Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday February 12, 1:00 p.m.

Doing 3301st entry...from the Kinko's in Shinjuku. Wouldn't do this usually because of the price but since I'll be away from a computer for 4 days, I felt I had to make sure I didn't get any sudden emergency requests from Cozy or The Corporation.

A happy birthday to my father...turning the big 73 today.

Well, I was all set to attend that do that The Bohemian had been itching me to go tomorrow with his Mixi crew...when I saw the price tag: 5,000 yen. Sorry, just a bit pricey for me right now, especially with guys I don't even know. Heck even with guys I do know well, I would be somewhat hesitant...but then my guys wouldn't go to such places in the first place. So, I've had to give my regrets, and I'm pretty sure The Bohemian will be calling me up tomorrow or tonight to change my mind. However, I did send The Bohemian a counter-proposal to just meet for drinks with his buddies in the future.

The Olympics officially launch tomorrow morning JST....still not sure about the weather there. Pretty darn balmy on the slopes...just wonder if that could translate into more wipeout conditions; not something the skiers will take too kindly to. Heck, Tokyo is experiencing more wintry weather than Vancouver. Some places in the Kanto got hit with snow again last night.

Saw The Carolinan yesterday at the Shinjuku Starbucks. She was back on an emotionally more even keel. She and her sister gave me the annual Valentine's Day tribute...which was probably why she wanted a lesson on a holiday. I'll be back there later on today to see The New Yorker and The Bow...and then I'll catch my usual Friday night folks at the juku. I saw The Bass earlier today in Funabashi. Strangely enough, this will end up being my busiest day this week. However, I'll be looking forward to a full weekend off from tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Wednesday February 10, 4:56 p.m.
You gotta hand it to those food producers up in Hokkaido. They know how to market their products. Bay, before she left us for good, had left us a little present in the form of a plastic tube containing balls of Japanese purin (basically the bastardization of the word "pudding" but really custard); there they are right above the text. They resemble tiny version of those large clear sacks of mozzarella cheese that show up on The Food Network. They come in these little plastic sacks which you poke with a toothpick to release the globes of purin and then you put some caramel sauce on them.
Looks like the Valentine Day's parade is rolling on. I got my third package of chocolates via Miss Prissy today. I'd half-expected the gift since she did the same thing last year. So, I've got The Beehive, Sugar & Spice and Miss Prissy on my White Day list next month.
I realized that after today, I won't be coming into Speedy's for about 5 days due to the national holiday that noone remembers (it's actually Constitution Day...Japan's Birthday) tomorrow. To those who celebrate The 4th of July and Canada Day, it must sound rather shocking and unconscionable that this day is largely seen as merely a good excuse to sleep in by millions. However, when one considers the still-sore sticking point about Japan's Imperial past and how even the flag and national anthem are considered controversial, I think most people would just appreciate the holiday as a day to sack out.
Did catch an early Jude Law movie today by the title of "Immortality". It was an interesting flick about a vampire who looks anything but, just appearing in a relatively low-key mystery.

Wednesday February 10, 12:54 p.m.

Forgot to mention that we did have a 24-hour period of Spring yesterday. It went all the way up to 18 degrees C. I could doff off the heavy coat and longjohns, and sport a lighter jacket. Back to reality today...more on the order of 6 degrees, and in fact, we may even get some snow tomorrow...stuff that should really be heading over to Vancouver for this weekend.

The juku boss was somewhat less than her usual cheerful self last night when she greeted me at the door. Apparently, the accountant taking care of her taxes had given her a bit of a fire-and-brimstone lecture about her juku business being in the red and that the boss needs to shape up or ship out. Plus, the other teacher at the juku....the one that I hardly ever rather cranky at her and a mother of one of the kids over some sort of matter.

The boss asked me what I thought, and I just answered by asking her whether she was operating her juku for money or for fun. As I thought, she answered the latter although she would like a bit of profit from the business that she's been running for almost a quarter of a century. Of course, that's fine with me, and so in that case, I would probably just throw out 90% of her accountant's advice. Accountants are supposed to give tally up the numbers and give advice when necessary, and they certainly don't like to hear their clients say that they just want to make just an teensy-weensy bit of money for what is supposed to be a fun side thing. The beancounters really just want to work with the serious entrepreneurs and regular corporate types, so I'm sure Miss Fire-and Brimstone was rolling her eyes back repeatedly during the boss' audit.

However, what brought the juku boss out of her funk and back to her happy-go-lucky mood was when I talked of Speedy. Like her, he had recently been given a royal chewing out by the school's two investors for not doing nearly enough to keep the school out of the financial tailspin it's currently in. So, she felt that she was not truly alone. And she isn't. Speedy and the juku boss are two of a kind...both of them want to have a business but not for the tons of net profit but just because they want to provide clients with a homey, happy service. And that's fine with me, and that's why I joined them.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Tuesday February 9, 1:36 p.m.

Should come up with a name for those two high school sisters at the juku. I guess Sugar & Spice will have to do. Sugar will be the younger while Spice is the older. Sugar is the one who plays the sax and has a slightly better hold on her English whereas Spice is holding down two jobs in a tonkatsu and ramen restaurant.
Tuesday February 9, 1:28 p.m.

Well, got word from The Croatian, my proofreading client in Eastern Europe, that he managed to get top honours in his test. He made sure that I would share some responsibility in his good forture which I appreciate. He even sent me some money....not a heck of a lot but still every little bit helps.

Read in this morning's "Japan Times" about how yesterday's Super Bowl is starting to shape up to be a modern classic with The New Orleans Saints finally shedding its "Aints" image. Would have loved to have seen the game although I'm not an NFL fan by any measure. I guess YouTube will have to suffice my curiosity.

Got my first Valentine's Day gift of the season from Mrs. Tee from The Beehive. It's chocolate-covered yuzu peels, and the bunch of us even shared a box of Godiva Chocolate Cookies. It was as sinfully delectable as I'd predicted. The chocolatiers on the street and in the depachika are working overtime this week as the 14th approaches.

I've got my expanded schedule at the juku tonight, although ironically, my veteran students, The Milds, will not be there. They're traveling off in Italy this week. However, I've got those high school students, Mr. White and the new guy, Mr. Nice Guy.
Monday February 8, 10:42 p.m.

Well, Mr. TOEFL showed up for another rousing battle with the time clock. He did pretty well this time around. But as for The Medicine Man...well, he just didn't show up. Ray called him a few times but has gotten no answer. He only has 4 lessons left on his current contract and since he is a highly-paid doctor, I'm wondering if he has decided to just forfeit the rest of his classes and call it a day. Believe me, considering how low key he is in class, I wouldn't be too surprised.

Anyways, I've sent off the translation to Cozy. And I'm ready to call it a day myself.
Monday February 8, 7:47 p.m.

Well, just 5 days away from the Vancouver Olympics. They've got the athletes, the facilities and the if they could only get some snow. Yep, the ski hills are lacking snow. Could be embarrassing if all that white stuff they had to carry from 200 km away were to melt on Friday night. Still, I'm lucky in that I can root for two countries, my homeland of Canada and my adopted home of Japan. Of course, I would love to see Team Canada get another hockey gold like they did in 2002, and certainly, it would be nice if Japan can get more than 1 medal (although that was gold). After the news from the last week, the locals here can sure use some good stuff. Asashoryu leaves sumo in disgrace and Toyota has to recall its Prius (or should I say, "pry-us"(as in "pry us from this wreckage") in pretty much the same state.

I already feel like I went a few rounds with either Mike Tyson or the Kameda Bros. I've had to get stuff done up for some of the new students at the juku, take a last look-see at the latest translation for Cozy, get a bunch of stuff typed up for Mr. TOEFL and have to deal with some more red tape from The Corporation. I would be looking forward to the holiday Thursday except that I have to teach The Carolinan and she wasn't in a great mood last time.