Archives

All posts for the month December, 2011

And I obviously abandoned the countdown to Christmas;;;
It’s okay. The day itself is more important. ^^

Firstly…here is the present I made for my brother: http://fireaangel.deviantart.com/art/Christmas-2011-276012291

And secondly…here’s what I got:
Yuki's Christmas presents

From right to left:
MTSU hoodie and long-sleeved shirt from Grandmother
Yu-gi-oh! cards and Pokemon White from my brother (and ex-stepdad)
$100 from Grandmother
Kung Fu Panda box set (Just finished watching Kung Fu Panda 2…it’s soooooo good! XD)
iTunes gift card from Grandmother, I think
Chocolate from my parents
Copic marker containers!!
Copic markers!
Batteries and protective goggles for the not-pictured Nerf gun (my brother got a matching set plus extra darts because we are apparently supposed to battle each other lol)
Yu-gi-oh! R vol. 2 from my brother (he says he got the other ones too except for volume 1)
Larger marker paper (I consider it poster-size; I actually used it to do my brother’s Christmas gift)
Annnnnd….S/mileage’s photobook!!!

I also got $25 from Nana ;u; and my brother drew some pictures for me (T v T)

Oh. And I got an iPhone…last week? Yeah. XD; The iPhone 4S. Yep. I’m amazed.. XD; My mom got the iPhone 4, despite being nervous about it, and she really likes it! I’m happy for her. Hehe~ There was a bit of a problem with transferring stuff, but it’s something we decided not to worry about…besides, it couldn’t be resolved anyway because they sent off her old phone the very night we exchanged hers. OTL

In other news, we picked out flooring for our kitchen and dining room! The kitchen will have tile and the dining room will have hardwood. It’s going to be nice to have a “real” floor in the kitchen again. (T v T)b

Also, my finger is doing better! I’m doing exercises to regain full motion in it and put strength back in it with stress balls and stuff, although it seems pretty strong to me. ^^; The swelling is going down, too. I’ve been drawing a whole lot and I’m actually using that finger to type again, which is a nice surprise.

Over the weekend my mom made cupcakes.

Snowcakemen

I made snowmen out of the big ones. :D

I’m sure this would be a lot more magical and effective if I had actually blogged once per day as opposed to grouping the topics together.

13. Cheer (Christmas spirit)
I wonder what it entails… What creates it? How does one get into the Christmas spirit and then share it with others? Is it just a feeling or a legitimate sense of the season?

This year, it hasn’t really felt like Christmas, and I’m not quite sure why. It’s only snowed once (and that didn’t stick around), so perhaps I’m not quite feeling the Winter Wonderland. We didn’t put up an ‘actual’ Christmas tree (just a lighted spiral tree) because we don’t have room for it right now, so maybe I’m not realizing how close Christmas Day is.

Whatever the reason, I’m positive I will be in the Christmas spirit more this week and of course on Christmas Day, because I’m drawing presents for, like…everyone alive. ;u;

Christmas spirit itself seems to me to be the feeling of mutual joy and affection, where you just want to be nice to people and spread those feelings to them, whether by word or action, and to give a lot more than you normally could (or would). Even just saying “Merry Christmas” is a very important part of it! ^^ Get into the Christmas spirit and experience the warmth of the days, giving what you can to even those who can’t give back to you, and then make a New Year’s Promise to be that way more often next year. I think that would be a great thing to do. :)

12. Plays
I’ve always liked watching and being in Christmas plays. Our church would always have a children’s Christmas play, and there would also be a cantata for the choir, and occasionally a teen program too. I was in the cantata only once, and the teen one twice (I think), but I was in several children’s Christmas plays.

I often played somewhat odd roles; like once I was a shepherd. ^^; Another time, they changed the name of my character so I would be playing a girl instead of a boy. I played the role of an adult, but then someone else sang my character’s solo song. ^^; In my last children’s Christmas play, I not only played an adult as one of the main roles, but I sang her solo song and ended up with a horrid Southern accent. (That was the worst Christmas play ever–it was meant to be a summer play so we were all in shorts and overalls and other summer clothes. I only had that role as camp leader because I was the tallest.)

Children’s plays are always very interesting, though. I think they get people to see things in a new light. When something comes from a little kid, words aren’t minced; they say it like it is and I think adults need to hear things like that from time to time…don’t you?

Haven’t posted one of these in five days. ^^; I’ve been busy or just away from the computer. Hehe.

21. Gifts
20. Traditions
19. Music
18. SNOW
17. Storage
16. Cards (this posted on the 10th, but it was actually the 9th)
15. Traffic
The other night (Monday, actually) we went to a seminar on the danger to America that comes from within (the threat of Islam), and there was SO MUCH TRAFFIC. I mean, cars EVERYWHERE. It was the same on Saturday too. EVERYONE was out and about. It really amazed me. I mean, it’s always amazing to see so much of one thing in one place, but I guess it’s even more amazing to know that most of them are out doing the same thing: shopping. Christmas shopping. Seeing all of those cars and knowing what the drivers are probably doing, it makes me think “Wow…this is one of the few times a year when so many of us are actually in unison on one thing.”

And I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas. Some celebrate Hanukkah and some celebrate Kwanzaa…some celebrate Santa Day or Hollyday rather than HolyDay (Holiday), and still others celebrate everything or nothing at all. I’m sure there are even celebrations of holidays around this time that I don’t know of. Of course Canada’s Boxing Day comes after Christmas Day, but.. XD

But in the weeks before Christmas, it seems that there’s such a unison in everyone going out to get gifts and/or decorations… I think that’s why Christmas is so meant to be a ‘togetherness’ holiday. It’s one of those times where it’s easier to be close to people, or perhaps easier to pretend.

14. Shopping
Continuing from the previous topic, really, SHOPPING for Christmas gifts and all sorts of things is something that Christmas has really become known for. Stores post Christmas deals all over the place, and this year Black Friday has even been extended in many stores; Michael’s for one. “Get Black Friday savings every weekend!” they advertise.

Are you the kind of shopper who buys gifts early and waits? Do you put things on layaway? Or do you rush Black Friday? Do you try to get all of your shopping done in the first two weekends of December or wait til the last minute? This year, people are talking about waiting until after Christmas to actually have their celebration so that they can save money on the presents. Will you do that?
We’ve really tried to get our shopping done earlier, but even so, there might still be a few things we need to get. I’m not sure.

I like shopping when there are lots of deals, but I don’t really like the crowds… ^^;

I’m sure many people have blogged about this and taken action to voice their opinion to their representatives and all…but I haven’t yet. Perhaps it’s because it’s such a ridiculous proposition that there is no way it could be passed, but at the same time…

Apparently SOPA is supposed to give the government the ability to shut down sites which contain or promote third party “pirated” content. That by itself is fine, but I don’t think those people really understand why that happens in the first place. Let’s use music as the example, since that’s one of the things most “pirated” (another would be video):

Let’s say I am searching on Google for information on becoming a translator. I look through some things and then I come down to a blog post that was indexed to match this search term of mine. It says that a subtitle group is looking for translators. I click to that page and go to the SimpleSubs page that is linked from there, because they are the ones looking for translators. I ask to join, and I am accepted.
My first translation project for SS is S/mileage’s song “Suki-chan”, so what do I need to do? Well, first, since I have never heard this song before, I will have to find it. And where do I do that? I don’t live in Japan, so I haven’t seen the CD in any store, nor seen advertisements on TV. So I go to Youtube, where someone has uploaded the promotional video for that song. Aha! Now I know what the song sounds like. Next, I need the lyrics for the song so I can make sure I’m translating the right words. Again, I have no CD of this song. What do I do? I go to projecthello.com, where they have the S-JIS (actual Japanese lyrics) and the romaji lyrics for the song. Fantastic! Now I can translate.

Through SS, I learn of other groups and discover that S/mileage is a part of Hello!Project, so I want to listen to other groups’ songs. How do I do that? Remember, I don’t have any of their CDs so I can’t pop one into my boombox or computer. None of my “real life” friends have any of these CDs; I can’t borrow one…it’s not on iTunes. I go to…that’s right, YOUTUBE. Thanks to the fans who want to share the Hello!Project music, there are plenty of PVs I can watch. I decide to be a fan and guess what? I go to ITUNES and BUY the music.

But iTunes doesn’t have all of their music, and buying CDs from overseas costs a lot. So for songs I can’t get…what am I supposed to do? I don’t want to rip Youtube videos. I just want the songs. So I search for the songs on fileshare websites and I will generally find some of them.

As you probably guessed, this is a true story. A person is introduced to the artist via a website that contains third-party content. That person networks with that website and other sharing websites (blogs, etc.) and finally goes to iTunes to buy music from the artist they like. If iTunes doesn’t have all of the music they’re looking for, what are they supposed to do? They could buy the CD and have it shipped overseas, or save money and do a download. OR, iTunes could just have all the songs and then there wouldn’t be a need to do such a download.

Now let’s see how this would go with SOPA.

First, the person searches on Google. Well, since SOPA kills sites with third-party content, the blog on which I found the ad calling for translators would not exist, and neither would the website SimpleSubs, which was the one looking for translators.
Let’s say I managed to find something similar, or that SOPA hadn’t reached those two sites yet. My first project is S/mileage’s song “Suki-chan”. I haven’t heard it before. So I go to Youtube. Well, since SOPA kills sites with third-party content, with SOPA, Youtube would be dissolved. So I wouldn’t find the song. And I would say, “Well, let me try with the lyrics anyway.”
So I go to projecthello.com. But since this site contains lyrics for third-party artists, it wouldn’t exist thanks to SOPA.
The end result? I wouldn’t be able to discover Hello!Project through this method, especially if the first site I found on Google didn’t exist due to SOPA. Which means I wouldn’t buy their music on iTunes. Which means all the other fans who found H!P through Youtube and other websites with third-party content wouldn’t buy their music either, because they wouldn’t know them at all.
Result? Market suffers.

This goes the same for video. Buying DVDs of anime is great, but how do people find anime? Often it’s through fanart, videos on Youtube, or clips on some other site. Sometimes they will be introduced via ads, but it would only be for English dubs if on TV, and English manga if in print.
The market suffers if people can’t share their favorites online.

SOPA kills artist websites like DeviantART. Because fanart is literally art that depicts someone else’s characters/concepts in an original picture, SOPA would ban it, meaning that artists could no longer network by using their talents and sharing their favorites online. Series are often introduced to others via fanart. Without this, awareness decreases and the market suffers.

What about fans who create websites? Wikipedia pages? Blogs? Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook? Graphics designers who have website themes/templates featuring characters that don’t belong to them…if they get commissioned to do something like that, then they would suffer financially if SOPA shut their site down.

The real solution to piracy online is to fix the problems that create it. Provide the music in iTunes (or Amazon or whatever). Allow shipping discounts on overseas items so people like me won’t shy away going “It’s too expensive.” Provide more international options in the places that provide video (iTunes…). Recently I noticed that a Hello!Project PV is actually available for purchase on iTunes, and once I get a gift card, I am definitely buying it!

Notice this: when Hello!Project put member channels on Youtube (Morning Musume, C-ute, etc.) and began uploading the PVs and extra content, the number of ‘copy’ H!P PVs uploaded by fans decreased significantly, because there is no longer such a need for it. H!P has the right idea. When you simply provide the content people are looking for, they’re not going to try to pirate it to get it online. And I do not know of anyone who tries to sell these PVs other than H!P itself. I do not know of a single subtitle group that tries to sell its subtitled videos. For the most part, fans just want to talk about their favorites and share them with others. This proposed SOPA bill severely hinders that.

Don’t you dare put it through, government!!! Dx<

ANYWAY. The government should really stop worrying about the internet and worry more about the gazillions of money it is wasting on useless things. But then again, I'm sure the evil people who have infiltrated the government would love to see America keel over, wouldn't they?

But don't worry. We know what they're up to. And just read your history book–America doesn't like losing any part of its freedom. You'd better watch out, bad guys. If you push the people too far, you are going to be in some serious trouble.

21. Gifts
20. Traditions
19. Music
18. SNOW
17. Storage
16. Cards
For a while (prior to the divorce) we got a list of all the people in the church and we would send cards out to all of them. It took a lot of cards and a lot of stamps! I don’t think we really personalized any of them, though…
Other church members would also get those lists and mail out cards, so every year we would get tons of cards in the mail or handed directly to us. Sometimes we also got cards from school and friends, and we’d always get cards from our extended family members. My parents’ workplaces would also give out cards of some sort.
We sent cards also to our family members and some friends, but again, not many of them were personalized, unless we bought them individually rather than in those ready-to-go box sets.

I know a lot of families like to personalize their Christmas cards with family portraits/photos, often of either the entire family or the kids… I like seeing those types of cards also, because they’re sweet reminders of your loved ones…it’s like they’re visiting you, spending Christmas right next to you, with you~

Since 2009 I have done special Christmas pictures that I think of as cards… It’s a way for me to give to everyone all at once, especially when I upload it online. A lot of other artists do this as well, so I know it’s not exactly unique, but I do think that it’s personally unique and special…you put yourself into the holiday, into the spirit of Christmas!

I’m still contemplating my picture for this Christmas, and I’m sure my parents are still contemplating how many Christmas cards they’ll send, but whatever we decide to do it will be straight from the heart. ♥

It took me a few minutes to think of what to write this time, but I finally decided on this:
21. Gifts
20. Traditions
19. Music
18. SNOW
17. Storage
You put up the decorations…and then, after a month or so, you have to take them down. Especially if you’ve bought new decorations and perhaps can’t store them in their original boxes, you need somewhere to put them…and then they get packed away in the attic, garage, or closet.

The dismantling of Christmas decorations is probably my least favorite part of decorating. Well, it’s not the actual ‘taking down’ that bothers me because we do it really quickly (or at least I do); it’s the ‘putting back’–putting everything back into their boxes and carting them off to the attic (which I don’t do because I don’t like climbing up and down that ladder…). The tree always fits back into its box, but often everything else ends up in different boxes than the ones they came from, and sometimes that means they don’t fit. So you have to unpack a box somewhat, fit the item in, and then maybe another box doesn’t close completely… It’s annoying. Haha.

Today I’ve been on a bit of an organizational journey through the pages of the website http://www.containerstore.com/, which was recommended by Elle (allthatglitters21). Even before watching the video, I waved goodbye to my dad as he left for work, and then turned to my right, facing his giant pile of papers, outdoor gear, and miscellaneousness heaped upon three tables and strewn across the floor. It has been bothering me for months.
I could take it no more.
I attacked said pile with the intention of not truly cleaning the surfaces, but of merely organizing them into much smaller piles based on the category of the items within each pile. I used the entire room to lay stuff out, and ended up with MANY piles; some of which really should go elsewhere (like the clothes).

I really didn’t touch the two smaller tables because the stuff on them was put there more recently and it looked important, but I did clean up some of the things on the floor and I saved one of our chairs from the pile that was starting to grow on it due to a lack of available surface space. Right now, I still have the piles sorted all over the room, and I should probably move some of the stuff off of the couch because no one can sit on it at the moment, but again, the idea is that my dad can easily see which pile contains what, and he can put it where it goes without just tossing it back onto the table again.

My mom has declared that we must de-clutter this weekend. I agree.

So, to get back to the Christmas decoration dismantling, on the Container Store website I found lots and lots of great storage solutions that would be great for storing not only stuff around the house, but also decorations too. Naturally, everyone thinks of the large, plastic bins, but what about the smaller items, like ornament hangers and even lights? Lights can be wound back into their circle shape and then put into a small, shallow box so they don’t get tangled up with other lights. Or perhaps a tall box…store several strands of lights in one box.

The website provides lots of storage solutions for display as well, like wall shelving (including floating shelves) and Command hooks. I’d definitely recommend checking it out! A lot of the stuff on there is pretty affordable, and looks great too~

Since we didn’t put up a lot of decorations this year, we won’t really have to worry about the mess that comes with putting them away, but I am putting together a list of some things that we could definitely use around the house to help with storage and keeping stuff organized! Also…if you still need any gift ideas… *points to the website again* Get a box set! XD Or you could get a box and then fill it with smaller things~ I like things like that, because it feels like you’ve gotten a zillion presents all in one. >w<

YES. I DID IT.
…..orz

I’ve been waffling over it for some time now, lurking about Namie’s and Lulu’s pages (and recently Yuki-nee’s), wanting to follow them but being unable to do so. I didn’t want to make another blog for myself as I already had more than necessary ^^; but today I went ahead and made a Tumblr.

There’s nothing there yet because I want to draw a picture for my first post and I do not have my tablet with me at the moment. (Going to the dentist today. Yayyyy~) BUT you can fire questions at me, follow me, stuff like that. ovo

Intentions for the Tumblr blog are…well, it will be the place where I’ll answer questions (though I will answer anywhere else; deviantART, here, wherever) and post sketches and things. The ask feature is really what I wanted to make use of, as I don’t really care for Formspring (I had one before and closed it–then again, it was for one of my characters and therefore not really mine). I like the ease of use, and although actually figuring out which settings are where was a bit difficult, changing the setting themselves is super simple.

This blog is still my main blog. I just like it. That’s why. xD