Sunday, January 10, 2010

Extra cash, Mixi, Mr. Penkin

Last week I went to Tenjin's "Rainbow Plaza", which is a place for international students and foreigners to find and borrow books and magazines in various foreign languages. They also have a board for you to post advertisements for language services. I posted an ad offering English conversation assistance and I got a reply. I met with her last week at the Seattle's Best Coffee cafe near Junkudo bookstore. I'll be making 1,500 yen per hour! Unfortunately, we'll only be meeting once per week so it's not a whole lot of money. I'm hoping to get at least another response or two.

I've decided to put away any money I get from this アルバイト so that I can have a little savings going. I've also decided to save all of my 500 yen coins. Hopefully in a couple of months it will have added up to quite a bit.


Mixi is the Japanese equivalent of Facebook and Myspace. I got an invite from my Japanese tutor from 3 years ago to create a page. I've made one and found a couple of my Japanese friends on there so far. I've also had a few random requests from people, one of whom I've actually been exchanging messages with fairly frequently. She seems cool...maybe I'll make a friend out of it :)

Mr. Penkin

About 7 months ago I entered some of my musical compositions into a competition on the online gaming site, Kongregate. One of my pieces made it in the top 5 for the week too :D !!! Anyway, I traded compliments with quite a few of the composers in the contest, but one person, Kevin Penkin, a brilliant composer from Australia, I actually got to be pretty good (online) friends with. We've kept in touch via Facebook since the competition.

Last week, he arrived in Japan for 2 week long vacation. He was in Tokyo and Osaka for most of the trip, but yesterday (January 10th) he came to Fukuoka and we were able to meet up and hang out in Tenjin for about 6 hours. He was with his friend Kayla, who he collaborates with on music/animation projects for his site Happy Ramen Studios, and a Japanese girl who lives in Fukuoka but who they had met last year while she was studying abroad in Australia. I took them to a 280 yen ramen place that I knew of. オイシカッタ!Then we hit up a couple of arcades, played some Mario Kart and Guitar Freaks. Then we spent some time browsing books in Junkudo. We vowed that we were going to find some way to play music together when we met up, so we found a really nice piano in a Yamaha store and exchanged a few songs. I played some Yasunori Mitsuda pieces (Nephilim, June Mermaid, Circle of Eternity) and he played a medley of Final Fantasy music including a great arrangement of "To Zanarkand". It was a great day. Hopefully we'll meet up again sometime in the future...maybe even collaborate on a project.

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There's a chance that I'll be involved in translating a feature film into Japanese. There's a company interested in translating "RIP: A Remix Manifesto", a film about remixing, creativity, and the copyright industry, into Japanese and they are looking for volunteers to help with it. I sent them an email so hopefully that will start soon. I'm planning on watching the film tonight so I can get an idea of what I'll have to do. It should be a great experience if I do get involved :)

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