azurite: (cat and mouse)
So I'm working on my final project for my Flash class, and it's really like putting together a puzzle: I'm assembling my efforts from previous weeks and trying to turn them into something shiny and cohesive. Of course, we have requirements (have to use at least 2 of our previous assignments plus embed audio, have a title area, a text area for the work that's being loaded, and have a viewing area for the visual assets), but generally it's pretty free-form.

So far I think I'm doing okay, except for the audio...for some reason, mine keeps loading whenever I test the movie, rather than when I press the Play button in my control area. I've made sure the Play and Stop buttons work, and they do, but the audio still starts up on its own when the whole file loads. I have Mute and a Volume Max buttons too, but they don't seem to do anything, despite using the same ActionScript that we used for a previous interface for audio:

on (press) {
test.setVolume(100);
}

and

on (press) {
test.setVolume(0);
}

Anyone know enough Flash to tell me what I'm doing wrong here? If I at least get this figured out, then I think I can focus on the more aesthetic parts and extra information, along with getting last week's lab to load properly (that was way more confusing than this final project).

I seem to remember one of my former co-workers from CSUN making an awesome web design in Flash...she must have had a knack for it (or a really good professor or a fabulous textbook or all three)! I wish I had asked her more about it then!
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I'm starting to think my "education" with DeVry is a bit of a joke. It's probably misplaced frustration from over a week without a laptop, and, now that I've got a new one, trying to play catch-up in two classes that overwhelm me.

For starters, in my Information Design class, I feel like it's a re-hash of my last class where the teacher is just doing things "according to guidelines/rules." We have a textbook that I feel reads as horribly outdated (especially the part about justifying why a restaurant finder application should be delivered on CD-ROM versus a Web application--this book was written in 2005, which is like centuries in Internet time), assignments that don't seem very clear, and quizzes with even more trick questions (dependent wholly on the textbook too, which is the polar opposite of what my CSUN professors did: they actually wanted you to read/listen to the LECTURE and DISCUSSION).

Then there's my Flash class. The professor's cool, but the fact that DeVry is still using CS3 when they don't even SELL CS3 anymore is pretty frustrating. I think the fact that CS3 is no longer supported by Adobe should be a big clue for them to, at the very least, provide the CS4 methods of doing things for assignments, labs, etc. IN CONJUNCTION with the CS3 methods, if not use it primarily.

Flash intimidates the heck out of me. Even though it's a Macromedia/Adobe product, it looks and acts different from all the other programs I'm used to, and things just don't work the way I expect them to. My stuff doesn't look nearly as awesome as some of my classmates', and certainly is not anything I'm wild crazy about putting in a portfolio. It's nowhere near on par with the basic Flash you see on websites everywhere these days. Of course, that would be expecting a miracle, right? Going from 0 to 60 in just four to five weeks: I can't expect my understanding of Flash to hit me like an epiphany and I just start GETTING IT. It'd be nice, but it doesn't work that way. I don't work that way.

So I'm going to do my best and muddle through it, and hopefully not end up as part of the disappointingly-large statistic of people that don't graduate from DeVry. It has a miserable graduation rate, from what I found: about 34%. And here I thought California state schools were pretty bad.

I really wish they offered these classes in-person at the Daly City campus. I just don't think I do well in an online environment, odd as that is for both me and the program I'm in (Multimedia Design and Development).

I wonder if it also has to do with my environment here: lacking a job and the money to really buy something like a Fast Pass (monthly transportation pass), I don't go out unless I can spare the change or I really need to (or someone's driving me). Otherwise, I think going to the library with my laptop might be a good idea. I wonder if getting a Fast Pass for April might be a good investment, considering I actually do have some cash now? I really don't want to spend it on things I don't NEED though, since I should be paying my bills and such more than anything else. Still, a Fast Pass is probably a better investment than a bag of bagels (much as I want those bagels).

Plus, I have to treat all of this--getting a job, taking these online classes--like I were at a full-time job and still taking classes in a real university environment. If I can do this, maybe they won't worry and frustrate me so much. That's the hope, anyway.

Any advice from folks that know this sort of stuff--interface design with wireframes, Visio, Flash, etc.--would be totally appreciated.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
I have a class assignment to create a website. This usually isn't an issue; for the last assignment I had like this, I made a resume website. But this time we've got to have the usuals (information, feedback, contact info) but ALSO a shopping cart capability.

I've worked with and seen plenty of sites that have shopping cart abilities, but what about one FOR ME? I don't want to be lazy/uncreative and just pick from the two samples (a non-profit equestrian society site, or a home business for baby-ware), but I'm not sure what I could do.

...Any tips?
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.
azurite: (smallville - lois: you got pwned!)
A few days ago I had a dream that I was relocating a bunch of gold chains (like the thin kinds used for necklaces) from one box to another. They were very shiny but had no pendants on them, and they were pretty tangled up. I looked up the meanings of "gold," "necklace," and "chains," but the meanings were all so mixed I don't know what to make of the dream as a whole.

Also, very much into Smallville now. Very bad, since I should be thinking of WDKY and writing the rest of that, but instead I'm reading lots of Smallville fic (well, what little "good stuff" I can find, and putting up with a lot of mediocre stuff to pass the time while finding "good" things) in-between homework assignments, NSLS stuff, and being sick.

Yeah, I'm sick. Grandpa says I have the flu, but I have yet to get a fever: just a horrible phlegmy cough, lots of body aches, and many, many headaches. It sucks, to put it mildly, especially since flu shots are impossible to find here, regular OR H1N1. Needless to say, I hope I just have the regular flu, if one at all. I've been sleeping it off, mostly, and I do feel better now than I did earlier, but the aches are still present and they make me want to just curl up in bed.

Being sick means that I feel like I'm not getting anything done, even if I should just acknowledge: I really am. I just have MORE to do. Like, I still have DeVry Web Design class homework to finish up (zip and upload, really), stories for my Senior Narrative Seminar to read/write, and 1919 and Johnny Got His Gun to read. Gaah.
azurite: (grammar - english beats up other languag)
I don't think I'll expect more than a "C" out of my one midterm. I just finished taking my American Literature midterm, and because I completely neglected to study T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and spent more time on the Harlem Renaissance than on the earlier poets we studied, I know I have several very weak parts to my exam.

Yeah, I definitely mixed up Countee Cullen and Wallace Stevens. For some reason I had it in my head that Stevens was more of a rhymer than Cullen. Oops. I wonder if I can still get credit for my explanation of the significance of the passage, even if I got the author and title wrong.

I mixed up Schuyler and Alain Locke, too, even though I was positive there was no way that was possible, because Locke writes so much more pretentiously than Schuyler (or at least I think so; Locke was incredibly difficult for me to get through).

And then there was the essay where I completely blanked out on how ritual plays into "The Waste Land." We only went over it FOR A WHOLE DAMN WEEK (that is, two days worth of classes) and talked about the "ritual" of life and death and the necessity of death to bring about new life, etc. How did I space on that?

*sigh* On the one hand, yay, it's over, regardless of what grade I get. I don't think I bombed so miserably that I'll get an F and be in danger of failing the class. There's still another essay (which I PRAY we don't do in class), and I think I'll make a habit of, oh, I don't know, actually doing the reading! I didn't think it was that bad while I was cramming last night, but then again, I did screw up some major writers, here.

The professor noted I was "very expressive when taking an exam." This was because I got halfway through the essay and realized I didn't remember a damn thing about "The Waste Land," and I was trying to knock my brain into remembering even the tiniest little thing that I could wax eloquent on. I got nothing. And now I find out I screwed up the identification parts, too? The parts I'd actually been semi-confident about? Grrrreeeeat. Expressiveness isn't going to save my grade.

This bites.

Oh, FINALLY

May. 5th, 2009 12:13 am
azurite: (firefox vs. ie)
Finally got my MacBook Pro back from the Apple Store. I think I mentioned how the graphics card or something somehow caused the logicboard to fry, and the whole thing had to be replaced? Yeah, but at least it was part of a "program" where they knew about these defective boards, so I didn't have to pay a dime. Looks like it may have been partially related to my battery issues, too, as my battery life seems to have improved a bit. I only bought the new battery back in December, so there's no reason why it should be horribly unhealthy by now (even with the fact that I use it every day and leave it on A LOT... but in Sleep mode, mostly, and almost always plugged in, too).

I also finally got the annoying issue with getting a self-assigned IP resolved. None of the usual fixes (renewing the DHCP license, turning the AirPort wireless card on and off, restarting the computer, switching to Ethernet, etc.) were working, but I dug around in the Apple Discussion forums (on the old iMac and at school) and found a fix: switching the Firewall to "Allow all incoming connections." Ta-da! Of course, I'm hoping to switch back to my more selective mode, but in the meanwhile, this'll do. Now just to see if it works at home, too.

ETA: It does, but at school, it doesn't. V. annoying.

I was also having issues with the computer just generally being slow, and I don't know if it's time for me to see if I can upgrade the memory in this to 4GB. This is an older model MBP, so I don't even know if it CAN hold that much. Plus, it'll cost (lots of) money, and with the way my previous attempts at installing additional memory have gone, I'd rather do it at the Apple Store-- pay for for the Apple Certified stuff and get the product warranty and in-store customer service that comes with it.

Firefox is still apparently a memory hog, but it doesn't help that I'm one of those people that has hundreds of tabs open (some of them duplicates). I tried to close a bunch down today, write them down if I need to, and bookmark a bunch of others. Hopefully it'll help some. I'm also testing out Firefox 3.5 beta 4 because I wanted to play with Weave, a project from Mozilla Labs that allows for TAB SYNCING. I never thought I'd need it, but geez it'll be nice to open up my tabs on my now-slow MacBook Pro on the speedy Windows (eeeeew) machines at work. Mayhap I can get more done that way.... Now, I wonder if there's something that can sync extensions?

This entry's actually been sitting here for a few days; I just didn't post it. I have a lot more to say, but it seems like it ought to go in a separate entry some other time...maybe after finals or at least after tomorrow, when I have my Table Appointments (read: table setting) quiz in my Contemporary Issues in Nutrition class and my Yoga final (physical and written). I'm kind of nervous about the physical Yoga final, because even with a class of 30+ people, last week the professor said she WOULD be working with us one-on-one, which has me thinking she'll be sitting there and go "okay, get into X pose!" and I'll just blank and forget how to do it!

...My Time Machine external HD is mounted, but it won't back up, even if I manually tell it to. When I go into Time Machine preferences, it says the back-up drive cannot be located. WTF!?
azurite: (cat and mouse)
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!!!!! I was honestly astounded by how many of them I got across LJ, Facebook, and everything. I got calls and E-Cards and real cards and I was just so flabbergasted, so THANK YOU!

I didn't do anything yesterday specifically birthday-ish, especially since it was a regular class day. I did dress up a bit (which meant by 9pm when the meeting ended I was freezing cold), but of course I had to change for my Yoga class. Predictably, on my actual birthday time (1:17 p.m.), I was so relaxed in my class that I wasn't even paying attention to the time! After Yoga, I had to go to work (lunchless, because I'd tried to see my advisor about Fall semester's Journalism classes; she was in a meeting!). Finally, at 5pm, I got a break, so I went to Subway, where everyone very nicely wished me a happy birthday there. Turns out Nobbs Auditorium for the NSLS meeting was already open, so I set up in there. I got everything set up and got to talk to Scott on the phone, and then the meeting got underway!

For once, there were no technical glitches, let alone anything else! To top it off, Romina got me a HUGE cupcake with green and pink and orange frosting (I couldn't possibly finish it in one sitting, but it's not for my lack of trying), so I suppose you could say I had my cake and I ate it too! Sure, it wasn't red velvet, but that's okay-- a fancy cake like that is best served at schmancy settings or big parties, right?

In any case, while I wish I could relax and take it easy for the rest of the semester, it's only going to get busier from here on out. I thought today would be a day of lab time, with one big class project due, but it turns out I do have a wet lab for biology followed by a presentation in my Public Relations class. Good thing people are finally responding to the emails I've been sending about the project; I think we'll be able to get everything put together and ready for later. Plus, today is also Matador Dollar Day, and I wanted to go to check that out... I could probably use the financial advice!

Thursday involves more classes, hopefully advisement for Journalism, and then Friday I've got another dental appointment, work, and then a lifeskills institute course I want to check out. And then, and then.... San Diego this weekend! Huzzah. Hopefully sleeping on my aunt Joyce's couch won't be uncomfortable at all; I think I need the relaxation, even if it is a Big Family Get-Together and normally "relaxation" isn't part of that package. Plus, I should technically be working on all my projects during the weekend, like my [livejournal.com profile] sm_fanswap project and WDKY27 and such!

For some reason my left thumb hurts and I don't know why.

 Duel Monsters by Shinkichi Mitsumune from 遊☆戯☆王デュエルモンスターズ・Sound Duel3 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (fy - miaka & tamahome (red))
I'm taking a breather in-between batches of mochi. Yes, I'm making my very own mochi balls! Since I have my special Cultural Food Presentation on Tuesday for my "Contemporary Issues in Food Science and Nutrition" class, I'm supposed to bring something from the culture that I focused my Meal Plan project on-- Japan. I could have brought one of the recipes Mythri (my partner in the project) and I made up, but they're all somewhat labor-intensive, ingredient-heavy, and not very tasty when not served up fresh. Originally, we were going to get access to the kitchen the day of the lab, but we can't because it's already in use, so we have to bring our food prepared or nearly prepared, with only a microwave to use.

Bearing that in mind, Mythri's making curry (Japanese-style, though I wonder if there's a huge difference between Mythri's native Indian curry and the Japanese kind?) and I opted to make mochi balls. The hard part was deciding, actually; originally I was going to make green tea cookies, but I couldn't find matcha (maccha) powder anywhere, not even at the Asian market! I bought some premium green tea, which Baba said I could probably grind up to make the powder, but I don't think it's the same. I bought some Neri-An (same as adzuki, I wonder?) as a backup, and since mochi-ko (sweet rice flour) was easy to find --at Vons, of all places!-- I opted for that instead.

So far it's been pretty easy-- I mixed the rice flour with some sugar and warm water and then let it steam for a little over an hour, until it firmed into a sticky ball. I had two pie plates with cornstarch, one with some cocoa powder in it, and I've been taking golf-ball sized bits of the mochi and making circles with them, then filling them with the bean paste. I shape them back into domes and then... ta-da! I'll let them cool in the fridge as a finishing touch. I hope they taste good! I've still got a batch or so left to go before I'm out of the dough, but I bought another box for my own batch.

Today was an all-around accomplished day. I went with some girls from NSCS to a park in Granada Hills, where we worked with TreePeople and the Girl Scouts of San Fernando Valley to plant some oak trees to replace the ones that burned down in the recent fires. We had to dig the holes, make them the right shape and depth, get the root ball with the oak (which was about 4 feet tall) out of its bucket gently, and then fill in the rest with our dug-up soil. Then we made a mulch berm to stop the water from flowing downslope and we had to water 3 whole buckets (biiiig buckets, like 10 gallon ones!) into the oak!

We managed to plant two trees, which we named (because the TreePeople do that with their trees, and why not?): the first one is Kino (木野) for Makoto Kino (^_~) and the second was VI (pronounced "vie" like "Minako and Usagi vied for Haruka's attention") , for "Virgin Islands," since one of our group members is from there.

I can only hope this upcoming week --which promises to be busy and crazy-- will leave me with as much a sense of accomplishment as today did.

Well, back to my mochi!
azurite: (mario - i'd hit that)
My geology midterm wasn't nearly as hard as the teacher made it out to be. She gave us this big long comprehensive study guide and only some of it was actually on the 25-question, multiple-choice test. She had us freaking out at the beginning of the period with mentions of needing a calculator, and there wasn't a single math problem on the test (that I saw; I didn't skip any, and I don't think she had different "versions" of the test). There were no questions about the movement of hot spots or locating a point within a quadrangle using given longitude, latitude, as well as township and range. I only hesitated on two questions, and only one on the extra credit sheet.

It's Friday and I still haven't committed to a class ring (yet). It's probably a good thing, but what sucks is that even if I do make up my mind, the ordering at this point is either online or over the phone. If I want encrusting --and TBH, it doesn't look as good IRL as it does online; I thought it would be more like "dimensional" embossing, but it's really just like painted-on the stone (which has to be of a certain cut or they can't do it at all)-- I have to order over the phone. I have narrowed down the stone choices to either garnet or blue fire spinel, and I'm probably going to get an "antique" finish in some form of silver or platinum or palladium or whatever's available.

The hard part is the BAND size-- originally I wanted this one with these neat sides that had your major and/or other interest on them, plus wording around the stone that says the school name. I can also get these "ribbons" that say something like the year I'm graduating or custom characters...

I whittled it down to wanting:
* Journalism
* Sigma Alpha Pi (Greek name of NSLS)
* CSUN or Cal State Northridge or some variation of the school's name

I can do without 2009 or 2010, but those ones above are MUSTS. Problem is, the ring I wanted that can have all that is so THICK on my fingers, it looks weird. My fingers are pretty short and stubby, with no shape to them. They look like sticks. The one with a thinner, curvier band can't have customized sides, which takes half the fun out of the ring altogether. I like CSUN, but I don't want a Matador on my ring. I looked at some more elegant rings, where there are no side pictures, but I can still get writing on them, but the band looked too thin. It was like my finger was sprouting out of this pretty little delicate-looking thing.

I asked the Jostens folks, but they were basically like "Yeah, there's no middle ground." HELP!

Also, I feel lousy. I think I ate my breakfast too fast again this morning; I was running a bit late for a dentist's appointment. My appointment ended up getting cancelled anyway, so the five minutes that turned into eleven minutes ended up being meaningless. I've rescheduled for the 27th. But in the meantime, this wibbly, constipated feeling has stuck with me all day. I had Campbell's Tomato Soup and Ritz for lunch; the sodium content was just off the charts! I don't usually care too much about sodium --I like my eggs and potatoes salted, thank you very much-- but 790 mg per serving, with a single bowl being 2 servings!? WTF!? It was so salty I was smacking my lips the whole while (and not in the good way). I tried to water the soup down and drink tea to make the saltiness go away, but it didn't help much. I couldn't finish the bowl. I had rice pudding for "dessert," but I'm not sure if that was the best idea, either. On the one hand: rice, which is nice and benign, but on the other hand, PUDDING, which is cream and fat and more stomach pain.

I wonder if all this is caused by the new medicine I've been taking off and on for my dermographia or whatever-- basically all the itchy redness I tend to get all over. I wonder if it's working in conjunction with one of my many other allergy/asthma/heartburn/etc. meds and is making me fill ILL more often than not. Is there some sort of "input meds, see side effects and interactions" generator out there somewhere?

Also: weekend? What weekend? Tomorrow I'm going shopping with Baba and Grandpa in Porter Ranch, and on Sunday I'm planting trees in Granada Hills. Next week is the first meeting of NSLS this semester and I have to make sure to have all the materials and BE ready. Eek, I hope I can do this!
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: (ff8/kh - rinoa)
Greetings from the Oviatt Library of Cal State Northridge (where I was when I first started writing this post)! It's finally the late afternoon, and Inauguration Day is winding down at last. Of course, I was up at 7:30 a.m. for my 9:00 class, so I missed all the inauguration fun, even though Dad called me at 6:30 a.m. to bug me about watching it. He (and several other members of my family) seem to think Inauguration Day ought to be a holiday, but as for me, I've been looking forward to today as the first day of school long before I knew about who was going to be taking the Oath of Office this morning.

In any case, I've managed to catch up with play-by-plays, fashion reports, and transcripts of Obama's speech, so I don't feel as if I've missed out on much. Of course I'm excited and hopeful, but I also know I'll be able to watch it tonight if I so wish. After all, tons of stations are having Encore Presentations of every aspect of the inauguration, so....

As for classes, it was great seeing Prof. Lisagor for my Food Science Lab course again! She even hugged me! :) I was quite glad just to be remembered, but I immediately got into techie mode because some people couldn't log into the shiny cinema-screen Macs (sadly, with Windows pre-loaded on them; the Food Processor program we use for class is Windows-only. Blech!). We spent a lot of time talking about what the class is going to involve, but we moved onto our first big project: a cultural foods meal plan.

We're supposed to think of a culture other than our own and imagine that a person coming from that culture/country has come to the U.S. and has come to us in need of a dietician. Obviously, my first thought was for Japan! So I'm working with a classmate from India named Mythri (My-three), and we've both got to invent a person and come up with a meal plan for them that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 snacks for two days. Four of those meals have to be cultural foods (that is, Japanese) that are prepared. Everything should be "made at home," not "fast food" or whatever.

...For some reason, the first person that came to mind was Usagi Tsukino. More specifically, the Usagi that's in a very particular fic that I read recently on Aria's Ink, where she's come to the U.S. on a study abroad program.

Besides, it's not as if I don't know all her vital stats: she's 4'11", 99 lbs., 15 years old (well, we're imagining Season 1-3 Usagi here), and leads an active lifestyle-- what she lacks in P.E. she makes up for with Sailor Senshi duty and running like a mad chicken on her way to school. Inputting all that in, I've discovered just how many calories, vitamins, and minerals she ought to be taking.

Bearing all that in mind, now I've got to come up with 4 simple recipes that are Japanese in origin that Usagi might eat if she's seeing a dietician for whatever reason. I'm tempted to watch a bunch of Sailor Moon episodes to see how food appears in it, and what Usagi's eating habits are (other than just "voracious").

After that class, I went to Yoga. A surprising amount of people were wearing jeans, which made me roll my eyes. Really, the syllabus says "wear comfortable clothing," and people think "jeans?" The teacher seems like she's strict but interesting-- she reminds me of a professor I had in Journalism in my freshman and sophomore year where you either loved her or you hated her, but if you loved her, it's because despite the strictness, you learned. I'm hoping that'll be the case here, too.

Work today was pretty cool, too. I only had a short shift, but half of it I worked at the kiosk upstairs in the library, which we've started doing the first few weeks of the semester to introduce campus technology and the IT department to the people milling about the first floor.

Tomorrow I've only got one class-- my Public Relations class. Normally I'd have my long Biology lab, except the professor's postponed the first class session until next week, which is nice, because it gives me time to get adjusted to my other classes, get my textbooks and other supplies (seriously $114 for a biology NOTEBOOK!?!) and get used to the campus life again. I'm hoping I can use the rare extra time (because normally Wednesday would be my all-day session) to work on WDKY26 more. So far, it's coming along quite well... ^_^

ARGH! - Financial aid check didn't go through YET, so I couldn't get my PSP and SO2:SE as planned today, let alone check out the mall for some **free** makeup. Meh, I didn't need it (the makeup) anyway, and I don't need the PSP and the game RIGHT NOW, either. Textbooks are more the priority, anyway. Surprisingly, the bookstore actually has the cheapest rate for some of the textbooks. Some of the other textbooks, unfortunately, simply can't be found on Half.com or Amazon or whatever-- they're those special notebook lab packs. But that doesn't mean I'm out of resources yet!

Also: new icons! Yay. But I still need more for some of my other fandoms. There are also some I can't bring myself to get rid of even though I rarely use them. But hell, I've got nearly 200 userpic slots, so what does it matter!?
azurite: (azureshipping - side by side)


You Look Like an Aries



It's likely that you have a lean and strong body.

Your facial features are uniquely beautiful, and you may have a scar or beauty mark.



You have good posture, and you carry yourself with an air of confidence.

You have a strong, steady gaze. You eyes are often issuing a challenge.



Like most Aries people, you probably very energetic and enjoy it when someone challenges you.

You expect the best from people, and you believe in them. You are willing to take a risk on someone.



*sings* Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Okay, maybe it's a bit premature to be celebrating, but after turning in my 6-page paper on Gay Rights (which was supposed to have more of a focus on the California Supreme Court, but the group project upon which the paper was based had so many facets and sub-topics that I may have gone "off-tangent" by covering more ground), I feel liberated! Free! GLAD!

Maybe not completely stress-free, but close to it: I have no final exams, and all I have left are some quizzes for my science classes and some feedback discussion for my recreation class. Everything else is turned in. I have high hopes for most of my classes --As or Bs, I hope-- but maybe a C for the GWS 350 class (the one that I just turned the paper in for), because I didn't turn in two other papers-- an Autoethnography and a paper on race. I also missed some class chat and discussion times. -_- Needless to say, I want to make sure that if I ever have to sign up for classes at the last minute just to get units, I'd rather pick something dirt-simple and easy than something completely out of my range, potentially challenging (to the point of bringing stress where it shouldn't), and bizarre.

And then! And then! I really, desperately want to finish WDKY26. Madly.
And then there's the revamping of the BEA Media page, the idea for a few fanlistings I've mentioned, and various other personal projects, like the overhauling of the main Seventh-Star.Net page.

Since I do have a biology quiz tomorrow morning, I really ought to get studying for that, but at some point "tonight" (that is, this morning), I'm going to play me some SNES games and go to bed with a SMILE on my face (dagnabbit)!
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: (screw it trashcan)
Okay, got my classes. Even though everything went as expected, for the most part, there were a few hitches. See, I'm paranoid about trying to enroll in a class and it being full. Turns out the reason why I couldn't get into two of my classes wasn't that-- it was one class needing department permission (which I'd forgotten about), and one having a boatload more prerequisites than I remember when I originally looked it up.

I'm actually kind of bummed about that last one, because it was a Web Design class that was a prereq in itself for ANOTHER Web Design class-- in other words, I could have fun this semester and next semester. But it has a prereq of ART 200, which has prereqs of either ART 124B, 140, or 141. All of these are basic classes if you're an Art major, but I'm not. Not to mention, the vast majority of those classes are a) lower division (meaning they fill up quickly and usually be filled with freshmen) and b) not all that interesting sounding. Oh, and c) they don't count for credit in the Journalism major because they're all part of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

So, *sigh* no web design classes for credit for Mer. It would have been nice to either reinforce what I already know or learn some new tools, but CSUN sure as heck makes it hard to take classes involving computers without a bunch of lousy prerequisites in unrelated subjects like drawing. -_- (The same thing applies to the Photoshop classes... argh! I wish CSUN had programs like my high school did with Digital Horizon and the Richmond Beacon.)

Anyway, Spring 2009 is slated like so:
* Mondays:
4:20pm-6:45pm Shakespeare Plays (3)
* Tuesdays:
9am-12:45pm Contemporary Issues in Food and Nutrition (with Lab) (2/1)
1pm-2:40pm Yoga (1)
* Wednesdays:
11am-1:50pm Introduction to Biology Lab (1)
2pm-4:50pm Principles of Public Relations (3)
* Thursdays:
1pm-3:45pm Environmental Geology Lab (1)
* Fridays:
Off - all day at work, probably

Because of the crappy new class search tool, along with budget cuts (most likely), all the other classes I found had qualifications, i.e. If this class, NOT that class. So given that I got all my necessary classes, I had to choose the "fluff" classes based on other factors. I'm grateful that I got what I did, but not proud that I spaced at the last minute and didn't count out all my units. I added the Yoga class simply to get to 12 units easily. Of all the above classes, I don't need (to graduate, that is) Yoga or the Foods Lab. The others are all necessary in some way or another, either for GEs, my major elective, or my minor.

So... yay? Hopefully my books won't cost too much money this semester. At least for Biology and Geology, I'll still have my books from THIS semester, though I do think my Biology book (which is an eBook) might "expire." In which case, I have awesome notes and have been downloading all the lectures offline. :P
azurite: (sweet dreams are made of cheese)
What is up with these weird dreams I've been having lately? Yesterday was all bad omens, cobras and fat kids in malls attacking me over my cell phone; today was something out of a computer game with me solving a mystery-- reading a spiral notebook (written in green ink; who does that!?) in the boss's office in lousy, disjointed handwriting that said "I BURIED THAT!!" and something about a city, but the "y" was written rather strangely, so I had to turn the notebook upside down-- and this company's name was "Spargo."

Needless to say, I googled that last dream and came up with nothing, so I've either invented a computer game's mystery clue or I should get into the mystery fic-writing business. That's actually more [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux's forte, actually...

Anyway, so now that the ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE! part of the school year is over, I feel I can tackle my remaining projects (late or otherwise) with a bit more gusto, and still keep up with my regular assignments, too. In fact, I may just watch my biology lecture TODAY-- a day after last lecture's quiz!

Anyway:
* Submit the week-late Environmental Lifestyle Audit, because the prof. JUST got back to me yesterday with the answers to the questions I posed of her...
* Work on the website for the class I have quickly come to dislike (GWS 350OL - Intersections of Gender, Class, Race, and Sexuality) and my section for it (California Supreme Court and Gay Rights)
* Work on my day-late essay for the aforementioned class on two of our readings on War (more specifically, anti-war)

And then the usuals:
* Watch the new biology lecture, read the chapter (and yes, I do it in that order even though it's considered "backwards"), take extensive notes and, if the quiz is available, take it. Oh, and check for discussion board posts to make.
* Same for geology
* And maybe my outdoor recreation class, too

Other biggies coming soon to a theatre near you:
* Plan a trip to Ocean Beach (bonfire? Oh, isn't that awful?) for my Environmental something-or-other report.
* Environmental Journal for the aforementioned class

Oh, and I have to plan my classes for next semester! Can you believe I've got only 18 units left? Now, theoretically I could take all 18 in one fell swoop, but my limit is honestly 15 units. So what I'm going to do is divide it up with at least one full-time semester of 12 units and one half-time, if I absolutely have to (because there aren't any last-ditch "fun" classes I can take that don't have ridiculous/boring prerequisites). Here's the plan for next semester

* BIOL 100/L (because I'm taking the lecture this semester and my notes kick ass, if I do say so myself, and I do say so myself)

* GEOL 301 (the lab for GEOL 300, second verse, same as the first)

* COMS 309 (oh joy, another communication class. Can you tell why I've been avoiding this class until my senior year? It's either this or math, though. :P)

* JOUR 340 (a Public Relations class just so I can get elective credit. I'm pretty much taking it for shits and giggles and to not be out of Journalism longer than I have to be, lest I forget everything I learned from the hardest and yet somehow most-inspirational professors I've ever had. My Pop Culture class from Japan was only worth 2 units, not 3, which means instead of taking 498 --the senior seminar which you can ONLY take in your final semester-- twice for two different sections --and you can do that, because each 498 is different, and they offer a few every semester-- I have to take another full 3 units and get extra elective credit to make up for ONE bloody missing unit. *sigh*)

* ENGL 416 (Shakespeare Plays! Because yay, Shakespeare!? I'm avoiding British lit until my last semester. Is that bad?)

* MYSTERY CLASS!? One unit, or 3 units if I'm feeling ballsy. Basket-weaving? Yoga? Who knows? (Maybe I should take Judo!? I'd get my ass handed to me, I'm sure.)

But of course, registering for classes is never easy: There's only one section of the Journalism class I need as an elective, and it interferes with the ONE section of the communication studies class that had a "good" professor (I usually don't put much weight in the reviews on RateMyProfessors.com, but when two out of three professors have a majority of AWFUL reviews --and I'm talking at least a class-worth of students, around 30-60 people-- then I'm prone to wanting the "better-rated" teacher of the three.

So I can:
(A) Take the Journalism class so I don't get rusty in Journalism. I'll learn something new --a new aspect of Journalism-- and be taking 3 units that I actually need. I can either take another section of COMS 309 with a lousy professor, or replace it with a "fun" class that I don't need. I'm leaning toward this one mainly because I don't want to be out of Journalism, and there's always a chance that the "good" professor will be available next semester for COMS 309.

(B) Take the Communication Studies class and forego my Journalism classes until next semester, finishing them all (all 2 of them, that is) with a big bang. Then I'll still have to find some other 3-unit class to replace the Journalism one, but it's not as if the Journalism department HAS many courses that count as electives that I haven't already taken. -_-; I'd ask Shapiro if he'd take a T.A. in any of his classes, but that might be asking for trouble....

What to do!? (What makes this more complicated is that I've argued in the past that, if you're serious about a line of study, you'll MAKE room for it in your schedule, not whine that your schedule doesn't fit around the available classes. But neither of these are core classes that I "need" beyond "graduation requirements" --I'd never take them normally, if I had any choice in the matter-- so that argument seems a bit weightless here.)
azurite: (twilight - fursplode!)
Whoo-hoo! I finished my five quizzes for Environmental Geology (chapters 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13) and my Exam (cumulative for all of those chapters) and I KICKED ASS! I got As or Bs on all of the quizzes, and an A or A- on my exam (I got a 96%, that's an A or A-, right?). Last exam, I missed 6 questions, this time, I only missed 3! :) :)

But the fun never ends, oh no. I still have a biology quiz due tomorrow morning at 10am, my flood insurance rate map assignment due for geology tomorrow night (but I want to get it in earlier so I'm not thinking about it when I'm out with the gals... STALKING RPATTZ! I am kidding. Sort of. More on that later.), and a paper on war (or something like that) for my gender and women's studies class.

So yeah, no shortage of school work here. But I seem to perform best under pressure, so, armed with some delicious Green Tea flavored with honey and ginseng (iced, of course) and some freshly made fudge walnut brownies I SHALL EMBARK UPON THE NOBLE QUEST OF EDUCATION!

And caps-lock of rage, too. Except it's not rage, it's something completely different and bizarre.

This month is just non-stop. Aside from already having missed my deadline for my environmental lifestyle audit for my Recreation and Tourism Management class, I've also failed to update WDKY26 within one year. *hangdog face* I'm quite ashamed, but seriously, looking at all this school work and all the drama I've had in the past year, does it surprise anyone? I'll get that damn thing done... if it kills me. HA HA I MADE A FUNNY! -_-

Coming up: thinking about getting the new T-Mobile G1, since my contract with T-Mobile is just about up, I think, and I'm due for an upgrade. Plus, I wanna get my PSP. Of course, both of those involve spending money I DO NOT HAVE but... minor detail, seriously. Also: possible Bangra dancing on the 15th, Thanksgiving coming up (Dad is mysteriously and suddenly okay with me having a room of my own at the Hilton we're staying at in San Diego. I wonder what he did? He won't tell me), HOPEFULLY a new baby cousin (Brooke said last night there's no baby yet, which means she's kinda overdue at this point afaik) and Scott (and his twin brother Ryan)'s 29th birthday! Whew. Oh, and then Alcatraz in early December, because WHY NOT!? :D

Don't get me started on all those other personal projects I've got lined up, like getting my stuff on Fanworks Finder, working on Epiphany, changing the layout for BEA and the Secret Society Girl fanlistings, adding my stuff to AnimeXX, working on the RPGClassics Star Ocean 3 shrine, fixing my laptop iTunes library, working on all my fics, and, and, and...! I've probably forgotten a few. My brain feels like it might "asplode." But I guess that's better than FURSPLODE! Ha, ha.

Oh, I'm going to love it when this semester is over. Only two more to go. And then what? I have no freakin' clue, but I imagine at least a little bit of relief will be involved. Even if I love learning.
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I blame it on [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler yet again-- this time not for any kind of plotbunny, but for getting me into watching Fandom!Secrets. The latest's 102 mentions the necessity of Caruso shades when reading OHSHC. I LOL'd.

The anime/manga store in the Metreon (which no longer has its AMC sign outside, even though it's still AMC-affiliated INSIDE, right down to those butt-ugly polo shirts and too-high navy blue pants... shit, at least the people at the Metreon have a variety of food to choose from! At the 1000, I had to choose between sandwiches or concession crap... ANYWAY!) "Kamikaze Pop" went out of business changed locations with no current ETA at their next location, wherever it may be. So I managed to grab a bunch of Arina Tanemura manga for only $39 (8 volumes-- not bad!). I realized that I like the Full Moon anime better than the manga (the manga seems very stilted, and I have a hard time with any manga that has a auditory medium as its focal point-- it's hard to imagine a singer through manga). I also like Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne better than Full Moon, even though KKJ was tragically shorter. And I won't read Gentleman's Alliance+, because... well, the plot just didn't grab me. I'm glad Tanemura-sensei's art's improved so much over the years, but I like her older stuff much more than her newer titles, even if it is FMoS that got me into her works in the first place.

CURRENT PROJECTS
* New layout for "The Firefly Room," the Secret Society Girl fanlisting. I need to get more content, keep it up to date, and whore it out over on the author's blog. Maybe I can get the ladies over at TFL to make it the fanlisting for the whole series (which is what I intended in the first place, when I made it back before the third book came out; the fourth book is coming out next summer). I've got the layout made and everything, but my problem is that I've never skinned a website before and the tutorial I read (over at Tutorialtastic) confused the heck out of me. I posted on the CodeGrrl forums where Tutorialtastic help is, but there's been no reply yet. Maybe because my own post was so addled.... Basically I need to figure out how to get the style-switcher to work. Places like Sailor Music make it look so easy. ;_;

* The Star Ocean 3/Till The End of Time shrine. I'm still working my way through the two biggest parts, the Gemity page and the Dictionary. I need to fiddle with the table CSS so I can use them for maps and grids rather than make images in Photoshop, which takes much longer and causes the page to load slower.

* Website design and layout for my GWS 350OL (Intersections of Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality) class. Everyone in my group has pretty much unanimously voted on a website instead of a blog, claiming that a website will be "more organized." Well, sure, maybe, but it's more work for me! Ugh, I just want this project to be so fantabulous (like any other project I've taken on where I build some sort of site) so it makes up for the fact that I couldn't turn in an Autoethnography paper. Problem is, we need to figure out how to organize the site (it's not automatic, folks!)-- and I need to figure out a suitable design. Helpz? Our topic is "Gay Rights," and we're covering a lot of ground with issues on the California Supreme Court decision, Prop 8, etc. (I don't want to be horribly stereotypical and do a RAINBOW, even though there are tasteful ways of incorporating multiple colors into a site design... something like the iTunes posters wouldn't be bad, but I don't know if it's "serious" enough. Same goes for pink triangles.)

* Organization of my FFX, FFX-2 playlist in iTunes. Turns out I was missing a bunch of songs from the 4-disc original soundtrack (the Tokyopop one I bought ages ago is called the "Official Soundtrack," and hardly has any of the good songs), so I imported them. Now to make sure they all have the right titles (I'm aiming for the English-translated ones, not romanized or literal titles, e.g. not "Warping to a Different Dimension," but "The Sending"), the right artist/composers, and that I've noted which ones are equivalent to which tracks on the Official Soundtrack, because I'm anal retentive like that. :P

* Need new icons. Lots of fandoms. Also: more LULz.

* The usual: studying for quizzes, homework, taking notes, watching CSI: Season 1 (srsly, whoever heard of a DVD boxed set coming with a) no subtitles/closed captions and b) no scene selections!? I'm pissed, CBS! Even though it was a great value, this is just stupid) , attempting to work on WDKY26 but getting sidetracked by other ideas and such

COMPLETED PROJECTS WHATEVER
* Got my copy of "Star Ocean: First Departure" for the PSP! I don't own a PSP (yet)! Whoo-hoo!

* Finished Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! I don't like it as much as the others, because even though I raised issues dealing with the character, it didn't seem as indepth. Is that because he's not as major a character as the others I've covered so far? Also, I feel like I put it out there on a crutch, even though lots of people said it was indepth and good and everything. But I felt like without my proper research book and software for generating natal charts, it just wasn't as good. :(
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
Even with the makers of Bentō, Filemaker 2, being jerkwads for introducing Bentō 2 out of the blue the other day (and not offering an upgrade path for Bentō 1 users who helped troubleshoot all of Bentō's weaknesses-- and believe you me, there were a lot), I'm having a good day.

Why? It's the little things that build to a sense of accomplishment. But my accomplishment satisfaction level might not come close to your accomplishment satisfaction level. Things that please me might frustrate others, because they're not enough. But I'm me, and what's good enough for me makes me happy, and that's a great thing to know about yourself.

So:
* I got all my biology practice questions on genetics all right! (WHOO HOO!)

* I understand how to make Punnett squares and how to figure out the genotypical probability of a given individual (and for the really complicated squares, I found a Punnett square calculator online)

* I managed to take some pretty comprehensive notes for the lecture (which I think makes more sense than the book, even though the slides seem long and the book seems "shiny") using Circus Ponies' software NoteBook 3-- which is just like a notebook, duh! It has some weaknesses (moving around shapes and arrows is a pain in the ass, and they stay in place rather than link to text; new pages don't always have a cell within which to start typing in right away), but generally it's really easy to use! I'm glad I got the hang of it so soon. I think I know more keyboard shortcuts for that program than others that I've used for years-- like, oh, the one I'm using now, XJournal! :P

* I took the quiz for this chapter a few minutes ago, even though the quiz only became available a few hours ago. Normally I take my quizzes at the last minute, but I wanted to take this quiz while all the information was fresh in my mind and my notes were literally right next to my quiz on the screen. I feel pretty confident about it- I think I'll get an A on this quiz and bring my class average up!

* I did MATH for this chapter's practice questions and quiz, and Biology is (duh) overall a SCIENCE subject! My two worst subjects and not only did I have FUN learning and practicing, but I feel confident about my skills! Honestly, if I were a lightbulb, I'd be GLOWING right now! :) :) :)

* I caught up on the discussion strands for Geology. To be honest, I'm a bit mad at myself for missing some of my assignments in classes-- I think I missed one biology quiz, one outdoor recreation quiz (the quiz was to think of 3 people influenced by the American outdoors and explain about them-- since we'd had to explain about one person for our third quiz, I thought I was done, but-- oops, no! And when I tried to think of other people besides the one I'd already used, I got brain block), and my one gender and women's studies paper. :( But I can see the silver lining: motivation to not slack off or fail in the rest of the semester-- once I get a running start, keep at it! So I will. I just hope this motivation carries through to everything else I do.

* I finally got the necessary 1000 points for the Bunny Races in Star Ocean: Till The End of Time. Well, technically I got 1002, and it technically wasn't me who did any of the work, it was my new turbo controller. :P But I figured out how to work it! The manual wasn't really any good for that. I also had to finagle a way to keep the X button pressed down. Tape wasn't working for extended periods of time, so I wrangled a penny using two rubber bands. So even though the game totally knows I cheated (heh!), I got the Bunny Races Trophy, a new pair of Bunny Shoes, and a shiny new Scumbag Slayer! Watch out Lenneth, here I come!

* I've managed to move more of my emails from my Mac to my online accounts, so I can access them wherever I am. The only exception to that was recently, when it seemed my domain was inexplicably inaccessible from my mom's home network, and no amount of talking to Earthlink resolved it. Because I could access other domains, they thought it was my host's fault, but my hosting service proved that my site was accessible all around the world to everyone else-- but me. But it's been working just fine ever since the last time I talked to the tech guy, and I hope it stays that way-- I don't want to lose access to my primary email account again. That's the biggie-- I can do without FTP access or access to my sites that I check regularly (but should update regularly and don't-- bad Mer!) for a few hours, but not my email!

So after all that, I feel like I can relax a little bit before starting on any more lessons or discussions. I still have some of the special features of Iron Man to watch (seriously, Disc 2 of the Ultimate Edition is PACKED! PACKED, I SAY! I don't care what my dad says, that movie freaking ROCKS MY SOCKS), the Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Edition, and my loverly new CSI: Crime Scene Investigation season 1 DVD boxed set (ooh, CSI special features...). And of course, in 49 minutes, CSI S9x2!

Thrills!
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
Greetings from... Santa Cruz, CA. Incidentally, the day I came to S.F., I completely spaced about having a Biology quiz, so I missed it. I'd already gotten one extension from when I got mugged and I knew the professor wouldn't give me another, so... argh. It's not as if it'll be a big dink to my grade provided I keep up with everything else, but it's not as if keeping up is EASY. We're well into the "tough stuff" of this "basic" biology class.

Anyway, I'm in Santa Cruz because, like forgetting my biology quiz, I also forgot that my cousin Brooke's baby shower was THIS WEEKEND rather than "the 7th," which is Tuesday. Because Brooke and Shaina are driving down to Fresno (where the shower is located, at their mom's house) on Friday morning, I had to meet Brooke here in SC *today.* So I took a bus downtown, a Muni train to the Embarcadero, the BART train from the Embarcadero to Fremont, a bus from Fremont to San Jose, and then another bus from San Jose to Santa Cruz. I stuffed myself with 3 horribly unhealthy tacos from taco bell and stared at all the pretty shiny books at the Borders I met Brooke's hubby, Honis (aka Mike) at.

And so here I've been at their place pretty much ever since, studying my geology (which I've been slacking on; I've already taken 2 quizzes but have 5 more due within the next 24 hours; 4 of those are probably fairly easy, but only if I do the reading and make an effort to concentrate and take notes). We did go out for a quick bite at this homey diner called Jeffrey's and talked family, jobs, and the evil brainwashing that is Disney.

We have to wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning tomorrow to head to Shaina's, but she's the one who's going to be driving, so Brooke and I can conk out while we drive to Fresno and do who-knows-what while we're there a full day before the actual shower. I know in my case I have to stay awake and STUDY, sucky as that is. Actually, what's truly sucky is I'm more or less relegated to sitting at some table near an outlet, because my MacBook Pro has been suspiciously sucking with keeping its charge. A few days ago, I noticed that, even after it was supposedly fully charged, it only had a life of 40-55 minutes, rather than a good hour and a half or more like it used to have. I got the iStat Pro widget, and it says that even though my battery's "fully charged," it's at 97%, not 100% (or even 99%), and the "battery health" is at a dismal 45% (it was at 38% at my mom's house). I don't really know what's going on or why; I tried the SMC reset, but it didn't seem to help. I'm really worried...

Staying at my mom's house is a bit awkward this time around; rather than staying in the "Tovstin," aka what used to be my room and is now Gary's study/bedroom (he never sleeps in there though), I stayed in my mom's room. Bigger bed, but... er, not as comfortable. Maybe it's me and my picky back (destroyed by Disney), but I couldn't lay flat on that bed. The only way I could sleep (and not even comfortably, because I kept tossing and turning all night, and woke up with the comforter all haphazard) was on my side. Staying in the Tovstin would mean "inconveniencing" Gary, because his closet is in there, and unlike my mom, who's on her leave, he still has to work everyday and access his clothes. And I've seen the closet in my mom's room, there's just no way Gary's stuff'll fit in there. -_-

So, it looks like when I go back on Sunday I'll be sleeping in the living room on the couch. Awwwwkward.

Speaking of awkward, did anyone catch the vice presidential debate tonight? Things I found amusing, somewhat sad (read: pathetic), and kind of weird:
* Joe Biden referring to himself by name, rather than with a proper pronoun such as "I" or "me" or derivatives thereof
* Sarah Palin being kind of "cutesy" and saying stuff like "you betcha" and "darn right" (don't get me wrong, some people think that her speaking to the "average American" and coming across like a "soccer mom" is a good thing, but I think it made her sound very unprofessional and most definitely un-vice presidential-like)
* Sarah Palin saying "um" a lot (no, really, she did. If you re-watch the debates, you'll notice she said it OFTEN. Speech coach, much?)
* Joe Biden looked like he had an eye lift
* Sarah Palin looked like she had Botox (cheeks!)

I guess what it boils down to is, are vice presidential debates supposed to be about the candidates selling their running mate, or about THEIR personal opinions, policies and actions should THEY get elected into the office of VP? Maybe I'm mistaken for having thought it should be the latter, but the bulk of the debate came off as "Obama this" and "McCain that," and I was like "Yeah, but what do YOU think?" I know that Biden wouldn't be Obama's running mate if they didn't agree on a lot and share the same policies, nor would McCain have Palin if they didn't agree on at least some fundamentals (they at least have some more clear-cut differences though, which is interesting... sadly, for other things, she's more or less his parrot, and can't talk about her opinions because she doesn't have the knowledge to have formed any substantive ones).

The thing that pisses me off about both candidates: they agree that gays should have the same rights as committed heterosexual couples (read: a man "married" to a woman), but they refuse to redefine the word "marriage" outside of the traditional "man" and "woman" sense. This is bullshit. It's a WORD, you nimrods, it has nothing to do with politics, ethics, the Constitution, etc. You don't OWN a word. You don't get to say who uses it and how. The more you say a group can't/shouldn't use a word, or the more you use a word in a derogatory sense, the more people will rise up and do just the opposite: they'll use the word, and they'll use it to empower themselves! (See: Nigga, Queer, Colored). It just sounds ridiculous, the thought of a governmental body saying "this word is going to mean THIS in our country" even if it has a different or more general meaning elsewhere. Of course, definitions in general are subject to societal standards and values, as I'm sure is apparent from other words throughout the centuries, but to get everyone's knickers in a knot over the use of the WORD "marriage" just seems a waste of energy.

For me: marriage is the sealing of a lifetime commitment between two PEOPLE, regardless of gender. This allows them to be listed on each others' insurance, have visitation rights in hospitals, adopt a child (or children), have shared property rights, joint bank accounts, etc. Sure, politicians can say that a "civil union" between gays should have all these rights, but then why not just call it what it is: A MARRIAGE? Why is it "necessary" to create a different word, process, paperwork, etc. just because X couple is gay but Y couple isn't? That's hardly equal rights when there's a simple snit over WORD USAGE, of all things!

*sigh* I need to get to bed. My brain is fried.
azurite: (textually active)
So I'm trying to find my textbooks before classes really get underway and I'm left behind. I'm checking all the usual haunts-- Half.com, eBay, Amazon, my own Matador Bookstore, etc. This time I've even added AbeBooks and the publisher's own stores to my list. I can also check out TextbookX and a few other places, but generally what I'm finding is that all my textbooks are ridiculously expensive. This is just one of those semesters, I guess.

I can buy direct from the publisher-- a digital version of my Biology book that's either online or downloadable.

PROS
* Cheapest version available, even when taking into account severely used copies, copies without the Physiology CD, and International Editions
* No need to schlep around a heavy book
* Easy to copy-paste info into my digital notes, easy to highlight sections (assuming it's a PDF or something)

CONS
* Can't be sold back anywhere, anywhen
* Is probably a huge amount of MB or even GB, considering it's a 1024 page book in digital format
* Requires computer (if not external HD) to be present, and likely another program to be in use when reading the text-- which means less memory for my digital notetaking, online research, or whatnot

So... physical copy or digital? What would you do?

I suppose in the meantime, I should look for my other textbooks.

Brains!

Aug. 30th, 2008 05:21 pm
azurite: (textually active)
I got my 12 units! Hurrah... but without an explanation point, because I may just be biting off more than I can chew. I've taken an online class before, and taken in-person courses with online content, but never a full courseload of online stuff. In addition to being a full semester's worth of units, it's also a bunch of stuff I really don't need... :P

But those are minor details, yeah? Here's the nitty gritty:
* BIOL 100 - Introduction to Biology. I've been wanting to take this for a while, but I was always of the mind that science-type classes are best done in-person. Well, might as well get it over with... I figure I can take Denise's advice from last semester and just take the lab that goes with this (and maybe even with my other science classes, either GEOL 300, if that works for the GE requirement, or ASTR 154, if I can conjure up memories enough... I know I don't have my notes for that old class anymore, 'cuz I turned them in for extra credit -that I didn't need. We'll see. If I can't do that, I'll take CHEM 100/L in one semester, since I've always wanted to know more about chem. Did I tell you my high school chem teacher was deported? Anyway....)

* GEOL 300 - Environmental Geology. Eh, why not? I like rocks. I like earth. It's fun to learn about the huge variety of things that go into putting our planet together, and of course, to learn how much we're messing it all up. I know this counts for another science lecture, but is there a lab that goes with it? If so, will it count for the requirement? I'll have to take especially-good notes for this semester and see.

* GWS 350 - Gender, Race, Class, Sexuality. Possibly my hardest class this semester, if not my hardest online class EVAR. I've never taken a GWS course before, but I have had courses with a feminist bend to them (RTM 330OL was "Women and Leisure," and JOUR 460 was "Women, Men, and Media"). This one involves lots of video-watching and even a group (!) project, though. But aside from required chat-time sessions, it's not much different from regular online courses... it's just a matter of getting everything done on time.

* RTM 350 - Recreation and the Natural Environment. Why not? I liked previous Recreation and Tourism Management classes (well, RTM 330OL, which I just took for elective credit), and it might be some good motivation to "get out there" and spend more time in the "great outdoors." Just from the introductions, I can already tell I'm not nearly as much of an outdoorsy person as my classmates... to never have skied or to not know how to ride a bike...! How embarrassing! *blush* But this class doesn't involve a textbook, and provides everything via Word *.docs and PowerPoints, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Of the four, only two (BIOL 100 and RTM 350) are already on my WebCT. For BIOL (which I'd rather call "BIO," because it rolls off the tongue a lot easier than "BIO-L," as if I'm saying "Bye All"), I've already participated in the first two discussions and read the introductory material; now I'm working my way through the Java-based lecture (very cool, prof!). Still need to get the textbook though, which costs a bloody fortune (like I knew it would). Hopefully my financial aid check will kick in so I can get the textbooks, pay off my credit cards, and then head up to San Francisco for the semester.

For RTM 350, I already took one Sample Quiz; turns out quizzes in WebCT aren't so hard, and I'm glad Firefox doesn't have conniptions with it. Never has, in my experience. The funny thing was, a lot of the questions had to do with Cartoon Network series... if it weren't for my massive amount of trivia-based knowledge (in other words "useless stuff I've filed away for random moments"), I don't think I would have gotten most of them. Like, "Meatwad?"

Starting a week late is a bit of an impediment where online classes are concerned; because they're online, the profs. want to start immediately. Hence my concern about getting the check so I can get the textbooks. I'm sure the WebCT courses will show up eventually, but when the discussions are based on the readings, it's a bit hard to participate unless I B.S. it... which I don't want to do.

Also, like last semester, when I tested out Schoolhouse, a program for organizing my class notes and such, this semester, I'm testing out Bentō. It's a bit different from Schoolhouse in that it's not really MEANT for just class stuff; it's also a personal database manager. I've been using the trial for other things, like my projects (all my website plans), my Wish List, and so on.

So far, it's a bit annoying to have to scroll to input some information in fields; I'd like to be able to just have a field in place without there being the restriction of columns. As it stands, it's cool to be able to have columns, but it'd be nice if they weren't just vertical. In other words, what if I wanted two columns on top and one wide column on the bottom? I'd also like to be able to change individual things about the theme. I want to keep the cool background/header shading, but change the font face or color. Sometimes the font looks too hard to read or is too light in color.

But it IS incredibly easy to input all the data, delete fields I don't need, and keep adding to my Libraries (for example, "Notes" is one library, while my class schedule is another). I'm still trying to figure out how Collections work into the Libraries, or if they're only for certain circumstances, e.g. Media Files (like if you're trying to keep track of all your DVDs).

What I've always wanted to do with my digital class notes is put them online. Call me a masochist, but it's nice to have an always-available look at my academic progress and learnings. With Schoolhouse, it put together an RSS, but I never really knew how to take advantage of it or use it properly. I know you can export Bentō's information into *.csv files, but I wouldn't have the first clue how to turn that into something Web-pretty.

Anyway, I ought to clean my room a bit more and then get back to work taking notes on my Biology lecture. Then I think I can access a quiz for the first chapter... so much to do! :) Despite the seemingly-overwhelming workload, I'm happier than I've been in a long while.
azurite: (csi: gsr)
YAY, I finished with my last final! I stayed up till about 2 am chugging through those last two essays, and even though I'm prepared to accept a grade "ding" on account of them not being on time, plus not having been peer/tutor-edited, I think I did a pretty okay job with them. What surprised me was that not only did some people fail to show up for our final (which was just a series of reflective questions-- not even anything specific about what we read this semester), and that I wasn't the only one that hadn't done all the essays!

But I really liked the class, especially the service learning component where I went to Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda every Thursday, to help 10th grade Honors students with their English portfolios. It was really great, and I'd like to do something like that again, if I have the time.

It's not completely over, though-- my last day of work is tomorrow (I have no work today), and I also have to turn in the take-home part of my ENGL 313/Pop Culture final, which is a "letter" type essay regarding pop culture and power relations. Check out the class blog and the final exam prompt here. I also plan on picking up my fandom essay from Prof. Hatfield when I drop off my take-home final, just to see how I did... hopefully well. :P

Anyway, I was on my way home (stupidly not wearing sunscreen, not having water or other mode of hydration, and also lacking money with which to buy either, or even house keys to get into the house) when I saw something odd: a bunny in a cage, sitting in front of a house. Next to it was a tub with two bags of rabbit food and oat hay, but there was nothing to indicate that there was anyone nearby that had just left it outside as they ran elsewhere to get something, or that the bunny was "free" or "for sale" or anything. I was shocked. BTW, it's currently around 96 degrees outside, so this poor bunny (who had no water in his bottle, btw) was licking itself just to stay cool. And I think something was wrong with its food, because rather than eat it, it ate the newspaper lining its cage (of course, I don't know anything about rabbits, so maybe that's normal?).

I rang the doorbell of the house it was in front of, but no one answered. No one who walked by stopped and said anything, and the car the cage was in front of had no one in it, either. I'd been talking to my mom when I found the bunny, and she suggested I call animal control. I had to contact 411 to get the number, and when I finally did, it was busy. So I called Baba and Grandpa again (they'd been out getting groceries) and since Baba couldn't easily find the number for Animal Control, Grandpa came by and we just took the bunny to the nearest animal shelter. They had me write down my name and address, and where I'd found the bunny-- and surprisingly, they acted like this was totally routine (which makes me sad). There were other caged animals that had apparently been found and dropped off just like the bunny I found had-- including a hamster, a gerbil, and other small cuties. It really baffles me how stupid people are, to just LEAVE an animal outside like they would a piece of furniture with a sign taped to it saying "TAKE ME!" Hello, it's no cost, no penalty to take an unwanted animal to the shelter. At least there, there's some hope that it'll be taken care of and maybe adopted. I feel better knowing the bunny's in better hands now.

After that, Grandpa and I headed to In-N-Out (mmm, I've been craving cheeseburger all week!), and Baba read from the TV Guide that Gary Dourdan (Warrick Brown) is leaving CSI!?!?!??!

Not again! )
azurite: (blue flower)
So, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler? I've decided to name Anzu x Zell "Scribbleshipping" in your honor.

...No, I'm not really going to try and submit a crossover pairing to the [livejournal.com profile] shippers_club, nor am I going to start using that anywhere and everywhere, but I just think it's so cute. In my head, that's the name.

That said, I ended up moving the idea for that fic you inspired me for (which, by the way, is tentatively titled "The Aftermath of Angels") into its own planner file. Note that I only do that when it gets LOOOOONG. I can't tell you how long the planner is so far in pages, but in terms of kilobytes, it's 54K at the moment. Of course, the planner isn't complex-- there are no pictures, no fancy calendars, just boring old CSS. And yet, with all that text, it's 54K. I'm not sure whether I should be :D or D:

(And I know you didn't specify Anzu & Zell romantically in your prompt from a while ago, but it halfway ended up there with what I wrote already, and I'll be honest: the fic planner is certainly looking more Scribbleshipping than Azureshipping ATM. SHOCK!!!)

I only wish there were a way to have an Anzu x Zell icon without it looking bizarre (this is what happens when you cross anime with video games).

In other news, today's ENGL 313 - Pop Culture final wasn't so bad. I think I did pretty well, all things considered, though I may have messed up the source of one of the reading passages-- I wrote it as being de Certeau when I think it was Fiske. Oh well. :P I also didn't get my Fandom Essay back yet, because he was grading it right as I walked up and turned my Blue Book in. So I'll have to get it from him on his office hours on Wednesday. But generally speaking, I think I'll do the best in that class.

The girls and I are going to get together on Sunday (ah, my last day here in Northridge-- until January 3rd, anyway) for Margeaux's belated birthday (she's one of the girls in my ENGL 313 class that I've been working with) and just a general "YAY WE DID IT!" celebration.

I tried to sell back my textbooks-- one of them I paid over $75, and the campus bookstore doesn't want more than $8 for any ONE of them. WHAT THE HELL!? So I immediately put them on Half.com. Let's hope they sell, and sell soon (so I don't have to bring them to Anaheim or ask Baba and Grandpa to mail them for me).

Work was crazy today-- I almost ran out of breath for all the calls I was taking. Thankfully tomorrow's no final, but that doesn't mean I don't have things to do-- I still have my radical revision to write by Wednesday evening, plus two essays by Thursday! YIKES!

But today I just took it easy when I got back from work-- I played some more FF8, got Doomtrain (DOOOOOOM TRAIN!), upgraded Irvine's weapon (FINALLY! Freakin' Steel Pipes are so hard to get...!), and played a BUNCH of Triple Triad. I finally got the Pandemona and Zell cards in Balamb; next is to play the Card Queen, but I don't like her Direct Rule of trading... very risky business! It's not as if she has really strong cards (from what I could tell), but still, I don't want to lose any of my GF cards... I'd rather WIN some from her! Ehehehe. Next up: playing her again (without losing any GF cards; good thing I saved before I played her), playing Piet to get Alexander, playing Caraway to get Rinoa and Martine to get Ifrit (back), and playing Laguna to get Squall. Triple Triad's a heck of a lot easier than Sphere Break or Blitz Ball, I'll tell ya that much!

Tiiiired.

&THEfinals;

May. 9th, 2008 02:07 pm
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
Today was the last day of regular class before finals. Next week, I have three days when I'm supposed to show up to a "class." I don't say, "I have three finals," because only one of them is really a final-- the other two are relatively easy (I would hope). The "real" final is the one for my ENGL 313 (Pop Culture) class, and my ENGL 355 (Writing About Literature) is a reflective final, where I mostly write short paragraphs about the class and service learning experience. Then it turns out I really do have to show up to the final hours on Wednesday, for my ENGL 408 "final," which is actually a presentation of our radical revision to our workshop story... which I haven't even started on, yet.

Procrastination has been a big deal with me this semester, but somehow I've managed to pull through on almost everything. I've done exceedingly (maybe even surprisingly?) well in my Pop Culture class, though the final does worry me. I'm glad I've been working with the same girls all semester: we worked together on our video analysis project and again for our "chix flix" blog, and we're helping each other prep for the final by splitting up the reading and terminology definitions. The essays in our textbook, the "Audience Studies Reader" are not light reading, so I'm glad we're working together.

I turned in my fandom essay on Yu-Gi-Oh! today, and it was put together with the help of a number of members of [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard. In truth, I knew I wanted to do Yu-Gi-Oh! as my fandom of study since the start of the semester when he announced the fandom essay, but again, I procrastinated... I don't much like the essay I turned in, and would like to re-do it for my own picky self, before I post it online anywhere.

I still have two (one super-late) essays due for my Writing About Literature course, which I MUST MUST MUST get in by next Thursday, so I need to work on them this weekend along with studying for the big, "real" final on Monday (ENGL 313).

I tried to file my Grad Check today (because everyone always asks when I'm going to graduate) and they wouldn't accept it, because I altered the date to Fall 2009. Assuming all the classes I need are offered when I need them, I should be graduating after that semester. Originally, I was shooting for Spring 2009, but that won't happen with me in the Disney College Program. I thought, maybe Summer 2009, but the classes I'm required to take in my senior/final semester won't be offered in the summer, or if they are (like in the case of the journalism tutorial JOUR 498), there isn't much of a selection. I'd rather "go out with a bang," as it were, and take classes I really love and enjoy than attempt to cram a full semester into summer just to graduate when it's blazing hot and sunny. Besides, it's not as if I won't be graduating with more than 120 units anyway-- I don't mind delaying my graduation necessarily, because I've always taken classes or done things with my time that I enjoyed. I like staying involved.

I am still worried about getting credit for the Disney College Program, though, because I've basically been getting the run-around from all the departments on campus. The Career Center doesn't give credit, but they were the ones that had the presentation and said that previous CSUN students had done the program and gotten credit. The Journalism department can't give internship credit for internships that are not strictly Journalism-related, and the other courses, while recommended by the American Council on Education, are not specific to Journalism enough to qualify for Independent Study. The one course that DOES seem to have a specific department --Organizational Leadership, which is recommended for credit in the Business Administration/Management area... well, I went to the College of Business and Economics, and they told me that because I'm not a Business major or minor, they can't give me internship credit either. I left my phone number and a note about the situation for the Associate Dean of the department, but she hasn't gotten back to me yet-- and it's been three days. -_-

This weekend I'm going to San Diego for Mother's Day with Baba, Grandpa, and my cousin Erin. I already sent my mom something, but she's supposed to get it this afternoon, because actual Mother's Day delivery wasn't possible, and Saturday delivery was too expensive. Of course, it's not like I'm really going for any "fun," either: not only do I have to study (and I mean it!), but I'm broke (like, really, really broke) and can't go shopping. Actually, that's a story in and of itself, about how two banks managed to screw me over at once. Supposedly they're fixing it, but it's already been six days at this point since I knew this was first happening, and nothing's changed. It really bites.

On top of all that, I still have to pack for moving to Anaheim (Erin's volunteered to drive me at an ungodly hour of the morning). I finished faxing in my paperwork just a few hours ago, but I have yet to receive a bunch of other documentation. Am I the only one that thinks fax machines ought to die!? I mean, why do we still fax?

Anyway... I've still got a lot to do:
* Presentation for RTM 330OL/Women & Leisure class One down... a shitload more to go.
* WebCT discussion on what makes for sophisticated, multi-ethnic, contemporary literature worth including in a college course
* Those essays I mentioned before
* That radical revision I mentioned above
* The study guide for my ENGL 313 final I'm doing with the other girls
* The take-home portion of the ENGL 313 final, which Prof. Hatfield posted on our class blog

Brain asplodey.
azurite: (disney - belle)
I got an A+ on the "female professional interview" that I did with [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u for my "Women and Leisure" (RTM 330OL) class! Hip-hip-hurrah! The fulltext, along with my professor's commentary, follows.

But before that: I got into the Disney College Program! I mentioned this on my Facebook and have told a few people in person, but what this means is:
a) I will be moving to Anaheim! (I won't be completely moving "out" of Northridge, mainly because I HAVE to come back, but also because there's no way in heck that I'd be able to have ALL my stuff at the Disney housing)
b) I will be working at Disneyland from May until early January!
c) I will be making more money than I am now!

The role I got was "Store Operations Cast Member," which I take to mean working in one of the stores. Which store, I'm not sure, but since merchandising is something I'm well-familiar with, I don't think I'd mind any store. In any case, my icon's never been MORE appropriate. :)

Thirteen more days until my birthday. No joke. Just letting you know. :P

I'm amazed that things have been working out so well lately. I've been feeling a lot better all-around, been able to be creative and studious (I managed to get my second essay for my "Writing about Literature" class revised and reviewed by a Learning Resource Center tutor today, all EXTREMELY close to deadline), and have some REALLY understanding teachers. I'm hoping that things work out similarly well for my other classes, like my Journalism/SCENE magazine class, because I've been feeling lousy about how it seems like I'm not contributing anything, and my attempts to do just that have sort of flopped (e.g. articles with people that don't want to work with me anymore... :P). But I sent a huge-long email to the prof and the managing editor with some mini-proposals, so let's see if they get back to me tomorrow morning in class. I think I can work well under deadline, and I don't want to get a lousy grade in the class for not having done anything, not have gained SOME experience from the course/process, and of course, NOT want to have to retake the course!

The one cool thing is, for my "Pop Culture" class, I managed to get my web host (Surpass Hosting) to cooperate and help me set up a second Wordpress blog for our group's "Chick Flicks" blog. I was pretty gung-ho in getting it set up, and now pretty much all that's left is to develop a theme (yay for Photoshop and CSS!) and start blogging! I'll provide a link here once we get started, but in the meantime, suggestions are appreciated! What's your favorite chick flick? Chick flick actor? Least favorite chick flick stereotype?

A++++++++ )
azurite: (screw it trashcan)
Some writers say "Write what you know." Sage advice, maybe, but kind of obvious. I think it's pretty impossible to write a story (or essay, poem, whatever) without a SINGLE bit of something that "you know." I mean, there's always going to be some opinion or some bit of emotion you've felt in whatever you write.

We've had directed writing in my advanced narrative writing class (ENGL 408) the past few weeks; last week I spaced because I didn't really understand the topic (even though it ended up being really easy, and I developed an idea... I just never went anywhere with it), and this week, I was completely blocked for an idea for the first part of our workshop-- just something 3-5 pages, with the potential to become more. I did START writing something (late), but I got to the third page and was disgusted. With it, with myself. The last time I'd done something like that (a few weeks prior, when all my feelings were all I could think about, so writing was the way I channeled them, and tried to deal), I remember being surprised when one of my group members talked about the protagonist as "she." It shocked me, and served as a moment of disconnect, because it occurred to me: yeah, why would they know this is a true story? Why would they know that the protagonist is ME? And isn't that kind of creepy if you tell them? Then they don't look at it as narrative anymore.

I told myself then that I wouldn't do any more of that --try and write what I was feeling, but in some fancy prose narrative format. I've written enough about it here, and I want to try moving on.

I attempted to use some of my MANY (I have soooo many) writer's tool kits and inspiration books and the like, but everything I looked at just gave me this "Blech" feeling. So now I don't know what to do, and the writing is late, and again, I'd have nothing to work with tonight if I didn't do something. Something is at least better than nothing, but my brain is on empty, stalling.

Here are my options, as I see them:
(1) Write what I know. Write something that I'm feeling or have felt, and fuck it with the weird sense of disconnect or any other bizarre feelings. Some of the world's most compelling stories are true because we can connect with them. (The question then becomes, what, of my agonizing experiences, whether recent or otherwise, is worthy of being fictionalized? RDRR!)

(2) Write something fanfiction-esque, where in my head, it's not me or anyone else I know, but characters (or archetypes, maybe?) that I feel familiar with. Change a few facts, and don't depend on outside information (like 'fic does), but make it work. (I actually did this with another story in the same class, and it came out like a cross between a mystery/thriller and a piece of WDKY. People liked it!)

(3) Write something from a prompt, just mashing shit together until it resembles a story.

Ug, ug, Mer mash story bit! You become story now! Ug, ug.

...Help.
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

With the help of [livejournal.com profile] everything_lj (because with a name like that, do you expect any less?) I managed to get my lovely corkboard LJ layout (designed by [livejournal.com profile] stellastars) functioning and looking the way I want to. I decided to tinker with it just to try and add a site meter, to see more about how many visits I get. But because LJ is annoying with its restrictions on embedded media (e.g. Flash, JavaScript), I couldn't use the usual tools, like the Izea Toolkit. But Sitemeter offered a JavaScript and regular HTML tracking image, which suits me just fine. I replaced the syndicated module (that'd be the one with the RSS/Atom icons) and made sure my title images were displaying, and viola! Lovely layout. :) I kinda miss the days when I used Greymatter and could design my own layout (I still have my old one featuring Emily Strange), so I might end up starting another blog (hopefully something a bit more streamlined than this... LJ is just sort of my "dump" repository, where I post about everything) on seventh-star.net.

Read more... )

Then today, Juana, her sister, some of her friends, and Melina and I all went to L.A. Family Housing in North Hollywood, where we worked on Valentine's Day cards The original plan was to make Valentine's mail boxes, but they ended up too small... I think the cards were a much better idea, in the end, as more kids came and the cards offered more possibility for creativity. We stayed longer than we thought and made a HUGE mess, but we cleaned it all up in the end and had some very pleased kids. I think today was the first time in several years that I got so artistic that I actually had ink (from markers and stuff) all over my hands again. I used to be covered in colors in elementary school, so it was rather nostalgic for me.

And now, for some random lists:
Like

* The huge variety of applications on Facebook; I'm always finding more that are cool

* Sarah Brightman's new album "Symphony," but most especially the track "Fleurs du Mal," which (oh you're gonna hate me for this) has helped inspire a new arc for "Eternal Dimension," the third and final installment in the "What Doesn't Kill You" series. FYI: it starts with WDKY (36 chapters), continues with "Circle of Seven" (not sure of the exact chapter length yet), and ends with "Eternal Dimension." And that's all tentative at the moment, because there may very well be a new Yu-Gi-Oh series coming out, called Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters 5D's, though I have no idea what the 5 D's are. -_-. But GX (though I haven't really seen more than a few episodes of it, due to the cringe-factor) is most likely going to have its role to play in the WDKY-verse, so why not this new series, assuming it's halfway good and gets picked up and dubbed like GX did?

[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, it's all your fault, you know. I like SB so much now that I not only watched her on Martha Stewart's show the other day (she performed "Storia d'Amour"), but I actually sat through the crazy opening sequence of "Pasíon," the Spanish soap-opera that SB sang the opening theme for-- in a duet with a countertenor whose voice sounds... very feminine. Plus, I got the entire Charmed: Book of Shadows OST because it had "Free (Swiss American Federation Remix)," and then the Free EP, which includes the song I'm listening to... but I wonder, which version is the one SB performed in the music video on LAUNCH! Yahoo? Have I mentioned I love remixes?

* The 795 colors that Diana's going to be featuring in Sailor X v2.08. She's already done amazing work (and been updating like a fiend) with 2.07, having just added the skirt stripes and collar stripes again. The ideas are plentiful, the colors almost endless! It's an absolute joy to take every weird senshi idea I've ever had and plug it into Sailor X... while not every single option is available yet, they almost certainly will be soon. Going back into the nerdy realm of Sailor Moon (and Otaku Senshi) has never been so fun! BTW, if you haven't yet checked out the official Sailor Xv2 DeviantArt account (or mine, where I post some of my creations), then look-see: Sailor Xv2 - me!

Dislike
* Having to send invitations to ANY amount of friends just to see my results for a quiz on Facebook

* Crappily-written quizzes, e.g ones with predictable answers, a limited set of answers (e.g. only 3 or 5), or terrible spelling/grammar (this applies to any quiz, anywhere). Actually, this applies to everything. I don't "relate" to anyone who can't be bothered to capitalize properly, use complete words (FYI, "ur" is not a word, unless you're talking about the ancient Mesopotamian city), or put apostrophes where they belong.

* Having to still be updating [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses for the New Year's 2008 Purge. Even having another mod on the team doesn't seem to have helped... is everyone just always busy at the same time? I hate feeling like I'm doing everything on my own.

* Not feeling organized enough! Argh, too much paper! Too many files! Everything, too complicated! (I suppose I should consider it a blessing that I ran out of paper for my printer. At least... I think I did.)

* Still having not heard from anyone at RPGClassics about my application to make the Star Ocean 3 shrine there. Not even on the forums. Hmph.

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (elections - palpatine '08)
...I don't know a thing about Gakuen Alice. o_o But I do know Tokyopop's quizzes don't embed properly. -_- Or maybe it's just my layout. In any case, what was the point of asking me for a post title when they're going to change it, anyway?

What's your Alice? Quiz )

Also: my ENGL 313 (Pop Culture) teacher ROCKS. I thought this of my previous Pop Culture teacher, the class I had to drop last Spring, when I had the semester from hell (and flunked Japanese). This Prof, Hatfield by name, knows what fandom is. Okay, so he's a Pop Culture teacher, he should know about some things... I mean, I expect people to know what anime is these days. Knowing manga (and not calling them "graphic novels") is a bit of an accomplishment, as is knowing what "fanfiction" is. But Hatfield just took the cake when he remembered one single word... COSPLAY.

Not "dressing up as a Klingon or Obi-Wan" but the very WORD "Cosplay." He knew it! (Okay, so his son is apparently in the disaster called the CSUN Anime Club, so I can't blame him if he found out through there...) But that rocks my socks, because even the people that dress up like Spock or Worf or Obi-Wan or Anakin don't know that word. To them, dressing up as a character is "dressing up as a character." Cosplay is a Japanese portmanteau, a mashing of "costume" and "play." Though it could theoretically be guessed from context (though Baba thought the "Cos" was short for "Cosmic" when I mentioned it to her this afternoon), it might take some examples of what it is (visual examples, that is) to really get the brain juices flowing.

We're going to have to do a fandom-related project near the end of the semester. An option is to study a "fandom-based community," where you "immerse" yourself in it. *raises eyebrow* Something tells me I'd have a great time "studying" [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard. Or [livejournal.com profile] smrff. Heh!

Oh, to other fellow California voting-age ppls: so, what do you think of the whole Props 94-97? Those are the Indian Gaming ones, if you don't remember. TV is just saturated with those ads lately, and to be honest, I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm not apt to believing that more slot machines at Indian Gaming Resorts will equal billions of dollars for California, especially not "immediately." And while I realize that the state is in a fiscal crisis, if the money we get isn't used properly, it doesn't seem to make sense. Any money we do get -whether we "deserve" it or not- should be put into proper use.

What bothers me is that there are people on both sides of the fence, and as none of them are my local representatives or people I know/recognize, I don't know who to trust. There are teachers on both sides, police officers and other law enforcement officers... people whose opinion I value, but I don't know who to believe.

So, what do you think? I'm skeptical of the ads from the "No" campaign, if only because it clearly says at the bottom that they're paid for by a Vegas casino and a Hollywood racetrack. However, I don't know whether the passing of the props would mean that it really WOULD be four rich gaming tribes versus the many other, non-gaming tribes left in the dust. My grandfather thinks that Vegas casino bigshots are controlling the Indian Gaming casinos and resorts anyway, from "Connecticut to California," and that the bulk of the money goes back to them, anyway.

I don't know what to think, so... help?

Oh, also: [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, it's all your fault! Well, yours and Em's (sorry, I don't think I can spell her full LJ name... o_o but you know who I mean!), because I've been reading Em's "It Only Takes a Moment" for the past two nights (I'm slow), and checking out all your cute comic strips based on it... and other RobRae art (*wink wink*). You're making me wish I still watched TT! I'm actually glad I caught up on DeviantArt, at any rate. Lots of stuff to be had there. :) Got myself a new wallpaper, because, well, Ty was just making me blush inappropriately. So I switched it to NMSmith's lovely "Iris" wallpaper.

Reminds me of Goo Goo Dolls )

I wanna know how to make jewels like the small ones on the side. :)
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: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
Today was one of those days where you're dreading it, "looking forward" to it in the way Marie Antoinette looked forward to her beheading, and you're freaking out to the point where you think if you subconsciously run a hand through your hair, clumps the size of Mothra balls will come out.

That was my day.

Today was the day I was supposed to give my presentation on "Gendered Language in the Double Standard in Final Fantasy X and X-2" in my Women, Men, and Media class (JOUR 371), and needless to say, I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be. The whole time in Seattle, I'd made a lot of excuses why I couldn't go out shopping-- I had to work on my project. And work on it I did. But, as I discovered today in the library, working when I normally would have been at work (Ken gave me the day off, which probably saved my soul), I worked on the wrong parts.

I worked hard on assembling images (and I was mad because Sally's house didn't have Wi-Fi and sitting in Josh's room using an Ethernet cable was a pain in the ass), writing the script, and timing the images. I should have rehearsed the script and realized it was about three times too long (10-15 minutes); then I could have saved myself some of the grief I had today.

Well, during that woulda-been-at-work period, I did manage to get a successful recording done, but not with my mic as I thought; I ended up leaning in too close to the computer to use the built-in mic and nearly getting Carpal Tunnel from leaving hand cramped, finger on the touchpad to scroll through my script (I edited the paper one so much, it was useless). For some dumb reason, no "vocal instrument" wanted to work with my USB Mic and not cause a buttload of static, so I had to switch.

Then for some dumb reason, I thought I had to have my DVI cable (I didn't, since I planned on burning it to DVD), so I had Grandpa bring it to me (though he ended up bringing my whole shoebox of electronic gizmos). I got to class about 20 minutes prior to start time, but all of a sudden my project CRASHED. When I reopened it, a bunch of clips and timing adjustments that I'd made were gone. To make matters worse, in buying and installing Leopard yesterday, I neglected to consider the incompatibility with certain programs or add-ons, like my GeeThree Slick Effects that I was using for titles and such in iMovie '06. (I realize now, if I'd just gone to the website, I could have updated them and avoided the hassle of trying to create the titles in a still image in Photoshop.)

Well, I doubted God would strike me down on request, nor did I think any deities of Fortune would decide to randomly have Eisenstock cancel class today, so I stuck it out... and of course, class wasn't canceled and presentations went on as scheduled. At first, I thought, "I'm doomed, there's no way I can make my presentation. If she'll let me go next week, I can at least accept a grade deduction." But no, we can't next week, because it's our mock final.

Oh, and on top of all that stress, we had an exam I forgot about! I didn't study for it in the least bit, but it was all multiple choice, so I hope I did okay, anyway.

Back to the project-- everyone else but one person went ahead of me while I attempted to assemble and time the fragments of my project into something normal. And I thought I succeeded-- though I was nervous as hell, I sent it to iDVD, set myself a title screen, and then burned the DVD (which I'd bought at the bookstore only 25 minutes before class). Luckily, questions and the next presenter took long enough for it to burn, and it even worked in the DVD player without any hassle... but the timing was HORRID. Plus, the crash had removed one of the adjustments I'd made to a clip's volume, so I was completely drowned out by "real Emotion" during the second half of my presentation. Luckily, both the professor and my classmates seemed to take it in stride.

She asked the standard question of "Which analytical framework applies to the issue you presented," so I went on for a bit about how the reflection hypothesis theory applies, since video games don't accurately reflect the variety of women in society today-- only docile, demure women and provocative, sexy, powerful women. Hey, some of us can fall in-between, you know!

She also accepted my (true) excuse about my printer running out of ink, so I have until tonight to email her my media packet (unfortunately, I just remembered I have an NSLS meeting at 7pm, which means I'll have to take the meeting minutes and not work on this during then) and until the end of this week to put a hard copy in her Journalism department inbox. Whew... I think. I think she's also cutting slack for the Media Critique, because people couldn't download an evaluation form necessary for analyzing the websites that this week's critique was supposed to be about.

Anyway, with all this madness, I neglected to eat at all today-- until just a bit ago, when I sat down with a full El Pollo Loco meal. I wolfed the whole thing down-- burrito, salad, drink and all-- except the flan, that's dessert. I'm considerably less stressed (even if I have work ahead of me-- ugh, four, possibly five or even SIX more articles for the Sundial within the next 7 days!), and I hope to stay that way through December, make it through my winter break, and somehow end up in Washington, D.C. for my internship.

...And sometime this week I have to see Financial Aid and Prof. Bowen about that, too. Ugh. Always stuff to do!

I blame this all on Alaska Airlines.

Brr.

Nov. 22nd, 2007 11:08 pm
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Greetings from FREEZING Seattle, WA... er, technically, Bellevue, I guess. Getting here wasn't so bad, but the schmucks at Alaska Airlines somehow managed to not put my checked bag (only the one, not even that big or heavy) on my flight, so I had to wait until about a half hour ago for it to be delivered to Sally's house.

Right now, we're (meaning me, my dad & Kathleen, and a few of the other cousins and aunts/uncles) are staying at a friend of Sally's house; I guess her family's out elsewhere for the holidays. It's a bit awkward to be in the home of someone I don't even know, but they did say it's okay...

And frankly, even if Sam (cousin) did say that it's "shady," at least THEY have free Wi-Fi. Seriously, I'm not the first person to point out to Sally and the boys that NOT having Wi-Fi at their house is equivalent to living in the Stone Age. (For those of you with Dial-Up, you're prehistoric.)

The Thanksgiving dinner was DELICIOUS, even though I got a stomachache after the fact-- actually though, based on the human digestive system, there's no way anything I ate at Thanksgiving could have made me sick, even if it was something I'm mysteriously allergic to. I think it was that muffin I picked up at Sea-Tac while waiting for Dan and my bag (which never came while I was there). It was one of those Costco muffins-- delicious, humongous, and bad for you, but you eat it anyway.

Pre and slightly-post dinner, I managed to work on the DIVs for "Ace of Hearts," the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting I just started. It's about due, and I'm glad Michael (aka Honus, aka cousin-in-law, husband of Brooke) helped me out with it. Now I understand better how DIVs and CSS can work in tandem! So far it looks great, but I need to write the About, Rules, and Extras pages, make some Codes, and then, of course, Join! And promote... kinda like I am now. Pre-promoting, anyway.

I also managed to watch CSI-- I'm glad Sara got mentioned at least a little. The way the previews made it sound, the game was overtaking the lab and no one thought twice about Sara, which would have infuriated me. I liked how the lesser-seen lab techs got more time in the limelight in this episode (and Hodges had HIMSELF killed in a scenario? Wow, talk about his ego finally having been knocked down a few pegs).

I've also made headway on my portfolio for Journalism; I need access to a printer to print everything out, though. An aesthetic question of sorts: if I have these newspaper articles mounted on papers inside a 3-ring binder, what arrangement is easiest to read; with the headline closest to the rings (and you read the columns going AWAY from the binder) or the headlines closest to the edge of the page, and you read TOWARD the rings?

Had to buy a new phone, too-- just another RAZR. The 3G phone I bought for Japan finally died. The past few days, it was getting hard to open, and then on Wednesday, the screen started to flicker until it finally died and I couldn't turn it back on, even when I adjusted the battery. While I don't consider myself a hardcore phone user, I do USE it everyday for at least one phone call... but still, a little over a year strikes me as a pretty pathetic life not just for a battery, but for a phone's casing and everything in general..

The new phone is a bit different-- mine, while still a RAZR, was a different model (the V3x, from Europe). It takes some getting used to, but because syncing is so easy on the Mac, I've already got all my old contacts back, along with my calendar. I've also set the first four of my "Fave Five," though to be honest, I have no idea who #5 should be. The rest are Mom, Dad, Jill, and Baba & Grandpa. In any case, I hope by having a branded phone now, things'll be easier for me-- I can now access T-Zones, and there's no worries about incompatible phones on the website, weird text messages, etc. (Of course, I stopped getting those mysterious text messages on my old RAZR ages ago, when they finally updated their support-- I think.) I hope it also helps bring my bill down, since I was paying extra for minutes I didn't use and unlimited text messages WITHOUT myFaves. I still have the T-Mobile Hot Spot access though, which means I can go to any Starbucks or Borders and just type my heart out. That might be a nice way to spend the afternoon, especially since I won't really be able to do any "Black Friday" shopping-- unless someone else buys for me. I have to pay for my WII deposit (though it turns out I have 10 more days, since the forms I've been stressing over filling out were the digital copies, but they just sent the paper copies today).

I didn't get to announce about being accepted into the Washington Internship Institute at dinner, like I hoped-- Dad must have heard about it from Baba & Grandpa, and then it filtered through the family grapevine. When I told Dad about the costs, he started to think it wasn't legit-- and for a minute, he really had ME worried, too. Sometimes I wonder how gullible I really am; when something really sounds great to (or for) me, I probably don't stop to consider the consequences or other possibilities out there.

But it does look legit-- I mean, it's a sponsored program from Golden Key, one of my honor societies. But what I think is a good idea is trying to contact some people who supposedly were interns in the program before and find out what they thought.

What else? I'm exhausted and still have a stomachache-- so even though I'm on a couch in a room with curtains that won't close, I think I'll go to bed. This isn't really a vacation, after all...
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
I'm looking for girls/women who have played FFX-2. As you may know, I'm doing a paper for my JOUR 371 class, "Women, Men and Media," titled Gendered Language and the Double Standard in the Final Fantasy X and X-2 Games.

I've got a lot of research so far, but I'd like the voices of some female gamers out there to help liven my presentation up a bit (and I don't mean literal voices, though if you want to submit a *.wav or *.mp3 of you SPEAKING, that's fantastic). I'd like any or all of these questions answered, if you have the time...

(1) Did you play FFX? Why or why not? If you did play it, did you finish it? Why or why not?
(2) Why did you play FFX-2?
(3) Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

Thank you....
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
OMG.
YAY.
SQUEE!
WAHOO!
YIPPEE!
YOWZA!
HAHAHAHAH!

But somehow, none of them quite do the situation justice. I just got accepted into the Washington Internship Institute. This is different from just being invited to the ISLP Delegation on Journalism, different from being told "how great a candidate" I am for the Target Executive Intern program (and not hearing from them in several weeks), and so on and so forth.

As a bit of reference, I was running around getting the application all filled out and finished this whole week-- reference letters, transcripts, the works. I sent it out by Priority Mail yesterday so it would make it to Washington, DC by the deadline of today. They got it by noon EST, which means around 9 a.m. here. I had a phone call to make by 10:30, so I was up by 10 a.m., and sometime around 10:30, I got that email saying "Welcome to WII!"

I was so shocked at first, I really didn't believe it. Less than an hour and a half after they receive my application and I'm in!? Damn, I'm good (and I know there could be other possibilities, but let me stroke my ego for a few minutes here, okay?).

So now I've got a new Intern Profile form to fill out, which includes two essays. That along with a $350 deposit is due within 10 days... I just got paid, so buh-bye, paycheck! I hope I get a scholarship from this and, since I'll be taking other seminars while there (according to their brochure, anyway) that I hope can count for other academic credit (not sure what department or anything, though). I can also take other online courses-- the one that I already planned to take, plus a few others, depending on their pre-reqs and GE fulfillments.

I emailed Scott yesterday, and he mentioned he thought I would graduate sooner, but the Spring 2009 date has looked like my date for a while now. This might mess that up, but then again, how's it any different from my plans for taking Winter session being dashed by the fact that they're not offering anything I need? Why pay for classes that don't mean anything to my degree? Of course, like Scott said, we're "students of life," so a few other classes hardly matter. I'll be graduating with over 120 units either way.

It's funny how now, in my junior and senior years, I'm finding so much that I want to do, even though it might not necessarily apply to my academic degree (major or minor) in any way. And of course, there are things that do pertain, but they're expensive-- this WII isn't free, but I'm hoping tuition can cover it as a sort of "study abroad" and that I can get scholarships from the Institute while I'm at it. There are scholarships for those in honor societies, and I'm in two eligible ones: NSCS and Golden Key, so yay to that.

So if all this works out, I'll be spending spring 2008 in Washington, DC and... *pray pray pray* 2 weeks of summer in Australia. THAT would be a dream come true. And now... to fundraise, pester, and find funding!

Oh, and write those essays.
azurite: (so2:bluesphere - rena)
What a weekend! Part of me doesn't think it should end yet. It wasn't exactly exciting, but there was certainly a lot going on. For starters, I finally got inducted into the NSCS (National Society of Collegiate Scholars) after about two years of actually being a member, and nearly a semester of being an officer... I'm really happy! Not only have I made friends and expanded my network, but I've gotten the opportunity to travel, meet new people, and be challenged in lots of ways. Even the little projects I undertake (like my current one, creating a postcard for the upcoming Hunger Banquet on 11/27) teach me a lot about preparedness and reading the fine print!

I was especially thrilled that Mom and Jill came out to the induction... yes, MOM from San Francisco. Dad didn't come, and there was all that drama revolving around that, but as per usual, when he called tonight, he didn't mention the ceremony at all (other than "so what's up with you lately?") and didn't mention his not coming. I'm a bit disappointed, but working is a good reason not to be able to go to places 500 miles away even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime event for your only daughter and all that jazz.

After the induction, I hung out at Jill's and had a delicious dinner of pasta and carrot cake, played "Cooking Mama" for the first time with some of my second cousins (my god, Wii games are tough... you really have to have arm strength for some of those!), and played around with their soon-to-be-fixed puppy, a Chihuahua mix named Rocky.

The next morning, Jill dropped Mom off at the house and we (along with Baba and Grandpa, of course) went to brunch at Abe's. We tried to go to Brent's, but it was a 30-45 minute wait for just 4 people, and it was already after 11 a.m. by then. :( Though the service at Abe's left a lot to be desired, the food was pretty good. Mom got the grand tour of the house when we got back, and then we headed back to Jill's so she could get ready to take the Van Nuys Flyaway bus back to LAX.

I'm thinking of trying to do that for my flight from LAX to SEA-TAC, since it's so much cheaper than a shuttle, but I'll need a way of getting from here to the Flyaway. Maybe I can ask Jill to drop me off? A taxi would be too much money, and the bus would force me to transfer (not fun with luggage) and wake up soooo early... X_X

So there's that to do, along with trying to help Baba & Grandpa figure out a way to get from here to the Westin LAX, where they'll be staying (courtesy of Mom) before their flight to SEA-TAC.

I've also got to buckle down on my project for 371. I bought two new books on video games today-- I mean serious research books. I'm just glad they were in-stock at Borders! I didn't want to have to wait to special order anything, and I already checked the school library's (pitiful) stock of books in that category...

Speaking of school, the University Student Union's website is lacking something critical: a map. Somehow last week I'd found one when I was working on the Hunger Banquet postcard, but it was a PDF file, and I deleted the original. I didn't properly optimize it for a high-res postcard though, so when I tried to find it again, every possible search came up nil. Even the maps I did find are hopelessly outdated. -_-; So I need to get the names of TWO measly rooms I don't remember off-hand, and then I can submit the postcard for printing.

I also noticed that the Golden Key (International Honour Society)'s website is also lacking-- despite many states being classified into "regions," I failed to find anything that indicated which states are in which regions. Finally, a UCLA site gave me a clue: CA is in Region 9, along with Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Texas. So I guess that means "Southwestern" states. I joined the new myGK, which is semi-social networking-- it's pretty easy to use. It'll be nice when both it and the new NSCS.org websites get up and running.

Speaking of NSCS again, my postcard that I worked on so laboriously is in the running for the official NSCS holiday postcard! I'm up against some pretty beautiful designs (the kind that make you go "Now why didn't I think of that!?"... I had another one of those moments today at Borders when I spotted their cute polar bear-and-fairy pair for their new ads... so cute!), but I was in the top 5 when I last checked! I told all the members at the induction to vote for me, so hopefully that'll swing some more votes my way. :)

I've also registered for my classes for next semester. They are:
* SCENE Magazine (FINALLY!)
* Women and Leisure (online!)
* Advanced Narrative Writing
* Pop Culture (not with the professor I wanted, but supposedly a really good one)
* Writing About Literature

I'm still hoping to get an internship (gotta get my rec letter back from Mel for the Washington Internship Institute, due by the 16th!), but it might end up being a summer internship, and depending on where it is and whom it's sponsored by, it might not count for Journalism credit. If that doesn't work out, I've applied to be a copy editor at the Sundial. It's only one unit, and copy editors don't have to meet in the early mornings twice a week like the other editors do. (I'm more of a correction-editor than an assignment-editor, anyway.) So we'll see how that works out. Even if it can't count for Journalism credit, part of me is hoping to get the Target internship, because it sounds fun, good experience, and of course, pays really well.

Lastly and not leastly, I've gotten addicted to a new semi-crack-worthy pairing-- this time from Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time. Anyone like some Albel Nox x Nel Zelpher? Because yeah, for some reason I really started to like them together, and now I've started reading fic for them and I joined their fanlisting. :P Gah, and I have yet to build the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting! I gotta get on that...
azurite: (hp - hogwart's crest)
Still writing that "Dumbledore is gay" opinion piece for the Daily Sundial. But despite it being an opinion piece, I'd really like the opinions of other fans, whether you consider yourself a fan of Harry Potter or not.

If you're interested in participating, please comment to this post with your thoughts about what's going on, and PLEASE leave your:
* Real name (you can use your first initial and last name, or first name and last initial, or your full name, whatever you're comfortable with JUST NO ALIASES OR LJ USERNAMES)
* Where you're from (city, state if from the USA, country if from elsewhere)

Aside from the obvious "What do you think about J.K. Rowling revealing that Dumbledore is gay?" think about some of these questions:

* Do you think Rowling had any ulterior motive for revealing that Dumbledore was gay, e.g. for the attention, for the scandal, etc? If she did it to continue to "preach her message of tolerance," do you think she went about it the right way? Is there anything you think that helped or harmed her efforts? What could she have done differently, if anything?

* Do you think it matters whether or not Dumbledore's sexuality was stated in the books or not? Do you think something MUST be stated unequivocally (e.g. in the text, it would say "Dumbledore is gay" or similar?) for it to be considered canon?

* Do you think it makes a difference that we're talking about a fictional character? What about a character in what is widely considered to be a children's fantasy series?

Comments are screened!

Big kitty!

Oct. 26th, 2007 10:57 pm
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
I came back from the OS X 10.5 - Leopard release "party" a short while ago, and I have to say, if Mom hadn't convinced me NOT to buy 10.5, I'd probably be using it right now. It's not like I really have the money for it, and I know I can get it cheaper online, but after I played with it at the Apple store, I REALLY liked it. Anyone that knows Macs or has watched tech news lately probably knows about some of the more bragged-about features, but after the "list of 300" was released today and I really got to see them in action, I've made up my own list of favorites:

* Quick Look - a freaking GODSEND. Because I design webpages a lot, sometimes I have templates or half-done pages lying around my hard drive. I'd like to be able to look at those files WITHOUT having to open up a new tab in Firefox, or open up Dreamweaver. Quick Look lets me do this easily *AND* even better, I can use the iTunes-style Cover Flow in Finder to let me browse through a whole folder of HTML files quickly and easily.

* Google Maps built into Address Book - This will be immensely handy for me. I like to keep all my contacts in my Address Book for easy Syncing to my Facebook and to my phone. Now, when I have to go somewhere, a map with directions is only two clicks away.

* Dictionary with built-in Japanese <-> English support. WOW. HOLY WOW. The only thing this is lacking is support for romaji, but that's okay, because Japanese input on the Mac only takes two clicks, anyway. You type in a word either in English to translate it fully into Japanese, or you type it in Japanese to read the English meaning. I didn't test out any pronunciation or additional features, but the Dictionary's gotten a great makeover, including more dictionaries, reference materials, and WIKIPEDIA! All in one click!

* Spaces - I'm one of those people that has about 15 things going on at once; iTunes and iMovie, Firefox and Thunderbird, Dreamweaver and Photoshop... with Spaces, I can designate a Desktop for each application (or group of applications), so when I want to work on one thing, I just access that particular desktop, and there's no more clutter. This is built into the OS, but I imagine you can't overload the computer with too much, anyway. Nonetheless, I don't think I've ever had memory issues with the Mac in terms of running multiple programs (unless I was running Windows!).

I've already written an article about it which I hope'll get into the Sundial; I'm also writing one on "Dumbledore is gay!?" though I'm not 100% sure of the angle to take on it.

I managed to find (with the help of the LJ Support Staff) my Private entries, including what I started of "Sight Unseen," my [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses fic for #13: excessive chain. Not sure exactly what inspired me, but it's a pretty interesting idea-- just a bit long. It might be 2-3 parts when finished. I thought I'd written something for Girls' Club (#11: gardenia), too, but all I seem to have is the planner file I made with Mamono. Anyway, re: Sight Unseen, would people like to see the short blurb I have so far, or would they rather wait until I'm done?

If you haven't answered my quick and easy poll on FFX and FFX-2, please do so now! And if you can, tell your friends and ask them to participate, too.

I really want to play a game now, so I think I'm going to turn off iTunes and try my hand at Bejeweled or Diner Dash. It's been a while since I've had "fun." If only I could get Yu-Gi-Oh! Online on the Mac... ;_; I wanna duel!

Hup hup!

Oct. 14th, 2007 09:35 pm
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Let's see, five or so minutes until clean-up time (or at least until Jamie is supposed to get here to help me clean up) for the NSCS Garage Sale, and we've made about $85 over the course of two days. Not too bad. The leftovers I suppose we'll give to the Goodwill, though some stuff (namely some sports cards and some manga) I think I can sell online for a decent amount. Hopefully.

Joyce also said she'll buy all the stuffed animals; she works in family law, and when kids get adopted out, they get to pick a stuffed animal, but she says "they're" (I don't know who "they" are) always running out (of stuffed animals to give away). Right now, we have about 10 left, so hopefully Joyce will be willing to fork over $20 or so for the lot, including a brand-new, super-soft dog-pillow thing.

It hasn't been bad, sitting out here pretty much all day. As per usual for me, I've been reading a lot of CSI fic (I think I've read almost everything by Mossley, at this point), chatting with Joe and Jamie when they were here (Jamie is helping me clean up before we meet Joe and the others at Starbucks for an NSLS meeting), and checking my email.

I'm applying to another internship that might meet the Journalism department's standards for credit (for a journalism internship)-- the Washington Internship Institute. Okay, it's not free, but housing is actually part of the package and I *hope* that it's a paid internship. Anyway, Prof. Shapiro (last semester's JOUR 331 - Graphics professor) agreed to write the required faculty recommendation form for me, so yay to that. :) I think it's bull that I should have to pay all these fees and deposits for things I supposedly qualify for because I'm so active in volunteering, have such a good GPA, etc. -_- Whatever happened to REWARDING the smart kids? I feel like all the good opportunities are just beyond my reach, all because of cash. Well, there's loans, fundraising, and scholarships, and I'm sure as hell not a quitter, so I'll have to look into a variety of things.

Personally, I'd like it if the Target internship could still work out somehow for Journalism credit, because not only is it local and sound fun (but also challenging), but it pays well. Plus there's a strong chance of being hired full-time after the fact, which is nothing to scoff at. Even Target needs a media/press relations department, and while I'm no PR concentration, you never know the needs of a corporation like that.

I have decided I'm going to drop Japanese as a minor, though. On the one hand, it's sad, because I've always been so dedicated to the study of Japanese language and culture, and I enjoyed it a lot when I was younger. When I got into college and DID declare it as my secondary minor, I thought of it as the thing that would set me apart from all the other Journalism majors with their required collateral fields or minors. But the classes are terribly timed, stressful... and to be honest, just thinking about it makes my chest hurt. I can't handle the professors, the workload... anything. I get this sickening guilty feeling whenever I read the [livejournal.com profile] japanese community, too. I know that I said just a few paragraphs above, I'm not a quitter-- and I'm not NOW. But I was, because Japanese stressed me out that much.

Even though I look back on going to Japan as a great experience, one I learned a lot from, to be honest, I can't see myself living there anymore, like I used to. I don't think I could work at Shonen Jump or Shojo Beat as a translator; an editor, maybe (and they do need one...). And when I really look back on it, I remember the fun times with my friends, but I also remember how cold and lonely I was. I remember crying the first few days I got there, because I felt like the stupidest person there, not remembering certain things. That was especially true when I finally went to Tokyo on my own and I didn't understand what the clerk was telling me when she said Sarah Brightman had already left the store. I must have waited there for an hour, all because I forgot what the word "sakki" meant.

I don't want to feel that way again. I'd like to think that I learned from my experiences --both in class and in Japan-- and now I have a better grasp on my limitations. I know a bit more about just what defines my breaking point: at which point I get so stressed I make myself ill. I have to say, I really have been getting pretty sick over the past half-year, and if it's really all psychosomatic, I'm disappointed in myself. I'm not exactly the paragon of healthy eating and regular exercise, but it's not like I pork out in front of the TV all day with a bag of chips and guac. But stressing out does things to your insides, and I was getting pretty close to either being a hypochondriac or being genuinely ill with something like an ulcer. Scott had that, and just judging by what I heard from him, I don't want to go down that route.

I have yet to really un-declare the minor, and I'm not 100% sure of the consequences- after all, I got that Presidential Scholarship which I really never did anything with, though it saved my hide in Japan after that idiotic phone escapade. Part of me still thinks I'm more than capable of writing that book, but it's not like I ever had this great relationship with my supposed mentor, Hirota-sensei, and I hardly think I would after I un-declare the minor. That's especially true if I have to get her signature on any forms and explain just why I feel the way I do. I don't like getting emotional around professors.

Anyway, other stuff:
What's your preferred domain registrar? I've been with Register.com, and while they were good, they were too expensive. Same goes with InterNIC. I'm with Yahoo! Small Business for meredithsweet.com, and GoDaddy for seventh-star.net, but today at the NSLS officers' meeting, Jamie told me that GoDaddy sucks and he won't have anything to do with them, directly or indirectly. I've had a great experience with them so far, despite their supposed lousy TOS and policies. Nonetheless, if I wanted to get a CSUN NSLS website that's not hosted by CSUN (because apparently that requires funding which we currently do not have), I need to find a good registrar. Suggestions are appreciated!

WDKY25 is like, seriously, almost done. Whee! I actually was working on it last night-- a storm of writing! Please let it continue...!
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)

I've wanted to take JOUR 371 "Women, Men, and Media" for a while, and now that I'm in it, I can really say I'm looking at my "usual media" in a different light. Like most people, I'm not the hugest fan of commercials, but occasionally I'll pay attention to one if it's funny (the Doritos Superbowl commercial), the first time for an annoyingly stupid one (the Geico cavemen commercials...), interesting (the Halo 3 commercial) or trendy... you get the idea.

But tonight I'm watching Voyager or CSI or something on Spike and I see a commercial for a new Sega Rally video game. It's got these two girls, the driver who lends her friend in the passenger seat her lipgloss. The passenger girl raves about the color-- meanwhile, you're seeing the car skid, slide, go every which-way... basically, like a rally car on a track.

The tag line? "Drive like a man."

...WHAT!?

Srsly, WTF?

I'm not sure if I should be offended or not. After all, it's basically saying that guys drive like complete schmucks and get into accidents. But it's also saying that that sort of behavior is admirable, like women should WANT to drive like that (and don't). Then again, maybe it's supposed to be "women are cool-- they can put makeup on in any situation, bumpy or not!" But I doubt that very much.

I'm sorry, I'd much rather be applying makeup and driving slow and steady than be getting highs off testosterone and racing when and where it's unnecessary, spinning, rolling, and crashing like some foolish street racers (FYI, I can admire Initial D as a piece of fiction, but there was recently a bunch of street racers here in the San Fernando Valley that were responsible for the death of a mother and two children. I don't consider *real* street racers in high regard, and think they're a bunch of fucktwits).

...Ugh.
azurite: (xxxholic - yuuko)
Hi all! First, some "me" updates, then onto the main course:
* WDKY25 idea! Oh, I love lightning bolts. With dumb luck, it'll be done -no, really, DONE!- by the end of this week. I pray.

* I finished my end of the project for my Vitamin K presentation in Nutrition for Life class tomorrow. I'm so thrilled I finally figured out (with the help of a Mac Rep-- surprisingly, not a Creative or Genius, because they were all stumped!) why there was sound on the slides that were build-less. I had the idea that the media icon might be hidden off-canvas, and once the Mac Rep told me how to resize the window so the canvas only took up a percentage, I found the sign! I also ended up having to fix lots of hyperlinks, but in the end, I tested everything out, and it looks great! Aside from the necessity of having to click the actual squares on the Categories Selection board (rather than have it select automatically), everything's great, and I hope we do well tomorrow!

Now, main course:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm participating in the SixApart/DonorsChoose.org Bloggers Challenge. I've chosen eight teacher proposals for San Francisco schools that I hope to fund, even a little. SixApart gave out $30 certificates for DonorsChoose.org to people who requested them, and I already gave mine to one of my eight proposals: Books That Add Spice.

Check out my complete challenge here, and donate even $1-- it WILL make a difference in a child's life!

And now, for some questions and my answers...
Why San Francisco?
It's where I grew up. My mom was a great participant in my school years growing up, and if it wasn't for her, I think a lot of the school projects that I remember the most wouldn't have been as fun, or may have fallen through altogether. My school was lucky enough to have a few parents who were really dedicated to participating in classes and helping teachers-- moreso than the school or the school district ever did.

While I can't speak for the kids or the school district now, from what I've seen when I've visited recently, things haven't changed much. If I can help a single elementary school kid get a new pack of crayons, or a classroom of high schoolers see a computer presentation via a new projector, then I'll do whatever I can.

Why did you pick the proposals you did?
It's funny, but once you start looking for proposals to help fund, there are so many that will catch your attention. That's what happened with me, and though I think eight is a bit of a crazy number (and I intentionally set my Fundraising Goal to $2000, which does NOT cover the complete costs of every proposal), I think there's a great variety of schools, teachers, students, and proposals in my challenge. If I can meet my Fundraising Goal of $2000, then that'll most likely get all of these proposals enough funding to get noticed, and at the very least, up off the ground.

The proposals I chose are as follows:
1. Let Your Fingers Do The Writing
2. Books That Add Spice
3. The Art Area is in Trouble!
4. Making 5th Grade More Fun & Interesting
5. Bring my Classroom into the 21st Century!
6. Rainbow World: Help Kindergartners Explore Colors
7. Think Before You Drink: Prom Gift Bags
8. Slide into the 21st Century

Why these proposals? )

Please take a minute of your time to read some of these proposal descriptions and, if possible, donate something. Whether it's $1 or $10, $20 or $30, every little bit helps! Do you remember what it was like to be in elementary, middle, or high school? Did you never want for anything? (If you say "yes," I won't believe you. :P)

DonorsChoose gathers teachers from all over the U.S., allowing THEM to say just what they need, how many students will be impacted, and what their proposed purchases will be used for. These eight proposals really stood out to me, and I hope that you can find it in your heart (and in your wallet!) to make a small tax-deductible contribution to help fund them-- even a little. It won't just make a difference for you and me, but all those students and their teachers-- for years to come.



I've emailed a note about this to my friends. If you read that email, read this post for more info, and be sure to tell your friends!
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Here's a story you may have heard before: I went to school in San Francisco. My elementary, middle, and high schools were all within 10 or so blocks of one another. I went to school with many of the same people, and was in many of the same classes with them. Over the years, very little changed, including the lack of funding for classrooms.

It wasn't just journalism, my favorite class, which cost a lot of money to run (after all, you need money to print a paper!)-- it was science, it was history, it was world lit. It didn't matter whether it was elementary school, when parents seemed to have more time, energy, and money to donate to classroom expenditures and events; it was middle school and high school, too.

I've been in classes where teachers had to pay for their own materials, in classes where the teachers had to ask parents for help with funding, and in classes where the students didn't GET to use modern technology, go on field trips, or even use basic, new equipment.

I've had to use books more than 20 years old, falling apart at the seams. I've had to pay out of pocket to keep my school supplies in shape, because I can't rely on the ones provided at school. Early on, I started to assume that I had to bring supplies that normally, people would figure students wouldn't HAVE to-- things like construction paper, scissors, glue, or markers. That's why I have so many art supplies NOW-- because I've kept them over the years, made sure they've stayed in good condition, and shared them with my fellow students.

It's a sad situation, when you think about it. Out of all the high schools I visited in San Francisco (mostly when I was at a JROTC event), only ONE really looked like it had everything it needed, and that all their students could really be happy, motivated, and productive in their classroom. San Francisco is a major metropolitan city. There are six
"big" high schools with thousands of students each, and lots more charter and alternative schools. That's not even going into the elementary and middle schools that need help.

Now, thanks to SixApart and DonorsChoose.org, I'm participating in the Bloggers Challenge to help raise money for a variety of projects (proposals started by teachers at San Francisco schools!) in San Francisco. Unfortunately, none of my alma maters are listed, but that doesn't mean I want to help any less.

Whether you're from San Francisco or not, once you read some of these teachers' proposals (and often impassioned pleas), you'll want to help to. Whether it's a dollar or ten, every donation can and DOES make a difference. Not only will you be recognized for your donation, but it's tax-deductible as well.




* This is a regional challenge, for San Francisco-based schools only. Why? Because San Francisco is my hometown, and when I go back for a visit, I would love to see my few dollars making a BIG difference for kids that were just like me five, ten, fifteen, or eighteen years ago.

* I'm adding several teacher proposals (as of 4:48pm on 9/28, there are 8 to choose from, ranging from PreK to high school) to my Bloggers Challenge, because there are a number of schools in need for a variety of different reasons. I don't think any one project has priority over another, so I want to include as many as I can. If you have a suggestion for a proposal to add to my challenge, send me the link to let me know! Some of the proposals I've added have a greater target goal than my challenge does; that's because I believe EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.

Click on this link to see all the proposals I have currently added to my challenge. You can click on each individual proposal to read more about that teacher's particular situation, as well as see their target goal, how much they've already raised, and how many students are impacted by the efforts made so far. Then you can click to fund one proposal or all of them.

* SixApart has already graciously given me a $30 gift certificate to donate to one of the proposals on my challenge, and I've chosen the "Books That Add Spice" one. I'll match that $30 with money of my own for another one of the proposals on my challenge, and I hope you can, too!
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
Next week, my proposal for my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) class's "Media Deconstruction Project" is due. Originally, I wanted to do something with Internet/Technology, but at the last moment on the sign-up day, I changed my mind and went for video games. Two things in particular stuck in my head:

* Remember the GameGirl? That hideous pink-and-purple version of the GameBoy way back when? Obviously trying to pull that kind of thing now would cause a huge backlash... right? Would it cause the same issue if a "targeted toward girls" game came out? I doubt it.

* Final Fantasy X vs. Final Fantasy X-2. I remember asking a lot of my fellow gamer friends (guys and girls alike) which one they liked better; a lot of guys preferred X, while many girls I asked preferred X-2. Of course, there were always exceptions, or "well, I liked THIS game for THIS, but THAT game for THAT...."

It's ironic, too, because I remember when the game was about to debut, people assumed X-2 would be a big hit with the guys because... well, basically for all the fanservice. But instead, a lot of the guys I remember speaking to disliked the whole "dress-up" concept and the LACK of a linear gameplay.

Speaking for myself personally, I like X-2 a lot more because it's got Yuna breaking out of stereotypes. At the same time though, she's just conforming to gender stereotypes: she's got the need to be sexy, loved, and so on. She wants to prove she's more than just a summoner, more than the namesake of Yunalesca, etc. But she proves she's pretty weak emotionally: unprepared for living a real teenage life, essentially. But is it teenage, or teenage GIRL? The whole story revolves around her chasing after the possibility of Tidus being alive again, somehow, somewhere. There's certainly a point to be made in the fact that she KEEPS GOING even when she finds out Shuyin =/= Tidus, though.

Anyway, to the point:
(1) If you played either FFX or FFX-2 (or both), what did you think of the games? Why?

(2) Who were your favorite characters from either game? Why? If your character reappeared in FFX-2 and you played it, did you still like that character in FFX-2? Why or why not?

(3) Do you think FFX and FFX-2 are examples of how gender plays a role in the video game industry-- in terms of stereotypes, whether in-game (Yuna's personality, the dressphere system, etc.) or out-game (who the game is targeted toward).

(4) Can you think of any other examples of "gender stereotyping" in the video game industry, specifically relating to language (whether verbal or non-verbal)? For example, does the back of a game you own describe the female character as a "heroine"? Do you find that most female characters in games you own/play/have seen are healer/mage-types, rather than fighters?

(5) Any other comments?

More notes: I thought about comparing the intros to both FFX and FFX-2. In FFX, you've got Tidus raring up for the Blitzball game, cheered on by thousands of fans, adored... and in FFX-2, you've got Yuna dressed all sexy, dancing provocatively... it's only a few minutes into the game (and not technically part of the intro) that you realize that dancing!Yuna is not Yuna at all, and the real, ass-kicking Yuna shows up. In FFX, you've got this hero who is, from the start, an ass-kicker. But in FFX-2, the first image you have of "Yuna" is of a "hero" gone "pop star." She's not out there saving the world anymore, she's out there gaining fans. But even in FFX, Yuna was this pretty demure character-- unlike the real star/lead of the game, Tidus, who is boisterous, loud, etc. It's almost a double-standard. I say "almost," because it's revealed that Yuna really IS off doing her own thing (the whole sphere journey started out for herself, not as a desire to save the world again), and she IS pretty uppity in many ways. But two years and everything she went through doesn't change her COMPLETELY. She's still an emotional, very feminine representation throughout the games, compared to Rikku, who's the more tomboyish, bubbly girl, and Paine, who is pretty much the Auron + Lulu hybrid of FFX-2.

Are those good scenes to compare and examine? Or can you think of any others, even if they're from other games? (obviously, FMVs are best to work with, here).

This is

Sep. 12th, 2007 01:32 pm
azurite: (Bunninated!)
I've been addicted to this song for a while, and I blame it on Subway, where it's always playing whenever I go there for lunch. :P Plus it happens to make a pretty good theme for Téa in WDKY. :D Isn't it odd that this song seems so much more of a hit than Glamourous and Fergalicious, when those are the two major songs people raved about when Fergie first debuted solo? (Furthermore, I heard some idiot DJ say "Fer-jee" on the radio the other day, instead of "Fer-gee," which is what it's supposed to be.)

I'm exhausted. Yesterday after getting home from work, I played FFX-2 for hours longer than I intended (but I managed to oversoul a BUNCH more monsters, including the ass-wipe Concherer... the Miracle Drink SAVES MY HIDE), but for a good chunk of the time, I was actually just sitting in the rec room talking to Mom about various things-- my wanting to fix my bike, my wondering if I should invest $44 in the MyPoliSciLab for POLS 355 (because the teacher's lectures SUCK), me trying to come up with ideas for my Investigative Reporting class, and me juggling everything else-- the Sundial, NSCS, NSLS, work, "me" time, and time for my grandparents, above almost ell else.

It's really hard prioritizing and organizing. It's like I can do a brief burst for a while, but then I get too caught up in everything else. Then, when I want to take "me" time or a breather, it ends up doing me more harm than good, because I end up staying up too late just "relaxing," forgetting homework or other assignments and then berating myself for things left undone.

For example, my current story on the Metro Orange Line. I blame it on how most of the sources I've called (Pam O'Connor, Santa Monica city councilwoman and chair of the Metro Board of Directors; someone from CSUN's Transportation Services) have yet to get back to me. Okay, so I can talk to the Media Relations guy, but I wanted to avoid that primarily because journalists are told to never just take whatever PR gives them. And PR has many names and faces... I need time to hang out by the local Orange Line bus stop and talk to some students, time to possibly go to the terminal in North Hollywood with Kaori, the photographer for the story, and see who else I might be able to get ahold of. I've never been much of a phone person, but I've got to become one-- and an incessant one, at that, because for this class, three live sources per story are required, with a minimum of 20 stories throughout the semester. I was doing well initially, but now it feels like I'm getting lost in the tide. Thankfully, I'm not the only one, but that doesn't improve my habits, work ethic, or grade any.

I got another story regarding the resignation of the school's director of public relations and strategic communications, but I don't think it'll turn out to be much, based on what I've found out already. At least it's local (CSUN community), like I requested of the city editor. To be honest, I don't even want to do hard news like this, but I know it's important-- for the paper and the community, and also my own portfolio. But I'd rather be doing A&E, features, opinion... SOMETHING closer to what I want to do with my real life after this. Though technically, I want to be an editor, not a reporter/writer anymore...

The one bright spot is that after talking to mom last night, I might have a good idea for my first proposal for my Investigative Journalism class. It was partially based off something Melina mentioned on the NSCS retreat, and furthered by what Manley said today in the Sundial class. Hopefully I can actually pull it off, because it'll definitely require digging. Good thing I've never cared much about getting my hands dirty.

So now, the interactive part of this post:
(1) How do you juggle your time? How do you successfully (if at all) balance work, fun for yourself, romance (if any), family, and school?

The Sundial is more like a job than a class, though. I asked the city editor what she does-- she works 30 hours a week and has 8 units (less than full time), but she said she did have full-time status when she was a reporter like I am.

So I'm wondering, if this is another example of early-semester stress getting to me, what should I do to nip this in the bud? Limit my hours at work? That'll mean making less money, though. It's true I don't need to worry about rent or car payments like other people, but I *DO* have bills to pay (like credit cards...) Of course, I can always limit my shopping-- it's not like I really go crazy that often (maybe once a month or so). Or is there another solution? I can't drop classes.

(2) How do you prioritize? I always have a to-do list, and I can pretty easily recognize the things I can put off, but then when the things I can't/shouldn't put off start to pile up, that's when the stress mounts. I'm never sure how to be productive and "smart" with my time so that I can do as much as I can and feel satisfied about it. I don't want to be the type that only gets 3-5 hours of sleep a night (if that)-- I don't think I physically can! Getting up this early for my classes this semester has been enough of a biological change-- I'm not about to start drinking coffee or energy drinks, shortening my sleeping schedule (my personal minimum is 6-8, with a preference toward 10 for feeling well-rested).

I feel bad about using work-time to do homework or make calls for the Sundial. I also hate being late to work because I was running around campus-- getting things at the bookstore, walking to the health center, etc. What to do?

*snore* It sucks that I'm this tired already, so early in the day, when my afternoon class (which usually exhausts me by 3-4pm) hasn't even begun yet. I'm also more than halfway through a bottle of my usual "awakening elixir," Brisk iced tea, and it doesn't seem to be doing much. I'm not doing much more than holding my head up so it doesn't crash onto the keyboard.

...I often contemplate just not going to school/work/whatever when I'm this sleepy, but I have a loud conscience that wouldn't permit such a flimsy excuse. Mentally, I feel like I'm using up time or hours or something, and then if and when something important/big really did happen-- whether it was me genuinely sick with something BAD or something else, I'd "need" to go into work/school. I fought the urge today and I'm here now, but part of me wants to say "screw it!" to my next class and just go home. But why, when it's a GREAT class, only 3 or so hours long (with a 15-30 minute break)? It would seem pointless, especially how it takes me 30 minutes to walk home, and I usually never do what I say I'll do (sleep) when I get home. I get distracted so easily...

(3) Would you invest $44 in a textbook supplement if the teacher's lectures sucked, but you really wanted to learn? I've never been a straight read-to-learn person. I need discussion, activity, and interaction for things to really stick with me. The MyPoliSciLab thing sounds interesting, but I'm still not sure... Baba says "eh," Grandpa says "Hell no," and Mom is as indecisive as ever. What do you think? So far, I haven't spent more than $250 or so on textbooks (I've spent as much as $521 in previous semesters, so I consider this semester a bit of a bargain, especially since I'll likely be keeping at least a few of the textbooks for personal reasons). So it's not like it's adding hugely on top of my other textbook prices. Besides, this is an academic purchase, vs. say, a bunch of makeup or manga. :P

...Wut?

Sep. 11th, 2007 03:20 pm
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I'm in POLS 355 (American National, State, and Local Government) right now, and the professor, whom I'll call Mr. Seaweed-Brows, is quite obviously THE MOST disorganized teacher I can remember EVER having. First, he gave us the wrong syllabus (for a two day/week class, which we're NOT) and has yet to update it, even 3 weeks later; second, he changed his mind on what our major project is supposed to be about-- from California counties to states. Okay, not bad, but what does he do? Distribute one piece of blank paper to the person in the front of each row, then choose a random person with "good handwriting" (though, as previously mentioned, at least 7 other people have papers, too) to write down the state assignments. What ends up happening is everyone in a region of the class writes down their name and state on the paper, but there are at least 5 other papers that have no names on them. The people clear across the room have no idea what we've claimed or even who we are.

So after about 5 minutes of confusing hand-raising, shouting out, and other assorted arguments, I offered to go up to the board and write down all the claims to make sure no one was doubled up, and to find out what states were still free. Okay, so my handwriting wasn't the best, but no one else was doing it, and it was frustrating me with how pathetically disorganized this prof. was. Another student figured out what states were FREE based on the ones I was writing down. After about 15 minutes, we got all the claimed states (including New Jersey, which oddly has 2 people claiming it, despite other states being free) and the split state (California; I'm doing Northern). So everyone was satisfied and there was no more confusion on THAT end.

...We still don't have a syllabus. We need to know due-dates, project expectations... so we just had to ask a flurry of questions. Regarding this project, he had to tell us what he wanted, and he often repeated things, over and over again. Total lack of clarification. And when it came to due dates, he had no idea, and there was MORE confusion regarding the first exam and religious holidays! Uuuugh!

There's a mixed bag of opinions for him on RateMyProfessors.com, which is probably why I chanced taking this professor-- some people said he was easy, others said (like I think) he's disorganized. Some people thought that was a good thing: all you have to do is study from the book, not really show up for class unless you WANT to (which means when I have Sundial stuff, I guess I can skip this one without too much consequence). Still, just 3 weeks into the semester, I'm more prone to agreeing that the professor being disorganized is pretty bad; sure, I might still get an A out of the class because I read the textbook, but if I didn't ENJOY the time I spent in class? Pointless.
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Ugh, I'm back to drinking Brisk iced tea, and now Wild Cherry Pepsi (haven't had THAT since high school) to keep myself awake T-Th when I have classes that last 2-3 hours at a time with short breaks. It sucks because I thought I'd been getting enough sleep and eating somewhat healthier, to the point where I wouldn't need boosts that also rot my teeth. Urgh.

I don't want to get crazy-stressed, but the past few days haven't helped-- there's always so much to do. I've got to finish raking off the garage roof, clean my bathtub, clean my room, put my laundry away, do my handwashing, figure out a system for a clothesline in my tile tub, send my glasses prescription to school, get new glasses, see if I can vacuum the house (I bet Dad forgot to take the giant vacuum Baba wanted him to have, and waited months to give him) and... figure out wtf is wrong with the wireless on my NEW LAPTOP!

Last night as soon as I came home I set it up and transferred all the data from my old MBP, but while the old one connected to the home network just fine, the new one wouldn't. I tried changing the router settings-- the SSID and the password encryption, but that just screwed things up further. This morning I called AT&T tech support (gawd, I want to switch to Time-Warner Cable), and I had to change the SSID back, the encryption back to WEP-Open, and the channel back from 11 to 10. That fixed it for my old MBP, but not the new one... and I have no idea why. It's not like there are any proxies, AppleTalk, or other weird settings... I hope it's not the AirPort being half-malfunctional or anything. I've got an appt. at the Apple store today, and if all works out well, I'll also renew my ProCare and get Diner Dash. :) What's weird is that it works here on campus, and it SORT of picked up someone else's network near home for a bit, but not for long enough (to get the updates for the AirPort Express). I wonder if the updates (which I managed to get here at school) will help?

On the bright side, the new computer DOES mean I'll be able to play with my .Mac sooner, check out all the goodies iLife '08 offers, and see what's new with iWork '08. I'll also hopefully be able to work on WDKY and the BSSM Another Story novelization. But, speaking of other writing projects, all the weird dreams I've been having lately (a lot of apocalyptic stuff, for some reason) got me revising "Prophecy Girl," and the extended ideas (which will involve revising the first two chapters a bit) make the story a LOT more solid. I might end up switching between it and WDKY (since PG was around first, anyway) in times of blockage.

During all the stress last night, I played some FFX-2 while the data was being transferred. I forgot why I was where I was (I'd already beaten the Ruin Depths), so I headed around to get more Oversouls (I have about 20 left, including the dreaded Concherer). I only managed to get 1 so far, due to the randomness of battles, so later I hope to get more... :P it's my way of de-stressing. I'm planning on figuring out more Mix strategies to beat the tougher Oversouls, though.

Right now I'm in my JOUR 410 (Investigative Journalism) class, and I need to come up with 3 story ideas for our upcoming proposal. As with so many other things, I'm dry out of ideas. Help?

Oh, as for the BEST NEWS OF THE DAY (even though I'll be busy until late and busy even tomorrow and this weekend with an NSCS retreat in Malibu where I'm responsible for figuring out dinner for 10 for only $40?)...
I GOT A RAISE! Nearly 30 cents, too! Not a ton, but way better than my last raise. :)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So my new computer probably won't ship until the 30th at the earliest, and if they DO ship it that day, that's the day they charge my card. Coincidentally (har har!) it's the day my bill for my credit card is due, and I can't buy anything more until said payment is... paid. So basically I'm broke-ish until the laptop is paid for and I can get my rebate, which sucks.

I also restarted work on the "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story" novelization project. I'm glad I managed to catch up to where I was (a little more than midway through Mercury's portion of Chapter 2 - In Search of the Stones) in less than two days, but running Dreamweaver at the same time as SNES9x is a pain, and it's hard to type and pause with my memory so low. So while I do plan on restarting/finishing that soon(ish), I'll wait until I get the new laptop, since that should make juggling the two programs easier.

Tomorrow I have my first day of JOUR 397B, aka the Daily Sundial, even though I've already been to the orientation and have been turning articles in. We're not meeting in the Sundial room afaik, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

After class, I'm supposed to go to a follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon back in Van Nuys, but a lot's happened in the past two weeks-- namely, Grandpa's gotten a LOT more forgetful and more spaced out. Of course I'm worried about him-- I don't really know what caused it or brought it on, and the family's got a lot of theories, ranging from overdosing on some medication to having a stroke and us just not knowing about it (is that really possible?). Either way, it's a bit sad to see him seem so listless and uninvolved in anything the way he used to be-- always reading his papers, checking his stocks, and watching his financial and political news programs. Now he just sort of sits there and channel surfs, and sometimes he doesn't even pay attention (Baba said he watched "Hannah Montana" for an hour today, which SCARES me).

SoI might not go to the oral surgeon tomorrow if Baba's taking Grandpa to the doctor's, but I think I feel fine-- I haven't had any residual soreness, tightness of the jaw, bleeding, or noticeable signs of infection. I still don't want to get slammed with a cancellation fee if I don't go, and even if I do go, again, there's the whole payment thing... urgh, can't wait until my next paycheck. I think with all the hours I've been pulling lately it'll be a bit better than my last one, but I hate how I only get paid once a month.

I am worried about Grandpa, of course... I mean, part of the reason why I'm here is to try and take care of them, though as I've mentioned in the past, I never want to baby them. Neither of them are "rest home" type of people, so Grandpa being "incapacitated" like he is seems hard enough on all of us. I don't like facing the very real possibility that his time is coming... but I should, just because this isn't like with Michelle (an accident, out of nowhere, unpredictable. Grandpa's old; he's led a great and full life and been a wonderful inspiration, help, and part of my life. He's been my ONLY Grandpa, because my mom's father died before I really got to know him (I was only a baby, I think). It sucks feeling like I'll have the responsibility of doing so much more for Baba if Grandpa does pass-- moreso than I did or even COULD have done for Mom back when Michelle died. But I do have to be there for her --for Grandpa as well, for as long as he is here-- because I guess part of me is still adamantly hanging onto what little "youth" I feel like I have left. I lost a big chunk of it when Michelle died, because I was 10 and suddenly had to act like an adult back then. Now I'm 22, and I have to act it and beyond, because it's not just Mom this time, it's Baba and all the kids (my aunts and uncles).

I want to think positive though, if just to provide a contrast to Baba's pessimism. I am scared though --and I hate to think it, but selfish. What'll happen to me if Grandpa DOES pass before I graduate? Can I help out with all the bill payments? Will I need to? Grandpa's not working anymore; I don't know where they get money from, or where it all goes to.

Dad is still coming up next weekend for Labor Day, and Shawn (who was supposed to come over today, but I think I gave him my post-surgery cold) and I will be going to Jill's on the 1st for a BBQ/Pool Party. I'm hoping Shawn makes a good impression on both sides of the family, either way. :P I mean, not like it's THAT serious or anything, but it's always nice to get that out of the way first. This isn't some "Meet the Fockers" redux or anything, you know?

Speaking of Dad, he's adamant that when Shawn gets better, he and I go to a bike shop to take the bike that's been sitting in the garage rafters to get totally overhauled. I've thought about it a lot, since bicycling is great exercise, and both my parents can shockingly AGREE on its benefits. I don't have the first clue how to ride though, so the first step would really be getting this bike shaped for ME. And maybe painted purple! :D Dad even says he'll pay for it, which rocks.

Hopefully things will stay... "good-ish" for the next few weeks at the least; Baba and Grandpa are supposed to go to Seattle for Rosh Hashanah, and Shawn should be staying over that week. It'll also be a Mokie-free week (huzzah!) because Baba wants to leave the poodle over at Debbie's, the groomer's we've been taking the fuzzball to. That'll be nice-- not to have to deal with Mokie's yapping and such. That's one reason why I like cats more-- even if they meow, they don't meow so loudly that it attracts attention from outside, or scares postmen.

What else? I woke up today remembering some of the 42 prompts I'd partially done, and how a) I never finished them and b) they were mysteriously not in my Memories. So I found and added them, and maybe when I finish WDKY25 (I surprised myself by seeing how long I've been complaining about that chapter since I finished with WDKY24 last year) I'll work on a few more of those "blurbs." I don't know if/when/where I'll post them, though.

For my next two Sundial articles, I have to contact the Westfield Topanga mall (did it by email, since I didn't find another contact person/PR number to call) and some astronomy teachers at CSUN... unfortunately, the Physics and Astronomy Dept. page at CSUN doesn't organize the professors by their subject, so I might just need to call the department office and find names of professors (preferably full-time; the prof. I had and emailed -who hasn't gotten back to me yet- is part-time) who are in astronomy and might have some insight on the upcoming meteor shower. BTW, every time I type that, I want to say "VENUS METEOR SHOWER!!!!!" I think it sounds a lot cooler than "Crescent Beam shower!" I mean, why would crescent beams shower? Or shower down, as it were? (I remember getting a Sailor Moon Collectible Card from Toys 'R' Us ages ago, and it had a "new" attack for Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter on there. Back in the day, before the rest of the series got dubbed/subbed, those kind of things got me downright GIDDY. It was like NEWS in the Sailor Moon universe!)

*sigh* I've been taking a lot of naps today, and I feel like I've hardly been productive, even if I did get work done on the BSSM:AS project.

On the plus side, I've been adding more fics to Dragonfayth, and Blue Eyes and Apricots is only 19 members away from having 500 members! So tell all your friends to join! :D More Azureshippers! WHOO! (We shall conquer the world!)

Cut because there's always another... meme! )

I just finished sorting through all my Sailor Moon cards. I don't know what possessed me, really, but I think it was mentioning those odd attacks. The wrong one on a dub card was "Venus Electrobolts Slam!" Doesn't that sound more like one of Jupiter's attacks? But it got her "Thunderclap, Zap!" one right. Go figure. Doesn't someone also have a dub attack ending in "Slam!" though?

I also wanted to find the anime-only special cards of the "wedding" from Sailor Stars (they're not images from any real episode, though). Turns out I had most of them in my sticker album, so I'll have to scan them eventually. The collection is quite interesting, and I have a plethora of counterfeit cards based off ONE of the Mercury cards, using manga artwork instead of anime. It's funny how there are so many cards with just the very top of Mercury's head, someone else pictured, and "Sailor Mercury" at the bottom (sometimes not even fully visible). I wonder if the stuff I've got -some of which is in REALLY good condition, in sets, too!- can be sold or something. Not like I do anything with it. And once I scan it... well, I'm happy.
azurite: (blue flower)
Whoo-hoo! Yesterday was just all-around great (except for one "thing" at work that was minor but made me grumble, but whatever, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter at all!). I was pretty excited in all my classes; my first teacher is petite AND energetic like me, and though Investigative Journalism seems a bit dry, it'll be sure to be challenging, as well. I'm looking forward to this semester! I'm also thrilled I got published in the Sundial on the VERY first day back- okay, not page one, per se, but my story WAS mentioned on the front page, though the actual story was on Page 6. And it turns out the editors AREN'T so anal with deadlines, because the EIC told me I could have come in the other day 5 minutes late, no worries-- but I'd run across campus from work, coughing and asthmatic. :P

I worked until 7pm, since those are the new hours M-Th this semester, and it was just non-stop busy! Yet I wasn't exhausted when I got home... Shawn came over after a bit, and we went to see "The Bourne Ultimatum" at the Winnetka theatre. We got dinner at Subway and had no problems getting it in, and the theatre was almost empty, so we had our choice of seats. The movie was really good, too! I liked it so much I reviewed it right away when I got home (using Flickster on Facebook; check it out!) and put the soundtrack (which also kicks ass) on my iTunes alerts. When I get paid again, I might get it, but for now all my money's going toward textbooks, my new computer/iPod, and my impulsive .Mac purchase.

And it's Friday, huzzah-- Grandpa's not going to be working at the pharmacy anymore, which is both unfortunate and good. Unfortunate because I think he'll be irritated with not being able to do things, but good because he can take care of HOME business like bills, cleaning up his massive stock-tracking collection (newspapers, magazine, etc.) He's been pretty forgetful lately, which is the primary reason behind his not working anymore- if he's not careful with his own (or Baba's) medicine, he can't be expected to be careful with other people's. It's sad, but safer and better that way, for everyone all around. I've tried to be as helpful as possible within reason-- I never want to baby them, because they've always been such independent individuals, but I can see the sense in making a list of all their medications so if one of them is sick or something, we can still know what to do. Of course, Grandpa was stubborn when I tried to do that, so Fred and Susy took over, but I don't know how much progress they made. I should probably email Fred and find out.

Music Meme! )

ETA: I neglected to mention (out of forgetfulness, not shame, REALLY!) that today is the one year anniversary since I last updated WDKY. I would like to say I have finished WDKY25 and will be posting it sometime before midnight tonight... but we'll have to see. Right now I'm taking the Word DOC version of Stubborn-Aesthetic's edits and making it into HTML (should have just asked for the HTML version, I'm too nice...), but there's still writing to be done.

Aside from all my usual distractions -family, personal stress, school, work- what I really need is a committed, single beta who is willing not just to concrit the usuals (spelling, grammar, punctuation, flow, diction, etc.) but also the story points, the characterization, and so on. I tend to write from an outline, so there are often parts of said outline left in my un-beta'd WDKY chapters, and I'd LOVE beta-reader input on how to go about answering those questions with prose, or addressing whether or not they're even pertinent to the story.

Frankly, I'm sick of not having a single person or small team of people to always go to. I realize people have lives of their own, so it's hard to always get the same people. That's why I'm looking for a committed few who think they can dedicate a few hours out of their lives every few months to helping me out with all that is WDKY, because trying to do it on my own can and has produced disastrous results. I want more than just one type of casual beta'ing, or JUST the straight "editorial fixes." I want someone to bounce ideas off of, ask questions of me, know the latest chapters and developments, have guesses of their own... everything. Know such a person(s)? Let me know. I'm going to finish this story... well, I would say "if it kills me," but isn't that ironic? The story is "What DOESN'T kill you." RDRR.
azurite: (autumn kitty)
The only reason why I am awake at 6:18am on the first day of school is NOT because of an ungodly early class (though 9:30am is bordering on it, for me) or because of work... I woke up from a nightmare, though not what I'd have expected.

I watched "Fast Food Nation" last night when I got home, and I expected with all the yuck to be dreaming about beheaded cows or blood or something. Nope, nope, none of that. I didn't even have the stereotypical first-day-of-school dream where you show up to school naked and don't realize it until everyone's looking and laughing at you.

The very warped mind of Mer... cut for some frank descriptions of gory stuff )

Anyway, judging by the early email edition of the Sundial, my first article about the renovated Matador Bookstore complex got successfully copy-edited (they didn't ask me to come in, which can either mean they loved it or they canned it-- glad to know it was the former) and is in the topmost news section (second article, because murders always take precedence)! *squee!* I wonder where it is in print?

Keep up with my articles by checking out http://sundial.csun.edu!

Ugh, gotta try going back to sleep.
azurite: (born beneath alder)
Well, my nose isn't so stuffy and/or runny anymore, but I do have a cough, which sucks. Nothing will make people avoid you more than you hacking everywhere. At least it's not phlegmy or anything...

Today I got to work a bit early and my "usual" desk was occupied, so I decided to switch-- this area isn't so bad. Still too brightly lit, but at least there's no super-cold air conditioner above my head. I had to spend a few minutes setting everything up the way I like (Quick Launch on my taskbar, certain extensions for Firefox 2.0.0.6), and it occurred to me I might never have shared my favorite extensions. I won't link to them, since they're so easy to find, but I'll give you the proper names, a brief run-through on what they do, and why I like them. Feel free to add your own suggestions!

Extend! )

I didn't get my laptop yesterday per se... they didn't have any 15" anti-glare MBP's in stock, so I ordered it online. I figured it was a better solution than waiting for an unknown number of days for their next shipment. I got the standard MBP, but I got suckered into getting .Mac ([livejournal.com profile] dqbunny, didn't you used to have that? Was it any good? Can I return it if it ends up being a bad idea...?) I got iLife and iWorks, too, of course, and when I actually GET the thing I'll buy a shell and possibly One-to-One and/or ProCare.

Oh, and I got a black 30GB iPod engraved. I could have gotten the 80GB, but... it hit too close to my max budget, what with the tax. Besides, even if I do start to download movies or TV episodes, I'd rather watch them on a widescreen TV or something-- not on a mini iPod. Music videos, sure... full-length anything? Not so much.

Anywho, got more of my PCH packages (honey roasted mixed nuts and collapsible leather photo boxes!), expecting all of my textbooks (gotta check Half!), and have to run to the walk-in center now. Buh-bye!
azurite: (textually active)
It seems a side effect of my surgery is that I got a cold-- a nasty one, too, that has me sounding like a frog (well, I think-- Steve at work and Shawn both said I sound pretty good) and blowing my nose all the time. Thankfully I have my own personal box of tissues, and no matter how big, I'm going to start bringing my Vaseline with me to work so my nose doesn't get TOO dry and red/flaky.

But I'm taking Zyrtec for the congestion, Vicodin for the horrid headaches from hell (hey, alliteration!), and Keflex for the general antibiotic. I feel like such a pill popper... :P

Also, it seems I couldn't get my new laptop today because my check hasn't cleared YET... but it will in... 47 minutes. Not that the Apple Store's open now, but that either means a) I can get up early... which I may do, just to get used to my new schedule starting this Thursday, and take a shower and head to the mall to get the new laptop so I can actually go to school with it... or b) be a bit more patient and wait until AFTER school so I can bring both the old laptop AND get the new one, so I can hang around the mall while they transfer the data from the old laptop to the new one. I think I should do b), no matter how gung-ho I am.

A few questions of random:
What do you think is more effective at school, a binder with tabs dividing each class, or a notebook for each class? I've always gone with the notebooks as of late, but plenty of classes have paperwork, so notebooks that DON'T function like binders (which is the majority of them, except that new "Flex" note-binder I saw at Rite-Aid last week) are useless. What do you use?

What do you think are the most flattering words to be called in reference to your appearance? (Girls only, please) I got to thinking about this because after the new shopping spree and my haircut, Baba (like grandmother, like father... my dad does this too) said that all the guys would be staring down the front of my (low-cut) shirt. Well, none of the guys at work did do that, but Zack surprisingly called my new haircut "cute." And only because I was so congested and miserable-feeling did I not go "squee!" on the spot. It's always nice to be complimented. But if I had to rate my squee, then here's my Top 5:
5. cute - not as in "fluffy kitten pink cloud" cute, but cute like attractive, but without all the syllables.
4. hot - always nice to feel sexy, yeah? (applies to all derivatives thereof, such as "hottie")
3. sexy - for someone that spent years thinking she'd die a virgin spinster, this one always makes me happy.
2. gorgeous - flattering, but it can sound somewhat plastic depending on the tone.
1. beautiful - the word just makes you feel wonderful inside and out, like nothing else can. And said the right way, it can do a whole lot more!

I got my NSCS gift card today-- it wasn't as large as I hoped (just $25), but it's money I didn't have before. Maybe I'll buy that "Diner Dash: Flo on the Go" game I saw at Game Stop the other day with it. I mean, I'm already going to be spending my own money on:
* new laptop (with no extra bells and whistles though-- the new default packaging for the MBP Core 2 Duo is fine by me)
* new iPod video (what color!? And should I get a dock...? Maybe I should wait till Christmas/Hanukkah)
* iLife and iWorks '08
* Renew my ProCare membership
* Casing for the computer, so I don't have any more "accidents"
That alone might get me close to the $2000 range, and since I only get paid once a month, I want to make sure everything STAYS in great condition

Today I learned that deadline means deadline, not one minute after. Even if my EIC was trying to show he had a sense of humor (and I doubt it, if he's anything like me... which most fellow journalism students seem to be in terms of "sense of humor," a quite scary thought) by threatening to drop my grade by 10% when the semester hasn't even started... well, I'm guessing they ARE anal about deadlines. 12:00 means 12:00, not 12:06. :P Well excuse me for being sick! On the bright side, I do have my other stories mostly done-- I'm waiting to hear back from a representative from the Klotz Student Health Center for my soda health article due on the 23rd, and then I have to contact people at the Topanga Canyon/Westfield mall and an astronomy teacher for the articles due on the 29th.

Just another reason to get to bed now so I can kick this cold that much sooner...

January 2016

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