[Yajima Maimi] Ame [S-JIS, Romaji, Translation]

It’s raining today, so this is a fitting song (though sad), originally sung by Moritaka Chisato.

I’ve had this translation half-done since I first watched the video in 2013, but left it alone because there were a few things I wasn’t sure how to translate. Today, I remembered it and finished it up, fixing some mistakes I had made the first time around. Enjoy!

“Ame”
(Rain)
Performed by: Yajima Maimi (C-ute)
Lyrics: Moritaka Chisato
Composition: Matsuura Seiji
Romanization by: projecthello.com
Translation by: Suishou Yuki (me)

[Translation]
In the rain, disappearing drop by drop
I grow sad every time I gaze at you
Not even holding umbrellas, we’re holding our silence
Goodbye, my love Continue reading

辞職しました!I resigned!

今日はバイトの最後の日でした。2週間前、辞職予告を渡して、やっと最後の日が来ました。

Today was my final day at my part-time job. Two weeks ago, I turned in my notice, and now this day has finally come!

For the past year (June 2014 to June 2015), I have spent part of my week making sandwiches for a local health food store. When I first started, I thought it would be pretty easy, as I’m sure most people do when they start a job doing something like this. After all, it was just a bunch of sandwiches, right? But I got to see everything behind that; how the sandwich maker has to get up hours in advance to make 30-45 sandwiches before 10-11 AM so they’re ready for lunch; how the back room has to always be stocked; how to use a commercial sink; even communication is important in a job where all you do is make sandwiches!

I will have to say, I began regretting my decision to apply after the first few days of training. At that point, it took more than four hours for me to make sandwiches, because I was still learning where everything was and clinging to the cue cards, checking and double-checking to make sure I had everything right. I was coming in at around 6-6:30 AM, and it was eating up all of my morning, which I hated because I’m most creative in the morning and at night. I had no energy for most of the day, which sucked. I started getting constructive criticism from my boss, who said things like, “You’re going too slow. They need to be done in under three hours. It’s too expensive to sell sandwiches if you’re taking four hours to make them.” The previous sandwich-maker had been doing them in two hours or less! I thought that was crazy!

I almost quit. I thought it was impossible to make everything that quickly. But I didn’t want to abandon my boss only a month after starting, so I prayed for strength and persevered. Miraculously, almost, I was able to cut back the time each week. But it wasn’t quite good enough, since it still wasn’t under three hours per day. At the same time, the other newly-hired sandwich maker kept leaving some things in disarray or out of stock, which added to my time because I had to go back in after him. The cheese and turkey kept going moldy way before their expiration dates. It was quite a trying time, but I kept going.

One morning, I came in to find that the whole back room had been rearranged, and there was now a designated “sandwich station” that had everything needed for sandwich-making in one place–no more running here and there to get ingredients and looking in three different refrigerators. It was unbelievable how much this helped–not only did it work better in terms of layout, but it looked more professional, more like the back room of a restaurant than the back room of a store. It was about this time that I started coming in very early; early enough for my mom to help me, drop me off at home, and head to her work. My whole point was to be more efficient and get my time down (I was still hovering at just over three hours per day), but my boss said that had to stop, citing insurance as the reason. I learned later that aside from insurance, he wanted me to learn to do things by myself.

That was noble reasoning, I thought, so I kept coming in early and working as fast as I could. My new goal became not to get my hours down, but to get everything done before the person opening the store on a given day came in and turned on the music. (I had found out that having music going slows me down because I get distracted.) This was the trick. Now I was able to make sandwiches faster, often just under three hours per day, but still good nonetheless.

Through repetition, I started memorizing the recipes, and my time went down even more. Now, having fully memorized all of the recipes, I can make ~40 sandwiches in about two hours. Thanks to a communication error on my part (I misunderstood how it was written down but didn’t think I misunderstood at the time), I have made 84 sandwiches in four hours. So now I know that it isn’t crazy; making them that quickly definitely can be done!

Why did I quit?

There are a number of reasons, but the primary one is my art. That is what I want to focus on, that is what I want to spend my time doing, and I needed those mornings back. Yes, even though I ended up only working Fridays and Saturdays, save the times where I needed to swap a shift (like this week) or cover someone’s vacation (two weeks ago). Working a part-time job making sandwiches took up mental space as well; now I don’t have to worry about it.

It is good, I think, that if you are an artist with a part-time job, that job should be unrelated to artwork, because you won’t be expending your artistic energies on a job or project that is not your own. That was part of the reason why this sandwich job was good for me, for a time.

Another reason is that I felt like I had learned everything that I needed to from the position; there really wasn’t anything left for me to learn. I’d graduated from this training ground, so to speak. It was time to move on.

What I’ve Learned

I have learned a lot in the year’s time I’ve been at this position, definitely. I know I have grown as a person and matured a little since this time last year! If I were to sum up what I’ve learned into a few bullet points, it would be the following:

  • Music does NOT help me focus, unless I am drawing.
    • I tend to move slowly when there is music (especially with lyrics) because I start paying attention to the lyrics and painting mental pictures automatically. It’s exhausting trying to do two things at once!
    • When the first “regular shift” employee came in, he would usually turn on the music instantly, and it was always too loud and from a genre in which I only like 2% of the songs. :/ Most of the songs were filled with highly negative, dark, and demotivating messages, which made me angry and depressed my drive….which also made me move more slowly. Did I complain? No, because it was my own fault I didn’t have the sandwiches done before the music came on.
  • Workplace politics happens even at the small “family” business level.
    • Some employees are more favored than others; I’ve heard other employees complain about other employees behind their backs (often “he’s lazy” and such).
    • It doesn’t help when 90% of the employees are or have been high school/college kids.
  • I have to make decisions based on my own judgement and not seek others’ opinions all the time.
    • At the beginning, I had to have my hand held a lot. I meant no harm; I was only trying to do what my boss thought was right so I wouldn’t displease him. He finally told me that I was being annoying (in a word) and that I had to use my own judgement.
  • How to make wraps that don’t fall apart! 😀
  • Boiled eggs’ shells peel off faster when you’re wearing vinyl gloves.
  • I place a high emphasis on efficiency and reliability.
    • While I already knew reliability was very important to me, through this job I came to the realization that efficiency is also very important to me. In everything I do, I always try to find ways to be more efficient without sacrificing quality. I’ll even offer advice to others on more efficient ways to do things, though usually they just decide to keep doing it the way they are. = _ =;
    • This is why I get frustrated if I’m slogging through something; half of me is focused on trying to come up with a more efficient way of doing it!
  • There are many more people wearing facades than you think there are.
    • That, and people can change a lot in a year’s time…in good ways and bad ways. In short, there are a lot of hurt people in the world. In fact, I don’t think any one of us has no emotional bruising, and a lot of us art hurt even more than that. :/
  • Boiled eggs are AMAZING with Weasel Sneeze (or any kind of spicy, dry seasoning blend) and soy-free Veganaise mayo! *q*
  • What is truly important to me.
    • Doing things you don’t enjoy as much (things that aren’t your passion) helps put your priorities in perspective.
  • How to better manage my time.
  • How to manage a checkbook.
    • My first page of recorded transactions looks terrible. XD So many things scribbled out from where I messed up. Nonetheless, I think I’ve got the hang of it now.
  • I really do hate bugs.

Well, that’s it! From here on out, I’m focusing all of my efforts on my artwork and related projects! 😀

Thanks for reading, if you made it all the way to the end XD I hope writing a bit about my experience with this sandwich-making job and what I’ve learned can help someone else. Even if it’s a “simple” job, there are still valuable lessons to be learned from it–that’s something else I learned too!

What sorts of things did you learn from your first job?

[Review] Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo

I love Japan. If you know anything about me, you probably know that. For years, I have wanted to go to the Land of the Rising Sun even if only for a visit. But while I am waiting for the opportune moment, the okay from God, and the amassing of enough funds, I can only read, watch, and listen to Japanese and accounts on Japan–absorbing information and gleaning experiences from others. In a sense, we who can’t yet go to Japan live vicariously through those who do, who share their lives graciously with us on Youtube or through writing, and these people inspire us daily to strive for our goals to go to Japan, among others, because if they can do it, then we can too.

One of these people I found at the beginning of this year is Grace Buchele Mineta, a Youtuber and blogger who hails from Texas and lives in Japan with her husband, Ryosuke. I really appreciate how real she is. She and Ryosuke are just so refreshing (and funny!) to watch, and what they share is always interesting!

Grace is always drawing tons of comics about their life in Japan, many of which are uploaded to her blog. Along with those, she has fit even more into three original books: My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy, My Japanese Husband (STILL) Thinks I’m Crazy, and the newly-released Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo.

*As of posting, all three books are still being offered for free on Amazon Kindle/PDF but if you want to check them out for free, you have to hurry! (Just click “Kindle edition” and then “Buy 1-click”) Sorry, I wasn’t able to write this post until today. >_<

Review

I can already save you the trouble of reading any further by telling you YES–GO AHEAD AND BUY THIS BOOK. Buy all of them, in fact, but definitely this one.

IMG_7080-530x332
(Grace showing us her freshly-printed book~)

Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo is structured basically the same way Grace’s other two books are, with a “how to read this book” section at the beginning, and then plenty of comics split up into groups by pages containing helpful information about Japanese people, customs, and definitions of words. She has also included choice sections of writing from her blog, some describing the difficulties of being someone who puts their lives out for all of the Internet to see.

The written sections are Continue reading

Mini Spring Cleaning Sale!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been really motivated lately to get rid of the clutter taking up space in my room. Obviously, I’m throwing things away, recycling things (so much paper recycling guuuh), and setting things aside for donation or repurposing. But there is one other way to make space, and that is by selling items!

I think I will leave this page and its corresponding Google Doc up in case I decide to sell something else like this.

Items I sell may be things like cards, manga, how-to-draw books, and language learning resources.

If you’re interested, please drop me a comment! You can also contact me via the contact page, on Twitter, or deviantART. Payment is via Paypal. Also please feel free to ask about other items I may have (posters, etc.). ^^ (Feedback is appreciated too.)

-> Check out the Google Doc here to see what I have available! <-

IMG_3327

Spring Cleaning!!

Perhaps once I get the rest of my room how I want it, I’ll do another meme or room tour thing?

Lately I’ve been extremely motivated to get rid of all the junk and unnecessary stuff in my room, so that’s what I’ve been doing on and off for the past two weeks or more. I’ve gotten to where I just can’t stay in a cluttered space for long ;A; I like being able to see everything I use most often, and have easy access to the things I don’t use as much (but still need).

The difficulty in clearing out clutter, I think, is of course the initial problem of not knowing what to do with the items–should you toss it, recycle it, give it away, reuse it somewhere else?–but the other part of it is storing the stuff you’re going to deal with later in the meantime. I have clothes that I would wear if I altered them, but I can’t do that yet and they have to sit somewhere until I can. I have papers to shred and stuff to recycle, but in the meantime that stuff has to wait for me to do that.

;A;

Also, there are some things I want to give away as a set, but some of those items are at my grandmother’s house (which is a good hour or so away and going there is typically a day trip), so that stuff also has to sit around and wait…

I have considered selling some of my unwanted items, such as Shonen JUMP and Teen Vogue issues, some manga, cards, and clothes, but found that typically it isn’t ideal to do so. (Really, when even as few as five other people are already selling their copies of Teen Vogue on Ebay and no one is buying, why should I think that mine would sell?) Instead, I clipped out the interesting parts of my Teen Vogue magazines and recycled the rest, and I’m doing the same with all of my Shonen JUMPs, except for the ones that ran the original Yu-gi-oh!, because I will recycle those later.

Pokemon cards are so common that selling them would be difficult, I think, especially since most of the ones I own personally are from the original releases, which aren’t worth very much. My brother has newer cards, which he’s either given to me or left them in my room so long I don’t know if he remembers he has them, but even so, only the super rares and holofoils are what interest people, it seems.

I no longer want any of my Naruto cards either, but in searching I found out that it hasn’t been in production since 2013. Being out-of-print might mean decreased value based purely on playability. (That and I can’t find any price list newer than 2009, and none of them include every single card, only the ones of interest…)

Still, I’d rather sell these than just throw them away. XD

Hm…


Further reading:

Middle Tennessee Anime Convention Info 2015

I’ve been busy drawing new prints and stuff for this year’s MTAC, so I haven’t really been lurking around the internet much…well, at least not on social media. I did have to look up references, you know. xP

The con is only a little over a week away, and since we finally got our table layout for the Artist Alley, I can share that with you!

This year, the con is back in Nashville and this time it’s in two separate hotels, which I’ve heard is a challenging feat to pull off. :/ Since the hotels are close to each other, it shouldn’t be too difficult, though. And hopefully with programming labeled clearly as to which hotel it takes place in, that will help. (They are also providing a shuttle service.)

mtac hotel map screenshot

As you can see from the map, the AA is located in Nashville Airport Marriott (I don’t know why I left out an ‘r’, but…there you go. Lol)~

MTAC 2015 Artist Alley location

 

Seeing the layout really makes it real, you know, that I’m in the Artist Alley again ;v; I’m really grateful to be able to return two years in a row, and also that I learned so much last year. I learned both what to do and what not to do, and so I’m praying this year will be even better. ^^ I’ll try not to be so awkward and shy ;v; orz….

MTAC 2015 print list

I’m selling prints from last year alongside new stuff! Haikyuu!, Free!, Miku, Love Live!, Yu-gi-oh!, Pokemon, and Batman: Arkham Knight can be seen here, but I’ve also sketched characters from various fandoms such as Sailor Moon and Sword Art Online in my larger sketchbook, and I will have those available for sale as well ^^

Please stop by if you can! ♡

*Notice: My online store will be closed until April 6/7 to allow me plenty of time to update it with new products and stock levels. Thank you for your understanding.