azurite: (tokyo map)
Since I have to return my Yahoo! BB modem tomorrow, this will probably be my last entry from Japan. *emo!tear*

I suppose I could wax about how the experience has been for me, but to be honest, I think that's best saved for when I'm finally back at home and re-adjusting to "my real life," or at least "my other life," back "home" in the States. Besides, I've been doing entries here rather regularly, so I think people that keep up with my LJ have at least a general idea of what it's been like for me, or what I've been thinking/feeling, for the most part.

But, as some of my parting thoughts on all things random:
-I need some sort of app. for iTunes to better manage all my songs. My biggest irk with iTunes is that when I delete a playlist off my iPod, it doesn't delete the associated songs, so I have to FIND the associated songs and delete them manually in order to save space. I wouldn't need to do this if I knew exactly what was on my iPod (seriously, what is that "other" stuff?), or if the Sync Manager told me when I selected playlists that wouldn't fit on my iPod. I *ONLY* put Playlists on my iPod (that is to say, not random songs that are NOT somewhere on a playlist), so this irritates me. Does anyone know of an option?

I started reading 51 Days of PGSM over at AFSM, and I found a link to Ryuusei's fansubs of the PGSM Oshiokiyo! DVD extras... I downloaded them all, and they were pretty funny. And the episode recaps had me thinking of something I could do for WAFF Day. I know I said something like that before (because I have that idea that would work well for TAFF Day, or WAFF vs. TAFF day, or just a SM fic in general), but maybe if I worked on it a little, that would be good. I know I've said that I want to stay in Yu-Gi-Oh until I finish WDKY, but maybe the reason why 25 is so hard for me to finish isn't just because of the difficukt subject matter, but because the story as a whole seems tiresome by now. If I work on something else for a little while, think about other characters and situations, when I go back to 25, it'll be refreshing (I hope), and then I can finally work on the arc that made me excited about WDKY to begin with-- 26-28! The thing is, the SM fic idea (not the TAFF one) is a First Season romance of sorts, but with an idea distinctly borrowed from the drama-verse. But the anime, manga, and drama are pretty different from each other in their own distinct ways, so if anything, I'd probably have to write it as an anime-verse fic borrowing some ideas from the drama.

I'm hoping I'll manage to cram everything into my suitcase-- it's pretty much full at this point, with everything except my pajamas and tomorrow's outfit in there. I'm thinking I'll just have to give Daniel my leftover Cream of Wheat, but I can get rid of the juice, cookies/macaroons, oatmeal, and hot cocoa tomorrow or Tuesday. And since they're small packets, I might be able to cram them into my backpack, even though it's already so heavy... but at least with Holly's help, we seriously reduced the weight of the package I'm going to send back to the States. Because of the snowman figurine I got for Xmas, I still can't fit things into a shoebox or a smaller box than the one I have, but hopefully the weight will be the primary thing that lessens the cost. Plus the things in there now are things I can live without for a month, so I can still survive off Surface Mail (boat).

I'm still worried that the airport will call me on my suitcases being heavy (plus the extra bag... I can't afford two charges, I really can't, so I hope that all my bags are under 70 lbs. each-- they should be!), or that they'll rail on me for the blanket/Toro-kun bag. Holly doesn't think they will, and I hope she's right. I ended up leaving more things for my roommates than I originally intended, but I hope they put them to good use and don't think I'm just unloading stuff on them to make my life easier (though that is part of it). I wish I could take my nice wooden hangers with me, or my Dove body soap, but I guess those are things I can get in the States, so I shouldn't think about it so much. Same goes for the hand sanitizer... I'm totally an abuser of that stuff, but in all the time since Mom sent it to me, I only used the 2 mini-bottles and about half of one of the larger 8 oz. bottles. I still have an unsealed one left, and I packed that one, but the other one I guess I'll leave here to save room... for my sneakers, or my razor, or something more important. :P After that, it's just my purse, my daily meds, and my mousepad... actually I think I'll probably take that off now.

I should go to bed soon anyway-- even if there's no formal meeting or anything tomorrow, I want to wake up in order to enjoy breakfast, meet my tutors and share my cookies, and maybe go out to lunch with Holly at the meat place near school before I go to the post office and possibly the bank to exchange my money.

Wish me luck!
azurite: (hyd t&t i love you)
I've got about 10 minutes before Hana Yori Dango 2, episode 3, and not all that long ago, I got back from a fun day with my tutors, Kevin, and Kevin's tutors. At 2pm we met up in front of the Senbai dormitories, then we headed off to a bowling alley not all that far from here. We broke into two teams, one with me (Meririn), Hiroyasu (Tokotoko), Misato (Misa~), and Chisato (Chisachisa), and the other with Kevin, Noriko, and Hiromi. The other team did much better than us, but I had a great time anyway, bowling in my usual funny way and trying to think of Sailor Senshi attacks to go with each frame. ^^; My hand was killing me by the time I was done (even though I only used a 6 lb ball, I think), but I had a great time after 2 games. They were showing TV on the lanes with unused scoreboards, and I got to see a bit of Dr. Slump and some other strange shows.

After that, we headed to Aeon-Jusco first to take some purikura at You's Land Rainbow Dance (the game center), then to grab some dinner (we had buffet at the same Family Buffet that I went to with Holly, Erica, Daisuke (?) and Dr. Kerhoff). I wanted to see if Jusco had some chocolate chips for cookies that I want to make tomorrow, but they only had a really small, expensive bag. I'm hoping when I go to Akatsuka tomorrow for Access Moon (I *WILL* get my hair done, dammit!) I can swing by the huge Daiso (¥100 shop) and grab a bag there. I did end up getting my bubble-wrap/cushion envelopes from Miriya Shoten (the bookstore), though. They didn't have Yu-Gi-Oh! R vol. 4 yet, and I would have bought it despite my money situation if they had, just because buying manga retail in Japan is SOOOO much cheaper than importing it from any website, be it, Kinokuniya, or Sagusa Books.

While there, I saw a bunch of manga and movie adaptation books with MatsuJun on the cover- advertising his new movie that's coming out soon, Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru or "I'm In Love With My Little Sister." o_O Whoa. I'm not one of the types that finds honest familial incest hot or anything, but MatsuJun must be a pretty damn versatile actor to commit to all the roles I've seen him in. WOW. I really respect him. :D

All in all, I didn't spend a ton of money (bowling was cheap; ¥900 for 2 games and shoe rental), I had a great time, and I even got some presents (chocolate from Hiromi and a cute purse and card with a cat on it from Chisato). Today was good. :)

ETA: Oh. My. God. HYD2 Episode 3 was by far the best of them so far, but I expect Episode 4 to be EVEN better. Check out my post on [ profile] hanayoridango when I make it a bit from now.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
I've been repeatedly trying this week to budget out the money I've got-- I got less than I expected today, so I have to really work with what I have. I'm torn between being sensible (using the money only for things I need, and the things that fulfill that need without being expensive) and wanting to have a little bit of fun for the last few days I'm here (getting my hair done for cheaper than in the States, going bowling tomorrow with my tutors). But it's hard! I still have to send ¥500 and batteries to Bonnie; I have the 10kg box to send to myself, a smaller, hopefully CHEAP box to send to my grandparents (though if it gets down to it and I have ANY room in my suitcases, I will rip that sucker open and just give them their presents by hand, even if I already addressed the box), and my last, large suitcase to pack with my clothes, a few random toiletries, and whatever else I can think of to cram in there.

What pisses me off is that while I've been on a cleaning/packing spree, I've managed to become horribly disorganized-- I had 4 bus passes for going from school to Mito Eki (valued at ¥800 total), and I CANNOT FIND THEM. I swore I either put them in my wallet or in some drawer/safe place, but I can't find them no matter where I look... ;_; I've gone through 3 bags of trash, 2 of my suitcases, my entire wallet, 2 of my purses... nothing.

If I can sell my roommates my leftover stamps (which I would feel a bit bad doing, but... I'm GIVING them so many other free things, and the stamps are actually worth MONEY), then it won't be a big deal, because it would be enough bus fare to get me to Mito Eki and back (once, rather than twice, but oh well). But I still wish I could find it NOW, because if I were to unpack in the States and find them in some "obvious" place, I would be really pissed at myself-- especially since I wanted to go to the Post Office tomorrow or Saturday to mail everything off and get it out of my way. I also wish I could sell them my phone... I paid ¥4000 for it, and there's NO reason why I needed it! Admittedly, I have used it for the rare occasion of calling a Japanese number, but for the most part, the phone serves no purpose, and I wish I could get that money back, especially now that ANY amount of money would help. I just HATE asking for money... Besides, I doubt either of my roommates would have any use for a phone; they both already pay for cell phones, and if they were to use the landline, they'd have to pay to get it reconnected. I wonder if I could sell it to someone else? Meh.

Oh, I got my grades today-- an 87.86% grade, which is an A here at Tokiwa, but a B back home at CSUN. Either way, pretty good. I got some parts of the final exam wrong, but nothing monumental, and I did rather well on my speaking test, too. I have yet to find out about any of my other classes (we had a test in Criminology today that was set up SO weirdly, but I hope I did well on it. It was all true or false, but there were lots of trick questions and question sets!), but generally speaking, I'm done with school-related stuff for now.

At least I have chocolate and Cola-- my bestest inanimate edible friends.

And now for something interesting I just thought of (which has probably been done before):
Below is a list of 10 things about me; 5 are true (but are you sure?) and 5 are lies (but which ones?). Can you figure out which is which? If you wanna copy this and do it yourself, please do!

I've committed a crime at some point during my life.
I'm bisexual.
I'm allergic to asparagus.
One of my worst health fears is becoming lactose intolerant.
The weight listed on my California ID card is accurate.
I'm not allergic to fish, I just don't like to eat it.
My least favorite genre of music is rap.
I've never been suspended from school.
My first fandom was Sailor Moon.
My worst habit is biting my nails.
azurite: (tokyo map)
First, I updated WDKY on Dragonfayth to the latest chapter. I guess because some chapters were longer than others and contained those 'ye old alphanumeric character codes' I had to c&p the HTML from Dreamweaver into the story text box (with the TinyMCE checkbox turned off). I know at least some of the slow, "unresponsive" script errors were because of the world "curl" in my stories, but I wonder if the script mangling the alphanumeric codes is something fixable...

I'm also considering including my logs and things up at Dragonfayth too, making it a fully-fledged series with notes and such. If not Dragonfayth, then definitely at Epiphany. But I think the Review Replies will stay here on LJ, just to make things easier (that's subject to change...) Speaking of RRs, I still have to post them for Chapters 23-24 of WDKY, so look for those soon-ish.

I say "ish" because I DID pack two of my bags today, leaving only one left, but I still have to cram a lot of clothes (the rest until Tuesday) and some other random things in there. I'm honestly hoping that crappy United will let me get away with my carry-on (backpack), my personal item (purse) and a shopping bag with just my blanket and Toro-kun (the stuffed cat). And yes, crappy United. Would you believe that for my ONE extra bag, it's $167 USD!? Because of that wholly unexpected amount (which is about 75% of my paycheck), I had to ask Mom for money *AGAIN*. I felt rotten doing it, but she was quick and okay with it. And as it turns out, I owe her less than I thought-- I found a copy of my super-expensive T-Mobile bill (luckily I printed it out; apparently T-Mobile only keeps your last 2 bill statements online) and calculated out what she paid and what I'd paid, and what I owe her for that is less than I thought. So that plus another $400... it's still a lot of money, but I have to do it.

What's left to pack:
-toiletries (stuff I use in the bathroom, though I might decide to leave the Dove Body Soap behind, much as I love the stuff... plus lotion, anti-bacterial, meds, brush)
-some papers
-cat mug, cat plate, yellow bowl, striped glass (?), deco plate, forks, chopsticks, knife, spoon
-leftover oatmeal, cream of wheat, cocoa (make cookies with everything else)

? - Wish I could take my plastic cat trash can, but I don't know if it would fit... 'sides, it's smaller than my Purple one back in the states, so maybe I should just give it to my roommates? I'm doing that with many hangers and such. Should I even bother trying to take my lighter? I bought it for my incense, but my incense is almost gone... and short of the common kitchen downstairs, no one has a gas range here, which is the only thing I can think of using it for (since no one else is an incense queen like I am. Holly said it smelled like hippies in my room!). But I don't want everything in my bag catching on fire, either!

Scott was telling me that parents still want to feel needed and help out whenever they can, but I feel selfish for asking so much of my mom. This trip -for me, at least- was supposed to prove how I could survive being independent and on my own, even for just a little while (and still with perks-- a well-paying job and no rent, basically). It's not that I'm not going to pay my mom back in full, but I guess I shouldn't feel so guilty over it (and I do, to an extreme degree. I don't even wanna talk about it anymore).

But in the end, I can't go to the sleepover/party thing tomorrow, anyway. And I guess I don't really care, because that'll save me more money for mailing things back home, doing my hair (possibly) on Saturday at the Access Moon salon in Akatsuka, going food shopping, etc. And on Friday I'm supposed to go bowling with my tutors, so I want to save up a bit for that, too. I want to finish packing bit by bit though, as each day goes by, so I don't feel stressed the day before I leave. I still feel like I have so much stuff to pack, even though earlier today I was relieved that I'd have the money for my 3rd suitcase-- the biggest one, too. Now it feels like I'm back to not being able to decide what to keep and what to ditch, or how to pack, because it seems almost full and I still have so much to pack IMHO. But my backpack and purse still aren't so filled up yet, so maybe that'll help ease it up somewhat.

I'm still confused about where I put some of my CDs/DVDs though, if I put them anywhere... I thought I had NANA anime eps. 20-25 (that would be 2 CDs), but I couldn't find them amongst the box I intended to send (too expensive, so I crammed them into my 2nd suitcase), and they weren't in my CD case. I wonder if I deleted all those files to save HD space? I'd hate it if I did, but unless they're in the box that I've already taped up, I have no idea if I even burned them to CD. In any case, they're not on my HD anymore... though I do have the latest episode (33) and Yu-Gi-Oh! (Toei), eps 16-18. Yay for TV-Nihon getting down to the grind on that!

I should go to bed soon... we don't have class, really (well, I do for 3rd and 5th), but we do have a feedback session during 2nd period, from 10:30 to 11:30, and I have to wake up early enough to call the SF Office of JTB travel to get them to add my United Mileage Plus number to my account... and maybe then I can officially switch my seat on the plane. Kekekeke.
azurite: (anzu eye)

This means I am 17 hours ahead of the Pacific Standard Timezone, 16 ahead of Mountain, 15 ahead of Central, and 14 ahead of Eastern.

IT IS A BIG DIFFERENCE. Likely the only time when I'll really be available to call/chat is my mid-morning (11am or so), which is the evening (6pm) on the Pacific seaboard, and... well, you can calculate the difference for other timezones, whichever is applicable to you.

I HAVE *BEEN* IN JAPAN SINCE SEPTEMBER. If you are reading this and did not know that, get with the times. Sorry, but I don't like having to explain myself over and over again. Besides, I'm leaving in a few days (on January 23rd).

I am also extremely busy this week, so on occasion, I will be online (i.e. making LJ posts, changes to my websites) whenever I can, but that doesn't mean you can pound me with IMs (unless they're urgent, and by urgent, I mean someone I care about is in some sort of danger or needs to talk to me).

Also, you may notice I am always online. That is because here in Japan, I have no reason to shut off my Internet nor any reason to shut down my computer. That's because I tend to download things while I go to sleep. Saves me time. :)

I use Adium, the multi-client instant messaging application. I am almost always on AIM, YIM, Jabber (LJ), GMail, and MSN, barring some sort of connection problem (my Wireless does go down on occasion, but I also have the computer hard-wired to Ethernet. Still, sometimes you have to manually tell it which connection to use or it just sits there being stupid). However, if I am set to any sort of "AWAY" one/all of those clients WILL TELL YOU SO! Even if I have a fancy custom message, ANY basic instant messaging client can recognize when someone is away.

On AIM (back when I used to use the official client which IMHO sucks), a little yellow post-it pad will appear besides an Away person's name. Sometimes their name will also be italicized and greyed out, perhaps with (0:00) --the time that they have been away or idle. Usually that's a pretty big hint NOT TO INSTANT MESSAGE THE PERSON. Sure, maybe you have some people on your FL who sit there in "Away" mode but are really there, but figure it this way: if you IM me once and you get an Autoreply Away message and I do not respond within 5 minutes, I am not there. I am not available, too busy, or not even IN the freaking vicinity of my computer.

I set all my away messages to be relatively accurate, too, so if you ever DO wanna know what I'm doing, my Away message will almost always tell you. EC is over, but I also have essays to write, bags to pack, and other important things to do, so please don't be upset if, within these next few days, I do not IM people, or respond to IMs, or change my Away status. Point in fact, the only reason why I am not signing off of the messengers all together is so that people CAN reach me in an emergency. Got an emergency? THEN FREAKING POUND THAT INSTANT MESSENGER RELENTLESSLY. I will take notice. Even when I'm absorbed with gaming (ah, my precious weekend relaxation!), I will notice if someone is urgently and repeatedly IMing me.

I trust you to use your good judgment in deciding WHAT is an emergency. Not everything in this universe *SHOCK!* needs my input. No, seriously. I wish I had time for debates or fun discussions or community decisions or whatnot, but I really don't.

I'm sorry, but I hope when I get back to the States, I'll have more time to chat with people.
With that said, I have class now WITH A TEST.


Jan. 14th, 2007 03:03 am
azurite: (Default)
Whoo-woo! I just beat Levels 12 and 9 in Star Ocean: The Second Story's Cave of Trials!! (even though it's 3am here and I should totally be in bed...) Actually, I beat Level 12 and the annoying Phoenix bird a few hours ago, but the mage on the 9th floor (the formerly-Sealed Coffin) was giving me real issues with his trio of Dreampeace time-stopping terrors. So I switched out my mainly-fighter party (Claude, Opera, Chisato, Rena) with a Mage-based party (Claude, Celine, Leon, Rena) and within 5-7 minutes, that mage was TOAST! It was a welcome relief, considering I'd been going back and forth to that spot, doing that battle, and getting wasted by Shadow Flare EVERY DAMN TIME.

I don't know if the Phoenix will be there on Level 12 again when I go back down to kick Gabrie-Celeste's butt (and I have a super-secret method I'm DYING to try out-- it's not on *ANY* of the FAQs on ANY of the Gaming or RPG sites, but my Japanese friend Yuta INSISTS it will work), or if he'll force me into a party of two, but... I'm so overloaded with a sense of accomplishment and achievement, I can go to sleep very happy.

Actually, today was a pretty damn productive day, even if I have been home all day, sitting in my pajamas. I managed to finish packing one of my boxes that I intend to send (I have two others that I need to buy bubble-envelopes for: a gift for Mom and Gary, and a gift for Dad), throw out a lot of my old trash, and clear out two of my desk drawers. Pretty much all that's left are some of my books and my clothes. I haven't packed any of my 3 suitcases yet, mainly because my blanket/printer combo will take up the most space, and I need my printer for this coming week's essays.

(I still don't know WHEN my internet will get cut off when I call Yahoo/NTT on Monday; I know I have to send everything back when I get money on Thursday/Friday, though, which is when I intend to send EVERYTHING.)

Tomorrow is when I focus on those, plus studying for the upcoming Japanese test-- broken into several parts (written and speaking), though thankfully the written test isn't cumulative, it's just for the past 3 lessons, the same way we've been doing it for the rest of the semester.

Even better, this Friday, campus is closed, so I'm going to go bowling (probably) with Kevin and my tutors (I really should find something to give to Chisato; I ended up giving Ikumi -one of the other nice girls here- the present I intended for Chisato, but I forgot what Chisato looked like, and I didn't want to be rude and NOT give a present to one of my tutors but not the girl sitting next to him! People have told me Chisato's probably unaware or not that upset, if at all, but I still feel guilty, and when Mer feels guilty it's like having slugs all over you. So... yeah, I want to do something, even if it's just "make cookies."

Speaking of which, I need a simple cookie recipe so I can get rid of some leftover baking ingredients that I have:
flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon
I also have raisins, and I'm pretty sure I'd need to buy actual butter, rather than the margarine I already have. But I don't want to buy a whole can of baking soda/powder, cream cheese, or anything I've already managed to use up (and most assuredly WON'T be able to use up within the next week). Does anyone have any suggestions?

And I have to hang onto enough money for Saturday, which is when I'm going with one of my roommates to Access Moon, a hair salon near Akatsuka Station. They have some sort of New Year's campaign and special 3-set deal where you get a cut, color, and perm for a fixed price. It translates to around $76 US, so it's a damn good deal, considering for just a cut and color, I've paid upwards of $200 back in the States. I just have to budget properly, considering this upcoming paycheck will be a lot smaller than the other ones. Food is priority 1, Mailing is 2, and Hair is 3. Much as I hate to say it, but if I don't have enough, I'll have to cancel the hair appointment and go back to the States looking... less pretty. :(

...I also need to get some more milk, juice, Cola, and something dinner-like (more rice, salad, and/or microwave veggies?) because I'm almost out or out already. Man, Thursday can't come fast enough! I hate being broke!

But at least generally speaking I'm healthy, I'm positive-thinking, and I've got things to do. It's not like I'm sick, trapped in a tsunami (that was Hokkaido guys. Look at a map of Japan sometime, and you'll see Mito is that little dot just above Tokyo. Seriously, I hardly even felt a JIGGLE of that earthquake the other day. I thought I was imagining things), or bored out of my skull. I'm really looking forward to going home, but I've got a lot to do to make sure that when I get back I don't have a panic attack.

And to get started on all that stuff, I need a good night's sleep and hopefully some normal dreams. :)
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
Today sucks already. I don't want to be like "Oh, it started out terrible, so the rest of the day must be going to hell, too." I'm a realist, not a pessimist! But to begin with:

* My alarm clock didn't go off (stupid cell phone. I must have accidentally disabled it sometime last night, but the damn indicator icon was still on, so how the fuck was I supposed to know? I'm seriously considering seeing if T-Mobile will let me trade in my RAZR v3x for one of their new RAZRs that's actually supported. None of this European gibberish funktastic broken-but-not-really crap).

* Because of that, I woke up 5 minutes before I was supposed to be in class. Reeking, I decided to take a shower. Hungry, I decided to eat breakfast. Hopefully doing the somewhat-smart thing (even if it meant missing a vocab quiz, no matter what), I decided to ditch class in favor of working on my monstrous essay for Mass Media-- the class that won't count for anything at CSUN except 3 units.

* The essay which I've already written the bulk of... on Spider-Man alone! So I redid the outline, printed it out, and will start writing a more organized (hopefully) essay as soon as I'm done venting in this entry.

My sleep schedule over the course of the winter vacation and this past weekend has been horrible. So it's no surprise that when my back started hurting horribly yesterday (yay, sciatica), I also happened to run out of painkillers. So I decided to slam some Midol (hey, they have acetaminophen AKA Tylenol in it!) and sleep... and sleep I did, for several hours. And obviously while sleeping, I did not eat. Thus, when I woke up many hours later, I was a complete fruitcake.

And nobody likes a fruitcake.

Well, so I tried to get things done, tried to eat, blah blah... but then when it started getting late, even though I KNEW I should sleep, I wasn't tired. My mind just kept wandering back to all the things that I have yet to get done. And excuse after excuse poured into my brain about why it hasn't gotten done. I hate making excuses.

I also hate having to vent on my LJ because I have no one I can really tell all this to in person, get some honest, IRL feedback from. I hate sticking myself in my room all day and really porking out in front of my computer, because even when I'm at work (school; CSUN) doing it, when people come into the walk-in center for help, it's a breath of fresh air! It's not just mindless-Mer staring at a computer screen, clacking away, even if it is somehow productive.

And my chest has been hurting so much lately, I wonder if I'm setting myself up to have a heart attack. Shit, it runs in my family. It's not like I eat fried food all day long, but I'm not exactly Miss America, here. Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, and the occasional veggie platter do not a healthy cardiovascular system make.

At the very least, I'm a ball of stress, and I'm worried that I won't get anything done, or I'll get everything done half-assed with people mad at me, or some mixture inbetween where I'll end up doing damage somehow. I had such a hard time sleeping last night.

I really hate complaining though, instead of making any changes, so I'm back to working on my essay... which, by the way, crashed about 5 minutes ago, but at least Word makes use of the Recovery feature. So I guess that's one LESS thing to be stressed about.
azurite: (hyd t&t tonight)
Does anyone here remember about two semesters ago (maybe three?) when I had a horrid eye infection on THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES, all because my contact solution was expired? I stopped wearing my contacts because of that. Now, one of my bigger lifetime goals is to one day get Lasik (or whatever its medically-safe equivalent is by the time I can afford it). But I feel so sorry for my roommate, because it looks like she's got the same thing. I didn't really know what to do, so I went and got the dorm mother (if you wanna call her that). Two of Midori's friends (other girls with rooms here in the dorms) heard me asking the D.M. to come upstairs to help (I can't read the phone book, and with Midori's eye out of whack, neither could she), and they came upstairs to help, too. It made me realize that the so-called dorm life does have its bonuses, even for a cynic like me: you can make really good friends, and they will be there when you genuinely need it. I think both girls in question were going to go out for dinner, but instead they stuck around to help Midori out, and that made me feel really glad. I hope that if I were ever to live in dorms or on my own, I could have neighbors or friends that I could really trust and depend on like that.

That said, I made a post in [ profile] setoanzulove that got ignored; I wonder if it's 'cause it got caught in the post-holiday rush of posts on people's FLs and they missed it? Anyway, it's for all the Azureshipping readers/writers on my FL )

Aaand, I just watched the first 2+ hour episode of Hana Yori Dango 2: Returns and I'm off to The Saturn Necklace Community to make a report! :D :D :D
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: (double trouble minako & usagi)
Tonight after EC, I went with Holly, John, and two of our mutual EC partners, Haruka and Naomi to have some okonomiyaki. Haruka drove, and for someone that's only been driving four months, she was really good! Naomi and I joked that she's like Haruka Tenou from Sailor Moon! But since she drove, we took a different path than from what Holly and I would normally do if we walked or took the bus to the same area, just behind Mito Eki. So alas, even if I went in daylight, I don't know if I could find the place again!

It was a little bit smokey inside, and we had to sit on our knees (ow), but the okonomiyaki was delicious! We had one vegetable one with asparagus and the like, and another one with lots of corn and potatoes.

Afterward, we went to a nearby Namco Land (!) and played some games-- I got myself my first Initial D 3 Japanese card (my American ones wouldn't work, of course; I ended up getting myself a white Integra DCR) and I beat both Itsuki and the guy after him (forgot his name) in one fell swoop! I also played some "Love and Berry," this collectible card-swiping game that's really targeted toward younger girls, but it's fun. I've seen the machines everywhere... and they even have their website in English! The basic premise of the game is, you insert 100 yen and get a card. The cards come in different versions-- outfits, shoes, hair, or "special" (change facial color or hair color). You collect different ones and scan the outfits you have that are most appropriate for a given "stage" (i.e. Idol Stage, Seaside Stage, Street Stage, Fashion Street, Ball Stage). You then dress up to get a certain amount of points, and then try and ADD on to those points by hitting a button to the beat of a song that plays on each individual stage. I failed miserably the three times I played, but after reading the instructions on the English site, I kind of understand now. It's addicting to collect all of the cards, though! (I think I like it because it has to do with fashion. :P I kinda want a Berry icon now...)

I also got two new NANA seal sets-- Hachi and Blast! So far, I've collected them all, but I gave [ profile] atlantian_magic my Trapnest one. The art of NANA (by Ai Yazawa) is really good, and I might try and make a site layout from the seal artwork. But I accidentally left them with Naomi, so she'll have to give them to me next Wednesday at the holiday party!

We also took some cool Purikura, though decorating them in such a short amount of time (i.e with text, stamps, sparkles, and so on) is difficult! Since there were 5 of us, we printed a sheet of 36, so they're kind of small, but we each got one of everything. I'll scan them in later. :)

Tomorrow I'm going to Tokyo (Shibuya and Shinjuku) with Holly; we're waking up extra-early to catch one of the first trains, but we've got a tight schedule. First is Shinjuku for Gothic Lolita gear and craft supplies; then is the antique fair near Hamamatsucho, and finally, we're going to Shibuya, where they have a Jewish deli and the synagogue (JCC of Tokyo). Since Hanukkah started tonight, I'd like to go to the synagogue or maybe even a service, just to see what it's like here in Japan.

Since we have to wake up so early, I suppose I'd better get to sleep!
azurite: (kaiba smirk)
I'm not sure there's anything quite as funny as someone responding to "Wassup?" with "I'm not gay!" and a bright morning smile. Seriously, the Japanese can be so funny, without even trying. We have a few gems of people here at the dorms; one of them just said that to me and Holly as we were walking back from class.

Also, I clonked myself in the face yesterday with my Mac Book. I had so many windows open in Firefox, I didn't want to close it, so I went into the Apple menu and put the computer to sleep. It did that, but when I wanted to check something, I hit the space bar (which normally would bring the computer OUT of sleep), but I saw the "dimmed screen" again. That means the Sleep mode failed or something, and I have to cold-reboot... so I did. I wasn't sure if it turned back on when I hit the button though (i.e restart rather than shut down), so I picked up the computer to listen for the sound of the fan. I didn't hear anything, so I raised my head, and BAM! K.O'd by my own laptop. The corner of my right eye is a bit puffy and sore at the moment.

And yeah, I know I'm a klutz. Shaddup.

I updated the Elegance skin over at Dragonfayth. Check it out and tell me what you think, and if you find any sections with illegible text (too dark text, too dark background, etc.), then please let me know. I'm still working on getting the staircasing effect of the category columns worked out. I could also use some other ideas for color schemes, since Dragonfayth seems very... BLUE. Not that there's anything WRONG with blue, it's just there's a lot of it. Both CSS Zen and Elegance now use schemes of blue. I didn't like the old Elegance skin because it was this kind of pukey green to me; if you have suggestions for NICER color combinations, please send them my way.

Next up on the discussion block: the state of the American education system is inherently responsible for badfic. No, really. One of the best of the best Fanfic rants )

I also had a cheesy idea that's probably been done before: The Twelve Days of Christmas, Fandom Style!

For example:
"On the first day of Christmas, (character name) gave to me (something from fandom)!
On the second day of Christmas, ..." etc. etc.

The 12 Days of Fandom Meme
1. Choose a fandom you're involved in.
2. Choose up to 12 characters from that fandom (the song works better if you stick with one character, but then again, no one said you actually had to SING this).
3. If Christmas were celebrated in that fandom, and you were there to receive gifts from the above-mentioned characters, what would you get, and from whom?

On the first day of Christmas, Yuugi Mutou gave to me a Millennium Puzzle piece!
On the second day of Christmas, Seto Kaiba gave to me two Kaiba Corp. card keys!
One the third day of Christmas, Mokuba Kaiba gave to me three parfaits!
On the fourth day of Christmas, Jounouchi gave to me four REBDragon figurines!
On the fifth day of Christmas, Anzu gave to me five DDR games!
On the sixth day of Christmas, Pegasus gave to me six Funny Bunnies!
On the seventh day of Christmas, Otogi gave to me seven Dungeon Dice Monsters!
On the eighth day of Christmas, Sugoroku gave to me eight ancient games!
On the ninth day of Christmas, Mai Kujaku gave to me nine bottles of perfume!
On the tenth day of Christmas, Isis Ishtar gave to me ten prophetic visions!
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Malik Ishtar gave to me eleven slimey slimers!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Hiroto Honda gave to me twelve Cyber C.'s!

So this one's not really sing-able, unless you take out the names of the people that gave the presents on the day before, and some of the syllables for the longer gifts (i.e. the "REBDragon" part of the four figurines line). But it's fun anyway, ne? Give it a try!

Lastly, I need icons...
* Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter
* Your recommendations
Come on, point me at the pretties!
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: (anzu's problems)
You can't spell "distressed" without "stressed." And I was just as equally tempted to pick "depressed" for my mood, because I'm not HAPPY, that's for damn sure.

Yesterday I thought I'd gotten the whole SDSU application out of my way, but Scott (he did a good thing) went to SDSU and talked to a bunch of people, and they said that I might not even need to "transfer," per se, so much as "visit" SDSU, while still taking classes as if they were from/at CSUN. That means my degree would still say "CSUN" on it. Regardless though, I have to get access to and fill out the Supplementary Application re: my grades, even though my grades won't be official until several weeks into the Spring 2007 semester (at least), because I don't get back until A WEEK before that new semester starts. Plus, I would have to clear with various department chairs about whether the classes they offer at SDSU could be considered equivalent to the ones at CSUN for my major/minors, so as not having to take classes OVER again at SDSU, because SDSU doesn't "officially" consider them equivalent. They have ECON 161 and POLS 155 as pre-reqs for even ENTERING the journalism program at SDSU, but because they're lower div and I've taken so many other journalism classes at CSUN, Scott and I are hoping that I won't need to take those, and I can still get into SDSU's IMPACTED Journalism program with the classes I have.

Oh yea, and then there's the FAFSA. -_- Seriously, I'm beginning to HATE January.

I suppose my day's Tarot is kind of ironic, then... The Seven of Chalices )

My horoscope for today: You're in pursuit of excitement and fresh adventure. Try a different path to get your life going in a whole new direction. Daring sports and physical activities get your blood racing and stimulate your mind, too.

Then it makes sense that I went to the gym during 4th period. I even tried out some machines I thought I would never use, and even if I'm the only girl in the group that would be there (assuming I would ever go with the guys; since we have such different schedules, it's actually kind of unlikely; the gym also closes at 7pm), I think it would be good for me... I don't need to get into testosterone comparison contests like the boys. It's very different from an American gym, but it'll give me something to do, and I can "stay fit" and shape up... and if the endorphins really do perk me up and inspire me, all the better.

The main portion of today's concern was about the trip (to Hong Kong) that [ profile] baine and I are taking on 23 Dec. The best things in life are free... but you can keep them for the birds and bees, give me MONEY! )

But that's okay, I don't eat much, anyway! It's better to cut back on my daily Coca-Cola, and spend more time here at the dorms getting things cleaned up and done. Like my scholarship paper. *sigh* Or my paper for Pop Culture. Or my Religious Studies test. (and before I leave, a Mass Media paper, a Modern Culture paper, and a Popular Culture/Image of the Japanese in American Media paper. Oy VEY!)

If it's not one thing, it's always another.

Like my new $121 phone bill. I'm going to wait to hear from T-Mobile about what the hell's up with that THIS time, to see if the charges are legit. Even if they are, I don't have to pay until December 10th, which gives me enough time to get paid (3x) and deposit said money by wire into my bank account, and pay that way. I refuse to have mom pay for my phone bill any more than she has already. But I'm probably going to cancel my $14.99 Unlimited Text Messages (I would have to send 150 text messages a month for that to pay for itself, anyway, and I haven't even sent 85 since I've been in Japan), my Web Access (useless, anyway), and whatever other useless things I might be paying for.

Money stresses me out quite easily, and my brain deals with it by having dreams about Christian Bale doing my dishes (the night before last) or going to strange reunions/graduations where friend's boyfriends are suddenly gay and dating angry, fat white guys and where conveyer belts look like they're made of stone and have water bubbling up from the cracks.

Yeah, I think I need to sleep now, too.
azurite: (tokyo map)
Okay, so I have a few questions for everyone. They're all over the place, so feel free to only answer some questions/one survey or the other. It's all good. :)

For the fic writers )

For the anime and manga fen )

And now, a treat for anyone and everyone! I present to you The Tens!

The Top 10 Differences Between America and Japan (from the Observer's POV) )

I'll do another Top 10 if you like... just tell me what you'd like to know (or think you know)!

Some more random questions:
1 - Do you know of any female Japanese novelists whose works have been translated into English besides Banana Yoshimoto? (Preferably contemporary ones; ones that are still alive and writing)

2 - There is no number 2. There was, but I forgot it, so there's no question here. If I remember it, or come up with a good question, I'll put it here in an "ETA."


Nov. 7th, 2006 08:35 pm
azurite: (escaflowne destiny)
Ah, what a day. I woke up this morning feeling like crap, namely because of the mini-migraine that had been plaguing me since the night before. It probably wasn't a good idea to eat popcorn and sugar stars (the latter being a gift from the Tokiwa High School students when we went earlier in the evening) as I watched a 5-hour "Kimi wa Petto" marathon. (And yes, it was very good. I successfully managed to burn all 10 episodes to one DVD, too, so that makes me quite happy. I don't understand why one can't make a Video-DVD -as in, pop it into your DVD player- from *.avis, but whatever.)

I ended up skipping both Japanese and Religious Studies, the latter being a bad idea just because that class is actually TWO classes, and I think this week's class was the last part of the Religious segment, and next week, we change teachers and begin the Modern Japan segment. I just wish we'd gotten to learn more about Buddhism.

I managed to get up, eat, and shower in time for Pop Culture, where we watched part of Totoro, Nausicaa, and a documentary called "Polluted Japan." Today's class was actually quite interesting, because it pointed out some of the things that may have inspired Hayao Miyazaki's stories. Totoro was probably my first anime (I didn't even know it until recently), and I'd never even seen ANY of Nausicaa before today's class. Even better, the teacher lent out all of the shows he'd shown us thus far, so maybe later I can watch the rest of the apocalyptic movie "Dragonhead."

I'm hoping both my teachers will be understanding about my missing class earlier. Winter is the season for people getting sick, and I certainly wasn't feeling WELL today. Thankfully Wednesday's not a class-heavy day; I have EC with Christine and by myself (but we're going to watch a movie in the EC with Christine), and my kanji packet due; I think that's about it.

I really want to get my butt to work on my project-- that is, the "book" talking about the Women Writers of Japan. I can either do a whole lot of focus on one aspect (writers vs. manga-ka, men vs. women, now vs. historical times, Japan vs. USA) or focus a bit on all of them. Above all else, I want it to read "easily," and not like some boring book. So I'm going to revise my proposal outline, get a "hypothesis" or "thesis" statement working, and maybe spend some time tomorrow at the International Center library, looking for resources. I guess this need to get that done coincides with my boredom... my want to read some BOOKS. Not fanfics (sorry), but BOOKS. I was thinking of buying some things off or, so if you have any suggestions for fiction, non-fiction, whatever-- let me know. This is especially true if you think of any books that can help me with my research. I already know about some of Gilles Poitras' and Susan Napier's, though.

Finally, Scott emailed me tonight! Actually, I was looking at a Borders email when HIS email came, and I realized he must be online. Since I had Adium already turned on, I opened up my buddy list to see if he was there-- and he was! So despite Turkmenistan having bad connections and such, we were still able to IM each other for a few minutes, which made me feel very happy. It's true that I can't see him, hear his voice, or hold him, but... I know I will someday soon. :) I have to stay positive in that respect, and keep on learning and growing on my own. He said he sent me an *EIGHT* PAGE letter, so I'm really looking forward to that. In fact, I think I'll go check my mailbox now... just in case.
azurite: (mai's twilight fades)
Even though yesterday was the party and almost everyone took pictures, I was pretty saddened to find out that I was hardly in any of them. Apparently they took a big group shot after I left to bring my things downstairs after the party ended. I had asked someone to come get me if anything happened -if we went to karaoke or whatever- but no one ever came. I ended up going back up again 10 or so minutes later, but no one mentioned a group photo or anything.

So when Yuta gave me the photo card this afternoon, I was a bit bummed-- for a moment, I thought I had something I could send to Scott, but no; why would I send a postcard that has a bunch of people he doesn't know on it, and not the slightest trace that I was even there?

I already asked Yuta, John, Christine and Erica if they had any photos of me; none of them do, except for a few where I'm in the background or partially obscured. Not exactly the kind of photo I'd like to send others. I did ask Christine if she could get ahold of Kimchi, since she was the one who KEPT taking pictures of me (or rather, my chest, but it's better than nothing, right?).

Still, I feel kind of left out. Photos are supposed to be people's solid memories, but judging by the way so few people had me in their pictures, I guess I'm just not that memorable. *sigh*
azurite: (potc - will nice hat)
Today was Halloween in Japan, and while it's not nearly as big a holiday as it is in the USA, it was still rather fun. Earlier this week when I went to Keisei with Holly, we spotted a group of kids and their parents (presumably) all dressed up and talking with a talk show host about a local Halloween event. The "everything store," Loft, was even having a televised fashion show with all sorts of costumes, and plenty more for sale. I was tempted to buy a lavender cheongsam, but I think the bust was a bit too big for me...

For the past week, I talked about Halloween with my EC groups. For last Wednesday's group, I made pumpkin pie with the help of Christine, Erica, Jaclyn, and Todd. This week Christine helped planned a haphazard, sort of last-minute Halloween party upstairs in the dorm's Party Room, but it ended up panning out in the end-- she got decorations, everyone made something or brought something (candy, drinks, chips, okonomiyaki), and people played games (Twister, Pictionary), and we had music thanks to both my laptop and Kevin's. Christine, Erica, and I all missed our pop culture class (*wail* I missed Animation Runner Kuromi!) in order to get everything done, but since it all ended up so well, I guess I don't mind so much.

Since it was last minute, I didn't have a formal costume, but I did add two paper horns to my red lace headband. With my red tops (vinyl tube for inside, long-sleeved shirt with turtleneck sweater for outside) and leather pants, I was a "she-devil" with bright red lips. Alas, I forgot to have anyone take pictures of me with my own camera, but I know plenty of people DID take pictures of me because of the skanky top I was wearing. Kimchi even took pictures of me while I was playing Twister, but she didn't focus on my face-- she focused on my boobs! :P

The costumes were as follows:
Holly - Lolita, Christine - School girl, Daisuke - Doraemon in a kimono, Daniel - Skeleton, Jaclyn - School girl, Erica - Cat, Todd - Hard Gay (who else?), Kevin - "Spiderman" (he wore a shirt with a spider on it.), John - (Sick) School boy, Yuta - Anakin Skywalker, Ryou - Spiderman/Superman, Wan - The Count of Monte Cristo? (cowboy cat with long blond hair??), Some Guy - Guy with a Gold Mask, Yoshimi - Traditional Japanese Girl (purple kimono)... and a bunch of others that I've forgotten.

A few of the guys put on a really good show for us with fake guns and light sabers- Ryou can somersault and grab a gun, but when he went head-to-head with Todd, "Hard Gay" won! There was also a pretty fun expo of the guys having a light saber battle, complete with jumping, Yoda-spinning, bullet-time and other fun things.

We ended up not going to karaoke, which is probably for the better, since the party ended at 10 p.m., we had to clean up, and I think most of us are tired, or will be soon. I was just glad to get all my makeup off, since I've pretty much been working and on my feet the whole day, even during my breaks. At least tomorrow I get to sleep in a little, because we have a special event in Japanese class that involves not showing up until 10:30.

What rounded off this day and made it good rather than humiliating or miserable (as some of my Halloweens have sadly turned out) was the fact that I saw what I have now named The Six Cat Brigade. On our way back from 7-11 (to get condensed milk tubes), Erica and I spotted SIX cats.

The first cat was a skinny and somewhat grumpy white and brown cat with spots-- I called him Spot. We saw him on the way to 7-11 too, but on the way back the dorms, he was much more vocal, and he even swatted at me. :P The second cat was actually a kitten, though it looked like he'd been in a few fights. It was little and white with a brown tail that was stuck straight up-- because the other half was missing! Then I spotted 2 more cats in someone's garage area-- but it ended up being 4. They looked like they could have been Spot's mom and dad, so that's what I called them. They both just stared and blinked. That's it. In the background, I also spotted what may have been Pumpkin, aka Catzilla the Ginormous Orange Cat. But he just sat there and blinked, too. Finally another white and brown-tailed cat (maybe Kitten's older brother?) came slinking up-- but he had even less of a tail! It was very small and curled up against his bum, so maybe he was a different breed-- the kind that's born without much of a tail. So I called him Piglet. :P

I'm so happy I got to see and pet some Japanese cats today! They may have thought "Ugh, foreigner with no fish!" but I was happy just to see them with my own eyes-- real neighborhood cats, not pet-store cats in cages!

I have to write postcards to everyone (co-workers, friends, family) and a letter to Scott soon; if letters really take 3 weeks to get to Turkmenistan and I want it to get there before his birthday, I have to write it and send it soon. I wanted to send him more pictures at the very least, so I'll have to ask around tomorrow to see if someone can give me copies, either via email, CD, USB, or something else. Other people are the only ones with pictures of me, and it would be silly to send Scott just pictures of everyone else! I would take some myself, but I'm already clean-faced and in my pajamas, and there's absolutely nothing pretty about that. :P


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that is your Japan update for today... in a few minutes I have to meet with one of my Japanese teachers to plan for the campus open house, and what we (myself, Todd, and Daniel, all of us from CSUN) will be doing to help out.
azurite: (anzu's problems)
I can laugh at the funny on GaijinSmash (thanks Jimbo for the link), but it hurts. As does eating, talking, and anything involving the slightest bit of jaw movement. And I probably shouldn't be here in the International Center right now; I should be heading to the Suzuki Hospital to get checked out and see if I'm going deaf or need my teeth removed. But Maeda-san took my laptop away again, claiming yesterday's technology dude misunderstood the system I have set up. The concept of Networked adapters confuses me too, but once I get NTT, ALL WILL BE WELL (or it damn well better be).

In the meantime, can someone be a saint and email me TTFs of Digital Strip, Wild Words, Anime Ace, and all them other comic-book style fonts? I know I could download them now, but I can't save them to the desktop here and email them to myself to smehow get on my laptop whenever it DOES get hooked up, but if someone emails them to me, I can save them to my Flash drive and transfer them that way. I do still need Matrix Book and Suburban (Bold and Light), but those are paid fonts on my computer back in LA, and I don't think Grandpa will have the slightest clue how to get them off and email them to me, even if I instruct him step by step. -_- If there were another way to get them, I would take advantage of it, but...

Also, does anyone know why ZSNES (my favorite emulator) does not want to work on my prettyful Intel-based Mac? SNES9x does, but I can't open up ROMs from the dialog menu, because the Network drive doesn't show up in the list of places to search, so to open games I have to drag them onto the 9x icon. What a pain in the ass.

And tomorrow I have to be up by 6am so I can go to Tokyo. Yay pictures.

azurite: (dango)
This morning I gave my laptop to Maeda-san here in the International Center with the hopes that the campus System Engineer would hook me up with wireless internet. I waited all day, all through class, through two more classes, lunch, a nap... all to be told it's no good, they don't understand Macs. I told them earlier that there's Windows on the machines, but obviously she forgot or didn't understand, because she didn't know later when I reminded her.

At least tomorrow I'm going with Jaclyn to the City Office to get a Residency Certificate so I can apply for NTT/Yahoo BB. Unlike everyone else (it seems) I don't plan on waiting to get our Alien card in a few weeks. I'm too sick of this. Midori (My roommate) said she'd help me return the lousy $22 dictionary I got, and hopefully help me fax the forms for NTT as well (which may cost me... I hate faxing). I have a feeling I'll need to be sent equipment (ethernet cable, router/modem, etc) before anything can happen though. Ugh.

And to add to it all, I seem to have lockjaw or something like it- I know the mosquitos like to nibble on my elbows and ankles, but I don't think I got something from them; still, it hurts on my right side, and I wonder. I hope it's not my wisdom teeth... I don't know about the dental insurance here. I just hope whatever it is goes away by Friday, when we go to Tokyo for a day trip. It hurts to eat and to talk; before, if I kept my mouth closed it was okay, but it's getting sore again, and 400 mg (a pair of pills) of Ibuprofen doesn't seem to do much. Wah!

Apologies to Jimbo, who I've been pestering about activation codes for the software on my computer... the time difference between PDT and here is 17 hours (we're ahead), so it's difficult to find a time when people are awake and available. I try and do texting more than anything else, because I have unlimited texting, and calling is so expensive, and internet access so rare, but if your texting is NOT free, or you never set your phone to silent when you sleep (unlike me), then... yeah, I can understand. But thanks for helping me with everything. It's alleviating the boredom at least a little bit. But I may need to rearrange my room (again) to accomodate whatever stuff I get from NTT.

All the email I've gotten so far (excepting stuff from the Mominator and a few comments) has been junk mail or useless mail. Come on people, talk to me! bored bored bored...

I started my Mass Media and Communication and Criminology classes today; the latter is taught by a German teacher who is... hm, shall we say "energetic"? I look forward to it.

Ja, tsugi o yonde ne!
azurite: (grandpa will fuck 'em up)
Ugh, who would have thought that a simple taifu (typhoon) could make everything go downhill? Even though my phone (Motorola V3x) is world compatible, in terms of both networks and power, something must have happened after the taifu, because it won't charge anymore. I thought it was just because it was almost fully charged and it didn't WANT to charge any more, but that wasn't it. I tried all the outlets in my room, on my "denki plug" and in the dining room, but to no avail. And my phone is just about dead- without internet, that means no way of contacting anyone, which means DEPRESSED MER!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to get Internet hooked up, but it's much more convoluted than I remembered, and I have to assemble all this paperwork, go to FAX (yuck!) things, and then wait. In the meantime, we have rotten access here at the International Center, and both wireless at the Internet Cafe and the ethernet here are so heavily secured, we don't have the slightest clue how to connect (then again, the other machines and the instructions are in Japanese, so...)


I hate being stressed.

I would have more to update with, but until I get net on MY DAMN LAPTOP, I don't particularly feel like locating the rearranged keyboard characters and trying to type out all that's been going on. It's been okay up until last night when all this electronic brou-ha-ha began. Right now, I just want a good dictionary and some sleep.

...And some Frosties.
azurite: (tokyo map)

Ah, yes, I made it to Japan okay, and while I'm currently without personal 'Net access, I'm making do with the computers in the International Center. The plan is to meet [ profile] baine sometime this extended weekend (national holiday followed by school holiday for me). Problem is, she's all the way down south in Sasebo (think San Diego), while I'm in Mito (think San Francisco). And while the trains here are a lot more efficient than Amtrak, 9 hours and nearly $250 (26,630 yen) is pretty pricey. I have the money, but I need a way to get cash from my MasterCard, a way to get from the university to the Mito train station, and a way to get the tickets without ending up somewhere in Hokkaido.

So far, I've been getting accustomed to my new room (small), my new roommates (cute, fun), and my intimidating Japanese teacher (...) I have been calling some people, but at $2/minute, I'm trying to limit my time. Still, if you wanna give me a buzz, feel free. Text messages are better though, and you can text me via LiveJournal; just go to my User Info.

It was rainy here the past 2 days, and Bonnie was saying it might even be typhoon (Taifu) season coming up, but today the weather is very nice. I hope it stays that way for the weekend, because I wanted to go to the Phoenix Seagaia Ocean Dome resort-- an indoor beach. (Understatement of the year, actually. Go look it up.)

Anyway, there's lots to do, lunch to be had, and a few random necessities to be taken care of (more hangers, sticky pads, a folder/binder)... I'll try and update when I can; hopefully I'll get 'Net soon! In the meantime, I'm updating all of my pictures in iPhoto and making them shared in Parallels; I hope when I can finally update from my MBP I can show off some icons or pictures or something.]

Sore ja-- mata na!
azurite: (roses are red)
Uh... hi! It feels like it's been much longer than it probably has, but as everyone knows, I have an excuse. But first, MORE excuses!

If you got a SPAM email or two from me (or sent to any of your MLs, whatever), I apologize... I had a bit of a browser malfunction in regards to my email client (GMail) and it sent this mass email to all 129 people in my GMail address book, when I wanted to select only a few. -_- Again, I apologize-- please don't think any less of me for it. If it makes you feel better, I got 129 x 2 messages too, plus a lot of "bounced" emails from dead emails, and the occasional "YOU SPAMMED ME, BITCH!?" emails. Okay, none of those, but a few O_O YOU SPAMZORED? ones.

Yes. Anyway, this is my first LJ entry posted using xJournal on my shiny new Mac Book Pro! I'm still navigating my way around this thing, but I'm actually LIKING being a Mac person now. o_o Someone shoot me, I think the world has inverted and I'm really Teews Htiderem! I got suckered into getting a free printer and iPod Nano (I let Mom keep the latter, but it seems to be befuddling her, which I find adorable), but so far the ProCare and the Apple Protection Plan have proved worth it. I got all my PC data transferred onto here, though all my pictures and music are horribly disorganized (IMHO, compared to my PC). Things that SHOULD have been on here are mysteriously NOT, and I don't know why-- so rather than try and find each and every individual file (with the exception of a few songs detectable in Playlist comparisons), I might end up burning a whole spindle of CDs to backup my PC files.

...Then I have to clear ALL my settings from the shit Dell, move the computer BACK downstairs, and clean up my room. I've already got my new bed (formerly Scott's bed) in here, with a rearranged endtable set up, but other than that, it's the same mess as it was before Scott and I spent our weekend in Costa Mesa, at the very nice Westin South Coast Plaza.

So yes, that was my not-so-secret plan for the weekend-- and at first (scarily, almost as predicted... I mean, I tend to envision the worst case scenario, so short of Scott acting like a troll from FFR or an OOC character from an anime...), what happened at first was almost my Worst Case Scenario That's Realistically Possible. Basically, it took a lot longer to get to Costa Mesa than expected, parking was hard to find and not clearly marked, and they were doing loud and dusty construction on the revolving door right as we arrived.

But a good half hour into us getting into our room, things calmed down. Admittedly, I liked the Heavenly Beds (Westin's signature bed and bath collection is called "Heavenly" and for good reason) more than Scott did-- he said he had headaches and insomnia most of the weekend, but somehow we still had a good time. We didn't go to Universal, or go anywhere to a super fancy dinner, but I did still get to wear my dresses and spend precious time with Scott-- and that's what counted. Hell, I even got to go shopping as a bonus-- and I got the purse that I've wanted for years now (for no apparent reason), the Dooney and Burke "It" Alto Bag with the rainbow printed signature line on ivory weather-coated leather! :D It's even cheaper from the official store than it is online, so I'm thrilled. I actually got away with "murder" (it's an expression...) in terms of shopping the past few days... clothes, purses, makeup... whee.

I've still got lots left to do before Japan though-- namely go back to CSUN to clear up some stuff regarding class equivalency, get a fax from the Graduate Studies and International Programs director, email Prof. Hirota, and PACK! Euuugh. And of course, I have to be on my freaking rag. LOVELY. *gnaw gnaw*
azurite: (tokyo map)
I never realized until today just how many cellular retailers there are in the Northridge Fashion Center. I knew of 2 immediately-- one that I thought was Cingular was actually ANOTHER T-Mobile (I already knew about one of the downstairs T-Mobile kiosks); there were no less than 6 that we saw total (for both T-Mobile and Cingular) on both floors of the mall. That's not including Verizon and Sprint/Nextel, neither of whom are an option for Japan.

The spectrum seemed to be crappy toward the back of the mall (dodgy service, stupid representatives), with the cool guys in the middle (though the end-middle guys were desperate, to the point of trying too hard), and the geeky freakazoids (tried to hit on me, thinks he's being original with a "^_^" signature) in the front.

Still, the guys Dad and I spoke to for nearly a half hour from T-Mobile have practically sold me on the silver Motorola RAZR V3. T-Mobile's BEEN an international company, and they just recently came stateside, so they're already well-established with partners in other countries like Japan. I checked their maps, and indeed-- they have high coverage right in Mito, partnered with --yes!-- DoCoMo.

The question then is, is the RAZR V3 a 3G phone, which is required by DoCoMo?

The guys at the T-Mobile booth seemed to insist I would *HAVE* to get a SIM Card in Japan (even though the RAZR already comes with one) and get some sort of a pre-paid plan, but then what I read on some forums, you CAN'T rent a SIM card in Japan-- they don't even use SIM, they use USIM or something like that. And if T-Mobile's got such great international coverage (and the RAZR is a quad-band phone anyway... though I don't know the first thing about how frequency/bandwidth works for phones, let alone internationally), why do I have to get a new SIM card at all?

On the DoCoMo website, it says that any 3GPP (3G Partnership Project) compliant phone will work with them, and I can even keep my own phone number. I'd rather not rent a handset, because it'll be so damn expensive. But then, I don't want to pay exorbitant amounts for roaming if it's not part of my (temporary) plan. I couldn't find anything on their site about renting a SIM card, and while I think they have some sort of pre-paid plan, I'm not sure whether you need to sign up for anything if you already have a roaming-capable phone.

Is there a phone expert in the house, because I am TOTALLY lost here. I'm also a total sucker for salespeople, so I'd like an objective opinion of someone who knows when they're being bullshitted or not. Dad was a good companion to have when I went shopping, as he asked a lot of tough questions, but I really wanna make sure I don't get scammed with all this sweet talk. If it's possible to just have ONE plan, ONE PLACE TO PAY, and ONE PHONE NUMBER, I will be ecstatic. If that's not possible, fine, but I only want to deal with ONE PHONE, period.

The nutshell:
* ONE PHONE for both Japan and USA
* Preferably ONE PLACE to pay (i.e. ONE BILL) for both domestic and international roaming (if not possible, do I need to rent a SIM card? Can't I just buy a compatible-with-the-network phone, select DoCoMo, and pay international roaming? Or do I need to talk to the DoCoMo people first?)
* Coverage in Mito, Japan from DoCoMo (requires a 3G-compatible handset) - partnership with T-Mobile (the DoCoMo website says T-Mobile's only 2G, but who knows how dated that list of partners and confirmed phones is?)
* I'd like a phone that I can download BEJEWELED (the game from PopCap Games) on
* It'd be a bonus if I could get a JAPANESE <-> ENGLISH dictionary (WAP? If I use DoCoMo as my network, does that mean I can download things from DoCoMo, or would I need a Japanese phone with iMode, etc? I don't want such a phone, because it wouldn't be backwards-compatible with the USA networks/features)
* If I can customize the ringer and/or wallpaper, that'd be super-cool
* I want to be able to KEEP my current mobile phone number and phone numbers

Is this possible?
azurite: (unforgotten uranepu)
And everybody say WHEE! Blue Eyes and Apricots, the web's first, official, and ONLY (English) Azureshipping fanlisting now has -count 'em- 400 members! Congratulations to Rea-kun from Malta, who will probably not read this, but who is the kick-buttingest 400th member. I think I should do something special, but what, I do not know. (No, I will not change the layout. Dammit, that layout was hard enough to put together! :P If anything, I can change the colors and the picture but THAT IS IT!)

Spread the word, yo. We've been getting more members than EVER lately, and it makes me so happy! :D :D :D I have some new fanart to put up soon too (from... you guessed it, Rea-kun!) among other things, so at least there's always some new content to check out. I need some more recs and nominations for the Fanfics and Websites sections too, though, so drop me a line, ne?

This is my last week of school before finals. I have four finals, as far as I know:
* Japanese (duh)
* Women writers of Asia (identification... should be easy.)
* Geography (X_X)
* English (X_X;;;)

I finished my term paper for WWA, and I was quite pleased with it-- maybe because the intended length was 8-10 pages, and I ended up with 14. I had to shrink the font and change the font family to get it to fit. :P This is good news though, because I ended up cutting big chunks out, compared to my outline. This means when I actually get around to expanding it and editing it for my scholarship project (which is to write on contemporary writers of Japan, mainly female writers, and in contrast with male writers), I'll have lots of material to work with.

Today I just finished a paper for Geography on symbolic landscapes, and being the urbanite I am, I chose to write about a fourth landscape (this is in addition to D.W. Meinig's list if three from 1979: the New England village, the Middle-American Main street, and Californian Suburbia): the urban landscape. It was limited to 2 pages and a sketch map page, so I hope I did well on it. Prof. Davidson peered over to my paper while I was attempting to draw a lumpy model of San Francisco. :P

I have an idea for my editorial (that is, my second one, because damned if I can come up with another full-length feature piece in less than a day. Bad Mer, bad!) - California is behind the times. Hell, the whole United States is, but California is the worst off, especially here in So. Cal. Now, I haven't heard anyone vocally railing about it on *MY* FL, but that could be due to other reasons... but gas is at an all-time high here in CA. $3.37 is the cheapest you'll find here in Northridge; in San Diego, you were lucky if you saw below $3.54. I saw a $3.61 there, and Baba said she saw a $3.70-something. I realize gas prices as a whole are going up around the country, but CA's always had the higher prices, because we have so many damn people dependent on gas. We can get gas from the South and from Alaska, but somehow, that still doesn't help us. Then you look at countries like Japan, where their public transportation system is RELIABLE and EFFICIENT. I don't know a lot about their environmental policies (they still allow smoking in public restaurants, so...) or fuel usage, but Hummers wouldn't be popular there, and I saw more minivans than I did SUVs while I was there. It's sort of like telling someone they have to cut off their arm to save their life- people just don't want to do it, even if a part of them recognizes it's for the greater good. Are we stupid or just sick?

To do:
* See various departments about transferable credit from Tokiwa. Get them to sign the forms now so that when I come back, they can't double-cross me. I should do that tomorrow, since I need the course catalog.

* Finish up my online resume at :D (Go check it out. Tell me if I'm missing anything, if anything needs editing, etc. The front page only has a short intro right now, but so far, I like it.)

* FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICS. I'm already 2000+ words into [ profile] atlantian_magic's Sousuke x Kaname piece, which [ profile] mklutz, you will be pleased (I hope) to note that it's a continuation/sequel to the fic I did for you, "Counting." :) I never intended it to be so long, but... hey, it's just one of those universes. I've also got a good idea for the Ed x Winry piece [ profile] geniusgirl wanted, so I'll get started on that as soon as I'm done with SxK. Oh yeah, and WDKY24. I want it OUT! OUT, I SAY!

* She is the one named Sailor Moon! I was messing with my Thunderbird settings yesterday (remember folks: compact your Inbox often!) and decided to haunt for a bit, and found a HI-larious post on the possibility of yet another live action SM movie. With Jennifer Garner as the main villain. Hahaha, yeah right. But still, funny. And then someone posted a YouTube link to the elusive Episode 67, wherein Chibiusa BEFRIENDS A DINOSAUR. That was a cute episode, even if the animation style degenerated by about 2 seasons. But yeah, Sailormoon. So totally into it again. :D

* AX? Who here is going to AnimeExpo 2006? I mean the one in Anaheim. Because (I think I mentioned this before) someone requested I go, and there *IS* a brand-new Sheraton there. Mom thinks she can get me the StarHot or whatever it's called rate, which is TEH UBER CHEAP! So why not? I'd just pay for the pre-reg and the shuttle there (if Mom wanted to erase the rest of her debt by paying for THAT hotel room too. She paid for all of Fanime, which surprised the crap out of me) and whatever I saw and wanted that I didn't get at Fanime. And hell, I'll even cosplay Anzu. :D I just want to do a lot of things before I go to Japan.

>_> I hope I got a decent grade on my English paper/Kate Chopin's 'The Storm,' even if it was late.
azurite: (hyd t&t i love you)
Let's see...
* Upgraded Dragonfayth and the site-that-will-be-known-as-Epiphany to eFic 2.0.5 with patches from 4/27 and 4/29.
* Added Story Type and LJ Link mod; still need to add Featured Author, Poll, and others
* Screwed around with this new option in cPanel called ClickBe! Made a weird, semi-ugly version of a new layout, seen here. Has anyone used this ClickBe! thing before? I can't figure out how to change the masthead, add my site title, change the name of links, get information to show up on the main page, or get more than 2 links to show up in the links page.

I also talked to Scott for nearly an hour tonight-- turns out he's not so worried about his phone costs, because he accidentally already paid his May bill, and he even had credit leftover! Hah, funny how that works out. It's almost weird that we're talking so much ABOUT so much, because really, we go all over the map with our conversations. One of the big ones is us going up to San Francisco from 7/17 to 7/21 or 22, though, and I'm not sure how we're going to do it-- drive, plane, or train are all feasible activities, with plane just being slightly more expensive and ludicrous compared to the others. It's quicker, too. Anyway, he's still got to find the time off, and I have to get the money from working.

>_> Dr. Lopez hasn't gotten back to me yet about Tokiwa's credit transferring, or whether the courses I plan to take are upper-division or unit equivalent. Prof. Hirota might be able to help, but she won't be here or available until next Thursday! ARGH!

Still need to:
* clean room
* write papers
* scrapbook
* figure out website crap
* watch Indiana Jones
* stop staying up so damn late when I WAS tired before!

Meeeeeeeeeeh. Lately I just don't have much to say. It doesn't come out right, anyway.
azurite: (absolut wank)
Ah, I've been suckered. Suckered like a fish. A seersucker fish!

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLAH! I should head to class now, squeeze in the extra study time, and then pray for the test to end quickly so I can get lunch before work.


Apr. 23rd, 2006 09:46 pm
azurite: (trashcat is not amused)
For all the greatness I've got in getting into Tokiwa, I think I'm lacking in the creativity and/or motivational departments at the moment. I seriously need a new layout for my LiveJournal. I hate using some rehashed one ganked from some site- every time I've found one that I liked (rare) and managed to get it up, something's gone wrong. Too wide, too narrow, this not showing up, that not showing up...

...I wonder if I could commission someone? Maybe for about $10? (I'm flexible, but I'm thinking base price, here. If I come up with colors and graphics...) Any takers? (Mer <-- LAZY!?)

GRR! I like the Smooth Sailing Layout and want to customize it to my liking. I've been rummaging through the few tutorials on [ profile] s2smoothsailing and found myself at [ profile] the_lj_reboot, but even with resources, there's not much help there for me to "reboot" my LJ into anything spectacular. I don't even have any ideas as to colors, artwork, fonts, etc. for the journal... I've tried about four or five things now, and nothing "hits" me. I've even gone through premade layouts on my comp and thought about adapting them.... but nothing.

Same goes for my websites, which an unusual amount of people have been asking about. I pay $6/mo for the service, I damn well better upgrade everything and make it functional and look good. I should add a counter to all the pages, too. I just wish I could buy bottled inspiration or something.

Well, so Passover wasn't too much of a bomb. Dad and I sorta got along by the end of the week; no more explosive and/or embarrassing fights, but there's still a lot I can't agree with him on, and think he's utterly immature for. Scott really was my godsend; he even helped paint the rec room bathroom when the fumes got to be too much for me. There's still more fixing-up to do-- the air filter in the main hall needs to be replaced, and the mirrors and paintings in the rec room bathroom need to be hung up again. We also need new socket and switch plates, and I need new luggage (Target EMBARK series in Lilac, only $30!) Plus the kitchen's a right mess, and I'd like to move the computer upstairs to my room-- just to test it out. I need to put clothes away, organize my desk, blah blah...

I think I said 3 weeks ago that I'd be done with WDKY24, and it's not there yet. I feel rotten about it, too, but I'm still lacking in inspiration, even if I seriously want to get to the parts BEYOND 24 (AUGH, THE BEST PARTS!) and have the "outline" written for 99.9% of the chapter... of course it's the toughest parts that I keep skipping and not writing. But writers never make promises! :P (Except for implicit ones)

Ah, as for Tokiwa, I'm supposed to go from Mid-September to late-January. Missing Hanukkah/Christmas would be a big bummer to me, but since tuition/air fare/etc. is free, I might be able to swing a plane ride home and back... if I get financial aid. Why would they award me financial aid if a) I won't be at CSUN, and b) Tokiwa's tuition for me is free? Same goes for the Presidential Scholarship... what is the point of having the priority registration, the Matador Bookstore discount, etc. if I go to a school with FREE tuition? That's not to say I won't work on my project for the Scholarship-- better to try and do it IN JAPAN like I originally hoped; maybe some of my professors there can help me better understand female writers of their country. But financial aid is how I survive... even if I would get a stipend IN Japan for teaching conversational English, how would that measly amount help me for nearly 6 whole months? ;_;

Dad never got me a birthday present. :P So I treated myself at Border's, using 2 coupons: I got 15% off Carmen Electra's Vols 4 & 5 of her Aerobic Striptease (Lapdance and Hip Hop. Teh yey!) and 25% off the Back to the Future trilogy. I wanted to get Indiana Jones, but they didn't have it-- not in Action/Adventure, and not in the Boxed Sets area, even though the computer said they had it in stock, and I had the guy (who was a jerk) check the back room. :P

And now... it's Back to Back to the Future. I'm too bored to just keep sitting here. Maybe I'll eat some pie now.


Apr. 20th, 2006 11:05 pm
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
Happy Birthday bejiin and cutieme4u!

I was one of only SEVEN applicants accepted from CSUN and CSU Fresno, and it's ALL EXPENSES PAID! Plus I get paid a small stipend to teach English conversation while I'm there. Sure, it's only one semester, and it's 2 hours from Tokyo by bus, but YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
azurite: (yuna's memory)

Find your Celestial Choir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whee, Hawaii! Whee, birthday! Beaches and Mai Tais... and I hope it doesn't rain!
azurite: (fandom_wank - eleventyone!!!11!1)
Hi Meredith.

I wanted to let you know, informally, that you have been selected by the review committee to receive the Presidential Scholarship in 2006-07.


A formal letter will be sent from the President at a later date.



And now I have to write a book!

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
azurite: (indiana ed (fma))
So if it was "Miss Independent" running around in my head before (a total Mai x Jounouchi song if there ever was one), now it's "Just Missed the Train," which has inspired me for something for [ profile] 30kisses, particularly theme #25: fence. It's annoying though, because like I mentioned before, I have all those other 30kisses submissions sitting on my computer at home, they're just unfinished because I can't think of how to end them... well, except for Kaiba the Virgin Sacrifice, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to sit down and write that without turning into some sort of tomato!

I'll get around to writing it later, maybe at work. I have my flash drive with me, so I can save it on there and not worry about it.

So, why are all the weird people on MySpace? I mean, there are non-weird people on there, but today I just got a message from someone who says he and his girlfriend are interested in trying out a threesome, and if I'm interested... My face goes: o_O; (okay, I'm totally NOT pulling an Usagi Kou here and taping an emoticon to my face. But you get the picture). Does anybody READ the profiles on MySpace? I'm "in a relationship" or whatever the hell you wanna call it, and even though I'm bi, I won't just hop into a bed with 2 people I don't know and trust because THEY need to add some spice in their love life!

o_o; Geez.

In other news, I'm going to San Diego this weekend. I know my last Amtrak adventure was harrowing (very late trains and the like), but I'm going to hope that it was just a one-shot thing... in any case, my train leaves Chatsworth around 8:40pm or so on Friday night, so I can either ask Zack to take me there straight after work, or I can go home with my grandparents and let them take me. Last time I liked having them there, because the train was very late, and it was extremely cold out. I liked being able to get in the car and warm up while I waited for the train. Chatsworth is an outdoors station, and it's the porn capital of the world, so creepy people are always lurking about...

I'm going because this weekend and next weekend are mine and Scott's only chances to see each other before he goes to Belize and I go to Hawaii. It feels like we've been seeing each other often, but realistically, it's only a few times each month. After living with him for so long, I never thought I'd be able to survive not seeing him for such a long stretch of time, but I'm managing. I have moments when I really wish he was with me, but for now, things are okay. I only hope that wherever life takes him, I can be with him sooner rather than later. :)

And now for more crazy stuff: I have to finish my Gilman application, the Bridging scholarship application, and now I have to send a Financial Aid Award letter (via fax) to the NSEP people in Washington. Which means I have to pressure mom a bit more (already talked to her last night) about the letter of Dependent Verification (which I sent out this morning) which she has to mail back to me with a copy of both mine and her tax returns (she'll do it electronically for me, and have the gov't deposit it automatically in my bank account. Sweet!). I won't be able to get that Award letter until I give all the stuff from mom to school... probably. I should check with them anyway. In any case, the stuff for school is due within 3 weeks, and the award letter I have to fax to NSEP is due by the 31st. YIPES!

What else? I worked a lot on WDKY24 last night; I kind of got inspired for this particular scene that is essentially dropping a big piece of sticky candy in the middle of an anthill. I'm eager to see if anyone will pick up on it (call it a "hidden" piece of candy). Still Anubis' backstory is a tough thing to tackle, but with Kysra's help and some good research, I think I can make this work relatively "realistically" (for the WDKYverse, anyway).

I also FINALLY managed to get the style I got from [ profile] _premadelayouts to work for my Friends' page, but many things are still out of place, and I'm not sure how to rearrange them so they ARE in place. Is there a way I can make that style public so other people can go "oh, you have your %%blahblah%% variable in the wrong place, which is why your username is way off to the right, and your entries are all indented 20 pixels"? (Also, think anyone can help me with that?)

I got a $20 Amazon certificate from after a survey I took, which is nice. I thought I wouldn't get it, since I'm not a business major (and that was what the survey was about), but I still did, so I'm getting the last 3 books in the Mediator series by Meg Cabot, and a book in the Elements of Fiction Writing series (which I'm sorta re-reading at the moment) called Description. I was thinking about buying all the Princess Diaries books I'm missing (Volumes 4-7, including the 4.5 "Princess Project"), but I decided against it-- there's so many, and Amazon sure made it confusing by offering the British versions, too! @_@

AAAAAAAAAND I got Volume 2 of Yu-Gi-Oh! R in the mail from Sagusa Books. How come I've never heard of them before? They're great! :D I realize Jenniyah is already scanlating (crappily, but still scanlating) YGO!R, so [ profile] souten_scans won't be taking that on in the forseeable future. But I'm still waiting on [ profile] dm_san to get back to me with whether or not our groups will work together for the scanlations of the Gospel of Truth, since she already has very HQ scans that would save us a lot of time and unnecessary effort.

I'm getting my hair done tomorrow-- a partial weave of highlights (as suggested! ^_~), I still need a wireless card, to do some cleaning, and now catch up on reading for Women Writers of Asia, because if I post *something* on the short story we were supposed to have read by yesterday, it's better than nothing. I also have to revise my English essay and try and get it to my professor before 7pm tonight. So much to do, and yet... I'm not too stressed. Let's just see if I can remember it all!
azurite: (mokuba's 1024)
Happy Birthday DQBunny!

Super-Mod. Super-Evil.

It's raining crazy here, and I hate it. Born and raised in NorCal, but I still don't like the rain. Yet, I still like winter more than summer (likely because I hate getting sunburned more than I hate getting wet, even if it hasn't happened in a while... or more obviously, summer is when my sister died, and I hate being reminded), but right now, isn't it Spring? Geez, and we had that heatwave not all that long ago...

So the other day the rec room toilet flooded over mysteriously (as in, no one flushed it or anything), and I didn't figure this out till I came home from somewhere and, on my way to the restroom, I noticed the carpet was awfully wet and spongy. Well, I told Grandpa, since he's the expert plunger-man (I still can't figure out how to work one. And other women think "tires and testicles" give them problems!), but nothing worked. We already had 2 inches of water on the floor. So we had to call a plumber. He went into the main line and got out a clog or somesuch (the upstairs toilets were forcing pressure on the downstairs ones, apparently), but the carpet people never got back to us. So we were stuck putting baking soda on the smelly wet spots, and keeping the windows open and the fan on.

It's still not dry, and Baba and Grandpa have decided to replace the carpet. Better than dealing with mildew in my preferred hang-out room, I suppose. So we'll be saying goodbye to our off-white carpet, and saying hello to something a lot more water-resistant and stain-proof, if that's possible. I wonder what color we'll get?

All the stress today sort of fizzled out 3/4 of the way through my afternoon/evening shift at the walk-in center; I got a reply back from the Snowflake Embryo Adoption Agency, and I can call them back at any time for a more detailed interview (they sent me a press pack). I used Lexis-Nexis for some article digging, and I found out that the couple on 60 Minutes last week or so have actually been in the media for a while, and were even on HGTV! Curiouser and curiouser! Class was important -we learned the structure he wants us to use for our stories- but I was so sleepy! Half the class didn't even show up because of the rain (this is commonplace in SoCal. A "drizzle" equates to a "raging storm" in these parts). I managed to catch the most important parts, and I even managed my "first act" (the first chunk of the story), which needs just a bit more information to be revised. I'm surprised at how easily it came to me! I need to get a new anecdote though, because I can't use a "fake" secondhand one compiled from other articles and interviews!

Anyway, the one  of my day (aside from getting soaking wet, but that's trivial) was when a guy I was helping in the walk-in center pointed to the rather-inflamed zit on my chin and says "What's that, some sort of battle scar?" I think I was in shock for a minute before I tried to laugh it off and say "No, it's just girl problems." The guy persists, and says, "What, you got into a fight?" I wanted to smack him. Not only was he an idiot for putting the wrong MAC address for his wireless card into the system (he put his Bluetooth address, the ninny), but now he's talking to me about my face-- about an obvious zit as if it were some sort of scar, Kenshin-style? *rolls eyes* I think not! I told him "No, it's just a zit," and I promptly turned red and turned away. Jackass! Hence the sulfur-- I decided if it's that damn noticeable, I better up my Proactiv treatment, so I used the sulfur mask tonight. I might even do some dermabrasion before I go to bed. All the stress caused it, I tell you!

I'm going to try and relax more -meditate more, if I can remember. Right now I'm munching on macaroni and sipping a Watermelon Bacardi Silver, so I hope I'll go to bed relaxed. :)

The highlight of my day was when Scott responded to my doleful text message ("Sweet little wet kitty in need of cuddling!") by calling after my Japanese test (I think I did pretty well) and saying he needs to be in LA the weekend of the 10th (Peace Corps stuff), so can he come over? ^_^ Of course! Grandpa was baffled that I even asked permission! :D So I'm glad I'll be seeing him again so soon, and also before we both go on our Spring Breaks. Hopefully he can also come to Passover the weekend after we both get back.

I've finished my work for Women Writers of Asia tomorrow, though I have been putting off my reading for English. Much of what Walt Whitman wrote is just "too heavy" for me to handle! ;_; I keep getting gripped by this fear that I might actually fail a class this year -if not feature writing (JOUR 310), then Major American Writers (ENGL 275). If I fail just one, it'll screwball my plans for a summer 2008 graduation, and I'm pretty dead-set on being OUT of here by then. I don't know where I'll go or what I'll do afterward; much of it hinges on this coming year (Japan or no?) and my senior year (where I get my internship). But I don't want to be held back on account of one class and my fears/procrastinating habits/lack of understanding!

I have until the 15th to send off my 2nd Waseda application; I hope that Hirota-sensei will remember my recommendation tomorrow, and that Prof. Davidson will give me his on Wednesday like he said. I just have to fine-tune my essay (no copy-pasting) and fill out the 2nd (all in Japanese!) application. X_X I also have to get my photo copied at least four more times. -_-; Oh, and somewhere, somehow this week, I have to go back to Kaiser to have them say what I already know -I don't have TB! :P

Other than that, I really need to get on the bandwagon for communities (not a single entry for [ profile] ygo_offtopicon!? *wails*), my icons, and revising my Ranma fics. Seriously, I was guilty of stuff that I rant about! Fangirl Japanese among the least of my crimes. Reading Neon-Ronin's "The Truth and the Tempest" has reminded me of how much I need to improve, even in the fics department. There is no cutoff! The good can go bad, the best can be forgotten, and you can ALWAYS revise!

So even though I don't plan on staying up late tonight working on any of that, it's on my to-do list. :)

And now I need to find me some Ranma icons. :D I think I need icons for all of my fandoms. I've got Sailormoon, xxxHolic, Star Ocean EX, Hana Yori Dango, Gundam Wing (not really a fandom of mine, but that damn icon always makes me laugh), Final Fantasy X/X-2, Harry Potter, Yu-Gi-Oh, Lois & Clark, and even Escaflowne represented here, but no Full Metal Panic, Ranma, Inuyasha, Full Moon o Sagashite, Fushigi Yuugi, Ayashi no Ceres, etc... so point me at 'em! And don't I still owe someone a mood set? I swear I'll get on that when I have a free second. :P
azurite: (screw it trashcan)
And now for a 2-question meme whose results are amazingly true:
I do know how to LJ-CUT, I do, I do! )

I finally managed to clean some junk off the computer; I need to somehow scan my Waseda application to be able to type in it, but short of scanning it to Adobe Acrobat, I don't know what to do. What about Word? I could do it in Photoshop too, but I'd rather not, because it'd take up so much space. Does anyone else have any ideas on what to do when you have a paper copy of something that needs to be typewritten? I can't get a digital copy (as far as I know)...

I tried to scan it before, but I think my Scanner software is being all stupid on me, so I might need to uninstall and reinstall it, along with a security update. But to do that, I had to delete some things-- I think Meteor Garden episode 3 was part of that. So I burned Episodes 1 & 2, but 3's missing, and I have 4-27 now. I also have to burn the HYD J-drama, some leftover Red vs. Blue episodes, Yu-Gi-Oh! (though I might keep Capsule Monsters eps 3 & 4 on my HD so I can upload them to for anyone that wants them), and... blah, other stuff. I burned some good AMVs-- "The Light You Bring" (Eizou, to the song by Fuel) for Yu-Gi-Oh, "Listen to your Heart" (unknown creator, to the song by DHT) for FFX-2, and Studebunker Studio's "1985" (to the fabulous song by I-can't-remember-who) to Azumanga Daioh. There's a bunch of others. Me loves AMVs. :)

It seems I can't get anything done unless these other things get done first. I have to get Meteor Garden 3 again... though finding the torrent (as I usually don't save them) will be a pain in the neck. ;_; Anyone that has that one episode subbed, I would be much obliged. Then I can download the scant few episodes of Star Ocean EX that I'm missing, because the DVD package is incomplete and ridiculously overpriced, and Soldats did a better job anyway...

I've got so many damn ideas for [ profile] 30kisses that I started to post one, trashed it (sort of), and saved it as a Private entry so I can edit it later on without ya'll seeing it in its horrific-ness. But on the bright side, if I don't make these all horrendously long, I should actually be able to get most of them done... soonish? I still have to worry about all these scholarships and applications, plus letters of recommendation, work, school work (including getting interviews done for my first news-feature in a week), and everything else.

Just when I thought the stress was over...! This is what I get for having a relaxing weekend. Damn it, I hope I sleep well tonight.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A wonderful weekend )

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

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

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

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

is a Tall Cyber-Zombie Ninja that is Cold-Blooded.

Strength: 6 Agility: 1 Intelligence: 3

To see if your Super Battle Ninja can
defeat the_sweet, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights the_sweet using

I beat [ profile] winterwing3000 in a battle of Strength!

Anyone that has known me for a while or helped me with my essays for Study Abroad and the related financial aid/scholarships would know that the reason why I am so into Japan, Japanese culture/language, and anime and manga is because of my sister. She got me a prismatic Sailormoon SuperS sticker when I was about 9 years old. Though a few comic shops exist in the Richmond district of San Francisco, where I grew up, I would not have had HALF (or more!) the opportunities to experience Japanese culture, language, and lifestyle without Japantown existing in the central part of the city.

Now Kintetsu and AMC Theatres/Lowes Corp. are aiming to sell their property, which is almost 3/4 of Japantown! The only two other Japantowns in the United States are in San Jose and in Los Angeles, and I've been to both-- neither quite compare to San Francisco, where Asian culture has truly found a home. The sale of property in Japantown always ends up causing scandal and heartbreak- case in point: the former Japantown Bowling Alley. I spent years there bowling with my middle school and high school's leagues, building confidence, making friends, and having fun. When they sold it and demolished it to build a condominium complex with retail space, I was devastated. Now, the only bowling alleys in the city are practically inaccessible (Presidio Bowl), or are too overpriced and small (Yerba Buena Center).

Worse, the bowling alley was bought out by a company that did NOT have the neighborhood's best interests at heart; the retail space had yet to be filled when I was there, and the purchasing company's idea of "giving back" was to fill up almost the entire sidewalk, plant a few scrawny trees, and install a GATE to block people out! If they do the same to Japantown's malls, so much of the Japanese culture available there --whether to native San Franciscans, Japantown residents, or tourists-- will be gone forever.

Even if you've never been, please sign the petition. Don't let Japantown disappear! And please, pass this on. Tell everyone you know. Write to AMC/Lowes and the mayor of San Francisco (Gavin Newsom-- he's nice AND he's hot. Let's hope he's understanding, too).

Right now I'm busy polishing off my Presidential Scholars application with the Academic Plan (of courses I have left to take). I've had to edit the original PDF like crazy, because apparently no one knows how to make a PDF with editable form fields. Everyone says they PREFER typed forms, but how can you type in a form if you don't enable it!? Idiots. I'm just lucky I have Adobe Reader 6.0. It's older, but it works. I've already printed out my DARS and my CCSF unofficial transcript, finished off my statement of purpose... the only thing I'm confused on is whether Prof. Hirota just has to sign the thing, or whether she has to give a statement, too. All the forms say something different, and there's no space or form to refer to that I'm supposed to give her. I would hate to have all my work be for nothing, but there's just no time to scramble and get the rest of this stuff done tomorrow.

I can try and read Ch. 1 of my geography book in the morning before class. At 11am, I have to visit Prof. Hirota for her signature/statement (if I can get one), and then I have to grab a lunch. I have to get my Japanese/Situational Drills done (already did part of #1, it looks relatively easy). Then I have to meet the girls from Japanese to practice our skit, which we have to perform first, since I have my interview at 3:20. Then I have work at 4pm until 6:45, at which point I have to go to Journalism, armed with 3 story ideas... o_o; Story ideas for feature stories, but not "general topics"... story ideas that are plausible, and not how-to stories, and probably not profiles. HEEEEEEEEEEELP!

I need to sleep now (even if I feel wired and stressed), because if I walk into that interview with bags under my eyes, it will kill EVERYTHING.


Feb. 11th, 2006 07:10 pm
azurite: (kaiba smirk)
Happy Birthday SvelteRose!

^_^ Party hard.

Snip-snip! )

Oh, and here's a quick reminder of all the communities I own/help mod:
[ profile] 30kisses - Everyone knows I created this as an alternative to [ profile] 30_kisses. We have several alternative lists, rules that are different, and several kick-ass mods. I update this one the most frequently.
[ profile] betasquad - The request-to-join community for anime, manga, and video game fanfic writers. I post all my un-beta'd WDKY chapters here, and I'd love it if more people signed up to join the comm. and the forum so I could have a regular supply of interested editors!
[ profile] delishidoodle - My icon journal-gone-community. I've just recently updated with a few icons, and hopefully more coming soon.
[ profile] smrff - The SailorMoon Romantic FanFiction Mailing List's official LJ community. If Aria's Ink can update regularly with fics, why can't we? I say we get WAFF vs. TAFF Day started early this year!
[ profile] titans_go - Co-modded with [ profile] baine. But we just haven't started it yet. Why can't I find a decent Teen Titans font!?
[ profile] weekly_ygo - I'm just the editor. :} But I'm also in the news, every now and then... I hope that post I made about Joey the Passion free online duels makes it into this week's edition.
[ profile] ygo_extend - I never got around to starting this comm anywhere, but it's meant to be a repository for those great oneshots that should be continued- if not by the original author, then fans with evil imaginations. It's also a challenge community for 1sentence and drabble fics to be fleshed out into something longer.
[ profile] ygo_goodfic - I co-mod it. Why don't more people bounce their recs our way?
[ profile] ygo_icontests - I own it-- it's meant to be sort of like [ profile] weekly_ygo, but for icontests. Many of the icontest owners were impossible to get ahold of, though.
[ profile] ygo_lyricwheel - I'm going to be restarting the next round soon, if anyone's interested. Any ideas for a theme?
[ profile] ygo_mst - Meant to be the place where you can be inspired by and write MSTs of Yu-Gi-Oh fics. MSTs being "Mystery Science Theatre" style, which is pure satire and humor. MSTs aren't allowed on FFnet, but they're great learning/teaching tools and good for several laughs. Someone send badfic "recs" over here! We need fodder!
[ profile] ygo_offtopicon - I'm starting up a new challenge this week, and I hope to keep it regular, this time. We never did finish Challenge #9, which is too bad, but I don't want to let this one die. I have a good idea!

I would appreciate any people interested in helping mod/update these communities. Comment if you can lend a hand at least once a week.

Snip again-- with a dictionary!? )

Coming up:
* Finish up my Freeman-ASIA scholarship form. Get the hardcopies sent in to IIE, and give the copies to Dr. Lopez in the Study Abroad office.

* Presidential Scholarship? Professor Hirota DID agree, and though it only needs an unofficial transcript from both CCSF and CSUN (I can print both from the web), it also requires Prof. Hirota's signature. -_-; Her office hours are only on Tuesday and Thursday before class, and the thing is due on MONDAY. Geeeeehhh... There goes a potential $5000 down the hole, all because I didn't prepare enough in advance. I could TRY and find her on Monday, but there's just no guarantee. And I refuse to forge.

* WDKY24 - I write more of it last night, and I only have bits and pieces to go, but this is looking to be another difficult chapter. I'd also like to get beta volunteers NOW, so that I don't have to worry about scrambling to find them once I'm actually finished. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

* WikiFic - The Ultimate Yu-Gi-Oh Encyclopedia is slowly but surely being updated. I managed to get through linking the Shipper's List F-M, but there are still tons of pages that need to be created. I'm also trying to get as many pictures as I can, but I'd like people to tell me which ones would be relevant for the pages in question. What information is necessary? I'm also translating pieces of the Gospel of Truth for WikiFic. More members!

* Get my Tokiwa application finished - I need to estimate some dates, or else ask Mom. Then I need to go to the photo place on campus and get a few photos taken, passport-size.

* Blah blah, websites. - I need a new name for what was formerly Animanga Collision. The site will be another eFiction archive, housing all my fics, rants, essays, etc. from every fandom EXCEPT the Azureshipping Yu-Gi-Oh stuff (which will remain on Dragonfayth, just for the sake of things). But what to call it?

* Can't win, will duel - Okay, so I'm no deck-construction maven or anything, but I still play JTP Online even though I can't seem to win any duels. o_o At least in this, I don't have a level to intimidate me into backing off completely, and for the most part, everyone still seems pretty polite even when I lose miserably. I've seen some great combos, and I want to write them down for future reference. A lot of great duelists post combos and strategies on [ profile] yu_gi_oh; they could find a good home on WikiFic or elsewhere (with permission, of course). Few actual Yu-Gi-Oh fics actually make use of duels! I think maybe I should ask for more advice in constructing a deck that works... though from what I've seen a good Exodia deck is pretty damn good. Joey himself pounded me with one (HEY! He shouldn't have Exodia!) even when I had over 10,000 LP!

Er... yeah. I'm done for now. :)


Feb. 8th, 2006 11:21 am
azurite: (shizuka o rly?)
Yesterday a funny thing happened-- I was walking back from Subway, after getting a small lunch to eat before my Major American Writers class started. The University Student Union is under construction, so to get from the USU area (with Subway, the Pub, the Matador Involvement Center, the gym, the arcade, the graphic design center, Wells Fargo, and the Digital Photo place), you have to walk past the construction on your right, and the meeting halls on your left. You come out of this outdoor hallway/tunnel thing, facing the new clothing store (Sam's), and the Mercantile Exchange (convenience store). There are some tables with umbrellas out there on the raised patio so people can eat.

This girl and her guy friend/whoever were sitting on the corner table, right near the "hallway" exit, and as I came out, she turned and looked at me and said "Miss-- you're very pretty." I was so baffled and surprised ("was she talking to me?") that I stuttered out an "Oh! Thank you!" and walked into the Merc and bought my daily iced tea. o_o; I wasn't even dressed in anything remotely attractive yesterday; I was wearing my black track pants, my blue and white track jacket, and a long sleeved shirt with a beaded American flag on it. Nothing special. I get more compliments about my purple satin Converse than I do about me, overall as a person.

I guess the fact that someone complimented me out of the blue is what's baffling me, not the fact that said compliment came from a female. But it's nice to know there are OTHER bold girls out there who admire other girls... That is, maybe she was bi? Or hell, maybe she was lesbian (that's what my grandmother thought), but who cares? I appreciated the comment, even if it was startling. And who knows? She might have been playing silly joke, but whatever. It made my day all the more memorable.

(To be honest, I did wear the track pants for a reason-- they make my butt look nice! HAH!)

Oh, and thanks to [ profile] jacksonslam, I now have a digital version of the picture they used in the Daily Sundial last Friday, of me working in the bookstore. It's in my Pics Gallery under 'school'. If you've never checked it out before, there's also all my [ profile] delishidoodle icons, banners and assorted stuff for my other comms. (which I need to get working on!), photos from all sorts of events and places, and the occasional helpful thing (backgrounds for your journal/webpages, etc).

I got my FAFSA done and filed, but I just remembered about this mysterious savings bond thing that WaMu mailed to me. I don't have a Savings Bond. But this number (a measly $57ish) would screw up my FAFSA and my taxes (if I file them), because it counts as Interest Income, which I reported as $0! It's not much, but I have to find out from Mom if it's worth it to file, and then I can correct the FAFSA once I find out where this money came from, and if it's even really mine. I need to get all that done ASAP so I can see a FinAid officer and get her siganture on the Freeman-ASIA scholarship, since I want to get all the big, important ones out of the way.

Speaking of big important ones, both [ profile] guardian_kysra and Scott came through with recommendations for me-- Prof. Hirota told me she got the both of them. Takase-sensei was still reluctant when I asked her (as a LAST resort, because I would like to have a recommendation from a professor in the language of the country where I hope to study!), which kind of upset me-- she has 4 TAs correcting homework for her, so what's the big deal? I know she wrote two recs. for me in the past, but there's $20,000 riding on this! I wish Hirota-sensei would speak to her, but maybe that's just mean...

In any case, Scott forwarded me a copy of what he wrote, and MY GOD, it was so amazing. o_o I'm just bowled over by the kind of things he said about me (and Scott told me he spent over a week getting it all thought out and well-constructed; he did a fabulous job for a guy that likes art more than writing!). I really hope that what he and Kysra said will give me a leg-up.

I'm still waiting on the CCSF transcript-- I ordered it on the 2nd, but I don't think it got mailed out till the 3rd. Still, the postal service works on Saturday, so I'm hoping it got to SF by Saturday night, and to CCSF by Monday morning. They should have processed it within 2-3 days (assuming now isn't still 'peak period') and it would get here today... I hope. I asked my grandparents to call me if it comes in; if not, I will tell Prof. Hirota to hold off on mailing the package without the transcript, because tomorrow is the latest I can wait. It's true I only took one measley (rhymes with Weasley) class (that I aced, because it was elementary Japanese), but it WAS Japanese, not some weird, meaningless class. And when they ask for ALL college transcripts, I take it seriously. CCSF better come through, because I don't want to miss out on $20,000 because of their inefficiency!

Finally, I'm 90% going to go through with this Hawaii for Spring Break thing, even if Mom doesn't come with me. It looks like Passover will probably be in San Diego the week AFTER (unless Fred decides to be weird and change it around; I just hope we don't try to have it at his house again), since Joyce and Sally think that doing it in Northridge would be too stressful for Baba and Grandpa. I suppose they're right, and Joyce's new house IS big enough for everyone (from what I saw; it was under construction when I was there last). I can't think of any better ideas-- I don't want to stay here in Northridge for my birthday, doing nothing. I don't want to go to San Francisco and do what I've done, see what I've seen, even if I could *MAYBE* hang out with some of my friends. I still plan on being back by Friday night or Saturday night, so [ profile] cutieme4u (even though you won't read this because you're swamped with 6 midterms), I'll still go clubbing with you if you want. Too bad you're going to be out of town for YOUR birthday though, otherwise we should totally do something for YOUR birthday together! ;)

So I'm waiting for mom to find out if we could stay at a Starwood Resort hotel (likely a Sheraton) for a cheaper rate than the travel agency is quoting me for a lower-star hotel. $66 for 4-star as opposed to $88 for a 2-star!? I'm all for it. But that would change the price that the lady at STA Travel quoted me, and I need to go back there soon to make reservations anyway! :O I hope Mom gets back to me soon.

Well, that's really it for now; I've memorized my dialogue for Japanese already (and Takase-sensei's new system leaves it up to chance whether you'll get the hard lines or the easy ones; so far I've got the easy ones, and the guy I was paired with was unprepared!) and am going to polish off the response drills; I've already done my Listening Comprehension, and that's it for the day until work starts at 4pm! I've got my fingers crossed for that transcript, though...


Feb. 2nd, 2006 11:54 pm
azurite: (the potternator)
According to [ profile] jacksonslam I have made my first (special) guest appearance in the Daily Sundial here at school. They took some pictures of me working at the "Peacock Room" of the bookstore a while back, but I didn't think they'd use them. I checked the website, but I guess the way they've got it streamlined now, they don't have all the articles, just a few of the headlines and some of their photo essays. But how do I get my hands on yesterday's paper? Easy... I hope-- I ask! :P

Also, to anyone that may be able to answer this question, but especially to [ profile] cutieme4u -- how would we find out the dates that we attended all our schools? I don't mean estimates-- I know I attended Lafayette from September of 1990 to June of 1996, Presidio from August or September 1996 to June 1999, and Wash House from August 1999 to June 2003. But I need more exact dates, and I wouldn't even know where to start looking. Any ideas? (Oh, and I need quick results-- this is for the Tokiwa application, which is due by Feb. 24!)

Due soon:
* 2 References for NSEP application (worth $20,000!)
* Tokiwa application, with 3cmx4cm photo and lengthened essay
* CCSF Transcript (already sent Rush request; hopefully it'll get here before the 8th)

IMPORTANT! You know, there are a lot of people on here that I consider my friends. I know and I trust you guys. You know me pretty well, and I hope you trust me to some extent as well. Considering I'm in a bit of a bind here, I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in writing a short (2-3 paragraphs) letter of reference for me for this scholarship. If the references are good and I get the scholarship, my trip to Japan would be practically PAID for. I would adore you for life, too, and if you ever needed a good connection in Japan or in the journalism business, I'm all yours.

So please, please, please... consider it. Tell me if you'd like to, and I'll send you the PDF. All you have to do is print it out, write the reference, and mail it (RUSH) by 2/8 to my professor (Aki Hirota) at CSUN OR you can type it up as a word document (or something) with the appropriate information and margins in the PDF file, and then email it to her. All the info can be obtained from me... so let me know if you're willing to help me out. And I do mean HELP me out-- it is SOOOOO super-necessary that I do this. I'm not asking my friends here as a last resort; I'm asking because you guys know me SO well, have known me for SO long, and know DAMN WELL how much I want this.

Comment if you can lend a hand. Thanks. :)
azurite: (the past we can't...)
Screw memes. It's all about the MindMap! )

Because Blogthings owns my soul )

Problem: I need to get at least two references for this National Security Education Program scholarship I'm applying to. It's an excellent scholarship; the essay had me stressing left and right, but I finally got it done and submitted tonight; it got forwarded to Prof. Hirota (did I mention that she's the new campus representative?). Anyway, I already asked Prof. Takase for two references for both Tokiwa and Waseda, and I'm no longer in classes with Prof. Blumenkrantz, who gave me one reference for Tokiwa, or Prof. Salido, who gave me the other reference for Waseda. Asking Dr. Lopez (the International Programs director) or Prof. Hirota would be a conflict of interest, so what do I do?

This is what the reference form asks: 1. This reference is prepared with the understanding that my comments will / will not (circle one) be held in confidence.
2. How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?
3. Please comment specifically on the applicant's motivation, emotional maturity and stability, self-reliance and independence, academic abilities, and professional goals as they relate to the study abroad proposal. Please pay particular attention to the candidate's ability to relate his/her study abroad proposal to NSEP's mission to build international competence among U.S. undergraduates who are planning international careers. Your impressions of the student's ability to adapt to a different cultural environment, his/her linguistic preparation, and any other factors which you believe may have a bearing on the candidates's successful experience abroad would also be useful.

The deadline is 2/10/06! ;_;

Gaaah... school starts tomorrow. I have all my books, I'll be working like crazy tomorrow... I hope my night class doesn't last TOO long. I hope I can still get to my locker between classes all right, and I hope it's not so immensely crowded that I worry about where I'll get lunch or dinner (yeuch). I need to go to sleep soon... just finish one more Lois & Clark episode... ;_;... I probably won't sleep much tonight ANYWAY!
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Okay, so I just got back from a short workshop on campus about one of the school's scholarships, called the Presidential Scholarship. Sounds fancy, huh? Well, it kind of is. $5000 scholarship, textbook discount, the works. I attended the workshop because it was mandatory, but according to the woman in charge, few people have attended so far, and there's only two more planned sessions left. I was one of the only two there, and the other guy was already a Presidential Scholar, so I don't know if he was applying again, or just there to talk to me about what the application process was like.

In any case, you don't get that kind of moola without proving you deserve it. The catch-22 for this one is that you have to work on a project for an entire (award) year with a faculty mentor, show significant progress throughout the semester, and have a project to present at the end of the year.

Now, while I would love to get this scholarship regardless of if I make it into Study Abroad or not, the primary reason why I'm looking is because of the high costs of Study Abroad. $5000 would offset a LOT of my concerns, especially if it was scholarship money and not a loan. Since Study Abroad through the IP counts as residential units and is THROUGH the CSU program, I could feasibly be awarded that money and do a project off-campus.

Obviously, the thing is that the application, complete with a project proposal, is due by mid-February, just after the semester starts. The scholarship is geared toward students that already have an established relationship with their teachers, and while I do know my journalism professor (Salido) pretty well, I'm not taking her courses this semester, so unless I approach her and ask her if I can work with her on something (journalism from abroad?) it would be pretty silly. So I'm leaning toward Japanese-- either Takase-sensei from Japanese 102/C/L, whom I've known for a semester already, or Hirota-sensei, who I will have for the first time this semester, but I have interacted with before. She's also the department chair of Japanese at CSUN, plus the JET program representative for LA. Working with her would be fabulous.

But I need to have a project idea already in mind for whatever professor I approach. Here's the hard part. What could I possibly do? It has to be something that relates to a field I'm interested in and passionate about; the professor has to be related to said field (that is, I can't ask Professor Hirota to have anything to do with a journalism project; she's a Japanese teacher). I was thinking, if I do get into Study Abroad and I'm in Japan, why not apply it to what I'm going to learn in Japanese and Women Writers of Asia this semester?

Baba's always been pressuring me to write The Next Great American Novel, which in her mind is the next great Harlequin Romance. I don't think so. But I could write non-fiction about Japan. But WHAT about Japan? Even from the anime or manga perspective, what hasn't been done before? What could I only do with a good sum of money (to take me to Japan, allow me to go places and meet people) and would somehow be significant not just to myself, but to the community somehow? I don't mean a volunteer project or anything like that (a sociological study of Japan sounds cool, but alas, I'm not in sociology anymore :P). I mean something that would be USEFUL to someone.

For those of you that read books like Gilles Poitras' "The Anime Companion" or Patrick Macias' "Crusin' the Anime City" what is missing? What more do you want to know about Japan, whether you plan on going there or not? Or would you rather have a non-fiction account of someone's experiences in Japan? Or perhaps I could try doing a study on authors in Japan, like my favorite author Banana Yoshimoto (who happens to be acquainted with the author of Kamikaze Girls) or manga-ka... like I could ever get an interview with them. But I would TRY!

The Women Writers of Japan: Are they getting their due? )

So am I talking out of my ear here, or do I have some interesting ideas? I'd like some feedback and possibly more ideas if you have them. :) You could be my saving grace.
azurite: (tokyo map)
Today I found out that I'm working all week, Monday through Thursday, 4:00-8:40pm. I'll be getting good hours though, so even though I found out last-minute, it'll be good pay. Friday (Baba's birthday) I'm working 12-5pm, and I'm luckily off on Saturday, when we're having a big party for Baba and everyone's coming.

Anyway, not all that long ago at work, I had this epiphany. It relates to that trip I took to Japan last spring. See, it took me four or so days while I was in Japan before it HIT me, "Oh, I'm in JAPAN!!" Not just out of San Francisco or Los Angeles/Northridge, or even out of California. I could have been anywhere, but I was in the place I'd been DREAMING of for years. And it didn't occur to me, because it felt NORMAL. Crowds, trains, rude people, weird food-- somehow, it all seemed normal.

But even the things that weren't normal (fishcakes, sitting on my knees, assigned seats on the shinkansen) started to grow on me. One of those things was one of those "silly Japanese inventions" that Westerners always wonder about. You know, you hear about those sound boxes in Japanese toilets, the ones that make the sound of running water or waterfalls when you're on the toilet, and after you flush?

I miss those.

It's so damn awkward to be in bathrooms for me nowadays and hear people peeing or whatever. I don't want to hear it. Hell, I don't want to smell it, so thank god for the global love of air fresheners... at least in major countries and cities. But people even TALK while you're on the can. One of my bosses, in fact, and I felt SO AWKWARD. I kept wishing, "Why can't I be in Japan? Their toilets make sense!"

Even though the whole idea of a bidet still weirds me out, it's cool.

But acceptance of a toilet isn't acceptance of a society. If I do end up getting accepted into a Study Abroad Japan program, there's a whole other kettle of fish to consider. I don't know if I'm ready for it. How long can you wish and hope for something, hear about it, and then one day, go there... and still want more... enough to stay for a year, to essentially sever all connections back home? I mean, of course I would still email people (hopefully I could bring or have a computer; without one I think I would go ballistic) and call, but... 3000+ miles away from home for a year (save the few breaks)? I wonder if I could do it.

Even though there is much toilet love...
azurite: (kaiba encounters fanfiction)
Ten things you never knew about me )

Okay, so I'm awake at this ungodly hour on a holiday because... I woke up with Seto x Anzu on the brain. I went to sleep with it on the brain. I have a guilt complex for not working on my [ profile] iconfiend100 and [ profile] 7sinvirtueicons claims more often. I'm not that great at manipulations, and there doesn't appear to be a whole host of fanart for SxA out there aside from what Kysra, Lin, and a few other people do... but I'm making do (due?).

I'll work on my claim later.

The primary thing I got up for is applying for study abroad money. I'm filling out the National Security Education Program application, but of course, the essay requires a lot of thought. I have to relate my reasons for studying abroad to the objectives of the NSEP as they relate to homeland security. I know it sounds like "o_O Whar?" but if I land this scholarship, my year in Japan would practically be a free ride. That's right down to the cost of the shinkansen! So yeah, I'm going to do it. There are a lot more scholarships I have to apply to, but as always, I appreciate any pointers in the right direction, essay help, etc. I know I'm not the only grammar Nazi out there! :D

Here's the question I'm having some trouble with... )

Huh... so I overwrote my old StuffIt that was FREE (that is, it never bugged me to register, and it always worked) with the new version, which will expire in... 27 days. Is there such a thing as a freeware, all-purpose unzipper out there? I suppose I could try and find a crack, but that's bad and I also don't want to get porn/spyware on my computer as a result. I need to be able to unzip the massively massive file that is Stepmania, and afaik, I downloaded a perfectly good copy through BT, though I suppose I could direct-download it and see if it matches up size-wise. I think changing the extension from *.smzip to just plain *.zip affects the file size. Should it do that?

WDKY23 is up for beta'ing at [ profile] betasquad. A reminder of the user name and password to access the forums is given. With joining and posting made SO easy, why not help out now? New members are also welcome to join the community. Just drop me a line with why you need a beta or can help out as a beta, and you'll be approved shortly! Join the fun, the madness, and the helpful nature! Join [ profile] betasquad!
azurite: (can you hear me now?)
It's Miyazaki night over in Northridge... actually, all over the world. Today (er, yesterday, as of 20 minutes ago PST) is Hayao Miyazaki's birthday, so Turner Classic Movies channel is showing Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. I already watched the latter; about to watch the former. I've seen Princess Mononoke before, in both English and Japan, but it's always great to see Miyazaki movies, over and over. I can't wait until Howl's Moving Castle comes out on DVD-- it's already out in Japanese/Japan DVD. I also want to read the original book of HMC, and the sequel, too!

In other news, I'm searching for a private loan (or something) to fund my potential Study Abroad. I know it's stupid to try and take out a bunch of loans, but I need a "guaranteed" source of funding; I can't put "scholarship" money down because I'm not guaranteed to get it. Study Abroad students for Japan (and I'm the only applicant from CSUN!) can get a grant from the Japanese government once they're accepted, but as I said, there's no guarantee.

So I've looked at, but I don't think Japanese schools are covered. So I went to; there are a bunch of private lenders that use them as a secure redirection source. It looks like no matter what, I'll have to get a co-signer (I'd like it to be grandpa, since I don't trust my mom or dad's credit), but I still have to find out if my address and employment information will be invalidated just because I haven't lived here in Northridge or been employed at any one place for a 2 year minimum.

All this confusion aside, does anyone know of any other sources of money I can look into for an $8,100 payment for Study Abroad?

Also, I had this random idea... kind of stupid, but hey, who knows who'll be into it? Kind of a girl's only thing, though. So I've always been very much into fashion and makeup, but more from the outsider's POV than someone who knows every brand name, ingredient, etc. One of my favorite books back when I used to want to be a fashion designer is "Color Me Beautiful" (dorky, I know), but it really reveals a lot about how your hair, eye color, complexion, etc. can determine your best colors. But of course, it's kind of dated. I keep up with some fashion magazines, and I could easily combine what I know now with the great tips from the books. There are four seasons (Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer) that apply to people of varying complexions, hair styles/types, and colors. Add that to the latest trends for fashion and makeup, and I could have a pretty comprehensive feature article right here on LJ.

Anyone interested? ^_~ I'd post info on each season- 30 colors that suit the season best, what fabrics/styles are best for certain body types/frames, today's trends, and so forth. I could make it a four-parter, for simplicity's sake.

Memes. Don't trust them. They're just for fun. )

I also posted recently to [ profile] fanficrants about the "Millennium Tauk." In short: there is no such thing. It's a bad romanization. You can read the rant and the full details over at the comm, but you can also check out this image I scanned in from the Gospel of Truth... The kana on the left side (bold text) says "Sennen TAUKU no mitoo seshi chikara" which means "The power of the Millennium TAUKU is that of prediction/seeing into the future."

Now, the kanji is that of the word meaning "necklace" but the katakana beside it, for the word 'torque/torc' is wrong. It should be TORUKU. And just because Takahashi spelled it that way in the manga does NOT make it "canon." It's like claiming that "cannon" = "canon" because you spelled it that way in your book. NO! Even in Japanese, a misspelling is a misspelling. I don't think Takahashi intended it; most Japanese wouldn't know what a torque is, anyway (do you? It's a kind of necklace. But then again, DUH!) hence the use of the "necklace" kanji. And loan words from other languages are always tricky when it comes to Japanese kana-izing, and eventual romanization (back) into English.

But please, people... call it a necklace, or call it a torque/torc. Not a TAUK. There's no such thing.

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