azurite: (san francisco)
For the next half hour or so, it's July 20.

For those that don't know (yet), July 20 is the day my older half-sister Michelle Elizabeth Smith died (fuck euphemisms). She fell from a cliff near Lands End in San Francisco, CA, which I consider my hometown, because I grew up here. (Michelle, being my half-sister, grew up partially in New York and partially in California.)

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

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

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

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

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

* Put the dishes away

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOAR LEFT:
* Dabble in revisions and/or additions to the following fics: Aftermath of Angels (FF8 x YGO), You and Me (body-swap YGO Azureship fic; thanks a lot for reminding me, [livejournal.com profile] mischiefmagnet!)
* Story-So-Far comparison of the book Paprika to the movie
* Revisions to previous chapters of WDKY + uploading to all the usual suspect sites -- someone on AnimeXX.de asked me if they could do a German translation of the fic! I can't read German to save my life, so should I say yes and just pray they do a decent job, or say no because I'd never be able to understand it?
azurite: (ygo - kaiba cry!?)
Tonight our dog Mokie (Mokee) was attacked by a neighborhood German Shepherd (I think it's a mix, but it might also be a young G.S.). Mokie was out on the front lawn just doing her business and was sniffing near a tree. It was shadowed over there, and I went to get her to make sure she wasn't in the street, and the next thing I knew, this dog comes tearing from across the street and starts attacking her.

Mokie is just a small, old toy poodle. She doesn't usually like other dogs, but she did nothing whatsoever to provoke this attack. This dog just came out and attacked her--three times, apparently, because Mokie yelped quite loudly and I kept kicking the other dog to get it away from us. Mokie was on the street, her eyes wide with shock and not moving, and I was so terrified that we'd lost her in that instant.

I picked her up while I yelled and kicked at the other dog, which didn't bite me or tried to get up on me. But it kept coming after me and Mokie, even when I ran across the lawn to get into the house. Baba and Grandpa, who were out on the front lawn with me because we'd been saying bye to Erin, Calvin, Joyce and Neal (they came over for dinner and were going to see a show afterward), saw the dog and recognized it as a neighbor's, but the neighbor was nowhere in sight. The dog had a collar, but wasn't on a leash.

We got inside and closed the door had put Mokie in her dog bed, and it was readily apparent she was very hurt--she was bleeding badly, stumbling, and only barely whimpering. Finally she collapsed in her bed and I frantically called everyone I could--Erin, Adam (who volunteers at a pet hospital), anyone. Baba opened the door again to see if the dog was still out there, and we saw the owner right in front of our house in a dark SUV. The dog was nowhere in sight, so we assumed the owner had gotten the dog back inside the car. I screamed at them, but they just sped away down the street toward Superior. Baba and I are going to where we think they are tomorrow and talk to them--hopefully they'll be honest and do something to help us. What kind of horrible human beings wouldn't?

Erin came back before Adam could call me back with an emergency-hours pet clinic, so we sped off to this place we remembered on White Oak. There was so much blood on my hands--I tried to put pressure on the one wound of Mokie's I could see, but I don't know if it helped. Erin assured me that Mokie was at least conscious and making noises, but I felt so awful that I hadn't kept a closer eye on Mokie, that I hadn't gotten that other dog off of her sooner.

Thankfully there was a vet at the clinic and we got in with no trouble, and the vet soon reported Mokie had been attacked three times--shoulder, rear, and flank, but there didn't appear to be any severe damage to internal organs, and as long as they got her on IV, she would be treatable, hopefully without surgery. She's staying there overnight now, but I want to know what to do about this other dog. I want the owner to pay somehow--if not for Mokie's hospital bill in full, then something. A vicious dog like that should not be wandering around the neighborhood at night, let alone without a leash or an owner nearby.

I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. Please, if you can spare a moment, pray for Mokie. Thank you.

Babymaker!

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

Well first there was a vacuum... )

I have a very strange brain.

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: (blue flower)
Thirteen years ago today, my older half-sister Michelle Smith died.

By this time thirteen years ago, I, at 11 years old, was back here in San Francisco from what was supposed to be a fun weekend trip up to Petaluma with my Dad. It's hard to remember the specifics, but I know we went somewhere, and when we returned to the house and listened to the messages on the answering machine, the only thing distinct was my mom's voice, shouting and crying hysterically.

My dad asked his then-girlfriend to usher me out of the room while he listened to the message again to try and make sense of it. I went outside and played Patty-Cake with his girlfriend. I had no idea what was going on. I was worried about by mom, but for some reason, the thought of something truly terrible having happened did not --could not-- cross my mind.

A few minutes later, my dad brought me down and sat me on the white textured couch we had. White couches are a stupid thing to own. If you do own them, they're more of a statement than a functional piece of furniture. They'll always get dirty, even without an 11 year old and a dog in the house. (For the record, if you're stringent about cleaning and don't have those plastic covers over every piece of furniture, then I guess it's fine. Needless to say, my dad isn't either of those types, then or now.)

Anyway, my dad told me first that Michelle had been in an accident. The first thing that popped into my head was a rather steep hill covered in ivy not that far from our house. It's right beside the Rose Garden, and I knew my sister liked to ride her bike through there. I always thought it was dark and winding and scary. My 11 year old-self thought that there were bears and lions in Golden Gate Park, and that you were more likely to see them in places like that than up in the pretty rose garden. I imagined that she'd been biking on the crest of that hill and fell down, broke her ankle. I seem to remember stories of her having broken her leg or ankle before, so in my mind, it wouldn't have been the first time.

I don't remember if I asked if she'd just broken her ankle. I don't remember if I'd asked anything, doubting and scared, or naive and laughing. My insides were probably like Jello, just quivering, unable to stop.

I do remember being in the back seat of the car, stuck in traffic on the way back to San Francisco. I'd wanted a fun weekend in Petaluma, and now I had to go home. But I was worried about mom, freaked out about Michelle: I'd just had a fight with her about my Dad not long before I'd left, and I felt weird about going back home and having to "face" that, so to speak. I was thinking of how weird it would be, my mom and my dad and his girlfriend in the same room.

The next thing I remember, I was walking back up the stairs to my mom's house, to the dining room. It didn't look too much different from how it looks today. I remember my mom sitting at the head of the table on the left, her back to the piano my sister used to play all the time. She'd recently gotten more interested in the acoustic guitar, though. Besides, the piano was always out of tune, and Michelle was more interested in becoming a filmmaker than a pianist.

I remember the house being filled with cops. I got scared. I felt cold. I think it was then, seeing all the strangers in my house, my mom looking completely broken at the head of the table, shouting or crying or both, that I realized something was really wrong.

I don't really remember much about the next several days. There was a visit to the hospital. I'm not sure if it was for my mom to identify Michelle's body or to arrange for her to be sent to a mortuary or what. I didn't get to see anything. It was probably for the best, though seeing her at the funeral probably wouldn't have been much better.

There was a story that I heard in bits and pieces: Michelle had been out hiking with her friend Rayanna (not even sure if I'm spelling it right; we haven't heard from her since then) at Land's End, a stub of land not too far from Ocean Beach. Back then, it wasn't closed off, but everyone knew you weren't supposed to be over there. There were no fences, no railing, no anything. Just dry grass, dirt, rocks, and the ocean 200 feet below. Michelle and Rayanna weren't part of any sort of hiking expedition. There were no trail leaders or expert backpackers or anything like that. No equipment. I don't even think there were cell phones back then, at least not that Michelle or Rayanna would have owned.

Michelle fell.

I think I was told that death was immediate, that she wasn't in any pain. I kind of doubt that, nowadays. Part of me wants to believe it, of course, but it also hurts to think that she didn't --couldn't-- think of her family in her last moments. If she had, I wonder, would she have thought of how awful I was to still have a father when she didn't? Did she still think I was the worst bratty little sister ever, or would she miss me? I'll never know. It's one thing to tell yourself something to make yourself feel better, but the truth is something else altogether. They're not always the same.

Over the years, I've been to what I thought was Land's End a few times. Most of the time, I've been wrong. I went to the caves near the old Sutro Baths ruins, thinking that was Land's End because my dad told me that it was the "closest I'd ever get to it." I remember seeing people that had climbed over the rusty, single-bar railing sitting up on the rocks, wanting to yell at them because no matter how immortal or careful they were, my SISTER had died there. Were they even thinking of their family or friends in that moment?

There was another place, just past Point Lobos, higher up and surrounded by trees. It was a high cliff with a rocky beach below it, remnants of the Sutro Baths and the war cannon installations here and there. Some people had a tendency of making dirt circles and things like that up there. I kept wanting to see a symbol in them, a message from Michelle to me. Something.

I think this past spring was when I really saw Land's End. There was a sign there that mentioned Painted Rock and Land's End, talking about how dangerous it was and how people had died. Once, I think I wrote (or maybe I was tempted to write, I can't remember) "My sister was one of them!" on that sign. People still went right over the stupid rope fence and walked to take pictures of the stunning view of the ocean and the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge to the right and Marin County to the left. You could hear the fog horn, hear ships coming into port.

There wasn't enough room for more than two people to walk up there at a time, but there were still lots of people there. I wanted to yell at them too, but I was too choked up: angry at them, angry at myself, angry at the world. This spring, I went to the real Land's End alone.

Before, I'd been with other people. Some of those people I brought because I felt they needed to know the truth, the "me" that still was struggling with her half-sister/only sister/only sibling's death. Some of them I brought for purely selfish reasons, because I wanted comfort. I know I used them, and it was wrong, but my story and my feelings at that place have never been anything but the truth. I still think that it's hard for people who haven't really experienced death so close to them to know what I went through. They can just hug you or pat you on the back or say "I'm sorry," and that's all they can do.

For each person, what they need during that time is different. For me, I didn't know what I needed for myself. I decided to be the rock for my mom. Other people reacted to my reaction. The only person I remember being there "for me" explicitly was Christopher Garcia. He'd been a friend of mine at our after school program, Claire Lillienthal.

By the time summer ended, I already felt like it was the "Year of Hell." I didn't hold very high hopes for the remaining five or so months of the year. Having a transition like that, from elementary school to middle school meant that I changed a lot. I was a bitch in middle school. It could have been a lot better. I could have been a lot more mature. But I'd been through hell, and I didn't think anyone else could understand. No one really seemed to be genuinely trying, anyway. At that age, how can you? I'd hoped Chris Garcia would have given it more of a shot, but he chose popularity over me. That was a bit like twisting the knife already stuck in my chest.

He moved away before high school started. I remember seeing him on graduation. We didn't speak to each other, but I desperately wanted to. Years later, when I was working at AMC Theatres on Van Ness, he came to see a movie with a friend. I was so dead-tired that I thought I was dreaming. I didn't think to beg my supervisor to ask for my 15 minute break then, even though there was a line starting to wind throughout the lobby. He checked out the list of shows and couldn't find anything interesting, but he came up to my window in the box office, grabbed my hands through the window, and told me he was sorry for everything he'd done in middle school. He said he was a Marine now. I didn't stop to think for his phone number, his email, where he was stationed, anything.

I can honestly say he was the first boy I was ever truly in love with, and while that might have been a misplaced love due to the death of my sister, I'll always cherish what he did for me. Part of me still wants to see him again, if just to hug him for a good five minutes straight.

I made a lot of enemies in middle school, but a lot of lifelong friends, too. For those that stuck by me and have understood, that have come to know the truth since then, thank you. I hope we'll have thirteen and more years together.

This is my sister. I miss her very much.
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: (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: (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: (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.

&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.

Omoshiroi

Mar. 28th, 2008 09:49 am
azurite: (believe in subtext)

Click here to see! )


Well, I up and joined FanLib. -_- They don't accept HTML submissions (right now). Considering I type ALL my fics in HTML, this is a big MINUS for them. I could copy and paste my text from Dreamweaver into their cute WYSIWYG box, but then I'd have to go through and re-do all the bolding, italicizing, and horizontal ruling. Very annoying. Now, if I could copy-paste the HTML and it would auto-convert, that'd kick ass. I refuse to have multiple copies of all my fics (e.g. one HTML and one RTF or whatever) on my computer just for one site, though. If all the other modern fic archives can accept HTML, why the hell can't FanLib? Grr.

I'm also... oh, maybe 75% done with WDKY26. I've been working on it off and on for a while now, and it's the start of the arc I've been itching to write for a while. But even though I've been itching to write it, translating the ideas I have (my outline-- I always make outlines for every chapter, my "planner") into halfway decent prose is hard.
What makes it even more difficult is, I'm recalling the advice I had for students today at Grover Cleveland High, where I tutor a 10th grade English class... sure, essays =/= fanfiction, but many of them asked me to look over their reflective essays/short stories/autobiographical narratives, which all have the element of a "voice" in it that could easily be a fictional person. Then there's my own sense of what makes a good fic and what doesn't-- my own recent complaints about a fic. It'd suck if my own complaints applied to MY fic, so I'm trying to see the weak spots and redo them somehow, before I get the temptation to just "do it [the scene] and get it over with!" and never look back.

That said, I'm thinking a beta/brainstorming session is in order. Anyone with some free time on their hands? (I don't know about you, but I have a three day weekend. I might be going to Fresno for my cousin Shaina's wedding shower, but I still plan on writing every spare moment I can. I have a LOT of writing to do, and WDKY acts as both practice and escapism from that.)
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
I love it when things (even stupid little things) go my way.

I've been into all-things Egypt for... well, a long time. At least since 4th or 5th grade, when I met Amy Wong, who had an even bigger Egypt obsession than me. She really got me into it. By middle school, the idea of a civilization that thrived on concepts of life after death, a path to the heavens by way of a pyramid, and all sorts of booby-trapped and magnanimous structures... it sounded cool. And along came Yu-Gi-Oh! and made that hobby turn into an obsession. Well, mini-obsession. I don't wear my ankh anymore, but I do follow the Egyptian calendar, and today, I finally got my favorite game (yes, it's replaced Doom II as my favorite PC game), Pharaoh, working on my emulated PC here on my MacBook Pro.

See, the CD was rather scratched up, and it wasn't working on the old clunker Dell anymore, so I'd gone and bought a new two-disc set of Pharaoh/Cleopatra from the UK. Alas, it didn't run (though it DID install) on my emulated PC. But I thought I'd give the old CD a try in this MacBook Pro, since the OLD MacBook Pro is the one where it'd originally worked (I think). AND IT WORKED! The shiny new UK version didn't, but MINE DOES! Matter of fact, the combo, single-disc (which includes both the game and the Cleopatra expansion pack) version fully installs on your HD, as far as I can tell, which means I won't ever need the CD again! Hip-hip hurrah!

But a mournful sigh to Doom Collector's Edition (Doom, Doom II, and Final Doom, which really wasn't the final Doom at all), because while the game will at least LOAD, it does so in a very-pixelated, 200 x 500 long box and no sound. It sucks, because playing that game and blowing Imps into ground meat with a BFG-9000 would have made me feel SOOOO much better this weekend. Instead I settled for vicarious hunting with ostriches and hunting lodges in the ancient city of Thinis.

Next up to try: Riddle of the Sphinx. That at least installed and I DID play it on here, though I don't think I got very far. I think I made it into a large temple-like area with a winding staircase of sorts...

I'm looking forward to going through my huge binders of CDs and seeing what else I can play. :) It's a shame more games aren't made for the Mac, but... well, I'm an oldie. I was impressed to see Best Buy finally had an Apple selection, though said selection is pathetic, really. I've found more Apple-stuff in my closet, and considering I'm a broke college student who can hardly afford to buy music, let alone Mac software, that's saying something. :P

I also installed and tried out one of those cheesy cheap games "Make Your Own Family Tree" or something, but what's sucktacular is the fact that you can only display a person's ancestor or descendant chart FROM ONE SIDE. I have to make a family tree going all the way back to my great-grandparents, and it's supposed to include spouses, siblings, etc. for all the visible generations... which means if I use myself and display an ancestor chart, it'll show all of ONE side of my family, but not the other! :P Anyone have any experience in this? To give you an idea of how complicated it is: my dad is the 5th sibling on his side; besides him, three of his siblings have kids (my cousins). My mom is 6th out of NINE (!!) kids, and plenty of THEM had kids too... who had kids (and I think some of THEM had kids!). I'm just trying to figure out how the hell the chart should look so I can construct it in some program or another.

I wish I could play more, but I spent all of Saturday being depressed, Sunday going out with my grandparents and stuffing my face in excess (gotta love binge eating when you're down... but shrimp and apple pie do better for me than chocolate and/or ice cream ever will), and before you ask no, I don't have Monday off and my school sucks because of it! (I'm missing out on sales!)
azurite: (xmas ornaments tree)
I would make like Happosai and go "what a haul! what a haul!" but my haul this year was meager but meaningful-- just the way I like it. From Gary, I got some gelt (and if you don't know what that means, go look it up in a Yiddish dictionary); from Mom I got a new black iHome iPod dock/radio with alarm, along with a $25 Macy*s gift card. Rochelle also gave me a $25 gift card; Eva got me "Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End" on the 2-disc DVD edition (YAYZ!). Though I don't think it counted as a Hanukkah present, Dad also gave me V for Vendetta, and I bought myself the Anastasia (remember that lovely animated film by Fox? Wow, John Cusak ~_~) Family Fun Edition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Many, many books to read. Did I mention I'd gone on a bit of a spree at Borders the other night? Plus, I'm about halfway through the whole "His Dark Materials" trilogy; I'm several chapters into "The Subtle Knife."It's pretty comfy just lying in bed, watching movies and/or reading. I think I'll go back and do just that right now...
azurite: (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: (roses are red)
I'm not in prose mood at the moment (today was my "off" day, so to speak; I spent a lot of time working on "Ace of Hearts," the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting (now live! check it out!), then reading old Sailor Moon fics and fic ideas, including one that I don't think I ever posted anywhere except maybe the SMRFF. There's also one I intended to write for an Aria's Ink contest but never got off the ground. So I really want to work on those, Epiphany, and of course, WDKY26. Priority 1, though, is my JOUR 371 project.

But look, I've gone and babbled again. This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for:

-The right to vote. Need I say more?

-The freedom to choose: my elected officials, the clothes I'll wear, the way I look, and whether or not I can have an abortion in my state, if the need ever arose and may the Powers That Be forbid that necessity for me in my lifetime.

-My family, no matter how over-dramatic they can get. Both sides, Mom's and Dad's. Mom AND Dad, even though between the two of them I think I might develop a mental instability some time before I turn 40.

-My health-- the worst medical problem I have right now is my finicky stomach. I am so glad to not have (diagnosed) breast or skin cancer, two things which I am VERY vulnerable for. I am grateful for never having broken a bone, and having healed quickly from all sprains. I am thankful that my back is not as f*cked up as my Dad's, nor my head as pounding-full-of-migraine as Mom's. I am thrilled that my asthma, allergies, and poor vision have not taken over my life.

-My job. It may not be Journalism and it may not pay as well as a job in San Francisco right now or even a Target Executive Internship, but I love the people I work with, and even on my worst days, it's still a great job that I'm confident in doing. I can always, always learn more there, meet more people, and help others-- three things I love doing no matter what.

-My education. I know that there are some people --men and women, people of all ages-- that don't have the privilege of going to high school, let alone university. I am thankful that I have gotten scholarships and loans to be able to pay for it, and that my university has a beautiful campus, professors that are really interested in their subjects (some of them, anyway), and great programs.

-My home. It's always a bit awkward to think, but it becomes really, genuinely honest when I say it aloud to someone else: yes, I live with my paternal grandparents. No, I've never really lived alone, though I did have my own dorm room in Japan for 5.5 months. But living with my grandparents has not only made me more aware of what it takes to get as far as they have, but also so many other things: taking care of yourself physically, taking care of others whenever you can, and enjoying life to the fullest, highest degree. I am so grateful to have not just a roof over my head, a room to call my own (with my own posters, even when they won't stick on the wall!), and food in the fridge to eat, but a family to come home to.

-My friends. Even though I feel sometimes I'm a lousy friend, and don't call/email/IM enough, my friends really do mean the world to me, up there in the ranks with my family (by the way, this list is by no means in any sort of ORDER). I've got friends who have stuck by me when the rest of the school thought I was a super-bitch or total nerd. I've got friends who can share in my geekery, revel in my nerdosity, and giggle with me about anything and everything. Whether I know these friends in real life or just online; whether it's been years or just a few months, THANK YOU. And I would attempt to name all the names and all the reasons why, but it'd get too long. THAT I am grateful for. I've gotten to the stage in my life where I couldn't count the friends I have on one hand, let alone two, even if I tried. Once upon a time, someone asked me to name all the friends I had and count them-- they laughed when I didn't even hit 5. Now, I have so many more than that-- not just on this "Friends List," maybe even reading this now, but beyond.

THANK YOU, EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, EVERYWHEN.

Happy Thanksgiving, even if you don't celebrate and/or aren't in the U.S.A.

Love and best wishes,
Meredith Sweet, aka Azurite aka Andi aka whatever the heck you wanna call me, I really have too many nicknames

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 - caught)
[livejournal.com profile] lin_ko and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, I'm thinking of creating some new holiday skins for Dragonfayth, and I'm wondering if I could use your fanart for some of the imagery (e.g. the header banner). Let me know if you're okay with this, or if you want to know more, etc.

Anyone else interested in contributing fanart or manips for Dragonfayth, I have a BUNCH of holidays that need translation into graphical form. Of course, there's no written rule that they have to have Seto x Anzu or even Yu-Gi-Oh characters in them, but I'd especially love it if they could. So what follows is a list of the holidays I'm thinking of doing... Any holiday is an excuse for presents! )

Speaking of Samhain/All Hallow's Eve, I'm going as a witch (again). And yes, I'm well-aware of the irony. I wanted to go as Snow White, but I just didn't have time to get to a costume shop in time. 'Sides, I'm about broke, anyway, so I might as well make use of what I have. So I'll be wearing an all-black skirt and top combo with my purple-spiderweb witch hat and some garish makeup (that is, purple lip gloss and super-heavy eyeliner). Chances are I'll have to take my hat off in class, but other than that... <|:D

I wish I could go to a Halloween party, though... :P

Though I spent today at home (gotta love my stomach-- it likes to stage mutinies), there is ONE good thing about it all-- I'm like... 99.9% done with WDKY25. No, seriously. I'm just unhappy with some "tell instead of show" in the end scene, but I think I can fix that. I'm breaking out the writing kits and other tools I have, perhaps in time for NaNoWriMo. Actually, I've never successfully participated in NaNoWriMo, and I'm not sure if this month will be any different, what with all the various projects I have on my plate. But if I can finish more of WDKY in November, that'll be enough to keep me satisfied.

I wonder if tomorrow will signal finally seeing my vanishing-act boyfriend (rdrr) again. This top-sekrit video game project of his means I haven't seen him online, heard from him via phone, let alone seen him in person. It's been something like 7 weeks... o_o Baba thinks I ought to forget about him.

Speaking of the B&G, Grandpa tripped on his walk with Mokie (that would be the mini poodle we have, in case you didn't know) and got his face all scraped up-- he's okay now, but earlier he looked a bit like the mummy with his face bandaged up in so many places. He'll have more bruises than ever (and he's already got a lot because he takes blood thinners), but at least he's okay and in decent spirits. But when I came out of the house earlier when Baba called me (he'd been lying in the street and a driver walked him back to the house. If Mokie hadn't sat in the street right next to Grandpa, the driver might not have noticed Grandpa. So for once, I actually appreciate the fuzzbutt), I was pretty freaked out-- he was pretty bloody (but laughing about it!). I guess I'm just glad it wasn't worse. Though my dad knows about it and he didn't go off on a tirade about getting them into a home or getting a personal nurse, it does have me worried about all the What Ifs: what if I hadn't been there, what if Baba wasn't outside to see him, etc.? I'm here to take care of them, but there's only so much I can do, and I rely on them, too! /.\

Ugh, it's a constant to-do list with me! Every time I think of one thing I have to do, another five spring up. Just typing them here might get me more stressed out, and though I spent most of today in bed (because moving HURT), I do have to get to sleep... I figure putting on all that makeup will take a while, so I might as well get enough sleep to wake up early and get all gussied up. :P
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: (kitty catch)
You Are a Red Crayon

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Working steadfastly on WikiFic. Thanks to Platonides over at the wikimedia-l, I got the Infoboxes working, but I still need to grab a BOATLOAD of templates from Wikipedia to get everything looking nice-- for example, a lot of flag-related graphics and templates. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated-- it's really just a lot of C&Ping. You do need to have a WikiFic account though, but it takes all of 5 minutes to sign up and get started.

-Working on creating "Ultimate Armor" for my party in FFX, and I'm discovering few people think Break HP or MP limits are useful at all-- which means the armor I already created for Auron and I think Rikku is fairly useless. I've never gotten to the point where I actually fight SIN (I keep dying whenever I fight those Behemoth-type monsters inside Sin, as I recall from the last time I got this far, on my old memory card which is now lost to the ages), so I hope that by capturing more monsters and leveling up (to get the items I need for the Ultimate Armor), I'll be able to survive Sin.

-iWork and iLife have both been updated to '08! That better mean when I get my new laptop, those are installed... since I don't know what I'm going to do with my old laptop (this one), I'm not sure if I should get the family pack ($20 more) of either version yet. I know 5 Macs, but the question is, should I really give "free" iLife and iWorks '08 if I do spend the extra $40 on the two Family versions of the pack?
Here are the nominees:
(1) Mine
(2) Mine 2, possibly to be given to Grandpa, sold to Mom, or sold for parts
(3) Erin's
(4) the iMac at work in the Walk-In Center (which is a bit old)
(5) Shawn's

Speaking of the boyfriend, he's fabulous- complimentary, has a wonderful sense of humor, doesn't mind games (I got him to play both Bubble Bobble and Scrabble tonight-- hah!), and we both vented about work to each other without any awkwardness or hard feelings. He's also super-thoughtful, though I can't really say how. ^_~

I really ought to be getting to sleep now though... for one, my tooth has been hurting pretty bad since this morning or so (I somehow doubt it's mental, no matter how much I wish it were), and the Orajel I got at Rite Aid earlier is totally numbing the right side of my face. I also have to walk to school tomorrow since Baba & Grandpa have a doctor's appointment (I hope it's not too hot or too gloomy tomorrow morning). Two more weeks and three days till my first surgery... school starting, and who knows what other mayhem!
azurite: (dango)
Work wasn't bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I want mochi.
azurite: (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: (aries)
You Are A Green Girl

You feel most at home in a world of ideas.
You're curious and logical - and enjoy a good intellectual challenge.
You're super cool, calm, and collected. Very little tries your patience.
Your only fear? People not realizing how smart and able you are!


ETA: dragonfayth, dreams, food, mentality )


Which Egyptian God are you? Find out at [livejournal.com profile] egypt_stamping
Sorry, Obelisk the Tormentor and Slifer the Sky Dragon are not valid Gods and will not be used in the results.
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: (yuna will fly)
I got tired of the pastel look of my old LJ layout (I'm not as creative as other LJers with their original and unique LJ layouts... I'm so fickle, I just change whatever's available in the LJ styles), so I switched to the new limited-edition "Havaianas" blue and pink layout. It's kind of cute, nice and bright.

Today I came to work late because of a dermatology appointment at Kaiser... FINALLY! I had to call them, even though my substitute primary physician told me THEY (being the dermatology department) would call me since she put a referral in for me. Anyway, so I showed the dermatology doc the funny spot on my left side. The nice doctor, Schweitzer by name, just smiled and said we'd biopsy it. And biopsy we did! So I guess he carved the odd bit off. Apparently I have more moles than I thought-- things I thought were just freckles are "warning spots," so I guess it's a good idea that I heeded the advice of Glamour and made the appointment to see my dermatologist, just because I fit into the "danger" group (one of them, anyway: fair-skinned and freckled folks). The results will be available in one week. And whatever they are, they probably won't surprise me. I think when it comes to medical stuff, nothing short of an STD could surprise me. (And considering I'm lacking in the S department, a D would be pretty hard to come by.)

Grandpa was nice enough to take me to Western Bagel (I had to pout and practically beg, which is pathetic for a 22-year-old college student, but their bagels are SOOOO good, much better than the Freudian Sip ones here on campus), which was actually kind of unexpected, since he pretty much said "No, don't have time, be mature about it," and I figured he was right, whatever, just get a bagel at school. But he didn't, so I got to have a soft, cream-cheese covered bagel (TWO! One for my late breakfast, one that I'll have in a bit for lunch) and a raspberry Snapple. JOYGASM!

And speaking of food, I've become a Food Network junkie. Compared to high school, I don't watch a lot of TV anymore-- I watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on Sundays, "Raine" when it was on Thursdays/Fridays, and occasionally Food Network, if the show interests me. Two nights ago, I watched a marathon of Dinner: Impossible" and last night, I watched a marathon of "Ace of Cakes" and an episode of "Iron Chef America," which, compared to the crappy Shatner version, is fantastic and fun! I was really impressed with Chef Blais, who did all these crazy scientific things in the kitchen to make an amazing array of things with GARBANZO beans. As a supposed Garbanzo bean hater, I might actually like to try some of the things he made, because he proved that you can do a lot more with legumes than just stick them in a salad or dip.

But all the "Ace of Cakes" had me thinking: If your favorite [fictional] couple were getting married and wanted a 'unique' cake for their reception, what sort of cake might they have?

I'm thinking something along these lines or more "not-so-traditional."

I was originally considering Seto Kaiba and Anzu Mazaki, of course, and Anzu would undoubtedly say "No Duel Monsters," while Kaiba might say "No dancing anything." So what sort of cake might they have, if they don't want it to be all traditional (that is, multi-tiered and round with frills)? And what about Usagi and Mamoru, for that matter? I mean, we know Usagi's got her sweet tooth, but you can make a delicious cake in all sorts of shapes and sizes! So what sort of unique cake might she and Mamoru have? Give me size, shapes, colors, and if you can think more creatively, flavors!

Let me know!

But at last! The weekend! Have to clean my room (honest. With our without that damn bookcase!) and study for my finals-- on Monday there's my JOUR 330 final in Editing, and on Tuesday I have my JOUR 400 Media Law final and my JOUR 331 Graphics final, all of which I genuinely have to study for. Other than that, no other finals, just work. And I only work Wednesday and Friday, apparently. It'll be nice to have Thursday off. This weekend I also want to go to the mall to make sure Baba spends the Borders card my mom got her for Mother's Day (aww) and probably something else which I am forgetting. Maybe to look for CS3 books, since I might be getting it within the next two weeks thanks to my stellar soon-to-be-graduating-from-UCLA cousin **ERIN!** Apparently UCLA students get a much steeper discount on CS3 than CSUN students do, so I asked her if she could score it for me. She said yes, just call her on Saturday when she has time. :) Thrills!

And I guess I'm just going to keep thumbing through the Fall 2007 schedule to get some ideas for that "spare" class I have. I want to keep checking the online schedule throughout the summer so I know exactly what class times and professors are being offered. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a fun, mostly-stress-free Fall!
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Aaahh, what a wonderful feeling. This is weird. I've bid on eBay before, but never was I so "obsessed" (I put that in quotes for humor's sake) with refreshing the page to make sure *I* didn't get sniped. And lo and behold, with less than 30 seconds left, someone tried to outbid me, thinking that I foolishly wouldn't get notification in time. Little did they know I was parked right in front of my bidding page, watching like the "eagle-eyed editor" I am! (Compliment from Prof. Witten this morning. Yay!)

BUT I SNIPED THEIR ASS!

Okay, so I paid a bit more than I wanted to for Mom's Mother's Day present, but considering it's so much cheaper than list price, I think it's worth it. Plus it's a practical gift, and when Mom gets it and she'll be "...I can't believe it. You actually bought it." it'll be the greatest day ever.

I never thought I would like sniping! I was channeling Weird Al, that's for sure. What fun!

Speaking of happiness, yesterday at the Pub (eatery here on campus), I overheard a group of high-schoolers (don't know what they were doing on campus, but they were definitely too young to be students here at CSUN) arguing about something that sounded suspiciously like Sailor Moon. I sort of skulked around as I was waiting for my order, seeing if I could overhear something that would confirm it-- and sure enough, I heard "Mini-Moon!" Now, I may not be the biggest fan of the dub from Super onward (not that Stars ever got dubbed-- or ever WILL), but I just started giggling. Then I asked the trio what the argument was and none-too-modestly said I could probably help settle it (being an expert on Sailor Moon... but... what? It's sort of the truth! I mean really, short of individual names of youmas and the like -and I do know *some* of them-, or anything about the musicals, I don't think there's much about Sailor Moon that I DON'T KNOW!).

Turns out the argument was over whether Mini-Moon was Sailor Moon's daughter (*snorfle*). The lone girl thought yes, yes of course she had to be! While the two guys with her doubted it, because after all, Mini-Moon appeared when Sailor Moon was *still in school.* (Oh, the scandal!) So when the question was out I said, "Damn right." (I really ought to watch my language around younger kids. I mean if they really were in high school, I'm sure they've said/done/seen worse things, but you never know who's got the most impressionable mind) And then I explained that she traveled back in time whenever we saw her, although technically she's over 900 years old...

And the girl triumphantly said "SEE!?" I told them I was surprised they'd been talking about Sailor Moon, and I thought it had to be impossible/coincidental that what they were saying SOUNDED so much like Sailor Moon, but it turns out the conversation had some roots in the fact that I have a small Sailor Mars charm on my backpack, and that spurred the subject. It's good to know that even though Sailor Moon ended well over 10 years ago, it's still very much alive here in the USA. :)

Browsin'

May. 2nd, 2007 09:47 pm
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I found [livejournal.com profile] diaphanus's (aka Ian) LJ through a search of DIES GAUDII, the "famous" site that explains some of the interesting naming schemes, myths, and mix-ups throughout the Sailor Moon universe. I decided to check out some of the things Ian wrote, and I found this interesting video from 1967 about what they predicted kitchens in 1999 would be like.

They weren't TOO far off, but I wish more people had computers (or fridges, etc.) that could watch their calorie /mineral/etc. intake to better take care of their health. It's already 2007, and anything remotely like that (if it even exists) would probably cost a fortune. I'm not promoting being obsessive about that sort of thing, but if there were a way to be both proactive (not lazy) and have an easy way of understanding what you're putting into your body when you eat that cheeseburger or drink that soda, I don't think America would have quite the obesity epidemic that it does. Or maybe it would, what do I know?

I'm also thinking I probably shouldn't dig too intensely into summer internships since I *will* be working, at the very least, at the Call Center/Walk-In Center, and possibly also with Apple as a Campus Rep (though I have yet to receive some package from the agency, Volt). But I still have a MonsterTRAK search agent set up, and I can do the same at Yahoo! HotJobs. I didn't find the Yahoo! internship article I was looking for, but Yahoo! does have some other good resources on the subject, including Yahoo! Answers and their directory of Internships.

That said, another thing I found via Ian: Argh, it's L-U-T-H-O-R you dimwits! Which reminds me, I need to get S4 of "Lois and Clark." I actually "need" a lot of things lately. It's good I haven't gone and bought them all yet; I'm not broke, but there are so many things, and prioritizing them in order of real "need"/importance is actually pretty hard.

Opinions? What should be #s 1, 2, and 3?
eBags.com Kensington wheeled leather laptop case - $71.99
Japanimation.com Sailor Moon Memorial Music Box (10 CD Set) - $75.99
Amazon.com (or cheaper) Lois and Clark, Season 4 Boxed Set - $36.52-$41.99
Adobe Creative Suite 3 (Universal Binary) for Web - $499.00
Amtrak North America Rail Pass - $899.10 for 30 days of unlimited travel throughout the US, including a leg in Canada on VIA Rail
Something else...?

Thing is, if I'm saving up for the Rail Pass, I have to save up for where I'm going to stay, necessities like food, and souvenirs, too. Who knows how much that'll add up to? I know I can stay at hostels, and Mom might even hook me up for at least one location (hopefully Washington D.C), and if I visited New York, I might be able to stay with a relative (though staying at the Essex House again would kick ASS, especially if I weren't SICK this time around!). I'd probably need to budget at least $1000 just for that, which brings up the possibility of getting a credit card to fund it, rather than just let that idea slip away based on my current funding. Getting paid once monthly isn't fun, and this month, because I missed a few days of work due to doctor's appointments, I didn't get paid as much as usual. :( Or I won't get paid as much as usual, I should say. I haven't gotten paid yet; I just filled out the time sheets. Feels kind of old-fashioned.

Still waiting for my bookcase in the mail. Need to clean my room. And this weekend I wanted to go to Topanga Canyon to look into more pantsuits (and jackets), but James (cousin, son of Jill) is having his birthday party (Pirate-themed! Wahaha!) which I should probably go to (and what could I get James that he probably doesn't already have? I mean, all the games I know he likes are ones he already owns! Unless I get him Katamari or a GameStop gift card...). And now Apple ProCare members also get this One on One training, so I can sit down with an "Expert" and find out all there is to know about iPhoto and GarageBand without waiting for a workshop with a good time to show up on the Northridge store calendar. They have sucky dates for this weekend though-- nothing on Sunday, only Friday and Saturday evening, which is cutting it close if I have other plans at Jill's. But that can wait, I guess.

I don't know, I guess I just feel kind of busy and addled lately, but I don't want to get stressed. I want massages more often. And appointments with cute physical therapists at school. *impish grin* Alas, I don't get to see said cute guy at my next appointment on Tuesday. :P But maybe someday... Hehe.
azurite: (Default)
Yay, the "big" 22! It was a surprisingly good day, though not surprising that it was good, just surprising in its own way. Eva and I woke up early to go to the mall and go to the Bath and Body Works event, which was pretty crowded, but we ended up getting a ton of stuff-- Eva got me the majority of the things there, as her birthday present to me. So I walked out with a new fuzzy robe, a bunch of makeup samples, 2 new lip glosses that are super-flavorful, and a wall plug-in that's supposed to smell like Cherry Blossoms (though I finally got it to plug in, I have yet to smell anything).

After that we trolled around the mall a bit more; I ended up returning my Express jeans that I'd bought back in February because despite trying on 6 pairs in various size, cut, and style variations, NONE of them fit "properly." The ones I had were the Curvy W31 in a 2 Regular cut, so I tried a 0 Short Cut, but they were too tight; I tried a 0 Regular; same thing. I tried other styles-- Slim and Regular, in both Flare Leg and Boot Cut, but they all had that "flare" in the back over my butt; it was just less pronounced with the low-rise than it had been with the Regular Rise pants. So I guess I know nothing about jean shopping, because I ended up getting the credit back on my card rather than getting a new pair of pants. *sniff!*

Mom called me right on my birthday, which was funny; after that, I grabbed some Used DVDs (Advent Children, 13 Going on 30 Fun and Flirty Edition, White Noise) from GameStop, a free pair of panties and a new bra from Victoria's Secret, and Bejeweled 2 Deluxe and a screen cleaner for my Mac from the Apple Store.

When we got back to the house, Baba and Grandpa were out, but I found a flower cake (as in, looks like a cake, but made out of flowers) present with balloons from my mom, the thing she'd had sent to me that she mentioned slyly on the phone. At first Eva and I thought it was a real cake, and we didn't know otherwise until we'd taken it out! Baba and Grandpa came home just after that, and I got my card from Baba ($100 present from them) and some nice treats-- a pair of mini-cakes and a super-rich chocolate truffle.

Eventually (after installing Bejeweled and checking some other things), I took a short nap, and then by 5:30, Eva and I left for the Pantages. We arrived by 6:30 or so, but we were hungry, so we walked up a few blocks until we settled on this place called Kung Pao Kitty's. Cheesy name, but a really good atmosphere, a nice staff (one girl looked like Pink!), and DELICIOUS food with very reasonable size portions. I liked it a lot.

After that, we headed to the theatre. Though small (in terms of stage size), the rest of the place was a literal palace. It was so beautiful; I wish I could have taken pictures (and I had my camera, it was just prohibited to take pictures). The show was fantastic-- I only had to step out at one point when I had to go the bathroom, but all in all, I really liked it. The cast was extremely talented, and I really liked the song "Defying Gravity." I was tempted to buy a shirt or the "Grimmerie" memorabilia/behind-the-scenes book, but I only got the soundtrack cast recording, and that makes me happy; that plus the free playbill are enough memories for me. I'm really glad I got to go; for some reason by the end scene, I was really tearing up and thinking how cool it was that I got to go with my best friend Eva. Though I wish Michelle were still around and could have gone to my first musical with me, I feel honored to have friends like Eva and Steph and Katia having stuck by me and being my friend as long as they have. It's really amazing. :)

And I have some pretty amazing online friends too, who are very thoughtful, talented, creative, and super-welcoming-- [livejournal.com profile] nekokilala, thank you so much for the birthday balloons on my LJ Profile! (Dorky fact: This year was the first year I got birthday balloons-- both real *AND* virtual. So I'm doubly pleased, because I can show them all off!).

I was especially surprised when Scott kept his promise to call, despite being in Japan (he left a message on my voicemail), and so did Shaina and Brooke, my cousins! I'd told them I was going to see Wicked, but I didn't think they'd call and remember the show, let alone my birthday... but they did, so I think I'll send them a a card or an email. It was super-nice of them. :) I do like being remembered every now and again. ^_~

Anyway, tomorrow Eva and I are going to get together at Jill's for lunch and a mini-birthday party, so I have to get to sleep to wake up on time. All in all, I'd say I had a very happy birthday, and I've had a lot of fun.
azurite: (born beneath alder)
Today I finally got the chance to go to Japantown (although not back downtown to H&M, where I wanted to get some more clothes... *le sigh!*) since Dad called this morning and said since he didn't have a place for me to stay in Alameda overnight, he could just pick me up. Yay to that, because it means I can take more things with me than I could have if I had just gone to meet him at the Ferry Station today... actually, I thought I'd be in LA again by now, so by leaving tomorrow morning, we are cutting it a little close, since the big Passover dinner's tomorrow, and I bet Dad'll be tired from the drive.

In any case, I'm glad I got to go shopping and enjoy a crepe at Sophie's. Truthfully, there wasn't much in the way of manga that I wanted. I almost bought all of the current releases of Skip Beat!, but a) I have many of those volumes in Japanese already and b) I can probably get a discount by buying them en masse at Borders in Northridge, rather than Kinokuniya. Still, I ended up buying a new "DIY: Design-It-Yourself" book that looks kind of interesting, and the two Sailor Moon S and SuperS DVD boxed sets from the Japantown Video Store.

...And, as the subject line says, they're faker than... well, the most fake thing you can think of. Sad thing is, I halfway knew it even before I put the money down for them, because I noticed several things:
(1) The wrong cover for both of them (which I knew from looking at the eBay guide to spotting fake SM DVDs)
(2) Bad spelling on the covers
(3) "MEPG-2" format listed on one box (though so far they play in my DVD player)
And then when I finally bought them and cracked open the plastic, it was "waxy cardboard" with glued-in (albeit not too sloppily) DVD holders, and the covers of the Uncut SMS DVDs (since that was the one I started with) inside, rather than individually-sleeved DVDs or anything like that. Then the back of the DVDs said the most incriminating thing of all: Made in Taiwan.

So they're fake, but I got so fed up of trying to find the legit things through legit channels (and I surfed a lot-- I went to all the DVD sites I knew of, anime stores, C&C Central here in S.F., Pioneer's own website, and countless other places), so when I saw the boxed sets for right there, I grabbed them. I paid $162 for them both, which is probably a rip-off, all things considered... and I *am* halfway tempted to tell Mom to try and return them for me (even though I know the store has a policy of no refunds on opened DVD boxes), but then I would not only NOT have the money (because again, I doubt the store would refund to my credit card, and what good would $162 in Jtown store credit do me in LA?), but I wouldn't have *ANY* Sailor Moon to get my hands on.

If someone could truly promise me a legit source of SMS and SMSS, I'd gladly fork over the money, because I believe in supporting the original creators of a series whenever and wherever possible. But sometimes distributors here on this coast make it awful hard. I'm not saying they should perpetually renew licenses, but I do think for things as big as SM, it would pay to do "anniversary editions" or something if they could. Who knows how relations are now between all the big companies, anyway...

I checked out the first episode of S, and aside from a few lines of dialogue getting unsubtitled, they're not too bad. I even tested the English audio track, and sure enough, it's the annoying S-dub I remember getting glimpses of back when it was on Cartoon Network. I think the main menu is supposed to be animated and a bit crisper looking than it is, but aside from those few peeves, I guess everything's all right.

I've been feeling kind of ill off and on this whole week, which sucks (and is at least partially my excuse for not having caught up on my Japanese, bad girl that I am). Tonight after Mom, Gary, and I saw "Zodiac" at the 1000 (I think only ONE person from when I worked there is still there now, and he didn't see me), we went to Mel's near Parker (or whatever that street before the old Coronet is called), and I couldn't even finish a whole half of a grilled cheese. Admittedly, I had a Kid's Pack of popcorn and a soda at the theatre, but still, I was hungry after the fact... it's been like that for days, where I feel hungry, and I can even feel my mouth watering, but I just can't eat. The thought alone almost makes me nauseous. I don't know why though. It's not like I *want* to not eat, to lose weight (I'm already underweight or on the low-end scale of "normal" for my height), or anything. And I hate wasting food.

I felt so shitty yesterday, I thought for sure it was some form of hangover from my one lousy mango margarita (admittedly, I think it really *WAS* a whole pint), and Mom was saying something about how tequila isn't exactly a trustworthy liquor, but... who knows? My whole body's just on the fritz.

It's been nice being back here in S.F., in a way, and I do wish I could stay longer and help out more, see more people, and get more done (both doing stuff-wise and finishing things that should have already been done a while ago-wise). But I do sort of look forward to the big Sweet family gatherings. Shaina I know is going to want to trim my hair and probably pluck my eyebrows, but that's about as far as I'll let her go. I honestly think my time is better spent catching up on homework. Now that I don't have to worry about people butchering the computer (because the PC really isn't my problem anymore; I only use it for the rare PC games I have the random urge to play), they can park themselves on it and I won't care. Wireless is nice... :D

That said, I better try and sleep, since I will be waking up in less than 6 hours to shower. But I guess I can always sleep in the car ride back to LA.

Oh yes, and my birthday is in 7 days. :D :D :D :D :D
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: (azureshipping - seto x anzu)
My right eye hurts (good god I hope I don't have another eye infection. The last thing I need is to miss school/work from being legitimately sick), but AT LAST! I am done... not with WDKY25, sadly, but with my Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon VHS/DVD Inventory. It's as done as it's going to get-- I couldn't find images for 10 volumes of VHS tapes (mostly the Edited versions) in the Sailor Moon SuperS series, and I have yet to add images for the boxed sets for S and SuperS, or the "Dream Set" for the movies. And I wanted to edit the info so that the "volumes" also mentioned which episodes were on which volume, because there's almost always a difference from VHS to DVD.

Maybe I'll get around to posting the new page up on Epiphany/Mare Serenitatis whenever I get around to working on that again. :P

I didn't get to go shoe shopping with Adrianna today. ;_; She never called. I wanted to call her early this afternoon, but to my dismay, I discovered I didn't have her phone number! I swore I did before, so something must have happened and I deleted it. :( Alas, no double-points at DSW for me.

I did go out to dinner at Mimi's Cafe with Baba, Grandpa, Elliot, and Erin. The service wasn't all that great, but the food (Jumbo Spinach Tortellini with artichoke hearts) was pretty tasty. Elliot and I had fun trying to remember the 14 Leadership Traits. Apparently there's an acronym for it I never learned in ROTC: JJ DID TIE BUCKLE. See if you can figure out the Leadership Traits from that (no Googling, now!).

Also, I spent a while listening to [livejournal.com profile] akavertigo's awesome awesome ideas for "Reconstruction." I tell you, it shall be a KILLER story! I can't wait to actually read all of it. When all of it gets written. :D

AND I got up to the Watchtowers in Bevelle in my new FFX-2 game... damn watchtowers NEVER rotate the way the guide says they should! I must have done this at least a hundred times, but I can never get the platforms to go the way I need them to! And the dumb guidebook "names" the towers, instead of using the Glyphs to identify them, which would be LOADS easier. Can anyone help? I already have 3 Ribbons, but... I WANT ANOTHER ONE! :P

For the record: LJ Phoenix gives me a RealBasic NilObjectException error that prevents me from opening the program 5/6 of the time. I'm pretty much back to using the Web Update form of LJ because the error annoys me so much. *sigh* To find a client that does what I want *AND* works on a Mac... why can't someone just make Semagic for the Mac!? >_> Or maybe I should download it for the Windows VM and try and force myself to use it more often (lately I only use it for "The Ultimate Guide to Sphere Break"), so I don't become such a bitch about Windows (which I have been, lately. But seriously, Apple's commercials trump Microsoft's new "WOW" Vista CMs ANY DAY OF THE WEEK).

So I think I'll go to bed now and pray my eye doesn't become some sort of snot ball in the night.

P.S. Today Daylight Savings Time starts. Did you set your clocks forward? (Except you Arizona-people. Weirdoes.)
azurite: (azureshipping - my only)
[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra requested a fic that either ended the day after MASH or 1 month, 2 days, and 5 hours before Family. Because MASH and Pop were intended to be companion pieces, and I've never had the inclination to flesh them out more, AND because her Family request had a much more specific timestamp, that's the one I'm working with. For those of you unfamiliar with "Family," one of my WIPs regarding Seto and Téa (and Téa essentially becoming a mother while still in high school), check out the fic here.

Because Kysra's got stellar timing, this fic takes place on New Year's Eve, prior to the start of Family, Chapter 1. For the record, I have no intention of working this into the fic itself; this is all-original, all-new. I don't think it'll have any huge bearing on the story, so think of it as sort of a Director's Cut version of the story's beginning.

Up above the snow is falling... )
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I'm a bad girl. And I probably have "Junioritis" again-- the same problem I had my junior year in high school, when I cut Honors English, AP History, and Japanese, resulting in my failing all of those classes. My lousy grade in Japanese is what prevented me from getting into SFSU, which had been my dream for so long. I made up my history and English classes in summer and night school, but I learned a pretty heavy lesson that year-- it's never worth it to slack off. NEVER.

And yet, here I am doing it again, in what is supposedly my junior year of college. Well, I'm only doing it for one class (again, Japanese), and so far it's only been 2 class sessions I've missed (albeit because the class is only twice a week, that can spell doom for my understanding of the lessons). And I've BEEN spending that time trying to catch up with the work, because I hate going to class "unprepared." It's my fault for not doing my homework when it was originally due, and I can make excuses into next week, but I won't bother. I'm a known procrastinator, but for some things, doing it at the last minute just stresses me more.

Stress, for me, turns into sleepless nights, weird dreams (when I can sleep), an inability to eat/an inability to stomach what I have eaten (resulting in lousy stomachaches and an inability to WORK or do schoolwork), gray hairs, over-sweating, irritability, and bouts of crying. Sometimes I even feel violent and want to shred something into teeny bits, scream into my pillow, or slice-and-dice something. Working seems to make me MORE stressed, yet slacking off (i.e. playing video games) results in me thinking later "Why did I do that? It may have relaxed me, but now I still have loads of work to do, and less time to do it in."

It occurs to me that maybe going to Japan wasn't such a good idea. It's not solely to blame for everything that I find "wrong" with my life right now: a lack of creativity, near-constant stress (despite dropping my Pop Culture class, Journalism and Japanese still stress me out a lot), disorganization, no social OR love life to speak of, and feeling like I haven't been taking care of my grandparents as I should have. But it played a big role. I feel "stuck" in my Japanese class-- not sure what they learned in 201, feeling rushed in 202, and out of place because I haven't had Snyder as a professor before. And I could go on about why I think going to Japan RUINED my love life, but... who knows whether that wouldn't have all happened ANYWAY? And it's not like it was a bad experience-- I met some incredible people, learned a lot, and grew as a person. I don't regret going, but I do wonder if it was the best decision for me at that time.

The unexpected can always add more to your stress levels, and yesterday it turned out my grandparents had a lot of final notices and unpaid bills. Normally they keep on top of these things, but lately they've been more forgetful-- not like my Mom forgetful (she SAYS it's because she's getting old, but I know better), or like me forgetful (I forget things a lot because I do too much at once, and my brain gets overloaded). And I don't think it's like Alzheimer's forgetful, either. But that worried me, because there's only so much I *can* do for them, even if I am living here. And I want to help them, not do their work for them. I'm not supposed to act like a nursing home attendant, and I know they wouldn't want that, either. So I reordered Grandpa's checks and got him started on Online Banking so we can pay more bills online-- we already have the TV bill automated to pay every month and deduct from one of his credit cards.

Grandpa's thinking of condensing the TV, Internet, and Phone all into one via Time Warner (our current TV provider), and switching from AT&T (our phone and technically our Internet, since they bought up SBC Yahoo). I went to their 3-in-1 package website yesterday, and it looks like the grand monthly total would be around $80 for all 3 services-- but I don't know if that's just the basic minimum-- I know we have lots of TV channels Baba and Grandpa wouldn't want to lose, and I have faster-than-standard Internet, too-- or at least we PAY for faster-than-Yahoo's-standard (1313 Kbps down, 428 Kbps up, though that doesn't SEEM that fast...). That price lasts for a year before getting bumped up to the higher price, but it still would be easier on everyone to just have ONE bill that I know we can pay automatically, online. I also wonder if ordering it via the phone, I could haggle the price or contract terms down, rather than just flat-ordering it online.

Does anyone else have a similar 3-in-1 package in your area? What do you think of it?
azurite: (tokyo map)
First, I updated WDKY on Dragonfayth to the latest chapter. I guess because some chapters were longer than others and contained those 'ye old alphanumeric character codes' I had to c&p the HTML from Dreamweaver into the story text box (with the TinyMCE checkbox turned off). I know at least some of the slow, "unresponsive" script errors were because of the world "curl" in my stories, but I wonder if the script mangling the alphanumeric codes is something fixable...

I'm also considering including my logs and things up at Dragonfayth too, making it a fully-fledged series with notes and such. If not Dragonfayth, then definitely at Epiphany. But I think the Review Replies will stay here on LJ, just to make things easier (that's subject to change...) Speaking of RRs, I still have to post them for Chapters 23-24 of WDKY, so look for those soon-ish.

I say "ish" because I DID pack two of my bags today, leaving only one left, but I still have to cram a lot of clothes (the rest until Tuesday) and some other random things in there. I'm honestly hoping that crappy United will let me get away with my carry-on (backpack), my personal item (purse) and a shopping bag with just my blanket and Toro-kun (the stuffed cat). And yes, crappy United. Would you believe that for my ONE extra bag, it's $167 USD!? Because of that wholly unexpected amount (which is about 75% of my paycheck), I had to ask Mom for money *AGAIN*. I felt rotten doing it, but she was quick and okay with it. And as it turns out, I owe her less than I thought-- I found a copy of my super-expensive T-Mobile bill (luckily I printed it out; apparently T-Mobile only keeps your last 2 bill statements online) and calculated out what she paid and what I'd paid, and what I owe her for that is less than I thought. So that plus another $400... it's still a lot of money, but I have to do it.

What's left to pack:
-toiletries (stuff I use in the bathroom, though I might decide to leave the Dove Body Soap behind, much as I love the stuff... plus lotion, anti-bacterial, meds, brush)
-clothes
-some papers
-cat mug, cat plate, yellow bowl, striped glass (?), deco plate, forks, chopsticks, knife, spoon
-leftover oatmeal, cream of wheat, cocoa (make cookies with everything else)

? - Wish I could take my plastic cat trash can, but I don't know if it would fit... 'sides, it's smaller than my Purple one back in the states, so maybe I should just give it to my roommates? I'm doing that with many hangers and such. Should I even bother trying to take my lighter? I bought it for my incense, but my incense is almost gone... and short of the common kitchen downstairs, no one has a gas range here, which is the only thing I can think of using it for (since no one else is an incense queen like I am. Holly said it smelled like hippies in my room!). But I don't want everything in my bag catching on fire, either!

Scott was telling me that parents still want to feel needed and help out whenever they can, but I feel selfish for asking so much of my mom. This trip -for me, at least- was supposed to prove how I could survive being independent and on my own, even for just a little while (and still with perks-- a well-paying job and no rent, basically). It's not that I'm not going to pay my mom back in full, but I guess I shouldn't feel so guilty over it (and I do, to an extreme degree. I don't even wanna talk about it anymore).

But in the end, I can't go to the sleepover/party thing tomorrow, anyway. And I guess I don't really care, because that'll save me more money for mailing things back home, doing my hair (possibly) on Saturday at the Access Moon salon in Akatsuka, going food shopping, etc. And on Friday I'm supposed to go bowling with my tutors, so I want to save up a bit for that, too. I want to finish packing bit by bit though, as each day goes by, so I don't feel stressed the day before I leave. I still feel like I have so much stuff to pack, even though earlier today I was relieved that I'd have the money for my 3rd suitcase-- the biggest one, too. Now it feels like I'm back to not being able to decide what to keep and what to ditch, or how to pack, because it seems almost full and I still have so much to pack IMHO. But my backpack and purse still aren't so filled up yet, so maybe that'll help ease it up somewhat.

I'm still confused about where I put some of my CDs/DVDs though, if I put them anywhere... I thought I had NANA anime eps. 20-25 (that would be 2 CDs), but I couldn't find them amongst the box I intended to send (too expensive, so I crammed them into my 2nd suitcase), and they weren't in my CD case. I wonder if I deleted all those files to save HD space? I'd hate it if I did, but unless they're in the box that I've already taped up, I have no idea if I even burned them to CD. In any case, they're not on my HD anymore... though I do have the latest episode (33) and Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei), eps 16-18. Yay for TV-Nihon getting down to the grind on that!

I should go to bed soon... we don't have class, really (well, I do for 3rd and 5th), but we do have a feedback session during 2nd period, from 10:30 to 11:30, and I have to wake up early enough to call the SF Office of JTB travel to get them to add my United Mileage Plus number to my account... and maybe then I can officially switch my seat on the plane. Kekekeke.
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: (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: (skip*beat kyouko)
At last, the San Francisco recap post... assuming I can actually remember most of what happened.

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

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

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

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

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

I shit you not. FLAMES. IN MY FACE.

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

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

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

Read more... )

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

So, episode 35,  bath, and then bed! YATTA~
azurite: (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: (deadlines whoosh)
Ah, should I say yesterday was successful and happy or not? How about you help me decide (I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure...)
(1) Hot as hell. No wind, fans don't seem to do much. Yuck.

(2) Wasn't tempted to buy anything at Best Buy! Yay! (I'm broke anyway, not-so-yay)

(3) Called my cousin Jill and talked to her for awhile- we're supposed to get together later today. Yay!

(4) Watched Yu-Gi-Oh GX (Can totally see Anzu kicking Dmitri's ass for trying to "be" Yugi) and had a good laugh

(5) Missed Fullmetal Alchemist (even though it's supposed to suck compared to the manga!)

(6) Suddenly remembered this morning that there's a scrapbooking event I RSVPd for at school. I didn't pay for it, but it's at 4pm or so, and I'll probably be with Jill all day. Foo!

(7) Got to mine-duel and trade cards (more like get cards as a fabulous gift) from an edo_lister, Malakite. Not only got tons of good cards through several hours of mine sessions, but I laughed too. We both have a sense of humor regarding the censors on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Online chat rooms. (Seriously, "goo" is a bad word!?)

(8) During said mine duels, I barely remembered which cards I got from my packs. I remembered some, but I hated how I kept forgetting the third one in the pack. Malakite told me this is because the third card almost always sucks, and he's right, but I hate not remembering stuff that I've seen TWO SECONDS BEFORE!

(9) Just remembered (right after I remembered the Scrapbooking thing) that I didn't critique anyone's papers for WWA. The week of finals, I was so stressed, depressed, and sick that I didn't remember one bit. I wonder if that'll lower my grade by much... *worry* HAH HAH, still got an A! (That's 3 As and 3 Bs. Or 2As and 3Bs, since the 102/C is technically one course, but they grade separately for the 102 class and the C(onversation) part of the class. That's a 3.4 GPA... not sure if that's perfectly accurate, and while it means no Dean's List this semester, it does mean YAY FOR MER! :D :D I MADE IT I MADE IT hard semester's over~ la la la la la la!

(10) Successfully canceled my Ancestry.com account. It was fun while it lasted, but it's way too freakin' expensive!

(11) Tweaked a bit of WDKY24 last night. It's annoying, but I've found that re-reading the whole chapter helps me focus on the scenes I have yet to write, and how I can better convey what I already have down.

(12) Haven't updated my YGO TCG sell list in 2 days. BAD MER!

Hm, good day or bad day?

All I know is, I want to go swimming.
azurite: (wdky1)
Just as Grandpa and I were coming home, a champagne-colored sedan squealed around the corner of Superior and Wystone. Two guys immediately emerged from said sedan, which came to a rough, immediate stop at the house on the right corner of Superior and Wystone, one block and on the same side of the street as my house. Said guys came out with guns drawn, and said "Freeze! Put your hands up!" to the three or four guys outside of a red pickup truck, driver's side door open. My first thought was "Oh, some college guys are pulling a prank." Seriously. I thought they were just messing around.

But Grandpa didn't think so, and he purposely drove down a further street, taking the long, roundabout way home. When I got home, I wanted to check out what was going on, but when I got out of the car, all I saw was the sedan still pulled next to the pickup, both the doors still open, and I couldn't see any people-- presumably they'd gone into the house.

I think it was a drug bust! :O! Wow.

I've been on a theme song binge lately-- I got two versions of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song (the original, by the Nerf Herders, and the cover, by The Breeders), and the Seasons 1-3 and Season 4 themes of Alias. I want the Season 5 remix of the Alias opening song, but I can't find it! GRR! Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'd like the long version, if possible.

Speaking of Alias, this 2nd to last episode wasn't too bad. I was screaming at the TV the whole time, of course. :D I'm just glad Vaughn's alive. Sark made me laugh (he sounds so sexy when speaking Italian. Or maybe it was the Italian that sounded sexy, and he just looked good doing it), and it looks like the finale will really be the end-all-be-all (without killing everyone off or without making it too ambiguous) with LOTS of old characters returning for a guest appearance. It's a shame they had to kill off Nadia and Renée the way they did, but alas! Such is life in the spy biz.

Better news! I got an A- on my English paper which I stayed up till 2am working on. I'm thrilled! :D I'm not so sure about my latest editorial for journalism, but it's the profile due next Wednesday that I really have to get cracking on. [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, are you free to be annoyed this weekend?

I've also managed to finally get Thunderbird links to open in FF, but who knows how long that'll last? I only wish I could use the HTML form for replying to comments... but for whatever lame reason, TB misinterprets them, and LJ thinks there's no POSTID. Feh.

twilighteyes8120 updating her SxA piece "Mixing Business With Pleasure" has got me itching to finish up WDKY-- that and my sudden obsession with trailers. Yes, trailers. So I'm thinking of trying my hand at "AMVs" that aren't really, literally AMVs. I'd do Flash instead, which means people could view them embedded in webpages. I'd like to do one each for WDKY, CO7, and ED, but the question is... what do people want to see trailers of? WDKY's already been out for 2 years now, so people doubtless don't want to see trailers of things that have already happened. Also, the trailers would be entirely musical/textual. I don't have the time/energy to do/find voice clips, let alone appropriate ones, so that's why these trailers would be closer to AMVs. So here comes the fun part:
If you could pick ANY chapter of WDKY (up to 3) to influence a WDKY trailer AMV, which one(s) would you pick? You can pick chapters that have already come out, chapters I've hinted at/mentioned, or random numbers. Assuming the art isn't too hard to pull off, I could (and will) do it.
CO7 and ED are different matters altogether, and those are things I'll be storyboarding on my own time.

Music suggestions are also welcome, but I already have some ideas.

My room smells like corn chips, so I'll light an incense. But if I get another freaky dream, I'm switching incense brands. )
azurite: (indiana ed (fma))
[livejournal.com profile] ceruleansan, I hope you know this is ALL YOUR FAULT. YOU STARTED IT!
And if I get plotbunnied and start writing Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction, I KNOW WHO I'M COMING AFTER TO BETA MY FICS! *angry stare*

Yeah, so I've kind of gotten, er... well, let's use a light form of "obsessed," shall we? Interested in the FMA series. CeruleanSan had me downloading scanlations from StopTazmo, and I've managed to get up to Chapter 20 or thereabouts. She wanted a new convert to the whole Ed x Winry pairing, and I'm so far inclined to agree with her-- a bit. There really isn't a whole ton of romance or innuendo, or backstory beyond how Ed and Al got to where they are.

I admit- parts of the manga are extremely funny, but I don't think ANY manga has ever had me crying so much within a few chapters. Yu-Gi-Oh only brought me to tears when I realized IT WAS OVER, not at any point during the first arc. Even Sailormoon, with the DEATH! and the TRAGIC!OMG etc... even in the live-action, it was always toward the END that I was sobbing like a baby. And okay, FMA didn't have me sobbing like a baby, but the sad parts (people getting murdered, kittens being dead, etc.) had me sniffling and wishing I could click away-- but I couldn't. :P

So I download about 3 chapters at a time while doing something else online. I read them all once they've finished downloading, and once I get 700 MB worth (which may take awhile; I've got something like 97 MB now, and that's *20* chapters!), I'll burn it to CD.

Sucky thing is that the quality really went down around Ch. 18. I don't mean the manga or even the scans- just the translating. All of a sudden, words were horribly misspelled, apostrophes and commas were left out, and chapter titles weren't translated at all anymore. Some omake bits and cover scans were left out altogether! It was kinda sad. If anyone knows where the HQ scans are, I'll wait longer-- just so I can read scanlations in REAL English, not that kindergarten crap that passes for English these days. (I like "Engrish," but there's no humor in stuff that's halfway between Engrish and English. It's called LAZINESS.)

UGH! One more week until I get paid, two more weeks until "finals" (I actually don't have finals for all of my classes. I do have tons of WORK to get done, especially by the end of this week, so I better get cracking.), and three weeks until FANIME! I still haven't reserved a shuttle to the airport and back again though, and Mom hasn't paid me or covered any portion of the hotel room yet. I should call her about that (well, she DID offer! It'll shave some off the money she still owes me, at any rate). At least I'll have April's paycheck (or will it be May's?) to cover Fanime and the like, and I'll be making MORE money in the summer, assuming I get more hours (which I hope I do).

Ooh, and for Mother's Day weekend, I'm going to San Diego on the choo-choo! :D I'm going to make Scott's mom a card, because even if I don't see her, she's been way nice to me. I know I'm going to see Scott at least on Friday night/Saturday morning, so he can pass the card on. I think I'll be at Joyce's for Sunday, but I don't know what exactly we're doing. (I hope Joyce wins her court case today against the insurance guys, because it'd be sucky for her and Baba to try and celebrate Mother's Day if she DIDN'T win.)

More FFX-2 and Da Vinci Code Quest schtuff )

Meme ga aru! )

Ugh, still need a new LJ layout (got sick of the Lisa Frank kitties). DAMN YOU MUSE! Where ARE you!?

Kweh?

May. 1st, 2006 12:26 pm
azurite: (aries)
Baba says I'm supposed to have a "five-check day" (meaning the best day the horoscope doles out) today, and be inspired. The school horoscope told me to watch my finances and consider more education. The horoscope.com horoscope told me that I'll get a romantic proposition that I just can turn down.

I think I'm placing too much stock in horoscopes. I love them to death, but yeesh! Is it bad when I wake up in the morning feeling like I'm going to be busy, stressed, and generally batty, and my horoscopes are BETTER than what I'm expecting?

Also, a rant. )

The whole FFX universe still confuses me. When I first joined [livejournal.com profile] fanthropology, I posted what I thought was the history of the FFX universe. It didn't really belong there, but Fanthropology is a mixed-bag sort of fan community. In any case, no one really corrected me on much, and now I find out new things all the time. [livejournal.com profile] new_spira was advertising today, and I went to their journal and the Wikipedia entry on Yevon, and I was like... wha? I think I need to replay FFX (well, actually, BEAT it. I never did, even though I know what happens at the end) and finish FFX-2 again.

I feel kind of stupid for thinking that Yevon was affiliated with Bevelle originally, not Zanarkand. But I'm pretty sure I'm right in that Bevelle and Zanarkand didn't have their final standoff in the Calm Lands; that was Sin and the Summoners.

Other stuff. Why is it that I can feel tired, tell myself "I'll go to bed soon" and then five minutes turn into two hours, and I'm still awake at 2am? It's bad, bad, bad I say! I never did watch my new purchase (the Indiana Jones trilogy) yesterday; I spent most of the night finishing up my translations of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles new songs, "IT'S" by Kinya, and "Kazemachi Jet" by Maaya Sakamoto. I transliterated AND translated the lyrics, listened to the songs OVER AND OVER to pull the kanji pronunciations from the lyrics... and I finally got it done. They're up for review at AnimeLyrics.com, and will hopefully be used by #yugioh! for their subs of the series.

People are visiting-- actually Dan (uncle) visited yesterday, and my aunt Joyce is here with her husband today; hopefully they're going to settle the ongoing dispute with their insurance company re: the San Diego fires that destroyed their home a few years back. I don't mind Joyce and her husband so much; I don't even mind the annoyance that is their dog, Mokie. But Dan kind of got on my nerves when he insisted that Grandpa didn't need a laptop, that he WOULDN'T carry it around from room to room, and that
a) laptops break more often (not true)
b) they're more expensive (true)
c) there isn't really a necessity for it (not true... necessarily)

Regardless of what, I'm planning on getting a laptop before I leave for Japan. Grandpa can get the computer I'm on refurbished with a new monitor or whatever, or he can get a new computer altogether. Whatever he wants. All I know is, I need enough time to clear my stuff off, because I refuse to be away from my email/fanfics/websites for 6 months. :P

Ooh, and guess what? I came up with a new name for my multi-fandom archive. I can start working on it tomorrow (or tonight, if we miraculously get out early and I don't haul myself to bed early like I should). The name... pure irony, right there.

Epiphany. Hee!
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.

January 2016

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