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

Friday, March 30, 2007


Let's take a brief tour in my city, Dazaifu 太宰府 ...
Starting at the みかさ橋 ・ MIKASA Bridge just around the corner from my place.

'Tis the season for HA-NA-MI 花見~ (And 'tis my first!)

Perfect weather to take a walk after long hours at work. 一人散歩!

桜、桜 ...

Not-So-Random Thought:

I've travelled a lot since I got here and everytime I get back home, I breathe in the clean air, take a brief glance at my quiet, lovely neighbourhood, and thank God for placing me in Dazaifu, 太宰府!

There could be no better place for me to call home here in Japan.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Enjoy?... ENJOY, ENJOY!

The title would make more sense in Japanese. Translation: "Is it fun?" "OH YEAH, IT'S SO FUN!"

On "Savouring the Moment"

Funny how about 5 years ago, having my own place, working a "steady job" were one of my top future priorities, things I have to nail down before I get married and moving up from early adulthood to, well... my 30s. (Sorry for those of who are close - I mean no offense, really..!) Anyhow, and now that I have these things firmly within my grasp, I thank God and just hope I could make the most out of it. I think 'growing up' almost equals 'growing in insecurity' - fear of losing things and fear of regret. At least that's my case ... Sometimes. I don't want to look back 5 years from now and regret what I should have done or should not have done when I am at the place just where I wanted to be 5 years ago.

Oh.... to learn to savour the moment, continually...!

A familiar saying [yet refreshing everytime I hear it nonetheless] was sent to me via email by a friend this week:

"Work like you don't need the money.

Love like you've never been hurt.

Dance like nobody is watching.

Sing like nobody is listening.

Live like it's heaven on earth."

* * * * *

On "Living Like it's Heaven on Earth"

So Japan is a pretty materialistic society. Though it's probably unfair to assert that other countries are less materialistic, but I think Japan really comes across with this very image at first glance. And as a female consumer, it's an even easier task to take notice of the prevailing BUY, BUY, BUY! Spirit here, in the Land of Living Dolls. (Gosh, that just sounds plain scary, doesn't it?)

Now, while I am in no place to judge and point fingers since I find it an absolute wonder and 'ENJOY! ENJOY!' in "Doll-ing Up", I have to say that sometimes it does get to me.

I guess in the end it's all about creating your own fashion stage, gaining others' momentary favor, to please men (you can take that word for word, too), but in the end what does it all amount to?

We spend hours, days, a lifetime to win something that lasts only for a moment, and blindly miss the goal that brings us to Eternity. I guess it's only normal to be unable to see clearly when there's so much wordly glitter and sparkles around us.

But we should learn to live like it's Heaven on Earth. Or, better yet, 'to live with Heavenly Perspective on Earth'. Oops, hope I didn't infringe on any copyrights here. I'm just paraphrasing.

Words from Above:

"But now that you know God- or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over
again?" (Galatians 4: 9)

* * * * *
Random as random gets:

My first thick frame glasses since High School/Cegep times... Is this a sign of the Peter Pan syndrome? That I'm so lost in my fear of growing up that I'm going back to my younger, previous looks? Mostly likely not. But maybe a tiny tad bit. But for what it's worth, I think it looks groovy. kkk.

Craving Taiwanese-style Breakfast. I gave a presentation on my Cultural Background not long ago, and I think I did a good job in promoting Taiwan [yumminess] and convinced a lot of people to go... myself included.
Now it doesn't take a genius to see that my Dad and I look strikingly alike. We have the same small eyes, tall nose, full lips, same smile, frameless glasses, and we're both wearing grapefruit skins on our heads.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

To teach...

So I went skating with a friend today!

The rink was okay, a bit old, and when we arrived, the ice hadn't been cleaned for a while, so the surface was quite rough. But we had a good time anyway.

Stories to tell? Got tons, but here I'll only tell one. Last time I chatted with Daisuke, an elementary teacher from one of the schools I teach at, we talked about sports, and inevitably Ice Skating took over as it is the only sport I'm actually interested in. So, we decided to go skating - and I was kind of worried at first since I hadn't been on ice since last summer - but I forgot to inquire of Daisuke's skating history.

Apparently he hadn't skated for 15 years.

So, I had teach him, while lacking professional training whatsoever myself (had a few lessons at the Dorval Figure Skating Club, and then got blindly inspired by a Japanese manga called ICE PRINCESS) ... I had to take up the role of a teacher in a crowded ice rink. And then I realized something.
I am not very good at teaching.
While I can skate at a reasonable speed and [at times] maintain a subtle trace of grace on ice ... I found it exceptionally hard to explain, demonstrate, and just... teaching it in general. Then I started to think back on the times when I had to explain simple procedures of games, activities during Fellowship time and even sometimes at school... and I can easily get caught between the mixed up orders, the messed-up rules, and sometimes even the objective of the whole thing. My point is, I think I need to be organized with my thoughts, and make the effort to add clarity to my explanations.

I am, after all, TEACHING in Japan. ^-^;;

Other than that, today was great fun, and after 3 hours of struggling with his skates & balance, I think my friend did not bad ... even under my supervision. Hahaha. First time as a skating coach. ooh, and it shall be the last.

Alright, waiting for my body to start aching tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2007

On Beaches and Ice Skating

I know that Spring making its way through the rain, the chilly breeze, and possibly flurries in some places.... BUT.... do allow me to add to the possibly already growing summer anticipation hidden in all --- BEACH SEEKERS.

Nostalgia, nostalgia.

Summer 2006, Vancouver. On our way back from a tiring day trip from Whistler.

Last [complete] LEE family trip we had before I left for Japan. "Don't... cry for me... Ausgustina..."

Wonderful view, I couldn't seem more happy in this picture.

Summer 2004, Inchon, Korea. My dear Neighbour Jen and dear JinJoo.

Summer 2005 (...? did I get the date right? correct me if I'm wrong on this one, Flanders..), Vancouver - Doggie Beach with Edmond and Elaine. (No, there's no dogs in this picture, if you tried to look for one, you did that in vain. Stop looking. Now.)

Now for those of you who walked with me in my Japanese Drama Mania journey during my memorable teenage years... these pictures undoubtedly speak for themselves. For those who [un/fortunately? debatable] weren't ... well, I won't dedicate a blog about my drama obsession - a thing in the past (...?) but I will still recommend this wonderful drama called: BEACH BOYS. It's a lot more than it sounds .... Granted, Sorimachi and Takenouchi are still part of the essential substance of the overall drama, but that's not the point I'm trying to make.

Oh. This is no picture about summer nostalgia... Wait. Look again. Pay close attention. Closer, closer...

Nah. It's just crazy bunch experimenting on Just How Creepy We Can Look on a fine Saturday afternoon. I think we hit close. Very close. =))

* * * * *

And ... time for my Random Note of the Day. Love this part!

Tomorrow will my FIRST TIME skating here in Japan. Ho ho ho. My anticipation is at one of its highest moments. Wonder if I'll accidently land an axel and...
I'll stop. hehehehe. =))
And this....
... will be me tomorrow at approximately 1:30-ish in the skating rink. Without the teddy and the puffy blue dress.
I could do with the matching ribbons though.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mr. Gump says it best...

...Or, like his mama always say:

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you gonna get."

First time! ...かな?
* * * * *
On a more random note than this... My two all-time favourite pictures will be on display here for an unknown period of time. (Until one of them threatens me to remove these lovely pictures, that is) So enjoy!

Oggy, oggy, oggy. How you love that hamburger...

Becky says: "There's a gorilla in my backyard!"
Hiukei answers: "Well, look no further!"

Lastly but not least... Me through a door! Boo! (now that's got to be a lot less scarier than those Maiko pictures, eh?) ^-*


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


...Then ventured into Jurassic Park...!


View from our awesome UNIVERSAL PORT hotel.
How loyal is Osaka to its famous attraction...
Temple built during Edo period.

Famous dessert in Kyoto? Or not... we were just craving for some.

Famous temple in Kyoto

If you think this is scary, this is nothing compared to a close-up. (No, I won't post one... ! Be glad... be very glad. =))

If you're an expert on Japanese garments, you'll know that there's a difference between 芸者 (geisha) and 舞妓 (Maiko). Now, guess which one I'm dressed as.

Yoshimi was struggling between the white or the black kimono. In the end, she went for black.

My make-up artist. When I asked if she liked her job, she let out a dry laugh. I'm still not sure what that means.. but I'd like to scrub white powder/paste on someone's face - just for fun.

My first 舞妓(there's your answer!) experience!


Brief summary of last week... PART I

Last time to pose for PEACE with 3rd grade girls in Dazaifu high school

Universal Studios of Japan in OSAKA!

Random Elementary kids we bumped into during the lining up for SPIDERMAN. Very cute, very loud.

大好き...Don't I blend in well? My first up-close encounter with a GREAT WHITE.

Now that's a bit cruel for my taste, but I needed a souvenir picture for the JAWS ride.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kyoto 京都

.... boo?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

"Hello, Goodbye!"

The 3rd graders from my Jr. High schools are leaving this month ... !

Heartwarming messages.

(I especially liked this one, and am quite impressed with the writing... Nice one, 裕司! this at least proves that the English Club did him some good. Somewhat. =D)

Now... the STUDENTS.

The boys from 3-1

Girls from 3-1, 3-2 & 3-3

The Boys from 3-3

Girls from 3-3


I will miss them.

Funny thing though - I asked their English teacher whether if she would miss her students from this semester, and she answered NO, in the most abrupt and confident manner. Wonder if teachers get immune from seeing their students graduating. I hope I'll always be sentimentally vulnerable.

"You say Goodbye, and I say Hello...." - beatles

* * * *
This is Kabu-sensei - one of my favourite teachers in elementary schools. She took us to to the most exquisite apple-pie/curry restaurant. (Notice the period between the sentences - I don't mean that I like her BECAUSE of the apple pies. But they REALLY were excellent.) Kabu-sensei loves to travel and is unstoppable when it comes to Onsen. I'm going to make her take me one day. And, also more Apple Pies.

* * * *
On a more random note: This picture below describes how I feel today.

And this? ... Why a Brontosaurus you ask? ... well ... go figure.