Saturday, March 31, 2012

Japanese Ice Cream

I sometimes eat ice cream.:) I usually buy chocolate and vanilla flavored ice cream at Ralphs or Rite Aid.
This month maeda-en ice cream was on sale at Marukai Japanese supermarket. 16 oz cup of ice cream was $2.28. I bought green tea, red bean and black sesami flavored ice cream.

I remembered the taste of Japanese ice cream! These flavors are not available at American supermarkets.
I especially like green tea flavored ice cream, which is also called maccha ice cream. Later, I found the recipe of maccha ice cream. Homemade maccha ice cream was richer in taste. I think it was better than maeda-en ice cream! If you can find maccha powder, you should try it. Maccha powder is sold at tea section of Japanese Supermarkets, or you can buy off Amazon as well. It's pretty expensive though.

maccha powder
I'm going to share the recipe within few days.

      This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.

      This is my entries related to cooking.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ rich in taste : 豊かな味わい
  ex) mild in taste : まろやかな味
  ex) excellent in taste : 素晴らしい味わい
・ buy off : 買う

Friday, March 30, 2012

I Have a Cold

I think I have a cold. I felt cold during my class, and I have a sore throat. As soon as I got home, I ate cough drops and took a rest. But, it's time to study. :(( If I skip today's study, I'll be too busy tomorrow. I hope I will recover soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Allowing Dwindling of Resources and Raising Costs for Education

I checked summer class schedule yesterday. I was disappointed with the schedule because there will be only three ESL classes in next semester! :(( I was going to move up to the next level, but there's only one ESL advanced class available! Frankly, I don't like that teacher's teaching method. The teacher is very interesting and passionated person, but she doesn't organize her teaching and gives only few assignments. Because she is very unorganized, she skips pages frequently accidentally and that will confuse me, and it will make me stressful. One of the other two classes will be my current class. I've already taken this class for three semesters, but I like his teaching method. He is really organized. I've never been confused during his class. He gives a lot of homework, but it's really good for my English. If I go to my school next semester, I will continue to take my current class. Or, I might skip next semester. I've never skipped a semester so far though. If I skip a semester, I think I will be lazy despite having a lot of time. I think it's better to go to school and keep studying English and nursing. Hmmm...  I have to think about it more.
California government has been allowing dwindling of resources and raising costs for education. Tuition fee is going up $10 more per unit, and my teacher said the number of classes was going to be reduced to 60%. That is sad for students, but it can't be helped.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ dwindling : adjective / (徐々に)小さくなる、減少する
・ be reduced to : ~に減らされる

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In All It Only Cost...

Last Sunday, my husband and I dropped off my car at Pep Boys to get my car brakes replaced.

It took about 5 hours to finish the replacement. In the mean time, we used my husband's car. We went shopping and finished our usual Sunday chores.

The front and rear break replacement was $153.78 including tax. It was cheaper than I expected. It was already cheap, but Pep Boys staff gave us a rebate form. I'm going to get $25 with the rebate. So, it's going to end up with $128.78!

By the way, the rear wiper blade was replaced by my husband last week.

Toyota quoted front pads for $259 and rear brakes for $59.88 about two weeks ago. Total $318.88, but Pep Boys replaced these for $128.78.
And also air filter was estimated for $54.88, and rear wiper was estimated for $13 by Toyota, but we repasted  both of these by ourselves. These only ended up costing $3 (Retail prices were $12 for air filter and $9 for rear wiper blade.) with my husband reward with previous purchase.
So, total Toyota's estimate was for $386.76, but in all it only cost $131.78. We were able to save  $254.98!
Good job! :))

 Today's Vocabulary
・ in all : 全体で、合計で

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Tutoring for the First Time

Today, I took my tutoring for the fist time. My tutor was an American woman. I studied reading book for my homework yesterday, but I didn't fully understand contents of the my reading book. At the tutoring session, I read my reading book again, and she corrected my pronunciation. She checked whether I understood and made me explain contents of the story. I was nervous before my tutoring, but I was able to enjoy the meeting. I thought taking tutoring helped my English a lot. I'd like to continue it.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ for the first time : 初めて

Monday, March 26, 2012

Different Types of Earrings

I didn't know what different types of earrings are called until yesterday. I think I should memorize them. Okay, I'm going to write down types of earrings.

Stud Earrings
They have posts and removal clutches.

Hoop Earrings
They are circular design.

Dangle earrings
They are designed to flow from the bottoms of the earlobes.
They have French hooks or thin wires.

Huggie Earrings
They hug your earlobes.

Slave earrings

Ear Thread / Earthreader / Ear String / Threader
They have chains.

Ear Spikes
They are type of plastic or metal sticks.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ stud : noun / くぎの頭、(シャツの)カフスボタン (Pronunciation is stʌ'd )
・ dangle : noun / ぶら下がっているもの、ブラブラするもの
・ thread : noun / (繊維を束ねた)糸

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Target Haul

It has been six weeks since I got my ears pierced. I was allowed to wear any earrings from today. I removed my first earrings and tried to put new dangle earrings in my ears. But I was not able to wear them because my ear holes were still sensitive. Dangle earrings have French hooks, so it was difficult to push them through my ears. The shape of French hooks hurt my ears. I thought that my ears weren't healed yet, and I might be able to wear them after several months.

A French hook with dangle earring
a post with stud earring
 I chose stud earrings, and I ended up wearing my second earrings which I bought at Forever 21 last Sunday. Yay! :) I think I should only wear stud earrings for a while.

Then, I went to Target. I wanted to get more stud earrings. I found that Target sells many earrings at a reasonable price. There were many earrings, and all of them were so cute! I bought earrings which were $4.99 for three pairs of earrings.

I specially like these blue bird earrings! So cute. :) As soon as I got home, I wore the blue bird earrings.

I'll enjoy my earrings!

 Today's Vocabulary
・ post : noun / 棒、くい

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How to Cook Stir-fried Chicken and Avocado

This month, I cooked stir-fried chicken and avocado.

It tasted really good with rich garlic flavor. I'm going to share the recipe.

1 pound of chicken (cut the meat into bite size)
1 avocado (cut the avocado into bite size)
2 tablespoons of grated garlic
1 tablespoon of sake
1 tablespoon of crazy salt
1 tablespoon of soy sauce (step 1)
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of grated wasabi
1 teaspoon of soy sauce (step 4)
3 tablespoons of potato starch

1. Marinade chicken with sake, crazy salt and soy sauce.
2. Heat oil and garlic in a pan over high heat. Be careful not to over cook garlic. Add potato starch in marinaded chicken, and mix well. Then, put the chicken in the pan. Cover the lid, and reduce heat to medium.
3. Flip chicken to brown both sides When chicken is thoroughly cooked, add avocado and mayonnaise, wasabi and soy sauce. Stir them for another 5 minutes.
4. Enjoy

    This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.

      This is my entries related to cooking.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ Flip ~ to brown both sides : 両面に焼き色をつけるために~をひっくり返す

Friday, March 23, 2012

That Is the Time I Need to Leave Home

I was 15 minutes late to class today. :(( I woke up at 9:45, but that is the time I need to leave home. I was in a hurry to get ready for school. When I woke up, I was worried about my teacher. It's because my teacher doesn't like students who come in late. When students come late, she always makes a face at the students. She also doesn't like students who go to restroom during class and even students who interrupts class by asking questions. She usually tells everyone no to almost everything. She usually smiles while teaching, but when students asked questions, she makes a face at the students and says, "You know, you were absent last time. We already learned this. This is a waste of time." or, "We gonna study soon but not now." Even if the student didn't miss class, she won't admit her mistake.
One day, the teacher said to a student who was asking a question, "Don't eat during class. I know everyone is hungry, but it is not appropriate in this class." The student said, "I'm not eating." but she said, "We can't allow even chewing gum." Then, students said, "I'm not eating chewing gum. I'm not eating anything." She made a mistake, but she didn't want to admit and didn't listen to what the student had to say anymore. I understand she wants to teach appropriate behaviors for her students. She usually smiles at her student, and her teaching methods are excellent. But when she makes a face at her students, I feel a little uncomfortable even though it's not towards me. In contrary to my teacher's behavior, she was absent for class without any notice few times in the past. I wondered why she haven't contacted us in the morning because she has always emphasized good behaviors and ethics in the class. She should try to be a good role model.
Anyway, I was depressed when I woke up late. I felt very sorry for my class. I'll never be in late on Fridays.

After class, I took my application for my tutoring to my school. I registered for a tutoring class. I'm going to take it every Tuesday from now on. :)

 Today's Vocabulary
・  come in late : 遅刻する
・  make a face at : ~に顔をしかめる
・  admit one's mistake : 間違いを認める
・  contrary to : ~に反して
  ex) ・Contrary to my expectation, I couldn't win the first prize. : 期待に反して、私は優勝を逃しました。

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It Looked More and More Appealing

I tried to do a sock bun today. I've watched some videos which showed how to do a sock bun since last year. First my impression was that there was no way to try it because I didn't want to use my sock for my hair. I thought that it was kind of crude. Sorry about that. :p But as I watched more videos, it looked more and more appealing. Then, I've changed my mind. I thought it's really cute! I really wanted to try it!

I cut my sock and rolled it like doughnut. Then, I wrapped my hair around the sock and rolled it. I was able to do a sock bun. :D Yay! It was easier than I expected. It was really simple and easy to secure. I really enjoyed. :)
I think I will do this hair style many times. :)

 Today's Vocabulary
・ crude : adjective / 下品な、がさつな
・ appealing : adjective / 魅力的な
・ secure : verb / 固定する
  ex) The seat belts must be secured properly before take off. : 離陸前にシートベルトを正しく締めなければなりません。

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Second Half of Spring Semester Began

The second half of spring semester began today. :)
I asked my friend, who is also my classmate, how to take tutoring. I'll go get an application for my tutoring tomorrow. Frankly, I feel reluctant to take tutoring because I'm already busy and afraid to talk with American, but I really should try it. My speaking skill is very poor, so I should try to improve my speaking skill. I think my English has been improving since three years ago, but my speaking skill is still poor. It's difficult to improve my speaking skill. I have been taking advanced conversation class for one year and a half, but it's only twice a week. I speak English only in conversation class and during my conversation meeting once a week. So, I don't speak enough English. My plan is to continue my studies, which includes nursing and English, this year. If possible I'd like volunteering at hospital next year as well.
I don't know exactly what I'll do in the future, but I'll move on little by little from what I can do.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ second half : 後期、後半
  ex) the second half of last year : 昨年の後半
  ex) second half of pregnancy : 妊娠後期
・ frankly : adverb / 正直に言うと、率直に言うと

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Forever 21 Haul

Today, I went to Irvine Spectrum Center to buy some earrings at Forever 21. It's because it has been five weeks since I got my ears pierced. So, I finally can wear any earrings from next Sunday! :)
Forever 21 has many accessories as well as clothing. Moreover they always sale trendy products at very reasonable prices.
I purchased two pairs of earrings and headbands.
 The headbands are $1 for five in a set, the orange earrings were $2.80, and the pink earrings were $3.80.
Now, I have 4 pair of earrings. I'm ready for next Sunday!

 Today's Vocabulary
・ at reasonable prices : 手ごろな値段で

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It Was Raining and Hailing!

It's been raining today, most days are sunny in Southern California though. It's also cold today. I noticed that raining sound was getting heavier few minutes ago. I checked outside. It was raining and hailing! The hailstones were about 2mm in size. I think it only hails here once in a blue moon! I couldn't believe that.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ hail : noun / 雹
・ hail : verb / 雹が降る

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mindy Gledhill - All About Your Heart

I sometimes listen Mindy Gledhill's songs because her songs are often used in many beauty youtube videos as BGM. Her voice is beautiful and lovely. I became a fan of her songs. :)

 Mindy Gledhill
All About Your Heart

I dont mind your odd behavior
Its the very thing I love
If you were an ice cream flavor
You would be my favorite one

My imagination sees you
Like a painting by Van Gogh
Starry nights and bright sunflowers
follow you where you may go

Oh,I´ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
Its not about your scars

Its all about your heart
You´re a butterfly held captive
Small and safe in your cocoon
Go on you can take your time
Time is said to heal all wounds
Oh,I´ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
Its not about your scars
Its all about your heart

Like a lock without a key
Like a mystery without a clue
There is no me if I cannot have you

Oh,I´ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
Its not about your scars
Its all about your heart

 Today's Vocabulary
・ odd : adjective / おかしな、奇妙な、変な
・ starry night : 星の多い夜、星空の夜
・ scar : noun / 傷跡、心の傷
・ held captive : 監禁される、とりこになる、とらわれる
  ex) You are held captive by the past. あなたは過去にとらわれている。
・ cocoon : noun / 繭、居心地の良い家
・ take one's time : ゆっくりやる、気長にやる、マイペースでやる
  ex) Take your time! : ゆっくりやって。急がなくていいよ。

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The First Feld Trip of Our Meeting

Today, my friend suggested to go to Sherman Library & Gardens after our conversation session. Our session was 3 hours at cafe as usual, then we went there afterward.
 The admission fee was $3 per person, and parking was free. It's not crowded and most visitors were women.
 There were so many beautiful plants.

 There was also cactus garden. We were able to see unique cacti.

 I was interested in this unique wreath. It's made of many different cacti!
 There was a restaurant. We already ate lunch at the cafe before going there. Maybe next time, we'll try the restaurant. :)
 There were colorful carps in the pond. The carp is called "Nishikigoi" in Japan.
 Oh, I was also interested in this tree. See this tree trunk!
 Many flowers were planted in the trunk! That's creative! :)
 There were something in the other ponds as well!
 Turtles! :) So cute! I love all animals!

The flamingo was made of wood. That's beautiful. :)
This pelican was also made of wood!
 I'd like to thank my friend for taking me to this beautiful garden. It was the first feld trip of our conversation meeting. We had a great time. ;)

 Today's Vocabulary
・ admission fee : 入場料、入会料、入学金
  ex) No admission fee is required. : 入場料無料
  ex) Admission fee is required to enter to the park. : こちらの公園は入場料が必要です。
・ cactus : noun / サボテン
・ cacti : noun / サボテン(複数形)
・ carp : noun / 鯉 (Pronounciation is kɑ'ːrp )

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Regular Dental Check Up

Today, my husband and I went to a dentist for a regular dental check up. I also got scaling and fluoride treatment. I was glad that these were covered by insurance. I also got a toothpaste and a toothbrush for free. Dentist found that I have a cavity. So, I have to get my cavity removed. It will cost $430 after my insurance. That's expensive, but it can't be helped. I have to do it anyway. In Japan, if I fix a cavity, it might cost around $20-50. I think that the U.S. emphasize prevention of disease. People are more serious about preventing oral disease by daily flossing, brushing, mouth wash and getting semiannual check up because medical fee is very expensive. I think it's very good! In Japan, medical fee isn't expensive. People in Japan often go to hospital, but many people resist to go for a check up. It's because check up costs a lot of money.

My next appointment is on April 3rd. I'm going to bleach my teeth within few months. I've never done it before, but I'd like to do it.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ regular check up : 定期健診
  ex) get regular check ups : 定期健診を受ける
・ scaling : noun / 歯石取り
・ fluoride treatment : フッ素トリートメント
・ be covered by insurance : 保険でカバーされる
・ emphasize prevention of disease : 病気の予防に重点を置く
・ semiannual : adjective / 半年ごとの
・ resist : verb / 抵抗する
・ bleach ones teeth : 歯を漂白する
・ tooth bleaching : 歯の漂白 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Became a Fan of American Coloring Products

Last Friday, my husband dyed my hair. :)

When I was 18, I dyed my hair by myself because I wanted to save money. I wasn't good at it, and it damaged my hair. At the time, I thought it wasn't easy. Then, I decided that I would never do that again. Ever since, I went to hair salon every two months. I thought that I could save money by eating out less, but I didn't want to cut back on expenses for hair, cosmetic and fashion. It's because if I wear old clothings and has old hair style, it lets me down. If I wear my favoirte clothes, it makes me happy and my day will be exciting!

However, when I moved to the U.S., I was worried about hair salon. It's because I never heard good review from Japanese people at American hair salon. Some Japanese people went to American hair salon, but they had bad experiences. Many stylists in the U.S. don't have enough experience with Asian hair. Many Japanese people go to Japanese hair salons in the U.S., but they are very expensive. I didn't have job. So I felt sorry for my husband. In some states, there are no Japanese hair salons. I found someone's blog, and the blogger showed that she first dyed her hair by herself. She was able to dye it very well. She mentioned that American hair coloring products were very good. The coloring made her hair shiny and beautiful. Then, I tried it, and I became a fan of American coloring products! They are better than Japanese products. Especially, I like conditionor with coloring.
Since then, my husband has dyed my hair every month. :)

 Today's Vocabulary
・ cut back on : 切り詰める、節減する

Monday, March 12, 2012

The First Anniversary

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

A year ago,I knew that the huge earthquakes hit Northern Japan through facebook. Then, I watched news of the earthquake footages. Many Japanese people were swept up by the tsunami. I couldn't believe that, and I felt terrible. I was watching the news all day long, and I was feeling very sad and was depressed. Many victims lost their families, got injuries, were starving and were freezing because there weren't enough food, blankets and any things. I felt very powerless because I couldn't help the victim of the earthquake. I was thinking about what I could do for them. Then, my husband and  I donated money to Japanese Red Cross.
What I was glad was that many people tried to help the victims of the earthquakes. I saw donation boxes at Starbucks, restaurants, supermarkets, school and just about everywhere I went. My friends, my teachers and people who I never met before expressed their heartfelt sympathy. Many countries sent relief funds and support to Japan. I appreciate all the people who made actions on this account.

15,846 people were killed by earthquakes and tsunamis, and 3,320 people were still missing. Many victims in Japan lost their families and their home. I felt really terrible and I thought it must not happen again. We have to learn from this terrible earthquake about not to underestimate natural disasters, and what we should do to prevent potential earthquake damages.

There are still many problems of the earthquake effect, but Japan has been recovering gradually.
You can see how Japan has rebuilt since the earthquake and tsunami by National Post.

Photo from National Post

Photo from National Post

photo from National Post

 Today's Vocabulary
・ through : preposition / ~を通じて、~を経て
・ footage : noun / 映像、ビデオ
・ sweep up : 掃き掃除をする
・ be swep up by the tsunami : 津波に流される
・ be freezing : ひどく寒い、凍えるほどの
  ex) It's freezing today. : 今日は凍えそうに寒いね。
  ex) I'm freezing to death right now. : 今寒くて死にそうです。

・ feel powerless : 無力感を味わう、無力だと感じる
・ donation box : 募金箱
・ just about everywhere : そこら中
・ heartfelt sympathy : 心からの同情
・ express one's heartfelt sympathy : 心からお見舞いの言葉を述べる
・ relief fund : 救済資金
  ex) disaster relief fund : 災害救援資金
  ex) raise a relief fund : 救済資金を集める
・ on this account : このような理由により、このような訳で
・ underestimate : verb / 甘く見る、過小評価する、見くびる、低く見積もる
  ex) Don't underestimate nature. : 自然を侮るべからず。
  ex) You've underestimated the problem you have. : 君は、自分が抱える問題を軽視してきた。

・ potential damage : 予想される被害
・ effect : noun / 影響
・ gradually : adverb / だんだんと、徐々に  (Pronunciation is græ'ʤuəli )
・ rebuild : verb / 再建する

Sunday, March 11, 2012

We Came to a Conclusion

Today, my husband and I went to Pep Boys to buy an air filter and a rear wiper blade. We checked each model number with a catalog in store to identify the appropriate products for my car.
I purchased an air filter for about $12 and a rear wiper blade for about $9. And my husband had $20 reward with his previous purchase, so I ended up paying less than $3 including tax. Yay!

Then, we checked how to replaced these on youtube again. It seemed pretty easy, but it took a while to figure out how to do this.
Eventually, we replaced the old air filter with the new one.
new air filter and old one
Then, we tried to figure out how to install the rear wiper blade. However, the blade we bought did not match the old ones. Therefore, we came to a conclusion that the new wiper blade wouldn't fit on my car. We searched the product on the Internet. Some people complained about the same thing. One person said that he took the rubber off the wiper blade and replaced it. Hmm.... I have to decide between returning this, or replacing it after removing the rubber. It's not an easy decision.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ identify : verb / (身元を、正体を)確認する、識別する
  ex) I tried to identify my coat at the Lost and Found. : 私は遺失物取扱所で私のコートを見つけようとした。
  ex) We need to identify data errors and corrects them. : データの誤りを特定し修正する必要があります。
・ including tax : 税込み
・ install : verb / (機器などを)据え付ける、設置する、取り付ける
  ex) The new equipment was installed in our factory. : 新しい装置が当社工場に設置されました。
・ match : verb / (検索・照合などで)~にマッチする、一致(調和・適合)させる
・ come to a conclusion :  結論を出す、決着する、断定する、終わる
  ex) I've come to a conclusion. : 私なりに結論を出しました
・ fit : verb / (形や大きさなどが~に)合う、適合する、フィットする
  ex) That's the shoe that fits me. : それは私にぴったりだ。
  ex) My clothes don't fit me anymore. : 服がきつくなった。/服が合わなくなった。
  ex) The key doesn't fit the lock. : 鍵が錠に合わない。

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oil Change and 21 Point Inspection

Today, my friend and I took my car to Toyota for oil change and 21 point inspection. It's because I got a coupon for these from Toyota, and I wanted to get my car checked. It cost only $15.65. After we dropped off my car, we waited for a shuttle bus to take us home. While we were waiting, Toyota served some sandwiches, cookies, snacks and drinks. That's good!
My car needed to replace front break pads, air filter and rear wiper. I didn't get them replaced today.

Toyota quoted ...
front pads and rotation for $259,
rear brakes for $59.88,
air filter for $54.88,
and rear wiper for $13.

I'm going to take my car to another auto repair shop soon. But I think I can replace air filter and rear wiper by myself, I've never done it before though.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ take someone home : (人)を家まで送る
  ex) Take me home. : 私を家まで連れていって。
・ rear : adjective / 後ろの、後部の
・ quote : verb / 見積もる

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Spring Vacation Begins Today

Today was the last day before spring vacation. My spring vacation is until on March 18th. Yay!
I don't have any plans, but I'm going to keep studying about nursing during this spring vacation.

I'm thinking about taking tutoring for ESL students at my college after the vacation, but I haven't decided on it yet. I have to think about what I should learn from a tutor...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Drinking and Driving

Today, I went to conversation class. We were talking about drinking and driving. Many drunk drivers cause serious car accidents. According to my textbook, the accident of drinking and driving accounts for approximately half of accidents in the U.S. That's a lot!

In Japan, drinking and driving is a major offense. These day, it has been punishing more severely. If you get caught for DUI, you must pay a fine around $10,000, or you must serve a five-year term in prison. Moreover, you should not get in a car when the driver has been drinking because the all passengers who have a driver's license must also pay a fine for $5,000, or they must serve a three-year term in prison. Even if you are not passenger, you have to be careful. If you give alcohol or provide a car to a drunk driver, you must pay a fine or serve in prison. So, bar owners and party hosts must be careful!

However, when I was little, DUI was less seriously taken. Many people in Japan did not care about it. When I was four, my family went to my uncle's house. My relatives got together and enjoyed eating and drinking. My uncle, who drank alcohol, gave us a ride home, and we ended up having a car accident. It was the first time for me to ride an ambulance. We all had injuries. My younger brother broke his leg and needed to wear a cast. I was little at the time, but I already knew DUI was very dangerous.

Today my conversation partner, who is from Libya, said there is no alcohol in her country. Drinking alcohol is forbidden by law in Libya. Moreover, people are not allowed to do it from religious reasons. She said that there are still many problems in Libya. Many drivers don't follow traffic laws. They don't stop at stop signs, overspeed and drive without license. If people broke traffic laws, police will pull them over. However, the police usually gives them only a warning. Police might say, "Be careful. Don't do it again." and "Go."  She said it should change some day.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ account for : phrasal verb / ~の割合を占める
  ex) Smokers used to account for more than 80%. : かつては8割以上も愛煙家がいた。
・ a major offense : 重大な犯罪
・ get caught : 逮捕される
・ DUI : driving under the influence / 飲酒および麻薬の影響下(服用時)の運転
・ fine : noun / 罰金
・ serve : verb / 服役する
・ serve a term in prison : 服役する
・ serve a term of _ years in prison : _年の刑期を勤める
・ serve a _-year term in prison : 懲役_年の刑に服す
・ drunk driver : 酒気帯び運転者
・ take : verb / 解釈する、受け取る
  ex) ・He will take us for pushover. : 彼は私たちを甘く見るだろう。
・ forbidden : adjective / 禁断の、禁制の、禁じられた
  ex) This is the forbidden zone. : ここは立ち入り禁止地帯です。
・ pull over : phrasal verb / 車を路肩に停止させる
  ex) A police officer pulled me over. : 警察官が私の車を止めました。
  ex) Pull it over. : 車を止めて。
・ give a warning : 警告する
・ give someone a warning : 警告する 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

We Can Learn Many More Practical Things in Life

Today, my teacher taught about the federal system of American government in class. He said, "All men are created equal and do not judge by the color of their skin but their contents of their character." Then he asked us who he quoted. I immediately recognized that this was Martin Luther King, Jr's words from his speech "I have a dream" because I wrote about his speech on my blog before. Hehe.. ;)
The contents of today's class was very difficult for me because I didn't know many political vocabularies.

The federal system which I learned today was...

Branch of Government
1) Executive
   ・President and his/her cabinet
2) Legislative
   ・House of Representative (435 governors / 53 governors in CA)
 ・Senate (100 governors / 2 governors in CA)
3) Judicial
4) Military

I didn't know these before today, but we were glad that we learned about this today. He explained very thoroughly, and it was easy to understand. In addition to learning English, we can learn many more practical things in life. I like my class!

 Today's Vocabulary
・ federal system : 連邦制度
・ quore : verb / 引用する
・ recognized : verb / ~と分かる、~と見分ける
・ executive : noun / 高位の行政官
・ legislative : adjective / 立法の
・ representative : noun / 下院議員
・ House of Representative : 下院
・ senate : noun / 上院
・ judicial : adjective / 司法の
・ thoroughly : adverb / 完全に、じっくりと、十分に
・ In addition to : ~に加えて

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Number of Nurses in Japan Is One Fifth of the Nurses the U.S.

In Japan, I worked as a nurse for 8 years. Working as a nurse was very hard. I left my home around 6 am, and went back home around 10 pm. Sometimes, I went to home around 12 am. I had to work 6 days a week. I had a lot of responsibilities. I really enjoyed my job and was proud of my job, but also I was very tired. Number of nurses in Japan is one fifth of the nurses the U.S. So, nurses in Japan are always busy!
When my husband decided to move to the U.S., I thought that I will never work as a nurse again. It's because I couldn't speak English at all. I learned English when I was in grade school for 6 years. But I did not like English subject, and my English score was always low. At the time, I didn't understand why I had to study English because I was not going abroad, and I was going to live in Japan forever. But after graduating school, I traveled abroad, and I realized I should have studied English more seriously.
Before I moved to the U.S., I didn't study English for almost 12 years. I couldn't speak, read or write English at all. When I saw advertisement and mail, I didn't understand anything. I thought living in the U.S. was not easy. So, I couldn't imagine to work as a nurse again. I know communication is one of the most important thing as a nurse. If I can't communicate properly, it may lead to big troubles.
After moving to the U.S., I went to ESL school. I started studying at beginning level at my ESL school. It was very hard for me. I couldn't understand what my teachers and classmates were saying. Then, I studied very hard even though I did not enjoy studying English. My English has improved, and I thought that I'd like to work again if I could. So I decided to study nursing.
Now, I enjoy reading blogs and magazines in English, watching youtube in English and searching something in English! I can do many things which I couldn't do before. I resisted English before, but now I can enjoy my study! That's a big change for me!
My English is still not good enough, but I'd like to keep up my studies!

Today's Vocabulary
・ lead to : ~につながる、結果として~に導く、結局~となる、~を引き起こす、~をもたらす

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Way I Study for NCLEX

I started to study nursing by myself about a year and half ago. First, I bought a very heavy textbook for NCLEX, which stands for National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensing Examination. It has over 900 pages!

I studied with it, but I didn't know many vocabularies in this textbook. I was wondering how I can remember such difficult medical vocabularies. It felt very difficult because I didn't know medical vocabularies at all in English. And also, my English level was not good enough. I wasn't used to reading difficult English sentences. So, I changed the way I study.
I found someone's blog. The blogger was a Japanese nurse, who was studying to get CNS and NP, which stands for Certified Nurse Specialist and Nurse Practitioner respectively, at an University. So, she has already passed NCLEX. She mentioned in her blog that she had difficulty in understanding the meaning of each question because of medical vocabularies. Then, she changed the way she studied and started to study medical terminology. It took 6 months for her to finish the terminology textbook. But, she never forgot the vocabularies she learned because she learned combining form, suffixes and roots. This way made it easy to memorize long medical vocabularies.
This is the medical terminology textbook she studied.

I followed her methods. I bought the same textbook and studied it. It took 9 months for me to finish becuase I was busy to keep up with my ESL class. So I didn't keep studying for a long time. :P
But I think the textbook really helped my study! Even now, my vocabulary is not perfect, but I can easily understand the meaning in most cases. I think I just need to continue studying.

After finishing the terminology textbook, I restarted studying the textbook for NCLEX, which I bought first. I thought that I need two months to finish each chapter considering that I needed more than two months before. I could finish the first chapter in about a month.
By the way, I go through all the questions of each chapter three times, and I restudy terminology at the same time.
This year, I have been trying to do my best. So, now I can finish each chapter in a week! I can't believe that! I never imagined I could do it so quickly! I feel more comfortable staring at these difficult questions. I feel that my studying has been paying off. :) But I'm afraid whether I can keep my study for next semester or not. It's because summer semester usually keeps me busy, and I'm going to take more advanced classes. So, I should study as much as I can now considering how busy I will be during summer.

The blogger, who I mentioned, got CNS and NP and graduated last December! I really respect her hard effort!
I don't know whether I can be a RN or not. But I can feel my studying has been paying off. I feel my goal is no longer unrealistic for me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Was Out of Gas

Today, I didn't want to go to gas station if I could avoid it. But I saw a red flashing oil light on my car. So, I was out of gas. :(
I usually get gas at Costco because Costco always provides cheapest gas.
Today's gas price was $4.279 per gallon. The price has been getting more and more expensive by the day. My friends said that it might be going to go up to $5 per gallon very soon.
Three month ago, my husband bought a bicycle, and he sometimes goes to work with it. But he often gets flat tires. He said tires of road bike are easy to get flat. Then, he learned how to prevent and fix flat tires from watching youtube.
I asked him to go to work by bicycle because of gas price inflation.

Can you believe that the gas price was under $2 per gallon three years ago?

 I wish I wouldn't have to think of the gas price someday.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ oil light : オイル警告灯
・ be out of gas : ガソリンがなくなった。
・ run out of gas : ガソリンがなくなった。
・ by the day : 日ごとに、日に日に

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Expiration Date of Makeups

When I started to watch youtube beauty channel, I was very surprised that many girls on youtube have a lot of makeups! First I thought that they cannot finish most of them before the expiration date.

In Japan, I read many beauty magazines and watched beauty TV channels. They mentioned not to use makeups past their expiration date. Most cosmetic products don't indicate expiration date, but we should know how long we should use that particular product. It's because it might cause premature aging of your skin.
I was wondering if people in the U.S. don't care about that. Compared to Japan, here in the west coast is always dry with moderate temperature. I thought makeups in the U.S. might last longer than ones in Japan. But I found a magazine a month ago, it mentioned about expiration date of cosmetic products.

Here is the general guideline for when to throw out your goods.

 Foundation : Up to two years
 Lipstick and gloss : Two years
 Mascara : Three months
 Blush and face powder : Two years
 Nail polish : One year
 Antiaging or acne treatment : Three months to a year
 Natural beauty products : Up to six months
 Sunscreen : Two to three years
 Deodorant : Up to two years
 Perfume : About three years

After I read the magazine, I threw some nail polishes away which I brought from Japan.

Even though I don't have excessive makeups, I can't finish most of them.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ makeup : noun / 化粧品
・ particular product : 特定の製品
・ premature : adjective / 早過ぎる
・ moderate temperature : 適温
・ general guidline : 一般的なガイドライン
・ excessive : adjective / 過度の、度を超えた

Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Cook Chikuzenni

I'm sorry it took me a while to list the recipe.
I'm going to share the recipe of Chikuzenni.

Ingredients   (If you don't know these Ingredients, please read my previous post. )
1 pound of chicken (cut the meat into bite size )
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound of carrot (cut the carrot into bite size)
1/2 pound of burdock roots (peel with back of the knife and cut into bite size portion. Then soak them into water)
1/2 pound of frozen sliced lotus roots (cut sliced lotus roots into half size)
1/2 pound of konnyaku (cut it into a half size)
1/2 pound of frozen satoimo
1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon mirin (marinate the chicken with this)
1 tablespoon hondashi
3 tablespoons cooking sake
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Soak dried shiitake into 100cc of hot water for 15 minutes. then cut them into half size portion. Keep the hot water as broth.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker over high heat. Fry meat and vegetables for 5 minutes.
3. Add hot water from dried shiitake to step 2. Then add hondashi, cooking sake, sugar, mirin and soy sauce. Cover the lid. When it the pot is fully with pressure, reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes. Then, turn off the heat. Wait until it naturally deflates completely.
4. Enjoy!

    This is my entries related to my favorite recipe.

      This is my entries related to cooking.

 Today's Vocabulary
・ it took me a while : 私には時間がかかりました。
  ex) It took me a while to get used to my new life.
・ a pressure cooker : 圧力鍋
・ deflates : verb / 空気を抜く

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Great Shopping Day!

About 10 days ago, my husband ordered some Hollister clothings online. So, I also ordered a cardigan with his order.
I received the package form Hollister last Tuesday. The quality of the cardigan was as good as I expected. And the size was just right! I like it. :) It was originally for $69.50, but it was on clearance for $13.90. Yay!
My husband got a outerwear for $29.90 (was $140), a long sleeve t-shirt for $11.90 (was $34.50) and a long sleeve striped t-shirt for $14.90 (was $29.50). I think it was a pretty good deal, wasn't it?

At the same day, I bought two Mabiline Baby Lips at Target.

I saw the lip balm on youtube beauty channel. Many beauty gurus reviewed these, and they highly recommended these. I always wanted to buy the lip balms. I think these are pretty popular. When the lip balms were on sale, they were always almost sold out. But I found Target coupons and manufacturer's coupons. The retail price was $3.14, but I used $1 off Target coupon and $2 off manufacturer's coupon. Each one ended up $0.14 plus tax. Yay!
As soon as I came home, I used the lip balms. These were better than I expected! These provide moisture are pigmented at the same time. And these are SPF 20. I love these! My lips are always dry, and I need lip balm all the time. I sometimes can't use a lip stick because of dryness of my lips. So, this lip balms are great for me!

I'd like to collect all colors!

 Today's Vocabulary
・ provide moisture : 潤いを与える
・ pigmented : adjective / 有色素の
・ dryness of lips : 唇の乾燥