You may have noticed that I’ve added a profile to this blog. I never really wanted to do that because I’m not particularly photogenic, and I thought that certain things would be obvious…
1) I am a woman. I thought that that was always fairly obvious, as my name – Erica – ends with a final “a”, which usually denotes a female version of a male name. I.e., Patricia, to Patrick, Edwina to Edwin…Erica to Eric. For some reason, my obviously female name does not indicate *enough* that I am not a man. Nor do my comments in this blog that mention that I am a lesbian. Therefore, to make it easy, let me be blunt. I am a woman and a lesbian. Not a guy. No matter HOW many action/porn/shounen things I review, I am still not a guy.
2) I have NOT, in any way shape or form, mastered Japanese. I am not fluent. I am not incorruptibly, unequivocally correct in my translations. I’m barely limping along, ekeing meaning out of this wonderful language with hours of effort a day. I am always glad to be told when I got something wrong by someone who is fluent.
3) I have taught myself Japanese. I have not taken any classes (unless you count the year I did my wife’s Japanese class homework along with her, because I thought it would be fun. And I sucked as badly as anyone else in the class. LOL But it was fun.) I am still teaching myself Japanese, which is probably a bad idea, but all I have time for. As a result my reading skills are fair, my listening skills are uneven and erratic, my writing skills are poor and my speaking skills are appalling.
So, frankly, when people write me and whine that they cannot read Japanese, I don’t really think that’s a valid complaint, because it takes no more than desire and time to learn. It’s not a particularly difficult language, especially as compared with English. It IS difficult to master, like any language. If you want to learn – shut up and learn. There is no Matrix chip. Just time and effort. I’ve given myself a timeline of about 20 years before I expect to be reasonably fluent, at least in reading. Get back to me in 15 years and I’ll let you know how it’s going. (Think about it – when you are born, you’re practicing you language skills EVERY WAKING MINUTE. And it still takes you 7 years to be able to speak with any skill – 14 to write with any and 20 for you to have anything interesting to say. So get a real timeline – not two classes. Not two years. 20 years.)
4) I do not take any of my opinions seriously. If I offend you, it’s you. (Read my rules of life in my profile for clarification.)
5) I buy my manga and anime in a variety of places. I am asked often where I get things. Here’s the list of places I use to get anime and manga:
Anime: Amazon (clicking through the Yuricon Shop, if it’s not listed)
Manga: Amazon; Amazon JP, Sanseido Bookstore; more rarely Kinokuniya or Asahiya for Japanese-language.
I am VERY lucky to have a Sanseido not 40 minutes from my house, and a Kinokuniya and Asahiya in NYC which is just over an hour away. But if I’m in a rush, or it’s not a generally popular title – or is a novel, like all the new Marimite novels, I get them from Amazon JP.
6) I am old and curmudgeonly. I get alot of puppies emailing me, using “u r” for “you are” and it irritates me. If you’d like to email me with a question, I would be much less rude if you used common, casual language. I just want you to be coherent, avoid stage directions like “tilts head” and “bounces up and down” or stuttering in text, “so, like, uh, yeah,”. I’m not asking you to be over formal, either. Just be normal, please. If you are not a native English-speaker, you absolved from having to write normally, but frankly, most of the non-native English speakers who write me have excellent grammar comparitively. I am not 20ish – it was a long time ago that I was. If you are asking me how old I am, I am old enough to be your mother – in many cases your grandmother. How do I know this? Because only people under 20 or so ever ask my age. So write to me as if you are addressing an elder. Which you are. ^_^
7) Last but not least – I am not Japanese. Friedman is a German word that means “Free man” and was taken by many serfs and slaves when they were able to purchase their freedom. I am not German, but for some reason, my family has a German name. I imagine there was some German influence waaaaaaay back. My first name is Old Norse and means “leader” if you care. I am not Norwegian either. Neither am I Japanese. For the record.
Actually, this is the last thing – remember, you can be mean back to me, but you have to be FUNNY too. If you’re already a friend of mine, I know you are mean and funny. The rest of you can feel to practice in the comments section. Being mean and unfunny is just dull and stupid-sounding. Don’t try to be clever when you reply to this entry…you’ll sound like you’re trying too hard and we’ll all be embarrassed. ^_^