Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Whoa..sorry for the delay

I just realized I haven't written in here for over a month!! I guess I got busy with work and finals and stuff. Last week was particularly busy at work.

I guess I don't really have anybody to apologize to...I mean, who actually reads this thing? I haven't put up the link in too many places, just the 2 forums I belong to, and I guess on the Blogger listing. I have mostly gotten comments that are just stupid ads as of recently.

Let's see...what has happened?

Well I have to back up to November, I guess.

We went up to Lone Pine to visit my grandpa and his wife Barbara (not my grandmother...she died, and then my grandpa remarried) for Thanksgiving, but just for overnight since both my brother and I had to work on that Saturday and couldn't get out of it. I bought a cool picture of a fairy named Celadine and a cute fairy key chain at this little store for Amy's Christmas present, plus a windmill magnet at this art guild place for myself.

The first two weeks of December are hell incarnate for a college student. As finals loom ahead, all the big projects are assigned or are due. I had things for three different classes due on Thursday of the second week, plus I got scheduled to work that day for some strange reason (I'm usually off on Thursday). It was hectic. I had my Piaget Assignment due for Human Development, a final lab to do and a Lab Final due for Chemistry, and stuff to finish for Microsoft Access, plus a "capstone project" involving Excel and Powerpoint and extra credit all due. The worst of it was having to rush down to Albertson's to develop my stupid film in order to get one measly picture for my Piaget assignment, and then having to walk back cause the girl who gave me a ride there had to leave to pick up her kids. It was around 2:30, and it's nearly a half-hour's walk back to school, added to waiting for the bus to take me up the hill to school, and I had to be at class at 3:00. Let's just say it was around 3:20 when I arrived, exhausted and very stressed out.

Somehow I got everything turned in, albeit some of the Access stuff was a little late. But pretty much just the stuff that had to be turned in via this online program thing called SAM. Which meant I didn't actually need to use Access, which is good cause Microsoft Office 2003 Student and Teacher's Edition (the version of Office installed on my laptop) does not include Access.

Somehow I got through that fiasco of an ordeal, then had to take finals. Monday of finals week, my history final was due. But it wasn't too hard, since it was an online class, which basically implies open book, open note, etc. There were 3 essay questions. That stuff didn't take so long. In the end, I got a B in the class, not half bad.

Tuesday morning I had my chemistry final. I studied as well as one can when one crams for a 10-chapter cumulative chemistry final. Which isn't quite as well as one ought to study for such a final, obviously. I did get a B in that class though in the end, which is good.

Thursday afternoon I had my human development final. Fortunately most of the test was on the last 4 chapters, with a small cumulative section. I studied long and hard for this one, spreading lots of reading and video-making (using Windows Movie Maker) and skimming the study guide over the course of at least 2 days. I got an A in this class.

My computer grades were good (basically all the grades come from the SAM stuff, and either you pass and get full points, or you don't pass and don't get any points, though except for tests, you are able to do the thing again and again until you pass). I got an A after all that struggle with getting Access done. Yay.

I would've tried to take the certification exams for Office that you can take after finishing that class, but I am still undecided as to whether or not to take them. I will get a Microsoft Office User Proficient Level certificate from the school though, cause I applied for it. I hope that means the classes I put towards it (this class and the one before it) still count for credit, cause I still need transfer units. I just checked my transcript online and I have 64.50 transferable units, if I read the thing right. That means I have more than enough to transfer to a Cal State (which requires 56). I just need to finish the IGETC stuff (I'm almost done, but I still have to take "Oral Communications" and Bio) and basic Cal State transfer stuff (Speech, Bio, and Health, plus the American Institutions requirement). I don't know if stuff from the IGETC counts for both...I'd have to ask. If not, I need to take some more G.E. classes.

Well I gotta go in a few minutes to go to work. It's casual week, so I get to wear slacks! Yay!

Just one more thing: I registered for spring! I am taking Health, Beginning Keyboard/Piano I, History of the Americas, and some more computer classes (typing and office never know when you'll need them).

Friday, November 18, 2005

Checking out college and career

I have gotten back into my research using the resources the career counselor gave me. I had taken some assessments but that was all. So I actually looked at some careers on Eureka (, which is a great site, plus I did some more assessments. Then I finally went to, the official website for transfer students in the state. Cal State Long Beach looked promising in terms of courses transferring (some other places looked good, but a lot of the lower-division courses didn't have matching courses at Mira Costa that I could take to get them out of the way before transferring) so I went to the website, via CSUMentor, a site with info on the Cal State system (CSU stands for California State University, but most people call CSU campuses "Cal State" for short).

I mainly looked up the English and History majors, since those are my top two interests and my best subjects. I was fascinated with the school's history program. They have very interesting senior seminars, including one just on the Holocaust. I guess they must have a big Jewish community in that area. Hmm. There is the Simon Weisenthal Center in L.A. (I just did a lookup) plus the Museum of Tolerance, which has a large Holocaust section, is in Torrance, which I think is in that general area. There's also the L.A. Holocaust Monument. There's also a History Honors Society at the school, Phi Alpha Theta.

The English department page didn't have quite as much info, but it still looked good. If I wanted to be a writer but major in History, they have a Creative Writing minor, where you can take a class in a bunch of specific topics, including Arthurian Literature! What fun that would be.

The problem is I might be required to take the Creative Writing course Mira Costa offers, and it's only on Wednesdays (reminds me of the book Libby on Wednesday...her writing group met on Wednesdays) and I usually work on Wednesdays.

That's why I never took the class before, because of work. I've been working basically since my second semester of college (well, since March 2004, which was near the beginning of my second semester). I'm in my fifth semester. Technically, I have gone to junior college longer than the expected two years. By the end of next spring it will have been 3 years, and if I have to do major prep, it will probably be longer. Not I don't like school. But after a while you sort of want to be out of college.

At any rate, Cal State Long Beach sounds promising. It's close to the beach, which is nice cause I like the beach, and even though I live near it now, I don't get down there enough. (Then again, the city is called Long Beach, right?) It's close to quite a few attractions, like Disneyland. I think there are a lot of museums in the area, too (but if I am a history major they'll probably make us visit a lot of them anyway). I'd love to go to the Huntington Gardens and the Getty (John Paul Getty Museum) again, which are both in that general area. (We didn't get to see much of the art at the Huntington when we went there on a field trip cause our bus driver got lost and we were an hour late for our tour). I also want to see this one painting that is supposed to be at the Getty that I saw a picture of in my art history book. I forgot who it's by.

I am going to look at a few others. I had looked at Cal State East Bay before (f.k.a. Cal State Hayward Hills). At least I feel like I am going in the right direction. Maybe God is answering my prayers after all, by motivating me to research this using the resources I have obtained to find a major. They say "heaven helps those who help themselves," but as a Christian who learned about depending on God and stuff like that, I never thought that saying was true.

As for other stuff, I just read a book Mum had given me a while back called What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do. It's by two of her favorite authors and speakers, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. They have written a lot of other books, together and separately, including the well-known Boundaries and its various "sequels" (if they can be called that) like Boundaries in Dating (which I have). They are like the main guys when it comes to Christian counseling books.

Anyway, the book outlines 8 principles for, as the title suggests, "what to do when you don't know what to do." I found it rather interesting, but I think I have to read it again to get something to jump out at me.

I have figured out God must be telling me to work on prayer. I mean, just seeing something about this pop up once is one thing, and having it happen twice can be dismissed as a coincidence. But four times in one week I have heard or read about this subject! First in relation to making prayerful decisions about dating in the talk at the Jordan last Sunday. Then when I went to Intervarsity (as I wrote in the last entry) the talk was about Hannah and about praying about tough times. Then when reading the Cloud and Townsend book, they quoted the verse in James that says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Then last night, when I had to go with my Growth Group to the "Big Event" at church (an event relating to our church's building campaign) Pastor Larry said we should prayerfully consider donating to the project.

It's not that I haven't been praying. We pray a lot at work. But I don't pray a lot by myself or in other settings. Though I prayed to God to help me figure out how to put the new audio Bibles on the shelf and make it look shoppable, and I was able to. I didn't say those exact words (it was more like God please help me do this) but it did work.

I wonder if I am afraid of prayer. I ought not to be. But maybe I am. I mean, I didn't have that much trouble with it before Grandma died, the situation with Kyle, the pressures of high school, and Gran's death. Not as much anyway.

One of the songs we sang last night at the "Big Event" says: "I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. He calls me friend...I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. I am a friend of God. You call me friend." I have heard this song in the store too but never thought much of it.

Ok this is getting too heady. I need to stop for a while.

No work or school today, so I have a day off, but I do have to go to this fundraising banquet tonight for the homeless shelter my mom volunteers with (she's chairman of the board) cause my mom wants all of us to come. I'm not too thrilled about it, to be honest, but since she insisted I go, I'll go and make the best of it.

Oh...update on the Thanksgiving situation. (Or "sitch," as Kim Possible would say). The good news is we're all driving up there together, which means not having to deal with just me and my brother both ways. Then I think my brother and I are driving back Friday cause both of us have to work Saturday. But I only have to work from opening to 2pm on Saturday, which is like 4 hours. That's good, cause 1) with the sale the place will probably be a madhouse (like with the last sale) and so I wouldn't want to work all day and 2) since I get off early I can get myself home, which is good cause my parents will still be up in Lone Pine with my grandpa (they're staying an extra day).

I also get paid right before the sale (next Tuesday), which means maybe I can get some Christmas shopping done early. I need to ask what people want for Christmas and who I have to shop for outside my family (sometimes we give whole-family gifts to our relatives and sometimes not, and I might get something for Amy too...I wouldn't have to get things for my colleagues if I don't want to, cause we're having a gift exchange at the Christmas party anyway).

Ok I really need to stop writing. I haven't had lunch yet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gas, Hannah, and other stuff

Today our lab in chemistry was about gas laws. We had to measure gas in an Eyrlenmeyer flask (who was Eyrlenmeyer anyway?) by putting it in water and stuff. I did it with a girl named Leslie this time (since my lab partner dropped the class at the beginning of the semester, I have to do my labs with a different person each time, though I usually get people more than once cause the same people will be absent. So I have done it with Penni and Teresa, Bobbie, Kyle, and now Leslie. We talked a lot while waiting for our water to boil, about musical theatre and stuff. (Sure beats Bobbie's long and sometimes gross stories about being a medic-in-training with the U.S. Army Reserves).

I finally went to Intervarsity today, after having not gone to the meetings in, gosh, probably more than a year. First, my work schedule had interfered, when I started at Loaves and Fishes I was busy with school I guess, and then having lab on Thursdays this semester made it problematic. But today I went anyway.

The talk was about Hannah and how she asked God for a son because she was barren (hadn't been able to have any kids). Now, having been raised in the church and working in Sunday School for about 5 years, I have heard this story quite a bit. Not preached on, necessarily, just as a Bible story.

Marcus (the leader) gave the talk. It was about how we deal with tough times, and also about prayer and how we can bring anything to God. I had never heard the story of Hannah used to illustrate that point before. When one talks about people having hard times, usually one talks about Joseph or Jonah or Paul. As for prayer, there are passages on that too. But what Marcus was saying made sense to me, oddly. Silently after I left the meeting, I thanked God for luring (well, maybe not luring--one tends to think of that word more describing the devil--but that's the best word I can think of) me to the meeting, because I felt that I had needed to hear that talk, since I am going through a lot of stuff right now, and especially having trouble with prayer.

As for is going good. Our sale is coming up pretty soon, right after Thanksgiving actually which I think is next week. I only have to work Saturday of those two days since I get Fridays off this month. What is kind of problematic is that my mom wants to get together with Grandpa (her dad) and Barbara (the lady he married after Grandma died) for Thanksgiving. I was going to try to get time off, but it became clear that that was pretty much non-negotiable, especially with the sale. My brother has to work too. So I am going to wind up driving 6 hours with my brother, to and from Lone Pine. I should mention that my brother and I don't get along all that well a good portion of the time (occasionally we do). From what he says, I'll probably wind up listening to Johnny Cash the whole trip. Grrreat. He knows I don't like country music!!!

Well I'll make the best of it.

I need to go so I can re-watch my review videos one more time before my test. Ciao!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Careers, Zeal, Covenants, etc.

My career counseling appointment went well. After asking some basic questions, Robin (the counselor) showed me some websites and also let me take the True Colors personality test again (the one I took at her seminar). I am going to try to look over that stuff today, since I don't have to work (we just got a new person so I get Fridays least this month...yay!). I do need to clean my room though cause Mum asked me to. But I'll have some time to myself tonight cause of Andrew's football game.

One site Robin showed me is, which is the official transfer site for California. Oddly enough, my Human Development teacher mentioned that site yesterday in class in regards to a psychology major. Strange coincidence.

Maybe I will finally get around to watching my new DVD today. I bought Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind a few days ago. It's an older Hayao Miyazaki film (he did Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke too, among others) that just recently came out on DVD in English. I might get Porco Rosso too, which is another old Miyazaki film that was recently released. Too bad I couldn't have got it this week cause it's set in the 1920's (I think) which is what we're studying in Western Civ (well and the 1930's too) this week.

I haven't watched my Generator Gawl DVD's yet either. I watched the "clean" opening and ending credits (no credits, just the images) to see if I could get clips from them for Windows Movie Maker (and had to change the color on my laptop to 16 bit cause the DVD player required it...grr). This did not work though. Watching the ending again though was pretty fun cause I actually realized that in every shot Gawl is sleeping. I guess they sort of compressed the image in the ending with credits, so I didn't notice.

I also bought more manga. I now have all the Magic Knight Rayearth mangas (both series, since I just bought volume 3 of 3 of Magic Knight Rayearth II) and all of Man of Many Faces (there's only 2 volumes of that, and I just bought volume 2). They have box sets of the MKR TV show (dubbed as Rayearth for season 1 and Rayearth II for season 2) at Suncoast Motion Picture Co. (which has lots of anime stuff, though the toys and such seem to all be from Inuyasha at the moment, which is not a series I have ever seen). They also had DVD's for $9.99 of a series called Project A-ko which I have been wanting to see on video. (It's just been released on video, not TV over here...I don't know if it ever was on TV to begin with, here or in Japan). I went back and forth about getting it and finally decided to wait. Though I like it, I have 2 problems. First, I first found out about this series from mangas I borrowed from Kyle, this guy I had a "relationship" (just a close friendship, actually, since he had a girlfriend, but I began to feel it was more) with that ended up not going well. Secondly, when my parents saw the mangas (after my brother saw them and thought they were bad so he ratted on me) they disapproved of them cause of the nudity. Now there isn't a lot of nudity in it (I'm not into porn or anything) but apparently enough for them to not like it. Then again, I'm not surprised Kyle had them cause he seems like a person who would be into porn. I mean, he has no respect for women sexually-wise, thinking of having sex with them as a sort of conquest (according to how he responded when I last saw him, randomly, wayyyy after we "broke up" -- if it can be called that -- when I asked him if he had had sex with Rosanne, his girlfriend, as I had heard from his sister Rhoda, who I still hear from and all and who suspected as such. He seemed proud of it...eww!!). I understand the show was originally going to be an installment of Cream Lemon, a notorious hentai anime show (hentai is basically anime porn) but instead it became its own non-hentai series. Now the videos do warn you that there is violence and brief nudity, which is basically bad enough to rate them at 13 and up (a special "rating" they put on certain anime DVD's, even the uncut Sailor Moon S DVD's -- probably cause of Haruka and Michiru, who are a homosexual couple in the original show, and plus there's more violence than in the first 2 seasons--and also some Tenchi Muyo DVD's, particularly the movies, all of which contain violence and some "bath" nudity--"baths" in Japan are like spas to us--that was edited with the painting on of swimsuits on TV).

The talk at The Jordan (my church's college group) this last Sunday was on spiritual zeal. I missed group cause I hadn't planned on going cause I figured we'd stay all day at the pier, instead of getting home at 5ish pm. I went to my Growth Group (home Bible study) last night so we talked more about it. I realized I don't have that much zeal for God. It reminds me of Tales of Symphonia. No matter what happens, even after the whole thing with the goddess Martel is revealed to be a sham of a plot by power-hungry evolved beings (or "angels" as most people call them), Colette still believes in Martel, which I guess seems understandable, since she's the Chosen of Mana for Sylvarant, who is supposed to save the world and "revive" Martel from her sleep in order to do so. She's been raised like everybody else to worship Martel, and probably more so as the Chosen. But it seems as if her belief in Martel never wavers, as the others' belief does. I think she definitely has spiritual zeal. She is devoted to Martel, and willing even to sacrifice herself to the twisted use of Cruxis (the organization of angels that supposedly serve Martel, but in reality includes the bad guys, the Desians, and has its own agenda) in order to serve her.

Not that zeal in Christianity is quite like that. Someone already made the ultimate sacrifice for us, not to become a vessel for a goddess (as is Cruxis's plan for Colette and for the Chosens in general), but to sacrifice himself for our sins and reconcile us to God forever (not just until the time for the next Chosen's journey comes, as in Colette's case). And because we accept his salvation, we ought to be zealous about God and his word, the same way we get excited about getting a paycheck at work or something.

I need to think that over more. And pray about it.

I am reading the fourth book in the Caitlin diaries of the Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody Carlson, which is called On My Own. I absolutely love this series, and we have all the books at work, so that's where I get them (I buy them so I have more time to read them, what with school and all, plus I don't have to worry about getting something on them while I'm eating, like I would if I was borrowing it, cause we borrow books off the sale floor so they have to stay in saleable condition). In the Caitlin series, there's a boy named Josh. He has a thing for Caitlin, and she for him, and I think they dated some but then broke things off when they couldn't keep their hands off each other. (He also has a sister named Chloe who is Caitlin's friend, and who I imagine the Chloe diaries in this same series are probably about). Anyway, in this book, he proposes something, inspired by a paper he wrote for a class at the Bible college he's attending. He proposes he and Caitlin make a covenant to get engaged, like in Old Testament times. Most of her friends, and also her roommate Liz, think the idea is pretty nuts. I personally thought it was a little weird too, but kind of interesting. I mean, is that like being engaged in terms of today's norms, or not? Caitlin's friends and parents seem to think so, but I'm not sure. At any rate, I imagine it will lead to an engagement, cause I sneaked a peek at the back of the fifth and final Caitlin diary and it has her marrying Josh, so I figure that they'll get together, probably when Caitlin is out of college (she's a year younger than Josh).

Well I am going to use the restroom and then start on getting my room clean so I can get my laundry started early so it's done before other people in the house need to do laundry (that was a big hassle last time). I think getting the laundry off the floor will help a LOT. (That's usually what makes my room messy). I want to make sure to clean my desk so I can use my laptop on there more and actually not have to worry about changing my position when my arm gets sore (which it does when I'm using my laptop on my bed). After that, I need to see if I have any homework, cause I'd like to get that done early. I think I do. Especially since I have Ambience Sunday night so I have to be early. I need to get caught up on Western Civ reading if I haven't already (I have to check) and do the questions we're supposed to answer in our notebooks. That way I won't be swamped with having to play catchup right before finals, which are a little more than a month away.

The Spring schedule is coming out soon, but it's online already so I'm going to try to pick out my classes early. I might as well ask Dannie if my schedule is going to change a lot, like in terms of what days I have off and so forth, cause I'd like to try to do what I am doing now and go to school on my days off so it doesn't conflict with my work schedule and I don't have to go to school and work on the same day (like my coworker Brandon does). I also plan on trying to free up lunch hour on Thursdays so I can start going to Intervarsity again. (Intervarsity is a Christian club on campus). Assuming I don't wind up having to work on Thursdays. I stopped going cause work conflicted (at Wendy's) and when I switched jobs, initially I had work and school together and got busy, and this semester I have lab on Thursdays, which usually doesn't get done before 12:00 pm, when the Intervarsity meetings start. If I don't work during the day on Wednesdays (like if I work 4-8pm as I've been doing lately) I'll go to the Intervarsity Bible Study too. Actually I could be doing that now but I do other stuff instead. Which is kinda dumb. And when Marcus (one of the leaders) asked me about it, I said I had to work, which was true, but I don't have to work at the time they have the Bible study (at least not right now) so I really have no excuse. I need to get more into the Bible anyway.

It's said that "No man is an island." But when things get overwhelming, I shut myself off from everybody and try to deal with the problem by myself. Like that Relient K song that says "I'll kill the thing that turns me away/amputate the arm that will disobey/withdraw from everything that's hurting me/until you finish your work in me." I want to be independent, sure I do, but I am quickly realizing I need society...I need other people. I think this is why Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress is so happy to have a companion --first Faithful, who he meets along the way, and then Hopeful (who joins Christian after Faithful is martyred at Vanity Fair). And that is why God said at the creation that "it is not good for the man to be alone."

In reading the Caitlin diary, I have to admit I sympathized a bit on both sides. I could understand Caitlin's frustration at dealing with a difficult person who you are stuck with nearly daily (in her case, her roommate Liz). I go through this with my coworker Brandon, who annoys the heck out of me most of the time. But I could also identify with Liz. Liz left the church cause she wound up having an affair with her youth pastor and thus was mad at God for allowing that to happen. So, she has trouble trusting people and has very few friends. I am like that too, a lot. Especially since the situation with Kyle. Not that that pushed me away from the church. But that, added to my grandmothers' deaths and the pressures of high school, helped fuel the fire of my bitterness and anger toward God. (I like how Chloe responds when Caitlin asks her how high school is. She says: "Oh, it's pretty much the same. Too many insecure kids, like me I suppose, all trying to act cool but looking like complete morons just the same." That is so true!!)

In the movie we watched yesterday in Human Development, the narrator said that adolescence is a time when we begin to think of idealistic settings -- how the world ought to be -- and we often find the world ---and especially our parents --- come up short of our ideals. Now I am technically out of adolescence (I'm 21...and I can't believe I put that in my blog for all to see, but then again pretty much not very many people know the URL to my blog, and the people that know already know my age). But I still feel its effects.

I guess this is why a lot of teenagers and college students turn away from God, cause they don't think he measures up either.

Gosh look at how the time's flown by. I've been writing for like an hour or so, actually like an hour and a half. I need to get working on my room!! Bye for now.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Sorry for not posting

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. There wasn't really anything to post.

Today is Halloween. I expect I'll have door duty for tonight again...oh wait I work tonight. Nice.

Last Friday was my 21st birthday!! I am really, really happy. I haven't got all my presents yet (I think we're waiting for Andrew to get his, and he has to wait till payday) but I did get one really big present: a laptop!!!!!! I am typing this on it, as a matter of fact, cause it's set up for the internet. Nice...

I have cupcakes and two cakes now --- one from Growth Group and one from work. Also Mum and Papa bought me a small cheesecake. Fun.

Yesterday we went to the Santa Monica Pier all together (we got the idea of doing that from a Travel Channel program I was watching a little while ago about a hotel near there). We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Mariasol. There was a street juggler out on the deck of the pier near our outside table, and so we watched him a little bit while eating.

After eating, we went to the arcade for a while. On the way, I bought a little dolphin figurine, a glass bottle with sand and shells in it, and three postcards at a gift shop. I had also bought a floppy hat earlier that says "Santa Monica California" on it.

At the arcade, I played Knock Down (that game where you shoot balls at these clown heads), another game where you try to knock the teeth of these clowns down, Cruisin' USA, and an arcade version of Soul Calibur II (at which I actually did really well, oddly enough). I also got one of those cool photo booth pics with the color frames, and Mum and I squeezed into another booth for a strip of pictures. Then we all played Skee Ball. After that, everyone gave me their tickets (since it was my birthday weekend) and I traded them in for a bracelet and a back scratcher.

Then we actually went on some of the rides. We all went on the ferris wheel (and tried to take pictures from the top) and the roller coaster (which looked like a kiddie roller coaster but was actually a teensy bit scary) and then Andrew and I went on the bumper cars. As we left, we went by the carousel cause I really wanted to ride it. I bought two postcards and a magnet at the Carousel Gift Shop and then went on the carousel. Then we left.

Last night my mom trimmed my hair (cause people at my work were bugging me about it) and then proceeded to pluck my eyebrows, which I did not like. Finally I agreed to waxing cause it's one big pain and then it's over. So my mom did that instead and things went faster. When I looked in the mirror, I was quite shocked. Apparently I had so much ends to cut off, I now have "collarbone-length" hair. And I HATE SHORT HAIR!!! I have always liked having long hair, because you're not as likely to be mistaken as a boy. Ok, I know that's stupid to think, cause I am 21 and have obviously learned what psychologists call gender constancy (the knowledge that people retain their genders despite changes in appearance). But still...

Pity I don't have a long robe and plain long dress and crown...with that and curling my hair, I could dress up as Lucy from Narnia for Halloween...except I'm too tall.

I guess I could curl my hair...

In other news, I am trying to take iniative with my life. I renewed my driver's permit and made an appointment for career counseling so I can explore some careers in hopes of helping my major decision.

Also Dannie (my boss) and I had a long talk on Saturday. She said I need to improve my social skills cause she has been getting complaints about me. I am really scared cause I don't want to be fired. Mum thinks I should go to counseling, but I am afraid of that too cause last time I went to a counselor it didn't work out very well. It wasn't really about me as much as it was about repairing the relationship between my mom and me.

Well that's it. Bye.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The tales are over, and yet beginning again

I beat Tales of Symphonia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After maxing it out at 104+ hours over several months, I finally beat it. And with the benefit of replay with bonuses, I can play a new game and carry things over from the old game. Cool.

Friday, September 30, 2005

It just wasn't your day

As Lloyd of Tales of Symphonia occasionally says after battle, "It just wasn't your day."

I am very happy because I finally beat the Niflheim stage in Tales of Symphonia. I had tried to before but never had enough time to play it all the way through, playing it before school or work. But as I don't have to go to work till 4 today I thought I'd try playing it through. Granted, it took about 3 hours, which is really long for beating a RPG dungeon. I'm glad I started playing early (around 8:30 am) because now I actually have time to do other stuff. I have now maxed out the game to more than 100 hours of gameplay. I kid you not. Last time I saved, after beating Niflheim and then doing the Regal and Presea Level-80-or-learn-all-Techs sidequests (which don't take too long, thanks to the Rheiards), I was at 100:48. That's 100 hours and 48 minutes, people! I was surprised just to max the game over 80 hours, and then over 90 hours. I mean, that is pretty scary. But that is what happens in this game when you max out the sidequests, doing as many as you can (I think I only missed 3 or 4 completely; one was the Maid Costume sidequest for Colette, and I couldn't find the maids, one was the Uncle Game, which I can't seem to beat, and ditto for Red Light/Green Light. I also seemed to have missed the Chosen group imposters and the final dog in the rebuilt Luin. I can't find them anywhere).

Anyway, I am happy I finally beat that level cause I was tired of it. I played with Lloyd, Raine, Sheena, and Genis for a huge chunk of it because that is what the player's guide recommends as a good party for the final battle, which I am about to fight. Well, they recommend Sheena and Genis specifically; Raine is a given, of course, since you need a good healer. And Lloyd or Presea could fill the other spot, but I feel better using Lloyd.

Ok I'm going to go now. Bye.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Just hangin'

I'm just hanging out in the library till my next class starts. There was only one new message on Fiction Express, and the Code Lyoko forum server is overloaded now, so I can't get on to it. There's just too many people on it. If anybody who is reading this is on there, look for me. I'm Aelitaoflyoko17.

Hold on a sec...gotta use the restroom.


I was listening to a CD I got from work by Big Al's Swing Kids. They're a Christian swing music group. Yeah, swing as in the kind you can dance to. Pretty cool, huh?

Now I am listening to the .ogg files I saved to my USB drive. I wasn't able to burn them to a CD but thanks to a program I downloaded, I can play them on Windows Media Player. You have to download an OGG extension program. And you will probably want your OGG files in the same file as the program, at least that's what I did. Then when you go to play the file and it asks to pick a program to run it through, choose the OGG program and follow the prompts. Then go to "open with..." again and choose Windows Media Player this time. Then it should play. Go to (where I got the songs from) for a better explanation. It says there too how to burn OGG files to CD, but I couldn't get it to work. If anybody makes sense of it, and it works, post a comment here and let me know.

We had a lab today for my chemistry class where we used spectroscopes to view the atomic emission spectrums of hydrogen and mercury gas lamps. After recording the data, we had to determine the wavelength of each one, using numbers for each color obtained from a scale that we had trouble finding when initially looking for it through the spectroscope. They were in units of 1,000, which is good cause that meant they were in Angstroms, and it is easier to convert from Angstroms to meters than from nanometers to meters (the other possibility we could've come up against). The rest was a lot of complex math. Well ok it was just multiplication and division, but with really nasty numbers, like Planck's constant (which is 6.62608 times 10 to the negative 34th power Joule seconds...ick!!). *Sigh*

Not much else is going on. Bye for now.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Looking forward to Code Lyoko, my DVD came!!!

The new season of Code LYOKO starts next Monday!! Oh wait I was going to go work on computer stuff. Oh well. As long as I see one of the new episodes this week. I got to see previews of the team's new vehicles in my secret album at Very cool.

In other news, my DVD set of Generator Gawl: Perfect Collection came today, which I am very happy about cause it has the whole show, actually has some special features (including the ORIGINAL TRAILER, which is really neat!), and has bilingual language tracks (English and Japanese), which is very useful for the anime fan who wants to compare the versions (the episodes would be identical, cause stuff on DVD isn't cut usually, though I did rent a DVD of the American Sailor Moon once and it was dubbed and cut. The guy who did Ryo's voice in Japanese also played Harry McDougall in Outlaw Star, so I'm curious to see if they sound the same. Not to mention that I have never seen the last three episodes of the show, something I am very anxious to do. Having the DVD set though will help immensely with my Generator Gawl website, Generator Power (there's a link in my links section), which hasn't been updated in about a year. I'm going to add back the humor I had on there, like the Top 10 lists. I still have the files for those, and I wrote some new ones. The old ones I wrote way back during my first semester in college (Fall '03) during my Cultural Geography class (since I have a knack for multitasking...well, I did it during a time when my professor, Dr. Stern, was just lecturing and there were no notes to write down). I'd share them here, but that's kinda pointless as I'm going to put them on the site anyways, and plus you kind of have to have seen the show for them to truly be funny.

I will probably, in the grand tradition of fan websites, create a "You Know You Like (or Have Watched/Seen/Read, etc) Too Much (fill in blank) When..." list. The first ones I saw were YKYWTMPW (You Know You Watch Too Much Pokémon When) ones. The short "You Know You're Too Much Like Hermione" (YKYTMLHW) list at Hermione Granger's Chamber (, is pretty cute, especially if you're a Harry Potter fan and actually get what it hints at. I will have to begin it based on my experience watching the show, and maybe give people the opportunity to add to it, although most people don't take up on that kind of opportunity anyways.

Well, that's it. Later!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina and Code Lyoko

Well Hurricane Katrina continues. I'm not in the mood to hash out my annoyance at the overbearing media attention this is getting. Sure, I'm concerned, but I'm getting sick of that being the only thing on the news.

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(Yumi from Code LYOKO with a word bubble in this smilie from some site. Translation: "We want season 2!")

In happier news, the new season of Code LYOKO, which has been too long in coming, forcing CL fans to wait several months not seeing the show and then go through reruns of season 1, is finally going to start. Mark your calendars, everybody! September 19, 6pm, Cartoon Network. That's when the long-awaited Season 2 of Code LYOKO is going to start. I'm sooo happy. I am looking forward to the new adventures of Odd, Ulrich, Yumi, Jeremy, and Aelita. I hear that Aelita will have a materialized form finally sometime this season, for a longer period of time than she did at the end of season 1, and that we will find out a lot of backstory about Lyoko, how the kids met Aelita, etc. I heard there was supposed to be a movie too that was to cover a lot of the backstory, but I have yet to see that come about. We'll see. This is just based on rumors I heard going around the Code LYOKO official forum the last time I was there, which was a while ago.

It would be cool if the show inspires a video game. I'm not sure if any Cartoon Network shows have become video games by themselves. Actually, a Code LYOKO game would lend itself really well to the Nintendo DS, since Jeremy's computer monitoring could be on one screen and the action could be on the other, kind of like the setup for the upcoming Kim Possible DS game. Although if it came out on the GBA or the Game Cube (the systems I actually have) that would be nice too. Speaking of which, I might check out that Zatch Bell game that is coming out for Game Cube. Though I don't remember much about the series when I first saw a few episodes of it in anime club at Mira Costa (in its Japanese incarnation, Konjiki no Gash Bell), the game looks good.

Speaking of video games, I am still not finished with Tales of Symphonia. Maybe if I get all my homework done early this weekend, I can devote time to it. But with 2 chapters' worth of chemistry problems, CIS work to catch up on, a couple writing assignments for Human Development, and some other stuff like that, it'll be tough.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

First day at school

Well school has started. I have been to my first class. I have another at 3:00. I was thinking of going to Wal Mart but I'm not sure I would make it back in time. It takes a while to get down there. Maybe tomorrow, after work.

My first class was chemistry. It was mostly the same old first day stuff, go over the syllabus, start the first lesson with the extra time, etc. Thursday is the lab so I have to make sure to bring my goggles. The teacher (Dr. Olga Fryszman) is really nice. It looks like I need to just use a scientific calculator, though, so my nice blue TI-83 (a graphing calculator) will likely be sitting at home this semester. There is one at home I could borrow (it was Mom's) or I can buy one most likely (it's cheaper than a graphing calculator).

I will probably go to orientation today for CIS 105 to get that out of the way...heck what else do I have to do?

The other day I bought the GBA game Kim Possible 2: Draaken's Demise. Somehow, I got to the third level. Like my Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon GBA game, it involves a lot of jumping, attacking enemies, and special moves. At least they show you within the game how to do the special moves, and they have a "training" part of the game for the basic moves. The easiest way to die in Kim Possible 2 is to miss a jump or, more often, from spikes or other traps or from missing with the grapple gun. Actually, missing a jump to a flagpole swing is pretty common too. The worst is when you have to do a combo, like in level 3 where you have to flagpole and grapple across an acid lake. Actually there is something like that in level 2 also, where you have to flagpole to some ledges, jump up the ledges, then grapple.

Actually Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is harder because it's almost all jumping, and jumping is hard. The wall jumps in this one level are hard to do...half the time you fall back down. Also in one level there are poison bats that poison you so you lose health, and the only way to get rid of it is either to wait for it to go away (I think it does eventually) or wait till your chi gauge reaches max and press L to use the "Chi Recovery" move. You don't gain back health, but at least the poison goes away.

I have taken a break from Tales of Symphonia and have been trying to conquer Mt. Battle on Pokémon Colosseum. This is a great way to pass time in this game because the game itself (in story mode, anyway) is actually very short, judging from the player's guide. Most of the player's guide is the Pokédex and various battle rosters for Story and Battle Mode, including a 10-page foldout thing with a bunch of charts. Also Mt. Battle is the only major battle area that allows you to use Shadow Pokémon (I think the Pre-Gym in Phenac might too...I don't remember), so it's a good place to use them in battle so you can empty their Heart Gauges. The only problem is that things get tough for these Pokémon later on in Mt. Battle, since they don't actually gain levels till after they're purified, which puts them at a major level disavantage. I kept having to use Espeon and Umbreon all the time, since they were closer in level to my opponents (Espeon is at level 57 now, I think...and it learned the healing move Morning Sun, which helps a lot).

I also figured out a trick to cleansing Heart Gauges. Talk to this lady in Agate who is standing on a cliff in the Daycare/Pokémon Center area, after you save Mt. Battle (you may be able to do it earlier, but this is when I did it). She will give you a Cologne Case. You can then buy scents for it from the Poké Mart in Agate. They are Joy Scent, Excite Scent, and one other whose name I forgot. They are pretty inexpensive. The cheapest one, Joy Scent, is 600 Pokébucks I think. Then select items from the menu (press Y or X to bring it up, then go down to "Items") and select "Cologne Case" from the Key Items. A window will pop up asking which scent you want to use. Select the scent, then select the Pokémon in your party to use it on. Most of the time, if you use the scent, it will say something like "SETH massaged ESPEON with JOY SCENT." Then it will say "ESPEON was delighted" or something similar. But last night I tried using a Joy Scent on Hitmontop, one of my not-yet-purified Shadow Pokémon, and after it said "HITMONTOP was delighted" it said "Its heart opened a tiny bit!" or something like that. And sure enough it did, so I did it again, with the same result. Every little bit helps, after all.

Well there's not much else to say. Bye for now.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Literally on the brink of the end

Well after playing following my break last night, I am at the brink of the end. I could actually go fight Mithos right now if I wanted, but he'd probably pummel my party right now, plus a bunch of sidequests are now open, including the one where you visit Niflheim, the Underworld, a.k.a. "Forbidden Anamenesis." I'm going to try my luck there considering I printed out a guide just for it. I also want Amy to help me with the Uncle Game and Red Light/Green Light since I've been doing really badly at those sidequests. I'll x out the maid costume sidequests since Zelos is gone...that's the only Zelos-required sidequest I didn't do (well, one online walkthrough said you need Zelos for that, but the player's guide doesn't). I am going to try my luck at the Meltokio Coliseum too, again. Maybe try to get the larger Sewer Rat on my Monster List. And I need to rebuild Luin to level 10 at least to complete the "Lousy Impostors" sidequest and earn Colette's "Dog Lover" title. Plus I need to do all the "after finding Derris Emblem" sidequests, including fighting the last Summon Spirit, Maxwell.

Since I did costume change quests, now pretty much everyone has some kind of costume that they are seen in during battle. Right now I have Lloyd and Genis in formal clothes, Raine in her Shrine Maiden outfit, and Sheena in her "Next Chief of Mizuho" outfit. Plus Regal, Presea, and Colette got formal outfits, and Raine, Genis, Colette and Lloyd got swimsuits. Presea also has a Klonoa outfit (named for a video game character from another series of games by Namco, the Klonoa series). The original Klonoa looked like this:

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Anyway that's really all. Later.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The end is in sight

Well, after playing practically nonstop from around 6 p.m. to around 2 a.m., I got really far in Tales of Symphonia last night. I am already near the end, especially after playing for another several hours today. I must confess that game is really addicting. There are so many side quests to do at the end for one thing. Some of them are hard to do too. I couldn't find the maids to talk to in Meltokio in order to get Colette's maid costume.


Earlier I knew the doctor event in Flanoir was coming up, when you must choose whether to keep Zelos in your party or have Kratos join instead. After having him in my party at the Iselia Human Ranch, I realized I should have Kratos instead of Zelos in the end, because Kratos is almost obscenely more powerful, since stupid Zelos didn't learn his Techs like I told him to. So when the time came, I rejected the first three people who came knocking (but it was Genis, Colette, and Presea, so I didn't even have a chance to worry about Zelos) and sure enough, Kratos appeared and a nice scene unfolded.

The thing that stinks about choosing Kratos over Zelos is that then when you enter the Tower of Salvation in Tethe'alla later on, instead of facing the Gatekeeper, who is of a more manageable HP level, Zelos betrays you, hands off Colette to Pronyma, and after a lengthy scene that mimics the one where Kratos betrays you in Sylvarant's Tower of Salvation (which, coinicidentially, when abbreviated, spells "T.O.S.", which is also the initials of the name of the game -- "Tales of Symphonia." I just thought of that), he challenges you to a fight, and he has a lot of HP and some pretty scary Techs. But they're not too scary because they are almost the same as Kratos's Techs, so you know what to expect.

The rest is pretty aggravating, even though a dying Zelos gives you some direction as to where to find Colette. Having to go through the anti-gravity rooms in the Tower of Salvation the first time around was bad enough. This time you have to go through the ruins of the tower, and along the way you lose every single person in your party, so that by the time you reach Yggdrasill, it's just Lloyd. Fortunately, Namco is nice enough to bring everyone (including Raine, who I was almost certain was going to die) back to help you. A long scene follows, with Martel's consciousness speaking through Colette's body and pleading with Mithos/Yggdrasill (oh yeah...they're the same person, and the same seemingly harmless half-elf boy that was Genis's friend...jerk!) to stop what he is doing. Yggdrasill makes you fight Pronyma again. She's not alone as she was way back on the Fooji Mountains (she's got two sidekicks, "Iduns,") and she has wayyyy more powerful Techs, like Prism Sword. The trick is to treat her like the seal guardians and other bosses with sidekicks. Take out the sidekicks first, using Lloyd and another melee fighter (I used Sheena, so I could summon Luna if needed to prey on light-weak Pronyma, but the chance didn't come up), then target Pronyma, who should be fairly weak if Genis has been doing his job right (even though Pronyma is strong versus dark, Genis's spells still work all right).

If you beat Pronyma, the game continues, and after Martel (through Colette) tries to get through to Yggdrasill, who switches from Yggdrasill to Mithos, he refuses to listen to her. Colette regains control of herself and warns the party to be cautious. Mithos transforms back into Yggdrasill and challenges the party. This time he has to be defeated for the game to continue, and with 40,000 HP and very powerful Techs, it's no easy task. I'm surprised I did it in one try.

After this, you have to leave the Tower (I got a bit lost trying to warp to the exit, which turned out to be right near the door I exited Yggdrasill's area from...heh heh oops). Travel to Heimdall (quick jump from Ymir Forest) because guess what, you have to fight Kratos to unseal Origin and get the Eternal Sword so you have a chance at saving the world. And Kratos and Origin are in Torent Forest, which can be accessed only from Heimdall. But there's one slight snag in making the decision to do this...well, two actually. One, the seal of Origin is more or less mana linked to Kratos, meaning he could die if you unseal it. Second, and this was the big surprise of the game....KRATOS IS LLOYD'S FATHER!!!!! Unbelievable, but true. So that makes it hard to risk his death, doesn't it?

The good news is that the Elder allows you to bring Genis and Raine along (you couldn't in previous visits to Heimdall because they're half-elves, and half-elves can't come into the hidden elven village) on the condition that they don't use any of Heimdall's facilities. Which means what, I don't know. Talk to the characters around the village (I think I got everyone except Sheena...I couldn't find her) and then finally talk to Colette in front of the inn to rest for the night. Then talk to the Elder in the morning and enter the forest. After wandering around like mad and chasing a cat-like creature out of stumps with the Sorcerer's Ring, I found the deepest part of the forest, and thus, Kratos. Lloyd must fight him alone, but hey at least you can use items (thank goodness!!). There is a letterboxed short cutscene right as the fight starts, which is kind of cool. Kratos is hard at this point but not unbeatable. He only has 12,000 HP for this duel, which makes him like a early-game boss compared to previous fights with him. Lloyd should have pretty good Techs by now anyway, and when I did it today, Lloyd was in his late 60's in level.

If you beat Kratos (well, okay, you have to beat him), a cutscene follows where he releases the seal of Origin, only to collapse. Fortunately, the ever-useful Yuan comes to the rescue and revives Kratos by transferring some of his own mana into Kratos's body. Kratos, in a weak voice, says that now he's been cheated out of dying again. Lloyd embarks on a long speech about how everyone has a right to live. Oh yeah, Origin has showed up by now. He's a big buff guy with four arms. He talks about how he's lost faith in things and refuses to make a pact with Sheena (huh...sounds like an earlier pact scene...oh yeah, the one with Volt) but Sheena and Lloyd persuade him to make a pact. Defeat him to gain the Diamond and the Tech "Summon: Origin" for Sheena.

After this, there's a cutscene of Mithos trying to posess Lloyd from the Cruxis Crystal Genis picked up in the Tower of Salvation. Uh, big mistake, Genis. Lloyd resists. Then one of your best friends will block Mithos's attack, your top one. For me, it was Colette. Mithos possessed her body and took her away. A even nicer (art wise...but sadly not anime) cutscene follows, where Heimdall gets smashed to bits by the Tower of Salvation collapsing. Oy, stupid Mithos!! Anyway, after rescuing everybody, I flew back to Dirk's House to forge the Ring of the Pact in lieu of Altessa doing it, since he's injured thanks to stupid Mithos. Dirk does it, using the materials Kratos collected (NOW we know what he was looking for while wandering around Tethe'alla). I got the Material Blade and the Eternal Ring. The Eternal Ring will help me wield the Eternal Sword, I think...

Now I have to find the Tower of Salvation in order to continue. But you can't see it on the horizon near Ozette anymore, so it's hard to find. I guess I'll have to land near its former location and hope I see it from the ground.

This game gets more and more complex all the time.


On other notes, school starts next week, and I go back to part-time work, which I think I will prefer. This Tuesday I'm going to hang out with Amy, conditions permitting. Which reminds me, today's her birthday...should I call her? Yeah, probably. I wonder if her birthday card got there in time. I mailed b-day cards to her and Kevin at the latest possible moment (Friday afternoon) to make sure they'd be on time. I didn't get gifts cause I didn't know what to get as gifts, especially for Kevin, and it wouldn't be fair for him to just get a card and Amy get a present and a card, although Kevin's so young that he probably wouldn't care. I almost bought Amy a book on Salvador Dalí at the Crown Books Liquidation Center, but I wasn't sure if she was still into him.

That's all.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Should I get my A.A.?

I was thinking just now about school. Instead of transferring, I could get my A.A. and graduate, and then at least I'd have a degree, of a sort. Then I wouldn't be under pressure to choose a school to transfer to.

What am I saying? If I defer my education, I'll end up like my mom, going back to school after having a family (same with Amy). I want to get through school, travel, build a life for myself, and then settle down.

Oh God...I don't know what to do. Why won't you answer my prayers for guidance?! Couldn't you at least give me a clue as to what to do with my education? Or have I misstepped your guidance already by going to a secular school? Believe me, if I could've afforded it, I would've gone straight to Biola like I'd planned, and spend those two "formative years" (freshman and sophomore year) at university, like Dr. Dobson said to do (in Life on the Edge). But school costs money, and even community college isn't cheap.

I wonder if I have too high expectations for myself. Somehow I see how my mother chose to do her higher education -- going back to school after having 2 kids, finishing her degree over a 2-year period of a degree completion program, and then doing her master's -- as beneath me, which is wicked. I want to be different from her. I want to be done with college and stuff before I marry, like Papa did. Is that so bad, though...? I don't know...

I don't want to be a peacock, all prideful and all. "Pride goeth before a fall," as the Proverbs say. But I guess I am a haughty person. A haughty, indecisive, too talkative person. A worrywart to boot, which a on-fire Christian shouldn't be. Jesus said not to worry.

I guess, in Christianity, it doesn't matter what a Christian should and shouldn't be or say or do. We are all sinners, after all, and "have fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Grace is the epitome of all that Christianity stands on.

Oh, I'm so confused...I can't write about this anymore or I'll make myself depressed.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Best friends

I got together with Amy, my best friend, today. I hadn't seen her in almost a year, until a few weeks ago when she, Jesse, Kevin, and one of Amy's friends dropped by the store. On Sunday I called her up and asked her if she wanted to get together today, since I had the day off from work. We did get together, at my house. She brought Kevin, her little boy, along. He was kind of fussy most of the time.

I went to the bank this morning to deposit my check, then rode the bus over to Wal-Mart. There I bought a new portable CD player, a copy of People, and three binders for school. Then I rode back to the bus station, but I missed the FAST Bus. So Amy picked me up instead of making me wait an hour for the next bus. We got Burger King and then went to my house and had lunch there. We watched the Mihoshi Special/Pretty Sammy OAV DVD that I had for a while until Kevin got fussy, after which we went in the jacuzzi. Kevin loved the jacuzzi, which of course is like a huge bathtub to a almost 2-year-old. Then after a while we went back in and she showed me her improved final exam for IMT 125, the class we took together during the summer. Then she wanted to see my video games, since I showed her a picture I put on my final site of Ritz from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I showed her FFTA and one of the GBA Videos. Then I brought down my Game Cube, and after we figured out it wouldn't work on the big TV, I had to bring my little 13" TV downstairs. I showed her Pokémon Colosseum first, since that was in the Game Cube from me playing it this morning. (Oh, by the way, I finally did capture Entei. I've captured Suicune now too. My next destination is to fight in the Under Colosseum, but the Pokémon there whooped my butts so I am fighting on Mt. Battle now to purify Flaffy, since a lot of the Pokémon in the Under Colosseum are weak to electric attacks). Then I showed her Tales of Symphonia, which then occupied us for several hours. She helped me smash the Bacura (which was taking me forever) and also navigate the pitch dark rooms and a bunch more obstacles in the Temple of Lightning. The hard part was the fight to make the pact with Volt. I tried a couple times, then during the third time Kevin accidentially stepped on the TV cord, making it fall out of the socket, ruining that. So I had to try again, and barely won. I had run out of gels by then and was hanging on for dear life. Thank God I brought along so many Life Bottles. Then there was an interesting cutscene about the mana being severed between the two worlds, because Summon Spirits of Tethe'alla and Sylvarant are now awake at the same time, which has never happened before, as Undine explains it. Due to this, the worlds will eventually separate, which suggests that they will no longer have to struggle with each other for mana, which solves the problem Lloyd and co. went out to solve in the first place. The reason, I think, that both world's spirits are awakened is because the Chosen (Colette) did not become an angel, but just lost her soul in the Tower of Salvation, which means the mana flow wasn't really reversed. I guess. I don't know. Anyway...oh yeah after the Toize Valley Mine, where the Bacura was smashed, I obtained the Inhibitor Ore to make a Key Crest for Presea. Unfortunately when I returned to Ozette, Presea helped Rodyle capture Colette, since she was under his control. But after Lloyd attaches the Key Crest to Presea, she returns to normal and regrets Colette's capture and her own father's death. Then I quick jumped to Mizuho where I learned that I had to go to the Temple of Lightning to make a pact with Volt, so his mana could power the Rheiards. It turns out Sheena tried this before but failed, which is why the chief of Mizuho is unconscious. But she agrees to it anyway.

Now to get the Rheiards I have to defeat the

Amy was totally into the game and wants to come over again to play it, or watch me play at least. I'm looking forward to getting together again.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

August approaches

It's almost August. In a few weeks, on the 22nd, school starts again. I start class on the 23rd, since my on-site classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

It's been a pretty boring day today. I have tried three times since yesterday to snag Entei in Pokémon Colosseum. The first time it KO'd itself with the recoil from Shadow Rush, the second time it got nearly knocked out by Earthquake but then KO'd itself, and the most recent time it got knocked out by its ally's Earthquake move. Even though I used Ultra Balls, which are the strongest Poké Balls you can have at this point, I still couldn't snag it.

I took a break after the second time and took care of some other stuff. I bought more Poké Balls. I went to Phenac City and beat Justy at the Pre-Gym. Then I went to Agate Village and dropped Plusule off at the Day Care again and rearranged my party to get rid of the Shadow Pokémon. Then I returned to Phenac and battled in the Colosseum, where a challenge was now open.

Everything is so expensive in this game. I run close to being broke quite often. It's frustrating.

I have the opposite situation in Tales of Symphonia. This is because of Zelos. Zelos can be the most aggravating person alive, but he also comes in quite useful. Equip him with a EX Gem Level 2 and the skill "Personal," then start talking to girls when you enter cities, towns, or other places that are more or less populated. Though you can also get items this way, more often the girls will give Zelos money, and quite a lot of it at that. I have over 100,000 Gald now. It's as good as a Game Shark duplication trick, but it's legit. Pretty neat, huh?

As school is approaching, I did a little back-to-school shopping today. I was looking for those big binders that are cloth and have pen holders and stuff, but I couldn't find any good ones at Albertsons or Savon, the two stores that would have school supplies that are closest to my house. I did find a pleasant surprise, though...I found Totally Spies folders!! I had never seen these before and I was surprised. I bought two of them, one for each of my non-on-site classes, since I don't really need full folder sections for them.

Since I couldn't find a binder like what I wanted, I'm going to check at Target, which always has tons of back-to-school stuff. I would like a binder and maybe some of those stretchy book covers.

That's all. More later.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A funny car and a sad ending

I finally went to see Herbie: Fully Loaded today. Even though I never saw the original Herbie, I still enjoyed it (they do give you a sort of recap of Herbie's past in the beginning credits, though). The movie was really funny, especially when Trip, the champion racer and sort of the bad guy, got some kind of fluid sprayed in his face by Herbie. Pretty funny. And the demolition derby scene reminded me of a game my brother once rented called Demolition Derby 64 or something like that. It was quite realistic.

I also read a sad ending today, as I finally finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The ending was as surprising as it was sad. Actually the whole book was. Here's a rundown of the plot, with an appropriate spoiler warning.


The book, unusually, does not begin with Harry. In the first and second chapters, we get a peek into the activities of the Death Eaters, and learn that Snape is in league with them (which of course we knew already from previous books, but here he says it himself). We also learn that Draco's dad is in Azkaban, that Voldemort is definitely back, and that a foul plan is afoot which Draco is supposed to help with. Snape makes an Unbreakable Vow to Draco's mother, Narissa Malfoy, to protect Draco.

We finally return to Harry, as he anxiously awaits the arrival of Dumbledore, who has sent word that he is coming to fetch Harry to take him to the Burrow (the Weasley's house) for the rest of the summer. He also says he needs Harry's help for a stop they're making on the way.

Dumbledore finally shows up, and tells Harry and the Dursleys a few things. He tells the Dursleys that Harry is free to leave when he comes of age (at 17) and they should not stop him from doing so (which seems like a strange contradiction of Dumbledore's insistence in The Order of the Phoenix that Harry remain with the Dursleys because remaining with his mother's sister keeps the special power of his mother's love for him alive...but Dumbledore also says that they have not been treating Harry like family, so I guess that sort of nullifies the first thing). He tells Harry that Sirius has bequeathed all he owns to Harry, which includes Kreacher, the house-elf, who is not too happy about having Harry for a master.

Before reaching the Burrow, Harry and Dumbledore pay a visit to Horace Slughorn, an old friend of Dumbledore's and a former Hogwarts teacher. Harry persuades him to teach again.

Finally, after a stay at the Burrow, where we learn Fleur Delacour is marrying Bill Weasley, and Harry tracks Malfoy into Knockturn Alley and begins to suspect he's joined the Death Eaters in his father's place, we arrive at Hogwarts, where extra security has been implemented thanks to Voldemort's return.

A surprise comes during the welcome dinner, for which Harry is late cause he gets petrified by Malfoy after sneaking into his compartment using the Invisibility Cloak and left alone on the train until he is rescued by Tonks, an Auror who was a close friend of Sirius and who is currently assigned to monitor Hogsmeade. Slughorn, who Harry and co. expected would be taking over Defense Against the Dark Arts (since that position is ever vacant), is instead taking over Potions, which slides Snape into the Defense Against the Dark Arts job he's coveted for years!! Obviously, this is not good for Harry and co.

A weird thing happens in potions...Harry is given an old book that is all written in, supposedly belonging to the "Half-Blood Prince." With this he excels in Potions, much to Slughorn's joy and Hermione's dismay.

The bulk of the book deals with various hookups and breakups among couples, like Ron and Lavender Brown, Ginny and Dean Thomas, etc. Harry begins to fancy Ginny (and since Ron and Hermione are such a good pair, I say, take her!), but then decides not to go out with her so as not to anger Ron. There are also problems with the Gryffindor Quidditch team, of which Harry is now captain, because first his Chaser, Katie Bell, gets ill from a cursed necklace she picked up in Hogsmeade, and then Ron gets poisoned from mead meant for Dumbledore. Both recover, but the team is forced to replace them during the absence, leading to rivalries.

Harry ever endeavors to find out what Malfoy is doing, and figures out (with help from Dobby and Kreacher, who he tells to spy on Malfoy) he must be using the Room of Requirement, the same room Harry and co. used for D.A. meetings in The Order of the Phoenix. He keeps trying to trail him, without success.

Meanwhile, Harry is taking private "lessons" with Dumbledore, which are not really lessons. They spend each "lesson" delving into Dumbledore's Pensieve in order to learn more about Voldemort. Lots of Voldemort's backstory comes out in this, like that he split his soul into seven Horcruxes in order to try to make himself immortal.

When trying to retrieve one Horcrux (which turns out to not be one -- the one they find is a fake, and the real one has been taken from the spot already), Dumbledore is forced to drink a potion, which weakens him almost to the point of death. Harry hastily Apparates them both back to Hogsmeade, and they both fly on brooms to Hogwarts when they spy the Dark Mark above the Astronomy Tower. In the corridor, they face Malfoy, who disarms Dumbledore with Expelliarmus, while Harry, frozen by some sort of charm cast by Dumbledore nonverbally, watches. Malfoy reveals that he is indeed in league with the Death Eaters, and they are at this moment ravaging and fighting in Hogwarts. Snape then appears, and it is revealed that he is too is in league with Voldemort. He then does a really, really surprising thing: he turns on the teacher who trusted him all these years. He turns to Dumbledore, wand out, and incants,


Yes, the Killing Curse!! The same one that Voldemort used to kill Harry's parents, and no doubt, countless others!!

I couldn't believe it. DUMBLEDORE IS DEAD!!!

Oh, and guess what. Snape is the Half-Blood Prince. The old Potions book was his. The "Prince" title came from his witch mother, who last name was Prince.

The book ends with Dumbledore's funeral and looks towards the seventh and final book, with Harry vowing to go out and try to find and destroy all the Horcruxes so that he can finally kill Voldemort. Ron and Hermione tell him that they will go with him. We don't know what becomes of Malfoy, though. It sounded like he wasn't going to go back to Hogwarts for his seventh year, and if he doesn't, I say good riddance. I'm not sure about our heroes either...Harry said he wouldn't go back but instead search for the Horcruxes, but I think somehow he'll end up there. You can't just drop out of Hogwarts, after all. Or can you? I don't know.


Well, I'm going to go home now.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Brother Yun's bio and other stuff

I just finished reading The Heavenly Man, which is by a Chinese Christian named Brother Yun, who was persecuted and imprisoned several times for preaching the gospel in China. It was crazy stuff. What piqued my interest was that he, his co-workers, his mother and his wife heard God speak so clearly to them in visions. I wish God would do that with me.

With that done, I finally picked up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I've had in my possession for more than a week and had not yet started reading. I am still in the beginning, but it settles and reveals some stuff. Some of this might be spoilers, so I'll put a spoiler alert.


1. Voldemort (or, rather He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named...but I'll be brave like Harry and Dumbledore and call him Voldemort) is definitely back, although we don't see a scene with him in the beginning like in one of the other books (book 5, I think). Even Fudge says so, and he was one of the main proponents of the attacks against Harry for saying so in The Order of the Phoenix.
2. Fudge has been sacked, so he's no longer Minister of Magic. Good riddance, I say.
3. Ron's dad has been promoted. He now heads some department dealing with bad spells disguised as good and stuff.
4. Fleur Delacour (the Triwizard champ from Beauxbatons) is engaged to Bill Weasley, Ron's eldest brother.
5. Snape is a spy for the Death Eaters, which is not surprising. We know he was a former Death Eater from The Order of the Phoenix, and that he's not totally good we know from the rest of the series. Not to mention he doesn't care for Harry at all.
6. Dumbledore is not the man he once was, and has an injured hand. This is supposedly because of his battle with Voldemort in The Order of the Phoenix, which wore him out a lot. But he is still Hogwarts headmaster and Head Warlock of the wizard court.
7. Sirius Black is most definitely dead. The Order of the Phoenix seems to leave some hope that he is not, since no one sees his body, even though Dumbledore seems pretty sure, and Harry too. But in the beginning of book 6 there is talk of Sirius's will, which indicates he is most certainly dead.
8. Harry is not likely to become an Auror, as he hoped in The Order of the Phoenix. He only got an "Exceeds Expectations" in Potions on his O.W.L. exams, whereas he apparently needed an "Outstanding." Ironically, he got an "Outstanding" in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Go figure.
9. Harry is going to be Quidditch captain for Gryffindor this year, putting him on the same level as Ron and Hermione (who are house prefects, as of The Order of the Phoenix).


I think that's enough. I've got to work on my final for my web design class.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The secret of Botta

I was reading through my old posts and saw one where I was trying to guess what Botta is, if he isn't a Desian. Well now I know, so I'm going to tell you. Don't read what's below if you're playing the game and haven't got to the Tower of Salvation in Sylvarant yet. If you have, or you haven't and you don't care about spoilers, read on.


After breaking the seal at the Tower of Mana, your final stop is the Tower of Salvation. You can get there by talking to the dragon guy in Hima after you heal Pietro, assuming you talked to him before when previously visiting Hima. Talk to all the characters in your party , who are scattered about the city, after Raine recommends rest. At one point, the green-haired guy who appeared at Sylvarant Base will appear and try to attack Colette. Kratos will intervene, and the guy will retreat. He drops the Assassin's Ring, which Lloyd automatically picks up. Kratos then departs for some unexplained reason. Make sure to talk to Colette too, on the mountain top. (The Sword Dancer will disappear from Ossa Trail after that talk, so wrap that up before this). Then rest at the inn. The next day, join the others in boarding the dragons, and pick someone to ride with you. It doesn't matter who...I picked Genis. After a cutscene, you will land in front of the Tower of Salvation. Enter, and a discussion will begin about the bodies floating below the bridge. Just then the group spots Colette sitting and praying, with Remiel floating above her. Remiel explains that this final seal will make Colette lose her heart and memory. A very passionate scene, where the others try to persuade Colette not to go through with this awful thing, and Remiel reveals that Colette was being primed all this time to become a vessel for Martel to dwell in (as well as other truths about the mysterious "Cruxis" and his own plans) follows. Remiel then challenges you to a fight. He must be defeated for you to continue on. Then Kratos appears. He mocks Remiel and then reveals that he is one of the Four Seraphim, the highest angels in Cruxis, and that he came down to Earth to make sure Colette didn't waver in her journey. He too challenges you to a fight, but after Remiel, you may not have much HP left. If you have Orange Gels, use them to power up Raine to heal everyone, or use Apple or Melange Gels to do the same. If you don't defeat him, the game goes on anyway. Then his boss, Yggdrasill, shows up, dispenses more truths about Cruxis's plans, and challenges you to a fight. He can't be beaten here except with replay game bonuses, according to my player's guide, but you can try if you like. You may not have much HP for this either after Kratos anyway. If you lose, the game still continues. Yggdrasill then tries to kill you and take Colette away, but Botta and company save you and Colette. As Lloyd, you wake up in Sylvarant Base, the base near Triet. Raine and the others reveal what happened to an uninformed Lloyd, and then the group is ushered into a room to talk with Botta and the green-haired guy, Yuan. They tell you that they are the Renegades, a sort of resistance movement that opposes Cruxis. That was why they were after the Chosen's party. They pretended to be Desians since that is the only "evil" people the group knew of at the time. (You kind of wonder how Botta got an Exsphere then -- the one on the end of his sword which Raine takes as her own after escaping the base initially--but there are so many mysteries in this game that it's best left unpondered). They still try to go after the party, since if the now-soulless Colette completes her mission, Cruxis wins. The group wonders what to do. They decide to go to Tethe'alla, Sheena's world, which she says the Renegades have visited, meaning that there's a way to get from one world to the other. Sheena also says that the Renegades usually traveled between Sylvarant and Tethe'alla on flying jets called Rheiards, which most likely are somewhere in the base. After a confusing puzzle involving moving blocks, you get to the hangar, find the Rheiards, and hop on them to soar off to Tethe'alla. The cut scene is great.


That's the secret of Botta.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

War of the worlds is sooo scary, and other stuff

I saw War of the Worlds yesterday. It freaked me out, and to think I had to go to work after that! (I didn't have to go in till 3:00 yesterday). I felt really bad for Dakota Fanning's character. Man can that kid scream. There's also something about machine-head aliens with tentacles and long spidery legs grabbing people and torching others with a laser beam that is far from appealing.

Next up on my list: Herbie: Fully Loaded and March of the Penguins. Then probably Sky High and Must Love Dogs, which come out this weekend.

I have made some nice purchases lately. I bought Pokémon Colosseum for my Game Cube yesterday. It didn't come with any kind of book though, so I set out today to try to find a player's guide, but it seems to have gone out of print. I was told I might have to go to Barnes and Noble, since they would be able to back-order it if they don't have it.

Today I bought an Etta James CD at Starbucks and then, after not finding the player's guide, I bought another game: WTA Tour Tennis.

I am still playing Tales of Symphonia, and today I picked up Final Fantasy Tactics Advance again after a long while, but had to repeat a battle cause I forgot to save after it when I turned my GBA off to go clock in.

I have a problem in Tales of Symphonia. I am in the new world, Tethe'alla, and I am about to go through the Meltokio Sewers. But I don't have any Magic Lenses (I used them all up in the Fooji Mountains en route to Pronyma) so I can't add the boss to the Monster List (the other monsters don't matter; I can get them later). I can't get into either of the nearest cities--Meltokio and Sybak--because Meltokio's entrance is closed off by guards, and the Grand Tethe'alla Bridge isn't open, which is the only way to Sybak right now. I can't get to the north part of the continent due to a stupid inlet river that I can't get around. The mountains block the way to the south (I tried going south around them but I wound up going in circles). So for the meantime I am fighting monsters hoping that one will drop a Magic Lens. It will help me get my new team members--Zelos and Presea--to learn Techs. Zelos learns Techs really slow cause half the time that you tell him to use a Tech, he doesn't do it. Fortunately, he learned Eruption and Grave after I made him use Fire Ball and Stone Blast a gazillion times. I'm working on making him learn Air Thrust, cause when he learns that, he can learn Healing Wind. I think I 'm trying to get him to learn some kind of sword tech too. Presea, Colette, and Sheena all had Techs they began learning too (Finality Punishment, Triple Ray Satellite, and Power Seal Pinion), but they were easier to deal with. Fortunately, I made pacts with the three Summon Spirits of Sylvarant (Undine, Efreet, and the Sylphs) before going to Tethe'alla so that their HP won't be way higher otherwise. Well, actually Undine you have to get while still in Sylvarant, since you need her for the Unicorn event. Efreet and the Sylphs can be fought later, after going to Tethe'alla, but if you wait till later their HP goes up, so it makes sense to deal with them right after Undine. So right now my party is (I think) Lloyd, Genis, Zelos, and Raine. If I could find a dumb Magic Lens, I can use it on the boss in the sewers (if I can figure out the dumb puzzle!!) and finally get back into Meltokio.

I just thought about something today. One time you meet the Wonder Chef, he is disguised as a "cat toy," according to the player's guide. But if you look closely, you will notice it is not a mere cat, but a maneki neko, or beckoning cat, which is considered good luck in Japan. That this should appear in the English version of the game is quite funny. Animal Crossing had the maneki neko taken out of it when it was translated.

I went to school today in search of a book on Cascading Style Sheets for my IMT class. I found one all about it in the library. Sweet. I also found out that the bookstore had the books for fall already, so I wrote down the info on those.

Mum says I have to buy my books this time. The thing that stinks is my chemistry book is WAYYY expensive, even used ($105.25!!). But since I am making more right now cause I'm working full-time, my mom makes me buy everything. I was going to look at Dell computers and possibly get a new tower with this check, but it may have to wait. For chemistry, I've got to buy the textbook, a lab book, a composition notebook, a class packet, and my own goggles. Why do I have to buy goggles?! Shouldn't they provide those?!

For my other classes I have one book apiece required, but they seem to be reasonably priced. My human development book is basically just available used right now, which is priced at $77.75 (as opposed to $103.50 for new). My western civ book is pretty cheap too, I think, and if my brother still has All Quiet on the Western Front (a recommended book for western civ...figures, there was a recommended novel for my last class with this same teacher...Traitor's Gate, but that was much more interesting) I won't have to buy that.

Why are college books so darn expensive?! I mean the course packet, goggles, lab book, and composition book for chemistry will amount to around $30 if I get the lab book and packet new (who wants a used lab book anyway??'s like when I got a used workbook for French, and it had writing in it that I had to erase). The bulk of my money will go to the other books. At least if I buy them, I can keep the money from buyback.

Once school starts, I'm going to see if my teachers require scantrons and buy a whole bunch at the beginning so I won't have to keep going back.

Okay enough I'm tired. Pity I forgot to get my check before I left work today; I could've deposited it tomorrow morning. Oh well. It doesn't matter; I still have money from the last check.

As for a new computer tower, there's a basic one in a Dell catalog my mom brought home for me for $299, which is really cheap. It only has a CD-ROM drive (well, and probably a floppy drive too, although they didn't say that) but that's fine. I wanted a DVD-ROM (so I don't have to hog the TV downstairs to watch my small personal collection of DVD's, mostly the $1 kind you can get like at Wal-Mart now) and a ZIP drive (since my ZIP disk has a higher storage capacity) but I can buy those separate and get somebody to install them for me, if there's room. Well, ok, the DVD one's not absolutely necessary, after all I've gotta go downstairs sometimes. The ZIP I would really like. That can't be that expensive. I can see if Office Depot or some place like that sells them. Otherwise I have to go all the way out to Fry's, which is quite a ways away, plus I don't know how to get there by bus.

Okay...tired now. Going.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Karaoke game for Game Cube

I almost forgot to mention this. I got a copy of Nintendo Power on Friday and it had some nice game updates. Like that a karaoke game is finally coming out for Game Cube!! It's called Karaoke Revolution Party and is made by Konami, who brought us Dance Dance Revolution and Karaoke Revolution for PS2 and Xbox. And according to the Game Watch forecast, a DDR game is in development for the Game Cube called Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix.

A new Pokémon game is coming out-- Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, which seems to be a sequel to Pokémon Colosseum--as well as a new Zelda game (The Legend of Zelda: Twlight Princess) and a game based on Zatch Bell, an anime series I first saw in its Japanese incarnation (called Konjiki no Gatch Bell) in anime club at Mira Costa, which has since been dubbed and is now showing on Cartoon Network. And it looks like there's a GBA game based on W.I.T.C.H. coming out (and also a Winx Club game..that's a kinda cool "magical girl" sort of show that airs on Fox)!!! I am sooooo getting that!! I'm also interested in the "Ultimate" games series that seems to be coming out for GBA, with puzzle games, table games, etc.

They should come out with a mah-jong game. That would be fun.

Okay enough. I need to get dressed.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Willy Wonka the amazing chocolatier

Sorry I haven't written in so long...there just hasn't been anything to write about.

I got the day off from work today (which never happens!) so I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory then dropped by Barnes and Noble to pick up my pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which came out today at midnight.

My schedule has been more lenient at work, probably because we have a new employee that they're training, so in the last couple days I've been catching up on movies I haven't seen. On Tuesday I saw Fantastic Four and the next day I saw Bewitched. Then after two days when I couldn't go (cause of Str8 Talk on Thursday and closing on Friday), I went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today. So, except for Herbie: Fully Loaded and War of the Worlds, I have caught up on movies, sacrificing seeing Madagascar and Star Wars Episode III in the process since they closed.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was really good. I had heard that it would be more like the book than the 1971 musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder in the title role), and whoever wrote that was right. It was almost exactly like the book, even down to the songs sung by the Oompa-Loompas (who are all played by one guy--Deep Roy--who has a striking resemblance to Bob Newhart, only with a samurai topknot). Veruca Salt is played almost exactly as she should be, and as spoiled as in the original movie. Freddie Highmore, who was also in Finding Neverland with Johnny Depp (who plays Wonka), plays Charlie. There are some stuff added, but it doesn't deviate from the book as much as the original movie did. There are some minor changes, but they're not detrimental to the plot. Wonka is given a backstory, where he wasn't allowed to have any candy growing up cause his father was a dentist. His father is played by Christopher Lee, who is a great actor (most recently known for his role as Saruman in The Lord of the Rings).

The wierd thing was, if you've seen the original movie, listen to Wonka's voice as it comes out of the loudspeakers when the group first enters the factory's gates. He sounds like Gene Wilder!

I love Johnny Depp...he is SOOO versatile as an actor, right up there with Robin Williams, Kenneth Branagh, and Pierce Brosnan. Robin Williams has done a LOT of comedy, so it would seem he is only good for that. If you think so, watch Bicentennial Man or Dead Poets' Society and you will see you are SOOO wrong. He is very serious in those movies. Pierce Brosnan is known mainly as the suave James Bond, but remember he did Evelyn too, which is a very different sort of movie. He also plays a minor role in Mrs. Doubtfire, as the love interest of Robin Williams's character's ex-wife, and that is a different sort of role than Bond. Also watch an episode of "Remington Steele" sometime. This was his first acting role in America (that I know of) and he actually could've become Bond a lot sooner had he not been in it (he lost a chance to be Bond in The Living Daylights due to a renewed interest in the series prompting a new season to be made in 1986...his co-star Stephanie Zimbalist had a similar situation, having to turn down a role in Robocop). Oh and Dante's Peak...another very different role. Okay well not so different. And Kenneth Branagh's work speaks for itself.

I'm tired and don't really have anything else to say. Bye.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Back from Mexico

Wow, how it really been a week since I last wrote?!

Well the weekend is over and so is Oasis. I am sitting at the computer doing stuff while I wait for my laundry. Once I finish I am going to work on my IMT stuff.

Oasis was fun. The dance party last night was boring, but overall the trip was fun. The weather was nice and sunny, just like I prayed for. But I did get sunburned, which is no fun. Ouch! Mostly only on my face, though. Even my arms are fine, and I wore short-sleeved shirts all weekend.

I brought $60 for spending money and spent almost all of it. I bought a camera (that looks like a disposable but it's actually reusable...I'm not going to reuse it though) and spent $25 on a nice sequined wrap from one of the local vendors. There was a guy selling wraps, a lady selling dresses, a guy selling candy and fruit, and a guy selling jewelry. I made the mistake of expressing interest in some opal pendants and then deciding not to buy them. The jewelry guy said this one pendant was $20, then he offered it at $18 and then $13. I only had $11, and I still needed money to go horseback riding, so I ran away from the guy so he would stop heckling me. The wrap guy wanted $25 for the wrap, so that's what I gave him. Everybody told me I was nuts. The idea is to try to bargain for a lower price, kind of like in markets in many African countries. But I didn't. After all, the thing was nice, tasseled, AND it had sequins on it. But I did feel for the rest of the day that I had been overcharged, only cause people said so. I definitely didn't want to buy a candied apple or a mango, just in case I didn't like them. I would have to throw them away down there, rather than saving them, because you can't bring fruit across the border for fear of bugs. (There was a warning poster for Mediterranean fruit flies at the border crossing, in a place thousands of miles away from the Mediterranean...hmm).

I'm too tired to right any more. Bye...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Finding Neverland

I finally saw Finding Neverland cause my parents rented it from Netflix. It's an awesome movie!!!! Johnny Depp is awesome, as he always seems to be, and Kate Winslet is really good too. I saw Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean with Orlando Bloom and in Chocolat with Juliette Binoche. He's going to star in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this summer too, which I am definitely going to go see cause I love that book. This movie is supposed to be more like the book than the old musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Although that one is good too.

My list of movies to see this summer: Star Wars Episode III, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic 4, Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, Herbie Fully Loaded, Bewitched, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Howl's Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki's latest film), War of the Worlds, The Pink Panther (that I have to see...The Pink Panther with Steve Martin and Beyoncé...should be funny!!), Madagascar and The Brothers Grimm, plus probably more that I can't think of.

I missed a lot of movies last summer because I was too focused on working 6 days a week at my dead-end job in fast food.

My brother thinks I'm crazy to want to go see the Sharkboy and Lavagirl movie. But I want to see it because (1) It's directed by the same guy who did Spy Kids, and those were good, and (2) I've never seen a movie in 3D before.

I'm going to try to see a movie or two before I leave next week. It would have to be Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning though since I don't get paid till Tuesday. I do want to see Star Wars Episode III before it's not at the theaters anymore (although I doubt that'll happen soon). I think Howl's Moving Castle might be out now so I should catch that soon since it's unlikely to be there long.

But about Finding Neverland. It was great. I'm going to rewatch it with the commentary. I like to do that on DVD's.

What I really liked about it is its theme, about how you shouldn't grow up too fast and how even grownups (like Barrie) can still use their imagination. I sincerely believe in that. Yet part of me is telling me that I'm too old for fairyland and all that. Balderdash!! I'm a writer, and a writer without an imagination is like the monist's view of the human: a body without a soul.

If I ever grow too old for fairyland, I would rather die right then than go on living a non-creative life. In a world permeated by rationalism, we need fantasy, because, whether we're Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, or Shinto, we all know somehow in our inmost being that this universe is not all there is, that there is something outside it, something good. Since our human minds cannot grasp the idea of heaven and of God completely (as Paul wrote, "We see through a glass darkly"), fantasy and creativity is a way for us to take hold of some of that divine essence which we cannot fully understand. It is when we abuse that, and substitute fantasy too much for our own lives, however, that things go wrong. Then we are delusional, and fit for the mental hospital.

Now I admit that I spend more time with the characters of my mind's eye than with my real-life friends. But I try to balance it out. I have no desire to be anti-social; after all, I work in retail now and interact with a lot more customers, so I can't afford to be anti-social. I just have always been an introvert, more comfortable when by myself. Sure, I can be pretty outgoing, but in most social settings I am not comfortable.

It's like I told my coworker Chris the other day. It's like I have two is shy, the other outgoing; one is rash, the other reserved; one is willing to take risks, the other insists on planning everything out beforehand to ensure success. One could do just as well without computers and such, and is satisfied with books, while the other leans more towards surfing the Net, watching movies and TV, and playing video games. It's all very confusing.

I am glad that I have somewhere to say this in writing. It's so much easier to write than to say out loud.

In other news, my summer class starts tommorrow, and unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the books yet, but the first few exercises aren't due till next week anyways. Phew.

Tales of Symphonia is going well. I am heading to the Seal of Wind, I think. I just didn't do the windmill puzzle yet that you have to solve to get to the seal itself.

Okay, bye for now.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Video game is going well

Well Genis finally learned Aqua Edge. Yay.

I am doing things a bit differently than the first time. Like for when you first go to the Palmacosta Human Ranch, I chose to go back to the city and deal with Dorr first. Thus I was virtually crushed by Kilia, the boss of that part, because I lacked the experience I could've gained if I had destroyed the ranch first.

So I went out of the city and wandered around for a while to strengthen up, healing with cooking or by going to the House of Salvation. I wound up having like 11,000 gald at the end. Nice.

Right before we reached the city again on the way back, Genis learned Stalagmite, that rock move that you first see during the first fight against Botta at the Sylvarant Base. This helped immensely later on in the fight against Kilia. I also stocked up on Life Bottles since her lightning and dark attacks tend to kill you, and on Orange Gels to up Tech Points for everybody, especially Colette and Kratos -- Colette for her Angel Feathers move, which is strong against Kilia, and Kratos for his First Aid move. I also tried to keep my and Genis's TP up, especially Genis's, since Stalagmite uses 20 TP. When I needed to, I backed off from the fray to use an Apple Gel (which heals 30% of your HP) then rushed back into things. I managed to launch two Unison Attacks as well, which is hard to pull off during a boss battle like this. I set it up pretty well. I had Lloyd using Fierce Demon Fang and Kratos using Double Demon Fang, and then I paired up Genis and Colette with Lightning and Pow Hammer respectively, because this would trigger the Compound Unison Attack Mjollnir.

Unison Attacks are not always hard to execute. Once you have Sheena in your party (which happens later in the game) it becomes easier to fill the Unison Attack gauge faster, especially once she is able to summon more than just Corinne. Her "seal" attacks are powerful and thus are more likely to succeed, which ups the gauge.

I wonder how I will get a road pass for Hakonesia Peak now that I did things the other way with Dorr. If you do the ranch first, he gives you one. But if you don't, he gives you a Card Key and a passcode for a side entrance to the ranch. Maybe you can get one from Neil (the assistant Governor-General) or from Magnius?

Beats me.

In less than a week I go to Oasis! Yay!

I am going to bring my sleeping bag, beach chair, and tent to college group this week for them to load on the trailer. Then I will take a suitcase and then use my laundry bag to hold Mumfy (my stuffed penguin...yes I still sleep with a stuffed animal) and my pillow (or pillows...I sleep with 2), and then I'll have something to put my laundry in as well. I will also need to bring a tote bag or my backpack to carry things I want on the bus. Maybe I will buy a new tote for this occasion. If I can find one, that is. The ones at work aren't what I want.

Okay bye.