…That was the original working title for this post when I began writing it yesterday as VOX allowed me access for a short while last night but something that Paul Thomas wrote to me today in an e-mail has changed my mind so perhaps a move to a new site is in question. It's now Thursday and 3:37 p.m. and I've just been able to access VOX again but I'm not sure for how long so I'll try finishing this first…. Zush also mentioned a suggested new site host but I'm not sure if I can impose that way on someone…after all it's just me and this little blog. 😛
It's now 5:12 p.m. on Wednesday and I've been trying to access this site since about noon today. In case anyone's wondering no I haven't fallen off of the edge of the earth just yet but since Sunday this very moment marks just the second time that I've been able to access VOX. And I mean all VOX related sites not just this one as my browser just keeps freezing up on…."transferring data from aka-static.vox.com" seemingly endlessy as I've left it there for a few hours once to see if anything would ever load which just didn't happen. I've already tried clearing out my browser's memory and I also tried out Opera which interestingly can access VOX sites but it doesn't display every thing on the page and it doesn't allow me to compose any posts so that's out too. And IE is even worse. But you see it's just VOX as Firefox can access any other site that I direct it to just as long as it's not VOX related. I'm going to try to write every thing in this one post because I don't know if and when I'll be able to access this site again after I close this page.
I apologize so much for not being able to respond to recent comments and private messages as I just can't get into them as well. I am able to read comments on my Blackberry but I'm unable to respond directly to a particular person so I don't think that's very useful either. There's just so many issues that keep coming up and I think this is the one straw that finally breaks the camel's back so to speak. I'm just really tired….not being able to upload photos directly to VOX, I can deal with that……having to restart my laptop each and every time that I upload a music file to VOX, I can deal with that….but not being able to even access this site on a normal basis, I think that's asking for too much.
Last night when I was mysteriously finally able to access this site which was the first time since Saturday night I started to write a post but after about 2 hours of writing either VOX, Firefox, Vista or a combination of them decided to eat my post as it just froze up and I was unable to save or recover any of it besides the title as all of the text and photos were gone. Firefox does this thing where it tries to restore your last session but even that function was unable to recover the post. It wouldn't be so bad if I could say that my dog ate my post but I don't own a dog. 😛
I do fully intend to finish the "Berikyuu! Idol" voting over the next few weeks but without regular access to VOX unless some miracle occurs sometime soon, I intend to post it elsewhere and possibly ask Paul at Hello!Blog to link it for me if he would. I actually e-mailed him a short while ago asking if he could post a little comment here saying that I was unable to access VOX (edit: he's already posted the comment for me!) but just now it finally let me in but I fully expect that after I close this browser it won't work again for a long time as has been the trend. VOX recently underwent a server change and I don't know if that has anything to to with this accessibility issue but I don't imagine that being the case as I'm seemingly the only one who's unable to access VOX as far as I know.
And I apologize again that I most likely wont be able to reply to anyone through VOX although I will be able to read them on my Blackberry. It's really like being muzzled. :O So anyway here's what I was writing last night until the three-headed monster VOX/Firefox/Vista ate it……….I wish I could remember everything that I wrote…as it's so frustrating trying to re-write something that you've already written…..
…It's amazing how time flies and an idol that I sort of "grew" up with in the sense that she regularly graced the idol magazines that I began collecting early on in my road to idol obsession, Matsumoto Rio is already 25! My subscription to UTB began in late '95 and you may have noticed that on the cover of UTB above from September '97 her name is written as Matsumoto "Megumi" which is an earlier "stage" name that she went by prior to a hiatus from the entertainment industry which then saw her return with "Rio" in place of Megumi. I remember when I first saw her going under the name Matsumoto Rio….and I was thinking that she was possibly "Megumi's" sister because they "looked" so much alike! 😛 Then shortly thereafter I learned that it was her! And speaking of UTB, the idol publication that I've loved so much over the years, it's gone through a change of sorts with its latest issue and I think the jury is still out on whether those changes are for the better. Since late '95 I've watched this publication go through 3 significant changes in terms of magazine layout and features which have involved the actual size of the magazine, it's features, paper type, as well as extras. From trading cards, pull out posters, clear files, DVDs, etc., UTB has offered a fair share of fan enticing extras but with the new format all of that seems to have gone away unfortunately although I'm still hopeful that this one issue is just a one time special edition and while it does include a very impressive array of idols, each individual article is quite limited. Also all of the special feature articles are absent from this issue and that's possibly the most worrisome change overall. In the past UTB used to even have a section dedicated to J-Pop new releases and it's really sad that that feature has also disappeared over time. I'm really anticipating the next issue as I think a lot of questions on the magazine's "new" format will be answered and ironically I'm hoping for a return to something a bit more similar to one of its previous formats.
Matsumoto Megumi….haha I keep wanting to type that…I mean Rio has grown from a successful idol and become quite an accomplished actress whose resume is very impressive as it includes numerous t.v. dramas and movies which she has appeared in over the past 10 years. And like so many other idols, Rio also ventured into the music industry albeit a very very brief venture at that as she released just one single release.
Admittedly I've purchased my fair share of one shot idol music releases where things just didn't pan out as hoped but in numerous cases perhaps some idol's vocals just weren't suited for the endeavor…however that's exactly where Matsumoto Rio differs. I had previously heard her speak in dramas and I never imagined that she'd have such a great singing voice but this really can be the case with so many other vocalists as well. Matsumoto Rio's vocals projects a deepness with both strength and character and her ability to hit a subtle falsetto adds a beautiful and memorable touch to her release "Seraphito no komori uta." And although this release is about 4 years old it holds no characteristics in style, arrangement or genre which the passing of time can otherwise tarnish.
And with the powerhouse musical home Avex behind her this release didn't skimp on any of its attention to presentation or extras as all of the outer pages of the booklet as well as the front and back covers are all presented on beautiful glossy thick stock paper along with the inclusion of a DVD containing the pv for the title track "Seraphita no komori uta" along with two t.v. CM spots (AVCD-30622/B edition). This release is also available without the extra DVD.
To further point out the elegance of this release, when both discs are removed they reveal an absolutely beautiful gate fold photo of Rio which is spread across both the front and back inner jackets.
I tried to scan them together here…I just love this photo of her so much! ^-^
Three songs and a total of six tracks are included with this release: "Seraphita no komori uta", "Sweet Season", "Make me smile", "Seraphita no komori uta" (piano version), "Seraphita no komori uta" (Instrumental), and "Make me smile" (Instrumental). Here I've uploaded the pv for the title track:
The songwriting is nothing short of excellent and with Rio's strong performance it leads me to speculate that perhaps she opted for a career centered on acting and fashion design rather than music as with a debut this impressive it's difficult to imagine any other reason for her abandoning the music industry altogether after just a single release with such strong backing and support.
Here are tracks 2 and 3 from her single:
I can't stress enough how beautiful I feel the production is for this release as Matsumoto Rio is the picturesque vision of pure elegance throughout all of its included photos.
Here's a little trip down memory lane from about 11 to 13 years ago and isn't she absolutely adorable in these photos! I've always thought that her best facial feature is her beautiful large almond shaped eyes! And this may sound a bit strange but I also loved her eyebrows too when she was younger! 😛
These two snapshot collage pages show her fun playful side! So cute!
I really wish that I had known about these types of widgets when I first began here on VOX as the information would be that much more interesting and complete….Hmmm…..Hennka why didn't you join VOX sooner! 😛 With Bloggerpatrol installed since March 8th, 2008 it's been about 2 months and a week of data collected on visitors to this site and at this moment the visitor count is 23,112 with a total of 53,196 hits and roughly it's a little over 10,000 visitors per month in well these past two months. Interestingly a large portion of these hits occur on much older posts here and it always surprises me when it's actually a photo that links visitors here. A lot of my older posts have really awful resolution regarding photos so I'm really sorry about that but I was so limited back then with my old pc…"Dino." 😛
Here's one of my favorite features of Blogpatrol's database as this is a pie chart from about a week ago based on this blog's data. It displays the number of unique visitors to your site on a daily basis and shows which countries they're from. What really surprised me at first was that even though I don't write posts in Japanese here Japan counts for a significant number of my visitors which is almost a third, Japan is second only to the United States as far as visitor location as Japan counts for 30.45% of unique visitors here versus 40.26% from the U.S. The rest of the percentages from the chart above for this blog are as follows: Australia: 6.99%, U.K.: 4.29%, Thailand: 4.04%, Canada: 3.97%, Singapore: 3.08%, Indonesia: 2.76%, Taiwan: 2.24%, and Germany with 1.92%. The last two pie slices for Taiwan and Germany aren't labeled above but if I hover my mouse over the slices the countries' percentages appear. I do wonder how much of a percentage is required for a country to appear though as I do imagine that there are other countries where visitors are from which don't appear in this graphic analysis. If you aren't yet using a widget such as this one I highly recommend it as it's really interesting to see the data which Blogpatrol is able to acquire and I believe that you can just click on the widget that I have here on the right side to reach their website and then set up your own Blogpatrol account which is totally free! ^-^
Well the week wasn't all bad as while I've been dealing with issues with access to VOX sites Cdjapan did deliver me the PV DVD single for Milky Way, C-ute's latest DVD single for "Namida no iro", and Yes!!!! Buono!'s LE of their latest single offering "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!"!!! (^o^)/…and Fields of maiZe and berryZ and Berryz Kobo International have reviews that you'll just love!! ^-^
I also received from Amazon Japan an issue of Switch magazine with Aragaki Yui on the cover along with Kamei's latest shashinshuu extravaganza!!!…..and this one just caught my eye!! An issue of "Digital Photo Technique" where Kamei is the cover girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I may try scanning some of the photos inside as she has a 9 page article inside but I'm just so afraid of creasing the cover and spine! 😛
Again I hope to have the "Berikyuu! Idol" results from week one up soon….please "aka-static.vox.com" be good to me! 😛 A total of 126 votes have been cast so far and the voting will close at midnight tonight for anyone else interested in seeing their favorites make it into the next week. I'll still accept entries for the Berryz Kobou/ C-ute DVD giveaway up until the first week's voting results have been posted. ^-^
I'll post again soon….if VOX allows me access……