Genesis and Sephiroth Fanart

I hope that title didn’t get any Genesis x Sephiroth fans too excited, since that’s not what this is. I’ve had these pieces on My Page over at Square-Enix Members for a while, and thought to leave them exclusive to that site but, there isn’t much Genesis fanart out there that I’ve seen…(ah! I should Google his name in katakana instead! Why didn’t it occur to me sooner?)

Anyway, click on the image for the full size, as these can be used as wallpapers. Not that too many people land on this blog, but just in case, please do NOT repost these anywhere, download them only for your personal enjoyment. And please, don’t crop my signature out (yes, I have seen people do that *so annoying*).

Here’s Genesis Rhapsodos. He’s holding a “dumb berry,” Banora’s second most important crop. ^o^ I think we’ve seen him with dumb apples and/or Loveless more than enough. I don’t know exactly what Genesis’ earring looks like, so instead I drew the PEERAGE from GACKT’s DARTS line of jewelry.

I don't know exactly what Genesis' earring looks like, so instead I drew the PEERAGE from GACKT's DARTS line of jewelry.

The object of every Red Leatherite's affections. Yes, I call them "Leatherites." The ones in SE Members' Red Leather at least.

And here’s Sephiroth (whose last name should be “Silverburg” ^o^). He’s wearing glasses because…it’s a long story, but it has a reason. The No. 2 pencil, on the other hand, was randomly chosen. I didn’t want to be cheap and avoid drawing both of Seph’s hands, and since I didn’t want both of them in his hair, I had to have his hand doing something. Thus, No. 2 pencil. Maybe it’s for back-to-school…? Did Sephiroth go to school? XD
The object of every member of Silver Elite's affections.  Maybe we could call them "Silver Elitists"? LOL!  Don't know if the chairwoman would approve.

The object of every member of Silver Elite's affections. Maybe we could call them "Silver Elitists"? LOL! Don't know if the chairwoman would approve. And I'm not talking about Hojo.

I’ll parody a DeviantArt page and give equipment specs! Involved in the creation of these pieces were:
  • An Office Max No. 2 pencil (maybe that’s where it came from, ha!)
  • Strathmore Sketchbook
  • Papermate Pen Eraser
  • HP Photosmart C4280
  • Photoshop Elements 2 (yes, 2. Four doesn’t have the sunflower.)
  • Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
  • And of course, an Intel iMac running OS 10.4.11

Okay, lemme stop, lol.

Gateway Project at 90%!

Whew! I-75 opened back up about one month ago, the new freeway ramp is up, the pedestrian bridge is nearly complete, the Vernor overpass has nearly complete parapets up on both sides, as well as nice red squares on the sidewalk. Though I’ve been tracking this project’s progress on this blog, I ironically will not see it immediately when it’s finished since I’ll be in Japan. Maybe some nice person can send me a pic.
PedBridge from SE

Taken from the corner of Vernor and (what was) the Northbound I-75 Service Drive.

Viewed from the Bagley & Southbound I-75 Service Drive

Viewed from Bagley & Southbound I-75 Service Drive

The new, wider I-75.  More lanes = more air pollution per minute! : )

The new, wider I-75. More lanes = more air pollution per minute! : )

Dancing Samurai Romanization & English Translation

Clicking around on YouTube I found “Dancing Samurai,” a song made by mathru (Masaru) using Gakupo, the GACKT vocaloid. Here’s one fan-made “PV”:

Mega-LOL! ^o^

Anyway, there seem to be two English translations running around on the internet, and they both seem a little off to me. So here I offer my own interpretation. I am not a native Japanese speaker, so I bet there’s a small number of mistakes but, well, I think it’s pretty solid.

First off, here are the lyrics in Japanese, as posted on mathru’s blog.

サムライ☆(腹切れ貴様ぁ!)

Dancing in the night このフロアで
リズムに乗れぬ奴 斬り捨て御免

Dancing all the night この時代に
戦を巻き起こせ ビバ☆サムライ(ヘァ!)

上で支配する奴がいて 下で動いてる奴がいる
俺はどちらにも染まらずに ただ舞を続けてる

この狭い日本に男として生まれたなら
天下を取れるまで止まんな どんな壁も超えてゆけ

Dancing in the night どんなMixも
リズムに乗れぬなら ハラキリ御免

Dancing all the night この時代に
嵐を巻き起こせ ダンシング☆サムライ(ヘァ!)

街ですれ違う女子たち 未熟な俺にはまだ早く
だけども声をかけてみる 結局無視をされる

嗚呼 なら武士として天辺へ登ってやる
立ちはだかる者は一瞬で一刀両断してやる

Dancing at the place どんな場所でも
リズムを生み出せりゃ ハッピーなライフ

Dancing with your pace どんな時でも
全力で行かなきゃ ダメ☆サムライ(ヘァ!)

Dancing in your life 最後の時も
音楽があるならシアワセだな

Dancing all your life その頃には
誰しもが認める ダンシング☆サムライ(ヘァ!)

Dancing in the night このフロアで
リズムに乗れぬ奴 斬り捨て御免

Dancing all the night この時代に
戦を巻き起こせ ヒラ☆サムライ

いつの日か 真のサムライ

サムライ☆(腹切れ貴様ぁ!)

Okay, on to the translation and romanization. One quick note: there are a couple of derogatory words used in this song, namely “kisama” and “yatsu” that are variously translated as “bastard,” “scum,” “wretch,” or simply, “that guy.” Just know that it’s a rude thing to call someone, said with disdain. The translation for each verse appears directly below it in italics.

EDIT (April 2016): I’ve been meaning to update this for a couple of years now and never got around to it. Ahaha… Anyway, I realized I made a mistake. The line rizumu ni norenu yatsu kirisute gomen is incorrectly translated to “Excuse me for eliminating the guys who can’t catch the rhythm”. I misinterpreted kirisutegomen as kirisute (lit., “cut and throw away”, “kill” in other words) + gomen (“sorry”). Kirisutegomen was actually a samurai’s right to kill a commoner or samurai of lower rank than themselves who had done something bad. Thus there is no asking to be excused intended in these lyrics. Well, I suppose that meaning could be in there still as a cheeky double entendre. The translation below has been updated to reflect this understanding. That said I haven’t been able to definitively conclude if “harakiri gomen” is meant to be understood the same way, so I’ll leave that part of the translation as is for now.

SAMURAI (hara gire kisamaa!)
SAMURAI (commit harakiri, you wretch!)

Dancing in the night kono furoa de
rizumu ni norenu yatsu kirisute gomen
Dancing in the night On this dance floor
I have the right to kill the guys who can’t catch the rhythm

Dancing all the night kono jidai ni
ikusa wo makiokose biba SAMURAI (hea!)
Dancing all the night In this era
Stir up battles Viva SAMURAI (hya!)

ue de shihai suru yatsu ga ite shita de ugoiteru yatsu ga iru
ore wa dochira ni mo somarazu ni tada mai wo tsuzuketeru
Above are the guys who rule, below are the guys who work
Untainted by either, I just continue the dance

kono semai nihon ni otoko to shite umareta nara
tenka wo toreru made tomanna donna kabe mo koeteyuke
If you are born as a man in this narrow Japan
Don’t stop until you’ve taken the whole country, overcoming all obstacles

Dancing in the night donna Mix mo
rizumu ni norenu nara HARAKIRI gomen
Dancing in the night If you can’t catch the rhythm
no matter which Mix, sorry, commit HARAKIRI

Dancing all the night kono jidai ni
arashi wo makiokose danshingu SAMURAI (hea!)
Dancing all the night In this era
Stir up a tempest, dancing SAMURAI (hya!)

machi de surechigau onnakotachi mijukuna ore ni wa mada hayaku
dakedomo koe wo kaketemiru kekkyoku mushi wo sareru
The girls I pass in the street are still too fast for inexperienced me
I try to greet them anyway; I end up being ignored

aa nara bushi to shite teppen e nobotteyaru
tachihadakaru mono wa isshun de ittou ryoudan shiteyaru
If I’m lamenting that, I’ll climb to the top as a warrior
I’ll cut in half with one stroke, in an instant, those who block my way

Dancing at the place donna basho demo
rizumu wo umidaserya happiina raifu
Dancing at the place No matter what place
Creating rhythms is a happy life

Dancing with your pace donna toki de mo
zenryoku de ikanakya DAME SAMURAI (hea!)
Dancing with your pace No matter what time
For SAMURAI it’s BAD not to give it your all

Dancing in your life saigo no toki mo
ongaku ga aru nara SHIAWASE da na
Dancing in your life Even at the final moment
If there’s music, that is HAPPINESS

Dancing in your life sono koro ni wa
dareshimo ga mitomeru danshingu SAMURAI (hea!)
Dancing in your life At that time
Everyone will recognize you as a dancing SAMURAI (hya!)

Dancing in the night kono furoa de
rizumu ni norenu yatsu kirisute gomen
Dancing in the night On this dance floor
I have the right to kill the guys who can’t catch the rhythm

Dancing all the night kono jidai ni
ikusa wo makiokose HIRA SAMURAI
Dancing all the night In this era
Stir up battles, NOVICE SAMURAI

itsu no hi ka shin no SAMURAI
One day [you will be] a true SAMURAI

SAMURAI (hara gire kisamaa!)
SAMURAI (commit harakiri, you wretch!)

19 Days Left in the D

19 Days Left in the D (or, “On the Way to a Bittersweet Smile”)

Virtual Cookies to whoever gets the joke! Anyway…

It’s hard to believe:  I’ve only got 19 days left in Detroit.  A careful reader of the Broken Ankle Log would know that I got a job overseas, but that’s all to the left (technically to the right but, we don’t say that do we?) and who really reads that? Anyway, it all began over 5 years ago…*ripply flashback music*

A presenter from the Consul General of Japan in Detroit came to my Japanese class to talk about the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET).  In JET, you go work in Japan for a year, generally as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) for English in middle and high schools, but there are other positions.  I asked if one had to be an American citizen to join, and was informed that one had to be a citizen of a participating country.  I was still an Honduran citizen at the time, and of course, poor little Honduras is not a participating country.

In 2004 I vowed to become an American citizen if John Kerry won.  I did not want to naturalize during Dubya’s presidency.  When Bush won reelection, I kicked myself for not naturalizing precisely to help vote him out of office.  Oh well.  Instead, I spent nearly a year looking for a job, got a part time job, and then joined City Year.  During my second year in City Year, I started the naturalization process, and became an American in July 2008.  I could finally VOTE!

With the scholarship I earned in City Year, I went back to college to finish the second degree I unwittingly started years before. I planned to graduate again in two semesters, earning a second Bachelor’s in Asian Studies concentrating in Japanese.  (It ended up taking 3 semesters, but close enough.) In December 2008, finally able to, I submitted my application to the JET Program and crossed my fingers.

In late January I was overjoyed to see that I’d made it to the interview stage of the application process. I would have my interview on the 18th of February.  I could think of little else.  Then, a mere 9 days before the interview, I had that fateful encounter with a patch of black ice.  I went to my interview, the one I had been waiting on for so long, on crutches, hopped up on Vicodin, without much preparation.

Luckily, when it was “game time,” I was able to focus on the task at hand.  It’s like on America’s Next Top Model: they’ll put the girls in crazy costumes that they have to “model beyond.” I felt I had to interview beyond my temporary disability, and certainly, beyond the side effects of the Vicodin, which at the time I still had to take in relatively large doses.  In mid-April or so, I received an email saying I’d made it to the short list, meaning my place in the JET Program was almost secured.  I was happy, but physical therapy was the first thing on my mind.  I later learned I would be going to Fukuoka Prefecture.  A little later still, I heard from my predecessor (Hi, if you’re reading this!) and learned that I would be at a high school in Dazaifu, the second largest city in the prefecture.  I was so happy!

When I first had the accident, the second thing I asked the orthopedist was “will I be able to travel overseas in August?” He said yes and I was greatly relieved.  But, he said that some of the screws I would be getting should be removed within a year.  I worried about having surgery in Japan.  I’d read that even in the United States, some surgeons might use different tools for the same procedure.  What if I went to a surgeon that didn’t have the right tools to remove my hardware?  I brought it up again at my May checkup, and my orthopedist said that if my ankle’s lateral motion was still severely limited in June, he could take some of my screws out in July; that would greatly help me regain motion, plus, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting it done in Japan.  He said it could be done outpatient in the office, as it only involved making a small cut above the screw head and unscrewing it out.

Unfortunately, at the June checkup, the x-rays revealed one of the screws had broken.  This is normal according to the orthopedist (though my physical trainer and therapist were thoroughly surprised: “those things are made out of titanium!”).  Since the broken part would have to be dug out, it had to be done in the operating room.  More all-out surgery. Oh Dear Diety.  Now, it wasn’t urgent to take them out.  But the orthopedist reassured me that it would not cost nearly as much as the first surgery, that the extraction would only take 15 minutes.  I got an estimate from the hospital: 10 grand, “more or less.”  That’s a lot, but if it was just 10K or a little more, I could set up a payment plan and live with it.

A few days after the surgery, I went to view my hospital account…and saw that the surgery plus recovery time had been over $17,000.  I couldn’t even be angry. Maybe it’s just me, but while technically the phrase “ten thousand more or less” can mean anything from a penny to a million, since it was an estimate, I figured the upper limit would be some 15 grand, but given the quickness of this procedure, I didn’t think it would go up that high.  Ha!

So here I am, back in the present.  What should have been a really happy time is bittersweet.  Now, I will go on JET not just to fulfill a dream, but to pay off a debt (unless Detroit Receiving Hospital has some more mercy on my soul). Nearly all the money I had saved up to pay for my move overseas went to paying for physical therapy.

As I walk about Detroit, and now notice how many people are walking with limps, I don’t mind the $1500 I still owe the Rehabilitation Institute; without therapy, I would doubtless still be “walking all crazy.”  Before my second surgery I met a woman who was about to have the same first surgery I did, just that on her left foot.  She had recently lost her job at an auto parts supplier so she had no insurance.  She frowned when I told her the discounted price of physical therapy for those paying out of pocket, saying even that was too much for her.  I wonder, will she be one of those walking around with limps for not being able to afford even to take on the debt of therapy? Likewise, that $17K surgery, well, I can’t say I don’t feel better without those two screws, because I most certainly do.  It’s a noticeable difference.  My ankle used to be terribly stiff in the morning, but now, the first step on it is enough to get the stiffness out.  And I feel better knowing there aren’t broken pieces of metal inside me.

So, that’s how it is.  I’m happy about JET, but too worried about the debts incurred to heal this injury to be freaked out about moving to another country for a year, as a sane person should be.  Perhaps it’s a good thing that way.

Well, I made a blog that will be just for my JET experience.  There isn’t much there now, but I’ll put it in the Blogroll.  If anyone is interested, it’s Lucky Hill.  I named it that because that’s what Fukuoka (福岡) literally means. I don’t plan on abandonning Scales of Libra, it will continue to be what it is now: a place where I blog about the Two Sides of Life, erratically as usual, for the amusement and/or edification of whoever wanders by. ^_^