azurite: (escaflowne - destiny)
It's only February 16th, but already I'm thinking 2009 is going to kick butt. For one, I'm going to Las Vegas in a few days. I want to have high hopes even though it's someone else's birthday. I'm planning on having fun, so that's what's going to happen. I'm determined! Also, Dad gave me what might end up being the most awesome present he's ever given me.

He was part of this rewards program that's going under, and he raked in TENS OF THOUSANDS of points. For any rewards program, this is a lot. Well, turns out with just a few thousand points, you can get eCertificates to sellers like Amazon, iTunes, and so on, plus DVDs. Dad told me to spend every last point, so... I did (almost). I got a ton of DVDs I've been wanting plus some eCertificates.

I had the genius idea to maybe use those eCertificates for NSLS as fundraiser incentives, but I'm still torn on that. I mean, for one, some of them (Sephora) might not be good incentives, because they're not really applicable to everyone... I suppose guys could find a use for a $50 eCert to Sephora, but the only way I can imagine is if they were buying gifts for another girl. Does that make me sexist? I'm sure there are things for men on Sephora....

So I'll wait for the DVDs to arrive and then I'll decide. In the meantime...

25 random things? )

1 [ profile] schmollieollie
2 [ profile] cutieme4u
3 [ profile] guardian_kysra
4 [ profile] winterwing3000
5 [ profile] aelibia
6 [ profile] arien_elensar
7 [ profile] fountain_the
8 [ profile] praiseofshadows
9 [ profile] geniusgirl
10 [ profile] bewareofdogz
11 [ profile] katiat325
12 [ profile] kitesareevil
13 [ profile] dqbunny
14 [ profile] lin_ko
15 [ profile] obabscribbler
16 [ profile] staplerx (don't shoot! :P)
17 [ profile] azhp
18 [ profile] hikaru_jan
19 [ profile] psyjoe_dilandau
20 [ profile] zigx
21 [ profile] rose_of_pollux
22 Denise S.
23 Mike C.
24 Sheila F.
25 Carlos R.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Spam-posting today, sorry. Trying to force myself to study, and it's not that easy to do.

Give a gift; tell a story. - [ profile] vilify's got several prompts to choose from; all you have to do is comment (you can comment anonymously, and IP logging is off-- you don't even need to be a LiveJournal user to do this!). Write at least one paragraph of non-fiction text relating to the prompt. Share your story.

(This is kind of a meme, but kind of not. It's just something that encourages participation, so if you like memes, consider yourself tagged.)

[ profile] guardian_kysra, I wonder if we could do something like this for a holiday fic exchange? Obviously, in our case, it would be fandom, not non-fiction, but we wouldn't specify anything but a word or a phrase, and let anyone pick/choose from them and respond to them. We could ask people who were going to participate to give us 3-5 prompts, so that everyone would stand a chance of getting at least one story for "their" prompt.

(Obviously, the problem with this concept is that without specifying a fandom, some prompts might inspire fics for a fandom that the prompt-creator has no part in. So maybe we could have a master list of "allowed" fandoms or something, fics that everyone might enjoy?)
azurite: (xmas - rainbow ornament tree)
Damn, I forgot about the awesomely-awesome that is The MacUpdate Winter 2009 Promo Bundle. Seriously, a LOT of really good Mac programs for only $50!

...I already have one of them, the very-cool DriveGenius, so if SOMEONE wants to be wicked cool and get it for me and you are or happen to know a deserving Mac user, I'll be glad to pass the license code for that on FOR FREE (a HUGE savings, let me tell you!). I just want the others. I'd really like to try out RapidWeaver especially, but I think Little Snitch and Virus Barrier X5 would be good ideas, too. The others just look plain cool.

Only six days left to get it for $49.99!
*wibbles* Will someone get it for me for Xmas please? (To be honest, I'd get it for myself, but my money --what little of it there is-- is going toward OTHER people this holiday season. That is kind of the point, right?)
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: (believe in subtext)
I'm almost done with His Dark Materials, the trilogy by Philip Pullman including "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." I do think they read together better as an omnibus-- or at least 2 and 3 do, because the ending of 1 was "okay," while 2 just sort of... well, "cut off," pun not intended.

I've got a ton of other books to read at some point, many of them purchases from when I was in San Francisco, including Candace Bushnell's Lipstick Jungle, The Thirteenth Tale, the second In Death book, "Glory In Death," "The Historian," the rest of the "Book of the Dead," Susan Issac's "Long Time No See" (at Baba's recommendation), and "Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her," which I'm finding is a very fun, informative read on one of my favorite childhood heroines.

Today at Borders, I also picked up a bunch of manga (another one of those 5-for-4 sales), though I'm still holding off on Fullmetal Alchemist and its associated novels, since I want to wait for the whole series to be finished. Besides, I technically don't have enough bookshelf space for what I have... it's kind of embarrassing (but cool! Because who doesn't want to have their own personal library? Mine is killer! :D). I also picked up "Codebreaker," about -what else?- codes and ciphers and their history. That purchase was, of course, inspired by seeing "National Treasure: Book of Secrets." I actually love puzzles (logic puzzles are my favorite-- I'm not much one for crosswords, though I am a little good at Sudoku), and I think that's sort of come out in WDKY's Téa, because I've had her solve her father's riddles in order to unravel a family mystery (and save Seto on the side, of course). In thinking about the future of WDKY, I'm thinking, if Téa didn't become a dancer, what would she be? There could be any number of reasons why she might not dance, and I thought she might end up as a cryptanalyst or similar. It'd be a fun way of having her one-up Kaiba in many ways-- genius of one area vs. genius of... well, Kaiba's sort of an all-around guy, but hey! :D

Speaking of fanfiction, I've started revisions on an old Sailor Moon fic of mine, "Hogosha no Kokoro," or HnK for short. Originally, the title was SUPPOSED to translate to "Guardian of the Heart," but that was back before I fully understood Japanese and the function (and positioning) of noun modifiers. So technically, it translates to "Guardian's Heart," or "Heart of [the] Guardian," but I guess that's okay, too, even though the meaning is a bit different from what I intended. In any case, I explain the mixup in my Author's Notes, and add "Guardian of the Heart," as the story's subtitle. I figure I could change it to what it was meant to be (Kokoro no Hogosha), but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it, and besides, if I were to abbreviate it the way I do for my other fics (like WDKY), it would be GotH. o_o Yeah, I have a "Goth" story. Great.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I picked this one over any of my other SM fics-- heck knows they all need revising, but HnK has great possibilities as an AR Silver Millennium Fic. No, I'm not going to try and make it fit with the current theme of [ profile] sm_monthly (which I've almost consistently had ideas for, but never gotten around to actually writing/posting).

Read more... )
azurite: (xmas ornaments tree)
I would make like Happosai and go "what a haul! what a haul!" but my haul this year was meager but meaningful-- just the way I like it. From Gary, I got some gelt (and if you don't know what that means, go look it up in a Yiddish dictionary); from Mom I got a new black iHome iPod dock/radio with alarm, along with a $25 Macy*s gift card. Rochelle also gave me a $25 gift card; Eva got me "Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End" on the 2-disc DVD edition (YAYZ!). Though I don't think it counted as a Hanukkah present, Dad also gave me V for Vendetta, and I bought myself the Anastasia (remember that lovely animated film by Fox? Wow, John Cusak ~_~) Family Fun Edition.

Yesterday, [ profile] azhp and I made my traditional Spritz cookies, so those of you in the Yay Area who want some, better call your dibs now! (This is being awfully egotistical, isn't it? But I'd like to think everyone's liked them over the years; I know I do.) Speaking of cookies, the Jays (the family that owns the flat Mom & Gary live in) gave us some delicious... well, they TASTE like cookies, but they look like brownies. And they're delicious! :D I'm eating a chocolate chip one, now.

I've still got gifts of my own to give out, but so far, it's been a nice holiday-- fun, productive, and not overly emotional. Heck, I even managed to get the Christmas tree up and decorated last night-- what a relief, considering this year, it seemed like it wouldn't happen (again), but this time due to laziness/too much furniture blocking the way/whatever, instead of Mom-is-a-Grinch. This year it only took her a day or so to get into the mood, and she hasn't been a Grinch since. Yay for that.

-Seems a lot of my cousins are going to be in Northridge when I go back on Thursday. And Scott's coming in the evening and staying the night so we can hang out Friday... o_o I'm hoping it doesn't somehow end up awkward in any way. (Knowing me, I've probably already jinxed it.)

-Dad made it to Northridge okay. Another day, another adventure. I wonder what we'll be doing for the time he stays?

-Managed to edit up an image for a Dragonfayth Xmas skin. Now I need to make something for New Year's. But the skins only display on the holidays, so anyone looking at Dragonfayth today, 12/25, tell me what you think! Sure, I can't claim credit for the Seto x Anzu art (that goes to [ profile] lin_ko), nor the skin base design itself (that goes to Kali), but I mashed it altogether and made it work! Eh-eh-heh...

-In my old room here in S.F. (which is now called the Tovstin, a mix of Tovsen -Gary's name- and Westin, where Mom works), Gary has some tiny fish... one of them died last night. :( I didn't want to let it sit there (which is what I did several years ago in high school, resulting in a mass fish death that day), so I disposed of it... so sad that it had to die on Christmas. What made it especially suck was that he had another fish that I thought had died when I first arrived... but apparently it was pregnant and just floating around, trying to avoid swimming too much. Gary poked it and it turned out to be alive, so I was relieved. I was hoping the same thing had happened with this other one, but... no such luck. I poked and it just floated back up again. ;_;

-I didn't get the chance to work on (let alone finish) my Aria's Ink 2003 Xmas competition entry "Information, Please!" (title subject to change now), but I've got it pretty fleshed out in my head... I think it was 4-5 chapters, and I think I've decided not to make it an AU... the drama's always more fun that way. If I did get it done by New Year's, it be a nice "opening fic" for Epiphany when it goes live.

-Gotta work on the [ profile] 30kisses purge!

-Wonder if I can get that purple double-breasted pea coat from H&M tomorrow...? I'll call the main store in the morning and see if they got a new shipment.

-Many, many books to read. Did I mention I'd gone on a bit of a spree at Borders the other night? Plus, I'm about halfway through the whole "His Dark Materials" trilogy; I'm several chapters into "The Subtle Knife."It's pretty comfy just lying in bed, watching movies and/or reading. I think I'll go back and do just that right now...
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Another successful day in the city. This was another shopping day with "the gals," this time with Crystal, Eva, and Steph; yesterday was Steph and Mom; the day before that was Rochelle, and I've had a great time on all days. With Rochelle, we covered downtown and Stonestown; with Steph, downtown, and with the girls today, Stonestown and Serramonte. In all cases, I was pretty much out all day, except with Steph, because I supposedly had to be back home for an East Bay dinner with Gary's daughter and grandson... but that fell through due to traffic. In fact, we were supposed to make up for it today by going shopping in Berkeley, but THAT fell through, too. But I was glad to go shopping with the girls-- I got Mom's gift (technically a 2-part gift from Baba & Grandpa, because they have me money to buy her something with), had a nice shrimp primavera at Olive Garden (which my stomach is now apparently revolting against and GAWD I HATE MY ORGANS SOMETIMES), and got myself a cheap "Family Fun" DVD edition of "Anastasia," one of my favorite animated movies of all time. The weird thing is, there were two different kinds of box art, but there was NO REASON for it. One wasn't a special/limited edition, one wasn't widescreen vs. full screen... it was just two different box arts, one which was weird (Anastasia looked like Celine Dion) and one was normal (Anastasia looked like she did in the movie), so I got the second one.

As for other presents (for most people besides Mom, Gary, Dad, Scott, and Special Random Someone), by the looks of things, it'll be "time well spent" and "cookies." I bought M&Ms for my special Spritz cookies that have been a tradition for years now, though I'm sure there have been some years when it wasn't always done. Tomorrow's mini-golf in the evening, so if I get the last of "my" shopping (I kinda want this coat that's at H&M downtown) done, I can bake the cookies in time to meet the girls before we go to MGL.

I've already gotten a few gifts my way, too: Mom got me the iHome dock I wanted, which lets me charge my iPod, play music from it on a nice speaker system, listen to both AM and FM radio, and use any of the sources (radio, iPod, or line-in device like CD/Cassette player) as an alarm. Very nifty. But what ruined the fun is that she was genuinely serious that she had NO CLUE what to get me for Christmas, and she kept asking me and asking me and it was awkward! I never want to feel like I'm selfish and just WANT WANT WANT... I tried to think of something I need, so the first thing I named was that coat, but Mom was already super-stressed from work when she tried to go to H&M to find it, and she had no luck. :( I feel bad for having made her do that. She felt obligated to get me something, but hates shopping downtown in crowds, especially in the holiday season.

This season moreso than a lot of others, she seems like a real Grinch, and it makes me sad. I hate to say it, but she hasn't been much fun to be around. I know she's very stressed from work and a bit sick... so I hope she'll rest and think of this as a vacation and time to rest, not time to do things (even though there ARE things to do... like, oh, clean up the living room, which is packed with the dining room's furniture, countless boxes, bikes, etc. and therefore has no room for a stocking, let alone a Christmas tree).

Yeah, we're late in all we do-- at least when it comes to the holidays.

What else? Still haven't gotten my Chase check or any word from my school, according to Baba. Chase last contacted me and said that they were waiting for some sort of certification from my school before they could disburse the money. Well, they probably tried to contact the school as it closed, and my money is "on hold" until 1/2, at least. Technically not a big deal, since the WII representative I've been with isn't back in the office till then, either BUT that obviously presents a problem with:
a) tickets to SF for Macworld (which I can technically only go to if I go to Washington because I have the loan money from Chase)
b) getting tickets to D.C. in the first place, because it's SO LAST MINUTE!

Plus, Bowen didn't get back to me on Monday like she said I would, so I have NO idea about the academic credit! While technically stuff like that CAN be arranged after the semester, that's only what happened for study abroad-- I think for this to count, I NEED to do it beforehand, because I need it to count for an internship AND an independent study. I just hope Bowen's back on campus or at least checking her CSUN email starting 1/2...

I hate relying on just one person to get things done.

And it made me think about manga )
azurite: (xmas purple ornaments)
Yay, two out of three finals done! Believe it or not, my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) final didn't really feel like a final so much as a normal class session where she was lecturing and asking for discussion. I asked her after class how I did, and if I was looking at the right line of her gradebook, I got two checks, and one check-plus, which translates into a B, I'd say-- that's just for this portion of our grade, 10%; more of it is made up by the media deconstruction, the media critique (50%), 30% by other tests, and 10% by participation/performance. Overall, I'd say I'll probably get a B, which makes me happy, especially since this was a particularly difficult class.

Moving on, I also got "conditionally approved" for a Chase loan, which means I can go to Washington if I get the money on time. If that works out and I get the appropriate academic credit (hopefully 12-15 units worth; at least 6 from Journalism; it's working out just how the other 6-9 will be applied), then YAY, WASHINGTON D.C. HO!

But if not, I'm going to try not to be disappointed. I think I might be biting off more than I can chew again, even if WII and ISLP are both great opportunities for a number of different things. The great thing is, it's not like if I don't go to WII, I'll be doing nothing here at CSUN-- I got accepted into Take XX, part of the New Student Orientation Leaders team, and I'd still be working with NSLS and NSCS. I definitely don't want to stop being involved with either of them, even if I do go to Washington.

Now, if I do, there's another choice to make: to go to Macworld Expo, or not? If I do, not only can I see my friends and/or parents (most likely the latter, since... to be honest, guys, would any of you want to want to go to a Macworld Expo with me? Dad I know would, MAYBE Mom --but not together, no way, no how) again, but it's just plain fun. Plus I could always cover it as a Special Contributor to the Sundial, maybe? I applied to be a Copy Editor there, too, but I didn't officially GET the position even though the new editor-in-chief asked me. Basically, everything hinges on WII.

If I do go to WII, I'd only have Jan 14-16 to be at the Expo, since I have to check in in Washington, D.C. between 9am -5pm and be at the informal mixer by 6pm. Two days at an Expo isn't bad... but again, it's about money. Then again, if I go to WII with a loan backing me, money won't be so much of an issue anymore. It'd be icing on the cake if I managed to get a paid internship.

Speaking of icing, I really want some cupcakes... Baba said we can buy cupcakes and/or cupcake mix on the way home. I think my holiday baking spirit is getting kicked in. And crafting, too. A certain someone shall be receiving a handmade card soon (hint hint: that person is on this FL!)...

What else? Well, I've gotten some of my Secret Stalker gifts from Aria's Ink-- I decided to participate this year on a whim, and it's got me not only working on Epiphany, trying to revive a better version of Mare Serenitatis, but also looking over my old SM fics (let's be honest, except for maybe "24," and the beginning of "Quicksilver," they ALL suck; my writing has come SUCH a long way). I also did some fanart, but ssh! No one can know my secret stalker identity until the event is over... I might even try to resurrect an old idea and work on the 2003 Aria's Ink holiday competition contest.

Well, what with my tablet semi out-of-commission, coloring anything in Photoshop's a real bitch now (doing it with a mouse is... ugh, it's like taping my fingers together and trying to paint), so the fanart might have to wait until I get a new one, or unless I take the marker-colored version I did AFTER the scan and fiddle with that... but personally, I'd rather Photoshop the color in, as my inking process... well, let's just say it didn't go as well as I wanted. I'm not too much of an artist... ;_;

I'm feeling a bit more hopeful today than I was yesterday, so I hope I can channel that into studying a bit for my last final and then working on some creative (and possibly cleaning) endeavors tonight, whatever form they may take... there's always a lot on my plate, frosting or no. :)
azurite: (xmas snowflakes 2)
You Should Have a Blue Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of calm, understanding, and peace.
You avoid family fights, and you don't get too stressed out - even when things are crazy!

You like to make Christmas about making everyone's life a little bit better.
You don't get caught up in greed or commercialism. You're too sincere for that.

Your blue tree would look great with: Lots of silver tinsel

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: It's a Wonderful Life

What you should bake for Santa: Chocolate chip cookies

All I want for Christmas
* A new hard drive (at least 100 GB, so I can backup my own regularly using Time Machine)

* Some new headphones, preferably the ear-bud kind that have "hooks" ... even better if they're somehow noise-cancelling.

* All the stuff on my wishlist (mostly books)

* Art stuff (new Prismacolor markers, because it turns out the ones I have are pretty dried out; rubber stamps + nice ink, embossing powder & gun, cardstock/scrapbook paper, punches (those metal things that make shapes from paper, kind of like a hole-punch, but huge), etc.

* A NEW TABLET MOUSE WITH PEN because my old one is dying ;_;!!!!! (unless someone knows how you can replace the mouse, which is the worst off...)

* Money. I got denied a WII scholarship, but I just don't want to give up on it. The ISLP deadline is coming up, too... that, at least, I can console myself I might be able to do next year, even if I don't end up going to graduate school (because recent undergrads are okay, too) I'm not a big spender, but for some reason I've been struggling the past two months-- not just my credit card bill and my phone bill (which I hope will go down soon, now that I have a T-Mobile phone, more limited minutes, and a cap on my messaging), but in general. Baba and Grandpa were nice enough to lend me $100, but it was too late to stop 2 overdraft fees. It happens too often (I feel... it's probably happened 4-6 times this year already), so there's no way it can be refunded or "forgiven." I barely have ANY money in my bank account, and I already know my next paycheck is going to suck... ;_; AUGH!

I applied for a Chase Private Student Loan-- enough to cover both the WII and the ISLP... but I don't know how long the approval process will take; I need to find this month's pay stub to photocopy along with my passport before the application is completely finished. I know a loan is a bad idea... the repayment plan would have me paying it back for 20 years, and that's not even including my current Stafford loan. ;_;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...I need an Arina Tanemura icon. Or six. (And more xxxHolic! Yuuko owns my soul!)

Sakura Mae

Dec. 27th, 2006 10:49 pm
azurite: (tokyo map)
Greetings from the lobby/lounge area of the Sakura Hostel in Asakusa, Tokyo. Today was a challenge, being that we had to be up around 4:30am to get a bus to the Hong Kong airport only to wait around for a few hours and sit on a mostly-empty plane back here to Japan. But we made it! And I got to see "The Lake House," which, while horribly predictably and totally paradoxical, was romantic-squishy-fun for me.

Also, I am screwed for money (again). I'm honestly trying to figure out exactly where I went wrong, and the only thing I can genuinely think of is: food. Plus country-hopping does horrid things to my money, because you're stuck using an exchange rate and the buy-sell rate of various banks in airports. And today, Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ at Narita refused to take my coin money (all of $12.40 HKD, which isn't much), so I have to try and change it somewhere else or be stuck with Monopoly money that I can't spend (pretty much).

I think part of it is also that I ended up getting gifts where I initially didn't budget for them: I got more things for my Mom and Dad, even though I had already bought (and sent, for a lot of money, because EMS is expensive!) because I found things that "fit," and I also ended up getting omiyage for my tutors and roommates. And I also bought myself a few things here and there --a Mulan picture frame, some nice Disney Princess stickers, a Space Mountain photo, and a few random other things... some gifts for other people, too, but every time I calculated it out in my head, it never seemed much (in USD, anyway). But after paying for the hostel (I did it all at once, so as to not be broke and have to ask Bonnie for money), I have something like ¥2000 left. I am making a transfer from my PayPal (the money from the PayPerPost entries), and I transferred funds between Savings and Checking to help out... what's killing me is the $108 bill I have to pay on 1/10. I don't think the Exchange Students are getting paid on the 5th, the next Friday after we get back, which WOULD be our payday if we hadn't had vacation and that wasn't the first day back after the break. Hopefully the 12th, since we'll have another week of EC plus the pre-break EC sessions to get paid for. But until the 23rd when I leave, that's it.

I feel horrible, because Dad, Baba & Grandpa all pooled together and gave me that great and generous Hanukkah gift, and here I am wondering wtf it all went. I can blame part of it on being responsible-- paying bills and not just going crazy and buying totally POINTLESS things... mostly. :( Also, there are fees for every damn thing-- part of the reason why my bill is so high. I just hope I don't have any issues with the next NTT/Yahoo! BB bills I'm going to get. I don't know what I'll do if I can't scrounge up the money. I HATE (and I use that word SPARINGLY, to give you an idea of how much I don't usually "hate") asking people for money, especially if they've been exceedingly generous in the past.

I can't wait to get back to the States where there'll be a job and a big, fat financial aid check waiting for me. I do have to pay Mom back immediately (for helping me out with the phone bill, not to mention all the packages she sent), and there is no way in hell I'm just going to slack off and not EARN that damn scholarship; if anything, this is the wake-up call not to spend so much money. The Seishun 18 Kippu will help with transportation money (so it's good I planned out what days to use it and what days to not), but generally I think I'm going to have to be very wise and cautious. I'll use the time I might normally spend shopping working on my paper instead. I don't want to disappoint anyone.

I can deal. :)

...I hope. I suppose later on, I'll post a whole "trip retrospective" and give more details on everything, but other than the fundage issue, I'm well, Bonnie's well, and so far I'm having fun. I hope I get to see the Dali exhibit tomorrow, because it's the one thing I DO want to see, regardless of funds. I already bought the Disney tickets, so I can't get out of that, but I can make sure I minimalize for everything else possible without being a stinking cheat.
azurite: (tokyo map)
In less than 10 hours, I will be on my way to Tokyo/Narita to go to Hong Kong with [ profile] baine! I'm actually pretty excited. :) Today went by really fast toward the end, but I'm glad I got so much done-- I did my laundry, cleaned up my room, finished planning the budget sheet, printed out maps and generally walked away with a feeling of accomplishment. I also ended up buying both the tickets for the Disney Tokyo resorts (Sea and Land) and Hong Kong; Bonnie'll pay me back for them, but at least we can both be confident that we won't have any problems getting into the park-- we have TICKETS, dammit. (At least, I hope that's the case that they don't oversell and expect people to be able to come back whenever; I'm sure we'll try and go to the parks at opening, so we don't have to worry about that.) Truthfully, both parks seemed pretty cheap compared to the original down in Anaheim. :P It was only $45 for the Hong Kong park, and only $80 for both Disney Sea and Disney Tokyo on the 2-Day Passport. Unfortunately, I didn't know the passport could only be used for consecutive days, so I had to change our plans from Disney on the 28th and 31st to the 30th and 31st. We're still sticking with our original plan for Hong Kong Disney on Christmas Day, though. :)

I managed to pack enough clothes for all 10 days in my duffle-wheelie, and I'm bringing my big black purse and my backpack for carry-ons. I'm also going to bring the laptop-- not that I'll have Internet access (that I know of), but I do want to try and work on all my papers... I have to at least get started on my paper for Mass Media, and of course, keep working (if possible) on my scholarship paper. Kerhoff from Criminology finally gave us (the exchange students) an assignment to determine our grade, but it's not due until 2/1... still, I'd rather get it over with sooner while the information is fresh and I'm more likely to have free time that I *should* dedicate to school (rather than websites or fanfics). And then there's culture and pop culture, both of which have papers due, but with no specific date set as of yet (as far as I know). I missed both those classes this week because I wasn't feeling well. Ironically, that wasn't the day after the party, when I had something akin to a hangover (yes, I'm pathetic).

What else? My back still hurts from all the hunching-over New Year's Cards I did, but at least I got everything mailed out- tomorrow I'll mail Scott's present + letter, but I mailed everything else (Joyce's package, Dad's package, postcard to Gary, New Year's cards to my Japanese tutors and roommates, and a card for Scott's mom) today. I'm going to look around for the game [ profile] staplerx wanted, and the doujinshi at Comiket that [ profile] richlikesmaids mentioned, plus presents for Holly, Grandpa, another, slightly-more-significant gift for Scott, doujinshi for [ profile] atlantian_magic and [ profile] guardian_kysra, and perhaps my tutors/roommates as well. After budgeting everything out, it looks like I can afford to do that, even if I weren't feeling guilty (because many of the other exchange students gave gifts to their tutors today; I didn't GET anything from my tutors except some cute cookies from Misato, but that's to be at least partly expected; people don't really do the gift-giving thing en masse here in Japan, which is VERY surprising given the amount of attention and hype Christmas gets).

I should get to bed soon so I can wake up early enough to make a hearty breakfast (gotta finish off all my milk; I already gave Holly all my eggs, but I want to drink all the milk and OJ; everything else I can freeze) and call both Mom and Scott. :)
azurite: (pantsu! kaiba)
^_^ I got the present from you today, and it kicks butt! I've named it "The Kysra" in your honor. Now I just need a strap or something so I can hang it on my neck or something.

And since I'm going to Comiket (YAAAAY) I will make it my personal mission to find you some smexy smut doujinshi for some fandom or another to send as a "You are teh r0xx0rz!" present, too. Hopefully I'll find some Seto x Anzu~~~

This makes me feel a lot better, even if I have to still go shopping for tomorrow (which will be crazy) and still have homework to do. YAY PRESENTS I LOVE PRESENTS~~
azurite: (tokyo map)
Okay, so today was essentially a good day. Holly made me silver dollar pancakes topped with a cute strawberry, as promised, and we took the earliest bus/train possible from Akatsuka to Nippori, and then the Yamanote Line trains in Tokyo to Shinjuku first, then Hamamatsucho (to the Ryutsu Center via the monorail), and then back to Shibuya. We accidentally took the "long route" to Shinjuku, so we got our time messed up a little, but we had fun-- as soon as we exited the station, we looked for a place to eat, so we decided on this small cafe/restaurant that had apparently JUST opened that day (it was pretty busy, and there was a "GRAND OPEN!" flyer on the cashier) called "Ducky Duck." I had a Foccacia pizza and a blueberry bagel (with blueberry cream cheese), the latter of which I got at the train station because I was so ravenous, and the former with a thoroughly lemon-soaked Coke.

After that, we wandered around Marui Young looking at the Gothic Lolita clothes; we'd gone there for a few minutes before Ducky Duck, but I was so hungry I convinced Holly to get grub so we could do some power shopping. While I find the various Lolita styles interesting, I can't really see myself wearing anything except maybe the most tasteful and plain (i.e. as few bows and hearts as possible) dresses. I saw one gorgeous Santa-inspired red coat with white fur trim, but it was over $315! Yeah, WAY out of my budget. But Holly found lots of things she liked, and we found out that if you spend over 10,000 or so yen at Marui Young and are a foreign visitor, you can get the consumption tax (5%) back! So we did that, and then went to look for Okadaya, a craft store.

We finally found it after some wandering, but it was a bit of a disappointment to me-- floors 4-6 were mostly about sewing, with things like rick-rack, buttons, small bolts of fabric, yarn, and the like everywhere. Not my cup of tea, to be honest. Floor 7 had some magazines and books, but they were all over-priced; floor 3 had some cool makeup and wigs, so I bought some nice cheap nail polish and some Victorian-style scrapbook stickers. I also bought some things from the other floors for Baba and Joyce. Floors 1 and 2 were all about beading, and while I was totally tempted to get some things, they were way expensive, too. I might have been reading the signs wrong, but I'm pretty sure the signs had a price "per bead."

Next up we headed to Hamamatsucho; the monorail was a very interesting ride, and it took us through Tennozu Isle, the same place that inspired Infinity Island in Sailor Moon S. I even saw the building that inspired Infinity Academy! :D I just read about it the other day in one of my new books: Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon, so it was pretty cool actually seeing it in person, even if it was just for a few moments.

The antique fair was pretty easy to find, and it was nice that it was all indoors (I thought it might be outdoors based on the description and warnings from the page). But everything was so expensive! I was hoping I would find things for both my Dad and Scott (and maybe Grandpa), but of all the incredible things I saw, only one thing "called" to me as being perfect, and that was a present I snagged for Dad. The guy I bought it from even gave me a small discount! I think he was just surprised that I was being so picky and interested in what he had to offer. I thought about getting Scott a Buddha statuette, or maybe some Japanese ukiyoe art, but with prices running in the low thousands for STAINED stuff, I said no. Besides, nothing "called" to me as being perfect for him. I'm hoping I think of something soon, or see something in Hong Kong. I feel kind of guilty having not gotten him anything for his birthday or Christmas yet, save the one small-ish, kind of silly thing I already bought (which I hope to mail this week, along with the other boxes and cards).

Holly and I split up through most of the fair, and even though the exhibition hall was large, we found our way through the whole place pretty quickly. It was mostly housewares (plates) and genuinely antique-y stuff like samurai armor, swords, prints, toys, and things like that. EVERYTHING was very expensive. One Buddha statuette I looked at was 10,300 yen (over $90 USD, about)! And it was barely the size of my palm!

We ended up leaving before the fair actually ended, and we headed back to the monorail to go to Shibuya. I wanted to go to the NANA 2 museum and cafe "Lotus and Strawberry," but we didn't have a whole lot of time; we were also hungry, so we stopped at a Royal Host and had dinner (I had Mexican tacos along with some honey & wild berry ice cream). After that, we tried to find our way to the Jewish Community Center, but because we weren't coming directly from the station, the directions we had (and the lousy map) weren't very useful. We asked for directions at a koban (police box), and managed to make our way there, but only after TONS of walking. And according to the hours, they were closed on Saturdays! I found that hard to believe, given that synagogues and the like are usually OPEN on the high holidays, and the front door was open, too. Another guy came up and asked us if we were there to see the movie; we said no, we just wanted to see the place, we'd come from Mito, etc., and sooner than later, a guy working for the JCC came and let us in. I saw they had a table of goodies set up-- alas, the dreidels (glass) were too expensive, so I ended up buying matzoh and coconut macaroons instead. YAY! :D :D :D MATZOH! IN JAPAN! :D :D

But all that walking took so much time, so we had to run to catch a bus (flat rate of 170 yen, how cheap!) and get back to Shibuya so we could take our train to Nippori and then back to Mito. But my stomach started hurting on the bus, so at Nippori I found a bathroom and stayed sick for a good half hour. :( My stomach was still finicky when we finally boarded a train, but thankfully it was a Rapid train, so there was a bathroom (which was surprisingly clean). I'd taken a Pepto from Holly back at Nippori, so my stomach started to feel a bit better... but I think the fake Mexican tacos did that to me. :( I'm still feeling kind of queasy.

The guys at the JCC told me about a Hanukkah party going on tomorrow at some Otani Hotel, but there are LOTS of Otani Hotels in Tokyo, and I can't remember which one/where they said it was! I want to go, since the whole point of me trying to find the JCC was to do something Hanukkah-y, and plus you get free food and a free menorah! But since I'm not feeling well *AND* since it costs extra money (plus even if I use another day from my Seishun 18 ticket, I'd have to buy another one for use with Bonnie when we're in Tokyo! It's totally worth it, since it pays for itself if you spend more than 2500 yen or so in a single day, which I do just coming from Mito, though), I might not go. I'm waiting to see if anyone emails me back with the exact address, or there's no point.

I also want to try and start writing more for my scholarship paper/the book. It occurred to me that there are LOTS of books on anime, but not very many on manga, it seems. Mine wouldn't be the first, and perhaps not even the first to explore the connections and dissimilarities between manga and Japanese novel writing, but I'd like to give it a shot.

Anyway, since my tongue is brown and my head is achey, I think I'll get to sleep now.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
Ah, the luxuriousness of the relaxed weekend is almost over! ;_; Whine. And I won't even have much of a winter break, because I've got all of 2 weeks to travel around before heading BACK to school (and therefore finals), and then back to the States, and then starting school one week after that (and work one week after THAT). I look forward to the weekends SO much here in Japan. And it's funny, because that would imply that I'm really busy, but it doesn't FEEL like it. Maybe I am really busy, but things I'm doing have become so routine or mundane that I can't recall them when someone asks "So what are you up to?" or something like that.

Anyway, today I actually decided to get out of the dorms-- yesterday I felt pretty ill, and I slept most of the day, hardly ate, and kept waking up in the middle of the night. Today didn't start much better, as I woke up first with a horrible stomachache, and then a rotten headache. I slept until after 12pm, and when I finally got up, I took some Ibuprofen for my headache, had some pancakes, and decided to go to Daiso to get some CDs, DVDs, and other random necessities. My HD has been filling up pretty fast here-- mostly with pictures and music-- so I've been burning all the NANA anime and Death Note onto DVDs, along with any other movies or things I happen to score. But I need to clear out more space, as I only have a little over 2 GB free now... and this is on an 80 GB capacity drive. WTF?

I also headed to the Mito Eki area, and decided to go to Marui to see if Todd's recommendation about the menswear (as presents) was any good. They did have some cool stuff, but nothing really screamed "Scott would love this!" to me. I did swing into the Virgin Megastore (yes, I was surprised, too) and saw Mika Nakashima (aka NANA from the live-action movie)'s new single for "Hitoiro," but I didn't buy it. Her new album is coming out on the 12th, too (that would be "The End"), and it's really expensive! CDs here are such a rip-off, unless you get old, used ones from Hard Off or something... Still, I do like all the NANA music (live action and anime), so maybe I'll hunt it down eventually... it might be cheaper on!

Well so anyway, what kind of presents do you get for the man in your life? (Dad, brother, boyfriend, whoever) I've gone through countless gift guides, said no to all the usuals at the Gift Stations (ties, cufflinks, pens, etc), and am STUMPED for ideas. I just think I'm an idiot when it comes to men. (Male friends on my FL, please, feel free to disagree with me. It'll make me feel better. Of course if you don't, it won't make me feel WORSE, but obviously I would appreciate your input A LOT.)

In Virgin, I found a cool magazine oriented toward gaijin folk like myself living in Japan, and it turned out to have some pretty helpful listings of things to do and places to go. For the few days [ profile] baine and I will be in Tokyo, I know we want to spend 2 days checking out both Disney resorts, and at least some portion of a day hanging out with two other [ profile] smrffers, Kris and Fin. I don't really think we've decided on specific whens or wheres just yet, though. I do know that I'd like to go to the Ueno Royal Museum for the Dali exhibit, and probably "somewhere cool" for New Year's. Alas, all the clubs having New Year's countdowns are SO EXPENSIVE! And there are some pretty big names coming to Japan, soon (or are already here), like Muse, Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters, etc. ;_; I wish I could afford to go!

I'm thinking next weekend I have to go to Kairakuen for sure (1) just to see it, and (2) because I need to visit a local Mito temple with a "Japanese friend" and report on it for my religious studies class quiz. The following weekend, there will be not one, but TWO antique fairs in Tokyo, so I thought I might go to those, to check out and see if I could find some cool presents for my Dad and Scott. I also have a lot of space in the boxes to fill up for Joyce and for Baba and Grandpa... gah, shopping is hard!

Tomorrow after class, I can't just sleep in, either-- I have to repeat the whole post office --> bank thing, by going to the post office to make a withdrawal, and then going to the Tokyo-Mitsubishi bank to pay the balance on my IACE trip. YAY for that being almost taken care of! Then all I'll have to do is save up for the Tokyo hostel, shopping, food, and transportation in Hong Kong (I bought the JR Seishun 18 Kippu today, so travel in Tokyo is taken care of). I do have to go to Kasumi tomorrow to buy some groceries, and the other night, we went to Coco's for a vaguely expensive (but totally filling) dinner for Holly and Sokei's birthdays... so it's back to yen-pinching, if I want to have a good time. I'm dead-set on having a good time, so it's all about save save save! I would go to Kasumi tonight when I know things will be on sale, but my head is back to pounding and pounding...

I can't really remember my health ed class that well, so prepare for The Stupidest Sex Question Mer Has Ever Asked! )
azurite: (sam & max - max)
Okay, so I went to the post office right after Japanese class to try and pay for the rest of my HK trip. The postal savings ATM wouldn't let me withdraw 63,000 yen; it said "You have exceeded your credit limit." I freaked out, because I didn't know whether that meant that
a) The Postal Savings ATM only lets you make X number of withdrawals, or withdrawals up to X yen (if you're a visitor to Japan/using a foriegn bank card).
b) I had much less money than I thought (or the exchange rate made what I thought was enough money "less")
or c) WaMu put a limit on the amount of withdrawals I was allowed to make from abroad

Turns out it was the latter, as I vaguely remembered someone from WaMu telling me I had a limit of $500/day to withdraw. Now, at the time, I obviously thought "Why would I want to have $500 on me IN CASH, anyway?" Well, so I couldn't do it, but I did withdraw 32,000 yen successfully. I said bye to Holly, who was inside the post office mailing packages (turned out we'd been on the same bus on the way there), and headed toward Tokyo-Mitsubishi bank a few blocks down. It was actually a lot closer than I thought, so I don't think I'll take the bus the next time I have to go there from the post office (and I would have to go to the post office, because I already know the bank can't make withdrawals from my bank account... there's no CIRRUS symbol on the back!)

I decided I would try and remember the order/process of making a deposit (o-furikomi), but I kept encountering all these options and I had NO idea what they were or what they meant. The security guard tried to help, but he couldn't translate anything into English. One lady DID help me read the correct branch name in kanji, and eventually one of the clerks helped me through the whole process. She also helped me get a card that will expedite the process (I don't have to enter all the account information again) for the next time I go on, probably on Monday.

And I emailed Fumi, the IACE Travel representative, and she'll probably get back to me and tell me everything's fine with the transfer today, and that'll be it! As for the phone bill, I called Dad and he said I was going to get a SIZABLE Hanukkah present of cash deposited into my bank account TOMORROW. *YAY.* This will probably negate the need for me to deposit any of my future paychecks into my U.S. account, which will save money (because those kind of transfers always cost money. I didn't try to do it today at the bank, though WaMu has some sort of hook-up with Wells Fargo and Tokyo-Mitsubishi. I wonder if transferring through a bank is cheaper than through the post office? I know Golloyds or whatever is supposed to be the cheapest remittance, but I don't think I can use it or something.) So I'll be able to pay my phone bill on time, save my next two paychecks for HK and Tokyo (I need SOME money for the hostels, and of course, transportation and food in HK).

...So now I just need to build up the courage to eat FISH.

Because apparently if you don't eat pork here in Japan, or in Hong Kong, you MUST eat fish. I wonder what the percentage of vegetarians or vegans is in Asia... Probably extremely low.

I refuse to eat grasshoppers (or horse meat, or other varieties of bug), though. I don't care how delicious Kawashima-sensei says they are when they're covered in chocolate.

Also on the bright side, I might just be able to swing getting some presents for people online. I found this site that has a ton of coupon codes for all sorts of stores and websites (i.e., Best Buy, etc.), but I don't want to get all excited over it until I look through it some more. So if you see another post on it soon, it's because I've approved of it and it's cool enough for me to want to tell everyone and their dog (or cat) about! So far it's looking good, what with coupons for 1-800 Flowers (which I use often) and even some CLOTHING stores, which might help for presents for a Certain Someone Who Shall Not Be Named. I still have to mail out packages and things like that, but generally I think I'm good. Mom'll be sending me macaroni and hot chocolate, and I'm hoarding my Kasumi discount cards and buying the cheap stuff late at night to save money. Yay for 9pm Late Night Sales! Now if only I could get a Suica card to save me time and money when buying train tickets. Maybe when I get paid this Friday, I'll buy a JR Seishun 18 Kippu so on the days [ profile] baine and I are in Asakusa, I can get around easily. Unlimited travel on 5 days (doesn't need to be consecutive) during the travel period on all JR lines (shinkansen and super-express excepted), for only 11,500 yen! Not too bad, I'd say, especially considering you can spend 1/10 of that just on ONE-WAY to Tokyo from Mito (on the slow train).
azurite: (aries)
Testriffic IQ test

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

BWAHAHAH! (I would like to point out that there is an unintentional TYPO on that quiz. If you can spot it and still get the "right" answer, my salutations to you!) I would also like to say that those kind of quizzes should be mandatory before allowing people to post fics on FFnet. If they can't pass something like that with a 60% or higher, they shouldn't be posting FICS on the 'Net, because really, Brain Bleach LTD. has enough customers as it is.

Also, Comic-Con 2007, hmm... one of the biggest, most packed cons EVAR. If I end up moving to San Diego, I would totally want to go. I'd have to register before Apr. 3 to get the best price, but I could totally pull it off if I were living in S.D. with Scott. Maybe I could even drag ask him if he would like to come along (hey, it's COMICS and SCI-FI *AND* ANIME! Something for the both of us!). That would be a dorky thing. But fun!

Well, speaking of guys, just what are appropriate gifts, anyway? I need to get Scott, my grandpa, and my dad something additional. I already got my dad two somethings that are "Japan-exclusive," but I'm stumped with my grandpa and Scott. I've already done the whole tie/wallet/gift card thing in the past, so that's out. Any ideas are welcome.

And you thought the Mind Map was crazy looking! )
azurite: (she must have been drunk and horny)
I've only eaten a bowl of cereal (Frosties with bananas) and had some toast with scrambled eggs today, but I'm feeling strangely sick. Or I have been for the past hour or so, and I have no idea why. It sucks.

Moving on, I wonder if anyone would be nice enough to get me things I like/need from It's one of the few places where shopping online is safe/secure, relatively cheap, easy, and THEY SHIP ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. There's also :) Long story short, I need a few books from there (on my wishlist), and since I'm saving up for Hong Kong AND have to pay that new phone bill (le sigh, it's legit. Basically a bunch of 2 and 3 minute calls REALLY ADDED UP... to 26 minutes, at $2/minute = $56 tacked onto my $60 regular bill and all the other surcharges), I'm kind of broke at the moment.

However, as promised, I will (and have been already, actually) shopping for gifts for people, and I do believe in "fair trade." So, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. I can try and buy you a gift online and have it shipped to you, I can buy a gift here in Japan and ship it to you, or I can buy something for you and I can give it to you in person, depending on when [next] we meet. :) I actually need these books for my scholarship... a lot more than I need a pretty blue 1GB+ USB stick with some cool engraving on it. (I want that, but I don't NEED it, unfortunately). And as I mentioned before, I don't want to ask my mom for money.

...My dad, on the other hand, is way overdue for a "hit me up for some cash" call. :P

So in summary, please buy me some of the anime and/or manga-related books (that is, reference books. Not stuff like an actual VOLUME of manga or a DVD of anime, shocked as I am to hear myself say it) from my Amazon Wishlist and have it shipped to me here in Japan (need my address? email me or comment... though it IS on my Amazon account, I don't know if you can "see" it if you buy something from my list), and I will
a) love you forever
b) get you a cool present in return

Yes, I'm aware that I'm groveling, but it turns out that legit sources of a wealth of info that I need for my scholarship ARE NOT online, and books in English are extremely hard to find here in Japan (which makes perfect sense, really, and I'm quite the dunderhead for not considering it sooner).

...And since I feel sickly right now, I think I'll lie down, and maybe play some Star Ocean 2. If I feel up to it later, I'll have dinner.

*sniff* I miss everybody.
azurite: (mokuba's 1024)
Every time I've tried to arrange some online gifting for Christmas, it hasn't always panned out well. This year I've got a new Winter challenge over at Dragonfayth, and maybe some people will be nice and we can do a fic or fanart gift exchange.

But for those of you who
a) want some souvenir from Japan as a present (I obviously can't guarantee shipment by Christmas, unless you tell me NOW and I can find it SOON)
b) like giving material, tangible gifts as opposed to online gift credit, or files of some sort
or c) are just really, really nice people...
The bestest present in the whole wide world! )

"These" are these adorable colored thumb drives, and you can even get them CUSTOM LASER-ENGRAVED! (If you can't tell, I think that's one of the coolest features. Am I superficial or what?) They have them in pink, black, blue, gray (think charcoal colored), and silver. Being 'Azurite' I could totally go for a blue one. :D

And they're cheap! ($20.99 for 1 GB!) And I'm actually in need of a larger thumb/flash/portable/whatever you call it drive, anyway, because I was one of those poor suckers who bought a flash drive when they first came out, and I paid over $40 for a 128 MB one. It was just fine when it came to school work and things like that, because documents and other such files never get that big. But when I had to do computer-to-computer transfers, or if I wanted to work on a massive project like a Photoshop document or an entire website when I wasn't at home, it became a pain in the neck NOT to have a larger thumb drive. Plus, when I exchange files with my friends, a larger thumb drive makes it easier to store more, and stay more organized.

If anyone gets me one of these (engraved with whatever you please ^_~ the custom engraving IS free, after all), I will either get you one of your color/engraving choice, or b) get you a present from Japan. :)

And matter of fact, I think these make great gifts in general, too. I mean, first you have colors to choose from, which is always nice considering how many boring black or gray thumb drives are out there (though black and gray are two of the color choices, the casing seems to be "shiny," so it's not the same sort of "flat" color as I see on many thumb drives).

Second, FREE custom engraving. Nothing says "I honestly thought of YOU when I got this" than an engraving tailored to the recipient.

And third, they're cheap! Unlike all the other technology products coming out this holiday season, this one is actually affordable enough to get for MANY people, so it won't put a serious dent in your pocket.

Fourth is that it can be a gift for just about anyone-- friends, family, students, workers, whoever. USB drives are just one of those multi-purpose, multi-person kind of gifts.

Here's the tech specs, for those who are wary or simply wanna know:
-Available in 512 MB, 1GB, 2GB or *4* GB
-Prices range from $14.99 to $89.99
-Custom colors of pink, silver, black, gray, or blue for all size drives
-Compatible with PCs and Macs
-Hi-Speed (2.0) USB and Standard USB (1.1) compatible
-Plug-and-Play with PCs using Windows Me, 2000, or XP (no drivers!)
-Transfers files up to 480 Mb/second
-Security software included for you Windows users
-No additional power needed (gets its power from the USB port)
-Small enough to be convenient, but not forgettable (1.7cm L x 6.7 cm W x .6 cm H)
-Made of durable aluminum, so your data won't get damaged easily

I know I want one, don't you?

January 2016

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