I never realized how being a fan of an artist or group of any kind can also be time-consuming.
For almost the entire month of April, I had been very active on Twitter to promote MADKID’s Twitter challenge of reaching 5000 followers for the group’s official Twitter account before 4/30 (their fourth One-Man Live venue night). For every 100 followers reached before a particular deadline, there was an incentive for fans living near Tokyo and fans living far from Tokyo (including global fans like myself). A few of my global fan friends and myself joined in by carefully tweet-spamming our timelines with nothing but the goodness of MADKID and its talented members. Although it seems that the MADKID staff and management hadn’t been checking out what’s going on Twitter, however, all five members are aware of what we were doing. Proof of that is that some of them have been liking many of our tweets, our RTs, and even our replies to other people’s tweets about them.1
After that One-Man Live menu, there came out a huge announcement that MADKID will be releasing their second single (from their major debut) this coming summer. When? The Fourth of July (Japan time). 💗
But, I’ll talk about MADKID again a bit later. Moving on to the actual subject of this entry. 😊
Returning to #100DaysOf… Twitter Challenges
The only way for me to actually stick with the #100DaysOfCode challenge is to add another #100DaysOf… challenge alongside with it. A few of my coder friends from various coding communities I’m a member of, in a way, threw the challenge at me by adding another #100DaysOf… challenge and update on Twitter. The problem with me is that I’m a sucker for challenges and sometimes I would accept the challenge on impulse. This time though, it took me a bit while to think of the type of challenge I’m going to take that would at least take me up to 100 days.
I have to admit that I have been reading, writing, replying, commenting, and almost frequently talking to some people in Japanese3 that I was feeling a little overwhelmed. I used to be pretty good with Japanese when it comes to fluency, though not quite 100% fluent, back in the days when I was a long-time active J-Pop fan with ARASHI. But, with MADKID, it’s become a lot difficult because I wasn’t just reading, writing, and translating, but I’m also commenting and talking to people— with whatever Japanese that comes out from my head. No books, no dictionary, no Google Translate, it’s all me and my rusted Japanese brain. 😅
Plus, the colloquial language… it’s a good thing I took two years of independent study with my sensei after I completed the entire Japanese language course. The independent study was primarily for learning the colloquial language, one that we don’t normally see being used in conversations from textbooks. It was completely different and overwhelming, but I caught up on it. Now with the rapid changes through times with social media and the internet and all that, I have to re-learn these new terms and even learn how to spell them in Katakana. If it’s one weakness that I had with the Japanese writing system, it’s spelling English words in Katakana. 😪
So, I found my calling. I also want to help the members and (some) fans with their English too (especially the members). Some of them are in the same boat as me— reading, writing, understanding English but speaking is a whole different story. That’s the same with me. So, as a favor to the group doing all they can to break the language barriers with their slowly increasing global non-Japanese speaking fans, I want to do the same thing. One fellow global fan is doing just that, but she is just one person. Why not two? Three? More?
So, as of earlier today, I already declared on Twitter…
Here’s the thing though. Only us coders and programmers know what’s up with the #100DaysOf… challenges for years. But for my new global fan friends and pretty much non-coders and non-programmers, they’ve never seen or heard of the #100DaysOf… challenges floating around their Twitter timelines because, well, it’s not really their thing. They have their own purposes of having Twitter in the first place and participating in Twitter challenges isn’t one of them. 😅
So, this is how I’m going to go on about the challenge:
- When they say “#100Days…”, it doesn’t mean it should be every day. I can’t really predict what my life schedule would be like every single day, so it’s a lot safer to not commit to it every single day should I end up getting sucked in by a time-consuming life event. But, when I do have a lot of time, I’ll definitely commit to it. This applies to both #100DaysOfJapanese and #100DaysOfCode
- I will be opening a separate progress blog. My blog is a network site (WordPress multisite), and for some dumb reason, the browser is giving me a “page does not exist” error when I try to view my newly-added blog on the browser. I already have Symmetry added to this one last year and that went smoothly. I don’t understand this new one I just added today, so for the time being, I’ve opened the Tumblr version. But, when I do get the WordPress one to work, I’ll just sync the entries with the Tumblr one.
- I will be reading Japanese readers (short story collections with Furigana text above the Kanji and English translations at the end),4 writing a few entries on a notebook, and reading tweets. You already know which tweets I’ll be reading. 😅
- Every day when I add the hashtag on my Twitter progress, I’ll be talking about what I read or wrote or comment on something in general (MADKID, J-Pop, anime, etc.) in Japanese with very little English (hopefully none but that’s impossible) in them.
- No translating anything into English. That would just hinder my focus. 😅 I used to think of English whenever I write something in Japanese, but that doesn’t always work. I think the key here to getting fluent is to not think of the English before you write… or say something in Japanese. I have to think in Japanese straight up immediately before saying something or writing something down, kind of like thinking in reverse. That’s even a lot harder but easier… I don’t know if that makes any sense.
- Pop culture isn’t going to help me much. Watching a J-movie, J-drama, or an anime episode without English subtitles does not help. Listening to music doesn’t help either, as many of the lyrics are very poetic… and I’m not aiming to be poetic in Japanese. If it comes down to it, it has to be the reading, the writing, and most of all just communicating with people in general.
- Take some time at Udemy. I already purchased three Japanese courses from a Japan-based language school with Kanji and JLPT5 N5 courses. Yes, I also plan on taking the N5 level of the JLPT, just not sure when I will be taking it. My Japanese sensei from college years ago encouraged me to take the JLPT many times back then, but at that time, I got myself caught up with audio and video projects for my major classes and simply didn’t have the time to study for the JLPT anymore. That’s failure in my eyes right there. 😢
A few of my global fan friends are already praising how I communicate and comment in Japanese, regardless of how I mix up the Japanese and English (sometimes on purpose). Even the MADKID members (well, three of them) always praised how good my Japanese was and how they understood me perfectly (even though they don’t really respond to me in Japanese in return and are doing the same thing as I was), regardless of how messy my grammar and spelling was, regardless of how incomplete my statements were, regardless of how mixed up my Japanese and English were altogether like I was speaking in Taglish (Tagalog & English mixed up). Although I’m happy to hear that I’m able to spread what I wanted to say across, I feel like I could do more, or rather, I should say something more, talk about something that doesn’t make me sound repetitive.
There have been a couple of times on 17 which I just end up watching and trying to listen and understand what was being said. I mean I’m a fan, yes, there are plenty of fans hanging out on 17 that it’s normal to not get noticed sometimes.6 However, if you’re a foreigner fan, it’s not difficult for everyone there to notice you, but it would be a lot more difficult to communicate with the streamer and the fellow people you’re with.
And the way I see it, today, they’re only starting one step at a time. However, when the group becomes huge in the entire industry, meaning the huge increase of fans, it would only seem natural that you as one of the “first generation” global fans to be forgotten. So, rather than just giving yourself your name, your location, what you like about the group, the favorite music, etc., why not give a long-lasting impression, something that would seriously make your favorite member and your favorite group, as well as seasoned fans, would remember you by for a very long time?
I wish I would be one of those people. The only thing the members know about me is that I live close by to their closest global fan who may be safe to say are companions in real life (well, not that close but I guess companions would be a better term?) for several years, that I have some proficiency in Japanese, and I’m a working adult. 😊 Oh, and “Adrianne” is somewhat common but not a very common name either. As of the day I started becoming an active MADKID fan on April 1st, I’m the only Adrianne standing among their small pool of global fans.
But I don’t want them to know me by my name alone and other qualities I mentioned. That’s one of the reasons why I’m taking this challenge. Furthermore, I also want to take on this challenge simply because I really enjoyed learning and speaking and communicating in Japanese. I loved it even more than my high school Spanish courses, mainly because it was very challenging and yet I was able to somewhat taken the grasp of the language, the syntax, the usage rules and regulations, and most of all, the massive writing system. Even after some almost 20 years since college, I’m still lucky enough to be able to read Kana and some elementary level kanji, still lucky enough to remember the basic stroke orders, still lucky to recall some verbs and some conjugations and. But sometimes I’m drawing blanks now to the point that I’m getting all the sentence structures, the particles, the conjugations, and such all mixed up or just simply misspelled. I can’t do that anymore.
This may sound like I’m making everything hard on myself. I’m not going to expect anyone (on my Twitter list) to take note or read what I’ve been tweeting when I participate in this challenge. This challenge is more of “I set this challenge up for myself, not to impress anybody at all.“
Am I going to be completely fluent? Probably not. But hopefully fluent enough to help break the language barrier and even teach some English to those who want to learn at the same time… and of course, I would feel a lot more fulfilled personally that I’ve finally conquered one of my bucket list goals of being able to speak two Asian languages (my own and Japanese) and two European languages (English and Spanish). Who knows, maybe I may reach out to learn one more. We shall see.
A fear I didn’t want to come true…
Yesterday, I had my annual diabetic eye exam. I didn’t notice any strange changes with my eyesight, however, the eye doctor has detected that there’s a few cataracts or hemorrhage of some sort that’s building up somewhere in my eye… or both of my eyes. Still, I didn’t detect any strange changes with my eyesight all this time. I didn’t see any clouding or anything blurry aside from my usual nearsightedness. I understand that I am diabetic, and there can be a lot of unfortunate things that may happen to me involving parts of my body if I go overboard with diabetes. However, one of my biggest fears of being diabetic is the loss of eyesight. I rather lose an arm or a leg, but my eyesight is very precious to me, you know?
My doctor didn’t want me to worry, and that she may have to prescribe me with a pair of sunglasses so I can wear them whenever I go outside. I guess my transitioned eyeglasses (in which the lenses turn dark when I go outside) isn’t enough anymore. She scheduled me to have another eye appointment in a few days to have a second check. I really do hope it’s not as serious, but things like cataracts and hemorrhages really worry me a lot. Plus, even though I’m past 40,7 the doctor said that I’m still too young to have cataract buildup. Still…
So now I’m praying, and doing all I can to change my lifestyle. I need to step up with my dieting and other habits so that it doesn’t get any worse…
… and I don’t mind (prescription) sunglasses. Maybe I got some hidden swag waiting to emerge. 😅
Recognized by MADKID… for over a month now 😊
On the first week of April, the time that I met Karu8 on Twitter, she was in the process of creating a global fan book to hand over to the guys when she got to Japan to watch the boys with their One-Man Live concert and their upcoming lives right after to commemorate their major debut in mainstream J-Pop that occurred last January 31st. It may be a few months late, but it still counts.
I submitted my well-wishes to the guys for the fan book. I believe I was one of the last of the global fans to get included in the book, so I felt quite blessed. Because I was still new at that time, I only gave them a brief short message (mixed English and Japanese), sending them their well-wishes and how much their hard work and their obstacles inspired me to overcome the hurdles I’m currently facing to reach my goals. She translated the English part of my message and printed the entire translation next to it.
Before she handed the fan book to the guys, she shared all the photos of the entire fan book that had all the fan messages she gathered from Amino, Twitter, and Instagram. I have to say there are plenty of those who shared their messages. Some of them even had their own section of two pages. Much to my surprise, I was one of them.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to have my message to have its own section of two pages. I thought it’d be just one small page stuck somewhere on the top or bottom, it didn’t matter how my message was placed as long as the guys can see them. But instead, I’m one of the people who’s able to get an entire section with my name in big bold letters.
The interesting part here is that while Karu waited for the day she would finally take off for Japan (4/28), the guys have already met me through social media (17, Twitter, probably Instagram). Among the global fans who frequently visit the 17 lives, I was the only Adrianne there. Even in this fan book, of all the photos I’ve seen on Amino, I’m also the only Adrianne in there.
In other words, MADKID only knows only one Adrianne (as of today anyway)— me. In short, once the guys read the messages in this fan book and see “Adrianne” in big bold letters, they’ll automatically know it’s me. 😅 I may sound like I’m showing off, but then again everybody shows off in their blogs one way or the other, however, this is just my way of sharing to the world how awesome and wonderful MADKID is and how they truly deserve the worldwide recognition. However, like I mentioned before, they have to make it big in Japan first before they venture out.
I still don’t know what I can do for MADKID as a fan. I built fansites dedicated to my favorite J-Pop groups before9 and I don’t even know if fansites are still a thing among J-Pop fans today because of social media. I’ll think about that much later.
And because in the States, it’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and Karu is a teacher (elementary or preschool?) in real life, I decided to post a thread of tweets and give her my thanks and appreciation for introducing me to MADKID and everything else that she does. 😊
Right, this would be my first entry for the month of May. I hope I get to blog more often.
Till next time!
On the sidenote...
- There were some circumstances when I never really tagged any members specifically, but I’m still being found anyway… [↩]
- The other obvious reason is so I can show my support and promote MADKID to the global masses… [↩]
- 17 livestream app… it’s really fun to talk to some of the MADKID members and Japanese fans, but communication-wise, it’s becoming difficult for me… [↩]
- I don’t have any original Japanese manga on my bookshelf… I’ll have to dig through Amazon or go to my local Kinokuniya Bookstore to purchase a few, but I’m not gonna do that… [↩]
- Japanese Language Proficiency Test [↩]
- but being one of the very few non-Japanese global fans among the MADKID fan pool, I still stand out even when I’m not saying anything. 😥 Emojis may work sometimes but they’re not effective for me… [↩]
- 41 right now… [↩]
- the most seasoned global fan of MADKID who have known the guys (in real life) for some years now. That’s just her nickname given to her by her bias, Kazuki. She also lives on the other side of the Oakland Bay Bridge from where I live. 😊 [↩]
- okay, only one— ARASHI… [↩]