azurite: Black and White manga illustration of Black Lady from Sailor Moon (sailormoon - black (and white) lady)
Sailor Failures is not Zoisite posing as a Sailor Senshi, nor is it a Senshi from beyond the Gates of Time. Sailor Failures is not a Senshi of the Outer Solar System, nor a brainwashed future Sailor Senshi...and especially not a member of the Sailor Animamates! Sailor Failures is where I got this fun Sailor Moon meme from. Just so you know. :D

♥ » Day 26 – Dark Kingdom, Black Moon Clan, Death Busters, Dead Moon Circus, or Shadow Galactica? )
azurite: (sailormoon - iPunish)
Okay, the honest-to-God truth is that I'm a teeny-tiny bit late with this. Two hours late. (But I'm backdating it so it appears properly in my archives. *cheater! cheater!*) It's the first and hopefully only time, so forgive me 'kay? I've been playing Star Ocean 4 a lot today and trying to complete a lot of sidequests....

Once again, another day in the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, brought to you by the inimitable Frizzy of Sailor Failures.

♥ » Day 17 – Favorite attack overall (villains included) )
azurite: (sailormoon - unforgotten uranepu)
And we have reached the halfway point of the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, brought to you by the genius talent, Frizzy, over at Sailor Failures. Frizzy is the mastermind behind Four King Hell, a Sailor Moon webcomic that I powered through yesterday...laughing (almost) all the while. It's excellent, so if you're a Sailor Moon fan, check it out. And if you know if any other good Sailor Moon webcomics, point me at 'em!

♥ » Day 15 – Best Outer System Soldier attack )
azurite: Manga illustration of Galaxia from Sailor Moon walking against a starry sky (sailormoon - galaxia)
It's a little bit later than my usual posting for the 30 Days of Sailor Moon meme, brought to you by Sailor Failures on Tumblr, but that's because I have today off!

I've got lots to get done, so let's get this very interesting topic out of the way, shall we?

♥ » Day 08 – Favorite villain )

Can you tell that I like (parenthetical asides)?
azurite: (she must have been drunk and horny)
I've just found out about and pledged to be a part of Ada Lovelace Day on http://findingada.com.

I've decided that for my technology & women-related post, I'd like to talk about video game heroines. So, to all you video gamers out there: who are your favorite female characters in any video or computer game, ever?

That can be Lulu from Final Fantasy X, Catherine from the Myst series, or even Flo from Diner Dash! Name her, the game, and why you like her, and I'll do a collective post featuring these lovely ladies and then some on Ada Lovelace Day.

Not enough female game characters (or the women that play them!) get attention in today's world, and I hope I can contribute a little to ALD by posting something like this. So help out, join in, and pledge yourself! It can be a blog post, art, a musical composition, a YouTube video...anything!
azurite: (azureshipping - caught)
Legend has it that among us, there are those humans gifted with incredible ability. For some, it is the power to make a killer comeback after a lousy period of being slammed with hurricanes, floods, storms, and FEMA excuses. For others, it is the intangible spirit of hope and faith in one's home, that no matter how ravaged it may be, it is still the one place he or she wants to be at the end of the day. And there are those who are all this and more: able to see beauty in words, to craft emotion from mere letters, capable of penning the most incredible fanart on either side of the Mississippi!

[livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, by now you should know I'm talking about YOU!

I got my fanart donation from the Help Haiti fandom auction today, and HOT SAUCE is it awesome! Kysra has awesomesauce in her veins, among all those other wonderful things above. I'd show it to you, but it's up to her first and foremost, and even then, I'm kind of tired of her awesome stuff getting swiped without credit and plastered all over the 'Net, even though the 'Net IS about collaboration and sharing, especially where all things wonderfully Azureshipping are concerned. I'm a firm believer in "give credit where credit's due," so said fanart will be my personal Reason to Squee #465 for now.

In case you weren't somehow already aware, the fanart is of That Scene in "The Joke's On You," my first-ever multi-chapter Seto x Téa fic, and probably one of my first attempts at something akin to dirty humor. The fic itself is still on the backburner because I never could make up my mind about how to keep it funny or whether people would hate me if it got all dramatic (considering it DOES take place during the Battle City arc of "Yu-Gi-Oh!"), but I'm sure if I stare at this artwork long enough (and you know I will), I might just get inspired to write (it) again, or at least write something.

I am going to frame it, when I have the time and the money.

Speaking of money, later today (because officially it IS Wednesday) I have my live interview about video games from a research group. I managed to clean up the dining room pretty well (many boxes have been relocated to the living room/my room or hidden under the table), though there are still piles of book boxes on one side and empty boxes near the door on the other. I suppose I could break some of them down and put them in the living room or in the recycling.... Anyway, I'm kind of looking forward to this! I don't really know what they'll ask me or what my answers will be used for.

I actually got a lot done: first I went to the DeVry in Daly City, which, despite being very close to the Daly City BART, was annoyingly hard to find once I got there. I went around the building, up some stairs, past the park, around the building again...and then back the way I came, around the building the other way, where the entrance was small and only marked with a white sign. The bad news is, apparently they don't offer the Multimedia Design and Development program like the site (and TV commercials) advertise. Grr. But at least they can help me get set up with other classes, hopefully, even if they're online and I can finish this degree up sooner, maybe get some more units from CSUN transferred over. I have an appointment Friday since they were so slammed today.

Then came the fetching of the fanart at the post office (which smelled like oatmeal). That at least went quickly because about five minutes after I got in line, someone shouted for pickups and three people (including myself) skipped the line and got our stuff pretty quick. Yay!

I went to Japantown and met with [livejournal.com profile] staplerx, [livejournal.com profile] lilddrpinay2003, [livejournal.com profile] vermilionone, and [livejournal.com profile] pockyken. I'd gotten Subway near the DeVry campus so I didn't join them for actual food from Tommy's Joynt, but I did drool longingly at the delicious-looking meat and potato salad and desserts. We headed to the infamous GameStop on Powell, where oddly they were very helpful and even greeted me, but I'm still suspicious of the place and think I should try going on there on my own again, instead of with a group (which is half male) from the get-go. After that, we headed through Chinatown to meet [livejournal.com profile] ohsupervinchan at the very-cool Russian Hill Bookstore (which actually sells The Settler of Catan and other cool board games! DO WANT!) and snack on some rice pudding at the nearby Loving Cup. An actual cafe devoted to RICE PUDDING.

Even when I think about how much I wanted to leave S.F. after high school, it's little things like these that reminds me of how awesome it is to be here, and how privileged I am to call it my hometown.

Vince had to head back to work, so we took the 45 again to Lombard, where we went to this bar/restaurant called La Barca for a trivia night. We sucked (the questions were clearly not geared toward anyone from my generation, at least), but it was mostly fun. I'd like to go again after I've "studied" more of my random facts. Maybe I need to play more Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy?

Final happy thought: I finished the Hi My Sweetheart fanlisting, Extravagant Sky. All I have to do is make some more codes before I'll officially announce its opening to the folks at TheFanlistings.org and the fans over at D-Addicts, but if you have a sec, check it out and tell me what you think! I designed the layout myself. :)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
I spent too long on That Site and ended up stumbling across this one, about Console RPG clichés.

A few stood out to me for there being a game I knew/played/was popular that broke the mold. Yay, fandom! Sometimes.

Interestingly, some are just plain wrong. And others made me remember all kinds of games and their characters, big and small. I had no idea clichés were so prevalent, but now I am thusly enlightened: and you can be, too!



And that's all...for now, folks!
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
I think I mentioned this in a thread that sprung out of another thread about fanfiction meta or some such, and I got to thinking: it WOULD be kind of cool to have a list for 30kisses or a similar challenge community that dealt with status effects! You know, the ones from video games? Usually they're bad, but there are some good ones, too, and I had to use those to do some of the list.

This is a tentative list at the moment, and could go for some rearranging and better explanation, but what do you think for now? What would you think if I introduced it for [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses? (I'm afraid the way it currently is would only be appealing to those writing for video game fandoms, but I know there's a way to get it to work for all other fandoms--what I need is a good core theme. "Ailments" doesn't work since some are positive, but some people might think "good" status effects are actually "ailments" depending on who's got them or how they act, right? Anyway, check out the list.

30 Statuses )
azurite: (so2 - quiet chisato?!)
So lately I've been playing Star Ocean: Second Evolution, the remake of Star Ocean: The Second Story, only my favorite RPG of all time (originally for the PS1), and I plan on finishing up Star Ocean: First Departure, a remake of the first Star Ocean ("Fantastic Space Odyssey") for the Super Famicom, which was licensed in the U.S. before now.

There's no such thing as a perfect game that has no significant plot points or plot holes that DON'T get explained away. Every game has them, and I think that's part of the replay value. Plus, it's always fun to have a good discourse on game meta, right?

Spoilers follow, obviously )

The end. :)

OSM!

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

Tech jargon )

More win and OSM )

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

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson's "Beat It" is stuck in my head, along with a plotbunny for a multichapter Sailor Moon fic I meant to write for [livejournal.com profile] sm_monthly and never got around to. I mean really, ANOTHER multichapter? I wish I could churn stuff out as fast as [livejournal.com profile] moodwriter, with her "Hate, Prejudice and Secret Intentions" (I think I got that title right) Dramione fic that I've been reading lately. Good stuff! I've also got to catch up on Stargirl's "Tsuki no Namida," an AR of the Silver Millennium, since the latest chapter is up for critiquing on one of [livejournal.com profile] the_circlet communities. I'm not a big fan of walking into a long-ish multi-chapter fic blind, so I'll start with the beginning and go from there. So far, it's got an interesting premise but some grammar issues that irk me. But hey, SAILOR MOON FIC. I ought to get writing!
azurite: (gundam senshi!)
Typed the first few paragraphs last week and then procrastinated to all hell for posting this. Oooops.

Ah, back from Anime Expo. Actually, I got back late on Sunday night, but yesterday I was so exhausted that I ended up taking Monday off work and sleeping a lot. When I didn't sleep, I played my newest acquisition: Final Fantasy Anthologies, featuring FF5 and FF6, neither of which I've ever beaten. It's making me nostalgic!

I probably should have posted entries each night after I came back, but I was usually so exhausted from volunteering that I didn't. I did do some Live Tweeting though, so I'll touch on a few of the things I mentioned then.

Day Zero )

Day One )

Day Two )

Day Three )

Day Four: THE FINALS )

Heartstorm

Jul. 13th, 2009 01:59 pm
azurite: (disney - ariel ooh shiny!)
So, I finally got to the last save point in Kingdom Hearts. Needless to say I've got some questions and ideas. I may have spoiled myself silly about Kingdom Hearts II and the other games, like Chain of Memories and Birth by Sleep and 358/2 Days, but that doesn't mean I'll do it to others.

I can haz keyblade? )
azurite: (ff8 - rinoa blue)
So, I'm playing FF8 again. I'm on Disc 3, doing all the sidequests. As it stands, you really can't do the sidequests in any willy-nilly order; there's kind of an order you MUST do them in if you want to get things done properly.

So, I wanted to get the Adamantines from an Adamantoise. Turns out you can't mug them (they come in pairs), and they might not drop it even if you DO defeat them without mugging. Why? Because Adamantine's a RARE item. You can get a rare item if you get the Bahamut GF.

To get the Bahamut GF, you need to go to the Deep Sea Research Center. Been there, tried that, got my ass handed to me. I figure I need to be stronger to beat the Ruby Dragons that stand in my way. Not sure quite HOW, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Then there's the Tonberry King. He'll be useful in getting the items I need from monsters like the Blue Dragon or T-Rexaur that are too leveled-up to drop the ones I need. Problem? Last time I got to good ol' T.K. and he kicked my ass about seven minutes into the battle. So while I lasted, I didn't last LONG ENOUGH. I looked up strategies for beating the Tonberry King, and they recommend getting the Lion Heart, Squall's Ultimate Weapon.

So I gave in and Card Modded one of my Brothers cards (Minotaur) to get 10 Adamantines. I upgraded Zell's gauntlets to their ultimate form, but I still need extra items for Squall's Lion Heart, Selphie's Strange Vision, and Irvine's Exeter. Specifically, I need 4 Dragon Fangs, 2 more Pulse Ammo, and 3 Star Fragments. The Dragon Fangs and Star Fragments can come from the same place, but ONLY if I level down the opponent... which means getting the Tonberry King. No other GF allows you to Level Down your opponents. WTF!? Cyclical much?

I've hunted all the bestiaries online; none of them indicate any way of getting a Dragon Fang once your enemies are past Level 30. And considering Squall's at Level 100 and my other party members are in their mid-40s or 50s levels, I don't know how an enemy could NOT be higher than Level 30.

It'd be nice if I could somehow just get Bahamut, because I get the feeling that with him, I could easily beat the Tonberry King even without the Lion Heart and get this over with. In fact, my original "order" was to:
* Get Bahamut
* Fight the Adamantoise for the Adamantine (useless now, but maybe there's another enemy whose rare items might be necessary)
* Beat the Tonberry King after getting Squall's ultimate weapon
* Go back to the Deep Sea Research Center to beat the Omega and Ultima Weapons

...Being that I can't do the first one and there's no apparent way to skip to the third one and survive, I don't know what to do.

Damn video games, so frustrating sometimes! This is why if I ever write strategy guides, I want them to account for EVERY damn possibility, including someone NOT beating X enemy by Y disc in the game or something. Because OBVIOUSLY if I had, then none of this would be an issue now. I don't really like the ideas of linear gameplay anyway; it takes the fun out of exploring. So what if I want to do as much of the game as possible but not follow your order? That's no fair, to restrict my sidequests because it's the only way to beat them! ARGH!
azurite: (azureshipping - side by side)


You Look Like an Aries



It's likely that you have a lean and strong body.

Your facial features are uniquely beautiful, and you may have a scar or beauty mark.



You have good posture, and you carry yourself with an air of confidence.

You have a strong, steady gaze. You eyes are often issuing a challenge.



Like most Aries people, you probably very energetic and enjoy it when someone challenges you.

You expect the best from people, and you believe in them. You are willing to take a risk on someone.



*sings* Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Okay, maybe it's a bit premature to be celebrating, but after turning in my 6-page paper on Gay Rights (which was supposed to have more of a focus on the California Supreme Court, but the group project upon which the paper was based had so many facets and sub-topics that I may have gone "off-tangent" by covering more ground), I feel liberated! Free! GLAD!

Maybe not completely stress-free, but close to it: I have no final exams, and all I have left are some quizzes for my science classes and some feedback discussion for my recreation class. Everything else is turned in. I have high hopes for most of my classes --As or Bs, I hope-- but maybe a C for the GWS 350 class (the one that I just turned the paper in for), because I didn't turn in two other papers-- an Autoethnography and a paper on race. I also missed some class chat and discussion times. -_- Needless to say, I want to make sure that if I ever have to sign up for classes at the last minute just to get units, I'd rather pick something dirt-simple and easy than something completely out of my range, potentially challenging (to the point of bringing stress where it shouldn't), and bizarre.

And then! And then! I really, desperately want to finish WDKY26. Madly.
And then there's the revamping of the BEA Media page, the idea for a few fanlistings I've mentioned, and various other personal projects, like the overhauling of the main Seventh-Star.Net page.

Since I do have a biology quiz tomorrow morning, I really ought to get studying for that, but at some point "tonight" (that is, this morning), I'm going to play me some SNES games and go to bed with a SMILE on my face (dagnabbit)!

Naze ka?

Dec. 5th, 2008 01:09 am
azurite: (poor bi grrl gamers)
So I remembered hearing about this eatery that specializes in breakfast at the end of one of the metro lines here in San Francisco. I want to check them out online, find out exactly where they are, what their hours are, etc., so I go to their site.

...Which is probably the sparsest website I've seen in a VERY long time. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for simplicity. Not everyone (or every business) requires a Flash-heavy, Java-rich, super-interactive explosion of complicated code and database handlers (that aside, I do want to learn PHP/Flash/Java at some point in the not-so-distant future). But still... to have a SCAN of the menu that doesn't even fit on a 1440 x 900 resolution screen (you need to scroll)? To not list an email for contacting the web designer/maintainer? To not show the restaurants' (there are two locations in S.F.) hours of operation? To not tell MORE about the restaurant's history?

Seriously, folks.

Mom and Dad both say I'm too critical, but Dad says that I can put that to good use being a consultant. This is the second or third example of a business that I think I could help become so much better than it is just by revamping their existing material. Before it was the bookstore that Baba and I went to, and also kind of this Thai place that Mom and Gary like. A few simple (likely inexpensive, in the long run) changes, and BAM! Better exposure, better business. Better business PRACTICES!

So it'd be a bit awkward to contact these people and say "Your site sucks" or "Your menu sucks" or "Your bookstore sucks" and then proceed to say how, if they pay me, I can make it better. It's not like I have any experience in this-- it's just an idea, just a thought. A very optimistic thought. I can't guarantee that me revamping a website or a menu or a bookstore's practices will truly bring in more business or be more "efficient." I wouldn't necessarily know how to measure that last one, anyway.

But I kind of want to try for the "editing" experience at all (and in a way, it's also journalism/interview experience, because I'd have to "consult" with the business owners to find out their needs and wants, limitations and hopes for the future). So, how does one approach this?

I've already considered setting up an e-business of sorts to offer my editing/computer services-- a freelance site, if you will, where the offers come to me instead of me trying to hunt down the offers. Admittedly, without my name previously out there, it might not actually happen, but I'd be looking to edit people who don't look in the "usual" places-- help college students with their papers or projects, tutor people in web design or computer programs, etc. I'd be a lot more inclined to doing THAT than, say, writing a 500-word article for a freelance article site. I signed up for those, but I could never get around to writing the articles because I didn't feel they were original enough compared to what was already there, even if I did have a niche to write in.

I already have a possible domain name, and maybe even a site design picked out, but no business structure, no plan-- so I'm not letting out too many details just yet. But what I have let out, does it sound plausible? Interesting? Useful to you or anyone you may know?

A possible new structure for Seventh-Star.Net )

I've started using Apple Mail to read my Friends' page as an RSS feed. Problem? I don't think it can get protected entries. When I added the "&checkcookies=1" to the URL, it didn't get ANYTHING. I removed it and got 50 entries... which I'm missing more of. I haven't read my FL in a while. I don't even know if Apple Mail uses cookies for RSS. Help?

Also, I'm probably going to nix my ProCare subscription next year. To be honest, I don't think I get much value out of it, even when I do use it to make near-instantaneous reservations for a Genius Bar spot at an Apple Store. It was pretty freakin' awesome that they rushed my keyboard repair to under an hour (when it was supposed to take 48), but I think I'd get more out of the One-to-One, if I did end up replacing the ProCare. I did think it was stupid when they separated the two, and I barely had the chance to use them when they were together (because I was in Japan).

That said, I renewed my MobileMe/.Mac subscription today, because I do feel THAT is worth $99, even with all the stupid problems MobileMe's been having. Actually my subscription was due up in September, but all the issues got me a 90-day extension. I forgot about it until they sent me an email today asking for an updated credit card. -_- I'm still broke. I shouldn't be spending $99 on anything, let alone something intangible and replaceable like an email address with calendar and address book sync capabilities. Sure, I've also got web hosting from them, but I pay MUCH less than $99/year for my usual hosting and I like Surpass plenty (not necessarily MORE than Apple, because their products aren't really comparable, but you get the idea). But the switching thing would be a pain in the ass.

But I'm disliking what I have tried to use on MobileMe's site end-- I tried out iWeb for shits and giggles, but the movie I have embedded on my photo gallery slideshow page NEVER loads, and because I can't inspect the code or the site structure in iWeb, I don't know why. Is it because it's large? Is the file in the wrong place? What? Plus, I deleted the files of my old Japan blog off the .Mac server, but it keeps trying to find that site whenever someone goes to the main index of my MobileMe site. VERY ANNOYING.

Also annoying? Playing my old SNES games with my PS2 controller using the new SNES9x 1.5 or what-have-you (the latest version of SNES for Mac OS X). Suddenly Sailor Moon's Fuwa Fuwa Panic feels like SUPER BALLOON POP MAYHEM ON SPEED! I'm getting my ass whooped in this game (it shames me to admit it), because I swear to DOG, it was never this fast before. On the bright side, I do still kick ass at the Sailor Moon puzzle game (where you flip over hearts, zap daimons, and try to collect the 3 Talismans before your opponent). Also, I've been replaying Super Mario World (I think I mentioned that before, actually). I started out playing it using a Super Mario All-Stars + World ROM, but none of the cheats for SMW worked (but I got all the way through the Forest of Illusion, anyway!)-- so I got a new ROM (hey, I own the cartridge!) and BAM! Crazy-Invincible-Green-Face Mario! That doesn't mean everything's easy, mind you, but it sure is fun to change Mario colors and walk right through Big Boo! (Figuring out just which cheats work and which don't is a pain.)

Meaningless Memes )
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I blame it on [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler yet again-- this time not for any kind of plotbunny, but for getting me into watching Fandom!Secrets. The latest's 102 mentions the necessity of Caruso shades when reading OHSHC. I LOL'd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Finished Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! I don't like it as much as the others, because even though I raised issues dealing with the character, it didn't seem as indepth. Is that because he's not as major a character as the others I've covered so far? Also, I feel like I put it out there on a crutch, even though lots of people said it was indepth and good and everything. But I felt like without my proper research book and software for generating natal charts, it just wasn't as good. :(
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
Even with the makers of Bentō, Filemaker 2, being jerkwads for introducing Bentō 2 out of the blue the other day (and not offering an upgrade path for Bentō 1 users who helped troubleshoot all of Bentō's weaknesses-- and believe you me, there were a lot), I'm having a good day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thrills!

lust&must

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

Girly stuff )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, it's not THAT important. It's just annoying, above all else, and I don't have much patience. That's something I need to work on-- finding patience without procrastinating.
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
Someone here on LJ posted a link to xoa's edits of Final Fantasy X: International, which, as some of you know, includes the English voices but with Japanese subs... er, normally (I'm assuming there's a way to turn the subs off). What xoa did was take the Japanese audio from the original FFX released in Japan and time it to the Japanese-only (afaik) release of FFX: International's cutscenes and FMVs.

Basically, it's dubtitling. He calls it "undub," which I don't find a common OR accurate term, but whatever. We get the English script set to the Japanese voices. It's cool to hear the differences, at least, and there are times when I can tell there's been a discrepancy between the edited FFX in English that got turned into FFX: International and the actual, original game's audio. Sometimes it's a bit telling about the character; there was one scene where someone says "Thank you, Yuna," but the English script changed it to "I have to, Yuna." Completely different things there, folks!

Anyway, after watching the latest episode (29, which is right before the gang enters Djose Temple), I happened upon a subtitled version of FFX International's bonus scene, "Another Story,"-- a.k.a. "Eternal Calm," the prologue for FFX-2. This was never part of FFX in the States, because, again, it was ONLY part of FFX International, which is the English version of the game, edited and with extra goodies added (like Dark Aeons). The only way English speakers could see this scene was if they got a magazine that came out with it on a disc prior to the release of FFX-2. That scene version was edited and dubbed (and subtitled) in English. To see the unedited/original Japanese scene with Japanese audio, you had to hunt around. Well, someone subtitled it....

FFX: Intl. "Another Story" (a.k.a. "Eternal Calm"), subbed in English and Japanese, Japanese audio. Part 1/2



Commentary + Part 2 )
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
Wow, it's been a while, huh? I guess my excuse is just that I've been busy with work: pulling around 40 hours a week (though last week I had only 28, which SUCKS when it comes to paying the damn rent) and then dealing with slowness on the computer.

In fact, I finally shelled out a load of money to get my internal hard drive on my MacBook Pro upgraded to a 320 GB. Or maybe it's a 300 GB, because OS X can only see 297 GB of that as my drive's capacity. I know that you never really get the full usage out of any given HD, but 20+ GB seems a bit excessive to me. Anyone?

With my laptop out of commission due to an Apple Tune-Up (all the way in Newport Beach, because I'm very occasionally dumb and figure that it's better to make an appointment with a store many miles and 2 hours -by bus- away rather than use my ProCare card to go on stand-by at a store that's much closer) and then for the upgrade, I spent a ton of time playing Kingdom Hearts. I'm at the point where I have to defeat Maleficent's dragon-form, but she thrashed me pretty badly once already, so I want to level up a bit more (my characters are mostly in their mid-40s, level-wise), upgrade my Aero spell, and so on.

Problem? I can't seem to beat Herc in the Hercules Cup tournament. Sometimes I can't even get to him, because every now and again, Cloud's a bitch and I can't beat him, either. This does not bode well, as I need to beat Hercules to get the ability to use Yellow Trinity marks, so I can return to Neverland, upgrade my Aero spell to Aerora, free the poor little puppies, and possibly beat Phantom (assuming he appears prior to Hollow Bastion being sealed) to level up before kicking Maleficent's dragon rear. Anyone have any tips for beating Herc, other than the usual: throw barrels at him from close range to make him lose his invulnerability, jump/dodge roll/glide a lot to evade his attacks, and have a LOT of items on hand, since you have to fight him alone, without Donald or Goofy?

So, while I'm avoiding playing the game because "lather, rinse, repeat" is never fun when it comes to playing one boss/tournament over and over again, I've been trying to clean out my mailboxes. I made the switch from Thunderbird to Mail 3, since I want more integration with OS X, and I don't like the Lightning add-on. I've opted to switch from POP3 (downloading all my emails) to IMAP (leaving all my emails on the server, and having the same folder structure wherever I am; this also means that if I delete something, it's GONE FOR GOOD), but now I need to figure out how to sort out all those thousands of emails that are already on my computer. It seems as though the best case scenario is to sort through them, somehow, and then for whatever ones I really do want/need, move them to IMAP so I can access them from anywhere, whether or not I'm on my laptop.

And for those of you that know me in IRL, sorting computer junk is just as hard, if not harder, than sorting real-life junk. Having a messy room most certainly equates to having a messy mailbox, except I try and establish rules/filters to somewhat sort things out...

I might post an F'Locked entry a bit later about work and people-drama, but for right now, that's it. I'm alive, okay (well, broke, but that's not exactly surprising), and hopefully going to Northridge tonight. :}

OH, and I MIGHT BE GOING TO A SARAH BRIGHTMAN CONCERT IN DECEMBER. :D :D :D :D
azurite: (sweet dreams are made of cheese)
No matter how hard I try, I just cannot beat the Trickmaster in Wonderland (Kingdom Hearts). I've already got Sora up to Level 12, Donald at 10 or 11, and Goofy at Level 16. I've also already got the Blizzard magic, because I found all four pieces of evidence to exonerate Alice, but of course, the Queen didn't believe me anyway.

Plus, in the Lotus Forest, I can clearly see an exit-- perhaps to the Bizarre Room, perhaps to another hedge near the Queen's Castle/Court, I'm not sure. It's just above the pond (to the right from the standard entrance into the forest, via the Queen's Castle/Court), which I pushed the rock into when I was big. I jumped across the lily pads to the enclosed area, got the item and the Trinity there, but still, the lily pad and the exit themselves seem unreachable. Anyone have any ideas? Or is it a place I'm supposed to get to later on in the game, after I've got additional abilities?

I've been trying to find a Bizarre Room entrance FAQ or map, a Lotus Forest map... SOMETHING... but nothing tells me what I need. Help?
azurite: (Default)
Remember that meme from a while ago where I had a list of fandoms, and people put two or more of them together, and I wrote a crossover fic for them? Well, this is a different take on that.

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

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

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


Your Gemstone Says...



You are stable, strong, and full of life. You are an inspiring person.

People turn to you first for leadership and advice.

You are able to gently help people get to where they need to be.

And while you aren't afraid to lead when necessary, you are never heartless or bossy.



So, turns out any Kingdom Hearts data I had on my PS2 memory cards must have been on the ones I lost on the way back from Japan. I restarted my game tonight, and with the help of Megan, one of my roommates, we got as far as the final boss in Wonderland. It's a pain in the butt boss though, what with those sticks it keeps setting on fire... I run out of magic so fast, and it never seems to douse them... I suppose I could train in the Rabbit Hole a bit more, though.

I posted the latest chapters of WDKY up at FanLib, finally; it's been a pain in the neck because FL strips horizontal rules out of HTML submissions, which means I have to re-insert graphical ones (hence my asking for dividers/separators/lines/bars/rules whatever they're called) wherever I remember the scene break should be. And I still haven't done it for ALL the chapters yet, but it's tiring work, so I'm leaving it as is-- for now.

I also finished my Fandom 411 for the No Hiatus FanLib blog, which Cyn told me will be up by next week-- yay! I rec'd fics by [livejournal.com profile] guardian_kysra, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler, and [livejournal.com profile] winterwing3000, the 3 people I know for sure are on FL and posted something. BTW, Scribbler, I've discovered you can easily go back and edit your stories in something akin to FFnet's Quick Edit manager over at FanLib-- just click "Edit" on your story's "box" when you're viewing your profile, and you can tinker with it there. I'm sure if you fix the formatting before next week, you'll have a lot more readers/reviewers for your fic that's there. :)

Re-reading WDKY while posting it up at FL has got me straining to finish chapter 26 soon. Volunteers for betas and pre-readers gladly welcomed.

By the way, the sole reason why I'm even up right now is "practice" for Saturday and Sunday, when I have training shifts from 4:00 and 3:30pm (respectively) until MIDNIGHT. I need to figure out how to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed till at least 1am if this ends up being something on a regular basis (which I doubt, what with the whole PARK CLOSING AT 8PM!)
azurite: (ygo: size matters (boobs!))
More on Scribbleshipping (Anzu x Zell, coined in honor of [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler who came up with the prompt and the pairing that started this madness):

I'm not sure whether to slant this as a Yu-Gi-Oh fic or an FF8 one. Truth be told, with my recent involvement in both fandoms, it could go either way. In fact, I could do it "-side" style, where one chapter focuses on one side (e.g. the Yu-Gi-Oh! side, with Anzu), and then another chapter either focuses on the same events from the other side (the FF8 side, with Zell) or simply from the other side, but at a different point in the continuity.

As of right now, I see it starting as Zell's POV, because it leaves a bit of mystery as to what led Anzu to getting to that world, what she's thinking/feeling, etc. But once she and Zell meet again and he gets to know her better, why not start delving into her POV? On the one hand, it's what feels right to me, and I want to do it the way my gut instinct tells me. On the other hand, I'm more comfortable not just writing from Anzu's POV, but from the YGO fandom side, from the girl's point of view in ANY fandom (I can't draw guys, so why the heck should I be able to properly characterize them in writing, let alone write AS them, or using their voice?). I wonder if I'm up to the challenge of characterizing a GUY as my protagonist for at least a good chunk of this, especially one I've only recently gotten familiar with?

I've also started pondering oneshot parodies (a bit like "out-takes," if you will), because [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler mentioned that a good fic has a blend of all the best genres-- in other words, dramas that are loaded with conflict and action and maybe a twist of romance and/or angst ALSO should have some funny. I don't think I do funny so well, but the scenes I've been envisioning that COULD be funny border on the OOC or the downright "How the hell did this happen!?" (As in, "Dude, where's my context!?")Thus, out-takes. Maybe.

I came up with an idea for the over-arching plot that can make good use of humor (for a while, anyway), angst (because hell, Kaiba's there, and with him, why not?), and action/adventure (because let's face it, that's at the core of FF8), and also calls back to ANOTHER fandom (sorta-kinda) that I'd never mention but would make me giddy if people ended up guessing (and getting it). But of course, no clues could possibly be given until I actually started writing the true fic-- the prompt ficlet not withstanding, because that had no semblance of an over-arching plot in it. This plot has the potential to be even more demonically evil than the one I've been plotting for WDKY. But that also means it could end up flopping like a Fastitocalon-F on a beach after a battle with a GF. :P (Part of me is also sick of keeping all the juicy plot twists to myself, too. Since it seems to be impossible for me to withhold posting a fic until it's DONE --that is, NOT doing a WIP--, maybe I should just give up on the whole idea of keeping evil author secrets for this one, huh? I could always give out plot details in single sentences, thereby still being evil but also being nice. Like a tortured villain, I am.)

What makes all this suck is how I have a final tomorrow evening, a revision due tomorrow and TWO ESSAYS LEFT TO WRITE before Thursday and I feel like I should be writing fic instead. Argh.
azurite: (blue flower)
So, [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler? I've decided to name Anzu x Zell "Scribbleshipping" in your honor.

...No, I'm not really going to try and submit a crossover pairing to the [livejournal.com profile] shippers_club, nor am I going to start using that anywhere and everywhere, but I just think it's so cute. In my head, that's the name.

That said, I ended up moving the idea for that fic you inspired me for (which, by the way, is tentatively titled "The Aftermath of Angels") into its own planner file. Note that I only do that when it gets LOOOOONG. I can't tell you how long the planner is so far in pages, but in terms of kilobytes, it's 54K at the moment. Of course, the planner isn't complex-- there are no pictures, no fancy calendars, just boring old CSS. And yet, with all that text, it's 54K. I'm not sure whether I should be :D or D:

(And I know you didn't specify Anzu & Zell romantically in your prompt from a while ago, but it halfway ended up there with what I wrote already, and I'll be honest: the fic planner is certainly looking more Scribbleshipping than Azureshipping ATM. SHOCK!!!)

I only wish there were a way to have an Anzu x Zell icon without it looking bizarre (this is what happens when you cross anime with video games).

In other news, today's ENGL 313 - Pop Culture final wasn't so bad. I think I did pretty well, all things considered, though I may have messed up the source of one of the reading passages-- I wrote it as being de Certeau when I think it was Fiske. Oh well. :P I also didn't get my Fandom Essay back yet, because he was grading it right as I walked up and turned my Blue Book in. So I'll have to get it from him on his office hours on Wednesday. But generally speaking, I think I'll do the best in that class.

The girls and I are going to get together on Sunday (ah, my last day here in Northridge-- until January 3rd, anyway) for Margeaux's belated birthday (she's one of the girls in my ENGL 313 class that I've been working with) and just a general "YAY WE DID IT!" celebration.

I tried to sell back my textbooks-- one of them I paid over $75, and the campus bookstore doesn't want more than $8 for any ONE of them. WHAT THE HELL!? So I immediately put them on Half.com. Let's hope they sell, and sell soon (so I don't have to bring them to Anaheim or ask Baba and Grandpa to mail them for me).

Work was crazy today-- I almost ran out of breath for all the calls I was taking. Thankfully tomorrow's no final, but that doesn't mean I don't have things to do-- I still have my radical revision to write by Wednesday evening, plus two essays by Thursday! YIKES!

But today I just took it easy when I got back from work-- I played some more FF8, got Doomtrain (DOOOOOOM TRAIN!), upgraded Irvine's weapon (FINALLY! Freakin' Steel Pipes are so hard to get...!), and played a BUNCH of Triple Triad. I finally got the Pandemona and Zell cards in Balamb; next is to play the Card Queen, but I don't like her Direct Rule of trading... very risky business! It's not as if she has really strong cards (from what I could tell), but still, I don't want to lose any of my GF cards... I'd rather WIN some from her! Ehehehe. Next up: playing her again (without losing any GF cards; good thing I saved before I played her), playing Piet to get Alexander, playing Caraway to get Rinoa and Martine to get Ifrit (back), and playing Laguna to get Squall. Triple Triad's a heck of a lot easier than Sphere Break or Blitz Ball, I'll tell ya that much!

Tiiiired.
azurite: (sailormoon - double trouble minako & usa)
[livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler rec'd a fic that was done by [livejournal.com profile] edmondia for this meme. The meme interests me, and I need to get the brain juices flowing, so let's do this.

Crossover Meme

Choose 10 fandoms. Post the list and have your friends pick combinations. Write a drabble ficlet crossover featuring these fandoms.


1. Sailor Moon
2. Yu-Gi-Oh
3. Final Fantasy X/X-2
4. Final Fantasy VIII
5. Skip Beat
6. Kitchen Princess
7. Full Moon o Sagashite
8. Star Ocean 3 (Till The End of Time)
9. Star Ocean 2 (The Second Story)/EX
10. Full Metal Panic

So you, dear commenter, can pick two of the above fandoms, and I shall write a ficlet for them. I can't guarantee that it'll be a legitimate 100 word drabble, hence the word "ficlet" instead.
azurite: (Bunninated!)
I'm not sure just why I decided to buy Final Fantasy VIII from Amazon.com just a few days before my birthday. Why THAT game, out of all the bazillions of other items at Amazon? I have no clue. I'm not sure what prompted my thinking of it, but now that I've got it and have been playing it (I've had it for about 10 days, and am already on Disc Three; I just got Rinoa back from the Sorceress Memorial), I'm addicted. I already know what's going to happen (of course), mainly because the story got so good that I looked up stuff on the Wikia, started to read fanfiction (Squinoa all the way!) and watched a few AMVs + the ending sequence.

But still, some elements confuse me. I'm not sure if they'll get explained away by the time I finish playing the game, because even the Wikia doesn't have a perfect explanation. For example, the whole Sorceress Power thing.

In which I hypothesize )

So, besides [livejournal.com profile] obabscribbler who here has seen Monty Oum's "Dead Fantasy"? It's a FANTASTIC fan-made video of Yuna and Rikku from FFX-2, Tifa from FFVII: Advent Children, Rinoa from FFVIII (can you tell I already love her to bits?), and Kairi from Kingdom Hearts II taking on a number of girls from the Dead or Alive series (though one girl from Ninja Gaiden makes an appearance). It's an awesome, awesome fighting vid-- actually, there's two parts now, with more coming soon...



So anyway, I've watched this, oh, maybe five or six times now, and a few days ago, I get hit with a FIC INSPIRATION. I went hunting for FFVIII fic anyway, to bide the time when I'm not playing the game (though I have much better things to be doing with my time, FFVIII is so nice and shiny and distracting), but to be honest, there wasn't much that sounded good. I read a few (really long) really good stories, but they were WIPs, so that was that. I'm just waiting for more... oneshots are nice, too, but it'd be fabulous to find a really long fic that's COMPLETED! And good. I must have me some "good," which translates to "like the game." In other words, drama! Action! And for me almost most-importantly ROMANCE! Because heck, probably why I like the FFs that I do is because of the romance. FFVIII I'm liking more because it's promised to end HAPPILY, unlike some other FFs I know. FFX was a disappointment for me in that respect, even though I loved the other elements (3D! My god, I could NOT play FFVII because of how hideous the polygonal characters looked. Give me sprites or at least humanoid renderings-- not... whatever those creepy things in FFVII were! Redo the game, dammit!), the ending just made me cry. Hence, I loved FFX-2, because it gave Yuna a chance to shine, to find herself (even if she didn't end up with Tidus) and Tidus DID come back (which just made it super-special awesome). FFIX I liked (still haven't beaten it, though), but I couldn't get over how childish everyone looked. I know that was the point, but I couldn't reconcile their supposed true ages with how they looked. It didn't feel like a "love story" in that game to me because of how young everyone looked. It was like "playtime" but gone wrong-- kids saving the world and whatnot.

So anyway, the fic idea. How in the heck could you feasibly get Yuna, Rikku, Rinoa, Kairi, and Tifa fighting on the same side against the DoA girls in a world that vaguely resembles Mustafar from Star Wars? )

I need a Rinoa icon. :P
azurite: (i'll be bach)
Last night I went out with Mel, Nancy, our advisor Vicki, and Joe B from NSCS to meet the Scholar Ambassadors who are "in town" (more like "in the region," because they're visiting a ton of schools in the SoCal area in a matter of days), so we went to the Elephant Bar in Burbank and had a rather nice dinner (Shanghai Cashew Chicken, garlic bread, and Apple/Blueberry Walnut Cobbler for me) and some very looooong conversations about everything from ethics and integrity to the sad and sorry state of "my" generation, which has a vast majority of students who have "entitlement issues."

Rewind a bit: on my way to meet Nancy and Joe (because we were carpooling to Burbank), I was right near one of the Science Buildings (the one with the planetarium in it; I can't remember which one that is off the top of my head, because I haven't had science classes IN YEARS) and I felt like I was about to bump into someone. As I was turning my head, I saw this movement of not-quite-white-- you know, almost a florescent bluish color? It looked like a skirt or a scarf tied to the side of someone's hip or something. By the time I finished turning completely, whatever "it" was was gone-- and there was no one (no lamp posts either) anywhere NEAR me.

I think I saw a ghost.

O_O It wouldn't surprise me, really-- I mean, I kind of "sense" stuff already (and you can call me crazy, it wouldn't be news), and I'm pretty damn skilled with my Tarot cards, if I do say so myself (and so I've been told by others-- I have done readings for others, never for a charge, and even without knowing the question they're asking, apparently the cards and the way I interpret them is always spot-on).

Read more... )

Moving forward again, yesterday all the discussions reminded me of one of Yakko's songs from the Animaniacs. I struggled last night to remember some of the lyrics, and at last, I remembered the whole first verse and chorus... well, here's the song, for your nostalgic enjoyment:



That reminds me, I should get an Animaniacs icon. I've filled up almost all my icon slots, but so many of them just have such RARE uses... I'd like more "general" icons that are fun and can be used at any time. Like the one I'm using now. :D

That said, a few more random blurbs:
(1) I finally got approved to build the Star Ocean 3 shrine at RPGClassics! Yes, I'm biting off more than I can chew again and I know it, but I'm so excited! I've already built the Items page and am working on that now-- I figure since there's more text throughout the shrine, I'll finish that first and then worry about ripping images from the game using my EyeTV. You'll be sure to hear more about this as I progress.

(2) My laptop is STILL acting weird-- if I close the lid and it goes to sleep and is "sleeping" for more than 30 minutes or so, when I open the lid, the screen will flicker as if I can resume work, but then it'll go black and then not turn on. The keyboard will be responsive, but the screen still won't go back on. If I close the lid again, the keyboard becomes unresponsive. Battery and power-swapping tricks have failed to work, and often when I restart the computer, I'll get the loading screen (the Apple icon with the "wheel" timer) and then a light blue screen-- sort of like the default desktop (which I don't have set), but then nothing else loads for over 10 minutes. It's very frustrating and I don't know what to do, and when I took it to the Apple store Genius Bar to try and replicate the error, I couldn't! Any suggestions?
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

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

Read more... )

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

And now, for some random lists:
Like

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (bad grammar. no cookie!)
I finished Star Ocean 3 the other day (and the Maze of Tribulations not long after; working on the Urssa Cave Temple now), and I decided to peruse FFnet (oh gawd, what was I thinking?!) for some good Albel x Nel or Fayt x Sophia, my preferred pairings of choice for this game (I like Cliff x Mirage, too, but Mirage hardly got any characterization, so...), and I just see the same sort of lousy things that get me clicking the "back" button.

I think these particular things, while not necessarily alone, will make a fic go "bad." How many of these do you agree with? How many do you have to add? And how many does it take to truly make... a bad FIC?

I'd like to think most of these are self-explanatory. Anyone wanting an explanation as to why I feel a particular thing makes a fic lousy, feel free to ask.

* Use things like "flashback" and "Character A's POV" in your text

* Inserting author's notes into your story text

* Random Capitalization

* "Author's Choice" of spellings, especially for names (e.g. Fayt spelled as Fate or Fayte)

* Poor grammar: this includes bad spelling, lack of punctuation (or overuse, which even I've been guilty of at times), and "wrong word" syndrome, where people can't seem to figure out the difference between where/were, they're/there/their, your/you're, and so forth. Also, misspelling "summary" as "summery." Guess what, brainiacs?! Two DIFFERENT WORDS MEANING TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!

* Rampant OOC or disregard for canon without explanation (and no, "I was on a sugar high!" or similar does not count; if you can write a story where the character names can be fill-in-the-blank, then what's the point of calling it fanfiction and posting it to a place where people expect to be able to recognize the characters and, at least sometimes, the situations they're in!?)

* Summaries that don't tell you anything about what the story is about (e.g. filled with R&R, no flames, rated E for Everyone, I suck at summaries, etc. etc.)

Anything else? I wonder what might be an indicator of bad fic right away for people-- for any fandom, any genre-- all across the board. What could get you to click YOUR back button within ten minutes of reading a fic?
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I think I've mentioned that my sleeping schedule has gone to shit since I've come back from S.F., right? Even when I try to go to bed early, or I feel exhausted at a "reasonable hour" (e.g. 11 or 12), I somehow end up staying up-- either I get distracted, I start reading, or I get hungry... and then before you know it, it's 2, 3, 5!! 6!!! in the morning. And of course, I love to sleep, so even when I do finally fall asleep, when I wake up, it might be anywhere from 11-12 hours later. Maybe more. o_o

Anyway, with weird hours and other bad habits, I have weird dreams. The past few nights, some have been more like nightmares, but thankfully I don't remember them too well now; today's was... not a nightmare, but weird all the same.

Dream a little dream )

Anyway, I want to "finish" a lot of things today, if I can-- [livejournal.com profile] a_white_rain, are you feeling better? I'm hoping to get the last bits of the [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses Claims List purged, but I still need that portion T-Z emailed to me! Let me know when/if you can. :)

Other mods ([livejournal.com profile] dqbunny, [livejournal.com profile] svelterose)? I'm probably going to need your help to make sure all of those entries that we've dropped (basically, everything marked as "Drop" on the New Year's 2008 Claims List Purge file I linked you all to) are in the Memories, so we can get rid of those pairings (and fandoms, if there's no active pairings for that fandom) from the Tagging System.

Finally, I sent all the mods a lengthy email... but it covers some important issues, so I'm hoping to get feedback on those before too long, so if I have to make any changes to the community, I can.

>_> I've also got to clean my room, finish SO3 (because I'll at least beat Luther today, dagnabbit!) and do my laundry! AND OFF WE GO!
azurite: (xmas purple ornaments)
I know that I want to be an editor at a place that publishes game strategy guides. It bugs me how I have so many, and EVERY SINGLE ONE is chock full of mistakes, bad layout, poor font choice, etc. that could be SO MUCH BETTER! Plus, if game companies recruit testers to test a game before it hits the market, then strategy guide publishers could recruit a small team of gamers to beta-read and try and use the guide to see if it's well-organized and helps.

Case in point: the SO3 strategy guide from Brady Games. IT SUCKS. Almost as badly as the Prima guide for SO2! What the heck, yo!? I may have missed my chance to recruit Nel as my 8th party member (which was my plan), and I already said no to Peppita and Roger! I know there's no way to try and recruit Peppita again, and probably not Roger, either. But the way to recruit Nel was so easy to mess up on and not at all mentioned in detail or highlighted/put in a sidebar! So I might end up with 7 party members AND NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT! ;_; FYI, I only have the one save file, so it's not like if it turns out I DID do the action wrong that I can just reload the save. It's probably been re-written over ages ago. :(

Now THERE would be a cool invention-- a program and/or special memory card for the PS2 (or any other console, feasibly) that could let you "go back" and restore accidentally-overwritten or possibly deleted saves. I mean, what makes game saves so different from files saved to another sort of portable disk? You can do restorations and repairs to real computer disks, so why not memory cards? I would pay good money right now for the ability to go back to a save at a certain point in my game... like the situation above, if it turns out I missed my chance to recruit Nel just by saying the wrong thing... :P UGH!

I wanted my Albel x Nel ending... :( (Of course, if I DO bother to start another game, I'd probably have Nel as my default 7th and then just get Albel as my 8th; that way I can get more Battle Trophies, too)

Le sigh...
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
I'm looking for girls/women who have played FFX-2. As you may know, I'm doing a paper for my JOUR 371 class, "Women, Men and Media," titled Gendered Language and the Double Standard in the Final Fantasy X and X-2 Games.

I've got a lot of research so far, but I'd like the voices of some female gamers out there to help liven my presentation up a bit (and I don't mean literal voices, though if you want to submit a *.wav or *.mp3 of you SPEAKING, that's fantastic). I'd like any or all of these questions answered, if you have the time...

(1) Did you play FFX? Why or why not? If you did play it, did you finish it? Why or why not?
(2) Why did you play FFX-2?
(3) Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

Thank you....
azurite: (so2:bluesphere - rena)
What a weekend! Part of me doesn't think it should end yet. It wasn't exactly exciting, but there was certainly a lot going on. For starters, I finally got inducted into the NSCS (National Society of Collegiate Scholars) after about two years of actually being a member, and nearly a semester of being an officer... I'm really happy! Not only have I made friends and expanded my network, but I've gotten the opportunity to travel, meet new people, and be challenged in lots of ways. Even the little projects I undertake (like my current one, creating a postcard for the upcoming Hunger Banquet on 11/27) teach me a lot about preparedness and reading the fine print!

I was especially thrilled that Mom and Jill came out to the induction... yes, MOM from San Francisco. Dad didn't come, and there was all that drama revolving around that, but as per usual, when he called tonight, he didn't mention the ceremony at all (other than "so what's up with you lately?") and didn't mention his not coming. I'm a bit disappointed, but working is a good reason not to be able to go to places 500 miles away even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime event for your only daughter and all that jazz.

After the induction, I hung out at Jill's and had a delicious dinner of pasta and carrot cake, played "Cooking Mama" for the first time with some of my second cousins (my god, Wii games are tough... you really have to have arm strength for some of those!), and played around with their soon-to-be-fixed puppy, a Chihuahua mix named Rocky.

The next morning, Jill dropped Mom off at the house and we (along with Baba and Grandpa, of course) went to brunch at Abe's. We tried to go to Brent's, but it was a 30-45 minute wait for just 4 people, and it was already after 11 a.m. by then. :( Though the service at Abe's left a lot to be desired, the food was pretty good. Mom got the grand tour of the house when we got back, and then we headed back to Jill's so she could get ready to take the Van Nuys Flyaway bus back to LAX.

I'm thinking of trying to do that for my flight from LAX to SEA-TAC, since it's so much cheaper than a shuttle, but I'll need a way of getting from here to the Flyaway. Maybe I can ask Jill to drop me off? A taxi would be too much money, and the bus would force me to transfer (not fun with luggage) and wake up soooo early... X_X

So there's that to do, along with trying to help Baba & Grandpa figure out a way to get from here to the Westin LAX, where they'll be staying (courtesy of Mom) before their flight to SEA-TAC.

I've also got to buckle down on my project for 371. I bought two new books on video games today-- I mean serious research books. I'm just glad they were in-stock at Borders! I didn't want to have to wait to special order anything, and I already checked the school library's (pitiful) stock of books in that category...

Speaking of school, the University Student Union's website is lacking something critical: a map. Somehow last week I'd found one when I was working on the Hunger Banquet postcard, but it was a PDF file, and I deleted the original. I didn't properly optimize it for a high-res postcard though, so when I tried to find it again, every possible search came up nil. Even the maps I did find are hopelessly outdated. -_-; So I need to get the names of TWO measly rooms I don't remember off-hand, and then I can submit the postcard for printing.

I also noticed that the Golden Key (International Honour Society)'s website is also lacking-- despite many states being classified into "regions," I failed to find anything that indicated which states are in which regions. Finally, a UCLA site gave me a clue: CA is in Region 9, along with Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Texas. So I guess that means "Southwestern" states. I joined the new myGK, which is semi-social networking-- it's pretty easy to use. It'll be nice when both it and the new NSCS.org websites get up and running.

Speaking of NSCS again, my postcard that I worked on so laboriously is in the running for the official NSCS holiday postcard! I'm up against some pretty beautiful designs (the kind that make you go "Now why didn't I think of that!?"... I had another one of those moments today at Borders when I spotted their cute polar bear-and-fairy pair for their new ads... so cute!), but I was in the top 5 when I last checked! I told all the members at the induction to vote for me, so hopefully that'll swing some more votes my way. :)

I've also registered for my classes for next semester. They are:
* SCENE Magazine (FINALLY!)
* Women and Leisure (online!)
* Advanced Narrative Writing
* Pop Culture (not with the professor I wanted, but supposedly a really good one)
* Writing About Literature

I'm still hoping to get an internship (gotta get my rec letter back from Mel for the Washington Internship Institute, due by the 16th!), but it might end up being a summer internship, and depending on where it is and whom it's sponsored by, it might not count for Journalism credit. If that doesn't work out, I've applied to be a copy editor at the Sundial. It's only one unit, and copy editors don't have to meet in the early mornings twice a week like the other editors do. (I'm more of a correction-editor than an assignment-editor, anyway.) So we'll see how that works out. Even if it can't count for Journalism credit, part of me is hoping to get the Target internship, because it sounds fun, good experience, and of course, pays really well.

Lastly and not leastly, I've gotten addicted to a new semi-crack-worthy pairing-- this time from Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time. Anyone like some Albel Nox x Nel Zelpher? Because yeah, for some reason I really started to like them together, and now I've started reading fic for them and I joined their fanlisting. :P Gah, and I have yet to build the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting! I gotta get on that...
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So I'm considering entering this karaoke contest (and tell me if I've already mentioned this), but the track in question (real Emotion, the English game version) doesn't have a karaoke/instrumental track-- that I know of. (If anyone knows if there IS a version, let me know!) Koda Kumi never released an instrumental/karaoke of the ~FFX-2 Mix~ of the song, which would have been the one we heard in-game, versus the ~Original Mix~ which is significantly longer.

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

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

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

If anyone has...
* Another person's fan-made karaoke version of the ~FFX-2~ Mix (I suppose it won't matter if it's English or Japanese, it's just an instrumental/karaoke version of the GAME's version)
* A secret karaoke version from a CD I didn't know about
* Tips for using GarageBand
* A book that would be a good primer to GarageBand
PLEASE LET ME KNOW!
azurite: (sailormoon - manga venus fade)
Ah, I love reviews. Even the "ow, you could have phrased that a bit differently" criticizing (and not always "constructive") reviews. It's nice to know people still know/care about WDKY, and it's always the review flow that keeps me writing. Thankfully, there's not much about WDKY26 that's a mystery to me; as per the usual, it's just a matter of translating my planner file into prose.

I shoulda-coulda-woulda been working on it practically this entire afternoon, after I got back from covering another honor society's induction ceremony for the Sundial, but I ended up playing Star Ocean 3 for hours. Literally, HOURS. I took the clock out of the rec room, so I had no idea what time it was until I briefly noticed Baba and Grandpa had gone to bed and it was eerily quiet-- and then the sprinklers outside started. I looked at my watch on the table and I had an "ohshit!" moment. It was 12:37 when I looked at my watch. O_O yeah, color me in shock.

Truth is, I don't like SO3 all that much, at least compared to SO2. Sure, plenty of things make "more sense," like having the Craftsmen's Guild instead of Skill Guilds, and Workshops rather than you being able to create anything anywhere. But so far I have yet to produce a single good thing-- the only things I've patented are rare items I've found, like the cider and the anti-poison amulet. And I've already shelled out tons of Fol to improve upon Paterny's Workshop, add Lines, and try and make things from scratch! Urgh, what a pain. I know about individual Talents; in my game (not sure if it randomizes), Nel's a good cook, Fayt's a great engineer and writer, and Cliff's a decent smithy and engineer. But despite not having patented anything in her name, Nel's still the top-ranked Inventor. Go figure.

Anyway, that system bugs me... so does the map system, mainly because it makes my eyes hurt and it's practically impossible to get 100% of a map even in two walkthroughs of an area (the first time you walk through and then the return trip, because it seems every journey is Point A to Point B and then back again). It's interesting to be able to either choose your enemies or dodge them... but then IN battle, the Killer Move system got replaced by this weird Short-Range/Long-Range thing along with Strong vs. Weak attacks. Apparently X is Weak attacks and O is Strong Attacks. And I DETEST the Fury concept, along with the idea of MP-Death. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every RPG's battle system should involve copious amounts of button-mashing, but supposedly easy battles in SO3 take me at least 5 minutes EACH because of all the running around, recharging of the Fury gauge and using of Blackberries and Blueberries. Players don't recharge very much (if at all) at the end of a battle for either HP or MP, and to make it even WORSE, Save Points don't recharge you! Only staying at an Inn or finding a Recovery point will, and you know how uncommon that is!?

Still, hours. And I guess despite the fact that it's frustrating and slow, part of me does want to see Fayt meet Sophia again. :}

Lastly but not leastly, I'm not going to keep it a secret until it's live, because I want to generate BUZZ:
I've just been approved for the TAFL-listed (sounds a bit redundant) fanlisting for Sailor V/Aino Minako x Kaitou Ace! Nothing quite beats the original angsty Sailor pairing. I'm going to be getting some manga fanart and putting together this FL shortly... and when I do, please spread the word and join! (I was honestly surprised this FL didn't exist before.)

Big kitty!

Oct. 26th, 2007 10:57 pm
azurite: (pantsu! anzu)
I came back from the OS X 10.5 - Leopard release "party" a short while ago, and I have to say, if Mom hadn't convinced me NOT to buy 10.5, I'd probably be using it right now. It's not like I really have the money for it, and I know I can get it cheaper online, but after I played with it at the Apple store, I REALLY liked it. Anyone that knows Macs or has watched tech news lately probably knows about some of the more bragged-about features, but after the "list of 300" was released today and I really got to see them in action, I've made up my own list of favorites:

* Quick Look - a freaking GODSEND. Because I design webpages a lot, sometimes I have templates or half-done pages lying around my hard drive. I'd like to be able to look at those files WITHOUT having to open up a new tab in Firefox, or open up Dreamweaver. Quick Look lets me do this easily *AND* even better, I can use the iTunes-style Cover Flow in Finder to let me browse through a whole folder of HTML files quickly and easily.

* Google Maps built into Address Book - This will be immensely handy for me. I like to keep all my contacts in my Address Book for easy Syncing to my Facebook and to my phone. Now, when I have to go somewhere, a map with directions is only two clicks away.

* Dictionary with built-in Japanese <-> English support. WOW. HOLY WOW. The only thing this is lacking is support for romaji, but that's okay, because Japanese input on the Mac only takes two clicks, anyway. You type in a word either in English to translate it fully into Japanese, or you type it in Japanese to read the English meaning. I didn't test out any pronunciation or additional features, but the Dictionary's gotten a great makeover, including more dictionaries, reference materials, and WIKIPEDIA! All in one click!

* Spaces - I'm one of those people that has about 15 things going on at once; iTunes and iMovie, Firefox and Thunderbird, Dreamweaver and Photoshop... with Spaces, I can designate a Desktop for each application (or group of applications), so when I want to work on one thing, I just access that particular desktop, and there's no more clutter. This is built into the OS, but I imagine you can't overload the computer with too much, anyway. Nonetheless, I don't think I've ever had memory issues with the Mac in terms of running multiple programs (unless I was running Windows!).

I've already written an article about it which I hope'll get into the Sundial; I'm also writing one on "Dumbledore is gay!?" though I'm not 100% sure of the angle to take on it.

I managed to find (with the help of the LJ Support Staff) my Private entries, including what I started of "Sight Unseen," my [livejournal.com profile] 30kisses fic for #13: excessive chain. Not sure exactly what inspired me, but it's a pretty interesting idea-- just a bit long. It might be 2-3 parts when finished. I thought I'd written something for Girls' Club (#11: gardenia), too, but all I seem to have is the planner file I made with Mamono. Anyway, re: Sight Unseen, would people like to see the short blurb I have so far, or would they rather wait until I'm done?

If you haven't answered my quick and easy poll on FFX and FFX-2, please do so now! And if you can, tell your friends and ask them to participate, too.

I really want to play a game now, so I think I'm going to turn off iTunes and try my hand at Bejeweled or Diner Dash. It's been a while since I've had "fun." If only I could get Yu-Gi-Oh! Online on the Mac... ;_; I wanna duel!
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
So with a lot of tinkering I've found a way of extracting HQ FMVs from Playstation 2 discs. Alas, I've had to go into Windows on Parallels to convert the disc's *.pss files into an *.m2v video file and a *.wav audio file. From there, I went back into OSX and used Switch to convert the *.wav into MP3, and MPEG Streamclip into an *.avi. However, to get the sound back into the movie, I had to use iMovie, adding the *.avi to the Clips pane and the sound to the Editing area. Then I saved it-- initially as an *.avi again, but for some reason the quality was totally degraded, so I changed it to a *.mov instead. *.movs are great for streaming media, but that's not the purpose of my project-- I didn't want to keep downloading FMVs for my Journalism 371 (Women, Men and Media) media deconstruction project, which is titled "Gendered Language and the Double Standard in Final Fantasy X and X-2."

Since I'll be presenting on a projection screen, I need the quality to be big enough so that people sitting 10+ feet away from the screen can see it clearly. So I want everything to be as HQ as possible-- but it's got to compress down on a DVD, because the computer set-up in the room doesn't have an audio output, and while MacBook Pros have good speakers, they're not THAT good.

Long story short, the process of cutting and editing takes a while, so I don't have as much time to focus on other aspects of the project at the same time, since I can't have two instances of iMovie doing two huge things at once. I know I have 2 GB of memory, but even I'm not that masochistic.

Therefore, I need some help. My copy of FFX was a used copy, and I'm not sure if it came with the manual or not, and I need to know what the "Story" section of the book says. Would anyone who owns the game be so kind as to transcribe that portion for me? Mind you, there's a reason why I'm specifically asking for the manual/official version, rather than what's printed in reviews at online stores, in game FAQs, and so on: I want the OFFICIAL version that was marketed toward the public. Please help!

While I'm on the subject, if you've played either FFX AND/OR FFX-2, would you mind answering a short and easy survey about the game and your impressions of it? THANK YOU!
[Poll #1077157]

If you have any commentary on any of the questions OR on some of the following thoughts, please be sure to comment!
ETA:* If you played both games, but liked one more than the other, why did you like the one that you preferred more? If there were particular elements added or removed to the other game that made you like it less, would having them added or removed to the other game improve it, or no? Why?
* Do you think either of the games are sexist in any way?
* Do you think either one of the games are more targeted toward male gamers, or female gamers?
* Why do you like one game more than the other? (Please indicate if you've played one or both of the games if you answer this question)
* When did you get one/either of the games? Right when it was released, or some time after? How long? Why?
* What did you think of the marketing (commercials, print advertising, reviews) for one/both of the games? What did they emphasize, and what did they neglect to mention (if anything)?
* Do you think the main characters (Yuna, Tidus) of each game fit into any particular stereotypes? Which ones? Why do you think that?
* What makes a video game (in general) appealing to you? Has playing (or not playing) either (or both) FFX and FFX-2 changed your opinion at all?
* Have you played any Final Fantasy games prior to FFX or FFX-2? Do you still play them?
azurite: (so2:bluesphere - rena)
So I'm at this Life Skills & Leadership Institute workshop that's supposed to be about exploring priorities about careers & internships. We haven't really talked about specific internships or how to get them/where to find them, but we have done some activities that have opened my eyes a bit to what I want out of a future career. When we were talking about talents, I started thinking about the Talents in the Star Ocean 2 game. For people that have played the game, they probably know what I'm talking about; when you start the game, every character begins with 2-3 Talents, like Dexterity, Sense of Taste, Blessing of Manna, etc.

Anyway, in the game, they are:
Originality - The ability to modify things with one's own creativity
Dexterity - The gifted talent of being able to move one's fingertips exactly as one wishes.
Writing Ability - The talent of being able to put one's thoughts into words.
Pitch - The ability to grasp musical tones well.
Sixth Sense - The primitive ability to sense things that cannot be expressed with words.
Sense of Taste - The gift of judging what tastes would please anyone.
Sense of Design - The creative talent for the arts.
Sense of Rhythm - The ability to grasp musical rhythm.
Love of Animals - Animal Lover. More than anything. More than anyone.
The Blessing of Manna -The innate magical power.

In this workshop, the difference between abilities and skills are that abilities are related to your innate talents-- you're born with them. Skills, on the other hand, can be learned and developed.

What's interesting is that in SO2, someone who has a particular Talent is going to be the best at a particular skill (e.g. Metalwork, Cooking, Machinery). Some characters have a given for a particular Talent; Celine, Noel, Leon, and Rena are all givens for The Blessing of Manna. Chisato will always have Writing Ability, and Noel and Rena will always have the Love of Animals. You get the idea. So when making individual things, like Weapons, it's best to have the experts do it. But there are also combined efforts: Super Specialties, where everyone contributes their own part and they try to make something together. Things like Blacksmithing, Reverse Side, or Orchestra.

Now, this isn't about video games. It's actually interesting how SO2 does it, versus, say, Final Fantasy X, where you have the Sphere Grid. In SO2, there's a random element-- many of the Talents can't be learned if you didn't start with them, or if you don't put a lot of "blood, sweat and tears" into a number of failed attempts at performing a related skill. For example, you can keep trying to use the Authoring skill without the Writing Ability (Talent), but the most you'll churn out is probably some Crumpled Paper. But IF you keep trying long enough, eventually that Crumpled Paper will turn into something you like, something passable-- maybe even a book. Basically, "anyone can become anything they desire, if they try hard enough. Effort, above all else, can conquer even the most insurmountable of odds."

And then in FFX, you've got this Sphere Grid, where everyone starts out in a particular spot, with a very distinct path laid out for them. But the great thing about the Sphere Grid is, ANYONE can do ANYTHING. For example, you've got Lulu, your typical Black Mage. She starts out in an area where she's primed to learn more magic, increase her Magic and Magic Defense, and so forth. Then you have Tidus, who starts out with a lot of Agility and Strength/Defense areas to "level up" in. He's set to be your typical fighter character-- quick, with a decent amount of strength, but not a lot. There are other fighters, like Auron (immensely strong, but slow), Wakka (moderately strong, quicker; more resistant to Magic), and Kimahri (Jack-of-all-trades; can be a Fighter or a Mage).

So in FFX, the attitude is more like "Anyone can be anything, no matter what path you start out on." Effort's not so much of an issue, because movement on the Sphere Grid is largely guided by what kind of Spheres you pick up-- and I'll tell you, because of a New Game Plus I got on my Max Drive, a lot of my characters basically "cheated" their way across the board. Now, even if you consider that life doesn't offer cheat codes, New Game Plus, and the like, it's not so much about effort and persistence in FFX as it is in SO2. Persistence IS a large part of it, because you have to keep fighting monster after monster to get spheres, but it's not like WHICH monsters make a difference. In other words, it doesn't have to be YOU specifically doing the dirty work, or YOU focusing on a particular goal-- it'll get done, eventually, with a TEAM. FFX emphasizes more of the team rather than the individual; SO2 focuses on both, but with a heavier emphasis on the individual (though Orchestra is by far one of the best Super Specialties in the game).

In SO2, new talents can be discovered. Anyone can make an attempt at a skill, and they might give up if each time they try something, it ends up as ?JEWELRY or ?FOOD or whatnot. In life, then, it's a good idea to keep trying-- not just the familiar, that you know, enjoy, and are proficient at, but also the unfamiliar, and what you're NOT so sure about, and what you might actually SUCK at for a while. You might just discover after your 100th attempt that you really do have a unique talent-- whether it's a sense of taste or an improved sense of dexterity.

For me, I'd like to think I was born with Originality and a Writing Ability. Over the years, trying over and over, and working with other people, I've learned I have a Sixth Sense of sorts, a Love of Animals, and maybe even a Sense of Design. I used to be pretty good with my hands, but I think after my accident I lost my Dexterity. But that's okay, I know plenty of other people who can help me out if I need it. And I might not have much of a Sense of Taste now, but I can learn through trying, even if it takes me years and lots more stomachaches and deflated quiches.

In the workshop, I found that certain values might conflict with one another, and what I enjoy doing, what courses I've liked, and what work environments I function best in are sometimes at odds. It's getting them all to work together, and to understand the "cores" that really helps. Hopefully recognizing those --my strengths, weaknesses, values, skills, and abilities-- will help me land not just the internship I need for next semester, but the job I want for my future.

(P.S. This kind of tempts me to make a "What SO2 Talent were YOU born with?" meme, or perhaps an examination of what stereotypical video game job classes relate to particular values, skills/abilities, and likes/dislikes.)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
Next week, my proposal for my JOUR 371 (Women, Men, and Media) class's "Media Deconstruction Project" is due. Originally, I wanted to do something with Internet/Technology, but at the last moment on the sign-up day, I changed my mind and went for video games. Two things in particular stuck in my head:

* Remember the GameGirl? That hideous pink-and-purple version of the GameBoy way back when? Obviously trying to pull that kind of thing now would cause a huge backlash... right? Would it cause the same issue if a "targeted toward girls" game came out? I doubt it.

* Final Fantasy X vs. Final Fantasy X-2. I remember asking a lot of my fellow gamer friends (guys and girls alike) which one they liked better; a lot of guys preferred X, while many girls I asked preferred X-2. Of course, there were always exceptions, or "well, I liked THIS game for THIS, but THAT game for THAT...."

It's ironic, too, because I remember when the game was about to debut, people assumed X-2 would be a big hit with the guys because... well, basically for all the fanservice. But instead, a lot of the guys I remember speaking to disliked the whole "dress-up" concept and the LACK of a linear gameplay.

Speaking for myself personally, I like X-2 a lot more because it's got Yuna breaking out of stereotypes. At the same time though, she's just conforming to gender stereotypes: she's got the need to be sexy, loved, and so on. She wants to prove she's more than just a summoner, more than the namesake of Yunalesca, etc. But she proves she's pretty weak emotionally: unprepared for living a real teenage life, essentially. But is it teenage, or teenage GIRL? The whole story revolves around her chasing after the possibility of Tidus being alive again, somehow, somewhere. There's certainly a point to be made in the fact that she KEEPS GOING even when she finds out Shuyin =/= Tidus, though.

Anyway, to the point:
(1) If you played either FFX or FFX-2 (or both), what did you think of the games? Why?

(2) Who were your favorite characters from either game? Why? If your character reappeared in FFX-2 and you played it, did you still like that character in FFX-2? Why or why not?

(3) Do you think FFX and FFX-2 are examples of how gender plays a role in the video game industry-- in terms of stereotypes, whether in-game (Yuna's personality, the dressphere system, etc.) or out-game (who the game is targeted toward).

(4) Can you think of any other examples of "gender stereotyping" in the video game industry, specifically relating to language (whether verbal or non-verbal)? For example, does the back of a game you own describe the female character as a "heroine"? Do you find that most female characters in games you own/play/have seen are healer/mage-types, rather than fighters?

(5) Any other comments?

More notes: I thought about comparing the intros to both FFX and FFX-2. In FFX, you've got Tidus raring up for the Blitzball game, cheered on by thousands of fans, adored... and in FFX-2, you've got Yuna dressed all sexy, dancing provocatively... it's only a few minutes into the game (and not technically part of the intro) that you realize that dancing!Yuna is not Yuna at all, and the real, ass-kicking Yuna shows up. In FFX, you've got this hero who is, from the start, an ass-kicker. But in FFX-2, the first image you have of "Yuna" is of a "hero" gone "pop star." She's not out there saving the world anymore, she's out there gaining fans. But even in FFX, Yuna was this pretty demure character-- unlike the real star/lead of the game, Tidus, who is boisterous, loud, etc. It's almost a double-standard. I say "almost," because it's revealed that Yuna really IS off doing her own thing (the whole sphere journey started out for herself, not as a desire to save the world again), and she IS pretty uppity in many ways. But two years and everything she went through doesn't change her COMPLETELY. She's still an emotional, very feminine representation throughout the games, compared to Rikku, who's the more tomboyish, bubbly girl, and Paine, who is pretty much the Auron + Lulu hybrid of FFX-2.

Are those good scenes to compare and examine? Or can you think of any others, even if they're from other games? (obviously, FMVs are best to work with, here).
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna berserker)
Okay, so I'm a stickler for perfection in some things. Namely, my video games. So when I lost my only PS2 memory card, I decided not to try and play all those game hours all over again-- not when I'd worked so hard to get where I'd gotten only to lose it in an instant. So I got the MaxDrive and some save files, which gave me a good start into where I'd already been in FFX and FFX-2, with a bunch of pretty good accessories on the side. A pretty good trade-off, considering I still had a lot more work to do.

So I play (FFX-2, in this case) and play, and I notice, one of the GGs that hasn't carried over from the New Game Plus (which is what the MaxDrive save file was) is The End garment grid, which is one I've always wanted. So I start oversouling all the fiends I can, and lo and behold I get SOOOO CLOSE...! Anyway, I'm trying to get one called the Quadricorn now, a Ruminant-class that's normally pretty easy to find and beat.

My BradyGames guide says it can be found on the Mi'ihen Highroad, Dry Plains (which are... where?), the Moonflow, Mt. Gagazet, and Bevelle "Towers" (aka Via Infinitio, but anyone who's played the game would know that Via Infinitio is NOT a tower; it goes UNDERGROUND, like Via Purifico did in the last game. It's a dungeon, NOT a tower; the "last mission" in IL+M is a tower, but VI is *NOT*) 1-3. So of course I went to Bevelle first, but for some lame reason, Quadricorns there are always paired with Nashorns, another Ruminant-class fiend. And the whole thing with Oversouling in FFX-2 is that if you defeat X monsters of Y class, the next monster of Y class -regardless of whether it's the same type of monster you've been defeating- you encounter will Oversoul.

Example: It takes 12 Ruminants to Oversoul. If you beat 6 Quadricorns and 6 Nashorns, it's the same as defeating 12 of each, 11 of 1 and 1 of the other... you get the idea. And regardless of whether you encounter a Quadricorn or a Nashorn next, it'll oversoul. Problem? If they both show up at the same time, as in Bevelle, it's RANDOM which one will Oversoul. But the both times I did it, it was always the Nashorn who oversouled, so I tried finding some areas where the Quadricorn might be on its own, or at least with some other non-Ruminant-type fiends.

NO FREAKING LUCK. Everywhere it says Quadricorns are supposed to be, I keep running into Balihvaras, another Ruminant-type that has four horns (like the Quadricorn), but it's NOT the Quadricorn, and thus is USELESS to me for completing Shinra's bestiary and getting The End GG! >_

This is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(3) Would you invest $44 in a textbook supplement if the teacher's lectures sucked, but you really wanted to learn? I've never been a straight read-to-learn person. I need discussion, activity, and interaction for things to really stick with me. The MyPoliSciLab thing sounds interesting, but I'm still not sure... Baba says "eh," Grandpa says "Hell no," and Mom is as indecisive as ever. What do you think? So far, I haven't spent more than $250 or so on textbooks (I've spent as much as $521 in previous semesters, so I consider this semester a bit of a bargain, especially since I'll likely be keeping at least a few of the textbooks for personal reasons). So it's not like it's adding hugely on top of my other textbook prices. Besides, this is an academic purchase, vs. say, a bunch of makeup or manga. :P
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Ugh, I'm back to drinking Brisk iced tea, and now Wild Cherry Pepsi (haven't had THAT since high school) to keep myself awake T-Th when I have classes that last 2-3 hours at a time with short breaks. It sucks because I thought I'd been getting enough sleep and eating somewhat healthier, to the point where I wouldn't need boosts that also rot my teeth. Urgh.

I don't want to get crazy-stressed, but the past few days haven't helped-- there's always so much to do. I've got to finish raking off the garage roof, clean my bathtub, clean my room, put my laundry away, do my handwashing, figure out a system for a clothesline in my tile tub, send my glasses prescription to school, get new glasses, see if I can vacuum the house (I bet Dad forgot to take the giant vacuum Baba wanted him to have, and waited months to give him) and... figure out wtf is wrong with the wireless on my NEW LAPTOP!

Last night as soon as I came home I set it up and transferred all the data from my old MBP, but while the old one connected to the home network just fine, the new one wouldn't. I tried changing the router settings-- the SSID and the password encryption, but that just screwed things up further. This morning I called AT&T tech support (gawd, I want to switch to Time-Warner Cable), and I had to change the SSID back, the encryption back to WEP-Open, and the channel back from 11 to 10. That fixed it for my old MBP, but not the new one... and I have no idea why. It's not like there are any proxies, AppleTalk, or other weird settings... I hope it's not the AirPort being half-malfunctional or anything. I've got an appt. at the Apple store today, and if all works out well, I'll also renew my ProCare and get Diner Dash. :) What's weird is that it works here on campus, and it SORT of picked up someone else's network near home for a bit, but not for long enough (to get the updates for the AirPort Express). I wonder if the updates (which I managed to get here at school) will help?

On the bright side, the new computer DOES mean I'll be able to play with my .Mac sooner, check out all the goodies iLife '08 offers, and see what's new with iWork '08. I'll also hopefully be able to work on WDKY and the BSSM Another Story novelization. But, speaking of other writing projects, all the weird dreams I've been having lately (a lot of apocalyptic stuff, for some reason) got me revising "Prophecy Girl," and the extended ideas (which will involve revising the first two chapters a bit) make the story a LOT more solid. I might end up switching between it and WDKY (since PG was around first, anyway) in times of blockage.

During all the stress last night, I played some FFX-2 while the data was being transferred. I forgot why I was where I was (I'd already beaten the Ruin Depths), so I headed around to get more Oversouls (I have about 20 left, including the dreaded Concherer). I only managed to get 1 so far, due to the randomness of battles, so later I hope to get more... :P it's my way of de-stressing. I'm planning on figuring out more Mix strategies to beat the tougher Oversouls, though.

Right now I'm in my JOUR 410 (Investigative Journalism) class, and I need to come up with 3 story ideas for our upcoming proposal. As with so many other things, I'm dry out of ideas. Help?

Oh, as for the BEST NEWS OF THE DAY (even though I'll be busy until late and busy even tomorrow and this weekend with an NSCS retreat in Malibu where I'm responsible for figuring out dinner for 10 for only $40?)...
I GOT A RAISE! Nearly 30 cents, too! Not a ton, but way better than my last raise. :)
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
I can play FFX and FFX-2 over and over, read plenty of summaries, go through the Ultimania guides, and check out countless websites, but plenty of things will keep confusing me. Right now, the one that's got my brain in a knot is the concept of the fayth.

Cut for Final Fantasy X and X-2 stuff )

These are just some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind in the past couple of days while playing FFX... if anyone can answer them, or point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. Now, back to the game, because my teeth hurt and I have no life.
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
Hmm, some quick updates:

-Working steadfastly on WikiFic. Thanks to Platonides over at the wikimedia-l, I got the Infoboxes working, but I still need to grab a BOATLOAD of templates from Wikipedia to get everything looking nice-- for example, a lot of flag-related graphics and templates. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated-- it's really just a lot of C&Ping. You do need to have a WikiFic account though, but it takes all of 5 minutes to sign up and get started.

-Working on creating "Ultimate Armor" for my party in FFX, and I'm discovering few people think Break HP or MP limits are useful at all-- which means the armor I already created for Auron and I think Rikku is fairly useless. I've never gotten to the point where I actually fight SIN (I keep dying whenever I fight those Behemoth-type monsters inside Sin, as I recall from the last time I got this far, on my old memory card which is now lost to the ages), so I hope that by capturing more monsters and leveling up (to get the items I need for the Ultimate Armor), I'll be able to survive Sin.

-iWork and iLife have both been updated to '08! That better mean when I get my new laptop, those are installed... since I don't know what I'm going to do with my old laptop (this one), I'm not sure if I should get the family pack ($20 more) of either version yet. I know 5 Macs, but the question is, should I really give "free" iLife and iWorks '08 if I do spend the extra $40 on the two Family versions of the pack?
Here are the nominees:
(1) Mine
(2) Mine 2, possibly to be given to Grandpa, sold to Mom, or sold for parts
(3) Erin's
(4) the iMac at work in the Walk-In Center (which is a bit old)
(5) Shawn's

Speaking of the boyfriend, he's fabulous- complimentary, has a wonderful sense of humor, doesn't mind games (I got him to play both Bubble Bobble and Scrabble tonight-- hah!), and we both vented about work to each other without any awkwardness or hard feelings. He's also super-thoughtful, though I can't really say how. ^_~

I really ought to be getting to sleep now though... for one, my tooth has been hurting pretty bad since this morning or so (I somehow doubt it's mental, no matter how much I wish it were), and the Orajel I got at Rite Aid earlier is totally numbing the right side of my face. I also have to walk to school tomorrow since Baba & Grandpa have a doctor's appointment (I hope it's not too hot or too gloomy tomorrow morning). Two more weeks and three days till my first surgery... school starting, and who knows what other mayhem!

Hertz Donut

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Dark Purple

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


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

...I've become addicted to ordering things from the Publisher's Clearing House, by the way. Smack me.

The Dealio

Jul. 31st, 2007 02:22 pm
azurite: (ffx - yuna summons)
Okay, so when I left home this morning at 9:30 or so, my MBP was still backing up to my external HD. Everyone I know is saying it shouldn't take that long, but no one can seem to agree on how long it's SUPPOSED to take. For the record, my HD supposedly has 74.21 GB on it, and the external, a 250 GB Western Pacific MyBook, is attached via USB 2.0, which is SUPPOSED to transfer at a rate of 480 Mbps (Mb, as I learn =/= MB... it's about 8 times SLOWER). All the calculators I found online said it should take anywhere from 1-2.5 days, which it's been by now, I think, but [livejournal.com profile] azhp was saying it should only take a HALF hour, and my bosses at work are all saying it should have been done "by now," but that doesn't tell me much. I hope it IS done when I get home, though.

Anyway, the important things are music, pictures, my website stuff (including fanfics), and my programs. I think I've gotten the majority of those by now... and like I mentioned in my last post, it's not as if the computer is dead or really dying-- I just want to be sure/safe. (Funny how I can have that attitude about a computer, but not about certain other things...) Basically I'll end up a) giving the computer to Grandpa or b) selling it for parts, but where, I don't know. Apparently Apple doesn't do laptop trade-ins or recycling.

As for the new stuff, I can get the new MBP + $200 off a new iPod video, and it's cheaper to use my college discount as opposed to taking advantage of Sean's discount (though the temptation is strong, it's just not enough). I wish there was a way to ditch my old iPod Mini while I was at it, but I doubt that I can stack discounts (10% off a new iPod purchase with the trade-in of an old one) like that. Besides, I might as well keep the mini until it dies, right?

All of that good stuff won't be until mid-August at the earliest, since I turned down Baba giving me an "early" graduation present. I know that might sound stupid, but I'd rather get this with my own money so I have my own personal reasons for taking better care of it IMMEDIATELY. It's supposed to be an investment, not a present and not a toy.

Speaking of money and investments, I'm looking to get back on PayPerPost, but not here on LJ, since it's not allowed. Facebook now has a PPP referral app. which I've added, and since MySpace has blogs already, I might as well make use of that there. So check out both my profiles and I'll let you know once I get things running so we can ALL rake in the dough!

Other than that... only two hours and a half to go (huzzah), and I might be meeting up with Shawn again-- he got himself a car, which means we can probably meet up a lot more often. He finally came over for dinner last night (though he wasn't in the mood for anything hot, so he had CHEERIOS, of all things... actually, I made him a blitz-- he didn't mind it being charred-- and in making said blintzes, I got hot olive oil on my arm and chest, and now I have a nice blister on my left wrist. :P) and we hung out for a bit, played Katamari and FFX and he got me the Sun Sigil for Tidus' Caladbolg! All that's left now is the Saturn Sigil for Kimahri (damn butterfly game!), the World Champion for Wakka (more blitzball...?), and the Mars Sigil for Auron (more monster catching). SQUEE!

Speaking of the butterfly game, does anyone know:
a) if you can beat the Spherimorph again within a certain amount of time? I'm already near the end of the game when I can go to Sin/Omega Ruins, etc.
b) Where the butterflies ARE? I know there are north and south versions of the game... do you have to play them both to get the Saturn Sigil? Are there any maps of the butterfly locations? I can find about five or six in the loop area, near the bird man, but not the seventh one. HELP!? I've read there's a suggested route in the Ultimania Guide (one of the three, anyway), but I only have the Ultimania guides for FFX-2. Even if the FFX ones weren't out of print, I'm pretty sure there are scans of it SOMEWHERE on the 'Net, or someone who DOES have one, but the only place that was supposed to have them is gone. :( BOOYAH! MAPZ!

Fixing my tags right now. I think I should have some sort of tag master list somewhere (I mean besides the front page of my LJ) so I don't keep mangling my system.
azurite: (so2:bluesphere - rena)
Okay, so I just had an insane idea. It might be a BAD insane idea, so please feel free to correct me if I'm bordering on certifiable insanity, here.

GameSpot announced that Star Ocean and Star Ocean 2 (The Second Story) will be re-released as "First Departure" and "Second Evolution" for the PSP. So far it's just a Japanese release, but still, remakes, additional characters, and a boatload of new scenarios has got me itching for the "disc-shooter" Playstation Portable. I really, really hope they do a version for the U.S.! (And for the record, I *LIKED* the voice actors in the NA release!)

So my crazy idea is... maybe Star Ocean (as a fandom) needs a Wiki. Sure, it's not as big as Sailor Moon (WikiMoon) or Yu-Gi-Oh (WikiFic... which is a bad name, I know, but I couldn't come up with anything else at the time, I felt the word "wiki" had to be in there, and it was primarily geared toward fanfiction writers lacking info about the series), but still! There's so much to talk about with 4 games (the original, SO2, Blue Sphere, and Till The End of Time), new re-releases, and both an anime and a manga series, the former of which including drama CDs!

I could so do it... :D :D But is it crazy? And what might I call it?

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