Last month there was an interesting set of performances in at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi. Some musicians visiting Tokyo from Norway played noise music with some musicians living in Tokyo.

I couldn't make it to both nights, unfortunately, but I did catch the Sunday performance. That's where I took this picture of Jim O'Rourke on guitar and  Lasse Marhaug on electronics. The superb drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love, can't be seen because of the large speaker cabinet on the left.

× Does the guitarist do that every his concert?

◯ Does the guitarist do that at every concert?

◯ Does the guitarist do that at every one of his concerts?

Nope. I have seen him play several times, and that was the first time I had seen him play the guitar like that.

"Every" has to be followed by a noun. You can't put a possessive pronoun between "every" and the noun you want to use.

This is something that I want to teach to every one of my students.


さび付かないで = Don't get rusty!

A funny thing happened a few weeks back at Coredo Nihonbashi (コレド日本橋).

Coredo Nihonbashi is near our school. I had run over there in the afternoon for a quick lunch. When I had finished eating, I ran back to school. On the way, one of my gloves fell out of my pocket.

run over to ~まで走っていく、~に駆け寄る (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

Later that evening, I was preparing to ride my bicycle home when I realized that one of my gloves was missing. I figured I must have dropped it at Coredo, so I went back there to find it. I looked all of the places that I had been and asked the staff in the restaurant if they had seen it. They said they hadn't.

figure 計算する (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

Finally, I went looking for the security staff. I thought they must have a lost-and-found. I found the employee entrance, which was locked, and knocked on the door to get the attention of the guard. He came and opened the door and asked me what I wanted. I explained to him in Japanese the story of my glove. He understood, and let me come to the counter while he checked a kind of log of found items.

lost and found 〈米〉遺失物取扱所、遺失物係

He seemed to have found it in the log, asked me to wait, and stepped away to a locker where those items could be found. Bringing back a plastic bag with my glove in it, he asked me if it was mine. I told him that it was and thanked him for keeping it for me. He then asked me to fill out a form, which I did.

I thanked him again and started to walk back to the door which I had entered from. Then he told me something that I couldn't quite understand. I asked him to repeat it, but somehow my Japanese wasn't good enough to make out what he meant. That's when something really funny happened.

make out 理解する、分かる、判読する、認識する、~をようやく見分ける、見分ける、聞き分ける (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

"Th.. th... that... d... d... doooooooooor...* he struggled to tell me in English about the door, as if he couldn't make his mouth pronounce the words "... is locked," he continued, suddenly in perfectly pronounced English. He instantly sounded like a native speaker.

"Oh! You can speak English!" I said, surprised.

"Yes, I used to live in the US when I was a kid," he told me, again in perfectly pronounced native-speed English.

We talked for just a second, and then I left. It seems that he just hadn't spoken English for some time. He had just gotten rusty.

be rusty〔練習不足により技術などが〕下手になった、鈍くなった、なまった (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

It seems that you don't really forget language that you have learned before. However, if you don't practice, it may not be right there at your disposal when you need it.

at one's disposal (人)が自由に[好きなように・勝手に]使える[できる]、(人)の思う[意の]ままに (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

The moral of the story is: don't stop practicing English! Keep your skills sharp!

By the way, how is that headline? Is it strange?


忍耐は美徳である。Patience is a virtue.

You may have seen my not-so-successful radish cake the other day. I tried again, and this time it worked out pretty well.

work out well うまくいく (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

Rather than cook the radish cake in a wok on the stove, I used the rice cooker. That was not only easier to use, but it also turned out better. Here's a slice of it, with a bit of soy sauce on top.

wok 【名】《料理》中華鍋◆取っ手が片手持ち型は北京鍋、両手持ちは広東鍋。鉄、アルミ、チタン製がある。アルミ・チタンは軽くて熱廻りが均一だが、価格は鉄の10倍。北京鍋の取っ手に持つのに熱くない木製のもある(木取っ手の押えねじが緩みやすいのでしっかり増し締めすること)。プレスで型打ちするのと、手打ちのがある(手打ちは多数の円形模様がある、熱廻りが均一)。(definition from Eijiro on the Web)

Cooking is really satisfying. You can finish the whole activity within a couple of hours and enjoy the result right away. I guess it's not quite instant gratification, but it's much closer to it than long-term activities like learning a foreign language or computer programming.

instant gratification すぐに得られる喜び (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

That's important for us students of language to remember; since the results from study don't always come immediately, we've got to be patient. However, when you look back one year or more, you should be able to see the difference.

Be patient. 我慢してください。 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)

As for my radish cake, it tasted good, and I enjoyed it, but I'm not a dim sum chef yet. Maybe some day. I'll patiently work on it.

dim sum 《中華料理》点心 (definition from Eijiro on the Web)



There was a good question this week about the difference between "doubt" and "suspect". When I check my Japanese dictionary for 疑う, I see that both of these are listed. That's not so helpful, so let me explain.

"Doubt" has a negative meaning which is similar to "don't think". "Suspect" also has a negative meaning, but means "think". The key difference is the "not" hidden inside "doubt".

Over the Lunar New Year holiday, I cooked radish cakes. It looked good in the photo, but when I was trying to take it out of the pan, it broke. This piece you see on my plate is the result. Ugly, isn't it?

Lunar New Year 旧正月、春節、小正月◆中国・台湾・海外華僑の旧正月ならばChinese New Yearが良い。韓国・北朝鮮ではLunar New Year(中国の属国、植民地の歴史観から)(definition from Eijiro on the Web)

Actually, though, when I was cooking it, I thought I would have trouble. That's because even after steaming it for 90 minutes, when I stuck a chopstick in it, the chopstick didn't come out clean. At that point:

I doubted that it would turn out correctly. = I suspected that it wouldn't turn out correctly.

It's OK, though, because my second try was much better. The Lunar New Year holiday may be over, but I'm going to try again this weekend.