Thursday, May 22, 2008

The end in sight, American Idol results, trying to catch Mesprit, will I miss Darkrai?

Well, today is my final, and tomorrow's graduation. I guess they are really having graduation out in front of the Administration Building; I saw a stage set up there when I went by it after matting my last print.

Richards-sensei helped me mat my last print (well, ok, he did it for me is more like it), and he double-matted it which looked pretty nice. It also didn't take as long to do. I put my matted prints and my bag of prints in my art locker and took out everything else. I had to wrap some paper towel around my asphaltum jar cause otherwise you stain your hands every time your hand brushes against it.

Graduation is in the evening, so I will probably go shopping for work clothes in the morning, since I get paid tomorrow. (I got four overdraft notices the other day, so I need to be careful with money).

Well the final results show for American Idol was last night, and unfortunately, our DVR cut off the show right before they announced the winner. But I found out who it was before the show ended cause I accidentially spoiled myself. This is how it happened: the Jonas Brothers were performing, and I went online (I had my laptop with me while we were watching the show) to see what song they were doing. I went on Wikipedia to find the info quickly, and ended up on the article for season 7 of American Idol. When scrolling down, I accidentially went by the finalists list and saw who was at the top of it, and by that found out who won. Oops.

Well anyway DAVID COOK WON. Yes!!!!! I was so afraid (and I think my mom was too) that David Archuleta would win, not only cause he was the predicted winner in many peoples' minds for practically the whole season, but because the bulk of the people voting would probably be junior high school-aged female "Archies" (as Archuleta's fans are called). But the judges predicted (more than once) on the show that David Cook could win, and strangely enough he actually did. Who knew? I figure people were confused cause, in my opinion, the audience tends to actually listen to Simon and often doesn't vote as much for people he doesn't like. But for the top 2 he was of two minds, it seems. After David Cook did his first song, he said David Cook won the round. But after David Archuleta sang his first song, he said "Round One goes to Archuleta." He then proceeded to give the next two rounds to Archuleta as well, though he continued to also say David Cook was good. This is further proven by his comment on the results show right before the winner was revealed: "At this point, I don't care who wins." It's like, make up your mind, Cowell!

As expected, the results show -- like the "Idol Gives Back" show -- featured performances from contestants from So You Think You Can Dance, another Fox show which is basically American Idol for dancers. Conveniently, they also scheduled things so the new season of So You Think You Can Dance premieres tonight, right after the end of American Idol (which was last night). I really wonder whether this intense cross-promotion is really necessary.

I have been playing Pokémon Pearl pretty heavily, chasing Mesprit all over the place. I have actually encountered it a few times, and I even made my lead Pokémon have Mean Look like my player's guide suggested, but even if I get to pick my attack first, it always flees before I can attack. I even gave my Gastly (now a Haunter cause it evolved) the Quick Claw which my Staraptor had been holding for a while, to increase the chances of it going first. This does not even help. I also tried the idea suggested by a Trainer Tip on WTPT (which I finally got around to listening to again) which suggested flying to Floaroma Town and then going to the spot where Route 205 turns into Valley Windworks, and walking back and forth between them to get Mesprit to come to you. While this trick does work for encountering Mesprit, it doesn't give any clues on how to get it to stay in battle once you encounter it. I guess it might be cause my Haunter is pretty low level, and thus its speed stat might not be too high. But it is my only Pokémon that knows Mean Look, I think (I'm not sure my Misdreavus still knows it). I do not know if you must catch Mesprit before the League; I don't think so cause I saw some site that said how to catch Mesprit and it appeared you could have Mesprit and Cresselia's little icons on the Marking Map at the same time, and Cresselia you do not meet till after the League. Besides you get credit for having seen Mesprit when you first encounter it at Lake Verity, so you would still have a "seen" credit for it for the Sinnoh Dex.

I am trying to fill up the Sinnoh Dex too; I went through the Sinnoh Dex listing in my player's guide and marked the ones I did not yet have. Most of them you encounter in either Victory Road or when fighting the Elite Four, both of which I haven't done yet. One you can only get on Fridays so I have to wait till tomorrow to find it.

One last thing. Jesse (Amy's husband) told me the other day on IM (he IM'd me on AIM to give me Amy's mailing address at basic training) that they would be GIVING OUT DARKRAI IN THE U.S. Yes, I am not kidding; it's this weekend at participating Toys 'R Us stores across the nation. For four-hour intervals on May 31st and June 1st, you will be able to get Darkrai.

But....*sigh* I may not be able to. Because I will probably be working. :( And the bus. *big sigh* The closest Toys 'R Us I know of is not very close to my work. Not to mention the giveaways are on Saturday and Sunday, not good days for me to make side trips after work. (Sundays I can't take the bus, and the bus home doesn't run as late on Saturdays).

So my only options probably are:

1. Get Amy or Jesse to trade with me. The only problem with this is that, like Manaphy, you are probably only able to get one Darkrai at this event, and so if you trade it, you don't have it anymore.
2. Trade for the English Darkrai via the GTS or Union Room after its release. This is actually more possible, but again it has the single Darkrai problem, and who knows what they will want for it (On my first foray into the GTS, I saw people wanting level 100 Palkias for far less legendary Pokémon).
3. Trade for the Japanese Darkrai via the GTS. I thought of this recently. Since you can trade with anyone on the globe using the GTS, I figured, why can't you trade with people in Japan for Darkrai? I actually went on the GTS this morning to see if this would work, but Darkrai wasn't on the list of searchable Pokémon.

The GTS is an interesting place. I put up a level 20 Shellos I had caught in order to get a Finneon (before I realized that you can fish for Finneon in Canalave City). And today, when I went on there after being absent from the GTS for some time, my Finneon arrived. Or rather my Keikouo, since based on the fact that the Pokémon that arrived had its name written in Japanese, it is Japanese in origin. It is in a Quick Ball (just checked a picture online to confirm this), was caught at Valley Windworks, was "apparently met at Lv. 24" (whatever that means) and -- get this -- has Pokérus (of all things). Also, its name is written in katakana, the Japanese lettering system used for foreign words and names. I don't know why this is, seeing as all the sounds in "Keikouo" are also available in hiragana.

Okay it's already after 12. I better go get some lunch before my final. Bye.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A quickie update

I am just going to do a quick post, since it is late and I need to get up early tomorrow to go to my mum's graduation (yes, I got the day off).

Class: My final is next Thursday. We have to hang up our 5 matted prints, exchange prints with other classmates, and supposedly take some sort of written exam about which Richards-sensei has been very vague. The problem with Richards-sensei is that it is difficult to tell whether he is joking or serious most of the time.

My lily edition is now an edition of like 10, the most I've done. I did three prints with the background being black and the lily itself being some other color. I experimented with the etching ink tubes that were available. The first such color I found was called "thalto viridian." I'm not sure what "thalto" means (I've seen it on other things of ink also), but I recognized the word "viridian." I knew that it was a greenish color. As funny as it sounds, I probably recognized the word from the Pokémon games, as the final gym in the Kanto region (covered in Red/Blue/Yellow and Fire Red/Leaf Green, as well as the second half of Gold/Silver/Crystal) is located in a town called "Viridian City." Viridian City is also the first major town you come upon at the start of the game in Kanto, after leaving Pallet Town. But anyway, like other towns in the earlier games that had color-related names, the town was tinted that color in the game.

Anyway the "viridian" color turned out, as expected, to be a bluish green. For once, Richards-sensei didn't say anything about my color choice (probably cause I was using the ink tubes rather than the little containers of ink, the colored ones of which are mainly relief ink, not etching ink) and actually said that it was a nice color. And it did turn out nice actually.

The other two I did in "sepia" and "cadmium red light" respectively. The "sepia" turned out as a really dark brown, which I did not expect since sepia photographs are usually a lighter brown. It turned out ok though -- I thinned it enough for there to be a differentiation between the black and the sepia. The other color was also surprising -- I expected it to be, well, a light red. But apparently "cadmium red" is actually more like red-orange. That one turned out ok but I don't like it as much.

I am going to do more prints of it before the final, simply cause I have paper left and don't want to waste it. I also have to choose one of them to mat for my final.

Oh by the way matting yesterday was killer. It took me forever just to mat four prints, and the teacher had to help me a lot. But I finally got done around 4:00, near the end of class, and still had some time to do those two aforementioned prints.

Work: I was late today unfortunately, due to some transportation issues. I caught the bus at the wrong stop and thus ended up on a later bus, missed a train, had to catch the next one, got on my connecting bus to work and ended up on a bus with two wheelchairs (wheelchairs have to be fastened when a person gets on and unfastened when they get off, which slows down the bus), and ended up clocking in 19 minutes late. Ouch. And to top it off, I had taken my hairtie out of my locker and ended up having to put my hair up with a rubber band (obtained from Paul the CSR), until I bought scrunchies on my break.

Joseph was off, but we did not realize this till later in the afternoon. Thank goodness Maryam (one of the checkers) was helping package stuff cause it would've have been tough otherwise. I did garlic bread early on, then packaged some stuff, and then went to lunch. After lunch, I got things ready to finish what bread I had on the table. Then I went to inspect the other bread waiting to be made into garlic bread. Around this time I had to break out French bread to put in the proofer. When going to get the French bread, I noticed the cooler looked pretty empty. I went back to check later, and (wouldn't you know it?) there was no break-out. We had five people here, and nobody bothered to do any break-out? Um, ok. So, to save the girls a talking-to from Karen (our baker) in the morning, I took matters into my own hands and lugged the six-wheeler holding the rolls and danishes out of the freezer, and started to do break-out (this was at around 4:30). I was interrupted several times in the beginning for customers, etc., and also by Maryam with questions about things. But later in the evening (after 6:00) things slowed down and I actually got some work done. I followed the break-out list and broke out all the rolls and danishes, finishing at 6:50. Then I cleaned up, pushed the really heavy six-wheeler back into the freezer and started grabbing donut boxes. Then I broke out the donuts. By the time I finished this, it was 7:10. With 10 minutes left, I started to grab bagel boxes. I had one tray of bagels done when the phone rang. It turned out to be an order (though a quick one), but by the time I finished it it was time to clean up and leave. So I put the bagel boxes back, covered the rack and put it in the cooler, and got out of there. Then I went, clocked out, wrote a note to everyone, and put it up in the department. Then I left. Oy, what a day.

I have to call Sandra in the morning cause she forgot to give me one of my school days off and also next Friday, which is graduation day, which I had requested off more than a month ago.

Considering a Wii : I just found out a Wii sequel to Tales of Symphonia is in development. It makes me really want a Wii! I wonder if that game can be played with the "Classic" controller (which I will probably get cause I don't understand the Nunchuk and the Wiimote at all). Plus it would be cool to get Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity when it comes out this fall.

Just checked Wikipedia for information on the new ToS game (called Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World). All the original main characters (except Kratos) return. (Kratos is the game's narrator, but he is not playable). The one cool thing is that the new protagonist, Emil, can capture monsters and have them fight alongside him in battle, which is similar to my DS game Rune Factory. Also the animation looks a lot different (just look at the picture of Lloyd on the right). One thing I would miss is that they replaced the "Field Map" idea with a point-with-the-Wiimote-to-where-you-want-to-go idea, which I don't like as much. But this idea is not totally new; in Pokemon Colosseum for GameCube, you select a place from the map to go to, and after a cut scene showing you traveling, you're there.

Ok better get ready for bed. I already didn't get much sleep last night. Good night!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Semester ending soon, medical things to do, irritating Amanda, etc.

Well, as I said before, the semester is ending soon. Just this week, then my final and graduation. Also, my mom's graduation from grad school is this weekend, so I'm trying to get the day off from work for that.

I have a stack of prints on my desk I still need to go through to figure out which ones to mat. I have to finish printing my lily picture (which will turn out to not be a deepbite after all -- there's not time to sit for hours waiting for it to sit in the acid -- and instead will be a line etching with aquatint) and bring home my pieces that are currently on display. I have to print 3 more prints of the lily etching as it is before I will have satisfied Richards-sensei and be able to do an aquatint treatment on my plate. He likes editions of 5 for some reason. I am going to go do those prints tomorrow (since I have tomorrow off) so that they are done before class, and maybe I will even start with the aquatint, if the teacher is there to show me what he recommends (since I'm not very good with aquatint). If not, I will work on it on Tuesday. At any rate, I will bring the prints I put on display on Thursday home so I have them to add to my collection of prints to choose from. I will leave the new prints so they can dry; I don't know how long that takes. It depends on how dry the paper is when you do the print. And of course the ink has to dry. But I think it dries fast.

The only prints I have up right now are 2 prints of my lily and the two prints I did of my Plexiglas/collage piece. Oh, speaking of which, my collage turned out splendidly...yay! I was afraid it would not work to do that sort of thing on Plexiglas (Mr. Flores did it on a metal plate), but it did work, although on the first one Misaki did not stick on the paper and I had to reglue her into place. Also after each print I had to go in with a little glue and glue down edges that didn't get enough glue. Because I had the glue on a mat board squegee, I was able to simply walk up to the print on the display board to make these corrections. Nice and easy. I was also concerned cause print #1 looked like it had lots of glue stains, but one of my classmates (who also looked at my print) said you can't even see them from far away. So that's good to know.

I have to go buy my own mat board, unfortunately. I am going to pick my prints first so I know what colors will be good and if I need a certain size. It doesn't look like it's too hard to mat - it's mostly measuring and cutting.

I have figured out I have some medical things to do in the near future. I need to get my mystery underarm bump checked out by the doctor. Mum thinks it's a clogged pore, but I'm not so sure, especially since it has developed a purplish bruise-like color, and my shirt seams (on shirts like my work shirts) still rub it even though it has gotten smaller in size since the time it first began to really bother me. I have been careful not to put deodorant on it (if it is a clogged pore, deodorant would be what is clogging it in the first place) and to shave around it. But it has not gone away.

Mum says I also need to have a physical, including some "female" stuff (like a Pap smear, maybe a mammogram). Fortunately, my new insurance covers physicals 100%.

I also haven't had an eye exam in awhile, so I probably need one of those too. And I may need to go to the dentist too, since I haven't been there in a while either.

The main problem is that, since I have new insurance, I have to make sure my various doctors take my new insurance.

From medical problems to coworkers...I am fed up somewhat with my coworker Amanda. I have worked with her sometimes cause she only works nights and I have been working till 7 the last couple weekends. She gets stressed out about the amount of work she has to do and goes on and on about it, and a couple of times has asked me to help her by doing part of breakout (she is usually assigned breakout duties). Now if I have no other duties of my own then I will help her with breakout, and I have done so at least once. But if, like tonight, I have my own work to do, I have to tell her that I can't help her with breakout cause I have to finish my own work, which is the truth. Then she gets mad, and I have to try to reason with her to get her to shut up so I can concentrate on my own work (usually packaging), or try to ignore her, if that is even possible. Tonight when she arrived (at 4:45), I was packaging a rack of drizzled gourmet cookies and still had to package the newly baked French bread, label the cookies and other stuff on the counter to get it out of the way, AND make garlic bread. I told her I couldn't help her with her work. She got mad, and went on about all of her work and how messy the department was (her other usual perpetually discussed topic) and asked me to make sure to clean up the front before I left, which I would've done anyway (and did), since making garlic bread leaves the counters messy, and in the process of cookie packaging a lot of drizzle pieces had ended up on the floor and needed to be swept up, along with the usual dirt and crumbs that end up on the floor of our front area.

Things finally quieted down, thanks to the arrival of Liz, who usually works mornings but was apparently working a night shift tonight. She started helping Amanda with breakout, and all was well. I covered the front, working on my stuff and helping customers. Right around the time I was supposed to leave, I had two customers, and after I finished the first, I went to the back to ask Liz and Amanda if one of them could help the other customer, since I had to leave because I was like 2 minutes overtime. Amanda's response to my question was a comment telling me to leave so I wouldn't be late, which sounded less benign than it ought to sound. I wondered if she was still mad at me.

I must admit, I was stressed. I wanted Amanda to shut up, I was trying to do my own work, and I hadn't had a chance for my last break because I was going to take it, but I was afraid Amanda would make a fuss like last time we were both together by ourselves and I said I was going to take my break. Also, I was worried that I would be in trouble cause I accidentally put chocolate buttercream on some of the brownies instead of fudge (I asked Neomi, a new decorator, who was the only other person there, if she'd seen the fudge, she handed me a bucket, and I realized only after I had spread the stuff on the brownies that it might not be fudge). I don't know why I got stuck putting chocolate drizzle on the cookies and icing the brownies, neither of which I have done before and both of which should have been done already (especially with the brownies, which were from yesterday). And then she handed me the wrong bucket -- but of course, she's new...she wouldn't know. This would never have happened if Katie or Patricia was there; they know what the fudge looks like. Even Dina (a former decorator, now manager of the deli, who was helping us today) would've known, but I didn't ask her; she probably would've made me look for it myself anyways. I tried to look for it, but Dina and somebody else were working at the cake decorating counters and so I couldn't get in to look through the buckets. It's been so long since I've seen the fudge bucket I forgot what it looked like. It does sort of look like the Ready Ice Chocolate Frosting (aka chocolate buttercream) bucket though. So maybe that's why I didn't think of it; the chocolate buttercream is also thick like the fudge so the frosting looks similar, though it is lighter than the fudge.

Hopefully, it won't matter, but you know me; I am paranoid and think every little mistake could be job-ending. I was all paranoid about the cream cheese icing on the brownies not looking nice. I said I didn't want the customers saying "oh what ugly brownies" and not buying them. This is similar to how I wanted to get defensive when Liz said my a's on cakes looked like upside-down e's. They do, since I tend to forget to put a tail on my a's. I know this. On the other hand, she did think the writing was nice. While I didn't get defensive, I did point out that I usually don't have time to devote to practicing my cake writing so that it looks nice every time. She told me that if I asked the manager for time to do that, she would probably say yes. But I'm not a decorator. Why should I need extra time to practice my writing? The only reason I write on cakes at all is because often I am the only person there in the afternoon (and evening) and so I have to help customers, and this includes writing on cakes. When I worked at Sycamore, I always called someone else over to write on cakes, someone with experience, because that was what I was told to do.

If only preparing and decorating cakes was as easy as it is on my Cake Mania game...they have automatic frosters and stuff.

I got some new reading material, having grown bored with A Great Improvisation (a non-fiction book about Benjamin Franklin and his diplomatic efforts to secure French aid for the American Revolution). For just over $40 with tax at Barnes and Noble, I bought two Boxcar Children books, two volumes of Tsubasa: ReserVOIR Chronicle, and a Newbery Award-winning book called Kira-kira. The volumes of Tsubasa were numbers 13 and 14, which cover adventures in the world of Recort and (at the end of 14) another yet unidentified world. There is also a part where Syaoran opens this book and sees Kurogane's memories, and those take place in the past of the Country of Nihon, the country Kurogane is from (also called the Country of Japan). I also was pleased with myself somewhat for recognizing the crossover in Recort's Central Library of Sai and Kaede from Angelic Layer, although I had never seen them in a manga (only in the AL anime, which I recently finished watching -- see the previous post).

I should mention that Fei Wong Reed (one of the bad guys) has a female assistant, Xing Huo, who somewhat resembles Arisu from Angelic Layer. I do not know if that is an intentional crossover or just a coincidence.

Ack! It is really late...I started to look at some other stuff and didn't realize time went by. I want to get up early to go work at school, cause I think I'd like to see a movie afterwards. The movie theater by the mall is still showing this one movie I want to see. But it only has two matinee showings. I just checked.

Ok I'm gonna go and start getting ready for bed. Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Trying to finish class stuff, end of Angelic Layer, tag video, Immortal, I got my eighth badge, etc.

Well, there's just the rest of this week, and then next week, and then finals. Then I officially graduate from MiraCosta. I guess I need to do my IGETC Certification and stuff...oh crud just thought of that!

I just checked the IGETC Advising sheet. It says you do the IGETC Certification when you send your final transcript. Although my final transcript's not due at CSUSM till July, I should still do it soon. When I go to school tomorrow, I'll ask.

I have been working hard this week to try to get my work done. I was going to go work today, but I stayed up late last night working on my tag video (more on that later), and so I was really tired. Plus, I got a lot of stuff done yesterday so I am not really behind. Pretty much all I have to finish are my litho/deepbite and my Plexiglas/collage composition. The deepbite will be done somewhat differently than what others are doing cause I wasn't doing the cutting right. Anyway, it's of a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci which the teacher found for me. Here it is:


It's called "A Lily," or (as the site calls it that I got this picture from) "Study of a Lily." My copy of the drawing is in black and white though. It's pretty intricate and was hard to trace onto paper to transfer it to the plate. The first time I traced it, I went all out, trying to trace the shading lines and stuff, but the second time (I had to trace it twice cause I lost my first tracing of it) I stuck to simpler lines.

My Plexiglas/collage composition was initially also going to include a little 6"x0.75" strip of metal plate that I had left over from when my half of my plate (I sold half of the plate to someone else) was cut up. But the writing on it came out backwards when I did a test print, just as the teacher said it would. I told both the T.A. Hollis and Mum about this and they both said I should listen to my teacher. Also what I etched on the Plexiglas came out on the other side of the paper when I did a print, which means I have to rethink where my "collage" bits will go.

So anyway, Plan B! I think I have a way for the composition to still work. I did a layout of what I'm thinking it will look like using Photoshop on one of the school lab computers (because I'm one of those people who doesn't want to pay $700 to buy Photoshop myself):


As you can see, it has an Angelic Layer theme. I was going to do something more academic and artistic, but since it was just something I was doing for fun more than anything else, I decided to just do something fun. Since I've been watching Angelic Layer lately online, I decided to make something related to that show. Hikaru is already etched (I etched my Plexiglas while waiting for my metal plates to either dry under the heat lamp or sit in the acid); the logo on the bottom will replace the metal plate I was going to put along the top. I made sure to put the writing not backwards, not wanting to repeat the mistake that changed my plans.

I was going to etch the other stuff, but then I decided instead to "collage" it. I got this idea from what Gene Flores, a visiting artist, did last week when he did a printing demonstration during our class period. He took little cut out bits, arranged them where he wanted them on his plate, then put glue on the cut out bits so that when you ran the plate through the press, they would be stuck to the plate. Granted, he did it with a metal plate, and I'm using Plexiglas, which may or may not work as well. The only problem with using glue is you sort of only have one shot at getting the gluing process right. So I'll have to be careful.

I'm going to go in early tomorrow to work on that piece so I can devote as much class time as possible to my deepbite, since if we do it the way I think we are going to, it needs lots of time in the acid (as in HOURS). I will probably run at least one print of my deepbite plate so that the teacher and I can decide what to do next. I kind of hate to get up early when I will have to do so the next day (Friday) too because of work. But "no pain, no gain" as they say. And having something to do is always nice. As the proverb says which I often quote, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

Hold on, gotta go to the bathroom.

Ok, I'm back.

Moving on...As I said, I have been watching Angelic Layer online, having my interest in the anime piqued by the one manga volume of the series that I own (haven't been able to get more yet). I started watching it on YouTube, but YouTube only had a few episodes. So the rest I watched on Veoh. I've been watching all Japanese episodes, except episode 19 which I couldn't find in Japanese and had to watch the English dub of instead. I just watched the last three episodes today. The ending is really sad and emotional. I particularly like the ending credits of the last episode, which show what happened to everyone. *SPOILER* It starts with Shouko (Misaki's aunt, with whom she lives) at her job as a news anchor calling Ringo (a pop idol who also does Angelic Layer), and Ringo showing off her "Ranga Cosplay" outfit (based on her Angel, Ranga). Then there are some shots which reveal that certain characters coupled up: Tamayo and Kotaro, Ogata and Fujimari, and Yuuko and Shuji. Then we see Ryo Misaki and Arisu practicing Angelic Layer at practice layers (though not together, I don't think).

The next shot after that made me double take. It showed Sai (another one of the Angelic Layer players) kneeling at a grave and offering incense, with her friend Kaede standing by. A subtitle for the text on the gravestone said "Family Grave." I picked this up and went back and watched it again, and paused it where the subtitle showed up. "Oh, so her sister died?" I said. "How sad."
(Sai has an ill sister in the series, for whose sake she had been playing Angelic Layer). After watching the whole video, I was reading the comments - and nobody picked up on this besides me! And yet, it's such an obvious visual clue that Sai's sister died, without any dialogue saying she is dead or anything.

The next shot was kind of funny and requires some explanation. Ichiro (aka "Icchan"), the one who got Misaki (the main character) started with Angelic Layer (and who is in fact the creator of Angelic Layer and is in love with his research partner Shuuko, Misaki's mom) is known for being somewhat of a peeping tom. His stepbrother is Oujiro, the Deus for the angel Wizard and Misaki's love interest (in the anime only). Anyway, this shot shows them behind a wall, and Icchan is peeking, and Oujiro asks him what he's doing, and then Icchan tells Oujiro that Misaki's there too, and Oujiro starts peeking.

We then see Misaki and her mother go by. Despite the fact that I caught the clue about Sai's sister, I did not catch the story clue in this shot until I was reading the comments. In this shot, we see Misaki AND her mother are both walking! I should mention that Shuuko had been in a wheelchair up to this point in the series, her leg debilitated by a nerve disease (presumed to be MS). She had been doing research with Icchan about the possibility of creating artificial limbs that could be controlled by the brain. When the real version of this failed to get funding, they came up with making it a toy, and Angelic Layer was born.

The ending ends with a shot of Athena (Shuuko's Angel) hugging Hikaru (Misaki's Angel). Kawaii! *END SPOILER*

Anyway, overall, I really like the series, and will try to get the rest of the manga in order to compare it to the anime.

I must say that the dub of this series seems very unprofessionally done, even though it is in fact an official dub. They tried a little too hard to keep the Japanese suffixes for one, which kind of spoils the dialogue (having suffixes is great, but it usually only works in English translations of manga; it sounds weird in anime). It was done by ADV Films too, who is generally known for rather good anime dubs. Weird...

Next to watch? Either Chobits (which is also based on a CLAMP manga, like Angelic Layer, and is in fact set in the same universe as Angelic Layer, though it is set later in time; I own the manga and really like it) or Wedding Peach (some transformation clips and such have made me want to watch it...I saw a couple dub clips when I was trying to get a clip for my tag video...the dub isn't bad. "I am the Love Angel! I am Wedding Peach! And I am extremely angry with you!" LOL).

A fad has cropped up on YouTube called "tagging." I don't know who started it. But anyway, it involves making a video which contains 5 facts about yourself. You wait till you are tagged to do it, and when you do it, you then go on and continue the chain by tagging 5 other people.

I posted my tag video today, after working on it last night and this morning. Here it is:

I am currently reading a book about Benjamin Franklin called A Great Improvisation. It is about his time as a diplomat to France during the American Revolution. But before that, I was reading a book called Immortal, which is a novel set in medieval and early Renaissnce Florence. It is about a boy who has an extraordinary power that allows him to heal quickly, provide help to people with his hands via some power called a consolateum, and live a really long time without aging a day. It is a good book, though the beginning, where the character is sold to a brothel by his best friend and ends up working there, was pretty disturbing. But after that the book became more palatable and interesting. I have to admit I was kinda glad to finish it, though.

On another note, I finally got my eighth badge in Pokemon Pearl, on my third try fighting the last gym leader. My Pokemon kept getting KO'd by attacks like Charge Beam (the attack you get as a TM if you win) and Brick Break. I knew I needed to rely mainly on my one Pokemon with ground attacks, my Graveler. So I went back to the Wayward Cave and got the TM for Earthquake, the most powerful Ground-type move. I taught it to my Graveler. With that and its learned move Magnitude on hand, I went and fought Volkner again. I was able to quickly knock out his electric types with Magnitude and Earthquake, and in the meantime I saved my Machoke for his Normal-type Ambipom. His Octillery was a problem cause it KO'd my Luxray, so I had to use other Pokemon instead. But finally, I won. Yay!

Well, that's it. I think I am going to walk to the store to get dinner. I feel like getting out of the house.

As long as I'm home in time for American Idol, I'll be ok. I forgot to vote again, but hopefully the one I like (Syesha) won't be on the chopping block.

Yesterday, when I left for school, Mum was asking me if I would be home that night, cause "we're all going to watch American Idol together." I know, lame family activity, watching TV. But I watch Top Chef and Project Runway with her and watched some of The Biggest Loser: Couples with her, and she watches The Amazing Race with me, so I guess I can't complain.