2008-12-24

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

Man, I wish I wasn't teaching that song to my students all last week, for my dream has come true! All of Canada will have a White Christmas for the first time in 37 years, though rumour has it that it'll rain on Xmas Day!

I left the sunny shores of Tokyo and landed in Vancouver a little late. We left for Toronto much later for after patiently awaiting to ensure all the little bodies were comfortably on board, we had to wait a little longer (2 more hours) for the plane to be de-iced so we could take off. Apparently we were the last plane to leave before shutting down the airport and I arrived to a snowy Toronto about 3 hours late.

As a tried & true Canadian, I have been well dressed for the cold (unlike my Japanese brethren back Sendai way) and have hiked out into the 50cms of the white fluffy stuff & -13 temps to trudge my way from my host's abode into the frozen tundra.

Yesterday I got a checkup from a doctor (for free! In your face Japanese Health System!) who told me that I have 2 weeks to live. He didn't really say that but it was hinted that I should change my wayward ways and eat more healthily. Like I needed to be told that. I did find it intriguing that the asthma meds I've been taking in Japan have been out of fashion in Canada for nigh on 15 years now! I plan to get some bloodwork done next week and he can send me the results in a language I understand a little better than Japanese.

Today, I trekked out to get a rental car and as usual, my 77-Bank VISA card is insufficient to cover the 500$ coverage on the wheels. My poor bro had to make the sojourn out to Mississauga to bail me out so I could get my (rather quite nice) car, just so I could drive back to Phil's for a nap. Now it's snowing again so I'll probably just cuddle up with a book & a tv show or maybe go see a nearby movie.

In the meantime, everyone back in Japan enjoy your day off to celebrate 天皇誕生日 (tenno tanjobi or the Emperor's Birthday) while we over this side of the pond will celebrate Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us. BUT much more importantly, it is little Kaede Hutton's 3rd birthday; so a big heads up to her and I hope her parents don't have as much difficulty arriving home as I did!

Coming soon...pictures of all this snow!

2008-12-20

Sanity Claus.

Groucho: "That's in every contract, that's what you call a sanity clause."
Chico: "You can't a fool a me there ain't no sanity clause" (Groucho/Chico in A Night at the Opera)

Insanity prevailed and Santa made an appearance at Shaft, wanting to give out goodies to all the good boys & girls. There were none there, so he gave them out anyway.















Santa decided to go on a tour of Kokobuncho in an attempt to drum up business for a slightly empty Echo (and because he's a big showoff!)



First he landed at 305 to give a startled owner & customers a treat.


Next up was a cameo in Suu's bar, Title to be greeted by Moonraker's Jaws.






Continuing his journey, Santa made it to Liga to chat up the patrons and get a Christmas Goose.



Kris Kringle also made a pitstop at Ernies where he met his Doppelgänger!

Santa quickly popped into an extremely empty Hide & Seek, an extremely packed Bebes and was going to enter Bunny's Bar, but his belt had come undone and he didn't want any exposure charges.

Pal Rob borrowed the costume with the expensive beard leaving us to amuse ourselves with an incredibly cheap one & a hat...

















To put those images out of your head and get you in a more festive mood, I present the Muppets:

Getting Nailed At Shaft!










The Dolphin gals showed up with bells on and set up shop in the corner. Unfortunately, business wasn't exactly brisk as they sat around doing each others fingers while listening to DJ Mokugohan's funky music.

Thus I took it upon myself to drum up some clients for them, including myself. I got a lovely hand massage job from the big boss, Akemi and I must say it felt good. Surprisingly, I still managed to maintain my masculinity.




As a birthday present next year, they've promised to treat me to a Detox session. I have a feeling that after the Holidays, I'm really going to need it! Here's a list of some of the other services they offer...
















Early in the evening, most of the clientele at Shaft were purty ladies, but they must have had their manicures before arriving. None of them were lining up to take advantage of the bargain basement prices. So I treated Michiko to a manicure.








Thanks to this, a few other ladies joined in the fun including former Shaft owner, Ed's wife Ayako in town on vacation from England and an infrequent visitor to Echophonyk, Mizuho.








Midnight rolled around and the Dolphin staff took to the dance floor but didn't stay long due to shyness & an inability to dance. Shortly thereafter, a certain Man with the Bag showed up and handed out goodies. But that's a story for another day...

















I did get a surprise cameo appearance by amiable Ayano who showed up to contribute to my Camera fund.




The rest of the evening dragged on until the wee hours, but not before some kick-ass sets by Mark Saito, Taka, Dita, Taeter-tots, & Mixture. I needed a change of pace and head over to Ernies around 3:30 so I missed out on Nori's set. For my amusement, here are some photos of Mr. Saito in his new guise as DJ Mood!






















But because he's a pretty ugly bugger, I'd better show you some more pictures of Michiko to perk your interest!


















Voila, my new favourite picture of Michiko looking like a Hollywood starlet of the 40's!

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