The Opposite of White is… Red?

That’s right, you heard me. Up and down, left and right, off and on, white and red, top and bottom, ca… wait, let’s go back a little bit there. White and red? Yes. That:s absolutely right. In the cosmic order of things, the way it works in the land of the rising sun is that the galactic enemy of the color white is not its evil brother black, oh no.. that’d ridiculous. Nope! Until the end of time, it will forever be the battle between white and red.

I guess now’s a good time to explain myself and what I’m rambling on . . . → Read More: The Opposite of White is… Red?

Candy Magic

Candy molding at its finest!

Well, I think we can safely say that being a professional candy artist is a job that we can rule out from my future, but to be fair, it is something people spend their adult lives training for. It was a lot of fun, though!

You basically start off with a ball of melted sugar (think candy cane candy, but without the peppermint flavor) and have 1-2 minutes to pull, cut, and shape into something meaningful. Supposedly this… thing is a rabbit, but don’t think too hard about it. If you close your . . . → Read More: Candy Magic

Well, close enough..

All right, I know I said I’d totally start writing more and that I totally didn’t actually do that, but unfortunately between my work life and my personal life, it just hasn’t left me as much time to ramble on about personal stuff, at least as much as I’d like to. There’s, of course, also my issue with having a desire to ramble on at length and not being satisfied with just writing a short blurb.. but that’s neither here nor there.

So, what’s up with me? Well, I’ve just about finished up my first year as a translator, meaning I’ve finally . . . → Read More: Well, close enough..

I LIVE!

Lemme see.. what did I miss? Happy Fourth of July, Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Jason’s Birthday, and Happy New Year! I think that just about covers it, right?

I feel bad for missing so much and for disappearing like this all of a sudden (and for, well, half a year), but for how busy the first half of 2013 was professionally between people leaving and joining our company and very intensive projects, the latter half of 2013 was incredibly busy on the personal front, so updating my blog had to take a back seat. Some of . . . → Read More: I LIVE!

A few weeks late and a dollar short

I absolutely meant to write this a few weeks ago, but let’s overlook all that and not worry about it. Besides, no one really knows the significance of the exact dates except for me (and the Japanese immigration bureau), right?

So! With the coming of June (yes, June.. sorry about the lateness), this marks my five year anniversary in Japan. That’s a full half of a decade that I’ve been here. With the 5 year visa renewal I’ve been granted, that also means that I’ll be here an entire decade the next time I have to take myself down to . . . → Read More: A few weeks late and a dollar short

An Open Love Letter to Japan – Part 2

Well hey there! Figured I’d be a bit more sociable and come around a little quicker than usual. Work’s been (as usual) busy, but I’m just finishing up a 5 day vacation. I didn’t exactly travel very far, but managed to get a bunch of errands out of the way and get out here and there. You know, renew my visa, go to Disneyland, run to IKEA, read a book, that sort of thing. What the young, cool kids nowadays would call a stay-cation. Or so I hear.

But that was now and this is then! Getting back to our story from last time of living on memory lane, we last left off talking about the hostel I stayed at in Asakusa. Fortunately, I actually left the hostel and wandered around the surrounding area on a near-daily basis. I regret to say that I didn’t really head out far and wide, but I did wake up early every day and explored Asakusa, Ueno, and all they had to offer. I did make trips to other parts in Tokyo with a Japanese friend of mine (who I met through a pen-pal program), where we made it all the way out to Tokyo Tower, Roppongi, Odaiba and some other places. But we’ll talk about that when the time comes. Right now, it’s time to talk about…

Asakusa – Temples, Donuts and Ninjas

Continue reading An Open Love Letter to Japan – Part 2

An Open Love Letter to Japan – Part 1

Wow… has it really been over two months since I’ve written last? Apparently so. I need to work on that, but I’m sure that’s something I’ve said before. Unfortunately, I’ve been really busy at the office (who isn’t?) since this year has started, averaging about 40 hours of overtime a month. It’s not as bad as it sounds, but between that, reading and studying, it puts a bit of a pinch on your free time.

In other news, we’re in the middle of Golden Week here in Japan. Typically, this is a week of vacation at the end of April/beginning of May, but it worked out to two extended weekends this year. I didn’t really have any particular plans (when the entire country is on vacation, everything’s pretty expensive), so even though I could go traveling, lay low and read, or do something super exciting, I decided I wanted to try something a little different this year.

You see, recently I’ve been backing up all my files (…again. I have about 4 backups of all my files, since I’d really hate to lose them) and was looking through all my old photos. I actually have a folder literally named “Old Photos.” And in that folder, I found 3 rolls of pictures that I took back in November 2004, when I made my first visit to Japan at the age of 18. It’s been about 8 and a half years since that time, but I still remember vividly all the excitement, how amazing it was to be abroad–in Japan, no less–for the first time. Anyone who knew me back then probably knows that since the age of 13, I was dreaming of going to Japan, so finally coming here was beyond amazing. Since I didn’t want to just watch my limited vacation disappear, I decided to go visit some of the same places and take new pictures, to talk about those impressions I had back before I knew I’d be living here.

So, let’s get started!

First stop — Asakusa

Continue reading An Open Love Letter to Japan – Part 1

Meeting a Movie Star

What can I say? I’m a sucker for junk e-mail (as noted in my adventures with Yuki) when it’s well written and mildly interesting, and luckily for you all, I got another interesting one to my cell phone today. It’s not so much the fact that it’s spam, or that someone’s trying to rip me off, oh no. It’s how elaborate people have gotten to write these stories. And, most of all, what’s interesting for me is how different these e-mails wind up being compared to the American/Western junk mail I’m used to.

Note: This is all translated from Japanese, so some things may sound off.

So.. without further ado, I introduce you to Aya!

From: cp.r.3032@ezweb.ne.jp

Subject: Untitled

I’m sorry for the sudden e-mail. I was introduced to you by a person you know very well. I’d cause a lot of problems for them, so please forgive me, but I can’t tell you their name yet.

I work in management at a certain talent agency. I’m currently managing a talent*, someone who’s probably known to anyone nationwide.

So, let’s take a look at what we know so far:

  • We were introduced “by a person,” but they can’t say who.
  • They work at a “certain talent agency” (the Japanese word is one you’d use to describe a “name brand” or something, implying something everyone would know)
  • They manage a “talent” (a Japanese catch-all term for models, actors, and celebrities) that’s famous (and again, no name).

As you’ll notice shortly, it doesn’t get any more descriptive than this.

Let’s continue on for a little more in-depth information!

Continue reading Meeting a Movie Star

Only in Japan…

Japan is definitely not without flaws, nor do I intend to imply that it’s a perfect place to live, but it’s simple stuff like this that just warms your heart. This is a locked gate next to some storage for a business I walk past everyday and for some reason, they’ve kept the key hanging on the lock for he past few days.

The fact that it’s not broken into and that no one’s entered yet is just impressive to me. It reminds me of he stories you hear about small-town America in the 50s. “Leave it . . . → Read More: Only in Japan…

I know every bit counts, but…

One thousand sixty and THREE

I realize in this hard economy that “every little bit counts” and that there are people in this world who really do need to pinch every penny. I know being thrifty is important, and that we can’t overlook small expenses.

However! I have to say I was a little surprised to see this sign at the 7-Eleven near where I live. I mean, it’s not just one thousand and sixty yen per hour to work the overnight shift (10p to 8a), oh no. You will be paid a whole one thousand sixty THREE yen an hour. Now . . . → Read More: I know every bit counts, but…