Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hi... Ok, bye

Appears it has been requested of me for more frequent shorter posts, so I'm gonna try my best at this. I should really turn this into a daily/every other day habit.

Anyways, so my girlfriend came back from Australia finally the other day after a whole month (つд・), and... yes, it did top everything else from my best day ever. And did it by a long shot ^_^ Aaand then she left for Kyushu this afternoon. Kind of a "Hey! Good to see ya again!! ...Alright, see ya in a couple days. Love ya bye" Haha, well she'll be back Thursday afternoon though, so 2 days is honestly nothing compared to 40... or however long she was in Brisbane.

Well with my girlfriend coming home, suddenly... I have things to do again! Hooray! Haha, met up with Sasaki (TA from 2nd year Japanese over the summer) the other day, had some coffee, and then came back to Kana's place since her luggage was being delivered (got to eat real non-my cooking!!). Seems her luggage didn't quite make it on her plane and was forgotten in Brisbane or something. Unfortunately though, when she gets a call in the morning about her luggage, turns out it got damaged on the way here for whatever reason. They'll fix it for her, but I guess she's supposed to pay for the shipping on it. Apparently though, if we just get mad at them enough, they'll pay for everything, haha.

But yes, girlfriend = things to do -> very happy, lol. Just yesterday evening we went to the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) at Yasukuni Jinja which is pretty close to her house. That was cool. The atmosphere at Matsuri is always so much fun. That made for... the 2nd matsuri i've been to? I went to the Yuki Matsuri (snow) in Sapporo up in Hokkaido, and now the Sakura Matsuri here in Tokyo. Interesting to see the differences between the festivals. The yuki matsuri in Sapporo was huge, like... REALLY huge, but there wasn't nearly as much food in Sapporo as there is here in Tokyo, haha. Although the snow one up in Hokkaido was more of a display of snow statues, etc, where as sakura, ie: hanami, is more drinking and eating while watching. They've gotta make a killing at matsuri though, cause most everything was around 500 yen but... I guess thats the same for any state fair or sporting event we have in the states though.

But yes, TONS of food stands. I took a really interesting video I'm gonna edit a bit and upload to YouTube sometime soon. A quick rundown of walking by all the food stands. And by quick I mean I walked fairly fast and still took me 5 min to walk past em all, which turns out to... not be all of them. I missed a whole bunch but I only had 10 min total on the camera and I still wanted room left for pictures, haha.

Other than that though, my big news for today... got a huge load of goodies from the states!!! ^_^ Some friends of ours from school came out to Tokyo here for I'm assuming their vacation, so my parents sent a few goodies with them from the states, stuff I just can't get here. Like... wonderbread, GOOD popcorn, Vanilla wafers, GOOD cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats and Captain Crunch), Twinkies, Honey Buns, chocolate, milk dud eggs, and other various candy (for Easter yay ^_^), Bushes Baked Beans and Ranch Dressing! Halleluiah!!!.

Oh, and 6 lbs of cheese. Yes.

They also sent along another pair of my shoes from the states since size 13's here, or 31 cm, just... don't exist here, haha. As well they also sent along some deodorant. Believe it or not, but I guess Asians just don't... sweat or smell as bad... or something. Regardless they don't sell deodorant at any stores. You've gotta get lucky at an import place or something. Although very recently they started selling Axe body spray here, which blew me away. Also kinda disappointing, cause here I thought the stuff I brought with me was super rare over here and everything, haha. Well at least I've been using it since way before you could get it. So thats pretty cool I guess, haha, whatever

Well I've got my DS now, and my lil flash thing for downloading and playing games is on the way shortly, woo! Until then, I think I'm gonna borrow a bunch of games from my friend who has too many and finally break in my DS. In other words, looks like I've just gotta go ^_^

Pictures and video coming later

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Best. Day. EVAR.

Ok, so ever had one of those days where something wakes you up earlier than expected, and you roll outta bed the wrong way after being up late. You then proceed to be late, barely miss the train, among a variety of other assorted mishaps. A day that just doesnt go your way.

Well today, my day, has been, and still is, probably... the complete opposite of that kind of day

The best. day. ever.

I'll actually start my recollection on this unbelievable adventure with, yesterday. Where all my troubles seemed so far awa-ahem. Anyways yesterday: Hanami. One of the things I've enjoyed most about my year in Japan is the fact that I get to experience a full year of all four seasons. And being a big fan of Japanese culture, I'm much enjoying my many opportunities of various events and other such traditions for the seasons. It's now the dawn of spring. And the symbol of spring in Japan, is the cherry blossom, or beautifully named: Sakura. Every spring in Japan, starting in March down in Kyushu, and running through May up into Hokkaido, the entire country turns a shade of pink, as cherry trees bloom, sweeping across the nation. These captivating gorgeous trees unfortunately only last for a few days (5 at best maybe) before the flowers wilt, and the tree is done blooming. But in that period where they are in full bloom, there is the awesome event: Hanami.

The kanji for Hanami are 'flower' and 'look/watch' which is a good choice cause, thats what it is (they don't just pick these kanji at random ya know :P). Flower watching, a bit... well perhaps not too exciting at first thought, but you probably wouldn't really call it 'flower watching' at first glance yourself if you were to ever participate. It's more like... "Hey, the sakura trees are blooming, lets go party underneath them!" Yea... thats a pretty good description.

Well theres actually a history behind the tradition of Hanami. Sakura (cherry blossom) is actually kind of a symbol of Japan. Back in the day, when people knew not much about the science of the world and such, to them, Sakura kind of represented another good year of harvest, a sign that throughout the year and in the coming harvest season, there would be plenty of food. (That is kinda what most people lived for back then, rice, heh) So in honoring or appeasing the forces that give good harvest, the people would feast and drink, an all around extremely fun occasion, every spring. Think of it kind of like... the Japanese Thanksgiving I guess. Oh, also please don't associate 'partying' with the American sense of 'partying.' I've mentioned in my blog about Japanese Nomikai before, but a party here is very different than in America. Alcohol, yes, most definately yes. However the biggest difference is that, well for one people are more responsible, but also that people eat, and eat a lot when they drink, thereby lessening the effects of the alcohol and such. They also don't drink nearly as much cause well... they can't. They're small.


Anyways, after Hanami we went to good ol karaoke for a couple hours, and that was alot of fun. Sang my heart out like I always do ^^ And after karaoke, we went to Shakey's and had some delicious pizza. Pizza in Japan is another topic I'll have to cover some day when I have the time. Lets just leave it at: It's different. Aaand after Shakey's, we came back home to Azalea, and further partied some more in the lounge. Talked to/drank with this rather... overbearing Korean guy yesterday, but he did give me this super sweet bandanna from his Kendo club or something. One of those super rare items I'll never find anywhere else. I can't even buy this thing. All in all... pretty much partying for 12 hours yesterday (Hanami started around 1, 1:30 pm). So... yesterday was also a good day.

But, not as good as today. No, not even 12 hours of partying can top the day I'm having.

So shall we start from the beginning? Well as I've just explained, I was up rather late, and... had a bit to drink. So I slept really well, and wanted to sleep for a rather long time. Unfortunately though, I was awoken around 8:30. Oh come on, how can that be the start of this 'amazing day' that you speak of? How? Well, I didn't mind much after finding out that it was my parents, trying to get ahold of me to find out what they want to send with the Grelk's from America as they're coming to Tokyo this week. In other words, I was awoken to deciding what I'm getting form home. From America. From my mother country of the food I grew up with. And what am I getting? You guessed it: Cheese. 6 pounds of cheese. Oh glorious cheese. I'm also getting some cereal, ranch dressing (can't find ranch dressing over here for some reason), a pair of shoes (my feet were big even in America), and a few other things. Much looking forward to my goodies coming in the next couple days ^_^

As well, amongst talking to my parents for the 1st time in a couple months which was really nice, (not typing, actual talking), I mentioned that my camera had broken. It's actually been broken for a couple months :'( Again, whats up with the sad stuff on this amazing day? Well that then lead to it being decided that... they're sending me a new camera. Hooray! I giddily await for my 12x zoom camera to get here. Yes!

After that, my door bell rings. Twice. I figured it was my neighbor, but it rang twice... So I check it out to find someone has a package for me. A package? I wasn't expecting a package... (No, my food etc from the states couldnt have gotten here that fast, nor could my new camera) Upon closer inspection of the 'package' this older gentlemen was carrying, I noticed it looked more like... a case. A case for... an instrument... a TRUMPET! A week or so ago, I finally got in contact with my... contact in Japan for borrowing a trumpet. I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but the music store company, White House of Music's creator/retired owner Mr. Rodger White is a member of Beautiful Savior in Waukesha where my mom is the organist, and a good friend. He's helped us out at BSL a number of times, really nice guy. Well turns out he has a contact in Tokyo at the American University here, who is actually, a trumpet player, as well as the band director. A quick email before I left revealed that I can in fact borrow a trumpet from him while I'm in Tokyo. I finally contacted him last week, and it was just delivered today. Hooray!

And my day just gets better from here.

Oh, I also succeeded in making a perfect folded omelet for brunch this morning, that was good.

So on to getting better, even better than a perfectly made folded omelet even. Well I've been in the market for a DS lately, however in Japan it is literally IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND ONE. This thing has been out for over a year (the newer redesigned nicer DS Lite) and its STILL sold out. Seriously, unbelievable how you cannot find this thing anywhere. Well the reason for that is that, unlike in the states, they market the DS to all ages. It's not just a hand-held game system, they've also written a variety of other non-gaming software. Probably the most popular would be the 'Kanji game.' So in Japan you spend, what, avg of an hour ever day on the train? Imagine being able to whip out this little DS and practice kanji for an hour a day when you would be doing nothing anyways ^_^ They also have other games like... a stock market game, and theres also like, cook books and some other interesting software. Anyways, impossible to find, always sold out, everywhere.

Well we have a place called Yamada Denki here in Heiwadai. It's kind of like... Best Buy x10, with a supermarket and dept store. This place is amazing, and its Japan tech too, so its just fun to BE there. Well the advantage of Heiwadai is that we're... well, the boonies compared to Tokyo (and we're definately not, but thats how insane Tokyo is). In other words, theres not nearly as much traffic out here than in the busier places in Tokyo. So my best bet is to just check by there every once in awhile and get lucky. Well I've gone a few times, and no luck. The interesting thing about trying to get a DS is that, its still so unbelievably popular, that even some of the store workers are sick of people asking for it. Now, this is Japan. No body's ever not polite. Never. Like, its insane. This place is so polite and clean, working at McDonald's has become a descent respectable job. Well the DS has apparently hurt that a bit, cause for the first time ever, when I asked about the DS at a Bic Camera in Ikebukuro, well she wasn't rude, she just wasn't... more polite than any human person should ever possibly be: the normal level at which most Japanese people are at a store. She was actually quite frank with me. I asked if they had any, and I quickly got a "No, we don't" response. So I was curious if she knew when they might be getting some. To which I received a quick "No, we don't know." Not even a sorry... wow, whats the world coming to.... haha

Well I went to Yamada Denki a few days ago, asked about a DS (my new plan of attack was to ask not if they have any, but if they HAD any that day to get an idea of when they might get some). Well I didn't even have to ask her about if or when they usually get them, because she, on her own accord and MUCH to my surprise, then looked at a sheet and informed me that Saturday evening they should be getting a shipment. No kidding, Saturday evening hmm... Are you aware of what day it is today...? Its Saturday... Evening, right now. I went to Yamada Denki, and... they had one. One last one. And much to my dismay, the LAST DS, was the exact color I had wanted... sigh... the pits, really.



Success!! A DS Lite! And the color I wanted even!! It's like... did that really happen? And ya wanna know else? My day gets EVEN BETTER from here on out. Oh please (cut down a tree with a herring?) How can anything top something like finding a DS in Japan were... THERE ARE NONE.

How? Two words: Girl Friend

My girl friend has been in Australia for about a month studying abroad in Brisbane. She comes home, tonight. In fact, she should be here, well any minute now. From which we will finally be reunited after an entire month! Yes, it can get better than food from the states, a new camera, talking to my parents, making the perfect omelet, getting a trumpet, catching the new train again, miraculously finding a DS in the color I wanted, catching Asashoryu on the current Sumo tournament on TV, and watching a program (right... now) currently covering some of the places I went to in Hokkaido just 1 month ago.

Yes, today, is definately, one of the Best Days Ever.

EVAR! >_<

PS: Thanks for the pics Yun ^_^

Thursday, March 15, 2007

White Day, aka: Valentine's part 2

Differences in cultures bring about a variety of differences in the way similar events and such, like holidays, are celebrated. Japan is, of course, an Eastern culture. There was no Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy back in the Tokugawa days of ancient Japan, no, thats quite a western thing. Then why, you ask, are those holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Valentines celebrated? (Ok, I don't think the Tooth Fairy exists in modern Japanese society, but lets just go with it) Lets face it, the Japanese love holidays.

I'm sure businesses love holidays as well. How could they not when some make most of their profits around the holiday seasons? Anyways, I didn't get a chance to mention it before, so I'll just go over Christmas quick.

Ah, Christmas. How the department stores make me annoyed of Christmas songs earlier and earlier every year. Well Japan it was actually a little different, as far as stickin' its rear end into Thanksgiving is considered at least. I must say it was kind of refreshing to have a year like it used to be, where I wasn't sick of Christmas by the time it came, I was sad when it left. But that might also have to do that it was my first Christmas on my own, and I didn't exactly get a chance to celebrate with family as they are on the other side of the world.

Well Christmas in Japan is pretty much plainly more of a holiday for couples than it is based around Christianity. Which, seeing as though 1% of the population is Christian :'( things kind of make sense. Who wouldn't like a holiday where a big guy in a red suit just gives you presents anyways. As far as Christmas trees, well they exist, but not nearly to the degree which we have em in the states. Theres not really any Christmas parades, and not very many people are familiar with Christmas carols or anything, although there are some popular Japanese songs with a Christmas theme. One of the most popular is apparently really depressing though... If I'm correct, I believe that song is about the singer who can't find or get a date/spend time with loved ones on Christmas, which, is THE thing you have to do on Christmas. It's kind of more accustomed to what we know of valentines. Except green too instead of just red. Of course they're Christmas parties (the Japanese love to party too) but the main event of Christmas is to spend time with your significant other, and go on a date, etc. The family part occurs a week later on the much much bigger and, in fact most important holiday of the year: New Years. On New Years everyone like, just goes home and the whole country just shuts off for a week, its a pretty fun time.

Anyways, back to the present time at hand, yesterday, was in fact White Day (which apparently doubles as Pi Day as well, with 3.14 and all). Well White Day is on the 14th of March more because of what happens one month earlier on the 14th of February: Valentine's Day. Valentine's is your ultimate couple's holiday right? Well in Japan, its more so of a girl > guy holiday, for whatever the history behind that. My guess is that it just turned out that way because of the ingrained 'women serving men' theme from way back when in the culture.

It may also have something to do with the Japanese style of romance. Namely, contrary to the general American way of, 'one thing leads to another, and it happens' point of view, in Japan, there usual has to be an explicit 'confession' from one to the other. Only from there can things 'go anywhere.' Anyways, thats another story. The main point being, on Valentine's girls give guys stuff. Mostly chocolate. And not just to their significant others, but to friends as well. The term giri choco has been coined for chocolate that is given kind of because they have to, or they're a friend/don't want to be unfair to others. In other words, giri choco is chocolate that just doesn't have as much feelings in it. I suppose its just like how we have it where your class passes out valentines on valentines day.

Well White Day rolls around 1 month later in March as a response to Valentine's. On White Day, the guys that received chocolates from girls return the favor/feeling a month later. Its pretty much simply Japanese Valentine's for guys. Only thing is, its not nearly as celebrated. Lets face it, its pretty easy being a guy in Japan.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday: Church... and then a Party, cool

I've linked em before, but check em out
My Flickr
My YouTube

Just thought I'd write a quick somethin to make sure I at least keep on a regular posting schedule in attempts to prevent any long periods of silence >_<

So lately I've had lots of time on my hands. Lots. Surprisingly I've for the most part, completely given up on watching anime. I'll catch something on TV every now and then (which... I really need to get one in my room btw), but I'm not really following any series like I used to. Feels... weird. Didn't exactly expect that to happen when I actually come TO Japan. Maybe its just that I'm able to get my Japan 'exposure' or w/e on a more real life daily basis rather than anime. Or perhaps I've just come to be more familiar with Japan on a more 'real' sense than animated. W/e the reasons, its interesting.

I'm sure I'll find somethin to get re-obsessed eventually though. I did watch all of Venture Bros thats out so far in the past few days. Man that show is funny. It's in English though, which... is also kind of weird.

Wait... I was in America watching Japanese anime alot, and then came to Japan and have been watching English... I wonder if that means something...

Anyways, I'm attempting to fall asleep before 3 tonite, as I'm getting up around 7:45 to make it to church by 9:30 out in Iidabashi. 9:30 is nice, yes, but thats when you live 10 min from church and you can leave at quarter till and still be early. I'm shooting for 8:30, 8:45 at the latest to be out the door. 10 min walk + 20 min train ride (+5 min possible wait for train) + 10 min walk when I get to Iidabashi. Yea, we've got it good in the states. A lot of people here commute over an hour. I have some friends that live in Chiba, the next prefecture, that have a 90+ min commute... thats insane.

Oh oh, one thing about the trains, well if you haven't noticed, I've finally gotten around to uploading videos (woo!) that I've been taking. And I've noticed that more than a few times I have videos of the trains coming/going/etc in attempts to show how busy/long/what the station's like. Well these trains are long. Like, really long. Like seriously really long. If you stand by the middle car, you can't see the ends. They just stretch out in both directions. Trains vary their length depending on what line you're on, but it seems that most commuter trains have 11 cars. I haven't seen any more, and since the Yamanote (one of the busiest) only has 11, I'm assuming thats the max. 11 may not seem like that much? Well each car is huge. They all have 4 doors on each side. The Yamanote line even has a special rush hour car, or "cattle wagon" that has 6 doors on each side, with collapsible seats that fold up providing standing only. I've never actually ridden the Yamanote in the morning, I'll have to ask a friend of mine if they really fold up.

Anyways, they're huge, and its ridiculous, and I know I'm gonna get pissed off every single time I have to wait for another connector when people stop getting on the bus cause they think its, 'too full'


But good news! I'm getting out of the house tomorrow! Haha, well for one I'm going to church, which I'll have to write about that sometime. Its very interesting going to a church with an 'international' point of view. When anyone who speaks English is usually a friend, you find a more unique bond and friendliness with these people. Anyways, tomorrow's actually really busy, aside from getting up in the *gasp* morning, I'm also being *gasp* sociable at night, haha. I'll have already left in the morning for Iidabashi, so I'm gonna try and stay out during the day so that I wont have to go home (no commuter pass = no unlimited rides (´Д⊂) Some friends of mine are having a going away party or somethin. They graduated, and are going off to work in Spain? I think? Somethin like that. I've only known them since New Years, but I have more of a taste for Japanese culture than a booming socializing night life. Well actually both of course, but more than the usual foreign exchange student, I'm looking for more cultural experiences I can get here than I won't be able to find anywhere when I get back to the states.

Actually a friend of theirs, which I guess I'm now friends with, seems her mom teaches calligraphy. And I've been invited to come by whenever if I'm interested. Sweet.

Other than that, looks like I'll be continuing with this manga translation job, which is pretty sweet as well. Just need to some how make myself... work more... grr

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Scantilating Manga

Well, as of Monday I've officially got a job translating manga. Horray! I'm getting descent pay, but all things considered, it's a really great job considering the fact that I have no real translating experience outside of my Japanese class and chatting with friends. So now what... I'm gonna have to go do something to celebrate, woo! Actually I really wanna buy a DS, more for studying my kanji than playing games.

So, now that I'm getting payed, I need somewhere to put this money right? Well a good friend of mine, Matthew (he's actually leaving at the end of this month, tear...) has an account at a bank called Shinsei Ginko (literally translates to Rebirth Bank, but I think Shinsei is more intended as a name than a word... w/e) Whats nice about this place is that your not required to have a 'hanko' which is basically the stamp version of your signature that Japanese people use in a lot of official documents. Well obviously I don't have one, being a foreigner and all (although I can go get one at Tokyu Hands if I want, I might do that before I leave, should make for a good souvenir). I think that non-hanko requirement at Shinsei actually gets them alot more foreigner customers but... w/e.

Turns out, theres a Shinsei Ginko office in Ikebukuro, which just happens to be whre I had to stop on my way home from Shinagawa, where I went for the manga thing. So... I went and made a bank account, haha. The best thing, it was really easy too. Took me no more than 15, 20 min. And I actually couldn't quite remember the name for "bank account" when I got there, but I didn't even have to say it. I was just like, "Excuse me, yes, I'd like to make a new..." and they're like, "Oh, ok, can I see an ID?" Then I picked a color (Deep Ocean Blue ^_^) for my card, filled out my information, got my card and was out the door, piece of cake.

I now have a bank account in Japan.

For some reason it feels like that should be something quite amazing, although it was a bit too simple to do. Anyways, I think its cool.

Also, since I was in Ikebukuro, I stopped around some used book stores in my search of piano music for Japanese popular music. And I was successful!!! I even found one particular artist that I've been dying to get my hands on: Chihiro Onitsuka. What a voice. She's honestly got some of the most beautiful Japanese music I've ever heard. I specifically was looking for her piano sheet music cause she's always got the most gorgeous piano accompaniment with most of her songs. I was actually able to find a book of piano music for one of her albums, woo! Anyways, I can pretty much get anything I want at any big book store, sure, but those are expensive. Unless its something I really really want, I'll just hit up alot of the used book stores around Tokyo (theres alot, especially in Jinbocho).

Other than that, just been keepin busy. I'm in the middle of my break, so I've got alot of time on my hands. I know I'm gonna regret sittin around in my room after I get back to the states but... oh well. I'm working at home too, so it's not all that bad.

I have uploaded alot more pictures, and I'm working on uploading videos to my youtube account as we speak! Check em out!

My Flickr Pictures

My YouTube Videos

Friday, March 02, 2007

I-Is this thing still on?

Well it appears I've fallen off the map here in Tokyo

Actually what I think happened, is that I had a short lul of not much to write about, then I just didn't feel like writing, and then it was just too much to write to keep up, and then that kept snowballing into now. Has it really been almost 4 months? Well I've got a lot of time on my hands now (I'm 1/2 way through my 2 month semester break), and I'll make some attempts at, how should I say, back-blogging, later, posting some blogs about some highlights of some various events I've had in this now... rather large gap.

Aside from that, how bout a quick update on where things are in my life in my small lil corner of Heiwadai, Tokyo...

For one, I HAVE A JOB! Can you believe it? How did I manage to get off my lazy butt and find a job you say? ...I didn't. A friend of mine pretty much put this job right in my lap, haha. On top of that, its prolly a better job than I could ever hope for. I'm translating Japanese manga. Basically... the Japanese equivalent of comics I suppose (although I must strongly protest that they are in fact very different). But a good comparison would prolly be: American cartoons are to comics as Japanese anime is to manga. Anyways, its a pretty good job.

Its actually this new company (I believe a part of Toshiba?) called manganovel, and its a system where you can go online, buy, and download translated or untranslated manga. And they want me to be one of their translators. Turns out one of the managers at the company was a graduate of Sophia, and I believe a friend of my friend's... family... or some interesting relation like that. Anyways, I'm doing translation work, and heres the best part: It's via the web, aka: computers right? In other words, all the work I'm doing is on a program from my own computer. Which means, I can work on translating wherever I want, whenever I want, on my own time. Pretty much the ultimate freedom of scheduling, which will be perfect for fitting in my schedule, or really anyone's schedule. Plus, since eventually I'll be able to submit all of my work online, I theoretically should be able to continue this job after I get back to the states.

We've yet to discuss a contract and salary, etc, but thats coming soon. Actually meant to go and do that today, but my friend appears to be sick and couldn't make it, so it's been moved to Monday instead, which is just fine with me, it break so I've got a ton of time on my hands. Well my friend mentioned it might be around $200 a book (150 pg...ish), I'll definitely speed up the process as I gain more experience, but in my first attempts at translating a novel, it took me about 20 hours to complete. That puts me at around $10/hr, which is a little under par as to what I'm hoping on getting. You see, if I were to do any other Japanese/English related job (ie: Teaching, Tutoring, or English Conversation) I would be payed at least 2000-3000 yen starting (under $20-30) Granted I've no official translating experience, or any Japanese proficiency certification or anything, but those other jobs require even less Japanese ability to work. As well, this job is a one man job. I'm doing all the editing and proof work, so it's more than just translating. Plus, I'm an American and speak American English. As long as I can get the gist of the feeling for the translation, my American English fluency will make for a very smooth translation. We're meeting with them again on Monday, hopefully we'll be able to work out something reasonable. I'm hoping for around 2000-3000 yen/hr

Aside from that, boy its really been a long time hasn't it. For those of you whom are unawares, I have successfully... succeeded in acquiring the mutual affections of the female Japanese species. Or rather, I have a girlfriend now, haha. We've been dating for, about 4 months now (I think thats also the reason why I 'lost' time to keep up with my blog back then). Yes, she is Japanese. Does she speak English? Yes. What language do we speak? Well contrary to what she believes, I think her English is quite good, however from the start my goal has been to speak Japanese whenever possible, so yes, our primary form of communication would be: Japanese. We've actually been speaking that since the beginning, so it feels very strange to speak in English with her. Its quite interesting having a relationship in a different language though. As well its helping with my proficiency immensely. At the very least, I'm getting very VERY familiar with speaking the language.

Oh, her name, were you interested in that? She'd prolly be already super embarrassed to learn I'm talking about her here anyways, but w/e. Her name's Kanako Hori. I just call her Kana though, simple and easy, haha. She's from Kyushu, the furthest southwestern island of the 4 main islands of Japan. In other words, she doesn't really know what winter is like, haha. Anyways, she's in Australia right now for about a month studying abroad in Brisbane (this was decided before we started dating, afterwards she wasn't as excited about going, haha). Kinda a bummer without her around though. Suddenly I've run out of plans and such to keep me busy. But now that I have a job, I can be *gasp* productive and make some money to help fund my life in this ridiculously expensive city

Well I think that just about covers everything for the time being. More to come with my attempts at back-blogging as soon at google unlocks my blog (I think it was locked cause I haven't updated it in so long and it was just filled with the same links for too long). I will be putting forth redoubled efforts at getting pictures back online, as well as some videos.

Until then~