azurite: (xmas - rainbow ornament tree)
Damn, I forgot about the awesomely-awesome that is The MacUpdate Winter 2009 Promo Bundle. Seriously, a LOT of really good Mac programs for only $50!

...I already have one of them, the very-cool DriveGenius, so if SOMEONE wants to be wicked cool and get it for me and you are or happen to know a deserving Mac user, I'll be glad to pass the license code for that on FOR FREE (a HUGE savings, let me tell you!). I just want the others. I'd really like to try out RapidWeaver especially, but I think Little Snitch and Virus Barrier X5 would be good ideas, too. The others just look plain cool.

Only six days left to get it for $49.99!
*wibbles* Will someone get it for me for Xmas please? (To be honest, I'd get it for myself, but my money --what little of it there is-- is going toward OTHER people this holiday season. That is kind of the point, right?)
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
Ah, I miss Usenet.
What a crazy thing to say, huh? But in the search for some Sailor Moon images, for some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was NOT to do a Google Image search or go to The Oracle or whatnot, but to see if alt.binaries.sailor-moon was still around (assuming I got that name right).

Alas, the vast majority of ISPs these days have discontinued their NNTP/Usenet access service (probably because they never made much of an effort to advertise that it even existed, meaning new users didn't even KNOW about it), and that includes the ones in use (or formerly used) by my grandparents and Mom/Gary. For many alt.fan or rec. groups, access is still available for free from places like Google Groups, but it's not quite the same... plus, there's still the overwhelming problem of SPAM, and in Google Groups' web-based interface, there's diddly-squat you can do about it.

The only other alternative --for general Usenet access to binary groups AND for NNTP access in news programs (Apple Mail doesn't even support NNTP, which had me temporarily thinking I might switch back to Thunderbird... then I wised up and realized that an extra piece of software isn't ALWAYS a pain in the ass, especially with my lack of an NNTP server in the first place)-- is to buy it. Giganews seems to be the one of choice, but I don't have the dough to shell out for Usenet access when it's something that's more of a whim to me.

But I do miss those good ol' days when I could hop on Usenet and find image floods of fanart, or character-specific art, or art themed around a certain event/holiday. It'd be pretty helpful for me now, in my search for Sailor Moon Christmas images. (I know, I know, The Oracle has a whole gallery devoted to it, but it's only 58 images! I *know* there's more than that out there!)

Speaking of SM, I did sign up to be a Sekkret Stalker on Aria's Ink this year. Participation seems fairly low so far for this point in December, but there are still FOUR MORE DAYS TO SIGN UP! Why not?

Plus, [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra and I want to do a holiday challenge or something this year, so why not throw your hat in and volunteer too? We'll probably do something that covers different fandoms-- maybe a Secret Santa or Fic Exchange where all you do is specify a list of fandoms you'll write for, genres/ratings/pairings/warnings you prefer, and up to 3 "plot prompts." How does that sound?

Also, I got an invite from someone named Loki to join [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet and its sub-communities, [livejournal.com profile] silver_circle and [livejournal.com profile] gold_circle, along with a few related comms. It all sounds/looks fairly interesting, but I think I still need a bit more clarification on exactly what is DONE there. [livejournal.com profile] baine, care to comment? I'm confused!

Also, I haven't written SM fic in AGES and going back to Aria's Ink (Loki also reviewed "24" there, which is probably one of my better SM fics to date) and checking out these comms... it's all made me very nostalgic! Hey, maybe we can revive the [livejournal.com profile] smrff in time for the holidays!? That'd be so awesome.

I'm only up now because (as usual) my sleeping schedule's off. I went downtown tod-- er, yesterday to get a December Fast Pass and eat some delicious Tex-Mex. I got "approached" by a very enthusiastic girl from Greenpeace who kept me from getting to Chevy's that much sooner. I'm all for saving the planet, so:

DO NOT BUY KIMBERLY-CLARK PRODUCTS. These are the makers of Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott tissue, and many other products. Why? Because they're clear-cutting (meaning cutting without care to the re-growth of future trees) thousands of ancient Canadian trees. The CEO has reportedly even said that his consumers "don't care about environmental issues." Show that pig he's wrong! Also, find out if your job/school has a contract with KC. Then get them to CANCEL it. There are more environmentally-friendly companies out there.

Accion Y Reaccion )
azurite: (xmas - rainbow ornament tree)
Top Secret! Guardian Kysra: DO NOT READ! I'M SERIOUS! )
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: (gundam senshi!)
Another successful day in the city. This was another shopping day with "the gals," this time with Crystal, Eva, and Steph; yesterday was Steph and Mom; the day before that was Rochelle, and I've had a great time on all days. With Rochelle, we covered downtown and Stonestown; with Steph, downtown, and with the girls today, Stonestown and Serramonte. In all cases, I was pretty much out all day, except with Steph, because I supposedly had to be back home for an East Bay dinner with Gary's daughter and grandson... but that fell through due to traffic. In fact, we were supposed to make up for it today by going shopping in Berkeley, but THAT fell through, too. But I was glad to go shopping with the girls-- I got Mom's gift (technically a 2-part gift from Baba & Grandpa, because they have me money to buy her something with), had a nice shrimp primavera at Olive Garden (which my stomach is now apparently revolting against and GAWD I HATE MY ORGANS SOMETIMES), and got myself a cheap "Family Fun" DVD edition of "Anastasia," one of my favorite animated movies of all time. The weird thing is, there were two different kinds of box art, but there was NO REASON for it. One wasn't a special/limited edition, one wasn't widescreen vs. full screen... it was just two different box arts, one which was weird (Anastasia looked like Celine Dion) and one was normal (Anastasia looked like she did in the movie), so I got the second one.

As for other presents (for most people besides Mom, Gary, Dad, Scott, and Special Random Someone), by the looks of things, it'll be "time well spent" and "cookies." I bought M&Ms for my special Spritz cookies that have been a tradition for years now, though I'm sure there have been some years when it wasn't always done. Tomorrow's mini-golf in the evening, so if I get the last of "my" shopping (I kinda want this coat that's at H&M downtown) done, I can bake the cookies in time to meet the girls before we go to MGL.

I've already gotten a few gifts my way, too: Mom got me the iHome dock I wanted, which lets me charge my iPod, play music from it on a nice speaker system, listen to both AM and FM radio, and use any of the sources (radio, iPod, or line-in device like CD/Cassette player) as an alarm. Very nifty. But what ruined the fun is that she was genuinely serious that she had NO CLUE what to get me for Christmas, and she kept asking me and asking me and it was awkward! I never want to feel like I'm selfish and just WANT WANT WANT... I tried to think of something I need, so the first thing I named was that coat, but Mom was already super-stressed from work when she tried to go to H&M to find it, and she had no luck. :( I feel bad for having made her do that. She felt obligated to get me something, but hates shopping downtown in crowds, especially in the holiday season.

This season moreso than a lot of others, she seems like a real Grinch, and it makes me sad. I hate to say it, but she hasn't been much fun to be around. I know she's very stressed from work and a bit sick... so I hope she'll rest and think of this as a vacation and time to rest, not time to do things (even though there ARE things to do... like, oh, clean up the living room, which is packed with the dining room's furniture, countless boxes, bikes, etc. and therefore has no room for a stocking, let alone a Christmas tree).

Yeah, we're late in all we do-- at least when it comes to the holidays.

What else? Still haven't gotten my Chase check or any word from my school, according to Baba. Chase last contacted me and said that they were waiting for some sort of certification from my school before they could disburse the money. Well, they probably tried to contact the school as it closed, and my money is "on hold" until 1/2, at least. Technically not a big deal, since the WII representative I've been with isn't back in the office till then, either BUT that obviously presents a problem with:
a) tickets to SF for Macworld (which I can technically only go to if I go to Washington because I have the loan money from Chase)
b) getting tickets to D.C. in the first place, because it's SO LAST MINUTE!

Plus, Bowen didn't get back to me on Monday like she said I would, so I have NO idea about the academic credit! While technically stuff like that CAN be arranged after the semester, that's only what happened for study abroad-- I think for this to count, I NEED to do it beforehand, because I need it to count for an internship AND an independent study. I just hope Bowen's back on campus or at least checking her CSUN email starting 1/2...

I hate relying on just one person to get things done.

And it made me think about manga )
azurite: (xmas purple ornaments)
You Know a Lot About Christmas

You got 9/10 correct

You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.
When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning - or all the little fun details.

Random Christmas fact: 7% of mall Santas were found to have a criminal background.


What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about emotional connections and bonds. You are happiest being around those you love.

You celebrate the holidays in an over the top style. If something is cute, you'll buy it. People end up with a lot of gifts from you - and your house is like a holiday wonderland, full of decorations.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be comforting and relaxing. You don't like the holiday rush... you just like the simple pleasure of the holidays.

Your favorite holiday memories strongly evoke your senses. You are vividly aware of all the tastes, smells, and sounds of the holidays.


You Are Easter

You are an optimistic, hopeful, and genuinely sweet person.
Sensitive and affectionate, you are easily touched.
You love nature, animals, and anything cute or cuddly.
For you, every day is a new chance - no matter what happened yesterday.

What makes you celebrate: Almost anything. You love most holidays and celebrations.

At holiday get togethers, you do best as: The peacemaker. You can prevent any squabbles that might break out.

On a holiday, you're the one most likely to: Remember to include everyone


HELLO BAY AREA PPLS! So, I'm back in the Bay (Area) until the 27th, and of course, I want to get together with as many of my friends as humanly possible-- that means YOU, [livejournal.com profile] psyjoe_dilandau, [livejournal.com profile] katiat325, [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie, [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u (!!!!!), [livejournal.com profile] zigx, [livejournal.com profile] azhp, [livejournal.com profile] staplerx, [livejournal.com profile] hikaru_jan, [livejournal.com profile] richlikesmaids, [livejournal.com profile] orastella, [livejournal.com profile] ohsupervinchan, [livejournal.com profile] tidus, and everyone else in-between who doesn't have an LJ!

I have no definitive plans other than Friday (sorry guys, the nighttime is reserved for a family dinner that I can't get out of). I would like to do something different from the usual mall-trolling and/or skating, so mini-golf sounds fun, though far. [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u, if you can drive, we should arrange for a get-together! I hope you read this... of course, I'll also try to call and/or text everyone, but I'm sure most everyone knows I'm on the computer most of the time, so that's better...

Anywhoozles, LET ME KNOW!
azurite: (xmas purple ornaments)
Yay, two out of three finals done! Believe it or not, my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) final didn't really feel like a final so much as a normal class session where she was lecturing and asking for discussion. I asked her after class how I did, and if I was looking at the right line of her gradebook, I got two checks, and one check-plus, which translates into a B, I'd say-- that's just for this portion of our grade, 10%; more of it is made up by the media deconstruction, the media critique (50%), 30% by other tests, and 10% by participation/performance. Overall, I'd say I'll probably get a B, which makes me happy, especially since this was a particularly difficult class.

Moving on, I also got "conditionally approved" for a Chase loan, which means I can go to Washington if I get the money on time. If that works out and I get the appropriate academic credit (hopefully 12-15 units worth; at least 6 from Journalism; it's working out just how the other 6-9 will be applied), then YAY, WASHINGTON D.C. HO!

But if not, I'm going to try not to be disappointed. I think I might be biting off more than I can chew again, even if WII and ISLP are both great opportunities for a number of different things. The great thing is, it's not like if I don't go to WII, I'll be doing nothing here at CSUN-- I got accepted into Take XX, part of the New Student Orientation Leaders team, and I'd still be working with NSLS and NSCS. I definitely don't want to stop being involved with either of them, even if I do go to Washington.

Now, if I do, there's another choice to make: to go to Macworld Expo, or not? If I do, not only can I see my friends and/or parents (most likely the latter, since... to be honest, guys, would any of you want to want to go to a Macworld Expo with me? Dad I know would, MAYBE Mom --but not together, no way, no how) again, but it's just plain fun. Plus I could always cover it as a Special Contributor to the Sundial, maybe? I applied to be a Copy Editor there, too, but I didn't officially GET the position even though the new editor-in-chief asked me. Basically, everything hinges on WII.

If I do go to WII, I'd only have Jan 14-16 to be at the Expo, since I have to check in in Washington, D.C. between 9am -5pm and be at the informal mixer by 6pm. Two days at an Expo isn't bad... but again, it's about money. Then again, if I go to WII with a loan backing me, money won't be so much of an issue anymore. It'd be icing on the cake if I managed to get a paid internship.

Speaking of icing, I really want some cupcakes... Baba said we can buy cupcakes and/or cupcake mix on the way home. I think my holiday baking spirit is getting kicked in. And crafting, too. A certain someone shall be receiving a handmade card soon (hint hint: that person is on this FL!)...

What else? Well, I've gotten some of my Secret Stalker gifts from Aria's Ink-- I decided to participate this year on a whim, and it's got me not only working on Epiphany, trying to revive a better version of Mare Serenitatis, but also looking over my old SM fics (let's be honest, except for maybe "24," and the beginning of "Quicksilver," they ALL suck; my writing has come SUCH a long way). I also did some fanart, but ssh! No one can know my secret stalker identity until the event is over... I might even try to resurrect an old idea and work on the 2003 Aria's Ink holiday competition contest.

Well, what with my tablet semi out-of-commission, coloring anything in Photoshop's a real bitch now (doing it with a mouse is... ugh, it's like taping my fingers together and trying to paint), so the fanart might have to wait until I get a new one, or unless I take the marker-colored version I did AFTER the scan and fiddle with that... but personally, I'd rather Photoshop the color in, as my inking process... well, let's just say it didn't go as well as I wanted. I'm not too much of an artist... ;_;

I'm feeling a bit more hopeful today than I was yesterday, so I hope I can channel that into studying a bit for my last final and then working on some creative (and possibly cleaning) endeavors tonight, whatever form they may take... there's always a lot on my plate, frosting or no. :)
azurite: (xmas snowflakes 2)
You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of calm, understanding, and peace.
You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!

You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.
You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.

Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life

What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies


All I want for Christmas
* A new hard drive (at least 100 GB, so I can backup my own regularly using Time Machine)

* Some new headphones, preferably the ear-bud kind that have "hooks" ... even better if they're somehow noise-cancelling.

* All the stuff on my Amazon.com wishlist (mostly books)

* Art stuff (new Prismacolor markers, because it turns out the ones I have are pretty dried out; rubber stamps + nice ink, embossing powder & gun, cardstock/scrapbook paper, punches (those metal things that make shapes from paper, kind of like a hole-punch, but huge), etc.

* A NEW TABLET MOUSE WITH PEN because my old one is dying ;_;!!!!! (unless someone knows how you can replace the mouse, which is the worst off...)

* Money. I got denied a WII scholarship, but I just don't want to give up on it. The ISLP deadline is coming up, too... that, at least, I can console myself I might be able to do next year, even if I don't end up going to graduate school (because recent undergrads are okay, too) I'm not a big spender, but for some reason I've been struggling the past two months-- not just my credit card bill and my phone bill (which I hope will go down soon, now that I have a T-Mobile phone, more limited minutes, and a cap on my messaging), but in general. Baba and Grandpa were nice enough to lend me $100, but it was too late to stop 2 overdraft fees. It happens too often (I feel... it's probably happened 4-6 times this year already), so there's no way it can be refunded or "forgiven." I barely have ANY money in my bank account, and I already know my next paycheck is going to suck... ;_; AUGH!

I applied for a Chase Private Student Loan-- enough to cover both the WII and the ISLP... but I don't know how long the approval process will take; I need to find this month's pay stub to photocopy along with my passport before the application is completely finished. I know a loan is a bad idea... the repayment plan would have me paying it back for 20 years, and that's not even including my current Stafford loan. ;_;

I've been loving college so far, but right now it's really starting to suck.
azurite: (tokyo map)
In less than 10 hours, I will be on my way to Tokyo/Narita to go to Hong Kong with [livejournal.com profile] baine! I'm actually pretty excited. :) Today went by really fast toward the end, but I'm glad I got so much done-- I did my laundry, cleaned up my room, finished planning the budget sheet, printed out maps and generally walked away with a feeling of accomplishment. I also ended up buying both the tickets for the Disney Tokyo resorts (Sea and Land) and Hong Kong; Bonnie'll pay me back for them, but at least we can both be confident that we won't have any problems getting into the park-- we have TICKETS, dammit. (At least, I hope that's the case that they don't oversell and expect people to be able to come back whenever; I'm sure we'll try and go to the parks at opening, so we don't have to worry about that.) Truthfully, both parks seemed pretty cheap compared to the original down in Anaheim. :P It was only $45 for the Hong Kong park, and only $80 for both Disney Sea and Disney Tokyo on the 2-Day Passport. Unfortunately, I didn't know the passport could only be used for consecutive days, so I had to change our plans from Disney on the 28th and 31st to the 30th and 31st. We're still sticking with our original plan for Hong Kong Disney on Christmas Day, though. :)

I managed to pack enough clothes for all 10 days in my duffle-wheelie, and I'm bringing my big black purse and my backpack for carry-ons. I'm also going to bring the laptop-- not that I'll have Internet access (that I know of), but I do want to try and work on all my papers... I have to at least get started on my paper for Mass Media, and of course, keep working (if possible) on my scholarship paper. Kerhoff from Criminology finally gave us (the exchange students) an assignment to determine our grade, but it's not due until 2/1... still, I'd rather get it over with sooner while the information is fresh and I'm more likely to have free time that I *should* dedicate to school (rather than websites or fanfics). And then there's culture and pop culture, both of which have papers due, but with no specific date set as of yet (as far as I know). I missed both those classes this week because I wasn't feeling well. Ironically, that wasn't the day after the party, when I had something akin to a hangover (yes, I'm pathetic).

What else? My back still hurts from all the hunching-over New Year's Cards I did, but at least I got everything mailed out- tomorrow I'll mail Scott's present + letter, but I mailed everything else (Joyce's package, Dad's package, postcard to Gary, New Year's cards to my Japanese tutors and roommates, and a card for Scott's mom) today. I'm going to look around for the game [livejournal.com profile] staplerx wanted, and the doujinshi at Comiket that [livejournal.com profile] richlikesmaids mentioned, plus presents for Holly, Grandpa, another, slightly-more-significant gift for Scott, doujinshi for [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, and perhaps my tutors/roommates as well. After budgeting everything out, it looks like I can afford to do that, even if I weren't feeling guilty (because many of the other exchange students gave gifts to their tutors today; I didn't GET anything from my tutors except some cute cookies from Misato, but that's to be at least partly expected; people don't really do the gift-giving thing en masse here in Japan, which is VERY surprising given the amount of attention and hype Christmas gets).

I should get to bed soon so I can wake up early enough to make a hearty breakfast (gotta finish off all my milk; I already gave Holly all my eggs, but I want to drink all the milk and OJ; everything else I can freeze) and call both Mom and Scott. :)
azurite: (pantsu! kaiba)
THANK YOU SO MUCH KYSRA!
^_^ I got the present from you today, and it kicks butt! I've named it "The Kysra" in your honor. Now I just need a strap or something so I can hang it on my neck or something.

And since I'm going to Comiket (YAAAAY) I will make it my personal mission to find you some smexy smut doujinshi for some fandom or another to send as a "You are teh r0xx0rz!" present, too. Hopefully I'll find some Seto x Anzu~~~

This makes me feel a lot better, even if I have to still go shopping for tomorrow (which will be crazy) and still have homework to do. YAY PRESENTS I LOVE PRESENTS~~
azurite: (kaiba smirk)
I'm not sure there's anything quite as funny as someone responding to "Wassup?" with "I'm not gay!" and a bright morning smile. Seriously, the Japanese can be so funny, without even trying. We have a few gems of people here at the dorms; one of them just said that to me and Holly as we were walking back from class.

Also, I clonked myself in the face yesterday with my Mac Book. I had so many windows open in Firefox, I didn't want to close it, so I went into the Apple menu and put the computer to sleep. It did that, but when I wanted to check something, I hit the space bar (which normally would bring the computer OUT of sleep), but I saw the "dimmed screen" again. That means the Sleep mode failed or something, and I have to cold-reboot... so I did. I wasn't sure if it turned back on when I hit the button though (i.e restart rather than shut down), so I picked up the computer to listen for the sound of the fan. I didn't hear anything, so I raised my head, and BAM! K.O'd by my own laptop. The corner of my right eye is a bit puffy and sore at the moment.

And yeah, I know I'm a klutz. Shaddup.

I updated the Elegance skin over at Dragonfayth. Check it out and tell me what you think, and if you find any sections with illegible text (too dark text, too dark background, etc.), then please let me know. I'm still working on getting the staircasing effect of the category columns worked out. I could also use some other ideas for color schemes, since Dragonfayth seems very... BLUE. Not that there's anything WRONG with blue, it's just there's a lot of it. Both CSS Zen and Elegance now use schemes of blue. I didn't like the old Elegance skin because it was this kind of pukey green to me; if you have suggestions for NICER color combinations, please send them my way.

Next up on the discussion block: the state of the American education system is inherently responsible for badfic. No, really. One of the best of the best Fanfic rants )

I also had a cheesy idea that's probably been done before: The Twelve Days of Christmas, Fandom Style!

For example:
"On the first day of Christmas, (character name) gave to me (something from fandom)!
On the second day of Christmas, ..." etc. etc.

The 12 Days of Fandom Meme
1. Choose a fandom you're involved in.
2. Choose up to 12 characters from that fandom (the song works better if you stick with one character, but then again, no one said you actually had to SING this).
3. If Christmas were celebrated in that fandom, and you were there to receive gifts from the above-mentioned characters, what would you get, and from whom?


Yu-Gi-Oh
On the first day of Christmas, Yuugi Mutou gave to me a Millennium Puzzle piece!
On the second day of Christmas, Seto Kaiba gave to me two Kaiba Corp. card keys!
One the third day of Christmas, Mokuba Kaiba gave to me three parfaits!
On the fourth day of Christmas, Jounouchi gave to me four REBDragon figurines!
On the fifth day of Christmas, Anzu gave to me five DDR games!
On the sixth day of Christmas, Pegasus gave to me six Funny Bunnies!
On the seventh day of Christmas, Otogi gave to me seven Dungeon Dice Monsters!
On the eighth day of Christmas, Sugoroku gave to me eight ancient games!
On the ninth day of Christmas, Mai Kujaku gave to me nine bottles of perfume!
On the tenth day of Christmas, Isis Ishtar gave to me ten prophetic visions!
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Malik Ishtar gave to me eleven slimey slimers!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Hiroto Honda gave to me twelve Cyber C.'s!

So this one's not really sing-able, unless you take out the names of the people that gave the presents on the day before, and some of the syllables for the longer gifts (i.e. the "REBDragon" part of the four figurines line). But it's fun anyway, ne? Give it a try!

Lastly, I need icons...
* Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter
* NANA
* Your recommendations
Come on, point me at the pretties!
azurite: (anzu's problems)
Ah, the luxuriousness of the relaxed weekend is almost over! ;_; Whine. And I won't even have much of a winter break, because I've got all of 2 weeks to travel around before heading BACK to school (and therefore finals), and then back to the States, and then starting school one week after that (and work one week after THAT). I look forward to the weekends SO much here in Japan. And it's funny, because that would imply that I'm really busy, but it doesn't FEEL like it. Maybe I am really busy, but things I'm doing have become so routine or mundane that I can't recall them when someone asks "So what are you up to?" or something like that.

Anyway, today I actually decided to get out of the dorms-- yesterday I felt pretty ill, and I slept most of the day, hardly ate, and kept waking up in the middle of the night. Today didn't start much better, as I woke up first with a horrible stomachache, and then a rotten headache. I slept until after 12pm, and when I finally got up, I took some Ibuprofen for my headache, had some pancakes, and decided to go to Daiso to get some CDs, DVDs, and other random necessities. My HD has been filling up pretty fast here-- mostly with pictures and music-- so I've been burning all the NANA anime and Death Note onto DVDs, along with any other movies or things I happen to score. But I need to clear out more space, as I only have a little over 2 GB free now... and this is on an 80 GB capacity drive. WTF?

I also headed to the Mito Eki area, and decided to go to Marui to see if Todd's recommendation about the menswear (as presents) was any good. They did have some cool stuff, but nothing really screamed "Scott would love this!" to me. I did swing into the Virgin Megastore (yes, I was surprised, too) and saw Mika Nakashima (aka NANA from the live-action movie)'s new single for "Hitoiro," but I didn't buy it. Her new album is coming out on the 12th, too (that would be "The End"), and it's really expensive! CDs here are such a rip-off, unless you get old, used ones from Hard Off or something... Still, I do like all the NANA music (live action and anime), so maybe I'll hunt it down eventually... it might be cheaper on cdjapan.co.jp!

Well so anyway, what kind of presents do you get for the man in your life? (Dad, brother, boyfriend, whoever) I've gone through countless gift guides, said no to all the usuals at the Gift Stations (ties, cufflinks, pens, etc), and am STUMPED for ideas. I just think I'm an idiot when it comes to men. (Male friends on my FL, please, feel free to disagree with me. It'll make me feel better. Of course if you don't, it won't make me feel WORSE, but obviously I would appreciate your input A LOT.)

In Virgin, I found a cool magazine oriented toward gaijin folk like myself living in Japan, and it turned out to have some pretty helpful listings of things to do and places to go. For the few days [livejournal.com profile] baine and I will be in Tokyo, I know we want to spend 2 days checking out both Disney resorts, and at least some portion of a day hanging out with two other [livejournal.com profile] smrffers, Kris and Fin. I don't really think we've decided on specific whens or wheres just yet, though. I do know that I'd like to go to the Ueno Royal Museum for the Dali exhibit, and probably "somewhere cool" for New Year's. Alas, all the clubs having New Year's countdowns are SO EXPENSIVE! And there are some pretty big names coming to Japan, soon (or are already here), like Muse, Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters, etc. ;_; I wish I could afford to go!

I'm thinking next weekend I have to go to Kairakuen for sure (1) just to see it, and (2) because I need to visit a local Mito temple with a "Japanese friend" and report on it for my religious studies class quiz. The following weekend, there will be not one, but TWO antique fairs in Tokyo, so I thought I might go to those, to check out and see if I could find some cool presents for my Dad and Scott. I also have a lot of space in the boxes to fill up for Joyce and for Baba and Grandpa... gah, shopping is hard!

Tomorrow after class, I can't just sleep in, either-- I have to repeat the whole post office --> bank thing, by going to the post office to make a withdrawal, and then going to the Tokyo-Mitsubishi bank to pay the balance on my IACE trip. YAY for that being almost taken care of! Then all I'll have to do is save up for the Tokyo hostel, shopping, food, and transportation in Hong Kong (I bought the JR Seishun 18 Kippu today, so travel in Tokyo is taken care of). I do have to go to Kasumi tomorrow to buy some groceries, and the other night, we went to Coco's for a vaguely expensive (but totally filling) dinner for Holly and Sokei's birthdays... so it's back to yen-pinching, if I want to have a good time. I'm dead-set on having a good time, so it's all about save save save! I would go to Kasumi tonight when I know things will be on sale, but my head is back to pounding and pounding...

I can't really remember my health ed class that well, so prepare for The Stupidest Sex Question Mer Has Ever Asked! )
azurite: (sam & max - max)
Okay, so I went to the post office right after Japanese class to try and pay for the rest of my HK trip. The postal savings ATM wouldn't let me withdraw 63,000 yen; it said "You have exceeded your credit limit." I freaked out, because I didn't know whether that meant that
a) The Postal Savings ATM only lets you make X number of withdrawals, or withdrawals up to X yen (if you're a visitor to Japan/using a foriegn bank card).
b) I had much less money than I thought (or the exchange rate made what I thought was enough money "less")
or c) WaMu put a limit on the amount of withdrawals I was allowed to make from abroad

Turns out it was the latter, as I vaguely remembered someone from WaMu telling me I had a limit of $500/day to withdraw. Now, at the time, I obviously thought "Why would I want to have $500 on me IN CASH, anyway?" Well, so I couldn't do it, but I did withdraw 32,000 yen successfully. I said bye to Holly, who was inside the post office mailing packages (turned out we'd been on the same bus on the way there), and headed toward Tokyo-Mitsubishi bank a few blocks down. It was actually a lot closer than I thought, so I don't think I'll take the bus the next time I have to go there from the post office (and I would have to go to the post office, because I already know the bank can't make withdrawals from my bank account... there's no CIRRUS symbol on the back!)

I decided I would try and remember the order/process of making a deposit (o-furikomi), but I kept encountering all these options and I had NO idea what they were or what they meant. The security guard tried to help, but he couldn't translate anything into English. One lady DID help me read the correct branch name in kanji, and eventually one of the clerks helped me through the whole process. She also helped me get a card that will expedite the process (I don't have to enter all the account information again) for the next time I go on, probably on Monday.

And I emailed Fumi, the IACE Travel representative, and she'll probably get back to me and tell me everything's fine with the transfer today, and that'll be it! As for the phone bill, I called Dad and he said I was going to get a SIZABLE Hanukkah present of cash deposited into my bank account TOMORROW. *YAY.* This will probably negate the need for me to deposit any of my future paychecks into my U.S. account, which will save money (because those kind of transfers always cost money. I didn't try to do it today at the bank, though WaMu has some sort of hook-up with Wells Fargo and Tokyo-Mitsubishi. I wonder if transferring through a bank is cheaper than through the post office? I know Golloyds or whatever is supposed to be the cheapest remittance, but I don't think I can use it or something.) So I'll be able to pay my phone bill on time, save my next two paychecks for HK and Tokyo (I need SOME money for the hostels, and of course, transportation and food in HK).

...So now I just need to build up the courage to eat FISH.

Because apparently if you don't eat pork here in Japan, or in Hong Kong, you MUST eat fish. I wonder what the percentage of vegetarians or vegans is in Asia... Probably extremely low.

I refuse to eat grasshoppers (or horse meat, or other varieties of bug), though. I don't care how delicious Kawashima-sensei says they are when they're covered in chocolate.

Also on the bright side, I might just be able to swing getting some presents for people online. I found this site that has a ton of coupon codes for all sorts of stores and websites (i.e. Amazon.com, Best Buy, etc.), but I don't want to get all excited over it until I look through it some more. So if you see another post on it soon, it's because I've approved of it and it's cool enough for me to want to tell everyone and their dog (or cat) about! So far it's looking good, what with coupons for 1-800 Flowers (which I use often) and even some CLOTHING stores, which might help for presents for a Certain Someone Who Shall Not Be Named. I still have to mail out packages and things like that, but generally I think I'm good. Mom'll be sending me macaroni and hot chocolate, and I'm hoarding my Kasumi discount cards and buying the cheap stuff late at night to save money. Yay for 9pm Late Night Sales! Now if only I could get a Suica card to save me time and money when buying train tickets. Maybe when I get paid this Friday, I'll buy a JR Seishun 18 Kippu so on the days [livejournal.com profile] baine and I are in Asakusa, I can get around easily. Unlimited travel on 5 days (doesn't need to be consecutive) during the travel period on all JR lines (shinkansen and super-express excepted), for only 11,500 yen! Not too bad, I'd say, especially considering you can spend 1/10 of that just on ONE-WAY to Tokyo from Mito (on the slow train).
azurite: (she must have been drunk and horny)
I've only eaten a bowl of cereal (Frosties with bananas) and had some toast with scrambled eggs today, but I'm feeling strangely sick. Or I have been for the past hour or so, and I have no idea why. It sucks.

Moving on, I wonder if anyone would be nice enough to get me things I like/need from Amazon.com? It's one of the few places where shopping online is safe/secure, relatively cheap, easy, and THEY SHIP ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. There's also Amazon.co.jp. :) Long story short, I need a few books from there (on my wishlist), and since I'm saving up for Hong Kong AND have to pay that new phone bill (le sigh, it's legit. Basically a bunch of 2 and 3 minute calls REALLY ADDED UP... to 26 minutes, at $2/minute = $56 tacked onto my $60 regular bill and all the other surcharges), I'm kind of broke at the moment.

However, as promised, I will (and have been already, actually) shopping for gifts for people, and I do believe in "fair trade." So, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. I can try and buy you a gift online and have it shipped to you, I can buy a gift here in Japan and ship it to you, or I can buy something for you and I can give it to you in person, depending on when [next] we meet. :) I actually need these books for my scholarship... a lot more than I need a pretty blue 1GB+ USB stick with some cool engraving on it. (I want that, but I don't NEED it, unfortunately). And as I mentioned before, I don't want to ask my mom for money.

...My dad, on the other hand, is way overdue for a "hit me up for some cash" call. :P

So in summary, please buy me some of the anime and/or manga-related books (that is, reference books. Not stuff like an actual VOLUME of manga or a DVD of anime, shocked as I am to hear myself say it) from my Amazon Wishlist and have it shipped to me here in Japan (need my address? email me or comment... though it IS on my Amazon account, I don't know if you can "see" it if you buy something from my list), and I will
a) love you forever
and
b) get you a cool present in return

Yes, I'm aware that I'm groveling, but it turns out that legit sources of a wealth of info that I need for my scholarship ARE NOT online, and books in English are extremely hard to find here in Japan (which makes perfect sense, really, and I'm quite the dunderhead for not considering it sooner).

...And since I feel sickly right now, I think I'll lie down, and maybe play some Star Ocean 2. If I feel up to it later, I'll have dinner.

*sniff* I miss everybody.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
You can't spell "distressed" without "stressed." And I was just as equally tempted to pick "depressed" for my mood, because I'm not HAPPY, that's for damn sure.

Yesterday I thought I'd gotten the whole SDSU application out of my way, but Scott (he did a good thing) went to SDSU and talked to a bunch of people, and they said that I might not even need to "transfer," per se, so much as "visit" SDSU, while still taking classes as if they were from/at CSUN. That means my degree would still say "CSUN" on it. Regardless though, I have to get access to and fill out the Supplementary Application re: my grades, even though my grades won't be official until several weeks into the Spring 2007 semester (at least), because I don't get back until A WEEK before that new semester starts. Plus, I would have to clear with various department chairs about whether the classes they offer at SDSU could be considered equivalent to the ones at CSUN for my major/minors, so as not having to take classes OVER again at SDSU, because SDSU doesn't "officially" consider them equivalent. They have ECON 161 and POLS 155 as pre-reqs for even ENTERING the journalism program at SDSU, but because they're lower div and I've taken so many other journalism classes at CSUN, Scott and I are hoping that I won't need to take those, and I can still get into SDSU's IMPACTED Journalism program with the classes I have.

Oh yea, and then there's the FAFSA. -_- Seriously, I'm beginning to HATE January.

I suppose my day's Tarot is kind of ironic, then... The Seven of Chalices )

My horoscope for today: You're in pursuit of excitement and fresh adventure. Try a different path to get your life going in a whole new direction. Daring sports and physical activities get your blood racing and stimulate your mind, too.

Then it makes sense that I went to the gym during 4th period. I even tried out some machines I thought I would never use, and even if I'm the only girl in the group that would be there (assuming I would ever go with the guys; since we have such different schedules, it's actually kind of unlikely; the gym also closes at 7pm), I think it would be good for me... I don't need to get into testosterone comparison contests like the boys. It's very different from an American gym, but it'll give me something to do, and I can "stay fit" and shape up... and if the endorphins really do perk me up and inspire me, all the better.

The main portion of today's concern was about the trip (to Hong Kong) that [livejournal.com profile] baine and I are taking on 23 Dec. The best things in life are free... but you can keep them for the birds and bees, give me MONEY! )

But that's okay, I don't eat much, anyway! It's better to cut back on my daily Coca-Cola, and spend more time here at the dorms getting things cleaned up and done. Like my scholarship paper. *sigh* Or my paper for Pop Culture. Or my Religious Studies test. (and before I leave, a Mass Media paper, a Modern Culture paper, and a Popular Culture/Image of the Japanese in American Media paper. Oy VEY!)

If it's not one thing, it's always another.

Like my new $121 phone bill. I'm going to wait to hear from T-Mobile about what the hell's up with that THIS time, to see if the charges are legit. Even if they are, I don't have to pay until December 10th, which gives me enough time to get paid (3x) and deposit said money by wire into my bank account, and pay that way. I refuse to have mom pay for my phone bill any more than she has already. But I'm probably going to cancel my $14.99 Unlimited Text Messages (I would have to send 150 text messages a month for that to pay for itself, anyway, and I haven't even sent 85 since I've been in Japan), my Web Access (useless, anyway), and whatever other useless things I might be paying for.

Money stresses me out quite easily, and my brain deals with it by having dreams about Christian Bale doing my dishes (the night before last) or going to strange reunions/graduations where friend's boyfriends are suddenly gay and dating angry, fat white guys and where conveyer belts look like they're made of stone and have water bubbling up from the cracks.

Yeah, I think I need to sleep now, too.
azurite: (mokuba's 1024)
Every time I've tried to arrange some online gifting for Christmas, it hasn't always panned out well. This year I've got a new Winter challenge over at Dragonfayth, and maybe some people will be nice and we can do a fic or fanart gift exchange.

But for those of you who
a) want some souvenir from Japan as a present (I obviously can't guarantee shipment by Christmas, unless you tell me NOW and I can find it SOON)
b) like giving material, tangible gifts as opposed to online gift credit, or files of some sort
or c) are just really, really nice people...
WOULD YOU GET ME ONE OF THESE!?
The bestest present in the whole wide world! )

"These" are these adorable colored thumb drives, and you can even get them CUSTOM LASER-ENGRAVED! (If you can't tell, I think that's one of the coolest features. Am I superficial or what?) They have them in pink, black, blue, gray (think charcoal colored), and silver. Being 'Azurite' I could totally go for a blue one. :D

And they're cheap! ($20.99 for 1 GB!) And I'm actually in need of a larger thumb/flash/portable/whatever you call it drive, anyway, because I was one of those poor suckers who bought a flash drive when they first came out, and I paid over $40 for a 128 MB one. It was just fine when it came to school work and things like that, because documents and other such files never get that big. But when I had to do computer-to-computer transfers, or if I wanted to work on a massive project like a Photoshop document or an entire website when I wasn't at home, it became a pain in the neck NOT to have a larger thumb drive. Plus, when I exchange files with my friends, a larger thumb drive makes it easier to store more, and stay more organized.

If anyone gets me one of these (engraved with whatever you please ^_~ the custom engraving IS free, after all), I will either get you one of your color/engraving choice, or b) get you a present from Japan. :)

And matter of fact, I think these make great gifts in general, too. I mean, first you have colors to choose from, which is always nice considering how many boring black or gray thumb drives are out there (though black and gray are two of the color choices, the casing seems to be "shiny," so it's not the same sort of "flat" color as I see on many thumb drives).

Second, FREE custom engraving. Nothing says "I honestly thought of YOU when I got this" than an engraving tailored to the recipient.

And third, they're cheap! Unlike all the other technology products coming out this holiday season, this one is actually affordable enough to get for MANY people, so it won't put a serious dent in your pocket.

Fourth is that it can be a gift for just about anyone-- friends, family, students, workers, whoever. USB drives are just one of those multi-purpose, multi-person kind of gifts.

Here's the tech specs, for those who are wary or simply wanna know:
-Available in 512 MB, 1GB, 2GB or *4* GB
-Prices range from $14.99 to $89.99
-Custom colors of pink, silver, black, gray, or blue for all size drives
-Compatible with PCs and Macs
-Hi-Speed (2.0) USB and Standard USB (1.1) compatible
-Plug-and-Play with PCs using Windows Me, 2000, or XP (no drivers!)
-Transfers files up to 480 Mb/second
-Security software included for you Windows users
-No additional power needed (gets its power from the USB port)
-Small enough to be convenient, but not forgettable (1.7cm L x 6.7 cm W x .6 cm H)
-Made of durable aluminum, so your data won't get damaged easily
-FREE LASER ENGRAVING!!!!

I know I want one, don't you?
azurite: (In the name of friendship ass kick!)
Okay, so I'm back from San Diego, and despite Scott being sick for the first few days, me getting drunk after only 2 Smirnoff Ices (did you listen to my voice post?), and several attacks from the overly enthusiastic chocolate Labrador bitch Lando, it was a good trip. I went shopping with Scott at Fashion Valley today, and though I was not only on a budget but a time limit, I picked up an all-new outfit-- a kelly green zip-up sweater jacket (only $5 from MACY'S! WAY TO SHOP!!!) and a new pair of jeans. (I swore the brand name was L'arc en Ciel, but I just read wrong. Ehehe.) Truthfully, I spent most of my money over the past few days on food-- we ate at the famous Jewish delicatessen D.Z. Akin's, plus I had my first breakfast burrito at El Zarapa's not too far from where Scott and the guys live.

I also got some very nice Christmas gifts from Scott-- a 2006 Calendar "Cats of the Greek Isles" and a beautiful Asian fan with a woman playing a harp on it. ^^ Yes, I collect fans. I'm weird, you don't have to tell me.

A recap of my gifts this season, many thanks and squidges to all~ Mer got the stash! )

Attention Guardian Kysra! Look here! Look here NOW!

A big announcement for you, [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra! Thanks to the generosity, kindness, cheer, and all the other happy holiday spirit emotions (either that or the insane fangirl desperation to see you post more stuff soon *cough*) of [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u, [livejournal.com profile] janimelee, Samantha Stone (LJ Username unknown!), myself, and the well-wishes and encouragement of countless others, we have bought you THE SCANNER! ^^ It's coming from Amazon.com (since they don't charge for shipping!) and will include a cute message that reads a heck of a lot similar to this one. Sorry it's not gift wrapped, but I'm sure you'll have fun tearing open the box and throwing the packing pellets (or bubble wrap, whichever you prefer) just the same. Expect it to arrive within 5-9 days!

Thank you to everyone who sent their wishes, encouragement, and what little money they could during this holiday season-- I hope that despite the havoc Katrina and Rita wrought on our dear friend and resident Hentai Goddess (and amazing artist), 2006 will turn out to be a bigger, better, and brighter year for her than ever before!

:) Happy Chrismakwanzayulekah and a VERY SPLENDIFEROUS NEW YEAR! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

As for me, I'm quite pleased right now, and unless prompted in some size, shape, or fashion, I have nothing else to say.

Happy Holidays and Have A Safe, Happy, and Wonderful New Years, Everybody!
(Thank you for being my friends. ^^ It means a lot.)
azurite: (can you hear me now?)
For those of you that ever thought that Valley Girls talked like my subject line, you'd be wrong. They did in Clueless, but not down here where I live, and I am in The Valley. Not that I can speak for the air headed teenage population, but, just so you know, I am a Valley Girl now, and I still have relatively good diction, thankyouverymuch!

Anyway, I am back in the Valley; Dad and I split from Alameda around 11am this morning and got here around 7ish. The drive was amusing, if just because of the following:
  • A recollection of last night, in which I attempted to get friendly with my Dad's cat, Roy
  • I also signed my dad up for eHarmony.com, and we laughed loads over my dad's answers (he was honest, don't worry!)
  • We dined-and-dashed at the Apricot Tree, this horrible road-side restaurant. Service was extremely slow for both waiting, ordering, and serving, plus the usual "can I get you your water/check/ketchup/clean flatware" stuff. If we'd bothered to ask for the check and then get change, we would have been there for another hour. Do I feel bad? No. :P
  • I got to explain all about the tracks I put on last year's Turkey CD compilation. Basically, it's a CD of your favorite songs that you've found in the past year, and Dad had never heard of many of my choices, which went on the 6 "Ultimate" volumes (there were 2 "original" volumes, based off the original Turkey Tapes from the 80s). Dad especially liked the addition of Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation" and John Sykes/Blue Murder's "Cautionary Warning".

Of course, my Dad picked me up pretty early yesterday night (7:30ish), so I had to rush home from Classic Bowl in Pacifica, where I'd gone with Crystal, Maggie, Richard, Evie, Eva, and Harry. Stephanie and Katia had been with us earlier in the day, but they both had other obligations that took them away early. Crystal gave me a nifty new journal, and Katia gave me a new addition for my bookmark collection-- an Aslan (Chronicles of Narnia) bookmark! YAY!

I didn't get to see "Memoirs of a Geisha" like I originally planned; the 5:50 show at the Century 21 was sold out, so that's how we ended up going bowling. I hope I'll be able to see it (and go ice skating, another canceled plan that we'd made for SF) with Scott in San Diego when I go on the 29th; I'm staying through the 2nd! Mom even gave me a nice new outfit and 2 new sweaters to wear down there, plus some hair glitter, a necklace and earrings, and a jeweled barrette. I do think I'll look smashing... ^_~

I ended up forgetting my flash drive there... keeerap! But at least Mom bought my laptop (she already gave me $80; she owes me $920. I shaved about $500 off for her payment toward my Driver's Ed lessons and the bits of money she gave me over the course of two weeks. She'll probably pay in installments, so it'll keep me afloat until I get paid for working at the bookstore (gotta call tomorrow and go in on Thursday, before I leave for SD) and the ITR job (training starts on the 9th). Worse, Jimbo and Richie put Stepmaniamax on my laptop, and I tried to burn it onto a CD and DVD, but the software or somesuch shit wouldn't let me.

So... [livejournal.com profile] staplerx or [livejournal.com profile] richlikesmaids, where did you get Stepmaniamax from? And if I can't download it or get a CD/DVD of it from either of you two, could someone please help my mom burn the CD? ^^; That would be nice...

Long story short (as I'm never good with recalling many events after not updating for a while), I've finished and sent off my fic for the [livejournal.com profile] dmhgficexchange, and I've got my last entry for the [livejournal.com profile] yuugiouxmasfic ready as well (though both are late). I had a good time with my friends, and while I ended up mostly broke (of my own funds) I did leave NOT broke, which is a good thing. I plan on buying Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari, because I got addicted to it at the party at Bob's house (while I played Jimbo and Marc). I ended up falling asleep at the aforementioned party, during Life of Brian. ;_; I couldn't help it! Mom waking up for work at 5:30am had ME waking up around then too, so I was exhausted by 8:30pm...

WDKY22 is also done, but I'm still waiting for someone to get back to me. LuvinAoshi has updated several chapters of an FMA fic in the meantime; I wonder if I've been forgotten about? ;_; Why can't there be a mass list of people willing to beta for certain pairings in certain fandoms? [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain, doesn't that sound like a good idea for a community or something? (I ask you because you're in charge of [livejournal.com profile] weekly_ygo)

I would like to thank [livejournal.com profile] pockyken, [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie, [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000, and [livejournal.com profile] rhapsody_dragon for cheering me up when I was a bit low at first! Also, MANY, MANY, MANY huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra for the faboo present (I will be scanning the pic part of it soon-- can I color it in Photoshop CS, too?) and the New Years Wishes. For any last minute well-wishers, please donate to Kysra's Scanner Fund! Contact me for more info or sort back through my journal a few entries to find the donation post. If we don't get enough by New Year's, I'll donate the rest myself. :)

Mom and Dad really frustrate me at times... for various reasons which I suppose I can get into later. But how many people think that sometimes their parents are much more immature than they are?

To Do:

  • clean room, now that I've brought a ton of stuff with me from SF
  • scan pics, including the unfinished/uncolored WDKY 1000 review/2nd Anniversary pic (inc. icon for [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000) and Kysra's Christmas pic for me ^^
  • free up disk space for the new Stepmania, Hana Yori Dango j-drama episodes, and Sims 2 again
  • Go to the mall to get Proactiv (anyone use it before? How were your results? Is it worth the $60 for the full package?) and Katamari Damacy set
  • Call the bookstore to let Mike know I'll come in for paperwork on Thursday
  • Free up enough disk space to torrent/seed the Full Moon Sagashite Episodes (probably in sets of 3 episodes a piece, for [livejournal.com profile] ricoddr)

And finally, some fantastic news... I'm published! I think I may have announced this before, but in the time I was away, I actually got the book "Authors of Tomorrow" in which my "Success Comes Second" essay was published. Now I'm competing against 250+ other people for a $1000 scholarship from Elder & Leemaur Publishers! ^^ Wish me luck! (It'd be nice to write a funny short story/1st person POV about my recent adventures, esp. those with dad. "The Journey South" or somesuch would make a good title.)

...I feel like I'm forgetting something... but whatever. Tomorrow: Palomar with Dad and Steve. TEH YAY!

Blurbs.

Dec. 15th, 2005 02:07 pm
azurite: (atemu's determined)

  • Couldn't sleep last night. Tried to read bad Christmas romance novels (historicals); didn't work. The cheese ate my brain.
  • Decided to watch PGSM instead, all the way through Special Act. Bawled my eyes out.
  • Realized that even in its new form, Sailormoon will always appeal to me, have special  meaning for me, and send out important messages to anyone who cares to listen.
  • Decided to smash together all my websites at long last and create an Animanga Collision eFiction archive for all of my fics save the Seto x Anzu ones, which will remain hosted at Dragonfayth. I'll still post at other places (FFnet, MMorg, Aria's Ink ...if I can ever figure out their whacked upload system... DeviantArt ...same thing... and ASMR), but at least now I'll have a place for my rants and essays, as well. It'll take some time to set up, though. For most of the animes/mangas/games I'm into, it'll also include information pages, character profiles, etc.
  • Dropped my iPod mini on the sidewalk as I was running across the street on my way home from school (to sell a book) today. It's dinked up to the point where it irritated me, so I bought a purple protective skin from DecalGirl.comhttp://www.decalgirl.com.
  • Finished a transfer of funds (gas money for/from [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u --> Kysra) from PayPal; as I said before, we're almost at our goal and we only need a few more donations to get the scanner! It's doubtful I'll be able to ship it by Christmas unless I get funds from other people SOON!
  • Scored a job at the ITR University Help Desk... $8.05/hr for 20 hrs/wk., +/- 4 hours, if I want. Starts Jan. 9! Yahoo!
  • Mom might buy my laptop. :)
  • WILL MAKE IT TO JTAF! Keep your eyes peeled, gentlemen (and ladies-- er, [livejournal.com profile] hikaru_jan, you're not going...? ;_;! :D).
  • Need to check/download classes that I need to take; I register on the 19th, and if any of my planned classes are full, I need alternatives. I don't want to be sitting on SOLAR (Student On-Line Access Registration or something) for an hour searching classes. I'll bring the hard copy schedule with me just in case, but I want the course numbers ready to go, with my knowledge that I need the class, that I can take the class in accordance with my schedule, and that I'll like the professor.
  • Am tired now... despite needing to pack and such, my eyes are so sore from all that crying I did last night that I just need to sleep. If I can actually fall asleep, it'll be a good thing.

YAY!

Dec. 14th, 2005 12:18 pm
azurite: (fancy lala winter)
An update on the Kysra Christmas Fund -- we're ALMOST THERE! *squeals* Anyone that wants to make a donation and has not yet, please do! (Note: if, by the lucky chance, we go over, I'll use the rest of the money to pay for shipping and gift wrapping. ^^) Check out my previous entries and the post at [livejournal.com profile] setoanzulove for the donation button.

YAY!
YAY!
YAY!

zOMG short entry. Heheh.
azurite: (atemu's determined)
Okay, I'm at home sick today, with a lot to do (study abroad essays to finish and get checked; a 25-page story to condense) and none of the motivation to do so. So of course I'm going to distract myself with other things.

First off, many people have been incredibly generous to the areas affected by the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Those that can actually go and help are brave and courageous; those that can't and still make the effort to help in whatever way they can are showing how much they care, even if it's for people they don't know in a place they've never been.

But when disaster hits close to home --people you know and care about-- it's different.

One of my good friends on this FL had her house very badly damaged, and she lost one of her tools of the trade-- her scanner. I think many of you know who I'm talking about by now... An effort on behalf of DAMN good art! )
azurite: (Anzu's Future)
Well, it was a generally good Thanksgiving. Good food (yum, cranberries! And latkes!), the usual emotional drama... and I've discovered that my cousins actually are human, and do experience hardship at times. I've always sort of idolized them due to how RICH they are (or seemed), and I thought they were blissfully ignorant immune to the kinds of things I've been through. Admittedly, everyone still has their share of problems, so I'd say I'm pretty grateful for how my life is right now: not all that exciting. It can be a good thing at times, as I'm sure many people will attest.

I did have the requisite emotional breakdown, but that's only because my period happened to fall on the same day as Thanksgiving, so I have Basketcase Excuse Alpha-01. :P Nyah! The cousins are still calling Scott "Scott Peterson" though, which bugs the hell out of me. It'd be one thing if the name were that of a celebrity or whatever, but a murderer? Ugh... not very nice.

As for shopping, my sole Hanukkah present (from Baba and my Dad: $80 total) was mostly spent on books (FY: Genbu Kaiden #1, YGO Duelist 9, 10, 11, Socrates in Love) . The Fashion Valley mall is home to a Saks, a Neiman Marcus, Coach, Tiffany's, and all those other stores I feel uncomfortable just setting FOOT in. I hated shopping there because I didn't feel right in ANY of the stores. And to shop on Black Friday is a bad idea anyway, even if (because?)  everyone else is doing it. I did see Scott's brother Ryan at Coach, and his Mom at Ann Taylor, so that was nice... even if I felt out of place in those stores. The cheapest thing at Coach was a sparkly iPod mini case for $68! As for Ann Taylor... well, much as I love their clothes, I couldn't even bring myself to look.

Oh, did I mention I got my hair dyed (one color: chocolate brown) and cut (a layered cut down to my shoulders), and my eyebrows plucked? Yes, so I'm teh mature and girly looking, now. I don't act like it all the time though... I seriously need to stop thinking so much, be more social, and not act like a cat. ;_; ANYWAY!

Mostly, what I want for the holidays:
* To be with my friends
* To spend some time with mom
* To stuff my face with good food (spritz cookies! yams! hot cocoa with marshmallows!)
* BOOKS! Or Borders gift certificates...
* A cashmere sweater and scarf (Target has some for only $40/sweater, and... much cheaper for the scarf. Can't remember how much, but teh yum!)

I should be getting my first Xmas-present-to-self soon: my Shonen Jump/Jan 2006 with the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon! No, I don't have anyone to play, but maybe I should change that. Sure, socializing with 10 year old boys isn't my idea of  making friends, but there's bound to be the odd female duelist, duelist-who's-also-an-anime-fan, or an older duelist-with-a-brain that I can meet... somewhere, somehow. And learning to drive might help me go further to hobby stores or sneak previews.

Speaking of anime and manga, I finally got my first issue of Takuhai... er, "MANGA" magazine. Tokyopop has slowly been slipping off my radar, what with how they're releasing mostly obscure titles/artists at a slow pace. And this magazine causes me to think: just what is "manga", anyway? I really don't like the idea of non-Japanese people trying to mock their favorite manga-ka's style, inventing their own style, messing around in Photoshop, and calling the end result "manga." And God forbid the word "Ani-manga" spread beyond the borders of our not-so-fair nation. I highly respect people that can draw so well as to garner Tokyopop's attention, but it shouldn't be touted as manga when it's far from professional. There are spelling errors, shoddy sound effects, and much less detail than real manga-kas-- even if the artists use screen tones, Deleter pens, and the works. I feel like I'm being prejudiced, but... well, "manga" is a Japanese word, a Japanese creation! You can't fake it! That would be like doujinshi-ka calling themselves manga-ka, when they know they're not! Even if American (or other nations) create their own stories in the Japanese manga style, I don't think it's manga...

Other stuff:
I'm participating in both the [livejournal.com profile] dmhgficexchange and the [livejournal.com profile] yuugiouxmasfic this Christmas; I have my assignments for both, but afaik, I don't have any submitting to do until December. That might be different for the YGO exchange, if only because there are themed "weeks" in which each week, a gift fic (according to the requester's "rules") should be submitted in line with the theme... I'm kind of confused on that, and whether I've missed the first week.

I've been emailing this person (Phyllis) who is an Azureshipper fan; I tried explaining to her that the "comics" she saw of Seto and Anzu were not official, that they were "doujinshi" or fan comics, and that the Yu-Gi-Oh series (anime and manga) has ended without ANY canon pairings whatsoever. And Phyllis acted like I'd told her there was no Santa Claus or something: she whined, bitched, complained, and insulted me. And she managed to do so while misspelling three words in a single sentence. I don't know if she's going to email me again, and frankly, I'd rather she didn't. I hate lame people like that...

Read our last exchange )

There's a code glitch in phpFanbase, which is what BEA is running on. I don't know if anyone else is using that script or its spinoff, phpClique, but if so, I'd recommend heading over to CodeGrrl.com to keep up-to-date with the codes and fixes that Sasha and Co. put out.

And finally, this whole thing with Scott. I might as well just say what's been stressing me on and off...
I'm sure a guy loves knowing he's the cause of my zits. )
azurite: (fandom destroyed my social skills)
Well, ho ho ho! It's actually December 26th, at 12:34 in the morning. I can't help it, on breaks my internal clock is off. O.O;;

So, how was your holiday? For me, it wasn't much of one. Unless holidays are constituted of guilt, feelings of remorse, worthlessness, and the occasional rude snipe about Mom's boyfriend and his family.

Don't get me wrong, I normally try to get in spirit and all-- but if someone asked me, "On a scale of one to ten, how much do you like the holidays?" I'd have to say three. (How low can you go!) By Christmas Eve, I'd only had time and money to get my mom one thing. We normally both hate the holidays, because we end up making food for people that don't deserve it-- people who mother claims are "friends" but don't even know how to spell our names correctly. (GRR) I end up getting mad at myself for not having enough gifts for my friends, or worrying if my cookies that I annually bake for everyone (and I KNOW they are damn good-- after the fact) are edible.

Come Christmas Eve, I'm in a frump-- Mom's invited her bf over, along with his entire family. At first, I didn't mind Mom having a bf-- but she always fed me the same excuse-- "my friends think I'm doing so well now, that I'm social and everything." Pardonez moi? My sister died in 1996-- that's 5, count 'em 5 years ago! Not that I'm saying "get over it" or anything-- but normal people do move on after 5 years, right? Sure, they reminisce, they mope, they even cry from time to time-- but my mother sounds like a damned rehab patient! And what about me?! I can never forget that I was ALL ALONE at my sister's funeral, and I was only 10. Middle school went miserably the next three years, and high school is looking worse. I seem to have more enemies than friends, and I tend to be more suicidal than I'd like.

*Ahem* But back on topic. (<.>) So Mom's bf is this Einsteinish guy-- he actually LOOKS like frizzball, but he's all about sociology. Still earning some kind of graduate degree. He has a spoiled daughter who's traveled *all* over the world because of her "wonderful operatic voice." Yes, her voice is nice, but I hate it when my mother makes friends (or tries to make ME make friends) with people who are airheads about what real life is like.

And who am *I* to talk-- the girl who actually HAD a Christmas, who can afford to fly on planes and travel? Hah... I should be thinking of the poor children in some third-world country, shouldn't I? Worrying about the fate of someone who could care less about me... I know it sounds selfish of me when I say stuff like this, but I'm NOT those people. I can't help them the way I am now. Sure, I'm better off than them, but so are the rest of oh, EVERYONE in the US-- even the homeless people in big cities.

So on Christmas, I'm wishing I were somewhere other than home-- I'd even told my mom that much, because I didn't eat (she made TOFU TURKEY!! GAAH) and the bf's daughter isn't exactly attentive, or fun. Not to mention she's a know-it-all senior at an Opt-In Arts school in a classy neighborhood of the city.

Mom's kinda mad at me when we get home from dinner tonight, because in the car, BF-boy wanted to analyze something ELSE sociologically. >_< Why can't people be happy with their own lives, and stop interfering with others where it isn't ridiculously necessary? What's more, my mother seems to live to make me feel embarrassed about my life-- she tells people about my messy room, my "slight" (and I do mean SLIGHT) ability to speak Japanese and Hebrew, and my rudeness-- such as barging into a plant.

"You'll hurt the plant," She says, while cuddling up to BF on the couch. Gah, I want to BARF!

When my Dad was with someone, I was jealous at first, because there was suddenly no time for me. I eventually got used to her, even liked her to the point I called her "Mini-Mom." They got engaged; I was happy. Then she had an affair-- and things fell through. My dad was pretty much a jackass from that point on-- getting rid of my dog, moving from place to place... and I don't speak to him anymore. I don't want that to happen with my mom.

She seems to like BF's family... and I suppose they're okay, it's Oink-oink BF that I don't like. He's a know-it-all, rude, disgusting idiot who lives to rub it in that he's spending more time with my mom than me! I try to tell my mom, hey, I'm feeling left out here... but she is tuned out. I think inside, she wants BF's family to be a replacement for her mostly-dead family. She pulls a teary act around me, and immediately, I'm as guilty as sin.

I love her for thinking of me-- from time to time. And it's not the material things that count, but I appreciate those anyway. But I want the mom back that died when my sister did-- the one that was there for ME too... even if it meant sharing her with a sister. But not a boyfriend, a daughter, and two seniors. No, my mom is just that-- MINE.

Sorry if I got off topic... I had to do my annual X-Mas rant. Knowing my life, there'll be a New Year's one too. See you.

January 2016

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