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08 March 2007 @ 01:39 pm
Hello world ♪  
Spring is coming to Tokyo! ^-^ Well, I hope so. For the last week, it's been so warm(ish) that you could sometimes get away with a lighter jacket. I took lots of walks, just being outside and enjoying the outdoors-- something that I haven't been able to do for months. When it's really cold out, it's more painful than not to be outside, and thus why I look forward to spring so much every year. ^-^ But the last few days, it's dropped back down in temperature to really freezing. At least the storms are only intermittent, so more than half of the time it's brightly sunny like right now. A little too chilly to really do anything outside, but wonderful to sit in my window and stare at the world. Soon, I hope, there will be leaves on all of the branches. <3<3

I realized last night that I hadn't written in my journal in almost a week. That's not like me at all... but, for some reason, I just haven't been able to sit down and do that. Maybe because I was really happy being outside, or because I saw a lot of friends, or because I gave my all at my last week of work.... there are a lot of reasons, I suppose. But I'd like to be able to look back to this day and see how I was feeling-- that's the main reason that I write this journal. The other main reason is to communicate with my friends. I love the livejournal community so much. <3 Because of it, I've been able to keep in touch with friends from other places that I've lived and keep in touch with what's going on in their lives, and make so many more friends that I consider dear to me. I've met a lot of people through similar interest on livejournal, and sometimes turn them into RL friendships that I hold very dear. <3 I'm so happy that my dear Elvy-chan introduced me to livejournal (now, 4 1/2 years ago, wow...). #^-^#

Last Sunday, I thought that I would enjoy the beautiful sunny weather by taking a walk in my neighborhood. I'm planning on moving early this summer, so there won't be too many opportunities to enjoy the local area, such as it is. I found out rather surprisingly that I live somewhat (okay a half hour's walk..) near to Toyama park. It's a huuuuge park, and while it was like a lot of japanese parks and didn't have much grass, I loved that there was a lot of open space for sports, and best-- that is where the Shinjuku sports center is! I'm going to look into getting a membership or something like that, if it's not too expensive. I want to play some sports and get some exercise ☆★ I found it really interesting though, that around the sports center was like a homeless village.. Or what do you call it when 'homeless' people set up a community of permanent residences that they've built for themselves? Some of the areas were fenced off and everything. I also saw laundry and the like hanging from drying racks. It was very interesting, thinking about that kind of society that's formed out of the public view, so to say. There is a larger community in Ueno park. So.. the question is. These resourceful people have built homes for themselves... so are they really homeless? I don't know what to think. Surely there is a large difference between that kind of life and a 'normal' (normal? Not sure what that is..) life in a house or apartment with a job, but.. Very interesting. Anyways, after leaving the park I walked some more and ended up somehow in Okubo's Korea town. Which was perfect, because I'd been wanting to go there anyways! ^^ I don't know any other place in Tokyo where I can buy the BEST snack food in the entire world-- Korean Kimchee-flavor dried seaweed. luvluvluv <3<3 Seriously, if you like spicy food, you haven't lived until you've had this. <3

On Monday afternoon after work, I went out with Ami-chan to look for apartments for her/us. Again. Apartments are so expensive in Tokyo (not to rent so much, as the fees to start a contract are exorbiant. I have NOT $10,000 just for the first month.. That's nearly half of my yearly salary, I mean COME ON.. X.x), so she decided on a guest house. I have to move this summer also (my contract is up, and I want to live in Kichijoji from now on), so it seems like we're both going to try and save up enough money for the move-in costs and look for the *perfect* place in Kichijoji. I want something close to the park, that has lots of space. Hopefully a 3-bedroom plus living room and dining room separate. I think a house would be best, but they're harder to find. As long as this place isn't too small, it'd be fine as an apartment. ^^ But I definitely, definitely want to be near the park. The bohemian feel of the area is one of the things that I love the most. Plus, I'd have no excuse to have not been to the Ghibli museum if I live right near it, lol. Kichijoji also has GREAT shopping including Yuzawaya (a HUGE art store) and Animate (can't live without it!). <3<3 It's like a small city in itself. Definitely one of the best areas in Tokyo, IMO. Ami-chan will make a great roommate, I think. I can't wait. <3 We're going to make an art studio/office/spare bedroom in whatever place we get, so that we can work on art in peace, and have visitors sometimes without them taking up space in the middle of things. <3 And cats. She wants to bring over her cat from Canada, and I want to get one (I also want a squirrel!), so I'm definitely going to splurge for one soon. #^-^#

Then on Tuesday I went out for dinner with Eda. I hope that she feels better soon, and I wish that there was something that I could do for her. But I suppose that I'm only me, and that's all that I can do..... I can't wait to live closer to her, though...  (honestly, it would be best I think to have a four-bedroom and have Ami-chan, Eda, and I in it. But I doubt they'd like that, hmm... but you know. Haha, I dream big. ^^;;)

Well... a few pictures now?

++ This is part of the homeless village in the park. I wish that I could take better pictures, but I didn't want to be caught taking any, or catch any people in them. Even though it's public land they're on, I think that would be rude, and I certainly didn't have the courage to ask..

I bought a really huge watercolor notebook the other day, and last night painted this. It's kind of a followup on the jellyfish stippling picture that I started last month. This isn't exactly what I was envishioning, but I really do like it, especially considering how little time it took. It kind of captures the playful, colorful, mysterious feelings that I get when I look at my favorite creatures of the sea (I wonder if it's legal or possible to have a little one as a pet..)

Terrible artwork of Killua from Hunter x Hunter... Gah, this didn't come out at all like I wanted it to. I don't like it at all. -_-;; Maybe this is one of the reasons that I don't usually do fanart... -_-;;

Random artwork for Otaku University. I love Phoenix, the mascot. <3 (plus, she's partly my design, and the uniforms are all my design <3) I really like how this came out, and it didn't take that long. sorry this picture is small, but it's for official use, so I can't put a larger version up at this time. ^.~ Please go to the con later this year, though!! ^^

I forgot to talk about this, but last Friday, I was invited to a Shaonkai. It was my first time at one. Basically, it's a party that 6th graders throw for their teachers. It was really interesting, and much much more formal than I was expecting. But a really neat experience, and it was really neat one of the things that the students' mothers put together as a present for their children-- pictures of the kids in 1st grade combined with ones from current. Some of them were really hilarious! Their mothers must have really wanted to embarrass them, lol! I really enjoyed it, though I was a little bit nervous. Especially with all of the parents there staring at me. ^^;; But yes! They gave all of us flowers that the children have grown-- orange roses and pink tulips. Mine are wilting like crazy now, but I still have them. They were really beautiful. ^^
This is the orange rose after I brought it home:

I really, really love having fresh flowers in the house(/apartment) <3<3

I don't know why, but I like this picture of me. Even though the wind was blowing really hard, and my hair was thus a mess. Buy maybe it's the color, or the pose, or the life in my eyes even though it was really late out...

I told you, spring is on it's way! ^_________^ Not quite here yet, but definitely on the horizon!

I can't WAIT for Spring!! Please come soon, pleeeeeeeeeease!!! ;o; And even better, please come Summer!! It was supposedly a mild winter, even though to me it was just as cold as ever. But it was very short. So what does that say for how deliciously hot summer will be? <3 Ohhhhh, I can't wait!! *grins*

PS: No tenimyu tickets for me in any of the sales. Sometimes I hate that show. Or rather, I just dislike the squealy little girls that sit near us, and I hate that it's so very hard to get tickets. But I do want to go, because I'm sure that it will be great fun. <3 It feels like it's been forever since the last one~~ ^__^.

Well.. I've had my last day of work in my current contract, and I told them that I'm not sure that I want to re-sign for another year. I don't want to be a (n english) teacher anymore. There's a stigma and a stereotype attached to it, and to be honest. I feel like I'm wasting my time any time that I'm not doing something interesting or related to my artwork. Because I'm 26 now, and I feel like I'm losing time. I haven't even started working on my dream job. There's only a few things that I'd want to do ultimately, and if I don't go for it now, I feel like I won't have the courage to ever do it. (manga artist, special effects creator, archaeologist) I want to go for it, but the problem is that without a solid job, I won't have the money to survive. And it's not like I live with my parents. I need money to survive. So, I'm pretty worried. I don't mind teaching, and if it was art I'd definitely go for it, but this job isn't anything that I have any interest in. I love the kids, but... But the rumor in my company is.. they're going to try offering me a raise and I don't know what, because they really want me to stay. I've heard from most of the schools that I worked in that they really want me back next year, and I've heard that my boss has also. I don't know whether I'm the best teacher ever (I don't think I am, by any means), but I'm really well-liked. The kids and the teachers really like me. So, I'm debating. If they offered me enough money and the time off that I need for Otaku University this fall, then I might take it. But.... it's just the year-long commitment. If it was just until summer then I wouldn't mind, but a year..... another year. Will I have the energy to continue on my dreams this year? I.. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do..

And I've been thinking of changing my hairstyle. I should really go to the hairstylist for the first time here, huh.. ^^ *waits until after payday* Anyone in Japan have any good recommendations? I'm looking for someone who is decently priced but does great work. Probably a cut and color's in order. But NO mullets for me, even if it IS in style. ^-^;;
Current Location: My bedroom...
Miyumiyu_princess on March 8th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)
The jellyfish painting is the most beautiful piece ever!! I LOVE Jellyfish in general ^^ Thank you for your interesting update, I love to read about your life!

Enjoy the spring!!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん): Red jellyfishhinoai on March 8th, 2007 10:01 am (UTC)
Thank you! ^__^ I sort of loosely based it off of a photo that I took at the Enoshima Jellyfish special exhibit. I really, really love them too!! ^__^
arlieth on March 8th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
Hmm. Well, there's the possibility of doing private lessons, though I have no idea what kind of legal hoops you'd have to go through for taxation and income. But enterprise like that always takes a huge initial investment of time and energy, so yeah.

It almost sounds like what would work best is if you had a passive income source on the side(i.e.: ads/affiliate-paid blog, investments, royalties), but that takes time to develop and it might be better to take the teaching job until your passive income can replace it. How much of a time commitment does teaching involve?

Also, I think that as long as you have a gameplan (that's flexible to deal with real life), you'll eventually make it. We're all behind you 100%. がんばれ! ^_^b
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 8th, 2007 10:03 am (UTC)
I have an instructor-type VISA that's goor until September 2009, so I could definitely do private lessons. It's just too much work for something that I don't really care to do, you know? I'd be willing to put that amount of work into another profession that I really liked, but not this one. Plus, I'd rather give lessons to just my friends for fun, not make it my job. You know?

A paid blog? How does one get something like that? Sounds exciting! I've been thinking about writing a column like that for an anime magazine or something. It might be fun...
arlieth on March 8th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Well, there's two ways to go about it- either find a group or company that'd be interested in sponsoring you, or start your own blog page/group with dedicated domain (i.e.: www.4thletter.net) and place ads and targeted content in the structure of the template. However, the latter is much more involved and I only recommend that sort of venture if you have some friends who can help out and collaborate. I run two sites and being as it is a niche genre, we still have a lot of work to do. Though our podcast generates some very interesting responses from random countries XD~ All of that though, is really marketing yourself to an audience.

I think, though, that you have a readership large enough to warrant you working on your own website. One of the best examples I know is of a writer who manages to tie together LiveJournal, MySpace and his main site is Warren Ellis (http://www.warrenellis.com and http://warren_ellis.livejournal.com). As for the structure of how you'd place ads, well, I do know one group that's very successful, though it might be kind of tacky: Rudius Media (www.rudiusmedia.com)... Azrael of Outpost Nine moved over there under the title "Gaijin Smash".

Anyways, i've been up all night administrating two sites, and I still have taxes and a magazine article to do @_@ O ya, if you ever go on AIM, my handle's the same as this handle. :3 Ja ne~
chibichan03 on March 8th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)
You are in the same boat that I feel I will be come next year. I am taking a break between grad school and undergrad. Thus, I am going to apply for the JET program, and hopefully get accepted. I want to start working on the application now, but there is not much I can do now for preparations besides contacting the University study abroad department and maybe starting the essay. I don't want to get my transcripts yet as by next year they will be out of date, I don't want to ask for the letter of proof for graduation yet, and the application and letters of recommendation won't be up till fall. So, I pretty much just have to wait. I keep assuming that I will be accepted, but I know this is bad because I know I will be crushed if I don't get accepted. Anyway, I have just poured out some of my concerns for my future. I hope all goes go good you, and that you are able to decide what is best for you. Ooo, you are going to go Dream Live 4th? Lucky! *wishes she could go*
デス: kawaiiisurealistic_des on March 8th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC)
Hope you don't me mind dropping by ^^;;

Just happen to find your journal and I find your entries interesting :) I'm totally love the cute plushies <33 and random figures Japan has.

Ah..for us..summer just ended so its autumn at the moment ^^
C L O V E R: Kato Kazuki :: Beautifulidyllica on March 8th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
Really beautiful art work. Maybe you can ask them about being an art teacher instead of english? Or perhaps find some other job that is related to art. ♥ Ganbare. Spring is coming soon, but it feels like winter!
Lin: 66starrbeam on March 8th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)
The jelly fish water color is amazing! I love the colors. I am so happy it's warm in tokyo. I'm moving from -35 weather. so I'm sure it'll feel like spring to me. :D

I think a change of hairsytle would do you good :D it's changing seasons, so time for a change XD

oh all your pictures are wonderful!

Only 2 more weeks :D
dream_rainedream_raine on March 8th, 2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
Really love the jellyfish one...!! The colours are wonderful
jenntheamazonjenntheamazon on March 8th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Very cute artwork. Love the jellyfish...makes me want to redo a horrible pencil drawing I have in water color...but that would mean finding my watercolors. *grin* And yay Spring! It's bee wet and raining here off and on, but its actually starting to warm up. Yay!
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 9th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Ooh,y es! I forgot that you offered before. ^__^
We're thinking of moving around late June, I think. Do you think that it's too early to look now?
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 9th, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
I have TONS of free time right now. *looks at schedule book* I have so little to do that the only thing that I have written for next week is the day I want to go and buy a new movie. ^_^;; Oh, and the day that one I want to see starts playing in the theater. Yeah, the love of being on vacation! ^o^//

Let me ask my friend when she's free, and I'm sure we can set up something next week!
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 13th, 2007 09:52 am (UTC)
I talked with my friend, and is Friday okay with you? ^__^ And what time, if it's okay? ^_^
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 13th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC)
Alright! ^_^ Let's meet at 11 at the station that you mentioned. ^^

We definitely want Kichijoji. Something near the park. I'm actually REALLY picky, but moving here is so expensive that I can't afford to be anything else.
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 14th, 2007 02:06 am (UTC)
I can meet anywhere~~ just am very specific about what I want (I have a short but firm list ^^;).
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 14th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
I'm a little confused.... just keep in mind that to move in, we want as close to the cost of rent (total) as possible. Another month in reiki or realtor's fee (total) is the absolute highest that we'd be willing to go. Basically, whatever footwork is required, we want to make it as cheap as possible. So if the rent is 120,000/mo, then the most we can pay to move in (including 1st month) is maybe double that. Preferably just 120,000. That's one of the reasons that we've had trouble, but we're very firm on it. We're not rich and can't afford all of this when we still have other things that we still have to pay for.
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 14th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
We want a 3 or 4 LDK for 120,000-150,000. We've already seen several ads for several places in Kichijoji that are within that price range so they definitely exist, and I know people inside the city that have that size for even less. It's annoying, realtors always tell us that it's impossible and then come up with several different examples. X.x But they always want too much reiki/shiki so we're continuing to look.
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Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 15th, 2007 03:48 am (UTC)
Okay!! ^o^
Ami and I will see you there! I'm pretty obvious- I'll be wearing a pink coat and of course super tall, and Ami is short and a bit bigger, not asian though. ^^ We should be pretty easy to spot! Wait-- what's your real name again?

And I'll mail you with my contact info~
ルリ: bangdemonruri on March 9th, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Im curious what type of Visa do you own in Japan? Because if you do not do the solid job, wouldnt they kick you out of the country.

Well I would say goto Otaku University if you have enough saved to live without a steady income ^^;

Haha grab a magazine they always have tons of styles!
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on March 9th, 2007 05:31 am (UTC)
My visa is good for almost 3 more years, so even if I don't have a job, I'm allowed to stay in the country as long as I'm looking for one. When I find a new job in a different field, I'm supposed to change the visa type.

Nah, I definitely have to go to Otaku University. I can definitely afford the trip. ^^
long gone with her red shoes on: bring horizon FF/Sredshoeson on March 16th, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
I love seeing your pictures! I hear you re: following your dreams v. making money to survive in this world. Keep us updated on your progress!