azurite: Annie (Piper Perabo) of Covert Affairs, holding up a half-eaten donut with a huge smile (covert affairs - annie haz donut)
I was so, so excited to hear about Amazon Fresh expanding outside of Seattle, but when it first debuted in Los Angeles, it wasn't in my area. Now it is, and I'm contemplating whether or not it's worth it to even try it for 90 days for free (because I'm an existing Prime member) and then upgrade to their Prime Fresh program, which is a whopping $299/yr (vs. Prime's $79).

Here's my attempt at breaking it down.

Grocery delivery is only available through Vons, a supermarket chain affiliated with Safeway. They're located a few blocks from my home. However, being the oddball Los Angeleno who doesn't drive, if I go grocery shopping, it either has to be with someone who has a car (infrequent) or get only enough to fill up my vertical cart. It's not a huge cart, but it works for laundry, so it should work for groceries, too. Intermittently, I'll run to the grocery store late at night to get one or two things that I can fit in my backpack or carry.

Vons delivers in 1-hour, 2-hour, or 4-hour timeslots. A delivery of $150 or under (which would be my usual, since I'm only buying for myself) costs $12.95. I can sometimes save $3 (for a 2-hour window) or $6 (for a 4-hour window), which means the cheapest that delivery fee would be is $6.95. Sometimes the delivery fee is free--if you buy participating items. Obviously adding these random, probably-don't-need items to my cart would probably add up to at least $6.95, if not more.

However, not every item that's in their stores is on their online site, and sometimes even their stores don't have what I need.

Assuming groceries every two weeks or so, I'd be paying a minimum of $166.80 just in delivery fees from Vons every year. Maximum, I'd be paying $310.80, if I only used the one-hour timeslots (or otherwise picked timeslots that didn't have "save $3/6" on them). If I factored in the occasional grocery run on my own or with someone, that might mean Vons is more cost-effective than Amazon Fresh. This also applies to if I go to Costco, where buying in bulk means I don't go shopping as frequently. That membership is $55/yr.

But what Costco and Amazon have in common is the variety of items; even if Vons has sales for club members, I have to admit, tallying up the coupons, promotional codes, special items, and stuff is a pain in the butt. Costco and Amazon simply have low prices, and that's it.

Considering all the stuff I usually buy on Amazon--I recently renewed my Amazon Prime account because of it--this is where it really determines if Amazon Fresh will be worthwhile TO ME. I'd still get all the benefits of regular Prime, plus free delivery for any order over $35 (for groceries, that's pretty much a given), and the option for early-morning delivery.

The selection includes local fare, which is a huge bonus--supermarket chains like Vons tend to get as much stuff as possible from out-of-country, it seems, so prices get driven up by the cost of gas trucking all this stuff from warehouse to warehouse to store. Plus, organic and fresh items are expensive as heck!

So, aside from all the grocery stuff, Amazon Fresh gets me the usual Prime benefits of:
* Free two-day shipping
* Access to Amazon Instant Video

I ordered 7 things in 2010, 15 things in 2011, 50 things in 2012, and 28 SO FAR in 2013. Considering how much I use Subscribe & Save for "necessities" like bulky items that would be a pain to get at the grocery store OR Costco (or Target, or wherever), I'd wager I'm on track to surpass my total number of orders in 2012. Of course, not all of those orders were for ME, so there's a margin of error to be had.

I'm sure there's a way to look at the CSV reports Amazon can generate about which orders ARE mine, and just how much I spent, but I don't know if that alone would justify the jump from $79 to $299.

I can always try it free for 90 days, but I don't know how long they'll be offering that promotion to existing Prime members.

So, what to do? To Prime Fresh or to not Prime Fresh?
azurite: (kitty catch)
what's with bagels in general? I don't get that whole...reference.

so I thought [the bagel I ate today] was plain
and it was onion
And I am a Jew. So I like bagels.
A lot.
I nosh on them all the time.

I knew you were Jewish (from stalking), but I don't get the bagel connection.

there's supposed to be a connection?
It's a bagel. It's delicious.

I have seen a couple references, actually.
Enough for me to notice.

Connection between what and bagels?

Which if I notice means it's a lot.

Me and bagels? Jews and bagels?

Jews and bagels.

We invented them.
We're awesome that way.


Note: this may or may not be historically accurate. The bagel-inventing thing, anyway. But if Jews didn't invent bagels, why are bagels so part of Jewish culture? I mean they're not a HUUUUUGE integral part, but they're pretty present.
azurite: (azureshipping - caught)
Legend has it that among us, there are those humans gifted with incredible ability. For some, it is the power to make a killer comeback after a lousy period of being slammed with hurricanes, floods, storms, and FEMA excuses. For others, it is the intangible spirit of hope and faith in one's home, that no matter how ravaged it may be, it is still the one place he or she wants to be at the end of the day. And there are those who are all this and more: able to see beauty in words, to craft emotion from mere letters, capable of penning the most incredible fanart on either side of the Mississippi!

[ profile] guardian_kysra, by now you should know I'm talking about YOU!

I got my fanart donation from the Help Haiti fandom auction today, and HOT SAUCE is it awesome! Kysra has awesomesauce in her veins, among all those other wonderful things above. I'd show it to you, but it's up to her first and foremost, and even then, I'm kind of tired of her awesome stuff getting swiped without credit and plastered all over the 'Net, even though the 'Net IS about collaboration and sharing, especially where all things wonderfully Azureshipping are concerned. I'm a firm believer in "give credit where credit's due," so said fanart will be my personal Reason to Squee #465 for now.

In case you weren't somehow already aware, the fanart is of That Scene in "The Joke's On You," my first-ever multi-chapter Seto x Téa fic, and probably one of my first attempts at something akin to dirty humor. The fic itself is still on the backburner because I never could make up my mind about how to keep it funny or whether people would hate me if it got all dramatic (considering it DOES take place during the Battle City arc of "Yu-Gi-Oh!"), but I'm sure if I stare at this artwork long enough (and you know I will), I might just get inspired to write (it) again, or at least write something.

I am going to frame it, when I have the time and the money.

Speaking of money, later today (because officially it IS Wednesday) I have my live interview about video games from a research group. I managed to clean up the dining room pretty well (many boxes have been relocated to the living room/my room or hidden under the table), though there are still piles of book boxes on one side and empty boxes near the door on the other. I suppose I could break some of them down and put them in the living room or in the recycling.... Anyway, I'm kind of looking forward to this! I don't really know what they'll ask me or what my answers will be used for.

I actually got a lot done: first I went to the DeVry in Daly City, which, despite being very close to the Daly City BART, was annoyingly hard to find once I got there. I went around the building, up some stairs, past the park, around the building again...and then back the way I came, around the building the other way, where the entrance was small and only marked with a white sign. The bad news is, apparently they don't offer the Multimedia Design and Development program like the site (and TV commercials) advertise. Grr. But at least they can help me get set up with other classes, hopefully, even if they're online and I can finish this degree up sooner, maybe get some more units from CSUN transferred over. I have an appointment Friday since they were so slammed today.

Then came the fetching of the fanart at the post office (which smelled like oatmeal). That at least went quickly because about five minutes after I got in line, someone shouted for pickups and three people (including myself) skipped the line and got our stuff pretty quick. Yay!

I went to Japantown and met with [ profile] staplerx, [ profile] lilddrpinay2003, [ profile] vermilionone, and [ profile] pockyken. I'd gotten Subway near the DeVry campus so I didn't join them for actual food from Tommy's Joynt, but I did drool longingly at the delicious-looking meat and potato salad and desserts. We headed to the infamous GameStop on Powell, where oddly they were very helpful and even greeted me, but I'm still suspicious of the place and think I should try going on there on my own again, instead of with a group (which is half male) from the get-go. After that, we headed through Chinatown to meet [ profile] ohsupervinchan at the very-cool Russian Hill Bookstore (which actually sells The Settler of Catan and other cool board games! DO WANT!) and snack on some rice pudding at the nearby Loving Cup. An actual cafe devoted to RICE PUDDING.

Even when I think about how much I wanted to leave S.F. after high school, it's little things like these that reminds me of how awesome it is to be here, and how privileged I am to call it my hometown.

Vince had to head back to work, so we took the 45 again to Lombard, where we went to this bar/restaurant called La Barca for a trivia night. We sucked (the questions were clearly not geared toward anyone from my generation, at least), but it was mostly fun. I'd like to go again after I've "studied" more of my random facts. Maybe I need to play more Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy?

Final happy thought: I finished the Hi My Sweetheart fanlisting, Extravagant Sky. All I have to do is make some more codes before I'll officially announce its opening to the folks at and the fans over at D-Addicts, but if you have a sec, check it out and tell me what you think! I designed the layout myself. :)


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 [ profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [ 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 [ profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!
azurite: (aries)
Last night was "Day 1" of the Fire Festival for me, even though it's been going since the 15th. I like the new location, even though the parking lots are awfully dusty. It's very big, leaving more than enough room for people to walk around without feeling squished. There also seem to be a lot more exhibitors than I remember from the last time I was there, including all kinds of nifty, crafty stuff that I liked: brownies with coconut butter and walnuts, waffle shirts that say "Sweet" on them (Dad bought me a green one), and a woman who makes jewelry fashioned to look like molecules. I'm kind of torn between the creativity necklace (featuring serotonin, acetylcholine, and dopamine), the caffeine pendant, or the estrogen pendant. And I'm very tempted to get this oxytocin onesie for my baby cousin Eva.

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

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

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

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

I'm just chilling at Dad's loft for right now. I finished my Week 2 iLab assignments for my DeVry Web Graphic Design/Visual Design Fundamentals class, but as always, I have lots of other things to do. Better hop to it!
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Typed the first few paragraphs last week and then procrastinated to all hell for posting this. Oooops.

Ah, back from Anime Expo. Actually, I got back late on Sunday night, but yesterday I was so exhausted that I ended up taking Monday off work and sleeping a lot. When I didn't sleep, I played my newest acquisition: Final Fantasy Anthologies, featuring FF5 and FF6, neither of which I've ever beaten. It's making me nostalgic!

I probably should have posted entries each night after I came back, but I was usually so exhausted from volunteering that I didn't. I did do some Live Tweeting though, so I'll touch on a few of the things I mentioned then.

Day Zero )

Day One )

Day Two )

Day Three )

Day Four: THE FINALS )
azurite: (blue flower)
Well, spring break has at last come to a close. It went fast, but at least it was fun and relaxing. It certainly was nice sleeping in till around 10:30 a.m. every day; tomorrow my "waking up at 6:30 a.m." routine begins anew. Oh, and also my habit of going to the Arbor Grill for occasional morning breakfasts; I'm looking forward to enjoying a breakfast burrito again after a week of waffles, cereal, and toast.

I didn't post during spring break even though I had the time; it was more like my thoughts were pretty scattered and I tried to be out as much as possible-- or at least doing stuff.

I went to Opening Night for the Giants at AT&T Park with Steph, Kathryn, Nora, and a guy named Melvin who was only there for a blip of time, it seemed. I shouted myself hoarse and then ended up sick as a result-- I've got awful congestion, a dry nose (ow) and an occasional cough, but I hope to be better by my birthday. I'm being smart about what I'm eating and drinking, and that, of course, includes medicines to help me get over this.

I also got to see Evie, Eva, Crystal, and (surprise surprise!) Louie (from high school) again at our Chevy's night. As is my luck, I got a certificate from Chevy's THE DAY AFTER for a free entree. Isn't that always how it works? Whatever "it" is? Well, maybe I'll go this weekend in San Diego: the closest Tex-Mex to the border when the border is more or less off-limits!

Oh, oh, oh! I also got the real "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (a.k.a. Furyo, which translates to "Prisoner of War") soundtrack, which I think is beautiful, so even though I don't like Utada's sophomore U.S. album (not counting her days as Cubic U, of course), I applaud her for indirectly introducing me to another composer and his music (Ryuichi Sakamoto). I actually like the title track of the movie (which is what Utada sampled from) a lot more than this song... sorry Utada! Although I am curious if the vocal version, "Forbidden Colours" is the same "Forbidden Colours" that is a special bonus on one of Sarah Brightman's Canadian albums. If it is, it'll be interesting to see how she redid it; I didn't like the vocal version too much, but maybe that has to do with the kind of "spacey" quality it had as a song.

Read more... )

I'm really craving a red velvet cupcake for my birthday. I wonder if any bakeries around here have them?

 This One (Crying Like a Child) by Utada from This Is the One (Rating: 0)
azurite: (Default)
The sign for California State University Northridge on Plummer and Darby has mysteriously vanished (the frame is still there, though). I'm starting to worry-- we're not really going to change our name back to San Fernando Valley State College, are we? SFVSC doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "CSUN." Maybe it's a bad frat joke?

Prices have gone up at the Arbor Grill, but only 15 cents for my favorite breakfast burrito (no meat, sour cream instead of salsa). I think it's to make up for the sales tax increase from the other day. I don't mind though. While I was getting my burrito, one of the chefs and I talked shop about future breakfast options: pancakes and French toast! I suggested they try some challah or raisin bread, and he said he'd look into trying it, considering Rye's not suitable for French toast and the wheat didn't taste very good. We also talked about varieties of vanilla, but it occurred to me that even though I like the thicker Tahitian extract, I doubt they sell that in large jugs good for a school! Oh well.

I'm in San Francisco as I type this; the weather is beautiful and I still can't microwave enchiladas without fossilizing at least one corner.

I posted WDKY26 at FFnet, Dragonfayth, and MediaMiner. Dragonfayth was giving me some issues with a fatal mySQL error, but I think I resolved it. Problem is, the site is still spitting out mangled/incorrect update dates, so my fic isn't on the Recently Updated page, nor does the story in My Stories listing show the right updated date. But believe me, it is updated there. I've checked it while logged in under both my admin account and a Test (non-admin) account.

Where else to upload it to? FicWad is apparently broken, I think I need to upload more chapters at AnimeXX before I can upload this one, DeviantART sucks for fics (actually, almost anything fan-made, but that's another story) and it's much easier just to link than post it on LJ (but I will if people want me to; it's not as long as some previous chapters that I had to span across numerous posts, but that's no guarantee that I WOULDN'T have to for this chapter).

(Aside: now that I've seen the music video for this song, I'm never going to think of it the same way again. I think I'll always be grinning and imagining Workout Barbie dancing. Or something like that.)

I don't want to spend my entire Spring Break indoors. I may be broke, but I did get a 7-day MUNI pass, and I intend to use it! (I should have already used it today, but I didn't. Does anyone wanna catch a movie with me later tonight? I think I could manage that....)

Couldn't find my :CueCat. I think either I or Mom got rid of it, unaware of the intrinsic value of a barcode scanner for organizing our lives. So, a birthday wish: a good barcode scanner. Maybe another :CueCat, which I'd have to modify (eep!) to work with Delicious Library 2. Probably not a big deal, but I don't want to waste even $15 if I might screw up. Better to invest in something I don't have to play with?

It's boogie time! *dance dance*

 Call on Me by Eric Prydz from YTMND Soundtrack, Volume 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (mario - i'd hit that)
My geology midterm wasn't nearly as hard as the teacher made it out to be. She gave us this big long comprehensive study guide and only some of it was actually on the 25-question, multiple-choice test. She had us freaking out at the beginning of the period with mentions of needing a calculator, and there wasn't a single math problem on the test (that I saw; I didn't skip any, and I don't think she had different "versions" of the test). There were no questions about the movement of hot spots or locating a point within a quadrangle using given longitude, latitude, as well as township and range. I only hesitated on two questions, and only one on the extra credit sheet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also: weekend? What weekend? Tomorrow I'm going shopping with Baba and Grandpa in Porter Ranch, and on Sunday I'm planting trees in Granada Hills. Next week is the first meeting of NSLS this semester and I have to make sure to have all the materials and BE ready. Eek, I hope I can do this!
azurite: (ygo - mai graceful)
I'm so glad I went to the "Justin Kredible" magic and dinner show tonight at the University Student Union! First off, it introduced me to this song, which I think kicks butt. I've only heard about Lady Gaga in passing, but this song is pretty catchy! Listening to the lyrics, maybe it wouldn't be appropriate for a Society meeting, but it is fun to listen to.... Music is very inspirational, you know? I have whole soundtracks for some of my fics (including fics that haven't even been written)!

Anyway, the magic show itself was really fun. We had a pre-show magician from school, whose name I think was Peter M. I feel bad that I can't remember his name exactly, but it wasn't printed on the flyers at all! Still, he was pretty awesome in his own right, and I got to thinking if he's a student at CSUN, maybe he'd want to perform at the NSLS Induction this summer? Is that strange, wanting a magician at an honor society induction?

As for the man himself, Justin Kredible, on his poster, I thought he looked like Shia La Bouf. But then there was this other poster that didn't look like Shia, but also didn't look like the guy who actually came on stage. Actually, the guy who came onstage looked uncannily like [ profile] fountain_the's twin brother, Ryan! Right down to the voice. Okay, so he looked like he had a lot more spiky hair, but still...!

The tricks weren't corny at all, and both guys (Peter M? and Justin) were comical without being too raunchy or stupid. Justin especially made good use of audience involvement, and the tricks ranged from everything to handkerchief and card tricks to disappearing rings and money. He even set his wallet on fire and had a paintball shot into his mouth!

Plus, the catering (courtesy of Sharkey's Mexican) was delicious-- quite possibly the best chicken I've had in ages. Unfortunately my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so I only finished two taquitos and a bit of vegetables and chicken before calling it quits. I hardly ate any of my salad, but I did manage to down two Sunkists (I think my muse is in the mood for TAFF).

All in all, today kicked butt, and I take this as a good sign for a great weekend and semester to come. I got a lot done today-- I reserved the room for most of the Saturday NSLS meetings, found out why the Meeting Services online reservation tool wasn't working for me, communicated with Caryn of the National office and several members from the chapter, got a new Speaker Series DVD, and wrote out more of my plan for Orientation. Time is just flying!

I like being motivated and happy like this-- I feel like I can do anything, even if the things I'm accomplishing so far are just smaller steps of a much bigger whole. I wish I could keep this kind of mood and motivation up all the time. Life doesn't always work that way, but I'm going to hang onto it for as long as I can! So I'm just gonna dance... whoo!

 Just Dance by Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis from The Fame (Rating: 0)
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
So, I'm back from Vegas. Internet access there ranged from $12-15 a day (and wasn't always wireless, wtf!?), and I just didn't want to shell it out. Besides, it was actually nice just having my laptop there without the compulsion to use it.

It won't stay in Vegas )

Songs that have been stuck in my head lately:

"Thinking It Over" - Dana Glover
"Superman" - R.E.M.
"Hold Me" - Savage Garden
"I'm Scared" - Hoku

azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
Ah, I miss Usenet.
What a crazy thing to say, huh? But in the search for some Sailor Moon images, for some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was NOT to do a Google Image search or go to The Oracle or whatnot, but to see if alt.binaries.sailor-moon was still around (assuming I got that name right).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lastly and not leastly, I've gotten addicted to a new semi-crack-worthy pairing-- this time from Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time. Anyone like some Albel Nox x Nel Zelpher? Because yeah, for some reason I really started to like them together, and now I've started reading fic for them and I joined their fanlisting. :P Gah, and I have yet to build the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting! I gotta get on that...

That Thang

Aug. 14th, 2007 01:52 am
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
Blurbs of my day:

-Remembered at 7:29am when I accidentally woke up (I thought I'd heard a computer alarm go off) that today was the Sundial Orientation, which meant no Clubs & Orgs Fair and no work (well, I could have gone to work, but for one measly hour? It wouldn't have been worth the $8.45). I ended up starting work on one of my Sundial stories... (see below)

-Got pretty excited about working at the Sundial this semester-- 2 stories/week minimum might seem daunting, but it also means I'll be getting published regularly. And stories I thought might be sucky or boring AREN'T. My first ones are about the health effects of diet sodas, the upcoming meteor shower on 9/1, local restaurants offering student discounts, a possible third expansion to the Westfield Shopping Center in Topanga Canyon, and the new bookstore complex's food offerings (which, by the way, I saw today. I'll bring my camera tomorrow and take pictures, because IT LOOKS GREAT). None of that seems horrid or boring to me (unlike a CSUN student's murder or some project about mapping the wetlands). My editors so far are pretty cool-- people I know from class and just seeing around. It's a good feeling, and I hope it lasts.

-Finally got to watch "The Bourne Supremacy." It went pretty fast, I felt, and some bits went right over my head. It was also predictable in parts. I'm thinking if I'd rented "The Bourne Identity" WITH the Supremacy, everything would have made more sense, but both Shawn and I had seen Identity; he might have remembered it more than I did. In any case, we just didn't have the time tonight for multiple movies, and tomorrow we're going to some screening in West Hills for a new Owen Wilson comedy. But squee for two date nights in a row! I have no complaints about that~

-Didn't get my financial aid check. Grr. But I did get some of the things I ordered from Publisher's Clearing House (which I've become a junkie of): my new onyx and freshwater pearl necklace, bracelet, and earring set. Their jewelry is gorgeous, and I'm ordering more! Nothing pink, though... :P They wanted me to get some monthly cubic zirconia set that was PINK, and I was all "I don't care if buying this would make me part of your Elite Club, it's PINK!" So blech, no to that. I can wear rose blush and rose sweaters, but I draw the line at pink jewelry. I'm 22, not 12.

-I'm getting involved in a few more online projects too: editing a Draco x Hermione doujinshi, beta'ing for a few people here and there (if they'll have me), trying to work on my OWN fics and websites (always a challenge), and maybe even trying to tutor people (for a fee, of course) with web design-- I overheard someone in the Sundial mention that, so I KNOW there's a market for it, even if it's just a small one limited to the people that think Shapiro's Graphics class is impossible. :D

-Need to remember to call the internship people so I know who to address my cover letter to and how to write it! Good thing I have the book (and the smarts, of course), and even better that Manley (aka Prof. Witten from last semester) gave me a great idea for said cover letter! :D

-Finally reconciled my bank accounts (all four of them) after refusing to touch Quicken for a while. And now I'm relieved that it's done, because a few transactions WERE missing (big ones, too) and were driving me batty (I didn't see them in any of my statements online-- and I have a lot). There's a lesson to be learned in that: always stay on top of your finances. When it comes to money, it's better to be overzealous than lazy. It shouldn't be the touchy, sensitive subject that it is, comparable to asking a woman about her age or weight. People should be more open about their finances, and thus more comfortable dealing with them. If my parents had been comfortable about THEIR money situations when I was younger and just starting to understand it, I think I might have had a better grasp on things NOW.

-Gave the fuzzball a bath. She smells sort of like apples. Anyone want to take bets on how long THAT will last?

-Gotta swing by the optometrist tomorrow to see if they have my new glasses catalog! I "virtually" tried on a few pairs online at FramesDirect, and wrote a huge list of pairs and brands I liked. This is one time where I'm overwhelmed with choices that weren't in front of me-- I think in this case, it's paying to be picky. It's one thing to pay $5 and get an "okay" burger, but if I'm going to pay upwards of $100 for anything, it better be DAMN GOOD QUALITY. And why shouldn't it be? Especially where my health (eyesight) is concerned.

-Cleaned my room up more. Apparently I'm quite lacking in school supplies (well, dividers for my binders, at least). I mean, I have pens, erasers, white-out, pencils, lead, paper and all that jazz, but I still feel like I'm missing things. o_o I wonder if I'm becoming a hoarder! I don't want to end up like my mom in that respect (or in a few others, but I won't go into that now)... I DO need to go back-to-school shopping for clothes, though. I need new jeans and lighter-colored slacks (gray and light khaki, to be precise)! Also, in relation to the finances: throwing out old receipts is not "cleaning" unless said receipts pertain to CLEARED transactions in one's register!!!!!

-Gotta transcribe some of my old stuff from "The Eagle" (zomg) so I can POSSIBLY use it for my online writing portfolio. I'm thinking I should put them in PDF format or something and watermark them. Has anyone else ever done something like this before?

-So thrilled my jaw is feeling better. I had "real" food today-- a donut, pizza, ravioli, a plum, and iced tea! So at least this means if this trend continues:
a) I can at least eat normal for the rest of the week
b) I can recover from intense pain that fucks up my eating habits pretty quickly, given the right pain relievers in big enough doses :P
So I shouldn't be TOO worried about Friday... I hope... (but I want to make sure I get as much done before than as possible JUST TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE)

I should be asleep by now, though. I've been staying up till 2 or 2:30 am the past few days, and it does NOT help when I need to be awake around 10am. I start dropping off like I did earlier today-- even sitting in the frontmost seat isn't motivation enough. When I'm exhausted, I will pass out. I've done it even when I've known better-- and that's been in plenty of places besides college! (I will not start drinking coffee and/or Pepsi, so don't even mention it.) I have to get my Circadian clock in gear for the upcoming semester, anyway. Gotta start somewhere, right?

Hertz Donut

Aug. 7th, 2007 02:05 pm
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
Penned at 6am )

Besides that, my right wisdom tooth is hurting. Either it's "really good" (sarcastic) timing, considering I'm scheduled to get my teeth out on the 24th (DAY AFTER SCHOOL STARTS!!! AUGH!), or it's psychological, and if the latter, I'm hoping to distract myself enough today to not think about how weird it feels (and how it hurts). It feels like I have a Skittle stuck in the upper right corner of my mouth.

For those of you that have already had your wisdom teeth out, what did you eat in the days afterward? I was thinking yogurt will probably be safe, but I'm one of those people who doesn't like to eat the same thing too many times in a given period, so I need a bit more of a variety. Okay, yogurt, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, soup... any other suggestions?

I have 10 more icon slots available, and every now and again, I find myself saying, "I need icons from Z fandom!" and then I promptly forget what those fandoms are. But right now, I totally want to make some for the Secret Society Girl books! :D I already have a few for Meg Cabot's "The Mediator" series on [ profile] azurite (formerly known as Delishidoodle), so maybe I should finish them up and make a whole big collection of book-inspired icons!

I have yet to hear back from the book publisher whose internship got me all excited-- basically, I want to know what the positions I was interested in entailed, and who to address my cover letter to. The deadline is August 31, so assuming they don't get back to me but I still want to make deadline, does anyone have any suggestions for what to say in my cover letter, or how to find the hiring manager's name (or address the cover letter some other way besides "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam")? I'd appreciate any help I could get...

Possibly going to hang out with Shawn (squee?) later today; maybe the Bourne Supremacy will be back at Blockbuster? That and I want to play more FFX, since I have many more fiends to capture, weapons to customize, and Gil to get. :D
azurite: (potc - will nice hat)
Greetings from Philadelphia! My trip here was nothing if not eventful- our original flight departing from LAX was delayed from 11:45 till 12:30, and when we finally made it to Cincinnati, Ohio, we had JUST missed our connecting flight to Philadelphia, so we had to get rescheduled on two separate flights-- another Delta for half of us, and an earlier US Airways mini-jet for the other half (that's the one I was on). I fell asleep during the bulk of the first flight and the second, even though the second was significantly more uncomfortable. We had to wait once we got to PHL, and I ended up conking out near the baggage claim again. Even when everyone was reunited, our shuttle didn't show up on time even though we (and several other NSCS members) called-- so we split 2 taxis, and it ended up being cheaper.

The hotel is nice-- just unexpectedly small. Our rooms weren't ready, so we had to settle for a king-sized bedroom with FOUR people... so Juana (from CSUN) is sleeping on a chair with some cushion-chairs, and Melissa (from Holy Cross), Tiffany, and I are sharing the bed until the hotel sorts out our rollaway/extra bedding situation. They gave the option to go to the nearby Marriott, but considering us CSUN students are staying an extra night, that's not really an option.

We had a welcome ceremony of sorts for the Leadership Summit at 7:00, but after that the food selection was pathetic (hot dogs, Velveeta, and pizza), so we went out after a bit to Sonny's Famous Cheesesteaks and hung out there and ate for a while-- they had DELICIOUS cheesesteaks (though apparently their rep isn't as big as Gino's or Pat's) and fries. We watched some of "The Untouchables" (when was Kevin Costner that young!?) and then headed to Franklin's Fountain (an ice cream place) where I paid way too much for a peach melba parfait in a Chinese takeout box (which is apparently the original ice cream box). By then, I had a cramp (rag and all), but we hung out to talk a bit more with some of the other people that had come with us (roommates of the boys, mostly, and some friends of the girls' roommates) and then headed back.

After that, we hung out in the boys' room, where I ended up doing 2 tarot readings, one for Melissa and one for Melina-- they both seemed to think it was "creepy accurate." After a while, my voice got sore, and I decided to finally come back to the room, get Internet... talk to Shawn a bit (^_______^) and then go to bed, since I do have to wake up at 7:30 for breakfast just a bit after.

I spaced and totally forgot my resumes, but at least there's a business center so I can print them from this Mac. :D
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Okay, so I'm leaving SD in a little bit, but I've managed to somewhat catch up on my LJ FL (I'm about 400 entries back at the moment), and I've gotten a bunch of LJ-related Greasemonkey scripts which are doing some pretty cool and interesting things! I even got a few new extensions, like Auto Copy (handy for all the memes I do), and a script for GM that allows me to see additional user info besides the LJ default hover box.

I had a bit of a stomachache earlier, but the graduation party was pretty fun. I talked to this one couple for a long time about San Francisco and journalism (since Erin's moving up there tomorrow, and I'm going up to visit tomorrow... hey everyone, should I plan a bonfire?)

The food was delicious, even if my stomach is still doing some flips. There was a great chicken pasta salad with beets, celery, cashews, and cinnamon, and some to-die-for macaroons dipped in chocolate and shortbread sandies. Tasty!

Your Scent is Pumpkin Pie

Warm, comforting, and a bit old fashioned
You've got what men want - believe it or not!

Speaking of memes, I mentioned to [ profile] heartless_vaz that I might try to do my own version of the "What Gemstone are you?" including more stones than the usual quizzes-- and there are a lot of those on the web. Alas, they seem a bit superficial, like someone only checked one small site for the meanings or general associations of gemstones. I've always been kind of curious why I've gotten so attached to Azurite, and why I feel it suits me so much, so I wonder if I'll be "Azurite" according to my own quiz? I'll probably make it on Quizilla, so when I get around to it (assuming I don't forget or get too overwhelmed with other things in SF), you'll see that from me soon. :)

I wish more people had taken my quiz about women/sex, though! I wanted more guys to expand the results a bit... if it sounds like something you want to take, let me know and I'll link you, or you can look back in my post history about 2 weeks and find it.
azurite: (Bunninated!)
I woke up at 8am this morning with a stomachache from hell. Why? I have no clue. All I know is, I hate the possibility of it being caused by food that was delicious and that I love to eat whenever I get the chance. In this case, it's either the Chinese food I ordered after work yesterday (when I met Grandpa at Vons) or the Blueberry Morning cereal I had for a late dessert while I was watching a Sailor Moon S marathon.

(By the way, [ profile] smrffers-- Usa Day *WILL* start next week, and I might even contribute something for it if I can get my brain churning. I'm already thinking of some articles for the SM-section of Epiphany, which I really want to get live before the end of summer.)

So I called in sick, because I'd gone to bed with a horrid headache, and the slightest tinges of it were telling me it was going to come back. And it did. I went back to sleep and woke up again (around 10:30 or 11) feeling like someone had partially chopped my head open (think headband-style). I kept touching my head thinking I was going to find some disjointed part of my skull where I could just reach in and touch my BRAIN! Eew. Shudder-twitch-EEW!

So I'm still feeling kind of ill (want to eat, but something tame-- maybe Cream of Wheat with just raisins and some cinnamon?), and almost scared to go back to sleep even though my head is pounding-- I mean, what the hell prompts dreams about getting beheaded improperly? (Does this have something to do with my wanting to go to Egypt and everyone in my family always saying "No, not this year, you'll get your head chopped off!"?)

Speaking of Egypt, yesterday I got my copy of "Pharaoh Gold" (which includes the Queen of the Nile: Cleopatra expansion) yesterday, and I tried to install it-- it seemed to work okay, but I couldn't run the game, even with either CD in the drive. I didn't get an error or anything-- nothing came up. There was an hourglass, then nothing, just an arrow sitting there all "Dur, what you want me to do?" So I figured, maybe there were some remnants from the copy of the game I had (the single CD version that was all scratched up-- a U.S. edition, I should note, because the Pharaoh Gold copy is from the U.K.), so I removed the new program, edited the registry to remove all data about the OLD game. I made sure it took effect in the Add/Remove programs list, and then re-installed Pharaoh Gold when I got home.

...Still nothing. I thought it was odd that my Windows drive was saying it was about 8GB when I clearly specified in Parallels for it to be expanding up to 15GB, and all these damn "Low on disk space!" errors were getting on my nerves, so I searched the forums, discovered Parallels 3 no longer has Image Tools (which you would use to resize the virtual disk image after you'd created it and put stuff on it), so I had to use this other DOS-based tool to do it. So I did, and I also defragged the drive... but still, NOTHING, even after the defrag (not the Windows one, either-- a much more intensive one I found a 30-day trial for) proclaimed my drive "healthy."

I click on the game icon in the start menu, my Games shortcut folder, or in the Recently-Used programs list, and NOTHING HAPPENS. No error, no pop-up, no nothing. Just a brief arrow-with-hourglass, and then NOTHING. >_<

HEEEELP! What do I do?
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 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 [ 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, :( 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 [ 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: (nana - nana oosaki)
Ah, what a day. I met up with [ profile] staplerx and [ profile] ohsupervinchan at the latter's house (I was a surprise guest star! Hehe) and we hung around a bit before heading to the Asian Art Museum for the Osamu Tezuka exhibit. Admittedly, I learned a lot about him when I was in Japan (in my Pop Culture class), but you really get an appreciation for the contributions he made to Japanese anime and manga (and society as a whole, if you think about the stories behind his manga, and the ways he chose to animate them) by going to the exhibit. We easily spent more hours than I would have thought there, but it was fun. Viz even sponsored a Manga Lounge full of all kinds of manga and drawing materials-- though one girl caught my ire because not only did she hog up the two easels, but she seemed to miss the point behind "sharing your manga" and "contributing to the world of manga" by doing a crappy elf with mainly her pimped website/mySpace, etc. addresses filling up half the side. It wasn't even that good, and she didn't even bother to take the pictures off the easels when she was done, to give other people a chance. Hello, this isn't your museum! Plus she was writing ~Aishiteru <3~ all over her posters like it was some sort of signature phrase. HELLO, people, "Aishiteru" is not some cutesy little phrase that you just toss around. Japanese people take that very seriously, much like people at airports don't take jokes about bombs lightly.

Anyway. Since it was already 4pm by the time we got out, I decided to nix the Vivienne Westwood/de Young museum idea (seeing a fashion book of her stuff at J-town also helped me of that... of all the pics, only 2 were ones I recognized from Nana, and even though there might be more at the exhibit, maybe VW's clothes aren't as "all that" as I thought). Vince dropped Jimbo and I off at J-town; we went to the bookstore (managed to get the June issue of Shonen Jump-- teh yay! But can anyone REALLY explain to me why Priest Seto had the change of heart re: Kisara? In the first act when she appeared, he seemed to be pretty ruthless in getting her spirit, even if it would mean her death. Akunadin/Akhenaden was the one who (before Zork possessed him) seemed shocked by that. But when Zork possessed Akunadin, all of a sudden Seto's the one who wants her to run! WTF, mates?). We then went to a tasty corner sushi shop beginning with an S, across the street from the Peace Plaza. San... something or other? Sapp... I don't know. It wasn't Sanpopo and it wasn't Sapporo, though.

It was all surprisingly good (especially the beef!) and I even had myself some Kappa rolls! :D Mm, cucumbers. And avocado too, I think. After that, Jimbo and I (for lack of a better idea) headed downtown to check out the new mall; we stopped at this boutique-type eatery in the new mall segment called Cocola that had crappy crème brûlée (well, the crust was crappy and thick/harder than it should have been, and WAY too sweet), and Jimbo got a mango mousse that he said was nasty. So, word to the wise, whether you be S.F. natives, nearby-ers, or visitors-- don't go there! They suck.

We lounged around for a bit more; I tried up some overpriced hair clips at a kiosk in the middle somewhere, in a vain attempt to replace the nice green one I'd gotten at H&M ages ago (which I lost at Narita Airport when I was going from Japan to Hong Kong). Turns out the Discovery Store (all across the country) is closing, so I grabbed a lavender-and-rice aromatherapy massage pack, which I plan to use before I go to bed tonight. I think I was able to resist so many of the "nice" things I saw in that segment of the new mall (which I'd been looking forward to exploring for some time) because it's so snotty and overpriced. All those stores I love to hate, like on Santa Monica's 3rd St. Promenade-- places like Zara, Swarovski, jewelry retailers I've never heard of, etc. etc. Bleh! The only stores I like in there are Borders (duh) and H&M. :(

We finally left after 9pm, and I got back home here at 10ish... my dinner was Lucky Charms, because Mom and Gary have yet to go shopping, and Mom asked me to get milk. So Jimbo and I went to Walgreens before getting on the bus, and we saw a guy get nailed for shoplifting! Oooh, bad bad! And I think we saw the same guy a bit later waiting at the same bus stop as us! WTF?!

Maybe tomorrow I'll go to Stonestown with Jimbo again to see Christal... perhaps after I hit up Wash and the ROTC. *smirk* Thursday I might return to the AAM for a Hip Hop and manga event/lecture (I think?) and a late-night IHOP run, like the good ol' days. :D Jimbo owes me $7 anyway, might as well spend it on pancakes. At some point, I have to get together with the girls and hopefully Dad; on Saturday I'll be going to the Semester at Sea boat with mom... and Friday Mom took off, and she wants me to work on the computers all that day. Busy, busy, busy... but at least I have CS3! :D

ETA: Yesterday when I got here, I finally got a call back from the people at Kaiser Dermatology in Woodland Hills... results of the biopsy: negative. Benign mole. I should be relieved, but after all that drama, it was kind of anti-climactic. And with all the other odd spots on me, is it worth it getting them biopsied (read: carved off) just to have them tested and have to do all that call-tagging again? The weird one on my side (the results I got were from that one) now looks 5x bigger and uglier because of the scar... to have that on my back, my thigh, and who knows where else is not very appealing. But I guess it paid to at least be concerned.
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!


Jan. 14th, 2007 03:03 am
azurite: (Default)
Whoo-woo! I just beat Levels 12 and 9 in Star Ocean: The Second Story's Cave of Trials!! (even though it's 3am here and I should totally be in bed...) Actually, I beat Level 12 and the annoying Phoenix bird a few hours ago, but the mage on the 9th floor (the formerly-Sealed Coffin) was giving me real issues with his trio of Dreampeace time-stopping terrors. So I switched out my mainly-fighter party (Claude, Opera, Chisato, Rena) with a Mage-based party (Claude, Celine, Leon, Rena) and within 5-7 minutes, that mage was TOAST! It was a welcome relief, considering I'd been going back and forth to that spot, doing that battle, and getting wasted by Shadow Flare EVERY DAMN TIME.

I don't know if the Phoenix will be there on Level 12 again when I go back down to kick Gabrie-Celeste's butt (and I have a super-secret method I'm DYING to try out-- it's not on *ANY* of the FAQs on ANY of the Gaming or RPG sites, but my Japanese friend Yuta INSISTS it will work), or if he'll force me into a party of two, but... I'm so overloaded with a sense of accomplishment and achievement, I can go to sleep very happy.

Actually, today was a pretty damn productive day, even if I have been home all day, sitting in my pajamas. I managed to finish packing one of my boxes that I intend to send (I have two others that I need to buy bubble-envelopes for: a gift for Mom and Gary, and a gift for Dad), throw out a lot of my old trash, and clear out two of my desk drawers. Pretty much all that's left are some of my books and my clothes. I haven't packed any of my 3 suitcases yet, mainly because my blanket/printer combo will take up the most space, and I need my printer for this coming week's essays.

(I still don't know WHEN my internet will get cut off when I call Yahoo/NTT on Monday; I know I have to send everything back when I get money on Thursday/Friday, though, which is when I intend to send EVERYTHING.)

Tomorrow is when I focus on those, plus studying for the upcoming Japanese test-- broken into several parts (written and speaking), though thankfully the written test isn't cumulative, it's just for the past 3 lessons, the same way we've been doing it for the rest of the semester.

Even better, this Friday, campus is closed, so I'm going to go bowling (probably) with Kevin and my tutors (I really should find something to give to Chisato; I ended up giving Ikumi -one of the other nice girls here- the present I intended for Chisato, but I forgot what Chisato looked like, and I didn't want to be rude and NOT give a present to one of my tutors but not the girl sitting next to him! People have told me Chisato's probably unaware or not that upset, if at all, but I still feel guilty, and when Mer feels guilty it's like having slugs all over you. So... yeah, I want to do something, even if it's just "make cookies."

Speaking of which, I need a simple cookie recipe so I can get rid of some leftover baking ingredients that I have:
flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon
I also have raisins, and I'm pretty sure I'd need to buy actual butter, rather than the margarine I already have. But I don't want to buy a whole can of baking soda/powder, cream cheese, or anything I've already managed to use up (and most assuredly WON'T be able to use up within the next week). Does anyone have any suggestions?

And I have to hang onto enough money for Saturday, which is when I'm going with one of my roommates to Access Moon, a hair salon near Akatsuka Station. They have some sort of New Year's campaign and special 3-set deal where you get a cut, color, and perm for a fixed price. It translates to around $76 US, so it's a damn good deal, considering for just a cut and color, I've paid upwards of $200 back in the States. I just have to budget properly, considering this upcoming paycheck will be a lot smaller than the other ones. Food is priority 1, Mailing is 2, and Hair is 3. Much as I hate to say it, but if I don't have enough, I'll have to cancel the hair appointment and go back to the States looking... less pretty. :(

...I also need to get some more milk, juice, Cola, and something dinner-like (more rice, salad, and/or microwave veggies?) because I'm almost out or out already. Man, Thursday can't come fast enough! I hate being broke!

But at least generally speaking I'm healthy, I'm positive-thinking, and I've got things to do. It's not like I'm sick, trapped in a tsunami (that was Hokkaido guys. Look at a map of Japan sometime, and you'll see Mito is that little dot just above Tokyo. Seriously, I hardly even felt a JIGGLE of that earthquake the other day. I thought I was imagining things), or bored out of my skull. I'm really looking forward to going home, but I've got a lot to do to make sure that when I get back I don't have a panic attack.

And to get started on all that stuff, I need a good night's sleep and hopefully some normal dreams. :)
azurite: (blue flower)
Ah, the joys of Internet. Surprisingly, even in a 3-star hotel such as this one, there are no less than 15 wireless networks in the area. The bulk of them are WEP-encoded and thus I can't access, and some I just couldn't get a stable connection to... so I paid about $15.95 USD for a 24-voucher for access... and I gotta say, sitting right up here in my own bed, typing on my own laptop in my own language is pretty damn nice.

But you don't wanna hear about that, you wanna hear Mer's Big News!

Bonnie has a new boyfriend!
No, seriously. And stellar budding photojournalist that I am, I found a picture of him on the web! Click here to check him out, and then Read more... )

I'm sure given time and a more comfortable schedule (and bed!) I could probably think of more to say, but being that we have to be up by 7:30am or so tomortow to walk to a nearby hotel for our tour, I think I should log. :P Catch you in Tokyo!

P.S. If you or anyone else has tried to text message me since I've been in HK, I don't think I've gotten your messages. The network here is called 3, but it's a 2.5G band... while my phone is more than compatible with it (I've received text messages from them advertising their "guide to HK" service), I don't know if text messaging is. And hell knows what T-Mobile might be charging for calls/TMs from here as opposed to Japan! So please email me, and I'll try and get back to you within a few days. I can't really call, even from Skype, because I don't have my microphone... if I did call anyone, it would sound VERY strange (due to the feedback from my internal speaker, I think-- even if I had my headphones plugged in, the internal mic is embedded within the internal speakers).
azurite: (tokyo map)
Okay, so today was essentially a good day. Holly made me silver dollar pancakes topped with a cute strawberry, as promised, and we took the earliest bus/train possible from Akatsuka to Nippori, and then the Yamanote Line trains in Tokyo to Shinjuku first, then Hamamatsucho (to the Ryutsu Center via the monorail), and then back to Shibuya. We accidentally took the "long route" to Shinjuku, so we got our time messed up a little, but we had fun-- as soon as we exited the station, we looked for a place to eat, so we decided on this small cafe/restaurant that had apparently JUST opened that day (it was pretty busy, and there was a "GRAND OPEN!" flyer on the cashier) called "Ducky Duck." I had a Foccacia pizza and a blueberry bagel (with blueberry cream cheese), the latter of which I got at the train station because I was so ravenous, and the former with a thoroughly lemon-soaked Coke.

After that, we wandered around Marui Young looking at the Gothic Lolita clothes; we'd gone there for a few minutes before Ducky Duck, but I was so hungry I convinced Holly to get grub so we could do some power shopping. While I find the various Lolita styles interesting, I can't really see myself wearing anything except maybe the most tasteful and plain (i.e. as few bows and hearts as possible) dresses. I saw one gorgeous Santa-inspired red coat with white fur trim, but it was over $315! Yeah, WAY out of my budget. But Holly found lots of things she liked, and we found out that if you spend over 10,000 or so yen at Marui Young and are a foreign visitor, you can get the consumption tax (5%) back! So we did that, and then went to look for Okadaya, a craft store.

We finally found it after some wandering, but it was a bit of a disappointment to me-- floors 4-6 were mostly about sewing, with things like rick-rack, buttons, small bolts of fabric, yarn, and the like everywhere. Not my cup of tea, to be honest. Floor 7 had some magazines and books, but they were all over-priced; floor 3 had some cool makeup and wigs, so I bought some nice cheap nail polish and some Victorian-style scrapbook stickers. I also bought some things from the other floors for Baba and Joyce. Floors 1 and 2 were all about beading, and while I was totally tempted to get some things, they were way expensive, too. I might have been reading the signs wrong, but I'm pretty sure the signs had a price "per bead."

Next up we headed to Hamamatsucho; the monorail was a very interesting ride, and it took us through Tennozu Isle, the same place that inspired Infinity Island in Sailor Moon S. I even saw the building that inspired Infinity Academy! :D I just read about it the other day in one of my new books: Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon, so it was pretty cool actually seeing it in person, even if it was just for a few moments.

The antique fair was pretty easy to find, and it was nice that it was all indoors (I thought it might be outdoors based on the description and warnings from the page). But everything was so expensive! I was hoping I would find things for both my Dad and Scott (and maybe Grandpa), but of all the incredible things I saw, only one thing "called" to me as being perfect, and that was a present I snagged for Dad. The guy I bought it from even gave me a small discount! I think he was just surprised that I was being so picky and interested in what he had to offer. I thought about getting Scott a Buddha statuette, or maybe some Japanese ukiyoe art, but with prices running in the low thousands for STAINED stuff, I said no. Besides, nothing "called" to me as being perfect for him. I'm hoping I think of something soon, or see something in Hong Kong. I feel kind of guilty having not gotten him anything for his birthday or Christmas yet, save the one small-ish, kind of silly thing I already bought (which I hope to mail this week, along with the other boxes and cards).

Holly and I split up through most of the fair, and even though the exhibition hall was large, we found our way through the whole place pretty quickly. It was mostly housewares (plates) and genuinely antique-y stuff like samurai armor, swords, prints, toys, and things like that. EVERYTHING was very expensive. One Buddha statuette I looked at was 10,300 yen (over $90 USD, about)! And it was barely the size of my palm!

We ended up leaving before the fair actually ended, and we headed back to the monorail to go to Shibuya. I wanted to go to the NANA 2 museum and cafe "Lotus and Strawberry," but we didn't have a whole lot of time; we were also hungry, so we stopped at a Royal Host and had dinner (I had Mexican tacos along with some honey & wild berry ice cream). After that, we tried to find our way to the Jewish Community Center, but because we weren't coming directly from the station, the directions we had (and the lousy map) weren't very useful. We asked for directions at a koban (police box), and managed to make our way there, but only after TONS of walking. And according to the hours, they were closed on Saturdays! I found that hard to believe, given that synagogues and the like are usually OPEN on the high holidays, and the front door was open, too. Another guy came up and asked us if we were there to see the movie; we said no, we just wanted to see the place, we'd come from Mito, etc., and sooner than later, a guy working for the JCC came and let us in. I saw they had a table of goodies set up-- alas, the dreidels (glass) were too expensive, so I ended up buying matzoh and coconut macaroons instead. YAY! :D :D :D MATZOH! IN JAPAN! :D :D

But all that walking took so much time, so we had to run to catch a bus (flat rate of 170 yen, how cheap!) and get back to Shibuya so we could take our train to Nippori and then back to Mito. But my stomach started hurting on the bus, so at Nippori I found a bathroom and stayed sick for a good half hour. :( My stomach was still finicky when we finally boarded a train, but thankfully it was a Rapid train, so there was a bathroom (which was surprisingly clean). I'd taken a Pepto from Holly back at Nippori, so my stomach started to feel a bit better... but I think the fake Mexican tacos did that to me. :( I'm still feeling kind of queasy.

The guys at the JCC told me about a Hanukkah party going on tomorrow at some Otani Hotel, but there are LOTS of Otani Hotels in Tokyo, and I can't remember which one/where they said it was! I want to go, since the whole point of me trying to find the JCC was to do something Hanukkah-y, and plus you get free food and a free menorah! But since I'm not feeling well *AND* since it costs extra money (plus even if I use another day from my Seishun 18 ticket, I'd have to buy another one for use with Bonnie when we're in Tokyo! It's totally worth it, since it pays for itself if you spend more than 2500 yen or so in a single day, which I do just coming from Mito, though), I might not go. I'm waiting to see if anyone emails me back with the exact address, or there's no point.

I also want to try and start writing more for my scholarship paper/the book. It occurred to me that there are LOTS of books on anime, but not very many on manga, it seems. Mine wouldn't be the first, and perhaps not even the first to explore the connections and dissimilarities between manga and Japanese novel writing, but I'd like to give it a shot.

Anyway, since my tongue is brown and my head is achey, I think I'll get to sleep now.
azurite: (double trouble minako & usagi)
Tonight after EC, I went with Holly, John, and two of our mutual EC partners, Haruka and Naomi to have some okonomiyaki. Haruka drove, and for someone that's only been driving four months, she was really good! Naomi and I joked that she's like Haruka Tenou from Sailor Moon! But since she drove, we took a different path than from what Holly and I would normally do if we walked or took the bus to the same area, just behind Mito Eki. So alas, even if I went in daylight, I don't know if I could find the place again!

It was a little bit smokey inside, and we had to sit on our knees (ow), but the okonomiyaki was delicious! We had one vegetable one with asparagus and the like, and another one with lots of corn and potatoes.

Afterward, we went to a nearby Namco Land (!) and played some games-- I got myself my first Initial D 3 Japanese card (my American ones wouldn't work, of course; I ended up getting myself a white Integra DCR) and I beat both Itsuki and the guy after him (forgot his name) in one fell swoop! I also played some "Love and Berry," this collectible card-swiping game that's really targeted toward younger girls, but it's fun. I've seen the machines everywhere... and they even have their website in English! The basic premise of the game is, you insert 100 yen and get a card. The cards come in different versions-- outfits, shoes, hair, or "special" (change facial color or hair color). You collect different ones and scan the outfits you have that are most appropriate for a given "stage" (i.e. Idol Stage, Seaside Stage, Street Stage, Fashion Street, Ball Stage). You then dress up to get a certain amount of points, and then try and ADD on to those points by hitting a button to the beat of a song that plays on each individual stage. I failed miserably the three times I played, but after reading the instructions on the English site, I kind of understand now. It's addicting to collect all of the cards, though! (I think I like it because it has to do with fashion. :P I kinda want a Berry icon now...)

I also got two new NANA seal sets-- Hachi and Blast! So far, I've collected them all, but I gave [ profile] atlantian_magic my Trapnest one. The art of NANA (by Ai Yazawa) is really good, and I might try and make a site layout from the seal artwork. But I accidentally left them with Naomi, so she'll have to give them to me next Wednesday at the holiday party!

We also took some cool Purikura, though decorating them in such a short amount of time (i.e with text, stamps, sparkles, and so on) is difficult! Since there were 5 of us, we printed a sheet of 36, so they're kind of small, but we each got one of everything. I'll scan them in later. :)

Tomorrow I'm going to Tokyo (Shibuya and Shinjuku) with Holly; we're waking up extra-early to catch one of the first trains, but we've got a tight schedule. First is Shinjuku for Gothic Lolita gear and craft supplies; then is the antique fair near Hamamatsucho, and finally, we're going to Shibuya, where they have a Jewish deli and the synagogue (JCC of Tokyo). Since Hanukkah started tonight, I'd like to go to the synagogue or maybe even a service, just to see what it's like here in Japan.

Since we have to wake up so early, I suppose I'd better get to sleep!


Oct. 13th, 2006 08:43 am
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
So I'm sitting in my room here at 10 till the time when I usually leave to take my "leisurely" walk to the International Center where I have my early morning Japanese class. I've gotten used to waking up early (I've even been waking up around 7:15-7:30 the past 2 days), so that doesn't bother me, but it's the little things I always took for granted that I miss here.

A mom or Baba to take care of me when I was sick.
Comfort food like Macaroni and Cheese.
Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

I'm staying in because I've got a killer sore throat. Jaclyn gave me some Sudafed (the legal kind, thank you very much), and I've been drinking/gargling saltwater like my mother's always directed me to when I'm sick. I'm not feeling any better though, which sucks- because today is actually my free day, with only one class, one tutor session, and one EC session-- compared to yesterday, when I had class, EC, class, EC (EC being English Conversation, or my "teaching," if you haven't picked that up from previous entries).

But obviously, I have internet-- at last. The first two months are free, and since I'm renting all the equipment, there's more of a charge for that... but I don't mind. I'm certainly getting paid enough to handle a measly 2 months after the campaign is over. And if my speed is as fast as it's supposed to be (50 MBits/sec), then they might even send me a BBTV pack, so I can watch TV~ Maybe not American TV, but hey, something's better than nothing. I'd love to see more of the drama we've been watching in Japanese class, "Chuura-san" or the new Hana Yori Dango. Or heck, NANA (the anime)!

I have yet to get the whole printer thing for XP worked out-- need some composite USB device driver or whatnot, and the guy who wrote the Ultimate Guide to Sphere Break may have very well disappeared off the face of the planet. But one can hope things will work out in time-- just like this sore throat, I think things will get better.

I didn't have access to Apple Software Updates or even the iTunes Music Store at first, but I'm good now. Matter of fact, now that I have a Japanese billing address, I suppose I could theoretically even find a way to access iTunes Japan, but I'm not really THAT desperate for any particular song. Sure, CDs are expensive as heck here (unless you find them at discount stores like Hard-Off, and yes, that really is the name), but iTunes Japan doesn't charge 99 yen for a song-- it varies between 150 and 200 most of the time, and I can't really think of anything off the top of my head that THEY would have that a CD store of some sort wouldn't. Unless they have anime soundtracks, in which case, how do I access it?

We're (being the exchange students) are supposed to go out to Tsuchiura and see the formerly-postponed fireworks competition tomorrow night, so I really hope I'm feeling better by then. Especially once I get my paycheck-- which I have to get today, even if I start turning green and spewing flames. Weirdly enough, Erica, Daisuke, Holly, and my Criminology teacher invited us all out to dinner tonight-- we're supposed to have EC until 6:40, and I think he said meet him at his office at 6:30, but if I'm feeling like crap, I don't want to go to either, nice as the thought is (assuming he treats, otherwise, no point).

I suppose soon I'll be uploading pictures and the like for everyone to see. I have postcards in the wings for many people, though others have to wait for me to find the right omiyage for them... yes, I'm looking at you Mr. Gotta-Have-Haruhi!

I'd like to find some sort of Alarm Clock widget, since I'm lacking in a workable alarm clock anyway, and why can't my computer be an alarm if it can do everything else except wash my underwear? I found this Widget that will wake me up, but this morning's test didn't exactly work out- I think I need to figure out how to work the program. But what I want is something that will play streaming radio (via iTunes, probably, or QuickTime) for a set amount of time before I go to sleep (and if possible, dim or turn off the screen in that time, since you can't have music playing with the lid closed/computer in Sleep mode), and will beep or play another song when I wake up. If anyone knows of something, let me know. I'm sick of listening to my air conditioner's whistling to try and get to sleep.

Ugh, I probably should get off this thing and sleep for real... or eat something. Maybe I'll update later if I feel better. At least I got my homework done...
azurite: (yuna will fly)
You know, many nursery rhymes are really morbid. 'Ring around the Rosy' really described the Black Plague, and I heard that the 12 Days of Christmas was a day of reminding people about Christ symbolism in a time when certain denominations of Christianity were persecuted. And then there's the not-so-innocent 'It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring, he bumped his head and went to bed and didn't wake up in the morning...'

But yes, it is pouring here, and even though I'm hungry (had nothing but an apple cream danish, Coke, and some caramel popcorn for breakfast), I don't want to go outside. I took a shower this morning and had some issues with my razor (I really need to buy more bandages), and as a result, I stumbled out of the shower thinking it was 9:50 when it was really only 9:40. Today the basic and advanced classes combined (in other words, the basic class got to sleep in, and the advanced class was supposed to wake up early) to watch Water Boys- a decidedly good movie that was funny, touching, and all-around a great watch.

Long story short, I thought I was late so I grabbed little food, forgot my boots for the rain, and ended up getting soaked when I found out I DID have time and I went to the campus conbini to get some snacks for the movie. My feet are still wet (Converse SUCK for the rain. I need new boots, but the question is, where to get them???).

At least Mom said she's sending me some non-perishables (though I should have mentioned my need for Mac and Cheese, biscuits and artichokes), and I have a Costco Japan delivery of canned Coke and bagels coming my way tomorrow morning.

I finished getting my phone set up (teh yay!), but Internet won't be hooked up until the 13th or so, when I'm supposed to get my modem and router in the mail. In the meantime, there is the International Center, and I abused the extra time I have today (nothing to do until 6th period, when I have EC here at the university) by looking up things to do on Sunday- Mike (yes, Cooper) will be here in Japan for the next week or so with his brother Dave (YAY!), so we're going to try and hang out. He's staying in Nagoya, which is about 2 hours SW of Tokyo, so rather than me meet him there, we decided on a half-way point: Akihabara. With Mike's help, I found a few Jewish delis, and there's apparently one in Akasaka (note: NOT Asakusa!) near the Tameikesannou Station. With my tutor's help, I even got a Google Map of the area, so I know where to walk from the station to get there.

And tomorrow -if it's not pouring- there's a huge fireworks competition in Tsuchihara. The exchange students are all planning to meet up at 4pm at Akatsuka station so we can go together; I want to figure out how to take better pictures of fireworks.

I've been playing FFX-2 ILM (as previously mentioned) in the meantime, and I desperately wanted the rare and legendary Enterprise/Break HP limit accessory that you can only get by pushing an elusive and cracktastic Tobli into the Celsius' cabin-level elevator. Thankfully I got Johnfred (another CSUN exchange student) to do it for me -using only the analog stick!- so I owe him 2 dinners (I figure pizza at Mito Eki will do. It's really delicious there, and I'm all for any excuse going back) for that. Now if only I can get him to play the Gunner's Gauntlet for me! I've beaten on my own before, but it takes a long time before I get into it enough -most of the time, it's just frustrating. You need 500 points in 7 minutes ALL by getting ammo, shooting high-level (and therefore powerful) fiends, and NOT by breaking your chain by getting attacked and losing HP. Or worse, running out of time. It's a pain in the ass!

I detest the mini-games and sub-missions in this game, especially since I'm lacking a decent English translation for the most basic of things. I can't do any of the PR/Marriage missions; I can't understand what the Ronsos on Gagazet say, it's hard finding out from what people in Guadosalam say where the Leblanc Syndicate is (to get the uniforms; I already got one from the Mushroom Rock/Djose Road, but what about the other 2?), and I may have missed some critical percentage points by not finding Maechen at the Youth League HQ when I was there in Chapter 1. Ugh, I knew I was sacrificing the Perfect Ending/100% by getting Tobli into the elevator, but I'm missing basic stuff, here! Quick, tell me where else I need to go and what to do -I can't go to any game sites to get FAQs! I think no matter what, I'll just do the most necessary things here to get as much percentage as possible, and then just New Game Plus for everything else- done THE RIGHT way.

And now, something I've always wondered about FFX-2: When Leblanc swiped Yuna's songstress DS, it had Lenne's dress and memories in it -but Yuna's appearance. Perhaps Yuna was the first to find the sphere and therefore 'mark' it (since Lenne had it herself, or since it was recorded/imprinted by Lenne, even accidentally), but I never understood how Leblanc was able to make herself look like SUMMONER Yuna and THEN transform into Songstress Yuna. Spheres in general really confuse me.
azurite: (dango)
Greetings from Japan (again). My 'Net in my room still isn't hooked up yet, but I did get the complicated application sent out; hopefully work won't be necessary (I think the phone jack is round), but they have yet to email me with the status of my application.

I apologize for not having any pictures or anything up yet, but I can't really MySpace, IM, Google, or much of anything on these school-networked computers, and that includes uploading things to my LJ Scrapbook. Actually what I'm considering doing is creating a new subdomain on my site that includes pictures and journal entries I've created in iWeb when I haven't had genuine Net access to update here.

On Saturday, all the exchange students went out with their tutors (3 to each person, so 8-9 people per group). We got off our bus in Ueno, then took the train to Asakusa, the historical/nostalgic suburb. We went to the famous temple with the 'Thunder Gate' that everyone sees in pictures; we got our fortunes told and then I offered a quick prayer to one of the local Daibutsu for Scott's safe trip to Turkmenistan later this week.

Then we went to have some Okonomiyaki- I got the idea when I searched for videos and I stumbled across my Ranma collection (amazingly still on my HD). I thought of Ukyou, and how I'd never tried Okonomiyaki, and an idea was born. We went to this small place (can't remember where, but it's common for there to be great shops and things down small, narrow alleys), and we had two orders- I shared a grill with my tutor Hiroyasu. The first was an okonomiyaki of my choice, with beef and lots of vegetables. It was SO delicious, and everyone was impressed with my l33t pancake-flipping skills. I can work even without an 'American' spatula! Ukyou-sama would be proud of me (if she existed)! The second okonomiyaki was one with more liquid; you're supposed to dump the semi-dry ingredients on the oiled-up grill, make it into a donut, pour the liquid in the middle, and then fold and flatten it over and over until it's all cooked. We sprinkled cheese (Parmesean or Mozarella, I think) on top and then ate it right off the grill! It was so tasty- as was the special okonomiyaki sauce (by the way, writing messages in that stuff is HARD!).

After that we headed to Kanda and then took a short shinkansen ride to Akihabara (which the locals call 'Akiba'). The original plan was to go to a maid cafe, but we got a little turned around, so we had to stop and ask for directions at an AU kddi cell phone shop. Then when we finally got to the cafe (Japanese elevators are small!), there was a 2 hour wait, so that was out. Actually, I think that was the case for everyone who tried to go to a maid cafe, except a few people got 'maid fortunes' told by maids. Still, we saw lots of maids, cat-maids, and anime cosplayers advertising their cafes.

We went to Taito Amusement Tower, where I'd been with Pop! Japan Travel the last time I came to Japan and Akiba, but this time I had much more fun-- I got a giant Toro stuffed cat from one of the UFO catchers, and he's my new bedroom mascot slash pillow. I have the matching Pez back home in Los Angeles, and Mom has his Pez buddy, Kuro the black cat. We were going to take 'purikura' (print club) pictures; at Taito, you can also cosplay before you take pictures, but there was a super-long wait for that, too. 'Dame datta!' After that we went to Try Amusement Tower, a small hole-in-the-wall game center with something like 7 stories- I think I'd been there before and thought it was dinky, but I didn't know about the upstairs! They had a floor solely dedicated to Bemani games- including DDR 9th Mix, SuperNova! Dez was right in saying that the scoring is a lot tighter. Aside from trying to find songs I liked (I guess organization bv game isn't available anymore), it was pretty fun, and my tutors all thought I was good-- of course, until a Japanese guy came along and pwned me by playing things like Maxx 3000 and so on. :P But I still had great fun, and it was only 100 yen a play!

Most everyone else then went to a discount store, but one of my tutors went with me to Animate (I wanted to go to Tora no Ana, but we were short on time). Apparently 'for ladies' is synonymous with yaoi/shonen-ai, which, as you know, I'm not into. So I guess I'll have to go to the so-called men's store for my smutty romance fix. Actually I wouldn't mind finding some plain old GEN doujinshi...

Interesting thing I found out- yaoi is not a native Japanese word. It looks and sounds like it is, but it's not, and the average Japanese will not associate it with the abbreviation which most fans know it by: 「山なし落ちなし意味なし」 or yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi - usually translated as 'no peak, no point, no meaning.' But it can be translated other ways- like 'nothing mountain, nothing needle, nothing meant.' Thus, you get YAma nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi and then yaoi. They do that sort of abbreviating with other words, but not those words. The joke version of the abbreviation is 'YAmete, Oshiri ga Itai!' or 'Stop it, my ass hurts!' Both of these so-called meanings make sense, but the first one only in English, and the Japanese aren't crude enough to use the second one. The term they used at all the stores I went to was Boys' Love, which encompasses shonen-ai and male smut.

I have no clue about 'yuri' (lily) though and how that came to be associated with female smut.

And that is your Japan update for today... in a few minutes I have to meet with one of my Japanese teachers to plan for the campus open house, and what we (myself, Todd, and Daniel, all of us from CSUN) will be doing to help out.


Feb. 20th, 2006 11:18 am
azurite: (kisara dragons)
Alas, the weekend has come to an end! Am I some kind of weirdo for having classes today, when everyone else seems to be off work or school? I had a geography quiz today, and in a few hours I'll have a dialogue for memorization, two response drills (eugh), and I have to turn in my Listening Comprehension. My LCs have gotten a LOT harder since last semester; the speakers go so fast I can barely understand them! Last night the sheer speed of the speakers on the MP3 tracks got me so stressed out and worried about my homework -among other things- that I nearly started crying.

I guess it would make sense for me now to start freaking out-- I've gone half the distance and gotten letters of recommendation, filled out applications, sent forms, filled out my FAFSA, and all that blather. Now it's a matter of finishing up, writing more essays, getting more letters of recommendation, and getting into a program. I would hate myself if I didn't try at all, or if I quit halfway through, but likewise, I'm terrified of the prospect of actually getting in. I'd be leaving a lot behind -friends, family, material objects. What if I don't make it? What if I end up being a dissapointment to all the teachers that have called me brilliant, motivated, creative, and determined? What will happen to that part of my personality that is always looking for the unknown, or a great challenge? I love that wonderful sense of accomplishment when you achieve something, even if it doesn't mean money in your hands. I get giddy knowing I have a high GPA, or that I'm only 49 more units away from graduation and a degree-- a real degree!

And I believe in what my dad's drilled into my head all my life: reach for the stars, land on the moon/reach for the sidewalk, land in the gutter. I know I might be trying for the impossible, but I'll still go farther than I ever would have if I set my sights lower, because of my bad self-esteem or whatnot.

So here's the situation: I need more letters of recommendation. [ profile] janimelee, I know you said you were interested, and I would really appreciate it if you're still open to the offer. Likewise, [ profile] guardian_kysra, I don't know if you saved your old letter that you sent to my teacher, but if you have the DOC file saved, I would love it if you could help me out again.

This time, it's for Waseda University itself, not for a particular scholarship-- although there are other scholarships I'm applying to that will need letters, but considering they all mostly ask the same thing, what I'm really asking for is:
* Permission
* Your signature

Here's my current list of recommendations:
* Takase-sensei - 3 (1 for Waseda through CSU IP, 1 for Tokiwa, 1 for NSEP)
* Blumenkrantz - (1 for Tokiwa)
* [ profile] guardian_kysra - (1 for NSEP)
* Scott - (1 for NSEP)
* Salido - 1 for Waseda through CSU IP
* Hirota-sensei (1 for Presidential Scholar's faculty statement)

The Waseda University one seems to imply that it should be from a professor though-- so I'm hoping I can ask Prof. Hirota again, and possibly Prof. Davidson, my Geography teacher. I've had him twice now (including this year), and even though it's early in the semester and he might not remember me well, I hope he's willing to give me a recommendation based on what he DOES remember of me from previously. I'm willing to ask Salido or Blumenkrantz again; Scott gave me a copy of his letter so I could re-use it if necessary. Again, it's a matter of signature and permission though, so I don't want to be frivolous with these.

I'm also applying for other scholarships:
* The Bridging Scholarship
* The JASSO scholarship (if I get accepted; I can only apply if/when I get accepted)
* The Aurora Grant
* any others I find
Most of them seem to have deadlines in mid-March. The Tokiwa application is due on the 24th of this month; all I have to do is finish estimating the dates, attach my photos (make 4 more copies), and print it all out. I hope Blumenkrantz really did mail my 2nd letter of recomendation and that the people at Tokiwa didn't throw it out b/c they didn't have a matching application!

In any case, please let me know if you can help; I'll have more information when I'm at home (today's my long day).

A wonderful weekend )

And now I have to try and study for my Japanese.
Kono shigoto wa dono gurai kakarimasu ka?
Isshukan gurai deshou?
Jya, raigetsu no mikka goro dekimasu ne?
azurite: (aries)
Well, I'm brunette again. It's weird-- considering I've kind of gotten *used* to being a strawberry-blonde... or whatever mesh of colors you could call my former hair color. I dyed it specifically for a convention I wanted to attend in Late April, but did the dye job at the end of March, because I wanted to go back to school 'new.' I made the awful (well, sort of) mistake of using two boxes-- since the first time around, my hair was a rusty red, rather than the Nicole Kidman-blonde I'd hoped for. So on the night before school started again from Spring Break, I bought another box of dye (when my mom wasn't home) and did it again, leaving it on well over triple the amount of recommended time. But those silly strand tests never work, and the chunks of hair I took out always made my hair look uneven anyway. By the time the convention rolled around, I wasn't really a blonde by definition anymore (if I ever had been, I'm not entirely sure) but I still fit the parts I wanted to play just fine.

Why the sudden change? People liked my new hair color, even if it took them a while to get used to it. The first comment of my chemistry class was "Oh my god... is she trying to be HK?" Of course not. Some people look good with blonde hair-- some don't. ^^; For a long while, I was one of those who didn't-- but as my roots came back and my hair became redder, people said it suited me. Though my mom wasn't slow to point out that due to my ultra-pale complexion, my original dark-brown-almost-black was a far better color for me. So, since my senior portraits are at the end of this month, my mom wanted me to look my best, and so I went back to my original color.

The good news is I like it-- the color seems darker than it was originally, but now I feel more comfortable choosing my clothes-- I don't have to worry about my pale complexion and tri-colored hair making me look odd. The strange part is, of course, that I dyed my hair in the first place to be different. Not so much to be noticed, but just to be different. I succeeded on that end-- with some odd results. Since dyeing my hair, several people talked to me-- surprised that I would go so far. I've never been meek or shy in any way, but I suppose there's a fine line between being outspoken and being outrageous. I don't think I'll be losing my social skills any time soon just because I re-dyed my hair. Of course, people will notice-- namely, my boyfriend, who hasn't known me with my dark hair, and has only caught glimpses of pictures (and I was feeling rather lousy when he said he liked me with my reddish hair) of me with it. Oh well. ^^
I've also made some rather interesting discoveries about myself-- though having nothing to do with my hair color.

For starters, my three favorite snacks are Wheat Thins, Goldfish Crackers, and Yan-Yan/Pocky. The first two are healthy to a degree, and the last two are "highly addictive." I used to like Mashuga Nuts (the brown-sugar walnut ones) but since they're so hard to find (like Bubbie's Pickles, even though they're MADE here) they're sort of a rare treat. Mom got me a pack of chocolate ones, and you can't eat them without milk. *grin*

Another thing is that I have a love for decorating. I've been looking forward to going to Pier 1 Imports for the longest time; Feng Shui (and astrology) are favorite hobbies of mine, and I find myself reading magazines that "normal" teens wouldn't touch-- Barbie Bazaar (nothing to do with decorating, unless you're a demi-collector like myself) and Family Circle. ^^

Last, but not least, I really have found a variety of journalists and teachers who I admire and aspire to be like. There's my exuberant summer school English (and regular-term yearbook) teacher, Ms. Tay, who has such an outgoing fun personality, but with a snap-like bite to her, it makes me think of spiced Cheetos. Very odd. I also love watching John Stossel, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and have recently heard of the Hispanic talk-show sensation, Cristina. It just enforces my dream of becoming a journalist-- though I'm not entirely sure WHAT kind yet-- maybe broadcast, maybe print (magazine? newspaper?). I might even (and this was my original idea) want to go back to my high school and TEACH Journalism there, as a real, accredited teacher, rather than an English teacher that had an extra class slot to fill.

I just hope this kind of motivation and aspiration stays with me all year long.
azurite: (yuna summons)
Whoo! Only three more days till Friday! Of course, that's both a good, AND a bad thing. I mean, on Friday, I have an exam, and a project due in Japanese that is worth a lot. I'm having a hard time researching it, being unable to print anything color from school, and since my home computer is fried (nooooo) I can't check my mail, let alone print pictures.

Thus screwing me over. HOWEVER, if I play my cards right, I might be able to do the project as a Powerpoint that I can email to my teacher. The hard part is programming all the wording into Japanese using an IME editor. >_<

I already paid for a $6 scrapbook, but at this rate, it's not looking too much in my favor to do the scrapbook project, especially when I can't find any pictures that are color (and big enough).

However, I'm trying to get myself in that "rut" where I'm motivated and happy about something, and if it can't be Spring break, than what better than my 17th bday, and even better, FANIME! Woohoo!

Yeah, so I'm sticking to my creed: Life sucks now, but it has to get better eventually. Hehe...

Strangely enough, I'm starting to get back into the gaming world-- and not just DOOM, but FFX and several other engaging games. Mensa! Whoo!

^-^ Yeah, if you didn't notice, I took a test that says what FFX character I am. I'm proud to be Lulu! She's gorgeous! ^-^ My friends have gotten both Wakka and Tidus... even though the Tidus one is a girl! O.o;;
FFX is actually the inspiration for a new SM fanfiction I have, Final Gate, but it's waaay hard to do any typing not school-related (that is, not at school) anywhere else...

I also noticed that all my songs and stories are really long (I once had a two-page spread in the paper about a fashion show) and since I have to make a short story for this literary contest, I have to limit my expression! Gaaah! >_<

Cinnamon raisins are the greatest thing this world has ever seen in terms of real "fast food." McDonalds either salts their fries too much or not enough. A cheeseburger isn't a cheeseburger unless it his ketchup and onions. Whenever you have successfully accomplished something and sit down to watch TV, repeats will be on. 99% of the time, you won't need to know Calculus or Geometry in a realistic job. Practically everyone ends up majoring in Business somehow. The meek WILL rule the world. Murphy's first law of computing: whatever happens, pretend like you meant for it to happen.

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