OSM!

Aug. 4th, 2009 04:03 pm
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
So, I'm chilling here at SFO (San Francisco International Airport, for those that don't speak airport code). I shelled out $7.99 for a T-Mobile Hotspot Day Pass, because even though I don't visit airports (or Starbucks, or even Borders) quite often enough to get a Hotspot account/shell out $40 a month, sitting here for 3 hours nursing a Coca-Cola and reading the August issue of Wired just doesn't cut it for me. I need to be connected, which is kind of sad. I sort of miss my childhood. :P

Tech jargon )

More win and OSM )

I'm actually somewhat looking forward to going home, if just to sleep on my own bed (though the AeroBed Mom got was pretty damn comfortable, no matter what Eva said about it being too soft) and have steady Wi-Fi in all my usual haunts. Also, MAIL! And money. And work for a week, until I have to get my butt to DC. And in-between all that, family visits and the Orange County Fair. Should be fun.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is stuck in my head, along with a plotbunny for a multichapter Sailor Moon fic I meant to write for [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [livejournal.com profile] moodwriter, with her "Hate, Prejudice and Secret Intentions" (I think I got that title right) Dramione fic that I've been reading lately. Good stuff! I've also got to catch up on Stargirl's "Tsuki no Namida," an AR of the Silver Millennium, since the latest chapter is up for critiquing on one of [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!
azurite: (aries)
Last night was "Day 1" of the Fire Festival for me, even though it's been going since the 15th. I like the new location, even though the parking lots are awfully dusty. It's very big, leaving more than enough room for people to walk around without feeling squished. There also seem to be a lot more exhibitors than I remember from the last time I was there, including all kinds of nifty, crafty stuff that I liked: brownies with coconut butter and walnuts, waffle shirts that say "Sweet" on them (Dad bought me a green one), and a woman who makes jewelry fashioned to look like molecules. I'm kind of torn between the creativity necklace (featuring serotonin, acetylcholine, and dopamine), the caffeine pendant, or the estrogen pendant. And I'm very tempted to get this oxytocin onesie for my baby cousin Eva.

I worked at the Pantogram, an old-fashioned engraving machine. But not just ANY engraving machine, no: it takes a larger-scale image (say, of an Eye of Horus) and translates the movements as you trace the large image onto a brass pendant that's six times smaller. We only had three templates: an Eye of Horus, a hook, and a skull and crossbones, but it was pretty popular. By my count, we made 31 pendants over the course of a little less than five hours. Considering each pendant takes anywhere from five to fifteen minutes, that's pretty awesome! A lot of people liked the interactive-style of this event, which is why I had no problem doing it for hours: instead of just watching some expert work an old machine, people actually got to do it themselves! We had people of all ages, all genders and backgrounds making their own. We got some pretty good ideas for other templates too, but I don't know if it'd be possible to make new acrylic templates in one day.

I also got to see Jessica Hobbs again, back from when I went to a web design class offered by the Richmond Beacon back at Wash (a.k.a. my high school). She was the one that basically taught me how to use Dreamweaver and Photoshop! At first, I wasn't sure if she recognized me, or if she didn't WANT to see me ("ahh, reminder of things done nearly a decade ago!"), but she seemed pretty nice once Dad more or less pushed me into the general vicinity of her space. Apparently students coming back to "haunt" their teachers makes all teachers feel old or something. (Six years isn't that long!)

I didn't spend a ton of time looking at everything or even watching the main performance, but I did get to see the Life-Sized Mouse Trap in action. Remember that board game? The one that took forever to set up and only a few seconds to come crashing down in colorful burst of glory and destruction? Yeah, now imagine it life-sized. It was amusing, albeit short for all the set-up time. I was actually hoping the players might get to do a bit more than help heist the safe up into the air using the handmade (!) crane.

Food-wise, the selection wasn't huge, but it was varied (if that makes sense). I had the volunteer food of chicken pasta, fruit salad, and a roll, and a walnut brownie. Later on, Dad and I had a strawberry and melba crepe with whip cream. For a late-night dinner, we got food at this place that blended Indian and Mexican food: I had a sauteed mushroom quesadilla with other vegetables, while Dad had a pair of lamb tacos. Good stuff, though I hope there's more variety tonight. Obviously if I could live off desserts for a night, I would....

I'm just chilling at Dad's loft for right now. I finished my Week 2 iLab assignments for my DeVry Web Graphic Design/Visual Design Fundamentals class, but as always, I have lots of other things to do. Better hop to it!
azurite: (escaflowne - destiny)
It's only February 16th, but already I'm thinking 2009 is going to kick butt. For one, I'm going to Las Vegas in a few days. I want to have high hopes even though it's someone else's birthday. I'm planning on having fun, so that's what's going to happen. I'm determined! Also, Dad gave me what might end up being the most awesome present he's ever given me.

He was part of this rewards program that's going under, and he raked in TENS OF THOUSANDS of points. For any rewards program, this is a lot. Well, turns out with just a few thousand points, you can get eCertificates to sellers like Amazon, iTunes, and so on, plus DVDs. Dad told me to spend every last point, so... I did (almost). I got a ton of DVDs I've been wanting plus some eCertificates.

I had the genius idea to maybe use those eCertificates for NSLS as fundraiser incentives, but I'm still torn on that. I mean, for one, some of them (Sephora) might not be good incentives, because they're not really applicable to everyone... I suppose guys could find a use for a $50 eCert to Sephora, but the only way I can imagine is if they were buying gifts for another girl. Does that make me sexist? I'm sure there are things for men on Sephora....

So I'll wait for the DVDs to arrive and then I'll decide. In the meantime...

25 random things? )

Tag!
1 [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie
2 [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u
3 [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra
4 [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000
5 [livejournal.com profile] aelibia
6 [livejournal.com profile] arien_elensar
7 [livejournal.com profile] fountain_the
8 [livejournal.com profile] praiseofshadows
9 [livejournal.com profile] geniusgirl
10 [livejournal.com profile] bewareofdogz
11 [livejournal.com profile] katiat325
12 [livejournal.com profile] kitesareevil
13 [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny
14 [livejournal.com profile] lin_ko
15 [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler
16 [livejournal.com profile] staplerx (don't shoot! :P)
17 [livejournal.com profile] azhp
18 [livejournal.com profile] hikaru_jan
19 [livejournal.com profile] psyjoe_dilandau
20 [livejournal.com profile] zigx
21 [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux
22 Denise S.
23 Mike C.
24 Sheila F.
25 Carlos R.
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
So, I haven't updated in what seems like ages (that HSM post doesn't count, because I'd written that more than a week ago and just saved it, hoping for a time when I COULD post it) because The Powers That Be were conspiring against me or something, and Murphy's law was in full effect-- all that jazz. So I decided to start doing something about it.

Keyboard Mayhem! )

Michael Moore is hard to find )

A little lost memory card and some movies )

Noconnectlink )

An HTC Dream G1 deferred )

MELTING, MELTING! and other problems )

Fics that like to f*ck with your brain )

And that, as they say, is that. For now, anyway.

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: (azureshipping - fantastic)
I blame [livejournal.com profile] ceruleansan for this one. Her and [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain for providing me with Azureshipping to make me jealous of, and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra for writing "Clean" and "Unclean," which will forever be stuck in my head. THUMBS UP, LADIES!

This isn't Grimms Fairy Tale, folks... )

Tonight wasn't too bad at all. I finally met up with Erin and Joyce (actually, they picked me up after getting lost here in S.F. Haha! I don't know SF driving-wise at all. I think of everything in terms of bus routes) and we headed to IKEA in Emeryville and then got a bit lost trying to get to Dad's place in Alameda. Erin and I played with Roy a bit (Roy still loves me :D :D) and then we went to dinner at this small Thai place with a "cute" young waitress (Joyce kept saying she was "cute," even though I thought the girl wasn't that young; she was probably between 16 and 19, which I think is beyond "cute" age in the usual sense of the word). The food was good, though I had leftover Gai Yang, so I brought it home.

We went back to S.F. and I got to see Erin's new apartment (in which I broke the toilet somehow, because it was running/not flushing and my opening the lid and dropping some tube thing didn't help), which is small, but very nice. And when she gets all the stuff she put together from IKEA set up, it'll look very nice. I helped her schlep all the furniture up the 2 flights of stairs, since she doesn't have an elevator in her place yet (but it's still nice, even though it's tiny as all hell and she's paying $400 more than my mom is- and my Mom has 2 bedrooms and a sunroom!).

Anywhoozles, tomorrow I head to the DLP in Moraga-- alas, the people I was going to carpool with either switched DLPs or are going on Saturday, so I'll be going all by my lonesome (hah) on the BART and bus. No biggie, been there, done that. The hard part's always packing light, especially since this is supposed to be a big important business-type event, so I have to ONLY bring what I need. And I still "need" to figure out some way of using Gary's printer (an HP Photosmart C6100) wirelessly. I figured how to do it Computer-to-Computer (ad hoc), but then it messes up any computers that DO use it wirelessly via Mom's router. Anyone have any idea how to do this? The instruction manual seemed pretty useless on this front.

I hope I can get up early enough tomorrow to still get my nails (and maybe my brows) done, and if I'm feeling bold, I can swing by the Metreon to grab that Writer's Toolbox from Chronicle Books that I want. Maybe the more craft books/kits I have, the more inspiration I can get/dish? [livejournal.com profile] akavertigo and I are supposed to be challenging each other to get writing, but 1) her challenges were HARD HARD HARD (and I don't see how to fit them into WDKY at all, let alone WDKY25), and 2) I can't think of anything to challenge her back with atm.

Of course, I don't even know if I'll have Internet access this weekend, but regardless, I want to have my laptop so I can at least "write" things down. I would hate it if inspiration DID strike and I had nothing to write/type on but little scraps of paper like I did back in the day.

That said... I should probably get to sleep. :P I kept napping throughout today, which explains why I'm always so tired in the daytime, but relatively perky at night. If I just force myself to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour, maybe I won't feel so compelled to sleep in the daytime-- which, this weekend would be Very Bad (meriting caps, you see).
azurite: (ygo - kaiba smirk)
A little over an hour (and a half?) ago, my uncle Neal, Baba, Grandpa and I got back from UCLA, where we attended my cousin Erin's double-graduation. Double because she got two bachelors degrees: one in design, and another in anthropology, with a minor in urban planning. The first one was big and huge, but we cut out as soon as Erin got her name called-- the second dragged on despite it being "smaller" --they started late, and the speakers all just kept GOING AND GOING. Erin even had time to pass back a note to her mom (my aunt Joyce) that said "I thought I graduated already, so why am I getting lectured!?" when the dean just kept going and going and going...

And I still like all the excitement of graduation, even if the prospect of paying off student loans, finding a "real" job and moving out on my own (really, for the first time) is a bit daunting. I wonder if keeping my Japanese minor just to put that off for a bit longer is a good idea... I'm still undecided on whether I want to keep it as a minor.

Before the graduation, we went to my grandparents' cousin's 90th and 94th (!!) birthday celebration at this fancy restaurant in Westwood called Lawry's. It was very dark and wooden, though I think some rather rich kids (perhaps Beverly Hills ilk?) were having a party in one half of the restaurant, while various branches of the Sweet/Goldberg families filled up several tables in the other room.

Baba had chicken, Grandpa had fish, and I had this massive steak the size of my head that was so overdone (I asked for well-done, not BURNT TO A CRISP) that it was dry, and I ended up eating more creamed corn and mashed potatoes than I did steak. There was also a ton of fat on the steak, which... well, looks like white jelly, and is not appetizing to eat. So I tried to cut some of it off. I gave some steak to both Baba and Grandpa (because they asked), but even then, I got so filled up off everything else-- salad, a bread roll, and what little steak I could eat. Then I had to try and eat some dessert, but by then, we were running late to meet Erin for her graduation, which began at 4pm.

All in all, it was a very filled day-- fun, but filled. Toward the end, I was so cold and hungry, it made me irritable and a bit more complaining than I usually am (or would like to be). What's frustrating is how UCLA, quite unlike CSUN, is very wide and spread out, and not the least bit flat. It's all over hills, with major thoroughfares passing through it. They have traffic lights WITHIN the campus! CSUN just has a million stop signs. So it took a while for Neal to get the car after the second graduation (because Erin had to show him how to get to where he'd parked), and then he drove RIGHT BY US when he finally DID come and find the place. >_< We had to call to get him to turn back around and find us.

When we got home, I made myself a yummy nectarine-and-raisin bowl of Cream of Wheat and watched "Legally Blonde" with my aunt Joyce and my uncles Neal, Fred, and Dan. It was kind of fun, though IMDB.com says that the sequel wasn't all that great. ;_; Too bad.

Other cool stuff:
* Working on customizing more skins for Epiphany (which I *MUST* get up by the end of the summer) and Dragonfayth, including all new ones, like WritingPlus3, a new version of Safari, and maybe more!

* Fixed Epiphany's "elegance" skin using the oh-I-can't-believe-I-forgot-that CSS Box Model. Okay, so it still needs a bit of work. Can anyone on a PC with IE6 (*not 7* as I can test for that on my end) test for me? Let me know if you can check for me, please... :)

* Managed to convert (using CrossFont, a shareware program for Windows) HUNDREDS of Windows-only fonts into Mac-readable ones, which I immediately imported using the super-nifty FontExplorerX, which even detected duplicate fonts for me! Because I managed to actually USE said fonts and delete the duplicates, I saved some disk space.

* Talked to Scott (aka [livejournal.com profile] fountain_the) today-- it was nice hearing from him again! Plus he sent (in an email) photos of his tiny (looks like a loft) apartment. Cooking is apparently impossible there... which I can't blame him for thinking. It took me a while to get used to the tiny fridge, itty-bitty cabinet space, and minuscule cooking area myself. I told Fred that Scott missed his old job with SDMM, and Fred smiled (in that Fred way...) and said he would tell the gang at SDMM that Scott said hi, and YES, they did get his postcard, which everyone read. :)

Not-so-cool stuff:
* I've been trying to install more games on my Windows side, since I upgraded to Parallels 3. I managed to get the Doom Collector's Edition working well (in fact, I spent most of Friday at work blasting Imps and Demons), but when it came to one of my favorite simulator games, "Pharaoh" with the Cleopatra expansion, I couldn't do it. The first attempt stalled at 37%, the second at 80%. I read a tech support tip on the Sierra forums that said to try copying the CD contents to the HD and installing from there, but it tripped up on the LAST, most important file, data2.cab. :( I guess I could try finding the game again (my CD is somewhat scratched up), but I'm hoping there's another way to get this ONE stupid file. No one on this FL happens to have that game, do they?

* Room is a horrid mess. Haven't had the motivation to clean it, assemble my bookcase, put my clothes away... it's funny, because I have motivation for coding, but little else. And I *NEED* to have that motivation, because there's a lot to be done (Semester at Sea app, preparing for Philly, among other things).

* I tried selling my Hot Gimmick set on eBay and there were a bunch of problems-- I thought it was because of seller fees owed to eBay, an old B&N order where PayPal saw the authorization as still pending... but in the end, I think it was because eBay saved my old Yahoo! address under the listing. After finally figuring this out, I notified the seller with step-by-step instructions on how to pay to my PROPER PayPal address, but she said it still didn't work and she wasn't interested in buying them anymore. :( I hate to think if she'll negatively feedback me, but I can understand her frustration. The problem is, I relisted the item for Second Chance, and I had no opportunity to indicate my proper email. If the runner-up wants it, they might have the same problem unless I can notify them where to send the payment! Stupid eBay... they should change email addresses EVEN ON ACTIVE OR CLOSED LISTINGS the minute a user changes it in their profile. Or I could blame PayPal, for not catching the payment even though the Yahoo! address is listed as an alternate email on my account now. Of course, the user didn't say she GOT the same error, and she wouldn't say what she did get... methinks she was just so frustrated, she didn't bother with it. Shame.

Silver lining:

* Got Dad a killer trio of Father's Day/birthday presents. Can't wait to call him tomorrow and hear his reaction. I just hope he doesn't bring up some of the drama that's plagued us earlier this week... which I suppose I'll get into in another entry, when I figure out just what to DO about it. Have to talk to Joyce.
azurite: (kitty catch)
The best things in life are free
da da da dah
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Give me money!
That's what I want
That's what I want (That's what I want)
That's what I waaaaaaaant
That's what I want (That's what I want)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That said... I think I'll look at Ch. 13 and then go to bed.
azurite: (aries after sex)
Whoo-hoo, Giants beat the Padres 3-5! I wish we'd beat them 1-5, then I could have gone to the Levi's store at Union Square and gotten 10% or so off a purchase with a ticket stub, but alas... I suppose I don't need the new pants anyway (even though I really do, I think). But it was still nice having post-game bragging rights and text messaging Scott to tell him GIANTS WON HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA (among other things, which prompted the following reply: !...go Padres?)

So generally speaking, it's been a good Spring Break. I wish I'd gotten out more... hopefully if I get up at a semi-reasonable hour tomorrow (and Mom doesn't have me cleaning again *pray pray pray*) I can do some last-minute shopping at J-town and downtown, if I pack my other things in the morning. I hope the weather will be nice, because no matter what outfit I choose, it'll be a skirt. :P

Thankfully Dad wasn't PO'd at all when I called him earlier today to ask him about the plans for Friday... he still doesn't know if Kathleen is coming for Passover, though. o_O; And he refuses dead-on to come to S.F., so that means Mom'll be stuck shipping any leftover things of mine, rather than me taking it via car. :P Honestly, parents can be so immature at times...

But rather than rant and rail, I'm in a pretty good mood. I snagged YGO: Duelist #20 (yea for more errors by Viz so I can put them on WikiFic!) and The Prestige on DVD for only $19.99 (plus 30% off YGO!). And the game was pretty damn good, even if Bonds... well, he didn't do much. He caught one good hit somewhere in the last innings, but hitting-wise, he didn't do much. When he finally got to base, it was because he got a run. Everyone was booing. I think booing is tacky, but... whatever. It helped us score in the end, I think.

It's a shame I didn't get to see more of my friends and do more with my Mom, but that's the nature of Spring Break. I'll be back in summer, for sure.
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Woke up about a half hour ago because of a nightmare. So if I turn the heat off before I go to sleep, or set it on a timer, I wake up freezing. If I leave it on, I either wake up with a headache or feeling like aliens injected my brains with drugs.

In the dream, I was back at Baba & Grandpa's house, and Baba said something about me keeping my dog calm because Dad was coming over. In this, my dog was Perkins (a Gordon Setter), but female rather than male (as he was IRL). And apparently Perkins can turn into a very mean, face-eating dog when scared. So I started taking all the old pictures that hung in the rec room bathroom and barricaded that room with them. There was also a random block of heavy wood, which I covered with an ugly, thin comforter (peach, with some sort of white art deco design on it) from MY MOM'S HOUSE. Not that it would have made a difference-- it still looked like a block of wood, and why would anyone barricade a bathroom door with picture frames, anyway?

I remember seeing out the window, a champagne colored sedan (which my Dad has never owned), and retreating into the bathroom with Perkins, trying to keep her calm by petting her over and over on the head, even though she was starting to look around wildly and growl-- which was giving us away in the dark, cold bathroom.

And I heard the front door slam, and footsteps come toward us (all giant like, BOOM BOOM BOOM) and I just remember being scared that my own dog was going to eat me, or my Dad, or my Dad was going to kill us both.

...WHAT THE HELL?!

Well on the bright side, there's a part on WDKY25 about fear and nightmares that now I think I will be able to write. But still, WHAT THE HELL?!

And to add on to the mind-fuckery, about 5 minutes ago someone from Worcester, Massachusetts (I don't know anyone from Worcester, Massachusetts!) tried to call me ON MY CELL PHONE. And being somewhat freaked out due to the nightmare and not remembering how to cancel/ignore a call without opening the flip top, I did-- and it connected. So you can bet that even if I was connected for ONE STINKIN' SECOND, T-Mobile will charge me the international rate for the whole damn minute. And I don't know if people have been leaving me voice mails on my cell voicemail lately, but I don't want to pay the exorbitant amount to check! All the important people should have my Skype number anyway... (which expires on the 14th, damn).

But seriously now, what am I doing to deserve this? I can't sleep, my back or head is always hurting, and everything I do, I either get easily distracted from, blocked in, or I'm simply not satisfied with it. And yet I'm TRYING, it's really not for lack of effort or research or anything on my part. I've been trying new foods, going new places, doing my best to understand people in their native language, socializing more, keeping clean, keeping somewhat healthy, getting ready to go back to the States, preparing for all my classes -I finished that godforsaken Media paper, but I'M NOT HAPPY WITH IT!- and I'm JUST NOT SATISFIED.

Scott's right-- I wanted my last month here to be easy too, but nothing's working out like that. And I'm back to being awake, stressed out, and frankly, my chest really hurts and I'm getting sick of sounding like I'm making excuses for something that even I don't understand WHY it's happening! (And much as the idea of sleeping in --again-- tempts me, I'm actually quite sick of being holed up here in the dorms, saying I'm getting stuff done but never feeling like I'm accomplishing anything, no matter what I do. I'm also sick of transmitting those excuses onto my teacher, because even if they are legitimate, it doesn't change the fact that I need to be in class to learn and get a good grade.)
azurite: (sam & max - max)
Okay, so I went to the post office right after Japanese class to try and pay for the rest of my HK trip. The postal savings ATM wouldn't let me withdraw 63,000 yen; it said "You have exceeded your credit limit." I freaked out, because I didn't know whether that meant that
a) The Postal Savings ATM only lets you make X number of withdrawals, or withdrawals up to X yen (if you're a visitor to Japan/using a foriegn bank card).
b) I had much less money than I thought (or the exchange rate made what I thought was enough money "less")
or c) WaMu put a limit on the amount of withdrawals I was allowed to make from abroad

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also on the bright side, I might just be able to swing getting some presents for people online. I found this site that has a ton of coupon codes for all sorts of stores and websites (i.e. Amazon.com, Best Buy, etc.), but I don't want to get all excited over it until I look through it some more. So if you see another post on it soon, it's because I've approved of it and it's cool enough for me to want to tell everyone and their dog (or cat) about! So far it's looking good, what with coupons for 1-800 Flowers (which I use often) and even some CLOTHING stores, which might help for presents for a Certain Someone Who Shall Not Be Named. I still have to mail out packages and things like that, but generally I think I'm good. Mom'll be sending me macaroni and hot chocolate, and I'm hoarding my Kasumi discount cards and buying the cheap stuff late at night to save money. Yay for 9pm Late Night Sales! Now if only I could get a Suica card to save me time and money when buying train tickets. Maybe when I get paid this Friday, I'll buy a JR Seishun 18 Kippu so on the days [livejournal.com profile] baine and I are in Asakusa, I can get around easily. Unlimited travel on 5 days (doesn't need to be consecutive) during the travel period on all JR lines (shinkansen and super-express excepted), for only 11,500 yen! Not too bad, I'd say, especially considering you can spend 1/10 of that just on ONE-WAY to Tokyo from Mito (on the slow train).

Dilemma!

Dec. 1st, 2006 08:32 am
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Okay, so I've been religiously checking my WaMu account back in the States everyday for the past week, to see if that transfer I made from my last paycheck cleared. Well it did today, as promised by the girl at the post office. And of course, WaMu took $10 from it as a fee (and I'd paid something like $23 just to MAKE the damn transfer in the first place. Geez, how useless!). But hey, the money's in there, and it's enough to pay for the rest of Hong Kong.

Here's my pickle.
(1) If I go to the post office today, withdraw the money I need (about 63,000 yen) and pay for the trip today, I will have something like $40 left in my bank account. I have $25 in Savings. That's it. But I have to pay for the trip by 12/5 (Tuesday), or lose it all.
(2) I have a $121 phone bill to pay by 12/10.

BUT!
(1) I do get paid on the 8th. If I go to the post office and make a transfer again, I *MIGHT* be able to pull something off... this time I actually know the Bank Code, so theoretically I could do a wire transfer. But wire transfers STILL might take up to 5 days, and even if American and Japanese banks/post offices are open on Saturdays (for a limited time compared to weekdays, aka "business days"), the money might not get there in time for me to pay my phone bill.

(2) Dad said he'd help me out after I emailed him, but he didn't say when or how much he'd put in. And while I could easily ask Mom, I've ALREADY DONE THAT, and for a SHITLOAD of money, and I DO NOT WANNA DO IT AGAIN.

The bright side is that any leftover money I have from the next 2 paychecks I'm going to get, I'm saving for the actual trip to Hong Kong (food, transportation, etc). Of course I also have to save some for my December (and possibly portion of January) bill for Yahoo! BB, since I only get the first two months (October and November) free. I don't expect it to be much, but that doesn't mean I can go out and buy Louis Vuitton purses and Prada key holders.

GAAAH, WHAT DO I DO!?
azurite: (aries)
Testriffic IQ test


Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz




BWAHAHAH! (I would like to point out that there is an unintentional TYPO on that quiz. If you can spot it and still get the "right" answer, my salutations to you!) I would also like to say that those kind of quizzes should be mandatory before allowing people to post fics on FFnet. If they can't pass something like that with a 60% or higher, they shouldn't be posting FICS on the 'Net, because really, Brain Bleach LTD. has enough customers as it is.

Also, Comic-Con 2007, hmm... one of the biggest, most packed cons EVAR. If I end up moving to San Diego, I would totally want to go. I'd have to register before Apr. 3 to get the best price, but I could totally pull it off if I were living in S.D. with Scott. Maybe I could even drag ask him if he would like to come along (hey, it's COMICS and SCI-FI *AND* ANIME! Something for the both of us!). That would be a dorky thing. But fun!

Well, speaking of guys, just what are appropriate gifts, anyway? I need to get Scott, my grandpa, and my dad something additional. I already got my dad two somethings that are "Japan-exclusive," but I'm stumped with my grandpa and Scott. I've already done the whole tie/wallet/gift card thing in the past, so that's out. Any ideas are welcome.

And you thought the Mind Map was crazy looking! )
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Okay, I *JUST* woke up from a set of really weird dreams. It's 6 in the morning here on Labor Thanksgiving Day here in Japan. No classes or EC, so yay to that, but it's cold and I have lots to do, anyway.

So, let's see, here are the snippets of dreams I remember:
-Going to see a movie with someone (Scott?) and watching a movie about dragons. Not Eragon, which I know is/was out in the States and is coming soon here to Japan, but something similar. I just know it wasn't Eragon. And there was a preview for a new Quentin Tarantino movie which I remember distinctly, for a "Kill Bill" sequel of sorts-- only more like a prequel, because it was all about Lucy Liu's character, and when the big red words "LUCY" and then "LIU" appeared, everyone freaked out and the crowd in the theatre went wild. And then JET LI was in it "as himself," but really as Lucy Liu's boyfriend/lover, only something had happened to him while he was separated from Lucy, so he was bald but had a scar on the upper right of his head... where a THIRD EYE popped out when he willed it. And when this eye opened all the way, it was the size of a sand-dollar (and I mean that LITERALLY, not in that figurative sense) and very snake-like looking. I remember there being some sort of "vortex" scene transition effect, and the viewers all got sucked into the eye as Jet Li told Lucy Liu his story. Either part of the preview or part of the movie itself ("sometime in the not so distant future..."), Uma Thurman was back and shooting the hell out of Lucy Liu's apartment. Apparently this was when she was trying to live a semi-normal-looking life-- not Miss Queen of the Japanese Underworld. And Uma had to retreat, leaving Lucy to both clean up the mess of her apartment (before her little ol' landlady, a mean bitch in her own right, found out) and explain things to Jet Li. And Jet Li apparently got Uma to run away by throwing a full-sized vacuum at her. o_O;

-I also had a dream involving me talking to my dad, which isn't that far from what I sort-of planned; I was going to either email him or call him today/tomorrow and ask him for a bit of financial help, since, well... he's not helping me out directly here in Japan. I did tell him how Mom helped me with the cell phone bill, but not to guilt-trip him or anything; I told him because a) I do not lie and b) he asked what was up, and at the time I called, that particular situation had been stressing me out. (Of note is the fact that dad CLAIMED he called my Skype number numerous times and left voicemails, but I never saw them. Skype WAS buggy, but even when I missed calls or got new VMs, it notified me. I don't know if he's tried to call since --I called him a few days ago-- but I have never seen any calls/VMs from Dad.) Anyway, the dream oddly took place back at 523B Webster back in Petaluma (*sniffles* I was getting a bit nostalgic about it during yesterday's EC in 4th period. We were talking about fruits, and I mentioned how my backyard there had a blackberry hedge, a plum tree, AND a strawberry box. We also had an avocado tree, tomatoes, and some hot peppers), I remember being in the bathroom pacing and telling Dad all these reasons why I needed him to be a bit more of a presence in my life. I remembered that "Why a Daughter Needs a Dad" book (on my Amazon wishlist :P) and then thinking "I should probably shut up and not say things that I don't know for sure," such as "I want to get married soon, and if you're not part of my life, who will give me away?" because yeah, presumptuous much? (But like I said, I don't lie... I have been thinking about it. A little.)

Maybe it's not so unusual after all, but it was enough to get me up and typing here, so... yeah. (Well that plus it was FREAKING COLD in here -maybe 13 C/55F?- and my roommates mysteriously left ALL the kitchen lights on AGAIN...)

Anyway, I wanna go back to sleep. :P My stomach doesn't hurt as much anymore, but I do want to rest as much as I can today, so that later on when I *DO* have to be awake, I can be gung-ho about all that I have left to do... which, frankly, IS A LOT.

I do hope I can get ahold of Joyce and family (I wanna know if my flowers made it already) and also Scott and family, if possible (because I sent his mother flowers, too). I would feel guilty about not having arranged to have sent Mom something, except she had the most expensive Christmas present out of everyone, and I already sent it to her. And yeah, I'm BROKE now, so it's not like I could have afforded it, anyway.
azurite: (shizuka snarks)
Baba and Grandpa wanted me to go Anonymous or use a sockpuppet account to defend myself or bash the wankers who bashed me, but I'm not going to waste the time or energy. I'm over it already.

GMail is acting funny. Searches take forever, and I'm getting timeout errors when I try to access my email with Thunderbird. Any other GMailers having issues? Maybe it's just my connection?

Scott shared something cool with me re: Pirates of the Caribbean. But I suppose there are some spoilers so here it is behind a cut. )

When updating [livejournal.com profile] weekly_ygo to the newest edition, I could only go 167 entries back on the Friends' page, no further. I tried going into the Customization options and changing the number of entries displayed to 100, but I guess it reverted to a default maximum of 50, and it wouldn't let me go past 167 even when I manually entered the number (?skip=180) in the URL. What the heck? Sorry if I miss any entries or anything, but I don't know what happened. :P Any ideas on how to fix it?

Uh... yup. I think I'm going to finally see Superman this weekend. But probably alone, unless Grandpa (and Baba???) want to come with me.

Dad's coming down in 2 weeks, and he's being nice to me again.

My room's still a mess though, and I need a better bookcase than this cardboard thing Debbie "sold" to me.

:) I love my friends.
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Happy Father's Day!

I don't think there are (too many?) fathers on my FL, but in case there are, or even for the girls who have dads out there, this is my wish from me to you/them! :)

Today for Dad's day, I actually spoke to my estranged and bald father (what, it's the truth!). Thankfully, he wasn't mean to me over the phone, but our discussion was about as warm and fluffy as stale bread. Not ice cold or anything, but more half-baked than anything else. He said he was going to be busy for the whole summer; I told him I knew when I was leaving to Japan; he said to keep him posted. That was pretty much it. I told him Happy Father's Day, but after he threw such a snit this past week over me calling him TWICE (to find out his address so I could send him a PRESENT), I decided not to bother with it at all. Knowing him, he would misinterpret the picture I selected for the travel mug I wanted to get for him anyway; an old one of me, him, and Michelle. I was only 1 year old or so, so I don't remember it, but it must have been before my parents divorced, if Michelle was at a Sweet family gathering. I looked very cute and small in the picture, and Dad was holding me and pointing at the camera for Michelle, who was grinning like a hyena.

...He did say something very nice about her on Passover during the blessings, but I don't want to think he's above insulting either me or my mother. Doing it via my sister would just make me hate him even more, so I won't jinx it. Dad doesn't even get me birthday presents or anything, so why the hell should I return the favor? Maybe if I'm feeling generous later in the month, I'll get it for him for his birthday on the 29th.

Maybe Cancers and Aries just can't get along?

HAH! I was right! )

Anyway, back to Dad's Day... I intended to treat Grandpa and Baba out to dinner at Olive Garden, but even after we got there (we knew there'd be a wait; Grandpa and I went to the mall. I had to pick up some more Proactiv and some soaps from Bath & Bodyworks. But apparently they'd paged Baba while she was waiting, and since we weren't there, we all had to wait an extra 10 minutes), they refused to let me pay! I mean, it was nice, considering I'd just dropped $82 at the mall for my own personal needs, but geez! It kind of ruins the point of father's day when the father pays for the food! :( Oh well, we all enjoyed ourselves- we literally stuffed ourselves with salad, bread sticks, pasta, and raspberry cheesecake. I had cheese ravioli and coke, Baba had unlimited Minestrone soup and salad, and Grandpa had apricot-braised chicken with seasonal veggies.

Back to the mall though-- bad experience with the guy at the kiosk cart. Long story short, he accused me (none-too-subtly, either) of cutting in line! Jerk. I came there knowing exactly what I wanted. I didn't have questions to ask, large bills that may have been counterfeit, or anything of the sort. He was such a twat, I wish I could report him somehow. But I settled for complaining on [livejournal.com profile] no_tip_for_you.

I've been rewatching Sailor Moon (Season 1) for alt.fan.sailor-moon (AFSM) and having a grand time learning all these things I never knew, and looking at the series in a new light. While SMR is my favorite season to write fic for, and SMS is my favorite season to watch, I've been getting plotbunnied by the same insane Usagi x Seiya idea I've had for a while, something I intended to write for [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly (even though I don't do well with deadlines for fic). The more of SM I watch, the more it pesters me, even if the season is totally wrong! So I'm looking forward to watching SMR and getting into it for real.

Oh, and for the record, see my icon? Yeah, well, I've been commissioned (sort of) to do one like that with the Yu-Gi-Oh cast.
Sailor Moon - ???
Sailor Mercury - Rebecca
Sailor Mars - Mokuba
Sailor Jupiter - Shizuka
Sailor Venus - Mai
Chibiusa/Chibimoon - Yugi
Black Lady - Yami no Yuugi
Sailor Uranus - Jounouchi
Sailor Neptune - ???
Sailor Pluto - Isis
Sailor Saturn - Anzu
Tuxedo Mask - Seto

Anyone got any suggestions for pictures to manip, or rearrangements of this here cast? :D
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
Fuck it, I'm not F-locking this idiocy. You all want to know about the stupidity and immaturity of my dad? Fine, here it is. I suppose I'm being stupid and immature too, ranting about it here in my LJ, but it IS my personal bitch space, so I'm going to use it as such. If I was considering giving my dad a 2nd or 3rd (or umpteenth) chance after the debacle Passover week/end, I'm certainly not now.

I come downstairs to make dinner; Dad's on the phone. Baba says that he "wants to speak to the twit." I responded back (snappy, not angry or bitchy) that I don't answer calls from people who can't come up with anything better than monosyllabic insults. Of course, I ended up picking up the phone anyway, but instead of saying "Hi, how are you?" the first words out of his mouth are "I thought we agreed you wouldn't move the computer upstairs."

Er, no? When he mentioned my idea might not be such a good one, I took it into consideration. But the fact is, the family only comes over TWICE A YEAR, with the occasional stay-over from random relatives for a night or two --AT THE MOST. I am the one that uses the computer the most, for school work and for fun. I am the one that KEEPS IT RUNNING SMOOTHLY when the relatives visit and stupidly and unknowingly stuff the computer with viruses and spyware. They have done this on practically EVERY OCCASION without fail, my so-called DAD included.

I may not have paid for the computer itself, but let's see what I have paid for:
-Wireless adapter $50
-McAfee Suite 2006 $70
-Microsoft Office $89
-At least 3-5 bundles of 100pk blank CDs $15/ea.
-Macromedia Studio 8 $235
-At least 2 reams of paper $10
-At least 2 ink cartridges $58
-Wacom Tablet Mouse and Pen $99

And probably more I'm forgetting. Plus there are the things that didn't necessarily cost money, but took up time, and provide help, resources, or entertainment to everyone else who ever uses the comp:
-Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate Edition
-Games (like The Sims, which I did pay for; Doom, which I did pay for, etc.)
-Spyware removal (Lavasoft AdAware, Spybot S&D, Windows Defender, SP2, Windows Update)
-Belarc Advisor
-Drivers that support better audio and video
-Drivers to keep the existing hardware running smoothly
-Better media players
-Support for iPod and iTunes
-Support for downloading large episodes/movies, etc. (file downloaders)
-Firefox and Thunderbird + Extensions and chrome fixes
And on, and on...

On to the point, I told Dad that I asked Baba and Grandpa if it was okay before I did it. It took some convincing, but they agreed. Why? Because IT MAKES MORE SENSE.
a) It's less dusty up here
b) I won't bother anyone with lights on, noises playing and echoing off high ceilings, etc.
c) less bugs!
d) I actually am in MY ROOM, with the desk MADE for the computer, where I can go STRAIGHT to bed when I feel tired

Finally, Grandpa really doesn't use the computer much anyway. It's also an old piece of crap, but I'm slaving away keeping it running, even while I bog it down with Sims and music. I still streamline it by removing programs and files frequently, running scans, defragging, updating, and burning CDs. Grandpa LIKED the idea of getting himself a laptop. I would get my OWN laptop for Japan, paid for ENTIRELY with my own money-- the same way I paid for my LAST laptop!

I told Dad this -that I took into account what he said, but I still asked Baba and Grandpa, and it was fine with them. He keeps going back to how I supposedly "promised" (which I did not) that I wouldn't move the computer, as if he comes often enough for it to matter to him, or if he has any freakin' say about what goes on in the house, or what Baba, Grandpa, and I say or do. I told him that I would always listen to his good advice and help, but not his insults or arguments.

He hung up on me.

I don't care anymore. The idiot's getting worked up over a 5-year old computer that isn't his, that he doesn't maintain. He hardly knows how to do anything on computers outside of Firefox and AutoCAD, and maybe some MS Word. I AM TECH SUPPORT. It used to be a joke, but it's not now. It's my job. I know what I'm talking about. I'm constantly learning-- I love it, and I'm getting paid for it. I wouldn't want to go work at Dell or anything like that, but I hate how he treats me like I don't know anything about computers, this house, my grandparents, or what it means to be an adult.

I'm 21. I'm an adult. I'm a fully grown woman. I would appreciate having a parent in my life who cares about and for me, but obviously my father is not that person. So forget him. He's the one that's going to miss out-- NOT ME.

Inept.

Apr. 23rd, 2006 09:46 pm
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
For all the greatness I've got in getting into Tokiwa, I think I'm lacking in the creativity and/or motivational departments at the moment. I seriously need a new layout for my LiveJournal. I hate using some rehashed one ganked from some site- every time I've found one that I liked (rare) and managed to get it up, something's gone wrong. Too wide, too narrow, this not showing up, that not showing up...

...I wonder if I could commission someone? Maybe for about $10? (I'm flexible, but I'm thinking base price, here. If I come up with colors and graphics...) Any takers? (Mer <-- LAZY!?)

GRR! I like the Smooth Sailing Layout and want to customize it to my liking. I've been rummaging through the few tutorials on [livejournal.com profile] s2smoothsailing and found myself at [livejournal.com profile] the_lj_reboot, but even with resources, there's not much help there for me to "reboot" my LJ into anything spectacular. I don't even have any ideas as to colors, artwork, fonts, etc. for the journal... I've tried about four or five things now, and nothing "hits" me. I've even gone through premade layouts on my comp and thought about adapting them.... but nothing.

Same goes for my websites, which an unusual amount of people have been asking about. I pay $6/mo for the service, I damn well better upgrade everything and make it functional and look good. I should add a counter to all the pages, too. I just wish I could buy bottled inspiration or something.

Well, so Passover wasn't too much of a bomb. Dad and I sorta got along by the end of the week; no more explosive and/or embarrassing fights, but there's still a lot I can't agree with him on, and think he's utterly immature for. Scott really was my godsend; he even helped paint the rec room bathroom when the fumes got to be too much for me. There's still more fixing-up to do-- the air filter in the main hall needs to be replaced, and the mirrors and paintings in the rec room bathroom need to be hung up again. We also need new socket and switch plates, and I need new luggage (Target EMBARK series in Lilac, only $30!) Plus the kitchen's a right mess, and I'd like to move the computer upstairs to my room-- just to test it out. I need to put clothes away, organize my desk, blah blah...

I think I said 3 weeks ago that I'd be done with WDKY24, and it's not there yet. I feel rotten about it, too, but I'm still lacking in inspiration, even if I seriously want to get to the parts BEYOND 24 (AUGH, THE BEST PARTS!) and have the "outline" written for 99.9% of the chapter... of course it's the toughest parts that I keep skipping and not writing. But writers never make promises! :P (Except for implicit ones)

Ah, as for Tokiwa, I'm supposed to go from Mid-September to late-January. Missing Hanukkah/Christmas would be a big bummer to me, but since tuition/air fare/etc. is free, I might be able to swing a plane ride home and back... if I get financial aid. Why would they award me financial aid if a) I won't be at CSUN, and b) Tokiwa's tuition for me is free? Same goes for the Presidential Scholarship... what is the point of having the priority registration, the Matador Bookstore discount, etc. if I go to a school with FREE tuition? That's not to say I won't work on my project for the Scholarship-- better to try and do it IN JAPAN like I originally hoped; maybe some of my professors there can help me better understand female writers of their country. But financial aid is how I survive... even if I would get a stipend IN Japan for teaching conversational English, how would that measly amount help me for nearly 6 whole months? ;_;

Dad never got me a birthday present. :P So I treated myself at Border's, using 2 coupons: I got 15% off Carmen Electra's Vols 4 & 5 of her Aerobic Striptease (Lapdance and Hip Hop. Teh yey!) and 25% off the Back to the Future trilogy. I wanted to get Indiana Jones, but they didn't have it-- not in Action/Adventure, and not in the Boxed Sets area, even though the computer said they had it in stock, and I had the guy (who was a jerk) check the back room. :P

And now... it's Back to Back to the Future. I'm too bored to just keep sitting here. Maybe I'll eat some pie now.
azurite: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra! Okay, I have to admit, it's all [livejournal.com profile] pantsu_icons' fault. I found a Kaiba base in the first set of panty-stretching icons at the community (join! It's friends-locked, but SO WORTH IT!) and decided that it was inspirational. Or maybe your fic "Clean"/"UnClean" was the inspirational one, and the icon just fit?

In any case:
I think it's a bit fast in places... I don't know, I could go for 2+ opinions. I did get it under 40K though, so it's fully gankable, with credit to [livejournal.com profile] pantsu_icons and [livejournal.com profile] delishidoodle.

(I suppose this is my naughty way of thanking you for the delish b'day present. One day I'm going to have to icon that one...)

Ah, I think the drama with my dad is over. I called after class today and he picked up the phone. I didn't expect it, so I asked to speak to Grandpa to ask if I should get a ride home, or walk (it was still light out; I wouldn't have minded either way). Dad commented as he handed the phone away "Here, Meredith's not talking to me!"

Well, I said hi to him and Steve when I got home, and I helped Dad rent "The Ice Harvest" On-Demand. So he's not furious at me anymore, but like Baba said, no apology. I guess it's better if we let both our childish tantrums remain in the past, where they belong.

And you know what? I have no homework, so I feel like dueling. I hope [livejournal.com profile] immicolia is still online :}
azurite: (born beneath alder)

In the year 2006 I resolve to:

Slap stupid people in the head.



Get your resolution here



Damn straight.

Well, a surprising number of people wanted to read my essay that I submitted for E&L publishing, so here it is:
Success Comes Second )

So I went to Palomar today with Dad and Steve; it was cold, but not cold enough to warrant snow (shucks!). The observatory is open for a small self-guided tour, but the actual 200-inch telescope is completely computer-operated, and despite the dome being opened almost 300/365 nights of the year, there were no astronomers there when we went. We were over 5,500 feet above sea level-- the air was very crisp, cold, and refreshing. It was a long drive there for such a short tour, but it was interesting looking at the sheer size of the telescope (formerly the largest in the world, up until a few decades ago) and the computer exhibits-- we've had 10 "planets" in our solar system for a while now; I wonder whether Xena and Gabrielle (planets, right? Not moons of Pluto, which may not even be considered a planet anymore?)-- the 10th being Sedna with its whack orbit. Now we have... 11? 12? Geez. And to think there's so many moons of Jupiter, they're not even all named yet!

I slept for most of the trip there, but on the way back I wasn't so lucky. The winding mountain roads made me nauseous, but luckily I kept myself in check until we got to a gas station where I could get some chewing gum. Mint seems to help in stomach crises. Dad only started being a complete bonehead AFTER we got home... -_- But whatever, with him, it blows over pretty fast. And besides, I'm going to San Diego tomorrow night. I still haven't gotten my ticket from Amtrak yet (!!) but if it doesn't come by 5pm tomorrow, I can buy the ticket (again!) on the train, and get the ticket my mom bought refunded to her card. It's either that or pray Baba's hookup with "Rhonda," the travel agent near the station can help us out.

In any case, I've updated the PHPFanbase script for Blue Eyes and Apricots and this time around, I actually want to make use of the header and footer.inc files and the style sheet, so I don't have to program EVERY DARN PAGE every time I want to change the layouts. I was thinking of using the sensual image from Garfours of Seto x Anzu-- it's not particularly seasonal (though the light green might imply "spring") but I think I can make it work. I have a template layout I've got lying around, so it's just a matter of Photoshopping and going into ImageReady and then figuring out how to take all the images and making them work with the header.inc and footer.inc files. Anyone use those before?

I also have to re-edit the files for:
* The country flags
* The drop-down menu for the Favorites Field

So once I post this, I'll be getting to work on that. Keep your eyes peeled for updates-- and this time, I actually mean NEW content.
azurite: (blue flower)
Six years ago today-- on a Saturday, too, in fact, I got the worst news a ten year old could receive in her life. My half-sister Michelle died six years ago, and it changed who I was forever. I'm a different person because of it-- for better or for worse, and for the first time in all that time, I went to the place where she died.

It's called Land's End, and is basically a rounded cliffside that drops-- over 200 feet-- right into the Pacific Ocean. When Michelle died, it was shocking... unexpected, to say the least. She might have only been my half-sister, but she meant the world to me, and I had a hard time expressing it, because I was so childish. Like all people who lose someone, I had a million and one regrets-- things I wish I could have said, or could have taken back. I wish I could have apologized for that stupid argument the night before, wished I could have thanked her for all she'd ever done for me, and told her, above all, that I loved her.

Six years later, I'm still sad, but I guess the need to hide my sadness and loneliness isn't so great. My sister was the only one I could relate to about a lot of things, was the only one I could talk to when I had problems with boys, or mom, or my own friends. My mom didn't understand any of that.

When Michelle died, I felt the need to be strong for my mom-- not show any weakness. People passed by us, offering their apologies and condolences, but it all seemed so empty then. I kind of get irritated even now, when people get nervous just *asking* me about my sister, or when they do find out about her dying, say "sorry," as if it were their fault. I suppose it's only natural to react that way, since people who haven't experienced loss at such a young age (Michelle was only 19) don't know what to say-- they couldn't have known how it felt.

Over the years, there's a lot of things I wish I could talk to Michelle about... things I wish I could simply ask her, or maybe tell her. It tears at my conscience to try and imagine her voice in my head, and not come up with anything solid. All I have are memories, and they mean so much to me, good and bad alike.

When my sister died, there only seemed to be two people in my life who cared that *I* had lost someone too- my dad and my then-crush/boyfriend (if you can call it that in 5th grade, but that's another story), Chris. Chris is probably in Santa Cruz right now, doesn't even remember what DAY this is-- and we parted on bad terms, so I can't expect anything on his end. But I do kind of wish, even with all the hostility between my father and I that he would have called me today.

Even if he doesn't, in the last forty-five minutes there are LEFT of this day, I know that I take comfort in at least knowing that I *have* a father, whether he talks to me, thinks about me, cares about me at all, or not. I hope that he does call me one day-- or maybe write.

I know my sister didn't like him much-- even convinced me several times that my father was a downright bad person-- but now that both of them are out of my life, and Michelle is gone on a permanent basis, I can't help but want to talk to my father. If something happened to him, I'd still feel loss... regardless of us not talking in so long.

I'm glad my boyfriend was with me today. I found myself apologizing and saying thank you more times than I thought I would, and I especially thought he'd be uncomfortable with the whole idea of being with me on a day that held significance only for my mother and myself. We took a long walk all the way past the beach to Land's End, and just sat there for a while. I'm not ashamed anymore to say that I cried... I missed my sister, was angry at the world for taking her away from me, and was angry at myself for not saying what I should have that day six years ago. But the one thing that stays in my mind-- all this time-- is that you never know how much someone means to you until they are gone.

People hear that all the time, and never take it seriously enough. But it's true. People may lose grandparents, or distant relatives who die of old age, but when someone as young and close to you as a sister is suddenly *ripped* from your life, it's a greater shock than anyone can imagine. I told my boyfriend to go home today and tell his sister that he loved her. Even if she was mad, even if it didn't sound like he meant it, it would matter to her-- it would COUNT, in the end, regardless of how many days, weeks, months, or years passed between him saying that and the inevitability of death. 'It's the thought that counts' has never had more significance than now. So, unlike my other rant-like entries, I ask you, dear reader-- go home today-- or if you are home, leave this page, get up, and find a family member. Be it a mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle... anyone. Walk up to them, hug them as tight as the both of you can stand, and tell them you love them. There doesn't need to be any celebration, or any explanation. But just telling them will make the day a bit brighter... even if it doesn't seem that way.
azurite: (textually active)
Okay, by many, I am considered somewhat of a tech expert. I have found myself with the uncanny ability to hack into a school system (but not change grades), reprogram computers, take apart a hard drive, install a PCI chip, get past my mom's password on the Internet, and modify Microsoft Word so that it types in three languages at once.

Some of this is probably ridiculously simple to most, but then again, there is a limit to my abilities. Case in point: when I was working for my father, he blamed me for not having a backup of a certain HTML file that brought the whole web page down when the server crashed. I've never forgiven him for blaming me for something that is totally not my fault. What's more, he expected me to know three programming languages (I don't know ANY) so that his page could be in Korean! I don't KNOW Korean!

Everyone has his or her faults, yes? Well, this hacker-techie-wannabe has hers. My Windows Me computer at home has been acting more than a little fritzy lately, what with it booting up showing my old desktop, saying "Not enough memory" to run a non-existent program, and going into the Internet when there were messages on the phone line.

Not to mention all my HTML, DOC, and TXT files got turned into gibberish, I can't listen to anything besides WMA, RM, RAM, and WAV files (so much for those 316 MP3s) and, and... ;_; Waaah! Well, it all culminated into one big reboot last weekend, and I must have done *something* stupid in Setup, because now, I can't even get past the "VCI message" at the start-up-- rather, there's this thing about having an ATAPI BOOT CD, and not having any bootable media. I talked to Tech Support, and they said they would send the proper fix-it disk in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!? NOOOooooo!!

The only place I can use computers is school (here) so... yeah, that sucks. But I guess this is my just rewards for not turning in so much stuff to school, letting my grades slip and all... ;_; I have to learn my lesson, clean my room, Feng Shui my life... yeah.

Anyway, the newspaper has gone frooey again, since the tech teach increased the drive space to 30 MB (FINALLY). But until he de-networks these computers, we can't risk revising it again-- we can't save our works on floppies (incompatible) so we're stuck another week or more... waiting. Next year, a more energetic teacher is supposed to take over, but he wants to rename the paper "The Eagle's Post." WHAAAAT!? Hell, no! What's more, he wants to move the classroom (currently separated into a full class and a small office) to a non-secure bungalow (that ALWAYS gets wet when it rains)! It has taken me SOOO fu*king long to organize the archives in here, with old issues of the paper, yearbooks, textbooks, files, and computers. This room is my BABY, and even if I graduate next year, I want to do it with a BANG! and I'm not letting another airheaded teacher ruin it for me! YAH!

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