Friday, February 15, 2008

February Inner Sky

Our friend Simon hosts a concert called “Inner Sky” on the 3rd Friday of every month.

Simon (right) and his band at last month’s Inner Sky

The February Inner Sky is tonight, Friday 15th, at Covent Garden (06-4391-3177), in Kia Horie.

The concert starts at 8:30 pm. Unfortunately, I have to work until late. I’ll get there around 10:00 pm. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day (Revisited)

It’s Saint Valentine’s Day! Today, all across Japan, ladies will be giving obligatory gifts [gifts they feel they should give] to all their male friends – family members, classmates, TEACHERS, co-workers, and so on. (Did I mention TEACHERS?!)

In Western countries, the custom is almost completely opposite. Traditionally, men give a romantic gift – flowers, jewellery, lingerie, perfume, or chocolate – to their special girlfriend. Recently, couples often exchange gifts over a romantic dinner. In many ways, Saint Valentine’s Day in the West is a lot like Christmas Eve in Japan.

Saint Valentine’s Day was first promoted in Japan by chocolate companies. After many unsuccessful attempts to motivate men to buy chocolates for their lady friends, the chocolate companies targeted the ladies instead, creating a unique [special/one of a kind], Japan-only version of the popular international holiday. “White Day “ is a Japanese creation, celebrated nowhere else in the world.

Enjoy your Saint Valentine’s Day – but be careful not to eat too many chocolates!

But who is Saint Valentine? Click here if you want to find out more!
(This is a "reprint" of last year's entry. Sorry!)
Zero-Calorie Valentine’s Gifts

One of our (many!) New Year’s resolutions this year is to lose weight. That’s why we celebrated Saint Valentine’s Day by giving each other zero-calorie Valentine’s Day gifts…

Lots of love! No calories!

Mayumi gave me “Until I Find You,” the latest novel by John Irving, one of my favourite writers. He’s a great writer! Many of his books have been made into movies…

(Click on the title to find out the movie’s Japanese name and read more about it in Japanese)

The Hotel New Hampshire

The World According to Garp

The Cider House Rules

A Prayer for Owen Meany [the movie’s title is Simon Birch]

A Widow for One Year [the movie’s title is The Door in the Floor]

They are all good movies. The best one is “The World According to Garp.” If you haven’t seen it yet, rent it this weekend!

Garp! Sound's like a fish!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Freezing my Buns Off!

Is it cold enough for you? I’ve lived in Osaka for 16 years, but I’ve never seen it snow like it did yesterday! When I got off at my subway station last night, I was greeted by this…

That's my bike!
A commonly misused word in “Japanese English” is hip. In English, your hips are the two bones at the front of your lower body, the ones that let you bend your legs in front of you when you sit down.
In English, your oshiri is called many things. The most polite words are “buttocks” and “bottom.” Less polite but commonly used words are “butt” (the short form of buttocks), “bum” (Usually only used in British English), “buns,” “ass,” and “arse.” (“Ass” is more commonly used in American English while “arse” is more commonly used in British English. For some reason, “ass” is considered more polite than “arse,” even though they are basically the same word. You could use either word with your close friends, but you definitely wouldn’t use them at work or in front of your friends’ parents!)

When it’s really cold, we sometimes say, “I’m freezing my bum/butt/buns/etc off!” I was definitely freezing my buns off on the way home last night!

Friday, February 01, 2008

What's Up?

In American English, “What’s up?” is often used as a greeting. It means “What’s new?” or “What have you been doing recently?”

In British English, it means “What’s wrong?” or “What’s the matter?”

In Australia, we usually speak British English. I used to work with “Crazy” Steve, an American teacher. He would always greet me on Monday morning by saying, “What’s up?” Every time, I would pause before answering. I always had a moment when I thought maybe I looked sick or worried. We worked together for 3 years but I never got used to it.

"Crazy" Steve Hard at Work
Don’t forget that you can always find out what’s up at Be & Me by visiting our Announcements Page and School Calendar!