azurite: (believe in subtext)
So it's all David S.'s fault, I've started reading The Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher. They're an excellent fantasy series, and I went from borrowing the first book ("Storm Front") to buying the second through fifth books and one of the graphic novels ("Welcome to the Jungle") at Borders. My goal is to have read all 12 books and hopefully the short stories collection, "Side Jobs," by March 29th, 2010, when the 13th book in the series comes out.

I know it was also a Sci-Fi Channel series (back when it was Sci-Fi, dammit, not Syfy and had wrestling and horrible Monster-of-the-Week B-movies on), so I've started watching that via Netflix.

Just in the first few minutes of the first episode, and I'm nagged by a few details...

What's Bob got to do with it? )

Well, it's not half-bad, for a Dresden Files-BASED television series, short-lived though it may be. I'm not sure if the actor, while Harry-ish, fits my mental image of Harry Dresden, but he's not completely off the marker. And the music is cool. I might give this series a shot, but I'll keep reading the books first and foremost.

I do kind of want Dresden Files (book/comic/TV series) icons and/or wallpaper, though....
azurite: (twilight - fursplode!)
So I saw "Eclipse" the other night with Stephanie. I didn't pay for it: she used passes! So I have kept my promise of never paying for anything involving "Twilight," except for the time I saw the first movie, and that was genuinely for the LULZ. I was so obnoxious--and I admit it!--during the screening that it more than made up for the cost of the movie and the Junior Mints I think I ate. I wasn't quite as obnoxious during this screening, but it was great to know there were other folks in the theatre who just saw it for the LULZ.

FURSPLODE! )
azurite: (fiction - have written)
So rather than wail about all the Post-Its I have lying around with things to do, my near-empty Listography book, and the things I wish were working out, instead, a list of things I've accomplished today, big and small:

* Read a lot of emails and deleted the ones I don't need (have several thousand to go, but boo hoo)

* Heard back from both Adobe and JourneyEd regarding CS5: I have to spend $449 if I want it, because I don't qualify for the post-announce free upgrade, and there's no discount for an "upgrade" version of Design Premium from CS4 to CS5. So that, plus a camera are now on my Wish List.

* Got approved for the "In Plain Sight" - Mary x Marshall fanlisting - now I just need a name for it! YAY!?

* May be on the waiting list for a focus group and put my name out there for another one; they pay well and don't take long, so why not?

* Put the dishes away

* Registered for the NSCS Region 5 Summit in Seattle, WA on July 6th and 7th. It's my last conference as an NLC member (well, a "retiring" NLC member)!

* Am researching travel options for getting up to Seattle, esp. so soon after cousin Erin's wedding in Los Angeles on the 4th. Virgin America and Southwest are looking the cheapest, since the Amtrak Coast Starlight just doesn't mesh with my needed arrival and departure times. (Also: Anime Expo from July 1-4! So 1-3 = Anime Expo, 4 = Wedding + Fireworks, 5 = ? 6-7 = Seattle! Talk about a packed schedule for one week!)

* Also researching potential post-graduation travel options. Should I go down to San Diego after my orthodontist's appointment, and then head back up with Aunt Joyce in time for the bridal shower, or hang out in North Hills with cousin Jill and fam for a few days and meet up with Joyce on the day of the shower? Train ticket to S.D. would cost me $30-32, but it's more like "What the heck would I do down there?" and "Would I be intruding?" I suppose I should ask at least, so I have the option open, right?

* Got a huge scene done in the revision of Only 16, Chapter 2: A Look Back, which starts the flashbacks that reveal more about Serenity and Endymion's past. I'm contemplating deleting those from Endymion's point of view altogether, since Only 16 really is Serena's story, and even if Darien DOES remember his past completely and is just hiding it from Serena, why give him THAT much screen time? Isn't it more suspenseful having you wonder how things are really going from his end? I've only gone into his POV a few times in the revision so far, and never very deeply. But re-reading Lilac Summers' "First Truths" has made it a lot easier to 'ship them again (*shock!*).

* Updated WikiFic to 1.15.3, and added the much-debated lyrics of "Ahead of the Game." Mass consensus agrees that the garbled lyrics in the second verse are "My liquidity, giant balance sheet. All my secrets, Hey! I'll even cheat." Though how "I'll even cheat" makes sense when Kaiba (whose image song this is) is bragging about how much smarter, more creative, etc. he is than his opponent, isn't cheating making him look worse, not better? I personally think he should have said "I won't even cheat," as if he's restraining himself from cheating just to get a horrible duel over with. What do you think?

* Got started on my graduation announcements--the paper ones. A few family members left to get addresses for and send out, and then...have to figure out the rest. *bats eyelashes* Can YOU come?

MOAR LEFT:
* Dabble in revisions and/or additions to the following fics: Aftermath of Angels (FF8 x YGO), You and Me (body-swap YGO Azureship fic; thanks a lot for reminding me, [livejournal.com profile] mischiefmagnet!)
* Story-So-Far comparison of the book Paprika to the movie
* Revisions to previous chapters of WDKY + uploading to all the usual suspect sites -- someone on AnimeXX.de asked me if they could do a German translation of the fic! I can't read German to save my life, so should I say yes and just pray they do a decent job, or say no because I'd never be able to understand it?
azurite: (batgirl - spanish inquisition)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain

Comment saying, "Interview me!" and I will ask you five questions. Post the answers to your journal and offer to interview the people that comment on YOU and so on...

1. If you put on the sorting hat at Hogwarts, where do you think you'd end up?
I'd probably vex the sorting hat! Is it a bit narcissistic to say that? I'd probably end up in Gryffindor, not because that's the main house we follow in the Harry Potter series or because that's where Hermione, my favorite character is, but because I identify a lot with the Gryffindor traits. I also identify with the ones of Ravenclaw, but not as much with Hufflepuff, and very little with Slytherin (I do kind of wish I had the "ambition" trait that Slytherin seem so well-known for)

2. Do you believe in "no regrets" or are you more "live and learn?"
I wish I could be "no regrets," but if you don't learn, you're not really living, are you? I'm also the kind of person who often thinks of her life in "chapters," and I have a few right now that I feel like they're unwritten, but not to the point where, if I died tomorrow, I'd really, really hate it. It's just a bit sad. I think life is all about learning.

3. Any (I guess... up to five or so) favorite songs-of-the-moment?
I always listen to everything on Shuffle, so to determine this would involve figuring out what songs I start with. I've been on my "Famous Commercial Songs" playlist lately, and some songs on there that I enjoy particularly include:
-Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second by Starfucker (the Target pharmacy song)
-Sinnerman (Felix da Housecat's Heavenly House mix) by Nina Simone (The HTC myTouch phone song)
-Breathe by Télépopmusik (the Mitsubishi song)
But also
-Just Dance by Lady GaGa (well...because it's Lady GaGa)
-Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park (even though it's off the Twilight soundtrack, it's such an inspirational song! I love it!)

4. If you could have any super power, what would you choose? And would be prefer to be a super hero or a super villain?

I probably think about this way too often! I often waver among the ability to teleport, super-speed, flying (those are all related, can you tell?) and super-strength, just to kick some ass. I'd definitely want to be a superhero, because I'm a firm believer in the good versus evil concept, although I know in reality, no villain is evil just to be evil; they think what they're doing is good and right for them or their cause.

Here's my superhero form, as rendered by DeviantARTist Ammotu's generator:

5. What was your favorite book when you were a child?
That's a hard question! I actually read a LOT as a child (I still do, but probably not nearly as voraciously; as a kid, going to the library for 3 hours at a time was a weekend adventure for me). I read a lot of Greco-Roman mythology and Nancy Drew especially. I've hung onto some of my books from when I was a kid; some of the Berenstain Bears books, Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass, Dr. Seuss...but a favorite? That's too hard!
azurite: (Default)
Bad News: Yesterday I bought The Sims 3 at $20 off MSRP from Target. I opened it up this afternoon with the intent of installing it only to discover...no DVD! I thought at first that maybe that's why they give you the "plumbob" USB drive, but nope: nothing but music, wallpapers, and other such extras on that. I also didn't get the green carabiner as shown on the box.

I wonder if I have to go back to the exact same Target to switch it out? I know I'll have to open the new copy in-store, since I don't want to go home and end up gypped again.... yeesh.

Also, Frustrating News: still no solution on getting my bookmarks OFF my Android myTouch 3G phone. All kinds of ways to get my bazillions of computer bookmarks ON THERE, but that's not the point. I don't care about that. I want my bookmarks OFF, and I can't even do it when I plug in my phone to my laptop, because of all the data recognized when I mount it, none of it seems to be "bookmarks." Maybe it's hidden, or under a weird name or strange file type...any suggestions? My Google-fu has failed me in this regard. It's no good if I have to get another phone browser, unless it can IMPORT the bookmarks from the default phone browser and then allow me to export them elsewhere. There are bookmark apps, but none I've seen with export. Does this mean I just have to wait for Android 2.0 or a Bookmark Sync feature from Google? *le sigh*

Good News: I did finally get a gel skin, a wrist strap, and a new protective screen. I still intend on switching out my ZAGG screen that got fuzz-covered for a new one, but maybe AFTER I've gotten more settled here. Hopefully this means the back of my phone won't keep coming off and letting the battery pop out.

More Frustrating News: Still no solution as of yet for how to edit my custom Layer Style on LiveJournal that I use for getting an RSS feed of my Friends' Page, even the authenticated entries. NetNewsWire is the only RSS reader I know that lets me log in and stay logged in, and while it's been working mysteriously good for the past few weeks, it's annoying trying to decipher entry subject lines among HTML. Other RSS readers convert it to actual links; I don't care either way. I posted to [profile] everything_lj, but no response yet. :( I'd try figuring it out myself, except I don't want to break the layer altogether, especially not when it's actually working!

Good News: I started reading a new Egyptian historical fiction, Michelle Moran's "The Heretic Queen." So far, so good. I'm actually getting somewhat inspired for CO7, which is better than nothing. I'm starting to develop the opinion that to write something--anything--is better than to write nothing at all and be stuck in this rut of "have to write in order!" At least if I have some scenes down, I can work with a beta or someone to fill in the blanks.

Eh News: I've got a few ideas for some GD articles, but they're comparable to the form of clouds: light and wispy. I'll need time to get them solidified, and in the meantime, there's homework!

Oh! News: Turns out my DeVry professor was right about the whole Photoshop slice badge thing in my last quiz. It was a trick question; the slice badges CAN display whether or not a slice is linked, but only in the optimization process, not with normal slices (although the question probably should have specified that, using "normal slices" instead of just "slices" in general), and rollover effect badges aren't seen since ImageReady went the way of the dodo. So...yeah, layer-based. Whoop-de-doo, it's only 2 points. I'm still getting an A. And it feels good to at least have clarified and asked, because otherwise I would still be confused and a little angry.

Babymaker!

Oct. 9th, 2009 10:56 am
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
So I had a really weird dream that I just woke up from. While with some dreams, you can tell that things you've seen or done play a role in how the dream ends up, I can honestly say I have no idea where this dream came from.

Well first there was a vacuum... )

I have a very strange brain.
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I know what it's called (mondegreen) when you mishear the lyrics to a song ("'Scuse me while I kiss this guy"), but what do you call it when you misremember the lyrics? I misremembered a line from Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive" as "chamois killing machine." WATCH OUT FOR THAT SNUGGIE!

Long sleep, weird dreams )

I wonder what it all means? (Could me starting to have read Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" yesterday have anything to do with it? Hmm...)
azurite: (star trek: head bop)
I'm calm now, but I wasn't on Thursday and Friday, when I had to go to Van Nuys for Jury Duty. So much for my day off, right? So I plotted my schedule using metro.net the night before, figuring out which bus lines I had to take, when I had to be at the stops, and how much it would take.

The wheels on the bus go round and round )

Anyway, I opted to go to In-N-Out for lunch, since I passed it on my way home, but I was too freaked out to take a bus line different from the one I had used to get there. I ended up on a Rapid bus again, missing the In-N-Out by several blocks, and it was no fun walking through that neighborhood! The actual restaurant was in a nice-ish shopping complex called "The Plant," and it was so close to another bus line that I was pretty sure would take me to my last transfer point that I ended up doing taking that instead of walking back to the nearest Rapid stop. I got back to my transfer point with no trouble, and caught my last bus within a few minutes. My Star Trek book was pretty fascinating, but by the time the route wound through the VA Hospital, I was exhausted! I couldn't wait to get home and go to sleep...which I did, of course. For five hours. Could I be a narcoleptic?

Last night I finished reading that Star Trek book, "Federations," and I must admit, it was EXCELLENT. I might not know a lot about the original series (it's a sort of "crossover" between TOS and TNG), but it's books like those that get me itching to watch some of the episodes, even if they are dreadfully cheesy. Some of them set the stage for some great adventures! I especially loved how everything was tied up in the end, as opposed to there being messy tidbits as a result of later movies and whatnot. For the time when it came out, it fits smoothly into the timeline, as far as I can tell, versus other Star Trek novels that contradict episodes of the shows or other media. Of course, the comic that came out prior to the new Star Trek movie might not count, since it's a prequel for an alternate universe...except that prequel was SET in our Trek universe (at least I'm 99.9% sure that it was), so now I'm even more confused!
azurite: (textually active)
Books )

Buying... or rather, selling )

Boxes. Inboxes, that is. )

Mer is a scatterbrain:
I was supposed to go to a meeting with my English advisor today. I got out of my biology class ridiculously early and called Mom, grabbed some El Pollo Loco, and then went to the MIC to find out about the NSLS's advisor and DVD. I ate my lunch after the brief meeting and got some things together, sent a few emails, but I completely forgot about the meeting. I had it in my head to go to HR to find out why I haven't received my paycheck yet, but then I glanced at the clock and I only had 20 minutes to get to class! It wasn't until I was putting my things down in class that I realized I'd completely forgotten the meeting! ARRRRRGH! I'm trying to get my graduation evaluation (grad check) completed (it has to be signed by my advisors) so I can find out WHEN I'm supposed to graduate, but so many things keep getting in the way! Plus, time seems to be against me and speeding by awfully fast.

But, I'm still thinking positive and trying not to get stressed just yet. Yoga is doing wonders for me, even if it's only once a week (and I missed last week thanks to Zyrtec) and this week I was kind of a klutz when we tried to get our legs up on this "bar." Ahh... never mind that. X_X
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
[livejournal.com profile] aelibia, I will willingly accept whatever punishment you see fit for me for reneging on my promise to be online by 2pm today. My grandparents and I ended up going to the mall at 1:30, and what was supposed to be a short excursion turned into an all-day affair because my hair stylist no longer works on Sundays, and I couldn't think of a time during the coming week to go see her, so I opted for a last-minute appointment that took 2.5 hours (I got a cut, highlights, and my brows done)! After that, I went on my search for shoes, and... well, that didn't go so well.

So yes, still searching for the perfect, sexy, comfortable shoe. I went to Macy's first, since I had to return something there anyway (well, get it "fixed" is more like it), and I saw a lot of cute shoes, but cute ≠ comfortable, and I've got to apply my same standards that I do for clothing as I do for accessories and shoes. A variety of brands had nice designs, but I was going for a few specific traits:
* A medium-to-high heel; no more than three or four inches
* Heel support-- there has to be something in the back of my heel other than a strap or straps
* Over-the-foot support, preferably in the middle-- a series of straps or one thick strap to hold my foot in the shoe while I'm walking
* No pinching of my toes at the front-- I love peep-toe shoes, but these kind of shoes tend to squish my toes into a very uncomfortable shape, meaning blisters later on, which are NEVER fun

Other pluses would have been:
* A candy color or something different from my usual black (patterns are okay! I actually saw a pretty flower-patterned pair by Jessica Simpson and a paisley-patterned one by Carlos Santana --what is it with musicians and shoes!?-- but the heels were a bit too crazy-high for my tastes)
* No sequins, rhinestones, or other "bling" that can either leave imprints on my skin or fall off and ruin the look of the whole shoe
* No bows or ruffles of any kind
* Good arch support-- nothing TOO curvy or wobbly, like a platform shoe. But platform heels and/or toes are okay, so long as it's not platform from front to back, with the tapering in the back-- those kind of shoes are like asking for a broken ankle!

Anyway, I checked out Sheikh, Bakers, Love D, Guess, JCPenney, Sears, Reflections, and any other shoe store I could think of or saw. The only "for sure" one I didn't get to (but might try to tomorrow) is DSW. All were a bust except for Reflections, where I did find two cute pairs that I might go back for. Sad thing is, the cute color one (Qupid) doesn't have the over-foot support, and the cute style one (Delicious) only comes in black. I went to Guess and also found a cute pair of the right style shoes, but they only came in black and pinched my toes together too tightly at the toe.

Despite what the measuring thing at Macy's said, I'm a size 6 shoe, though with some brands I'm a 5.5 or a 6.5. Sometimes I need a wider shoe, as my feet, when put together, resemble a heart-- arched and wide near the top, and tapering down toward the bottom. I have a high arch and pointy heels (as in, the back of my foot), so I require support for those, and don't want to be tottering around in something that can give me foot AND back pain.

I would go for kitten heels or ballet flats as Morgan suggested, but any ballet flats I've ever had ALWAYS fall apart from the toe (I guess I'm a toe-tapper) and don't help me -5'1" at the most- look any better. At least heels give me a bit of a boost. As for kitten heels, I have worn a pair, and they just hurt my ankles like crazy. I'd rather go "all or nothing" if it comes to heels. That doesn't mean I'd go crazy with pencil-thin stilettos, but I'm fine with a few inches of height. Dressy, sexy shoes doesn't mean "thick-heeled clunkers" in my book.

The search goes on! As always, advice appreciated. I hope my feet aren't "too weird" for nice shoes. It's either a new pair or I have to break in the ones I already have (praying that they CAN be broken into).

Good news? Well, my hair looks great if I do say so myself, and I did get myself some new clothes-- a new outfit for yoga and a cute top and vest from Anne Taylor LOFT (couldn't resist). Plus, I picked up the latest Susan Wiggs "Lakeshore Chronicles" book for Baba and I to read together (as soon as Baba's done with her latest thriller romance that she can't stop raving about and which title escapes me at the moment).

 Aankh Milaoongi by Asha Bhosle from See You Breathe - Sight Through Sky-Eyes Disc 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (twilight - literary syphilis)
So I was reading [livejournal.com profile] fanthropology when I stumbled across this little gem comparing the "Twilight" series to the "Harry Potter" series. In there is the exact reason why I like HP (and JKR) more than "Twilight" and SMeyer:

Twilight fans can criticize Potter for the plethora of deaths, but I'd rather have sadness that makes you grow and develop and completes a story than to completely stagnate the story so that nothing bad happens to the characters. SM could have given Edward and Bella and even Jacob a happy ending without resorting to the ridiculous.

And also, something that got me thinking about "style," and why certain books or authors with their particular style of writing, are "addictive" in nature, like you can't stop reading/can't put the book down:

Small details, minute details from the first few books became vitally important in the last several.

I like doing that with my own writing. I try and think of my stories as spiderwebs, where I'll drop a detail here, a detail there, and you won't know if it's important or not until later-- maybe not even until the next story. But I wouldn't include it if it WASN'T important, because that's a personal policy of mine. Why include extraneous stuff anyway, when it can just distract or detract from the overarching story?

Problem is, because I tend to write longer stuff, when I try and limit myself to one-shots or fluffy pieces (these days), it's difficult-- I can't make a complex "spiderweb" story with a one-shot! It's probably why I'm having such issues with ILB's fic-- the idea's all there, but when I try and translate the idea into prose, I don't know how to put it.

With WDKY26, it's similar, but not the same: see, I have the idea completely mapped out, I even have plenty of scenes written or at least vividly imagined, but I tend to think of scenes for the WDKY series out-of-order, and when I have to write in one of those scenes where the other scenes (that come before and after the scene in question) are already done, I worry about "Is the style going to be the same?" and "Is it going to read out of place?" It's not so much a matter of the scene not really being important, or me not knowing what details to drop-- often it's a choice between a lot and a little, not all or nothing. So I wonder if I should drop Detail A or Detail B here, or maybe both? How to do it? And then I get to thinking "WHY is Detail A or Detail B so important anyway? Is it worth including here when it won't get explored fully until # chapters later?"

Back to that article, I'm shocked by how many people misspelled "Stephenie Meyer" or various other elements of the "Twilight" series, e.g. "Cullen's" when they're talking about the whole family, and not a particular character's possession of something. I wonder if bad fiction breeds bad spelling?

That said, I think all the people that believe that "Twilight" is a richer/more complex plot than the "Harry Potter" series are living under a rock. Yes, the "Harry Potter" books are long, and there are many more of them than "Twilight" books, but it's the HP books that are still being discussed and examined; it's the HP books that have little details that spring up to great importance later on in the stories.

Not so with "Twilight," where Meyer takes the details she establishes in the first book and throws it away in the second or third or fourth one. And the Volturi are evil, not good, not different. They EAT CROWDS OF TOURISTS. They see themselves as the god-overseers of all vampires! WTF!? People are trying to say Voldemort is a wooden, stereotypical villain character because he kills and likes to kill, but how is that any different from the Volturi? Besides, at least Voldemort had follow-through; the Volturi in "Twilight" were like neutered vampires-- all this build-up of them being so scary and fearsome, but in the end, Bella just stood there and stared them down and THAT WAS IT. The decision to do that rather than having an epic fight only did two things: it made the Volturi look pathetic, and it made Bella even more of a Sue.

It goes on. )

But I'm still questing to find out what my "style" is. I think you can only "learn" to write (well) by reading a lot, and so I am. I'm examining a lot of what I've read and trying to figure out what I liked and why. Fiction, non-fiction, fanfiction... anything goes.

I like JKR's writing because she makes every detail vital. Even heroes aren't perfect and don't try to pass themselves off as such, not even to their mentors, classmates, friends, etc. In the end, you have to know what really matters most: those people you cherish. You only have one life to live, and it's worth living to the fullest because of that.

I'd like to think that in my writing, my heroes and heroines have similar attitudes and personalities in that they come across as human and therefore relatable. Not just "I want to be him/her! OMG!" Even in series with a fantasy-twist, I've always liked exploring the more "human" element: the drama and the angst, the romance and the comedy that come as part of everyday life, the life without the magic.

Life is a great story just waiting to be told, isn't it?

 Cleric Preston by Klaus Badelt from Equilibrium (Rating: 0)
azurite: (hp - rule 42: 42)
Your rainbow is strongly shaded red.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a passionate person. You appreciate energetic people. You get bored easily and want friends who will keep up with you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.






Well, back in L.A. from San Diego. Thanksgiving was nice-- delicious food, got to meet (and hold!) baby Eva, play some games with the cousins (needed David's help to beat Lemmy's castle #3 in Super Mario World...), and went shopping with Dad. No big huge drama that I was a part of or witness to, so I'd say it was a fairly successful adventure. Yesterday Dad DID get a little teed off that I wasn't back at the hotel when I said I would be, but that was because the bus from Scott's place was super-late! Not my fault-- we looked at the bus schedule and everything!

It was WONDERFUL having my own room. When I stayed one night at Dad's in Alameda before we left to L.A. on the way here, I had to suffer through his snoring. He woke me up and then KEPT me up with his snoring. To make matters worse, the next morning when he woke up, he said something to me that I barely remember-- I was so exhausted. So of course as soon as he left and it was all silent again, I fell back asleep! Dad came back and was furious that I hadn't done anything he had told me to do, and he didn't believe me when I said he snored and I fell asleep because I was so exhausted from not sleeping all night because of it! I think now he does (Baba and Grandpa said he did too, because he fell asleep at Fred's yesterday), but that doesn't mean he's going to do anything about it. -_- So yeah, it's always nice to have my own space. I don't like snorers. Sorry.

There were little annoyances here and there, but nothing HUUUGE. I'll get into it in another post. Right now, I'm actually kind of eager to get back to S.F., even if I have a workload ahead of me:
* Study for the next Biology quiz due Tuesday
* Study for the big exam tomorrow for my Women's Studies class
* Start writing my papers for my Outdoor Recreation class
* Hope that my Geology teacher gets back to me re: the 3rd assignment, because the CD that said assignment is on has mixed-up maps, and we can't complete the assignment without knowing which maps we're supposed to look at.

Some cool stuff I picked up in SD (most of it gifts):
* Yu-Gi-Oh Vocal Duel
* Yu-Gi-Oh Sound Duel I
* Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong"
* Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Celebration"
* Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "The Lost Christmas Eve" (it was a tough choice; there were 2 other CDs by them I wanted at Target that I didn't get, so I limited myself to one album from each artist I liked)
* "The Tipping Point" (book)
* "How To Read Literature Like A Professor" (book)
* A new sweater + turtleneck (one $20, one free!)
* Clinique's "Black Honey" almost-lipstick
* Some more Clinique Moisturizing Gel
* "The Greatest-Ever Jewish Cooking" (book) --anyone in S.F., wanna come over and be my guinea pig as I attempt to discover my Jewish heritage through food?

Right now I'm just waiting for Dad to come back from breakfast with his buddy Steve (and hopefully remember to bring me the Raisin French Toast I requested). I think I'm going to play me some Super Mario World now, though... I love the Forest of Illusion!
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
The day before yesterday I got about 3 hours of sleep. Dad called me shortly after I'd finally managed to fall asleep without the help of a sleeping pill. He was mad that I was letting the mugging get to me in this way, and told me to get my ass out of bed and start to DO things. Exhaust myself each day, give myself more tasks than I could possibly handle, and stop being afraid.

It worked. I spent a chunk of the day doing some computer stuff (catching up on [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses stuff, including Hall of Fame banners, which has been my real crime the past few months)-- sure, not wearing me out physically any, but I did do a bit of cleaning as well. Yesterday was the real accomplishment-- I woke up at 6:30am and decided "Hell, if I'm already awake, I might as well stay awake." It looks like it's a continuing thing, since I'm awake now, too. So I went downstairs and made myself a nice (albeit a bit greasy) breakfast of eggs and sweet bread, got the newspapers, and settled down to read. It was nice to have the table all to myself-- one of my issues with living with my grandparents is that sometimes they act like I'm not here at all, and it bothered me-- I didn't feel welcome at the kitchen table, where we usually eat, because the only place for me to sit was often occupied by Baba's foot, a pile of newspapers, or a bunch of dinner implements.

Grandpa was pretty surprised when he came down about an hour later; he thought I'd up and left for San Francisco. That kind of surprised me too, for him to think I would just leave my room a huge mess, the light and fan on (I only had the light on at 42%, and I always leave the fan on the lowest mode because my room's the hottest in the house, and we don't use AC) and not tell them in advance or even leave them a note. That and I told them several times that I wasn't leaving until the end of the month....

Anyway, so I decided my project of the day would be to take one of Baba's suggestions from a while ago and switch the position of my bed and my endtable. Getting busy with it )

Never a shortage of things to do. No sense putting off for tomorrow what I can do today. Never a dull moment. Why become a lay-about? Etc. etc.

Also, from Mac|Life magazine (which I'm contemplating not renewing my subscription for, considering it's $24.95/year for 12 issues, which is OUTRAGEOUS for a magazine with 16 pages of non-stop advertising between pages 48 and 49): why I'm a Mac user:



Apparently that brain-scarring video is an actual Microsoft ad.

I LOL'd.
azurite: (believe in subtext)
Okay, so even though I finished the last of my four "Twilight" series book review/reaction posts, here's one more for good measure, re: the movie--



What's wrong with this picture?
A) Edward's supposed to be tawny, bronze-haired, not flaming red-haired. Now, I'm not about to find out if Robert P.'s curtains match the carpet, but I do know that in the trailer, he didn't look quite so Ron Weasley-ish. What's going on, EW? (As he is, he looks a bit like a wino, but at least he's looking in the right direction, unlike his swooning co-star, who seems to have her eyes wandering....)

B) Plain ol' supposedly uninteresting, apathetic, and yet mysteriously able to relate to everybody (IRL, I mean, and only partially in her own bookverse) looks... like a model. Like she looks AFTER she gets turned. She's got PLUCKED EYEBROWS for fuck's sake. I know she's being portrayed by an actress IN a movie, but if Nicole Kidman can wear a fake nose that had me thinking "There's no way that's Nicole Kidman!" then they can tone down the actress's natural looks and make her look more "Bella-ish." The movie, after all, is not from Edward's point of view, and we're never supposed to see Bella as some beautiful, amazingly talented girl. In order for her to be the slightest bit relatable, she's got to be plain, boring, ordinary!
azurite: (Default)
Fourth and maybe final post in the "Twilight" series. I'm going to do this one more like how I wanted to do it originally, with a page-segment play-by-play, where I report on my findings (or whatever you want to call them) as I read Book 4 in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, a.k.a. "Breaking Dawn."

I'm already 72 pages into the book, so... here we go!

Red Pawn to White Queen )
azurite: (wank - here for the porn)
Finished reading "Eclipse." I'm curious if anyone thinks I'm cheating in my reading; I'm not. I'm honestly just that fast of a reader, especially when the writing's improved as much as Meyer's has since "Twilight."

Oh, and for any and all keeping up with this short series of posts and who may be interested in the series (whether for lulz or otherwise), I hereby issue you a challenge!

THERE IS ONLY ONE RULE: Write a Buffy the Vampire Slayer x Twilight series fic in which at least one character from each series meets and talks to the other, in a face-to-face scenario.

OTHER MALARKY:
- Any length
- Any genre (including parody/MST, etc.)
- Any characters; minimum of 2 total (again, at least one from each series), no max, but preferably MAIN characters (e.g. not some nameless demon from Season 2 of BtVS)

I'm actually quite tempted to do this myself. I know I was complaining the other day that Meyer's vampires are just too damn cool/powerful, but that doesn't mean I think a crossover is impossible. Go for it!

In the meantime, I'll be expounding my thoughts on the third book. )
azurite: (i'll be bach)
I finished reading "New Moon" in one sitting last night, and I'm going to start on "Eclipse" tonight (NM kept me up until 3:30am; I wonder if "Eclipse" will do the same?).

Vampires and werewolves, oh my! )
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Okay, so I've finished reading "Twilight," the first book in Stephenie Meyer's series of the same name, which includes "New Moon," "Eclipse," and the soon-to-be-released "Breaking Dawn." It's also going to be featured in a movie of the same name, coming out December 12th.

I've heard a lot about the series, from my FL and off, from fans and wankers alike. My impression started out fairly negative: that it was poorly written, and should only be read for the LULz, that the main character was as close to a "canon Sue" as has ever been written, and the fans are even more delusional than the women that think they're married to Snape or Scott Summers.

Some reactions from outside:
-makani on DeviantART seemed to hate it (or just went along with the wank reports), and she got a torrent of commenters from all ages claiming they like/love the story, and just as many, if not more, that hate it.
-My roommate says she likes it because it's an easy read. She reads it in the 15 minute breaks she gets between shifts, but I've also seen her curled up with it on the couch when I get home. She got into it because of her 14-year-old sister, and disagrees with the opinion that it's meant for older readers than "Harry Potter" (even though Meyer herself said in a USA Today interview that the fourth and final book, "Breaking Dawn" is meant for ages 15+). She said it was more for 9-year-olds, but I think the language and tone is a bit more than that-- though I'm basing it off of things that were suggested to me when *I* was 9. The world's a different place, and I never read on my age level anyway-- I usually skipped a few grades in terms of booklists.

I actually had made another post a while ago, which included my reactions as I read the book in 20-30 page chunks. But it was lost, so here's my reaction to the first book as a whole, after I finished reading it earlier tonight.

Vampire Love Story? )
azurite: (believe in subtext)
I'm almost done with His Dark Materials, the trilogy by Philip Pullman including "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." I do think they read together better as an omnibus-- or at least 2 and 3 do, because the ending of 1 was "okay," while 2 just sort of... well, "cut off," pun not intended.

I've got a ton of other books to read at some point, many of them purchases from when I was in San Francisco, including Candace Bushnell's Lipstick Jungle, The Thirteenth Tale, the second In Death book, "Glory In Death," "The Historian," the rest of the "Book of the Dead," Susan Issac's "Long Time No See" (at Baba's recommendation), and "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her," which I'm finding is a very fun, informative read on one of my favorite childhood heroines.

Today at Borders, I also picked up a bunch of manga (another one of those 5-for-4 sales), though I'm still holding off on Fullmetal Alchemist and its associated novels, since I want to wait for the whole series to be finished. Besides, I technically don't have enough bookshelf space for what I have... it's kind of embarrassing (but cool! Because who doesn't want to have their own personal library? Mine is killer! :D). I also picked up "Codebreaker," about -what else?- codes and ciphers and their history. That purchase was, of course, inspired by seeing "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." I actually love puzzles (logic puzzles are my favorite-- I'm not much one for crosswords, though I am a little good at Sudoku), and I think that's sort of come out in WDKY's Téa, because I've had her solve her father's riddles in order to unravel a family mystery (and save Seto on the side, of course). In thinking about the future of WDKY, I'm thinking, if Téa didn't become a dancer, what would she be? There could be any number of reasons why she might not dance, and I thought she might end up as a cryptanalyst or similar. It'd be a fun way of having her one-up Kaiba in many ways-- genius of one area vs. genius of... well, Kaiba's sort of an all-around guy, but hey! :D

Speaking of fanfiction, I've started revisions on an old Sailor Moon fic of mine, "Hogosha no Kokoro," or HnK for short. Originally, the title was SUPPOSED to translate to "Guardian of the Heart," but that was back before I fully understood Japanese and the function (and positioning) of noun modifiers. So technically, it translates to "Guardian's Heart," or "Heart of [the] Guardian," but I guess that's okay, too, even though the meaning is a bit different from what I intended. In any case, I explain the mixup in my Author's Notes, and add "Guardian of the Heart," as the story's subtitle. I figure I could change it to what it was meant to be (Kokoro no Hogosha), but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, and besides, if I were to abbreviate it the way I do for my other fics (like WDKY), it would be GotH. o_o Yeah, I have a "Goth" story. Great.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I picked this one over any of my other SM fics-- heck knows they all need revising, but HnK has great possibilities as an AR Silver Millennium Fic. No, I'm not going to try and make it fit with the current theme of [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly (which I've almost consistently had ideas for, but never gotten around to actually writing/posting).

Read more... )
azurite: (xmas ornaments tree)
I would make like Happosai and go "what a haul! what a haul!" but my haul this year was meager but meaningful-- just the way I like it. From Gary, I got some gelt (and if you don't know what that means, go look it up in a Yiddish dictionary); from Mom I got a new black iHome iPod dock/radio with alarm, along with a $25 Macy*s gift card. Rochelle also gave me a $25 gift card; Eva got me "Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End" on the 2-disc DVD edition (YAYZ!). Though I don't think it counted as a Hanukkah present, Dad also gave me V for Vendetta, and I bought myself the Anastasia (remember that lovely animated film by Fox? Wow, John Cusak ~_~) Family Fun Edition.

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] azhp and I made my traditional Spritz cookies, so those of you in the Yay Area who want some, better call your dibs now! (This is being awfully egotistical, isn't it? But I'd like to think everyone's liked them over the years; I know I do.) Speaking of cookies, the Jays (the family that owns the flat Mom & Gary live in) gave us some delicious... well, they TASTE like cookies, but they look like brownies. And they're delicious! :D I'm eating a chocolate chip one, now.

I've still got gifts of my own to give out, but so far, it's been a nice holiday-- fun, productive, and not overly emotional. Heck, I even managed to get the Christmas tree up and decorated last night-- what a relief, considering this year, it seemed like it wouldn't happen (again), but this time due to laziness/too much furniture blocking the way/whatever, instead of Mom-is-a-Grinch. This year it only took her a day or so to get into the mood, and she hasn't been a Grinch since. Yay for that.

Also:
-Seems a lot of my cousins are going to be in Northridge when I go back on Thursday. And Scott's coming in the evening and staying the night so we can hang out Friday... o_o I'm hoping it doesn't somehow end up awkward in any way. (Knowing me, I've probably already jinxed it.)

-Dad made it to Northridge okay. Another day, another adventure. I wonder what we'll be doing for the time he stays?

-Managed to edit up an image for a Dragonfayth Xmas skin. Now I need to make something for New Year's. But the skins only display on the holidays, so anyone looking at Dragonfayth today, 12/25, tell me what you think! Sure, I can't claim credit for the Seto x Anzu art (that goes to [livejournal.com profile] lin_ko), nor the skin base design itself (that goes to Kali), but I mashed it altogether and made it work! Eh-eh-heh...

-In my old room here in S.F. (which is now called the Tovstin, a mix of Tovsen -Gary's name- and Westin, where Mom works), Gary has some tiny fish... one of them died last night. :( I didn't want to let it sit there (which is what I did several years ago in high school, resulting in a mass fish death that day), so I disposed of it... so sad that it had to die on Christmas. What made it especially suck was that he had another fish that I thought had died when I first arrived... but apparently it was pregnant and just floating around, trying to avoid swimming too much. Gary poked it and it turned out to be alive, so I was relieved. I was hoping the same thing had happened with this other one, but... no such luck. I poked and it just floated back up again. ;_;

-I didn't get the chance to work on (let alone finish) my Aria's Ink 2003 Xmas competition entry "Information, Please!" (title subject to change now), but I've got it pretty fleshed out in my head... I think it was 4-5 chapters, and I think I've decided not to make it an AU... the drama's always more fun that way. If I did get it done by New Year's, it be a nice "opening fic" for Epiphany when it goes live.

-Gotta work on the [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses purge!

-Wonder if I can get that purple double-breasted pea coat from H&M tomorrow...? I'll call the main store in the morning and see if they got a new shipment.

-Many, many books to read. Did I mention I'd gone on a bit of a spree at Borders the other night? Plus, I'm about halfway through the whole "His Dark Materials" trilogy; I'm several chapters into "The Subtle Knife."It's pretty comfy just lying in bed, watching movies and/or reading. I think I'll go back and do just that right now...
azurite: (believe in subtext)
The "Grissom's Gone" marathon on Spike was pretty damn good. Everything I'd heard about Keppler on the 'Net made him out to be some sort of nerdy-but-badass guy that had some sort of chemistry with Catherine... and while it's not on the level of Cath/Warrick, I DID see something there. Sucks that the way he had to go was... well, bloody.

Still haven't heard back from Chase, which can be a good or a bad thing. Good if I do, because Yay! that would mean I could go to Washington, D.C. and score this possibly-really-cool internship. Bad because, well, a loan is money you have to pay back, and that sucks no matter WHAT it's for. Also bad because I neglected to use the URL for Student Advantage cardholders, which means I might have gotten a better rate or different plan options. I wonder if I hear from them again, can I mention that after the fact?

Anyway, if I don't, I've set the deadline of the 21st. If I hear from them by then, huzzah, I can go. If I don't, tough nuggets; I let the people at the WII know and I stay here and stick to my nice job, wonderful honor societies and friends, and the schedule and courses I've already picked out. It would suck if all that planning and running around (and paperwork: egads, PAPERWORK!) was for nothing but at least not for want of TRYING. And unlike Yoda, I do think the effort counts for something. Every experience is a chance to learn, and that includes those experiences where you don't succeed or get exactly what you wanted.

My aunt Sally and uncle Dan think that I ought to write the CA Congress representatives and senators (or at least the ones in my "district," which could be either Los Angeles or San Francisco, I suppose) and see if I can get them to give me any money-- do you think I ought to write an old fashioned letter (more formal, seems more appropriate) or an email (assuming I can find one for the people in question; it stands to reason they probably get a lot of junk mail, yeah?)? I *am* on a deadline; if I go, I have to be in Washington by January 16th, which doesn't leave a lot of time for actually GETTING the money, paying WII, and of course, getting plane tickets to get out there-- which will be ridiculously expensive not just this time of year, but at such short notice.

So while I've gotten a bit more accepting of the possibility that WII won't work out, and ISLP won't happen this summer, it's not like I'm HAPPY about these great possibilities just passing me by for lame reasons. So then I get this email from someone in the Tokyo American Center-- a part of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. They want to know if I'm interested in being a summer intern during the period for the G8 summit.

There's always a catch, ladies and gents: I have to respond by Tuesday, Japan time. Well, I responded already expressing my interest, and my question about housing if I come earlier than the expected start date (since apparently the G8 affects housing, so if I came "on time," which equals early July, then I'd be SOL for housing)... but I doubt this means they still have ACCEPTED me. It's more like they're pressed for time finding appropriate candidates and are weeding them down. It's great to be considered for something like that (and huzzah for Washington these days; someone out there must like me), but of course, money is an issue. Is it a paid internship? You can't really survive in Japan on a stipend. Hell, how would I get money for the plane ticket out there and back? It's not cheap!

So... we'll see who says what and what happens.

In the meantime, I've been busy with crafts (need more Fimo), fanfics (strange urge to read Nick/Sara, write "Speed of You," that Initial D/Yu-Gi-Oh crossover I thought up ages ago), reading (started on "His Dark Materials," which I got for cheap in a humungo paperback from Costco), and cleaning (finally got the rec room looking semi-passable, though there's still a huge pile of ancient bills to sort through). Also paid off my bills, which is always a refreshing feeling. It's better to get that stuff out of the way as soon as you get it, I think, so that you can always consider the amount of money you have "what you've got to work with," rather than an amount that is going to dwindle BECAUSE of bills.

Tomorrow I've got to finish cleaning and packing (and hopefully go to JoAnn's to get more Fimo and possibly to exchange my Amaco flattening machine, because the turn handle and table clamp are too loose and keep falling out), since I leave for S.F. on Tuesday afternoon, have yet to get my shuttle (I'm thinking from now on, it's better to leave by LAX, because the Van Nuys Flyaway is always cheaper to get to than the damn Super Shuttle), and when I come back, [livejournal.com profile] fountainthe is swinging by! squee!

I'm also working on clearing up [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses (apparently I need to hire a huge mod squad, because honestly? Keeping just one person on Claims List maintenance could probably considered a modern form of Internet torture... I'm so sorry, [livejournal.com profile] svelterose!).

And then there's my End-of-the-Year resolution: get Epiphany UP AND RUNNING by New Year's Day. That would be Super-Speshul-Awesome.

Actually, there are a lot of things that would be Super-Speshul-Awesome, but I can only handle so much good karma at once. I just hope it doesn't fail me anytime soon.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra? Keep your eyes on your mailboxes, ladies. ^_~ And I don't mean the virtual ones.
azurite: (kitty catch)
You Are a Red Crayon

Your world is colored with bright, vivid, wild colors.
You have a deep, complex personality - and you are always expressing something about yourself.
Bold and dominant, you are a natural leader. You have an energy that is intense... and sometimes overwhelming.
Your reaction to everything tends to be strong. You are the master of love-hate relationships.

Your color wheel opposite is green. Green people are way too mellow to understand what drives your energy.


Ah, let's see... I seem to be recovering from my surgery quite well, as I can eat things beyond mushy oatmeal. I'm not going to grab a Snickers right away or anything, but I'm not longer bleeding, I can move my jaw and tongue pretty normally, and I don't have this weird "stitches hanging out" feeling on the left side of my mouth anymore. I still had a killer headache earlier today during breakfast, so I ended up taking a Vicodin and then passing out.

My cousins (Shaina, Brooke, and Erin; Erin came just this morning for a quick stop with her new boyfriend) and I all hung out; yesterday Shaina, Brooke and I went shopping at Express and Old Navy, and I walked out with a good chunk of new wardrobe with Shaina's help. Better yet, I only spent about $160 on what was enough to make at least a week's worth of outfits-- all sorts of new jeans and tops, a new knit hoodie (in plum!), and a new jacket in sage green. Shopping with other people my age really helps me, I think- not to say my fashion sense sucks, but I think Brooke and Shaina both have a better eye for that sort of thing than I do-- I tend to hang onto clothes for years, even if they're worn out or even out-of-style. Well, no more! After we came back to the house from all our shopping, Shaina and Brooke helped me clean out my closet, so I got rid of two huge bags of clothes I won't wear anymore. [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u, you'll be glad to know Shaina convinced me to ditch that shiny plaid top you never liked on me-- even though I wanted to make it into a pillow... Ah, it's hard to let go of the things you love!

Shaina and Brooke also gave me a mini-makeover-- my hair's a bit shorter now, about chin length, and I think it looks pretty good, depending on how I part it. Normally I'm anti-short hair (I've been trying to get my old, long, wavy hair back for a while now), but I had to get rid of all my split ends and the leftover miscolored hair from my perm in Japan. So while it seems a bit "young" for me, I think with the right clothes and makeup I can be very "young professional." Brooke thinks that to complete the look, I ought to get more square-shaped glasses, so I was looking at more on FramesDirect.com-- but they don't have a lot. Does anyone know of any eyeglasses websites where you can upload a picture to see what the glasses look like on you? Either that or really high quality, LARGE images of the glasses?

When I went to the optometrist last week, I didn't like anything in store, but back then, I was leaning toward more frame-top/rimless-bottom glasses that is a cross between my current egg-shaped glasses and what I consider "young professional"-- sort of cat-like corners with narrower ovals, or maybe slightly squared on top but round on the bottom. I had them order me a Nicole Miller catalog because at first I was pretty deadset on her Webstress glasses, but... maybe I shouldn't be. Brooke thought I looked good in her thick-framed rectangular (as in 3/4-stick-of-gum size) glasses, but I thought they seemed too heavy on my face. So I have to compromise. What would suck is if I found a good pair in a place like Sears or Lenscrafters-- I wonder if I'd be able to get glasses through them if my optometrist carries his own (does more than write prescriptions, that is).

Let's see... after I woke up from my "nap" earlier, everyone had already gone-- but I'll see them again soon, I'm sure, at least for Thanksgiving in Seattle. I invited Shawn over and we hung out for a bit at the mall-- I ended up giving him my $15 off card at Express because, bonehead I am, I forgot to use it yesterday when I bought my new jeans there. But at least he got some new shorts (kind of a grayish plaid) for only $15, because they were $10 off ANYWAY! :) I successfully resisted buying more clothes, going to Borders, etc., because my fin aid check hadn't cleared-- but it may tomorrow morning, which is what I'm hoping- I want to get my new laptop this week so I can try and finish WDKY25! But opening up any Adobe or even the Microsoft Office programs on 512 MB of memory has been next to impossible. Sometimes even Firefox with "too many tabs" causes the computer to putz out.

I finished watching "Into The Woods," a musical I've liked ever since I was young and I first saw it on PBS back when it came out, in the early 90s. Back then I didn't understand a lot of what happened, and now that I'm older, I still enjoy it, but it has a sad twinge to it that I never remembered.

I also got my latest shipment from PCH (probably my dumbest purchase outside of those damn Hercules Hooks which never seem to want to go into my who-the-hell-knows-how-thick walls)-- mood-changing lipsticks. The catch is, after a certain point, they all look like the same color, which on my lips tends to be hot pink. Oh well, maybe for Halloween? I still don't know what I want to do, but I want to do SOMETHING.

Finally, I got my commitment books from the Literary Guild, so my new reading list is...
* The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova
* User I.D., by Jenefer Shute.

I also got a new craft book-- 101 Crafts for under $10, some of them very nice, like pressed-flower stationery. I think creativity with me has to have wider boundaries than just writing, or even graphic design and scrapbooks. I miss painting, beading, and things like that-- I wanted to do so much this summer, but it still felt like it went by so fast and I never had enough time. But I think if I get organized prior to school starting, when I do get the urge to pull myself away from my computer and MAKE stuff, I can.

Well, since Erin has Grandpa's car for an interview in Culver City tomorrow (I have no idea why she's not in S.F...), I'll have to get up early to walk to school-- I also have to swing by the post office to mail my Media Law book from last semester, which -huzzah!- sold on Half.com on Friday. I'm expecting my own shipments from there... hopefully soon! So, sleepy time!
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Segments from a weird dream... or dreams )

That said...
(1) I finally got Auron's Mars Sigil in FFX! :D :D I still want to get the rest of the monsters from throughout Spira, just to see what that gets me... and it might be nice to SOMEDAY be able to beat one of the original creations that the crazy Monster Arena guy puts together. Plus when you do get a complete set, you get some awesome prizes, so I'd do it for that.

So far, the only two Sigils left to get are the Saturn (Kimahri, which means beating two of those horrid butterfly games) and Jupiter (Wakka, which means playing more blitzball). Should I bother...?

(2) This week I finished reading both Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic and Baby" and Diana Peterfreund's "Under the Rose," both sequels. The former is what I assume to be the last (fifth) book in the Shopaholic series, and the latter is the second of four books in the "Rose and Grave" or "Secret Society Girl/Ivy League" series. Both books kicked butt, especially near the end, but if I had to pick one to recommend with glowing reviews, it would definitely be the two "Secret Society Girl" books. The second one had a review on it from Publisher's Weekly that said "impossible to put down" and it was SO true! I really couldn't put it down, it was SUCH a damn good read! (I can give a more detailed review later)

To make things even better, I wrote to the author (I found her website and blog) and surprisingly got a reply WITHIN A FEW HOURS! SQUEE! I have yet to write BACK to her reply (she wants to know how the writing program is at CSUN), but the fact that I got a reply from an author I admire and aspire to write like one day just makes me SO happy!

And now I'm wondering if maybe I can review books or something for the Sundial this semester, assuming the editors don't send me off doing the lousy beats, like the police beat...

(3) Did I mention I may have found my dream internship? I really want to get it, and I'm thinking to myself I need to be more flexible with my wants if it means a better career after college (whether that includes grad school, I'm not sure yet). Basically, I should look into accepting internships in New York or wherever even if they're not in the summer or winter breaks... I can always take classes online, and maybe even through local universities! For an internship that actually APPLIES to my major, is PAID, and will really help me get the experience I need, I shouldn't be stingy about the when and where.

Anyway, I need to hear a bit more about what said dream internship entails, who the representative is (so I know who to address with my cover letter), and then put together a shining, perfect cover letter... which I have never done before, but I hope I can do with this new book I picked up at Borders, "Winning Cover Letters," by Robin Ryan. So far I like it, and it's got a lot of good advice and techniques-- I just need the knowledge to apply it all!

(4) Lastly, I finally have my booklist for Fall '07, and it looks like this semester's required Journalism book isn't QUITE as boring as last year... but who knows? In any case, Half.com has got all my textbooks for MUCH cheaper than the bookstore (take that, eFollett!), so I'll probably take that route once I get my paycheck and/or fin aid checks, which should come around the 13th. Hip hip hurrah! And then... my new laptop! SQUEEBALLS x2!

Speaking of balls (fuzzballs, in this case), Mokie got another haircut...! She looks so poodlesque, it's hilarious. I should take a picture of her with her bow and bandana before she manages to get it off.

Aaand... that's it. For now. Shawn is supposed to pick me up so we can see the Bourne Supremacy from Blockbuster, and then later tonight we're going to one of his friend's houses for some drinks and a movie. Sounds like a good weekend to me already!
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
You're a Window Shopper!

You know that shopping's a blast, but you prefer to save your money
You hardly ever give into an impulse buy, unless it's a total steal
You've always got the most money of your friends - and you never have to borrow
And you've got a nice wardrobe too ... of classic pieces that last years!


I guess this is why reading about Becky Brandon neé Bloomwood in "Shopaholic and Baby" irks me every now and again-- she's not the worst protagonist I've ever read (not by a longshot), but sometimes I want to reach through the pages and strangle her for her absolute airheadedness. But then again, maybe if I had a rich husband I'd want to buy stylist prams too. :P

I left work early today because I was feeling nauseous-- but I hardly ate anything. In fact in all of today, I've had a single Oatmeal Raisin breakfast bar and a pair of waffles with maple syrup. The thought of stomaching anything else makes me queasy, though I could go for some juice right about now. I hate getting sick in the summer.

I'm feeling better than I was earlier, but I'd still rather be lying back and either reading or playing video games. Speaking of the latter, I think I'll make use of those Ultimania maps I got for FFX and try and get Kimahri's Saturn Sigil. If I can't do it by 9:30, I'll save it for another day.

At least the computer's not UNGODLY slow atm, but I'm going to have Erin's friend Eriq look at it (whenever I can get to Westside, that is) and then hopefully get my FinAid check soon enough to get a new one (because I'm all for taking the easy route when I can).

Dark Purple

To others, you seem a bit dark, mysterious, and moody.
In truth, you are just a very unique person who doesn't care what others think.
And you really enjoy your offbeat interests and friends.
You've decided that life is about living for yourself - simple as that.


I want to see "The Bourne Ultimatum" this weekend. With Shawn. But I haven't seen the second one yet. Will that screw me over (probably the wrong wording, but who cares)?

...I've become addicted to ordering things from the Publisher's Clearing House, by the way. Smack me.
azurite: (dango)
Work wasn't bad.

Met Shawn after work; we hung out and snuggled. It was nice.

Found out at my cousin Josh and his dad Jim were in a plane accident (not sure where, though it sounded like Arizona...) on their way to a long-awaited fishing trip. They escaped fine and swam out to a rock (makes me think this was a hydroplane, not a 737 or anything), but the conversation just before I was leaving for dinner with Melina had me scared and pacing-- I hate "phone calls at weird times," because they always spell death for my family-- that's how it was with my sister, my uncle, and countless other relatives.

Had a decent time at Islands with the other NSCS members from Philly; we're going to be at the Clubs & Orgs fair and hopefully plotting ways we can make use of what little we learned there. I was one of the few (if any) that finished the survey post-convention, and I gave the leadership crew there an earful! But I hope it actually does good/helps.

Finished reading my latest book, "Secret Society Girl." It was an incredibly juicy read, very much targeted toward college students, something that I think is a rare find these days. Even better, there's a sequel, "Under the Rose," which is already out! To Borders!

Actually, I'll probably read "Shopaholic and Baby" first. I've already read 2 books in the past 2 weeks (HP being longer than SSG should give me some more credo in saying that), which is a pretty good record, if I do say so myself. :)

Re: computer -- still planning on getting a new one, since 512 of memory just isn't cutting it, and I really don't want to risk anything else breaking by putting a larger module in the one slot I do have working. The question is, when will I have the dough to get said new computer, and what horrible things will I be thinking I could have gotten with said money AFTER it's been too long for me to do anything about it (besides regret it)? At least Erin (cousin) is looking into getting her friend who works at a third-party retailer to see if I can get a good deal on THIS one.

The backup did finish, by the way-- it must have been at least 36 hours though, since it wasn't done until around 6:30 or so AT LEAST. The only error I got was something weird about my Parallels VM, but all the "necessary" files seem to have copied over fine, so I'm not too worried. Even if that is somehow messed up, I can always reinstall and redownload everything on that half, which thankfully is not a lot.

When you can't sleep, what do you do? Any of these:
-Light incense
-Drink warm milk
-Meditate
-Listen to classical music
-Something else?

My usual routines aren't working, so I'm looking for advice in other areas. I know my sleep schedule isn't the best anyway, but trying to change that hour by hour (trying to go to bed at progressively earlier times) hasn't worked too well, either. I haven't fallen asleep at work yet, but it's weird being off the meds that normally knock me out an hour after I've taken them (at night). However, my mood is fine and I don't feel stressed, and that's primarily what said meds were for. I guess if I'm really a lunatic and there's a problem with my sleeping, I should get Lunesta or something.

I do have an eye appointment on August 9th (relatives arriving on the 11th and 18th; wonder if I'll have a stylish new pair of glasses by then?), and I need to make an appointment for my wisdom teeth before school starts on the 23rd (YARGH!)... ugh, medical stuff SUCKS.

I want mochi.
azurite: (hp - hogwart's crest)
At last, I have finished "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." And now that I've read it, I don't quite hate the title as much as I did when it was first announced. I'm simply thrilled that now I'll get to read all the spoiler-filled posts both here on LJ and on JournalFen, though.

Wotcher! )

Finally, the wank: not as strong as I expected it to be. A few fun tidbits here and there, but nothing that's got me in stitches... yet. People, please point me to the GOOD STUFF!

And that, as they say, is that.
azurite: (kitty catch)
The best things in life are free
da da da dah
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Give me money!
That's what I want
That's what I want (That's what I want)
That's what I waaaaaaaant
That's what I want (That's what I want)

So today I went with Mom to the Semester at Sea Open Ship event aboard the MV (formerly Universe) Explorer docked at Pier 35, and WOW! That ship is AMAZING. Mom's been on cruises before on luxury liners (I haven't) and even she was saying the ship was impressive. Okay, so the dorm rooms are about the size of my closet and the beds aren't even a twin, but the rest of the ship is just AMAZING. The classrooms have glass tables and soft, round, rotating chairs. The whole ship is wireless for internet and satellite phone, and there are snack bars, entertainment centers, a small pool, fitness centers, a full SPA! It's really incredible. And to get to travel/see the world and learn at the same time, sometimes from incredibly renowned people? Chance of a lifetime.

The catch? It's about $21,000. I have about $5000 in scholarship and loan money at the moment (not counting my Presidential Scholarship... for reasons which should be obvious), which has always been enough to cover for CSUN. I think as a senior, I can take out more money from the loans, but that's really a last resort. I'd rather get more scholarships and grants. The Institute for Shipboard Education has scholarships up to $7000, and work-study, but the latter programs are only available to students with an Expected Family Contribution (on their FAFSA) of $0. And while I've never actually received any money from either my mom or my dad for college, that's NOT what it says on my FAFSA, which is calculated according to taxes and such. Things that I have no control over, basically, since I can't be an independent student until I'm 25, even if I don't live with either of my parents, and, as far as I know, neither of them claim me (and though my grandparents *CAN*, they don't).

I thought I could apply and be notified of my status on the spot, but they want EVERYTHING ready-- not just the transcripts and clearance form, but the application (which had to be done on paper, because the computers were being fixed) and the attached essay. But because I went to the event, I can at least get the application fee waived, which is nice. So I can write that essay and mail everything out soon.

...So Dad (whom I saw today after the event) lent me his giant Peterson's Guide to Grants, Scholarships and Prizes. It's several hundred pages, with millions of listings, so let's hope I can get at least a few of them if I get accepted into SAS so I can actually *GO.* That and maybe I'll stage a fundraiser. ^^;

That said, the suckiness of today was that I lost my 7-day bus pass. Where, I don't know. Maybe on the ship, maybe on the 47 on the way to the Pier... I don't know. I went back to the ship to look for it, but I couldn't find it in any of the places I remember going or sitting, and no one in any of those areas had found it. I even left my number with an alum, but no call back. :( I know I'm only here for 2 more days, but still! What a waste of $24. I didn't take nearly as many bus trips as the value of the card was worth, and I'm really disappointed in myself. And my pants, with their stupid shallow pockets.

But the F-train that I took to the Embarcadero Bart had a really amusing driver, plus the cash box was broken, so I didn't have to pay anyway. I got enough money for the BART, and I met Dad at the Crucible. We went out for supper at this cute hole-in-the-wall Mexican Wrap place in Alameda, where I had 2 delicious enchiladas, and a kindergartener that learned the Mexican Hat Dance performed for us. He got a flan for his trouble-- so cute! And before I left, I had two of the very friendly servers speaking Japanese! :D Haha~

I then went with Dad to his new house (this is the 3rd place he's lived in since moving to Alameda; the last one was the one that burnt down/got flooded), which is a very nice place with a nice backyard of sorts, pretty stained glass windows, and big polished wooden columns. Very "Dad." And Roy (the cat) likes me! He meowed at me a lot, and liked to let me pet him. :) But he's a very big and somewhat irritable cat-- his tail was always swooshing!

We all watched "Chronicles of Riddick" (which I didn't really get; I guess it would have helped to have watched "Pitch Black" first, eh? But Dad said it was pretty scary), and had some Kettle Korn and Mexican Coca-Cola from the wrap place we'd gone to. Mexican Coke is the best! :D None of that high fructose corn crap-- it's REAL SUGAR! (Real teeth rot! YAY!) and then Dad took me to the Fruitvale Bart.

So here I am back at home, mildly amused because I saw a restaurant named "Namu" (as in, Malik's alias during the beginning of Battle City) on my way back home on the 31. I guess it was a good day-- I hope I can do a bit of shopping tomorrow and maybe hang out with people some more.

Recent Acquisitions:
* "Chew on This" by Eric Schlosser, the author of "Fast Food Nation." It's more on fast food, but it's not as difficult a read as FFN. Very good! Makes me want to teach it! There are a lot of good ideas for using it in various subjects in classes.

* Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters for PS2. (It was $9, I couldn't resist)

* Enya: Shepherd Moons. Nice music to fall asleep to. I got it at Goodwill for only $3.49, and it was in perfect condition!

* "Diary of a Mad Bride" and "Mermaid Saga 1," also obtained at Goodwill-- both in brand-new condition, for only $1.49 each. The manga even had the original Borders barcode sticker still on the back! :D

* Do Not Disturb lavender-and-rice-filled warming relaxation wrap. It takes 1 minute and 20 seconds to heat in the microwave to a good temperature that totally relaxes my shoulders, soothes headaches, and helps me sleep or relax. It was only $25 at the Discovery Channel store, which is unfortunately going out of business (except online).

I've also been editing WDKY as of late-- Chs. 9-12 all have been fixed, but not uploaded anywhere as of yet. I figure I'll do everything in order to get a sense of the story up until now (Ch. 25) and then just re-upload everything everywhere, all at once. It'll also be nice to work on the various portions of the WDKY website, so I can remember all the things that inspire me for particular parts of the saga.

That said... I think I'll look at Ch. 13 and then go to bed.
azurite: (pharaoh = porkchop)
I believe I've mentioned on a few occasions my disappointment with big-name anybodys or anythings. Many of my friends recall how I detested anything related to Harry Potter, until one day [livejournal.com profile] katiat325 invited me to a free screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The whole time, she and [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie were chatting about the things different from the book, the scenes left out, the characterizations-- and they wouldn't repeat a word of it to me, the outsider who hadn't even read the books.

So I read the books-- actually borrowed from my mother. By the time I was leaving to go to CSUN, I was engrossed in the world, and Stephanie got me Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as a going-away present. Now that the final book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) is upon us (July 21, 2007), I'm looking back on a lot of books that have been hype or tripe. Some books deserve their hype; others (especially those from a famous author or in a long-standing series) don't really deserve the hype they get just because of the name attached.

For example, Harry Potter --both the books and the fandom as a whole-- has disappointed me over the years, because what I originally found fascinating or enchanting is now predictable or pathetic. But JKR is not a poor writer by any stretch of the imagination, and AS a writer myself, I hardly think that a writer SHOULD pander to her audience, even if said audience "pays the bills."

So then I wonder about another famous author: Danielle Steel. Before I left for Japan last year, I picked up her (then) newest book, Coming Out. It sounded different from the steamy romances I'd read from her in high school (I can't remember the exact title, but it was about a Japanese woman in an internment camp in America during World War 2). But then again, in high school, I had a lot lower standards. -_- I remember trying my hardest to read "Coming Out" but it just read like a flat, predictable piece of drivel. It's funny, because when I mentioned something similar to this (though I believe on another comm. or in another post somewhere), someone said that many of her stories have the same PLOT over and over, with the characters merely renamed. That wasn't the case with "Coming Out" at all, and in fact, had some very interesting characters and what I thought was a very interesting plot-- but it's like taking a bunch of baking ingredients and making something terrible tasting with them. There was SO much potential, but...

I ended up returning "Coming Out" and using the money I got in return to buy 3 Yu-Gi-Oh manga. Sure, I don't like what Viz does with the manga (namely their horrid design skills, and how they can't even position a rounded rectangle block of text into a bubble properly), but I still buy from them because I support them bringing Yu-Gi-Oh's original manga to English audiences in the first place. All the scanlation groups that have tried up to this point are sub-par, really. Companies like Viz have the time and money to create something truly incredible, but as with my previous analogy, I think they're taking something with potential and not doing the best they can with it. But rather than creating something "horrible tasting" with the "ingredient" that is the original Yu-Gi-Oh manga, I think they've just made something that's a bit bitter and a touch bit moldy in places. I would one day like to work for Viz, instead of writing them letters over and over ("Are you guys going to do a second edition of XYZ manga where page 10 ISN'T a duplicate of page 5?"), so I'm trying to keep that goal in mind.

Anyway, because of my disappointment with Steel, I have next to no interest in reading her NEWEST new novel, Sisters. It, too, sounds vaguely interesting, based on the description. And people always love to hype Danielle Steel for being such a "prolific" writer, for churning out as many novels as she has, for being best-selling. But what the hell does best-selling mean if not "robbed a bunch of people's wallets?" I mean, it says nothing for the actual quality of the book, only the fact that it sold. You might as well say that the In-Crowd back in high school were model students, representatives of the school or teenagers as a whole.

Yeah, right, and I'm Angelina Jolie. [/sarcasm]

I can't stand two forms of book summaries:
* the non-existent kind (i.e. you go to the back of a book, or the inside flap of a hardcover, and there is no summary-- only a photo of the author, or a short bio, or WORSE, a description of some OTHER book they wrote!)
* the obvious kind ("will so-and-so find true love amidst her family crumbling before her eyes!?")

Steel's fall into the second category, though I have seen a few of her books fall into the first, as well. And I'm sorry, but every time I see the cover art of "Toxic Bachelors" I want to cringe. WHO THE HELL DESIGNED THAT COVER!? My grandmother (Baba) has HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of romance novels. I have seen every possible cover design out there, from the stereotypical (hot, Fabio-like man with his shirt half-torn open, groping or reaching for the woman with her bared shoulders and/or thighs and her hair flowing out behind her) to the tasteful (embossed, shiny text over a simple background, like a lace print, silk, jewels, etc). But the cover of that book just makes me want to cringe. I'm not even a well-versed student in the art of design (that's what my JOUR 331 - Graphics class is supposed to be about), but even I can see-- that's a stupid cover. And like the summary, the cover is what sells. If I see an interesting title or a cool-looking cover, I might just pick up that book! If the summary sounds interesting, I might just flip it open to check out the first page. If I like what I read, I MAY BUY IT!

I wish more people kept this in mind with their writing, even if it's not sold writing like Steel's drivel. I mean, is she like Anne Rice without vampires-- no one questions her authority anymore, she has no editor, no one stands against her? Or do you really have to hunt for the one gem amongst all her crap? I'm sure she has good stuff written somewhere. I hope, anyway.

Anyway, speaking of design... )

I had a series of weird dreams last night, but as soon as I woke up, I couldn't really remember many specifics, only a few impressions. I remembered dreaming that I'd found my PS2 memory card (*wail*), but I also remember dreaming about some BAD things, because I was feeling very freaked out and vaguely "sick in the head" when I woke up. But I think I've managed to recover okay, I just have to watch out and not get stressed. Even though Tuesday is my longest day, I don't have work on Tuesdays, and so far I've been able to handle the workload and even the teachers.

My Media Law teacher doesn't mind me taking notes on the laptop (which is great, because I can type faster than I can write!), and so far I've been able to keep up with my usual pace and style in Japanese class (by the way, Todd and I'm presuming Daniel and/or John returned from Japan today, and Todd stopped into my Japanese class to promote the Tokiwa program... that was kind of funny). Plus I got out of Media Law at 4:00 or so today, and my next class doesn't start until 6pm, so I have about an hour to chill and do whatever I like. :)

Notes:
* Need to get Death Notes vols. 6-10
* Need to watch Hana Yori Dango 2 episode 5 *AS SOON AS IT IS SUBBED* because dayum was Episode 4 good! And the teaser-trailer! :O!!!! Ah, HYD, how I MISSED you!

And to close, a rather random question: at what point did the Stormtroopers stop being clones of Jango Fett? I wonder, because a new Star Wars novel (Allegiance, taking place between episodes IV and V) features a Stormtrooper with his own unique name... though that doesn't necessarily mean he's NOT a clone, I wonder if the Empire would have kept up production of the clone troopers after the Clone Wars. Further, did they bother identifying the clones by name, as a part of their "conditioning," or were they just given numbers (TK-421, why aren't you at your post)? I wonder...
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
If you weren't aware, I'm a huge fan of Tsugumi Ohba's "Death Note" manga series. I knew there was a movie out, but it wasn't until tonight that I realized it was being done "Kill Bill" style, divided into 2 parts. The first part came out on June 17th, and it apparently isn't out on DVD yet (they're probably waiting for the second part to come out, so they can span it all together... unlike "Kill Bill"), but the second part is set to premiere November 3rd.

My roommate Midori professed to liking it, and after seeing the latest trailer on YouTube, I am all for having a Death Note Party and seeing the second part when it comes out in theatres. I got spoiled by the Wikipedia article regarding the fact that the manga has ended in Japan (and will soon in the States, too; I know they were up to at least Volume 7 when I left) and how it ends... sort of. But of course, movie directors can always monkey-wrench things. I don't know if they'll introduce Mello and Near into the movie, but if they don't, the movie will be a drastic departure from the manga.

And then there's the ANIME, which just started 2 weeks ago, and the next episode airs TOMORROW NIGHT (I wish I knew what channel!). Toriyama's World has done a fabulous job of subtitling them thus far, and I'm totally addicted to the opening song, "the WORLD," by Nightmare. I was amazed at how fast I downloaded the torrents from TW/AnimeSuki; less than 10 minutes for 2 episodes!

And then there's Yu-Gi-Oh. I can get the Japanese dubbed version of the movie (Hikari no PYRAMID) *AND* the legendary novelization that gave "facts" and descriptions lacking. Point in fact, they're never going to do a novelization in English; the best we get is the ANI-MANGA, and that's purely based off the (original) English dub. The movie isn't exactly cheap, but it's worth it to see the differences; if there were a group out there willing to subtitle it, I would be happy to rip the raw for them (not that I've ever done anything like that before, but it would be cool to get it going). Of course, if I wanted to be a yen-pincher, translating the movie novelization would be the best thing-- it's also cheaper, from Amazon.co.jp.

But seriously, I'm being smart by not buying all these things like crazy- I already had a way-expensive grocery bill with Costco/TheFlyingPig due this Thursday, my Internet's going to be pretty pricey once the bill kicks in two months from now, and to top it all off, I keep seeing things I want (for once)! There are all these CDs on cdjapan.co.jp, the Yu-Gi-Oh movie, the novelization, a possibly-unnecessary-but-still-useful electronic dictionary, new boots, new Converse, Photoshop CS2 for my Mac (because waiting 4 months until I can "sneak" into the Art Department and yoink it off their computers? Yeah, right. $300 for the full version of the latest, though I don't know if it comes with ImageReady. It better! But I don't really need any of the other parts of the CS), Quicktime Pro (maybe), possibly Microsoft Office for the Mac (Student Edition, of course-- still $149), and who the hell knows what else. I already spent $12 on the new Skype number, and any money I *THINK* I have will disappear quickly upon my return to the States-- that damn phone bill MUST be paid back (to Mom). Though, it has yet to show up on my T-Mobile account, so that kind of bothers me...

I have yet to be reimbursed for the whole medical fiasco for my tonsils, either. They said "two weeks," because they sent the reimbursement by mail to my bank, and who knows how they handle international deposits.

I feel like I'm forgetting something... (like maybe the weirdoes that keep calling/IMing me on Skype? I've set it to only let people I authorize contact me, so if you want to be on that list, better let me know! I don't know how those people know my Skype number or name though-- that bothers me. I set the Privacy options to not show my web presence, but obviously it makes no damn difference. One weirdo left me a voicemail, but I could hardly make it out, and apparently, I can't call my Voicemail again to see what he said. So Skype's far from perfect. It has NO Voicemail options for saving, replaying, etc.)
azurite: (skip*beat kyouko)
At last, the San Francisco recap post... assuming I can actually remember most of what happened.

Saturday, July 15th - Scott came over around noon, not long before our shuttle was supposed to have arrived. He was originally going to come over earlier, except his friend Brett got a job back down in San Diego, and since all of their other mutual friends were off partying, Scott decided to help him pack up, so he stayed the night in Burbank. It was weird for him to already be near the airport where WE needed to be, just to come 20 miles up north so he could take a shuttle BACK DOWN to Burbank, but oh well. :P

It was awkward at first, but the shuttle arrived soon enough and we were off. After wandering out the paltry selection of stores and restaurants (read: less than half of each) in the United/American Airlines terminal, we sat down and had some snacks, at which point it was silently "decided" that to hell with it, call us whatever you will, we are what we are and we feel the way we do, so screw it. So yes, I suppose we were acting like boyfriend and girlfriend, even if that "definition" hardly applied to us. He was very sweet and affectionate to me, and even though initially I was scared of that meaning I would have a harder time of saying goodbye to him when the time came (Peace Corps taking him to Central Asia, me going to Japan), I'm not stupid enough to deny affection and attention when it's offered and WANTED.

We managed to get to San Francisco just fine; the plane was horribly small and the drink selection terrible (Pepsi! EEEUCK!), but at least we made it on time. We took the BART (I got a little lost at the SFO station) to Daly City, and bought a 7-day passport at the airport for $24/each. Then we took the 28 to Fulton and met my mom at the house. :} We hung around for a while, got dressed, and then headed out to downtown, where we'd take another BART to West Oakland to go to the Fire Arts festival. Aside from the usual loonies hanging around at the BART station, there was no problem. We got off at our stop and, just as dad said, we knew immediately where to go-- right toward the pillar of fire.

*grin* The Fire Arts festival is something my dad raved about last year, hosted by The Crucible, a fire-arts school that focuses on things like metalwork, electric work, glass blowing, and the like. We had to work our way through a windy, twisty line, but at last we made it in -even though a group of snotty bitches cut us in line. I hate that! I really do! But anyway, we got in, met my dad at the bar, and then looked around. The first thing I noticed was DDR on a wide projection screen, so we headed over there-- and sure enough, they were doing something called "Dance Dance Immolation," a modified version of Stepmania with "fire" themes. The modes were renamed (Light was Burner, Standard was Raver, and Heavy became Asshole; the description of the latter was "Your arcade misses you") and the gauge became a danger thermometer-- you know, like you see on nuclear reactors, or on the modified DeLorean in Back to the Future part III?

We watched a few people in flame retardent suits attempt to DDR, but needless to say, they all sucked. No one seemed to know what DDR was or how to play it... so when the event coordinator walked around and asked for volunteers, I surprised myself by speaking up. I was wearing leather pants and a vinyl tube top and 3-4" Tommy Hilfiger leather boots, but I shimmied out of the tube top and into a red cotton sleeved shirt, and after much waiting and confusion about suit sizes, I was up there, an oxygen tube strapped to my back, a silver suit concealing my identity... and I DDRd while flames shot in my face.

I shit you not. FLAMES. IN MY FACE.

The guy I was playing with said he'd DDRd before, but we agreed to let each other pick songs. But they'd renamed all the submenus too, so I couldn't find the song I wanted, so I got stuck with Mobo*Moga or something for my first song. I aced it anyway. ;} I got Breakdown for the second song, and aced that, but by the third stage, I was so tired from the heaviness of the suit and my sore feet, I started to stumble while playing Butterfly. The guy controlling the game refused to let me do any speed or step modifiers, saying "This isn't DDR, this is Dance Dance IMMOLATION!" And immolation is right, because even though I still did okay on Butterfly, I got flames in my face plenty of times. It wasn't until the suit was off that I realized how grateful I was for the oxygen tube. I was sweating terribly but DAMN that felt good!

Not too many people can say they aced DDR while flames shot in their face. :D Boo yeah, baby.

Read more... )
azurite: (potc - jack)
So after seeing The Devil Wears Prada with Baba and Grandpa today (great movie by the way; I also bought the soundtrack), I went to Borders to see if I could find any novelizations of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, or at the very least, look at the collection of books, even if they were targeted towards kids and pre-teens. What I found was a bit more interesting, though... (spoilers, obviously)

Read more... )

Ooh, I forgot all about looking for the "Pirateology" book, which I still want. And I neglected to print out my 20% off one book with the purchase of $20 or more coupon, so in total, I spent $70 at Borders tonight (3 manga + 1 free, The Devil Wears Prada soundtrack, 1 necklace of sorts, 1 Bitty Book Light). Ugh, bad, BAD Mer! But I plan on returning the horrendous-ness that is Danielle Steel's latest, "Coming Out." It's drier than the Sahara, I'm telling you. You don't empathize for the characters at all, and they're about as wooden as the trees in my front yard. Worse, I have a feeling I know what's coming, so there's not really any motivation for me to finish the book except to see if I'm right or not. And even if I'm not, I doubt it'll come as a big shock. I'm over halfway through the book, and there's no real conflict (at least, the conflict seems pithy), no drama, no emotional strain. I think Danielle Steel's gotten so full of herself, she doesn't bother writing quality works anymore (oh noes! Anne Rice 2.0!). Some of her past things --especially the steamy romance novels-- were great reads, and you felt BAD about reading something so sinful. This? Waste of $15.

Now, onward to the topic of my post. So as I'm coming home, listening to my "He's a Pirate" remixes as always, and generally being in a giddy, happy mood (<= good movie + popcorn/candy/soda + Borders spree), I remember reading this tidbit about Johnny Depp from the latest issue of "Rolling Stone" ... which is, when Depp randomly gets "sick of LA" (or something to that effect, and either way, I know the feeling), he hops on an Amtrak train and goes wherever. Specifically, San Francisco, or maybe Seattle. I know exactly what train he means, and I've done that same journey before! (Actually, Scott and I were initially thinking about doing the train up to S.F. for this coming week, but we decided against it due to cost. That and after he broke up with me again -if you wanna call it that- I didn't want to bother being in any mode of transportation, comfy or not- with him for 10+ hours. STUCK. Talk about uncomfortable. But now that the ride's 45 minutes on an airplane, I wonder. @_o He's also been flirting with me again lately. Ugh, someone just... *_* I DON'T KNOW!!!) Anyway, back to my fantasy.

So I'm imagining that I'm back from Japan and on the Amtrak train heading up North, at some unspecified point during the year, and Depp decides to go incognito and take the train to get a breather from LA. And there are a variety of seats to choose from on this particular night-time train that we both happen to be on, and there I am, typing away madly on my laptop, listening to something on my iPod (Dead Man's Chest soundtrack, of course), and there are papers spread out all over the seat next to me. So he asks "Is this seat taken?" and as I busily save my work and try to move my stuff at the same time, I knock down the Dead Man's Chest CD (don't ask me why I have it if the songs are on my iPod. And I didn't buy the CD; I bought the iTunes OST with the digital PDF visual guide). He picks it up and smirks, then asks "Pirates of the Caribbean fan?" and I take off my earphones, just to be polite (they were on low anyway; rarely do I blast my music loud enough to NOT hear someone speak to me) and I say "Yup, I'm so excited about the movie coming out [this summer, so it must be some time during 2007], so I'm writing a story for it." (Fanfic or novelization of what I think the 3rd movie will be like, I can't remember. But one of the two.)

And then he asks me to talk about the story, and being the dimwit I am, I go on and on about the story, about what fanfiction is, about why I'm all about Will/Elizabeth, but Jack/Elizabeth has its appeal, and I did read a rather good essay on Jack/Elizabeth/Will (OT3). In the end, he's gotten all quiet and I turn to look at him, all embarrassed that I've gone and railed about this... and then I realize who he is and I turn TOMATO RED (because that always happens when I get embarrassed) and I stop talking altogether. He smirks again and says "Promise not to tell anyone?" and I just nod all dumbly. Then he asks if he can read the story, and I just squeak and let him have my laptop.

I can't remember what happened from there, but then I remember him saying he'll get off in San Francisco too, and I mention my mom works at one of the luxury hotels, and he asks me if I think I can help him get a room at the last minute. So I call mom up and am trying to be incognito that HELLO JOHNNY DEPP IS WALKING RIGHT NEXT TO ME SQUEE and Mom is just "You're nuts. But okay, I'll call people." and I finally manage to cool it, and Johnny thinks it's horribly amusing how "sane" I'm attempting to be, especially after on the train, I managed to gather my wits enough to not squeal and ask for his autograph. That's actually how I envision meeting a celebrity --if I ever do. That is, being calm, cool, and collected. "I am a journalist!" after all or something, and that means doing my job first, not being some fangirl. I don't want to be lumped together with all the forgettable faces leaning and crying and shoving things over police barriers at Hollywood premieres. Yuck.

But that was the end of my foolish fantasy, and it made me smile. So there. :P
azurite: (usagi o rly?)
Finished the first chapter of the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" RPG Novelization.
Read it here!


I'm also playing the RPG until I get to a point where I can start editing some maps (that is, editing the images of maps I have so I can make it easier for future games/future gamers to find all the items hidden throughout the game... it's quite the challenge!). I already have D-Point Cave and the North Pole, but there are plenty more maps to be had. Thank goodness for FuSoYa's map editor and ripper! :D

I think I'll watch Sailor Moon episode 35 today, but because I was on such a capping spree yesterday, I don't think I'll cap this one until later. I've been capping all the episodes so far, even if I haven't been posting the images at ABPSM, but if you want any, go ahead and ask. After that, a nice cool bath and exfoliation... :D

I went shopping with Baba today, and I pretty much murdered JCPenney's. I got lots of new shirts, a new pair of South Pole pants (which may or may not need to be returned for a larger size, if only because they accentuate my figure A LOT), and South Pole crop jacket. I wanted to get this nice casual 3-piece suit, but it wasn't marked down from $60, so I didn't. :( But I did go to Bath and Body Works and get some yummy White Cherry Blossom lotion (2 for $5!) and the Lancaster Silk Bronze Hydrating Milk Lotion, which I mentioned before and gave me -Casper, the Friendly Ghost- A TAN! :D :D :D Yes, I got some unsightly tan lines... ON MY PINKY, but other than that, it works great. It works FAST, too, and even if you mess up and have some patchy areas that are darker than others, it starts to blend in thanks to the sun and your own natural movements within a day. So yay for me being all gorgeous and glowy like a real valley girl should. And I should probably get my hair done soon (to splurge on a salon again or no...?) before I go to San Francisco. :}

I also got the new Danielle Steel novel (...hey, it was on sale! At least it's not a tawdry romance this time), the latest Shoujo Beat, and Skip*Beat, one of my new manga addictions... which I may scan some pages of and make icons with. Icons icons icons! YAY~!

I also made a "mew" friend today-- Milo the cat, who lives across the street from us. Our neighbor, Leila, just got a new dog. I don't know what breed it is, but it's ITTY BITTY, looks like it'll stay that way, and is so short and stubby that when she sets it down in the grass, IT SINKS. It looks like a graham cracker dog, with super-soft fur and a smashed-in face. The cat is easily three times this dog's size. But while Baba and Grandpa were so enamored with the dog, I saw the cat and started to meow to it. To Leila's surprise, Milo came RIGHT UP to me (she says HE NEVER DOES THAT) and started to rub against me! :D He even rolled around and let me rub his belly and his paws, and enjoyed a good chin-scratching. YAY! I got to pet my first neighborhood kitty! :D :D :D

It sucks that I don't have a 3-day weekend (work on Monday), but I do have off on Tuesday, but I think Jill and the family will still be up in San Francisco visiting my mom (it's about time!), so that's a no-go. But I've been playing with my camera lately and taken some of those popular flower pictures (I'll post them later), so maybe after figuring out some more settings with ISO and shutter speed, I can go take pictures of fireworks at Porter Ranch or somesuch. *shrug* Or maybe I can just figure out how to climb the roof?

So, episode 35,  bath, and then bed! YATTA~
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Happy Birthday Amber!!!!



All right, who has my Battle Royale book? I know I lent it to someone... Eva? Come on, who has it? I need it. Give it back. ;_; Please?

Thanks, Steph! :D
azurite: (indiana ed (fma))
So if it was "Miss Independent" running around in my head before (a total Mai x Jounouchi song if there ever was one), now it's "Just Missed the Train," which has inspired me for something for [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses, particularly theme #25: fence. It's annoying though, because like I mentioned before, I have all those other 30kisses submissions sitting on my computer at home, they're just unfinished because I can't think of how to end them... well, except for Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and write that without turning into some sort of tomato!

I'll get around to writing it later, maybe at work. I have my flash drive with me, so I can save it on there and not worry about it.

So, why are all the weird people on MySpace? I mean, there are non-weird people on there, but today I just got a message from someone who says he and his girlfriend are interested in trying out a threesome, and if I'm interested... My face goes: o_O; (okay, I'm totally NOT pulling an Usagi Kou here and taping an emoticon to my face. But you get the picture). Does anybody READ the profiles on MySpace? I'm "in a relationship" or whatever the hell you wanna call it, and even though I'm bi, I won't just hop into a bed with 2 people I don't know and trust because THEY need to add some spice in their love life!

o_o; Geez.

In other news, I'm going to San Diego this weekend. I know my last Amtrak adventure was harrowing (very late trains and the like), but I'm going to hope that it was just a one-shot thing... in any case, my train leaves Chatsworth around 8:40pm or so on Friday night, so I can either ask Zack to take me there straight after work, or I can go home with my grandparents and let them take me. Last time I liked having them there, because the train was very late, and it was extremely cold out. I liked being able to get in the car and warm up while I waited for the train. Chatsworth is an outdoors station, and it's the porn capital of the world, so creepy people are always lurking about...

I'm going because this weekend and next weekend are mine and Scott's only chances to see each other before he goes to Belize and I go to Hawaii. It feels like we've been seeing each other often, but realistically, it's only a few times each month. After living with him for so long, I never thought I'd be able to survive not seeing him for such a long stretch of time, but I'm managing. I have moments when I really wish he was with me, but for now, things are okay. I only hope that wherever life takes him, I can be with him sooner rather than later. :)

And now for more crazy stuff: I have to finish my Gilman application, the Bridging scholarship application, and now I have to send a Financial Aid Award letter (via fax) to the NSEP people in Washington. Which means I have to pressure mom a bit more (already talked to her last night) about the letter of Dependent Verification (which I sent out this morning) which she has to mail back to me with a copy of both mine and her tax returns (she'll do it electronically for me, and have the gov't deposit it automatically in my bank account. Sweet!). I won't be able to get that Award letter until I give all the stuff from mom to school... probably. I should check with them anyway. In any case, the stuff for school is due within 3 weeks, and the award letter I have to fax to NSEP is due by the 31st. YIPES!

What else? I worked a lot on WDKY24 last night; I kind of got inspired for this particular scene that is essentially dropping a big piece of sticky candy in the middle of an anthill. I'm eager to see if anyone will pick up on it (call it a "hidden" piece of candy). Still Anubis' backstory is a tough thing to tackle, but with Kysra's help and some good research, I think I can make this work relatively "realistically" (for the WDKYverse, anyway).

I also FINALLY managed to get the style I got from [livejournal.com profile] _premadelayouts to work for my Friends' page, but many things are still out of place, and I'm not sure how to rearrange them so they ARE in place. Is there a way I can make that style public so other people can go "oh, you have your %%blahblah%% variable in the wrong place, which is why your username is way off to the right, and your entries are all indented 20 pixels"? (Also, think anyone can help me with that?)

I got a $20 Amazon certificate from StartHereGoPlaces.com after a survey I took, which is nice. I thought I wouldn't get it, since I'm not a business major (and that was what the survey was about), but I still did, so I'm getting the last 3 books in the Mediator series by Meg Cabot, and a book in the Elements of Fiction Writing series (which I'm sorta re-reading at the moment) called Description. I was thinking about buying all the Princess Diaries books I'm missing (Volumes 4-7, including the 4.5 "Princess Project"), but I decided against it-- there's so many, and Amazon sure made it confusing by offering the British versions, too! @_@

AAAAAAAAAND I got Volume 2 of Yu-Gi-Oh! R in the mail from Sagusa Books. How come I've never heard of them before? They're great! :D I realize Jenniyah is already scanlating (crappily, but still scanlating) YGO!R, so [livejournal.com profile] souten_scans won't be taking that on in the forseeable future. But I'm still waiting on [livejournal.com profile] dm_san to get back to me with whether or not our groups will work together for the scanlations of the Gospel of Truth, since she already has very HQ scans that would save us a lot of time and unnecessary effort.

I'm getting my hair done tomorrow-- a partial weave of highlights (as suggested! ^_~), I still need a wireless card, to do some cleaning, and now catch up on reading for Women Writers of Asia, because if I post *something* on the short story we were supposed to have read by yesterday, it's better than nothing. I also have to revise my English essay and try and get it to my professor before 7pm tonight. So much to do, and yet... I'm not too stressed. Let's just see if I can remember it all!
azurite: (fancy lala winter)
Ah, I never should have signed up for the Literary Guild or the eHarlequin Reader to Reader service. I love books and I love free stuff, but I hate it when the free books stop being free. On the plus side, I got a very pretty plum wineglass that I will probably drink soda out of. But now I apparently owe $23 to eHarlequin for something I did not want, did not order, and already took out of the box. ;_; The books look cool enough, but... >_> There's no way to cancel future shipments on the form... like they SAID there would be. Grr.

I'm still waiting for a shipment of craft books from another service, mind you, but afaik I'm done with their "obligatory purchases."

I also got my PS2 in the mail today... in the exact same box that I sent to Dave@PSX-TECH.com. I enclosed a $15 check; he spent $9.80 on shipping. He couldn't have bought a new box!? Geez. Anyway, I'm kinda-sorta-not-sure if the Crystal Chip is installed like he said... I'm supposed to be able to access some sort of boot screen/boot manager so I can play my burns, imports, etc., but I haven't been able to access it yet. It might be because I don't even have a controller at the moment; I lent them to my uncle Fred, so all I have is a DDR pad. -_-; I need a new controller anyway.

I'd also like to thank anyone and everyone who signed up for [livejournal.com profile] 4husorting. ^_^ It made me so happy to see I'm NOT just talking to myself on this LJ...

Anyway, I have to get going to anime club soon... and because I was so durn sleepy earlier, I didn't go with Grandpa to the bank to get money for the guys (which I owe for gas + hotel room from Ben's funeral; try as Phil and Jesse did, we couldn't get out of the EconoLodge bill) or Best Buy to return the Crossover Cable that does Jack Shit. (Speaking of Jack, I would love to play You Don't Know Jack 5th Mix again.)

Even more reason to YAY! (aside from getting WDKY19 done and posted, getting ideas for "The Show Must Go On," and tweaking the sequel to WDKY/CO7 a bit more...) is the fact that my BitComet downloads are almost done, and I'll be able to burn PGSM onto a DVD for Chibi. I'll also have more of FMP: The Second Raid (good material to base your drabble/ficlet off of, [livejournal.com profile] mklutz!) the full Shin Kaguya Hime Denetsu Sera Myu musical (my first!), and practically every Ranma song, EVER. :> Whee.
azurite: (brain+uterus)
Reading used to be one of my huge passions-- couldn't pull me away from a bookstore. I could spend hours in Copperfields over in Petaluma, and just as long -if not longer- at the public libraries, Borders, and Barnes and Noble. Then I discovered graphic novels, or Japanese manga. The stories are just as entertaining, but, like when I was a child, obsessed with art, they are illustrated in the most beautiful manner, combining intriguing plot with incredible art.

Now, I'm back in my reading stint-- and while I may not be reading a Nancy Drew novel a night, or rushing to the book section immediately in any given store, I am trying to read more variety, more often. I'm subscribed to the Borders newsletter, and while normally I skim, there are a few novels that I want to read, if I can get the money (or find them at the library):

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides :: "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." Quite an interesting hook, ne?

The Vagina Monologues :: I met this woman at a young woman's health conference and she vibrantly recited a part of this piece... now I really want to read it. At the same conference was Janice Mirikitani, whose poetry was really alive... I want to see if I can pick some of that up, too.

How to read Egyptian :: Blame Yu-Gi-Oh. I always have periods when I get interested in different languages, and when I started to watch Yu-Gi-Oh, I started to get into Egyptian again. But it's one thing to learn what heiroglyphs are represented by what letters... but when you get into actual words, it's as hard as learning to read Japanese or Chinese! Pronunciation is worse-- since the Roman language got integrated into the later versions of Egyptian, heiroglyphs died out, and were replaced by three other languages... @_@ So it's hard. That's why I reserved this book... ^^

The Fifth Sorceress :: It was being advertised like mad on Tripod and Lycos, and it sounded really interesting-- about this kingdom that was cursed, and a young king who succeeds the throne, but at a price-- he will have to kill his own sister.

Ugh, I feel nasty. Stupid period... >_< This better be dealt with before Bemani Night tonight... I'm going to go home now.

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