On Japan

Mar. 17th, 2011 12:27 am
azurite: (peach girl - momo nails)
I don't live under a rock, but as far as the crises in Japan go, I've been trying to; I'm too afraid of watching some earthquake or tsunami coverage and seeing someone I know being reported missing or dead, or some place I've been/used to visit/lived near getting washed away or sitting as a pile of rubble on the ground.

I sent out an email to one of the few people whose emails I have that I know is still up-to-date from when I went to college at Tokiwa in Mito, but I haven't heard from him yet. I've seen mangaka spreadsheets for fans who want to know about their beloved creators, reunions of friends and family on TV shows, and fandom auctions going up (like [livejournal.com profile] help_japan). I myself have donated $10 to the International Red Cross by texting "redcross" to 90999, and bought a Japanese Garden in Restaurant City, with all proceeds going to the relief efforts.

But it doesn't feel like enough for a place that, even if it was only for five and a half months, I once called home. I'm worried and I hate feeling helpless, or that what little I've done won't make a difference to anyone. Part of me wants to just go out there somehow and do whatever I can, even though it's been so long since I've really spoken Japanese that I don't know how I'd communicate how much I want to help to anyone.

I'd love to be part of Help Japan, but I still haven't done my part for Help Haiti (write a fic for the person who donated for me), and I was just thinking earlier today that I tend to bite off more than I can chew for projects. I need to do things that I can start and finish in the same day, or in a weekend, because otherwise I get involved in too much and guilt myself when I don't finish in a "reasonable" amount of time.

I'd love to bid on people participating--and I will, but so far I only know one fandom friend who's participating and I'd bid (if the auction's not over yet)! Anyone know of others with things they're volunteering that I'd like? I'll bid pretty much anything on my favorite stuff...icons, fanfics, etc.

I thought about writing fanfics and volunteering to donate $1 for every review I got, but the truth is, I'd donate anyway. And I never liked holding fanfics hostage for reviews, even for-good-cause donated ones (assuming the reviews were good...I don't mean positive, necessarily, just not "update more k plz!")

What do you think?
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I know what it's called (mondegreen) when you mishear the lyrics to a song ("'Scuse me while I kiss this guy"), but what do you call it when you misremember the lyrics? I misremembered a line from Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive" as "chamois killing machine." WATCH OUT FOR THAT SNUGGIE!

Long sleep, weird dreams )

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does anyone else have a similar 3-in-1 package in your area? What do you think of it?

Blargh.

Feb. 18th, 2007 12:30 am
azurite: (yuna summons)
So sleeping in, relaxing, and doing absolutely nothing (technically- I did make pancakes, do some chores, and make dinner... but I mostly played FFX today) is great. I played FFX up to the Bevelle Highroad where I beat Seymour Natus and the Mortibody, then I saw the loverly scene in Macalania Woods. It's great replaying the game, because memories of FFX-2 are still fresh in my head, and I can see what's been changed.

FFX always has me asking questions )

Speaking of FFX-2 though, I had downloaded another powersave from Codejunkies (the gamesave I'm using for FFX is also a powersave and is THE BEST THING EVAR! So what if it doesn't come with all the possible items or max gil? It came with a ton of spheres for the grid, with all abilities already activated and THAT has made my life so much more stress-free), but every time I play it, I can never progress past Buddy analyzing for spheres in the very beginning of Chapter 1. I did everything my guide told me to do, and then some-- I went through ALL the tutorials, talked to ALL the characters, got the items from the Engine Room, visited the Deck for fun, checked out some spheres, the dossier, and the beastiary, and took a rest-- nothing. Buddy keeps analyzing the sphere, while there's NOTHING left for me to do. I thought maybe the game file was corrupted, so maybe I can find another powersave. I thought it was weird that the game file had max gil and all the garment grids, plus 100% completion, but NOT all the dresspheres or items. That tells me it was a hacked file, rather than someone's New Game Plus file (with a few hacks). So I'm going to see if there's another one out there I can use, because I was never successfully able to get The End garment grid, and I think having it for Via Infinitio would make my life MUCH easier. :) I don't care if I don't get 100% completion just from the download, but I would like to be ABLE to get it without too much hassle. Honestly, the first time I played through FFX-2, I thought it was so unfair that my characters could be as leveled up as possible, with the most powerful dresspheres and the best accessories and STILL not even be able to GET to Trema. I think I got as far as the 81st floor before I kept dying at the hands of Chac. :(

However, I might actually be video-gamed out for the weekend; I need to do homework for various classes (mostly reading and a few critiques for Narrative Writing class), and I do need to clean my room (though I need to go to Target to get a tower of plastic drawers to put some of my "loose clothes" in-- I've decided to hang up as many clothes as I can fit in my closet, take out one of the fabric hanging drawer sets (well, "shelf" sets is more like it; things fall out all the time) and hopefully save some room on my bookshelves as well, putting actual BOOKS there instead of sweaters or pants! I also need more hangers...

Oh, my package that I sent myself from Japan arrived today. I'm glad everything came in one piece-- I got my mug, my bowl, my plate, my chopsticks, my Ariel cup from Tokyo Disney Sea, and a bunch of other assorted things. Baba and Grandpa's present hasn't arrived yet, though, even though I sent it through the same method on the same day. *worry* I hope it didn't get sent back to the Exchange Hall for some reason. I stayed in contact with one of the workers from Tokiwa's International Center, and they did get my postal money order-- but apparently the bill from Yahoo! BB didn't come yet! I find that really unusual... o_o;

I hope Midori can get back to them/me soon, to let me know about the bill, the possibility of my having left my old Memory Card there in Japan, the envelope she was supposed to send to Bonnie (she said she's been super-busy lately, so she hasn't had time to go to the post office to check the postage), or if my package came back. I hope it didn't, though, and I hope it doesn't get lost, either.

Anyway, I ended up taking a nap accidentally earlier, so I woke up because I couldn't sleep anymore. Now I've been awake for about 3 hours, but I'm tired again-- I guess it's a good thing, because hopefully I'll be able to sleep through the night and have a normal day tomorrow without messing up my schedule. I'm not TOTALLY motivated to do anything, but there are things I do want to do-- outside of playing more video games, of course. ^_~
azurite: (tokyo map)
Since I have to return my Yahoo! BB modem tomorrow, this will probably be my last entry from Japan. *emo!tear*

I suppose I could wax about how the experience has been for me, but to be honest, I think that's best saved for when I'm finally back at home and re-adjusting to "my real life," or at least "my other life," back "home" in the States. Besides, I've been doing entries here rather regularly, so I think people that keep up with my LJ have at least a general idea of what it's been like for me, or what I've been thinking/feeling, for the most part.

But, as some of my parting thoughts on all things random:
-I need some sort of app. for iTunes to better manage all my songs. My biggest irk with iTunes is that when I delete a playlist off my iPod, it doesn't delete the associated songs, so I have to FIND the associated songs and delete them manually in order to save space. I wouldn't need to do this if I knew exactly what was on my iPod (seriously, what is that "other" stuff?), or if the Sync Manager told me when I selected playlists that wouldn't fit on my iPod. I *ONLY* put Playlists on my iPod (that is to say, not random songs that are NOT somewhere on a playlist), so this irritates me. Does anyone know of an option?

I started reading 51 Days of PGSM over at AFSM, and I found a link to Ryuusei's fansubs of the PGSM Oshiokiyo! DVD extras... I downloaded them all, and they were pretty funny. And the episode recaps had me thinking of something I could do for WAFF Day. I know I said something like that before (because I have that idea that would work well for TAFF Day, or WAFF vs. TAFF day, or just a SM fic in general), but maybe if I worked on it a little, that would be good. I know I've said that I want to stay in Yu-Gi-Oh until I finish WDKY, but maybe the reason why 25 is so hard for me to finish isn't just because of the difficukt subject matter, but because the story as a whole seems tiresome by now. If I work on something else for a little while, think about other characters and situations, when I go back to 25, it'll be refreshing (I hope), and then I can finally work on the arc that made me excited about WDKY to begin with-- 26-28! The thing is, the SM fic idea (not the TAFF one) is a First Season romance of sorts, but with an idea distinctly borrowed from the drama-verse. But the anime, manga, and drama are pretty different from each other in their own distinct ways, so if anything, I'd probably have to write it as an anime-verse fic borrowing some ideas from the drama.

I'm hoping I'll manage to cram everything into my suitcase-- it's pretty much full at this point, with everything except my pajamas and tomorrow's outfit in there. I'm thinking I'll just have to give Daniel my leftover Cream of Wheat, but I can get rid of the juice, cookies/macaroons, oatmeal, and hot cocoa tomorrow or Tuesday. And since they're small packets, I might be able to cram them into my backpack, even though it's already so heavy... but at least with Holly's help, we seriously reduced the weight of the package I'm going to send back to the States. Because of the snowman figurine I got for Xmas, I still can't fit things into a shoebox or a smaller box than the one I have, but hopefully the weight will be the primary thing that lessens the cost. Plus the things in there now are things I can live without for a month, so I can still survive off Surface Mail (boat).

I'm still worried that the airport will call me on my suitcases being heavy (plus the extra bag... I can't afford two charges, I really can't, so I hope that all my bags are under 70 lbs. each-- they should be!), or that they'll rail on me for the blanket/Toro-kun bag. Holly doesn't think they will, and I hope she's right. I ended up leaving more things for my roommates than I originally intended, but I hope they put them to good use and don't think I'm just unloading stuff on them to make my life easier (though that is part of it). I wish I could take my nice wooden hangers with me, or my Dove body soap, but I guess those are things I can get in the States, so I shouldn't think about it so much. Same goes for the hand sanitizer... I'm totally an abuser of that stuff, but in all the time since Mom sent it to me, I only used the 2 mini-bottles and about half of one of the larger 8 oz. bottles. I still have an unsealed one left, and I packed that one, but the other one I guess I'll leave here to save room... for my sneakers, or my razor, or something more important. :P After that, it's just my purse, my daily meds, and my mousepad... actually I think I'll probably take that off now.

I should go to bed soon anyway-- even if there's no formal meeting or anything tomorrow, I want to wake up in order to enjoy breakfast, meet my tutors and share my cookies, and maybe go out to lunch with Holly at the meat place near school before I go to the post office and possibly the bank to exchange my money.

Wish me luck!
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Well, I did it. I spent ¥11,920 on my hair-- more expensive than I thought, because according to the stylist (who was a super-nice, gentle guy with nice style), a "C-Curl" (the kind I was hoping for) wouldn't produce the effect I wanted (something that I saw in Mina magazine-- sort of loose curls on the bottom half of my hair, with the rest being semi-wavy). What I ended up doing was paying ¥9000 in cash and putting the rest on my card, and I was hoping it didn't hit yet, but my account is already showing the deduction as on hold. To make matters "worse," the Skype payment that usually takes more than 2 weeks to go through went through, as did the charge for a taxi ride I took MONTHS ago. I still have enough for the extra suitcase on the way back, BUT ONLY ONE. I will raise holy hell if I have to if they even THINK about making me check my stupid blanket-and-cat in a bag, or if they say any of my bags are "overweight" (even though I do want to try and stuff the contents of some of my mailing boxes in my suitcase; I'm going to do my laundry tomorrow and put all my clothes in except for the Mon/Tues ones and my pajamas, and I hope there'll be enough room leftover for the stuff in the box so I can save ¥6000 that way).

I also made chocolate chip cookies, and they turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I don't have to guilt over not giving Chisato or Hiromi a present from Hong Kong; I'll give them handmade chocolate chip cookies! Also, Holly's advice on using pancake mix to substitute for the baking powder (because why buy such a giant can when no recipe ever calls for more than a few teaspoons) worked quite well!

That said, my hair is SO DARK now, I wonder if it's even darker than my natural color. It's all ONE color, so I'm glad-- I'm done with all those crazy highlights and streaks and such. But as Holly said, from behind, you probably couldn't tell me apart from a Japanese person. And Baba will throw a fit, because she thinks I should be blonde. :P But I like it. It's a little frizzy and not as nicely curled as I hoped the perm would be, but I think if I buy some Product (mousse or wax or something), I can keep up the curls. I'm sure none of the pretty Japanese girls get those dos without ANY work involved... maintenance is key for all things beauty, no? Maybe on Monday I can use my bun-maker thing to roll up my hair so it'll curl overnight. :) I want to be pretty when Scott sees me, even though I'll be on an 11-hour flight...

What's left?
-Mail the Yahoo! modem back on Monday
-Mail some postcards and 2 packages, one to each parent (hence the reason why I'm hoping I can avoid paying the ¥6000 SLOW METHOD for the larger package)
-Finish every last shred of packing (that would include the random toiletries, a few pieces of dishware, and my bears which I could probably shove in the bag with Toro-kun)
-Pay the current Yahoo! BB bill (it seems as if my roommates were able to find out SOMETHING, but they couldn't take the faulty BBTV charge off, because I *DID* leave the set sitting around for a week, even though I never could connect it and take advantage of the most expensive thing on my last bill-- the Basic Channel Pack. But whatever, water under the bridge. They also couldn't find out what the next month's bill will be, but I have to arrange things with the Intl. Center and send THEM the money-- an International Postal Order, probably.)

I also updated Epiphany to eFiction 3.1 soon, but I have yet to finish deciding all the categories I want, creating ANY custom pages, creating a FAQ, or making the category images I want. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

And I got to see "Firewall" at last-- does Paul Bettany *EVER* play a good guy? I mean, he's so good at being evil. I wonder if that's just the way he looks-- something about his eyes, he just looks like the perpetual bad guy. Not that I think any actor should be consistently typecast-- they always manage to surprise us-- but from what I know of him, he's always playing some sort of bad guy.

Meanwhile, I still love Harrison Ford, even if he gets his ass handed to him more in "Firewall" than he ever did in any given "Indiana Jones" movie. I respect the guy a lot, and I enjoyed the movie. :)

And now... I'm actually pretty damn tired. I fell asleep a few times while I was getting my hair done, but it'll certainly be nice to sleep in FOR REAL tonight. Except ugh, I think the cookie dough's catching up with me...

ONLY 3 MORE DAYS!
azurite: (hyd t&t i love you)
I've got about 10 minutes before Hana Yori Dango 2, episode 3, and not all that long ago, I got back from a fun day with my tutors, Kevin, and Kevin's tutors. At 2pm we met up in front of the Senbai dormitories, then we headed off to a bowling alley not all that far from here. We broke into two teams, one with me (Meririn), Hiroyasu (Tokotoko), Misato (Misa~), and Chisato (Chisachisa), and the other with Kevin, Noriko, and Hiromi. The other team did much better than us, but I had a great time anyway, bowling in my usual funny way and trying to think of Sailor Senshi attacks to go with each frame. ^^; My hand was killing me by the time I was done (even though I only used a 6 lb ball, I think), but I had a great time after 2 games. They were showing TV on the lanes with unused scoreboards, and I got to see a bit of Dr. Slump and some other strange shows.

After that, we headed to Aeon-Jusco first to take some purikura at You's Land Rainbow Dance (the game center), then to grab some dinner (we had buffet at the same Family Buffet that I went to with Holly, Erica, Daisuke (?) and Dr. Kerhoff). I wanted to see if Jusco had some chocolate chips for cookies that I want to make tomorrow, but they only had a really small, expensive bag. I'm hoping when I go to Akatsuka tomorrow for Access Moon (I *WILL* get my hair done, dammit!) I can swing by the huge Daiso (¥100 shop) and grab a bag there. I did end up getting my bubble-wrap/cushion envelopes from Miriya Shoten (the bookstore), though. They didn't have Yu-Gi-Oh! R vol. 4 yet, and I would have bought it despite my money situation if they had, just because buying manga retail in Japan is SOOOO much cheaper than importing it from any website, be it Amazon.co.jp, Kinokuniya, or Sagusa Books.

While there, I saw a bunch of manga and movie adaptation books with MatsuJun on the cover- advertising his new movie that's coming out soon, Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru or "I'm In Love With My Little Sister." o_O Whoa. I'm not one of the types that finds honest familial incest hot or anything, but MatsuJun must be a pretty damn versatile actor to commit to all the roles I've seen him in. WOW. I really respect him. :D

All in all, I didn't spend a ton of money (bowling was cheap; ¥900 for 2 games and shoe rental), I had a great time, and I even got some presents (chocolate from Hiromi and a cute purse and card with a cat on it from Chisato). Today was good. :)

ETA: Oh. My. God. HYD2 Episode 3 was by far the best of them so far, but I expect Episode 4 to be EVEN better. Check out my post on [livejournal.com profile] hanayoridango when I make it a bit from now.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
I've been repeatedly trying this week to budget out the money I've got-- I got less than I expected today, so I have to really work with what I have. I'm torn between being sensible (using the money only for things I need, and the things that fulfill that need without being expensive) and wanting to have a little bit of fun for the last few days I'm here (getting my hair done for cheaper than in the States, going bowling tomorrow with my tutors). But it's hard! I still have to send ¥500 and batteries to Bonnie; I have the 10kg box to send to myself, a smaller, hopefully CHEAP box to send to my grandparents (though if it gets down to it and I have ANY room in my suitcases, I will rip that sucker open and just give them their presents by hand, even if I already addressed the box), and my last, large suitcase to pack with my clothes, a few random toiletries, and whatever else I can think of to cram in there.

What pisses me off is that while I've been on a cleaning/packing spree, I've managed to become horribly disorganized-- I had 4 bus passes for going from school to Mito Eki (valued at ¥800 total), and I CANNOT FIND THEM. I swore I either put them in my wallet or in some drawer/safe place, but I can't find them no matter where I look... ;_; I've gone through 3 bags of trash, 2 of my suitcases, my entire wallet, 2 of my purses... nothing.

If I can sell my roommates my leftover stamps (which I would feel a bit bad doing, but... I'm GIVING them so many other free things, and the stamps are actually worth MONEY), then it won't be a big deal, because it would be enough bus fare to get me to Mito Eki and back (once, rather than twice, but oh well). But I still wish I could find it NOW, because if I were to unpack in the States and find them in some "obvious" place, I would be really pissed at myself-- especially since I wanted to go to the Post Office tomorrow or Saturday to mail everything off and get it out of my way. I also wish I could sell them my phone... I paid ¥4000 for it, and there's NO reason why I needed it! Admittedly, I have used it for the rare occasion of calling a Japanese number, but for the most part, the phone serves no purpose, and I wish I could get that money back, especially now that ANY amount of money would help. I just HATE asking for money... Besides, I doubt either of my roommates would have any use for a phone; they both already pay for cell phones, and if they were to use the landline, they'd have to pay to get it reconnected. I wonder if I could sell it to someone else? Meh.

Oh, I got my grades today-- an 87.86% grade, which is an A here at Tokiwa, but a B back home at CSUN. Either way, pretty good. I got some parts of the final exam wrong, but nothing monumental, and I did rather well on my speaking test, too. I have yet to find out about any of my other classes (we had a test in Criminology today that was set up SO weirdly, but I hope I did well on it. It was all true or false, but there were lots of trick questions and question sets!), but generally speaking, I'm done with school-related stuff for now.

At least I have chocolate and Cola-- my bestest inanimate edible friends.

And now for something interesting I just thought of (which has probably been done before):
Below is a list of 10 things about me; 5 are true (but are you sure?) and 5 are lies (but which ones?). Can you figure out which is which? If you wanna copy this and do it yourself, please do!

I've committed a crime at some point during my life.
I'm bisexual.
I'm allergic to asparagus.
One of my worst health fears is becoming lactose intolerant.
The weight listed on my California ID card is accurate.
I'm not allergic to fish, I just don't like to eat it.
My least favorite genre of music is rap.
I've never been suspended from school.
My first fandom was Sailor Moon.
My worst habit is biting my nails.
azurite: (tokyo map)
First, I updated WDKY on Dragonfayth to the latest chapter. I guess because some chapters were longer than others and contained those 'ye old alphanumeric character codes' I had to c&p the HTML from Dreamweaver into the story text box (with the TinyMCE checkbox turned off). I know at least some of the slow, "unresponsive" script errors were because of the world "curl" in my stories, but I wonder if the script mangling the alphanumeric codes is something fixable...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I should go to bed soon... we don't have class, really (well, I do for 3rd and 5th), but we do have a feedback session during 2nd period, from 10:30 to 11:30, and I have to wake up early enough to call the SF Office of JTB travel to get them to add my United Mileage Plus number to my account... and maybe then I can officially switch my seat on the plane. Kekekeke.
azurite: (anzu eye)
I AM STILL IN JAPAN.

This means I am 17 hours ahead of the Pacific Standard Timezone, 16 ahead of Mountain, 15 ahead of Central, and 14 ahead of Eastern.

IT IS A BIG DIFFERENCE. Likely the only time when I'll really be available to call/chat is my mid-morning (11am or so), which is the evening (6pm) on the Pacific seaboard, and... well, you can calculate the difference for other timezones, whichever is applicable to you.

I HAVE *BEEN* IN JAPAN SINCE SEPTEMBER. If you are reading this and did not know that, get with the times. Sorry, but I don't like having to explain myself over and over again. Besides, I'm leaving in a few days (on January 23rd).

I am also extremely busy this week, so on occasion, I will be online (i.e. making LJ posts, changes to my websites) whenever I can, but that doesn't mean you can pound me with IMs (unless they're urgent, and by urgent, I mean someone I care about is in some sort of danger or needs to talk to me).

Also, you may notice I am always online. That is because here in Japan, I have no reason to shut off my Internet nor any reason to shut down my computer. That's because I tend to download things while I go to sleep. Saves me time. :)

I use Adium, the multi-client instant messaging application. I am almost always on AIM, YIM, Jabber (LJ), GMail, and MSN, barring some sort of connection problem (my Wireless does go down on occasion, but I also have the computer hard-wired to Ethernet. Still, sometimes you have to manually tell it which connection to use or it just sits there being stupid). However, if I am set to any sort of "AWAY" one/all of those clients WILL TELL YOU SO! Even if I have a fancy custom message, ANY basic instant messaging client can recognize when someone is away.

On AIM (back when I used to use the official client which IMHO sucks), a little yellow post-it pad will appear besides an Away person's name. Sometimes their name will also be italicized and greyed out, perhaps with (0:00) --the time that they have been away or idle. Usually that's a pretty big hint NOT TO INSTANT MESSAGE THE PERSON. Sure, maybe you have some people on your FL who sit there in "Away" mode but are really there, but figure it this way: if you IM me once and you get an Autoreply Away message and I do not respond within 5 minutes, I am not there. I am not available, too busy, or not even IN the freaking vicinity of my computer.

I set all my away messages to be relatively accurate, too, so if you ever DO wanna know what I'm doing, my Away message will almost always tell you. EC is over, but I also have essays to write, bags to pack, and other important things to do, so please don't be upset if, within these next few days, I do not IM people, or respond to IMs, or change my Away status. Point in fact, the only reason why I am not signing off of the messengers all together is so that people CAN reach me in an emergency. Got an emergency? THEN FREAKING POUND THAT INSTANT MESSENGER RELENTLESSLY. I will take notice. Even when I'm absorbed with gaming (ah, my precious weekend relaxation!), I will notice if someone is urgently and repeatedly IMing me.

I trust you to use your good judgment in deciding WHAT is an emergency. Not everything in this universe *SHOCK!* needs my input. No, seriously. I wish I had time for debates or fun discussions or community decisions or whatnot, but I really don't.

I'm sorry, but I hope when I get back to the States, I'll have more time to chat with people.
With that said, I have class now WITH A TEST.

Dekita!

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: (all muses are busy...)
Today sucks already. I don't want to be like "Oh, it started out terrible, so the rest of the day must be going to hell, too." I'm a realist, not a pessimist! But to begin with:

* My alarm clock didn't go off (stupid cell phone. I must have accidentally disabled it sometime last night, but the damn indicator icon was still on, so how the fuck was I supposed to know? I'm seriously considering seeing if T-Mobile will let me trade in my RAZR v3x for one of their new RAZRs that's actually supported. None of this European gibberish funktastic broken-but-not-really crap).

* Because of that, I woke up 5 minutes before I was supposed to be in class. Reeking, I decided to take a shower. Hungry, I decided to eat breakfast. Hopefully doing the somewhat-smart thing (even if it meant missing a vocab quiz, no matter what), I decided to ditch class in favor of working on my monstrous essay for Mass Media-- the class that won't count for anything at CSUN except 3 units.

* The essay which I've already written the bulk of... on Spider-Man alone! So I redid the outline, printed it out, and will start writing a more organized (hopefully) essay as soon as I'm done venting in this entry.

My sleep schedule over the course of the winter vacation and this past weekend has been horrible. So it's no surprise that when my back started hurting horribly yesterday (yay, sciatica), I also happened to run out of painkillers. So I decided to slam some Midol (hey, they have acetaminophen AKA Tylenol in it!) and sleep... and sleep I did, for several hours. And obviously while sleeping, I did not eat. Thus, when I woke up many hours later, I was a complete fruitcake.

And nobody likes a fruitcake.

Well, so I tried to get things done, tried to eat, blah blah... but then when it started getting late, even though I KNEW I should sleep, I wasn't tired. My mind just kept wandering back to all the things that I have yet to get done. And excuse after excuse poured into my brain about why it hasn't gotten done. I hate making excuses.

I also hate having to vent on my LJ because I have no one I can really tell all this to in person, get some honest, IRL feedback from. I hate sticking myself in my room all day and really porking out in front of my computer, because even when I'm at work (school; CSUN) doing it, when people come into the walk-in center for help, it's a breath of fresh air! It's not just mindless-Mer staring at a computer screen, clacking away, even if it is somehow productive.

And my chest has been hurting so much lately, I wonder if I'm setting myself up to have a heart attack. Shit, it runs in my family. It's not like I eat fried food all day long, but I'm not exactly Miss America, here. Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, and the occasional veggie platter do not a healthy cardiovascular system make.

At the very least, I'm a ball of stress, and I'm worried that I won't get anything done, or I'll get everything done half-assed with people mad at me, or some mixture inbetween where I'll end up doing damage somehow. I had such a hard time sleeping last night.

I really hate complaining though, instead of making any changes, so I'm back to working on my essay... which, by the way, crashed about 5 minutes ago, but at least Word makes use of the Recovery feature. So I guess that's one LESS thing to be stressed about.
azurite: (kitty catch)
23 days left before I go back to the U.S.
Woke up 5 hours late today, so now I don't know what to do for breakfast
Have 3-5 papers to worry about throughout the next 2 months
Have only ¥700 in my pocket to buy food with; if I do, I can't go anywhere today unless I borrow money from Bonnie...
Who went out on her own because I slept in so late (^^;)
But I had 1 horrid headache, at least 3 weird dreams, and there's only about an hour and a half left of 2006 in Pacific Time!

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S 2007!

...to all my friends, family, and people I know out in the Pacific Standard Time Zone. :)

And now, my New Year's Resolutions. I hope I stick to them.
(1) Finish what I start.
* I want to finish "What Doesn't Kill You" in 2007, and get at least 3 chapters of "Circle of Seven" out, as well. By "finishing" it, I mean uploading everything, including edits, the changelogs, reference logs, fanart, and anything else. Maybe even that Téa KiSS doll I wanted to do.

* I want to finish all my long-term assignments. I'm a notorious procrastinator, but I've usually been pretty good at making a last-minute comeback, and finishing things when the pressure's at its highest. But I don't want to --or rather, can't-- do that for everything, namely extremely important things that don't involve "just a grade" or things like that, like my scholarship paper. I want to stick to my guns and prove that I deserved that scholarship, and write that damn book.

(2) Think before I speak, and when I speak, say what I mean.
It's funny, because while I can say I enjoy a good debate or argument at times, I don't realy enjoy being yelled AT, laughed AT, mocked, made an ass out of, and so on. I don't like confrontations, because they often lead to hurt. I have a very bad habit of remembering all the worst things I've said and done, and how humiliating they are in retrospect, even if things have changed, for better or for worse. Much of the time in my relationships with other people, I expect them to understand what bothers or upsets me, and they don't- so when they do "another thing" to piss me off, they don't understand why I'm blowing up. It's true that I have my own personal squicks and such, but I shouldn't force them on others, nor be condescending/patronizing in explaining them to others. I don't like being seen as a bossy, know-it-all bitch-- but I also don't like it when people are just pushovers and put me ("let" me?) in the position of being in charge/the leader, just because no one else would. I like being a leader, I like speaking, I like taking charge-- just not all the time. I want to learn to be better at being a team player, and the core of that is in how I speak to others.

(3) Take better care of myself.
It's not that I'm an unhealthy person, but I could certainly stand to expand my palette (of food), eat healthier things, try cooking more things, and of course, exercising more. I should also try taking better care of myself appearance-wise: I complain about having zits, but I know when I pop them I'm doing something I shouldn't. I know when I "forget" to wash my face or brush my teeth one night, I'm doing damage to myself. So I want to stop doing that.

(4) Graduate, graduate, graduate.
Okay, so this technically isn't possible until 2008, but I want to make sure I stick to my plans and graduate on time. I still don't know what I want to do after I graduate, and I'm trying not to worry about it too much RIGHT NOW... but I now I should definitely be thinking about it, given that I have only a year and a half left of school, if I stick to my plans. I want to consider all the options, and put myself in a position to be seen, heard, and sought after by... whatever company or organization I deign to work for.

(5) Save, save, save.
If nothing, this time in Japan has taught me how to be responsible with my money. I've had to live with smaller meals that are repetitive (two things about food which I typically DETEST), a lack of my favorite foods -even if they're just rare, special treats- and not being able to buy the things I want at the drop of a hat. Well, I couldn't ever really do the last one when I was in the States either, but here in Japan, there are a LOT more things that I do want (obviously), and when I see them, I have to genuinely consider "Do I need it? Is there something I NEED more, like money for transportation or food?" I need to be more responsible with my money. Even though I've been paying for food and transportation on my own, I still live a pretty posh life, not having to pay rent. This trip to Tokyo opened my eyes to that, because I did the right thing by paying for the hotel and hostel up-front. If I'd tried to pay later, I probably would have been out of money and unable to pay, and in even WORSE trouble than before-- because I would have spent the money that should have been relegated to those important things. I hate the feeling of being pathetic, and nothing makes me feel more pathetic than needing to ask for financial help. I want to EARN my money, not beg for it, or expect it from someone or something. One of the best feelings for me is that of feeling "Yeah! I did this! I accomplished it on my own!" Or even if I finished something with the help and input of others, I want the knowledge of knowing I didn't give up halfway, quit, or get lazy. I can't stand that in others, so I shouldn't tolerate it for myself. Getting paid "only" once a month should be a good thing-- not an excuse for a once-a-month shoppng spree, but an excuse to stretch my money for as long as I can, and save as much as I can for those rare times in a whole YEAR when I want to buy something REALLY nice, instead of something simple that has a very short pleasure effect (i.e. some rare food, some new CD or DVD... you get the idea).

Well, I figure it's better to have a list of five BIG things rather than 20 small things, so I'm going to call it there. I think I should put some socks on and go get some more food at FamilyMart (the toast I bought from the hostel really wasn't enough...) and then come back here to work on my Mass Media paper for Kawashima-sensei's class.

Yay.

Jan. 1st, 2007 12:48 am
azurite: (dango)
Happy New Year 2007!

Well, it's already 12:38am here in Japan. I tried to post closer to midnight exactly, but the Ethernet was being stupid (or I was, considering I didn't think the router address was the same as the gateway address, and I kept trying to access the domain of the network login WHICH IS DOWN). In any case, the sentiment is the same.

I'm tired and I have a lousy stomachache, so I'm going to go to sleep soon, but at least tomorrow I get to sleep in. The area around here in Asakusa (Sennoji Temple... I thought it was a Shinto Shrine, but it's Buddhist! Or something...) is packed with people, tons of food stalls that aren't usually there, games, and souvenirs. But even though my mom was nice enough to help me out (and rather immediately, too... I owe her big-time), I'm back to being broke-ish, due to my self-imposed limit on what I withdrew from the bank (¥15,000 = $126.74 USD, which I spent on transportation, food, and the rare souvenir over the past 2 days). I never planned on going out tomorrow anyway- I wanted to use the time to work on one paper or another, but Bonnie really wants to go to the Imperial Palace. Alas, the Lotus & Strawberry NANA 2 Cafe and Museum is closed tomorrow, but if the Imperial Gardens are specially open tomorrow, I'll go... assuming I'm feeling better. Apparently everything closes at 3pm tomorrow, save for the shops, which are going crazy with New Year's Sales.

Despite a few misunderstandings with Bonnie, the past two days have been really fun, today moreso than any of the other days at Hong Kong or prior in Tokyo. So even though our expensive 2-day Disney passports weren't good for the New Year's Countdown tonight (that was what everyone sleeping near Maihama Station was waiting in line for... to buy the tickets), we still had fun-- we went to Harajuku again and saw SOME shops that were still open (I got a new sparkling silver belt for ¥315), and went to a recommended okonomiyaki restaurant in a converted private home in one of the darker back alleys of the neighborhood.

At Tokyo DisneySea, I'd had some popcorn shrimp and possibly questionable pasta salad, the latter of which I think gave me my stomachache; Bonnie thought it might have been the shrimp we had in the okonomiyaki or perhaps something else in it (or the alcohol I had, a rather juiced-down Raspberry Orange thing called a "Nable"), but I don't think it could have gone through me that quick. In any case, I popped a Clidinium/Librax, and I'm feeling a bit better now.

I just want to sleep... I'll recount the fun of all of this once I'm back in MY bed, in MY room, in MITO.

I hope everyone has a fun New Year's and stays safe, healthy, and happy. Don't get alcohol poisoning, anyone!

P.S. The guy sitting next to me said he was from Kentucky, but he SCARILY reminds me of Mike (Cooper). And earlier on my way back, I saw a guy who could have been either Ben Watson (R.I.P.) or Jason Cunningham, had he Botox'd lips and fluffier hair... then near the Thunder Gate, I saw a guy that could have been Joe C. in 20 years with the same fluffy hair thing and a slightly different body shape. It was creepy!
azurite: (tokyo map)
In less than 10 hours, I will be on my way to Tokyo/Narita to go to Hong Kong with [livejournal.com profile] baine! I'm actually pretty excited. :) Today went by really fast toward the end, but I'm glad I got so much done-- I did my laundry, cleaned up my room, finished planning the budget sheet, printed out maps and generally walked away with a feeling of accomplishment. I also ended up buying both the tickets for the Disney Tokyo resorts (Sea and Land) and Hong Kong; Bonnie'll pay me back for them, but at least we can both be confident that we won't have any problems getting into the park-- we have TICKETS, dammit. (At least, I hope that's the case that they don't oversell and expect people to be able to come back whenever; I'm sure we'll try and go to the parks at opening, so we don't have to worry about that.) Truthfully, both parks seemed pretty cheap compared to the original down in Anaheim. :P It was only $45 for the Hong Kong park, and only $80 for both Disney Sea and Disney Tokyo on the 2-Day Passport. Unfortunately, I didn't know the passport could only be used for consecutive days, so I had to change our plans from Disney on the 28th and 31st to the 30th and 31st. We're still sticking with our original plan for Hong Kong Disney on Christmas Day, though. :)

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

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

I should get to bed soon so I can wake up early enough to make a hearty breakfast (gotta finish off all my milk; I already gave Holly all my eggs, but I want to drink all the milk and OJ; everything else I can freeze) and call both Mom and Scott. :)
azurite: (tokyo map)
I'm sorry, but "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"...? What kind of title is that? I know JKR said she was juggling between two really GOOD titles, but this title... er, well... it's just not as catchy. Not as interesting. What the heck is a "deathly hallow" anyway?

I actually bothered to check out the JKR site last night (in both my browsers), but all the tricks I kept reading about -you know, stirring the teacup, or picking up these potion ingredients- I couldn't do them. I thought maybe it was my browser, since my Flash is up to date, but even when I had Safari imitate IE 6.0, it didn't work. Maybe the tricks are limited? But if that's so, why keep the same things (the teacup, the pen you can break, the picture of the lightning bolt that Peeves reveals when he blows through) in the room, if you can't do anything with them? That bums me out. I hate IE-only compliant pages, even if that wasn't the case.

Anyway, I *JUST* got back from the Intl. Center, where I spent the last SEVERAL hours making Nengajou, or New Year's Cards. I had to make 7 for my tutors and roommates, plus one for the Umegaoka Elementary school. Writing all that kanji, designing the card drawings, painting everything... it took a while. And earlier today, I ended up choosing between "shower" or "breakfast" (bad idea; I'd rather go to class smelly than starving), so now I'm hungry as hell, having not eaten anything today except some cookies Misato (one of my tutors) made and a small Hershey's cookies and cream thing Christine gave me.

So I'm going to try making a quick lunch, starting a load of laundry (including my current pair of pants...), and then head out to the post office to mail things. Then at Mito Eki, I'm going to buy the Disney Passports for Tokyo Disney and Disney Sea for [livejournal.com profile] baine and I... AND THEN when I get back I will pack, and finish planning the rest of the Tokyo time (figuring out how much I need for where, and so on).

Busy, busy, busy...
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 PaperLantern.net 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 [livejournal.com 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!
azurite: (kaiba smirk)
I'm not sure there's anything quite as funny as someone responding to "Wassup?" with "I'm not gay!" and a bright morning smile. Seriously, the Japanese can be so funny, without even trying. We have a few gems of people here at the dorms; one of them just said that to me and Holly as we were walking back from class.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Lastly, I need icons...
* Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter
* NANA
* Your recommendations
Come on, point me at the pretties!
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
Ah, just got back from Uchihara/Jusco, and seeing NANA 2. It was good, and filled me in on those missing chunks of spoilers that I've been hearing about... sort of. For those of you anxious to know what the movie DOES and DOESN'T, I'll let you know right here - SPOILERS, OF COURSE, FOR BOTH THE MANGA AND MOVIE! )

COOKIE starring NANA, Chapter 64 )

After the NANA 2 movie, I went to the Toho Cinema Store and got myself a Nana cell phone strap (there were both Hachi and Nana varieties, but at 800 yen a piece, I only got one-- the black and red NANA edition), two Disney magazine parody postcards (I'll scan them in a bit; these are the things I mentioned before, when I first went to Kiddy Land at Mito Eki's EXCEL mall), and a present for Scott. :)

I looked around the whole JUSCO department store to try and find the book section Kevin mentioned (he said he bought bookmarks for his girlfriend; I happen to collect bookmarks, so I wanted to know where to get them), but I seriously could not find it at all. My knees were close to giving, and it was cold and rainy out, so I just headed back here. I want to ask Kevin whether he meant the department store or a store in AEON (the whole mall). The exchange students have a tendency of calling the entire mall "JUSCO," even though that's just ONE store in the whole place, kind of like Sears takes up several floors in American malls. But you don't call the entire mall "Sears."

Ah, I need some good Nana icons... But for now, I'll just pretend that these purple nails belong to Nana. :)
azurite: (anzu's problems)
Ah, the luxuriousness of the relaxed weekend is almost over! ;_; Whine. And I won't even have much of a winter break, because I've got all of 2 weeks to travel around before heading BACK to school (and therefore finals), and then back to the States, and then starting school one week after that (and work one week after THAT). I look forward to the weekends SO much here in Japan. And it's funny, because that would imply that I'm really busy, but it doesn't FEEL like it. Maybe I am really busy, but things I'm doing have become so routine or mundane that I can't recall them when someone asks "So what are you up to?" or something like that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can't really remember my health ed class that well, so prepare for The Stupidest Sex Question Mer Has Ever Asked! )

Well PHOO!

Nov. 25th, 2006 04:35 am
azurite: (skip*beat kyouko)
So it's 3:37am on Saturday here, and I'm only awake because I went to bed EARLY (I was exhausted by 8:30pm) and didn't eat dinner. Later today (which feels "technically" like tomorrow), I have to go to both the Hyaku-En (aka Daiso) and Kasumi (aka Supermarket) and get some necessities, but generally speaking I'm still yen pinching. Thankfully I only have to deposit 30,000 yen by November 27, and the rest by December 5. I think I can manage that, even if (alas), there's no payday in-between now and then. I got paid today, and I went to the post office and did a transfer, but because I had no idea if a "bank code" was my routing number (which I put) or not, they have to do the slow, probably-by-mail transfer. -_- It takes a week. But I can just go to the post office again, withdraw cash from my bank account, and then fork it over to them with the IACE invoice saying "here you go, can you make this transfer for me?" No harm, no foul.

I do have a question though: for all you Mac users, is there a BitTorrent client that lets you choose WHICH files from inside a torrent that you want to download? I'm actually trying to catch up with the NANA anime, and two currently-seeding groups are doing batch downloads. Alas, my HD ran out of space at episode 10, and Tomato Torrent didn't seem to want to let me choose which files I wanted to finish downloading (11, 12, and 13). But I don't want to re-download 1-10 again (after I burned them to DVD and then deleted them from my HD)! Maybe there's something I can do in AppleScript, or should I just look for a better client? Or will that disrupt the hash, and I would have to re-download ALL of 11-13 again, even though I already have the majority of the episodes? I tried looking for individual episode downloads from the trackers, but they don't offer them anymore-- and honestly, I am a bit picky about my subtitle standards. I'd prefer Live-eviL or Ureshii, especially since they have the most seeders, too.

Does anyone want to help me with [livejournal.com profile] weekly_ygo? I feel silly for asking this again, but those that volunteered before I left for Japan now have other commitments, and while I DO have regular internet access, I'm also pretty damn busy with teaching English, writing papers for all my classes, applying to SDSU, and so on. So I could use a helping hand, even if it's just someone who browses [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard for updates and emails them to me. I MIGHT be able to handle the rest, but I thought I would ask anyone who has a free hour or two each week if they can help out. I will also be out of town (i.e. out of Japan/away from Internet) from Dec. 23-Jan. 2, which means I'll ESPECIALLY need help during that time, unless I put the community on suspension and resume when I have time. Demoerin said she can return in February, which is most likely true for me as well... but if anyone can help, please, please speak up!
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
What? What? See that line in my subject? That's not English. But I heard Yuna Ito (of the NANA movie's Trapnest's lead vocalist, Reira fame) spoke very good English. Of course, singers and actors alike just say what they're told when it comes to other works, but I'm hoping it's just a case of me mishearing. So, for anyone who saw NANA the movie 1, can you tell me what line Reira said to the blond guitarist after the Trapnest concert?

I just got horribly spoiled by Wikipedia AGAIN. You know, their spoiler tags really don't do much for me. I just end up scrolling past them and then BAM! "WHAT!? WHO!? ZOMG!" But in truth, it does make me look forward to the parts of the manga and movies that I haven't seen yet (or that haven't come out yet). Same's true for Death Note. :)

Nana also made me realize something that was already told to me by one of the girls in a class I T.A. for-- that in Japan, "smoking is cool." The girl in the T.A. class said that the person she respected the most was a particular musician, and she taught her how to smoke. When she asked me if smoking was considered "cool" in America, I had to be honest and tell her no, it really wasn't-- though I could have gone on and practically preached her ear off.

People can say that the cigarettes here have less tar or whatever in them, but honestly, it doesn't make people's teeth any whiter or their breath any better. I still dislike smokers and smoking. Ironically (or not), one of the Intl. Center workers agreed with me on this; even if we found someone who was good looking and kind, if he smoked, we wouldn't pursue anything.

With movies like NANA portraying smoking as this common, easy, every day thing that's "cool," kids are probably more tempted to try it. And because it's so easy to get cigarettes from vending machines (jidouhanbaiki), nothing stops them-- even the teachers at school smoke, so it's not like when they watch any so-called "educational" anti-smoking propaganda, they have any reason to believe it. It's a real shame. :P

And you know, something else... I want to be able to dream too, no matter how painful it is. I think I can relate more to Nana Koumatsu than I can to Nana Oosaki (but I like Nana Oosaki's personality), and that's why I like the series. :)
azurite: (anzu's problems)
You can't spell "distressed" without "stressed." And I was just as equally tempted to pick "depressed" for my mood, because I'm not HAPPY, that's for damn sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, I think I need to sleep now, too.
azurite: (roses are red)
I forgot to mention that yesterday at Kasumi, a young girl (maybe about 7 or 8) came up to Holly and I while we were shopping and desperately tried to speak English to us. She did a very good job, considering her age (most kids don't even learn English until junior high), and after a few minutes, her mom (who looked like her older sister, and we thought as much until she corrected us when we asked) joined her and helped her out with her English. We got interrogated in broken English about where we were from and what we were doing, and while it took 15 good minutes, it was downright adorable and highly memorable.

I'm updating Dragonfayth right now... for those interested, here's what I've done so far (in regards to all my sites lately):
* Deleted the old Animanga Collision/Epiphany eFic install. I'll create a separate database and start up Epiphany anew, using the eFic 3 beta. However, it won't be bridged to WikiFic (assuming one CAN bridge eFic 3 when it comes out with MediaWiki); if I can do that, it'll be bridged with Dragonfayth, since I'm leaving those two on the same database, and I'd rather not have too many scripts running on one database. I know it's a bit weird for WikiFic (which is general-Yu-Gi-Oh) to be bridged with a specific pairing fanfic archive, especially when BEA (Seto x Anzu's official fanlisting) is on an entirely separate database, but Wiki is one of those things that I'm TERRIFIED of moving. I can't upgrade it either, since my server uses PHP 4.4.4 and they don't want to upgrade (yet) to PHP 5, which the latest MediaWiki requires :P

* Deleted the old Betasquad forums. The website is still there, but that's just as useless. Matter of fact, the LJ community is pretty dead, too. It's sad.

* Added the old Featured Author, Poll, and Featured Story polls. Added new Action Log, IP Logging and Challenge Spam Prevention mods. Will soon add the Story Type and Submission Queue Mods. I'm considering adding a mandatory Disclaimer field, so people don't have to remember to type their disclaimer in the Author's Notes.

* Have been adding a bunch of stories by [livejournal.com profile] praiseofshadows! YAY! Her work is a very good example of the difference between SERIES and CHAPTERED STORIES on the site, so I added a new FAQ mentioning the difference. If anyone has suggestions for FAQs/Help questions, please let me know!

* Updated the Terms of Service. Even if it's long and has a bit of legalese, if you're an old Dragonfayth member, please read it just so I don't get in any legal trouble. :)

Thanks to the Skype forums, Stephanie, and a little bit of know-how, I think I have Skype working again. YAY, that means Scott can call me without running up a million dollar phone bill (he called me this morning on his brother's phone; I told him that I couldn't talk long --bill AND class in 10 minutes-- so we switched to Skype, but he got the fast busy signal. Then he called back twice, and we arranged to chat for a bit while I ate breakfast. But since he wouldn't be back by the time I got back from class an hour and a half later, we've agreed to meet on Google Talk later on. Then I can tell him he *CAN* call me. ^_^)

Oh, [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic and [livejournal.com profile] nekokilala, have you gotten my postcard/letters yet? I can't remember if you said you did. :P I still have a few more to send out to various people... and presents/such, too. I'm just glad I have internet, or else I'd be screwed! :D
azurite: (tokyo map)
Okay, so I have a few questions for everyone. They're all over the place, so feel free to only answer some questions/one survey or the other. It's all good. :)

For the fic writers )

For the anime and manga fen )

And now, a treat for anyone and everyone! I present to you The Tens!

The Top 10 Differences Between America and Japan (from the Observer's POV) )

I'll do another Top 10 if you like... just tell me what you'd like to know (or think you know)!

Some more random questions:
1 - Do you know of any female Japanese novelists whose works have been translated into English besides Banana Yoshimoto? (Preferably contemporary ones; ones that are still alive and writing)

2 - There is no number 2. There was, but I forgot it, so there's no question here. If I remember it, or come up with a good question, I'll put it here in an "ETA."
azurite: (dango)
Ugh. Just ugh.
First, I managed to get to the Mito Central Post Office to return the BBTV box, mail my mom's Christmas present, pay my NTT bill, and send out two more postcards ([livejournal.com profile] katiat325 and [livejournal.com profile] nekokilala, they're on their way!). But despite my best efforts and planning, I was about 10 minutes late to EC... and being late to ANYTHING in Japan is a CAPITAL SIN. Which is ironic, because that's only true if it's important (i.e. money is at stake), and sometimes that can be subjective. So I got the guilt laid on me MAJORLY by one of the workers at the International Center.

Second, I've been putting off my grocery and other shopping for a few days now, but I finally went and did it about a half hour ago. I knew my arms would suffer for how much I'd been carrying, but what ended up happening was that I started feeling sick to my stomach (still am, actually) at the store, and all the way back to the dorms. I think it was the tomato pizza I had for lunch (around 3pm; I was so exhausted after Japanese class that my "short nap" turned into "sleep through lunch and your tutor meeting again", so I picked up my paycheck "late" as well... one more reason why Nagatomi-san wasn't too happy with me today, though when Japanese women are mad, it's not their words that will kill you, it's their SMILE). I already took my stomach meds and went to the bathroom TWICE, but I've been feeling hot flashes... so I'm eating a simple meal (a piece of toast, if you wanna call that a "meal") and then going to bed. I have to wake up at 6am or so tomorrow to get to the International Center by 7am... we're going to Nikko, and sick or no, there's NO WAY I am missing that. Let's just hope I remember everything and aren't late AGAIN.

Anyway, I got to thinking that with all the bills and things that I've unexpectedly had to deal with, maybe I should start selling things on eBay. I know I can sell on eBay USA from Japan, the question is, what? I already have that oversized cupcake tray, never before used... Christine thinks that the fake nails (pre-decorated) might be a big hit, because they don't have ones that are quite so "cute" in America (for so cheap). I don't know, what do you think? What would you like (from Japan) that you would be willing to buy on eBay, either through Auction or Buy It Now?

The obvious answer for many, I think, is things like anime, figurines, manga, and doujinshi. The problem with that is, specific titles or items tend to be difficult to find here in Japan, just due to the wide variety of what's available. You're not guaranteed to find the same item from store to store, even if that store DOES specialize in those goods, or even if those stores are part of the same chain. Anime is its own problem because it's Region 2 only, and for the most part, you're not going to find many bidders for it. However, figurines, manga, doujinshi, and possibly soundtracks or movies might find an audience. The problem is, the latter two are quite expensive here in Japan, and in order for me to justify buying it, I'd have to know for sure that someone would buy it from me-- with a profit.

Of course, if anyone has other ideas (preferably the kind that don't involve lots of work at Customs), please, let me know!

I would like to justify wanting to buy Photoshop or the whole Creative Suite, but I *CAN* theoretically wait on that. I might even be able to buy the one here in Japan, IF IT WORKS on an MBP. I was also thinking of Quicken, so I can keep track of my finances better. I'm so out of it though, I can't think. I really ought to sleep.

Lucky

Nov. 7th, 2006 08:35 pm
azurite: (escaflowne destiny)
Ah, what a day. I woke up this morning feeling like crap, namely because of the mini-migraine that had been plaguing me since the night before. It probably wasn't a good idea to eat popcorn and sugar stars (the latter being a gift from the Tokiwa High School students when we went earlier in the evening) as I watched a 5-hour "Kimi wa Petto" marathon. (And yes, it was very good. I successfully managed to burn all 10 episodes to one DVD, too, so that makes me quite happy. I don't understand why one can't make a Video-DVD -as in, pop it into your DVD player- from *.avis, but whatever.)

I ended up skipping both Japanese and Religious Studies, the latter being a bad idea just because that class is actually TWO classes, and I think this week's class was the last part of the Religious segment, and next week, we change teachers and begin the Modern Japan segment. I just wish we'd gotten to learn more about Buddhism.

I managed to get up, eat, and shower in time for Pop Culture, where we watched part of Totoro, Nausicaa, and a documentary called "Polluted Japan." Today's class was actually quite interesting, because it pointed out some of the things that may have inspired Hayao Miyazaki's stories. Totoro was probably my first anime (I didn't even know it until recently), and I'd never even seen ANY of Nausicaa before today's class. Even better, the teacher lent out all of the shows he'd shown us thus far, so maybe later I can watch the rest of the apocalyptic movie "Dragonhead."

I'm hoping both my teachers will be understanding about my missing class earlier. Winter is the season for people getting sick, and I certainly wasn't feeling WELL today. Thankfully Wednesday's not a class-heavy day; I have EC with Christine and by myself (but we're going to watch a movie in the EC with Christine), and my kanji packet due; I think that's about it.

I really want to get my butt to work on my project-- that is, the "book" talking about the Women Writers of Japan. I can either do a whole lot of focus on one aspect (writers vs. manga-ka, men vs. women, now vs. historical times, Japan vs. USA) or focus a bit on all of them. Above all else, I want it to read "easily," and not like some boring book. So I'm going to revise my proposal outline, get a "hypothesis" or "thesis" statement working, and maybe spend some time tomorrow at the International Center library, looking for resources. I guess this need to get that done coincides with my boredom... my want to read some BOOKS. Not fanfics (sorry), but BOOKS. I was thinking of buying some things off Amazon.com or Amazon.co.jp, so if you have any suggestions for fiction, non-fiction, whatever-- let me know. This is especially true if you think of any books that can help me with my research. I already know about some of Gilles Poitras' and Susan Napier's, though.

Finally, Scott emailed me tonight! Actually, I was looking at a Borders email when HIS email came, and I realized he must be online. Since I had Adium already turned on, I opened up my buddy list to see if he was there-- and he was! So despite Turkmenistan having bad connections and such, we were still able to IM each other for a few minutes, which made me feel very happy. It's true that I can't see him, hear his voice, or hold him, but... I know I will someday soon. :) I have to stay positive in that respect, and keep on learning and growing on my own. He said he sent me an *EIGHT* PAGE letter, so I'm really looking forward to that. In fact, I think I'll go check my mailbox now... just in case.
azurite: (tokyo map)
Hokay, so I actually got up early enough to take a shower and meet John so we could go to Tokyo together; we ended up heading to Akatsuka station and taking the slow Joban line train from there (it was cheaper). We split up at Ueno, with the agreement to meet back in front of the Book Garden at 7pm. In retrospect, that may have been slightly dumb; I think the Book Garden is still within the confines of the station, which means if either of us exit (from the train we take from wherever back to Ueno), we'd have to pay to get back in. So I just won't exit. I would actually go back there now, if there weren't so many hours before I had to meet him.

What happened is that all the event pages (even Sarah Brightman's own) said she'd be at the Yamano Record Store at 4-5-6 Ginza on 11/4 at 3:40pm. John and I got to Ueno at 1:02 and parted ways shortly thereafter; I headed to Hard Rock Cafe, had myself a nice relaxing lunch, bought some presents for people, and then headed out to the Tokyo Subway Line to catch the train to Ginza. It took about 10 minutes total for the train ride; I got here to Ginza at around 2:40, I'd say. I walked in the wrong direction at first (streets going in both directions were labeled Ginza 4-chome), but I eventually found the Yamano Store. They had a Sarah Brightman display all set up; huge posters and her 'Kagayakeru Diva' CD ready for sale. I noticed one of the signs had a signature on it, but I wasn't sure if it was really Sarah's (maybe from a previous event) or someone else's (graffiti). I walked in, found the floor where the Sarah Brightman CDs were, and bought up a storm. I got a dual-pack of both Eden and La Luna; I was tempted to buy the 2-disc Andrew Lloyd Webber collection, along with a few other of her albums I'm missing, but I resisted. But I did get the DIVA DVD. I tried to ask about the event, but I didn't really understand as well as I thought I did. I figured they'd just rescheduled it to a bit later.

After a half hour and not hearing anything, I walked back outside to the display and asked the guy out there. He said something that sounded like 'She'll be here in 2 hours,' bit I guess I misunderstood... I ended up going back inside, thinking I had more waiting to do, and bought 'Sounds of Death Note: The Last Name' and the Waterboys DVD. I even saw some ADORABLE cat movies, but they weren't subtitled.. :( I saw some Sailor Moon (anime, musicals, and live-action), but they were all pretty scattered and expensive. :P I didn't see any Yu-Gi-Oh, unfortunately.

Feeling stupid for essentially wandering the store, I returned to the second floor, where they were playing all of Sarah's albums and tried to ask the same girl if they had anyone who spoke English, because I didn't understand the event. She said there WAS no event, and then I distinctly heard 'sakki, owatta.' Oh, it was over a WHILE AGO!? I asked when, and she said around 2:30, Sarah came for just a short bit and then left. ;_; So I missed it.

I feel really rotten, because I really wanted to meet her... maybe with some dumb luck I can still catch her from her spots on TV that she's filming this week. At least I got a lot of media that I wanted. Yamano also accepted credit cards, so that was nice; I used them here and at Hard Rock's Gift Shop to avoid blowing all my cash and then not being able to get back home. I decided to actually enjoy the fact that I was in GINZA, of all places, so I walked around until LO AND BEHOLD, I found an Apple Store. So here I am.

It's pretty spiffy, actually; 5 floors with glass elevators and dual-language diagrams of where everything is. I found Adobe CS Premium (which I bet I could buy for Education price, but I don't want to get saddled with the Japanese version), Sims 2 for the Mac (but not a Universal Binary, alas!), and even some neat programs they don't have in the U.S. at all. I'd be tempted to buy one of the colorful iPod Nanos, except they don't come in any sizes bigger than 4GB. My Mini is 6GB and I almost always fill it to the max. And I don't want to get a boring black Nano for just an extra 2GB. It'd probably be better to wait for the next Gen, or at least figure out a better way to manage my iPod. Does anyone know of a program that lets you delete songs off the iPod without having to manually manage it every time? I notice when I delete a playlist from my iPod, all it does it erase the track listing of the playlist, not the songs themselves (even if they're not located in other playlists). I'd like to be able to drag and drop my playlists into my iPod (or the Trash) so I can always have what I want on my iPod, instead of letting my iPod pick after it runs out of space. :P

Okay 4:48pm. With 20 minutes at the max to buy a ticket back to Ueno, find my way through the station (they actually have attendants that speak Japanese and English standing in front of all the station maps!) and hop the train back, I don't really have any rush, unless there were something interesting in Ueno (two museums, but they're probably closed by now, so that's for another day). And I don't want to go back now and spend all my time hanging out in the station, so I think I'll check out the Apple store some more and then maybe wander around Ginza a bit more. It'll be nice to see when it's all lit up. They're already breaking out the Christmas decorations here. With no Thanksgiving to signal the cue, Christmas trees and lights are already everywhere, especially in downtown areas.

I guess this is another learning experience. :)
azurite: (pharaoh = porkchop)
I ended up talking more about Halloween than I actually DID on Halloween. I made pumpkin pies from scratch though, and they turned out well.

My LiveJournal Trick-or-Treat Haul
the_sweet goes trick-or-treating, dressed up as A She-Devil.
a_white_rain tricks you! You get a scratched CD.
atlantian_magic gives you 9 yellow vanilla-flavoured gummy bats.
baine gives you 1 purple vanilla-flavoured gummy worms.
cutieme4u tricks you! You lose 4 pieces of candy!
dqbunny gives you 18 softly glowing coconut-flavoured gummy bats.
guardian_kysra tricks you! You get a block of wood.
kitesareevil tricks you! You get a used tissue.
lazzchan gives you 6 orange grapefruit-flavoured gummy bats.
mklutz gives you 6 milky white apple-flavoured gummy bats.
rhapsody_dragon gives you 1 mottled green strawberry-flavoured wafers.
the_sweet ends up with 37 pieces of candy, a scratched CD, a block of wood, and a used tissue.
Go trick-or-treating! Username:
Another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern.


:( When I tried to include more people after S, it just gave me the first 10 anyway. Bah, people were mean to me this year! No postcards for you!

Speaking of postcards, I'm sending out a batch tomorrow (though they may not actually do anything but languish there, because tomorrow's a national holiday). I'm sending to:
-The Walk-in Center at school
-The Call Center at school x2
-Jimbo
-Katia
-Stephanie
-Neko
-Kysra

I want to send something(s) to Mamono, Ely, Megs, and Stef, but I don't think I have your addresses, guys! If you're okay with me having it, please drop me a comment!

If there's anyone I've forgotten, or you haven't given me your address up to this point, let me know! Comments are screened by default.

Also, if I mentioned that I did send something to you, did you get it yet? I'm looking at you [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic...

Edit: I posted new pictures up on MySpace (just a few). Next up is my LiveJournal scrapbook, though I have yet to find any sort of functional exporting utility that works with iPhoto. I like uploading mass amounts of pictures at once, not clicking, searching, lather, rinse repeat. If anyone knows of one (that works with iPhoto 6), let me know. The only two I found don't work with the newest iPhoto, and the support people never got back to me. :P

I also wanted to upload my journal/photos from before I had 'Net, but I still have some configuring to do. iWeb doesn't come with a built-in FTP for anything other than .Mac, which I don't really need considering I have my own domain and such. So I have to use Dreamweaver (since I published the iWeb site to a folder within my Sites hierarchy)or Transmit, an FTP client for the Mac. I also need to edit some photos, because some are still the placeholder images.

I was going to upload some videos, but a) it looks like I didn't actually take videos of something I thought I took a video of; b) the videos I DO have are quite small and facing the wrong direction... maybe I can edit them in iMovie? and c) are too big for MySpace, so I'd have to post them elsewhere.
azurite: (mai's twilight fades)
Even though yesterday was the party and almost everyone took pictures, I was pretty saddened to find out that I was hardly in any of them. Apparently they took a big group shot after I left to bring my things downstairs after the party ended. I had asked someone to come get me if anything happened -if we went to karaoke or whatever- but no one ever came. I ended up going back up again 10 or so minutes later, but no one mentioned a group photo or anything.

So when Yuta gave me the photo card this afternoon, I was a bit bummed-- for a moment, I thought I had something I could send to Scott, but no; why would I send a postcard that has a bunch of people he doesn't know on it, and not the slightest trace that I was even there?

I already asked Yuta, John, Christine and Erica if they had any photos of me; none of them do, except for a few where I'm in the background or partially obscured. Not exactly the kind of photo I'd like to send others. I did ask Christine if she could get ahold of Kimchi, since she was the one who KEPT taking pictures of me (or rather, my chest, but it's better than nothing, right?).

Still, I feel kind of left out. Photos are supposed to be people's solid memories, but judging by the way so few people had me in their pictures, I guess I'm just not that memorable. *sigh*
azurite: (potc - will nice hat)
Today was Halloween in Japan, and while it's not nearly as big a holiday as it is in the USA, it was still rather fun. Earlier this week when I went to Keisei with Holly, we spotted a group of kids and their parents (presumably) all dressed up and talking with a talk show host about a local Halloween event. The "everything store," Loft, was even having a televised fashion show with all sorts of costumes, and plenty more for sale. I was tempted to buy a lavender cheongsam, but I think the bust was a bit too big for me...

For the past week, I talked about Halloween with my EC groups. For last Wednesday's group, I made pumpkin pie with the help of Christine, Erica, Jaclyn, and Todd. This week Christine helped planned a haphazard, sort of last-minute Halloween party upstairs in the dorm's Party Room, but it ended up panning out in the end-- she got decorations, everyone made something or brought something (candy, drinks, chips, okonomiyaki), and people played games (Twister, Pictionary), and we had music thanks to both my laptop and Kevin's. Christine, Erica, and I all missed our pop culture class (*wail* I missed Animation Runner Kuromi!) in order to get everything done, but since it all ended up so well, I guess I don't mind so much.

Since it was last minute, I didn't have a formal costume, but I did add two paper horns to my red lace headband. With my red tops (vinyl tube for inside, long-sleeved shirt with turtleneck sweater for outside) and leather pants, I was a "she-devil" with bright red lips. Alas, I forgot to have anyone take pictures of me with my own camera, but I know plenty of people DID take pictures of me because of the skanky top I was wearing. Kimchi even took pictures of me while I was playing Twister, but she didn't focus on my face-- she focused on my boobs! :P

The costumes were as follows:
Holly - Lolita, Christine - School girl, Daisuke - Doraemon in a kimono, Daniel - Skeleton, Jaclyn - School girl, Erica - Cat, Todd - Hard Gay (who else?), Kevin - "Spiderman" (he wore a shirt with a spider on it.), John - (Sick) School boy, Yuta - Anakin Skywalker, Ryou - Spiderman/Superman, Wan - The Count of Monte Cristo? (cowboy cat with long blond hair??), Some Guy - Guy with a Gold Mask, Yoshimi - Traditional Japanese Girl (purple kimono)... and a bunch of others that I've forgotten.

A few of the guys put on a really good show for us with fake guns and light sabers- Ryou can somersault and grab a gun, but when he went head-to-head with Todd, "Hard Gay" won! There was also a pretty fun expo of the guys having a light saber battle, complete with jumping, Yoda-spinning, bullet-time and other fun things.

We ended up not going to karaoke, which is probably for the better, since the party ended at 10 p.m., we had to clean up, and I think most of us are tired, or will be soon. I was just glad to get all my makeup off, since I've pretty much been working and on my feet the whole day, even during my breaks. At least tomorrow I get to sleep in a little, because we have a special event in Japanese class that involves not showing up until 10:30.

What rounded off this day and made it good rather than humiliating or miserable (as some of my Halloweens have sadly turned out) was the fact that I saw what I have now named The Six Cat Brigade. On our way back from 7-11 (to get condensed milk tubes), Erica and I spotted SIX cats.

The first cat was a skinny and somewhat grumpy white and brown cat with spots-- I called him Spot. We saw him on the way to 7-11 too, but on the way back the dorms, he was much more vocal, and he even swatted at me. :P The second cat was actually a kitten, though it looked like he'd been in a few fights. It was little and white with a brown tail that was stuck straight up-- because the other half was missing! Then I spotted 2 more cats in someone's garage area-- but it ended up being 4. They looked like they could have been Spot's mom and dad, so that's what I called them. They both just stared and blinked. That's it. In the background, I also spotted what may have been Pumpkin, aka Catzilla the Ginormous Orange Cat. But he just sat there and blinked, too. Finally another white and brown-tailed cat (maybe Kitten's older brother?) came slinking up-- but he had even less of a tail! It was very small and curled up against his bum, so maybe he was a different breed-- the kind that's born without much of a tail. So I called him Piglet. :P

I'm so happy I got to see and pet some Japanese cats today! They may have thought "Ugh, foreigner with no fish!" but I was happy just to see them with my own eyes-- real neighborhood cats, not pet-store cats in cages!

I have to write postcards to everyone (co-workers, friends, family) and a letter to Scott soon; if letters really take 3 weeks to get to Turkmenistan and I want it to get there before his birthday, I have to write it and send it soon. I wanted to send him more pictures at the very least, so I'll have to ask around tomorrow to see if someone can give me copies, either via email, CD, USB, or something else. Other people are the only ones with pictures of me, and it would be silly to send Scott just pictures of everyone else! I would take some myself, but I'm already clean-faced and in my pajamas, and there's absolutely nothing pretty about that. :P

Screwed!

Oct. 23rd, 2006 12:18 am
azurite: (pluto henshin)
Okay, so BBTV was a bust-- you need a TV or another device that accepts video input for it to work... stupid me thought that you used your BBTV connection to view TV on your computer, kind of like how my roommate does. So I have this massive BBTV box which I cannot do anything with. Thankfully, my roommates said they'd call Yahoo tomorrow and find out what they could do.

Second is, someone on SMRFF suggested I try and get the SM episodes I'm missing via this website... which uses Sendspace, rather than their own domain/bandwidth, so of course, there aren't enough slots for me to download one episode, let alone 60 or more. I noticed they had an IRC server, so I made to get myself an IRC client for the Mac, but even the most simplistic one (made to look like iChat) doesn't seem to want to connect to irc.rizon.net (the server with a bazillion and a half channels) via ethernet OR wireless. So I don't know what to do. Maybe LimeWire, or Torrents, if I can find them. I'm pretty sure Sailormoon is no longer licensed in the U.S., but I don't know if that means VKLL's old subs will suddenly reappear or what. (If anyone knows where I can snag some, let me know!)

Also, if you think Japan is "land of the anime," you're not too far from the truth-- every grocery store, clothing store, etc. has anime in it-- well, sort of. Pretty Cure, Toei's latest magical girl series, is everywhere in some form or another, and the boys' equivalent ranges from Dragonball Z (most of the time) to the occasional One Piece. I have yet to see Yu-Gi-Oh *ANYWHERE* in great abundance. What I find baffling about Pretty Cure is that the new season is a spinoff-- called Pretty Cure Splash Star, and though the girls look and almost act exactly the same as their predecessors, they are a) from another universe, b) have different titles, powers, and mascots, and c) have no discernable relation to the original Pretty Cure seen in the first two seasons of the show. COLOR ME CONFUSED. Why not make the "new" Pretty Cure look different, rather than long-haired versions of the old Pretty Cure? And what HAPPENED to the old Pretty Cure, anyway?
I don't know anything about the series and have never watched it-- that's just what I've learned from looking at products. :P

In other news, WDKY25 is coming along-- I've got 2-3 scenes done already, with something like 3-4 left to go, if that. I think I'm having way too much fun with Bakura in this fic. If anyone is up for beta'ing (assuming I get it done this week), please let me know.

Blue Eyes and Apricots is back to functionality, I've noticed; before, for some strange reason, notification emails never made it to me about new members joining, and even when I checked the panel, it didn't list new members. I added several members manually, and since then, 3 members have joined and I've been notified. So we're nearly 450 members strong! The Fanart section is still gone though, because there doesn't seem to be a method I can think of for hosting the fanart short of doing a password-protected ML/email account or folder on the domain-- and even then, I know people will skim "the rules" and inevitably end up using the images in ways they shouldn't.

Today Holly and I went out toward Akatsuka; I ended up buying a new pair of hi-top Converse (even though what I *REALLY* need are new boots and ballet flats) that are so dorkalicious (dip-dyed rainbow colors!) that I'm a dweeb just for thinking about buying them (and worse for actually doing it). I also bought a new purple long-sleeved shirt (when can I resist?), the elusive Ginger for my Pumpkin Pie this week, and a few random things at the glory that is Daiso (the 100 yen store). But I'd say the best part of the day is how we went to this Italian restaurant called GROOVY.

I saw it, and Bruce Campbell's voice just came into my head. Over and over. It kept me grinning the whole time, even though I didn't understand the concept of "Set A plate" fully. I ended up getting chicken and tomato spaghetti, corn potage, and a salad with a rather funny-tasting dressing. I ate as much as I could, and felt no guilt about leaving leftovers. It was good, but the portions here are huge for me. Maybe moreso considering they don't do takeout!

Well, I better get to sleep so I can finish up my homework in the morning, have a decent breakfast, and spend Monday running around like a chicken with its head cut off (as I always do). Hopefully I'll get inspired enough to finish WDKY25 in one sitting!
azurite: (pharaoh = porkchop)
God, I love my roommates Midori and Kacchin. I've been sick for about two days now, and they've been totally concerned and caring. Kacchin tried to give me some "popular" medicine called Pavolon Gold-- a powdered medicine that tastes terrible, but supposedly kicks whatever cold you have really fast. I've never had a powdered medicine before-- usually I think you mix powders with water to make a hot drink (like TheraFlu), or you mix them in cold water (like AlkaSeltzer). Well this one, you chase with cold water... and even though I'd never done it before, I tried it-- and promptly threw up. I don't even know WHAT I threw up, just that it was bright yellow and vaguely chunky. I felt so sick that I could hardly see.

It doesn't help that my left eye is now puffy if you look close enough, and Visine eyedrops and a hot compress haven't done much. I've not only taken all my regular medications for asthma and allergies (the usual suspects for this sort of thing), but a Claritin from Holly, too. It made me feel better for the few hours I was asleep-- but now I'm sort of hovering between really nauseated and a whole lot better than I was. (Part of me wishes I could say it was pregnancy, but it's totally not. I have no idea why the hell I'm sick, but I know for a fact that it's NOT that.)

And no, I still haven't heard from Skype, so I don't have my number... yet. I did manage to figure out which setting the Network Adapter in Parallels needs to be set up to in order for Windows XP to leech off my Network connection, but I think it's wired in Windows, rather than Wireless (hence the Local Area Connection icon in Network Connections, rather than a wireless one). In any case, I got Windows Updates, but I don't think that helped with the whole USB Composite Device thing. Just googling "USB Composite Device" doesn't seem to help- I need to get the specifics of what's missing or unable to run and what's not. If anyone can help... please do, otherwise I'm going to end up buying Office for the Mac and the iWork suite. (already bought for 53 measly bucks).

Long story short, Tsuchiura for the fireworks competition is out-- which is a right shame, but I'd rather not be out late in a crowded place with no Western toilets when I'm feeling nauseated, puffy-eyed, sleepy, and all around sick and lethargic. Oh well. :P

Saltwater

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: (tokyo map)
After another long weekend (and another typhoon), both my face and my sanity are slightly less worse for the wear. However, I should be getting my own personal wireless Internet access in my room by the end of the week, so thank goodness for that. I can only hope that all the firewalls I keep running into are Tokiwa University firewalls, and not Japanese government firewalls (though I doubt it).

I somehow mangled my FFX-2 ILM game file (beyond getting the Enterprise accessory, which I already knew would prevent me from getting a Perfect Game) by getting all the way to Chapter 3 in a matter of hours, and I just recently passed the Sphere Break tournament in Luca. I tried to use my Ultimate Guide to Sphere Break to help me beat Shinra, but it was running incredibly slow on my Windows VM, and I don't know why. I wanted to see if there was a Mac version available, but the original page that the FAQ came from is firewalled, and the Colorado University page where J Covey (or whatever his online alias was) hosted the files (DOS-based scripts) appears to be gone. If anyone can point me in the right direction -for either a Mac-based version of a similar script or a way to fix the slowness of DOS-based scripts in my Windows VM, I'd appreciate it.

I also need not a USB Host Controller (which is something that comes with your USB CHIP, not a particular device's software), but a USB Composite Device thingamabobber. My printer still refuses to run in Windows because of this. If I can't think of something within a few days of getting my own Internet, I'll just buy Office for Mac or iWork for Mac and be done with it. I can't be going to this much trouble just to type documents up on my own damn laptop.

Yesterday I met up with Mike and his brother Dave in Akihabara. )

I suppose I should check the LJ Portal to see if anyone's got an upcoming birthday, because I might just be tempted to send a present...
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.

Numb

Sep. 27th, 2006 11:32 am
azurite: (mai's twilight fades)
Last time I was in Japan, it took about 3 days before it really hit me that I was even IN Japan, because for all intents and purposes, it felt like home (San Francisco); it was cold, foggy, and rainy; it was crowded, it was busy. Sure, the cars went the other way, the driver's side was on the opposite side of the car, and vehicles mostly looked like they'd been through trash compactors, but generally, it didn't feel too different. That was a nice feeling, because if I followed through on my dream of working in some magazine's Tokyo office, or maybe translating manga, then I would be 'right at home' in Japan, right? Maybe.

I think I'm doing a decent job making my dorm 'homey' and everything- I have a bit more paperwork and phone calling to be done in regards to the phone and Internet, but I should be getting it dealt with soon.

Surprisingly enough, I got a message from Scott today- apparently he's given in and joined MySpace. Not that I think MySpace is all that -I think it's more of a phasal thing most of us went through in high school- but it IS good for keeping in touch and networking. Should I be a little hurt that a) his status is 'single' and b) he has no pictures of him and me together, but several of him with his brothers, mother, sisters, and friends? Ah... I know, 2 years, several thousand miles does not a relationship make. And as horribly Harlequin romance novel as it sounds, I'll wait. I'm just not interested in meeting anyone else. The possibility hasn't even crossed my mind. I'm keeping my MySpace status as 'In a Relationship' because I hate getting propositioned by weird people on an online site, and because I don't want to meet anyone right now, or even when I get back.

So I've officially been to all of my classes so far- Japanese isn't as bad as I thought it would be, and today's class was helpful for those situations at restaurants when you want to ask for things you really take for granted in English- paying separately, breaking a large bill, or getting a dish without such-and-such. Alas, I have to remember to ask Nakagawa-sensei 'Can I ask a question in English?'

Yesterday I was in Religious Studies and Pop Culture (two separate classes, though Religious Studies DOES have a modern culture element, taught by -oh, yes, I laughed too- Yoda-sensei). Religious Studies was a bit slow, but it sounds like it'll be interesting, and I think I might be able to get some GE credit for it. Plus I do want to learn more about Buddhism than I could understand from Scott, and more about Shintoism than I know from class and mythology. Pop Culture was downright fun- we watched a portion of Akira, and a scene from a movie called 'Dragon Head' -both apocalyptic movies. The latter I'd love to see the rest of, but truthfully, Akira doesn't compel me as much. Even better, my roommate Midori is in my Pop Culture class!

Right now I just feel kind of out of it -maybe it was the 'single' bit on Scott's MySpace (even though I tell myself it's not a big deal), or the fact that I had to practice writing out his new address in Cyrillic (not my forté). In any case, I think I should buy a Coke and then head back to the dorms for a PB&J, and find out what's up with my Internet from Midori and BBapply.com's Jimmie Jenkins.
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.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
I can laugh at the funny on GaijinSmash (thanks Jimbo for the link), but it hurts. As does eating, talking, and anything involving the slightest bit of jaw movement. And I probably shouldn't be here in the International Center right now; I should be heading to the Suzuki Hospital to get checked out and see if I'm going deaf or need my teeth removed. But Maeda-san took my laptop away again, claiming yesterday's technology dude misunderstood the system I have set up. The concept of Networked adapters confuses me too, but once I get NTT, ALL WILL BE WELL (or it damn well better be).

In the meantime, can someone be a saint and email me TTFs of Digital Strip, Wild Words, Anime Ace, and all them other comic-book style fonts? I know I could download them now, but I can't save them to the desktop here and email them to myself to smehow get on my laptop whenever it DOES get hooked up, but if someone emails them to me, I can save them to my Flash drive and transfer them that way. I do still need Matrix Book and Suburban (Bold and Light), but those are paid fonts on my computer back in LA, and I don't think Grandpa will have the slightest clue how to get them off and email them to me, even if I instruct him step by step. -_- If there were another way to get them, I would take advantage of it, but...

Also, does anyone know why ZSNES (my favorite emulator) does not want to work on my prettyful Intel-based Mac? SNES9x does, but I can't open up ROMs from the dialog menu, because the Network drive doesn't show up in the list of places to search, so to open games I have to drag them onto the 9x icon. What a pain in the ass.

And tomorrow I have to be up by 6am so I can go to Tokyo. Yay pictures.

Oh, and THERE IS A TOTAL AZURESHIPPING MOMENT IN YU-GI-OH R VOLUME 3 WHICH I BOUGHT NEW HERE IN JAPAN YAY YAY YAY I AM NOT TEH SHITTING YOU!!!!! Whee. It's short, but oh-so-very WUNDERBAR!
azurite: (dango)
This morning I gave my laptop to Maeda-san here in the International Center with the hopes that the campus System Engineer would hook me up with wireless internet. I waited all day, all through class, through two more classes, lunch, a nap... all to be told it's no good, they don't understand Macs. I told them earlier that there's Windows on the machines, but obviously she forgot or didn't understand, because she didn't know later when I reminded her.

At least tomorrow I'm going with Jaclyn to the City Office to get a Residency Certificate so I can apply for NTT/Yahoo BB. Unlike everyone else (it seems) I don't plan on waiting to get our Alien card in a few weeks. I'm too sick of this. Midori (My roommate) said she'd help me return the lousy $22 dictionary I got, and hopefully help me fax the forms for NTT as well (which may cost me... I hate faxing). I have a feeling I'll need to be sent equipment (ethernet cable, router/modem, etc) before anything can happen though. Ugh.

And to add to it all, I seem to have lockjaw or something like it- I know the mosquitos like to nibble on my elbows and ankles, but I don't think I got something from them; still, it hurts on my right side, and I wonder. I hope it's not my wisdom teeth... I don't know about the dental insurance here. I just hope whatever it is goes away by Friday, when we go to Tokyo for a day trip. It hurts to eat and to talk; before, if I kept my mouth closed it was okay, but it's getting sore again, and 400 mg (a pair of pills) of Ibuprofen doesn't seem to do much. Wah!

Apologies to Jimbo, who I've been pestering about activation codes for the software on my computer... the time difference between PDT and here is 17 hours (we're ahead), so it's difficult to find a time when people are awake and available. I try and do texting more than anything else, because I have unlimited texting, and calling is so expensive, and internet access so rare, but if your texting is NOT free, or you never set your phone to silent when you sleep (unlike me), then... yeah, I can understand. But thanks for helping me with everything. It's alleviating the boredom at least a little bit. But I may need to rearrange my room (again) to accomodate whatever stuff I get from NTT.

All the email I've gotten so far (excepting stuff from the Mominator and a few comments) has been junk mail or useless mail. Come on people, talk to me! bored bored bored...

I started my Mass Media and Communication and Criminology classes today; the latter is taught by a German teacher who is... hm, shall we say "energetic"? I look forward to it.

Ja, tsugi o yonde ne!
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
Ugh, who would have thought that a simple taifu (typhoon) could make everything go downhill? Even though my phone (Motorola V3x) is world compatible, in terms of both networks and power, something must have happened after the taifu, because it won't charge anymore. I thought it was just because it was almost fully charged and it didn't WANT to charge any more, but that wasn't it. I tried all the outlets in my room, on my "denki plug" and in the dining room, but to no avail. And my phone is just about dead- without internet, that means no way of contacting anyone, which means DEPRESSED MER!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to get Internet hooked up, but it's much more convoluted than I remembered, and I have to assemble all this paperwork, go to FAX (yuck!) things, and then wait. In the meantime, we have rotten access here at the International Center, and both wireless at the Internet Cafe and the ethernet here are so heavily secured, we don't have the slightest clue how to connect (then again, the other machines and the instructions are in Japanese, so...)

Oh, and *ARGH! HAPPY TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!!!!* Yeah.

I hate being stressed.

I would have more to update with, but until I get net on MY DAMN LAPTOP, I don't particularly feel like locating the rearranged keyboard characters and trying to type out all that's been going on. It's been okay up until last night when all this electronic brou-ha-ha began. Right now, I just want a good dictionary and some sleep.

...And some Frosties.
azurite: (tokyo map)
I AM ALIVE!!!!!

Ah, yes, I made it to Japan okay, and while I'm currently without personal 'Net access, I'm making do with the computers in the International Center. The plan is to meet [livejournal.com profile] baine sometime this extended weekend (national holiday followed by school holiday for me). Problem is, she's all the way down south in Sasebo (think San Diego), while I'm in Mito (think San Francisco). And while the trains here are a lot more efficient than Amtrak, 9 hours and nearly $250 (26,630 yen) is pretty pricey. I have the money, but I need a way to get cash from my MasterCard, a way to get from the university to the Mito train station, and a way to get the tickets without ending up somewhere in Hokkaido.

So far, I've been getting accustomed to my new room (small), my new roommates (cute, fun), and my intimidating Japanese teacher (...) I have been calling some people, but at $2/minute, I'm trying to limit my time. Still, if you wanna give me a buzz, feel free. Text messages are better though, and you can text me via LiveJournal; just go to my User Info.

It was rainy here the past 2 days, and Bonnie was saying it might even be typhoon (Taifu) season coming up, but today the weather is very nice. I hope it stays that way for the weekend, because I wanted to go to the Phoenix Seagaia Ocean Dome resort-- an indoor beach. (Understatement of the year, actually. Go look it up.)

Anyway, there's lots to do, lunch to be had, and a few random necessities to be taken care of (more hangers, sticky pads, a folder/binder)... I'll try and update when I can; hopefully I'll get 'Net soon! In the meantime, I'm updating all of my pictures in iPhoto and making them shared in Parallels; I hope when I can finally update from my MBP I can show off some icons or pictures or something.]

Sore ja-- mata na!
azurite: (roses are red)
Uh... hi! It feels like it's been much longer than it probably has, but as everyone knows, I have an excuse. But first, MORE excuses!

If you got a SPAM email or two from me (or sent to any of your MLs, whatever), I apologize... I had a bit of a browser malfunction in regards to my email client (GMail) and it sent this mass email to all 129 people in my GMail address book, when I wanted to select only a few. -_- Again, I apologize-- please don't think any less of me for it. If it makes you feel better, I got 129 x 2 messages too, plus a lot of "bounced" emails from dead emails, and the occasional "YOU SPAMMED ME, BITCH!?" emails. Okay, none of those, but a few O_O YOU SPAMZORED? ones.

Yes. Anyway, this is my first LJ entry posted using xJournal on my shiny new Mac Book Pro! I'm still navigating my way around this thing, but I'm actually LIKING being a Mac person now. o_o Someone shoot me, I think the world has inverted and I'm really Teews Htiderem! I got suckered into getting a free printer and iPod Nano (I let Mom keep the latter, but it seems to be befuddling her, which I find adorable), but so far the ProCare and the Apple Protection Plan have proved worth it. I got all my PC data transferred onto here, though all my pictures and music are horribly disorganized (IMHO, compared to my PC). Things that SHOULD have been on here are mysteriously NOT, and I don't know why-- so rather than try and find each and every individual file (with the exception of a few songs detectable in Playlist comparisons), I might end up burning a whole spindle of CDs to backup my PC files.

...Then I have to clear ALL my settings from the shit Dell, move the computer BACK downstairs, and clean up my room. I've already got my new bed (formerly Scott's bed) in here, with a rearranged endtable set up, but other than that, it's the same mess as it was before Scott and I spent our weekend in Costa Mesa, at the very nice Westin South Coast Plaza.

So yes, that was my not-so-secret plan for the weekend-- and at first (scarily, almost as predicted... I mean, I tend to envision the worst case scenario, so short of Scott acting like a troll from FFR or an OOC character from an anime...), what happened at first was almost my Worst Case Scenario That's Realistically Possible. Basically, it took a lot longer to get to Costa Mesa than expected, parking was hard to find and not clearly marked, and they were doing loud and dusty construction on the revolving door right as we arrived.

But a good half hour into us getting into our room, things calmed down. Admittedly, I liked the Heavenly Beds (Westin's signature bed and bath collection is called "Heavenly" and for good reason) more than Scott did-- he said he had headaches and insomnia most of the weekend, but somehow we still had a good time. We didn't go to Universal, or go anywhere to a super fancy dinner, but I did still get to wear my dresses and spend precious time with Scott-- and that's what counted. Hell, I even got to go shopping as a bonus-- and I got the purse that I've wanted for years now (for no apparent reason), the Dooney and Burke "It" Alto Bag with the rainbow printed signature line on ivory weather-coated leather! :D It's even cheaper from the official store than it is online, so I'm thrilled. I actually got away with "murder" (it's an expression...) in terms of shopping the past few days... clothes, purses, makeup... whee.

I've still got lots left to do before Japan though-- namely go back to CSUN to clear up some stuff regarding class equivalency, get a fax from the Graduate Studies and International Programs director, email Prof. Hirota, and PACK! Euuugh. And of course, I have to be on my freaking rag. LOVELY. *gnaw gnaw*
azurite: (tokyo map)
I never realized until today just how many cellular retailers there are in the Northridge Fashion Center. I knew of 2 immediately-- one that I thought was Cingular was actually ANOTHER T-Mobile (I already knew about one of the downstairs T-Mobile kiosks); there were no less than 6 that we saw total (for both T-Mobile and Cingular) on both floors of the mall. That's not including Verizon and Sprint/Nextel, neither of whom are an option for Japan.

The spectrum seemed to be crappy toward the back of the mall (dodgy service, stupid representatives), with the cool guys in the middle (though the end-middle guys were desperate, to the point of trying too hard), and the geeky freakazoids (tried to hit on me, thinks he's being original with a "^_^" signature) in the front.

Still, the guys Dad and I spoke to for nearly a half hour from T-Mobile have practically sold me on the silver Motorola RAZR V3. T-Mobile's BEEN an international company, and they just recently came stateside, so they're already well-established with partners in other countries like Japan. I checked their maps, and indeed-- they have high coverage right in Mito, partnered with --yes!-- DoCoMo.

The question then is, is the RAZR V3 a 3G phone, which is required by DoCoMo?

The guys at the T-Mobile booth seemed to insist I would *HAVE* to get a SIM Card in Japan (even though the RAZR already comes with one) and get some sort of a pre-paid plan, but then what I read on some forums, you CAN'T rent a SIM card in Japan-- they don't even use SIM, they use USIM or something like that. And if T-Mobile's got such great international coverage (and the RAZR is a quad-band phone anyway... though I don't know the first thing about how frequency/bandwidth works for phones, let alone internationally), why do I have to get a new SIM card at all?

On the DoCoMo website, it says that any 3GPP (3G Partnership Project) compliant phone will work with them, and I can even keep my own phone number. I'd rather not rent a handset, because it'll be so damn expensive. But then, I don't want to pay exorbitant amounts for roaming if it's not part of my (temporary) plan. I couldn't find anything on their site about renting a SIM card, and while I think they have some sort of pre-paid plan, I'm not sure whether you need to sign up for anything if you already have a roaming-capable phone.

Is there a phone expert in the house, because I am TOTALLY lost here. I'm also a total sucker for salespeople, so I'd like an objective opinion of someone who knows when they're being bullshitted or not. Dad was a good companion to have when I went shopping, as he asked a lot of tough questions, but I really wanna make sure I don't get scammed with all this sweet talk. If it's possible to just have ONE plan, ONE PLACE TO PAY, and ONE PHONE NUMBER, I will be ecstatic. If that's not possible, fine, but I only want to deal with ONE PHONE, period.

The nutshell:
* ONE PHONE for both Japan and USA
* Preferably ONE PLACE to pay (i.e. ONE BILL) for both domestic and international roaming (if not possible, do I need to rent a SIM card? Can't I just buy a compatible-with-the-network phone, select DoCoMo, and pay international roaming? Or do I need to talk to the DoCoMo people first?)
* Coverage in Mito, Japan from DoCoMo (requires a 3G-compatible handset) - partnership with T-Mobile (the DoCoMo website says T-Mobile's only 2G, but who knows how dated that list of partners and confirmed phones is?)
* I'd like a phone that I can download BEJEWELED (the game from PopCap Games) on
* It'd be a bonus if I could get a JAPANESE <-> ENGLISH dictionary (WAP? If I use DoCoMo as my network, does that mean I can download things from DoCoMo, or would I need a Japanese phone with iMode, etc? I don't want such a phone, because it wouldn't be backwards-compatible with the USA networks/features)
* If I can customize the ringer and/or wallpaper, that'd be super-cool
* I want to be able to KEEP my current mobile phone number and phone numbers

Is this possible?
azurite: (unforgotten uranepu)
And everybody say WHEE! Blue Eyes and Apricots, the web's first, official, and ONLY (English) Azureshipping fanlisting now has -count 'em- 400 members! Congratulations to Rea-kun from Malta, who will probably not read this, but who is the kick-buttingest 400th member. I think I should do something special, but what, I do not know. (No, I will not change the layout. Dammit, that layout was hard enough to put together! :P If anything, I can change the colors and the picture but THAT IS IT!)

Spread the word, yo. We've been getting more members than EVER lately, and it makes me so happy! :D :D :D I have some new fanart to put up soon too (from... you guessed it, Rea-kun!) among other things, so at least there's always some new content to check out. I need some more recs and nominations for the Fanfics and Websites sections too, though, so drop me a line, ne?

This is my last week of school before finals. I have four finals, as far as I know:
* Japanese (duh)
* Women writers of Asia (identification... should be easy.)
* Geography (X_X)
* English (X_X;;;)

I finished my term paper for WWA, and I was quite pleased with it-- maybe because the intended length was 8-10 pages, and I ended up with 14. I had to shrink the font and change the font family to get it to fit. :P This is good news though, because I ended up cutting big chunks out, compared to my outline. This means when I actually get around to expanding it and editing it for my scholarship project (which is to write on contemporary writers of Japan, mainly female writers, and in contrast with male writers), I'll have lots of material to work with.

Today I just finished a paper for Geography on symbolic landscapes, and being the urbanite I am, I chose to write about a fourth landscape (this is in addition to D.W. Meinig's list if three from 1979: the New England village, the Middle-American Main street, and Californian Suburbia): the urban landscape. It was limited to 2 pages and a sketch map page, so I hope I did well on it. Prof. Davidson peered over to my paper while I was attempting to draw a lumpy model of San Francisco. :P

I have an idea for my editorial (that is, my second one, because damned if I can come up with another full-length feature piece in less than a day. Bad Mer, bad!) - California is behind the times. Hell, the whole United States is, but California is the worst off, especially here in So. Cal. Now, I haven't heard anyone vocally railing about it on *MY* FL, but that could be due to other reasons... but gas is at an all-time high here in CA. $3.37 is the cheapest you'll find here in Northridge; in San Diego, you were lucky if you saw below $3.54. I saw a $3.61 there, and Baba said she saw a $3.70-something. I realize gas prices as a whole are going up around the country, but CA's always had the higher prices, because we have so many damn people dependent on gas. We can get gas from the South and from Alaska, but somehow, that still doesn't help us. Then you look at countries like Japan, where their public transportation system is RELIABLE and EFFICIENT. I don't know a lot about their environmental policies (they still allow smoking in public restaurants, so...) or fuel usage, but Hummers wouldn't be popular there, and I saw more minivans than I did SUVs while I was there. It's sort of like telling someone they have to cut off their arm to save their life- people just don't want to do it, even if a part of them recognizes it's for the greater good. Are we stupid or just sick?

To do:
* See various departments about transferable credit from Tokiwa. Get them to sign the forms now so that when I come back, they can't double-cross me. I should do that tomorrow, since I need the course catalog.

* Finish up my online resume at meredithsweet.com :D (Go check it out. Tell me if I'm missing anything, if anything needs editing, etc. The front page only has a short intro right now, but so far, I like it.)

* FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICS. I'm already 2000+ words into [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic's Sousuke x Kaname piece, which [livejournal.com profile] mklutz, you will be pleased (I hope) to note that it's a continuation/sequel to the fic I did for you, "Counting." :) I never intended it to be so long, but... hey, it's just one of those universes. I've also got a good idea for the Ed x Winry piece [livejournal.com profile] geniusgirl wanted, so I'll get started on that as soon as I'm done with SxK. Oh yeah, and WDKY24. I want it OUT! OUT, I SAY!

* She is the one named Sailor Moon! I was messing with my Thunderbird settings yesterday (remember folks: compact your Inbox often!) and decided to haunt alt.fan.sailor-moon for a bit, and found a HI-larious post on the possibility of yet another live action SM movie. With Jennifer Garner as the main villain. Hahaha, yeah right. But still, funny. And then someone posted a YouTube link to the elusive Episode 67, wherein Chibiusa BEFRIENDS A DINOSAUR. That was a cute episode, even if the animation style degenerated by about 2 seasons. But yeah, Sailormoon. So totally into it again. :D

* AX? Who here is going to AnimeExpo 2006? I mean the one in Anaheim. Because (I think I mentioned this before) someone requested I go, and there *IS* a brand-new Sheraton there. Mom thinks she can get me the StarHot or whatever it's called rate, which is TEH UBER CHEAP! So why not? I'd just pay for the pre-reg and the shuttle there (if Mom wanted to erase the rest of her debt by paying for THAT hotel room too. She paid for all of Fanime, which surprised the crap out of me) and whatever I saw and wanted that I didn't get at Fanime. And hell, I'll even cosplay Anzu. :D I just want to do a lot of things before I go to Japan.

>_> I hope I got a decent grade on my English paper/Kate Chopin's 'The Storm,' even if it was late.
azurite: (hyd t&t i love you)
Let's see...
* Upgraded Dragonfayth and the site-that-will-be-known-as-Epiphany to eFic 2.0.5 with patches from 4/27 and 4/29.
* Added Story Type and LJ Link mod; still need to add Featured Author, Poll, and others
* Screwed around with this new option in cPanel called ClickBe! Made a weird, semi-ugly version of a new layout, seen here. Has anyone used this ClickBe! thing before? I can't figure out how to change the masthead, add my site title, change the name of links, get information to show up on the main page, or get more than 2 links to show up in the links page.

I also talked to Scott for nearly an hour tonight-- turns out he's not so worried about his phone costs, because he accidentally already paid his May bill, and he even had credit leftover! Hah, funny how that works out. It's almost weird that we're talking so much ABOUT so much, because really, we go all over the map with our conversations. One of the big ones is us going up to San Francisco from 7/17 to 7/21 or 22, though, and I'm not sure how we're going to do it-- drive, plane, or train are all feasible activities, with plane just being slightly more expensive and ludicrous compared to the others. It's quicker, too. Anyway, he's still got to find the time off, and I have to get the money from working.

>_> Dr. Lopez hasn't gotten back to me yet about Tokiwa's credit transferring, or whether the courses I plan to take are upper-division or unit equivalent. Prof. Hirota might be able to help, but she won't be here or available until next Thursday! ARGH!

Still need to:
* clean room
* write papers
* play FFX and FFX-2 (I WILL BEAT YOU, VIA INFINITIO!)
* scrapbook
* figure out website crap
* watch Indiana Jones
* stop staying up so damn late when I WAS tired before!

Meeeeeeeeeeh. Lately I just don't have much to say. It doesn't come out right, anyway.
azurite: (absolut wank)
Ah, I've been suckered. Suckered like a fish. A seersucker fish!

I've been caught in the wave of Da Vinci Code movie madness, and now I'm on Level 2 of the challenges. I just finished the Sudoku-like symbol challenge #2, and it took me a while... but I did it without hints or resetting the puzzle! I did draw a diagram with highlighted regions in my notebook, though. :D I feel smart! Tee hee hee!

I have a test coming up in Japanese in about a half hour... but as always, I think I'll do okay on it. I usually get a low A or a high B on my tests. (The thing that always gets me is stoke order of kanji.) I also "skipped" English class last night (I had a really bad headache and what felt like the onset of an ear infection. I took some painkillers and antibiotics, and was out from 4:15pm to 8pm.) and now I have to do my paper OR ELSE! I actually DID finish reading Kate Chopin's "The Storm," but as my coworker is so fond of pointing out, I procrastinated to the last minute, so I didn't have any portion of the paper done.

Same goes for my WWA paper, but I'm DEFINITELY going to get going on that tonight, if possible (hey, why not start re-reading Yoshimoto and/or Battle Royale while I'm waiting for eFiction to upgrade? The upload will probably take a while for both sites...). There's 2 books that I referenced in my proposal though, and I can't check them out from the library. :P

And then there's my profile, where my lousy teacher thinks the lengthy email I got from Kysra wasn't nearly enough, and I need MORE MORE MORE! (So Kysra, ready yourself for MORE MORE MORE!)

Money isn't coming fast enough. ;_; It's not that I'm buying things unnecessarily (though I could have waited to buy the Indiana Jones trilogy), but payments! Yicky payments! $6/mo. for the domain is chicken-scratch, but I paid $35 for my Hawaii pictures to get developed, and I'll be damned if I just let them sit around and collect dust. I have two major projects this summer:
* WEBSITES! Get them up and running and fabulous!
* SCRAPBOOK! because it's long overdue.
Also FANFIC WRITING, GET READY FOR JAPAN, WORK BUTT OFF, SEE SCOTT, GO TO FANIME, GO TO SAN FRANCISCO JUL 17, etc. etc. These all involve little sub projects, like cleaning my room, giving my wardrobe and overhaul, buying a laptop, buying plane tickets to and from San Francisco (and if Scott comes, tix for him too- though I certainly wouldn't object to him paying for his own tix. But I don't want him to take Greyhound again! :P), blah blah, things I'm forgetting, blah.

Oh, and what am I going to do about medical insurance, my prescriptions while I'm in Japan, my cell phone, etc.? It's one thing to maintain my bank account, but I don't want to be stuck with surcharges for international withdrawls (Traveler's Cheques, maybe?), and carrying around 10,000 yen bills is like asking to lose it ("it" being the money or my sanity, take your pick) or go on a spontaneous shopping spree.

BLAH! I should head to class now, squeeze in the extra study time, and then pray for the test to end quickly so I can get lunch before work.

Inept.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now... it's Back to Back to the Future. I'm too bored to just keep sitting here. Maybe I'll eat some pie now.

zOMG.

Apr. 20th, 2006 11:05 pm
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
Happy Birthday bejiin and cutieme4u!



I GOT INTO TOKIWA UNIVERSITY!!!!!!!!
I was one of only SEVEN applicants accepted from CSUN and CSU Fresno, and it's ALL EXPENSES PAID! Plus I get paid a small stipend to teach English conversation while I'm there. Sure, it's only one semester, and it's 2 hours from Tokyo by bus, but YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

January 2016

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