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01 February 2007 @ 08:06 pm
Back to life... have a doughnut?  
1 1/2 months ago, in the dead of winter, the first Krispy Kreme in Japan opened. And it's STILL so busy that to get in and buy doughnuts at any time other than the crack of dawn you'd have to stand in a line at least an hour long. In the cold cold cold outside. It's so popular!! Do you like doughnuts that much? I don't............ (except for danishes... which I am still looking for here! Good ones that is, like lemon and raspberry!)

Actually, I'm really happy that it's been getting warmer! It's only in the high 40s/low 50s, which is still pretty cold, but compared to the last few months where it's constantly been in the single digits or low 10s, it's lile heaven!! The forecast for Sunday is to have a high of 57... Spring is coomiiiiiiiiiiiing!! ♥♥♥♥♥ (late)Spring is my favorite season!!!! =^o^= I love all of the blooming flowers, and when it turns finally warm enough to wear t-shirts and tank tops outside, then I'm in heaven!! ^o^ So as you can imagine, I've been feeling pretty good in general during the day, thanks to the weather and a lot of soul-searching. Nights aren't as easy, but they're not so bad. ^^

Speaking of soul-searching... I've been moody for a long time (a few months), for certain reasons. It's taken a heavy toll. I really do look and feel tired all of the time. I keep trying various things to rectify it, but it seems to be more of a clinging thing than I thought it would be...... but the good weather is helping. I took a long walk alone last night and just enjoyed the feel of the air without worrying about anything, and it helped. There's a lot of things on my mind....  and I'm starting to think that a little (or a lot) of time alone is what I need.

Other than that, I've been working a lot. It's just... gah. My job is easy and I do like it, but it's not what I want to do. And for some reason, months ago I started thinking that being an 'english teacher in Japan' was a disgraceful job to have. A lot of my friends are english teachers too, and they don't see it the same way. So I wondered why I do.... I guess there are two reasons:
- This is not what I want to do with my life, nor have I ever wanted to. I don't really feel any pride in it, though I try to do the best that I can and I like connecting with the kids. They're really cute and enthusiastic and so nice. <3 But in so many cases, I see so many guys that identify with what they are here-- fake teachers-- and it makes me embarrassed to be included in that. I don't identify as a teacher at all, I identify as an artist and as myself. Teaching, other than being my current job, doesn't really mean anything to me. It might be because I have no interest in english, since I could see myself feeling quite differently if I was teaching art..
- The other reason, and this one ties into the first actually, is that it's the stereotypical job for a foreigner in Japan. I have actually been approached in stores and public places by japanese people and they automatically ask if you're an english teacher after they figure out that you live here. It's assumed. I don't like stereotypes, and I feel like being one, I'm perpetuating the stereotype that it's the only thing that "we foreigners" are qualified for. As most of us can't speak enough to japanese to work in it, it's actually a true statement to a point. But there is far more out there, and I want to be a part of that.

So, for me... it ended up being something that I don't talk about. In my journal, even though I do it almost every day, you'll see that I say almost nothing about it. I'm wanting to quit more than anything. In fact, in a month my contract will be up. But finding another job is scary....... but still, I'm going to give it my all!!

I am motivated and yet procratinating at the same time.... I think that a lot of artists can understand what I'm saying with that, here. I have so many things that I have to do, art-wise, that it seems that nothing gets done. But I'm trying my hardest!!

So, for the last few weeks, it's been work, sleep, read/study manga, write, brainstorm.... and aside from the occasional breaks, that's actually it. I did do a little shopping for books and CDs the other day as a pick-me-up, but I ended up getting weird books!! One about vampires that's set in my hometown actually (Tri-cities, Washington!!!! I love you Patricia Briggs!!), The Amityville Horror (I've always wanted to read it!), and The Ring, to name a few.. But I really, REALLY shouldn't have stayed up until one on Monday night reading the Ring, because I couldn't get to sleep...... the book is even scarier than the movie! Maybe it's because I live alone, but I'm always imagining that a scary japanese ghost is coming to get me in my little apartment. Eep! I blame my sudden (re-)interest in the supernatural by reading Vampire Knight. I fell right in love with that series. <3<3 Trying to make progress in Switch wo Osu Toki too, but it's very tiring with everything on my plate, and books are more of a light escape than anything recently.. But I'm shuffling through random manga (right now, Shinshi Doumei Cross) to keep up on my japanese. I also joined a team to translate Tenshi nanka Ja Nai.

So, the reason that I haven't been writing about myself much.... It's easier to stick to topics that are easy to talk about-- weird things that I see in Japan, stuff that just randomly comes to mind. Most of it's brought on by something that happens, so it is tied into my real life... but it's not the same, I know. Also, I'm worried that if I say too much, then this journal, which suddenly got hugely insanely popular (did you know there is a limit to the amount of people that you can friend on lj? I didn't until I hit it. It's 750 by the way...... I was just trying to friend back all of the people that have friended me because sometimes I do write protected entries, but it's become impossible... they're working on increasing the limits I found out, but it's a slow process it seems..), anyways, on this journal, if my life is so public, then what will I have left to myself? Or to share with those of you that are my close friends? I dunno...... I am definitely okay with people reading my journal. In fact, I really like to know that I can talk to so many people just by opening a window and typing something on my computer. Whether they like me or hate me, it's a nice feeling.. But I have to contrast that with the part of me that I want to keep private. It's a very fuzzy line, I think. But I suppose that I'll just play it by ear. I just must say... everyone who reads this is dear to me. But those of you whom are close to me or have been but may have grown a little apart, I hope that there's a way that I can continue to be close to you. It's important to me to maintain the bonds of friendship that I've made. To let the people whom are more important to me than all my dreams know that they mean the world to me, and more. <3 But you know who you are, I hope hope. <3 <3 Luv you.

Ohh... and last night I bought Tatu's second CD (unremarkable, but the japanese version has three extra tracks, yay!), and Olivia's new CD. Neither left a great impact, but I LOVE Tatu's "All About Us" and Olivia's "Wish" english version. <3

Well... I have to spend some time tonight doing writing, and dinner, and honey-milk scented bath. <3

PS: Soooooooo definitely taking applications for a significant other! ^.~ Just so you're aware. <3<3 But I want someone who lives in Tokyo and is adventurous, fun, kinda dorky, and has an artistic soul. Oh, and positive outlook is a MUST. I look forward to meeting you! ^o^ *chu*
arlieth on February 1st, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC)
Alas, I'm only in Tokyo once a year for this: http://www.tougeki.com . Hehe, sounds like you'll be breaking a lot of hearts around the world. ^_~

Maybe a second, private journal would be a better alternative than to have to manage two separate lists of friends. It's worked for a number of people I know.

PS: There's an old news story about two stoners that stole a truck of Krispy Kremes one morning. Unfortunately, they were so stoned that they left the back door open and the police simply followed the trail of fallen donut boxes to their hideout. ^o^
arlieth on February 1st, 2007 12:18 pm (UTC)
Speaking of starting out as an English teacher, Andrew (aalfonso on LJ) started out in Japan as an English teacher for one of the big mills (I want to say AEON but I could be wrong), but he's finally moved to Osaka last month to work for Capcom! I'm really happy for him, though my feelings of goodwill are limited because he is a Canadian. Arrr~ D=< I really admire people who have the courage to move to an entirely different country to pursue their dreams, you included.

Though, I do see what you mean about the stereotype- it seems that once Japanese culture designates a 'place' for you as an English teacher since you're a foreigner, it's very hard to break out of that spot and it's possible that some people may refuse to acknowledge your skills, thinking that you're only suitable for teaching English and nothing else. But I think it's still one of the easiest ways to find a toehold of acceptance as an English-speaking foreigner in Japan. At least it's a start.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
Re: PS
LOL Funny that you mention him~~ Andrew is probably my closest guy friend in Japan (not that I have many..). But I adore him to death, I was really sad that he had to move, even if we didn't get to see each other often. It was acutally NOVA, we used to work for the same company even though we didn't work together.

I'm really proud of him too. <3 <3

As for the story----- ROFLOL! Oh man, the lengths that some people go to to get their doughnuts! =D
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
It says it will just get warmer here--- http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/47671.html

Translating would be fun, though I'm not good enough. I'll look into editing though!!
ore-samathesundaywriter on February 1st, 2007 01:01 pm (UTC)
Vampire Knight. I've read the first 3 volumes. I quite like it but it's getting quite angsty for my tastes.

& Teaching is stressful... not to say that no job does not come without stress but it's kinda a different brand of it. I notice that the teacher's mood often sets the mood for the class too. But by nature I'm more on the calm and quiet side so sometimes when I teach in schools, I find it hard to control big classes. The first time I faced a classroom it was so overwhelming, I was choked a little. Then again, I was in charge of a class of 30 who were barely 3-4 years younger than me.

Personally I like to teach as I enjoy helping others. I also enjoy interacting with my students about other stuff. People say I'm a natural counselor type =P It's hard maintaining a positive attitude on days that just don't like you, and teachers must have tons of patience too... I still remember the first few lessons the students would really test me... many of them couldn't comprehend why I chose teaching over the gazillions of other part-time jobs and they even asked me that. Even when I tell them I like teaching, they'll still give me a certain look, and it takes time for us to warm up to each other.

That said, I do agree that teaching is not for everyone. In fact, as much as I like it, it's going to be my back-up option because what I really want to do is go into editing/writing, or something to do with books, as that is my love. Also the fact that schools in my home country start at 740 in the morning is quite a turn-off.

All the best with the job-hunt! I'm sure you'll eventually find something you like better ^^
C L O V E R: Lee Jun Kiidyllica on February 1st, 2007 01:02 pm (UTC)
♥ I wonder if there any job applications of becoming an art teacher, but I am sure you don't want to be a teacher... Hopefully you will get to work where you honestly feel like an artist. Its going to be a long and hard journey, but you can do it!!

Jason: domojedialtrus on February 1st, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
So, you seem to be a bit of the writer persuasion. Have you had much luck getting potential publishing deals and such here in Japan. I want to say I'd like to, but getting started is a bitch...

Besides all the writing at least. Must find a better working schedule for that myself. So much in the mind, so low a WPM score...

Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
I'm actually not a writer, but I want to write for the sake of the manga that I want to make.. But it's pretty hard doing it. I think that my major hangup in not getting anything done is the writing-- it's so hard.. but I'm trying!! ^^
Jasonaltrus on February 2nd, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, writing is hard. Mostly with the whole keeping up the consintency and quality. It'd be cool to write a manga, or an anime, though the former usually preceeds it. Not that it would have much of a chance of getting produced, to say nothing of lacking an artist. Nonetheless.

Sana-chan: smilesana_chan on February 1st, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Good luck with the job thing! Have you thought of anything else inparticular to do in the meantime?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Not really... there are ideas floating in my head, but I'm going to begin the job hunting really soon..
jean_kun on February 1st, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
This journal entry of yours left me with a good feeling ^^ It's obvious that you want a lot more in life than what you're doing now, and you're working hard for it at the same time. I say, beat those sterotypes up and go after your dreams! Ganbatte ne!

It seems that you've got a lot of stuff going on, and I hope life just gets better for you! Maybe one day you'll get your big break as a manga-ka and we'll all be reading your manga in the near future! How awesome would that be? ^^
Sakura Moonselenity136 on February 1st, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
Here's something that I learned in my comparative world lit. class. Let's see if I can get it right.

What we see, we assume to be true. After all, our perception is fact. The Japanese often have the perception that anyone who is a foreigner and is living there are often an English teacher. What other occupation is there for a foreigner? But most people does not like to accept the fact that their perception of people or the world is not always true.

Hmm that sounds bad, maybe I should give a scenario that my teacher gave. A car accident and 3 witnesses who saw it happened at the same time. But every one of those witness provided a differnt account of what happened; yet, they could not agree on what is the truth even though they witnessed the accident to occur a minute ago. So I guess applying this principle to Japan, it's hard for them to view foreigners as NOT English teachers. From what I heard, Japan is not a very diverse country.

But! You can prove them wrong by following your dream! Maybe you ought to distribute pamphlets of your work to people walking down the streets?


Doughnuts huh? I'm surprised that it's still crowded. Aren't restaurants or stores supposed to be less crowded after their first week of business?I guess there aren't that many doughnut stories in Tokyo...
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 09:53 pm (UTC)
That's the weird thing... there are Mister Doughnuts stores all over Tokyo. Hundreds and hundreds of them that are never crowded at all... And on top of that, tons of bakeries. I've never seen so many bakeries in my life....
OU-chanou_alum1990 on February 1st, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Vampire Knight is much ♥ volume 1 has been released by Viz here in the US already but vol. 2 won't be out until around May (I think). I'm not surprised that the Japanese love Krispy Kremes...they can be quite addictive.

Josie Danger: Hang Loosejosiedanger on February 1st, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC)
Your art is amazing, and therefore, you shall get the desired job of mangaka! You might have to start out as a helper, but that gets your foot in the door, right? :) I keep thinking what amazing things you're finding in Japan, while I was there I only got to see a fraction of the stuff you've put on here for the entire world to see. I truly enjoy all of your posts; they make me think about how crazy Japan is or how hard it is to live there. I'm also grateful that almost all of your posts are positive and upbeat, it sort of sets my mood for the day when I have to read so many other depressing things. Oh, and how well they flow from one topic to the next, no real bouncing around and making things confusing like my posts. Thanks so much for being around! Wish I was in Tokyo so we could hang out! <3
Lin: 28starrbeam on February 1st, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
I am going to japan in march, and I'm looking for a job to earn funds to live, but the only jobs I ever see for someone with no Japanese skill is Teaching english. I rather be doing something else, I would love to work in the arts (thearter, dancing) I really want to learn dance while I'm there. Heck I would love to be in english plays. I'm sure they would have them in japan? Don't they?

Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC)
There are some plays in really small theaters, yeah. From what I understand, they dont do them as fulltime jobs though. But if you want, you could become a model or something like that fulltime, possibly. But it would work better if you have a visa before that.
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 1st, 2007 10:07 pm (UTC)
I've actually known quite a few people that weren't. Some of them were translators, and a lot of them worked in professional technical jobs. So they're out there, but a lot of people don't have the qualifications for them. Sadly. ;__;
Firsa Asahiasahifirsa on February 1st, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
You should really get all three Ring books since they are a continuous story. It's really amazing how they're a ring in themselves :) One of the best WTF moments I ever head reading a series.
aaalfonso on February 2nd, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
I feel guilty for being an asshole about this considering what you and Arlieth have said about me, but if you didn't want to be a teacher, and if you hate the conception of foreigners being a teacher, then you shouldn't have ever became a teacher in the first place. You basically reinforced the English teacher stereotype that a lot of Japanese people have in their minds already, that foreigners who come here to work do so not for their jobs but for other reasons. It can't be helped now but if you really wanted to break from the mold you should've applied directly to an international language school in Japan or something. Basically, you brought it upon yourself so you really don't have anyone else to blame, not even the Japanese.

Even though people did joke about me working at Nova, I never felt embarrassed or ashamed about my work. My argument was always "so what if I work at Nova? I have tons of Japanese friends who aren't Nova students, my Japanese/English is probably far better than yours, and I'm internationally published in magazines in America and Europe. What do you got going for yourself?" You shouldn't feel so bad about the generalizations in Japan though... America and Canada have ones that are far worse and far more violent.
Reg: hokuto - X16x_reggg on February 3rd, 2007 02:49 pm (UTC)
i have a record for eating 3 krispy kreme doughnuts in one go.

but that's it for me and doughnuts XD
Raynermundist on February 5th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
So are those extra tracks on the Japanese Tatu CD not on their "The Best" collection, or do they not have that out over there?

Yes, I have their CDs (2 full albums plus "The Best"). I also have ABBA "Gold", wanna make something of it? You know my musical taste is weird. =)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on February 5th, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
The extra tracks are
13. Vsya Moya Lubov
14. Lyudi Invalidi
15. Divine

I saw several versions of the best of CD, but it seems that neither have the first of the extra songs? And they only seem to have a remix version of Divine?

LOL Why would I make fun of you? I have t.A.T.u. CDs too, plus I love ABBA. =D
Yuviyuvi on March 8th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
I totally undertand what you mean (about maintaining your personal life, personal), let me suggest creating fillers for any post that only a sertain close group of your friends that comunicate through LJ with you, can read.

I know you haven't been happy with the work you've been doing, but I know you are doing it because you still need to prepare to create your manga. I wish you the best and I know you'll be ok.