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Jul. 21st, 2010 | 01:33 pm
mood: busy busy

*sigh*, still waiting on my glasses, still waiting on my spare battery, and had to ask the seller of my camera to file a claim with Fedex so that I can get my refund and/or a new camera.

I'm very wary of shipping companies now, I don't want to buy anything else online for a while >_<.

I did kind of accidentally buy a bag off of ebay since best offer was set-up and I made an offer I was sure the buyer would have turned down, but it was automatically accepted o__O. I really wish I'd made a lower offer, because with shipping it's still going to be $65, but it is a Betseyville bag and I did really like the design. I just hope that it's big enough for my needs, it's apparently just under the carry-on bag limit.



This is the bag. Apparently, one of the handles has torn off a bit and just needs a bit of stitching to re-stablize it. I really wish I had offered $25 or $30 instead of $40, but since she was asking $58, I didn't think she'd go 30% off. Still, that's better than the original price new, right?

Right?

Ok, so I didn't get such a great deal on this bag. To make up for it and because I don't really want to keep many things floating around here, I'm thinking about selling some of my lolita. Mostly, I'm looking to sell the Baby dress and bonnet I got for my Momoko cosplay. Ambera has first dibs on Baby dress if she can afford it and then the rest of my friends before I post to EGL.

Yesterday I bought a bunch of travel sized stuffs and tomorrow I'm hoping to see what I have, sort and tentatively pack and work on what I still need. I'm going to further cutback on my original list because I'm poor ;___;.

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(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2010 | 04:51 pm
mood: chipper chipper

For some reason, today I am in a very anachronistic and artsy mood. I've been looking up historic places and museums in Nashville and I'm itching to get my butt and my new camera out to Cheekwood for some hardcore photography.

SOOOOOO, in celebration of my new camera and because I want have anything else to do next week, I'm going to hit some of my favorite artsy/historic spots in Nashville for photos and fun! Here is my tentative game plan:

Friday (assuming my camera is here):
Cheekwood for Chihuly Nights, a traveling glass exhibit that they light up in the evening on Thursdays and Fridays until October. With my dad working their/our family membership, I won't have to pay a thing and get discounts on refreshments should I want some.



Weekend:
Jackson family reunion. Nothing fun or artsy here >_>.

Monday:
Shopping with Mom. Yay travel shopping!

Tuesday:
Belmont Mansion tour in the morning followed by lunch at Savannah Tea Company. I might wear classic lolita on this day to really round out my elegant day ^___^.



Wednesday:
Frist Center for the Chihuly and Golden Age of Couture exhibits, then the Tennessee State Museum and the downtown Public Library.



Thursday:
It's back to Cheekwood for their typical daytime exhibits and floral photography.

And then it's off to Chicago!

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(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2010 | 12:18 pm
mood: blah blah

Been doing a bit of travel shopping lately, I've gotten a good bit of my more expensive purchases out of the way and soon I'll be working on my clothing and toiletries and other such silly little things.

A couple days ago I finally ordered a few pairs of glasses from Zenni Optical, I got a fun pair, an even more fun pair, and a professional pair for most occasions and I may order another pair or two if I find more that I like. These are the ones I ordered:



These are my "professional" glasses, for those days when I want to look like a secretary or channel my inner Bayonetta.



These are my fun pair, they'll match a lot of my daily wardrobe and look cute doing it!



And these will be my awesome fashion pair! I've wanted a pair of glasses like these for a while and these where so cheap, so I thought, "why not?"

I ordered all of them with mid-index 1.57 lenses and I'm hoping that that is going to be thin enough so as to not look coke-bottle-y when I wear them since I have a some-what stronger prescription. If they are all too thick, I'll just order yet another pair of glasses with a higher lens index so as not to look so trashy.

I also picked up three boxes of contacts yesterday at Walmart as well as a couple packages of underwear and a pack of socks. While Josh was shopping for suitcases at Marshalls, I picked up a pair of black flats for the trip (my current ones are getting worn out >_<) and I thought about some of the other things I need to get.

One of the things that I failed to think about until today that is would actually be quite important is my daily purse >________<. Normally, it would really be much of an issue since everything can pretty much fit into all of the purses I have, but since I'm getting a new, bulkier camera and I'll be carrying around a bit more stuff, I need to find a bag that will be spacious enough to fit a mid-sized camera with all of my typical stuff, without looking so huge and clearly out of place. I've never really been a fan of large bags anyway, but when I think about what all I'll normally want to bring with me, I see it as much more of a requirement than a luxury. For example, lets say Josh and I are spending the day out and about in GLORIOUS NIPPON; it would be pretty safe to say that I'm going to want to pack all of this into my purse:

Camera (w/ lens, spare battery, and extra SD cards)
Keys
Phone
Wallet
Coin purse
Mascara/eyeliner
Lip balm
Compact mirror
Notepad
Pens
Nintendo DS
A bottle of water (maybe)

Now, my purses are what I'd typically consider medium/small, certainly not clutches or anything like that, but definitely no where near the size of purses I typically see being carried by most women nowadays. I'm thinking a cute tote would do the trick, but I'd prefer something that I can sling over my shoulders and has a zipper or several compartments.

Meh, purses are the one thing I can't stand shopping for. Just give m my perfect bag already and I'll be on my way.

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(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2010 | 11:49 pm
mood: bored bored

Guhhh...so bored...gonna work on my other blog in just a bit, but right now I'm going to give us an update of my packing and preparing. Josh and I went down to the consulate last week with our Certificates of Eligibility and applied for our visas and my visa arrived in the mail on Friday (at least I think so, it's at my dad's and I haven't opened the package yet). I also got my check for the Gillman (which needs to be deposited and allotted so as to keep me from accidentally spending next semester's portion) and my dad should be paying me back soon.

So yeah, I'm a little less broke now than I have been of recent, but I still have to be really careful with my money to make sure that I can get through the semester before I do my hardcore shopping. I'm not banking on this, and I feel like a bad person for even assuming that it will happen, but I might be coming onto a bit more travel money soon. You see, I have a family reunion this coming weekend and I know my dad and aunt are going to make sure that everyone knows that I'm leaving the country and I might have some pretty well off family members who might give me a bit of money for the trip :D . To make matters sweeter, the same aunt mentioned previously might also be pretty well off and might give me a bit of cash to help with some of the financial burden.

I love my family :D

I kid, I kid, I am certainly not so selfish and greedy to only care about my family when they give me money. To be fair, I almost never get money from anyone in my family except for my aunt and occasionally one of my uncles, so it really isn't something that I should expect. I'm just going to go to this family reunion and have some fun with some folks I haven't seen in some years. The week after, I'm going to drive up to Chicago with my siblings to celebrate my aunt and uncle's birthday and relax and enjoy beautiful Illinois before I leave the country for GLORIOUS NIPPON!

I've been doing a bit of shopping (the majority of it's going to get done next week with my mom), and right now I've been really focusing on shopping for cameras and finding the right one. Since Josh is going to be borrowing my old camera for the trip, and I've really just been looking for an excuse to get another one anyway, I'm purchasing a decided upgrade from my Casio Exilim point and shoot. I've been looking somewhat rigorously, but I've pretty much been sold on the Olympus Pen E-PL1 since I saw the commercial for it that was supposedly filmed with the camera itself. it's a good in-between before I'm dedicated enough to move up to a D-SLR and can use a lot of the same lenses without all of the bulk. It's a nifty mid-range camera that will get the job done and, one of the most important things it has that I need in my new camera is that it will record video in HD 720p quality. YUS!



Unfortunately for my wallet, this little beauty retails for $599....yeah... Currently there is a refurbished one on Amazon for $460, but I don't know if I want to risk it for the lower price. I mean, I've never had a problem with my Casio in the three years that I've owned it and don't foresee a problem unless my boyfriend really bangs it up, but this camera is a good bit more expensive and I don't want to have to try and replace it in Japan or yell at Olympus for part or repair while I'm out of the country.

Awww, fuck it, I'm buying the refurbished one and I'm just gonna be gentle to it.

Now that I've spent $500 on the camera and spare battery, I've gotten what I think is going to be one of my biggest purchases out of the way and I can cry when I take a look at my bank account T___T.

Also, the exchange rate is abysmal. 88 yen to the dollar? C'mon! A student's gotta be able to survive out there!

Oh, well, it can't be helped. Gonna work on my blog tomorrow, maybe walk around the neighborhood, and hopefully get a bit of grocery shopping done. Kisha, over and out -____-.

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(no subject)

Jul. 2nd, 2010 | 03:14 pm
mood: bored bored

Hey guys, I know I've been posting here less and less and that's because I've really had nothing to report and even when I do have something to report, I want to put it on my wordpress that isn't finished yet.

Lame.

But I'm posting now because I want to post and I also need to make my packing list! But before I get to that, here is a rundown of what has been going on. Out of all of the scholarships I applied for, I received a $3000 Gilman scholarship for the whole year and the MTSU study abroad scholarship for $1050 for the fall semester. Not nearly as much as I was expecting, but I am completely grateful for anything that I get. I'm also taking out the maximum in subsidized student loans for the trip for emergencies. I got my plane ticket, I'm flying one-way (because roundtrip for a year was just too much of a pain in the ass to maneuver) with All Nippon Airways. My flight leaves at 6:55 am so I have to be at the airport super early. This works out for me since I wasn't planning on sleeping the night before leaving anyway in an attempt to make me tired enough to sleep on the 12 hour stint of the flight, so now I have less time to not sleep!

In the coming month I will be getting my visa and scheduling my classes and generally preparing to leave. So far, it would appear as if the hardest parts are completely taken care of and this whole process has been so much less painful than I was led to believe that it would be. Despite the financial commitment, it's actually a pretty easy thing to do, and if you have a full scholarship and do a full exchange, initial tuition will be covered by your school. Now I just get to sit back and wait to get out of here!

Now I'll work on my packing list, since I'll need time to get together what I need/want before I leave:

Lets start with toiletries:
DEODORANT! x2
Spare glasses*
Box of contacts x3*
Facial cleanser
Moisterizer
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Tweezers*
Nail clippers
Eyebrow scissors*
Body wash*
Lotion
Razors
Shaving cream
A brush*
A rat-tail comb
A wide-tooth comb*
Hair product

Shampoo
Conditioner
Birth Control*
Feminine hygiene stuffs
Cosmetics:
-liquid foundation and powder*
-blush
-eyebrow powder
-eyeliner pencils*
-eye make-up*
-mascara
-make-up brushes*
-make-up remover
-lipstick, lipgloss, and balm*
-cologne*
-Bottles of stomach/pain medication

clothes
:
14 tops (mostly t-shirts, a couple long sleeves shirts, and a couple tank tops)*
4 pairs of jeans
A pair of khakis
A pair of khaki capris
A skirt
A dress*
As many socks as I can pack
5 bras
14 panties
Tights
Walking shoes
Flats*
Sandals
Boots
A jacket or hoodie
A cardigan
Pajama pants
Sleep shirts

accessories:
Purses
Bandannas and hair scarf*
Ponytail holders
Banana clip
Hats
Earrings*

others:
Flat iron*
Blow dryer
Travel alarm*
Camera*
Laptop*
Genki I*
iPod and headphones*
All travel papers:
-passport* and photocopy
-driver's license* and photocopy
-visa* and photocopy
-Seinan Gakuin papers* and photocopies
-travel insurance* and photocopy
-all important phone numbers in one place
-embassy contact information
-photocopies of all credit/debit cards
-MTSU student ID*
Currency
Plug converters and a power strip
Pencils*
Pens*
Markers
Sketchbook
Electronic dictionary
Day planner
Packs of tissue

And I wanna say that that is it...seems like more than I'd bargained for.

If anyone sees anything that I'm missing, please let me know!

(Edit: asterisks [*] denote things I've purchased/already own)

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(no subject)

Jun. 12th, 2010 | 03:31 pm
mood: artistic artistic

So, lately I've been doing some drawing and working on a few projects and I've gotten a lot more serious about my art over the past few days. Now, I CANNOT tell you exactly what I'm working on for several reasons, one of which has to do with my future career (lets just say that this won't overlap well with teaching), but maybe, at some point I'll be able to say something about it.

What I can say is that I think it's time to upgrade from my Prismacolor markers to a set of Copics. At first I was thinking that I should just start out small and get the 24 Manga Wallet set which includes a few flesh tones and the basic colors of the rainbow. But then I started thinking about it and how frustrated I got with the Prismacolor 24 pack and how I've had to purchase so many additional markers and still don't have the color selection that I'd like. So I've decided that if I can manage it, I'm going to grab the 72 Color Set A and then purchase the individual extra flesh tones. But BEFORE I do that, I'm going to purchase just one marker (probably a flesh tone) and test it to see if it will streak as badly as my Prismacolors do. If so, then it's not worth the upgrade.

I'm also going to purchase Manga Studio Debut 4 so that I can create professional looking doujin on my computer and a tablet so that I can easily clean up my panels and art and expertly apply tones and inking.

My ultimate goal here is to create enough original art (and a bit of fanart) to start selling at anime conventions in the Artist Alley. Now, I'm fearful as to whether I'd even get in, seeing as I woudn't even pass my own standards to get in to MTAC's Artist Alley, let alone getting into Artist Alley's at other conventions. However, I think I'm worrying just a bit too much.

If I can make back the cost of my supplies within a few cons, that would be excellent, but I'm not getting my hopes up!

Finally, I need to invest in a nicer scanner, my current one is just awful and I've needed one for a while.

*sigh* I need to get to work on this blog.
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(no subject)

Jun. 7th, 2010 | 12:47 am
mood: bored bored

Well, a mere 6-7 months after I started, i have now quit MTAC staff. Due to a bunch of things, and probably a good deal of childishness on my part, it wasn't the easiest or smoothest of departures. Right now I feel as if I might have made a mistake, at least in that I didn't make damn sure that I did the best that I could before leaving. If nothing else, I wish I could have lived up to my own standards.

BUT ANYWAY, I've realized and will readily admit that www.dannychoo.com is my new favorite blog. His posts are interesting, his pictures a crisp and detailed, and his dolls are GORGEOUS! What's surprising about this? They are all Dollfie Dreams, a doll I have never liked and would never think of owning. Now I almost have to have one! This probably has to do with my new found love of school girls, big boobs, and the general anime aesthetic, but I already have a character in mind for my doll when I pick her up in Fukuoka.

I don't have a name for her yet and I can't decide which head I want her to have (I think I'd be happy with any but the first of them, though I rather enjoy HDD-04 and a good number of the limited heads), but I do know that I want her to have a Dollfie Dream Dynamite body for the rather enjoyable curves, smooth waist-to-hip transition, and juicy thighs. I'm not terribly fond of her overly-perky breasts, though, so before I leave I plan on stalking Y!J until a Peach Pai bust for the DDdy happens to pop-up for sale:



Both huge and squishable, the peach pai busts are highly sought after and they go for over 20,000 円 on Y!J. Lame, but so freaking worth it!

Once I get the bust, I can go ahead and make some things that will fit it properly since hardly anything sold by Volks or anyone else will. I may even invest in a cheap/used sewing machine while I'm there so that I can make clothing for my doll. First I need to get/make her a school uniform (sweater vest and slouchy socks required, so I need to be able to knit while I'm there, too), before she gets anything else. Then a gym uniform, a school swimsuit, a frilly bikini, a super mini china dress, the iconic bunny suit, and many different actual anime cosplays.

With black hair and large, pretty eyes, I look forward to putting this lady together!
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May. 21st, 2010 | 08:43 pm
mood: calm calm

*le sigh*

There seems to be a very large, annoying wrench in my plans to go to Japan. Financial aid doesn't seem to believe that my parents are divorced. Because of that, they can't package my financial aid for 2010-2011. Because of THAT Rhonda can't send the Japanese government proof that I will be able to support myself for the year in Japan.

ffuuuuuuuuccckk.

Needless to say, I'm going up to MTSU on Monday and bashing some skulls. On top of all of that, I STILL can't access TK20 so I can't do anything about my assignment for SPED for now. The person in charge of the tk20 help thing retired, so I don't know who to email my questions to or who to get help from. This is all so irritating >_<.

Anyway...I should be working on my new blog's layout/theme, or at least studying Japanese, but instead I'm watching ebay and looking up stuff about BJDs.

I got the idea in my head a few days ago to get myself an original Gameboy and play Pokemon Red or Blue for nostalgia's sake, when, after doing a bunch of wiki-surfing and ebay shopping, I came to the even better conclusion of getting Pokemon Green and using the simple Japanese as a learning tool, while replaying the game I know and love. Because pokemon is formulaic and the storyline is fairly linear, it won't be much of a hassle to learn the Japanese associated with the familiar gameplay. I've also decided to still get either Pokemon red or blue and play around with the game's glitches and even see what happens when you use an action replay/game shark (devices I'd never use in a game I was seriously playing). I've also decided that instead of settling for the original grey brick, I'm going to hunt down this sucker:



YEAH, BOY! I'm currently looking for one of these on ebay because this is just damn cool! I didn't even know that they came in transparent, I always thought that they only ever came in the grey brick! I'm also considering getting one of these:



Yeah, who WOULDN'T want to be seen with one of these bad boys? With the Handy boy, I can not only HEAR and SEE the game I'm playing, I can PLAY BETTER with the joystick bigger buttons. WHAT A GREAT INVENTION!!!

lol, anyway, I'm in a bit of a tizzy when it comes to my BJD pursuits in Japan. I had planned on (and still think I will) getting an MSD from the FCS at Volks Tenshi no Sato and that was going to be the only doll I purchased while I was in Japan. Well, no thanks to Mr. Danny Choo at www.dannychoo.com/, I think I've realized the beauty in the Dollfie Dreams and I think I will plan on purchasing a DD at the Tenshi no Sumika in Fukuoka not long after I get there until I can get my beautiful girl from Tenshi no Sato. I don't really know why, but I seem to have gotten way more in to the anime aesthetic since I was younger (which typically works the other way around) and where I once found the DD's unrealistic and gross, I now find their proportions and the unique possibilities with their faces adorable.

Pair that with their relatively low price point, and I think I have a winner! I really don't want to have to do any face-ups while I'm in Japan, but I think I am going to just have to suck it up, re-buy some supplies, and bring the basics with my to Japan so that I can do my pretty lady's face-up as soon as I get her out of the store.

More to come later, I have too many tabs up to keep typing right now.
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(no subject)

May. 11th, 2010 | 10:12 pm
location: Nashville >_>
mood: bored bored
music: Versailles "The Revenant Choir"

Problem solved, I downgraded from that pesky plus account to a basic, especially since I don't use any of those features except for subscriptions, which wasn't much of a loss. Yay for no more Gatlinburg ads!

Anyway, taking a break from cleaning/reorganizing/laundry to plan out the next several months and getting ready to leave the country.

First things first, I still haven't heard whether or not I'm going to receive the Bridging or the Gilman scholarships and it would be mighty nice if I got one or both of those for my time abroad. I know I won't find out about the Gilman until June, but come on ATJ! When will I know!?

For the Gilman I need to do a follow up project with my community and submit evidence of the follow up to the Gilman folks or they'll hunt me down and kill me. I'm thinking that I'll contact MLK and see if they would be willing to let me talk to a group of students or for a brief amount of time during heritage day (no more than five minutes if then) and set up a table during lunch. Personally this sounds like a really great and fun idea, but pulling it off might take some real work. I hope that I can put together a pretty enough presentation to make it worth their while.

So the next steps in my process toward studying abroad will be getting a bunch of information from Seinan Gakuin, the Gilman, and the Association of Teachers of Japanese. The stuff from Seinan Gakuin will pretty much be pamphlets and brochures on housing and other stuff and hopefully the information from the Gilman and ATJ will be award letters. Josh and I will book our flights as soon as he's ready and in July we will head to Nashville to get our visas and register for classes. We will arrive in Fukuoka on or before August 20 to get into our dorm rooms and orientation will be on the 23rd.

Josh is talking about leaving for Japan a week early to go to Comiket, but I don't think that this is such a great idea with such limited funds and not having a chance to familiarize ourselves with anything before getting there. Maybe it's because I know that I'll have a chance to go to Winter Comiket or because the idea of going to Comiket doesn't appeal to me. I dunno. I'd really rather use be settled somewhere before venturing out and across Japan, you know?

I'm still going to create a separate wordpress account for the trip and subsequent trips and allow for a crossing over of posts to here, but not necessarily to there.

Some of my goals in Japan are (and yes, I've probably posted this several times over, but I don't care):
*new* Get pokemon black/white *new*
Get dressed up like a geisha
Buy a furisode set
Buy a BJD from Volks (Tenshi no Sato, if I can manage, otherwise, the Fukuoka Sumika will do)
LOLITA
*new* Go to J-rock concerts (Quaff, Versailles, Kaya, maybe Gackt? [Versailles has top priority]) *new*
*new* Get used to beer *new*
Go to a Takarazuka performance
*new* See new Macross Frontier Movie *new*
*new* Buy a "best of Yutaka Ozaki" CD *new*
*new* LEARN JAPANESE :) *new*

Yeah, yeah, I'm a dork. But I am an ambitious dork. An ambitious dork who wants to spend her life immersing herself in Japanese culture and maybe, eventually other world cultures.

But for now I am a dork cleaning up and trying to not look gross (my face is showing the effects of crazy stress and retarded sleep schedules and believe me, it is not pretty). What happened to all of that pretty and mostly flawless face of make-up I sported through all of MTAC?

Le sigh, back to peasantry...
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(no subject)

May. 11th, 2010 | 10:22 am
mood: annoyed annoyed

OK, so here I was getting ready to post a nice wrap-up blog about MTAC and my school year and livejournal decides to slow me down with several ads, one of which (the Gatlinburg ad) is making me want to toss my cookies and throw my computer. I am sick of the freaking ads. I was never really bothered by the banners and the "click here" things, but when it starts to get really pervasive and in the way, like accidentally scrolling over an ad and it taking up half of your screen, or the mini commercials that they make you watch before you can actually type anything (normally you can exit out of them, but today, there was no exit button, so I had to sit there and watch the video while seething and thinking about how mad it makes me).

It sickens and upsets me, I've been an avid livejournal user for five years now and I hate the fact that I either use the way less powerful free version, this sucky ad-riddled version, or pay-up and get a premium account.

Livejournal, you suck.

That said, I'm not abandoning you, yet. I haven't decided which way I am going to go with this account, but I do know that I am not dealing with livejournal for my Japan account. As soon as I've found an acceptable, professional alternative, I'm setting up my blog for Japan and female geekdom. I want it to be professional and have it's own website thinger and everything because I want it to be a resource for female foreigners in Japan as well as something I can use time and time again as I make future trips to the country, or to other countries.

If anyone has any suggestions for any of the above, please let me know. I'm going to let my infinitely more tech-savvy boyfriend give me some help with this when I get back to the M'boro.

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