Monday, November 17, 2014

National Baklava Day!


One of my fave desserts!
:iconyayhanatamagoplz:I'm kind of surprised it's a national holiday here, but it definitely deserves a day to celebrate it. There are many different versions around the world, but they say it may have originated with the Turkic people in Central Asian nations. The word baklava first appeared in English in 1650. In general, it's a sweet pastry made with layers of filo dough, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. It's also Homemade Bread Day. That's the best kind!:iconfrancisplz:I've been curious about making my own bread in the past. Maybe I'll get to it sometime in the near future. My mom used to make homemade challah every Friday until she got really sick. The whole house smelled awesome. And, sometimes I could smell it as I was just outside the door coming home from school. It made for a nice and cozy atmosphere.:iconthailandplz:

It's been really cold lately.:iconitsfreezingplz:So cold that there was a pretty thick layer of frost out when I went for my morning walk today. For a couple of nights I've been able to get the fireplace going with some interesting firewood from Safeway, so it's been somewhat toasty inside at least.:iconwarmandcomfyplz: 

I've been sick for the past week.:iconlietplz:I'm still at the very tail-end of it. Had a very low grade fever, but it was quite a bit higher than my norm. Apparently, I'm cooler than most people are with body temperature.:iconwtfukplz:(Might be one factor as to why weather has affected me a little differently...I used to be numb to cold and hot weather, only noticing that the colder or hotter it gets the more headaches and/or sweaty I get. I'm still a little odd with it.:icongermanyplz:) I've felt lightheaded, cold/hot sweats (funny to be absolutely freezing and absolutely burning up at the same time:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:), felt nauseous, nose going, a weird scratchy throat, etc. At least I seem to be coming out of it. 

I really had an urge to go for a walk this morning, and went out for the first time in a while. Bumped into a neighborhood friend, and she said I should still take it easy. My body might not be up to walking a lot. Turned out the air was so cold, it started to hurt my sides and throat. I had to cut it a little short because of it. Probably was close to 1 1/2 miles compared to the 2 miles I usually do. Not too bad. Took me a while to recover from the cold, though.:iconitscoldplz:I'm glad I got out there, too. I needed it. 

On Saturday, we went to Barnes and Noble at the mall. I got an iced gingerbread latte at their cafe. It was surprisingly good. I don't usually like coffee, I'm more of a tea person.:iconusaplz: 

Also, while we were there I found a regular calendar for next year. It's called A Walk in Paris, and it comes with a 'matchbook map guide' which has a tagline saying Walk, Shop, Eat in Paris. It looks cool from what they show you on the outside. I took French in high school (all of the levels that were available...:iconeestiplz:) so I have a certain affection or draw to the country, too. Although, it's not as strong as it used to be. (Japan has outdone it now.:iconkikuplz:) It'll still be cool to see places in the city of Paris. This one doesn't seem as busy as my current Italy calendar. A pic a 'day' (some stretched for a couple of days) makes it a little cluttered looking.:icontinoplz: 

I hope to get the next Jewish calendar from the same people as last time, the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. It's fascinating to see the really old stuff, and they always have interesting things each year.:iconchibihungaryplz:They sell them on Amazon, so it's easy to get. I usually have to get 2 calendars, because the regular one doesn't have the Jewish holidays/calendar dates/parshas (weekly Torah portion). A lot of the time the Jewish one doesn't have all the American holidays or things like Daylight Saving Time. So, it's like you have to get both in order to stay on top of everything...:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:The Jewish calendar is lunar, so things 'jump around' when you compare them to the regular calendar. (They're always on the same date on the Jewish calendar itself, by the way.) 

Managed to have my birthday cake Friday night! Yay!:party:A week late, but awesome nonetheless. It is/was a cream version of a Black Forest cake. I love Black Forest cake! So it's like an over-the-top version. It's huge!:iconshockplz:No matter how thin I slice it, it makes huge slices. 

Started the 2nd season of Hamatora. Apparently, they tried to troll the audience for a while making it look like Nice really did die. (Even held a memorial service at the cafe.) Then, towards the end, he shows up and reveals that he was in a tiger mascot costume that was there in the background for a good part of the episode.:iconhanatamagoplz:He apparently was sent to the hospital, but they haven't revealed what really happened when Art aimed his gun and fired at Nice. (Or so we assume. Art held the gun to the back of Nice's head, it faded to black, then a gunshot was heard.) Nice was also badly beat up by Moral, so that might be another reason why he was at the hospital if Art didn't really shoot him. They seemed to paint the current Art in a bad light, like he's the next 'villain'.:iconpolandplz:Maybe it's for show, too. Although, he's looking a lot like Moral...I kind of feel more confused after watching this episode than I was before.:iconawkwardplz:Although, I'm glad to see Nice's alive. Oh, and last season the owner of Cafe Nowhere was always grinding coffee. Now he's apparently wiping dishes with a dishtowel. It'd be interesting to see some more background stuff on him. 

Finished watching ST. It was ok and had its moments. Wasn't the best mystery/cop drama, though. Had a lot of actors that I'm familiar with too. All the members of ST are slightly flawed and socially inept. (All except for the Captain.) They also have names that are related to colors. Akagi (his name has 'red' in it, and is a part of the tagline for the series 'Red and...') is a forensic expert, has severe agoraphobia, is obsessed with solving mysteries but gets upset when he figures it all out, if there isn't any mysteries he prefers to stay home (in fact before joining the team, he refused to leave his house for anything), and he can be incredibly rude to other detectives. Midori (which means 'green') has super sensitive hearing, a physicist, and tends to say 'how disgusting' to anything she doesn't like. Aoyama (has 'blue' in hers) can't function if things are organized, a profiler who has a PhD in criminal psychology, and she prefers to be tomboyish (her rich parents forbid her to, so she changes her clothes on the way to work and acts like her natural self while there). Kurosaki (has 'black' in his name) is a chemical expert, tends to only speak to one other member of the team, and 'speaks' through his cell phone to the others. He has an unusually strong sense of smell, and is really strong physically. Knives and anything pointy scares him to death. Another member (who is the only one Kuro speaks to regularly), Yamabuki (there isn't really a color in his name, but I've seen him be represented as 'yellow' and he wears yellow clothing) has chronic insomnia, also is a chemical expert, and is a Buddhist monk. Their Captain, Yurine (there isn't a color in his name, but he's represented as 'white'), seems to be the most normal. But, he's always trying to calm them down, teach them manners, knows how to deal with them, etc. They tend to cause him a lot of stress.:iconsighingplz:At the end, he was promoted to a higher position outside of the ST. If they come back for another season, it just won't be the same. There are hints about a movie in January, from the last scenes too. Apparently, Akagi gets arrested just after Yurine leaves.:iconnataliaplz:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rocky Road to Dublin


By the Young Dubliners. The Young Dubliners are an American Celtic rock band, formed in LA, in 1988. Their music is a fusion of traditional Irish instruments and folk songs with modern rock. Really cool and interesting band. The band was founded by 2 Dublin natives, Keith Roberts and Paul O' Toole. Eventually the band grew and now has 5 members. (Paul apparently quit, and there were other musicians that quit over the years.) They were influenced by bands like Thin Lizzy and The Pogues. I like this version of the Irish folk song.:iconheroamericaplz:Apparently, the original's from the 19th century, and the words were written down by D.K. Gavan, "The Galway Poet", for the English music hall performer Harry Clifton, who popularized the song. (Clifton lived from 1824-1872.) The song is fast-paced and about the many troubles and travails that the protagonist encounters during his travels. 

My birthday was on Friday.:la:Kind of did things that I really enjoy doing during the day (going on forums, games, reading, watching Jdramas/anime, etc.), as like a personal celebration. Then, I had BBQ pulled chicken on a kaiser roll sandwiches and a huge 'birthday' salad for Shabbos/birthday dinner. The salad had mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage, craisins (dried cranberries), and croutons. I used one of my fave dressings, Caesar, for mine. The kaiser rolls were really hard on the outside and very soft inside. So, it really soaked up the sauce. It was all really good!:iconfeelingfullplz:

I was told that there would be a possibility of cake, as well. But, they didn't have my fave cake available, which is Black Forest. (Chocolate cake with cherry filling, whipped cream, and cherries on top. All my faves, chocolate and cherries, combined!:iconinloveplz:) So, we had chocolate eclairs instead. Still pretty awesome, though. Dad was talking about putting the number of candles that make up how old I am now on the cake. That might be a fire hazard...:iconhanatamagoplz:It still might happen, because we might get a cake to celebrate it again soon. It might be there next week. Hey, it's still my birth month...:iconhongkongplz:

On Saturday, we did a couple of errands in the morning, and then went to Mizuki Buffet for lunch. That place is amazing!:iconfrancisplz:They have such a selection of stuff. The dessert section seems to change quite often, and had a lot of good stuff this time. (One of the most interesting ones was a green tea tiramisu cake. Another was banana pudding in a small chocolate cup with sprinkles and a grape slice. Looked like some sort of intricate scene.) I got a strawberry ramune with it. It was kind of loud, so apparently the waitress at first thought I said lemonade. Interesting, because the people who created ramune came up with its name as a play on that, even though it's a soda company.:iconkikuplz:I asked if they had any flavors besides the regular one, and all they had was strawberry. Not a bad flavor though. I normally have tea or water, but it was my birthday, and I thought I could splurge a little because of it. 

We went to Uwajimaya afterwards. It's a huge Asian supermarket. Another amazing place! There are so many things to see there.:iconchibihungaryplz:They have their own bookstore, food court, salon, etc. Their bakery, deli, seafood, and produce sections are always interesting. They have some Russian and German things along with the main Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. stuff. We got some assorted Russian cookies. A few years ago, we had that same brand's cookies with cherries and they were really good! (They actually are imported from Russia. It's cool!) We saw maybe 85-90% of the store before we got tired and stopped looking at things. Not too bad. I wanted to tour the International District on top of that, but, again, we were too tired. Saw Little Saigon on the way to Uwajimaya in the car, at least.:icontinoplz:That was interesting. 

Wanted to go to the Oak Table the next day, but I had fizzled out by then. Already ate quite a bit at the buffet as it was...I'll post pics of what I got at the buffet, and the cookies on fb and dA soon. 

I actually completed a birthday/Hanukkah wishlist a day before my birthday!:iconranranruuplz:A little late for birthday presents, but it can also be used for Hanukkah. I only managed to think of 4 things that I wanted. I have a hard time thinking about what I want sometimes.:iconthinkinghkplz:I'm still getting in touch with my own preferences for things, or even just about myself in general. I thought I'd want some better more vibrant/vivid eye shadow colors. The eye shadows I do have barely show up. Some have asked me if I'm wearing any eye shadow when I wear makeup. Maybe it's my skin color or something...:iconwtfromanoplz:

There's also something I wanted for a while which is an anthology of Japanese stories in Japanese vertical text. It has the English translation after each one. 

And, the last 2 things were both expansions of the Sims 2. One introduces pets, and the other introduces seasons. Two things that'll make it feel more 'real'. Normally, the game is in a constant spring-like season. It'd be interesting to see other ones. (Especially interesting to see things like rain, the leaves changing, snow, etc. It's too stagnant right now.:iconpolandplz:) Plus, both of them add more clothes, decorations, furniture, garden tools and plants, goals, etc. With the pets one you have a wide range of cat, dog, bird, hamster, or fish breeds to choose from. You can even make your own. I love pets, so that would be a welcome addition.:iconthailandplz:

I'm hoping to get back into my fitness routine. Been kind of lax about it lately.:iconchibiswedenplz:Decided it might be better to stick with a certain amount of sit-ups twice a day for a month, instead of a week. I started the 'month' last week with 10 twice a day. Thought I should start over at a simple amount, again. I was kind of waffly about it last week, but I'm trying to be more strict this week. Next month I'll do 15 twice a day. Just like I would have if it were weekly. (Adding 5 twice a day each week. Now, it's every month.) I think being more gradual with it might be better for my body, too. 

I want to get back into my 2 2-mile walks as well. Didn't really work out today, but I can do it tomorrow. Also, trying to get back to being better about looking at my calories for the day. I was a bit more lax about it lately, for obvious reasons, but I feel like I should get back into it. 

Finished watching Time Spiral. The story was very good and interesting. The actors seemed to overact it, though. I thought it was going to have a bad ending until the last 3 minutes or so. Everything turned out alright in the end. No one was killed off.

Finished watching the first season of Hamatora. If I hadn't known that there was a 2nd season, I'd be pissed.:iconprussiaplz:It seemed like one of the worst ways to end a show. Nice defeated Moral, and Art showed up looking very much alive on the boat they were on. Moral was still alive, and Art shot him in the head. So not like him.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:It ended with Art putting his gun to the back of Nice's head, fade to black, and the sound of a gunshot fired. We don't know if he actually shot/killed Nice or what. Everyone thought that Moral had killed Art when they faced off alone earlier. They fought over someone's grave, and with that episode, the ending scene was Art bleeding out while Nice was trying to call him. They said that he was always trying to make up for not having a Minimum power. Does he suddenly have one now? Did it awaken when he was on the brink of death? People with Minimums are kind of like the X-men. They have special powers, and are sometimes ridiculed by the general public because of it. One of them even had a Hulk-like ability. Only he turned purple, and it was 'given' to him. He wasn't one of the people born with it. Nice can move at the speed of sound, Murasaki has super strength, Birthday can use electricity if he absorbs a power source, Ratio can harden his fists to be as hard as steel, another one can predict things 10 minutes into the future with her laptop, another can teleport people to a certain distance, etc. All of these ones were born with it. There are hints that Art and Moral might be brothers or have some sort of other relation...Moral was a really disturbing villain. There are few that really make your skin crawl like he did.:iconwtfukplz:He would steal the original Minimum users' brains, and inject the chemical serum that has components of those powers from those brains into someone who sought power. They usually felt weak and useless beforehand. He'd use them to wreak havoc. He had a tech savvy person broadcast signals that only teens could pick up on urging them to seek power from him. She was finally captured, too. His reason behind everything was to make everyone 'equal' by giving the weak power. Also, he used some of it on himself. He felt that Nice was lonely with how powerful he had become, and therefore he needed someone who was on the same 'level'. I'll start the 2nd season soon. There's no way I'm leaving it like that...:icongermanyplz: