Friday, June 06, 2003

June 6

Well, I found out my schedule for the next week. Looks like with the testing at my school, I'll just have 4 hours there and the few hours I've got so far for my privates.

My regular Friday nighter received a new third member from tonight...I think. The newbie just happens to be my ex. And I'm not particularly sure if she'll be a good fit for the group. Oh, everyone was cordial enough but the chemistry didn't seem to gel quite well although it's just the first time. She seemed bored at times and didn't hesitate to yawn openly which just struck me as being plain rude. But then again, I've known her for 2 years. She's even asked me to teach her weekly. So I think any hope for a return to a closer relationship has basically gone out the window. I don't think one can love and teach the same person at the same time, and she's made it clear that she wants my teaching self. All I hope is that she'll keep the lines totally clear and that she'll pay me for my services.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

June 4

Back from a long day although I only taught one class tonight. First I went over to my school to drop off the Forrest Gump tape for that video class which I hope did OK. Then, I met up with a few friends from Toronto to go dine at the Farm Grill. Not too many people today which suited us just fine. And then we started going through some of the interesting shops in the Ginza which included the big toy store, Hakuhinkan. I was actually somewhat disappointed, though. I had expected the Tokyo version of FAO Schwarz but the stuff they had was considerably less variegated. I did have my latest celeb sighting, a stage actress and frequent guest on the variety show circuit. her claim to fame was a few years ago when she had that huge public feud with the wife of the former Hanshin Tigers manager for several months until that wife was found guilty of tax evasion. Once she was out of the picture, the stage actress also faded from the limelight, too.

Then we went off to the SONY building to check out some of the new doodads. Nothing particularly interesting, but the latest version of the VAIO computer which marries crystal-clear TV and DVD viewing with the regular features of a computer was quite appealing.

I left my friends to teach my first private student, post-full time career. We went off to a Starbucks near Toranomon Station which is usualy very quiet during the mornings. It was also relatively OK in the evenings as well but there was more chatter going on. Happily, though, the lesson went well and the student was very satisfied. I'm tired but it's a good type of tired...the fatigue born of a job well done. Now, the former student who had first recommended me to tonight's private is now considering hiring me as her teacher again. A wonderful thing, this word-of-mouth.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

June 4

First, Bob Hope. Now, CNN brought in the cast of "I Dream of Jeannie". I was never a huge fan although I do remember seeing several episodes as a kid. Barbara Eden still looks remarkably good although that "Hollywood Grandma" look is quite obvious. Glad that Larry Hagman is doing well although he acted like a septugenarian from the early 20th-century, not the 21-century. As for Bill Daily, I guess his roles on "Jeannie" and "Bob Newhart" weren't much of a stretch for him. I know that he and Wayne Rogers won't be shaking hands anytime in the future.

Well, we haven't had a major tremor of the week yet...knock on wood.
June 3

Hmmm...I think my paranoia meter may be hitting 11 today. Mind you, it's on a rather minor point but still since it may affect some of my favourite students, I'm not too happy. Since I became a part-timer, I can no longer teach a certain video class which means the onus of that duty has to fall to the coordinator. And it seems as if for the past couple of weeks since departure, the coordinator has neglected to show the video that the students have requested due to various reasons. And now, today, she has told me that the video is now missing.

Now, this coordinator has been quite cordial to me for 5 years, but I am aware that she has a certain amoral or mercenary side to her, and I did actually have a run-in with her some years ago which ended up with me boycotting a party that I was to host. So she is aware that I will do something if I'm wronged.

The paranoid side is telling me that the coordinator may be pulling these stunts to force me back into teaching the kids on Wednesdays, my off day from the school. If that is indeed the case, then she has failed. However, I also have to realize that these students aren't getting the education that they requested, so what I may do is download some scripts from the Net and bring over my tapes of either Forrest Gump or the X-Files and lend them to a couple of my trustworthy students. I really don't want to think this way but considering some of the goings-on in the administrative side of this school for the time I've been there, I can't get it out of my mind either.

Monday, June 02, 2003

June 3

The Angels did make their prerequisite press Roppongi Hills, the place de jour in Tokyo. The ladies were quite accomodating to the fans. And a local celeb who would make a fine Japanese Angel appeared for a photo op and chat, Norika Fujiwara. I don't think there will be any opportunites in the near future for her if her dip into non-Japanese filmdom is a gauge.

Got a good night's rest...probably the first one in several weeks thanks to my better schedule and that walk through Tokyo yesterday.

Well, Bob Hope turned 100 on Thursday. I mention him because he was probably the very first comedian to make me laugh as a kid, and I remember that he did make me laugh until I cried. That was when I was watching his TV specials, and at the time, I had no idea about his long relationship with Bing Crosby or the Road movies.

In a way, he and Johnny Carson were responsible for how a lot of comedians handle themselves these days (whether they will admit it or not), and also to a large extent, they shaped how I handle my humour: deadpan and the knowing look. It is a consequence of the nature of generations that Bob is now largely seen by the younger folk as a relic from the age of grandfathers and grandmothers; a person who until his slow fade from the spotlight in the 90s was seen as a cornball-and-cheese act relying on the jokes written by others and the celebs deigning to appear with him. I'm no less guilty in that regard; I don't particularly appreciate the hit songs from my parents' generation, and I accept that future generations will probably treat my Billy Joel and Elton John as sappy pop acts. Even with Bob Hope, I largely lost my like for his specials because of the aforementioned corn and cheese. When I can get The Simpsons and Seinfeld back in Canada on a daily basis, the sharp wit and laugh-out-loud gags from those programs can run circles around anything that ol' Ski Nose had done in the waning decades of the 20th century.

However, it is his work in the Road pics that I now look to and that The Simpsons, Seinfeld and even Carson could look to that reveals how much of a master he was. Quicksilver ad-libs and his willful willingness to break the 4th wall made his appearances very welcome and a nice balance to the straightman crooner. Thanks for those memories.

June 2

Good morning, Angels! Well, the next celeb sightings in Tokyo were for Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu who had come in on Saturday. They had a free day so the cameras were keeping tabs on them from a discreet distance as they went on a shopping spree throughout the young and trendy Harajuku district. Strangely enough, noone approached them for an autograph, let alone mob them, although admittedly we only got an edited report. Celebs should be grateful for that much privacy.

Had my private class and then proceeded to walk 6 km. from Shibuya to Ginza. It took me about 90 minutes; not too shabby a time. I hope that took a bit off of my girth.