Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yes folks, it's finally here: the TEASER TRAILER for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince! It came out today, I guess, and I found out via the "featured news" on my homepage, as soon as I got home from going and getting a couple cameras developed (including one that was all Comic-Con). I rushed to The Leaky Cauldron to see if it was in their video galleries, and it was. You can watch it here:

It's also available on YouTube, so I'm going to embed it here. Enjoy!

This is its online debut, thanks to AOL, Moviefone, and MSN. It debuts in theaters with The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, which opens August 1st.

Thanks WB for finally releasing this, but I'm still mad that we had to wait so long. Not that I'm some Harry Potter fanatic or anything, but the anger of the podcasters stirred me up anyway.

Speaking of the pictures, 7 pics on one camera and 12 on the other didn't print at all apparently, since they aren't on the index print (the little card that shows previews of all the pictures) or even on the negatives. I called CVS (where I took them for one-hour processing) and the guy who answered put me on hold so I could talk to his boss. The boss guy said I could bring the negatives and everything and have them match them up to the slides, and if the pictures really aren't there, he'll refund my money. He's in on Thursday, so I will probably go in then, most likely after work if I don't work later than 5:00. The Comic-Con pictures that did turn out are kind of dark because I didn't use a flash, not wanting the flash to show up in the picture like what happened with my first set of Balboa Park pics. But my pic from the first camera of the Luna Lovegood cosplayer turned out fine, despite me not using flash, because the room we were in was well lit from natural light.

That's it. Bye!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Post-Comic Con Report

Today I went to the Comic-Con Convention, which is probably the biggest event of the summer down here in San Diego. I've been before, in 2001, but not since. So, when the option of making a trip to the Con an excursion for the Asperger's activity group I'm a part of came up, I totally went for it. I bought my ticket really early, per advice from my coworker Laura (Heather's sister), who was also going. Then, because most of the group didn't buy tickets way in advance like me, they changed the date, so I had to get a new ticket and get rid of my old one (which our group leader bought from me and sold on Ebay for some amount she won't tell me -- but she said that "it sold really fast").

We were to meet at 12:00, but I got my mom to get me there early for the Harry Potter panel that was happening at 10:30. I wanted to go to this because Melissa Anelli and Sue Upton from PotterCast were going to be on the panel, and as a big PotterCast fan, I just had to go to see them if nothing else. Although we left a little later than planned, we still got there around 10:00. But what with having to go get my badge after waiting in a long line, I got to the room where the panel was after it had started, and had to wait in a line with other eager Harry Potter fans to even get in the room. This was kind of fun because some of us actually started talking about the series while in line. Having never gone to an event for Harry Potter fans, to be talking about Harry Potter with other people who actually knew what I was talking about was very fun.

Well, long story short, I finally got in, but I didn't get to meet Melissa or Sue -- though I got within like 2 feet of Melissa cause I went up to the panel afterwards to see if they were still giving away stuff, and to meet Melissa and Sue. But they announced they were going to meet people outside, and all I got was a Azkatraz postcard (for a convention in San Fransisco) for my trouble. I went outside and tried to group up with other people to meet the panel, but convention staff shooed us all out of the hallway, so none of us really got to meet anybody. I did meet a very nice girl dressed as Luna Lovegood--with a robe (which, strangely enough, had a Gryffindor patch on it, though Luna is Ravenclaw -- the girl explained it by saying something about having snuck into the Gryffindor common room), a wand, a blue-and-white Ravenclaw tie, and even an edition of the Quibbler, the magazine Luna carries around in the movies and books -- and we talked as we left the hallway, with me saying that if I ever cosplayed as a Harry Potter character, I'd probably try to do either Ravenclaw robes or the Beauxbatons outfit. I asked if I could take her picture and she agreed. It was very cool. One of the rest of our group met her later when we were in the main exhibit hall and wanted to get a picture of her, and she asked, "Do you want the wand behind the ear, or...?" She did put her wand behind her ear (something Luna does in the books) for the picture. The sole male of the group, Adam, asked Rebecca (the person who took the picture) and I what the girl's question meant, and not really knowing how to explain it to a non-fan, I simply said that you have to know Harry Potter to understand it.

There were a LOT of cosplayers at this con. Aside from the aforesaid Luna Lovegood and her Ravenclaw-robed friend, there were a few other cosplayers at the Harry Potter panel, including McGonagall and Umbridge (sitting next to each other, ironically) and a guy I called "Quidditch Ron" because he looked like Ron and appeared to be dressed for Quidditch (they wear different robes for Quidditch than for normal school). I also saw an Inuyasha, a few Naruto characters, some Jedi, one group with video game characters (Mario, Princess Peach, Daisy, Link, Princess Zelda, and a guy Amanda thought was Marth from Fire Emblem), a Sailor Moon-related pair with a Sailor Mercury and a Tuxedo Mask with a kind of weird mask that didn't fit his character, an Asuka (from Evangelion), one girl dressed as Freya from Chobits (I know it was Freya cause she had a black dress, whereas Chi/Elda is always shown wearing white), an older woman dressed as the main guy from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and a guy as the Joker, as well as many characters I couldn't place.

After the panel, I found my way downstairs toward our meeting spot and got out cash to buy something to eat (I wasn't sure if the food booths took cards, as I had just brought my debit card since I wasn't sure how much cash to take out), and bought a pretzel and a can of Coke and sat down by our meeting place to eat.

After meeting up with the group, we went into the hall. It was really crowded so we started walking around the edge and not really in the middle. This went on for some time, and because of the crowds we didn't get a good look at much. I ended up writing down booths I either wanted to visit or come back and buy something at in a little notebook I'd brought with me (to allow me to see what there was to offer before buying stuff, something I didn't do the last time I went to the Con). We did all stop at a few booths, one of which was sort of a mishmash of stuff from old shows like Ren and Stimpy, Gummi Bears, My Little Pony, and older Disney stuff. I bought a "rare PVC figure" there of Hades from the Disney movie Hercules. It's kinda tiny and was only $5. But it was the only figure that really grabbed my attention, other than the one of Percy, Governor Ratcliffe's dog from Pocahontas. Here is a link to a picture of the figure from Ebay, to sort of give an idea of what it looks like:

Another booth we stopped at had lots of DVD's of old TV shows, including some that other members of the group recognized but I didn't (must have to do with not having TV most of my life). I did find a few surprise products there. One was a set of seasons 1-3 of Kim Possible. I'm not sure if it was professionally done, seeing as I have never heard of professionally-made Kim Possible season sets. One clue on this is that there was a DVD of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars and a full-season DVD of PGSM, neither of which have been licensed in the U.S., that had English text on the covers. I'm guessing they were fansubs, and while it not impossible to buy fansubs -- I watched all of Sailor Moon S subtitled and two episodes of Sailor Moon SuperS subtitled via fansub VHS tapes my friend Maryanne got from one of her other friends -- I did not expect a booth at a place like Comic-Con to be selling them. Fansub companies that sell their fansubs in a tangible form for profit usually sell it themselves, not through a third party. So it seemed very fishy. (I did not buy these DVD's btw...just as well as they could very well be bootlegs...I didn't check the prices, which can sometimes tell you whether something is a bootleg).

There was one booth with a huge inflatable Pikachu over it, where a Pokemon TCG tournament-of-sorts was set up. There was also someone dressed up as Pikachu -- in a full-on Disney-characters-at-Disneyland kind of costume -- and I ended up shaking his/her (its?) hand as it walked by. Later, I also got a free promo card (a promo Shellos...woo...oh well, at least it's a water-type).

We wandered around for most of the day, until around 3:30, when we decided to start heading back to where we'd met cause Wendy needed to meet her parents at 4:00. Wendy was distraught cause she'd accidentally dropped her cell phone into an auto toilet while using the bathroom. Along the way, we came across a booth Amanda had been looking for (she'd passed it earlier when she and Adam were by themselves), which was chock full of artbooks and the like from different animes. I almost bought one for the Phoenix Wright game series. It was all in Japanese, though, but it had nice pictures, and I figured it compensated for not seeing any Phoenix Wright material at the Capcom booth. In the end, I left the book and bought a CD instead after perusing the CD area. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the price so I didn't know what it was till I went to pay, and it ended up being $32.50!!! FOR A CD!!! It's one CD, mind you, not like a set or something. I swear, that is way too much. My mom said on the way home that she hoped I would end up liking it since I paid so much for it, and I agree. It is Future Soundscape II, one of the OST's for Tsubasa Chronicle (the anime of Tsubasa: ReserVOIR Chronicle) and, not being too familiar with the music (and not being able to read the Japanese track titles), it was mainly the cover art that drew me to it. From the art, I knew it was Tsubasa, for one, plus the art is really pretty. I figured if anything it gave me more options for music for my fandub projects. Plus, new music to listen to is always nice -- that is, if it's playable on anything I own (someone on Facebook told me CD's are not region-exclusive, so they should play, but I won't know till I try). I debated between this and an Ishida Yoko CD, with her singles (I've heard Yoko-san in Sailor Moon songs and also on my ParaPara CD). The problem with that one was all its track names were in Japanese, so I didn't know what songs it had.

After this, we lead Wendy to her parents, then Amanda and Adam and I wandered around for a bit. I'd bought a new disposable camera (the one I'd brought had run out of available pics long before) and so I started taking pics of thing I hadn't had a chance to take pics of before, since Amy had asked me to take pictures at the Con. I also bought a DVD at the Funimation booth that has both the Tsubasa and the xxxHolic movies on it for the low price of $20.

After a while, I ditched the other two to try to find this one booth I was looking for -- one that had lots of figurines, including some Sailor Moon ones -- before the Con closed. I never did find it, but I did end up at a booth where I bought the Japanese edition of the Princess Mononoke soundtrack for only $9.99 -- an excellent deal for a 33-track movie soundtrack. They had a few different Miyazaki soundtracks -- the only thing in the case I was drawn to -- one I wasn't sure of the identity of and two My Neighbor Totoro soundtracks. I knew whichever one I got would be good, since Joe Hisaishi, the one who usually scores Miyazaki's films, is a composing genius. I chose the Mononoke one though, not sure why exactly. I guess for one it was all in one CD, and also I may have simply liked that movie better than Totoro (which is possible).

So, after being at the Con almost all day, I bought four things, aside from a new camera, a can of soda, and lunch. I spent close to $70 on those four things, which is a lot, but still not bad. I think just using my card rather than cash (not all the booths took debit or credit cards), combined with being with a group, helped me not buy so much.

In summary, I bought (in order):

~A plain pretzel and a can of Coke (lunch) - around $7
~Hades PVC figurine - $5
~Future Soundscape II CD - $32.50
~New disposable camera -$10
~Can of Coke -$2.50
~Tsubasa/xxxHolic movie double feature DVD - $20
~Princess Mononoke OST CD - $9.99 ($10.76 with tax)

The figurine came from the aforesaid small booth, the Future Soundscape CD came from the Kinokuniya Bookstores booth, the camera came from the Protech Products booth (which also sold poster holders and poster tubes and the like), the DVD came from the Funimation booth, and the second CD came from a not-so-well-labeled booth that had a small card on the register saying it was "Comics n' Stuff," which is the same name as a comics store I used to go to quite a bit back in the day, but hadn't gone to since the one at the Carlsbad mall closed down for good, after closing and reopening several times, and also switching locations in the mall itself a few times.

I also got a lot of freebies, including a bunch of stuff from the freebie table in the badge pick-up area as I was leaving. In my Comic-Con bag, I got a free booster pack of MapleStory cards and a free deck of Magic the Gathering cards. From one Lord of the Rings-oriented booth, I got a free deck of Lord of the Rings-themed playing cards that came in a box within a cool drawstring bag. Quite a nice freebie there. From the aforementioned Pokemon booth, I got a free promo card. And most of the booths had free postcards and stuff. (Funimation's one had free coupons).

I also want to check out the book related to the Lord of the Rings fandom that one lady in the Harry Potter panel audience said she had written (she was apparently important enough to warrant a signing at the booth where I got the free playing cards, and yet here she was in the audience for a panel). She mentioned it because Melissa Annelli has written a book on the Harry Potter fandom, which she has discussed a lot on PotterCast.

Oh man hearing Melissa and Sue's voices live, even if I didn't get to meet them, was awesome. And actually seeing what they look like too. They were going to do a LeakyMug (a joint podcast between MuggleCast and PotterCast) later that day, but it was going to be in Mission Valley, which (I checked before writing this) is close to an hour's transit ride away. Plus, it would've been far for my mom to go to pick me up. As much as I would love to go to a live podcast (and in this case, not only see Melissa and Sue live but also Andrew Sims and Matt Britton from MuggleCast), it just didn't look feasible transportation-wise, which is a shame cause neither PotterCast nor MuggleCast ever do live podcasts down here. Eh well, it will likely be recorded and posted online, so I will look forward to listening to it then. I've always wondered what Andrew looks like, and if he looks as goofy as he sounds on the show.

So anyway, I'm glad I have a late day at work tomorrow (1-5) cause I'm tired. I should probably go cause I still need to do laundry for tomorrow.

A couple other things: my mom suggested for my birthday, they could pay for me to get a new eye exam and new glasses. Since I have been talking about doing this myself but haven't been able to, this is a welcome gift, so I agreed. Also, on the way home, I mentioned that Wendy had actually gone to see a doctor about her Asperger's after seeing the girl with Asperger's on America's Next Top Model (something I learned from the article the North County Times did on our group). Mum said her friend Laura McGrady (who's a therapist) knows someone who specializes in that area, and I said I would definitely like to get a firm diagnosis yea or nay on whether I have Asperger's. She said she will e-mail Laura McGrady about it. So a firm diagnosis on my Asperger's may be on the way. Yay!

So anyway, I am going to go so I can get my laundry together. I am going to restart my computer after I post this to get my internet working normally again. (Megaupload Toolbar, though I deleted it, messes the internet up still at this point, after a while). Bye!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tired, end of XXXholic, finally caught Mesprit, EV training, video making break

Today was one of my 10-3 days this week, so I had to get up at 5:30am so I could take the bus. This is after I got home late last night cause I got off at 9pm and then had to wait for Andrew to pick me up. He got held up at work, then we went to McDonald's and got ice cream and then went home, not getting home till around 11pm. So I am really tired right now, and glad to be home.

I just finished watching the last episode of season 1 of XXXHolic a few minutes ago. It is a side story about a boy Watanuki met in the past. Episode 23, the one before it, is technically the last episode of the storyline of the season. That episode is cool in that at the end, but before the credits, they have this part where the camera moves in such a way as to make it look like you, the viewer, are actually walking into Yuuko's shop. Plus the featured characters actually "break the fourth wall" and speak to you directly. It begins with Watanuki, who's outside sweeping, welcoming you in, and then Maru and Moro enthusiastically coming up to the door, seeing you, and then running off with cheers of "A guest for mistress! A guest for mistress!" Then you go through the shoji door into the main room (like Watanuki did in episode 1) and the camera zooms to Yuuko (who is lying spread out on a couch, like in episode 1). She welcomes you and asks if you want your wishes granted.

This doesn't end the xxxHolic anime by any means, though. Besides, the first season only gets to the storyline where Watanuki gets ill because of the woman he meets in the park, which isn't very far at all into the manga, I don't think. There is a second season, called XXXHolic Kei ("Kei" meaning "sequel"). That season goes as far as what is called the "Himawari arc," i.e. the story where Himawari's secret (that she inadvertently is "bad luck" to everyone around her, except her parents and also Doumeki, who aside from repelling spirits is immune to her bad luck as well, for some reason) is revealed. Having read the manga, I know that this only takes one up to the end of volume 10 of the manga, and the manga currently has 13 published volumes (with a 14th on the way, to be published next January in Japan). An OAV has been announced though, so maybe that will continue the story.

Apparently as of chapter 157, it was announced that the manga was nearing its conclusion. A similar announcement was made for xxxHolic's sister series, Tsubasa: ReserVOIR Chronicle, so both will probably end sometime next year. There are 161 chapters in the xxxHolic manga so far, in 13 volumes, so the final arc probably starts in volume 13, which I don't have yet. I don't think it's even out here yet -- I was surprised to even find #12 on the shelves last night when I was at Barnes & Noble. I should mention that nowadays I mostly go into the two bookstores I frequent -- the Barnes & Noble by my work and the Borders Express at the Carlsbad mall -- to do a "manga check," checking to see if volumes I need of certain series are in stock. This can be a somewhat long, frustrating process. It certainly was when I was collecting Chobits. I collected that eight-volume manga one volume at a time (except for when I bought 6 and 7 at the same time). Ditto for Card Captor Sakura and its sequel series Card Captor Sakura: Master of the Clow (speaking of which, Sakura is a girl, so wouldn't she be the "mistress" of the Clow, not the "master"?) -- I'm still missing volumes 5 and 6 of the first CCS series. Right now, I am doing checks for Tsubasa: ReserVOIR Chronicle, xxxHolic, and Full Moon (a.k.a. Full Moon wo Sagashite, the series I started reading when I couldn't find new volumes of the other two).

Just checked Wikipedia, and it says that volume 18 of Tsubasa was released on July 22, 2008, which was this last Tuesday. I'll have to try to find it. The plot of that series is getting thicker right now, so the suspense of not being able to find it is annoying.

I read volume 12 of xxxHolic today while riding the bus to work. I figured some light reading was good since I was still kind of half-asleep. That one starts to introduce Watanuki meeting Princess Sakura (from Tsubasa) in dreams, which becomes important later in Tsubasa, I think (unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't put spoiler warnings in its articles, so I sort of spoiled myself on the plot of Tsubasa). One thing I found interesting is that Watanuki really starts to change in this volume. Earlier in the story, it had been predicted (both I think by Yuuko and also by the fortune teller they see in volume 2) that he was bound to change, and that Yuuko would be partially an agent of that change. Anyway, in this volume, he really seems to start to care about others more than himself. Not a totally surprising turn of events -- most books which feature a somewhat self-absorbed protagonist like Watanuki end with that person becoming more selfless and others-centered (unless it has a sad ending where the person just ends up as selfish as before). Watanuki becomes concerned for "Syaoran-kun" and his party (the main characters of Tsubasa), for instance. This makes sense because, based on things Sakura and Watanuki say when they meet, this volume is set around the same time as the "Tokyo/Acid Rain" arc in Tsubasa (covered by volumes 15-17, as well as the very end of volume 14, of the Tsubasa manga and the "Tokyo Revelations" OVA of the anime), in which Fai, the closest person in the party to Sakura after Syaoran, almost dies. Their meeting in dreams also has the shocking revelation in one instance of Watanuki not being able to remember his parents' names -- which sets up for later developments.

Besides the Tsubasa party, Watanuki also begins to worry about his friend Kohane, a young girl who is a spirit medium, and her tense relationship with her controlling and ambitious mother. He tries to reconnect with her, only to be chased out of the house by Kohane's mother.

Lastly, Watanuki also changes his attitude towards Yuuko. After his eye is injured when Kohane's mother throws some hot liquid on it, he is resting, and Yuuko asks him as usual if he has anything to ask of her (i.e., a wish). He says he does, but chooses not to discuss it at that point. Then, in a move unlike him, he asks Yuuko if she has a wish. She is taken aback. Watanuki goes on to say that Yuuko is always granting other people's wishes, but has never mentioned her own wishes. Later, at the end of the volume, Watanuki asks her again if she has a wish, and promises to do whatever he can to fulfill it (probably assuming that Yuuko can't grant her own wish, just like how she previously said she was not allowed to tell her own fortune). Her wish is not revealed at this point, though.

When reading this, I was reminded of the first of the three Disney-made Aladdin movies. In it, when Aladdin is thinking of what he's going to spend his other two wishes on, he asks the Genie what his wish is. The Genie, taken aback, confides finally that his wish is to be free of the lamp. Aladdin grants this at the end of the movie, using his third wish.


In other news, I FINALLY CAUGHT MESPRIT. Yay! It happened by chance last night. I finally got into playing my DS again, having not touched it since the day I got Deoxys. I was sitting waiting at Barnes & Noble for Andrew and playing the game, using the Marking Map to track down Mesprit. I finally ran into it, and it still had the same damage on it from when the time I had finally hit it (using my super-fast Staraptor and the powerful but not one-hit KO move Aerial Ace). Not wanting to KO it (there's only one, after all), I simply threw an Ultra Ball at it. This hasn't worked so well so far. Actually, this is true for all the "lake Pokémon" -- I used probably more than 20 Pokéballs, at least 10 of them Ultra Balls, trying to catch Uxie, and in the end, in a fit of desperation, I ended up using my lone Master Ball (which has guaranteed 100% capture success rate) to capture it. But this time IT DID WORK. I remember the glee I felt when the ball stopped shaking and clicked to indicate that the capture was successful. It felt really good -- and relieving too, obviously, since I've logged a lot of playtime hours chasing this annoying Pokémon.

In other related news, I may take up EV training. I heard about this method on WTPT. It involves training your Pokémon in such a fashion as to build up certain stats, like Attack or Speed. Fortunately, when I went to explore the chat room at WTPT's website, someone kindly offered to send me the guide he made on EV training, and he did this. I read it over the other day. It still sounds pretty complex to me. I'd have to figure out which stats to train up. Based on the Pokémon currently in my party...hmm. I currently have Empoleon, Staraptor, Machoke, Graveler, Rapidash, and Luxray. (Come to think of it, I really must find someone to trade with, because I have to trade my Graveler and my Machoke in order for them to evolve into their final forms, Golem and Machamp. It'll have to be someone who's willing to trade them back right after).

The available stats are Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Hit Points, and Speed. So...

For Staraptor, I would definitely focus on Speed, although its Speed is really high anyway at this point, probably thanks to it holding a Quick Claw (an item that increases your chances of going first in a battle). It doesn't really need any pluses in the way of the other stats, I don't think; high speed often compensates for lame stats in other areas (as is the case with the Abra family, which has really low attack and defense but really high speed and special attack). Its current attacks are all Flying-type, and those are Physical, which means they are governed by the "Attack" rather than the "Special Attack" stat. Flying-types are weak to Electric, Ice, and Rock. Electric and Ice types are governed by Special Attack, while Rock is governed by Attack. So maybe I should put some points into Special Defense for my feathery friend.

Edit: Just checked my Staraptor. Its stats in HP, Attack, Defense, and Speed are all above 100. But its Special Attack and Special Defense are only 63 and 64 respectively, higher than its base stats for these stats (which are both 50), but not much. But since, as I said, its moves are mainly Physical (with the non-Physical ones all being "status" moves, which aren't affected by stats), it might not need much in those categories.

Empoleon's attacks are all water-type, except for Rock Climb (which is normal-type), which I taught it cause I needed to teach that HM to somebody (and I think it was the only Pokémon I had at the time that could either learn it or had a move I could give up for it). Water-type is governed by Special Attack, so that might be a good stat to pump up. Although, checking its base stats right now, it actually has very high Special Attack and Special Defense to start out with (111 and 101 respectively) but is really low in Speed (60) and in the
80's for HP, Attack, and Defense. Mine seems to have good defense though. Hmm...its Attack is at 97 and its Defense is at86. So its Attack is a little higher than normal and its Defense is a couple points under base stats. Its Speed is good(86, compared to 60). Hmm, so maybe if I pumped up Defense and maybe Speed for Empy.

For Graveler...It is Rock/Ground. Both of these types are governed by Attack. Fortunately, mine has a high stat of Attack at 110. It also has a high Defense stat (124), typical of rock-types. While Ground-types are not good defensively, they are great offensively. Rock-types, on the other hand, are great defensively but stink offensively. So the two types balance each other out. Its Special stats (Special Attack & Defense) and Speed are really low (5
8 for Speed and Special Attack, 66 for Special Defense), but since it has no special-type moves, it's probably ok there. Not sure on the Speed. It would be nice to train for Speed since I think the slowness of my Pokemon worked against me during my attempt to fight the Elite Four.

Rapidash is, as its name suggests, really fast. Mine has a Speed stat of 113, a huge amount. It is also its only stat over 100. Everything else is in the 90's except for Special Attack, which is at 85. It does need Special Attack points to fuel its Special-governed Fire Blast and Fire Spin. Its one non-fire attack, Fury Attack, is physical-governed, and its last move, Sunny Day, is a status move and thus not governed by stats. Base stats show that its highest stats are usually Attack and Speed. So I suppose I could build up Special Attack at least.

Machoke is Fighting-type, which is governed by Physical. It has really high Attack, therefore. All its other stats are pretty low, with Special Defense being the lowest at 56.

Mum just came in to invite me to come watch 21. My dad rented it. More later.

EDIT AT 11:50PM: I came upstairs cause I was tired and didn't want to stay up and watch the whole movie. We paused it cause all of us were trying to help my brother get enrolled for the classes he's taking at Cuesta College, the school he's going to go to up in San Luis Obispo.

So anyway back to EV training. Machoke is Fighting-Type, and it has all Fighting-type moves. So Attack is strong, but the other stats are really low, so I might want to pay attention to that, like maybe to defense, either regular or special.

Luxray is my electric-type powerhouse, with three strong electric-type moves and the powerful Dark-type move Crunch. I raised it from a Shinx that I very randomly encountered early in the game, and a good thing too -- Shinx are considered "rare" in the game. Electric, naturally, is governed by Special Attack. Dark is as well, although Crunch itself is actually a Physical attack. Strangely, for base stats, Luxray's best stat is Attack, despite the fact that Electric-type is governed by Special Attack. Everything else, except Special Attack (at 95) is low, especially Speed (70).


One last thing. I am considering taking a break from video-making soon. I have been focusing on it too much this summer, I have come to realize. Especially recently, with my stress over that one trailer and stuff. Even Papa said that it might be better if I focused on like, writing. I haven't worked at all on the new website I've been planning to make; I need to work on getting into driving school; I need to get my eyes checked and get a physical and an MMR booster.

The main problem is how to put it out of my head. Nowadays, I think up video ideas from just listening to my iPod. Today, on the way home from work, I was thinking of doing a solo fandub of the Special Act of PGSM while listening to the song "A Marriage Has Come to Town" from Bride and Prejudice. A possible PGSM ship video idea was sparked by the song "My Lips are Waiting" (by Ashanti) from the same movie.

I guess I just need to focus my mind on something else. I seem to do this all right at work.

Okay it's late (12:15am). I'm gonna go to bed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Act 23 fandub, redo of SM/Golden Compass trailer, day at Balboa Park

Well like I mentioned last time I did work on the Act 23 fandub, although I didn't get to it till Sunday evening. Placing the lines -- the first stage -- is basically done, although I am missing a few lines from one of the cast members. I e-mailed her about it but have not heard back. I could have sworn I sent her a message on YouTube about this too, a while back.

Hmm...just checked, and I guess I didn't send her a YouTube message. I suppose that would be more effective than an e-mail. The cast member in question lives in England, where's there an eight-hour time difference from here, so I have to take that into account. I'll send her a message that is a virtual copy of my e-mail, for convenience.

Other than that glitch, placing the lines is done for all three parts. Normally, I do each part one by one, doing lines and then music for each one in turn. But this time I decided to not do that because it takes more time. Not like placing the lines doesn't take a long time as it is -- it takes me 2 hours or so to do one 10-minute part, just because I usually cut the audio line down to the best possible length (cutting out silence before and after, etc), and then before placing it, I use the frame-by-frame thing in the preview window to make sure I put it in exactly the right place, using the subtitles as a guide. I know, I'm weird. But the result -- a video with perfectly synced fandub lines -- is very satisfying, and worth the extra work.

As far as splitting the parts, generally my modus operandi for the Dark Mercury Arc project -- and also my SM episode 42 fandub, the other full-episode fandub I've done -- is to split the parts at some natural place. For the episode 42 fandub, for instance, I had three parts. For Part 1, I reached the 10-minute mark (YouTube's time limit for videos) at the eyecatch/commercial break for the episode. So I cut Part 1 at that point, leaving out the eyecatch to stay under the time limit. Part 2 began with the eyecatch, and then continued to the end of the "Venus in London" series of flashbacks, which seemed like another natural breaking point, since the scene right after that is the final fight with the youma. Part 3 then picked up right after Usagi responds to Venus's story, with the lights coming on and the youma appearing. It included the fight with the youma and the resolution scene of the episode, as well as some fan-made closing credits with the PrettyCast version of "Moon Revenge," which I'd used in the fandub, even including fansubs of the song done by me. (The fandub also had its own opening, set to "La Moon" from SeraMyu, which was uploaded separately from part 1 due again to the time limit rule).

For the Dark Mercury Arc project, I tend to split the parts at the commercial breaks. In a typical PGSM episode, there are two commercial breaks. They are easy to find: just look for the scenes that show the small PGSM logo in the bottom right corner of the screen when the scene starts. The appearance of this logo indicates (to the best of my knowledge) that the viewers are coming back from a commercial break with this scene. Also, if you look at the timestamp in the top left corner of most PGSM fansub eps, when a "coming back from commercial" scene starts, the timestamp has usually advanced 2 minutes ahead of what it was at the end of the last scene. (This means that they have really short commercial breaks in Japan, apparently).

For Act 23, though, doing this kind of split was not possible because for whatever reason doing so made the parts over 10 minutes. Usually this does not happen. Usually the episode splits nicely into two 10-minute segments and a third segment of 4-5 minutes. Somehow this didn't occur this time. I instead split the episode at other natural break points. Part 1 ends with Rei fuming after Minako says "Good luck, Mars Reiko-san." Part 2 opens with Rei "battling" the karaoke machine and ends with Venus and Moon finishing off the youma. Part 3 opens with Venus and Moon discovering they're stuck in goo, covers Nephrite's entrance, Mars's appearance and awakening, and ends with the end of the episode (the resolution of the battle, and an injured Nephrite going after Dark Mercury with some weapon consisting of a large blade, resembling that on a pizza cutter but with chainsaw-esque edges, on a long staff).

The lines were great for this act I think. The girl playing Rei (the same cast member I mentioned earlier) is obviously the star of this episode, which focuses on Rei. And she does really well, both as Rei/Mars and in her other parts (Minako/Venus and Artemis). Even Mammurachibi, who plays Motoki and all of the Dark Kingdom except Jadeite (Jadeite is played by me), had some great lines, and his audio was easier to hear this time around. (He didn't record in very high audio quality, unfortunately).

Ok, moving on...I am having to re-do the SM/Golden Compass trailer yet again. It didn't save. I am downloading AVI's this time, to see if using converted files is what messes things up. Fortunately, I found out a trick from Keiichi's Anime Kingdom that helps out with this - if you set up an account with Megaupload and download the Megaupload toolbar, a certain button will appear in your toolbar that, when pressed, will give you access to "Happy Hour Premium," a special from Megaupload which gains you temporary premium user status for the "Happy Hour" period (9pm-3am Eastern Standard time, which is 6pm-12am my time), with all the benefits that come with it (unlimited parallel downloads, unlimited downloads per 24 hours, no waiting for downloads to load, etc). Cool, huh? The only glitch is that I think the toolbar occasionally messes up your internet, causing to start loading instead of the site you want.

Today I had the day off from work, so I decided last night to take a little excursion today to get out of the house. I went to Balboa Park, which is located near downtown San Diego. It's a huge park which houses 16 museums, an old house you can tour (the Marston House), the world-famous San Diego Zoo (famous for its giant pandas), 7 performing arts venues, and 14 gardens, as well as some other attractions. I found out today that a free tram takes you to pretty much everywhere in the park (except the Zoo), though most of the museums are laid out rather close to each other so that it is fairly easy to walk from one to one.

One great thing I took advantage of is the "Passport to Balboa Park," a special card you can buy online that gets you into 13 museums in the Park for one purchase of $39 (well, $40, actually, cause they charge you a $1 convenience fee). It's also good for 7 days after you buy it, which means you don't have to see everything in one day, and there is also another more expensive package where you can buy it and also include admission to the Zoo. In other words, it's $40 well-spent.

I realized that I couldn't see 13 museums in the limited time I'd have there (I had to leave by 4:00 to make sure I could catch the bus home, since it takes around 3 hours to get back on public transit), so once on the SPRINTER, I took out the list I'd printed out that said what museums you could get into using the Passport and decided which museums I considered "must-sees" for the day. I figured, if anything, I could go and see those. I narrowed this down to 4 museums -- the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art -- and the Japanese Friendship Garden (I had read last night that it had a Fujidana, or "wisteria arbor," and this sounded like it would be really pretty). I figured that was a good start.

I got up at 7:00am and began getting dressed and stuff. I'd packed my bag the night before. I had planned to walk to 7-11 to take out money and decided against it, choosing to just go straight to the bus stop because I wanted to get to the Park with enough time to really look around. I caught the bus and arrived at the station just minutes before the 8:00 SPRINTER train to Oceanside. I rode this and arrived at Oceanside at 8:25. I killed the hour I had to wait for the next COASTER train by going to get breakfast (I'd skipped breakfast in my haste to get to the bus stop). This consisted of Cheetos and a Diet Pepsi from the vending machine and a bacon, egg, and cheese Cross'andwich from the Burger King at the station. Then I panicked when the train arrived half an hour before its departure time, and ran as fast as I could to the track it was on, only to find out it wasn't leaving for a half hour. You could still board though, so I did.

Finally the train departed for the 1-hour trip to San Diego. I ended up at some point with an elderly couple sitting across from me who were on their way to fly to Seattle. They were going to take the train to downtown and catch a special bus that connects the COASTER to the San Diego International Airport (also known as Lindbergh Field). Across the aisle were some mothers and their kids who were going to the Children's Museum, one of the few San Diego museums not located in Balboa Park -- it's located downtown actually. One of the moms said it was by the Convention Center (another hallmark of downtown -- I'll be going there in a couple weeks for the Comic-Con Convention). This information led me to remark, "Ah, in the Gaslamp Quarter." This is the name given to a 16 1/2 block district of downtown San Diego, so called because all the streetlamps in the district are old-fashioned gaslamps rather than modern streetlights. It's a historical district, with 94 historic buildings, but it's also very new and hip -- the district also hosts many restaurants and clubs. Plus there's the convention center. Nearby the district are two major places of interest in downtown -- the outdoor mall Horton Plaza (and the nearby Lyceum Theatre, home of the San Diego Repretory Theatre) and Petco Park, new home to the San Diego Padres, the local MLB team that I must confess I even have a slight passion for, despite my constantly expressed apathetic disinterest in sports.


(Speaking of sports, the All-Star game is on tonight and it is still going as I write this - at around 10pm my time - and is in the 13th inning!)

Anyway, I got off the train in San Diego, offering my assistance with luggage to the elderly couple before disembarking, which they politely refused. I walked across the street to America Plaza to catch the trolley for the next leg of the trip. I got a little confused at the ticket machine and in the process got a useful tip from a station worker - for $5 I could buy a MTS Regional Daypass, which would be good on MTS buses (Metropolitan Transit System, the San Diego transit system) and the trolley for the whole day. However, all I had were $20 bills (I'd taken out $40 at the Oceanside station, plus I had what was left over of the cash Lisa from the Asperger's group sent me to "buy" my Comic-Con ticket from me, since I'd pre-paid for a Saturday ticket and then they changed the day of our excursion there to Sunday, so I needed a new ticket), so I had to go across the way to the 7-11 and buy something to get change. My first instinct was to buy food, but I wasn't hungry so I grabbed a trial thing of Advil instead (I get headaches often), and then, once I got to the counter, also bought a disposable camera, since I thought I might need a backup for the camera I'd brought. (And I did indeed, it turned out).

I took the trolley to City College and got on the bus around the corner to get to Balboa Park. I met up with Larry, one of the baggers at my work, on the bus. He was there with his girlfriend Meg (who works at the Target in the same shopping center and frequently comes to our work to visit Larry and have lunch with him), and they were going to the Zoo.

I made sure to get off closer to the park this time (something I didn't do on the Dead Sea Scrolls trip), and was able to get to the museums rather easily via a pedestrian bridge. I came out on the end by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. From there, I walked down the pedestrian walkway to the area by the Prado Restaurant (at the other end) to redeem my e-ticket for the Passport at the Visitor's Center, as instructed. Then I decided to go to the Museum of Photographic Arts first, since it is in the same building as the Visitor's Center. I somewhat avoided the "FLESH" exhibit (it was an exhibit of photos of, well, flesh), but I looked at the other two exhibits - "Picturing the Process: Landscape Through Time and Space" and an exhibit called "Humanitas" that focused on India. After this, I went to the gift shop, because I'd subconsciously decided to buy one thing from each place I went to as a souvenir. But unfortunately, things are almost always overpriced in museum gift shops. So I reverted to my usual "bargain hunter" mode and bought really cheap souvenirs at each place. For instance, at the Photographic Arts museum, I bought a pencil that says "MOPA" on it.

Next, I went in a different door in the same building and down a flight of stairs to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, giving a somewhat unattentive window clerk my Passport. (She didn't see me at first cause she was trying to put new receipt tape in the register). This place, unlike the MOPA, allowed photography, so I took full advantage of this, even chasing a moving model trolley from window to window to get a good picture of it. It's quite a museum. I know Steve from Loaves and Fishes, himself a big fan of trains of all sizes and a subscriber to Model Railroader, would have loved it. The gift shop didn't have much to offer, though it did have a rather large selection of "Thomas the Tank Engine" stuff (Jesse, this kid I used to babysit for, would have loved that). I continued my bargain shopping and bought a magnet with the museum's name on it.

After this, I headed up to the cafe in the same building, since I was considering getting lunch. But it looked pricey, so I moved on.

From this museum, I made a detour and went across the way towards the Botanical Building, a large wooden building with a pond, known as the Lily Pond, in front of it. I walked around this building, taking pictures of many of the plants. Then I walked out and, desiring a photo near the Lily Pond, asked a nearby stranger to take my picture and posed on the railing with the Lily Pond in the background. This done, I headed to the Timken Museum of Art, a small art museum that is always free and is the home of the Putnam Foundation Collection. Despite its free admission, it hosts quite a collection: three painting collections -- European, French, and American -- which include paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, two medieval tapestries hung in the atrium area, and one room devoted to Russian Orthodox Church iconography. I bought two postcards here of two paintings I liked -- John Frederick Peto's In the Library (a still life of some books) and John Singleton Copley's Mrs. Thomas Gage (a portrait of the wife of Thomas Gage, one of the early commanders-in-chief of the British army during the American Revolution).

After the Timken, I headed to the other big art museum in the Park, the SDMA or San Diego Museum of Art. Despite the fact that the lady at the visitor center who gave me my Passport warned me to stay clear of the SDMA today (it's the "Free Tuesday" for that museum, meaning admission was free and thus it would probably be really crowded), I went anyway. And yes, it was crowded. I was particularly interested in the Asian art and a small room on the second floor with prints (having just taken Printmaking), not as much with the other stuff. The main attraction there was the "Georgia O'Keeffe and the Women of the Stieglitz Circle" exhibit. Having taken Modern Art History, both the names "O'Keefe" and "Stieglitz" were familiar to me. The exhibit consisted of both paintings by O'Keefe and other women in the "Circle" and also photography by Stieglitz (he is known to art as a photographer) and those in the "Circle." I did not expect photography to be allowed here (most art museums don't allow it), but I did not see any signs forbidding it, and I saw one girl take a picture, so I figured it must be all right and took some pictures. Here I bought a postcard of William Bouguereau's The Young Shepherdess, one of the most popular paintings in the museum.

After somehow finding my way out of the museum, I stopped by the museum's outdoor cafe, again rejecting it for its high prices. Then I decided to go to the Friendship Garden next, and realized it was a bit of a far walk and my feet were tired. So I hopped on the free Balboa Park tram in order to ride there, but I got off at the wrong stop and ended up by the Air and Space Museum. Since I had been planning to go there anyway, I went there next, trying to ignore the loud loop of the Star Trek theme playing from outdoor speakers near the museum alongside huge banners for the museum's special Star Trek exhibition. I presented my Passport and decided against using it to get a discount on the Star Trek exhibition, since I'm not much of a Trekkie. I instead checked out the regular exhibition, which includes a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis (appropriate for a city with an airport named after Lindbergh), among other things. As I was walking out of this museum, I realized I'd run out of film on my backup camera, which meant no film for the Friendship Garden. This also nixed my photo op of the gift shop's Rosie the Riveter collection (which includes extremely overpriced plush Rosie the Riveter dolls for $20 apiece). Here, after waiting behind a family with a little girl who was insistent on buying a backpack that came with a NASA Barbie (what the...?) despite her mother trying to encourage her to get something else, I bought another pencil, which the cashier claimed was a mood pencil. I was a little distrustful of this, especially when he blew on it to try to make it change color and nothing really happened.

After this, I decided I had delayed lunch long enough. So I went to the nearby Starlight Bowl (a theater for stage plays) and bought a combo at the snack bar, the one reasonably priced place to eat I'd seen all day. I got a combo with a pretzel, chips, and a drink for less than $5. I sat down over there to eat, turning on my iPod in an effort to drown out the Star Trek music, which seemed louder from this angle, with my Beach Boys playlist. Then I walked up to by the International Cottages, hoping to be able to buy another camera at the gift shop there. I didn't find any cameras, but they did have, as the tram driver promised, "trinkets and candy" from many different countries. I bought a cute small pouch with a Chinese design and took the opportunity to enquire whether the Friendship Garden was nearby. The cashier replied that it was, and said it was near the Organ Pavilion (another performing arts venue), which was just up the way.

I found the garden, and I got the impression that maybe there was a souvenir shop there that sold cameras. They did sell souvenirs at the ticket booth, but no cameras. One nice perk is that the Friendship Garden was also having a Free Tuesday, but in this case you had to have ID to prove you were a San Diego County resident, an active military member, or a veteran to get in free. I fit into the first category, and so I flashed my California ID Card for the officer at the gate, and was allowed in. Despite being camera-less, I strolled the garden anyway, left, finally found a place to buy a camera (the Visitor's Center), bought it, and then went back to the garden a second time, where there was the same officer, who didn't even say anything about seeing the same ID twice. I stopped to buy yet another postcard, this from the ticket booth.

I used my camera to take pictures of the garden, including a shot of the not-so-impressive Fujidana (a bystander I asked about it informed me that it looks much nicer in the spring, when the wisteria are in bloom). I also took pictures in the small Exhibit Building, which is currently showing an exhibit of items made by people who were in the Japanese internment camps (like Manzanar) during World War II. Determined to get a photo in the garden as well, I went to the balcony off the Fujidana, which provides a nice backdrop of the trees behind, and asked a stranger once again to take my picture. This lady seemed a little more serious about it though and actually tried to pose me in some artistic fashion. I won't know till I get the pictures back whether letting this strange lady do this was worth it.

I should mention I also took a couple pictures of myself on this excursion - one of me against a column at the Organ Pavilion, and one of me sitting on the Friendship Garden sign. They probably won't turn out as well though.

After the Friendship Garden, I decided it was time to head home, and walked quickly back to the West Prado area, where I boarded the tram, in hopes of getting off close to where I could catch the bus. I did, but it was across the street so I had to go to the light and cross.

I got home finally around 7:00, at which point I took pictures of my room to fill up the last of the roll on camera #3. If they don't call me in tomorrow, I'm going to take them in to be developed. Two of them are primarily from today, but the first camera already had 10 pictures taken on it, and I don't know what those are of.

Oh I should mention -- I was on my way home on the SPRINTER, listening to MuggleCast and minding my own business, when the transit security guy came down the aisle to check tickets and passes. I got mine ready, but never ended up showing it to the guy, because he got preoccupied with writing a citation for someone behind me who apparently didn't have a ticket or something of the sort. This apparently suddenly irritated the guy sitting across from me, who up to this point had been quietly sketching the face of Michelangelo's David from an art book. He went off on the officer, getting angry, cussing, and even giving him the finger! The cussing distressed a gentleman across the aisle, who was there with his young daughter, and he reprimanded the man for using bad language within earshot of his daughter. For me, the cussing did shock me but not so much as the act of giving the officer the finger did. I have never seen someone do that gesture within such close proximity to me, and I was "properly horrified" (as L.M. Montgomery would say).

Speaking of bad words, at around that moment I was, as I said, listening to MuggleCast, and they, per custom, were going to play songs for the deaths of Bellatrix and Voldemort (they've played songs for everyone who died in book 7 during their "Chapter-by-Chapter" discussion). The song they played for Bellatrix is called "I'm a B****" and is by Meredith Brooks. Despite the cuss word, the lyrics do fit Bellatrix pretty well. The song they played for Voldemort is "Ha Ha You're Dead" by Green Day, which despite its irreverence, sounded kinda funny and did somewhat represent how the good guys might feel about Voldemort's death (actually "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" from The Wizard of Oz would have even worked).

Okay it's late, and I'm in desperate need of a shower. Good night. I'll post pictures from the trip tomorrow if I can.

Friday, July 11, 2008

8 workdays is just too much, Full Moon, etc.

I worked eight days straight - 6 days last week and 2 days this week - before getting a day off. This is because of the holiday last week (Independence Day/4th of July), I think. But it is just too much - and full shifts all those days...lots of hours, yeah, but just too much.

I got my check today for that week; it was over $400 gross which was great except that I only got just over $300 of that after taxes, my union dues, and the $7 they take out of every check for my health insurance.

Today, I got up at 5:30 -- after 5 1/2 hours of sleep -- cause I figured I was going to have to take the bus to work since I had to be there at 10 and I had forgotten to ask my dad for a ride before he fell asleep. Lately, when I was working 10-7 shifts, my dad offered to take me so I could sleep in a bit. So I have been taking advantage of this. I found him this morning when I went downstairs to get breakfast and asked him if he could take me to work, and he said yes. Unfortunately, I couldn't just go back to sleep; I was too awake then. So when I got to work, I was really tired, and that on top of being on my period (or "surfing the crimson wave" as Cher from Clueless would say) and finding out the week I want for vacation might be during a "blackout" week ("blackout" weeks are off-limits for vacation requests) made me stressed and cranky. Even minor things like one of the dials getting stuck on the pricing gun I was using made me flip out. Thank goodness it was a 5-hour day for me; I would never have made it through a full shift. (Although apparently I was supposed to sample, and nobody informed me of this till my shift was more than half over, which really annoys me).

About the "blackout" week: most of those weeks are around holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the week I'm concerned about is listed as "8/18 - Inventory" and then a list of departments. I'm never involved in inventory (which is done by an outside company anyway) -- only the manager and the cake decorator have anything to do with it. I'm just, simply put, a peon (well, a paid peon). It's not like Loaves and Fishes where we all were involved in inventory and had to go out with inventory lists and inventory various departments at random when we had nothing else to do. This was pretty easy for me, unless I got stuck with the company that makes those little toys in the spinner and had to spend a good amount of time counting a huge pile of plastic rings or something. We only had one big inventory week, and that was the week between Christmas and New Year's.

I did have a nice discussion with Joseph today while packaging. I found out he lives with his mother, that he has two sisters, and that he has a brother who lives near Tampa, Florida. The fact that he lives with his mother at his age (he's probably in his '40's, I'd guess) can only mean a couple things: she's in bad health, so he and his family - wife, etc - are taking care of her; or he isn't married and never moved away from home. I always got the impression he wasn't married; the only girl in his life he ever talks about is his sister who lives nearby. I tried to ask about whether he was married, but he never answered directly.

Yesterday I went to the mall to get volume 8 of xxxHolic, which I had not been able to get and figured I should read since I skipped it and bought volumes 9-11. I found it, as well as volume 3 of Full Moon, which I had been looking for for some time (I kept seeing volumes 1, 2, and 6 at the bookstore by my work). I just started reading that volume today. Full Moon, known as Full Moon wo Sagashite in Japan, is a story about a young girl named Mitsuki who loves to sing but has a throat cancer that makes it difficult for her to speak or sing loudly. She refuses to have an operation that could cure the cancer because it could cause her to lose her voice completely. One day, when moping cause she can't go to a singing audition, Mitsuki is visited by two shinigami (gods of death), and one of them lets slip that Mitsuki only has a year to live. Mitsuki is shocked and runs off to the audition, fearing she'll never get another chance. One of the Shinigami, Takuto, takes pity on her and casts a spell on her to turn her into a 16-year-old girl with a healthy throat. In this new form, Mitsuki sings for the audition and is chosen to be the sponsoring label's next new idol. She plunges into the world of music and idoldom, taking the stage name "Fullmoon."

The series, while serious in tone, is funny in parts and features little sidebars by the author describing the manga, the process of making it, or things in her life, much like those of Mia Ikumi (artist for Tokyo Mew Mew) and Pink Hanamori (writer/artist for Pichi Pichi Pitch: Mermaid Melody). Actually those two writers, whose works both appeared in the same manga magazine (Nakayoshi, which Sailor Moon and Codename wa Sailor V also appeared in), might have influenced each other too. Full Moon, by the way, was originally serialized in a manga magazine called Ribon, which has also featured the mangas of old shoujo series like Fancy Lala and Hime-chan no Ribbon, which are considered mahou shoujo classics but which practically nobody here has heard of. When it was licensed for US release, it was originally published in Shoujo Beat, a magazine published by ViZ that is part manga anthology/part Japanese culture-related magazine, before being released in individual graphic novels.

I'm almost done with volume 3. Apparently, Takuto when alive was part of Mitsuki's dad's band. Cool. Oh, and Eichi -- the boy Mitsuki has a crush on -- is DEAD. Takuto remembers seeing him die. Man, poor Mitsuki. She keeps saying she's going to see him, but she never will. (It's kind of like Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, where Usagi keeps writing letters to Mamoru at Harvard University, where he is studying abroad, despite the fact that he never answers them because he never reached America -- he was killed en route by Galaxia, who took his Star Seed. Usagi initially brushes her concerns aside by saying that Mamoru is probably just busy with his studies and doesn't have time to write her back, but later on she becomes really concerned, until she finally learns the truth while facing Galaxia in the final battle).

I'm trying to save this one video, that "Sailor Moon/Golden Compass trailer" that I mentioned before. But it's not saving! I made it once, it only saved to 65% and then stopped. So I deleted it and re-made it and now it almost looks like it's going to save, then doesn't, even though I have plenty of disk space...-sigh- WHY???!!! It was a request so I want to get it out ASAP. Not to mention that the agony of it not saving is driving me crazy. I am going to try to do my Act 23 fandub -- the parts of which will be long too, like the video in question -- and then try saving the trailer and see what happens. We'll see.

It's now about 7:30 and I am debating whether I should take a nap for like an hour. But it's kinda pointless as it's almost nighttime anyway. I suppose it's worth a shot though. I am really tired. Oh what the heck. I'll nap. It'll help me clear my head for doing the fandub.

Ok good night.