Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday July 7, 7:35 p.m.

Ahhh...did forget to give my congratulations to PyeongChang for getting the 2018 Winter Olympics after losing out twice to Vancouver and Sochi. Just like the saying, "Three times' the charm". Just hope North Korea doesn't decide to spoil the party.

Mrs. Speedy just got home and gave me something called a curry dorayaki. A dorayaki is ordinarily two small pancakes encasing anko (sweet bean paste), but this one contains curry paste. Well, not bad....probably an acquired taste but I'm OK with it.

Thursday July 7, 6:05 p.m.

One of my must-have drinks during this summer. I was wondering about that phrase underneath the title, "Refreshing & Uplifting". It is indeed English but the combination struck me as slightly odd Japlish. And sure enough, Bay, who has seen this photo, pointed out that the American bottles don't have the caption. All I could think about was mentholated Wonderbras.

The German came in and we had an actual text lesson today but it was almost like fighting against a tidal wave trying to keep on text. Kinda like teaching 001. Speaking of whom, Arashi's No. 1 fan informed me that her particular favorite, Masaki Aiba, has ended up in hospital due to a nasty bout of pneumothorax. And the boys have got a concert schedule in about 3 weeks. Of course, the big question is whether Aiba-kun will be able to make it on stage in time. Most likely, Johnny Kitagawa himself will probably kick his protege/boy toy out of bed and force him to make a press conference where Aiba will tearfully apologize to the public for causing so much trouble by contracting a serious disease. Yes, I am pretty snarky about Japanese culture when I want to be.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Thursday July 7, 3:12 p.m.
As I was walking to the station a couple of days ago, I came across this scene at a neighbourhood apartment's garbage dumping area. Sign of the times, I say.
In 17 days, these television sets will be officially labeled extinct although as you can see here, the fossils are already starting to pile up. Since Japan is going completely digital as of the 24th, the old tube TVs (or buraun-kan terebi) have been piling up along with the banana peels and eggshells in garbage dumps all over the country. Of course, these TVs have been dumped illegally. That pink sign states that these sets cannot be picked up and recycled since the recycling fee hasn't been paid through the convenience stores with the appropriate receipt sticker stuck onto the set. But hey, I can understand a bit of the dumper's plight since I wouldn't be too enthusiastic about having to pay $40 to have a truck come and pick my own 40-year-old set up. Yup, my old Sharp still has a little over 2 weeks of life left before the days of analog come to an end. Not sure what I will do with mine when the Day of Reckoning comes. I may just have it as a really big ornament.

Thursday July 7, 3:05 p.m.

Today is Tanabata! It's the holiday for star-crossed lovers...yadayadayada. But for most people, it's their opportunity to write their wishes onto colored bands of paper and attach them to tree branches. I'm sure this would be something that Temperance "Bones" Brennan would sniff her nose at.

The pictures of the colorful Tanabata decorations were taken at the Nihombashi branch of Takashimaya last Friday. And the band up above was written by some kid exhorting some people in Sendai to hang in there during these rough times. I haven't tied a band onto a branch but if I could I would write to wish everyone in Japan to improve their lot in life.

Just have a couple of students today: The German and Mrs. Thursday. Both have always been chatty types so the lessons should flow pretty easily. Actually, the weather isn't so blisteringly hot today...will be looking forward to a cooler night tonight.

Wednesday July 6, 5:41 p.m.

Yep, that sizzling dish to the left is of my trek to the Gold Rush, that hamburg steak restaurant that the Movie Gang had gone to back on Sunday before "Super 8". That is a picture of The Triple Rush, a combo plate of Cheddar Burger, Grated Radish Burger and Bacon Burger with the throw-in of veggies and baked potato. I asked for a sausage for an extra buck....hey, they offered, I took it. Considering all of the calories at stake (no pun intended), the name Triple Bypass would also be a fine way to address this dish. Still, it was a good dinner since I hadn't had any lunch.

Heatwise, it wasn't the sauna-like conditions of a week ago, but it is definitely summer out there. I actually stopped by Jimbocho where my favorite old CD shops are located. I checked out Tacto and Disk Union...if I'm still solvent by the end of the month, I may pick up a couple of discounted discs there.

I'm just having 001 today since Kirk did a dotakyan this morning which means I still get paid for the class. Luckily, I'm feeling far more regular than I did for 001's lesson last week. I've been eating plenty of veggies for the past 7 days.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Monday July 4, 4:02 p.m.

Whilst most of America is (gonna be) enjoying The Fourth of July, it's just a regular day here. However, it is a slightly cooler and drier Monday compared to the heat and humidity of last week which gladdens me no end.

Yesterday, after my session with The Jyuppies, I met up with The Movie Gang of Skippy, Movie Buddy, The Satyr and The Wedding Planner at JR Shinjuku for what could be an epic month of movie-watching due to all the flicks that are coming out. We first had dinner at another Skippy recommendation called The Gold Rush which is just a few doors down from Studio Alta, one of the area's landmarks. The Gold Rush is a chain that serves variations on the hamburg steak that is de rigueur within the interesting culinary category of yo-shoku or Japanese-style Western food. The Shinjuku branch is basically just a basement corridor with a few booths lining the place....quite cramped in there. I had the Triple Rush of burger with cheese, burger with grated radish and burger with a bacon slice on top...all frying away on the hot plate. Luckily, I made do without lunch yesterday.

The main event was "Super 8". It was a pleasant enough summer timewaster; definitely not on the level of "E.T." although I'm one of the few people on the planet who couldn't even get through halfway through that movie (just too schmaltzy for me). There was definitely a feeling of camraderie between the two flicks although "Super 8" was far less sentimental about the creature and its relationships with humans. Basically, the only recognizable face in the large cast was Elle Fanning due to her more famous sister and the fact that Elle had been in the much-acclaimed "Somewhere" directed by Sofia Coppola. Overall, it came off as an intense kids' version of "The Outer Limits" big twists, just a straight-on sci-fi adventure with the usual Spielbergian touches of parent-child angst. I think I liked it a bit better than MB and The Satyr; they complained about the unevenness of the story.

Afterwards, the gang and I ended up downstairs at The Brooklyn Parlor, my third visit to the place and my first at night. Yep, the atmosphere is nice and the prices are New York level. Had dessert there this time in the form of Cherry Pie with a nice buttery crust and a Coconut Latte.

Next Saturday, the option is already in to catch "Thor" with another stayover at MB's.