azurite: Organized people are just too lazy to look for things (organized = lazy)
Before my iPad 2 arrives (or at the very least, before iOS 5 comes out in September), I want to get my iTunes library sorted out.

At some point in the past, I deleted chunks of my library somehow, and I either ended up with "MIA" files that iTunes didn't know how to locate, or songs that were just plain missing. Occasionally I would look at a massive copy of my iTunes library that I'd put on one of my external drives and try to find different songs, but it was a lot of work and I didn't get very far.

Enter Dupin. It's a piece of software for weeding out duplicates, even more specifically than iTunes does from its own File > Display Duplicates menu option. I decided to dump everything from my external hard drive and sort it out using Dupin.

And for the most part, it's been okay--I try to match songs using Name, Artist, and Time, because kind (mp3, m4a, m4p, etc.) can be different, and Album might be different if I've imported the song from multiple albums (which happens when I have singles and full albums, or Best Of/Greatest Hits albums in addition to either of the other two).

It was still a pain in the ass. Before I officially deleted anything, I still had to compare that what I had deleted was what I actually WANTED to delete--anything with a lower bit-rate, a protected file, or that was confirmed to be EXACTLY the same as something I already had in my library. Sometimes artists will release a song a second time, not change anything about the title, but extend the song out, remix it, etc. You have to listen to it very carefully to know the difference(s), and that takes time.

I opted to start using beaTunes 3, which allows you to clean up your music library using a LOT of other factors, including sorting issues. And this begs the underlying question: just what fields are important to have for your music?

See, I have lots of albums by multiple artists, e.g. Singer, but also Singer feat. Singer 2. Normally I'd tag these as Compilations, but apparently they're not--if Singer is in the beginning of the Artist field, then Singer feat. Singer 2 is regarded as the same. I don't want to put the "feat. Singer 2" in the Track Title, because in my mind, that's not accurate. The artist is asking about who is behind the song: the vocals, the instrumentals, what-have-you. That doesn't belong in the song title.

But iTunes has all these other metadata fields you can sort by, including Sort Artist and Album Artist. The question is, do I type the artists like I have normally (First Last), or do I type (Last, First feat. First Last 2), kind of like I would be if I were compiling a Works Cited list for a paper? Do I list Singer feat. Singer 2 as (Singer, Singer 2) instead? What exactly is the hierarchy for these sorts?

I get the impression that a track has Artist, but Sort Artist can dominate that, and Album Artist dominates both of those. Does that sound about right?

And if Compilation only matters when you have different Artists (not Sort Artists? Not Album Artists?), and it automatically organizes the tracks by Album instead, then I should be using Grouping instead for my fanmixes, right? Or just make regular playlists, instead of Smart Playlists?

azurite: (sailormoon - pgsm senshi)
I have this nifty tool on my Mac called beaTunes 3 (it's available for Windows, too!) that helps you take better care of your music and make better playlists. If you're missing information (genre, album artist), if information is misspelled, or if it's inconsistent (Utada Hikaru sings in Danish?!), it can fix it for you. It can also provide interesting information about a song, such as its "color" and what key it's in.

The color is supposed to help you organize your songs. For example, red songs tend to go better with other red songs.

This reminded me of how folks make fansoundtracks and fanmixes for fandoms, characters, pairings, and so on. There's a huge mish-mash of music out there that I never would have heard had it not been someone putting it together for the sake of this fandom we have in common!

With that in mind, I propose a challenge for myself and anyone else who wants to try and take it on.

Pick one of the following colors:


I will pick five songs that fit into that "color," and you will tell me what fandom to write ficlets or drabbles for them in.

So for example, if you say "Red," you might also say "Sailor Moon," and I have to find five songs that I can somehow relate back to "Sailor Moon," and possibly (somehow) explain why that song fits a "red" color. And I shall do it with fic! You can also give me other information to work with, like a character or pairings, a period of time from canon, etc. (Just don't be overly specific, otherwise it'll be like a commissioned fic or something...)

The only rule: A fandom can't be repeated with the same color.

If you do pick a fandom, please pick one that you know that I know...(as in, have watched/read), even if I've never written for it before. Otherwise it might be too challenging! :P

So, here's what we all get out of this:

Me: practice writing again, a sense of excitement
You: a fanfic or five that you've helped create, some suggestions for interesting songs that fit your fandom/character/pairing of choice! It's like a mini-fanmix!
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Stolen shamelessly from [ profile] frannyan. I don't know if there's more to this meme, but I'll do it if there is! :P

→ Take a screenshot of your desktop. (This is actually just one of FOUR desktops I have. But the other ones just have different wallpaper, not anything else...)

→ Take a screenshot your media player (if you have one up). (I finished my taxes and promptly looked up the "Victory Fanfare" from Final Fantasy V. Because my search wasn't specific, it brought up everything else with "Vict" in the title, which is why the Currently Playing is something from another video game. There's TuneUp to the right, with a bizarre cover art suggestion for a Fushigi Yuugi album that's missing art. I don't think Tasuki would like penguins...)

→ Take a screenshot of another program you have up. (This is Cyndicate, my new feed reader. Do I have too many feeds? I'm not even sure if it's working for LJ yet, picking up protected entries/saving cookies. I wish my custom RSS feed--made with an S2 style--would display authors properly, but I wouldn't know how to modify it to get it. Anyone have any ideas?)

→ Pick a tab you have up and take a screenshot of it. (This is a tab where I'm previewing a file I made in RapidWeaver. I liked the theme for "The Rose Chronicles," so I started trying to put it together as a fic site. Problem is, I don't much understand the plugins, so I'm not sure which one is best for a fanfic. Stacks? Blocks? Accordion? Also, the Carousel page I'm using for the Fanart is a little difficult to setup. For some reason some of the art displays to the right of the "page" content area, and some displays to the right. But isn't the thumbnail slider pretty?)


I didn't! They're all just straight screenshots taken with SnapzProX. Does anyone know a screen capture tool which takes screencaps of the whole screen, even what's past the scrollbar? I thought Little Snapper did that, but I'm not sure how....
azurite: (star trek: head bop)
I love fanmixes. It's a fun way of telling a story, exploring a pairing, sharing your love for a fandom, and for discovering new music.

Alas, it's kind of a pain to organize said music, especially since everyone has their own methods. I tend to go with the flow--if stuff's already tagged/labeled and has the artwork attached, yay. If not, I'll add the bare minimum of what I care about and move on.

Here's where I run into trouble:
* If there's no genre and I don't know the artist, what do I do? You can pretty much create your own genres, and "Fanmix" is a valid genre in iTunes. Of course it doesn't say anything about the artist or the track itself.

* If a song is on two fanmixes, you can have multiple album artwork images embedded into the one song, but only one will display unless you switch it. It's easier to a) just have two of the same song or b) just not care about the artwork and swap it when you feel like it (if you remember). But the problem is, what if it's two fanmixes where the rest of the album information is intact? Marking it as a "Compilation" is technically inaccurate, since that term implies that there are various artists on a single ALBUM. The "Compilation" indicator has nothing to do with "Grouping," for example, which is what I use for fanmix tracks that already have the album information in there. So do I mark it as a NOT compilation, since iTunes' organizational method won't properly group everything from the Playlist/Grouping under one folder, anyway?

Right now I'm using the awesome (although somewhat unpretty) app "beaTunes 2" to help with my iTunes organizational woes. It inspects my iTunes library (which, by the way, is pretty darn huge) and looks up inconsistencies of all sorts, ranging from typos (REM versus R.E.M.) to those pesky Compilation tags on tracks with only one "Album" artist (Note: Not "Album Artist," but an "Artist" on one "Album").

It's not perfect; it thinks any and all albums called "Christmas Songs" are the same album, even if it's by multiple artists--as if it's a compilation album when it's not. It's just a million people have released "Christmas Songs" albums. Let's get creative here people, shall we?! Well, in the meantime, I can tell beaTunes 2 to ignore that.

But what do you do for organizing your fanmixes? How would you solve the above issues?
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: (batgirl - spanish inquisition)
Ganked from [ profile] an_ardent_rain

Comment saying, "Interview me!" and I will ask you five questions. Post the answers to your journal and offer to interview the people that comment on YOU and so on...

1. If you put on the sorting hat at Hogwarts, where do you think you'd end up?
I'd probably vex the sorting hat! Is it a bit narcissistic to say that? I'd probably end up in Gryffindor, not because that's the main house we follow in the Harry Potter series or because that's where Hermione, my favorite character is, but because I identify a lot with the Gryffindor traits. I also identify with the ones of Ravenclaw, but not as much with Hufflepuff, and very little with Slytherin (I do kind of wish I had the "ambition" trait that Slytherin seem so well-known for)

2. Do you believe in "no regrets" or are you more "live and learn?"
I wish I could be "no regrets," but if you don't learn, you're not really living, are you? I'm also the kind of person who often thinks of her life in "chapters," and I have a few right now that I feel like they're unwritten, but not to the point where, if I died tomorrow, I'd really, really hate it. It's just a bit sad. I think life is all about learning.

3. Any (I guess... up to five or so) favorite songs-of-the-moment?
I always listen to everything on Shuffle, so to determine this would involve figuring out what songs I start with. I've been on my "Famous Commercial Songs" playlist lately, and some songs on there that I enjoy particularly include:
-Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second by Starfucker (the Target pharmacy song)
-Sinnerman (Felix da Housecat's Heavenly House mix) by Nina Simone (The HTC myTouch phone song)
-Breathe by Télépopmusik (the Mitsubishi song)
But also
-Just Dance by Lady GaGa (well...because it's Lady GaGa)
-Leave Out All The Rest by Linkin Park (even though it's off the Twilight soundtrack, it's such an inspirational song! I love it!)

4. If you could have any super power, what would you choose? And would be prefer to be a super hero or a super villain?

I probably think about this way too often! I often waver among the ability to teleport, super-speed, flying (those are all related, can you tell?) and super-strength, just to kick some ass. I'd definitely want to be a superhero, because I'm a firm believer in the good versus evil concept, although I know in reality, no villain is evil just to be evil; they think what they're doing is good and right for them or their cause.

Here's my superhero form, as rendered by DeviantARTist Ammotu's generator:

5. What was your favorite book when you were a child?
That's a hard question! I actually read a LOT as a child (I still do, but probably not nearly as voraciously; as a kid, going to the library for 3 hours at a time was a weekend adventure for me). I read a lot of Greco-Roman mythology and Nancy Drew especially. I've hung onto some of my books from when I was a kid; some of the Berenstain Bears books, Alice in Wonderland/Through The Looking Glass, Dr. Seuss...but a favorite? That's too hard!
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
A meme ganked from [ profile] obabscribbler

How it works: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 15 people you like and include me (presuming I'm someone you like). You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think!

1. [ profile] obabscribbler
2. [ profile] schmollieollie
3. [ profile] cutieme4u
4. [ profile] lilddrpinay2003
5. [ profile] guardian_kysra
6. [ profile] atlantian_magic
7. [ profile] ohsupervinchan
8. [ profile] psyjoe_dilandau
9. [ profile] staplerx
10. [ profile] bewareofdogz
11. [ profile] katiat325
12. [ profile] winterwing3000
13. [ profile] mklutz
14. [ profile] aelibia
15. [ profile] azhp

Pick your Artist: 

Are you a male or female? 
Lonely Girl

Describe yourself:
 Nobody Knows

How do you feel?
 Feel Good Time

Describe where you currently live:
 Gone to California

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

Your favorite form of transportation:
 One Foot Wrong

The first thing you think of when you wake up:

Your favorite color is:
 Lady Marmalade

Your best friend:

You and your best friends:
 Bad Influence

What's the weather like? 
I Have Seen the Rain

If your life were a TV show, what would it be called? 
Long Way to Happy

What is the best advice you have to give?
 Get the Party Started

If you could change your name, what would it be?

Favorite time of day:
 Sweet Dreams

What is life to you:
 My Vietnam

Your relationship: 
18 Wheeler

How I would like to die:
 I'm Not Dead
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I know what it's called (mondegreen) when you mishear the lyrics to a song ("'Scuse me while I kiss this guy"), but what do you call it when you misremember the lyrics? I misremembered a line from Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive" as "chamois killing machine." WATCH OUT FOR THAT SNUGGIE!

Long sleep, weird dreams )

I wonder what it all means? (Could me starting to have read Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" yesterday have anything to do with it? Hmm...)


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: (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: (Default)
The sign for California State University Northridge on Plummer and Darby has mysteriously vanished (the frame is still there, though). I'm starting to worry-- we're not really going to change our name back to San Fernando Valley State College, are we? SFVSC doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "CSUN." Maybe it's a bad frat joke?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's boogie time! *dance dance*

 Call on Me by Eric Prydz from YTMND Soundtrack, Volume 1 (Rating: 0)
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
I first got into Hikaru Utada (a.k.a. Cubic U a.k.a Hikki, a.k.a Utada) after I heard the Johnny Vicious remix of "Automatic;" since then, it's been my favorite song of hers. I've made a habit of buying as many of her albums and singles as I could get my hands on, including her "new" English debuts (she originally debuted in English as Cubic U before she was in Japan; she was in a different genre then, though), "Exodus" and "This Is The One."

I bought her new single "Come Back To Me" and the album it's on, "This Is The One" as soon as they came out on iTunes.

"Come Back To Me" eventually grew on me, and the video is fairly nice (I love her haircut, but she has more costume changes in it than Cher does in a half-hour of her concert!), though in most of Utada's videos, she doesn't look like she's really singing so much as mouthing the lyrics half-heartedly (the one exception: when she's wearing her bright-red lipstick. Must be something empowering about wearing it). That's probably been one of the big reasons I don't seek out her music videos as much as I used to ("Traveling" from back in the day was awesome, though) or DVDs.

Even though she's classed as a J-Pop artist, I'm confused why her new album is considered Pop. It's got more of an R&B or possibly Hip-Hop vibe to it, which got me thinking Utada's trying to go back to her roots for her second English album (since her re-debut).

As for the songs... "Automatic Pt. II" has nothing to do with the original awesome song, and if it shares more than a few chords with the original, I couldn't tell. I frankly think the "song" is a poor assembly of self-plugging lyrics, in even poorer taste than the "She's got a new microphone" line in one of her "Exodus" songs. It's not really a "song" in my book, and it disappoints me that it shares a title (if only because the phrase "It's automatic..." is repeated so incessantly in it) with the song I love so much.

"Apple and Cinnamon" is a nice song, with a cute melody and a sad story. It doesn't scream "Utada" to me though, which is a double-edged sword: one the one hand, the song will likely appeal to a wider audience than her "Exodus" songs, but on the other, ANYONE could have sung it just as well. Without something to make it distinctly "Utada," there's no reason anyone would associate the title with her, which I would think is a hope of artists. For example, if I say "Funhouse," I imagine people immediately think of P!nk, and if I say "Circus" or "Womanizer," people immediately think of Britney Spears. But saying "Apple and Cinnamon" doesn't recall Utada, no matter how cute the lyrics or melody.

What bothers me most is that a huge chunk of the songs on the album are like siblings of "Exodus"'s "The Workout" and "Let Me Give You My Love"--songs about sex. Sex sells, and when you're not using vague metaphors or symbolism, it sells even better. Apparently someone crammed this message into Utada's brain, because she's got "Taking My Money Back," "Dirty Desire" (the most blatantly sexual of them all, and my least favorite song of hers on the album... quite possibly EVER), and "Poppin'" (at least the sexual references are mostly innuendo and not explicit).

"Mu Muero" is interesting, but it seems a little strange that of all "exotic" languages Utada would opt to use for her second English album, she'd go for the tried-and-true Spanish, instead of something Japanese, because... uh, DUH!? Why Spanish? It doesn't seem "her" at all, but seems a "generic English label" thing to do (by "English" I mean the language, not "of England"). The song itself is nice-- maybe the only songs of hers on this album I like are the sad, almost break-up/I want you back-type songs, as opposed to the "empowerment" themes.

If there's an exception to that, it might be "On and On," though when I first heard the lyrics, "Honeys, if you're gay / burn it up / like a gay parade / Honeys, if you're straight / bump it up / take it all away" I was like "WHAT did she just say?" I was on the border of getting offended before I listened to the song again and got the lyrics.

"Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence - FYI" is another innuendo-laced song, but like "Come Back To Me," I think it grows on you. Or it did on me, anyway. There's nothing "Christmasy" about it, but the title probably has more to do with the sexual nature of the lyrics than a holiday in December (for an album in March, I did think it was weird she had something with "Christmas" in the title, until I heard the song).

"This One (Crying Like a Child)" was another one I liked, but like "Apple and Cinnamon," it could have been sung just as well by someone like Vanessa Hudgens and sounded more or less the same. (BTW, I like Vanessa, but I think Utada and Vanessa's singing styles --even if they're both classed as "Pop"-- are very different). I do like the melody a lot more, though; the instruments used are much more unique and blended well than some of the other songs.

All in all, I'd probably give the album a 3/5. I liked "Exodus" a lot more, with songs like "Kremlin Dusk," (my favorite) "Exodus '04," and "Hotel Lobby" (my second favorite). I didn't like "Tippy Toe," "The Workout," "Easy Breezy" very much, and "Let Me Give You My Love" is one of those 50/50 songs with me, but the songs I do like I think are so catchy and wonderful that it makes up for those I don't enjoy as much. Nonetheless, I don't think Utada should have tried to change her style when debuting in English again. Her Japanese songs were great, and if her English ones had the same feeling in them, I'd probably like them a lot more.

My favorite album to date: Heart Station ("Beautiful World" is another favorite song of mine, after the Johnny Vicious "Automatic" remix). Thank goodness I can keep importing her Japanese albums, and iTunes will have some of her Japanese singles, too. I wish Utada nothing but the best, but she's not going to get the super-stardom she did in Japan here in the States with generic lyrics like her last two albums have had. There needs to be something unique --something "Utada" to make me want to buy them again.

 Beautiful World by Hikaru Utada from HEART STATION (Rating: 0)
azurite: (ygo - mai graceful)
I'm so glad I went to the "Justin Kredible" magic and dinner show tonight at the University Student Union! First off, it introduced me to this song, which I think kicks butt. I've only heard about Lady Gaga in passing, but this song is pretty catchy! Listening to the lyrics, maybe it wouldn't be appropriate for a Society meeting, but it is fun to listen to.... Music is very inspirational, you know? I have whole soundtracks for some of my fics (including fics that haven't even been written)!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Just Dance by Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis from The Fame (Rating: 0)
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Ganked this from David H. over on Facebook.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random... Read More”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

--Note from Mer: Flickr has image protection on its photos, so you can't just Copy > Paste photos from there. You can use Print Screen or a screen capture program, but I recommend still giving credit to the original artist or photographer, where applicable.

4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together. (It's album art, so make the picture square)

Accepted as Being Self-Evident
"Book Bum" by Pink Sherbet Photography

Aaaand, Presto!

We're totally a new age band.
azurite: (i'll be bach)
For reference's sake, the lyrics to Alan Silvestri's "The Legend of Mythica, Part 6," a.k.a. "Feel The Love," sung by Suzie Benson.

It's the beating of our heart
It can lead us from the dark
It's the beating of our heart
And it's been there from the start

There's a rhythm that's inside of us
That we need to feel, we need to trust
Join the rhythm, let it feel your heart
Calling us to make a start

It begins with you, begins with me
Joining gentle hearts in majesty
Feel the magic in us resonate
Calling all to celebrate

Like a message in a bottle
From a far and distant shore
The words of love have washed away,
But the sound we've heard before

(Feel...) It's the beating of our heart
(the...) To lead us from the dark
(Love...) The rhythm of the heart
(From...) It's the beating of our heart
(A...) It's been there from the start
(-bove...) Sent here from above to guide us!

We can call the realm of fantasy
When our voices sing in unity
We can find a place that's ours to share
Let the wonder takes us there.

It happens in a moment
In the blinking of an eye
The sea of darkness fades away
And sunlight fills the sky.


(Diamond Goddess in Japanese/Spoken: Let us not forget the rhythm. Everyone can awaken this power inside them. And so, this is our story. The Legend of Mythica will continue on, for eternity.)

Like a message in a bottle
From a far and distant shore
The words of love have washed away,
But the sound we've heard before


There in your heart
That's where you start
Join us in harmony (Join us in harmony)
When we unite
Everything's brighter, you'll see (Brighter you'll see)

It begins with you, begins with me
Joining gentle hearts in majesty
Feel the magic in us resonate
Calling all to celebrate

Like a message in a bottle
From a far and distant shore
The words of love have washed away,
But the sound we've heard before

[Chorus x 2]

Uh, the Japanese was translated by me, so consider it VERY rough. Though I do think I got the "gist" of it.


Dec. 18th, 2008 03:36 am
azurite: (blue flower)
Tonight I went to my very first concert, Sarah Brightman's "Symphony World Tour" at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. It was my mom's Christmas present to me, and it was AWESOME! At first, we were worried that we wouldn't make it on time to get in for our seats, as we took a later train than we planned, but the train made good time, and when we got to San Jose, we walked a bit aways from the Pavilion and to this delish place on West Santa Clara off Almaden called "La Victoria Taqueria." We got some HUGE burritos for really cheap (I still haven't finished mine; it'll either be a late-night snack or breakfast) and a huge soda.

When we made it to the Pavilion, the lines were long as heck, but they started moving fairly fast, and once inside, we had to walk around almost half the Pavilion to find our seating area-- SMACK on the floor, just to the left of the stage! I was probably 100 feet away from the Diva herself! SUPER AWESOME SEATS! I was so thrilled.

The show started about 15 minutes late, but luckily I didn't miss a minute-- I was worried I would, what with that large soda I'd had with my burrito. I couldn't shell out $30 for the program, and it was likely mass printed, rather than specific for San Jose, but I did find one online from her tour's premiere in Mexico....

Symphony World Tour Set List )

Mom kindly got me a keychain and postcards for my scrapbook, and she got herself a mega-sized mug. They did have all kinds of other souvenirs-- shirts, jackets, signed lithographs, posters, the really HQ program, the Symphony CD, the Symphony Pre-Music Show 2-Disc Set, the Symphony Live in Vienna DVD, Winter Symphony, the Winter Symphony CD + DVD set, a Sarah Brightman teddy bear (yes, a teddy bear. It was wearing a "Sarah Brightman Symphony" t-shirt) and probably a few other things I didn't spot.

The visuals were AMAZING. She had eight dancers --girls who were probably my age or so, maybe younger-- who all did some amazing things while Sarah went through her many, many costume changes (I lost count, and according to the articles, she went through another costume change after the encore, which I missed. ;_;). They usually performed to the intros of her songs (like with the "Gothica" portion of "Fleur du Mal") or to instrumental versions of her songs, and I think they may have also served as her backup singers or chorus-- not that she needed it. There was at least one part when I thought one of them --or perhaps the backup track playing? I don't know, there was a live band there, and I assume the majority of the necessary instruments were live, rather than pre-recorded-- oversang her, and it made me kinda mad.

But overall? An AWESOMETASTIC first concert experience, and it definitely lived up to the Sarah Brightman standard. Amazing visuals, amazing costumes, AMAZING MUSIC!
azurite: (hp - rule 110: moon prism power!)
So I've got a few projects on my plate at the moment, almost all of them involving Photoshop. I'm trying to come up with a new layout for my domain so that all the subdomains (like Blue Eyes and Apricots, Azurelist, Dragonfayth, etc.) are all accessible. Plus, I need to have things like Resource/Credits pages, a Contact Me page, etc. I need to come up with a reasonable structure for everything.

My ideas were...
* Woodcut-style (like a Fleur de Lis; I've seen this in several places, but I'm not sure how to develop a few custom shapes or brushes and turn it into a whole layout, even if it is just a "portal" page)
* Jeweled stars (tried it; it wasn't successful with the NM Smith tutorial I tried, but a lot of Blending Options seemed to do the trick... now, what to do with it?)
* Tattoo-style-- like Ed Hardy. (I have no idea how to even embark on this. It's obviously got to do with the airbrush tool, but I don't know where to begin.)
* Retro Pop Art (This is inspired by the Lymabean "Spread the Love" contest logo. I have most of the brushes necessary to create something similar, except for the "retro" striped swirls.

I'm talking about the swirl-like shapes behind the letter E (of "Love") and behind the circles on the left (near where it says "Spread The...") Any idea where to find brushes like that?

Also, does anyone know how to make letters/shapes POP out like they do in the header? Is it just a matter of drawing a bunch of lines and having proper perspective?

And in the meantime, I'm going to separate out BEA's new "Media" page, add some embedded fanart via DA (don't know how much longer fanart's even going to *be* on DA, but...), and HOPEFULLY work on some fic.

Yesterday I did some adding to WikiFic for Yu-Gi-Oh! soundtracks/scores, but now I'm not sure if BOTH albums I bought in SD or just one is bootleg. I certainly didn't consider the possibility when I bought the things (usually I'm pretty good at spotting those kind of things, but these looked totally legit!)... yeesh. So, if you own some legit Yu-Gi-Oh! OSTs and have some free time, care to put up the track listing on WikiFic? I'll be able to grab the lyrics and take care of things like the kanji/furigana and the romanization.
azurite: (hp - rule 42: 42)
Your rainbow is strongly shaded red.


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

Find the colors of your rainbow at

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

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

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

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

Right now I'm just waiting for Dad to come back from breakfast with his buddy Steve (and hopefully remember to bring me the Raisin French Toast I requested). I think I'm going to play me some Super Mario World now, though... I love the Forest of Illusion!
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I blame it on [ profile] obabscribbler yet again-- this time not for any kind of plotbunny, but for getting me into watching Fandom!Secrets. The latest's 102 mentions the necessity of Caruso shades when reading OHSHC. I LOL'd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Finished Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! I don't like it as much as the others, because even though I raised issues dealing with the character, it didn't seem as indepth. Is that because he's not as major a character as the others I've covered so far? Also, I feel like I put it out there on a crutch, even though lots of people said it was indepth and good and everything. But I felt like without my proper research book and software for generating natal charts, it just wasn't as good. :(
azurite: (bunninated!)
You know what sucks?

Having a song stuck in your head that has no words!

I remember this melody to a song-- I think it's the opening to it, and part of me was sure it was Enya, but I've gone through my entire digital Enya collection and none of the openings sounded like what I thought. Then I tried to think of other Enya-like things, like maybe Enigma or the one track of Era I have, but it wasn't them, either.

azurite: (elections - palpatine '08)
So, since I'm going to be out of town for the big November elections, I wanted to apply to vote-by-mail. I went to the California state website and read the guidebook, downloaded the two applications I apparently needed (one for Statewide elections and one for County elections). Then I go to the LA County website and see there's an online application, so I fill that out and shred the paper ones I printed. Question is, will the ballot(s) I get be for the county of Los Angeles only, the state of California, and/or the national presidential election? I'm worried I won't get all that I need. Has anyone else done this process before? Even if you're in a different state, maybe the process is similar... *shrug* any help would be appreciated. Of course, I'm going to call the County Registrar tomorrow for "official" answers, provided I talk to a real person and not an automated system.

Question to the general populous: How do you organize your foreign-language music? For example, I have a lot of music by Japanese artists. iTunes supports Japanese in the titles, artists, and lyrics, and I can set my Smart Playlists to find the artists that way... but is it always the best way? Should I use the romanized names instead? And if so, should I do it the Western Way (Hikaru Utada) or the Asian way (Utada Hikaru)?
azurite: (Default)
Me, I'm horny don't you know, my love I want you so...
At least, that's how "Rapture" by iio sounded to me, until I bothered to check the lyrics. :P My mom has this book of misheard lyrics called "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" (the real lyrics are 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky"). Pretty funny read.

Anyway, I'd say right now, I'm about... oh, 98% done with my packing for Disney? If you don't know, I'm "moving to Disneyland" in two days-- on Monday morning (EARLY Monday morning). I'm actually moving to the dorms/apartments nearby, because I will be working there until about 3 January.

I won't be dressed up as a character; in fact, all I know about my role at the moment is that I'll be a "Store Operations Cast Member," which means I'll be selling something somewhere in the park.

Packing is a pain. On the one hand, I am moving my whole life for about 7 months. On the other hand, two humongous suitcases plus my wheeling bag seems a bit much... o_o Originally, I was going to try and cram all my clothes into my smaller suitcase, but that just can't happen. Clothes for 7 months do not fit in a weekend-sized suitcase. So I'm leaving that suitcase, packed and ready to go for Shaina's wedding on Memorial Day weekend. I'm going to try and come back here to Northridge from Anaheim via Amtrak on Friday night so I can take the shuttle to the airport with Baba and Grandpa.

The idea is that I'll visit them often enough so that when it starts to get cold, I can trade out my "summer" clothes for winter ones, thereby saving me the trouble of trying to cram three seasons' worth of clothes into one suitcase (no matter how large). The only problem is, Disney's got a "Look" which is essentially "winter" in feeling: all collared, short or long-sleeved blouses (and most of my collared blouses are long-sleeved), non-denim pants, no leggings/shorts, skirts or pantsuits, and NO t-shirts, tanktops, sundresses, etc. Goodbye, summer wardrobe!

Hopefully I'll be working indoors, where it's air conditioned, so things like jackets or long sleeves won't bother me so much. I get that I'm supposed to look professional, but it's tough when you're sweating like a stuck pig in the sort of heat we get here in SoCal. (And this is when someone from Arizona reads this line and rolls their eyes. Go on, do it.)

I went to the mall today to pick up a few things, since I had gift cards to all these stores... Plus, I got some gifts for the ChixFlix blog gals (one of them is Margeaux, who recently had her birthday, so I got her something a bit bigger), the latest Shojo Beat (I really should just subscribe already), and a bunch of hair accessories from Claire's. One of them is the Hairagami, which I cannot figure out for the life of me. It works like those old snap bracelets from elementary school. I managed to get it twisted in my hair somehow, but either my hair's too short, too layered, or I'm just too stupid to figure out how to get it to work. :P

It's hot and I'm hungry... and I already finished the last of the milk! AAAAH!
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
So I finally decided to splurge on iTunes today, what with Joe B. having gotten me that $50 gift certificate. In honor of the fact that I'm FINALLY (after all these years!) playing Final Fantasy VIII, I decided to buy all the soundtracks for it (that are on iTunes). Alas, it seems like "Eyes on Me" isn't part of that deal, except for Nobuo's piano rendition and the other versions, like the track titled "Julia" (appropriate, since, in-game, Julia wrote the song).

Anywhoozles, so I swore I had the "Eyes on Me" track anyway, so I go digging for it, and find a song labeled as by being Faye Wong. Now, I know my FF music, so I thought, "this has to be it!" and I play it. But... it's in Chinese, and I don't recall ever hearing that she did a Chinese version of it. And... it sounds a little off from the same track I have that says it's an instrumental of "Eyes on Me," and different from the piano rendition. At first, I thought it was just me-- and besides, single-release versions tend to differ wildly from game soundtrack versions, and even then, you can sometimes get 3-5 versions of the same song! This is par for the course with Final Fantasy, right?

But no, it's really not "Eyes on Me." It was labeled (in Chinese) as being by Faye Wong, but now I'm not even so sure of that. It sounds familiar, like it could have been in a video game I played, but... I'm not sure at all. It could just be familiar because I've heard it so many times when I had my playlist on random.

Part of me thinks it might be from a drama soundtrack, like Meteor Garden or Peach Girl's Taiwanese release. In that case, who the heck knows who it could be by?

In any case, can someone please help me ID this song?

The Mysterious Song "Red Bean," by Faye Wong, from her "Eyes on Me" single (1999, Track 2/3). Thanks, [ profile] svelterose! :D :D :D

For some reason, it won't show up in iEatBrainz, my iTunes music identifier, and at this point, I have no other ideas. Please help!
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

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

Read more... )

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

And now, for some random lists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (aries)
Go to the Wikipedia home page and click random article. That is your band's name.
Click random article again; that is your album name.
Click random article 15 more times; those are the tracks on your album.

BAND NAME: Nathalie Press
ALBUM NAME: Waterwalker

1 - Samford Hall
2 - CCLA (ooh, vague track name! I like.)
3 - Wakko's America (is it cool or sad that I already know this song by heart?)
4 - 1940s in games
5 - Pleasant Grove
6 - Combustication (another band's album name)
7 - Aceh Besar Regency
8 - Osvaldo Pugliese (this would, of course, be a tango track. If there was even a singing part, it'd most certainly have to be with some sexy guy with a delicious accent, like Antonio Banderas.)
9 - Anatoly Lukyanov (because everyone needs a track about a Communist!)
10 - California, Arizona, and Santa Fe Railway
11 - East Dunbartonshire (I think I'd have to go to Scotland before writing about a province there.)
12 - Kogarah, New South Wales (see above. Did you know my ancestors came from Wales?)
13 - Scott Garland (ice hockey) (because why shouldn't I write about ice hockey!?)
14 - Collingham Railway station (it's all about the railway, apparently!)
15 - Motion Sickness (believe it or not, an album, NOT the actual feeling of motion sickness, though after all these railway tracks... in any case, it's by Bright Eyes)

So, first person to comment and request a track from my "album" will get the "lyrics" to said song-- the only exception is Wakko's America, since it's the only real song on there, so don't request it. But I will seriously write the lyrics to one of the other "tracks."
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
Postspam ftw!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, Mom wants to know what I want for Christmas, and after this week's brou-ha-ha, I think I'll tell her I want the one-to-one training Apple offers. I really need to learn iMovie and GarageBand. I'd RATHER learn it from a friend or something (hint hint), so...? Anyone have any experience in this area? You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours-- I'm a woman of many talents...
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So I'm considering entering this karaoke contest (and tell me if I've already mentioned this), but the track in question (real Emotion, the English game version) doesn't have a karaoke/instrumental track-- that I know of. (If anyone knows if there IS a version, let me know!) Koda Kumi never released an instrumental/karaoke of the ~FFX-2 Mix~ of the song, which would have been the one we heard in-game, versus the ~Original Mix~ which is significantly longer.

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

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

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

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

This is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(3) Would you invest $44 in a textbook supplement if the teacher's lectures sucked, but you really wanted to learn? I've never been a straight read-to-learn person. I need discussion, activity, and interaction for things to really stick with me. The MyPoliSciLab thing sounds interesting, but I'm still not sure... Baba says "eh," Grandpa says "Hell no," and Mom is as indecisive as ever. What do you think? So far, I haven't spent more than $250 or so on textbooks (I've spent as much as $521 in previous semesters, so I consider this semester a bit of a bargain, especially since I'll likely be keeping at least a few of the textbooks for personal reasons). So it's not like it's adding hugely on top of my other textbook prices. Besides, this is an academic purchase, vs. say, a bunch of makeup or manga. :P
azurite: (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: (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: (o rly? - usagi)
Sarah's duet with Chris Thompson, "I Will Be With You (Where The Lost Ones Go)" has been chosen to be the theme song for "Pokemon: Movie 10". (Click here to download a clip of this song from EMI Japan.)

The theatrical release of "Pokemon: Movie 10" in Japan is scheduled for July 14. The ballad and the movie will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Pocket Monsters movie franchise.

"Pokemon: The First Movie" still holds the record for the highest overseas box office of any Japanese movie. The last 9 movies are reputed to have been seen by over 38 million attendees in Japan.

Another Sarah song, "Time to Say Goodbye" with Andrea Bocelli, is also being currently featured in the movie, Blades of Glory, starring Will Ferrell.


May. 2nd, 2007 09:47 pm
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
I found [ profile] diaphanus's (aka Ian) LJ through a search of DIES GAUDII, the "famous" site that explains some of the interesting naming schemes, myths, and mix-ups throughout the Sailor Moon universe. I decided to check out some of the things Ian wrote, and I found this interesting video from 1967 about what they predicted kitchens in 1999 would be like.

They weren't TOO far off, but I wish more people had computers (or fridges, etc.) that could watch their calorie /mineral/etc. intake to better take care of their health. It's already 2007, and anything remotely like that (if it even exists) would probably cost a fortune. I'm not promoting being obsessive about that sort of thing, but if there were a way to be both proactive (not lazy) and have an easy way of understanding what you're putting into your body when you eat that cheeseburger or drink that soda, I don't think America would have quite the obesity epidemic that it does. Or maybe it would, what do I know?

I'm also thinking I probably shouldn't dig too intensely into summer internships since I *will* be working, at the very least, at the Call Center/Walk-In Center, and possibly also with Apple as a Campus Rep (though I have yet to receive some package from the agency, Volt). But I still have a MonsterTRAK search agent set up, and I can do the same at Yahoo! HotJobs. I didn't find the Yahoo! internship article I was looking for, but Yahoo! does have some other good resources on the subject, including Yahoo! Answers and their directory of Internships.

That said, another thing I found via Ian: Argh, it's L-U-T-H-O-R you dimwits! Which reminds me, I need to get S4 of "Lois and Clark." I actually "need" a lot of things lately. It's good I haven't gone and bought them all yet; I'm not broke, but there are so many things, and prioritizing them in order of real "need"/importance is actually pretty hard.

Opinions? What should be #s 1, 2, and 3? Kensington wheeled leather laptop case - $71.99 Sailor Moon Memorial Music Box (10 CD Set) - $75.99 (or cheaper) Lois and Clark, Season 4 Boxed Set - $36.52-$41.99
Adobe Creative Suite 3 (Universal Binary) for Web - $499.00
Amtrak North America Rail Pass - $899.10 for 30 days of unlimited travel throughout the US, including a leg in Canada on VIA Rail
Something else...?

Thing is, if I'm saving up for the Rail Pass, I have to save up for where I'm going to stay, necessities like food, and souvenirs, too. Who knows how much that'll add up to? I know I can stay at hostels, and Mom might even hook me up for at least one location (hopefully Washington D.C), and if I visited New York, I might be able to stay with a relative (though staying at the Essex House again would kick ASS, especially if I weren't SICK this time around!). I'd probably need to budget at least $1000 just for that, which brings up the possibility of getting a credit card to fund it, rather than just let that idea slip away based on my current funding. Getting paid once monthly isn't fun, and this month, because I missed a few days of work due to doctor's appointments, I didn't get paid as much as usual. :( Or I won't get paid as much as usual, I should say. I haven't gotten paid yet; I just filled out the time sheets. Feels kind of old-fashioned.

Still waiting for my bookcase in the mail. Need to clean my room. And this weekend I wanted to go to Topanga Canyon to look into more pantsuits (and jackets), but James (cousin, son of Jill) is having his birthday party (Pirate-themed! Wahaha!) which I should probably go to (and what could I get James that he probably doesn't already have? I mean, all the games I know he likes are ones he already owns! Unless I get him Katamari or a GameStop gift card...). And now Apple ProCare members also get this One on One training, so I can sit down with an "Expert" and find out all there is to know about iPhoto and GarageBand without waiting for a workshop with a good time to show up on the Northridge store calendar. They have sucky dates for this weekend though-- nothing on Sunday, only Friday and Saturday evening, which is cutting it close if I have other plans at Jill's. But that can wait, I guess.

I don't know, I guess I just feel kind of busy and addled lately, but I don't want to get stressed. I want massages more often. And appointments with cute physical therapists at school. *impish grin* Alas, I don't get to see said cute guy at my next appointment on Tuesday. :P But maybe someday... Hehe.


Jan. 2nd, 2007 11:40 pm
azurite: (rikku samurai)
Yay, I'm back "home" in Mito, and while I've yet to get fully unpacked and everything (especially considering I should actually START packing a little to go to my REAL home in the States), I'm in a decent enough mood. For starters, though, a question: how the heck do you change foreign coins? When I left Hong Kong, I had some Hong Kong dollars leftover-- not much, just about $12 (a little under $2 USD, maybe), but the exchanger at Narita airport wouldn't take them. And I just visited Holly to give her an omiyage, and she told me that they don't take coins as a rule, because it would cost too much to ship them (presumably back to their country of origin, where they can re-enter circulation). So what the heck do I do with these coins!? I need the money...

Next up:
* Scanning Nana, Ch. 65 for the Nana Takoyakis group
--does anyone know how to get of "scanner burns" on the side of pages, short of re-scanning something over and over? I've tried using the Dodge tool, Levels, and all sorts of other things, but certain parts still look weird...

* Translating some of "The Legend of Mythica," the soundtrack CD to the Tokyo DisneySea water event that I *LOVED* to bits
--The initial prologue (as told by Mickey and the Diamond Goddess) in Part 3 introduces the "Spirits" of various things that, when harmonized, summon the five Crystal Goddesses (Violet, Green, Blue, Red, and Gold). The first one sounded like the "Spirit of Comic Songs." o_O; What? (I'm not sure which Disney character that was during the actual event; I know that Pluto and Goofy switched places -on the CD, Pluto is Violet and Goofy is Green, but during the event, it was the other way around. Then there's the "Spirit of Friendship," the "Spirit of Sincerity/Honesty/Faith", the "Spirit of Adventure," and finally, the "Spirit of Love" (I know that one is Minnie, without a doubt). Mickey is technically the "Spirit of Imagination." The other characters (besides the ones already mentioned) are Donald Duck, and Chip & Dale. Which do you think is which? I'm trying to remember...

I think tomorrow when I'm back and somewhat settled in (and with an organized list of what to do), I'll do a recap of everything that happened the past 10 days or so. It's certainly been an adventure.

By the way, is there any sort of patron god or goddess of transportation? My Muse really needs a name, and as has been happening for the past 6 years or so, I got inspired while traveling-- this time on the Joban-sen while heading back home. Alas, the idea is for "Eternal Dimension" in the later chapters-- a fic which I have not even begun to write, because it's the third and final installment in the "What Doesn't Kill You" series, and I'd like to get PART 1 finished before I even think about Part 3. My Muse loves to torture me so. ;_;

I also posted a bit about the logic of Seto x Anzu on Pearl of a Dark Age's FFnet forum on fanon pairings; check it out and add to the list!
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
If "being productive" includes finding and organizing things on my computer, then I've been quite productive the past several hours... down here in the hostel lounge area not working on my paper. But I have finally tracked down what looks like all of the songs from the 2002-2003 CD Mehg's Anime Megamix that she gave me all those years ago. Not just found the songs on my computer (when they were marked with such lovely tags as "Unknown Album" and "Unknown Artist"), but found the titles of the songs, the artists, the original anime they hail from, and the lyrics! Considering I haven't watched half the anime the songs are from, I'm quite proud of myself.

But there are still a few problems... one's an instrumental which was listed as Track 16 on the CD (which, to my knowledge, is so horribly scratched up that no computer can import it. It's also back in the U.S. in one of my giant leather CD binders, so I couldn't import it from here even if I wanted to). I think it's from "Angel Sanctuary," but I can't be sure. Is anyone good at identifying instrumental tracks?

The second problem is that I can't seem to find Tracks 14 and 15. It might be because I didn't want to import some of them, but considering one of the songs (from Gravitation, I believe) that *IS* on here is one that perpetually annoys me, I don't think that's the case. I think what happened is, I have the artist and title already listed, but for whatever reason, I deleted the Unknown Album + date of import and the Track number. And searching for something with such little info to go on seems to be a bit of a pain, even in the all-powerful Spotlight. And without the CD, I can't know what FOR SURE was on those tracks. >_< So I'm going to hunt around and see. Alas, NONE of the songs I know are from Mehg's Anime Megamix have the Date Created info on them, so I can't use that to help me at all. Does anyone know what other things a bunch of MP3s imported from the same CD might have in common? Some sort of metadata that could help me find the missing tracks?


Dec. 20th, 2006 02:18 pm
azurite: (fmos - mitsuki + meroko)
Shamelessly stolen from [ profile] kitesareevil.
"So if your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?"

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie

Opening Credits: Friday on My Mind - Noogie (I believe this was the opening song for the "A Walk To Remember" movie, so I suppose it fits in its own way)
Waking up: Strider Vibe Victory OCRemix - Quinn Fox (Hey, this kind of works. It's kind a kind of slow start, and then gets a bit peppy.)
First Day of School: Going Under - Evanescence (Yes, school really was that miserable for me.)
Falling in Love: E.V.O. Evolutionary Means OCRemix - Russell Cox Hehe, it's weird to have an OCRemix for a life themesong, but I knew it would happen; I have over 1200 OCRemix songs in my library, so of course one of them would end up in here. But it kind of sounds cute enough to work.)
Getting it on: Ai no Uta - Do As Infinity (The name of the song might be "Song of Love," but it's not that kind of smexxing song. o_O)
Fight Song: Secret of Mana/Time in the Clouds DX OCRemix - Kailem (Okay, so I'm a pretty magical girl with a battle scene that involves lots of sparkles and magic attacks.)
Breaking Up: Stayin' Alive MAX - TWO MIX (Hahaha. It almost works.)
Prom: Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You - Norbert Leo Butz; Sherie René Scott
Life: Open Your Mind ~spread the small wings~ - Yoko Ishida (Hm, it works to a degree.)
Mental Breakdown: Got The Jitters - Don Redman & Orchestra (This is just pure irony. This is like the "I'm going mental but in a 20s silent picture with the orchestral music in the background.")
Driving: Final Fantasy 6/Kefka Goes Carnival OCRemix (This should have been the theme to the last one.)
Flashback: The Comeback Card - Yu-Gi-Oh Sound Duel 4 (Flashing back... to Ancient Egypt!)
Wedding: Around the World - ATC (Techno wedding for the win! I think I must have listened to this song ENDLESSLY during my sophomore year of high school. But not by choice-- I think Cassie loved it so much, she always had it on repeat.)
Birth of Child: Green - Edie Brickell (It's a song about ENVY. What?)
Final Battle: Final Fantasy X-2/Labyrinth - Square-Enix (A battle filled with mystery and confusion!)
Death Scene: Canta Per Me - Yuki Kajiura (Ooh, I have a really dramatic angsty death filled with violins, cellos, and Latin! And possibly a gun battle!)
Funeral Song: Causing a Commotion - Madonna (Because that's what I did. My whole damn life long.)
Closing Credits: Light One Candle - Cast of "Fiddler on the Roof" (The irony is that it's Hanukkah, and I lit some candles earlier to help me not cry when I was chopping onions.)

Speaking of Hanukkah, I successfully made latkes! I was worried because Japanese potatoes aren't as big as American ones, and as I discovered while grating them, they're also a hell of a lot more watery. But I continuously got as much water/starch liquid out of them as I could, using both a colander and paper towels. Then I chopped up an onion, added some salt and pepper into the egg and matzoh (crushed) mix, and mixed it all up. Then I fried them in extra virgin olive oil. I decided to eat the first two for myself (lunch), and they turned out good, even if the potatoes were grated into something more like mush and less like the strings of potatoes I kept seeing in the recipes.

But they're okay! So I've got to make more for the party, which is in about an hour and forty-five minutes. My eyes still sting a bit from the onions, though. :P

For those of you who said you would enter the [ profile] ygo_novella contest, you're 5 days late! If you're reading this and have either quit or need an extension, PLEASE COMMENT NOW!
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: (violet lips)
Sandy, you wanted to know just how you were in an influence on me, especially for the WDKY series? Well if I tell you, you also have to accept the blame for my insane shopping trip today, because they both relate to the same thing-- or rather, person!

You introduced me to Sarah Brightman's "Harem" CD back when "Dying Autumn Leaves" (I believe) was a brand new idea, and we bounced back ideas about our respective fics in chat and email. You mention Sarah Brightman's "Harem" CD as being inspirational for you, and told me to check it out on WinAmp. I did, and I was hooked ever since. I got the Harem World Tour - Live in Las Vegas CD from my mom that Christmas, and bought myself the Harem studio CD for myself as a present.

And today at Shinseido, the local media store at Mito Eki, I scored Diva: The Singles Collection (I feel better that I bought it), Sarah Brightman CLASSICS, the Harem "desert fantasy" DVD, and the A Question of Honour/A Whiter Shade of Pale remix CDs. I wanted to buy the Diva Video Collection as well, but it was sold out! Sarah's #1 in Japan right now, and only a few days after Diva came out, it's already Gold on the Japan pop charts!

EVEN BETTER, she's coming to Japan next weekend, and will be at Tokyo Ginza's Yamano record store. I really want to go, but I hope [ profile] baine can come with me. It'll depend on trains and other transportation, since she's not exactly anywhere near Tokyo.

As for how Sarah Brightman relates to WDKY and its sequels, well, it was inspirational to me, too. Very much so, in fact, so I can't thank [ profile] guardian_kysra enough for introducing me to her. Now I'm a Sarah Brightman junkie. :) I want to find more of her CDs, especially the Asian-only release ones, which contain special tracks not found anywhere else! I was very tempted to buy the Japanese Harem Ultimate Edition CD I found today, but I resisted, since it only had 2 bonus tracks-- the rest I had from my own Harem CD (except "You Take My Breath Away," which was the US bonus track).

Speaking of WDKY, I wrote more of it-- er, this morning? Yesterday morning? I'm losing track of time because it's a 4-day weekend and I'm planning on sleeping in, even if there is a school festival. Let's just hope the festival doesn't wake ME up! I'm almost done, and once I am, I'll shoot it to Kysra and Atlantis, whom I expect will chew it apart and spit it back out like the gristle from KFC's would-be chicken. I'm looking forward to it. *bows to the masters*

I even heard from Scott today-- via email, of all things. His contacting me was the perfect finish to a very good day spent out eating and shopping with a friend. If I can polish off WDKY25, get some other random things done, and finish all my work, I will be happy that I have accomplished something this weekend-- even if working sort of defeats the purpose of a weekend. I spend all week looking forward to it, but at least we have another long weekend NEXT weekend, when I hope to meet up with Baine. :)
azurite: (purple nails jewels)
Halloween Horoscope for Aries

You're a total candy hound who will do anything for a sugar fix.
And to get the most candy, you'll wear the wildest costume possible.

Costume suggestions: A superhero or famous rock star

Signature Halloween candy: Mini Snickers bars

You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

I'm going crazy getting all the Sarah Brightman songs I can. I really had no idea she'd done so many albums and singles, and her new "Diva" (called "Kagayakeru Diva" here in Japan) is coming out soon. It's already out in the U.S. and the UK, actually, but iTunes doesn't have it yet. :( And as it turns out, Erica is a big Sarah Brightman fan, too, and even went to one of her Harem concerts! :O So, in the meantime, my list of songs I'm still missing (incomplete)... Trust me, savor each sensation... )


Oct. 13th, 2006 08:43 am
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
So I'm sitting in my room here at 10 till the time when I usually leave to take my "leisurely" walk to the International Center where I have my early morning Japanese class. I've gotten used to waking up early (I've even been waking up around 7:15-7:30 the past 2 days), so that doesn't bother me, but it's the little things I always took for granted that I miss here.

A mom or Baba to take care of me when I was sick.
Comfort food like Macaroni and Cheese.
Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

I'm staying in because I've got a killer sore throat. Jaclyn gave me some Sudafed (the legal kind, thank you very much), and I've been drinking/gargling saltwater like my mother's always directed me to when I'm sick. I'm not feeling any better though, which sucks- because today is actually my free day, with only one class, one tutor session, and one EC session-- compared to yesterday, when I had class, EC, class, EC (EC being English Conversation, or my "teaching," if you haven't picked that up from previous entries).

But obviously, I have internet-- at last. The first two months are free, and since I'm renting all the equipment, there's more of a charge for that... but I don't mind. I'm certainly getting paid enough to handle a measly 2 months after the campaign is over. And if my speed is as fast as it's supposed to be (50 MBits/sec), then they might even send me a BBTV pack, so I can watch TV~ Maybe not American TV, but hey, something's better than nothing. I'd love to see more of the drama we've been watching in Japanese class, "Chuura-san" or the new Hana Yori Dango. Or heck, NANA (the anime)!

I have yet to get the whole printer thing for XP worked out-- need some composite USB device driver or whatnot, and the guy who wrote the Ultimate Guide to Sphere Break may have very well disappeared off the face of the planet. But one can hope things will work out in time-- just like this sore throat, I think things will get better.

I didn't have access to Apple Software Updates or even the iTunes Music Store at first, but I'm good now. Matter of fact, now that I have a Japanese billing address, I suppose I could theoretically even find a way to access iTunes Japan, but I'm not really THAT desperate for any particular song. Sure, CDs are expensive as heck here (unless you find them at discount stores like Hard-Off, and yes, that really is the name), but iTunes Japan doesn't charge 99 yen for a song-- it varies between 150 and 200 most of the time, and I can't really think of anything off the top of my head that THEY would have that a CD store of some sort wouldn't. Unless they have anime soundtracks, in which case, how do I access it?

We're (being the exchange students) are supposed to go out to Tsuchiura and see the formerly-postponed fireworks competition tomorrow night, so I really hope I'm feeling better by then. Especially once I get my paycheck-- which I have to get today, even if I start turning green and spewing flames. Weirdly enough, Erica, Daisuke, Holly, and my Criminology teacher invited us all out to dinner tonight-- we're supposed to have EC until 6:40, and I think he said meet him at his office at 6:30, but if I'm feeling like crap, I don't want to go to either, nice as the thought is (assuming he treats, otherwise, no point).

I suppose soon I'll be uploading pictures and the like for everyone to see. I have postcards in the wings for many people, though others have to wait for me to find the right omiyage for them... yes, I'm looking at you Mr. Gotta-Have-Haruhi!

I'd like to find some sort of Alarm Clock widget, since I'm lacking in a workable alarm clock anyway, and why can't my computer be an alarm if it can do everything else except wash my underwear? I found this Widget that will wake me up, but this morning's test didn't exactly work out- I think I need to figure out how to work the program. But what I want is something that will play streaming radio (via iTunes, probably, or QuickTime) for a set amount of time before I go to sleep (and if possible, dim or turn off the screen in that time, since you can't have music playing with the lid closed/computer in Sleep mode), and will beep or play another song when I wake up. If anyone knows of something, let me know. I'm sick of listening to my air conditioner's whistling to try and get to sleep.

Ugh, I probably should get off this thing and sleep for real... or eat something. Maybe I'll update later if I feel better. At least I got my homework done...

Get more.

Aug. 18th, 2006 01:19 am
azurite: (unforgotten uranepu)
Ah, I'm a poster child for T-Mobile now! I got my Motorola RAZR V3x in the mail yesterday morning, even after all the brou-ha-ha with eBay. I don't know why they removed the listing (the specifics of wireless_experts' so-called policy violation is kept secret for "privacy reasons"), but I called WE up and told them I got the package just fine, and everything works.

I was worried for a bit-- the manual mentions a USIM card, which some places had me thinking was different and not compatible with a SIM card, but they're the same size and essentially do the same thing; since Asia and Europe are ahead of the U.S. in the features game, there are some things I won't be able to access, but nothing that I'll horribly miss.

My bill is... not small, but I can live with it. Around $60/month for unlimited text messaging, 600 Whenever minutes, Unlimited Nights/Weekends, and web access for downloading games and apps, checking my email, etc. So yay for being connected. What's weird is:
* I got about 3 strange text messages today, where the only content was a non-reply address: something that looked like this: ^@
It had no content, couldn't be replied to, and was just THERE. I got other text messages from T-Mobile just fine, but 3 TMs I didn't get at all. So if you tried to TM me or something... er, I didn't get it.

* Even though I've got the T-Zones web access enabled, when I searched through the directory for Games and Apps, nothing comes up, I just keep getting menu after menu. I talked to a T-Mobile rep earlier who made sure I had all the right software and everything, and my MPT (Mobile Phone Tools) is the latest version, but I keep getting paranoid that even if the V3x is a part of the RAZR family, that it doesn't support all the things I want (i.e. Bejeweled). I'll wait until tomorrow afternoon to make sure, then I'll call them back up again. But so far, everything works fine.

And before you ask, no, I don't think I got ripped off. I got the new Cosmic Blue RAZR V3x, a headset, data cable, OEM software, leather side case, car charger, signal booster, U.S./Japan charger, and European adapter all for $269. What killed me was the $22 sales tax because WE is based here in Los Angeles, and of course, the shipping, but other than that, it's fine. This will be my new permanent phone for use here *AND* in Japan. Sucks that I can't get one of the new "complementary to female needs" phones that are coming out next month in Japan via DoCoMo, or simply a cool phone with Osafu-Keitai, Infrared scanning, etc. But why get those things if I can't use them here in the States, anyway?

I also have to go to a Sprint Store to transfer all the data off my old A660 Vision phone; they can't do it over the phone, and they couldn't do it at the kiosk at the mall, so it's my only option. I didn't get a data cable when I first got my phone, and I had no idea what I was missing! But I've already entered some numbers manually, and it's actually not that hard to assign ring tones and pictures. Matter of fact, I already have the MIDI ringers of "Ai no Senshi" and "Motto Suteki Asa ga Kuru yo" from Sailor Moon... not that I know of anyone in particular that would MATCH those ringtones, but I thought it was cool. Actually, the sound system was so good, I probably could have used the instrumental versions of the MP3s and they'd sound tons better!

...Speaking of which, is there actually an instrumental/karaoke version of Ai no Senshi!? (I know there is for MSAKY). Oooh yes, baby, yes there is. Now, will someone tell me why people publish their playlists online? I mean, it's like bragging "Look, I got all this music, but I won't tell you where it's from!"

Actually, the Memorial Song Box has almost every damn Sailor Moon song in existence, but it's going for $433 USD on Amazon Japan right now. Can you say YEAH RIGHT!? I know I'm missing a lot of tracks, but I'm not THAT desperate (says the girl who paid $322.21 with shipping and taxes for a phone... yeah, yeah).

Something else Sailormoon-y: you know how on the manga version of the Sailor Moon S movie poster/Luna-is-human arc, Sailor Moon's hair jewel is facing the wrong way? They fixed it for the anime version (note: Diana is missing from the anime version, because they didn't introduce her until SuperS), but why didn't Naoko Takeuchi ever redo the image for the Materials Collection or somesuch? I always thought that was weird-- and I have the poster version of it (where someone gets cut off, and Luna has an unusual patch of red hair, but other than that...)

Note: links from MangaStyle and SailorMusic.Net. Not that I think bandwidth usage from my journal should be an issue, but check out the sites to see all that they have to offer. I can always host the images on my own server if requested; I only direct-linked for the sake of speed. (I also volunteered to be a mirror for SailorMusic, but the owner Michelle never got back to me. *sniff* I don't want to let cool sites like that die due to lack of hosting! I also volunteered for the Sheer Lunacy! encyclopedia, which I would *LOVE* to see completed... but again, no response).
azurite: (fmos - mitsuki + meroko)
I didn't get picked for the Jury (too bad, the DA was pretty hawt. He looked like James Spader!), so I'm done for the next long time. I got off around 11:30 or so, was home by 1. The first bus ride was free, because the change machine was broken. YAY!

So anyway, [ profile] weekly_ygo Issue #21 is coming out later this evening. In the meantime, meme:

Do you trust my taste in music? Pick one of the following sets of numbers, and then a number within that set's range, and I'll upload the corresponding song from that playlist onto the web so you (and everyone else) can enjoy it. Optional: You put this Meme in your LJ so I can test your taste of music, too!

Choose like so:
1/200, 2/6, etc.

The number in the first column is the playlist number. The number in the second column is the number of songs available in that playlist, so pick a number AS HIGH AS that number, or lower.

Available Sets:
1 - 209
2 - 14
3 - 208
4 - 19
5 - 23
6 - 14
7 - 7
8 - 8
9 - 38
10 - 18
11 - 4
12 - 135
13 - 8
14 - 16
15 - 14
16 - 41
17 - 1295
18 - 12
19 - 14
20 - 5
21 - 21
22 - 52
23 - 22
24 - 30
25 - 68
26 - 57
27 - 72
28 - 72
29 - 32

Sorry, I had to skip some playlists because they're in *.m4p or *.m4a format, which is copy protected and I can't convert it. :P But you still have a HUUUGE selection. Why couldn't I just number my entire library? Well iTunes doesn't let me do that on the Library selection screen, and I'll be damned if I miss out on all my AAC-format songs by starting to use another Media Player. :P

If, by some bizarre chance, you pick a song that overlaps playlists and has already been picked by someone else, you can rechoose. Same goes for if you already have the song, or if you hate the artist. :D
azurite: (wdky1)
Just as Grandpa and I were coming home, a champagne-colored sedan squealed around the corner of Superior and Wystone. Two guys immediately emerged from said sedan, which came to a rough, immediate stop at the house on the right corner of Superior and Wystone, one block and on the same side of the street as my house. Said guys came out with guns drawn, and said "Freeze! Put your hands up!" to the three or four guys outside of a red pickup truck, driver's side door open. My first thought was "Oh, some college guys are pulling a prank." Seriously. I thought they were just messing around.

But Grandpa didn't think so, and he purposely drove down a further street, taking the long, roundabout way home. When I got home, I wanted to check out what was going on, but when I got out of the car, all I saw was the sedan still pulled next to the pickup, both the doors still open, and I couldn't see any people-- presumably they'd gone into the house.

I think it was a drug bust! :O! Wow.

I've been on a theme song binge lately-- I got two versions of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme song (the original, by the Nerf Herders, and the cover, by The Breeders), and the Seasons 1-3 and Season 4 themes of Alias. I want the Season 5 remix of the Alias opening song, but I can't find it! GRR! Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'd like the long version, if possible.

Speaking of Alias, this 2nd to last episode wasn't too bad. I was screaming at the TV the whole time, of course. :D I'm just glad Vaughn's alive. Sark made me laugh (he sounds so sexy when speaking Italian. Or maybe it was the Italian that sounded sexy, and he just looked good doing it), and it looks like the finale will really be the end-all-be-all (without killing everyone off or without making it too ambiguous) with LOTS of old characters returning for a guest appearance. It's a shame they had to kill off Nadia and Renée the way they did, but alas! Such is life in the spy biz.

Better news! I got an A- on my English paper which I stayed up till 2am working on. I'm thrilled! :D I'm not so sure about my latest editorial for journalism, but it's the profile due next Wednesday that I really have to get cracking on. [ profile] guardian_kysra, are you free to be annoyed this weekend?

I've also managed to finally get Thunderbird links to open in FF, but who knows how long that'll last? I only wish I could use the HTML form for replying to comments... but for whatever lame reason, TB misinterprets them, and LJ thinks there's no POSTID. Feh.

twilighteyes8120 updating her SxA piece "Mixing Business With Pleasure" has got me itching to finish up WDKY-- that and my sudden obsession with trailers. Yes, trailers. So I'm thinking of trying my hand at "AMVs" that aren't really, literally AMVs. I'd do Flash instead, which means people could view them embedded in webpages. I'd like to do one each for WDKY, CO7, and ED, but the question is... what do people want to see trailers of? WDKY's already been out for 2 years now, so people doubtless don't want to see trailers of things that have already happened. Also, the trailers would be entirely musical/textual. I don't have the time/energy to do/find voice clips, let alone appropriate ones, so that's why these trailers would be closer to AMVs. So here comes the fun part:
If you could pick ANY chapter of WDKY (up to 3) to influence a WDKY trailer AMV, which one(s) would you pick? You can pick chapters that have already come out, chapters I've hinted at/mentioned, or random numbers. Assuming the art isn't too hard to pull off, I could (and will) do it.
CO7 and ED are different matters altogether, and those are things I'll be storyboarding on my own time.

Music suggestions are also welcome, but I already have some ideas.

My room smells like corn chips, so I'll light an incense. But if I get another freaky dream, I'm switching incense brands. )
azurite: (yuna's memory)
Weird as I am, one of my pet projects has been to get all of the freakin' tracks for FFX-2 there ever has been or will be. And I'm actually just about finished.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can I do for you? )

Did I forget anything? Please let me know! I will also share these files if people request, though the albums should be fairly easy to find/buy. I'll gladly help with the singles though, since I know those are harder to hunt down. I will only distribute through email or a private site though...
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
*points frantically up at subject line* WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Well, sort of. I sent in a fanart of Nana Osaki (from the hit Ai Yazawa manga "Nana") to Shoujo Beat a few months ago, in the hopes of winning a contest. I don't think I won, but my art got published in the December issue of SB anyhow! I'm quite happy! ^_^ You can see the online version at DeviantArt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any updates and stuff that I do between now and later will be posted... well, later.
azurite: (Sinister Duckies)
Why is it every time that I listen to the Spice Girls' "Move Over(Generation X)" I get this complete AMV in my head of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX with splice-scenes of Yu-Gi-Oh interspersed in there? I mean, I can even see certain scenes:

Hold it down, feel the noise, let 'em know it's a fight, pick it up it's alive
Juudai meeting Yuugi and receiving the Hane Kuriboh card, and hearing it "talk" to him for the first time

Next phase, next stage, next grade, next wave
From different duel phases, different duel stages, different dorms, and then the gang getting washed off their rock by a wave, as in the OP theme

Every color, every creed, teach, never preach, listen up and take heed
All the different students and the various dorms (Ra Yellow, Osiris Red, Obelisk Blue) and the teachers

Take the heat, feel the flow, 'cause you're ready to burn and we're ready to go
Juudai's Elemental Heroes-- a fire-based one, and a water-based one. If not that, then someone else's monsters of similar attributes.

You gotta know the rules if you wanna play the game, respect and dedication never riding on the fame
Oh, isn't this one obvious? Rules of Duel Monsters, the revealing of Spells and Trap cards; the use of the Duel Disks. "Respect" in the form of Duelists like Yami no Yuugi and Juudai, and "Dedication" with ones like Manjyome Thunder and Jounouchi. Fame, on the other hand, might be Kaiba. ^^;

^^;; Oooh, I should do it (and at the end, have Pharaoh the Cat paw-print the screen).

Anyway, I called Dell-- and they didn't send the CDs (of course). Turns out the technicians I spoke to aren't allowed to authorize the sending of CDs; only Spare Parts can do that, but according to the lady I spoke to, it's not covered under my warranty, which means I MIGHT have to pay for it. X_X Ugh... And I also apparently did NOT do a clean install with Microsoft, when I deleted those 3 partitions from my original Dell set-up and installed Windows XP Pro on what I thought was a completely blank hard-drive/system. So I have to call them back tomorrow between 7am and 7pm Central, talk to Spare Parts, and get my bloody CDs. -_-; I have a 90-day warranty; if this doesn't pan out by the time I get the CDs (and I will give them no more than a week to get those CDs to me) then I will return the damn laptop, demand my money back, and either buy a better one someplace else, or save the money for something smarter and wiser. I guess...

Did I mention Mom paid for my courses? I'm on Lesson 2 of 7 right now, and I can schedule the first of my two-hour behind-the-wheel driving sessions at any time, but I don't know whether I should do that AFTER I've completed all the courses, halfway through, or at certain intervals. Has anyone who's taken a Driver's Ed course with behind-the-wheel done something like this? ^^;; Any advice would be appreciated, because I'm starting to get the heebie-jeebies about this, even if I am excited and determined.

I have no homework for most of my classes; Mythology is an online assignment that I'm sort of working on now; I finished my work for Journalism; there's some simple typing up for Visual Communications; I have a bit of story-writing for Creative Writing (we're getting into drama/plays now), and a skit to make up this weekend for Japanese class on Monday. Also, I might try and finish "I'm Listening" (one of my original fiction pieces) for the Northridge Review, a CSUN literary publication. :> Can I do it before Oct. 1? I have tons of reading/writing to do already...

Speaking of writing, WDKY in particular, here are some interesting factoids )

Oh yeah Mamono I had some ideas for upcoming YOT icontests (aside from the ones we already talked about). Try deciphering these words to see what I mean; otherwise, IM/email me.
* Rehash
* Grimm's Brothers
* iPod
* Gobble Gobble?
*< /insert gobbledygook here >
* [ profile] iconfiend100
* [ profile] 7sinvirtueicons

Oh, and could you do me a HUUUUGE favor and tag your past entries with:
* Challenges (for the challenge entries)
* Voting (for the voting)
* Results (for the results, whether or not they include banners)
* Banners (for the banners, even if they're posted with the results)
* Extension (for extended challenges)
And anything else that might be applicable?

...I have the feeling I'm forgetting something, but I can't think of what now. At least I get to sleep in tomorrow before I work (for a measly 2 hours), and then, at last! The weekend! More studying to be had on the Driver's Ed front, but that's okay. :) Soon, I'll have the whole house to myself...

I'm here.

Sep. 6th, 2005 12:01 am
azurite: (i won't cry anymore (kagome))
[ profile] baine, you are so MEAN! :P Seventh-Star is perfectly original! It took me forever just to choose that one! :P Besides, I already had a Mare Serenitatis layout themed "...And Straight On Till Morning." Besides, you'd be surprised all the names that are taken, no matter how "original" you try to be. :P

*ahem* Anyway, to everyone else, I've decided to start up a Plagiarist Blacklist on think of the PPP, but with a list of known plagiarizers, what fandoms they attack, and so on. Anyone wanting to help out or otherwise contribute, let me know-- it's an open forum at this point.

Hey, I know [ profile] tidus likes to randomly drop off the face of the planet, but on any chance he or someone else LJ-program-savvy knows what I'm talking about, please answer a weird LiveJournal question I have: How do you post a link in your Now Playing/Current Music/Currently Listening To: area, to download the music you're listening to? Is there a way to automate this process? (I mention [ profile] tidus because he does this on his journal. Go see what I mean and see if you can figure out how he does it.)

iTunes speaks! a meme. )
azurite: (Default)
For my reference and yours, a definitive list of all the Yu-Gi-Oh songs (minus those instrumentals and English dub tracks)... that is, the ones with lyrics (or the ones that HAVE lyrics, but also have an instrumental/karaoke version).

If you know the words, sing along! )
azurite: (lois & clark)
I'm a horrible liar, thinking I can just move on with my life. Maybe it's pathetic of me to be so attached, but I don't think I can survive a month. Two days has been hell. Maybe I just need something to distract me. Like these songs.

I'm dreamin'/And dyin' inside/Just don't care anymore/Keep on sinkin'/Stayin' me.../Thought I was real/Thought I could feel/The walls crumbled/Time passes/And the world keeps on movin'/But I'm drownin'/Always sinkin'/In my own despair

Pathetic, ne? Reminds me of the Clementine song. Now THAT was eerie. Oh well, I write what I feel.

My life is told in the magazines/Hidden by flashes, my heart unseen/I try to smile/And pretend that it's ok/I'm living through another day/Scandals and heartbreak/Shockers and heartaches/All there for the world to see/I'm a million-and-one masks/Adaptin' to any situation/Never see the real me/I survive, hiding the pain/Dreamin' of the day/That shoulder I lean on.../Will finally stay/Be more than a faceless/Name to drop/I'm living... through another... day.

Ah, this one is strange... it's like a sad song for a celebrity whose live is always misinterpreted by tabloids. It kind of reminds me of "Lucky" (Britney Spears- *Shudder*) and of Pink's "Lonely Girl". Eh, go figure.

Bleh... 2002-2003 Classes )

Oh, in better news... ^^ He talked to me~! We talked about everything and anything but the fact that we were broken up, or that day. But now it seems like we really are living up to that "unspoken" promise of staying friends. I really hope it lasts. =)

Hoax or Opportunity? )

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