reileen: (TONIGHT WE BLOG IN HELL)
Look, author. If you're going to have a pronunciation guide at the front of your novel that spells out the correct way of pronouncing certain Welsh(?) and Irish words that may be unfamiliar to most of your audience, couldn't you at least have done a little bit more research and also spelled out the correct pronunciation for the Japanese word "kitsune", too? It's not kit-soon, it's kit-soo-nay (roughly, since the "tsu" is its own syllable in Japanese). I can understand explaining the pronunciation for some of the words, because I definitely would've been lost on trying to independently figure out the pronunciation for "Daoine Sidhe" (doon-ya shee) or "Luidaeg" (lou-sha-k). But at least the American English transliteration of "kitsune" sort of looks like how it's pronounced, and it's just one itty bitty step to adding that last syllable, "ne", into the mix.

On the other hand, most of these other words have me scratching my head as to why the author thought they'd need to be included in a pronunciation guide. Seriously, "manticore"? "Nixie"? "Kelpie"? "Puca"? And the author even helpfully provides the plural forms, too! Did you know that the plural of "banshee" is "banshees"? I certainly didn't, no ma'am!

This makes me want to chuck the book against the wall and I haven't even read a single page of prose yet. But I want to give this book a chance because it's been getting good reviews from authors I respect.

[/I'll take overreactions brought on by personal frustrations and late nights for $500, Alex!]
reileen: (angry - Shinpachi)
Yes, there is a reason I re-used the title from this entry. And it's because, once again, one little thing after another kept popping up as I was trying to be productive and bit by bit it katamari'd my rage to levels over 9000 and I really wanted to maul someone.

Today, I woke up, intending to finish off my ART260 project. I...

1) Became increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of the last few pictures I had to draw and outline. "Well, whatever, this is just for school and it'll be at a smaller size anyway, and it fits the style a bit too, so it's not that big a deal."

2) Scanned the pictures in, played around with Illustrator's Live Trace function, only to find that it wasn't producing the kinds of lines I wanted - it looked more as though I'd just run all the sketches through a Levels or Curves adjustment on Photoshop. "Grr, whatever. Smaller size, fits the style, and I'm running out of time."

3) Took way longer than I thought to color in all the sketches. "Blah! No way am I going to get this done in time to head to campus and print out at the lab. I'm going to go to Kinko's and pay for a print so that I don't show up tomorrow without a project."

4) Went to the nearby Kinko's and got told that my 13"x19" color print was going to have a 24-hour turnaround. "OH FUCK NO!"

5) Went back home, proceeded to try and save my original .psd file as a .jpeg so I can resize it, only to find that Photoshop won't save my .psd as a .jpeg because of a program error. "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T FUCKING EVEN"

6) Saved the file as a .png, resized it, brought it to Kinko's, got it printed, found out that the skin tones on the people were wonky looking. "...I GIVE UP, MAN. I GIVE THE FUCK UP."

For what it's worth, here's the final project, although because it's on Photobucket as a resized JPEG, the quality is incredibly blurry, but you should still be able to read the text. I'm planning on revisiting this at some point to get smoother lines and better coloring, but that point is definitely not now. GRAR.

(Also, I found out later that I could, actually, have just saved my .png file as a .jpeg if I needed/wanted to. I think there must be something wrong with the .psd file itself, though fuck me with scissors if I know what it is.)
reileen: (waaah - Garet and Isaac)
Damn, if it isn't one thing going wrong, it's another.

Last night, as I settled down to work on my ART224 final project due Monday...

1) I realized that the pictures that I took with the digital SLR camera that I thought were .RAWs were actually .JPEGs, resulting in an incredible loss of information and a generally crappy quality that blurred a lot of the details. (Though to be fair, I suspect part of the problem also comes from my own lack of skill with the focus function on the SLR.) Still serviceable, just nowhere near as nice.

2) Which is just as well, since apparently my version of Photoshop CS2 wouldn't open the one .RAW file that I had anyway.

3) I realized that I'd left one of the pictures I needed back in the storage section of my Mac lab computer.

Today...

1) I realized that I only had ten sheets of glossy photo paper left. And that I had exactly ten photos to print.

2) And the lab didn't have any glossy paper for me.

3) One of my photos (incidentally, one of the ones that ended up .JPEG) got fucked a bit - the size was off. I have no idea what the issue was - scaling? Printer layout? Whatever the case, I ended up having to chop down the other nine photo prints so that they'd be consistent with that one.

4) Wow, the print quality is even worse than I thought, and I can see some mistakes that I made when I was doing the B&W masking against the original color photo which were nigh invisible while working on the computer!

Blah, doesn't matter. The project's done and I can start worrying about ART260 and HAA237 now.

***

Today marks the first time that I've ever been able to ride the El from Midway Airport to Fullerton station without having to make a transfer. Usually, this is impossible because of the way the Brown and Orange Lines are routed: they circle around the Loop before returning back to their home stations (north in the case of the Brown Line, and south in the case of the Orange Line). So the only way I can get north from the Orange Line or south from the Brown Line is if I make a transfer at some point in the Loop.

However, today there was some construction going on along the Wells and Van Buren side of the Loop, so any Loop-bound Orange Line trains ~*~magickally transformed~*~ into northbound Brown Line trains at the Roosevelt station. What a glorious, glorious day, being able to ride the train to school without having to worry about transfers! I wish every day were like today. (...minus the school project irritations.)
reileen: (art - paint jars)
I find myself utterly baffled that nearly all of the American-based "how-to" anime style artbooks feature some of the most generic, boring, or just plain bad anime-styled art out there. Manga Madness by David Okum is the most recent one I saw, on the shelves at Michaels while I was looking for other stuff for my ART113 project. Christopher Hart's stuff is slightly better, and this chick's work is generally competent, but this is just horrendous, totally amateur. I just...what? What?

I have a couple different reactions to being confronted with this sort of mediocrity:

1) Shame. I feel ashamed that my primary drawing talent lies in the animanga style. What makes this even worse is that sometimes I don't even think I have any ground to stand on when I talk about how crappy some of this art is. After all, what's special about my art? Not much, really, at the moment. It's generic animanga, albeit depicting characters from small-ish fandoms and occasionally a couple of OCs. I'm not such a hot-shot. [/ blatant breakage of Ebert's Law; I plead guilty by way of low self-esteem and a generally pessimistic nature]

On a bad day, Shame eventually gives way to...

2. Despair. Again, I have no reason to think that I'm any better than this mediocrity that gets published. I should just stop drawing right now, because I have no hope whatsoever of getting better because I can never focus on a single pursuit more than a few months at a time, and therefore I'll never improve. Real True Artists draw from life, or are super-realistic, or have an uber-distinctive trademark style that absolutely makes them stand out from the crowd and you absolutely cannot mistake their art for anyone else's, or they're heavily conceptual and convey lofty Universal Messages and are Slick and Edgy. Et cetera, ad nauseam, rinse, lather, and repeat.

On a good day, Shame eventually gives way to...

2) Defiance. Fuck that shit; I can draw so much better than that! I'm gonna be one of the best damn American-based animanga artists out there, yessiree, no doubts about that, fo shizzle mah nizzle. I'll practice my anatomy and learn how to draw normal people (instead of just good-looking ones) and awesomely detailed backgrounds (instead of abstract, potentially impressionist swathes of color) and figure out how to color oh-so-prettily and the whole fuckin' nine yards! AND EVERYONE WILL BOW DOWN BEFORE ME AND RECOGNIZE THEIR QUEEN

Right now, I'm currently having a Pretty Bad Day, possibly because I haven't extensively drawn in a while and so my skills are seriously out of whack. Lately I've been heavily focused on writing and music, and I've been struggling - as I have been for the past few years and as I probably will be for the rest of my life - with how to balance out a journey of improvement in three different artistic skillsets, none of which I'm willing to give up. Is there a way I can satisfactorily balance this? Or do I just have to put up and shut up and learn to prioritize one over the other? No real answers, yet.
reileen: (spirituality - temple/Artemis)
Although I've been more spiritual lately (meaning, in the past couple of months) than I usually am, I still feel like I am falling woefully short of the mark. Am I Doing It Wrong? What am I missing? Is it okay that I can only do pitiful, tiny offerings every month to Artemis and Hermes and can't do a lot of research (yet) into ancient Greek religion? Why do I not seem to be as "in tune" to the Divine and to spirits as other people? Am I meant to be this spiritually dense? What do the Gods want from me? Do the Gods even want anything from me? Is this the right path for me? Ad nauseam.

With my brain drowning in this skepticism, I sat down on the train Wednesday morning and began to read through Dancing in Moonlight's entry about the Artemisian festival of Mounukhia, set on the night of the full moon in April (which is tonight, if my Googling skills haven't failed me). I put on my iPod, which had been paused in the middle of playing "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne, and let it finish through that song because there was only a few more seconds left of it.

The next song that came up?

"only begun" by Artemis.

when I thought it was over, only begun
love I thought I could handle, grow so strong
when I thought it was over, only begun

you drifted to me like a wisp of a cloud
soft lips parting utter not a sound
I felt so warm cradled in your arms
but now I see you were only floating freely

when I thought it was over, only begun
love I thought I could handle, grow so strong
when I thought it was over, only begun
only begun

my heart was written in an ebony stone
you cracked it open, kisses like rays of sun
I thought I'd go crazy when you were gone
but now I see you surround me, laughing in dreams

I close my eyes, the night glitters
and you beckon to me
I tiptoe softly, so not to waken
from angelic slumber
I read your letters, the ground trembles
and the stars come down to whisper

when I thought it was over, only begun
love I thought I could handle, grow so strong
when I thought it was over, only begun
only begun...

Only coincidence? Maybe. But an intriguing one.

The goal of the modern Mounukhia festival is to help people understand the ways in which Artemis can strengthen ourselves and the world around us. Women should get a chance to revel in the camaraderie of sisterhood and feel that their femininity is embraced, honored, and supported by the community.

-Thista Minai, Dancing in Moonlight: Understanding Artemis Through Celebration, p.51

I thought about putting off my personal observance of this festival until later, because it's Thursday and y'all know how I feel on and about Thursdays this quarter. But then I realized, well, it's not like I have class tomorrow, and anyway this is a festival well-suited to be celebrated at night. (Even though it's so cloudy that you can't really see the moon out tonight, le sigh. It was really nice yesterday, though.)

***

Yesterday, I caved and bought the latest installment of the Dresden Files, Turn Coat, at nearly full price at Barnes and Noble.* I was blown away - this is easily one of the most epic books of the series. I'm always fascinated at how Butcher neatly ties up threads from previous plots while also introducing new ones. I also love how he balances the dark, serious business with cynical light-heartedness that (usually) doesn't take away from the gravity of certain situations, but instead reads more as...I'm not sure how to phrase it. A celebration of life, I suppose, if I wanted to be cliche and cheesy. Or - and this would be more in line with Harry Dresden's personality - it's kind of a "fuck you" to the bad shit that happens in the Dresden Files (and some pretty bad shit happens, let me tell you). Even when the plots hit the readers with darker and more depressing curveballs, there's always something that softens the blow a bit.

One thing that had me confused was that the cover features Harry with a sword instead of his usual staff. The staff is still on the cover, true, but it's no longer the main focus of Harry's image (it's hidden behind the book title). So I originally thought that the story was going to involve the whole subplot with the Knights of the Cross and the sword Amoracchius (of which Harry is currently the caretaker). But after reading the book, it then occurred to me that the Wardens of the White Council carry swords as well, and that's probably what the sword on the cover is referring to, because the entire plot of Turn Coat is about White Council intrigue.

I realize I'm not being very eloquent, articulate, or thorough about this book, but I'm hungry and I have a ritual to do. Long story short, Turn Coat is pretty damn amazing, although I wouldn't recommend picking it up if you haven't ever read the Dresden Files before, since it relies heavily on acquired information from previous books.

***

I am not looking forward to my first major ART227 project. We have to go out in a neighborhood and take pictures of an actual place that we're going to design a virtual mural for. By next Thursday, I need thirty photos plus a "research" paper describing 1) the atmosphere of the neighborhood and 2) how our favorite mural artist will inspire and guide our design.

Okay, first off, who the hell - even in arts majors - just casually has a "favorite mural artist"? I barely have favorite artists, period, and that number drops if we're not counting people on deviantArt (yes, I realize how failtastic this sounds). Secondly, the stuff is due Thursday, but really, I'll only have time to do this on the weekend. So it's either Friday or Saturday that I gotta drive out around Burbank (yeah, I'm taking the easy way out and staying close to home...although Burbank is so dreary that pretty much any building in this area could use some color).

Oh! But then I also have to have a paper subject for Monday for my HAA115, which is going to require going out to the Art Institute and wandering around until I find something that I like enough that I'll be able and willing to do the legwork to write a 5-6 page paper on it (due May 8th, on ACEN, ha). Granted, this isn't technically hard, but it's the principle of the thing - I just don't want to go out right now. I want to stay home and be a vegetable. What kind of vegetable should I be? A carrot? A tomato? A cauliflower? Baby corn?

And then I also have some poster mockups plus a quiz (where I'll actually have to write stuff instead of just doing fill-in-the-blank like the previous quiz) for ART264. Thank the Gods I was able to get Illustrator to work on my laptop, because otherwise I'd be nearly screwed for this assignment: the labs will all be closed from Friday to Sunday for Easter weekend. I feel bad for the girls in my class who don't have Illustrator and don't readily have access to it.

Okay, I should probably stop this entry here and go tidy up my room a bit before I do Mounukhia stuff.

Speaking of Artemisian festivals, it amuses me that Thargelia - the joint festival for the birthdays of Artemis and Apollo - falls on the sixth and seventh of May, which is right before ACEN this year. Yeah, that's real convenient, right there!

-Reileen
snowy peaks lost in the clouds



*I have it up on sale for Amazon right now for about $14. Yeah, it sucks I'm only getting half my money back, but if someone bought it, at least it'd be something and I could use the money to get the paperback versions of Proven Guilty and White Night. When the hell is Small Favor gonna come out in paperback, srsly?
reileen: (angry - Shinpachi)
...because I can't take it out on the person I'd like to take it out on, because it would result in some collateral damage that I don't really want to deal with at the moment. And I'm frustrated, once again, that my own reclusiveness has tied my hands behind my back and strung me up in the air.

Anyway.

"Words only have as much power as you give them."

Can I please see this claim die in a Mystic Cage, too?

Linguistically, yes, this is true. Words are artificial human constructs with arbitrarily assigned meanings (...is that redundant?). The reason that certain words are "bad" or "forbidden" are because humans imposed some sort of negative cultural connotation on those words.

Socially, however, this claim doesn't hold up in the same way, for a number of reasons. If individuals decide, on their own, to make this claim a personal mantra that they live by, that's fine. It can be a liberating way of dealing with life.

But. An offender should never say this to someone they've offended. Because if they do, then it merely becomes an excuse for the offender's bad behavior. It's one of the most passive-aggressive ways of saying "you're just too sensitive (so get a thicker skin and put up with it, you weakling)", and thus is another way of just blaming the victim for their own misfortunes.

Relatedly, being asked not to use a certain word that is commonly accepted as being offensive in someone's presence is not "censorship", you fucking failbag of failscum. It's called "basic human decency". Learn it. No, I don't care that you're [insert member of oppressed group here] too and the word doesn't offend you. Your experience =/= everyone else's. How fucking hard is that to understand?

***

Aaaand I actually had a huge semi-academic screed written up here about the history and nature of insults and swears and how they tie into each other, but it's getting late and the post isn't saying what I want it to say, so it's staying offline until I can edit it into something understandable and readable. Until then, I have to sleep because I have another Borders performance tomorrow - my last one for the next two months. Lauren and Melissa are tagging along and sleeping over at my house, and [livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill will be attending the performance, so hopefully I won't be rageyragerage by then.

-Reileen
if you knew it was wrong, why did you do it?
reileen: (angry - Shinpachi)
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori pointed out this entry's comments on [livejournal.com profile] talesoftheabyss, which basically asks for Everyone's Thoughts on the Tales of the Abyss Anime. Having seen the pilot episode of this particular wankfest before, I avoided that entry like the plague, but I trust [livejournal.com profile] vyctori when she says that nearly everyone and their dog is bitching about how absolutely shitty the animation was.

Seriously? This is shitty?!*

Excuse me while I go claw my eyes out,filet them, and then eat them with a good few dashes of nummy garlic salt.

...

...

...


*burp*

What are people using as a yardstick for TotA? Code Geass, apparently. Here's a scene on YouTube, although it looks like a major spoiler.

So, okay, fine. I totally admit that Code Geass has good animation. But:

1) It's probably only one or two small notches above TotA.
2) I can't find hard numbers, but based on the Wikipedia entry, it seems safe to say that Code Geass probably had a much higher budget than TotA considering that gutterfucking CLAMP was hired to do the character designs for this series and that Code Geass is apparently sponsored by an assload of companies, including Pizza Hut!
3) Wiccapedes also says that Code Geass initially had the Saturday evening prime timeslot, which was later changed to a Thursday late night time slot. Compare this with Tales of the Abyss, which has always had a 2:00am timeslot. HMM, GEE. I CAN'T SEE WHY THAT WOULD INFLUENCE THE ANIMATION BUDGET AT ALL.
4) Also, I wonder if anyone noticed that Code Geass and TotA are produced by Sunrise? LOL.

I'm told other comparisons are being made to Gundam00 (here's an episode clip) and cutscenes done by the studio Production I.G., which I don't even know where to start with the stupidity of that. Look, I know that PIG (lulz) has done a fair amount of anime that are generally considered high quality, but comparing their cutscenes work to an entire anime or an entire anime episode? Just...no. No.

At least Tales of the Abyss gets an anime! Even more, it's a full-length TV series at 26 episodes, as opposed to a four-episode OVA for Tales of Phantasia! I would fucking kill the Dalai Lama** to get a four-episode OVA for Golden Sun or Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, never mind a 26-episode TV series!

In conclusion: I hate you, TotA fandom. Die in a Mystic Cage.

-Reileen
you better get ready to die



*Okay, granted, that's an attack sequence, which has the benefit of being all dressied up and stuff, but...
**No, not really, but you get the idea.
reileen: (angry - Shinpachi)
Sears Tower to be renamed Willis Tower:

Sears Tower is no more.

The 110-story Chicago giant, the nation's tallest building, will be renamed Willis Tower under a leasing deal. The New York-based owners signed a lease with Willis Group Holdings, a London-based insurance broker, for 140,000 square feet.

Willis said it will consolidate five Chicago-area offices and move 500 employees into the tower. The company said it is paying $14.50 per square foot in rent and that the naming rights come with no additional cost.

NO! NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO!


It's the fucking Sears Tower, d00ds! YOU DON' MESS WIT DAT, GET WHAT'M SAYIN'?????

-Reileen
I never wanted to be one of you anyway
reileen: (TONIGHT WE BLOG IN HELL)
Can I just take some time out to say how much I hate MySpace? The only reason I got an account there was for the sake of putting my music on there, a purpose which is currently mostly fulfilled by my YouTube channel.

I was recently trying to customize the layout for my profile, because the default one is FUGLYFUGLYFUGLYANDFUGLY. (Did I mention it's fugly?) Anyway, the FAQ says we're supposed to be able to find that sort of schnazz in the "Customize Profile" part of the menu bar. No-brainer, right?

Except that for some reason, "Customize Profile" brings me to the same page as "Edit Profile", which is where I fill in all the stuff about shows, the kind of music I play, so on and so forth.

Uh...no.

I e-mailed MySpace Customer Service about it, and they were spectacularly unhelpful. No, you coal-brained gits, I don't need help on CSS or HTML, I just need to get to the fucking customization page.

Also, MySpace isn't showing saved changes to my music genres, either. I initially had my listed genres as acoustic/electronic (...don't ask), and have been currently trying to change it to acoustic/gothic/other. It saves my edits on the Edit Profile page, but it won't show up on my actual profile as having been changed.

Le sigh.

***

A list of 10 endangered languages. As a writer, a lover of language, it makes me sad to think of languages going extinct.

This article from the Washington Post details an interesting experiment where world-class violinist Josh Bell played unfamiliar classical pieces in the middle of a busy D.C. commuting hub in order to see how many people would actually stop and listen to him and/or tip him for his talent. The driving question behind the experiment was whether people could recognize beauty at any time and any place; the results seem to point towards needing optimal conditions in order to fully appreciate something beautiful. (I think this was actually mentioned briefly in Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks.) (Also, I've placed Bell's The Voice of the Violin on my Amazon wishlist.)

***

I forgot how wonderfully addicting Katamari Damacy is. It's such a simple, silly premise, but oh so fun. I spent quite some time trying to break my katamari size records in a couple of stages. If I ever get money, I'll try picking up We ♥ Katamari.

-Reileen
the same rain that draws you near me
reileen: (Default)
Just a quick post before I have to work on my HON301 paper, which, uh, I still have no idea what I'm going to write about.

***

I must express my annoyance at the Jordin Sparks song "No Air". The lyrics are dumb, and it feels like the entire second half of the overblown song consists of Sparks ad-libbing with Chris Brown. I first heard it on 101.9FM The Mix while driving and was thinking to myself: "Dear Gods, does this song ever end?"

(For some reason I find that I'm also annoyed with her song "Tattoo" as well. Not as much as with "No Air", though. For one thing, the lyrics to "Tattoo" are far better than "No Air.")

At the moment, I'm listening to the album Harper's Bizarre by the harpist Sarah Marie Mullen. She was performing at the Bristol Renaissance Faire when I went last year, so I snatched up this album, which she said was the most musically varied of the three she had out. I love this one so much, though, that if I go to RenFaire again this year, I'm totally buying her other two albums. I really love the delicateness of the harp work and the whimsicality of the tunes. (Some songs remind me of tracks from the Game Boy Advance RPG Golden Sun, which is one of my favorite games of all time, so that's another plus right there.)

***

[livejournal.com profile] erl_queen posts about spiritual specialists in the neo-pagan community and why most members of the vast neo-pagan movement can't seem to accept the idea that not everyone can be priests/priestesses, shamans, or seers. There's some interesting points brought up in the comments as well.

Six popular fashion trends that killed people. Holy crap, the picture of the "healthy" lotus foot is insanely wrong.

I was informed by lttlpcfyrsng on Twitter that I was name-dropped in a national Borders press release about the closing of the Borders store on Michigan Ave. (I wonder if that means this store is going to have storewide clearance sales soon...? Heeeeeee, books.)

[livejournal.com profile] wintermoonsnow directed me to Gaijin Smash, a blog featuring the experiences of an American JET Programme participant over three years, as well as his post-JET life in Japan. I spent the entirety of Saturday reading through the archives and felt bad afterwards 'cause I felt like I wasted the day. Then I justified it to myself by saying, well, it's pretty much a definite by now that I'll be applying for JET next year, so maybe I can just count this as "research" for the job. Yeah, that's it, I was researching for this job!

-Reileen
petrify, thoughts are far from me
reileen: (gaming - Bomberman)
From Kotaku: Suspect arrested for threatening to blow up Hudson

Metropolitan Police have arrested a 29-year-old man for threatening to blow up Japanese game maker Hudson. The suspect, Takao Ike of Kanagawa Prefecture, was apparently dissatisfied with the quality of Hudson's games.

From October 2008 to January 16 of this year, the suspect threatened Hudson 11 times, sending emails that said things like he was sending a bomb to the company that would kill everyone or demanding that 80 trillion yen be brought to JR Takamatsu Station.

JR Takamatsu Station is in Kanagawa Prefecture. The suspect worked part-time as a courier.

In a signed affidavit, the suspect admitted, "I did it because I posted my demands concerning the games, but the games didn't improve."


This is seriously too perfect to be real. I have to admit, I'm torn between "Protesting: URE DOIN IT RONG" and "Yeah, YOU GIVE THOSE LAZY SONS-OF-BITCHES AT HUDSON THE WHAT FOR!"

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] blackryuomega4 for bringing this to my attention!)

***

In other (less amusing) news, there's been some changes to the whitewashed casting of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender movie! Dev Patel is slated to star as Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation. Okay, so, great, we've got an Actor of Color...but he has to play the villain? When all of the heroes are white and the "ethnics" are only okay to show on-screen as background scenery? No. Just no. You fail at multiculturalism, Hollywood. I suppose it's just coincidence that Mr. Patel had the lead role on a little film called Slumdog Millionaire, right?

Also, Jessica Jade Andres (who?) is, according to this article, supposed to play "the Earth Kingdom's representative, Suki." Say what? She's going to play this chick?! (Also, what's up with that "Earth Kingdom's representative" deal? Kyoshi Island is considered Earth Kingdom, yes, but they didn't really have much connection to the big Earth Kingdom powerhouses of Omashu and Ba Sing Se.) (Also also, that article states that Shyamalan is planning a three-movie story arc. Oh my Gods, I weep to think of how he's going to end up butchering Toph's character. OH M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN NOOOOOOO) Just...ARGH.

Anyone who comes up to me and goes "Geez, there's just no pleasing you people, is there?" is going to get hexed nine times to Hades and back. Seriously, is it too much to ask for some fair - note the qualifier! - representation of people who look like me in popular media in this supposedly enlightened age that elected a black man to the office POTUS? It's not an issue of "political correctness" (STABBITY STAB I HATE THAT TERM, IT NEEDS TO DIE IN A FIRE AND THEN BE FROZEN IN ETERNITY IN JUDECCA) - it's an issue of respecting the diversity present in the world, and in the United States in particular since that's where this fuckover is happening.

-Reileen
I want everything back but you
reileen: (waaah - Garet and Isaac)
I'm waiting to hear back from the A&D advisor I talked with in fall quarter about getting some of my animation credits counted towards my A&D major. I e-mailed him on Sunday but haven't heard back from him, which is making me antsy. He's teaching at least one class this quarter (a senior seminar class), so he should be checking his school e-mail, hopefully. I'll wait for another week or two before I stomp over to the art department in a righteous fury and demand the right to a major advisor, either to see him or another one.

See, I'm a little antsy at the moment because, although I can - numerically speaking - fit in my needed classes, both for my liberal arts requirements and my major concentration requirements, within the last academic year-and-a-half or so that I've got left, I've just realized that it would probably help to know when certain classes are offered during the year. It'll suck hardcore if I need, say, a certain 300-level art class, and then realize during spring quarter of my senior year that that class isn't being offered then. DO NOT FUCKING WANT. I only need three more foundation courses, which would be pre-reqs to higher-level art classes, and I'm almost sure I can nail those courses either next quarter or in fall quarter 2009-2010.

The other problem I'm having is that the art department is like a fucking chameleon: every year it changes the colors of its program requirements. I've got two lists of program requirements, one from last year and one from this year (both of which I ended up getting from my Honors advisor, wtf?), and I'm like, which one do I go with, this year's or last year's? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW! I'm assuming it'd be last year's, since that's technically when I entered the major, but I'd rather get official confirmation instead of stumbling around in the dark. In terms of the number of courses I'd need to take, there's not too much of a difference between the two years - last year's has 11 courses for the A&D concentration and this year's has 12. But this year's course list requires more 300-level art classes than last year's, and it doesn't seem to offer Beginning Painting as a credited course anymore. (I'm miffed that Figure Drawing won't count towards A&D credit either - I was really looking forward to finally taking a formal course for that shit, with live models and everything!)

At any rate, my spring quarter this year will probably have JPN106, HON350/351, and two ART courses that I haven't figured out yet. I'm leaning towards ART113 (3-D Foundations) and one of the two art history groupings (one of them has classes in either Asian, Latin American, or African art, and the other one is geared towards art from Dead White Males). JPN106 is the last class in my language sequence for this year, and HON350/351 is the Honors senior seminar course. Both of these will officially complete my liberal arts requirements, and all that's left for me to do is my "experiential learning" requirement by studying abroad! Which is where I'm running into another problem.

It's no surprise to anyone here that I'd like to hop over to Nihonland. In fact, one of the things I was looking forward to most in college was being able to study there for one quarter, or hell, maybe even one year. But as a result of taking a year off, changing my major, and realizing that I'm still sort of precariously balanced on an emotional branch, I can't do the traditional "study-at-some-country-for-a-quarter" deal. Instead, I have to go during break. Summer break is the most obvious one, but my family is planning a trip to the Netherlands this summer to visit my mom's sister, and I don't know yet when or for how long (or hell, even if) we're going. Spring break is ridiculously short, and DePaul doesn't seem to offer any Japan programs for spring break anyway. That leaves winter break.

This year, DePaul CTI (well, it's "CDM", now) hosted the first winter break trip to Japan, a two-week deal that brought students to various places dealing with computer gaming and animation. The coordinator of the program said that they were tentatively planning another trip like this for next year, more centered around Japanese pop culture. I've e-mailed her asking if those plans have become definite. I'm hoping they have, because otherwise...I will be a very sad Reileen, to understate things just a tad. The other alternative is just to do one of the DePaul community service things, whatever those happen to be (haven't looked into them), but I'd rather not do that unless I have no alternative. Right now I'm looking at the other winter break destinations, and other possibilities include Amsterdam/Brussels/Paris, China, and...Morocco. (Camel ride through the Sahara! Yeah, that'll definitely let Mommykins sleep well at night.) The thing that worries me slightly, though, is that the Japan CDM trip is the only one that requires you to take just one associated course prior to going on the trip - all the other ones have two (one in fall quarter, one in winter quarter). I don't mind taking one quarter with an extra class, but taking two, especially when I'm in my senior year, is causing me to twitch just a tad. ([livejournal.com profile] lysis_to_kill, I can't figure out how you managed to routinely take 5 or 6 classes - in science of all things! - a quarter. You're either super strong or super crazy. Four classes is enough to make me want to kill kittens and fry their skin into kitty chicharron.)

I'll just have to check up on the study abroad pages regularly. The deadline for applying to winter term SA programs is May 15th, so finalized plans should be materializing at some point prior to that date. Right now, my more pressing concerns are the two papers (one for ART200, one for HON300) that I have to write this weekend. Also, wtf, why is my tuition overdue? Did my student loans not get distributed or something? Gotta check that shit out soon, and renew my FAFSA stuff too. Also also, I need to formally extend my DePaul Presidential Scholarship. Apparently when they say "four-year scholarship", they mean "four-year scholarship". As in, four calendar years, not academic years. I was told by a financial aid advisor that even though I wasn't in class last year, it still counted as one of the years on the four-year scholarship. So now I have to write to another financial aid advisor asking for a formal extension, and I'd have to "prove" (not my words) that 1) I had a legit excuse for taking the year off ("not just because you wanted to") and 2) that I'd be able to graduate by next spring. The first piece of evidence is easy enough - I can list the name and contact info for the counselor I went to for a few months, although since she moved her office I'm not sure how much of the info stayed the same. The second piece of evidence, well...I could just tell her that, given what I know about the number of courses I need to finish off my credits, it's likely that I'll graduate by next year. But it'd be SUPAR SUPAR nice to have an advisor's official word that yes, despite her crazy antics, Ms. Reileen van Kaile will, indeed, get the fuck out of DePaul by spring 2010!

Which brings us full circle to the beginning of this post. ANSWER MY FUCKING E-MAIL, DAMN A&D ADVISOR!

-Reileen
we're so young, dumb, and ugly

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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