Wednesday, September 25, 2013

7th Day of Sukkot!


Wow! It's going by quickly. Tonight's the start of Shemini Atzeret (lit. 8th [day of] Assembly), and is the last day of Sukkot. Simchat Torah starts tomorrow night and ends Friday night. At least I got the chance to go into a sukkah once during the holiday. Not sure if I'll go to the synagogue's Simchat Torah celebration. Have to see how I'm feeling.:iconkikuplz:But, it's usually fun. 

I felt really horrible Tuesday of last week. Thought I was just sick. It was bad enough the next day that I had to cancel my first appointment with a new therapist. I was happy before that I finally was going to get back into it, since its been at least 7 or 8 months since I've seen a therapist. That's too long!:iconusaplz:Anyways, for being sick last Tuesday, I thought I could self-treat it for a while. It seemed to get slightly better for a while. Then, suddenly that sick and painful feeling came back with a vengeance, worse than before.:iconohboyamericaplz:

Saturday, I finally decided to go to urgent care, not knowing what to do about it. After running some tests, things appeared ok. Then, I had a couple of x-rays done on my abdomen. The results were quite surprising to me. The best description was that I was literally full of crap.:iconwtfukplz:My intestines were backlogged with stuff. Totally filled up. I thought about it for a while, and noticed I hadn't really done a number 2 in almost 2 weeks. It was no wonder that I'd be feeling so horrible. I'm not particularly embarrassed by it, just amazed. They prescribed milk of magnesia for me, and said I should probably take a fiber supplement regularly, like Metamucil. 

The milk of magnesia stuff is absolutely horrible!:iconromanoplz:The texture's like a mixture of paper, chalk, and liquid plastic all mixed together. The taste is kind of hard to describe, but really horrid. I was taking the full dose until last night. I'm not sure if I can continue it. It's starting to make me feel more and more nauseous every time I take it. But, I might need it still...I'm feeling much better than I was, but I'm not totally 'cleaned out'. It also puts me to sleep pretty quickly. 

I decided to go to my first 'Singles Night' event on Monday. Even though I was still feeling pretty miserable. I walked to the bus stop just outside our neighborhood. It was kind of like a misty light rain on my way. So, I thought I wouldn't need my hood up and left it down. Of course, as I got to the bus stop, there was a sudden torrential downpour. There isn't a shelter area at this one. I was absolutely soaked by the time the bus came around.:iconlietplz:

My hair was dripping all over the place (kind of looked like a drowned rat), my jacket and purse were soaked, and my clothes underneath my jacket were as well. Almost all of the contents of my purse were waterlogged. My clothes and jacket became extremely heavy. Kind of hard walking around and taking a ferry. I met up with Dad and went to Arby's for dinner. Then, she drove me to the 'event'.

Not only did I feel not too great in my gut, but I was still soaked to the bone when I got there. Certainly wasn't at my best to meet other singles.:icontinoplz:The event was called Sushi and Singles in the Sukkah. So, it was with other fellow Jews my age, and we got the chance to make sushi.

I thought we'd be under a huge sukkah, and someone was going to instruct us on how to make sushi. That would have been so much nicer.:iconfrancisplz:Instead, we met inside the UW's Hillel building, and there was a tiny sukkah just outside of the building. The doors opened out to it. It was rather small. Could probably fit maybe 15 to 20 people comfortably. About 60 people showed up for this...:icongermanyplz:They had us fill out a card with our contact info, which also had a number. We had to find our 'number' that corresponded with the one on the card, and use it as a name tag. I'm sorry, but I'm not a number, and it was weird...:iconhongkongplz:There was a section on the card where you could fill in the 'number' of the person you're interested in contacting. You'd get the info that way. Seemed kind of backhanded. 

Oh, and for the sushi thing, they left out all the ingredients, utensils, and print outs of instructions strewn across huge long tables. Very oddly organized. Mine came out ok. A little squished, and the ends weren't filled up enough with rice. I put cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, and some shredded carrot in mine. I think the carrot made it an odd texture, but it was a good combo. 

There were so many people, I had a hard time even hearing what people were saying. There were times where I was actually pushed out of the center of the room by people. Very narrow and tight space for that amount of people. If it was laid out in a bigger room, I think it would have been a lot nicer. They kept telling me that they usually don't have such a large group for these events, and to not let it discourage me from going to another one in the future. Hmmm...I don't know.:iconwtfromanoplz:Not too many guys that really 'clicked' with me. Although, it might have been different if we could actually hear each other. There were a couple of guys who apparently liked me (but I didn't like them too much), and tried to follow me around a lot. I managed to lose them, though. One of the last guys I talked to seemed interesting. Didn't get to really spend enough time with him to see if I liked him enough to put his number down. I heard that a lot of people didn't write anything for that section. Again, because it was hard to hear people. At least I got my chance to be in a sukkah for the year. They didn't have a lulav and/or etrog, so I wasn't able to shake them like we usually do while in one. 

I've been sleeping in a bit for the last couple of days. Mainly, because that laxative puts me to sleep. And, because its helped with me not feeling so sick. I guess one of the best remedies for feeling crummy or sick is to sleep. I might feel well enough to at least do my walks tomorrow. We'll see. But, I have felt a lot better. Hopefully I'll get back into blogging more in the future, as well. (At least, more often than what its been lately...:iconchibinitalyplz:)

Hitman Reborn has been really good. The story is becoming very complex. They were sent back to the past (or what is their present) for a week to undergo the Arcobaleno's 7 trials in order to gain their seals. If they pass all the trials and get the seals, Tsuna can use the Sky Box his future self handed down to him. Then, they can go back to the future and kill Byakuran. So far, they've passed 5 of them. Reborn's trial is next. The trials aren't necessarily about physically fighting them. The first one was combat, another was tolerance, another leadership, another charisma, and another was adaptability. Very interesting. Which makes me wonder what Reborn's trial is going to be like.:iconchibihungaryplz:
For the last week or so I've been practicing, reading newspaper articles, and testing out my kanji/vocab on the JapaneseClass website. I'm doing pretty well on there. But, I'd mostly like to do that during the weekend. As kind of a review of things, and to keep things 'fresh'. I have learned a lot from that site, though. I can still learn from it, but I learn a lot from my other 'methods' as well. (Still need to check out SecondLife for conversation stuff.) Went back to writing out/studying kanji and their compounds today. I'm still studying the compounds for . 真菌 or しんきん (shinkin): fungus, fungi. 真空管 or しんくうかん (shinkuukan): vacuum tube. 真空掃除機 or しんくうそうじき (shinkuusoujiki): vacuum cleaner. 真空帯 or しんくうたい (shinkuutai): air pocket. 写真嫌い or しゃしんぎらい (shashingirai): camera shy. 真後ろ or まうしろ (maushiro): right behind. 真向い or まむかい (mamukai): face to face, straight ahead, just in front of, directly opposite. 真紅 or しんく (shinku): (deep) crimson, scarlet. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

2nd Day of Sukkot!


Wow! It's already the 2nd day. We didn't put up a sukkah this year, but the weather has been a bit odd, so not the best time to sit in it anyways. Couldn't attend the synagogue's Sukkot thing Wednesday night. I might be able to go to a singles' sushi night under a sukkah on Monday. So, there's a possibility I'll have at least one opportunity to be inside one.:iconfrancisplz: 

Sukkot's a harvest holiday that lasts for 8 days. Sukkot is the plural form of sukkah or 'booth'. A sukkah is a temporary structure, reminding us of the temporary dwellings our ancestors lived in for 40 years in the desert. We usually at least eat all our meals inside it. People are encouraged to spend as much time as they can in it. Some even sleep in it, kind of like they're camping. I want to try that in the future sometime...:iconchibihungaryplz:The most amount of 'walls' you can have covered is 3 out of the 4. (Can't have it entirely 'walled' off.) We usually have a wooden frame around ours, and cover 3 of the walls with a wooden lattice. Usually, we have a 'roof' made out of some plant materials, like large tree branches with leaves. (One year we had corn stalks on top, as well.) It can't be entirely covered on top, since you have to be able to see the stars. A lot of people decorate it with dried fall vegetables, artwork, fruits, vines, flowers, pine cones, etc. It can be a lot of fun. 

After this holiday, there's another one called Simchat Torah. It marks the conclusion of one and the beginning of another annual cycle of readings from the Torah. (It lit. means "Rejoicing in the Torah".) Another great holiday. There's dancing, singing, candy, schnapps for adults, it's unraveled across the room, etc. 

I felt really horrendous late Tuesday night, while we were at Shari's after the support group meeting.:iconlietplz:Suddenly, I had massive pain in the upper left part of my back, stomach was kind of fiery, and weird sharp pains on my sides. I tried to act like nothing was going on while I was there. It felt like it was only getting worse by the time we got home, but I really thought I could 'sleep' it off. I felt better once I was in bed. Still felt horrible in the morning, though. 

So, that morning I had to cancel my therapy appointment, and didn't go to a support group I was hoping to go to. (One that really would have been very relevant to my viewpoint. The others help, but there aren't that many allies in those groups.) I slept in for a while. Felt slightly better, but not the best. Now, I'm feeling much better.:iconchibinitalyplz:Still have a slightly weird metallic aftertaste in my mouth, but the 'fire' has died down, and the sharp pains are gone. Head still slightly foggy, but it's better than it was. I don't really know what I had, maybe it was some sort of weird bug.:iconwtfromanoplz:It felt slightly like the flu, at least the head stuff and feeling very nauseous. (Had a huge urge to throw up most of the time, as well.)

One good thing I might go to is that Jewish singles' sushi night on Monday. Sounds very interesting. Get to learn how to make sushi while inside a sukkah, and might get to know some other Jews at least. It'd be really nice if I get together with someone through it, but it'll still be nice if I just end up seeing other Jews my age and make some friends.:iconeestiplz:I should probably go to more of these Jewish singles' nights. I guess I'll check it out first. The online dating thing hasn't really panned out for me...:iconkikuplz:So many weird guys on the free sites. (Plus, not very many of them are Jewish. Not a requirement, but it'd be a huge plus for me. And, makes things easier.) Can't afford the other sites.

Yom Kippur was pretty good. I didn't really like the guest rabbi too much. He seemed very timid, quiet, nervous, etc. It was hard to hear him at times, because of how quiet he was. I understood his viewpoints, but didn't particularly agree with them. Which is fine, but something seemed off. Oh well, it was nice to see someone new at least.:iconpolandplz:

After some debating with myself, I decided to stay for all the day stuff. I only observed the yoga stuff from afar, since not only is it not my thing, I wasn't in the proper clothes for it. I ate my lunch outside at a picnic table in the synagogue's garden, which I didn't realize was there before. I was worried I would bother people, but I didn't. I'm exempt from fasting, because I have meds I absolutely have to take. (And those meds have to be with meals.) They say if someone like me does fast, it's considered a sin. I still feel a bit guilty about it, though. It was beautiful outside. Took a walk down to a plant nursery after lunch, and looked at the interesting plants and garden sculptures they had. I'm surprised there were 2 discussion groups. Usually, it's just one, but we talk about the topic until it's exhausted. This time it was oddly done. The break-the-fast had really weird food. The desserts especially. But, at least there was something. Havdalah was weird, too. The rabbi did a 'silent' one. Part of what I like about havdalah is the singing.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Got to chat more with people I don't normally see. That was nice. 

I was planning to do 85 sit-ups twice a day this week. When I felt sick, I decided to give it a rest until I felt better. Wouldn't want to make myself actually throw up, or pass out halfway, or do something weird.:iconraivisplz:Wanted some comfort food, so I haven't really been following my way of eating since I got sick either. I figure it's ok for a short period of time. As long as I get back to it as soon as I feel better. Haven't walked much either. I might do one of my walks tonight. We'll see...Have to get back into it. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Rosh Hashanah 5774!


L'shana Tova! Happy New Year!:dummy:Rosh Hashanah started Wednesday night, and ends tonight. Yom Kippur starts next Friday night, and ends Saturday night. I was going to make the honey cake Mom used to make, but didn't have enough time to. I could still make it in the near future. Doesn't have to be for Rosh Hashanah, I guess.:iconchibiswedenplz:Went to OneShul's early erev RH services Wednesday morning. It was very interesting and nice. The theme was basically about our relationships. Not just 'romantic' ones, but like our relationship with the world around us and the universe. 

Then, I went to our local synagogue's service that night. It was really packed there.:iconseychelles-plz:Saw a lot of people I haven't seen in a very long time. It had been years since I saw a couple we were pretty close to a while ago. (Probably something like 6 or 7 years ago since we saw them last. Maybe longer.:iconusaplz:) It was very nice to catch up with them. The service itself was nice. Occasionally, the singers seem to draw out their songs a bit longer than they needed to. 

We brought apple strudel 'twists' for the dessert potluck. They were much bigger than I expected. Lots of good looking sweets this time too. Surprisingly, not very many honey cakes.:iconohboyamericaplz:People sounded really impressed by my novel being published. They immediately wanted to check it out. Luckily, I had brought a few flyers with me. They also asked me to join the book group. Funny how people automatically assume that you'd be into that if you tell them you've published a book.:iconnataliaplz:I'm more into writing, and I kind of feel at home more if I'm reading a book (that I picked) and don't have to 'discuss' it with other people. But, it was nice of them to offer.:iconheroamericaplz:They also said I should advertise it in the newsletter. But, I didn't think they would do that for my novel, especially because it's not a Jewish book.:icontinoplz:Cool that I know they can and want to do it. Might get more potential sells through it. Really didn't expect that I would be doing some marketing, especially on Rosh Hashanah. 

The next morning I went early to the morning service. Had to wait about a half hour before the adult service started. The person who drove me was in charge of part of the setting up and greeting people. That was ok, got a chance to talk to the other person who carpooled with us. The adult service lasted much longer than I remember it being in the past. (I think the rabbi's drash was really drawn out this time, and he kept saying the same things. Might be the reason for it being so long.) Went from 10:30am to a little after 1:30pm. Didn't get home until 2pm.:iconwtfukplz:I was SO hungry! I couldn't do tashlich, because of it being so late. Tashlich is a short service where we 'cast away' our sins (represented by bread crumbs) into a moving body of water. In this case, it was going to be at a pier. So, I missed doing it last year and this year. Apparently, not very many people do it anymore. Sad.:iconamericasadchibiplz:

A while ago, I saw a 'life hack' for organizing nail polish. Thought that it was a nice idea. I already have a container for them, but didn't do the label part of it. Not very many of my nail polishes actually have a name on the bottle. And, they look different than what you can see through the bottle when it's on your nails. For the labeling part they make separate little boxes of each nail polish on some paper, use a hole puncher, and then glue it to the matching bottle. Sounds simple. I couldn't find a hole puncher, and found a weird glue at a Japanese store. I thought the glue would just be like most glues, but it was like rubber cement.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:So, I used scissors instead of a hole puncher, rolled up pieces of tape to make them 'double' sided, and put it on the bottles. Not the best, but at least I can see what they look like now. Might do a better job of it in the future...My next 'project' will be going through my desk. Might do that on Sunday. Not sure.:iconpolandplz:

My new therapist called me and left a message while I was at services yesterday. She just wanted to make an appointment for me. She mentioned the days she'll be there, and we can start next week if I want. I still have to see what would be best for me then I'll call her back. My previous therapists never called me. So, this feels more personal and friendly. 
This is my wallpaper for the month. It's Hibari from Hitman Reborn. Thought it seemed pretty relevant with the mood and theme for the High Holidays. It's a time for personal reflection. I think if I remember the description of the wallpaper, Hibari is actually looking at his older self, or vice a versa. In the series, they are forced 10 years into the future. Their older selves are switched with the younger ones. Not all the characters switch, and not all at the same time. Interesting to see their older selves, and what they have become. Anyways, it seems like a very nice and emotional wallpaper.

My spice calendar features wasabi this month. I like it in very small amounts. And, I know that the 'real' stuff is much stronger. Most places might use a little bit of wasabi in actual wasabi paste, and mix it with other stuff. It mentions the history of it, where it originated from (Japan), wine pairings, and simple recipes.

My Jewish calendar features a wood panel to a sukkah (temporary structure we use on Sukkot) with a nice painting. The maker is unknown, from the Netherlands; 1830. There's also an etrog (a citrus-like fruit we use for Sukkot) box, made of silver, from Germany; 1850-1900. And finally, there's an etrog basket, made of silver, maker is unknown, from Alkmaar, Netherlands; 1916. Sukkot starts the night of the 18th, and goes until the night of the 25th. I almost forgot that it was coming up, too. Simchat Torah is right after that on the night of the 26th, until the next night. Lots of holidays...It's good, but can feel a bit hectic.:iconwtfromanoplz:

The month-long holidays are: National Biscuit Month, National Breakfast Month, National Chicken Month, National Honey Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Piano Month. Some are important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Love all those foods! Piano is a pretty cool instrument. Never really played it. I used to play around on a nice keyboard when I was little, though. Not really the same thing, and I respect people who do play it. Actually, I pretty much respect most musicians...Anyways, nice holidays this time.