Friday, June 02, 2006

Advertisements for Myself

Thursday 1 June 2006 I bought online a download of Norton Antivirus 2005, which was a major hassle.

First, Norton will not sell downloads except from a site directed at your own country, which meant, in my case, that I had to navigate through the site in the Japanese language.

Whether you try to buy directly from Norton or whether you go to amazon.com, they will not sell you a download if you live outside the United States. They will not export the download. You can buy it, but only from a site dedicated to the country where you live.

What kind of weirdness is this? Some kind of War on Terror extremism, or what?

As I've explained elsewhere, I cannot use the free version of AVG's software on my Windows 98 PC because I do not have the necessary memory, though I do use it on my XP machine.

So I'm thrown back on Norton.

Norton no longer makes new software for Windows 98 so you have to buy the 2005 version rather than the 2006 version. You need, for Windows 98, at least 64 megabytes of RAM and what seemed like a formidably fast processor, I think something like 133 megahertz or something like that.

I had no idea how to find the chip speed of my ancient i-series Thinkpad and spent some time messing around with it until I realized that the processor speed, 500 megahertz, was proudly emblazoned on the very keyboard itself.

With the Japanese-language version of Windows 98 running and with my Japanese-language version of Microsoft Word cranked up, I made an advertisement for myself, in two formats, one to be printed out and posted on a community noticeboard in the neighborhood and one to be posted online at hughcook.com/english.

There are also free giveaway publications in the Tokyo-Yokohama area, and there are also sites in Japan which offer to send students in your direction, for which, I think, they charge the students, though I have no yet researched the details of this.

I've decided to advertize 50-minute lessons rather than the standard one hour slot.

When I was teaching corporate lessons, the standard lesson was two hours with five minutes as a break in each hour, with the two breaks usually being taken as a single ten-minute break in the middle of the lesson.

Additionally, at junior high school, where I taught for some years, the standard lesson was, if memory serves, a bit less than an hour.

Thursday, also, I took a quick look for resources online and found scads. A Google search for "ESL lesson plans" threw up any number of these, free and ready to download.

I have begun exploring www.eslcafe.com, a site which seems to do it all: look for a job, post your resume online, get lesson plans, the works.

Friday, 2 June, I went downstairs and found our minuscule foyer filled with rubbish bags, eleven of them, all from my personal room. Admittedly, they were no very large rubbish bags, but eleven is a lot.

Having returned to Japan in April, I have succeeded in cleaning up my personal room, in getting my XP computer connected to the home wi-fi system, and I have also succeeded in mastering the routines of delivering my daughter to the daycare center and of uplifting her in the afternoon.

I have found a hospital and the appropriate medical specialist, the hematologist I am calling Dr Gunma, and I have also found an eye specialist locally, near the train station and just next to the barber shop where I used to have my hair cut.

In the week ahead, I will attend the eye clinic at Meijin Hospital, taking with me the film of the MRI of my brain, the MRI that I underwent this week, and we will see if the eye specialist there can do anything for me. Probably not.

Probably the radiation therapy which I had following chemotherapy has irrevocably damaged my eyes.

My radiation oncologists did not warn me about this, and, after stewing about it for some considerable time, I decided to revise my recently-published book, THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD: A HUGH COOK READER.

I have written a closing piece with the title BURN IN HELL YOU BASTARDS, and, once I have uploaded the new version of the book, I will publish this BURN piece here on my blog.

In theory, you can republish books you have published with lulu.com, changing everything from the covers to the content. I think I've figured out how to do this, and I plan to take a shot at it in the next few days.

All going well, I will upload the new version of THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD. I will also upload a new version of the short story collection THE SUCCUBUS AND OTHER STORIES, and I have decided to buy an ISBN number for this, so that this, like THIS IS A PICTURE OF YOUR GOD, will be available from amazon.com.

All going to plan, my wife and I will head down to the immigration department in the coming week and file paperwork asking for a renewal of my spouse visa. At the same time, I will also apply for a reentry permit.

The spouse visa will run for at least three years, though we are planning to see if they might grant one for five. Assuming that the visa is granted, and in all probability it will be, then I will be legally free to do any job that I can find in Japan.

Assuming that everything goes well, my wife will probably be heading back to work toward the end of June or early in July. And by that stage life will have returned to normal, to the extent that "normal" exists in my revised universe.

A closing note of happiness: when I got back from dropping off my daughter at the daycare center on Friday 2 June, my wife reported that, while I was out, she had booted the Windows 98 Thinkpad, had connected successfully to the Internet via our wi-fi system, and had gone online.

Coming as it does after quite a bit of computer stress, this happy ending comes as a great relief.

Spring in Japan. My wife upstairs, at work on the room I thought I had tidied up to perfection. A cassette is playing on my stereo system, the piece of junk I have advertised as being free to a good home, and the music is sitar music, which I do not remember having taped, but, evidently, I have.

Having just recently flown back to Japan after spending more than a year in my father's house, I have come to concede that my father is right: Mozart, rather than Beethoven, is the greater composer.

But there are other worlds of music, and right now I have Led Zeppelin blasting into my ears, and I am working on fine-tuning the revised version of one of the books I plan to upload in the next few days, and I find myself, unexpectedly, improbably, for the moment, happy.

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