(no subject)

Friday, 6 May 2011 05:43 pm
eighthphase: (persona//epic fail)
I bought Mass Effect the other day (actually, the day before it went on sale - but that's neither here nor there). I want to like it. I really, really do. But I'm having issues with it that just make it impossible for me to play the damn game!

First I can't get it to run. I fixed that. Then I couldn't use the HUD, because my touchpad won't work if you're holding down a key on the keyboard. So I got a USB mouse (well, borrowed, anyway). Now the camera is all weird! It's really floaty and doesn't respond well at all. It is literally impossible for me to aim with the sniper rifle, and extremely difficult the rest of the time - when the mouse doesn't decide that a nudge to the left is a strong flick upward, anyway. I played around with the ingame mouse sensitivity but that only either made it worse or didn't do anything at all. /:

I'd like to think that this is a problem that can be fixed; I mean, surely the camera controls weren't designed to be bad, right? I think a mouse pad might fix it, if it's something to be fixed, but either I don't have one or I just can't find one. (Actually I did find one, an ergonomic one, but there's something weird on it that makes it a bad idea to use.) So I can't test it and I can't play the game in the meantime. I think the universe might not want me to play Mass Effect!

(I considered the idea that I'm just really bad at this game; I mean, I've never played a shooter on a computer, ever, unless Portal counts, and I'm not really all that great at Portal - although apparently using a touchpad instead of a mouse wasn't helping things. And I guess that could still be the reason, but I'd like to become the kind of person who encounters problems and doesn't immediately decide "I'm just really bad at this, is all" is the reason for those problems, so... yeah. For the sake of my self-esteem I'm trying to find a mouse pad.)

Also, I took an AP test yesterday! It was the only one I was signed up for this year and I'm really glad that it's over. I don't really like standardised tests like that, but the proctors this year (VP and new AP) were an improvement over last years' (college centre advisor and new AP) so that was cool. (Those are two different AP I mentioned - the one from last year left to go be principal of the nearby junior high school, so we got another new one this year, and she's much nicer.) I don't think I did as well this year; I wasn't anywhere near as prepared as I was last year. But I still think I did pretty good.

Which reminds me of something that my study guide said. I took the English Literature test, right? And when discussing essays, the study guide said there's always one where you choose a book off of a supplied list or a different one of "similar literary merit." It also suggested that you should probably only choose something you've read in AP English. This is true, especially since you've probably already analysed the shit out of them for class anyway. But the guide then goes on to say that a good rule of thumb is, if it's on the best sellers list or something like that, it means you shouldn't use them. After all, those books might not all be "escapist pulp fiction," but that doesn't make them literature. But then, you probably already thought that, because you wouldn't be taking the test if you didn't believe that some works have more intrinsic value than others in the first place!

I took great offence at that. I mean, the books that we're reading now, that are considered to be literature in the canon, were essentially the best sellers list of their time! And anyway, it's not like anything written recently can't be analysed for things like theme and rhetorical strategies just as well as anything in the canon. I'm not saying that escapist pulp fiction doesn't exist, but that doesn't mean that everything written after the 1930s is devoid of value. (Or, for that matter, that everything considered literature actually has any real value except "it's old and somebody liked it enough to pass it along through time," which really doesn't mean much at all.)

I've rambled on enough, though; I'm kind of hungry and I think my brother might have a mouse pad for me to try, so I'll shut up now.

(no subject)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 03:29 pm
eighthphase: (tsubasa//leisurely)
l-lots of posts today I know .___.

More importantly, I have been placed! Apparently I am ready for Normal College Freshman English, although I think I might actually already have credits for that (except community college doesn't care about AP scores, so I actually don't, even though I would if I went to a Real College). I have a choice between a whopping five maths classes! I think these classes are Stats, Calculus, more Calculus, Trig, and Maths For People Who Suck At Maths, although, according to the course catalogue I found, they're all for people who suck at maths, so idk. (I do know that I won't be taking Trig, because the course description itself says that students in the course "seem very reticent about memorizing the special trig values, such as cos (π/6)". I've already had two years of maths with students like that, thanks, I don't think I'll be paying for a third.) I'll probably take either Finite Mathematics or Maths for Liberal Arts, depending on how masochistic I'm feeling when I register for classes.

I'm starting to feel that maths and I have a very complicated relationship. Normally when people ask me about maths, I reply, "I hate maths! Maths and I don't get along. We just aren't meant to be." The thing is, I'm not actually bad at maths. If I know what I'm doing, I'm actually really good at maths. Trig, for example. I am fucking amazing at trig. This is because I actually understand trig (except for analytical trig, which can fuck off and die for all I care, although I'm actually pretty good at it if you ignore the lowering powers part). Logarithms, on the other hand, I am not so good at. "When you put numbers like this, it means you're actually doing this other thing with them that isn't what it looks like at all." That is basically how I describe logarithms. (Although I have been assured that all you really need to know about logs for trig is that ln and e cancel each other out, which is pretty simple to remember.) And functions! There is absolutely no reason to have to solve f(g(h(k(x)))). There just isn't.

tl;dr: maths for the sake of maths is stupid and I don't suck at English. Those are the only two important points in this entire post. Now I think I am going to go eat a chocolate muffin.

(no subject)

Saturday, 28 August 2010 06:49 pm
eighthphase: (Default)
Yesterday mum bought me five different study guides, for the five different tests I'll be taking this year. I started in on the ACT one first, since that's the first one I'll be taking. (Funfact: I didn't sign up for it, but the first ACT test date is September 11.) So I read the "learning about the test" chapter, and moved on to the diagnostic test chapter, only to become irrationally annoyed at the book with the first passage of the first section. I managed to slog through it anyway, but the second passage was more of the same, so I stopped.

I picked it up again about half an hour ago, and managed to finish the first section, then start on the second section. Only to become irrationally annoyed at the book because I don't remember how to simplify a nested series of four equations (I think I know how to do it, I just apparently didn't do it properly), how to tell whether or not a number is prime without resorting to dividing it out by every number I can think of, and what a secant line is. So I stopped. At this rate, I'll be lucky to finish the diagnostic test before school starts.

In other news, Lady Gaga is growing on me. I realised this when mum had me look up the music video for Paparazzi, because her issue of Rolling Stones magazine told her that Alexander Skarsgard was in it, and I actually kind of liked the song. This in turn led me to realise that my music library would be a hell of a lot bigger if 1) music in general were a lot easier to obtain and 2) I weren't so lazy.

(Also, Firefox has, for some reason, disabled my British English dictionary. I am not happy about this.) 

Also, my PSP has started making strange noises. Have you ever put a CD that had something on the bottom of it into a CD drive, and listened to the "click-click-screeeeech-grindgrindgrind-click" noises the drive makes? My PSP is making those noises with all my UMDs. ): I mean, it still plays them all, it's just 1) really loud and annoying, 2) makes me think my UMDs are getting murdered, 3) happens every time the PSP loads from the disc, which makes loading really slow, and 4) isn't supposed to be happening at all. My tried-and-true video game repair skills (if it isn't working, blow into the cartridge. If it still isn't working, blow into the cartridge slot. If it still isn't working, blow harder) aren't working for me, and the UMDs are clean, so I have absolutely no idea what to do. I'm going to be really angry if I can't play BBS because of this T:<

(no subject)

Thursday, 12 August 2010 02:32 pm
eighthphase: (persona//epic fail)
And then the mail came, and I got my STAR test results. I got basic in maths! I was expecting below basic, so that was a surprise. It's still below the "state target for all students," so it's nothing to be proud of, but still. I didn't fail miserably, I just almost failed miserably! I got advanced on the other two tests I took, which was also kind of a surprise, at least for US History. It would have been nice to get 500 or higher in English, though, especially since this is the last STAR test result list I'll ever get.

None of my scores for maths are above 65%; if it were for an actual maths class, I would definitely have failed. Of course, if it were for an actual maths class, then I would have actually been reviewing Algebra II material. As it was, my trigonometry class did an excellent job of preparing me for this Algebra II test, what with all that algebra we didn't use, and the Algebra II test did an excellent job of testing my knowledge of trigonometry, what with the zero trig questions on the test. (Yes, I am a little bit bitter; I hadn't had Algebra II in two years, and then surprise! Have another Algebra II state test that you're totally unprepared for! Never mind the fact that the last time I had a maths test, it was the Algebra II test. If I thought I knew where my scores were from freshman year, I'd compare them.) Meanwhile, my other scores are much better. I did well in US History! I'm shocked! I did worst on WWII and foreign affairs, and a little less good on post-WWII and domestic issues, but I did much better in the other three sections. And I did really well in English, as usual, though not as well as I would have liked, as I mentioned. I got surprisingly low scores on the reading portion of the questions (to which I say fuck you, state test, I got a 5 on the English Language AP test and that's what really counts) but I did a lot better on the writing portion.

Also, I'm looking at the suggested reading list (a different one than usual, though I suspect they changed their reading lists), and god damn, there is a lot of Shakespeare. Eleven of his plays! That is a lot of Shakespeare. Though I'm pleased as punch to see The Story of King Arthur and His Knights on there, because Arthurian legends are always cool.

(no subject)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010 04:37 pm
eighthphase: (slytherclaw//and that's how you write an)
So I just read a news article about how the price of stamps are going up again, and the Post Office is losing tons and tons of money because people aren't mailing things if they don't have to because the economy sucks and it's too expensive to mail things, so the Post Office loses money because people aren't mailing things... to infinity, because it causes itself. I think the actual problem isn't just that it's expensive to mail things, but that the mail system itself pretty much sucks. I hear my aunt, a postal worker, bitching about it all the time, and she recommends to everyone she knows - don't mail things.

Of course, if the mail system sucks, it's just going to suck more because the Post Office has no money, because people aren't mailing things, because it's too expensive because the mail system sucks, so there's still no solution.

In other news, I got my AP scores today! :D 3 in APUSH, which I was entirely expecting, and... a 5 in APE! 8D Right after I took the test I was all, "Hell yeah, I'm really awesome, I'm totally getting a five." And then I reconsidered, because that was really boastful and probably not at all true and I'd just be setting myself up for disappointment.

And then I got a five, so.

Moving right along, GameStop hasn't texted me about my reservation coming in like they're supposed to, and I know mum doesn't feel up to driving out to Pacific Commons today anyway (and anyway if we did then dad could complain about how we're not going out to his house tonight) and I'm too lazy to call in, so I'll pick it up tomorrow, or something like that. (Not that I've really been getting texts from any automated system that's supposed to be sending me texts, because Facebook hasn't been texting me like it should be, either, even though I haven't changed any of my settings.)

I was reading about the epic fail in YA literature earlier, which really resonates with me, not in an "I'm sick and tired of these motherfucking abusive relationships in my twelve-year-old's motherfucking books" kind of way, but in an "I JUST WANT SOMETHING GOOD TO READ" kind of way. I'm sick of girls falling for assholes who may or may not also be trying to/fully capable of killing them, not because those are some dangerous values to be shoving down 11-15 year old girls' throats, but because I'm sick of reading about girls falling for assholes who may or may not also be trying to/fully capable of killing them. It's like that one time when I was totally into omelettes. I ate omelettes every day for two and a half weeks. And then I never ate another omelette again, because I couldn't stand the thought of eating yet another omelette.

(I think it also has something to do with the REALLY STUPID DECISIONS many of the female protagonists make - "I'm an empath and my life sucks because the asshole who can make my powers go away doesn't want to be my boyfriend! I'm going to BECOME AN ALCOHOLIC!! :D" - but at the same time a lot of it is that I'm just sick of reading the same thing OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. Also, I'm too lazy to ctrl-i for italics right now.)

But yeah. I want a nice, well-written, sci-fi/fantasy adventure, that may or may not involve mysteries or crime-solving, that doesn't have a a major romantic subplot. I'm sick of romance, because nobody seems to know how to write it properly. Unfortunately, that's all everybody seems to be writing, and if it isn't shitty romance, then I've probably already read it. /:

(no subject)

Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:36 am
eighthphase: (ryoji//uncontrollable joy)
I got my SAT scores, finally! 2020, yeah! I feel adequate!

I originally thought I had 1920, because I was adding them by hand at first and forgot to carry the most important 1. Oops. Guess there was a reason my maths score was the lowest. (Technically my lowest score was actually my essay score, but my overall writing score was higher than my maths score, so... yeah.)

Going to the mall later with Sonja, and then I have a Girl Scouts meeting this evening that I'm totally unprepared for, yeah! But we get to chill in the hot tub when we're done giving out the badges and stuff (two years' worth; we forgot to do it last year) so that's cool. And Amanda will kill me for getting a higher SAT score than she did! Even though everybody knew it was going to happen.

I'm going to sign up for the October test date, too. I should probably take some subject tests, instead, but I want to see if I can get a higher score on the reasoning test. I'm aiming for at least 2100 next time!

(no subject)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010 04:53 pm
eighthphase: (trek//i'm on a ship)
So, I think I'm going to epic fail the maths part of state testing this year for reasons almost entirely out of my control. I mean, I'm doing the best I can, but I realised I was so totally screwed when I opened up the booklet, looked at the first question, and realised I had absolutely no idea how to solve it.

In other news, I love this song to pieces, even though it makes me cry almost every time I hear it. (Which makes for awkward times in French class, since this is quite possibly the only not hip-hop song we've ever listened to.) I thought I got over it, for the most part, but then I noticed the English lyrics and totally lost it again. I don't know what it is about it that does it.

...ahahaha, some idiot's bitching about the way mum plays her ~*~Facebook game~*~ with all kinds of foul language and rudeness and pettiness and whatnot, like some total scrub. Mum's complaining to me about it. It's awesome. And by awesome I mean distracting, so it's cool. (I love internet stuff like this. Must be why I read sf_d all the time, lol.)

In other news, I've got a couple pages of trig homework to do and an act and a half of The Crucible left to read. Blaaargh... (Actually, it's not that bad. Like, at all. The trig is really easy and at least The Crucible isn't The Grapes of Wrath...)

And~! I'm almost finished with mum's gift. The face is giving me the hardest time... right now it looks less like Joe Flanigan and more like a cross between Balthier and Jensen Ackles. orz I'm not sure where I've gone wrong; I'll have to ask Melissa and Kristen and Amanda what's wrong with it again. \: I fixed the eyes and made the face wider, but it still looks off. Mostly today I was working on the background, haha. The Stargate finally looks (mostly) right! :D I'm going to have so much time tomorrow, since the tests are science parts one and two and maths part two, and I'm not taking a science test this year (since I didn't have a science class this year). Oh, and maybe I can ask Sonja during first block tomorrow, too.

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