Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday June 17, 10:46 p.m.

Well, the Donut Day is now over. I've come out the other side feeling pretty weary. There's nothing like doing nothing to tucker one out. I had Mr. TOEFL's final lesson before his big trip, and The Music Man has come back into the fold. He'd been transferred to the Shibuya office so there was all this training that he had to go through for the past month which would explain his month's absence. Still, he won't tell me what he does for a living. I think he's a grand pianist, but the other idea of secret assassin is also lounging about in my brain.

I'm not gonna get near a computer for the next few days since I'm away from Speedy's for the weekend. I've got The Bass, Mr. Swank and then the juku crowd (basically the boss and The Restauranteur) for tomorrow. Then I head out with The Bass and a friend to check out this famed Bingo Burger in deepest Chiba on Saturday.

Gonna be sleeping in the subway, darling.
Thursday June 17, 6:40 p.m.

Coming to the end of the hole of my Donut Day. In just a little over 90 minutes, Mr. TOEFL will come in for his final lesson with us before heading off to North Carolina for his work-related adventure. It has felt like a bit of an adventure for me, actually, since my long break between lessons reminds me of being on an Air Canada 777....Business Class, though, since I have all this space around me. Just me and my computer which has acted as my onboard entertainment system.

The World Cup holds a mere second place to what seemingly is becoming the big event for this week for Japanese "NCIS" fans...Season 6 starts at 11 p.m. tonight. The local fans on Mixi have been commenting about their excited anticipation about what's to become of DiNozzo, McGee, David and Gibbs now that their team has been scattered to the four winds by new toothpick-chomping Director Vance. Yep, I realize that you folks back Stateside have just finished Season 7.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thursday June 17, 1:57 p.m.

In the middle of that hole of Donut Day. I've gotten most of the stuff done for the next few days' worth of classes so I'm basically just twiddling my thumbs until dinner or Mr. TOEFL calls.

Bought another lunch from that store near the school. Hmmmm....the quality seems to be going downhill a bit. I used to get a pretty delectable bento consisting of karaage with that starchy salty sauce but those have disappeared from the menu over the past couple of months, and the stand where I usually get the lunches don't come with rice anymore, which is a shocker.

Ray looks like she's gonna doze off any minute. And I don't think she's even had lunch yet.
Thursday June 17, 8:19 a.m.

After yesterday's glorious day of having no classes whatsoever, I'm back in the saddle here at Speedy's. But with Grandma Dynamite once again cancelling her lesson this morning, I find myself in a Donut Day. Nope, it's not a daily run to Krispy Kreme, but the fact that I've just got one morning class with The Patent Attorney followed by nearly 12 hours of nothing before Mr. TOEFL and The Music Man come in for their lessons tonight. Thus, my nickname for this situation.

Just enjoyed my night last night with a good dinner...all of it store-bought....and then I watched what I think was the penultimate episode for Season 1 of "Leverage". Things were getting a bit slumpy with the shows of this otherwise great series with Tim Hutton. Then, last night's ep got things ready for the cliffhanger. And Season 6 of "NCIS" debuts tonight on Fox Japan. Unfortunately, unless both of my students tonight cancel as well, there's no way I'll be able to catch that one at 11 p.m. but reruns are numerous.

It's definitely feeling a lot like Summer out there. Pretty steamy in The Big Sushi. Just in time for the 21st.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wednesday June 16, 2:32 p.m.

There is some joy in Mudville...or has been for the past couple of days since Japan won over Cameroon 1-0 on Monday night in the opening rounds of The World Cup. Even CNN has reported the win as a stunner. Of course, there was glee in the streets of Tokyo...notably the entertainment districts such as Shibuya and Shinjuku. SIL told me that she'd even heard that cars all stopped for a second when the final whistle blew. Of course, the game this weekend against Holland will be a whole different ball game; Samurai Blue will once again be underdogs, but at least the media has lots of meat to talk about until then.

Prime Minister Kan must be having a good week. Even with a non-confidence motion being filed by the Opposition, the news has been buried underneath The World Cup, and one other news story...also a sports story but a far darker one. Once again, sumo is being rocked by yet another scandal. This time, the rikishi have been caught doing some illegal gambling, notably by ozeki Kotomitsuki. Apparently the big boys have been betting on baseball and other stuff. Kotomitsuki, whose face looks like it's been ingrown, probably wants to suck his face in even further. Well, he's been suspended from the next tournament being held in his own hometown of Nagoya.

As for me, I'm having a rare Wednesday off. I only had 001 today but she cancelled by e-mail last night. Ray sent me word that it was too bad that I couldn't come in today since Grandma Fado brought over some inari sushi for all of the staff. Well, y'know....I think I can live without pouches of vinegared rice when it comes to just enjoying a well-deserved day off. I worked 22 straight days without any complete break.

Yesterday, it was just Mrs. Alp and Mrs. Jade for The Beehive session at JR Tsudanuma. The ladies were noticeably quieter in tone since Alp got that chewing out by that one woman a couple of weeks back, and I have to admit that I was wondering whether that lady was going to come back. However, things worked out nicely. Mrs. Travel was absent since she once again became a grandmother...this time twice, thanks to some good timing by both of her daughters. I'll have to send word over to her.

As for the juku crowd, Mr. White cancelled last night since apparently he's gone back into his depressive funk due to the pressures of his other classes. Sugar N' Spice were going crazy as usual....this time, they were in their civvies rather than their uniforms. The two will be taking a break from me since Sugar will be searching for a university. The boss had thought that Spice would be coming in solo but I'm glad that she'll also be taking off as well....keeps the balance in terms of levels. The juku boss also told me that Cozy has sent official word on the venue for Sunday's dinner. It'll be at a hotel in Kinshicho up on the top with a great view of the rising Tokyo Sky Tree. The boss kinda blanched at the thought since she told me that she has acrophobia. That's news to me....we've had dinner together at that rooftop restaurant at the East 21 Hotel in Toyocho.

Rainy Season has officially started in the Kanto, and last night, we did get a dousing. Apparently, we should be getting another one any minute but it was pretty summery and steamy when I made my way out here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday June 14, 9:00 p.m.

Well, I made some actual text progress...all of 1 page...with Miss Genki tonight. I didn't tell her of the impending change to become her permanent teacher. I figure that should be Speedy's job.

Cozy's got the restaurant reservations done for the next get-together. It's at the Tobu Hotel in Shin-Urayasu. Looks like things may get a bit pricey. He's quoting 8,000 yen per head. Yep, he likes his fancy food.

Monday June 14, 4:56 p.m.

Well, it looks like outside of the Mandela tragedy, the World Cup has gone off without a hitch. No acts of terrorism, no bombings. But we apparently have a bunch of ties. Of course, the big thing tonight or tomorrow morning is Japan vs. Cameroon. I've been asking around the student population about The Blue Samurai's chances, and they've all said rather sheepishly that they would like to see Japan win, but...
My feeling is that the first game is already a must-win for Okada's bunch. They've lost pretty much all of the friendlies so I can't believe that confidence and morale are at a fever pitch. If they win, then there's a chance that they could at least do respectably in their group, but if they lose tonight, then it's pretty much assured that Okada will be retiring fairly quickly and Japan will have an early and silent trip back home.

Yesterday, after my classes with Yajima and The Jyuppies, I met up with the dinner-and-the-movie gang in Shinjuku. It was another round of ramen at Foo Foo. MB has just fallen in love with the deep fried pork cutlet in the pai ko tan tan men. The Sylph didn't bother to show up since she was doing the "Sex and the City" thing and having herself some pampering at a spa. However, MB did bring over a rather muscular Manhattanite from the gym for the dinner and movie. He, MB, The Satyr and I went to see "Iron Man 2" while Skippy and Miss Ivory were off to see "Sex and the City 2" at the Picadilly. Testosterone for us, and very aggressive progesterone for the ladies.

As for "Iron Man 2", it was as I had thought...not quite as good as the first one, but still a game go of it. I just thought that for a blockbuster superhero movie, it was a little too talky for a good third of the flick (although the Senate hearings were fun to watch Robert Downey Jr. take a chunk out of a horrifyingly Jabba-like Garry Shandling). And this time around, the movie was pretty much an "Ocean's 11"-like sample of casting: along with Gwyneth Paltrow, there was Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johannssen, etc. Strangely enough, with this many celebs in one movie, it did work out pretty well by the end, although the final battle scene approached disturbingly toward "Transformers"-level FX hysteria. And of course, there was the now-de rigueur post-closing credit cliffhanger scene with the appearance of Mjolnir in the New Mexico desert. Robert Downey Jr. is definitely the engine that makes this movie work, though.

It's been a drippy Monday with the usual regulars. Cozy informed me that he's found a possible place for the annual dinner with me and the juku boss. It might be some restaurant in tony Shin-Urayasu. My session with Swank had me finding out that she had almost had a meltdown at her daughters' birthday I had thought. She was pretty darn intense about what to say and when to say it on Friday; I kinda figured that she was gonna panic a bit. In fact, one of the mothers even had to take her aside to calm her down.

My talk with SIL was pretty interesting. We spoke about my former student, The Lady, and what she and her defrocked husband might be up to at this time. It's been well over a year since I'd last seen her and The Matron. The couple has frankly been persona non grata within the family ever since hubby saw his empire collapse.

Speedy is back after his annual two weeks of business trip. Looks like I'll probably have Miss Genki for good since the bossman will be taking care of a new client in-company. And after about a month away, The Medicine Man is back again. No knowing what he'll be like. I just hope that the long absence away will mean that there will be more to talk about. At the same time, I'm happy to hear that I'll have a virtual day off on Wednesday except for 001.