Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday October 29, 6:00 p.m.

I swear that one of the great scourges of society is the cold call: giving or getting. Here I was heading into a well-deserved shower after a day out in the city when my phone rings. I thought it was Movie Buddy signaling his arrival but instead it was some high-pitched guy trying to sell ADSL Broadband. Well, with my prejudice against salespeople in general, I waited a few seconds until he stopped for air and then I just mumbled my sumimasens and the fact that I didn't need it and quickly cut off.

My morning at the kids' house went pretty well. I wasn't quite sure if I would be able to fill up the 2 hours with the pumpkin carving. But actually thanks to the Elder's usual slowness and her younger sister's willingness to follow suit, we had no problems filling the time up. It also helped that I padded the time with those two smaller pumpkins as a warmup. In fact, the small ones were more difficult than the one big baby since the girls had a heck of a time trying to cut through the tough rind, and the fact that the size of the pumpkins demanded more finesse in the cutting out of the face and scooping out of the pulp. I also got a glimpse of some of the possible tension between The Elder and the mother. The mother kept insisting to the two girls that they respond in English (a very laudable goal) but The Elder either ignored her or just kept muttering in Japanese. Well with some more coaxing I was able to get some "Yes" or "No" out of her. However, the entire experience ended up with three Jack O'Lanterns lit up and some fun apple bobbing. Of course, Mom was there to capture the scenes with her digital camera. I also got a nice big Japanese pear and financial reimbursement for my troubles.

Well, in a bit of a celebration of sorts, I decided to have my first pai ko tan tan men of the season at Foo Foo in Shinjuku Station. I might wait a bit longer until the temps get cooler though; I was sweating up a storm after having that spicy dish.

I met up with M+M at The Tea Room. It had been quite a while since my last meeting with them. I think it was early summer. The long absence was good in that we had quite a bit to talk about. M1 had her own little trip outside of the country in late September to New Zealand. She even got me a small packet of chocolates as a souvenir. I feel kinda bad about it since I didn't get them anything from Taiwan. M2 dropped some weight due to the rigours of her studies. She was overly magnanimous by returning the same compliment back to me.

The rains started falling just some 100 m from my home so I made a trot back up to the apartment. After getting that annoying cold call, I did get a call from MB stating that he was about to leave for my area. That was almost an hour ago so I should be expecting the doorbell to ring in about 15 minutes. I've got the Domino's Pizza pamphlet ready to go.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Saturday October 29, 7:01 a.m.

Well, that George Takei-is-gay news has filtered into It was over on all the other news sites so initially I thought the main source for all things Trek may have been avoiding the issue. I checked out one Trek BBS...looks like there is quite a heated discussion going on there.

I should know better...I ended up doing Solicrosses in bed for several minutes. I got up pretty darn groggy. The coffee has saved me but I can predict that I may be rather sleepy come M+M time. I can only hope that the kind owner at The Tea Room will suggest something extra caffeinated.

Movie Buddy will be an hour later than stated for DVD night. It'll give me some time to do some last-minute cleaning up. Not sure how we'll handle dinner though. Maybe it'll be takeout pizza although we're planning to head for Fujimamas on Sunday morning for their brunch. MB was able to get a couple of Denzel Washington movies although the titles he mentioned are perhaps the English and Japanese titles of the same movie. I made this point out to MB so I hope he'll check it out. I'm rather surprised that he decided to go for Denzel since he wasn't too impressed with the last one by him we saw here, "The Manchurian Candidate". In any case, it'll be good to catch up with him. I haven't seen him for well over a month.

I guess that the Doctor is finally back in. "Doctor Who" managed to walk off with a whole slew of TV awards in jolly ol' England. Chris Eccleston made his presence well known by his absence. Just about everyone else appeared. I'll be interested over the years to know what he really thought of his short tenure as everyone's favourite Time Lord.
Friday October 28, 10:50 p.m.

Forgot to mention that as a Trekkie, I got a bit of a surprise from The Doctor. He sent me an article which stated that George "Mr. Sulu" Takei finally came out of the closet after 68 years. Man, makes me wonder how much he really liked Captain Kirk.
Friday October 28, 10:20 p.m.

Did my round around Tokyo. Picked up the pumpkins and headed on out to the kids' house. The mother was actually home so I left the stuff there to lighten my load. Then it was off to the Starbucks again to see The OL. Looks like everything is back on schedule with her.

I'm currently watching "Payback", an interesting film noir with Mel Gibson. Good for a Friday night. But gotta get in early since I've got to head to the kids early as well.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Friday October 28, 1:32 p.m.

Called up Immigration since after more than 2 weeks, that damned postcard still hadn't come. The guy who answered wasn't an automatic answering service, not even a Japanese official, but someone who had a distinctly non-Japanese accent....probably a good thing for government public relations. When I told him about my worries, he reassured me that at the very earliest, it would take about 2 to 3 weeks to process the documents. And he said even though my visa expires next week, since I've got the "in process" stamp in my passport, I shouldn't expect any police to come to my door to give me a ride to Narita. I guess the stress has been rather hard on me; after I got off the phone, I let go of a very deep and ragged breath.

The Teacher had an interesting article for discussion today. It was on Charles Jenkins, the US defector to North Korea. She not only had read the article but also saw the special interview on "60 Minutes" with him. She also pointed out that the approaches between the Japanese and US media when it came to Jenkins were different. Here in Japan, Jenkins is seen by association as a sympathetic figure if not folk hero due to his marriage to Hitomi Soga, one of the Japanese abductees. But he is also on the sidelines with his wife taking somewhat centre stage. I say somewhat since the chief abductee still hasn't been returned yet, and in fact may be long dead. Megumi Yokota, a bare teen when she was kidnapped by North Korea in the late 70s, still casts a long shadow in the news when it comes to the abductee issue. Her parents are still lobbying Koizumi very heavily (although the media has gone onto other things for the past several weeks if not months) to throw economic sanctions against the totalitarian regime.

Of course, in the United States, Sergeant Jenkins is seen as the worst kind of scum: a traitor and deserter. I think only a child molester/killer would get more things spat at him. When the news was still fresh over there, the glare of the media was solely on Jenkins with Soga and their two daughters very much off to the side. In fact, I think several of the reports never even mentioned Soga by name.

The article we looked at described some of the harrowing and horrific conditons that Jenkins had endured: getting beaten within an inch of his life for sassing at his North Korean minder, getting an American tattoo sliced off his body without any anaesthetic, and having to flush his toilet by hand. I know that there are many miltiary vets who would be more than happy to throw him back into the stockade for the rest of his life for what he did, and certainly I do not condone his desertion since when he decided to cross the border, he left his squad by the DMZ. However, if what I read in the article is just a fraction of what he went through for forty years, then I think Jenkins paid more than his pound of flesh. 40 years! The man was going through totalitarian hell for the same amount of time I've been on this earth. It's amazing that he's been alive this long.

Another interesting point is that Jenkins has had to catch up with much of history. He hadn't been aware that computers are now in almost every US home (he probably was still accustomed to the room-sized behemoth versions with vacuum tubes), he didn't know what a Big Mac was, he was floored to know that African-Americans could hold positions in the police force and women more or less freely could serve in the military, and I'm sure he was rather chagrined to find out that smokers are becoming a pariah species. The man is truly a Rip Van Winkle; in fact, I'd say that he even looks like him without the long white beard. He's a tragic figure although he now has a decent life with a family in Japan.

Well, it's obvious that I haven't gone anywhere to kill time before buying the pumpkins. But I needed to find out about my status with Immigration. It's just as well...I bought some breaded chicken fillets, instant rice and a salad. Only cost me a little over 650 yen...more than a Big Mac set but much cheaper than what the lunch sets go for in this burg. And I can get some laundry done since it's a nice day out. I'll probably take off in another 90 minutes or so.
Friday October 28, 10:01 a.m.

Well, just cleaned up as much as I could around the apartment in preparation for Movie Buddy's semi-annual reservation. I can say it's tidy if still cluttered.

I've got The Teacher for her usual lesson in about an hour. And then I pick up the pumpkins later in the afternoon to take over to the kids' house. Except for the transport of the gourds themselves, this ought to be the easiest prep work I've had to do for Halloween in the past number of years. The mother said that she has everything that I would need to get a proper carving done. The only thing is that I'll have quite a few hours to kill between the lesson and the transport. And then it ought to be a relatively easy ride from the kids' house for The OL tonight.
Thursday October 27, 9:00 p.m.

Looks like the weather took a turn for the better. The afternoon had the sun blazing into the windows before I went out. The two sisters were their usual diligent selves. I ended up having dinner at the neighbourhood Lotteria's (a homegrown hamburger shop) although I broke the daily budget and probably my calorie intake but I knew that my stomach would have been yelling bloody murder at me for the time up to tomorrow morning if I hadn't eaten something. I was thinking about ramen but I decided not to go that far.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Thursday October 27, 11:46 a.m.

Raining on and off. It was enough though to soak through my sneakers so I'm gonna have to change socks and shoes for the lessons today. I'll probably have to Lysol the running shoes as well. I had the same button-down guy for my massage that I had the last time. Again, he was very considerate and polite in his sporadic running commentary on my back along with his asking if he were being a little too pushy.

Currently watching the 7th inning of Game 4 of The World Series on NHK-1. One of the perks of having the schedule I do is that I can sometimes catch things like these instead of having to wonder about them at work. Looks like it's a nailbiter right now with a scoreless tie. This series between The Houston Astros and The Chicago White Sox could emulate how The Japan Series went. Of course, the main reason that the World Series is showing live is because of Iguchi of the Sox. However, even his presence cannot stop the need to show the weather and news since that is what is showing now. In fact, it won't get back to the game until 12:20...we could already be into the 9th inning by that time!

As for the aftermath of The Japan Series, one nice thing about it is that even if there is a loser and a winner on the field, the shopping public all win. There's of course the victory sales at the department stores which have some sort of affiliation with The Lotte Marines but a lot of the establishments in Osaka are now having consolation sales. One doesn't need to cry into their beer anymore; the non-alcoholics can cry into their wallets.
Thursday October 27, 8:04 a.m.

Back up again. The media is still buzzing around The Marines' win last night. Well, that's good considering it's pretty miserable outside. I heard a major downpour sometime overnight. However, it seems that Fuji-TV is now gnashing at another bone. And its name is Queen. The geriatric band arrived in Tokyo last night and ironically moved the clock back, according to some satisfied customers, some 30 years. The "new" lead singer looked like he coughed up a few lungs getting through the songs but there really is only one Freddie Mercury.

Gonna get some cleaning up done here before I take a shower and then head on out to the clinic to get my back loosened up.
Thursday October 27, 12:27 a.m.

Well, Chiba is probably the happiest prefecture in Japan right now. A couple of entries ago, I mentioned that perhaps The Lotte Marines lost Game 3. Well, so much for my pathetic fortune telling abilities. They not only creamed The Hanshin Tigers 10-1 in that game, but they won an actual close game last night thereby clinching The Japan Series in one big sweep. Bobby Valentine has now become the very first foreign-born manager to capture a Japan Series ring, and his team has won all the marbles for the first time in 31 years. Not surprisingly, NHK showed a whole bunch of scenes of very happy and drunk Chibans carousing in a bar. And Fuji-TV was just showing the inevitable champagne showers and baths on the players. Gonna be interesting what the next few days locally will be like.

Had my two lessons at Speedy's tonight. 001 was a bit more tired tonight but still great work by her. And 003 was more settled after her turbulent first lesson due to the impromptu tremor. Speedy is hoping for good results concerning my immigration. He was quite quick in getting a potential student for Mondays from November now that I'll be having my final lesson with The Company next week. I'm certainly hoping that I'll get that postcard from Immigration soon.

Looks like I've been getting more messages from out of the woodwork today. Yesterday it was that e-mail from The Den Mother. Now I got a letter from a teacher from the old school that I hadn't heard nor seen in several months inviting me to his birthday party. I'm not sure how he got my address although I suspect someone like The Coffeemaker. Hmm...I'll have to think about that one.

I read on The Stick's blog that her birthday was coming up (and here I thought it was on September 1st). She said her family has never celebrated birthdays aside from saying "Happy Birthday!". Well, if that's the way it has been for her, then she probably wouldn't care very much about them now. However, I still think it's a pity that she hasn't had anything done about it. Well, this is a job for Haruhiko. I may be clinically depressed about a number of things right now but I haven't completely forgotten about people.

Later today, I have to not only get the lesson plans done for the sisters, New Yorker and Carolinan, but I also have to clean up my pigsty since Movie Buddy will probably be crashing here on Saturday night. I won't have anytime to do it on Friday or Saturday morning since I'll be out at work.

Gotta get some sleep...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Wednesday October 26, 9:06 a.m.

It's gonna be a rather cool day in The Big Sushi. Only up to 18 C. But I'd think The Barmaiden and 002 would greet 18 C as gloriously warm considering where they are right now. I've been having some problems with my allergies...or is it a cold?...lately. It's certainly an indicator that the seasons are changing. The cold has been tearing through the population including a few of my students.

The kids' mother contacted me to say that I can bring the pumpkins up to their house on the eve of the carving. Although I relayed to her my concerns that the carving wouldn't need 2 hours, she reassured me that I can just go on with that and not worry about any particular need to actually teach something. I'm sure the sullen Elder wouldn't mind that at all. But just in case, I will pick up a few more smaller gourds to keep the kids busy.

I've also heard from The Den Mother for the first time in a couple of months. She has made that proposal for another dinner with some of her old classmates from the ol' school for sometime in late November.

I don't know how Game 3 of The Japan Series went although the ambient buzz seems to be that The Hanshin Tigers probably won that game. If The Lotte Marines had won, there would have been some sort of coverage on the game. But I shall check.

Last night, when I was on my way to the juku, I saw this rather odd cloud formation off in the west. It looked suspiciously like one of those earthquake clouds. Considering that we've had a sizable tremor a week for the past couple of weeks, I will be taking care.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tuesday October 25, 1:11 p.m.

I guess the season of gassho konkuuru is back with us. Exqueeze me? Bakin' your powder? The term means song contest, and apparently all of the junior and senior high schools are getting their kids together in choruses and having them practice folk and classical songs like the Polish "Moldau", and Japanese favourites such as "Tsubasa Wo Kudasai" (Give Me Your Wings) and "American Feeling" (a song made famous by the Japanese version of the Manhattan Transfer, Circus). The choruses then compete against each other in regional and prefectural interschool contests. On the JET Programme millions of years ago, I was privy to the eternal practice sessions while I was in the teachers' room and I even got to attend one of the contests one day. Well, it got me out of the school.

It's a rather interesting observation about the schools here being so interested in having the students rev up their singing ability. It can explain their innate interest in karaoke although it still doesn't explain why a good bunch of these J-Pop singers are so mediocre. Then again, the J-Pop singers start their careers pretty early...I guess they missed out on the music teacher cussing them out. In any case, I saw one large group of students singing outside of Tsudanuma Station on my way to The Beehive and then on my way home, I heard the choruses from the schools near my apartment.

The Beehive was just the oldtimers this morning. Both Tulip and Perth were away. In fact, I ran into the latter on the walk over to the class. She's off to some exhibit at Roppongi Hills. Kinda wonder if she'l run into some celebs there since The Tokyo International Film Festival is on. At class, I was happy that noone asked me about my visa situation. I'm getting a little edgy. It's been over 10 days now since I went down to Shinagawa. I mean, there shouldn't be anything to worry about since I have that processing stamp in my passport. One year, I actually was in the country past the expiry date of a previous visa but since I had the stamp I was OK. Still, waiting for that postcard is a bit nervewracking.

I had lunch at the kaiten sushi place under my station since it'd been a while since my last visit. The chef and the waitress recognized me since they thanked me for always patronizing their establishment but the waitress still went into painstaking detail to explain how I use the point card.

Tonight's Game 3 of The Japan Series between The Chiba Lotte Marines and The Hanshin Tigers. This time, they're over in Koshien Stadium in the Kansai. I'd say that The Tigers had better win tonight or it's all over. This can-do team, though, has a knack of coming back in the clutch or at least making things interesting. But even if The Tigers pull off a minor miracle and win the Series, downtown Osaka still loses. If they win or lose , the emotionally charged Osakan young toughs will probably lay waste to the city centre.

As for me, I still have my juku to teach at.
Tuesday October 25, 7:34 a.m.

We're due for another nice day today although things may be going downhill from tomorrow, so another load of laundry to get out of the way before then.

I had mentioned to one of the students last week about The Tokyo International Film Festival and its arrival in November. Well, oh, goofy me. TIFF started this past weekend. Who knew? There was the footage of all these Japanese stars walking up the red carpet in Roppongi Hills. It was an interesting observation of cultural differences as the media tried to get a few words from the approaching celebs. Over in Hollywood on Oscar night, the celebs there are more than happy to strut their fashion stuff. Over here, most of the local stars just said one word: Hazukashii desu. (I'm embarrassed). I guess Western-style glitz and glamour are still developing.

I mentioned that The Company was celebrating 10 years in the business. Well, a cultural icon is celebrating its 60th year. That would be the venerable anime, Sazae-san. Starting all the way back in wartime Japan as a simple 4-frame newspaper comic strip, Sazae-san is the lighter, secular version of "Davey and Goliath" (remember that old Sunday claymation series?). It's about this devoted housewife and mother, Sazae-san, and the little foibles of life that involve her day to day. Like her, the rest of her family is named after varieties of fish. Even her hairstyle is reminiscent of the fins of one. For decades, the comic strip has turned into a successful cartoon which shows every Sunday night at 6:30 on Fuji-TV. Admittedly, it's a rose-coloured picture of an inner-city neighbourhood that probably never was: the most controversial I had ever seen an episode get was when the usually loving Sazae-san and her loving hubby, Masuo, end the show in the middle of a marital spat. No Shibuya drugs, no teenage prostitution, no psychotic attacks on kids. And yet, the show is still a very welcome attraction on the TV scene if the weekly ratings are to believed. It's kinda nice to know that people can still use a show to have dinner with or use as a wistful benchmark to realize that the weekend is almost over.
Monday October 24, 9:21 p.m.

Last week, I almost regretted having to quit The Company but I was vindicated after tonight's lesson. Not that it was a bust or anything but I just got the feeling that it was a good time to go. Strangely enough, The Company apparently celebrated its 10th anniversary; I saw some flowers with labels stating that fact. I congratulated The Prez. He invited me before the lesson just to go over some final things. I got the impression he wouldn't be there next week for the final lesson. He gave the usual 3rd-degree but he wasn't being mean; it's just his usual way of one-to-one communication.

If it's a Monday in October, then Anderson Cooper is in the middle of another hurricane. Yup, I turned on CNN tonight when I got home and there he was with another hurricane veteran, John Zarrella, trying to hold on and show their intrepidness in over-120 km winds. Sorry, but it just seemed so surreal hearing "severe weather expert" Chad Myers talking while four different screens were showing Cooper and Zarrella, two other views of Wilma and then Miles O'Brien also facing his own tempest. Chad was reassuring us that those guys weren't trying to be cowboys, but I saw the look on Anderson's face...he had a pretty vicious grin. Then again, I would if I knew I were gonna be making a mint from my memoirs. All that's missing is one of the red-parka crew yelling the hurricane's name and then "The Flintstones" theme coming on.

I got another message from The Barmaiden from Toronto. She and 002 went to see a Raptors game at Air Canada Centre. The game was pretty boring, apparently, until the 3rd quarter when things got a bit livelier. Barmaiden was remarking on how hydrogen-cold it's been getting in The Big Smoke. And it's only October there. I guess it's just as well that she's returning in early December.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Monday October 24, 12:25 p.m.

Interesting thing that it's now just 2 months before Xmas Eve, and I'm posting this statement at this time (look carefully).

It's been another good day so far. I just made the lesson plans for the penultimate class at The Company. Shouldn't be too bad today since the last chapter deals with how to describe Japanese dishes in English to a foreign guest. I sent off the latest package to The Anime King. I was happy that the postal worker sent it as a small packet thereby saving me a good deal of money.

I actually got a letter from GC for the first time in a long time. Looks like he's been busy getting ready for his annual Halloween party with his kids. Thanks to his graphic design background, he's been able to pull off some impressive costumes. Aside from my own pumpkin carving with the kids on Saturday, I won't be doing anything for Halloween with anyone else this year, the first time in several years that I'll be holding back on this holiday. I was looking back at my entries for this time last year and two years ago. It brought back some memories reading about all the trips to Omotesando's Kiddyland and Kinokuniya for all sorts of Halloween goodies and costumes. Well, I'll still head over to Omotesando to pick up the pumpkins at least. I have to coordinate with the mother to see if I can actually bring the pumpkins straight from the store to her house a day before the festivities. I don't think the carving will actually take the two hours so I still want to prepare something...still on the Halloween theme, though.
Sunday October 23, 8:40 p.m.

It was a good foodie day today. I was waiting at the Yurakucho Mullion when Skippy and then OA showed up. When The Madame joined us a few minutes later, the four of us went to our first destination, Tenryu, this Chinese restaurant that Skippy has been raving about due to its scrumptious gyoza. It took us a few minutes to track down but we found it on the eastern end of Ginza.

Tenryu didn't look like any of these really gaudily ornamented Chinese emporiums with gold dragons that would be at home in one of the world's most expensive neighbourhoods. It was on a side street off the main drag and it appeared no different from the thousands of modest two-floor Chinese establishments that are scattered everywhere in areas from Ikebukuro to Asakusa.

However, Skippy wasn't exaggerating when she told me about the gyoza. These were pretty humoungous affairs as gyoza go. An average dumpling is the length of an index finger and almost twice as thick. Tenryu's gyoza was easily twice the length and just as thick. Good golly...and they were juicy! I could also compare them to the sho ron po dumplings, which are supposed to be juicy, that The Madame and I had had in Taiwan. My first bite into one dumped a lot of juice into the small plate of soy sauce, vinegar and chili oil. I wouldn't make the same error twice. Great choice of restaurant, Skippy. Not surprisingly, the restaurant is represented at The Gyoza Museum in Ikebukuro.

And we didn't just order the gyoza. We also had moist scrambled eggs with shrimp, sweet n' sour pork and fried rice. Dem's good eatin'. The Kid came by some minutes later but just before the dishes came out en masse. He was sporting a full suit which he didn't quite fit; he rather reminded me of David Byrne of The Talking Heads in that oversized white suit. He had just finished his stint in his own juku. I ended up having the lion's share of the gyoza since The Madame of course couldn't finish her share and even The Kid called uncle. I think that was about 10 dumplings which ended up going down my craw. I was quite stuffed. And yet, we still ordered some almond pudding for dessert. This is definitely one place that I'll have to come to again.

After paying the refreshingly low price, the five of us strolled down Chuo Dori since it was Sunday which meant the street was closed off to vehicular traffic. We noticed a large number of the canine population was out with their masters. We ended up searching for a cafe which took us up the Shiodome Carreta Building all the way to the 47th floor. This was a bit of an adrenaline rush since the elevator sped up almost as quickly as that lift in the Taipei 101 and it was glass-encased so we could see ourselves being lifted up into the heavens. Not good for my latent fear of heights. Couldn't find a cafe up there although we did enjoy the great view of the Tokyo Bay area. So we went back down. As we were leaving the builidng, there was a mini-concert of some songstress singing some 70s ballads on a synth outside. Not bad...I'd probably buy her CD.

I was quite happy to find out that three of my favourite eateries were located all together beside the new NTV complex just a few hundred metres away. Branches of The Doughnut Plant, Hansens and Tullys were all there calling my name. Another piece of information to store away. The tables were almost all occupied but we managed to get one by The Doughnut Plant so we opted for some of the copcakes there. I bought a Valrhona Chocolate and two Cinnamon Lattes for The Madame and I to share (she seems to have gotten into the habit of munching off some of my purchases). The next few hours would be spent talking about the old days back at the school, and about The Kid's adventures in California.

Once the sun went down, we decided to call it an early night so we saw Skippy off. But the four of us remaining made a half-hour stop at Sony Plaza. Sony Plaza is one of these chains that seems to be part-cosmetics shop and part-doodads store. We saw plenty of stuff for the women but also there were plenty of Peanuts and Barbapapa goods. And of course with Halloween just around the corner, those goods were also well represented. It ended up bieng basically a browsing operation with only The Madame picking up a nail file.

Then, The Kid and OA took off for another store while The Madame and I went off for home on the Yamanote Line. On the loop, The Madame asked me whether I thought The Kid and OA were going out. I think they were just friends but it was a rather ironic question since I'm sure they must have been thinking the same thing when it came to us. Well, good heavens...what were they to think of us sharing food? I posed this counter-question to The Madame for which I got a no comment look. Hm...I see I'm gonna have to remain patient. It was a good day though.

Got home and checked the e-mail. The OL is good for December 3 for that next outing with Betty Boop for Vietnamese. M+M have also confirmed their next session.

The Chiba Lotte Marines have taken a pretty hefty lead in The Japan Series. At back-to-back games at Chiba Marine Stadium, Bobby Valentine's boys have won the first two games over The Hanshin Tigers, including a 10-0 shellacking tonight. If The Tigers are trying to show their reputation as underdogs, they have done a great job so far. I kinda wonder what kind of reception they'll get once they return to Osaka for the next few games. Knowing Osakans, the fans will give them a verbal lashing for screwing up. On the other side of the Paciifc, The White Sox have taken a 1-0 lead in The World Series. This is notable for the Japanese here since one of their own, Tadahiro (?) Iguchi is in the lineup. If The White Sox actually win the championship, Iguchi will have accomplished something that Hideki Matsui and the great Ichiro are still waiitng for.

How appropriate after the culinary delights of today that the show I'm watching is TV Tokyo's eating contest. Oy vey!