Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday October 25, 4:17 p.m.

Well, just been playing those computer games I've been obsessing over for the past several months. The Intellectual and The Publicist were fine. I even got a special coupon from the latter for the special preview of "Hellboy" for next Thursday, but I've got The Carolinan at that time, so I'll see if Mrs. Speedy would like another grab at greatness and meet Guillermo Del Toro in Akiba.

I had been wondering what was taking The Lab Tech so long to take her shift here when I got a call from Speedy just before The Intellectual's arrival. Apparently, The Tech was ailing and en route to a hospital for some meds when she called the bossman to cancel out. So, an old friend of Speedy's came in to assist. Apparently, she hadn't been to the office for several months; she was noticing how much everything had changed in the office.

Well, running late but I have to get to Omotesando to get those goodies from Kiddyland and maybe even get some pumpkins as well. But I'm feeling a bit peckish...maybe a little visit to The Golden Arches might be in order.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saturday October 25, 11:29 a.m.

Had quite the rains last night. Still, I headed into Tokyo in the afternoon to take a browse around before meeting Miss Prim for dinner. Checked out Maruzen before braving the wet and going down to the two HMVs in Yurakucho. Ended up grabbing a couple of Charlie Brown discs. One was my second purchase of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"...the first one was bare-bones, no specials but this one did have the 15-minute special on the making of it. Like a lot of classics, Charles Schulz and his compadres really didn't have any inkling whether it would do well or not; in fact, they were pretty pessimistic about its chances. History certainly and happily proved them wrong. The disc also has another much more recent Xmas special with the Peanuts gang. And I also got "A Boy Named Charlie Brown", the first motion-picture foray for the round-headed kid. This was especially special for me since even though I'd seen it on TV a few times decades ago, CBS felt compelled to basically tear parts of it out, I assume, to fit it into the schedule...this is a movie that doesn't even hit the 90-minute mark. What?...Coca-Cola and Dolly Madison needed that much ad time? I only took a look at a few scenes of the movie so far since it had gotten pretty late last night. Finally did get to see Lucy, Violet and Patty do "The Failure Face" number for the very first time in my life...well, I finally got to see it. That's about as much impression as I got from it. Hey, maybe CBS was doing something right.

Also came across that Ego-Wrappin' disc that I'm starting to get that itch for. And I took a listen to a new album by sylph-like Toko Furuuchi . She was a singer who I really liked back in the 90s with her AOR mellowness. She's not so sylph-like anymore although she's far from Rubenesque; the tunes still sound very mellow and appealing.

Even took a stroll through Yamano Music just down the road...saw some Donald Fagen stuff that I'm also thinking about, and that Natalie Cole revisitation of "Unforgettable" is also on my mind.

The rains once again came down like domestic animals around 5 p.m. but I still took the long way back up to the Yaesu Book Center near Tokyo Station. It's quite an eclectic place since the escalators only go up as far as the 4th floor before the stairs and elevators take over from there up to the 8th floor. Ended up picking up the latest TIME issue on Presidential Temperament; it was an interesting read. Being the latent Trekkie, I've come to the realization that John McCain is Kirk while Barack Obama is Spock.

The reason I got the magazine was that I still had a good 90 minutes before meeting up with Miss Prim. I looked for some cafe but being a Friday night, just about all of the places where one could get some sort of nourishment were already packed to the rafters, and the urban area of Yurakucho/Tokyo Station isn't particularly sparse in terms of restaurants and cafes. I just ended up back on the 4th floor of Maruzen to read; luckily, they've got tables and chairs there to read away.

Miss Prim met me at 7:15 and we made that search for an eatery. Instead of going up like we did when The Flautist and the two of us had met for dinner a couple of weeks earlier, we went down underground in the mistaken belief that B1 wasn't a Friday night hotspot. Well, the places there were pretty filled, too, but we could find a table in a Chinese place just beside Com Pho, my favourite Vietnamese place. Prim had said before that she wasn't crazy about crowds, so we just stayed long enough for us to have dinner. She had veggies and meat in cornstarch on top of rice while I went for the fiery tan tan men. Then we did a brief that time, the rains had thankfully stopped...over to her favourite Excelsior Cafe branch. Not too crowded there since Friday nights in Tokyo at that time always meant mass migrations to the izakayas and pubs and restaurants instead of coffeehouses. There, she showed me her photos of her 9 months traveling through Canada along with her homestays. Like me, she also likes taking pictures of her food. She has a special love for the New York style of and tough as a brick. I told her that she just has to try the Zacher Torte that Starbucks brings out every winter. She'll sleep like a baby.

One of her residences while in Canada just happened to be Vulcan, Alberta...that UFO-friendly place. She even took a picture of the local Star Trek museum there. No idea whether she experienced Pon Farr. I could only imagine how The Trekkie would react if she ever found out about Miss Prim. She has a good eye with her camera. A lot of the shots were postcard-class quality. One of her hosts just happened to be a Mennonite family...which was great for her. She's far from anything remotely gyaru, and prefers her acquaintances to be serious and considerate. Not surprisingly, she doesn't ever head to Shibuya.

We headed back home on the Tozai Line from Nihombashi Station. I was never too keen on taking the subway from there since my line always gets packed like sardines around the night hour...and don't even ask me about Friday nights. But Prim and I got lucky for some reason, we couldn't sit down of course, but we actually didn't feel like we were breaking laws of physics when we got on. It was a good night and hopefully, we'll have more like them in the weeks to come.

In less than an hour, I've got The Intellectual and The Publicist in short order and then I'm off to Omotesando to pick up some Halloween candy for Tuesday's pumpkin carving at the juku. If I'm lucky, I may be able to get some of the gourds themselves at that flower shop nearby Kinokuniya Supermarket without having to head back to National Azabu in Hiroo after Tully & The Coffeemaker tomorrow. In any case, Halloween this year falls rather nicely on a Friday next week, so basically the next 7 days will be perfect justification for all of the nightclubs and bars to hold their annual parties in Roppongi and Shibuya.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday October 23, 10:16 p.m.

Got through the biggest hurdle today...the model lesson. Luckily, my student was very accomodating. We worked on her flat delivery and gave it a bit more bounce and body (sounds like I'm talking like a hairstylist describing his latest improvement on a customer). Speedy did a wrap-up and he sounds optimistic; however, I'll only be convinced once she's sitting in front of me as a bona fide student. Still, I'm glad that the day's over.

Man, that Shatner-Takei feud has finally hit a warp core breach. Just read that Shatner has delivered a major hissy fit via the 21st-century version of the open plaza, Youtube...he basically attacked George for not inviting him to George's wedding. Takei just said that the Shat never RSVP'ed. If I believed that, I would be getting those Ferengi ears right now. George Takei has never been shy about his hatred for William Shatner...dunno why he's being coy about it now. As for Bill...why did he ever think that he would be invited by a guy who openly hates him?

Tomorrow, I've got the day off since the juku boss and I decided that this Friday would be the odd Friday out. I've gotta remind her that The Restauranteur should not come tomorrow night. Instead, I'll be heading on out to meet Miss Prim for dinner in Otemachi again. Kinda wonder if we will be able to find a table on a Friday night in downtown Tokyo.
Thursday October 23, 7:12 p.m.

Had lunch at the Ringer Hut champon restaurant before I had The Singer's lesson. Some guy beside me was chewing out a foreign-born waitress on how she took the order. He insisted in his blowhard way that he wasn't being a racist but he was just straightening her out on how to conduct herself properly, so that she wouldn't get a worse reaction from a really nasty customer. I can imagine that he may not have had racist leanings, but he was being one of those unlikeable obnoxious blowhards that just has to let everyone in the restaurant know his feelings on something or another. My old second back at NOVA all those years ago fit the profile to a this guy is probably not a bad sort...just gets on everyone's nerves. If a similar guy had tried to do the same thing at a coffee shop back home, in all likelihood he would've gotten an "extra ingredient" in his drink. Over here, the wait staff could only bow down repeatedly and utter "Moushiwakegozaimasen."

As for The Singer, she was OK although she was a bit down in the dumps initially since one of her longtime band members decided to leave the band. But she was better by the end of class.

Afterwards, I decided to hang out at the nearby La Vie Du France for half an hour for a coffee and danish before I picked up The New Yorker at the station and brought her up to the school. Looks like she had an interesting day with her two buddies by going all the way from her home in Ibaraki Prefecture (north of Chiba) to the absolute western boundaries of Tokyo...Mt. Takao, about as natural as any place could get in the find this Taiwanese fortune teller. They found her and they spent an hour having their auras (or should that be aurae?) read. Apparently, my student may be an ex-student sometime in the next 18 months since she was told to find her fortune working in another country. Of course, that would be great for boosting her English ability but I do wonder about putting my future goals in the hands of the supernatural. In any case, she was suffering from a major cold during the lesson so she was hitting the Kleenex hard. But she's having dinner tonight with those same buddies at a motsu nabe restaurant in Ebisu.

It's all quiet here at the school, but I've got that final lesson tonight in the form of a demo with that girl with the flat-as-urine-in-a-petri-dish (that line, by the way, can be cited to Bob Berry, former coach of the Montreal Canadiens) delivery. Hopefully, I can set her on her way to pronounciation excellence.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thursday October 23, 9:49 a.m.

Fully into the morning. Fairly busy day coming up. Saw the Patent Attorney for the first time in about 3 weeks. Jovial chap, as usual. And Grandma Dynamite is in the house with Speedy for her first hour. Nice lady but glad that I'm not pulling another double shift with her.
Wednesday October 22, 9:21 p.m.

75% of the way there. Got through with Speedy's student, 001 and The Diver. The first two were basically gab sessions since the former is so into movies and pop culture, and the latter just hates the text. I was literally by-the-book with The Diver since she needs the structure. Now, it's just The Fashion Designer. She's pretty much either way.

My schedule tomorrow has gotten a bit busier with the addition of The Singer. Somehow, despite her own schedule, she's been able to fit in 8 classes with us...which makes the bossman very happy. Let's see...I've got Grandma Dynamite, Miss Sedona, The Singer, The New Yorker and that model lesson student. Pretty busy but not like the chaos of last Thursday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wednesday October 22, 1:20 p.m.

Yup, looks like Jolly may be out of the loop for good. Waited the requisite 10 minutes for the guy but never showed, never called in. Not complaining too much since that means I can get home 90 minutes early.

Just went down to Shibuya and got a belated birthday present for The Satyr with those gift certificates he gave me...a nice little tome about designing Japanese interiors. He had some connection with architecture some years back, and I figure that the book may come in handy in the future if he and Miss Ivory decide to do some interior decorating. Was tempted to buy some other stuff but I'll wait to see how much I can spare after the next money pack comes in.

Ended up having lunch at the Wendy's near The Madam's home. Hundreds of eateries in Shibuya and I just go to a fast food joint. Still, I went for what was comfortable for me. Then, I took the bus up here to Speedy's.

I've got four in a row from late this afternoon. I've got one of Speedy's since he'll be busy with the other side of the operation, and then it's the usual Wednesday night triplet of 001, The Diver and The Fashion Designer. Also gotta do the invoice for the latest translation project and send it off to The Corner, plus fashion something for that model lesson tomorrow night.
Tuesday October 21, 9:24 p.m.

It turned out to be just Mr. Mild tonight; The Traveler was mysteriously incommunicado. The boss left a message but this sort of thing usually doesn't bode well for any return engagements. Still, I had a good time with the lad. Apparently, on the same Saturday that I was enjoying imoni nabe with 002 and her gang, Mr. Mild went off to a Noh drama and kyogen performance somewhere in Urayasu. Apparently, he has an interest in the art form. Unlike kabuki which goes on for a marathon 4 hours, Noh is thankfully light on the butt. Still, unless I got free tickets (Mild's ticket for the front row cost him 5,000 yen), I probably wouldn't head out to see it.

It does look like The Milds will be showing up next week for pumpkin carving; so we're looking at 2-3 pumpkins at least (The Milds, Suzanne and The Ace) for next Tuesday. Gonna be doing some shopping this weekend.

I've been continuing the Starfleet correspondence with The Trekkie back at Speedy's. I guess I'll be seeing The Nurse next Monday between SIL and The Full-Timer. Surprisingly, she hasn't seen the new pics for "Star Trek XI" quite yet.

Completely different topic but it seems like that initial glow that Sarah Palin brought to the campaign over a month ago has pretty much gotten tarnished into an ugly reddish-brown. Whether it has been her flubbed interviews with the media bigwigs or the excessive winking at the camera during that lone debate, she's been getting her share of trash thrown at her about not having nearly enough clout or experience to be placed a heartbeat away from the Big Chair. Now CNN has started wondering aloud whether those Tina Fey appearances on "Saturday Night Live" have also been putting the kibbutz on the real Palin's chances. Still, Sarah has got a good sense of humour about it all by appearing on the show with her doppelganger. She even showed some decent bust-a-moves on "Weekend Update".

Well, Jolly isn't here and I'm just 4 minutes from heading out the door. It means something when even the insanely optimistic juku boss doesn't sound too cheerful about his chances. I've got a feeling when this potential purge of students happens, Jolly will have already gone far from the exit.
Tuesday October 21, 7:14 p.m.

Looks like the Boston Red Sox couldn't pull one more rabbit out of the hat after all. After that miracle comeback on Thursday night, the Bosox ended up getting hammered and so the Tampa Bay Rays are headed for The World Series against the Phillies. The only other folks besides the population of Boston to lament the loss are the media outlets who won't be gaining too much advertising revenue with this lineup for The Fall Classic. Still, Japan cna be happy that although Matsuzaka won't be in there, Iwamura will be.

That crime odyssey known as Kazuyoshi Miura has taken a bizarre turn, post-mortem. A LA pathologist says that he can prove that the now-dead suspect in a quarter-century murder was not the victim of suicide...but of murder. Kinda wonder if this pathologist has been watching too many episodes of "Quincy, M.E."

Well, so far, I've only got Mr. Mild and The Traveler coming up.
Tuesday October 21, 7:03 p.m.

Suzanne is the tonic after a not-so-happy day. We made quite a transition conversationally; all the way from "The O.C." to "The U.S....elections", that is. Not sure how we were able to go from Seth and Marissa to Barack and John, but that's the wonder of my business. Just gave her a brief glossing...glad that I didn't have to explain the vagaries of The Electoral College, although that could be coming up. But next Tuesday is pumpkin carving day, so I don't have to worry about that for another 2 weeks.

Got word from The Trekkie that The Nurse has cancelled her 2nd class back from hiatus tomorrow, so I don't start until 5 p.m. And then, I've got The Dentist back on November 1 in her regular afternoon slot. She did get the Brent Spiner CD and stylized my response as if we were Starfleet gay can I get?

The juku boss came in and told me that even she now believes that Jolly probably will or has flown the coop. She hasn't received any sort of call from him about last week's no-show. She's given me the OK to just take off if he doesn't show up by 9:40 tonight. Kinda glad that I haven't overstayed my welcome here yet.
Tuesday October 21, 4:16 p.m.

It has been a bit of an awkward day so far. First off, Mrs. Travel and Mrs. Alp, the only ones to show up today for the weekly Beehive session, had a bit of a heart-to-heart with me about the classes at the Beckers...our home for the past 18 months. Ms. Alp was a lot less harsh with me than she was all the way back in February when I had that cash crunch of my own, but she basically told me that things were getting a bit stale in the sessions and that I should be better managing the talking time amongst the ladies. In other words, they think I've been coasting by letting her and Travel gab away while quieter ones like Mrs. Jade and Mrs. Tee just sit there. I took my medicine like a man.

Mrs. Jade was notable by her absence. After last week's session, apparently the ladies had a bit of a powwow about the direction of the chatfests, and although Mrs Travel said that things were cordial, there was a distinct split in opinion between Travel and Alp on one side, and Jade on the other. Mrs. Jade feels that the lessons should be more teacher-centered while Travel and Alp feel (as do I) that they should be student-centered...especially since we're not exactly in very conducive surroundings for a proper English lesson...two tables in an often crowded cafe. However, I was hearing a lot of contradictions from them. They would like me to be a lot stricter on the reins and yet they don't want to be obligated to come u pwith a set topic for presentation on a regular basis. They would like things to be back to the way they were at the bowling alley, our old hangout, but Alp especially said that she would prefer to stay at the Beckers although I really can't be that effective as an actual teacher outside of being a moderator and checking in on any major errors. I, for one, would like to get back to a private room but apparently Beckers is the only place that's convenient for everyone...and yet they would like to increase their numbers...that ain't happening as long as we stay at a coffee shop. I was frankly left a bit gobsmacked and somewhat down after that, although our lunch at a Korean place was cordial enough.

In a way, though, the softly, softly talking-to that I got this morning did jolt me out of my that has been a decade in the making. I'm kinda wondering if it's time to finally end my long era with The Beehive. It's been fun but I'm thinking whether I've just gotten a little too close to them. Periodcially, I've gotten the same little lecture from them whenever they think I've slacked on some sort of teacher-related protocol, but I think this time, the lecture hit a bit closer to home. I believe that as long as the ladies insist on keeping things at the coffee shop, things are just gonna end up as a kaffeeklatsch even if I draw on the reins for a short while. Well, the next few months will be contemplative ones for me. I won't make any major moves during this year, but I think I may decide to end things early next year.

Then, it was my penultimate session with 002. Unlike the fun of the party, the first 15 minutes of the lesson were serious. Basically, it was a polite but frank discussion about the kerfuffle of two weeks ago. However, it just seemed like a verbal reiteration of the e-mails that we had exchanged. 002 was obviously discomfited but I kept things on an even keel. Still, what needed to be said was said and hopefully, the talk has gotten everything out of our systems and that the last class will end on a happier note. In any case, 002 admitted that she wasn't crazy about the new text and she even wasn't all that thrilled with the last one as well.

Back at the juku, the boss told me that she'll have to be going in on Friday for a wonderful session with the gastric camera. She has my sympathies. Well, I've got Suzanne as usual and then just Mr. Mild...and maybe The Traveler. Mrs. Mild is off in France right now. Will Jolly show up? I'm thinking about suggesting to the boss that we should tell our wayward student to call us each time if he can come, instead of when he can't come.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday October 20, 8:54 p.m.

Just myself in the outer office. Speedy's teaching his Monday night regular. I've been getting some stuff ready for the coming week, including going over that taped rendition from that potential pronounciation student last week. A lot of stuff that needs overhauling...lack of rhythm, emphasis, name it, she doesn't have much of it.

I heard that the acerbic Mr. Blackwell, he of that dreaded and hated Worst Dressed List, finally went to that fashion house in the sky. It's said that he died of intestinal complications; probably inhaled some lint from one of the dresses that he had savaged. I can imagine that at the funeral, all of the women he dissed will show up wearing anything but black and tasteful....just out of spite.

General Colin Powell has officially endoresd Barack Obama. I guess the general is off of McCain's Xmas Card list for this year. His endorsement probably won't change any of the minds of the converted, but the independents and fence-straddlers are probably hmmmming at this moment. I still say it's early to declare victory for Obama but this endorsement cannot help McCain.
Monday October 20, 7:49 p.m.

Smelling of cigarettes and coffee once again after my latest lesson with The Full-Timer at the local Doutor's. Looks like things have settled down a bit between her and her somewhat manic-depressive boss, but not quite out of the woods as of yet.

The Magician cancelled her lesson for the 29th and has shipped over to mid-November. Her job often creates these large gaps in her education. found out that she wants to come in earlier but neither Speedy and I are around.

Not even a month since it began, but the Aso administration seems to be slipping even further in the polls. At this rate, PM Aso may have no choice but to dissolve the Lower House...before it dissolves by itself.

Just found out through some sort of brochure that Captain Picard is indeed a captain of sorts; Patrick Stewart's the Chancellor of Huddersfield College in the UK. Wonder if The Trekkie is aware of this.
Monday October 20, 4:21 p.m.

Pretty busy socially this past weekend, so let's get started.

On Saturday, there was the party at 002's. So, just to add that little bit of oomph to it, I decided to head over to LaLaPort, Japan's very first megamall in Minami-Funabashi to see if I could actually buy a box of Krispy Kreme donuts. I actually had to take a taxi from Funabashi Station to get the place since buses apparently take their sweet time on the weekends. My wallet wasn't too badly dented by the ride. I was delighted to find out that the lineup into LaLaPort's Krispy Kreme was only a microscopic 5 minutes. Tons of people head over to the main hub of Shinjuku but luckily not too many bother with a small Chiba city. Saw the famed conveyor belt processing the donuts including the sheet curtain of icing raining down on them. Also got the traditional free donut from the staff. Ended up getting a dozen assorted for about 1,800 yen.

So with a box of donuts in one hand, and a pumpkin in the other, I made it to 002's place an hour later. Happily, there was none of that tension involving 002, Speedy and myself the week before. 002's husband was his usual happy-go-lucky self. Soon after 001 and 002's friend, the one who had wanted the crack at carving a Jack O'Lantern, arrived. Got ourselves well stuffed on the imoni-nabe, a hot pot filled with beef, green onions and other veggies in a rich soy-sauce based stock. The rest of the evening turned out to be a show-and-tell night via the laptop since everyone except me had gone overseas for various reasons. First off was 001's digital photos of her time in the Middle East; she and her buddies had even taken a dunk...a very shallow The Dead Sea. Then, 002 and her hubby showed off their pics from the Maui Marathon. Finally, 002's friend gave us a marathon picture showing of his trip to Beijing and Tsingtao. His job apparently has something to do with trend spotting, so there were a lot of shots of people walking and a lot of the native culinary fare. I was kinda fading out at one point since the imoni started to digest on me. However, by pumpkin carving time, I was back helping out. The friend and the others enjoyed making the first Jack O'Lantern (at least, in my purview) of the season. And a lot of cellphones and digital cameras got busy taking pictures of the finished product out on the balcony. For a party that 002 had hoped to keep a bit shorter since she was worried about 001's commute all the way back to Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, it actually lasted a good 8 hours.

On Sunday, The Satyr, MB and I got together in Shinjuku to catch "Ironman". Y'know...maybe I'd subconsicously had my expectations a bit too high for this one or I'd just bought too much into the reviewers' hype (although, admittedly, they were also guardedly praising at best about their feelings about the movie), but I was a bit disappointed about this one. MB liked it somewhat more than I and The Satyr did. But I just thought "Ironman" was surprisingly flat for a hi-mech action movie. And Robert Downey, Jr. may have lifted the material according to the critics, but his glib, throwaway one-liners seemed to have been delivered subvocally; I needed to read the subtitles to find out what he'd said. Movie Buddy also agreed with me on that point, remarking that sound engineers often ramped up the bass for better sounding explosions but at the expense of lost dialogue. Plus, for some reason, unlike the origin stories for some of the other Marvel franchises like "Spiderman", the actual leadup to the formation of the superhero was not all that interesting, and there were a few too many "meet cute" scenes between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts to my liking. And we got one of the most effeminate military officer performances in cinematic history in the form of Terrance Howard...truly bizarre. Maybe it was just as well that he won't be returning in the sequel. For basically these reasons, I didn't think it really quite lived up to the hype although the Ironman vs. fighter jets scenes were the one saving grace.

After the movie, we caught up with The Sylph, Miss Ivory and Skippy, whom I hadn't seen in over a month at the Wald 9 complex since they decided to go distinctly women-and-weepy by catching "P.S. I Love You" with Gerald Butler and Hilary Swank. The ladies said that it was a four-hanky flick. On the way over to El Torito, the culinary destination for the evening, Skippy had said that despite an initial worry over how her new job at a recording studio was going, she was now well settled.

We had dinner at El Torito at the bottom of the Microsoft Building across from Takashimaya Times Square. Had ourselves the gamut of the menu and a good time although the screaming kid at the next table didn't enhance the experience. Me and The Satyr got an embarrassing load of birthday riches from Skippy and The Sylph. Even The Satyr, a birthday boy himself today, got me something in the form of music store gift certificates. I felt badly that I didn't have anything for him but frankly I'm never very prepared for what to get as a birthday present for anyone. However, I did get some clues via MB's gift of a Frank Lloyd Wright calendar and The Sylph's gift of a strange picture book of various shots of Tokyo. I even got a PASMO card from MB and The Sylph so now I'm now part of the commuting masses who just slap the card on the ticket gate sensors.

Today, I didn't have any classes in the morning and early afternoon so I decided to catch my second movie in as many days in Shinjuku. Instead of the Kabukicho plaza, my destination was the new-and-improved Picadilly. I ended up adding another card to my stressed-out wallet; along with the new PASMO, I now have a card for the Picadilly in which every 7th film I see at the place gets me in free. For a guy who watches his fair share of flicks, it was a good deal.

I caught "Get Smart". I actually felt I got more bang out of the buck from watching this than I did with "Ironman". The reviews for this one were lukewarm, and maybe that lowering of expectations was what helped me. Plus, I was a fan of the original series with Don Adams and the tasty Barbara Feldon. There was plenty of homage to spread around right from the opening titles to the various props and even to a couple of cameos. It was also the 2nd movie with Terence Stamp that I'd seen within a week; don't think I've done that since catching "Superman 2" multiple times over a quarter-century ago. I'd have to agree that the casting of the two leads was pretty near perfect. Steve Carell is probably the only actor who can do Maxwell Smart right now, and Anne Hathaway did a number of scenes as 99 which nearly seemed to channel Feldon's take. Unlike "Ironman", I would look forward to a sequel with "Get Smart".

Ended up having lunch at that Chinese buffet place in the shopping complex over JR Shinjuku. So, I'm pretty much stuffed for the rest of the day. Couldn't find anything for The Satyr at the Tower Records by the south exit, so I'll have to wait until Wednesday for my next opportunity. I did see a best hits collection by sometime-swinging unit Ego-Wrappin' at HMV; may get that by the end of the week but my priority is getting the gift for The Satyr.

I've only got The Full-Timer and then Medicine Man tonight. This week shouldn't be too bad. My Hump Days aren't nearly as nuts as they were last week, and at this point, I've got all of Friday off. Only meeting up with Prim on that night for dinner. Still, I gotta plan for that specialized model lesson for that student late on Thursday night.