smb814: (TOS Lloyd Zelos Land)
[personal profile] smb814
Wow, seven months since my last update? Um...whoops?

I do have an excuse, though: life's been a tad crazy lately. Well, a little more than a 'tad.' More like a huge, honkin', Pacific Ocean-sized crazy. Yes, it's been that nuts.

To that end, I'm reverting to a numbered list because that seemed to work well the last time.

1. Work and The Move. I came back from Florida last November to find out that I didn't have a building to work in anymore; they decided to convert the entire Education Building into a new dorm. So we spent the past five months packing up Every. Single. Thing. in the Education Building (I don't even want to know how many hundreds of packing boxes we went through). And then we had to Get. Out. Now. (a.k.a. May 15th) Then we had to settle into our new home in the basement of the currently existing dorms. On top of that, work itself has been utterly crazy, and people have been utterly crazy, and...well, I think for awhile there a week or two ago, I was operating on autopilot and was forgetting things I really, really needed to do like crazy and was *thisclose* to going completely crazy myself because of all the stress. Things seem to be finally settling down now...well, other than having lost a few things I really need to find in my new office (copy counts, copy counts, wherefore art thou, oh copy counts?) and desperately needing to get our storage/supply room up and running so we can, you know, find a pen or a paper clip or something if we need it. But for the most part, I'm okay with my office. It's HUGE compared to the tiny closet I'd been living in before, and it's really pretty nice, even if we are stuck in a basement. It was just an awful lot of work to reach this point.

2. Nihongo. Somehow, on top of everything else, I was sucked into studying Japanese intensively for a few months in there. See, first I discovered Slime Forest Adventure, which tests you on your recognition of Japanese Kanji, and then I ended up coming up with completely bizarre, crackfic stories for nearly all of those 1,950+ Kanji using Stargate characters to help me remember them, and...well, let's just say I made some *huge* leaps forward in my understanding of Japanese. (And trust me, you do *not* want to hear all those crackfic stories about Maybourne's adventures as an undercover merchant, or about how Oma healed Chaka from the plant that Adria cursed to turn him blue by giving him pure water, or how Sam married just about every guy in the freakin' universe and put John Sheppard in prison because he *wouldn't* marry her, or how Rodney has this *thing* for hanggliding and he and Beckett set up their own shop in the SGC selling hanggliding equipment, or how Landry keeps losing his candlestick in a moat, or how Cam and Woolsey undergo the most bizarre transformations ever known to man and turn into chameleons and pigs and cows and other miscellaneous things, or how Siler is The One and Dr. Lee worships him obsessively and how Siler nearly crushed Vala to death because she turned her back on his cult, or how Daniel and Jacob go nuts and decide to adopt an arrow as their child, or how Zelenka and Aris Boch have an ongoing rivalry regarding whose genetically engineered rice/grain is better, or the entire saga of Martouf's death and everyone regretted sacrificing him to the cult of Siler, or how Jonas became emperor, or about how Teyla becomes a recluse because she gets stung by bees and turns into a blimp and is afraid she'll have to spend the rest of her life alone...I could keep going on and on with this nuttiness ad nauseam.)

I'm still nowhere near being fluent in reading, speaking, or listening, but because of how far I got with my kanji recognition, I *have* been able to play a Japanese game with no problems so far. I can't understand the story, but between recognizing so many kanji and knowing all the hiragana/katakana, I'm now about 75% of the way through the game and am having way too much fun playing it. I've had to back away from studying so much because of how much time #1 and #3 have sucked away from my life, but after seeing how far I got in a little over a month, I know I'll eventually get back to it.

(And in case anyone's curious, the Japanese game I'm playing is Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2, which is So Much Fun simply because it has Zelos -- with his extremely amusing original Japanese voice actor, not the "OMG, where is Shiloh Strong?! This guy doesn't sound anything like Zelos! Bring Shiloh back THIS INSTANT!" voice actor they gave him in the English version of TOS:DotNW! So what if I can't understand much of what he's saying and he's about, um, 50 levels above everyone else because I'm always using him in battle? He's still Pure Awesome. And oh, I really hope they bring this game to the US because a) I'd like to actually understand the story, and b) it's infinitely better than the original game was. Just about every problem they had in that game has been fixed, and then some more. So...yeah. Great game!)

3. The Muse. Then, to top off *everything* else already going on, my writing muse kicked into high gear, to the point where it has still refused to let me go. Like I really needed *that* to happen right now. *glares at Zelos and Sheena* So basically, what started as a single story in "Mental Holiday" has now ballooned into an entire series -- because, you know, why would *anything* I write ever end up staying short and/or contained at a single story? At the moment, I have three more stories completely plotted in the series -- #2, #3, and #8 (which I think will probably become #7 since I'm hoping to combine stories #5 & #6 into one) -- and I'm just starting to work on plotting #4. I have way too many more ideas for stories after #7/8, but reaching that one is my current goal since it can stand as a (hopefully) satisfying end to the series. I'll worry about working on any more assuming I ever get that far.

I go for months upon months upon months without having any desire to write anything, and then, when I'm least expecting it, Kitty comes charging back in full speed and takes over my life. *sigh* She really is an annoyingly finicky and demanding tiger-muse...but eh, I can't help loving her anyway. :D (Not that she's helped me finish up revising my rewrite of "Frozen Flame," though...I don't think I've gotten *anywhere* with it since my last post on the subject; unfortunately, I haven't touched it in months. I really, really, *really* need to finish that thing up so I can let it go and move on with the rest of my life! I'm at the final cliff scene; my goodness, just let me finish the final few chapters already instead of constantly getting distracted like this!)

Oh, and on a slightly related tangent, for the, like, one or two people on my flist who actually know and/or care who Zelos and Sheena are, do you have any idea who the artist for this piece of Sheelos fanart is? It is, hands down, one of THE most beautiful pieces of fanart I've ever seen in any fandom and I'd really like to know who painted it!

4. TV. I never thought I'd say this, but my current favorite show on TV *isn't* Supernatural. (Sorry, SPN fans! I don't understand it either, because yes, that show really *is* awesome in its writing and its acting and its characters and its...everything.) No, rather, my current favorite TV show is Chuck. Maybe I prefer the humor/action/adventure/romance/heart/optimism of Chuck compared to the darkness and angstiness of SPN. Maybe it's just the point I'm at in my life, where I'm not looking for end-of-the-world darkness but I'm just enjoying being content and looking on the bright side of things and have accepted my life and who I am instead of being all depressed about the things I don't have and probably never will. I really don't know, but I suspect it's a mixture of both. (That philosophical shift in my mindset is even making itself more apparent in my writing -- I'm not writing heavy-duty angst anymore like I used to; I'm writing actual *happiness*, with a spattering of angst mixed in. It's...weird, to be honest. I'm almost not sure what to do with myself anymore. Maybe I've finally gotten most of that angst and the journey to self-discovery out of my system with "Frozen Flame" and the whole "No Regrets" trilogy I had been working on? It might explain why I'm having so much trouble getting back to work on both of those, if that's just not where my mind is anymore. Huh. Who would've ever thought?)

And besides Chuck and SPN, the only other two shows I watch are NCIS and Lost. I'm still undecided about watching the new Stargate show when it starts up next fall. Eureka will be starting up again in a month or two, so that'll be fun. But other than that, I've drifted away from much TV watching, and I'm really not looking to get hooked on anything else right now. Too much else I'd like to do first!

And I think that covers the basics of what I've been up to. Hopefully pretty soon I'll be able to start catching up with all the other things I haven't been able to do lately, like email and reading fic and playing games and all that other fun stuff.

(Oh, and bonus points to anyone who can identify where the quote in my icon came from. *g*)

For now, though, I have to run -- almost time to go home! Maybe now I'll be able to post a little more regularly again. I hope everyone on my flist is doing well!

Date: 2009-05-26 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Suzie!! I was just thinking about you! (Obviously, having updating excruXiation...)

First of all, I'm excited that things seem to be going well for you! Big new office, big new Nihongo (gawd I'm so jealous, wish I had the time! In the meantime, did you find the audio for RRT? Because I am more than willing to send it to you. Now that you know what they're saying, you more than deserve it! Plus, yes, oh god, I *adore* Zelos's seiyuu. I try to replace his DotNW voice with that one in my head), lots of ideas! It all sounds fabulous!

Of course, it's even more exciting to hear that you plan to continue in the Mental Holiday verse. I hope you don't mind--I pimped your fic in the (rather dead) Tales forum. I just can't get enough of your writing. I wish I were in the Stargate fandom so I could better appreciate your work. Anything I can to do help you better develop your fic plots I'd be more than willing to do!

Hope to hear more from you soon. Welcome back!

Date: 2009-05-28 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad to see you back! ::hugs::

Oh, and I'd really like to see how Rodney has this *thing* for hanggliding and he and Beckett set up their own shop in the SGC selling hanggliding equipment, Bwahhahahaha!

Date: 2009-07-24 06:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Nice icon. ;)

Yes, I'm alive. Sorry, didn't mean to worry anyone with my absence. I should be around more now though. Hopefully you will be, too. You tend to disappear more often than I. Hehe...

*is still patiently waiting for you to finish revising FF* You're so close!



Date: 2009-07-30 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*giggles at icon* That was the moment I first realized that yes, I *was* going to enjoy Firefly. :D

And yeah, I do seem to be disappearing too much lately. :( This summer has been crazy, though, what with settling into the new building at work and then using up my 11 remaining vacation days, all during June and July so I don't lose them when the next school year starts in August, *plus* keeping up with work around all those vacation days. But it's not like you to vanish for so long without so much as a peep to anyone, hence why Meg and I were starting to get so worried about you. I'm just glad to hear that you're okay. :)

And I just can't seem to get myself back in gear to work on FF, probably because of all the other writing I've been doing lately. (Darn it, Tales of Symphonia, quit hijacking my writing muse! Let me finish one project at a time, please!) It just feels so good to be *writing* again, though, that I haven't been able to stop myself. There's just so much revising one can do before it starts getting tedious and the itch to go back to writing becomes unbearable, I guess. But I will get back to it! I will, I will, I *will*!

August is just around the corner! I can't wait to see you guys in Chicago again! :D

Date: 2009-07-24 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh wow, apparently I need to find this game...I took two years of Japanese when I was in school and I've been thinking lately that I kind of miss it, and my goal in life is to go to Japan one day, so I will need it, eventually.

Are you ready for Chicago next month!?

Date: 2009-07-30 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*gapes* Are you serious? I had no idea you'd studied any Japanese, Amanda! It really is a fascinating language -- it is *so* different than any other language, in characters, in structure, in grammar, in everything. And as difficult as the kanji can be at times, just mixing and matching so many smaller primitives like they do, I just love all the symbols. And yes, for all its flaws and rigidity with key words, Slime Forest Adventure did a great job of teaching me the meanings of a lot of kanji characters. If you can afford the full version (it's only $20), it gives you the full 2,000-or so list of common kanji. Definitely worth it, IMO.

And hey, getting to Japan one day (hopefully not *too* far away so I still have time to get back there again another time or three if I find I really like it *g*) is one of my goals in life, too. If you're ever looking for a travel companion, I am more than game -- *I'm* certainly looking for one! Traveling in a foreign country that speaks a completely different language like that is difficult enough with a group of people, but to do it alone would be...well, downright intimidating. And I really want to get to Tokyo Disneyland one day -- everyone I've heard from who's been there says it is phenomenal and easily the best of the Disney parks around the world. In fact, that was what originally started me on my Japanese-studying journey: my decision to get there one day. :)

Chicago is coming up fast -- it's almost August already! I can't wait to see everyone again! :D

Date: 2009-07-29 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eeeeee. You don't know me, but I'm Daidairo, who wrote that insanely long review on I don't use lifejournal much... okay, nearly not at all... but I had to come here and stalk you.

Now that sounds scary. Not stalk. I had to come FANGIRL you. \o/

Nihongo FTW! 俺もテイルズを遊びたい~!!

And good luck with the series. Because Zelos and Sheena are awesome, and Mental Holiday is proof of that.


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