Friday, June 12, 2009

Saturday June 13, 3:24 p.m.

Man, just slogging through those translations that the Cornerette dumped on me. Worked on them for nearly 3 hours; haven't even made it halfway, and now I have to head on out to MB's neck of the woods for DVD night. Well, I'm even starving so I may grab some lunch before heading out.

Had The Coffeemaker for her 60 this morning. Not sure what the situation is with the juku cat. Hope he did come back to the boss.
Friday June 12, 7:41 p.m.

Looks like Toonces the Juku Cat is out there somewhere. Usually he makes his daily rounds of the neighbourhood before heading back into the house. However, the juku boss told me that he's yet to return so she's a bit worried.
Friday June 12, 4:47 p.m.

Forgot to mention that I did get my new passport. Yup, my picture truly sucks...I mean, even for a passport photo. I swear that the photographer should've said "Gomen" when he handed the shots to me. I'm now worried that the folks at Immigration, Ichikawa City Hall and at all airports will turn to rock once they take a gander of my mug.
Friday June 12, 4:34 p.m.

Rather fit to be tied...or to be put to sleep. I'll take either. Had my four consecutive night lessons last night along with a ton of translation work, and then I had my first bit of unneeded drama on Mixi. There was a little bit of misunderstanding in one of the forums after I put something down as what I'd thought was just an innocent compliment. Well, it was taken the wrong way and I apologized both online and through private message. Luckily, the person in question came back to say that there had been no harm done. Still, concocting a proper apology note in Japanese doesn't exactly take a few minutes and with my other work, I certainly didn't need the extra stress.

Speaking of the translations, I've been trying to blaze through the various pages. I've got a lot of pages to do by Tuesday but I may have some luck by the fact that a lot of them are tour schedules. Still, I've got DVD Night with Movie Buddy tomorrow which will take a chunk out of my translating time. I may have to consider a few hours at an I-cafe before meeting up with the gang.

Will be taking off in about 20 for the juku. Just The Ace and The Restauranteur.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thursday June 11, 11:09 a.m.

Beginning to what is a thankfully smaller Hump Day than had been expected. Grandma Dynamite is away for the rest of the month. Still, felt pretty rushed since the Tozai Line was having signal problems this morning. But no big problems.

The Cornerette seems to be one of those folks who likes to throw further addenda for me to translate. Hope I can keep up although I do have quite a few hours between Miss Sedona and The Carolinan today.

Got word from my former co-worker, The Trekkie, via e-mail that she'd seen "Star Trek", her apparent raison d'etre. Yep, she bawled her eyes out...the only one whom I could see do that for this movie. I think her seeing it again is a foregone conclusion.
Wednesday June 10, 4:36 p.m.

Not a total surprise...I got word from La Fille just now that Grandma Dynamite will be taking the rest of the month off due to an injury she suffered in Hawaii last week...apparently, it was a twisted ankle. She's always struck me as being a bit injury-prone. As much as it is a pity that she's had to suffer an indignity on her son's most important day, it also means that I don't have to do another early trip here tomorrow. Yes, that is indeed a very selfish thing to say...but frankly I don't give a flying F**K! When I have to lug my carcass across town in the wee hours of the morning to teach a lady who over the past several months has often started moaning and groaning about not feeling up to learning but still showing up, I simply will not have all that much sympathy.

Anyways, another guy who may have flown the coop is The Big Lug. I had forgotten that it was the last class on his current contract. However, he certainly didn't give the impression that he was finishing things off with us, although he said that he wouldn't be available til July. Strangely enough, the bossman looked a bit more pessimistic than I did. He asked me if The Lug had said something to me but the bossman was the one gabbing with him for a few minutes before I took over.

Taught The New Yorker in Ichigaya. She's getting ready for the big trip to Hawaii on Saturday. She did OK for her. I can only hope that she'll be spouting a few English phrases in The Aloha State.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Wednesday June 10, 10:18 a.m.

A Hump Day of Miss Prissy and The Big Lug back-to-back and then I have to head on out to teach The New Yorker before she and her sister, The Carolinan, head on out to Hawaii this weekend. Then, it's the usual Wednesday night lineup. Kinda glad that The Admin has cancelled today.

Managed to get that first draft of the first of The Cornerette's translations done and sent over. Of course, she threw in an addendum to that first sheet.

Already starting to feel rather tired.
Tuesday June 9, 7:36 p.m.

Had a nice round with Suzanne. She's been having a bit of a drama in her life. Apparently, one of the staffers at her workplace is a bit of a nutter and has been doing a bit of stalking duty. Suzanne is pretty attractive so I can see where an obsessed fan can go a bit too far. However, she told him off and other things so he's been holding back...for now. Also, she may be heading for The Big Apple by herself for the very first time, so all of the class was talking about how to approach the solo trip to NYC. Gave her some insights from my own two trips there, including the time that a drug pusher opened up his trench coat in Central Park one morning to show us his store, so to speak. Never a dull moment there. Incidentally, I watched that "My City, My Life" feature on CNN with Candace Bushnell, the author behind "Sex and The City", talking about New York. Right from the start, she gave the sentence of the piece: "Visitors will get to New York and will either end up loving or hating New York". Suzanne's been there twice before with her family, so I assume that she falls solidly in the former category.

I've got The Milds in about 20 minutes. Wonder how I'll be approaching their lesson tonight considering last week's rather disappointing class. It was kinda like experiencing that final lesson with The Junior almost 2 years ago. All those years trying to educate and entertain the lass only to hear from her mother that she'd failed a simple test. I got out of Dodge really quickly after that.

In the middle of reading a major piece on Harry Potter in that film magazine that I'd bought on Sunday. I've seen all of the films but I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Rowling's magnum opus. Never really got into it...perhaps because it deals with of the subsets of humans that I avoid like the plague.
Tuesday June 9, 4:11 p.m.

Had a rather strange message from Speedy; he asked me if I still had my TESOL Certificate somewhere. I told him that it was probably gathering dust and nits somewhere in my apartment. Apparently, something is up so that he would like to prove to visiting folks that the teachers are of top calibre. Well, I'll see if I can pull it out of the frame once I get home tonight. And it looks like Speedy is gonna hand off The Cracker to me officially. It works well for all of us. Speedy can get more time to do what he needs to do for the study abroad programmes, I get a plum student, and The Cracker enjoys my company. What more can we ask for?

As for my other big employer, the juku boss, it looks like she's had a rather tough few days, but nothing to do with her recovery. Apparently, that first replacement kids' teacher on Saturday was more of a businessman than a teacher, and the second guy to come in rated a "Perhaps..." on the efficiency scale. Hey, I don't see kids and I very rarely see the kids' teacher so I don't particularly care.

Had lunch at my ol' favourite Tonki. The telly there was showing about the future ruler of North Korea, that clone of mine. He's already garnered a fair amount of notoriety in this country by showing up at Narita several years ago on a fake passport. I'm sure the media there is probably trumpeting that up by saying that the shrewd scion of Kim could fool the bourgeois Japanese puppets of the United States. Ah, me. However I am feeling for the families of those two freelance journalists who may now have to face a true Hell on Earth in a North Korean labour camp.

Bought a couple of Kyotaro Nishimura mystery novels for Dad since Father's Day is coming up at the nearby Seiyu. Just need to get the card and off they will go. Also got the first batch of the Gatsby Menthol Wipes of the season. It's starting to get plenty moist out there.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tuesday June 9, 12:16 p.m.

Got some domestic stuff out of the way, such as finally cashing in that extra money from KDDI at the post office, and finally getting those blankets out to the cleaners. I feel sorry for those folks since they must handle a lot of funky stuff (and I mean not in the James Brown way). It'll just be the juku folks tonight.

Still have some "Star Trek" detritus to get out of my system, so you've been warned. I recently came to the surprising realization that this newest entry to the series is the only movie of said series that I've seen twice. Even "The Wrath of Khan" didn't get such repeat treatment. Mind you, back then I was just a high school kid on a very limited budget and leash. Those opening 10 minutes are still stuck in my mind; not particularly because I have an unhealthy attraction to that anime-eyed doctor on the Kelvin (I don't...really!). I think it's because I'd always wondered about a "Star Trek" movie having an epilogue in which the Klingons or other folks found themselves in some major carnage when one of the characters reaches out into space in a vain attempt of an SOS, then the theme song kicks in with the Enterprise coming to the rescue. Well, that beginning is the beginning of this movie.

However as much as I love this movie...yep, I don't have to scratch too far down to see some of the major holes in it. Whoever was the Creative Writing professor for the writers of "Star Trek" must've reached for the Jack Daniels in misery. Of course, the so-fast-my-nose-bled promotion of young Kirk from ousted Cadet to honoured Starfleet Captain pretty much broke the mold there. Not quite sure what Captain Pike was thinking when he left the Bridge for the very last time of his moment, he reminds Jim that he's not even supposed to be on the ship and then the next minute, he makes him First Officer....and this, during a major crisis. Later, even Spock leaves the ship putting 17-year-old Pavel Chekov in charge of the Federation flagship....again in a major crisis. That's either moxie or pretty slipshod discipline. Then, Security Guard Cupcake drags the hated Jim Kirk back to the Bridge and sees him become Captain. He must be wondering where he's gonna end up now that the guy he'd beaten into a pulp 3 years earlier is now his commanding officer. Probably cleaning engine manifolds with a toothbrush. Yup, not exactly the most logical writing there but it was still fun.

Anyways, it looks like MB is having another DVD night over at his place this weekend, which will coincide with my biweekly session with The Jyuppies since they live close by. He'll be calling up The Satyr and Miss Ivory to see if they can join up for dinner on Saturday.

Monday June 8, 7:27 p.m.
The picture on the left is of most of the Trek crew in Kabukicho a few weeks ago for the special sneak preview of the movie. No comment on whether Chris, John, Karl or Zachary decided to try out some of the more interesting aspects of the neighbourhood. Nice model of the ship.

Saw "Star Trek" for the 2nd time in as many weeks...this time, at Roppongi Hills. I had Theatre 4 which was a prototypically tiny cineplex scene. I think Chip Guy's screen in his house back in Toronto is only slightly smaller than this screen. Still, it was nice to see that it was basically a full house there for the 1:05 show as well as the 3:50 show. I picked the former one and took a seat right in the front row, so I suffered a bit of neck pain, but not unduly. I did have one fellow sitting not too far away from me who kinda smelled of one too many trips to the vending machines selling One Cup Ozeki but he was "kind enough" to sit away from me and I just used circular breathing techniques.

Seeing it a second time didn't lessen my enjoyment of the movie any. I was able to pay more attention to what everyone was saying, including the big argument around the Captain's Chair before Cadet Kirk was unceremoniously thrown off the ship by young Spock. Still got the throat lumps and the goose pimples at the appropriate moments. I think the first 10 minutes of the movie make up for the best beginning of any of the "Star Trek" films. Another observation is that compared to "The Wrath of Khan", which I'd seen all the way back in 1982 and in which all of the characters were far older than me, I realized that most of the actors in this new cast were quite a bit younger than me.

After the movie, I ended up spending nearly a couple of hours sipping away at some iced coffee in Cafe Espresso in Roppongi Hills itself. The coffee shop had that veneer of slick trendiness, including a table with a bunch of coffeetable books. Unfortunately, that attempt at added sophistication didn't prevent some of the riffraff from coming in, including a loud obnoxious gyaru just yelling away into her cellphone....someone apparently didn't instruct her that microphones were quite advanced now. My Sunday spending on luxuries didn't stop with the cafe; I ended up buying the inaugural issue of Britain's newest movie mag called "Filmstar" for 1,533 yen. Yup, pretty dear price but it did boast over 180 pages. There was an article on Quentin Tarentino's latest magnum opus, "Inglourious Basterds". That picture of crazed Eli Roth as the Bear Jew is worth the admission itstelf.

Met up with The Sisters of State at Tokyo Midtown for our burger dinner at Baker Bounce. They were pretty sussed about making yet another trip to The Aloha State from this Saturday. They were bemused and amused at my choice of Chocolate Milkshake with my Bacon Cheeseburger...hey, gotta go with the flow. The ladies enjoyed their Avocado Burgers but wouldn't bite for the apple pie as dessert. Instead, we just walked down the rest of Midtown and had some green tea over at Koots near the subway.

Today is pretty easy on the mind. I just have three lessons today. Had SIL for our usual 90-minute chat and then it was The Full-Timer. She'd been absent from last week's lesson due to her nervousness from last Tuesday's job interview. Actually, though, she did quite well and is heading for the second round of interviews tomorrow at the same place. Hope she does even better. I just have The Medicine Man to wrap up.

Tomorrow will be even easier since I only have the juku folks. Suzanne is back from her 1-week absence due to an afternoon date with her beau and then I have to do something about raising the spirits of The Milds after their rather mediocre performance last week. I can certainly use the time to spruce up the place.

Speedy is back after his second and last marathon business trip of the year. He looked at my schedule and saw how packed it was. I've quietly determined that I won't be accepting any more reservations for Wednesday and Thursday. I got a bit of relief when The Admin sent e-mail over stating that she has to cancel this week's session due to her son's school event. I will also need all the vitamin drinks I can get since I've got another pile of translations to do, thanks to The Cornerette.