For those of you who have seen the VH1 show Best Week Ever this will be familiar to you. For those who haven’t, there is a segment in the show about good things happening to someone meaning “upgrade” and bad things happening meaning “downgrade.” I now present my own version: the Tokyo trip edition.

  • Got to fly out of the local airport directly to Tokyo: Upgrade
  • Had flight delayed by nearly two hours: Downgrade
  • Magically received bump from business to first: Upgrade
  • Ran out of water 1/2 way through flight: Downgrade
  • Was second person off plane, breezed through customs: Upgrade
  • Had to wait for an hour for luggage: Downgrade
  • Long wait caused a missed train, and another hour wait: Downgrade
  • Paid for train pass, got on nearly empty car: Upgrade
  • Found out I was in the wrong car, had to sit in the vestibule: Downgrade
  • Negotiated way out of train station: Upgrade
  • Had to walk for 20 minutes to the hotel: Downgrade
  • Sweat like a pig thanks to 80 F weather: Downgrade
  • Wake up every morning at 4am: Downgrade

For those keeping score at home, that is 5 upgrades vs. 8 downgrades. I’m only half way through this trip (which continues for another 6 days) and the downs are already winning. It isn’t looking good for upgrades, but then it wouldn’t be me if it did.

Yes, I knew this 3rd (or 6th) installment of Star Wars would be rough. I’m a fan of the previous SW movies, so I knew what I was in for. The effects were fantastic, and the battles were epic. Its good to finally know how everything fell into place and how the empire began.

But good lord, could the dialog the actors had to read be any worse? Hayden should have changed his name to wooden, Natalie turned up the sap and turned down the drama, and Ewan & Sam just phoned it in. I was thankful for the long silences later in the movie because the rhetoric was just weak.

In the final analysis, I decided that this was a pain that I had to make it through, if for no other reason than to see Yoda put out the smackdown one last time. I’m sad that it cost me $10, though.