Monday, June 30, 2008

Sometimes, you have to do something drastic

I know I already posted today, and usually I don't post more than once a day. But I wanted to document something I did tonight.

After writing the last entry, I was thinking about how I said that I felt I should give up the Coral story completely and utterly. I knew that that would be no easy task, given that I'd been wrestling with revising it for at least five years. So, I decided to do a drastic thing, something I've never done with any of my writing (I think). I didn't really pray about it exactly, but something told me it was the right thing to do, and I think it was more than just my conscience.

I gathered together all the papers having to do with Coral's storyline out to my mom's little office area...AND I SHREDDED THEM. EVERY LAST ONE.

I figured if I did it any other way -- simply throwing them away, burning them if necessary, etc -- that I would be able to retrieve them later when I regretted the action. But this way it's over. Finis.

I know, those of you who read this blog (if anybody does) probably think, IS SHE CRAZY? Yeah, probably I am. But something about what I did feels right. You've got to let bygones be bygones sometimes, put the past behind you.

This is the only time I remember ever actually destroying my own work like that. Throwing something away is one thing -- doing something like shredding it is something else entirely.

Dear God, I feel that you wanted me to do this, to move on. Or maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. I may have done this in a fit of madness, in a moment of desperation that was not from you. If I did, forgive me. Please, God, I know that you gave me this writing talent for a reason. I feel that you would not have given me this talent if you didn't want me to do something with it for you. I dedicate my pen and its products to you, God. I know I can't do this on my own. I fail miserably, as I have seen. Please give me a spirit of discernment, a spirit that is able to discern what story ideas to pursue and which to abandon. My head is so full of story ideas all the time, but only so many are good and right. Help me and guide me to ones you want me to pursue, God. Be with me as I plan and write my stories, that I may do glory to you in these processes. Be with me when the day comes that the time is right for me to try to get my work published. Oh, and Lord, help me in my response to criticism in my life, not only of my writing but of everything I do. Help me not to be so defensive, so afraid of being vulnerable. Help me to be able to discern what is constructive criticism and what is nonconstructive. Give me a sense of calm in these situations, so that I can deal with the criticism in a nonaggressive manner. I pray that you help me to not be constantly fearing rejection. Fear is an evil thing in that occasion. Some fear can be good, I suppose, but too much of it can paralyze a person, and I feel that fear has done that in my life. Please drive out the fear somehow. Like the young Solomon, I ask you for wisdom on how to deal with what resides in my sphere of life right now. Amen.

(Big sigh of relief)

It's good to pray, isn't it? I haven't prayed like that in a while. Not since the night I couldn't sleep and lay on my bed talking to God (or the ceiling, not sure which) about a lot of different things, and discovered some hidden fears -- for instance, that my best friend Amy, who's in the Army Reserves, would get deployed abroad (say, to Iraq) and get killed in action. I don't know why the death of my best friend scares me like that, but it does. Well, I guess since I've known her since 4th grade, we've gotten close, even when we've been physically separated.

I realize I have written not solely Christian stuff. Case in point: the Code Lyoko fanfic manuscript I have sitting in my paper tray right now, which I had thought was lost forever but which I found almost complete when doing my major room cleanup (it's missing a page or two in the last chapter). Fanfics are a whole other thing in itself. Why would I save a fanfic like that? Because, although this particular fanfic began as something I started writing when I was bored in anthropology class, it turned out to be a very well-written story, especially for my first full-length CL fanfic (I'd written another previously, but because it was for the 500-word challenge on Fiction Express, it wasn't a fully fleshed fanfic). Granted, it's based on a theory I formed after the end of season 3, so none of the stuff in season 4 regarding its main characters -- William Dunbar and Franz Hopper -- is taken into account (i.e., that Franz dies at the end of season 4 after sacrificing himself to save Aelita and that William doesn't come back from Lyoko in the same way my fic says). Therefore, were I ever to post this fic to a fanfiction site, I'd have to put some kind of disclaimer regarding the time it was written. Anyway, I think it was a far cry from my first attempts at fanfiction -- episode-based Pokémon fanfics starring Team Rocket and narrated by Jessie. I improved a little bit with my Tenchi Muyo fanfics, though I had difficulty with my triple crossover fic (Tenchi Muyo/Sailor Moon/Pokémon), which featured things like the Tenchi girls becoming Sailor Senshi to help fight Team Rocket (technically, Sasami does have a magical girl form in the TM canon -- Pretty Sammy -- but the others don't).

When re-reading through the "notes" for my Avalon novel today while eating lunch and on the way to get my new bus pass, I could more or less pinpoint when I was writing parts by stuff I wrote in the margins of the composition book the "notes" are in. There are footnotes for the notes at one place that refer to the term "bodhisattva" and the Ramayana, indicating that they were written during the fall school semester of 2006, when I was taking a class in Asian Philosophy and Religion (just checked some paperwork from my orientation to confirm this). One page has some notes on the top that seem to have been written when I saw certain ads on the ad reel at the movie theater. Not all these notes are like that though- some notes are just notes to myself, like ones that says "Look up oath of chivalry" and "look up duration of moon cycles" (both on the same page) and other research reminders (this has shown up in other serious synopses I've done). These sidenotes are usually that sort of thing. One note explains a cultural reference: "Alerix Konerlin is a famous fantasy novel character on R Andromedae who has adventures similar to Harry Potter."

Okay now I'm just rambling. I'm going to go downstairs with my computer since Andrew went to go bowling (at 9:30 at night...why?) and I'm by myself. I also need to do laundry. Ciao.

I GOT DEOXYS, fan trailers and other videos, Cal State orientation, thoughts on writing, etc.

Yay yay yay I got Deoxys. I am so happy. This is the first event Pokémon I've been able to obtain. After all, I missed Darkrai on that weekend, and I've always missed the other U.S. events. I am going to try to obtain Manaphy though, via the Pokémon Ranger connection (you have to beat Ranger and then put in this code, which I found in a Pokémon-related mini-magazine -- then you can do a special mission and get the Manaphy Egg, which you can transfer to your Diamond or Pearl game). Through Manaphy, you can get another really rare Pokémon, Phione, which is only obtainable by breeding Manaphy with Ditto (the Pokémon who can breed with anybody). Although, I just heard on WTPT that you can also possibly get Phione by trading with Hayley in the new Wiiware game My Pokémon Ranch.

The Deoxys is level 50 (typical starting level for most legendaries nowadays, including the three "lake Pokémon" in Diamond and Pearl) and comes in a Cherish Ball (the default ball for all Diamond and Pearl event Pokémon so far; events are the only way to obtain this ball without cheating). It also, for some odd reason, comes holding the item Nevermeltice, an item that powers up ice-type moves. The news blurb about the Deoxys giveaway on (Pokémon's official site) explains that this has to do with the fact that when it came from space, it crashed into ice (probably referring to Deoxys's landing in the movie Destiny Deoxys, where it landed in the Arctic). However, this psychic-type form-changing Pokémon has no ice-type moves (although when I did research earlier today I found out that it can learn two ice-type moves -- Ice Beam and Avalanche -- via TM's). However, having the item is nice, since otherwise it is almost impossible to obtain the Nevermeltice item in Diamond and Pearl (the only other way to get it is to catch a Snover that is holding one, something that would be more a matter of luck than anything else).

This Deoxys comes with four moves: Zap Cannon, ExtremeSpeed, Psycho Boost, and Iron Defense, which are Electric-type, Normal-type, Psychic-type, and Steel-type moves respectively. Deoxys would normally learn these moves by leveling up anyway, but not till much higher levels (ExtremeSpeed, for example, it doesn't learn normally till level 97!). A same-type move (Psycho Boost) is nice, since Pokémon's attacks become boosted in power 50% if they match the Pokémon's elemental type. It also comes with a Classic Ribbon, like the other event Pokémon for Diamond and Pearl.

I finished the fan trailers I wrote about last time...yay. I am SOOO relieved. They were cool, but a LOT of work. I have to do another fan trailer (for a request; it's not part of that series I just finished though) and after that, I think I won't do it again for a while, if ever, unless I get a better movie making program (which, if I get a new laptop, I probably will, since it will likely have Vista and thus have Vista's version of Windows Movie Maker, which is pretty much the same as the version I currently have, except for some new effects). I don't know if the new Movie Maker (the one in Vista) is any better editing-wise. So much of that depends on the person making a movie, not the program.

Aside from the aforesaid request (a "Star Locket"-based version of my "The Golden Sailor Moon Compass" vid, which is a Sailor Moon trailer with audio from the Golden Compass teaser), I have one other regular video on my to-do list: an Ichigo/Kisshu ship video, from Kisshu's perspective. It'll be set to the song "Here's My Hello" by Blake Lewis (runner-up from season 6 of American Idol). Now, I'm normally an Ichigo/Masaya fan, but this song screams Ichigo/Kisshu (as did the last Ichigo/Kisshu vid I did, to the song "Dismissed" by ZOEgirl) so I'm doing it on that couple. After those two vids, I can focus on fandubs -- my solo ones for BookSmartz Productions (my backup account) and group ones I'm running (my Dark Mercury Arc Fandub Project and the upcoming "Best of Fujiwara Zakuro Fandub Series"). Not to mention I have to keep up with my lines for two PGSM fandubs I've been cast in. I've been cast in PrincessSerena9899's PGSM fandub as Ms. Haruna (Usagi's teacher) and Kuroki Mio (a part I've done in other PGSM fandubs that I seem to enjoy playing, even though she's technically a baddie). I'm also playing Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen now, at PrincessSerena9899's request (the person cast in that part didn't get his lines in on time). Meanwhile, another user by the name of AmyMizunoPGSM decided to host a PGSM fandub too and made a casting call video almost identical to PrincessSerena's (even down to the audition lines). She sent me a message asking me to audition. For that one I've been cast as Kusaka Hina (Mamoru's fiancée and childhood friend, a character unique to PGSM) and (once again) Kuroki Mio. So I'm going to be busy (especially with PrincessSerena's -- Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen appears a LOT in PGSM).

Hold on. I just saw that PrincessSerena (whose real name, I found out, is the same as mine) has posted Act 1 of the fandub. I'm going to watch it.

Gah. I try to load the page and the bottom bar says it's looking for "" again. This has been happening even after I un-installed the Megaupload Toolbar that I installed to make getting episodes for the SM/Goblet of Fire trailer easier.

Eh well while I wait for that, a little update. I went to my orientation at Cal State on the 12th. I wrote about this before, but it was in a post that never got posted cause I had to run out the door before finishing it. It worked out ok, but the first two hours, during which I became hungry and in need of a bathroom, were hard to sit through.

After going through academic advising, we enrolled for classes. Since the core classes in my major (Literature and Writing Studies) are all full, I am taking a French class (Intermediate French I) for my minor, an elective in my major (Comparative American Ethnic Literature), and two classes for the three-class upper-division GE track I found out I have to do: Human Heredity and Modern African History.

Grr. Shouldn't have done the "repair connection" thing when I had files downloading. It reset the connection with the servers for those sites, interrupting the downloads.

Okay got everything under control. I got the files downloading again and watched the available parts of the aforesaid fandub. I only had a small role in it, as Miss Haruna (PrincessSerena used a different person for Mamoru, probably cause she having trouble getting my lines). I also downloaded a complete-season torrent for Tokyo Mew Mew, because I think I'll need all 52 eps to pick from for that Ichigo/Kisshu video, and getting a torrent is the quickest way to get all 52 (albeit torrents take a long time to download, but you can get a whole season at once when the torrent finishes downloading). It's like 10 gigs, but it's worth it.

Last topic...writing. I just finished a book today that I found at Barnes and Noble when looking for something else. It is called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction. It's one of those books that is worth reading for your own self-improvement, but hurts you personally too. From this book, I learned that Christian fiction is just as hard to write as regular fiction, maybe harder. I also found out that fantasy and sci-fi -- the genres of the stuff I currently have unfinished -- are hard sells in the Christian market, especially for a first-timer. -sigh-

I said something to Papa yesterday when discussing the book that may be enlightening. I said that I am starting to think that the reason I fail often in my writing of novels is that I don't usually set out to write a Christian novel. I set out to write a novel, and then try to make it Christian afterwards. Now, technically, revising a story to make it more Christian would probably be ok if I had a finished manuscript. But I don't -- two of my more recent stories are still pretty much in synopsis stage (on one, I've only written one chapter, and not that great of one actually -- I was constrained by limited space available in Anime Angels, the Christian anime/manga e-zine I'm a staffer for and that I am publishing that story in), while my one actual manuscript (of Us Against the World) is not finished. So I think this is where the agony comes in.

Right now I am stuck revising the Lightning Girl storyline. This storyline began as a comic script written back when I was in high school that told the story of Coral Chandler, a girl who gets struck by lightning one night and gains all these superhero powers, including the ability to create and control lightning. She gets found by the leader of a superhero group, the Percival House Heroes, and joins them in their fight. The leader dies in the final battle, and the leader's recently-found daughter, who has responsibilities of her own as the Star Child (a sort of "savior of the galaxy"), disbands the group. This script (the original of which is now lost) was followed by a sequel, entitled "Lightning Girl 2: Chaos of the Light and the Dark" (the subtitle was borrowed from the translation of a Sailor Moon S Japanese episode title), which was set eighteen years later and was what is often called a "next-generation" story, in that it featured the children of the heroes from the first story. It was a retelling of the Norse myth of the Ragnarok (basically the Norse version of the apocalypse), with my own characters. As such, practically everybody on the team dies in the final battle, and the script ends with Percival House, the heroes' base, being demolished to make room for an amusement park.

However, after this, I remembered that I am not a good artist. So drawing a comic would be well nigh impossible for me, especially since I don't draw people well. (Although I'm interested in learning -- I picked up a couple "how to draw manga" books recently, as well as a "Manga for Dummies" kit, all three of which I picked up at conventional art product stores). So I tried to revise the Lightning Girl story into a novel, and quickly learned why superhero stories usually aren't told in novels. The first couple versions were (I think) similar to the original (they're lost now), and versions three and four had two members of the previous team, Vega and Mira, as main characters, both in situations involving Christian underground groups fighting non-Christian bad guys (this seemed like the only way to make the story Christian). Version five became my yet unfinished manuscript, a Christian-themed sci-fi novel called Us Against the World (named after a song by the band Play that I heard in the movie Holiday in the Sun), which once again had Vega as a main character and dealt primarily with the spiritual conflict between Christianity and the New Age, the idea of when it is appropriate for Christians to defy the government, and (in a subplot) the rather edgy topic of rape and rape drugs (one of the main quartet is a rape victim).

The subsequent revision attempts have involved the integration of Avalon Jacobs's character, who I added to the cast while mentally thinking out the plotline for a Lightning Girl animated series (in another attempt to figure out an appropriate medium for this story, since novelization wasn't working out). Through this revision process, the idea of the Christian Youth Alliance, a group of Christian young people who function much like a superhero team but use spiritual gifts and natural talents to do their work, rather than magical power, arose. This story, meant to be Christian from the beginning, seems to have done better in development. However, picking a specific gift for each member has been difficult (some of the spiritual gifts don't translate well to a battle setting).

The most recent Lightning Girl revision attempt sprung from an inspiration to do a story about characters with various physical and mental disabilities who are in a support group. They get special powers from a mysterious tree, and the subsequent experiences help push them closer to God. I attempted to work out the exact logic of how these experiences would goad the characters toward God in a "plot dump" at the end of the synopsis, provided by the highly knowledgeable Valorane. In theory, it seemed like a good book, but the idea of an ensemble cast didn't quite work (it was hard to focus on everybody equally), and the Christian elements I added seemed really forced. Working out a different spiritual "dilemma" for each character was very difficult. All in all, I think now it was a failure of a storyline. Eh well, hindsight's always 20/20, ne?

I think I really need to dump the Coral storyline altogether. Avalon's storyline (as outlined in the story I'm doing for Anime Angels) is okay. But the idea of making that story part of a series with the CYA story and the story I described in the last paragraph presents some problems. Also, between these attempts and Us Against the World, there are obvious unintentional character continuity errors caused by the re-use of character names for characters that are not the same.

The CYA story and Avalon's story -- which both have potential -- do not need to be part of a series; they both stand well alone, particularly Avalon's, which has closure in the end in the form of some "epilogue"-esque information at the end about who she marries and a vague statement about her death ("No one knows how she died. Some say...").

The CYA story has possible potential to be somewhat of a gothic novel, since the CYA's base is Mr. Lyndon's family mansion, which was built in the eighteenth century. Gothic novels (including one of my favorites, Jane Eyre) often take place in scary old mansions. Although that brings up the idea of, should I still set it in the future? I'm not sure yet if technology will play a mentionable role, as it does in Us Against the World (which, due to its theme about Christians defying the government, is probably best left in a futuristic setting, to avoid any possible libel accusations resulting from misinterpretations of the work comparing the bad guys -- Sphere -- to any current oppressive government body that particularly has a religious bent, such as the Chinese government). If it doesn't, a contemporary setting may work just as well.

The Avalon story, on the other hand, pretty much has to be futuristic because the bulk of the resolution of the novel takes place on Charmia, which is not only another planet but a made-up one at that, located in a galaxy (Andromeda) that it is not likely we will be able to visit with manned spacecraft any time soon. Although, if I choose to dump the Coral storyline completely, I have to cut Dr. Crestwell (in previous LG versions she is the leader of the Percival House Heroes) out from her cameo appearance and replace her with some other character. Also, when I re-read the synopsis today, I realized I have to find some way to explain how Shea (Avalon's younger sister, who cast her curse) suddenly becomes all genial around Avalon after their first meeting with the queen of the witch-sirens (who, now that I've read the His Dark Materials series, will probably be influenced by Serafina Pekkala).

Because closure is given for Avalon at the end of her story, I need to change her character in the CYA story to someone else, to create continuity and establish that story as separate from Avalon's story. Plus, of course, Avalon's story ends with saying she died, so that would be a problem continuity-wise with the CYA story as it now stands.

I've got to go eat dinner. Bye.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fan trailers, end of Pretty Sammy, lack of sleep, Deoxys giveaway

I'm going to make this quick cause I want to go take a shower and go to bed soon. I am just trying to kill time until this one thing finishes downloading so I can set it up to convert.

Oh ha ha. I had the SuperS special in AVI format already. Oops. Oh well.

I am working right now on trying to get my regular videos-to-make to-do list out of the way so I can focus on the Dark Mercury Arc Fandub Project (a group PGSM fandub I'm running), starting the "Best of Fujiwara Zakuro Fandub Series (a Tokyo Mew Mew group fandub I'm going to was originally going to be a solo effort, but after the long process of transcribing my own script for the first episode and doing read-throughs, I realized that I can't pull off some of the voices, especially Pudding's), and doing solo fandubs for my backup account. I want to try to redo one of the Generator Gawl fandubs that I did that didn't turn out as well as the other GG fandub I did (the first one I did for that account). I bought a program recently that appears to be able to do DVD-rips (at least, it can copy DVD's, which is the closest legal way to get DVD footage on your computer, I think), and if it works, I'm going to get the footage for that redo fandub from my Generator Gawl DVD set. The advantages of this are that I can turn the subtitles off (maybe) and also the video quality is way better on the DVD than on the eps I'd downloaded from this one guy's YouTube account.

Right now I am trying to finish off my endeavor to make Sailor Moon-related fan trailers of the five current Harry Potter films. Others have done this, but I am being somewhat unique in that I am doing each trailer with only footage from the corresponding Sailor Moon season: Classic for Sorcerer's Stone; R for Chamber of Secrets; S for Prisoner of Azkaban; SuperS for Goblet of Fire and Stars for Order of the Phoenix. This is in response to an idea somebody had in comment to someone else's SM/Harry Potter fan trailer. I finished the Stars one tonight, and the clips I'm converting right now are for the SuperS one. The reason I did the Stars one first was because the torrent of eps I downloaded for that were the right format whereas the torrent for SuperS weren't. I tried to find torrents for SuperS, but they were pretty much OGM files, which Movie Maker doesn't take. So I am back to direct downloading. Fortunately, I took advantage of Megaupload's "Happy Hour," which upgrades those with a free account and the Megaupload Toolbar to premium status for the period between 9PM-3AM Eastern Standard Time (6PM-12AM my time) if they press the "happy hour" button. I heard about this from This is a fantastic thing because premium status on Megaupload lets you download as many files as you want in a 24-hour period (normally, I think you can get away with like 3) and it lets you download multiple files at once. Oh, and you don't have to wait 45 seconds for the download to load; it's ready immediately. Pretty cool, ne?

The Stars/Phoenix trailer was killer for editing because I chose the teaser (my favorite of the Phoenix trailers), and this involved a really fast-paced montage sequence, as teasers usually do. When I finished saving it, I kept rewinding the video to watch the montage again, because it went by so dang fast. Strangely enough, the Stars footage in the video only comes from only 7 episodes (whereas my SuperS trailer is planned to have footage from 20 episodes, plus footage from the SuperS movie and the 2nd SuperS Special).

With the SuperS one, I scripted out every shot of the Goblet of Fire trailer I'm using and matched it with an episode, using Hitoshi Doi's episode guide to find appropriate episodes. A lot of them are from the climax of the season (the last 10 episodes or so), but some are from earlier on.

I finished watching Magical Project S. It was good and funny as usual. I watched the rest of the extras as well. "Cinderella Misa," where the fairy godmother (Ramia) turns the Cinderella character (Misao) into a "demon of revenge" (Misa) is funny and has a somewhat twisted ending. The "26 Secrets of Pretty Sammy" one is pretty funny and deals with all the different types of "magic" Pretty Sammy can do. They're pretty much all things Ryo-oh-ki thinks are significant but that Sasami thinks are dumb, and she stops him before he can finish the list. One of them, something about a skirt that can twirl around and cut anything, sounds like something I've heard before.

I am happy that I was able to get that torrent, with all the extras and everything. That's awesome. Now if only I could get the video files onto a CD so I could keep the series but get it off my computer to save space. I tried to save it onto a CD-R by making a data CD (something I've done before with an anime series) but it didn't work for some reason.

You have to be careful with torrents. I started to download one for the xxxHolic anime today that I was really excited about because it had all the videos in MP4 format, which would have meant I could watch them on my iPod (very convenient). But when I looked into the fansubbing company for it, I found out that yes it would be fansubbed, but the subtitles would be in Spanish. And that does me no good. (Reminds me of the time Amy had obtained video of the anime Saiyuki, but it was in Japanese with Chinese subtitles, so she had to print out scripts in English from the net). So I found a new torrent with English subtitles. It is downloading right now. I also found a site that has torrents of the episodes of the second season of the show (xxxHolic Kei) in mp4 format, so I will be able to watch that on my iPod at least.

The reason I want to go to sleep soon is because I have had too little of it the last few days. Last night was the first night in at least a week that I'd gotten eight hours of sleep. I had one less than 6 hour night and a few 7-hour nights. The other night I was only going to get like 6 hours of sleep, and then around 5am I had a recurrence of a strange phenomenon where my throat feels weird, my back hurts, I feel like I have to go to the bathroom, and I toss and turn -- all at once. So I got up and used the bathroom. I didn't want to take medicine for my back cause for some reason I thought I might be nauseous. Anyway, I tucked in the sheet corners, made the bed softer (I have a Sleep Number mattress) and went back to bed. The lack of sleep is impacting my work performance -- I get tired a lot sooner than usual (being a morning person, I tend to get tired in the afternoon) and I am often disoriented. And although I am consuming caffeine (via soda), I tend to drink Diet Pepsi (diet soda is better for you, and I don't like Diet Coke), which only has something like 35mg of caffeine in 12 fluid ounces, meaning in a typical 20 ounce bottle of Diet Pepsi, there's only a little under 70 mg of caffeine.

I don't have to be in to work till 2pm tomorrow/today (Friday) so I'm going to leave a little early and stop by GameStop, because they are giving out...DRUM ROLL...Deoxys! Yay. And it's through DS Download Play too (that little built-in mechanism in your DS that lets you download game demos and stuff at certain hotspots), so you don't have to set up Mystery Gift and stuff like with Darkrai or Manaphy. I need to charge up my DS tonight and also set it to not autoplay when turned on, because I think you have to have your game cartridge in when you do the download.

Okay it's late I better go now.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Long week at work, no Darkrai, etc.

I was supposed to be off today (Friday) and yesterday, but they called me in to work full shifts (which are 9 hours, but really are only eight hours cause you get an hour for lunch). Oh well. I could use the extra money because I want to try to replace my laptop before school starts again. Fortunately, my check this week (which reflects last week's work) was bigger than my checks have been lately, about $269, which is great. This is probably cause I worked five days last week too. But I didn't work full shifts, and I did that this week. So my next check will probably be bigger. I am making $9.20/hour now, which is pretty decent (considering I started at $7.65). On Sundays, I make a dollar more per hour. Although, with minimum wage in California being $8.00/hour now, I'm only making $1.20 more than minimum wage. I don't know if that is good or bad.

My coworker Katie told me that she makes $13.25 an hour, and is maxed out. She says that happens if you're a department head and you step down, which is what she did (she didn't want to continue being manager after she came back from maternity leave). This means I make $4.05 less an hour than she does, which is not that much of a margin actually. Kinda scary.

As feared in my previous post, I did not make it to Toys 'R Us to get Darkrai. I was scheduled to be off at 3:00 and then they asked me to stay till 8:00. It would've been hard to get over there anyway, even if I hadn't had to stay, since they were only giving out Darkrai from noon to 4 p.m. Also, you needed Mystery Gift accessible in other to receive Darkrai (according to the "how to get Darkrai" instructions on, and my main menu doesn't have a "Mystery Gift" option at this point, which must mean I haven't gotten far enough in the game to get that feature yet. Dang, why couldn't they hand these things out in theaters like in Japan?

Just have to talk to this interviewer in Jubilife to activate Mystery Gift. I should do that soon, so at the very least I can get Manaphy when I beat Pokemon Ranger, which will probably take a while to do.

I figured out a little trick with Mesprit. If you are lucky enough to do any damage to it when you encounter it (other than KO'ing it, of course), and it runs away before you can catch it or do any other attacks, the damage remains, so that the next time you meet it, it will have the same HP as last time. I managed to get its HP down into the red in one shot using my super-fast Starraptor and the attack Aerial Ace. Now I just need to get my Haunter out of the Daycare so I can have it use Mean Look, which will keep Mesprit there while I try throwing Pokeballs at it (because if I try to attack it again, I'll KO it for sure). Too bad I don't have my Master Ball (I used that on Uxie, after unsuccessfully trying to catch it using a total of 10+ Ultra Balls over at least four encounters).

This is actually not new, this idea. It also appears in Gold and Silver with the legendary dogs Entei, Suicune, and Raikou (none of whom I ever managed to catch in G and S).

Okay I'm fighting off fatigue right now so I better start getting ready for bed. I have a three-day weekend, cause I have Saturday and Sunday off from this week and Monday from next week. Yay! Tomorrow I'm going to the WAVE (a local waterpark) with the Aspie group. I'm looking forward to it.

Good night!