azurite: (blue flower)
Thirteen years ago today, my older half-sister Michelle Smith died.

By this time thirteen years ago, I, at 11 years old, was back here in San Francisco from what was supposed to be a fun weekend trip up to Petaluma with my Dad. It's hard to remember the specifics, but I know we went somewhere, and when we returned to the house and listened to the messages on the answering machine, the only thing distinct was my mom's voice, shouting and crying hysterically.

My dad asked his then-girlfriend to usher me out of the room while he listened to the message again to try and make sense of it. I went outside and played Patty-Cake with his girlfriend. I had no idea what was going on. I was worried about by mom, but for some reason, the thought of something truly terrible having happened did not --could not-- cross my mind.

A few minutes later, my dad brought me down and sat me on the white textured couch we had. White couches are a stupid thing to own. If you do own them, they're more of a statement than a functional piece of furniture. They'll always get dirty, even without an 11 year old and a dog in the house. (For the record, if you're stringent about cleaning and don't have those plastic covers over every piece of furniture, then I guess it's fine. Needless to say, my dad isn't either of those types, then or now.)

Anyway, my dad told me first that Michelle had been in an accident. The first thing that popped into my head was a rather steep hill covered in ivy not that far from our house. It's right beside the Rose Garden, and I knew my sister liked to ride her bike through there. I always thought it was dark and winding and scary. My 11 year old-self thought that there were bears and lions in Golden Gate Park, and that you were more likely to see them in places like that than up in the pretty rose garden. I imagined that she'd been biking on the crest of that hill and fell down, broke her ankle. I seem to remember stories of her having broken her leg or ankle before, so in my mind, it wouldn't have been the first time.

I don't remember if I asked if she'd just broken her ankle. I don't remember if I'd asked anything, doubting and scared, or naive and laughing. My insides were probably like Jello, just quivering, unable to stop.

I do remember being in the back seat of the car, stuck in traffic on the way back to San Francisco. I'd wanted a fun weekend in Petaluma, and now I had to go home. But I was worried about mom, freaked out about Michelle: I'd just had a fight with her about my Dad not long before I'd left, and I felt weird about going back home and having to "face" that, so to speak. I was thinking of how weird it would be, my mom and my dad and his girlfriend in the same room.

The next thing I remember, I was walking back up the stairs to my mom's house, to the dining room. It didn't look too much different from how it looks today. I remember my mom sitting at the head of the table on the left, her back to the piano my sister used to play all the time. She'd recently gotten more interested in the acoustic guitar, though. Besides, the piano was always out of tune, and Michelle was more interested in becoming a filmmaker than a pianist.

I remember the house being filled with cops. I got scared. I felt cold. I think it was then, seeing all the strangers in my house, my mom looking completely broken at the head of the table, shouting or crying or both, that I realized something was really wrong.

I don't really remember much about the next several days. There was a visit to the hospital. I'm not sure if it was for my mom to identify Michelle's body or to arrange for her to be sent to a mortuary or what. I didn't get to see anything. It was probably for the best, though seeing her at the funeral probably wouldn't have been much better.

There was a story that I heard in bits and pieces: Michelle had been out hiking with her friend Rayanna (not even sure if I'm spelling it right; we haven't heard from her since then) at Land's End, a stub of land not too far from Ocean Beach. Back then, it wasn't closed off, but everyone knew you weren't supposed to be over there. There were no fences, no railing, no anything. Just dry grass, dirt, rocks, and the ocean 200 feet below. Michelle and Rayanna weren't part of any sort of hiking expedition. There were no trail leaders or expert backpackers or anything like that. No equipment. I don't even think there were cell phones back then, at least not that Michelle or Rayanna would have owned.

Michelle fell.

I think I was told that death was immediate, that she wasn't in any pain. I kind of doubt that, nowadays. Part of me wants to believe it, of course, but it also hurts to think that she didn't --couldn't-- think of her family in her last moments. If she had, I wonder, would she have thought of how awful I was to still have a father when she didn't? Did she still think I was the worst bratty little sister ever, or would she miss me? I'll never know. It's one thing to tell yourself something to make yourself feel better, but the truth is something else altogether. They're not always the same.

Over the years, I've been to what I thought was Land's End a few times. Most of the time, I've been wrong. I went to the caves near the old Sutro Baths ruins, thinking that was Land's End because my dad told me that it was the "closest I'd ever get to it." I remember seeing people that had climbed over the rusty, single-bar railing sitting up on the rocks, wanting to yell at them because no matter how immortal or careful they were, my SISTER had died there. Were they even thinking of their family or friends in that moment?

There was another place, just past Point Lobos, higher up and surrounded by trees. It was a high cliff with a rocky beach below it, remnants of the Sutro Baths and the war cannon installations here and there. Some people had a tendency of making dirt circles and things like that up there. I kept wanting to see a symbol in them, a message from Michelle to me. Something.

I think this past spring was when I really saw Land's End. There was a sign there that mentioned Painted Rock and Land's End, talking about how dangerous it was and how people had died. Once, I think I wrote (or maybe I was tempted to write, I can't remember) "My sister was one of them!" on that sign. People still went right over the stupid rope fence and walked to take pictures of the stunning view of the ocean and the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge to the right and Marin County to the left. You could hear the fog horn, hear ships coming into port.

There wasn't enough room for more than two people to walk up there at a time, but there were still lots of people there. I wanted to yell at them too, but I was too choked up: angry at them, angry at myself, angry at the world. This spring, I went to the real Land's End alone.

Before, I'd been with other people. Some of those people I brought because I felt they needed to know the truth, the "me" that still was struggling with her half-sister/only sister/only sibling's death. Some of them I brought for purely selfish reasons, because I wanted comfort. I know I used them, and it was wrong, but my story and my feelings at that place have never been anything but the truth. I still think that it's hard for people who haven't really experienced death so close to them to know what I went through. They can just hug you or pat you on the back or say "I'm sorry," and that's all they can do.

For each person, what they need during that time is different. For me, I didn't know what I needed for myself. I decided to be the rock for my mom. Other people reacted to my reaction. The only person I remember being there "for me" explicitly was Christopher Garcia. He'd been a friend of mine at our after school program, Claire Lillienthal.

By the time summer ended, I already felt like it was the "Year of Hell." I didn't hold very high hopes for the remaining five or so months of the year. Having a transition like that, from elementary school to middle school meant that I changed a lot. I was a bitch in middle school. It could have been a lot better. I could have been a lot more mature. But I'd been through hell, and I didn't think anyone else could understand. No one really seemed to be genuinely trying, anyway. At that age, how can you? I'd hoped Chris Garcia would have given it more of a shot, but he chose popularity over me. That was a bit like twisting the knife already stuck in my chest.

He moved away before high school started. I remember seeing him on graduation. We didn't speak to each other, but I desperately wanted to. Years later, when I was working at AMC Theatres on Van Ness, he came to see a movie with a friend. I was so dead-tired that I thought I was dreaming. I didn't think to beg my supervisor to ask for my 15 minute break then, even though there was a line starting to wind throughout the lobby. He checked out the list of shows and couldn't find anything interesting, but he came up to my window in the box office, grabbed my hands through the window, and told me he was sorry for everything he'd done in middle school. He said he was a Marine now. I didn't stop to think for his phone number, his email, where he was stationed, anything.

I can honestly say he was the first boy I was ever truly in love with, and while that might have been a misplaced love due to the death of my sister, I'll always cherish what he did for me. Part of me still wants to see him again, if just to hug him for a good five minutes straight.

I made a lot of enemies in middle school, but a lot of lifelong friends, too. For those that stuck by me and have understood, that have come to know the truth since then, thank you. I hope we'll have thirteen and more years together.

This is my sister. I miss her very much.
azurite: (so2:bluesphere - rena)
It's funny, when the possibility of someone else paying for a trip across the country arises, I'm MORE picky about my flights than less. I guess what it boils down to is: it's not just cost. Usually I pick the flight that suits my budget AND is at a reasonable hour. I also tend to lean toward particular airlines (I LUV SWA), but unfortunately, in this case, SWA isn't a very good option.

Here's the skinny:
* Need to fly into Washington D.C. on August 11th (and out on August 17th, preferably in the daytime). This could mean: Reagan Intl. Airport (DCA), Dulles Airport (IAD), or Baltimore (BWI). Reagan is best, since it's closest to the hotel where I'll be staying, but I'll be getting reimbursed for travel, so I could fly into BWI and get reimbursed for the shuttle out to the hotel.

* Southwest doesn't fly to Reagan, but it DOES fly to the other two (BWI and IAD). However, none of their flights are nonstop, and I'm not exactly a big fan of layovers (within reason: I think a 3-hour layover is pushing it). If I want non-stop, I HAVE to fly with Alaska Airlines at a specific time, out of LAX and to DCA, and pay around $259 round-trip, with taxes. Not bad, right? (I have no idea; I've never flown cross-country before and been the one paying for the ticket, or researching the ticket prices.)

* But I can get one of those "secret deals" though Priceline ($261) or Hotwire ($219). I'm not sure I like the idea of relinquishing all knowledge/control of the flight just to save a few bucks though: even if it's guaranteed that I'll arrive before 12:30 a.m., who's to say I won't be flying nonstop, or I won't be flying with an airline I despise (United), or on an airline that charges ridiculous fees for bags or even LOSES bags on a regular basis?

What would you do?
azurite: (Default)
Me, I'm horny don't you know, my love I want you so...
At least, that's how "Rapture" by iio sounded to me, until I bothered to check the lyrics. :P My mom has this book of misheard lyrics called "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy" (the real lyrics are 'Scuse me while I kiss the sky"). Pretty funny read.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's hot and I'm hungry... and I already finished the last of the milk! AAAAH!
azurite: (disney - belle)
I got an A+ on the "female professional interview" that I did with [ profile] cutieme4u for my "Women and Leisure" (RTM 330OL) class! Hip-hip-hurrah! The fulltext, along with my professor's commentary, follows.

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

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

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

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

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

A++++++++ )
azurite: (she must have been drunk and horny)
From sometime on Thursday night:

Why is it that the best-tasting food can be what gives you the worst stomachache? While almost everyone else is going out to South Street to meet with the CSUN chapter's former president Anne, I'm stuck here at the hotel with the stomachache that won't quit. My consolations: internet and chatting with Shawn. Thank god for small miracles.

You Are 29% Scary

You scare men off ocassionaly, but only very weak men.
You're a normal woman. You're not perfect, but you're pretty darn close.

o_O Interesting. To be honest, I would have expected to get higher, but maybe the opinion of real men (and not a quiz) would be more accurate. :P
azurite: (potc - will nice hat)
Greetings from Philadelphia! My trip here was nothing if not eventful- our original flight departing from LAX was delayed from 11:45 till 12:30, and when we finally made it to Cincinnati, Ohio, we had JUST missed our connecting flight to Philadelphia, so we had to get rescheduled on two separate flights-- another Delta for half of us, and an earlier US Airways mini-jet for the other half (that's the one I was on). I fell asleep during the bulk of the first flight and the second, even though the second was significantly more uncomfortable. We had to wait once we got to PHL, and I ended up conking out near the baggage claim again. Even when everyone was reunited, our shuttle didn't show up on time even though we (and several other NSCS members) called-- so we split 2 taxis, and it ended up being cheaper.

The hotel is nice-- just unexpectedly small. Our rooms weren't ready, so we had to settle for a king-sized bedroom with FOUR people... so Juana (from CSUN) is sleeping on a chair with some cushion-chairs, and Melissa (from Holy Cross), Tiffany, and I are sharing the bed until the hotel sorts out our rollaway/extra bedding situation. They gave the option to go to the nearby Marriott, but considering us CSUN students are staying an extra night, that's not really an option.

We had a welcome ceremony of sorts for the Leadership Summit at 7:00, but after that the food selection was pathetic (hot dogs, Velveeta, and pizza), so we went out after a bit to Sonny's Famous Cheesesteaks and hung out there and ate for a while-- they had DELICIOUS cheesesteaks (though apparently their rep isn't as big as Gino's or Pat's) and fries. We watched some of "The Untouchables" (when was Kevin Costner that young!?) and then headed to Franklin's Fountain (an ice cream place) where I paid way too much for a peach melba parfait in a Chinese takeout box (which is apparently the original ice cream box). By then, I had a cramp (rag and all), but we hung out to talk a bit more with some of the other people that had come with us (roommates of the boys, mostly, and some friends of the girls' roommates) and then headed back.

After that, we hung out in the boys' room, where I ended up doing 2 tarot readings, one for Melissa and one for Melina-- they both seemed to think it was "creepy accurate." After a while, my voice got sore, and I decided to finally come back to the room, get Internet... talk to Shawn a bit (^_______^) and then go to bed, since I do have to wake up at 7:30 for breakfast just a bit after.

I spaced and totally forgot my resumes, but at least there's a business center so I can print them from this Mac. :D
azurite: (don't fuck with eagles)
Well, the DLP is finally over and I am back "home" in San Francisco. Was it good? Yes. I learned a lot, and plan to improve my resume, my website, my networking skills, and my leadership qualities. But I didn't win anything (scholarships, iPod, gift certificate OR candy bars), nor did I get "recognized" in any way, which kind of sucks, because I did get to know a lot of people (I felt), and by the end, lots of facilitators, sponsors, and the DLP staff knew who I was. I wish I could have gotten SOMETHING personal for that, even if it was a lame certificate. But hey, maybe I'll win one of the post-DLP raffles or something...

That's not to say that those that DID win weren't deserving, unique, or great leaders --they totally were, and for the ones from my group (NEW YORK LIFE!) were great people and fun to get along with.

Also, I should realize that a lot of what I really walked away with is intangible-- networking, learned skills, additional knowledge, anecdotes, and a sense of what I need to do for my future.

There were no other people from CSUN there, but there were folks from Wash House (EAGLES!) and from both San Francisco and SoCal cities in general. So that was cool, especially when I recognized a girl from class of '05 that had been in ROTC. :}

The DLP was very nicely organized, though I do wish if they were to do another "San Francisco" DLP that it would really be in San Francisco and not 30-someodd miles northeast or whatever in Moraga. Moraga isn't even in the BAY Area! (well, not really, IMO) The dorms I stayed at were small (as in, no kitchen, communal bathrooms in the middle of the hallway), and today after our workshops, I returned to the dorm to find my Bath & Body Works robe missing along with my silver ballbearing chain necklace, because they'd taken all the bedding off the bed BEFORE we got back and had the chance to clean up.

That was poor planning on their part, because the big mess of towels, washcloths, sheets, pillowcases and blankets was all over the stairwell floor, and it took me forever before I found my robe-- downstairs. I was about to pitch a fit before I just saw it sitting on top of the blankets... but still, they shouldn't have done that in the first place. If they wanted us to bring the bedding and such to X place before Y time, all they had to do was say so, not invade our short-term rooms and mess up our things. My necklace is STILL missing (which makes me mad, because even though it isn't the only Egyptian necklace I have, it is the only Ankh I have), so I left my name and number with some of the St. Mary's staff.

As for the subject line, I think I mentioned in a previous DLP entry that the dining hall food, while good, isn't exactly wholesome food. I mean sure, I had salads, veggies, juice and such, but I also had some eggs and dairy products that may have done a number on my stomach-- all today I've been feeling pretty gross, which may have been just one contributing factor in how I wasn't a "winner" in feeling, spirit, or actuality. :P

Also, since I got up this morning at 6:50 or so, I'm dead-tired-- I fell asleep on the BART, and it was just a good thing that a) I'd gotten on it at all (two of the DLP facilitators were nice enough to drive me to Orinda BART) and b) I didn't miss my stop by sleeping through it and letting the train go BACK to Pittsburg/Bay Point.

I just ate a waffle, which may or may not have been a good thing, but the fact remains, I'm tired. So I'm going to wash my face and then go to bed. Shockingly early for me, yeah, but the past three days or so have messed me up internally in more ways than one. So I'll save the Facebook post-DLP networking and schmoozing for later.

For now, I'm just glad to have 'Net again. WHEW!
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Okay, so there's no wireless here at the dorms of St. Mary's College (no Ethernet, it looks like either... I feel sorry for the students who stay here), and the wireless hot spots on campus require a password. So the soonest this'll get posted is sometime Sunday night. Oh well, I guess that gives me less to get distracted by?

Well, I was pretty distracted enough coming here, I guess, because I forgot something critical: my bra. :P Luckily no one's said anything today, so I guess I managed to make do pretty well, and I'm hoping my triple-layers tomorrow will help as well. But seriously... bra + business = A+. No bra + business... FAIL! I'm sure [ profile] schmollieollie, [ profile] cutieme4u and a few others remember when I was stringently anti-bra back in the day... yeah well, not anymore. :P

So the DLP took off this morning around 9am after breakfast (which went amazingly fast; we had breakfast in Oliver Hall, which is huge and wooden, but the food isn't FANTASTIC, just passable). We split into groups (I'm in Group 9 with New York Life insurance) and then headed to La Fevre hall where the Welcome and Orientation was; we were greeted by a bunch of CRAZY happy facilitators and leaders, went down a Soul Train high-five line, and then got our nametags.

We had a lot of mix-up networking that we did-- we had to keep switching groups and meet new people according to things like favorite color, birth month, and so on. Eventually we got back into our regular groups, and we had to come up with a cheer. Ours is "Bringing the 8s and 9s," (we're group 8 and 9 combined) "Rep'in' New York Life, Take it to the Chorus (my line! :D), Go ahead and bring it, New York Life! x2... actually, I think I messed that last line up, so I'll correct it later when it's drilled into my head.

After that we had our workshop, which was "Charting your Course, Straight from the Source," which was a fantastic help regarding interviews and resumes. I got some great tips from a guy named Bin Nguyen (know him, [ profile] staplerx?) who works for New York Life here in San Francisco. So I'll be fixing up my resume this week before Philadelphia, so I have better resumes to hand out while I'm there.

Then we had a session devoted to New York Life's internship, which sounds pretty cool-- though difficult and highly competitive. Still, there's got to be a reason why I ended up in this group and not one with Lockheed-Martin, Target, or one of the other sponsors.

If it weren't for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car energy drink we got in our swag bags yesterday, I would be passed out now. But that perked me up during the last half of the NYL session and kept me going through dinner (which was veggie tortellini and rice).

In a few minutes, I'm heading back to La Fevre with the rest of my group, and we're doing some sort of evening events and more prize drawings (didn't win this morning, but I'm staying optimistic for the Video iPod giveaway, or one of the scholarships). Then comes the Target Social, which I will MAKE myself go to, even if I don't stay for the whole thing (because I have to be up at 6:30 tomorrow morning for breakfast at 7:00).

...Later that day
Okay, so at the Evening Social we played a bunch of games and raffled off more prizes (none of which I won... yet), played a Scavenger Hunt with an HP digital camera (the results of which I hope are creative enough and win our group SOMETHING... we did have representatives from our group in the Dance-Off and in the "American Idol" contest (Lip synching + choreography), but we only placed in the Dance-Off. Still, watching it all was hilarious.

At least during it all (especially during the raffle calls, when a lot of dud tickets got called), I made myself known. The "Games Mistress" Amber got to know my face and voice enough so that when I came to the Target Red Room party afterward and she saw me, she stopped talking to the person next to her and gave me A Look. I held my hands up in surrender and said "I'm not saying anything!" and she looked at me all shocked and said, "That would be the first time today, wouldn't it?" (In the raffle, I'd said "Pick me!" and she said "The fishbowl does the choosing" because she was pulling tickets out of a "fishbowl." I said, "Fish like me!" and she said "So does duct tape," to which everyone -yes, me included- laughed. It's actually kind of fun knowing I can laugh at myself instead of being hurt-- I remember when one girl DID get insulted at an emcee, and it only made her look like a tart, not the emcee.)

The Target Red Party cool was pretty nice-- they had fruits, chips with salsa, cute decorations done in red and white (Target colors, of course), and even circular bathmats placed all over. I especially liked the fake votive candles in target-marked glasses (I got to keep one, ssh!). But the music kind of stank after the first few minutes-- I only danced to "Slide, Part 2," the dance-off (Target-style, which I did not win, of course :P) and the suddenly addictive "Girlfriend" from Avril Lavigne.

When that song first came out (and [ profile] cutieme4u will attest to this), I hated it, and couldn't believe it was Avril, who'd supposedly "matured" in both her tastes and her music. But then a group had it for the American Idol contest, and they did SUCH a fantastic job with it, we couldn't help but ask for an encore. And then they played the song again at the Target Party, so... :P Actually, one guy said to me (after the dance-off) that I should get back on the dance floor after the contest, because it was hilarious watching my face-- he said I get "really into it" when I'm dancing. ^^;; It was a while before I danced after he made that comment, because I got pretty self-consicious. For all I know, I look like an epileptic ape on the dance floor. So I swung by the drink bar and got a "Specialty Drink" which was Red Bull, pineapple juice, and a splash of grenadine-- enough buzz to keep me going when I have to be up at freakin' 6:50am tomorrow! Grrrgh.

Hopefully I'll win a scholarship or SOME prize (well, not a Starbucks certificate or a bag of candy...) and I can walk away from this not only having LEARNED something and having NETWORKED, but with something tangible and cool, too. :} I know that's not what it's all about, but when you start droppin' prizes, everyone wants in, and I'm no different. I hardly ever win anything, so... if it helps by being loud and proud, then I will be! It only takes a bit of time for me to get into a groove, even if I was Shy Guy earlier.

As for the subject line, Swag Bag, so far...
* Target gray messenger bag
* Longs drawstring bag with tissues, hand sanitizer, Icy Hot cream, and facial wipes
* New York Life neon drawstring bag
* DLP binder and pen
* Target bag of candy and jelly-ring with light
* Seagate bike light
* Enterprise Rent-A-Car stress ball
* Navy notebook

Hey, [ profile] akavertigo? Whenever you read this, these are YOUR prompts!
* Note: they do not have to be used as quotes; they can be put in narrative and paraphrased to NOT be in the first-person, or to refer to specific people, if desired. But the context must remain the same, or else... how does it inspire?

(1) "There I was, just standing there, when I what I wanted to do was forbidden."
(2) "I decided the only option was to seduce him."
(3) "We were drinking champagne and losing our shirts."
(4) "She may be young, but she's not stupid."
(5) "the stain on the wall"
azurite: (Default)
9:59pm, Justin Hall, room 216
So I'm here in Moraga, a place I've never been to before. The name Moraga makes me think of "craggy" like rocks, "gag," like something you don't like, and "Morganna," the enchantress (I think) from the King Arthur legends.

On the way here via the 106 bus from the Lafayette Bart station, I kept thinking this town was so small and quaint, the sort of American town that's both classic and yet distant-- not really apart of America even though it defines it. One of my first thoughts was "You'd never think about terrorism in a place like this." People's front yards are half the size or larger of the square footage of their house. The biggest drama might be if someone chooses to repave their driveway.

I could be totally wrong, of course, but that's just the feeling I got.

I arrived with a few other DLPers, Maria from Kazakhstan (don't tell her you liked Borat), Michael, and another girl whose name I unfortunately forgot (but I know it doesn't start with M). My roommate has a unique name too-- she's got a bit of a lisp and I think her name is Shirin, but it sounds different, like it sounds like it ends with an i (even though it doesn't).

The dorm rooms here couldn't be blander-- I'm on the dorm room on the far right end of the hallway, and when you walk in, there are two would-be bunk beds, one taller than the other by just a few inches, two giant closets separated by a dinky sink and mirror, a desk on the far right side of the room, and another desk just behind me, not far from Shirin's bed.

I went to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Pizza Party, which was good, though the pizza was nothing to write home about. I probably should have eaten before I left San Francisco, since I already bothered to go to the Benefit Brow Bar and to the Metreon to grab my "Writer's Toolbox" from the Chronicle bookstore (and what a great buy it's proving to be! [ profile] akavertigo, here I come).

After some eating and slight networking with whoever was sitting nearest to me, the Enterprise Reps called for an introduction session-- because there were a good 100 of us or so, it took a while, and we had several latecomers spread out over the room. I was one of the first 20 or so to go though, and I wasn't so scared then. All you had to do was say your name, school, year, major, and something interesting about your school. Easy enough, yeah? No one else is from Northridge though; there are seriously people from ALL over the country here, and some from all over the world!

I would have stayed longer to schmooze, but I hadn't put my bed together yet, wanted to wash my face (I bought the Benetint rose-scented facial tint, and DAMN that stuff rocks!
), and just couldn't work up the mojo to randomly walk up to someone's crowd and start talking. The event officially starts tomorrow, so I'll worry about schmoozing and networking tomorrow- after breakfast. :)

There doesn't appear to be wireless here (alas!) or even a working phone line for dial-up, so I'm just typing this and then saving it for the heck of it. There might be wireless SOMEWHERE on this campus (there's all of one student who's actually FROM this college and attending the DLP; people actually from Northern California *IN* Northern Californa seem to be pretty few and far between), but I have yet to see it. It's not like Monster encouraged us to bring our laptops anyway... I just wanted to, since mine is a habit. Or perhaps an additional appendage. :P

With some luck, whenever I'm not schmoozing, networking, and preparing for my future, I'll be writing SOMETHING creative in the hopes of getting my juices flowing. In the meantime, I'm tired. X_X
azurite: (azureshipping - fantastic)
I blame [ profile] ceruleansan for this one. Her and [ profile] an_ardent_rain for providing me with Azureshipping to make me jealous of, and [ profile] guardian_kysra for writing "Clean" and "Unclean," which will forever be stuck in my head. THUMBS UP, LADIES!

This isn't Grimms Fairy Tale, folks... )

Tonight wasn't too bad at all. I finally met up with Erin and Joyce (actually, they picked me up after getting lost here in S.F. Haha! I don't know SF driving-wise at all. I think of everything in terms of bus routes) and we headed to IKEA in Emeryville and then got a bit lost trying to get to Dad's place in Alameda. Erin and I played with Roy a bit (Roy still loves me :D :D) and then we went to dinner at this small Thai place with a "cute" young waitress (Joyce kept saying she was "cute," even though I thought the girl wasn't that young; she was probably between 16 and 19, which I think is beyond "cute" age in the usual sense of the word). The food was good, though I had leftover Gai Yang, so I brought it home.

We went back to S.F. and I got to see Erin's new apartment (in which I broke the toilet somehow, because it was running/not flushing and my opening the lid and dropping some tube thing didn't help), which is small, but very nice. And when she gets all the stuff she put together from IKEA set up, it'll look very nice. I helped her schlep all the furniture up the 2 flights of stairs, since she doesn't have an elevator in her place yet (but it's still nice, even though it's tiny as all hell and she's paying $400 more than my mom is- and my Mom has 2 bedrooms and a sunroom!).

Anywhoozles, tomorrow I head to the DLP in Moraga-- alas, the people I was going to carpool with either switched DLPs or are going on Saturday, so I'll be going all by my lonesome (hah) on the BART and bus. No biggie, been there, done that. The hard part's always packing light, especially since this is supposed to be a big important business-type event, so I have to ONLY bring what I need. And I still "need" to figure out some way of using Gary's printer (an HP Photosmart C6100) wirelessly. I figured how to do it Computer-to-Computer (ad hoc), but then it messes up any computers that DO use it wirelessly via Mom's router. Anyone have any idea how to do this? The instruction manual seemed pretty useless on this front.

I hope I can get up early enough tomorrow to still get my nails (and maybe my brows) done, and if I'm feeling bold, I can swing by the Metreon to grab that Writer's Toolbox from Chronicle Books that I want. Maybe the more craft books/kits I have, the more inspiration I can get/dish? [ profile] akavertigo and I are supposed to be challenging each other to get writing, but 1) her challenges were HARD HARD HARD (and I don't see how to fit them into WDKY at all, let alone WDKY25), and 2) I can't think of anything to challenge her back with atm.

Of course, I don't even know if I'll have Internet access this weekend, but regardless, I want to have my laptop so I can at least "write" things down. I would hate it if inspiration DID strike and I had nothing to write/type on but little scraps of paper like I did back in the day.

That said... I should probably get to sleep. :P I kept napping throughout today, which explains why I'm always so tired in the daytime, but relatively perky at night. If I just force myself to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour, maybe I won't feel so compelled to sleep in the daytime-- which, this weekend would be Very Bad (meriting caps, you see).
azurite: (lj-cut a bitch)
Well I just recently got back to the house from the Pier 39 fireworks show, which was pretty good-- the weather was nice, no fog, and I wasn't freezing. Plus I got to hang with a few of my friends-- [ profile] psyjoe_dilandau, [ profile] hikaru_jan, [ profile] azhp, [ profile] schmollieollie, Crystal, Nora, and Sean's girlfriend Anni. Plus on the way to the Pier, the girls and I ran into a semi-lost girl named Xocci whose friend ended up abandoning her before even coming to the pier, so she hung out with us. :)

The girls and I had supper (well, I had French Toast and eggs, so it was more like breakfast) at Mel's near the Metreon, where I saw a BUNCH of books I wanted at the Chronicle bookstore... ;_; Ah! Can't wait till I get paid. I should have written all the titles down, though. I should never go out without a pen and small notepad. What kind of a good journalist does that?

The only negative thing about tonight was how this one grumpy ol' blonde cow at the Pier made a not-so-subtle remark to our small group, saying (regarding our cheering and comments during the show) saying "I can understand [that behavior] when you're 11, but at this age?"

(1) How does she know how old we are? She doesn't-- she just thinks we have to act "our age"-- whatever that means in her book.
(2) It's a freakin' holiday, you old bag, I'm not supposed to be dressed to the nines with my ankles crossed just so. If I want to go "Ooh! Aah!" and "SMILEY FACE!" when fireworks blow up, I damn well can. Of course, I made some other (somewhat lewd) comments, too, but only once or twice. Anni and I had a tendency of saying how many of the fireworks (which exploded right next to one another) looked like breasts. So we said "BOOBS!" a lot.

...Big deal. When I'm around my friends, I can be immature. It's fun, because *I* have fun. I'm not always Miss Prim-and-proper like I have to be in CSUN (because I work, because I'm a senior, because this that and the other thing), and it makes my nights more memorable-- because I'm not some uptight stick-in-the-mud with a firecracker jammed up my ass.

People really shouldn't be so anal on a national holiday, for Pete's sake-- when I tried to go to the bathroom, some people did not move even when I said "excuse me," and some even told me to "go the other way" when I wanted to head down the small staircase to "the box" where everyone was sitting (Sean, Anni, Crystal, PsyJoe, Jen and I all sat on the railing above the box benches, and Crystal and I had the unfortunate pleasure of dangling just over some people's heads, so the guy kept giving us dirty looks. Look jackass, our friends saved those seats, you didn't have to sit there!).

I'll probably forget about it sooner or later, but I felt like ranting for now.

After the show, Steph, Nora, and Xocci parted ways with us, and the rest of us went to hang at RTA for a while-- nostalgic as I was, I controlled my temptation to play any games, so after a while, we left. We ended up walking all the way up to Van Ness and North Point, and then up to Chestnut, because the 47 wasn't running all the way down to Aquatic Park/Fort Mason, and then we walked FURTHER because there were no empty 47s to catch until we got to Filbert. Then, when we got off at Geary, there were no 38s, so we walked all the way up to Filmore, where Joe and Jen parted ways, and then Sean, Anni, Crystal and I rode home in Sean's car-- listening to Basshunter the whole way. :}

So, good holiday, even if I didn't have barbecue or tons of money to blow on books and/or video games. My throat is sore from all the happy yelling, and I had some delicious mini-donuts from Trish's that I didn't mind sharing. All in all, a successful night.
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Even in San Francisco, the weird dreams find me. I know at least one dream had something to do with Sailor Moon, but that's unsurprising considering all the videos of that I was watching on YouTube last night.

But then for some reason I dreamed I looked at the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG instruction book, and because I hadn't stayed up to date with it, everything had changed-- WInd-element monsters became "Dust" type, for some weird reason, and the icon changed from a Japanese kanji to something that looked like a turtle shell. Also, the trap card icon changed to something that looked like a turtle-shell-shield, and it wasn't called "trap," it was called something (possibly a fake word) that looked like a cross between Briarary and Bestiary. And Ritual cards were called the same thing, even though their icon looked the same (sort of like fire, right?)

Anyway, today is INDEPENDENCE DAY (and man, I want to watch ID4. :D) and I'm going out to meet ... whoever (not sure who, lots of people! Friends!) at the Pier for dinner, fireworks, and who the hell knows what else. Yay for going out and freezing my tits off...!

What? I'm feeling vulgar this morning.
azurite: (cat and mouse)
Okay, so I'm leaving SD in a little bit, but I've managed to somewhat catch up on my LJ FL (I'm about 400 entries back at the moment), and I've gotten a bunch of LJ-related Greasemonkey scripts which are doing some pretty cool and interesting things! I even got a few new extensions, like Auto Copy (handy for all the memes I do), and a script for GM that allows me to see additional user info besides the LJ default hover box.

I had a bit of a stomachache earlier, but the graduation party was pretty fun. I talked to this one couple for a long time about San Francisco and journalism (since Erin's moving up there tomorrow, and I'm going up to visit tomorrow... hey everyone, should I plan a bonfire?)

The food was delicious, even if my stomach is still doing some flips. There was a great chicken pasta salad with beets, celery, cashews, and cinnamon, and some to-die-for macaroons dipped in chocolate and shortbread sandies. Tasty!

Your Scent is Pumpkin Pie

Warm, comforting, and a bit old fashioned
You've got what men want - believe it or not!

Speaking of memes, I mentioned to [ profile] heartless_vaz that I might try to do my own version of the "What Gemstone are you?" including more stones than the usual quizzes-- and there are a lot of those on the web. Alas, they seem a bit superficial, like someone only checked one small site for the meanings or general associations of gemstones. I've always been kind of curious why I've gotten so attached to Azurite, and why I feel it suits me so much, so I wonder if I'll be "Azurite" according to my own quiz? I'll probably make it on Quizilla, so when I get around to it (assuming I don't forget or get too overwhelmed with other things in SF), you'll see that from me soon. :)

I wish more people had taken my quiz about women/sex, though! I wanted more guys to expand the results a bit... if it sounds like something you want to take, let me know and I'll link you, or you can look back in my post history about 2 weeks and find it.
azurite: (sailormoon - galaxia sun)
So I called Amtrak today, and indeed, the North American Rail Pass (the one that's good for 30 days and has unlimited travel) is $899.10 student discounted (that's as low as it can get). The easiest way to buy it is over the phone, but you have to have AT LEAST the first segment of the trip planned. And for me, that means knowing I have the money available, places where I can stay (and reservations, if necessary), and so on. I've got a lot more planning to do, and I've got to see if I get that NSCS credit card-- if not, I might end up getting a WaMu one. I don't LIKE the idea of being in debt -I mean, moreso than I already am just for being a college student with loans- but I don't want to just shove this great idea aside. I can and I will make it possible-- somehow.

In the meantime, I got my ticket to Philadelphia with the rest of the NSCS; the unfortunate thing is that they didn't have enough Rewards Points to cover my hotel/convention registration. I'm hoping I win this Geico essay competition that will pay for it. Even those that are getting some portion reimbursed are only getting $50 out of the $314 round trip tickets. It's on Delta, which is "meh" in terms of airlines in my book, but we could have taken a cheaper flight if only everyone's schedules weren't so restrictive. Unlike a lot of other members, I'm not taking summer school, and my work's fairly flexible about taking time off.

...Still haven't heard from Apple one way or another, which frankly doesn't surprise me. It's kind of sad that it worked out that way, though...

Ooh, and Erin said she's getting my CS3 *today*! I hope I see her soon so I can get it. That would be cause for much yayness.

In the meantime, I've got enough to keep me occupied, so I'm glad for that.

ETA: Just one teeny tiny software/journaling question )
azurite: (yuna will fly)
I got tired of the pastel look of my old LJ layout (I'm not as creative as other LJers with their original and unique LJ layouts... I'm so fickle, I just change whatever's available in the LJ styles), so I switched to the new limited-edition "Havaianas" blue and pink layout. It's kind of cute, nice and bright.

Today I came to work late because of a dermatology appointment at Kaiser... FINALLY! I had to call them, even though my substitute primary physician told me THEY (being the dermatology department) would call me since she put a referral in for me. Anyway, so I showed the dermatology doc the funny spot on my left side. The nice doctor, Schweitzer by name, just smiled and said we'd biopsy it. And biopsy we did! So I guess he carved the odd bit off. Apparently I have more moles than I thought-- things I thought were just freckles are "warning spots," so I guess it's a good idea that I heeded the advice of Glamour and made the appointment to see my dermatologist, just because I fit into the "danger" group (one of them, anyway: fair-skinned and freckled folks). The results will be available in one week. And whatever they are, they probably won't surprise me. I think when it comes to medical stuff, nothing short of an STD could surprise me. (And considering I'm lacking in the S department, a D would be pretty hard to come by.)

Grandpa was nice enough to take me to Western Bagel (I had to pout and practically beg, which is pathetic for a 22-year-old college student, but their bagels are SOOOO good, much better than the Freudian Sip ones here on campus), which was actually kind of unexpected, since he pretty much said "No, don't have time, be mature about it," and I figured he was right, whatever, just get a bagel at school. But he didn't, so I got to have a soft, cream-cheese covered bagel (TWO! One for my late breakfast, one that I'll have in a bit for lunch) and a raspberry Snapple. JOYGASM!

And speaking of food, I've become a Food Network junkie. Compared to high school, I don't watch a lot of TV anymore-- I watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on Sundays, "Raine" when it was on Thursdays/Fridays, and occasionally Food Network, if the show interests me. Two nights ago, I watched a marathon of Dinner: Impossible" and last night, I watched a marathon of "Ace of Cakes" and an episode of "Iron Chef America," which, compared to the crappy Shatner version, is fantastic and fun! I was really impressed with Chef Blais, who did all these crazy scientific things in the kitchen to make an amazing array of things with GARBANZO beans. As a supposed Garbanzo bean hater, I might actually like to try some of the things he made, because he proved that you can do a lot more with legumes than just stick them in a salad or dip.

But all the "Ace of Cakes" had me thinking: If your favorite [fictional] couple were getting married and wanted a 'unique' cake for their reception, what sort of cake might they have?

I'm thinking something along these lines or more "not-so-traditional."

I was originally considering Seto Kaiba and Anzu Mazaki, of course, and Anzu would undoubtedly say "No Duel Monsters," while Kaiba might say "No dancing anything." So what sort of cake might they have, if they don't want it to be all traditional (that is, multi-tiered and round with frills)? And what about Usagi and Mamoru, for that matter? I mean, we know Usagi's got her sweet tooth, but you can make a delicious cake in all sorts of shapes and sizes! So what sort of unique cake might she and Mamoru have? Give me size, shapes, colors, and if you can think more creatively, flavors!

Let me know!

But at last! The weekend! Have to clean my room (honest. With our without that damn bookcase!) and study for my finals-- on Monday there's my JOUR 330 final in Editing, and on Tuesday I have my JOUR 400 Media Law final and my JOUR 331 Graphics final, all of which I genuinely have to study for. Other than that, no other finals, just work. And I only work Wednesday and Friday, apparently. It'll be nice to have Thursday off. This weekend I also want to go to the mall to make sure Baba spends the Borders card my mom got her for Mother's Day (aww) and probably something else which I am forgetting. Maybe to look for CS3 books, since I might be getting it within the next two weeks thanks to my stellar soon-to-be-graduating-from-UCLA cousin **ERIN!** Apparently UCLA students get a much steeper discount on CS3 than CSUN students do, so I asked her if she could score it for me. She said yes, just call her on Saturday when she has time. :) Thrills!

And I guess I'm just going to keep thumbing through the Fall 2007 schedule to get some ideas for that "spare" class I have. I want to keep checking the online schedule throughout the summer so I know exactly what class times and professors are being offered. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a fun, mostly-stress-free Fall!
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Uno - I have another mysterious mark on me that I don't know where it's from. This time it's a quarter-sized red welt on my left leg, just below my knee. WTF, mate?

Dos - Okay, so Adobe CS3 is out. Looks like I need the "Design Premium" package, which is $600 for InDesign, Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Acrobat Professional, Bridge, Version Cue, Connect, Stock Photos, and Flash. Considering that's a savings of $1200, I guess it's not too bad, but thankfully I'm not in a rush to get it. If it goes on sale this summer, all the better-- because it's not #1 on my list of priorities. It's just up there.

Tres - Speaking of "lists," I want to add Office 2007 for Mac on my list, even though it's so much weirder looking than Office 2003 or any of the previous versions of Office:MAC. I just want legit, up-to-date software. Thankfully it looks to only be about $80 with tax. But, like CS3, it can wait.

Quatre (I mean QUATTRO! Damn you, Gundam Senshi!) - Today there's a guy from the LA Times coming to speak after Media Law class... then Thursday there's the last NSCS meeting, where I'll find out if I got an officer position and what we're all going to do for the NSCS Convention airfare. Then from THERE I can figure out where my summer travel plans stand. I need more ideas for locations to visit. So far I've only got:
* New York, NY - visit family/be a dumb tourist/go crazy shopping/visit my favorite magazines?
* Washington, D.C. - It's the Capitol. Do I need to say more?
* New Orleans area - [ profile] guardian_kysra and good food!
* Somewhere in the Mid-West - The place where Bobby Flay went to challenge the owner of the Paradise Cafe? They sound like they have good breakfasts! :D~~
* Somewhere in Canada - [ profile] mklutz? (There's someone else, and I am ashamed to admit I think I have forgotten. [ profile] escaperoot? Was it you?) Or the giant mall? Or the pretty park? Or, or, or...?
* Tuscon, AZ - [ profile] atlantian_magic, possibly my cousin David if he's not off fraternizing like the frat boy he is, and maybe the Grand Canyon and that overpriced scary escalator?
* Portland, OR? - Heard it's pretty and they have good food.

Cinco - Got my bookcase yesterday. There's parts on the larger sideboards that have patches of holes-- like, pin-hole size, but a lot of them (and they're in no particular pattern or shape). Grandpa said it was probably from their lifting tools in the factory. It bothers me because the holes are pretty prominent (they're black on finished pine) and they're on the OUTSIDE of what is going to be my bookcase. I don't know, should I be bothered? I can always call Dad and ask what he thinks.

Seis - Went to Physical Therapy again today for my shoulder-- can't wait to get my wheeled leather bag now, because my backpack + purse (even though I don't feel like they're that heavy) are completely pwning me. The place was abandoned except for me and the woman, who it turns out is the Physical Therapy professor, and the students (including Jeff) that I saw last week are GRAD students, and they got excused from work today because they have their major exam this Thursday and Friday, and then they GRADUATE. >_< I have all the luck, don't I? Ah well. :P


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't know, I guess I just feel kind of busy and addled lately, but I don't want to get stressed. I want massages more often. And appointments with cute physical therapists at school. *impish grin* Alas, I don't get to see said cute guy at my next appointment on Tuesday. :P But maybe someday... Hehe.
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I'm considering going to the NSCS Convention 2007 in Philadelphia, PA. I asked my Mom a few weeks ago to check into a possible discount at the hosting hotel, which is a Starwood property, but none of her contacts have gotten back to her, so she recommended I just make the reservation for the Convention + Summit All-Inclusive (Jul. 18-21, four nights in a 4 person bedroom). At first, I was just looking at plane fares, but most are $350-$400 round-trip, and those are for flights a) on airlines I don't like or b) at ungodly hours of the morning, or c) on airlines with a 50% probability of being on time, when being on time is CRITICAL.

So I started to look at Amtrak, and I thought, it might be kind of cool to start out 3 days early and see the whole country via train. I would make it by 2:50pm on the day I need to be there, having spent the last 2 days (the first day having been partial and leaving in the evening) touring around. I might not be able to actually STAY in any of those cities, but I'm pretty sure there'd be some decent stop-overs in many places.

With a 42-hour stretch between Los Angeles and Chicago, I'd definitely need a room, but that tacks on an additional $421 to the $206 seat price, for a grand total (with my new Student Advantage discount) of around $648. Round trip would be around $1200, which is pretty much out of the question, since it doesn't even include the cost of the convention/registration, let alone food, etc. But train + plane might be viable; it'd be around $800, plus another $329 for the convention + summit all inclusive.

The catch is, I'd have to register for the convention before April 30th, and who knows how long plane or train ticket rates are any good. So I'm kind of in a quandary here, wondering what the best way to get from here to there might be. Any ideas?

I have the money to do it either way (and possibly any other methods people might know of), but I'd actually like to SAVE my money for more permanent, useful things, such as Adobe Creative Suite CS3. Or visiting Scott in Japan, assuming he ends up enjoying his time there and sticks around.

He's leaving tomorrow. He's supposed to be calling me soon. I have to say, I'm somewhat surprised with myself over it all. I'm not upset. In fact, I'm really, genuinely happy for him. I hope he enjoys it a lot (despite the cold or the humidity) and he both learns a lot and teaches many kids. I hope he stays in touch and shares his experiences with me. People keep asking "So are you guys together?" and my answer's pretty much been "Well, whenever he's here..." and I'm fine with that. I want to focus more on my school work now, anyway. I've got so much on my plate, and again, I hardly feel like I have enough time to do it all in.

Tomorrow, for example, is my busiest day. I haven't caught up with my Japanese, done my Narrative Writing assignment for Thursday, or found the font for Graphics in the evening. But I'm so exhausted from today (which went by insanely fast) that I plan on going to sleep soon and just waking up early.

I'm considering asking Baba and Grandpa to replace my shades/curtains in my room, because I hate how they hardly keep out any light, and I think that's really what they're supposed to do. If it were as simple as just needing privacy, I could cover my windows with stickers.

I've also been getting distracted by WikiFic, which I've been adding tons of articles to. I recently rolled out the Card Article Creators, so people can easily generate articles (complete with templates) about cards found in the TCG, Anime, Manga, or Video Games. I've already tested it out with Magician's Valkyria, and it's working well, though I still need to add a few more graphics for the Levels, what Counterfeit Cards look like (makes me wish I *had* bought some YGO cards in Hong Kong, just for shits and giggles), and of course, the thousands of card images out there. I need to establish an Image Policy, as well. Obviously, help in ANY area of writing for WikiFic would be much appreciated. :)

Well, Scott hasn't called yet, so I might as well get ready for bed and just talk to him in bed whenever he does call... and I hope he does call. :(
azurite: (absolut wank)
Ah, I've been suckered. Suckered like a fish. A seersucker fish!

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

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

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

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

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

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

BLAH! I should head to class now, squeeze in the extra study time, and then pray for the test to end quickly so I can get lunch before work.
azurite: (snark or smut)
Well, this weekend was eventful. Starting with Great America, and ending with a new list of "Gimmes," it's been nothing short of stressing... and entertaining.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, I've been babbling stream-of-consciousness for a while now. If I left anything out, I'll addendum it to another entry.
azurite: (blue flower)
Six years ago today-- on a Saturday, too, in fact, I got the worst news a ten year old could receive in her life. My half-sister Michelle died six years ago, and it changed who I was forever. I'm a different person because of it-- for better or for worse, and for the first time in all that time, I went to the place where she died.

It's called Land's End, and is basically a rounded cliffside that drops-- over 200 feet-- right into the Pacific Ocean. When Michelle died, it was shocking... unexpected, to say the least. She might have only been my half-sister, but she meant the world to me, and I had a hard time expressing it, because I was so childish. Like all people who lose someone, I had a million and one regrets-- things I wish I could have said, or could have taken back. I wish I could have apologized for that stupid argument the night before, wished I could have thanked her for all she'd ever done for me, and told her, above all, that I loved her.

Six years later, I'm still sad, but I guess the need to hide my sadness and loneliness isn't so great. My sister was the only one I could relate to about a lot of things, was the only one I could talk to when I had problems with boys, or mom, or my own friends. My mom didn't understand any of that.

When Michelle died, I felt the need to be strong for my mom-- not show any weakness. People passed by us, offering their apologies and condolences, but it all seemed so empty then. I kind of get irritated even now, when people get nervous just *asking* me about my sister, or when they do find out about her dying, say "sorry," as if it were their fault. I suppose it's only natural to react that way, since people who haven't experienced loss at such a young age (Michelle was only 19) don't know what to say-- they couldn't have known how it felt.

Over the years, there's a lot of things I wish I could talk to Michelle about... things I wish I could simply ask her, or maybe tell her. It tears at my conscience to try and imagine her voice in my head, and not come up with anything solid. All I have are memories, and they mean so much to me, good and bad alike.

When my sister died, there only seemed to be two people in my life who cared that *I* had lost someone too- my dad and my then-crush/boyfriend (if you can call it that in 5th grade, but that's another story), Chris. Chris is probably in Santa Cruz right now, doesn't even remember what DAY this is-- and we parted on bad terms, so I can't expect anything on his end. But I do kind of wish, even with all the hostility between my father and I that he would have called me today.

Even if he doesn't, in the last forty-five minutes there are LEFT of this day, I know that I take comfort in at least knowing that I *have* a father, whether he talks to me, thinks about me, cares about me at all, or not. I hope that he does call me one day-- or maybe write.

I know my sister didn't like him much-- even convinced me several times that my father was a downright bad person-- but now that both of them are out of my life, and Michelle is gone on a permanent basis, I can't help but want to talk to my father. If something happened to him, I'd still feel loss... regardless of us not talking in so long.

I'm glad my boyfriend was with me today. I found myself apologizing and saying thank you more times than I thought I would, and I especially thought he'd be uncomfortable with the whole idea of being with me on a day that held significance only for my mother and myself. We took a long walk all the way past the beach to Land's End, and just sat there for a while. I'm not ashamed anymore to say that I cried... I missed my sister, was angry at the world for taking her away from me, and was angry at myself for not saying what I should have that day six years ago. But the one thing that stays in my mind-- all this time-- is that you never know how much someone means to you until they are gone.

People hear that all the time, and never take it seriously enough. But it's true. People may lose grandparents, or distant relatives who die of old age, but when someone as young and close to you as a sister is suddenly *ripped* from your life, it's a greater shock than anyone can imagine. I told my boyfriend to go home today and tell his sister that he loved her. Even if she was mad, even if it didn't sound like he meant it, it would matter to her-- it would COUNT, in the end, regardless of how many days, weeks, months, or years passed between him saying that and the inevitability of death. 'It's the thought that counts' has never had more significance than now. So, unlike my other rant-like entries, I ask you, dear reader-- go home today-- or if you are home, leave this page, get up, and find a family member. Be it a mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle... anyone. Walk up to them, hug them as tight as the both of you can stand, and tell them you love them. There doesn't need to be any celebration, or any explanation. But just telling them will make the day a bit brighter... even if it doesn't seem that way.
azurite: (screw it trashcan)
Well, today was odd. It started off normal enough-- and sadly, I'm slipping back into my old habit of laying off work whenever I have the chance. I totally thought I could ace the classes (both English) that I'm taking in summer school, since both teachers said I wouldn't have to do homework. But for the second class, with the fun teacher, we have to write an essay about every week. The last one was pretty much free topic, the only requirement being that it had to be a persuasive essay-- and I put it off. Then I spilled milk on the keyboard when I was actually trying to write it, and by the time I managed to escape my mother's wrath and get the keyboard from the old computer (which I'm using now, and is a bit dirty and slightly sticky in its own right) I was too tired to keep working. I told my teacher this, and she said it was fine... but I still didn't finish it last night. Today, we got our new topic, which is our only personal, reflective essay. I think that one will be harder for me, since I'm choosing to write about my sister's death. It's probably a tired topic, considering how many times I've talked about it on one work or another, but it's the first one that always comes to mind-- what other event in my life has affected me in such a way, forcing me to change?

In any case, I'll have to be forcing myself to work on those. I was feeling weird all day-- for two reasons. One was that I'd often feel obligated to eat when I wasn't hungry. The lunch money my mother gave me on Monday has thus gone unspent, and it's not for lack of food or pickiness (not REALLY). I'll prepare food, make it, pick at it, and then let it sit there. I just can't make myself eat, and it scares me, because when I actually *do* feel hungry and I eat, I end up feeling sick afterwards. The other reason was because I'd forgotten something-- and didn't remember until (obviously) it was too late. I'd signed up for a journalism class that I'd heard about from my teacher, and wanted my friend to go with me. But she never emailed me back, and I totally forgot about the class. To tell the truth, I didn't even get directions for where it was, so had I remembered, I would have spent a good hour online looking for directions by bus!

Besides all that, today during break while snacking with my friends, this strange African-American guy wearing a battle dress jacket (camo-print), when I was talking over anime with my friends, this guy, out of the blue, asks if I'm Jewish. I was kinda flustered, since it was such a random question, and my friend mostly answered for me, neither of us looking at said guy too much, because he was smiling oddly. Basically I said no, since your mother has to be Jewish in order for you to be-- but by blood, then technically I am, since somewhere down the line, I am of that descent. The guy starts prattling off in German, and when we asked to translate, he just shook his head and smiled very scary. I wonder if he's an Anti-Semite...

I had a few other things that I wanted to say... mostly odd, random stuff (how me) about goofball postal workers (sorry! but it's true! at least where *I* am), my boyfriend getting back from his convention in LA, next year's cons plans and downfalls, and 'demi-crushes'. Oh well, I guess I'll save it for another entry.

So Far...

Jun. 21st, 2002 05:40 pm
azurite: (dango)
Well, summer's here. I registered for summer school today... and the wait wasn't as bad as my friend made it out to be. Luckily, I have what I consider some nice teachers, and now, the motivation to pass-- since I don't want to have a lousy transcript, nor do I want to not graduate on stage. So doing well in school is a priority for me.

For the past couple of days, I was helping 'babysit' at the house of an uber-Christian family that is friends of my mom. The father used to be a teacher at the college where my sister was majoring in film, and when she passed away, my mother really turned to them for support. They move a lot, since the father, a pastor, only holds jobs and church houses for a few months to a year. But now they're moving cross country. So their little 5-year-old who is crushing on me, their 11-year-old who thinks he's a master debater, and their 14-year-old who I used to like (shudder). The 14-year-old, though, looks like a veritable twig, since he's about 6 feet tall! Anyway, babysitting was difficult, and my mom was always upset about them leaving. I never really related to them much, since they were so set in their religious beliefs-- and I wasn't.
In fact, the second out of the four days I was there helping, the middle son decided to question my moral and ethical beliefs while we folded laundry!

So suddenly religion is a big issue in my life-- and it's all because of one simple question. If, at the end of your life, you found yourself in a place like "Hell" because you didn't believe, and you could have one shot at changing your life, to become religious, would you?

What if you didn't remember the God/Goddesses you're supposed to worship, to avoid eternal damnation? Perplexing, isn't it? Most of this all stemmed from there being a difference between "true" and "right." People can believe in whatever they want-- to them, what they hold dear is "true." But to others, it's not "right."

What this family in particular believes, rather strongly, I might add, since their father is a pastor, s that those who do not believe in Jesus will go to hell. Since I was little, I was raised with mixed beliefs--since I always celebrated Passover, Hanukkah, and sometimes Purim and Rosh Hashannah with my father's side of the family. As far as I knew, they didn't believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God who would be reborn... They either believed he never existed at all, or he was a Jew to begin with. When the father read me a poem called "The Jew," it reminded me of them-- and why I wasn't a Jew *or* a Christian, since my mother wasn't Jewish, and despite my having "Jewish blood" in me, I couldn't -or is it wouldn't- celebrate it? I prefer Wicca, since I am intrigued by the idea of more than ONE sole higher power or entity, especially that of a Trinity of Balance-- something like how the God and Goddess operate, with three forms.

When I was younger, I was very much into Grecian and Roman mythology, since there were so many gods of so many things. Even in Wicca, similar gods and goddesses are called upon to aid in specific matters.

In a day and age when science is always battling religion, I do believe in Evolution-- but also in something higher, something to believe in after death. I suppose it's the only thing that keeps a lot of people sane, in which case I won't be one to argue against it. I prefer to stay in the shadows of this religious-scientific battle, rather than take up a shield and sword and fight for either side.

In other news, I got my report card some days ago. Suffice it to say, I was disappointed in myself, but I knew I got what I deserved. For the record-- I failed English, of course, since I stopped going to that class even before second semester started (I think O.o), and now I'm making it up in summer school. I got a C in Chem, which is pleasing, since it means I did well on my final. I got a D in Math and Japanese (I didn't turn in my final project for Japanese, but I can make that up by doing an extra credit weekly manga this summer. Now all I have to do is think of a topic), and an F in History.

I don't plan on being held back this year, so if I have to go to Night school or City college to make up these courses, I will. I want to graduate on stage, go to SF State in Fall 2003, and get a degree in Journalism. That goal is solidified in my mind, and I just have to work up the courage and motivation to jump over the hurdles life will keep throwing at me. I want to keep trying, and be motivated and successful, like my friends. I don't plan on being one of the people in a forgotten Pop Poll about "Least likely to succeed."
azurite: (harry & draco sound fx)
Okay, so I'm not exactly COOL and CONFIDENT 100% of the time. Lord knows I'm right fidgety 50%, and a blur of emotions the rest. So today, I have this interview. It's for this summer program I got nominated for, and in order to be a candidate, I had to write an essay, revise it, find out stuff about my family's income. Blah. Blah. Blah. So I have this lovely little slip that tells me when and where my 'view is, at 12:00, during lunch. I leave my 4th class early to get to lunch, and then the interview. It turns out the interview with the previous person will last 20 minutes. Straight into my 5th class, which I love. Oh well.

Miss-Confident-Me gets nervous as time ticks away. Finally, about 15 minutes before the 6th class, which is a pain in the @$$ for me, and pretty mandatory about attendance, the last person comes out. I wait a few seconds, then knock. A muffled voice says something that sounds like "Wait A Sec" but I feel like I've been out there a millennium and start reading this poster and tapping on the wall. A few seconds later Ms. Hoity-Toity herself comes out from the room, obviously annoyed. She tells me to stop knocking after she told me to wait, and I try to apologize, I didn't know I was knocking my fingers on the door... but does she listen? NOO... storms back in her little office and makes me wait. I come back in a few minutes later, and she starts off with this cool demeanor.

So I give it right back to her, naturally. She asks some pretty general questions, just like I expected, but seeing one of my friends come from this meeting crying wasn't doing anything for my confidence. I started to pull on my fingers. She started to get annoyed with me, and it struck me that this woman was reminding me of that lady from Suddenly Susan-- whoever Susan's antagonist was, the blonde-haired woman who she always seemed to hate, who Luis was in love with? Whatever.

So anyway, she started to say I wasn't being detailed enough, that, while I was obviously intelligent, I was giving the info to her "like a ham sandwich." I ended almost every statement with a "Well, yeah." or a "You know..." I thought I sounded like a Valley Girl. And I'm from "Up North". But apparently, I made some big step, according to the same woman later.

I found out that my interviewer was the Exec Director of the program. The other woman in the room was a possible staff member, and the last lady who came in at the end was the founder of the program. Yet this didn't feel like girl talk. So eventually, I discover *SHOCK* I've made it in. Being a third person now, I hear how I made this big leap by being more emotional. The interviewer pestered me about my "status" socially, how I wasn't very popular, but, she pointed out, I was on some "cycle of destruction" because I boxed myself away from others, but ended up regretting it. It sort of overwhelmed me at the end how nice they were acting, after this woman had just peeled me apart like an onion. She was looking HAPPY that I had cried, and I still didn't know why I did. I tell you, interviewers, when they say they want to get into your shoes and find out what it is to be you... damn, they mean it.

Present Tense Note: I'm thinking the "program" in question may have been Digital Horizon or the Beacon/Richmond Review newspaper thing I did. I'm not really sure which, though. Damn, why did I have to be so vague back in high school?

January 2016

171819 20212223

Most Popular Tags

Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 10:52 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios