Wednesday, December 5, 2012

National Cookie Day!


This was yesterday, but who doesn't love cookies? There's so many different kinds. It'd be impossible to not find one that you'd like. I love chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, pumpkin walnut, cowboy, and I could go on for a very long time with all the flavors I love...:iconchibihungaryplz:
This is my wallpaper for the month. It's Gauche from Letter Bee. I miss this show! Very artfully done, their world is interesting, and the story is complex. Thought it was a nice, somewhat wintry looking wallpaper (I didn't make this!) for this month. Although, those things falling from the sky aren't snowflakes.:iconwtfromanoplz:Still, most of the scenes look very wintry.

My herb calendar has various edible flowers. Nasturtium, dill, fennel, onion flowers, calendula, and chive flowers. Kind of nifty to see them all together. 

My Jewish calendar has 3 different types of menorahs. The main one's maker is unknown, made out of copper, from the Netherlands, from around 1850-1900. Another one is made by Abraham (Bram) van Gelderen, made out of metal and wood, and from 2001. (They don't say where it's from.) For the last one, the maker and origin are unknown, made out of copper, from around 1800-1900. (Wow! Huge gap there!) Interesting to see the older menorahs.:iconchibinitalyplz:The main one looks so nice and clean, they must have taken really good care of it. 

By the way, Hanukkah starts the night of the 8th and goes until the night of the 16th. It's coming up fast!:iconusaplz:There's apparently 2 parties on Saturday that we've been invited to. One is at someone's house with a few other people. She said all we have to do is bring ourselves. Then, there's the main congregation's party at 5. (I say main because there's 2 congregations we're welcomed at, but only one where we're actual members of. Been a part of that congregation for years. Anyways, that's our main one.) I'd honestly like to stay at that person's house instead, if it's still going on. Then, with the same congregation a few days later, there's a Current Jewish Issues Forum thing called a Special Hanukkah Concert. Probably won't go to that either, considering the school psychologist holiday party is very close to the same time. (My dad's one, and they invited the families of the coworkers to a party at a restaurant too.) Finally, the other congregation has their party on the next Saturday. Supposedly, they're glazing mezuzahs (or mezuzot), as well. Kind of sounds odd.:icongermanyplz:We have a few, but why would we want to glaze them? Maybe they have new ones or something. I guess, if we go, we'll find out. I still haven't checked if we have Hanukkah candles, or even really thought about decorations.:iconkikuplz:It's going to be busy during that time.

Here's the month-long holidays: National Tie Month, Quince and Watermelon Month, Root Vegetables and Exotic Fruits Month, Universal Human Rights Month, National Egg Nog Month. Some are important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Not many this month, surprisingly. I love watermelon, some root vegetables, exotic fruits, and egg nog. And, human rights is a great cause.

I'm really not feeling very well today. Might have been something I ate, I don't know. My mouth and throat are very dry, nose is going like mad, head is throbbing, sneezing constantly, and my stomach is churning. Not too well in the bathroom department either.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:So, I felt bad enough that I decided not to go to the cafe today. Trying to cheer up and comfort myself with things. 

Yesterday, we went to the trans support group my dad started. I was calling it my dad's group, but it's also made for people like me who are allies or SOFAs. (SOFA's stands for Significant Others, Family and Allies. I've also read that it can be spelled as SOFFA, and that means Significant Others, Friends, Families and Allies.) I actually got into several of the topics that were brought up. They liked that I found that group called COLAGE, and the off shoot of it called Kids of Trans. They, oddly, were more interested in the JLPT and other things I brought up related to Japan. (Mainly about what we did on Sunday, but I'll get to that a bit later in this post.) I'm not going to mention much else, because of confidentiality, but it was very interesting. (I thought I could mention these things, because I brought them up. Didn't say what they actually said.:iconhongkongplz:) We all, except for one person, went to Shari's for a late dinner. I had a salad that wasn't that great, and a bleu cheese burger with fries. The bleu cheese burger normally comes with bacon, and I told them since I don't eat pork products, to leave it out. It had a ton of onions, and they somehow tasted a little like bacon. Kind of like they had it in there, but once they remembered, took it out. Not much bleu cheese either. The fries were ok. I really liked their strawberry lemonade. Had chunks of strawberries in it.:iconchibicanadaplz:

For Monday, I just kind of took it easy, because of the craziness the day before. I got up early on Sunday (around 7:20. Early for a Sunday), and took the JLPT N5 (Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level 5. Level 5 is the 'easiest', and Level 1 is the toughest one. Level 1 seems almost impossible to pass.:iconchibichinaplz:Level 5 is still pretty difficult) from around 12 to 3pm. I think I could hear the listening part much better than last time. I think I was better with the other sections too. I'm not supposed to say much about what was actually on the test, because again, of confidentiality. They could void my test. We won't know until February about our score. It's a bit grueling, and mentally drains you. So, I always feel tired after.:faint:

Then, we went to Uwajimaya. I love that place!:iconchibispainplz:I'm happy just looking around. Went through their bookstore that has several interesting books and magazines in Japanese. Some I could actually read pretty clearly. This is a branch of a Tokyo bookstore. They also have branches in New York City, and Paris. They had a similar magazine that looked like Cat Fancy, only with a lot more content. 

They have such a wide variety of fish as well. And, a small Russian food area. We got some cherry Russian cookies. Very tasty stuff.:iconitalyplz:All the frozen stuff looked so good! But, they would go bad by the time we got home, so we couldn't get any. I love looking at the stuff from other countries besides Japan, as well. It's a fun cultural experience. We got some yakisoba that comes with some sauce packets. Several servings in a bag too. All you need to do is add meat/vegetables/etc. while it's cooking. Also, got a noodle bowl. Kind of similar to those ramen ones, but I think it has a different noodle. Don't remember if it's soba, udon, etc. 

After having some fun there, we went to a Japanese restaurant called Maneki. (The full name is Maneki Neko, but for site listings and such they have it as Maneki.) I had some salmon onigiri (which I thought would come out like rice balls of the same name, but was more like sushi. Maybe they didn't expect foreigners to know... It was good though), tempura, takoyaki (octopus balls, the only exception I'll make for a non-kosher or treif thing. It's too good!), miso soup, chicken teriyaki, the salad and rice that the chicken comes with, and fried green tea ice cream for dessert. All of it was awesome!:iconfrancisplz:(Except the teriyaki sauce could have had a little stronger taste.) I couldn't eat most of it. Barely could eat half of everything. Managed to take a lot of it home. Sadly, I couldn't bring the rest of the ice cream with me. Only could eat half of it. It also had cherry flavored whipped cream on the sides, and a cherry on top. It was a great ending to a Japanese-themed day.

On Saturday, we did a lot of shopping. Was going to just grab a snack or drink at Hale's Ales, but we ended up having an early dinner. Had a turkey and cranberry sandwich with fries. Very good, but again, I couldn't get passed eating half of it. So, it was just another thing to take home. It's great to get at least 2 meals out of one. There was also a mishap with a sausage place at the mall. We wanted beef summer sausage, and I could have sworn we went to the register with it. But, once we got home, and were putting things away, I noticed that it was ham instead. I don't eat ham. So, we rushed back, and they gave us the beef one. I think the girl earlier who rang us up, switched the sausage to ham before she placed it in the bag. Which is pretty disturbing.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:We also got some cranberry mustard there. Which tastes great. 

Later, we went to Trader Joe's. I've only been to the one in Seattle, not the one that's local. It was pretty interesting. Not as much stuff, but still a great variety of things. Found some pretty awesome new things there. They also sell a lot of kosher (some glatt) things. Glatt meats are especially hard to find in markets in the area. (Not that I try to go that far. Glatt is really strict kosher.) They have a pretty tasty turkey bacon, and good plump dried apricots (I love when it still has little plumpness to it, not like leather). We also got frozen falafel, frozen latkes, some cheese, a panettone cake (a very tasty Italian cake with bits of dried fruit), frozen blueberry waffles, and some other things. 

An awesome amv showing the serious side of Gintama:

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