Saturday, July 12, 2003

Joly 12

Well, as I said in my last report, I should be pretty tired after my day and night of debauchery today. Actually, I don't feel all that bad; things were pretty calm although the conversation was starting to approach the salty area.

Yep, it was another hot and humid one as I started my day by teaching those kids. The younger sister was fine but the older one was rather out to lunch for some reason. I figure it was the usual annoying teenage emotional roller coaster. I kinda mentioned to the mother that the daughter was a bit "sleepy" today for which I received a very profuse apology. I think I should've just given the usual bland "No problems" instead.

I managed to speed over to Shinjuku after class to see Movie Buddy and watch Charlie's Angels 2. The sequel to the 2000 hit had more of everything: more unbelievable stunts, more skin (the Terminator-like emergence of the Angels in their birthday suits was a nice touch)....and more dumbness. This was absolutely a movie to not just suspend your disbelief but also to take that disbelief, put it into a catapult, launch it and blow it out of the sky with a high-powered rifle. A lot of the critics will take issue with me on this point, but CA2 made itself so dumb as to render it bulletproof from any harsh reviews. As MB pointed out, anyone giving this a bad review didn't come with the right attitude.
The movie also continued to add to its custom of pop culture riffs by spoofing CSI, the aforementioned Terminator and Cape Fear. And it took a little from Austin Powers' Goldmember by having a goodly amount of stunt casting. Luke Perry and that guy from Friends were back along with creepy Crispin Glover. However, Bruce Willis, Robert Patrick, John Cleese, Demi Moore and a nearly unrecognizable Carrie Fisher also popped by for a spell.
In a bit of a contradiction of my contention that CA2 is criticproof, I think that the movie suffers from Return of the Jedi syndrome in that McG tried to stuff in too much in less than 2 hours. Only Bernie Mac's outsized talent managed to keep him above water but having no less than 4 villains pretty much sublimated what could've become 2 interesting subplots involving Drew's character and Demi's Fallen Angel. All in all, I'm pretty certain that CA3 is inevitable.

Well, after that flick, Movie Buddy and I hit a Becker's burger joint for a little respite where he told me that his ruse to set me up with his friend at tomorrow's party was itself a ruse. He just wanted to keep quiet the fact that I would be meeting one of the staff members from my school at the party because she's been going out with MB. There's nothing wrong with teachers and staff per se but knowing that the grapevine at our school is especially ripe, the news just had to be kept quiet.

Then, I finally met up with two other teachers and five students for dinner at a hot pot restaurant. I managed to down a good 2 kg of beef so I'm feeling quite bloated right now. Breakfast will therefore mean just a lot of fruit. MB's prudence was quite wise; a lot of the talk centered around various possible relationships. I stayed sober and tried to listen. However a couple of the ladies decided that their little talk was so private that they just moved themselves to another table for a short while. However, I think I'm pretty much in the know as to what they were talking about since a former teacher let me in on a secret some months earlier.

Anyways, time to take my shower and hit bed.

Friday, July 11, 2003

July 11

Well, didn't have to wait long before the heat and humidity came roaring in. My air conditioner is now on full power. Luckily, today was a short day in that I just had one class in the morning and my Friday night circle was cancelled. I just had lunch with the full-timers in the school lounge and then went off to Kinokuniya to find a couple of t exts before getting home in the form of a limp dishrag.

Tomorrow, I've got a pretty full schedule. After my class with the doctor's kids, I'm catching Charlie's Angels 2 with the Movie Buddy in Shinjuku. With it being out for 2 weeks and T3 hitting the shores tomorrow, I think we should be able to get in with little fear of huge lineups. But then again, in this burg, one can never tell. Then, I'm off to have dinner with some students and teachers at an all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu place. Don't know how long that's going to last but with the fear of the cost having been bandied about and the fact that it's pretty hot, I have a feeling that we'll probably break up early.

That's all well and good since on Sunday, Movie Buddy will be hitting my place early for us to watch Tomb Raider on DVD and then go to a party near my place. MB is trying to set me up with a woman who just can't seem to grab a boyfriend. Hmmm...I'm frankly not too hopeful about this one.

Well, the big news on the front pages these days in Tokyo has been that murder of that 4-year-old toddler by the 12-yeas-old kid. Plus, there has been news from Okinawa of the murder of a teen by his classmates. I had been thinking for some time that the reputation of Japanese kids has been largely overrated. I just wish that fate hadn't proven me too right.

I caught part of an old Spielberg movie last night on satellite.: 1941. It is the first of his relative failures, and the movie has all of the sheen of his 70s/80s whimsy. I only saw the first half hour since I had an aerly start today and because the movie was a horrible print which managed to slash a lot of footage. I have very little patience for "Edited for TV". Anyways, from what I saw last night, I think the Bearded One was trying to go for a farce on the level of a "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" but didn't quite make it. Doing a farce even back in those days was hard to pull off and even "It's...Mad World" has dated rather badly.
The movie got slagged critically and fans stayed away but nowadays, it is seen as an underrated flick. Then again, even Spielberg's failures are fascinating to watch (check A.I.) I enjoyed watching it just to see who popped up. I knew about Dan Ackroyd and Robert Stack, but there was also Treat Williams, Ned Beatty and Dianne Kay (from Eight is Enough....good lord, what's she up to now?). Of course, John Williams' score was a perfect match for the movie. And to see Christopher Lee and Toshiro Mifune bickering like a couple of old ladies was worth the price of admission. Hmmm....I wonder about that next DVD purchase now. Speaking of which, I am also considering The Bourne Identity.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Joly 9

The weather here has been surprisingly cool. I can live with that but Ido wonder what is to become of this year's rice crop. Maybe we'll be having more of the Thai variety this year. I don't mind myself but I'm sure the more rightwing elements will be going nuts.

I had a heart-to-heart yesterday with a fellow full-time teacher who similarly has little love for the upper echelons of our school. He's also thinking about jumping over to the part-time side. Financially, he shouldn't have much to worry about since he's been saving much more than me. And he ought to enjoy the down time. We just talked about when he'll be pulling the trigger since he does have some holiday time coming up and he doesn't want to sacrifice that.

I just have the one private today and then two tomorrow.

Monday, July 07, 2003

July 8

Just got back from my night class. And I'm feeling pretty refreshed after a hot shower although I'm ready for bed. I'll tell you something...the fact that I have to teach at 2100 hours is not a great thing but I'll take those students over some of my erstwhile in-company students any day. It's always great when I know that my efforts are being appreciated. That said, I could use more students.

The only downside of that tonight though was that I had to cut short my reunion with my former students of 3 years back. It was sure nice seeing them if only for an hour. Hopefully, they will follow through with the promise that we would try to get together again.

I also indulged myself in a rubdown at the neighbourhood massage clinic near my station. It had been about a year since my last visit (my ex was providing the rubdowns during our relationship) but it was nice when the lead guy there recognized me and knew what I always wanted: neck and shoulders. It was also great that he was the one who took care of me; he was always a bit more of the soft touch unlike some of his underlings who believed the more Japanese spartan ethic of pressing til one blacks out.

Well, back to sleep and then an atypical leisurely rise for a Tuesday since I don't have that private class in the morning. Just one class at the school and then I'm back free. But then I'll have to prep myself for the trip to Ichikawa City Hall on Wednesday to inform them I want to pay my taxes from my freelance work. Don't want to end up being caught for tax evasion, after all.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

July 6

A very slow Sunday. Just got up and then spent the rest of the day just lazing about and watching CNN. Not too bad. Only needed to get out to buy dinner from a convenience store 200 m away.

Saturday's kid lesson went better. The texts definitely helped focus the two of us, and instead of having the younger sister (who had to go to a birthday party), I was able to teach the mother who was an avid student in English. Then I had my usual monthly English circle.

I received a call from a blast from the past. It was from a former student of ours a couple of years back when the student body was a few years younger and a good deal more swinging. He asked me for a round of drinking with some of the school Alumni. I can attend for the first hour but then I have to head out for my late class.