Tag Archive | music videos

Wait, What? The Retraction To The Confession!

So I’ve been talking about my friend from Japan, and I’ve also been alluding to another person who was my valentine. Then, I confessed that they were the same person.

So what do I need to retract?

I wrote that entry when I thought things had ended, and after I said what I thought was going to be a final goodbye to him. I hit a moment where I thought that a few things about me were more than he could handle anymore. Here I was, eating sweets for my birthday even though he advised that I shouldn’t eat sweets if I wanted to get healthier, and I was acting carelessly by holding off on taking a guaranteed job offer because I wanted to wait for an upcoming interview. He was hardly talking to me around that time, which made me feel like he didn’t accept my own birthday as an exception to the suggestion about sweets, and he wasn’t thinking the same way as I was about what I was trying to achieve in my career.

Not to mention, he said that I’d do things my own way anyway. That’s not entirely true. I tended to be more selfish if I didn’t feel like he cared and I cared less in turn. But if I felt like he was into me, I stepped things up and did things that I felt he would appreciate. I don’t know when I started doing that in life, unless I’m just doing it now as a defense mechanism after my previous relationship ended. I feel like it keeps things in perspective, in a sense, as I would rather not give in so easily if a person isn’t interested in me, I’d rather know that they care about me and I’m just showing my love for them in return.

So anyway, I said my goodbyes, blah blah blah,… and I stopped talking to him for… two days? I wrote to him after my interview with Delta was cancelled, and I told him how I called the staffing agency to see if the other position was still open. And then I said goodbye again, because I was really going. I really meant it, you know?

And then, he wrote back! He said he was going to wish me good luck, that is until he saw my note about the interview being cancelled. He asked me a couple of questions as well. I  was like, “do you not want me to go?” Because answering questions means I have to write back. He didn’t say goodbye to me, or wish me luck in life. He kept writing to me as if I never was trying to leave.

Day two of the new job started with being too tired to stay up as late as usual, then focusing on getting ready for work, and then going and starting the work day. During each of those moments, he sent an e-mail, the last one containing a few music videos on YouTube. Damn it, I let him get away with speaking through lyrics! One song in particular went something like, “I think about you every day, you’re my partner in crime, I’ll catch you if you fall.” I have yet to actually see him before I buy into the lyric about “I’m taking a vacation, I’ll see you at the station.” I did giggle, as one of the lyrics says something about sleeping with strangers, which is what I’m doing if you consider I’m on their couch and they’re all upstairs in their own beds.

So wait, what about White Day? Surely he mustn’t be into me since he did nothing! Well… he wasn’t talking to me at that time. He said that he wanted to say or do something for me, which hurt him to not break the silence on his side just to do it. But, I don’t know. Ah, but that was a month ago, and I should just move on.

Maybe he thought I wasn’t trying hard to look for work, and that’s why he seemed to be giving up. Maybe his final goodbye would have been while wishing me luck with the Delta interview. But maybe reminding him of how I was trying to do things for him, and also showing that I understood my careless behavior but was fortunate enough that something worked out in my favor, maybe I reminded him that I wasn’t just reckless and selfish, that there was a method to my madness, a willingness to risk something of myself if only to gain something greater.

Have I fallen completely head over heels? Ha, not yet! I have yet to meet him in person, for starters. I figure that if he’s not who he says he is, although I have few people who would miss me, those people can’t pay my ransom if I’m kidnapped because they don’t come from money. Not to mention, I wouldn’t be the most sought-after sex slave if I was trafficked, and my bodily organs wouldn’t be worth much from having this much fat attached to them. So maybe I should just give in and trust that he actually likes me for my personality.

I must say, though, that he does have good taste in music. So maybe he’s the perfect guy for me, because no one else has presented me with music that I’ve listened to this steadily. I mean, when I thought I had ended it, I tried going back to the entirety of my music library, but I found myself wanting to listen to just Himuro. I’ve also listened to other songs by some of the artists that he’s sent me songs for, and they’re good songs.

So… I can’t really say what’s going to happen between my Japanese friend and I. Honestly, I don’t want to turn this blog into my own Asian romantic drama. I especially don’t want it to become a South Korean drama, because it’s usually the female lead that gets amnesia, and even though the guy does everything he can and she eventually comes out of it, I still don’t want amnesia. All joking aside, my love life is my personal business, first and foremost. If I talk about it, it’s because I’m trying to understand it and basically navigate uncharted territory. Usually I’ll point out some mistake I made, because I don’t mind being dumb if I learned something from it. It’s actually nice to talk about being won over by a guy who actually seems to get me, so I do want to talk about what happens.

But look at what I’ve done! Two things that I wanted to improve upon, and I did it! I found a new love, and I have a job now! But I’m not going to stop there, because there’s more I have yet to do. Let’s do it!

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Bold & Delicious

I’m barely in a chipper mood right now.

So I found that GaijinPot has a study-in-Japan program, where an advisor will set you up with a Japanese language school, find you a place to live, and even help you find part-time work on the side (since you have a limit to the number of hours you can work in a week while on a student visa). That sounded amazing to me, but the biggest issue I have is getting the money to go.

Reluctantly, I set up a GoFundMe campaign, and then I didn’t have it in me to share it on Facebook right away, so I waited a day before doing so. Initially, I was thinking of sharing the link with my extended family, but I’m so timid about doing that and haven’t done so yet.

The friend I’m staying with took umbrage with me asking for money. She wants me to stay here, thinking I have something amazing inside of me hidden behind unprofessionalism and feelings of worthlessness. That’s the short answer. The long answer deals with how she’s “fiercely independent” and wants me to be the same. I won’t get into all the ways that she relies on others to make ends meet. I’m not here to rant, but I will take what she says with a grain of salt.

I have another friend who lives in New York City, and he’s willing to help me out if I help him out for a couple of weeks. He’s not offering the full amount that I’m asking for, but it would help me get by even if I don’t use it to go to Japan. He and I have an understanding that I might use it for things I owe instead of going to Japan, and he’s fine with that.

Oh NYC, how I miss thee.

I take that back. My car was broken into on the second night I was there. The only redeeming qualities that NYC has for me all exist in Manhattan, and they all cost money that I don’t have right now.

While I’m not living out of my car, I do have a lot of stuff in it that I don’t want to lose. The thought of lightning striking twice bothers me, because this time I feel like I might actually have something stolen from me. So if plans get solidified, I’m going to try to leave a few things at my Upstate NY friend’s place before I go downstate.

Back to the current time, and the state of things as they are, my friend from Japan had a few words to say about my plan. I read his message briefly, then nodded off back to sleep because the couch was way too comfortable and the house was reasonably silent except for my music.

My first thought was, he doesn’t want me to do this, he’s discouraging me from going to Japan at all because of my current situation. That was the thought that was on my mind when I had drifted back to sleep, and I don’t recall having any dreams as a result of that thought.

When I did roll out of “bed,” it was because one of the kids wanted to watch television, and he put it on an obnoxious cartoon that motivated me to leave the room and start my day. So when I sat down for breakfast, I had my headphones plugged in to my phone and was listening to music while eating and catching up with e-mail and social media. I read my Japanese friend’s message again, telling myself to read it in the tone of a concerned parent instead of someone who doesn’t want others to be happy. Doing so changed my perspective a bit, as I saw it as him making sure I had things figured out and settled before embarking on this quest of mine.

I’m not a huge fan of chess. I like the musical Chess, but don’t ask me to play the board game. The only time I like to think a certain number of moves ahead is in my own life, and even then, I prefer to consider that multiple options are valid if I have to consider what’s to come. So when I was asked what I would do after one year of language study, I listed my options: go for another year, go to college, or go back to the States or something. Do I have a guaranteed job? I don’t even have a guaranteed job now. Becoming bilingual, especially in Japanese, should be a marketable skill. I do need to go back to college, and Japanese schools are cheaper than in the States. Earning a degree in a second language should be impressive, I would think. Maybe I’ll even meet a nice guy while I’m in Japan, you know, if things with my valentine don’t work out in the long run, and then maybe I’ll stay there on a spousal visa. Maybe I’ll head to Australia once my first year in Japan is done, since I’m interested in things around Sydney. Maybe I’ll let myself get kidnapped and trafficked, sold to a high bidder and treated like property. Do I really need to have everything planned and figured out?

Not that I want all my friends to be enablers, but perhaps the resistance came at a bad time for me emotionally and biochemically. I had the house to myself for a couple of hours in the afternoon, which was enough to keep me from being distracted while I imagined myself having a breakdown in front of my friend from Japan, telling him that, yes, I am worthless, there’s nothing special about me, I don’t deserve a lot of the things that I hope to have in my life,.. I entered my daydream somewhere in the middle of that rant, so I don’t remember everything I was saying about myself. I imagined myself running upstairs after that, unable to face him anymore, feeling like I wasted his time in visiting me, and figuring he would walk out the door anyway. I revisited this daydream again in the early evening, changing the event that happens after I run up the stairs. In one version, I collapse at the top of the stairs, somewhere in the hallway, just from being emotionally unable to stand on my own two feet. In the other version, I go upstairs but shut myself into the bathroom, sitting in the bathtub and crying almost endlessly. In both instances, I don’t imagine my friend from Japan leaving. Somehow I imagine he’s the one who knows me well enough to play songs I enjoy, and I pictured him going on to my computer to find certain songs and play them loud enough for me to hear them. I did imagine him playing guitar outside of the bathroom, but I can’t figure out where that guitar came from as my guitar is in storage. I couldn’t imagine myself being in a happy mood again, all I could do was feel like whatever walls I put up were knocked down by hearing the music. I do wonder if any of my friends would consider playing music to affect my mood, or if they’d all be like, “just leave her alone for a while, she’ll settle down on her own.”

Maybe I needed to do something with my music. I created a new playlist in iTunes. I threw in all of my Himuro songs, a decent number of L’arc en Ciel songs, a good amount of Hyde and Vamps, one X Japan song, my only Acid Black Cherry song that I have so far,… basically, a random mix of Japanese music.

When I got to Ayumi Hamasaki’s songs, I double-clicked on one because, hey, it’s a good song and I wanted to hear that one specific song. And then I went to look up the lyrics, just to make sure it’s not a song about steak sauce. Thankfully, Bold & Delicious is about not hesitating, being bold and doing something in the moment, because it’s better to do something and regret it later than to do nothing and regret not taking the chance.

Maybe I needed that song today, in this moment. I thought about my plans for going to Japan. Sure, I’m not thinking like a rational adult by not considering the things I need to do here before I go over there, or at least by thinking I could live off a half-baked plan for a while. But what if I never get to go? What if I’m stuck in poverty and have to give up on my dreams, dreams which might actually help me out in the future with getting a better job? Is it so wrong to boldly go and assume that things will work out the way they’re meant to be? I guess so.

But… again, regret after action is better than regret without action.

I looked for the video for Bold & Delicious. Ayumi is riding around New York City. Her hair looks amazing, and it reminds me that I’m overdue for getting my ends trimmed, though I want to walk out of the hair salon with hair like hers. And again, she’s going around NYC. Maybe this is a sign, or a good luck charm, or something. If the NYC trip goes through, that will be money I could use.

But forgive me if I have that attitude! At least let me try to act bold, like I have everything figured out and I know exactly what I’m doing and nothing is going to stop me or mess things up. Maybe I can fake it for a while, maybe things will magically work out for me. I feel like I screw up more so when I don’t act confident, so convincing myself that I’m bold and delicious will be good for my ego, at least for a little while.

At that thought, I’m feeling a little better. I did also think of myself as having a flavor, if I’m going to be bold AND delicious, which made me snicker to myself. Yeah, music definitely helps improve my mood.

炎の化石 / Diamond Dust

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If you’re ever on YouTube for music videos, the website will get a crush on you and make a mix tape of songs you might enjoy. It’s not far from what actually happens, which is to say that YouTube pulls music videos and concert performances that are relevant to music you’ve already played, and then those videos go into a list on autoplay. After playing enough Kyosuke Himuro music, to the point where I’m looking at his stage attire in recent concert videos and thinking about how I could pull off his look as a woman, I have a fairly dedicated Kyosuke Himuro mix in YouTube’s playlist category.

Now, I love music videos. I used to get criticized by my family for watching music videos while doing chores in the living room, because I could play the radio if I wanted to listen to music. Never mind the fact that I grew up on other people putting the television on VH1 (basically MTV for grown-ups). Back in the day, we didn’t have the internet to pull up music videos on a whim, we had to hope that the gods at Viacom blessed us with decent song selections. Regardless of how good a song was, there was still a music video to go along with it, and that too could be a hit or a miss but it was added entertainment.

Music videos do a number of different things. Maybe it’s just a montage of concert performances, so you get to see what the performers look like. Sometimes it’s a lot of flashy imagery, color filters, nothing much in the way of substance but it catches your attention. And then there are those which tell a story, you see the vocalist or a random actor in a troubling situation that resolves itself as the song is fading out. The story music videos are probably my favorites, because they don’t rely on the lyrics to tell the story, you have to focus on the events as they occur and figure out what is going on.

My Japanese friend sent me the link for the Diamond Dust video, and I must say I’m disappointed because I expected to see Shiva from the Final Fantasy games doing her signature move. YouTube eventually gifted me with the Honoo no Kaseki music video, at which point I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There is an angel character in both music videos, as well as Kyosuke donning black and feathers. So I figure there must be a connection between both videos.

Before I begin, there was a single that was released between Honoo no Kaseki and Diamond Dust, but I CANNOT find a music video for it and it’s killing me! The song in between is called Eternity.

Also, Diamond Dust was released as a single before Honoo no Kaseki. It doesn’t fit in the timeline that way, but these things sometimes happen with recording companies and release dates and such.

I spent a couple of hours on this last night, determined to piece together some kind of story between the two music videos. What I came up with was this:

“To me, the woman in white in Honoo no Kaseki is someone he had to bring to the afterlife, and the angel might have been her guardian which could explain her sadness. After that, the angel felt lost in our world, but as Kyosuke is an angel as well, she felt comfort in his presence. Meanwhile, Kyosuke seems to resent having to usher folks to the other side as it causes their loved ones to grieve. By Diamond Dust, he seems to feel protective of the angel, watching her stumble around in our world but nearby so she doesn’t feel so alone. Being protective of her gives him a new purpose in life, so to speak, as it’s something he can do that won’t cause more suffering but will instead try to minimize that suffering.”

Also, I made the following note:

“There is one reason why I put the videos in that order, and that would be Himuro’s wings. He never has the wings in Diamond Dust, and it would make no sense to give him wings out of the blue. The loss of his wings could suggest that he’s a fallen angel, but the angel’s embrace would suggest he was forgiven even though he never seems to be searching for forgiveness.”

And then I actually searched for the lyrics and translated them just before deciding to publish this entry. What I found was that everything I needed to know about Honoo no Kiseki was in the lyrics.

Oops.

So I called it a night and went to sleep.

In Honoo no Kiseki, he has wings for the first twenty to thirty seconds of the music video. I thought there was a wardrobe malfunction, and the crew was like, “okay, the wings broke. We’ll put him in a black coat that has feathers on it, and we just won’t worry about the wings. We’ll say it’s symbolic of his wings.” Well, it is symbolic of the wings he lost. But, there is a lyric that, when translated, roughly comes out to, “An angel who lost its wings, It’s a violently fleeting beast.” He was supposed to lose the wings! Lucky him! I had a pair of black feathered wings that I bought about 9 years ago, and they wouldn’t stay together for anything, so that’s why I assumed what I did. 

If I take what I learned from Honoo no Kaseki, then Diamond Dust has a little more significance. Well, the lyrics for Honoo no Kaseki are about seeing another person and being in love with them because they share something in common with you, but it’s a painful kind of love as it’s limited to looking and not physically embracing the other person. And in both music videos, he’s often in a voyeuristic role.

Diamond Dust is softer, more loving. Himuro watches from the rooftops of a city, still in his black feathered coat. The weeping angel from Honoo no Kaseki now seems to be lost in the world and confused (not to mention, it also looks like a different actress, or there were some changes in the hair and makeup department). The lyrics aren’t the bleeding emotion that was the theme of Honoo no Kaseki, but instead feel more saddening. Himuro wants his love to melt the loneliness of the angel, as all he can do right now is give his love. In the video for Diamond Dust, the angel does approach him and wrap her arms around him, as it’s as if she does appreciate his love for her. Himuro never seems to warm up to her embrace, instead remaining in a crouched position, but maybe that’s all he can really do and it’s all that’s really needed.

I do wish I could find a music video for Eternity, just to see if it carries on the story at all. I would love to see what softened up Dark Angel Kyosuke, or what caused the other angel to go from weeping to searching for something. But maybe it doesn’t exist at all, and that’s fine.

I changed my Facebook profile pictures tonight to represent Honoo no Kaseki. I had Babydoll from Sucker Punch up before that, as a New Year’s motivational reminder that I have everything I need within me, I just need to fight. But Honoo no Kaseki is a little more than just wing porn for me, now that I have a rough idea of the lyrics. That’s not to say I don’t still want his wings; I do. However, the song is yet another that resonates with me, which is why I went specifically with images from Honoo no Kaseki and not just random Himuro pictures. After all, “Let’s give it all in the future if time can be brought back by insanity and craziness.”