Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wednesday July 19, 10:18 p.m.

Well, my whole day for Speedy is almost at a close. I had my second wind with 001. She always manages to brighten up the room with her sense of humour. And then I had my special student for his intensive to prepare for his trip to Oz. It'll be his first time overseas so he's pretty giddy. He's a lot lower than 001 but he's got the incentive to pick up the language.

Despite the fact that I'm paying the extra premiums, I'm somewhat buoyed by the fact that I may be getting some more students to help balance things out a bit even though we're hitting August...which is traditionally the O-Bon holiday season here. For instance, Speedy has gotten me another model lesson for next week and it looks like my two Saturdays a month will be guaranteed with classes as well. And The OL will be doing a special temporary with me while school's out for her for the summer....along with her sister, The UL.

And with that, I bid you a good night.
Wednesday July 19, 4:09 p.m.

Man, I hope I don't have to do too many of those crosstown round trips like I did today. Mind you, it didn't help that it was raining an entire pet store on the way there. After my session with that EIC student, I had to race out all the way to my neck of the woods to teach 002 for her weekly home lesson. I hadn't realized that the Toei Shinjuku Line could be so filled with stations so the local line was really poky. With the transfer to the Keisei Line, the one-way trip over there took 90 minutes. I took the express back but it basically turned out the same way. So I had a 3-hour trip for a 1-hour lesson. And I still gotta do 001 and a new temporary for his upcoming trip to Oz.

As for "Mission: Impossible 3" the other day after that little unneeded adventure over lunch, was an OK movie. As MB likes to put it, if you like to turn your brain off for a couple of hours, you should enjoy it. Aside from the title and theme music, the third outing of the intrepid Ethan Hunt was about as far away from the original series as the original series was from a Rambo movie. I don't ever recall Jim Phelps, Rollin Hand or Cinnamon Carter ever ducking missiles and firing automatic weapons. Then again, I certainly didn't expect to see Felicity firing any sort of weapon or having the Mother of All Migraines kill her. I guess I couldn't turn off my brain completely since I didn't seem to enjoy it as much as the others did (that little confrontation between MB and The Madame still bothered me); it was better than the over-Wooed M:I 2 but M:I 3 still suffered from an acute case of 80s Rambo/Terminator Envy...rather glaringly so since the original series depended so much on stealth and style. Still, there was a bit of the old stuff in the middle of the movie when the current team was doing its snatch n' grab of the bad guy in The Vatican. (Why would The Vatican be the place for a fancy tea party? Ah, I'm brain was still on.)

After the gunfest, the five of us stepped out and met Skippy outside the theatre. She hadn't joined us since she'd already seen the flick for free with another friend. She was there to escort us to yet another destination on the Great Burger Tour. This time, our motley crew journeyed on the Chuo Line to Nakano. The burger place was not too far away from the station although it felt longer since the heat and humidity was oppressive. It was called Zatsu Burger, another one of those small places tucked in a side street. I did go again for the biggest burger on the list but this time I had an assist from both Skippy and The Madame. So, basically I actually just had a smaller burger this time around. It was good, though, with the avocado salad and home fries.

After dinner, we took a little run into Nakano Sun Plaza on the other side of the station. Nakano Sun Plaza is one of the landmark arcade malls which populate certain sectors of Tokyo. They strike me as being a little quaint since nowadays, we've become accustomed to the megamalls of Odaiba or Makuhari Messe. NSP is also famous since it's the home of Mandarake, the otaku haven for all things anime, manga and figurine. Skippy being our resident otaku was more than happy to take us along for a bit of a tour although The Madame was more bemused than amused. I would've been happier to take a further look but instead, we only looked at the one floor and then just headed to a nearby cafe for some coffee and dessert before finally splitting up at the station. Lucky it was Nakano Station since I only had to hop on the Tozai for home.

The week has had its ups and downs. Monday was a national holiday: Marine particularly significant thing....just another reason for the government to plunk a day off in an empty month. Tuesday was another busy one because of The Beehive, The Teacher and then the juku classes. Luckily they were all quite pleasant. However, from next week I'll be making that slow transition into summer holiday mode since The Beehive and The Teacher will be going off on vacation from August. Could be therefore tight financially next month, especially since I have to pay all that money for NHI premiums, Citizens Tax and the advance tax payment.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wednesday July 19, 9:39 a.m.

It's been an interesting few days; "interesting", as in that "May you live in interesting times" curse. For one thing, the days finishing off last week have been sweltering to say the least. I think several places around the country broke some temperature records. And now, this week, Tokyo, at least, has been getting dumped with the last of the precip before Rainy Season is officially over. It's cooler but no less humid.

On Sunday, after my lesson with JJ, I rushed out to Shinjuku and met up The Madame, MB and The Sylph and The Satyr to catch "Mission: Impossible 3". We had a rather interesting lunch before the movie when The Madame, all of a sudden, started going off on a spacebound tangent with all of her mystical and spiritual beliefs, some of which involved E.T. She never raised that point with me in any of our private conversations but she decides to blurt everything out in front of a disbelieving and nonbelieving lot. MB wasn't going to have any of that and started poking some rather skeptical views across...a little more aggressively than I usually do, which got The Madame reacting a little more aggressively than she usually does. Basically it all ended up in a couple of minutes of tense awkward silence until The Satyr tried to alleviate things by gently changing the subject. I apologized to MB afterwards but he actually said that he enjoyed the exchange; I later found out from The Madame that MB had apologized to her and said that he was just joking. The Madame also apologized to me for her overreaction. I just sighed some frustration and relief and hoped that she now realizes that her weird beliefs won't impress a lot of people. Just a lot of unnecessary stupidity.