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Archive for February, 2009

angela-aki-answer
Even with my current financial status, there was no way I’d not buy this album on release day. ANSWER, the long-awaited 4th Japanese sung (5th overall) album by Angela Aki [アンジェラ・アキ] is proving to be her best album yet.
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Cree's D300
*Photo by owen4green

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been dipping into photography once again, this time I acquired the Nikon D300 with a huge help from my friend and co-worker, Owen. I always wanted a DSLR ever since my first excursion to Japan in 2007, but I figured it was too rich for my blood (yes, even the entry level DSLRs). I knew back then that I wanted a Nikon (over say a Canon), because of it’s ease of use, UI, ergonomics and build quality and oh yeah, it can take damn good photos. The irony of it all is that it is still too expensive for me; you see, my friend paid for the D300 body in full, and so far, I’ve already paid half. Even the lens (18-70mm f3.5-4.5) is on loan from him. I wanted to pursue a greater interest in photography because it really took my mind off the recent girl problems earlier in the trip. As suggested by another co-worker who said that putting your mind towards other things (ie, hobbies, etc.) takes away from anything else troubling. That, and for some unknown reason you’ll find someone when you’re not actually looking for someone. But I digress…

Anyway, I misbudgeted — bad. How bad was it? I didn’t have money for commting for 3 weeks (let alone food; glad I had stocked up prior). First, I seeked help from my employer for a loan which gets taken off the next month’s pay to no avail. Out of options (and no, retuning the camera was out of the question), my supervisor had sent me the tickets for the remaining 3 weeks. Now, this kinda goes back to the last post where I talked about budgeting my pay for the duration of my trip (which has about 3 months remaining if you’re interested). And by the way, do I regret the D300 purchase? No. (although Yes, had I not been able to go to work or worse)

After the D300, I’ve budgeted everything that will be necessary: Commuting to and from work (it’s about 1/4th of my monthly pay), random bills (mobile, internet, gas/water, electric), and loans back home. In addition I’ve factored in food (which is prioritized after those), and then entertainment/leisure randomness. Knowing me, I can break my budget in a heartbeat, but after the mini scare I’ve experienced I’ll think twice before going on impulse 3000円/CD sprees.

Not out to be pimping my flickr page again, but since it’s photography related, might as well, eh? February draws a close which means a busy March: end of the school term, advance notice resignation letter, Visa renewal; just the tip of the iceberg, really. Stay classy.

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I feel a lot more positive about the remaining months left living in Japan as opposed to the first few weeks. There are still lingering thoughts of pessimism, and cynicism but they’ve significantly repressed since then. I’m settling in nicely. Things are looking up. I’ve re-structured my entire budget for the rest of the months (something I desperately needed), so I don’t wildly splurge on stuff (I’ve maintained that list as well in the timeline). I’ve also occupied my time by taking a serious interest in photography. My co-worker, an avid photographer, has really assisted me in this regard. I have much, much to learn. I may take a photography course upon return to Canada. And while I consider this as a hobby right now, I am seriously contemplating that this is something I’d like to do professionally; but again, it’s in the back of my mind. For anyone interested, my flickr page shows what I’ve taken so far. Again, it’s a learning process and I hope to delve into more aspects of photography. A link to my flickr page is to the right; showing my 5 current uploads.

It’s meeting time again in the coming weeks. I feel a bit more optimistic about it.

I’ll try to update this blog a bit for frequent as I’d like it to be (same applies for YGCtunes). I guess I need to find more interesting things to talk about. Stay classy.

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There hasn’t been much news that I’d post right away; in addition to minor changes to the blog itself (new header, last.fm charts, etc). A new Morning Musume album is due in mid-march so the upcoming page has been updated to reflect this. Eagerly awaiting Angela Aki’s 3rd album, “Answer”; and of course, the review soon to follow afterwards. In addition, my first dip into Mandopop; listening to the Hello! Project unit from Taiwan, Ice Creamusume. It still has that H!P formula, except sung in Mandarin; it’s very catchy, here’s a PV for their song, 戀愛登場:

Until then, keep listening.

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