Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another One!

Hi everyone!

Well, I was really excited to have had a lucid dream after a so long dry spell. And then I had another one just a few days later! This one was a bit darker, though. Let me tell you:

I find myself driving a go-cart through the streets of my hometown. I am looking for a way home, I think. I drive up a set of steps and find the way blocked by a tall, slender man. He looks like a junkie, or a gang member or something. I get out of the go-cart and try to go past him. He won't let me, and when I try to push him away, he pulls out a knife and attacks me. I grab his wrist to try and fend him off, but he manages to scratch my chest with the knife. He pushes me down the steps and I hit the ground. I hear him come after me, so I decide to run. Dashing off in the opposite direction, I see a store window on the other edge of a deep ditch. I jump and clear the ditch. When I look back, I see my pursuer approaching fast, jumping the ditch like it was nothing.

I run through the large store, which seems to be a super market, tearing down shelves and boxes along the way to slow down the man pursuing me. As I look back, I can see him still approaching, and at this time, it somehow occurs to me that I am dreaming. I grab a big, heavy box from a shelf and slam it into the guy's face. He stumbles, but does not fall. I hit him again, and he tumbles backward, all the way back to the window. I drop the box and use telekinesis to pick him up from the floor. A twisted desire for revenge surges through me, and I use my power to rip his body in half. And yet, he is still alive. I drag his body with me down the street, and enter a small store. There, I place his still living head on a shelf and tell him that he must spend an eternity in this small, really boring store.

Then I go check out some DVD's on a shelf.

Wasn't really in control for much of this one, but I do remember the feeling of picking the guy up without touching him. Felt pretty cool, though I don't think I'd want to rip any more people apart with it...

Until next time, have a good day!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Long Time No See

Hi everyone!

A few days ago, for the first time in many months, I had a lucid dream! I'd almost forgot just how awesome they are, and it felt very satisfying to have on after all this time. I haven't really felt motivated to practise LD'ing for a long time now, but I just might pick it up again, now that I have time. Anyway, let me just describe the dream in short.

I find myself in Kyoto, getting on the bus at my usual stop, just outside the dorm. It is a sunny day. When I get on the bus, I see one of my friends sitting in the back. I sit down next to her and we talk for a while. The bus is on the way to campus. Suddenly, I realise that I have to be at the train station, which is in the other direction, in half an hour to catch my ride to Nagoya. Given that I am riding the bus to the university, however, this is virtually impossible. At this realisation, I panic and shout "Oh no!" again and again...

And that's when it hits me. This situation is completely improbable. There is no way I would be so careless as to forget an appointment to go to Nagoya. I somehow feel this in my gut, and make the conclusion that it has to be a dream. Everything seems to snap into focus, and I turn to my friend and tell her that it's alright; I am not going to miss my bus, since this is just a dream. She seems understanding.

I get off the bus at the next stop, and to little surprise see that I am in fact in Nagoya, still on a sunny day, and with quite a rise in temperature. Not being one for sweating like a pig, I stretch my arms out behind me and have my coat pull itself off and float away. Comfortable in my hoodie and t-shirt, I then decide to lose the knit hat I'm wearing, too. I look up into the sky and see a group of white doves fluttering in the sky. As I take off my hat, I knead it in my hands and toss it into the air. It sprouts wings and becomes a black bird that flies away swiftly.

Now, I am excited to take to the skies too, but as I crouch down, preparing to leap into the air, I close my eyes for a bit too long and lose focus. I have a false awakening where I am back in my bed in the dorm, excited to write my dream down in my journal, and then I wake up for real.

For a completely random lucid dream that came after such a long dry spell, this was pretty cool. I think I'm going to practise lucid dreaming a bit more from now on, see if I have any more neat adventures.

If you want to read more about Lucid Dreaming, check out some of the older posts in my blog! There's a few tips and advice for the aspiring dreamer, as well as a few entries from my dream journal. Enjoy!

Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hunting Monsters

Hi everyone!

Recently, I've begun playing a certain game for the PSP, one that is the foundation for pretty much half of its library. Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement. Still, you can't deny the fact that a lot of games copies the formula of this game series with varying degrees of shame. I am talking, of course, about Monster Hunter.

Monster Hunter began as an online game on the PS2, but was not very well received by critics. The series has since moved on to become the flagship series of the PSP, with quite a few titles available. And of course, the countless imitators. I had been curious about what all the fuss was about, and so started playing Monster Hunter Portable 3 a few days ago.

And I really like it! Having played some similar games before, such as God Eater, Crisis Core and such, the flow of the game, with its quests consisting of killing a certain monster or gathering a certain amount of items, was instantly familiar. But, I have to admit, the original outperforms them all. It just feels more engaging. There's just something about hunting down monsters, gathering materials and crafting new items that Monster Hunter does really well. I think it has to do with the environments and the monsters being very believable and having a strong sense of immersion. The world has its own very defined logic which really makes sense. You collect materials such as wood, plants and bones, and combine them into items and equipment to help take down even bigger and stronger monsters.

I haven't gotten that far into the game yet, but I am really enjoying it so far, and I think it will take a long time before I get bored. We'll see. If you have a PSP and haven't tried a Monster Hunter game yet, I recommend them. They're great fun. Just be careful, as they can be very addictive.

Until next time, happy hunting, and have a good day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Strolling with Prehistoric Reptiles or "Changing the Title to be Witty"

Hi everyone!

Just finished re-watching the BBC series Walking With Dinosaurs, which first aired waaay back in 1999 (Wow, that's more than half of my life so far!), about the daily lives and struggles of these fascinating creatures.

I remember watching it for the first time back when I was about ten years old, and was completely blown away by it. Sure, I had seen Jurassic Park before, but this felt a lot more gratifying to me, being the dinosaur-obsessed paleontology-nerd that I was. Seeing these animals brought to life on the TV screen was like magic to my innocent soul.

Seeing it now, I must say it has aged fairly well. Yes, without the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles, you probably will scoff at some of the special effects. After all, computer graphics have come a long way since 1999, and what was state of the art, cutting edge CG back then looks quite archaic compared to to the effects of the average blockbuster film today. But still, for what it is, it works quite well, and delivers a mostly convincing depiction of dinosaurs and some of the creatures that lived alongside them. Not to mention the lovely narration by Kenneth Branagh. (Unless you are American, hah! Just kidding.)

Anyway, it was a nice nostalgia trip, and it set me off on a brief wikipedia session to learn more about some of the more obscure species featured in the series.

I guess it's on to Walking With Beasts next, then. Here's hoping for some awesome mammoth fights or something. Until next time, have a good day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Back To K-town

Well, my brief holiday in Nagoya is up, and it's time to return home to Kyoto. And then I have about a month and a half until classes start again. What to do, what to do...?

Okay, that one is fairly obvious: Sleep, eat, play video games. Done.

Just kidding! Of course, I am going to do that, but I'm also going to get a little more busy with my translation work, getting my name out there and try to get some jobs. And of course see the sights of Japan that I haven't yet.

Kind of a short entry today, but I can't really think of much more to say at the moment.
Until next time, everyone, have a good day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Adventures in Translation: Site up!

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have started working freelance as a translator. I'm just getting started so far, and there are lots of things I have to get in place before I can really get cracking: I have to get used to new software, learn the proper ways of handling projects and clients, and tons of other stuff.

So, I have started a new blog which will serve as my translation service's home page. It's not much yet, but over the following days, I intend to spruce it up a bit and make it work as a platform for making PR and accepting various translation requests. Why don't you check it out?

Anyway, my spring break is in full swing; I'm enjoying some quiet time with my girlfriend in Nagoya, and then it's time to start working!

Until next time, have a good day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Alive!!!

Hi everyone!

Alright, I am very sorry for not updating since, what? Halloween? Damn...

Well, I've been busy with class, tests, presentations and reports. Because of this, I just could not find the will to keep my blog updated, and let it fall into oblivion.
But, now that classes are over and spring break has begun, I thought I might give this another shot. So, let's start by catching up a bit, shall we?

After Halloween, things continued as usual. Classes were taken, presentations were created, and performed. Tests were taken, with mixed results, although mostly good. I still wish I had studied more for the Japanese Politics exam, because I was really blind-sided by that one.

Christmas rolled around, and I went to visit my girlfriend in Nagoya. We had turkey for Christmas dinner, and it was delicious. New Year's Eve came, and I was introduced to the wonderful world of low-brow Japanese humour in the form of Gaki Tsukai, a television programme in which five comedians are put through 24 hours of non-stop hilarious gags, the catch being that they must not laugh, or they get their rear-ends paddled with rubber batons. Needless to say, it was awesome.

After that, I went back to Kyoto and finished up my classes and tests, and now, spring break is here. Two months of lazing around... No, not really. You see, I have found my calling. I have realised through being here, spending time with my wonderful girlfriend and my lovely dorm mates and friends, that I want to stay in Japan after the exchange program is over. And in order to do that, I am taking my first, shaky steps onto the job market, as a freelance translator. My long-time readers (If any of you still bother to check for updates any more, and if you do, you are awesome and I appreciate it a lot) probably remember that I spent the better part of last summer translating and subtitling the J-Drama "Elite Yankee Saburou," something I really enjoyed doing. After some research, I discovered that with some effort, I can do pretty much the same thing and get paid for it as well. Score!

So, that's my goal from now on: Become a freelance translator and finance my life in Japan after the exchange program ends. I know that the road ahead is steep will take a lot of hard work. I know it is not going to be all that easy. but I also know that none of that matters, as long as I have a dream in my heart, and the will to carry on.

Wish me luck, everyone!

PS. Oh, and I'll try to keep the blog updated too. ;)