Friday, November 14, 2003

Friday Nov. 14, 8:36 p.m.

Another week over without much incident. With another payday and therefore budget sorting, I just managed to save a miniscule amount. I'm not complaining too much, though; as long as I'm saving something, I'm satisfied. Heck, even before I started budgeting on my Excel, I think I probably went minus a few times.

I officially announced that I would be spending my Holidays here in Japan due to my passport situation. Well, I figure that alternating between cities year by year isn't a bad thing. I may be able to save a bit more money when I do go back home. Plus, I've got people visiting in December anyways so it won't be too lonely.

The usual bureaucratic annoyance has come to my door. My rental company sent me an official letter stating tha t my due date for this month's rent is the 25th. It came in a soberly gray envelope with terseness. I've been faithfully sending in my rent every month for nearly 10 years and I get treated like a blip.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Monday Nov. 10, 9:59 p.m.

Nice quiet day today as I just had only one lesson. Afterwards, I came home and tried out the new kaiten sushi place at last. There was less variety in terms of the price levels of plates, but at least a lot of my favorites were scaled at one of the lower prices. So I just paid over 500 yen less than what I would have paid at its predecessor. Mind you, I did have to sit next to a boorish middle-aged Japanese guy.

Speaking of geriatrics, it looks like I've finally found out what that newly remodeled dormitory is going to end up as. It will become an old folks' home. Well, in my neighbourhood of international families and younger folks, this ought to shake up the demographics somewhat.

Tomorrow should be another busy day: 9 hours of classes!
Monday Nov. 10, 9:45 p.m.

Nice quiet Monday for a change. I just had my Monday morning students and that's all she wrote. Just came home and tried out the new kaiten sushi place for the first time. The price gradations are fewer but almost all of the sushi that I enjoy are grouped in one of the cheaper plates, so I actually paid over 500 yen less than I did with its predecessor. I had to sit next to one of those typically boorish middle aged piece of crust, though.

Basically, the rest of the day was just finishing off the last of the B5 DVDs that I had borrowed from Chip Guy. A good way to spend a chilly and rainy day.

Apparently, the British Royal Family has been trying to stave off another scandal which has all the signs of being on the level of Diana's death. The coverage has been intriguing. All this media scrum about something that will not be revealed. Well, according to my students today, the big scandal is that Prince Charles may be playing for the other team, if you know what I mean, which would of course cause a rather embarrassing problem when it came to succession.

One of the staff left a message on the machine asking me for a possible teaching gig at an Intensive for METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). Well, I don't do useless Intensives anymore, and if the fisrt METI earlier this year was any indication, then I won't do it. Besides, I've got my private classes now, so I couldn't do it even if I wanted to.

Well, the election results for Koizumi weren't nearly as bad for him. Still, he lost some power so now probably, there will be even more consternation in the Diet. Not great for us.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Sunday Nov. 9, 11:48 p.m.

Just came home to find out that Koizumi's showing wasn't all that good in the Lower House elections. It looks like that the elections have elicited enough attention to merit an English track coverage on NHK.

I spent about 7 hours with The Madame today. I met her outside of Yurakucho Mullion, and then we went out to an Italian cafe, La Vita Belle Pace, for an hour. The whole purpose of the meet was to discuss about teaching methodology since she's been training to become a teacher of Japanese, and then it would be off to listen to some jazz. Well, true to my form, things ended up rather the opposite. We spent a mere fraction of the time on academic talk and the jazz place that she was talking about was closed since it was located in City Hall. In fact, the entire hotel district was dead. So we ended up going to the Century Hyatt for dinner.
Most of our conversation, in fact, just dealt with the usual gossip surrounding our group of friends. It was interesting that we could just gab on this for almost a third of a day, but it may signify how close we've become in our friendship. I'm still not quite sure what our future is together...will we stay good friends or will we jump into something closer? We did a bit of skirting around the issue by issuing a joint statement that neither of us are particularly all that eager to get married at all. And in all honesty, I rather enjoy our relationship as it is right now. We're in no hurry. In any case, the next Sunday will be one of a more rural nature as we head out to Hakone for a little walkabout.

It looks increasingly more likely that I'll probably be sticking around here for the Holidays. I'm appraoching mid-November and there hasn't been any progress on my passport thing, and I would think that air tickets home for the Holidays are now pretty scarce. I've warned my family about this, and they seem to be taking it in stride. I'll probably head home in the Spring. In any case, it looks like I'll be busy with visitations from friends and even perhaps my brother in December. I've even asked The Madame if she would accompany me to the annual Xmas party at my rich student's house.