allekha: (Default)
Thanksgiving break went well. My parents and I had a good lunch/dinner; I made pumpkin pie from scratch for the first time, and the recipe turned out better than the storebought we usually get, I think. The only thing that did not go well was the whole wheat rolls, which we made because my mom couldn't find anything in the stores she liked. According to the recipe, we baked them in the muffin tin, and... well, we had muffin-shaped bread rolls. They only tasted so-so, too.

I was there until Monday morning due to the train schedule, so over the weekend, my dad and I went to a local secondhand bookshop and picked up books. I managed to get three from my to-read list. And my mom and I went to a frozen custard place that just opened to have custard for breakfast - she had just read about a study by a Japanese researcher that showed that people who had ice cream for breakfast did better on cognitive tasks than either people who had no ice cream for breakfast or who drank cold water instead of eating ice cream, so we joked about that on the way there and afterward.

Also, I had mentioned that I really loved this new figure skating anime to my mom, so she wanted to watch it, and then my dad came in early on in episode three, and they liked it so much that we mainlined the whole thing and then watched episode eight while it was simulcasting. And then on Sunday, we ended up watching some real figure skating.

I had a bit of an odd experience in that I got into a (long) political discussion with my dad at one point, which went rather well even though we're not exactly on the same page. It was a real discussion, not an argument like you usually hear about happening on Thanksgiving. He's a third party member and his viewpoint is that a government strong enough to protect you is strong enough to persecute you, and I understand his beliefs better now even if I don't agree with all or even many of them.

(There was one point were I burst into tears when we got to talking about Pence and I did have to explain to him that when I was crying and talking about how my friends have experienced hate crimes and it's still legal in too many places to send your kid to psychological torture if they are gay or have gender issues, what I wanted was not to hear how the other side was bad too, but to get a goddamn hug. Then he gave me a hug. He is ultimately a compassionate and caring person, but for various reasons his emotional IQ is kind of lacking.)

Getting back was exhausting (local train + Amtrak 1 + two hour layover + Amtrak 2) and took nine hours. Usually it takes six. Thankfully I managed to snag a taxi with some other people going the same way instead of having to pay twice as much. Taking two buses back and then trudging up a hill to get home was not something I wanted to consider even if it would be free.

My co-host and I ended up deciding to delay the Creatures Community Spirit Festival due to lack of submission, which was a bit frustrating and last-minute, but should hopefully work out for the better. Now it's happening during finals, but I'm actually probably busier this week than I will be that week (thanks, multiple programming homeworks). And I might have time to put another thing or two together. At least the associated blog carnival is still going this week, and that's worked out well; everyone has interesting thoughts to read and has posted every day so far.

YoI Episode 9 spoilers under here )
allekha: (Stichity stich)
While writing for it made me quite busy, I was really happy with the Trick or Treat exchange. The other three exchanges I did this year, I managed to end up on the pinch-hit list every time which made me worry about my ability to write prompts. This time I stayed off of it. And not only did I have the opportunity to write some things that I don't usually touch, I got four lovely stories, which really brightened up my day. Now I just need to cross-post everything. I wonder if it's possible to write a script to automate that....

Around the same time I was busy finishing stuff for the Creatures Community Spirit Festival, but unfortunately after the third day (out of fourteen) the website went haywire due to PHP version switching (?) so things haven't been posted for that. Ah, well. I'm proud of the little triptych I wrote for it, though a little surprised that I managed introspection from a game with literally no characters.

Made the mistake of signing up for Flight Rising during the last registration window. Why are pixel dragons so addicting?

I really should go work on my thesis now, or at least my NaNo project - due to not being able to write a couple of days, I'm behind.
allekha: (Rambler rose)
Twice in a year is better than nothing, right? (Still don't understand how I keep meaning to update and then not doing so.)

I'm writing this on the bus to con.txt - more on that in a moment - where we get free Internet! Not very good Internet, admittedly, but can't complain too much. I really should be sleeping, I had trouble falling asleep and only got ~3 hours, but guess now that my brain's woken up it wants to stay up for a while.

Let's see. This Spring semester was pretty interesting, and overall not as bad as some semesters have been. I took four classes and an independent research: Japanese Calligraphy, Evolution, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Calligraphy was fun! Not that I was terribly good at it, too much of a perfectionist. But it was fun! Especially the final - we got to choose our final piece, and I did a large one about five feet tall that is now taped up across from my Dad's office - and the catching-up session where I got to do some of the more flowing pieces. I found that flowing kana especially is quite fun to write. I wore a kimono to the final and I think everyone else was more worried than I was about getting it dirty (it was fine).

Cognitive neuroscience was probably my favorite class. Brains are really interesting. I don't think I've studied how reading and math work in the brain before, so that was fun. For my term paper I wrote about the effect of video game play on visual attention processing. My final paper - ten pages - got written in the 24 hours before it was due, in which I also had to do Evolution's final presentation and move out of my dorm. I thought it was due a couple days later... well, I finished it and got somewhere around a 95, so it worked out in the end.

Human-Computer Interaction was the easiest class. I actually skipped this quite a few times (it was a Thursday evening, and often I'd be tired and want to sleep instead) but especially in the second half of the semester it wasn't a problem. We had to do a project, but given that it's a course for non-programmers... I whipped mine together in ~7 hours, one of which was spent trying to figure out how not to get an integer when dividing, and the professor really liked it - it was a demonstration of the composite and inversion effects for facial processing.

Evolution was... um. Well. It was really interesting. But. In an average week this 100-level course took more work than my 400-level cogneuro course where I had to read, analyze, and summarize scientific papers for every class. It had a ton of reading in the beginning. We had no idea what our grades were until final grades came in. Yeah.

For my independent research, I worked on trying to induce different kinds of migratory behavior in Creatures. I ended up getting a lot of ideas for my senior thesis, which I've already started to work on - a new artificial life simulation.

I also worked ~15 hours a week and helped prepare for my writing group's big event, the Reading Gala, where we had a local author come talk for a bit and then had students read their own works aloud. Not a huge crowd, but we worked hard and it was a success. Next year I'm going to be Ppesident! since our current president Jesse just graduated :( We've applied to get an office too.

Thesis, president, work... next year is either going to be fun or Fun. Overall this semester wasn't bad at all, especially since my roommate hardly ever was in our room, so I essentially had it to myself. My dysphoria bothered me a lot - but when doesn't it?

What else... outside of school, been trying to post a fic a month. I posted two in January, one in March (I think?) and wrote one for Tentacle Big Bang, but that kind of got screwed up so I didn't post it. Maybe I'll try editing it and see how bad it actually is. And May was so busy I fell behind on Get Your Words Out (a year-long writing self-challenge) and only really worked on finishing the first edit of my (original) novel.

So! Now on to con.txt, which looks like it should be interesting. I've never really been to a small con before, or a non-anime one, but I have hopes. Still freaking out a little over how to introduce myself, and, you know, talking with people, but I'm hoping everything will go fine. Here's to the weekend!
allekha: (Default)
Ah, I guess I should make an update.

I got contacts last week when we went to see the optometrist again. Since I'll need eye correction for driving, and I need sunglasses when it's very light out, and it's hard to put sunglasses on top of regular glasses, I decided on contacts. It turns out I have really twitchy eyes, it was very hard to get them in and especially out at first. It became much easier after a few days passed, though. I'm still getting used to them - it's a bit hard to see up close sometimes.

I'm taking a summer course, biology with lab. I really liked the lab this time around. I didn't do nearly as well as usual on the third exam, though... I think the contacts messing with my vision might have helped throw me off. The finals are next week.

I've also been getting back into Creatures. I can't seem to install the first and second games on this computer from the CD :/ But I'll just get the GoG version sometime instead. No disk, either.

Recently I decided that I want to learn some proper geography and went and downloaded a bunch of decks from the Mnemosyne site to import, including one with sovereign state flags and one on the prefectures of Japan. I ended up with 936 cards. Yikes! At least I'm going to delete one set since it's not exactly what I was looking for, but that's only about 60 cards. I'm down to 775 so far...
allekha: (Default)
Trying to get my first gen norns to breed in C1... will go to C3/DS soon too.

Something more important: I can't remember the exact date I re-started playing FP again. But it's definitely passed by now, and it's been two years. That's the longest time a game has every held my attention. Ever.
allekha: (Default)
Blegh. Last night my intestines started cramping (or something like that... that's what my dad says he thinks they did) and they still hurt, but mostly only when I'm standing up or walking, and not SO bad anymore.

I *finally* manged to get Creatures 1 working again, by installing from my Creatures Trilogy disc. The Albian Years I was un- and reinstalling just would not work. The Doctor Cheat makes it actually bearable to play!

Also, it remembered the C2 worlds I'd created although there shouldn't have been any record of them O_o
allekha: (Default)
My Creatures fanfic, If Sphericus Was Earth, has reached 100 hits! know, that sounds really pathetic.
allekha: (Default)
Newest addiction: Pinna and Creatures.

Pinna is a game about virtual bird. You can breed them and stuff, and the birds look really realistic.

Mrf. I want a Wii. Or some Sailor Moon episode DVDs. I have the money, but I can't buy either one of them. Actually, I'm not sure about having enough money for a Wii but still. Maybe I'll ask my mom when she gets home. Maybe.


Mar. 31st, 2006 09:03 pm
allekha: (Default)
Let's see, today was very nice. The perfect Spring weather/temperature. I've been trying to do a Wolfing Run in C3/DS for the past two nights. Both times, they all died. -_- -_- -_- And tommorrow's AFD!!! But there was no Avatar on tonight. :( And I can't get C1 or C2 on the tablet. No fun.

Been playing Oblivion a lot, since we got it.


allekha: (Default)

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