I’m Back? End of June 2018 Update

Hey guys!

So I was doing some long-overdue site maintenance and I noticed that I messed up the settings of the plugin that makes video posts on here. Instead of making them public, they saved them as drafts. So I went ahead and released them all today with correct dates for when they were supposed to be released. Sorry if I surprised you guys with a whole slew of posts 😀

Anyway, I’m looking to do some cleanup here on the site, some cosmetic changes, streamline everything, all that good stuff. As you guys know, I have a TON of backlog from videos that I haven’t posted on here, so the process will be long and ongoing so don’t expect everything to change overnight.

Well, that’s all I gotta say for now! Later guys!!

  • Andy.

I’m Quitting Facebook And Here’s Why

Earlier this week, I made some inflammatory remarks on my personal Facebook page and looking back on those remarks as well as the other content I shared there, I’ve decided to no longer update my personal Facebook. I then wrote a really lengthy post explaining to everybody why I’m quitting Facebook and the reasons behind my frustration with the platform as well as my own life. I want to share that post with you guys here as well.

Dear Facebook,

I want to thank everyone who reached out after my angry post, which I took down. I want to end things here on a better note than I did, so I’ll explain some things before I go.

I’ve been wanting to get away from Facebook for awhile now because I saw how toxic it’s become over the years, but mostly, it’s been consuming too much of my time because of my own need for self-validation, looking to see what connects with other people and what doesn’t, and taking it too personally when things don’t work out as planned.

A List of Grievances

A couple of months ago, I took a good hard look at myself and didn’t like who I was and what I was doing. I was falling back into bad habits again.
Eating fucking garbage all the time because I didn’t feel like cooking or was bored and needed some sensory stimulation. Gaining a fuck-ton of weight and hating myself everyday for how disgusting I look. How could any woman love something like that? Pathetic.
Being in the military has taught me to carry on with little to no sleep, which worked for getting through a mission underway, but even after I got out, I still felt the need to stay up really late only to turn around and wake up a scant couple of hours later for school or work. It helped me work through some tough projects and finals, but I didn’t need to do that all the time.
Looking at my Friends List here as I’m typing this, I see that I have 501 friends now. That’s more people than how many were stationed with me on Lassen or Curts! In high school, it would blow my mind if even 50 people cared enough to be my friend, but I’ve made 10 TIMES that! Amazing what 13 years can do, huh?
But even with so many friends, I’ve never felt so alone in my life. Even when I was miserable in the Navy, I at least had my division and my roommates when I got home. But now, aside from a couple of friends and family, I haven’t seen anybody since I got out.
Imagine my disappointment when I finally got out of the Navy and was able to spend some real time with my friends instead of trying to cram together everything into a week like I did when I came home on leave, nobody called. It wasn’t like I didn’t let anyone know I was getting out or when. But everyone’s got kids and full-time big-boy jobs now, so it’s expected that they wouldn’t have time to hang out. I just sat in my folks’ home waiting for 3 months before I could go apartment hunting.
Then I came out here to Kalamazoo Michigan, knowing no one and the closest relative being over 100 miles away. It was an uphill climb readjusting to civilian life, American life, and college student life all at the same time. I failed. A lot.
Had to get an apartment that cost too much because I haven’t rented a place in America for years at that point and so they were “taking a chance” with me. After the 5-month trial period ended and they could “trust” me, the rent came down. A little. I was still spending way too much for how little I was getting back in an apartment. Plus it was going downhill. Druggies were constantly running around my complex, and even as I was moving out, one idiot with his drug guard dogs stumbled into my apartment. So glad I got out of there.
After 6 months of looking for a job that would help me pay the bills along with the GI Bill and draining my savings, I caved in and got a kiddie job. The same job I had in high school. Can you imagine how humiliated I was having to crawl back to that stupid kid job? Someone who defended his country. Someone who had long since grown out of such petty work. But it’s the only place in the area that fits into my college schedule and can give me enough hours to pay the bills, so it can’t be helped.
Meanwhile I see all my friends doing so well having worked in their fields for years at this point, looking at me as someone still trying to play catch-up, working shit kid jobs and trying to make it in college. But how many countries outside of America have you visited? Hell, how many States have you visited?

Financial and emotional strain eventually took their toll on me and my grades started to slip. A lot. I decided to switch majors to something I was passionate about and my grades began to improve. I wanted to take easy courses to help really get my GPA up, but then apathy set in. Everything was TOO easy. I lost my motivation, my drive. I then transferred to a different school to work on more specific aspects of my major. I was challenged a bit more, but noticed that old habits were creeping up on me again, so that’s when I decided to make a change.

Enough Is Enough

First off, I decided to take a short break from school so I can better focus on what I want out of life. Just until the fall semester starts in September.
I’ve been working on building myself from the ground up. Eating better, following a healthy sleep schedule, reorganizing my apartment. Small steps that will lead to something bigger and reverse the habits. I’ve had slip-ups. I am fallible. But I still push on.
The next step is to remove other unhealthy habits that may seem trivial, but suck up a lot of my time. Namely Facebook.
I’ll still be on Messenger if you guys wanna talk to me, and I’ll still be running my Facebook aggregate page for my content. But aside from that, I’m done here.
I want to apologize to everyone I offended with my previous angry post. It was a release of anger, frustration, and suffering that had been building up for awhile now. I want to thank again those who reached out to me after that post as well.
We’ll see you next time,

I’m Taking A Social Media Break

Today, I’ve decided to take a break from all of my social media activity to focus on what’s important in my life right now; namely, passing college. After my break, I will  be significantly cutting down my time spent on social media platforms that take time away from me to do what’s important by giving me a constant flow of immediate tasks.
“Do what’s important, fuck what’s immediate.” – TheAndySan.
Admittedly even writing this is a distraction from things that are more important, such as all the homework that I’ve fallen behind on, but I want you guys reading this to know my rationale in stepping back.
What started this was a particularly heated discussion I had with one of my good friends on Skype today. He lit into my ass good, boi! At first, I thought that I was mad at him for all the shit he was saying to me. Like, who’s this mothafucker to call me out on my shit? Then, I calmed down, reread what he said again, and it hit me. I wasn’t really mad at him; I was mad at my faults that he happened to point out, in a very blunt manner I might add.
And it got me thinking: what can I do to pass this semester and prove him wrong? To be able to tell him to go fuck himself (in a friendly way of course) because I still passed even when you didn’t think I could.
The first thing I did was cut my YouTube subscriptions in half so I wouldn’t be tempted to watch so many videos all the time. I then uninstalled Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, TimeHop, and any other app from my phone that could distract me with a barrage of immediate tasks that add up to nothing. After class, I got food, went home, ate, did my business, showered, put away my clean clothes that have been sitting there since Tuesday, did the dishes, made a fresh cuppa coffee, and got everything here ready to go to complete my homework/quizzes for this week and to catch up on what I’ve missed so far. I had some other plans to declutter the apartment, but I’ll do those later once I have some assignments under my belt first.
Moral of the story is this:

“Kill your distractions.” – TheAndySan.

– TheAndySan.

What Matters Is That You Start

So before we begin, I want to give a quick update on where I’ve been lately since I haven’t uploaded any new or reuploaded videos or made a new blog post in awhile.

I’ve been busy wrapping up Summer I semester projects as well as working a lot at McD to catch up on bills that I fell behind on those last couple of months when I was unemployed. I feel like I’ve turned a dark corner in my life and that I’m in a much better position than I was at the beginning of the year or even the beginning of the summer. Come Fall semester, I should be much better prepared. Just gotta work on my time management, you know?

Anyway, new and old stuff will be coming soon so stay tuned! Now onto the post!!


Getting Started on YouTube Today

I was browsing around my YouTube Subscriptions and came across this video:

When I began YouTube back in 2006, it was a lot harder to get into making videos because you had to have a digital camera since there were no cell phones with video cameras on them at that time (or at least decent ones that weren’t insanely expensive). Now, with a camera on every phone, it’s almost TOO easy to get started making a video for YouTube.

But over this past decade, more and more YouTubers have joined the platform and the upload and production quality has significantly increased. This is both good and bad in that there are some very legit looking videos on YouTube now that could very easily be aired on TV without anyone batting an eye at the production quality, but at the same time, it’s getting more and more intimidating for new YouTubers starting out.

Just know that when everybody starts out, we’re not that good. We suck. We’re awkward on camera and we don’t yet know what we want our channel to be. THIS IS NORMAL. Go back and look at ANY big YouTuber’s first couple of videos and compare them to their videos today and you’ll see a HUGE difference.

Once you get into the groove of making videos, then you can begin to add the cool special FX, intro, green screen, better camera, and all that stuff. All of it is secondary to the video itself, the CONTENT if you will. None of the cool whizbang FX are gonna save an inherently crappy video.

It doesn’t matter what you start off with when you decide to make YouTube videos; what matters is that you start.


My Thoughts On What YouTubers Should Be

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post: My Thoughts On What J-Vlogging Should Be.


I was talking to one of my friends on Facebook about how the current J-Vlog scene seems so artificial and he was upset that I would imply that the newer YouTubers (he thinks that the new wave of J-Vloggers aren’t J-Vloggers but rather YouTubers who live in Japan and make videos about Japan and talk about Japan. Yeah, doesn’t sound like something a J-Vlogger would ever do /s) are being lazy or cheap in their efforts. I want to make this its own post rather than just add it to my previous one, so let me do some clarification.


What?! YouTubers Are Lazy?!!


I’m not saying they’re not putting in any effort, quite the opposite.


The thing that’s bugging me about how “People Who Are Totally Not J-Vloggers Who Live In Japan And Make YouTube Videos Showing Notable Parts of Japan And Occasionally Making Social Commentary About The Culture of Japan” (yup, totes not J-Vloggers /s) is that their videos are too slickly produced and it creates a distance between the YouTuber and the audience because the YouTuber has made this idealized version of themself that the audience can’t relate to.


I feel that as a YouTuber, you have to be 100% yourself, warts and all. When I met up with other YouTubers in Japan, I got a couple comments about how “it really was me” when they finally met me in person, and that made me so happy. As Kurt Bell aka SoftyPapa once said, “The message sent is never the message received” and I was initially afraid that the YouTubers I was meeting would have the wrong impression about me from my videos, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Speaking of Kurt, he’s a great example of an authentic YouTuber!


I know a lot of people were upset that he left Japan and wants nothing to do with making videos about it anymore, but that’s his prerogative. He was upfront about his frustrations and shortcomings living in Japan, so he decided to move back to Cali.


If he wanted to be “a YouTuber trying their best to make big videos that will attract an audience”, in order to retain that large audience he gained, he would have either tried to stay in Japan or continued to talk about his time in Japan while in the States, even though he doesn’t want to do it. But he stuck to what he believes in, told everybody what was going on, and explained the refocus of his main channel, and I respect him a lot for that.


What About YouTube Shows?! 


I know some people might be thinking, “But Andy! What about the people on YouTube shows? Are the characters on these shows not real YouTubers?!”


There’s certainly a place for characters on YouTube, but you have to be upfront with your audience that this is a character you’re performing and not who you really are. Otherwise people are going to get the wrong idea about you and not take what you have to say seriously when you do try to be authentic.


What Are Your Thoughts On What YouTubers Should Be?


I’d like to know what you guys think about this! Let me know in the comments below!



My Thoughts On What J-Vlogging Should Be

It’s been a week since I made a post, but I’ve been very busy with work and school so it’s hard to find the right time and creative headspace to sit down and write something. Until today! 😀


There’s been something that I wanted to talk to you guys about, but I didn’t quite know how to approach it. I still don’t, but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway.


I’d like to talk about what I think J-Vlogging (Japan Video Logging) should be about (hence the title).


I’m sad that the community lately has been largely focused more on the inner drama between a couple people (who they are changes with the weather it seems, so no use in naming names), going to well-known spots in Tokyo making Travel Channel-like videos, and making the occasional “Is Japan Racist?” video (this doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it still happens more than it should).


I’ve been a member of the community since its inception at the beginning of YouTube. I’ve seen lots of great J-Vloggers come and go, I’ve seen the community at its zenith, and I’ve seen it split off into the different subgenres of J-Vlogging that we see today.


I’d like to think that during my first time in Japan from 2013-2015, the AndyJapandy series was an authentic POV of my stay there. I was very hesitant on using B-Roll and doing voice-over for that stuff like I’ve seen so many other channels do because I feared that it’ll come off as pretentious and I’ll lose that connection with the people that watch. I also didn’t want to come off as a subject matter expert who knows every little thing about Japan because while I do know a lot about Japan, there’s still much I don’t know. However, I want to share what I do know and share my experiences without just making it a blank slate for anyone to insert themselves into to experience Japan vicariously. To me, it’s very personal.


Not sure if any of this made sense, but that’s just my feelings towards J-Vlogging; it should be about YOUR experiences in Japan and not a Travel Channel show about notable spots in Japan. You can show off those spots, but remember that it’s about YOUR experience there first and foremost.


If there are any J-Vloggers out there reading this, it’s not a dig on you guys; these are just, well, my own thoughts and opinions on J-Vlogging and you’re more than free to agree or disagree with me.


On that note, I’d also like to open the floor to you guys. Tell me what you think about the J-Vlogging community today. Is the TV show-esque voice over of B-roll footage what people like more than the original vlogging style of face in front of the camera and then voice behind the camera focusing on the scene? Or are those styles simply just different instead of one being better than the other? Just remember to be civil in the comments; no need to start a flame war here 😀



Good News & Bad News On My Study Abroad To Japan

So I just got back from school today after talking to my VA coordinator, and it turns out that my Post 9/11 GI Bill won’t cover study abroad costs or even the courses offered there. If I were to do the study abroad, the funding would have to come out of scholarships, grants, and out-of-pocket.


This is both good and bad in that while I can’t use the GI Bill at all during the study abroad, I will be able to resume using it when I come back. It’ll suck not having a monthly source of income from BAH while abroad, but I do have plans on applying for scholarships to help fund my stay in Japan.


In addition to scholarships, I’m also looking into other ways of funding such as GoFundMe. It’s still very early to announce my GoFundMe campaign because I need to look up what scholarships are available to me and the expenses incurred from studying abroad. That way, I can list a breakdown of everything so you’ll know exactly what you’re funding instead of me just putting up “Hey! I wanna go 2 Japan! Halp meee!”.


After work tonight, I’m going to email the study abroad coordinator for more info and to figure out where to go from here. I’m not considering the inability to use my GI Bill abroad as a solid NO for going back to Japan, but rather an extra roadblock for me to overcome. Once I get more info about scholarships and other means of funding, then I can establish a plan for getting back out there again.


Well, I have work soon so I’m gonna get ready. Bye guys!



Feeling Deflated Lately

My financial situation is really wearing on me. It sucks not being able to do anything. Sure I could go out and walk around town, but it’s just a barrage of stuff that I can’t buy, and that’s depressing. Not that I want to buy a lot of things, but it’s nice to know I can if I want to.

I don’t really feel sad about it since I’ll be getting paid in a week, but I’m not happy either. As the title says, I feel deflated; a real lack of energy.

I’ve also been cutting back my coffee consumption to just 1 cup a day instead of 2 in order to save on coffee and to better sleep at night. Despite those benefits (I’ve been sleeping really good lately), my mind has been feeling really sluggish and doing anything seems to be an ordeal.


Back To Japan In 2017?!

In happier news, I’ve been looking into study abroad programs in Japan offered at WMU and I’ve found one that I really like; the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture. It is a very scenic area with Hikone Castle and Lake Biwa very close by, and it’s only a 45-90 minute train ride to Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya, so there’s plenty to do and see! It’s gonna be about a year or two before I’m eligible for the program as I’m still a freshman and need to bump up my GPA a bit more. It should be good come 2017, but my rental contract doesn’t expire until April 2017 so I’ll have to stay here until then at least. Thankfully, the program seems flexible enough for me to start in the fall of 2017, but I need to talk to the program coordinator to see about expenses and if the Post 9/11 GI Bill will still cover me while in Japan. From what I’ve read, it should; but it’s best to make sure.

Also, just a little side note here, but if I do end up going back to Japan in 2017, it’ll coincide with the 10 year anniversary of Rodger Swan’s Tokyo Swan series, which started on September 19th 2007! It’s funny because we’re both J-vloggers and from WMU, although Rodger went to Keio in Tokyo.

I talked about the program and how excited I was to be possibly coming back to Japan, but a lot of my friends pointed out the amount of money that I need to get over there. It’s gonna take some time and I’ll have to sell a lot of my things to help cover the initial expenses. Thankfully from what I’ve read, as long as I’m still a full-time student I can also collect BAH even in Japan! I’m not sure what the dorm costs will be out there, but my expenses should be significantly lower once I get myself situated. I also still have my Japanese cell phone from when I was in Yokosuka, so I could get it reactivated at Softbank while I’m in Japan, so that’s one less thing to buy.


Gonna Watch Some Anime, BRB

Well, I’m gonna watch some good ol’ anime to relax tonight. I’m thinking first season of Genshiken (the best IMO) and then maybe finish up where I left off with the second season if there’s time. See ya guys!!



Got My First Check From McDonald’s…

…and it was only $18! What’s a guy to do with that? Why, buy a 4.5 pound (2 kg) bag of chicken nuggets of course! Hey guys, Andy here in the wee hours of the night!

In super awesome news, I just passed 300 followers on Instagram! Thanks so much, everybody! I know I don’t post as many pictures there as I used to when I was in Japan, but I’m so grateful for the support!

Watchin’ Teh Animuus

Lately, I’ve been getting back into anime. I really like to find older series because it was before the moe boom in the 00s, which got tiring to watch all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed most of those moe series, but when that’s the only thing being made, it gets boring and you begin to notice the cookie-cutter anime-by-numbers approach these series like to do. Oh, that’s the glasses one. That’s the normal one, That’s the clumsy one. That’s the one with the tig ol’ biddies. That’s the one who’s flat-chested. It became so easy to spot, and sadly, they didn’t get much character development beyond their one-note fetishes that they’re marketed to the super-obsessive Japanese otaku for in hopes of paying $80 for a DVD or Blu-Ray with maybe 3 episodes on it. I guess all that illegal totes legit downloading from back in the day before Crunchyroll and Hulu were a thing caught up to us somehow, huh? /rant

YouTube Schedule Mess-Up

I want to apologize for messing up the YouTube upload schedule this week. I totally forgot to schedule the videos for this week, which is why you only got the May 2016 Update PART DEUX and one reupload. I’ve since fixed the schedule for this week, and reuploads will be out once a day everyday at 10AM EST for the time being. If you guys are okay with that time slot, I’ll stick with it for now. If not, let me know.

Also, I’m working on the last 3 episodes of my Go! Go! Nippon playthrough on AndyCade, which will be released when they’re complete. I had to shift some things around due to work, getting homework done, and stuff like that. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on that so you’ll know when they’re coming out.

Back To The Animuus

Well guys, I’m off to start watching Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 tonight. Dunno how many episodes I can get through before bed, but we’ll see. Good night!