Monday, August 29, 2011

More Herbs, Less Salt Day


I think everyday you should cook with more herbs than salt. But, that's just me.:iconchibiaustriaplz:Good for your health this way, too. Herbs are so flavorful on their own, you don't really need to add salt to it. Plus, a lot of ingredients have some amount of salt in them already. So, adding more can be overkill.:iconusaplz:Even when I'm not cooking and I feel like whatever I'm having needs something, I try to go to the pepper or 7-spice (or Shichimi) instead of salt. Much better tasting. Of course, I'm a sucker for parmesan cheese, but that's only with some foods. And, surprisingly, I looked it up and it's one of the least salty cheeses. So, wahoo! People shouldn't take out all salt from their diets either. Simply because that's not healthy. A lot of other problems can spring up. A little goes a long way, I guess.:iconheroamericaplz:

It's been cooler today than it has for the last couple of days. But, it's not bad. We went to the grocery store Friday night, and it seemed like everyone we knew in town bumped into us every couple of aisles. (At least it felt like that. We know a lot more people...:iconkikuplz:) One person asked if we were going to services on Saturday. Mom told her she's not sure if she really could, so this person offered to drive us. It was very nice of her.:iconfrancisplz:

We got some pre-made BBQ'd brisket, snap peas, and garlic risotto for Friday night. It was really good!:iconchibispainplz:Also, got some baklava. Love that stuff! 

We did take that person up on her offer. It was so nice to go to services!:iconthailandplz:It feels like its been a long time. Our cantor was supposed to lead it this time. But, the rabbi showed up, too. So, she led most of the service, while the rabbi did the Torah bit. And, even that, he didn't do a drash. It was someone else this time. I really liked what she brought up. Really makes you think. Kind of a tough passage we mulled over for a while on. I think it was one of the longest discussions we've had in a while. And, I think it could have gone further, but someone realized the time. This coming Saturday, there's a Bar Mitzvah. We know the family pretty well. So, it would be really nice to go.:iconchibipolandplz: 

Played a little of the Sims 2. My sim's wife is pregnant now. They're like rabbits.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Mostly messed around with their house. Since, he got a boat-load of money after he married her. Still have a lot left over. And, I can do so much with it, but I decided to do more later. I didn't know they had aquariums as one of the items you can get. You have to buy the fish and feed them. They like to stare at them for long periods of time. For some reason they're more fun than dancing or a video game.:iconchibijapanplz:Weird. Also, bought them the most expensive grill. You can make BBQ'd ribs with it. Haven't tried it, but sounds like another fun thing to try. 

Watched the finale of Nodame Cantabile. It was awesome!:iconus-xdplz:Hilarious, emotional, well acted, etc. Good ending. Although, it left me wanting more. Good thing I know there are 2 specials for it. I think they go to Europe during the first one. Both Nodame and Chiaki are going to study in Paris. Chiaki finally realized that he loves her, although he won't admit it yet. The actors were very convincing during their roles as musicians. For the most part. Most people can't get a piece perfect in 2 days, but other than that, I thought it was pretty spot on.:iconchibiamericaplz:Showed how nerve wracking concerts can be, rivalries in the band, part of the hard work musicians go through for practicing, and more. Really one of the best dramas I've watched so far. Highly recommended.:iconmochiplz:
Another ruin on Masada. Again, this is from my trip to Israel at the end of January-beginning of February. I think it was also a lookout point. 

Got a lot of writing done!:dummy:I'm getting excited about it again! Probably about halfway through chapter 14. Not sure, because I don't set page limits on chapters. I have averaged around a certain number though. I just go with how I feel at that point in the story. People will get to know more about my main character in this one. Haven't actually laid out too much of a background on him until now. Funny, because a lot of secondary characters have detailed backgrounds already. It just happened that way.:iconseychelles-plz:I don't think he knows much about himself either. Makes him a bit mysterious, I guess. By the way, I'm still thinking of doing that writing meme on Vince. But, not sure if I'll do it during the week or the weekend. Sometime soon.:iconberwaldplz:
In Crime Edge, Iwai's father used to frequent a special bar. He was killed by a killing goods' author. Her father wanted to take her to that bar, but never got the chance. So, she decides to go. Along with Kiri and his other friends. Another author was at the bar watching them. He has the Rulebook of Sentencing and Execution. He doesn't usually kill with it. Just wants people to be punished for their crimes. He's actually pretty bored of his killing good. The pianist at the bar is blind. And, the man who tunes and fixes her piano is deaf. Somehow she's an author. 

Played some Duke Ellington, Gershwin, and some classical tunes. Actually wasn't too bad. It's rare for me, but I squeaked a couple of times.:iconromanoplz:Not sure if the reed is good anymore, sounded really airy at first. I also was trying to do some glissing. Haven't practiced those in a long time. I'm a bit rusty. Barely scratched out a gliss. Glisses can be very difficult to get smoothly. Also worked on translating that article from You Maga that I'm typing up. It's on stress relieving exercises. Almost done.Phew!

Gintama wasn't as great as it usually is. Except for a few chuckles, it was kind of boring. I liked that the Shinsengumi finally made another appearance, though. 

Started thinking about doing the Hetalia themed heritage meme. My family's kind of complicated with its history.:iconlietplz:But, I'm thinking of making it more generalized I guess. I'm going to have about 9 or 10 countries including myself. I'm glad they said I could do chibis of them. I just have to figure out the designs for a couple of them. I seriously thought there was an official Scotland design. Like on the mangaka's blog or in the manga itself. I know he's not in the anime. There's a fan-made one that most fans seem to agree on. Not sure if I'll use it, or make my own. There isn't one for Ireland either. So sad. Anyways, it should be an interesting and fun project for me.:la:

deviantART faves: Hey Monsters I did not make this! It's an awesome drawing by an artist I watch. I don't like that she turned to realism so much. But, this is really nice. Kind of back to the way she used to be. 

Artie Shaw, one of the best jazz clarinetists. I don't think I remember much about him, but he was featured in Jewniverse:

Friday, August 26, 2011

National Dog Day 2011


Dog's do deserve to have their own day.:iconhongkongplz:This was created specifically in honor of search and rescue dogs at ground zero during September 11th. 300 search and rescue dogs searched through the rubble at Ground Zero. Service dogs are amazing! I've only had one dog, but I loved him just as much as my cats. I don't think I'm either a cat or dog person. I'm both.:iconthailandplz: 

It's been another nice and warm day. Hope it continues for a while. Actually managed to get all my walks in today! Wahoo!:dummy:Trying to get back into it. I feel so much better when I do. Like a natural high.:iconheroamericaplz:

Did some dusting in my room.:icondustingplz:Also, went through a lot of the stuff I had piled on top of my dresser. Threw out a lot of it, and moved some things around. Looks much nicer and cleaner.:iconchibisitalyplz:Actually found my traveling candlesticks and car mezuzah. I thought something had happened to them.:iconusaplz:Not that I need them at the moment, but still nice to know they're there. Also, posted chapter 4 of Alliance to mangafox. A lot of people are reading it on there. Kind of nice to see.:iconchibihungaryplz:

Zettai Kareshi is starting to get tense and sad.:iconraivisplz:Throughout the episode, Night was overheating because of his emotions affecting his programming. He kept getting 'fevers', convulsed, and fell over a lot. The company lied to Riiko telling her that they'll 'fix' him. And, they weren't sure if his memories would stay intact during the 'repair'. Later, she finds out that they wanted to scrap him. The 2 guys who created Night tried to stop their boss from authorizing it. But, it was too late. They pressed the button already that would erase his memories. Riiko managed to get a spot in the next stage of the competition in Paris, but she was too worried about Night to leave. Weird thing is she also loves Soshi, and told him after he confessed to her. Soshi found out about Night being a robot, but hasn't talked with Riiko about it. Somehow, this feels like it'll end in tragedy.:iconlietplz:Heard other people mention that the manga ended that way. So sad! Next episode's the finale, but they have a special after that.

Gintama was hilarious yet again!:rofl:It was a continuation from last week's episode. The monkey with the freakishly long name, had ran away from his new owner. He wanted to be with Kyuubei more. (The one who trained him.) He was smart enough to free all the monkeys at the zoo to evade them capturing him. In the end, the monkey was given back to Kyuubei to keep. But, the boy who wanted him, asked if he could add one more name to his full name. They turned that full name into a song at the end. Throughout the episode, there was some really touching and emotional sounding music. But, I realized it was his name they were singing then as well. His name is kind of obscene, so it was hilarious to make it sound like that.:iconfrancisplz: 

Played the rest of my new clarinet solo book. It's pretty good. Although, there are a couple of pretty stupid songs in it. Most are nice, though. Also, played some Beatles and Duke Ellington tunes. I think I actually sounded better after playing from the solo book.:iconsleepygreeceplz:
Started reading Gate 7 last week. I loved CLAMP's xxxHolic series, so I decided to try this new one. It really is pretty new, and I think their style has changed a bit. Seems even better, almost more intricate and detailed with the art. The story is kind of hard to follow right at the beginning. But, that's because they haven't started explaining things until the chapter I'm up to now. (Which is the 3rd.) I'll probably catch up to the updates pretty quick with this one too. Since it's once a month. The description of this series sounds a bit weird. An innocent sightseeing trip to Kyoto opens up a realm to Chikahito, a high school student. Visiting a legendary shrine, Chikahito finds himself in the mystical world of Hana and her comrades. And, his immunity to their powers leads them to believe that he's not an ordinary person. Protecting our world from violent elemental beasts, Hana and her team welcome the confused Chikahito. Who isn't quite sure that he wants to be caught up in the middle of their war. He's fallen for Hana already. I like her personality.:iconchibipolandplz:

Worked a bit more on translating the article from You Maga that I'm writing out. It's on cherry sales for June, so far. Also, saw that the registration booklet for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) this year is up. Can't mail the application in until the month of September. Which is coming up quickly, so I guess it's good to look at for now. The application part looks a bit different than the one that used to be online. Seems more detailed.:iconkikuplz:The whole booklet is about 23 pages. But, they have a copy of the application that's a separate document. So, I won't have to print out all those pages, but it's good for reference. It sucks that the applications will only be accepted by snail mailing them. But, last year someone hacked into their systems, and stole people's credit card numbers. So, I understand why they'd go this route. But, it's more of a pain.:iconwtfromanoplz:

A really cute cat vid:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coming Home


By Sjonni's Friends. This was Iceland's entry for the Eurovision 2011 contest. They placed 20th. I think they deserved to be a bit higher than that.:iconohboyamericaplz:Not the best song in the competition, but pretty good. The story behind this song is interesting too. Sjonni sadly passed away on January 17th of this year. His wife and friends got together, and decided that Sjonni would have wanted his song to remain in the competition. So, they agreed to carry on and perform the song in his memory. Interesting group of friends. Somehow, knowing the story behind it, makes the song even more meaningful, and maybe a bit eerie.:iconsleepygreeceplz:Still fun, too.

It's been pretty nice weather wise the last couple of days. Hope it keeps up.:iconchibinitalyplz:Looks like it might from the forecast. 

Parents got back from their trip to Victoria pretty late on Tuesday. They sounded like they had a lot of fun. Even got me a present! Yay!:dummy:It's a pair of pewter earrings. They're cats facing each other. Really cute. I like them a lot.:iconchibihungaryplz:They also bought the tea they had at tea time at Butchart Gardens. It smells and sounds great. Might have some later. I love tea! Would have been cool to be there at 'tea time' with them. They had a variety of small savory things and sweets. A traditional English tea time. Never been to one before.:iconfrancisplz:Maybe someday...:iconswissplz:They also got some jewelry from themselves, some cool lifelike butterfly magnets, a mug, notepad, and various other things. Mom said the trip getting there wasn't so great. But, the hotels were amazing. The last hotel they stayed at, their room looked like an apartment. It was huge. Had a kitchen, a living room, 2 huge bathrooms, etc. Crazy!:iconchibipolandplz:Mom said the food was great too. Kind of nice that they won the trip through a raffle.:iconhappychinaplz:

Was going to make something Monday night, but I lost track of time. So, instead I had some chili from a can. Not as good as it would have been, but not bad. Hearty too.:iconchibiamericaplz:Tuesday night, I actually did make something. Had some fish pieces, pasta with some margarine, dill, and a little parmesan cheese, and a nice salad. Salad had some of those nice and sweet baby cherry tomatoes, some lettuce, carrots, and a little bleu cheese dressing. All really good tasting food!:iconchibispainplz:

Yesterday, I went to my pre-hearing meeting with my lawyer in Seattle. I don't really know why, but I broke down at one point.:iconlietplz:So, I waited in the lobby while she talked with my parents. Apparently, Mom's going to testify for me. I won't have to show up during the hearing, unless the judge has a couple of questions. Makes me feel better. I think one reason why I broke down was because of how hot her office was. I felt like maybe we shouldn't go through with the whole thing.:iconraivisplz:But, Mom said it doesn't hurt to try. And, it's true, we don't have to pay the lawyer until we win the case. The lawyer's a little less confident than before, but thinks we might have a chance. I'm just nervous about the whole ordeal.:iconchibichinaplz:Also, said some things not as accurately as I could have. Not necessarily lies, but more like not being able to articulate the whole thing. The way I said a lot of things, wasn't quite right. I tend to get flustered, and not know how to talk as clearly as I should.:iconromanotwitchplz:When I'm nervous, if it's about legal stuff, some medical things, and other more 'serious' situations. Kind of like a deer in the headlights situation.:iconkikuplz:Mom says she basically reworded things for me, and the lawyer understood it better.

I was a bit shaken up by it all. So, I decided I wanted to go to some sort of music store. Remembering that I felt my selection's getting a bit stale, and Ted Brown really didn't have much of a selection.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:That jazz book we got from there is nice, but it only has a few songs and there's not much variety to it. I've been playing my other books for several years now. So, you can tell how 'stale' those are getting.:iconpolandplz:

Anyways, we found a pretty cool place called Kennelly Keys Music. Had a bit more of a selection than Ted Brown's. Got a blank music writing book. That will help me with transposing those pieces, and putting them to paper, so to speak.;)Also got an awesome huge book of clarinet solos.:iconus-xdplz:Really diverse types of music. Easy to hard pieces, as well. There's classical, folk songs, jigs and reels, a polka, American themed, some Christmas songs (probably will never want to play...:iconnataliaplz:) and many more types of pieces. Getting these 2 things made me feel a lot better.:iconheroamericaplz:

Then, we went to Red Robin. I got the Whiskey River BBQ burger. It was really good.:iconitalyplz:Had it before, but it seemed better. Also, got their honey mustard dressing for the fries. I was surprised by how good it was. We ate outside, so every once in a while bees would show up. Kind of freaky.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:But, they weren't swarming, or staying longer than a couple of seconds. So, it wasn't bad. After eating it, I felt even better.:iconberwaldplz:

Funny though, while I was sleeping, I was kind of harping on what I had said with the lawyer. And, had a hard time. Felt a bit weird this morning because of it.:iconseychelles-plz:
Started En Passant or In Passing on Tuesday, since Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei hasn't been updated. And, it'll probably be a very long time until the next chapter of SZS comes out.:iconprussiaplz:They've been slow with that series, and I finally caught up to it. Anyways, En Passant looks very promising. The protagonist, as it says in the pic, is extremely negative, and is called the king of pessimists. He really reminds me of Gintoki from Gintama and Nozomu (or sensei) from SZS put together. Gintoki with his blase attitude, and Nozomu's ideals. Good combo for me. He has no attachments to anything or anyone, and feels no hesitation to dying. He's unwillingly dragged into a fight for the most powerful position in the world, the leader of Verde. It's a secret organization that controls the world. Somehow chess is going to play a role. The title comes from a chess move. It's been hilarious so far.

Decided on what my next drawing project will be.:iconlachoirplz:(In addition to the character faces I'm still doing, of course.) I'm going to do the Hetalia themed heritage meme. I've seen a lot of people use it, and thought it would be interesting. Not sure how well I can draw the characters, but I'll try.:iconchibiitaliaplz:The rules were pretty simple. Draw the characters/countries that your family comes from. If your family came from many different countries, than you can draw chibi heads of them. Also, somehow add yourself. If there isn't an official character design for a country you came from, than make your own design. They also have to be marked by their flags or names. Kind of cool. Since my family comes from so many, I'll definitely have to make them as chibi heads. Might be easier on me anyways.:icondenmarkplz: Funny, I think I'll have to have a couple of oc's for a couple of the countries. It'll be interesting to make a chibi version of myself.:iconeestiplz:They said it'd be interesting if the countries are interacting with each other. I've seen some pretty funny ones that did this. It sounds really fun.:excited:And, you can do a lot of things with it. 

Also, might do a writing meme. Where someone's interviewing your vampire oc. I think I can have a lot of fun with that too.:icondanmarkplz:Vince seems a bit 'different', compared to the other oc's 'interviews' that I read. The questions are funny and creative. He probably won't want to respond to a few of them, but I'll 'make' him!:evillaugh:Just knowing his personality. So, fun stuff coming up! It'll get my mind off things. 

I've been posting a few more pics of Israel. I don't think I'll post them here, because it's too many. But, I might post tomorrow's. 

Watched Naruto Shippuden. Didn't particularly like this episode. They're still out at sea on the way to Lightening Island. They were ambushed by some pirates who had taken over a place called Battleship Island. It's shaped like a battleship. It was basically the age old thing with ninjas vs pirates. Also, seemed like they were trying to make fun of another extremely popular series called One Piece. Obviously, they didn't have characters from it, but it seemed kind of like a joke. Yay! Poke fun at a rival.:iconwtfukplz:I really don't like One Piece, so it was ok with me, kind of low, but ok. I think you're either a fan of Naruto Shippuden or One Piece, usually not both. Just what I've gathered. Anyways, this episode seemed a bit weak. Not much happened, and it seems like the story formula for it has gotten tiring. I liked the ghost ship one, because it seemed different than all the other recent 'filler' episodes. I don't think they reach the island next week either. The preview shows them on an island that the outside world forgot. Interesting.

deviantART faves: Slab-O-Meat Lesson 1. 1.a. Orchid Lesson 2.1.a. Plum Blossom I did not make these! First, a mouthwatering pic of BBQ'd ribs. Really tasty looking. Second and third are both lessons from my friend's Chinese brush painting class. Cool looking.