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The review that wouldn't die. PART TWO [Sunday
›July 31st, 2011 at 5:47pm‹]
Continued from PART ONE...

Now it's 2011, let's say April or so. I don't remember exactly, but a friend of mine messaged me on AIM saying that D had contacted him asking him to tell me to take the review down. I laughed. Or more accurately, I probably typed, "LOL!" It was about a year and a half after the fact, and I couldn't believe D was bringing this up with my friend, who by the way has no connection to Yoshida or purple SKY, and only knows D through the it's-a-small-world community of Jrock in LA. I told my friend to tell D that if she can contact me directly. You can't go through mutual friends as if that will have some sway over taking the review down. In fact, it has the OPPOSITE effect, and just shows me that D doesn't know how to do PR.

I didn't hear anything until July 24 when I got a message via Facebook.

Facebook? Really? Did you lose my email address?Collapse )
Give me your Time. 』 『 1 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


The review that wouldn't die. PART ONE [Sunday
›July 31st, 2011 at 12:26pm‹]
Let me start from the end. To steal a joke from Dane Cook (yes, I'm stooping to that level), let's Tarantino this shit.

The end result of a two-year argument

Now let me go back to the beginning. The very beginning. Of time, in fact. No wait, too far back. Let's go to the time when the word "review" came into existence in the English language. I'm going to venture a guess and say it originates from the Latin "listen to an album and give your honest yet fair opinion on it". Do we all understand what "review" means now? Great. Let's skip ahead.

And our story begins in June 2009...Collapse )
Give me your Time. 』 『 1 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


[Monday
›March 14th, 2011 at 5:56pm‹]

I'm posting from work because my laptop is broken. It broke Wednesday, so no relation to the earthquake.

I'm generally fine, though not having a laptop/internet all weekend meant that I watched the news a lot. As you can imagine, it was quite depressing. And now because of all the aftershocks, I won't be coming into work until Tuesday NEXT WEEK (Monday is a holiday). I should hear back about my computer tomorrow, so I may have internet tomorrow afternoon. Otherwise, i will have to go out and buy a new laptop.

So... I think most of you are friended with me on facebook and got an update on my condition Friday night when I posted from my friend's laptop. I'll make an in-depth entry about my experience from the 33rd floor of the oldest skyscarper in Japan ASAP.

Love you all!


Give me your Time. 』 『 6 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


Visual Kei Concert Etiquette... Wait, ETIQUETTE? [Thursday
›February 3rd, 2011 at 11:30pm‹]
Ok, I'm putting this on my LJ because I was VERY close to commenting directly on the article, but decided I don't really want to piss JaME off via Twitter. (Plus I doubt the author would respond.)

Anyone who has ever been to a visual kei concert or has any desire to go to one, just take a glance at this article here. The offending parts are really the beginning and the jouren/saizen system explanation. There are sprinkles of offensiveness here and there, but let me just generally bitch.

Disclaimer: I have been to dozens of VK shows as press. I keep a list, but I'm too lazy to count right now. The only shows I go to as a fan are BUCK-TICK and Kiyoharu once in awhile, but I highly doubt this Meg person is including them here. Most of what I've seen of VK shows has been from up above or the back. And yeah, a good portion of this article is somewhat true to life, albeit over detailed and serious.

My prob 1: Vast generalizations?

- Westerners (should always be a capital W, FYI) exhibit "erratic behavior" at shows - I love playing spot the non-Asians at shows, especially when I have a bird's eye view. Most of the time, they are the most subdued. But wait! Stereotype dictates that they should be loud and obnoxious, right? Wrong. I think 90% of people are generally a bit more introverted in public to begin with, let alone when they're always standing out in a crowd. The ones that are used to being the elephant in the room tend to be too snobby to show any form of joy at shows, so they're usually dolled up as much as the next gyaru doing the same lame hand motions. The most obnoxious foreigner I've seen at a show is... me. Cat-calling U-ta. But he's asking for it.

And don't forget that all Western fans want to cut to the front so they can grab at the band. Again, another thing I have never witnessed. I may have seen a couple people grace the finger tips of a band member or two, but those were always Japanese fans. The assumption that foreigners are the ones doing inappropriate touching and claiming a band member was "asking for it" is frankly unsettling. She basically accused the lot of Western fans of being sexual deviants. The most invasive no-no touch I saw was when some fan slapped U-ta's ass. But again, U-ta's suggestive clothing meant he was asking for it.

- Japanese think one foreigner reflects the behavior of all foreigners - Give the Japanese some credit. I have my issues with the blatant racism in this country, but this isn't Planet of the Apes here ("It can talk!"). Not all Westerners look alike to them, and not all Westerners are ambassadors of their respective homelands. (The U.S. does not want me to represent them. Wonder why.) Japanese fans tend to not give a shit. I've gotten death glares at VK shows, but I mostly think that's because I was going in the press entrance and/or I'm a registered hottie (latter unlikely). At shows I've gone to as a fan (B-T, Kiyoharu, first night of LUNA SEA), I was generally ignored. Everyone is really just a body or a head blocking their view of the stage, so why should they treat you any differently?

My prob 2: Only Westerners or Japanese people go to shows. - She talks about Americans and Europeans (and particularly how Americans love to sing along with songs... god forgive us!), but doesn't say anything about any other group. Visual kei has a moderately healthy following in Hong Kong and Singapore, but in this author's eyes, these fans are either no significant enough to mention or perfect angels. Our HK and Singapore brethren are just like most of the other fans: they'll stand there, enjoy the concert, if they're regulars partake in the hand waving, and get on with their lives.

My prob 3: Everyone needs to know every tiny detail of every piece of etiquette - Admittedly, the part about the ticketing system is fairly useful, though she doesn't go into the logistics of it, like how to get tickets at the convenience store (Japanese address required). But most of these little nit-picky details are completely new to me. Granted, I never go to these types of shows as a fan. Looking down at the audience, I never noticed any jouren/saizen system. It seemed like whoever got to the barricade first got the railing. I'm sure something like this exists, but really, who cares? You pay between 3000 and 6500 yen for these shows. If you get to the barricade first, stay there. No one's going to push you out of the way on purpose, and if they do, that's what securities for. Get their ass out of there. You're not going to be making friends while a thousands decibels of overdriven guitar is pounding your eardrums. The internet is where you should go to meet like-minded fans.

My prob 4: Oshare kei is the ONLY KEI, k? - None of this applies to any other genre EXCEPT oshare kei, a fandom dominated by 15-19 year old girls. Of course there's going to be Mean Girls-esque hierarchy, but this isn't high school. You're only there for 2-3 hours and you may or may not see those bitches ever again. Considering most of the non-Japanese who travel to Japan for concert pilgrimages are in their early 20's and older, who would want to be accepted in their cliques anyway when you can DRINK BOOZE?

My prob 5: What do you think about western civilization? I think it should be capitalized. - I normally don't go all grammar/capitalization/punctuation police, but if your article is going to focus on how flawed us poor WWWWesterners are, maybe you should CAPITALIZE the word as it is a geographical location, not a direct. Like West Virginia or West Nile or West Buttcheek.

Ok, I ended up commenting on the article anyway. It's like screaming in an empty hallway, but I don't care.
Give me your Time. 』 『 2 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


LUNA SEA ARTICLE! [Saturday
›January 8th, 2011 at 5:01pm‹]
I'm probably the last person who went to the show to post a live report, but for your ignoring pleasure (because I know you will all ignore it), here's my take on the December 23rd and 24th LUNA SEA SHOWS! Huzzah!

Legacy of LUNA SEA

I don't have an appropriate icon for this, but Jackbeard will have to do.

The article basically says it all. I spent the majority of my time drooling and screaming, possibly expelling said drool on the heads of the people in front of me. Those of you who went to the LA show might appreciate my account, as I'm sure many of you felt the same way.

Thanks, everyone!
Give me your Time. 』 『 1 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


The long, slow lack of updates [Tuesday
›November 23rd, 2010 at 9:18pm‹]
You know how I said I would update? You know how I fell through with that?

Well you know nothing. Now get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.

Instead of boring you all with my mundane life updates, I think I'll just make this about Buck-Tick's recent album, RAZZLE DAZZLE. This isn't an "official" review, as in I won't post it on purple SKY, so bear with me if there are typos, confused snarkiness, and/or BiTchery.

The short version: RAZZLE DAZZLE is different.

The long version: So what exactly does "different" mean in the context of B-T's discography? Is it fair to criticize a band that changes its style every few albums (sometimes every album) for opting out of doing the same old, same old? Is it then fair to compare B-T's past albums with a new release?

Let me first explain what I mean by "different". It's not revolutionary, even within the band's repertoire. B-T has almost always followed the pop/pop-rock standard for song structure (verse-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-guitar solo-bridge-chorus) with very few numbers going outside the 3:00 - 6:00 time range. But what makes RD so different is all the bells and whistles, or more accurately, all the orch hits, theramin action, and distortion. B-T almost consistently uses those tools to enhance their music, but RD take them a step further, making the electronic pieces the focal point of the instrumentals. That's not to say the other instruments aren't important, but they just happen to take a backseat for this album.

Take for example the intro of "Django!!! - Genwaku no Django". The guitar plays all of three, elongated notes while the staccato action of the synthesizer is the element that gets the song movie. Take away the drone of the guitar, and you might hardly recognize the song. On the flip side, if you get rid of the conga drums or synthesizer, you don't have the song at all. This is a complete role reversal from what most rock bands do. Instead of utilizing the synth as the accent, the guitar is that little dollop of whip cream on your pumpkin pie (do you like the Thanksgiving reference? :D).

In interviews, B-T has been saying that the album is supposed to encourage the audience to get up and dance. I think they're selling themselves a bit short (or just dumbing it down for us simple folk). By allowing the electronics to take on a life of their own, B-T is hearkening back to an age of music they (vaguely) skipped out on.

Brief history lesson with editorializing, kiddies: B-T came out just as New Wave was becoming hackneyed, when first gen goths were growing up and moving to the suburbs. Japan was recycling Europe's left overs at that point. You've heard of being TOO influenced by something else? Well, B-T was probably far too influenced by those records they were getting. Instead of going for the fresh sounds at the time (that sort of new wave dance a la Duran Duran that had a vague disco feel to it), they decided, "If the Cure/Bauhaus/Depeche Mode ain't broke, don't fix it!" and simply wrote their interpretations of what those bands sounded like. They missed out on the bright sounds, quick beats, and smiles of the 80's. As interesting as they were, they weren't fun in the traditional sense.

Fast forward 25 years and you get a reimagining of the pop-rock numbers that made white people dancing totally radical. (By the way, this syncs up PERFECTLY with "Dokudanjou Beauty".)

Of course, that's not to say that all of the songs follow this model. There are the token guitar/bass heavy songs. "Sakuran Baby" and "Solaris", which hardly feature more than a blip on the synthesizer, get swallowed in the shuffle. These tracks would have been more acceptable on Tenshi no Revolver, and I wouldn't doubt if they were somewhat leftover from 2007. And honestly, these tracks aren't strong enough to stand on their own. "Solaris" feels like it was put on the album to be the token sentimental track, a staple for all B-T albums, that is always hit or miss. The melody has the full intention of trying to make the listener cry, but these tears are cheap and easily wiped away and forgotten. (If you're looking for a deep, stinging in your emotional core, see some superior B-T songs like "Long Distance Call" off Kyokutou I Love You and "Jupiter" from Kurutta Taiyou.)

Now to my second question. When the samples of this album became public, I heard a lot of complaints from B-T fans. One of the most shocking was that "Imai ruined it". Imai is the brain center of the band. He has always been the primary composer and part-time lyricist/vocalist. Atsushi may be the face of the band, but there is no B-T sound without Imai. I'm not saying Imai can do no wrong. He does have a tendency to use table scraps from previous albums, which seems a bit lazy, even under the assumption that the previous album was meant to be a 2-disc ordeal. But frankly, I get ticked off when people make that statement, as if Imai somehow corrupted the other members into performing something that particular listener doesn't like. This isn't a batch of cookies that Imai slipped arsenic in. This is his baby. Respect it.

That aside, stacking RD up next to B-T's other albums, I find something lacking. As I mentioned above, the sad, slow song falls flat, which leaves only a few real emotions left in the music (lyrics not included): dirty lust ("Dokudanjo Beauty -R.I.P.-" and "Yougetsu - Yougetsu no Utage") and a sort of regal pensiveness ("Kuchizuke"). Are those even emotions? Who cares. What matters is that even within lust, you can feel the sense of desire, but it doesn't quite climax to the point of what we know B-T is capable of. Yes, I mean that quite literally. Listen to "Sasayaki" (Sexy Stream Liner) or "Dress" (darker than darkness). The former contains a surplus of sex screaming (patented Atsushi cat scream), and the latter is basically drawn-out heavy breathing in song form. "Dokudanjo" is an interesting take on the sexy bits, seeing as it seems to be more about being a drunk whore (read: it's a song about me) than about the actual act, but it doesn't quite "do it" for me. (This all makes it sound like a wank off to B-T. I assure you. I do NOT, though I would if I could. :D)

As for pensiveness, that in and of itself is sedated compared to anything else on the human range of emotions. These songs are saying something along the lines of, "Hm, yes. I see. Do go on." "Kuchizuke" in particular is great at setting a dark, thoughtful mood, but there's no climax (in this case, not literal) to make it more than just a mood piece.

So where does RD rank in the B-T album spectrum? I'd say somewhere around Candy, which is floating at the middle in terms of which albums I listen to frequently. I doubt that in two or three years time, I'll go into a fit of glee when B-T plays something off RD during a show. For all the interesting and unusual charms of the album, what it all boils down to is how much it made me feel. I love my B-T angry and sexy, with a little bit of that cyber punk fantasy in there. While RD delivers the cyber, it fails to come across as anything more.

Not to contradict myself even further, but hearing this album live twice now makes me appreciate the sheer danceability of the songs. B-T didn't set out to please people like me who are consistently pissed off; they wanted to make a dance album. And they were successful in that.
Give me your Time. 』 『 2 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


BOOM BOOM SATELLITES Interview [Wednesday
›October 6th, 2010 at 10:16pm‹]
http://purpleskymagazine.com/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/

Take a look. In a book. A BBS rainboooooow.

So I know this isn't a proper update, but I'll probably be making a flocked one soon. In the meantime, I just want to let anyone who's going to NY Comicon slash NYAF that Purple Sky's editor and mastermind, Kathy, will be heading a panel at the con. It's at 4 PM on Saturday. If you're in the 'hood, check it out in my place. You will not be disappointed.
Give me your Time.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


BELATION! [Thursday
›September 30th, 2010 at 9:56pm‹]
I haven't updated in FOREVER. So I'm just going to say I promise to write more than two sentences for the... oh... one or two people who still use LJ. And no, I haven't turned to Twitter. I do have a Twitter account, but I hardly use it.
Give me your Time. 』 『 1 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


The endless plane ride... entertainment needed. [Monday
›July 26th, 2010 at 8:02pm‹]
Does anyone have any audio books they'd be willing to let me borrow? I'm going to be on two 13.5 hour flights and plan to OD on Advil PM, but I need something to drone on in the background other than the hum of the plane.
Give me your Time. 』 『 1 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


D'espairsRay Interview - Some Kind of Human-Clad Monster [Wednesday
›July 21st, 2010 at 8:21pm‹]
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/07/interview-despairsray-some-kind-of-human-clad-monster/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/07/interview-despairsray-some-kind-of-human-clad-monster/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/07/interview-despairsray-some-kind-of-human-clad-monster/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/07/interview-despairsray-some-kind-of-human-clad-monster/

Check out my interview with D'espairsRay! They're touring the US again and it's probably worth a looksy. I've actually only seen them once performing with other bands, but they do have some good tunes to speak of.
Give me your Time. 』 『 3 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


I'm bringing laundry poles to the TMRBBQ... [Tuesday
›July 13th, 2010 at 7:44pm‹]
Since I've started Twitter, I've been following mostly random artists. I usually just skip their tweets, but I happened to catch one and replied to it. A few seconds later...WTFTMRBBFBBQ?? He just says, "My condolences." but still that's pretty nifty! Note: He probably does not remember my interview with him and the rest of abingdon boys school, but still. I got excited.

(By the way, that tab at the top is blocked out because it's for a particular site that shall not be named. I just forgot I had that open.)
Give me your Time.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


What I've Been Up To [Saturday
›July 10th, 2010 at 11:15am‹]
So I haven't posted about my personal life in ages, aside from the random emo post and brief update.

I'm going home for vacation on July 28 for my dad's wedding. Before you guys ask, I love my future step-mom and step-sister. Ellen (the former) is one of the few "adults" who from the time we met treats me like a human being who can contribute to conversation. I think a lot of us young-ish people might experience how our parents and their friends still treat us like we're little kids begging for a cookie while the adults are talking. That's changed a bit since I moved out on my own and no one knows exactly how old I am (I keep my age under lock and key at work, though some people do know how old I am).

Work is... well... ha. I don't want to make this an EMO POST, so I'll stop right there.

But I do have work friends. We go out on weekends every so often in Roppongi. Yes, THAT Roppongi. It's one of the few places in Tokyo with a high concentration of bars that don't have a cover charge, plus it's only about 15 minutes from where I live. Shibuya and Shinjuku are also extremely close, but Shibuya mostly has clubs that cost something like 3000 yen (about $32) to get in. Shinjuku has a lot of izakaya, which are basically just restaurants where you can drink for 2 hours for a certain fee (around 3000 yen). The problem with those is that you're severely limited in terms of who you can interact as you only sit with your group and your group alone. This is fine on some occasions, but I love people watching. Anyone who's been out in public with me knows that I will comment on everyone who walks by. These comments range from catty to absolute praise. I hardly approach people, though my one work friend, Kathy, will go straight up to a guy if I think he's hot and say, "She thinks your hot. Talk to her." HAHA!

Not surprising, I do go out a lot. I tell myself I am young, there are some attributes to my physical person that are attractive, so why not work it while I still can?

Speaking of going out, I met akariyoake and dacrazyblaze1 right before we went to the BUCK-TICK COVER BAND SHOW OF AMAZING BITCHERY! First of all, I am so glad to meet people who love Buck-Tick. I always am. I am completely in the school of thought that if you like something I love, I want to share everything I know/have about them. I don't care how long you've liked them or how you got into them, we are automatically BFFs.

Second, the show was endless fun. The second band was by far my favorite. They were called BUCKri-TICKri, which is a lame name for sure, but don't let that fool you. You know the saying don't judge a book by its cover? Well, the book in question (BiQ) was the band's vocalist. Out comes this pretty chubby, kind of bald man in a long, black coat with a boa. Being the shallow BiTch that I am and knowing that Atsushi has set the bar for hottness far too high, I immediately wrote him off as a disappointment. Then the first song started. That man can sing. And dare I say it? His voice was technically better than Atsushi. Full and rich, he went through songs like "Kirameki no Naka de" like they were melted dark chocolate. The instrumentals were overall fine, though B-T isn't exactly difficult to play, but you have to have a certain je ne sais quoi in order to pull off Atsushi's suave and presence.

I can't say the same for some of the other acts. The vocalist of B-T-K (probably the most "famous" B-T cover band) has a similar tone to his voice, but is mild on stage. Little side note: I made a comment on the show's mixi post and the vocalist of B-T-K messaged me. I'm sure he did that for everyone, but I just thought that was nice. I know I've mentioned this time and time again, but B-T fans are some of the nicest people I've met.

That being said...

My compadres and I were standing off to the "Hide" side against the wall. See photo below. After the first band, I noticed a tall woman standing probably about four feet away from us. I thought, "That looks a lot like Chloe." If some of you remember, I went with two American girls, Chloe and Kei to Tokyo Dark Castle in January. They broke my Castle virginity and I've loved it ever since. We got along alright, but I wouldn't say she's best friend material. I knew she was a bit of an elitist, alluding to the fact that she's "met" Toll and Imai, or someone from B-T. She's tall, skinny, and white, which makes her popular amongst some of the gentlemen, so I wouldn't be surprised if she cozied up with someone to get to meet certain members of certain bands.

Anyway, so I took a long, hard look at this woman. She was wearing sunglasses and her hair was pitch black (obviously dyed), but I could still tell it was her. So between two of the bands' sets, I said, "Chloe?" No response. I said it a bit louder, "Chloe?!" I explained to akariyoake and dacrazyblaze1 that I knew that girl. I could've sworn her glance went my way a few times and immediately looked away when I tried to make contact. A little while later, someone I recognized from the All B-T Karaoke group came up to Chloe's group. He immediately spotted me (it's hard not to spot three gaijin) and said, "Oh hey! How are you? Are you enjoying the show?" He was quite nice. In fact, he had asked me at the karaoke a few months ago if I knew Chloe, so it wouldn't be unrealistic to see him in her group of friends. Before I could ask if that was Chloe, the music started again.

She soon moved further away from us, too far to yell for sure, but at the end of the show, we made our way out of the venue and who did we see standing outside having a smoke? Chloe. I said, "I am just going to try this one more time. If she ignores me, she truly is a huge cunt." There was no possible way she could NOT hear me from about 7 feet away, say her name. "CHLOE!" I yelled and waved. She stared directly at me. Not so much as a nod, a wave, or a smile. After a few seconds, she turned back to her group of friends.

I ask, dear friends, WHAT DID I DO TO HER? From what I remember, we left on good terms. I teased her about MAKING OUT WITH GENET (oops! I wasn't supposed to post that on my public journal), but other than that, we left on a sort of, "If you're in Tokyo again, let's hang out." kind of empty but friendly promise way.

It really bothered me that the ONE gaijin B-T fan I met was a huge, self-loathing gaijin snob. However, I am significantly less bothered to know akariyoake and dacrazyblaze1 are sane, humble, and don't judge me for (GASP) being on that FANTARDED BUCK-TICK COMMUNITY ON LJ! (Chloe had said it was too fantarded for her. Aside from the occasional "Atsushi is hot" post, there's hardly anything that constitutes that label. Has she not seen any Gackt, Dir en grey, or Miyavi community/gathering of fans?)

Back to what I mentioned in my "first of all". Here is a moment of bragging. I have some connections. I have met certain people. But if I ever for ONE MOMENT come off as an elitist who feels entitled just because I've met so-and-so, please tell me. I am still a gooey mess for certain bands and though I'm not physically pulling my hair out a la Beatles fans circa 1964, I am still deep down a fan. I could've easily rattled off a list of people I've met and who knows ME (by name and by sight), but I didn't. And I don't. End of story.

Oh, and since Chloe will never see this (she's TOO GOOD FOR LJ), I can give her a big, BiTchy fuck you from the BoTtom of my heart.

BUCK-TICK FOREVER REMEMBER TO DIE *clip clip*



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

I am directly under the "J" on the wall with my arm up flashing B-T gang signs.
Give me your Time. 』 『 10 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


It's my KINENBI! (See, I learned Japanese!) [Saturday
›June 12th, 2010 at 12:16pm‹]
I've officially been in Japan for a whole year as of this afternoon.

It doesn't quite feel like a year, though my life in the US does seem like a far off memory at this point. This is the longest I've ever gone without at least visiting the US (I lived in Ontario for two years, but I visited the US twice in that time). So what have I done, learned, and missed since I started living in Japan? Well, a lot, yet so little.

Done:
- I've been renting my very own apartment for a year now. I love living alone. I just wish I could have a pet.
- I got to see Buck-Tick up close on stage, which really beat sitting in the back row at Budoukan by like 100 points.
- I went to a host club, got so drunk that I don't remember half of it, and vomited from a cab on the way home. Needless to say, I won't be repeating that experience any time soon.
- I've become accustomed to wearing high heels and no longer wear sneakers or flats. I usually wear low heels to work though.
- I've done more karaoke over short periods of time than most Americans do in their lifetimes. Speaking of which, I karaoked drunk and sang a song that I don't know "beautifully" (according to my semi-sober friend).
- Most of my friends are way older than me. See "Missed".

Learned:
- Japanese corporate culture, even in a global firm, is rigid. It's not as bad as you might expect, but the whole overtime thing my students have to endure is just painful to watch. Luckily, I'm free to leave at 5:15, which I usually do and on the dot!
- Soka University was NOT a good representation of Japanese people. People in my company are much more open. I guess that also has to do with age and area of work, but I still appreciate the people here more than I do at Soka.
- I can and will take the last train while avoiding taking a taxi home.
- I do have a limit as to how much liquor I can drink.
- Life is expensive. But I guess it would be the same in Connecticut, except with a lot less in the fun department.
- Old rock stars are old.
- Gaijin who have lived here for ages can be royal jerks. They feel entitled and superior because they understand Japanese culture (or so they say) and Japanese (or so they say). They're not particularly snobby to me until they find out I've never taken the JLPT (a completely arbitrary measure of Japanese ability that I would fail for sure because I am awful at multiple-choice style exams).
- The whole groping thing is vaguely a myth when you're like me. I know it happens to some gaijin, but it's NEVER happened to me that I remember, especially not by any Japanese people. I was groped ONCE two years ago by some Turkish guys, but I immediately threated to fuck their faces up if they so much as looked at me.*

*I think that's a huge part of why I don't get approached. People tell me that I look "mean" or "upset" when my face is generally just being neutral. (My eyebrows slant down towards my nose, which gives me a permanent scowl. I can't help it.) I'm also not blonde and have the same hair color that a lot of Japanese women dye their hair. From behind, I just look like a relatively large Japanese woman (5'4", huge ass). I know this because I've been approached several times by Japanese people (men and women) for directions or whatever. When I turn around, they always give a, "OH! I'm sorry! Do you speak Japanese?" Furthermore, I walk pretty fast and tough. I look forward, shoulders back, and stomp like I'm working the frickin' runway, bitches. At my size, that looks fierce. Not fierce as in Tyra Banks fierce, but fierce as in, "She will cut you." fierce. I've watched my other gaijin friends who are much more mild-mannered, demure, and petite. They get approached A LOT for hitting-on purposes. This initially bothered me as it seemed that everywhere I went, I was just watching my friends get hit on from the sidelines. But now I've realized that I shouldn't have to feel like I need to change my personality so that I can get the attention of men. I'm not going to be brainwashed by a society that says, "You are attractive if you're groped."

Missed:
- Of course, all my friends in the US. It's hard making friends here, and it seems that my BEST friends are gaijin and/or gaijin-wannabes. I feel somewhat used with the latter, but they're usually good people.
- Hanging out with people around my age, but I think that's just what happens once you enter the working world.
- I miss not being the fattest person in the room.
Give me your Time. 』 『 2 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


Miyavi Interivew PART 2 [Tuesday
›June 8th, 2010 at 10:44pm‹]
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/06/interview-miyavi-samurai-guitarist-and-ceo-part-2/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/06/interview-miyavi-samurai-guitarist-and-ceo-part-2/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/06/interview-miyavi-samurai-guitarist-and-ceo-part-2/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/2010/06/interview-miyavi-samurai-guitarist-and-ceo-part-2/

The second part of my interview with MIYAVI is up. Read it or... make me... cry. So many emo tears.
Give me your Time.
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MIYAVI Interview - Samurai Guitarist and CEO Part 1 [Wednesday
›June 2nd, 2010 at 7:36pm‹]
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Part one of my interview with MIYAVI is up and available for COMMENT *cough cough prod attention whore*. And no comments on my previous uh... how shall I put this... disinterest in MIYAVI's music, as many of you probably know about. Read it or I defriend you! (Just kidding.)

I just have one after thought on the whole interview. MIYAVI's a pretty cool person and his live show that I went to last Saturday had some mad skillz. I was glad I went to the show just for fun and would definitely see him again.
Give me your Time. 』 『 2 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


THE LAST LOST LUST LOT LOP LOPE EPISODE [Sunday
›May 23rd, 2010 at 10:54pm‹]
So many of you know that I am a huge LOST fan. Ever since I found out season 6 would be the final season of this ever-so-confusing mindfuck that calls itself a TV program, I've felt like my life is suddenly going to become more an empty void than anything else. WHAT will fill LOST's place when it's gone? Who could possibly make better Jackfaces than Jack Shepherd? How could I go so long without wanting to punch someone named Kate? And when will I EVER get to meet someone who can come up with nicknames for everyone he meets after about two dialogue exchanges? I never will.

But about the finale. I'm not going to make any predictions since I'm never right when it comes to those kinds of things, but I want to talk about my top moments and characters, at least in this season.

CUT FOR SPOILERSCollapse )
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Article and TWITTER [Sunday
›April 25th, 2010 at 1:07pm‹]
First of all, I caved. I got a Twitter. http://twitter.com/Sarah_at_pSKY Make me feel less alone and follow me. I'll still use LJ for my long rants since I'm incapable of telling any story in less than three pages of text.

Also, there's a new article I wrote up on http://purpleskymagazine.com about the Ra:IN show I went to. Read read read! Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

And another also. I love Imai's blog. I love how honest he is. Maybe some of you saw that picture of Hotei and Imai holding hands (old man love). Hotei's blog talked about how the Lady Gaga concert was great/good, but Imai basically said, "I don't get it." He even said he expected something like Klaus Nomi. One of my problems with the Japanese music industry is how no one is officially honest about what they think of other artists. They don't talk enough shit. I wouldn't expect Imai to enjoy Lady Gaga, and he obviously didn't buy into her pantsless pop. (I don't hate Lady Gaga, but I think her music is mediocre and has been done a thousand times by Christina Aguilera, etc.) This is his official, public blog, so he knows other people are reading it. Good for him for being honest. I just wish I could comment. <3
Give me your Time. 』 『 2 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


And the Oscar for Best Picture goes to... My Bum. [Thursday
›February 25th, 2010 at 10:59pm‹]
For the first time in my life, I've watched ALL of the movies nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards before the ceremony takes place. I wouldn't particularly call myself a movie buff, but perhaps I'm a casual film connoisseurs (I just wanted to use a Frenchish word to sound SMART).

Be that as it may, I do indeed have rather strong opinions about this whole awards process, considering the film that will most LIKELY nab a huge chunk of the Oscars is the biggest hunk of unnecessary fluff since the world's largest marshmallow. Let's explore in brief (and I mean brief) reviews, shall we? Don't worry. No spoilers.

Avatar - Shoddy dialog, shoddy acting, shoddy plot, shoddy American accent (seriously, Sam Worthington, were you supposed to be American or Australian?), but hey, the CGI was NOT shoddy. That's what everyone seems to be tooting here. "Sure, the plot's been done and the acting was cheesy," they say, "but it looked beautiful!" So why hasn't Megan Fox won an Oscar yet? Shouldn't she be applauded for 20-some-odd-years of looking gorgeous? And I could rant for days about how the whole environmental, anti-colonial message was rammed down our throats like a bitter pill. Who could disagree with "Destroying forests BAD"? If you want to see a creative, imaginative 3D film, see Coraline.

The Blind Side - Maybe I'm being hyper sensitive, but does anyone else find the whole white woman saving misguided black youth stories a bit 1990? Sports movies are generally shaky to begin with, but adding the white woman's guilt onto it just made it pathetic. The sappy piano score and Sandra Bullock's shaky Southern accent(s) made this feel like a cheap Lifetime movie. I admit, I shut this off about 40 minutes before the end because I couldn't stand it anymore.

District 9 - Brilliant. Creative. Different. There were no cheap tricks to garner sympathy from the audience like making the aliens beautiful tree-huggers in this one. Who could love an antenna-ed, bottom-feeder that spits up black vomit? I can. And those aren't the only areas in which this film outshines the A-word. Instead of shoving the socio-political message down its audience's throat, it reminded the world of how cruel humans can be, considering how the treatment of the Prawns wasn't too far removed from some very recent human history. The special effects were certainly not as flashy as Avatar, but any science fiction film that can do something completely different from mainstream sexy aliens is a winner in my book.

An Education - This was the last one I saw. I put it off because it looked the least interesting, considering I'm put off by anything with romantic tones. But Carey Mulligan managed to carry off her character extremely well. I found myself secretly pining for the life she was living without getting that jealous tinge I feel all too often. But I couldn't help but sense that Peter Sarsgaard's character was originally intended for a one Ewan McGregor. This film is not for the chaps, but well worth the watch for all the ladies who fancy themselves to have an ounce of smarts in their noggins. (Notice how English I sounded there?)

The Hurt Locker - Be sure to go to the bathroom before seeing this one because you will NOT be able to pull yourself away for even a second. I actually don't think I breathed throughout the whole movie. This is the rare film that neither glamorizes nor entirely vilifies war, but focuses like the cross hairs of a sniper's scope on the lives of some very (emotionally) wounded soldiers. I've never been to war and never will, but knowing people very close to me who have (namely my brother), this movie meant something. Again, there's no overt shoving-of-message-down-your-throat here.

Inglourious Basterds - The fact that this film is nominated confuses me. It's not Tarantino's strongest moment in film history nor is it his most entertaining. The gap between action and pointless dialog is far too big, taking away a lot of what people want from Tarantino, which is a lot of swearing followed by comical blood splatter. Instead, we get introduced to characters who are soulless (all of them are, Nazis, Jews, and gentiles alike), then quickly killed off, and action that goes by in the blink of an eye. I'm sure that aspect of his films was toned down due to the content (we can't ALL make Springtime for Hitler).

Precious - Not an easy film to watch, but the performances were nothing short of amazing. I felt like a fly on the wall of this girl's terrible life, and almost felt afraid to move for fear of incurring her mother's wrath. Gabourey Sidibe was all-too convincing and never came off as pathetic, despite her extremely sad situation. But the real star of this picture was Mo'Nique. I was never quite sure if her character was all there mentally. Mariah Carey also deserves praise as I know I'm not alone in failing to realize it was her for most of her screen time.

A Serious Man - For once, I'll admit that I might be too simple minded for a film. Sure, I got that it was a black comedy, but I couldn't really laugh or cry. Not to mention how the whole Jewish aspect of it seemed oddly racist, especially coming from the Coen Brothers. If you're going to highlight a movie so brightly with obvious stereotypes, there has to be some point. I for one didn't quite get it. The cameos really kept the movie going, as Richard Kind was two parts pathetic and three parts laugh-out-loud funny. My favorite moment in the whole film, though, was Amy Landecker's delayed delivery on all her lines. That alone was brilliant.

Up - Cute, yes. Oscar worthy, maybe? Another one to add to the 3D pile, though I think it was much more appropriate than the A-word considering it was about half the run time and not as nauseating. Like Wall-E before it, this film contains a very adult message that a lot of the grown-ups should appreciate. However, I believe there's a bit of an age gap there. The humor is much more juvenile than Wall-E or even The Incredibles, but the message is intended for the foggies in the audience. So where does that leave a loveless young person like myself? Just enjoying the CGI, I guess.

Up in the Air - Am I the only one who's tired of George Clooney playing a smooth-talking, suit-wearing womanizer? It's not so much that those things on their own bother me, but all together, it's just too GC. Leading man aside, I don't see how this film got nominated either. There was nothing particularly unique about it. It was certainly topical, but easy to forget in the long-run. Sorry, Georgey, no Oscar this time around either.

So who should win? Tallying up the scores here, I want The Hurt Locker above all to win.

Who will win? Avatar. Duh. And I'll throw a fit, swear off the color blue, and piss on a tree to celebrate.
Give me your Time. 』 『 4 left a Tear.
→ keep in mind? 』 『 edit


giRUgamesh Report [Tuesday
›February 16th, 2010 at 8:25pm‹]
Note: This entry did not post when it was originally written, which was like two weeks ago. HaHA! Here you go.

http://purpleskymagazine.com/
http://purpleskymagazine.com/
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I guess my journal has become a spam blog more or less, but PLEASE read and comment on my most recent girugamesh article. The more comments the merrier. Seriously.

So I just finished watching The Hurt Locker, bringing the number of Oscar-nominated movies for best picture that I've seen up to five (Up, Avatar, Inglorious Basterds, and The Blind Side). This is by far my favorite. It's culturally relevant without shoving some socio-political message down your throat. (i.e.: Really James Cameron? You want us to SAVE the environment and leave the indigenous peoples alone? I thought... wait a sec... I didn't even REALIZE that was what we were supposed to do! You really opened my eyes, you pretentious, unimaginative egomaniac.)

I could rant about all the things I dislike about Avatar, but I'll spare the children mommy's anger.
Give me your Time.
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AN CAFE REPORT! [Saturday
›January 30th, 2010 at 5:35pm‹]
http://purpleskymagazine.com
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http://purpleskymagazine.com

Please read and comment on my An Cafe report. Yes, An Cafe. Yes, this is the second time I've seen them. No, I didn't not pay for tickets. My Imai icon will prove that I still have street cred despite the fact that I admittedly enjoyed this show.

Also SADS IS BACK THIS YEAR!!!!! I'm thinking of joining the fanclub just so I can get NOT LAME SEATS. Is it worth the money? Probably not, but SADS BLOOD ROCK N ROLL!!! Can anyone go with me? I need a leg to hump during the show.

I'm going to buy black or dark gray curtains for my apartment and have everything else accented with blues. I found these AMAZING curtains at Tokyu Hands and Loft that are black with the white silhouettes of trees. The problem is, that means I have to buy a new comforter cover too since that has a pattern on it already.
Give me your Time. 』 『 4 left a Tear.
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