Wow, it's been a while since I've posted here. Three years and one month, in fact. Truth is, I always loved LiveJournal for the community aspect, and with the rise short-form social networks such as Facebook (and MySpace before it) and Twitter / Tumblr / Pinterest / myriad other web 2.0 sites, a lot of my community vanished. I as well, abandoned this old friend. I posted on a regular basis on my LJ from 2001 until the late 00's and sometimes I miss it. A lot has happened in the past few years, and I'm gearing up for a big "state of the union" sort of post, but for my life. I moved to Japan nine months ago and my life has gone 180° since then. More on that soon, but in the meantime, let's get caught up on things, but in an easy and quick list format. I'd post relevant photos, but I'm terribly behind on updating my Flickr. If you're my Facebook friend, you've likely seen a lot of interesting, funny, or stupid photos anyway. I'm sort of reviving this LJ on a periodic basis, just to have a place to dump my thoughts in long-form, since Facebook isn't really made for that... and perhaps neither are our attention-spans these days. Anyway, here's the recap, picking up roughly where I left off:
- Moved back to California again - this time to LA. Started staying at Dawon's place in Koreatown.
- Spent the month trying to get a job, to no avail, and playing Fallout: New Vegas.
- Spent Halloween with Dawon at a goth club.
- Moved out of Dawon's place and into Katie's sublet in Laurel Canyon.
- Still more job hunting and interviews. Still no luck.
- Left LA and started staying at David's office, up in Vallejo (about 45 min north of SF)
- Flew back to Michigan for 40 days.
- Spend Christmas with my folks up north at the Rogers City house.
- Rang in the new year with high school buddies April, Adam, & Joe at Pete's Garage in Monroe, and then at April's house.
- Once back in California, Ryan and I went to LA for a weekend, and saw a live taping of Conan.
- Went to LA for the second weekend in a row, with David, to help him run his booth at a crafts and apparel street fair in Chinatown, for the Chinese New Year.
- Had a new job for a month, and was laid-off.
- My 31st birthday. For my birthday party, we did drinks at Koko's, followed by a an insanely fun 4.5 hrs of karaoke at Yamasho.
- Vanessa flew me out to Dallas, where I attended her wedding and took wedding photos.
- Another brief job, followed by lay-off. Urghh...
- Moved into the Henry Street sublet in Oakland.
- Did my first Zivity photoshoot, with Raven Le Faye.
- Hired by Lifetouch Photography Studios to shoot senior portraits.
- Saw Yellow Magic Orchestra in concert in SF. Their first US tour since '83. It was AMAZING!
- Shot a Zivity set with Chelsea Christian.
- Moved into the 12th St apartment in Oakland.
- Saw Zoot Woman live in concert in SF. A ten-year dream fulfilled!
- Quick trip to Michigan.
- Witnessed some rather tense times in when Occupy Oakland was happening only about a mile from my apartment... Saw teargas billowing up from the streets.
- All-Italian Car & Motorcycle Show 2011
- Alternative Press Expo (APE) 2011
- Started dating Ashley.
- Quick trip to Portland with Ryan.
- Went to LA for a week
- Things ended with Ashley when I realized I'd be moving back to MI again.
- Rang in the new year with Ryan and Nate, at Sweaterfunk night club.
- Shot another Zivity photo set with Raven.
- Moved back to Michigan yet again.
- NAIAS (Detroit Auto Show) with dad.
- Assisted photographer Markku Lahdesmaki on a shoot for a corporate brochure in Canton OH, for an energy company. While there, we had fun checking out a couple car museums.
- Went to Nain Rouge walk in Detroit with Tyler and Bobby.
- Did a photoshoot with Tyler's crazy dazzle-camo art car and the lovely model Amanda Faye Cain.
- My nephew Cameron's going-away party, as he was leaving for the navy.April
- My 32nd birthday. Went to karaoke in Ann Arbor with Melissa, Marie, and Beau.
- Attended my niece Terra's play
- Ryan and Jane visited Monroe. I gave Ryan an epic 6-disc mix CD set for his birthday.
- Worked on a dream project for Digital Manga. I did the lettering and touch-up for "Barbara", a manga by Osamu Tezuka! (my hero)
- Helped interpret for a group of high school students from Hofu Japan, visiting Monroe (through the same program that first sent me to Japan in '98). Met Nobue, their chaperone.
- Went to Monroe County Fair with dad.
- Made my second remote-controlled tripod mount car experiment. Fun!
- Helped Raphye with her photoshoot at Fermi.
- Assisted photographer Sean Murphy with a multi-day ad campaign shoot for Cedar Point amusement park.
- Assisted Sean for the ad campaign shoot for Canada's Wonderland amusement park.
- Designed and painted two big signs for "Tsou's Place" Chinese restaurant.
- Went up north with mom & dad for a few days.
- Visited Basha in Toronto
- Did a photoshoot with Alicia Echevarria and my Fiat Spider
- Moved to Los Angeles again, this time with Dawon again, but in a more spacious two-bedroom apartment in the Lincoln Heights area.
- Struggled to find a job.
- Twin-Peaks-themed Halloween party "Fire Party With Me" in San Francisco
- Did some freelance work for a casting agency (street casting for a few days for a headphone ad), and personal assistant work for a producer.
- Went to Tucson AZ with my cousin Heath for Thanksgiving, and we spent it with my aunt, uncle, and cousin Mike, and my nieces.
- 11/30: Got a surprise call from JET and was offered a placement in Nagasaki. I, of course, accepted!
- Moved back to Michigan, only a month & a half after moving to LA. Finally, this time it was due to having a job lined up and needing to prepare, as opposed to going home broke with my pride wounded. Went a more southern route and spent Christmas with Ryan and his mom in Dallas, TX. Met up with Vanessa and Bryan while there.
- Finally finished work on "The Strange Tale of Panorama Island" by Suehiro Maruo and Edogawa Rampo. I did the lettering, touch-up, and graphic design on this manga for Last Gasp. It released in July 2013.
- Rang in the new year with Jen Romito at a party in Cleveland.
- 1/22: Moved to Japan!!
- 1/23: Arrived in Tokyo, then went to Nagasaki from there. I was greeted by a very nice welcome party.
- Nagasaki Lantern Festival
- Went to Sasebo with Sam
- Visited Atsuko in Fukuoka
- Visited Bob in Osaka for a few days.
- My 33rd birthday. Had dinner and karaoke with Becki, Sam, Emma, and Ethan.
- My dog Nero died, too young.
- Was involved with a girl, "A", from Vietnam for a few weeks.
- Started going to "Orb" and "Rabano", the two electronic music clubs in Nagasaki, on a regular basis.
- Went back to visit Hofu, where I first went to Japan in 1998. Reconnected with my host families and stayed with the Hajima family for a few days. It was great. Attended events for the twentieth anniversary of the Hofu / Monroe sister city program and helped with some interpreting for
- Started doing lettering and touch-up work for the bimonthly manga title "Sankarea", in my spare time.
- Stumbled upon an art / anime / cosplay convention in Nagasaki.
- Shot some catalog shots for my friend Mai's clothing shop.
- Nate came to visit Nagasaki. We went to Iojima Beach and all over the area. I got the worst sunburn of my life, but had fun. Went to Fukuoka with him and saw a Kazuo Umezu exhibit.
- Visited Bob in Osaka for a week. Met Misaki and spent a day with her.
- Edited, designed, and did most of the illustrations for "Hello English Picture Dictionary", an informational and fun book for elementary school students.
- The new batch of ALTs came to Nagasaki and I made soem new friends in the process.
- Did my first DJ gig in five years, at Ohana Cafe. (and first as a laptop DJ, as opposed to CD) I would go on to DJ there semi-regularily from then on.
- Went to the "Tabete Nonde Minne Matsuri" in Nagasaki several times.
- Found a stray dog and turned him into the police. They found the owners and I was given a reward.
.....OK! So that pretty much gets us all caught up. Stay tuned for the big brain dump.