Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Wednesday December 15th, 11:06 a.m.

Well, let's see....my dependable watch, which had been running smoothly for the past 2 years, decided to die today. And the knob on my door almost falls off. Hmmm...I wonder if these are omens...with my luck, I'll be on a plane targeted by terrorists or faulty engines.

Tuesday December 14, 9:32 p.m.

Well, just about all packed up and ready to head home. I've got people looking over the apartment, bills have been paid and all the presents are in. I'll be lugging three bags home. In a way, I'm happy that it'll be rainy tomorrow. It'll give me that extra incentive to take a taxi to the nearest Keisei station.

My final event today was the party with the Beehive. Everyone was in pretty good spirits with all of their food and drink. Unfortunately, my two contributions came to naught. I half-destroyed the cork of that wine before the students persuaded me to give up; we'll try again next year, and the package of Fujiya cakes were basically distributed at the very end of the party.

The rest of the day was spent just cleaning the bedroom up, followed by dinner and then packing. I still have to leave a message with GC who will be coming shortly to take care of the place and then iron some clothing. UGH!

Paddy reassured me that he's OK with the restaurant as is. I still think his tone yesterday was fairly immature but I'll let the matter go.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Monday December 13, 9:42 p.m.

Well, my day got off to a somewhat of a bad start. Sure enough, the daily horoscope on the telly said that Libra would have the worst day today. I don't believe in horoscopes and I try to avoid them as much as I can, but my eyes unfortunately caught the very moment when the report went up. My reaction was the usual...my middle finger rose up faster than the sun.

First off, Paddy threw the e-mail equivalent of a pouting fit when he found out that we wouldn't be going to the Texas Longhorn. He said that he'd been looking forward to trying the 72-oz. steak offer; to be honest, it was possible that he may have mentioned it and my sieve-like memory didn't bother to store the information which is the only thing that prevented me from chewing into him. However, I just couldn't believe how uncharacteristically whiny he was...I mean, this is my advisor who steadily helped me with everything from my physical workout to the interior design of my cubby hole. I owe him so much so it was a bit of a shock to see him act this way. After his last e-mail, I just decided not to respond to it. A year ago, I had the same reaction to The Lawyer's multi-claused reason for refusing to come to the Ballerina's goodbye party and I just vented at the Madame via e-mail. Now, I'll just vent here...I don't want to even bother anyone about it. It's all about nothing. I'll wait til tomorrow to see if Paddy sends any more e-mail.

The Entrepreneur didn't get my bile up but he did mention about some of the crime that's been going on in Toronto. And he even sent me the address for the Metro Police Daily Crime Report. What I read was pretty depressing....muggings, swarmings, home invasions and even a few attempted murders. And I'm going back to that. Sure didn't send me off to work in a happy frame of mind.

Then over the day, I thought about the situation some more. Yes, Toronto isn't really the City of Good (if it ever was), but I remember that even during my days living there permanently that there were very much the same types of crimes going on. And I still think that Toronto is a city with one of the lowest crime rates per capita when compared to New York or Los Angeles. Tokyo and Toronto are just two different cities. Tokyo is probably the world city with the lowest crime rate; due to culture, history and multiethnicity, Toronto and just about every other city will never match Tokyo in that department. However, the reports I read are the concentrated summary of a day's crimes involving (however regrettably) a handful of people in a city of 4 million. I will look over my shoulder sensibly at night in a way that I've never really had to do here in my decade-long residence but I've got friends and family looking out for me. As for Paddy, I'll just sleep on it and then I'll send him a polite and sympathetic response telling him what is going to happen on the 19th. If he wants to come, we'll welcome him with open arms; if not, I'll just let him be.

I had my final lessons with the Class Act, SIL and the Company. I got quite a few goodies from the Lady of the House including a bottle of red wine which should come in quite handy for the Beehive Xmas party tomorrow. And I also got some pretty good-sized pickled plums which should keep Dad happy...one of the few times that I'll actually do that. And that wasn't all...the Lady served me lunch again in the form of a very large rice omelette, salad and fruits.

My lesson with SIL was fairly lively. She's gotten into the Korean boom although she's not into any of the major actors. She's actually into a boy band from South Korea...a bit of a revelation considering that she's well into middle age...but hey, anything to remain young at heart.

The Company class was merely OK. The guys slogged through the lesson but basically half of it was nattering in Japanese. I hope the Holidays spruce them up for next year.

After my day was done, I didn't immediately head home but went to Towers to try and complete a request from Egg for some CDs, I was successful in getting two of the three he wanted. I also made a somewhat quixotic attempt to find some Uncle Louis pipe tobacco for The Wild Guy who's been puffing on pipes for the last several years. I tried looking for a tobaccanist in the Hyatt and the Hilton but to no avail. But I'm not really surprised; pipe smoking isn't exactly a big activity here. Most folks are pretty loyal to the usual cigarette.

Got back home in time to see Bill Hemmer at Roppongi Hills. Whaddaya know...he was outside after all. Well, to be honest, I'm kinda glad that I didn't bother heading down. I would've just seen the back of his head. But there was some film footage of him a decade earlier in a hippie head and beard walking throughout the world...revealing considering his current New York preppy style. He strikes me as being the second evolution of John Roberts, heir to the CBS News throne but formerly rock n' roll J.D. Roberts of the New Music. So far, it's been interesting to see him talk about some of his experiences in the Big Sushi so far. He's been focusing on the more traditional parts but I hope he'll also tackle the contemporary aspects as well.

Well, less than 48 hours to go before I take off for home. I'm just gonna enjoy myself at the party tomorrow and then do some final cleaning up.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday December 12, 8:41 p.m.

Coldest day of the year thus far although I think Tuesday may top..or bottom..that. Only reached a grand total of 12 degrees, and it was overcast and slightly damp.

Well, cleaned up everything as best I could except for the bedroom which looks like a closet right now. However, I kept that closed from The Stick's prying eyes and I'll clean that final part up on Tuesday after the party with the Beehive. I picked up The Stick at about 2 and brought her back to my place where we spent 3 hours alternately working on her interview and just chatting. She's an interesting dichotomy...she sometimes come across as this prim n' proper bastion of social conservatism but she often reveals a more rough n' ready tomboyish side to her through her simultaneous talking n' eating and slouching on the sofa.

I have been having a lot of e-mail over the past several hours thanks to those automated replies from the MSN Greeting Card service stating that my e-cards have been picked up by some of the local buddies here, and The Entrepreneur's multiple counterresponses to my own responses. Also, a couple of buddies have been sending me some last-minute requests for stuff. I'll try but I can't promise since I literally don't have time for any more shopping.

Well, I've got my final set of lesson plans for the year done up. All I gotta do now is just whip up some chai powder and that'll be it for me.