Done with unions

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So I just quit and resigned from every union I'm a member in and all for good reasons. Well actually just one, I don't come on GS anymore. This place sucks big ones and only my real friends, which is about maybe 10 of you really talk to me, so the other 180 "friends" might as well not exist. I don't even know why you added me in the first place. You never talk to me or post on my blogs or anything. Heck a good 90% of you I accepted just to get my social butterfly badge but now that I have better things to do than to visit GS every moment of my life, I only find it worthwhile to talk to the people who actually talk to me. Anyways. if you really want to talk to me or anything you know how to reach me if not, just delete me like I would really notice.

-J

Day one in Japan

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Well, I'm finally here and it's great so far. Kobe is such a beautiful city with lots of things to do, although I'm no longer a tourist here and I need to start making a living which is going to be daunting. Already responsibility has taken a giant dump on my chest and it sucks, but I gotta suck it up and deal with it. It's only been one day so I can't expect to have everything done right away. It almost feels like I'm in a RPG. I see other foreigners here who already established themselves and are all leveled up and I'm that dude with just a wooden sword and a nickel to his name. I guess I better start killing some pigs!

April 7th, 2008 last day in America

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That's right, you read correctly. On Monday April 7th, I'm leaving to the land of the Rising Sun. I haven't really had any time for GS lately especially with my Union, and I'm not too sure if I'll be here any longer once I leave since I'll be too busy trying to get situated over there, but I will try and stop by every now and again to see what's going on in the Gamespot universe. It was fun getting to know a lot of you and I made some really good friends here. If you want to keep in contact I'm always on msn, so pm me or whatever and we can catch up.

Just got laid off :\

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So as of yesterday I was forced to resign from work for no apparent reason. "Due to my pending resignation to go to Japan", but what resignation? I never formally turned in my resignation since I don't know the exact date I'm leaving. I'm still waiting on my student visa and until I get that, I'm not going anywhere. Even though I absolutely hate my job with the burning passion of a million suns, I'm still pretty peeved that it all ended this way. I was expecting to earn a little more cash for Japan before calling it quits and the corporate fat cats upstairs decided that they'd just rather get rid of me altogether. I'm fighting the termination since technically they let me go for no reason at all which is practically illegal. If that doesn't pan out though then I'll have to find a new job so I might be moving to DC and stay with my uncle for a couple months and work some temp jobs over there. Luckily they pay a whole lot more than I make here so I should make some serious cash in the next two months. Well I just hope everything works out for me and maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I'm sure God knows that this job isn't right for me and that I can get more money elsewhere. I'll just go with the flow and see where it takes me.

Other than that I got a new Cat, his name is Harley and he's pretty b-itchin!8)

I finally got a PS3! Oh and I graduated!

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Finally, after four arduous years, I have finally completed my higher education. If it weren't for family wanting me to walk I probably wouldn't have, but I'm glad I did. You only graduate college once (then there's masters and PHd) but it was pretty cool. The weirdest thing is that they played the theme song to Indiana Jones at the commencement. Talk about the most random song at a graduation :lol:

Other than that I got my PS3 and I got CoD4 to go with it. So all you guys with CoD4 accounts my PSN name is CDrepoman. Add me and we can shoot each other up :D

Birrrrrrthday, birrrrrrthday, birrrrrrthday, Today is my Birthday!

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Hooray! I'm 23 today and I'm feelin' pretty good. ^^ The only thing that sucks today is that I have my last final today, but then again it's my last final ever since two days from now I finally graduate college! I'm not too sure what I'll be able to do with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Psychology, especially within the video game world, but I'm sure something will present itself. I'll probably buy the megamillions lottery today because who knows, it could be the greatest birthday/graduation gift ever :lol: Both of my sisters along with my nieces and brother-in-law are coming in town today so I'll most likely go out to eat somewhere, but I hope I can get a PS3 out of this. If they're going to lump my birthday, graduation and Christmas all together, they damn well better get me one!

The price of free press

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I'm sure you all have heard the rumors flying around about a certain former employee of a certain company that specializes in video game/electronic reviews who was terminated for expressing his honest beliefs about a video game which didn't quite meet up to some tough standards and pissed off the company who made the game. Whether it's true or not isn't really the point of this piece, but rather to explore the issue of corrupted journalism. The role of journalists is to present a story with all the facts and the least amount of personal bias possible. This profession has a certain code of ethics and a big part of that is to not be bought out by a deep pocket corporation to skew the truth in favor for them. You don't go into journalism with the prospect of big money and majority of the time journalist feel that it is their duty to give the truth out to those who will listen. To open up eyes and fire up our hearts (and save us some money). Lets face it, the media as we know it now is definitely very biased and almost to the point of being state-runned, but there are still those out there who wish to be honest and do their job. Whether it's updating us on the conditions of our soldiers in combat or letting us know that this digital camera offers more bang for your buck than this other camera, it's all information that is important to us and we rely on honest journalist to give us those facts.

A lot of these game reviews, movie reviews and product reviews has saved me a lot of heartache and money. I don't necessarily follow all reviews, but the majority of them, that you can tell were honestly written, are usually very trustworthy. Now what happens when that trust is broken? You stop believing this reviewer and it ends up hurting you and them in the long run. This person thinks this product is great, but it could be the worst thing to hit this planet since the betamax or virutaboy. What's even worse is when a reviewer is influenced by some kind of kickback. These peoples words are dangerous because they carry so much weight. When people concider a certain reviewer honest and believe a good majority of what they say, that's a perfect target for a big corporation to try and sway that reviewer with large sums of money to promote their product no matter how shoddy it is. If the reviewer caves in, they lose their credibility, their employers lose their creditbility, and we lose our hard earned money and our respect we once had for them.

Once word gets out that this certain company was bought out or is influence by this big money corporation its reputation is tarnished forever. Everyone who has some stake in this company will now take their business elsewhere. When a company devoted to providing the best possible information to people like us about things we buy and consume loses it's sights on their original goal then they've lost the whole point on why they went into this business in the first place. I'm not saying that to help pay their employees and keep the company up and running that these people shouldn't use advertising spots to promote related products, what they shouldn't do is let those companies influence how they run things. If big bucks corporation doesn't like how they reviewed one of their games and threatens to cut off all their ads unless something is done, it's up to the reviewers to say "tough break" and let them withdraw. It's not like there aren't hundreds of other gaming companies that would loves some ad space to a website or magazine that millions of consumers visit everyday. Besides these corporations should know that, that's the name of the game. You have to expect poor sales if your game isn't up to par.

In the end It's about keeping your code of ethics and upholding your responsibilities as reviewers and journalists to give your readers the most truthful and beneficial information possible. Stop selling out your values because you didn't get into this job to have a mansion and six cars. If you wanted all that, become a surgeon. Us consumers rely on these people to save us from making a terrible mistake because lets face it, these reviewers are consumers too and they hate like everybody else to get shortchanged on some shoddy product and then they're left wishing there were some person out there who warned them not to buy it in the first place.

Don't hate the Playa, hate the game!

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Yeah Boi! Gamespot finally recognizes me as a tru playa! 8)

It's a treat when famous players meet.
This person did it real big with GameSpot and got wild on a Tuesday night at the GameSpot Players' Ball. Whether you saw the action from the confines of your own home or, like a true cross-country mack, stepped out into the spotlight with us live and in person, we sincerely appreciate it. If we could give you all a ride in our snotty-nosed ham sandwich with the brains blown, we totally would. That's a car, by the way.

If you don't read this, I'll kill you! Full Japan Blog Finally Here!

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So yeah, I've been back from Japan for almost a month and it sucks being back. I'm home sick and I miss it over there, but what are you going to do? I know I've been meaning to do this blog for quite sometime, it's just that I've been waiting on some pictures that my sister had and took forever getting to me. Anyways, here it is so enjoy :wink:

Tokyo

I get to Japan and immediately it almost seemed like I knew what I was doing or needed to do and that was to get to my hostel in Asakusa which is a district of Tokyo. I get on the subway from the airport and immediately I notice on how clean the entire place is. There's no trash anywhere or graffiti, it's crazy!

Look at that, you could eat off the floors! One of the funniest things I saw and is a testiment of how safe it is in Japan, I saw this little 6 year old girl riding the subway by herself! This little girl already knows the entire journey and I'm standing there thinking to myself "damn, this girl makes me look like an idiot for not knowing my way around here!" Hurt ego aside I kept riding the rails since it's about 40 minutes from the airport to Asakusa. People come and go on their daily routines and of course I'm not even in Japan for an hour when I see some school girls :lol:

It was a glorious thing to behold and I knew there would be more sites to see. 40 minutes breeze by and I get to Asakusa. The humid air hits me like a brick to the face and I'm not even outside yet. I have to find my way to the hostel and one thing that really pissed me off was that I couldn't find the elevator! So I end up having to drag up my luggage multiple flights of stairs and i felt like an ass doing it since no one else had a bigass suitcase on wheels. I get topside and I remember the directions I was given on how to get to the hostel. One major landmark I had to look for was the Sensoji Temple and what happens to pop up in my face? None other than the Sensoji Temple!

After walking around looking at my makeshift directions I finally find the place I'm looking for and already I'm sweating like Buford T. Justice while he chases Smokey all over Texas.

I only have a couple days before I leave for Kyoto so I spend this day just doing laundry and taking a shower before leaving the next day to do some serious shopping. I easily fall asleep at around 11pm, obviously I'm impervious to Jet lag!, and I wake up the next day bright and early to begin my day. Since I know I only have a limited time in Tokyo, my first stop is the Electric city or Akihabara. As I step off the train and head outside, I'm greeted by lights galore and the intimidating Yodobashi-Akiba (The monsterous 9 story building of nothing but all the latest electronics Japan has to offer).

It's here where I would blow a good chunk of my hard earned cash on what would be CDs (which one of the cashiers happened to notice my Pulp Fiction Samuel L Jackson BMF wallet and was greatly amsued by it even by shouting out loud "Bad Mother F&*$ker!), books, a digital camera, a couple PSP games and a Watch!

Needless to say this baby cost me a pretty penny, but I enjoy this watch every day, now if only it could do my taxes. Already in debt by almost $800 I decided that was a good time to leave and see the other sites Tokyo has to offer. The sites and sounds and people were all intoxicating. I almost thought I was in a make believe land. After soaking up the various sites I ended the night on the best Ramen I have ever had in my life :lol:

Using the Japanese I knew, I was expediently served and even impressed the waitress of this small little ramen shop that was literally a block from my Hostel. I would make many trips to this ramen shop throughout my trip as I come back to Tokyo for another week towards the end to where they got to know me very well.

Kyoto

I'm here in Kyoto for about a week and I know there is a ton of stuff do. My hostel here is a quaint little place that happens to be over 300 years old. It was a pain to find and even the taxi driver couldn't even find the place until after calling in satellite photos and black hawk aerial support. He only charged me around 800Yen since he couldn't find the place so it wasn't too bad. The place is very homely and pretty small.

This humble abode would be my homebase for the next week where I went to Nara and all over Kyoto. Nara was my first stop since I was meeting a friend there and if you remember from my previous blog it was where I was attacked by the man eating deer there. Kyoto isn't as big as Tokyo and there is only two subway lines so it was easy to travel around. Surprisingly I would spend a good amount of time in Kyoto Station

since there are a ton of shops there to see and lots of good food to eat like...

More Ramen! and some really awesome desserts :P

After filling my biological needs for sustaining life, I saw numerous amounts of temples that litter Japan at just about every corner such as the famous Inari Temple:

Not only did I see some really great sites but I also met some pretty cool people like my friend Yoshi!:

Seems like we both like Op Ivy 8)

And these nice geishas put on a great show:

Miyajima

After Kyoto I spent a day in Miyajima where I stayed at a Ryokan or a ultra traditional Japanese guest house. Even though it was $200 a night, it was still awesome and worth it. Got great food, good service and an awesome experience where I got a taste of old Japan.

"I am honored to receive your waste" ok so this toilet I'm sure wasn't in trad Japan but alot of the other place was :P

While there I did some hiking and even went to the Aquarium.

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Hiroshima

Hiroshima is right across from Miyajima and of course the first place I visited during my three days there was the Peace Park where the A-Bomb was dropped.

Here you can see the A-Bomb dome where the bomb literally exploded about 600meters above it.

After my tour of the park and the very moving A-Bomb Museum I hit up a baseball game. I just happened to catch a very exciting match up with the Tokyo Giants versus the Hiroshima Carp. Let me tell you, Baseball over there is much more hardcore than here in America. People got wardrums and banners with trumpets blaring and people chanting.

The energy was insane where even I, a non baseball lover, got into the game where I was cheering the Carp to beat those bastard Giants. Never before have I seen a baseball game that serves sushi and ramen, but being the american that I am I went for good old fashioned corndogs.

Needless to say they were the worst corndogs I have ever had but they went down with some tasty Asahi beer from a girl with a portible keg on her back!

Greatest invention ever and my beer was ice cold! Well the Carp lost 8-2 so that was disheartening, but I wouldn't let that spoil my night so I went out Karaoking with some people from my hostel and that was a pretty cool experience.

Afterwards at the karaoke place I met some nice Japanese girls and using my charm and broken Japanese they took me out for drinks :wink:

Needless to say I didn't come back to the hostel until the next morning :wink: to my other Japanese friend

All I can say is that I love Hiroshima!

Himeji

From Hiroshima on my way back to Tokyo I stopped off in Himeji to see the famous Himeji Castle

Tokyo

Back in Tokyo for about another week I went to some of the other districts like Roppongi where I saw Die Hard 4.0 for 1800 yen. (Don't ever say movies in the states are expensive because they come nowhere near $18.)

Roppongi

Roppongi definitely has some interesting stuff to see like this crazy spider:

Roppongi is even home to...

No I didn't get to see Hideo Kojima, as much as I would have liked to, but it was still awesome to see the building where so many of my favorite games, like Metal Gear Solid, are made :P

Ginza

Is home to none other than the Sony Building

and Godzilla!

Shibuya

Has a crap load of shopping to do and is filled with tens of thousands of people at once

Tochigi

Is where I spent the last three days of my trip with one my family's closest friend and her family. It's just north of Tokyo and about 40 minutes away so it was a nice train ride to the countryside.

Well that in a very brief blog was my trip to Japan. I have like over 900 pictures but I'm sure you didn't want to see them all, unless you're a apart of the SKS and have access to our own photogallery where you can see all the pictures from this awesome trip. I still miss Japan very much, but it looks like I'll be moving over there by this April for more school :P I can't wait because this was definitely a country that has all the greatest things I love in the world all located in one area. Hope you enjoyed this blog because it was a pain to write!

Sayonara Japan :cry:

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Well I managed to find a free computer, but on the last day of my trip. Im on my way back home today for the long flight back to the good ol US of A. Im really sad to be leaving so soon but at the same time Im a little relieved to be going back since I have a lot of stuff to take care of such as fixing my cruddy laptop and buying a ps3 and wii :lol: As soon as everything is situated Ill load up my bjillion pictures, set up our photobook and email account and post up the blog of my entire journey. See you guys soon and さよなら!

-J