azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
I spent too long on That Site and ended up stumbling across this one, about Console RPG clichés.

A few stood out to me for there being a game I knew/played/was popular that broke the mold. Yay, fandom! Sometimes.

Interestingly, some are just plain wrong. And others made me remember all kinds of games and their characters, big and small. I had no idea clichés were so prevalent, but now I am thusly enlightened: and you can be, too!

And that's all...for now, folks!
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I blame it on [ profile] obabscribbler yet again-- this time not for any kind of plotbunny, but for getting me into watching Fandom!Secrets. The latest's 102 mentions the necessity of Caruso shades when reading OHSHC. I LOL'd.

The anime/manga store in the Metreon (which no longer has its AMC sign outside, even though it's still AMC-affiliated INSIDE, right down to those butt-ugly polo shirts and too-high navy blue pants... shit, at least the people at the Metreon have a variety of food to choose from! At the 1000, I had to choose between sandwiches or concession crap... ANYWAY!) "Kamikaze Pop" went out of business changed locations with no current ETA at their next location, wherever it may be. So I managed to grab a bunch of Arina Tanemura manga for only $39 (8 volumes-- not bad!). I realized that I like the Full Moon anime better than the manga (the manga seems very stilted, and I have a hard time with any manga that has a auditory medium as its focal point-- it's hard to imagine a singer through manga). I also like Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne better than Full Moon, even though KKJ was tragically shorter. And I won't read Gentleman's Alliance+, because... well, the plot just didn't grab me. I'm glad Tanemura-sensei's art's improved so much over the years, but I like her older stuff much more than her newer titles, even if it is FMoS that got me into her works in the first place.

* New layout for "The Firefly Room," the Secret Society Girl fanlisting. I need to get more content, keep it up to date, and whore it out over on the author's blog. Maybe I can get the ladies over at TFL to make it the fanlisting for the whole series (which is what I intended in the first place, when I made it back before the third book came out; the fourth book is coming out next summer). I've got the layout made and everything, but my problem is that I've never skinned a website before and the tutorial I read (over at Tutorialtastic) confused the heck out of me. I posted on the CodeGrrl forums where Tutorialtastic help is, but there's been no reply yet. Maybe because my own post was so addled.... Basically I need to figure out how to get the style-switcher to work. Places like Sailor Music make it look so easy. ;_;

* The Star Ocean 3/Till The End of Time shrine. I'm still working my way through the two biggest parts, the Gemity page and the Dictionary. I need to fiddle with the table CSS so I can use them for maps and grids rather than make images in Photoshop, which takes much longer and causes the page to load slower.

* Website design and layout for my GWS 350OL (Intersections of Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality) class. Everyone in my group has pretty much unanimously voted on a website instead of a blog, claiming that a website will be "more organized." Well, sure, maybe, but it's more work for me! Ugh, I just want this project to be so fantabulous (like any other project I've taken on where I build some sort of site) so it makes up for the fact that I couldn't turn in an Autoethnography paper. Problem is, we need to figure out how to organize the site (it's not automatic, folks!)-- and I need to figure out a suitable design. Helpz? Our topic is "Gay Rights," and we're covering a lot of ground with issues on the California Supreme Court decision, Prop 8, etc. (I don't want to be horribly stereotypical and do a RAINBOW, even though there are tasteful ways of incorporating multiple colors into a site design... something like the iTunes posters wouldn't be bad, but I don't know if it's "serious" enough. Same goes for pink triangles.)

* Organization of my FFX, FFX-2 playlist in iTunes. Turns out I was missing a bunch of songs from the 4-disc original soundtrack (the Tokyopop one I bought ages ago is called the "Official Soundtrack," and hardly has any of the good songs), so I imported them. Now to make sure they all have the right titles (I'm aiming for the English-translated ones, not romanized or literal titles, e.g. not "Warping to a Different Dimension," but "The Sending"), the right artist/composers, and that I've noted which ones are equivalent to which tracks on the Official Soundtrack, because I'm anal retentive like that. :P

* Need new icons. Lots of fandoms. Also: more LULz.

* The usual: studying for quizzes, homework, taking notes, watching CSI: Season 1 (srsly, whoever heard of a DVD boxed set coming with a) no subtitles/closed captions and b) no scene selections!? I'm pissed, CBS! Even though it was a great value, this is just stupid) , attempting to work on WDKY26 but getting sidetracked by other ideas and such

* Got my copy of "Star Ocean: First Departure" for the PSP! I don't own a PSP (yet)! Whoo-hoo!

* Finished Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! I don't like it as much as the others, because even though I raised issues dealing with the character, it didn't seem as indepth. Is that because he's not as major a character as the others I've covered so far? Also, I feel like I put it out there on a crutch, even though lots of people said it was indepth and good and everything. But I felt like without my proper research book and software for generating natal charts, it just wasn't as good. :(
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
Someone here on LJ posted a link to xoa's edits of Final Fantasy X: International, which, as some of you know, includes the English voices but with Japanese subs... er, normally (I'm assuming there's a way to turn the subs off). What xoa did was take the Japanese audio from the original FFX released in Japan and time it to the Japanese-only (afaik) release of FFX: International's cutscenes and FMVs.

Basically, it's dubtitling. He calls it "undub," which I don't find a common OR accurate term, but whatever. We get the English script set to the Japanese voices. It's cool to hear the differences, at least, and there are times when I can tell there's been a discrepancy between the edited FFX in English that got turned into FFX: International and the actual, original game's audio. Sometimes it's a bit telling about the character; there was one scene where someone says "Thank you, Yuna," but the English script changed it to "I have to, Yuna." Completely different things there, folks!

Anyway, after watching the latest episode (29, which is right before the gang enters Djose Temple), I happened upon a subtitled version of FFX International's bonus scene, "Another Story,"-- a.k.a. "Eternal Calm," the prologue for FFX-2. This was never part of FFX in the States, because, again, it was ONLY part of FFX International, which is the English version of the game, edited and with extra goodies added (like Dark Aeons). The only way English speakers could see this scene was if they got a magazine that came out with it on a disc prior to the release of FFX-2. That scene version was edited and dubbed (and subtitled) in English. To see the unedited/original Japanese scene with Japanese audio, you had to hunt around. Well, someone subtitled it....

FFX: Intl. "Another Story" (a.k.a. "Eternal Calm"), subbed in English and Japanese, Japanese audio. Part 1/2

Commentary + Part 2 )
azurite: (sailormoon - double trouble minako & usa)
[ profile] obabscribbler rec'd a fic that was done by [ profile] edmondia for this meme. The meme interests me, and I need to get the brain juices flowing, so let's do this.

Crossover Meme

Choose 10 fandoms. Post the list and have your friends pick combinations. Write a drabble ficlet crossover featuring these fandoms.

1. Sailor Moon
2. Yu-Gi-Oh
3. Final Fantasy X/X-2
4. Final Fantasy VIII
5. Skip Beat
6. Kitchen Princess
7. Full Moon o Sagashite
8. Star Ocean 3 (Till The End of Time)
9. Star Ocean 2 (The Second Story)/EX
10. Full Metal Panic

So you, dear commenter, can pick two of the above fandoms, and I shall write a ficlet for them. I can't guarantee that it'll be a legitimate 100 word drabble, hence the word "ficlet" instead.
azurite: (Bunninated!)
I'm not sure just why I decided to buy Final Fantasy VIII from just a few days before my birthday. Why THAT game, out of all the bazillions of other items at Amazon? I have no clue. I'm not sure what prompted my thinking of it, but now that I've got it and have been playing it (I've had it for about 10 days, and am already on Disc Three; I just got Rinoa back from the Sorceress Memorial), I'm addicted. I already know what's going to happen (of course), mainly because the story got so good that I looked up stuff on the Wikia, started to read fanfiction (Squinoa all the way!) and watched a few AMVs + the ending sequence.

But still, some elements confuse me. I'm not sure if they'll get explained away by the time I finish playing the game, because even the Wikia doesn't have a perfect explanation. For example, the whole Sorceress Power thing.

In which I hypothesize )

So, besides [ profile] obabscribbler who here has seen Monty Oum's "Dead Fantasy"? It's a FANTASTIC fan-made video of Yuna and Rikku from FFX-2, Tifa from FFVII: Advent Children, Rinoa from FFVIII (can you tell I already love her to bits?), and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts II taking on a number of girls from the Dead or Alive series (though one girl from Ninja Gaiden makes an appearance). It's an awesome, awesome fighting vid-- actually, there's two parts now, with more coming soon...

So anyway, I've watched this, oh, maybe five or six times now, and a few days ago, I get hit with a FIC INSPIRATION. I went hunting for FFVIII fic anyway, to bide the time when I'm not playing the game (though I have much better things to be doing with my time, FFVIII is so nice and shiny and distracting), but to be honest, there wasn't much that sounded good. I read a few (really long) really good stories, but they were WIPs, so that was that. I'm just waiting for more... oneshots are nice, too, but it'd be fabulous to find a really long fic that's COMPLETED! And good. I must have me some "good," which translates to "like the game." In other words, drama! Action! And for me almost most-importantly ROMANCE! Because heck, probably why I like the FFs that I do is because of the romance. FFVIII I'm liking more because it's promised to end HAPPILY, unlike some other FFs I know. FFX was a disappointment for me in that respect, even though I loved the other elements (3D! My god, I could NOT play FFVII because of how hideous the polygonal characters looked. Give me sprites or at least humanoid renderings-- not... whatever those creepy things in FFVII were! Redo the game, dammit!), the ending just made me cry. Hence, I loved FFX-2, because it gave Yuna a chance to shine, to find herself (even if she didn't end up with Tidus) and Tidus DID come back (which just made it super-special awesome). FFIX I liked (still haven't beaten it, though), but I couldn't get over how childish everyone looked. I know that was the point, but I couldn't reconcile their supposed true ages with how they looked. It didn't feel like a "love story" in that game to me because of how young everyone looked. It was like "playtime" but gone wrong-- kids saving the world and whatnot.

So anyway, the fic idea. How in the heck could you feasibly get Yuna, Rikku, Rinoa, Kairi, and Tifa fighting on the same side against the DoA girls in a world that vaguely resembles Mustafar from Star Wars? )

I need a Rinoa icon. :P
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
Okay, for anyone that's ever wanted to see me sincerely try something and quite possibly make a complete asshat of myself, here's your chance. This is my STA Travel 193 Karaoke Contest submission-- to Jade (of Sweetbox)'s "real Emotion ~FFX-2~ Mix."

As I already said before, it was a pain both creating the karaoke version of the track AND recording it, not to mention UPLOADING it, but it finally works. So check it out, laugh your butt off, admire my Yuna costume (but not my Yuna-moves, those are bad), and then click on those five happy thumbs-up icons in the corner.

You know you wanna.
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
Postspam ftw!

So about, oh, 10 minutes ago I finished my STA Travel 193 Karaoke entry. It's currently exporting from iMovie '08 (*cringe* I can explain!) into a format that everyone and their dog can view-- in other words, a format I can upload to the contest website before it closes/changes tomorrow night. It needs to be under 40 MB though... which is the hard part.

My whole plan was to use iMovie (I wanted to use iMovie HD, aka '06, but for some reason it wouldn't detect my built-in iSight. I have iChat AV, no other iSight programs were open-- and when I *DID* open things like Photo Booth or iMovie '08, they detected the camera just fine. WTF?) and record myself all gussied up as Songstress Yuna singing to, what else, Jade's version of real Emotion.

I slaved for a pretty long time just to make a passable karaoke version of Jade's real Emotion ~FFX-2 Mix~. Yes, I know there's the instrumental version of Koda Kumi's ~Original Mix~, but I didn't want to sing in Japanese (too cheesy for the contest, somewhat difficult), plus the ~Original Mix~ is nearly twice as long as the ~FFX-2 Mix~ of which there is NO karaoke or instrumental version. So I made one.

Well, lamesauce was poured all over when I recorded it- I had to play the music in iTunes and use my IR remote to play it, but then capturing the video from iSight meant a delay-- plus, I had to physically CLICK using the touchpad, which meant either the music would be off-sync or there'd be a weird amount of time where I was adjusting the video. I chose the latter, since re-syncing the music would be a pain in the ass. I could just cut the video of me leaning forward to the computer anyway.

But having it play in iTunes meant my voice over the USB mic was barely audible, and the setting for "playing audio while recording," didn't work the way I expected it to, so I ended up creating and trashing a few projects that HAD to "assemble" after I realized "Oh shit, this isn't working!" So that added time. Anyway, I read the manual and figured the tip on plugging headphones in for the audio so it wouldn't interfere with the voiceover (aka my singing) would work-- and it did, but now you can hardly hear the background music, which obviously doesn't make for good karaoke.

In any case, I've tried so many different things and all the iMovies are frustrating me to the point where I'm just happy with what I've got. It'll suck if I don't win, but come on-- it's not exactly a talent contest. I'll be happy if I do, but honestly? I don't have the energy to put forth the EFFORT to make something so satisfying even I would be impressed (were I a judge giving away a 9-day trip to Japan). That's kind of sad, really...

Anyway, Mom wants to know what I want for Christmas, and after this week's brou-ha-ha, I think I'll tell her I want the one-to-one training Apple offers. I really need to learn iMovie and GarageBand. I'd RATHER learn it from a friend or something (hint hint), so...? Anyone have any experience in this area? You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours-- I'm a woman of many talents...
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
I'm looking for girls/women who have played FFX-2. As you may know, I'm doing a paper for my JOUR 371 class, "Women, Men and Media," titled Gendered Language and the Double Standard in the Final Fantasy X and X-2 Games.

I've got a lot of research so far, but I'd like the voices of some female gamers out there to help liven my presentation up a bit (and I don't mean literal voices, though if you want to submit a *.wav or *.mp3 of you SPEAKING, that's fantastic). I'd like any or all of these questions answered, if you have the time...

(1) Did you play FFX? Why or why not? If you did play it, did you finish it? Why or why not?
(2) Why did you play FFX-2?
(3) Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

Thank you....
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So I'm considering entering this karaoke contest (and tell me if I've already mentioned this), but the track in question (real Emotion, the English game version) doesn't have a karaoke/instrumental track-- that I know of. (If anyone knows if there IS a version, let me know!) Koda Kumi never released an instrumental/karaoke of the ~FFX-2 Mix~ of the song, which would have been the one we heard in-game, versus the ~Original Mix~ which is significantly longer.

Now, if I planned on singing the Japanese track of the ~Original Mix~ we'd be all set, but I don't want to-- the song I know best is the English version from the game, meaning shorter and in another language, without the additional verse and chorus.

So what I'm doing is using GarageBand to suppress the vocals on Jade's FFX-2 Mix (the English game version, in other words, but from the ILM soundtrack, so it doesn't have any of Rikku or Paine's voice overs in there) and overlap it with the Instrumental version of Koda Kumi's ~Original Mix~, cutting out the portion that doesn't match up. So far, I've got it matched up to 1:25 or so, which is where the Instrumental Original Mix starts to have a different verse, while the FFX-2 Mix of Jade's repeats the chorus.

Now, listening to it in iTunes gives an imprecise time point when the two songs start to diverge, but in GarageBand, it's much more precise, and I can even match up where the tracks start to "look" different (you know, on the chart that measures the dB level or something? Needless to say I'm not a music OR a GarageBand person). But finding just where to cut and where to paste is a much more difficult task. Unfortunately, there's no way to overlap the tracks and simply cut the different areas, or overlap the tracks and find the vocal areas and just cut them out completely.

If anyone has...
* Another person's fan-made karaoke version of the ~FFX-2~ Mix (I suppose it won't matter if it's English or Japanese, it's just an instrumental/karaoke version of the GAME's version)
* A secret karaoke version from a CD I didn't know about
* Tips for using GarageBand
* A book that would be a good primer to GarageBand

Big kitty!

Oct. 26th, 2007 10:57 pm
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
I came back from the OS X 10.5 - Leopard release "party" a short while ago, and I have to say, if Mom hadn't convinced me NOT to buy 10.5, I'd probably be using it right now. It's not like I really have the money for it, and I know I can get it cheaper online, but after I played with it at the Apple store, I REALLY liked it. Anyone that knows Macs or has watched tech news lately probably knows about some of the more bragged-about features, but after the "list of 300" was released today and I really got to see them in action, I've made up my own list of favorites:

* Quick Look - a freaking GODSEND. Because I design webpages a lot, sometimes I have templates or half-done pages lying around my hard drive. I'd like to be able to look at those files WITHOUT having to open up a new tab in Firefox, or open up Dreamweaver. Quick Look lets me do this easily *AND* even better, I can use the iTunes-style Cover Flow in Finder to let me browse through a whole folder of HTML files quickly and easily.

* Google Maps built into Address Book - This will be immensely handy for me. I like to keep all my contacts in my Address Book for easy Syncing to my Facebook and to my phone. Now, when I have to go somewhere, a map with directions is only two clicks away.

* Dictionary with built-in Japanese <-> English support. WOW. HOLY WOW. The only thing this is lacking is support for romaji, but that's okay, because Japanese input on the Mac only takes two clicks, anyway. You type in a word either in English to translate it fully into Japanese, or you type it in Japanese to read the English meaning. I didn't test out any pronunciation or additional features, but the Dictionary's gotten a great makeover, including more dictionaries, reference materials, and WIKIPEDIA! All in one click!

* Spaces - I'm one of those people that has about 15 things going on at once; iTunes and iMovie, Firefox and Thunderbird, Dreamweaver and Photoshop... with Spaces, I can designate a Desktop for each application (or group of applications), so when I want to work on one thing, I just access that particular desktop, and there's no more clutter. This is built into the OS, but I imagine you can't overload the computer with too much, anyway. Nonetheless, I don't think I've ever had memory issues with the Mac in terms of running multiple programs (unless I was running Windows!).

I've already written an article about it which I hope'll get into the Sundial; I'm also writing one on "Dumbledore is gay!?" though I'm not 100% sure of the angle to take on it.

I managed to find (with the help of the LJ Support Staff) my Private entries, including what I started of "Sight Unseen," my [ profile] 30kisses fic for #13: excessive chain. Not sure exactly what inspired me, but it's a pretty interesting idea-- just a bit long. It might be 2-3 parts when finished. I thought I'd written something for Girls' Club (#11: gardenia), too, but all I seem to have is the planner file I made with Mamono. Anyway, re: Sight Unseen, would people like to see the short blurb I have so far, or would they rather wait until I'm done?

If you haven't answered my quick and easy poll on FFX and FFX-2, please do so now! And if you can, tell your friends and ask them to participate, too.

I really want to play a game now, so I think I'm going to turn off iTunes and try my hand at Bejeweled or Diner Dash. It's been a while since I've had "fun." If only I could get Yu-Gi-Oh! Online on the Mac... ;_; I wanna duel!
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
So with a lot of tinkering I've found a way of extracting HQ FMVs from Playstation 2 discs. Alas, I've had to go into Windows on Parallels to convert the disc's *.pss files into an *.m2v video file and a *.wav audio file. From there, I went back into OSX and used Switch to convert the *.wav into MP3, and MPEG Streamclip into an *.avi. However, to get the sound back into the movie, I had to use iMovie, adding the *.avi to the Clips pane and the sound to the Editing area. Then I saved it-- initially as an *.avi again, but for some reason the quality was totally degraded, so I changed it to a *.mov instead. *.movs are great for streaming media, but that's not the purpose of my project-- I didn't want to keep downloading FMVs for my Journalism 371 (Women, Men and Media) media deconstruction project, which is titled "Gendered Language and the Double Standard in Final Fantasy X and X-2."

Since I'll be presenting on a projection screen, I need the quality to be big enough so that people sitting 10+ feet away from the screen can see it clearly. So I want everything to be as HQ as possible-- but it's got to compress down on a DVD, because the computer set-up in the room doesn't have an audio output, and while MacBook Pros have good speakers, they're not THAT good.

Long story short, the process of cutting and editing takes a while, so I don't have as much time to focus on other aspects of the project at the same time, since I can't have two instances of iMovie doing two huge things at once. I know I have 2 GB of memory, but even I'm not that masochistic.

Therefore, I need some help. My copy of FFX was a used copy, and I'm not sure if it came with the manual or not, and I need to know what the "Story" section of the book says. Would anyone who owns the game be so kind as to transcribe that portion for me? Mind you, there's a reason why I'm specifically asking for the manual/official version, rather than what's printed in reviews at online stores, in game FAQs, and so on: I want the OFFICIAL version that was marketed toward the public. Please help!

While I'm on the subject, if you've played either FFX AND/OR FFX-2, would you mind answering a short and easy survey about the game and your impressions of it? THANK YOU!
[Poll #1077157]

If you have any commentary on any of the questions OR on some of the following thoughts, please be sure to comment!
ETA:* If you played both games, but liked one more than the other, why did you like the one that you preferred more? If there were particular elements added or removed to the other game that made you like it less, would having them added or removed to the other game improve it, or no? Why?
* Do you think either of the games are sexist in any way?
* Do you think either one of the games are more targeted toward male gamers, or female gamers?
* Why do you like one game more than the other? (Please indicate if you've played one or both of the games if you answer this question)
* When did you get one/either of the games? Right when it was released, or some time after? How long? Why?
* What did you think of the marketing (commercials, print advertising, reviews) for one/both of the games? What did they emphasize, and what did they neglect to mention (if anything)?
* Do you think the main characters (Yuna, Tidus) of each game fit into any particular stereotypes? Which ones? Why do you think that?
* What makes a video game (in general) appealing to you? Has playing (or not playing) either (or both) FFX and FFX-2 changed your opinion at all?
* Have you played any Final Fantasy games prior to FFX or FFX-2? Do you still play them?
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
Next week, my proposal for my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) class's "Media Deconstruction Project" is due. Originally, I wanted to do something with Internet/Technology, but at the last moment on the sign-up day, I changed my mind and went for video games. Two things in particular stuck in my head:

* Remember the GameGirl? That hideous pink-and-purple version of the GameBoy way back when? Obviously trying to pull that kind of thing now would cause a huge backlash... right? Would it cause the same issue if a "targeted toward girls" game came out? I doubt it.

* Final Fantasy X vs. Final Fantasy X-2. I remember asking a lot of my fellow gamer friends (guys and girls alike) which one they liked better; a lot of guys preferred X, while many girls I asked preferred X-2. Of course, there were always exceptions, or "well, I liked THIS game for THIS, but THAT game for THAT...."

It's ironic, too, because I remember when the game was about to debut, people assumed X-2 would be a big hit with the guys because... well, basically for all the fanservice. But instead, a lot of the guys I remember speaking to disliked the whole "dress-up" concept and the LACK of a linear gameplay.

Speaking for myself personally, I like X-2 a lot more because it's got Yuna breaking out of stereotypes. At the same time though, she's just conforming to gender stereotypes: she's got the need to be sexy, loved, and so on. She wants to prove she's more than just a summoner, more than the namesake of Yunalesca, etc. But she proves she's pretty weak emotionally: unprepared for living a real teenage life, essentially. But is it teenage, or teenage GIRL? The whole story revolves around her chasing after the possibility of Tidus being alive again, somehow, somewhere. There's certainly a point to be made in the fact that she KEEPS GOING even when she finds out Shuyin =/= Tidus, though.

Anyway, to the point:
(1) If you played either FFX or FFX-2 (or both), what did you think of the games? Why?

(2) Who were your favorite characters from either game? Why? If your character reappeared in FFX-2 and you played it, did you still like that character in FFX-2? Why or why not?

(3) Do you think FFX and FFX-2 are examples of how gender plays a role in the video game industry-- in terms of stereotypes, whether in-game (Yuna's personality, the dressphere system, etc.) or out-game (who the game is targeted toward).

(4) Can you think of any other examples of "gender stereotyping" in the video game industry, specifically relating to language (whether verbal or non-verbal)? For example, does the back of a game you own describe the female character as a "heroine"? Do you find that most female characters in games you own/play/have seen are healer/mage-types, rather than fighters?

(5) Any other comments?

More notes: I thought about comparing the intros to both FFX and FFX-2. In FFX, you've got Tidus raring up for the Blitzball game, cheered on by thousands of fans, adored... and in FFX-2, you've got Yuna dressed all sexy, dancing provocatively... it's only a few minutes into the game (and not technically part of the intro) that you realize that dancing!Yuna is not Yuna at all, and the real, ass-kicking Yuna shows up. In FFX, you've got this hero who is, from the start, an ass-kicker. But in FFX-2, the first image you have of "Yuna" is of a "hero" gone "pop star." She's not out there saving the world anymore, she's out there gaining fans. But even in FFX, Yuna was this pretty demure character-- unlike the real star/lead of the game, Tidus, who is boisterous, loud, etc. It's almost a double-standard. I say "almost," because it's revealed that Yuna really IS off doing her own thing (the whole sphere journey started out for herself, not as a desire to save the world again), and she IS pretty uppity in many ways. But two years and everything she went through doesn't change her COMPLETELY. She's still an emotional, very feminine representation throughout the games, compared to Rikku, who's the more tomboyish, bubbly girl, and Paine, who is pretty much the Auron + Lulu hybrid of FFX-2.

Are those good scenes to compare and examine? Or can you think of any others, even if they're from other games? (obviously, FMVs are best to work with, here).
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
Okay, so I'm a stickler for perfection in some things. Namely, my video games. So when I lost my only PS2 memory card, I decided not to try and play all those game hours all over again-- not when I'd worked so hard to get where I'd gotten only to lose it in an instant. So I got the MaxDrive and some save files, which gave me a good start into where I'd already been in FFX and FFX-2, with a bunch of pretty good accessories on the side. A pretty good trade-off, considering I still had a lot more work to do.

So I play (FFX-2, in this case) and play, and I notice, one of the GGs that hasn't carried over from the New Game Plus (which is what the MaxDrive save file was) is The End garment grid, which is one I've always wanted. So I start oversouling all the fiends I can, and lo and behold I get SOOOO CLOSE...! Anyway, I'm trying to get one called the Quadricorn now, a Ruminant-class that's normally pretty easy to find and beat.

My BradyGames guide says it can be found on the Mi'ihen Highroad, Dry Plains (which are... where?), the Moonflow, Mt. Gagazet, and Bevelle "Towers" (aka Via Infinitio, but anyone who's played the game would know that Via Infinitio is NOT a tower; it goes UNDERGROUND, like Via Purifico did in the last game. It's a dungeon, NOT a tower; the "last mission" in IL+M is a tower, but VI is *NOT*) 1-3. So of course I went to Bevelle first, but for some lame reason, Quadricorns there are always paired with Nashorns, another Ruminant-class fiend. And the whole thing with Oversouling in FFX-2 is that if you defeat X monsters of Y class, the next monster of Y class -regardless of whether it's the same type of monster you've been defeating- you encounter will Oversoul.

Example: It takes 12 Ruminants to Oversoul. If you beat 6 Quadricorns and 6 Nashorns, it's the same as defeating 12 of each, 11 of 1 and 1 of the other... you get the idea. And regardless of whether you encounter a Quadricorn or a Nashorn next, it'll oversoul. Problem? If they both show up at the same time, as in Bevelle, it's RANDOM which one will Oversoul. But the both times I did it, it was always the Nashorn who oversouled, so I tried finding some areas where the Quadricorn might be on its own, or at least with some other non-Ruminant-type fiends.

NO FREAKING LUCK. Everywhere it says Quadricorns are supposed to be, I keep running into Balihvaras, another Ruminant-type that has four horns (like the Quadricorn), but it's NOT the Quadricorn, and thus is USELESS to me for completing Shinra's bestiary and getting The End GG! >_

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
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)
I can play FFX and FFX-2 over and over, read plenty of summaries, go through the Ultimania guides, and check out countless websites, but plenty of things will keep confusing me. Right now, the one that's got my brain in a knot is the concept of the fayth.

Cut for Final Fantasy X and X-2 stuff )

These are just some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind in the past couple of days while playing FFX... if anyone can answer them, or point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. Now, back to the game, because my teeth hurt and I have no life.
azurite: (yuna berserker)
(1) Went to Jon's, the local marketplace that's a knockoff of Von's (which is the SoCal equivalent of Safeway). Grandpa and I bought so many fruits, it's amazing we don't make a salad. But I took a peach, a few strawberries, and some blueberries and put them in my Cream of Wheat. It tasted DELICIOUS! I think that's one of the few ways I ever get my daily serving of fruit.

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

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

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

And now I think I'll start the cookies and finish off my Oversoul list in FFX-2. Huzzah!
azurite: (isis midol)
I think I just threw up a pill. For the first time in... god knows how long, actually. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of swallowing pills. I don't know why, exactly, but I hated the idea of something WHOLE and not chewed up or liquid going down my pipes. One time I was horribly sick with a fever, and the only remedy was in pill form. Dad had to SIT on me (keep in mind, he's 140+ lbs. and I've always been a feather-weight) and pour grape juice down my throat while he kept the pill in my mouth with his finger (and I hate grape juice now, too, in case you're wondering). I don't think it worked, but Dad refused to let me out of my room unless I took the pill. So I took the juice, the pill, and stared at myself in the mirror until I could swallow it. And I did, and ever since then, it hasn't been such a big deal.

Admittedly, I'm taking more meds lately-- but only 2 are pills, and one is so small, I hardly ever notice it. The other one... well, it's no horse pill, but it's no cute Flinstones vitamin, either. And I usually take a handful of water (as in, I cup my hands under the faucet and drink) and knock back whatever I need to. No big deal, right?

Except tonight, I was sitting here reading email when I felt this choking sensation, like the pill hadn't gone down all the way, and where it had gotten to -midway through my esophagus, if that- wasn't a good spot. It felt like the pill exploded, and the powder got all over my throat, and it STUNG like hell. So I tried to wash the feeling away with water, but after just a few sips, I kept choking until I threw up.

... :( Great. It still burns, too. And this had to happen AFTER I brushed my teeth. How's that for irony?

And to top it off, when I called the Kaiser dermatology department, the doctor with my biopsy results was busy with a patient (as usual), so I couldn't get them. And even though the receptionist told me she'd have him call back, I didn't hear from him, and probably won't until Tuesday.

That's part of the growing list of mishaps to start out my summer-- this morning I went to the Saturday morning prep session for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam, only to find all of Bayramian Hall (where it was supposed to take place) LOCKED DOWN AND CLOSED. I called the campus police, talked to people in the library, looked for signs or a single open door, talked to the custodians... NOTHING. After an hour, I got fed up (along with the rest of the would-be prep people) and left. When I got home, I sent a polite-but-scathing email to the UDWPE, and they told me there was a "miscommunication" because a workshop (which is what I called it a few times) is not the same as a "prep session," and had I/we (meaning the other people that had shown up and waited just like me-- and there were a fair number of us) signed up in the office (instead of over the phone, as I did, relying on the office's oh-so-kind receptionist), we would have seen the appropriate date, time, and location. I don't know if that means the prep session DID take place someplace else, but I was pretty much relying on what I'd been told BY the people staging the whole event. I woke up extra early for it, too. And since I wasn't the only one to have made that mistake AND the campus police said they had NO record whatsoever of anything starting at 9:30am *OR* being called an "Upper Division Writing" anything, I don't think I was at fault in the slightest.

The UDWPE lady who got back to me said she'd forward my message to the people at the Learning Resource Center, who are the ones that actually stage the prep sessions, and they'll see (if I call on Tuesday) if next week prior to the exam (on one of the twice-weekly workshop days) I can get some quick preparation for the exam before it actually happens next Saturday. So yay, but blech.

Onto another subject... I've been working on WikiFic lately, but my desire to add infoboxes required the Parser Function extension, which I had to find the backdated version of for MediaWiki 1.6 (which I have to run, because my Surpass server won't upgrade to PHP 5), BUT the extension may be conflicting with the Cite extension, which means... I may never get it to work. Anyway, WikiFic's down at the moment. I apologize for any inconvenience... but then again, I feel like I'm the only one who ever writes articles there, anyway. Sometimes activity from anyone BUT me seems so scant... but then, it's not like I can do a whole lot about it NOW anyway!

* Got a bit of a haircut. It's now all nice and even-length.
* Room's still a huge mess. Haven't gotten my replacement bookcase yet. I need a huge bag... and possibly a taller file cabinet. Does it count as organized when all you do is shove your mess into pretty boxes?
* Beat the Ruin Depths in FFX-2 (of course). I have to go back to Oversoul a few more fiends, but I think I have only around 20 left before I complete the list and *FINALLY* get "THE END" garment grid. I also want to swing back to Mt. Gagazet and see if that statue really does end up as Yuna... what's weird is, I swore the statue ended up as Kimahri, since you see that whole scene and everything, but then I got lost on Gagazet and found the artisan still hard at work! Go figure. So that plus Sphere Break and Publicity, and then this game'll be SET and MATCH!
azurite: (yuna's memory)
Via Infinito, COMPLETE! (Well, I didn't get an Episode Complete, for some reason, but who cares, I'm working off a 100% New Game Plus anyway! THRILLS!)

*does happy Songstress Yuna dance*
azurite: (azureshipping - seto x anzu)
My right eye hurts (good god I hope I don't have another eye infection. The last thing I need is to miss school/work from being legitimately sick), but AT LAST! I am done... not with WDKY25, sadly, but with my Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon VHS/DVD Inventory. It's as done as it's going to get-- I couldn't find images for 10 volumes of VHS tapes (mostly the Edited versions) in the Sailor Moon SuperS series, and I have yet to add images for the boxed sets for S and SuperS, or the "Dream Set" for the movies. And I wanted to edit the info so that the "volumes" also mentioned which episodes were on which volume, because there's almost always a difference from VHS to DVD.

Maybe I'll get around to posting the new page up on Epiphany/Mare Serenitatis whenever I get around to working on that again. :P

I didn't get to go shoe shopping with Adrianna today. ;_; She never called. I wanted to call her early this afternoon, but to my dismay, I discovered I didn't have her phone number! I swore I did before, so something must have happened and I deleted it. :( Alas, no double-points at DSW for me.

I did go out to dinner at Mimi's Cafe with Baba, Grandpa, Elliot, and Erin. The service wasn't all that great, but the food (Jumbo Spinach Tortellini with artichoke hearts) was pretty tasty. Elliot and I had fun trying to remember the 14 Leadership Traits. Apparently there's an acronym for it I never learned in ROTC: JJ DID TIE BUCKLE. See if you can figure out the Leadership Traits from that (no Googling, now!).

Also, I spent a while listening to [ profile] akavertigo's awesome awesome ideas for "Reconstruction." I tell you, it shall be a KILLER story! I can't wait to actually read all of it. When all of it gets written. :D

AND I got up to the Watchtowers in Bevelle in my new FFX-2 game... damn watchtowers NEVER rotate the way the guide says they should! I must have done this at least a hundred times, but I can never get the platforms to go the way I need them to! And the dumb guidebook "names" the towers, instead of using the Glyphs to identify them, which would be LOADS easier. Can anyone help? I already have 3 Ribbons, but... I WANT ANOTHER ONE! :P

For the record: LJ Phoenix gives me a RealBasic NilObjectException error that prevents me from opening the program 5/6 of the time. I'm pretty much back to using the Web Update form of LJ because the error annoys me so much. *sigh* To find a client that does what I want *AND* works on a Mac... why can't someone just make Semagic for the Mac!? >_> Or maybe I should download it for the Windows VM and try and force myself to use it more often (lately I only use it for "The Ultimate Guide to Sphere Break"), so I don't become such a bitch about Windows (which I have been, lately. But seriously, Apple's commercials trump Microsoft's new "WOW" Vista CMs ANY DAY OF THE WEEK).

So I think I'll go to bed now and pray my eye doesn't become some sort of snot ball in the night.

P.S. Today Daylight Savings Time starts. Did you set your clocks forward? (Except you Arizona-people. Weirdoes.)


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

FFX always has me asking questions )

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

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

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

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

Anyway, I ended up taking a nap accidentally earlier, so I woke up because I couldn't sleep anymore. Now I've been awake for about 3 hours, but I'm tired again-- I guess it's a good thing, because hopefully I'll be able to sleep through the night and have a normal day tomorrow without messing up my schedule. I'm not TOTALLY motivated to do anything, but there are things I do want to do-- outside of playing more video games, of course. ^_~


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

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

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

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

I suppose I should check the LJ Portal to see if anyone's got an upcoming birthday, because I might just be tempted to send a present...
azurite: (yuna will fly)
You know, many nursery rhymes are really morbid. 'Ring around the Rosy' really described the Black Plague, and I heard that the 12 Days of Christmas was a day of reminding people about Christ symbolism in a time when certain denominations of Christianity were persecuted. And then there's the not-so-innocent 'It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring, he bumped his head and went to bed and didn't wake up in the morning...'

But yes, it is pouring here, and even though I'm hungry (had nothing but an apple cream danish, Coke, and some caramel popcorn for breakfast), I don't want to go outside. I took a shower this morning and had some issues with my razor (I really need to buy more bandages), and as a result, I stumbled out of the shower thinking it was 9:50 when it was really only 9:40. Today the basic and advanced classes combined (in other words, the basic class got to sleep in, and the advanced class was supposed to wake up early) to watch Water Boys- a decidedly good movie that was funny, touching, and all-around a great watch.

Long story short, I thought I was late so I grabbed little food, forgot my boots for the rain, and ended up getting soaked when I found out I DID have time and I went to the campus conbini to get some snacks for the movie. My feet are still wet (Converse SUCK for the rain. I need new boots, but the question is, where to get them???).

At least Mom said she's sending me some non-perishables (though I should have mentioned my need for Mac and Cheese, biscuits and artichokes), and I have a Costco Japan delivery of canned Coke and bagels coming my way tomorrow morning.

I finished getting my phone set up (teh yay!), but Internet won't be hooked up until the 13th or so, when I'm supposed to get my modem and router in the mail. In the meantime, there is the International Center, and I abused the extra time I have today (nothing to do until 6th period, when I have EC here at the university) by looking up things to do on Sunday- Mike (yes, Cooper) will be here in Japan for the next week or so with his brother Dave (YAY!), so we're going to try and hang out. He's staying in Nagoya, which is about 2 hours SW of Tokyo, so rather than me meet him there, we decided on a half-way point: Akihabara. With Mike's help, I found a few Jewish delis, and there's apparently one in Akasaka (note: NOT Asakusa!) near the Tameikesannou Station. With my tutor's help, I even got a Google Map of the area, so I know where to walk from the station to get there.

And tomorrow -if it's not pouring- there's a huge fireworks competition in Tsuchihara. The exchange students are all planning to meet up at 4pm at Akatsuka station so we can go together; I want to figure out how to take better pictures of fireworks.

I've been playing FFX-2 ILM (as previously mentioned) in the meantime, and I desperately wanted the rare and legendary Enterprise/Break HP limit accessory that you can only get by pushing an elusive and cracktastic Tobli into the Celsius' cabin-level elevator. Thankfully I got Johnfred (another CSUN exchange student) to do it for me -using only the analog stick!- so I owe him 2 dinners (I figure pizza at Mito Eki will do. It's really delicious there, and I'm all for any excuse going back) for that. Now if only I can get him to play the Gunner's Gauntlet for me! I've beaten on my own before, but it takes a long time before I get into it enough -most of the time, it's just frustrating. You need 500 points in 7 minutes ALL by getting ammo, shooting high-level (and therefore powerful) fiends, and NOT by breaking your chain by getting attacked and losing HP. Or worse, running out of time. It's a pain in the ass!

I detest the mini-games and sub-missions in this game, especially since I'm lacking a decent English translation for the most basic of things. I can't do any of the PR/Marriage missions; I can't understand what the Ronsos on Gagazet say, it's hard finding out from what people in Guadosalam say where the Leblanc Syndicate is (to get the uniforms; I already got one from the Mushroom Rock/Djose Road, but what about the other 2?), and I may have missed some critical percentage points by not finding Maechen at the Youth League HQ when I was there in Chapter 1. Ugh, I knew I was sacrificing the Perfect Ending/100% by getting Tobli into the elevator, but I'm missing basic stuff, here! Quick, tell me where else I need to go and what to do -I can't go to any game sites to get FAQs! I think no matter what, I'll just do the most necessary things here to get as much percentage as possible, and then just New Game Plus for everything else- done THE RIGHT way.

And now, something I've always wondered about FFX-2: When Leblanc swiped Yuna's songstress DS, it had Lenne's dress and memories in it -but Yuna's appearance. Perhaps Yuna was the first to find the sphere and therefore 'mark' it (since Lenne had it herself, or since it was recorded/imprinted by Lenne, even accidentally), but I never understood how Leblanc was able to make herself look like SUMMONER Yuna and THEN transform into Songstress Yuna. Spheres in general really confuse me.
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma, I wish I were Ranma!

In other news, apparently WaMu is charging me $6 for an international withdrawl of my money, when previously, it was an 85 cent fee per foreign transaction. I think I'll call them on their collect line to find out what's up with that. I also noticed that the Sheer Cover foundation I got charged for on 9/6 (which I didn't get before I left on the 10th) has been partially refunded- who knows why. I never got an August shipment, and was going to cancel Sheer Cover after said shipment was paid for and arrived... I don't know if the one that I was charged for in September was simply the delayed August shipment, or an early September shipment, or what. Unlike Cosmetique, I can't login to the Sheer Cover home page and look at my account status. I don't think they even have that option, even if I did have my account number with me. So basically, they charged me for something I never got, refunded part of it (probably the same shipment, less shipping and handling), and... yeah.

I need to get back to my dorms to take a shower and eat some lunch before EC during 4th period... and then again at 6th period, both here at the university. I'd also like to get Tobli into the freakin' elevator (yes, I'm playing FFX-2 I+LM), and apparently that involves mashing him into the wall and dragging him to the elevator. I already have 2 save files set up because I know that getting the Enterprise accessory messes with the 100% completion, so in the other save file, I will do the Chapter 1 Moonflow mission (and thereby open up the possibility of getting the Key to Success in Chapter 5, so long as I don't do the Ch 3 Gagazet mission; trying to do any of the missions involving TALKING TO PEOPLE is so freakin' hard in Japanese! If I had my English guide, I'd at least know what NUMBER option to pick, even if the answers themselves are completely unreadable to me)!

azurite: (indiana ed (fma))
[ profile] ceruleansan, I hope you know this is ALL YOUR FAULT. YOU STARTED IT!
And if I get plotbunnied and start writing Fullmetal Alchemist fanfiction, I KNOW WHO I'M COMING AFTER TO BETA MY FICS! *angry stare*

Yeah, so I've kind of gotten, er... well, let's use a light form of "obsessed," shall we? Interested in the FMA series. CeruleanSan had me downloading scanlations from StopTazmo, and I've managed to get up to Chapter 20 or thereabouts. She wanted a new convert to the whole Ed x Winry pairing, and I'm so far inclined to agree with her-- a bit. There really isn't a whole ton of romance or innuendo, or backstory beyond how Ed and Al got to where they are.

I admit- parts of the manga are extremely funny, but I don't think ANY manga has ever had me crying so much within a few chapters. Yu-Gi-Oh only brought me to tears when I realized IT WAS OVER, not at any point during the first arc. Even Sailormoon, with the DEATH! and the TRAGIC!OMG etc... even in the live-action, it was always toward the END that I was sobbing like a baby. And okay, FMA didn't have me sobbing like a baby, but the sad parts (people getting murdered, kittens being dead, etc.) had me sniffling and wishing I could click away-- but I couldn't. :P

So I download about 3 chapters at a time while doing something else online. I read them all once they've finished downloading, and once I get 700 MB worth (which may take awhile; I've got something like 97 MB now, and that's *20* chapters!), I'll burn it to CD.

Sucky thing is that the quality really went down around Ch. 18. I don't mean the manga or even the scans- just the translating. All of a sudden, words were horribly misspelled, apostrophes and commas were left out, and chapter titles weren't translated at all anymore. Some omake bits and cover scans were left out altogether! It was kinda sad. If anyone knows where the HQ scans are, I'll wait longer-- just so I can read scanlations in REAL English, not that kindergarten crap that passes for English these days. (I like "Engrish," but there's no humor in stuff that's halfway between Engrish and English. It's called LAZINESS.)

UGH! One more week until I get paid, two more weeks until "finals" (I actually don't have finals for all of my classes. I do have tons of WORK to get done, especially by the end of this week, so I better get cracking.), and three weeks until FANIME! I still haven't reserved a shuttle to the airport and back again though, and Mom hasn't paid me or covered any portion of the hotel room yet. I should call her about that (well, she DID offer! It'll shave some off the money she still owes me, at any rate). At least I'll have April's paycheck (or will it be May's?) to cover Fanime and the like, and I'll be making MORE money in the summer, assuming I get more hours (which I hope I do).

Ooh, and for Mother's Day weekend, I'm going to San Diego on the choo-choo! :D I'm going to make Scott's mom a card, because even if I don't see her, she's been way nice to me. I know I'm going to see Scott at least on Friday night/Saturday morning, so he can pass the card on. I think I'll be at Joyce's for Sunday, but I don't know what exactly we're doing. (I hope Joyce wins her court case today against the insurance guys, because it'd be sucky for her and Baba to try and celebrate Mother's Day if she DIDN'T win.)

More FFX-2 and Da Vinci Code Quest schtuff )

Meme ga aru! )

Ugh, still need a new LJ layout (got sick of the Lisa Frank kitties). DAMN YOU MUSE! Where ARE you!?
azurite: (yuna berserker)
Subject line's answer: pill selling.
For all the hint sites and answer blogs out there, if you can't do Sudoku, you can't get through the Symbol challenges for the Da Vinci Code quest. If you can't do shape rearrangement, you won't survive the Geography, Curator, or Restoration challenges. Today's challenge was the latter, and it certainly lived up to its name of being challenging! I tried to work my way in from the outside, using the "tumbleweeds" that only had one connecting partner. The trick to getting through the Restoration challenges is to click on all of the "tumbleweeds" and see where they would go if you click on one. You can click on L, and see R, but if you click on R, you might see L lit up-- and whichever one you actually "decide" on (by clicking again), it changes the direction of how the shape moves. You have to be aware of that.

My challenge kept leaving me with 4-5 shapes, two on the far right that were too far apart, and a pyramid-shape of 3-4 more on the left, too closely packed to match up. But I worked with that right side until I got those two stubborn ones to go away, and YATTA! I got it! :D Only four more days left now... *excited*

I seem to be in a gaming mood lately. I was playing FFX-2 last night and this morning before Yu-Gi-Oh!, and I managed to get up to Level 60 of Via Infinitio without realizing it. I've decided it's a pain in the neck trying to beat the Concherer/Maester Mika fiend by itself; its Gunk attack kills all my MP, and its Megaton Press kills my girls completely. I've tried the Gunner strategy, the Dark Knight strategy, and plenty of others... useless. Better to get it to Oversoul, when it doesn't do those attacks at all, and becomes more Spellcaster. Problem is, there are only two Hermit-types in the whole game-- the other one being Shell Shocker. According to all the guides I've found, Shell Shocker is found on Level 27-29 of Via Infinitio, and on the "Dry Plains," which I've come to find means the Moonflow's North Bank. In both places, I only encountered Shell Shockers a few (like, 3) times, and Oversouls are usually AT LEAST 10 times per type. I already tried just running around in the hopes of getting a Shell Shocker, but alas! No luck. I have two options:
(1) Keep fighting on the Moonflow/Via Infinitio 27-29 until I get enough Shell Shockers to oversoul
(2) Fight Concherer as-is, and wait until I encounter it again as a regular monster on the lower levels. Either way, it'll have to Oversoul eventually.

I'd like to level up more somewhere (?) but I still need to catch Chocobos (access the Chocobo Dungeon and the Mi'ihen Highroad Dungeon), avoid fighting Ultima/Omega Weapons (they're already Oversouled, and I don't want to have to fight them again until I get to Paragon. Paragon's supposed to be easier when Oversouled), and STILL get enough Oversouls for Concherer (only 7!? Wow.)... and Chac if I can, while I'm at it. So, where to go?

Zanarkand for Basilisk-types for Chac (10)
Moonflow North Banks for Concherer (7)
Thunder Plains (etc.) for Chocobo



May. 1st, 2006 12:26 pm
azurite: (aries)
Baba says I'm supposed to have a "five-check day" (meaning the best day the horoscope doles out) today, and be inspired. The school horoscope told me to watch my finances and consider more education. The horoscope told me that I'll get a romantic proposition that I just can turn down.

I think I'm placing too much stock in horoscopes. I love them to death, but yeesh! Is it bad when I wake up in the morning feeling like I'm going to be busy, stressed, and generally batty, and my horoscopes are BETTER than what I'm expecting?

Also, a rant. )

The whole FFX universe still confuses me. When I first joined [ profile] fanthropology, I posted what I thought was the history of the FFX universe. It didn't really belong there, but Fanthropology is a mixed-bag sort of fan community. In any case, no one really corrected me on much, and now I find out new things all the time. [ profile] new_spira was advertising today, and I went to their journal and the Wikipedia entry on Yevon, and I was like... wha? I think I need to replay FFX (well, actually, BEAT it. I never did, even though I know what happens at the end) and finish FFX-2 again.

I feel kind of stupid for thinking that Yevon was affiliated with Bevelle originally, not Zanarkand. But I'm pretty sure I'm right in that Bevelle and Zanarkand didn't have their final standoff in the Calm Lands; that was Sin and the Summoners.

Other stuff. Why is it that I can feel tired, tell myself "I'll go to bed soon" and then five minutes turn into two hours, and I'm still awake at 2am? It's bad, bad, bad I say! I never did watch my new purchase (the Indiana Jones trilogy) yesterday; I spent most of the night finishing up my translations of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles new songs, "IT'S" by Kinya, and "Kazemachi Jet" by Maaya Sakamoto. I transliterated AND translated the lyrics, listened to the songs OVER AND OVER to pull the kanji pronunciations from the lyrics... and I finally got it done. They're up for review at, and will hopefully be used by #yugioh! for their subs of the series.

People are visiting-- actually Dan (uncle) visited yesterday, and my aunt Joyce is here with her husband today; hopefully they're going to settle the ongoing dispute with their insurance company re: the San Diego fires that destroyed their home a few years back. I don't mind Joyce and her husband so much; I don't even mind the annoyance that is their dog, Mokie. But Dan kind of got on my nerves when he insisted that Grandpa didn't need a laptop, that he WOULDN'T carry it around from room to room, and that
a) laptops break more often (not true)
b) they're more expensive (true)
c) there isn't really a necessity for it (not true... necessarily)

Regardless of what, I'm planning on getting a laptop before I leave for Japan. Grandpa can get the computer I'm on refurbished with a new monitor or whatever, or he can get a new computer altogether. Whatever he wants. All I know is, I need enough time to clear my stuff off, because I refuse to be away from my email/fanfics/websites for 6 months. :P

Ooh, and guess what? I came up with a new name for my multi-fandom archive. I can start working on it tomorrow (or tonight, if we miraculously get out early and I don't haul myself to bed early like I should). The name... pure irony, right there.

Epiphany. Hee!
azurite: (yuna's memory)
Weird as I am, one of my pet projects has been to get all of the freakin' tracks for FFX-2 there ever has been or will be. And I'm actually just about finished.

The following albums all have some part in the great big mess that is FFX-2's musical compendium:

Final Fantasy X-2 Single (3 tracks)
Includes piano/instrumental versions of the opening theme Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~, Besaid, and Yuna's Ballad.
Composers: Noriko Matsueda and Takahito Eguchi

Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack (2 discs; 61 tracks)
Composers: Noriko Matsueda and Takahito Eguchi

real Emotion / 1000 words (Final Fantasy X-2 single; 4 tracks)
Includes the FFX-2 mixes of both real Emotion and 1000 words, and their instrumental counterparts.
Artist: Koda Kumi

Come with Me (Koda Kumi single; 6 tracks)
Includes the "official" English versions of Koda Kumi's real Emotion and 1000 words, as sung by Koda Kumi herself. These tracks were never used in the game, though, and are longer than the FFX-2 Mixes from the real Emotion / 1000 words single. Also includes a DJ MSK remix of real Emotion and a DJ 19 remix of 1000 words.
Artist: Koda Kumi

Final Fantasy X-2: International + Last Mission (10 tracks)
Includes the amazingly-hard-to-find "clean" versions of Jade of Sweetbox's FFX-2 Mixes of real Emotion and 1000 words, from her "Adagio" album, released in 2004. Also has some tracks exclusive to the Last Mission portion of the game, released only in Japan. Since the International version of the game included the 2 musical tracks redone in English by Jade, it only makes sense that the International soundtrack would include those songs. Too bad that unlike FFX, there was no English soundtrack that included these songs! (as far as I know, anyway.) DOES NOT INCLUDE THE ~ORIGINAL MIXES~ from the real Emotion / 1000 words English single!

Final Fantasy Vocal Collections (3 discs; 12 tracks total)
Yuna, Paine, and Rikku each had their own "theme" songs, along with a special image song that you may or may not have heard in the game (if you listened closely). Instrumental tracks are also included.

real Emotion + 1000 words (English; 5 [3] tracks)
Jade of Sweetbox also released a single that was meant to be concurrently released with the English version of the game. This single includes the English ~Orchestral Mix~ of 1000 words, [the English ~FFX-2~ Mixes of both 1000 words and real Emotion?] and the ~Original Mixes~ of both 1000 words and real Emotion.
** I'm not entirely convinced this exists. If not, the ~Original Mix~ full-length tracks of Jade's 1000 words and real Emotion ARE on her album "Adagio." The ~Orchestral Mix~ probably came from the International + Last Mission OST, else someone did a very good game rip.

Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collection (12 tracks)
Includes the special piano arrangements of songs that previously did not have piano versions, and few that did.
Composers: Noriko Matsueda and Takahito Eguchi

What can I do for you? )

Did I forget anything? Please let me know! I will also share these files if people request, though the albums should be fairly easy to find/buy. I'll gladly help with the singles though, since I know those are harder to hunt down. I will only distribute through email or a private site though...
azurite: (yuna summons)
Happy Birthday ceruleansan, mischiefmagnet and missandrony!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gotta go! (P.S. What's up with this new "Current Location:" thing in LJ? I use Semagic, and the client hasn't updated for this field, and there's no news or FAQ announcements about it... help?)
azurite: (lois & clark)
Okay, so I'm pretty exhausted, as I usually am on Monday nights, and I've neglected to workout for at least 3 days straight now... bad Mer! But all the looking up of Via Infinito strategies had me playing FFX-2 as soon as I got home. I wanted to test out the Berserker combo [ profile] mklutz told me about, but alas! None of my girls had Berserker mastered, so now I've got Paine with an AP Egg and Invincible trying to get the 400 AP needed to learn Evade & Counter. I've gotten up to Level 40 in Via Infinitio, and tried the following strategies against the Black Elemental, to no avail:
* Yuna's Floral Fallal; Great Whirl + Mirror Petals
* Dark Knight's Charon
What I really need to do is level everyone up more... which means skipping the Great Cloister transport and just going back through the Cloisters, ONE BY ONE. Everyone's around Level 60-62 at the moment, and I need everyone to master their Dresspheres so they can have the abilities (or Auto-Abilities) to stand up to all the insanity. I wish there was a GG or DS with the Auto-Reflect ability, but alas, the only thing that does that is the Star Bracer. If I have that equipped on a girl using the Supreme Light GG, she can use White Magic to cast Reflect on others, to try and rebound Flare. It doesn't work against Ultima (unfortunately), and so far, the Black Elemental has cast Ultima TWICE in the very beginning of the battle. ;_; I'm not sure how to better equip everyone DS/GG/Accessory-wise, because I have many choices... there's the tried-and-true Catnip+Speed Bracer strategy. There's the possibility for a Mascot or an Alchemist boosting a Dark Knight or Berserker into Break HP/Damage Limit areas... if only Paine (equipped with Invincible) could stay alive long enough to attack!

In any case, I can't remember how I leveled up to 99 before. I should probably level up A LOT MORE before trying to beat the rest of Via Infinitio, but if I don't level up in the dungeon itself, where should I level up? I should probably find out where all the remaining monsters to be oversouled can be found, and do it that way. Plus I can always send Chocobos out and try to get more treasure/that special GG.

I mentioned Scott, Baba, and Grandpa got me a new digital camera, right? Well, so I took some pictures today, and I was going to take one of my friend (?) Adrianna, who always gives me a ride home on Mondays, but it said "Out of memory!" I was all O_O; But I bought a 512 MB chip! I worried that maybe I'd had too many pictures set on 16:9 HDTV mode, and they were taking up a ginormous amount of space. So I waited to get home to try and clear them off the machine when I figured out that the reason why it said my Memory was full was NOT because the PSP chip wasn't compatible, but that it wasn't inserted all the way! :D I also just managed to clear the images off (FINALLY) after importing them about 3 times, because they were read-only for some reason, and changing the attributes in Windows didn't work. So I had to do it through the camera itself, connecting and disconnecting it until I deleted them all.

But now everything works, so yay! :D Later on, I'll resize and post some of the pictures. ^^
azurite: (yuna's memory)
I do not like Jim Cramer. I just felt like saying "Boo-yah" because there are only 18 days left till my 21st birthday! WHOO! And I'll be in Hawaii sipping Mai Tais~

At the behest of many people, I shall also be starting on "Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice" soon. It'll start out kind of dark (because it has to), but trust me, it'll get steamy/sexy/sensual enough to "keep your attention." I hope. *impish smile* As I said in my last post, I did work on WDKY24. Alas, it's coming along slower than I intended, if only because I keep thinking I'm writing very dryly, "telling" and not "showing." There are parts when I honestly think it needs to be more emotionally-driven, perhaps with dialogue, and yet I can't think of the right words to say. This is a long chapter already, too: I haven't finished it, and it's already 114KB! Mostly, I have left to write the final duel scene, the conclusion of the chapter (with teasers for the Next Big Arc, coming in Ch. 26), and some bits of Anubis' past, which I hope won't be too confusing/historically inaccurate.

Last night I got up to Cloister 30 in Via Infinitio, and all the Elder Drakes ramming themselves into the walls (migraine, much?) keep scaring me off. I just run past them, avoiding the fight... even though I need to fight one of them to get them into Shinra's Bestiary, and even if it means "fighting" them and running away X amount of times until they oversoul, I still have to face them. ;_; But they SCARE me! Isn't that stupid? I have a bunch of monsters I have yet to oversoul, and the sucky part is, I can't do it without getting all the way through Via Infinitio. That's the only way to get 100% in the game: beat Trema and Paragon. But the reward for doing so is The End garment grid, which lets you Break Damage Limit... which I totally need. Obviously, the problem is, I'd like to Break Damage Limit BEFORE I have to face those guys... otherwise it'll just be me going back and forth, saving and praying I don't get pwned by a Mega Tonberry or whatnot. I need to know what GGs and DSes to equip (plus accessories) so I can level up faster (they're all at 58-60 now) and be confident enough to take some more fiends on. It's been a while since I've played though, but being so close to the ending, I really want to beat the game at 100%! I hate how all the guides make it seem so easy to beat Via Infinitio, though! :P
azurite: (yuna summons)
Well, what a weekend. Short, but nice.

^^ Scott, Baba and Grandpa all chipped in to get me a wonderful, simple-to-use digital camera for my birthday! It's a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S600. I had to buy a Targus camera case (a little big... but it was only $20. The sad part is, I can't fit any of the manuals in there!) and an additional 512MB memory card (Sony Memory Chip Pro Duo Or Duo Pro or something. Same thing that goes in PSPs), but other than that, TEH YAY! I already took some pictures, so later on, I'll upload them to my LJ Scrapbook.

I got the latter two things at Fry's-- my first adventure there. I was sorely tempted (for whatever bizarre reason) to buy Zack that gift certificate I "mentioned" (note: did not PROMISE) if he gave me a ride home every Friday for the rest of the semester. But you know what? Why should I? I mean, yeah, his birthday was March 6th or whatever, but I've hardly known him for 3 mos., and I'm a broke college student. He's making tons more money than me, and pulling more hours, too! And for all the times he's been nice/sweet/thoughtful/remotely attractive, he's also been teasing, rude, hurtful, and a general jerk. And he DID say that if I needed rides home on Fridays for the rest of the semester, I "don't even have to ask." He'll assume I do, unless I tell him otherwise. And he didn't insist or even mention that I might need to pay him back, or reimburse him for the gas somehow.

So that's that. (If he strangely gets ME a birthday present, I might consider getting him something later on. Call it fair play.)

I also got the movie "Maverick" (ah, the days when Mel Gibson ACTED!), some candy (all gone now. Note to self: never mix Skittles smoothie flavors), and a Netgear Wireless Adapter USB card... which I've already plugged in and is working fine. YAY! Soon, I'll be able to move/trash this desk downstairs in the rec room and move the computer up to my room... where it SHOULD be. :P I might have to do that with Scott after Passover though, just because everyone "needing" to use the computer (and considering I've paid for so much to fix/maintain this computer, it's just as much mine as Grandpa's. And if we switch to Roadrunner Broadband, I could pay Grandpa for Net access, and then it essentially WOULD be my computer) would whine about it.

What else? Skinny-dipped for the first time. *laughs* Don't tell, okay? Hey, I didn't have a swimsuit! I woke up early both yesterday and today, and today we walked Scott's parents' dog, Chica, around the hill where they live. They also have a blind-as-a-bat cat, Molly, a cancer kitty, who meowed plaintively this morning while Scott and I were in bed. ^^; For an old kitty, she sure manages to be loud!

I've also gotten a bit inspired for more of WDKY and its sequels (FINALLY!). I can't spoil anything for CO7 or ED, but for WDKY:
Implicit Promise: Life is change. Téa and Seto will somehow find romance despite all the obstacles that their complex lives throw in their path. They will both learn, live, love, and grow-- and change in the process, for better or for worse.
Protagonists: Téa, mainly, but also Seto, and occasionally Mokuba, Joey, and Yugi.
Point-of-View Character: Almost always Téa, even though the story is written from the 3rd-person omniscient perspective. This allows me to switch gears and get into other characters' heads, and reveal events that Téa and the the others wouldn't know about.
Climax: Coming soon. I mean it this time. :D (And you thought the PAST chapters were climatic! BWAHAHHA!)

Finally, I BEAT THE DEN OF WOE! I brought FFX-2 to work the other night, and just before we were supposed to leave, I managed to beat Nooj (pain in the ass that he is) with a team of Mascot, Gun Mage, and Alchemist. Yuna and Rikku both died several times, due to their low HP (around level 56 for everyone), but I had Rikku (once she was alive) mix up a Supreme Gem with a Blessed Gem, and BAAAAAAAAMMO! This nifty Mix called a Sunburst, which got Nooj for over 8100 damage! :D Fine, so I didn't get any of the cool Blue Bullets, but whatever. That's what New Game++ is for! Anyway, I'm FINALLY at 98%, so I go to look up 100% Completion Guides, just to make sure I don't screw anything up.

And then I stumble on this whole thing about FFVII and FFX being connected?! WHAR!? But the theories and evidence are actually quite cool. I feel kind of lame for not having seen it before, but then, I never did finish playing FFVII. I'll probably be more into it if/when they release the remake for PS2/PS3, with better graphics. I hated the so-called 3-D chunk graphics in FFVII. ;_;

So anyway, I got to have some more fun with the game later tonight. I took a nap earlier after I helped the guys (that is, Ryan, Scott, Jeff, and John) clean the house, so I'm kind of wired. I also had a Snapple on the too-too crowded train, and I'm glad to be able to bounce around and not bump into people or stumble off to the side.

Ah, to be home! And it's almost April/Spring Break/time to find out about Japan! EEEEEEK!
azurite: (hero. summoner. doormat.)
More Crack, plz!

My day in a nutshell (perhaps almond):

* Japanese test was relatively easy, methinks...
* On 11/15, I'll get excused from class and the teacher rearranged the test day so I (and several classmates) can go to a JET Programme seminar on campus
* Creative Writing was cool, but Prof. Lopez just stands there and pretends to listen to us when we discuss someone's work in workshop; we went through critique fairly fast, and he kept insisting that we had yet to cover these areas... that we had already talked about. Grr!
* Grandpa was pissy because I got out a half hour early... roughly the same time he and Baba had just gotten home from their swimming, which is at my school... Heh!
* The cleaning lady finally showed up again today, so I took my afternoon nap in the Creepy Doll Room.
* I woke up on time to play some FFX-2 (beat Angra Mainyu, got the Mascot dressphere, opened the Den of Woe), but Nooj pwned me in the Den, so I have to go back. I'd also like the second chance to learn all the Blue Bullets I can from Baralai and Gippal (Drill Shot & Mortar, respectively).
* Watched Alias. MEH. It's actually getting kind of lame, and frankly, I don't think The Body is anyone we'll care about. It's probably a new character or a bad guy (Rambaldi!?) and not (as fangirls like myself would love to think) Vaughn. (Maybe it's Vaughn's dad?)
* Got more ideas for [ profile] 30kisses. Here they are, roughly organized by theme:

  • #1 - disunity - Years after Atemu has gone on to the afterlife and the Millennium Items lost, pieces of the puzzle begin to show up in the lives of those once joined by its power...
  • #3 - jolt! - A last-minute, late-night cram session for the final test of their third year in high school yields some interesting results when JOLT! cola is brought into the mix.
  • #6 - the space between dreams and reality - Seto Kaiba's been having some very strange dreams. When his health starts to deteriorate and he's on the verge of dying, a most unexpected vision might save him...
  • #7 - superstar - Mokuba convinces Seto to attend a festival that's in the area, and a famous hypnotist assures an enraptured audience that even Kaiba can be hypnotized. The question is, just who has control over Seto Kaiba? (for Audible Hush)
  • #9 - dash - The only reason why he's even on the track team is because he's required to have at least one sport on his transcript. Anzu Mazaki being a bouncy, attractive cheerleader on the side of every meet has absolutely NOTHING to do with it... right?
  • #11 - gardenia - Anzu is conspiculously missing from a reunion between old friends, and Kaiba seeks out the answers himself. What Anzu's up to surprises everyone, but the bigger surprise comes from the WHY she's there... (working on it now!)
  • #15 - perfect blue - Everyone at Domino High in their 3rd year takes a school trip to Atami. Strangely enough, the "gang of friends" doesn't seem to be milking their little vacation for all it's worth, and Kaiba notices Anzu acting strange and wandering off alone. When he dares to follow her, he discovers a secret unlike anything anyone's ever known.
  • #17 - kilohertz - Anzu's determined to make her way into a top-notch performing arts school, but first she has to audition her way in! If that means learning a few more trades, then so be it! Anzu decides to try out for Domino High's radio station "school superstar!" contest-- but what kind of tunes will she belt out?
  • #19 - red - They're on the run from the latest enemy, and this time, no amount of dueling or trash talking can save them. These enemies want a virgin sacrifice-- and unfortunately, Seto Kaiba fits the bill. (Dark humor)
  • #22 - cradle - Some people think different things about 'family', 'home', and 'parents.' But where two definitions intertwine, heated debates (and possibly more) are sure to follow, especially when Anzu reveals a family secret that affects Seto Kaiba's impressions of her quite deeply.

Got my first hand therapy appointment tomorrow, plus my mythology midterm. Then at last, I can enjoy my weekend! And maybe beat FFX-2 for the second time. :P Oh yeah, like my new icon? It's a bit lame in terms of transitioning and color, but... meh!
azurite: Part of the "What Doesn't Kill You" series of fanfic icons (wdky (general))
Happy 2nd Birthday, WDKY!!!!

;_; I can't believe I forgot. It was on October 9th (9 days ago) and I forgot! Maybe I can cut myself some slack because of all the insanity going on lately, but really, it's died down since I sliced my fingers. And inspiration has been coming in a slow, but steady trickle. I should thank my lucky stars.

Well, since I didn't post in time for WDKY's 2nd anniversary (I'm still in a state of shock. I've been committed to this fic longer than I've been in a committed relationship. WTF!?), I'll post WDKY19 no later than Seto's birthday, on October 25th. Bwahahah!

I got my stitches out... it didn't hurt, as everyone insisted. I have a hand therapy appointment on Friday at 10am, and then my Mythology midterm at 12pm. An essay for the same midterm will be due on Monday, so it looks like I'll have a full weekend.

I don't even know when I'm going to tutor Leo (and his little sister, Caren) again, but yesterday's session was fun and good. Leo drew a picture of me in rainbow colors, and Caren took quite a shining to me (she called me "Onee-chan") and even gave me a Sailormoon fan! :D Whee, one more fan for my collection!

I've started cleaning my room, too, but alas! It seems as though I never have enough closet space. And to think, I left dresses and coats in San Francisco. -_-;

Speaking of SF, remember my DDR fic "Goodbye, Hello, Who Are You?" That's the one I submitted for Creative Writing (even though technically it was against the "rules" to submit something that wasn't written for class)... and even more surprising, despite the length (25 pages for a short story) and the font size (9 pt), people LIKED it. The concrit I got was great, and for revision, I plan on condensing it, fleshing out the characters, and figuring out where the heck I want to go with everything (Akio possessing Alexa's body, Alexa's hesitant relationship with Matt -gag!- and everything else inbetween). I have to admit, it's always a bad idea to write fanfic or stories adapted from real life stories that are too personal/close to you, because when you re-read them in the future, you'll remember things, good or bad.

I read about Whitney and the other "NPCs" in the story, and I think about how I don't talk to Will anymore; I hardly see Amber, and any friendship I had with Benji has dissolved. The story is nice only in that it captures what was once, but what can never be again. It also captures that horribly embarrassing, ridiculously stupid crush I had on Mike. -_-; Worse, anyone that's read it can tell, because even if you didn't know me back in high school or the things I babbled on about (my first LJ post was after the Mike drama; I have older entries from FreeOpenDiary and Greymatter on my comp, but I've never got around to backdating them. Anyone care?), some things are just obvious. People in my critique workshop could tell "I" was Alexa. :P

Tomorrow I have my bulk of classes, including the usual Japanese (need to do Listening Comp. Blah), Mythology (prep for test!), Visual Communications (I might have to leave early for a leadership institute meeting. One of the groups is doing a presentation tomorrow though, and that might be the basis for what my group -the Cultural perspective/World Wide Web- does at the end of November, for our presentation. Argh! It's not like I paid for the workshop or anything, but it WOULD be taking up an hour of time after VComm class ends (it goes from 3-5; I'm supposed to be in VComm from 2-4) and it MIGHT just help out the Anime Club meetings... even if few people seem to care.), and Journalism. For the latter, I should be getting my Study Abroad rec. back from Professor Salido. I hope she said good things... >_>! Plus Story #3 is due, so I have to get to work on that tonight.

And then there's FFX-2. I'm at 96% and holding, and that remaining 4% might come from the random Episode Completes I didn't remember the last time around. I have several more zones to go to, plus Chocobos to send out, credits to trade in... ^_^v It's all about getting the Perfect Ending! :P

I've also got to make more icons, because the bulk of my icons are Yu-Gi-Oh (see my userpics page), when I have interests in so many other areas.

I need to catch up on journals, memes, contests (something tells me I neglected to post something for [ profile] ygo_offtopicon, [ profile] 30kisses and [ profile] ygo_lyricwheel... Catch ya on the flip side!

azurite: (I used to be indecisive...)
I am the Queen of Procrastination. Me and Atlantis have something in common: we're experts at busying ourselves with the things that need to get done, but could have been done later, and thus, we're the best at making to-do lists and never really getting around to doing them. ^^; I keep telling myself I'll clean my room, because the piles everywhere (clothes, books, papers) are getting a bit much-- even for my big, nice room that I have here! But during the week I feel like I never have enough time, and during the weekend, time just flies by when I try to relax and have fun!

I know I spend way too much time playing FFX-2. ;_; On the bright side, it inspired me to work on my Japanese (finished assignments for today and Tuesday) and my Visual Communications magazine cover. Yes, it's FFX-2 related. So basically I have to think of an interesting magazine cover layout that fits my FFX-2 theme... so I chose "Luca" as a destination. I grabbed a screenshot from FFX, and I'm trying to balance it out on either side with pictures of some big characters that I'd do "stories" on. That is: Yuna, Rikku, Paine, Brother, and Buddy (the Gullwings); Gippal, Baralai, Nooj, and Leblanc.

I was also thinking about having a "story" on Lenne and Shuyin, Maechen, and the return of Tidus (and something big to go with him, like he joins the newSpira -my magazine name. Isn't it kitschy!?- staff as a blitzball statistician, or for an exclusive interview about how he plans to rock the world of Blitzball once more. I was even tinkering with the idea of the Gullwings vs. the Aurochs in Blitzball-- whose side will Tidus take!? It's either that or "The Rumors Aren't True: Why The Gullwings AREN'T Disbanding". Any other ideas? What do you think?

I've managed to get the game up to 96%, and even though I just started Chapter 5, I have the New Game Plus option. I'll need to do another game just so I ensure that I get the Perfect Ending plus all the good accessories that you can only get through failed missions (Enterprise if you fail the 1st Moonflow mission; Key to Success if you get all the Moonflow missions, but you fail the Mt. Gagazet youth uprising mission). Geez, how lame it is not to be able to get those unless you screw over Spira in some way. And there's also the Japanese I+LM game...

Anyway, I think the remaining 4% will come from the Den of Woe (3%) and... uh, a random 1% that I haven't determined just yet. I already know I missed out on 0.2% (possibly; assuming I didn't get it my last go-around) by not watching the Calm Lands Chocobo Ranch CommSphere scene; it's either that or (I THINK) the Mascot Dressphere. I totally plan on getting it this time around! :O! As for The End garment grid, I really don't think there's any way I can possibly oversoul all the monsters just yet. I haven't caught that many chocobos, and you have to send chocobos to get things and to discover places... and I haven't done it! I hate the way the Brady Games guide is arranged... it explains why whenever I play a game, I always end up printing loads of stuff from online.

The weather here is finally turning sour: I'm hearing thunder rumbles outside, and this morning I helped Baba and Grandpa clean out the gutters in case of rain. We got a light drizzle, but it might start getting heavy again... Yeaaa... /sarcasm

I've also taken up meditation... and the purchasing of 2 meditation books at Border's on Thursday also led me to a job! When I was poking around for a specific meditation book, I ran into this Japanese family: a boy, a girl, and their mom. The girl had on a cool Pretty Cure shirt, so I told her it was pretty cool. Her mom was surprised I spoke Japanese, and after a brief conversation in English, we parted. After I bought my things downstairs, the mom came up to me and asked if I wanted to tutor her son in English! I got her phone number, called her back this afternoon, and I'm going over to her house tomorrow! It's near school. I told Dad and Grandpa about it, and they both think I should charge $20/hr. O_O I mean, I'm good in English, but... geez, I can't see myself charging that much. Even if it's not an every day for six hours kind of thing, that would mean I'd be making more money than my parents (I think!). So what do you think I should charge? The kid is 5 years old and in kindergarten. What should I teach? How should I teach it? (Surprisingly, his mom said he's not into manga or games. I wonder if that's because he can't read yet, or because he's just not one of those nerds like me! :P)

Aaand with Scott, my uncle Fred has possibly hooked him up with two backup plans, if Nova falls through (or he just wants something to do in San Diego after he graduates): (1) Apply as a stock photographer for this group that travels around the world 10+ mos out of the year. Sounds exciting, though Scott's more of a person-photographer than a thing-photographer. But it came highly recommended and hush-hush from Fred, so... I hope if he applies (and doesn't get Nova), he'd get this job, because it sounds fun. Sad thing would be, at least with Nova, I would know where he is and how to get ahold of him; with this, there's hardly a chance of that. With (2), it's a similar kind of stock photography job, but working for my uncle specifically, and during the months when Scott would be in SD, presumably waiting to go to Japan for Nova. January-April, I think.

As for me and him, well, like I said: we're not exactly in a relationship, but we still love each other. And he's said it, and made it clear (finally!) exactly what he meant. I don't need to tell him that I still love him, though admittedly, my feelings have changed. We can hang out like normal people/friends, and even sleep together without having sex. That's saying something, IMHO, just because people, given the opportunity to have sex usually will. It's not a matter of choice, it's a matter of your brain switching off and your genitals switching on. That's it.

*yawn* In any case, I better get to sleep soon. Damn Squatter Monkeys.


Oct. 14th, 2005 03:57 pm
azurite: (All Spice Seto)
zOMG I got Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission today... and given that you shouldn't start Last Mission without a completed FFX-2 save (and it can't be US, it has to be either Japanese or Japanese INT.), I started a new Japanese FFX-2 International file. Dialogue and such is in English, but MAN is it hard trying to do anything else! So far, I can read "potion", "dressphere", and "result plate", and that's about it. I don't even know what Ether is called! I did manage to get the Festival-goer (Omatsuri-something-or-other) dressphere though, which makes battles loads easier; Yuna just blows everything up with fireworks.

In order to get the Psychiccer dressphere, I have to battle in Shinra's new Battle Cup system, using fiends captured or sampled by the Creature Create system... all new to I+LM. I know you can "capture" really amazing character (Tidus, Auron, etc.) and from screenshots I've seen, you can swap them INTO your party, and their stats can be amazing! >_> I still don't understand how you can Break HP limit and Break Damage Limit outside of battle though... I mean, don't you need some special grid for that? (The End?)

I'm definitely going to be consulting a lot of guides for this. I still want to get 100% complete on the US game though, so I'm still playing that.

I also got Persona 2: Eternal Punishment today... whee, and it's everything I remembered and more! I actually opened my old save and I had NO frackin' clue what I was doing or where I was. Something about a Secret Casino. Methinks I'll probably start a new file for that one too, just to refresh my memory. I do remember this, though: Katsuya x Maya forever! :P

More good news: I am not going to spend all my days parked in front of this computer or the PS2. Matter of fact, I plan on taking a quick nap and then cleaning my room. After anime club, more sleep, then lather, rinse, repeat-- clean again! I have tons to do and a deadline to get it all done by.

Speaking of deadlines and other journalism-y stuff, I was on my way up to the 4th floor of the library to go to my locker, and these two guys were talking behind me on the escalator. One said "I bet she's a journalism major," but I didn't know who they were talking about. Then they actually said "Hey" to me, and asked if I was a journalism major. So I said yes, and asked them how the guy who asked knew, and he just smiled this weird way and said he guessed.

*blink* I didn't recognize either guy, but maybe one of them was in my class? I dunno. The two of them were laughing about it after I got off the escalator. o_O

Oooh, and more on the FFX-2 note... so we finally got our assignment in Visual Communications the other day, to design this magazine cover, right? We'll have to explain why we chose the things/style we did... and I got SO inspired just as Prof. Blumenkrantz was talking about it! *grin grin* I don't want to spoil my idea lest someone somehow steal it, but it IS related to FFX-2, and it WILL be good! Bwahaha!

My hand has actually been kind of hurting lately... not really serious ow! pain, but kind of that numb, hard feeling (if that makes any sense). I'm getting my stitches out on the 18th, thankfully, and Grandpa assures me that a) it won't hurt and b) my hand functions WILL return to normal.

I also went back to Red Robin and talked to Francis, the GM. He said that they have to train people to become trainers to train NEW people (like me), so I should come back in 2-3 weeks after they've likely sent people to the trainer's conference and tested them and all. I guess that's good... I can wait. Besides, Francis told me that I'm a very energetic, memorable person and that I'd be a great addition to the team. I'm hoping he remembers that and feels the same way in 2-3 weeks.

Also, I think I've made up my mind as to what I want to be for Halloween. More of a cosplay than a Halloween costume, actually... how about Téa, ala [ profile] atlantian_magic's "Once Upon A Halloween" fic. All I need is a handsome prince, a cute puppy, and Tinkerbell along for the ride. Hey, -[ profile] cutieme4u, what's up for Halloween, anyhow?
azurite: (yuna wasted)
It twists, it turns, it goes every which way... add in the details, fill in the blanks, tell me what I got wrong!

It's FFX!

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away... )

x-posted to [ profile] fanthropology
azurite: (yuna wasted)
Okay, so I'm stepping up my process for going to Japan again, be it through study abroad, internship, or post-graduation, as a career to teach English. I have to admit, with Scott having interviewed for NOVA (and possibly GEOS or ECC coming up in the future), I kind of lost my thunder and mojo for the job that had been my dream for a while.

I still really want to go back to Japan, I'd love to interact with people, immerse myself in the culture, and even live there for a while... my desire to be an International/Foriegn Affairs journalist is still strong, so I'm going to go for it!

I have Takase-sensei my Study Abroad recommendation form today; she should have enough time to get to know me and fill it out (it's a short form) by Thanksgiving. I'm also going to give one form to Professor Salido, since she's already known me a year, and I need a letter from a teacher in my major. If worse comes to worse, I can also try asking Professor Blumenkrantz, the VComm teacher who likes to pick on me :P

There's a Study Abroad Fair today at school; I picked up some info on the JET Programme. The Japanese director/coordinator here at CSUN happens to be a JET interviewer and a professor I will likely have next semester for my minor/Japanese courses. So I'm getting prepared now! JET recommends taking the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foriegn Language) test, and they do have courses here at CSUN taught by Oxford Seminars (and others in the area, I'm sure), but the cost is a whopping $800! You can get minor discounts if you register early, but the next week-long session coming up is in January, and I don't know when I'll be getting my second financial aid check (though it WOULD be able to cover the cost of said course). Does anyone know about any cheaper certification courses for the TEFL? On that note, how long does certification last? Should I not bother getting it now?

Professor B also passed along some info from the State Department about internships... how cool, working for the CIA! :O Or something like that, anyway. I had to email myself the PDFs though; they're over 40 pages long!

I have to get going to Mythology class now... we have a quiz. Hopefully when that's over I can come back here to the library, catch up on my driver's ed, do some VComm reading, get some lunch, and head to my next class at 2pm... I still have to figure out if I'll be missing some VComm or canceling the workshops I registered for a while back, for the Leadership Institute. Same goes for my WRP2 class... I'd only miss an hour of both classes at most, but still, I only have those classes once a week... >_>

I'd also like to mention that the story of FFX/X-2 is melting my brain. I'm confused about how Sin appeared, what Yevon has to do with anything, who picks the Guardian that becomes the sacrifice that becomes the big bad, what summoners actually do... and all this jazz. I think I'll post a what-I-know story over to [ profile] fanthropology later on today.
azurite: (anzu & kaiba play the bondage game)
Well, I never thought *I* would be doling out sex advice to anyone. But there's a first time for everything I guess, and in retrospect, it made me laugh.

I took my Japanese Lesson 4 test today; not bad, but the fact that I cut off circulation to my fingers (accidentally, mind you) had be feeling a bit weird about writing. I still haven't turned in my Reading and Writing for Lesson 4; I wonder if she'll still accept it? >_> Probably not, considering we get our grades tomorrow... Ugh.

NO ONE (not a single person) has gone to [ profile] betasquad and said A THING about WDKY19. With WDKY, I'm very apprehensive about posting without a beta; even moreso for this chapter. Volunteers? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? (Old jokes die hard.)

Scott got back from San Francisco; he supposedly had a good interview and a decent grammar test, so I'm hoping he did well and will get the job. At least, I think that's what I'm thinking. I'm not really sure... see, we don't have an established "relationship" of sorts. It's not exactly platonic, but... Well, let me put it this way: I don't always think of him, I don't always define myself or the things I want to do/places I want to go with him, and I don't always feel some obsessive compulsive need to call him, hear from him, or see him every day. But occasionally, I do wonder.

And while it's nice to know that he really respects and admires me (and "loves" me in that weird way of his), I don't know if that's what I want, or if I can even GET what I want. Imagining scenarios in my head again will only lead to heartbreak, so I'm trying not to. But no matter what happens, he'll be leaving somewhere, at some time, and then what? Argh!

My Horoscope for today: A long-term period of great big dreams has fallen upon us all. In your case, the matter involves relationships, and in particular, on deciding whether a certain platonic or business attachment should stay that way.

Yeah, like that makes me feel any better.

Ooh, pretty meme with decent questions! )

On the bright side, I did win both eBay auctions for Persona 2: Eternal Punishment and FFX-2: International + Last Mission. Part of me wishes I could see the original Japanese FMV, where Yuna actually turned INTO Lenne, and she sang 1000 Words solo, but! alas, that's Japanese version only. I wonder if some site has it online... I spent much of yesterday hunting around various FAQs sites looking for all the extra data I need to make this New Game + worth it... and that includes getting all the garment grids I can possibly get (I sided with the Youth League again... geez, the attitude of the Yevonites mekes me sick!). So I'm trying to get The End by oversouling all the monsters I can. I have a checklist, and so far, I've encountered all but 3 of the monsters that CAN be oversouled (non-oversoulable monsters don't appear on Shinra's Bestiary list, right?), and I have maybe 20 or so that NEED to be oversouled.

Too bad it's not by Enemy Type... because I have to face Concherer again (evil ugly tongue thing) in Via Infinito. Which means not only do I have to face whatever type Concherer is until I face him/her/it, but when I do face Concherer, s/he/it has to oversoul... which may or may not make it harder to beat. Concherer is a pain in the ass, if you recall my previous entries on the subject.

Anyway, I'm still at 94% complete in Chapter 2... I think that remaining 6% comes from the Den of Woe, correct me if I'm wrong... >_> I also have to get moving on the Publicity and Matchmaking Campaigns. I always forget about those. Publicity: score = 40, Level = 1 - Matchmaking: score = 16, Level = 1.

Because I'm a nice girl, I'll put this freakishly obvious HPB/Harry Potter 6 spoiler behind a cut )

Yu-Gi-Oh fans, go check out [ profile] playthedamncard, because someone posted a mini-drama of the Prince of Tennis' Inui (same VA as Kaiba) interviewing TeniPuri's Ryuzaki (a girl with a crush on PoT main character Echizen).. anyway, "Inui" says that when he takes off his glasses (which he doesn't even do in front of his parents) he becomes... Kaiba-shachou! Complete with maniacal laugh. It's great.

On Madonna and angry rabbis: Some rabbis are upset because Madonna's next album features a song called "Issac," which is (supposedly) about a 16th century rabbi. It's against Jewish law to profit off the name of a holy rabbi. Madonna, like many other celebrities, is a practicioner of Kabbalah, a sort of sub-set of Judiasm that's branched off into a whole new sect of its own. It's become a bit glorfied, if you ask me, but I'm sure there are still devoted, true believers out there.

Personally, I think the rabbis are on the wrong. They think that Madonna should be expelled from the community and that she will suffer divine retribution. I think if Madonna felt the need to write the song in the first place, she could say her inspiration came from God, and therefore he wouldn't punish her for telling Issac's story/singing about him. Also, all artists in general have their own beliefs, and they express it in different ways. Did anyone rag on Da Vinci for painting Jesus? (Maybe...) But still, why should someone be expelled from a religious community for expressing their beliefs through their art? How many other people do you know would even want to inform the masses about Issac, anyway? I haven't heard the song though, so who knows?

On Yu-Gi-Oh, paganism, and satanism: It's an anime!!! (I'm tempted to throw "chrissake" and "Geez" out there repeatedly, knowing full well what they mean) I wish people didn't get so worked up over named like "Sorcerer of the Doomed" or the shape of the Seal of Orichalchos (which changed from the original Japanese, mind you!). Kids that get into dueling (and older fans, including myself), regardless of their religion, are not TEH EBIL!

Check it out:
A forum post on XeroCreative (makers of Yu-Gi-Oh Virtual Desktop)

The latter page infuriates me, not just as an ardent fan of the show and anime in general, but a pagan. I hate people who identify paganism as the worship of false idols or false gods. That definition comes from YOUR dictionary, not mine, BUSTER! And who's to say your gods are any truer or better than mine!? I have friends that are very religious or very unreligious, and while I love a good debate, if they say something that doesn't sit well with me and it DOES NOT require my commentary, I will withhold it. Religion does not have to interfere with friendship, having fun, or watching anime. -_-;

Anyway, I've been neglecting Driver's Ed, so I'm going to work on that for the next 50 minutes or so, until I have to go to Mythology. Quiz 2 tomorrow, which means I have lots of reading and note-taking to catch up on. No gym for me today; I think I'll try and see Marta in the Studies Abroad department, and then walk home. X_X It's going to be got though, so that means I'll need to take off my sweater... And...

I'm not wearing a bra. Ooh, I'm a rebel!

I feel...

Oct. 8th, 2005 03:30 pm
azurite: (yuna wasted)
I returned the Crossover cable to Best Buy; no hassle. There was a $5 difference between it and my new blue PS2 controller. :D The whole store was so noisy though, because they had some girl named Sabrina there from Radio Disney. All these screaming tweenyboppers. X_X Gah, I'm glad I don't work at Best Buy. Their poor employees didn't even get ear plugs!

Okay, so I got the Crystal Chip firmware working. Dave set it to boot automatically; all I have to do is press the reset button. Simple enough. :) I already played DDR 3rd Mix (ow...), but 5th Mix doesn't work; I guess the CD it's on is too scratched up. But I can try to do a disc-to-disc copy and see if that works. I tried the reset thing with Persona 2, but it gives me a disc read error (not even a "insert a Playstation or Playstation 2 format disc" error).

...And even though the 5th Mix CD takes up 380+ MB of space, my Explorer can't see anything on it (thus, nothing to copy to another disc), unless there's something I don't know about burning games...?

I'm crossing my fingers that I'll win the Persona 2 auction on eBay, but I'd also like to get FFX-2: International/Last Mission. I think I know the game well enough to be able to read the menus (plus I know 'Hai' and 'Iie' in kanji...) but the whole point of buying I+LM is LM... which is entirely in Japanese. Does anyone know of where there's a Last Mission translation? And supposedly if you beat FFX-2 (J) or FFX-2 International, when you play LM and get to the top of The Tower, you get a special ending. Anyone know where that's hosted? I've already seen the "perfect" ending of FFX-2, but not this LM one.

Oh, and is there any released artwork for YRP in their new dress sphere outfits, Psychiccer and Festival-goer?

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