Friday, April 06, 2007

Saturday April 7, 12:21 p.m.

Well, finally got down to Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi yesterday afternoon to have a look-see at the next Big Thing in town. And it's a big thing, alright. It's taken over the former SDF base. Consisting of a huge fancy mall, one of the premier hotels in the world (the Ritz-Carlton) and an art gallery among other things, I'd say that the population will be occupied for a while. I took some pics there, and basically, it's got the usual decor for a trendy shopping complex...lots of beige wood paneling, huge plazas and skylights to let in the sun. The crowds weren't too bad for a Friday afternoon; I could navigate through the hallways and escalators fairly easily.

I took a look first inside the 24-hour supermarket, Preece (again with the weirdo naming). In the weekly free magazine for foreigners, METROPOLIS, one of the PR guys at Tokyo Midtown, as he was trying to dispute his client's reputation as just another playground for the rich and elite, noted this place as proof of it being for the masses. I think he should've been demoted. I saw a bag of Dorito's going for over 500 yen ($4.50 US), and I saw the beautiful display of fruits (probably need a down payment before the installment plan for those apples). Instead, he should've pointed out the presence of the second Baker Bounce hamburger shop as a more accessible and affordable joint. I've been to the original little shop in Setagaya Ward, the home of the humongous Double Burger. This new branch is obviously looking a lot spiffier than its older sister but the place does look a bit of a tight squeeze. Still, I didn't see any major lineups there like the one for Krispy Kreme (didn't seen the second branch of that donut shop anywhere on the map).

To be honest, though, Tokyo Midtown isn't really just for The Class Act type of folk. Along with Baker Bounce, there do seem to be some other restaurants and shops that do cater for the more middle-class of us. In fact, as I was leafing through the restaurant guide, I found that a number of the places do have some very reasonable lunches for just around 1,000 yen...pretty comparable to other places elsewhere in The Big Sushi. I saw that ABC Cooking School in the B1 of the Galleria, one of Midtown's sections. One of the new breed of students that I've collected at Speedy's in the last month is a teacher there. I should be seeing her this time next week. The place looked quite bustling and happy with young women donning their aprons in a very large and open concept kitchen. The aroma wafting from the place also heralded some good education being gained at ABC.

A couple of other shops that got my attention there was the Coppola restaurant (yep, that Coppola), and a store on the 4th floor which sold the latest cutting-edge electrical appliances. I saw something called a Miuro, a portable stereo which looked like Darth Vader's TIE fighter with a thyroid condition...and some hip-hop moves. The thing was just rolling around happily to the music emanating from the iPod placed into it like a brain. Just another must-get toy for the music lovers.

When I finally left the complex, I got a good bearing on my coordinates. Midtown is just a few hundred metres north of the main intersection of Roppongi with the famous Almond cafe on the southwest corner. After a pit stop at the Wendy's in the basement right by Roppongi Station, I decided to visit what was The Next Big Thing a few years ago just a stone's throw away: Roppongi Hills. Back at the beginning of the decade, this place, designed by the ubiquitious Mori Group, was just attracting hordes of folks to the extent that I didn't dare visit it for the first few weeks of its existence. Well, what a difference a few years makes. Things were almost wistfully quiet in this place. Its curvy walls had very few folks walking amongst them. And in fact, a lot of the mall was closed down due to some construction (probably to come up with some sort of countermeasure against its new rival). Well, the Hills should feel somewhat relieved to know that Midtown will probably face the same situation by the end of the decade.

I had The Ace for that lone class last night. I kindly donated my guides from Midtown over to him....along with that recipe for Sweet N' Sour Chicken. He'll be away for the next couple of weeks so maybe I can meet DTE for dinner while she's back here for a bit of reminiscing. May also be a good opportunity to see Movie Buddy whom I haven't seen for nearly a couple of months.

Got the reservations put in at TGIFridays, the Ginza branch, for the get-together tomorrow with The Wild Thing. I gotta remember not to order anything meaty and grilled there, judging from that rather mediocre steak from the Shinagawa branch last week.

Also had the long-awaited haircut at my usual place. Of course, the first topic of barber-client banter was on the Hawker murder, but we also touched upon the usual Ohanami chit-chat.

Caught my usual late-night fare on the tube. "Tamori Club" had its usual bizarro topic...the wonderful world of meat-eating plants like pitcher plants and Venus flytraps. Then, there was this one-off on TBS called "Shikatte, Blonde Sensei!" (Chew him out, Blonde Teacher!) It consisted of six of the female tarento fully conversant in English, including Lisa Stegmeyer and seemingly airheaded Mika Mifune (daughter of Toshiro), all clad in blonde wigs and dispensing (screaming?) advice on the English language to some of the homelier and English-illiterate male counterparts in romantic situations. I could imagine Mika doing that sort of stuff, but was a bit surprised to see Lisa since she had always struck me as being a bit above that kinda thing. Just another reason that I prefer late-night fare.

Anyways back to home...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Friday April 6, 1:25 p.m.

A bit better in the sun department but it's probably gonna cloud over later this afternoon. I know that the pollen is out there. Had to stem a sneezing attack and so had to buy another pack of hay fever medicine.

Got in touch with The Wild Thing. Looks like he and his missus have moved over to the neighbourhood of Uguisudani, next to Ueno on the Yamanote Line. Still not quite sure where we'll have the get-together on Sunday since I've still yet to hear from The Chipmunk; she's the point person in all this since she is lugging the entire family with her. I would probably suggest El Torito in Kasai Station as that is next to Urayasu, but I also don't want to lug the others too far out to the east either.

Almost two weeks since Lindsay Ann Hawker's murder, and the cops are no closer to finding Ichi The Killer. Now, the journalists are starting to openly wonder if the Chiba Police screwed up in procedure. Of course, the cops are pretty tight-lipped (and probably quite snarly at the accusation). A criminology expert has said that Ichi is most likely still alive after hints of suicide were floated, and may even be hiding out in Tokyo. And with all of the hay fever masks and hats being worn right now, Ichi would be a veritable needle in a haystack.

I listened to CD 1 of that double-disc set of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra yesterday. Yah...pretty good, especially that collaboration, "The Star-Spangled Night", between them and Hiroto Komoto, formerly of The Blue Hearts and The High-Lows. I was initially surprised at the label of 1998-2007 since I'd thought that To-Skapa had been around for many more years. Well, it turned out that I was right; the good folks at Wikipedia pointed out that the band had started all the way back in 1985. I should've known since I remember a similar band called La-ppisch around 1989.

Well, although I only have The Ace tonight for work, I've decided to head on down to check out Tokyo Midtown. It is a Friday so the place could get quite packed tonight but I figure that if I do a quick in-and-out in the next few hours, I should be able to squeeze in a little look-see. I even bought the disposable camera for a few pics since I'll probably be shooting stuff when The Wild Thing and I get together.
Thursday April 5, 7:00 p.m.

Man, when I pull a boner, I pull a real floppy one. For those who may have just coughed up their lungs on reading that, my deepest apologies. I was being merely figurative. It's just that I managed to dodge a rather large bullet at Speedy's earlier this afternoon. What should've been a slam dunk in terms of model lessons almost ended up as a backboard bounce. Speedy had told me some days in advance of an acquaintance of his, a dentist, who was interested in taking English lessons. He reassured me that there would be no problem signing this one up. Well, she did show up and it was rather obvious that she belonged in The Class Act's income tax bracket. Our admin assistant set her up in the good room with a glass of water and then the bossman went to have a few words with her. And so I waited...and waited...and waited. I was getting a bit concerned some 15 minutes after my ML was to have started; what was he doing in there, I thought. Little did I realize that the guy had already left her some minutes before to teach his own lesson in the next room. The dentist was twiddling her thumbs for a quarter of an hour! Man, I thought I was in the deepest hole; certainly, I wanted to crawl in one.

What saved me was that both The Dentist and Speedy were very accomodating folks. At first, she seemed a bit out of sorts at how long I took but 20 years of experience...and Dancing Bear...were more than enough to win her over, and the day was saved. Speedy was gracious enough to say that all that was important was the 2-point conversion. So I've got my newest Thursday afternoon student.

However, before that near-fiasco, I had a very delightful surprise when I met up with The New Yorker earlier in the afternoon. As she came toddling up to me in Ichigaya Station, she was toting a couple of boxes in plastic bags. She gave me one....carrying a box of the much-vaunted Krispy Kreme donuts! Nearly 4 months after the lone branch opened, I finally could get my mitts on a box. The New Yorker must have a sixth sense of when to go. Once again, despite the discouraging sight of 2-hour lineups, she was able to get her boxes in just 20 minutes. I just wonder if she has some close connections working in the shop. In any case, I gladly treated her to the coffee at Tully's...a small price to pay for what she shucked out.

So, after all of us at the school sweated somewhat after the big misunderstanding with The Dentist...Speedy, the assistant and I partook in the ingestion of said donuts. The New Yorker was insightful enough to leave us a choice of either the Original Glazed or the Chocolate Glazed. I had mine...yup, it was as sweet and chewy as I remembered it back in Toronto. Now that I've been reminded of the taste, I just marvel at how popular Krispy Kreme has been here in Tokyo. The taste of that coating should've sent most Japanese into diabetic shock, and yet I always mention the huge lineups. I guess the natives are getting further accustomed to the very American tastes of the Fast Food Nation.

I got word from The Wild Thing. He's back in town (although I don't know how much longer he and his wife will be here) so I've gotten in contact with The Chipmunk and Alpha, a couple of our mutual friends from Toronto days. We're seeing about getting together sometime on the weekend. Now that The Chipmunk and her family have recently expanded by one, I have to find a family-friendly place. Really, the TGIFridays in Shinagawa came to mind, since The Wild Thing is currently living near there. But I've also thrown out The Outback and Tony Romas as options.

Well, aside from The Ace tomorrow night, I'm incredibly off for the next three days. So, I'm gonna check out Tokyo Midtown for the first time since its official opening a week ago. I don't expect to buy anything there without putting up a down payment, so it'll the old practice of window shopping.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wednesday April 4, 8:55 p.m.

Well, I also got word from Speedy that another one of the B-tier (at least in terms of exposure) of English language schools breathed its last. Apparently, LADO International's English schools went under although it looks like their ability to send people overseas for study is still intact. Kinda wonder what will mean for a lot of student who now find themselves without a school and perhaps a good chunk of yen. Speaking of that other school, as I said this morning, NOVA is probably feeling rather vulnerable right now, especially after getting its wrist slapped by Japan's Supreme Court for shortchanging customers on their refunds. Basically, Japan's largest English-teaching chain got nailed for having its sales staff sell their lessons at a certain per lesson cost on contract but then pulling a bait and switch and refunding any money after calculating a higher per lesson cost...a price that wasn't in the contract. In other words, the disgruntled students don't get as much back as promised. NOVA had been hoping that the prohibitive costs of lawyers would discourage any lawsuits. Not anymore. The higher-ups at NOVA have given up the ghost and said that they would refund any extra money, although they grumbled that this punishment would probably mean that discounts may be harder to come by for long-term students in the future. I think they should be more worried about other things such as further litigation against them since the Supreme Court decision has thrown things wide open.

During my days there, I had heard about all sorts of dodgy things that NOVA was pulling off such as the company not observing any of the national holidays outside of New Year's Day just so that they could remain open for customers. And of course, the open secret/inside joke of the company is that NOVA often stood for NOVAcation....probably the lack of national holidays and real weekends (ie Saturday and Sunday) figured in that expression. Still in some defense of my former organization, NOVA has been like any other company when it comes to paid vacation time...people apply for them and then wait for them to be approved. Also, I think the initial on-the-job training is quite comprehensive for the rookie teachers at least. I'm hard pressed to remember anything I learned from my 2 years at TESL education, but I can still glean things from the NOVA training. And the small branches of the monolith, such as the one I was at for most of my time with the company, are probably much easier to handle than the zoos that are the main schools. So, really, NOVA may deserve the moniker of McDonalds of English teaching but it still really comes down to the individual English teacher.
Wednesday April 4, 8:25 p.m.

Well, I can officially say that it's been one wacky season for weather. Last Saturday, we were breaking records for heat (including 30 C in Shizuoka). Now, today, Tokyo once again got its second snowfall. I gather that locusts and pestilence aren't too far away.

I'm also officially baked. Finally got all four classes at Speedy under my belt after a 10 a.m. start here. Luckily, all four of the ladies (The Nurse, Miss SDF, 002 and 001) were all great; it's just that I will end up traversing Tokyo four times by the time I reach home tonight. Luckily, that won't be too far away. As for Miss SDF, she will be off to The Great White North on Saturday.

Tomorrow will be relatively calm. I just have The New Yorker for her biweekly in Ichigaya, and then I gotta rush back here for a demo lesson with a dentist's wife. Still, I gotta catch up on the curricula so it won't be an early night.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wednesday Apirl 4, 9:41 a.m.

Into the second day of my marathon session of classes which started from here yesterday with Ms. SDF. The juku classes went pretty well. This time, I started off with Chip instead of Dale since the lass was on her own holiday with her family. Then, it was Seven. She seemed rather sleepy after 7 hours of work at the hotel....she could have joined the club; I had the jackets. On the other hand, Mrs. Mild was just bursting at the seams, a fact that both Mr. Mild and I noticed quite vividly. The lady had just retired after several decades of work so she was quite bouncy. I did bring her back to earth a bit by reminding her that she now had the time to devote to further English study. Jolly was a no-show as usual. And then, it was The Siberian for his 90 minutes talking about his 3 weeks in Seoul.

I got home at 11:30, hit the sack and was up again some 6 hours later to be out of the apartment in less than an hour so that I could avoid the rush hour. Today, I've got The Nurse, then Ms. SDF before she goes on her yearlong odyssey to the wilds of Toronto, rush out to teach 002, and then finally her buddy, 001 back here at HQ. I should be properly baked by 8 tonight.

Well, it looks like NOVA has had a pretty lousy couple of weeks. Not only has one of its teachers been murdered, but it lost its appeal against the Japanese Supreme Court in its suit for gouging money from former disgruntled students. But more on that later...The Nurse has arrived.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tuesday April 3, 12:40 p.m.

Feeling pretty tense right now. I've got that SDF lady for 90 minutes today, then I gotta rush over to the juku and teach the kids (nice they are, but kids are kids). Then I have to find out whether Jolly is going to show up since I gotta prep TOEIC for him. Plus, The Siberian is back for a full 90 to make up for his absence...not a great schedule considering that I've gotta leave home around the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. Hopefully, I can hold it together until Thursday.

That friend of The Entrepreneur's called me up this morning. Looks like she is headed out at 5:30 p.m. after all. She kinda kvetched about the fact that the travel agency wouldn't be flexible about giving her an extra day since she got here a day late...then she told me that she screwed up her own schedule. I held my tongue but it is her fault. Still, she was able to get some of that kabuki in at Kabuki-za in Ginza. She loved it so once again, I held my tongue since my family genetics have made it imperative that I love the Japanese art form as much as Montezuma's Revenge. It's just so beautifully boring...

Well, the police are still looking for Ichi the Killer. However, after a plaintive cry from the British Ambassador for the public's help in this case, the wide show journos and citizen interviewees have been coming forward with some info. Apparently, (alleged) murderer and victim were seen in a cafe and a taxi so far in the Gyotoku neighbourhood.
Monday April 2, 8:07 p.m. clothes always smell like an ashtray after I get back from a session with The Part-Timer. Not that's it's her fault...Doutor is probably one of the most smoker-friendly coffeeshops in this increasingly smoker-averse of the final holdouts in an age of smoker/non-smoker partitioned age. Doutor has, nominally, smoking and non-smoking sections. But that means absolutely nothing without any glass shields or dedicated air filtration systems. As for the gal herself, she seemed fine in the environment but for the first number of minutes, I was just grabbing for my tissue until the meds finally kicked in. As for Speedy, he absolutely avoids the place. I can only imagine how The Entrepreneur, a very anti-smoking fellow, would react if he saw the haze in this place.

Speaking of whom, The Entrepreneur gave me a heads-up some days ago that his good friend would be making a stopover in Tokyo for a couple of days. There was no chance of us being able to meet due to my full schedule over today and Tuesday, but it looks like there probably won't be any chance of us even exchanging a few words over the phone either. For one thing, she came in a day late and for another, she said that she would have to be out of the Ginza Tokyu by 5:30 tomorrow morning. Ah well...

As for my schedule...the next couple of days will indeed be full. I've got that SDF officer for her prep classes before she heads on out to her new, wholly different assignment as a Working Holiday Visa student in Canada, and then I've got my juku students. The boss informed me that The Siberian is back in town and he's gonna have to do a bit of catching up since he was away for a month. Just means that I'll be at the juku until 10:30 tomorrow night for the next several weeks while I gotta get up before the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning to head out back to Speedy's to teach The Nurse for her lessons. Basically, Wednesdays will truly be a hump day to overcome. In fact, I'm pretty much here at Speedy's for most of the week except for Friday.

I did catch most of that marathon seasonal special on TBS on Saturday, the All-Star Festival. But Governor Higashikokuburo of Miyazaki Prefecture didn't show up for the usual racing around TBS HQ. However, I was witness to a mock sumo competition amongst some of the more homelier male tarento. What made it further interesting was that the guys and the dojo were smeared in lotion to keep things....interesting. What would've made things even more interesting if there were some female tarento involved. Of course, at the end of the match, the host, volatile Shinsuke Shimada, and his female co-host, a former idol-turned-tarento, got thrown into the goop afterwards. Of course, despite the seeming spontaneity of the situation, it was most likely all planned in the briefing room weeks before. The hosts came out several minutes later in well-fitting gym clothes. Spontaneity doesn't really belong in Japanese variety shows...everything is scripted to the second.

Speaking of governorships, this Sunday is gonna be Election Day for a number of prefectures including The Big Sushi. About 11 folks are going for the big prize of getting the big seat in that Macross-like structure in Shinjuku known as The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. I've spoken to a number of the students and they all say that while they would love to see Shintaro Ishihara get his comeuppance after years of him treating Tokyo like his own fiefdom, they also concede that most likely he'll win out since none of the other candidates really have any additional charisma or policies to trump the xenophobe governor.

Well, I've had a chance to listen to some of the CDs from my shopping spree on Saturday. So far, I've only been able to hear the Hiromi Iwasaki re-release. It was an original from 1980, about a year before I first discovered her as a callow youth about to discover the weird world of kayo kyoku. As was usually the case with the more technically proficient singers during that turn of the decade, Iwasaki released this album, "Wishes", which goes into more of a West Coast sound although Eagles it isn't. I'd say that the album is more akin to the AOR of the time. For those singers, check out Mariya Takeuchi or Junichi Inagaki. I also listened to some of the tracks on Yumi Matsutoya's latest release, a 2-disc compilation based on her spring and summer-themed tunes. Some of her more recent tunes are nestled right up with her originals from the early 70s. As I mentioned to SIL today, Yuming's voice is very much a love/hate affair. Some wags have compared it to fingernails on a blackboard while others aren't bothered by it at all and love the tunesmanship. I kinda understand both sides: when I hear the oldies and the newer stuff, I do think that Yuming sounded much better and less reedier as a younger woman handling the new music.

I've yet to hear the "Happy Feet" soundtrack and I've just listened to the one track from the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra compilation discs. I forgot the title but it has a guest vocal in the form of the former lead singer of the Blue Hearts, an old pop/punk outfit from the late 80s. The video for the song is fun to watch, especially for the Blue Hearts leader excessively chawing his gum and rattling his knees as if he needed immediate hospitalization.

Morning Musume seems to be heading for the history books...fading away into the huge encyclopedia of J-Pop culture. I couldn't catch it since I was teaching the kids but the flagship show for the Tsunku-produced girl-group on Sunday mornings on TV Tokyo ended its run yesterday according to the TV guide. Mind you, the next Sunday will see the network launch a new show with the girls, but it's only a half-hour, compared to the full hour the previous show was. At one point about eight years ago, MM had about 4 or 5 shows all over the TV spectrum, after the big mainstream hit of "Love Machine" and its subsequent hits. But now it looks like with the slow disappearance of a lot of the original members, the Ai Kago scandal, and its gradual overtaking by the larger behemoth known as AKB 48, Morning Musume may just limp into its 10th anniversary before calling the Hello Morning Project quits. But as they say here in the geinokai, old idols don't die....they just become full-fledged tarento. At least, a couple of the kids have made the full transition into TV personalities, Nozomi Tsuji and Mari Yaguchi. But the biggest clue that the group is starting to reach the end of the line is that when the whole group gets together on one of those music/variety shows, it's to give the umpteenth rendering of their biggest hit, "Love Machine".
Monday April 2, 4:52 p.m.

The weather is a bit unsettled right now. Not sure if it's gonna rain or not but although the nights are still chilly, Spring is definitely here to stay. I'm sure that there will be some hardy types out there in Ueno Park or Chidorigafuchi tonight for some late-season ohanami.

Yesterday, I had a fairly good session with the kids. I got the Elder on the new book that I've been using with The Part-Timer, The Polynesian and The Ace. She said it was good enough for her although she brought back some of the slacker attitude from months past. The Younger was her usual steady self.

Then, I sped down The Yamanote Line to meet up with Boop, The OL and an old student from years past in Shinagawa's TGIFridays for lunch. Unlike today, it was pretty darn warm on Sunday; Shizuoka broke some records by hitting 30 C...not sure if that's good for the tea seedlings, and the Japanese need their green tea like the British need their pekoe.

That old student is a nurse, but I really can't call her The Nurse since that moniker has already been taken by one of my students here at Speedy's. So, I think I shall dub her Miss Demure due to her self-effacing nature. Despite that personality trait, though, Miss Demure has got the stamina of a bull. Despite having just finished off an 18-hour shift at her hospital, she still decided to show up for lunch and she didn't even yawn least, not to my knowledge.

It was interesting to compare my lunch at TGIFridays with last Tuesday's luncheon with The Beehive at Casa Des Fado. Whereas my meal with my Tsudanuma ladies was somewhat like the Oscar movie, "Sideways", the lunch yesterday with these girls could be compared to a Marx Brothers flick....mostly driven by the fast-talking banter of Boop. I think she and I would make a good manzai comic duo. It would just be like a Japanese version of Burns and Allen. As for the food there, I had been initially mystified by BB's choice of the American chain since at our last meal there some years back, we'd been far less than impressed by the spareribs there, which were more like things you would see in Jurassic Park...after the T-Rex got through with them. However, the ladies and I were quite happy with the starters...and the burgers which came after them. Although I was too polite to say so, I wasn't all that particularly happy with my main course of the Strip Steak which, unlike the mouthwatering picture, came out smothered in some sort of cream gravy with too much fat surrounding it...kinda like my liver and heart, probably. So I guess the moral of the story is that avoid the grilled stuff at TGIFridays. As with last time, the meal there should provide the impetus for us to hit Tony Roma's again for far better ribs and steak.

Afterwards, the four of us did a bit of cherry-blossom viewing around the hotel area in Shinagawa. Not surprisingly, there were also quite a few other people traipsing around the petal-covered lanes, but happily not the hordes that would usually clog Ueno Park. Generally, not sure if the pleasant lunch has jump-started the monthly lunch/dinner outings of a couple of years ago but I'm sure if the ladies are game, so am I.

Had The Class Act for the first time in a couple of weeks. Of course, the dark humour started coming out about the murdered English teacher, Lindsay Ann Hawker (nope, Ichi the Killer still hasn't been caught) in their lesson along with SIL's session. In fact, SIL had more to milk about the situation, since like 002, hers is also a house call. I remarked that although a bathtub wouldn't be big enough to hold my rotting carcass, I did point to that huge safe in the corner of the room. She laughingly said that she would take it under advisement. She also requested if I would be able to shop around for that DVD of "Mishima", the 1985 movie starring Ken Ogata as the titular author who committed seppuku in 1970 after having demanded the SDF to stand up and fight the government for straying from "Japanese ideals". I wouldn't be surprised if noone in this country had ever heard of it since the movie has been banned from these shores by the widow of Mishima herself. However, I'd seen it over 2 decades ago back in my university days at a local cineplex in Toronto. It was a stunning movie in terms of cinematography and was certainly an interesting picture in terms of structure. The movie was bookended by scenes from Yukio Mishima's final moments at SDF HQ while the middle scenes included no less than 3 short dramatizations of his most famous novels, interwoven with scenes of the author's life and gradual radicalization.

In any case, I told SIL about the fact that I'd seen the DVD of "Mishima" at that import disc store in Akihabara. Well, I've been given the assignment to hunt it down and secure its purchase. I also mentioned that the notorious "Ai no Corrida" was also there, but she demurred on that one.

Got to Speedy's where the bossman informed me that there was good news and bad news. He then told me that very very low TOEIC student that almost had me tearing what remained of my hair out last week had cancelled tonight's lesson. I cheekily remarked what, then, the bad news was. He was classy enough not to retort. Actually, the good news was that the textbook for him had finally arrived. Well, I bought the same thing just earlier this morning at Book 1st in Shibuya...but I didn't end up smashing my head against the wall since the Speedy arrival still didn't have the audio CD...the one thing that I needed. In any case, my stress levels are now much lower since I only have to worry about The Part-Timer now in about half an hour, and she's very easy maintenance.

But there is still the issue of wolfing down my dinner...