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Back to workタイトルをクリックしてください

As promised two weeks ago, today's topic is "back to work".  Is fall a busy time for you?  It is for me!  All the schools seem to pack these four months full of classes, plus every weekend I have weddings. Here are some common phrases we use when talking about going back to work, especially after a vacation.

  1. back to the grindstoneImage result for back to the grindstone
  2. back to the salt minesImage result for back to the salt mines
  3. back in the rat raceImage result for back in the ratrace
  4. back on the hamster wheelImage result for back on the hamster wheel
  5. back in the rutImage result for in a rut
These first five are all negative phrases, let's also learn some positive ones.
  1. I'm an eager beaverImage result for eager beaver
  2. I'm rarin' to goImage result for rarin' to go clipart
  3. I'm champing at the bitImage result for champing at the bit
  4. You look bright-eyed and bushy-tailedImage result for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
  5. He eats, sleeps and breathes snowboardingImage result for eat, sleep and breathe something
おまけ Today's BGM:

9 to 5  Dolly Parton

Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen Pour myself a cup of ambition Yawn and stretch and try to come to life Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumpin' Out on the street the traffic starts jumpin' With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5
Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin' Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin' They just use your mind and they never give you credit It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it
9 to 5, for service and devotion You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion Want to move ahead but the boss won't seem to let me I swear sometimes that man is out to get me!
They let you dream just to watch 'em shatter You're just a step on the boss-man's ladder But you got dreams he'll never take away You're in the same boat with a lotta your friends Waitin' for the day your ship'll come in An' the tide's gonna turn and it's all gonna roll your way
Workin' 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin' Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin' They just use your mind and you never get the credit It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it 9 to 5, yeah they got you where they want you There's a better life, and you dream about it, don't you? It's a rich man's game no matter what they call it And you spend your life puttin' money in his wallet
9 to 5, whoa what a way to make a livin' Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no givin' They just use your mind and they never give you credit It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it
9 to 5, yeah they got you where they want you There's a better life, and you dream about it, don't you? It's a rich man's game no matter what they call it And you spend your life puttin' money in his wallet
9 to 5, working 9 to 5


V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N.タイトルをクリックしてください

I'm back , after a month-long vacation from this site. Did you have a nice summer vacation?  It was so hot, but I enjoyed my new air conditioner.  I had a nine-day Obon vacation, but didn't really do anything special.  I went cycling many times, went to Oga a few times, but mainly just relaxed at home . . . the BEST kind of vacation. Today I want to teach you a few vacation idioms.

  1. Travel on a shoestring.  It means traveling cheap.  As a college student, I traveled to India on a shoestring.
  2. Booked solid.  Full.  I wanted to go to Aomori for Nebuta, but all the hotels were booked solid.
  3. Get away from it all.  After working so hard in July, I just wanted to get away from it all, so I climbed Mt.Taihei.
  4. B&B (Bed and Breakfast), like a 民宿.  I found a really nice B&B in Okinawa.
  5. Hit the town.  Go downtown, drinking, shopping etc.  We spent the week in Honolulu, after a great day at the beach, we were ready to hit the town.
  6. Catch some rays / Soak up some sun
  7. Thumbing it / hitchhiking
  8. Put someone up
  9. Road trip
  10. Hit the road
Good luck with the last five.  I think you can figure them out.  If not, we'll talk about it this week. Here are a few photos from my summer vacation.  Next time, "back to work". At Hanamaki Hotspring At Funoshi Waterfall Time for a barbecue! At the Taihei Mountain trailhead / Kokumin no mori. (60 km cycling) At Oga . . . so beautiful! And finally, my new toy!  I bought this new lawnmower online.  I am going to try it out for the first time today!  I am so excited.  BACK TO WORK.


Coping with the heatタイトルをクリックしてください

Image result for hot sun Even though it rained yesterday, and is cloudy today, the heat of summer has finally hit Akita.  I went swimming to Oga last Saturday, all day.  The hour long climb back to the car just drained me of all my energy. Hear is a list of things to be careful of during the hot Summer.

  1. Sun burn:   日焼け
  2. Heat rash:  発疹
  3. Heat cramps: 熱痙攣
  4. Heat exhaustion: 熱中症
  5. Sun stroke:  日射病
How do you cope with the heat of summer?  Here are a few interesting methods.  I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas this week. Image result for coping with the heat Image result for coping with the heat Image result for coping with the heat Image result for eating shaved ice But, this is my favorite method.  Last Friday we finally got our first air conditioner in our living room.  25 YEARS WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING!  I'm lovin' it! Image result for sitting in air conditioning  

Have a cool and safe summer!


Marine Dayタイトルをクリックしてください

Did you celebrate Marine Day yesterday?  I went to beautiful Oga Peninsula.  The water was colder than normal this year, so we only swam for 90 minutes or so, but the scenery was as wonderful as always! Marine Day was originally called Marine Memorial Day, (海の記念日, umi no kinen bi), in 1941.  It was to commemorate the voyage of the Meiji Emperor in 1876 to the Tohoku region. It became a national holiday in 1996, on July 20th.  It was moved to the 3rd Monday in July in 2003. A few quick phrases to use at the beach:

  1. Don't forget the sunscreen or you'll end up looking like a lobster.  It's also very dangerous (skin cancer).Image result for sunburned kid
  2. Let's build  a sandcastle.Image result for sandcastle
  3. Hey, surf's up!Image result for surfing
  4. I love searching for sea life in the tide pools.
  5. Watch out for the undertow!  It will grab you before you know it!Image result for undertow
Hope you all have a fun and safe summer, and take some time to enjoy the beautiful seaside of Akita! おまけ早口言葉 Silly Sally sells seashells by the seashore.


MORE LEMONS!タイトルをクリックしてください

Lemonade Freak Out GIF - Lemonade FreakOut Sour GIFs As a follow up to last week's post, this week I will give you a few phrases about lemons. If I am very angry at someone, I might say "Go suck a lemon!" If someone gives me an answer I don't like or agree with, I might say "that answer's a lemon!" Any product with many problems or breakdowns is called "a lemon".  Most often used for cars.  That car's a real lemon! I also found this Russian idiom that I think works well in English too.  Как выжатый лимон “Like a squeezed lemon”  This is used when you feel exhausted after working for a long time.  "I feel like a squeezed lemon!" And finally, the most famous phrase:  "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  This just means make the best out of whatever comes in  life.  This is good advice for all of us. Image result for when life gives you lemons make lemonade


Lemonade Standタイトルをクリックしてください

In America, the long (3 month) summer vacation has begun for students.  My students in Japan often say they want an American summer vacation.  I always tell them that although we didn't have any homework, many children fill the summer with part-time jobs.  I started doing various jobs around 8 years-old. Here is a partial list of jobs I was paid for as a child:

  1. Cherry picker
  2. lawn mower
  3. weeder
  4. baby sitter
  5. worm seller
  6. corn planter
  7. and of course, lemonade stand
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SMsYcJSBKc Making and selling lemonade in the summer is a common way for children to make a little extra spending money.  I have many good memories of selling lemonade. Did you ever have a job as a child?  Please tell me about it. Next week, more about lemons and lemonade . . . [caption id="attachment_3411" align="alignnone" width="747"] picking cherries [/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="540"]Image result for child mowing lawn lawn mower[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="473"]Image result for child weeding weeding[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="665"]Image result for babysitting babysitting[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="558"]Image result for child selling worms worm seller[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="558"]Image result for child planting corn planting corn[/caption]


Beautiful Nature of Akitaタイトルをクリックしてください

The last few weeks, I've been enjoying spring in Akita.  The days have been sunny, not too hot, and great for the outdoors. How many of us realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place as Akita?  Saturday, I went on a 60 kilometer bicycle ride to Funoshi Waterfall.  I was exhausted, but rejuvenated by the beauty of the countryside. Can you talk about Akita's scenery in English?  Here are a few phrases.  I hope you can come up with many more.  These are from internet sites about Akita for foreigners.

  1. Among Akita's main attractions are its natural beauty of mountains and the sea, and hot springs.
  2. Nyuto Onsen, wonderful rustic hot spring resort.
  3. Shirakami Sanchi (白神山地) is an extensive mountain range straddling the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures in the northern Tohoku Region of Japan.
  4. The best way to enjoy Akita is simply to go outside and be among it.
  5. Just north of the city is the axe-shaped Oga peninsula, offering far-reaching views from Mount Kampu and at Nyudo-zaki Point on the peninsula’s tip – on clear days, you can see the edge of North Korea. 
Here are my pictures from last week. Azalea Garden Old thatched roof house Funoshi Waterfall  


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