Posted in Travels in Japan, YouTube Videos

Yokohama Fun Times!

Yokohama is a nice little getaway from home. For this video, you’re going to see me start off strong with the, “I’m totally going to study for the JLPT!” And then it quickly devolves into me getting distracted with anime and other goods that I didn’t need but bought anyway. Enjoy!

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Posted in YouTube Videos

Catching Up | Vlogs with Friends!

I’ve been busy running around with people lately, which ya know, is important when you live abroad. If you’ve ever been an ex-pat, the daily grind can really get you down, but luckily for me I have some great people around who are super awesome and supportive. A healthy and active social life (or semi-active in my case) is vital if you want to stay sane.

That night I also went out to Tokyo Closet Ball, which was recently featured in the Japan Times!  If you didn’t know, Tokyo Closet Ball is a public drag event show that happens every month. The locations sometimes change, but I’ve been going for over a year or so now. It’s always a blast!

I have a few photos from that event. Each night has a different theme, and the theme this time was 60’s, 70’s and 80’s night.

You might know G from the Inclusive March we did awhile back. She did a wonderful dance for leaving member Zowie (David Bowie re-imagined).

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God, I love top hats.

I even got up on stage in the final performance for Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” which was kind of like my mini-debut on that stage? Everyone involved in those productions are so encouraging, I decided to give it a try. It’s such a great community, and the friends I’ve made through it are unforgettable.

Later on the next weekend, I headed up to Daryle’s Spring Event Party. Daryle is a fantastic cook who dreams of owning his own restaurant one day. He does pop up restaurants that have so far been successful in selling out everything he has made. I went to his place for some delicious Filipino food.

I really admire Daryle, actually, he always puts forth so much effort to bring people together. He makes his food with love (well, and stress, a bit of that) and I think people can tell. I love that he’s kept working on this dream for so long, and within this or next year he’ll make it come to fruition. And when he does, I’ll be his uh, quality assurance manager (i.e. taste tester).

I’m really thankful that I’ve met such amazing friends. I know, I’m a bit repetitive about that, but it’s true. At times I get so wrapped up in my own head, or I get kind of depressed and don’t even realize it, and then I feel isolated even though I’m not at all. It’s great that I’ve got people around me who can grab me out of dark holes (without even knowing they are, half the time) and get me to do new things.

Anyways, basically this whole post is just one big thank you to my Japan and abroad friends. There are others, so many others, I can’t even list them all. From my Japanese friend who takes me to karaoke at least once a month (S, you know who you are), to Emmanuel Transmission whose “real” name will definitely be stolen for my first born, to my high school and university friends who talk to me half a world away, to the co-workers who don’t even know this blog exists, and so on and so on.

You are all amazing, let no one tell you otherwise.


While I was at Daryle’s I discovered that Amaranth, a club in Daikaiyama, is going to feature a documentary called “After Stonewall.” For the price of one drink order, you and your friends can have a fun time next Sunday as well as support LGBTQ+ efforts in Tokyo by going to watch the film. The schedule is as follows:

 

Date: Sunday, 26 March
Time:
14:30 Opening
15: 00 ~ 17: 00 (Movie Screening)
17: 30 ~ 20: 30 (Savato) Hanging Out and Discussion
21: 00 ~ Amaranth's Usual Order of Business

If you can, please come! I know I’ll definitely be there. The movie will be in English, but Japanese subtitles have been created for the film so everyone can enjoy it.

Posted in Blog/Vlog Announcements, YouTube Videos

Happy New Year! | First Vlog of 2017

Alrighty, I’m back! Sort of. I’ve been without Internet access at my home for some time, but I’m going to restart the blog from here on out. My 2017 resolution is to get out a blog every week. Even if it’s just something short and sweet, I’m forcing myself to take this thing a little more seriously.

In this vid, I talk about some Japanese New Year traditions and what I did for New Years. I hope you like it. Please like and subscribe! I appreciate your support.

 

Posted in Travels in Japan, YouTube Videos

I Went to Korea!

 

Finally! I did it. I went to Korea (the South part, of course, I’m not a risk taker). A couple of friends from JET moved over there semi-recently and I promised them over and over again that one day I would hop on a plane to see them. I booked my flight and got out right as summer vacation started, giving me about one week to travel around the country.

The first place was near Incheon, where I’d be staying with one of my friends in her apartment. Thanks to her, I didn’t need a hotel for most of my stay and I’m appreciative of that. If and whenever you can, go where your friends are, and you’ll sure to feel right at home even far away. She let me crash on her floor, fed me, sent me all these messages telling me where to go, she was da bomb!

We headed out together on the KTX (Korea’s version of the Shinkansen, only much cheaper), to Deagu. There we met up with our other friend and toured around a bit. We hit up Duryu Park, which is where I decided to start off the vlog.

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At night, we went up Deagu Tower and took all the pictures. (Sidenote: I also just so happened to buy my first ever selfie-stick there. I’m officially a mellinial.) Deagu Tower is located in EWorld, a kind of knock of Disney Land, which was really pretty and romantic looking at night.

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All three of us went down to Busan, and that meant BBQ and beach time! I didn’t vlog it, but there is a Brazilian place near the beach that is just AMAZING. They just keep bringing over meat on sticks and filling you up, but it’s never enough! I can’t recommend it enough.

 

The beach itself was actually nice and clean, the waters were pretty clear. The only issue I had was that the lifeguards weren’t letting people swim out very far at all. I don’t know if it was some sort of safety issue, be it sharks or strange swimming regulations, but they wouldn’t let anyone go further than chest high. Still, it was a nice day, and I got tanned up.

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After the beach day, I decided to visit the Busan Sea Life Aquarium. They have otters! And their special “Finding Real” exhibits had all the fish from Finding Nemo/Dory. The kids were loving that, but I was all about the sharks. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by them, although my brother was the real fanatic when we were youngin’s.

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The last day in Busan, I ran off to a seaside temple. Apparently, I didn’t managed to take any videos of that side trip, which is a rotten shame. The whole place was simply magical, the way the waves were beating against the side of the cliff holding the temple, the serenity of the sea breeze, I can’t capture it in words. Luck for me, I did remember to do photos, so I have those to commemorate the experience.

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My friend and I returned to Incheon that day. She told me about a bus that could easily take me into Seoul, so that’s what I ended up doing for the last leg of my journey.

The first thing I did immediately was go to Gyeonbokgung Palace. I spent the majority of that day simply walking the grounds.

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I ran into a museum half way through the day to get out of the heat, though. I couldn’t believe how hot it got! I stayed there recuperating my energy until I could make myself move and find more things to discover.

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I ended up finding more gates and stone guards. That night I tried to go to the market, but apparently if there aren’t that many people around they will just close up shop before even 8:00 roles around. It was disappointing not to get that experience, but overall I couldn’t complain about the other adventures.

The next tourist site was Seoul Tower. It took me a long time to figure out how to get to it, a combination of very rude/unhelpful tourist guide information people at the Seoul Train Station and my lack of GPS navigation. On that note, I highly suggest that if you can splurge, go ahead and grab a pocket WiFi from the airport. Getting around Seoul without a smartphone was a pain, and the maps were just an urban mess. Still, I found my way to my destination, eventually.

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The view from up there was amazing! I spent so much time wandering around and around the tower just looking out at the horizon. Unfortunately, just as I started taking pictures, a mist or a fog of some kind swooped in, messing up the shots very effectively.

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Oh well, it was still a fun time. After that, I returned to have one last dinner with my friend, a proper Korean BBQ dinner with pork and kimuchi. I really enjoyed getting to see her and our mutual friend. I hope one day I can go back and see them, and perhaps even see other friends that have moved out there.

Until then though…

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Posted in YouTube Videos

My First Copyright Claim

The other day I was editing a new video. It was a long and laborious process, as it was my first big video project for my new channel. However, I woke up the morning to a copyright claim on one of my videos. Now, not only was the video set to “Private” and not “Public” but I only uploaded it a few hours ago. The company “Columbia” must’ve had an auto audio program that sought out matches to its copyrighted material.

Copyright claim gmail

I wouldn’t have a problem with this except that, once again, the video was set to “Private” because I intended to slim it down and overlap it with free music from YouTube’s (quite awful) free and public domain music. However, with the copyright claim in place, it limits the viewership out of three countries and won’t allow me to monetize the video even if I added it into a longer version without the song. I don’t make money from YouTube at all, I’m only doing this as a new hobby and for exposure for my blog.

However, I found this claim extremely unfair and unjust. Not only are companies apparently now allowed to go onto your private videos and claim content, they can block you from getting money until your claim is finished. What’s worse, there are zero consequences for them putting this claim down on me. They will stay in good standing no matter what, whereas I’m going to have to fight to get it removed and probably continue to fight if their autobot decides to hit me again.

I clicked on the link and of course, it’s a click and fill out form. There were drop down options to dispute the claim and I chose the “Fair Use” option. From there I was sent to another form where I was told to “explain briefly” why I was disputing the claim.

Copyright Notice

Here’s what I wrote:

“To whom it may concern,
The music played in this video is playing in the background, it will be used for all of a few seconds in the finalized video I will be making. I believe then that my video fall under the same idea as the Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (aka the “dancing baby” case), in that the music isn’t a live recording, nor is it being used as an exact copy. The “amount and sustainability” clause in fair use alone should allow for this slip to be considered within the realm of legally sound. Please remove this copyright claim, as my channel is an international channel and this claim would prevent my video from being seen in three countries. Thank you for your time.”

If you weren’t aware of the “Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.” case, basically a mother video tapped her baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” It was cute and adorable, and Universal decided to slap a take down notice, because they’re a heartless corporation and that’s what they do for fun. Lenz sued, and Universal was told to shove their take down notice where the sun don’t shine because they needed to consider fair use when making claims. If someone rips a piece of music and sells it as a copy, that’s copyright infringement. If it’s background, low quality, and not even the full song, that’s a fair use claim right there.

Also, when I refer to “amount and sustainability” within fair use, I mean that the clip I’m going to use is short, like really short, and it’s not even going to USE THE SONG. I can’t stress this enough, the song won’t be in the finalized version. Regardless, even if I was going to use it, the amount of time the song is being used would be less that 10% of the original, which should fall under the fair use guidelines.

After I put in the e-signature of my full name, I was then directed to a very scary next stage. YouTube has a second part automatically added into my statement that also doesn’t sit well with me.

I have a good faith belief that the claim(s) described above have been made in error, and that I have the right(s) necessary to use the contents of my video for the reasons I have stated. I have not knowingly made any false statements, nor am I intentionally abusing this dispute process in order to interfere with the rights of others. I understand that filing fraudulent disputes may result in termination of my YouTube account. I understand that my video will be viewable by the claimant(s) so that they can review my dispute.

In other words, I’m going up against a company, and if they decide that I’m in the wrong here then I could lose my channel. What does that mean? Well, I guess that means I’ll have to just go out and learn to code videos into my blog, or alternatively use Facebook’s video system and then post to WordPress instead. I really enjoy vlogging, like way more than I thought I would. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and something about it makes me want to go out and try new things or look at the world around me with different eyes. I like it, basically, so I’m going to keep trying to dispute and if I lose, I’ll find a way to keep doing the vlogging thing without YouTube.

Still, the fact that I’m even going through all this trouble? And that I know for a fact that many people would just let it slide, and at the beginning I put up a video saying I wouldn’t fight these claims. I didn’t realize at the time how infuriating it would feel that after all the time, effort, traveling, editing, and so on, to get hit with a truly baseless claim. But now I know, and now I’m going to fight.