“Welcome to TOKYO” – World Order

Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Olympics and this video celebrates that. I can’t help but draw parallels between Tokyo’s hosting of the 1964 games and their hosting of the 2020 games. The 1964 Olympics gave Tokyo the opportunity to show that it had recovered for the horrors of World War II and was now a modern, economic powerhouse. The 2020 games will likely be another opportunity for Japan to show its ability to overcome hardships, this time from the natural disasters which hurt the country so badly in 2011.

I love Japan. Watching this video reminded me of the times that I’ve visited Tokyo and now I really want to visit again. I’m turning 40 next year and I was seriously considering giving myself a trip to Japan for my birthday, but this would delay our move to the mainland, which is (in my opinion) far more important than my birthday.

I love Genki Sudo and World Order. The first video I ever saw of theirs was “MACHINE CIVILIZATION” (below), which was released in response to the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. I completely fell in love with them at that point. The bizarre dancing in random places and the fact that they all look like salarymen was irresistible to me. Genki Sudo is a retired MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter, apparently. He formed World Order after he retired from fighting in 2006.

Making Excuses

I should just be honest and say that I didn’t work on any blog posts this weekend because all I wanted to do was play FFXIV:ARR.

Which I did. A LOT.

I got all 3 gathering classes (Botanist, Miner, and Fisher) to level 21, completed my level 35 Paladin quest, leveled to 37, continued story mode a little, and finished getting all the tradeskill classes to 16. The last one was Culinarian, which was particularly problematic because I’m trying to level ALL the trades at around the same pace by harvesting my own materials, thus minimizing the amount of gil that I have to spend on the market board or at in-game vendors. (This plan has actually worked out very well for me, but it’s very slow.) Back to Culinarian, though… This tradeskill is the only one that requires level 20+ materials to craft the level 16-20 recipes. All the other tradeskills only require level 15+ materials. So I had to spend extra time leveling up my gathering skills to the next tier JUST so that I could keep my cooking on par with things like armorsmithing, carpentry, etc.

While I was working on Fisher, I did a lot of other stuff, too, since you don’t really need to pay much attention to the screen if you’re using a controller with vibration turned on. I watched a summer music festival called FNSうたの夏まつり (FNS Uta no Natsu Matsuri) or FNS Summer Song Festival. It was just over 4 hours long and featured performance collaborations between many of my favorite Japanese music artists including T.M. Revolution, EXILE, JUJU, MIYAVI, Yuzu, and Hideaki Tokunaga. It was particularly great when different genres blended together, like when Yuzu (folk pop rock) sang with Kiyoshi Hikawa (enka). The thing I liked the most about this show was that it wasn’t as autotuned as most Japanese music shows are, so the good performers really stood out. Of course, this was a double edged sword. When one of the idol groups comprised of cute girls that can’t sing AT ALL were performing, it was PAINFUL. Like I wanted to stab myself in the head with an ice pick kind of painful… LOL

Kiyoshi Hikawa & Yuzu Performing Kiyoshi no Zundoko Bushi

I also did boring stuff like sort paperwork, fold and put away laundry, and clean the bedroom. I was productive!

I also spent a lot of time watching lectures for the various coursera courses that I’m taking. I took the final exam for the Mathematical Philosophy class and the Global Business of Sports class, as well. I also decided to trim the number of classes that I’m actively taking. I found that I was unable to keep up with all the homework. I realize that I could just keep watching the videos, but my rather compulsive nature made me feel like I HAD to do the homework, even though I didn’t really have to. So I watched lectures for History of Rock, Part One, Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative, An Introduction to Financial Accounting, and Comic Books and Graphic Novels. Since I currently work doing accounting, human resources, and other general office stuff, I decided to sign up for the accounting class as well as An Introduction to Operations Management and An Introduction to Marketing. I have a minor in Business Administration already, so these classes are more of a review, but since they’re part of a pre-MBA program, I thought they’d be useful. When I move to the mainland, I’m going to have to find a job, which is something that I haven’t had to do since 2003, so I want to make sure my skills are up to date and marketable.

On top of that, I had to replace my video card earlier in the week because my old one was quickly dying. The fan was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think and had to use my noise-canceling headphones to play games without throwing my computer through the window. I bought a budget card, but it was still an upgrade to what was in my machine before. I’m planning on building two new machines once my husband and I move to the mainland, so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on replacements and upgrades on our current rigs. (My computer is over 6 years old.)

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Once I replaced the card, everything was running great for awhile, but then I started getting random game crashes, I fell into the environment a few times, and my video card drivers started crashing intermittently while playing FF, so I spent a good chunk of the weekend also running tests and trying to fix it. Other people on the forums were having the exact same problems as I was, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t the card. I eventually upgraded to the most recent .NET framework, reinstalled the C++ redistributable, and downloaded the newest video card drivers. Now everything is happy again. Especially me. I get particularly bitchy when my computer isn’t working.

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I’m dangling below the ground. You can see my husband’s character on his mount above ground to the left. (Also, I’m wearing thunder thighs armor again! Ugh! I look like a Storm Trooper…)

So yeah, I was busy this weekend. And yes, I know I’m just making excuses. 😉

New Tuxedo Sam Stuff & The Japan Record Awards

Since logging into Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is still an exercise in futility unless it’s after 10:00 PM Hawaii time, I’ve spent this Sunday of Labor Day weekend doing a bunch of other stuff. My husband and I had our usual Sunday sushi lunch at the mall and then did some shopping. We’re taking a vacation around Thanksgiving to Washington State and Minneapolis, so we bought a new suitcase. Our old one was falling apart and there were some pretty great sales this weekend. We also bought some Aloha shirts (pretty much the equivalent of a shirt and tie in Hawaii offices…seriously) and groceries. And of course, no trip to the mall is complete without visiting the Sanrio store to check for any new Tuxedo Sam things. I found a large coffee mug and a plushie of Sam holding an ice cream cone. I also found a panda plushie to send to my son. (Whenever I see cute panda things, I buy them for him because he loves pandas.) Since I spent more than $40, I also got a free eco-bag.

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When we got home, I tried logging into FFXIV:ARR again. I really don’t know why I bother. I suppose I’m hoping that maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Nope. So I decided to clean and reorganize stuff. For some strange reason, when I’m pissed off, I like to clean. I needed some kind of entertainment while I did this, so I decided to finally watch the 54th Japan Record Awards. This was aired in Japan on December 30th, 2012. I got a recording of it and had been meaning to watch it, but I just never got around to it. The Japan Record Awards are pretty much the Japan equivalent of the Grammy Awards. It doesn’t have much to do with talent. It’s mostly just a popularity contest. The main difference between the American popularity contest and the Japanese one is that while in America, the people who are honored and given awards exist primarily in the popular music sphere, enka (traditional folk music) performers are just as, and sometimes more, likely to win. I enjoy watching it because I follow Japanese pop music far more than Western music. Plus I like the performances. In this one, the big winner at the end was AKB48. I’m not a fan, but they’re HUGELY popular in Japan. One of the highlights was one of the final performances of Funky Monkey Babys. As of June 2013, they disbanded because one of the members (DJ CHEMICAL) was becoming the main priest at his Buddhist temple.

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Other random things I did today include watching some lectures for my different classes on coursera, finishing up a program for my Python programming class, and starting Tales of Xillia on the PS3.