN with my father this time.

Translation will be done within this year and next we have to concentrate on revising it. Where to be cut, how to cut is the most difficult job.

*TOEIC Final Test
I forgot to turn in TOEIC Final Test, the correspondance lesson last time. If I don't send it soon, I will have to pay all of the fee. Gee, I have to submit it before long.

*Correspondance course study
And neither have I even started my new correspondance study.

*Foot corn
I found it in summer but I had no time to cure it. It hurts! I bought the medical liquid "Ibo-korori". I wonder whether it works...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Waiting for the last train

On Sunday I left Shinjuku and got off the train at Shin-matsuda around 22:00 to change to Gotemba Line. I had thought I could get on the train without waiting time. But I didn't know why but the train had gone. So bad connection! I had to wait for the next train (tha last train) for about one hour at the coldest windy station.

It wasn't worthwhile complain about it. I tried to think this was a sign to do something productive.

Then it came up my mind that I forgot to read the crippings of the Japan Times. I didn't have much pep left for reading news articles so I tried a crossword puzzle. But... it was much difficult than I expected! I heard that Roget's Thesaurus was good for crossword puzzle and I wanted to get it on that time.

I moved to an apparently easy one. That was an interview with Kumiko Mori titled "WORDS to LIVE by". There were lots of witty and impressive words on that article.

*I believe that disappointments are chances for new discoveries.
*Verbalize your dreams and they will all come true.
*For more peace in the world, we need more karaoke machines. (!)
*I have too many feelings and too big of a heart so my body had to expand to accomodate all those emotions. (!!)
*We regret what we don't say, not what we say.
*My motto is unless I am happy, I can not make others happy.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

2006 Calendar

The other day I got the company calendar for 2006.
I feel sad because almost all of factory's days off are on Saturday!

Golden Week holidays in May are from 3rd to 7th (only 5 days) and
Summer holidays in August are from 12th to 14th (only 3 days)...

Anyway, I have to put up with that.

I haven't bought my personal day planner for the next year because I hardly used it this year.
In the office, I use a small desktop calendar. At home, I use a fairly big calendar on the wall. I use the calendar in the mobile phone sometimes. Then I noticed that I never used the day planner.

It is not because I have a lot of free time. Definitely not! Probably because my present life pattern is stable.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wada Emi

It has been years since I visited a museum or gallery last time. I used to go there many times when I was living in Tokyo.

Now I have no time to visit musiums very often, but I always thinking about it because it gives me an inspiration of something. Once in a while it stimulates me to widen my interest greatly.

Well, what I want to go now is Wada Emi's costume exbit in Aoyama, "WADA EMI - Kyoto and beyond 1985 to 2005".

Our drama class needs somewhat samurai costume or kimono, so this must give me good inspiration. I think I can get something more than that.

But I don't know when I can go...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nescafe gift set

There are lots of information on the bulletin board on the way to the canteen, and I found that I could get a Seibo (year-end giff) which was collected at the Administration Section.

On the lunch break time, I got there to receive it. The man in charge said "Don't expect it too much. You might be disappointed."

So I was thinking that I was lucky just to get the sudden gift.

That was Nescafe coffee gift set!

I like coffee and this was more than I expected. How lucky!
I wish I could get a run of good luck...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Full House

I found an ad of TSUTAYA on the newspaper and it says that you can rent the great hit TV dramas, "Full House (first season)" and "The White House (first season)" at half price from 26 December to 28 February.

Oh, Full House is already on DVD? I didn't know that!

Maybe I can't help buying it soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Witty remarks 3

*Those who live in hope are always young. (Kiyoshi Miki)

*The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. (a saying)

*When you take stuff from one writer, it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research. (Wilson Mizner)

*Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. (Abigail Adams)

*When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself. (anonym)

*People learn from their failures. Seldom do they learn anything from success. (Harold Geneen)

*The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge. (Adolf Berle)

*Wisely, and slow; they stumble that run fast. (William Shakespeare)

*Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. (Jonathan Swift)

*Man's mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to it's original dimentions. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

*Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; nock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Bible)

*Nothing is impossible to a willing mind. (a saying)

While I checked the spell of the name of each remarks, I found "Wikiquote", an online quotations page. It looks like fun!

Monday, December 12, 2005

I lost my wallet?!

On Monday morning, right after I woke up around 4:30, I noticed that there wasn't my wallet in my bag.

I remembered that I paid 1,000 yen when I went out the parking lot near the station. And after that?

I had no idea because I was in a hurry to join the year-end party of the Production Section. It should be in my bag, my car or the kitchen table. I looked for my wallet all over the place in the early morning, but I couldn't find it.

Oh my gosh! There is almost 50,000 yen! and my credit cards, bank cards and my health insurance card...!

Suddenly I remembered that I brought my bag to the year-end party. That ring a bell, someone must have steal my wallet! It is often said not to bring your important thing to the drinking party, especially your money more than you use...

It's a too big lesson for me.

I told my mother that I lost my wallet. She looked for the car, and you know, there was my wallet under the seat... I must have dropped it and I couldn't find it because I was in a blind. embarrassing result.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Some concerns

I decided to continue studying English at the English school in Shinjuku one more year.

Actually, I wondered which was better to continue or stop it.

Should I go another school to get British English?
Should I start the correspondance course of the University?
Should I save more money to study abroad near future?

But before I noticed it, I said I would keep studying there. Why?

Probably because I'm afraid to lose the opportunity to speak English.
And I want to take the dramatic debate or the logical presentation class next year.

As I was googling and surfing the Internet, I happened to find some word-of-mouth reports about the school I go now.
What I was got in mind was about the required class, the drama class.

Maybe some of the new students in my class think about the same thing.
For me, I like this style, doing something in English or thinking in English.

But for some of the students who belive that there is a pure English without everyday emotional difficulties and who want to study only that pure English, the drama class must be just a nuisance.

This must be what I have to face with for 4 months from now...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Karaoke Opera

Please forgive me to write about karaoke again...

I found an interesting CD at Amazon. That is Karaoke Opera!

This includes famous operatic arias without singing, it means karaoke.
There seems to be some versions, soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, and so on.

Just listening is not enough. I want to sing opera!

I wish I could learn Italian or Spanish songs once more.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Emily is coming home

Emily, the stowaway cat is coming home from France. How lucky she could return safely. It's a miracle!

She disappeared from her home in North America in late September. She apparently wandered into a container in the storehouse nearby, and that container went by truck to Chicago and by ship to Belgium over the Atlantic. Fortunately, she was found in the company in Nancy, France.

And also Emily was lucky with her tag, she could back home on the business class flight.

When I found the photo of Emily on the newspaper, looking through the plane window, of course I remembered the day my cat Pyonta looked outside at the car window and disappeared right after that! Anyway, it's a heart-warming and marvelous story.

Thursday, December 08, 2005



when interesting or valuable discoveries are made by accident (LONGMAN)
the fact of sth interesting or pleasant happening by chance (OXFORD)

This word was coined by Horace Walpole (well-known as the author of "The Castle of Otranto") from his tale "The Tree Princes of Serendip" (Serendip is the present Sri Lanka). One of the character has this talent.

First time when I came across this word, I remembered the same title of movie. I didn't have a chance to watch it, though...

Serendipity seems to be used often in the field of science. Koich Tanaka, the Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 2002, is a good example.

In the business world, Toyota Way is another example of serendipity. Now Toyota system looks like the best system from the first step, but actually its system is a result of continual efforts and "serendipity".

Although it couldn't be called serendipity, when I was a bookworm and thought about one theme and looked for some books everyday at the bookshops in Jinbo-cho or the library of the university, I could find what I wanted before I tried to find it. There was something like sparks flashing in my brain, that connect each other, and that power led me to the book, the line or the word.

That kind of serendipity might be happened only when I keep my tention high and look for something all day. I want to have such experiences again sometime.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Internet Archive

I've been wondering where my favorite site about the linguistics (Mac de Semiology by Kinji Kanemura) has gone. On the other day, I found the useful Internet Archive site called "Internet Archive: Wayback Machine".

If you encounter with "File Not Found", you can restore it with this Internet Archive as long as there is a cache. Please try!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


On Sunday Karaoke party, one of my classmates sang Maiahi ("Dragostea Din Tei" by O-Zone) with me. I was very happy because this song was used in the last drama performance. I remember that I listend this song everyday to encourage myself just before the presentation. I wanted to master its dance, but I had no time to do that on that time.

O-Zone is from Moldova, and this song was written in Romanian. But I can sing it easily probably because I listened it many times and remembered the parody movie with Japanese lyrics. I'm going to sing it at the year-forgetting party of the Production section this Sunday. There are many Maiahi pages on the web, so it's easy to practice singing.

Actually, on Monday, I also had a karaoke party with one of my friends. He used to go to the same English school in Shinjuku from Gotemba as me. I had a good time, but I sang too much to say something. What a fool I am!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Feel drowsy

I was so drowsy in the afternoon. I ashamed to say that I couldn't keep working. Why?

Maybe this is because Sunday was too tight and tough day for me. On that day, I left home 5:30 and walked to the station (there was no bus in the earty morning) to get to Shinjuku on 9:00. I had almost no time to sleep because I didn't do my homework. Actually I couldn't sleep because I was so anxious about the drama class. After the class, I went to karaoke with my classmates. I enjoyed so much forgetting that Monday is the busiest day in a week.

Well, I'm a kind of Karaoke freak. I like singing especially foreign langage songs. The other day, I found some Italian songs in DAM. ("Volare" and "Ciao Ciao Bambina" by Domenico Modugno and "Tintarella Di Luna" and "Un Boco Nella Sabbia" by Mina.) I want to try these Italian songs soon.

On Sunday karaoke party, we sang English songs because we are classmates of the English school and of course we want to improve our English. I'm surprised that my friend sang Japanese songs in English on the spot! It's very good way to exercise consecutive interpreting. I want to try it next time.

And a drowsy day continues...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Drama title decided: Nocturne

Finally our drama class decided the title of the drama. That is "Nocturne".

These weeks, I've been anxious about the drama class because the class was divided into 2 groups; one recommended "Nocturne" and the other recommended "Sister Act".

I was in Sister Act group, because I felt Nocturne was too difficult to perform. In Nocturne, there are various chacters appear, and they connect with others complicatedly. And it has many messages. Good point of Nocturne is its mixture, that mixture move the audience deeply.

But we have to perform the drama in only 30 minutes. In order to make the story which can be understood by the audience in 30 minutes, we must make it simple. Maybe we must give up many roles or messages and make a new story.

I know it's very tough job to cut the original story. In the former class, we had to take much time which is better to put the suprising reversal story or not. After all, we gave it up because we had to put some hints or underplots into the script. That makes the story complicated. I think the surprising reversal is risky. It could be a kind of Deus ex machina, and make the audience feel apathetic.

Anyway, our drama title was decided. I feel relief to clear the first hurdle. I welcome the difficult story because I want to challenge it. I can learn a lot of things from the difficulties again.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Souvenir from Vietnam

My best friend took holiday for a week and went to Vietnam, and she gave me a lot of things from Vietnam. Thanks!

Instant "Pho" noodles, Chocolate snacks, Vietnamese coffee and coffee strainer, lotus tea, a blue Vietnamese lacquer ware and a Vietnamese purse.

We made a promise to travel abroad together next year. I got 11 paid holidays on the other day. I wanted to use it soon, but I try to leave that as much as possible considering the trip next year.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Small complaints

Before noon, there was a meeting with WCM and my manager about the TB line data.

These days I'm frustrated that the new input called Daily Management System had already strated by operators in the shopfloor before I knew it. There are too many new things which has no vision. If there is a vision, it doesn't coming to the end workers. We're going to introduce Weighing Scale, international code, and P2 in the near future ... and DMS in addition to that?

These kind of things might be decided by one word from the top. I think my boss is also confused with such a voice of authority. He asked me to draw the sketch about how to deal with the data from now on. Even he doesn't understand the way to go! I think the leader should has clear vision and he should be always ready for showing it.

In the afternoon, I had to talk with the employment medical advisors. It seems that employees with too many overtime working must take the interview with them.

My overtime working hours was 90:15 in September and 62:45 in October... amaging. But it decreases now. 46:00 in November. It's too late to take such kind of interview. Now I'm in good health.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I got a pocket planner of the company I work for, but its home is Sweden, so the language is Swedish. Of course I can't understand Swedish, but looking at unexplored language recurs me a polyglot fever again.

I heard that Swedish is a language which resembles a cross between English and German. Å (å) is new letter for me and it stirs my interest in this language.

Speaking of Sweden, it reminds me Moomin, Sibelius, ABBA, Nobel Prize, Fujiko Hemming, and so on. I wish I could have time to study Swedish and travel Sweden! I envy one of my manager who goes to Sweden as a business trip...