blacklilly: (Default)
Hey all,

After last night's big aftershock, we're now being pummelled by some impressively strong wind.  I'm not sure now whether it's the ground, me or the wind shaking the house.  Thanks, weather.  Just in time for my hanami party too.

So, I actually just wanted to post this link to the Deathgaze review and interview at Rokkyuu Magazine.  Photos by me.  What a good gig that was.  I was a bit gutted that Deathgaze cancelled their Tokyo gigs after the quake, though it was entirely understandable.  I guess I shall be somewhere around the world when they next play Tokyo.

Speaking of which, there are now two weeks to go until the Peaceboat sets sail from Yokohama.  I am nowhere near packed (I have to be ready to send stuff off next weekend) and there are all these things I keep needing to do which jump out at me.   I attended two Peaceboat events this week.  The first was a pre-voyage fundraiser where I got to meet alot of the young volunteer staff, who are all ridiculously energetic and funny.  I then had a staff nomikai (drinking party) last night, where I was able to spend a bit more time with my bosses and co-workers.  They all seem like a great bunch of people, and there are a couple of people I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be good buddies with.

I've had flu and tetanus shots this week, and am thinking about thyphoid and hepatitis B - though they are prohibitively expensive.  I guess I shall just have to be extra careful.  I'm also a bit unsure about the malaria situation.  Basically, the costs and side-effects of taking malaria medication for over 80 days outweigh the risks of actually getting malaria, so we decided not to do it. The doctor just told me to go straight to a clinic if I get at all feverish.  A friend of mine told me he has had malaria four times (his father is/was a Nigerian ambassador) in his life, and he's doing OK...

In other news, I celebrated my freedom by making a return to my old goth self.  It certainly makes me feel about 10 times sexier than I did before, and is a  damned good excuse to wear more lipstick:

 
blacklilly: (Angsty)
Hmm.  Not being Japanese?  That's pretty hard, though liberating in equal measure.

No, I think the hardest thing for me is having to deal with practical things in Japanese.  I can hold a conversation with most people, but when it comes to getting the electricity turned on, or dealing with residence tax, I can't do it at all.  It's partly a nerves thing, partly that I ended up with some form of linguistic PTSD after dealing with estate agents to get my apartment.  After that exercise in torture I'm rather inclined to let someone who knows what they're doing help me out.



And that's Day 14.  I'm still chipping away them!!

I still feel a little numb about the Peace Boat.  Occasionally, I feel excitement approaching.  Then I think of all the forthcoming hassle of vaccinations, embassies and pre-departure training, and the excitement goes away.  Plenty of other people are excited for me though, so hopefully it'll become infectious.

Last night's vegetarian interview was wonderfully catered.  I had a vegetarian sausage roll, vegetarian cornish pasty and veggie lasagne - none of which I've eaten for YEARS.  The tofu scrambled egg salad with delicious and the chocolate cake for dessert was lovely and squishy.  During the interview I also managed to get myself a writing and photography gig for one of the upcoming issues!!  Go me.  Yesterday was a good day!
blacklilly: (Takoyaki!)
Well, finally, some excellent news to tell you about!  I just found out this lunchtime that I have been offered a teaching position on board the 73rd Peace Boat voyage.  What this means is that I will be travelling around the world for 3 months whilst working as an English teacher on-board a cruise ship!  This plan has been in the works for a while - I've been planning it since last summer - and last weekend I went for a full-day teaching demo and interview session.  I came out feeling that I'd cocked it up, and so was hoping that the fact that I called on my friends who've worked on Peaceboat to recommend me would sway the decision.  Well, something worked! 

They've actually got a specific role for me on board.  As a teacher with more exam experience than most, I will be teaching the TOEIC classes on board.  TOEIC is actually my least favourite exam to teach, but I'm going to accept the challenge and try to devise a way to improve people's TOEIC scores without boring myself to death.

I feel like I should be dancing around the place, kicking things and generally shouting a lot, but I just sat on my sofa and felt a bit numb after I finished the phone call with the co-ordinators.  I've been waiting since December to see which way my life is going to be heading this year, and now the decision has been made I guess I've gone a bit blank.  There are now so many things to organise.  Do I keep my apartment while I'm gone?  Do I come back to Japan and stay until my visa runs out in November, or do I move on somewhere else?  Moving to another country could only do wonders to my love life, I suppose...  Anyway, thoughts thoughts and lots of thoughts.



The cough and gravelly voice stuck around until Saturday.  I didn't feel much like getting out of bed for most of Saturday, but I had to get motivated to shoot this bunch of growly, screamy, heavy beasts called Reivier.  They played at AREA in Takadanobaba, which is a mere 15 minutes from Asagaya, so I didn't even have to go very far.

Following on from my musings about Visual Kei in my previous post, I was highly amused to note that the mosh pit at a VK gig is the only place  you will see people hanging out in slippers - only changing into their shoes to go skipping off to the toilet.  It's also the first time I've seen synchronized hand-banging in full force.  I noted that head-banging in Japan is much more fragrant (as it's mostly girls) and you are at a near-statistical impossibility of losing your teeth, owing again to the girls, and the fact that everyone knows what the moves are - there's no miscommunication, as a certain Fox news presenter would say - though I doubt synchronized moshing proves the existence of God.

I was down in the mosh-pit for part of the show, then hung back on the raised section with my zoom lens to catch the encores.  The band were pretty good live, which is good, as their tracks (the ones on Youtube, at any rate) actually suffer from the opposite of my normal gripe -  they don't sound well-produced enough.  They need someone with a good grasp of mixing metal to get their sound spot-on.  If they want to crack the overseas market, which they really could do, they need a good producer.  They were thoroughly entertaining, and certainly seemed to be having a great time themselves.

After the show, the editor of the VK magazine and I interviewed the band.  We slunk through the dressing room and found the guitarist Koh, who had arranged our press-passes. He corralled everyone into a corridor backstage and so we all stood in a circle and talked. They were all quite sweet and friendly, and were much more approachable than the last band I was involved in interviewing.  Mid-way through, the lead singer started de-robing himself, and stood about in his tight underwear and smudged eye make-up. 






Speaking of interviews, tonight I'm actually being interviewed by a magazine about being a vegetarian in Japan.  Three of us vegetarians, plus the owner of a vegan cafe in Kichijoji, will be discussing the trials and tribulations of our dietary choices over a FREE veggie meal.  I hear there will also be a camera there, so I should try to pretty myself up before I go out. 

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blacklilly

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