Thursday, April 08, 2010

Thursday April 8, 7:43 p.m.

Looks like Matt Smith has become the talk of the town after his smashing debut as The Eleventh Doctor in "Doctor Who". I've been looking at both sides of the Pacific in terms of reviews. On Mixi, I told the local fans in Japan about the show on YouTube and asked for their feedback. Everyone who responded liked "The Eleventh Hour", although a couple of them were put off by the food rejection scene. Enh...I say. I'm a nihilist. On the Facebook side of things, people were also quite happy with the results, although they unanimously hated the new rendition of the theme song. I would have to agree with that. Just doesn't sound right.

With all of this love for the new Doctor, I hope fans still hold a special place in their hearts for Chris Eccleston and David Tennant.
Thursday April 8, 7:16 p.m.

Well, the model lesson wasn't exactly a home run. He was a young fellow, just starting his first year as a member of the working class so he just reminded me of a high school kid in a suit. A bit laconic but overall a good fellow. Not sure if he really enjoyed the lesson that much but he did linger on with Ray after the lesson so that can't be too bad a sign. However, he said that he would get back to us after checking with his upper echelons.

It's just Mr. TOEFL and The Music Man. I haven't seen Mr. TOEFL in just about a month so I'm not sure what he still wants to do...another dry run or actually go with his request back in early March and work on hammer statements.

Thursday April 8, 4:07 p.m.
That model student has just come in and is now doing the preliminary written test. He kinda looks a bit like The Ace (who has just left the juku for bigger and better things)...a bit nebbishy and quiet. Hopefully, he'll be just as inquisitive and cordial as my former student was.
During those few hours before the wedding on Monday, I was taking some shots of the main drag of Roppongi. Don Quixote is a commercial institution in Tokyo, kinda like Honest Ed's in Toronto in that it sells just about everything at low, low prices. As for Gas Panic, it's also an institution in Roppongi for far more different reasons. It's a very large dive for the desperate women and just-as-eager Marines and English teachers to amass during the weekends. I'm not sure if the name derives from what happens after ingesting mass quantities.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Thursday April 8, 3:36 p.m.

Into the middle of Donut Day. Miss Prissy swept through another test successfully. She's at the end of her current contract but we're fairly confident that she'll renew. My model lesson student should be here in about another 20 minutes.

And here I thought that Minna-no-to (Your Party) was a ridiculous name for a Japanese political party. Since all that sturm-und-drang concerning the departure of a number of disgruntled LDP types from the mother party, those folks must have hit the sauce a bit too hard to come up with this name for the newest party in the Diet: Tachiagare, Nippon-to (Stand Up, Japan Party). This has got to be a protest party...just like America's Tea Party. There is no way that this club could ever get's more catchphrase than political association.

Usually the new shows come out on TV in the Fall back home in Toronto. It seems like even the American imports are now showing up in the Spring here in Japan. Just in the past few weeks, season premieres of "NCIS" and "Burn Notice" have popped up, and now we've got the new programs of "Leverage" and "Lie To Me". Like the former two, the latter two are basically procedural types with "Leverage" being the caperesque clone of "Ocean's 11", and "Lie To Me" sounding like the behavioral analyst's version of "House". Both shows have leads who used to ride high in the saddle on the big screen but have continued the reverse trend of movie stars coming to TV: Timothy Hutton and Tim Roth. And yes, both shows have leads whose names are Tim.
Thursday April 8, 9:32 a.m.

The rest of the week has been pretty uneventful. Ah, but there was a bit of a kerfuffle at the juku on Tuesday night when the older sister of Sugar N' Spice and the boss had a misunderstanding in words. I won't get into details but basically it was a case of Sugar's inability to explain clearly and the boss' easy-to-panic nature that escalated things up to the point that their Mom had to come in. It all ended up in a slightly weepy Sugar with a stoic Spice using up only the latter half of their lesson. I was not pleased and the boss apologized profusely.

Earlier in the day, I was surprised to see that Mrs. Tee of the Beehive was just rattling off in English. Mind you, it did help that Mrs. Travel was off in the States so I gather that Mrs. Tee was somewhat less intimidated. But boy, does Tee have a life like "The Perils of Pauline". She has a brother who's now in terminal care and a mother who has to stay with her family; she's merely 104 years old and filled with piss n' vinegar. Heard from Mrs. Alp that Mrs. Tulip back over in Toronto has had one of those knockout-dragouts with her husband...yep, those are inevitable.

Yesterday was basically a Donut Day since I only had Grandma Enka in the morning and then 001 in the evening. But a little busier today. I've got Miss Prissy in about 20 with a model lesson, Mr. TOEFL and then The Music Man later tonight. Actually, both Grandma FON and The Carolinan both cancelled their lessons.

However, I've been pretty busy with proofreading. The Cornerette, Mr. Jyuppie and The Croatian all gave me assignments which I did get done during the big donut hole yesterday.

The Anime King and his court finally arrived on Tuesday. Got a courtesy call from The King on Tuesday morning. He and his gang will be touring Tokyo until tomorrow; then they're off to the Kansai area for most of next week...which basically means that I'll probably only see them next Friday and perhaps the following day before they head on home.

Thursday April 8, 9:21 a.m.
Well, it's been a while. As you can see on the right, I did make it to Paddy's wedding party. Of course, in the picture, that is indeed Paddy giving his wife her due.
As soon as I entered the International House in Roppongi, Paddy was the first one to meet me in the lobby. That kerfuffle about any wedding money was discreetly forgotten.
Matching the name of the venue, the wedding party was indeed international. At the very least, four countries were represented there: Japan, Canada, America and the UK. I've never been a mingler; always disliked having to go up and introduce myself, so Paddy went out of his way to ease me into the various conversational circles. Got to meet Paddy's old law professor, a New York tech geek, a mother-daughter pairing from San Diego, and a young couple who are currently living in Vientiane, Laos. And of course, The Cat and her family came all the way down from Nagano Prefecture.
First there was a tea service (courtesy of UK culture) and then the dinner buffet (courtesy of US culture). Have to say that the scones were excellent...gained 2 kg just looking at them. In between was the renewing of vows (actually, Paddy and the love of his life registered their marriage back in 2005). And The Cat's hubby and another old school friend provided some musical entertainment with a couple of Beatles numbers.
We even had some visitors of an animal nature. A crane or heron dropped into the courtyard for several minutes which got several shutterbugs, including me, snapping away on our digitals. And there was even a stray cat which peeked out from some bushes.
As it turned out, it looks like I was the only one who did the Japanese thing and brought an envelope of 30,000 yen. I discreetly slipped it under a basket at the reception table. Well, I figure it was penance for my e-mail faux pas.
I thought I had gone through the whole gamut of wedding parties in my life after my brother's nuptials in 2001, but it looks like I had one more in me. Now I'm pretty sure that I will have to wait until the next generation grows up.