on justice -Benedict/James Orbinski

''Justice only fails when we fail to imagine that it is possible. But like so many things, it depends not only on imaginings but on what we do.'' - James Orbinski

Monday, December 31, 2007

Sweeeeet Christmas Part II

Yes! two pretty ladies all dressed up to........

Spend a lovely afternoon in YANAGAWA for AMAZING UNAGI DON.

Didn't know San Fran was so close...

Singing with Cakes...
Caking while singing...

The day after Piki's departure, I had to get...
More company.

Romantic Christmas Part I

First Stop in Fukuoka,
my favourite Izakaya...
Here is their famous dessert - MONT-BLANC MOCHI

Christmas Dinner...
Can you say KEN-TA-KI?

One cake for the ladies...

And yes, that's one WHOLE cake...

We finished the whole thing by the next morning - that's right! who said we can't have cake for breakfast?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Ahahahahaha. This CM cracks me up whenever I see it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

あだ名、nickname, 綽號 and newfound love

Nicknames are always interesting.
Especially when shortening my elementary boy students' names and adding ちゃん(chan) at the end; I find it endearing, the girls find it SOOO FUNNY, and the boys? Well, they just dread it, and you can tell by the way they're squinting when they hear me call: 『マッチャン!』or 『リョッチャン!』
『やめてよ!!』they'd say while pouting, or shout back 『マメくん!!』as their [weak] comeback. Then, we'd settle in a TICKLING match, and of course, I curl up in the corner like a sorry catepillar and lose.

But, I still love to call them by their unique, KAWAIIII nicknames.

And recently, I've been collecting my own.
Tomorrow, elementary school again! With 4th and 6th graders. Both equally cute, but one is much noisier than the other.
Ai, I need some avocado/banana juice to cure my dry throat.

* * * *

And.... allow me to introduce to you, my NEWFOUND LOVE.

He can be found among all the other DELICIOUSLY DECORATED cream-puffed pastries under the honourable name of....

(And yes, Mr. Gloop, it is TEN THOUSAND TIMES BETTER than the pitiful parfait we gulped down in Osaka. You'd flap your Nachooo wings like a crazy turkey on fire if you get a taste of this. get rrrrrrrready. Fukuoka 2008?)

Ladies and gentlemen [who are now drooling in front of your computer monitor],

...get your ticket to Japan to catch a glimpse (or a bite) of the IRRESISTABLE, DASHING DESSERT OF THE MONTH.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Je vous souhaite un joyeux noel........ too early?

Yesterday, I had a mini-Christmas party. LES METS DELICIEUX on our menu were:
COLORFUL Appetizer
Stir-fried peppers, and tomato with cheese covered asparagus

Cheese Tempura
Tomato Bacon Basil Pasta
The most exciting of all:


Believe or not, we finished half of the cake yesterday night. Decorated the plain (but oh, so good!) cheesecake with fresh strawberries.

Oh, and a second dessert for me after the cake, too - CARAMEL PUDDING HAGEN DAAZ ICE CREAM... mmmmmm.
And the FEAST continues.......

* * * * * *

'Tis the season to be JOLLY!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Did you hear?.... Japan is famous for EXPENSIVE fruits.

It's funny how I listen to more Chinese songs now that I'm in Japan. ^-^




Quote from my good neighbour Flanders' post: 'music is love. I think, you know, at a certain point, that's what we want from it. we dress it up as different things, but for me music is magic and love. music is the language of the spirit. it's how God speaks to us...what it can be is something extraordinary that reminds you of what you can be.
- bono'

Thx, Neighbouuuuurino. =)

* * * * *

And, I've been keeping this in for a long while.... but I have to say....

...... >o< ......
Yes, I'm an angry grocery shopper.
And yesterday, I almost leaped for joy when I saw a pack of 4 golden kiwis for only 398 yen. And don't get me started on the grapefruits.... I'm going to have a major FRUITS FEAST upon my return to Canada.

And this is why I'm reaching over the bridge.... to steal an orange.

* * * * *

On a happier note, here is my encouraging verse of the day:

'I call to you, O Lord, every day: I spread out my hands to you.'
-Psalm 88:9

'You rule over the surging sea: when its waves mount up, you still them.'
-Psalm 89:9

Oh, and have I exciting news to share!
Tomorrow, FRENCH TOAST MAKING with the 8th Graders English Club...!

(^0^)/ (<- this is my soon-to-be-inflated winter cheeks... pictures will follow if not too catastrophic)

Monday, December 10, 2007

'... an UNDIVDED heart...'

It's almost Christmas. But..... what I see when I look out my window is RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, instead of the nostalgic sparkling snow that once greeted me in early December...... back in CANADA, of course.


But, guess what is available in both places in this time of year?


That's right! Christmas Cakes in Japan are TO DROOL FOR. ^-^
Piki & I shall undertake MISSION [IM]POSSIBLE on Christmas Eve and devour one whole cake by ourselves. I shall post up our glorious, though, possibly unflattering, VICTORY pictures soon enough.

With that being said, feast your eyes on this lovely masterpiece I googled a while back. This is a picture I printed out to show my kids ... CHRISTMAS IN CANADA. (most of my presentation was focused on food and sweets. poor kids, especially those who had my class before lunch. ho.. ho.. ho.. すみません.すみません。)

And last, but definitely not least - my verse of the day:

'Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.'
--PSALM 86:11

* * * * * *

'Sleep well...!' (^-^)/

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Colder and colder...

That's right!
We're finally getting to WINTER in Fukuoka.
And do I like the cold?
Well, I know I really did anticipate for the chilly weather (when it was still sizzling hot in October, of course) - but this morning, biking to my hilltop jr high with NO MITTENS was NO JOKE. Freezing. I thought my pinky was going to fall off. That is why, before I met my friend Maggie for dinner, I did some fast shopping, and myself a pair of lovely pink suede gloves. Hopefully I won't lose them (or dirty them) like I did with all my previous ones.

Here's a good tip on how to survive the cold - at 11pm, with a weak heater on...


Sunday, December 2, 2007

'... may your hearts live!'

I have to admit, after coming to Japan, my spiritual life hasn't exactly skyrocketed. On the contrary.... it seems, that I've been falling back. I have been poor in spirit for a long while, but He is Wonderful and always knows the right thing to say at right moment:

'The poor will see and be glad - you who seek God, may your hearts live!'
Psalm 69:32

I read this, and think, 'Isn't this what I need? To seek Him, so that my heart may live?'
Really, eh?
So that I would humble my heart.
So that He would enter into my heart.
So that He would live in my heart.
So that my heart may live.


And there was this idea I had... for.... the past year, but never had the OPPORTUNITY (not time, no, I had PLENTY of time) to carry it out in action.

That is - to have a JAR of Bible Verses. My plan was that after each morning's devotion, I would write down the one verse that especially spoke to me, on a tiny piece of paper, and have that JAR filled. I started.... two days ago. And it's a tiny basket by my door. Unexcusable delay... But I'm trying.

So, hopefully from now on, before I head out my door each morning, I would pick up one verse of the day, one that has encouraged me in the past, or today, and have that verse written in my heart as I start my day.... biking, meditating, praising, and giving thanks.

If you read this, please pray for me so that I could actualize this in the coming week, and the months to come!

* * * * * * * *

On a side note...
Christmas cookies!

Will someone please bake me cookies as beautiful as these?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

прощание, конец!

你的姿態 你的青睞
你以為愛 就是被愛

我活了 我愛了 我都不管了
心愛到瘋了 恨到算了 就好了
可能的 可以的 真的可惜了
幸福好不容易 怎麼你卻不敢了呢
我還以為我們能 不同於別人
我還以為不可能的 不會不可能

你的姿態 你的青睞
你以為愛 就是被愛

我活了 我愛了 我都不管了
心愛到瘋了 恨到算了 就好了
可能的 可以的 真的可惜了
幸福好不容易 怎麼你卻不敢了呢
我還以為我們能 不同於別人
我還以為不可能的 不會不可能

你的姿態 你的青睞
你以為愛 就是被愛

風箏有風 海豚有海
所以明白 所以離開
自己存在 在你之外

This song is called... 崇拜。

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Almost December....!

Ohhh my. The end of November, already! And I still remember how hot and insufferable it was to bike up the Higashi Jr High hill just a month and a half ago..... and now Christmas is approaching in quiet, tiny steps... but It's coming!! My favourite Holiday, in my favourite season... How Wonderful! Second Christmas in Japan, and it'll be spent with my one and only 恋人 - as of now - Ms. Piki Nabe-chan.

Now - a few more pictures for those of you who actually care to look (but never care to leave a msg/comment! seriously! who ARE you? I got a VISITOR COUNTER for a reason.... I know who you are!! No I don't. But make yourselves known!! -gosh, I sound like a desperate blogger. I ASSURE YOU, I am not.)

First up - More wedding pictures I promised (No, not mine...)

Next - You can all marvel at my dazzling bowling skills. Yeah! Can you spot me? xx points after two games! Unbeatble score! I am really happy. Even won a cute BANANA CUP as prize.

Our bowling crew. Good job guys!

My beautiful friend (how come all my friends are this pretty??) - another CAKE-ADDICT (and how is it that all my friends love cake?)

My ENTHUSIASTIC 9th grade students! This is a group from my English Club - we're making FRENCH TOAST in the Home Ec classroom. And the funny boy smoking CHOCOLATE PENCIL is the most talkative - and believe it or not, most motivated English learner in my class. See how well he's hiding his enthusiasm of being in the picture? What a funny dude. I'll miss my ENGLISH CLUB....! (Lucia-sensei's secret wish: don't graduate.. don't graduate... *how selfish*)

O-KAY! Time to sleep.... After a two-day seminar, it's finally back to SCHOOL. Elementary tomorrow - grade 1 & 2... I have a feeling it's going to be cute and EXTREMELY tiring. Oh well. A-ja!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tripping... my hidden talent

Piki will choke on her Ramen, and noodles will shoot out from her nose if she is reading this, but..... I tripped in public again.
Two days in a row.

Sunday, I was walking out from a Starbucks in downtown TENJIN, while checking if my cellphone was in my bag (sometimes, it's really not there, but where I last sat) and not stumbling into anything particular, I tripped - on what, I frankly don't recall - and displayed the most embarassing dance steps you can ever imagine. I twirled around in the most awkward manner, while flapping my arms like a crazy duck in order to keep my balance for at least five whole seconds. Maybe it would've been better if I fell. And someone will then come up to ask if I was okay - eh? Pikiちゃん?

Today, as I was walking to Starbucks to meet my friend in the parking lot (Stabucks? Again?!... it really just hit me...), again, looking for my cellphone to check for messages, I somehow lost balance as I was walking on flat, steady, cement ground, and tripped. This time, I fell face front, first on my knees, then used my hands to keep myself from further embarassment. When I turned around, no grinning passengers were in sight. But something tells me that the people sitting in Starbucks about twenty steps away might've coincidentally looked out the window and saw the whole thing.

Or not.

... I get it. It is the CURSE OF STABUCKS.

That, or perhaps I should stop multi-tasking while walking, and check for my cellphone when sitting down.

That being said, I hope today is my LAST TRIPPING incident in Japan.
Thank God that didn't happen when I was hiking two weeks ago.

* * *


This is me making a Japanese Uchiwa (fan) at an elementary school last Saturday during World Festival.

And this is us eating GYOZAS at 11pm after a Second Wedding Party - of which more pictures will soon be posted! It was a lovely wedding, and my friend, the beautiful Bride is moving to Tokyo. >.<

* * *

And, it is currently 10 degrees outside, Winter is on its way! time for HOT CHOCOLATE, WARM MITTENS, and SNOWFLAKES FALLING ON MY CHEEKS!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Early November...

A few pictures to summarize the past two busy, colorful weeks:


A group of Fukuoka Rotaract members, and Taiwanese bunch, we climbed to the top in 1 and a half hour - devoured our bento from HOKA HOKA TEI like hungry hayenas, enjoyed the view of the ENTIRE FUKUOKA CITY, hopped back down (some of us tripped), and ended the trip with an early NOMIKAI at 2pm.


In my English Club at one Jr High, I wrote a Thank You card for my students, and they, in return, had to write me a Thanksgiving Postcard in English. 19 unique postcards from each of my hard-working student, hanging on my door! One student made an unforgivable spelling mistake- 'TANKS YOU LUCIA.'
どういたしまして!!! ^0^v

And today, a very full day of shopping, cake-browsing, and singing while savouring our little, precious pastries.

They were DE-LI-CIOUS!

.......... November is a busy month.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The song I could listen to over, and over again



There's a song that's inside of my soul.
It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again
I'm awake in the infinite cold.
But you sing to me over and over and over again.

So, I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.

Sing to me the song of the stars.
Of your galaxy dancing and laughing and laughing again.
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that you have for me over again.

So I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I know now, you're my only hope.

I give you my destiny.
I'm giving you all of me.
I want your symphony, singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs, I'm giving it back.

So I lay my head back down.
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours, I pray, to be only yours
I pray, to be only yours
I know now you're my only hope.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Hyper Students & I

This week is my last week at D.J.H. this year - next time I'm scheduled to go there is in January 2008! One of my many weaknesses - bidding farewell!
Well, I'll miss my hyper students - what a sweet, fun bunch! Can you guess who's my favourite student?

* * *
This picture requires a bit of explanation, just in case people misunderstand for FIGHT-O! in class.
No, no, this is one of my favourite grade 9 classes, and I was invited to have lunch with them.
And here are two boy students dancing, entertaining their Assitant Language Teacher. And it worked! The entire class loved it, too.

And, students from another class. They passed by, played with my cellphone and happily volunteered to be in this picture.

My Lunch Group! ^0^

My three very talkative students

* * *

Ai, tomorrow, they all have High School Entrance Exam. 頑張れ〜!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feel that Breeze!

I wonder how I'm going to survive Canadian Winter when I get back....

Autumn in Fukuoka, Japan - my favourite time of the year! The middle of October, and that Breeze is just about right - cool, but not to the extent of 'chilly' (I remember the cruel winter in Montreal, up and down that education building, what a workout!!) just the way I like it.

But I also know that Winter is lurking right around the corner, and it'll soon be time to drag out that FAN HEATER somewhere in my closet, and that wonderful invention - electric blanket from my drawer. Because WINTER in Fukuoka is no joke, and requires well-thought out winter coping plans........

.... Three of which I will generously share in this post.


Mmmm... good news for the chocolate lovers, and even happier news for you if you happen to be the latter, AND a careful dieter.... BE CAU SE, one entire bar of CACAO 86% = 381kcal. mmm. talk about smart, fun dieting.

* * * *

2) DIVE INTO THAT NABE RYOURI 鍋料理 (otherwise known as HOT POT in Chinese)~!

This is a NABE course meal I had, one night dining out with a co-worker. Salad, sashimi, yakitori.... AND all you can drink. mmm. there's an extra hint of yumminess about having NABE in a cold weather... Reminds me of that DELICIOUS meal we had in a tent in Korea one time, visiting OSTRICHES once upon a WINTER SONATA (haha!).

* * * *


Okay, that may have been a misleading title for this picture. My grade 3 junior high students had Home Ec class today, and I was invited to drop in - for some free snacks!!
I was offered ... fruit punch with Japanese mochi, Thin 'pancakes' (no, no, not crepes, they insisted) with all kinds of toppings, something brown, round, and fried - I can't bring myself to call them donuts - food was good, class was a bit chaotic, kitchen was messy, the students and I had a BLAST. What a fun day....!!



Next week - same JR HIGH again!

Thursday, October 25, 2007



See anyone familiar?


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lucia & Ninja Undercover

Until now, I haven't personally met another Lucia.
But, apparently this name is not that uncommon in Paris!
(Pictures taken by my good friend Lisa/Duck, ありがとうね!)

* * * *

A few more pictures from my last Onsen Trip - I forgot to include my 肥前夢街道 Ninja adventure!
Here I am, showing off my hidden Ninja skills.

While I was having fun taking down other Ninjas, I remembered one of my favourite movies as a nine-year old, '3 NINJAS' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103596/plotsummary). It's really surprising to know that I can recall so many details of that movie, despite the fact that I haven't thought about it for so long. For one, I remember that the eldest NINJA brother's name is ROCKY (quite a name!), and that even though the three brothers were clearly caucasian with not a hint of asian blood in them, they had a Chinese grandfather, who, happens to be a great Ninja Master - Undercover. Ok, now I really want to rent that again.

My Travel Buddy, メキーちゃん v^0^v

October....... and finally, getting colder.
I love Autumn.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Busy, Expensive, Fun-filled Weekend!

I've decided.
For the next month, I'm going to have UNEXPENSIVE weekends and spent my big bucks wisely.
Less travels, less shoppings, and less Fukuoka delicacies.
Hang on, hold that last thought. I probably can't resist the Fukuoka Yumminess. That one will have to stay.

That being said, I suppose it'd be safe to post this picture:

Sheenae and I at ALOHANA - a stylish, delicious Hawaiian restaurant in Tenjin. Our dessert was APPLE CINNAMON PANCAKE. (Someone tell me that Hawaii is famous for its Apple Cinnamon Pancake.) It was GREAT! Hot and fluffy with that hint of cinnamon. Oh! and a scoop of half-melted Vanilla Ice Cream on top.....

* * * *

And the latter half of this post will be on HOW I'M LOVING FUKUOKA MORE EACH DAY...

This weekend, there was a music fest going on, kind of like the Jazz Festival in Montreal, but I actually like it more over here = Music City Tenjin.
So, basically, various music artists from all around Japan (some, obviously from our Music City FUKUOKA...!) are scheduled to perform in different spots at different times. Yesterday, I stopped by Daimaru (department store) with two friends and heard a song or two, and today, I had even more fun - walking around Tenjin, and unexpectedly bumping into GREAT MUSIC everywhere I go!

*First one was in front of another department store, after my friend Sheenae and I finished our Hawaiian lunch. JUNE, is the name of the artist, and looks and sounds a bit like Se7en. Got his CD and an autograph!

*The second unexpected encounter was at Starbucks, where we savoured our afternoon coffee - ET, a female singer with short, spikey hair, and a powerful yet soothing voice - the perfect Phoebe (a much better singer...nonetheless) during coffee hour.

*The last one, and perhaps the BEST performance of the day, was at SOLARIA PLAZA. A good thing I insisted we make a bathroom trip, otherwise we would've missed the incredible band from Kansai called GUKKLE グックル. The singer had a contagious smile and charm - and by the way he was singing, we all knew that he was in love with music, and that he loved sharing his music with the audience. Then there was the SUPERB pianist, and the INCREDIBLE drummer... there's nothing compared to seeing & hearing musicians giving all they got, releasing their passion, not just hitting the right notes and the right tunes, but playing simply 'cause they love it. And I loved it.

* * * *

And...... skip back to last weekend.
HOT SPRING weekend with Maggie.
And we spent an afternoon designing our own cups!
They'll get here in A MONTH!