Monday, July 29, 2013

National Lasagna Day!


Yay, I love lasagna!:la:Especially the vegetarian, cheese, and sometimes beef ones. I've tried eggplant lasagna, and didn't like it. Even though it looked so good...:iconswissplz:I also hate eggplant in general, but people kept telling me they have a different 'texture' in this form.  

Went to a different trans support group on Friday, the one Dad used to go to more often. They loved that I was an ally. (They all kept hugging me, and brightened a bit after I told them.:iconseychelles-plz:) They seemed very nice and warm. (Maybe more so than the other group.) It was a much bigger group, than the one Dad facilitates. And, I was surprised by how many people I knew or met once before. Since it was a large group, check-ins were really long. The topic was interesting. 

Went to a place called the Hub afterwards. I was just going to share some Cajun fries with Dad, but they were too spicy for me and I was really hungry. So, I got their rustica pizza. It had artichoke hearts, olives, and huge cloves of roasted garlic. The pizza itself was huge! (Supposed to be for one person.) Was really tasty, though.:iconitalyplz:Ate half like usual, and was pretty satisfied. (Got to have an awesome lunch the next day!:dummy:

Somehow ended up having a 'deep' conversation with one of the members across the table for me. It was hard to hear her at times. Didn't expect to be answering such deep questions.:iconusaplz:I think she started those as soon as I told her I was Jewish. Some of the questions were related to my religion, but some were just on my life in general. She seemed fascinated with me. Don't know if that was good or bad...:iconkikuplz:Made it interesting. They want me to come to the next one. The only problem is that it's on Friday nights. Shabbat starts then. So, I don't know.:icongermanyplz:

I naturally got up pretty early this morning. Which isn't normal.:icontinoplz:At least I felt a bit rested. Started my 50 sit-ups twice a day for this week this morning. I could really feel my abs and surrounding areas tightening. Also, at the point where I'm building up a sweat. Before having that 'medical' week in March, I had made it to 65 sit-ups twice a day for that ending week. I'm getting closer to it. And, then I can surpass that. Yay!:iconfrancisplz:

I'm not going to add those 2 exercises into my routine. I remembered that I had lost a lot of weight until March, just on what I've been doing. So, why add more things? Unless I'm at a plateau, then maybe. Been more on top of my 2-mile walks, too. 

Trying to stick more closely to my way of eating, as well. It's easiest at restaurants. I'm good at home, but occasionally I have a tendency to just eat it all. It's easy most of the time for me to eat half of things, though. Thinking of limiting a bit more of my breakfasts, but I'll see. Already feel like I'm losing weight again. Even though it's not entirely why I'm doing this. It's also for overall health.:iconthailandplz:

Namonaki Doku is getting really interesting. The more Sugimura finds out the more complex the story gets. But, I love that sort of thing. The episode ended with him getting run over by a bicyclist. He had some pretty serious injuries. But, he's the main character, so it'd be pointless to kill him off just like that.:iconraivisplz: 

I'm liking Kaichou wa Maid sama a lot as it progresses. At the end of this episode Misaki and Usui almost kissed. I'm usually not into the romance genre, but they make it really fun. 

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, finally had an update! They were able to post a few more chapters, instead of having readers wait for a chapter every few months. So, yay! I'm thinking they might make another season of the anime version, once there are enough chapters out. Since, the anime ended with essentially what happened in the last chapter I read in the manga. The one I read today was kind of a fluff one. Kiri was finally able to see Iwai after the incident, while still at the hospital. The staff allowed him to cut her hair. They introduced his sister. She was feeling guilty over saying horrible things to Kiri about him enjoying cutting other people's hair, but he managed to help patch up their relationship. Of course, with the help of Iwai. 

Played my clarinet. Did a lot of classical pieces from my advanced solo book, and a couple of jazz tunes. Was pretty good. Only a few parts where I goofed up, but not too bad. Started the 2nd story to my nightmare anthology novel. I think this one will be even better! Thought I'd base it on a few of my short nightmares, and make it flow into each other. I think each short story is going to have a different 'style', I guess. Not exactly sure what the end product of this will be, but it's kind of exciting.:iconheroamericaplz:

Finally managed to cook something for dinner Saturday night. I haven't really 'cooked' for a while. Made an Indian dish that was basically chicken with a red bell pepper curry. It was pretty good. Found several new songs on Sunday, so look forward to those soon!:iconchibinitalyplz:
Today, I studied some of the compounds for the kanji: . It generally means: G-d, gods, deity, mind, soul. 神仙 or しんせん (shinsen): Taoist immortal, supernatural being. 神罰 or しんばつ (shinbatsu): divine punishment. 神意 or しんい (shini): divine will. 神像 or しんぞう (shinzou): idol (e.g. carving or painting of a deity). 神韻 or しんいん (shinin): exceptional artistry. 神格 or しんかく (shinkaku): divinity, divine. I'll do more of them next time. Also, translated part of a You Maga article. Read an article in Japanese from Asahi's website. It was about a massive recall on top loading washing machines put out by Sharp. They were the cause of 3 house fires. No one was injured, thank goodness. 

Another hilarious scene from Azumanga Daioh:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cousins Day!


Yay for cousins! I've always lived so far away from mine. But, things like facebook help us connect. Wish I could physically visit them more often. Maybe in the future...:iconchibiaustriaplz:

Tried to find the next translated episode of Cartoon KAT-TUN. (Hard to find them after DramaCrazy shut down.) Ended up skipping about 10 of them. And it was only a snippet of an episode. Maybe I'll be able to find a full episode next time. They did a parody of Gokusen, and introduced a celeb named Becky. She's half British and half Japanese. Very interesting. I think I've seen her in several current Japanese ads. (Thanks to a youtube channel I'm subscribed to that shows current ads every couple of weeks.:iconchibinitalyplz:)

Tried to watch the new anime called Free!, but thought it was kind of boring after about 7 minutes.:iconwtfromanoplz:Plus, the voices didn't quite fit. Using female voices, instead of male ones for teenage boys. I know that some anime use female voices for really young male characters. When done right, that's ok to me. But, when it's used for teens, it feels weird.:iconhongkongplz:There were a lot of weird comments about it though. It's a swimming anime, where the guys are into swimming. A lot of male viewers were complaining about how 'gay' it was. I don't think it was 'gay' at all. There were some guys who said they liked it, and that they loved that it was a sport themed anime, or were swimmers themselves. I think some guys just get jealous or something. If it was a bit more exciting and they had picked better voices, I would have been very interested in it.:iconpolandplz:

Instead, I started watching Nodame Cantabile. I had watched the Jdrama a couple of years ago. Oddly, I'm noticing how close the drama was to the anime. I love the story, and to see it in a different 'light' is interesting. The animation isn't the best, at least for the first episode, but the rest of it looks good. I'll see if I'll keep it next time. The drama might have followed too closely, and it might be like watching everything over again. We'll see.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:

Played my clarinet. Did the rest of the tunes from my advanced solo book, some Duke Ellington tunes, some Gershwin tunes, and part of a classical tune from another advanced solo book. (This time the solo book is all classical, and the one before had mixed genres.) Was pretty good. Got a little flustered with some of the more difficult pieces. But, I think that was normal.:iconheroamericaplz:
Today, I studied more of the kanji, , compounds. 身分 or みぶん (mibun): social position, social status. 身の上 or みのうえ (minoue): (one's) future, (one's) welfare, (one's) personal history, circumstance. 身勝手 or みがって (migatte): selfishness, egoism. 身の回り or みのまわり (minomawari): (one's) personal belongings, (one's) vicinity, everyday necessities. 全身 or ぜんしん (zenshin): whole (body), full-length (e.g. portrait), entire body; systemic. Next time I'll do more compounds for it. 

A hilarious Gintama amv mostly centered on Sougo:
2 hilarious moments from Azumanga Daioh:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

National Hot Dog Day!


Yay, for hot dogs!:la:One of my faves are beef Polish hot dogs. The ones at Costco are awesome, although HUGE. (And, they're kosher!) Plus, Hebrew National does pretty good regular hot dogs as well. Great during summer. Recently had a large Hebrew National one, and some 3-bean salad on the side for a dinner. Very filling and good.:iconchibispainplz:I usually like relish, ketchup or BBQ sauce, and mustard on mine. Sometimes, sauerkraut. 

Went to my first non-Jewish and same sex wedding on Sunday. I'm so happy for them!:iconchibihungaryplz:They're our neighbors, that live not too far from us. Incredibly nice people. One of them always asks me how I'm doing when she catches me while I'm walking. (She's usually in her car.) They run a pet nanny business. I think we used them once, as well. It's cool that they have a giant pride flag displayed at their house outside. They had been together for 30 years already. Felt like they were already married, but weren't recognized by the state. And, now that they can be, they finally got their chance to have a wedding.:iconfrancisplz:

Anyways, they held their wedding at their church. Apparently, the church is very progressive and welcoming. Not sure if it was my first time at a church service...Felt a little weird at times.:iconkikuplz:That church has held 6 weddings this year, all same sex couples. Really cool. Despite me feeling a bit uncomfortable, the people were nice to me. I just wanted to celebrate with the couple. It seemed like a good wedding. A lot of passages about love. 

After the service, we all headed to the banquet hall(?) and had lunch. There wasn't very many places to sit for a while. But, we found a nice sunny place. There were a lot of things that I couldn't eat, and quite a lot that Dad couldn't eat.:iconlietplz:I had the fruit salad, a hybrid of some sort of egg salad and potato salad, tuna salad croissant sandwich (with some grapes mixed in that surprised me), and some Caesar salad. They had punch or water. Wasn't sure if the punch had grapefruit in it, so I had to stay away from it.:iconraivisplz:(Can't have grapefruit with the meds I'm on.) 

Then, they did a bunch of toasts to the couple. Couldn't have champagne (alcohol's not good for me either, messes with my meds), so I acted like I was doing the cheers without anything in my hands.:iconusaplz:Later, I grabbed a couple of cupcakes before they managed to make it over to the tiny cake and cut it. We were both getting tired and wanted to leave. I thought I couldn't leave without taking at least a cupcake.:iconchibiaustriaplz:The carrot cake one's icing was not very good. Tasted too cream cheesy. The cake part of that was ok, but not the best. The other one was chocolate, and was pretty good. 
Started Dangan Ronpa a couple of weeks ago. It lit. means 'Bullet Rebuttal'. It's adapted from a murder-mystery visual novel. The video game was released soon after. The game itself produced 2 manga adaptations. Its become pretty popular, apparently. So, doesn't surprise me that they'd make an anime adaptation. It takes place at an elite high school called Hope's Peak Academy, which accepts talented 'Super High School Level' students from the highest caliber in various fields each year, along with one average 'Lucky Student' selected by raffle. Makoto Naegi is chosen as the 'Lucky Student'. As soon as he arrives at the gates, he passes out and wakes up inside the school. Where he meets 14 other newly picked Super High School students who are in the same situation as him. A sadistic, remote-controlled, monochrome bear named Monokuma appears, and tells them he's the principal and that they are imprisoned in the academy for the rest of their lives. He offers only one way for students to graduate: murder another student and get away with it. After a murder occurs, they hold a class trial, where they must determine amongst themselves who the killer is. If they can successfully determine who the real killer is, that person is put to a gruesome and ironic execution for disrupting school order. However, if the wrong accusation is made, then the true killer will be allowed to leave the academy, while everyone else will be executed. It's very interesting, and kind of funky. I love the murder-mystery genre, so this might be good. They've already killed off 2 people so far. One was killed by Monokuma for disrupting school order. She was yelling at him, and tried to stomp him to death. So he had spikes come out around her, and skewered her. The other one wasn't done by him. But, I think she killed herself. She was looking intently at a sword that was given to Makoto. She told him that she was too scared to stay in her room, and asked to switch rooms for the night. He left the weapons there. Now, everyone thinks he did it. The characters are rather off-beat, so it makes it even more interesting.
Started Uchouten Kazoku or the Eccentric Family on Saturday. (The lit. translation is actually 'Ecstatic Family', but the Eccentric Family is the official English title.) In Kyoto, there are 3 kinds of residents: humans, tanuki, and tengu. Shimogamo Yasaburou is the 3rd son of the tanuki family. His father, Souichirou, had been the head of the Kyoto tanuki community until he was eaten by the human members of 'Friday Club'. While taking care of an old tengu, fighting with other tanuki, and playing with a psychic human girl, Yasaburou approaches the truth of his father's death. He also likes to transform himself into the appearance of a human girl. Tanuki are raccoon-dogs, and tengu are associated with birds like crows or ravens, in Japanese mythology. The tengu, in some stories, will 'spirit away' people. Tanuki are usually tricksters, shapeshifters, jolly, mischievous, gullible, and absentminded. There are real tanukis in Japan, but they're obviously not like their folklore version. (Interesting how there seems to be more info on tanuki out there than tengu.) So far it's a very interesting story, and the tanuki in it live up to what I've read of the folklore stuff. The animation is a little...'different'. The characters' ears are drawn really oddly, and some of it seems surreal. Actually, some of the animation reminds me of Tsuritama. The flow of the art is nice, though. Liking it overall. Hopefully, it'll end up being one of the great ones this season...
Started watching Akuryo Byoutou or Demon Ward today. This was one of the shows I really wanted to watch this season, and I'm glad it's finally out! It's set within a hospital in the outskirts of town. Mysterious phenomena occur around a nurse named Runa Okami. According to a synopsis, the staff suspect her as the cause for some horrible cases and finds herself in danger. They haven't gotten to that point in the story yet, though. She did move from town to town growing up after she had a premonition of a classmate's death. In the 'vision' the classmate appeared all bloody and disturbed while moaning. She's been able to see 'visions' and ghosts ever since her mother died. People looked down on her for a while. But, I don't think the other nurses know about that sort of stuff yet. She has a friend who's a reporter, and wants to do a story on the abandoned ward of the hospital. The hospital hasn't gotten rid of it yet, because they haven't raised enough funds to bulldoze it. Runa is asked to go there to get something. Apparently it's kind of used as a storage for the time being. After finding what she was looking for, she got curious about the rest of the ward and went exploring. One of the last scenes of this episode was door locking on its own. So, now she's locked inside a creepy old hospital ward, where people have been spreading rumors about it being haunted.:iconchibichinaplz:The main part of the hospital, that's still operational, is starting to have its share of rumors as well. They showed one of the nurses getting spooked by one of the 'ghosts'. This is looking even better than I thought it would. The trailer's pretty scary too. The atmosphere the show gives off is downright creepy. I love scary/mystery shows. 

Hitman Reborn just keeps getting more interesting. Got to know more about the arcobaleno. They won't reveal too much, still. In Aka Aka, Yue is getting a bit suspicious of what a 'meal' might actually entail. He has to choose one of the 2 humans he finds interesting, as his meal. There are dark entities that are eating people and calling them meals. He thinks he'll have to do something like that, but Kurogitsune told him that his 'meal' will be different. 

Managed to play my clarinet. I want to get to playing it on a regular schedule again. Maybe I will this time!:iconberwaldplz:Did some tunes from my advanced solo book. Started brainstorming my next short story in my nightmare anthology. Mapped out a bit more of my next drawing. The one where I'll have all my characters interacting with each other. Showing their heights, personalities, and clothes. Sounds great, but it'll take some planning and time. Still worth it. 
Today I studied the compounds for the kanji: . The general meaning for it is: body, one's station in life, person, somebody, corpse. 身体 or しんたい (shintai): body; torso, trunk; build, physique, constitution; health; corpse, dead body. 身長 or しんちょう (shinchou): height (of body), stature. 身辺 or しんぺん (shinpen): one's person, around one's person, affairs. 身代 or しんだい (shindai): fortune, property. 身軽 or みがる (migaru): agile, nimble, light (of foot); casual (clothing), light (e.g. luggage); carefree, with limited responsibility. 身形 or みなり (minari): dress, attire, clothing, getup, outfit, personal appearance. 身近 or みじか (mijika): near oneself, close to one, familiar, imminent. 身元 or みもと (mimoto): person's identity, ID, past, background. Next time I'll do more compounds of this one.

This week I'm doing 45 sit-ups twice a day. So far, so good. It feels really tight in my abdomen after I do it each time. Starting to sweat a bit with it, too.:iconseychelles-plz:I've been taking my 2-mile walks too. Usually at night. The bugs seem to always like me.:iconwtfukplz:Someone once told me I must have sweet blood, because the mosquitoes always find me first. I also get attacked by gnats while walking through a short trail at some point during my walk. They've made thick clouds around me before. So, I decided to put bug spray on for tonight's walk. They didn't bother me this time! We also got sunscreen a while ago. Haven't really used it yet. Even though its been really sunny out and I easily burn...:iconswissplz:Hope to get into jump rope and Pilates soon, too. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

National Gummi Worm Day!


Yay for gummi worms! (This holiday was a couple of days ago.) Used to really love them when I was little. I still kind of like them, just not as much.:iconheroamericaplz:They were created by the German company, Trolli, in 1891. The gummi (also spelled gummy) bear, was invented 60 years before the gummi worm. Gummi means rubber in German. They named this type of candy 'gummi' because of its rubbery texture. 
Started watching Namonaki Doku, or Nameless Poison, yesterday. Very interesting so far. And, the filming feels like movie quality. Somehow a step above the usual. Most of the first episode seemed happy, but sinister at the same time. The sinister part seemed like it was in the background, like you knew something was too good to be true or something wrong was about to happen. Don't really know where they're taking this show especially since most of the synopses I'm finding online are really long, and essentially are saying what happens during the first episode.:iconnataliaplz:I read that it's based off of a mystery novel. The main character, Sugimura Saburo, marries into a wealthy family, but on one condition. That he doesn't get 'ambitious' and works in a dead end job for her father's company. He originally worked for a bookstore called Aozora (or 'Blue Sky'), and now he works in public relations where they also publish a newsletter called Aozora. The couple later has a daughter. 8 years after joining the company, the president of the company's (Sugimura's wife's father) chauffeur is killed by a bicyclist ramming into him. The bicyclist had fled the scene afterwards. The president and Sugimura were both pretty close to him. The chauffeur's two daughters ask Sugimura to help them publish their book on what kind of person he was. And, that maybe the bicyclist will find out, feel guilty, and confess. One of the sisters believes it was murder, and that someone had a vendetta of some sort against her father. He had a shady past, and she's not entirely sure he left it all behind. She was also kidnapped when she was little. Didn't say for how long or by who, but said that person might have something to do with it. 

I might have finished the first story in my nightmare anthology. It was tough, but I think it came out better than I expected.:iconsleepygreeceplz:Managed to play my clarinet on Monday. Hope to get to it more often. Sounded pretty good, though. 

Went to Shabbat services on Saturday. Haven't gone in a long time. Probably since the end of April. My main reason for going was to drop off the books I borrowed from their library. I don't particularly like how early in the morning it is. In fact, we discussed with people afterwards about possibly having it at a later time. Everyone seemed to have a hard time with the time as well. There's a couple of more personal reasons why I don't feel like going to this congregation's services all the time. When I move to Seattle, I'll have a lot more options and they wouldn't have really known me from before. It'd be perfect that way.:iconchibinitalyplz:Plus they seem nicer and/or more inclusive, have bigger congregations, and much more groups/events to go to. More people my age, as well. 

Anyways, it was a nice service this time. Seemed much more emotional and engaging. It also was just before Tisha B'Av, so kind of a prep for it. It's one of the saddest days on the Jewish calendar. Not everyone observes it. It's a fast day, and it's a day we mourn the destruction of the 2 temples. There has also been numerous tragedies that have happened to Jews around this date, and we mourn them as well. This was Monday night until last night. 

Oh, and the high holy days seem to be early this year.:iconusaplz:Only because we use the 'regular' calendar normally. It's on the same dates every year on the Jewish calendar. This time Rosh Hashanah (our New Year) is at the beginning of September. I love that time of year, but it can feel 'heavy'. 

Went to the support group last night. Apparently, someone had broken into the room we use, so it was locked again this time. Had to hold the meeting somewhere else. It was next to the sanctuary at the church, kind of in a lobby area. I felt even more uncomfortable, mainly because of the religious symbols around. I know it's their thing, and it's cool since it's a church. But, still doesn't 'feel' right to me. Great that they let us use a space for meetings, though. I'm not downing that.:icontinoplz:Found a spot where I didn't have to see those symbols, so it was a bit better. It was a good meeting though. Got to know more about some new people, and some events coming up. 

After that, only 3 of us went to Shari's this time. One of the new people, Dad, and I. I got their quiche special. It had tomatoes, spinach, and feta mixed in. Plus, some halved cherry tomatoes, basil, and some parmesan on top. Was really good!:iconfrancisplz:Also, came with a choice of salad or soup, some fruit, and your choice of pie. I got a Caesar salad, the fruit was a watermelon slice and some grapes, and I got their banana creme pie. The salad and pie were pretty good.:iconitalyplz:Pie had actual banana slices in it! Didn't get the fruit until I was done eating. Our waitress had forgotten. She was great besides that. Even had boxed up the fruit for me. I ate half of everything (except the fruit), and had the rest for a brunch today. The fruit was still pretty tasty! The funny thing is this 'deal' was a lot less than their other 'deals'. Plus, it had more food to it. 

Went to Tacoma Pride this past weekend. It always seems like there's not enough 'stuff'. There were booths for organizations that had brochures and free stuff, some merchandise booths, some food booths, live music, and some other things. I got 2 free beaded necklaces. They look like they have mini disco balls on them. They gave me a blue one and a silver one. Also, got quite a lot of free candy. Met some of my dad's friends, too. After going there, we went to Tully's. I got their iced chai. It was good. Played around on Dad's nook while we were there for a bit. 

Then, once it was dinner time, we eventually made our way to a place called 'It's Greek to Me'. One of our fave Greek restaurants. They had moved to a much bigger building across the street from their previous location. I got my usual, gyro with fries on the side. They make some of the best gyros I've had.:iconchibispainplz:Packed full of meat (ground lamb and beef made into strips and grilled), just the right amount of their tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, onions (which is the only thing I don't like, and forgot to tell them) all on a thick pita. Usually too big to pick up without everything going everywhere.:iconseychelles-plz: 
The kanji I studied the last couple of days was: . When pronounced as の.せる (no.seru): to place on (something); to give (someone) a ride, give a lift, pick up, help on board; to send out (on the airwaves, etc.); to deceive, take for a ride; to (sing) along with (musical accompaniment); to let (someone) take part, to excite (someone). As の.り (no.ri): riding, ride; spread (of paints); (suf) (two)-seater; mood (atmosphere). As の.る ( to get on (train, plane, bus, ship, etc.), get in, board, take, embark; to reach, go over, pass; to follow, stay (on track), go with (the times, etc.); to take part, participate, join; to be deceived, be taken in. As じょう (jou): (suf) (nth) power; (counter) counter for vehicles; multiplication. 移乗 or いじょう (ijou): transferring (to another ship, etc.). 騎乗 or きじょう (kijou): mount, on horseback. 下乗 or げじょう (gejou): dismounting. 試乗 or しじょう (shijou): test drive or ride. 搭乗 or とうじょう (toujou): embarkation, boarding (airplane). 同乗 or どうじょう (doujou): riding together, riding with. 分乗 or ぶんじょう (bunjou): riding separately. 乗員 or じょういん (jouin): crew. 乗客 or じょうきゃく (joukyaku): passenger. 乗船 or じょうせん (jousen): embarking, boarding. 乗馬 or じょうば (jouba): horse riding; riding horse, saddle horse. 乗物 or のりもの (norimono): vehicle. Next time I'll be studying 3 more kanji. Mainly because the first 2 don't have any compounds listed, and the 3rd has a bunch of them. So, I'll probably only get to go over a couple of those compounds. 

I've also been doing 40 sit-ups twice a day for this week. Surprised I've stuck to it more strictly than I did last week with the 35 twice a day. Keeping up my way of eating, too. Most days I've been pretty good with getting my 2-mile walks in. If I don't do those, usually it's because I went to an event or something where I walked everywhere anyways. Got another follower on PatientsLikeMe.:dummy:Also, introduced myself in 2 of their forum sections. One in the general one, and the other in the mental health section. Also, posted in a thread about my experience with pulmonary embolisms. Which apparently was helpful to someone. Feels good to help others.:iconthailandplz:Also, was asked to do a 10-minute survey on my sleeping habits. Might get to it later. They said 'just 10-minutes' like it was nothing. To me, that's kind of a long time to do something like that.:iconswissplz:

Sougo, from Gintama, showing his 'sweet' side: