Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ancestor Appreciation Day!


Our ancestors definitely should be appreciated. They essentially made us who are today. Without them, we wouldn't exist.:iconchibiswedenplz:We've already researched quite a bit on the history of both sides of my family. It's interesting to see where they came from, their stories, etc. 

Yom Kippur started Tuesday night, and ended the following night. Usually there's a really nice rabbi from the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) who lead these services. He was promoted or something through the organization, and couldn't do it this time. So, we had someone barely anyone knew. Keep in mind, this is like the 'holiest' day of the year for us. So it's important.:iconhongkongplz:I like meeting new people, and seeing how differently they can lead a service. Gives a new approach, and makes it more interesting. But, her 'style' was far too lax. Which would have been nice for a Shabbat service or something. I heard a lot of people felt the same way. I did not have a problem with her age, although many people did. I figure, it doesn't matter what age you are, it just matters if you're qualified and good at it. You don't have to be in your 50s or 60s to be that way. 

Anyways, someone was very nice and carpooled 2 more people besides me. Everyone wanted to talk to me during all of the services, and at one point, were fighting over who I should sit with for the Break-the-Fast potluck.:iconseychelles-plz:It was quite interesting. I'm not used to that sort of attention. 

I decided to sit at different spots than I did for Rosh Hashanah. Since those bugs freaked me out. This time, there was only one skeeter eater. None of those weird small black bugs. So, yay! I wasn't bitten again.:dummy:I also noticed, that sitting in the back, I got the chance to see a lot more people. It seemed more 'communal' or together this way. So, maybe I should sit in the back more often?:iconchibicanadaplz:

The next day, for the Torah service, one of the aliyah was for people who've been apart of the congregation for at least 15 years. (An aliyah is a calling of a member/group to the bimah, at the front of the room, where the Torah is read. It's a huge honor.) So, I had to go up there.:iconchibinitalyplz:It was one of the last ones, so I had to stay up there with about 8 other people for a while. Tried to block out the congregation staring at us the whole time. I get nervous when I'm in the spotlight. Although, I can focus while up there, it still rattles me a bit.:iconwtfromanoplz:

I think more people showed up than usual for Torah study later. It was nice, but they seemed to have ignored my point. We were talking about what being made in G-d's image really means. Maimonides had said that it's really referring to our minds. Just like G-d, man can think and understand without any physical actions. He says this 'intellectual independence' of thought is the 'G-d's image' in which man was created. I really like this take on it. Plus, the idea that G-d is every gender, and yet none. He's beyond our comprehension. (I only use 'he', because it's easier. Some others use 'her'.) The rabbi had also brought in a couple of excerpts from the Hunger Games. I thought that was a bit odd. I'm not very interested in it.:iconkikuplz:But, the points she brought up were good. 

I almost broke down in tears during the Yizkor (memorial) service. The list of people the congregation was remembering was very long. (I think longer than last year.:iconraivisplz:) Started to tear up a bit when Mom's name was mentioned. Started to tear even more reading some of the 'extra' text. I thought that wouldn't happen. The person who drove me, immediately hugged me tight. It was like bone crushing.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:But, nice that she was trying to let me know it was ok to cry. I know it was ok, but I feel funny in a room full of people, first off. I've always felt funky about crying. Lately, I've tried to let myself cry, but it's weird when you've bottled it up for a while. Anyways, it was nice to know so many people cared about me, too.:iconchibihungaryplz:

For the potluck, I brought a salad that had a spring greens mix, grape tomatoes, and a couple of chopped up carrots. Ranch and Italian dressings on the side, if anybody wanted. Seemed really plain, and I wasn't sure if anybody would touch it. Apparently, it was a big hit. People were crowding around it so much, I couldn't get any for myself.:iconromanoplz:It was almost gone at the end. (I couldn't finish it off because someone dumped a huge thing of nasty smelling cheese in, and took the utensils and used them for something else. Oh joy!) Someone said that after fasting, people want something 'fresh'. I guess that would be as fresh as it could be. It was sitting on the table (covered) for about 3 hours beforehand, though. I didn't see too many 'green' things, so maybe that was another factor. 

There was a lot of pasta and potato dishes. Maybe I was the only one who adhered to my last name's initial for what to bring.:iconswissplz:Oh well. At least there was enough food to go around. We've had years where people didn't bring enough, and it's gone in like 15 minutes. So I'm glad for the last few years we've been able to have enough food. I managed to talk a lot with people, to the point that we suddenly realized they were cleaning up. It's all good when that happens. Hopefully, I won't go for another year without seeing some of these people. That same person who drove me to these services says she'd be happy to pick me up to go to Shabbat services Saturday morning. I thought it'd be too soon. Like too much 'Jewish stuff'. For some, it is right away after these 2 holidays. 

Sukkot starts on Sunday night. It's a harvest festival that lasts for 8 days. So there's still some more holidays coming up. Yom Kippur just didn't feel right without Mom.:iconpolandplz:Even when I was in college, I was able to call her and compare what services were like over there. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Helter Skelter


Another classic Beatles song. This one was written by Paul McCartney, and credited to both Lennon and McCartney. McCartney wanted to create a sound that was as loud and dirty as possible. It's considered a key influence in the development of heavy metal. In British English, helter-skelter means in a disorderly haste or confusion, and is a name of a spiraling amusement park slide. McCartney used this song as a response to critics who accused him of only writing ballads. 

Posted another county fair rabbit pic to dA and FB. It was one of those giant ones. Looked like it barely fit in its cage. Since the current episode I was on for Ghost Mama was still raw, I decided to watch one of the series I put on hold. That was Mirai Nikki. They finally have it all subbed!:iconchibihungaryplz:After today, there's only one episode left. So, if Ghost Mama's raw still, I'll finish Mirai Nikki next week. Yay! Mirai Nikki is a pretty crazy series. I wouldn't say it's my fave, but the story's so detailed and complex, it's hard to not finish it. (Almost every episode had some sort of big twist.) Really sucks you in. 

Baka to Test was weird. I'm starting to think when the next anime season hits, I'll drop it.:iconnataliaplz:The guys' fixation on breasts, the class being treated as 'idiots' when most of the time they aren't, the girls beating up the guys, etc. is getting old. Oh well. 

Kekkaishi was somewhat interesting. Yoshimori went to Uro-sama's world to repair his bed. Once he did, he wanted to ask him a ton of questions. But, if he stayed there too long, he'd forget everything and disappear. Uro was too sleepy to respond, and Yoshimori was starting to forget himself. A memory of Tokine helping him, plus his grandpa hoisting him out of that world, saved him. None of his questions were answered. He wanted to know more about Karasumori, the area around the school that was once a forest, and now makes demons stronger when they wander in. The Kekkaishi have to guard against those demons. 

Played my clarinet. Did a lot of Irish tunes. Messed up a few times, but it wasn't bad. Wrote more of chapter 18 of Alliance. The kanji for today was or たい、だい、うてな (tai, dai, utena). It means: counter for machines and vehicles, pedestal, stand, rack, table, support. Finished translating the first page of an article in You Maga. Read in Japanese an article about a landslide that derailed a train, on Asahi's website. 700 people were on it. 7 people, including the train driver, suffered serious and some minor injuries. No one was killed. So, that's one good thing.

Went over another Japanese lesson. This time it was over volitional forms of verbs which express an invitation or a suggestion. The plain form is used mainly by men, where as the polite form is used by both men and women. So, 行く or iku (to go) changes to 行こう or ikou (let's go) for the plain volitional form, and 行きましょう (let's go) or ikimashou for the polite volitional form. Plain verbs ending with su change to a sou ending, ones with ku go to a kou ending, gu to a gou, etc. The polite volitional form is the same as the ます or masu form, only with ましょう or mashou at the end. I thought this one was interesting enough, to write out.:iconchibinitalyplz:All my answers to the practice questions turned out correct. I'm on the right track!:dummy:Each lesson builds on the previous, so the questions get much more difficult as you go.

Couldn't decide on one writing meme, so I'm thinking of doing 2 this time. It looks like both won't take very much time. One has 12 of my characters going on a 'rainforest adventure'. The other, introduces 5 of my newest characters. That second one goes into a lot of detail. But, it'd be even better for character development that way. The first one just looks like it'd be fun. A couple of my characters will be featured in both memes. Those are the ones I don't have much info on, yet. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012



Another one from Arashi. Kind of a fun song. Talking about a wonderland full of mystery in your dreams. (That sounds cheesy, but I still like it...:iconhongkongplz:)

Opened a new bank account for the first time in about 4 years.:iconusaplz:(Used to be with WaMu, and once it went defunct, I didn't try to go to another bank.) Also, drove a bit. We were going to go to Seattle's Night Market and Moon Festival, but something came up. It sounded like it would have been fun.:iconchibiaustriaplz:Well, maybe next year. 

Had an interesting Shabbat dinner, Friday night. We didn't have time to grab a challah. So, I found a tiny homemade frozen whole-wheat (weird...) challah someone made for us during the first month of mourning. Very sweet of them, even if it was a bit weird. Dad went to something, so it was just me. Made a makeshift pizza for myself. Made out of bread slices, roasted garlic pasta sauce, cheddar, grape tomatoes, sweet peppers, and carrots on top. Turned out awesome!:iconchibispainplz:One of my more successful experiments. Might not have been the healthiest. Although, it did have whole wheat bread, lots of garlic, and vegetables. So, not bad. We still had some of those really good walnut cookies. Nice dessert then, too.

Started posting pics to FB and dA again, today. I'm hoping to finish posting the pics I took at the county fair, and then go back to posting my Israel pics. I still have a lot of those.:iconswissplz:

Found a couple more interesting songs, too. So look forward to them! Wrote a bit more of chapter 18 of Alliance. The ideas are flowin' again! Yay!:dummy:Hopefully I can keep that up. I should progress much quicker if I really do write a little every day.

Today's kanji is: . Or: からだ、たい、てい (Karada, tai, tei). It means: body, counter for images, object, reality, substance. Went over some compounds that had in them. Most were, as expected, writing/calligraphy related. Still good to go over. Also, went over a lesson from my Japanese book. 

Pretty much done with drawing out the first section of this huge meme. I like how most of it turned out.:iconthailandplz:The next part is where my characters interact with each other. But, before I go on, I thought I'd give myself a break from that, and fill out a writing meme. They're pretty fun, can be quick to fill out, and helps with character development. So, I'll probably start that tomorrow.

Yom Kippur starts Tuesday just before sundown, and goes until a little after sundown the next day. Can't believe it's coming up so fast! Again, most people, who are able, fast for the full 25 hours. No food or water. But, people who have health issues, don't have to fast. I used to look at it as almost a competition to see if I could go longer than the previous year with fasting. Not really the best way to look at it. Some people, like me, follow the tradition of not wearing leather, since an animal died in order for the leather garment to be produced. It's a time for being especially sensitive to life and death concerns, including the lives of animals. We wear white, since it's the color associated with both purity and death. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

International Day of Peace


We definitely need more peace in the world.:iconhongkongplz:Sad that it only has a day dedicated to it. There needs to be more. It'd be great if it was everyday. But, this way, I guess, it's a reminder.

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while.:iconlovinoplz:Was hoping to do it more often, but felt too weird to do so. It does make me feel better, though. Still, will be able to break my 'average' posts a month with this post. Seem to be doing just around 8 each month. The year before was more, and it was nice. It was more of a 'daily' blog. Hopefully, I'll get back to that!:la:

It's been unusually warm lately. Reaching into the high 70s to low 80s, when our norm is much lower for this time of year. We usually also have more rain by now. Today, seems a bit different. Cool, and looks like there was rain this morning. I like that kind of weather. The kind that feels more Fall-ish. Crisp, cool, a bit damp, and trees changing color. I love that.:iconchibihungaryplz:I'm not particularly fond of heat. Especially, for prolonged periods. I know it didn't get as hot as the rest of the country, but I just also like seasonal change. 

Rosh Hashanah was a few days ago. Dad and I went to the night service at our synagogue. Apparently, the basket of kippot ('skull caps' or head coverings) was infested with some sort of small black bug.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:Dad thinks they were lice, one of my friends said it sounded like fleas. Either way, it was disturbing. She had grabbed one like usual, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw little black things jumping off. Some landing on me.:iconchibichinaplz:I wasn't sure if I was really seeing it right, or if it was just my imagination. The kippah (singular form for kippot), kept falling off so she ended up taking it off anyways. 

The next day, I saw tons of little insect bites on my skin. I still have them, but no new ones. I scrubbed really hard when I took a shower, just in case. I even did all of my laundry again, including my bedding/pillows. Don't want to take any chances.:iconusaplz:For the itchiness of the bites (which weren't in my hair, so maybe it wasn't lice?) I used liquid benadryl. It's worked pretty well. I smell a bit funny, and feel like I've bathed in it, though. 

Anyways, the night service was very nice. Got to see a lot of people who only come during the High Holidays, and caught up with them. They had the dessert potluck outside this time. Which would have been ok, except there wasn't enough light. They put a couple of very dim lanterns out, but that didn't help much. So, most people just grabbed what they could, and later once they headed inside, saw what they got. I did that, but just sampled most of it. Couldn't eat all of them, since there were way too many. There were some cakes, pies, brownies, cookies, cobblers, and a few other things. The odd thing is there wasn't any honey cake. That's like a staple for the holiday. (Goes along with apples and honey as another huge thing.) Also, we weren't able to make it this year, for ourselves. Mom made the best honey cake. So, somehow it feels like it's because she wasn't there to have it or make it. I don't know. Kind of creepy in a way. 

The next day, I got a ride from a couple of nice members from the synagogue. Since, it was during the week. It probably wasn't very bright to sit at the same spot that I did the night before.:iconromanoplz:But, I like to sit at the front. There was only one other person at the front, too. Kind of felt weird. It was a nice service. I always like hearing the shofar (ram's horn) blasts. The last one, called Tekiah Gedolah or the Great Tekiah, is one very long blast at the end. (As long as the shofar blower can hold it.) It's meant to give hope and inspire.:iconchibinitalyplz:  

After services, we usually go off to a pier and do tashlich. Tashlich means 'casting off' in Hebrew. It refers to the intent to cast away our sins from the previous year. Verses from texts are recited next to a body of water, preferably one with fish. After reciting the verses, people toss bread crumbs/bird seed/etc. into the water as to symbolically 'cast away' their sins. One of the reasons why it's preferred to do it at a body of water with fish in it, is because fish constantly have their eyes open. So, this symbolizes G-d's constant protective watch over us. 

Anyways, the people who drove me there, didn't want to go to the pier. They instead wanted to go get some groceries, and then to the post office. I went with them. They got me a frappuccino at the Starbucks that was inside the grocery store. It was really very nice of them.:iconfrancisplz:They also kept asking me if we needed any groceries, and that they'd pay for them. I felt very weird by their offer. Nice, but almost pitying us in a way.:icongermanyplz:Maybe they thought we were still mourning intensely or something? They're very grandparent-like figures, so maybe it was just that coming out? I don't know, but I declined. Had to do it several times. Maybe that's why they settled on giving me something from Starbucks? 

So, I did my own Tashlich thing once I got home. I don't have a body of water and/or fish near me, so the best I could do was put some water in a glass. Found some cornbread muffin crumbs, looked at online verses/prayers, and did it. Looked nasty in the glass, but I also let it go down the drain. So, in a way, it was being 'cast off'. I know some people did a similar thing in college, when they couldn't make it to services. I guess it made it more personal, too. That was the nice part of it.:iconheroamericaplz:

The day after, I 'attended' second day services online. (Through OneShul, which is run by PunkTorah.) Both congregations in the area didn't have services for the 2nd day. It was very interesting. Kind of New Age-y. But, had a lot of meaning to it. The chat room that went along with it, added an interesting element. Occasionally, annoying when people started to talk amongst themselves. But, I liked that everybody could type out their loved one's names that they were remembering for kaddish, the discussion of things that were brought up, and how welcoming they were. Almost more like a study group, then services.:icontinoplz:I didn't quite like that at the end the leader was urging people to donate so much. It was like 15 minutes of it. I'm ok with like 5 minutes of that kind of thing. I was a captive audience, because I wasn't sure if there was going to be anything more. It was early for me too, because they were going by the eastern time zone. Oh well. Still worthwhile.:iconchibipolandplz:

The 10 days that start with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur are called the Days of Awe or the 10 Days of Repentance. It's a time of introspection and repentance. The Shabbat that happens during it is considered to be a special one, called Shabbat Shuvah, or Shabbat of Return. This one starts tonight. 

Managed to finally start writing chapter 18 of Alliance last night. (Had to prepare a bit for it.) It should be a very interesting one. Played my clarinet as well. Wasn't too bad. Surprising, because I played one of the hardest pieces in my 'advanced' clarinet book. It's about 5 and half pages long.:iconpolandplz:So, not only is it difficult to play, it's also tiring. Did some light, kind of 'fluffy', jazz tunes after. 

I've also been eating funky lately, again. Eating much less, having dinner pretty late at night (last night was different), and not 'feeling' like eating. I have to keep track of this, because it may end up hurting me.:iconraivisplz:I have to have a certain amount of food in order to take/not mess with my meds. 

The couple who drove me to services suggested I try Tylenol arthritis for my shoulder pain. We found a generic version, and it seems to really work so far. Today is the second day I've taken it 'regularly'. Maybe if it keeps up with taking away most of the pain, I can tell my orthopedist about it. And, I might just have to take it for a while. I'm ok with that.:iconberwaldplz:It's just like that mysterious throwing up thing I have, that was solved by having a heartburn med every morning. I don't mind taking pills, in order for it to be 'solved'. This way I can get a lot more done. Makes me feel much better. Also, in case the pain got out of hand again, we got a roll on stick of 'extreme strength' IcyHot. It's really powerful, feels like I'm burning, but after it takes effect, it's amazing!:iconseychelles-plz:

Got a bit more serious about those dating sites. If I didn't, I'd never find anyone.:iconprussiaplz:I saw someone who might be interesting, but couldn't send anything more than a 'wink' at him. So, deleted my account from that site. Looked at more Jewish dating sites. There aren't too many truly free ones. Sad. But, we'll see what these new ones are like. I'll also look at the non-Jewish ones again.

Yom Kippur starts next Tuesday night. A nice friend of the family is driving me to both the night and day services. She'll be driving another friend as well. So, it's like we'll be carpooling. I'll have to remember to pack a lunch for myself (if we truly stay all day), since I can't fast. I'm exempt from it because of my meds. I'll probably eat as little as I can, while still eating enough for my meds. Not only to prevent an upset stomach, but so they can go into effect. In Judaism, it's considered a sin if a person with medical problems fasts. (Life trumps all, is how some explain it.) But, for a healthy person, it's a sin to not fast. So, it's very weird to go from one to the other. I want to fast, because it feels weird not to during the holiday.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:I'll be sure to sit somewhere else this time. I'm a little hesitant to even go back to the synagogue, after that Rosh Hashanah thing.:iconwtfukplz:The Break-the-Fast potluck should be good too. Sometimes there's not enough food for everybody, sometimes there's too much. I'll try to bring something. My last name falls under the category of bringing a salad or side dish. So, I'll see. 

Saturday night, there's Seattle's Night Market and Moon Festival. It sounds like so much fun!:dummy:Basically, an Asian festival geared towards many different countries. Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, India, etc. There will be lots of different traditional food, merchants, and more. They said they'll have a Chinese dance team performance, Kung Fu demos, Taiko drumming, JK Pop Dance party, and a Jai Ho Dance party. Sounds awesome! They'll even have the street food vendor Japadog that started in Vancouver, Canada. I've always wondered about them. I've checked out their menu online before, plus saw them being featured on No Reservations. Might be cool to try. It's like hot dogs with a Japanese twist. Their slogan is, "Making the world happy and alive through hot dogs!" 

deviantART faves: Don't Wake Me Up... Witness Cooking with Ice: Halloween Treats Ideas Jackrabbits are closely related to hares First, a really cute pic of a cat. Interesting perspective, too. Second, a really cool surreal painting. Found it on FB. Third, cute and funny ideas for making Halloween treats. Fourth, a cool drawing of the artist's oc. I like the style. 

A cool multilingual Hetalia amv. I really like the song. Sounds interesting in different languages:

An epic Naruto Shippuden amv: