Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Checking my 2008 resolutions

1. Health
Keep my condition good.
Concrete plan: Take no day off with my bad condition. I took five days off with my cold last year. I want to reduce how many days off I take.
I go to my fitness club more. I did yoga everyday and went to my sports club twice a week, but I took five days off with cold.

I could keep my condition good till November. But in December, I developed a stress disorder because of my overwork for big problems between my important client and my company since October. (For example, I worked 27 days and over 100 hours overtime) and took some days off. After I told my boss the diagnosis, my boss decided that he took my hardest work (negotiations with the top person of my client) and gave me the half (morning) days off everyday till the end of January.
So I didn't achieve this resolution, but I appreciate myself for keeping good condition till November. I went to my fitness club 78 times in 2008, I think it made my condition good except overwork months.

2.Learn cooking
Concrete plan: Cook one lunch every week. Increase my menu two to five in this year.

I've learned to cook five simple menus: ketchup rice with some vegetables and sausages, beef rice, spaghetti Neapolitan (Japanese original menu – pasta with ketchup and onion, pimento, mushroom and ham), okonomiyaki and curry rice.
I couldn't cook one lunch every week, but I cooked most of weeks.

3.TOEIC score up
Concrete plan: 800 (now 740)
Keep my private English lesson with my American and English teachers and review my TOEIC text that I learned last year.

I got score of 825, thanks to my teachers, Sarah and Laura!

4. Know my city Nishinomiya
Concrete plan: Visit more 5 spots in Nishinomiya city

I visited more than five spots as follows (Sorry, most link targets are my Japanese blog):
Kitayama Botanical Garden
Architectures near my flat – including ex-classic hotel planed by a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright
Sake (Japanese rice-based liquor) breweries (Nishinomiya is famous of good water production for sake)
A Shinto shrine, Japanese-classic-style lighthouse

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My harvests in 2008

Sorry, most of them are written in Japanese and are not translated in English. Therefore I will introduce only two books:

Dostoyevskii / The Brothers Karamazov : I feel the strong power of story from this novel. Deep. I will read this masterpiece several times.

Kazuo Ishiguro / Never Let Me Go: A grotesque background appeared through simple, plain and calm sentences. This novel is not similar to any other novel I have read.


Beethoven / Symphony No.6 "Pastoral" conducted by Carlos Kleiber (Bavarian State Orchestra)
The most marvelous music I've listened to in 2008. I didn't know that such dramatic and lively "Pastoral"

Perfume / GAME
Perfume is Japanese techno-pop idol group. Their composer / producer is Yasutaka Nakata, he composed and arranged high-completion rate songs for them.

The fireman / Electric Arguments
Paul McCartney's relax feeling produced his original pop-sense and some new taste.


Mystic River

Letters from Iwo Jima

Two of Us (TV movie. Fiction based on the fact that Paul McCartney visited John Lennon's house in 1976)

Climber's High (Japanese TV Drama)

The Dark Knight



Vermeer and the Delft Style

"Vermeer and the Delft Style" Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum(Sorry, this link target is my Japanese blog)
It was the "incident" that as many as seven Vermeer's paintings were gathered in Japan. One of my ambitions is to appreciate all Vermeer's paintings (about 30) scattered across Europe and the US. So it was a big chance for me. In addition to, my music- lover-friends and I appreciated this exhibition together and talked over the paintings through "fresh eyes" (not genuine art lover's eye). It was very fun.