Friday, June 11, 2010

Saturday June 12, 3:15 p.m.

Finished my two today. Miss Prissy is such a nice person, but she's just so slow in her answers. The Businesswoman was fine but she's a bit rusty from the lack of time with English. Anyways, I'm feeling rather laggardly since I have yet to have lunch, and most likely, it'll be dinner in any case.
Saturday June 12, 10:13 a.m.

Certainly feels like a Summer day out there.

Well, the World Cup is now up and running. And one couldn't have asked for a more dramatic beginning. There were tens of thousands of spectators inside the arena screaming and blowing horns, millions more outside and all over the world watching the festivity, a family of an icon openly mourning the loss of a member due to senseless tragedy, and the South African team scored the very first goal of the entire match. The host team isn't expected to even make it out of the prelims so I guess getting at least the first goal comes as a celebration of sorts.

After the nutso schedule on Thursday, I had a fairly easy day on Friday. However, my class with Swank, which had been meant to be shorter than her usual session (60 instead of 90), actually ended up being over 2 hours long. The lady completely lost track of time and at the end, she got flustered packing everything up so that she could rush over to her daughter's party. She got so intense about hosting her girls' birthday party today in terms of the wording....I kept telling her to just relax and enjoy.

Afterwards, I walked from Roppongi down to Azabu-Juban to check out Frijoles once more. Frijoles is that taco place I found out in "The Japan Times" a couple of weeks ago. This time, I went for the fajita burrito with carnitas...the fave braised pork. This time, there was a steadily moving lineup which was nice to see...the first time I went there was during a rainy day and there were only a few people. It's always nice to see a fledgling business doing well in this economy. I had the burrito with that hot sauce. Last time, I had the tacos with some medium sauce which wasn't too spicy in my estimation. Well, that hot sauce knocked things up several notches in the heat category...I was able to still appreciate the carnitas but perhaps I'll take things down a bit next time.

Last night, I discovered the hard way that I really didn't need to be at the juku. The Restauranteur sidled into the classroom wearing a mask and sounding quite hoarse. She'd caught a cold and just wanted to get the homework. The juku boss just has her half-hour with me, only because The Restauranteur's class is also just 30 minutes. If The Restauranteur had only canned straight away, I would've been able to just spend a nice evening at home, but that would just be rather churlish of me. At the very least, I should be grateful that The Restauranteur cares enough about her class to make that detour to the juku to pick up homework.

Well, it didn't take long for the new Prime Minister to get his trial by fire. It was the departure of Mizuho Fukushima and her Social Democrats from the coalition which pretty much put the last nail in previous PM Hatoyama's coffin over a week ago. Now, the other partner, Shizuka Kamei, has pulled out due to his objection against PM Kan for refusing to extend the current Diet session so that the postal reform bill can get passed. However, his People's New Party will stay in there. But the political news showed PM Kan getting the Parliament's equivalent of the Bronx honeymoon at all for this guy.

Anyways, I have just two up today....Miss Prissy and The Businesswoman.

Gonna be catching "Iron Man 2" tomorrow with the regular movie folk. Actually, it'll be a gender split. The women will be seeing "Sex and The City 2" while we menfolk will be catching the hijinks of Tony Stark.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday June 10, 9:45 p.m.

Well, some 14 hours after having arrived in this school, I'm still here typing away. I'm doing La Fille a bit of a courtesy since she wanted to do a bit of cramming before her next test tomorrow. It's not as if I have a hugely busy schedule tomorrow. I basically just have Swank for a special in the morning and then it's just the juku boss and The Restauranteur. This past day was the Mega Hump Day with 7.5 hours of classes.

The Carolinan did get that sighting of the cast from "Sex And The City" last Tuesday from Roppongi Hills. The ladies were mere ants from her sight but luckily TV Asahi in its infinite wisdom had huge screens to broadcast all of the red carpet stuff.

As for Mr. TOEFL, he was his usual steady self. He had his second-last class tonight and then we wrap things up next Thursday before he takes off for North Carolina. He was so grateful to the school that he bought us a box of lovely's nice to be noticed.

Not sure how much longer La Fille wants to cram but I can hang on.
Thursday June 10, 7:40 p.m.

Finished up with The Carolinan. Meanwhile, a major unexpected squall has swamped Tokyo. There was no sign of any rain in the weather forecasts which probably means that all of the weatherfolk are getting irate phone calls right about now.

That just leaves Mr. TOEFL to end this long day. Ironically, he'll be going to the same state that The Carolinan did in her college days. She asked me to ask him to find out where he'll be going to for his duration.

Earlier today, Ray informed me that she'd gotten e-mail from Miss Sedona, my old Thursday morning student. Looks like her dream of setting up tentpoles in Canada has now dissipated and she wants to come back to Japan permanently. Nothing like living abroad to get a better perspective on home. I wonder if she still has perpetual smile on her face.
Thursday June 10, 5:57 p.m.

Into the homestretch now. The Magician was probably the only other student who I had to keep on my toes since she's the bossman's student. But she was OK. Got into a good conversation about the banana split.

Just have The Carolinan and Mr. TOEFL before I finish my epic day of lessons. Still not feeling too worse for wear.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Thursday June 10, 2:47 p.m.

Had The Ol' Staffer just now. She admitted that it felt a bit weird actually sitting in the student's chair instead of serving tea beside it. We did some work on pronounciation and delivery. Looks like she's a bit self-conscious about the way she talks.

Over halfway through the day now. Just got The Magician, The Carolinan and Mr. TOEFL.
Thursday June 10, 11:20 a.m.

I've gotten through the first two students of my septet this morning. The Patent Attorney and I had another smooth session, and he even gave me some food for thought...the possibility of using karaoke boxes as another venue for private lessons...during the weekdays, the rooms are a huge bargain.

Grandma Dynamite wasn't quite as proficient but she did bring her A-game. And I found out that she's become an ardent Takarazuka fan of late. In fact, she and a friend are headed for a performance in Hibiya in a couple of weeks.

Anyways, I've got The Slacker in about 5. I'll try not to yawn.
Thursday June 10, 8:17 a.m.

Back in the saddle for a very full day of classes. And I've got that Slacker squeezed in between Grandma Dynamite and the ol' staffer. Well, luckily I start off with the congenial Patent Attorney.

It'll be an early Summer day...going up to 27 C...definitely do not need a jacket.

Wednesday June 9, 8:29 p.m.
Well, it certainly didn't take long, did it? The puns have started for the new guy...PM Naoto Kan. I had predicted that the old Obama campaign saying could be applied to the new leader. I'm still waiting for "The Wrath of Kan" to be quoted.
My three students have come and gone. With Grandma Fado, it was simply talking about the mouse infestation in her apartment. Then, The CEO and I got into discussing about her presentation in Beijing next week, followed by talk on the new administration. There was an extended interlude/stand-up routine with Ray and La Fille which involved watching YouTube videos of maggot cheese, deep-fried cockroaches, steak, ribs and Chicago deep dish pizza...yep, in that order. We now have a tentative date to head out to Tony Roma's once the bossman gets back into town. And finally, 001 and I had another grand old time conversing on the fact that she finally got that membership within the Arashi Fan Club, just so that she could pre-order some tickets for a November concert. Then, we got into our old drunken hangover war stories.
Basically I'm done for the day. I'll let La Fille know within the next few minutes that we'll be shutting down. Then tomorrow will be the massive Hump Day...but thankfully, the Music Man, the last student in the lineup decided to cancel his lesson. Still, it'll be quite the schedule. I'll have my usual Patent Attorney, and Grandma Dynamite in the morning, followed by the first lesson with that former staffer, then it's The Magician, The Carolinan and finally Mr. TOEFL. Will definitely earn my salary.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wednesday June 9, 9:26 a.m.

Not so much of a Hump Day Mega Hump is due for tomorrow. I've just got Grandma Fado, The CEO (should enjoy talking politics with her today considering current events) and then 001. Grandma Enka is not on the slate for some reason; I'll have to confirm with Ray when she comes in about 20 minutes. Kinda glad that I don't have it too busy, although The CEO will keep me on my toes...I feel rather knotty today (not naughty...I haven't felt that way in almost a decade). I could use with a nice shoulder massage but I rather doubt that Ray or Miss London would be too willing to give a good kneading.

Luckily, yesterday I just had the juku folks so I could sleep in. The news yesterday was pretty much all on the new Kan administration here. The Chief Cabinet Secretary, Sengoku, ( a cross between The Chief of Staff and The Press Secretary...just imagine Leo McGarry in C.J. Cregg's power dress) exhorted about the "youth" and the change that this new government will provide. I'm sure there were quite a few in the media, the opposition and the public at large who were chortling ruefully at that comment. Less than half of the new Cabinet were in their 40s and 50s, and most of the so-called new team are holdovers from the last disastrous administration under PM Hatoyama. If Naoto Kan can just last up to 2 years, I think that will be the major achievement.

As for the juku classes, I got an initial scare from Mr. White when he shambled in looking like death warmed over. I thought that he had gone into another major depression like he did last Fall when he had to stay away from us for about a month. However, it just turns out that he has been exhausted from his other academic pursuits and probably because he had received a bit of a chewout from his Korean teacher...apparently someone along the lines of a Sue Sylvester. He brightened up somewhat after my humour-laced lesson.

Sugar N' Spice were great as always. They often banter with each other like a female comedy duo. However, the act will be breaking up for a while from July as Sugar has to go search for an appropriate university once she graduates next year. Spice will be with me but she'll probably go to a half-hour status. The Milds went on a trip to Hiroshima last week and stayed at a ryokan which had also catered to members of the Imperial Family. Mr. Nice Guy was his usual steady self with his stream of questions.

Well, my worries about spilling the beans to The New Yorker about her sister's recent hooking up with a Floridian came to naught. I got the word from The Carolinan that she thought that she had told her sister about the relationship. I'd thought that that had indeed been the case, so no problems. I'm sure she'll have plenty to talk about.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Monday June 7, 9:45 p.m.

Well, my long day has come to a quiet end. I was lucky with The German and Miss Genki, although I'm not sure how happy Speedy will be when he finds out that I didn't really progress too far in the text...he's a bit of a stickler for procedure. The German and I have always had trouble getting through the book since we always end up tangenting into the far ends of conversation. And today with Miss Genki, we just got "mired" in the wonders of musicals (which she loves) and movies (which I do). However, the odds are looking that I'll have both students again the next time which may get me a reprieve of sorts.

As for the weekend, I met Yajima in Den'en-Chofu as usual. There was some sort of mikoshi festival going on so it was lucky that my student picked me up just when the parade was about to get started. We, ironically, didn't pass former PM Hatoyama's house as we had done in past weeks, but I could imagine that the security there was probably a whole lot thicker.

Caught that episode of "NCIS" in which Jenny Shepherd buys the farm; I'm sure the Mixi community is currently abuzz about the implications. Wait til they see the season ender.

Also bought the first album by quirky Marina & The Diamonds called "The Family Jewels". I was seduced a bit by that video for "Mowgli's Road" in which Marina is bouncing on origami legs. And then I caught "I am Not a Robot" on YouTube and that settled the argument for me. She has that Kate Bush loopiness in her delivery...and perhaps even a bit of Sheryl Crow and Shiina Ringo. And even she admits in her tune "Hollywood" that she has that resemblance to Catherine Zeta-Jones. That CD cover didn't hurt either.

Anyways, I'm just about fit to be tied after 7 hours of lessons today. Happily, I've got most of the day off tomorrow before the juku students come in. I'll sleep well tonight. I'll have to remember to bring over the DVD set of "Glee" for Miss London.
Monday June 7, 6:46 p.m.

Well, this is one of the reasons that I've never liked getting too close to students outside of the classroom. A couple of weeks ago, The Carolinan informed me that she'd gotten a new beau in Guam. I asked her whether she had told her sister, The New Yorker, to which she nodded. She hadn't told her parents. Well, I saw The New Yorker today and when I made a sly referral to The Carolinan's new status, The New Yorker seemed surprised...well, mildly surprised...she was never one for copious amounts of emotion. Apparently, The New Yorker knows about the guy but she hadn't been aware that he and her sister were now an item. Whoops! Well, I hope that I haven't caused something. I did ask The New Yorker to keep mum about it, but I'm now wondering whether I should just come clean to The Carolinan.

It's been a Hump Day for me. I've taught four lessons: Cozy, Swank, SIL and The New Yorker. And I've got two more to go with Speedy's students: The German and Miss Genki. Over 6 hours' worth. Luckily, I've got most of the day off tomorrow since The Beehive is not convening in the morning.