Tuesday, March 07, 2006

End of the business year

A weekend in which one undertook a variety of activities including the imbibing of fermented alcoholic beverages, procurement of a variety of new filmic forms of entertainment and even traveled at great length and expense to view in detail at large on the very big screen, a new moving motion picture.

Friday did end with a whimper when I skulked lately out of the office after finishing the publication of the latest edition in my epically unfolding web cartoon series. I did retreat back to my quarters and didst replenish my spirit with beer, before advancing with my good lady friend and Mr. Joe Tris of Chicago towards a local eatery where we dined on the flesh of porcine beasts flayed over a thick cabbage and pickled ginger yest batter, fried and covered with cheese, the mayonnaise and sauce.

From this point we made further travel by way of the train across the sprawling morass of fields and houses to Kubota. On arrival at the house belonging to ms. Poonam, we were somewhat early in our arrival and passed the time where for the rest of the evening we engaged in digital sport, vying to outscore one another in bouts of guitar karaoke, vocal karaoke and the partaking of alcohol.

We awoke with a start the next morning, still sitting in front of the gaming machines, coated in beer.

Was then distracted from writing in style for about thirty minutes and now cannot bring myself back into the headspace.

Yes, also saw the Narnia film. Tilda Swinton was good, the CG looked top notch, the battle sequences were fairly violent affairs too. A well polished piece of commercial fantasy cinema. Leave your disbelief at the door and buzz out for two and a half hours. which is all you can ask of a fantasy film for it to rate as "workable and successful" so yeah, it was okay. Wouldn't want to see it again and again, but I’d consider paying to see the next installment. One nice touch is that its release date in Japan seems to have been delayed to sync with the start of spring, as this is one of the key themes of the movie, the seasonal shift from winter into spring. So you watch a film where an entire region thaws out and then when you leave the cinema it’s happening in reality all around you. Yes, it is warming up over here.

My favorite trick at the moment is still to walk up to people in the staff room first thing in the morning, point to them with both fingers game show style and say “Oklahoma” to which they invariably reply “Ohayo”. This terrible joke provides me with a much needed kick in the mornings.

This week is graduation time again. I am in favor of a ‘two plan’ style of graduation, once when you finish your final year secondary school (not if you leave before hand) and once again if you finish a tertiary qualification.

In Japan however, compulsory schooling ends at the termination of Junior high school and thus is the justification for another long winded ceremony involving speeches from every Tom, Dick and Daisuke. Solemn, robotic sounding pronunciations and idealistic promises from graduating students, a song or three, and people getting far, far to emotional over the whole thing. This happens whenever a child graduates at all levels of schooling. Tim even had to attend a kindergarten graduation one year. KINDERGARTEN! These children have no comprehension of what is even happening to them!

Graduation season actually provokes a marketing drive in the video camera sales department, so parents can cry like little babies while watching their wee precious ball of resource consummation waddle across the stage, and then replay the whole nauseating event over and over again to bore people to tears for generations to come.

Another event that we have coming up is the end of the Japanese business year. The new business year starts on April 1st. In most Japanese companies, especially the civil service, people are transferred around from department for department, with blocks tenure being allocated in one yearly allotments. You may have been working in the board of education for four or five years and then told that you will be transferring to the board of civil engineering. April 1st is the official date of this transfer and it can bring some pretty big changes. Last year my desk moved across the room unexpectedly and this year I am expecting essentially the same to happen. I may have all new people to work with; I may get a new supervisor or nothing may happen at all.

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