Sunday, December 31, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
She was born after 4 days of contraction. My tiny little girl I finally met after 10 months of pregnancy.
She can't see clearly yet but surely recognizes you as a same kind by facial profile. She looks she's focusing on you but you can't tell. Wonder what her eyes will catch in her future. Wonder what she'd focus on the things, good and bad, which would arise in her future. We can merely give her opportunities to see things, but it'd be her to chose what to seek.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
They had a case of monitoring the brain function of 1 month old baby with foreign language. The brain showed the reaction to the sound, off course it doesn't mean the baby can understand the language, but is paying attention, recognizing the sound as an important signal. They had a same test with other aged baby, and such function disappears around the age of 1.
Also they had research related to foreign language learning process, how baby from English only speaking family react to Chinese language, conducted by a professor at Washington University. They played the video with a woman speaks Chinese with some toys for 15 min everyday for two weeks, and monitored how much the baby react to Chinese. You would think they'd show some interests or reacts, but the percentage of recognition was almost same as the one with the baby with no such Chinese video lessons at all. Then, they brought in the same woman on the video face to face with the baby, speaking the same language with the same toy just like the video. This case worked a lot better than just playing the video, about 20% of recognition rate went up. It shows interaction is the key to the language learning process.
Neuroscientist says the number of synapse hits its peak between 9th month to 11th month. That's around the age the baby learns the necessary information to live, one of which is language. Also they had the case of mouse test, that the synapses of 3 months old mouse decreased 40% as the day goes by, but 30% of new synapses were created meanwhile. Brain chooses what's vital, and unnecessary parts disappear and replaced with the other vital information.
Baby is born with full capability to fit to the society, gathering information through the interaction. Brain controls the action by will and choice. It's a well designed program, amazing.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
We left after a show, then realized we could have seen the second show too....
Had some fish dinner with her, as she has less chance of having great fish dishes in Boston.
Great surprising birthday event for the evening.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
After renewal of my drivers license, went over to Mukawa (actually, now Ishihara) household. Ordered sandwiches for lunch and here's a grilled rice ball for Milli. She was baning her forehead quite often while playing with her toys, but never cried. If adults stay calm and don't make it such a big deal, they keep going without crying.
Her way of raising a child really gives me a courage in every direction.
Got some used stuff and a gift from Ishihbara dad from Germany, left before the evening rush started. And I noticed, not many people give me a seat to pregnancies on the train, even though they're in the priority seats, even though I beam them... they simply ignore my existence.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Went to the antique market in Yurakucho International Forum. They had melon bread van opened and we had one for snack. Nothing really calling so we moved on to Bic Camera, purchased electric shaver for the man. Had lunch at Muji café, bought some clothes and sofa cover. Break at THE Starbucks we exchanged our marriage rings back then, then went back home.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Last day in the office. My boss tried to surprised me by gathering around the all staff (which I really hate those kind of get-together-and-say-farewell-although-I-don’t-think-we’ll-see-again), and this is what I got. I don’t know what to do with this one, but just gave faint smile to everyone, wishing this would be over soon…. I’m so bitter….
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Instead of being excited at this new development, though, she was just tired and didn't like her abdominal muscles being stretched and now kicked from the inside!
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The meal started with entree: Zuke Maguro (marinade tuna), abalone and its liver, pate of horse mackerel and liver of sole fish, squid, and shrimp head. Pate was awesome. You might can't imagine the combination of head meat of horse mackerel and liver or sole fish, boiled with water and garlic to mix together, then cooled to be a pate. Too bad I couldn't drink, it was a perfect accompaniment for sake!
After wooing-ahhing of entree, the master started making sushi. Zuke Maguro (marinade tuna), marbled sole marinade in sweet vinegar, marbled sole marinade in sesame oil and soy sauce, with a spice of mater's bad jokes here and there, red squid, marinade and lightly grilled horse mackerel, squid lightly cooked in soy sauce, giant clam, shrimp, Sayori (Japanese needlefish) marinade in sweet vinegar with sweet shrimp crumb underneath (awesome!), lightly grilled Ayu (sweet fish), by now Jen's mind is swept by the delicacy of sushi, forgot a few shots of sushi photos, red squid with sweet soy sauce on top, marinade and lightly grilled sardine, clam cooked in sweet soy sauce, conger eel with sweet soy sauce on top (melts in your mouth!), and fried egg with grated scallop eyes mixed. We were stuffed!
The distinction of his sushi is that each peace is designed to be completed. The blend of neta (fish on top of rice) and rice perfectly matches to make one. Ordinary sushi is rather easy to imagine its taste: it's a fish on top of rice. As long as the fish is good, it should taste good. So, some people might be disappointed by the difference of his sushi and regular sushi that we believe what it is.
It wasn't a happy night despite of the wonderful meat we had; Renfield got sick on the way back....
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Next to it, a mother with a daughter of age 4 to 5, with picture cards, trying to teach her how to count. Mother's voice was loud, not sure if she was aware of the tone, maybe competing with the "special" one's shout, or was devoted to teach her daughter intensely. But it somehow didn't look heartwarming scene at all. Mother's voice sounded so tired, just like a machine repeating. Not pleasant at all.
"How many apples do you see?" "Three." "Which is larger, 6 or 4?" "Six." Behind the dialogue, the "special" one shouts whatever doesn't make sense to no one but himself.
No other conversations were heard on the bus, even though it was packed.
It's just insane. Drive me nuts. Get me out here.
Was not a great beginning of my morning, but it was only a dawn of my miserable day...
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Rain started, and we walked around the city, hit Hikiyama Museum that exhibits (actually, it's a storage in show case style) the carts used in the Karatsu Kunchi Festival. Most of these are made late Edo era, more than 150 years old, made with many layers of papers and Japanese lacquers, and still used at the festival every year.
Kept walking toward the station, we had lunch at arcade, and checked out some pottery stores of Karatsu Yaki. Purchased very simple 2 sake cups.
Returned to Yoyokaku, hit bath before the dinner of Shabushabu of Saga beef for the night. Delicious!
Friday, May 05, 2006
Typically ryokan's breakfast tends to huge. At this Hirayama Ryokan, they had huge TOFU called Shima dofu sitting on the table, among the other dishes from the island, including organic vegetable salad from Okami's firm.
After the breakfast, Okami gave us a ride to a Katsumoto cho port via picking up her 3 grandchildren and a friend, to take a boat to an island called Tatunoshima.
Elder grandchild, Koto chan looked interested to Renfield, as he didn't look like a local at all, she became a friend of his since then, and we took the boat to the island together.
In 10 min, we arrived a small island with beautiful beach and water. Sand was so smooth and water was emerald green, unlike the other beach of Japan. Hung around for a couple of hours, got on the boat to get back to the port.
Said good by to Koto chan and Okami's camp, took taxi to the other side of the Iki Island to take a ferry to the main Kyushu Island.
Walked around Yobuko port after got off the ferry, snacked some local goodies, took bus to Karatsu heading to a ryokan called Yoyokaku. This is the main reason we came to Karatsu!
Tired from the all travels, I was glad to see the bath with iris leaves. It was a boy's day/iris festival according to an old event calendar of Japan.
Dinner was off course fabulous. Stuffed ourselves, again, we went to lounge to read for a couple of hours.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Took morning bath, had big breakfast, then checked out and went to Nagasaki Station to catch a train, Kamome (seagull). It had big leather seats, and slippers (!?), and a drink free of charge. Could be a better train than Shinkansen (bullet train).
Arrived Hakata before noon, the city was already crowded since it was the local huge festival day, Hakata Dontaku. Escaped by bus to the port, we got on board of Jet Wheel to Iki Island. The water was calm and in 1 hour, we got to the port of Ashinobe. Really Genki Okami (owner) of Hirayama Ryokan was waiting for us at the port, and gave us ride back to the Ryokan. Heard it was a stormy day the previous day, and so bad that the ships had to change the course to come in the island. How lucky we are, and I am such a fair weather woman!
Hit Onsen first, relaxed, read some, and we moved on to a dining room for dinner. Okami was telling on the way to Ryokan that her husband was on a ship to catch fish and they had many Japanese flounders and the other kind. Surely our expectation rose, the dinner started with apricot liqueur and sea urchin in a shell!!. Sashimi was also good, no fishy smell at all. They had fresh squid sashimi, which was so fresh it was clistal, and still faintly moving!! We were so full I couldn't finish the sea urchin rice at the end.... This island can grow rice, oats, fruits, vegitables, and off course rich in sea food.
Crawled back to the room, waited for stomach to digest the dinner, we went to a special massage of leg/feet for myself, and the dead sea mud pack for the man.
Hit Onsen before going to bed, and the night was over.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Took tram up to the final stop close to Glover Garden, and took incline elevator. Hung around the garden for a while, checking out the houses the foreigners used to live back in the days. These are all in Western style, but interestingly they used the Japanese roof tiles, so the overall figure is quite unique. The weather was nice, almost 30C degrees.
Got a little tired from the sun, we went back to the Ryokan, took bath, and waited for the local gourmet, Shippoku course meal for dinner. Off course we stuffed ourselves, and went to bed a lot earlier than we usually do.