Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Subject: RE: The day Tokyo ate Mike


Thank you thank you thank you for the following:


1) Reminding me of Red’s birthday

2) Using the word "plague" to describe a disease, which I've thoroughly missed. My best friends at Queen's always used to say, "Ugh, I've got the PLAAAAGUE," and I'd forgotten how funny it was.


I actually spoke to one of said friends the other day; he had the good fortune to call me half an hour before I started work so I was actually able to talk to him.


Part of why I'm writing mega-mails is so that I can save them since I otherwise have no opportunity to write. I'm considering sending the story of my "very bad day" to the Star, with some modifications. I'm keeping everything I send people as a record and I'm also keeping a journal of more random events. I think I could make an amusing yet relatively uninformative travelogue out of all of this.


Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Subject: Requests


I was wondering if I might be able to receive a few key items from home, via whatever cheapest means of transport is available (no rush):


- My ski clothes (jacket, snow pants, gloves, hat, turtle fur, sunglasses, boxer short hat at your discretion)


- That's about it, really. There are some more videos and things I want, but they're not particularly important...


I'm going to try to send postcards soon, but it might take a month for them to get to you.


It's funny; nobody here has the slightest idea that it's my birthday tomorrow, and I don't feel like telling them. I just let a few of my outside-of-work friends know.

My Birthday

Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001

Subject: Re: Me? Nah? Not me....


Tomorrow is my birthday, and I broke down and actually told a few people about it. My housemates don't know, though... I don't really want them to feel obligated to hang out with me and do things for me, and I don't want to feel obligated to hang out with them. I told a drinking buddy of mine from New Zealand and the girl he keeps telling me to get more aggressive with, but that's about it. I'll be seeing the girl tomorrow, but I don't really want to do anything but take it easy, so I'm not sure if it's going to go too well...

To A Delightful Three-Year-Old

Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001

Subject: Thank you!


Thank you for the card! It was nice to hear from you!


My parents sent me a delicious box of home-made cookies for my birthday, but I ate them too fast and they're already all gone.


Japan is nice and warm right now, but the nights are getting cold. I have to turn on an electric heater to keep my room warm when the sun goes down.

Birthday Roundup

Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2001

Subject: You guys are nuts


Thanks for all the crazy cards... too bad this junky government computer doesn't have a sound card, so I wasn't able to get the full embarrassing effect.


I stretched celebrations into two days, starting on Friday night with a buddy of mine from New Zealand and then ending up at his & his girlfriend's place (they keep trying to convince me that it's a good idea for me to drive them home even though I can't even drive in Canada, can't drive on the left hand side, and can't exactly see straight by the time they ask me), then wandering home and picking up packages from my parents and mailing out postcards to my family and stuff.


I unfortunately had to work, but after that I went out to dinner with this girl I've yet to decide if I'm interested in. I got the embarrassing song-in-the-restaurant thing for the first time since you guys did it to me in the Olive Garden that time in high school. After that we semi-randomly ran into my New Zealand buddy and others and headed off to play/watch people play pool for a bit. Oh, and for the first time in my life I've met somebody with the first name Francis. When I told him it was also my middle name, he immediately said, "Oh, I'm sorry." Glad to see the crappiness of the name is universally accepted. He says it would only be slightly worse if he were named Wanker (he's from Australia).


Thanks again!

Employment Advice

Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001

Subject: Hi!


Thanks for writing me. Red directed me to you because I was looking at strategy work in Tokyo, and I had a question about the company I'd applied to. I had an interview with the sales department at Marcus Evans a few weeks ago, but I ended up turning down any future interviews because the job didn't sound appealing enough to justify the expense of more trips to Tokyo since I'm presently living in Shizuoka-shi.


I'm an English conversation teacher with Blight right now, but I took Engineering Physics at Queen's and I worked with Red two summers ago doing research, writing, and presentations. I guess I'm largely just looking for a way to spend more time in Japan while actually using some skills other than my simple ability to speak my native language. Any recommendations for places to look?

Final Word on Tokyo

Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001

Subject: RE: The day Tokyo ate Mike


I heard about Shatner and Iron Chef... I was quite amused. Apparently he and Nimoy have a DVD coming out featuring the two of them just sitting and talking for a few hours. I almost want to watch it and then kick myself for doing so.


I would like to send people a "happy" story, but complications seem to mount and form complex and fascinating stories, while pleasant things are largely one-time events or can be summarized with, "and I had a good time," so they're not very interesting. Besides, I think it's quite clear that going to Tokyo was a lot of fun and the bad things just made the challenge that much more enjoyable. I actually laughed when I spilled the coke on myself. I only started to feel frustrated when I couldn't buy the train ticket at the end of the day.

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