Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wednesday August 23, 9:57 p.m.

And another teaching day slowly comes to an end. 001 was her usual giddy self while 007 was his usual button-down self. Speedy informed me that the rival NOVA (our David to its Goliath) has pulled up stakes after a couple of years. Not only that but the NOVA in my neck of the woods has also closed down. Methinks that the largest English conversation school chain in Japan has overextended itself. I could've foreseen this from years ago. Even when I was part of the school, I was aware that NOVA was taking risks by building a tiny branch at the next station over, and that was a good decade ago.

The Satyr is back from his escapade in India. I was surprised that he got back so soon...unless Delhi Belly reared its ugly head (don't think too deeply about that remark). In any case, he's now in the loop for Skippy's next restaurant outing on Sunday. I finally got the details on the meeting place and time.
Wednesday August 23, 4:46 p.m.

Still have some minutes before dinner....

Let's see. Ah, yes..."Snakes on a Plane"...Samuel J.'s love child. From what I've heard from the resentful critics (who hadn't been given the chance to review the movie before general release last week), it was all ado about nothing. No big surprise there. I'm just kinda wondering if this movie will be his equivalent of a sofa-hopping moment on Oprah...nahhh, it's not that bad.

Actually, speaking of movies and going from the ridiculous to the sublime, I did borrow a DVD from Skippy during our soggy but nice trip to Ore no Hambaagu Yamamoto last week. It was "Deep Blue", that documentary film about ocean life. As a documentary, it was remarkably free from commentary, aside from some philosophical blurbs from Professor Dumbledore 2 aka Michael Gambon. It was visually stunning since the producers had filmed it from a purely cinematic point of view instead of the usual flat lighting that goes with a typical science film. And the music could've made John Williams stand up and take notice. However, I did watch it close to midnight last Thursday so even at 90 minutes, I was struggling to keep awake.

I've been enjoying my Desilu mornings (another reason that I haven't been getting enough sleep lately). "The Untouchables" with Robert Stack have been my breakfast companion for the past few weeks now. It's been rather interesting to watch not just as an unusually violent series for the 50s/60s but also as a showcase for these veteran thespians when they were just getting their acting chops. Today, it was the recently departed Jack Warden. Yesterday, I was surprised to see a young Conrad Janis (Mindy's father on "Mork & Mindy" )...with hair...playing a druggie drummer. I even saw Steven Hill, the first IMF leader from "Mission: Impossible" and later-to-be DA Shiff on "Law & Order", as "Legs" Diamond on another ep. Of course, I can't really share this information with anyone else since I don't know anyone else who has this much interest in ancient American TV.
Wednesday August 23, 4:20 p.m.

Well, I had my third session at Creambath Ebisu. I was taking advantage of that 1,000-yen discount that the salon had sent me to commemorate its 10th year in business. Never a cheap venture, I nonetheless decided to make the appointment for today at around noon. I gotta admit, though, that the scalp massage there certainly makes it worth every yen...all 7,925 yen. And it's nice to go through town with that fragrance imbued in my scalp instead of the usual sweat odor.

Yesterday, I had a pretty full day. I had 002 for her usual house call. She's heading for Hawaii this Saturday (it would seem that my students are coming and going to the Aloha State). Then some hours later, I had a full night at the juku. Seven had come back from her own little sojourn to Guam. She did the usual swimming, noshing and souvenir-buying. I even got yet another box of macadamia chocolates. I shared it with The Milds, the boss and The Siberian. Also, I got these so-called topless sandals or flip-flops. They depend on the natural stickiness to hold themselves to the soles of the feet. There's something grody about that fact but I don't think I'll be wearing them outside anytime soon. Just not a sandals guy.

My night was even longer than usual at the juku since I had to extend my lessons with Seven and The Siberian by an extra half-hour each to compensate for their recent absences. I did a bit of a faux pas with The Siberian when I'd mistakenly assumed it was the usual hour class but at that point, I was feeling so tired, I really no longer cared. And I've been doing this teaching biz for so long that I recovered with little problem.

I've got 001 and 007 for their regulars tonight. May need to load up on the caffeine to last the night. I only got 5 hours of sleep last night.

The JonBenet story is still making headlines here in Japan. That rather haunting face of hers is gracing a lot of magazines. And today, I heard that rather creepy secretly taped admission by John Mark Carr about he felt about her. Urk!

Tomorrow, I see The Madame for the first time in about a month. Not sure how much more in thrall she'll be to her spirit gods but I hope to have some form of normalcy in our conversation. I also have The Sisters of State later in the evening. Man, I hope The New Yorker will show a bit more of a blip in her proficiency or I may be losing another student soon. Anyways, it'll be the first time to be at The Tea Room in almost 2 weeks, so I'm sure the manager will be happy to see me.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday August 21, 8:40 p.m.

Well, I guess this is my 1600th entry. Not too bad, considering that I'm on limited access now.

I had my very first full weekend off in I don't know how many months. Thanks to JJ pulling out, perhaps permanently, I was left with a very lesson-less two days. But the timing was quite good since I could use that extra time to try to clean up the apartment before Movie Buddy came over for his semi-annual movie outing. My place, I'm proud to say, did look a lot more presentable. It was nice to have the company as well. We ended up watching three flicks of varying plots and quality. I'll give the thumbnail review since I'd like to be out of here in the next 10 minutes.

DODGEBALL: Kinda like "There's Something About Mary"-lite. Some laugh-out loud moments with some of the best lines from Rip Torn. This was the best of the three, and I'm happy to say that it was the one disc that I'd chosen.

THE BROTHERS GRIMM: It wasn't bad but with the usual chaos that accompanies a Terry Gilliam movie, and the unusual fact that the dialogue and sound were totally out of whack, it didn't particularly make for the best viewing experience. It's always nice to see Monica Bellulucci, though she was fully clothed.

HOSTAGE: This was kinda like a Subway sandwich of thriller movies: a slice of "Die Hard" here, a slab of "Panic Room" there with a layer of "The Negotiator" on top and some other ingredients from other flicks. Notable in that Bruce Willis actually had to emote more than smirks in his own genre.

Of course, our movie night wouldn't have been complete without the assist of the good folks at Domino's Pizza. Man, I didn't help my cause for weight reduction that night. I don't think I helped my electric costs either since I left the AC on for MB's benefit all night.

The Sunday was rather calm since MB had to take off in the late morning. I just vegged all day. In homage to the fact that "Superman Returns" had started its run on Saturday, TV Asahi showed a horribly slashed version of the very first of the Chris Reeve movies. Boy, if there is one reason that I'm glad that I invested in the DVD version...

Today, I got somewhat back to a normal Monday schedule in that I had The Class Act, SIL and The Part-Timer. Plus, there was a new temporary student squeezed between the latter two, so it was fairly busy. Certainly, I am happy for the cash influx. But now, I would like to get some din-din.