Steve

Oct. 5th, 2011 06:51 pm
azurite: (apple)
I thought my co-worker was joking when he told me that Steve Jobs died today. It sounds mean, but he's joked off-color things with me before, and I've been told I have a weird sense of humor, so I sometimes expect people to try me to see my reaction.

But it was for real. When we get folks asking about the iPhone 5 or whatever, we say "Until it's on Apple.com, it's not official." So I go to Apple.com, and there he is: Steve, with a stupidly short date range. I click through to see a short message.

For the remainder of my 15-minute break, I wavered between abject shock and a morbid curiosity to see what others have said. I checked websites and Google news. There's no way this is a rumor, no way this is a bad joke.

I've had a hard time not crying ever since I found out, and I've failed on numerous occasions, leading my co-workers to ask me what's wrong. This just makes me feel pathetic, because clearly I'm no good at holding my emotions in...not like I used to be, or like I thought I did. It also makes me mad, because I feel like it should be obvious why I'm upset, why everyone in the store should be upset.

But it's business as usual, and it's GOT to be, because that's what we're doing, honoring all of Steve's hard work, his memory, right?

It still sucks. I'm halfway tempted to take up the HR Admin's offer of telling the leadership I don't feel well enough to work, but we're short-staffed as it is, and I don't want to seem even more pathetic in the eyes of my co-workers. It's bad enough that when I cry, I get red-faced all day long, but to top it off, I decided to wear mascara today, so now I look like some insane zombie raccoon.

Given time, I might come up with something halfway decent to send to the Remembering Steve email address, but for right now, here's all I know:

My planned entry for the Adobe Imagination Challenge will still feature Steve. My plan was to put together a scene featuring the silhouettes of people/characters that have inspired me, and of course Steve is among them.

I'm sad because Steve really did inspire me. Even with horror stories, even with failures, even negative press, I still admired the guy because I saw something of myself in him: someone who was creative and believed in the possibilities that technology could bring to everyday people, not just super-geeks. Steve was (I hate the past tense right now) the kind of guy that pushed everyone's limits, that demanded the best, that had high standards. I'm like that too, and I get a lot of flack for it, but thinking of Steve helped me think that there's not something "wrong" with me for being enthusiastic, for being determined (and yes, sometimes very stubborn), and for taking all the things that I feel haven't gone my way in life and trying to make something positive of them.

I don't want to let go of my crazy dream that I've had lately, and that's to be a bit more like Steve, to make a footprint by making a difference: by having a crazy idea and sticking with it, no matter what. I want to stay part of Apple, not just because of the amazing people, the energy and creativity that flow throughout every part of the company, or because of the iconic products, but because of the foundations that Steve laid out. What we have today, what we take for granted in the forms of Apple Stores around the world, and iPods, iPhones, and iPads in every Starbucks and on every street corner, is because Steve thought something along the lines of "I don't care what people think. This is a good idea and I'm going to make it happen." And he did.

I'll admit to still being a bit afraid of giving more of a voice to my dream, of sharing the specifics with anyone I don't wholeheartedly trust (to keep their mouth shut but to provide me the support I know I'll need to get there), but it's a lot bigger than just "be like Steve." There are probably a lot of things people could counter that notion with, like how exacting Steve was, how private, how difficult to work with. If I'm not those things already, they're things I can empathize with, that I can understand and respect. I'm not saying I want to be Steve 2.0 or anything like that, but who could blame me for hoping to live up to the amazing legacy he set forth with his ideas, his products, his ventures?

I'm also not saying Steve did everything. He's not the sole inventor of all things Apple. But there is a reason why he's so iconic, why Apple is what it is today, and why a lot of those other people have jobs at all.

I wish he were still here. I wish I could have paid the Apple campus at 1 Infinite Loop a visit and just breathed the same air as him for even a moment, made a complete fool of myself by squeeing or turning into a statue instead of knowing how to say "Hello, you're an inspiration to me and I want to thank you for everything you've done." I wish I could have known him and he could have known me, and he could have told me that I'm just at the beginning of my road, that no matter what roadblocks manifest (of my own invention of otherwise), I can succeed, because he did, too.

Several years ago, I hated all things Apple. Steve Jobs didn't mean anything to me. My goal was to "topple Bill Gates." Things change. People change.

In his commencement address at Stanford in 2005, Steve made a lot of references to death and dying. Observations from various people throughout the years noted that he seemed to have an obsession with making an impact, because he thought he would die young. And he did. Fifty-six is young. I know he did a lot, and maybe that means he accomplished a lot more in those short years than anyone else has or could have, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have done a lot more.

That he died of a rare form of pancreatic cancer just means that even the greatest among us are still human, that money can't fix all problems, and that you can make a huge impact even if you're stubborn, even if people think you're a lousy leader or a pathetic programmer, and even if you set the bar incredibly high for yourself.

Thank you, Steve, for everything.
azurite: (sailormoon - angel)
Well, it's a new month and a new opportunity to try new things and get back into the habit of old (good) things. Like writing on my blog. Like reminiscing. Like commenting with friends!

So, thanks to Sailor Failures on Tumblr, I'm going to spend the first 30 days of March participating in a Sailor Moon meme!

Some of this may be old news for folks that have read my journal(s) for some time, but hey! Nostalgia's fun!

♥ » Day 01 – What age you started watching Sailor Moon... )
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
In a little under three hours my time (that'd be Pacific), it will be 2011. Depending on how you count, a new decade. A lot's happened in the past year, and of course, since 2001. And even though resolutions are easy to make and difficult to keep, I think I'd like to get more in the habit of at least writing them down (online) so I have a place to refer to when I'm floundering. There's always going to be a to-do list, but this list, if anything, is like a Wish List of To-Do in the next year...a self-imposed deadline.

(1) Move out. Whether I end up somewhere else in the Bay Area or the state of California or wherever, I do want to really be "on my own," without relying on some form of family or another to support me. It's not that family drives me crazy or anything (though it CAN), but I'm never going to learn if I don't take this fundamental first step.

(2) Pay off my debts. I don't know if it's possible to do in a year, but I'd like to think so. I already have 2 credit cards, one of which is pretty close to maxed out, despite its low APR and the fact that I rarely use it. The other's a department store AmEx with a ridiculously high APR, and I try not to use it if I can help it, but it, too, has almost reached its limit. I do my best to pay above the minimum every month, and I hope that, little by little, I can pay it off or get to a point when I can just pay the balances in one fell swoop.

(3) Have fun. I guess this is kind of an easy thing to say, and a not-so-easy thing to actually do...or to take for granted, maybe. But I'd like to look back on 2011 next year and think that I had a good time, somehow. Whether that means beating all my video games that I have yet to finish (Star Ocean: The Last Hope, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts II, I'm looking at you!), traveling more, or going to shows/concerts/what-have-you...or maybe even all of the above!...then I hope to do it.

(4) Keep learning. Hopefully I'll finish my second Bachelor's degree in Multimedia Design and Development, and actually see THAT take me places, along with my existing degree in Journalism. I don't want to think that learning--no matter where or how it's done--is a waste of time, but this whole DeVry thing and the accompanying mess has had me wonder for a while. I guess we'll see. Besides, no matter what, I can keep learning online, through my job, and through everyday life.

(5) Finish what I start! I can't just say "Finish What Doesn't Kill You and its ilk," because there's more to it than that: there are other multi-chapter fics, sites, programming languages/code (PHP and Joomla would be nice), crafting projects like paintings, sculptures, and scrapbooking...so much stuff that I've started at some point and not had the motivation or inspiration to finish. I really hope (nay, NEED) that changes in the coming year.

A lot's changed over the past year...things I'm really happy about, things I'm okay about (tentative or wary about), things that I wish had turned out differently, but I'd like to think I'm in a pretty good place right now. I'm extremely grateful that I have a roof over my head, food to eat and beverages to drink, a job I really enjoy that pays well and lets me learn and have fun at the same time. I've got awesome best friends, an incredible boyfriend, and a pretty supportive family. I'm healthy, educated, and probably more lucky than I could ever realize.

For me, I think 2010 was a year of ups and downs. I hope 2011 continues the positive trend that the end of 2010 has shown, and that any "blips" in my road are small, short-lived ones that only serve to help me continue growing.
azurite: (san francisco)
For the next half hour or so, it's July 20.

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

Read more... )
azurite: (believe in subtext)

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




I feel like I should recognize this name. Shame on me for not. Am I missing out?
azurite: (fiction - have written)

I write like
Edgar Allan Poe

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!




I want to see what result I get when I input a chapter of WDKY, but Dreamweaver refuses to open up. *sigh* I really want to get that 8 GB of RAM now...
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
Sung to the tune of Disney's The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World (Reprise)"

What would I give
to be at Moscone?
What would I say
to get a good ticket?
What would I do to see Steve
Talking geeky?

Where would we talk?
Where would we blog?
If I could be at the WWDC?
L'il ol' me
At the Moscone
And the WWDC~

I don't know when
I don't know how
But I know I'll get there
Somehow~

Watch and you'll see
Someday I'll be
At the WWDC!
azurite: (blue flower)
In 28 minutes, Ada Lovelace day will have come to a close. I pledged over at FindingAda.com to make a post about women in technology somehow, but coming up with a good topic has been harder than I thought. I was initially hoping to make a post all about female characters in video games, but my post about that sadly didn't get as much of a response as I'd hoped. I didn't hear about the Finding Ada website soon enough to make that other post as early as was probably necessary, to be honest.

When it comes to thinking of particular women in technology that I admire, that could be my heroines, it's actually challenging to think of a particular person or a name. I know there are awesome women behind the scenes at Dreamwidth, at AO3, at LiveJournal and Wikimedia and all those other companies and organizations that are making incredible sites and interfaces and experiences for people the world over. But they're all amazing--there's not just one particular woman who is more awesome than the others, or has done more than anyone else.

I'm pretty proud my own personal involvement with technology. I got a good start from a great teacher: my late sister, Michelle Smith, who helped me learn computers by way of our IBM Aptiva and playing games like DOOM II and chatting online using MTEZ for DOS. She took me to the Windows 95 "reveal," (where the head presenter was a WOMAN! Shock! She gave me a shirt and her card and I felt special even at age 9) and I can't ever remember feeling so excited to be in a room full of people who were unabashed geeks, knowing that we were--still are!--the future while everyone else thought we were weird.

Of course, my sister and I wouldn't have been able to do any of that were it not for my mom, who recognized that technology would be something great for both of us, and she struggled to make sure we both had every opportunity to access and use that technology, whether we had to go to a library or get a home computer ourselves to really experience it. I felt good, sitting in front of a computer and learning about American history through the original Oregon Trail, or imagining all kinds of worlds for stories that got printed on dot matrix printers and green-and-white striped paper.

When I finally started getting involved with computers--going on the Internet, attempting to write stories for others, build websites, and meet people--my foundation was comprised of the incredibly supportive network of young ladies and women that made up the Sailor Moon Romance Fan Fiction (SMRFF) mailing list. If it wasn't for them encouraging me to keep writing, keep reading, keep learning, I might have found some other interest to occupy my time. But because they gave me a reason to keep coming back online, to keep learning more and doing more, I made an effort to get better with technology. I may not be in touch with all of them anymore, but I'm forever grateful to them for getting me started and honestly making me feel comfortable and even loved, even if I've never seen their faces or heard their voices.

In high school, I asked lots of questions and learned a lot about technology. I started a blog, kept building websites both for myself and for classes, and even worked as one of the few female student aides to the school's Technical Adviser. In college, I was one of the few women who worked at the university's Information Technology Help Center, but by the time I left this past December, I was one of many girls. Not all of them were engineering or computer science majors, either, which seems to be the expectation for anyone that really "knows" computers: we had art majors, humanities majors, and people who, like me, just loved technology. It was a guy that gave me--a journalism major--a chance to be a computer "expert" and help people across the university, a position I held with pride. But I felt it was part of my duty to make technology seem easy and not so intimidating, so girls just like me could pick up a computer and feel like they knew what they were doing and that it was FUN to use computers and other devices.

So for this Ada Lovelace Day, I don't have one particular heroine or woman in mind that has inspired me through her use of technology. I think I probably have closer to a hundred, maybe more. I may not know all of their real names, but they have all played a vital role in my life, making me who I am today (for better or for worse, haha!).

Thank you, ladies.

Trash

Mar. 24th, 2010 04:54 pm
azurite: (batman - criminal justice system)
I just came home from Downtown. After an allergy test (which I "passed" by being allergic to lots of things, especially dust mites), I met Mom at the St. Francis and hung there for an hour before Mom and I headed homeward. Or at least I did; Mom had an appointment, so we parted ways at Fillmore.

I was reading "Eat, Pray, Love" because I'm not the type to get "carsick" (or "bus-sick," as it were) and because I feel a strange resonation with Elizabeth Gilbert, the book's author. She could be me in a few years, though I don't know whether that's a good thing or not. I'm not done with the book quite yet, but the interesting thoughts that have crossed my mind while reading the book are not the subject of this entry.

As the bus neared the avenues, an older man in the single seat in front of mine saw the back door across from us open at a stop. He chucked a Coke bottle out and then turned back to face the front.

I was disgusted. To the point of wanting to throw up disgusted, which is a pretty severe reaction for someone who's just witnessed littering. It shouldn't such a big deal, but I was mad. I shot a disgusted look at the guy, who didn't see me, of course, but the girl across from me, an African-American girl with a pretty headscarf, a hoodie that didn't match, and an ever-present yellow lighter, did. Neither of us said anything, not to the man, not to anyone.

I couldn't concentrate on the book anymore because I felt this rage, this fire in me. But I kept trying to temper it down with questions like "Why do you care?" and "Why is it a big deal?" Some people litter on the bus, and frankly trash could be a lot worse than a Coke bottle. The guy could have hung onto it, could have tossed it out when he got off the bus, or he could have dropped it on the bus and let it roll around hitting people's feet and get caught behind the doors.

I contemplated throwing trash on him, but I didn't have any. I somehow managed to lose my transfer between the allergist's and the hotel, and the other transfer I intend to keep until it's expired--just in case. Besides, a transfer isn't really "trashy" enough to teach a litterbug a lesson. I needed some expired chop suey or something, but that would be pushing it, right?

I thought about just calling him a pig as I walked out of the bus, but what if the guy was really some violent Mafia felon (I blame the Mafia train of thought on the book, because I had just finished reading the final portion about Italy and Sicily and the cheap concrete filled with bones of people who displeased the Mafia)? I thought about saying it in another language, but my stop was coming up and the word for "pig" in Japanese escaped me.

So I got off the bus without saying or doing anything, and I felt wretched as a result. What kind of world is it that we live in where we can just throw things away like they're nothing, like the Earth is nothing and we don't even expend a little bit of effort to do the right thing, like "recycle," as if we're really making SOME impact? I try and tell myself even a little bit helps, that even an individual can start something, but I bit my lip and kept my mouth shut because sometimes you can't make an example out of others without making an example of yourself first--and not in a good way.

Did I miss out on a chance to teach someone a lesson, or is it even my place? I did make eye contact with that guy as I got off the bus. Turns out he wasn't some ferocious Mafia guy, just an old Asian guy with flip-flops and crusty white feet. I wonder if he saw the exhaustion in my own eyes, the "sick of the world/sick of you" attitude I felt at that moment, because I'd already swallowed the disgust and anger and decided it wasn't worth it. He looked tired too, or maybe just ambivalent, uncaring, apart from the world. Not his problem.

Thinking about it makes me angry again, but like a wave, it recedes away into exhaustion. I can't change people: they have to want to change, they have to be provoked into desiring to change. Can I be a provocateur? Maybe, but only if I stop fearing the consequences. And maybe opening my big mouth, even if it's to reprimand someone "politely" ("Excuse me, but you could have thrown that in a trash can." / "So? What am I going to do about it now?") or to dare to insult a stranger, even if it's in a foreign language, or to just GLARE at someone, hoping that my anger is clear will get me in big trouble one day, but you don't know if you don't try, right? And I'll keep being angry at the world, at others, and most of all, myself, if I don't even TRY to make a difference, small as it is.

Is it weird, wanting to be an example, standing up for what I believe is right? Shouldn't it come naturally, for the things I care about most? It's not like recycling is my big champion cause, but I've just grown up with the habit that you don't toss Coke bottles out of the back doors of buses onto the street.

All I'm left with is a sigh. I don't know what to do with myself, let alone others who piss me off.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
So. I went to the Apple Store and to PowerBook Guy (third-party Apple product repair) today. I picked up my MacBook Pro from the Apple Store, where they reiterated what the guy told me on the phone: it's Tier 4 damage, must be sent out, and will cost $1240 flat for all repairs, which would include the keyboard, logic board (most expensive part), connection cables, CD drive, hard drive, etc. Apple has to replace anything they see damaged: there's no part/parcel replacement, and heck, even if there were, it would probably cost more.

The guy even showed me the internal damage: chocolate milk and dried-up sugar (?) in small splotches throughout the entire thing (so much for my prompt and level-headed clean-up and reaction). I went to PBG and told the guy this, but for him to open it and give me a different diagnosis would have cost me $125. Based on what I told him, he estimated $1025 for repairs, and even had to ask me to plug in, because the power cable internally and the port for it on the outside had chocolate milk damage.

The next computer shall be named Chocomac (or something like it) )

It sure would be nice if Will (#repomen) would show his face here in San Francisco so I could collect the $7500 bounty on his head. *sigh*
azurite: (batgirl - spanish inquisition)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] an_ardent_rain

Comment saying, "Interview me!" and I will ask you five questions. Post the answers to your journal and offer to interview the people that comment on YOU and so on...

1. If you put on the sorting hat at Hogwarts, where do you think you'd end up?
I'd probably vex the sorting hat! Is it a bit narcissistic to say that? I'd probably end up in Gryffindor, not because that's the main house we follow in the Harry Potter series or because that's where Hermione, my favorite character is, but because I identify a lot with the Gryffindor traits. I also identify with the ones of Ravenclaw, but not as much with Hufflepuff, and very little with Slytherin (I do kind of wish I had the "ambition" trait that Slytherin seem so well-known for)

2. Do you believe in "no regrets" or are you more "live and learn?"
I wish I could be "no regrets," but if you don't learn, you're not really living, are you? I'm also the kind of person who often thinks of her life in "chapters," and I have a few right now that I feel like they're unwritten, but not to the point where, if I died tomorrow, I'd really, really hate it. It's just a bit sad. I think life is all about learning.

3. Any (I guess... up to five or so) favorite songs-of-the-moment?
I always listen to everything on Shuffle, so to determine this would involve figuring out what songs I start with. I've been on my "Famous Commercial Songs" playlist lately, and some songs on there that I enjoy particularly include:
-Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second by Starfucker (the Target pharmacy song)
-Sinnerman (Felix da Housecat's Heavenly House mix) by Nina Simone (The HTC myTouch phone song)
-Breathe by Télépopmusik (the Mitsubishi song)
But also
-Just Dance by Lady GaGa (well...because it's Lady GaGa)
-Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park (even though it's off the Twilight soundtrack, it's such an inspirational song! I love it!)

4. If you could have any super power, what would you choose? And would be prefer to be a super hero or a super villain?

I probably think about this way too often! I often waver among the ability to teleport, super-speed, flying (those are all related, can you tell?) and super-strength, just to kick some ass. I'd definitely want to be a superhero, because I'm a firm believer in the good versus evil concept, although I know in reality, no villain is evil just to be evil; they think what they're doing is good and right for them or their cause.

Here's my superhero form, as rendered by DeviantARTist Ammotu's generator:

5. What was your favorite book when you were a child?
That's a hard question! I actually read a LOT as a child (I still do, but probably not nearly as voraciously; as a kid, going to the library for 3 hours at a time was a weekend adventure for me). I read a lot of Greco-Roman mythology and Nancy Drew especially. I've hung onto some of my books from when I was a kid; some of the Berenstain Bears books, Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass, Dr. Seuss...but a favorite? That's too hard!
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
I have a class assignment to create a website. This usually isn't an issue; for the last assignment I had like this, I made a resume website. But this time we've got to have the usuals (information, feedback, contact info) but ALSO a shopping cart capability.

I've worked with and seen plenty of sites that have shopping cart abilities, but what about one FOR ME? I don't want to be lazy/uncreative and just pick from the two samples (a non-profit equestrian society site, or a home business for baby-ware), but I'm not sure what I could do.

...Any tips?
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
A meme ganked from [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler

How it works: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 15 people you like and include me (presuming I'm someone you like). You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!

Tag:
1. [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler
2. [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie
3. [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u
4. [livejournal.com profile] lilddrpinay2003
5. [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra
6. [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic
7. [livejournal.com profile] ohsupervinchan
8. [livejournal.com profile] psyjoe_dilandau
9. [livejournal.com profile] staplerx
10. [livejournal.com profile] bewareofdogz
11. [livejournal.com profile] katiat325
12. [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000
13. [livejournal.com profile] mklutz
14. [livejournal.com profile] aelibia
15. [livejournal.com profile] azhp

Pick your Artist: 
P!nk



Are you a male or female? 
Lonely Girl



Describe yourself:
 Nobody Knows



How do you feel?
 Feel Good Time



Describe where you currently live:
 Gone to California



If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
 Funhouse



Your favorite form of transportation:
 One Foot Wrong



The first thing you think of when you wake up:
 Numb



Your favorite color is:
 Lady Marmalade



Your best friend:
Respect



You and your best friends:
 Bad Influence



What's the weather like? 
I Have Seen the Rain



If your life were a TV show, what would it be called? 
Long Way to Happy



What is the best advice you have to give?
 Get the Party Started



If you could change your name, what would it be?
 Fingers

Favorite time of day:
 Sweet Dreams



What is life to you:
 My Vietnam

Your relationship: 
18 Wheeler



How I would like to die:
 I'm Not Dead
azurite: (ygo - kaiba cry!?)
Tonight our dog Mokie (Mokee) was attacked by a neighborhood German Shepherd (I think it's a mix, but it might also be a young G.S.). Mokie was out on the front lawn just doing her business and was sniffing near a tree. It was shadowed over there, and I went to get her to make sure she wasn't in the street, and the next thing I knew, this dog comes tearing from across the street and starts attacking her.

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

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

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

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

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

I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. Please, if you can spare a moment, pray for Mokie. Thank you.
azurite: (smallville - lois: you got pwned!)
A few days ago I had a dream that I was relocating a bunch of gold chains (like the thin kinds used for necklaces) from one box to another. They were very shiny but had no pendants on them, and they were pretty tangled up. I looked up the meanings of "gold," "necklace," and "chains," but the meanings were all so mixed I don't know what to make of the dream as a whole.

Also, very much into Smallville now. Very bad, since I should be thinking of WDKY and writing the rest of that, but instead I'm reading lots of Smallville fic (well, what little "good stuff" I can find, and putting up with a lot of mediocre stuff to pass the time while finding "good" things) in-between homework assignments, NSLS stuff, and being sick.

Yeah, I'm sick. Grandpa says I have the flu, but I have yet to get a fever: just a horrible phlegmy cough, lots of body aches, and many, many headaches. It sucks, to put it mildly, especially since flu shots are impossible to find here, regular OR H1N1. Needless to say, I hope I just have the regular flu, if one at all. I've been sleeping it off, mostly, and I do feel better now than I did earlier, but the aches are still present and they make me want to just curl up in bed.

Being sick means that I feel like I'm not getting anything done, even if I should just acknowledge: I really am. I just have MORE to do. Like, I still have DeVry Web Design class homework to finish up (zip and upload, really), stories for my Senior Narrative Seminar to read/write, and 1919 and Johnny Got His Gun to read. Gaah.

Babymaker!

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

Well first there was a vacuum... )

I have a very strange brain.
azurite: (blue flower)
Thirteen years ago today, my older half-sister Michelle Smith died.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle fell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is my sister. I miss her very much.
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Typed the first few paragraphs last week and then procrastinated to all hell for posting this. Oooops.

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

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

Day Zero )

Day One )

Day Two )

Day Three )

Day Four: THE FINALS )
azurite: (sailormoon - usagi sweater)
I couldn't think of a better subject line.

My NetNewsWire (NNW) RSS reader isn't reading my LiveJournal Friends' Page RSS feed anymore. The NNW guys think it's something on LJ's end, which...yay, it's not exactly officially supported; it's just a layout and style layer that someone made. I hope that someone can figure out what's wrong, if it really is an LJ issue at all. It was working up until the 23rd! Gah.

Meredithology 101 )
azurite: (star trek: head bop)
I'm calm now, but I wasn't on Thursday and Friday, when I had to go to Van Nuys for Jury Duty. So much for my day off, right? So I plotted my schedule using metro.net the night before, figuring out which bus lines I had to take, when I had to be at the stops, and how much it would take.

The wheels on the bus go round and round )

Anyway, I opted to go to In-N-Out for lunch, since I passed it on my way home, but I was too freaked out to take a bus line different from the one I had used to get there. I ended up on a Rapid bus again, missing the In-N-Out by several blocks, and it was no fun walking through that neighborhood! The actual restaurant was in a nice-ish shopping complex called "The Plant," and it was so close to another bus line that I was pretty sure would take me to my last transfer point that I ended up doing taking that instead of walking back to the nearest Rapid stop. I got back to my transfer point with no trouble, and caught my last bus within a few minutes. My Star Trek book was pretty fascinating, but by the time the route wound through the VA Hospital, I was exhausted! I couldn't wait to get home and go to sleep...which I did, of course. For five hours. Could I be a narcoleptic?

Last night I finished reading that Star Trek book, "Federations," and I must admit, it was EXCELLENT. I might not know a lot about the original series (it's a sort of "crossover" between TOS and TNG), but it's books like those that get me itching to watch some of the episodes, even if they are dreadfully cheesy. Some of them set the stage for some great adventures! I especially loved how everything was tied up in the end, as opposed to there being messy tidbits as a result of later movies and whatnot. For the time when it came out, it fits smoothly into the timeline, as far as I can tell, versus other Star Trek novels that contradict episodes of the shows or other media. Of course, the comic that came out prior to the new Star Trek movie might not count, since it's a prequel for an alternate universe...except that prequel was SET in our Trek universe (at least I'm 99.9% sure that it was), so now I'm even more confused!
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
I recently spoke to a gentleman named "Itai." His last name might have been English or Welsh or something, but I've never heard of anyone named "Itai" before. It's funny because I have a splitting headache and I was thinking "Itai!" in my head, and so when this guy called, it was a bit amusing. I hope he never goes to Japan.

Got my paycheck, which means two things:
* Pay bills
* Get airline ticket to DC for August. Fares are only going up. Problem is, the rooms are only comped for 8/11 through 8/15, which means I could either a) pay an additional amount to stay on the night of the 16th and leave on the 17th (airfare's surprisingly not that different from Sunday to Monday; I already am paying $200 for a double room instead of a quad) or b) find a flight that leaves at an appropriate time on the 16th. "Appropriate time" is late afternoon or early evening, because I'd have to be there in the morning for the closing ceremonies and I want to participate in the Day of Service (and Sightseeing).

Most of the nonstop flights leaving DC are ONLY morning flights, so if I want to stick with that same plan for my return flight to the West Coast, I'd miss out on the last day (16th) of events. Since that's an icky plan, I'd rather save the money from staying an extra night (unless, of course, I could somehow get Associated Students to cover it as part of the travel expenses, but I'd rather use that for a student that wouldn't otherwise get to attend the Convention, e.g. a member that's not me) and leave the evening of the 16th on a flight that has one stop.

What do you think of Frontier airlines?

They have a semi-cheap, but there's a layover in Denver, Colorado for a few hours. I suppose I wouldn't mind the layover; it's short enough where I won't feel like I'm doing nothing, but it's not enough time to leave and explore (which might actually be fun, now that I think about it). But I'm more concerned about whether or not the airline is:
a) on time
b) the kind that loses or mishandles baggage
c) the kind that charges enormously for checked bags
d) has nice flight attendants

So, what do you think?

Also, part of the whole NSCS Convention is this Honor Gala, which is basically a formal event. I don't know how formal it is-- black tie vs....charcoal-gray tie or whatever, but I imagine ladies can't go strutting around in the same stuff they'd get away with in Vegas.

That said, I thought this dress looked divine. (What do you think? Any other suggestions for dress styles, colors, or stores to try?) The honor society's colors (and a color I look damn good in besides, if I do say so myself) is scarlet-- which is "Apple," by David's Bridal standards. I thought about adding a cute "Saffron" color sash and "peek-a-boo" slip/skirt, which would be in the honor society's colors. Cheesy yes, but I think I'd look fabulous in it. And the price isn't too bad, either. It's not like I'd be caught dead wearing my prom dress. I really ought to give that thing away to the Princess Project or something. o_O
azurite: (aries)
It's also common in some cultures for infants to be named in honor of ancestors (typically grandparents) or as part of a multi-generational naming tradition. This can result in embarrassment as names become unfashionable or strongly associated with a certain gender over time (e.g., Meredith, Hillary, Ashley).

*wibbles* Unfashionable or strongly associated with a certain gender over time? ;_;

...Should I be nervous about my name being on there? Or is it that these WERE male names and BECAME female names and are so culturally thought of as female these days that it's not a big deal?

I mean, I do remember that one rather creepy counselor from my elementary school days in YMCA; his last name was "Meredith," and he said something like "Hey, we should get married: then you'd be Meredith Meredith!" and even at age 7 or 8 or whatever, I was VERY creeped out.

Well, in any case, I love my name. It took a while, but I do.

Time flies

Apr. 20th, 2009 08:47 am
azurite: (cupcake sombrero!)
Ah, another Ed Hardy sale! The discounted prices at ideeli are actually quite reasonable, but it's for two things I'd never use/wear: purses and a scarf!

Of course, upon graduating I assume I'm going to have to alter my wardrobe a bit to fit in with the so-called "real world," and maybe then I'll get into things like accessorizing with scarves, but until then I'll just stare at the beautiful art that is the Ed Hardy line and imagine a day when something I'll actually use/wear will come out (without making me look like a total conformist!?).

(That said, I saw a clip of Zac Efron's "17 Again" with him dressed ENTIRELY in Ed Hardy, and telling his friend-playing-father that "Kevin Federline wore this!" as if that was supposed to make it "cool" to wear in a high school. But yeah, it's K-Fed... So now it makes me wince to think of someone showing off "too much" Ed Hardy.)

Keyword Manager for iPhoto (by Bullstorm) has finally been updated to 1.5! This means it's compatible with iPhoto '09. Huzzah! I already downloaded and installed mine; since I'd purchased a previous version, the upgrade was free (I think). Another way of getting organized: labeling all my pictures with metadata tags!

I added a few old entries (some of them Friends Locked, because let's be honest here: I was stupid not having protections on my old blog back in the day) from my old Blue Reflections blog, back when it was powered by Greymatter and on the rosedreams.org domain. I'm working my way through 2002, and it's sadly amusing, the kind of stuff I wrote. I've got a lot more to go before I'm all "caught up," though.

Finally signed up at Ping.fm (thanks to an article on helpful websites on GeekSugar). As I was going through the various websites/networks to add, I was surprised at a) how many I'm on and b) how many I'm not on. I guess there's something to be said for simplicity: I mean, what's the point of being on too many of the same site? (That sounds lame. I'm on every big name social networking site because of the fact that, the more places you are, the easier it is to find you--for better or for worse!)

Let's see, my networks are: Twitter, Facebook, AIM, GTalk, MySpace, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, LJ (duh), Delicious, Friendster, and Yahoo 360. Hey, that's actually not that many! And some of them (e.g. Facebook and LiveJournal; FriendFeed and... well, everything) are already connected, which gives me the mental image of playing cat's cradle with something very sticky.

Finally had my appointment at the Klotz Student Health Center dental clinic-- they kept having to reschedule my appointment! I got worked on by a student intern today, but everything looks/feels fine; I'm just hoping the numbness on the entire lower right-hand side of my face goes away soon.

As I was leaving the Health Center, they were showing "Armageddon" on DVD. I thought it actually looked cool, and, shockingly enough, I've never seen it. So that's to be added to my list of movies to see (both on DVD and in theatres). I also want to see "17 Again" and still "Fast & Furious" as well as "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and probably "The Soloist" (even if Jamie Foxx is a touch-and-go kind of guy; sometimes I think he's a great actor, other times I think he's a bizarre, if downright rude man).

I also decided to shift gears on my as-yet-unwritten submission for [livejournal.com profile] sm_fanswap. I was originally going to do this dark, political piece, but I think I'm going to shift that to the back burner and work on an older idea that still fits the requirements for the swap. Of course, I can't say more.... :X

DeviantART finally has gotten its act together-- or at least part of it. I don't know if there have been any HUGE changes in policy or significant changes in management (such as firing the douches that make dA look like it was being run by a bunch of bigoted idiots), but there is a new category for doll edits, which are one of my primary forms of fanart submissions. It's nice to be recognized! I still disagree with their policy that they should be "Scraps," because they say that they're prepackaged and there's no effort involved. Uh, excuse me, the dolls are a collaborative effort! On top of that, a lot of the ones I post are heavily modified in Photoshop, and I think the hours spent count as EFFORT. That said, I have put most of the dolls into the new category, but some of them won't go in, supposedly because the only filetype allowed is GIF. WTF, dA!? Since when are PNGs a bad file type for dolls? Not every dollmaker uses GIF files, and on top of that, if we DO "tool" the dolls ourselves, we should be able to save the resulting file however we like! GRR!

Do any Mac users have a recommendation for a good time-tracking utility? Specifically, I'd like something that integrates with iCal so I can keep track of how much I should make from the hours I spend at work. If I ever did freelancing or consultation stuff (for web design or just general tech support), it'd be nice if this tool had an invoicing feature, too. I've heard of several, but I want to know if anyone on this FL actually HAS one and used it, and of course, liked it.

Ah, so much to do, so little time.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!!!!!! I was honestly astounded by how many of them I got across LJ, Facebook, and everything. I got calls and E-Cards and real cards and I was just so flabbergasted, so THANK YOU!

I didn't do anything yesterday specifically birthday-ish, especially since it was a regular class day. I did dress up a bit (which meant by 9pm when the meeting ended I was freezing cold), but of course I had to change for my Yoga class. Predictably, on my actual birthday time (1:17 p.m.), I was so relaxed in my class that I wasn't even paying attention to the time! After Yoga, I had to go to work (lunchless, because I'd tried to see my advisor about Fall semester's Journalism classes; she was in a meeting!). Finally, at 5pm, I got a break, so I went to Subway, where everyone very nicely wished me a happy birthday there. Turns out Nobbs Auditorium for the NSLS meeting was already open, so I set up in there. I got everything set up and got to talk to Scott on the phone, and then the meeting got underway!

For once, there were no technical glitches, let alone anything else! To top it off, Romina got me a HUGE cupcake with green and pink and orange frosting (I couldn't possibly finish it in one sitting, but it's not for my lack of trying), so I suppose you could say I had my cake and I ate it too! Sure, it wasn't red velvet, but that's okay-- a fancy cake like that is best served at schmancy settings or big parties, right?

In any case, while I wish I could relax and take it easy for the rest of the semester, it's only going to get busier from here on out. I thought today would be a day of lab time, with one big class project due, but it turns out I do have a wet lab for biology followed by a presentation in my Public Relations class. Good thing people are finally responding to the emails I've been sending about the project; I think we'll be able to get everything put together and ready for later. Plus, today is also Matador Dollar Day, and I wanted to go to check that out... I could probably use the financial advice!

Thursday involves more classes, hopefully advisement for Journalism, and then Friday I've got another dental appointment, work, and then a lifeskills institute course I want to check out. And then, and then.... San Diego this weekend! Huzzah. Hopefully sleeping on my aunt Joyce's couch won't be uncomfortable at all; I think I need the relaxation, even if it is a Big Family Get-Together and normally "relaxation" isn't part of that package. Plus, I should technically be working on all my projects during the weekend, like my [livejournal.com profile] sm_fanswap project and WDKY27 and such!

For some reason my left thumb hurts and I don't know why.

 Duel Monsters by Shinkichi Mitsumune from 遊☆戯☆王デュエルモンスターズ・Sound Duel3 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (mario - i'd hit that)
My geology midterm wasn't nearly as hard as the teacher made it out to be. She gave us this big long comprehensive study guide and only some of it was actually on the 25-question, multiple-choice test. She had us freaking out at the beginning of the period with mentions of needing a calculator, and there wasn't a single math problem on the test (that I saw; I didn't skip any, and I don't think she had different "versions" of the test). There were no questions about the movement of hot spots or locating a point within a quadrangle using given longitude, latitude, as well as township and range. I only hesitated on two questions, and only one on the extra credit sheet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also: weekend? What weekend? Tomorrow I'm going shopping with Baba and Grandpa in Porter Ranch, and on Sunday I'm planting trees in Granada Hills. Next week is the first meeting of NSLS this semester and I have to make sure to have all the materials and BE ready. Eek, I hope I can do this!
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
So, I'm back from Vegas. Internet access there ranged from $12-15 a day (and wasn't always wireless, wtf!?), and I just didn't want to shell it out. Besides, it was actually nice just having my laptop there without the compulsion to use it.

It won't stay in Vegas )

Songs that have been stuck in my head lately:

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

Hm.
azurite: (escaflowne - destiny)
It's only February 16th, but already I'm thinking 2009 is going to kick butt. For one, I'm going to Las Vegas in a few days. I want to have high hopes even though it's someone else's birthday. I'm planning on having fun, so that's what's going to happen. I'm determined! Also, Dad gave me what might end up being the most awesome present he's ever given me.

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

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

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

25 random things? )

Tag!
1 [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie
2 [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u
3 [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra
4 [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000
5 [livejournal.com profile] aelibia
6 [livejournal.com profile] arien_elensar
7 [livejournal.com profile] fountain_the
8 [livejournal.com profile] praiseofshadows
9 [livejournal.com profile] geniusgirl
10 [livejournal.com profile] bewareofdogz
11 [livejournal.com profile] katiat325
12 [livejournal.com profile] kitesareevil
13 [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny
14 [livejournal.com profile] lin_ko
15 [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler
16 [livejournal.com profile] staplerx (don't shoot! :P)
17 [livejournal.com profile] azhp
18 [livejournal.com profile] hikaru_jan
19 [livejournal.com profile] psyjoe_dilandau
20 [livejournal.com profile] zigx
21 [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux
22 Denise S.
23 Mike C.
24 Sheila F.
25 Carlos R.
azurite: (bunninated!)
Quite frankly I'm sick of having dreams of totally realistic scenarios that will never happen.

I say "never happen" because I've gotten it in my head that being imaginative means accepting the consequences of my overly-optimistic, far-fetched (though still realistic! Just "crazy" realistic) mind. Back in high school, I started to think, "If I've thought of it, it'll never happen that way. Life will throw me a curve ball." And it always does, except curve balls can sometimes be awfully boring and leave me wishing for a bit drama. That's like asking for trouble, isn't it?

I guess to be perfectly honest, the particular scenario that featured in this morning's dream wasn't entirely realistic, because I was in a class that FELT like a high school class with someone that most decidedly would never have been in a class with me. Furthermore, it was like the "present me" was suddenly zapped into my high-school self's body, because it was a class I was failing and didn't give a shit about-- that's more reminiscent of my junior year in high school, when I was apathetic about everything.

I've got a few fears I've realized recently, and they're a lot more poignant than being afraid of driving:

* I'm afraid that my attitude of wanting to help people will bite me in the ass, and I'll end up realizing that people aren't always going to WANT help, even if they need it, and will make sure you break down and start to hate the world. Or maybe I'll just end up that way on my own-- that scares me too.

* I'm afraid of sticking with my "one day at a time" motto and still moving on with my life, but having these tiny threads holding me back. What I mean is, memories of things or people I feel are left unresolved. Would it really be right for me to (eventually) move on, or at least think/pretend that I am? I don't think I'll ever be able to stop thinking about those events or people unless I get some kind of closure, even if it's not necessarily the closure I want. But something's better than nothing, and time heals all wounds and all that, right?

I'm sorry if I'm being vague. Dreams of this category tend to shake me up a bit more than most. Whatever happened to my high school dreams of giant robots?
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
[livejournal.com profile] aelibia, I will willingly accept whatever punishment you see fit for me for reneging on my promise to be online by 2pm today. My grandparents and I ended up going to the mall at 1:30, and what was supposed to be a short excursion turned into an all-day affair because my hair stylist no longer works on Sundays, and I couldn't think of a time during the coming week to go see her, so I opted for a last-minute appointment that took 2.5 hours (I got a cut, highlights, and my brows done)! After that, I went on my search for shoes, and... well, that didn't go so well.

So yes, still searching for the perfect, sexy, comfortable shoe. I went to Macy's first, since I had to return something there anyway (well, get it "fixed" is more like it), and I saw a lot of cute shoes, but cute ≠ comfortable, and I've got to apply my same standards that I do for clothing as I do for accessories and shoes. A variety of brands had nice designs, but I was going for a few specific traits:
* A medium-to-high heel; no more than three or four inches
* Heel support-- there has to be something in the back of my heel other than a strap or straps
* Over-the-foot support, preferably in the middle-- a series of straps or one thick strap to hold my foot in the shoe while I'm walking
* No pinching of my toes at the front-- I love peep-toe shoes, but these kind of shoes tend to squish my toes into a very uncomfortable shape, meaning blisters later on, which are NEVER fun

Other pluses would have been:
* A candy color or something different from my usual black (patterns are okay! I actually saw a pretty flower-patterned pair by Jessica Simpson and a paisley-patterned one by Carlos Santana --what is it with musicians and shoes!?-- but the heels were a bit too crazy-high for my tastes)
* No sequins, rhinestones, or other "bling" that can either leave imprints on my skin or fall off and ruin the look of the whole shoe
* No bows or ruffles of any kind
* Good arch support-- nothing TOO curvy or wobbly, like a platform shoe. But platform heels and/or toes are okay, so long as it's not platform from front to back, with the tapering in the back-- those kind of shoes are like asking for a broken ankle!

Anyway, I checked out Sheikh, Bakers, Love D, Guess, JCPenney, Sears, Reflections, and any other shoe store I could think of or saw. The only "for sure" one I didn't get to (but might try to tomorrow) is DSW. All were a bust except for Reflections, where I did find two cute pairs that I might go back for. Sad thing is, the cute color one (Qupid) doesn't have the over-foot support, and the cute style one (Delicious) only comes in black. I went to Guess and also found a cute pair of the right style shoes, but they only came in black and pinched my toes together too tightly at the toe.

Despite what the measuring thing at Macy's said, I'm a size 6 shoe, though with some brands I'm a 5.5 or a 6.5. Sometimes I need a wider shoe, as my feet, when put together, resemble a heart-- arched and wide near the top, and tapering down toward the bottom. I have a high arch and pointy heels (as in, the back of my foot), so I require support for those, and don't want to be tottering around in something that can give me foot AND back pain.

I would go for kitten heels or ballet flats as Morgan suggested, but any ballet flats I've ever had ALWAYS fall apart from the toe (I guess I'm a toe-tapper) and don't help me -5'1" at the most- look any better. At least heels give me a bit of a boost. As for kitten heels, I have worn a pair, and they just hurt my ankles like crazy. I'd rather go "all or nothing" if it comes to heels. That doesn't mean I'd go crazy with pencil-thin stilettos, but I'm fine with a few inches of height. Dressy, sexy shoes doesn't mean "thick-heeled clunkers" in my book.

The search goes on! As always, advice appreciated. I hope my feet aren't "too weird" for nice shoes. It's either a new pair or I have to break in the ones I already have (praying that they CAN be broken into).

Good news? Well, my hair looks great if I do say so myself, and I did get myself some new clothes-- a new outfit for yoga and a cute top and vest from Anne Taylor LOFT (couldn't resist). Plus, I picked up the latest Susan Wiggs "Lakeshore Chronicles" book for Baba and I to read together (as soon as Baba's done with her latest thriller romance that she can't stop raving about and which title escapes me at the moment).

 Aankh Milaoongi by Asha Bhosle from See You Breathe - Sight Through Sky-Eyes Disc 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE Southwest Airlines? I mean LUV LUV LUV.

A few things you should know (or could probably guess) about me:
(1) I am NOT a light packer; I've tried: I've failed.
(2) I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

Keeping those in mind, it's not hard to imagine that, despite having returned to L.A. prior to Thanksgiving, the stuff I brought back with me wasn't nearly enough. On the way from LAX to SFO the first time around, I got charged $25 for an overweight suitcase.

I've taken to checking in baggage because, with my back and the fact that people simply aren't courteous ANYWHERE anymore (not that I have low expectations of others, but it's easier not to assume and make an ass out of myself by whining when no one helps short little me get my bag out of the upper baggage compartment), it's just easier.

My suitcase, when full, just barely skims the 62 total inch limit-- it's 30 inches long, 20 inches wide, and around 9 inches thick. STUFFED, it can easily surpass the 62 inches, but I've never seen anyone whip out a tape measure and check my bag for that. Weighing it, on the other hand....

Anyway, I was nervous about how much my bag weighed for the trip back to L.A. today, because even though it was mostly vacuum-sucked clothes bags, I also had all my shoes, two hard drives, random books and papers, and a bag of cosmetics.

The total? 77.5 lbs! WTF!?

So I started by taking out my Jewish cookbook (it's sitting behind my CD album in my wheelie carry-on), and that knocked it down to 73.5. I didn't want to try and take out much more that wasn't flat, but was somehow still substantial enough to knock down three pounds, if only because I'd have no place to put it. I'm already hefting my PS2 and 2 stuffed animals (ssh!) as my "personal item." Thankfully, the guy at the baggage check outside was super-nice, and let me slide for the extra 3 pounds, so he said he'd have to take me inside to pay the $25 fee.

I gave the guy my WaMu debit card, because I checked the balance last night AND this morning, and there was enough in there to cover the fee (I KNEW I was going to get some fee) and my cab once I get to the Van Nuys Flyaway. But for some reason, it wasn't going through. They suggested I go to an ATM. I got to the ATM, expecting MORE fees, but it says "Card not authorized" or some shit. Freaking out (because my Macy's Visa wasn't working either, and that didn't surprise me; I owe the most on that card at the moment, and I think they've been calling me incessantly -but never leaving messages- but my payments haven't been the full amount. They've been whatever I could manage, but apparently THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH), I called my bank.

When I finally got hold of a live person, he told me that while my checking account was still open, my debit/MasterCard had been closed since NOVEMBER!? WTF!? They didn't even notify me, not even on the site, which I check fairly regularly! So I had to be transferred to another line, explain the whole situation again, and have them "reactivate" the card (with the stipulation that the "activation" might not actually take effect until midnight).

Then, by the time I got back to the SWA counter... the guy said "It's okay, go on."

NO FEE.

I LUV SOUTHWEST!

So yay to that, and yay also to the taxi ride from Van Nuys FlyAway that was cheaper than I expected. Yay to Grandpa shelling out $12 because the guy didn't want to try swiping my potentially-bad card.

NOT YAY to the fact that I may have lost my USB stick. I called Mom to see if she could spot it in the areas where I was hanging out, but she didn't see it. Then again, she was half-asleep. I'm hoping it turns up somewhere really obvious -here or there- and I can get it on my hot little hands again. I DON'T want to have somehow lost it at SFO or LAX or on the plane or in the taxi. I'll call the airports if I haven't found it within 3 days, because that particular USB drive is important, but hopefully it's extremely identifiable, WHAT WITH MY NAME PRINTED ON IT AND ALL.

Think positive, think positive.

YAY to the fact that Baba and Grandpa now have an iMac! Sure, it's a G5, but it's working pretty well! Plus Erin left all of her awesome software on it, so if for whatever reason I don't or can't use my laptop, there's this one. It's not on Leopard, but because it's a PowerPC, I can run old-school Mac programs! WHOO!

Anyway, mom's been nagging me to make sure I get enough sleep lately. My problem is that I stress too much about things (LITTLE things, both literal and figurative). I think I should just chill and be glad to be home safe and (mostly) whole. I somehow managed to scrape a piece of skin off my right hand earlier at SFO when calling WaMu. I don't know how, but it hurts. :P

Ah well. Emails to read and send, LJs to catch up on... I can only relax by feeling accomplished somehow.
azurite: (xmas - rainbow ornament tree)
Damn, I forgot about the awesomely-awesome that is The MacUpdate Winter 2009 Promo Bundle. Seriously, a LOT of really good Mac programs for only $50!

...I already have one of them, the very-cool DriveGenius, so if SOMEONE wants to be wicked cool and get it for me and you are or happen to know a deserving Mac user, I'll be glad to pass the license code for that on FOR FREE (a HUGE savings, let me tell you!). I just want the others. I'd really like to try out RapidWeaver especially, but I think Little Snitch and Virus Barrier X5 would be good ideas, too. The others just look plain cool.

Only six days left to get it for $49.99!
*wibbles* Will someone get it for me for Xmas please? (To be honest, I'd get it for myself, but my money --what little of it there is-- is going toward OTHER people this holiday season. That is kind of the point, right?)
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
Ah, I miss Usenet.
What a crazy thing to say, huh? But in the search for some Sailor Moon images, for some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was NOT to do a Google Image search or go to The Oracle or whatnot, but to see if alt.binaries.sailor-moon was still around (assuming I got that name right).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accion Y Reaccion )

Naze ka?

Dec. 5th, 2008 01:09 am
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
So I remembered hearing about this eatery that specializes in breakfast at the end of one of the metro lines here in San Francisco. I want to check them out online, find out exactly where they are, what their hours are, etc., so I go to their site.

...Which is probably the sparsest website I've seen in a VERY long time. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for simplicity. Not everyone (or every business) requires a Flash-heavy, Java-rich, super-interactive explosion of complicated code and database handlers (that aside, I do want to learn PHP/Flash/Java at some point in the not-so-distant future). But still... to have a SCAN of the menu that doesn't even fit on a 1440 x 900 resolution screen (you need to scroll)? To not list an email for contacting the web designer/maintainer? To not show the restaurants' (there are two locations in S.F.) hours of operation? To not tell MORE about the restaurant's history?

Seriously, folks.

Mom and Dad both say I'm too critical, but Dad says that I can put that to good use being a consultant. This is the second or third example of a business that I think I could help become so much better than it is just by revamping their existing material. Before it was the bookstore that Baba and I went to, and also kind of this Thai place that Mom and Gary like. A few simple (likely inexpensive, in the long run) changes, and BAM! Better exposure, better business. Better business PRACTICES!

So it'd be a bit awkward to contact these people and say "Your site sucks" or "Your menu sucks" or "Your bookstore sucks" and then proceed to say how, if they pay me, I can make it better. It's not like I have any experience in this-- it's just an idea, just a thought. A very optimistic thought. I can't guarantee that me revamping a website or a menu or a bookstore's practices will truly bring in more business or be more "efficient." I wouldn't necessarily know how to measure that last one, anyway.

But I kind of want to try for the "editing" experience at all (and in a way, it's also journalism/interview experience, because I'd have to "consult" with the business owners to find out their needs and wants, limitations and hopes for the future). So, how does one approach this?

I've already considered setting up an e-business of sorts to offer my editing/computer services-- a freelance site, if you will, where the offers come to me instead of me trying to hunt down the offers. Admittedly, without my name previously out there, it might not actually happen, but I'd be looking to edit people who don't look in the "usual" places-- help college students with their papers or projects, tutor people in web design or computer programs, etc. I'd be a lot more inclined to doing THAT than, say, writing a 500-word article for a freelance article site. I signed up for those, but I could never get around to writing the articles because I didn't feel they were original enough compared to what was already there, even if I did have a niche to write in.

I already have a possible domain name, and maybe even a site design picked out, but no business structure, no plan-- so I'm not letting out too many details just yet. But what I have let out, does it sound plausible? Interesting? Useful to you or anyone you may know?

A possible new structure for Seventh-Star.Net )

I've started using Apple Mail to read my Friends' page as an RSS feed. Problem? I don't think it can get protected entries. When I added the "&checkcookies=1" to the URL, it didn't get ANYTHING. I removed it and got 50 entries... which I'm missing more of. I haven't read my FL in a while. I don't even know if Apple Mail uses cookies for RSS. Help?

Also, I'm probably going to nix my ProCare subscription next year. To be honest, I don't think I get much value out of it, even when I do use it to make near-instantaneous reservations for a Genius Bar spot at an Apple Store. It was pretty freakin' awesome that they rushed my keyboard repair to under an hour (when it was supposed to take 48), but I think I'd get more out of the One-to-One, if I did end up replacing the ProCare. I did think it was stupid when they separated the two, and I barely had the chance to use them when they were together (because I was in Japan).

That said, I renewed my MobileMe/.Mac subscription today, because I do feel THAT is worth $99, even with all the stupid problems MobileMe's been having. Actually my subscription was due up in September, but all the issues got me a 90-day extension. I forgot about it until they sent me an email today asking for an updated credit card. -_- I'm still broke. I shouldn't be spending $99 on anything, let alone something intangible and replaceable like an email address with calendar and address book sync capabilities. Sure, I've also got web hosting from them, but I pay MUCH less than $99/year for my usual hosting and I like Surpass plenty (not necessarily MORE than Apple, because their products aren't really comparable, but you get the idea). But the switching thing would be a pain in the ass.

But I'm disliking what I have tried to use on MobileMe's site end-- I tried out iWeb for shits and giggles, but the movie I have embedded on my photo gallery slideshow page NEVER loads, and because I can't inspect the code or the site structure in iWeb, I don't know why. Is it because it's large? Is the file in the wrong place? What? Plus, I deleted the files of my old Japan blog off the .Mac server, but it keeps trying to find that site whenever someone goes to the main index of my MobileMe site. VERY ANNOYING.

Also annoying? Playing my old SNES games with my PS2 controller using the new SNES9x 1.5 or what-have-you (the latest version of SNES for Mac OS X). Suddenly Sailor Moon's Fuwa Fuwa Panic feels like SUPER BALLOON POP MAYHEM ON SPEED! I'm getting my ass whooped in this game (it shames me to admit it), because I swear to DOG, it was never this fast before. On the bright side, I do still kick ass at the Sailor Moon puzzle game (where you flip over hearts, zap daimons, and try to collect the 3 Talismans before your opponent). Also, I've been replaying Super Mario World (I think I mentioned that before, actually). I started out playing it using a Super Mario All-Stars + World ROM, but none of the cheats for SMW worked (but I got all the way through the Forest of Illusion, anyway!)-- so I got a new ROM (hey, I own the cartridge!) and BAM! Crazy-Invincible-Green-Face Mario! That doesn't mean everything's easy, mind you, but it sure is fun to change Mario colors and walk right through Big Boo! (Figuring out just which cheats work and which don't is a pain.)

Meaningless Memes )
azurite: (aries)
So apparently if I connect to the free Wi-Fi downstairs in the lobby of this hotel, I can connect UPSTAIRS for free too! Or so I hope. I think it'd be awful mean to allow me to connect in my room and not prompt me or anything and say I'm being charged.

Anyway, 16 random things! About Me )

TAG!
1 [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra
2 [livejournal.com profile] svelterose
3 [livejournal.com profile] bewareofdogz
4 [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie
5 [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u
6 [livejournal.com profile] fountain_the
7 [livejournal.com profile] atlantian_magic
8 [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain
9 [livejournal.com profile] bouncing_chibi
10 [livejournal.com profile] captainahoge
11 [livejournal.com profile] cyperian
12 [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny
13 [livejournal.com profile] ely_chan
14 [livejournal.com profile] kitesareevil
15 [livejournal.com profile] hikaru_jan
16 Denise S. on Facebook
azurite: (star trek: head bop)
No, not really.

But I could be an apprentice for drug cocktail waitressing... er, that is, I went to the doc's today and walked away with not one, not two, but three medicines! One's for the weird super-dryness of my skin that just started a few days ago (and has started to fade ever since), one is another dosing of Prilosec, because this morning I had another heartburn-attack-from-Hell and no amount of Maalox or Gas-X helped (well, not THAT much, anyway) and the doc recommended I up the dosage to one before breakfast and one before dinner. The pain from this morning still hasn't gone away completely. Oh, and then there's a muscle relaxant for my "around-the-head" headaches, which the doc said are probably caused by muscle tension. Hm, sounds like me-- always tense.

And I had a blood test on top of all that, because my "cold feet" might be caused by a thyroid problem. Stupid thyroid-- causes so many problems in the body! On the one hand, it'd be nice to know there's a cause behind my problem and that I'm a) not imagining it and b) can do something about it, but if it means MORE meds or something... ugh. So, two days from now and we'll see.

Oh yes, we got the new Airport Extreme Base Station today, and I set it up. So we've still got Earthlink DSL, but thanks to an APPLE product, we have wireless (no thanks to Earthlink) that is reliable (same), secure (same), and easy to configure (same). Problems? Well, for some lame reason, Gary's wireless printer doesn't seem to see the new network or accept the password. Technically the name is only two letters off of the old network name-- all I did was change the capitalization of two letters. The password's nearly the same too, but I made sure to retype it in perfectly and the printer still won't connect. I don't know why. When I tried to print using the printer already configured in my preferences, it only got as far as 62% (spooling), with nothing actually coming out of Gary's printer. In any case, I'm sure that bit will eventually work when we get Comcast this weekend.

We connected Mom's HP PSC 1210 All-In-One to the Base Station, but my install of OS X 10.5 doesn't have the drivers for it, and the HP website and assorted Mac websites don't have them either (because they're supposed to be on the OS X 10.5 install disc, which I stupidly didn't bring with me). The 10.4 driver doesn't work, as the HP Setup Assistant doesn't even see the printer via Bonjour when I try to set it up. So when I have to select a driver, the one for our model doesn't come up, even though I set it up via USB before. What doesn't make sense is, I probably set it up using the disc, which is only SUPPOSED to work with 10.4 and below, but because it was USB and not Network, it DID work. Or something like that. So I picked another HP PSC driver, but who knows if it'll work.... (the printer queue seems to think it finished sending a test page, but I haven't seen/heard the printer respond!)

So, on the bright side, I'm back in the 'Net game... for now. I have some late papers and such to turn in, school work to catch up on, personal projects I'd like to make headway on, etc., but no shortage of things to do, places to go.... Like LJ. Must catch up on LJ. Way behind. But also-- way tired, because I was up way early for me considering when I got to sleep last night (new bad habit: not finding a good place to stop in my books, so staying up until 3am to finish reading them) and the pain was not a fun thing to try and sleep through. So I might just take a nap before CSI: now.

Speaking of CSI, the writers damn well better use this episode with the return of the Miniature Killer as a reason why Grissom finally up and leaves Vegas and goes to find Sara. The idea of him hooking up with Heather again --when both of them know better!-- is patently absurd, and I can't stand how Grissom can go through so much and be willing to throw it all away because of inaction. So, I hope Grissom gets a happy ending (with Sara, dagnabbit!) within the next few episodes, if not this one.
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
So, I haven't updated in what seems like ages (that HSM post doesn't count, because I'd written that more than a week ago and just saved it, hoping for a time when I COULD post it) because The Powers That Be were conspiring against me or something, and Murphy's law was in full effect-- all that jazz. So I decided to start doing something about it.

Keyboard Mayhem! )

Michael Moore is hard to find )

A little lost memory card and some movies )

Noconnectlink )

An HTC Dream G1 deferred )

MELTING, MELTING! and other problems )

Fics that like to f*ck with your brain )

And that, as they say, is that. For now, anyway.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Unofficially tagged by [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain. Sounds like an interesting meme.

Sometimes it's okay to pimp yourself out. Post a list of your top five favorite fics that you've written, regardless of fandom or the reason you love them. This isn't about the BEST things you've written, but what you LOVE most. Then tag five other people to do the same.

Like AWR, I won't tag anyone in specific, but any fic writers on this list, I TAG YOU! Just do eet. (I'd love to see the fic writers on this FL do this. It might be fun to [re-]read fics that I wouldn't expect are the author's favorites.)

Oh, and these are not in top five order, or descending order or anything like that.

Will you LOL? )
azurite: (azureshipping - love to hate)
Earthlink actually decided to work today. My LJ layout's appearing just fine, and I've gotten a dump of email that apparently has been in the Phantom Zone for the past two weeks. -_-

you are aqua
#00FFFF

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the spacefem.com html color quiz


I had a headache for much of the afternoon and slept it off. As a result, I'm awake now and feel like I haven't gotten anything done all day. I need to take more notes, watch my biology lecture for this week, and pack to visit my dad tomorrow (after the Macy's shindig, during which time maybe I can sneak a peek at HSM3? I mean there's no way in hell my dad'll see it with me unless I tranquilize him first, and my dad's not easy to carry around!) My arm that I got my flu shot in still hurts like hell. It's all puffy, but it's not as sore as it was earlier.

I wish inspiration+motivation could be injected into a Snickers bar that I could buy at the corner store. I'm sick of getting ideas for projects I don't want to work on right now. Urgh.




Azurite's Dewey Decimal Section:

003 Systems


Class:
000 Computer Science, Information & General Works


Contains:
Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.



What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You're working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.











Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com



It's either that or Serials in Spanish and Portuguese. Or Customs of War and Diplomacy. o_O;
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
Even with the makers of Bentō, Filemaker 2, being jerkwads for introducing Bentō 2 out of the blue the other day (and not offering an upgrade path for Bentō 1 users who helped troubleshoot all of Bentō's weaknesses-- and believe you me, there were a lot), I'm having a good day.

Why? It's the little things that build to a sense of accomplishment. But my accomplishment satisfaction level might not come close to your accomplishment satisfaction level. Things that please me might frustrate others, because they're not enough. But I'm me, and what's good enough for me makes me happy, and that's a great thing to know about yourself.

So:
* I got all my biology practice questions on genetics all right! (WHOO HOO!)

* I understand how to make Punnett squares and how to figure out the genotypical probability of a given individual (and for the really complicated squares, I found a Punnett square calculator online)

* I managed to take some pretty comprehensive notes for the lecture (which I think makes more sense than the book, even though the slides seem long and the book seems "shiny") using Circus Ponies' software NoteBook 3-- which is just like a notebook, duh! It has some weaknesses (moving around shapes and arrows is a pain in the ass, and they stay in place rather than link to text; new pages don't always have a cell within which to start typing in right away), but generally it's really easy to use! I'm glad I got the hang of it so soon. I think I know more keyboard shortcuts for that program than others that I've used for years-- like, oh, the one I'm using now, XJournal! :P

* I took the quiz for this chapter a few minutes ago, even though the quiz only became available a few hours ago. Normally I take my quizzes at the last minute, but I wanted to take this quiz while all the information was fresh in my mind and my notes were literally right next to my quiz on the screen. I feel pretty confident about it- I think I'll get an A on this quiz and bring my class average up!

* I did MATH for this chapter's practice questions and quiz, and Biology is (duh) overall a SCIENCE subject! My two worst subjects and not only did I have FUN learning and practicing, but I feel confident about my skills! Honestly, if I were a lightbulb, I'd be GLOWING right now! :) :) :)

* I caught up on the discussion strands for Geology. To be honest, I'm a bit mad at myself for missing some of my assignments in classes-- I think I missed one biology quiz, one outdoor recreation quiz (the quiz was to think of 3 people influenced by the American outdoors and explain about them-- since we'd had to explain about one person for our third quiz, I thought I was done, but-- oops, no! And when I tried to think of other people besides the one I'd already used, I got brain block), and my one gender and women's studies paper. :( But I can see the silver lining: motivation to not slack off or fail in the rest of the semester-- once I get a running start, keep at it! So I will. I just hope this motivation carries through to everything else I do.

* I finally got the necessary 1000 points for the Bunny Races in Star Ocean: Till The End of Time. Well, technically I got 1002, and it technically wasn't me who did any of the work, it was my new turbo controller. :P But I figured out how to work it! The manual wasn't really any good for that. I also had to finagle a way to keep the X button pressed down. Tape wasn't working for extended periods of time, so I wrangled a penny using two rubber bands. So even though the game totally knows I cheated (heh!), I got the Bunny Races Trophy, a new pair of Bunny Shoes, and a shiny new Scumbag Slayer! Watch out Lenneth, here I come!

* I've managed to move more of my emails from my Mac to my online accounts, so I can access them wherever I am. The only exception to that was recently, when it seemed my domain was inexplicably inaccessible from my mom's home network, and no amount of talking to Earthlink resolved it. Because I could access other domains, they thought it was my host's fault, but my hosting service proved that my site was accessible all around the world to everyone else-- but me. But it's been working just fine ever since the last time I talked to the tech guy, and I hope it stays that way-- I don't want to lose access to my primary email account again. That's the biggie-- I can do without FTP access or access to my sites that I check regularly (but should update regularly and don't-- bad Mer!) for a few hours, but not my email!

So after all that, I feel like I can relax a little bit before starting on any more lessons or discussions. I still have some of the special features of Iron Man to watch (seriously, Disc 2 of the Ultimate Edition is PACKED! PACKED, I SAY! I don't care what my dad says, that movie freaking ROCKS MY SOCKS), the Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Edition, and my loverly new CSI: Crime Scene Investigation season 1 DVD boxed set (ooh, CSI special features...). And of course, in 49 minutes, CSI S9x2!

Thrills!
azurite: (blue flower)
Another day and I'm here to tell the tale. Well, not a "tale," but at least I'd be here to tell it if there were one. At least I managed to get some sleep last night. The day before that, when I took that sleeping pill (at 7am), I ended up sleeping nearly 12 hours. That was only HALF a sleeping pill, mind you-- actually, there was more painkiller in the pill than there was sleeping aid! But when I took the other half last night, I slept and woke up within a decent amount of hours.

There were a few times when I heard noises and woke up, but generally everything's been the same as the way it was before all this mess happened. Life's moving on, I need to as well.

Last night was the first time I had a weird dream. Normally the sleeping pills mean no dreams for me, but I had a dream that CSUN was on a train (as in, the school itself was a train... or was on wheels, or something like that) and for some reason, there was a hallway from the library that had two laundry machines. They were right up against some long windows, but the windows were kind of dirty and hard to see out of. There was only one washer and one dryer-- nothing fancy, just the plain ol' white ones you see everywhere. I dreamed I put some laundry in and then went to get my basket, but got lost-- clearly it wasn't just the CSUN's main library on wheels, it was some kind of dream labyrinth. I started to feel sick and went to find the bathroom, and even though I thought I did, when I looked around, I was in a regular train seat, complete with people across the aisle in front of me! I was petrified! I had to get up and find my laundry machine! But then I woke up.

...Very strange. No doubt somehow related to last night's horrific news that two trains collided not too far from my house-- a Metrolink train and a freight train. Already 18 people are dead, over 100 are injured, some in critical condition, and the news reports are saying it's because the Metrolink engineer failed to see the red light on the track. Bzuh? Like my mom suggested when she called this morning, aren't there supposed to be back-up procedures for that sort of situation?

Anyway, since I slept almost all day yesterday, today I'm hoping to get some more card-replacement done. I'm trying to get my life back on track and normal.

If there's any good thing that's come out of this, it's that now I can channel the feeling of "uselessness," and "powerless" into WDKY26. It's bizarrely good timing, considering the chapter content. You know me, I always try inject a bit of emotional realism into my fics, and now WDKY26's going to get it.

Dad called the locksmith that charged us $1500, and they sent a digital invoice so we could clearly see what was so expensive-- each lock was $250. I certainly don't remember anyone (either the estimate agent or the actual locksmith) telling us it would cost that much, and I'm pretty sure if someone had told Grandpa that, I would have heard him yell "WHAT!?" instead of it just happening and us finding out after the fact (and Grandpa "blaming" it on me, as if I asked for the most expensive lock). Hopefully we can either get it covered by the homeowner's insurance or the company can negotiate a lower price, considering the circumstances. Even with all this extra brou-ha-ha, I don't necessarily feel safe in my own home.

I'm hungry.
azurite: (don't fuck with eagles)
I actually dared to go out today. Actually, Baba and Grandpa were supposed to go to their swimming class at CSUN, but Grandpa wasn't feeling too well, so we held off on that, and instead went out later in the day. I went to WaMu and got the money order (originally intended for Disney so I can sever my ties with them completely; after what I've been through lately, they can stand to wait a few more days!) refunded, closed my checking account, and opened up a new one. So there's no chance this guy's going to get ANY of my money beyond the measly $15 that was in my wallet. Haha, sucker. Haha.

I also put a 90-day fraud alert on my credit, notified the DMV, made an appointment for a new CA ID, and have been running around getting all my other cards replaced. I'm handling the last of them (at school and the mall) tomorrow. Already got a new Vons card (even though I never use it; I always enter the phone number to get the club discount; it's so much easier!), but Blockbuster's computers were on the fritz, so all I got was a new account number; the guy couldn't close my old account or print me a new card. -_-

I was afraid that when we came back from lunch and shopping at Vons, we'd return to the house and find it ransacked or on fire. Neither, obviously, as I'm sitting here typing at my laptop in my still-intact room. I'm glad.

On the one hand, I want to believe these guys were pathetic and petty, but the escape vehicle was (if I remember correctly), a new dark silver Lexus SUV (it may have been a Honda, which is on the opposite end of the spectrum, but something in me is saying it was a Lexus). EIther these guys are spoiled brats who think they need to commit a crime to have fun, or they jacked a car and are a lot smarter/more dangerous (not necessarily both) than we thought. I'd rather overestimate them than underestimate them, hence the complete changing of all the locks throughout the house. We're also going to get a new mailbox-- our old one is pretty crappy, anyway.

I have been a lot more wary of walking by myself; I'm more attuned to hearing what's around me. Mom thinks I should act like a crazy person so people won't come near me. (Don't I act wacky enough "normally?") Dad wants me to take a self-defense class. (Part of me wants to *legally* get a gun. Bad Mer, bad! But there's nothing illegal about pepper spray, right?)

I'm a bit paranoid of silver SUVs, of which there were a lot in the neighborhood. But none of them were the car I saw yesterday. I might use my Google-fu to see if I can find out just what model it was and then call the detectives with that info, assuming they haven't already tried that avenue; I left them a message this morning but haven't heard back from them yet. I hope that's a good sign, and it means they're doing their job.

We went driving up Donna St. where the guys made their getaway; Baba thought that maybe they went through my purse, found there was next to nothing in it and threw it out. Or maybe they didn't recognize it as a designer purse (I argued that the fact it was a D&B purse was probably what made me a target in the first place) and threw the purse out, keeping the wallet. No luck. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, it just means we didn't see the purse or wallet lying anywhere visible from the street as we drove down. Someone from the neighborhood could have found it, if that happened, but if it was just the purse, there's nothing in it to identify it as mine, and if it was the wallet... *shrug* Well, maybe they'll return it? I'm not going to get my hopes up.

My new policy is to always have pants with pockets and put whatever I need in there. If it doesn't fit, I don't need it. And I'm going to make copies of everything and write down all my memberships and numbers. And then I'll put it in my safe where NO ONE BUT ME can touch it (unless I burn to a crisp, in which case the firemen can get to it, but it won't matter anymore :P).

In the meantime, I plan on getting my endorphins up and keeping my back in shape by playing some DDR. Might as well be strengthening my legs if I want to kick anybody in the kneecap, should the occasion arise. ^_~

I want to thank everyone who responded to my past two posts/notes. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, everyone; not only has it helped me remember other lost cards, but it's made me feel a lot better and not so freaked out.

And [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler, thank you for the fic. It definitely brought a smile to my face. I wish I had a Yuugi/Yami no Yuugi and a pair of former gang members (well, Jounouchi and Honda, rather than some random Crips or Bloods) as my best buds. But I'll settle for vicarious living through Anzu-- she always makes me feel better. (BTW, I don't see metal trash cans anymore. Otherwise I totally would have grabbed a lid and flung it at that guy's head... or the SUV's windshield. HAHA!)
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Pictures "for posterity" of the events of 9/10/08. Read the previous post for details.

It happened, it hurt. )
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Just got mugged. Can't think straight, can't eat my breakfast (got a late start).

I was about 20 yards from home. I could see my backyard. Corner of Ballinger St. and Donna Ave. I had my iPod on (stupid, stupid, stupid!) listening to some Utada Hikaru. I was thinking of scenes for WDKY. I was thinking, if I were a superhero, I'd want all the awesome powers, not just one. I was thinking how it was a nice day out-- sunny but not too hot, nice breeze. I was thinking it'd be nice to take my bagel and iced tea and curl up in the rec room and watch some Ceres: Celestial Legend.

Someone tugged on my Dooney and Burke (I saved up for that purse! It was my anniversary present to myself...) purse (which I never take out; I usually take my now-crappy sparkly change purse with just one card and an ID in it; why did I choose today to take my purse AND my wallet, with all my cards in it?). I thought for a second, it was a "friend" surprising me. Someone saying "Hi Mer, so glad to have you back in the neighborhood."

The moment I turned, the guy started running. I dropped my bagel and iced tea, tore out of my flip flops, started running after the guy motherfucker. He had a fucking accomplice parked in a dark silver SUV on the corner of Donna. I heard someone in the car say "Come on man, let's go" before the door slammed and they gunned it north down the street.

I only remember the first four number/letters or so of the license plate: 5LJP or something like that. It was a new-looking SUV with a silver icon-- Honda, Toyota, Lexus, something, I can't remember. (I know it wasn't a Scion. I know it wasn't a SAAB or a BMW, with a colored icon. But it still doesn't help.)

The guy was Hispanic, wore a gray baseball cap with no logo, cargo shorts (I think they were light khaki), and a blue or gray t-shirt. I called the cops immediately. I talked to a few other "witnesses" (guys from AT&T that heard me scream bloody murder-- can't fight back, can't run, but I'll be damned if I can't scream louder than anyone on the fucking planet. I probably woke the dead) and then trudged back to my soggy bagel and broken iced tea bottle.

Got home, cried my eyes out. Called the credit card company, my bank, my mom, Kaiser. Trying to remember any other cards. But there was only $15 in cash in there, and with the two credit cards blocked, I doubt these guys will find anything worthwhile. They might try and sell the purse, but who gives a fuck about D&B anymore? I don't know why I ever cared so much about that P.O.S. I'll just get an ugly Buxton bag.

Never going to listen to my iPod while out again. Never going to carry a purse worth more than $20. Always going to know just what's in my purse and wallet. No more mystery cards... "did I have this?" and "did I have that?" I still don't remember everything. Shock is a funny thing. All the stuff you think you can do, suddenly you can't. It happens too fast. (No one's told me my lips look white. But I feel... hollow inside, but also like if I have anything inside, I'm going to throw it up. It's a wonder I'm as coherent as I am.)

I still feel stupid. But I'm okay. Could have been worse. I'm okay.

I wish I knew kung-fu.

ETA: Haven't heard back from the police detectives, so I'll give them a buzz tomorrow. Question for anyone reading this (and no, Capital One has no taken over my brain): "What's in your wallet?" No, really. I'm trying to remember what I may have lost, if there's anything critical in there that I *should* be worried about that I may have forgotten or missed. My SSN wasn't in there, and everything else vital (credit cards, debit cards, IDs) I'm already on the way to replacing. I should be going to CSUN tomorrow anyway to get a new ID there. But can you guys think of anything else that I might have lost, critical or otherwise? What kinds of cards do you have in your wallet?

My list so far of cards lost and hopefully replaceable, some of which have already been processed:
* DSW Membership Card (getting a new one once their "system" is back online)
* Borders Rewards
* myISIC Student card
* CSUN Student ID
* Student Advantage card
* CA ID
* WaMu Debit Card
* Macy*s Visa (I JUST FUCKING ACTIVATED THAT TODAY YOU RAT BASTARDS)
* Apple ProCare card (would you believe Apple's customer support had no idea what this was?)
* Library card
* Kaiser card
* Southwest Airlines card (printed a new one; now to laminate it or something. Hey, I could always stick it in an old Yu-Gi-Oh! card sheath, yeah?)
* JCPenney Salon Loyalty card (I was so bloody close to getting my discount! But my stylist there likes me, and maybe they can "look up my account" or something and punch in 6 holes on a new card because I'm cute and sweet -literally on that last one!- and honest)
* ???
azurite: (elections - palpatine '08)
I went to CSUN today. It made me feel a bit nostalgic, because even though it was REALLY FREAKIN' HOT (and I know it wasn't really, in the four years I've been here, it's been MUCH hotter than it was today; just, in recent history, today felt REALLY FREAKIN' HOT to me), it was nice to be back on campus.

The Science V building is well under-way; the Valley Performing Arts Center is a huge pile of dirt, the new second floor of the Bookstore Complex looks like the Apple Store in San Francisco (downtown) crossed with the Japantown Kinokuniya "fountain" entrance, and the new G3 parking structure is almost done-ish. The Orange Grove is beautiful with a new fountain and the relocated pond, but it does seem a bit more spaced-out than I remember. Still, there are a lot of new baby orange trees there, which is nice.

I swung by my old work-- they might actually be able to squeeze in some hours for me-- some over at the switchboard (which pays less, but at least it's something) and some with the Help Desk, but it depends. I really didn't go today asking for my job back; it was just the assumption made once I told them the Disney College Program didn't work out. But I won't say no if they do offer something, provided it's at least partially at my old work (and work rate). But I did tell by old boss I do want to go up to S.F. first, as soon as I get my financial aid check. I do want to get my books right away, and I could have applied for a $300 bookstore loan debit card, but... why do that and have to pay it back when I can pay less (a bit later), not have to pay anyone back, and get books cheaper? Yeah sure, for some of them, I won't be able to sell them back, but... well... it might be worth it! I'm just concerned that my financial aid check won't come soon enough. I would have asked about it at Financial Aid today, but the line for Admissions and Records, which I went into for my Enrollment Verification Form (necessary for my health insurance), was long enough.

After all that (and not necessarily in that order), I went to a meeting for GEOL 300, the only one of the semester. It was a simple meeting just to make sure everyone understood WebCT and explain how the quizzes and exams work; it doesn't look like it should be too hard, provided I get the book within the next week or so. With a full courseload, I don't want to be doing everything at the last minute.

The thing that happened actually had nothing to do with the class or the meeting-- as I got up to leave at the end of the meeting (which happened to be 20 minutes instead of an hour), I felt like someone has Tazered me on the left-hand side of the small of my back. For a second, I couldn't move my legs at all. I thought I might tip over, and the guy in front of me (who had turned around to grab his things) looked at me quite oddly. But then I was able to walk, but I felt REALLY WEIRD. It was basically exactly like the time in the Rossi Pool when I was 18, practicing for my swim test to graduate high school (yes, we had mandatory swim tests; I lived in San Francisco, remember? These days, a lot of things can be explained quite succinctly by saying "I grew up in San Francisco").

Needless to say, I was worried, but because I was able to walk and didn't feel any immediate, crippling pain, I continued on. Besides, I'd taken an Aleve (as Dad has me on, since he thinks aspirin and acetaminophen are useless) with my lunch from Subway, and I figured it'd kick in soon enough. My right ankle had been hurting off and on, as had my right shoulder, but I figured, again, the medicine would kick in soon enough.

I found out about a Matador Nights event up at the Satellite Student Union, so I found a way to the streets (waaaaaay at the northern part of campus, on Lassen and Zelzah) and got there in time to get some free In-N-Out. I didn't do any of the waterslides, but I did participate in a USU survey and a fun flying-money-in-the-box game to get some cute office supplies, like a mini stapler, a highlighter, a pen, and a fan. I didn't talk to anyone (conversation-wise), but it was still nice to just be back on campus, absorbing the atmosphere. But by the end of that, my ankle was back to hurting again, and even though my shoulder didn't, my back was starting to get pretty sore.

I came home and told Grandpa about what happened, and that the medicine didn't seem to be working much; he gave me a Naproxen (basically Aleve, but the prescription dose of 500 mg, instead of the OTC 220 mg), but it still didn't feel like it had kicked in after 30 minutes. In fact, my right knee down to my ankle is hurting pretty badly now; both shoulders are somewhat sore, and my lower back "kinda sorta" feels fine, but that might only be because I'm sitting upright. It's like I just can't win. I exercise (lots of walking), I take medicine, I eat well (milk! milk! more milk!), I get my Vitamin D from the sun (even though I slather on sunscreen so I don't burn, I trust I get enough with my outdoors-walking), I sleep on my own nice bed with nice sheets and nice under-bedding and such and I still hurt almost all the time.

I'm scared of being in pain almost constantly, of continuously upping the dosage of my medication, of going from OTC to prescription pill-popper (I have Vicodin, but I think my willpower's strong enough to resist taking that unless I'm in MAJOR pain; it's possible my pain threshold's changed dramatically since I first injured my back). I don't want to become some sort of a drug addict because I can't handle the pain. I'm hoping the Kaiser in Anaheim got my message about my canceled appointment and that I want them to send a referral to Kaiser in Woodland Hills. I might be here long enough to arrange for a proper Physical Therapy work-up (I refuse to see a chiropractor; they've fucked up enough people's backs throughout history; I don't need them to fuck up mine more than it already is genetically), and if not, I might be able to secure a primary physician's referral (on paper) to bring to Kaiser in S.F. for testing there. Dad also wants me to find out if I'm a candidate for a cortisol shot, which seems extreme, but if I have calcium overgrowth problems like he says he does (did?), then it's worth checking out now. The pain would only continue to get worse and limit what I can do.

It never fails to astound people (my uncle, my grandpa, my former boss at the Help Desk) that someone as young as me has such awful problems with my back, but I think a lot of things really come down to genetics. You can eat like a superstar, exercise like you're a personal trainer yourself, but you can't change your genes.

But I can make an effort to do better... I can try to swim more ($3/session at CSUN's gym, last I checked, and a pleasant thing to do when it's so hot out. Nothing but laps sucks, but they help. I hate to think that this all started with swimming, but I don't have to push myself nowadays the way I did back then, thinking my graduating hinged on 6 laps and some doggie-paddling), and I want to learn to ride my bike! I wonder if there's a way to get my bike up to San Francisco? I don't think Mom would let me use hers... she's got a super-fancy bike -_-.

But no matter what about being in pain, I feel good about getting stuff done today. I went to CSUN's library and got the book on the Middle Ages again, as motivation and inspiration for getting back to "The Rose Chronicles," went to the Northridge Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library (which is apparently different from the Country of Los Angeles Public Library, but heck if I know how), got a library card, and reserved the third book in the Myst series, "Book of D'Ni," which I've wanted to read since I finished the first two, Atrus and Ti'Ana, respectively. I'm also working on getting this eBook about building Facebook Applications (ssh!), and did all that other stuff I mentioned...

I want to look back on 2008 and think "I got things done!" So, off I go to do more things, even if my spine hates me the whole while. (I could probably talk about the latest politics, as my grandparents seem to want to do all the time, but... well, see my icon.)
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Ah, I'm finally back in Northridge, CA, a.k.a. my home for the past four years (or so). And hopefully I'll soon be back in my "real" home of San Francisco, CA, but first I'm trying to work out some online courses through CSUN, so I'm still covered by my health insurance, still keeping busy, and still getting financial aid. :P

In leaving Disney, I found out that I don't ever want to work for a mega-corporation. Maybe it's Disney's sheer size that made it so impersonal-- despite the few friendly faces that I saw every now and again, I felt treated like a tool, a number-- a non-person, more or less. I don't want that from any job I take on in the future.

I also found out that, rather than the housing owing me $636, I owe them $113, because August has 5 weeks in it, and though we pay at the end of the month, it's a weekly fee of $159. It's horribly unfair that I should have to pay so close to the 5-week total, since I left early (2 days only, but still), but moreso because I went almost 2 straight weeks without work. How do they expect me to pay for those two weeks when I was living in the housing, working my tail off, spending what I did have to go up to Northridge to get new doctor's notes, call Kaiser back and forth, etc.? It's not like I was messing around-- I did my best to get more specific, legible notes, but then they decided that something that had been on the FIRST note (about not bending and twisting) was impossible to accommodate, because apparently working in stores involves bending and twisting, no questions asked. It's a bunch of hooey, because I saw people from Transitional Duty in stores all the time-- I couldn't have been the only person with back and leg issues.

Oh, I should state for the record: being part of the Disney College Program has driven me further into debt than I have ever been in my life. In order to make rent on time, I've maxed out my only two credit cards, and while they don't exactly have astronomical credit limits ($1500 and $2000, respectively), that's still a lot of money. I lived in Japan -one of the most expensive countries to live in the world- for 6 months and managed to accidentally run up a $900 phone bill, but I still didn't come back as in debt as I am from 3 months of working for Disney. And it's not that I'm a crazy spender, either; I rarely went out, got the $1.99 lunch as often as possible (and made my lunch on days when I couldn't get it), and only ONCE "splurged" on a necessary computer repair. Even then, Disney sucked me dry of money, motivation, creativity, and very nearly my happiness and general well-being. For a company that claims to own the "happiest place on Earth" and places safety as its first "key," they didn't seem to practice what they preached.

Supposedly I could have stayed on-- or at least waited until 11/30 for the first doctor's note to "expire," since disability had yet to kick in and indicate my sciatica as a permanent condition, not a work-related injury. But that's ridiculous-- miss 3 months of work and classes, not have a place to live, and then come back right to what I'd grown to dislike so much, because I was in pain every day and every night, and my leads and managers refused to help me without a note, and then did more of the same even when I DID get a note? No. Why would I go back to that?

The housing is more of what I'm glad to be free of, though-- the idiotic, immature people in housing setting off fire alarms for fun, the constant construction, the stupid rules, the disgusting lack of a decent recycling program (supposedly that's the City of Anaheim's fault, but why isn't it the property manager's responsibility to contact the Dept. of Waste Management or whatever to make sure we have the bins in place?), etc. Plus, the housing coordinators that frankly didn't seem to care about us as people, just as statistics.

One of them was downright rude to me, and I wish I'd come up with more comebacks to let her know just how much I hated her. I told my former roommate Michelle (we ended up ironing out all our differences before I left, which felt great; I never like leaving a place on a bad note) that I was done being "anyone's bitch," and said housing coordinator said "Hey, there's no need to talk like that in here." *eyeroll* I wish I'd come up with the comeback at the time, "Yes, there is a need, it's my need, after putting up with all the B.S. I have from you and yours in this housing and in this company. I'm sick of being treated like a tool, I'm leaving, and I don't have to listen to you anymore." Plus, when another housing coordinator asked Michelle to leave the room even though she knows EVERYTHING I'd been through, I wanted to say "Okay, then she (the other housing coordinator whom I hate) has to leave to, because I don't want her knowing my personal stuff, and even if she already does and is part of this program or the housing, I just don't want her in here. If you can say that about someone I want present, then I should be able to say that about people you want present." But alas, I didn't, further allowing myself to be treated like Disney's bitch. But now it's all over with....

YATTA!

I got back here to Northridge late last night, slept in most of the morning, and then left to mail some stuff, enjoy some decent Chinese food, and then get some 2% milk at Vons. Sure, the fact that there's not as good a public transportation system here in Northridge bites, but it's just more incentive to walk (and buy some good walking shoes! Today I wore my strappy black kitten heels... that was a mistake) and learn to ride my bike. I'm already enrolled in 6 units worth of online classes; all I need are 2 more 3-unit classes to be full time. Hopefully then I can go back up to S.F. to be with my friends and family, and maybe even find some inspiration for all my projects. In the meantime, I've got a lot of room cleaning to do, and since it is technically the first week of school, some discussions to jump in on and PowerPoint lectures to read....

Wish me luck! :)
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
Back in Northridge again. I'm hoping it isn't a fruitless trip; I'm up here again so soon because I made an appointment with a brand-new doctor... who cancelled my appointment tomorrow afternoon while I was on the train coming up here. I'm hoping I can call early enough tomorrow morning to be notified of any other patients with ANY doctor that cancel. I basically just need a damn note saying I have sciatica and can't do intense walking when it's acting up, and that I'm allergic to the sanitizer and can't use it. Thing is, I left the sheet from the Cast First Aid that describes EXACTLY what doctor's notes have to say back "home" in Anahiem... along with the MSDS about the chemical. So I'm going to try and get at least one of those online right now. Got it. Either it's been a while or I'm not remembering the chemical name properly, because this thing clearly says it causes CHEMICAL BURNS, and anyone whose skin gets into contact with it should seek medical attention immediately. ...Anyone else sense something wrong with this whole predicament?

I woke up extra-early this morning to go to the Disneyland Ambassador session over at Team Disney Anaheim. Dressed up in "Disney Look," meaning skirt and collared shirt and hose... more or less stuff I would never wear these days, but I only do because I have no choice. Being stuck in a costume these days means I take any chance I can to wear flip-flops, jeans, etc. rather than the sort of clothes I used to love (like those aforementioned skirts and collared shirts).

Anyway, the whole thing was pointless for me; I'm not even eligible for the role. It was a bit embarrassing to be the only person who didn't take an application packet, but I figured it was a waste of (their) time and paper to take one if I know they can easily find out I haven't worked for a whole year at Disneyland yet. On the one hand, I should have guessed that any Ambassador would have tons of experience under their belt, and I've really been working at the resort for just about 3 months. But on the other hand, they could have bothered to put those eligibility requirements on the online posting about the info session, so I would have just taken one look at it and said "Oh, I won't even bother going to the info session." Seriously, I found out about the eligibility requirements 20 minutes into the allotted hour, and was supremely tempted to just grab my things and go. But I stayed and listened. If anything, everything I learned would be good reference if I stuck with the Disney Company or otherwise got employed by them after the college program. That's a big "if," because they'd have to offer me something OTHER than retail (after all, wtf does retail have to do with journalism? NOTHING! They could have put me in their Marketing, Media, Public Relations, etc. departments, but no. They have me folding SHIRTS).

Also: Ben W-T got the gold in the Men's 4 x 100m freestyle swim! I KNEW IT~! (I don't know why, the guy just inspires confidence. Maybe he's like Naruto: "he makes you want to bet on him." Except not REALLY bet, with money involved, just "be assured" that he's going to win.) Checked out his Facebook on a whim; I'm only moderately surprised he's got the profile locked (hey, I do too, and I'm no swimming soon-to-be superstar), if only because that cuts off his PHANGIRLS from messaging him left and right. Meh, I don't want to be seen as mooching off his fame or anything; I'm content just knowing he's going to continue to kick ass in Beijing. :)

Just saw The Mummy 3 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor) with Grandpa. Grandpa wanted to see a "comedy," (seriously, for a guy that spends half his day reading books about old wars or watching TV shows about the same, his taste in movies is pretty off) but "The Mummy" was pretty much all that was playing at the right time; "Mamma Mia" and "WALL·E" were playing at similar times, but Grandpa didn't want to see either of those, and Baba didn't want to go at all.

I've put down more mummies in my time. )
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Yes, there was an earthquake.
No, it was not big. It was a 5.6, according to the USGS, and 5.4 according to CalTech.
Yes, a few things fell-- only my picture frame on my dresser and my collage on next to my bed (which is lightweight and made of plastic).
No, no fire alarms or door closures or other catastrophes happened in my apartment building (where everything else can and does tend to go wrong).

What made me smile was how freaked out the out-of-staters were getting. I heard one other girl even say how she thought the construction workers f*cked up and the whole building was about to come down. *grin* I don't know, I guess I'm just used to earthquakes, because all it is is a little jiggle, compared to something unpredictable and terrible that lasts a long-ass time, like what I imagine a hurricane must be like. But then again, I guess when you don't know, it can scare you, and people that HAVE been through some other event like a hurricane or a snowstorm or whatever would be freaked out by an earthquake.

Nothing rattled too badly except some nerves-- I guess it's good on the one hand that we've got a teeny bit of tension released from the plates down here, but a 5.4 isn't THAT big, and certainly not on the scale of Beijing that everyone thinks California is long overdue for.

But it's funny, because I'd take the tiny percent chance of an earthquake over floods, hurricanes/typhoons/monsoons, etc. any day of the week.

I LOL'd

Jul. 24th, 2008 01:47 pm
azurite: (o rly? - minako)
Last time I used this subject line, it was more of a joke than anything else. This time, I really did LOL.

Oh, MySpace! )

Between the laughs and the me clicking the abuse button, I really am quite flattered (assuming the guy actually looked at my profile pics and didn't just send some mass email to every female under a certain age on MySpace).
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Yesterday, I got so mad at myself that I had energy to burn, and decided to play DDR. I selected DDR Extreme, which, it turned out, I mysteriously had no PS2 memory card data for. After I tired of that (making new data by playing said game), I played Kingdom Hearts, which also had no data.

I can't remember what got me so mad at myself in the first place. It's probably a good thing, though, right-- I was mad for "no good reason," which is why I can't remember now, after a long, good day in which, for the first time in a long while, I haven't stayed indoors all day OR blown a boat-load of money? (I spent almost all day today at Disney's California Adventure and Disneyland, as a Guest, and managed to spend only $7 or so throughout the entire day-- and that was on lunch)

I can only consider lame possibilities, which (in retrospect) don't seem like enough to get me so mad I'd think "ARGH! I HAVE TO PLAY DDR TO GET RID OF THIS ANGER! STOMP STOMP STOMP!"
* I forgot to sign up for an event
* I forgot to go to an event
* Kaiser screwing me over with my prescriptions was frustrating me
* I'm spending way too much money on things I don't need, like a hand blender, and looking at my bank account statement frustrated me
* ??? (Do I really want to know!?)

Oh wait, I remember: OKCUPID DELETED MY ACCOUNT. BASTARDS! (I emailed them about this fiasco and hopefully they'll get back to me so it can be fixed.)

In real (as in "true, honest, genuine") bad news, and reason why today SUCKS (though not a lot): I lost my pretty blue jewel cell phone charm. The likelihood of it just happening to be on the floor somewhere is slim to nil. Considering all the ground I covered in both Disney parks today, and the likelihood that, if someone DID find it, they'd just pick it up and keep it (because ooh, it's a pretty blue gem!), I'm never going to see it again, and that makes me sad.

I want a pretty, STURDY cell phone charm that's not so huge that I'll sit on it if it dangles out of my pocket and then it comes undone and is never seen again, or gets horribly dirty or something. Suggestions?

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