Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thursday October 4, 9:49 a.m.

It's turning out to be a pretty decent day out there. I was able to finally hang out the laundry. I've got a free day today so I'm just here taking care of some I-stuff before I meet The Madame for one of our lunches. It's Ume no Hana so there will be a lot of veggie protein being ingested. It should match The Madame's exacting palate. However, I also have to devote some time to get my niece's B-day present since that's coming up in less than 2 weeks.

It was another pleasant night with 001 at Speedy's. However, the bossman didn't return from home; instead his wife came by to close things up. Man, that was a long day there. Ironically, I won't need to get back there until next Wednesday since The Dentist canned her lesson on Saturday, and it's another holiday Monday next week. I've got that koto concert with the juku boss (I'll try not to yawn too loudly...the Japanese cultural arts have never been a hit with me...well, aside from I-go, I guess). However, I'll be meeting Skippy for dinner near Tokyo Station afterwards.

The Wild One sent me word on that proposition he'd told me about yesterday. Apparently, a company is looking to hire someone who can help proofread notes before presentations. One of the requirements: knowledge of PowerPoint. I told my friend that though I've helped a lot of business students giving presentations with PP, I only helped them with the English and have zilch ability with the Microsoft program. He said that that could be an issue... Still, I'll be meeting him and perhaps...finally...The Enigma for dinner on Sunday night.
Wednesday October 3, 5:12 p.m.

Very slow news day if I'm starting this entry with a pop culture piece about a girl that I'm not even a fan of...since it is a slow day here, I was doing some cruising around the Net and came across some Erika Sawajiri forums. Sawajiri is that "It" girl with the bad attitude who basically blew off the journos at a press conference for her latest film. Apparently, she has sent an apology letter to the public but didn't go into why she acted so classlessly...and frankly it's none of our concern. As one poster put it, everyone has a bad day...and certainly, the Japanese media aren't exactly the most respected group in society; doesn't excuse her behaviour but at least she did come clean about it.

Speedy has gone home to get some much-needed rest. It's a wonder that his hair hasn't gone as gray as the average US President considering how much he's worked. He may be back before 001 comes in but he's given me the keys just in case he oversleeps. I just grabbed some lunch at La Vie De France. It's just right out there...not too warm, not too cool and there is that sense that Fall has finally hit the Kanto. The grayness is starting to creep in.

I also got that appointment in at the hair salon for Friday morning. Since The Mandarin Barber is now off the sked in Hong Kong, I can blow away my 4,500 yen for a much needed tonsorial.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wed. Oct. 3, 1:16 p.m.

Yes, it is indeed a slow day here. But just some musings and observations...

I was mentioning about the beginning of this month heralded some other beginnings such as the launch of that early-warning earthquake detection system. Well, former PM Junichiro Koizumi's dream has finally come true. As of October 1, the post office became a privatized entity (nominally, anyways), and so joins NTT and JR in that hazy world of public-not public?business entities. The new name is now Japan Post and there's a new orange-and-white colour scheme. Plus, when I was passing my neighbourhood post office on Monday morning, the local postmaster was decked out in a uniform which seemed to be influenced by "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" greeting the fresh arrivals. Other than that, not much else has changed.

Not much has been all that happy in The Big Sushi recently, but last night, The Yomiuri Giants gave an incentive to bring up all those facial muscles. After a 5-year drought, Nagashima's Nine won a division title. Meanwhile, the rest of Japan was probably kicking the TV set. Nope, The Giants are very much the team that everyone loves to hate outside of the Kanto....kinda like the Yankees.
Wednesday Oct. 3, 12:59 p.m.

Looks like we've got more casualties from the sudden climactic change. The bossman is complaining of "swollen glands" and The Dentist called in to cancel this Saturday's lesson. According to the Admin, my student's voice sounded rather ragged. The Judge has also canned his lesson tonight, although I think that's due to his work. Well, I get to go home early after 001.

The Nurse was back to a happier frame of mind this morning...not nearly as moody. Now if she could just schedule her lessons a little later in the day, it would make things even better.

The trip to Hong Kong is starting to develop some more. I was planning to go out with The Cap for a drink after the second night's dinner when The Lady kindly invited him to come along for the dinner part. Looks like he's good to go but just gotta figure out which branch of the Wu Kong Shanghai Restaurant we'll be going to. Took a look at the website...those dishes look awfully tempting.

The Wild Thing has contacted me from his new base of operations just across from The Defense Ministry. Apparently, he has a proposition for me...hmmm.... Still don't know if he's antagonized any of the soldiers there.

Looks like that thuggish sumo stablemaster, Tokitsukaze, is getting the heave-ho (as hard that could be to imagine) by The Japan Sumo Association for his role in the lynching death of his young charge. And then we have to wonder whether the criminal charges will be forthcoming for him...and for the other rikishi who were involved.
Wednesday Oct. 3, 12:11 p.m.

The fact that there has been such a sudden climactic switch here from steaming hot & humid to cool and rainy has garnered some physical consequences. At the juku last night, The Siberian was sounding pretty hoarse, and at Speedy's today, we've had 4 cancellations (although I'm not sure if all of them are due to illness). Even I've had a few pressure-induced headaches.

Yesterday morning, I had the last session with The Beehive at the Beckers fast food shop at JR Tsudanuma before they all go off to Canada. It was a bit of the Joy Luck Club in that Mrs. Tee was getting teary-eyed about possibly not going due to the fact that her son was ailing in bed due to a bad back. She has always been the one wearing her emotions on her sleve. Then, Mrs. Alp showed up after she'd injured her head in a dizziness-influenced spill at a restaurant last week. Plus, her mother has been ailing as well so there were some waterworks from her as well. Mrs. Travel took the reins as de facto Queen Bee and shored the crew up. I, as always, kept myself at a distance. The group will be taking off next Tuesday along with Mrs. Perth to their first stop on the tour, Toronto. Being the bit of the ambassador for my hometown, I hope everything goes well there.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday Oct. 1, 8:32 p.m.

Mr. TOEIC has delayed his arrival by 30 minutes...hope he isn't making this a pattern.

As for The Full-Timer, she's been having some personal and personnel issues with her supervisor at work who's apparently someone who has no OFF button when it comes to shooting her mouth off. She told me that she was almost ready to strangle her which is rather unusual for someone as mild as her. So, once again, I put on my counsellor's cap (or bartender's tie) and listened to her rant.

I've finished watching the last of the latest "Doctor Who" eps via The Entrepreneur's tape. And I gotta admit that the last three eps are among the finest I've ever seen of The Time Lord. The two-parter "Human Nature/Family of Blood" will probably go down as the DW equivalent of Star Trek's "City on the Edge of Forever". There are a few similarities between the two. For one thing, you have two protagonists who must go through time to save themselves. For another, they both needed help from their companions, and finally, there is love & tragedy in equal measure. I can only imagine that the surviving actors and actresses from the previous Doctor Who eps could only sigh in envy at the quality and the acting meat that David Tennant savored. Then, to build upon that magnum opus, the next ep was "Blink" about the inspired idea of The Lonely Assassins. And to boot, it was an episode that could truly be scary to the little ones...and maybe even to some of the big ones as well. And the strange thing about all three is that none of the episodes had the actual character of The Doctor dominant.
Now I know that David Tennant will be locked into the character until 2010 at least. However, here's hoping that the next 11th Doctor (if the series is allowed to go that far) will get away from pining over Rose. In fact, I hope that the entire issue of him having his companions fall in love with him will die a quiet death. Perhaps someone less handsome and more sage will do.
Monday Oct. 1, 5:37 p.m.

Hmmm...maybe we've got a potential Britney Spears over here....that is, in terms of very unpredictable behaviour. The lass' name is Erika Sawajiri, and she's this half-Japanese, half-French/Algerian actress/singer/model who has become the latest "It" girl of the local airwaves. Just like another half-Japanese ingenue of an earlier age, Rie Miyazawa, Sawajiri has also been known for a cheeky side. However, like a lot of J-Pop culture these days, it's a lot more in-your-face.
Sometime over the weekend, she and the rest of her castmates were doing the usual apres-film appearance at the debut of their movie "Closed Note" on stage. Sawajiri was giving some major bad attitude and terse answers to the assigned host and reporter at the event...which tensed up the atmosphere. At first, I thought it was her just playing to character, since she has played bad girls before. But from watching scenes from the movie on TV, she wasn't playing one in this film. Her little snit created some ripples on the entertainment news this clone on Fuji-TV, Mr. Karube, wasn't quite sure but he felt that perhaps soul-singing legend Akiko Wada's most public diss of her on her variety show yesterday may have been part of Sawajiri's bad mood. Wada, being an outspoken veteran in the geinokai, doesn't suffer fools gladly and she has taken her share of flesh from some of her fellow geinojin on the show, and it looks like Sawajiri was the latest target of her wrath.
In any case, this wasn't a one-off for the young actress. I saw her walking on the red carpet for another event a couple of years earlier cracking gum like a harlot, and according to SIL, she's been known to act as badly as those Tatu brats from Russia. Not sure if she's been channeling Shintaro Katsu, the late actor who was as terrifying off-screen as on.
Monday October 1, 4:56 p.m.

Looks like things have remained cool so I guess Autumn must truly be here...perhaps. And the rains have gone so the commute was easier.

It's been a while but I'm actually having my first regular Monday. So far, I've had The Class Act and SIL. For The Class Act, it was filling in some last-minute details before the trip to Hong Kong. Basically, it was a No to the Mandarin Barber since our schedule is pretty much filled but Yes to see The Cap on the 2nd night. But it looks like our meal schedule is wrapped up tighter than a military agenda, thanks to The Lady's friend and professional concierge at one of the other 5-star hotels there. All of the restaurants have been reserved. Well, I guess that'll mean I'll be hitting the neighbourhood salon sometime this weekend.

SIL was her usual happy-go-lucky self although the air conditioning was going from the gamut from Tahiti Hot to Arctic Cold. We spoke on the current events including a 5+ tremor which shook up Hakone this morning. Odd that I didn't feel a thing. And strangely enough, that new monitoring system which is supposed to tell us (that is we who are watching TV at the time) about the arrival of a strong quake withink 10-30 seconds got launched today.

The Full-Timer is on the way along with Mr. TOEIC who made his appointment with us last night. It's kinda nice to have some income on Monday; unfortunately, there is another holiday Monday coming up next week: Sports Day.

Well, on the news front, apparently that sumo stablemaster responsible for the death of one of his young charges REALLY went overboard with his discipline. In a rage, he not only berated the junior rikishi but beat a tattoo on his skull with a bat and then used a bottle on his head during dinner....all that before ordering the other sumo in the stable to "instruct" him on the errors of his ways.