I've been living in Japan for six years now working on becoming a professional manga-ka, that is, someone who makes a living drawing comics. I've done work previously as an assistant for Gaku ~Minna No Yama~ by Shinichi Ishizuka, which is a successful manga catering to "salarymen", and for a freelance "ero-manga" manga-ka whenever he needs me. I graduated from the Nippon Designer Gakuin in 2008 with a degree in (what else?) manga, but before that I spent a year and a half at SCAD in Savannah, GA (who at that time did not support people who wanted to draw in manga-style).
And just because there is some confusion, let me just say; if you are working as an ASSISTANT on a manga (even if it's a very popular manga), that doesn't make you a MANGA-KA. That makes you an ASSISTANT. I have been doing manga in some form in Japan for four years now, and even I am not calling myself a manga-ka just yet. Being an assistant is still great and whatever, but you're not a manga-ka. That's like if I were a lighting technician working on a movie changing out bulbs and such and then telling my family "Hey Mom, I make movies. I'm a film maker!"
I also dabble in music, but that is becoming more and more just a hobby. I read manga (but I am NOT an anime fan), I hate maids (they have over-saturated anime, which might be why I hate it now), and I like to cook and play games on my DS and PSP.
I don't think I really talk much about my adventures in Japan anymore, since you tend to get used to the place after 16 months of it, but every once in a while I get into something, so if you find that interesting, check out my journal. I also sometimes post my somewhat mediocre art (I'm working on it) and writings, and occasionally a photo or two.
That's me in a very large nutshell. Originally from Oklahoma. Woo, go Pokes!