2014-03-05

Mr. Smoketoomuch.

Since my lungs are shot anyway (stupid asthma), I thought I'd take up smoking. Don't I look suave puffing on a fag?


I decided to start with an exotic brand, Orions. They must be good, they're recommended by the gals from Vocaloid.(Which, come to think of it, sounds like a throat disease. Ooh, my vocaloids are acting up.)


While I'm inhaling, let's listen to Deep Purple's, Smoke on the Water, Vocaloid style!



Hey, wait a sec, these are just candy sticks! And they're hard as rocks, not at all yummy. Cocoa, orange and Soda flavoured. Ah well, I hope they aren't too addictive.


Oh what a silly bunt I am.



Speaking of candies, here are some mini-boxes of grape, orange, strawberry, apple, grapefruit, and Muscat grape mini-gumballs.




The 4 mini-balls in each mini-box for 63 yen, not bad. Yum.

2014-03-03

Happy Ear Day!

It's once again time for the Hina Matsuri (click to see some Dinosaurs all dolled up) or Doll Festival and here is my contribution to the esteemed holiday*.

*Not really a holiday. Girls get gypped, Guys have their special day on May 5th and it is called Children's Day and they get a day off. Girls just get to display ningyou. Sexism yet again.


That's Captain Kirk and Yeoman Rand Ken and Barbie as the Emperor and Empress, the main couple in this fest.  Someday, I'll make my own display using various characters I have around my room. Maybe next year. In the meantime, here is an actual display that was front and centre in one of my schools over the last two weeks.


Oops, that is a display of Spidey-dolls.


 Oops again. That's a pair of dolls that my friend's daughter made. Here we go:


Hey, I also landed a package of candy at lunch today. I ended up giving them to a coworker, trying to curtail my sweet-tooth.


You may be wondering why I called it Ear Day today. My students pointed out to me that  
三月三日 = ミミ;  mimi = ear, therefore Ear Day!


I'm afraid that my Oscar tally will wait for another day. I'm busy watching the Awards now (well, the Red Carpet is on...how ANNOYING! Ryan Seacrest, some bimbo, some queen commenting on the actors' garb. Yawn.

UPDATE: Hey, the Google Doodle is rather appropriate today...

It's a matter of Gravity.

Whoa, has it really been over 2 weeks since I updated this bloggy thingie? Oh well, just in time for my annual Academy Award predictions. For a change, I have seen more of the Oscar pics than I have Razzies. I saw After Earth (yes, Jaden Smith deserves his award), Lone Ranger (no, Johnny Depp does not deserve his nomination) and I rather liked Stallone in both Escape Plan and Bullet to the Head, both good cheesy fun.

As for the Oscars, I have seen two of the 9 nominated Best Pictures (still a stupid idea to have 9 candidates), American Hustle and Gravity. Other than that, I've only seen The Wind Rises and a few technie noms, Iron Man 3, Star Trek into Darkness, The Hobbit DoS, and Lone Ranger since almost NONE of the other movies have been released here.

In the past, I have listed ALL the categories and candidates and chosen the winners with a BOLD for my desired win, some ITALICS for what I think the Academy will choose and BOTH when they overlap. For details, check out the 86th Academy Awards Wiki link for yourself.

1. Best Picture: "American Hustle," ''Captain Phillips," ''Dallas Buyers Club," ''Gravity," ''Her," ''Nebraska," ''Philomena," ''12 Years a Slave," ''The Wolf of Wall Street."
I enjoyed Gravity, I saw it twice, once in 2D in English and the only way to see it in 3D was to see it in Japanese. I was not disappointed in the Visuals and the insipid dialogue sounded better in Japanese. As for the other 8 movies, I drew 12 years out of a hat.

2. Actor: Christian Bale, "American Hustle"; Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"; Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club."
Of these nominees, I saw Bale in Hustle and though good, would not get my nod. I would love to see Bruce Dern win even though I know nothing about the role he played. Hey, let's through caution to the wind and have the Academy choose Leo.

3. Actress: Amy Adams, "American Hustle"; Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"; Judi Dench, "Philomena"; Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County."
This category should be altered to the "Best Actress other than Meryl Streep" Award just so others get a chance to win. Dench and Blanchett are almost ready to fall into this category as well. Though Sandra was wonderful, I'm going to have to go with Amy Adams since she really was a good Hustler.

4. Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"; Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"; Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"; Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club."
I almost saw Cpt. Phillips so I'm going to go along with the Academy and choose Barkhad Abdi if only to hear Ellen mispronounce his name.

5. Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine'''; Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"; Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"; Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"; June Squibb, "Nebraska."
Once again, the only movie I've seen in this category has been Hustle so I'll go with Jenny and since I barely know who the other actresses are, I'll choose Lupita Nyong'o.

6. Directing: David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"; Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"; Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"; Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street." 
I almost saw Wolf so I'm going to go with that as the Oscar pick and I'll choose the dark horse, Gravity.

7. Foreign Language Film: "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Belgium; "The Great Beauty," Italy; "The Hunt," Denmark; "The Missing Picture," Cambodia; "Omar," Palestine.
I have no knowledge of any of these, so randomly I'll go with Belgium and Palestine.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, "Before Midnight"; Billy Ray, "Captain Phillips"; Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, "Philomena"; John Ridley, "12 Years a Slave"; Terence Winter, "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Once again, I dunno but I like Steve Coogan, so I'll choose him.

9. Original Screenplay: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"; Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack, "Dallas Buyers Club"; Spike Jonze, "Her"; Bob Nelson, "Nebraska."
I have to try for Hustle and what the hey, Woody hasn't won in a while and it's not like he's involved in any controversy at the moment, so I'm sure the Academy will choose him.

10. Animated Feature Film: "The Croods"; "Despicable Me 2"; "Ernest & Celestine"; "Frozen"; "The Wind Rises."
I REALLY want to see the dark horse of The Wind Rises to win but undoubtedly, it'll go to Frozen.

11. Production Design: "American Hustle," ''Gravity," ''The Great Gatsby," ''Her," ''12 Years a Slave."
I don't even know what this category entails, so I'll go Gravity and Slave.

12. Cinematography: "The Grandmaster," ''Gravity," ''Inside Llewyn Davis," ''Nebraska," ''Prisoners."
I'm hoping the Academy agrees with me on Gravity.

13. Sound Mixing: "Captain Phillips," ''Gravity," ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," ''Inside Llewyn Davis," ''Lone Survivor."
The Hobbit has to win something, so how about this?

14. Sound Editing: "All Is Lost," ''Captain Phillips," ''Gravity," ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," ''Lone Survivor."
 Or Howbit How about this?

15. Original Score: "The Book Thief," John Williams; "Gravity," Steven Price; "Her," William Butler and Owen Pallett; "Philomena," Alexandre Desplat; "Saving Mr. Banks," Thomas Newman.
No idea on any of these so as much as I liked Gravity's score, I don't think it'll win. Erm...Williams then.

16. Original Song: "Alone Yet Not Alone" from "Alone Yet Not Alone," Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel (Oops, nomination revoked!); "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2," Pharrell Williams; "Let It Go" from "Frozen," Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez; "The Moon Song" from "Her," Karen O and Spike Jonze; "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen.

It is too bad that they didn't use the song from "The Wind Rises" and thus it wasn't nominated.



Thus I gotta go with the awesome "Let It Go."
ps. Check out my Toronto FB pals' Star Trek parody, "Make It So".



17. Costume: "American Hustle," ''The Grandmaster," ''The Great Gatsby," ''The Invisible Woman," ''12 Years a Slave."
Apart from Hustle whose costumes weren't that awe-inspiring, I'll have to go with Gatsby.

18. Documentary Feature: "The Act of Killing," ''Cutie and the Boxer," ''Dirty Wars," ''The Square," ''20 Feet from Stardom."
I dunno any of these so Dirty Wars because it sounds naughty and 20 feet.

19. Documentary (short subject): "CaveDigger," ''Facing Fear," ''Karama Has No Walls," ''The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," ''Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall."
Once again, I dunno.

20. Film Editing: "American Hustle," ''Captain Phillips," ''Dallas Buyers Club," ''Gravity," ''12 Years a Slave."
I really don't think any movie over two hours should be nominated for best Editing, so I'll go with Gravity.

21. Makeup and Hairstyling: "Dallas Buyers Club," ''Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," ''The Lone Ranger."
Jackass got nominated for an Oscar?? Hells bells, I gotta go with Johnny Depp!

22. Animated Short Film: "Feral," ''Get a Horse!," ''Mr. Hublot," ''Possessions", "Room on the Broom."
I truly hope we Get a Horse!

23. Live Action Short Film: "Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)," ''Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)," ''Helium," ''Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)," ''The Voorman Problem."
No idea!

24. Visual Effects: "Gravity," ''The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," ''Iron Man 3," ''The Lone Ranger," ''Star Trek Into Darkness."
Finally a category where I've seen every movie! As much as I admire all of them, I gotta go with Gravity and Hobbit

Well disappointingly, apart from The Wind Rises there were NO Japanese contributions and as for Canada, I have no idea. Help me out here folks...

2014-02-15

Happy Lupercalia!

Since no one wants to see pictures of me running around nekkid wearing my Wolf's head for Lupercalia, I'll show some Valentines instead.



 



 And my personal favourite:

This is my new avatar for Facebook and if I had the Photoshop skills, I'd add the byline, "I chew, chew, chews you!"

No big Valentine news though I did have dinner with my part-time paramour last Monday. We had Indian food at Namaskar and there's nothing like naan for showing off my impeccable table manners.


I initially considered "Elephant" but on second thought, I prefer that long-faced guy from Beetlejuice.

I gave Hisako a trio of planetary chocolates and a quintet of strawberry terriers. I was disappointed to learn later that her son consumed all of the dogs! At least he didn't go all Galactus on the Earth and Venus.



I didn't receive anything from her though she has a second chance when I see her tomorrow. I'll be in the company of several other friends so I don't think I'll get the chance to model these Kumamon boxers that I picked up.


Thanks to influenza, my classes were cancelled today so I'll never know whether I would have been a recipient of any chocos. Fortunately buddy Alex came through with some leftovers that he landed from his students including a  hedgehog cookie and a Darth-dollar!



How was YOUR Valentine's/ Lupercalia?

2014-02-13

Momo Better Blues.

My Grade Sixers are learning the tale of Momotaro in English right now. The story in the text is INCREDIBLY lame but I've split them into groups and they're in the process of performing it in front of their classmates. Unfortunately due to an influenza outbreak, several performances have been postponed because few of the groups have a full cast.

I recommend you watch Samurai Jack talk about the tale in order to get yourselves into the mood. (Apologies for the dopey game Tales Runner's beginning. FF about 30 seconds.)



The kids all drew masks of the leads, Momotaro, Grandma, Grandpa, a dog, a monkey, a pheasant and a pair of Oni. Here is one class's interpretation of the characters.

First up, some Momotaros. The first few are more standard, then there's a less traditional version and a Momotarette.






The grandparents:












That last one is quite the GILF. (Grandmother I'd Like To F...)

The troops. Note, I gave them free rein here and allowed them to choose their own animals. Most chose the traditional allies, some went off-model.






















And their nemeses, the Oni!











I love the Zippy-look of the last one.

Out of 30 potential performances, so far I've only seen two! It'll be a long two weeks (or six weeks depending on how many absentees we have.)

Mo' Momo Tomorrow!

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