Another new year is upon us. As I like to do at the beginning of a new year I looked back at 2013 at took the liberty of picking out a handful of posts that I think represent the best Jamaipanese.com had to offer over the previous year. Below you can find a nice mixture of posts that were well received on a variety of topics such as anime, gaming, college life, photography, life in Jamaica, personal interests and other topics. I’d like to also take this opportunity to wish every a Happy 2014 and thank you for your support. Like what you read below and want to see Jamaipanese.com reviews from previous years? Check out the Best of Jamaipanese.com from 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and of course 2012.

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Jamaipanese.com wins big at Jamaica Blog Awards – I won a personal achievement award for excellence in blogging. As a longtime blogger being recognized for my work over the years on Jamaipanese.com is a very big deal. Through blogging so many doors have been opened for me, I have met so many people I wouldn’t have met otherwise and life as a whole has been so much more interesting. In today’s information age blogging can be a powerful platform to share you voice and opinion and in my case a vehicle that allows you to go to places and see things I never thought possible.

1st Semester Complete – College Life Off to a Good Start – Anyone who attends college while holding down full-time 9-5 job should be given a medal. I say that not because I have been doing that for the last five months but because I now know first hand how difficult it is and now wish to dropkick anyone who wastes time while attending college full-time. The first semester of my College journey is complete with mostly positive results.

Dragon Ball Canned Drinks help raise your power level – Feeling that you are not strong enough lately? Are you being defeated by inferior adversaries? Not able to punch through steel or run 100 metres 10x faster than Usain Bolt anymore? Then the DyDo beverage company in Japan has a special limited edition product just for you! A carbonated beverage in two flavours that features some of the mightiest warriors earth has ever seen, all from the immensely popular manga and anime series Dragon Ball!

Jamaipanese portrait by @Khisayama – Thank You! – During my regular perusal of the Twittersphere I happened upon a tweet by my pal  @RYOtheSKYWALKER that showed a cool-looking portrait of himself. I asked about it and he revealed that it was done by portrait painter @Khisayama. I inquired about getting one done of myself and a he obliged!  Below is my new self-portrait that I really really really really (did I say really?) love. I plan to print it out, frame it and hang it in my mancave. Thank you @Khisayama!!!!

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Birthday Celebrations at Japanese Restaurant Cocoro – From my experiences eating Japanese food in Japan I think I was much more open to trying new things than I would have been if I didn’t go to Japan. Between me, Richard and another friend we ordered Salmon Skin Sushi Roll and Baby Octopus as appetizers then some Teriyaki Chicken and Friend Shrimp Curry and finally  Tebasaki Chicken Wings.

Jamaipanese is now on Instagram! – I joined instagram a few days ago and not surprisingly you can find me at instagram.com/jamaipanese. I’m going to be experimenting a lot in the first few weeks but I should be posting at least one photo a day. What kind of photos do you expect to see? My profile description should say it all: “Proud Jamaican and Japan Enthusiast. Blogger, Gamer, Techie, Student and Photographer”, so expect pictures of unicorns, my secret moonbase and my imaginary marriage to Michelle Rodriguez.

Chronixx – Smile Jamaica – Video and Lyrics – Jamaica’s local music scene has spawned many international hits and superstars over the decades and our music has influenced artists and sounds globally. The latest local son that seems destined for global stardom is Chronixx, a young vocalist who burst on the scene last year with his conscious positive messages that is overdue in a local music void of uplifting messages especially for the young.

Achievement Unlocked! First year of college complete – 2 semesters, 9 courses and almost 10 months after stepping into UTECH for my official first day as a university student I can report that I survived the first year. All courses passed with a few disappointing grades but a feeling of satisfaction that is so hard to explain. If it feels so good to just be done with the first of 4 years I’ll be over the moon when I graduate.

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My First Loot Crate – Gamer Geek Goodies – Its no secret I am a gamer and I am a very proud geek, so when I discovered a website a few months ago that promised to send me epic gamer geek goodies every month I was ecstatic. My first and only loot crate so far is the April 2013 crate which was under the theme “Token”. In it I got a few items that reminded me of the good old days of the video game arcade. Items covering Space invaders, Street Fighter, an arcade token, Mario and candy.

Appreciating Twitter – Six Years After Joining – Quite honestly I didn’t trust Twitter, not in the sense that it was going to run off with my random ramblings; more in the sense that it was one of the the gazillion services riding the “web 2.0″ wave at the time. It was clunky and unreliable with a logo that tried to hump your eyeballs when you looked at it for extended periods. Fast forward a few years, various redesigns, updates and almost 20,000 tweets later and like an old geezer, I rub my chin and smoke my imaginary pipe thinking about back in the day when Twitter was for geeks.

Kirk “Jamaipanese” Brown featured in today’s Gleaner Youthlink – A few weeks ago at a technology related press event I crossed paths with a representative from the Jamaica Gleaner who heard about my blog thanks to my pal Gordon Swaby and how I managed to visit Japan after launching Operation Visit Japan. Fast forward a few weeks and a couple more conversations later and today I please to announce that there is a short feature on my successful trip to Japan in today’s Youthlink Magazine which comes with the Tuesday Gleaner.

Meet my Star Wars: The Old Republic characters – My main character is an Imperial Agent Sniper with the code name “Infidel”. The class story plus abilities focusing on tech, gadgets, probes, range and the best looking ship in the galaxy makes my geeky heart flutter with each snipe, ambush and orbital strike. This toon is primarily for endgame operations/raiding and PvE and easily has the highest body count of all my other characters combined.

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Meet Polar – a Kitten I rescued – I’d harbored dreams of someday adopting a puppy but dogs were not allowed in my housing scheme so I considered a kitten as an alternative. I went to check out the kittens and it was like walking into a “meow musical”. Almost all the kittens were already adopted but there was one – a mostly white character with a tri-coloured head and tail. That was when my heart melted and my prospecting turned out into the decision to adopt my very own kitten, here and there.

New Phone acquired! – Samsung Galaxy S4 – I replaced my aging and broken HTC Legend with a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4. I loved my HTC Legend but being stuck with Android 2.2 and seeing more and more apps becoming unusable was starting to become a big problem and an upgrade was needed. My Galaxy S4 is that new top-of-the-line phone powered by Android (which I am a big fan of) is from a different manufacturer with more updated Android and additional bells and whistles that illustrates how far smartphones have come in a few short years.

Anime Nation 2013 Cosplay Contest Highlights – Anime Nation 2013 Cosplay Contest Highlights – Now it is fourth year, Anime Nation gets better and better each year and the costumes on show have also been improving and becoming more intricate and detailed. I really enjoyed the Cosplay competition and seeing so many cosplayers coming out.

In loving memory of my calico cat, Polar – My calico cat Polar was a beautiful cat, a very vocal cat with a personality that took me months to decipher, understand and adapt to. She was obedient one day and a rampaging, disobedient, rascal the next. She did very peculiar things like sleeping on her back with her legs open, snuggling up next to my laptop to feel the hot air from the vents, waking me up at 6am on the dot EVERY morning, cleaning herself like a prissy germaphobe but terrified by the sight, sound or feel of water.

Shingeki no Kyojin – First Season Impressions – I  unintentionally withdrew from the anime watching sphere as I grew bored watching the majority of shows I decided to check out. Then Shingeki no Kyojin came along and reignited my anime flame. It was heavy on emotion with a detailed art/animation style and a first episode that is one of the best I have ever watched. That first episode laid a foundation for the first season to build upon.

Tokyo wins bid to host 2020 Olympic Games – Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic games after beating out Madrid and Istanbul in the final round of voting. Tokyo became the first Asian country to host anOlympic Games in 1964 and although their bid to host the 2016 games was strong they narrowly missed out to Rio as it is thought that another Olympic games in Asia so soon after the Beijing Olympics in China was not a good idea.

Cool Blue Hole Revisited – Cool Blue Hole is a hidden natural gem that is a favourite getaway of mine. I first visited three years ago and shared some great photos in a blog post here. Since then I have been back a couple of times and last weekend I visited with a small group of friends again on a VERY rainy day.

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Jamaican Language Teachers Making Their Mark in Japan – Being a part of the The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is a dream I have had for a very long time. Now in my second year of college I know that after completing my degree I will be able to apply to become a JET in Japan and be able to not only teach English but learn more about Japanese culture as well as sharing Jamaica’s culture as well.

Jamaipanese.com turns 8 in Febrary 2014! I wonder what surprises I have in store for readers of my blog? Stay tuned to Jamaipanese via the following channels and stay in the loop!
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