Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday November 14, 10:18 p.m.

And I'm finished at last. Managed to survive two model lessons with two wins, and a nearly ruptured temper. I found out that it was The Restauranteur who had introduced The Artist to the juku...bless her little heart. The Artist is apparently part of twins; the other is working part-time at the restaurant.

After a busy two days, I'm ready to enjoy my two free ones. Will be sticking close to home tomorrow since I need to dismantle my satellite dish from the railing and then go shopping for a frame to house that commemorative TIME issue of Barack Obama....the supposed man with the plan. But before all that, I need to get some sleep.
Friday November 14, 8:22 p.m.

Well, this seems to be a banner day for me. Not only did I get Swank from the Speedy model lesson, but my juku model lesson also produced a new regular to the Tuesday night lineup. She's an artist by trade, thus dubbed The Artist, and not surprisingly, she's a bit of a Chihuahua by nature...kinda nervous and waifish (makes The Restauranteur a veritable Auntie Mame in comparison). Things got off to a rocky start, though; earlier in the day, the boss had left me a message with the impression that the model lesson had been cancelled so I would just start out with Mild Jr. However, The Artist did show up as scheduled at 6:30, and when the boss ran upstairs to tell me about it, there I was without anything planned. I wasn't a happy camper to say the least and had thought I was quite cross with the boss, but apparently later on she told me that she hadn't even noticed I was mad. I'm relieved and disturbed at the same time. Still, I was able to concoct something out of a couple of decades of experience and thin air, and so The Artist will be coming in between Suzanne and The Milds.

As for Mild Jr., he's been busy of late. Halloween Night at Tokyo Disneyland Hotel was undesirably raucous due to some rowdy costumed types but he and his staff took care of things professionally. We actually translated some stuff he'd written about one of the Saints, Saint Matthew, the patron saint of butchers, blacksmiths and tailors. Always brings something interesting to the table, Mild Jr. does.

Miss Honolulu and I also got into a rather deep conversation away from the text (never a bad thing) about our singlehood. Well, she's not really single anymore, she's living in sin with her beau of 18 months. She said that she had felt like I do now about settling down. But she came across some computer dating website and she was able to find her soulmate. Well, good for her, but enh for me. Got too many demons that I would rather not share with anybody.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Friday November 14, 2:43 p.m.

Got through the biggest hurdle of the week which was that model lesson for the Eiken 1 student. Looks like all that stress and planning were worth it...she's coming in for her first lesson next Friday. Tis Miller Time! She's pretty high although not quite as high as I'd thought. Nice lady...has a passing resemblance to Hillary Swank, so I dub her gay as that sounds.

Now, I've just got that other model lesson student for tonight at the juku. Hopefully, I'm as successful with her as I was with Swank. Man, I'm ready for a meal now. I guessed I burned through those calories, eh?

The Sisters of State turned me down on Speedy's party due to other plans. Didn't they think they would be able to make it in any case.

Apparently, scientists finally got their first few images of actual planets in other solar systems. Cue that "Star Trek" music.
Friday November 14, 8:14 a.m.

Another late night getting home, another early morning getting in. Luckily, I've got the Saturday off tomorrow. Had a McBreakfast for the second day in a row...that just can't be good for the cholesterol count.

Speedy was magnanimous enough to have me invite The Sisters of State and The Full-Timer to the school Xmas party in early December since the three of them can be considered to be honourary members of the establishment. Apparently, the party will be held at that celeb-owned restaurant nearby. As bonenkai go, the cost will be appropriate at 5500 yen per head which includes the 2-hour all-you-can-drink.

Fairly busy day...I got Miss Honolulu and then that Eiken 1 model lesson student is in. Still not sure whether I can pull this one off; even the ever-cheerful Speedy isn't sure either. I hope she's a lot like The Smile...the type that can hit it off with anyone. Really, any student who even thinks he/she can attempt Level 1 tests should love the gift of gab, and if this student is a raconteur, then my life is made for the next little while.

I amused The Patent Attorney just now for the past several minutes before Speedy came in to take over. He's a good guy...loves to talk on just about anything and is very curious about the world...the ideal student.

I've also got the Friday juku bunch, including yet another model lesson student. This one is far down the ladder in terms of ability...just wants to know how to get around in a foreign country. And then, I've got the usual Mild Jr., The Ace and The Restauranteur.
Thursday November 13, 10:08 p.m.

Still waiting for Speedy to come out from an initial powwow with a potential EIC student to get my schedule down pat for her. Mr. Pronunciation had a pretty good inaugural session; he's gonna get Speedy as his teacher this Saturday since I will be having the day off. The bossman wasn't too enthused about that since he's gotta go back into training mode for a new staffer that day...a fairly button-down type of person to probably replace The Lab Tech who's now gotten saddled with a couple of projects from her day job and may not be able to come back.

AK and I had an atypically long chat...I don't really talk with the staffers too much; not that I'm snobbish or anything, but I just don't talk all that much outside of classes. She doesn't live too far away from here...she should be so lucky. She's also got her own translation of them happens to be "Life on Mars", that BBC show.
Thursday November 13, 7:15 p.m.

Almost finished here. Got through the first five. Had The Sisters of State. The Carolinan and I talked about the return of our mutual friend, California Girl in mid-December. The Carolinan will be setting up the restaurant. Apparently for her birthday last week, a friend of hers took her to the storied New York Grill up in the Hyatt...the same one used for "Lost in Translation". Some people have got it made.

Still not quite sure how that model lesson will go tomorrow. I've got some stuff made up but it's the first time I'll be trying to sell a person on helping her pass the Eiken 1 test.

Haven't even had lunch yet...just gonna gaman and make it through Mr. Pronunciation's inaugural lesson, and perhaps I'll grab something on the way home. It may end up being another trip to McD's; don't really wanna have to do that but their meals are the only ones that seem to digest quickly and I gotta hit the hay as soon as I get home since I gotta do another early one tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thursday November 13, 8:48 a.m.

And thus another Hump Day begins. Got out of the office at 11 p.m. last night...I would've left earlier but I'd received some sort of urgent message from Mrs. Travel that I had to respond to. At first thought, I believed I was gonna be given my pink slip by The Beehive. But Mrs. Travel informed me that her other English conversation class was in desperate need to find a new teacher on Wednesday afternoons. Apparently, their last three teachers came and left in short order. Either the teachers were the worst kind of fly-by-nighters or something's wrong in that class. In any case, I had to decline regretfully since I've got my responsibilities here at Speedy's and I'm no longer willing to do the boomerang commute.

I've got quite the loaded plate on my schedule today. It will be the usual morning session of Grandmas Dynamite and FON followed by Miss Sedona. Then, I've got the Sisters of State thrown into the mix and finally the newest student in my flock...Mr. relation to Miss Pronunciation except in curriculum.

Still gotta figure out how I'm going to give a model lesson to a lady who wants to try the Eiken 1's known as the Standardized Test for English Proficiency or STEP, and is just one of the many language tests that the locals here go for so that they can put it on their resume. Level 1 is the best of the best...basically, such students are just about native English speakers. Kinda makes me wonder why they even want to bother coming to a conversation school if they're that good.
Wednesday November 12, 7:17 p.m.

Saw the new U.S.S. Enterprise along with some new shots from J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek"; hmmm....looks intriguing. I still kinda wonder about that Apple store-like bridge, though. Supposedly, the new trailer comes out in a couple of days. I'll be looking forward to that on YouTube. The only other thing is how Michael Giacchino will handle the timeless theme song.

Speaking of Trek stuff, I lent The Trekkie my discs of "Star Trek: The New Voyages" along with that disc of "UFO". I did warn her about the summer stock acting but at least the gang there have a lot of heart.

I received some sort of message from Mrs. Travel but she only said that she would only call me back later. She may have a hard time doing that for the next couple of days since I'll be leaving early and coming home late. Not by choice. Saturday may be her best chance.
Wednesday November 12, 5:48 p.m.

Came back from my shopping spree from Kinokuniya. I was actually going there just to search for that textbook but, fortunately or unfortunately, I came across the latest "The Complete Peanuts" and "Hikaru no Go 4 and 6" which I just couldn't let go. I didn't find what I was supposed to look for at the Times Square branch but had to find it at the original location of Kinokuniya near Studio Alta, one of Shinjuku's big landmarks.

Now it'll be a couple of hours before The Diver and The Fashion Designer come in. 001 is off for the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wednesday November 12, 11:33 a.m.

Looks like the juku computer is pretty much on its last legs as far as I am concerned. I can't access Hotmail from there since the upgrade on their part last week, and if I even highlight one thing on, it sends me its "I give up" sign.

My time with The Milds mostly consisted of Mrs. Mild (she's still ailing from her cold, which means that poor Mr. Mild was bracketed between two virus-ridden folks) showing me her trip through southern France.

Got a surprise call from The Lady this first, I thought she was calling to cancel yet another lesson but she wanted to see if I were free tomorrow morning (yeah, fat chance) to go out to lunch with her and The Matron in Ginza. I had to decline since Thursdays have now become the new Hump Day.

The Bohemian also sent word saying that he's pretty much available only on weeknights so our meeting is pretty much out. And I sent word to The California Girl that the 16th will be open for any dinner.

I've got The Nurse in about an hour before I head on out to go on a textbook hunt for that model lesson on Friday. I bought a minipak of Pringles with the new flavour of Honey Roasted Chicken; not too bad at all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tuesday November 11, 4:21 p.m.

Back at the juku. Noone's home...not sure what happened to the boss. Considering her potential medical situation, I'm gonna be a bit worried.

Back in Washington, it seems that Barack Obama's in-box is getting piled up higher and higer with worse and worse news. Now, DHL will be joining the various banks and auto factories which are dying. I wonder if the President-elect can have a cooling-off period in which he can change his mind.

On my Facebook, one of my "friends" put up on his status bar something to the effect that his chest was feeling rather tight. I asked him about his situation...I can only hope that it was juts a tasteless joke on his part.

I sent in a message to The Bohemian whether if he was still interested in meeting on Sunday for dinner. I'm being pretty generous here...he always has a penchant of floating some sort of vague invitation for which I send a response and then he doesn't say anything.
Tuesday November 11, 12:49 p.m.

Typical November day...overcast and cool. Just had The Beehive...Mrs Travel was back from her latest foray into Italy...she did hear dribs and drabs about Obama's win there but she was too busy traveling around to turn on a TV.

Had lunch at my favourite tonkatsu-ya. The shogayaki and hirekatsu platter went down really well. Also got some medicine to try to vanquish my nagging cough. Just the two lessons at the juku tonight...Suzanne and The Milds. Not too much income but at least I can rest up a bit.
Monday November 10, 10:42 p.m.

Both Medicine Man and I were going through our colds tonight. So, it was rather amusing to TM, our Monday night staffer, when she came in with the tea to see the two of us wearing our masks like a couple of surgeons. MM was a bit luckier in that he was only suffering from a scratchy throat. Still, he was more lucid than he was last week. He was asking me about that cold sore which has been infesting my lower lip for almost a week. I wasn't quite sure if he were making an observation or a billable diagnosis.

Anyways, Speedy is still entertaining his counseling client but I'm just about ready to take off. I may try the salaryman's technique of hot shower, two bottles of extra-strength vitamin drink and heavy blankets to sweat my cold out.
Monday November 10, 7:18 p.m.

Kinda ironic...The Full-Timer and I talking about the evils of smoking in the lesson while we're in Doutor's...a veritable den of nicotine-filled iniquity. Had to deodorize myself with the Febreeze here at the school before making my entrance. The Full-Timer had a small vacation in Korea and got me some chocolate-covered rice cakes...she was a bit alarmed at my chocolate-influenced cold sore (a periodic event as predictable as the seasons) but I assured her that I would be happy to accept her souvenir. With all that smoke, the talk turned to the recent passing of a veteran newscaster, Tetsuya Chikushi, last week from lung cancer. He was 73...not exactly a spring chicken but I'm sure that there were better ways to go. Reminds me of the death of Peter Jennings a few years back.

The gang here seems to be discussing about the plans for the annual bonenkai for the school. Looks like they're going for December 6, a bit early on the year-end party calendar but not unheard of. It may be Japanese cuisine and I know Speedy is looking for a more group-friendly place than last year's venue in West Shinjuku...nice Continental fare but not really a place for Xmas parties.
Monday November 10, 5:09 p.m.

It was only Tully yesterday morning at his namesake coffeehouse. The Coffeemaker got stuck out in Shizuoka on Saturday night so couldn't make it in. Looks like Tully has passed his first experience of attending a wedding all by himself. Even hosted the reception. I told him that he can look forward to losing oodles of money in wedding money envelopes for the next 3-5 years. I also posited the idea of having the three of us do the end-of-year brunch once again after last year's little do at Din Dai Fong, the soup dumpling place from Taiwan that we went to in Times Square.

Then, I got that visit from The Cable Guy. And within a couple of hours, I was no longer with Sky Perfect and I was with Ichikawa City Cable. I'd only been expecting to get some dinky slate of community channels, but I actually retained pretty much all of the channels that I'd been watching with my former provider (CNNj, BBC, Super Drama TV!, etc.) and got a whole slew more. All in all, it'll cost me about 800 yen more a month but it was worth it...especially when I consider that I'm now hooked up for that digital land line that will render most TV sets obsolete by 2011. I can now check out tons of useless information from the regular channels. The only thing is that I now have an inactive old SkyPerfect converter and a useless dish still mounted outside. Well, I guess I'll be doing some handiwork on Saturday.

"Superman Returns" made its network premiere on TV Asahi last night. However, I should say "Superman Partially Returns" since the station once again hacked out chunks to be able fit it into its tight schedule. Yeah, some great scenes but all in all, kinda blah return for The Man of Steel.

The weather is getting colder and I'm just getting through a cold plus a cold sore that tends to suddenly bleed on me...somewhat embarrasing in front of a student. I did pick up that commemorative issue of TIME with President-elect Barack Obama on the cover. I'll be picking up that frame. Since I was at Maruzen, I made another visit to Com Pho and had a great bowl of Spicy Pho...really hit the spot, especially with the cold.

Pretty light schedule today, thankfully. I only had SIL so far....talked about the election, of course, along with the trials and tribulations of defrocked music producer Tetsuya Komuro. I've got The Full-Timer in about half an hour, and then it'll be Medicine Man to wrap up tonight. I hope Medicine Man is a bit more voluble in his answers tonight. He was back in teeth-pulling form last time.