arkratirma: (Default)
We've hit an unexpected "cold snap," as the news puts it. This is the coldest weather for this time of the year Oregon has experienced in twenty-five years.

Sunday, I celebrated an early Thanksgiving dinner with my family; I got to see Jessi, Mitch, Maddie, and Katie's new home for the first time. Dinner was PHENOMENAL and was topped off with three kinds of pie (I had tiny slivers of chocolate and Oreo) and watching Toy Story 3 in their cozy bonus room.

ALSO, Kat called! <333 I had to tell her the bad / annoying news that I'd sent the wrong fly-home and fly-back dates to Mom and Dad (they'd been a week early). My plane tickets have been changed, but now Kat can't come to SMF to pick me up and drive me to GV. That would have been fun. BUT! we will still have lots of fun! Need to call up Elsa, Katlin, Brandon, Jason and Terra, Brenna (if you're home?)... depending on who's around.

Alex and Kile! <333 If you two happen to be in GV at any point for the holidays, let me know. I'd love to see you guys again!

It's odd sometimes thinking about how infrequently I talk with some of my friends from high school, yet every once in a while, we can get talking again and it's like nothing ever changed. It's a nice feeling. <3

Lack of sleep, good work on Production Team, and insane snow driving. )

Aunt Pam started chemotherapy on Friday. She’d had 38 lymph nodes removed from her right breast and the surrounding area; the chemo is a precaution to make sure any remaining cancer is killed. She’s going to be dealing with chemo for a solid sixteen weeks. I’ll be around to help her out, though. She felt so bad about asking me to do simple things for her, like grabbing a couple pillows to put under her arms – she’s used to doing things for herself. I can see some of Dad in her in that respect. But I want to make sure she’s comfortable, so I kept repeating that I didn’t mind her asking me to get things for her.

Going to the Chinese Garden tomorrow (today, ha) with Laryssa for our (godawful boring) Chinese Cultural History class. It’ll be nice to hang out with her, though; I miss hanging with her and Brit. The kids and I aim to see Tangled tomorrow as well, weather permitting, which should be a lot of fun. Looking forward to it!

OH AND BY THE WAY, it's now 16 degrees outside. Dayum.
arkratirma: (bollocks)
I hadn't been able to access the Self Service portion of AIPD's website (which includes grades, my audit, and other very important things) through Google Chrome, so I used Internet Explorer and lo and behold, I can see my grades now. (Need to edit Chrome's pop-up restrictions to allow them for the college site.)

Intermediate 2D Animation: B
Motion & Broadcast Graphics: A-
Intro to Audio: B+
Astronomy: C+

I got an A- in Motion Broadcast Graphics? The one class that caused me more stress than practically ANY OTHER CLASS I've EVER TAKEN at AIPD?


My hard work paid off. I could have put more effort into Astronomy, and should have, but... that class was so godawful boring. Excuses excuses. And no, I did not write that five-page research paper after all. I did, however, feel good about the final. In fact, after I finished, Camille and I went to the docks to celebrate. Watched the Steel Bridge go up for a barge and then had a bit of food at McDonald's off 82nd.

ELLIE! <3 Your mentioning Sock Dreams reminds me of how much I want to go there still! :3 I passed by it with a couple friends a few weeks ago when we got sidetracked driving.

Speaking of driving, I drove into downtown Portland a grand total of four times spring term. FOUR. The first time(s) I'd driven into Portland since fall 2007.

I feel accomplished.

Saturday night, after Cammy and I walked to the post boxes, Kat picked me up and we hung out at Cafe Mekka for two hours, catching up and laughing and just sharing our lives as they are currently. I had a Vietnamese Coffee (which includes sweetened condensed milk and a shot of espresso - yummy!) and Kat had a Fairy Tea (also delicious). We shared a ton of little snack bars her mom had given us, too.

On Sunday, Mom, Dad, Cammy and I met Kat at Sierra Cinemas and saw Toy Story 3.


Fantastic humor, animation, and story. That's all I'll say for now. Just... a wonderful way to wrap up Pixar's legacy-initiator. I really want to watch Toy Story and Toy Story 2 again.

Yesterday, I went shopping with Mom. Picked out a swimsuit at Target and nabbed the special edition of My Neighbor Totoro, which I'm very eager to see. Said hi to Jason; I may get to visit him and Terra tomorrow.

Today, I had my consultation for my wisdom tooth extraction. Surgery on Friday. My right upper wisdom tooth is growing parallel to my bite line and faces backward, the freaky little bastard.

Coolest bit about consultation? Had to get updated x-rays, so I got to see my skull in 3D and see each of my wisdom teeth rotated in 3D. It was like being inside an episode of House.
arkratirma: (bollocks)
Posts are once again few and far between, but I've had my reasons for not posting.

This term, I have been at school six out of seven days of the week, for at least 6-8 hours per day. I've had several 12-14 hour days as well, including last Thursday. Typical arrival time at home has been anywhere between 9:00 PM and 1:30 AM. I have Wednesdays and Fridays off, but I have been using them to get work done at school. Every week.

Motion Broadcast Graphics is the main reason I've been half-living at the college. Here's an idea of what the class is like: on the first day, our teacher told us that this class is extremely work intensive; After Effects (one of the Adobe suite programs and an industry standard for film and television) has a high learning curve; and expect to devote at least fifteen hours a week to our assignments. We've had an assignment due every week since the start of the term. The current assignment, 3D Space (also Parallax Camera - due Tuesday) is the last piece of crap we have to deal with before we finally dive into the final.

Oh, about the final for this class: it's due a week early, week 10 rather than 11. Teacher's reasoning is that there's not enough time to show everyone's projects in a two-hour finals schedule, so she cuts the last week off entirely. Good news for my three other classes, I suppose, but a soul-sucking black hole of time, as Jacob warned me and Grace last term when he took the class.

HOWEVER, I am far less stressed now than I was at the beginning of the term. I'm getting through pretty well.

Allyson and I have been spoiling our friends with rides home. Grace has spoiled us with free Subway sandwiches two Fridays in a row now. And in the past couple of weeks, we've enjoyed four Late Night TBRs - Taco Bell Runs. What is a LNTBR like? Allyson driving her car with me, Jacob, Aurora, Grace, and Camille all stuffed in with her. Good times, good food, good memories.

I've also had three EPIC CONVERSATIONS recently with Kat! We had tried planning on having her visit after her graduation (ONE MORE WEEK TO GO, KAT! ROCK FACE!), but it's best that she conserves her money for the time being. We'll see each other when I'm home for summer.

Flying home on Saturday, June 19. I really look forward to being home for three weeks. More time to dumb down, rather than being flung right into spring term after only a week off.

I'm registered for summer term and look forward to it. Eager for this term to be over, though it has been a much, MUCH better term than winter was.

Hey ya'll!

Dec. 22nd, 2009 10:55 pm
arkratirma: (m16)
Quick update (quicker than usual): I'm home for the holidays!

Flew south on Saturday (probably the least stressful flight I've ever had, which was awesome), saw James Cameron's Avatar at the Esquire IMAX with Mom, Dad, and Cammy on Sunday, and hung out a bit with Katlin today. I'll be seeing her again tomorrow and will also be able to visit with Mindy.

Avatar is the most technically and visually sumptuous film I've seen to date, and it has a pretty damn good story to boot. I want to see it again - perhaps with Kat if she doesn't see it with her dad. <3 Will gush more about it later.

Got a new 500 GB Seagate external drive because I thought my WD drive was dying (thankfully, it wasn't, and I now have two backup drives for over 37,000 files) and VNV Nation's new album, Of Faith, Power and Glory, which is lovely. "Ghost" is now one of my top-favorite songs from those guys.

I fly back to Oregon on January 9th. I'm going to start calling friends up soon, probably right after Christmas or on Christmas Eve to make plans.

Love to you all!
arkratirma: (m16)
I feel I've deserved to finally update this thing: I spent seven hours updating my PDF for Conceptual Design via InDesign. HOLY SHIT I LOVE INDESIGN AGAIN. It had been ages since I'd used it regularly - Fall 2007, to be exact - but it's a snap to get back into with a little refreshing. SO much more efficient than composing pages in Photoshop and having to individually import them into a PDF with Acrobat. No wonder Lee hates Acrobat. Since I couldn't get into creating my roughs for Background Design & Layout (which were due on Wednesday, augh), I decided to get the most tedious task ahead of me out of the way. And I must say it's a damn nice-looking file now, ready to be exported.

I had a random bout of astronomy geekage last night. It was perfectly clear out, and very cold: fantastic star-gazing conditions. I headed down the driveway (sans flashlight!) to look at Orion and other constellations above the neighbors' property and the butte. I spotted a small, hazy cloud which appeared to be a nebula to the far upper-right of Orion - then I thought, Wait, are those the Pleiades? Heading back inside, I fired up the desktop, searched star maps, and sure enough, the Pleiades they were. They're also called the Seven Sisters, after characters from Greek mythology. Most easily visible star cluster in the night sky, and very beautiful.

Fun trivia: the Japanese name for the Pleiades is Subaru. That's right - the car company. They once had a model called the Alcyone (al 'SY uh NEE), derived from the Greek character.

Yaaay GEEKING OUT. I love astronomy and etymology 'n' such.

Having a blast at the Rock Bottom Brewery! )

Whee, typing! I NEED TO GO TO BED SOON but I want to update a bit moooore.


Jacob has joined us girls at The Roxy for the past few Wednesdays. Nice to get guy friends involved for hanging out during lunch.

Okay, yeah, NEED to wrap this up. Must be productive tomorrow (TODAY). Shit-tons to get done.

TIME TO JUMP TO THE FOLLOWING: I watched Treasure Planet for the first time last month. Saw parts of it - including the ending - in Za's class several weeks ago: she showed the clips to give us an idea of what we needed to accomplish in our final assignment, in which we are to demonstrate an understanding of weight.

I'd wanted to see it when it was out in theatres - November 2002, for crap's sake! - but I remember Dad telling me "Oh, that's kid's stuff; you don't want to watch that." NOW LOOKIT ME: I'M A FRIGGIN' ANIMATOR. I devour animation like candy. Go figure.

BUT to cut to the point: HOLY FUCK I LOVE. THAT. MOVIE. Not the strongest of Disney's films in terms of plot, perhaps, but GORGEOUS animation, phenomenal voice acting, and inspiring design, backgrounds, cinematography... just DROOOOOL. And hey, there's some really nice character development, too!


Commence instantaneous rabid fantarding NOW. I also adore Captain Amelia. Just... all the characters are so much fun and so distinct. I personally think (this manifestation of) John Silver is one of the most fascinating characters to come from the Disney company EVER. I mean, he's a fat Irish catish-doggish-bearish alien fucking CYBORG PIRATE. Sweet Jesus yes. Brian Murray's voice acting is TO-DIE-FOR good.

You can tell I'm caffeinated right now, yes? This is what happens when you get a headache and consume large quantities of chai tea late at night.

ANYWAY, I let Jacob borrow Treasure Planet on Friday; he hadn't seen it in several years and showed interest in watching it again on Monday. I've watched the film twice now and this keeps me from watching it AGAIN, because I can assure you I would have. *purrs at Silver* Will write about some other fun days later.


OH, one more thing: I am quite fond of Lily Allen's It's Not Me, It's You album. Aurora introduced me to her music. She'd warned that the album is pretty sexual at points, but ppphht, plenty of the artists I love get all shenanigansy in that respect here and there.

OH LORD my head!
arkratirma: (m16)
Kat and Brenna, just wanted to let you know I still plan on replying to the wonderful comments you left on my asexuality / relationships ramble made a few weeks past. <333

Good news about Grandpa: he will now be able to drive until 2014! He got his license back - his doctor took pity on him, because he was worried about how he'd get Grandma to her appointments and family - and he's going to get some new glasses. Happy news.

Friday was a ton of fun: after Acting Fundamentals, I was going to head straight home; I heard Nick's voice and went to the Commons to find him, Grace, Jacob, and Camille hanging out. I joined them and we ended up passing our sketchbooks around and drawing tons of weird things as a sort of sketchbook tradeoff mini-party (Nick called it a "sketchbook orgy," haha). SO MUCH FUN. Jacob walked with Grace and me to our MAX stop, and we each hugged him goodbye. I was going to drive Grace home, but she said Brandon was waiting for her in the food court at the Clackamas Town Center. He'd called three times while we were heading in, heh.

Saturday, I completed ALL of my Conceptual Design creature thumbnails. Going to get some finished sketches done today and get my thumbnails scanned. Alyson had lent me Paprika on Friday, so I felt I'd earned the right to watch a [relatively short] movie after getting a large chunk of homework taken care of.

WOW. Just wow. Where do I begin in describing Paprika? Absolutely gorgeous film. Complicated plot, but not entirely overdone. I watched the film with subtitles and was completely engrossed - I never checked to see what the time was. I couldn't pull myself away for even a second (of course, trying to pay attention to subtitles does that anyway). As Alyson had predicted, I was enthralled with the opening credits. That entire sequence is a work of art in and of itself.

Dr. Tokita is precious. You know, of all the remarkable scenes in this film... the one that struck me most is that in which Atsuko has just pulled the massive Tokita out of the elevator he was stuck in (best character introduction EVER), admonishing him for being fat, slow, and a slob, but all the while pulling herself close to him and telling him "You're so much fun." CHRIST THAT WAS ADORABLE. Fucking hell! Pardon the language, but it was an incredibly touching scene. So unconventional, those two. INSERT MORE ADJECTIVES OF ADORATION HERE.

Again, walking contradiction speaking. I like unconventional relationships, damn it.

LOVE the sphinx scene, too, in which Paprika jumps into a Gustave Moreau painting (Oedipus and the Sphinx, to be precise). Delicious. I want to draw a Paprika-sphinx.

I got the soundtrack. "Parade" is ridiculously catchy. Soothingly quirky.

I didn't get any work done on Sunday, unfortunately. I'd gone to bed around 2:00 in the morning and woke up at 6:30 with a pretty strong pain in my guts. Not excruciating, but very bothersome. I couldn't get comfortable on my back, stomach, or either side. I got up and soaked in the tub for a while (the pain was worse standing), then tried going back to bed. Got up at 11:something - Aunt Pam said "She's alive, she's alive!" to which I replied "She hurts!" I explained my pain to her and Uncle Larry; I didn't feel nauseous at all, and I knew it wasn't food poisoning. Aunt Pam quipped that I just needed to poop... which was true. Bad constipation is all I was suffering from, but I spent most of the day either on the toilet or napping with a heated lavender-filled pack on my lower stomach. Grrrr.

Ended up watching Paprika again that night, but in English. Bleh. Distracted from the story. But I was able to pay more attention to the animation itself, which was nice.

Returned Paprika to Alyson on Monday - we ended up watching it in the Commons before class! Three watchings in three days, baby. I am 100% sold on Satoshi Kon's work now. I'd like to see Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers.

Watched Perfect Blue a second time Monday night. Even knowing how the film turns out does not dilute how freakishly disturbing it is. Masterpiece thriller.

Yesterday was awesome. Proud of the work I turned in for Background Design & Layout. Had lunch at The Roxy with Grace, Aurora, Camille, Alyson, Laryssa, and Britannia. EPIC. We'd invited Jacob and Nick, but they were busy with homework.

Grace, Camille and I followed Aurora to her apartment so I could pick up books 7-9 of The Demonata. We snuggled kittens, then we visitors headed back to the school and hung out with Jacob, Nick, and Danny. Drew hung out for a while before heading back to his class. David showed up for a short time, too.

There was a celebration for the veterans at the school, so our mini-posse headed down to the Open Space to pick up free treats. Mmmmmmm. Jacob slipped up and called me Phil by accident (Jill and Phil rhyme... and Phil as in Phil Blume, one of our teachers) as we were heading back upstairs; I said "I'm not tall enough to be Phil" and Jacob joked, "Yeah, and Phil's prettier." LOL, quite unexpected from Jacob. XD I shot him a mock sad / shocked face.

Kinda-quick update. Things are going well.

Love to you all, my friends!
arkratirma: (m16)
SO. As Alex pointed out to me, I have not posted in a while. I got home just forty or so minutes ago after having an epically fun night with Grace, Aurora, and Henry (and kittens!). <3

There's a lot to catch up on: my wonderful trip up the Columbia River Gorge (I'd spelled Columbia as Colombia in my last post.... OH SHIT THAT'S THE COUNTRY LOLOLOLOL); my crazy-artists-hanging-out-together visit to Melissa's house in Longview; Grace's visit here when we photographed the animals; my second-ever trip to the OMSI [Oregon Museum of Science and Industry]to see Adrenaline Rush at its IMAX theatre, and lunch afterward at the Old Spaghetti Factory.... Tons! But each story shall have its time. (Quick note: I hadn't been to OMSI since I was twelve. Sheesh!)

Yesterday was a great day. I got up at 12:30 after nearly ten hours of sleep. I hung out with Melissa, Jacob, and Grace for lunch, and met Laryssa's girlfriend - whose name I never caught. D: But she's a very friendly person and even gave me a buck for a snack, since I hadn't packed lunch and suggested we all go out to eat. Grace and I had all of our Biomechanics handouts at hand to study from, but talking with friends and with new faces is distracting, ha. I saw Laryssa very briefly when she came back to gather her sweetie - first time I'd seen her at all this term - and she was shocked by my shorter hair. I gave her a hug before Grace and I followed Melissa down to a computer lab to see her adorable in-progress Flash animation of her character Lexon (as a puppy!) singing a Romanian song. SO CUTE. Said hi to MJ as she was working on an assignment in that lab.

Back in the Commons, Grace and I attempted to study more, but quickly decided that a trip for food was a good idea; we settled on Baja Fresh. Laryssa and her girlfriend had left, and Melissa had to head to the train station. Jacob followed Grace and I to BF and we drew on our receipts as we waited for our orders (carbon paper + fingernails = fun). Jacob drew Kitty Loaf on mine. XD Kitty Loaf is a nickname for a cat owned by one of his friends at home. I drew the Massive Tool face (Jacob saw it coming) and Grace scribbled. Once we had our food, we returned to the school. Jacob mock-complained offhand to Grace about my naturally speedy gait, lol.

We enjoyed our food at the same tables we'd claimed previously, and talked with a new student, Kelly, and a newish student, Drew (who's in my Storyboarding class). Kelly is very talkative and was excited to geek out about WALL-E with me. *grin* Drew is nuts and has consistently patted my head nearly every Wednesday night during class, typically when I poke fun at myself for being short. He's not creepy, just goofy. He has an inappropriate-minded sense of humor, but what college student doesn't?

...No, I don't exclude myself from that characteristic. OH NOES. :|



Grace and I said goodbye to Jacob once we were ready to head to class. Our midterm actually wasn't terrible, but it was entirely composed of written-answer questions. No T/F or multiple choice. Sadness. I finished around 8:30 and quietly let Grace know I'd wait for her in the Commons. I bought a Three Musketeers bar and split it in half to share with her. She came around 9:00, I called Aurora, and we headed to The Roxy to meet up with her and Henry. Had a BLAST finally hanging out with them again; it had been two weeks or so since we'd all seen each other at once. Aurora has all morning classes this term, my exact opposite.

After our Roxy shenanigans, Grace and I followed Aurora and Henry to their apartment. THEY HAVE KITTENS NOW. OH MY GOD THOSE KITTENS. They're so precious! We stayed for around an hour then headed off for the MAX. I drew drunk hummingbirds in my sketchbook a la Grace's suggestion. :D I dropped her off, then continued home. I was excited to notice that it was 58 degrees outside.

See, we FINALLY left that godawful heatwave behind - even got a bit of rain - but another heatwave is supposed to come next week. ARGH. Portland had experienced TEN DAYS of 90+-degree weather a week and a half ago, an all-time record for the area. One day during that heatwave got up to 108 F, but there were others that reached and surpassed 100.


It's 56 out right now. *joy*

Well, I think this will suffice for now. Michael and I are heading to the beach house for the weekend to visit with Grandma and Grandpa again before they head home. I'm bringing my homework with me, but it's not too much to stress out about. All manageable. Score!

Love to you all, my friends! <333
arkratirma: (m16)
And by the 60s, I mean cool, overcast Oregon weather. <3 It's supposed to be up in the 80s tomorrow, but today's storm front is purely gorgeous.

It had begun to cool off at Mom and Dad's during my last week and a half home: the 80s were a welcome relief from the high 90s to low 100s we'd had earlier. I flew home to Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry's yesterday and was greeted by slate gray clouds, intermittent sunshine, and a slight breeze. LOVE. I felt joyous coming home with them. I feel good about summer session and am going to do the best that I can with my assignments.

Yesterday, I enjoyed being lazy and getting my stuff reorganized for the new term. I did a bit of cursive writing with my Hunt Crow Quill dip pen, bummed around the 'net, listened to music, and downloaded Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 onto my desktop.

This copy of Office had been sitting in my room, unseen, in Mom and Dad's old TV stand. I found it while cleaning up several days ago and thought, I wonder if this has any activations left on it? I packed it in my duffel bag to take with me. Sure enough, Office can be activated up to three times with one disc, and I was geeking out over having it on my desktop. Now I can edit my writings on this machine and on my laptop.

I left my laptop with Mom and Dad yesterday at SMF so I could get through security more quickly. We were late, and once I got to my gate I learned I was THE last person on Flight 409. An older couple asked if I wanted a seat, so finding one wasn't stressful. I'd been in the A boarding group too, haha. Grandma and Grandpa are going to bring my laptop along with some other supplies when they drive up here in about a week from tomorrow.

After a nap, I took a bike ride up to Beeson, stretched, and tried to do artsy things. Today, I painted four sweet peas that I picked from the bunch growing by the gate. I'll post them here when my laptop is back; I don't feel like moving my printer to the desktop at the moment.

I tested the pepper gas Mom gave me outside a few hours ago. I'm going to carry it on me while walking home all this term as a precaution, though on Tuesdays and Thursdays I'll have Grace to walk with. As I've told myself before, I'll go Rorschach on anyone who tries to harm my friends or me.

Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry are in the shop fashioning fir boughs into handsome walking sticks with their Dremmel drill. They suggested I could make one for myself if I have time, which I'd love to do. I'll see how my free time works out.

Just a cheerful post. I need to finish Trials of Death (fourth book in Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series, on loan from Aurora) and start The Vampire Prince. This series is SO much fun.

ALSO: angry Walter makes me happy!


Snatched from none other than jeh_fans.


arkratirma: (m16)
It's been a while since I last posted, so I felt I should update quickly before diving into my Creative Writing revisions for my chapbook (which is due on Tuesday).

I'm registered for my classes - finally. Thankfully, none of them was completely full, so I got all the classes I wanted. Here's the thing: each of them is a night class. Four night classes, four days: Monday through Thursday. It's going to be expensive on gas again, but I think I'll enjoy my classes. They are Illustration on Monday; Lighting & Texture I on Tuesday, with Grace; Storyboard on Wednesday; and Biomechanics on Thursday, also with Grace. Each class runs from 6:00-9:45 PM.

After class yesterday, I came home, got Draco's heat lamp set up for him, took a shower, fed Draco some dandelion leaves, and then took him to The UPS Store in Oregon City, by the Fred Meyer I frequently shop at. He was completely calm on the ride there in his little plastic storage container; Uncle Larry had drilled holes in the lid for ventilation. Draco took it all in stride and simply looked around at things from inside his box. I'd lined it with a towel to make it soft and more comfortable for him.

When I brought Draco inside the store and said I needed to have a pet mailed, a young girl - probably around Maddie's age or slightly older - saw him and said, "Whoooooa!" Two sisters working at the store were stunned with his size and kept complimenting how beautiful he is. An older woman, whom I'd spoken with over the phone last week, was also impressed with Draco. She called her uppers to confirm that they could mail Draco; small reptiles are really the only pets that can be mailed via UPS. Draco was just as calm in the store and I kept stroking his head and back and offered to let the sisters pet him, too. Their brother recently got a baby bearded dragon, and I had fun answering all of their questions about Draco.

Draco's clear box was set inside a slightly larger cardboard box filled with packing peanuts (they're breathable) and punched with holes. The total cost was... a lot: $115. This is due mostly to Draco's Saturday delivery to Mom and Dad's. The price I had initially been told was $65; Dad had been told $40. Whenever I mail Draco back up here (I may have him stay with Mom and Dad for my summer term, but I'm not certain yet), I'm going to mail him on a weekday.

But hey, it's my money and Draco is worth it. <3

Dad got a new, used terrarium for Draco and filled it with red Calci-Sand. Beardies test their surroundings by licking: this sand will supplement his calcium intake. Dad also got a giant hissing cockroach for Draco to eat; at the pet store he went to, an employee told him that they're highly nutritious for beardies. Draco chomped its rear off and then finished it off with huge bites. Mom and Dad watched him and Dad was yelling delightedly as Mom gagged. XD

I talked for a while with Grandma and Grandpa yesterday. I let them know that I'm taking good care of the Park Avenue. Grandpa is so funny: he still wants to take the Park Avenue back and give me the 2008 Buick Lucerne. Aunt Pam said "[That car] is too sporty for old people." The back window is difficult to see out of.

I love my Park Avenue. I thanked them again for the car.

Grandma and Grandpa are going to visit during the last week I'm home, and then they're going to come up to Oregon to see Katelynn. I can't wait to see them again!

Well, enough is enough. I'll try to get photos up of recent artwork when I'm off.

Also, I have decided that I am going to keep all of my Brainsick work OFF of deviantART. I may even keep my art off, period (or just post school work?), but stay to keep in touch with friends. After reading about a friend's wrongful banning from the site (even though she was going to leave anyway) and the "artwork" she found, I feel all the more disgusted with that site. It's been going downhill for a long time. I admit it would be hard for me to leave entirely, simply because I do have several friends I want to keep talking with there.

It's not just what happened to my friend on dA that makes me want to keep Brainsick (at the very least) off of dA; Lee began Quick Sketch on Thursday with a fantastic discussion on copyright laws, including the infamous Orphan Works Act. If passed, this bill would allow any company to use an artist's artwork if they could not locate the original owner of the work they wanted to use. Bascially, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you publish on the Internet is in danger of this bill.

This article describes the Orphan Works Act in a nutshell.

Besides, with Dad's friend, Erik Petersen, building me a professional website while I'm home, dA is going to fall into periphery. Mr. Petersen can encrypt my work, disallowing anyone to copy it. If saved, the artwork would show up as a pixel. ...That doesn't stop people from using Print Screen, but I could also watermark my work.

Maybe I'll leave Elfwood, too. Hell, my art has been on that site since I was in seventh grade!

Lee also told us about Photoshop's tagging ability, which allows an artist to add descriptive tags to his or her work, identifying it as copyrighted to that artist.

...Okay, NOW enough is enough.

I hope you're all doing well! I look forward to seeing lots of friends when I come home! :D


Instant edit: I deleted my Elfwood account. It was a fun site, but I rarely used it anymore. My last post, besides one recent post a few months ago, was in 2005.
arkratirma: (anton)
Saturday, I woke up to Aunt Pam telling me that Uncle Larry and Michael were going on a hike. I opted to go with them. We went up the Molalla River for miles, along narrow, unpaved roads, and the Astro ended up getting a flat tire. After Uncle Larry and Michael got the spare on (I watched them to help get a sense for what putting a spare on is like), we drove back down the road a bit and stopped by a campsite and hung out for a couple hours. I took lots of photos, examined river rocks, played with Honey, and had a good time hanging out with my family.

At home, I called Mom and Dad and talked with them for nineteen minutes (exactly!), then called Aurora to let her know I was still headed up to her place. Aurora had me read her revised assignment for Creative Writing, which was a huge improvement over the e-mail copy she'd sent. :) Grace arrived later with shortbread cookies (I brought Syder's of Hanover BBQ Buffalo Wing Nibblers, and when Whitney returned to the apartment, we piled into her car and headed to Freddie's. I got a Monster M-80 to keep me up, and we didn't head to bed until around 5:00 AM.

Today, at school, Aurora, Grace, and Whitney waited in line to register at the 10:00 mark, and I kept returning to Liz's office just to try to set up an appointment. When I finally got a hold of her, she asked if I could return at 2:30; I agreed. Long wait, but what can you do?

Afterward, Whitney drove us to the Lloyd Center and Pioneer Courthouse Square malls. I got a Subway sandwich at the latter and Grace waited with me as I ate it. Grace left for her bus stop after we'd all met up again, and Whitney gave me a ride back to AIPD, which I greatly appreciated.

Worked on my Quick Sketch homework a bit and talked with Laryssa, which was fun. Left to meet up with Liz and was balked by Ryan. He's not a bad kid, as Aurora has figured out, but a bit of a jokester: he asked who I'd come to see, and told me there was a line - "unless you have an appointment," which I did. I peeked into Liz's office to let her know I was present for our appointment as she was working with another student. Liz said all my class choices were good after I explained that I want to take a more illustration-oriented root, using Lee's suggestions as reference.

From Gateway, I stopped by Jiffy Lube again to get my lug nuts retorqued. The friendly fellow 21-year-old greeted me with a smile again, and I was in and out of the place in about five minutes. I called Kat to see what she was up to, and she was busy with finals work, but we'll figure out a time to have another EPIC CONVERSATION (again, that phrase has to be capitalized). :D

The money-related depression stems from my FAFSA hold, which disallowed me to register today. Aurora had had a hold on her account as well, which came as a disappointing surprise, and she got it worked out with Scott James, who had helped me get my FAFSA in last year. She told me that when he heard me at the front desk asking about temporarily waiving my hold just so I could register, he mocked me. What an unprofessional bastard. Yes, I should have turned in the stupid FAFSA on time, even if I get NOTHING out of it (because it's a goddamned requirement to register at AIPD), but despite all my reminders to myself to get it done, I was too busy with schoolwork and was dealing with family issues (Uncle Larry's kidney stones) to worry about the damn FAFSA.

Anyway, relatively quick post. The unhappiness will probably be gone tomorrow, when I meet up with Julia for my Creative Writing conference.

IAMX's new album is also released tomorrow, so I may pick it up from Everyday Music. I need happy things right now. That's my excuse.

Porcupine Tree, by the way, is a wonderful band. I spent some time last weekend organizing a bunch of their music that I'd swapped from Cammy's library, and their sound is growing on me quickly. Psychedelic rock, very similar to Pink Floyd. I also organized all the De/Vision that Dana had linked me to from her personal collection a few years ago. :)
arkratirma: (m16)
The first week of this term had left me stressing about my workload.

This stress was rather unwarranted, because I am doing very well so far.

All As on my Creative Writing assignments; a 100%, 98%, and 83% on my first three Intermediate Modeling assignments; a current 94.5% in Quick Sketch (which I know I can raise); and a 15/15, 8/10, and 10/10 on my museum paper and first two quizzes in 19th & 20th Century Art (I feel pretty good about my midterm, too).

Classes will get more intense from this point on, but I am going to make this term a good term.

Julia gave us a break in CW: we're turning in our assignments in class on Tuesday. We usually turn them in on Thursdays before 5:00. Also, Lee gave us a huge break by assigning no new homework for this week ("the calm before the storm," as he said). We spent Thursday sketching in the Portland Art Museum, which was fun, but tiring. I'd walked to the museum with Grace and Jacob (Jacob was flabbergasted when he realized we could have taken the streetcar to Jefferson, heh), and then ate dinner with Aurora and Whitney at the Rock Bottom Brewery on 2nd and Morrison. They had me try a sip of Whitney's porter to see if I liked it: it was bitter as hell and made me react as I had when I mistook a beer for apple juice on the beach when I was little.

I delivered our leftover nachos to Grace, who had to head back to AIPD when she realized she'd forgotten her Astronomy study packet. Wonderful day, Thursday.

Friday, I grabbed the CD mix Kat had made me for my 19th birthday and played it in the car. I printed three copies of my study packet and vocab list for me, Grace, and Melissa, and brought biscottis for us to share. Melissa brought The Golden Compass and was watching that when I arrived at the Commons. Grace came shortly afterward and we had a blast trying to study while rooting for Iorek as he battled (and PWNED) Ragnar.

Our midterm wasn't terrible, and we learned that Kate is actually a pretty easy grader. She let us out once we'd finished our tests, then Grace, Melissa and I eventually went to Noodles for lunch. Laryssa and her mom joined us later. GREAT time laughing and sharing stories and eating good food!

At home, I got Draco situated in his big cage, then set about washing the Buick. I cleaned it with TurtleWax polish, and LORD does that car SHINE. It had been incredibly dusty and was covered in a film of pollen before the wash. I also removed the floor mats and washed them with L.A. Awesome cleaner, but unintentionally left new stains because the concentration was too strong. Damn. But the Buick is shiny and beautiful and clean, and I will likely take it to Jiffy Lube to get it checked out tomorrow or Monday.

Watched The Dark Crystal last night. Hadn't watched it in AGES. Fun to watch, but DAMN is it slow. XD

Is it just me, or are the Skeksis strangely sexy?

...Yeah, I guess it's just me. [/lolwhut]

Uncle Larry called during the movie to let me know that Jessi was moving right along in her labor, which had to be induced with drugs as she was a week overdue. My brand new baby cousin, Katelynn Abby Lawson, was born at 12:30 this morning. Aunt Pam called me past 1:00 after I'd gone to bed to deliver the news.

She, Uncle Larry and I went up to Washington today to see the baby, Jessi, Maddie, Mitch, and the family. Jessi gave birth at the hospital she works at: Southern Washington Medical Center, which happens to be one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

Katelynn is a gorgeous little baby, and I held her a few times and stroked her cheeks, which are as soft as barn owl feathers. Aunt Pam had suggested I bring my laptop so Mom, Dad, and Cammy could see her via my webcam, and the video call worked like a dream. Jessi gets to take the summer off to be with Katelynn, Maddie, and Mitch. Katelynn is going to love Maddie SO much.

Oh, and to wrap this entry up, Dad let me in on a wonderful surprise last night when I called: his good online friend, Eric Peterson (whom he was met with in person a couple times), is going to build a professional website for my artwork! He can also get me set up with a PayPal account. This is so exciting; I've always yearned for my own website, and now I can focus on it for my break in addition to being with my family and friends.

Love to you all!
arkratirma: (m16)


I finished Chapter Four of Brainsick!

I wrapped up "Imminent Anniversary" with a scene between Chestan and Fieran, arguing about returning to Hades Laboratories. Before that, I ended the scene in which Paranoid is introduced to life in the Crufts' home.

950 words added for a total document amount of 30,195 words and 59 pages. "Imminent Anniversary" is a solid nine single-spaced pages.

Now I can finally focus on getting the story rolling, because our antagonist, Anne Hades, is introduced in Chapter Five.

I will post Chapter Four here in a cut when I can.

I am damn stoked right now. I need to brush my teeth and go to bed, and my eyes are tired despite my having drunk green tea a few hours ago, but I am so, so happy. I wanted to focus on writing yesterday, so I read the first chapter of Writing Fiction, reread Robert's short story, "Slim Chance", took a bike ride to unwind, and sat down for some serious writing.

Had a mini-quiz on Friday. Amy was our substitute, though she was originally set to teach the class in the first place. Kate was on a trip to New York or something of the sort. None of us was prepared for the quiz, as we'd come back from having the previous Friday off, and Kate hadn't given us our slides list of images we needed to know for the midterm. Amy assured us she'd tell Kate about our complaints.

Got some modeling done on Saturday. I made a simple face with sub-Ds, though it was a frustrating process... until I found my assignment sheet and took my Maya textbook out. Duuur.

Called Cammy Friday night to try and cheer him up. He's been bored and unhappy lately. He perked up a little when I told him I had a belated birthday gift waiting for him at home. :)

Whew, okay. Brush teeth, then bed.

I have Brainsick happies!
arkratirma: (x-files)
Lew sent Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jeff copies of Grandma Ruthie's will again.

How friendly, considering Grandma Jo is going through chemo now.

Aunt Pam wrote him a sincere letter for cathartic relief. Lew was unfortunately brainwashed by Mom's shit-for-brains half-brother, Brent, two years ago. Some of my friends might remember the post I'd made about the ordeal, but I won't bother going over it in extreme detail again.

Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jeff took care of Grandma Ruthie in their own home for over nine months while she was ill. They fed her, cleaned up after her, always loved her; never complained. Grandma Ruthie was in such good hands with them.

Brent convinced Lew that they simply were trying to suck money out of Grandma Ruthie.

Brent is a perverted fucking bastard.

I can almost say I hate him - yet, despite the shit he's caused, I am not the begrudging type.

Getting past that bit of anger....

Another rainy day today. Woke up to Roxie scratching on my door, whimpering to be let in. Visited with Jessi and the pups for a while before cleaning up my room a bit. Later, settled onto the small sofa in the living room with Draco and began reading Little Children. The movie is one of my favorites, but it's fascinating getting to delve deeper into the characters' histories with the novel.

It's also more risque, but that probably goes without saying.

Aunt Pam asked if I wanted to go with her to Costco, and I agreed. She had an optometrist appointment, so I wandered around for about an hour looking at books (Costco carries Watchmen for $11.99?! DAMN IT!), DVDs (I'll have my seasons of The X-Files someday! SOMEDAY!), and electronics. I picked up a six-pack of pressure dusters.

For dinner, Aunt Pam and I had Polish dogs and drinks; I was also able to indulge in my beloved berry smoothie.

There is not a meal deal in the WORLD that beats Costco's $1.50 quarter-pound Polish dog and soft drink with a free refill. NOTHING. NOWHERE.

I filled up my drink with root beer, and then we headed off to Jessi, Maddie, and Mitch's place. Aunt Pam helped Jessi primp up the crib, and I hung out with Maddie. She really is like my younger sister. She's an absolute goofball, and very weird - I love her so much. Hugged her and Jessi and Mitch goodbye; Maddie then followed me outside to nab some of my root beer, because I agreed to give her some. I'm such a nice cousin. :3

Continued reading Little Children once home, then read over Aunt Pam's letter to Lew at her request. I've polished off 208 of 355 pages. For a long time now, I've been in the habit of reading a novel in a day, or getting through half of it one day and finishing it the next.

It just feels good to read again. I also read my volume of Poe's "The Black Cat" the day before yesterday.

Oh, and April 1st is Finch's birthday. (I know, I'm terrible.) Happy birthday, Finch! You're not getting any older 'cause you're a fictional character! :D

In closing, this macro made me STUPIDLY happy. You have no idea.


What a comforting thought! - knowing that, as this "ginger bitch" drops you down an elevator shaft, you can squee at his wee li'l gloves. Awww.

I am far too easily amused.

(That definitely goes without saying.)

Also, I made some icons to brush up on my Photoshop skills (but mostly just to have fun with funky textures and artsy-fartsy attempted graphic design know-how). Feel free to use if you are so inclined! Credit for the movie caps goes to riddlemethis. Working-size files under the cut. :)

Photobucket _ Photobucket _ Photobucket <--- (Rorschach has the best goddamn one-liners EVER.)

Working-size files under cut! )

OH, and something that saddens me: Watchmen has already stopped playing at the Regal Cinemas Hilltop 9 in Oregon City.

It's time to migrate to the Clackamas Town Center! I may just go see it again later today.... WANT.
arkratirma: (lone gunmen)

Guess where I'm accessing the Internet from?



Today I had a three-hour phone conversation with Robin, a Dell technician, and what we ended up doing was re-imaging my desktop computer (the Dell XPS). In other words, we restored it to its factory defaults; the computer is as it had been when I first got it set up in October.

Robin had me go through a lot of what Dad had asked me to do, including using Command Prompt (but with the PING command, which didn't work; its repeated "transmit failed, error code 5" meant that something bad was up). He even had me move the DSL modem and router from Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry's computer into my room to try to temporarily access the Internet so that he could perform Remote Access, but that did not work. System Restore did not work.

Long story short, Robin's further troubleshooting and research isolated the problem: I still had malware traces on my computer from when I'd dealt with the Trojan a month back. These malware signatures had disabled McAfee and were also tied into my networking problems. Robin discovered them by directing me into Device Manager and selecting Show hidden devices. Under Non-Plug and Play Devices, there were five entries for McAfee, showing that the malware had imitated the antivirus.

To access Dell's re-imaging option, I had to disable my PC's Fast Boot option (by pressing F2 on the startup menu), then I had to press Ctrl + F11 repeatedly to make sure that the computer understood that I wanted to access the re-imaging option. This took six separate attempts, and a restart was required for each attempt. Robin was ecstatic when I told him I was finally able to access that option.

I learned a shit-ton of technical stuff today. Just rechecked Non-Plug and Play Devices; those entries are still listed. Hmmm....

Regardless, I was extremely grateful for Robin's help and will call him again if I experience more trouble. I'll see how things go during these next few days.


Oddly, I cannot access the Internet on my laptop, but I'll mess with that later.

When I got up this morning (nearly 12:00), I was surprised to find that Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry were gone. That hadn't told me that they would be anywhere, but I guessed that they'd gone to an appointment of some type.

They returned while I was still talking with Robin. Aunt Pam explained that they'd gone to the emergency room. Earlier this morning, when Uncle Larry had gone to feed Patch (Sherri and Ed's dog), he'd begun experiencing bad pain in his kidneys. The pain only worsened, eventually to the point were severe nausea set in, and Aunt Pam finally talked Uncle Larry into going to the hospital. Uncle Larry has dealt with about five to six kidney stones before, but there was no blood in his urine to indicate that his pain was caused by another kidney stone. His white blood cell count, on the other hand, was sky-high; he's got medication to fight off an infection and is resting at the moment.

I was shocked when I heard "emergency room." Robin asked me if things were alright, and I told him my uncle had had to go to the emergency room for a possible kidney stone. Robin related that his brother had gone through the same thing, and I shared that Dad had also dealt with a kidney stone several years ago. God, that thing scared the shit out of us.... I remember Dad crying and bent over in agony. Cammy and I ended up spending the night at our landlords' house (this happened when we lived in Weimar).

Friday shenanigans! )

Blaaaaah! I should go eat something else now. My talk with Robin took up a huge portion of the day... but I did get up at 12:00. :|
arkratirma: (lone gunmen)



Sweet JESUS I am so relieved.

A whole lot of blabbing about finals, plus Sarah's passing and computer shit. )

WHEW, but enough of that. Just wanted to update. Get my Internet idling out of me!


Going to bring my laptop to the school tomorrow before I meet up with Aurora, Aurora's mom, Grace, Robin, and Whitney for lunch and a trip to the Portland Art Museum to see if it has the same problem only recognizing Jessi's network.

Looking forward to fun with friends!
arkratirma: (scully)
The Scully icon makes its debut. GRRRR! (Ha, Scully from, like... the first season of The X-Files. "Beyond the Sea", to be exact. That episode guess-starred Brad Dourif. Yay Brad Dourif!) [/geek]

(...I actually haven't watched any episodes of The X-Files in AGES. Saw the second movie with Kat over Christmas break, but no episodes. Sad! D:)

Avoiding Nick, hanging out with cousins.... )

Mom and Dad called and asked me questions about Watchmen, which they recently saw together. Dad loved it; Mom thought it was alright. Mom's first question concerned Bubastis. I'm still sad that her backstory is not explained at all, but hey, PRETTY KITTY!


They thought Adrian had said, "I'm sorry, Carol" instead of "I'm sorry, girl", which I found amusing.

Come to think of it, does Adrian even call Bubastis by name? Maybe she'll have a tad more screen time in the director's cut....

Oh, the director's cut comes out in August. I won't be able to see it with Kat, because I'll be in school at that time. D:

WAITAMINUTE: is it July? This article says July:

I'd STILL be in school. Curses! This article also claims July:

OOOOO but the director's cut is supposed to be three hours and ten minutes! PARTY TIME!

Holy.... And the Ultimate Edition DVD is said to be FOUR and a half hours long!

This is turning into a supreme BLAAAAAHg.


Uh, anyway. Pardon the length.

DAMN IT I want to see Watchmen again. Even in its current cut!

Did I mention Cammy has already seen it THREE times? Crazy kid.

OKAY, one more add. This line comes from that last article I linked to: On the sexy nude scenes between Akerman and Wilson: "They're not too hard to look at," Snyder grinned. "It's not like they're big, fat people."

UM. WOW. That scene was still more softcore porn than I'd have liked to watch, Snyder. I was laughing in my head during the entire scene. "Hallelujah" didn't help (no hating on Leonard Cohen, though). Rorschach WITH CLOTHING is sexier than that scene. But I guess that's just me, hurhurhur.


AAAAH FUCK NO I'M NOT: the director's cut is apparently only going to be released in Los Angeles and New York.

arkratirma: (rorschach)
Everything leading up to the midnight release.... )

The opening credits sequence is a stunning kickoff. Set to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'", it covers the history of the Minutemen and includes flashbacks for specific characters (holy crap, kid Rorschach!); one hell of a collage, beautifully composed, covering small but important events not included within the whole of the film itself.

As for the film itself.... I was left with an overwhelming sense of ambivalence during the end credits. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot, especially getting to see it with Aurora and Grace. As far as the film goes, I will form my final opinions after the director's cut is released (apparently in theatres!).

Understand, however, that I spent Saturday rereading the graphic novel (yup, the whole book), and I now have a stronger appreciation for what the theatrical cut is compared to its source masterpiece.

The source is far more complex. The source has more to digest. The source is vastly better. But Watchmen the film is still one hell of a movie-going experience, and despite inevitable alterations to dialogue, chronology, which characters are portrayed and how much screen time they receive, how characters interact, and the inclusion of some awkward pieces of music for scenes meant to be dead serious (as well as for scenes that are straight up hilarious), I can say I am pleased with the outcome. I very much look forward to seeing it again over spring break.

Let's just be thankful we've got this cast rather than casts tentatively assembled in the past.

Overall, Snyder's cast is wonderful. Each character is given believable depth, believable faults. Each of them impressed me to some degree, but the two that stood out for me most were Dr. Manhattan and (you knew this one was coming from ten miles away) Rorschach. I do agree with Aurora that Billy Crudup's passive voice seems a bit odd coming from such a godlike Dr. Manhattan (because he is meant to be godlike), but the flatness in his tone of voice, the estrangement from humanity, the intelligent use of CGI to bring him to life.... Brilliant.

Jackie Earle Haley's Rorschach? Fucking phenomenal. I knew Haley would deliver after watching Little Children. The guy can genuinely act with his expressions, even just his eyes, to such an extent that you're blown away by how devoted he is to his portrayal. Add to this prowess his age, height, build, and adopted posture, and he simply IS Rorschach. I was completely entranced whenever Rorschach was on screen. And goddamnit, I think Jackie Earle Haley is gorgeous. <3

Patrick Wilson is perfect as nerdy, lovelorn Nite Owl. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's turn as The Comedian truly showcases the character's brutality while still arousing some sympathy for his plight. Matthew Goode's Ozymandias is Again, the entire cast is commendable.

Tyler Bates' score is lovely and evocative. The soundtrack songs, on the other hand.... Why the hell does "The Ride of the Valkyries" play while Dr. Manhattan is destroying the Vietcong? Just... WHY? Why hadn't only the sounds of warfare been used in that scene? If the song was to be included in the film, it should only have played during Hollis Mason's Under the Hood account of Moe Vernon discovering that his wife had cheated on him, all the while standing awestruck in the door to his office, wearing a pair of foam breasts. Of course, none of Hollis Mason's Under the Hood is in the theatrical cut: that'll most likely be in the DVD for Tales of the Black Freighter. Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" was a bit too - playful for The Comedian's funeral. Not a cheerful song, of course, but not particularly fitting, in my opinion.

It's late. Need to go to bed. Will continue Watchmen thoughts later. Hurm.

Just know that I am happily and unavoidably re-obsessed with Rorschach. YAY!

arkratirma: (Default)
Friday, January 2: Went to Kat's house and immediately freaked out over a program her dad was watching in the living room because Peter Lorre (!!!) was featured in said program. I prattled off geeky classic film knowledge, and later, Kat, her parents and I watched The X-Files: I Want to Believe. It's enjoyable. Nothing stands out about it, but... it's enjoyable. Creepy scientific labs for the win. Aaaand Kat got me a very sweet Christmas card! <333

Saturday, January 3: Took Kat on a "road trip" to my old home in Weimar. Stopped at Weimar Hills School so Kat could get some photos of the Sierras, then, like a complete idiot, drove right over some parking blocks in the parking lot. At my old address, we saw a gorgeous Swiss mountain dog who began following the van around as I was turning it around (the Voyager is SO CLUNKY compared to the Buick... and I am amused at which cars I call by make, and which cars I call by model). Drove into Colfax, stopped by Sierra Market, and picked up a pomegranate to share with Kat - as she'd never had a pomegranate before. With the pomegranate in tow, we stopped by the one-lane bridge over Bear River and traveled over the shore a bit.

Sunday, January 4: Alex and Kile visited for a few hours, which was grand fun. Alex got me a bitchin' Rorschach poster as a Christmas/birthday present; it is now hanging up where my The Fellowship of the Ring poster had been. We watched a bunch of YouTube videos before deciding to head to Ben Franklin Crafts. I picked up a poster frame and a new Itoya Art Portfolio for my watercolor paintings, which I charged on my gift card from Mom. Afterward, we hit Jamba Juice for delicious smoothies. I'm happy you two got to visit! <333

Monday, January 5: Had a dentist appointment with Dr. Molina. After my teeth had been cleaned, Dr. Molina confirmed that my sensitive tooth is nothing to worry about: the gumline has simply receded. I have no new cavities, no decay. Dr. Molina and his assistant (I forget her name, argh) kept complimenting my teeth. Hurray, something to feel good about!

I will eventually need all four of my wisdom teeth extracted, but it's not an emergency. Dr. Molina explained that, if allowed to grow past the gums, they would cause problems. I may have them removed in about six months, though I could have the teeth extracted within four to five years.

Dad and I stopped by Longs for his prescriptions, and I was pleased to spot Lauren inside. It was nice saying hi to you, Lauren! :)

Around 9:30, shortly after Dad and I had begun watching Hellboy II, we got a call from Grandpa Jeff. Grandma Jo had called earlier that morning to confirm that Dad had gotten home safely (Dad called on Sunday to tell us that the Suburban had stalled in Sacramento - he had taken Cammy back to UC Davis) and to inform us that she was to be prescribed a stronger medication for her pain.

Grandpa's call? - he had taken Grandma Jo to the hospital for the emergency room.

Tuesday, January 6: Dad learned that Grandma Jo has pneumonia. It's common for those who have had major surgeries to get sick easily, and it's just what happened to Grandma. The good news is that she's in much better condition and is receiving good care.

Now, if they hadn't made Grandma and Grandpa wait for TWO GODDAMN HOURS in the waiting room as Grandma sat in excruciating pain, I'd feel better about Cedar-Sinai's care.

Grandma is in good hands, but... fuck. Grandpa has had only two hours of sleep since Sunday.

I am relieved, no doubt, that Grandma is feeling better.

Elsa called very shortly after I got up, and I talked with her for nearly forty minutes before getting some breakfast, walking down to the creek, and cleaning my room.

Kat came over this day, and we had fun being our usual dorky selves. We watched WALL-E with Mom and Dad, the Blackadder episode, "A Blackadder Christmas Carol" (Blackadder is FOR THE WIN - hurray Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson!), a program on the Hubble Space Telescope, part of Red Dragon, and then finally went to my room for some Internet-bum time.

And we're STILL being Internet-bums!
arkratirma: (Default)
Dad drove Grandma and Grandpa up to Cedars-Sinai today for Grandma's checkup. They experienced horrendous traffic, and Dad battled boredom waiting for Grandma's appointment to be done with, but with that said, the news is terrific: Grandma Jo is cancer free!

This is the best confirmation of 2008 for me and my family.

The second confirmation, although I hadn't mentioned it before, is that Mom, Dad, Cammy and I are returning a day early: we're heading north on New Year's Day instead of the 2nd. Cammy was in bed nearly all day today sick. He threw up this morning, and on an empty stomach. Pure bile. I hope he feels better soon. He has to head back to UC Davis on the 5th.

I called Alex today to wish her a happy birthday. <3

Kat! <3 I got your message. Sorry I didn't call you back sooner. I know you probably won't see this LJ message for a while, but all the same, I'm adding it to this post.

I began reading Koontz's Your Heart Belongs to Me today. It's an enjoyable read so far. After finishing Odd Hours, however, I've taken stronger note of Koontz's use of similes and metaphors. Some of them are quite beautiful, don't get me wrong; but the chapters are strewn with them. His newest isn't as gratuitously strewn as, say, his older works, like The Eyes of Darkness. Regardless, I always enjoy a Koontz I haven't read yet.

Odd Thomas seems to be his strongest creation thus far, though. Along with the immortal Watchers and other greats like Hideaway and Cold Fire, everyone's favorite fry cook is among my favorite voices in fiction. First person narration suits Odd very well.

ANYWAY. Mom, Dad, Cammy and I made a run to Best Buy and Costco on Sunday. I picked up the Director's Cut of Dark City at Best Buy (on which I used my $5 Reward Certificate - whee!), and The Silence of the Lambs, Astronomica (a FUCKING MASSIVE and absolutely GORGEOUS volume on astronomy and space exploration and all that good stuff - thing cost $30, an absolute steal for a book of this quality and size), and a nine-pair pack of rainbow socks at Costco. XD

I'm wearing the lime green pair at the moment.

This means that, since Black Friday, I have acquired twenty-five new pairs of socks.

Holy shit.

This have never happened before.

But there's always a time for firsts.

arkratirma: (m16)
Merry Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and all manner of holiday celebrations to everyone!

I am so grateful to be with my parents, brother, and grandparents this Christmas. I was worried I wouldn't get to see them at all. I did finally start feeling depressed about the goddamn snow in Oregon on Monday, but felt better after Aunt Pam and I figured out how to use my fax machine (sans instructions!), allowing Dad to fax my boarding pass to me. The 'net had been out Sunday and Monday all day, both days.

As Aunt Pam told Mom and Dad, I DO see snow in a different light now. I'd never felt depressed about snow before this year. I'm sure I already mentioned it, but the Portland metro area is experiencing the most snow it's had since the 60s.

Trust me: when you're at the end of fall term and it starts snowing almost nonstop for over a week, it messes with your head. Not only did we get snow; we got freezing rain ON TOP OF SNOW, then MORE snow. And more snow. And more snow. It's one thing to be away from Mom, Dad, and Cammy while the term is in session and to know I won't be seeing them for a while, but when I expect to see them for the holidays and start thinking I won't be able to, I get upset. This is why I'm all the more grateful to be home.

When my flight landed in Sacramento on Tuesday, my eyes began watering, and everyone was clapping and cheering when a flight attendant mentioned enjoying the holidays without snow.

I'll stop hating on snow now. Each day at Aunt Pam and Uncle Larry's, I got bundled up - t-shirt, zippered jacket or sweater, my heavy duty rust-and-gray jacket, jeans, sweatpants, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, and my black hiking shoes - and tromped around in the snow. I HAVE to get out when in snows, at least for an hour or so. I thrive in cold weather.

...But I'm still glad to be out of the snow right now. I sincerely hope it's done with by the time I return for winter term....

It's rainy and chilly here in southern California right now, and it's absolutely gorgeous. The air has been very clean the past few times we've visited Grandma Jo and Grandpa Jeff, and, yesterday during a trip to Target, Ace Hardware, and Von's, the San Gabriel Mountains were clearly visible, and sprinkled with snow. Unexpected and truly enchanting sight, considering this is SoCal!

Oh! - during the final stretch of our drive from the airport, I tried napping in the car. I was awoken by a call from Kat, which cheered me and helped the minutes fly by. Love ya, Kat! <333

Also, I am so, so happy that Aurora and Robin made it safely home! HERE'S S'MORE <333!


As is the Lambert tradition, we opened presents yesterday. Including the goodies I picked up at Target and Von's, I now have Hellboy II, House Season Three, MirrorMask, Koontz's Your Heart Belongs to Me, and a 2009 horse calendar which rang up for $1 at Target. Score! Cammy and I got money from Grandma and Grandpa, and I also got a nifty atomic clock that alerts to weather changes from Mom and Dad. I haven't opened it yet, because it will travel more safely in its packaging. Mom even picked up a gift card for Ben Franklin Crafts, so I can look forward to more splurging on art supplies. I should pick up some things for my friends and get some art done, as well....

Mom, Dad, Cammy and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button today. Beautiful movie, very sad. The makeup and effects are FUCKING. ASTONISHING. The acting is superb and riddled with every emotional nuance imaginable, every subtle expression. Cinematography, score, colors and mood.... Truncated review, but it's an intriguing watch, if not very long: two hours and forty-five minutes. Don't let that turn you away from it. After everything has soaked in, it's a film that deserves another watch to truly appreciate its depth - yet it has a simple message.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button also reminds how much of a damn gero I am. lolwhutnowonderIdon'twanttobeinarelationship!


ANYWAY, back to Benjamin Button. I thought I recognized the actor who played Captain Mike, and Cammy confirmed him to be "the guy from Fringe," none other than the deliciously creepy Robert David Jones, played by Jared Harris. Captain Mike is a rough-and-tumble drunken Irish tugboat captain. He's covered in tattoos. He even has a tattoo of a hummingbird.

"This is no mere bird! This is a frickin' miracle!"

Aurora, I think you'd really like Captain Mike. :3

The movie didn't make me full-out cry, but certain scenes did get my eyes watering. It was actually based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

This is enough of an update. Whew!

I feel blessed to be with my family this Christmas, especially knowing how fortunate Grandma Jo is to have safely come away from her liver surgery. She has five incisions that will become five scars, but she is as feisty as ever. Her health and wellness, as well as the health and wellness of my family and friends, is the greatest gift of all this year.

January 2012

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