Saturday, May 31, 2003

June 1

Halfway through the year, and sure enough, the warmth and humidity have rolled in like Japanese clockwork. Mind you, that overly muscular high-pressure system managed to give us a taste of the rainy season. Today, however, looks pretty decent for a walk. It's been a quiet weekend so far, and I've got a feeling that perhaps most of the next coming weeks will be mostly quiet ones.

The assistant manager at my school has been trying to contact me. Of course, he won't say anything over the phone, so I just sent him a fax asking him to send me e-mail instead. Another staff member contacted me by e-mail today asking if I could teach a class on Wednesday, which is now my own day. It is probably a class that I enjoy teaching, but I've got to turn it down since I don't want to set a precedent...leave any room open for the staff to exploit. However, the school may be in a bit of a fix since the staff person informed me that there is a rather important government Intensive course being taught next week so the assumption is that a lot of the good teachers will have to be sent out to that...which would also mean that some of the in-house classes would suffer. Ah. what a tangled web we weave. It's too bad, though, the little bit of money would've been nice but it's not worth the cost of remaining beholden to the largely dishonest group of people running things.

Friday, May 30, 2003

May 30

A relaxing day today with little more than a chat fest in the evening to signify any sort of work. I got that haircut but didn't get the shampoo; I'll have to remember to ask for it next time. Mind you, I did save 1400 yen in the bargain. It was a good time to get the cut as well. With the incoming heat, the shorter style will do me well.

Afterwards, I just got back home, made a humoungous pasta lunch and did some cleaning up which included making some major rearrangments to my books and CDs. Things look somewhat neater now.

However, last night, I found myself with an uninvited bedmate. There's nothing like a squirming little larva next to your ear to sit up and take notice. Well, I went out and got myself some insect repellent and proceeded to spray down my bedroom and all of the drawers. I've still yet to experience the annual visit by the cockroach, the deadly enemy of the Japanese. Their fear of nature's most indestructible creature borders on the sociopathic. Sure, I find them annoying but these folks think that the insects must be wearing a goalie mask and wielding a hatchet. In any case, summer is indeed coming up.

Looks like my English circle on Fridays will be livening up. My (ex-?) girlfriend will be joining our little menage a trois from next Friday. One of my regular pair remarked that it will be nice to get a fresh source of topics; she always had a way of being quietly cranky at times. She would make a great Canadian. In any case, I won't be mentioning our connection to the other two; no need for any more complications.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

May 30

Forgot to mention that I caught the original Terminator tonight on TV Tokyo. Man, can't believe it's been nearly 20 years since that old sci-fi chestnut came out, and that T3 is slated this summer. It's interesting to watch Arnie in his lone bad-guy role, and Linda Hamilton as a soft and cuddly Sarah Connor before buffing herself out in T2. The FX back then look pretty laughable by today's standards especially when there are several seconds of obvious fake Arnie heads front and center.
May 29

It's always a nice feeling to be wanted. My first two classes were quite happy to see me at the helm again; heck, the second class even applauded. Always nice.

An update on that so-called request by my manager. Well, after I had sent him my "Go to Hell" response, he never contacted me again either in person or phone although I was at the school for all of the morning and most of the afternoon. I don't know how this will play out. Will he actually leave me be or will he plot a bit of sneaky revenge?

Tomorrow is my off day so I'll be getting that long-needed haircut. It'll cost me 5000 yen; not an easy amount to spend considering my current status as a part-timer but the hairstylist there gives the most exquisite scalp massage and shampoo. Plus, I'll have to scour my apartment; it's looking pretty ratty right now.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

May 28

The first warm day this year and, as luck would have it, I had on my full suit for that doctor's family. It sure didn't help that I met them at 6:30 p.m. while having an early morning class at 8:30 a.m. My suit will need a night's airing out.

As for what happened in between, I just ended up at the Magazine House and just read my free mags. I will be saving a lot of money that way. Then, I just filled in a few student evaluations.

As for the interview with the doctor's family, it looks I passed muster. We set up the first appointment with the kids for mid-June. The doctor lives in a pretty nice large American-style house...ah, the creature comforts of a good career. Actualy, the doc and his wife had lived for a couple of years in New Orleans back in the early 90s. Some good talk about jambalaya and gumbo there. So it looks like my client list is slowly growing although I'm looking for a few group classes to get that extra income.

Well, it's back to a full day at the school tomorrow. My stupid manager actually had the nerve to summon me to talk with the big prez about my "future". And after my requests for a meeting met with dead air weeks ago. I politely sent a letter which basically can be summarized as "Take a Number."

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

May 27

Matrix: Unloaded?!

It looks like I'm not the only one with a beef about the former most anticipated movie of 2003. I just read that the second Matrix just dropped 60% in box office, and to add insult to injury, it came in a distant second to Jim Carrey of all people. Mind you, for all patriotic Canadians, it was a win-win situation. A fellow Torontonian lost to another Toronotonian. However, on the absolute side, Matrix Reloaded has reached $200 million...I mean, how many other producers would give their internal organs for that kind of box office? And it's quite likely that it will hit $300 million without breaking too much of a sweat.

However, there is the financial side and then there is the expectations side. And one will come out far lower than the other.

Well, Keanu Reaves did show up for a Matrix preview. He, Larry Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith and Joel Silver showed up at Roppongi Hills last night at the special "invitees only" preview. What's the matter, Keanu? Don't want to mingle with the common people?

Had my regular school day today. Not too bad. I've got my final morning class at that oil company (Yeahhhh!) and then I have an interview of sorts with that doctor about teaching his two young daughters. Dog-and-pony show. Plus, I've got to do some location scouting for a place to teach my semi-regular Wednesday student, and get her a textbook. I'm eyeing an unusually quiet Starbucks near the oil company. I'm just wondering though if it's so quiet that the coffee house decides to close up earlier than usual.

Monday, May 26, 2003

May 26

It's Time To Rock!

Well, I don't know what it is between me and earthquakes. I was just washing my hands in the bathroom at about 6:30 tonight, and my thoughts centered on the Big One, namely a huge tremor. Sure enough, after I toweled off, my apartment started rocking. This is now the third week in a row that Tokyo's been all shook up. Mind you, as soon as I turned on the TV, I found out that the tremor had much deeper and far-ranging roots.

The northern area of Japan got majorly rocked with a Magnitude 7.0 tremor which brings it up to the level of the Kobe quake which laid waste to that city over 8 years ago. What saved cities like Sendai from really bad damage right now is that the epicenter was out in the ocean. CNN has reported the quake but their coverage doesn't match the domestic stuff which had scenes of TV studios shaking (a usual immediate shot whenever a big quake comes) and people in shopping centers running out into the streets.

NHK has been providing live continuous coverage for the past hour while the other commercial stations went back to normal programming a half-hour ago. To me, that signifies that the damage or the casualty reports aren't that bad although there have been reports of buckling streets and houses on fire.

Hmmm....I kinda wonder about that earthquake kit now.