Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Crying for the Moon Blues."

My goodness, it's hot here. It's like the world's largest sauna, right down to the thick smell of heated cedar from the woods across the way. It's been mostly dry so far, but this is the forecast for the next nine days: Rain, Rain, Rain, Cloudy, Showers, Showers, Thunderstorms, Thunderstorms, Thunderstorms. Fun times.

I've been worried to the point of feeling physically ill - I don't know how I manage that, either - since we heard one of the teachers is leaving. I'd be a bit disappointed if it were anyone, but this is the lady that has been so helpful to me outside the classroom - answering questions and even showing me how to pay bills at the post office - and so inspirational during lessons. She's the one that makes me think, "This is what school is supposed to be about," and team-teaching with her was the highlight of the week. It's not that the job isn't bearable - it's just talking with her made it more than bearable. Thinking of the next nine months without that cheerful, calming presence makes me feel lonely to the point of nausea, whereas before I'd been thinking, "nine months is too short, I want more." But I need to forget this disappointment and frustration and concentrate on doing my job completely irregardless of how I feel.

I've meant to post this for a while - the highlight of this television season was a drama called Last Friends - ラスト・フレンズ. It fizzled near the end and got a bit disappointed, but at first I was hooked and looked forward to every Thursday evening. If you've watched TV with me you know I have little tolerance for show opening credits, and if I'm watching on DVD I will mercilessly fast forward until the episode starts. Usually I don't find that they add anything to the experience - they show who the stars are, give a sense of the setting - but if you're a regular watcher you know all that already. But there are some shows where the opening credits put you in a mood necessary for best enjoyment. Say, Mark Snow's haunting X-Files theme, or Alabama 3's gritty "Woke up this morning, got yourself a gun" for The Sopranos, or Osen's Odore as I've said before, or the opening sequence to Six Feet Under which continues to be the most gorgeous minute-and-a-half of television I've seen. The credits for Last Friends is one of those, where every component of the music and colors and characters and words is ideally choreographed. I would watch every second of it as intently as I watched the rest of the show. The song is "Prisoner of Love" by Utada Hikaru - 宇多田 ヒカル - who has a lovely voice and is also a really sweet, funny lady in every interview I've seen. Interesting note: Last Friends stars (among others) NEWS' Nishikido Ryo 錦戸亮 in the least likely role for an attractive young member of a boyband. He caused a lot of controversy, but I was quite impressed by his acting, and have more respect for him now.

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