azurite: Life is short, talk fast (life is short talk fast)
Every time I go away from Dreamwidth blogging for a while, Dreamwidth goes and gets more awesome. I decided to nix my Premium account because even though I love the site and service, I was using it so rarely I couldn't justify the expense, especially when I've got my own domain and am often trying to post to my various WordPress-powered blogs on sites there.

The problem is, my sites are so new, so thin on content, that I don't have that built-in community.

This gets crossposted to LiveJournal, and why? Well, LJ has been around even longer than Dreamwidth, but LJ also had so so so many issues when Six Apart sold it (even before that, when Brad sold it to Six Apart). I really didn't like a lot of those changes, and I saw a lot of my fellow LJers move over to Dreamwidth. The communities sometimes followed, but not always.

I have a permanent account on LJ, which means it's not supposed to go anywhere, ever. Theoretically, all the interconnected services there are these days should mean that it's EASIER to cross-post and always stay up-to-date, but the real experience of LJ and DW are the Friends List/Reading Page, and these days, if I'm reading anything for a prolonged period of time, it's Facebook. Yes, there are fan communities there too, but it's very much NOT the same.

I never really divided my fandom self from my "real" self-- I'm not afraid to tell people who I am on Facebook or deviantArt or wherever, and I've never particularly cared about "IRL" friends or family finding out about my fandom activities.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" I guess.

Long-winded entry continues here... )
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
Do you remember when LiveJournal used to be cool? You had to get an invite to even get a journal there. It was not only exclusive, it was run well. It just seemed to work. You didn't have this big complicated install, where you had to understand CGI or PHP or any of that stuff. You just went to the website, logged in, and wrote. You could get comments if you wanted, attach different moods and icons to each post to express yourself. You could organize things into Memories, and later, add tags. You could customize the look of your own journal, get friends, join communities.

You can still do all of that, and more (Scrapbook! Games!) but it's bloated now. I think everything went downhill the minute the site got sold to SixApart. They didn't know what the hell they were doing, and when SixApart sold it to whatever Russian company owns it now, it got even worse.

The amount of spam I get on my various posts throughout my LiveJournal history has increased nearly exponentially over the past few years. Communities are the one and only thing that LiveJournal and similar sites (like Dreamwidth, bless its heart) have over better, spam-free, more customizable blogging software--like WordPress, which I am now using for pretty much all of my websites.

I remember trying to deal with some of the spam over the past few days while my computer was "recovering" from an Erase and Install of the OS. I was busy installing updates and such, so I couldn't do it on there. I tried accessing the LiveJournal mobile site on my iPad, and I couldn't even tap on the login boxes, because every time I did, it thought I was tapping on the LiveJournal logo, so it just took me back to the homepage. It's because the mobile site wasn't properly optimized, and the full site must have used some Java that caused the login box to move around on the main banner. The mobile site--if one can even log into it--sucks, and that's becoming an increasingly dangerous thing in this day and age. Something that's BUILT to be accessible and responsive should be a priority for websites of any kind in this day and age. It's definitely something I'm aspiring to for my sites.

It's no longer a case of LiveJournal working; it's a matter of "if" and "when" -- it's also getting hit more and more frequently with DDoS attacks or other various outages that are never fully explained. LiveJournal doesn't have any sort of reliable presence to notify us of such outages AS they happen, so people are left in the dark. Sure, LiveJournal isn't exactly a crucial service, but it's still a pain in the butt when you're trying to access something specific--or perhaps writing something important--and all of a sudden you can't access it. If you've paid for any portion of the service--which a lot of people had, including me, way back in the day when I thought a Permanent Account might be a good idea--then you're essentially losing money for every moment of downtime, which is why LiveJournal is probably bleeding out its coffers trying to pay back users for all their lost time.

I'll miss it, but honestly? Bring back the blogroll. I can import my LiveJournal into WordPress now, maybe even figure out a way to crosspost it here to Dreamwidth (because I like Dreamwidth and at least want to support its continued development via communities I run), then I can just do everything I want from one single place. That'd be nice.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Stolen shamelessly from [livejournal.com profile] frannyan. I don't know if there's more to this meme, but I'll do it if there is! :P

→ Take a screenshot of your desktop. (This is actually just one of FOUR desktops I have. But the other ones just have different wallpaper, not anything else...)

→ Take a screenshot your media player (if you have one up). (I finished my taxes and promptly looked up the "Victory Fanfare" from Final Fantasy V. Because my search wasn't specific, it brought up everything else with "Vict" in the title, which is why the Currently Playing is something from another video game. There's TuneUp to the right, with a bizarre cover art suggestion for a Fushigi Yuugi album that's missing art. I don't think Tasuki would like penguins...)

→ Take a screenshot of another program you have up. (This is Cyndicate, my new feed reader. Do I have too many feeds? I'm not even sure if it's working for LJ yet, picking up protected entries/saving cookies. I wish my custom RSS feed--made with an S2 style--would display authors properly, but I wouldn't know how to modify it to get it. Anyone have any ideas?)

→ Pick a tab you have up and take a screenshot of it. (This is a tab where I'm previewing a file I made in RapidWeaver. I liked the theme for "The Rose Chronicles," so I started trying to put it together as a fic site. Problem is, I don't much understand the plugins, so I'm not sure which one is best for a fanfic. Stacks? Blocks? Accordion? Also, the Carousel page I'm using for the Fanart is a little difficult to setup. For some reason some of the art displays to the right of the "page" content area, and some displays to the right. But isn't the thumbnail slider pretty?)

→ YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE ANYTHING BEFORE TAKING A SCREENSHOT OF IT

I didn't! They're all just straight screenshots taken with SnapzProX. Does anyone know a screen capture tool which takes screencaps of the whole screen, even what's past the scrollbar? I thought Little Snapper did that, but I'm not sure how....
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
Did you know that [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses has been around for over FIVE years? I'm so proud. Anniversaries for things like that are the sort of thing I don't remember, so I don't make a big fuss about it. :P

For those of you that don't know, 30kisses is the fanfiction & fanart challenge community that I run on LiveJournal. It's also got counterparts on Dreamwidth and AO3. People pick a fandom, a pairing (couple of characters), and a Theme Set List with 30 themes, and then try to write to each of those themes, along with a central "core" theme. For example, 30 "kisses," where a "kiss" has to appear in each story/piece of art, along with 30 individual themes. Submissions can use more than one theme at a time, or have one theme spanning multiple chapters, be Alternate Universe/Reality/Timeline/What-have-you, whatever! So it's a great challenge and it's been very popular over the years. I created it in response to the absolute SLOWNESS of the original [livejournal.com profile] 30_kisses community, and I haven't looked back since. Apparently, people like it enough, because FIVE YEARS...!

It's amazing! And we've had some fantastically supportive, active members, one of whom has been churning out great fics for all sorts of fandoms, using various Theme Set Lists, including the most difficult one we've got, List Zeta/memory. As a thank-you and reward, we've given her a 1-Year Paid LJ Account and for completing the list, a 140 userpic Add-On over at LJ. It's not much, considering the community itself isn't paid and doesn't have a fancy layout, but I really wanted to thank people that seriously stick with the community, contribute to fandom, and of course, make my life easier by following all the rules... :D

I'd really like to bring 30kisses over to Dreamwidth, and I've already got the community token used, but I'd rather not have to create a dummy mod account just for the sake of managing the community. If a community can ACT like a regular user, posting entries and whatnot, that would be great. Or maybe you can already do that, and I don't know about it? Can anyone with some DW community experience share?

I'm working on overhauling the Hall of Fame for 30kisses; it's pretty plain looking, but at least the coding is valid, and it's easy to find everyone's entries. Still, I think most people read directly on LJ, because you know what order to read in, exactly what themes go to what number, and so on. I'm not sure if there's an easy way to do that for a Hall of Fame (on LJ or off), considering the SIZE of the HoF. I don't like the idea of breaking it up onto multiple LJ pages. :(

I also want to change up the way the banners look. Five years is enough time using the same narrow, vaguely-cutesy banner with a "kiss/lipstick" logo, right? If you've seen any awesome banners used for awards and the like online, let me know--I need ideas!

I'm very happy about this--among other things--right now. It's a good day, and I've accomplished many things, with the support and belief of others. Thank you, everyone! :)
azurite: (Default)
Bad News: Yesterday I bought The Sims 3 at $20 off MSRP from Target. I opened it up this afternoon with the intent of installing it only to discover...no DVD! I thought at first that maybe that's why they give you the "plumbob" USB drive, but nope: nothing but music, wallpapers, and other such extras on that. I also didn't get the green carabiner as shown on the box.

I wonder if I have to go back to the exact same Target to switch it out? I know I'll have to open the new copy in-store, since I don't want to go home and end up gypped again.... yeesh.

Also, Frustrating News: still no solution on getting my bookmarks OFF my Android myTouch 3G phone. All kinds of ways to get my bazillions of computer bookmarks ON THERE, but that's not the point. I don't care about that. I want my bookmarks OFF, and I can't even do it when I plug in my phone to my laptop, because of all the data recognized when I mount it, none of it seems to be "bookmarks." Maybe it's hidden, or under a weird name or strange file type...any suggestions? My Google-fu has failed me in this regard. It's no good if I have to get another phone browser, unless it can IMPORT the bookmarks from the default phone browser and then allow me to export them elsewhere. There are bookmark apps, but none I've seen with export. Does this mean I just have to wait for Android 2.0 or a Bookmark Sync feature from Google? *le sigh*

Good News: I did finally get a gel skin, a wrist strap, and a new protective screen. I still intend on switching out my ZAGG screen that got fuzz-covered for a new one, but maybe AFTER I've gotten more settled here. Hopefully this means the back of my phone won't keep coming off and letting the battery pop out.

More Frustrating News: Still no solution as of yet for how to edit my custom Layer Style on LiveJournal that I use for getting an RSS feed of my Friends' Page, even the authenticated entries. NetNewsWire is the only RSS reader I know that lets me log in and stay logged in, and while it's been working mysteriously good for the past few weeks, it's annoying trying to decipher entry subject lines among HTML. Other RSS readers convert it to actual links; I don't care either way. I posted to [profile] everything_lj, but no response yet. :( I'd try figuring it out myself, except I don't want to break the layer altogether, especially not when it's actually working!

Good News: I started reading a new Egyptian historical fiction, Michelle Moran's "The Heretic Queen." So far, so good. I'm actually getting somewhat inspired for CO7, which is better than nothing. I'm starting to develop the opinion that to write something--anything--is better than to write nothing at all and be stuck in this rut of "have to write in order!" At least if I have some scenes down, I can work with a beta or someone to fill in the blanks.

Eh News: I've got a few ideas for some GD articles, but they're comparable to the form of clouds: light and wispy. I'll need time to get them solidified, and in the meantime, there's homework!

Oh! News: Turns out my DeVry professor was right about the whole Photoshop slice badge thing in my last quiz. It was a trick question; the slice badges CAN display whether or not a slice is linked, but only in the optimization process, not with normal slices (although the question probably should have specified that, using "normal slices" instead of just "slices" in general), and rollover effect badges aren't seen since ImageReady went the way of the dodo. So...yeah, layer-based. Whoop-de-doo, it's only 2 points. I'm still getting an A. And it feels good to at least have clarified and asked, because otherwise I would still be confused and a little angry.

So Yeah

Jul. 8th, 2009 04:45 pm
azurite: (Default)
Apparently none of my Tweets from Anime Expo weekend made it to my journals because LoudTwitter crashed and may not be coming back. That sucks. I wonder if there's another way to import Tweets to LJ and DW? But hey, they are all on Twitter and probably on Facebook via FriendFeed, too (as if anyone cared)! :P

Also, RSS feed for my LJ Friends Page still not working. I used a different one that IS working, but I don't think it's grabbing protected entries (even when I append '&auth=digest' to the end of the URL), and I don't like that. Also, I'm so behind on LJ, reading only the last 50 entries does nothing for me. Trés annoying.

I have yet to make any of the AX recap posts I wanted to, because I tend to be super-exhausted ;ately. My sleep schedule is hell right now and it being summer, I'm not too inclined to fix it. But I do have tons of stuff to do, so I might as well try, tired or not.

Work-wise, I've started on a handbook for the other Student Assistants here at work. My idea is to have the different sections have a portion of their page margin colored, so that someone can easily see all the pages that are in a particular section. Does that make sense? I have no idea how to do it though, and if I should be using Publisher instead of Word or something. Damn Microsoft.

I'm also learning a bit more about PHP and mySQL. I've been trying to get PHPMyAdmin 2.11 installed on the NSLS account so I can manage its databases for Wordpress. It was looking to be too damn impossible thanks to these dumb instance errors and junk, but right now, it looks like it COULD work, if I could just get PHPMyAdmin to install. Is there an "Installing PHPMyAdmin In Plain English" guide somewhere? The documentation sucks.
azurite: (blue flower)
Well, spring break has at last come to a close. It went fast, but at least it was fun and relaxing. It certainly was nice sleeping in till around 10:30 a.m. every day; tomorrow my "waking up at 6:30 a.m." routine begins anew. Oh, and also my habit of going to the Arbor Grill for occasional morning breakfasts; I'm looking forward to enjoying a breakfast burrito again after a week of waffles, cereal, and toast.

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

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

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

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

Read more... )

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


 This One (Crying Like a Child) by Utada from This Is the One (Rating: 0)
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Apparently a lot of popular LJs are getting hacked. Someone takes control of a moderator's account and pretends the journal is closing, making a post indicating that, and links out to other sites with Cyrillic encoding that have keylogger viruses embedded in them.

Whether this has any particular connection to random Cyrillic users (apparently they're bots, which LJ knows about and refuses to do anything about) friending you, I don't know, but I don't friend them back, and I don't recommend you do, either. Why give someone you don't know access they don't deserve? (Hell, why assign a bot a pronoun IT doesn't deserve?)

For more details, check out this post by [livejournal.com profile] acari here, along with this post by [livejournal.com profile] upstart_crow. I especially recommend downloading one of the Backup options offered in [livejournal.com profile] acari's post, because if this happens to you or your journal, it'll be a while before you can get access back, and most likely your LJ entries will be gone.

I use xJournal for regular blogging on Mac OS X, but it doesn't back up as many things as some of the other options do. The Python script is easy to use if you've got an Admin account; I just ran it from Terminal and it's chugging away. LJBook looks cool, but I imagine large journals would be the size of encyclopedias and, should you choose to print them, would cost a pretty penny. Heck, they'd probably be very hefty in MB or GB, too.

I'd also recommend copying your Tag Cloud and Memories List down, so if you DO end up needing to rebuild, at least it'll be easier than trying to remember from nothing.

Other people have already been hacked and lost close to everything, and these bots/hackers/whoever seem to be targeting large and/or popular communities. Know that in ANY of the communities I own or maintain, or any of my journals (all 3 of them), I would NEVER EVER EVER delete my entries or leave LJ without a very lengthy explanation post-- a public one. If it had to include links, it would be links to a site on my OWN domain, not a Cyrillic one.

And seriously? Don't let yourself become vulnerable to these kind of things in the first place. Make sure your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that you have spyware/malware protection. Verify that both programs (because most "suites" of anti-virus and anti-spyware are too bloated and don't catch everything anyway; better to just get a basic "anti-virus" and a basic "anti-spyware") are legit-- not some random thing on your screen that popped up saying "YOU MAY HAVE SPYWARE11!!eleventy!!"
azurite: (cat and mouse)
So, continuing on my old school gaming trend, I found out about ScummVM (a Mac OSX program that lets you play certain old-school games natively with almost zero hassle) today and tried to play the ancient Windows CD-ROM "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis." I actually got farther than I ever remember getting before, and it's quite fun. Even better, there are walkthroughs online for this antiquity of a game (because it has THAT much replay value!) so I can guide Indy to the treasure with no muss and no fuss! :P

I want to find the other games ScummVM supports, namely "Day of the Tentacle" (one of my favorite games when I was, oh, 8 or 9) and "Sam and Max Hit The Road" (you sunk my battleship!). I think those might be (for some bizarre reason) in Northridge rather than here in S.F.; I've gone through all of the old CD cases here that I can find and those two CDs are suspiciously absent from all the other old games and other Windows-era ilk.

What's tragic: I remember playing The Lemmings (little green-haired people jump off cliffs if you don't give them something "better" to do) and Spin Doctor (the one with the wand and the dots) on a really old Mac back at Claire Lillienthal (this was my old after school program AGES and AGES ago), and I loved those games! Is there any way to play THOSE on a Mac? Nooooo, not if you've got Leopard. Classic environment (aka OS 9) is not supported in any size, shape, or form. There's not even an emulator, like Doom95 has with PrBoom! What gives, Apple!? I want my old school games! Screw Chess and Minesweeper! (Not that those are on here either, but still.)

Anyway, a new, shiny idea (a.k.a. new school): going to the Macworld Expo. It just hit me last night that I'm actually going to be in town for it this year, unlike the past two years (when I've been a Mac user). So even though it's past Early Bird pricing, I think I'm going to go for it. Do I technically have the money? No, but I'm hoping to get a usable priority code that'll at least discount some money off the otherwise $290 pricetag (which is the Users Conference plus the Macworld BLAST! party. Sure, the party is totally optional, but why NOT schmooze and drink with fellow Mac users?). In the past two years, shoddy programming on the IDG Expo planners' parts had people scoring FREE $1695 Platinum passes (which includes EVERYTHING including Steve Jobs and daily lunch, though not simultaneously), but there's been no word on any such "holes" in this year's site. That's GREAT for the Expo, but sucky for those of us who are broke and would still love to attend. If it weren't for my experience with cons of this sort having BOATLOADS of awesome swag, I'd say the price (close to what I've paid for honor society cons, which are supposed to be all PRIVILEGED and stuff) is outrageous.

Of course, if anyone hears anything about passes with other organizations or free passes somehow, DO let me know... *wiggles eyebrows* My plan at this point is to earn entry via computer work for Gary. Somehow.

Oh, ONE MORE THING!

I have $2 in LiveJournal credit. Who wants a present? (Let it be known that I totally thought of [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler and [livejournal.com profile] kitesareevil first, 'cause hey, your guys' birthdays are coming up, but unfortunately Scribbler, you don't have a paid account, and Stef, your paid account is expiring before the 2 months of userpics would. And much as I hate to say it, I can't tack on a paid account because I am desperately broke. Like, Desperate Housewives-level desperate, except I'm a Desperate College Student. So get yourselves paid account time and I'll give you userpics or something!) It is only $2, which I know is über-pathetic, but I didn't even know I had ANY until tonight when I randomly decided to investigate just why I suddenly have 195 userpics. I don't even LIKE 195 userpics enough to upload that many! So yeah, in need of some more icons, plz! (Apparently they come from the Loyalty Userpics program.)
azurite: (i'll be bach)
A short while ago, I posted an entry basically venting about how a get-together with my friend Rochelle hadn't gone as I intended, and, a few days after the fact, Rochelle called me and basically "put me in my place," as it were. I had acted immaturely, but hadn't wanted to acknowledge it, let alone apologize to all the people I was with (that had been so generous and, for the most part, courteous to me).

After being "lectured," I was so upset that I just got off the phone with Rochelle and went right to my laptop to write. I didn't hop on LJ with the intention of "smack-talking" one of my friends, because I'm not the sort of person that does that. I went on LJ with the same intent I always do (when it comes to posting on my own personal journal): venting, expressing MYSELF, and putting my thoughts into coherent sentences. As a writer, I often find it easier to think as I'm typing, because when I try to just think, or when I try to think and talk (and I don't mean always, just in difficult situations), the words come out wrong. At least with typing, I can go back and edit, go back and look later, or simply find a new way of saying something that wasn't "right" in my head.

What I hope happened was that Rochelle and her friends happened to be at a mutual friend (of Rochelle's and mine)'s house, went on her computer, and said mutual friend happened to be logged onto LJ. I don't know if the page was open already or what, but long-story short, Rochelle saw my Friends-Locked entry that had included me "venting" about all this. Said entry is going to STAY friends-locked, not because I want to exclude people, but because that's how it was meant to be originally, and that's how it's going to stay. Suffice it to say, I was both complaining about the situation and being self-deprecating, which I hate. I don't like knocking down my own self-esteem, but I do it, especially after a friend puts me in my place. I also don't like apologizing for things I don't genuinely feel sorry for, but sometimes it does take a good verbal smack-down before someone can realize they did something stupid to be sorry for. That was the case with Rochelle, so when I realized how much I'd upset her and her friends (and mom), I genuinely was sorry.

What I was not sorry for (at the time) was posting the entry after I got off the phone, because I've always felt that my LJ is my space-- a place where I can write about whatever I want (and WHOever), whenever I want. I don't write "for an audience," because this isn't a blog out to make money or become famous. It's just my personal journal. I don't always lock every entry or make every entry private because I do welcome feedback, whether it's advice, complaints, compliments, or whatever. It's another way of staying in contact with friends, too.

Now, I realize not everyone is computer-inclined, and assuming that LJ by itself is a good way of keeping in touch with my friends (venting on LJ the way I would vent to my friends, if I were still up in San Francisco) is not good. I plan on changing that, and if I have a problem with someone (friend or otherwise), I'm going to try and bring it up with them FIRST, before going on LJ about it. I'm going to try and call my friends more often, because if I can't see them in person, hearing their voice (intonations) is a heck of a lot better than trying to figure something out from someone's "current mood" or smiley faces.

I can't change the fact that I posted the entry, that I neglected to tell Rochelle these things right after she called me, days later, or even a week later. Fact was, I had no reason to think she'd see it-- I had LOCKED it, after all. I know she doesn't have an LJ, isn't on Facebook, and rarely uses the computer to begin with. My preferred mode of communication is not hers, but we've managed to ay friends otherwise. What I didn't realize was, we had mutual friends, who would, of course, have reason to be concerned about some of the things I had said in there, and want to get Rochelle's side. That's perfectly reasonable.

Part of me is having a hard time reconciling the fact that I have a Friends List for a reason. To paraphrase Yuna from Final Fantasy X, "I have only as many friends as people I can trust." I've always thought I could trust the people I genuinely call my friends, whether I know them just online or online and in "real life." Trust, for me, means not taking something I put up in a clearly-locked post and showing it to someone not on the friend's list, whether they're mentioned in said LJ post or not. The thing is, I don't know if that's what happened at all, and it's entirely possible that Rochelle and Co. just stumbled on the post by accident. I'd love to believe that, but while the possibility still exists of it being the other way, I feel like there are people I have called friends that I can't trust.

While I'm guilty of not going to Rochelle and Co. about how I felt, this person is guilty of not coming to me directly and voicing their concerns. Instead, it feels like this person went behind my back (all cloak and dagger-like? BTW, despite the whole anonymity, it didn't take me too long to figure out who it is. If you care to comment on this entry, feel free, or get ahold of me another way) and turned me into the villain of this whole scenario. There is no villain in this. Everyone messed up somehow, and everyone's a victim. I'm not trying to shunt the blame for the Stupid Thing I did, though, I'm just saying I didn't do anything with malicious intent, feel bad for what I did do that, now in retrospect, was pretty stupid, and want to move past it, and not keep dragging it out. I like to treat every experience as a chance to learn, and I'd say I've had a pretty hard lesson rammed into my head here.

I would sincerely hope that nothing like this ever happens again, with Rochelle and her friends or with any of my other friends. But if I have to vent and for whatever reason, I don't confront said person right then and there, or directly, I may elect to "vent" here on LJ. But none of you will see it. I'm resolving to take those kind of issues and make them Private entries. That way, I myself can go back and look at them a few days later, figure out if there's something more I can or should do, and do them. Then, after the fact, I can unlock the post, maybe get some feedback if others feel it's warranted, and move on with my life.

I honestly thought that THIS issue was over with, because I felt Rochelle had rightly put me in my place and, after the call, I would have to "grow up" and move on. I'm a reactive sort though, so of course it took a few days, but eventually I DID heed her advice and try and move on, while trying to be more aware of how I act around others, friends or otherwise. I had no way of knowing that I'd somehow "fouled up" by posting an entry to my LJ, let alone that she would see it and be upset and expecting a call from me. I try and move on with issues in my life silently-- it's my "how to deal" strategy. Maybe it's not the best one, but it is the easiest for me, because it's not relying on others.

Trust is a major issue with me, and I hate thinking that I'm being hypocritical when I say I expected better of my friends. Rochelle waited out of politeness for a few days, but she had no problem with telling me "to my face" (so to speak) how I'd fucked up. But then the situation got more convoluted with my locked-post getting out to people who are not on my LJ friends list (even if they are "real life" friends and are involved in said posting), and then me hearing from other mutual friends that Rochelle had heard about it-- but not from them, because she was the one that TOLD THEM! Quite the tangled web.

I wouldn't call anyone my friend if I couldn't trust them to give me their honest opinion (and that includes "I honestly think you fucked up royally, Meredith"), but that doesn't mean someone does that AFTER they've essentially betrayed my trust by taking what's meant to be something for a private audience and making it public. I'd rather someone have told me "Hey Mer, maybe you should make this entry Private," or maybe "I think you should call Rochelle and tell her what you're feeling" instead of letting this shitstorm hit me full in the face. I didn't appreciate that one bit, and now I'm very wary of what I say on here, which is unfortunate.

Anyway, I hope I've cleared the air enough and haven't offended anyone further. To Rochelle, Ryan, Adrian, and Rose: again, I do apologize for my behavior. I further apologize for not saying how I felt that night, or for calling a few days after my post. I apologize that you guys had to find out what I thought the way you did, and I hope none of you think any less of me for it. I do hope we can still be friends.

I'm off to Las Vegas. Catch you on the flip side.
azurite: (screw it trashcan)
Every time LJ does something stupid -like removing interests, changing strikethrough to boldthrough, suspending users for "bad" interests, removing the Basic account level, etc.- I want to leave.

I remember when I was on Greymatter, and while it was a pain to maintain because of all the coding, I liked it because I could do whatever I wanted. Now, I'm very tempted to switch to Wordpress-- they even allow an easy-import for LJ entries and comments.

Problem(s)?
* I can't find any way of embedding user icons (userpics, icons, avatars, WHATEVER!) into posts. I don't want them up in little headers. I don't want them in footers. I want them either in the upper left or upper right of EVERY post I make, preferably with my name underneath said image. I don't know why this is so infeasible. Maybe it's just me and my lack of knowledge about WP, maybe it's theme-specific... but so far I have found nothing that does this, and it REALLY irritates me. I see user icons as a BASIC function of blogging anywhere.

* Sure, anyone can have a "blogroll" (friends' list), but having to go to different sites, have different sign-ins (assuming OpenID isn't used), etc. is a pain in the neck. You'll end up forgetting to read the various blogs on said blogroll. Plus, the concept of "communities" disappears entirely. As the mod of several, still-active communities on LJ, I'd find parting with them the hardest part. Actually, I wouldn't do it. I'd insist on keeping an active LJ account just for that purpose.

Those are the two biggies, and I'm sure there are others. See, on a daily basis, you take certain elements of LJ for granted. Some of them are found, one way or another, on other blogging platforms, but frankly, it's a bit like switching from automatic to stick or caffeinated to decaf-- getting used to a new way of doing things is pretty difficult at first. So while yeah, I'm thrilled to be able to customize themes and add "widgets" to my WP blogs, I don't like this SIMPLE issue with icons/avatars, and I'm sure there's a ton more that would irk me if I played around with it enough.

Omoshiroi

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

Click here to see! )


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

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

That said, I'm thinking a beta/brainstorming session is in order. Anyone with some free time on their hands? (I don't know about you, but I have a three day weekend. I might be going to Fresno for my cousin Shaina's wedding shower, but I still plan on writing every spare moment I can. I have a LOT of writing to do, and WDKY acts as both practice and escapism from that.)
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Well, it's my last evening in San Francisco, and I feel semi-accomplished. I went to the flasgship (?) Apple Store in downtown San Francisco today, intending to buy a new hard drive for use with Time Machine. I do have Apple's Backup program, but for making a "bootable clone" or something similar of my hard drive, I would need to spend far too much time specifying exactly what "folders" I want copied and to where. I've used Retrospect Express before (which comes with a number of portable hard drives), and I didn't like it-- too clunky and complicated.

Thus, my requirements for a new portable hard drive:
The Duh
* Compatible with Mac OS X 10.5.2
* USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 at the minimum

The Good
* FireWire 800
* Slim and lightweight
* Quiet
* At least 160 GB, which is enough to make a single copy of my entire HD (which is not filled to capacity, mind you) and still have some wiggle room

If only...
* Solid-state format of the HDD
* Less than $200

I'd been leaning toward the Iomega UltraMax 500 GB, which is pretty huge and pretty cheap for the size. One model even comes with FireWire 800, but reviews I've read say it craps out after a few uses, and I don't want to have to deal with that stress. I'd rather put up with something ugly that doesn't break.

The question is, should I be looking at more-expensive, larger-capacity drives, as "preparation" for the future? Or should I just stick with what I need, which is basically something to backup all my important stuff (music, photos, applications, websites, documents) quickly and easily, in case my HD needs to get reformatted?

All this pretty much came into play when I tried to play a CD (brand new), found out my Super Drive just may be crapping out on me but it's covered under warranty, which means I can send it away to get "fixed." If I do that, it'll be an agonizing X amount of time without my laptop, but it's worth it to get a better-working Super Drive. The Apple warranty explanation page says, "expect to get your HD reformatted." As if that's logical for every repair... -_- Well, I'd rather not take the chance of them doing that, as some users have said they did for a supposedly simple Super Drive replacement.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Remember: The ONE DAY CONTENT STRIKE is tomorrow. Don't post on LiveJournal. Don't comment. Don't fill out polls. Read if you must, but don't do anything else. Let them know that their removal of Basic accounts was a BAD IDEA!

I'm posting now to get my last-ditch LJ posts in. :P

See icon

Mar. 20th, 2008 12:49 am
azurite: (brain+uterus)
There's someone I know whose 'tude I can't stand
It seems like she's buried her head in the sand
Her brain's on the moon,
Or maybe in deep outer space
Whenever she says it, I make a weird face:
"Why should I vote?"
Well, it makes me upset
Because voting is a privilege we've worked so hard to get.

--Adapted from Shel Silverstein

REMINDER: Don't post on LJ on Friday, March 21st!
azurite: (lj-cut a bitch)
Not sure how many of you keep up in communities such as [livejournal.com profile] no_lj_ads, [livejournal.com profile] ljspeaks, or even [livejournal.com profile] news, but LJ's (new) parent company SUP has done away with Basic accounts. No more Basic accounts are available to be created, and those with Plus accounts can no longer downgrade. Supposedly, this doesn't affect those accounts which have already been created and are Basic, but who knows if SUP won't get rid of those "legacy" accounts under the Basic status and replace them with ad-filled Plus accounts.

SUP did this against the advice of their Advisory Board members, including LJ founder [livejournal.com profile] brad, and without properly announcing it in [livejournal.com profile] news. They claimed that removing the Basic account was to "streamline" the account creation process, and that few new users picked the Basic option in the first place (because Plus is the default!). The truth is, they think Basic accounts and their holders just "leech" off LJ's servers and money, and don't generate any revenue for them.

WRONG! I don't know about all of you, but I started out as a Basic user, back in the day of invite-codes. It was LJ promising things like "no ads" that had me willing to give them money to further extend my account. All of my communities and my single RP journal are Basic, and I want them to stay that way. And considering I've made a HUGE investment in LJ by getting a Permanent Account (which technically pays for itself in 4-5 years, and I believe we're getting close to that point), I expect to have the ability to create more Basic accounts as I see fit. I've already given them so much of my time, energy, and money- it's unfair to expect me to invest in the cost of another paid account when I'd much rather give them more money over time for smaller investments, like the features I actually WANT and USE, like Scrapbook space, extra Userpics, etc.

That said, myself and hopefully thousands to millions of other users are participating in this: ONE DAY CONTENT STRIKE

For one day, make no posts. Make no comments. Let there be NO new content added to LJ.

SUP obviously does not realize that Basic users have given something of value to them, that it is content that drives the site.

So, for one 24-hour period, from midnight GMT to midnight GMT, let's see how many people we can get to pledge to contribute NO CONTENT.

This will create a permanent downward spike in the daily-posts statistics, a permanent reminder of the power of the userbase.

The date is this Friday, March 21. Spread the word!
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

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

Read more... )

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

And now, for some random lists:
Like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (change browsers/religions)
Does this work in-journal? Because it wasn't working on my User Info page... test, test... the below is meant to be an iTunes Widget for displaying my recent iTunes purchases. Seems kind of interesting...



I updated my User Info page, by the way. I got rid of a lot of the useless banners... for the more active communities I actually care about (meaning I'm not the only one who ever holds it up, which seems like the case for a lot of the communities I own/run, which is sad), I might put together something for them later.

I noticed [livejournal.com profile] pro_anzu_fans and [livejournal.com profile] firefoxusers went away. Does anyone have any idea why that is? I doubt it's got anything to do with ST'07 version 1 or 2...

Cut so as not to break any pretty friends' lists... )

128 or so icons, and *5* of the 7 icons in the above Love strip are WDKY. Seriously, how does this thing work? Because it's skewed, I tell you. It's not like THAT many of my icons are WDKY. Hell, even if I had one for every chapter, it wouldn't be a significant enough fraction to warrant that colorbar!
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Normally, I would not be awake at this hour on a Saturday, save for what has become par for the course: another weird dream. What does this say about me? )

If you're wondering about the whole LiveJournal relation to the dream, LJ's parent company, SixApart, is doing a wonderfully CRAPPY job at keeping up its image and maintaining a site that used to be a great place to network, communicate with others about your shared interests, or just journal.

And now I'm really starting to regret paying for a Permanent Account (I don't think it will have achieved its value for another couple of years), because so many debacles in such a short period of time really speaks volumes about LJ, its staff, and its volunteers. Speaking of the volunteers, I don't know if anyone on my FL is one of them, and I'm sorry for this, but I really think SA should trash them. The volunteer-based Abuse team has such fragmentary points of view and double-standards that it makes LJ/6A look stupid whenever they respond to any sort of abuse request. They need to hire appropriate people to act as an Abuse team FROM WITHIN-- paid people that work with the rest of LJ in their offices in San Francisco. They need proper training, too, because so many of the people that do work for LJ-- whether real staffers or volunteer Abuse team members-- don't seem to have the tact or intelligence to be responding to issues the way they have been. [livejournal.com profile] coffeechica, I'm looking at you! (Even though I doubt s/he will read this)

[livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain knows what's recently gotten me angered-- the existence of [livejournal.com profile] proanorexia. Just one look at that community makes me sick to my stomach (but thankfully not in the ED way), and even though Abuse reports have been filed about it, it's been ignored, sidestepped, swept under the rug... you get the picture. It's really pathetic, especially LJ's "official" response to it.

How do they get so damn worked up over FICTIONAL children and the possible offense that a sexual situation with them may cause as opposed to a community of REAL people endangering their lives by starving themselves to "get skinny"? I mean, way to get your priorities misaligned, LJ! (For the record, I don't think smut fic or art involving characters -for example, any of the Harry Potter crew- can or should be labeled as offensive and/or without artistic merit SIMPLY because it features characters that CAN, or WERE, at some point in the original canon, minors. THEY'RE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!) (<-- This relates to the latest "Strikethrough 2.0" that resulted in two well-known HP slasher fic/artists getting their journals permanently removed because they featured fic and/or art with the HP characters in it in sexual situations. I don't know all the details, like whether the characters were aged-up in the fic/art --I do know that LJ doesn't abide by that idea anymore, which is downright RIDICULOUS-- or whether the posts were posted in inappropriate communities, or if they were friends-locked, if they were given a warning, etc.)

But that's a rant for another post, and possibly another day when my jaw isn't hurting so damn early.

...I shouldn't use this icon twice in a row, but it's SO APPROPRIATE, and that makes me sad.
azurite: (lois & clark)
Ganked from the Scribbler )

Tomollo: museum-hopping. de Young and Asian Art. Meet with [livejournal.com profile] staplerx and Onii-chan :D
Wednesday: Wash house!
Thursday (possibly thing with the guys + IHOP?), Friday (Mom-day), Saturday (Forgot, Semester at Sea! All day-ish), Sunday (see Dad? *shrug* Dunno. Need to call him.): no plans! Call me.

Should I still go to LJ's headquarters, or do you think they'll all be busy cleaning up after ST07 that they'll be running around like chickens goats with their heads cut off?

Also, got CS3 Design Premium from Erin yesterday-- I went to her classmate's house in Westwood and helped them with Sim City 4 (for an Urban Planning class, how crazy cool is that?) which was tougher than any of us thought. Fun, but tiring after 12 hours, sitting on wooden chairs with no cushions.

Anyway, CS3 is FABULOUS! I have had NO rendering problems with my longest chapters of WDKY, and there are TONS of great tutorials on the bonus disc that came with it. Plus, all kinds of plug-ins and stock photos on the content disc, and because I was a good girl and bought + registered it, I can get MORE goodies from Adobe. Like fonts. Ooh, fonts. Maybe even the elusive Myriad Pro that was SUPPOSED to come with CS2? Also, it looks like ImageReady has been combined into Photoshop... it looks that way even for the regular Photoshop, not just Photoshop Extended. Ah, ImageReady... RIP!

The only thing that's bothering me so far is how my old extensions aren't compatible; I had the Calendar Maker, Quick Link generator, and Quick Gallery maker for Dreamweaver. For Photoshop, I don't think I had many filters or whatnot (and if I did, they're gone now... I keep all my brushes, gradients, textures, and patterns in other folders, though). And because CS3 is so NEW, there aren't a ton of freeware extensions out yet. Blaaah. Anyone know where to find any, besides the good old Adobe Exchange?
azurite: (sailormoon - galaxia sun)
So I called Amtrak today, and indeed, the North American Rail Pass (the one that's good for 30 days and has unlimited travel) is $899.10 student discounted (that's as low as it can get). The easiest way to buy it is over the phone, but you have to have AT LEAST the first segment of the trip planned. And for me, that means knowing I have the money available, places where I can stay (and reservations, if necessary), and so on. I've got a lot more planning to do, and I've got to see if I get that NSCS credit card-- if not, I might end up getting a WaMu one. I don't LIKE the idea of being in debt -I mean, moreso than I already am just for being a college student with loans- but I don't want to just shove this great idea aside. I can and I will make it possible-- somehow.

In the meantime, I got my ticket to Philadelphia with the rest of the NSCS; the unfortunate thing is that they didn't have enough Rewards Points to cover my hotel/convention registration. I'm hoping I win this Geico essay competition that will pay for it. Even those that are getting some portion reimbursed are only getting $50 out of the $314 round trip tickets. It's on Delta, which is "meh" in terms of airlines in my book, but we could have taken a cheaper flight if only everyone's schedules weren't so restrictive. Unlike a lot of other members, I'm not taking summer school, and my work's fairly flexible about taking time off.

...Still haven't heard from Apple one way or another, which frankly doesn't surprise me. It's kind of sad that it worked out that way, though...

Ooh, and Erin said she's getting my CS3 *today*! I hope I see her soon so I can get it. That would be cause for much yayness.

In the meantime, I've got enough to keep me occupied, so I'm glad for that.

ETA: Just one teeny tiny software/journaling question )
azurite: (Default)
If you're getting sick of this or think it doesn't apply to you, move along.

Mac users, an easy way to backup your LJ! )



And now, a somewhat goofy idea: Strikethrough 2007: The Fanmix
Fandom is powerful. Fandom is creative. Here is a mix of fandom's creativity and fandom's voice (links to iTunes store).
* Let's Get It Started (Spike Mix)
* Right Now (Van Halen)
* Hoist the Colours (Hans Zimmer)
* We Will Rock You (Queen)
* We Are The Champions (Queen)
* Red Alert [Jaxx Radio Mix] (Basement Jaxx)
* For The People (The Black Eyed Peas)
* No One [Clean] (Cold)
* If Everyone Cared (Nickelback)
* Rock In This Pocket [Song of David] (Suzanne Vega)
* I Dare You To Move (Switchfoot)
* Keep Tryin' (Utada Hikaru)
azurite: (Default)
If you have anything to do with fandom (and a majority of my FList does in some size, shape, or form), head on over to [livejournal.com profile] fandom_counts and join so your journal can be counted as one of the many -MORE THAN A DOZEN- journals that represent fandom and its voice.

The community has no posts and no posting access; it exists as a "body count" for any and all fandom journals. Unfortunately, there is no way for fandom-related communities to be added, but all other fandom journals (including icon journals, fiction journals, layout journals, and roleplaying journals) can and should join.

LiveJournal's released a statement of sorts to CNet. Still nothing official in the [livejournal.com profile] news community, though. And traffic to fandom_wank's post on the subject has overloaded JournalFen's servers FOUR times in the past day and a half. While JF may not be as robust as LJ, that should be enough of a wake-up call to realize that fandom has a strong voice. LJ's own servers have been going off and on intermittently, especially the one where the the original news post is located. If you get the chance, read some of the comments. Add your own. Realize why this is important not just to ordinary LJ users who SHOULD NOT be afraid of censorship, but fandom journals of all flavors, because this affects us more directly than anything ever has before.

We are NOT pedophiles or monsters -we are people creatively trying to express our interests. I may not use rape in my fics, talk about shota in discussion comms, or like Loli very much, but that doesn't mean that those that do discuss those things intelligently should be persecuted for no reason. For the journals that were unfairly deleted WITHOUT TRUE CAUSE and INVESTIGATION, I'm standing up and letting MY voice be heard.

I do not think that WFI was genuinely seeking out real pedophile's blogs and reporting them the way I would report something that I was positive broke the law or a site's TOS. They have a clear political agenda, and plenty of communities and users that were not approving, endorsing, or at all encouraging the things that have become so hot-button to WFI. That said, just because I'm fighting for the suspended journals doesn't mean I don't believe we should protect our children. If I had a child, I would be monitoring their Internet usage, using filters and blockers whenever and wherever I could. While I don't think a parent or a child can take all of the blame for what they see on the Internet, trying to expunge journals for mere mentions of things that might raise questions is going FAR OVER THE LINE.

There is a modicum of responsibility that EVERY party must bear, and when it comes to journal content, it is the journal owner's responsibility. Thus, said journal owner should be contacted if there is anything questionable or illegal ABOUT that content. But so many journals were suspended WITHOUT prior notice, which goes against LJ's own policies, from what I've heard. And when it comes to determining who is a pedophile and who's not, LJ should not rely on the word of WFI or its bloggers; they should see for themselves, on a CASE-BY-CASE basis (because you CANNOT lump individuals together, and I thought LJ was about expressing one's individuality, if nothing else!). I don't care if they don't have the staff or manpower for it-- if they can reject other abuse reports about this same subject on the basis of "lack of evidence that is contributory to an actual crime," then this should sure as hell fall within those same boundaries. At least looking at a HANDFUL of the journals thoroughly before deletion might have prevented this in the first place. But it doesn't sound like they were.

Mass-deletion of anything never SOLVED anything-- this whole incident proves that even if some things were deleted in error, it's getting a lot of people riled up. It's a big deal, and it SHOULD be. LJ should take the people that are so upset seriously, and give ALL LJ users an open, honest, and thorough explanation beyond "we thought what WFI said was right, and we wanted to establish community rules" or whatever. Talking about Nabokov's "Lolita" isn't trying to inspire child molestation. Cosplayers wanting to dress up like Lolis aren't trying to appeal to pedophiles.

I'll be going to San Francisco on June 4th as planned; if this hasn't somehow been resolved or otherwise discussed WITH USERS by then, I plan on seeing if I can stop by SixApart's offices. I encourage all my San Francisco friends and fellow LJ-users to come with me. At the very least, I'll get an interview with someone, since I'll be working for the Sundial in the fall and can squeeze a story out of that. Otherwise, it's good practice. At the most, we can just stage a rally of Bay Area LJ users-- and I know there are a hell of a lot of us. I don't have a set date or time for going; you'll hear from me again as we get closer to the date; I'll be posting updates that are relevant here.

For more information on this, I highly recommend checking out Fandom Wank's entry on it, which includes extensive links to resources, discussions, and analyses of the TOS and "mission statements" involved.

If you're feeling dangerous (and have good spyware/malware protection on your computer), check out the site that seems to have started this all: WarriorsForInnocence.Org. Be warned; they track IP referrals, so you might want to make use of an anonymizer, such as NoRefer.

I think [livejournal.com profile] innocence_jihad might be a bit much (declaring "war" on WFI), but the community is actually quite informative, with links to sites that are blogging about Strikethrough '07, news articles on it, and more.

If you want some banners, check out this post on I_J with some nice ones.

Also, this is something particularly interesting I found from F_W: WFI is not what it seems. As usual, politics play a large role in this. "Sue" the woman who emailed LJ about all the "bad" people's journals, has a blog which is connected to a number of neo-Confederate, militia-sympathizing, super-far-right-wing dominionists. I didn't even know what a "dominionist" was until this wank broke out. It's really shocking. Read the post there for yourself. It's enough to warrant the use of a new mood: gobsmacked, just like the OP did on F_W.

If LJ becomes so censored that my Mokuba "The Internet is for Porn" joke icon becomes "illegal," my $150 can burn; I'll go back to hosting my own private LJ if it comes to that. In the meantime, even if you don't think your journal may be at risk, BACK IT UP.
azurite: (yuna berserker)
(1) Went to Jon's, the local marketplace that's a knockoff of Von's (which is the SoCal equivalent of Safeway). Grandpa and I bought so many fruits, it's amazing we don't make a salad. But I took a peach, a few strawberries, and some blueberries and put them in my Cream of Wheat. It tasted DELICIOUS! I think that's one of the few ways I ever get my daily serving of fruit.

(2) Created Mer's Ultimate Guide on How to Use LiveJournal. It covers the super-basics, so I probably wouldn't recommend it for anyone that's been around, but if you have friends that are thinking about joining LJ, or who already have and aren't very well acquainted, maybe point them in the direction of my guide? I'd like to know what people think!

(3) Throat's feeling a bit better. I've been guzzling a lot of water and milk today. And I bought chocolate chip and walnut cookie mix, so I'll make the cookies and drink MORE MILK! Bwahaha. (I love milk so much, so one of the most terrifying things for me would be me becoming lactose intolerant. It's one thing if you were BORN that way and just got used to it, but my palate tends to revolve heavily around dairy, and I like it that way. I guess that's why I'm not scared of the prospect of getting skin cancer... it's not on top of my list of "health scares." Haha!)

(4) Need CS3. Hope Erin gets back to me soon (she ordered it for me from UCLA). I can't believe I'm saying this, but Dreamweaver's errors lately are making me fed up. I hate how it's not rendering WDKY10 when I need to edit it, and how it pops up with these weird menu/Java errors every now and again. CS3 CS3 CS3... need CS3...

And now I think I'll start the cookies and finish off my Oversoul list in FFX-2. Huzzah!
azurite: (yuna will fly)
I got tired of the pastel look of my old LJ layout (I'm not as creative as other LJers with their original and unique LJ layouts... I'm so fickle, I just change whatever's available in the LJ styles), so I switched to the new limited-edition "Havaianas" blue and pink layout. It's kind of cute, nice and bright.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know!

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

And I guess I'm just going to keep thumbing through the Fall 2007 schedule to get some ideas for that "spare" class I have. I want to keep checking the online schedule throughout the summer so I know exactly what class times and professors are being offered. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a fun, mostly-stress-free Fall!
azurite: (rena)
Okay, so I'm back to remembering just what it was about xJournal that makes it a pain in the neck versus Semagic. Like UltraKiSS for using the Kisekae Ningyou doll sets (versus DirectKiSS), maybe I should just use Windows for things like that don't have a decent equivalent for the Mac-half. What a pain, though.

xJournal:
-Once you post to a community, you can only post to your own journal after that-- you can't change the option.
-There are no security settings for screening comments.
-There is no location area to type in
-There is no "tag memory," where the program remembers recently-typed tags, or downloads a list of the tags already in use by the journal being posted to

These are minor annoyances which I happened to have not even THOUGHT about with Semagic. I totally took the wonderfulness that is Semagic for granted.

Also, I took the Myers-Brigg's personality test again, because it's become something of a fandom meme. Do shippers in your fandom think alike? Do fans of X character all think alike? Do they have the same four-letter personality code?

The first time I took the test (today), I got an ESTP; the second time (on a different site, with a slightly different format to the questions), I got an ISFJ. "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure." Why don't you find the quiz (it's everywhere) and tell me what YOU are! I suppose I should probably read through all the descriptions and figure out what I am from that, rather than taking the test a bazillion times and working out some sort of crazy mathematical-psychological average.

But if I had to decide between the first two, which do YOU think sounds more like me:

ESTP: Flexible and tolerant, they take a pragmatic approach focused immediate results. Theories and conceptual explanations bore them – they want to act energetically to solve the problem. Focus on the here-and-now, spontaneous, enjoy each moment that they can be active with others. Enjoy material comforts and style. Learn best through doing.

ISFJ: Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.
azurite: (Default)
Okay, so I'm considering giving up on the Mac client for LJ, iJournal. It's crashed so many times in the past few days-- I lost a nearly-completed update for [livejournal.com profile] weekly_ygo, and that REALLY pissed me off. But it's also just randomly frozen or crashed a few times before.

Now, the great thing about Macs is that while the applications can range from superb to batshit craptacular, the operating system usually remains unaffected. Only once or twice have I needed to "cold reboot" the whole Mac-- and that was usually due to reheating.

Anyway, I need to find a new client. I used xJournal before, but I didn't like that either, because it didn't have security settings. Here are my needs for an LJ client:
* auto-save or backup function for entries (i.e. auto-save of drafts, or save as file for offline editing/viewing)
* security settings (set entries to Private, Friends Only, Public, or Custom)
* select userpic (this should be a given)
* add tags (especially helpful would be the ability to select tags from a menu of already-used tags, or tags already IN use by my journal)
* location (not 100% necessary, but nice)
* auto-detect music (from iTunes)

Because I use a MBP, I can't use anything made for OS9 or lower, or for PowerPC Macs. Rather than download every single blog listed in LJ's downloads section, I thought I'd ask if any other Mac users ([livejournal.com profile] mklutz?) could recommend something. Right now I'm using the Performancing extension for Firefox, but it's not made exclusively for LJ, so there are MANY features I don't have access to.

I think I'll make another post later... probably just using the web interface. I still have to update WYGO, and of course I want to talk about the first day of the elementary school visit the other Exchange Students and I had. So... "I'll be back."

azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)

Profile?

Apr. 24th, 2006 08:07 pm
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
In about 5 weeks or so, I have to turn in a profile article for Journalism, so I have to consider a subject now. The general idea is finding someone that I find interesting, not just someone that has done something incredible, experienced or survived something amazing, or said something controversial.

Someone would be currently doing or acting a certain way based on their past experiences, to the point where others that are not in that same situation would wonder "Why would that person do that?"

Initially, I was leaning toward my Grandpa, with his WW2 Navy stories, but generally speaking, his past doesn't rule or define him so much these days. So then I thought of someone else -a good friend- and I hope she'll forgive me for being presumptous. [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, if you have time and are willing to be a bit self-boasting, would you want to help me out?

If that doesn't pan out, I'm open to nominations-- I think people nominating themselves would be a bit arrogant, but I've read so many LJs and am part of so many people's lives, it'd be insanity to try and think of specific events or circumstances that have made my friends and acquaintances such interesting people. So if you know someone (hopefully that I already know as well) that has an interesting life/backstory, and is currently living or acting in an unusual fashion, let me know. I want to consider all my options. :)

In good news, I got a B- on my last feature story, about ACE Mentor, despite the sheer lack of live reporting (that's what lowered my grade) and Dad not really contributing to the story, even if I got the idea from him. I wish I could revise for a better grade, but as I can't, this is good enough for me.

I do have to think of a topic for my editorial, so I was leaning toward something recent, or perhaps controversial (or both... [livejournal.com profile] fandom_wank, anyone? Maybe the whole "fan-published" fanfiction, a.k.a. unauthorized novels?), since I do have "experience" in that area. Other ideas/opinions (I love a good debate) are welcomed! :D

I also updated my LJ with a completely cornball layout from Persnickety Layouts, using kitties a'la Lisa Frank. Do you remember the bright shininess of Lisa Frank, back in your elementary school days? I couldn't resist. I had to bump the header image down to get the nav bar to show, and now the sidebar is still a bit too high up, but it's still mostly readable. That doesn't mean I like the sheer explosion of cute and pink and such, so I'm still open to layout suggestions, pointers to sites or tutorials, or people interested in having me commission them.

And when I get home, I have to try a thing to get my 2wire router to work despite the VPN client. I also have to download a new version of Spybot S&D, because I'm apparently running an ancient version without an interface. It totally screwed up the computer last night, so I had to do a cold reboot this morning, and who knows what happened after that. :P

Ooh, ooh, and I kind of got an idea for WDKY-- but not for 24 (boo). It's for ch. 27-28 or thereabouts, and it involves (Char A) getting into a real fight with (Char B), quite possibly betraying the trust of (C) and (D), and causing (E) to unexpectedly defend both (B) and (D), and (D), who previously was mad at (E) would start to wonder who to trust or believe, what with all the insanity going on (caused by F and Co.)

Heh. Play the guessing game! (It's actually somewhat obvious, if you've been keeping track of my dastardly hints.)

Inept.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now... it's Back to Back to the Future. I'm too bored to just keep sitting here. Maybe I'll eat some pie now.
azurite: (yuna summons)
Happy Birthday ceruleansan, mischiefmagnet and missandrony!



Okay, so I did it. I'm being an unoriginal, damn-good looking wh0r and going as Songstress Yuna for Fanime. I have pre-regged. I have (almost) bought and paid for the cosplay... and I might get a microphone accessory from someone else. The boots won't match, but who cares? I can also make the hair accessory myself (Yay for FIMO!). I have no plane ticket, no hotel room and no money for food/dealer's room at the moment, but I will once my birthday paycheck comes through (it just happens to fall on or around that day, yey me), but I will deal with that ASAP. I've also just emailed my mom, so at least she can help me out with the hotel (I hope), and Baba and Grandpa might help me with the plane tickets and shuttle costs (the plane tickets I would pay them back for, duh).

Anyway, it'd be nice to offset my potential hotel room costs if someone wanted to room with me. $45/night for 3 nights isn't bad for a 4-star hotel right in the convention center. Anyone interested? (Note: I'm looking for ONE, *maybe* two people for a double-bed room. Completely non-smoking, and for the love of god, no whirling-dervishes for roommates. I like people who are neat and relatively decent guests.)

[livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic, I owe you Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice. I've actually been quite the busy bee, working on WDKY24 (which is late, I realize-- I apologize to my betas and my Wonderful Historical Consultant, [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra). It's being a stubborn brat. I've also been playing FFX-2 almost non-stop (bad Mer, bad!) in lieu of having a decent Karaoke Revolution (Party Mix SUCKS!) or The Sims (I refuse to buy the PC CD version. It's DVD Special Edition or BUST!). Now I'm leveling up in the underground Thunder Plains cave, by rubber banding my X button down with a quarter, and setting the Analog stick to constant roam. Bwahahaha... it's so slow leveling up. I thought I'd be tons of leveled up by now, since I went to Target with Karin and her boyfriend, the aptly-named Guy. But Grandpa wanted to "turn it off" and so he unplugged my Memory Card and controller. -_-; I told him never to do that again, and just turn off/change the channel if he didn't want to see Yuna ramming herself into a wall and battling Machina. So now he knows. :P

Back to KtVS: (Kaiba the Vampire Slayer!? WAAAH!?) so what would be a more effective perspective, I wonder, for this first foray of mind into probably-smut? Kaiba, our unwilling "hero," or Anzu, the mysterious seductress? I have two separate opening lines, and the opening line determines "whose story" it is. Note that this wouldn't be a first-person fic (eeeuch... for a smutfic?), but with Kaiba's perspective, you'd probably get more humor from his being stuck in such an awkward situation. From Anzu, you'd understand from the get-go everything about the plot, minus the ending. Anzu's story would also be darker, up until said ending.

I obviously haven't written any of it yet-- except for the planner, so don't shoot! I like asking people's opinions about everything.

I finished reading The Mediator: Darkest Hour and The Mediator: Haunted (yes, in less than a day. The series is that addicting). Now it's onto the last, dramatic, and hopefully ROMANTIC book in the series, The Mediator: Twilight. Now, am I the only one who read Book #5 and thought "If they made a Mediator movie, THIS WOULD BE IT!?" Too bad I'm not so good at adapting novels into screenplays. I could totally do it the other way around. (I would also be a much better Suze than Hilary Duff or somesuch. Not that I've ever wanted to break into Hollywood, but still. :P)

Anyway, ugh... stomachache from that mini Pizza Primo I got at Target's Pizza Hut Express. I knew it was a bad idea the moment I stuck it in my mouth, but alas... I didn't like the looks of the pizza Karin and Guy brought home with them from before, and I know there's little to nothing else to eat in the house except pancakes and cream of wheat... which I'm right sick of. Well, except for the pancakes. But what to do for a quick meal that you don't have to prepare carefully?

Gotta go! (P.S. What's up with this new "Current Location:" thing in LJ? I use Semagic, and the client hasn't updated for this field, and there's no news or FAQ announcements about it... help?)
azurite: (Default)
I'm not someone who just sits around and writes in LJ all day. Honest. I actually go to university. :P And today I got my 10-question Weather & Climate test back, along with my "midterm" (I guess?) paper on traveling from Crescent City across the state (describing the geographical features we'd seen on our way). I got a 80% on the first one, and a 14.5/15 points on the second. So it's not perfect, but I'm pleased. :)

o_o... would someone please tell me why I have 132 userpics? No, not really-- I only have 81, but there are 132 SLOTS. ;_; That's too many! I NEED MORE ICONS! (I don't have that many lying around... at least, not that many that I haven't used already and WANT to use again)

Too many people have birthdays in March. *shakes fist* And me without my rainbow-colored font colorizer. Maybe I'll take a page from [livejournal.com profile] crpsaiyan's book and make a massive monthly-themed birthday image and put everyone's name on it. :P

Speaking of birthdays and birthday-type food, does America have a Cupcake Day? I mean, we have National Craft Month and Hug Your Dog day (maybe?)... every day and every month is something; every color and pattern has some sort of significance. We're holiday-crazy. I want a Cupcake Day. [livejournal.com profile] mklutz says she had one on the anniversary of her school (founding, perhaps?) and they actually had a RAINBOW of CUPCAKES. Who the hell wouldn't want one of those? I've actually been (unreasonably) craving cupcakes for a while. Just one, delicious rainbow-cupcake, and I'd be a happy camper. In the meantime, CUPCAKE DAY, DAMMIT! Quite possibly on my birthday.

Hawaiian cupcakes? *shrugs* Why not?

Back to the fun that is Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease, I find it incredibly difficult to do that whole "wiggle" thing where you shift the top part of your body to the side, but without moving your hips or feet. As in, moving just your chest using your ribcage. o_o... This makes it harder to do the full body roll, because even though I can do the "Cat Cowl" thing, trying to combine all the moves into one causes me to become really short of breath, for some weird reason. But for everything else, I breathe just fine. I know I'll never be able to do the workout on Mondays, because I'm so busy, but I can do it for the rest of the week.

Scott finally "guessed" (I dropped about 10 tons worth of hints; sometimes that boy is so adorably dense) about what I'd got, and he was pleasantly 'surprised.' He was working out too, to build up his own endurance (and for me, he said. That makes me giggle). So now we're "even." He's definitely coming up here for Passover now, just to see if he can get a sneak preview of me supposedly knowing how to striptease. *laughs* something tells me I'm going to turn into a potted plant and not be able to do it without looking stupid.

When I have some free time:
* Get a wireless card
* Move everything around/clean for Passover (since I won't be here during Spring Break)
* Finish up my scholarship applications
* Finish up my 5 on-hold fics for [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses - "Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice," "Girls' Club", "Sight Unseen," "Voice," and "Someone Else's Wife." Just by looking at the titles, which TWO would you want to read the most? ([livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic, if you read this, your choice is important. It's your birthday coming up, and I wanna give you a fic. :P)
* Layouts? Everywhere (LJ, seventh-star.net, etc). I need to get the site-formerly-known-as-AMC up. I need a new site title. HELP!
* Tax return? Hey, it was $100 I didn't have before. And now the damn school is jumping down my throat over it. So I need a 'dependent' verification form (shiz. Am I still considered a dependent in school/legal/medical terms, even though Mom doesn't financially support me?), her tax return (copy), and my tax return (ugh).

So much for the end of stress. I can't wait until spring break.
19 MORE DAYS!!!
azurite: (kitty catch)
* Black bikini top $17.99
* Black and white (with pattern) "boy-short" swimsuit bottoms $17.99
* C-size batteries for portable speakers $5.19
* Batman Begins Special Edition 2-disc DVD $22.99
* Cushioned bathmat with suction cups $9.99
* Kodak one-time use disposable underwater camera $9.99

Learning how to striptease and get fit with Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease... PRICELESS. (Actually, it was $18.36, and whose idea was it, anyway?)

WOW. I just worked out for an hour straight, and I didn't even think about it. Sure, there's hardly enough room here in the rec room, but I can remedy that by...
a) getting a wireless card for this hunk o' junk computer ($50)
b) moving the computer upstairs to my room (also gives me the excuse to clean off my desk)
c) moving this junk desk elsewhere... maybe the garage! (okay, it's not a junk desk, it just collects a TON of dust back here, holds very little with NO compartments on the side or top, and only one drawer thing that always gets stuck if you open it wrong)
d) moving the long couch and coffee table backward
e) practicing until my thighs don't look like bowling pins anymore

o_o One hour a day? That's like, nothing. I could fit that into EVERY DAY except Monday (because no, I will not do it at work and be caught on camera). It's fun (Carmen Electra is so... CUTE! X_X I can't believe I'd use that word to describe her, but IT DOES!), and I can actually feel it working! Plus, it's useful... ^^ I'm probably driving Scott crazy with all the hints I've been dropping about this since I finished my routine about 15 minutes ago (I'm TMing him all sorts of naughty clues, poor boy). There's a reason why they say on back of the box: "feel great and spice up your personal life."

Even better, I have songs already that are non-DVD (I like how you can change audio tracks on the DVD for the Runthrough portion of the Routines) that would actually FIT with the routines! I'm not kidding. Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent" has JUST the right beat for it!

...Yeah, I know I'm crazy, but at least I'll look hot in Hawaii... and on top of that, I'll give Scott and excuse to get his butt up here for Passover, even if family gatherings weird him out.

So let's see... I didn't manage to fix my layout problem. I must have changed my layout about 3 or 4 times today. For some reason, I was using an external style sheet for my tweaked Flexible Squares layout, and it was causing the text color to be wrong in my sidebar. When I changed it, all things went to hell, so I went and got a proper tutorial on adding a Header image to the FlexiSquares. That erased my color preferences, so I had to redo them. Now it's okay, but it's still IRRITATING. I'd like to use the new header image I'm about 1/4 done with, but I need to get that whole pattern thing (see my last post) figured out.

I ended up using three others...
(1) Grunge (which wasn't displaying my friends' page, so until someone gets back to me on that, I won't use it)
(2) Mellifluous (which is nice, but narrow, with no support for tags)
(3) Butterfly (from createblog.com, also no tags support. Not as narrow, but I don't like not seeing user icons)

I also like The Boxer and Tranquility II, so if I can figure out ways to really edit those and make them look original, I'd like to.

Anyway, I have to finish...
(1) planning Passover, because we have too many people and not enough places to sleep
(2) watching Batman Begins, because it is TEH shit and Christian Bale is TEH SHIT (and of course, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson)
(3) working on WDKY24, because even if I get the history right (still need to tweak some things), I screwed over this one scene I wrote by doing it out of order. I also got plotbunnied for a later chapter, which might change things...
(4) commenting everywhere, because the [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses tagging system has suddenly exploded on itself, after all the hard work of [livejournal.com profile] svelterose and others (myself included); on [livejournal.com profile] fanficrants, where troll-chan [livejournal.com profile] aguitarist has made a special guest wanker appearance; on [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard, because I WANNA! And everywhere else it suits me. I'd also like to figure out this whole journal thing, but it's a slow process. In the meantime, I don't actually have to use the Styles. :P

*runs around* And I still have to teach some Education majors about Dreamweaver tomorrow morning at school (and not get paid! Why am I so nice!?) and write 3 query letters! WAUGH WAUGH WAUGH!
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
Is there such a thing as a WIDE, custom-pretty layout? I have a few codes from createblogs.com, and [livejournal.com profile] _premadelayouts (which gave me my most recent hassle, detailed in my last post), but so far, I need a relatively WIDE area for actual entries (I have a 1024 x 768 resolution), and either a floating, top, or narrow "sidebar" area for other links and such. I'd like to have every user's icon associated with their entry, and on MY main journal, to have every one of MY custom icons (I have close to 100 of them; if only the default icon is displayed, it sort of ruins my fun) displayed with my entries as well.

Is this too much to ask? I just switched from Premade's "Grunge" to CreateBlog's "Butterfly," but since the first one didn't display my Friends Page, and the second one was too narrow, I just switched back to my S2 style Flexible Squares, which uses an image and background that [livejournal.com profile] ceruleansan put together for me. But I'd like some variety! Some spring-time! Some Japanese-flowers or a kimono design or something COOL! ;_; I've had this layout for so long, I need some SPICE!

...HEEEEEEEEEEELP.

Also:

Small, I know. Sorry. Squint if you have to, or copy-paste and zoom in.

I'm trying to replicate that pattern so that it repeats seamlessly, but I can't, for the life of me, figure out what the base pattern is. I know for ONE diagonal line, all you have to do is make a 4x4 grid with two of the diagonal boxes colored in, and the other two left white/transparent. But how do you do it when you have TWO pairs of diagonal lines, and between the second pair, there are MORE diagonal lines connecting them, chain-style?

o_o; Help!
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Going to bed with:
a) only one meal in your stomach (because I really wasn't hungry yesterday, and all I had was breakfast and a glass of chocolate milk, if I recall)
b) a seriously bad period and all its glorificus symptoms
and whatever else I can't think of off the top of my head is a recipe for a very strange sleep. I didn't wake up until now, but I feel VERY AWAKE now, and only slightly in pain (kind of a lower-stomach cramp, and a sort of "EAT, YOU STUPID TWAT!" kind of feeling, which I will deal with shortly).

So anyway, I dreamed that I was out walking along Clement (it must have been Clement) in San Francisco with Eva and (I think) Crystal. And for whatever weird reason, I think I needed a job. We saw this cute new jewelry store (kind of like a Claire's, but not), and I stopped in and sort of did my "Aries/Ox" thing and rather forcefully/optimistically landed myself a job. I remember glancing out the window and seeing how gray and overcast it was, and how while I was filling out paperwork, Eva and Crystal (?) were across the street, kind of in a hurry for me to join them so we could go somewhere.

After I finished up (I got the job; something about how all my knowledge of Microsoft Word would really help?), I ran across the street. But it was either really foggy out or something, because when I got to the corner, they weren't there anymore. I heard them giggling, and they were across the street, standing next to a bus stop going "vertically" from where I was standing (next to a bus stop that was "horizontal" to the street I was on). So I waited for the cars to pass and I caught up with them, but as I walked, I noticed Alex Chun walking down the street (not the sidewalk) with his girlfriend (?). He intentionally caught my gaze and nodded in that "Holy shit is he looking at me he scares me to death am I going to turn to stone" sort of way, and said "Sweet" and of course, me having that knee-jerk reaction, I nodded back (I didn't salute; that would have been stupid) and said "Sir." Not "Hey Alex" or anything else NORMAL.

He keeps on walking, and I finally join Eva and Crystal on the other side of the street. After a few minutes of dramatic silence, Eva and Crystal (I can't remember who did it first) burst out into laughter.

In retrospect "That was anti-climactic." And that could totally happen (aside maybe from the instantly landing a job because of my Sweet personality charisma).

In other news, I am a total hypocrite. Stephanie and Katia (and Eva, too?) surely remember how I was extremely-anti Harry Potter in high school, when it was all the hype and rage? And then they refused to tell me what they were whispering about when we saw a preview of Prisoner of Azkaban at my old, evil work (AMC Van Ness 1000) until I read the books... so I did. Actually, my MOM had all the books, and I borrowed them off her. Then, since I was hooked, Steph bought me the then-new "Order of the Phoenix" and the rest is history.

Well, do you guys remember in Senior year of high school, when American Idol was brand-new, and Mr. Ulrich was all about it? He was such a big fan of Kelly Clarkson that we actually sang "A Moment Like This" for graduation? Yeah, well, for all my talk of how that was the worst kind of reality show (it still is) and that people that tried out had no real talent or perseverance for getting into the music industry "the real way" (...), I am now what appears to be a Kelly Clarkson fan. :P I bought two of her albums on iTunes two nights ago, and have been listening to them pretty regularly.

My favorites are "Miss Independent", the radio-favorite "Breakaway", "Because of You", "Behind These Hazel Eyes" (hey, I have hazel eyes too!) and either "Since U Been Gone" (I hate it when they don't spell out the damn word "YOU". It's THREE FREAKIN' LETTERS LONG!!!) or "Gone." "You Found Me" was already on my Azureshipping playlist, via recommendation, and I'm really starting to like "Beautiful Disaster."

...I have to admit it, the girl's got talent. A hell of a voice, though at times... *strangles air*

ANYWAY! I need help. (And this has nothing to do with any communities, or sporking out my ovaries with a hot ice cream scoop.) For all of you layout-savvy folks ([livejournal.com profile] shigure?), I can't get my friends page to show up for the life of me. I grabbed a style from [livejournal.com profile] _premadelayouts, but the style was originally made for the LASTN (that is, my journal) only, not the FRIENDS page. Even when I went into the Modify Journal page and used the Raw edits to change all the LASTNs to FRIENDS, it still won't display the actual entries. But I can't figure out which variable I'm missing. HELP? (I don't think I can post the raw code here See below; the style "Grunge" is Style ID #650018. The Live Preview is here: CLICKY!



The tricky thing is that DOES NOT USE OVERRIDES. It's just a style ID, with nothing customized in the Overrides or custom colors areas.

I'm here.

Sep. 6th, 2005 12:01 am
azurite: (i won't cry anymore (kagome))
[livejournal.com profile] baine, you are so MEAN! :P Seventh-Star is perfectly original! It took me forever just to choose that one! :P Besides, I already had a Mare Serenitatis layout themed "...And Straight On Till Morning." Besides, you'd be surprised all the names that are taken, no matter how "original" you try to be. :P

*ahem* Anyway, to everyone else, I've decided to start up a Plagiarist Blacklist on Seventh-Star.net... think of the PPP, but with a list of known plagiarizers, what fandoms they attack, and so on. Anyone wanting to help out or otherwise contribute, let me know-- it's an open forum at this point.

Hey, I know [livejournal.com profile] tidus likes to randomly drop off the face of the planet, but on any chance he or someone else LJ-program-savvy knows what I'm talking about, please answer a weird LiveJournal question I have: How do you post a link in your Now Playing/Current Music/Currently Listening To: area, to download the music you're listening to? Is there a way to automate this process? (I mention [livejournal.com profile] tidus because he does this on his journal. Go see what I mean and see if you can figure out how he does it.)

iTunes speaks! a meme. )

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