Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sunday January 14, 9:24 a.m.

I'm back at the neighbourhood Internet cafe trying to get some quick dispatches to people. I had the sullen woman again as my cashier.

I had the Younger and her mother as my students yesterday...which made my morning go a whole lot quicker. The Elder is off at volleyball...kinda wondering again if I should officially let her go but I really need to hold on to my students.

Then it was off to 002's place for that New Year's party. It was an all-vegetarian affair since the guest of honour was The Baker's former teacher, a fellow Canuck. He was a quiet but amiable sort...quite the counterpoint to all the giggling from her former charge, 001 and 002 in the kitchen. The food was very good...a lot of vegetable tempura, veggie pizza (although 002 was very maganimous in making some of the pizza with salami and ham for me....I didn't tell her that I had actually snuck in a Filet O'Chicken meal at McD before I went over; just didn't want to go into meat withdrawal). As it turned out, we all did get rather filled up before the night was over.

Speaking about McDonalds, it looks like the Japanese branches have started a bit of a SuperSize Me pattern from Friday with their MegaMac campaign. 002 first cottoned me onto the news in her lesson on Friday. And since I would pass by one branch on the way to teach The UL. I had been expecting something more than the usual 2 tasteless patties but actually the MegaMac turned out to be just 4 patties squeezed into the usual mess of sesame seed buns and lettuce and secret sauce. It looks like Purchasing ordered a few too many patties that needed to be rushed through before expiry date (do McD patties really need expiry dates?).

And yet still on food, it would seem that I've been getting the lion's share of free food for the past few days from students. The UL gave me some chinsukou (Okinawan sugar cookies) after her trip there and 002 gave me a whole bunch of leftovers from last night's party. I've been praying for more income but this is just as good. This custom of getting souvenirs from a trip does pay dividends.

Well, on the Krispy Kreme front, one of the guests at the party last night told us that on opening day last month, there was a 3-hour wait for the cholesterol bombs. So ironic considering that KK as a business entity is pretty much gone from The Great White North.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thursday January 11, 1:49 p.m.

Back at the grungy neighbourhood Internet cafe for a 3-hour pack. Gotta admit though that the music has improved. I actually got AOR filtering the other day (Manhattan Transfer?!) and today is a little more on the current Top 10 in the US (Fergilicious...yum).

Speedy told me last night that due to the lack of classes in December before my trip and because of the trip itself my income there would probably be jingling (somewhat exaggerating although not by much); I really didn't need to be reminded of that. Mind you, he didn't have such a great Holiday. Apparently, he and his wife were supposed to have gone off to Korea for some well needed R&R but he overlooked the fact that his visa had expired. Well, that triggered some major paperwork and apologizing to both the government and his wife. He was in the doghouse for most of that week. It was a pretty dumbass rookie mistake but the man has been busy just trying to keep his company afloat so I think I can understand.

Just as Toronto got its 1st murder by gun lickety-split, Tokyo quickly got on the board with its first dismemberment case of 2007. Some woman decided enough was enough with her abusive husband and konked him dead with a beer bottle (there usually is a beer bottle involved in these cases) before sawing him down into more discrete and more easily disposable pieces.

Got no classes today so I'm just whiling away the time here before getting some grub on coins and then getting some housework done. I've yet to hear anything from B2 so I'm starting to think that her time with me is be honest, I'm not that sad about the situation, and perhaps that might open up things for The Baker who has been trying to get me to teach her. There is that party at 002's place on Saturday so I should know more when I see her then.
Wednesday January 10, 5:36 p.m.

Back in the saddle at Speedy's. I'm just half an hour away from having 001's first lesson of the year. Speedy is back to his usual idea churning. Now, he wants to try some restaurant hopping kinda like on the lines of MB's yearlong Burger Tour. Speedy's first guinea pig could be a Greek restaurant in Roppongi. Unlike in Toronto, a Greek restaurant is about as rare a gem as one can get. I've heard of this place,'s got a gimmick in which customers can let out their stress by writing the name of their hated people on some cheap plate and then smash it into some brick well with a whooping "Whoopa!".

Speaking of the Burger Tour, MB did indeed contact me last night to say that he and The Sylph were good to go for the 28th when Skippy wants to catch "The Departed" with DiCaprio and J-a-a-a-ck. Plus, MB wants to slip in another example of the big tour. Not sure if it's doable since the place he was looking at is in Ebisu...rather far from our usual movie haunt of Shinjuku.

Got my hair cut for the first time in 3 months. Man, it was good to get rid of that cowlick which bothered the hell out of my eyes. Still, it cost me 5,000 yen...not a good thing considering my poverty.

Had the juku gang although Jolly and The Siberian were AWOL. The Siberian called in at the last minute to cancel due to the dreaded norovirus...his second attack. Hmm...methinks that the kid may have just ducked out for a drinking party. At least, Seven told me that honestly to explain her absence next week. As for Jolly, not even a call to say that he would cancel. The juku boss was kind enough to take care of my bills and nengajo during my absence. She was her usual giddy self, but for some reason, I was feeling pretty beat...and therefore, not in any mood to be entertained by her literal skips across the room. I did get some remaining New Year's cards from people that I hadn't sent to. I actually wrote them up but decided to ask a local here whether I should actually send them some 10 days after the fact. She told me that it would be a bit odd to do so at such a late date. Well, at least I saved myself the postage. I'll probably send some sort of reply to their e-mail addresses.

As soon as I finish with 001, I'll head on out home. Still not totally decompressed from Canada.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday January 9, 5:01 p.m.

The past few days have provided me with a bit of decompression after my 3 weeks back in Canada. It has helped that I've been laden with a lot of DVDs and video tapes to gently guide me back into Japanese society. I have been enjoying the 2nd season of "Doctor Who" with David Tennant, for instance. The new series could just about blow away anything that was done in original first 25 years of the programme. I'm sure the actress playing ol' Sarah Jane Smith, Elizabeth Sladen, would rightly agree. And then there are the discs of more SCTV. These ones seem to be the intermediate eps between the originals back at Global Television in Toronto in the mid-70s and the heyday ones in Edmonton. The presence of Tony Rosato and Robin Duke prove that point.

I had my first class of the year with The Beehive, a good choice since the ladies are my longest-serving students. As expected, most of the lesson was devoted on touching base about what we all had done over the Holidays. Looks like we're gonna have a good ol' fashioned nabe party next Tuesday at Mrs Travel's home. Plus, I even got a salary increase of 14% after 7 years of work for them. Not a bad start in a year in which I have been thinking heavily of increasing my money.

And now I've got my guys at the juku. Got a load of the souvenirs to drop off on them. It'll probably be more of the same of talking about the Holidays.