azurite: (sailormoon - crescent wand look)
So tomorrow is the official release date of the new version of the Sailor Moon manga in English, and the first time Sailor V has been translated in any official capacity. Because I'm a late-pre-orderer, I'm getting mine tomorrow, rather than having gotten it already, the way some lucky cats (*koff*Brad*koff*) have.

What I've read of Brad's tweets (he's [ profile] moonkittynet if you didn't know) so far makes me nervous. You could say I'm "living nervously," which is apparently going to become the next big Sailor Moon in-joke, and I've been abusing it so throughly today without even having read the first volume of the re-translated Sailor Moon manga where is appears, I should be probably be fined (or, you know, rewarded by Luna, since "living nervously" is apparently a good thing in her eyes).

Anyway, Kodansha has done what I personally consider to be a good job with translating their own titles in the past, but everyone has their own standards of what makes for a good transation. I watched a YouTube video recommended by Brad in his tweets, by a guy nicknamed OtaKing, who did a five-part "documentary" which was more or less a rant about how fansubbers have become cliquey, elitist, and generally lazy while bringing more awesome anime to English-speaking audiences. Like many of his other commenters, I generally agree with OtaKing's (and Brad's) perspective on translating, which surprised me a bit, since I got into learning Japanese because of my love for anime and manga, and I do understand the difficulty in translating things like Japanese's honorifics, or the politeness levels in speech. Rather than translate something that is "English" but sounds bizarre, out of place, or stilted, I think it's perfectly sensible to contextualize and make the speech fit the language. The examples OtaKing gives are sometimes extreme, and I disagree that some of the phrases he said "don't sound like English" actually do, but I guess it depends on the kinds of speech you're used to reading and hearing, which in turn has a lot to do with your education. And that's a whole other can of worms.

As for Sailor Moon, my attitude right now, before having received anything and only glanced at the few screenshots Brad posted on Twitter, is "anything's better than Mixx, right?" I'm still going to keep my original Japanese manga (or the 12-volume re-release and what little I have of the "true" original set...mine really has no value considering the stupid stuff that's been done to it over the years), but I plan on buying the complete English release.

Brad did say that Miss Dream's translations were better, and I'll frankly have to judge for myself. Not because I think Miss Dream's scanlations are bad in anyway, but that it feels awkward to have them up when Sailor Moon is finally, finally re-licensed for manga, and not just by some cute little startup that has no sense of money management (Tokyopop!) but by the American branch of the original publisher, a powerhouse of manga in Japan! I don't want even the best-intentioned of translators to screw things up for us Moonies. We all want to see a great Sailor Moon published, and here's hoping Kodansha responds to feedback when given, but we have had nearly two decades to set our standards so high. I just hope they realize that, if Miss Dream continues to translate the manga despite the licensing. After all, Alex Glover kept his translations at live until the re-release announcement, because Mixx/Tokyopop's translations just stunk that badly, long before TP went under (dare I say "got flushed?" Haha!).

Here's what I'm hoping for:
* The original names, not translated meanings like "Bunny" or dub-isms (or any other anime-isms) like Amy and Raye, no matter how close they "might" sound to the original.
* Accurate, consistent translating of everything, from minor character names to locations and attacks.
* Not a metric fuckton of translator's notes, sidebars, glossaries, or other things that aren't in the original Japanese re-release of the manga. I can understand the usual honorific chart that Kodansha puts in all of their manga lately, but Brad and OtaKing are right: the translation should read naturally in English, and honorifics interrupt that flow. You usually CAN translate them, or else adapt the speech to fit the context. Still, it is hard to explain that the way Michiru and Haruka (whom we won't meet for some volumes yet) speak to one another is very indicative of their close relationship, versus the kind of relationship Usagi and the girls have with one another, or even the relationship Usagi and Mamoru have. So...I'm actually in the middle.
* A normal, readable comic font, nothing fancy or crazy. Sure, it might be the speech of a dark villain, but if it's not readable, what the hell is the point?
* No flipping or cutting of pages. No editing of lines (drawn lines, that is) to make things "appropriate." Know your audience Kodansha: while there might be a handful of Tweens reading Sailor Moon for the first time, the vast majority of readers will be those of us that were there from (more or less) the beginning. As such, we're old enough to handle the suggestion of breasts. *shock!*

That's not too much to ask, right? What are your expectations? If you've got your hands on the manga already or will by the time you read this, what do you think?
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: (bad grammar. no cookie!)
I just finished reading "Bless Me, Ultima" the other day, and it's often reviewed and celebrated as being one of the best pieces of Chicano literature out there. So of course, the pages are liberally sprinkled with Spanish. Not all of them are translated within context, mind you-- I had to look up the meanings of many words to really understand just what it was some of the characters were saying.

Now, I know there's a difference between published literature and fanfiction, but in terms of writing in general, why is it acceptable to use foreign languages (e.g. that of a character who is speaking or thinking) in literature, but not in fanfiction? Why does the use of Japanese in an anime fanfic (assuming said fic's canon takes place in Japan... maybe Yu-Gi-Oh! or Sailor Moon, for example) make it "Fangirl Japanese?"

I understand practically every language in the world will have a number of words that don't translate perfectly to English. Even if there is a passable English equivalent, that doesn't mean it'll "sound right" in the context of a particular character speaking/thinking, or in a particular situation.

For example, it's always awkward in Sailor Moon fic when you're trying to emphasize how Usagi's English isn't so great. How can you do that where the reader will understand Usagi's struggle, but the words she says still aren't properly constructed?

I was just as guilty as the next "fangirl" of using Japanese back in the day, but I stopped after
a) I learned Japanese
b) I learned more about writing
c) I realized that most Japanese words and expressions have a perfectly good equivalent in English and, at the time, there was no plausible reason NOT to use the English equivalent

I wonder if there might be certain words that are fine to use in the original Japanese, because they don't really translate over as well as people think. I know off the top of my head that miko and kami fit the bill to me-- a "miko" isn't EXACTLY a priestess, and "kami" isn't a god-- not exactly, anyway. Plus, the honorifics don't translate over perfectly: "-san" is not = Mr. or Ms., "-sama" is not = Lord or Lady/Master or Mistress/etc. and many of the others (-dono, -chan, etc.) don't even have anything REMOTELY close to it in English!

So, what's your opinion? When might it be okay to use Japanese --without it being of the "fangirl" variety?

Hup hup!

Oct. 14th, 2007 09:35 pm
azurite: (csi: sara survivor)
Let's see, five or so minutes until clean-up time (or at least until Jamie is supposed to get here to help me clean up) for the NSCS Garage Sale, and we've made about $85 over the course of two days. Not too bad. The leftovers I suppose we'll give to the Goodwill, though some stuff (namely some sports cards and some manga) I think I can sell online for a decent amount. Hopefully.

Joyce also said she'll buy all the stuffed animals; she works in family law, and when kids get adopted out, they get to pick a stuffed animal, but she says "they're" (I don't know who "they" are) always running out (of stuffed animals to give away). Right now, we have about 10 left, so hopefully Joyce will be willing to fork over $20 or so for the lot, including a brand-new, super-soft dog-pillow thing.

It hasn't been bad, sitting out here pretty much all day. As per usual for me, I've been reading a lot of CSI fic (I think I've read almost everything by Mossley, at this point), chatting with Joe and Jamie when they were here (Jamie is helping me clean up before we meet Joe and the others at Starbucks for an NSLS meeting), and checking my email.

I'm applying to another internship that might meet the Journalism department's standards for credit (for a journalism internship)-- the Washington Internship Institute. Okay, it's not free, but housing is actually part of the package and I *hope* that it's a paid internship. Anyway, Prof. Shapiro (last semester's JOUR 331 - Graphics professor) agreed to write the required faculty recommendation form for me, so yay to that. :) I think it's bull that I should have to pay all these fees and deposits for things I supposedly qualify for because I'm so active in volunteering, have such a good GPA, etc. -_- Whatever happened to REWARDING the smart kids? I feel like all the good opportunities are just beyond my reach, all because of cash. Well, there's loans, fundraising, and scholarships, and I'm sure as hell not a quitter, so I'll have to look into a variety of things.

Personally, I'd like it if the Target internship could still work out somehow for Journalism credit, because not only is it local and sound fun (but also challenging), but it pays well. Plus there's a strong chance of being hired full-time after the fact, which is nothing to scoff at. Even Target needs a media/press relations department, and while I'm no PR concentration, you never know the needs of a corporation like that.

I have decided I'm going to drop Japanese as a minor, though. On the one hand, it's sad, because I've always been so dedicated to the study of Japanese language and culture, and I enjoyed it a lot when I was younger. When I got into college and DID declare it as my secondary minor, I thought of it as the thing that would set me apart from all the other Journalism majors with their required collateral fields or minors. But the classes are terribly timed, stressful... and to be honest, just thinking about it makes my chest hurt. I can't handle the professors, the workload... anything. I get this sickening guilty feeling whenever I read the [ profile] japanese community, too. I know that I said just a few paragraphs above, I'm not a quitter-- and I'm not NOW. But I was, because Japanese stressed me out that much.

Even though I look back on going to Japan as a great experience, one I learned a lot from, to be honest, I can't see myself living there anymore, like I used to. I don't think I could work at Shonen Jump or Shojo Beat as a translator; an editor, maybe (and they do need one...). And when I really look back on it, I remember the fun times with my friends, but I also remember how cold and lonely I was. I remember crying the first few days I got there, because I felt like the stupidest person there, not remembering certain things. That was especially true when I finally went to Tokyo on my own and I didn't understand what the clerk was telling me when she said Sarah Brightman had already left the store. I must have waited there for an hour, all because I forgot what the word "sakki" meant.

I don't want to feel that way again. I'd like to think that I learned from my experiences --both in class and in Japan-- and now I have a better grasp on my limitations. I know a bit more about just what defines my breaking point: at which point I get so stressed I make myself ill. I have to say, I really have been getting pretty sick over the past half-year, and if it's really all psychosomatic, I'm disappointed in myself. I'm not exactly the paragon of healthy eating and regular exercise, but it's not like I pork out in front of the TV all day with a bag of chips and guac. But stressing out does things to your insides, and I was getting pretty close to either being a hypochondriac or being genuinely ill with something like an ulcer. Scott had that, and just judging by what I heard from him, I don't want to go down that route.

I have yet to really un-declare the minor, and I'm not 100% sure of the consequences- after all, I got that Presidential Scholarship which I really never did anything with, though it saved my hide in Japan after that idiotic phone escapade. Part of me still thinks I'm more than capable of writing that book, but it's not like I ever had this great relationship with my supposed mentor, Hirota-sensei, and I hardly think I would after I un-declare the minor. That's especially true if I have to get her signature on any forms and explain just why I feel the way I do. I don't like getting emotional around professors.

Anyway, other stuff:
What's your preferred domain registrar? I've been with, and while they were good, they were too expensive. Same goes with InterNIC. I'm with Yahoo! Small Business for, and GoDaddy for, but today at the NSLS officers' meeting, Jamie told me that GoDaddy sucks and he won't have anything to do with them, directly or indirectly. I've had a great experience with them so far, despite their supposed lousy TOS and policies. Nonetheless, if I wanted to get a CSUN NSLS website that's not hosted by CSUN (because apparently that requires funding which we currently do not have), I need to find a good registrar. Suggestions are appreciated!

WDKY25 is like, seriously, almost done. Whee! I actually was working on it last night-- a storm of writing! Please let it continue...!
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I'm a bad girl. And I probably have "Junioritis" again-- the same problem I had my junior year in high school, when I cut Honors English, AP History, and Japanese, resulting in my failing all of those classes. My lousy grade in Japanese is what prevented me from getting into SFSU, which had been my dream for so long. I made up my history and English classes in summer and night school, but I learned a pretty heavy lesson that year-- it's never worth it to slack off. NEVER.

And yet, here I am doing it again, in what is supposedly my junior year of college. Well, I'm only doing it for one class (again, Japanese), and so far it's only been 2 class sessions I've missed (albeit because the class is only twice a week, that can spell doom for my understanding of the lessons). And I've BEEN spending that time trying to catch up with the work, because I hate going to class "unprepared." It's my fault for not doing my homework when it was originally due, and I can make excuses into next week, but I won't bother. I'm a known procrastinator, but for some things, doing it at the last minute just stresses me more.

Stress, for me, turns into sleepless nights, weird dreams (when I can sleep), an inability to eat/an inability to stomach what I have eaten (resulting in lousy stomachaches and an inability to WORK or do schoolwork), gray hairs, over-sweating, irritability, and bouts of crying. Sometimes I even feel violent and want to shred something into teeny bits, scream into my pillow, or slice-and-dice something. Working seems to make me MORE stressed, yet slacking off (i.e. playing video games) results in me thinking later "Why did I do that? It may have relaxed me, but now I still have loads of work to do, and less time to do it in."

It occurs to me that maybe going to Japan wasn't such a good idea. It's not solely to blame for everything that I find "wrong" with my life right now: a lack of creativity, near-constant stress (despite dropping my Pop Culture class, Journalism and Japanese still stress me out a lot), disorganization, no social OR love life to speak of, and feeling like I haven't been taking care of my grandparents as I should have. But it played a big role. I feel "stuck" in my Japanese class-- not sure what they learned in 201, feeling rushed in 202, and out of place because I haven't had Snyder as a professor before. And I could go on about why I think going to Japan RUINED my love life, but... who knows whether that wouldn't have all happened ANYWAY? And it's not like it was a bad experience-- I met some incredible people, learned a lot, and grew as a person. I don't regret going, but I do wonder if it was the best decision for me at that time.

The unexpected can always add more to your stress levels, and yesterday it turned out my grandparents had a lot of final notices and unpaid bills. Normally they keep on top of these things, but lately they've been more forgetful-- not like my Mom forgetful (she SAYS it's because she's getting old, but I know better), or like me forgetful (I forget things a lot because I do too much at once, and my brain gets overloaded). And I don't think it's like Alzheimer's forgetful, either. But that worried me, because there's only so much I *can* do for them, even if I am living here. And I want to help them, not do their work for them. I'm not supposed to act like a nursing home attendant, and I know they wouldn't want that, either. So I reordered Grandpa's checks and got him started on Online Banking so we can pay more bills online-- we already have the TV bill automated to pay every month and deduct from one of his credit cards.

Grandpa's thinking of condensing the TV, Internet, and Phone all into one via Time Warner (our current TV provider), and switching from AT&T (our phone and technically our Internet, since they bought up SBC Yahoo). I went to their 3-in-1 package website yesterday, and it looks like the grand monthly total would be around $80 for all 3 services-- but I don't know if that's just the basic minimum-- I know we have lots of TV channels Baba and Grandpa wouldn't want to lose, and I have faster-than-standard Internet, too-- or at least we PAY for faster-than-Yahoo's-standard (1313 Kbps down, 428 Kbps up, though that doesn't SEEM that fast...). That price lasts for a year before getting bumped up to the higher price, but it still would be easier on everyone to just have ONE bill that I know we can pay automatically, online. I also wonder if ordering it via the phone, I could haggle the price or contract terms down, rather than just flat-ordering it online.

Does anyone else have a similar 3-in-1 package in your area? What do you think of it?


Oct. 19th, 2006 10:22 am
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
This morning I woke up at 7:21 precisely because I thought a spider had landed on my face, and I promptly smacked myself in the eye. After I sorta-kinda woke up and searched my bed and face to find no spider guts, I went back to sleep... and apparently slept right through my alarm (or something, because it was still enabled when my roommate woke me up at 8:55, 5 minutes before I was supposed to be in class!).

Well, needless to say, I didn't make it to class on time for the quiz, and if you miss it, you miss it, tough cookies. Worse, I had to leave early because Prof. Blumenkrantz back at CSUN said that I could call him during his office hours (Wednesday, 6-7pm; that translates to Thursday, 10-11am here). So I called him as I said I would... but a) he doesn't have my file, b) he has people waiting to be advised IN PERSON... so can I call back tomorrow? At first, he said call back at 5pm his time, which is 9am MY time-- which means I have to be in class. I said that probably wasn't possible, so was 10am again fine?

...What have I gotten myself into? Blumenkrantz just said "call as close to 6 on the dot as possible" (probably because he doesn't normally have office hours on Thursday at that time, so he wants to get the hell out of school), which means I have to ask my teacher AGAIN if he'll let me leave early to call my teacher. Actually, even earlier than before, because if I have to call at 10am on the dot, I have to be BACK in my dorm room, in front of my computer when that clock changes. Is it worth it to get up an hour early just to go to class for 40 minutes? I have to let Nakagawa-sensei know SOMEHOW, though... (This is bad because I still have to turn in homework no matter what, but it's especially bad if I miss the lectures; I won't understand a lot if I just base everything from the lesson on the textbook. Asking questions and actually seeing the way sentences are constructed are the best ways to learn-- for me.)

And I have to eat SOMETHING now, because I'm both exhausted and starving.
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: (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)!



Sep. 27th, 2006 11:32 am
azurite: (mai's twilight fades)
Last time I was in Japan, it took about 3 days before it really hit me that I was even IN Japan, because for all intents and purposes, it felt like home (San Francisco); it was cold, foggy, and rainy; it was crowded, it was busy. Sure, the cars went the other way, the driver's side was on the opposite side of the car, and vehicles mostly looked like they'd been through trash compactors, but generally, it didn't feel too different. That was a nice feeling, because if I followed through on my dream of working in some magazine's Tokyo office, or maybe translating manga, then I would be 'right at home' in Japan, right? Maybe.

I think I'm doing a decent job making my dorm 'homey' and everything- I have a bit more paperwork and phone calling to be done in regards to the phone and Internet, but I should be getting it dealt with soon.

Surprisingly enough, I got a message from Scott today- apparently he's given in and joined MySpace. Not that I think MySpace is all that -I think it's more of a phasal thing most of us went through in high school- but it IS good for keeping in touch and networking. Should I be a little hurt that a) his status is 'single' and b) he has no pictures of him and me together, but several of him with his brothers, mother, sisters, and friends? Ah... I know, 2 years, several thousand miles does not a relationship make. And as horribly Harlequin romance novel as it sounds, I'll wait. I'm just not interested in meeting anyone else. The possibility hasn't even crossed my mind. I'm keeping my MySpace status as 'In a Relationship' because I hate getting propositioned by weird people on an online site, and because I don't want to meet anyone right now, or even when I get back.

So I've officially been to all of my classes so far- Japanese isn't as bad as I thought it would be, and today's class was helpful for those situations at restaurants when you want to ask for things you really take for granted in English- paying separately, breaking a large bill, or getting a dish without such-and-such. Alas, I have to remember to ask Nakagawa-sensei 'Can I ask a question in English?'

Yesterday I was in Religious Studies and Pop Culture (two separate classes, though Religious Studies DOES have a modern culture element, taught by -oh, yes, I laughed too- Yoda-sensei). Religious Studies was a bit slow, but it sounds like it'll be interesting, and I think I might be able to get some GE credit for it. Plus I do want to learn more about Buddhism than I could understand from Scott, and more about Shintoism than I know from class and mythology. Pop Culture was downright fun- we watched a portion of Akira, and a scene from a movie called 'Dragon Head' -both apocalyptic movies. The latter I'd love to see the rest of, but truthfully, Akira doesn't compel me as much. Even better, my roommate Midori is in my Pop Culture class!

Right now I just feel kind of out of it -maybe it was the 'single' bit on Scott's MySpace (even though I tell myself it's not a big deal), or the fact that I had to practice writing out his new address in Cyrillic (not my forté). In any case, I think I should buy a Coke and then head back to the dorms for a PB&J, and find out what's up with my Internet from Midori and's Jimmie Jenkins.
azurite: (dango)
Greetings from Japan (again). My 'Net in my room still isn't hooked up yet, but I did get the complicated application sent out; hopefully work won't be necessary (I think the phone jack is round), but they have yet to email me with the status of my application.

I apologize for not having any pictures or anything up yet, but I can't really MySpace, IM, Google, or much of anything on these school-networked computers, and that includes uploading things to my LJ Scrapbook. Actually what I'm considering doing is creating a new subdomain on my site that includes pictures and journal entries I've created in iWeb when I haven't had genuine Net access to update here.

On Saturday, all the exchange students went out with their tutors (3 to each person, so 8-9 people per group). We got off our bus in Ueno, then took the train to Asakusa, the historical/nostalgic suburb. We went to the famous temple with the 'Thunder Gate' that everyone sees in pictures; we got our fortunes told and then I offered a quick prayer to one of the local Daibutsu for Scott's safe trip to Turkmenistan later this week.

Then we went to have some Okonomiyaki- I got the idea when I searched for videos and I stumbled across my Ranma collection (amazingly still on my HD). I thought of Ukyou, and how I'd never tried Okonomiyaki, and an idea was born. We went to this small place (can't remember where, but it's common for there to be great shops and things down small, narrow alleys), and we had two orders- I shared a grill with my tutor Hiroyasu. The first was an okonomiyaki of my choice, with beef and lots of vegetables. It was SO delicious, and everyone was impressed with my l33t pancake-flipping skills. I can work even without an 'American' spatula! Ukyou-sama would be proud of me (if she existed)! The second okonomiyaki was one with more liquid; you're supposed to dump the semi-dry ingredients on the oiled-up grill, make it into a donut, pour the liquid in the middle, and then fold and flatten it over and over until it's all cooked. We sprinkled cheese (Parmesean or Mozarella, I think) on top and then ate it right off the grill! It was so tasty- as was the special okonomiyaki sauce (by the way, writing messages in that stuff is HARD!).

After that we headed to Kanda and then took a short shinkansen ride to Akihabara (which the locals call 'Akiba'). The original plan was to go to a maid cafe, but we got a little turned around, so we had to stop and ask for directions at an AU kddi cell phone shop. Then when we finally got to the cafe (Japanese elevators are small!), there was a 2 hour wait, so that was out. Actually, I think that was the case for everyone who tried to go to a maid cafe, except a few people got 'maid fortunes' told by maids. Still, we saw lots of maids, cat-maids, and anime cosplayers advertising their cafes.

We went to Taito Amusement Tower, where I'd been with Pop! Japan Travel the last time I came to Japan and Akiba, but this time I had much more fun-- I got a giant Toro stuffed cat from one of the UFO catchers, and he's my new bedroom mascot slash pillow. I have the matching Pez back home in Los Angeles, and Mom has his Pez buddy, Kuro the black cat. We were going to take 'purikura' (print club) pictures; at Taito, you can also cosplay before you take pictures, but there was a super-long wait for that, too. 'Dame datta!' After that we went to Try Amusement Tower, a small hole-in-the-wall game center with something like 7 stories- I think I'd been there before and thought it was dinky, but I didn't know about the upstairs! They had a floor solely dedicated to Bemani games- including DDR 9th Mix, SuperNova! Dez was right in saying that the scoring is a lot tighter. Aside from trying to find songs I liked (I guess organization bv game isn't available anymore), it was pretty fun, and my tutors all thought I was good-- of course, until a Japanese guy came along and pwned me by playing things like Maxx 3000 and so on. :P But I still had great fun, and it was only 100 yen a play!

Most everyone else then went to a discount store, but one of my tutors went with me to Animate (I wanted to go to Tora no Ana, but we were short on time). Apparently 'for ladies' is synonymous with yaoi/shonen-ai, which, as you know, I'm not into. So I guess I'll have to go to the so-called men's store for my smutty romance fix. Actually I wouldn't mind finding some plain old GEN doujinshi...

Interesting thing I found out- yaoi is not a native Japanese word. It looks and sounds like it is, but it's not, and the average Japanese will not associate it with the abbreviation which most fans know it by: 「山なし落ちなし意味なし」 or yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi - usually translated as 'no peak, no point, no meaning.' But it can be translated other ways- like 'nothing mountain, nothing needle, nothing meant.' Thus, you get YAma nashi, Ochi nashi, Imi nashi and then yaoi. They do that sort of abbreviating with other words, but not those words. The joke version of the abbreviation is 'YAmete, Oshiri ga Itai!' or 'Stop it, my ass hurts!' Both of these so-called meanings make sense, but the first one only in English, and the Japanese aren't crude enough to use the second one. The term they used at all the stores I went to was Boys' Love, which encompasses shonen-ai and male smut.

I have no clue about 'yuri' (lily) though and how that came to be associated with female smut.

And that is your Japan update for today... in a few minutes I have to meet with one of my Japanese teachers to plan for the campus open house, and what we (myself, Todd, and Daniel, all of us from CSUN) will be doing to help out.
azurite: (absolut wank)
Ugh... Just UGH! I just barely managed to get my profile on [ profile] guardian_kysra finished and turned in at 1:30 (I wish I could have done better, because there were other things I wanted to focus on. Alas, stress and a bunch of customers prevented me from saying what I wanted or getting it done on time). It was due at 1, but luckily (or unluckily?) the professor was still there, and he took it. Whether he'll actually read it and grade it, or grade me down for it being 30 minutes late is beyond me. I just want to pass the class. :P A C or better is what I need.

Then came my Japanese final, which was harder than I expected- I forgot the kanji for hospital and family, and I wasn't sure if I got the past affirmative verb copula chart filled in correctly (we had noboru, shinu, wasureru, tsukau, and one other I can't remember). There was about 7 things I think I may have missed on which disappoints me. I can make excuses -and they are legit, and you'd know if you've read any of my past FO entries- but it doesn't justify not having all this stuff done BEFORE I got sick, or before Scott and I had our "talks."

Well, tomorrow is my last final in Women Writers of Asia, and we'll have some hopefully simple IDing to do, and then a potluck-type party. I'm planning on getting some Chinese food for everyone, so I hope someone brings enough plates. Maybe if I order early, I can get the lunchtime discount? I know I should get at least one chicken, one beef, and one vegetarian dish, so I need to go home and peruse the menu and see how much this'll damage me. I already made a reservation for my shuttle to the airport on Friday and back home on Monday, so Baba and Grandpa can just give me cash for that (because they said they'd pay for it), and I can also get money by selling my English and Women Writers of Asia books back to the bookstore... I hope.

My nose is horribly congested, I sound terrible, and I admit, I'm still incredibly sad about this whole Scott thing. It's not like we'll even be able to talk much for the next three weeks, because his TEFL class starts this weekend. I told him I'd call before going to Fanime, and I will, but... well, I'm worried it'll be awkward. To be honest, even if "nothing is changing, really" in terms of the relationship (or lack thereof, or what we call it, or whatever), it still FELT like a break-up to me. And having everything I want told to me, and then stuck with a BUT... "Deep in my heart, I know that's not the path for me, and it might never be" is sort of like sticking a beautiful dagger into me and just TWISTING it. Or something. My analogies suck lately.

Everything sucks lately.

Fanime better rock or else I'll have one more reason to get drunk with Rochelle and Stephanie on Friday.

[ profile] schmollieollie, if you read this, tell Rochelle in advance so I don't have to explain all this BS to her. I just want to have fun with you guys, not keep you in the dark or recall all the pain I've been going through this week.

The Worst Weeks of Mer's Life
#5 - This week
#4 - The week where I thought I had TSS, and I couldn't eat anything but plain toasted bagels
#3 - The week Scott broke up with me the first time
#2 - The week when I got rejected from SFSU and I wasn't sure what would happen to me
#1 - The week following my sister's death

Also on the list:
-The week when Joe broke up with me
-The week when I got fired from the movie theatre
-The week when my mom was an angry, abusive bitch
-The week (and 2 years following) my dad becoming estranged the first time
-The week when Chris Garcia told Amy to tell me never to speak to him again
-The week when I found out my hard crush liked one of my best friends
And probably a few more I really don't want to think about. But just to let you know, this week RANKS.
azurite: (absolut wank)
Ah, I've been suckered. Suckered like a fish. A seersucker fish!

I've been caught in the wave of Da Vinci Code movie madness, and now I'm on Level 2 of the challenges. I just finished the Sudoku-like symbol challenge #2, and it took me a while... but I did it without hints or resetting the puzzle! I did draw a diagram with highlighted regions in my notebook, though. :D I feel smart! Tee hee hee!

I have a test coming up in Japanese in about a half hour... but as always, I think I'll do okay on it. I usually get a low A or a high B on my tests. (The thing that always gets me is stoke order of kanji.) I also "skipped" English class last night (I had a really bad headache and what felt like the onset of an ear infection. I took some painkillers and antibiotics, and was out from 4:15pm to 8pm.) and now I have to do my paper OR ELSE! I actually DID finish reading Kate Chopin's "The Storm," but as my coworker is so fond of pointing out, I procrastinated to the last minute, so I didn't have any portion of the paper done.

Same goes for my WWA paper, but I'm DEFINITELY going to get going on that tonight, if possible (hey, why not start re-reading Yoshimoto and/or Battle Royale while I'm waiting for eFiction to upgrade? The upload will probably take a while for both sites...). There's 2 books that I referenced in my proposal though, and I can't check them out from the library. :P

And then there's my profile, where my lousy teacher thinks the lengthy email I got from Kysra wasn't nearly enough, and I need MORE MORE MORE! (So Kysra, ready yourself for MORE MORE MORE!)

Money isn't coming fast enough. ;_; It's not that I'm buying things unnecessarily (though I could have waited to buy the Indiana Jones trilogy), but payments! Yicky payments! $6/mo. for the domain is chicken-scratch, but I paid $35 for my Hawaii pictures to get developed, and I'll be damned if I just let them sit around and collect dust. I have two major projects this summer:
* WEBSITES! Get them up and running and fabulous!
* SCRAPBOOK! because it's long overdue.
Also FANFIC WRITING, GET READY FOR JAPAN, WORK BUTT OFF, SEE SCOTT, GO TO FANIME, GO TO SAN FRANCISCO JUL 17, etc. etc. These all involve little sub projects, like cleaning my room, giving my wardrobe and overhaul, buying a laptop, buying plane tickets to and from San Francisco (and if Scott comes, tix for him too- though I certainly wouldn't object to him paying for his own tix. But I don't want him to take Greyhound again! :P), blah blah, things I'm forgetting, blah.

Oh, and what am I going to do about medical insurance, my prescriptions while I'm in Japan, my cell phone, etc.? It's one thing to maintain my bank account, but I don't want to be stuck with surcharges for international withdrawls (Traveler's Cheques, maybe?), and carrying around 10,000 yen bills is like asking to lose it ("it" being the money or my sanity, take your pick) or go on a spontaneous shopping spree.

BLAH! I should head to class now, squeeze in the extra study time, and then pray for the test to end quickly so I can get lunch before work.
azurite: (yuna's memory)

Find your Celestial Choir

Go to Wikipedia. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays, two interesting deaths, and one intriguing holiday or observance. Post this in your journal.

1471 - In England, the Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians under Warwick at the battle of Barnet; the Earl of Warwick was killed and Edward IV resumed the throne.
I find this interesting because I've come to greatly enjoy this bit of history because of the Rose Chronicles fanfic that I've been languishing on.

1828 - Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary.
And thank GOODNESS for that!

1915 - The Turks invaded Armenia.
Yes, it happened.

1336 - Emperor Go-Kogon of Japan (d. 1374)
1977 - Sarah Michelle Gellar, American actress

1995 - Burl Ives, American singer and actor (b. 1909)
2001 - Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japanese director (b. 1927)

Black Day - informal celebration day for single people in South Korea

I'm back in black (read: I have money)! Thank goodness for generous grandparents and upcoming birthdays. I might even get to go to the first West Valley Witches Meetup tonight at the Denny's in Woodland Hills, but because Zack would have to go out of his way to take me there, he's being particularly devilish in coming up with a "fee." I wish my 'feminine wiles' (a pout, a certain stance, whatever) worked on him... or maybe not. That'd be bad.

I'm excited about Sunday~! I finished packing already, but I have to do a lot of homework, since I'm going to be gone the whole time. Unless I manage to do phone or email interviews, I don't know how I'm going to get my Feature #2 done. I hate stupid Prof. Brown. If I'd had this idea and resources a while ago, I might have had a head start on it, but there's nothing more than I hate than a teacher that doesn't understand the concept of a SPRING BREAK. We're not supposed to DO anything having ANYTHING to do with school! ;_; I'm going to try and finish my Japanese tonight. There's no Geography (thank god), but my biggest worry is, of course, for Journalism. There might also be a paper for English, so there's that to worry about, and I have to get my research paper started for WWA.

I'll most likely be focusing on Naoko Takeuchi as a contemporary female manga-ka, contrasting her with Kazuki Takahashi for the male. I'll write for Banana Yoshimoto as the female writer, and likely Novala Takemoto (author of Kamikaze Girls) for the male. I'm most definitely open to more suggestions for the expansion of the research paper -my "book" which I hope to write with Prof. Hirota as part of my Presidential Scholarship award stipulation. :D

Oh, and as a note to all the females out there - when some strange guy looking suspiciously like Napolean Dynamite asks you to sign a petition to END Women's Suffrage, JUST SAY NO. Otherwise you are a Dumb Female and do not deserve to have a Vagina. Go away, shoo, shoo.

Whee, Hawaii! Whee, birthday! Beaches and Mai Tais... and I hope it doesn't rain!
azurite: (roses are red)
I told you I bombed my Geography midterm. I didn't think I'd bombed it so badly as to get a D (that's what a 65% is, right?), but alas! Such is the case. Half of me wishes they graded according to the Asian style, which would be something like this:
A = 90-100%
B = 79-89%
C = 59-78%
D = 39-58%
F = Anything below 39%
That would explain why Usagi always whined about 30%s, anyway...

Today's my Japanese midterm, and I'm much more confident. I've only been here in the Collaboratory for a half-hour, so I have plenty of time before my 2pm class to study... I think what I need to get down is the various readings (ON and KUN) of kanji, and review the sentence structures/patterns that we've learned:
~ni shimasu (I've decided on...)
~ni narimasu ( set to/will become/becoming)
~sugimasu (too much)
~tai (Verbs+tai indicate desire of action. e.g. tabetai = want to eat)
~hoshii (Nouns+hoshii indicate desire of possession. e.g. kuruma ga hoshii = I want a car)
Verb stems ("tabe" from "tabemasu" is the verb stem. Use it in a a sentence construction with a destination and a noun to indicate purpose of movement and action. e.g. In-N-Out ni cheeseburger o tabe ni ikimasu. I'm going to In-N-Out to eat a cheeseburger.)
Informal speech (finding the "root" of verbs. Sometimes they're the same as verb stems/pre-masu verbs, but usually not.)
Negative questions/responses in informal speech. ("Restoran ni konai?" is not asking "Don't come to the restaurant, okay?" It's asking "Won't you come to the restaurant with me?" It kind of functions the same way the ~masen ka? structure works for formal speech.)

I don't have school/work on Friday because of Cesar Chavez day. We don't get off for Veteran's Day or anything else, but we get off for this... and we're one of the few CSU campuses to get it, too. I don't mind so much though, because we get a perfectly timed Spring Break (first time in probably 10 years for me). The long winter break is a thing of the past though, because of the new summer session that forces us to reorganize the Spring and Fall terms. I think this Winter (assuming I'm still here in SoCal), we'd start again on Jan. 6th or something.

Anyway, since it's Cesar Chavez week, tons of LAUSD high school students have been protesting this bill that originally made it a felony to be an illegal immigrant in California. I would have thought the whole "illegal" thing sort of made it obvious that it was a felony, but something's going on with the rewrite of the bill that would let those people stay, become naturalized citizens, and pay a fine and back taxes. I suppose that's agreeable, but I wish those so-called "undocumented citizens" would make the extra effort to BE a citizen and participate in the country, even if it takes a long time for everything to get processed. (Then again, is it really all that great to be an American at this time?)

Also, Erin, Joyce, my aunt-by-marriage Susy's daughter Karin, and her boyfriend Guy have all been staying at the house the past 3 days, and will keep on staying through Friday, or thereabouts. They're all on their Spring Break, but I rarely see Karin. Erin, Joyce, Baba, Grandpa and I went out to dinner at the Hot Wok last night (good Chinese food!), but since I'd had a pizza during English class (which I was late to, because I was typing up the revision to my Emily Dickinson essay in the language lab. Bad Mer, bad!) I only had a few potstickers.

Erin and even Grandpa insist that poodles (like Erin's miniature poodle, the "rat" known as Mokie) are hypoallergenic. Even if poodles do have fur and not hair (or the other way around?), I still think it sounds like bunk. They might not have body dander, but they can still have fleas. Here's this snippet from Dog Myths Debunked:
Dog lovers allergic to their beloved companions long for a simple solution. Unfortunately, non exists. Certain breeds may not shed or may shed less than others, but that doesn't make their owners allergy-free. Allergic people usually react to dander. As a dog grooms and licks itself, saliva is deposited on the skin and haircoat. As it dries, microscopic bits of the saliva, or dander, enter the air and environment and affect the owner.

Still-experimental allergy shots are available to owners, but most choose grooming and housecleaning options over this often painful and time-intensive option. Frequent shampooing of the dog can keep accumulation of dander to a minimum, as can regular washing of bedding and vacuuming of carpets. Many people also find a household HEPA air filter helpful. Simply keeping the dog out of the bedroom provides tremendous relief to others.

Also, from "How Do I Find a Puppy?": Many people believe that certain breeds (like poodles) are "hypoallergenic". True, there are breeds that do not shed hair but anyone that's highly allergic to dogs can also be allergic to these types. And remember that the non-shedding breeds require regular grooming which takes time & can become expensive (even if you do it yourself).

Erin goes by her brother, David. He was severely allergic to cats, to the point where his eyes got swollen. But he never had any such reaction to Mokie. I hardly think that makes her hypoallergenic. The whole TERM 'hypoallergenic' is a human-created thing, anyway; I don't think animals can be naturally hypo-allergenic. People can be allergic to anything.
azurite: (manga venus fade)
I was starting to get worried about Takase-sensei never calling on me in class. I was wondering what I was doing wrong, or what she really thought of me. I recall now the fact that she seemed pretty reluctant to even give me another recommendation letter earlier in the semester, even though I impressed on her how important it was to me... if I get the NSEP scholarship, it will pretty much pay for my entire study abroad trip to Japan (if I get in).

Well, so the truth finally came out today... she asked me to stay a bit after class, and she wanted to know what my study methods were. I clammed up immediately. I thought I couldn't possibly tell her that I always do the homework the day that it's due, and I rarely have dialogues memorized until a few hours before we perform. I only try to do the listening comprehension days before class, and last week proved that I didn't even need to do that, because I managed to finish it in under an hour at the library.

She said she noticed how my binder is all highlighted and filled with notes, and I take notes. She said that I always have the answer when she asks questions, and I always get my dialogues and response drills correct. I was standing there in shock -flattered, but unsure of where this was going. I was under the impression that she'd found me out about my procrastinating-but-somehow-still-performing ways. I'd even been having troubles keeping up; 102 is significantly harder than 101, but I'm slowly remembering things from my high school Japanese days. I'm hoping that my translations of Gospel of Truth will help me get even better.

What it boiled down to was that she wants to encourage everyone else to study like me (uh-oh), and even though I "neglected" to mention the last-minute aspect that strangely works for me, she liked how I highlighted portions, wrote the answers down for the response drills, regardless of how many possibilities there are, and how I find the pattern in each of our drills. I also read the grammar patterns, in case I get confused during a situational drill or listening comprehension set, and I romanize all the vocabulary so I'm always sure of how to pronounce something and what it means. I've stopped trying to romanize everything in the listening and situational drills, or the questions in the reading and writing, but I'm always trying to speed up my reading of the kana.

And she wants me to stop participating so eagerly in class. Specifically, she said she wants me (and herself, of course) to be more "patient" with everyone else. She notices that if I volunteer the answers too readily, other people don't seem motivated to answer-- even when she singles people out, or asks the entire class to answer something loudly. She started asking everyone to write their answers for practice and dialogues, and to write their partner's name as well, so she knows everyone worked together, talked, rehearsed, etc.

I didn't even think I *was* participating eagerly -I have my troubles too, even if much of this is familiar to me. But we are starting on informal speech and more complex patterns than I ever learned in high school Japanese, especially considering I chickened out in my junior year of HS and essentially bombed in all my classes. I won't let that happen here, but if Takase-sensei's 'speech' is any indication, it won't happen.

I'm halfway between disappointed and pleased-- I'm glad she thinks I'm such a good student that's doing so well, and willing to help others, but I'm sad that I won't get called on, and will in fact be encouraged NOT to volunteer info. I don't think I was ever doing it excessively anyway, or interupting people when it was their turn, or helping them when someone didn't want me to. If I had been, I wouldn't have thought I was being singled out. My class isn't a "raise your hand to speak" class anyway; she just calls on people by name, and they have to be ready to answer. I was getting upset because she never seemed to call on me, or even look in my direction.

So... that's it.

And today we got our papers/stories back in Journalism. Today was a miracle day in that I felt like I got little sleep, but I'm still awake, not feeling all that tired, and I managed to get EVERYTHING done before it was due. I was a little late to Geography, but considering we were watching "Cadillac Desert" (on William Mulholland and the LA River) rather than getting lectured, it wasn't a horrible deal. I always seem to be late on "shower day." I insist on eating a good breakfast when it's manageable (manageable is 10 minutes or more before I have to leave), so often other things make me late.

In any case, I wasn't expecting a lot out of my article, because I can honestly say I could have tried harder. Once-a-week classes ask for procrastination, because there's not enough regular motivation to get things done. On the flip side, everything has a heavier weight, because you have "all this time" to get things done. Except, I'm a full-time student with 4 other classes and work. It was also a difficult assignment, with a difficult teacher, at the beginning of the semester-- in what was a very difficult time for me, worrying about Japan applications, scholarships, and everything else.

It's slowed down a bit, and it's true that our upcoming personal essay might be easier ('might' is the keyword), but... a C+?

Hm. I guess it's okay. I don't want to be one of those students who whines about something that's average or acceptable. I wouldn't have expected an A. A B- might have been nice, but you can't win them all. I genuinely DID B.S. a lot of the story; I researched where I should have reported, and I'm not proud of the fact. But I don't want to get USED to being okay with C+s, though.


Feb. 20th, 2006 11:18 am
azurite: (kisara dragons)
Alas, the weekend has come to an end! Am I some kind of weirdo for having classes today, when everyone else seems to be off work or school? I had a geography quiz today, and in a few hours I'll have a dialogue for memorization, two response drills (eugh), and I have to turn in my Listening Comprehension. My LCs have gotten a LOT harder since last semester; the speakers go so fast I can barely understand them! Last night the sheer speed of the speakers on the MP3 tracks got me so stressed out and worried about my homework -among other things- that I nearly started crying.

I guess it would make sense for me now to start freaking out-- I've gone half the distance and gotten letters of recommendation, filled out applications, sent forms, filled out my FAFSA, and all that blather. Now it's a matter of finishing up, writing more essays, getting more letters of recommendation, and getting into a program. I would hate myself if I didn't try at all, or if I quit halfway through, but likewise, I'm terrified of the prospect of actually getting in. I'd be leaving a lot behind -friends, family, material objects. What if I don't make it? What if I end up being a dissapointment to all the teachers that have called me brilliant, motivated, creative, and determined? What will happen to that part of my personality that is always looking for the unknown, or a great challenge? I love that wonderful sense of accomplishment when you achieve something, even if it doesn't mean money in your hands. I get giddy knowing I have a high GPA, or that I'm only 49 more units away from graduation and a degree-- a real degree!

And I believe in what my dad's drilled into my head all my life: reach for the stars, land on the moon/reach for the sidewalk, land in the gutter. I know I might be trying for the impossible, but I'll still go farther than I ever would have if I set my sights lower, because of my bad self-esteem or whatnot.

So here's the situation: I need more letters of recommendation. [ profile] janimelee, I know you said you were interested, and I would really appreciate it if you're still open to the offer. Likewise, [ profile] guardian_kysra, I don't know if you saved your old letter that you sent to my teacher, but if you have the DOC file saved, I would love it if you could help me out again.

This time, it's for Waseda University itself, not for a particular scholarship-- although there are other scholarships I'm applying to that will need letters, but considering they all mostly ask the same thing, what I'm really asking for is:
* Permission
* Your signature

Here's my current list of recommendations:
* Takase-sensei - 3 (1 for Waseda through CSU IP, 1 for Tokiwa, 1 for NSEP)
* Blumenkrantz - (1 for Tokiwa)
* [ profile] guardian_kysra - (1 for NSEP)
* Scott - (1 for NSEP)
* Salido - 1 for Waseda through CSU IP
* Hirota-sensei (1 for Presidential Scholar's faculty statement)

The Waseda University one seems to imply that it should be from a professor though-- so I'm hoping I can ask Prof. Hirota again, and possibly Prof. Davidson, my Geography teacher. I've had him twice now (including this year), and even though it's early in the semester and he might not remember me well, I hope he's willing to give me a recommendation based on what he DOES remember of me from previously. I'm willing to ask Salido or Blumenkrantz again; Scott gave me a copy of his letter so I could re-use it if necessary. Again, it's a matter of signature and permission though, so I don't want to be frivolous with these.

I'm also applying for other scholarships:
* The Bridging Scholarship
* The JASSO scholarship (if I get accepted; I can only apply if/when I get accepted)
* The Aurora Grant
* any others I find
Most of them seem to have deadlines in mid-March. The Tokiwa application is due on the 24th of this month; all I have to do is finish estimating the dates, attach my photos (make 4 more copies), and print it all out. I hope Blumenkrantz really did mail my 2nd letter of recomendation and that the people at Tokiwa didn't throw it out b/c they didn't have a matching application!

In any case, please let me know if you can help; I'll have more information when I'm at home (today's my long day).

A wonderful weekend )

And now I have to try and study for my Japanese.
Kono shigoto wa dono gurai kakarimasu ka?
Isshukan gurai deshou?
Jya, raigetsu no mikka goro dekimasu ne?
azurite: (kaiba encounters fanfiction)
Okay, so I'm downstairs at the ITR walkin right now, putting up with the unfortunately attractive annoyance that is... er, my co-worker. But I'm in a fantastic mood, because:
* I turned in my Presidential Scholarship packet with everything, most of which was done at the last minute
* I gave Dr. Lopez's secretary my Freeman-ASIA form, so she can endorse it by Friday
* I finished my Japanese homework on time
* I ate a decent lunch AND I still have cookies leftover
* My group performed our Japanese skit first, and though I got corrected on two lines, I think we did well-- and better than other groups (though they were funnier-- we had a Spiderman and a Doc Ock, and a NEKO MAN!)
* My interview was much easier than I thought. It was in a small, comfortable room in the involvement center, and I was talking to Prof. Hirota, Dr. Lopez, and one other woman from the CSUN faculty-- that was it. No chancellor, no board of stodgy old men...
* I might be applicable for a $10,000 scholarship from the Japanese government if I get into the SA/Waseda program!
* I took my passport-sized pictures for my Tokiwa application; I'll estimate the dates tonight and get that printed out and turned in tomorrow.

My new shiny, dry-clean only blouse/jacket got completely pwned by a sweat stain as I tromped all over campus (to all the department offices for English, Japanese, and Journalism) and to the post office (to mail my transcript my Priority mail) and then back to the building where my Japanese class was. But it's faded now, and I'll be sure to get it dry cleaned asap. In any case, I'm glad I got this nice new outfit from thar boutique, Cubby, yesterday. I even got a pair of brown corduoy's... o_o If I get an orange plaid shirt, I can be the female clone of Scott! (creeeeppyyy...)

But since I got everything done and I'm in a good mood, feeling accomplished and happy, I bought a pizza. At least this means I'm responsible for my own dinner, even if What's His Face doesn't appreciate it. No one has even noticed my haircut! No one asked why I'm happy! Aw, who cares!? If I can keep this mood up through tomorrow (and score some free chocolate and/or flowers while I'm at it), all the better! I don't need to be some Absolute Boyfriend villainness, trying to steal other girls' boyfriends!

Scott's coming on Thursday night! I'll have PLENTY TO DO! *lecherous grin* Things are looking up! I think I might even write more of WDKY later tonight if I'm in the mood, and if I get an email confirming my payment for my new premodded PS2, things will be EVEN BETTER! :D
azurite: (kisara dragons)

Hee. Can anyone else spot the irony in that review? (Note: I did NOT change that review AT ALL. That's how it arrived in my inbox. :D)

Onward and sideways: Shaadii and Shada, plus more Egyptian names in Japanese! )

Oh, [ profile] mmagnet_ff~! When is TNB16 coming out? WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!? ;_;

And [ profile] guardian_kysra, did the Egyptians know about the Greeks in the 18th Dynasty (c. 1550-1295 BCE, as late as 1004 BCE)? If so, how were relations between the two? *yes, is plotting something eebil*
azurite: (anzu & kaiba play the bondage game)
Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

In September I gave [ profile] aishuu a kidney (1000 points).  In April on a flight to Vancouver, I stole the emergency flight information card (-40 points).  Last Tuesday I punched [ profile] cutieme4u in the arm (-10 points).  In February I helped [ profile] shadowesque13 hide a body (-173 points).  Last month I bought porn for [ profile] shigure (-10 points)

Overall, I've been nice (767 points).  For Christmas I deserve a new bike!


Write your letter to Santa!  Enter your LJ username:

Apparently there's been a security update to eFiction with all the PHP files. Something similar happened with BEA's phpFanbase script, but Sasha of hasn't yet posted a fix or an ETA for a fix. Tammy of eFiction, however, pointed me to the eFiction 2.0.1 upgrade, but replacing all the PHPs would involve me having to redo the Story Type mod that I worked EXTREMELY hard to put on... (though Lazuli did all the coding, all the find/replacing is a pain in the neck, so don't tell me it's easy!) I also wanted to see if there's a way to indicate Story Type with an icon, the way Challenge Fics and Round Robins already are. That will be a while coming, since I'm not much of a PHP coder, and Lazuli said she'd take a look at it.

That was pretty much the only hard mod that I implemented, in any case; I can easily fix the category image alignment thing again (the code I need is in blocks/categories/categories.php) and the newsblock author image. There are other mods I was thinking about using-- links to FFnet, LiveJournal, etc., but I didn't install them yet. I'm waiting for a reply from Tammy before I replace everything.

I updated everything at Dragonfayth. All the mods have been implemented again, and it looks GREAT. Please take a look and tell me what you think!

Memes ganked from irvys_sefie )

Ugh... WDKY22. It's been sitting dead on [ profile] betasquad for a while now, but hopefully now that finals are starting and such people will be willing to beta more often. Truthfully, I think the chapter is okay, but I could stand to flesh it out a bit in a particular scene. Note that it's already pretty damn long, and it's the segue to the arc that is bound to have you chewing at the bit on your mousepad.

I've been sick the past couple of days, FYI-- missed school on Thursday. So far, I'm caught up on almost all of my schoolwork (save the stuff for WRP2) and am ready for Finals... though the 130 point Japanese final has me a bit worried. It's not that I don't remember all my kana or whatever, but I always forget the sentence structures, especially when it comes to asking directions! :P

For better or for worse, my rag started again-- hopefully temporarily, as a result of me being sick, stressed, and forgetting to take 2 days worth of pills ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Whoopsie.

I wanted to go to JTAF to hang out with people (My-san from my Japanese class, and at least 2 other people from various places either here on LJ or on FFnet), but it looks like the ride I'm supposed to hitch with [ profile] cutieme4u won't happen until the 18th. And assuming we leave at a "reasonable" time of the morning (i.e. NOT before dawn) and drive at the standard pace of 6 hrs, I won't make it there for a shred of JTAF. -_-; This is one of the reasons why:
a) I wish I had a job to pay for a plane ticket, even a last-minute one
b) I should learn to drive, despite my fears and other reasons Not To Even Attempt It

azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
*points frantically up at subject line* WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Well, sort of. I sent in a fanart of Nana Osaki (from the hit Ai Yazawa manga "Nana") to Shoujo Beat a few months ago, in the hopes of winning a contest. I don't think I won, but my art got published in the December issue of SB anyhow! I'm quite happy! ^_^ You can see the online version at DeviantArt.

Since it seems more often that not that a music buff resides on my FL, I'm going to ask yet another "What is this song from?" question: What is the name of the classical-sounding song used in the new Kodak commercials? These are the commercials you see both on TV and at the movies, where a docent leads a bunch of kids around a photography museum. He tells them to listen-- listen. They can't hear anything, so he says, listen to the pictures: they are saying, keep me, protect me, share me-- and I will live forever. Then this very touching crescendo of classical music starts up, and it really is enough to move you to tears. Alas, I don't think I can't find it through Google, maybe because I don't possess l33t keyword skills. Anyone know? (I have heard that it might be an original score composed by the folks in Santa Monica known as "Ear to Ear". I didn't find that particular commercial for Kodak on their website, so if anyone knows if they release their tracks or whatever, let me know!)

I've also discovered that I am a walking contradiction. I went for a driving lesson with Scott on Saturday, and he was obviously hoping I would be more confident and motivated about it. Truth was, I was hoping it would rain so we wouldn't have to do it. No one seems to understand that despite really wanting and needing to learn to drive, it scares the shit out of me. I'm serious. I put driving on the same level as spiders. I think I can get behind the wheel and do through the motions if I need to; same as if I see a spider I can kill it instead of screaming. But I don't like doing it, it makes me feel icky, and I often have nightmares about it after the fact.

And Scott said he wants me to have more confidence-- not just with driving, but with all that I do. And so I'm talking to [ profile] shockman tonight, trying to give HIM a pep talk, and I end up thinking "Why is it so easy for me to give advice and try and help others to be confident, but I can't be confident myself?" Being in the car with Scott really stressed me out, to the point where I did cry (when he wasn't in the car). I had this big goal to have my license before New Year's, and I really don't see that as happening. I know I need to practice more, but I can't always rely on Scott; he'll be gone before the end of the month, and Baba and Grandpa will probably not let me touch their car. And to save up for a car of my own would be totally time-consuming, and is NOT one of the things I want to think about right now. I'd rather worry about getting into Study Abroad and paying for that!

Anyway, I've been in a holiday mood today... which is nice. I think I'll replace some of my older 100 icons with some of my own, made with fanart by Lin Kuruzu (pnayshoujo69 on DeviantArt) and touched up to be wintery. The question is, what is wintery? Ice? Snow? Peppermints? Glittery lights? Help me out here! I have a few fics overdue for [ profile] ygo_lyricwheel and for [ profile] yuugiouxmasfic. But I have to work on my submission for Creative Writing, because my group is way behind, and I have 20 some-odd pages to condense down. The story ("Goodbye, Hello, Who Are You?") still won't be finished, but it will be a better, polished version that takes into account everyone's notes and such. So I have to get to that now. Since I was absent on Thursday, I might have to memorize some Japanese, but also do some reading and writing.

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we've never spoken) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Any updates and stuff that I do between now and later will be posted... well, later.


Nov. 28th, 2005 11:44 pm
azurite: (I used to be indecisive...)
I am now the proud owner of a Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon! Whoo! [ profile] rhapsody_dragon, get ready to duel! My dragon deck is getting an official overhaul now, and I'm gonna pwn you! And I can't wait till next month, when I get Exchange of the Spirits and I can make either an Isis deck or an Egypt deck!

And I've also gotten into the Christmas spirit at last-- I suppose it makes sense, given that things are going pretty good, it's freezing cold, and I want presents. :P So I want everyone to point me in the direction of Seto x Anzu Christmas fics so I can make a post on [ profile] setoanzulove and at Blue Eyes and Apricots. So far, I know of two submitted on [ profile] yuugiouxmasfic:
* From Socks to Shoelace-tan
* From Mickle to Socks
But the second one isn't all that Christmas-themed...

What else? I might not have done 100% as well on my Japanese test this morning, but I did get my letters of recommendation for both Waseda and Tokiwa; I have to get Blumenkrantz's letter for Tokiwa, finish up my essays, have Hirota-sensei check them out before Dec. 8th, and then have them turned in and ready by then! ^_^v I'm getting all excited!

I think I did well on my mythology exam today, even though I missed 2 classes within the past week or so. But I guess I'm just well-versed in mythology, so I'm not too worried about missing much on the exams. They're always so easy...

I'm walkin' in a spider web... )

Another email exchange: [ profile] smrffers might know about the people that dare to write sequels to the infamous Sexylyon's SEXY (of course) "Interlude" Usagi x Mamoru first season hentai. It was one of the best fics I've ever read (when I first read it), even if upon re-reading, some parts were purple enough to color my world. Nonetheless, even when people get permissions to write said sequels, taking the original author's so-called style and mocking it is enough to peeve me into next week. And when fangirl Japanese is thrown in? Ugh...

The fic: Togewonuku. The author: Arashinobara Jikkankakyoku. As if that doesn't tell you everything right there. )

I have the opportunity to go to Egypt next summer... whether or not the whole Japan Study Abroad thing pans out. I think it'd be a great opportunity to get additional travel in, though it does cost $2747, which is likely the bulk of my financial aid check for either Spring 2006 or Fall 2006. But it's only a $95 reservation, and if I really wanted to pull that off, I could, especially with some sucking up to my mom (^^;) Alas, the cost DOES NOT include:
* $570 room supplement if 23 years of age or you turn 23 before or during the tour (huh?)
* non-cruise lunches, beverages, and tips (estimated at $125 per person)
* private bus fee (depending on the size of the group, up to $145)
* CSUN tuition and fees (paid for, no worries there)
* mandated travel insurance and books (only applies to students earning 6 units of credit).

Well, of course I would want to earn the 6 units of credit; 3 from the Independent Study unit in Spring (would bring my total up to 18 units, just under my cap of 15. I don't know what the course would count for-- maybe upper division something-or-other?) and 3 from the tour in Summer.

Anyway, I have to think about tomorrow... er, a dialogue for memorization for Lesson 9 (memorize in the morning, like always), and possibly a critique to do for Creative Writing (which I can do during the break up in collaboratory; I can bring my laptop to work on my PowerPoint and Study Abroad essays as well, since it's an hour and a half long break... if/when I need to print, I can just email it to myself or something, unless Scott gives me back my flashcard by tomorrow).

Finally, sometimes after the insanity dies down this week (likely Thursday or later), I'm planning on:
* Updating WikiFic with more of Viz's insane translation (and other) errors from the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist volumes, plus Millennium World Vol. 1
* Making a winter-themed layout for whatever I feel like (BEA or Dragonfayth)
* Posting Girl's Club (Seto x Anzu; #11: gardenia) for [ profile] 30kisses, along with the tentatively titled Red/Like A Virgin (#19: red).
* Making some more edits to WDKY22 and seeing if [ profile] luvinaoshi and any other beta volunteers have anything to say about it...
azurite: (fiction and reality)
Truthfully, I don't use my laptop much. As it turns out, I don't really need it. So I wasted over $1000 on something I don't need and pretty much can't use. Yes, it's nice having my own computer when relatives visit, or when I go to school and the Collaboratory comps are all being used, but it doesn't help me when I need to print, or other things. It was nice saying I had this cool piece of technology that was all my own, but... it doesn't work.

I've done a clean install about 3 times now. I've bought and downloaded the best of the best software, only to have it not work. I have tried calling three different customer support numbers, only to be told as I follow the menu options that the number I have reached is out-of-service. I have emailed the return form, only to have my order number (as it is listed on my account page) to be rejected. Remember when I kept calling Dell, and one week after the other, they said they'd send this CD to fix all my computer's ills? And then it turned out... they forgot to send it, they weren't authorized to send it, I had to call this department, and then I had to pay $250 for it!? WHAT. THE. FUCK!?

All that time I spent ended up "expiring" my 21-day return policy. What the hell is the point of having a 90-day warranty (expires in 12 days, shit shit shit) if the return policy doesn't last for the length of the warranty? Besides, in those 3 months, I've hardly used the damn thing, because I've spent so much time trying to FIX it! And now if I can't get ahold of Dell within the next two weeks, I don't know what I'll do. I hate calling tech support, but I hate thinking that I've spent $1300+ (that includes the leather case, the Windows XP Pro, the snap-on cover, and Office 2003 Pro) on a piece of shit. This happened with Dad and the Vaio-clone several years back, and that's still a piece of shit sitting in my closet back in SF.

I wonder if I can go to Fry's and assemble an all-new computer from the craptacular parts that Dell has... I mean, the CD+/-RW drive can't be bad, or the 40GB hard drive, right? And what about my 1GB Kingston Memory Card, and the rather nice monitor? I don't know, [ profile] god_101, you've put comps together from scratch, is it possible to do that?

...Needless to say, this whole idea of being pressured for time and not having any options is stressing me out a bit. A review of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will come later. Right now, I'm exhausted... and by 7pm I have to be ready to go to King Tut. I still have to find time this weekend to do a smidgen of Japanese homework, BS at least part of my byline clip project, polish my study abroad essays and application(s), work on my VComm presentation for the 30th, AND work on Scott's birthday "present/card" for the 21st (MONDAY!!).

I feel like crying, but even my eyes are too tired.
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
Okay... I'm kind of stuck. Remember those Asian-American Studies courses I mentioned-- AAS 210 (History of Asian Americans) and AAS 430 (Asian-American Pop Culture)? Well, I just came back from the Study Abroad informational session, and Hirota-sensei herself (aka department chair of the Japanese language program, one of my future professors, and a former department chair for the Study Abroad in Japan program) said that Asian-AMERICAN doesn't count for Study Abroad.

I remember there being two other courses-- HIST 400-something, but it was really late at night, and Hirota-sensei's class, which sounded cool, but maybe it was at a bad time, too. Well anyway, I might have to tweak my schedule to find out just what would work for Study Abroad, and HOPEFULLY get something to count for SOME GE/Minor/80-65 while I'm at it. Ah, alas! That AAS 430 class sounded cool!

It also turns out Hirota-sensei is willing to proofread my essays for Waseda and Tokiwa, so I think I'll touch those up and send them her way. Anyone else who's got a spare 20 minutes, I'd totally appreciate it if you could look them over! They're posted here in my LJ (tag: essays) and also in the [ profile] writer_girls comm.

Last night I helped Scott out on ANOTHER photo shoot, because his teacher wanted him to be more specific about his focus and lighting. It took us about an hour before he found "the right lighting" and by the time we actually finished, it was after 12:30am! Even In-N-Out was closed, but since we were both hungry (is this starting to sound familiar yet?) we ended up going to Denny's. ^^ Scott then stayed over (!) because he was too tired to go home. :) Ah, good times... er, sort of. I'll have to elaborate on that later, though.

Oh, and I checked the poll results from that Only 16 poll I posted-- you people answered strangely! An uneven amount of people said they didn't read it vs. what they thought of it... o_O What's up with that? And I suppose I can't be disappointed by anyone's answers, because I intentionally set it up with extremes for choices. I didn't want to make it too confusing. In any case, I'm sorta-kinda inspired to work on it again, so we'll see. Betas are awfully hard to come by these days, but as long as the SMRFF exists, so does ANDI!!!! :O BWEAHAHAH! *cough*

Well, since I didn't get to bed until super-late last night (er, this morning), I had to BS my way through my Japanese test (I think I did well, except I forgot the word for change -as in money- which is "otsuri"). I finished up a short essay on reality TV for VComm, and now I'm going to start Story #6 for JOUR 210, which is due today. ^^; Before I go to VComm class in an hour, I also have to finish reading Ch. 14 on Television and Video... it's pretty cool so far! Did you know that reality TV has been around as long as TV has? And that there are *14* different types of reality shows? Wow.

Anyway, time to try and make sense of all these numbers... how do you calculate a percentage increase, again?
azurite: (lost marbles)
Maaa, I want to watch SARS subtitled version of Hana Yori Dango (the J-drama) now! But it's downloading sooooo sloooooow wavering between 11KB/s and 50KB/s! I've looked up everything about port forwarding, disabling ports in your firewall, tweaking your router... nothing seems to help! Are you supposed to restart after you make those changes or something? And what really is the best range to enable, if the default 6881 to 6899 is so "choked" by ISPs?

Finished my Japanese skit and listening comprehension, memorized L8's new dialogue... response drill should be easy enough, if everyone gets around to it. I updated a few files from Dell for my laptop, though the old thing doesn't seem to be working as fast as it used to. I rarely use the 'Net with that thing, and there are hardly any programs on it, so it really pisses me off that it's so slow and I feel like I can't do anything about it. Photoshop CS froze AGAIN while reading fonts, and I've only got something like 209 on the laptop, MUCH MUCH less than the usual for me. What do I do!?

Geez, I can't believe it's already 1:42am here. I should shower and then go to bed soon... I imagine I'm only still awake because of the slight buzz I had from my Smirnoff Raspberry (^_^ hic!) and the nap I had earlier (apparently I didn't imagine a miniature dog from hell barking like mad and waking me up at 1:30 in the afternoon; it was Pepe, another one of Baba's friends' dogs, and they left ME, sleeping, to "dogsit" while they went who-knows-where).

Oh, and just to prove I'm not completely inept in the non-fanfiction writing department, I was one of 90 people whose essay to a publishing company got selected for publication in a book called "Authors of Tomorrow". If I win one of 10 scholarship awards, I'll get $1000! ^_^v Wish me luck!
azurite: (seto vs. seig WWII)
Okay, I just woke up from what was probably the second weirdest dream of my life. The thing is, I know I've had other dreams this weekend, but for some lucky reason, I woke up remembering this one.

Starring Eva, her roommates, a hot guy or two, and Pegasus from Yu-Gi-Oh! )

Yeah, so my weekend pretty much consisted of helping Scott with a photo shoot (being a model) for about 10-11 hours. I didn't go to anime club, and frankly, I DO NOT CARE. I have learned to navigate torrent sites and forums (and annoy people like [ profile] baine) for the latest info on good dramas, animes, and the like. Ergo, I don't have a NEED for anime club. I should have just known from the get-go that no one will ever replace the SFSU gang, and when they're gone and dissolved, they will still have the best spot in my heart, over any and all anime clubs, just because of the GOOD memories I had there. Yes, I had lousy ones too, but overall, it was so worth it. Those people and those times meant so much to me. :) And I'm looking forward to coming home in December and seeing all the guys at JTAF again. And maybe even a girl from my Japanese class, because she said something about going to SF/this "anime con" in December.

Back to my weekend, I also watched some movies, tried to babysit the dogs across the way (somehow they manged to get ahold of the older girl dog's food bowl when I put it upstairs for her; when I got back the next afternoon, the rim had been completely chewed apart), tried my first bottle of Smirnoff Raspberry (yum! But I didn't even get a buzz...), and generally had a nice time. I didn't get the chance to go to King Tut as planned, because Grandpa was taken to the hospital. He's better now, but the scare was enough to keep me and Scott at the house until they got back. So we'll go on the 18th at 9pm. Weird, but hey! Spooky mummy night. Maybe it'll help for future chapters of WDKY (you didn't just read that).

Anyway, the laptop's being a bitch again. Scott and I tried to install Adobe CS on it, and it kept restarting the InDesign/Acrobat Reader/other thing install. I got Photoshop to install, but it took forever to "load fonts" even though I'm pretty sure I don't have that many on my laptop. I decided to try and get all the updates I could from Microsoft Updates before trying to use Photoshop again, so I haven't touched it yet. Hem hem. Well, I know what to do if it goes floopy on me again (heh heh heh).

What's left? Japanese listening comprehension, hopefully getting paid for the dogs (even though I was so busy yesterday that I didn't scoop any poop, and they came back early today), writing a short skit, memorizing a new dialogue, practicing for a new response drill, and trying to remember all that crap from my evil Driver's Ed lesson (I'm going to have to repeat Level 1, because though the teacher was nice, she made me VERY nervous during the mock exam, and I made some VERY stupid mistakes). I don't want to keep stressing, so I have to meditate for sure tonight, try to clean up my room, and give myself a facial. Yes. A FACIAL. :P


Nov. 9th, 2005 03:48 am
azurite: (hero. summoner. doormat.)
Alright, it might be 3:45 in the morning (but it doesn't feel like it to me-- I blame it on all the naps I had today!) but I'm DONE! (Not with WDKY22, sorry. :P)

I finished my extensively long reading and writing for Japanese.

I typed up a 3 page essay (which, 1.5 spaced turns into 5 pages!) for visual communications, regarding the Ethical foundations of photojournalism.

AAAND best of all, I finished my magazine cover for Visual Communication class! WHOO! The printed copy looks good, if a little crooked on the page, so I'll be trimming it down once the photo-gloss paper dries. I really like it... I hope my class does, too. :> Hopefully if there's another gamer in the class, they'll understand all the sly references I made. This version is actually a bit different from the one I originally intended; I think I tried to bite off more than I can chew and tell too much about the 2 games and the characters in my last version.

[ profile] baine, I think I showed you an alpha version of this, right? See how it's changed!

Well anyway, enough of me babbling... here is my magazine cover design for Visual Communication class
newSpira: Spira's #1 news and entertainment magazine )
azurite: (atemu's determined)
Today's The Big Day. I finished Japanese and managed to breeze through my dialogues and response drills; next is facilitating some poetry readings and responses in Creative Writing. Easy enough. Then comes hand therapy at 2:45 (I hope whoever I get is nice...), and my written DMV test at 4:10. Watch as I kick ass and take names!

Tomorrow? I'll go to Red Robin and anime club. Phil's a bit of a prick for changing his mind twice about whether or not the club should participate in the natural high fair, and supposedly we're going to try and set up a table to do origami-- if it's not too late. The fair is about 10 days away by now...

In any case, if I do get the Red Robin job, I can say goodbye to Friday nights. As I thought with last semester, I don't think there's too much I'm going to miss. Alas, Ben is gone. There's no one else there that captures my attention, and everyone there either takes me for granted, treats me poorly, or ignores me. Besides, if I make server and I get $400 in tips every weekend, do you think I'm going to give a rat's ass about ANIME club? Shit, I'll be able to buy anime from Japan on DVD, or get boxed sets from Suncoast and stuff! I'm sure there's some way I can keep up on fansubs... Hmm, I wonder if there's an RSS for d-addicts and animesuki?

I think I fixed [ profile] betasquad's security problem, though. I edited two of my past entries to be friend's only, but to test and see if I really made all the entries community-only and not just friend's only, I need someone on my friends list who is NOT a member of [ profile] betasquad to go to the community and tell me what they see. I would really appreciate some help, guys!

Also, I can't get my layout to work right. Anyone have experience tinkering with layers, because I checked it out yesterday, and they changed the editing system for S2 when I last used it, and I am lost! I tried contacting [ profile] unfloopy, who made the 3-columns layout, but I can't get ahold of her.

Time to work on some critiques!
azurite: (Default)
Just a quick entry before I dash off to Mythology and my usually-busy Wednesday... I think I may have figured out the whole next-semester's classes thing. Aside from the usual Journalism and Japanese language classes I mentioned before, the class that I need to take for Study Abroad needs to be Japanese/Asian-studies, involing philosophy, politics, art, culture, religion, or history. I found AAS 210, which would fulfill Section D of my Lower-Div GEs, works as an Asian History course for Study Abroad, and would probably count toward the Journalism Department's 80/65 rule, as it's a Humanities-type class. I checked out the other class the Japanese department chair recommended to me (aside from FLIT 455, which does nothing for my GEs, even the upper division ones -I think- or my minor), HIST 493, and it's at a ridiculous time of night and it doesn't seem to fulfill any upper-division GEs either! Surprising...

So unless I find some other alternative, AAS 210 it is! (It's taught online, too!)

I managed to get a good chunk of WDKY22 done last night, and with some luck, you'll be seeing it on [ profile] betasquad within the next couple of days. I think I'm moving too fast for any betas, though! ;_; Alas, everyone is so busy with their IRLs that they can't spare me a glance! *frets* S'no big deal. :P

And now for the weird:
(1) I went to bed just after 3am this morning, which is a bit standard for me, considering I'm nocturnal and proud of it. I was still trying hard to distract myself from traitorous, brain-bleach-worthy thoughts of him, so I read lots of Hermione/Draco (thanks [ profile] a_white_rain for reminding me of my HP OTP!) fics and worked on other things.

Well, I was surprised to see my light blinking on my phone. I thought to myself "Yeah, you wish it was Scott, but it probably wasn't. It was probably Mom. I should call her," but when I checked my missed calls, it WAS Scott. And he even left a voice message... not very coherent, if you ask me, but he mentioned something that does disturb me a little: back when we were together, I let him use me as a subject of some of his photo shoots. I don't mind most of the pictures, but some I'd rather NOT be put into a show, let alone sold to some stranger. If it's one without my face, then I'm fine, but otherwise... >_> I think I have the right to ask him not to do something like that without my permission, right? I mean, even if I let him take the picture of me, I didn't think it would go outside of his classroom!

Yeah, well he also mentioned some random things about wondering how I was and yadda yadda, and I'm really trying hard not to care, but I'm wondering if I'm coming off as a bit of a bitch. I tried to imagine telling him what's bothering me, and knowing him, he would just say something that would upset me, like "Well, maybe we just shouldn't hang out anymore." We hardly "hang out" as it is, but him forcing himself to stay away from me when he COULD and probably SHOULD see me would rightfully upset me, just because I see no point in me getting so stressed (ah, acne!) and upset over it. He's leaving, I don't know when or where to, but I have to accept it and do something with my life.

(2) This morning I woke up at 8:45am with every intention of taking a shower, getting dressed, having a nice, warm bowl of Cream of Wheat, and then heading out to class for my Japanese test. Some time after I shut off the alarm, I blacked out. It wasn't until I heard Grandpa banging on my door at 9:40 that I even realized WTF was going on, and I seem to recall waking up while SITTING. So I've come to the following conclusion:
I was-
(a) kidnapped by aliens
(b) possessed by a ghost
(c) really f'in tired

And since I don't feel that tired, I'm leaning toward (b). Your thoughts?
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: (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.
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!
azurite: (tresmoron - Anzu's Determined)
Though 9am is hardly early, and 10am isn't exactly the earliest morning class I've ever had, something tells me I'm going to be exhausted when I wake up later... today. I haven't gone to bed yet because various things (finding the cheapest price for legit copies of Creative Suite 2 and Studio MX 2004 or Studio 8; downloading Google Talk and talking to [ profile] staplerx; finding out ANY info about Comiket Dec. 2005) have kept me distracted. Oh yeah, and "Secret Indulgences," an updated chapter to an amusing SxA fic I'm reading.

Today, I learned there is someone at my work I hate. Well, dislike. "Hate" is such a strong word, hm? *tight smile* We shall call her K, but don't mistake her for the super-nice K I actually kind of LIKED over at #111, the one who goes to CSUN (though I haven't seen her yet). This K is BOSSY, CONDESCENDING, and FAT. The fat part doesn't matter to me at all, except when we have such limited space in the store as it is, and she rams me all the time with her giant ass. And sorry is supposed to make the bruise on my abdomen go away? -_- Grr.

I've also been thinking about going legit with my laptop, since Windows Vista (out in Fall 2006) is supposed to be the uber-checker for all things pirated. So I could shell out $249 for Studio 8 if I buy within the next week or so (then it goes up to $299), $359 for Creative Suite 2, and the $180ish dollars I've already planned to shell out on XP Pro and Office 2003 Student Edition. The question is, is it worth it? I have CS1 and Studio MX (Dreameaver is 2004) on this computer, and I could just copy them onto a CD and install them there. But... >_> I don't know, someone convince me either way. I can blow a lot of money and feel good about it being legal and all, or I could just copy and paste what I have here, making do with what I have and saving that money for another trip to Japan.

And truthfully, I don't even use ALL the software in either of those packages. I use Photoshop and Dreamweaver the most, but I'm one of those types that sees it as good to have the whole package, especially where the CS2 package is involved. Someday, I'd like to know how to work GoLive and InDesign. And I know SOME Flash, but not enough to get by. So... where to stand, what to do?

If I did save the money, it would hopefully go toward going to Tokyo in December for New Year's and Comiket Winter 2005 (which is Comiket 69. Hehe). True, I was freezing enough as it was LAST time (in March), but a) Winter is my favorite season; b) I have experience, and could thus be prepared; c) There MIGHT be another Pop Japan Travel tour, which would save effort on my part for a lot... i.e. food, lodging expenses, JR Rail Pass) and probably a bunch I'm not thinking of. But I would like to do Tokyo on my own too-- maybe with some friends. Anyone interested? "Wanna buy wanna buy wanna buy... a Rayearth doujinshi?"

Creative Writing teacher-- well, he looks a bit like those statues on Easter Island, except he's Latino-looking (or is Latino, maybe? His last name is Lopez). He doesn't seem too evil or too friendly either way, so I guess I'll have to wait and see. One of my classmates totally legitimized fanfiction though, so I'll have at least ONE person to talk to! ^_^;

Did I neglect to mention earlier (yesterday) that Scott had to do an introduction today in Japanese, and... once again, he didn't get it. :P I'm sure he studies really well on his own (I'm positive he's already got several hiragana down. If he hasn't memorized them or how to say them, at least he knows how to write them!) but in a classroom environment, I guess things change. And I was so self-conscious today, I screwed up a few times too! I get all talkative and red-faced when I'm nervous... then again, I also didn't have breakfast, so I was running on fumes.

After Japanese, Scott and I hung out at the Matador Complex, where I had a bagel from the Freudian Sip (it's no Western Bagel, let me tell you that. I couldn't finish it, but I didn't throw it away) and some chocolate milk-- my new addiction. It's better than iced tea, right? So Scott finally found a place near this private elementary school, near Sherman Way. He says it's a nice place and all, and he's planning to officially move in with this co-worker and former CSUN Art student friend of his, Marlene. Yes, it's a girl, but whatever, I can't be bothered by it. I am so not the girlfriend anymore!

After CW class (we got out early) I headed to the Career Center, found out CSUN's no longer using MonsterTrak, and so I registered for their new service through their website, called Simplicity. Not that I need or even can work a job right now (no car, so it has to be local), but I thought I'd just get prepped for it. Come October, I want to land that job at Red Robin, anyway.

Anyway, Scott was going to come over tonight and try to take apart his desk, but he decided he needed tools, so he went to visit Brett and Derek in Burbank. Since I couldn't get a ride home from him after I went to work (they surprised me with a 4hr:45min shift today, which got my jeans soaking wet and covered in something slimy), I called Grandpa, and... here I am.

I watched "Prince Charming" this sappy take on the "Frog Prince" story, on the Hallmark Channel. Christina Applegate actually looked quite cool in that, and Bernadette Peters is always one of my favorites (I was an "Into the Woods" fangirl). Alas, no one falls in love in 5 days, let alone gets married. No one with real smarts and common sense in today's world mind you. >_> Maybe 1 in a million.

*yawn* Anyway, regardless of 8 hours of sleep being enough, I am sore and tired, so I might as well sleep. Tomorrow will probably be the longest day ever, especially if Salido decides to keep us for all 3 hours of our night class! X_X
azurite: (stophoest - Throw rocks at boys)
After work today, I got my last 2 textbooks-- my Creative Writing book and my Syllabus (which isn't really a syllabus at all, it's a workbook of weird pages and random stories). I'm kind of worried that the teacher seems so obsessed with himself, using his own works as examples, but then again, maybe he's proud in a good way. If any of you guys who write fanfiction taught a Creative Writing class, would you ever use your own writing as an example? Why or why not?

My Mythology teacher scared me at first-- kind of chubby with a double-chin, very pale with light eyes and pink lips-- he looked like a corpse with crooked teeth. But once he got talking, he was very funny and the class looks like it'll be interesting. Many class activities will be conducted online, which I'm grateful for.

Back to Japanese... Scott was called on today, and he either wasn't paying attention or he seriously needed the textbook (which I picked up at the bookstore before class; QuickCopies took forever to assemble the binder of notes, but I got it in less than 10 minutes). He didn't know what to say... I tried to help him out, but I think I might have made things worse. He didn't seem upset at me or anything, now that I think about it, but like I said earlier, he rushed off to Aikido, and he never saw or said anything to me after we parted ways. :P He owes me lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday is what I'm really looking forward to, though, because aside from Japanese and Mythology, I'll also have my 2 Journalism classes, my WRPII course (with Salido again!) at night. I wonder how I'll get home? I do have to learn to drive though, and I'd like to have learned by December. Time to research some driving schools... (I don't even know what course to take)

I'm glad people are submitting alternative lists at [ profile] 30kisses. I really have to finish my SxA pairing for that, so I can either pick a new pairing (a few of the other pairings I write for were taken, but the authors have PROBABLY given up... *sigh*) or focus on my 100 icons. I've gotten a few more done lately, but I want to do all "batch posts" where I have at least 5 icons at a time, so it might be a while before I post at [ profile] iconfiend100 again.

*yawn* I'm so tired! It's so hot! I need to learn sign language, and I have to stop blushing when a Japanese person orders at Jamba Juice!
azurite: (iconicallyhales - Kaiba's compensating)
Leather pants on a hot day =/= a good idea.

Believe me, I know. I had a feeling it would be like this-- yesterday at 7pm it was still 93 degrees. We're supposed to hit the low 100s today. Yeesh. And it looks like the whole idea of feeling empowered (and making Scott drool) didn't work as I planned, anyway.

I got a "you look nice" and that was about it. Maybe I'm trying too hard? Or maybe HE'S trying to hard to stop himself from saying what he really thinks, because that would be "crossing the line." Heh, that's what I'd like to think, anyway. Scott didn't even have time to eat lunch with me or anything; on Mondays and Wednesdays, he's got Aikido (something tells me he'll drop it, just like he did his other kineseology class last semester) at 11am, 10 minutes after we get out of Japanese.

Speaking of Japanese, it's great to be in a class environment again. I know the material, it looks easy enough-- but like anyone else, I'm prone to getting confused a bit. Besides, there's a few native speakers in the class (I don't know why they were allowed to register, but the teacher's letting them stay, so long as they take different tests).

I bought my Japanese class notes (separate binder; looks like I won't need that section of my blue binder after all. I might still need my folder, but probably not the cute notebook I bought in SF's J-Town. Alas!) and my Greek Myth book; that class starts at noon and gets out 10 till one. I then have a half hour to make a lunch out of $6, and then I work from 1:30-4pm at Jamba CSUN. I made sure to bring my white tee and no-slip sneakerrs, but I wonder if these leather pants will make working any easier. Will they put me on reg, or somewhere else?

My laptop (the new Dell Inspiron 6000) should be coming around Sept. 6th. YAY! Then I'll buy the Office Student Edition (2003) from the bookstore, and the Windows XP Professional upgrade. It should only be $180ish if I plan it right. I was thinking about buying the official Adobe CS2, but... it's over $200. I really only use Photoshop. If anything, I'd want the Macromedia Suite 2004, because I use Dreamweaver, I KNOW how to use Flash, and Fireworks is pretty good in its own right. I don't know, what do you think? I get a student discount on most everything, but I aleady spent $1200 on the laptop and a couple hundred on my textbooks, and I still want to have money to travel later this semester ($555 Tokyo round-trip. I wonder if that's a tour or just airfare?).

Today's Sundial-- first thing on the first page in the top right corner was a mention of Ben's death. Not what I wanted to read first thing when I opened the paper. To make matters worse, I've seen 2 Ben look-alikes-- one at a sushi restaurant yesterday with Erin and Joyce (Erin took off for South America today for her 2 weeks left before UCLA kicks back into session), and then earlier today as I walked into (where I am now) the Collaboratory. ;_; I don't know why this is haunting me so much. And his full obituary's going to be in the paper tomorrow. *sigh*

Oh yeah, well, in other DISTRACTING news, I read PC Magazine's new review of the Windows Vista (formerly known as code name: Longhorn) OS, Beta 1. It looks... interesting. Truthfully, it looks like they ganked the Mac "shiny" aethestic, and Microsoft is using a rendering system known as Aero Glass. Security is the big beef with this OS, and not super-hot features. The WinFS search tool isn't included with the Fall 06 release of the OS as of the current news releases, but the search tool that they have in the Start Menu should work just as well, thanks to the implementation of metadata and additional search features (rating, etc). I wonder whether it'll even be possible to upgrade to Vista though. I know they're making a 32 and a 64 bit version, but the Aero system will require a nice graphics card, support for ActiveX9, and heck knows what else. Will my Inspiron fit the bill next Fall?

Oh yeah, Internet Explorer 7. They just might convert me back if it's as good as they say. Tabbed browsing (FINALLY!), super security features, and everything rendering as it should...! Firefox only rarely gives me problems, like when a page has embedded Quicktime. I went to the Firefox extension website and downloaded the Quicktime plug-in from Apple, but Firefox just isn't reading it. I manually installed it and everything, but if I go to a page with a Quicktime plug-in (e.x. music playing in the background as with the "What is Yu-Gi-Oh?" page, or Joe's Gradius music video on his MySpace page) nothing happens. I have to save the file or open it in IE/Avant. How annoying.

Anyway, I might as well catch up on some Friends' entries while I'm here. I'll leave in 15, and I hope my Mythology teacher is as good as the reviews said. :P I'd also like to start meeting some people and making friends, so that a) Scott and Ben aren't the only things on my mind, and b) Friday does not become the sole highlight of my week.
azurite: (snark or smut)
Well, this weekend was eventful. Starting with Great America, and ending with a new list of "Gimmes," it's been nothing short of stressing... and entertaining.

When my friend stayed over for Tuesday-Thursday, there were some misadventures too-- like when we all saw "Reign of Fire," and Joe (boyfriend) couldn't have looked more BORED. Saturday we were supposed to go to Great America (theme park, for the uninformed), but at the end, when we both wanted to go on Stealth, no one was allowed to bring belongings up to the platform. -_- Total bull, mind you. Joe said he'd go back to our unlimited use locker (at the front of the park, while Stealth coaster was in the middle) and try to shove my bag in there. I was worried while waiting for him to come back... me being short and all, I climbed up on every platform and fence I could to see if I could spot him. When I did, he was coming towards me-- with the bag, but then he turned right around. I wasn't sure whether to follow him or not, so I stayed in line-- and it wasn't until I was about 20 minutes away from my turn that I found out that he wasn't allowed in line-- the queue line had closed, and there was no room in the lockers. In short, he'd spent an hour and twenty minutes waiting for me in line.

Talk about a guilt complex-- I couldn't stop apologizing! Ironic, too, since my friend that stayed over apologizes for things that aren't her fault, either. When she stayed over, she surmised that the reason I haven't been able to eat much lately is because I'm stressed-- and I couldn't find why. After all, summer school was going great, theme park Saturday was coming up, and everything seemed peachy. But truth be told, I was a bit worried that Joe was (and part of me think he still WILL) going to leave me, since I have this complex that makes me think that I'm not deserving of anyone. I've tried to revise that frame of mind thinking something like "Wow, how LUCKY I am to have someone." It makes me feel a little better, but upon checking his away message, he's obviously very mad at Great America-- and even though it was me who got free passes from my mom's friend at work, and Joe was the first person I thought of bringing with me, I still feel responsible and guilty for leaving him waiting all that time. To tell the truth, I didn't scream (in a happy way) on the ride-- I may have laughed, but that was because the guy next to me was screaming like a girl. ^^;;

Oh well. But today was fun. Mom and I went through the park, and had brunch at this Cafe Rain Tree. There were a bunch of little stores near by-- this five and dime with a whole bunch of cute bandannas, and this neat everything-store called Tutti Frutti that inspired my latest list of gimmes.

Thanks to my friend who stayed over -Ro, we'll call her- I now have an idea for what to do for Joe's birthday. I mean, he has practically everything he could want, since he's pretty well off, but everything he DOES want and doesn't have is nearly impossible to get here in the States. So I figured (with the help of Ro) that I could mix my creative talent for the things Joe likes (and lost/didn't get/wants)-- a Lego guy called ServBot, and Kirby, the puffy balloon creature. ^^ I'll try making some desk accessories like them for his birthday on Sept. 19, since they'd be cute and useful... so if that turns out okay, I'll be sure to be bubbling with excitement.

The only thing worrying me at this point is school, which starts August 26. I get my schedule on the 14th, when I meet Ro back at school (we were in summer school together) at 8:30a! My DMV appointment (FINALLY I'll get an ID!) is on August 17th, at 8:20a, and I can only hope my picture turns out ok. Then I can go see Rated R movies all by myself!

I got some new Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh cards at Great America, since the arcade was about the only successful part of the entire trip. I'm still working on my extra credit manga for Japanese class next semester, to bring up my D (ssh! I still haven't told my mom I have my report card!)-- it's called "I'm Listening," and the ideas I have for that would take up another entry in and of themselves. Drawing is so hard... but the screen tones, coloring, inking, and of course, JAPANESE will be even harder!

;_; My gimmes make me want to get money. But those are for another entry. Hopefully my friend remembered to ask HER bf if he could burn me a copy of Utada Hikaru's latest CD, "Deep River."

Well, I've been babbling stream-of-consciousness for a while now. If I left anything out, I'll addendum it to another entry.

January 2016

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