Saturday, September 22, 2007

Overdue update

So yeah, I took an unplanned week off from blogging. Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, here are some more details:

Auditioning 250 people for 20 slots in a space of about 4 hours equals each audition is a minute or less. Mine lasted about 30 seconds.

Surprising thing, for me at least: They had the live band there for the auditions. I thought maybe people would be singing along to the CDs/Cassetes/MDs that the producers insisted we all bring.

When the band started playing my song, I was thrown off a bit. On the CD I have, the song starts out with just a piano intro, and stays just piano for the first verse. The band started with piano, 2 keyboards, guitar and drums, and I screwed up the first line.

Oh well.

After each audition, every contestant (?) had to talk to the producers for a minute or so. This is so that if the contestant got on to the live show the next day, the announcer would know what trivia to bring up in conversation.

When the producers spoke to me, they asked me how long I had lived in Japan, and where I was from. When I told them, "Minnesota," one of them said, "Ah...Scotch Tape!" I was a little surprised. I responded, "Yes, yes, 3M!"

The producer then replied, "Ah so desu...Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing!"

At this point all I could do was boggle.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Well, now that THAT's over...

It was fun, and interesting. I didn't make it to the live broadcast tomorrow, but that's okay...

I'll write more about it tomorrow, but as for now, I 'm really tired, so...ja, mata ne!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dave Grobelkowski certainly gets around, doesn't he?

According to The Onion, Dave Grobelkowski was a McDonald's manager in Charlottesville, Virginia.

According to The Onion, Dave Grobelkowski became a Starbucks manager in Boston, Massachusetts.

One wonders whether or not Mr. Grobelkowski suggested the reported course of action to his Starbucks superiors. After all, if it worked at McDonald's, why not?

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What is it with certain motorcycle riders?

The road running past my apartment complex is really popular with motorcyclists. All day, you hear them cruising up and down the (wide, gently curved) street. It's even worse after 10:00 PM, when all the lights switch to "flashing yellow".

Also, at that time, the bikes with the straight pipes start going. And, one especially loud biker likes drag racing at 4 AM. He ALWAYS revs loud around the apartment.

A few weeks ago I found out that the loud revving and shifting was because he lives in the apartment building across the parking lot from here. *sigh* He did see me staring at him from my window, though, and the noise abated for a few days. But only a few.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

110 Stories

110 Stories, written/compiled by the late, lamented John M. Ford.

Monday, September 10, 2007

ROBOTECH may be headed for Hollywood


Oh dear god no. ROBOTECH may become a Hollywood movie. With Tobey Maguire, of all people, as Hikaru Rick.

This assumes, of course, that they'll be doing the "Macross Saga" part of ROBOTECH. I can't see how they'd mash the entire series into one movie. Heck, it's difficult imagining them making all of Macross into one movie!

Robotech played fast and loose with the original story of Super Dimension Fortress Macross; it's frightening to contemplate how a Hollywood version will mangle it even more. On the bright side, maybe they'll pick an English-speaking actress who can actually SING for Lynn Minmei this time. (Mari Iijima, the Japanese Voice Actress, is too old to reprise the role.)

The article mentions that the fate of the world is in the hands of two young pilots. I wonder which two they're referring to? (Rick, Roy, Max, Ben, Miriya...)

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

35 years of development in Shinjuku--in 10 seconds

Acts of Gord: The Book of Apocalypse

Anyone who's ever worked in retail should read The Acts of Gord. Gord used to own and operate a video game shop somewhere up in Canadia, until he up and moved to Korea to do pretty much the same kind of job that I'm doing.

During his four years or so of running said video game shop, he ran into the usual gamut of customer stereotypes that all retailers have to deal with at some point. The negotiator, the emperor of the world, the "I should only have to pay what you paid for this!" guy, the arguments for a mandatory license test before one is allowed to procreate, etcetera. The difference between Gord and the rest of the retailers on the planet is that Gord put up a website describing these experiences in great and hilarious detail. If you've ever worked in retail, give it a read.

For those of you who have read it before, there is finally a conclusion: The Book of Apocalypse, wherein Gord describes his unexpected relocation, and the sad fate of his store. Of course, Gord is ultimately victorious, but it's still a bittersweet ending. The title of this post links directly to The Book of Apocalypse, which is otherwise a bit hard to find....

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

One week and counting

I am slowly starting to enter into panic mode. Tomorrow, I'm going to drive out to the town where they will be taping the show, just to make sure that I know how to get there...

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Photoshop practice (playing around)

The Tsar runs afoul of a security phaser in Kobe.

(It didn't hurt him; it just made him angry.) (^_^)

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Typhoon #9

One of the good things about living on the Japan Sea side of Japan is that when the typhoons come, they either turn along the Pacific coast, or are somewhat weakened by passing overland before they hit here.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Escher's "Relativity" in LEGO

Y'know, sometimes I like to complain to my friends that I have too much free time. What's even worse is the fact that I don't really accomplish much in these copious amounts of free time.

Now here's a story that puts me to shame: Andrew Lipson, computer programmer, has a job that keeps him away from home for over 75 hours a week, and yet he still finds the time to create things like, for example, Escher's "Relativity" in LEGO.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Love Hotels Make Twice as Much as Anime - Anime News Network

From Anime News Network:
According to research cited in Japanese Love Hotels: A Cultural History, by Sarah Chaplin (242p. published by Routledge, available from Amazon), 30,000 Japanese love hotels earn more than 4 trillion yen per year in profit, which is twice the profit of the Japanese anime market. Approximately 1% of the Japanese population checks into a love hotel every day, and according to one study, 50% of all Japanese sex occurs in love hotels. Source: The Japan Times
Four TRILLION yen. That's about 34 BILLION dollars. Yikes.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

McDonalds Japan goes upscale (?!)


Have these hit the States yet?

Gourmet coffee and espresso drinks. Croissant sandwiches and other pastries. Savory soups. NO hamburgers or french fries...

McCafes have opened up in a number of countries, if Google Image Search is to be believed.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

YouTube - 花(すべての人の心に花を)-夏川りみ

...and this is what the song sounds like.

(I'm doing a different arrangement; both the original and this version are way too high for my voice.)

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Hana (Flower)

Lyrics check!

This is not a professional translation; far from it, actually. Still, I hope I got the gist of it correct. Or something...

川は流れてどこどこ行くの
人も流れてどこどこ行くの
そんな流れがつくころには
花として 花として
咲かせてあげたい
The river flows, where does it go?
People also flow; where do they go?
That kind of flow at a certain time
will bloom as a flower
*refrain:
泣きなさい、笑いなさい
いつの日か、いつの日か
花を咲かそうよ
Go ahead and cry, go ahead and laugh
for someday, the flower will bloom
涙流れてどこどこ行くの
愛も流れてどこどこ行くの
そんな流れをこのうちに
花として 花として
むかえてあげたい
Tears flow, where do they go?
Love also flows, where does it go?
That kind of flow within you,
In that direction will rise
*Refrain

花は花として笑いも出来る
人は人として涙も流す
それが自然のうたなのさ
心の中に,心の中に
花を咲かそうよ
The flower, for the flower's sake we can laugh
People, for people's sake the tears flow
This is the song of nature
within the heart, within the heart
the flower will bloom
泣きなさい,笑いなさい
いついつまでも、
いついつまでも
花をつかもうよ
go ahead and cry, go ahead and laugh
For forever
we will still use the flower
(Not sure about that last bit)
(Or, in fact, most of of it)

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