azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I'm starting to think my "education" with DeVry is a bit of a joke. It's probably misplaced frustration from over a week without a laptop, and, now that I've got a new one, trying to play catch-up in two classes that overwhelm me.

For starters, in my Information Design class, I feel like it's a re-hash of my last class where the teacher is just doing things "according to guidelines/rules." We have a textbook that I feel reads as horribly outdated (especially the part about justifying why a restaurant finder application should be delivered on CD-ROM versus a Web application--this book was written in 2005, which is like centuries in Internet time), assignments that don't seem very clear, and quizzes with even more trick questions (dependent wholly on the textbook too, which is the polar opposite of what my CSUN professors did: they actually wanted you to read/listen to the LECTURE and DISCUSSION).

Then there's my Flash class. The professor's cool, but the fact that DeVry is still using CS3 when they don't even SELL CS3 anymore is pretty frustrating. I think the fact that CS3 is no longer supported by Adobe should be a big clue for them to, at the very least, provide the CS4 methods of doing things for assignments, labs, etc. IN CONJUNCTION with the CS3 methods, if not use it primarily.

Flash intimidates the heck out of me. Even though it's a Macromedia/Adobe product, it looks and acts different from all the other programs I'm used to, and things just don't work the way I expect them to. My stuff doesn't look nearly as awesome as some of my classmates', and certainly is not anything I'm wild crazy about putting in a portfolio. It's nowhere near on par with the basic Flash you see on websites everywhere these days. Of course, that would be expecting a miracle, right? Going from 0 to 60 in just four to five weeks: I can't expect my understanding of Flash to hit me like an epiphany and I just start GETTING IT. It'd be nice, but it doesn't work that way. I don't work that way.

So I'm going to do my best and muddle through it, and hopefully not end up as part of the disappointingly-large statistic of people that don't graduate from DeVry. It has a miserable graduation rate, from what I found: about 34%. And here I thought California state schools were pretty bad.

I really wish they offered these classes in-person at the Daly City campus. I just don't think I do well in an online environment, odd as that is for both me and the program I'm in (Multimedia Design and Development).

I wonder if it also has to do with my environment here: lacking a job and the money to really buy something like a Fast Pass (monthly transportation pass), I don't go out unless I can spare the change or I really need to (or someone's driving me). Otherwise, I think going to the library with my laptop might be a good idea. I wonder if getting a Fast Pass for April might be a good investment, considering I actually do have some cash now? I really don't want to spend it on things I don't NEED though, since I should be paying my bills and such more than anything else. Still, a Fast Pass is probably a better investment than a bag of bagels (much as I want those bagels).

Plus, I have to treat all of this--getting a job, taking these online classes--like I were at a full-time job and still taking classes in a real university environment. If I can do this, maybe they won't worry and frustrate me so much. That's the hope, anyway.

Any advice from folks that know this sort of stuff--interface design with wireframes, Visio, Flash, etc.--would be totally appreciated.
azurite: (azureshipping - caught)
Legend has it that among us, there are those humans gifted with incredible ability. For some, it is the power to make a killer comeback after a lousy period of being slammed with hurricanes, floods, storms, and FEMA excuses. For others, it is the intangible spirit of hope and faith in one's home, that no matter how ravaged it may be, it is still the one place he or she wants to be at the end of the day. And there are those who are all this and more: able to see beauty in words, to craft emotion from mere letters, capable of penning the most incredible fanart on either side of the Mississippi!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final happy thought: I finished the Hi My Sweetheart fanlisting, Extravagant Sky. All I have to do is make some more codes before I'll officially announce its opening to the folks at TheFanlistings.org and the fans over at D-Addicts, but if you have a sec, check it out and tell me what you think! I designed the layout myself. :)
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
So, I'm a student at DeVry University on top of everything else now. I was looking into the possibility of getting some kind of certification in web design, since I feel like I've reached a standstill when it comes to learning from books. I wish I could take a class on it at CSUN, but on top of them freaking out about my financial aid because I have too many units (read: I took classes I didn't need because I either wanted to be full-time or because the other classes I needed weren't available), they have pre-requisites for the basic web design courses, and no way to take a competency test to get out of them. Plus, they're ART classes, which means the curricula overlaps with Journalism and I'd get no credit for it under the accreditation rule.

So anyway, I looked into online schools, and lo! DeVry got back to me. They have a campus in Sherman Oaks and a really nice advisor who's been helping me find the right program for me. I started out just looking for a certificate, but then an Associate's in Web Graphic Design. Then I wondered if an Associate's after a Bachelor's would look good on a resume. Would it even have enough classes to teach me something I need? Would enough of my CSUN units transfer over so I wouldn't have to take classes in math or public speaking?

Delaying the real world? )

So, in the meantime, I'm working on revamping my resume site, the NSLS website, hopefully seventh-star.net, the SO3 shrine...I'm also now blogging for Site of the Gaming Dead and maybe even doing tutorials for DayDream Graphics. Biting off more than I can chew for this summer? Just maybe. In-between all this I plan to write WDKY27 and participate in a few challenges. Oh, and go to AX! Go me.

I also need to learn to budget, because I'm quite sick of having to borrow money in order to stay afloat for the 15 days before my next paycheck. Any tips?
azurite: (Default)
The sign for California State University Northridge on Plummer and Darby has mysteriously vanished (the frame is still there, though). I'm starting to worry-- we're not really going to change our name back to San Fernando Valley State College, are we? SFVSC doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "CSUN." Maybe it's a bad frat joke?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's boogie time! *dance dance*

 Call on Me by Eric Prydz from YTMND Soundtrack, Volume 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (submit to the webmistress!)
Yesterday's NSLS Leadership Training Day went well, even if I was having unexpected technical difficulties-- I learned from the Orientation what to plug in where and what to click, but when the audio mysteriously didn't work despite that, it took a good 15 minutes of button-pushing (randomly) to figure out THE EQUIPMENT RACK needed to be turned on in order for the stupid 3.5mm jack to be active! Dur-hur-hur. (I can be such a dummy with hardware, seriously.)

I also didn't finish my time planner for the video-- an hour-and-a-half long, LQ *.rm file (seriously!) that I had to squeeze into a 2-hour session (plus time for filling in worksheets and discussing the contents of those sheets with fellow NSLS members). Good thing the LTD is getting revised for next semester/year....

Also, I've been playing with my MacHeist bundle options, and so far:

* I LOVE EventBox. It's not that great for RSS feeds that are image-heavy-- that is, it sucks for LiveJournal, but it's great for Twitter updates, Facebook updates, and RSS feeds like Apple Hot News, Scholarship Points, and other simple text-only updates. Like Chris Pirillo said in yesterday's Reveal Screencast though, I do wish it did more. In the meantime, I'll keep NetNewsWire around for LiveJournal feed updates, even if I only check it once in a blue moon. Shame on me. :P I also wish you could have more than one Twitter account configured in it, but... meh!

ETA: There was a bug in the MH EventBox that caused Tweets and other updates to be dated incorrectly and then not update at all. It's been fixed on the EventBox Twitter, so heisters can download that, and I'm sure it'll eventually be up at the MacHeist site, too. But the catch is that for future updates, including all those great features like multiple account support (and maybe auto-fill? And confirmation of post? And deletion from the client?), you have to BUY the app. Well, I like it so far, so I might. But anyway, onward!

* I played one level in World of Goo and I think it's awesome. Great graphics, fun concept, interesting "puzzles." I'm looking forward to having the time (someday) to get to the other levels....

* I want to compare iSale to GarageSale, the two eBay auction-creating programs for the Mac. They're both PRETTY, but when it comes to which one produces genuinely eye-catching auctions that result in more bids? We'll see. I used GarageSale to make the auction for the ring Ryan, [livejournal.com profile] fountain_the's brother, was trying to sell, and no luck, even though I shelled out $16 in fees to make the auction listing highlighted, featured, and everything. Of course, it could be the pricetag on the item itself, but we can only test that theory with further experimentation.

* Espresso (not Acorn; whoops-- Acorn is another photo editor, like Picturesque; why we have two of them in the bundle is beyond me... maybe it's because Acorn can work with other images too, but Picturesque focuses on... pictures/photos?) looks interesting, if only because it looks more intuitive than KompoZer, which is what I have to use for the RPGClassics Star Ocean: Till The End of Time shrine (ah, yet another project dangling). Finding a website creator (not necessarily a WYSIWYG one like Dreamweaver or FrontPage, though) that produces clean code is a pretty tall order, in fact, and it'll be good to know if Acorn can do that. It's especially awesome that it's got FTP built in, which is a MAJOR sell point for me.

* I want to start using LittleSnapper right away to either make tutorials for website navigation easy (see: myNorthridge portal, LiveJournal) or to simply do full-page screenshots of my old website layouts and gather them in a gallery.

Speaking of a gallery, I'm thinking of adding Coppermine Gallery to my eFiction installs (epiphany for my own stuff, and Dragonfayth for the Seto x Anzu stuff). This might prove to be a handy way of including fanart on the Seventh-Star.Net sites without worrying about theft or a lack of a crediting system. Still, some of the PHP scripts (eFiction and MediaWiki, to be precise) have been acting wonky on my server, so I don't know when this'll be feasible.

In school-related news, the Daily Sundial has started to go downhill-- a very steep hill, perhaps like the one Coit Tower sits on in San Francisco. Or Balboa Street between 22nd and 24th Avenues. I've thought so for a while, but seeing two measly eight-page issues two days in a row finally got to me. Also the quite repetitive indication that the copy editors there either have no idea what they're doing or they're high when they're doing it. Normally this kind of thing would make me want to charge in, guns blazing, and revamp the place, but I had a decent run with Sundial while it lasted-- and while it was good. If the Sundial wants to be seen seriously as a major campus newspaper as it once was, the whole staff, from publisher to cub reporters-- need to be in on it.

Now that I've become a Twitter addict (my username is the_sweet on there too; come follow me!), I think it's stupid that the Sundial DOESN'T have one. It'd be so easy to set up, and it was actually Ezra's Twitter for SCENE magazine that got me thinking I should get one (and Fred's nagging that I should update it more often). Why can't different members of the Journalism department learn from one another?

Actually, what had me writing this post in the first place was the fact that A.S. (Associated Students, a.k.a our student government here at Cal State Northridge) has flubbed up elections again. The Sundial says this is the fourth year in a row, and I believe them. There have been problems with elections EVERY SINGLE YEAR I have been here. Another example of an organization not learning. This year the problem was that a person running for a particular slate for my own college, the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, got left out of the ballot, even though he registered on time and was campaigning and everything. That means that regardless of who I voted for today, my vote for the seats for my college (which is a BIG college, needless to say) is nullified. That sucks in and of itself, but it also sucks that the guy's name was left out of the ballot. Honestly, the only ways students hear about who is running for what is the booklet (an honest improvement from past years' elections, I must say; we never had that kind of resource in the past) and the names on the ballot. The campaigning signs that are plastered all over campus aren't allowed within a certain distance of the polling stations (as it should be), so unless someone bothered to read those signs, take note of the names (or memorize them, which is hard enough with so many seats open and people running), and bring their notes with them to the polling station, people aren't going to vote for someone who's write-in or left off the ballot.

I liked the online elections a LOT better, but they crashed the server and I guess that was a sobering enough of an experience for them to never want to try again. Why can't they hire someone to be a full-time manager for the AS site whose big project of the year would be the elections? And make sure they have a robust server that can handle a ton of bandwidth overload? Or heck, they could pay $19.95 a month to get a premium SurveyMonkey site and just outsource it to them!

Side Note: WireTap Studio just got unlocked for MacHeisters! Whether you already bought your bundle or are just thinking about it, grab it now! Extra apps for helping charities!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Just Dance by Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis from The Fame (Rating: 0)
azurite: (ff8/kh - rinoa)
Greetings from the Oviatt Library of Cal State Northridge (where I was when I first started writing this post)! It's finally the late afternoon, and Inauguration Day is winding down at last. Of course, I was up at 7:30 a.m. for my 9:00 class, so I missed all the inauguration fun, even though Dad called me at 6:30 a.m. to bug me about watching it. He (and several other members of my family) seem to think Inauguration Day ought to be a holiday, but as for me, I've been looking forward to today as the first day of school long before I knew about who was going to be taking the Oath of Office this morning.

In any case, I've managed to catch up with play-by-plays, fashion reports, and transcripts of Obama's speech, so I don't feel as if I've missed out on much. Of course I'm excited and hopeful, but I also know I'll be able to watch it tonight if I so wish. After all, tons of stations are having Encore Presentations of every aspect of the inauguration, so....

As for classes, it was great seeing Prof. Lisagor for my Food Science Lab course again! She even hugged me! :) I was quite glad just to be remembered, but I immediately got into techie mode because some people couldn't log into the shiny cinema-screen Macs (sadly, with Windows pre-loaded on them; the Food Processor program we use for class is Windows-only. Blech!). We spent a lot of time talking about what the class is going to involve, but we moved onto our first big project: a cultural foods meal plan.

We're supposed to think of a culture other than our own and imagine that a person coming from that culture/country has come to the U.S. and has come to us in need of a dietician. Obviously, my first thought was for Japan! So I'm working with a classmate from India named Mythri (My-three), and we've both got to invent a person and come up with a meal plan for them that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2-3 snacks for two days. Four of those meals have to be cultural foods (that is, Japanese) that are prepared. Everything should be "made at home," not "fast food" or whatever.

...For some reason, the first person that came to mind was Usagi Tsukino. More specifically, the Usagi that's in a very particular fic that I read recently on Aria's Ink, where she's come to the U.S. on a study abroad program.

Besides, it's not as if I don't know all her vital stats: she's 4'11", 99 lbs., 15 years old (well, we're imagining Season 1-3 Usagi here), and leads an active lifestyle-- what she lacks in P.E. she makes up for with Sailor Senshi duty and running like a mad chicken on her way to school. Inputting all that in, I've discovered just how many calories, vitamins, and minerals she ought to be taking.

Bearing all that in mind, now I've got to come up with 4 simple recipes that are Japanese in origin that Usagi might eat if she's seeing a dietician for whatever reason. I'm tempted to watch a bunch of Sailor Moon episodes to see how food appears in it, and what Usagi's eating habits are (other than just "voracious").

After that class, I went to Yoga. A surprising amount of people were wearing jeans, which made me roll my eyes. Really, the syllabus says "wear comfortable clothing," and people think "jeans?" The teacher seems like she's strict but interesting-- she reminds me of a professor I had in Journalism in my freshman and sophomore year where you either loved her or you hated her, but if you loved her, it's because despite the strictness, you learned. I'm hoping that'll be the case here, too.

Work today was pretty cool, too. I only had a short shift, but half of it I worked at the kiosk upstairs in the library, which we've started doing the first few weeks of the semester to introduce campus technology and the IT department to the people milling about the first floor.

Tomorrow I've only got one class-- my Public Relations class. Normally I'd have my long Biology lab, except the professor's postponed the first class session until next week, which is nice, because it gives me time to get adjusted to my other classes, get my textbooks and other supplies (seriously $114 for a biology NOTEBOOK!?!) and get used to the campus life again. I'm hoping I can use the rare extra time (because normally Wednesday would be my all-day session) to work on WDKY26 more. So far, it's coming along quite well... ^_^

ARGH! - Financial aid check didn't go through YET, so I couldn't get my PSP and SO2:SE as planned today, let alone check out the mall for some **free** makeup. Meh, I didn't need it (the makeup) anyway, and I don't need the PSP and the game RIGHT NOW, either. Textbooks are more the priority, anyway. Surprisingly, the bookstore actually has the cheapest rate for some of the textbooks. Some of the other textbooks, unfortunately, simply can't be found on Half.com or Amazon or whatever-- they're those special notebook lab packs. But that doesn't mean I'm out of resources yet!

Also: new icons! Yay. But I still need more for some of my other fandoms. There are also some I can't bring myself to get rid of even though I rarely use them. But hell, I've got nearly 200 userpic slots, so what does it matter!?
azurite: (sailormoon - just watch me)
I'M DONE! (with classes and finals, that is. Hip hip hurrah.)

This semester I used Circus Ponies "Notebook" software for the Mac, and I gotta say, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only did it help me save paper (I'm all about being green when I can), but it helped me organize my notes and refer back to them SO easily.

To top it off, I made a webpage of all my notes and quiz results in just a few clicks! It's also quite stylish. If you've ever wanted to know anything about geology, biology, or outdoor recreation, check out the site. I think I'll do the same thing for next semester.

AND NOW!?
Let's see.
* Fanfiction (esp. for the holidays; I want to be challenged and give lots of ficlets away!)
* Video games (Star Ocean 3, FF8, Super Mario World!)
* Websites (Epiphany, Seventh-Star.Net main site, Star Ocean 3 RPGClassics shrine)
* [livejournal.com profile] fandomsecrets (takes forever to read and comment on these things, but it's SO addictive!)
* Presents! Handmade! Or something. Still working on that.

WHOO HOO!

...By the way, I discovered I have 1 more unit than necessary to graduate ALREADY. But I still have a year left because if I applied for graduation as I am, I wouldn't get a degree in anything, and that's like, extra-sour lamesauce.

Balance

Dec. 15th, 2008 08:11 pm
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
You know, I was pretty upset earlier, but I have to put things in perspective: always look at things in balance. For everything you think makes your day awful, there are probably 5 or 10 more that should make it okay, if not better or even great. A simple change in perspective can drastically alter your mood. You have to be willing to look.

So I found out earlier that, due to the CSU budget cuts, I won't be getting my job back at the IT Help Desk at CSUN this coming semester. They just don't have the money to rehire, even though people are going to be leaving. That... REALLY sucks. I was counting on the job. Of course, my former boss did say that I'd be the first to know if anything changed, or if anything else in the department opened up. So I hope something does change, because to be honest, I need the money. But I also LIKE the job a lot, like helping people, like most of my co-workers, and don't want to be twiddling my thumbs at home when I could be helping folks out.

There's always the possibility of freelance tutoring though, so if, come January 20, I don't have a job back for sure, then I'll look into that.

Also balancing out the suck of being ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY BROKE AND JOBLESS is the fact that I just accomplished something! Getting the mojo to work on something and actually completing that goal can do wonders for one's self-esteem and mood. A user from Dragonfayth emailed me, saying she's been having problems getting her initial password for the site. I asked her to give me more detail, but I decided to look into it myself by checking the settings of the SMTP host, trying to send an email from the Contact Us form, and checking the Action Log.

Turns out something on 12/10 changed where the existing SMTP settings stopped working, so passwords weren't being sent out, and I wasn't getting Contact Us emails indicating there was a problem. I investigated on the eFiction forums and found a number of possible errors; I tried to check them out, posted a new topic there, and put up a support ticket to get an SPF record for my domain so other email services don't mark the domain as spam/spoof. And then, after all that... I figured it out. Well, maybe. Turns out the port for the SMTP host name wasn't right. My host, Surpass Hosting (♥ ♥ ♥) uses port 26 for SMTP rather than 25 (the default), so I changed it... and it worked! I sent an email to one of my GMail accounts and received it just fine!

I also redid all the passwords for the users who signed up/lost their password between 12/10 and today, so hopefully those users got those and can now log-in, delete any extra accounts, and start reading/reviewing, etc.

I have to put all my other projects on hold until I'm 100% finished with school though-- I have a few more quizzes and a single final exam (also a quiz, just a longer one) today and tomorrow. So, until then... I shouldn't be distracting myself with posting on LJ. :P

But I did want to just vent a bit, and put my hope out there in the open, that the more good we do (big or small) and the more good we feel, the more good comes back to us. At least, I hope it will for me.
azurite: (azureshipping - side by side)


You Look Like an Aries



It's likely that you have a lean and strong body.

Your facial features are uniquely beautiful, and you may have a scar or beauty mark.



You have good posture, and you carry yourself with an air of confidence.

You have a strong, steady gaze. You eyes are often issuing a challenge.



Like most Aries people, you probably very energetic and enjoy it when someone challenges you.

You expect the best from people, and you believe in them. You are willing to take a risk on someone.



*sings* Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Okay, maybe it's a bit premature to be celebrating, but after turning in my 6-page paper on Gay Rights (which was supposed to have more of a focus on the California Supreme Court, but the group project upon which the paper was based had so many facets and sub-topics that I may have gone "off-tangent" by covering more ground), I feel liberated! Free! GLAD!

Maybe not completely stress-free, but close to it: I have no final exams, and all I have left are some quizzes for my science classes and some feedback discussion for my recreation class. Everything else is turned in. I have high hopes for most of my classes --As or Bs, I hope-- but maybe a C for the GWS 350 class (the one that I just turned the paper in for), because I didn't turn in two other papers-- an Autoethnography and a paper on race. I also missed some class chat and discussion times. -_- Needless to say, I want to make sure that if I ever have to sign up for classes at the last minute just to get units, I'd rather pick something dirt-simple and easy than something completely out of my range, potentially challenging (to the point of bringing stress where it shouldn't), and bizarre.

And then! And then! I really, desperately want to finish WDKY26. Madly.
And then there's the revamping of the BEA Media page, the idea for a few fanlistings I've mentioned, and various other personal projects, like the overhauling of the main Seventh-Star.Net page.

Since I do have a biology quiz tomorrow morning, I really ought to get studying for that, but at some point "tonight" (that is, this morning), I'm going to play me some SNES games and go to bed with a SMILE on my face (dagnabbit)!
azurite: (hp - rule 42: 42)
Your rainbow is strongly shaded red.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is says about you: You are a passionate person. You appreciate energetic people. You get bored easily and want friends who will keep up with you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.






Well, back in L.A. from San Diego. Thanksgiving was nice-- delicious food, got to meet (and hold!) baby Eva, play some games with the cousins (needed David's help to beat Lemmy's castle #3 in Super Mario World...), and went shopping with Dad. No big huge drama that I was a part of or witness to, so I'd say it was a fairly successful adventure. Yesterday Dad DID get a little teed off that I wasn't back at the hotel when I said I would be, but that was because the bus from Scott's place was super-late! Not my fault-- we looked at the bus schedule and everything!

It was WONDERFUL having my own room. When I stayed one night at Dad's in Alameda before we left to L.A. on the way here, I had to suffer through his snoring. He woke me up and then KEPT me up with his snoring. To make matters worse, the next morning when he woke up, he said something to me that I barely remember-- I was so exhausted. So of course as soon as he left and it was all silent again, I fell back asleep! Dad came back and was furious that I hadn't done anything he had told me to do, and he didn't believe me when I said he snored and I fell asleep because I was so exhausted from not sleeping all night because of it! I think now he does (Baba and Grandpa said he did too, because he fell asleep at Fred's yesterday), but that doesn't mean he's going to do anything about it. -_- So yeah, it's always nice to have my own space. I don't like snorers. Sorry.

There were little annoyances here and there, but nothing HUUUGE. I'll get into it in another post. Right now, I'm actually kind of eager to get back to S.F., even if I have a workload ahead of me:
* Study for the next Biology quiz due Tuesday
* Study for the big exam tomorrow for my Women's Studies class
* Start writing my papers for my Outdoor Recreation class
* Hope that my Geology teacher gets back to me re: the 3rd assignment, because the CD that said assignment is on has mixed-up maps, and we can't complete the assignment without knowing which maps we're supposed to look at.

Some cool stuff I picked up in SD (most of it gifts):
* Yu-Gi-Oh Vocal Duel
* Yu-Gi-Oh Sound Duel I
* Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong"
* Mannheim Steamroller's "Christmas Celebration"
* Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "The Lost Christmas Eve" (it was a tough choice; there were 2 other CDs by them I wanted at Target that I didn't get, so I limited myself to one album from each artist I liked)
* "The Tipping Point" (book)
* "How To Read Literature Like A Professor" (book)
* A new sweater + turtleneck (one $20, one free!)
* Clinique's "Black Honey" almost-lipstick
* Some more Clinique Moisturizing Gel
* "The Greatest-Ever Jewish Cooking" (book) --anyone in S.F., wanna come over and be my guinea pig as I attempt to discover my Jewish heritage through food?

Right now I'm just waiting for Dad to come back from breakfast with his buddy Steve (and hopefully remember to bring me the Raisin French Toast I requested). I think I'm going to play me some Super Mario World now, though... I love the Forest of Illusion!
azurite: (screw it trashcan)
Okay, got my classes. Even though everything went as expected, for the most part, there were a few hitches. See, I'm paranoid about trying to enroll in a class and it being full. Turns out the reason why I couldn't get into two of my classes wasn't that-- it was one class needing department permission (which I'd forgotten about), and one having a boatload more prerequisites than I remember when I originally looked it up.

I'm actually kind of bummed about that last one, because it was a Web Design class that was a prereq in itself for ANOTHER Web Design class-- in other words, I could have fun this semester and next semester. But it has a prereq of ART 200, which has prereqs of either ART 124B, 140, or 141. All of these are basic classes if you're an Art major, but I'm not. Not to mention, the vast majority of those classes are a) lower division (meaning they fill up quickly and usually be filled with freshmen) and b) not all that interesting sounding. Oh, and c) they don't count for credit in the Journalism major because they're all part of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

So, *sigh* no web design classes for credit for Mer. It would have been nice to either reinforce what I already know or learn some new tools, but CSUN sure as heck makes it hard to take classes involving computers without a bunch of lousy prerequisites in unrelated subjects like drawing. -_- (The same thing applies to the Photoshop classes... argh! I wish CSUN had programs like my high school did with Digital Horizon and the Richmond Beacon.)

Anyway, Spring 2009 is slated like so:
* Mondays:
4:20pm-6:45pm Shakespeare Plays (3)
* Tuesdays:
9am-12:45pm Contemporary Issues in Food and Nutrition (with Lab) (2/1)
1pm-2:40pm Yoga (1)
* Wednesdays:
11am-1:50pm Introduction to Biology Lab (1)
2pm-4:50pm Principles of Public Relations (3)
* Thursdays:
1pm-3:45pm Environmental Geology Lab (1)
* Fridays:
Off - all day at work, probably

Because of the crappy new class search tool, along with budget cuts (most likely), all the other classes I found had qualifications, i.e. If this class, NOT that class. So given that I got all my necessary classes, I had to choose the "fluff" classes based on other factors. I'm grateful that I got what I did, but not proud that I spaced at the last minute and didn't count out all my units. I added the Yoga class simply to get to 12 units easily. Of all the above classes, I don't need (to graduate, that is) Yoga or the Foods Lab. The others are all necessary in some way or another, either for GEs, my major elective, or my minor.

So... yay? Hopefully my books won't cost too much money this semester. At least for Biology and Geology, I'll still have my books from THIS semester, though I do think my Biology book (which is an eBook) might "expire." In which case, I have awesome notes and have been downloading all the lectures offline. :P
azurite: (sweet dreams are made of cheese)
What is up with these weird dreams I've been having lately? Yesterday was all bad omens, cobras and fat kids in malls attacking me over my cell phone; today was something out of a computer game with me solving a mystery-- reading a spiral notebook (written in green ink; who does that!?) in the boss's office in lousy, disjointed handwriting that said "I BURIED THAT!!" and something about a city, but the "y" was written rather strangely, so I had to turn the notebook upside down-- and this company's name was "Spargo."

Needless to say, I googled that last dream and came up with nothing, so I've either invented a computer game's mystery clue or I should get into the mystery fic-writing business. That's actually more [livejournal.com profile] rose_of_pollux's forte, actually...

Anyway, so now that the ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE! part of the school year is over, I feel I can tackle my remaining projects (late or otherwise) with a bit more gusto, and still keep up with my regular assignments, too. In fact, I may just watch my biology lecture TODAY-- a day after last lecture's quiz!

Anyway:
* Submit the week-late Environmental Lifestyle Audit, because the prof. JUST got back to me yesterday with the answers to the questions I posed of her...
* Work on the website for the class I have quickly come to dislike (GWS 350OL - Intersections of Gender, Class, Race, and Sexuality) and my section for it (California Supreme Court and Gay Rights)
* Work on my day-late essay for the aforementioned class on two of our readings on War (more specifically, anti-war)

And then the usuals:
* Watch the new biology lecture, read the chapter (and yes, I do it in that order even though it's considered "backwards"), take extensive notes and, if the quiz is available, take it. Oh, and check for discussion board posts to make.
* Same for geology
* And maybe my outdoor recreation class, too

Other biggies coming soon to a theatre near you:
* Plan a trip to Ocean Beach (bonfire? Oh, isn't that awful?) for my Environmental something-or-other report.
* Environmental Journal for the aforementioned class

Oh, and I have to plan my classes for next semester! Can you believe I've got only 18 units left? Now, theoretically I could take all 18 in one fell swoop, but my limit is honestly 15 units. So what I'm going to do is divide it up with at least one full-time semester of 12 units and one half-time, if I absolutely have to (because there aren't any last-ditch "fun" classes I can take that don't have ridiculous/boring prerequisites). Here's the plan for next semester

* BIOL 100/L (because I'm taking the lecture this semester and my notes kick ass, if I do say so myself, and I do say so myself)

* GEOL 301 (the lab for GEOL 300, second verse, same as the first)

* COMS 309 (oh joy, another communication class. Can you tell why I've been avoiding this class until my senior year? It's either this or math, though. :P)

* JOUR 340 (a Public Relations class just so I can get elective credit. I'm pretty much taking it for shits and giggles and to not be out of Journalism longer than I have to be, lest I forget everything I learned from the hardest and yet somehow most-inspirational professors I've ever had. My Pop Culture class from Japan was only worth 2 units, not 3, which means instead of taking 498 --the senior seminar which you can ONLY take in your final semester-- twice for two different sections --and you can do that, because each 498 is different, and they offer a few every semester-- I have to take another full 3 units and get extra elective credit to make up for ONE bloody missing unit. *sigh*)

* ENGL 416 (Shakespeare Plays! Because yay, Shakespeare!? I'm avoiding British lit until my last semester. Is that bad?)

* MYSTERY CLASS!? One unit, or 3 units if I'm feeling ballsy. Basket-weaving? Yoga? Who knows? (Maybe I should take Judo!? I'd get my ass handed to me, I'm sure.)

But of course, registering for classes is never easy: There's only one section of the Journalism class I need as an elective, and it interferes with the ONE section of the communication studies class that had a "good" professor (I usually don't put much weight in the reviews on RateMyProfessors.com, but when two out of three professors have a majority of AWFUL reviews --and I'm talking at least a class-worth of students, around 30-60 people-- then I'm prone to wanting the "better-rated" teacher of the three.

So I can:
(A) Take the Journalism class so I don't get rusty in Journalism. I'll learn something new --a new aspect of Journalism-- and be taking 3 units that I actually need. I can either take another section of COMS 309 with a lousy professor, or replace it with a "fun" class that I don't need. I'm leaning toward this one mainly because I don't want to be out of Journalism, and there's always a chance that the "good" professor will be available next semester for COMS 309.

(B) Take the Communication Studies class and forego my Journalism classes until next semester, finishing them all (all 2 of them, that is) with a big bang. Then I'll still have to find some other 3-unit class to replace the Journalism one, but it's not as if the Journalism department HAS many courses that count as electives that I haven't already taken. -_-; I'd ask Shapiro if he'd take a T.A. in any of his classes, but that might be asking for trouble....

What to do!? (What makes this more complicated is that I've argued in the past that, if you're serious about a line of study, you'll MAKE room for it in your schedule, not whine that your schedule doesn't fit around the available classes. But neither of these are core classes that I "need" beyond "graduation requirements" --I'd never take them normally, if I had any choice in the matter-- so that argument seems a bit weightless here.)
azurite: (twilight - fursplode!)
Whoo-hoo! I finished my five quizzes for Environmental Geology (chapters 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13) and my Exam (cumulative for all of those chapters) and I KICKED ASS! I got As or Bs on all of the quizzes, and an A or A- on my exam (I got a 96%, that's an A or A-, right?). Last exam, I missed 6 questions, this time, I only missed 3! :) :)

But the fun never ends, oh no. I still have a biology quiz due tomorrow morning at 10am, my flood insurance rate map assignment due for geology tomorrow night (but I want to get it in earlier so I'm not thinking about it when I'm out with the gals... STALKING RPATTZ! I am kidding. Sort of. More on that later.), and a paper on war (or something like that) for my gender and women's studies class.

So yeah, no shortage of school work here. But I seem to perform best under pressure, so, armed with some delicious Green Tea flavored with honey and ginseng (iced, of course) and some freshly made fudge walnut brownies I SHALL EMBARK UPON THE NOBLE QUEST OF EDUCATION!

And caps-lock of rage, too. Except it's not rage, it's something completely different and bizarre.

This month is just non-stop. Aside from already having missed my deadline for my environmental lifestyle audit for my Recreation and Tourism Management class, I've also failed to update WDKY26 within one year. *hangdog face* I'm quite ashamed, but seriously, looking at all this school work and all the drama I've had in the past year, does it surprise anyone? I'll get that damn thing done... if it kills me. HA HA I MADE A FUNNY! -_-

Coming up: thinking about getting the new T-Mobile G1, since my contract with T-Mobile is just about up, I think, and I'm due for an upgrade. Plus, I wanna get my PSP. Of course, both of those involve spending money I DO NOT HAVE but... minor detail, seriously. Also: possible Bangra dancing on the 15th, Thanksgiving coming up (Dad is mysteriously and suddenly okay with me having a room of my own at the Hilton we're staying at in San Diego. I wonder what he did? He won't tell me), HOPEFULLY a new baby cousin (Brooke said last night there's no baby yet, which means she's kinda overdue at this point afaik) and Scott (and his twin brother Ryan)'s 29th birthday! Whew. Oh, and then Alcatraz in early December, because WHY NOT!? :D

Don't get me started on all those other personal projects I've got lined up, like getting my stuff on Fanworks Finder, working on Epiphany, changing the layout for BEA and the Secret Society Girl fanlistings, adding my stuff to AnimeXX, working on the RPGClassics Star Ocean 3 shrine, fixing my laptop iTunes library, working on all my fics, and, and, and...! I've probably forgotten a few. My brain feels like it might "asplode." But I guess that's better than FURSPLODE! Ha, ha.

Oh, I'm going to love it when this semester is over. Only two more to go. And then what? I have no freakin' clue, but I imagine at least a little bit of relief will be involved. Even if I love learning.
azurite: (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: (trashcat is not amused)
Greetings from... Santa Cruz, CA. Incidentally, the day I came to S.F., I completely spaced about having a Biology quiz, so I missed it. I'd already gotten one extension from when I got mugged and I knew the professor wouldn't give me another, so... argh. It's not as if it'll be a big dink to my grade provided I keep up with everything else, but it's not as if keeping up is EASY. We're well into the "tough stuff" of this "basic" biology class.

Anyway, I'm in Santa Cruz because, like forgetting my biology quiz, I also forgot that my cousin Brooke's baby shower was THIS WEEKEND rather than "the 7th," which is Tuesday. Because Brooke and Shaina are driving down to Fresno (where the shower is located, at their mom's house) on Friday morning, I had to meet Brooke here in SC *today.* So I took a bus downtown, a Muni train to the Embarcadero, the BART train from the Embarcadero to Fremont, a bus from Fremont to San Jose, and then another bus from San Jose to Santa Cruz. I stuffed myself with 3 horribly unhealthy tacos from taco bell and stared at all the pretty shiny books at the Borders I met Brooke's hubby, Honis (aka Mike) at.

And so here I've been at their place pretty much ever since, studying my geology (which I've been slacking on; I've already taken 2 quizzes but have 5 more due within the next 24 hours; 4 of those are probably fairly easy, but only if I do the reading and make an effort to concentrate and take notes). We did go out for a quick bite at this homey diner called Jeffrey's and talked family, jobs, and the evil brainwashing that is Disney.

We have to wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning tomorrow to head to Shaina's, but she's the one who's going to be driving, so Brooke and I can conk out while we drive to Fresno and do who-knows-what while we're there a full day before the actual shower. I know in my case I have to stay awake and STUDY, sucky as that is. Actually, what's truly sucky is I'm more or less relegated to sitting at some table near an outlet, because my MacBook Pro has been suspiciously sucking with keeping its charge. A few days ago, I noticed that, even after it was supposedly fully charged, it only had a life of 40-55 minutes, rather than a good hour and a half or more like it used to have. I got the iStat Pro widget, and it says that even though my battery's "fully charged," it's at 97%, not 100% (or even 99%), and the "battery health" is at a dismal 45% (it was at 38% at my mom's house). I don't really know what's going on or why; I tried the SMC reset, but it didn't seem to help. I'm really worried...

Staying at my mom's house is a bit awkward this time around; rather than staying in the "Tovstin," aka what used to be my room and is now Gary's study/bedroom (he never sleeps in there though), I stayed in my mom's room. Bigger bed, but... er, not as comfortable. Maybe it's me and my picky back (destroyed by Disney), but I couldn't lay flat on that bed. The only way I could sleep (and not even comfortably, because I kept tossing and turning all night, and woke up with the comforter all haphazard) was on my side. Staying in the Tovstin would mean "inconveniencing" Gary, because his closet is in there, and unlike my mom, who's on her leave, he still has to work everyday and access his clothes. And I've seen the closet in my mom's room, there's just no way Gary's stuff'll fit in there. -_-

So, it looks like when I go back on Sunday I'll be sleeping in the living room on the couch. Awwwwkward.

Speaking of awkward, did anyone catch the vice presidential debate tonight? Things I found amusing, somewhat sad (read: pathetic), and kind of weird:
* Joe Biden referring to himself by name, rather than with a proper pronoun such as "I" or "me" or derivatives thereof
* Sarah Palin being kind of "cutesy" and saying stuff like "you betcha" and "darn right" (don't get me wrong, some people think that her speaking to the "average American" and coming across like a "soccer mom" is a good thing, but I think it made her sound very unprofessional and most definitely un-vice presidential-like)
* Sarah Palin saying "um" a lot (no, really, she did. If you re-watch the debates, you'll notice she said it OFTEN. Speech coach, much?)
* Joe Biden looked like he had an eye lift
* Sarah Palin looked like she had Botox (cheeks!)

I guess what it boils down to is, are vice presidential debates supposed to be about the candidates selling their running mate, or about THEIR personal opinions, policies and actions should THEY get elected into the office of VP? Maybe I'm mistaken for having thought it should be the latter, but the bulk of the debate came off as "Obama this" and "McCain that," and I was like "Yeah, but what do YOU think?" I know that Biden wouldn't be Obama's running mate if they didn't agree on a lot and share the same policies, nor would McCain have Palin if they didn't agree on at least some fundamentals (they at least have some more clear-cut differences though, which is interesting... sadly, for other things, she's more or less his parrot, and can't talk about her opinions because she doesn't have the knowledge to have formed any substantive ones).

The thing that pisses me off about both candidates: they agree that gays should have the same rights as committed heterosexual couples (read: a man "married" to a woman), but they refuse to redefine the word "marriage" outside of the traditional "man" and "woman" sense. This is bullshit. It's a WORD, you nimrods, it has nothing to do with politics, ethics, the Constitution, etc. You don't OWN a word. You don't get to say who uses it and how. The more you say a group can't/shouldn't use a word, or the more you use a word in a derogatory sense, the more people will rise up and do just the opposite: they'll use the word, and they'll use it to empower themselves! (See: Nigga, Queer, Colored). It just sounds ridiculous, the thought of a governmental body saying "this word is going to mean THIS in our country" even if it has a different or more general meaning elsewhere. Of course, definitions in general are subject to societal standards and values, as I'm sure is apparent from other words throughout the centuries, but to get everyone's knickers in a knot over the use of the WORD "marriage" just seems a waste of energy.

For me: marriage is the sealing of a lifetime commitment between two PEOPLE, regardless of gender. This allows them to be listed on each others' insurance, have visitation rights in hospitals, adopt a child (or children), have shared property rights, joint bank accounts, etc. Sure, politicians can say that a "civil union" between gays should have all these rights, but then why not just call it what it is: A MARRIAGE? Why is it "necessary" to create a different word, process, paperwork, etc. just because X couple is gay but Y couple isn't? That's hardly equal rights when there's a simple snit over WORD USAGE, of all things!

*sigh* I need to get to bed. My brain is fried.
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: (textually active)
So I'm trying to find my textbooks before classes really get underway and I'm left behind. I'm checking all the usual haunts-- Half.com, eBay, Amazon, my own Matador Bookstore, etc. This time I've even added AbeBooks and the publisher's own stores to my list. I can also check out TextbookX and a few other places, but generally what I'm finding is that all my textbooks are ridiculously expensive. This is just one of those semesters, I guess.

I can buy direct from the publisher-- a digital version of my Biology book that's either online or downloadable.

PROS
* Cheapest version available, even when taking into account severely used copies, copies without the Physiology CD, and International Editions
* No need to schlep around a heavy book
* Easy to copy-paste info into my digital notes, easy to highlight sections (assuming it's a PDF or something)

CONS
* Can't be sold back anywhere, anywhen
* Is probably a huge amount of MB or even GB, considering it's a 1024 page book in digital format
* Requires computer (if not external HD) to be present, and likely another program to be in use when reading the text-- which means less memory for my digital notetaking, online research, or whatnot

So... physical copy or digital? What would you do?

I suppose in the meantime, I should look for my other textbooks.

Brains!

Aug. 30th, 2008 05:21 pm
azurite: (textually active)
I got my 12 units! Hurrah... but without an explanation point, because I may just be biting off more than I can chew. I've taken an online class before, and taken in-person courses with online content, but never a full courseload of online stuff. In addition to being a full semester's worth of units, it's also a bunch of stuff I really don't need... :P

But those are minor details, yeah? Here's the nitty gritty:
* BIOL 100 - Introduction to Biology. I've been wanting to take this for a while, but I was always of the mind that science-type classes are best done in-person. Well, might as well get it over with... I figure I can take Denise's advice from last semester and just take the lab that goes with this (and maybe even with my other science classes, either GEOL 300, if that works for the GE requirement, or ASTR 154, if I can conjure up memories enough... I know I don't have my notes for that old class anymore, 'cuz I turned them in for extra credit -that I didn't need. We'll see. If I can't do that, I'll take CHEM 100/L in one semester, since I've always wanted to know more about chem. Did I tell you my high school chem teacher was deported? Anyway....)

* GEOL 300 - Environmental Geology. Eh, why not? I like rocks. I like earth. It's fun to learn about the huge variety of things that go into putting our planet together, and of course, to learn how much we're messing it all up. I know this counts for another science lecture, but is there a lab that goes with it? If so, will it count for the requirement? I'll have to take especially-good notes for this semester and see.

* GWS 350 - Gender, Race, Class, Sexuality. Possibly my hardest class this semester, if not my hardest online class EVAR. I've never taken a GWS course before, but I have had courses with a feminist bend to them (RTM 330OL was "Women and Leisure," and JOUR 460 was "Women, Men, and Media"). This one involves lots of video-watching and even a group (!) project, though. But aside from required chat-time sessions, it's not much different from regular online courses... it's just a matter of getting everything done on time.

* RTM 350 - Recreation and the Natural Environment. Why not? I liked previous Recreation and Tourism Management classes (well, RTM 330OL, which I just took for elective credit), and it might be some good motivation to "get out there" and spend more time in the "great outdoors." Just from the introductions, I can already tell I'm not nearly as much of an outdoorsy person as my classmates... to never have skied or to not know how to ride a bike...! How embarrassing! *blush* But this class doesn't involve a textbook, and provides everything via Word *.docs and PowerPoints, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Of the four, only two (BIOL 100 and RTM 350) are already on my WebCT. For BIOL (which I'd rather call "BIO," because it rolls off the tongue a lot easier than "BIO-L," as if I'm saying "Bye All"), I've already participated in the first two discussions and read the introductory material; now I'm working my way through the Java-based lecture (very cool, prof!). Still need to get the textbook though, which costs a bloody fortune (like I knew it would). Hopefully my financial aid check will kick in so I can get the textbooks, pay off my credit cards, and then head up to San Francisco for the semester.

For RTM 350, I already took one Sample Quiz; turns out quizzes in WebCT aren't so hard, and I'm glad Firefox doesn't have conniptions with it. Never has, in my experience. The funny thing was, a lot of the questions had to do with Cartoon Network series... if it weren't for my massive amount of trivia-based knowledge (in other words "useless stuff I've filed away for random moments"), I don't think I would have gotten most of them. Like, "Meatwad?"

Starting a week late is a bit of an impediment where online classes are concerned; because they're online, the profs. want to start immediately. Hence my concern about getting the check so I can get the textbooks. I'm sure the WebCT courses will show up eventually, but when the discussions are based on the readings, it's a bit hard to participate unless I B.S. it... which I don't want to do.

Also, like last semester, when I tested out Schoolhouse, a program for organizing my class notes and such, this semester, I'm testing out Bentō. It's a bit different from Schoolhouse in that it's not really MEANT for just class stuff; it's also a personal database manager. I've been using the trial for other things, like my projects (all my website plans), my Wish List, and so on.

So far, it's a bit annoying to have to scroll to input some information in fields; I'd like to be able to just have a field in place without there being the restriction of columns. As it stands, it's cool to be able to have columns, but it'd be nice if they weren't just vertical. In other words, what if I wanted two columns on top and one wide column on the bottom? I'd also like to be able to change individual things about the theme. I want to keep the cool background/header shading, but change the font face or color. Sometimes the font looks too hard to read or is too light in color.

But it IS incredibly easy to input all the data, delete fields I don't need, and keep adding to my Libraries (for example, "Notes" is one library, while my class schedule is another). I'm still trying to figure out how Collections work into the Libraries, or if they're only for certain circumstances, e.g. Media Files (like if you're trying to keep track of all your DVDs).

What I've always wanted to do with my digital class notes is put them online. Call me a masochist, but it's nice to have an always-available look at my academic progress and learnings. With Schoolhouse, it put together an RSS, but I never really knew how to take advantage of it or use it properly. I know you can export Bentō's information into *.csv files, but I wouldn't have the first clue how to turn that into something Web-pretty.

Anyway, I ought to clean my room a bit more and then get back to work taking notes on my Biology lecture. Then I think I can access a quiz for the first chapter... so much to do! :) Despite the seemingly-overwhelming workload, I'm happier than I've been in a long while.

Like, OMG

Aug. 11th, 2008 01:16 am
azurite: (o rly? - cat)
Permit me to have a completely Valley Girl moment, totally unworthy of my San Francisco roots or my current "O.C." status.

O RLY!?
Like, omg, I know that Ben Wildman Tobriner guy who is so hot and swimming in the Olympics and is all chummy with Michael Phelps! Like, I totally sat behind him (well, three seats behind him) in gym in middle school! OMG!

Fer sure. (YA, RLY.)

So, Ben W-T's gotten himself to the Olympics, eh? Good on him. Funny how you can think you (or other people) really change a lot from "the old days" (no portion of middle school was "good" for me, save meeting [livejournal.com profile] schmollieollie), but he looks just like he did back then, except... more hair. And taller (damn him and his height *jealous*)!

NO WAI!
The guy's got himself on YouTube, has his own domain name (well... so do I! PEH!), and is talked about EVERYWHERE, now that the Olympics are the buzz. I wouldn't be surprised if he's got himself a fanclub too, the way Phelps does (and Phelps has a freakin' fangirl in an AT&T commercial. That's pretty amazing for a swimmer, I think. That's not saying anything bad about swimmers or swimming, it's just that it wasn't really until Phelps came along that people started paying attention to the players the way they have been doing for basketball, football, and baseball. Phelps is now a household name, and it'd be kind of funny if "Ben W-T" became one, too).

I just hope if Presidio Middle School (yes, PMS) ever has any kind of a reunion, he bothers to make an appearance and doesn't swagger in with all his medals hanging off (with his stethoscope as well-- the guy's going to become a doctor after he pursues his swimming career --wherever it may lead him--, and with his drive, I don't doubt he will, and probably break records doing that too). I hope he bothers to remember those of us that he stepped on that might not have our name in lights or engraved on medals or whatnot, but know him and think he rocks just the same. I did for much of middle school, and I respect him now.

...I wonder if he'd recognize me?
azurite: (csi: gsr)
YAY, I finished with my last final! I stayed up till about 2 am chugging through those last two essays, and even though I'm prepared to accept a grade "ding" on account of them not being on time, plus not having been peer/tutor-edited, I think I did a pretty okay job with them. What surprised me was that not only did some people fail to show up for our final (which was just a series of reflective questions-- not even anything specific about what we read this semester), and that I wasn't the only one that hadn't done all the essays!

But I really liked the class, especially the service learning component where I went to Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda every Thursday, to help 10th grade Honors students with their English portfolios. It was really great, and I'd like to do something like that again, if I have the time.

It's not completely over, though-- my last day of work is tomorrow (I have no work today), and I also have to turn in the take-home part of my ENGL 313/Pop Culture final, which is a "letter" type essay regarding pop culture and power relations. Check out the class blog and the final exam prompt here. I also plan on picking up my fandom essay from Prof. Hatfield when I drop off my take-home final, just to see how I did... hopefully well. :P

Anyway, I was on my way home (stupidly not wearing sunscreen, not having water or other mode of hydration, and also lacking money with which to buy either, or even house keys to get into the house) when I saw something odd: a bunny in a cage, sitting in front of a house. Next to it was a tub with two bags of rabbit food and oat hay, but there was nothing to indicate that there was anyone nearby that had just left it outside as they ran elsewhere to get something, or that the bunny was "free" or "for sale" or anything. I was shocked. BTW, it's currently around 96 degrees outside, so this poor bunny (who had no water in his bottle, btw) was licking itself just to stay cool. And I think something was wrong with its food, because rather than eat it, it ate the newspaper lining its cage (of course, I don't know anything about rabbits, so maybe that's normal?).

I rang the doorbell of the house it was in front of, but no one answered. No one who walked by stopped and said anything, and the car the cage was in front of had no one in it, either. I'd been talking to my mom when I found the bunny, and she suggested I call animal control. I had to contact 411 to get the number, and when I finally did, it was busy. So I called Baba and Grandpa again (they'd been out getting groceries) and since Baba couldn't easily find the number for Animal Control, Grandpa came by and we just took the bunny to the nearest animal shelter. They had me write down my name and address, and where I'd found the bunny-- and surprisingly, they acted like this was totally routine (which makes me sad). There were other caged animals that had apparently been found and dropped off just like the bunny I found had-- including a hamster, a gerbil, and other small cuties. It really baffles me how stupid people are, to just LEAVE an animal outside like they would a piece of furniture with a sign taped to it saying "TAKE ME!" Hello, it's no cost, no penalty to take an unwanted animal to the shelter. At least there, there's some hope that it'll be taken care of and maybe adopted. I feel better knowing the bunny's in better hands now.

After that, Grandpa and I headed to In-N-Out (mmm, I've been craving cheeseburger all week!), and Baba read from the TV Guide that Gary Dourdan (Warrick Brown) is leaving CSI!?!?!??!

Not again! )
azurite: (blue flower)
So, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler? I've decided to name Anzu x Zell "Scribbleshipping" in your honor.

...No, I'm not really going to try and submit a crossover pairing to the [livejournal.com profile] shippers_club, nor am I going to start using that anywhere and everywhere, but I just think it's so cute. In my head, that's the name.

That said, I ended up moving the idea for that fic you inspired me for (which, by the way, is tentatively titled "The Aftermath of Angels") into its own planner file. Note that I only do that when it gets LOOOOONG. I can't tell you how long the planner is so far in pages, but in terms of kilobytes, it's 54K at the moment. Of course, the planner isn't complex-- there are no pictures, no fancy calendars, just boring old CSS. And yet, with all that text, it's 54K. I'm not sure whether I should be :D or D:

(And I know you didn't specify Anzu & Zell romantically in your prompt from a while ago, but it halfway ended up there with what I wrote already, and I'll be honest: the fic planner is certainly looking more Scribbleshipping than Azureshipping ATM. SHOCK!!!)

I only wish there were a way to have an Anzu x Zell icon without it looking bizarre (this is what happens when you cross anime with video games).

In other news, today's ENGL 313 - Pop Culture final wasn't so bad. I think I did pretty well, all things considered, though I may have messed up the source of one of the reading passages-- I wrote it as being de Certeau when I think it was Fiske. Oh well. :P I also didn't get my Fandom Essay back yet, because he was grading it right as I walked up and turned my Blue Book in. So I'll have to get it from him on his office hours on Wednesday. But generally speaking, I think I'll do the best in that class.

The girls and I are going to get together on Sunday (ah, my last day here in Northridge-- until January 3rd, anyway) for Margeaux's belated birthday (she's one of the girls in my ENGL 313 class that I've been working with) and just a general "YAY WE DID IT!" celebration.

I tried to sell back my textbooks-- one of them I paid over $75, and the campus bookstore doesn't want more than $8 for any ONE of them. WHAT THE HELL!? So I immediately put them on Half.com. Let's hope they sell, and sell soon (so I don't have to bring them to Anaheim or ask Baba and Grandpa to mail them for me).

Work was crazy today-- I almost ran out of breath for all the calls I was taking. Thankfully tomorrow's no final, but that doesn't mean I don't have things to do-- I still have my radical revision to write by Wednesday evening, plus two essays by Thursday! YIKES!

But today I just took it easy when I got back from work-- I played some more FF8, got Doomtrain (DOOOOOOM TRAIN!), upgraded Irvine's weapon (FINALLY! Freakin' Steel Pipes are so hard to get...!), and played a BUNCH of Triple Triad. I finally got the Pandemona and Zell cards in Balamb; next is to play the Card Queen, but I don't like her Direct Rule of trading... very risky business! It's not as if she has really strong cards (from what I could tell), but still, I don't want to lose any of my GF cards... I'd rather WIN some from her! Ehehehe. Next up: playing her again (without losing any GF cards; good thing I saved before I played her), playing Piet to get Alexander, playing Caraway to get Rinoa and Martine to get Ifrit (back), and playing Laguna to get Squall. Triple Triad's a heck of a lot easier than Sphere Break or Blitz Ball, I'll tell ya that much!

Tiiiired.

&THEfinals;

May. 9th, 2008 02:07 pm
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
Today was the last day of regular class before finals. Next week, I have three days when I'm supposed to show up to a "class." I don't say, "I have three finals," because only one of them is really a final-- the other two are relatively easy (I would hope). The "real" final is the one for my ENGL 313 (Pop Culture) class, and my ENGL 355 (Writing About Literature) is a reflective final, where I mostly write short paragraphs about the class and service learning experience. Then it turns out I really do have to show up to the final hours on Wednesday, for my ENGL 408 "final," which is actually a presentation of our radical revision to our workshop story... which I haven't even started on, yet.

Procrastination has been a big deal with me this semester, but somehow I've managed to pull through on almost everything. I've done exceedingly (maybe even surprisingly?) well in my Pop Culture class, though the final does worry me. I'm glad I've been working with the same girls all semester: we worked together on our video analysis project and again for our "chix flix" blog, and we're helping each other prep for the final by splitting up the reading and terminology definitions. The essays in our textbook, the "Audience Studies Reader" are not light reading, so I'm glad we're working together.

I turned in my fandom essay on Yu-Gi-Oh! today, and it was put together with the help of a number of members of [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard. In truth, I knew I wanted to do Yu-Gi-Oh! as my fandom of study since the start of the semester when he announced the fandom essay, but again, I procrastinated... I don't much like the essay I turned in, and would like to re-do it for my own picky self, before I post it online anywhere.

I still have two (one super-late) essays due for my Writing About Literature course, which I MUST MUST MUST get in by next Thursday, so I need to work on them this weekend along with studying for the big, "real" final on Monday (ENGL 313).

I tried to file my Grad Check today (because everyone always asks when I'm going to graduate) and they wouldn't accept it, because I altered the date to Fall 2009. Assuming all the classes I need are offered when I need them, I should be graduating after that semester. Originally, I was shooting for Spring 2009, but that won't happen with me in the Disney College Program. I thought, maybe Summer 2009, but the classes I'm required to take in my senior/final semester won't be offered in the summer, or if they are (like in the case of the journalism tutorial JOUR 498), there isn't much of a selection. I'd rather "go out with a bang," as it were, and take classes I really love and enjoy than attempt to cram a full semester into summer just to graduate when it's blazing hot and sunny. Besides, it's not as if I won't be graduating with more than 120 units anyway-- I don't mind delaying my graduation necessarily, because I've always taken classes or done things with my time that I enjoyed. I like staying involved.

I am still worried about getting credit for the Disney College Program, though, because I've basically been getting the run-around from all the departments on campus. The Career Center doesn't give credit, but they were the ones that had the presentation and said that previous CSUN students had done the program and gotten credit. The Journalism department can't give internship credit for internships that are not strictly Journalism-related, and the other courses, while recommended by the American Council on Education, are not specific to Journalism enough to qualify for Independent Study. The one course that DOES seem to have a specific department --Organizational Leadership, which is recommended for credit in the Business Administration/Management area... well, I went to the College of Business and Economics, and they told me that because I'm not a Business major or minor, they can't give me internship credit either. I left my phone number and a note about the situation for the Associate Dean of the department, but she hasn't gotten back to me yet-- and it's been three days. -_-

This weekend I'm going to San Diego for Mother's Day with Baba, Grandpa, and my cousin Erin. I already sent my mom something, but she's supposed to get it this afternoon, because actual Mother's Day delivery wasn't possible, and Saturday delivery was too expensive. Of course, it's not like I'm really going for any "fun," either: not only do I have to study (and I mean it!), but I'm broke (like, really, really broke) and can't go shopping. Actually, that's a story in and of itself, about how two banks managed to screw me over at once. Supposedly they're fixing it, but it's already been six days at this point since I knew this was first happening, and nothing's changed. It really bites.

On top of all that, I still have to pack for moving to Anaheim (Erin's volunteered to drive me at an ungodly hour of the morning). I finished faxing in my paperwork just a few hours ago, but I have yet to receive a bunch of other documentation. Am I the only one that thinks fax machines ought to die!? I mean, why do we still fax?

Anyway... I've still got a lot to do:
* Presentation for RTM 330OL/Women & Leisure class One down... a shitload more to go.
* WebCT discussion on what makes for sophisticated, multi-ethnic, contemporary literature worth including in a college course
* Those essays I mentioned before
* That radical revision I mentioned above
* The study guide for my ENGL 313 final I'm doing with the other girls
* The take-home portion of the ENGL 313 final, which Prof. Hatfield posted on our class blog

Brain asplodey.
azurite: (disney - belle)
I got an A+ on the "female professional interview" that I did with [livejournal.com profile] cutieme4u for my "Women and Leisure" (RTM 330OL) class! Hip-hip-hurrah! The fulltext, along with my professor's commentary, follows.

But before that: I got into the Disney College Program! I mentioned this on my Facebook and have told a few people in person, but what this means is:
a) I will be moving to Anaheim! (I won't be completely moving "out" of Northridge, mainly because I HAVE to come back, but also because there's no way in heck that I'd be able to have ALL my stuff at the Disney housing)
b) I will be working at Disneyland from May until early January!
c) I will be making more money than I am now!

The role I got was "Store Operations Cast Member," which I take to mean working in one of the stores. Which store, I'm not sure, but since merchandising is something I'm well-familiar with, I don't think I'd mind any store. In any case, my icon's never been MORE appropriate. :)

Thirteen more days until my birthday. No joke. Just letting you know. :P

I'm amazed that things have been working out so well lately. I've been feeling a lot better all-around, been able to be creative and studious (I managed to get my second essay for my "Writing about Literature" class revised and reviewed by a Learning Resource Center tutor today, all EXTREMELY close to deadline), and have some REALLY understanding teachers. I'm hoping that things work out similarly well for my other classes, like my Journalism/SCENE magazine class, because I've been feeling lousy about how it seems like I'm not contributing anything, and my attempts to do just that have sort of flopped (e.g. articles with people that don't want to work with me anymore... :P). But I sent a huge-long email to the prof and the managing editor with some mini-proposals, so let's see if they get back to me tomorrow morning in class. I think I can work well under deadline, and I don't want to get a lousy grade in the class for not having done anything, not have gained SOME experience from the course/process, and of course, NOT want to have to retake the course!

The one cool thing is, for my "Pop Culture" class, I managed to get my web host (Surpass Hosting) to cooperate and help me set up a second Wordpress blog for our group's "Chick Flicks" blog. I was pretty gung-ho in getting it set up, and now pretty much all that's left is to develop a theme (yay for Photoshop and CSS!) and start blogging! I'll provide a link here once we get started, but in the meantime, suggestions are appreciated! What's your favorite chick flick? Chick flick actor? Least favorite chick flick stereotype?

A++++++++ )
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
I love it when things (even stupid little things) go my way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish I could play more, but I spent all of Saturday being depressed, Sunday going out with my grandparents and stuffing my face in excess (gotta love binge eating when you're down... but shrimp and apple pie do better for me than chocolate and/or ice cream ever will), and before you ask no, I don't have Monday off and my school sucks because of it! (I'm missing out on sales!)
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

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

Read more... )

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

And now, for some random lists:
Like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (elections - palpatine '08)
...I don't know a thing about Gakuen Alice. o_o But I do know Tokyopop's quizzes don't embed properly. -_- Or maybe it's just my layout. In any case, what was the point of asking me for a post title when they're going to change it, anyway?

What's your Alice? Quiz )

Also: my ENGL 313 (Pop Culture) teacher ROCKS. I thought this of my previous Pop Culture teacher, the class I had to drop last Spring, when I had the semester from hell (and flunked Japanese). This Prof, Hatfield by name, knows what fandom is. Okay, so he's a Pop Culture teacher, he should know about some things... I mean, I expect people to know what anime is these days. Knowing manga (and not calling them "graphic novels") is a bit of an accomplishment, as is knowing what "fanfiction" is. But Hatfield just took the cake when he remembered one single word... COSPLAY.

Not "dressing up as a Klingon or Obi-Wan" but the very WORD "Cosplay." He knew it! (Okay, so his son is apparently in the disaster called the CSUN Anime Club, so I can't blame him if he found out through there...) But that rocks my socks, because even the people that dress up like Spock or Worf or Obi-Wan or Anakin don't know that word. To them, dressing up as a character is "dressing up as a character." Cosplay is a Japanese portmanteau, a mashing of "costume" and "play." Though it could theoretically be guessed from context (though Baba thought the "Cos" was short for "Cosmic" when I mentioned it to her this afternoon), it might take some examples of what it is (visual examples, that is) to really get the brain juices flowing.

We're going to have to do a fandom-related project near the end of the semester. An option is to study a "fandom-based community," where you "immerse" yourself in it. *raises eyebrow* Something tells me I'd have a great time "studying" [livejournal.com profile] playthedamncard. Or [livejournal.com profile] smrff. Heh!

Oh, to other fellow California voting-age ppls: so, what do you think of the whole Props 94-97? Those are the Indian Gaming ones, if you don't remember. TV is just saturated with those ads lately, and to be honest, I'm torn. On the one hand, I'm not apt to believing that more slot machines at Indian Gaming Resorts will equal billions of dollars for California, especially not "immediately." And while I realize that the state is in a fiscal crisis, if the money we get isn't used properly, it doesn't seem to make sense. Any money we do get -whether we "deserve" it or not- should be put into proper use.

What bothers me is that there are people on both sides of the fence, and as none of them are my local representatives or people I know/recognize, I don't know who to trust. There are teachers on both sides, police officers and other law enforcement officers... people whose opinion I value, but I don't know who to believe.

So, what do you think? I'm skeptical of the ads from the "No" campaign, if only because it clearly says at the bottom that they're paid for by a Vegas casino and a Hollywood racetrack. However, I don't know whether the passing of the props would mean that it really WOULD be four rich gaming tribes versus the many other, non-gaming tribes left in the dust. My grandfather thinks that Vegas casino bigshots are controlling the Indian Gaming casinos and resorts anyway, from "Connecticut to California," and that the bulk of the money goes back to them, anyway.

I don't know what to think, so... help?

Oh, also: [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, it's all your fault! Well, yours and Em's (sorry, I don't think I can spell her full LJ name... o_o but you know who I mean!), because I've been reading Em's "It Only Takes a Moment" for the past two nights (I'm slow), and checking out all your cute comic strips based on it... and other RobRae art (*wink wink*). You're making me wish I still watched TT! I'm actually glad I caught up on DeviantArt, at any rate. Lots of stuff to be had there. :) Got myself a new wallpaper, because, well, Ty was just making me blush inappropriately. So I switched it to NMSmith's lovely "Iris" wallpaper.

Reminds me of Goo Goo Dolls )

I wanna know how to make jewels like the small ones on the side. :)
azurite: (believe in subtext)
I'm almost done with His Dark Materials, the trilogy by Philip Pullman including "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." I do think they read together better as an omnibus-- or at least 2 and 3 do, because the ending of 1 was "okay," while 2 just sort of... well, "cut off," pun not intended.

I've got a ton of other books to read at some point, many of them purchases from when I was in San Francisco, including Candace Bushnell's Lipstick Jungle, The Thirteenth Tale, the second In Death book, "Glory In Death," "The Historian," the rest of the "Book of the Dead," Susan Issac's "Long Time No See" (at Baba's recommendation), and "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her," which I'm finding is a very fun, informative read on one of my favorite childhood heroines.

Today at Borders, I also picked up a bunch of manga (another one of those 5-for-4 sales), though I'm still holding off on Fullmetal Alchemist and its associated novels, since I want to wait for the whole series to be finished. Besides, I technically don't have enough bookshelf space for what I have... it's kind of embarrassing (but cool! Because who doesn't want to have their own personal library? Mine is killer! :D). I also picked up "Codebreaker," about -what else?- codes and ciphers and their history. That purchase was, of course, inspired by seeing "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." I actually love puzzles (logic puzzles are my favorite-- I'm not much one for crosswords, though I am a little good at Sudoku), and I think that's sort of come out in WDKY's Téa, because I've had her solve her father's riddles in order to unravel a family mystery (and save Seto on the side, of course). In thinking about the future of WDKY, I'm thinking, if Téa didn't become a dancer, what would she be? There could be any number of reasons why she might not dance, and I thought she might end up as a cryptanalyst or similar. It'd be a fun way of having her one-up Kaiba in many ways-- genius of one area vs. genius of... well, Kaiba's sort of an all-around guy, but hey! :D

Speaking of fanfiction, I've started revisions on an old Sailor Moon fic of mine, "Hogosha no Kokoro," or HnK for short. Originally, the title was SUPPOSED to translate to "Guardian of the Heart," but that was back before I fully understood Japanese and the function (and positioning) of noun modifiers. So technically, it translates to "Guardian's Heart," or "Heart of [the] Guardian," but I guess that's okay, too, even though the meaning is a bit different from what I intended. In any case, I explain the mixup in my Author's Notes, and add "Guardian of the Heart," as the story's subtitle. I figure I could change it to what it was meant to be (Kokoro no Hogosha), but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, and besides, if I were to abbreviate it the way I do for my other fics (like WDKY), it would be GotH. o_o Yeah, I have a "Goth" story. Great.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I picked this one over any of my other SM fics-- heck knows they all need revising, but HnK has great possibilities as an AR Silver Millennium Fic. No, I'm not going to try and make it fit with the current theme of [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly (which I've almost consistently had ideas for, but never gotten around to actually writing/posting).

Read more... )
azurite: (believe in subtext)
The "Grissom's Gone" marathon on Spike was pretty damn good. Everything I'd heard about Keppler on the 'Net made him out to be some sort of nerdy-but-badass guy that had some sort of chemistry with Catherine... and while it's not on the level of Cath/Warrick, I DID see something there. Sucks that the way he had to go was... well, bloody.

Still haven't heard back from Chase, which can be a good or a bad thing. Good if I do, because Yay! that would mean I could go to Washington, D.C. and score this possibly-really-cool internship. Bad because, well, a loan is money you have to pay back, and that sucks no matter WHAT it's for. Also bad because I neglected to use the URL for Student Advantage cardholders, which means I might have gotten a better rate or different plan options. I wonder if I hear from them again, can I mention that after the fact?

Anyway, if I don't, I've set the deadline of the 21st. If I hear from them by then, huzzah, I can go. If I don't, tough nuggets; I let the people at the WII know and I stay here and stick to my nice job, wonderful honor societies and friends, and the schedule and courses I've already picked out. It would suck if all that planning and running around (and paperwork: egads, PAPERWORK!) was for nothing but at least not for want of TRYING. And unlike Yoda, I do think the effort counts for something. Every experience is a chance to learn, and that includes those experiences where you don't succeed or get exactly what you wanted.

My aunt Sally and uncle Dan think that I ought to write the CA Congress representatives and senators (or at least the ones in my "district," which could be either Los Angeles or San Francisco, I suppose) and see if I can get them to give me any money-- do you think I ought to write an old fashioned letter (more formal, seems more appropriate) or an email (assuming I can find one for the people in question; it stands to reason they probably get a lot of junk mail, yeah?)? I *am* on a deadline; if I go, I have to be in Washington by January 16th, which doesn't leave a lot of time for actually GETTING the money, paying WII, and of course, getting plane tickets to get out there-- which will be ridiculously expensive not just this time of year, but at such short notice.

So while I've gotten a bit more accepting of the possibility that WII won't work out, and ISLP won't happen this summer, it's not like I'm HAPPY about these great possibilities just passing me by for lame reasons. So then I get this email from someone in the Tokyo American Center-- a part of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. They want to know if I'm interested in being a summer intern during the period for the G8 summit.

There's always a catch, ladies and gents: I have to respond by Tuesday, Japan time. Well, I responded already expressing my interest, and my question about housing if I come earlier than the expected start date (since apparently the G8 affects housing, so if I came "on time," which equals early July, then I'd be SOL for housing)... but I doubt this means they still have ACCEPTED me. It's more like they're pressed for time finding appropriate candidates and are weeding them down. It's great to be considered for something like that (and huzzah for Washington these days; someone out there must like me), but of course, money is an issue. Is it a paid internship? You can't really survive in Japan on a stipend. Hell, how would I get money for the plane ticket out there and back? It's not cheap!

So... we'll see who says what and what happens.

In the meantime, I've been busy with crafts (need more Fimo), fanfics (strange urge to read Nick/Sara, write "Speed of You," that Initial D/Yu-Gi-Oh crossover I thought up ages ago), reading (started on "His Dark Materials," which I got for cheap in a humungo paperback from Costco), and cleaning (finally got the rec room looking semi-passable, though there's still a huge pile of ancient bills to sort through). Also paid off my bills, which is always a refreshing feeling. It's better to get that stuff out of the way as soon as you get it, I think, so that you can always consider the amount of money you have "what you've got to work with," rather than an amount that is going to dwindle BECAUSE of bills.

Tomorrow I've got to finish cleaning and packing (and hopefully go to JoAnn's to get more Fimo and possibly to exchange my Amaco flattening machine, because the turn handle and table clamp are too loose and keep falling out), since I leave for S.F. on Tuesday afternoon, have yet to get my shuttle (I'm thinking from now on, it's better to leave by LAX, because the Van Nuys Flyaway is always cheaper to get to than the damn Super Shuttle), and when I come back, [livejournal.com profile] fountainthe is swinging by! squee!

I'm also working on clearing up [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses (apparently I need to hire a huge mod squad, because honestly? Keeping just one person on Claims List maintenance could probably considered a modern form of Internet torture... I'm so sorry, [livejournal.com profile] svelterose!).

And then there's my End-of-the-Year resolution: get Epiphany UP AND RUNNING by New Year's Day. That would be Super-Speshul-Awesome.

Actually, there are a lot of things that would be Super-Speshul-Awesome, but I can only handle so much good karma at once. I just hope it doesn't fail me anytime soon.

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] dqbunny and [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra? Keep your eyes on your mailboxes, ladies. ^_~ And I don't mean the virtual ones.
azurite: (xmas purple ornaments)
Yay, two out of three finals done! Believe it or not, my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) final didn't really feel like a final so much as a normal class session where she was lecturing and asking for discussion. I asked her after class how I did, and if I was looking at the right line of her gradebook, I got two checks, and one check-plus, which translates into a B, I'd say-- that's just for this portion of our grade, 10%; more of it is made up by the media deconstruction, the media critique (50%), 30% by other tests, and 10% by participation/performance. Overall, I'd say I'll probably get a B, which makes me happy, especially since this was a particularly difficult class.

Moving on, I also got "conditionally approved" for a Chase loan, which means I can go to Washington if I get the money on time. If that works out and I get the appropriate academic credit (hopefully 12-15 units worth; at least 6 from Journalism; it's working out just how the other 6-9 will be applied), then YAY, WASHINGTON D.C. HO!

But if not, I'm going to try not to be disappointed. I think I might be biting off more than I can chew again, even if WII and ISLP are both great opportunities for a number of different things. The great thing is, it's not like if I don't go to WII, I'll be doing nothing here at CSUN-- I got accepted into Take XX, part of the New Student Orientation Leaders team, and I'd still be working with NSLS and NSCS. I definitely don't want to stop being involved with either of them, even if I do go to Washington.

Now, if I do, there's another choice to make: to go to Macworld Expo, or not? If I do, not only can I see my friends and/or parents (most likely the latter, since... to be honest, guys, would any of you want to want to go to a Macworld Expo with me? Dad I know would, MAYBE Mom --but not together, no way, no how) again, but it's just plain fun. Plus I could always cover it as a Special Contributor to the Sundial, maybe? I applied to be a Copy Editor there, too, but I didn't officially GET the position even though the new editor-in-chief asked me. Basically, everything hinges on WII.

If I do go to WII, I'd only have Jan 14-16 to be at the Expo, since I have to check in in Washington, D.C. between 9am -5pm and be at the informal mixer by 6pm. Two days at an Expo isn't bad... but again, it's about money. Then again, if I go to WII with a loan backing me, money won't be so much of an issue anymore. It'd be icing on the cake if I managed to get a paid internship.

Speaking of icing, I really want some cupcakes... Baba said we can buy cupcakes and/or cupcake mix on the way home. I think my holiday baking spirit is getting kicked in. And crafting, too. A certain someone shall be receiving a handmade card soon (hint hint: that person is on this FL!)...

What else? Well, I've gotten some of my Secret Stalker gifts from Aria's Ink-- I decided to participate this year on a whim, and it's got me not only working on Epiphany, trying to revive a better version of Mare Serenitatis, but also looking over my old SM fics (let's be honest, except for maybe "24," and the beginning of "Quicksilver," they ALL suck; my writing has come SUCH a long way). I also did some fanart, but ssh! No one can know my secret stalker identity until the event is over... I might even try to resurrect an old idea and work on the 2003 Aria's Ink holiday competition contest.

Well, what with my tablet semi out-of-commission, coloring anything in Photoshop's a real bitch now (doing it with a mouse is... ugh, it's like taping my fingers together and trying to paint), so the fanart might have to wait until I get a new one, or unless I take the marker-colored version I did AFTER the scan and fiddle with that... but personally, I'd rather Photoshop the color in, as my inking process... well, let's just say it didn't go as well as I wanted. I'm not too much of an artist... ;_;

I'm feeling a bit more hopeful today than I was yesterday, so I hope I can channel that into studying a bit for my last final and then working on some creative (and possibly cleaning) endeavors tonight, whatever form they may take... there's always a lot on my plate, frosting or no. :)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
Today was one of those days where you're dreading it, "looking forward" to it in the way Marie Antoinette looked forward to her beheading, and you're freaking out to the point where you think if you subconsciously run a hand through your hair, clumps the size of Mothra balls will come out.

That was my day.

Today was the day I was supposed to give my presentation on "Gendered Language in the Double Standard in Final Fantasy X and X-2" in my Women, Men, and Media class (JOUR 371), and needless to say, I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be. The whole time in Seattle, I'd made a lot of excuses why I couldn't go out shopping-- I had to work on my project. And work on it I did. But, as I discovered today in the library, working when I normally would have been at work (Ken gave me the day off, which probably saved my soul), I worked on the wrong parts.

I worked hard on assembling images (and I was mad because Sally's house didn't have Wi-Fi and sitting in Josh's room using an Ethernet cable was a pain in the ass), writing the script, and timing the images. I should have rehearsed the script and realized it was about three times too long (10-15 minutes); then I could have saved myself some of the grief I had today.

Well, during that woulda-been-at-work period, I did manage to get a successful recording done, but not with my mic as I thought; I ended up leaning in too close to the computer to use the built-in mic and nearly getting Carpal Tunnel from leaving hand cramped, finger on the touchpad to scroll through my script (I edited the paper one so much, it was useless). For some dumb reason, no "vocal instrument" wanted to work with my USB Mic and not cause a buttload of static, so I had to switch.

Then for some dumb reason, I thought I had to have my DVI cable (I didn't, since I planned on burning it to DVD), so I had Grandpa bring it to me (though he ended up bringing my whole shoebox of electronic gizmos). I got to class about 20 minutes prior to start time, but all of a sudden my project CRASHED. When I reopened it, a bunch of clips and timing adjustments that I'd made were gone. To make matters worse, in buying and installing Leopard yesterday, I neglected to consider the incompatibility with certain programs or add-ons, like my GeeThree Slick Effects that I was using for titles and such in iMovie '06. (I realize now, if I'd just gone to the website, I could have updated them and avoided the hassle of trying to create the titles in a still image in Photoshop.)

Well, I doubted God would strike me down on request, nor did I think any deities of Fortune would decide to randomly have Eisenstock cancel class today, so I stuck it out... and of course, class wasn't canceled and presentations went on as scheduled. At first, I thought, "I'm doomed, there's no way I can make my presentation. If she'll let me go next week, I can at least accept a grade deduction." But no, we can't next week, because it's our mock final.

Oh, and on top of all that stress, we had an exam I forgot about! I didn't study for it in the least bit, but it was all multiple choice, so I hope I did okay, anyway.

Back to the project-- everyone else but one person went ahead of me while I attempted to assemble and time the fragments of my project into something normal. And I thought I succeeded-- though I was nervous as hell, I sent it to iDVD, set myself a title screen, and then burned the DVD (which I'd bought at the bookstore only 25 minutes before class). Luckily, questions and the next presenter took long enough for it to burn, and it even worked in the DVD player without any hassle... but the timing was HORRID. Plus, the crash had removed one of the adjustments I'd made to a clip's volume, so I was completely drowned out by "real Emotion" during the second half of my presentation. Luckily, both the professor and my classmates seemed to take it in stride.

She asked the standard question of "Which analytical framework applies to the issue you presented," so I went on for a bit about how the reflection hypothesis theory applies, since video games don't accurately reflect the variety of women in society today-- only docile, demure women and provocative, sexy, powerful women. Hey, some of us can fall in-between, you know!

She also accepted my (true) excuse about my printer running out of ink, so I have until tonight to email her my media packet (unfortunately, I just remembered I have an NSLS meeting at 7pm, which means I'll have to take the meeting minutes and not work on this during then) and until the end of this week to put a hard copy in her Journalism department inbox. Whew... I think. I think she's also cutting slack for the Media Critique, because people couldn't download an evaluation form necessary for analyzing the websites that this week's critique was supposed to be about.

Anyway, with all this madness, I neglected to eat at all today-- until just a bit ago, when I sat down with a full El Pollo Loco meal. I wolfed the whole thing down-- burrito, salad, drink and all-- except the flan, that's dessert. I'm considerably less stressed (even if I have work ahead of me-- ugh, four, possibly five or even SIX more articles for the Sundial within the next 7 days!), and I hope to stay that way through December, make it through my winter break, and somehow end up in Washington, D.C. for my internship.

...And sometime this week I have to see Financial Aid and Prof. Bowen about that, too. Ugh. Always stuff to do!

I blame this all on Alaska Airlines.
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
OMG.
YAY.
SQUEE!
WAHOO!
YIPPEE!
YOWZA!
HAHAHAHAH!

But somehow, none of them quite do the situation justice. I just got accepted into the Washington Internship Institute. This is different from just being invited to the ISLP Delegation on Journalism, different from being told "how great a candidate" I am for the Target Executive Intern program (and not hearing from them in several weeks), and so on and so forth.

As a bit of reference, I was running around getting the application all filled out and finished this whole week-- reference letters, transcripts, the works. I sent it out by Priority Mail yesterday so it would make it to Washington, DC by the deadline of today. They got it by noon EST, which means around 9 a.m. here. I had a phone call to make by 10:30, so I was up by 10 a.m., and sometime around 10:30, I got that email saying "Welcome to WII!"

I was so shocked at first, I really didn't believe it. Less than an hour and a half after they receive my application and I'm in!? Damn, I'm good (and I know there could be other possibilities, but let me stroke my ego for a few minutes here, okay?).

So now I've got a new Intern Profile form to fill out, which includes two essays. That along with a $350 deposit is due within 10 days... I just got paid, so buh-bye, paycheck! I hope I get a scholarship from this and, since I'll be taking other seminars while there (according to their brochure, anyway) that I hope can count for other academic credit (not sure what department or anything, though). I can also take other online courses-- the one that I already planned to take, plus a few others, depending on their pre-reqs and GE fulfillments.

I emailed Scott yesterday, and he mentioned he thought I would graduate sooner, but the Spring 2009 date has looked like my date for a while now. This might mess that up, but then again, how's it any different from my plans for taking Winter session being dashed by the fact that they're not offering anything I need? Why pay for classes that don't mean anything to my degree? Of course, like Scott said, we're "students of life," so a few other classes hardly matter. I'll be graduating with over 120 units either way.

It's funny how now, in my junior and senior years, I'm finding so much that I want to do, even though it might not necessarily apply to my academic degree (major or minor) in any way. And of course, there are things that do pertain, but they're expensive-- this WII isn't free, but I'm hoping tuition can cover it as a sort of "study abroad" and that I can get scholarships from the Institute while I'm at it. There are scholarships for those in honor societies, and I'm in two eligible ones: NSCS and Golden Key, so yay to that.

So if all this works out, I'll be spending spring 2008 in Washington, DC and... *pray pray pray* 2 weeks of summer in Australia. THAT would be a dream come true. And now... to fundraise, pester, and find funding!

Oh, and write those essays.
azurite: (hp - harry & draco sound fx)
When I was younger, I wanted to be a fashion designer. Throughout high school, I came to love Journalism so much (but hated the program at my school) so much that I wanted to go to college to become a teacher. Now, I might still consider teaching, but probably not at the primary education (elementary through high school) level. I'm considering going to graduate school for my Master's or even my Ph.D so I can teach at a higher education institution someday.

As of right now though, my dream job would be to work as an editor of some sort (e.g. copy editor, features editor) at a magazine, especially one like Glamour or similar. I'd love to edit work that I love to read-- whether it's magazine journalism, which is my major and emphasis, or literature (like chick lit).

The Dumbledore article that I've been working on (read: slaving over) the past week finally got published today, but some WHACK JOB editor changed the critical nut-graf (a.k.a. the lead, for those who know journalism jargon). The current lead reads:

I have to admit, I was surprised at first. I came back from the AIDS Walk on Oct. 21 only to discover that both a good chunk of southern California and Albus Dumbledore, the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from J.K. Rowling's best-selling "Harry Potter" series were gay. The two were mutually exclusive events, by the way.

Now, what's wrong with that lead? Well, obviously, it makes it sound like I'm surprised that "a good chunk" of Southern California is gay. (The final sentence also doesn't make any sense.)

Anyone that knows me would know, very little surprises me, especially when it comes to homosexuality. I'm not claiming I have hyperactive gaydar or anything, but I was raised in San Francisco: gayness doesn't scare me. I have good friends who are gay. Hell, I'm bi! I get along well with the LGBTA people on campus-- they're fun. And while Northern California might have more gays per square mile (I don't even know that for a fact, but I certainly imagine it could be true), Southern California having any/a lot of gays WOULD NOT surprise me.

The original nut graf read: I have to admit, I was surprised at first. I came back from the AIDS Walk on Oct. 21 only to discover that both a good chunk of southern California and Albus Dumbledore, the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from J.K. Rowling's best-selling "Harry Potter" series were flaming. The two were mutually exclusive events, by the way.

See the difference? (It's the word "flaming," for those who didn't know.) It was meant to be a witty pun -a double entendre, if you will, referring to the Southern California fires. Someone who is gay might be called any number of things; one of them is "flaming." AFAIK, that's not a BAD thing. It's not negative or insulting, the way "faggot" et. al. are.

I don't know which editor changed it or why, though the wire editor, David, who's here with me in my Investigative Journalism class, told me that it's because "flaming" would get the LGBTA club on campus up in arms and mad at us. Paul, the editor-in-chief, told me it doesn't matter WHO we piss off, because the Daily Sundial pisses off almost everyone (people, organizations, etc.) on campus. Danielle doesn't know who edited it, either. NONE of that makes me feel better.

This is what I get for wanting someone to "look over" my work. Admittedly, I'm a bit concerned about my grade, but not to the point where I want someone to edit my work where it can get horribly misconstrued and get ME in trouble with strangers OR people I'm normally on good terms with.

I tried to nip this in the bud by mentioning the original context and apologizing to anyone that might be offended by either version in the comments section of the Sundial's website, but there still might be angry people that write or email in and again, I won't get told about it in time to make a response.

What this boils down to is a life lesson: I want to be an editor, but not the kind of editors I have or have had. I wanted to be a teacher, but not like the ones I had in high school. I want to edit to help people and to clarify messages, but I want to WORK with the writer-- which means I'm not going to be in the newspaper industry, because apparently deadline trumps over intent.

This is why I like having Dragonfayth as a moderated archive-- while it pisses me off that some people are "repeat offenders" who constantly need simply spelling and grammar checks, I appreciate the final product for being that much more readable. When I ask betas to look over my own fanfiction, they catch things that I couldn't, whether I read over my work once or ten times, whether it was just on-screen or printed out. I recognize the importance of editors (or betas, or pre-readers, or whatever you call them) not just because I AM one, and because I want to BE one professionally, but also because I need one-- and so do you. Really, everyone does at some point or another, for one thing or another.

Maybe I care too much about what people think. But honestly, I'm always aware that whatever I put out there -my own writing or someone else's- is for public consumption. It should be clear. It should retain the intent of the writer. And an editor's name is NOT the one on the byline; they're not the ones whose reputations are at stake. As someone who WANTS to be an editor but has just gotten screwed by one, it's a harsh reality.

I only hope it doesn't bite me in the ass.
azurite: (so2:bluesphere - rena)
So I'm at this Life Skills & Leadership Institute workshop that's supposed to be about exploring priorities about careers & internships. We haven't really talked about specific internships or how to get them/where to find them, but we have done some activities that have opened my eyes a bit to what I want out of a future career. When we were talking about talents, I started thinking about the Talents in the Star Ocean 2 game. For people that have played the game, they probably know what I'm talking about; when you start the game, every character begins with 2-3 Talents, like Dexterity, Sense of Taste, Blessing of Manna, etc.

Anyway, in the game, they are:
Originality - The ability to modify things with one's own creativity
Dexterity - The gifted talent of being able to move one's fingertips exactly as one wishes.
Writing Ability - The talent of being able to put one's thoughts into words.
Pitch - The ability to grasp musical tones well.
Sixth Sense - The primitive ability to sense things that cannot be expressed with words.
Sense of Taste - The gift of judging what tastes would please anyone.
Sense of Design - The creative talent for the arts.
Sense of Rhythm - The ability to grasp musical rhythm.
Love of Animals - Animal Lover. More than anything. More than anyone.
The Blessing of Manna -The innate magical power.

In this workshop, the difference between abilities and skills are that abilities are related to your innate talents-- you're born with them. Skills, on the other hand, can be learned and developed.

What's interesting is that in SO2, someone who has a particular Talent is going to be the best at a particular skill (e.g. Metalwork, Cooking, Machinery). Some characters have a given for a particular Talent; Celine, Noel, Leon, and Rena are all givens for The Blessing of Manna. Chisato will always have Writing Ability, and Noel and Rena will always have the Love of Animals. You get the idea. So when making individual things, like Weapons, it's best to have the experts do it. But there are also combined efforts: Super Specialties, where everyone contributes their own part and they try to make something together. Things like Blacksmithing, Reverse Side, or Orchestra.

Now, this isn't about video games. It's actually interesting how SO2 does it, versus, say, Final Fantasy X, where you have the Sphere Grid. In SO2, there's a random element-- many of the Talents can't be learned if you didn't start with them, or if you don't put a lot of "blood, sweat and tears" into a number of failed attempts at performing a related skill. For example, you can keep trying to use the Authoring skill without the Writing Ability (Talent), but the most you'll churn out is probably some Crumpled Paper. But IF you keep trying long enough, eventually that Crumpled Paper will turn into something you like, something passable-- maybe even a book. Basically, "anyone can become anything they desire, if they try hard enough. Effort, above all else, can conquer even the most insurmountable of odds."

And then in FFX, you've got this Sphere Grid, where everyone starts out in a particular spot, with a very distinct path laid out for them. But the great thing about the Sphere Grid is, ANYONE can do ANYTHING. For example, you've got Lulu, your typical Black Mage. She starts out in an area where she's primed to learn more magic, increase her Magic and Magic Defense, and so forth. Then you have Tidus, who starts out with a lot of Agility and Strength/Defense areas to "level up" in. He's set to be your typical fighter character-- quick, with a decent amount of strength, but not a lot. There are other fighters, like Auron (immensely strong, but slow), Wakka (moderately strong, quicker; more resistant to Magic), and Kimahri (Jack-of-all-trades; can be a Fighter or a Mage).

So in FFX, the attitude is more like "Anyone can be anything, no matter what path you start out on." Effort's not so much of an issue, because movement on the Sphere Grid is largely guided by what kind of Spheres you pick up-- and I'll tell you, because of a New Game Plus I got on my Max Drive, a lot of my characters basically "cheated" their way across the board. Now, even if you consider that life doesn't offer cheat codes, New Game Plus, and the like, it's not so much about effort and persistence in FFX as it is in SO2. Persistence IS a large part of it, because you have to keep fighting monster after monster to get spheres, but it's not like WHICH monsters make a difference. In other words, it doesn't have to be YOU specifically doing the dirty work, or YOU focusing on a particular goal-- it'll get done, eventually, with a TEAM. FFX emphasizes more of the team rather than the individual; SO2 focuses on both, but with a heavier emphasis on the individual (though Orchestra is by far one of the best Super Specialties in the game).

In SO2, new talents can be discovered. Anyone can make an attempt at a skill, and they might give up if each time they try something, it ends up as ?JEWELRY or ?FOOD or whatnot. In life, then, it's a good idea to keep trying-- not just the familiar, that you know, enjoy, and are proficient at, but also the unfamiliar, and what you're NOT so sure about, and what you might actually SUCK at for a while. You might just discover after your 100th attempt that you really do have a unique talent-- whether it's a sense of taste or an improved sense of dexterity.

For me, I'd like to think I was born with Originality and a Writing Ability. Over the years, trying over and over, and working with other people, I've learned I have a Sixth Sense of sorts, a Love of Animals, and maybe even a Sense of Design. I used to be pretty good with my hands, but I think after my accident I lost my Dexterity. But that's okay, I know plenty of other people who can help me out if I need it. And I might not have much of a Sense of Taste now, but I can learn through trying, even if it takes me years and lots more stomachaches and deflated quiches.

In the workshop, I found that certain values might conflict with one another, and what I enjoy doing, what courses I've liked, and what work environments I function best in are sometimes at odds. It's getting them all to work together, and to understand the "cores" that really helps. Hopefully recognizing those --my strengths, weaknesses, values, skills, and abilities-- will help me land not just the internship I need for next semester, but the job I want for my future.

(P.S. This kind of tempts me to make a "What SO2 Talent were YOU born with?" meme, or perhaps an examination of what stereotypical video game job classes relate to particular values, skills/abilities, and likes/dislikes.)
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
If I had an angry Frank icon right now, I'd use it. But I settle for my usual amazed cat icon.

So, the Army is out on the Oviatt lawn today, recruiting and the like. Today they're going all-out like they never have before, with 3 trucks, including a rock-climbing wall, a motion simulator, and free dog tags. They're also giving away (or gave away, I think the drawing was from 12-1pm) Army-emblazoned iPods. The ROTC of CSUN (which is partnered with UCLA's branch) is here, but they don't call themselves the "ROTC Club" or anything (not anymore, anyway); they're "Modern Warriors."

All well and good; anyone that knows me knows this sort of stuff makes me grin, not cringe. But what DOES make me cringe are the crowds of students who gather together in some sort of dumb rally to protest the Army recruiting. They screamed stuff like "Education, not militarization!" or some B.S. like that. Let me explain why I think what they're doing is pointless and foul:

(1) The recruiters are not stopping anyone. They are not blocking the pathways (that wouldn't be allowed, anyway), they are not accosting people walking by. People that want to come up and win an iPod, get a dog tag, or go in the motion simulator CAN. If they don't want to hear a brief schpiel about the Army, then they shouldn't go up to the booths. That's what the booths are there for, and the Army *is* sponsoring the event.

(2) People that want to enlist in the military do so of their own free will. There is no brainwashing involved. I didn't enroll in JROTC back in high school because there was some underground machine sending out Super Sekrit waves to muddle my brain. So if people walk up to the recruiters and give them their info, it's their prerogative!

(3) The rally cry is really stupid. By having a presence on the campus, the Army isn't "militarizing" CSUN. Again, people that want to be in ROTC, that want to enlist, etc. are not doing so because of brainwashing. And you do LEARN in the class, or else
a) it wouldn't be accredited/for credit
b) people wouldn't take it, semester after semester, year after year
c) the people in it wouldn't STAY in it, and then hope to recruit MORE people into it, like they are now

I will state this for the record: I learned a hell of a lot when I was in JROTC back in high school. And that's HIGH school, not college, not seeking-a-degree! I imagine SROTC can teach a hell of a lot more. You learn more than what's on the syllabus or in the textbook, and I honestly wish I hadn't dropped out of the class. Yeah, I bitched and whined about the class and the unfair AI and SAI like the rest of them, but hindsight is 20/20, yeah? Looking back, JROTC was my chance to really learn how to be a leader, but I didn't feel like handling the responsibility. I slacked off, I stressed, and I figured I had to drop something in order to get back on track.

Now, I did learn my lesson-- I hated flunking two classes, taking Night School for them, and surviving off McDonald's for practically every night (that's pretty damn disgusting). But part of me looks back on that and wonders why it was so easy to give up instead of keeping on going, which is a big chunk of what ROTC is about.

I think people that bitch/whine/moan/complain about something but don't do anything about it, or haven't experienced it have no right to b/w/m/c. Those ralliers who haven't sat down in an ROTC class should put up or shut up. If they don't have friends in the military to talk to about the experience, then they ought to shut their traps. I'm not saying I'm the best voice or a total advocate of all things Army or ROTC, but I've BEEN in the class, I HAVE friends in the military. While I don't support the war, I do support the troops-- those guys are my friends, classmates, and schoolmates. I do have pride in my country (most of the time), and I REALLY got a lot out of ROTC.

And for those that bring up the whole concept of demographic profiling or whatnot? Again, people sign up for the military IF THEY WANT TO. If a particular demographic isn't represented in the military, well, that sucks. The military can try to recruit them, but it can't MAKE them enlist, show up to training, or go ANYWHERE.

Hmph.

Goal #2

Oct. 2nd, 2007 03:49 pm
azurite: (autumn kitty)
As if doing PR for two national societies wasn't enough (oh, also fundraising for them, preparing for major events including benefits, banquets, and inductions), and working with DonorsChoose for the Blogger's Challenge this month... I'm also going to be participating in AIDS Walk Los Angeles.

My university, California State University Northridge, has been one of the biggest teams in the Walk's history. To date, we have 135 team members (including myself!) and have raised $1,391. But for AIDS research, that's not nearly enough. If you can spare just $25 to sponsor me as a Walker in the event, I'd appreciate it.

Donate and read more about the event and my team here.

And if you're in the Los Angeles area and are not part of a team, feel free to join the CSUN team! You don't have to be a student, staff, or faculty member of CSUN to join! In fact, you can also walk solo, make your own team, or join another team!

If you or someone you know works for one of these CA companies, please sponsor/ask them to sponsor me! Those companies have matching gift programs in place, which means if someone from within that company sponsors a Walker, the company will MATCH that donation! It's a great way to double your donation without doing anything at all!

Taking a morning walk in West Hollywood is a simple and fun way to help benefit millions of people around the world affected by AIDS, whether they're adults or children, men or women, straight people or homosexuals. AIDS AFFECTS EVERYONE. Yes, even you. (Trust me: The Law of Kevin Bacon dictates you are connected to someone affected by AIDS within six people, and therefore, you are too.)

So please, donate or register as a walker for one of the biggest AIDS Walks in the world.

My fancy Flash thermometer won't show up, but still... Click Here to Donate
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Here's a story you may have heard before: I went to school in San Francisco. My elementary, middle, and high schools were all within 10 or so blocks of one another. I went to school with many of the same people, and was in many of the same classes with them. Over the years, very little changed, including the lack of funding for classrooms.

It wasn't just journalism, my favorite class, which cost a lot of money to run (after all, you need money to print a paper!)-- it was science, it was history, it was world lit. It didn't matter whether it was elementary school, when parents seemed to have more time, energy, and money to donate to classroom expenditures and events; it was middle school and high school, too.

I've been in classes where teachers had to pay for their own materials, in classes where the teachers had to ask parents for help with funding, and in classes where the students didn't GET to use modern technology, go on field trips, or even use basic, new equipment.

I've had to use books more than 20 years old, falling apart at the seams. I've had to pay out of pocket to keep my school supplies in shape, because I can't rely on the ones provided at school. Early on, I started to assume that I had to bring supplies that normally, people would figure students wouldn't HAVE to-- things like construction paper, scissors, glue, or markers. That's why I have so many art supplies NOW-- because I've kept them over the years, made sure they've stayed in good condition, and shared them with my fellow students.

It's a sad situation, when you think about it. Out of all the high schools I visited in San Francisco (mostly when I was at a JROTC event), only ONE really looked like it had everything it needed, and that all their students could really be happy, motivated, and productive in their classroom. San Francisco is a major metropolitan city. There are six
"big" high schools with thousands of students each, and lots more charter and alternative schools. That's not even going into the elementary and middle schools that need help.

Now, thanks to SixApart and DonorsChoose.org, I'm participating in the Bloggers Challenge to help raise money for a variety of projects (proposals started by teachers at San Francisco schools!) in San Francisco. Unfortunately, none of my alma maters are listed, but that doesn't mean I want to help any less.

Whether you're from San Francisco or not, once you read some of these teachers' proposals (and often impassioned pleas), you'll want to help to. Whether it's a dollar or ten, every donation can and DOES make a difference. Not only will you be recognized for your donation, but it's tax-deductible as well.




* This is a regional challenge, for San Francisco-based schools only. Why? Because San Francisco is my hometown, and when I go back for a visit, I would love to see my few dollars making a BIG difference for kids that were just like me five, ten, fifteen, or eighteen years ago.

* I'm adding several teacher proposals (as of 4:48pm on 9/28, there are 8 to choose from, ranging from PreK to high school) to my Bloggers Challenge, because there are a number of schools in need for a variety of different reasons. I don't think any one project has priority over another, so I want to include as many as I can. If you have a suggestion for a proposal to add to my challenge, send me the link to let me know! Some of the proposals I've added have a greater target goal than my challenge does; that's because I believe EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS.

Click on this link to see all the proposals I have currently added to my challenge. You can click on each individual proposal to read more about that teacher's particular situation, as well as see their target goal, how much they've already raised, and how many students are impacted by the efforts made so far. Then you can click to fund one proposal or all of them.

* SixApart has already graciously given me a $30 gift certificate to donate to one of the proposals on my challenge, and I've chosen the "Books That Add Spice" one. I'll match that $30 with money of my own for another one of the proposals on my challenge, and I hope you can, too!

This is

Sep. 12th, 2007 01:32 pm
azurite: (Bunninated!)
I've been addicted to this song for a while, and I blame it on Subway, where it's always playing whenever I go there for lunch. :P Plus it happens to make a pretty good theme for Téa in WDKY. :D Isn't it odd that this song seems so much more of a hit than Glamourous and Fergalicious, when those are the two major songs people raved about when Fergie first debuted solo? (Furthermore, I heard some idiot DJ say "Fer-jee" on the radio the other day, instead of "Fer-gee," which is what it's supposed to be.)

I'm exhausted. Yesterday after getting home from work, I played FFX-2 for hours longer than I intended (but I managed to oversoul a BUNCH more monsters, including the ass-wipe Concherer... the Miracle Drink SAVES MY HIDE), but for a good chunk of the time, I was actually just sitting in the rec room talking to Mom about various things-- my wanting to fix my bike, my wondering if I should invest $44 in the MyPoliSciLab for POLS 355 (because the teacher's lectures SUCK), me trying to come up with ideas for my Investigative Reporting class, and me juggling everything else-- the Sundial, NSCS, NSLS, work, "me" time, and time for my grandparents, above almost ell else.

It's really hard prioritizing and organizing. It's like I can do a brief burst for a while, but then I get too caught up in everything else. Then, when I want to take "me" time or a breather, it ends up doing me more harm than good, because I end up staying up too late just "relaxing," forgetting homework or other assignments and then berating myself for things left undone.

For example, my current story on the Metro Orange Line. I blame it on how most of the sources I've called (Pam O'Connor, Santa Monica city councilwoman and chair of the Metro Board of Directors; someone from CSUN's Transportation Services) have yet to get back to me. Okay, so I can talk to the Media Relations guy, but I wanted to avoid that primarily because journalists are told to never just take whatever PR gives them. And PR has many names and faces... I need time to hang out by the local Orange Line bus stop and talk to some students, time to possibly go to the terminal in North Hollywood with Kaori, the photographer for the story, and see who else I might be able to get ahold of. I've never been much of a phone person, but I've got to become one-- and an incessant one, at that, because for this class, three live sources per story are required, with a minimum of 20 stories throughout the semester. I was doing well initially, but now it feels like I'm getting lost in the tide. Thankfully, I'm not the only one, but that doesn't improve my habits, work ethic, or grade any.

I got another story regarding the resignation of the school's director of public relations and strategic communications, but I don't think it'll turn out to be much, based on what I've found out already. At least it's local (CSUN community), like I requested of the city editor. To be honest, I don't even want to do hard news like this, but I know it's important-- for the paper and the community, and also my own portfolio. But I'd rather be doing A&E, features, opinion... SOMETHING closer to what I want to do with my real life after this. Though technically, I want to be an editor, not a reporter/writer anymore...

The one bright spot is that after talking to mom last night, I might have a good idea for my first proposal for my Investigative Journalism class. It was partially based off something Melina mentioned on the NSCS retreat, and furthered by what Manley said today in the Sundial class. Hopefully I can actually pull it off, because it'll definitely require digging. Good thing I've never cared much about getting my hands dirty.

So now, the interactive part of this post:
(1) How do you juggle your time? How do you successfully (if at all) balance work, fun for yourself, romance (if any), family, and school?

The Sundial is more like a job than a class, though. I asked the city editor what she does-- she works 30 hours a week and has 8 units (less than full time), but she said she did have full-time status when she was a reporter like I am.

So I'm wondering, if this is another example of early-semester stress getting to me, what should I do to nip this in the bud? Limit my hours at work? That'll mean making less money, though. It's true I don't need to worry about rent or car payments like other people, but I *DO* have bills to pay (like credit cards...) Of course, I can always limit my shopping-- it's not like I really go crazy that often (maybe once a month or so). Or is there another solution? I can't drop classes.

(2) How do you prioritize? I always have a to-do list, and I can pretty easily recognize the things I can put off, but then when the things I can't/shouldn't put off start to pile up, that's when the stress mounts. I'm never sure how to be productive and "smart" with my time so that I can do as much as I can and feel satisfied about it. I don't want to be the type that only gets 3-5 hours of sleep a night (if that)-- I don't think I physically can! Getting up this early for my classes this semester has been enough of a biological change-- I'm not about to start drinking coffee or energy drinks, shortening my sleeping schedule (my personal minimum is 6-8, with a preference toward 10 for feeling well-rested).

I feel bad about using work-time to do homework or make calls for the Sundial. I also hate being late to work because I was running around campus-- getting things at the bookstore, walking to the health center, etc. What to do?

*snore* It sucks that I'm this tired already, so early in the day, when my afternoon class (which usually exhausts me by 3-4pm) hasn't even begun yet. I'm also more than halfway through a bottle of my usual "awakening elixir," Brisk iced tea, and it doesn't seem to be doing much. I'm not doing much more than holding my head up so it doesn't crash onto the keyboard.

...I often contemplate just not going to school/work/whatever when I'm this sleepy, but I have a loud conscience that wouldn't permit such a flimsy excuse. Mentally, I feel like I'm using up time or hours or something, and then if and when something important/big really did happen-- whether it was me genuinely sick with something BAD or something else, I'd "need" to go into work/school. I fought the urge today and I'm here now, but part of me wants to say "screw it!" to my next class and just go home. But why, when it's a GREAT class, only 3 or so hours long (with a 15-30 minute break)? It would seem pointless, especially how it takes me 30 minutes to walk home, and I usually never do what I say I'll do (sleep) when I get home. I get distracted so easily...

(3) Would you invest $44 in a textbook supplement if the teacher's lectures sucked, but you really wanted to learn? I've never been a straight read-to-learn person. I need discussion, activity, and interaction for things to really stick with me. The MyPoliSciLab thing sounds interesting, but I'm still not sure... Baba says "eh," Grandpa says "Hell no," and Mom is as indecisive as ever. What do you think? So far, I haven't spent more than $250 or so on textbooks (I've spent as much as $521 in previous semesters, so I consider this semester a bit of a bargain, especially since I'll likely be keeping at least a few of the textbooks for personal reasons). So it's not like it's adding hugely on top of my other textbook prices. Besides, this is an academic purchase, vs. say, a bunch of makeup or manga. :P

...Wut?

Sep. 11th, 2007 03:20 pm
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I'm in POLS 355 (American National, State, and Local Government) right now, and the professor, whom I'll call Mr. Seaweed-Brows, is quite obviously THE MOST disorganized teacher I can remember EVER having. First, he gave us the wrong syllabus (for a two day/week class, which we're NOT) and has yet to update it, even 3 weeks later; second, he changed his mind on what our major project is supposed to be about-- from California counties to states. Okay, not bad, but what does he do? Distribute one piece of blank paper to the person in the front of each row, then choose a random person with "good handwriting" (though, as previously mentioned, at least 7 other people have papers, too) to write down the state assignments. What ends up happening is everyone in a region of the class writes down their name and state on the paper, but there are at least 5 other papers that have no names on them. The people clear across the room have no idea what we've claimed or even who we are.

So after about 5 minutes of confusing hand-raising, shouting out, and other assorted arguments, I offered to go up to the board and write down all the claims to make sure no one was doubled up, and to find out what states were still free. Okay, so my handwriting wasn't the best, but no one else was doing it, and it was frustrating me with how pathetically disorganized this prof. was. Another student figured out what states were FREE based on the ones I was writing down. After about 15 minutes, we got all the claimed states (including New Jersey, which oddly has 2 people claiming it, despite other states being free) and the split state (California; I'm doing Northern). So everyone was satisfied and there was no more confusion on THAT end.

...We still don't have a syllabus. We need to know due-dates, project expectations... so we just had to ask a flurry of questions. Regarding this project, he had to tell us what he wanted, and he often repeated things, over and over again. Total lack of clarification. And when it came to due dates, he had no idea, and there was MORE confusion regarding the first exam and religious holidays! Uuuugh!

There's a mixed bag of opinions for him on RateMyProfessors.com, which is probably why I chanced taking this professor-- some people said he was easy, others said (like I think) he's disorganized. Some people thought that was a good thing: all you have to do is study from the book, not really show up for class unless you WANT to (which means when I have Sundial stuff, I guess I can skip this one without too much consequence). Still, just 3 weeks into the semester, I'm more prone to agreeing that the professor being disorganized is pretty bad; sure, I might still get an A out of the class because I read the textbook, but if I didn't ENJOY the time I spent in class? Pointless.
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Ugh, I'm back to drinking Brisk iced tea, and now Wild Cherry Pepsi (haven't had THAT since high school) to keep myself awake T-Th when I have classes that last 2-3 hours at a time with short breaks. It sucks because I thought I'd been getting enough sleep and eating somewhat healthier, to the point where I wouldn't need boosts that also rot my teeth. Urgh.

I don't want to get crazy-stressed, but the past few days haven't helped-- there's always so much to do. I've got to finish raking off the garage roof, clean my bathtub, clean my room, put my laundry away, do my handwashing, figure out a system for a clothesline in my tile tub, send my glasses prescription to school, get new glasses, see if I can vacuum the house (I bet Dad forgot to take the giant vacuum Baba wanted him to have, and waited months to give him) and... figure out wtf is wrong with the wireless on my NEW LAPTOP!

Last night as soon as I came home I set it up and transferred all the data from my old MBP, but while the old one connected to the home network just fine, the new one wouldn't. I tried changing the router settings-- the SSID and the password encryption, but that just screwed things up further. This morning I called AT&T tech support (gawd, I want to switch to Time-Warner Cable), and I had to change the SSID back, the encryption back to WEP-Open, and the channel back from 11 to 10. That fixed it for my old MBP, but not the new one... and I have no idea why. It's not like there are any proxies, AppleTalk, or other weird settings... I hope it's not the AirPort being half-malfunctional or anything. I've got an appt. at the Apple store today, and if all works out well, I'll also renew my ProCare and get Diner Dash. :) What's weird is that it works here on campus, and it SORT of picked up someone else's network near home for a bit, but not for long enough (to get the updates for the AirPort Express). I wonder if the updates (which I managed to get here at school) will help?

On the bright side, the new computer DOES mean I'll be able to play with my .Mac sooner, check out all the goodies iLife '08 offers, and see what's new with iWork '08. I'll also hopefully be able to work on WDKY and the BSSM Another Story novelization. But, speaking of other writing projects, all the weird dreams I've been having lately (a lot of apocalyptic stuff, for some reason) got me revising "Prophecy Girl," and the extended ideas (which will involve revising the first two chapters a bit) make the story a LOT more solid. I might end up switching between it and WDKY (since PG was around first, anyway) in times of blockage.

During all the stress last night, I played some FFX-2 while the data was being transferred. I forgot why I was where I was (I'd already beaten the Ruin Depths), so I headed around to get more Oversouls (I have about 20 left, including the dreaded Concherer). I only managed to get 1 so far, due to the randomness of battles, so later I hope to get more... :P it's my way of de-stressing. I'm planning on figuring out more Mix strategies to beat the tougher Oversouls, though.

Right now I'm in my JOUR 410 (Investigative Journalism) class, and I need to come up with 3 story ideas for our upcoming proposal. As with so many other things, I'm dry out of ideas. Help?

Oh, as for the BEST NEWS OF THE DAY (even though I'll be busy until late and busy even tomorrow and this weekend with an NSCS retreat in Malibu where I'm responsible for figuring out dinner for 10 for only $40?)...
I GOT A RAISE! Nearly 30 cents, too! Not a ton, but way better than my last raise. :)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So my new computer probably won't ship until the 30th at the earliest, and if they DO ship it that day, that's the day they charge my card. Coincidentally (har har!) it's the day my bill for my credit card is due, and I can't buy anything more until said payment is... paid. So basically I'm broke-ish until the laptop is paid for and I can get my rebate, which sucks.

I also restarted work on the "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story" novelization project. I'm glad I managed to catch up to where I was (a little more than midway through Mercury's portion of Chapter 2 - In Search of the Stones) in less than two days, but running Dreamweaver at the same time as SNES9x is a pain, and it's hard to type and pause with my memory so low. So while I do plan on restarting/finishing that soon(ish), I'll wait until I get the new laptop, since that should make juggling the two programs easier.

Tomorrow I have my first day of JOUR 397B, aka the Daily Sundial, even though I've already been to the orientation and have been turning articles in. We're not meeting in the Sundial room afaik, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

After class, I'm supposed to go to a follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon back in Van Nuys, but a lot's happened in the past two weeks-- namely, Grandpa's gotten a LOT more forgetful and more spaced out. Of course I'm worried about him-- I don't really know what caused it or brought it on, and the family's got a lot of theories, ranging from overdosing on some medication to having a stroke and us just not knowing about it (is that really possible?). Either way, it's a bit sad to see him seem so listless and uninvolved in anything the way he used to be-- always reading his papers, checking his stocks, and watching his financial and political news programs. Now he just sort of sits there and channel surfs, and sometimes he doesn't even pay attention (Baba said he watched "Hannah Montana" for an hour today, which SCARES me).

SoI might not go to the oral surgeon tomorrow if Baba's taking Grandpa to the doctor's, but I think I feel fine-- I haven't had any residual soreness, tightness of the jaw, bleeding, or noticeable signs of infection. I still don't want to get slammed with a cancellation fee if I don't go, and even if I do go, again, there's the whole payment thing... urgh, can't wait until my next paycheck. I think with all the hours I've been pulling lately it'll be a bit better than my last one, but I hate how I only get paid once a month.

I am worried about Grandpa, of course... I mean, part of the reason why I'm here is to try and take care of them, though as I've mentioned in the past, I never want to baby them. Neither of them are "rest home" type of people, so Grandpa being "incapacitated" like he is seems hard enough on all of us. I don't like facing the very real possibility that his time is coming... but I should, just because this isn't like with Michelle (an accident, out of nowhere, unpredictable. Grandpa's old; he's led a great and full life and been a wonderful inspiration, help, and part of my life. He's been my ONLY Grandpa, because my mom's father died before I really got to know him (I was only a baby, I think). It sucks feeling like I'll have the responsibility of doing so much more for Baba if Grandpa does pass-- moreso than I did or even COULD have done for Mom back when Michelle died. But I do have to be there for her --for Grandpa as well, for as long as he is here-- because I guess part of me is still adamantly hanging onto what little "youth" I feel like I have left. I lost a big chunk of it when Michelle died, because I was 10 and suddenly had to act like an adult back then. Now I'm 22, and I have to act it and beyond, because it's not just Mom this time, it's Baba and all the kids (my aunts and uncles).

I want to think positive though, if just to provide a contrast to Baba's pessimism. I am scared though --and I hate to think it, but selfish. What'll happen to me if Grandpa DOES pass before I graduate? Can I help out with all the bill payments? Will I need to? Grandpa's not working anymore; I don't know where they get money from, or where it all goes to.

Dad is still coming up next weekend for Labor Day, and Shawn (who was supposed to come over today, but I think I gave him my post-surgery cold) and I will be going to Jill's on the 1st for a BBQ/Pool Party. I'm hoping Shawn makes a good impression on both sides of the family, either way. :P I mean, not like it's THAT serious or anything, but it's always nice to get that out of the way first. This isn't some "Meet the Fockers" redux or anything, you know?

Speaking of Dad, he's adamant that when Shawn gets better, he and I go to a bike shop to take the bike that's been sitting in the garage rafters to get totally overhauled. I've thought about it a lot, since bicycling is great exercise, and both my parents can shockingly AGREE on its benefits. I don't have the first clue how to ride though, so the first step would really be getting this bike shaped for ME. And maybe painted purple! :D Dad even says he'll pay for it, which rocks.

Hopefully things will stay... "good-ish" for the next few weeks at the least; Baba and Grandpa are supposed to go to Seattle for Rosh Hashanah, and Shawn should be staying over that week. It'll also be a Mokie-free week (huzzah!) because Baba wants to leave the poodle over at Debbie's, the groomer's we've been taking the fuzzball to. That'll be nice-- not to have to deal with Mokie's yapping and such. That's one reason why I like cats more-- even if they meow, they don't meow so loudly that it attracts attention from outside, or scares postmen.

What else? I woke up today remembering some of the 42 prompts I'd partially done, and how a) I never finished them and b) they were mysteriously not in my Memories. So I found and added them, and maybe when I finish WDKY25 (I surprised myself by seeing how long I've been complaining about that chapter since I finished with WDKY24 last year) I'll work on a few more of those "blurbs." I don't know if/when/where I'll post them, though.

For my next two Sundial articles, I have to contact the Westfield Topanga mall (did it by email, since I didn't find another contact person/PR number to call) and some astronomy teachers at CSUN... unfortunately, the Physics and Astronomy Dept. page at CSUN doesn't organize the professors by their subject, so I might just need to call the department office and find names of professors (preferably full-time; the prof. I had and emailed -who hasn't gotten back to me yet- is part-time) who are in astronomy and might have some insight on the upcoming meteor shower. BTW, every time I type that, I want to say "VENUS METEOR SHOWER!!!!!" I think it sounds a lot cooler than "Crescent Beam shower!" I mean, why would crescent beams shower? Or shower down, as it were? (I remember getting a Sailor Moon Collectible Card from Toys 'R' Us ages ago, and it had a "new" attack for Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter on there. Back in the day, before the rest of the series got dubbed/subbed, those kind of things got me downright GIDDY. It was like NEWS in the Sailor Moon universe!)

*sigh* I've been taking a lot of naps today, and I feel like I've hardly been productive, even if I did get work done on the BSSM:AS project.

On the plus side, I've been adding more fics to Dragonfayth, and Blue Eyes and Apricots is only 19 members away from having 500 members! So tell all your friends to join! :D More Azureshippers! WHOO! (We shall conquer the world!)

Cut because there's always another... meme! )

I just finished sorting through all my Sailor Moon cards. I don't know what possessed me, really, but I think it was mentioning those odd attacks. The wrong one on a dub card was "Venus Electrobolts Slam!" Doesn't that sound more like one of Jupiter's attacks? But it got her "Thunderclap, Zap!" one right. Go figure. Doesn't someone also have a dub attack ending in "Slam!" though?

I also wanted to find the anime-only special cards of the "wedding" from Sailor Stars (they're not images from any real episode, though). Turns out I had most of them in my sticker album, so I'll have to scan them eventually. The collection is quite interesting, and I have a plethora of counterfeit cards based off ONE of the Mercury cards, using manga artwork instead of anime. It's funny how there are so many cards with just the very top of Mercury's head, someone else pictured, and "Sailor Mercury" at the bottom (sometimes not even fully visible). I wonder if the stuff I've got -some of which is in REALLY good condition, in sets, too!- can be sold or something. Not like I do anything with it. And once I scan it... well, I'm happy.
azurite: (blue flower)
Whoo-hoo! Yesterday was just all-around great (except for one "thing" at work that was minor but made me grumble, but whatever, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter at all!). I was pretty excited in all my classes; my first teacher is petite AND energetic like me, and though Investigative Journalism seems a bit dry, it'll be sure to be challenging, as well. I'm looking forward to this semester! I'm also thrilled I got published in the Sundial on the VERY first day back- okay, not page one, per se, but my story WAS mentioned on the front page, though the actual story was on Page 6. And it turns out the editors AREN'T so anal with deadlines, because the EIC told me I could have come in the other day 5 minutes late, no worries-- but I'd run across campus from work, coughing and asthmatic. :P

I worked until 7pm, since those are the new hours M-Th this semester, and it was just non-stop busy! Yet I wasn't exhausted when I got home... Shawn came over after a bit, and we went to see "The Bourne Ultimatum" at the Winnetka theatre. We got dinner at Subway and had no problems getting it in, and the theatre was almost empty, so we had our choice of seats. The movie was really good, too! I liked it so much I reviewed it right away when I got home (using Flickster on Facebook; check it out!) and put the soundtrack (which also kicks ass) on my iTunes alerts. When I get paid again, I might get it, but for now all my money's going toward textbooks, my new computer/iPod, and my impulsive .Mac purchase.

And it's Friday, huzzah-- Grandpa's not going to be working at the pharmacy anymore, which is both unfortunate and good. Unfortunate because I think he'll be irritated with not being able to do things, but good because he can take care of HOME business like bills, cleaning up his massive stock-tracking collection (newspapers, magazine, etc.) He's been pretty forgetful lately, which is the primary reason behind his not working anymore- if he's not careful with his own (or Baba's) medicine, he can't be expected to be careful with other people's. It's sad, but safer and better that way, for everyone all around. I've tried to be as helpful as possible within reason-- I never want to baby them, because they've always been such independent individuals, but I can see the sense in making a list of all their medications so if one of them is sick or something, we can still know what to do. Of course, Grandpa was stubborn when I tried to do that, so Fred and Susy took over, but I don't know how much progress they made. I should probably email Fred and find out.

Music Meme! )

ETA: I neglected to mention (out of forgetfulness, not shame, REALLY!) that today is the one year anniversary since I last updated WDKY. I would like to say I have finished WDKY25 and will be posting it sometime before midnight tonight... but we'll have to see. Right now I'm taking the Word DOC version of Stubborn-Aesthetic's edits and making it into HTML (should have just asked for the HTML version, I'm too nice...), but there's still writing to be done.

Aside from all my usual distractions -family, personal stress, school, work- what I really need is a committed, single beta who is willing not just to concrit the usuals (spelling, grammar, punctuation, flow, diction, etc.) but also the story points, the characterization, and so on. I tend to write from an outline, so there are often parts of said outline left in my un-beta'd WDKY chapters, and I'd LOVE beta-reader input on how to go about answering those questions with prose, or addressing whether or not they're even pertinent to the story.

Frankly, I'm sick of not having a single person or small team of people to always go to. I realize people have lives of their own, so it's hard to always get the same people. That's why I'm looking for a committed few who think they can dedicate a few hours out of their lives every few months to helping me out with all that is WDKY, because trying to do it on my own can and has produced disastrous results. I want more than just one type of casual beta'ing, or JUST the straight "editorial fixes." I want someone to bounce ideas off of, ask questions of me, know the latest chapters and developments, have guesses of their own... everything. Know such a person(s)? Let me know. I'm going to finish this story... well, I would say "if it kills me," but isn't that ironic? The story is "What DOESN'T kill you." RDRR.
azurite: (autumn kitty)
The only reason why I am awake at 6:18am on the first day of school is NOT because of an ungodly early class (though 9:30am is bordering on it, for me) or because of work... I woke up from a nightmare, though not what I'd have expected.

I watched "Fast Food Nation" last night when I got home, and I expected with all the yuck to be dreaming about beheaded cows or blood or something. Nope, nope, none of that. I didn't even have the stereotypical first-day-of-school dream where you show up to school naked and don't realize it until everyone's looking and laughing at you.

The very warped mind of Mer... cut for some frank descriptions of gory stuff )

Anyway, judging by the early email edition of the Sundial, my first article about the renovated Matador Bookstore complex got successfully copy-edited (they didn't ask me to come in, which can either mean they loved it or they canned it-- glad to know it was the former) and is in the topmost news section (second article, because murders always take precedence)! *squee!* I wonder where it is in print?

Keep up with my articles by checking out http://sundial.csun.edu!

Ugh, gotta try going back to sleep.
azurite: (born beneath alder)
Well, my nose isn't so stuffy and/or runny anymore, but I do have a cough, which sucks. Nothing will make people avoid you more than you hacking everywhere. At least it's not phlegmy or anything...

Today I got to work a bit early and my "usual" desk was occupied, so I decided to switch-- this area isn't so bad. Still too brightly lit, but at least there's no super-cold air conditioner above my head. I had to spend a few minutes setting everything up the way I like (Quick Launch on my taskbar, certain extensions for Firefox 2.0.0.6), and it occurred to me I might never have shared my favorite extensions. I won't link to them, since they're so easy to find, but I'll give you the proper names, a brief run-through on what they do, and why I like them. Feel free to add your own suggestions!

Extend! )

I didn't get my laptop yesterday per se... they didn't have any 15" anti-glare MBP's in stock, so I ordered it online. I figured it was a better solution than waiting for an unknown number of days for their next shipment. I got the standard MBP, but I got suckered into getting .Mac ([livejournal.com profile] dqbunny, didn't you used to have that? Was it any good? Can I return it if it ends up being a bad idea...?) I got iLife and iWorks, too, of course, and when I actually GET the thing I'll buy a shell and possibly One-to-One and/or ProCare.

Oh, and I got a black 30GB iPod engraved. I could have gotten the 80GB, but... it hit too close to my max budget, what with the tax. Besides, even if I do start to download movies or TV episodes, I'd rather watch them on a widescreen TV or something-- not on a mini iPod. Music videos, sure... full-length anything? Not so much.

Anywho, got more of my PCH packages (honey roasted mixed nuts and collapsible leather photo boxes!), expecting all of my textbooks (gotta check Half!), and have to run to the walk-in center now. Buh-bye!
azurite: (textually active)
It seems a side effect of my surgery is that I got a cold-- a nasty one, too, that has me sounding like a frog (well, I think-- Steve at work and Shawn both said I sound pretty good) and blowing my nose all the time. Thankfully I have my own personal box of tissues, and no matter how big, I'm going to start bringing my Vaseline with me to work so my nose doesn't get TOO dry and red/flaky.

But I'm taking Zyrtec for the congestion, Vicodin for the horrid headaches from hell (hey, alliteration!), and Keflex for the general antibiotic. I feel like such a pill popper... :P

Also, it seems I couldn't get my new laptop today because my check hasn't cleared YET... but it will in... 47 minutes. Not that the Apple Store's open now, but that either means a) I can get up early... which I may do, just to get used to my new schedule starting this Thursday, and take a shower and head to the mall to get the new laptop so I can actually go to school with it... or b) be a bit more patient and wait until AFTER school so I can bring both the old laptop AND get the new one, so I can hang around the mall while they transfer the data from the old laptop to the new one. I think I should do b), no matter how gung-ho I am.

A few questions of random:
What do you think is more effective at school, a binder with tabs dividing each class, or a notebook for each class? I've always gone with the notebooks as of late, but plenty of classes have paperwork, so notebooks that DON'T function like binders (which is the majority of them, except that new "Flex" note-binder I saw at Rite-Aid last week) are useless. What do you use?

What do you think are the most flattering words to be called in reference to your appearance? (Girls only, please) I got to thinking about this because after the new shopping spree and my haircut, Baba (like grandmother, like father... my dad does this too) said that all the guys would be staring down the front of my (low-cut) shirt. Well, none of the guys at work did do that, but Zack surprisingly called my new haircut "cute." And only because I was so congested and miserable-feeling did I not go "squee!" on the spot. It's always nice to be complimented. But if I had to rate my squee, then here's my Top 5:
5. cute - not as in "fluffy kitten pink cloud" cute, but cute like attractive, but without all the syllables.
4. hot - always nice to feel sexy, yeah? (applies to all derivatives thereof, such as "hottie")
3. sexy - for someone that spent years thinking she'd die a virgin spinster, this one always makes me happy.
2. gorgeous - flattering, but it can sound somewhat plastic depending on the tone.
1. beautiful - the word just makes you feel wonderful inside and out, like nothing else can. And said the right way, it can do a whole lot more!

I got my NSCS gift card today-- it wasn't as large as I hoped (just $25), but it's money I didn't have before. Maybe I'll buy that "Diner Dash: Flo on the Go" game I saw at Game Stop the other day with it. I mean, I'm already going to be spending my own money on:
* new laptop (with no extra bells and whistles though-- the new default packaging for the MBP Core 2 Duo is fine by me)
* new iPod video (what color!? And should I get a dock...? Maybe I should wait till Christmas/Hanukkah)
* iLife and iWorks '08
* Renew my ProCare membership
* Casing for the computer, so I don't have any more "accidents"
That alone might get me close to the $2000 range, and since I only get paid once a month, I want to make sure everything STAYS in great condition

Today I learned that deadline means deadline, not one minute after. Even if my EIC was trying to show he had a sense of humor (and I doubt it, if he's anything like me... which most fellow journalism students seem to be in terms of "sense of humor," a quite scary thought) by threatening to drop my grade by 10% when the semester hasn't even started... well, I'm guessing they ARE anal about deadlines. 12:00 means 12:00, not 12:06. :P Well excuse me for being sick! On the bright side, I do have my other stories mostly done-- I'm waiting to hear back from a representative from the Klotz Student Health Center for my soda health article due on the 23rd, and then I have to contact people at the Topanga Canyon/Westfield mall and an astronomy teacher for the articles due on the 29th.

Just another reason to get to bed now so I can kick this cold that much sooner...

That Thang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That said...
(1) I finally got Auron's Mars Sigil in FFX! :D :D I still want to get the rest of the monsters from throughout Spira, just to see what that gets me... and it might be nice to SOMEDAY be able to beat one of the original creations that the crazy Monster Arena guy puts together. Plus when you do get a complete set, you get some awesome prizes, so I'd do it for that.

So far, the only two Sigils left to get are the Saturn (Kimahri, which means beating two of those horrid butterfly games) and Jupiter (Wakka, which means playing more blitzball). Should I bother...?

(2) This week I finished reading both Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic and Baby" and Diana Peterfreund's "Under the Rose," both sequels. The former is what I assume to be the last (fifth) book in the Shopaholic series, and the latter is the second of four books in the "Rose and Grave" or "Secret Society Girl/Ivy League" series. Both books kicked butt, especially near the end, but if I had to pick one to recommend with glowing reviews, it would definitely be the two "Secret Society Girl" books. The second one had a review on it from Publisher's Weekly that said "impossible to put down" and it was SO true! I really couldn't put it down, it was SUCH a damn good read! (I can give a more detailed review later)

To make things even better, I wrote to the author (I found her website and blog) and surprisingly got a reply WITHIN A FEW HOURS! SQUEE! I have yet to write BACK to her reply (she wants to know how the writing program is at CSUN), but the fact that I got a reply from an author I admire and aspire to write like one day just makes me SO happy!

And now I'm wondering if maybe I can review books or something for the Sundial this semester, assuming the editors don't send me off doing the lousy beats, like the police beat...

(3) Did I mention I may have found my dream internship? I really want to get it, and I'm thinking to myself I need to be more flexible with my wants if it means a better career after college (whether that includes grad school, I'm not sure yet). Basically, I should look into accepting internships in New York or wherever even if they're not in the summer or winter breaks... I can always take classes online, and maybe even through local universities! For an internship that actually APPLIES to my major, is PAID, and will really help me get the experience I need, I shouldn't be stingy about the when and where.

Anyway, I need to hear a bit more about what said dream internship entails, who the representative is (so I know who to address with my cover letter), and then put together a shining, perfect cover letter... which I have never done before, but I hope I can do with this new book I picked up at Borders, "Winning Cover Letters," by Robin Ryan. So far I like it, and it's got a lot of good advice and techniques-- I just need the knowledge to apply it all!

(4) Lastly, I finally have my booklist for Fall '07, and it looks like this semester's required Journalism book isn't QUITE as boring as last year... but who knows? In any case, Half.com has got all my textbooks for MUCH cheaper than the bookstore (take that, eFollett!), so I'll probably take that route once I get my paycheck and/or fin aid checks, which should come around the 13th. Hip hip hurrah! And then... my new laptop! SQUEEBALLS x2!

Speaking of balls (fuzzballs, in this case), Mokie got another haircut...! She looks so poodlesque, it's hilarious. I should take a picture of her with her bow and bandana before she manages to get it off.

Aaand... that's it. For now. Shawn is supposed to pick me up so we can see the Bourne Supremacy from Blockbuster, and then later tonight we're going to one of his friend's houses for some drinks and a movie. Sounds like a good weekend to me already!
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
I got a 12 on my Writing Proficiency Exam!

...That's the highest possible score, by the way.

I guess I neglected to mention it here on LJ, but I did tell Baba and Grandpa the day of the test what I wrote about-- ironically, Strilkethrough 2007. Since it was going on at the time of the exam, and the exam prompt fit in line with ST07, I wrote about it. I wrote until my hand hurt, but I felt pretty confident about it. After the fact, I decided to think modestly-- a 10/12 (meaning two scores of 5 from the two examiners) would be okay.

But a 12...!? The highest possible score, which the practice exam guy told me he RARELY saw? SQUEEBALLS!

Of course, I regret NOT writing about exactly what the topic was on the day of the entry (I think that was the day I came down with a pretty lousy stomachache, and my feet were aching from the walk home), because I can't really remember, but I *do* remember thinking how appropriate it was. Now that the exam is over, they won't reuse the prompt again, and if they update the website by next semester, then maybe they'll use my essay and the prompt as an example *_* I did give them permission to do that, and even if I wasn't named (and I wouldn't be if they chose to use it), I would love it~~

This was the article that the essay prompt was adapted from, from the Ventura County Star (a newspaper down here in Southern California). It's about manners on the web, and I recalled seeing ST07 as an absolute explosion of people from all ends of the spectrum, from being polite and thoughtful while others were on a rampage.

I do wish I could see my essay now-- I'm not expecting red scribble marks, comments, or questions as I would if it were an English class or other class where I had to submit an essay for a grade... but I would like to put it back up again, or in my own portfolio, just for the heck of it. I wonder if I can do that? I mean, it's not like the prompt will be used again, and it IS my own writing...

SQUEE~!!
azurite: (aries)
You Are A Green Girl

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


ETA: dragonfayth, dreams, food, mentality )


Which Egyptian God are you? Find out at [livejournal.com profile] egypt_stamping
Sorry, Obelisk the Tormentor and Slifer the Sky Dragon are not valid Gods and will not be used in the results.

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