Friday, December 12, 2003

Friday Dec. 12, 11:28 p.m.

Well, I guess I'm supposed to deserve one annoyance a week. Last week, it was that drunken student. Now this week, it was a friend of mine who came over from Canada tonight. He basically stood me up at Shibuya Station for 2.5 hours thus ruining my evening which would have consisted of meeting Chip Guy for a nice steak dinner at the Outback. Instead, after my long wait at the ticket gates, I just stomped on home and had a half-can of Pringles Sour Cream & Onion...perfect for my mood. I realize that his plane was probably delayed or that he got stuck going through Immigration and Customs because of the heightened security at the airports this week, but checking my phone messages, he just asked me to stay there, and that he would get to the gates by 9 p.m. at the latest. Well, I ended up staying until sign of him. I got home and found out that there was an additional message from him stating that he felt that it was too late to come down and that I should call him for a re-meet. All I will do is let him sweat. I have his concert tickets for which he owes me 22,500 yen. If he really wants them, he'll have to be on his hands and knees.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I have to hit the hay within the next thirty minutes because I'll be heading out the door in 8 hours to meet my brother for breakfast in Shinagawa, and then I have to head over to a Xmas party in Urayasu which I really don't want to attend, and then I'm back with my brother fo r dinner. I'll get a chance to crash in his suite before I head on out on Sunday for another round of Movie Buddy-ism.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Thursday Dec. 11, 11:29 a.m.

I received a call from Movie Buddy. We haven't talked in a few weeks due to various things: he was off in Okinawa for a week, I've hardly been at the school, etc. So we had a good talk while I was lounging in my futon. Up until a few weeks ago, I had been out of the house at the crack of dawn to take care of the oil company class but since it's all over, I can actually sleep until whenever I want to get up. We just did the usual chat on movies and analyzed MATRIX REVOLUTIONS to death. We both agreed that there won't or shouldn't be a 4th one.

We also had a talk on the upcoming Xmas party he's holding on the 24th. It looks like things are further gelling on the social calendar. In that week, I've got three outings, the Xmas Eve do, the Xmas date with The Madam and then a farewell part y for the Ballerina planned by The Madam on the 27th. Considering that I've put myself on holidays for the last two weeks, it'll be a good drain on my account, but I figure if I'm going to spend my hard-easrned yen on something, it might as well be with good friends.

Not that week is going to be a social desert either. I'll be meeting with Chip Guy and another friend from Canada tomorrow night for dinner. In fact, Friday will be a very full day. I've got to get my hair cut in the morning, then meet Movie Buddy for lunch and have my regular Friday lesson before I head out for dinner. Then, the next day will be busy with my brother for breakfast and dinner. Plus, I've got a wedge of time in which I have to attend my juku's Xmas party with me as Kris Kringle once again. And then Sunday will be the final Movie Buddy outing of the year with me catching NEMO with The Madam and a few others.

However, one thing did get knocked off my schedule. I was supposed to have met The Iconoclast for a cake buffet today at the Hilton but it looks like there will be a party at the Marble Lounge, so we've agreed to put it off until the 18th. Which means that I'm here at the homestead today. Not a bad thing considering tomorrow's full schedule. However, there's a slight chance that my brother may call up with the opportunity for dinner. Most likely, his minders will be taking him out for dinner. Might as well just enjoy the day and catch up on some crosswords and DS9 DVDs.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Wed. Dec. 10, 12:06 a.m.

Sure feels like a Toronto winter night out there. Threw on the full scarf, sweater and jacket fos the walk to the juku.

Looks like my services for restaurants have come into play once more. The Madam is having some trouble looking for a venue for a farewell party for one of her old classmates. Could be a bit tough finding a place during peak party time on the 27th. We may have to use all of our resources: the Net, friends and magazines.

My brother called to say that he probably won't be available for the weeknights since some of the local brass here wants to take him out for dinner. Ah, well. It is a business trip after all. However, Saturday is still open. And in any case, I still plan to meet up with Chip Guy and one other on Friday.

Looks like Koizumi has pulled the trigger and decided to send the troops to Iraq. Although the mission is a humanitarian one, there are the twin points that Iraq is a maelstrom of violence and the Constitution's Article 7. There was a full court press with all of the major TV stations giving live coverage of the press conference. There will be a maelstrom of debate in the coming days. And that isn't all. As soon as the announcement was made, the government went on high terrorist alert by throwing a huge security blanket over Narita and Haneda airports. I can only hope that nothing comes out of this. Bin Laden has already pinpointed Japan as an enemy state.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Monday Dec. 8, 11:48 p.m.

Whew! Just got through an unusually high amount of useful mail. Instead of the usual paltry 10% of the good stuff, my ratio was up to 25% tonight.

Much of the mail dealt with filling up the month's social calendar. I have another dinner tacked on for the 27th, my Xmas dinner with the Madam has been confirmed, and it looks like I'll be meeting my brother at least once later this week. He arrived in Japan for the first time in 21 years on a business trip. So after work, I raced down to the rejuvenated hotel district of Shinagawa and picked him up from the Pacific Meridian and took him out for some tonkatsu. He looked appropriately bleary-eyed since like me, he can never sleep on planes. And he had a 13-hour flight. We did the usual talk about home, family and friends. It's ironic that he's staying in Shinagawa since on his last trip as a kid a couple of decades previously, he just stayed at the Takanawa Prince Hotel, just up the street. If everything goes well, I'll meet up with him again later in the week with Chip Guy for dinner and perhaps a little tour of the town. I've also got another friend coming in on Friday so we could all be linking up on the weekend.

The day consisted of two lessons. My rich students were fine as usual. I was even introduced to the newest member of the family for one of them...a large Golden Retriever puppy. In between lessons, I did some more shopping...calendars of course. Then, I went to my friend's company for their class. Unfortunately, I got snogged into another tense interpretation session between my friend and his president. This was absolutely not what I wanted before a class. Basically, my friend has decided to chuck his life and job in Japan since he's basically had enough of the system here. Hey, if one is miserable, why continue the misery? His boss was still trying to convince him otherwise til the bitter end, but it looks like it's a done deal.

Thankfully, tomorrow will be a virtually free day outside of the regular Tuesday night stint at the juku, so at least I can relax a bit after an all-day session today.