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  • Listening to: Within Temptation
  • Reading: Once Piece manga
  • Watching: Tansformers Animated
  • Playing: Battle for Middle Earth II
  • Eating: Tapioca pudding
  • Drinking: Powerade
Man, I've been gone a while.  No new art, no comics, uggghh.  Well, I'll explain what's been going on in a sec.  I wanna have some fun with a journal meme my twin sis :iconmystryl-shada: did.  How to play:
1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, ETC on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Put this on your journal.

Sound good?  OK, ready...set...GO!

1. If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say?
"Somebody's Watching Me"
[It is NOT OK! They are WATCHING!  (o_O)]

2. How would you describe yourself?
"My United States of Whatever"---Liam Lynch
[Apparently I'm apathetically patriotic.]

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
"Back Here"---BBMak
[Wait, I'm not that bad, I--HEY COME BACK!]

4. How do you feel today?
"Rock Steady"---Kool and the Gang
[Wow, that's fitting in theory but far from the truth.  I'm actually quite stressed out about my whole job and housing situation right now.  I guess this is good advice.]

5. What is your life's purpose?
"Get Another Boyfriend"---Backstreet Boys
[Yeah right.  I need to get a FIRST one before I get ANOTHER one.]

6. What is your motto?
"I Wonder as I Wander"---Kim Robertson (Celtic Christmas CD)
[*dies laughing* Wow, that's good.  Yeah, I have some random stuff on my iPod that just kinda took root there.]

7. What do your friends think of you?
"The Answer to Our Life"---Backstreet Boys
[Now that's sweet.  I hope so.  They're actually MY answer, really.  ^_^]

8. What do you think of your parents?
"Once Upon a December"--Deana Carter (Anastasia soundtrack)
[I guess I'm looking forward to the Holiday visit.  Well, I AM working on something for them...]

9. What do you think about very often?
"What a Feeling"---Laura Branigan
[Which one?  I moodswing.]

10. What is 2 + 2?
"Breath"---Breaking Benjamin
[If you know the lyrics, you'll know that math is the death of me.  ^_^]

11. What do you think of your best friend?
"Ghost of You and Me"---BBMak
[I'm thinking we're...dead?]

12. What do you think of the person you like?
"Everything You Do"---M2M
[Everything this person does is great!  But who do I like?]

13. What is your life story?
"I Never Had a Dream Come True"---SClub7
[Excuse me, I'm going to go cry--right after I'm done laughing.]

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?
"Further Away"---Evanescence
[GET AWAY FROM ME!  I'm gonna be a HERMIT!]

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
"Testify to Love"---Jericho Road
[Wow, that would be romantic if I DID romance and if I actually LIKED somebody!]

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot"---Pat Benetar
[Is this a dance or a fight?]

17. What will they play at your funeral?
"Save Me"---Shinedown
[A little LATE for that!]

18. What is your hobby/interest?
"Spinning Around"---Jump 5
[My hobby is getting dizzy!]

19. What is your biggest fear?
"Haunted"---Evanescence
[LOL!!!!  Ghosts, apparently.]

20. What is your biggest secret?
"It's All Coming Back to Me"---Celine Dion
[It seems I forgot but if you hang around for a moment, I'll have it.]

21. What do you think of your friends?
"Forgotten"---Linkin Park
[What friends?  What's my name again?  Why couldn't this come BEFORE that last question?!?]

22. What will you post this as?
"Whispers in the Dark"---Skillet
[Bwahahahahaha!]

OK, enough nonsense.  This is what I posted on my comic site to explain my long hiatus:

Graduation: This was a huge mess that spanned months and was a real hassle. I had to visit a psychologist to prove why I couldn’t handle taking foreign language classes. What I learned taught me a lot about myself and why I have some of the problems that I do (many that affect my efforts with my comic, too). I learned that I have a math disorder that disrupts my ability to estimate time effectively (yeah that happens with this comic a lot). I also have both a reading AND a writing disorder, which explains my spelling errors. The doctor thought that was ironic, considering how I’m an English major. She also thought it was weird that I only had an average memory but my vocabulary was better than 99% of tested people in my age and education bracket. I also have an auditory discriminatory disorder, which explains why I have such a hard time understating people sometimes when they talk to me, hearing on the phone, or hearing dialogue from the TV. In addition, I also process information much slower than the average person, which slows down everything I do. In spite of all this, I still have a very high IQ! ^_^ If it weren’t for these brain anchors, I’d be at genius level. I’m satisfied with being on the superior level, though, so I’m not too bummed. I’m just jazzed that I’m smarter than I thought I was. All this was certainly enough to deal with the whole foreign language problem, and as of August 2007, I am a proud graduate of the University of Washington! ^_^

Moving: I moved to Utah this summer. This was a BIG DEAL. I had to clean and pack for weeks. I haven’t moved since I was five or something. Now I’m getting ready to move again, but it’s just a short ways away so it’s not as big of a deal. That first move was a NIGHTMARE. >_<

Injury: I injured my neck back in the end of August. BADLY. The fourth vertebrae is still out of joint. I was in serious pain for a few months and since then I have occasional bouts of pain that make me want to lie down and not move. This is a serious setback for an artist since working on my strip or other art aggravates the injury. I have no idea when I’ll get better.

Employment: I HAVE A JOB! I got it back in September. I do data entry. No, this does not help my neck any. >_< It’s not up my education level but it’s just temporary so I can build a resume.

Miscellaneous reasons of questionable importance: There’s been other stuff too and I’d be lying if I tried to pretend that all my hiatus reasons were good ones. I did do a bit of goofing off, such as getting involved with insanely long shows (Babylon 5 DVDs and the fansubbed Once Piece anime) that I just couldn’t stop watching. My bad.

On the up side, I now have the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection!  I have a whole STUDIO on my computer!  And my new computer rocks, by the way.  We've named it Dark Knight 'cuz it looks like the Batmobile.  ^_^



My twin sis! :iconmystryl-shada:  And her friend (and mine by proxy): :iconpurplerebecca:  And another friend :iconsharmclucas:

Clubs:
:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone: :icondannyphantom: :iconbutchhartmanfanclub: :iconvvh-club: :iconthestockwarehouse: :iconhogwartsart: :iconavatar-tla: :iconnintendo-fc: :iconscifi-fans: :iconelves: :iconavatar-fan: :iconknd-fanclub: :iconunicorn-club: :icondanny-vs-vlad: :icondanfansquad: :iconteentitans: :icongoldensun-club: :iconmedievalcommunity: :iconirohs-tea-time: :iconmarchenawakensromanc: :iconshaman-king-lovers: :iconhmcc: :iconzelda-manga-club: :icondragon-club:
Plus more pending...

Anybody know any good clubs (if there are any) for:
-Dragons (found a couple, waiting to be admitted)
-Mythical creatures (in general or any in specific)
-Mythology (Greek, Norse, etc.)
-Slayers (the anime/manga/novel series)
-Animation in general
-Fantasy writers (or the genre as a whole)
-Swords
-Webcomics and/or cartoonists
-Ghostbusters
-Mormon/Christian Deviants
-Marchen Awakens Romance (MAR)
-Lord of the Rings
-Shakespeare
-Sherlock Holmes
-Graphic arts/design
-Abstract photography
  • Listening to: Nothing. iPod battery ran out.
  • Reading: FMA manga scans online
  • Watching: the clock
  • Playing: MarioKart DS
  • Eating: Easter candy
  • Drinking: Good 'ol H2O again
O.K., I'm trying to recover from a severe case of Bronchitis :sick: and a series of relapses that made me miss much of the first two weeks of the school quarter (I'm on day #21 of this illness and while I'm doing much better, I haven't fully recovered yet).  Before that, I had a seriously stressful time involving a crisis with my eligibility for graduation this spring (which has still not been settled).  So basically, the month of March was the worst month of my life (see, this is what happens when you not only forget to wear green on St. Patrick's day:shamrock:, but you forget the holiday entirely) and April doesn't look too promising either.

Check this out.  I'm still keeping an early bedtime so I can recover, and last night I hear a loud CRASH outside at a little after 11:00.  I thought it was somebody messing with the dumpster in the nearby school.  It happens a lot.  Frankly, I don't see the attraction in playing with a trash receptacle, but whatever.  I guess some people like trash (just turn on the TV and you'll see just how much demand there is for trash these days).  My hypothesis seemed to be incorrect, however, since the following sound of squealing tires definitely came from the street in FRONT of our house and not the school parking lot behind us.  My mom was the first one to look out; I heard her gasp and call for my brother and say that his car got hit.  :omfg:

Alright, there is NO CHANCE in this vast, limitless, void we call a universe that is full of what the History Channel insists are ill-intentioned chunks of rock and iron waiting to pummel our tiny little planet (yeah, I over-dosed on that channel the other day), that I was going to stay in bed after hearing this.  Outside, members of my family and that of several neighboring families slowly collected at the scene like zombies freshly risen from the grave :zombie: only to forget what zombies are supposed to do next.  This is what I understand happened, and I think you'll agree with me that no sane, un-drugged, or sober person would drive like this:

The setting: the street is shaped like an upside-down "T".  The main road is partially intersected perpendicularly with a short street ending in a cul-de-sac.  My family's house is located on the main road, right across from and facing the cul-de-sac street.
What happened: this maniac lady barreled down the main road, whipped into the cul-de-sac street, and plowed into the front of a van that belonged to one of our neighbors.  She backed up, turned around, and (judging from the carnage) floored the sucker, took out the aforementioned neighbor's mailbox, and crushed the front of my brother's car.  She backed up again, gunned the engine AGAIN, and rammed my family's car, knocking it into Dad's truck. :shakefist: She reversed one final time, and took off over the hill, only to stop a few houses down.  When my brother and my dad started running up to her, she called out something about needing to pick up her son, and took off again, essentially leaving the scene of what can now be legitimately called a crime. :ohmygod: Of course, she never came back.  Dad tried to follow her with the family car (which could still drive, unlike the other two vehicles she hit), but came back shortly after the police arrived without any luck.  We did get her plate number, though.  Someone we spoke to said she looked like she was displaying the signs of a meth addict.

Now, this event is so loaded with irony, you'd think somebody wrote the scene for a bad sit-com.  Parked at our house are four vehicles: the family van, which is older than dirt and prone to more problems than Michael Jackson at a scout camp; Dad's truck, which isn't too old yet but has also been having problems lately; and the family car and my brother car, both of which are newly bought from a good used-car dealership.  Figures, it's the new, operating-just-fine cars that get hit hard, my brother's car most likely totaled.  Dad's truck was just scratched and the van, the ONLY vehicle we have that's almost totaled itself anyway, is unscathed.  Yeah, laugh it up, irony gods.  Oh, and just a few yards down the street from my brother's car is a car one of our neighbors said is perfectly fine to hit, since he's looking to trash it anyways.  Did it get hit?  Nooooo.  And now another irony; my bro took the collision insurance off his car because he couldn't afford that and college.  Need more irony?  Try this: both of our cars that got hit (the new-used ones) have been in accidents before we got them and were declared to be totaled, but got fixed up anyway.  Then they go and get hit at the same time.  Not enough irony?  Have some more: my bro usually hangs out at his friends' houses until the wee hours of the morning, but on this ONE DAY he decided to come home early to finish his homework.  And his car gets hit.  The other half of this irony is that if his car wasn't there, this crazy lady would have driven onto our lawn and right into either our living room or my brothers' bedroom, where my youngest brother was sleeping.  Considering that, the car is the much better option.

God protects us.  I know it.  I've seen too much evidence of this to be able to deny it.  He may not always stop bad things from happening, since that's how we grow, but he protect us and will help us deal with the challenges we face when things do go awry.

Aiee, my nerves are on edge.  I had some funny stuff to say on this, but I'm just not in that groove at the moment.

My twin sis! :iconmystryl-shada:  And her friend (and mine by proxy): :iconpurplerebecca:

Clubs:
:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone: :icondannyphantom: :iconbutchhartmanfanclub: :iconvvh-club: :iconthestockwarehouse: :iconhogwartsart: :iconavatar-tla: :iconnintendo-fc: :iconscifi-fans: :iconelves: :iconavatar-fan: :iconknd-fanclub: :iconunicorn-club: :icondanny-vs-vlad: :icondanfansquad: :iconteentitans: :icongoldensun-club: :iconmedievalcommunity: :iconirohs-tea-time: :iconmarchenawakensromanc: :iconshaman-king-lovers: :iconhmcc: :iconzelda-manga-club: :icondragon-club:
Plus more pending...

Anybody know any good clubs (if there are any) for:
-Dragons (found a couple, waiting to be admitted)
-Mythical creatures (in general or any in specific)
-Mythology (Greek, Norse, etc.)
-Slayers (the anime/manga/novel series)
-Animation in general
-Fantasy writers (or the genre as a whole)
-Swords
-Webcomics and/or cartoonists
-Ghostbusters
-Mormon/Christian Deviants
-Marchen Awakens Romance (MAR)
-Lord of the Rings
-Shakespeare
-Sherlock Holmes
-Graphic arts/design
-Abstract photography
  • Listening to: &quot;Neverending Story&quot; soundtrack
  • Reading: &quot;Reinventing Comics&quot; by Scott McCloud
  • Watching: MAR Heaven (anime)
  • Playing: MarioKart DS
  • Eating: Junk food
  • Drinking: Italian club sodas
OK, I think it's high time I did a new journal entry, don't you?  Yeah, I thought so.  I'll make this a basic report. :blahblah:

I've picked up new and addictive hobby: crochet.  It's like knitting, only with a hook.  Stop laughing!  I'm serious!  This hobby is addictive!  Look, see - -*zip!*- - I have a half-made scarf in by school backpack.  I can't even leave the stuff at home anymore.  Of course, I want to finish this sucker before the cold weather leaves,:snowing: but that's not the point.  This is a fun thing to do when watching a movie or something.  Hey, where are you going?  OK, I know it sounds lame, but it's actually a lot of fun.  Really.  Yes, really.  I told you to stop laughing!  I started this hobby back in 2002, but I only really made, like, one small thing a year.  This past December, I finally sat down and really got into it.  I made three pairs of washcloths plus a potholder as gifts.  Now that I've memorized the washcloth pattern, I've been making them nonstop just to see what they look like with different color combinations.  I also bought some REALLY soft yarn to make a scarf, which I'm currently working on.  You've completely tuned me out by now, haven't you? :shakefist: Fine.  Be that way.  I'll talk about something else and my yarn and I will have fun later all by ourselves.  And the TV.  I like to watch stuff while I work.  You're not invited.

Last November I bought a Nintendo DS Lite (I'm a big fan of hand-held gaming)! :excited: I was going to make a journal entry titled, "Let There Be LITE!" (clever, huh?  Just smile, nod, and pretend you agree), but I'm both busy and lazy.  With some money I got for Christmas, I totally snazzed it up. :toocool: Now my black DS Lite has white handgrips (it needed 'em; the darn thing is too small to hold without cramping my hands), a magnetic stylus with a magnetic stylus holder built into the grip, a nice black lanyard, and cool lightning sticker skins (so the front, back, and top screen area have hot, white/electric blue streaks of lightning slashing across a black background).  I also have a bunch of games for it, but since I don't have a WiFi connection, it's pointless to go giving out my friend codes.  What a bummer - - I would really like to play somebody intelligent in MarioKart DS.

I WANT A WII SO BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

As for school this quarter, I have two classes: Studies in Film and Intermediate Poetry.  The poetry class is alright; I'm learning stuff.  I really should post some of my poems and short stories in DA.  I'm enjoying the Film class (which is an English class, believe it or not) since it's taught by the same teacher I had for my Senior Seminar on Adaptation Theory and she's really cool.  The theme of the course is "Humans and Technology". :jedi: We're watching a lot of movies,:teevee: some of which are "R" rated and since I never watch "R" rated films unless I'm forced to for school, I'll be looking away from the screen during scenes of gore, sex, or nudity and plugging my ears when needed. :bleh: Luckily, my mind can filter out light swearing, so that won't be as much of a bother unless it gets really thick.  We watched a lot of silent films, such as "Sherlock Jr.", "The General", "Man With A Movie Camera", "Metropolis", and "Modern Times" (which is a mostly silent Charlie Chaplain film with a few bits of sound dialogue).  Recently, we watched "Dr. Strangelove" and "Brazil".  I had to watch "Brazil" years ago for a class, and it is the strangest thing I've EVER seen.  Other movies we'll watch are: "Blade Runner", "eXistenZ", "Ghost in the Shell", "Terminator", "Terminator 2", and "The Matrix". :matrixfight: If anybody out there has seen "Blade Runner", "eXistenZ", or "Ghost in the Shell", let me know if there's anything a sensitive PG-rated person like me should know about so I can look away or something.  I'm aware of what I need to watch out for in the other movies, since I've seen edited/TV versions and have been told what was cut out.  Aside from the unpleasant content of some of the movies, this has been a very fun class so far.

'Till next time, audios!

My twin sis! :iconmystryl-shada:  And her friend (and mine by proxy): :iconpurplerebecca:

Clubs:
:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone: :icondannyphantom: :iconbutchhartmanfanclub: :iconvvh-club: :iconthestockwarehouse: :iconhogwartsart: :iconavatar-tla: :iconnintendo-fc: :iconscifi-fans: :iconelves: :iconavatar-fan: :iconknd-fanclub: :iconunicorn-club: :icondanny-vs-vlad: :icondanfansquad: :iconteentitans: :icongoldensun-club: :iconmedievalcommunity: :iconirohs-tea-time: :iconmarchenawakensromanc: :iconshaman-king-lovers: :iconhmcc: :iconzelda-manga-club: :icondragon-club:
Plus more pending...

Anybody know any good clubs (if there are any) for:
-Dragons (found a couple, waiting to be admitted)
-Mythical creatures (in general or any in specific)
-Mythology (Greek, Norse, etc.)
-Slayers (the anime/manga/novel series)
-Animation in general
-Fantasy writers (or the genre as a whole)
-Swords
-Webcomics and/or cartoonists
-Ghostbusters
-Mormon/Christian Deviants
-Marchen Awakens Romance (MAR)
-Lord of the Rings
-Shakespeare
-Sherlock Holmes
-Graphic arts/design
-Abstract photography
  • Listening to: Roxette
  • Reading: &quot;Creating Comics&quot; by Scott McCloud
  • Watching: Something irrelevant
  • Playing: Tales of Phantasia GBA
  • Eating: Candy! Duh, what else?
  • Drinking: WHY does it matter? Who wrote this, anyway?
Blogger, GO! *throws Pokeball* :pokeball: Halloween Blog Attack! :pumpkin:

If you looked at the stores, you'd think this holiday to be alive and well.  If you looked at my street last night, you wouldn't even know it was Halloween.  Like, where the heck IS everyone?  We had maybe almost ten trick-or-treating groups (by groups I mean a family or a small pack of friends) come by our house:house:, and we were giving out full-size candy bars and other stuff.  Over half the trick-or-treaters were in high school.  Sure it was cold outside, but the number of trick-or-treaters has been dwindling the past few years anyway (while the average age seems to be rising).

My second little brother, who's a freshman in high school, went as Calvin from the comic "Calvin and Hobbes".  He bought a stuffed tiger, wore black pants and a back striped red shirt, and spiked his hair and sprayed it all yellow.  My brother is addicted to the funnies and "Calvin and Hobbes" is one of his favorites.  He came home with a HUGE bag of candy that my Dad raided before my brother had the time to finish yelling, "Dad, back OFF!"  My brother has a thing about taking mental inventory of his loot before sharing it.  He's very good about sharing, though to his credit he's had little choice with four older siblings and a father who wants his peanut M&Ms. :drool:

My brother told us about one house in particular where this old guy had a gi-hugic bowl of mini Tootsie Rolls, and told the kids to take only one. :O_o: There's like, maybe twenty trick-or-treaters out tops, this guy has a bowl containing a bajillion mini-Tootsies, and he tells the kids to take ONE. :sarcasticclap: Scrooge, thou hast moved to Halloween.  A bad idea, since the Ghosts of Halloween Past, Present, and Future are more likely to eat your head than help you redeem your soul, given the nature of this holiday. :skull:

As for me, I went to school yesterday in my medieval dress I made several years ago for a Lord of the Rings themed Halloween party where I went as Galadriel under the influence of the One Ring (BWAHAHAHA:mwahaha:).  I didn't have the wig or Ring and I couldn't bring my sword, Celebril (which means "Silver Brilliance in Tolkein's Sindarian Elvish language), to school, so I just went as some random Celtic person.  I only saw one other costume at school; a classmate who dressed up as Alice from Disney's "Alice In Wonderland" (though she said she saw a few more costumed students about campus).  Ironically, both our outfits are hand-made.

Well, that's my Halloween!  I hope you all enjoyed yours!  Have a party gorging on candy!  :pacman:

Clubs:
:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone: :icondannyphantom: :iconbutchhartmanfanclub: :iconvvh-club: :iconthestockwarehouse: :iconhogwartsart: :iconavatar-tla: :iconnintendo-fc: :iconscifi-fans: :iconelves: :iconavatar-fan: :iconknd-fanclub: :iconunicorn-club: :icondanny-vs-vlad: :icondanfansquad: :iconteentitans: :icongoldensun-club: :iconmedievalcommunity: :iconirohs-tea-time: :iconmarchenawakensromanc: :iconshaman-king-lovers:
Plus more pending...

Anybody know any good clubs (if there are any) for:
-Dragons
-Mythical creatures (in general or any in specific)
-Mythology (Greek, Norse, etc.)
-Slayers (the anime/manga/novel series)
-Animation in general
-Fantasy writers (or the genre as a whole)
-Swords
-Webcomics and/or cartoonists
-Ghostbusters
-Mormon/Christian Deviants
-Marchen Awakens Romance (MAR)
-Lord of the Rings
-Shakespeare
-Sherlock Holmes
-Graphic arts/design
-Abstract photography
  • Listening to: October 2006 LDS General Conference
  • Reading: Homework (Vathek by William Beckford)
  • Watching: My life pass before my eyes
  • Playing: The Let's Delay on Homework game
  • Eating: Nothing. I've decided to starve today.
  • Drinking: Good 'ol H2O! *slurp, smack* Ahhhh!
*WARNING: LARGE BLOG DUMP*

Here's a list of things that happened over the summer.  Perhaps you can spot some good reasons why I haven't put up much art during these last few months.  Among them, Ill include a couple rants:

Rant 1:  The Curse of the Technology Vampire

You see before you the typed-out words of the technologically accursed.  Virtually everything electronic I touch breaks down either immediately after purchase or just after the warranty expires.  I went through numerous tape players and one CD player (not including my little sister's, which really did break down immediately after I touched it) before I advanced to the systematic but unintentional destruction of MP3 players.  An RCA Lyra managed to last a couple years before the only freaking moving parts on it (the joystick menu control and the volume control) broke down.  I then bought an iPod Nano the day they first came out.  That one went back to the store within a week.  Apparently, since I've managed to outsmart the whole "moving parts" problem inherent in everything else I spread my curse to (such as electric fans, fish tank pumps, and K-Nex motors), fate decided to add digital glitches to my affliction.  Must've happened a while ago, given how many computers break down once I've used them for a while (all my favorite comps at the school computer lab are constantly plagued by out-of-order signs).  As for my current iPod, it started glitching and then stopped when I began taking steps to send it in for repair.  Now, I'm not exaggerating on this one.  The VERY DAY the warranty expired, the problems started up again.  *crashes to floor*  Oh, and let's not discuss how many pairs of ear-bud headphones I've been through.  I usually have to buy several every year.

Now to get to the point I've been leading up to.  Just after Spring Quarter, my @$!@#! tablet broke. Something wrong with the cord, it seems (at our house, we call it "corditis"). Of course, the warranty expired a couple months before the problems began.  It's been on the fritz during spring (contributed to the lateness of some strips, but just a little) and then decided to just up and DIE. Well, it can throw itself off a bridge for all I care, because I bought a new last week! It's silver and has two programmable buttons and...wait for it...a scroll wheel! Wheee! And the clear cover is SO much easier to take off so it's not nearly as much of a hassle to customize the background photo. Since my comic strip had evolved into something that I really needed the tablet for, I was rather helpless without it. I could've used the mouse, but it'd have been sloppy and would have taken twice as long.  I need the tablet for my art too, so that was also out of the picture.

Next item on the agenda is our thrice-cursed computer. If you've been following my comments on my website for a while, you might have an idea just how unreliable our family comp is. After fighting it all summer I still can't run Photoshop effectively (once a file reaches a certain size in graphics, the comp's reaction slows considerably despite the good quality graphics card we have on the thing and the should-be-suitable amount of memory). I'd really like to swear this isn't my fault, but for all I know, I could be sucking the effectiveness from this piece of junk just by living near it.  Once I get my check from Financial Aid, I'm SOOOO getting that laptop I've been looking for. I have to keep putting it off for various reasons, but it's getting closer. I can feel it.  But please don't break down...

Rant 2:  I'm worried about my Mommy!

On a more serious note, another problem this summer brought on would be with my dear mother. She badly ruptured three disks a few months ago (OUCH!), just below her neck, and lost a lot of strength and feeling in her right arm. I've had to help out around the house more than ever before since she hasn't been up the job (not for the lack of trying; this woman just can NOT sit and do nothing). She's doing better, the pain has subsided somewhat at least, but she hasn't improved as much as the doctor would like and he's concerned her arm will atrophy permanently if she can't get her strength back. She's had two injections to help stop the inflammation, but it's not doing the trick. The doctor is now recommending surgery.  He just told Mom this a couple days ago.  Mom's putting on a brave face but Dad says she's scared.  I really hope she gets better.  If she does end up going in for surgery, I hope she recovers alright.  So, if you don't mind, I'd like to ask you all to keep Mom in your prayers, OK?

Rant 3:  Will Somebody Just HIRE Me Already!?

Job hunting. Again. As usual. Every summer. With the same result: NOTHING. Oh! But there's one good thing! I was actually called in for an interview! Nobody's even given me that much of a chance before! It was for GameCrazy, but they hired someone else before the big boss had time to go over the recent applicants. -_- A totally awesome job and I missed it.. I don't think people like my resume because I haven't held a job since 2001 due to my inability to work and go to school at the same time, but I can't GET any more work experience if nobody hires me! I may have a chance this quarter, though, with my school's workstudy program (now that I'm finally eligible). I've tweaked my schedule so that I only have two days of classes, so I hope to be able to work part-time and still have time for study and the webcomic. Assuming, of course, I get a job.

Rave 1:  Vacation Time!

Vacations! Yeah, I went on a few.  Just the usual trips for my family. One was to the ocean where we flew our kites (my family is getting really into kites and growing dahlias). I tried out my new "Alpha +" delta stunt kite that Mom and Dad gave me for my birthday and it just about dragged me down the beach. That thing's big! We enjoyed the hot-tub at the chalet we rented, went for walks on the beach, and watched a lot of cars, trucks, and a monster RV get stuck in the sand during high tide. Here's some advice: never drive a vehicle the size of a small house onto loose sand unless it's a monster truck, a CAT, or some kind of tank.

We also took my twin sister back down to her school, so that took up a week too.  I got to see her new apartment and meet all her cool roommates.  We tried to visit the Mt. Timpanogas (sp?) Caves, but the tours were all sold out.  That BIT.  So instead we visited this hunting gear store (was it Cabella's?  Carbella's?  The name is foggy) and looked at their museum of real live...er, ex-live stuffed animals.  Man, this world has some wild and crazy critters in it.  My twin sis and I beat each other over the head with stuffed fish (toys this time, not real ones) and I bought some keychains to add to my keychain collection.  We hung out mostly at my Dad's parents' place, and they're really awesome people.  I also spent the day at the home of one of my sis's friends and had a real blast.

Oh yeah, did I mention that our van started overheating during this trip?  I SWEAR it's not my fault!

Rave 2:  Do the Puyallup and Other Fairs!

In addition to vacations, we attended several fairs. The first one was the Scottish Highland Games, which as SO incredibly awesome. It felt good to get in touch with the Scottish part of my heritage (I come from at least four clans!). I bought some cool stuff, including a cool dagger and a sword-shaped pin with the MacMillan clan's crest on it.  We also heard an army of bagpipe bands perform.  I love the sound of bagpipes and the performance was awesome...but listening to them all warm up and practice AT ONCE has to be one of the greatest audio nightmares ever.  I still loved it, though.

I also went to the Puyallup Fair (the official Western Washington fair and the biggest fair in the nation) a few days over the course of a couple weeks with my family to show off our dahlias in the Novice category. We did awesome, and even took "best in show for single bloom flower" in the second and harder round (and with a mysterious magenta ball flower that we question the origin of). After next year, we'll be able to move up to the Amateur category.

Rave 3:  I Dream of Dahlias

Speaking of dahlias, here's a quick explanation.  My mom likes dahlias.  Therefore, more than a few years ago, Dad bought a few tubers from Costco.  They grew, they were pretty, and we enjoyed them.  Then Mom and Dad started looking at dahlia farms.  The rest is history.  I swear, growing dahlias has to be right behind drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes in the list of the most addictive activities.  We've converted two sides of our backyard into dahlia gardens armed with well over a dozen varieties with plans on buying even more next year.  They're taking over our backyard!  Well, so is the giant pumpkin plant, but that thing isn't staying in its' bed and prefers to covet all areas where people are guaranteed to trip over it.  I was just about to accuse the flowers of being the alien invaders, but I think the pumpkin is more malicious on a second thought.  Anyway, we have so many flowers my littlest brother started selling bouquets and has made a killing.  Meanwhile, the rest of us bring flowers to just about everyone wherever we go.  To church, to work, to school, to visit friends...we've given them to family, friends, church leaders, Dad's boss and coworkers, teachers, and my mom even gave a bouquet to this nice man who works in a neighborhood Bartell's.  These things will NOT stop blooming.  They're like the flower equivalent of zucchini.  Dad says they'll stop after a couple frosts, though, and then next spring we can work on splitting a million mutated tubers apart and have enough tubers to redraw the state boundary lines in this country with flowers.  Or so it seems.

OK, so that's it for my Blog of Boring Doom.  Hope you weren't too bored reading it.

My twin sis: :iconmystryl-shada:

The clubs I have joined:

:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone: :icondannyphantom: :iconbutchhartmanfanclub: :iconvvh-club:
OK, I think it's time for a new journal entry.  I'm not doing to well in that department, huh?

Anyway, my twin, mystryl-shada (:iconmystryl-shada: ), is back home for the summer.  That's always cool.  It also means I'm more distracted than a toddler in a toy store.

Man, what the heck am I supposed to talk about?  I'm a rather poor blogger, huh?  Hmmm...well, let's hit last quarter:

I had two classes for Spring Quarter.  One was American Literature: Late 1900s. :bookdiva: Sound like a drag?  Well, you're talking to an English student here!  (actually, I'm the one talking...or rather, typing...but...oh, forget it)  I happen to LIKE boring literature!  And (with the exception of Mark Twain) the literature we read for class was boring!  Very boring!

Very...very...very...boring...zzzzzzzzzzzz... :sleep:

Puh.  OK, so that wasn't quite my favorite class ever.  I still managed to pull through with a 3.7 grade, which was a miracle wrought by my incredible ability to bluff my way through essay tests.  I can easily sound like I know a lot more about something than I really do.  Well, in many cases, at least.  Plus, I'm really good at writing essays, so both skills lead up to good grades when I didn't actually do all the reading.  This is a big help for me, since my learning disability (ADHD) severely increases the time I need to read something. :reading: I'm very slow with most reading assignments, and the ability to get by in class with only a partial amount of assigned reading under my belt is practically essential.  My two biggest tricks are: pay CLOSE attention during class discussions: themes are often discussed there that can be useful on the tests.  And take notes, too!  Notes, heh heh, goooood notes..Igor fetch goooood notes--*cough* ahem.  The other one is the miracle of online book reviews and analysis.  GradeSaver.com is a good one, as is BookRags (though BookRags only offers some reviews for free, the rest are subscription only).  Most of these sites are restricted for subscribers, but these two have proven helpful from time to time.

So anyway, I got through that class and actually learned a few things--the most helpful of which is that much of non-fiction American literature just isn't my thing.  I've never really jumped for non-fiction anyway.  I'm more of a sci-fi/fantasy/mystery buff myself.  I like non-fiction in the form of National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, and other geeky report articles.

Speaking of which, there was this totally awesome article in National Geo last month about earthquakes and *blah blah blah blah...* :blahblah:

Now, my other class is where it's at! :excited: I took my Senior Seminar class last quarter.  In my school, the English dept. requires all graduating seniors (I'm not graduating yet, I still have a few more classes to take) to take this class.  The class is basically intended to be a method of putting our academic knowledge and experiences to use.  It's kind of like writing a graduate thesis, only a lot lower-scale.  The idea is that a student keeps his/her eye out for a seminar class with a topic that fits in with the student's interests and/or intended area of lifetime study.  The class I took was on adaptation theory.  We discussed the critical theories involved with adapting a source text (which could be a book, movie, or what-have-you) into a new form of medium (such as book-to-movie, movie-to-song, etc.).  I had a BLAST.  What a fun class!  What grabbed my attention in the course description was that we would be covering Hamlet, Frankenstein, and :jedi: STAR WARS! :w00t: Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play (I'm a Shakespeare fan), so I was really excited to cover that.  I've never read Frankenstein but I always wanted to, so that was a great opportunity (just FYI, Marry Shelley wrote two different widely published versions of the story.  The most recent one is the most popular, but the original version is what we read because it's the closest to Shelley's original, unaltered, idea).  As for Star Wars, well, no words can really describe how much of a fanatic I am about that franchise. :dance: STAR WARS! :boogie: We also covered the comic book/movie/song of Ghost World, but I convinced the teacher to allow me to do my assignment on the "lovable" antihero (snicker), Batman, instead. :batman: (If Bruce Wayne angsts and broods any more people are gonna start thinking he's maybe...I dunno...a little BITTER about something?)  Ghost World was choking with profanity and sexual banter and it literally made me feel sick.  I can't stomach that sort of thing.  So I read the comic book "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" and watched "Batman Begins".  That was fun.  Yeah, I'll take mild, creepy, senseless violence and over-drawn aging guys in silly costumes over the alternative (I do like Batman; I'm just being silly here, so don't you Batman fans get in a tizzy). :matrixfight:

I can go on and on, but I'll save the rest for later (if I get around to it).  I will add one final note.  Our final project involved either a critical or creative approach to any adaptation.  I chose a critical approach to two adaptations of Nintendo's video game, "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time".  We were supposed to make a web site to host our projects, and you can find mine here: students.washington.edu/jedi7a… .  I hope it works OK; I've been having trouble. ^^; There are supposed to be green images and pics in the background of some of the pages, but I don't see them right now.  Man, I thought Dreamweaver was supposed to make page-building EASIER, not more complicated. :shakefist:

This quarter really sucked me dry, time-wise. :work: I've been very erratic with my webcomic.  Now that summer has started, things'll just get even crazier.  And computer problems sure don't help... :crash:  Sure feels good to be out of school for a while, though. :phew: I can finally start to unwind.

Anhooo, that's all for now!

Oh yeah.  My clubs: hhb-bookmaster.deviantart.com/…
OK, it's about time I posted a new journal.  The month of February has been so busy, I haven't been able to.  Anyway, let's go down the list of events, shall we?

THE SUPERBOWL:
You might've noticed that I was really worked up about this game last month.  If you watched it, perhaps you noticed how TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY BIASED the stupid media was.  They interviewed JUST our quarterback for a couple minutes but interviewed what seemed like half the Steelers team and spent easily twice as long on each of them than they did on our guy.  They also took every opportunity to ridicule the Seahawk players and praise the Steelers during the game.  And why were the Steelers made the favorite to win when Seahawks played a MUCH better year?  I thought this country likes the underdogs.  Even the referees were against us.  All of Seattle seemed to be in an uproar about it.  My dad even pointed out one instance where the ref called our quarterback for illegal blocking when he was trying to TACKLE.  In short, the whole thing was extremely in-your-face unfair.

Now I'm not blaming our loss on that, though I will say it was a factor.  Of all times to do so, our team really tripped up.  We had great plays but players cursed with butterfingers.  -_-  Perhaps our team was rattled by all the disrespect they were getting for those weeks leading up to the game, but that shouldn't have been too bad because the media and co. have disrespected the team ALL YEAR.  Oh well.  I'm not bitter about loosing; I really don't mind that part.  It's a game and while it's nice to win, that's not everything.  I'm just bitter that we couldn't prove all those jerks WRONG.  The injustice of it really bites.  All in all, this is going down as possibly the most controversial Superbowl EVER thanks to the crummy refereeing.

Anyway, the important thing is: WE MADE IT TO THE SUPERBOWL!!!!  It's never happened before and that is something worth celebrating.  ^_^  I still see Seahawk stuff in stores (including a T-shirt that gave the a nice sum-up score of the game:  Seahawks 10, Referees 21) and a lot of people still supporting the 12 Man (dunno how that issue is going; I haven't heard much since the game).  So we're doing OK, despite the fact that apparently we're just gum on the bottom of the nation's shoe.


MY BROTHER:
Now on to a more important issue:  MY BROTHER IS BACK FROM HIS MISSION!!!  My big-little bro (he's the oldest of my 2 little brothers) served a 2-year mission for our church in the states (I don't have his permission yet to say where) and he got back on February 15.  He's been trying to adjust back into civilian life.  Kinda hard, but he's a rather easy-going guy so he'll manage.  In addition to applying for college and trying to get a job, we're attempting to catch him up on all the stuff he's missed such as movies and junk.  I'm kinda bummed that I spend so much time at school; I don't get to hang around with him much.  But Spring Break is coming soon, and maybe we'll do something then.


Anyhow, there's more to talk about but I'll hang it up for now.  I'll rant and rave about the other things, such as my new Gameboy Zelda game, some other time (like, after I finish it).
OK, I need to update my journal.

First off, let's touch base on what has the entire state of Washington in a tizzy:  THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS ARE IN THE SUPERBOWL!!!!! :excited: :dance: :boogie: :dance: :boogie: :dance: :boogie: :excited: Just when it seems like all our sports teams have kicked the bucket (except for some--the Husky women's volleyball team RULES), success comes from one of the most unexpected sources.  Well, unexpected for me, anyway.  I don't really follow football but I don't remember the Seahawks making many headlines for a while.  Now suddenly they've gone further than ever before.  Man, that ROCKS!  So step aside, Pittsburgh Steelers, 'cuz we're going ALL the way! :winner: And make way for the wildest fans in pro-football, Detroit, 'cuz the Seahawk's 12 Man is coming along for the ride! :#1:

Oh yeah, and speaking of the 12th Man, it seems there's some controversy on that issue.  To sum it up real quick, the term "12th Man" refers to the fans.  There are 11 players on the field for each team and when the fans are so supportive that they actually boost the confidence and ability of their players, the fans become something of an extra "player" themselves.  Seahawk fans, media, etc. have been using the term "12th Man" for about 22 years now.  Since we're the noisiest fans for a pro-football team, just about any Seahawk supporter you can meet will attest that we've earned that title.  But here's the problem: Texas A&M copyrighted the term all the way back in the 1920s.  And now they're waving a cease-and-desist order in the faces of the entire state of Washington. :banned:

:disbelief: I'm going to be blunt here.  Copyrighting the "12th Man" term is like copyrighting the word "fan".  I guess it's legally possible but it's really kind of inconsiderate because it's a popular term that many teams have used.  To be fair, I don't think the Seahawks can lay permanent claim to the title either; like I said, it's been used many times already and will probably be used in the future.  I think the title rightfully belongs to ANY supportive fanbase.  I can understand A&M's desire to maintain something they believe to be a trademark of their school.  I might have even taken their side if I attended school there and didn't grow up with the Seahawks.  But I've never even HEARD of this term until a couple weeks ago, and that's even in spite the two-decade stretch of the term's use in this state.  Now the whole nation is aware of it...and why?   Because the SEAHAWKS have made it famous.  Until now, only football fans knew about the 12th Man.  Now that the Hawks are making history, the word is out.  A large part of the country associates the term with the Seahawks, not A&M, and I frankly feel a little sorry for the school in that regard.  I'm sure this whole thing is frustrating.

On that note, I also think that A&M are in over their heads on this one--or at least they are for the next several months until the euphoria of the Super Bowl wears off (or longer if the Hawks win).  Why?  Two words: mob psychology.  Mob psychology refers to how the behavioral patters of people are far different when in a mob than as individuals.  Getting a large number of people to completely stop something that they are doing at full throttle takes TIME.  Even if the team concedes with the cease-and-desist order, the fans aren't going to slow down at all--if fact, they'll most certainly get worse.  They've already gotten worse since A&M started complaining.  The number of people gunning behind the Hawks 12th Man run numbers in the tens of thousands.  There is simply NO WAY to stop the 12th Man fad anytime soon.  It'll take a long time and a lot of effort.  It can happen, maybe after the fans calm down, but it won't happen noticeably for a while.

If Texas A&M wants to end the Seahawk 12th Man party, well, good luck to them but they're on their own.  I'd be much more sympathetic if they didn't choose to sabotage the Hawks and their fans just before the biggest day in the history of the team.  Talk about spoil-sports trying to rain on someone's parade. :raincloud: Well you know what?  Our team is from SEATTLE!  Rain doesn't bother us at all! :w00t!:

:megaphone: So good luck Seahawks and all hail their 12th Man! :clap:

(If there's anyone out there who's on Texas A&M's side, I'd like to hear from you.  No, I don't want to hear unintelligent swearing; I want to hear your side of the story in the form of reasonable explanation.  I'm very understanding and I really would like to know why A&M chose NOW of all times to seriously attack the Hawks on this issue.)

(If there's anyone out there who's rooting for the Pittsburg Steelers, go ahead and give a yell too.  Please don't insult the Hawks; I'm not insulting the Steelers, am I?  Just show your pride and support for the team.)
Ok, now time for my post-holiday report. :xmas: :santa: :rudolph:

Christmas was a blast as it always is.  The highlights of the day included:
:bulletpurple: Since Christmas was on Sunday this year our Sunday church session was very uplifting.  The Spirit was sure powerful on that day, I'll tell you.  Excellent talks.
:bulletpurple:We invited the missionaries (both the English-speaking pair and the Spanish-speaking pair) over for our traditional Christmas brunch.  Our brunch consists of waffles topped with whipped cream (or Cool Whip), strawberries, and bananas. :hungry: Yum.  They sure enjoyed themselves.
:bulletpurple: My brother called!  He is currently serving a 2-year mission and he gets to call home every Christmas and Mother's Day.  It was great to talk to him.  He's almost done with his mission and he'll be returning home NEXT MONTH!!!!

As for what I got for Christmas, here's a few of my favorite things:
:bulletblue: My twin sis came home for the Holidays!  ^_^
:bulletblue: Cell phone!  Never occurred to me that I really needed one but my parents and I figure it'll be useful in case I need to call home from school without having to run all over campus looking for the rare and nearly-extinct phone booths.  It's kinda dangerous here in the big city and we all feel better with a constant line of communication.  The phone's plan is the WORST but I don't need much because I'm not a cell-phone chatty person (unless I'm calling my twin).  I currently have the Enterprise from "Star Trek: Next Generation" as the wallpaper and a "Ghostbusters" ring tone.  Dig the ring tone.  ^_^ :boogie:
:bulletblue: A couple of stuffed kitties to comfort me since I don't have my real one anymore.  Mom and Dad are the best.
:bulletblue: More Star Wars Legos. :stormtrooper: :jedi: I swear, those come directly from Heaven.  I just about died of joy the day my favorite toy company started caring models from one of my favorite obsessions.  CAN life get any better?  I'm a Warsie Lego Maniac… ^_^
:bulletblue: A homemade ornament from Grandma M.  Those are SO thoughtful.  She sends us all ornaments every year and it's become a fun thing to look forward to in the mail.

When New Year's came around, we took a family trip to the Mongolian Grill.  If you have a restaurant from that chain near your area, GO THERE.  It's my absolute FAVORITE restaurant.  It's an all-you can eat deal where you fix your own stir-fry-like ingredients, make your sauce, and bring the bowl (or bowls, if you eat like me) up to the grill and the toss the whole mess on and fry it in just five minutes.  It's really fun to watch.  The best part is when someone uses cooking sherry in their sauce and we can see the subsequent flames shoot into the air for a few seconds as the alcohol burns out.  We don't go here often because the prices have skyrocketed, but it's a good treat.  We did learn, though, that eating at an all-you-can-eat joint on New Year's Eve is a BAD IDEA. :explosion: Didn't get far on our snacks this year and we still have chip dip left over.

And now school begins.  I currently am enrolled in Intermediate Short Story Writing and Shakespeare from 1603 (the second half of the Shakespeare course).  In the Shakespeare class we'll be reading his great Tragedies in the following order: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest.  I've only ever read Hamlet but I've heard a lot about the others, so this will be fun.

A brief note that will regard my artwork here in DA:  Before the holidays, I had bought both the Adobe Creative Suite 2 and the Macromedia 8 program package, so I now own all the programs I need to create my artwork. :w00t: So I have the following important programs: Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, Flash8, and Dreamweaver8 (and some other programs I won't use much).  The sad thing is that my home comp and my drawing tablet do NOT get along. :shakefist: :cries: I hope to fix that somehow because there's little point in owning the programs if I can't draw on them. :fingerscrossed: I also have a big budget for my laptop, so I hope to get a tablet PC laptop.  I'm going to start looking as soon as possible.  All I need now is a reliable scanner (we have a Windows 98 one but who knows if it'll work with Windows XP) and I'm all set to work from home.

Clubs: hhb-bookmaster.deviantart.com/…
I would like to begin with a pointless rant.  I love Christmas.  I love everything about it.  I love how festive people get this time of year.  One of the most prominent methods of displaying one's festivity is with Christmas lights.  The Christmas lights are probably my second favorite Christmas decoration, right after the Christmas tree. :xmas: (I REFUSE to call it a "Holiday" tree!  It's BEEN a Christmas tree, it IS a Christmas tree, and it'll always BE a Christmas tree!)

But this beautiful decoration introduces one of my biggest holiday pet-peeves:  #$!^@$%! UNSYCRONIZED BLINKING LIGHTS!!!!
How can anyone even tolerate it? :slap: WHY do people think that setting half the house on "gentle pattern cycle" and the other half on "Christmas seizure" can pass as good decorating?  What's the point?  There's just no artistic sense to it at all!  The other day I saw a house decorated about the roof edge with those icicle lights, and each 2-foot segment was blinking totally independent from the others.  I wanted to gouge my eyes out.  It was like an electrician's nightmare.  Is this some kind of attempt to signal the mother ship? :ufo: Perhaps some kind of spy code?  These lights tend to send one or more of several messages: 1)I'm really not that enthusiastic so I'm just going to throw lights over the house, plug 'em in, and to heck with what they do;  2) I'm blind so I can't tell anyway; 3)It's the season of giving!  Here, have a Happy Holidays nervous twitch! :eyepopping: 4)Shhhhh, I'm trying to hypnotize the neighbor's dog so it will stop barking.
The list goes on.

Gah.  I guess what I'm asking with this lame rant is to PLEASE avoid the tacky blinking lights unless you can work them in synchronization.  Otherwise, leave the random blinking lights to Star Trek.


:worry:Next I'd like to cover a more serious issue. :megaphone: A call has gone out for a boycott of the Target store chain. :target: My family, many of our friends, and countless others are joining it.  Why?  There are two reasons:

1) Target has officially divorced itself from the Christmas celebration.  The word "Christmas" is not used by anything Target deals with; not greeting cards, not advertisements, nothing.  Instead they use the generic "Holiday" word.  They are doing this to deliberately attack the religious aspect of Christmas.  News Flash!  Most of the American population is Christian.  About 80% of all gifts bought during this time of year are given as CHRISTMAS gifts.  Talk about kicking your target audience in the shins! :disbelief:

2) Target refuses to support the Salvation Army in any way, including not letting the SA ask for donations near their stores.  This is because the SA doesn't support Gay rights.  Target joins the many fools who think that by boycotting the SA, they are hurting the SA.  THEY ARE NOT.  The SA is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization.  The only people who get hurt are the people the SA benefits: the homeless, the less fortunate, and the people who need help.  It's no different than refusing to help hurricane refugees because you don't like the person who asked you to donate.  This is precisely what this is, actually, since a lot of the SA's funds are going to help victims of this past hurricane season.  Target's SA boycott is a form of greedy selfishness that is the complete opposite of the kind of charitable giving this time of year is known for. :sadangel:

:steaming: I can't express in words how angry Target's actions make me.  The same goes for a lot of people.  Since Target has made these changes, their revenue and stock has dropped at an alarming rate.  The company's stupid policies have angered a vast number of people which is why the boycott has been organized.  The original boycott was intended for the Thanksgiving weekend but since that's past and since some of us are so upset, many are carrying the boycott though until Target rescinds this Grinch-like policy.  We ask the rest of you to help.  Please step up in defense of the needy and our religious rights and join the boycott.  Thank you.

I rarely will post anything this opinionated but I'm really riled up about this.  I'm sorry if anyone is offended.  I do not mean to upset or offend, but I am sticking to this.  There's just no nice way to say such things, nor should such things be said in a docile manner anyway.

Clubs: hhb-bookmaster.deviantart.com/…
The clubs I have joined:

:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone: :icondannyphantom: :iconbutchhartmanfanclub: :iconvvh-club:

I join clubs because it's a good way to find artwork about my interests and because I get GREAT exposure by submitting artwork!  ^_^
I've REALLY got to start doing a better job in updating my journal.  -_-  But life's so uneventful, there's not much to talk about.  SO here's a batch of random stuff.  :blahblah:  :blahblah:  :blahblah:  :blahblah:  :blahblah:

Thanksgiving went well.  We got together at Granmma's and Grammpa's with relatives in the area as usual. :house: The turkey-bird was yummy.  I hate stuffing.  I don't like candied yams, either.  Turkey gravy is THE BEST!!!!!  Mmmmmmmm.........  Good jello salad.  Veggies, black olives, and what-not.  Rolls.  My cousins remember rolls.  My big-little bro would eat his rolls when they weren't looking than act as though someone took them.  Made the kids laugh.  He's serving a mission for our church right now so he missed the dinner, but he'll be back in February (after two years!  So exciting!).  And pies.  Cherry, pumpkin, and banana cream.  I LOVE banana cream!  So the food was good.  And now I'm hungry.

:snowflake: It snowed yesterday! :w00t!: :dance: :boogie: Finally!  A really good snow!  The first one in two years!  I still won't call it a snow "storm", but it at least stuck to the ground.  Well, it did in my neighborhood, at any rate (just can't get any on the ground at the university, though, the ground's too warm).  Puh!  Now it's raining.  So much for the snow.  Just can't get a BREAK here, can we?  Man, ten years ago the snow would just dump but now we hardly ever see it at all.  It's sad. :snowflake:

My school's football team is pathetic.  -_- :surrender:

I just wrote an 8 1/2 page paper analyzing three poems.  It was for my poetry class.  If I ever suffer from insomnia again, I now have my cure.  :sleepy: :sleep:
Hey, maybe I'll post my competed, finalized poems in DA, just for kicks and feedback.

And speaking of posting schoolwork in DA for feedback, NOT ONE PERSON has left any responses to my short story! :sniff: People, I would like to publish this thing in a real, honest to goodness, sci-fi/fantasy magazine!!  I really need the input!  What was good about it?  What was bad about it?  Does it flow well?  Does it have clichés (that aren't obviously there for satire)?  Is it funny?  What do you think about the twist at the end?  Did you like it? :judge: Did you hate it? :boo: I'd sure like some critique, here.  The story is set loosely in the world of my webcomic, "The Hero's Handbook", so if you're enjoying that then the story should be fun as well.  I really need to hear from readers before I submit this to the magazine.  It needs to be good or they won't accept it.
You can get to the story here: www.deviantart.com/deviation/1…

Oh yeah, and some clubs I'm in:
:iconswfc:  :iconjediclub:  :iconthe-ghost-zone:
:tombstone:
A more somber note today.  For background on this event, let me explain that I am a great lover of animals and my family had two cats for a VERY long time.  They're names were Splash and Sparkle (my twin and I were quite young when we named them).  They were brother and sister and were half brown Abyssinian, half whatever else.  Only Splash looked it though, since his sister's fur was white.  Their personalities were very pronounced from the start.  Splash loved to play and run around, while Sparkle preferred to be pampered.  A lot.

These cats pulled us through some very tough times, as did we for them.  Each cat had their own major health challenge.  Splash was badly hit by a car when I was in elementary school (I don't remember which grade--maybe fourth).  His entire jaw was smashed.  Thankfully he recovered, but he was never the same.  He seemed absent minded and kinda loopy ever since.  For a while, he even mimicked our neighbor's dog (I think he was confused).  Years later, Sparkle developed skin cancer in her ears (her white fur reflected sunlight onto her ears which eventually resulted in her condition), and we had to get her ears cut off before it could spread to her head.  In addition to these major injuries, they've had teeth broken or knocked out by who knows what--we never really found out for sure.

In both cases of major injury, Sparkle was the one who got all bent out of shape about things (she was rather shallow).  She missed her brother when he was at the vet, but when he returned with a feeding tube sticking out of his neck, an Elizabethan collar, and the most slack-jawed, vacant expression I've ever seen on an animal (which he would wear almost continuously afterwards), she took one look at him, hissed, and ran off.  They always fought after that (though I'm sure Splash thought they were playing).  They did get along often, though usually on Sparkle's terms.  There were times they didn't, though, and Sparkle was usually at the center of it.  She'd try to take his spot by the heater by SITTING on him, or she'd barge in on a meal and scarf it all down herself (she was a real pig).  In retaliation (or maybe play--that cat was kinda hard to figure out sometimes), Splash would chase her around the house and harass her for hours on end.  She'd hiss and spit and take swipes at him but it never deterred him for long.  There were times where my mom would wake me up in the morning by tossing the quarrelling cats onto my bed where they'd duke it out right on top of me.  Despite the constant bickering, I could tell they still cared for each other.

They had their own ways of showing how much they cared for us, too.  Both cats could tell when I or someone else felt down, and they each had their own solution.  Splash was play and distraction.  He'd chase after anything you threw in his direction.  Even when he grew old, he kept dashing about.  As he grew very old, he began to resort to calmer means such as sitting on laps and knocking right out.  He was particularly good with the youngest in the family, which changed from my littlest sister to my littlest brother as our family grew.  But Splash always reassured us with his presence, even if he seemed to be ignoring us entirely.  Sparkle on the other hand, went for the "gimme all your attention" method.  This included rubbing her face against whatever part of any person she could reach, rolling around and looking cute, her trademark head-butt (she'll knock foreheads with you if you put your face near hers--but caution was needed since she could bash pretty hard) and in general being a loveable, huggable, squeezable companion.  We knew she had her own ulterior motive (she was very greedy for attention), but she was still appreciated.  She was also a blasted coward (scared to death of EVERYTHING) and a real drama queen, but we don't hold that against her.  ^_^

Sadly, good things come and go, and cats don't live forever.  We watched sadly as the health of both cats deteriorated.  Sparkle developed kitty arthritis in her hips and eventually needed help just to climb onto a bed, and Splash became more and more senile and absent minded, eventually loosing control of various body functions.  About a year and a half ago on Mother's Day, one we had worked particularly hard on to make extra special, Sparkle's health finally gave out.  She couldn't move, her heart was barely beating, and she was in obvious pain.  We had to take her to the vet to have her put down.  Splash obviously missed her; he would wander around the front porch (one of her favorite hiding places was under it) and yowl as though calling for someone.  Eventually, as his mind deteriorated, he seemed to stop looking--though there were still occasional times where would look like he was waiting for someone.

Splash couldn't last forever either, though at times it seemed like he would.  He embodied the old saying, "ignorance is bliss".  Despite the obvious physical difficulty he was having in his old age, he always seemed happy.  It was as though his mental deterioration was a shield against his suffering.  He began to have seizures constantly where he would thrash about, flailing limbs and body, in an attempt to scratch or ease some kind of pain.  We became concerned he would seriously hurt himself.  Another result of him loosing his mind was the fact that he no longer used the litter box.  He went wherever he wished.  For this reason, we had to keep him outside even though the old cat would have been much more comfortable inside.  Finally, things became so bad, that we couldn't let him inside at all.  With winter coming on, we knew he simply wouldn't make it.  Rather than asking him to suffer further, we took him to the vet last Saturday and had him put to sleep.  He looked very happy to finally rest.
So that's my story today, now that I can finally bring myself to talk about it.  Sparkle was about 17 when she died, and Splash was about 18 and a half.  These cats have been my best friends most of my life and it is hard to see them go.  I'm grateful for the knowledge that I will see them again and that they are quite happy and content now and can finally be free of all their suffering.

Sorry to burden you all with such a tale, but I feel better writing about it.  My family and I will pull through.  After all, life goes on.  I am very thankful to have had friends like these.

So thank you for everything, Splash and Sparkle; I'll be seeing you again.:floating:
And you two had better not be fighting! :spyedvsjark:
:B-): I'm back!  My summer went just fine!  Don't feel much like talking about it right now, for some reason.  *shrug*  Maybe later.

:pc: I've always been fascinated by animation.  I would have loved to get into animation as a career, but I don't have the patience needed, nor the ability to draw the same thing over and over and over--ARGH!  Anyway, I've developed a habit of watching cartoons and animated movies just to study different aspects of animation. :sherlock: I compare the average frame rate of different shows and channels.  I scrutinize the art style, art quality, plot, characters, voice actors, and writing quality.  I analyze the effectiveness in the show's ability to appeal to its target audience, wither it can appeal to other type of groups as well, and then go online to see what these people think to further evaluate that appeal.  Some may call it a big waste of time, but I learn a lot about animation and its production from doing these analysis exercises.  And it keeps me in touch with my boisterous inner child.  ^_^   But I wish to goodness I've been able to take an animation class in college so I could have a better idea of what to look for!  Mind you, I'm no pro critic (though that'd be fun).

:writersblock: One habit I have is that I try to draw characters from these movies and shows to see if I can capture the essence of the character in my own art style. :deviation: I usually draw the characters that are the most interesting or have really good character designs.  If the show has a good premise, I might even create new characters and draw them.  Sadly, a lot of my drawings either never get finished, or I loose them (which is why I don't have much up in my gallery).

Recently, I've been studying the following shows:
:bulletpurple:Kids Next Door
:bulletpurple:Danny Phantom
:bulletpurple:The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
:bulletpurple:Avatar
:bulletpurple:Fairly Odd Parents
:bulletpurple:Kim Possible

Today I'll talk about "Danny Phantom", since I actually have my in-progress artwork handy and have already uploaded it to my scraps gallery. :gallery:

I found this show quite interesting to study.  I first spotted it early last month, though I've heard a few loose things here and there beforehand.  It got my attention in a hurry because it reminded me of one of my old childhood favorites: The GhostBusters.  The character designs were unique and enjoyable.  I particularly appreciate Danny Phantom's character design (I love black-and-white color schemes!).

The characters themselves are quite enjoyable and made even more so by the above-average voice talents.  I'll touch up on a few characters as examples:
:bulletblue:Danny Fenton/Phantom is kind of your typical shy, unpopular guy turned superhero and comes equipped with a very "bishi" appearance and a vulnerable personality that attracts fangirls by the droves (and speaking of which - tread online forums with caution because they're everywhere ((O_o))  ).  He is the ultimate Swiss-Army superhero in that he has the capacity for a multitude of different abilities...and yet somehow gets himself pasted on an almost regular basis before finally turning the fight around.  Hey, he's still learning!  Give the poor guy a break.  And I REALLY like his voice actor!  (Sorry, I don't have the names in front of me right now)
:bulletblue:Sam, one of his best friends, is a very stereotypical almost-but-not-quite-a-true-goth with a vegetarian and animal rights agenda that thankfully does't get in the way too much (though some problems have arisen as a result).   Sam's contribution to the story usually comes in the form of common, albeit sarcastic, sense.  There seem to be hints at a possible romatic interest here for Danny (though neither one would admit it).
:bulletblue:Tucker, Danny's other best friend, is a techno-geek who for once actually looks like a real geek rather than another techno-bishi in like every other show with a tech-smart guy.  I find Tucker gets a lot of the good punch lines and his voice actor delivers them very well.
:bulletblue:Danny's parents, Jack and Maddie Fenton, form a stereotypical over-talented-woman-with-a-clumsy-goof-of-a-man parent couple (this combo is SO overused).  They also play a more centered role in the show than the parents of a lot of others shows play--so they are actual, participating characters.  They repeatedly stick their noses into the business of the others, jump to whimsical conclusions, and stand out like entertaining sore thumbs.
:bulletblue:Another character I found I like is Mr. Lancer, the vice principal/English teacher.  I like him because he's an English teacher (I'm in the English major program at my school) and his habit of using book titles as expressions and figures of speech is hilarious.  I also find him to be rather wise, albeit sorta strict and open for ridicule sometimes.  I think the man gets a lot less respect than he deserves, which is sadly the case with many real teachers.  But since he's a sort of abstract combination of a lot of teachers and instructers I've had, he gets brownie points in my book.  ^_^  Of all the characters here, Mr.Lancer seems to me the most real.
:bulletblue:There are, of course, many other characters, but these will suffice for now.

The style of the animation is in some ways crude and in other ways unexpectedly admirable.  What I really like is the effort the animators take to highlight characters and objects when there's an obvious light source present. :nod: The bummer is that you can't tell which direction it's from since the highlights are kinda all over; but at least it's done in a very graphically appealing method.  Overall, there is a very stylistic feel to the artwork that makes its own statement and fits the feel of the show quite nicely.  There's a sort of hidden anime feel to it as well (particularly in the "magic-boy" thing, though that aspect is not just found in anime).  The animation style itself is similar to "Fairly Odd Parents", only less kiddie and more action-oriented.  I presume this is due to the fact that the show targets a slightly older age group than FOP.

It's on the issue of animation quality that I wish I was better educated so I had a better idea of what to look for (and this is what really interests me, too--this and the animation style).  So I'll make do with what I do have.  The frame-rate and animation quality of DP is very sub-par, sadly. :bored: For those who aren't sure what I mean: "frame rate" refers to how many frames (or animation cells) flash by per second of animation (kinda like sketches in a flipbook).  I've watched some of the show in slow motion, and there are a lot of scenes that would look much better if they had a higher frame rate.  The secondary action exists only when it's really needed, as is the case with many low-budget cartoon shows.  There's not much of the extra stuff that makes animation look realistic.  "Secondary Action" is..I don't know the official definition, but from what I understand it's movement that results from an initial movement of a character or object.  For example: how a character's hair moves when he turns or nods his head, or how his clothes move when he does.  There's more, but this is getting long..

As for the target audience, the age aim seems to be around the preteen ages, though the show grabs the attention of people younger and older as well.  Since the main character and his friends are 14 and in the freshman class, we get a rare look into high school life when most shows involving schools usually are set in elementary or middle school.  This alone raises the target age of the audiance a bit.  The show also demonstrates some of the difficulties a teen encounters during high school, which is understandable and appealing to those who are currently in the situation (and a few who have been there or are looking forward to it).  The show also seems to target both male and female audiences quite effectively.  It contains more than the usual amount of action and character drama.  The fight scenes appear fairly well directed with the occasional awesome example (such as when Danny was fending off overshadowed people in the episode "Public Enemies").  There are plenty of little romance snippits :date: for those who are into that kind of thing--you can even trace some love triangles...like, all OVER the place... :O_o:

Well, I'm gonna cut myself off there since I've gone on for a bit.  I've been adding to this here and there over the past week, and I think it's about time I posted something already.  :movingon: Sometime I'll do another show analysis: possibly "Kids Next Door", "Avatar", or "Fairly Odd Parents".  Oops, I forgot to cover the writing quality of the show and my opinion of the voice actors...well, maybe I'll add that later as another journal entry.

Over all, I give Danny Phantom a :thumbsup:



Boy, that was a lot.  :phew:  
I haven't been updating my journal much lately because I have very little online time during the summer.  Especially during the month of July, since my twin sis and I are house-sitting for some neighbors (their house is right across the street from where we live), and their Internet connection BITES.  But there's something worth mentioning...

Some excitement went down on Thursday around 2:40 AM.  I woke up to the sound of a police helicopter circling the neighborhood, flashing its blinding spotlight around our street.  I was staying in the upstairs bedroom of the house we are house-sitting, but took a moment to run downstairs to let my sis know what was going on.  We've seen this before, albeit never really this close.  I lay awake listening to the copter, when I heard something big stumbling along the side of the house.  I hoped to high heaven it was a big and clumsy cat or a dog, but it turned out it wasn't.  Five minutes later, my sis came up to my room looking quite pale.  She said she heard someone try to get in through the back door, and then saw a shadow pass by her window.  This was NOT cool.  We called 911 to let them know what we heard and saw, and a short time later the cops came by with a K-9 unit.  From what my Mom says from their vantage point at the family home, the dog tacked the guy to the nearby high school.  It took a long time, but they must've caught the guy.  In the meantime, though, it was kinda scary.  I am SO thankful that we have a habit of locking doors.  That probably saved out bacon that night.  I can laugh about it now, but it was a really close call.  The reason why I can laugh is that I can just imagine the trouble that idiot had in that backyard.  There's plenty of stuff to trip on, no gate exit where he tried to get out (so he probably had to scramble over the wooden fence, which would have been rather hard), and stacks of unexpected beehives all over.  When breaking into someone's backyard, how likely is it that you'd bump into beehives?  Still, he didn't knock any over, and though it's hilarious to envision some thug running from a horde of angry bees, the K-9 unit would have had trouble when they investigated.  So it's overall a good thing the bees--and the occupants of the house--were left alone.
Man, I've never been any good with keeping up a journal.  I was hoping that by putting mine online, I might do better at it.  I suppose I have, considering the fact that I ever write in it AT ALL.  But I'll take what I can get from my procrastinating self.  ^_^

My Spring Quarter, in brief:  I'm taking "Intro to Short Story Writing" as well as "Shakespeare to 1601" (the first part of a two-part course on the great playwright's career) and boy, it's a challenge to keep up with.  The quarter is almost over (just two weeks left), so it's crunch time.  By the time I'm done, I should have a short story set in the realm of "The Hero's Handbook" that should give readers a peak into the setting of "Saga Two", which is the main plot of the overall story.  More on that later when the short story is complete.

As for the Shakespeare class, we've read "The Tragedy of King Richard II", "King Henry IV, Part I", and "The Life of King Henry V" for our tragedy study, and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Taming of the Shrew" for our comedy study.  Just this last Saturday, I had to attend a performance of "Shrew" performed by the Seattle Shakespeare Company so we can write about their interpretation of the play for part of our final paper.  If you ever get a chance to see these guys, you're in for a treat.  They specialize in interpreting Shakespeare for the enjoyment of all ages.  They somehow manage to merge pop culture into the performance without damaging the integrity of the play (though a Shakespeare perfectionist might have a cow).  Just to give an example, the old fool in the play was armed with a walker which he used as a prop for a variety of purposes such as fending off Kate, hiding behind while eavesdropping, or attempting to do push-ups.  For this performance they had an all-male cast.  No, they didn't do it like in Shakespeare's time where older boys would play the part of the women.  In fact, the beautiful Bianca was played by a large, muscular, Black guy in dreadlocks.  He was easily the biggest and most masculine-looking actor on stage, and I think they did that on purpose just for the laugh.  Anyway, the whole performance was not what I had expected, and my Dad, my little sister, and I had quite a time.

I really enjoy Shakespeare; not because I have an in-bred taste for it, but because I choose to enjoy it.  It's something of an acquired taste I've forced upon myself.  Because of my learning disability, I'm always behind most everyone in learning things, so I guess this was a way of proving to myself I'm not stupid and that I can understand even the most difficult examples in the subject of English when few others can.  I tackled Shakespeare specifically because Shakespeare had reputation for being a difficult subject that many students shy and shrink from.  I suppose my own personal rebellious attitude against the norm also had something to do with it; I like being different.  In all, I wanted to be good at it.  And I'll be darned if I'm not.  I'll say this: studying Shakespeare will build up one's interpretive skills better than most anything else.  You'd be surprised just how much meaning one can glean from even the smallest example of Shakespearean text.  It takes me a while to work into, but once I do, I can really go overboard with the analyzing.  I wrote 5 1/2 pages of analysis of only 12 lines of text for my midterm, and my professor said it could have been longer if I fully developed my ideas.  Writing is the ONE type of homework I do faster than most of my classmates; otherwise, I'm glacier-slow.  I'm still working on structuring my ideas, so I'm not perfect in the slightest, but I can sure show people that Shakespeare isn't just some boring 'ol subject for me.  ^_^
Ok, I've finally succumbed to the persistent temptation and peer pressure to join the ever-growing massive community of GaiaOnline.  Good grief, there are a LOT of people here.  ((O_o))  I'm going to kill my sister for getting me into this.  I guess there goes any free time I might have been able to cultivate otherwise.

I am seriously creeped out about one thing in Gaia, though.  I can make my avatar look EXACTLY like me.  I thought my hairstyle (which never really looks exactly the same twice anyway, but on average…) was unique, and yet my avatar can have pretty much the same 'do.  I opted to color my avatar's hair sapphire rather than brown though, because that's seriously weird.  I may change back to brown, though, when I get accustomed to the idea of looking just like my avatar.  I can even buy clothes similar to what I wear!  All Gaia needs is to stock gray jeans, and then my avatar can look just the way I draw her in my comic.  Seriously freaky.

In other news, my identical twin is back home for the spring/summer semester (YAY!), and she'll have her ankle surgery on Friday.  Good luck, Shada!  For those of you who don't know the story, my sis has injured her ankles so many times, they're both pretty much wrecked.  We have a genetic disorder that leaves the ligaments in our ankles loose and weak, but she's the one who's developed the condition (she's always been more physically active).  She had the left one done last year, and now it's time to do the right.  So we hope this will go well.

Mother's Day this Sunday.  This one is going to be hard.  It's such a happy day, and now it also marks the one-year anniversary of Sparkle's death.  Poor kitty.  Sparkle was one of two cats we've had for 17+ years, so it was hard to loose her.  Splash, her brother, is still with us, but we suspect his longevity is due in part to the fact that he's so mentally garbled, he doesn't know he's old.  He's been loopy ever since he was hit in the head by a car many years ago, and having gone kitty senile doesn't help.  They're good cats.  Fought a lot, but they're good cats.

As for school, I'm taking Intro to Short Story Writing and Shakespeare up to 1603.  There's a lot of work involved for both.  The short story I am writing will be set in the world of The Hero's Handbook, and will feature a couple characters from the Second Saga.  This means these characters will not appear (as they are depicted in the short story) in the comic for a very, very, very, very long time.  Bummer.  If I can just speed up so I can update more often, this would go faster.  In the meantime, think of this as a coming-soon sneak-peek preview into the main HHB story plot (the Second Saga is the original core story; the First, Third, and Fourth Sagas are like the prologue and two encores).  Mind you, it's a very tiny preview, but it does say a few things.  Anyway, my group has already reviewed the rough draft of the story, and they've enjoyed it a lot.  So this should be enjoyable for fans of the comic.  ^_^  Hopefully.

Also, I'm also considering setting up a PayPal account on my site to help with my financial troubles.  If I do decide to go with that option, donations would be used primarily to help support the comic.  I may even have to rely on donations, if things keep getting worse.  I'll keep you all posted.

Have a great day!
Ok, quickie journal here (which means to proofreading, so sorry about misspellings and typos).

I've hit 500 pageviews! :w00t!: YES!!!!  *does dance* :dance:
:boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie::boogie:
Thank you, everyone! :handshake::hug::clap:

Sadly, I know I said I'd do a celebratory peice of artwork :party: for the occasion, but I'm quite buisy right now so no can do.  T_T  In fact, I'd have probably hit 500 pageviews faster, but I've been fairly absent around DeviantART for the past two weeks due to workload and illnesses.  I got sick :blownose: a couple weeks ago and have been trying to catch up.  Now I'm sick again.  Blah.

When I feel better, I'll post a journal about how my twin is comming back home next week for Spring/Summer (YAY!), and I'll also talk about General Conference for my church went (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).  I enjoyed that a lot.  I'll also talk about my classes this quarter, and go over what I'm reading.  Bye for now!
Ok, sorry for the lack of journal updates; it's been fairly non-eventful around here.  I'm having severe financial problems, and that's a huge stress.  I can't work while I'm in school due to my learning disability, and yet I can't get the financial aid I need.  The stupid system thinks my parents and I can fork over thousands of dollars.  Yes, we have money, but it's tied up in retirement funds that cannot be touched without loosing almost half of it in fines.  Plus, we have a ton of other expenses, such as a family of seven, two of whom are in college and one who's serving a two-year unpaid mission for our church.  If I were a member of a minority group, I'd have a much easier time getting financial aid.  I apologize if that sounds a little racy, but it is NOT.  It is a simple, undisputable fact.  There are gazillions of scholarships and loans available for Blacks, Gays, Asians, Hispanics, Martians, etc. (OK, maybe not Martians..), but none for Anglo-Saxon middle-class Christians with severe ADHD.  Yeah, there is aid for ADHD students, but my family is "too rich".  How sad.  Too poor to afford school, too rich to have help.  What a miserable gap.  So much for "equality" in this country.  Hey, I'm half Canadian, does that count?

Sorry if I sound bitter, but tuition is due today, and I had to use some of my Christmas and Birthday money I've been slowly saving for years for the Adobe Creative Suite program package (so I can work on my webcomic at home) in order to pay for school and stuff this quarter.  I am BEYOND upset right now.  In addition, I haven't been able to get a summer job for years because I don't drive (I'm a slave to the bus schedule), I have a hand condition that prevents me from working with food and strong cleaning chemicals, I don't have "enough experience" in ANY category, and I don't work on Sundays for religious reasons.  I want so much to be able to support myself, and instead I'm forced to rely on others.  I'm told that God must have something for me to learn from this situation and I'm cool with that..though I do hope I can learn whatever this lesson is already so I can get a job and support myself before I go CRAZY.
:relax:
Back from Spring Break!  What'd I do?  Well..I cleaned my room. :bored: Whee.  I did relax a bit, :stereo: though it's not like I was out partying on the beach or anything, even if the weather was great all the way until Easter.

Which brings me to my next issue. :wow: IT'S RAINING! :w00t: :dance: :boogie: YES!!!!  California's been jacking all our rain for the past three months (Seriously!  I've looked at the weather patterns; the rain swerves away to the so-called "Sunshine State").  CA's been getting record rainfall spells, and up here in the Pacific Northwest..nada.  As of a few weeks ago, this has been proclaimed to be the fourth driest season on record.  February was the TOP driest February on record.  Not good. :disbelief: There's hardly any snowpack at all.  This is going to be a miserable summer.  Lotsa bugs (the temperature hasn't dropped very low at all, another bummer), heavy drought, major fire season and a corresponding large fire ban, yada, yada.  We LIKE our rain here!  I really don't care for bright sunlight.  My eyes are tempered for cloudy weather; bright sunlight is painfully blinding, even when the clouds are thin.  My preferred weather would be cloudy with some small sun breaks, and maybe a light drizzle or two.  Nothing extreme.  I'll take the downpours right now though; it's badly needed!  Ironically, the first good pour in two months starts on those poor little Easter egg hunters.  Last Saturday, when the rain started, Mom saw a large neighborhood egg hunt underway, with little kids and their parents, some with umbrellas and some without, all meandering about in the rain.  Figures, the one day you'd WANT the weather to be clear..  But they didn't seem to mind.  I hope those kids didn't catch colds, though.

At any rate, I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!  ^_^