Monday, April 29, 2013

A Product for Sushi-Savvy Toddler!

Source: via Kozue on Pinterest

While I was looking around Japanese American National Museum site, I found this. I pinned it on my pinterest board on Fun Stuff. Sushi Touch-and-Feel stroller cards for Sushi-savvy toddler? Wow! I'm amazed. I'm amazed how much things have changed.  I remember it was not long ago, sushi was considered yucky, uncool, and foreign. It has become more popular, and last 2-3years (if I remember correctly) the Northern city of Ontario like ours got 2 Japanese restraunts where you can eat sushi.

I'm amazed at someone's creativity. I wonder what made the creator come up with the idea of making Sushi Touch-and-Feel.

I wonder how many have been sold? I love it. It's a great conversation starter, don't you think? It makes me smile just looking at this. I should get this for myself for that reason :)

So, now you know what I like. Sorry if you don't like Sushi. I understand it's not everyone's favorite. But if you LOVE sushi like me, I hope you enjoyed this post!

P.S. I haven't pinned many on my board, but you might find something interesting.

May 5th---It's Boy's Day!

A new picture for the month of May is up! I made these Origami Samurai Helmets for L-chan's classmates. The boy's day is celebrated in Japan on May 5th and unlike Girl's day it's a national holiday! Actually, it's known as Children's day on the Japanese calendar.

For more explanation of this holiday, I found this link to be helpful

I also liked the Japanese American Museum site about Koinobori. Koinobori is a carp-streamer that you see around Japan this time of the year. I think sometime this week, I'm going to make more Boy's day crafts and post it on this blog.

The weather in April here was so cold and not Spring like, so I can't believe it's May already. As a child, I looked forward to Boy's day (Children's day) every year. I have a younger brother, so it was fun to celebrate Boy's day as a family. I got to eat Chimaki, which is special rice dumplings eaten on the Boy's day. I think Chimaki was served at school at lunch time as well on the week of Children's day. If you don't know what chimaki looks like, watch this YouTube video. Good (and yummy) memories!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Reflection on My Career Goals.

Whew! I finally filed our taxes. I know I shouldn't have waited for this long, but I'm glad it's done. The new thing for us this year's tax filing was to include the income from our solar panels. I can't believe it has been a year since the installation. It was much warmer last year by this time in April. I remember M-chan was still a little baby.

Filing tax made me reflect on the business side of our lives. Also last week, we had an exciting news about our rental properties. One of them has a "sold" sign in the front right now!. I'll be so glad to have that experience behind me, and dive into the new opportunity that came on my way.

One third of the year has passed. I wonder what the rest of the year will look like for me.  So far, I've improved the most in the area of communication. I will keep you updated! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Can't Sleep Well If I Know Others are Working!

As you can see, I changed my blog background to a picture of cherry blossom, but it doesn't mean I'm enjoying the spring here. I caught a cold last week, and it was pretty depressing to see more snow yesterday. 

Everyone else I know seemed enjoying spring, and cherry blossom weeks ago. 

The same thing about daily activities. 

Everyone else is enjoying the end of the day, or has been working hours already when I'm just getting myself ready for the day. 

I feel like showing up to a meeting late in pajamas. 

So this is going to be my quest of the month. (Last month was Multilingual and Identity) I'm going to find out more how others are adjusting different time zones in their businesses and online social lives.

Right now, I'm thinking I have to go to bed early, and get up early. I don't have a problem with that, I just have to stick to the plan if that solves everything. 

I know businesses use scheduled posts. I read an article about mistakes a mayor made in Japan. His scheduled comment "I'm enjoying a peaceful morning today" was posted an hour after the earthquake last week. He deleted it as soon as he realized it was irrelevant, but many people had already seen it. 

Live and learn, I guess, but I'm going to experiment and report my findings! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Team Canada Reception Video

Another post on curling. They are the 2013 world silver medalists, and I'm so proud of them, you know! 

My brother-in-law who attended the reception of Team Canada sent me the link for this video. They are presented the key to the city by the Mayor. 

My brother-in-law also had a picture of him shaking hands with Ryan Fry (the 3rd) on his facebook. I was jealous. What a great pic. 

K-kun and M-chan are in the video! Check it out. K-kun is the one with the camera (T-kun is right behind him) and M-chan is the one putting her fingers in her mouth. I couldn't go because I was taking the 2 girls to Gymnastics class. 

Read more about it here---> Our Team. Team Canada. Team Jacobs

If you want to see the pictures that K-kun took, please see here. I updated them on my Japanese blog. I hope they will visit my kid's school someday. We are going to get their autographs then! (or at the rink.)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Girl from Fukushima Japan Won 2nd Place in Aerobics World Cup (YouTube Video)

Today I came across the news of a girl from Fukushima who just won the 2nd place in Suzuki World Cup 2013 last week. Nineteen countries around the world competed in this event and it said she won 2nd place in Trio.

Her goal is (and has been) to win the first in the world cup, and bring a cheer to people in Fukushima. She is showing the reporter her favorite move (signature move?) "Illusion to vertical" (1:39)

Yesterday, there was an earthquake (shindo 6) in Japan near Osaka (Awajishima). Family and friends told us that they were fine, but I got a flashback of East Japan earthquake in 2011.  I remember how I wanted to share the news in English then, and how I started watching carefully how media reports the news in Japanese and in English. 

I have always wanted to speak English fluently. I finally understand what kind of fluency I want to achieve and how. I took online courses and lessons in the past and they helped me a lot; but I think studying even further in translating and interpreting will help bring up my communication skills in both languages. 

I didn't feel confident going back to school since I have been working at home for last 10 years, but I found another opportunity opening up to me as I test my skills in the real world outside of home. This is all happening (almost too quickly) since I started blogging publicly. Blogging publicly means that I'm showing the world that I'm seriously committed to be a contributor to the world and with my improved language skills, I can somehow help spread the messages. The messages that each of us are important, and we care and lift others by showing our best. This girl's story touched my heart today, so I took the time to translate. If you are a native speaker of English and know Japanese as well, what do you think of my summery of the video? The word I looked up was 得意技(とくいわざ-tokuiwaza)I thought "favorite move" fits here (but I can use the words "signiture move" if she is someone really famous for the move? I couldn't tell from this, but I liked signiture move for tokuiwaza. I will remember that.)

I just want to throw a question while I'm feeling very lucky to have your attention. Is there anyone out there thinking the same thing as I have? Preferably a Japanese person who lives outside of Japan, who likes to study translating between Japanese/English culture? Or someone who has lived in Japan and loves Japanese culture, and wants to help me with my English translation? If this fits you, (only if you are serious about learning please) send me a private message through either G+ page or FB page. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Friday, April 12, 2013

My First Guest Post Experience!

This is great news for me, considering I was shy and didn't have a lot of confidence.

I'm still new to the Twitter, but I'm finding so many inspiring people on there already. The other day I found a tweet that said they are looking for volunteers to write about experiences of raising a bilingual child. It was from Language Insight whose tweets I had been following for 2 or 3 days. I don't know where the courage came from, but I asked if there is any qualification needed. They said no.

I realized after I said I would write it that many of the readers of Language Insight blog might be professional translators and writers; I felt very nervous writing my story. but I knew this was important for me to tell this story, so others who might feel the same way about writing in their second language or felt their kids are not progressing in learning languages would be encouraged. I hope many others will post real stories like mine because I would love to read them all!

I want to thank Hayley at Language Insight for helping me feel great about what I wrote. When I first send in the post, I felt it wasn't good enough for their blog. Surprisingly, she edited very little; she said so won't lose my voice. She said she was really looking forward to sharing with their readers also. It was very encouraging!

I hope others find my story interesting. If you are here the first time after reading the story on Language Insight blog, thank you so much for visiting! I hope to improve my writing and contents on my blog as I continue to write regularly. Hayley at Language Insight offered me to write a guest blog for this blog, too! I'm  so excited what I can learn from her.

If you haven't read my story on Language Insight site, please read it here. And if you were raised as bilingual or raising children as bilingual, I encourage you to share your story!

(added later) I also wanted to mention that I was first inspired by this post on Language Insight site. It was experience told by Paula about raising her daughter in a bilingual household. I read it shortly after I posted this post about Multilingualism. Since then, I have been learning more and more about questions that I had while I was writing that post. So, thank you, Paula!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Curling Men's World Championship---after thoughts

Wow, what a week. I didn't know watching curling could be so much fun!
(if you already know how fun curling is, please skip this post... and read something else.)

I updated my excitement over curling games on facebook, twitter, my other Japanese blog, and my Google+ page last week. Now I'm finally taking time to write a post.

My husband played curling competitively in the past, so it's fun to watch it with his commentary. (He often got too upset with missed shots, so it was intense watching with him.)

Did I also mention that my kids goes to school where the school principal is the uncle of 3 players on Team Canada? My husband says that he coached Harnden brothers when they started curling. That's pretty cool, isn't it?

5 straight wins, then fall to the 4th before going into the page playoffs, then won against Denmark, and Scotland to play at the final. It was awesome .The final game against Sweden was not the good game for Canada, but as my husband said, winning the national is as hard as world... so many good teams in Canada. I think Team Brad Jacobs from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario should be proud of their performance at World Championship.Silver Medals for Canada!!

(Please read more about the results by reading headlines here. (It is a link to "Following Team Canada" on Canadian Curling Association site.)

While watching I kept imagining these players as characters in black-and-white comic characters. If you are familiar with Japanese sports manga, I'm thinking of Captain Tsubasa (soccer). There are many other sports illustrated in Manga, so why not curling? It would be so much fun to read about their journey to get to the podium, don't you think? There will be a lot of dramas, shows different teams representing different countries, their behind the scene practices and training... I think someone should write it. If someone does, and curling in Japan becomes very popular in the future because of it, I will say "I told you so!"

Japan team did great too, beat both Canada and Sweden, the top 2 teams in the world!

I learned so much this week about curling. It makes you wonder why hadn't I learned already, eh? I guess I wasn't really interested. Now I am. I'm thinking about playing curling someday. We will see!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cooking Time Fun! (but this post is about knots)

Well, I don't write about cooking often, but I love cooking. It's usually when I'm cooking and baking I get a inspiration.

Today was no difference. I was in my kitchen doing dinner preparation, I untangled some knots in my mind, and understand what was so troubling me for a long time.

Speaking of tangled knots, I have a story to share.

Well, last month, we had a lot of snow accumulated on the solar panels. My husband was concerned the weight of the snow might damage the roof or panels. Because the snow had gotten hard as ice, my husband decided to try the deicing wire cable to help speed up the process of getting rid of the snow.

(I wish I had taken pictures!)

So, I was helping him spread the Roof &  Gutter Cable. My husband was on the roof, and I was on the ground untangling & straightening the cable. When you open the package, the cable came all nice and wrapped around in a circle, right? He had already started it, when I was asked to help, it was all tangled up!

Of course I was frustrated, and I was cold standing outside; but eventually, I told myself to calm down. I kept following the cable, and just untangle the knots one by one.

If any of the neighbors were watching through the window what silly thing we were doing, I'm sure they would clapped for me when I successfully freed the wire from all the knots!! (200ft. 61m in length) It was actually pretty cool when the wire warmed up and melted the snow around it, so it was like small chunks of ice sliding off from our solar panels. Done!

Right now, my wire in my mind is not all free yet, but I have untangled many of them so far, I'm getting a hang of it. It's getting looser, and in my mind I can actually see the lines, not a plate of spaghetti   I'm almost there! Feeling free during the cooking time reminded me of this recent event of me helping untangling the cable.

Sorry, I didn't give you my secret recipe of homecooked meal. Maybe next time.

No...I'm not making spaghetti tonight, but I might post something about spaghetti in the future. Who knows where my imagination takes me next. Until next time!

(April 5--- I found the perfect illustration of what I was talking about! See the picture of untangling the wire here in the middle of the post.)