Friday, August 29, 2003

Greetings from J-List August 29, 2003

Hello again from J-List, this time in beautiful New York, New York.

First of all, we're sorry that the J-List server was down for a few hours on Thursday night, U.S. time. The server hit a rough patch and went down, but was brought back up safely. Sorry if you were trying to view the site during that window.

We're enjoying our time in New York so far, and have gotten in quite a lot of sightseeing and shopping done despite being busy setting up for the convention. Although the Yankees lost their game on Wednesday, it was thrilling to be there and see Matsui-senshu (senshu is a suffix that athletes get in Japanese -- it just means "player"), and we were pleased to see many of his fans at the game. The convention hotel is in a great location: we walk out the door and we're in the heart of Times Square, with lots of cool stuff to see, so we know we won't be bored here at all. Remember, if you are able to make it to this convention, it looks like it's really going to be a lot of fun. See for info on the show.

Going on a trip in Japan means one thing: you must make sure to buy lots of "omiyage" (oh-mee-yah-gay), souvenirs for those who didn't get to go with you. Be it a trip to Fukushima, in northern Japan, famous for its ramen, or to Hawaii, land of macadamia nuts and Kona coffee, whenever you go somewhere you must bring back lots of gifts with you. Much of our roaming around New York today was to look for just the right omiyage gift for J-List staff members and family, most of it related to Hideki Matsui, of course.

When I was studying at SDSU, I wanted to prepare myself to teach English as a Second Language, so I got a certificate on the theory and practice of teaching ESL. One thing I learned is that there are many approaches to learning a foreign language -- the Army method (stresses memorizing base sentences), the Grammar Translation method (understanding of the target language through its grammar), the Communicative method (try to encourage learning by communicating with others, usually ignoring grammar), and the Natural approach (try to copy how children learn language, stressing listening comprehension first). Another approach to learning a foreign language is the "get attention" method, which I'll label the Social Feedback Method to give it a cool-sounding name. Basically, you learn whatever vocabulary and phrases that will make you the life of the party among your new linguistic group, be it innovative ways to begin conversations with cute Japanese girls, or bizarre phrases to amuse people in your host country. I've seen this method work very well over the years, and have put it to use more than a few times myself. A friend who worked with me in Japan learned how to say "What's your hobby?" in Japanese ("Shumi wa nan desu ka?" in case you were curious), and through that one phrase made many friends during his stay in Japan.

For the new update, the J-List staff has added dozens of new products to the site, including great new toys (including Kubrick figures, Studio Ghibli toys, and more), character goods (new Domo-kun items!), art books (Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball anyone?), new Hello Kitty items, and more. For our adult customers, we've also got many great new items added. See them on the site if you are over 18.

In addition to the new items posted, we're happy to announce a great convention special for all J-List customers who aren't able to attend the show: free shipping (US/Canada, half price for int'l) on all English-translated bishoujo games, resulting in a huge savings to you -- especially since you can still take 20% off the total if you get 4 or more games. Now is a great time to get some of the great Japanese dating-sim games we've got for you, like those Peach Princess or G-Collections games you've been hesitating on -- so what are you waiting for?

Well, that's all for now. If you'll be at the convention, we'll see you there tomorrow. If not, we'll see you on the web!