North, South, DENNIS

As you all may or may not know, my friend Mike is currently riding out Hurricane Dennis in Niceville. He's totally not the panicky type, so I'm not worried about him, say, freaking out (he was annoyingly passive when Charley shook the entire building last year!) and crying like a little girl. I am kinda worried that they only stayed in Niceville because the storm was supposed to be a Category 3 and moved up into Category 4 last night. I'm glad Niceville is on the mainland, so it should have at least weakened when eye moves in (the storm has a very small eye).

Also, Elanor, I've also got your folks in my prayers since it's bearing down on them right now. I've got so many people to be worried about at the moment, I don't even have a hurricane on my arse and I'm tweaking. The Weather Channel is reporting from Destin, among other places, so that's the closest barometer I have for where people I care about live.

In less deadly serious news...I went hamster shopping Tuesday, but turned up nothing at the Petland in Waterford. I did find a friendly one, but she peed in my hand and did a kamikaze jump. In addition, I wasn't thrilled with the cage selection, and I was planning on a new cage because Petra's old one was barely standing and I was going to replace it for her anyway. Then I got home and found a notice that Pegasus POinte is replacing my carpet on the 20th - with the possibility of them actually showing up a day early or a day LATE. Thanks for the advance notice, guys. I gotta clear out most of my stuff by then. I'm going to probably buy a bunch of storage tubs from Target since mom said she didn't mind reimbursing me for those (they're cheap, so I don't feel like a leech.) But it does piss me off that I have to clear all this stuff away and if I'm still working on this on the 19th and they decide to show up a day early, I'll have to either throw them out (and get yelled at by the complex) or just try to keep cleaning while they put in a carpet. Thank God my Target's grand opening is on the 20th, so at least I'll be able to spend the day at work.
  • Current Music
    Esthero - Wicked Lil' Grrls

Adieu, little Boo

Petra died yesterday. I went to check on her last night after the second time my computer was reset by the power cord getting jostled, and noticed she seemed to be sleeping in an unusual place. I couldn't wake her up, so I opened the cage up and touched her. She was stone cold.

Unlike when we thought Petra was choking to death, last night I took it pretty well. I guess because she died in her sleep. I did get to say a goodbye of sorts - when I came in yesterday, I opened the compartment of the cage that she liked to sleep in to pet her. She seemed unusually tired, and somehow in the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong. Dad had told me that she'd stopped eating the carrots he liked to leave her. I looked at her food dish last night and it hadn't even been touched. Plus, the last several times I'd come home, she'd been far less active, which was expected because of her age. And after I got over the shock, I went back and played City of Heroes. I must have seemed like the coldest hamster mom in the world.

We're burying her later today. I feel kinda wrong, but I'm already thinking about getting the next one. I don't think I'll ever have a hamster as social as Petra though. She was so good about being held and she never bit anyone except me (I was wiggling her in my face and she chomped my nose - I deserved that). Therefore, I knew loads of people who hated hamsters and were afraid to touch them that she was able to charm. I hope when I get her successor that it will be at least half as social.

Petra, this one's for you.

And on that note - the crappy Orlando weather killed my Venus' Flytrap. Stupid rain. Now I've got a jar of dead bugs and nothing do with them. Guess I'd better learn some good pranks involving dead bugs...
  • Current Mood
    sad sad

*twitch, twitch*

E3, mofos. And you know what that means. For the next few days, we gamers will be given glorious visions of the future by the prophets of the Gods of Gaming and tidings of good fortune to follow.

So let's see. The PS3 was unveiled. It's ridiculously large and looks like a small grill instead of a console. Why Sony is making their system bigger when Microsoft and Nintendo made theirs smaller (the logical progression, mind you!), is unknown. However, Square Enix put out a nice little FFVII tech demo. No, not Advent Children or the other new stuff. THE FFVII. The entire opening movie, beautifully remastered with the new hardware. You can barely tell it's NOT Advent Children, to be honest. Gamespot is reporting that Square has not confirmed or denied FFVII being remade. IGN has said this was just a demo and that there will be no FFVII remake. Now for my opinion. Love it or hate it, FFVII defined the modern RPG and revolutionized the gaming industry (and not just cutscenes - the software overcame many of the PS1's greatest flaws). And I wasn't exactly it's biggest fan (VIII however...) But good...god...this trailer is beautiful. At this point, I wonder why Square won't just go back and give FFVII the do-over it needs. I always thought there was a much better game that never made it due to constraints of budget, time, and most importantly, the hardware availible. It would be simply amazing if they finally broke down and just made the FFVII they always wanted to. It's not like it wouldn't sell by the truckload. I mean, if they're making all these sequels, then why not give the original an overhaul? And I don't care if some idiot stumbles on this and flames the crap out of my LJ. Yea, you want to bring it, you bastard? Diss my journal?! BRING IT! BRING IT ON!

*ahem*

FFXII got pushed back to 2006. Yes, next year. There is a story to the FFXII delays that isn't being told and I'm dying to know what it is. At least Kingdom Hearts is keeping it's timetable (Winter 2005), and DragonQuest VIII is due out November 2005. The biggest surprise was announcing FFXI will receive an XBOX 360 port. That says a lot for the horrible online implementations of the PS2 (because everyone loves paying at least $200 upfront just to take one or two games online!). Whether the PS3 will have a better setup is unknown, but Square jumping ship says something.

And what's Nintendo doing? Well, they're showing off their new toys as well. Revolution is shown to be rather small and wireless, as well as backwards compatible and set to go online in a similar setup to the XBOX (i.e. no need for tons of extra hardware!). It should be "2-3 times more powerful than the Gamecube" Sony is claiming theirs to be "dozens of times more powerful than the PS2." Nintendo immediately followed with "it's not the size, it's what you do with it." I love it when the innuendos are this easy. Too bad Microsoft didn't get in on the action.

DDR is now doing a "Mario Mix." If this means I get a techno Zelda theme flying up my TV screen, then I might break down and buy the bloody dance pads.

I am continuing to watch the once mighty Rareware continue to falter. They went from being a powerhouse of the industry to a complete letdown. What did their deal with Microsoft give XBOX fans? "Grabbed by the Ghoulies." They're only showing "Kameo" now - Conker, and more importantly, Perfect Dark Zero are absent, though PD is supposed to be playable. However, the latter was supposed to be unveiled at Microsoft's press conference today and was pulled without even a snippet in the trailer.

There's a new Pokemon GCN RPG on the horizon. Set in an alternate timeline and with the title "Gale of Darkness" and featuring "Dark Lugia", it looks like it might have some potential. They still seem to be holding back on the graphics front though. That little studio needs to be given a prodding - it's not like you can't present a cartoonish atmosphere with excellent, boundary pushing graphics.

Oh, but who cares about all that! There is only ONE THING I need to see and it is this godly, godly Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Trailer!

http://www.zelda.com/universe/game/legendzelda/

...good god...I'm orgasming over a trailer. YES! YES! YES! YESYESYESYESYES!

Oh...yes...*lights a cigarette*

That was Link turning into a wolf, yes. He apparently lycanthropizes when he enters the Twilight Realm (this games big threat.) It would be interesting if big bad Gannon (in his Final Boss form from OOT, of course) were there. Link might have a bit of trouble ankle biting him to death. In the meantime, the trailer shows off how he fights as a wolf. Basically, he doesn't - some demonic sorcoress named Midna does that. Why? Good question, but she's already eight billion times more useful than Navi and Tingle for that. Nintendo is hinting at real voice acting, though it doesn't look like Link will have any beyond his usual grunts and shouts. Well, a nice big ol' scream when he lycanthropizes, but it sound like the one he makes when I hurl him into bottomless pits on OOT. Not that I would ever do that, of course.

Gonna toss out some spec here - the idea of darkness appearing over Hyrule and the concept of a world where people who cross over become monsters instantly calls to mind A Link to the Past and the Dark World. Since this is supposed to continue the progression from WW, we could well be seeing the birth of the Dark World. However, some key elements of the backstory in LTTP aren't present, but that doesn't seem to have stopped Nintendo before (ESPECIALLY the people at Nintendo who advised the LTTP manga that has since proven to be far out of continuity.)

Since this is Nintendo's marquee title for the show and the one they've been torturing us with the most over the past year, then clearly there's a lot we're going to find out over the next few days. Let me just say that - thank you Nintendo for listening. I forgive you for Wind Waker now that I have this to look forward to instead of another game with hours upon hours of sailing (I'm looking at YOU, Konami!). So I'm gonna opine here after going beserk on AIM like I do every year.

As a side note to the last entry - I've found a nice little loophole on College Algebra. I applied for Transient Student status and applied to Brevard Community College's Virtual Campus program so I could take it from them. While I have to pay the entire cost, the course itself, including fees and textbooks, costs less from them than it would have to take it at UCF in the fall because of fees related to repeating it (I had a $350 fee tacked onto the third trip through!). So I may lick this yet. I registered and paid today online since they finished my transient form late yesterday.
  • Current Mood
    hyper hyper

Because I haven't had enough problems...

I failed College Algebra.

Big fat F on transcript. It had to be absences, because my scores on the tests were too high. Which means somewhere I either lost count of the absences (they gave me 6!) or they f'd up a scantron. Yes, they take attendance by scantron now. And I had been hearing rumors that people were getting messed up attendance counts because of a misbubbled scantron. Which is rather funny, because you have to actually be present to turn one in, but it would be far to much work to actually read the scantrons.

I don't know what to do. I have never failed a class in my entire life. Struggled to grab a C before, but not this.

Honors is kaput now. What a waste of credits those seminars were. My cumulative average is still a 3.0 (just barely!) so at least I can still afford school a bit longer. But I don't know what else to do. I still can't sign up for fall because most of my classes aren't even offered - I still have to talk to digital media about that. Some of them are just closed, and one is still barred from me and needs an override from the ever-helpful English department (if they try to throw me out again, I'm going to the department chair.) As it is, to graduate on time I needed to CLEP a foreign language. I could still try to run two 18 hours semesters, but the stress alone would be pretty painful. I'd like to CLEP Algebra, but I'm pretty sure they won't accept it because I've received a grade for it now. I'll call and double check on Monday when OASIS re-opens.

It's times like this I just want to quit. That maybe college wasn't "it." High school was easy. But was really only easy because all I had to care about was *dum dum dum* getting into college. So I'm in college, it's a bit late to change my major without major repercussions, and I still don't even know if it's what I want. I'm tempted to get off the writing track entirely, but then I definitely will not graduate on time because I'll lose credit off the courses I already took for writing. And to be honest, I know when I switch I won't be satisfied. I just have no guarantee this will get me anywhere. But not even having a degree means a lifetime working Wal-Mart unless I can pull The Great American Novel out of my butt.

Creatively, I feel like I have nothing. I have dozens of documents on my computer of nothing but stories. Not concrete, publishable stuff, just notes. Ideas. Some of it is really long, but it's utterly worthless. I can't put this online, I can't draw it into a comic or a flash toon. So what am I supposed to with it? I only work on it because I feel I have to keep writing them out. I've finally recovered the work that I lost when the harddrive, and that was three months of journals. Losing them was devastating. I'm still writing this stuff even though I have no real hope of ever making them into something that I can share, mainly for the purpose of making a living off my creativity instead of something really boring like typing or coding a website all day.

Well, I never thought I'd actually contribute to the world of stupid LJ angst, but here it is. At least it isn't fan wank or flames. Because I still try to stay above that in my LJ - there's enough livedrama as it is, I don't want to manufacture more problems. Just air them in public for the world to see my pathetic loser side.

Wait - I had ONE good thing happen. The torrent for this week's Doctor Who was already up by mid-afternoon. Somebody in the UK was up late coding that. You have to realize - Doctor Who airs at 7PM over there. 7PM is 2PM in my time zone. So mid-afternoon, someone in Britain ran their TiVo through their computer and slapped it on the net in record time. To the random British person who gave me the chance to watch Doctor Who on Saturday (if the torrent wasn't taking 5 hours, of course) - god bless you. Britain, you shall be the last to die when I destroy the world.
  • Current Music
    Laptop, no MP3s. Just "Buddy Holly" in my head O_O

Neocrack

I should update this. Uh, let's see, topic.

Oh, so the ever evil Kat just IMs me late Saturday night, asking if I can help her with a faerie quest on Neopets. You all know the site. And once I waltz in and find out my account is actually STILL ACTIVE and my pets are dying from hunger, I get her her stinking link and there I am, still playing with those blasted pets and their accursed flash games.

This site is like crack. And I found out that since 2002, there's been a load of new content. Regular comic plotlines, more games and stuff...like I need anymore sites built to steal my soul, but here it is, and here I go, again with the bloody neopets. I thought maybe I'd just start over again and get rid of my previous pets, but there they were, crying at the thought of being sent to the pound, and I just couldn't do it.

Damn Neocrack.

Been taking the last few days easy. Because this summer will be the battle to end all battles with Digital Media. Namely 1) HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO FINISH MY FUCKING DEGREE IF THE CLASSES DON'T EXIST! and 2) Because they took so damn long reviewing my portfolio, the few classes that are offered are now closed and I need to get overrides into them.

If you hear about Digital Media getting firebombed over the next couple of months, at least you'll know why.
  • Current Music
    Pat Benetar - Love is a Battlefield

Welcoming a new member to the family!

Aight, may as well try and update this regularly again.

In any case, I have an announcement. Yesterday, April 8, 2005, I welcomed a wonderful new addition to my family. Her name is Matilda.

Oh, and she's a Venus' Fly Trap.

Yes, I have another pet. While Matilda does not possess a central nervous system or sentience, I love her as I do all my pets. Sitting in her little terrarium on the balcony, planted in a cauldron-shaped pot with a "Beware of Plant" sign, currently mulling over the offering I have given her.

Ah yes, the feeding. When I ordered Matilda, I also ordered a little container for convenient bug catching, as well as dead flies for when I couldn't find an appropriate live offering for her. I've had a problem in this apartment with silverfish, so I figured I'd feed her one. Fortunately, silverfish just tend to stay in the same place for days at a time, so catching one was rather easy. Unfortunately, on the process of trying to herd it onto an open trap leaf, I sort of, uh, chopped it in half with the tweezers.

So, my second try was to drop a fly into the biggest trap on the planet (there's tons of them!). Since it was already dead, I had to trick the plant into thinking it was a live offering and start massaging the trap. All of a sudden - SNAP! Freaked me out. I never realized it would be so fast.

I'll check her again tomorrow to make sure the trap is still closed. If not, I'll just have to stick a toothpick in there after I trick it closed a second time to encourage it to close tighter. If it is, then I can expect it to open in about a week with an empty fly exoskeleton proudly displayed as a trophy.

I'll take some pictures of Matilda eventually. I've heard Venus' Fly Traps are tricky creatures, but I have to say, having a carnivorous pet sitting on the patio next to Sarah's flowers is quite a thrill.
  • Current Mood
    mischievous mischievous

Great Scott...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=1&u=/ap/20041227/ap_on_re_as/quake_tidal_wave_4

I've been following the news on those tsunamis in Asia. I still can't believe how many people have died. The numbers keep climbing, the damage reports ever growing. As of this entry, at least 22,000 people are dead. It's just horrible. I shudder to think of a quake like that hitting where I live, but then I realize how incredibly selfish that is. As if my life is better than theirs.

Depression warning - that article WILL depress the hell out of you.

Okay, so this isn't all doom and gloom, I'm writing this entry from my new laptop. I got it because of the accursed new policy in my major program that requries all students to now have laptops for classes. Bastards. It's not ALL bad, since I did really want a laptop, but I couldn't afford it. My parents wound up footing the bill for it. I insisted to pay for half of it, but Mom finally said it was a big birthday present - she wanted to do something big for my 21st birthday and this was going to count. So with the guilt off my shoulders, I can enjoy this new member of my computing family. In honor of Strong Bad, I have christianed it Lappy 486. Lappy for short. So it's pretty cool to have a computer I can cart anywhere. It's not intended for hardcore gaming or anything like that, so I haven't used it as a desktop replacement (Compy will never lose that privilege), but I can tap into the wireless connection in my parent's house and surf the net while gaming, for example. It's nice to have all those guides and stuff right there. Lazy? OH YES. It's also cool to surf the net while cuddling little Vic. Susie seems to like computing with it while I'm using Compy in my bedroom. It's fun to be able to comp together. Something to keep ourselves occupied whilst we chat.

Speaking of Susie, she and Dad are out hunting until the 31st. With luck, they'll get another deer. I'd be surprised (happy surprise) if they match that 300 pound hog Dad got back in November. Yes, my family is a PETA member's nightmare. Mmmmm...venison...

Christmas Loot: Baten Kaitos, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Final Fantasy I+II: Dawn of Souls, Family Guy Volume I, cute pajamas, lap quilt, Hamster magazine, 2 Pick a Path books
  • Current Mood
    morose morose

Getting back to normal

So with Charley over and my apartment with power again, things are slowly returning to normal. Except for that god forsaken door chime. When the power came back, the door chime in my alarm has been beeping incessantly every 30 seconds or so. Since THURSDAY. You can understand my frusteration at the complex being so unwilling to offer any kind of help on this issue. I have in frusteration duct taped it up with several layers of tape as well as paper towels to muffle the sound. Barely noticable, but enough to at least allow me to sleep if I have a radio running in here at night. In further frusteration earlier, I smashed it with a hammer, but because of the layers of tape and towel, it didn't do any damage. I may go at it harder later when it gets me mad enough. Accursed chime.

In the meantime, I've been working through an anime DVD backlog. I've got 6 episodes of Miami Guns to watch, and two more full volumes of Azumanga Daoih.

Miami Guns: I caught an episode of this back in February when Animenation was premiering the dub at Megacon. Good for some light-hearted, naughty laughs. I have yet to see more than the first episode though due to timing at the moment, but comparing it with the Japanese cast, the dub is pretty good. It's a series set in Miami. A Miami with a mountain range. And probably a lot of other things that just seemed fun to slip into Miami for no good reason. The stars are a pair of cops, Lu Amano and Yao Sakurakouji. Lu is the straight man to Yao the spoiled brat who joined the force so she could shoot things. First episode featured a bank robbery with a robber who was constantly surprised at the bizarre world that is Miami. He runs into the bank with a machine gun, only to find out everyone else in the bank is already armed. He doesn't get anywhere until he takes an infant hostage (no, the baby did not have a gun, strangely). And then the cops show up. And Yao winds up being an extra hostage. Poor robber. You know, being Floridian and all, I was surprised how well this all works. Because despite the Japanese names and the mountain range, this could have easily been written by an American poking fun of Miami. Sadly, no signs of Miami snow or Cubans floating up on rafts, but it IS a Japanese show. It looks like the whole show is going to be episodic like this, so I intend to use this one for laughs.

Azumanga Daioh: A deranged little show set in a high school. It's hard to describe, but it starts off fairly pleasant and just turns up the humor to insane levels. I got through the first volume and grabbed the second two soon after. The plot seems to be the girls and their teachers going through high school. What works is how well thought out the characters are. They all complement each other with their quirks and...okay, mostly just the quirks. Spotted Hisakawa Aya as the P.E. teacher almost instantly - she's using her Ami-chan voice again. So far, though, despite how funny Tomo the Ritalin Mascot is and how precious Chiyo the 10-year-old High School Student is, my favorite has got to be Sakaki. Such a mature looking girl who excels at both school and sports, but she really just wants to be a cute girl (probably like Chiyo). What everyone else takes for being "cool" is really just Sakaki being incredibly shy. Though damned if she'll ever figure out petting the cat with the gigantic sharp teeth is not a good idea since every time she reaches out, it sinks its fangs into her. Bad kitty.
  • Current Music
    Perfect Dark OST

Aftermath

Just checking in. We survived Charley - scary as hell for me, but naturally, Mike never got even a bit nervous when I was at my battiest. Or when the windows vibrated. Or when the building started to shake. Damn cheap wooden buildings.

We lost power around 9:45 Friday evening. Most of Orlando remains without power even today, so I grabbed Mike and we headed back to Satellite Beach yesterday afternoon, rather than face a day without power. On the way home, I got a call from Kat that registration for Lake Claire was cancelled and won't resume until Thursday. Sorta-Lucky Kat found out before she was too far on the road, so she's back in Georgia, albeit with a mess of paperwork waiting thanks to the delay. Elanor still made it to Orlando, and by the time she came by my apartment, I was already gone. Thanks to the overloaded cell towers, phone usage out there is almost impossible, but I did catch her this morning to make sure she was okay. Gus is okay too, and I've confirmed the guy is out of his mind. Because no sane person continues moving furniture in the middle of a hurricane.

I'll probably be here another night, then head back tomorrow. There should hopefully be power tomorrow, since the crews are working in the UCF area to get power back to the campus. Hopefully getting their power back will restore power to my place. At any rate, they'll probably want me back to work this week, and with no further hurricane action, looks like I'm stuck.
  • Current Music
    None. Sigh.

The calm before the storm...

Spent another evening of video games and stuff with Mike, my official Hurricane Decoy. We're camping out tomorrow in this here apartment until the storm blows over. While I will be here and with my computer, updating all depends on how hard we get hit. If I lose power, I can't update until we get it back. If something more drastic happens, like hell I'm going to update my livejournal.

My dad called today and sounded really scared. I've never heard him like that before. It made me a bit nervous, but I'm not that scared - I've done a lot of work in advance to prepare for the storm and tomorrow is the litmus test. I have to know how well I've done. And somehow, I feel like surviving this quite literal storm face on is something I need to do to prove myself. Weird, huh?

So I'm tired as heck, but it's about 50 minutes into Elanor's 20th birthday. Happy Birthday from Hurricane Charley Ground Zero!
  • Current Music
    Shooting Star (Onegai Teacher OP) - Kotoko