Melissa's Jpop Report

Giving you the hook up on all things jpop related!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

whoa, you think you know a person

I was watching one of those music programs on tv a little while ago, and they had a short interview with Shiina Ringo. I realized I'd never heard her speak before. o_0 It's been what...2 years since I came to the knowledge of her existence, and I've only ever heard her sing. Wow, her speaking voice is different from her singing voice. It's all deep and normal sounding. Not nearly as interesting, cool, odd and unique as her singing voice. It''s boring. It hardly lives up to the crazy, weird persona I had formulated for her through listening to her music. I feel betrayed. T_T kidding

Speaking of Shiina, I bought Tokyo Jihen's debut album this morning when I went to the HMV. Needless to say, it absolutely rocked, and I don't know what took me so long since it came out in 2004. They've got a new album that came out recently; I'll most likely pick it up. I also bought Kimura Kaela's new single, You, and Tommy Heavenly6's new (and only so far) album. I had meant to buy Utada Hikaru's new single "Keep Trying" but kind of doesn't come out till 2/22. Stupid me because the night before I read a thread at a forum about it and actually look right at the date. Somehow, my eyes only saw the day, and my mind assumed the month was January. I guess it's because I keep hearing the song in the AU commercial, so I assumed it had come out already. The 22 is too long to wait. It sounded so good. T_T

So I've been going over possible ways of spending the spring break. One is to study from the books I used in Japanese class when I was back in the US. Maybe I'll actually be able to learn something. Second is concert going. So far I only have 2 tickets, and one isn't until the end of March. I'll have to step it up.

Third was to get a "baito" and make some money. The job will of course revolve around the fact that I am a native english speaker and not deviate from that. First idea came from Mr. Yokoyama which was to tutor/be a speaking partner for the people in the dorms who study english. I've been meaning to make a poster to hang on the bulliten board. I'll mostly likely give that a try.

Second came from my friend. There's a language website she uses where you can post a profile about yourself, and people will contact you for lessons in the language you posted about. I'm thinking of doing that since the lower rates start at 2000 yen per hour (20 bucks!).

Last idea was to go to one of those language schools, like NOVA, and get a job as a speaking partner. That might be a bother, though, because I'd have to go to the exchange office, get papers signed, and probably end up being confused because no one at the school speaks english even though it's a school set up for the purpose of teaching english.

Fourth way to spend the break is becoming a DDR freak which I suppose could go hand in hand with getting in shape. I brought my PS2 from the US with a ddr game. I'm realizing I'm a lot better at it then the last time I tried to play. All this bike riding and walking has strengthened my legs so I can actually play the harder levels.

Fifth and last is to practice music. I bought 2 Otsuka Ai piano books from a music store, "Love Jam" and all her singles. I started out trying to practice Planeterium. I haven't got the 15+ years of experience like my sister. I only have an attempt by her to teach me the piano at the request of our mom (and i wasn't a good student) and a year of piano class in 10th grade. Let's just say it should keep me plenty busy if I can actually stay focused. But the books have other uses, for instance, I was playing several of the songs on my saxophone. I'd have to transpose the music if I actually wanted to perform it, but, hey, at least I can still use my main instrument. ^_^

The other unofficial options are veggie out, play video games, hang with friends, and make more stupid music videos(at the request of my cousin who liked my first oen ^_^V)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Exams are over and it's snowing!

O, did I mention I'm completely finished with school for the next two and a half months? ^_^V Well, we had some snow last Saturday. Not nearly as much as I hear they're getting up north in Niigata Prefecture (thank god), but enough for a snow ball fight. ^_^ I was so surprised when I woke up on Saturday because I hadn't heard anything about snow coming. I woke up around 10 then went back to sleep, but was woken up by loud yelling out back. Changmo and Kim were rolling huge balls of snow for a snowman. I tried sniping them with snowballs from my window, but I'm out of practice since I can't play Urban Terror. T_T I missed them, and they didn't even notice someone was chucking stuff at them.

Anyway, I joined them later for a 2 hour or so snowball fight. I learned a new (scary o_0) game. Everybody does paper rock scissors, and the loser has to stand facing a wall while everyone gets to pelt them with snowballs. If you hit the person in the head, though, then you have to switch with them and everyone gets to nail you. friends, aren't they?

Anyway, here's some pics I took. ^_^/

Friday, January 20, 2006

Music videos are fun...

...especially when you're in them. ^_^V I'm becoming quite the Ellegarden fan recently. When I was in the US for Christmas, I downl*cough* ahem! I mean...acquired their whole discography, and I've been listening through it since then. It seems that 70% percent of their songs are in english even though they're a Japanese band. Recently, I've been liking "Bored of Everything", so this evening I decide to make a music video using the song, my camera, and...uh..well, myself (hey, it was a tight budget). I wish I could have used a guitar in it, but I don't have one. Maybe I'll remake it a bit if I bother to get one.

I've made lots of music videos before, but I never actually "shot" the scenes myself. That part was a lot of fun.

Well, anyway, if you're bored have a look.

Lyrics to "Bored of Everything"
*random comment* ah, too bad Rini isn't in my room right now. TM Revolution is performing on Pop Jam. She loves him.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

the wonders of facebook

Yay, clear skies and sunshine. Looks like there's not going to be rain today. Well, I've fallen into a strange habit of passing out at 7ish in the evening and coming to around 5am. I'm hoping to get things back in order. I mean, being awake before noon? Why the very idea.

Anyway, I found out last year has this wonderful feature that lets you create albums and SHARE THEM! So now I can simply upload them there and give you all one link.

Holidays 05 (nothing like family and good food)

B-more/Inner Harbor

Life at Takudai (some of these pictures you've seen, but some are new or ones I just never posted)

Enjoy. Don't say I never gave you anything. ^_~

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jet lag stinks...

Guess who is "not" writing this from Eastern Standard time, hehe. I got back on Tuesday evening and started my first exam today. We won't review the unpleasantness of that experience except to did go better than I expected. I believe Japan has officially become one of my other "little worlds". A place where I'm quite familiar with, is easy to get to, and I'm quite fine moving about it without getting lost. Well, maybe not Japan but tokyo at least. I mean, it's just so easy. You get someone to drop you off at the airport, you sit for X amount of hours, customs is a joke, and I already know the trains here (from loads of jpop concert going). I didn't even need help with the delivery service that took my huge bag to school for me. It's nice to be familiar with a place in Japan.

Right, so I've been back for 2 days, and I realize...I know a lot of people here. Yesterday, I went to school and stopped to chat with so many different people, it must have tacked on an entire hour to my trip to the library to study for my exam. Far be it for me to pass up human contact for important study time. Of course, now I do have the word "shiken"(sp?) in my memory, so I can properly ask someone if they have finals. That was basically the theme of conversation starters for the day besides being wished a Happy New Year. A formality which seems to be way While we Americans just throw out a "Happy New Year!" from across the parking lot, the Japanese actually have two full sentences worth of greeting to say (maybe it was more). Complete with a slight bow depending on who you're talking to. Unfortunately, all their efforts only received a confused pause and a "Happy New Year!" with no bow being that I'm not familiar with that ritual or the response I should give.

O, I'd I've brought my PS2 back after wrestling it out of the clutches of my older brother. You can't turn your back on that boy for a send or you'll find something of yours missing. I'm not kidding. I left my blue hoodie in Japan when I came back for the holidays because I was planning to use my gray one that was in my closet. Yeah, guess what he was wearing when he showed up at my apartment. *shakes fist*

Anyway, now that I have a game system I can play, I've decided to start out by corrupting as many children as I can. Starting with my Chinese friend. She came to visit on Wednesday, and I got her playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Ah, learning the finer points of car theft, turning pedestrians into road kill, hazardous driving, and evading the law. I'm quite proud of her for running over a police officer even if it was by accident. I couldn't stop laughing while I watched her play. She didn't even know what a playstation was, so she was having a lot of trouble with the controls. Simple tasks like getting out of a burning car and running away before it explodes were near impossible, but she did ok.

Changmo (I have no idea how to spell his name) was more than overjoyed by the six butterfingers I brought back for him. I came downstairs Thursday morning, and he was sitting in the office with Mr. Yokoyama and Kim. I chatted with them through the window for about 2 minutes then there was a slight pause. Changmo's hand suddenly darted out basically saying "give it to me", lol. He had a present for me, too, so it was an even trade. O, and Kim now knows what a Candy Cane is which, by the way, is not sold in Japan from what I could tell. Neither are Butterfingers which is why Changmo begged me to bring some back.

O, and I found out why the internet in the dormitory shuts off every 5 minutes and you have to log back in. Some stupid jackass sent a virus to the school from the dormitory, so the folks in the computer office at school decided the best way of dealing with it is to screw every student in the entire building over by giving us this ridiculous time limit. "But why can't they just check the login ID and password of the user who did it" you probably are thinking. Me too. It turns out the ID and password which I thought was mine and mine alone is actually shared by everybody in the dormitory according to my friend. Over 100 students have the same ID and password...I don't even have words to express the stupidity of that. So, basically, if I wanted to send malicious emails to a teacher/member of the faculty/fellow student, I could log in from a computer on campus, and they'd never know which student it was.
But that's probably because they don't care. Why waste effort making sure that you can catch the culprit when there's a simple solution? Group punishment...which is why we all have to put up with the 5 minute time limit. The dumb thing is you can actually get around it. As long as you keep a browser open to the log in page and re-log in before it hits the time limit, whatever you're doing won't be interrupted. I know this because I download Hello!Morning every Monday, and 5 minutes isn't enough time to complete the download. So if their intent was to stop people from uploading a virus to their server or, however you do it, they're out of luck. Of course, if it was simply to punish everyone, which it most likely was, they're right on the money.

If I had the ability, I would definitely give the folks at the computer office a piece of my mind. How do you think I feel when I, the kid who left her family and flew 14 blinking hours, am talking with my mother on msn, whom I won't see till August, and msn shuts off? Let me give you a hint, it's the opposite of "good". Actually, it's more like the opposite of "calm". I should give my mom the phone number to that office. She'd have us back online in no time even if no one in the office spoke english.

All I know is, if they ever find out who did it, somebody is going to have a 6 foot black girl round house kick their head straight through their own computer screen. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go log back in so I can upload this post.