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Report From Japan - 26FE00

This just in -

David "Goatboy" Zimmerman has just released your favorite CD. It's called Just a Little Something and he had professional artists of many species help him produce it. Any mixing board good enough for Michael Jackson's Thriller album, is good enough for The Goat. If you have been on this list for a long time, you may remember my report about The Goat and his music from about a year ago. If not, all you need to know is that he is the hottest thing in Antarctica (okay - bad catch phrase), and even if I didn't know him (and suspect that I'm the guy hell tells to quit bothering him in his song Sunset Down Under), I would still be listening to his CD over and over again. Anyway, although this looks like I have obtained corporate sponsorship for GW's Blab-A-Gram, I haven't, and I really do think you should shell out 10 bucks for this disk. Write to The Goat at Zimmermonkey@hotmail.com for further instructions.
GW 05FE00

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and it's good to be the King. What a wonderful adaptation of a western holliday. The deal here is that women make or buy chocolate (which - as you know - is a buzzword for me) in a variety of forms, and give it away, almost indiscriminately, to men. Who knew? Now to add idleness to indulgence, the deal gets sweetened by the fact that men do NOTHING for women on this holliday! I mean, it's not a question of sexism. In fact, women will get their turn in a month when we have to reciprocate, but this is OUR day! So at school tomorrow, I expect a bombardment with the only thing better than cheap chocolate - free chocolate. It's already started. At school, a student who I almost NEVER teach silently walked into the teachers room, blatantly disregarding the rule prohibiting students from there, and passed over some chocolates and truffles to Euan and I. It's beautiful. I think I'm going to cry. Then after eating at the local izakaya, the owner passed us a bag with two home made chocolate cakes. The bliss! [14FE00]

There is nothing worse than a student who doesn't like talking. Here at the school (I have a break right now), all the teachers take turns, running the "voice room" so there's always a teacher in there. Today, there's a guy who has been in there all day and he has said about 4 sentences total in the last several hours. It's not his ability that holds him back. It's something more omnious and creepy. We all joke that he shall one day pull out a machine gun and express himself in a way that is more comfortable for him. Anyway, I have him for the next 2 lessons and one of them is just he and I. Since I know I won't have any luck getting him to speak, I think I might just bring in a magazine and flip through the pages for the next 2 hours. That way at least ONE of us will get something out of the time. I wish I could go back to high school and appologise to my German teacher for all the blank stares that countered her attempts to get me to say something (anything) in German. Yeah. Good ol' Frau Warner would be happy to know what goes around comes around.

In other news, I have perfected - beyond the shadow of a frying pan - the Japanese reproduction of the Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich, and you're all invited to stop by for one. Euan leaves for a 3 week vacation back in Scottland on February 27th and I will have the place to myself for that time. It has dumped snow for 2 or 3 days here and I'm going skiing in Nagano for 3 days next week. If I break my neck, I promise you'll be the first to know (ok well I guess, I'll probably know first, and I might only know second if I'm also in a coma. In fact, if I'm in a coma long enough, maybe I'll be the last to know. Maybe I'll never know. Geeze - now I'm kinda miffed that you never told me. I guess you never know.)[17FE00]

Ask me if I know how to snowboard. Go ahead, ask me.

You: Hey, uh, so can you snowboard?
Me: You betcha I can.

After 3 days in Nagano (home of the 1998 Winter Olympics, I'm here to tel ya, I can snowboard, ski, jump, and NOT break my neck after all. The weather was great the second day when I should have had my camera, and the snow was thigh deep powder the last day. That was especially fun, because although I can't explain why, I was the only one who didn't find himself accidentally burried to the neck in it. The biggest challenges of the trip were not so much the skiing but the transportation to the skiing. We took trains, busses, and automobiles and all associated communication was primarily through the scherades technique. The night bus left at about 11:30pm and arived at Nagano at about 9am. DON'T ask me if I got any sleep on the bus. One of the coolest things at the ski area was the lift ticket. It's a little blue plastic square no bigger than a matchbook. I stuck it in my left glove and waved my hand in front of the machine at the lifts. Some magic or magnetic sensor then emits a fun beeping sound and a little rubber gate opens, alowing access to the lifts. There were NO lines by the way. In general, it was a superfun time. Oh yeah and the nervously polite hotel staff served us four star meals. I don't know if that was a mistake, a hidden charge, or if they were just affraid of me. Anyway, dinner was always several courses and was served to the beat of "I Think We're Alone Now" Mu-zak. Any questions? [26FE00]

And to finish up this month's sleep-a-thon, here's the story with motionpictures. Since my last report at the end of January, I have seen 39 movies including some that were on in the background in the local hang-out and which I only saw half of. No I don't feel guilty. Movies are a healthy, and educational way to spend the last hours of the day. So get off my back about it! I had seen 15 of them before. Two of them were in the theatre and get extra points just for being new. They are 007 - The World Is Not Enough, and Magnolia which I recomend respectively. Magnolia is one of the wierdest new movies I've seen. I think surreal is the word - not reccomended for those of you under 15 or over 60. I also gave 5 GWs to The Zero Effect (detective story), Primal Fear(court case), Manhunter (silence of the Lambs Pt.1), Carlito's Way and Scarface (Pachino as a Latino gangster in both - in the first you don't want him to die, in the second you don't care), and Mad Dog Time (gunslinging with Richard Dryfuss, Gabriel Byrne). Write for a complete list and review of GW's movie moves.

See you next month [28FE00]


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