The last panda

Kind of sleepy, so this will mainly be a picture post. One of my new year’s resolutions – to be a better teacher – seems to be paying off as a back-to-the-basics approach coupled with copious amounts of panda patience have generated what must be a milestone achievement – one of my classes actually did homework…!
I am Tom Cruise. My l33t samurai skillz ownz j00r’s.
Well, technically, nobody really did it at “home” persay (okay, okay and to be completely honest, only 2 people even remembered to bring back the worksheet I gave them), but at least most of them made an attempt to write something in the blanks during class on Friday. So to reward them, I’m going to festoon their papers with every single sticker I can get my hands on (which shouldn’t be too hard, since I brought a ton of them from America, but haven’t had need to use them yet, since up till now no one has ever, well… done anything…!) *laughs*
We went to go see the Last Samurai Saturday, since C and I were the last two people in this country who hadn’t seen it yet. A few thoughts struck me as I was watching it.
1. New Zealand is really beautiful
2. Ken Watanabe (and I say this as a straight man) is really handsome.
3. What the hell was up with the ninjas…!?
It’s sort of ironic that they had to film the movie in NZ, since years of concerted action by the central government has ensured that there’s no longer any place in Japan that looks, well… sufficiently Japanese anymore. Seriously, you can’t go anywhere in this country where you won’t be confronted by power lines, drink machines, flashing advertisements, outlandish pachinko parlors and blaring pop music from all angles. Japan’s wanton campaign of environmental destruction is well documented, and those of you interested in reading more could start with books such as Alex Kerr’s Lost Japan or Dogs and Demons.
C turned to me during the movie and mentioned that Ken Watanabe had to be hottest Japanese guy she’d ever seen, and I’d have to concur. I would recommend any women out there watch this movie for the explicit purpose of dispelling the myth of the “asexual asian male”. As for myself, I thought the main female lead (played by Koyuki) was also really beautiful in a way that you don’t see now a days in the era of increasingly gaudy “Ayu-look” makeup, “brand name” insanity and bizarre conceptualizations of feminine ideals.
As for the ninjas. Dude… what was up with the ninjas? If there was ever a case of “gratuitous ninja overload” (now there’s a phrase you don’t hear everyday *laughs*) this movie was it. Actually, don’t get me wrong – the ninja scene was cool as hell, and probably one of the highlights of the film. But it just didn’t make sense…!
A sneaky ninja panda suprises a group of gaijin at the local coffee shop….
Anyway, ninjas not withstanding, I fully intended to go home and enjoy a quiet night of watching TV or reading a book, but along the way ran into some friends, and we all know that this will inevitably result in a drunk panda. Anyway, enjoy some random pictures.
Sal and I pose for a lovely, only slightly-tipsy, picture.
G explaining her theory of cell phones to a captive audience…
Meg explains her competing theory to a very pumpkined Phil…
Phil2 and Jennay react to some random bit of drunken humor.
The (relatively) sober end of the table…
Now listening to: “BT – Somnambulist”
(So little time the pp pace / has changed, but iimm stiiiil waiitteing / A thousand years of timeless days / som nam bu la [ting] / I’m stumbling / wounded in the [D A R K] / But I’m praying again for Love / lll el el[L]ovve, love / Praying for l o v e.)
5:24 am

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