bird cage (soon)
My name is Alyson, I'm 22 (possibly 23 by the time you read this) and from a bumblefuck town in western PA. Its claim to fame is Christina Alguilera grew up here, but she moved out because everyone hated her ass even then (the only sign of good taste this area has ever shown), so it doesn't really count for much. Last year I graduated from Penn State University with BAs in East Asian Studies and Japanese Language, which means I am doomed at ever getting a good job, and the mere mention of Confucius's name makes me sob in Pavlovian response. I also spent a year studying at Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, Japan. It was probably the most enjoyable experience of my life to date, even if I did have a lot of "stupid cracker-ass nips" type moments from the blatant racism and stereotypes against non-Japanese that you run into.
While waiting between graduation and a "real job," I've been cashiering at a drug store. Yeah, I know how lame that shit sounds, believe me. Eh, whatever pays off my student loans and keeps me in nerdidity until I can get back to Japan.
Hobby-wise...I piss my time away online too much, for starters. I translate and romanize things out of boredom/Japanese practice. I write bad Japanese RPS for a hoot. I collect random Johnny's-related shit...yeah, I fell into a love for SMAP and V6 in Osaka, I guess because upbeat music and TV shows full of cute boys making idiots of themselves staved off some of the stress. Other things I have an embarrassing enthusiasm for include Takarazuka theater, visual rock, karaoke, RPGs, purikura, the manga series Kimi wa Pet, and legwarmers. Yes, I'm 23 fucking years old and I have the tastes of a Japanese junior high school girl. But at least I have a vagina to sort of explain it away. Also, lately I've been trying to get into 'femmy' things like cooking and teaching myself to crochet. I still can't make a damn scarf, but I can make curry better than my second host mother! I also like to write, not just bitch-fests like this site, but fiction as well. Someday I'd like to write my memoirs, so I must find more ridiculous shit to get mixed up in.
TV: In the US, South Park, The Daily Show, Queer Eye, and scarily enough, Unscrewed w/Martin Sargent on Tech TV. Why God, why? In Japan, Gakkou he Ikou!, SMAPxSMAP, Utaban, Sanma no Karakuri Terebi, and Kisarazu Cat's Eye, among many.
Movies: Yomigaeri, Happiness of the Katakuris, Ed Wood, basically anything by Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino, The Princess Bride, Adrenaline Drive, the LotR trilogy, etc. Oh, and Shaft in Africa. That shit was awesome.
Music: Basically cheesy J-pop, hard rock, and geek music. V6 (particularly 20th Century, since they actually have talent), SMAP, Arashi, Luna Sea (and following solo projects), Kuroyume/SADS, Oblivion Dust, hide, D'erlanger, The Blue Hearts, Boowy, Chemistry, Laputa, and Rip Slyme are some of my favorite Japanese artists. Then there's my soft spot for cock-rock like Motley Crue, Poison, old DLR-era Van Halen, etc., which is the other main thing that scares the shit out of people when they look at my music playlists. I also love U2, David Bowie, early Smashing Pumpkins, the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Pavement, the Pixies, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Sebadoh, Brainiac, and so on. Just anything other than the muzak they play in the store I work at, basically.
Video Games: in the arcades, Taiko no Tatsujin and the King of Fighters series are my faves. At home I like Persona 2 (Tsumi and Batsu), Final Fantasy X, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, almost anything on my Neo-Geo Pocket Color, and Project V6, the gayest simulation game of all time.
Books: Last thing I read that I liked a lot was The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil by Faye Wheldon. Oh, and Motley Crue's autobiography The Dirt is the best self-reaffirmation book ever. You'll feel like a saint by the end. Other than that, I'm a big fan of Jack Kerouac's work, and have a soft spot for Amy Yamada and her sheer pervyness. I fully admit I need to read more things that aren't Japanese porn or textbooks, but at least it's educational? (Right? Right?)