azurite: (twilight - fursplode!)
So I saw "Eclipse" the other night with Stephanie. I didn't pay for it: she used passes! So I have kept my promise of never paying for anything involving "Twilight," except for the time I saw the first movie, and that was genuinely for the LULZ. I was so obnoxious--and I admit it!--during the screening that it more than made up for the cost of the movie and the Junior Mints I think I ate. I wasn't quite as obnoxious during this screening, but it was great to know there were other folks in the theatre who just saw it for the LULZ.

azurite: (fiction - have written)
So rather than wail about all the Post-Its I have lying around with things to do, my near-empty Listography book, and the things I wish were working out, instead, a list of things I've accomplished today, big and small:

* Read a lot of emails and deleted the ones I don't need (have several thousand to go, but boo hoo)

* Heard back from both Adobe and JourneyEd regarding CS5: I have to spend $449 if I want it, because I don't qualify for the post-announce free upgrade, and there's no discount for an "upgrade" version of Design Premium from CS4 to CS5. So that, plus a camera are now on my Wish List.

* Got approved for the "In Plain Sight" - Mary x Marshall fanlisting - now I just need a name for it! YAY!?

* May be on the waiting list for a focus group and put my name out there for another one; they pay well and don't take long, so why not?

* Put the dishes away

* Registered for the NSCS Region 5 Summit in Seattle, WA on July 6th and 7th. It's my last conference as an NLC member (well, a "retiring" NLC member)!

* Am researching travel options for getting up to Seattle, esp. so soon after cousin Erin's wedding in Los Angeles on the 4th. Virgin America and Southwest are looking the cheapest, since the Amtrak Coast Starlight just doesn't mesh with my needed arrival and departure times. (Also: Anime Expo from July 1-4! So 1-3 = Anime Expo, 4 = Wedding + Fireworks, 5 = ? 6-7 = Seattle! Talk about a packed schedule for one week!)

* Also researching potential post-graduation travel options. Should I go down to San Diego after my orthodontist's appointment, and then head back up with Aunt Joyce in time for the bridal shower, or hang out in North Hills with cousin Jill and fam for a few days and meet up with Joyce on the day of the shower? Train ticket to S.D. would cost me $30-32, but it's more like "What the heck would I do down there?" and "Would I be intruding?" I suppose I should ask at least, so I have the option open, right?

* Got a huge scene done in the revision of Only 16, Chapter 2: A Look Back, which starts the flashbacks that reveal more about Serenity and Endymion's past. I'm contemplating deleting those from Endymion's point of view altogether, since Only 16 really is Serena's story, and even if Darien DOES remember his past completely and is just hiding it from Serena, why give him THAT much screen time? Isn't it more suspenseful having you wonder how things are really going from his end? I've only gone into his POV a few times in the revision so far, and never very deeply. But re-reading Lilac Summers' "First Truths" has made it a lot easier to 'ship them again (*shock!*).

* Updated WikiFic to 1.15.3, and added the much-debated lyrics of "Ahead of the Game." Mass consensus agrees that the garbled lyrics in the second verse are "My liquidity, giant balance sheet. All my secrets, Hey! I'll even cheat." Though how "I'll even cheat" makes sense when Kaiba (whose image song this is) is bragging about how much smarter, more creative, etc. he is than his opponent, isn't cheating making him look worse, not better? I personally think he should have said "I won't even cheat," as if he's restraining himself from cheating just to get a horrible duel over with. What do you think?

* Got started on my graduation announcements--the paper ones. A few family members left to get addresses for and send out, and then...have to figure out the rest. *bats eyelashes* Can YOU come?

* Dabble in revisions and/or additions to the following fics: Aftermath of Angels (FF8 x YGO), You and Me (body-swap YGO Azureship fic; thanks a lot for reminding me, [ profile] mischiefmagnet!)
* Story-So-Far comparison of the book Paprika to the movie
* Revisions to previous chapters of WDKY + uploading to all the usual suspect sites -- someone on asked me if they could do a German translation of the fic! I can't read German to save my life, so should I say yes and just pray they do a decent job, or say no because I'd never be able to understand it?
azurite: (cupcake sombrero!)
So it's a bit overdue, but last week I went to see "Clash of the Titans" in 3D XD! What that means is that I wore cheesy glasses and sat in a theatre with an awesome sound system. Yup.

Spoilers for Greek myths? )


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

Well first there was a vacuum... )

I have a very strange brain.
azurite: (ygo - pharaoh = porkchop)
So I'm rewatching "The Mummy" just for fun, and as with all movies, I'm pretty sure this one's got a number of gaffes or juicy tidbits left out. For starters:

(1) Why exactly was Rick O'Connell in prison? We saw him get away from Hamunaptra, and obviously the desert didn't kill him as Ardeth Bay predicted, but what happened in those three years?

Read more... )
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
For some reason while I was trying to get to sleep tonight, I was struck with a thought: The Little Mermaid and Grease really are a lot alike. Both of them feature a pair of people that fell for each other shortly after meeting, and don't think they'll meet again. But circumstances align such that they do, and the girl ends up changing herself to be with the guy.

Of course, there are some huge differences too, the least of which is the fairy tale vs. real world settings. I thought perhaps someone might have discussed this somewhere else, but a quick Google search didn't reveal anybody linking the two, so here goes.

Part of Your World )


Aug. 4th, 2009 04:03 pm
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
So, I'm chilling here at SFO (San Francisco International Airport, for those that don't speak airport code). I shelled out $7.99 for a T-Mobile Hotspot Day Pass, because even though I don't visit airports (or Starbucks, or even Borders) quite often enough to get a Hotspot account/shell out $40 a month, sitting here for 3 hours nursing a Coca-Cola and reading the August issue of Wired just doesn't cut it for me. I need to be connected, which is kind of sad. I sort of miss my childhood. :P

Tech jargon )

More win and OSM )

I'm actually somewhat looking forward to going home, if just to sleep on my own bed (though the AeroBed Mom got was pretty damn comfortable, no matter what Eva said about it being too soft) and have steady Wi-Fi in all my usual haunts. Also, MAIL! And money. And work for a week, until I have to get my butt to DC. And in-between all that, family visits and the Orange County Fair. Should be fun.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is stuck in my head, along with a plotbunny for a multichapter Sailor Moon fic I meant to write for [ profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [ profile] moodwriter, with her "Hate, Prejudice and Secret Intentions" (I think I got that title right) Dramione fic that I've been reading lately. Good stuff! I've also got to catch up on Stargirl's "Tsuki no Namida," an AR of the Silver Millennium, since the latest chapter is up for critiquing on one of [ profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!
azurite: (star trek: head bop)
It's official: I need a new Trek icon. I didn't know how I'd feel about a new version of Kirk or Spock, but I ADORE them both (and just 'cause they both happen to be pretty hot...oh, and Uhura is too!). The movie kicked butt. People that don't know Trek will enjoy it; people that know Trek will love it; people that know Trek AND the pre-movie comic will rejoice in all the awesome references. Trek's version of time continuity is interesting, to say the least, but it means a whole new universe (multiverse? dimension?) of possibilities for rebooting the Trek franchise without trying to create some new story with characters that just don't "meet the bar" or surpass it.

Baba said it was too loud and Grandpa was complaining about how the movie broke several laws of physics. I love my grandparents, but sometimes I wonder if they forgot the meaning of "entertainment." Or maybe we just have different definitions.


I foolishly imported some new albums into iTunes a few days ago. This in itself wouldn't be a bad thing, except I'd opened iTunes before I connected my external hard drive, upon which my entire iTunes library is. Nothing would have seemed out of the usual except for some bizarre reason, even though I didn't start the imports until I was connected, the new imports did not go onto the external drive, but onto my laptop's hard drive, which I DO NOT want to use for music. I've got many, many gigs of music and I'd much rather they reside in an external and on my iPod where they can't (supposedly) be wiped willy-nilly.

So I deleted the folders from my hard disk thinking I could just re-import them and they'd go into their proper folder(s) on my external, but nooooo...somehow I managed to delete numerous other songs from my external drive! I contacted Apple and got a chunk of my purchased songs back, but not all of them, and in the case of a few, I don't know if they're the right "edition" (Explicit) or not! I suppose it's not that big of a deal, but I'm a big girl and I can handle swearing in my music.

It sucks that I'd pretty much have to re-buy those tracks that are missing from when I originally purchased them (yay for the iTunes Store magically losing songs so they can't let me redownload them?), but I was honestly thinking of shelling out the $60 to buy the DRM-free tracks, anyway. At least THEN I could have infinite copies lying around on CDs, DVDs, and on my external drive. Problem is: I don't have $60 to toss around on music, so I'm hoping to restore as many of the tracks on my own as possible.

I've been using Time Machine to see if I can restore some files, but the whole fiasco with my Time Machine drive not mounting due to heck-knows-what (Western Digital told me it could have been anything from a power surge to the fact that I hadn't plugged in my external TM drive to its own power source, vs. a surge protector!) means my TM data only goes back so far--say, to the beginning of the month. GRR!!! Backup could work, as it's been making incremental backups up to March (and I have no idea why it didn't during April or earlier this month, but I plan on resuming those backups as soon as I have most of my library restored), but it involves unpacking those compressed files, some of which have what I need, and some of which probably don't.

I tried "Stellar Phoenix," but the cost of actually restoring the files is crazy-- $129! A similar option (forgot the name of the application) is $89, but that's still a rip-off in my mind when I have two backup applications, two libraries, my iPod (which may have synced after the song disappearances, meaning it's NOT ON THERE), and a possible way of finding the files and re-associating them so they're not "dead" tracks in iTunes. It'll just take time and probably a lot of hope.

Wish me luck. And oh, if you have tips, they're totally appreciated.

 Where I Belong by Nobuo Uematsu from FINAL FANTASY VIII (Original Soundtrack) (Rating: 0)
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
I didn't want to be stir-crazy today, so I went to the movies. It was a choice between "17 Again," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," or "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past." Opting for the chick-flick that I figured I'd never be able to see with someone else, I went for a showing of
"Ghosts of Girlfriends Past." Like some reviews said, Michael Douglas kind of stole the show. I was concerned that Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner wouldn't have ANY chemistry, but given McConaughey's character (a playboy, more or less), they pulled it off splendidly. I thought it was adorable how the same girl who played Jennifer Garner's younger self in "13 Going on 30" did the same thing for this movie. I suppose she really does look like Jennifer Garner when she was younger!

Next up on my movie watch list: The Brothers Bloom, Public Enemies, My Sister's Keeper, Terminator: Salvation, 17 Again, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek (on Wednesday with Baba and Grandpa!). Obviously in no particular order....

I was able to see the movie and enjoy a small popcorn, candy, and drink for about $6! I returned some of my textbooks yesterday (several books netted $45, which is not nearly what I bought them for, but you take what you can get, right?) and I returned a Victoria's Secret bra that didn't fit AT ALL. So I ended up with only $5 actually spent today: I brought $20 with me and "spent" exactly that, but I got around $14 back, hence a $6 movie day!

There's a store at the mall where the Shoe Pavilion used to be. It used to be just a small "hole in the wall" sort of store, with a small selection of anime DVDs, models, and a few "Ichiban-kan" style home items and school supplies. It expanded, and now has about six purikura machines, Keyboard Mania and DrumMania 3rd Mix, and a few other games, along with a bigger selection of anime DVDs, manga, models, and housewares. But...I still won't shop there because their stuff is pirated. I feel kind of awful every time I walk in, hoping I'll find something that I'll like enough to buy. I want the store to stick around, because there aren't enough stores of that kind in this area. The people are nice, but I just can't condone the used-looking, second-hand (maybe), pirated stuff they sell! I'm always halfway tempted to ask them about it, or to ask the manager, or to maybe go to the mall manager, but that seems so stupid.

Fact is, a lot of places do it, even those with the "legit" air, like the stores in Japantown. I'm kind of ashamed that, with a fairly strong suspicion that the Sailor Moon DVD boxed set I got at Japan Video was bootleg, I still bought it. Ever since then, I'm more careful with what I buy, whether it's online or at stores/conventions. And I'd rather not see stores marketing themselves as places to get that kind of stuff for cheap when the fact is, it's crappy-quality bootleg. Yeah, it sucks that there are no official licensed copies of "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon" around, and I realize that not everyone can download torrents or even watch streaming video, but you have to draw the line at doing something illegal.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. I used to think that if I saw an "All-Region" DVD, it meant it was fake, hands-down. But that's not true: you don't always need the hardware to be special or modified to watch something "out-of-region." A perfectly legit Sarah Brightman DVD I bought in Japan was all-region. It's meant to be so it can be sold around the world without reprint issues. While it's cool and probably convenient, it's not like Sarah Brightman is losing money by not having region encoding on her DVDs. I doubt sales of her DVD are as massive as, say, Death Note on DVD. If she does have pirating concerns, they're probably not big enough to warrant issuing region-specific DVDs. I'm guessing anime and manga companies can't afford to think that way, especially when there have been companies pirating this kind of stuff for at least a decade. So I figure, if it's All-Region and has Chinese AND English subs and I haven't heard about a license deal, or I have and it looks completely different, it probably is a bootleg. Nothing I've seen in the store, "Sugoi Life" looks legit, and it just makes me sick enough to not want to shop there. It's sad, because otherwise I'd be in there a lot more often, supporting the store in this region and the nature of the items.

Anyway, it's good that "summer's" officially begun. I still don't know for sure what I'll do or where I'll go, but it'll be experiential, like always! :)

Time flies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, so much to do, so little time.
azurite: (blue flower)
Well, spring break has at last come to a close. It went fast, but at least it was fun and relaxing. It certainly was nice sleeping in till around 10:30 a.m. every day; tomorrow my "waking up at 6:30 a.m." routine begins anew. Oh, and also my habit of going to the Arbor Grill for occasional morning breakfasts; I'm looking forward to enjoying a breakfast burrito again after a week of waffles, cereal, and toast.

I didn't post during spring break even though I had the time; it was more like my thoughts were pretty scattered and I tried to be out as much as possible-- or at least doing stuff.

I went to Opening Night for the Giants at AT&T Park with Steph, Kathryn, Nora, and a guy named Melvin who was only there for a blip of time, it seemed. I shouted myself hoarse and then ended up sick as a result-- I've got awful congestion, a dry nose (ow) and an occasional cough, but I hope to be better by my birthday. I'm being smart about what I'm eating and drinking, and that, of course, includes medicines to help me get over this.

I also got to see Evie, Eva, Crystal, and (surprise surprise!) Louie (from high school) again at our Chevy's night. As is my luck, I got a certificate from Chevy's THE DAY AFTER for a free entree. Isn't that always how it works? Whatever "it" is? Well, maybe I'll go this weekend in San Diego: the closest Tex-Mex to the border when the border is more or less off-limits!

Oh, oh, oh! I also got the real "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (a.k.a. Furyo, which translates to "Prisoner of War") soundtrack, which I think is beautiful, so even though I don't like Utada's sophomore U.S. album (not counting her days as Cubic U, of course), I applaud her for indirectly introducing me to another composer and his music (Ryuichi Sakamoto). I actually like the title track of the movie (which is what Utada sampled from) a lot more than this song... sorry Utada! Although I am curious if the vocal version, "Forbidden Colours" is the same "Forbidden Colours" that is a special bonus on one of Sarah Brightman's Canadian albums. If it is, it'll be interesting to see how she redid it; I didn't like the vocal version too much, but maybe that has to do with the kind of "spacey" quality it had as a song.

Read more... )

I'm really craving a red velvet cupcake for my birthday. I wonder if any bakeries around here have them?

 This One (Crying Like a Child) by Utada from This Is the One (Rating: 0)
azurite: (textually active)
Books )

Buying... or rather, selling )

Boxes. Inboxes, that is. )

Mer is a scatterbrain:
I was supposed to go to a meeting with my English advisor today. I got out of my biology class ridiculously early and called Mom, grabbed some El Pollo Loco, and then went to the MIC to find out about the NSLS's advisor and DVD. I ate my lunch after the brief meeting and got some things together, sent a few emails, but I completely forgot about the meeting. I had it in my head to go to HR to find out why I haven't received my paycheck yet, but then I glanced at the clock and I only had 20 minutes to get to class! It wasn't until I was putting my things down in class that I realized I'd completely forgotten the meeting! ARRRRRGH! I'm trying to get my graduation evaluation (grad check) completed (it has to be signed by my advisors) so I can find out WHEN I'm supposed to graduate, but so many things keep getting in the way! Plus, time seems to be against me and speeding by awfully fast.

But, I'm still thinking positive and trying not to get stressed just yet. Yoga is doing wonders for me, even if it's only once a week (and I missed last week thanks to Zyrtec) and this week I was kind of a klutz when we tried to get our legs up on this "bar." Ahh... never mind that. X_X
azurite: (twilight - sparkle motion)
Okay, [ profile] guardian_kysra, you asked for it. And [ profile] atlantian_magic, I owe you an apology: (Sorry about railing on you for Twilight. But there's a qualifier to this apology, so read on.)

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

you are aqua

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

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

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

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

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

Azurite's Dewey Decimal Section:

003 Systems

000 Computer Science, Information & General Works

Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.

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

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

azurite: (wank - wankicane)
1 - "Eagle Eye" kicks "Body of Lies" ass. Also: Billy Bob Thornton should forever be an action hero. I like him much better that way.

2 - CSI: Season 1 for $20! Target rocks! Now all I need are 7 friends to get me seasons 2-8 on DVD for X-mas/Hanukkah presents (for hopefully that same price and not the rip-off price of $46.95 like they were over at Borders). Also lovely: CSI:NY. I loves me some Mac and Stella.

3 - Heh, my new Nancy Drew game takes place in San Francisco. Half the street names are wrong, but it's funny anyway.

4 - I suck at Diner Dash. Seriously, I can't make it past Level 6 on "Flo on the Go," or Level 5 in "Diner Dash 2."

5 - Thinking about leaving DeviantART. It's seriously starting to suck.

6 - Coming someday in the not-too-distant future: "Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! - Ryuuji Otogi." I don't have my Mystical Cards or EZ-Astrology-Report book here in SF, but I can make do without it. :P

7 - Working on WikiFic and dealing with idiots (who also happen to be minor vandals.) Teh fun!

8 - In just two days of being on the Yu-Gi-Oh! Top 50, "Blue Eyes and Apricots" has soared from #299 on the ranks to #20! WOW! Now I seriously need to update it. I've actually thought of a way to replace the Fanart section, too. What I can't do is make up my mind about the style of the new layout-- dark and autumny, or light and... colorful?

9 - After playing Nancy Drew and reading Skip Beat! #14, I got to thinking that it'd be funny if Kyoko had to do some sleuthing at LME. Moko, of course, would get dragged into it, and there'd be humor (c/o Yashiro and Lory and Kyoko's own antics), potential angst and drama (because it ain't Skip Beat! without Ren and Sho), and maybe even some Vie Ghoul smashing!

10 - I reserved "Star Ocean: First Departure" for the PSP, but since I don't want to buy an Entertainment Pack with the new PSP-3000 and a stupid game I'll never play and a Memory Card I don't need, I think I'll end up waiting until November before buying a standalone PSP-3000. It's agonizing to wait that long when I'll finally have the game in my hands come the 21st, but if I've waited this long, I can wait another month or so.

Filktastic )


Oct. 8th, 2008 08:16 pm
azurite: (cat and mouse)
So I went shopping yesterday and today-- yesterday to pre-sale some lipstick and lipgloss before the big Clinique event TODAY, during which I got a new silver makeup bag, a cute green-srippy wristlet, some new lipstick, a compact with bronzer, eye shadow, and blush; a full-size High Impact mascara (though High Definition is my favorite, I will state here and now for the record: Clinique's mascara tops Chanel's ANY DAY OF THE WEEK), a clarifying "lotion" (aka toner), and a moisturizer lotion (that I gave to mom 'cause it's not for my skin type).

Girly stuff )

I also pre-ordered (FINALLY!) Star Ocean: First Departure, aka the first ever Star Ocean game FINALLY translated and brought to Western shores-- huzzah! But I'll need to buy a PSP. Here's where you come in:
1. Are PSPs region-free?
2. Where's the best place to buy a PSP? (A new edition is coming out later this month, so I'd prefer a new one with the better screen than just a shiny, cool-color one from some random online store)

No commentary on why the PSP resembles a Beyblade shooter or something, okay? The re-released SO games aren't going to BE on any other system, and I'm an RPG/specific title fan anyway-- so it's for those dedicated titles that I will shell out my hard-earned cash. It's been my long-awaited present to myself, so no trying to convince me not to get it!

And more:
* Saw "Body of Lies" the other night with Steph and her friends, Katherine and... er, I forgot Katherine's sister's name (sorry!). The movie was okay, but I got awful heartburn maybe 3/4 of the way through. It's not the kind of movie where you can really walk out and expect to understand anything when you come back.

* Ran into Jimbo and Christal on the 38 last night on the way back from my spree; we went out for Japanese (THANKS, CHRISTAL!) and crepes (mmmm!) and I might have a winter job as a result-- hush-hush!

* Apparently the "complete" iTunes library I thought I've been using for months is not so complete. When I went to look for my holiday music, I was coming up blank. A search of music with Christmas as my keyword (for title, album, or genre, as those are usually the top ones to return results) came up with nothing-- until I located it oddly in my Laptop iTunes Music folder, but NOT on my external hard drive's folder. I was under the impression that while my external drive was connected, iTunes defaulted to the library whose files it contained. Now, the library itself is still located on the laptop (I think because that's a requirement of iTunes), but the music folders are what are on the external drive.

The way I wanted it to be was:
-external HD: contains ALLLLL music, all playlists, everything. The one in use whenever I'm at a desk and plugged in, and the one that new songs are added to. Also the one that my iPod is synched to.

-laptop: contains a select few playlists, none of the "biggies" like my OCRemix collection, holiday albums, etc. Just some of the good, addictive stuff. Used for when I'm on the go and don't have my iPod.

So now I'm all confused and trying to import everything in the hopes I'm somehow doing it right and not super-duper duplicating my whole library. I might need to go to the Apple Store again (I went yesterday and nearly went broke buying a new battery, a new case --which is SO stuck on the laptop it's amazing I popped it off this morning without breaking a nail-- and getting my ProCare account fixed) and have them help me with this mess. Of course, I'd have to bring my external HD to get it done... -_-; *sigh*

Then, the question is, does the iTunes library EVER open to a certain one by default? Or would I consistently have to hold down Option when clicking on the icon in order to choose the "right" library depending on my circumstances? Should I put the library file for the external ON the external? And is there a program that either automatically chooses the right library file, or one that pops up whenever I open iTunes, negating the need for me to remember to do a keystroke?

Also, since there's been absolute mayhem where connectivity at Mom's house is concerned, it's been very touch-and-go with all things Internet; first my Mac would connect to the 'Net sometimes, and then sometimes not. Today it's been pretty good so far, through a few restarts and shut-downs. But with one good thing come a few bad things: the iTunes mess mentioned above, along with a sudden lack of printing capability. I used to be able to print wirelessly to Gary's printer all the way in the sunroom (in fact, it worked just fine yesterday before we changed all the damn wireless settings), but now I can't.

Before I deleted the malfunctioning printer from my Printer & Fax pane, I noted the address started with mds:// NOT with lpd:// (Line Printer Daemon), ipp:// (Internet Printing Protocol), or anything else. I tried adding the printer manually by entering in the IP address using the HP AiO Fax and HP IP Printing, but nothing works. The printer also no longer shows up in the Defaults pane as "Bonjour" kind (I think that's where the mds:// address comes from), though it did before, however long ago that was. I don't think it's a matter of DISTANCE, since, like I said, I was able to print from here in the living room to there in the sunroom just fine yesterday. The printer's been updated with the new wireless settings too, so...

Well, it's not THAT important. It's just annoying, above all else, and I don't have much patience. That's something I need to work on-- finding patience without procrastinating.
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
Back in Northridge again. I'm hoping it isn't a fruitless trip; I'm up here again so soon because I made an appointment with a brand-new doctor... who cancelled my appointment tomorrow afternoon while I was on the train coming up here. I'm hoping I can call early enough tomorrow morning to be notified of any other patients with ANY doctor that cancel. I basically just need a damn note saying I have sciatica and can't do intense walking when it's acting up, and that I'm allergic to the sanitizer and can't use it. Thing is, I left the sheet from the Cast First Aid that describes EXACTLY what doctor's notes have to say back "home" in Anahiem... along with the MSDS about the chemical. So I'm going to try and get at least one of those online right now. Got it. Either it's been a while or I'm not remembering the chemical name properly, because this thing clearly says it causes CHEMICAL BURNS, and anyone whose skin gets into contact with it should seek medical attention immediately. ...Anyone else sense something wrong with this whole predicament?

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

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

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

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

I've put down more mummies in my time. )
azurite: (believe in subtext)
Okay, so even though I finished the last of my four "Twilight" series book review/reaction posts, here's one more for good measure, re: the movie--

What's wrong with this picture?
A) Edward's supposed to be tawny, bronze-haired, not flaming red-haired. Now, I'm not about to find out if Robert P.'s curtains match the carpet, but I do know that in the trailer, he didn't look quite so Ron Weasley-ish. What's going on, EW? (As he is, he looks a bit like a wino, but at least he's looking in the right direction, unlike his swooning co-star, who seems to have her eyes wandering....)

B) Plain ol' supposedly uninteresting, apathetic, and yet mysteriously able to relate to everybody (IRL, I mean, and only partially in her own bookverse) looks... like a model. Like she looks AFTER she gets turned. She's got PLUCKED EYEBROWS for fuck's sake. I know she's being portrayed by an actress IN a movie, but if Nicole Kidman can wear a fake nose that had me thinking "There's no way that's Nicole Kidman!" then they can tone down the actress's natural looks and make her look more "Bella-ish." The movie, after all, is not from Edward's point of view, and we're never supposed to see Bella as some beautiful, amazingly talented girl. In order for her to be the slightest bit relatable, she's got to be plain, boring, ordinary!
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Okay, so I've finished reading "Twilight," the first book in Stephenie Meyer's series of the same name, which includes "New Moon," "Eclipse," and the soon-to-be-released "Breaking Dawn." It's also going to be featured in a movie of the same name, coming out December 12th.

I've heard a lot about the series, from my FL and off, from fans and wankers alike. My impression started out fairly negative: that it was poorly written, and should only be read for the LULz, that the main character was as close to a "canon Sue" as has ever been written, and the fans are even more delusional than the women that think they're married to Snape or Scott Summers.

Some reactions from outside:
-makani on DeviantART seemed to hate it (or just went along with the wank reports), and she got a torrent of commenters from all ages claiming they like/love the story, and just as many, if not more, that hate it.
-My roommate says she likes it because it's an easy read. She reads it in the 15 minute breaks she gets between shifts, but I've also seen her curled up with it on the couch when I get home. She got into it because of her 14-year-old sister, and disagrees with the opinion that it's meant for older readers than "Harry Potter" (even though Meyer herself said in a USA Today interview that the fourth and final book, "Breaking Dawn" is meant for ages 15+). She said it was more for 9-year-olds, but I think the language and tone is a bit more than that-- though I'm basing it off of things that were suggested to me when *I* was 9. The world's a different place, and I never read on my age level anyway-- I usually skipped a few grades in terms of booklists.

I actually had made another post a while ago, which included my reactions as I read the book in 20-30 page chunks. But it was lost, so here's my reaction to the first book as a whole, after I finished reading it earlier tonight.

Vampire Love Story? )
azurite: (Default)
Remember that meme from a while ago where I had a list of fandoms, and people put two or more of them together, and I wrote a crossover fic for them? Well, this is a different take on that.

I've selected 10 fandom crossovers. Pick one and write a ficlet for it, either in the comments or in your journal (and link to it in a comment). Then, post a similar list in your journal, featuring AT LEAST ONE of the fandoms from my list, and I'll do the same for you.

1. Indiana Jones x Yu-Gi-Oh!
2. Iron Man (movie) x Yu-Gi-Oh!
3. Pirates of the Caribbean (movies) x Sailor Moon (anime, manga, or live action)
4. Kingdom Hearts x Star Ocean: Till The End of Time (or Star Ocean: The Second Story)
5. Enchanted x Yu-Gi-Oh!
6. Star Wars (movies) x Star Ocean: The Second Story (or Star Ocean: Till The End of Time)
7. Kingdom Hearts: The Missing Characters (introduce characters from fandoms that SHOULD be in Kingdom Hearts, but aren't/are under-represented/strangely missing even though other members of the fandom are there, e.g. Rinoa, Giselle, more of Tifa or Mulan, characters from upcoming Disney movies like "The Princess and the Frog" or "Rapunzel" etc.)
8. Chronicles of Narnia x Any animated Disney film with a Disney "Princess" in it (note: characters like Alice from Alice in Wonderland can count as a "Princess" even if they're not "Princess" in title, or part of the "official Disney Princess" line-up, e.g. the way Mulan sometimes is)
9. National Treasure x Yu-Gi-Oh!
10. Atlantis: The Lost Empire x Yu-Gi-Oh! (or Indiana Jones)

Yeah, I know, most of them are Yu-Gi-Oh, but I wouldn't have done that if I didn't see great potential. I hope at least one of these gets taken up; I'd love to see what some people come up with for me to do!
azurite: (aries after sex)

If you go see it, make sure to stay until the very, very, very end past the credits. There is a bonus scene, and it is WELL worth it.
azurite: (disney - belle)
I got an A+ on the "female professional interview" that I did with [ profile] cutieme4u for my "Women and Leisure" (RTM 330OL) class! Hip-hip-hurrah! The fulltext, along with my professor's commentary, follows.

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

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

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

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

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

A++++++++ )
azurite: (xxxholic - yuuko)
I got back just a short while ago from the mall/movies, where I saw both "Rush Hour 3" and "3:10 To Yuma," both GREAT movies. Since I don't particularly feel like spoiling either movie, I will say that they were both a joy to watch, though for entirely different reasons. RH3 was practically non-stop laughter, and I gotta admit-- Jackie Chan speaks decent Japanese! (I'm fairly sure the bulk of the audience thought he was speaking Chinese, but I knew better; also, "Inspector Lee" did mention at one point that he knew a person who'd been raised in Tokyo, so it would make sense that if he was close with said person, he would have learned *SOME* Japanese)

3:10 was fabulous, though... honestly, I think Christian Bale deserved top billing. He really was the main character, and had more screen time than Russell Crowe, anyway. What I think is that Crowe is just better known, so he got top billing (or perhaps he's snooty about that kind of thing; what do I know? I mean, is he still chucking phones at people?) I do think Crowe was a DAMN good actor in this, as he was in "The Cinderella Man." I haven't heard anything bad about him lately, so I'll say he was likable and leave it at that. Christian Bale was superb, a refreshing change from the last movie I saw him in, "Harsh Times" (DVD), which I mentioned... he just wasn't suited for. It wasn't him, it was the story as well. But "3:10" was based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, and it was pretty damn good.

I also returned my spare copy of xxxHolic 7 and in exchange got the new Full Metal Panic novel, along with the first volume of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne (YAY! More Arina Tanemura! I'm only semi-into Gentleman's Alliance+, though) by CMX. I will say, CMX has done a pretty good job with this, so props to them! What I want to know is, why does "A Look into Arina Tanemura's Private Life" begin with Part 5 in the first volume!? Where are the previous 4 parts!? (And before you ask, YES, I looked throughout the volume-- they're not there!)

I also got 3 new calendars (what can I say, I'm obsessive AND indecisive)-- the Bad Girl's Rage-a-Day desk calendar and two wall calendars-- one for the Egyptology book that's so pretty (and fun! and interactive! Have you seen it yet? It's from the same people that did Dragonology and Wizardology... and possibly Pirateology, though I'm not sure about that last one), and one for the Disney Princess magazines-- something I saw and wanted in Japan, but didn't buy, because it was a day planner and almost all in Japanese-- aka useless for me that needs at least a LITTLE English to get by on. In any case, I'm so glad the Disney Princess "magazine style" art is finally out here, even though they're all ones I've seen (and I love the Villains one, too, so I hope if this calendar is a success, they'll either do more versions or introduce more art).

I also discovered a new store in the strip of stores near the mall-- Sugoi Life, which is surprisingly NOT a shoe store or something like I expected-- it's actually an anime and other Asian-goods store! I saw a Death Note (with feather) there, a bunch of HK-rip DVDs (no urge to buy those, even if they did have an Asian-language version of the Yu-Gi-Oh movie), and... YAN YAN! Which is now trans-fat free, apparently. I only had $1 in cash on me when I went into the store, but a guy on his cell phone in front of me in line was nice enough to lend me the $0.39 I needed to buy it. :) (He was faking out whoever he was talking on the phone to, which I found concurrently amusing and pathetic.)

Tomorrow I might meet up with Shawn-- he went to his grandparents for Rosh Hashanah (when Baba found out he was Jewish, she went "Aw! Now I'll have to be nicer to him!" Of course she was being sarcastic, because she's never been anything BUT nice to the boys I've introduced her to, but I found it amusing nonetheless), and I guess he was still eating dinner there tonight when I called him back after RH3.

I got a package from mom today, too-- my old fleecy purple blanket, a bunch of canvas bags for Baba and Grandpa to use when they go shopping (Baba is awful stubborn about continuing to get double bagged paper-and-plastic, which I had to remind her costs her extra and kills trees), a bunch of bookmarks, a new passport holder (even though I already have one...), a card holder and keychain set (I hurt my thumb trying to put the keychain on my bag) and... a PINK iPod case. >_< It doesn't properly fit my headphones, but that's really a minor point compared to the fact that it's PINK. I can't believe she thought it was purple. There's a kimono-patterned one I want from Amazon, but I don't think it has a belt clip, which is like a pre-requisite for me and an iPod or iPod case. So I'm thinking I'll invest in a sturdy clear case and just get a skin from the store at the mall. They might even have them both.

So tomorrow I might go back to the mall just to get any missing manga from my last mega-spree (or at least special order them and hopefully get them before the 5 for 4 deal ends), plus the iPod case if they have it at the Apple store or the nearby kiosk, and perhaps a refill of some of my necessary Clinique stuff. I got my Macy's Star Rewards credit card today in the mail, and while it does have a crazy high interest rate (I got the Visa, though I didn't get to choose and I have absolutely no intention of using it outside of Macy's, let alone NOT paying my bills on time), I did get a 15% off coupon through November. Problem? It's not usable in most of the places I shop at Macy's. -_- Real genius. I might as well just walk into the store and say "Hi, where CAN I use this?" Hell, I wonder what I might even NEED that's not Clinique? (Well, maybe shoes.)

*yawn* I think that's it for now... it'll be nice to sleep (in) on my own bed; last night I fell asleep for HOURS AND HOURS on the rec room couch. I didn't even have dinner! But tonight-- my own bed! YAY!

...I need an Arina Tanemura icon. Or six. (And more xxxHolic! Yuuko owns my soul!)
azurite: (blue flower)
Whoo-hoo! Yesterday was just all-around great (except for one "thing" at work that was minor but made me grumble, but whatever, in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter at all!). I was pretty excited in all my classes; my first teacher is petite AND energetic like me, and though Investigative Journalism seems a bit dry, it'll be sure to be challenging, as well. I'm looking forward to this semester! I'm also thrilled I got published in the Sundial on the VERY first day back- okay, not page one, per se, but my story WAS mentioned on the front page, though the actual story was on Page 6. And it turns out the editors AREN'T so anal with deadlines, because the EIC told me I could have come in the other day 5 minutes late, no worries-- but I'd run across campus from work, coughing and asthmatic. :P

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

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

Music Meme! )

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep up with my articles by checking out!

Ugh, gotta try going back to sleep.

That Thang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Aug. 10th, 2007 01:03 am
azurite: (escaflowne - destiny)
Jaw still hurts like a bitch, and it's a pain to eat practically anything (that includes soft foods like yogurt, ice cream, and cheese, btw), but at least I didn't make a fool of myself while brushing my teeth tonight. Grandpa switched the medication he was giving me from a light narcotic (which made me loopy but killed the pain) to this other stuff that works a bit, but not completely... I still feel like I have lockjaw.

I joined this other organization Joe B. mentioned at the Clubs & Orgs Fair the other day-- the NSLS, which is the National Society of Leadership and Success. Sounds a lot like NSCS, for all intents and purposes, but it's smaller, was founded more recently, and offers things a bit differently. Either way, I figured it's an opportunity, so I joined up-- for the $65 lifetime membership. This time I didn't have to waste time researching whether it was a scam or not, since I *KNOW* the chapter founder.

Speaking of NSCS though, apparently I won some sort of American Express prize (I don't know what, though) for participating in the post-convention survey. They even mentioned my name in the post-convention update email-- huzzah! I hope it's a hefty gift card, what with my recent plane ticket purchase up to Seattle... I mean, Baba offered to pay for it, but for some reason that made me feel awkward. Besides, she already paid for my clothes at H&M the other time, and I never paid her back (and if I tried she'd bop me upside the head).

I've managed to clean my room a LOT these past few days, which is weird but gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I've been shredding lots of useless papers, sorting things out into specific bags and boxes, and trying to figure out what I need/don't need, what itches to the point of me never wanting to wear it again (which is unfortunately a lot of things lately... am I becoming allergic to some sort of fabric?), and what I'll need for the upcoming semester (vs. what I already have which is, of course, a lot).

Today I got the Hercules Hooks in the mail from PCH, and... sorry Billie Mays, they're not as cool as they seem on TV. Maybe it's just me with my wallpapered 1.5" thick (and I know that's thick, but STILL it's not like it says "limited to 1/4" thick walls and less" on the packaging or anything) walls, but it took a good half hour of twisting and pushing to get ONE pin into the wall, and even when it did, the hole it made was not "pin-sized" by any stretch of the imagination. True, I did manage to get my photo collage and Happy Bunny whiteboard hung up without too much of a problem, but I can't see myself devoting any further hours to getting those things through the wall, even though I *DID* use the stud finder to help me find the "thinner" areas of the wall without studs, just plaster. It makes a mess and wastes my time, so I'll stick with nails and a hammer, thankyouverymuch. I've decided at this point that if Baba and Grandpa DO end up selling this house once I graduate, they'll have to re-wallpaper more than just THIS room, anyway. I never TRY to damage it, it just happens. And I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, so nyah! :P

Shawn came over tonight and helped me put the sliders on the rec room couches and adjust my bookcase (which I'd moved in desperate search for one of my hairpin's dislocated rhinestones), and then we watched "The Prestige" together. He said it was very good, and I wisely kept my mouth shut during the whole thing-- and because of that, I was able to "get it" more than I had the first time I watched. At least... I think so!

Anyway, I'm back to being loopy-tired, which is finally appropriate given the time (I'd been tired like hell earlier, but I resisted and cleaned instead, since I didn't want to screw up my sleep schedule MORE). So I'm off to bed!

Hertz Donut

Aug. 7th, 2007 02:05 pm
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
Penned at 6am )

Besides that, my right wisdom tooth is hurting. Either it's "really good" (sarcastic) timing, considering I'm scheduled to get my teeth out on the 24th (DAY AFTER SCHOOL STARTS!!! AUGH!), or it's psychological, and if the latter, I'm hoping to distract myself enough today to not think about how weird it feels (and how it hurts). It feels like I have a Skittle stuck in the upper right corner of my mouth.

For those of you that have already had your wisdom teeth out, what did you eat in the days afterward? I was thinking yogurt will probably be safe, but I'm one of those people who doesn't like to eat the same thing too many times in a given period, so I need a bit more of a variety. Okay, yogurt, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, soup... any other suggestions?

I have 10 more icon slots available, and every now and again, I find myself saying, "I need icons from Z fandom!" and then I promptly forget what those fandoms are. But right now, I totally want to make some for the Secret Society Girl books! :D I already have a few for Meg Cabot's "The Mediator" series on [ profile] azurite (formerly known as Delishidoodle), so maybe I should finish them up and make a whole big collection of book-inspired icons!

I have yet to hear back from the book publisher whose internship got me all excited-- basically, I want to know what the positions I was interested in entailed, and who to address my cover letter to. The deadline is August 31, so assuming they don't get back to me but I still want to make deadline, does anyone have any suggestions for what to say in my cover letter, or how to find the hiring manager's name (or address the cover letter some other way besides "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam")? I'd appreciate any help I could get...

Possibly going to hang out with Shawn (squee?) later today; maybe the Bourne Supremacy will be back at Blockbuster? That and I want to play more FFX, since I have many more fiends to capture, weapons to customize, and Gil to get. :D
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Segments from a weird dream... or dreams )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaand... that's it. For now. Shawn is supposed to pick me up so we can see the Bourne Supremacy from Blockbuster, and then later tonight we're going to one of his friend's houses for some drinks and a movie. Sounds like a good weekend to me already!
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
You're a Window Shopper!

You know that shopping's a blast, but you prefer to save your money
You hardly ever give into an impulse buy, unless it's a total steal
You've always got the most money of your friends - and you never have to borrow
And you've got a nice wardrobe too ... of classic pieces that last years!

I guess this is why reading about Becky Brandon neé Bloomwood in "Shopaholic and Baby" irks me every now and again-- she's not the worst protagonist I've ever read (not by a longshot), but sometimes I want to reach through the pages and strangle her for her absolute airheadedness. But then again, maybe if I had a rich husband I'd want to buy stylist prams too. :P

I left work early today because I was feeling nauseous-- but I hardly ate anything. In fact in all of today, I've had a single Oatmeal Raisin breakfast bar and a pair of waffles with maple syrup. The thought of stomaching anything else makes me queasy, though I could go for some juice right about now. I hate getting sick in the summer.

I'm feeling better than I was earlier, but I'd still rather be lying back and either reading or playing video games. Speaking of the latter, I think I'll make use of those Ultimania maps I got for FFX and try and get Kimahri's Saturn Sigil. If I can't do it by 9:30, I'll save it for another day.

At least the computer's not UNGODLY slow atm, but I'm going to have Erin's friend Eriq look at it (whenever I can get to Westside, that is) and then hopefully get my FinAid check soon enough to get a new one (because I'm all for taking the easy route when I can).

Dark Purple

To others, you seem a bit dark, mysterious, and moody.
In truth, you are just a very unique person who doesn't care what others think.
And you really enjoy your offbeat interests and friends.
You've decided that life is about living for yourself - simple as that.

I want to see "The Bourne Ultimatum" this weekend. With Shawn. But I haven't seen the second one yet. Will that screw me over (probably the wrong wording, but who cares)?

...I've become addicted to ordering things from the Publisher's Clearing House, by the way. Smack me.
azurite: (ygo - kaiba smirk)
A little over an hour (and a half?) ago, my uncle Neal, Baba, Grandpa and I got back from UCLA, where we attended my cousin Erin's double-graduation. Double because she got two bachelors degrees: one in design, and another in anthropology, with a minor in urban planning. The first one was big and huge, but we cut out as soon as Erin got her name called-- the second dragged on despite it being "smaller" --they started late, and the speakers all just kept GOING AND GOING. Erin even had time to pass back a note to her mom (my aunt Joyce) that said "I thought I graduated already, so why am I getting lectured!?" when the dean just kept going and going and going...

And I still like all the excitement of graduation, even if the prospect of paying off student loans, finding a "real" job and moving out on my own (really, for the first time) is a bit daunting. I wonder if keeping my Japanese minor just to put that off for a bit longer is a good idea... I'm still undecided on whether I want to keep it as a minor.

Before the graduation, we went to my grandparents' cousin's 90th and 94th (!!) birthday celebration at this fancy restaurant in Westwood called Lawry's. It was very dark and wooden, though I think some rather rich kids (perhaps Beverly Hills ilk?) were having a party in one half of the restaurant, while various branches of the Sweet/Goldberg families filled up several tables in the other room.

Baba had chicken, Grandpa had fish, and I had this massive steak the size of my head that was so overdone (I asked for well-done, not BURNT TO A CRISP) that it was dry, and I ended up eating more creamed corn and mashed potatoes than I did steak. There was also a ton of fat on the steak, which... well, looks like white jelly, and is not appetizing to eat. So I tried to cut some of it off. I gave some steak to both Baba and Grandpa (because they asked), but even then, I got so filled up off everything else-- salad, a bread roll, and what little steak I could eat. Then I had to try and eat some dessert, but by then, we were running late to meet Erin for her graduation, which began at 4pm.

All in all, it was a very filled day-- fun, but filled. Toward the end, I was so cold and hungry, it made me irritable and a bit more complaining than I usually am (or would like to be). What's frustrating is how UCLA, quite unlike CSUN, is very wide and spread out, and not the least bit flat. It's all over hills, with major thoroughfares passing through it. They have traffic lights WITHIN the campus! CSUN just has a million stop signs. So it took a while for Neal to get the car after the second graduation (because Erin had to show him how to get to where he'd parked), and then he drove RIGHT BY US when he finally DID come and find the place. >_< We had to call to get him to turn back around and find us.

When we got home, I made myself a yummy nectarine-and-raisin bowl of Cream of Wheat and watched "Legally Blonde" with my aunt Joyce and my uncles Neal, Fred, and Dan. It was kind of fun, though says that the sequel wasn't all that great. ;_; Too bad.

Other cool stuff:
* Working on customizing more skins for Epiphany (which I *MUST* get up by the end of the summer) and Dragonfayth, including all new ones, like WritingPlus3, a new version of Safari, and maybe more!

* Fixed Epiphany's "elegance" skin using the oh-I-can't-believe-I-forgot-that CSS Box Model. Okay, so it still needs a bit of work. Can anyone on a PC with IE6 (*not 7* as I can test for that on my end) test for me? Let me know if you can check for me, please... :)

* Managed to convert (using CrossFont, a shareware program for Windows) HUNDREDS of Windows-only fonts into Mac-readable ones, which I immediately imported using the super-nifty FontExplorerX, which even detected duplicate fonts for me! Because I managed to actually USE said fonts and delete the duplicates, I saved some disk space.

* Talked to Scott (aka [ profile] fountain_the) today-- it was nice hearing from him again! Plus he sent (in an email) photos of his tiny (looks like a loft) apartment. Cooking is apparently impossible there... which I can't blame him for thinking. It took me a while to get used to the tiny fridge, itty-bitty cabinet space, and minuscule cooking area myself. I told Fred that Scott missed his old job with SDMM, and Fred smiled (in that Fred way...) and said he would tell the gang at SDMM that Scott said hi, and YES, they did get his postcard, which everyone read. :)

Not-so-cool stuff:
* I've been trying to install more games on my Windows side, since I upgraded to Parallels 3. I managed to get the Doom Collector's Edition working well (in fact, I spent most of Friday at work blasting Imps and Demons), but when it came to one of my favorite simulator games, "Pharaoh" with the Cleopatra expansion, I couldn't do it. The first attempt stalled at 37%, the second at 80%. I read a tech support tip on the Sierra forums that said to try copying the CD contents to the HD and installing from there, but it tripped up on the LAST, most important file, :( I guess I could try finding the game again (my CD is somewhat scratched up), but I'm hoping there's another way to get this ONE stupid file. No one on this FL happens to have that game, do they?

* Room is a horrid mess. Haven't had the motivation to clean it, assemble my bookcase, put my clothes away... it's funny, because I have motivation for coding, but little else. And I *NEED* to have that motivation, because there's a lot to be done (Semester at Sea app, preparing for Philly, among other things).

* I tried selling my Hot Gimmick set on eBay and there were a bunch of problems-- I thought it was because of seller fees owed to eBay, an old B&N order where PayPal saw the authorization as still pending... but in the end, I think it was because eBay saved my old Yahoo! address under the listing. After finally figuring this out, I notified the seller with step-by-step instructions on how to pay to my PROPER PayPal address, but she said it still didn't work and she wasn't interested in buying them anymore. :( I hate to think if she'll negatively feedback me, but I can understand her frustration. The problem is, I relisted the item for Second Chance, and I had no opportunity to indicate my proper email. If the runner-up wants it, they might have the same problem unless I can notify them where to send the payment! Stupid eBay... they should change email addresses EVEN ON ACTIVE OR CLOSED LISTINGS the minute a user changes it in their profile. Or I could blame PayPal, for not catching the payment even though the Yahoo! address is listed as an alternate email on my account now. Of course, the user didn't say she GOT the same error, and she wouldn't say what she did get... methinks she was just so frustrated, she didn't bother with it. Shame.

Silver lining:

* Got Dad a killer trio of Father's Day/birthday presents. Can't wait to call him tomorrow and hear his reaction. I just hope he doesn't bring up some of the drama that's plagued us earlier this week... which I suppose I'll get into in another entry, when I figure out just what to DO about it. Have to talk to Joyce.
azurite: (kitty catch)
The best things in life are free
da da da dah
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Give me money!
That's what I want
That's what I want (That's what I want)
That's what I waaaaaaaant
That's what I want (That's what I want)

So today I went with Mom to the Semester at Sea Open Ship event aboard the MV (formerly Universe) Explorer docked at Pier 35, and WOW! That ship is AMAZING. Mom's been on cruises before on luxury liners (I haven't) and even she was saying the ship was impressive. Okay, so the dorm rooms are about the size of my closet and the beds aren't even a twin, but the rest of the ship is just AMAZING. The classrooms have glass tables and soft, round, rotating chairs. The whole ship is wireless for internet and satellite phone, and there are snack bars, entertainment centers, a small pool, fitness centers, a full SPA! It's really incredible. And to get to travel/see the world and learn at the same time, sometimes from incredibly renowned people? Chance of a lifetime.

The catch? It's about $21,000. I have about $5000 in scholarship and loan money at the moment (not counting my Presidential Scholarship... for reasons which should be obvious), which has always been enough to cover for CSUN. I think as a senior, I can take out more money from the loans, but that's really a last resort. I'd rather get more scholarships and grants. The Institute for Shipboard Education has scholarships up to $7000, and work-study, but the latter programs are only available to students with an Expected Family Contribution (on their FAFSA) of $0. And while I've never actually received any money from either my mom or my dad for college, that's NOT what it says on my FAFSA, which is calculated according to taxes and such. Things that I have no control over, basically, since I can't be an independent student until I'm 25, even if I don't live with either of my parents, and, as far as I know, neither of them claim me (and though my grandparents *CAN*, they don't).

I thought I could apply and be notified of my status on the spot, but they want EVERYTHING ready-- not just the transcripts and clearance form, but the application (which had to be done on paper, because the computers were being fixed) and the attached essay. But because I went to the event, I can at least get the application fee waived, which is nice. So I can write that essay and mail everything out soon.

...So Dad (whom I saw today after the event) lent me his giant Peterson's Guide to Grants, Scholarships and Prizes. It's several hundred pages, with millions of listings, so let's hope I can get at least a few of them if I get accepted into SAS so I can actually *GO.* That and maybe I'll stage a fundraiser. ^^;

That said, the suckiness of today was that I lost my 7-day bus pass. Where, I don't know. Maybe on the ship, maybe on the 47 on the way to the Pier... I don't know. I went back to the ship to look for it, but I couldn't find it in any of the places I remember going or sitting, and no one in any of those areas had found it. I even left my number with an alum, but no call back. :( I know I'm only here for 2 more days, but still! What a waste of $24. I didn't take nearly as many bus trips as the value of the card was worth, and I'm really disappointed in myself. And my pants, with their stupid shallow pockets.

But the F-train that I took to the Embarcadero Bart had a really amusing driver, plus the cash box was broken, so I didn't have to pay anyway. I got enough money for the BART, and I met Dad at the Crucible. We went out for supper at this cute hole-in-the-wall Mexican Wrap place in Alameda, where I had 2 delicious enchiladas, and a kindergartener that learned the Mexican Hat Dance performed for us. He got a flan for his trouble-- so cute! And before I left, I had two of the very friendly servers speaking Japanese! :D Haha~

I then went with Dad to his new house (this is the 3rd place he's lived in since moving to Alameda; the last one was the one that burnt down/got flooded), which is a very nice place with a nice backyard of sorts, pretty stained glass windows, and big polished wooden columns. Very "Dad." And Roy (the cat) likes me! He meowed at me a lot, and liked to let me pet him. :) But he's a very big and somewhat irritable cat-- his tail was always swooshing!

We all watched "Chronicles of Riddick" (which I didn't really get; I guess it would have helped to have watched "Pitch Black" first, eh? But Dad said it was pretty scary), and had some Kettle Korn and Mexican Coca-Cola from the wrap place we'd gone to. Mexican Coke is the best! :D None of that high fructose corn crap-- it's REAL SUGAR! (Real teeth rot! YAY!) and then Dad took me to the Fruitvale Bart.

So here I am back at home, mildly amused because I saw a restaurant named "Namu" (as in, Malik's alias during the beginning of Battle City) on my way back home on the 31. I guess it was a good day-- I hope I can do a bit of shopping tomorrow and maybe hang out with people some more.

Recent Acquisitions:
* "Chew on This" by Eric Schlosser, the author of "Fast Food Nation." It's more on fast food, but it's not as difficult a read as FFN. Very good! Makes me want to teach it! There are a lot of good ideas for using it in various subjects in classes.

* Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters for PS2. (It was $9, I couldn't resist)

* Enya: Shepherd Moons. Nice music to fall asleep to. I got it at Goodwill for only $3.49, and it was in perfect condition!

* "Diary of a Mad Bride" and "Mermaid Saga 1," also obtained at Goodwill-- both in brand-new condition, for only $1.49 each. The manga even had the original Borders barcode sticker still on the back! :D

* Do Not Disturb lavender-and-rice-filled warming relaxation wrap. It takes 1 minute and 20 seconds to heat in the microwave to a good temperature that totally relaxes my shoulders, soothes headaches, and helps me sleep or relax. It was only $25 at the Discovery Channel store, which is unfortunately going out of business (except online).

I've also been editing WDKY as of late-- Chs. 9-12 all have been fixed, but not uploaded anywhere as of yet. I figure I'll do everything in order to get a sense of the story up until now (Ch. 25) and then just re-upload everything everywhere, all at once. It'll also be nice to work on the various portions of the WDKY website, so I can remember all the things that inspire me for particular parts of the saga.

That said... I think I'll look at Ch. 13 and then go to bed.
azurite: (potc - will liz)
Just came back from POTC3: At World's End. There were some expected bits, some unexpected bits, and some bits I was glad they included in the trailer. Generally, I liked it. If you don't mind being spoiled, or have already seen it, read on.

Avast, there be LJ-CUTs ahead! )

I also finished Ceres: Celestial Legend and, like POTC3, it had the kind of ending that just makes you go "Ah, well." It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it was just an ENDING. And it was what made sense, and what felt right. And like POTC3, it's got a bit of possibility on its own-- but that's what fanfic's for either way, right?
azurite: (aries after sex)
Whoo-hoo, Giants beat the Padres 3-5! I wish we'd beat them 1-5, then I could have gone to the Levi's store at Union Square and gotten 10% or so off a purchase with a ticket stub, but alas... I suppose I don't need the new pants anyway (even though I really do, I think). But it was still nice having post-game bragging rights and text messaging Scott to tell him GIANTS WON HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA (among other things, which prompted the following reply: !...go Padres?)

So generally speaking, it's been a good Spring Break. I wish I'd gotten out more... hopefully if I get up at a semi-reasonable hour tomorrow (and Mom doesn't have me cleaning again *pray pray pray*) I can do some last-minute shopping at J-town and downtown, if I pack my other things in the morning. I hope the weather will be nice, because no matter what outfit I choose, it'll be a skirt. :P

Thankfully Dad wasn't PO'd at all when I called him earlier today to ask him about the plans for Friday... he still doesn't know if Kathleen is coming for Passover, though. o_O; And he refuses dead-on to come to S.F., so that means Mom'll be stuck shipping any leftover things of mine, rather than me taking it via car. :P Honestly, parents can be so immature at times...

But rather than rant and rail, I'm in a pretty good mood. I snagged YGO: Duelist #20 (yea for more errors by Viz so I can put them on WikiFic!) and The Prestige on DVD for only $19.99 (plus 30% off YGO!). And the game was pretty damn good, even if Bonds... well, he didn't do much. He caught one good hit somewhere in the last innings, but hitting-wise, he didn't do much. When he finally got to base, it was because he got a run. Everyone was booing. I think booing is tacky, but... whatever. It helped us score in the end, I think.

It's a shame I didn't get to see more of my friends and do more with my Mom, but that's the nature of Spring Break. I'll be back in summer, for sure.
azurite: (born beneath alder)
After a week of putting it off, I finally went to see "Premonition" tonight. I happen to like movies that deal with the supernatural-- time-traveling or psychic premonitions are interesting plot-devices, if used well. I like movies that are puzzlers-- like "The Prestige," among a select few others.

Spoilers if you care )

Why do people say things like "he'd of" and "I'd of"? NO. It's "he'd HAVE" and "I'd HAVE" I hate it when people mix those two up. You do not write like you talk! (Or you'd be seeing a lot more "hellas" in here, guaranteed.)
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Well, I did it. I spent ¥11,920 on my hair-- more expensive than I thought, because according to the stylist (who was a super-nice, gentle guy with nice style), a "C-Curl" (the kind I was hoping for) wouldn't produce the effect I wanted (something that I saw in Mina magazine-- sort of loose curls on the bottom half of my hair, with the rest being semi-wavy). What I ended up doing was paying ¥9000 in cash and putting the rest on my card, and I was hoping it didn't hit yet, but my account is already showing the deduction as on hold. To make matters "worse," the Skype payment that usually takes more than 2 weeks to go through went through, as did the charge for a taxi ride I took MONTHS ago. I still have enough for the extra suitcase on the way back, BUT ONLY ONE. I will raise holy hell if I have to if they even THINK about making me check my stupid blanket-and-cat in a bag, or if they say any of my bags are "overweight" (even though I do want to try and stuff the contents of some of my mailing boxes in my suitcase; I'm going to do my laundry tomorrow and put all my clothes in except for the Mon/Tues ones and my pajamas, and I hope there'll be enough room leftover for the stuff in the box so I can save ¥6000 that way).

I also made chocolate chip cookies, and they turned out pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I don't have to guilt over not giving Chisato or Hiromi a present from Hong Kong; I'll give them handmade chocolate chip cookies! Also, Holly's advice on using pancake mix to substitute for the baking powder (because why buy such a giant can when no recipe ever calls for more than a few teaspoons) worked quite well!

That said, my hair is SO DARK now, I wonder if it's even darker than my natural color. It's all ONE color, so I'm glad-- I'm done with all those crazy highlights and streaks and such. But as Holly said, from behind, you probably couldn't tell me apart from a Japanese person. And Baba will throw a fit, because she thinks I should be blonde. :P But I like it. It's a little frizzy and not as nicely curled as I hoped the perm would be, but I think if I buy some Product (mousse or wax or something), I can keep up the curls. I'm sure none of the pretty Japanese girls get those dos without ANY work involved... maintenance is key for all things beauty, no? Maybe on Monday I can use my bun-maker thing to roll up my hair so it'll curl overnight. :) I want to be pretty when Scott sees me, even though I'll be on an 11-hour flight...

What's left?
-Mail the Yahoo! modem back on Monday
-Mail some postcards and 2 packages, one to each parent (hence the reason why I'm hoping I can avoid paying the ¥6000 SLOW METHOD for the larger package)
-Finish every last shred of packing (that would include the random toiletries, a few pieces of dishware, and my bears which I could probably shove in the bag with Toro-kun)
-Pay the current Yahoo! BB bill (it seems as if my roommates were able to find out SOMETHING, but they couldn't take the faulty BBTV charge off, because I *DID* leave the set sitting around for a week, even though I never could connect it and take advantage of the most expensive thing on my last bill-- the Basic Channel Pack. But whatever, water under the bridge. They also couldn't find out what the next month's bill will be, but I have to arrange things with the Intl. Center and send THEM the money-- an International Postal Order, probably.)

I also updated Epiphany to eFiction 3.1 soon, but I have yet to finish deciding all the categories I want, creating ANY custom pages, creating a FAQ, or making the category images I want. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

And I got to see "Firewall" at last-- does Paul Bettany *EVER* play a good guy? I mean, he's so good at being evil. I wonder if that's just the way he looks-- something about his eyes, he just looks like the perpetual bad guy. Not that I think any actor should be consistently typecast-- they always manage to surprise us-- but from what I know of him, he's always playing some sort of bad guy.

Meanwhile, I still love Harrison Ford, even if he gets his ass handed to him more in "Firewall" than he ever did in any given "Indiana Jones" movie. I respect the guy a lot, and I enjoyed the movie. :)

And now... I'm actually pretty damn tired. I fell asleep a few times while I was getting my hair done, but it'll certainly be nice to sleep in FOR REAL tonight. Except ugh, I think the cookie dough's catching up with me...

azurite: (purple nails jewels)
Ah, just got back from Uchihara/Jusco, and seeing NANA 2. It was good, and filled me in on those missing chunks of spoilers that I've been hearing about... sort of. For those of you anxious to know what the movie DOES and DOESN'T, I'll let you know right here - SPOILERS, OF COURSE, FOR BOTH THE MANGA AND MOVIE! )

COOKIE starring NANA, Chapter 64 )

After the NANA 2 movie, I went to the Toho Cinema Store and got myself a Nana cell phone strap (there were both Hachi and Nana varieties, but at 800 yen a piece, I only got one-- the black and red NANA edition), two Disney magazine parody postcards (I'll scan them in a bit; these are the things I mentioned before, when I first went to Kiddy Land at Mito Eki's EXCEL mall), and a present for Scott. :)

I looked around the whole JUSCO department store to try and find the book section Kevin mentioned (he said he bought bookmarks for his girlfriend; I happen to collect bookmarks, so I wanted to know where to get them), but I seriously could not find it at all. My knees were close to giving, and it was cold and rainy out, so I just headed back here. I want to ask Kevin whether he meant the department store or a store in AEON (the whole mall). The exchange students have a tendency of calling the entire mall "JUSCO," even though that's just ONE store in the whole place, kind of like Sears takes up several floors in American malls. But you don't call the entire mall "Sears."

Ah, I need some good Nana icons... But for now, I'll just pretend that these purple nails belong to Nana. :)
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
What? What? See that line in my subject? That's not English. But I heard Yuna Ito (of the NANA movie's Trapnest's lead vocalist, Reira fame) spoke very good English. Of course, singers and actors alike just say what they're told when it comes to other works, but I'm hoping it's just a case of me mishearing. So, for anyone who saw NANA the movie 1, can you tell me what line Reira said to the blond guitarist after the Trapnest concert?

I just got horribly spoiled by Wikipedia AGAIN. You know, their spoiler tags really don't do much for me. I just end up scrolling past them and then BAM! "WHAT!? WHO!? ZOMG!" But in truth, it does make me look forward to the parts of the manga and movies that I haven't seen yet (or that haven't come out yet). Same's true for Death Note. :)

Nana also made me realize something that was already told to me by one of the girls in a class I T.A. for-- that in Japan, "smoking is cool." The girl in the T.A. class said that the person she respected the most was a particular musician, and she taught her how to smoke. When she asked me if smoking was considered "cool" in America, I had to be honest and tell her no, it really wasn't-- though I could have gone on and practically preached her ear off.

People can say that the cigarettes here have less tar or whatever in them, but honestly, it doesn't make people's teeth any whiter or their breath any better. I still dislike smokers and smoking. Ironically (or not), one of the Intl. Center workers agreed with me on this; even if we found someone who was good looking and kind, if he smoked, we wouldn't pursue anything.

With movies like NANA portraying smoking as this common, easy, every day thing that's "cool," kids are probably more tempted to try it. And because it's so easy to get cigarettes from vending machines (jidouhanbaiki), nothing stops them-- even the teachers at school smoke, so it's not like when they watch any so-called "educational" anti-smoking propaganda, they have any reason to believe it. It's a real shame. :P

And you know, something else... I want to be able to dream too, no matter how painful it is. I think I can relate more to Nana Koumatsu than I can to Nana Oosaki (but I like Nana Oosaki's personality), and that's why I like the series. :)
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Okay, I *JUST* woke up from a set of really weird dreams. It's 6 in the morning here on Labor Thanksgiving Day here in Japan. No classes or EC, so yay to that, but it's cold and I have lots to do, anyway.

So, let's see, here are the snippets of dreams I remember:
-Going to see a movie with someone (Scott?) and watching a movie about dragons. Not Eragon, which I know is/was out in the States and is coming soon here to Japan, but something similar. I just know it wasn't Eragon. And there was a preview for a new Quentin Tarantino movie which I remember distinctly, for a "Kill Bill" sequel of sorts-- only more like a prequel, because it was all about Lucy Liu's character, and when the big red words "LUCY" and then "LIU" appeared, everyone freaked out and the crowd in the theatre went wild. And then JET LI was in it "as himself," but really as Lucy Liu's boyfriend/lover, only something had happened to him while he was separated from Lucy, so he was bald but had a scar on the upper right of his head... where a THIRD EYE popped out when he willed it. And when this eye opened all the way, it was the size of a sand-dollar (and I mean that LITERALLY, not in that figurative sense) and very snake-like looking. I remember there being some sort of "vortex" scene transition effect, and the viewers all got sucked into the eye as Jet Li told Lucy Liu his story. Either part of the preview or part of the movie itself ("sometime in the not so distant future..."), Uma Thurman was back and shooting the hell out of Lucy Liu's apartment. Apparently this was when she was trying to live a semi-normal-looking life-- not Miss Queen of the Japanese Underworld. And Uma had to retreat, leaving Lucy to both clean up the mess of her apartment (before her little ol' landlady, a mean bitch in her own right, found out) and explain things to Jet Li. And Jet Li apparently got Uma to run away by throwing a full-sized vacuum at her. o_O;

-I also had a dream involving me talking to my dad, which isn't that far from what I sort-of planned; I was going to either email him or call him today/tomorrow and ask him for a bit of financial help, since, well... he's not helping me out directly here in Japan. I did tell him how Mom helped me with the cell phone bill, but not to guilt-trip him or anything; I told him because a) I do not lie and b) he asked what was up, and at the time I called, that particular situation had been stressing me out. (Of note is the fact that dad CLAIMED he called my Skype number numerous times and left voicemails, but I never saw them. Skype WAS buggy, but even when I missed calls or got new VMs, it notified me. I don't know if he's tried to call since --I called him a few days ago-- but I have never seen any calls/VMs from Dad.) Anyway, the dream oddly took place back at 523B Webster back in Petaluma (*sniffles* I was getting a bit nostalgic about it during yesterday's EC in 4th period. We were talking about fruits, and I mentioned how my backyard there had a blackberry hedge, a plum tree, AND a strawberry box. We also had an avocado tree, tomatoes, and some hot peppers), I remember being in the bathroom pacing and telling Dad all these reasons why I needed him to be a bit more of a presence in my life. I remembered that "Why a Daughter Needs a Dad" book (on my Amazon wishlist :P) and then thinking "I should probably shut up and not say things that I don't know for sure," such as "I want to get married soon, and if you're not part of my life, who will give me away?" because yeah, presumptuous much? (But like I said, I don't lie... I have been thinking about it. A little.)

Maybe it's not so unusual after all, but it was enough to get me up and typing here, so... yeah. (Well that plus it was FREAKING COLD in here -maybe 13 C/55F?- and my roommates mysteriously left ALL the kitchen lights on AGAIN...)

Anyway, I wanna go back to sleep. :P My stomach doesn't hurt as much anymore, but I do want to rest as much as I can today, so that later on when I *DO* have to be awake, I can be gung-ho about all that I have left to do... which, frankly, IS A LOT.

I do hope I can get ahold of Joyce and family (I wanna know if my flowers made it already) and also Scott and family, if possible (because I sent his mother flowers, too). I would feel guilty about not having arranged to have sent Mom something, except she had the most expensive Christmas present out of everyone, and I already sent it to her. And yeah, I'm BROKE now, so it's not like I could have afforded it, anyway.
azurite: (tokyo map)
Hokay, so I actually got up early enough to take a shower and meet John so we could go to Tokyo together; we ended up heading to Akatsuka station and taking the slow Joban line train from there (it was cheaper). We split up at Ueno, with the agreement to meet back in front of the Book Garden at 7pm. In retrospect, that may have been slightly dumb; I think the Book Garden is still within the confines of the station, which means if either of us exit (from the train we take from wherever back to Ueno), we'd have to pay to get back in. So I just won't exit. I would actually go back there now, if there weren't so many hours before I had to meet him.

What happened is that all the event pages (even Sarah Brightman's own) said she'd be at the Yamano Record Store at 4-5-6 Ginza on 11/4 at 3:40pm. John and I got to Ueno at 1:02 and parted ways shortly thereafter; I headed to Hard Rock Cafe, had myself a nice relaxing lunch, bought some presents for people, and then headed out to the Tokyo Subway Line to catch the train to Ginza. It took about 10 minutes total for the train ride; I got here to Ginza at around 2:40, I'd say. I walked in the wrong direction at first (streets going in both directions were labeled Ginza 4-chome), but I eventually found the Yamano Store. They had a Sarah Brightman display all set up; huge posters and her 'Kagayakeru Diva' CD ready for sale. I noticed one of the signs had a signature on it, but I wasn't sure if it was really Sarah's (maybe from a previous event) or someone else's (graffiti). I walked in, found the floor where the Sarah Brightman CDs were, and bought up a storm. I got a dual-pack of both Eden and La Luna; I was tempted to buy the 2-disc Andrew Lloyd Webber collection, along with a few other of her albums I'm missing, but I resisted. But I did get the DIVA DVD. I tried to ask about the event, but I didn't really understand as well as I thought I did. I figured they'd just rescheduled it to a bit later.

After a half hour and not hearing anything, I walked back outside to the display and asked the guy out there. He said something that sounded like 'She'll be here in 2 hours,' bit I guess I misunderstood... I ended up going back inside, thinking I had more waiting to do, and bought 'Sounds of Death Note: The Last Name' and the Waterboys DVD. I even saw some ADORABLE cat movies, but they weren't subtitled.. :( I saw some Sailor Moon (anime, musicals, and live-action), but they were all pretty scattered and expensive. :P I didn't see any Yu-Gi-Oh, unfortunately.

Feeling stupid for essentially wandering the store, I returned to the second floor, where they were playing all of Sarah's albums and tried to ask the same girl if they had anyone who spoke English, because I didn't understand the event. She said there WAS no event, and then I distinctly heard 'sakki, owatta.' Oh, it was over a WHILE AGO!? I asked when, and she said around 2:30, Sarah came for just a short bit and then left. ;_; So I missed it.

I feel really rotten, because I really wanted to meet her... maybe with some dumb luck I can still catch her from her spots on TV that she's filming this week. At least I got a lot of media that I wanted. Yamano also accepted credit cards, so that was nice; I used them here and at Hard Rock's Gift Shop to avoid blowing all my cash and then not being able to get back home. I decided to actually enjoy the fact that I was in GINZA, of all places, so I walked around until LO AND BEHOLD, I found an Apple Store. So here I am.

It's pretty spiffy, actually; 5 floors with glass elevators and dual-language diagrams of where everything is. I found Adobe CS Premium (which I bet I could buy for Education price, but I don't want to get saddled with the Japanese version), Sims 2 for the Mac (but not a Universal Binary, alas!), and even some neat programs they don't have in the U.S. at all. I'd be tempted to buy one of the colorful iPod Nanos, except they don't come in any sizes bigger than 4GB. My Mini is 6GB and I almost always fill it to the max. And I don't want to get a boring black Nano for just an extra 2GB. It'd probably be better to wait for the next Gen, or at least figure out a better way to manage my iPod. Does anyone know of a program that lets you delete songs off the iPod without having to manually manage it every time? I notice when I delete a playlist from my iPod, all it does it erase the track listing of the playlist, not the songs themselves (even if they're not located in other playlists). I'd like to be able to drag and drop my playlists into my iPod (or the Trash) so I can always have what I want on my iPod, instead of letting my iPod pick after it runs out of space. :P

Okay 4:48pm. With 20 minutes at the max to buy a ticket back to Ueno, find my way through the station (they actually have attendants that speak Japanese and English standing in front of all the station maps!) and hop the train back, I don't really have any rush, unless there were something interesting in Ueno (two museums, but they're probably closed by now, so that's for another day). And I don't want to go back now and spend all my time hanging out in the station, so I think I'll check out the Apple store some more and then maybe wander around Ginza a bit more. It'll be nice to see when it's all lit up. They're already breaking out the Christmas decorations here. With no Thanksgiving to signal the cue, Christmas trees and lights are already everywhere, especially in downtown areas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, heard back from BBapply about my credit card mysteriously being rejected by Softbank... try again! Will do, and then pay at convenience stores if that doesn't work. Still haven't heard from a few other places yet (Adobe, PPP), and I still need to return the BBTV box. ;_; I keep getting the Paper View (yes, that's what it's called) guide to BBTV, and it makes me want to watch! Alas, no video input for Mer. *sniff*
azurite: (roses are red)
Saw "Snakes on a Plane" with Erin on Friday evening... even if I dropped out of the cult-following a few months ago, it was still fabulous fun, and I loved it. It was very much deserving of the R-rating, especially at the beginning of the movie, but it managed to be both suspenseful and unpredictable-- great, considering how many people judge the movie by its title (or its poster). And the band that won the fan contest to have their music video in the end credits-- that song was DAMN good! It's actually sort of stuck in my head! Erin said the band reminded her of the Black Eyed Peas.

What was fabulous was when EVERYONE in the theatre (and this was a big theatre, but not sold out by any means) -except Erin, who had no freaking clue what was going on- said The Line in unison "I've had it with these motherfuckin' snakes on this motherfuckin' plane!" Yes, even me. It was fab. Absolutely fab. And of course everyone started cheering afterward.

Spoilers, of course )

And now for something completely different...

I really would have thought that the damn "pink is for girls" concept would have DIED by now. First off, I, a self-respecting woman, HATE PINK. Especially cotton candy pink, Chibiusa pink, hot pink, or any derivative thereof. The closest I can come is maybe a deep rose color that I wear for blush or lip gloss. But then you have the freakin' PINK Razr. -_-; But hey, guys are wearing pink now... it looks weird to me, especially seeing ripped black guys wearing those AE pink polos, but whatever. Personally, I just don't like the color. But, to each their own.

Last night I got to cleaning my room, and of course I found tons of notes for fanfics, including WDKY. I had to go back and check to make sure that I'd made the changes I indicated on paper; I also had to add some "references" to the WDKY References page. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with the Changelog (the thing that I use to track all the updates I make to chapters, and what specific changes I make), but I can pretty much guess based on what I've added to the Reference log. I have random references in a lot of places, but at least I'm not Cassie Claire in this respect; I keep track of everything, and invent my own convoluted plot twists and references. I just wish there was a way to get Snakes on a Plane in there somehow. *snicker joke* Well anyway, I uploaded the new version of the References page to the old Darkness Rising (at some point, it will be under the new masthead of Epiphany, running eFiction 3.0), and later on tonight, I'll be updating Chapters 11 and 14 for some minor tweaks on all sites.

More fanfic-wise, I actually got inspired for a Sailor Moon fic. This kind of makes me feel better, considering how unsure I've been re: Only 16. Having a good idea (and getting started on it) would mean I have something to replace Only 16 in terms of Sailor Moon fics under my name; this would also be something dramatic and long, so it wouldn't feel like I'm shafting Only 16 into the oblivion (even though that's where it belongs). Actually, I thought of a way to combine this Very Good Idea with one that I wanted to do for [ profile] sm_monthly (I never got past Chapter 1 of it, unfortunately, because WDKY has been keeping me on my toes; I don't want to get too distracted. I've already stopped reading the 200 days of Sailormoon posts at AFSM, and I'm backlogged by about 310 posts!). But I don't think I will, just because it would complicate things too much.

Finally, it looks like the next 2 people up for the Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! feature on [ profile] playthedamncard are...
* Ryou Bakura
* Katsuya Jounouchi
I'll try and get started on some of that now. Yesterday I bought myself the 2nd edition (2001) edition of Parker's Astrology, one of my favorite books on astrology. I've also been using Astrology Source to calculate things like midhavens/medium coeli, imum coeli, decantes, desendants, and other fun things. Takes all the hard calculating out of the game, so I can do more "character exploration." I have the book with me today at work (actually spent the first few hours of work reading it, because my phone was broken and I was on "standby"), and since all the old sites I used are on the previous posts, I shouldn't have any problem constructing Ryou's profile. I'll have to add things (like his Mystical Card number) later on, and I can always include new things each time-- numerology, tarot... ^_^ It's all related! Go ahead and read the last 2 posts on Yuugi Mutou and Seto Kaiba, and tell me what you think!
azurite: (lois & clark)
(1) You know, I *liked* Mel Gibson. I liked "The Patriot" and the "Lethal Weapon" series, and tons of other movies. And then he had to suddenly decide he had enough power and influence to be a director and "send a message" --so he did "The Passion of the Christ" (okay, no biggie. It's been done before. But all in Aramaic?). After that though, he seems to have changed. He seems MORE gung-ho Catholic than he was before. And apparently it's not just about sending a one-time message and then going to practice your religion/faith (as Mel Gibson's is apparently an off-shoot of the Catholic church, except taken to a bigger extreme... this church was "founded" by Mel's father) in peace. But noooooo loony Mel's got to be Anti-Semetic. His dad's got to claim the Holocaust never happened.

...I believed Bill Clinton was innocent of his "crimes" too, and even when I wised up, I decided it wasn't such a bad thing. Okay, he's an ass for technically cheating on his wife, but seriously? It could have been worse. Getting head is hardly a reason to impeach a President. BC probably wasn't even the first President to do that: he was just the first one to get caught!

And at least he's doing something productive with his time and energy now. Mel Gibson's off getting drunk and spouting hateful things about Jews. Sure, I'm not a practicing Jew, but much of my family is, and I have a great respect for their beliefs. And HELLO, Jesus was a Jew, you big ninny! :P

(2) Baba thinks Lindsay Lohan should act her age and not her shoe size; apparently Lohan cried to "Mommy" that she wasn't feeling well, so her Mom had to take her to the hospital rather than of-legal-age-and-mindset Lohan doing it herself. My thoughts? I don't really care. I think Lohan's cute, a decent enough singer (I liked her songs from "Freaky Friday" and "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen"), and I bet her boobs are completely natural. :}

(3) I spent much of the weekend with Jill (my cousin)'s family-- mainly my second (and third, twice removed) cousins, Nikki, James, Nina, and Alexis. We had a scrapbooking party that was pretty successful, and we also saw "Superman Returns" yesterday afternoon at the Winnetka 21. It was surprisingly good, but as predicted, I didn't like Kate Bosworth's "Lois." Brandon Routh, on the other hand, was a surprisingly good Clark *AND* Superman.

Stuff to like and dislike... spoilers, of course. )
azurite: (shizuka snarks)
Baba and Grandpa wanted me to go Anonymous or use a sockpuppet account to defend myself or bash the wankers who bashed me, but I'm not going to waste the time or energy. I'm over it already.

GMail is acting funny. Searches take forever, and I'm getting timeout errors when I try to access my email with Thunderbird. Any other GMailers having issues? Maybe it's just my connection?

Scott shared something cool with me re: Pirates of the Caribbean. But I suppose there are some spoilers so here it is behind a cut. )

When updating [ profile] weekly_ygo to the newest edition, I could only go 167 entries back on the Friends' page, no further. I tried going into the Customization options and changing the number of entries displayed to 100, but I guess it reverted to a default maximum of 50, and it wouldn't let me go past 167 even when I manually entered the number (?skip=180) in the URL. What the heck? Sorry if I miss any entries or anything, but I don't know what happened. :P Any ideas on how to fix it?

Uh... yup. I think I'm going to finally see Superman this weekend. But probably alone, unless Grandpa (and Baba???) want to come with me.

Dad's coming down in 2 weeks, and he's being nice to me again.

My room's still a mess though, and I need a better bookcase than this cardboard thing Debbie "sold" to me.

:) I love my friends.
azurite: (potc - jack)
So after seeing The Devil Wears Prada with Baba and Grandpa today (great movie by the way; I also bought the soundtrack), I went to Borders to see if I could find any novelizations of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, or at the very least, look at the collection of books, even if they were targeted towards kids and pre-teens. What I found was a bit more interesting, though... (spoilers, obviously)

Read more... )

Ooh, I forgot all about looking for the "Pirateology" book, which I still want. And I neglected to print out my 20% off one book with the purchase of $20 or more coupon, so in total, I spent $70 at Borders tonight (3 manga + 1 free, The Devil Wears Prada soundtrack, 1 necklace of sorts, 1 Bitty Book Light). Ugh, bad, BAD Mer! But I plan on returning the horrendous-ness that is Danielle Steel's latest, "Coming Out." It's drier than the Sahara, I'm telling you. You don't empathize for the characters at all, and they're about as wooden as the trees in my front yard. Worse, I have a feeling I know what's coming, so there's not really any motivation for me to finish the book except to see if I'm right or not. And even if I'm not, I doubt it'll come as a big shock. I'm over halfway through the book, and there's no real conflict (at least, the conflict seems pithy), no drama, no emotional strain. I think Danielle Steel's gotten so full of herself, she doesn't bother writing quality works anymore (oh noes! Anne Rice 2.0!). Some of her past things --especially the steamy romance novels-- were great reads, and you felt BAD about reading something so sinful. This? Waste of $15.

Now, onward to the topic of my post. So as I'm coming home, listening to my "He's a Pirate" remixes as always, and generally being in a giddy, happy mood (<= good movie + popcorn/candy/soda + Borders spree), I remember reading this tidbit about Johnny Depp from the latest issue of "Rolling Stone" ... which is, when Depp randomly gets "sick of LA" (or something to that effect, and either way, I know the feeling), he hops on an Amtrak train and goes wherever. Specifically, San Francisco, or maybe Seattle. I know exactly what train he means, and I've done that same journey before! (Actually, Scott and I were initially thinking about doing the train up to S.F. for this coming week, but we decided against it due to cost. That and after he broke up with me again -if you wanna call it that- I didn't want to bother being in any mode of transportation, comfy or not- with him for 10+ hours. STUCK. Talk about uncomfortable. But now that the ride's 45 minutes on an airplane, I wonder. @_o He's also been flirting with me again lately. Ugh, someone just... *_* I DON'T KNOW!!!) Anyway, back to my fantasy.

So I'm imagining that I'm back from Japan and on the Amtrak train heading up North, at some unspecified point during the year, and Depp decides to go incognito and take the train to get a breather from LA. And there are a variety of seats to choose from on this particular night-time train that we both happen to be on, and there I am, typing away madly on my laptop, listening to something on my iPod (Dead Man's Chest soundtrack, of course), and there are papers spread out all over the seat next to me. So he asks "Is this seat taken?" and as I busily save my work and try to move my stuff at the same time, I knock down the Dead Man's Chest CD (don't ask me why I have it if the songs are on my iPod. And I didn't buy the CD; I bought the iTunes OST with the digital PDF visual guide). He picks it up and smirks, then asks "Pirates of the Caribbean fan?" and I take off my earphones, just to be polite (they were on low anyway; rarely do I blast my music loud enough to NOT hear someone speak to me) and I say "Yup, I'm so excited about the movie coming out [this summer, so it must be some time during 2007], so I'm writing a story for it." (Fanfic or novelization of what I think the 3rd movie will be like, I can't remember. But one of the two.)

And then he asks me to talk about the story, and being the dimwit I am, I go on and on about the story, about what fanfiction is, about why I'm all about Will/Elizabeth, but Jack/Elizabeth has its appeal, and I did read a rather good essay on Jack/Elizabeth/Will (OT3). In the end, he's gotten all quiet and I turn to look at him, all embarrassed that I've gone and railed about this... and then I realize who he is and I turn TOMATO RED (because that always happens when I get embarrassed) and I stop talking altogether. He smirks again and says "Promise not to tell anyone?" and I just nod all dumbly. Then he asks if he can read the story, and I just squeak and let him have my laptop.

I can't remember what happened from there, but then I remember him saying he'll get off in San Francisco too, and I mention my mom works at one of the luxury hotels, and he asks me if I think I can help him get a room at the last minute. So I call mom up and am trying to be incognito that HELLO JOHNNY DEPP IS WALKING RIGHT NEXT TO ME SQUEE and Mom is just "You're nuts. But okay, I'll call people." and I finally manage to cool it, and Johnny thinks it's horribly amusing how "sane" I'm attempting to be, especially after on the train, I managed to gather my wits enough to not squeal and ask for his autograph. That's actually how I envision meeting a celebrity --if I ever do. That is, being calm, cool, and collected. "I am a journalist!" after all or something, and that means doing my job first, not being some fangirl. I don't want to be lumped together with all the forgettable faces leaning and crying and shoving things over police barriers at Hollywood premieres. Yuck.

But that was the end of my foolish fantasy, and it made me smile. So there. :P
azurite: (violet lips)
Just came back from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest over at the Winnetka 21.

FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC movie. I liked the last one enough, this one was... OOOOH! Man! Yes! One of those kind of movies. You don't get those often. They did make this to please, and please they did. And so, a spoileriffic post, so if you haven't seen it, please, spare your virgin eyes.

Captain's Jack is back -at Disneyland, that is! )
azurite: (submit to the webmistress!)
Updated WikiFic - You can click on the "Special Pages" link in the bottom toolbox and then see Wanted Pages and images. You can also upload JPG, GIF, or PNG format images to help flesh out our gallery, so we can include pictures of all characters and places. We're in need of contributors for ALL sorts of subjects! (This is my second big summer project, after finishing WDKY)

I added Shizuka, Honda, and Sugoroku's page, uploaded images for all of them plus Dark Malik and Noa Kaiba, and scanned an image of Kessoku - Unity for use on that TCG card's page. [ profile] _novemberx also kindly provided judge commentary on the cards, since they also appear in the Nightmare Troubadour game. I need more manga scans and people willing to sit down and write about all the characters and events!

Also, does anyone know which OCG card it was where Sugoroku appeared kind of shadowed (a'la his old school gamer silhouette, back when we wore a tuxedo everywhere, and smoked)? I think it was a trap card, but I can't remember what it was. HELP!

zOMG FMA - As you may or may not already know, [ profile] ceruleansan got me into the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, and now I'm up to Chapter 31. I'm very much Ed x Winry and Roy x Riza (er, Royai), but I have yet to write the fic I owe her and [ profile] geniusgirl. Sorry guys, please be patient! I'm liking all the mystery and suspense though, and all the ASS KICKING! Go Izumi!

Take surveys. Get stuff. - I don't know why I've mentioned this before, but I'm part of this group called HarrisPoll, where you take surveys about once or twice a month about all sorts of stuff and get points-- and the points add up to some seriously sweet stuff, like stereos, waffle irons, tents, massagers... all sorts of cool goodies. The surveys are all pretty easy, and most range from 10-30 minutes in length. There are no advertisements, no bombardments of spam emails, and they won't sell or rent your info to anyone else-- they just use group survey results for market research. So if this sounds interesting to you, comment with your email and I'll sign you up.

X-Men: The Last Stand Likes and dislikes )
azurite: (kaiba's not taking the blame)
Last night I saw the Da Vinci Code with Eva over at the Winnetka 21. We also had dinner at the Applebee's Bar, where the service was kind of slow and forgetful (I wanted mashed potatoes, they brought almond rice pilaf), but generally good. I got pretty tipsy off a Strawberry Daiquiri, and it was the first time I got carded! :D All the other times (even when I'd been to that same Applebee's), I'd never gotten carded. Hee.

On to the movie: Don't trust the French. No, seriously. All that BS about it bombing at Cannes, critics laughing at the most critical scene, etc... bunch of horseradish. Now, I read the book first (about 2 years ago), and the movie was a pretty damn good adaptation. I didn't re-read the book before seeing the movie, so I'm unsure what may have been changed or cut out, but a good deal of the movie still managed to surprise me.

Eva and I rushed to the theatre from Applebee's on the other end of the parking lot, but there was no line, so we managed to get into the theatre all right. Problem was, there weren't any pairs of seats together, and plenty of people were "saving seats." I think that's stupid, but hey, until the show actually begins, it's fine. We got seats in some of the front rows, chowed down on our apple pie and ice cream pre-show time and sat back to enjoy the movie.

I will state for the record that almost any movie where Hans Zimmer does the music, I will enjoy it. I don't know why, but I LOVED the music in Da Vinci, and he also did the music for Pirates of the Caribbean. Go figure.

Controversy wise, the movie is an adaptation of the book. The book came out something like 2-3 years ago. Raising hell over a movie that is essentially saying the same thing as the book is lame. "Jesus had a wife, and she was Mary Magdalene. They had a child, and that 'royal bloodline' continues today." That's what the book and movie both claim. Yeah, there are historical facts that can back that theory up, but there are also plenty of facts that  poke holes in what Dan Brown said. But the book was fiction, and so's the movie. I wish people would stop whining over it. FICTION. Anyone that's seriously got some faith in Jesus and the Christian way will do some research before renouncing everything they've ever believed after seeing a movie/reading a book. And any SMART Christian will know that ONE BOOK does not constitute "research."

Moving on, I had a weird dream last night that I only remember one piece of: "Lasschere." It's a name-- a man's name. I only remember that "Lasschere was thought to have fathered at least three children," but for the life of me, I can't remember where I saw that. I have this weird impression that I read it off a screen, but... I still don't know. O_o

Now, onto YU-GI-OH!
Today's episode:
YUGI: We all know how you feel about him, Téa
ME: WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!?!? (Like FUN Yugi knows anything about Téa's feelings for Yami Yugi. Okay, he might have an INCLINATION, but he's the one that loves her. No one EVER found out about how Yami felt about Téa, if anything. Likewise, Joey et. al. had an INKLING about Téa's feelings for him, but she never said it outright. WHY? For the same reasons I used in WDKY: she knows it would break Yugi's heart. Once Téa realized they were "separate souls" or "separate minds," she knew how bad it would be for her to be in love with one half of Yugi, but not the other half-- the "true half."

Nonetheless, that episode had me going "SEE! SEE! This is why 'Break' totally could have happened! No one ever bothers to understand a girl's heartbreak!" At least not in Yu-Gi-Oh... but it is a shounen series. :P I also think that I may have been plotbunnied, but with a BAD BAD fic idea. Like, one of those ideas that you think about, but it's so stupid, so it really ought to fizzle out. I really OUGHT to finish writing WDKY. Srsly.

Also, I noticed while I was working on WDKY24 that the Ani-Manga spells the combo-sphinx "Thinien," while the TCG card spells it "Theinen." I don't know why Upper Deck changed it, but the first spelling is Arabic for "two," which could make sense, considering Thinien is formed from TWO other sphinxes-- Andro Sphinx and Sphinx Teleia.

The 'Andro' in Andro Sphinx comes from 'Androgynous,' even though it's probably assumed to be male, but is otherwise a genderless monster. There's nothing that LOOKS particularly female about Andro, though. However, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (from 1913!) says an Androsphinx is a sphinx with the head of a man and the body of a lion. The monster in question has neither. :P

Teleia is the interesting one-- Teleia was the name for Hera after she married Zeus, apparently-- the "grown up" version of the Greek Goddess.

And since I'm feeling somewhat sick to my stomach at the moment (stupid blintzes), I think that will be it for tonight. I slept too much anyway, so now I have work to catch up on. :P
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Note to all: never watch a DVD on your PC. Okay, maybe if you have a DVD Decoder, which always costs money, and never comes on your computer by default, even if you shelled out extra cash for a better video card (save maybe nVidia) or the Media Center edition of Windows XP.

What the hell?

So I tried watching in PowerDVD, but the anecdote tracks (I'm trying to watch Back to the Future, Part III) will flicker and then show up again-- or sometimes the anecdote signals (icons like the Hoverboard, an arrow through a bowler, etc.) will show up, but there'll be no anecdote. This didn't happen before on the PS2 and Part II! PowerDVD is supposed to be great for capping though, but apparently the version Dell includes with their comps isn't one with the extra/advanced features... it's Ver. 4, and Ver. 6 is already out! >_<

I also tried to watch with VLC, but even though VLC sees the anecdote tracks, it doesn't display them. VLC is even better for capping, though (since it's FREE).

There's just no way to win! ;_; Any suggestions?

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