azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
1. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch blog girl
While blogging about just about everything these days is popular, I don't know about a video blog (vlog) on a cereal. Parodying the idea would be one thing, except it's a stupid parody: the girl is a stereotypical geek and a klutz, too. (Maybe that's why it bothers me?!)

2. The Target "Hat" girl
A typical commercial that's way too blatant with its underlying message: "Buy our products and get the life you want!" Except it's ridiculous to fantasize about a HAT causing you to find a hot boyfriend, have a beautiful property with an orchard, and have perfect, well-behaved children. There's a fine line with the idea of a product enhancing your life in some way, and this commercial just crosses it and shoots off into outer space somewhere. This doesn't have even the tiniest idea that it could be a parody of commercials that do this more subtly (like car commercials), so I don't know wtf Target's ad agency was thinking.

3. Capital One with the actor who played George Costanza's father on Seinfeld
Capital One has funny commercials, especially their latest spate with the Vikings. Of course, my sense of humor is known to be very different from others, so who knows? But the idea of some old guy yelling at me about my credit card choice isn't very appetizing. He's not even very funny while employing the whole "loud old man with big opinions" schtick

Anyone have any commercials they just can't stand? I really wish I had DVR so I could just skip them, but I tend to watch a lot of shows randomly, too, and you can't really fast-forward through THOSE commercials, can you? It's too bad the quality that people strive for during the Super Bowl isn't something ad agencies attempt all year round.
azurite: (batgirl - spanish inquisition)
For any ficcers or fans that might be wondering, a bit of easy research is just a few keystrokes away.

1. Annie Walker lives in the guest house of her sister, Danielle Brooks and her husband, Michael Brooks.

2. Danielle and Michael have two young daughters, Katia and Chloe. Their ages haven't been definitively specified, but they look to be middle school-age or younger, but older than fourth grade or so.

3. August 'Auggie' Anderson does not seem to know the difference between a two-and-a-half inch Christian Loboutin heel and a kitten heel.

4. Annie Walker does not wear kitten heels to work (or anywhere else during the show's run so far, for that matter). In fact, she explicitly named the designer (and the red sole of the shoe was pretty obvious) of her shoes when she was pretending to be a hooker and picked them up from the hotel with her fake contact.

5. Annie's brief affair in Sri Lanka was with Ben Mercer. His name has been definitively stated as such. However, we don't know if he used that name with Annie (I think he did?) or if it was an alias that he used while in the CIA.

6. It's still not known just who Ben Mercer really is, what he does now, what he did when he was with Annie...anything. Theories abound that he may have been CIA and has since gone rogue, but it's also possible he was simply an asset. Or he could have been burned (a'la Michael Westen in Burn Notice, another USA Network show).

7. Jai Wilcox seemed to recognize Ben when he showed up at the docks--enough to realize Ben was the assassin and had reason to chase after him. This may mean that Jai either joined the DPD because of Ben--as Joan and Arthur's secret conversations have been implying--or that he knows Ben from "the old days...?" Either way, Jai vs. Ben was established!

8. Annie Walker's eyes are brown. Dark brown. Not blue, not green, not hazel, not aqua.

9. In the latest episode (as of 8/22), we found out that Michael (Danielle's husband and Annie's brother-in-law) lost his job. Annie had wrongfully assumed he'd been having an affair. Michael came clean to Danielle at the end of the episode.

10. The person in the mysterious black car that was tailing Annie earlier in the season was Ben. He's been following her, according to Joan and Arthur, and we've seen him show up in places where you don't just randomly see people, like at the train station where Annie nearly got killed, were it not for his timely shooting. Suffice it to say, even when Annie's trying to be sneaky, Ben probably knows where she is, if not because he knows HER, then because he knows the CIA. He might have a "friend" inside, or he might just be a talented hacker himself.
azurite: (believe in subtext)
So I just joined [livejournal.com profile] caperland and am now officially a member of Team Burned! What's all this about?

Well...


apply for a team | about caperland


If you know about [livejournal.com profile] whedonland, it's virtually the same premise, although instead of Whedon-shows, it's caper shows: White Collar, Leverage, and Burn Notice. You can know one, two, or all of the fandoms, and you can participate by joining a "team" and racking up points for said team by participating in challenges.

If you're like me and you like all three shows, even if you're on a specific team, you can still make icons/banners, write fics, etc. for whichever of the shows strikes your fancy--you'll still get points for YOUR team.

So far there has been a graphic challenge, a game (a "spot the difference" with pictures), an icon challenge, a 6-word fic challenge (harder than it sounds), and I'm sure there's more cool stuff to come.

Enjoy caper shows? Then come join us!
azurite: (blue flower)
Interesting things that have happened as of late:
* Sci Fi Channel plans to change its name to SyFy, to supposedly attract a wider audience (because "sci fi" is still recognized as a derivative of "science fiction," which supposedly conjures images of pimply boys playing D&D in their mom's basements. Well, even if they do, those guys run the world now, so hah! Way to generalize! Also, way to stereotype the audience you're supposedly trying to appeal to! ). Fact is, they want [more crappy] non-sci-fi programming. I think they're going to bomb on this front no matter what they try and explain.

SyFy, meet Song Airlines. Now, both of you go back to the class and sit with the cobwebs.

* 4Kids releases uncut unsubbed episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! on their YouTube channel (a day after [livejournal.com profile] littlekuriboh subscribes to them on a lark). Now if only we could get proper subs-- not dubtitles, including for the opening theme song (which should remain unchanged, plzkxthx!). Then put them on DVD and release them in a massive boxed set. Which I would buy in a New York minute.

Tuesday's NSLS Orientation meeting went okay. I goofed a little by not having enough time to finish my agenda before the meeting and print it out, so I was really winging it when the meeting actually got started. The meeting got started a bit late too, because another group was in the room until nearly the last minute. I hardly had any time to set up and figure out how all the equipment worked. I was so nervous, I forgot to do the icebreaker first, and when we finally did do it, I realized it wasn't a great way to sort people into SNT groups-- I had people stopping to talk to one other person on their side of the room (after I asked people to move to one side of the room or the other, based on a choice: e.g. "Chocolate or Vanilla?" where chocolate is the left side of the room and vanilla is the right), but someone pointed out that everyone would talk to at least one person that another person HAD NOT talked to, so everyone would be in everyone else's group! But still, there were enough commonalities for groups to form-- for the most part. The folks that only attended the online orientation or folks that couldn't make the Tuesday one for whatever reason will be assigned by our new SNT Coordinator, June.

Class got out early yesterday, so I came home and relaxed with some CSI:NY repeats until 7pm. I took a nap, fully intending to be awake for the new episode at 10pm, but I didn't wake up on time! I'm surprised Baba and Grandpa didn't come in to wake me up or anything-- I kept right on sleeping until 12:30am! I ended up catching up on the new episode this morning via cbs.com.

Strange people on CBS.com. Also, spoilers for 5x12 )

I saw another dead animal today. This time it was a cat, which... I don't know how to put it, but it hurts. I love cats, and to see one run over just breaks my heart. It also reinforces the fact that I'll never drive and think a good lot of drivers are complete idiots. That said, yes, I do appreciate getting rides home and things like that, but only from people I trust to be attentive when they're on the road.

At least it seems as if whoever hit the cat (or maybe someone found the cat) brought it to the side of the road-- it was on the patch of lawn under a tree, positioned in such a way that the cat could have been napping, dreaming of chasing a mouse, with the way its paws were kind of twisted. But I realized it was dead when I saw its eyes were blackened and its organs had been squished to one end of its body. Other than that, the cat was surprisingly clean-- a bright orange tabby coat, very beautiful. It didn't look like it had been run over, but still... *sigh* I didn't see a collar on it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't someone's pet. Even if it wasn't, I still feel awful. No animal deserves to die because of some idiot driver.

Career Day for the Journalism department is today. I better pack up my things and head over there now.
azurite: (believe in subtext)
I've been having weird dreams the past few nights. Not "weird" like really disturbing weird, just... an odd conglomeration of things. I wake up and wonder what the heck is going on in my brain at night. A few nights ago, I had a dream where all my teeth crumbled/fell out of my mouth. I've had that dream before, and like to think of it as a mental warning to take better care of my teeth. I had another dream last night... er, yesterday morning, and I think it was another recurring or slightly-weird dream, but now I can't remember it. Always write down your dreams as soon as you wake up!

It might be kind of cool if it happened. )
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: (snark or smut)
I don't drink Pepsi, let alone something Diet, but I love the new Diet Pepsi Max commercial to Haddaway's "What is Love?" Everyone (including LL Cool J) is starting to pass out until they get some DPM, and then they start the old-school head bopping. It's contagious, even at the dry cleaning where Haddaway himself (at least, I think it is... would make sense) goes "STOP IT!" and storms out. Very funny.

Sometimes commercials are considered tasteless and get changed. I remember that happened once in an Axe (deodorant) commercial where a young guy who's wearing Axe gets stopped as he gets in an elevator. The original shows a hand wearing a pearl bracelet and a fuzzy pink cardigan-- you don't get a good look at the hand, but the flash shows an old woman with a devilish grin on her face. They changed it, apparently because some people thought it was tasteless that an old lady would get her knickers in a twist over a young man's deodorant. So they changed it to a young woman, which kind of ruined the humor and made it like every single other Axe commercial.

Now, there was an animated Red Bull commercial where a bird shits on a professor-like character's jacket. In the original, the guy takes a swig of Red Bull, grows wings, and then flies above the bird and starts to unbuckle his belt... it's pretty clear what it implies. Also, it uses the classic "Red Bull gives you wings" tagline. But the new version doesn't have that-- instead, the professor character takes a swig of Red Bull and then chuckles and withdraws a slingshot from his briefcase. He fires a cork into the bird's bum, and the tagline is now "Red Bull also stimulates your mind." Okay, so the original one was a bit messed up, but it was still better than "bird butt plug."

For someone that's not a marketing major or PR concentration, I sure am opinionated about commercials. In fact, there's a lot that I downright hate and think fail to get the point across. All I tend to remember about them is how annoying they are, versus the product and how much I might like to try it.

That said, I'm only being so observant of commercials tonight because of all the repeats-- thus, I'm watching shows I either have never watched (Supernatural) or ones I haven't watched in AGES (Smallville). And it's always nice to get caught up on shows I've just started to find interesting (Without a Trace).

Eye see!

Jan. 16th, 2008 08:37 pm
azurite: (ygo - mokuba's 1024)
Finally got my financial aid check today, and it looks like the Chase Loan hasn't been applied, so I don't have to worry about that-- yet. But nonetheless, I went shopping with what I did get-- I bought the EyeTV 2 Hybrid TV Tuner for my Mac (a nifty USB stick with a coaxial tuner end, and a tiny sort of USB end that I can use for the Composite red, white, and yellow cables, plus... some mysterious other cord that might be for HDMI) and some books, including Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne 4, which I'd been missing. I'm glad I waited to get that before reading KKJ #5! The plot THICKENS! Oh, it's so tragic...! I mean, I cried a lot when reading and watching Full Moon o Sagashite, but KKJ is certainly power-packed with emotional turmoil! Ahh...

I kind of want to read I.O.N. too, but I don't think it's been translated yet... has it? I really like Arina Tanemura's work. But I've been avoiding Gentleman's Alliance+ because I've run out of space on my bookshelf... and I heard it has some shonen-ai in it, and that just... hm, doesn't appeal to me. I'm a sappy shoujo fan at heart. :)

Anywho, I managed to get something MAGNANIMOUS done as soon as I got back to the house with my EyeTV... I connected the composite cable from my PS2 to the female ones on the EyeTV add-on, and I got Star Ocean 3 on my Mac screen! Huzzah! So now I can record videos AND take screenshots of gameplay! Hip-hip-hurrah! I haven't actually TRIED to take said screenshots yet, though...

I also managed to get TV via the coaxial cable. Now here's the tricky part... the TV I've been fiddling with is the one in the rec room, which gets cable channels, but nothing above channel 100. Technically, nothing above channel 98, which is QVC. :P That's okay, all the good stuff is on lower channels anyway (Spike TV = 48 FTW!!!) . But here's the weird bit, and I hope someone experienced with these kind of electronics/home appliances might be able to help me out...

The rec room has always had cable TV, but not always anything else (e.g. a VCR or DVD player). Now, my PS2 acts as the DVD player, but Scott had to give me a VCR. :P Well, yay VCR for all my old-school tapes (like Ranma, the Sailor Moon movies, and Clue!) What's weird is how the wiring works. The TV is old, but not ancient-- there's something on the back that SAYS S-video, but I don't see an actual S-video port. It seems to be covered up by some sort of panel, but said panel can't be taken off too easily... there are two holes on the right and left sides that look like they have some sort of pinching prongs in the middle (as in, pinch the prongs and the plate might pop off... problem is the prongs are INTERNAL and I tried using tweezers and they didn't pinch anything), and on the bottom, some sliding things... with no room to slide!

So the coaxial cable coming from the wall (and routed through the cabinets) connects to the VCR, because there's no apparent way to connect said cable to the TV. There's another cable that connects the VCR to the TV and it looks SIMILAR to a coaxial cable, but there's no "twisting" screw-on part; it just sort of plugs in (but it has the single needle in the center like the coaxial cable does). I'd tried that second cable first with the EyeTV, but no luck; it was only with the coaxial that I actually picked up any channels.

What I want to know is... is there a way to have the TV plugged in at the same time as my computer? Is there a way to find out if that back panel of my TV can be taken off to see if there's an S-video port? Because that way, I could plug in the S-video cable to the EyeTV add-on, and still have the TV routed to the VCR via the coaxial cable... I think. I tried a similar hookup using the composite cable (e.g. the non-PS2 variety; I used the ones plugged into the TV going to the VCR, but routed the VCR end to the EyeTV)... it didn't work.

Also, do you suppose there's a way to use this EyeTV TV tuner wirelessly, somehow? Like, I don't HAVE to have it plugged in to watch TV? Or would such a set-up only work with digital (ATSC/HD TV)? Or can it, even with HD TV? We have the other TV that's HD, but we don't have an HD set-top box from Time-Warner (even though it's free)...

But we're getting one tomorrow! Now if only we had an HDTV for the rec room... because then I wouldn't have to worry about a heavy-@$$ TV with all sorts of weird blocked panels and switches and not enough ports for the cables... but then, "if it ain't broke, why fix it?" which is why I want to figure out the mystery of the labels on the back of the existing TV to see if there's some way to accommodate two things at once. After all, it's a bit of a pain to have to keep changing things around like that... Of course, nothing'll ever compare to the wired mess at my mom's house, but at least her situation is made easier by the fact that she never watches TV out there anymore (even though it's got killer surround sound) because the TV infrared is busted. :P

In short:
Help? Even if it's just with recommendations for small HDTVs (smaller than 36", the space I have in the bookcase in the rec room) or what cables to buy or something...

ALSO! I want to change my cassette tapes into digital files. Anyone know how to do that? There's a Macworld article on it, but it's not very descriptive...
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.

Brr.

Nov. 22nd, 2007 11:08 pm
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Greetings from FREEZING Seattle, WA... er, technically, Bellevue, I guess. Getting here wasn't so bad, but the schmucks at Alaska Airlines somehow managed to not put my checked bag (only the one, not even that big or heavy) on my flight, so I had to wait until about a half hour ago for it to be delivered to Sally's house.

Right now, we're (meaning me, my dad & Kathleen, and a few of the other cousins and aunts/uncles) are staying at a friend of Sally's house; I guess her family's out elsewhere for the holidays. It's a bit awkward to be in the home of someone I don't even know, but they did say it's okay...

And frankly, even if Sam (cousin) did say that it's "shady," at least THEY have free Wi-Fi. Seriously, I'm not the first person to point out to Sally and the boys that NOT having Wi-Fi at their house is equivalent to living in the Stone Age. (For those of you with Dial-Up, you're prehistoric.)

The Thanksgiving dinner was DELICIOUS, even though I got a stomachache after the fact-- actually though, based on the human digestive system, there's no way anything I ate at Thanksgiving could have made me sick, even if it was something I'm mysteriously allergic to. I think it was that muffin I picked up at Sea-Tac while waiting for Dan and my bag (which never came while I was there). It was one of those Costco muffins-- delicious, humongous, and bad for you, but you eat it anyway.

Pre and slightly-post dinner, I managed to work on the DIVs for "Ace of Hearts," the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting I just started. It's about due, and I'm glad Michael (aka Honus, aka cousin-in-law, husband of Brooke) helped me out with it. Now I understand better how DIVs and CSS can work in tandem! So far it looks great, but I need to write the About, Rules, and Extras pages, make some Codes, and then, of course, Join! And promote... kinda like I am now. Pre-promoting, anyway.

I also managed to watch CSI-- I'm glad Sara got mentioned at least a little. The way the previews made it sound, the game was overtaking the lab and no one thought twice about Sara, which would have infuriated me. I liked how the lesser-seen lab techs got more time in the limelight in this episode (and Hodges had HIMSELF killed in a scenario? Wow, talk about his ego finally having been knocked down a few pegs).

I've also made headway on my portfolio for Journalism; I need access to a printer to print everything out, though. An aesthetic question of sorts: if I have these newspaper articles mounted on papers inside a 3-ring binder, what arrangement is easiest to read; with the headline closest to the rings (and you read the columns going AWAY from the binder) or the headlines closest to the edge of the page, and you read TOWARD the rings?

Had to buy a new phone, too-- just another RAZR. The 3G phone I bought for Japan finally died. The past few days, it was getting hard to open, and then on Wednesday, the screen started to flicker until it finally died and I couldn't turn it back on, even when I adjusted the battery. While I don't consider myself a hardcore phone user, I do USE it everyday for at least one phone call... but still, a little over a year strikes me as a pretty pathetic life not just for a battery, but for a phone's casing and everything in general..

The new phone is a bit different-- mine, while still a RAZR, was a different model (the V3x, from Europe). It takes some getting used to, but because syncing is so easy on the Mac, I've already got all my old contacts back, along with my calendar. I've also set the first four of my "Fave Five," though to be honest, I have no idea who #5 should be. The rest are Mom, Dad, Jill, and Baba & Grandpa. In any case, I hope by having a branded phone now, things'll be easier for me-- I can now access T-Zones, and there's no worries about incompatible phones on the website, weird text messages, etc. (Of course, I stopped getting those mysterious text messages on my old RAZR ages ago, when they finally updated their support-- I think.) I hope it also helps bring my bill down, since I was paying extra for minutes I didn't use and unlimited text messages WITHOUT myFaves. I still have the T-Mobile Hot Spot access though, which means I can go to any Starbucks or Borders and just type my heart out. That might be a nice way to spend the afternoon, especially since I won't really be able to do any "Black Friday" shopping-- unless someone else buys for me. I have to pay for my WII deposit (though it turns out I have 10 more days, since the forms I've been stressing over filling out were the digital copies, but they just sent the paper copies today).

I didn't get to announce about being accepted into the Washington Internship Institute at dinner, like I hoped-- Dad must have heard about it from Baba & Grandpa, and then it filtered through the family grapevine. When I told Dad about the costs, he started to think it wasn't legit-- and for a minute, he really had ME worried, too. Sometimes I wonder how gullible I really am; when something really sounds great to (or for) me, I probably don't stop to consider the consequences or other possibilities out there.

But it does look legit-- I mean, it's a sponsored program from Golden Key, one of my honor societies. But what I think is a good idea is trying to contact some people who supposedly were interns in the program before and find out what they thought.

What else? I'm exhausted and still have a stomachache-- so even though I'm on a couch in a room with curtains that won't close, I think I'll go to bed. This isn't really a vacation, after all...
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Ah... I've seen it coming the past two weeks. I've known it's been coming. But it seems like it came so much faster than I expected... Sara Sidle is at last leaving the Las Vegas Crime Lab. Next week, Jorja Fox really and truly ends her role as my favorite CSI on the original hit series. I may be a n00b to the show, but she's what kept me watching. It'll be sad to see her go. But I'll keep watching if only because it's NOT money that had her quit, and I want to know if the writers can actually make Grissom still survive (I don't mean "live," per se, but I don't imagine Grissom can just "bounce back" from Sara leaving so easily. He'll be screwed over even if her reason is as good as gold) believably.

I am happy that they've at least taken the time to build it up, as the voiceovers from previous episodes re: Sara taking cases too personally, her getting upset over things that previously didn't faze her make clear.

I'm NOT happy that it is apparently the episode that got filmed at CSUN (based on the appearance of Juliette Goglia in the preview, who was also in the episode filmed on campus), because if I'd known then that it was Sara's last episode, I would have said "Fuck it!" to my JOUR 410 class and tried to get the chance to talk to Jorja Fox, even if it was just for a "I loved your work on the show, you turned me into a fan, and I hope that when the series ends, you have a guest starring role, because I know I speak for thousands, if not millions, of fans that would love that from the bottom of their hearts."

I do wonder what the final episode title ended up being, because I've heard no less than three things. How do people find out about episode titles, anyway? It doesn't announce/show it at the start of the episode, and my digital cable TV guide doesn't say it... so how?

I'm happy that William Petersen got his wish-- he said he wanted to kiss (Jorja Fox) before the series ended, and he has-- the previews confirm that. The question is, the context of the kiss. It didn't look like a sad, parting kiss-- they weren't alone, for one thing. You could see Hodges over Sara's shoulder. To me, it looked like the locker room at the lab, and that makes me wonder if they decided to forego a traditional wedding ceremony and get married in the lab, right then and there (who knows, maybe Doc Robbins is secretly hiding an officiant's certification?). If they did, they'd need a damn good explanation for Sara leaving despite getting married... but I think it's just as necessary even if, at this point, the audience only thinks they're engaged (hey, they could have gotten married off-screen, but I doubt that). And I don't think Sara's the type to leave Grissom "at the altar," as it were.

Oh, and we finally found out the name of Grissom's dog: Hank. Was that ever stated before? I don't think it was-- fanfiction always has him having different names. I think the dog really DOES belong to Petersen, and the real dog's name is Bruno, but I'm not sure.

I do want to know if they're even going to say where Sara goes and what she does. As in, will she even get mentioned anymore? Or will it still be just "cases," without any character development? I know it was mentioned in interviews that this season is much more case-based, with less focus on the individual characters, but I do think it's possible (and has been done) to strike a balance between the two, even in a single episode.

Well, I'll be waiting on the edge of my (couch) seat... and regardless of ending, "that's what fandom is for!"

Jorja Fox, so long, and thanks for all the great episodes. :)
azurite: (sailormoon - galaxia sun)
Today I finally got the time to go to the mall and pick up a few things. First stop was Macy*s, for my Clinique order. Now, the reason why I shop at Clinique is three-fold:

(1) Dad bought me Clinique makeup as presents, because he has a Macy*s card. I liked the gifts, so when I ran out or wanted another color, I went back there.

(2) When I wanted to do something about my rather haphazard acne-defense plan, I went to the Clinique counter just to see what they would offer. One person helped me completely, let me explain my situation, and let me dictate what I wanted (read: what I could afford). From there, I got started on the 3-step system. My face has never been clearer, which proves their products work. They're also affordable.

(3) The service. As mentioned in (2), I got to speak one-on-one with someone, who explained to me everything, from ingredients to pricing. Some cosmeticians and counter salespeople seem driven by an invisible commission (afaik they're not commissioned at Macy*s), and I hate thinking they're talking down to me. That's NEVER been an issue at my Macy*s, and as a result, I know several girls by name: Summer, Rachel, and Lauren, and all have helped me out immensely, been honest, and made me look and feel beautiful and wanted at their counter.

That's an example of a GREAT shopping experience.

Okay, now let's go to JCPenney. I need some new flats, because the American Eagle ones I picked up at Payless Shoes Source a while back are falling apart. The right shoe's strap lining has come undone, and the left shoe's button is loose. The toes on both are peeling upward, but that's a bad habit of mine when I sit (with my toes on the floor, rather than my feet FLAT on the floor). In any case, they were cheap, so I don't mind getting a new pair. JCPenney's selection is mediocre at best, but I have a 15% off coupon I'm determined to use. I finally find a small wall with Arizona Jeans flats, including a single pair in my size. No straps, but they still fit better than anything else
I've tried on (and I did go to LoveD and check out Macy*s sections first). So I get them.

The girl at the counter is obviously distracted, talking to someone behind her while she's ringing me up. She leaves the coupon on the counter after she's bagged my shoes, and I wonder if I just take it back, would I be able to use it again in another department? I decide not to (even though I could probably print up the same coupon again if I wanted) because I'm the honest sort, and also because JCPenney has never offered me a) clothes in a size that fit for me... leastwise, they haven't for a while; and b) because I don't like the "experience" so much. Instead of fun, it feels like a chore.

So, while I did get what I wanted for a reasonable price, it wasn't something I enjoyed doing. I guess that was an "OKAY" shopping experience.

Next item on the list: new boots. I'm super-picky about my boots. Point in fact, if I'm wearing it on any part of me, I deserve to be picky. It's not just the image I project to others, it's the image that helps me feel a certain way about MYSELF. I'm petite, have medium-sized breasts and a bubble butt, and if I wear the wrong clothes, I look like a lumpy dwarf. Obviously, the clothes I wear should make me feel confident, sexy, and hot-- not like I'm a lost cousin of Snow White's Seven Dwarves.

So I go to One Thousand Steps, a newer shop in the mall with a rather interesting architecture. Like I do at most stores, I start by wandering around. I'm not exactly Miss Gold Card, but I do always appreciate when someone comes up to me and asks if I need any assistance. What I tell them is supposed to send a message about just how much "help" I need. When I walked into this store, I looked at the boots-- nothing that really caught my eye, so I headed to the back. A salesgirl almost appearing to block the way asked if I needed anything, so I threw her a line: yes, I wanted to find boots, but I guessed they were all up front. Okay, yes. So she showed me several boots, and based on those, I let her know what I wanted: about knee-high, black, not patent leather, and preferably without any fancy designs, rouching, etc. She had a few good suggestions, but she didn't seem to understand when I didn't like something and wanted to move on, or look on my own. She also committed what I consider a heinous salesgirl crime: comparing me to another customer. YOU DO NOT DO THAT. I am not some other woman. I do not have her looks, her height, her money. For all I know, that other woman could have been 4'10" or 6'1", fat or skinny, rich or poor. It doesn't matter. But I'm not her, and I shouldn't be treated as such. What one woman buys to look good with her dresses will NOT look good with me and my tailored pants.

I left that store not just out of the want to find boots I really DID like (because this store didn't have them), but also to get away from the pushy salesgirl. That was an example of a BAD shopping experience. (I've had worse, but the fact that I'm classing it with the other "BADs" is saying something.)

In the end, I got my flats, placed my order for the Clinique event starting Oct. 2nd (I support Breast Cancer research with my makeup purchases. Do you?), and got 5 more manga at Borders, along with a few special orders placed (and a few that weren't available... read on). I didn't find my boots, though I went to practically every shoe store in the mall. I didn't go to DSW, but the last time I was there, nothing had grabbed me. Fact is, sometimes you have to spend a lot to get exactly what you want, so I might end up going back to Macy*s and spending $169 on a pair of boots that I thought looked perfect.

As for the books, I placed Antique Gift Shop #3, xxxHolic #8, and Full Metal Panic #4 on special order, but Borders' distributor didn't have:
* Lois & Clark Season 4 boxed set
* Forbidden Dance vol. 1
* Full Metal Panic vol. 2
* I.N.V.U vol. 3
* Antique Gift Shop vol. 5
in stock. If anyone has any of those volumes (or the L&C!), I am willing to trade! Let me know what you're looking for and I'll see if I can supply you. Likewise, if you just want to sell them to get them off your hands, I'll buy them. :)

All of this has me thinking of a previous idea for a novel that I never pursued, mainly because I believe in having a certain amount of real life experience in SOMETHING (whether it's love, sex, or murder) before writing about it. Either that, or do a bunch of research and talk to a lot of people who DO know what they're talking about. I hope that someday I can do one of those two... but I can't reveal the "novel" idea just yet. :D

I do wish I could write a good mystery/crime/suspense/thriller, but that feeling may have just been brought on by the marathon of CSI I watched. I think I've gotten into the show enough where I want to see the upcoming season premiere. Does anyone else have any shows I ought to get into? I haven't watched TV in a while (unless Extreme Makeover: Home Edition counts).

That said, I better get to sleep-- I have early class and work who-knows-when.

TGIF

Feb. 9th, 2007 05:03 pm
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Like when I was in Japan, now that the semester and a full workload has started, I'm back to cherishing my weekends the way a man parched of thirst cherishes the single droplet of water he can get on his tongue. Nonetheless, I get to the weekends hoping to relax, and I only find myself bombarded with more things to do. I keep telling myself "I need to help out" (in the case of Baba and Grandpa) or "I can't quit" (in the case of school), but sometimes I just feel like staying in bed ALL DAY LONG. (And then of course, I feel miserable after the fact, for all the things I missed).

Anyway, starting yesterday my computer started acting strangely because of my "overload" of fonts. Well, I only had something like 700 fonts on the system (when the OSX documentation says it can handle up to 7000!), but Photoshop just wasn't reading them. So I decided to go through Font Book and weed out the invalid fonts (those missing Font Name Tables), of which I found 67. The important ones (esp. the ones I've hunted for or paid for) were intact though, but then Firefox (which was already acting weird, smashing words together and causing them to overlap sometimes) and Firefox (which had previously been acting weird but apparently stopped when I switched the default fonts) suddenly had NO text anywhere.

So I had to take all the fonts I'd put in the trash can and go through them one by one, to make sure none of them were fonts used by the system or the applications. Then I weeded out the duplicate installations, disabled and removed them, closed font book, emptied the trash, and was able to reopen both Thunderbird and Firefox without any problems.

But encoding is still apparently an issue with Firefox; in Safari, Japanese characters show up just fine in the default Western (ISO-Latin-1) encoding, but with that same/equivalent encoding in Firefox (ISO-8859-1), I get random characters. I'm worried that it's because I deleted some Japanese font on my computer, but I doubt it-- I doubly made sure that all the fonts that I deleted were trouble fonts, not system fonts. What's even more irritating is the lack of a singular encoding for Japanese/other Asian languages and accented characters, like é and ó and such. So I could see José Cuarón, but not ラブとエロス. And I know I didn't (and COULDN'T) have deleted those fonts, I just 'accidentally' disabled them. A Spotlight search revealed their location and I re-added them to Font Book, but before I would drag them over or double-click on the files and nothing would happen or change. Now that I have installed them again (and can see them in Font Book and noticed the change in Cocoa applications like this one), I hope my font woes will be over with.

There's nothing worse than stressing about the things you normally love. I love fonts. I love video games. But my computer was driving me batty, and I still haven't found my PS2 Memory Card! I've almost completely cleaned my room, too. It wasn't just hidden amongst the piles of things I had unpacked from Japan or from my mom's boxes; unless it somehow got mixed up in things that I put away, or is still lost under something in the rec room, I don't know what to do.

Sure, it might be fun to just buy a new memory card and start everything fresh again... but honestly, I had made SO much progress with the games I had on there. To name a few that I can remember:

Final Fantasy X - I finally was inside Sin! But I hadn't beaten the game yet, because I wanted to try getting the Ultimate Weapons. I remember getting past Seymour Flux and finding out Auron's secret, but that was as far as I remember getting.

Final Fantasy X-2 - I'd already beaten this game once with a 98% completion (I didn't beat the Den of Woe or the Via Infinitio on my first run-through), and I wanted my second game to either be the 100% completion or the "get tons of accessories" game, with a possible third play-through being the 100% Perfect Game. This is the one I'm most sore about possibly losing, because I had John (back in Japan) help me shove Tobli into the elevator during that one Chapter where you can get the Enterprise accessory... and that's SO damn hard! Yes, I know the greatest feeling of accomplishment is for something you've done yourself, but I tried SO HARD to do that, and I couldn't. John said he could, so I let him-- and he did! I treated him to dinner for that, and to throw all that all away would make me so sad.

I was also playing this game on International + Last Mission, because I'd never want to get to the final dungeon in LM without having accessories like the Iron Duke.

Katamari Damacy - In the original, I think I'd gotten up to Make A Star 7 or something, but I had something like 68 total constellations. Then I moved on to Katamari Damacy 2 (aka We ♥ Katamari) and managed to find a lot of "lost cousins" and reveal much of the King's sordid history, but there were various levels I hadn't beaten completely (like the Origami one).

Yu-Gi-Oh Duelists of the Roses - I'm actually not too bummed about this one. Over a year ago I'd accidentally overwritten my winning game file when trying to play "the next side" so I could eventually unlock the special Duel Masters and Deck Creation modes. Whenever I tried to play again, I always lost miserably to someone in the beginning. So I wouldn't mind a fresh start with this game.

Overall, I'd say I wouldn't be horribly upset if it were gone-- I mean, I could have a lot of fun replaying some the games over again. It's great when a game has "replay value," but I don't think my situation is what game designers and publishers have in mind when they say a game has "great replay value." So if it really did get down to it, I might buy a USB adapter for my memory card so I could just download some saves for FFX and FFX-2 (maybe not ILM, even though I think that was the one I got Enterprise in), and hopefully backup my saves, too. I don't know, does anyone know of a place where I can get:
* a new memory card (preferably a larger one, like a multi-card-in-one, or a pair of Memory Cards at once)
* a USB-to-Memory Card adapter
* free savefiles for FFX and FFX-2?

Last night Elliott came over and we ended up spending most of the night watching Food Network or the Tyra Banks show (it was the episode I'd wanted to watch, even though I stumbled on it totally by accident-- the episode about her supposed horrendous weight-gain. For the record, I thought that particular picture was just a bad angle, the same way plenty of people get their pictures taken where their face looks bleached out, their hair looks mussed up, their teeth have something in it, red eye, etc).

And hey, here's something you may not have known about me! My BMI is 19.5, which is just one point above the bottom line for the healthy weight for adults of my height. If I were 18.4 or under, I would be considered underweight, but I don't know how many pounds would calculate my BMI that far down. And frankly, I don't care. I happen to like my figure very much, even though occasionally I think my butt's just a bit TOO curvy or my thighs look a bit like bowling pins.

On weight, body image, and stupid models )
azurite: (pluto henshin)
Okay, so I actually have woken up at a relatively reasonable hour, all things considered. I woke up from a weird dream, but at least I know where all the weirdness came from...
1 - Evamquence (no, not Evanescence) was the name of this horror television series (or movie) in my dream. I'm guessing my brain just butchered the spelling of Evanescence.

2 - scary white monsters with the ability to regenerate in under 4 minutes (when the previous record was 8!) -- probably a mix of the whole "Silent Hill" parody of littlekuriboh's that I saw, plus memories of the BBC series "Hex." I hated the way they ended Hex and stopped watching it-- the memories of "Hex" came from seeing someone do an LJ layout for the series. Maybe the monsters were "Evamquence"?

So even though I woke up completely aware of me having dreamt something, and even knowing where the stimuli for said dream came from, I still feel unsettled.

Worse, I'm still kind of tired, even though I know I got "enough" sleep. When it's cold, you want to snuggle into some blankets and be warm. When it's hot, all you want to do is be lethargic, because moving around in heat just makes you pass out anyway. There's no winning.

I think I'm going to try making French Toast.

Edit: I thought I was actually downloading the Death Note movie (part 1), in preparation for going to see part 2, which comes out Friday (yay for days off)! But no, the super-clear DivX-encoded 1 hr 55 minute feature was... porn. Japanese school girl porn. Yuck. I'm sorry to all you guys who get off on that sort of thing, but I have nothing but pure loathing for those girls, especially when I wanted to see an actual MOVIE with some SENSE behind it. GRR!

Also, heard back from BBapply about my credit card mysteriously being rejected by Softbank... try again! Will do, and then pay at convenience stores if that doesn't work. Still haven't heard from a few other places yet (Adobe, PPP), and I still need to return the BBTV box. ;_; I keep getting the Paper View (yes, that's what it's called) guide to BBTV, and it makes me want to watch! Alas, no video input for Mer. *sniff*

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