azurite: (Default)
I haven't changed the layout of my Azureshipping fanlisting, "Blue Eyes and Apricots" since 2008 (!), and it's long past time I do so.

However, I'm stuck trying to come up with a theme. The previous themes and general color schemes/concepts have been as follows:
  • Version 1: Fond Memories: khaki, brown, photographs
  • Version 2: Dreamscape: Blue monochrome, cloud pattern
  • Version 3: Celebrity Style: Black, purple, turquoise, lavender, silver, lights
  • Version 4: Spring Icing: Pink, other pastel colors, flowers
  • Version 5: Weathered Rainbow: Grunge-style, dark blue, pastel rainbow colors, stars

I hope once I come up with a theme, I can commission a talented artist to make an image I can use exclusively for the next layout!

So what do you think the next theme of BEA should be?

Some random ideas I've had:
  • Anniversary (BEA's been around since 1/10/2004)
  • Cosplay
The hope is to come up with a theme that can be used year-round, or else I'll have to commission multiple pieces of art per season or holiday! (Not that I'd MIND having more layouts, but it might get expensive and difficult to program.) @_@
azurite: dream BIG (dream big)
I'm so excited about this that I honestly just want to tell everyone, everywhere.
So I got myself a new phone, and for once, I just couldn't pick a case for it. So I designed my own. Using my fanlisting Blue Eyes and Apricot' layout as inspiration, I designed an image that's usable for my new case, but also stickers, journals, totebags, and more!

Here's the image I ended up using:

Plus, I'd love to do more stuff like this. I don't consider myself much of a digital artist, but I love Azureshipping and would love to see more fan merchandise out there that shares that love. If you've got some ideas for things for me to try or want to collaborate, let me know!

So check me out on RedBubble!
azurite: (cat and mouse)
I'm finally getting around to working on Indigo Ink, my portfolio website and online resume. I've been tinkering with it in various small ways for a while, but a recent decision to re-watch and actually DO the tutorials in a lesson, "Building an Online Portfolio with WordPress," got me actually working on the project.

The lesson uses an example chef to build the portfolio, making custom post types and taxonomies for recipes, photos, and videos. These post types make sense for a chef, but what about for me? My portfolio has three different types of content: writing (the biggie), graphic design, and website designs.

I made three custom post types to reflect this, but now I'm struggling with the taxonomies. Whereas regular blog posts have categories (hierarchical sorting) and tags (non-hierarchical), what would I use for my three new custom post types?

For the example chef in the lesson, the recipes, photos, and videos all have some common ways of organizing, such as meal type. Then it can be further sub-categorized--hint hint, this would be a hierarchical taxonomy, e.g. a CATEGORY--into things like breakfast, dinner, dessert, and so forth. And even those can be further sub-categorized, into things like meat, vegetable, and so on.

But what about my writing?

Well, I have articles--ones I've written for university publications, and ones I've written for I have essays. I have fiction. There might even be further ones. But are these categories? Can I break down the writing custom post type into a category of articles, and then further into specific KINDS of articles? Or would it be better to have something like a "purpose" category, which can span across multiple custom post types? That way, I could say, my reason for writing this article, or designing this website was "school assignment."

I'm trying to find example portfolios that have custom taxonomies that might provide an inspiration as to the architecture or structure of how I should organize my content, but so far, no luck. Any suggestions?
azurite: Annie (Piper Perabo) of Covert Affairs, holding up a half-eaten donut with a huge smile (covert affairs - annie haz donut)
I was so, so excited to hear about Amazon Fresh expanding outside of Seattle, but when it first debuted in Los Angeles, it wasn't in my area. Now it is, and I'm contemplating whether or not it's worth it to even try it for 90 days for free (because I'm an existing Prime member) and then upgrade to their Prime Fresh program, which is a whopping $299/yr (vs. Prime's $79).

Here's my attempt at breaking it down.

Grocery delivery is only available through Vons, a supermarket chain affiliated with Safeway. They're located a few blocks from my home. However, being the oddball Los Angeleno who doesn't drive, if I go grocery shopping, it either has to be with someone who has a car (infrequent) or get only enough to fill up my vertical cart. It's not a huge cart, but it works for laundry, so it should work for groceries, too. Intermittently, I'll run to the grocery store late at night to get one or two things that I can fit in my backpack or carry.

Vons delivers in 1-hour, 2-hour, or 4-hour timeslots. A delivery of $150 or under (which would be my usual, since I'm only buying for myself) costs $12.95. I can sometimes save $3 (for a 2-hour window) or $6 (for a 4-hour window), which means the cheapest that delivery fee would be is $6.95. Sometimes the delivery fee is free--if you buy participating items. Obviously adding these random, probably-don't-need items to my cart would probably add up to at least $6.95, if not more.

However, not every item that's in their stores is on their online site, and sometimes even their stores don't have what I need.

Assuming groceries every two weeks or so, I'd be paying a minimum of $166.80 just in delivery fees from Vons every year. Maximum, I'd be paying $310.80, if I only used the one-hour timeslots (or otherwise picked timeslots that didn't have "save $3/6" on them). If I factored in the occasional grocery run on my own or with someone, that might mean Vons is more cost-effective than Amazon Fresh. This also applies to if I go to Costco, where buying in bulk means I don't go shopping as frequently. That membership is $55/yr.

But what Costco and Amazon have in common is the variety of items; even if Vons has sales for club members, I have to admit, tallying up the coupons, promotional codes, special items, and stuff is a pain in the butt. Costco and Amazon simply have low prices, and that's it.

Considering all the stuff I usually buy on Amazon--I recently renewed my Amazon Prime account because of it--this is where it really determines if Amazon Fresh will be worthwhile TO ME. I'd still get all the benefits of regular Prime, plus free delivery for any order over $35 (for groceries, that's pretty much a given), and the option for early-morning delivery.

The selection includes local fare, which is a huge bonus--supermarket chains like Vons tend to get as much stuff as possible from out-of-country, it seems, so prices get driven up by the cost of gas trucking all this stuff from warehouse to warehouse to store. Plus, organic and fresh items are expensive as heck!

So, aside from all the grocery stuff, Amazon Fresh gets me the usual Prime benefits of:
* Free two-day shipping
* Access to Amazon Instant Video

I ordered 7 things in 2010, 15 things in 2011, 50 things in 2012, and 28 SO FAR in 2013. Considering how much I use Subscribe & Save for "necessities" like bulky items that would be a pain to get at the grocery store OR Costco (or Target, or wherever), I'd wager I'm on track to surpass my total number of orders in 2012. Of course, not all of those orders were for ME, so there's a margin of error to be had.

I'm sure there's a way to look at the CSV reports Amazon can generate about which orders ARE mine, and just how much I spent, but I don't know if that alone would justify the jump from $79 to $299.

I can always try it free for 90 days, but I don't know how long they'll be offering that promotion to existing Prime members.

So, what to do? To Prime Fresh or to not Prime Fresh?
azurite: (back to the future - save the clock towe)
Do you remember when LiveJournal used to be cool? You had to get an invite to even get a journal there. It was not only exclusive, it was run well. It just seemed to work. You didn't have this big complicated install, where you had to understand CGI or PHP or any of that stuff. You just went to the website, logged in, and wrote. You could get comments if you wanted, attach different moods and icons to each post to express yourself. You could organize things into Memories, and later, add tags. You could customize the look of your own journal, get friends, join communities.

You can still do all of that, and more (Scrapbook! Games!) but it's bloated now. I think everything went downhill the minute the site got sold to SixApart. They didn't know what the hell they were doing, and when SixApart sold it to whatever Russian company owns it now, it got even worse.

The amount of spam I get on my various posts throughout my LiveJournal history has increased nearly exponentially over the past few years. Communities are the one and only thing that LiveJournal and similar sites (like Dreamwidth, bless its heart) have over better, spam-free, more customizable blogging software--like WordPress, which I am now using for pretty much all of my websites.

I remember trying to deal with some of the spam over the past few days while my computer was "recovering" from an Erase and Install of the OS. I was busy installing updates and such, so I couldn't do it on there. I tried accessing the LiveJournal mobile site on my iPad, and I couldn't even tap on the login boxes, because every time I did, it thought I was tapping on the LiveJournal logo, so it just took me back to the homepage. It's because the mobile site wasn't properly optimized, and the full site must have used some Java that caused the login box to move around on the main banner. The mobile site--if one can even log into it--sucks, and that's becoming an increasingly dangerous thing in this day and age. Something that's BUILT to be accessible and responsive should be a priority for websites of any kind in this day and age. It's definitely something I'm aspiring to for my sites.

It's no longer a case of LiveJournal working; it's a matter of "if" and "when" -- it's also getting hit more and more frequently with DDoS attacks or other various outages that are never fully explained. LiveJournal doesn't have any sort of reliable presence to notify us of such outages AS they happen, so people are left in the dark. Sure, LiveJournal isn't exactly a crucial service, but it's still a pain in the butt when you're trying to access something specific--or perhaps writing something important--and all of a sudden you can't access it. If you've paid for any portion of the service--which a lot of people had, including me, way back in the day when I thought a Permanent Account might be a good idea--then you're essentially losing money for every moment of downtime, which is why LiveJournal is probably bleeding out its coffers trying to pay back users for all their lost time.

I'll miss it, but honestly? Bring back the blogroll. I can import my LiveJournal into WordPress now, maybe even figure out a way to crosspost it here to Dreamwidth (because I like Dreamwidth and at least want to support its continued development via communities I run), then I can just do everything I want from one single place. That'd be nice.
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Dragonfayth, my site for Azureshipping (Seto Kaiba x Anzu Mazaki/Téa Gardner) fanfiction from the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom, has recently been inundated with spam. I've deleted it all, but as of right now, there's no solution for the problem as a whole.

The people behind the software aren't that numerous, and the package is pretty customized--after all, a fanfiction archive, while something hugely popular, isn't as mainstream as blogs. So it takes a while for updates to go through, patches and mods to be made, etc. And since the software is free, these people all have day jobs that take away more of their time.

I can't blame them, but I've reached the point where I'd rather pay to get a better solution, or use something else.

Since I don't really have the money or budget for hiring someone to make and teach me/maintain such a site for me, I'm stuck trying to find another solution. Finding software ready-made for fanfiction is harder than it sounds. and AO3's software is proprietary--not released to the public, not available for free. Same with FicWad, may it rest in peace. And don't even get me started on

Most people who want their fanfiction archives use eFiction. It's been on version 3.5.3 for ages now; the supposed release of 4 hasn't happened yet, and I'm teetering on "lost hope" for it altogether.

Enter: WordPress.

I'm already using it for the new Seventh-Star Network (the main site,, I'm building a What Doesn't Kill You site for my biggest fanficton project ever, and I've started making subsites for all my other sites for the various fandoms I've been involved in over the years. I've been using WordPress for ages, not just on, but for sites that I've built for class projects, like Chixflix.

There are plenty of people who post their fics on, but making a fanfiction archive is a bit different.

I've already got a WordPress Multiuser installation setup for all my other sites; it wouldn't be a headache to set up another site with multiple authors (similar to GD) with open registration (still approved based on captcha codes to eliminate spam sign-ups), and utilize everything like making pages for fanfics, using tags for ratings and warnings, categories for...well, categories, and so on and so forth.

It's very, very tempting, but I don't know if I even want to try starting it as an experiment if it's not a good idea.

So, some questions for you:
1 - What does a good fanfiction archive REQUIRE? (For example, the ability to leave reviews)
2 - What separates an okay fanfiction archive from a GREAT one?
3 - If you have experience with WordPress, what do you think its limitations are for posting/sharing fanfiction?
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Okay, so WikiFic's spam problem is a LOT worse than I initially thought it was. I implemented a captcha requirement for all new accounts (using ReCaptcha, no less, not just some lame funky image captcha, or numeric captcha!), but poseur accounts are still getting created.

The spam blacklist isn't helping with the fake pages (which relate to diet stuff or new jobs), and in trying to delete the fake pages after properly installing Bad Behavior 2 and the Bad Behavior 2 Extended extensions, I myself have gotten blocked!

Fixed??? )

ETA: Fixed... sort of. Turns out the issue was with 2 lines of whitespace after the closing PHP tag, which has since been fixed. Bad Behavior is now working, along with the BB2 Extended Special: page, but I've got a truckload of spam pages in the Recent Changes history, which I'm stuck deleting individually, by hand.

The problem is, there are these lines for including a Database Functions file:

include_once( 'includes/DatabaseFunctions.php' );

that are repeated, and I think that's causing the cleanup.php script to fail with the above error. I don't want to render Bad Behavior (which has that line in it, in LocalSettings.php and in somewhere else...I thought the bad-behavior-mediawiki.php file, but maybe since I updated it to the latest version, not?

ETA: Actually, it's because one version of the line was formatted like so:

include_once( './includes/DatabaseFunctions.php' );

(notice the "./"), but when I changed it to:

include_once( 'includes/DatabaseFunctions.php' );

the script ran just fine.

However, I'm still stuck with a truckload of spam pages that have already been created, as well as pages caught by the cleanup script and blanked out.

Anyone know of another way to delete (not just blank-out, as I've been doing with the Spam Blacklist cleanup.php script) pages en masse? It seems like these are all on a specific date, and it'd be nice to have an extension that allows me to tick boxes of pages created on a specified date and delete all the pages I check off, or something like that. Anyone know of something like that, or similar?
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
I should have worked on the Cho yo, Hana yo (Butterflies, Flowers) fanlisting layout WEEKS ago, but mojo has been particularly hard to locate. That and my favorite Lipton Pureleaf Green Tea with Honey (not Diet, not Citrus)!


Anyway, what font is best for the layout, now that I have a site name? Or should I use both of them (and if so, which font where?)

They're supposed to look like noodles. The site name's a pun--it's a romcom manga that's a little adult, but still thoroughly shojo. The main character's father owns a soba (noodle) shop, and she's trying to "get close" to her former servant-now boss.

So...yeah. Thoughts on noodley fonts?
azurite: (batgirl - spanish inquisition)
Anybody on here watch "In Plain Sight" on USA? I just got approved for the show fanlisting, and I've already been approved for the Mary x Marshall pairing fanlisting. Eek! For some reason the hard part this time is coming up with a name.

For the show:
* Welcome to Albuquerque
* ?

For the pairing:
* Shot Through the Heart (too corny?)
* Memorandum of Understanding (or just M.O.U.) - refers to the giant wad of paper witnesses entering into Witness Protection sign. But Mary and Marshall both seem to "understand" each other without needing to talk "through" things, which makes them a very interesting duo, IMO.
* ?

I have layout ideas for WtA and M.O.U. already, but that doesn't mean they're good site title ideas. I'm not fond of changing site titles (I'm very, very tempted to with WikiFic), so I'd like some feedback from anybody that knows a bit about the show. Or heck, you can just head on over to the official site, read up on it, and tell me what you think about these potential site name ideas.

I also need to get myself some IPS icons. :(
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!

[ 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 [ profile] staplerx, [ profile] lilddrpinay2003, [ profile] vermilionone, and [ 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 [ 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 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: (blue flower)
Back from the Utada concert! Actually, have been a while, but have been gleefully catching up on LJ entries using NewsFire. I wanted to use NetNewsWire, since it lets me open links in-app, but it displays all the subject lines all mangled and wrong. :(

So: I got there later than I wanted, but I still managed to score my favorite delicious strawberry & banana w/ whip cream crepe and Peach Snapple from Sophie's across the street, and I didn't mind waiting outside--all the way around the corner from the theatre, past the KFC--because it didn't start raining until we just about got inside.

One of the guys working for the Fillmore told me the place was like a giant dance floor, and he wasn't kidding. Thank god for restrooms, but boo to the lack of merchandise being sold! I guess it's because it's been a while since Utada did a tour and she's only going 8 U.S. cities? But I, for one, would totally buy Utada merchandise if it were on sale at a concert. The only things I have of hers otherwise are the physical CDs and a poster I got for Heart Station! (I think Kuma keychains would be awesome.)

Anyway, being short sucks. Even in heels, even standing at the back center of the dance floor, the place quickly got flooded with tall people. Worse, tall people with spiky hair. Sometimes wearing heels themselves! I ended up migrating over to the left of the stage, where many short people congregated. I still had an "iffy" view because of this one couple that kept bobbing their heads in my way, and another guy with ridiculously spiky hair, but I still got to see her! Whee, Utada!

Her (brown) hair's longer than expected, but not as long as she used to have back in the Automatic or Deep River days. She had a kind of punk rocker thing going on with a Susan Sontag black skull & crossbones (with lipstick) tee, a bit of a ruffled/lacy black skirt, and BRIGHT purple tights (yay, purple!), plus a metal-studded bracelet.

I thought the thing was supposed to start at 8, as it said on the ticket. The deejay (lamesauce Mike Rizzo from New York, kept calling the city "Frisco," I wanted to smack him) kept saying "in 30 minutes, in 30 minutes" and 30 minutes later, it was another 30 minutes! The guy either can't tell time or folks can't be honest about a showtime's true start. I don't know if it was really delayed for some reason or not. It ended up starting at 8:40-8:50ish.

Awesome: she had a HUGE variety of songs from all her albums, including the Japanese ones, although she opened with "On and On" from her newest English album, "This Is The One." I got to hear "Automatic," a "Passion/Sanctuary" blend (technically the same song, but she went from Japanese to English), "First Love," and "Kremlin Dusk," some of my favorite songs of hers. It only could have been better if she'd done "Beautiful World" or "Prisoner of Love" instead of "Stay Gold," but it's still a good song. And if she'd done "Take 5," it would have been downright eerie (if you know the lyrics of the song, you'll understand why I think that)!

Out of all of them, there was just ONE song I didn't recognize, but the music was playing so loud, I hardly heard the lyrics, anyway. I know they were in English, but I don't remember it as being off of either of her recent albums (Exodus or This Is The One), and I doubt it was from her Cubic U days. The lyrics sounded something like "See you on the better side?" Anyone? (It didn't sound like the collab she did with Timbaland and Kiley Dean, "By Your Side," though.)

I ended up tweeting throughout the whole concert, when I could find a signal. I couldn't resist! Maybe because I didn't have anyone to squee with, although I did see Theo at the beginning and end. :P

Lastly, but never leastly, I may just be going crazy: I've signed up to do the "Hi My Sweetheart" fanlisting. :P Yes, I'm crazy about this show; it's so awesome. This'll be my...what, fourth fanlisting? (Blue Eyes and Apricots, Ace of Hearts, Firefly Room...yup, fourth) It'll also be my first TV show/drama FL. The others are anime/manga couples and one literature fanlisting.

Keep your eyes peeled.
azurite: (all muses are busy...)
So, I'm a student at DeVry University on top of everything else now. I was looking into the possibility of getting some kind of certification in web design, since I feel like I've reached a standstill when it comes to learning from books. I wish I could take a class on it at CSUN, but on top of them freaking out about my financial aid because I have too many units (read: I took classes I didn't need because I either wanted to be full-time or because the other classes I needed weren't available), they have pre-requisites for the basic web design courses, and no way to take a competency test to get out of them. Plus, they're ART classes, which means the curricula overlaps with Journalism and I'd get no credit for it under the accreditation rule.

So anyway, I looked into online schools, and lo! DeVry got back to me. They have a campus in Sherman Oaks and a really nice advisor who's been helping me find the right program for me. I started out just looking for a certificate, but then an Associate's in Web Graphic Design. Then I wondered if an Associate's after a Bachelor's would look good on a resume. Would it even have enough classes to teach me something I need? Would enough of my CSUN units transfer over so I wouldn't have to take classes in math or public speaking?

Delaying the real world? )

So, in the meantime, I'm working on revamping my resume site, the NSLS website, hopefully, the SO3 shrine...I'm also now blogging for Site of the Gaming Dead and maybe even doing tutorials for DayDream Graphics. Biting off more than I can chew for this summer? Just maybe. In-between all this I plan to write WDKY27 and participate in a few challenges. Oh, and go to AX! Go me.

I also need to learn to budget, because I'm quite sick of having to borrow money in order to stay afloat for the 15 days before my next paycheck. Any tips?

Time flies

Apr. 20th, 2009 08:47 am
azurite: (cupcake sombrero!)
Ah, another Ed Hardy sale! The discounted prices at ideeli are actually quite reasonable, but it's for two things I'd never use/wear: purses and a scarf!

Of course, upon graduating I assume I'm going to have to alter my wardrobe a bit to fit in with the so-called "real world," and maybe then I'll get into things like accessorizing with scarves, but until then I'll just stare at the beautiful art that is the Ed Hardy line and imagine a day when something I'll actually use/wear will come out (without making me look like a total conformist!?).

(That said, I saw a clip of Zac Efron's "17 Again" with him dressed ENTIRELY in Ed Hardy, and telling his friend-playing-father that "Kevin Federline wore this!" as if that was supposed to make it "cool" to wear in a high school. But yeah, it's K-Fed... So now it makes me wince to think of someone showing off "too much" Ed Hardy.)

Keyword Manager for iPhoto (by Bullstorm) has finally been updated to 1.5! This means it's compatible with iPhoto '09. Huzzah! I already downloaded and installed mine; since I'd purchased a previous version, the upgrade was free (I think). Another way of getting organized: labeling all my pictures with metadata tags!

I added a few old entries (some of them Friends Locked, because let's be honest here: I was stupid not having protections on my old blog back in the day) from my old Blue Reflections blog, back when it was powered by Greymatter and on the domain. I'm working my way through 2002, and it's sadly amusing, the kind of stuff I wrote. I've got a lot more to go before I'm all "caught up," though.

Finally signed up at (thanks to an article on helpful websites on GeekSugar). As I was going through the various websites/networks to add, I was surprised at a) how many I'm on and b) how many I'm not on. I guess there's something to be said for simplicity: I mean, what's the point of being on too many of the same site? (That sounds lame. I'm on every big name social networking site because of the fact that, the more places you are, the easier it is to find you--for better or for worse!)

Let's see, my networks are: Twitter, Facebook, AIM, GTalk, MySpace, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, LJ (duh), Delicious, Friendster, and Yahoo 360. Hey, that's actually not that many! And some of them (e.g. Facebook and LiveJournal; FriendFeed and... well, everything) are already connected, which gives me the mental image of playing cat's cradle with something very sticky.

Finally had my appointment at the Klotz Student Health Center dental clinic-- they kept having to reschedule my appointment! I got worked on by a student intern today, but everything looks/feels fine; I'm just hoping the numbness on the entire lower right-hand side of my face goes away soon.

As I was leaving the Health Center, they were showing "Armageddon" on DVD. I thought it actually looked cool, and, shockingly enough, I've never seen it. So that's to be added to my list of movies to see (both on DVD and in theatres). I also want to see "17 Again" and still "Fast & Furious" as well as "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and probably "The Soloist" (even if Jamie Foxx is a touch-and-go kind of guy; sometimes I think he's a great actor, other times I think he's a bizarre, if downright rude man).

I also decided to shift gears on my as-yet-unwritten submission for [ profile] sm_fanswap. I was originally going to do this dark, political piece, but I think I'm going to shift that to the back burner and work on an older idea that still fits the requirements for the swap. Of course, I can't say more.... :X

DeviantART finally has gotten its act together-- or at least part of it. I don't know if there have been any HUGE changes in policy or significant changes in management (such as firing the douches that make dA look like it was being run by a bunch of bigoted idiots), but there is a new category for doll edits, which are one of my primary forms of fanart submissions. It's nice to be recognized! I still disagree with their policy that they should be "Scraps," because they say that they're prepackaged and there's no effort involved. Uh, excuse me, the dolls are a collaborative effort! On top of that, a lot of the ones I post are heavily modified in Photoshop, and I think the hours spent count as EFFORT. That said, I have put most of the dolls into the new category, but some of them won't go in, supposedly because the only filetype allowed is GIF. WTF, dA!? Since when are PNGs a bad file type for dolls? Not every dollmaker uses GIF files, and on top of that, if we DO "tool" the dolls ourselves, we should be able to save the resulting file however we like! GRR!

Do any Mac users have a recommendation for a good time-tracking utility? Specifically, I'd like something that integrates with iCal so I can keep track of how much I should make from the hours I spend at work. If I ever did freelancing or consultation stuff (for web design or just general tech support), it'd be nice if this tool had an invoicing feature, too. I've heard of several, but I want to know if anyone on this FL actually HAS one and used it, and of course, liked it.

Ah, so much to do, so little time.
azurite: (sailormoon - just watch me)
I'M DONE! (with classes and finals, that is. Hip hip hurrah.)

This semester I used Circus Ponies "Notebook" software for the Mac, and I gotta say, I HIGHLY recommend it. Not only did it help me save paper (I'm all about being green when I can), but it helped me organize my notes and refer back to them SO easily.

To top it off, I made a webpage of all my notes and quiz results in just a few clicks! It's also quite stylish. If you've ever wanted to know anything about geology, biology, or outdoor recreation, check out the site. I think I'll do the same thing for next semester.

Let's see.
* Fanfiction (esp. for the holidays; I want to be challenged and give lots of ficlets away!)
* Video games (Star Ocean 3, FF8, Super Mario World!)
* Websites (Epiphany, Seventh-Star.Net main site, Star Ocean 3 RPGClassics shrine)
* [ profile] fandomsecrets (takes forever to read and comment on these things, but it's SO addictive!)
* Presents! Handmade! Or something. Still working on that.


...By the way, I discovered I have 1 more unit than necessary to graduate ALREADY. But I still have a year left because if I applied for graduation as I am, I wouldn't get a degree in anything, and that's like, extra-sour lamesauce.


Dec. 15th, 2008 08:11 pm
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna will fly)
You know, I was pretty upset earlier, but I have to put things in perspective: always look at things in balance. For everything you think makes your day awful, there are probably 5 or 10 more that should make it okay, if not better or even great. A simple change in perspective can drastically alter your mood. You have to be willing to look.

So I found out earlier that, due to the CSU budget cuts, I won't be getting my job back at the IT Help Desk at CSUN this coming semester. They just don't have the money to rehire, even though people are going to be leaving. That... REALLY sucks. I was counting on the job. Of course, my former boss did say that I'd be the first to know if anything changed, or if anything else in the department opened up. So I hope something does change, because to be honest, I need the money. But I also LIKE the job a lot, like helping people, like most of my co-workers, and don't want to be twiddling my thumbs at home when I could be helping folks out.

There's always the possibility of freelance tutoring though, so if, come January 20, I don't have a job back for sure, then I'll look into that.

Also balancing out the suck of being ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY BROKE AND JOBLESS is the fact that I just accomplished something! Getting the mojo to work on something and actually completing that goal can do wonders for one's self-esteem and mood. A user from Dragonfayth emailed me, saying she's been having problems getting her initial password for the site. I asked her to give me more detail, but I decided to look into it myself by checking the settings of the SMTP host, trying to send an email from the Contact Us form, and checking the Action Log.

Turns out something on 12/10 changed where the existing SMTP settings stopped working, so passwords weren't being sent out, and I wasn't getting Contact Us emails indicating there was a problem. I investigated on the eFiction forums and found a number of possible errors; I tried to check them out, posted a new topic there, and put up a support ticket to get an SPF record for my domain so other email services don't mark the domain as spam/spoof. And then, after all that... I figured it out. Well, maybe. Turns out the port for the SMTP host name wasn't right. My host, Surpass Hosting (♥ ♥ ♥) uses port 26 for SMTP rather than 25 (the default), so I changed it... and it worked! I sent an email to one of my GMail accounts and received it just fine!

I also redid all the passwords for the users who signed up/lost their password between 12/10 and today, so hopefully those users got those and can now log-in, delete any extra accounts, and start reading/reviewing, etc.

I have to put all my other projects on hold until I'm 100% finished with school though-- I have a few more quizzes and a single final exam (also a quiz, just a longer one) today and tomorrow. So, until then... I shouldn't be distracting myself with posting on LJ. :P

But I did want to just vent a bit, and put my hope out there in the open, that the more good we do (big or small) and the more good we feel, the more good comes back to us. At least, I hope it will for me.
azurite: (xmas - hanging pink & green ornaments)
Ah, I miss Usenet.
What a crazy thing to say, huh? But in the search for some Sailor Moon images, for some reason, the first thing that popped in my head was NOT to do a Google Image search or go to The Oracle or whatnot, but to see if alt.binaries.sailor-moon was still around (assuming I got that name right).

Alas, the vast majority of ISPs these days have discontinued their NNTP/Usenet access service (probably because they never made much of an effort to advertise that it even existed, meaning new users didn't even KNOW about it), and that includes the ones in use (or formerly used) by my grandparents and Mom/Gary. For many or rec. groups, access is still available for free from places like Google Groups, but it's not quite the same... plus, there's still the overwhelming problem of SPAM, and in Google Groups' web-based interface, there's diddly-squat you can do about it.

The only other alternative --for general Usenet access to binary groups AND for NNTP access in news programs (Apple Mail doesn't even support NNTP, which had me temporarily thinking I might switch back to Thunderbird... then I wised up and realized that an extra piece of software isn't ALWAYS a pain in the ass, especially with my lack of an NNTP server in the first place)-- is to buy it. Giganews seems to be the one of choice, but I don't have the dough to shell out for Usenet access when it's something that's more of a whim to me.

But I do miss those good ol' days when I could hop on Usenet and find image floods of fanart, or character-specific art, or art themed around a certain event/holiday. It'd be pretty helpful for me now, in my search for Sailor Moon Christmas images. (I know, I know, The Oracle has a whole gallery devoted to it, but it's only 58 images! I *know* there's more than that out there!)

Speaking of SM, I did sign up to be a Sekkret Stalker on Aria's Ink this year. Participation seems fairly low so far for this point in December, but there are still FOUR MORE DAYS TO SIGN UP! Why not?

Plus, [ profile] guardian_kysra and I want to do a holiday challenge or something this year, so why not throw your hat in and volunteer too? We'll probably do something that covers different fandoms-- maybe a Secret Santa or Fic Exchange where all you do is specify a list of fandoms you'll write for, genres/ratings/pairings/warnings you prefer, and up to 3 "plot prompts." How does that sound?

Also, I got an invite from someone named Loki to join [ profile] the_circlet and its sub-communities, [ profile] silver_circle and [ profile] gold_circle, along with a few related comms. It all sounds/looks fairly interesting, but I think I still need a bit more clarification on exactly what is DONE there. [ profile] baine, care to comment? I'm confused!

Also, I haven't written SM fic in AGES and going back to Aria's Ink (Loki also reviewed "24" there, which is probably one of my better SM fics to date) and checking out these comms... it's all made me very nostalgic! Hey, maybe we can revive the [ profile] smrff in time for the holidays!? That'd be so awesome.

I'm only up now because (as usual) my sleeping schedule's off. I went downtown tod-- er, yesterday to get a December Fast Pass and eat some delicious Tex-Mex. I got "approached" by a very enthusiastic girl from Greenpeace who kept me from getting to Chevy's that much sooner. I'm all for saving the planet, so:

DO NOT BUY KIMBERLY-CLARK PRODUCTS. These are the makers of Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott tissue, and many other products. Why? Because they're clear-cutting (meaning cutting without care to the re-growth of future trees) thousands of ancient Canadian trees. The CEO has reportedly even said that his consumers "don't care about environmental issues." Show that pig he's wrong! Also, find out if your job/school has a contract with KC. Then get them to CANCEL it. There are more environmentally-friendly companies out there.

Accion Y Reaccion )

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: (hp - rule 110: moon prism power!)
So I've got a few projects on my plate at the moment, almost all of them involving Photoshop. I'm trying to come up with a new layout for my domain so that all the subdomains (like Blue Eyes and Apricots, Azurelist, Dragonfayth, etc.) are all accessible. Plus, I need to have things like Resource/Credits pages, a Contact Me page, etc. I need to come up with a reasonable structure for everything.

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

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

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

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

Yesterday I did some adding to WikiFic for Yu-Gi-Oh! soundtracks/scores, but now I'm not sure if BOTH albums I bought in SD or just one is bootleg. I certainly didn't consider the possibility when I bought the things (usually I'm pretty good at spotting those kind of things, but these looked totally legit!)... yeesh. So, if you own some legit Yu-Gi-Oh! OSTs and have some free time, care to put up the track listing on WikiFic? I'll be able to grab the lyrics and take care of things like the kanji/furigana and the romanization.
azurite: (azureshipping - reflection)
WHOO-HOO! Even though I'm totally screwing up my sleep schedule by being up this late, it's hard to go to bed at a reasonable hour when you're high from getting stuff done! (Well, and a can of Coke, maybe.) Last night and tonight (or more aptly, yesterday morning and this morning), I:

* Finished the new site design of Blue Eyes and Apricots. It's version 5, and I've nicknamed it "Weathered Rainbow."

* Updated the behind-the-scenes coding on all 3 of my fanlistings (BEA, Ace of Hearts, and The Firefly Room) as well as my Enthusiast 3 control panel and my collective (Azurelist).

* Changed around the content of BEA, with the focus on a brand-new HUGE media library, which includes links to great AMVs, lists of fanmixes/fansoundtracks and links to buy the individual tracks, and much, much more! I'm planning on doing a separate page for linked fanart a'la [ profile] obabscribbler's Fanart Recs; that way there's no more concern over theft (at least, someone would knowingly have to go to someone's DeviantART, save the full-size image, and then neglect to save the artist's username or a notation saying "DA" or something, and then use it without permission). However, I won't host art on BEA anymore, with the exception of manipulations for icons, banners, etc. (I might consider it if I could set up a password system, though.)

* Added a blacklist to keep track of the thieves. Did you know someone actually stole banners from BEA and didn't even bother to mention the fanlisting? I mean, HELLO? We're here to bring people together,not be more divisive through theft! -_- I'm not sure what I find more offensive, that or the people that use images that were GIFTS TO ME (like my WDKY icons or ficart).

Because the page takes so long to load, I'll probably be splitting it up in the near future, after I've finished adding all the links for the various musical mixes and whatnot.

If you have anything you'd like to see on BEA, let me know!

So check out the new layout and tell me what you think!

Left to do:
* Find some more AMVs that don't use stolen artwork (recs welcome!)
* Use Angela Sabas' style switcher (hopefully) for the new Firefly Room (Secret Society Girl fanlisting) layout, which needs to be tested and made live
* Add more content to TFR!
* Ask the people at TFL if I can become the fanlisting for the SSG series now, rather than the first book (before I couldn't, because only two books were out at the time, and TFL considers a series three books or more)
* Open some more fanlistings??? (Potentially crazy and NEW idea, bad when I've got so much else on my plate. But lots of possibilities.)
* Add icons to BEA (with the permission of the artists from here on LJ, that is... any volunteers? It's totally up to you!)
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
For the second or third time in as many weeks as I've been here, Earthlink (because frankly, it can't be anything else) has decided to crap out on loading my domain (and just MY domain). What this means:
* I can't read the majority of my email
* I can't update any of my websites
* My LiveJournal layout looks mangled (to me)

The first time this happened, I talked to Earthlink, because it was their fault our router was somehow improperly configured so that my Mac only got intermittent 'Net access when every other computer in the house was fine. They said if I can access other sites, it's not their fault. I eyerolled, but I figured that was a plausible excuse, and moved on to contacting my hosting company.

They reported back that my server had no issues, and that they (and countless other computers around the world) had no issues tracing back to my domain or the server, so it HAD to be an ISP problem. Everyone else without Earthlink in San Francisco, and various other friends of mine whom I've asked online if they can load my website can, no problems asked.

This isn't an issue for this laptop anywhere else (e.g. back at Baba and Grandpa's house), so it must be a connection (ISP) issue. But given what they told me last time, and the fact that my research has turned up NOTHING as to what could be causing this, I'm at a dead-end as to what to do or what to say if I did call them.

See, the problem (about the problem) is that it's intermittent. For the past several days at least (maybe even a week), I haven't had a single problem. Everything of the above has been working JUST fine, and I haven't done/changed anything special (that I know of) yesterday that would cause it to crap out on me. I'll try changing settings AFTER the fact to see if it helps, but it never does. This is clearly a connection (not a software, not a hardware, not a laptop, not a Mac) problem.

Any ideas? What to say, whom to turn to? This is really frustrating. I'm certainly not going to change hosts, because I don't believe it is (or could be) a hosting problem. They've done an enormous amount on their end investigating it, including restarting the server when I'm just a shared user, not a full server owner. Considering a bunch of other people's pages went down in those few minutes because of me, I don't feel like I should ask them to fiddle with it more. I really don't think it's their fault.

But it took Mom long enough to get DSL, even if it is with shitty Earthlink. They hate AT&T, and so don't want to get them, and I don't know what other companies (if any) are available, if Mom's locked into a contract with Earthlink, or if any other companies (if there ARE any) have reasonable pricing plans, because frankly, that's what it boils down to.

And I don't know what more I can do on my end-- Tracerouting and Pinging only does so much, and it only tells me that I'm either having a problem or not, not why I would be (or not).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Finished Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! I don't like it as much as the others, because even though I raised issues dealing with the character, it didn't seem as indepth. Is that because he's not as major a character as the others I've covered so far? Also, I feel like I put it out there on a crutch, even though lots of people said it was indepth and good and everything. But I felt like without my proper research book and software for generating natal charts, it just wasn't as good. :(
azurite: (cat: what the shit is this!?)
Yesterday, I got so mad at myself that I had energy to burn, and decided to play DDR. I selected DDR Extreme, which, it turned out, I mysteriously had no PS2 memory card data for. After I tired of that (making new data by playing said game), I played Kingdom Hearts, which also had no data.

I can't remember what got me so mad at myself in the first place. It's probably a good thing, though, right-- I was mad for "no good reason," which is why I can't remember now, after a long, good day in which, for the first time in a long while, I haven't stayed indoors all day OR blown a boat-load of money? (I spent almost all day today at Disney's California Adventure and Disneyland, as a Guest, and managed to spend only $7 or so throughout the entire day-- and that was on lunch)

I can only consider lame possibilities, which (in retrospect) don't seem like enough to get me so mad I'd think "ARGH! I HAVE TO PLAY DDR TO GET RID OF THIS ANGER! STOMP STOMP STOMP!"
* I forgot to sign up for an event
* I forgot to go to an event
* Kaiser screwing me over with my prescriptions was frustrating me
* I'm spending way too much money on things I don't need, like a hand blender, and looking at my bank account statement frustrated me
* ??? (Do I really want to know!?)

Oh wait, I remember: OKCUPID DELETED MY ACCOUNT. BASTARDS! (I emailed them about this fiasco and hopefully they'll get back to me so it can be fixed.)

In real (as in "true, honest, genuine") bad news, and reason why today SUCKS (though not a lot): I lost my pretty blue jewel cell phone charm. The likelihood of it just happening to be on the floor somewhere is slim to nil. Considering all the ground I covered in both Disney parks today, and the likelihood that, if someone DID find it, they'd just pick it up and keep it (because ooh, it's a pretty blue gem!), I'm never going to see it again, and that makes me sad.

I want a pretty, STURDY cell phone charm that's not so huge that I'll sit on it if it dangles out of my pocket and then it comes undone and is never seen again, or gets horribly dirty or something. Suggestions?


Mar. 23rd, 2008 02:35 pm
azurite: (textually active)
Okay, so FFnet has decided that, along with hyphen/dash-based scene separators, they're also going to eat e-acutes, quotation marks (single and double), among other things, I'm sure.

I have to edit every single chapter of WDKY to date for changes to the display/characters that FFnet
a) did NOT say they were going to remove support for
b) that were properly encoded in the first place, in the original HTML
c) has not made easy to fix, because I have to go to the original story, export each chapter, go into Live Edit, go into HTML preview, and then paste the original HTML. Then and only then does it show up right in the Live Preview and HOPEFULLY on the reader's end, as well.


Oh wait, it gets better. I wrote to Support. AND THEY WROTE BACK! )
azurite: (roses are red)
H'okay. Sho.

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

Read more... )

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

And now, for some random lists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Figuring something out moments after you resigned yourself to having done the best job you could do and "to hell with it." I did that with my first homework assignment for RTM 330, my first online class. I missed the whole "APA requirements" for assignments (or is it only papers?). Oops! I wonder if the professor will cut some slack for the first assignment? Then again, she seemed to have mentioned somewhere that the discussion questions aren't even graded, but I can't find out what really is graded, besides projects (like a genealogy paper). It's harder than I thought, keeping up with WebCT... maybe I ought to set it as a homepage this semester?
azurite: (sailormoon - pluto P)
The reason why WikiFic's been practically dead the past... oh, very long time is because I'm always the one stuck on the backend trying to do everything. And let's be honest, a 22-year-old girl who is NOT majoring in Computer Science is probably not going to be helped as quickly as some major entity like Wikipedia on the MediaWiki-l mailing list when it comes to tech support issues and basic understanding of syntax.

Long story short, I'd love to make other people SysOps, but maintaining WikiFic goes beyond that; I'm not really sure how much my server can do, and I'm frankly not willing to shell out the amount for a dedicated server that probably CAN do all the bitchin' things that Wikipedia and/or Wikia can do. I wanted my own space so that I could control it how I wanted, and not be subject to the ads, multiple regulations, and freak cleanup squads that other Wikis have.

WikiFic has proven to be a great resource, but not too many people seem to be keen on helping out with it. Thankfully, it hasn't been vandalized recently, and there are people still adding articles, but not a whole lot of people who adhere to the rules. Wikis are monstrous projects, requiring TEAMS, not individuals.

There's always a million things on my plate when it comes to WikiFic; right now, I can't get styles working the way I want (likely because I don't understand Wiki syntax), templates love to kick my ass-- I'm missing a bunch of them-- and SVG images aren't rendering properly and I know it's not a browser issue, because Wikipedia's and such images display just fine. I don't really know how SVG images are supposed to work anyway, and while I know I have the GD library enabled, I don't know where to go from there. There should seriously be a "Wiki for Dummies" website or something...

Anyone who wants to help or can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, WikiFic will probably just sort of fester in the corner collecting dust until I check it again someday... truthfully, getting Epiphany up is my #1 priority, followed by maintaining my FLs, Dragonfayth, and my LJ communities. I'm still working on the damn [ profile] 30kisses purge, and I don't know whether the other mods are alive, dead, busy, or working.

It's frustrating both having to rely on others and to be stuck doing something yourself, and I can't seem to tap into the effective middle ground. Thus, I think I'm just going to take my leftover Chinese food and watch Sailor Moon for the rest of the evening. Ciao.


Jan. 5th, 2008 06:44 pm
azurite: (sailormoon - double trouble minako & usa)
Wow. What an amazing five days of the New Year it's been. Despite occasionally feeling bored, that's only been a rare occasion (when I get bored of what I'm DOING, not because I'm lacking anything "to do"), and generally I'd say I've been pretty productive.

[ profile] 30kisses is getting a complete overhaul, thanks to the help of fellow mods [ profile] svelterose, [ profile] a_white_rain, and [ profile] dqbunny. We might need more mods for the coming year, since this purge is just proving how busy we tend to get, and how easy it is to fall behind. And here I thought 30k wasn't all that active!

So that's been keeping me pretty busy the past five days, but at the moment, I'm taking a break to catch up on my Friends List. Yesterday, I was getting "computer butt," so I played some DDR; I might do that again tonight after I've digested my evening snack (yogurt cheese, pickles, raisins, and Wheat Thins, plus pulp-free orange juice-- yum! and who's to say THAT'S not healthy!? HAHAH!).

Since the WGA strike is still on, there's not much in the way of new TV-- and that's fine with me, as I've been craving oldies-- Lois & Clark S4, and Sailor Moon S and SuperS. :P I kinda wish I had the SM movies on DVD; I have the SMR and SMS ones on VHS (ugh...), and of those, I have both of them in sub ("UNCUT!!!!") and dub (edited mercilessly; massacred) formats. But no SuperS movie. And... I like Peruru!

...And you know what I just realized that's kind of creepy? Over the course of the whole series, Chibiusa had more love interests (people SHE liked) than Usagi. No, srsly:

Usagi: Umino (one-sided from him), Motoki (one-sided from her), Mamoru, Demando (one-sided from him), Seiya (one-sided from him). (So technically, we don't even count 3 of them, because they were one-sided from HIM, meaning they weren't HER love interests), Haruka (okay, she crushed on "him," but then stopped as soon as she found out it was a she... in the anime. In the manga, Haruka had no problem flirting with/kissing Usagi, even as a female, and Usagi was aware, but I don't know if that qualifies as a "love interest")

TOTAL: 2-ish

Chibiusa: Pegasus/Elios, Mamoru (one-sided from her and sick, but hey, it's canon), Perle (or whatever the fairy-boy in SuperS was called), Anshar (video-game canon, but STILL, it was the sweetest pairing, and much angstier than Elios!), that boy from Super who made a clay sculpture of the Holy Grail, that friend of her friend Momoko (manga-canon only?), ANYONE ELSE???


Why is it okay for the heroine to be "reserved" and have only one true love (which, as I get older, I find more and more ridiculous-- I can't believe Usagi and Mamoru would have a happy marriage if neither of them never dated other people. And what's unfair about it all is, Mamoru probably HAS dated other people before he got with Usagi-- and hell, technically dated Rei!), but her trouble-making daughter (who supposedly takes after Usagi in plenty of ways, and Mamoru in... uh, very few) is allowed to be... well, the "li'l tramp"? Okay, she's not exactly putting herself out there, but she claims to fall in love a LOT, making her seem like she's more of Minako's daughter than... ohshit plot bunny!

Ho-hum. Nothing else has been happening lately. Back to my FL.

ganked from [ profile] guardian_kysra
1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich, or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not.
2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in your own post.
5. When others respond with a desultory comment, you will ask them five questions.

squee Indy 4 5/22 must see drool Indy!
azurite: (believe in subtext)
I'm almost done with His Dark Materials, the trilogy by Philip Pullman including "The Golden Compass," "The Subtle Knife," and "The Amber Spyglass." I do think they read together better as an omnibus-- or at least 2 and 3 do, because the ending of 1 was "okay," while 2 just sort of... well, "cut off," pun not intended.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Many, many books to read. Did I mention I'd gone on a bit of a spree at Borders the other night? Plus, I'm about halfway through the whole "His Dark Materials" trilogy; I'm several chapters into "The Subtle Knife."It's pretty comfy just lying in bed, watching movies and/or reading. I think I'll go back and do just that right now...
azurite: (believe in subtext)
The "Grissom's Gone" marathon on Spike was pretty damn good. Everything I'd heard about Keppler on the 'Net made him out to be some sort of nerdy-but-badass guy that had some sort of chemistry with Catherine... and while it's not on the level of Cath/Warrick, I DID see something there. Sucks that the way he had to go was... well, bloody.

Still haven't heard back from Chase, which can be a good or a bad thing. Good if I do, because Yay! that would mean I could go to Washington, D.C. and score this possibly-really-cool internship. Bad because, well, a loan is money you have to pay back, and that sucks no matter WHAT it's for. Also bad because I neglected to use the URL for Student Advantage cardholders, which means I might have gotten a better rate or different plan options. I wonder if I hear from them again, can I mention that after the fact?

Anyway, if I don't, I've set the deadline of the 21st. If I hear from them by then, huzzah, I can go. If I don't, tough nuggets; I let the people at the WII know and I stay here and stick to my nice job, wonderful honor societies and friends, and the schedule and courses I've already picked out. It would suck if all that planning and running around (and paperwork: egads, PAPERWORK!) was for nothing but at least not for want of TRYING. And unlike Yoda, I do think the effort counts for something. Every experience is a chance to learn, and that includes those experiences where you don't succeed or get exactly what you wanted.

My aunt Sally and uncle Dan think that I ought to write the CA Congress representatives and senators (or at least the ones in my "district," which could be either Los Angeles or San Francisco, I suppose) and see if I can get them to give me any money-- do you think I ought to write an old fashioned letter (more formal, seems more appropriate) or an email (assuming I can find one for the people in question; it stands to reason they probably get a lot of junk mail, yeah?)? I *am* on a deadline; if I go, I have to be in Washington by January 16th, which doesn't leave a lot of time for actually GETTING the money, paying WII, and of course, getting plane tickets to get out there-- which will be ridiculously expensive not just this time of year, but at such short notice.

So while I've gotten a bit more accepting of the possibility that WII won't work out, and ISLP won't happen this summer, it's not like I'm HAPPY about these great possibilities just passing me by for lame reasons. So then I get this email from someone in the Tokyo American Center-- a part of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. They want to know if I'm interested in being a summer intern during the period for the G8 summit.

There's always a catch, ladies and gents: I have to respond by Tuesday, Japan time. Well, I responded already expressing my interest, and my question about housing if I come earlier than the expected start date (since apparently the G8 affects housing, so if I came "on time," which equals early July, then I'd be SOL for housing)... but I doubt this means they still have ACCEPTED me. It's more like they're pressed for time finding appropriate candidates and are weeding them down. It's great to be considered for something like that (and huzzah for Washington these days; someone out there must like me), but of course, money is an issue. Is it a paid internship? You can't really survive in Japan on a stipend. Hell, how would I get money for the plane ticket out there and back? It's not cheap!

So... we'll see who says what and what happens.

In the meantime, I've been busy with crafts (need more Fimo), fanfics (strange urge to read Nick/Sara, write "Speed of You," that Initial D/Yu-Gi-Oh crossover I thought up ages ago), reading (started on "His Dark Materials," which I got for cheap in a humungo paperback from Costco), and cleaning (finally got the rec room looking semi-passable, though there's still a huge pile of ancient bills to sort through). Also paid off my bills, which is always a refreshing feeling. It's better to get that stuff out of the way as soon as you get it, I think, so that you can always consider the amount of money you have "what you've got to work with," rather than an amount that is going to dwindle BECAUSE of bills.

Tomorrow I've got to finish cleaning and packing (and hopefully go to JoAnn's to get more Fimo and possibly to exchange my Amaco flattening machine, because the turn handle and table clamp are too loose and keep falling out), since I leave for S.F. on Tuesday afternoon, have yet to get my shuttle (I'm thinking from now on, it's better to leave by LAX, because the Van Nuys Flyaway is always cheaper to get to than the damn Super Shuttle), and when I come back, [ profile] fountainthe is swinging by! squee!

I'm also working on clearing up [ profile] 30kisses (apparently I need to hire a huge mod squad, because honestly? Keeping just one person on Claims List maintenance could probably considered a modern form of Internet torture... I'm so sorry, [ profile] svelterose!).

And then there's my End-of-the-Year resolution: get Epiphany UP AND RUNNING by New Year's Day. That would be Super-Speshul-Awesome.

Actually, there are a lot of things that would be Super-Speshul-Awesome, but I can only handle so much good karma at once. I just hope it doesn't fail me anytime soon.

Hey, [ profile] dqbunny and [ profile] guardian_kysra? Keep your eyes on your mailboxes, ladies. ^_~ And I don't mean the virtual ones.
azurite: (sailormoon - double trouble minako & usa)
So I'm working hardcore on Epiphany, my fanworks archive... which I would LOVE to get up before, say, New Year's. And I'm happy to announce that my overhauling of the categories is going quite well. Right now, I've got it divided up by fandoms, like so:

fun fandom )
azurite: (xmas rainbow ornaments)
Organization. That and Math are my weak points. But somehow, whenever I need to find something (most of the time anyway), I can find it. Giving directions to my grandparents when I forget something and need them to bring it to me... well, then it makes me feel like I have the organization of a rock-thrower wrasse.

Anyway, I want to get Epiphany up soon, hopefully before Christmas and the New Year, It really frustrates me that all my fics aren't consolidated in one place, and that I've had an online presence for over a decade, but I've yet to get really organized.

For the uninformed, Epiphany is my eFiction archive for my fanfiction-- just mine, no one else's (as of this moment). As most of you know, I write a ton of things: rants, essays, articles, fanfiction... I also write for tons of fandoms: anime, manga, movies, books, television shows...

I have no idea how to organize it all! I can't do it "FFnet style" with Anime/Manga, Books, Movies, etc., because many of the fandoms I'm in have MULTIPLE versions-- anime AND manga, video games AND anime, Books AND movies... and so forth. I know some FFnet categories have a classification called "world" that lets you specify whether you're writing for the (fandom) anime/manga/video game/movie/book/musical/whatever, but that system operates on the assumption that fans know the original form of the fandom, and let's face it-- most people don't.

I want to avoid "crossposting," so I don't want to separate Anime and Manga. After all, someone might want to read a fanfic that's from an anime-based fandom, and then move onto one based in the manga. Or they might just want to read ALL fics of a given fandom, not caring what KIND of canon the fandom is. Plus, I have lots of fics that are almost fusions of anime and manga, among other things-- for example, Sailor Moon, Star Ocean, Yu-Gi-Oh.... Like, where would "What Doesn't Kill You" be posted? It could easily go into Anime AND Manga, but I don't want my stories to be posted in multiple places. It should just be organized in an easy-to-understand, quick-to-find way, PERIOD.

I thought about organizing it by "type" of posting, like Rants, Fanfiction, etc., but that wouldn't make much sense, either-- that's more of a "type" classification, and besides, what would I use for subcategories if I used those for main categories? I'd have to spend a ton of time reposting all the fandoms as subcategories if I did that.

So I need some ideas. It's clear to me now that my classifications should be as follows:
Type: rant, fanfiction, essay, etc.
Subtype: ship manifesto, shortfic, songfic, doujinfic, etc.
Genre: romance, general, adventure, drama, etc.
Warnings: sexual content, violence, crude language, etc.
Fandom: Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel, etc.
World: movie, book, anime, manga, video game, musical, etc.

But so what should the MAIN categories be? And what should the SUBCATEGORIES be? I'm really lost... /.\

Plus, some fandoms might have further organization, like how Yu-Gi-Oh can be organized by Season or Arc, the same way Sailor Moon can (and was, on my Mare Serenitatis site, back in the day). I can use a practically infinite amount of subcategories, by the way. (Of course, if I want fandom-specific organization, I might need to make fandoms subcategories somehow.)

I guess what I want to do is develop a sort of "site hierarchy" or "tree" that makes sense and only has lines going up and down, not side-to-side, diagonally, in zig-zags, etc.


Nov. 22nd, 2007 11:08 pm
azurite: (autumn kitty)
Greetings from FREEZING Seattle, WA... er, technically, Bellevue, I guess. Getting here wasn't so bad, but the schmucks at Alaska Airlines somehow managed to not put my checked bag (only the one, not even that big or heavy) on my flight, so I had to wait until about a half hour ago for it to be delivered to Sally's house.

Right now, we're (meaning me, my dad & Kathleen, and a few of the other cousins and aunts/uncles) are staying at a friend of Sally's house; I guess her family's out elsewhere for the holidays. It's a bit awkward to be in the home of someone I don't even know, but they did say it's okay...

And frankly, even if Sam (cousin) did say that it's "shady," at least THEY have free Wi-Fi. Seriously, I'm not the first person to point out to Sally and the boys that NOT having Wi-Fi at their house is equivalent to living in the Stone Age. (For those of you with Dial-Up, you're prehistoric.)

The Thanksgiving dinner was DELICIOUS, even though I got a stomachache after the fact-- actually though, based on the human digestive system, there's no way anything I ate at Thanksgiving could have made me sick, even if it was something I'm mysteriously allergic to. I think it was that muffin I picked up at Sea-Tac while waiting for Dan and my bag (which never came while I was there). It was one of those Costco muffins-- delicious, humongous, and bad for you, but you eat it anyway.

Pre and slightly-post dinner, I managed to work on the DIVs for "Ace of Hearts," the Sailor V x Kaitou Ace fanlisting I just started. It's about due, and I'm glad Michael (aka Honus, aka cousin-in-law, husband of Brooke) helped me out with it. Now I understand better how DIVs and CSS can work in tandem! So far it looks great, but I need to write the About, Rules, and Extras pages, make some Codes, and then, of course, Join! And promote... kinda like I am now. Pre-promoting, anyway.

I also managed to watch CSI-- I'm glad Sara got mentioned at least a little. The way the previews made it sound, the game was overtaking the lab and no one thought twice about Sara, which would have infuriated me. I liked how the lesser-seen lab techs got more time in the limelight in this episode (and Hodges had HIMSELF killed in a scenario? Wow, talk about his ego finally having been knocked down a few pegs).

I've also made headway on my portfolio for Journalism; I need access to a printer to print everything out, though. An aesthetic question of sorts: if I have these newspaper articles mounted on papers inside a 3-ring binder, what arrangement is easiest to read; with the headline closest to the rings (and you read the columns going AWAY from the binder) or the headlines closest to the edge of the page, and you read TOWARD the rings?

Had to buy a new phone, too-- just another RAZR. The 3G phone I bought for Japan finally died. The past few days, it was getting hard to open, and then on Wednesday, the screen started to flicker until it finally died and I couldn't turn it back on, even when I adjusted the battery. While I don't consider myself a hardcore phone user, I do USE it everyday for at least one phone call... but still, a little over a year strikes me as a pretty pathetic life not just for a battery, but for a phone's casing and everything in general..

The new phone is a bit different-- mine, while still a RAZR, was a different model (the V3x, from Europe). It takes some getting used to, but because syncing is so easy on the Mac, I've already got all my old contacts back, along with my calendar. I've also set the first four of my "Fave Five," though to be honest, I have no idea who #5 should be. The rest are Mom, Dad, Jill, and Baba & Grandpa. In any case, I hope by having a branded phone now, things'll be easier for me-- I can now access T-Zones, and there's no worries about incompatible phones on the website, weird text messages, etc. (Of course, I stopped getting those mysterious text messages on my old RAZR ages ago, when they finally updated their support-- I think.) I hope it also helps bring my bill down, since I was paying extra for minutes I didn't use and unlimited text messages WITHOUT myFaves. I still have the T-Mobile Hot Spot access though, which means I can go to any Starbucks or Borders and just type my heart out. That might be a nice way to spend the afternoon, especially since I won't really be able to do any "Black Friday" shopping-- unless someone else buys for me. I have to pay for my WII deposit (though it turns out I have 10 more days, since the forms I've been stressing over filling out were the digital copies, but they just sent the paper copies today).

I didn't get to announce about being accepted into the Washington Internship Institute at dinner, like I hoped-- Dad must have heard about it from Baba & Grandpa, and then it filtered through the family grapevine. When I told Dad about the costs, he started to think it wasn't legit-- and for a minute, he really had ME worried, too. Sometimes I wonder how gullible I really am; when something really sounds great to (or for) me, I probably don't stop to consider the consequences or other possibilities out there.

But it does look legit-- I mean, it's a sponsored program from Golden Key, one of my honor societies. But what I think is a good idea is trying to contact some people who supposedly were interns in the program before and find out what they thought.

What else? I'm exhausted and still have a stomachache-- so even though I'm on a couch in a room with curtains that won't close, I think I'll go to bed. This isn't really a vacation, after all...
azurite: (fandom destroyed my social skills)
It sucks when you get into a new pairing (this is the second in so many months) and you might find ONE or TWO fics that have a decent plot and spelling and grammar that doesn't make you cringe. Maybe the copy-editor in me has set standards too high, because I went through ALL of the M-rated fics in a C2 community devoted to Albel x Nel from Star Ocean 3 (TTEOT) and I was lucky to find anything halfway readable. Nothing worth reviewing, though, and thus, nothing to "write home about."

Why is it I keep seeing the same carelessness in fics? Whatever happened to showing your love of canon, your pride regarding your pairing (crack or not), and basic rules for clarity? I mean, even if you write just to get a plotbunny out of your head, you're still posting for the public- everyone knows there's the potential for reviews, or why else post it online in the first place, especially at a place like FFnet? Why else say things like "R&R" or "No flames!"? (And frankly, I find the last one stupid. Unless you've written something you know will "warrant" flames, why say it? You're basically asking for it when you say "Don't flame me!" because it really translates to: "Don't say anything if it's not mindless praise and useless drivel! I can't take constructive criticism and will tell you of all my illnesses and tragedies if you accuse me of forgetting to spell-check!")

It bugs me to no end when I see not just some simple, scattered spelling and grammar errors, but constant, repeated things within the first few paragraphs. In what I've seen lately with AlNel fics, it's stuff that's not specific to the fandom in any way, and could affect anyone, any time:

* Tense shifts. It's really, really jarring. I honestly think a simple proofread would solve this. Why don't people ever re-read their fics before they post? I do that many times over with my fics; it's how I catch most of my errors before I send the chapter off to a beta!

* Wrong word, wrong spelling, bad grammar. I saw "hallowed" instead of "hollowed." Yes, I know it's just a letter of difference, and from context, I understood the proper meaning, but still, since it's so easily FIXABLE, why not? A spell-checker won't catch it; you need to be diligent as a writer or have a beta who knows English! Why? Because something with an empty inside is much different from something that is considered sacred and respected. And of course, mixed up words like your, you're, their, they're, there always piss me off. GET THEM RIGHT! I also hate seeing it's or its used improperly. I'm just glad I have yet to see anyone use its'. And people who mix up words that should just LOOK wrong automatically like in this phrase: "They where sitting down next to the grapebind tree." What's wrong with that phrase? If you can't tell me, you fail. (And no, it's not the "grapebind," part, that's actually the name of a variety of tree in SO3. This is obviously something grammatical.)

* OOC. It bugs me when people say "yeah, they're a little OOC," and then they apologize, bitch about it, or say "fuck off" to the readers in some form or fashion. With most pairings, OOC means they're not the characters we're reading FOR anymore. Albel Nox and Nel Zelpher have such distinct personalities, to make them OOC in the slightest detracts from any quality the story may have had in its plot, writing style, etc. It's like cheapening a fine wine with seltzer water.

For those unfamiliar with the pairing, Albel Nox is the captain of a military power's infantry branch, known as the Black Brigade. He's a feared, ruthless killer with an incredible prowess with the katana and an ego that matches his reputation. But he's got a dark past and a thirst for bloodshed that are his weaknesses.

Nel Zelpher works for the country on the other side of the war, a country called Aquaria. She's a loyal woman, hard-working and strong, but she can occasionally come off as cold. She's also got a biting attitude sometimes. Her father died (technically without her knowing), so she, too, has a bit of a sad past. Unlike Albel, she's not missing any limbs or anything, but her ego's not as huge, even though she is well known as a spy and as the fierce edge of the renowned "Crimson Blade."

To take any of that away from them is to lose what makes them unique, tough characters, and then what's the point of writing fanfiction about them (or people with their names, at least) at all?

* "Guide to my writing." I used to do this when I was younger. But seriously, why the hell do people feel the need to mention that speech will be in "double quotes," thoughts will be 'italicized and in single quotes,' and things like lyrics, other languages, text messages, etc. will be bold/enclosed in brackets/marked off with asterisks, etc.? Ninety percent of the time, it's understood from context! I don't need someone instructing me on basic writing/English! (And for the record, I've written and even enjoy some songfics, but nowadays I'm seeing very little need to include lyrics --or at least huge chunks of them-- in fics. It's much easier to say "This fic was inspired by/has a scene inspired by XYZ by Artist A." Plus, you're not breaking copyright infringement by reprinting lyrics, then. And as an added bonus, there are no extra parts to bold/italicize/whatever to mark them off as lyrics (assuming your reader was too dumb to figure it out otherwise).

* High School fics/Movie or TV-based fics - I really wish this would end. When you take characters from a sword-and-sorcery-based world and try and dump them into a modern high school, modern hospital, or any other "modern" situation, it just ruins their characters. Albel Nox IS WHO HE IS because of WHERE HE WAS BORN, HOW HE WAS RAISED, AND WHAT HE HAS GONE THROUGH. You can't call him "Albel the Wicked" if he's pretending to be House, M.D. Nel wouldn't be who she is if she were years younger and some floozy at Aquios High. Parodies, yes, I can understand that, but... a real fic? It's one thing to dump the characters in a universe that the characters can still somewhat be fit into, but for a game like SO3, it's just not possible with these. Yet I've seen House, M.D., Cast Away, high school fics... ugh.

* Earth-based... - Okay, there's off-worlders like Fayt, Cliff, et. al. in SO3, but that doesn't mean that they're going to introduce a holiday like Valentine's Day/Christmas/etc. to Elicoor. And even if they did introduce it to Nel, Albel, or a city/a country, there's no telling if it would take, or if there wasn't already some sort of similar holiday in place! Consider the circumstances under which holidays developed on Earth. Without the same meaning on Elicoor, what's the point? Why would anyone place any significance to them, or care? Why would anyone ACT on them? It's stupid. It's MUCH easier, if you must have an excuse to write seasonal romance or whatnot, to invent a brand-new holiday. You can take elements of Valentine's Day, for example, and modify it to make something brand new. Even around the world, holidays aren't the same. So why not start with bits and pieces of one holiday and how it's celebrated around the world, and mush them all together? Or take multiple holiday traditions and mush them together? What if people on Elicoor celebrate a day of love in their coldest month, and partake of a chocolate treat after lighting candles on a tree? And what if it's called Eyun, or Rashul Day? It doesn't have to be "Valentine's" or "Christmas," or anything like that. (BTW, remember that Earth in SO3 is several centuries ahead of "modern time" anyway, so who's to say that holidays like those are even celebrated anymore, or if they are, that they're celebrated in even the remotely same way? Christmas now isn't celebrated like it was originally, that's for damn sure.)

* "Bad at summary's. Read." Er, no, I'll pass. Seriously, all a summary is: a single sentence briefly describing the plot of your story. And you know what? It can come in different forms. I know one summary that was a line from the story, but it was so unusual, it drew me in. It can be one of those standard "questions," where you put a character in a situation and then ask if they can get out of it somehow. BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE: a string of pairing names, emoticons, ellipses, references to friends/inside jokes, re-hashed information from canon, song lyrics, or a single word/short phrase having nothing to do with your story (again, such as the pairing name). Same goes for the title, too. MAKE IT RELEVANT. It's not hard.

Summaries also don't need to include irrelevant details (unless it's what makes your story unique, and frankly I DOUBT IT) like whose POV the story is written in, what there are spoilers for (seriously, that's what author notes are for), why it's rated the way it is, etc. It CAN include things like the fact that a chapter is new or revised, if the story is on hiatus or will never be finished, and so on. But it should basically give the reader a reason to read, a reason why your story should be picked out of the trash that is FFnet these days.

There are a ton of other things, too, like eLiTE caps, Random Capitals in the Middle of a Phrase or sentence!, misspellings of canonical things (Airyglyph, not Airigliph, Airygliph, etc.; Fayt, not Fate, Elicoor, not Elicloor, etc.), lack of/bad punctuation (thats, well for we'll, etc.), too much punctuation (*!*!*!xxStoryTitlexx*!*!*!)

I hate to say it, but it's not that much better on most private archives I found. That makes me sad that either writers of this pairing are so lazy, the good writers are so few and far between, and/or the moderators of outside archives aren't stringent. This is why I have an approval queue for Dragonfayth, and why I beta things that are on the verge of being good, but just need some (hopefully minor) changes. Sometimes I'm too nice and I really overhaul a story rather than rejecting it-- I've done it multiple times now with an author who apparently doesn't read the explanations I make an effort to include in my rejection letters.

I'm thinking that contribution to fandom is multi-fold:
* How-To articles on what makes the best fanfiction for X pairing or Y fandom-- just the basics, like what I mentioned above, not things like "The plot must be Z!" or "Character A should act exactly like THIS, all the time!"

* Contribution of your own work.

* Recognition and recommendation of others' work, because it can't be all that bad.

All of the above makes me want to get Epiphany up that much faster, because all of that can be in place with Epiphany. If only I didn't feel so damn tired and busy all the time. Playing SO3 lately has been my only relief, even though I know I tend to procrastinate when I play (e.g. sorting B&G's bills, working on my J371 project which is due next week, etc.)

*SIGH!* This entry has too many asterisks in it.
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 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: (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.)
azurite: (sailormoon - manga venus fade)
I'm not really sure WHAT prompted it, but today I decided to join a bunch of fanlistings. I actually thought I already *was* a member on most of them, but it's possible that with sites moving, my own sites going defunct, and so forth, I'm no longer on the lists. That's all changed, since I'm taking advantage of Enthusiast 3's "owned/joined/affiliates" set up (at Azurelist), allowing me to easily add fanlistings I own (Blue Eyes & Apricots being the only one, currently) and ones I've joined. It skyrocketed from about six to over 20, I think. And I still think I'm forgetting more.

And to add to the insanity, there's a pairing that decidedly DOES NOT have its own FL (from what I've researched) and I so want to make it. Even though it's semi-weird, and you'd have to have at least 10 years of fandom memory to even know which I mean. *giggle* I don't want to tell, just yet... but see if you can guess, based perhaps on my icon of choice.

Anyway, finding all these FLs (for anime & manga, at least) is reminding me of all the fandoms I've ever loved, the characters that I've really liked, and the pairings that have melted my heart. And like I said-- there's more. There are even some I'm "hovering" on, like for fandoms I'm not fully into yet, like Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne x Sinbad.

So, anyone have any suggestions? Pairings or characters I've forgotten, ones I really ought to get into, etc.? Drop a line!
azurite: (ygo - anzu's problems)
While it was great to hear the other day that people actually enjoy using and adding to WikiFic, sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that ever adds articles. I doubt it's because people don't have the knowledge, and it's not like WF's rules are so stringent that I'd delete ANYTHING. In fact, most people have added some pretty good quality info that I wouldn't have known about otherwise!

What pisses me off is that the Yu-Gi-Oh Wikia, which primarily focuses on the TCG/OCG as opposed to the fandom aspect of the series, is much larger- it's got over 13,000 articles, while we're teetering near 200. Most of those articles are for cards, of course, and all the subsequent data like trivia. It's not that it's larger and obviously has more people working for it-- it's that everything is made so easy for them because they're hosted on Wikia, a "make your own wiki" site. It takes all the work and learning out of it. If I'd known about Wikia years ago, before I started WikiFic, I might have put it there, but I didn't. I also don't like ad-supported anything, so I've done everything on my own domain.

That's part of the reason why anything is a long time coming with WikiFic-- it takes a LOT of trial and error, searching, uninstalling and reinstalling... I'm always having issues, and I don't have a website support team to back me up. I have to turn to the Discussion pages, the Mediawiki-l mailing list, and similar places. Even my own web host can't help out with MediaWiki beyond enabling things via SSH and the like. And I'm on a shared host, because I can't afford a private one, which means many of my editing options are limited.

It looks like the YGO Wikia has a LOT more extensions that either don't exist for the general MediaWiki public (which is also infuriating) or require some "heavy duty" editing, like adding *.pl files. I'd love to be able to take advantage of rotating templates for featured cards, JavaScript for displaying pages succinctly, timelines, and so on, but it's tough doing it on my own. Looking at the Wikia, sometimes it seems hopeless, even though I look at WikiFic and I realize I didn't create it for people looking to verify card info or get strategies-- it's for fic writers and readers that should know about the series they're involved with. You'll probably never see anything on how astrology and blood types tie into Yu-Gi-Oh at the Wikia, but those articles (mainly because they're mine :P) are at WikiFic. I'd like to think that can/does apply to a lot of other articles too, but we have SO FEW at this point...

*sigh* I just wish I had more involvement, I guess. I wish that for a lot of my sites. Maybe I'm more of a team-player than a lone wolf than I thought.

Haiku2 for the_sweet
available and
every now and again
i find it maybe
Created by Grahame
azurite: (ffx-2 - yuna's memory)
So my new computer probably won't ship until the 30th at the earliest, and if they DO ship it that day, that's the day they charge my card. Coincidentally (har har!) it's the day my bill for my credit card is due, and I can't buy anything more until said payment is... paid. So basically I'm broke-ish until the laptop is paid for and I can get my rebate, which sucks.

I also restarted work on the "Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Another Story" novelization project. I'm glad I managed to catch up to where I was (a little more than midway through Mercury's portion of Chapter 2 - In Search of the Stones) in less than two days, but running Dreamweaver at the same time as SNES9x is a pain, and it's hard to type and pause with my memory so low. So while I do plan on restarting/finishing that soon(ish), I'll wait until I get the new laptop, since that should make juggling the two programs easier.

Tomorrow I have my first day of JOUR 397B, aka the Daily Sundial, even though I've already been to the orientation and have been turning articles in. We're not meeting in the Sundial room afaik, so I'm not really sure what to expect.

After class, I'm supposed to go to a follow-up appointment with the oral surgeon back in Van Nuys, but a lot's happened in the past two weeks-- namely, Grandpa's gotten a LOT more forgetful and more spaced out. Of course I'm worried about him-- I don't really know what caused it or brought it on, and the family's got a lot of theories, ranging from overdosing on some medication to having a stroke and us just not knowing about it (is that really possible?). Either way, it's a bit sad to see him seem so listless and uninvolved in anything the way he used to be-- always reading his papers, checking his stocks, and watching his financial and political news programs. Now he just sort of sits there and channel surfs, and sometimes he doesn't even pay attention (Baba said he watched "Hannah Montana" for an hour today, which SCARES me).

SoI might not go to the oral surgeon tomorrow if Baba's taking Grandpa to the doctor's, but I think I feel fine-- I haven't had any residual soreness, tightness of the jaw, bleeding, or noticeable signs of infection. I still don't want to get slammed with a cancellation fee if I don't go, and even if I do go, again, there's the whole payment thing... urgh, can't wait until my next paycheck. I think with all the hours I've been pulling lately it'll be a bit better than my last one, but I hate how I only get paid once a month.

I am worried about Grandpa, of course... I mean, part of the reason why I'm here is to try and take care of them, though as I've mentioned in the past, I never want to baby them. Neither of them are "rest home" type of people, so Grandpa being "incapacitated" like he is seems hard enough on all of us. I don't like facing the very real possibility that his time is coming... but I should, just because this isn't like with Michelle (an accident, out of nowhere, unpredictable. Grandpa's old; he's led a great and full life and been a wonderful inspiration, help, and part of my life. He's been my ONLY Grandpa, because my mom's father died before I really got to know him (I was only a baby, I think). It sucks feeling like I'll have the responsibility of doing so much more for Baba if Grandpa does pass-- moreso than I did or even COULD have done for Mom back when Michelle died. But I do have to be there for her --for Grandpa as well, for as long as he is here-- because I guess part of me is still adamantly hanging onto what little "youth" I feel like I have left. I lost a big chunk of it when Michelle died, because I was 10 and suddenly had to act like an adult back then. Now I'm 22, and I have to act it and beyond, because it's not just Mom this time, it's Baba and all the kids (my aunts and uncles).

I want to think positive though, if just to provide a contrast to Baba's pessimism. I am scared though --and I hate to think it, but selfish. What'll happen to me if Grandpa DOES pass before I graduate? Can I help out with all the bill payments? Will I need to? Grandpa's not working anymore; I don't know where they get money from, or where it all goes to.

Dad is still coming up next weekend for Labor Day, and Shawn (who was supposed to come over today, but I think I gave him my post-surgery cold) and I will be going to Jill's on the 1st for a BBQ/Pool Party. I'm hoping Shawn makes a good impression on both sides of the family, either way. :P I mean, not like it's THAT serious or anything, but it's always nice to get that out of the way first. This isn't some "Meet the Fockers" redux or anything, you know?

Speaking of Dad, he's adamant that when Shawn gets better, he and I go to a bike shop to take the bike that's been sitting in the garage rafters to get totally overhauled. I've thought about it a lot, since bicycling is great exercise, and both my parents can shockingly AGREE on its benefits. I don't have the first clue how to ride though, so the first step would really be getting this bike shaped for ME. And maybe painted purple! :D Dad even says he'll pay for it, which rocks.

Hopefully things will stay... "good-ish" for the next few weeks at the least; Baba and Grandpa are supposed to go to Seattle for Rosh Hashanah, and Shawn should be staying over that week. It'll also be a Mokie-free week (huzzah!) because Baba wants to leave the poodle over at Debbie's, the groomer's we've been taking the fuzzball to. That'll be nice-- not to have to deal with Mokie's yapping and such. That's one reason why I like cats more-- even if they meow, they don't meow so loudly that it attracts attention from outside, or scares postmen.

What else? I woke up today remembering some of the 42 prompts I'd partially done, and how a) I never finished them and b) they were mysteriously not in my Memories. So I found and added them, and maybe when I finish WDKY25 (I surprised myself by seeing how long I've been complaining about that chapter since I finished with WDKY24 last year) I'll work on a few more of those "blurbs." I don't know if/when/where I'll post them, though.

For my next two Sundial articles, I have to contact the Westfield Topanga mall (did it by email, since I didn't find another contact person/PR number to call) and some astronomy teachers at CSUN... unfortunately, the Physics and Astronomy Dept. page at CSUN doesn't organize the professors by their subject, so I might just need to call the department office and find names of professors (preferably full-time; the prof. I had and emailed -who hasn't gotten back to me yet- is part-time) who are in astronomy and might have some insight on the upcoming meteor shower. BTW, every time I type that, I want to say "VENUS METEOR SHOWER!!!!!" I think it sounds a lot cooler than "Crescent Beam shower!" I mean, why would crescent beams shower? Or shower down, as it were? (I remember getting a Sailor Moon Collectible Card from Toys 'R' Us ages ago, and it had a "new" attack for Sailor Venus and Sailor Jupiter on there. Back in the day, before the rest of the series got dubbed/subbed, those kind of things got me downright GIDDY. It was like NEWS in the Sailor Moon universe!)

*sigh* I've been taking a lot of naps today, and I feel like I've hardly been productive, even if I did get work done on the BSSM:AS project.

On the plus side, I've been adding more fics to Dragonfayth, and Blue Eyes and Apricots is only 19 members away from having 500 members! So tell all your friends to join! :D More Azureshippers! WHOO! (We shall conquer the world!)

Cut because there's always another... meme! )

I just finished sorting through all my Sailor Moon cards. I don't know what possessed me, really, but I think it was mentioning those odd attacks. The wrong one on a dub card was "Venus Electrobolts Slam!" Doesn't that sound more like one of Jupiter's attacks? But it got her "Thunderclap, Zap!" one right. Go figure. Doesn't someone also have a dub attack ending in "Slam!" though?

I also wanted to find the anime-only special cards of the "wedding" from Sailor Stars (they're not images from any real episode, though). Turns out I had most of them in my sticker album, so I'll have to scan them eventually. The collection is quite interesting, and I have a plethora of counterfeit cards based off ONE of the Mercury cards, using manga artwork instead of anime. It's funny how there are so many cards with just the very top of Mercury's head, someone else pictured, and "Sailor Mercury" at the bottom (sometimes not even fully visible). I wonder if the stuff I've got -some of which is in REALLY good condition, in sets, too!- can be sold or something. Not like I do anything with it. And once I scan it... well, I'm happy.
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!

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 [ 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?
azurite: (violet lips)
I'm so uncreative with my subject lines sometimes. But at least I don't use my horrid subjects for fanfic titles, eh?

And the weird dreams continue! )

I got to thinking about celebrities a bit last night, and just now, looking for last summer's entries for [ profile] azhp, I found that silly fantasy I had of meeting Johnny Depp. So here's an odd meme of sorts all about celebrities. Take a starlet, pass 'em on. I wanna be a star, a star, a star! )

I removed the Infobox templates and ParserFunction extension from WikiFic, so now you can add articles again. In all honesty, I need help. If the show's airing on repeats, I haven't noticed it (then again, I hardly watch TV that isn't Food Network), so could some people more on the up-and-up help me with articles, such as those about Thief King Bakura, the TCG, and so on? It would really help! :D

I called Kaiser again, was on hold for nearly 15 minutes before I got to speak to someone. And even then, it was the same thing-- doctor's not available, I'll leave a message. Maybe he'll call back (yeah right). Why can't the results be automated or something? Admittedly, I can respect the possibility of getting bad news from a live person being easier to take than a faceless, nameless robot voice, but still, the suspense is... well, maybe not killing me, but maybe it is!
azurite: (yuna berserker)
(1) Went to Jon's, the local marketplace that's a knockoff of Von's (which is the SoCal equivalent of Safeway). Grandpa and I bought so many fruits, it's amazing we don't make a salad. But I took a peach, a few strawberries, and some blueberries and put them in my Cream of Wheat. It tasted DELICIOUS! I think that's one of the few ways I ever get my daily serving of fruit.

(2) Created Mer's Ultimate Guide on How to Use LiveJournal. It covers the super-basics, so I probably wouldn't recommend it for anyone that's been around, but if you have friends that are thinking about joining LJ, or who already have and aren't very well acquainted, maybe point them in the direction of my guide? I'd like to know what people think!

(3) Throat's feeling a bit better. I've been guzzling a lot of water and milk today. And I bought chocolate chip and walnut cookie mix, so I'll make the cookies and drink MORE MILK! Bwahaha. (I love milk so much, so one of the most terrifying things for me would be me becoming lactose intolerant. It's one thing if you were BORN that way and just got used to it, but my palate tends to revolve heavily around dairy, and I like it that way. I guess that's why I'm not scared of the prospect of getting skin cancer... it's not on top of my list of "health scares." Haha!)

(4) Need CS3. Hope Erin gets back to me soon (she ordered it for me from UCLA). I can't believe I'm saying this, but Dreamweaver's errors lately are making me fed up. I hate how it's not rendering WDKY10 when I need to edit it, and how it pops up with these weird menu/Java errors every now and again. CS3 CS3 CS3... need CS3...

And now I think I'll start the cookies and finish off my Oversoul list in FFX-2. Huzzah!
azurite: (isis midol)
I think I just threw up a pill. For the first time in... god knows how long, actually. When I was younger, I used to be afraid of swallowing pills. I don't know why, exactly, but I hated the idea of something WHOLE and not chewed up or liquid going down my pipes. One time I was horribly sick with a fever, and the only remedy was in pill form. Dad had to SIT on me (keep in mind, he's 140+ lbs. and I've always been a feather-weight) and pour grape juice down my throat while he kept the pill in my mouth with his finger (and I hate grape juice now, too, in case you're wondering). I don't think it worked, but Dad refused to let me out of my room unless I took the pill. So I took the juice, the pill, and stared at myself in the mirror until I could swallow it. And I did, and ever since then, it hasn't been such a big deal.

Admittedly, I'm taking more meds lately-- but only 2 are pills, and one is so small, I hardly ever notice it. The other one... well, it's no horse pill, but it's no cute Flinstones vitamin, either. And I usually take a handful of water (as in, I cup my hands under the faucet and drink) and knock back whatever I need to. No big deal, right?

Except tonight, I was sitting here reading email when I felt this choking sensation, like the pill hadn't gone down all the way, and where it had gotten to -midway through my esophagus, if that- wasn't a good spot. It felt like the pill exploded, and the powder got all over my throat, and it STUNG like hell. So I tried to wash the feeling away with water, but after just a few sips, I kept choking until I threw up.

... :( Great. It still burns, too. And this had to happen AFTER I brushed my teeth. How's that for irony?

And to top it off, when I called the Kaiser dermatology department, the doctor with my biopsy results was busy with a patient (as usual), so I couldn't get them. And even though the receptionist told me she'd have him call back, I didn't hear from him, and probably won't until Tuesday.

That's part of the growing list of mishaps to start out my summer-- this morning I went to the Saturday morning prep session for the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam, only to find all of Bayramian Hall (where it was supposed to take place) LOCKED DOWN AND CLOSED. I called the campus police, talked to people in the library, looked for signs or a single open door, talked to the custodians... NOTHING. After an hour, I got fed up (along with the rest of the would-be prep people) and left. When I got home, I sent a polite-but-scathing email to the UDWPE, and they told me there was a "miscommunication" because a workshop (which is what I called it a few times) is not the same as a "prep session," and had I/we (meaning the other people that had shown up and waited just like me-- and there were a fair number of us) signed up in the office (instead of over the phone, as I did, relying on the office's oh-so-kind receptionist), we would have seen the appropriate date, time, and location. I don't know if that means the prep session DID take place someplace else, but I was pretty much relying on what I'd been told BY the people staging the whole event. I woke up extra early for it, too. And since I wasn't the only one to have made that mistake AND the campus police said they had NO record whatsoever of anything starting at 9:30am *OR* being called an "Upper Division Writing" anything, I don't think I was at fault in the slightest.

The UDWPE lady who got back to me said she'd forward my message to the people at the Learning Resource Center, who are the ones that actually stage the prep sessions, and they'll see (if I call on Tuesday) if next week prior to the exam (on one of the twice-weekly workshop days) I can get some quick preparation for the exam before it actually happens next Saturday. So yay, but blech.

Onto another subject... I've been working on WikiFic lately, but my desire to add infoboxes required the Parser Function extension, which I had to find the backdated version of for MediaWiki 1.6 (which I have to run, because my Surpass server won't upgrade to PHP 5), BUT the extension may be conflicting with the Cite extension, which means... I may never get it to work. Anyway, WikiFic's down at the moment. I apologize for any inconvenience... but then again, I feel like I'm the only one who ever writes articles there, anyway. Sometimes activity from anyone BUT me seems so scant... but then, it's not like I can do a whole lot about it NOW anyway!

* Got a bit of a haircut. It's now all nice and even-length.
* Room's still a huge mess. Haven't gotten my replacement bookcase yet. I need a huge bag... and possibly a taller file cabinet. Does it count as organized when all you do is shove your mess into pretty boxes?
* Beat the Ruin Depths in FFX-2 (of course). I have to go back to Oversoul a few more fiends, but I think I have only around 20 left before I complete the list and *FINALLY* get "THE END" garment grid. I also want to swing back to Mt. Gagazet and see if that statue really does end up as Yuna... what's weird is, I swore the statue ended up as Kimahri, since you see that whole scene and everything, but then I got lost on Gagazet and found the artisan still hard at work! Go figure. So that plus Sphere Break and Publicity, and then this game'll be SET and MATCH!
azurite: (usagi alone)
Sometimes just for the hell of it, I combine two topics on my mind into one warped subject line.

I had my first final today; it was for my Editing class. It wasn't too bad, actually; liberal use of my AP Stylebook really helped, as did a proofreading after I printed the first draft. I think I did pretty well, all things considered; I even got an A on the two papers Witten turned back to me, which means I might be doing better in the class than I thought.

As for the toilet, last week sometime I noticed the rec room bathroom toilet had flooded AGAIN (Let's put it this way; I was busy playing FFX-2 and had to take a break. I take ONE step within the vicinity of the bathroom, and my socked foot goes SQUISH in a very yucky way. I realize the extent of the damage, and holler for Grandpa). This time the damage was so bad (by the time we noticed it) that Baba just got fed up and said she wanted the carpet torn out. Because it happened on a Friday (I believe), we had to wait over the weekend for everything to clear up. And that meant the carpet stayed wet (despite us having the fan on and the windows open whenever we were home), and started getting mold and mildew. No good for someone with allergies, like me. So Baba kicked me out of the rec room fairly quickly whenever I was in there watching TV or playing video games.

There are guys from "American Craftsman Restoration" (their mascot is a guy that looks a bit like Captain America, RIP!) tearing out the carpet downstairs-- or half of it, anyway. Turns out there's concrete underneath. And the walls of the rec room are wood panels, and they go to the floor, so the ones near the bathroom were wet, too. So those might be getting torn out as well. Baba wants to replace the flooring with hardwood, like the kitchen, which won't be so bad; it'll be easier to move furniture in there, and sweeping will be easier than vacuuming around all that furniture. But the room's already the coldest in the house, and a hardwood floor won't make it any warmer. Not that anyone ever likes sleeping in that room (anymore) anyway.

I do hope AAA pays for the damage, because it's crazy how much we keep paying for this kind of thing to get fixed, and it just happens again, no helping it.

Anywho, I've got a bit of a to-do list for the rest of the day:
* Take the bookcase pieces and put them in their box again, before it starts raining and the box outside gets damaged beyond usability
* Work on a "character development" planner for WDKY, so I don't lose track of characterization and what is "OOC" in that universe or not (this is surprisingly important for WDKY25, as I'm coming to learn)
* Study for my graphics and Media Law exams tomorrow, which involve reading, reading, and more reading
* Assemble my books that I want to sell back to the bookstore
* Clean up my room a bit (!?)
* Try writing/planning a bit more of my scholarship book
* Read what I bought yesterday of Death Note (up to Vol. 12; is that the last one, or is there a 13? I can't remember...), and Ceres: Celestial Legend (missing volume 1 and 13, but oh well... special order!)
* Work on WikiFic

I was also thinking of a rant/poll of sorts to post here later, about what frustrates me about shoujo "heroines" and their romances. I tend to like the romances where there's a very explicit (as in "clear" not as in "sex sex and more sex") reason why two characters love each other and get together. In re-reading some of Ceres: Celestial Legend, I got a bit frustrated with Aya's obsession with Touya; I remember volume 1, when they first met, and all the subsequent volumes... I really don't think it's very justified why she falls for him when she's got Yuuhi, who loves her and cares for her very much, and doesn't bother with all the "I don't know" and mysterious amnesia/implanted memories stuff. I do get WHAT Touya is and what he represents, but... I don't like fickle or weak heroines. I still like the series, though.

And that, in turn, got me thinking about other series that I really like-- Sailor Moon was the first, and like so many other Moonies, I was a big Usagi x Mamoru fan. But why? It was well-established in canon, and it's not like there was ever a really good rival for Mamoru (let's be honest, Umino never stood a chance, Motoki had a girlfriend, Demando was evil, Haruka was gay, and Seiya was an alien AND appeared when Mamoru was gone and couldn't really "fend" for himself). I'm sure there's more to say and couples this can and cannot apply to, so I'll save that for later.
azurite: (dancing 2k-tan)
Aaahh, what a wonderful feeling. This is weird. I've bid on eBay before, but never was I so "obsessed" (I put that in quotes for humor's sake) with refreshing the page to make sure *I* didn't get sniped. And lo and behold, with less than 30 seconds left, someone tried to outbid me, thinking that I foolishly wouldn't get notification in time. Little did they know I was parked right in front of my bidding page, watching like the "eagle-eyed editor" I am! (Compliment from Prof. Witten this morning. Yay!)


Okay, so I paid a bit more than I wanted to for Mom's Mother's Day present, but considering it's so much cheaper than list price, I think it's worth it. Plus it's a practical gift, and when Mom gets it and she'll be "...I can't believe it. You actually bought it." it'll be the greatest day ever.

I never thought I would like sniping! I was channeling Weird Al, that's for sure. What fun!

Speaking of happiness, yesterday at the Pub (eatery here on campus), I overheard a group of high-schoolers (don't know what they were doing on campus, but they were definitely too young to be students here at CSUN) arguing about something that sounded suspiciously like Sailor Moon. I sort of skulked around as I was waiting for my order, seeing if I could overhear something that would confirm it-- and sure enough, I heard "Mini-Moon!" Now, I may not be the biggest fan of the dub from Super onward (not that Stars ever got dubbed-- or ever WILL), but I just started giggling. Then I asked the trio what the argument was and none-too-modestly said I could probably help settle it (being an expert on Sailor Moon... but... what? It's sort of the truth! I mean really, short of individual names of youmas and the like -and I do know *some* of them-, or anything about the musicals, I don't think there's much about Sailor Moon that I DON'T KNOW!).

Turns out the argument was over whether Mini-Moon was Sailor Moon's daughter (*snorfle*). The lone girl thought yes, yes of course she had to be! While the two guys with her doubted it, because after all, Mini-Moon appeared when Sailor Moon was *still in school.* (Oh, the scandal!) So when the question was out I said, "Damn right." (I really ought to watch my language around younger kids. I mean if they really were in high school, I'm sure they've said/done/seen worse things, but you never know who's got the most impressionable mind) And then I explained that she traveled back in time whenever we saw her, although technically she's over 900 years old...

And the girl triumphantly said "SEE!?" I told them I was surprised they'd been talking about Sailor Moon, and I thought it had to be impossible/coincidental that what they were saying SOUNDED so much like Sailor Moon, but it turns out the conversation had some roots in the fact that I have a small Sailor Mars charm on my backpack, and that spurred the subject. It's good to know that even though Sailor Moon ended well over 10 years ago, it's still very much alive here in the USA. :)
azurite: (skip*beat kyouko)
I think I must have slept something like 14+ hours last night. I got home from work shortly after 7:15pm, and because my shoulder (and stomach) were hurting, the first thing I did was take my Darvocet and Levsin. I sat in front of the computer doing a few more backdated entries for 2002 (oh, the nostalgia) and then decided to read my latest Newsweek. About 75% through the issue, I couldn't focus anymore, so I turned off my light and decided to "take a nap." I put that in quotes because, while I had every intention of waking up again at 10:15pm to have a late dinner and maybe get some other stuff done, instead I ignored said alarm clock and went right back to sleep.

I woke up again around 1am to go to the bathroom, and it occurred to me that while I'd taken my night pills, I forgot to wash my face. :P Bad, bad idea. But I was just SO exhausted, I couldn't even imagine standing in place for five minutes to do that, so I collapsed when I went right back to bed. And now I'm up now at 7:40am. Not exactly perky-awake, and I'm still a bit sore, but at least I have my physical therapy appointment at the Klotz center later. Maybe after that (since the appointment is at 10:30am and I have no class again until 2pm), I can either head home or go to WaMu and talk to them about a bank credit card, to see what they offer.

That said, I had a weird dream that (as some dreams do) may inspire fanfiction. Let me preface this by saying I don't believe I've ever written Disney fanfic. Not for Little Mermaid, not for Beauty and the Beast, etc. But I had this weird pair of ideas revolving around the latter, and maybe someone can slap me upside the head and either tell me they're junk, they've been done before, or what the hell am I still doing in Yu-Gi-Oh, write those fics!

Tale as old as... er, last night )

Yesterday when I was helping someone at work I saw an article on Yahoo! (as in, the main Yahoo page, not search results or another page) about internships, but when I tried to find it myself, I couldn't! And trying to do a internships site: search produced plenty of results, none of which I think were the article I'd seen. Does anyone have suggestions on how to find things like that?

I also heard from Scott via email-- if he's reading this, dude, are you [ profile] fountain_the? I'm dying to know here, since the birthday matches, but there's no user info, there are no entries... I wanted to help him get started with an LJ (so he doesn't have to be clicking CC: to a million emails), but I don't want to pay for an LJ if it's NOT someone I know! So come forward, yo! Say some sort of secret phrase to confirm your identity or something. :P

All that said, I think I'll try and get back to sleep and hope the pain in my shoulder wears off... I've been careful not to wear my laptop-loaded purse on that side, but still, even an "evenly-balanced" backpack causes it to hurt. Just what I need, pinched nerves AND Sciatica. I think if I save up, I can get a monthly massage at the Student Health Center so I can avoid all this! (Maybe.)

I'm almost done with my 2002 FreeOpenDiary entries, and I'm going to poke into my old Greymatter ones soon too, so if you ever wanted to know what I wrote like back when I was an emo high schooler... *laughs* Well, it's all there. I'll do a recap entry of my favorites when I finish, but until then, happy hunting (should you be so inclined)!
azurite: (deadlines whoosh)
I'm considering going to the NSCS Convention 2007 in Philadelphia, PA. I asked my Mom a few weeks ago to check into a possible discount at the hosting hotel, which is a Starwood property, but none of her contacts have gotten back to her, so she recommended I just make the reservation for the Convention + Summit All-Inclusive (Jul. 18-21, four nights in a 4 person bedroom). At first, I was just looking at plane fares, but most are $350-$400 round-trip, and those are for flights a) on airlines I don't like or b) at ungodly hours of the morning, or c) on airlines with a 50% probability of being on time, when being on time is CRITICAL.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, Scott hasn't called yet, so I might as well get ready for bed and just talk to him in bed whenever he does call... and I hope he does call. :(
azurite: (aries after sex)
Whoo-hoo, Giants beat the Padres 3-5! I wish we'd beat them 1-5, then I could have gone to the Levi's store at Union Square and gotten 10% or so off a purchase with a ticket stub, but alas... I suppose I don't need the new pants anyway (even though I really do, I think). But it was still nice having post-game bragging rights and text messaging Scott to tell him GIANTS WON HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA (among other things, which prompted the following reply: !...go Padres?)

So generally speaking, it's been a good Spring Break. I wish I'd gotten out more... hopefully if I get up at a semi-reasonable hour tomorrow (and Mom doesn't have me cleaning again *pray pray pray*) I can do some last-minute shopping at J-town and downtown, if I pack my other things in the morning. I hope the weather will be nice, because no matter what outfit I choose, it'll be a skirt. :P

Thankfully Dad wasn't PO'd at all when I called him earlier today to ask him about the plans for Friday... he still doesn't know if Kathleen is coming for Passover, though. o_O; And he refuses dead-on to come to S.F., so that means Mom'll be stuck shipping any leftover things of mine, rather than me taking it via car. :P Honestly, parents can be so immature at times...

But rather than rant and rail, I'm in a pretty good mood. I snagged YGO: Duelist #20 (yea for more errors by Viz so I can put them on WikiFic!) and The Prestige on DVD for only $19.99 (plus 30% off YGO!). And the game was pretty damn good, even if Bonds... well, he didn't do much. He caught one good hit somewhere in the last innings, but hitting-wise, he didn't do much. When he finally got to base, it was because he got a run. Everyone was booing. I think booing is tacky, but... whatever. It helped us score in the end, I think.

It's a shame I didn't get to see more of my friends and do more with my Mom, but that's the nature of Spring Break. I'll be back in summer, for sure.
azurite: (pharaoh = porkchop)
I believe I've mentioned on a few occasions my disappointment with big-name anybodys or anythings. Many of my friends recall how I detested anything related to Harry Potter, until one day [ profile] katiat325 invited me to a free screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The whole time, she and [ profile] schmollieollie were chatting about the things different from the book, the scenes left out, the characterizations-- and they wouldn't repeat a word of it to me, the outsider who hadn't even read the books.

So I read the books-- actually borrowed from my mother. By the time I was leaving to go to CSUN, I was engrossed in the world, and Stephanie got me Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as a going-away present. Now that the final book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) is upon us (July 21, 2007), I'm looking back on a lot of books that have been hype or tripe. Some books deserve their hype; others (especially those from a famous author or in a long-standing series) don't really deserve the hype they get just because of the name attached.

For example, Harry Potter --both the books and the fandom as a whole-- has disappointed me over the years, because what I originally found fascinating or enchanting is now predictable or pathetic. But JKR is not a poor writer by any stretch of the imagination, and AS a writer myself, I hardly think that a writer SHOULD pander to her audience, even if said audience "pays the bills."

So then I wonder about another famous author: Danielle Steel. Before I left for Japan last year, I picked up her (then) newest book, Coming Out. It sounded different from the steamy romances I'd read from her in high school (I can't remember the exact title, but it was about a Japanese woman in an internment camp in America during World War 2). But then again, in high school, I had a lot lower standards. -_- I remember trying my hardest to read "Coming Out" but it just read like a flat, predictable piece of drivel. It's funny, because when I mentioned something similar to this (though I believe on another comm. or in another post somewhere), someone said that many of her stories have the same PLOT over and over, with the characters merely renamed. That wasn't the case with "Coming Out" at all, and in fact, had some very interesting characters and what I thought was a very interesting plot-- but it's like taking a bunch of baking ingredients and making something terrible tasting with them. There was SO much potential, but...

I ended up returning "Coming Out" and using the money I got in return to buy 3 Yu-Gi-Oh manga. Sure, I don't like what Viz does with the manga (namely their horrid design skills, and how they can't even position a rounded rectangle block of text into a bubble properly), but I still buy from them because I support them bringing Yu-Gi-Oh's original manga to English audiences in the first place. All the scanlation groups that have tried up to this point are sub-par, really. Companies like Viz have the time and money to create something truly incredible, but as with my previous analogy, I think they're taking something with potential and not doing the best they can with it. But rather than creating something "horrible tasting" with the "ingredient" that is the original Yu-Gi-Oh manga, I think they've just made something that's a bit bitter and a touch bit moldy in places. I would one day like to work for Viz, instead of writing them letters over and over ("Are you guys going to do a second edition of XYZ manga where page 10 ISN'T a duplicate of page 5?"), so I'm trying to keep that goal in mind.

Anyway, because of my disappointment with Steel, I have next to no interest in reading her NEWEST new novel, Sisters. It, too, sounds vaguely interesting, based on the description. And people always love to hype Danielle Steel for being such a "prolific" writer, for churning out as many novels as she has, for being best-selling. But what the hell does best-selling mean if not "robbed a bunch of people's wallets?" I mean, it says nothing for the actual quality of the book, only the fact that it sold. You might as well say that the In-Crowd back in high school were model students, representatives of the school or teenagers as a whole.

Yeah, right, and I'm Angelina Jolie. [/sarcasm]

I can't stand two forms of book summaries:
* the non-existent kind (i.e. you go to the back of a book, or the inside flap of a hardcover, and there is no summary-- only a photo of the author, or a short bio, or WORSE, a description of some OTHER book they wrote!)
* the obvious kind ("will so-and-so find true love amidst her family crumbling before her eyes!?")

Steel's fall into the second category, though I have seen a few of her books fall into the first, as well. And I'm sorry, but every time I see the cover art of "Toxic Bachelors" I want to cringe. WHO THE HELL DESIGNED THAT COVER!? My grandmother (Baba) has HUNDREDS, if not THOUSANDS of romance novels. I have seen every possible cover design out there, from the stereotypical (hot, Fabio-like man with his shirt half-torn open, groping or reaching for the woman with her bared shoulders and/or thighs and her hair flowing out behind her) to the tasteful (embossed, shiny text over a simple background, like a lace print, silk, jewels, etc). But the cover of that book just makes me want to cringe. I'm not even a well-versed student in the art of design (that's what my JOUR 331 - Graphics class is supposed to be about), but even I can see-- that's a stupid cover. And like the summary, the cover is what sells. If I see an interesting title or a cool-looking cover, I might just pick up that book! If the summary sounds interesting, I might just flip it open to check out the first page. If I like what I read, I MAY BUY IT!

I wish more people kept this in mind with their writing, even if it's not sold writing like Steel's drivel. I mean, is she like Anne Rice without vampires-- no one questions her authority anymore, she has no editor, no one stands against her? Or do you really have to hunt for the one gem amongst all her crap? I'm sure she has good stuff written somewhere. I hope, anyway.

Anyway, speaking of design... )

I had a series of weird dreams last night, but as soon as I woke up, I couldn't really remember many specifics, only a few impressions. I remembered dreaming that I'd found my PS2 memory card (*wail*), but I also remember dreaming about some BAD things, because I was feeling very freaked out and vaguely "sick in the head" when I woke up. But I think I've managed to recover okay, I just have to watch out and not get stressed. Even though Tuesday is my longest day, I don't have work on Tuesdays, and so far I've been able to handle the workload and even the teachers.

My Media Law teacher doesn't mind me taking notes on the laptop (which is great, because I can type faster than I can write!), and so far I've been able to keep up with my usual pace and style in Japanese class (by the way, Todd and I'm presuming Daniel and/or John returned from Japan today, and Todd stopped into my Japanese class to promote the Tokiwa program... that was kind of funny). Plus I got out of Media Law at 4:00 or so today, and my next class doesn't start until 6pm, so I have about an hour to chill and do whatever I like. :)

* Need to get Death Notes vols. 6-10
* Need to watch Hana Yori Dango 2 episode 5 *AS SOON AS IT IS SUBBED* because dayum was Episode 4 good! And the teaser-trailer! :O!!!! Ah, HYD, how I MISSED you!

And to close, a rather random question: at what point did the Stormtroopers stop being clones of Jango Fett? I wonder, because a new Star Wars novel (Allegiance, taking place between episodes IV and V) features a Stormtrooper with his own unique name... though that doesn't necessarily mean he's NOT a clone, I wonder if the Empire would have kept up production of the clone troopers after the Clone Wars. Further, did they bother identifying the clones by name, as a part of their "conditioning," or were they just given numbers (TK-421, why aren't you at your post)? I wonder...

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