silver lining

every cloud has a silver lining.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

You Can't Stop the Beat 1

"Retired, and moved to New York"... oops, no no no.
I decided to go to New York this month!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Witty remarks 19

*If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. (George Bernard Shaw)

*Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. (William Saroyan)

*The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision. (Helen Keller)

*The devil temps all, but the idle man temps the devil. (a saying in Western countries)

*Plans are nothing; planning is everything. (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

*You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. (Dr. Seuss)

*It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. (René Descartes)

*A winner niver quits and a quitter never wins. (a saying)

*The first rule for a good style is to have something to say; in fact, this in itself is almost enough. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

*It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. (Henry James)

*There are two kinds of adhesive tape: that which won't stay on and that which won't come off. (Murphy's law)

*Those who live closest arrive latest. (Murphy's law)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

We Are the World

I happened to find a recording video clip of "We Are the World" on Youtube the other day.
It took me back to the days when I learned this song around I was a junior high school student. It made me cry because I think this message is a kind of everlasting one through different periods in history. I really want to know who is who by each singer.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

I finished reading and exercises earlier than usual, so I tried the third extract. That was "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" by Frederick Douglass. It was really hard for me to keep reading because this depicts how the author had been treated as a slave. Along with "Uncle Tom's Cabin", this narrative was one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th Century in the United States. The teacher said children in U.S. read this story in a class.
Recently I have to research the history of African American, so it was lucky for me to know it. Perfect timing it was.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Drinking & Karaoke Party!

After the first day of work on Saturday, I went to the party which I had been looking for for a month. A friend of mine who used to come to Phoenix from Gotemba and I planned it. Last time we did it in September with 8 members, and this time there were 14 members and all of them were friends at Phoenix. It was fun! We tend to meet the same members at school, so this kind of party really refreshed me. I want to have it again next year.

Some of the members went to Karaoke after the drinking party. On that day, I sang these songs, if I remember correctly.

*Mamma Mia
*Dancing Queen
*Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
*La Bamba
*You've Got A Friend
*Hello, Dolly!
*Take Me Home Country Road
*Seasons Of Love
*Omatsuri Mambo
*Last Christmas
*Christmas Eve
*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
*Do Re Mi
*It's My Party

I was surprised that there were opera songs ("La donna è mobile", for example) in foreign songs list. I'd like to know what kinds of ohter opera songs there on the list.

As I did it often before, I missed the last train and stayed at an internet cafe, Aprecio Shinjuku.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Ugly Duckling

The second extract was "The Ugly Duckling" by Hans Christian Andersen. First I didn't notice this is a well-known story. Soon I realized that it was "Minikui Ahirunoko" in Japanese! It was very easy to read. I found this story in a children's story book at Junkudo. It sounds nice to read those books for chilren in order to do extensive reading, doesn't it? Anderson wrote several stories for children, The Little Match Girl, The Little Marmaid...etc.

The moral concept of the "Ugly Duckling" is that inner beauty will overshadow the physical appearance. I found that the dictionaries say that "a person or thing that at first does not seem attractive or likely to succeed but that later becomes successful or much admired" (Advanced Oxford) and "a person who turns out to be beautiful or talented against all expectations (Concise Oxford).

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

It was only me again in the Friday reading class. I read 3 extracts on that day. The first story was "The Adventure of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain.

I guess I should read not only Tom Sawyer but also its sequel, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn", because it depicts racism of the time and the drifting journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on their raft may be one of the most enduring images of escape and freedom in all of American literature.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Drama Title Decided: Hairspray

Finally my drama class decided our title. That is "Hairspray". This is about two weeks earlier than that last year. I can't believe my class could decide it in such an early phase.

This title is my recommendation. In October, I had checked so many movies and searched lots of plays, operas, musicals and so on. When I found the musical Hairspray and its original movie, I felt it did ring a bell, so I bought its DVD soon. Actually I'd never known that this was a famous Broadway musical until that time. After I watched the movie, I had a strong hunch again. So I recommended it in the class.

As I came to know Hairspray bit by bit, I noticed that it is really difficult to make a drama with Hairspray. It has a deep message, but it can be a cheap comedy easily. Nocturne, the last drama of mine was also difficult. In Nocture, there are various chacters appear, and they connect with others complicatedly. And it has many messages by each role and its mixture move the audience deeply. But it's easier to tell a deep message with a serious drama...

I feel I always try some new thing. Nocturne, Otaku..., and Hairspray. It must be challenging, but I'd like to trust members again and make a good drama.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lunch with Youtube 2

This is a note just for myself. No need to check every site!

Do you hear the people sing?

Mario brothers - underwater theme - accordion

Jammin on the accordion

La Vie BohemeA-Rent

Larry Raben "I Wanna Be A Producer" Broadway's THE PRODUCERS

Musical: Springtime For Hitler from movie "The Producers"

Takeshi Kitano & Ken Shimura - Tap & Shamisen

The Papas The Mamas - California Dreaming (live ver.)

The Ronettes - Be My Baby (1965)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lunch with Youtube 1

These days when I have lunch in my tiny room, I always check Youtube. Here's some clips which I watched this week.

DO RE MI - Andy Williams Show

Lesley Gore - It's My Party

Martha & The Vandellas - Heatwave

The Best Of Cats The Musical

Marilyn Monroe - Runnin' Wild (Some Like it Hot)

At the end of the day

Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong - Do You Know What It Means

Chicago-All that Jazz compilation

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Witty remarks 18

*You can never lose anything that really belongs to you, and you can't keep that which belongs to someone else. (Edgar Cayce)

*Opinion is ultimately determined by the feelings, and not by the intellect. (Herbert Spencer)

*There are two mistakes on can make along the road to truth... not going all the way, and not starting. (Buddha)

*Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward. (Benjamin Franklin)

*A bus is a vehicle that goes on the other side in the opposite directon. (Murphy's law)

*Marriage halves our griefs, doubles our joys, and quadruples our expenses. (a saying)

*Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. (Aristotle)

*Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. (Carl Sandburg)

*Only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the people. (Adolf Hitler)

*You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. (C. S. Lewis)

*A bus is a vehicle that goes on the other side in the opposite direction. (Murphy's law)

*Whenever you need to stop at a light to put on makeup, every light will be green. (Murphy's law)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Project Sugita Genpaku

When I searched about Stevenson and Bram Stoker, I found a great translation project called "Project Sugita Genpaku".

It seems more useful than Aozora Bunko and Project Gutenberg! Now I'm interested in the promoter of this project, Hiro Yamagata.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


This German word "Bildungsroman" had been tip on my tongue for weeks, and the other day I remembered it finally. It seems to be translated as "novel of education" or "novel of formation" in English. In Japanese it is translated as 教養小説, but I think it's wrong. Bildungsroman is a novel which traces the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character from (usually) childhood to maturity (from Wikipedia).

The reason why I has been thinking of this word is that I start to think about what drama is again these days. I think that the main character in a drama should grow mentally and spiritually, I mean, s/he should be changed between before and after the drama with struggle.

I think the drama is, in short, put the hero (heroine) in the last place s/he wants to be, and s/he tried to overcome the difficulties, and audience watch his (her) growth.

So I think drama is a kind of buildungsroman.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I should have checked this TV program about Chaplin.

As a matter of fact, I've watched only "Modern Times" once before. When I found his famous speech in "The Great Dictator" on the net, I was really moved and I thought I should watch it, but not yet. Now I really want to know how to put a deep message in comedy.

☆Dictator's speech, "Look up, Hannah"

☆The Chaplin Society of Japan

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Haunted House

In the Advanced Reading class, the teacher told us the story when he went into a haunted house at Daiba with his friend. They went into it just because they wanted to drop in there, laugh off, and go away. But that was wrong.

They got a note in English which said "Don't hit the ghosts". They didn't much care of it, but after all they really felt like hitting the ghosts! They said "Hello!" and "Excuse me!" in a childish but scary tone (in English), and came just aside to them! He said he screamed out loud with dirty words all the time during in the houted house, and he couldn't stop shivering after he went out of the house. I guess it was really scary for them just because they didn't get used to Japanese style haunted house, but it seemed really freightening for them.

☆Daiba Hounted House

Monday, November 13, 2006


I made my bookshelf on the web with BOOKLOG
When I first found this service years ago, I didn't like it because it was so heavy. This time I was so absorbed in making it that I forgot about the time. It's fun! This service got the grand prize at Amazon associate program contest.
I want to keep my books left at my parents' home in order with this program someday.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Rocking-House Winner

Last Friday in the advanced reading class, I read "The Rocking-Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence. I just know the name of this auther with his work "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and its obscenity trial in Britain and Japan. The teacher said that this work was not so obscene and its trial represented the changes of the times.

This is a short story and its extract was really easy for me. I just felt like reading short stories more. There was a middle class English family who were really concerned about their small income, but kept their style. This really stands for typical British characteristic of bluffing. I remember a middle-aged man who pretends to work as a manager but has no job in reality in the movie "Full Monty".

I didn't know from the extract, but this family seems to succeed in winning a horse race, they lose their money in the end, though. The teacher always choose some tragic and desperate stories. I used to read this genre without notice.

☆Classic Short Stories

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Lame Duck

lame duck
a president, governor etc with no real power because his or her period in office will soon end. (LONGMAN)
a politician or a government whose period of office will soon end and who will not be elected again. (OXFORD)

Of course I mean George W. Bush!

According to the news, U.S. stocks went up by hope for change in the government's policy on Iraq and less military expenditure.

In Japan, there's no visible reaction against the Democrats' victory, but the Abe cabinet will be urged to change their policy, because Abe cabinet follows Koizumi cabinet which had always followed Bush and the Republican Party.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Model Debate at Tokyo Uni. Festival

I'm also interested in English debate at Tokyo University.

☆Model Debate by the University of Tokyo Debating Society
Sunday, 26 November
12:20-13:20, 16:00-17:00
Bldg 11, room 1101

I wanted to go some university festivals, but I noticed later that almost all of them had finished last weekend. Oops!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Four-University English Theatricals

This weekends, both on Saturday and Sunday, English Drama Festival by university students takes place in Shiki city in Saitama prefecture. This event is held by Four-University (Hitotsubashi & Tsuda, Keio, St. Paul's and Waseda) E.S.S. Association. Last year I went there, but I'm not sure I go this year.

Saturday, November 11
10:45 Open
11:05 Waseda Production "The foreigner"
13:15 Keio Production "Treasures on earth"
15:25 Hitosuda Production "Teach me how to cry"
17:35 Rickyo Production "Broadway bound"

Sunday, November 12
10:15 Open
10:35 Hitosuda Production "Teach me how to cry"
12:40 Rickyo Production "Broadway bound"
14:45 Waseda Production "The foreigner"
16:50 Keio Production "Treasures on earth"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


According to the news, Softbank and News Corp started to serve a Japanese version of Myspace. It is the most popular SNS (social networking service) website which has more than 125 million registered members throughout the world.

I made my page there just out of curiosity.

Now I just put links of my weblogs there. I wanted to add color and sound to my profile page, but I couldn't. It seems that I need a basic knowledge of HTML for that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Super! YouTube

Monday, November 06, 2006


About two weeks have passed since the last Sunday English club, and I forgot to write about the topic on that day; that was gambling.

Most forms of gambling are illegal in Japan. However, there are goverment-controlled gamblings featuring various kinds of racing: horse racing, motorboat race, bicycle race, and auto race. They are called Sankei-auto (三競オート:競馬、競艇、競輪、オートレース). On the other hand, there are public-managed lotteries: Jumbo Takarakuji lottery, Numbers 3, Numbers 4, Loto 6, and Mini Loto. The Jumbo Takarakuji lottery includes five annual lotteries: Green Jumbo in March, Dream Jumbo in June, Summer Jumbo in August, Autumn Jumbo in October, and Nennmatsu (year-end) Jumbo inDecember. They have been important source of revenue for some loval goverments.

I've never tried any kinds of these gambling, and now I'm very surprised that Japanese have lots of opportunities to do gambling! In addition, we have pachinko, a Japanese pinball game. We have so many pachinko parlors everywhere across Japan. I'm afraid that Japanese people liked gambling compared with others. Tokyo governor has an idea of setting a casino in Daiba, but I think Japanese have already enough gamblings and no need to make a casino. Of course there might be some advantages, but I'm not sure how they are going to use money from the casino.

Somewhat we talked about popular card games in Japan in the end. I used to play Uno or Daihugou, but I forgot how to play them. I got interested in Hanahuda after hearing some basic rules by other members. It seems a traditional Japanese play, so I want to get the hang of it near future.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Underground Shopping Arcade

After the Sunday English Club, I went to Seibu Shinjuku PePe to look for some clothes. It just got to be window shopping, but after that I got lost and happened to enter an underground shopping mall. That was Shinjuku Subnade. I bought some clothes for work there and that satisfied me very much.

Come to think of it, Shinjuku has much underground shopping area. It's a pleasant, enjoyable place, isn't it? Anytime it is alive with many people, we can get almost all things for daily life, we can escape from heavy rain, cold wind, and hot sunshine outside. And the very fact that there is a city underground! It's like a labyrinth and I want to enjoy it more.

☆Shinjuku Subnade

☆Keio Mall

☆Odakyu Ace

Saturday, November 04, 2006


The other one was "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. I know this character, Dracula, the most famous vampire (a dead person who leaves his or her grave at night to suck the blood of living people), but I don't know this story.

We read just one scene in which Mr. Harker went into Count Dracula's house. The depiction was so frightening with sound effects (e.g. "There was the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back") that really thrilled with horror. And his way of speaking! His English is excellent, but with a strange intonation. It must be Rumanian accent, because Dracula is from Transylvania, the teacher said. "Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!" This line (your own will) suggests some risk, because it means you enter the house with your responsibility. Ooh, it's scary, scary!

Vampires have a lot of images according to folklores worldwide, but after Bram Stoker's Dracula gets so popular, Dracula is a kind of its stereotype, and Dracula got to be a classic of gotic and horror novel. Speaking of vampire, I remember one manga, "The Family Poe" by Moto Hagio. I guess Count Dracula is just a frightening monster in "Dracula", but I found some tragedic image toward vampires in "The Family Poe".

Friday, November 03, 2006

Les Miserables

It was only me who attended the Advanced Reading class the other day. That means one-to-one class! I never imagined it when I came to school only weekends. I think the atmosphere between weekday classes and weekend ones are much different. Sometimes I feel tense and serious atmosphere on weekdays.

That doesn't mean I hate one-on-one. I like reading literatures and really enjoyed this class. We read two extracts and one was "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo. I guess the teacher chose this story because I told him that I majored in French literature. Firstly I was asked to explain this story, but I could only say like " this is the story of a man named Jean Valjean who stole a piece of bread and put in a prison due to that action". It might take too much time to remember and explain the whole story.

We read only a small scene in which the Bishop tried to go to the mountain only by himself to see shepherds where was danger with rebels. I guess the Mayor who urges the Bishop not to go there is Jean Valjean, but I'm not sure. I have to read the whole story to know where this scene is written. I wish I could read Les Miserables in French someday with the help of one in English. Or rather I'd like to read his poetry because poems couldn't be understood by translation in the end.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Seasons of Love

I have many friends who belong to "Rent" drama class and just fans of this musical, so I really want to know what it's like.

Now I just checked the trailer and I like the theme song "Seasons of Love" very much.

It seems that you can sing it at karaoke.

I want to sing it at the next karaoke party, but I don't know I can sing or not...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We Love Musicals!

The other day in the evening, I went to Waseda Shochiku Classic Film Theater to see "Producers" which one of my drama classmates recommended in the class. I could rent the DVD from the rental video shop, but I didn't know that.

Mmm, I'd like to watch it on the stage because I can't clap my hands to my heart's content!

There is feature programs from 28 Oct to 1 Dec titled "We Love Musicals!".
"Producers" and "The Phantom of the Opera" (28 Oct - 3 Nov)
"Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" and "Peau d' Ane" (4 Nov - 10 Nov)
"All That Jazz" and "Chicago" (11 Nov - 17 Nov)
"Rent" and "Moulin Rouge!" (18 Nov - 24 Nov)
"Singin' in the Rain" and "The Sound of Music" (25 Nov- 1 Dec)

☆Waseda Shochiku Classic Film Theater