Wednesday, January 17, 2018

National Hot Tea Day!

This holiday was a few days ago. Yay! I love hot tea. Or, really either way, cold or hot. The hot one feels like a nice warm bath for my insides. The cold one is nice and refreshing. I love almost any kind of tea, regular or herbal. I don't remember too many I've hated. I think the only 2 that come to mind were the ones served by the Bedouin's when I visited Israel about 7 years ago. They were 2 types of a special mint tea. I normally love mint, but they put in a bunch of bitter things, and there wasn't anything to sweeten it with. I drank all of a cup of one of them, to be polite and because I'd feel guilty for declining it. It's hot tea month, so it was celebrated twice that day? Interesting. Today the first day of Shevat. The month Tu B'Shevat falls in. Yay!
This is my January wallpaper. I couldn't post it before, because my desktop's internet connection was wonky. It has been really weird for the past several months. It's not too bad right now. Again, this is Kekkai Sensen or Blood Blockade Battlefront themed. It seems to be of the ending sequence to the 1st season. Libra (the secret group the main characters are members of) essentially keep the peace and hunt vampires in Hellsalem's Lot, which used to be New York City. 

I'm keeping up with writing everyday except Saturdays. I'm close to 20 pages into the next Alliance sequel. Maybe I'll just call it Alliance 3 for now? The 2nd chapter is on a new character's backstory. The character was introduced and had a few appearances in the 2nd book. It just so happens that she's agender. My first character that is. I wasn't expecting it. She uses she/her pronouns because she thinks it's easier for other people than they/them. She was referred to as Subject 6 up until she was in her early teens. Somewhat of a hint as to what her past was like. It's a difficult one. She's gone through a lot. Her eyes change colors, and with each change her mood and personality changes as well. That's kind of fun and unique. Her normal eye color is weird, too. It's like TV static or snow.

With the cookbook, I went through a bunch of Cornish hen recipes. There were 6 of them alone from Tyson that Mom had. There have been a couple of others after that. I kind of want to make one of the Tyson ones. There's a grape and wine based one, a garlic one, roast one, etc. They're from the 80s, but still sound good and simple. We got Cornish hens recently, and Dad made one for herself. The other's for me when I want to make one of those recipes. I still have to finish a lot of leftovers before then. (A chicken broccoli cheese casserole, chicken ravioli, bread that's getting really old, etc.) I don't want to waste food. The hen in the freezer will probably keep long enough after I finish everything else. Also, got to some of the duck recipes. They sound good as well.

I found 2 new helpful health apps recently. One is Poop Tracker, the other My Colitis. Poop Tracker sounds disgusting, but it's important for IBD patients to keep track of it. Everyone poops...It's kind of funny how in depth they are about it. Much more so than My IBD Diary was. Things like the color, more 'types' of the 'official' shapes, amount, pain, etc. Each entry is called a Log, too. Adds to the humor a bit, I think. 

My Colitis seems a lot better than IBD Diary, too. Their 'poop tracker' is in depth as well, but not quite as much as PT. Although, they ask for what symptoms the person experienced and severity of the pain. They also have a med section. You can set reminders, log when you took them, and what type they are. There's a section for meals. They ask you what type of meal it was, to describe it, say what your appetite was beforehand (the options are a lot more detailed than I thought they'd be), if there was pain after it, and what sort of reactions you had after it. There's a detailed section for moods. One for symptoms and tests. Odd that they ask if your pregnant first for that. There's a section that breaks down everything with reports. So, you get an idea of what might be triggers, how often you went to the bathroom, if you're flaring, your mood, symptoms, etc. For the bm one they list the average daily amount, form it most often took, most frequent hour and day of the week, pain level, and more. Really in depth about this part and other reports. You can see graphs on them as well. I really needed something that was completely IBD based and this is it. (IBD Diary didn't have much to it. Didn't seem like it was really for people with it.) Not only just IBD, but colitis. That's a big plus. They also list resources and support groups.

Finished Kino, and I didn't remember her backstory. She was originally from a country that when you turn 12, they give you a surgery to turn you into an adult. It was a lot more messed up than it sounds. She doesn't remember her real name. She took the name Kino after the real Kino saved her, but was killed by her parents. She was going to be killed, because she didn't want the surgery. All the children that refused must be eliminated. She took the real Kino's motorcycle, Hermes, after he coaxed her into trying to survive by getting on him and riding out of the country. He thought if she died, he'd lose his purpose. It was weird seeing (the 'new') Kino with long hair. It also makes me wonder if she's immortal if she didn't have the surgery. Since that country worked differently. Maybe she's been at it longer than we think. The last episode hinted at a sequel, which would be interesting. Hermes mentioned that it was the end of her journey. Kino replied that a new one will start when she wakes up. The last minute or so she woke up from her nap, and said a new journey starts now. I'm curious as to what happened to the ex-prince who was traveling with a talking dog and violent (she loved holding grenades and knives) quiet girl. The ex-prince (technically king of a country that the citizens ended up killing each other) was saved by Kino, and every so often there were episodes that followed his travels. With the last one he was in, he was looking to immigrate somewhere, but none of the countries he went to were accepting immigrants. Kind of sad. He seemed the most 'normal' character. I want to learn more about Kino's teacher, too. She was badass. How did they meet? What happened to her?

I've made it pretty far into One Piece. I'm about 260 episodes behind, but currently in the 550's. I'm getting there. (I've been skipping fillers, which takes out a lot of episodes.) I like it a lot more than I expected. The only thing I don't like are some of the styles the characters have after the 2 year jump. Franky's is the worst. I know he's a cyborg, and even more so now after the accident at the lab, but it's like they went a little too over the top with him. He's a lot more 'robotic' looking. They messed with Brook's style, too. Made him look like a 70s funk and soul singer. Before, he looked like a classical musician. I liked that style a lot, and it seemed to suit him well. Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji didn't seem to change much. That's good. Luffy's wearing frillier clothes, Zoro seems to have lost an eye, and Sanji has more stubble. It seems they whitened Robin's skin color, which isn't cool to me. Otherwise, she seems the same. Nami got skimpier clothes and bustier. Not that great either. Usopp actually looks better. Much tougher. I think his somewhat dark skin color stayed the same, which is good. Chopper pretty much just changed his hat. So, I guess he's like those others I mentioned. Their new abilities are awesome, though! Much cooler. Even the 'weak' members are really strong now. The current arc, Fish-man Island, has been stretched out a lot, and it finally seems close to the end of it. They'll finally be able to explore the New World. I like that they've tackled a lot of heavy issues well so far. Humans being racist towards the fish-men and merfolk, gender diversity (issues relating to it), genocides, gender inequality, corrupt politicians, corrupt government (The Marines are really twisted, and they have a hand in everything), the rich vs the poor, etc. I'm surprised they even touched on these topics. Some of them a lot more often than others. It's definitely not for children, but it's got a lot going for it. Especially for a show about pirates. 

I hope to get back to drawing soon. Might do some that are related to Alliance. Oh, and someone who I haven't really spoken to since high school facebook messaged me recently. We've been facebook friends for a while. Anyways, she wanted to learn more about self-publishing. She later said she though it was so cool that I already published 4 books, and that I'm writing 2 more. It was nice to hear that she thought I was a cool person, too. I've stopped playing my clarinet for now. I probably won't play it until it's recorked. It seems awkward to play at the moment. 

Youtube: 

I finished the 2nd season of Boku no (My) Hero Academia, so I looked at amv's related to it. It's partially to share a bit of what the series is like on here. Here are some:


 


Thursday, January 11, 2018

National Milk Day!

I don't like it by itself, but if it's in or with things, it's great! Drinking it, by itself, has always given me a weird reaction. It's the same one I get with most juices. My throat starts to close up, I get phlegmy, and it eventually feels like I'm suffocating. Not sure if it's a very mild allergic reaction or what, but it's always been that way for me. I apparently have no problem with chocolate milk...It's confusing that way. It's great for cooking, baking, adding to drinks like chai or hot chocolate, making cheese, ice cream, etc. A very versatile liquid. It should be appreciated for that. 

I might be leading a Tu B'Shevat seder. Tu B'Shevat is our New Year for the Trees. The name is actually a stylized way of saying the date of it. The 15th of Shevat, which on the regular calendar starts the night of January 30th and goes until sundown the next day. I didn't realize it was so soon. It's a rather minor, but beautiful holiday. Most people go for walks, hike, plant trees, and generally outside stuff. 

A rather new custom is having a seder for it. Seder is basically a ritual meal. It lit. means order, so things go in a certain 'order'. Most people think of Passover when they hear 'seder'. This seder has Kabbalistic roots, which might be out there for some. (It's Jewish mysticism.) I think it makes it even more interesting and philosophical. Each season is represented by a different colored wine. Going from white to red. (If I remember correctly.) People like me who can't have alcohol have white and regular grape juice. We mix them a certain amount for the in between seasons. Each season has a different set of fruit and nuts to eat. We eat a lot of fruit and nuts for it...I think we're supposed to eat at least one fruit or nut we haven't had yet. 

My mom led Tu B'Shevat seders for a few years. People loved it. For many people, even though most were Jewish, hadn't heard of this seder. It inspired others to do it with the local congregations, too. I haven't actually been to one in several years. I still have Mom's haggadah (books to follow along with) printouts, and her notes on what type of fruit and nuts to get. The guests we'll have, I think, are colleagues of Dad's. They don't know much about Judaism, so this would be an interesting introduction. They might be interested in the Passover one, too. That's not until the end of March. The Tu B'Shevat seder should be interesting. I'm not sure why I feel excited about it. I do like the seder itself, so maybe that's part of it. Maybe it's also the chance to educate people in a way. 

I also decided to start learning German through Duolingo. I haven't really studied my Japanese in a long time, and I think I was tired of it. I love learning languages, and I think I like it most when I switch to different ones at some point. 

I started learning Hebrew when I was 7. Didn't do much conversational until a few years later. If there are vowels, I can read it fluently. Might only understand about half of it. It's different without the vowels...

When I was in high school and trying to decide on a language, I was somewhat leaning towards German. Some of my ancestors spoke it. Some also spoke Yiddish, which is a mix of mostly German, Hebrew, and a little of Russian. It's written out in Hebrew. So, it felt like I'd be connecting to my ancestors in some way. However, I'm not sure why, I decided to take French instead. I loved it, but I also felt a little pull to learning German someday. I did well with French, and took every class available for it. I think my teacher was sick of seeing me.

In college, I took Russian. I took it with a somewhat similar mindset as I would have with German. Again, I had other ancestors that spoke Russian, and some of those spoke Yiddish. I liked it a lot, and was doing well. I became very sick, and unfortunately had to drop it. It felt familiar in some way.

I was kind of thinking about starting Korean, but thought why not try what I wanted to first back in high school? I'm surprised at how much I already know. For the most part, it's rather easy so far. I'm finding the somewhat challenging parts are the verb endings, and occasionally getting a little confused by the masculine and feminine nouns. They don't really go over that sort of stuff on Duolingo. It seems they just expect you to memorize the correct way for certain sentences. I might want to look at online sites for that stuff. I'm still doing well on Duolingo with it. I'm even pronouncing it correctly according to them. They quiz you on pronunciation by having you repeat what was said into the mic. I haven't been wrong yet with that. You can do that on the quizzes/practice sessions, as well as just having a conversation with their bots. I haven't chatted with them yet. I also have a German keyboard on my phone now. Maybe in the future I'll go back to Russian.

I've decided to stop with restricting my calories starting tonight. I've felt increasingly nauseated for the last week, and I think it had something to do with it. I might go back to the unbalanced, as far as calories go, meals. I guess my system likes to have fewer calories for breakfast and snacks, and more for dinner. I don't think my system liked having everything so exact, too. So for now, I'm not going to care. I will try to get more protein, at least. I can think of the other nutrition stuff.

I'm almost done with watching the 2nd season of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia). I've been pleasantly surprised by this series. The creator said that they were heavily inspired by American comics, and you can tell. Especially with the number 1 hero, All Might. Almost everyone in their world has a quirk or special ability. There are quirk users who are mutants, too. Asui is one of them, being part frog. She can basically do anything a frog can, and she's one of the best characters. The main character, Midoriya or Deku, was born without a quirk. He later inherits one. He finally managed to figure out how to control it. It's even cooler now. I like that he actually thinks things through, and is one of the smartest in his class. So many shounen series have the main character not thinking first before acting, or being completely clueless. This one's different. The main villain is interesting, too. He has hands all over him, including one on his face. He has a quirk that can decay things when he touches them. More villains are slowly being introduced. There's going to be another season starting in April. I'd be surprised if they didn't have another one, considering I'm up to the final episode and it still feels like they're setting up the story.

Started Miira no Kaikata (How to Keep a Mummy) today. I didn't know what this one would be like. It was really good. Full of comedy, and the mummy is super cute. I don't feel like things are 'super cute' often. It's like a tiny wrapped up blob with tiny limbs and big white eyes. It often cries rivers of tears, and is painfully shy. Doesn't seem very mummy-like. Besides the wrapping around its body. Sora's father likes sending him weird otherworldly things from his travels. The mummy was one of them. He found it in Egypt, shipped it to his son in a coffin, and gave him a very thick manual of a letter. The mummy broke out of its coffin, and Sora was expecting it to be deadly. Instead he realized that the mummy was pitifully weak, yet really cute. He called it Mii-kun. Mii-kun was mimicking Sora's dog for a while. It learned how to bark, and tried to eat dog food. It really wants to impress Sora and is terrified it'll be sent back. From the intro/outro it seems other people get little 'monsters'. 

Started the last season of Gintama. It's bittersweet. This is my fave anime, and possibly show in general. Hopefully, they'll make it long. I think the manga is still going, even though the creator said it was ending soon. So, there's at least a little more time. The first episode was amazing! It actually gave me chills down my spine. Should be interesting to see where the story goes. They also had so many characters appear! Some we haven't seen since the very first few episodes. Still no shinsengumi yet. They should make an appearance soon.

Kino no Tabi (Kino's Travels): The Beautiful World has been good. I don't remember much of the original movie that I saw years ago, but it seems to have a slightly different atmosphere. I do remember that Hermes, a motorcycle, would talk to Kino and no one else could hear him. It made people think Kino had a mental illness or something wasn't quite 'right' with her. In this version people can clearly hear him, and have even kept up conversations with him. Quite a different aspect. People (viewers and even characters) still get confused about her gender. She doesn't 'act' or dress like a girl. She's an extremely good sniper, too. The animation seems better. The stories of the places she goes to are still really twisted. There's always something more to them. Often the countries she goes to turn out to be really violent or have odd views on killing others. The last one I watched was a bit different. The country was once corrupt and rude to travelers. Then, they realized a volcano was going to erupt and wipe out their beloved country, so they changed their attitude. They tried to be the kindest country they could be. Kino liked it there. The next day after she left, the country was destroyed. There was also one where you lose all memories of your time there, but they make sure you have a great stay. That one seemed to make her really frustrated. Especially when Hermes said he was allowed to remember everything, but couldn't tell her. 

I've managed to keep up with writing the next sequel to Alliance. I'm surprised at how fast that one's coming along. The cookbook has been interesting so far. Today I wrote out all 6 of the really old Tyson Cornish game hen recipes. There was very small type and it was fading. They sounded really good. I'm tempted to make some of them. One was garlic based, another one was Asian-styled with mandarin oranges, another one was champagne based, etc. Even just the sauces sounded good.