Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's Band: (drumroll please)........Alice Nine!!!!

So naturally I'm flipping out. I just got the best news of the year when I happened to check Alice Nine's official homepage. They have, in fact, signed on to be at Vrock Fest '09 on that Saturday and I cannot honestly tell you how happy this makes me. I could just die. So, of course, alice nine will be today's band. And perhaps tomorrows, who knows. But before I go off on a huge paragraph about that, I have a housing update. The company has finally placed me with a family! They have two daughters (middle and high school) and a dog. The only bad news is, the family is a 60 min. train ride...from the college, which means a two hour ride to Tokyo which makes me sad. All the same, at least now I know something! And the company is giving me a one month grace period to complain and switch families, which is also nice. Anyways, so on to alice nine!

Alice Nine formed in 2004, beginning with eldest, and the official leader, Nao and progressing from there, though most were in other bands at the time of Alice Nine's creation. The young band first released two singles, selling only a set number of copies and thus, selling out, which paved the way for their first tour with fellow band (also will be at the Fest) ayabie. Shortly after, though the band was not yet a year old, they were signed under the major label PSC. The very next year, they held their first one-man (solo) concert, which was recieved well, and they showed no signs of slowing down. They continued in success, even performing in LA at the Jrock Revolution concert created by X-Japan's Yoshiki. To date they have had numerous photobooks, live DVDs , singles and full albums, as well as being regulars on all the Jrock magazines. The band suffered one setback in 2008, after kicking off their tour, when Guitarist Tora suffered from a cervical disk hernia that left him in excruciating pain and suffering from bouts of numbness. Necessarily, many of the tour dates were cancelled while the other members kept fans informed via their blogs, but in a relatively short amount of time, Tora made a recovery and they got back to business. This August they are preparing to release the single "Hana," as well as hold the last concert on their Vandalism tour, "Vandalism-Finale-," and will also be releasing another photobook to commemorate these past five years together. I think I've jabbered enough for now, and I haven't even talked about the members yet, so we're going to take a brief sabatical from the Today's Band series and do, you guessed it, an Alice Nine series for five days. Anyway, the members of alice nine are: Shou (Vocals), Nao (Drums), Tora and Hiroto (Guitar) and Saga (Bass). Today's video is Rainbows. Please excuse Shou's outfit and ridiculous glasses, and enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Today's Band: a.b.s and Word of the Day!

Ok, first of all, we're going to start out with the word/phrase of the day, which is: Omedetou Gozaimasu (おめでとうございます). This phrase means 'Congratulations,' and can be used, just as in English, for pretty much any occasion, such as birthdays (tanjyoubi omedetou gozaimasu), getting a new job, getting an award, etc. But the reason this phrase is our word of the day today, is because Miyavi, that jrock-punk singer that I can't help but love (b/c of his personality not his music) just welcomed his baby girl into the world yesterday. He and his beautiful wife, pop singer Melody, welcomed the little one at 4:40 PM (Japan time) after 20 hours of labor. So, Miyavi-sama, Omedetou Gozaimasu!

And moving on...

Today's band is abingdon boys school (aka a.b.s). A.b.s formed in 2005 around the already famous jrock singer TM Revolution (real name Takanori Nishikawa). He decided to form a new unit with a few of his current backup band members to establish a new sound. A.b.s was a surprise to most fans for the lack of build up before their debut, and first became a blip on the radar via a NANA tribute album for the anime. Over time, they gained some popularity (many of TM's fans naturally became fans of a.b.s. as well), and they made songs, as most new jrockers do, for anime opening songs. In late 2006 they released their first single 'Innocent Sorrow' and it's been looking up from there. What sets a.b.s apart from many other jrock bands is their lack of official drummer or bassist, their English school boy dress (they're named after a real boys school in England), their age (TM is in his 40s), and Takanori's tendency to write songs with entirely English lyrics. The band is: TM Revolution/Takanori on Vocals, Sunao and Shibasaki Hiroshi both on guitar, and Toshiyuki Kishi on Keyboard. And without any further ado,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Other News...

So, I e-mailed the school in Japan to check up on my housing info, seeing as I haven't had a word from anyone about the family I'm supposed to be staying with. The school e-mailed me back and said that the agency who is in charge of placing me in a homestay said it would be another two weeks, but if they do not do it in that time, Jogakkan College will have an apartment ready and waiting for me. What with my OCD nature, this should be a major nerve-grater, but I'm so beyond caring at this point, that they could put me up in a classroom. Even so, I suppose we'll know my fate in another two weeks.

Also, I just finished watching Oishii Proposal with mom and I can report that it was very cute, if not a bit uncharacteristic for a Japanese drama. To me, it had more of a Korean drama feel in that it was light, there weren't many subplots and it never got too dire. Also, it had the typical Korean scenario of rich boy/poor girl and the annoying rich fiancee with whom a marriage would gaurantee saving said boy's father's company, and without a marriage they will be in the poor house, thus making the boy face the decision of true love vs. practicality. I am a huge fan of Koide Keisuke who is the leading man in this, so of course I did like it. He seemed more believable as a guy in love because of the little actions he did as opposed to the typical love-struck act you get in either K or Jdramas. My only gripe was that the end was a bit lackluster, but what are you going to do. That too smacked of a Kdrama.

And my third point of interest is that I made a video! It's been forever since I put my rusty video editing skills to work, but I was driving down the road the other day, listening to a song and the idea for this vid just popped into my head. If you haven't seen the movie Honey and Clover, I would encourage you to watch it ( may have it). It's a gorgeous movie that delves deeper than just throwing a love triangle up on the screen, and it's a different feel than the drama version. Also, it has Sakurai Sho and Iseya in it, so it's a win. Anyway, enough rambling. Talk to you cats later!
(Myspace has joined the ranks of all video hosting sites that hate me, so I'm just going to have to put up a download link and you'll just have to believe me that it's worth downloading to at least watch. From now on, I'm just going to start naming my vids 'gobledygook3004_2' to get past the hawks!)
Here's the DL:

Today's Band: Kagrra,

Ok, so here is the skinny on today's band, which is, as the title implies, Kagrra,. (And yes, that comma is supposed to be there). Kagrra, is another band under the PSC label, but with a very different flare than their counterparts. Kagrra, has been together since sometime in 1998 (started by Isshi, Nao and Izumi), and was originally signed under a smaller label (Key something) under the name CROW, but then changed their name when they signed to PSC in 2000. What sets Kagrra, apart is their ability to fuse the traditional Japanese instruments/sound/style with the common traits of Visual Kei modern rock music. This tendency toward the traditional (sometimes wearing kimonos, often waving around fans, using the koto in their songs) has got them termed "Neo Japanesque," and is quite apparent in many of their music videos. The members of Kagrra, are: Isshi (Vocals), Akiya (Guitar), Shin (Guitar and Koto), Nao (Bass) and Izumi (Drums). And today's selection for you is a song that to me epitomizes the mix of rock and traditional music that is so characteristic of Kagrra: Utakata.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Today's Band: The Gazette

So, technically, the title should be 'Tomorrow's Band,' but oh well. I'm sure that I'll forget to post and so I'm going to go ahead and do it now. As the title implies, today's band in our V-Rock Fest '09 theme is the super famous and still growing: The Gazette. The Gazette, in my opinion has becoming the leading face of Visual Kei rock to most foriegners, if not to the Japanese rock fans themselves, and I think their star is still rising. A little background info for you: The band got together in 2002, with all the current members save for Kai (drummer). Originally the band's drummer was a guy names Yuna, who scidaddled after their first year together, and they made the very wise choice of sticking Kai in his place, which makes the line up: Ruki on Vocals, Reita on Bass, Aoi and Uruha on guitar and Kai on drums. In 2003 they were signed to the PSC label and steadily worked releasing singles and doing tours, all around busting their butts to make it to the top, and they very certainly have. I would argue that they have finally become PSC's golden child, despite not being the oldest band under the label. The Gazette has just released the PV for "Invisible Wall" which is somewhere on my blog, and they will be realeasing a full album I believe within the next few months titled, "DIM," and will follow that with a tour.

My personal opinion of The Gazette is that they are quite visually stimulating, and to me their look is the epitome of what a groomed Visual Kei band should be (what with the deadly-looking spiky hair, the professional aspect of their makeup, etc). Even so, I'm not usually too keen on their music. I tend to categorize The Gazette with other bands like Girugamesh and Mucc simply because they tend toward the heavy rock (though songs like Reila and Cassis do show a softer side to them). But they've got some catchy ones and at the moment I'm stuck on one of their heaviest songs: Filth in the Beauty. Still, instead of sticking that video up here, I decided to go with 'Bathroom,' because it is my tried-and-true favorite, and really shows off the guitar skills of Aoi and Uruha. I actually have a version of this concert that I subbed, which I would be happy to upload for anyone that wants it (just comment or e-mail me for the link). Without any further ado, I give you The Gazette's "Bathroom."

Today's Band: Kra

Hello Ladies and Gents. Well, in keeping with the theme going on here, since I got tickets to V-Rock Fest '09, I will share another band with you today that is going to be at this McAwesome event. Today's band is Kra, which I'll admit I know very little about, but here it goes. Kra (pronounced kura) fromed in 2001, releasing demo tapes and the like, and the following yer, sometime in Fall 2002 they were signed under the major jrock mother label PS Company. They are one of the oldest, if not the oldest PSC artists, and got their first wave of popularity with their single "Heart Balance" (2006). The members are Keiyuu on vocals, Mai on guitar, Yuhra on bass and our little blondie Yasuno on drums. The song I'm choosing to share with you today is one of their new songs, and a much less hard rock sound than you might expect. It is called "Amaoto wa Chopin no Shirabe."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

V-Rock Fest '09 Here I Come!!!

So now is when I freak out because I just bought my two-day ticket to what I'm confident is going to be the single best day of my life: V-Rock Fest 2009 in Chiba, which is just East of Tokyo. For all you non-jrock lovers out there, just imagine about twenty of your favorite bands coming together to sing over two days of musical bliss and merchandise stands, and for you Jrockers out there, I'm talking names like LM.C, The Gazette, Kaggra,, abingdon boys school, Kra, DuelJewel, D, and everyone else that's awesome (minus alice nine, miyavi, abc and nightmare, cause they have their own tours). This is how much of a nerd I am, that I've been fretting for probably a week, frantically trying to figure out the nearest Family Mart or Lawsons to Machida so I could figure out how to get my ticket. And then, because the big man upstairs loves me, the people hosting the concert opened up ticket purchases to oversees people about a month and a half early. Yes, the ticket was expensive ($200), but 50 big name bands are going to spend the entire weekend jamming out and I'm going to be there with them. So excited I can't even tell you. I'm going to buy so much stuff, I can't even fathom the expense. Well anyway, I'll stop gushing now. If you want to check out the site, here you go:

And in honor of the awesomeness that is V-Rock Fest, I will try to put up a link for a song from on of the artists everyday. And today, the ever awesome LM.C with their retro-y cute song, 88.
LM.C is a 'band' or rather a 'unit' made up of Vocalist Maya, and Guitarist Aiji. The two got together in 2006 when Maya quit being Miyavi's back-up guitarist, and Aiji's band, Pierrot, disbanded. The two have stuck mainly to making songs for anime OPs, but have since branched out to full albums, and maintain a bright colored, fun, 80s-ish style. If you want a subbed version, I've done one and would be happy to upload it for you (just comment or e-mail).

And now, enjoy LM.C's '88':

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Sub Job in a Long Time

Hey there night owls! So I sat down to my computer today and did something I haven't done in a really, really long time: sub a video. I heard Yuga's Club Prince cheezoid song on my iPod and it was just so cheezy that I had to sub it. It'll give you a nice, exaggerated slice of what hosts are all about. To give you some info about the man behind the magic, Yugastarted out in a boy band similar to some of the Johnnys bands, but after hardly any time at all, the band busted up, and not knowing what else to do with his life, he turned to host club for his livlihood. Within 3 months, an unprecedentedly small amount of time, he rose to Number One at his club and split soon after saving up some cash to set up his own club. He founded Club Prince, and has since branched out to own several different sorts of highly successful business throughout the entire country, stretching all the way up to Hokkaido, and including host clubs, maid cafes and other businesses. I believe he is now 23, my age, and owns all these businesses and is raking in millions of yen, hand over fist. Part of what sets him apart from other club owners is that he has put his foot down on the intervention of the yakuza in club affairs, which is a common occurence at most clubs. He also refuses to allow his boys, even the best of them, to accept gifts from their customers, instead encouraging them to give it their all and buy for themselves. So anyway, there's a brief synopsis for you, and now, if you're ready for the cheezefest, here's the link:

Here's the website for his club(s). Have to admit, not the best looking bunch of all I've seen

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

華 is OUT!!

I hadn't really intended on posting tonight, but I just have to share this goodness with the world. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Gazette's Invisible Wall

Hey there! Two posts in one day. Well, I just got my hands on the new Gazette vid, and while I'm not usually a crazy Gazette fanatic, I will admit that the new song is catchy, and they actually look quite amazing. I read that this new song actually made it to #2 on the mainstream Oricon charts, behind a Johnny's band, which we all know is quite a feat. Speaking of looking good now, Ruki, usually so crazy, looks quite kakkoii in this vid, and I can honestly say that he's the only Asian man I've found that can pull of light hair and blue eyes all in one go. And, the best news so far, they're dressing Uruha up like a man now, so it's okay that I find him attractive! Well, anyway, if you'd like to see what I'm babbling on about, you may be able to find the link up on youtube. I've embedded it about three times and they keep getting taken down, so I do apologize.

I'm Back!

Hey there everyone! So, we finally made it back from Chicago! I won't bore you with everything we did, but we did go to Chinatown, which was an experience, and if you want to see pictures of that, I'll attach the web address for my album at the end, so you can see what it's like. We also went to that place I mentioned, Mitsuwa Marketplace, and it was so crazy awesome. It's like a mini mall/grocery store sort of thing. There was a book/CD store where I spent way, way too much money (I bought the Miyavi, Nightmare and alice nine's Tsubasa CD, as well as the 1 litre of tears book), which also had a few movies. There was also a small shop which sold pottery and tea sets. There was a travel agent for people wanting to go to Japan, a bakery which was amazing and of which I have pictures; their desserts were to die for. And there was the grocery store part and a food court, where I got my first real Japanese bowl of street ramen. I regret now that I didn't take a pic of it for you all to see, but I was hungry so, what are you going to do? Just know that it looked like it does in all the pictures/dramas you've seen, with two slices of pork that fall apart in your mouth, green onions and a little naruto for garnish. Very cool. So you can check out those pics too, if you're interested. Anyway, I suppose that's about all I have to say for now, but I'll come back soon to spazz out about how nervous I'm getting, now that it's just over a month left. TTYL!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In Chicago

Hey everyone! I don't want you to feel neglected, for the two or so of you who read this, but I'm currently in Chicago with Mom and Laura, trying to live up our last hurrah! Tomorrow we're going to the Shedd Aquarium and to a Japanese mall/supermarket called Mitsuwa Marketplace. Here's the link:
Well, I'll post again soon. Til then, ttyl!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today's Word of the Day

Greetings Minna (everyone)! So, I realized I haven't posted one of these in a few days and thought I should remedy that, so today's Word of the Day is:

大丈夫 (Daijoubu). This is a word you will hear a lot, like a whole lot. You'll hear it in movies, shows, songs and on the street in regular speech. It basically means, 'I'm ok', or when posed as a question, 'Are you ok?' This answer can mean being fine in the physical sense, as in, if you just fell but you're not badly injured, you could reply with 'Daijoubu.' On the other hand, it can also apply to emotional well being. If you've just had a heartbreak, or even a big scare and people ask you, 'Daijoubu desu ka,' and you want to reply in the affirmative, you'd say, 'Daijoubu.'

Well then I hope that was educational for everybody, and I'll talk to you cats later!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Visa Info and Harper's Island

Ok, first of all, I just want to inform you all about a few more useful bits of knowledge concerning visas. To get your visa, you need a Certificate of Eligibility from your host country, as I've mentioned before. The info here is, you have exactly 3 months to enter the country from the day the Certificate is issued, otherwise, you're out of luck, so that's something to watch out for. I think there was something else I wanted to say, but I can't recall at the moment. Oh, and also, unless you plan on going to the consulate, which takes two days of your life to get finished, you'll be sending your info in via mail, to get your visa, which means mailing your passport off. They suggest that you do this via FedEx Airmail so it doesn't get lost, and you have to include either a SASE or a FedEx Airmail slip filled out for the packages return journey, and these Airbill's will end up costing you about $20 each way.

On another note...
Just finished watching Harper's Island last night. I was ready to be disappointed, but, much to my surprise, it was brilliant. I actually got the killer and the death toll correct, so that was cool. If you haven't seen it and want to, you can watch all the episodes for free online at So, go check that out, and I'll catch you cats later!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Top 5 Lookers

So mom and I were having a conversation in the car today about who we thought was the best looking Asian guy, and I got to really thinking about it. There are a lot of real lookers out there (Sakurai Sho, Jae Joong, Minwoo, Yamapi, etc., all get honorable mentions, not to mention the Alice Nine boys) but I put together my thoughts on the top 5 most gorgeous men. Forgive me for being a silly girl in this post btw. And click to see a larger picture.

5. Matsuda Shota - (Japanese) Most famous for his role as Soujiro in the Hana Yori Dango franchise, Shota is now on the list as one of the most promising up and coming actors. He hails from a family of talent and good looks, both his father and mother being accomplished actors, as well as his artistic older brother Ryuhei, who is popular both in film and on the stage. After the success of HYD, Shota has pressed on to be the leading man in such dramas as Jotei, Liar Game, films like Nagai Sanpo, and Ikigami and has got to work beside other great stars in shows like the recently popular Love Shuffle. He is currently starring in a comedic detective role in, I believe it's called Meitantei no Okite.

4. Kim Jae Wook - (Korean) Jae Wook first got his taste of fame as the 'Japanese' character in the wildly popular Korean drama, Coffee Prince, playing a heartbroken server in a coffee shop manned exclusively by good looking guys. While not being the lead in the drama, his part got Jae Wook recognized and he went on to star in the movie Antique beside Ji Hoon (from Goong), playing a homosexual character in love with his boss and abused by his boyfriend. There is no doubt that Jae Wook's looks have gotten him, at least partially, where he is today, though by no means is that saying he's not a phenomenal actor. While possessing the lean, gentle features often common to the Japanese, Kim Jae Wook is in fact all Korean. Besides acting, he finds work as a model.

3. Tetsuji Tamayama - (Japanese) Tamayama has had some minor success as an actor, but has not yet achieved the unprecedented success of some of
the top list stars. Even so, Tamayama has worked on screen with some of the great actors of his generation, working alongside Yamada in Tegami, and even Matsuda's brother Ryuhei in the popular films Nana (with singer Mika Nakashima). Despite not having his name in lights, Tamayama is a very accomplished actor, playing such wideranging roles as a repentant convict, a rockstar, a prisoner and a cop. Once a model, Tamayama has focused more on his acting career lately, and is to be seen in the top ranking summer drama this year: BOSS.

2. Aki - (Japanese) Aki is the bassist for the Jrock band Sid or シド. Sid is a four person band with Mao on Vocals, Shinji on Guitar, the wiley Yuya on Drums and Aki on bass. The band was formed in 2003, when Aki and Mao, both in other bands at the time decided they wanted to put together a group. Pulling Yuya from Mao's then current band, Sid finally got rolling in 2004, reaching their first wave of success when they flew to America to play at a con in Miyavi's stead. Aki enjoys the job of writing most of Sid's songs, while Shinji contributes to the writing as well. Though the band began as Visual Kei, they worked steadily to break away from the genre, preferring the much more mellow look they have now, which suits their not-so-hard-rock music. Still going strong, Sid has moved under the major label Danger Crue, and while each member adds their own charm to the group, Aki undeniably adds the bands sex appeal.


1. Mike He - (Taiwanese) Mike He began his career as, what else, but an underwear model. His good looks quickly got him noticed, and the Taiwanese acting world was quick to accept him. He has appeared in several wildly popular dramas with famous TV leading ladies like Ariel and Rainie Yang. He often, but not always, plays the rebel who gives his leading lady grief, but who really has a heart of gold and ends up winning her in the end. Two of his most popular dramas were Devil Beside you and Huan Huan Ai (Why Why Love), both of which carried the same three actors (and basically the same plotline): Rainie Yang, Mike He, and Kingone. For Devil Beside You, Mike collaborated with costar Rainie (as pictured here) to sing a song featured in the show. He continues to win mainstream approval and success with drama after drama, and increase the size of his wallet with all the tons of ad campaigns he runs, and his star is still rising.

Btw, credits to whoever's pictures these are.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Housing Stuff

Hey there everyone! So, more info about homestaying. So my college sent me yet another application to fill out, this time from a company called JTB, which I ascertain is a company that specializes in sticking people with homestay families. The applicaiton asks about preferences, allergies, language proficiency levels, etc., which is pretty cool I guess. And of course, another application means another passport photo. For reference, if you plan on ever studying abroad, go ahead and make about 15 copies of your passport photo. You will need somewhere around that number for all the applications you fill out. I think I've run up to about 20 photos now. Anyways, so that's what's up. My Certificate of Eligibility is in the mail, and my Visa application is already filled out and waiting to be sent off. I have to admit, I've started the freaking out point now, since we've only got about a month and a half. I am really nervous, but I'm trying to stay positive. Catch y'all later!

I adopted Tora

I got myself a Tora egg. Can't wait to see what he looks like all grown up!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Problem Resolved!

今日は!今日は元気? How is everyone doing? Still hanging in there? Well I come to report good news on the housing front. The college just e-mailed me back today and have agreed to let me stay with a family for the first semester and in an independent apartment for the second, which then means I get the best of both worlds, and I don't have to choose! So that's exciting. Also, they just got my Certificate of Eligibility from Immigration, and are sending it today, which means I will now be able to apply for my visa. From what I'm told, to a apply for a visa, you have to download a form from the embassy website and you can either mail it in, or you can go do it yourself at the embassy. You must have the form, an ID, a passport and your Certificate I believe. By the way, if anyone ever has a question, feel free to e-mail me with it. I'll be happy to help you out!

In other news, I finally finished Love Shuffle. You know, I will say that it wasn't my very favorite show, but it was quite good. It was goofy and funny, but had a lot of puns that don't translate well. I did like how it ended, though it was a bit different than expected. Really, it was an interesting look at different sorts of love, and what made the show good was its cast. I mean tamaki hiroshi, matsuda shota and Daigo. So it was good. I'd give it probably 3.5/5 stars.

Last thing: the word of the day is Itadakimasu (頂きます). The word, in itself is an honorific way to show the recieving of some thing or some action, but what you should know now is that it is what you must always say before you start eating. Catch you guys later!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Word of the Day/Week

I'm going to try doing this as often as I can. I'll introduce a word in Japanese that I think might be useful for you guys to know.

Word of the Day/Week: Nukumori (n)、温もり

Nukumori means warmth, and you will probably hear it often used in Japanese pop and rock songs. It is often used in phrases like 'Kimi no nukumori' (Your warmth) or 'Te no nukumori' (The warmth of your hand), and expresses a sort of, kindness or fondness often in one's memory. While it does mean literal warmth, it goes beyond that to often mean the warmth of the person it's connected to.

In other news, I wanted to wish Shou from alice nine., a belated Happy Birthday (because we all know he reads English little known blogs). Even so, 誕生日おめでとうございます! They tell me he's 28 now, and still looking freaking amazing, if I may say so myself. Well, catch y'all later!

Homestay vs. Apartment

Ok, so this grand old debate, which I thought I'd settled, has somehow cropped back up again to make my life more difficult. I've been asked to choose between doing a homestay or staying in an independent apartment while I'm over studying in Japan. The school said that a homestay will cost, total about $1,000 a month, but that they'll pay $400 of it, and it will include food, so I'd be paying about $600, whereas an apartment is somewhere between $300-400 a month, but obviously without food. And, though I thought I'd decided on homestay before, now I'm having to rethink it, and I can't decide. You see, the pros for a homestay: social atmosphere, constant practice in Japanese, able to observe typical Japanese customs, have someone's aid if I need it, will get to eat real Japanese cooking, etc. Cons: not independent, will have to follow pre-designated rules even though I'm in my early 20s and no longer a child, may not get along with them, etc. Apartment Pros: all by myself, can come and go and do as I please, will be able to choose my own meals, will get to enjoy life on my own. Apartment cons: much more responsibility, will be alone if I need help, will bear the brunt of shopping and cooking, may end up staying in by myself, instead of going out, minimal social interaction. So you see, they're neck and neck. And I thought I wouldn't have to deal with this again.
Well anyways, I'm just going to think and pray about it some and I'll tell you about which decision I've made later. Feel free to weigh in on the issue and add your opinion and comment, if you like. I'll catch you cats later!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Current Listening Obsession: Filth in the Beauty

One thing that I don't like about blogger is that I can't do a mood theme, or the currently listening to thing, so I'll just have to figure out something else. Well, current listening obsession: The Gazette's 'Filth in the Beauty.' Which is strange really, since I'm not usually very into the Gazette. Don't get me wrong, Aoi and Uruha are amazing guitarists, but Ruki's just a little too...intense for me. Even so, and despite the seedy words, I love Filth in the Beauty. And Bathroom. Both amazing songs.
Anyway, two eps away from the end of Quiz Show 2 and it's really redeeming itself now. I just redownloaded Devil Beside You, the twdrama with the ever gorgeous Mike He in it, because let's face it, it's a classic. Other than that, I've got about 30 kanji characters to memorize by tomorrow morning for class, and other homework to do, all of which I'm procrastinating on. Well, wish me luck and I'll talk to you guys later. Oh, and this is my first attempt at embedding a photo, so sorry if it doesn't come out right. Thought I'd add a picture to my Gazette rant.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bought My Ticket!!

Hey there everyone! Just bought my plane ticket, so there's no turning back now. I'll be flying out on Sept. 1, at 9:30ish. The flight was actually quite reasonable. I went through a student discount side called, and found a flight for about $580, with only one layover, and with taxes and everything included. It looks like with the layover, the flight is going to be about 17 hours. So now the countdown has really begun! Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Explaining the Name

My guru/cousin just brought to my attention the fact that it might be smart of me to explain the title of this here blog. Well, it's a phrase I've borrowed from my Japanese teacher, actually. Gaijin, in Japanese means 'outsider' or person from the outside, aka a foreigner. My teacher likes to say that Americans who go to Japan and use their American naivete to skate by, or sneak around the accepted Japanese rules are using the 'Gaijin Discount.' For example, (crappy example though it is), say you're late for an appointment, or for class, and you tell the teacher, 'Sorry, but I couldn't read any of the signs.' You have just used the Gaijin Discount.

Monochrome Jrock

This is just a little blurb, but have you ever noticed how much Jrockers like to use the word Monochrome in their lyrics? Alice Nine's 'White Prayer,' LM.C's 'Boys and Girls,' Acid Black Cherry's 'Monochrome Venus,' Girugamesh's 'Breakdown,' and I'm sure there are more. I mean, I know what monochrome means, but it seems odd that they use it so much. I mean, I know Shou's lyrics are all about the color, but not necessarily Girugamesh, etc. Very strange. It most hold more connotation to the Japanese culture than it does to ours.
Well anyway, in other news...
I just wanted to share a great Japanese/English Online Dictionary with everyone. It's the one I always use:
Also, I'm currently watching the dramas The Quiz Show 2, Oishii Proposal and am trying to finish up Love Shuffle. When I'm done with them, I will give you a report back on what I think (supposing you care). Well then, til my next post, I'll catch you cats later!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My First Post

今晩は、みんな! Hello everyone out there! You've probably accidentally stumbled on my site, but I hope you'll kick back and stay a while. I know it doesn't look like much yet, but I'm planning on adding and adding as the year goes on. Right now, I'm just about two months away from my departure for Japan. So far, let me put down what I've gone through to get where I am. After deciding for sure that I was going to be brave and go, I applied and was accepted into my university's study abroad program and began writing essays for scholarships. The next step was to get my passport, which thankfully I already had. Passports can take an extraordinary amount of time, so it's always best to get right on that, asap. I was then told to fill out the application for my chosen Japanese college, Tokyo Jogakkan College, and submit that and await acceptance. When that acceptance letter came from Japan, I was given a form called the Certificate for Eligibility to fill out. Basically, this form is for the college to take to the government to prove that you are going to be in their country for legitimate reasons, i.e. study. I have yet to recieve the completed form for this, but when I do I will be able to fill out the Visa form and get my Student Visa. My college also has particular International Student ID cards, overseas insurance, and emergency insurance I had to buy. So, for right now, what I'm waiting on is the Certificate to get my Visa, information about my homestay family and I need to fill out the classes I plan on taking (only 11 classes are offered in English). Well, enough business talk for now. This blog is also meant to be fun, not just informative, as I'm sure you'll see soon enough. I'm going to end up talking about Jrock and alice nine and dramas I've seen, so I hope you'll stay tuned in. Talk to you guys later!