Saturday, February 02, 2008

I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED!!, A tale of souls and swords, Asperger group; "iPod club" and Facebook, de-allergenizing the house, school coming up, promotion

Ok first my big news of this week. I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO CAL STATE SAN MARCOS!! Yes!!!!!! I just found out on Wednesday morning, when I finally got a hold of the Admissions and Records office to find out why I hadn't heard yet about whether I'd been accepted. The lady was able to go into my account and confirm my admission. Hooray!!

Now I have to fill out the FAFSA, figure out how to pay for college, and begin the steps toward enrollment (indicate my "intent to enroll," send final transcripts, etc). Mum was saying I should try to get the week before school starts off for vacation so I can get stuff in place that needs to be. I need to find out when that is soon because the deadline for requesting vacation for the year is at the end of February (I think; I could've sworn the flyer said "February 30th" was the deadline; the trouble is, February 30th is a non-existent day, as February only has 28 days, or at least 29 this year cause it's a leap year, so if it does say that it must be a typo).

The "tale of souls and swords" refers to Soul Calibur II, which I recently bought for my GameCube. It's hard in some spots but overall pretty fun. The arcade version is basically like your typical Street Fighter-esque kind of stuff; the "RPG-ish" mode (called Weapon Master Mode) has the same kind of fighting as the arcade modes but ties the fights to a storyline). I initially played as Greek warrior Cassandra, and later I unlocked her older sis Sophitia. Sophitia stinks though sometimes, mainly because her shield isn't as big as her sister Cassie's is, which means her defense can be pretty bad on occasion. (Coincidentially, if you play Arcade Mode as Sophitia, your "destined battle" is with Cassandra; if you play as Cassandra your "destined battle" is with Charade, who Sophitia fights in Stage 3 of Arcade Mode). I have also played as Talim a lot, including through most of Weapon Master Mode, except for a couple trouble spots in the "Extra Missions" you do after beating Weapon Master Mode the first time, where I switched characters to try to find someone who worked. The first of these was one where you had to beat the enemy with a Ring Out (knocking your opponent out of the ring). Problem: You can't hold your footing at the edge of the ring (where you need to get to to do a Ring Out) and your opponent is Berserker, a huge ugly giant with a really big axe that can take you out before you can even get close. I finally won with Nightmare, a guy with long blonde hair, dark, scary armor, and a really big, fat sword. Another such problem area was one where no matter what character you were, the conditions of the stage turned you into the reptilian character Lizardman, who has (I later discovered) a really good kick, but a really weak sword.

The third such problem area I am trying to beat right now. It has you take on two opponents one right after the other, and both have their health and speed increased a lot. This is a problem already, because you end up having to use powerful moves constantly to cause any major damage. The other issue is the opponents. The second opponent is always Mitsurugi, but the first opponent is always yourself, that "self" being different each time, depending on what character you are playing as. So your opponent has the same moves as you, only with the benefit of more health and speed. I tried several characters -- my regular Talim, the spear-wielding Seung Mina, the double-sword-wielding pirate Cervantes, Nightmare (who won the last big trouble battle, as aforesaid), and maybe more too. But I always got creamed one way or another. The Talim vs. Talim matchup is bad because Talim is speedy normally, so the opponent Talim is really speedy. The only hope there really is to force a Ring Out. Probably something similar with Mitsurugi.

Anyway, I joined a group recently for young people in my area with Asperger's Syndrome. My mom found out about them from a friend of hers who is a therapist (my dad had also read about it in the paper). I went to my first meetup a couple weeks ago, at Boomers (a place with go-karts, an arcade, mini golf, etc). It was ok but awkward cause it was my first time. I ended up being the last to go home; during my alone time I played both of the two DDR machines in the arcade, even though I'm a beginner. The DDR Extreme machine had "Butterfly" on it though (a DDR song I'm very familiar with). That was cool. Anyway, the next thing of theirs I'm going to is a "Un-Valentine's Day Party" on Valentine's Day, where we eat food not associated with Valentine's and watch a non-romantic movie. I really like the concept, and I am likely to get that day off since it's a school day for me. Unfortunately, work will prevent me attending the meetup before that, at the Wild Animal Park, but at least I'll see people at the party.

As the title of this post suggests, I finally joined the "iPod club" (as I call it). In other words, I bought an iPod. I had been using a little mp3 player my mom wasn't using anymore (because she bought a new iPod) because my ZVUE player was driving me nuts. But I was having trouble with it. So one day I decided to get a new player. It was my day off, and I had been planning to go get new work shoes then, since it was Friday (payday; I have direct deposit so I have money on payday whether I work that day or not). It turned out I had had 2 checks deposited instead of one. I didn't think much of this, but thought the extra money was useful. So I went to get the shoes, found decent ones for $25 at Payless, and then went across the street to Wal-Mart. They were out of the one I wanted -- the 4GB Nano. So I went across the street to Target Greatland and there I found a 4GB Nano, which I paid $162.62 for with tax.

I was going to tell Mum about the iPod when I got home, but then she got worried that the 2-check deposit was a mistake. So obviously I wasn't going to tell her then that I'd just bought an expensive music player. But I took Mum's suspicions seriously and called my work. It turned out that the 2-check deposit was not a mistake after all; I got two checks because I had celebrated my 1-year anniversary at Stater Bros. that week, so I got an extra "anniversary check." I told Mum this and she was relieved. Then I told her about the iPod, and this went over a lot better with that timing.

Anyway, I am loving my iPod; it plays great for both music and video (mine's a 3rd-generation Nano, so it can play video). I actually freaked out the other day (Tuesday) cause it was acting up and not playing anything. (Not to mention my DS broke the same day - well actually the bottom screen works, but the top screen developed a dark dot under the screen and won't display things right -- and when this happened to my original GBA they told me it was more worth it to replace it than to get it fixed). Fortunately, I plugged it into my computer, restored it to its original settings via iTunes, and it went back to normal.

I don't have much in terms of iPod accessories (or as they're often called, "peripherals"). I bought a hard case at a store at the mall called The Icing (which is owned by Claire's; it sells accessories like bracelets, earrings, etc) that has the Eiffel Tower on it in black and white. And at the Target by my work I bought a "PowerBlock" peripheral that allows me to charge my iPod using a wall socket. But that's all.

I also joined Facebook. Not much to say there. I managed to find a bunch of my high school graduating class classmates, and added my old friends Rachelle and Carolann to my Facebook friend list. I added a couple "apps" to my profile -- Shelfari (which lets you display books you like as the covers on shelves) and Harry Potter -- Compete for the House Cup (I got sorted & I'm in Ravenclaw; some of the quiz answers were obviously Ravenclaw and I was going to originally just answer all those because I think I'm a Ravenclaw anyway, but that wouldn't reflect me as a person so I answered what I wanted to, including at least one answer that was for sure Gryffindor). I joined some groups. It turns out that "networks" are connected to regions, jobs, colleges, and high schools only; but "groups" can be about anything. So when I mentioned in the last post about having networks relating to other things, I just didn't know that that was what groups were for.

Anyway, I joined these groups: TRUE LOVE WAITS, Admirers of C.S. Lewis, Pottercast, My Name is Lily Potter. You Thought I Was Dead. You Were Wrong., and The Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks Memorial. (The Lily Potter one is actually dedicated to J.K. Rowling and in particular to a recent interview she did with PotterCast, where she joked about seeing fanfiction that featured characters that in the canon series are dead; as an example she mentioned one that started out like this: "My Name is Lily Potter. You Thought I Was Dead. You Were Wrong").

Short bits now on the last three subjects, since it's late and I'm tired:

~ De-allergenizing the house: We recently had some guy come through and purify the air in the house, making it better for people with allergies (like Papa and myself). The result? A bit of a smell afterwards, and I had to strip my bed before the guy came and afterwards wash all my sheets and blankets.

~ School Coming Up: My class for this semester starts next Tuesday, February 5, a.k.a. Super Tuesday. As the class doesn't start till 1pm, I'm planning to go vote before school since our polling place is within walking distance (a little more than a mile away, at a Unitarian church). I'm looking forward to the class.

~ Promotion: I am sort of getting a promotion - possibly becoming the demo person for service deli & bakery. Basically I will sample stuff. I did today. It was ok but a little boring after a while. The last hour in particular was killer.

Ok I'm signing off now cause I'm tired.

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