新住所: 松山市余戸中6-7-24 リバティ余戸1階
ぜひこのチャンスにぜひお試しください٩( ᐛ )و
As I enter the final stretch of my time in Japan, I’ve started to dream about all the foods I’ve sorely missed while being away from America.
1. Chipotle – Priority number one after greeting my family at the airport (and maybe even before that) will be making a trip to Chipotle. This fast-casual restaurant serves burritos and tacos, letting you choose your own toppings; my go-to is a chicken burrito with extra rice, lettuce, medium salsa, pico di gallo, and if I’m feeling crazy, black beans. It’s one of the few things I can get from a restaurant that will fill me up for $7.
2. SunButter – I have a nut allergy, so SunButter is my peanut butter (and ice cream). Instead of peanuts, it’s made from sunflower seeds and depending on who you ask, tastes like peanut butter. While it’s easy for me to eat too much in one sitting if I’m not careful, I love putting this stuff on pretty much anything I have around the house: bananas, crackers, in my scrambled eggs…
3. Cincinnati-style Chili – This is a southwest Ohio-delicacy I never paid much mind to (or really had a desire to eat) until I moved abroad. Cincinnati chili is spaghetti topped with a cinnamon and clove-spiced meat sauce and finally, cold shredded cheese. It looks gross, probably sounds gross, and tastes…pretty good.
4. Candy Corn and Candy Canes – I desperately wanted to introduce my students to these classic holiday confections this past year, but I unfortunately couldn’t find anywhere to buy them in Japan. Candy corn is not actually corn (and some would argue that it barely qualifies as candy), but is instead an orange, yellow, and white sweet that resembles a kernel of corn. Candy canes are red and white-striped sticks that host a strong peppermint flavor. Their hook shape makes them fun to hold and eat (and get all over your mouth if you’re a little kid).
These two candies make up two of the four main food groups for elves.
5. CHEESE – While you can of course buy cheese in Japan, the options aren’t quite as wide as they are in America. In particular, I’m looking forward to sinking my little cheese knife into smoked gouda, blue cheese, and Vermont cheddar.
We are close to the end of January, and by this stage people have either worked out and made a list of resolutions, or broken them. I have mine pinned on a wall in the kitchen, so that I am reminded every day.
The most common ones people set are about health and fitness, and saving and earning money. And yes, they are on the top of my list, but there are some other ones, too.
This year I need to improve and work on my mental skills. I used to do puzzles, and meditate, but haven’t for a long time. I also need to read more. I’ve only just started, but all I need to do is make it a habit- that’s what I keep telling myself.
I want to work on being optimistic, reduce stress, and be happy with my life. I’m going to make it a habit to find joy in even the small things and not worry so much when problems get you down.
It’s time to learn languages (again). I used to study Japanese and took lessons years back and would like to get back into it. I would also like to brush up on my Thai.
Have you started on your New Year’s resolutions?
When I was in the second grade, I received a letter from an old school friend. I opened the envelope to find a letter from her class and a drawing of a boy wearing a colorful tie. The letter went on to explain that I had received Flat Stanley, a school boy who was accidentally flattened by a falling bulletin board. Stanley’s new flattened condition allowed him the luxury of sliding under locked doors and flying through the air as a kite. Perhaps the greatest perk of being flat is that Stanley could now travel the globe for just the price of a stamp. My friend sent me Flat Stanley with the hopes that I would take a picture of Stanley with my class, send her the photo and a letter about my school, and then send Flat Stanley off on another adventure via mail. However, being a second grader with much better things to do, I promptly lost Flat Stanley and my friend’s letter. I hope that my Flat Stanley found the bottom of a dumpster as interesting as Cambodia or Peru could’ve potentially been.
A little history on our friend Stanley; Flat Stanley was a book that was published in 1964 by Jeff Brown. It wasn’t until 1995 that a third-grade teacher in Canada had the idea of using Flat Stanley and his story to create a small culture exchange. Not only does Flat Stanley promote interest in travel and different cultures, it also helps improve reading and writing skills in a fun way. I’m not sure what exactly made me think about my Failed Stanley from back in the 90’s, but it’s interesting to note that he’s still connecting classrooms around the world today. If you’re interested in Flat Stanley or connecting your classroom to others around the world, I highly suggest visiting The Flat Stanley Project. This website will help you arrange an exchange with another school to help continue Flat Stanley’s legacy.
Flat Stanley in Nigeria
Recently I’ve been enjoying teaching my students about portmanteaus. These are similar to compound words (light + house= lighthouse), but the difference is that some letters get cut out from one or both of the words.
Some simple and obvious portmanteaus would be cheeseburger (cheese + hamburger), smog (smoke + fog), and newscast (news + broadcast).
In my research for these lessons I came across several other words that I had no idea were portmanteaus:
- botox= botulism + toxin
- electrocute= electric + execute
- endorphin= endogenous + morphine
- fortnite= fourteen + nights
- gerrymandering= Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry + the perimeter of a districts he created resembled a salamander
- Microsoft= microcomputer + software
- napalm= naphthene + palmitate
- Skype= sky + peer-to-peer
- snark= snide + remark
- Verizon= veritas (Latin for “truth”) and horizon
- vitamin= vita + amine
Perhaps even more interesting is that the name for this lexical phenomenon came from none other than Lewis Carrol, author of the Alice in Wonderland books. That’s what I call surpascinating.
Molasses is a sweet, syrupy product that is created by refining sugar cane. Have you ever heard the simile “slow as molasses in January” to describe someone or something slow-moving? Molasses and similar products (think honey or maple syrup) at room temperature move quite slowly. However, today is the 100th anniversary of a day when molasses didn’t move so slowly; in fact, the sticky goop caused the deaths of 21 people living in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m talking, of course, about the Great Molasses Flood of 1919.
On January 15, 1919, a large tank that stored molasses burst flooding the streets of Boston. The weather had gotten slightly warmer which increased the temperature of the molasses and started a fermentation process. Additionally, the construction of the storage tank had neglected safety testing, such as filling it with water to check for leaks. The storage tank leaked so badly that the company painted it brown to hide the leaks. Nearby residents often scraped the leaking molasses from the tank for personal use. The fermenting gases along with lackadaisical safety testing caused the storage unit to explode sending a wave of molasses up to 25 feet high at some points and causing 2 to 3 feet in flooding. It’s estimated that the molasses flowed at a speed of 56 kilometers per hour which quickly cooled and harden causing great difficulty to free oneself from it’s sticky embrace.
Clean up efforts were a nightmare, with 300 to 400 volunteers using salt water and sand to wash away or absorb the brown goop. Public transportation, handrails, doors and floors were sticky for long afterwards as cleaners tracked molasses with their shoes where ever they went.
So, the next time you want to eat some gingerbread cookies or enjoy some pancakes, pray your molasses doesn’t become murderous.
The offending molasses storage tank in an undated picture. Watch out!
アミックでは新年最初の授業で、皆さんに新年の抱負（New Year’s Resolution）を書いてもらっています。「英検にチャレンジする」、「英語の本を読む」、「単語を頑張って覚える」など、たくさんの意欲に溢れたコメントを頂きました。
実際に英語ネイティブの方はどのようなNew Year’s Resolutionを宣言することが多いのでしょうか？
〇become (more~) 「（もっと～）になる」
Become more active.「もっと活動的になる」
Become more confident and take some chances.「自信を持って何かをやってみる」
Start saving money.「貯金をする」
Start eating healthier food.「健康に良い食生活を始める」
Stop being late.「遅刻をしないようにする」
Stop relying on a dictionary too much.「辞書に頼りすぎないようにする」
One thing I’m really looking forward to putting on my taste buds when I get back to America is spicy food. In particular, I miss hot sauce—in U.S. supermarkets, it’s not uncommon to see shelves holding 50+ varieties of the stuff to choose from.
I also decided that making my own hot sauce would be a perfect hobby for me: it seems cheap enough, involves cooking, and allows plenty of opportunity for tinkering and tracking within a spreadsheet.
What I won’t be doing however is trying to see how insanely hot a sauce I can make—I’m more of a flavor-over-brawn kind of guy. Thankfully, most of the world’s hottest peppers aren’t sold on the open market, so I won’t have to worry about accidentally throwing one of the world’s three spiciest peppers (as measured by Scoville units, or SHU) into my batches.
Pepper X (3,180,000 SHU)
Created for the YouTube series “Hot Ones” (where celebrities are interviewed while eating increasingly spicy hot wings), Pepper X is the heinous result of breeding together spicy varieties of bonnet pepper. Currently, it can only be found (in very diluted form) in the “Last Dab” hot sauce made by the company of the same name as the web series.
Dragon’s Breath (2,480,000 SHU)
Another Frankenstein creation, Dragon’s Breath was conceived by a British chili farmer and university researchers. Ironically, this tiny pepper was not bred for its heat, but instead for its flower-like appearance. The responsible researchers even pose that it could be used as an anaesthetic.
Carolina Reaper (1,569,300 SHU)
This contribution in the pepper arms race is a product of the PuckerButt Pepper Company in South Carolina. The reaper will make you do just that, and then some—in 2018, a man was hospitalized after eating one, complaining of severe headaches. It doesn’t, however, seem to bother mice:
Yes, I had an amazing New Years’ vacation, thank you for asking. Happy New Year to you, too! I went to Hong Kong and Macao, visited Hong Kong Disney, ate a lot of delicious foods (including dim sum and egg tarts), drank a lot of tasty beers, and saw a massive Buddha on top of a hill. I also saw some ruins of an old cathedral in Macao and plenty of beautiful Christmas lights and some very festive Chinese Christmas carolers. Oh, and I got engaged (again) to my number one favorite person and travel buddy.
But, today’s blog isn’t going to be about any of that fun stuff. No, today is reserved for something far more important: this video I found on The Internet™.
Ho-leeeee cow. I was not ready. After the first couple dozen of sneezes, you can’t help but wonder, “Are these sneezes real?” I mean, this woman sneezes as if a demon is trying to come out of her soul with each breath. The title “Grandma Sneezes Dramatically” is so on point. I counted 38 sneezes (35 with false starts) and 12 wardrobe changes which leads me to believe that these sneezes were all filmed on different days. But still, who is this grandma’s grandson that just so happens to have a camera pointed on her anytime she sneezes? She also looks up at the camera a few times, which could suggest a fake, but could also be her way of saying “why are you always filming me?”. Fakery aside, my favorite sneezes are the ones when she’s in her pantry, because, why is this grandma just chillin’ in her pantry?! I also like that her dog is seemingly unfazed by her loud sternutations.
What’s your favorite video on The Internet™ currently?