Friday, October 09, 2009

Saturday October 12, 10:27 a.m.

Last night for a couple of hours, CNN, FOX and all those alphabet media outlets could've been forgiven if they'd decided to change their call letters into "HUH?" or even "WTF?!" I was at home watching The Network That Ted Turner Built when the live news feed came in from the chairman of the Nobel Committee stating in his native Norwegian something about Barack Obama, followed by a major inhalation of air from the amassed journalists. Jonathan Mann of CNN probably echoed millions of viewers when he looked rather stunned when he had heard the most famous name this year. And then the chairman confirmed it a few minutes later in English when he declared that the US President has gotten the 2009 Peace Prize.

Well, after resetting my lower jaw, I echoed what a lot of the CNN and BBC folks were talking about...first and foremost, the question "WHY?" Or "Why now?" There were indeed a lot of folks who were trumpeting the accolades of the decision, but there were even more people, including myself, asking "What has he done?" and "Why does he deserve this?" I think even Obama himself was thinking that as he was told the news when he woke up. He probably thought one of his siblings was playing a practical joke on him.

The chairman of the Nobel Committee (sorry, can't be bothered to look up his name) stated soberly as he brushed off the near-incredulous questions from reporters that Barack was given the Nobel Prize for Peace because of his effect on the world, and apparently his gosh-darn great speeches. Pundits educated me that the Nobel Committee often roll the dice on winners in the hopes that the award can provide some existential nuclear fuel to do more of the right think. News to me...I always thought that that heavy medal was for deeds done, not for deeds to be done. I got pretty much the same reaction from the juku boss and The Restauranteur last night. Y'know....I like Barack Obama, I really do. But I just don't think this was particularly the right choice at this time. I think the slogan was "Yes, we can!", not "Perhaps, we could."

All I can say is that Sasha and Malia now have some pretty powerful bragging rights in the schoolyard. Their father has become the US President and a Nobel laureate in less than one year.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday October 8, 7:21 p.m.

Saw The Carolinan for the first time in about a month since she couldn't make it for the latter half of September. For some reason, she was still rather blah or blase...although the Beard Papa cream puff I plied her with helped a bit. She's now getting used to her new circumstances in Jimbocho, and since I sometimes have a bit of a shopping trip there, she told me that if I'm ever in the area around noon on a weekday, I should look her up for a bit of lunch.

Ahhh...The Cornerette sent me an e-mail. Haven't heard from her since that little kerfuffle from the ceramics translation project. Can't say that I was too enthused about hearing from her, but she sent me her own personal thing to translate....all of 14 pages. Should be fun.

I was able to tunnel through The Croatian's sample of writing and get it off with remarks. So, basically, it's just working on The Corner's and The Cornerette's translations until The Music Man comes on in.
Thursday October 8, 4:44 p.m.

Well, Typhoon 18 has come and went. Looks like we got the 2-tiered deal. The sheets of rain last night followed by sun and warp-drive winds from this morning. In an O. Henry moment, all of the folks due to go to Speedy's earlier in the morning had no problems, but although I could sleep in, I ended up riding a morning rush hour peak train at 12:30 p.m. since the Tozai Line stopped due to lingering high winds. It was a distinctly uncomfortable experience breaking laws of physics with my fellow passengers on the subway...something that I hope to not repeat tomorrow morning when I go and see Cozy for his first lesson.

Luckily enough, I was able to meet Bay just in time at Nakano-Sakaue despite the turtle-like Tozai. Yes, she contacted me last night to say that she needed my signature for verification for some of those translations I did for her a few months ago. Bay is basically an ex-employee of Speedy's since she's now full time at another place, but she had a day off so she decided to come over with me to Speedy's with a ton of Beard Papa Puff Pastries for presents. The Japanese sure love their shuu kurimu. I'll have to remember to give one to The Carolinan. Yep, she finally replied to my explanation but she said that she'll be here by 6.

Only have The Music Man as the official Speedy student tonight. Perhaps he'll have some opinions on the Suzuka Grand Prix.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday October 7, 8:23 p.m.

Well, the day's done for me...001 has left the building, and will be gone for the next couple of weeks. She has her annual all-day barhopping tour in Suidobashi next week, and then has a meeting at work the week after that. Speedy and Ray are just talking logistics about the next big step to salvage the school.

I think Mixi has gotten rather dead when it comes to the communities I've joined. Even the Star Trek community has gone dark after what seemed to be interminable chatting amongst the local Trekkies for the past several months. Basically, the only one of my communities that has remained quite active is the one for jazz...and I haven't contributed anything to that yet.

The rain has stopped for now....not sure what it's gonna be like tomorrow morning, though. But as far as I'm concerned, I'm gonna enjoying lounging in my futon for a few extra hours.
Wednesday October 7, 4:16 p.m.

Well, I thought as much. We'd been expecting Grandma Dynamite's grand return to the fold tomorrow morning. However, there is also Typhoon 18 with its own grand entrance, and her sister, Grandma Enka, along with Speedy and I were wondering if the former would brave the latter. A few minutes ago, we got the answer. She canned and she'll be doing a double next week instead. So, instead of having to slog myself here early in the morning fighting sturm und drang, I can actually get a decent round of sleep and not show up until 6 p.m.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard anything from The Carolinan about confirming for her lesson tomorrow night. I did send a message to her a couple of days ago but have yet to hear back. Pretty unusual for her. Hope she's OK.

Got that translation done for least, I've sent it off for him to peruse. Hopefully, it passes muster. I've got that other one for The Corner but that one's considerably smaller than the one I've just done and it won't be due til Halloween. However, The Croatian sent me his first official assignment, so gotta get that copied out and analyzed by Friday.

At the juku last night, Mr. White dotakyan'ed due to his illness...which both the boss and I suspect is depression. He's almost 4 years younger than me, but his hair has gone stark white (hence the name). The two of us then had a brief but deep talk on the nature of depression. As for The Milds, the three of us basically devoted most of the class on talking about his performance on Sunday. Apparently, the leader and conductor of Mr. Mild's glee club was not too complimentary about the first part of the show...I have to admit that the early stuff did come out off-tune...but by the end, the group was humming like a well-oiled machine. Strangely enough, the talk turned to my Mixi experience, and they both got really interested. I may have created a couple of online monsters here.

It was Miss Sedona's final lesson with me before she heads off to Toronto for what could be her new life. Not too much studying...pretty laidback class and then the usual questions about my hometown.

I've only got 001 tonight and then I plan on getting the heck out of Dodge by 9 before Typhoon 18 pummels on in.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Tuesday October 6, 1:25 p.m.

A bit of a bummer....I wanted to use today's session at the I-Cafe to get some more translation done, but this computer won't download the file. Just a bit of a bummer, since I'm "resigned" to a bit of surfing instead.

This week may actually turn out to be the busiest week I've had since early summer. I've got 3 early wake-up calls, plus Shrek's translation, one small one from The Corner along with the regular student classes. Unfortunately, this will all occur with the backdrop of a major typhoon coming our way tomorrow. I just saw the icon on the weather map with a diagonal umbrella and driving rain to realize that it could be rather hard commuting on Wednesday.

David Letterman's being doing a lot of mea culpa over the past few days since it was revealed that he hadn't just been relying on certain members of his staff for jokes. I think "The Late Show"'s new slogan should be "Stay up for Dave. He certainly has." Of course, some of his fellow late night host have declared a feeding frenzy and jumped on his tribulation like a cat on juicy mice. A bit sad but the late night show host fraternity has been anything but....more like a fracternity. Plus, as one lady said on Jeanne Moos' report, "If he can dish it out, he should be able to take it." And certainly, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer is probably not crying too hard for ol' Dave.
Monday October 5, 10:45 p.m.

Finished off The Medicine Man tonight. Man, it was another slow one with him, but then again, the two of us were beat.

I received a great line from Mrs. Jyuppie just now. She couldn't do the test, not because the dog ate it, but her baby daughter did! job just gets more and more interesting.

The news has been buzzing about the sudden mysterious death of ex-Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa. A couple of years, it was Agriculture Ministers who were falling by the wayside, but now it's the money men. Apparently, he was a real nice guy in the political world and in the world of constituents, but he regrettably lost it all earlier this year with his inadvertent Foster Brooks impression at the G-8 Finance Ministers meeting in Italy. Not sure what he died from...could've overdosed on medicine.

Cozy is now officially my newest student. And he wants to get the earliest slot on Friday. So it looks like I'm gonna have three consecutive early wake-up calls for the latter part of the week. But at least I'm gonna be making some money again after a lean couple of months, and Cozy told me straight out that my usual wage is too low and that he would give me a whopping 5,000 yen for 60. Gotta keep this guy.
Monday October 5, 8:33 p.m.

May have the prelude to a typhoon outside of these walls right now. It's been raining the proverbial cats and dogs for the past several hours.

However, yesterday was quite pleasant for Mr. Mild's debut as a basso profundo member of his chorus. The juku boss and I made our way to Urayasu Culture Hall in the afternoon and got to see my student in full James Bond tuxedo get up on the stage with a few dozen other middle-aged fellows to sing a number of Japanese folk tunes as well as UK ditties such as "Loch Lomond". Strangely enough, at the same time as this concert, there was indeed a festival held in Chiba City organized by the Japan-Scotland Friendship Society. Some cabers were thrown, some kilts were raised, but there were no panic-stricken starship engineers. In any case, both the boss and I were surprised to see Mr. White and his family show up as well. Mrs. White is quite the opposite of hubby...garrulous, opinionated and with a machine gun for a voice. I thought she came from the Kansai.

It's been a busy one today. Although two lessons are on the slate today (Swank and The Medicine Man), I finally got that meeting with The Romantic and his boss...seems that research project is indeed a research project looking for raw corporate data. Looks like I'm the newest unofficial member of their network. And I'm grinding through Shrek's translation of that rental contract. I'm halfway through, so it looks like I may be able to finish it tomorrow at the I-Cafe.

Anyways, would love to write more but still busy.