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Published November 8, 2007


“What’s crackin’, lil’ bitches?”

Jazz, Transformers, 2007

I’m sure many of you have been wondering why the hell I haven’t been updating my blog recently. To those two people, I must apologize. It’s not as if I didn’t realize that I haven’t been keeping up, but things have been getting kind of busy recently, both socially and professionally. So, in an effort to not seem like other lazy members of the podcast who never update their blogs, ::COUGH COUGH::, I’ve decided that I’ll be posting about twice a week from here on out. A little ambitious you say? Well dear reader, just know that I care about you and want to provide you with a bit more content than what’s available on the podcast.

That, and I always have a little bit more I’d like to say.

Plus, I want to develop my writing skills.

Oh, and be funny too, I want to do that.

And have something else to do at work.

You could say it’s a little self-serving, and you just might be right.
You also might be completely wrong, but hey, you’re taking that chance, not me.

So what’s been going on? Let’s see…

Recently my nights have consisted of a few solid tasks, cut short by the fact that daylight savings time makes me tired by 8. (Lame.) A little gaming here, a work-out there, some cooking, Japanese studying, and an episode or two of The Office usually round out my evening.

I’ve been trying to focus a lot more on my Japanese studies, I’m taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test on the 2nd of December, which, for those of you who don’t know, is basically the official accreditation source for anyone wishing to prove their Japanese skills. Developed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, it’s split into 5 different levels, with 5 being the easiest and 1 being the most difficult. Basically, this is the easiest and most widely accepted method for being able to back up that “Fluent in Japanese” line on your resume. And if you’re looking for a job that requires any kind of Japanese language skill, you need to pass at least level 2. That being said, it’s really not that easy.

Level 2 of the test requires reading mastery of 1000 jyou-you kanji, approximately half of the commonly used Chinese characters in modern day Japanese language.

Level 1 requires reading mastery of all 2000 jyou-you kanji – this is basically the level at which you can read a newspaper in Japanese.

Basically, they teach children in the Japanese school system the 2000 jyou-you kanji from 1st-12th grade. There’s thousands upon thousands of different readings and combinations that students are expected to know by the time they take their college entrance exams. (This, while at the same time trying to master English)

Now, there are other differences besides the Kanji levels, (more difficult grammar, phrases, etc) but you can look that up somewhere else.

This year I’m taking level 2– I haven’t had enough time to really focus enough for level 1, so I’m giving this my best shot. If I pass, then we’ll move on the level 1 next year.


My best friends for the next month.

One step at a time. Learning Japanese is a loooong process, but I think it’s been one of the most worth-while endeavors of my entire life. I love it, I breath it…and I want a career in it. Did I mention that I’m regarded by my Japanese friends to be verbally fluent?

You’d think that’d count for something…

So when I’m not preoccupied with that, I’ve been listening to other podcasts, including 1up Yours, EGM live, and IGN’s stuff, mostly IGN is AFK, Wii-k in review, and Podcast Beyond.

I must say I’m impressed by a lot of the stuff I’ve heard from these podcasts. It’s a treat being able to listen to other people who actually know what they’re talking about regarding gaming and the entire industry. These guys (and ladies) not only give me great stuff to listen to at work, but also give me a level of quality to shoot towards, especially with our own little baby right here. It’s funny how the opinions of other people sometimes cause you to re-evaluate your own conclusions and habits.

I must say that since I’ve started to listen to these guys, I’ve felt a lot more love towards this industry. I suddenly care a lot more about censorship issues, console sales, major title releases and reviews. Most of all, I’ve become a lot more open-minded about games in general. I want to be a more well-rounded gamer — if it’s a quality title, I want a piece. I don’t care about the platform, I just want to play it.

To have some fun.

To experience it.

To be able to say something back, and most of all,

To contribute to this industry which has had way too much of an impact on my life.

Someone owes me money here, right? If only I didn’t need to live on the West coast to get my foot in the door.

But anyway, I don’t want this to come off sounding obsessive, only passionate. I really enjoy games, but like anything, they’re just a small part of what makes me who I am. Too much of this life revolves around maintaining a good balance, and I’ll be damned if I don’t try to get as good of one as I possibly can.

I’m flying down to see Megan tomorrow and I couldn’t be happier. Also, the Uncharted demo hits the PSN today, so don’t miss it (if you have the means). I’ll be sure to give my impressions soon.

And plllleeeeeease, let me know what you think about the blogs, podcasts and message board here at the Rumble Pack. We’re really looking for all the feedback we can possibly get, questions, suggestions, criticisms, praise, you name it. Just send it to us or leave comments.


I promise we’ll keep it coming.


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