Friday, May 02, 2003

May 2

Entering a long weekend and the last leg of Golden Week. Started off on a cinematic note by finally catching CHICAGO. I'm happy to say that it was indeed worth the 1800 yen. All of the actors looked very accomplished in their transformation into singers and dancers; I must admit that Renee Zellwegger is quite the chameleon. From plummy, plump Bridget Jones to slinky sassy Roxie Hart.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

May 1

Well, May Day is here, so about perhaps half of industry is taking a day off while the other half simmer in resentment. My day was quite "on" in contrast with the off day yesterday.

Finally visited that super hyped Roppongi Hills, and yes, it's big. It is also not your family or suburban teen-oriented mall. It is a place for the yuppies, which definitely doesn't include me. However, I did enjoy browsing through the place. It feels like Aoyama, Harajuku and Omotesando stacked up like pancakes: lots of boutiques and oh-so-chic restaurants which will probably demand a VISA card just to get into. Even took a look at Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill. Looks very Californian but the prices took me down a few pegs.
When I finally got out of the complex, I was able to figure out where the whole thing was in relation to Roppongi in general. It covers what used to be the ol' WAVE CD shop, a place that I used to frequent quite a lot years ago. And now it's been totally erased...somethng to age me further.

Well, Viirgin Cinemas at Roppongi Hills will be premiering X-Men 2 tomorrow night with the full release on Saturday. Hugh Jackman aka Wolverine will be stopping by for the 9:30 show. And I'm hoping that I'll get to see it then as well. It's always nice when we get simulaneous releases with that of the US. Usually we have to wait at least a few months before a hit movie sees the light of day here on this side of the Pacific. It kinda feels like arriving at a pizza party when all but three tepid slices have been eaten.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

April 30

One of those slightly off-kilter days at work. Each of my classes today had an almost successful quality except for some sort of "wrench" which screwed things up a bit. My first class, for example, had one student griping about the overly complex nature of the vocabulary given, my second class just didn't feel perfectly right, my model lesson dealt with two very low students and my final class today which was the final class of the course had a boring chapter and two bored students. However, in the case of this last one, things turned out OK; we agreed to pack up early and then they treated me to dinner up in the exclusive 21st-floor cafeteria.

Another disappointment: looks like my brother and sister-in-law won't be making it out to Japan after all. It isn't so much that Toronto's SARS menace has prevented them from coming over, but the fact that the other participants in the big meeting happen to be from countries where the supervirus is still a huge menace. Basically, my brother would've been playing to a very large, empty room.

Well, not too busy tomorrow. Just two classes and then with luck, I may finally see Chicago and check out the famed Roppongi Hills.

Monday, April 28, 2003

April 28

Light Monday, not surprising considering that we're entering Golden Week. Well, sort of...

I wanted to catch Chicago today but sure enough, I ended up misreading the movie schedules so I got there a full half-hour after it had already begun. Talking with a fellow teacher who had seen it this weekend, I now really want to see it more than ever.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

April 27

Let's see....Toronto has undergone a weakened economy and the SARS virus. Well, trouble surely comes in 3s as His Royal Lowness, Mel Lastman decided to speak in the ancient tongue of gibberish to everyone around the world via CNN's Aaron Brown. I didn't see the interview directly but I did see the transcript in Canada's Globe and Mail. I mean, I just had to look in awe at what this man had attempted to say. He actually made George Bush sound like a Rhodes Scholar. The last time I experienced such ineptitude in public office was Prime Minister Mori a couple of years back.

Well, Hotel Haruhiko is now operational. One of my good friends from back home is over here right now on his 1-week vacation. He also brought tribute from back home: Dare cookies, Reese's Peanut Cups and the aforementioned Globe and Mail. The hotel should be quite busy throughout May now that it looks likely everyone will come over here after all. Loopy Lastman may have made himself an international laughingstock but he did get the WHO's attention.

Also met up with a former student of mine who is now living in Buenos Aires but is back for a short vacation. As expected, she was stumbling over some of her words and mixing up Japanese, English and Spanish.

If everything works out, I should be catching Chicago tomorrow during one of my large gaps in my schedule.