We definitely need more peace in the world.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.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!
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.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.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.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.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.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.
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.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.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.
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.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.
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.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.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.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!
Got a bit more serious about those dating sites. If I didn't, I'd never find anyone.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.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.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!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: