Wednesday, March 09, 2011

ZY, Planetarium


I just found this on YouTube. This was at the end of a tiring Osaka-Nagoya-Tokyo tour and at first I couldn't tell where this was filmed! (Area.)

This might be the only time you see all 5 of us on stage. :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011



I find myself grinding my teeth every time I come across an article about Japan in mainstream western publications, because they are so concerned about translating every little part of the word and getting it all wrong.

I was reading an article about Japanese food (link is unimportant) and it was talking about hachinoko, which is basically just wasp larvae.
 The word for "wasp" is "suzume-bachi", and the word for "bee" is "hachi".
The article in question broke down "suzume-bachi" into its two components--swallow, and bee--and then made the claim that Japanese makes no distinction between bees and wasps.

this is dumb and you are dumb and you should turn in your press pass to me so i can start writing articles about how much of a dummy dumb dumb you are

Suzumebachi is wasp. Hachi is bee. A cursory glance at a dictionary or even Wikipedia is enough to clear this up, and Japanese people don't show apprehension when you mention hachis, but they will when you mention suzumebachis, specifically the species Osuzumebachi, because the huge crazy kind actually kill quite a few people every year.

By breaking down the Japanese language like this, so finely and so literally, it gives a further distance and further exoticism to the language that isn't there.

In short, this is not how language works.
An example in English: No one confuses that a lion and an ant lion are two different creatures. Or any of the other dozens of animals named after other animals.

I may do more of this, because I grow more cantankerous by the month. D:

Why I am no longer a Famous Celebrity Blogger


I was hanging out with Tenten and Taku last night and they asked why I' d started a new blog. As we were talking about the process with Ameba (which is kind of convoluted), your representative management has to apply for Special Celebrity Blogger Status, and I guess when Front Mission turned in the applications for Taku's blog, Ameba people must have figured that I didn't need a blog anymore. Or something? It's not really a big deal. It all went down as I was in America and there really wasn't a way to get a hold of me in a jiffy, and I guess no one realized the implications. But everything's okay now, and I'm blorgin' and bloogin' away (i.e. i have written one post)!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Japanese Blog


Since I am obviously no longer a celebrity, it seems that Ameba has revoked my Celebrity Blogger status without telling me and leaving all my Japanese fans seriously, worried. A minor annoyance, so I started a new Japanese blog here: .

Thursday, January 13, 2011



 The trip started out when I landed in San Francisco and met up with my mom, dad, brother, and sister. We immediately headed out to Napa, where I was born and lived until 4th grade.

This is along the waterfront, and all this is new to me. It looks great. 

These are my Napa cousins. One on the left is the one that came to Japan while I was in Laverite. He is super awesome. One on the right is much, much bigger than I remember. He is a jazz bassist. He is also super awesome.

Typical Napa Valley scenery.

Then down to the Fresno/Clovis area, where I spent the rest of my life until college!

Here is my super awesome grandma. She is a multi-instrumentalist (piano, marimba, guitar), award-winning painter, and soon-to-be great-grandmother of 4 (already 2!). We lost grandpa in November, and it's been difficult sometimes, but she's a super trooper and I love her dearly.

Christmas Eve service at a church we've never been to. That was actually nice. (And short!)

Christmas morning. Good haul.

Then, off to LA!

MY NEPHEW!!! :D I taught him harmonica. Literally, before I showed up he'd been trying to make a sound for days and couldn't, but I taught him. I am the best teacher ever. (Technically, he is my cousin's child, which makes him "first cousin once removed", but that is dumb because he is a baby and there's no way that some little baby is my first cousin, so he is my 'nephew')

 MY NIECE!!!!! I taught her recorder. Literally, before I showed up she'd been trying to make a sound for days and couldn't, but I taught her. I am the best teacher ever. (Technically, she is my cousin's child, which makes her "first cousin once removed", but that is dumb because she is a baby and there's no way that some little baby is my first cousin, so she is my 'niece')

Aw yeah, mountains

This is another super-awesome cousin. He is a swimmer, and entomologist at UC Davis.

This is another super awesome cousin. He is a swim coach and totally bomb basketballer. I hope he makes it because he is seriously super good.

This is yet another super awesome cousin. He lives in Texas and teaches psychology.

Here is one more super awesome cousin, the father of the little boy and the uncle of the little girl. He is a talented graphic designer, and he and his wife (honorary super awesome cousin) are expecting another little one. Absolutely everyone in my family is way cooler than me.

 I didn't get a picture with her for some reason but the above cousin's sister, my last super awesome cousin and my only girl cousin, is the mother of the little girl and expecting another one soon. She works at a school and is a great pianist. Her husband is similarly a cool dude.

This is my sister. She works with autistic children. She is so dang cool.

This is my brother. He is a freshman in college, great athlete, funny, and yeah, my hair would probably look like that if I didn't have it straightened. His major, he tells me, is "being better than you."

At LAX with my parents before I went through security. Best parents I've ever had.

A couple more highlights:

This is my best-friend-since-kindergarten. I moved away in 4th grade, but we kept in touch because were were writing stories together. It hasn't ended and we're still going strong. It's like a majillion pages. No plans to put it out.
He studied political science at Occidental, got a masters degree at the Monterey Institute, knows Russian, is extremely knowledgeable about Roman, military, and other history, politics, is interested in nuclear disarmament, and is all-around a super awesome dude.

Everyone in my life is super awesome, and I hope this is clear.

My last night in Japan in 2010, right after our final show with me. Just spoke to them yesterday; they're in the recording studio and playing shows. Can't wait to hear it. :)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Twenty Eleven


America was great times.
Insane schedule though! I came into SFO, family picked me up and headed back down to Clovis for Christmas, then drove to LA to see lots of family, picked someone up at LAX, back to Fresno, back to SFO to send someone off on their flight, back to Fresno, then a drive down to LAX again for my flight. And I-5 and the grapevine were closed, so we took 101 the whole way down, and 41 (one-lane highway) was clogged for half the way.

And now I'm back in Japan.
I was so glad to see family again, so glad to finally feel unanimously encouraged for my decisions for the first time in a long while. Life is pretty much right where I like it, and despite all the busy-ness and difficulties I'm really quite excited for whatever happens next.

In my case, this mostly means work. I really like my jobs, and I feel like I can finally be open about that. I was working in kindergartens until March, and since then I've been working at a real estate place doing web and marketing stuff, geared toward foreigners. (So if you need short- to long-term accommodations in Tokyo, let me know! ;) ) I also have been doing lots of freelance translation work and now that I'm back and have more time on my hands I'm looking to expand. It is not my main source of income yet but I'm hoping to get that way within the calendar year. And of course, if Tommy or Steve or anyone else needs a guitarist or bassist or drummer or keyboardist, I am totally okay with doing work like that.

I will be sharing pictures definitely, probably next week as I try to settle back into my home and work.

The other guys in Chemical Pictures and I are still close, and they have been busy with recording, their new radio show, and tons of lives. The new bassist is Taku, formerly from the Vambie, and he and I got close as I volunteered to coach him and teach him all my riffs and backing vocals, and he is very hard-working so I hope you guys can continue to support them. He is a different bass player than me, but I think he plays much more melodically than I do, which is a plus. Putting aside modesty for a moment, it is very, very rare for an outgoing musician to stick around to train the one to replace him, and the other members' gratitude toward me, plus how fun the experience was for me (plus my relief in knowing that an end was in sight) made the whole potentially stressful situation surprisingly enjoyable. I also helped out on the new mini-album, doing all piano and synth parts, all vocal arrangements--pretty much what I'd done with the last 5 singles, minus actually playing bass--so it feels like a gradual fadeout, rather than an abrupt cut.

Just to get this out of the way: I have no plans to join a band again, nor, really, the desire. That is not to say that the opportunity has not presented itself: once word that I was quitting got out amongst the scene, I got many, many invitations. Some of them would surprise you. They surprised me, at least. But I think my time in visual bands, at least, is over, as is perhaps my time as one of the main members in a band.

Again, as I neglected the blog for so long (as I am not a very good editor of myself, and it often takes me a bit of free-form writing before even I can figure out what I'm really trying to say), I can open the floor for questions again? I know Go wanted to do an interview or something, and in fact I trust him the most to keep me concise and his ability to find something insightful in perhaps the most innocuous of statements. In the meantime, I shall eat breakfast. :)