2008/10/29 水曜日

The Old Crooner–Music for everyone to enjoy

Filed under: English entries,日本語,音楽 — admin @ 7:47:36

One of my family’s oldest friends, Robert Brorby, has a website up to showcase his post-retirement project, making CDs. Click on for a quick listen to children’s songs, show tunes and many other favorites sung in the smoothest of crooning voices and the most delightful of piano accompaniment. The site says CDs are $10 including tax and shipping, but it might be a little more to send it overseas.

うちの親の昔からの仲良しは声の上手のおじさん, Robert Brorbyです。この前、CDをアメリカから持って帰って友達にばらまいたが、今度はウェブで注文できます。子守歌、ミュージカルの懐かしい曲、たくさ んあります。おじさんの声があまりにも綺麗で、発音がものすごくわかりやすいので、英語の発音練習に最適です。郵送を含めて$10となっていますが、日本に送るためにはもうちょっとかかると思います。(Paypalが使えるようです。)運転や家事中、歌えながらの英語は楽しいと思いますよ。リンクにクリックするだけで、音楽が聴けま すので、是非一度訪れて見て下さい!

The old crooner!

2008/10/27 月曜日

Shinjuku Shark: Poison Ape

Filed under: English entries,,翻訳業 — admin @ 17:37:16

Sometime in December (or maybe a teensy bit later), my latest translation is due out from Vertical: Shinjuku Shark: Poison Ape, the second in a detective series by Arimasa Osawa. Samejima (whose name has the character for “shark” in it) is the hottest cop on the Shinjuku beat, and in this volume, he finds himself up against the Taiwanese mafia. The book gives a “retro” look at Shinjuku, back in the day when there was no “Southern Terrace” with an Eddie Bauer or Krispy Kreme donut shop.

Fun I had doing this translation: figuring out how to convert Chinese names from Japanese to Chinese readings and then “alphabetizing them.” ALSO, keeping a map of Shinjuku Gyoen Park on my screen so I could follow Samejima through the park to the Taiwan Pavilion for the exciting climax of the story!!

2008/10/20 月曜日

A “meme” from Scribbly Katia

Filed under: English entries,英語一般 — admin @ 15:49:44

1. Do you remember the first book you ever read on your own?

2. Do you remember how you felt? If not, maybe you remember how you felt seeing a child read for the first time?

3. Do you remember a book that you read again and again as a child?

4. Why that book? Have you read it again as an adult? If so, was it like you remembered?

5. Why do you read?

These are the questions proposed by Katia on her blog “Scribbly Katia.” She suggests people answer them on their blogs and to get a discussion going.

1. I don’t! Like Suzanne Kamata, I only remember Dick, Jane and Spot.

2. As far as I remember, I always loved reading. Weekly trips to the library were sacred, and we even actually BOUGHT books if we got Christmas money. My dad wouldn’t let us get up until 7 a.m.(!) and I was usually awake much earlier doing what I called “sneak reading.” I remember reading Heidi and the Five Little Peppers series, mostly during the early morning hours. Being poor, I guess I enjoyed stories about people who were even worse off–they saved their darning threads for re-use (sob!) My mom gave me a vintage edition of The Wizard of Oz, which unfortunately disintegrated in cardboard box “storage.”

3&4. Books I “read” over and over would include all the books read on Captain Kangaroo, which my siblings and I watched religiously for many long years. I also remember borrowing and reading everything I could get my hands on by Beverly Cleary. She had such a perfect notion of how children think, and her books kept me in stitches. Her character Ramona was always in trouble, but it all made sense to me. Ramona wanted to know how Mike Mulligan went to the bathroom that day he managed to dig the entire foundation for a building with his famous steam shovel in Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (a Captain Kangaroo favorite). Finally! Someone to ask those questions I’d always wanted answers to.

Many years later, I found all of the Beevus and Ramona, and Henry Huggins and Ribsy books translated into Japanese, so I enjoyed them all over again with my daughters. Did Ramona make sense to them, too? Suffice it to say that we once took a trip, and after we were in the car and on our way, the two girls joyfully peeled off their clothes to reveal their pajamas–a chapter right out of the book! (Ramona hated the bother of changing her clothes in the morning, and once went to school with her school clothes over her pjs.) And weren’t they pleased with themselves!

5. Why do you breathe?

2008/10/15 水曜日


Filed under: life in Japan,日本語 — admin @ 14:46:54


ワンDK needs cleaning

the proud home owner

2008/10/14 火曜日

Other breaking news–Nebraska’s safe haven law

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan — admin @ 20:17:59

Much is being made of the parents driving their children to Nebraska and dropping them off at hospitals where a new law has promised that they will be cared for, no questions asked.

An overwhelmed widower brought in nine of his ten children, including two teenagers. A mother drove her 13-year-old son in from Michigan, a 12-hour drive. Two grandparents brought a 14-year-old girl from Iowa to leave her.

The media and public sentiment seems set against the parents who have taken advantage of this law, but it is interesting to note that on the same page of Yahoo! News, there was a video about a grand jury case on a young woman accused of murdering her three-year-old. Too bad Florida is such a long way from Nebraska.

In a society where entire fortunes are spent trying to conceive a baby, we sometimes lose sight of how difficult it can be to raise the bundles of joy we have been blessed with. What must it mean to publicly admit failure and somehow trust that someone will understand and take care of a child you may love but feel unable to deal with? What if the only hope you have for you and your child is getting in the car and driving to Omaha?

Nebraska’s law is not the perfect solution, but it seems to be the only place offering a solution of some sort.

A Catholic hospital in Japan has what is known as a “baby post,” a place to anonymously leave a baby one doesn’t feel capable of raising. The first “baby” left there was a three-year-old toddler. There was immediate public outcry. What a horrible hospital to induce such behavior! What horrible parents to do such a thing!

At the same time, child abuse is on the rise. Which is the better choice for young or unstable or unsupported parents at wit’s end? All in favor of the baby post in Japan or the Nebraska safe-haven law raise your hands. OK, now all who favor child abuse–?

Of course there are other solutions and other avenues of assistance, and I would encourage anyone with childrearing stress to seek the help of mental health professionals. If you are not in such a situation, I only ask that you not judge the actions of desperate moms and dads, and not condemn the very institutions that are there to keep them and their children safe.

2008/10/8 水曜日

ノーベル賞よりうちの娘 Japanese physicists win the Nobel Prize

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan,国際家族,日本語 — admin @ 10:09:05


The big news is that three Japanese have won the Nobel Prize in Physics! Manna Frances came in this morning exclaiming about how there had been this tremendous breakthrough about quarks. They existed! They had energy! The big surprise to me was that someone in our family actually understood what these three gentlemen have won the prize for.

昨日から大きなニュース!日本人+日本生まれのアメリカ人は物理のノーベル賞を受けることになりました。私はそれを聞いて、それで満足をします。細かい説明はいりません。しかし、朝から「お〜びっくり!クオークが存在して、そして質量がある!」と言っている人が約一名。 このノーベル賞のニュース以上に私が驚いているのは、うちの娘はその物理の内容が理解できました。彼女の感心に私が感心しています。

2008/10/1 水曜日

My Ballot was Sent Yesterday 大統領選挙不在者投票

Filed under: English entries,life in Japan,日本語 — admin @ 8:14:15

I sent my absentee ballot in yesterday, along with one of my daughter’s. The count is now 2-0 in California!

昨日、アメリカ大統領選挙の不在者投票を送りました。 どうか、今回の選挙は良い結果に終わって、アメリカと世界全体に良い働きのできる大統領が生まれますように!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

(With this photo, I chose “adorable” over “statesmanlike”… .)


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