Merry Christmas, once again.
You know what I realized? I have been keeping this blog since late 2004, before I even had a laptop and stuff. Crazy.
Well the gift-giving is over, although according to Mum I do have two gifts still to open that she ordered online that didn't make it here before Christmas. And I don't know if I'll get anything from Aunt Jane and Uncle Bobbo, who aren't coming here for Christmas after all cause Uncle Bobbo had to have a surgery of some sort done.
Anyway giving gifts went well and my parents and brother liked what I got them. My brother really liked the Medal of Honor PC game I got him (in lieu of an Xbox game; I couldn't find any games for the normal Xbox at Target). My dad really liked the Amazing Grace book (which is about William Wilberforce, like the recent movie of that name) I got him, and my mom really loved her angel drop Li Bien ornament that I got her from the Pier 1 Imports by my work (which is painted from the inside using an ancient Chinese technique), which I am glad made it to Christmas since it was glass and I was terrified that it would fall and break before Christmas while it sat in my closet since the day I bought it (Black Friday).
Now for what I got (minus the two presents I don't have yet):
~ Fantastic 4 DVD (first one, not Silver Surfer, the one I asked for, but that's ok, I like the first one too, and I didn't already have it)
~ 45 Master Characters: Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters (a book I actually asked for for Christmas but didn't expect to actually get; I am happy I got it. It'll help with my writing).
~ 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them (another book I asked for)
~ The Daring Book for Girls (a book which is actually pretty cool; it's kind of a trivia book and a how-to book in one, done in an old-fashioned style).
~ The Secret Things of God (my brother got this too; it's a book by Henry Cloud, one of my mom's favorite authors, written in response to The Secret)
~ A pack of high-cut underwear
~ A pack of black socks (good for work)
~ Black semi-casual pants (for work)
~ A blue T-shirt with palm trees that says "San Diego"
~ A tan shirt that says "You are what you read" (it's kinda tight though...*sigh*)
~ "Much Ado About Nothings" Shakespearean Sticky Notes (quirky but fun)
~ Audio Daydream by Blake Lewis (a CD I really wanted, cause I liked Blake on American Idol and he finally came out with a CD).
~Shakespeare's Insults: Educating Your Wit (quite funny...my brother was reading some of them after I opened it...hilarious)
~ Final Fantasy XII: Relevant Wings for DS (ooh!)
~ AN IKEA DESK!!!! (yay...I knew I was getting this present but it's still cool)
~ Two CD storage boxes from Ikea, Motorp series (to go with my desk)
~ A three-box with Velcro desk set from Ikea, Motorp series (which matches the CD boxes and is to go with the desk)
~ A nice blue hoodie
All this, plus the stuff in my stocking: some little Twizzlers licorice, a box of Mentos, a Wonka bar, lotion (good for the dry hands I've been having lately cause of washing my hands so much at work), Blistex lip balm, a small purple gel pen, and a Life Savers Sweet Storybook (a stocking stuffer tradition in our family - every year at least one person gets one).
My brother got an iPod Classic and my dad an iPod Nano. I have a funny feeling that by next Christmas or birthday I'm gonna end up capitulating and asking for an iPod, because I have been resisting so far and buying cheaper music players, with the excuse that either iPods are too expensive or that I don't even have enough songs on my computer to make buying a music player that holds 1,100 songs (or whatever) worth it. But with all the CD's I've been buying recently (mainly for entertainment's sake or to try to find good songs for my fandub project) it might be worth it now, and with me making steady money now, I might be able to afford it. I could always buy it at like Wal-Mart or something where it might be cheaper. (The union I'm part of says you shouldn't patronize Wal-Mart, among other stores, cause they're not union, but I say that's stupid - I shopped at Wal-Mart before joining the UFCW, you think I'm gonna stop now?).
While wrapping presents last night, I decided to listen to a podcast. The main PotterCast page wouldn't come up, so I tried going to the main Leaky Cauldron page to get there and still couldn't. So I listened via iTunes, and the next one for me to listen to was...*drumroll* the first part of their exclusive interview with none other than J.K. ROWLING. Yep, you heard me. The one, the ONLY J.K. Rowling. As in the creator of Harry Potter. I had seen stuff about the interview on their site but hadn't heard the podcast yet, and I still felt chills when they called and, after talking to someone else (probably her husband), they got her, and she came on. The first thing she said was "This better not be about house-elves" (referring to the debate between John and Sue of PotterCast about whether Helga Hufflepuff, who Sue adores, who was in charge of the Hogwarts kitchens in the founding days of the school, enslaved the house-elves who work there now - which they had brought to JKR's attention when they got to talk to her before her Carnegie Hall reading).
The interview was very cool. I was particularly happy when JKR said that Hermione went back to school and finished out the year and took her N.E.W.T.'s (Nastily Exhausting Wizard Tests), the test you take at the end of your 7th year at Hogwarts (apparently J.K. Rowling has an interesting sense of humor to call the tests "Nastily Exhausting Wizard Tests"). I know Hermione is the character JKR has said is most like her, and JKR is very into education (having herself majored in French and Classics at the prestigous University of Exeter, located in and around the town of that name, located in southwest England). Anyway, Go Hermione!!
Ironically, Harry and Ron did not go back to school to finish out the year and take their exams, JKR said, but went straight into the Auror Department, having proven themselves to be good at that stuff during the Battle of Hogwarts.
She also said she never saw Hermione as a fighter, which I'm guessing is why Hermione didn't become an Auror in the end. While Hermione can do spells, she doesn't really use them in active fighting the way Harry and Ron do. To use a video game analogy, she would be the support person in the team, casting defensive magic and what have you (much like she did in Deathly Hallows by casting protective charms around their campsites).
Oh crud I guess I gotta go. We're going to the movies. Later.
EDIT AT 12:05 PM
Just checked with Papa. We're not leaving just yet.
I looked up what the iPod models are. The iPod Touch is kinda cool, but only comes in 8 GB and 16 GB versions, which is more than I really need truly. At least for music. 8 GB is good for video though. The Touch also has a web browser (Safari, of course) and a YouTube client, similar to the iPhone.
Oh gotta go for real now. Bye.
EDIT AT 5:36 PM
Since it's still the same day I'm just gonna add edits to this post.
I am at home by myself, cause I decided I didn't want to go watch my brother surf. I'm just in my room, using my laptop. I may work on a video after this, for the heck of it.
I gotta close at work tomorrow (12-9) but then I get two days off, before working 7-4 Saturday and Sunday. Not bad. I haven't gotten more than 2 days off in a row for a week or so, but with this week, the store being closed today for Christmas meant everyone got the day off by default.
I told Mum how seeing Andrew (my brother)'s iPod Classic kinda made me want an iPod, and she said she was afraid I would lose it if I had one. I have lost music players in the past, usually by accidentally leaving them somewhere, so her fear makes sense. And I do lose things sometimes.
I do have a good music player now, a ZVUE ($65 at Wal-Mart), which also plays video though I don't use it that much for that due to the hassle of getting the files on there via ZAPP (the iTunes-like program that came with my player), but I am getting a little tired of it, primarily cause of the aforesaid ZAPP software, which takes a while to load and is kind of tough to use. Plus most of the video files I want to put on there I end up not being able to cause of the really narrow format restrictions (WMV and some form of DivX video). Also when you have WMA files on there, the artist name is displayed with the song but not the title of the CD.
iTunes, on the other hand, is easy to figure out how to use (I've bought music there) and the iTunes store has lots of stuff. Most of the podcasts I've seen cost nothing, and you can listen to them right in iTunes or (supposedly) download them. And while the iPod doesn't
Hold on moving the computer downstairs.
EDIT AT 8:11 PM
My parents got the movie Little Miss Sunshine for Christmas and so we were just watching it. It's very random.
Anyway, where was I?
Ah yes. Even though the iPod doesn't support WMA files, you can still get WMA files on your iPod using iTunes.
I like the iPod Mini size, but the Mini appears to have been discontinued. The new Shuffle is a size I'm not likely to lose (cause I can clip it to my clothes) but I want an iPod with a screen so I can see what song is playing. Maybe a Nano -- a 1GB probably.
Eh well can't think of anything else to say. Good night.