Monday, December 29, 2014

Shitsuji Tarumono


Or, Butler Barrel Ones (that's how the 'English' version translates it). Probably a better translation would be Butler Serving Those. This is from Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler's first soundtrack. It's one of Sebastian's themes. I think it's usually in the background as he's running around, picking up after the other servants (most aren't that great at what they're assigned to do), fixing things, going on multiple errands Ciel sends him on, etc. He's always busy, but he does it all with finesse. He also can do more than most people can, since he's a demon. Hence, one of his catch phrases is: "I'm simply one hell of a butler." I like the jazz element in this one.:iconchibihungaryplz:He's on the left in the pic, and Ciel's on the right. 

I hope the people who celebrated it, had a great Christmas. I don't, but many of my friends and family do.:iconhappychinaplz:Like many Jewish Americans, we went to an Asian buffet on Christmas Eve. Normally, it's a Chinese buffet, but this time it was a Japanese one. They have a ton of Chinese food there, as well. The tradition of doing this has some history to it, and it's kind of long.:icontinoplz:But, to make a long story short, basically there was a time when Jewish and Chinese Americans were considered 'other', and they bonded over that during Christmas. There's a lot more to it, though...:iconswissplz:Anyways, there were some special items at this one which has become one of our fave buffets. So, that was fun to see. Ended up eating a lot even though I tried to get tiny bits of everything. The next day I actually felt like I lost weight, instead of gained it.:iconseychelles-plz:Well, I didn't eat much else during the day besides what was at the buffet.

We were going to see The Interview the next day, but the tickets sold out before we had the chance to. I thought it'd be funny to see, and with all the controversy behind it, it's even more of a reason to support them.:iconchibiaustriaplz:Maybe I'll get to see it in the future. It's also another tradition for Jewish Americans to go to a movie theater on Christmas Day. We did see Into the Woods, which was quickly being sold out. Luckily, Dad was able to get tickets through her phone, so it was before they were gone. The theater was packed. They told us that there may not be any seating left, and that we can get a refund if that's the case.:iconusaplz:We ended up being separated and sat pretty close to the screen, but it wasn't too bad. I thought it was a pretty good movie. Didn't really like their Red Riding Hood. The only thing that fit her part was her skipping. Jack was spot on. Cinderella was good too. It's a lot darker of a movie than I expected. But, I usually like that kind of thing.:iconsleepygreeceplz:The witch was good, too. The princes were funny.

On Friday, I finished dusting, cleaning my mirror, going through stuff on the walls, and vacuuming my bedroom. Went through a few things and tossed a bunch of things out, as well. It took me a long time to finish everything, but it looks like a different room now.:iconawwwplz:Took out the 2 paper mache paintings Mom did back in high school, which she gave to me a while ago. That left a lot of wall space open. Found another silver kiddush cup that I had no memory of...:iconawkwardplz:It looked like it was never used. Found a boatload of dreidels, too. I apparently still have shekels from my Israel trip that I took about 4 years ago. Also, found a large hamsa that I got while on that same trip. (It was hidden behind something on one of my walls.) Hamsas are basically amulets shaped into a hand, and usually have an eye in the middle. (They can be much more decorative than just that, though.) That eye represents the 'Evil Eye', which is what the hamsa is supposed to keep away. It's found all over the Middle East. It was from the guy who ripped me off for something else, and when we called him on it, he gave me the hamsa for free plus my choice of 2 pairs of earrings. I didn't care as much for the earrings...:iconkikuplz:

Found my old AP Biology binder. It was a lot thicker than I remembered.:iconshockplz:Also, a large box filled with many smaller boxes of envelopes. It was positioned under my desk where my legs were constantly rubbing up against it. I had forgotten what was in it.:iconhanatamagoplz:Not sure why I stuck it there, to be honest. I know that a student market at my university was having a huge sale after finals one semester, where you can buy things in bulk for very little or even for free. I think that store was going to close for renovation. So, I naturally got what I could. Also, got a huge thing of mac and cheese from them that took a few years to finish. There were air fresheners as well. It was a good deal all around.:iconberwaldplz:Also, found a beaten up hat that I never liked under there. It was so far gone, I don't think anybody would want it, either. I also had the fancy cup I usually use for Elijah's cup during Passover under there. On top of that stuff was my little subwoofer, which I tend to forget about. (Since it rarely comes on.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Probably was muffled by all the other stuff too.) A lot of this stuff made for little leg room. But, I moved everything out from under my desk, except for my subwoofer. I have so much leg space now! I can stretch out!:iconranranruuplz:Rosie has found a new spot under part of my desk that's now bare, so she's happy, too. Yay!:dummy:

I also found a model of a brontosaurus (which is apparently called apatosaurus now...Even spell check thinks it should be 'brontosaurus', but looking around online, they've changed it) skeleton I put together when I was about 9 or 10. It has wooden pieces shaped into 'bones'. I thought for the longest time that I broke it in half, and that it couldn't 'stand' by itself anymore.:iconsadnessplz:Turned out it just needed the middle section's bones pushed in a bit more. So, it stands pretty sturdily now on top of one of the speakers to my stereo. I think it's still a cool model.:iconheroamericaplz:Things look different now that there's not a thick layer of dust on them. It looks new.

On Saturday, I had a very late lunch at a restaurant that was apart of a gas station. Both Dad and I were going to meet up with a family of 4. Dad knew the mom and daughter pretty well beforehand because of her job. But, not the dad and son. I didn't know any of them, so it felt very awkward.:iconwtfromanoplz:Apparently, Dad had told them a lot about me, which made things even more awkward. To make it even more so, they insisted on paying for whatever we got. I got a personal cheese pizza, a moon pie, and some iced tea. The moon pie and pizza were homemade. The pizza had WAY too much sauce, and was pretty greasy. Tasted good, though. The moon pie was really good.:iconfrancisplz:I hadn't had one in a very long time. They also gave us complimentary 'sconuts'. A combo of a donut and scone put together. It was a bit odd, but good. I had the chocolate chip one. The owner of the restaurant seemed to almost be begging for us to like his place.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul:He was a little too 'needy' (not sure if that's the right word...). The kids seemed nice. Their mother was a little nosy, and asked a million questions a minute, it seemed. Felt like I went through a tornado just talking to her.:iconlietplz:The father was interesting. He's originally from Scotland, so he had some interesting stories. I was exhausted by the time we left them.:faint: 

Yesterday, I went through this year's calendars, and made 'posters' out of the pics I liked. Then, put up the new calendars. One's Paris-themed this time, and the other is a Jewish calendar put out by The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. The Jewish one is done by the same people that did my last calendar. I found a lot of interesting small pics from my Italy calendar. I liked a couple of flower ones, lots of landscapes, and lots of food ones. Didn't care as much for the pics of churches, people, statues, and a few other things. Nature and food of countries is where it's at for me.:iconyayhanatamagoplz:Found 3 pics from my Jewish calendar. One interesting spice box shaped into a flower, a menorah, and a Shabbat oil lamp. All of them were some of the oldest items featured, and I'm more fascinated by those. 
Started watching MAR a few weeks ago. (Could not get into Tales of the Abyss.:iconpolandplz:) This one's 102 episodes long, so it's another big one. It aired from 2005 until 2007. (Only the animation looks to me like it's from the late-90s...I could be wrong about that 'style' though.) I didn't hear much about this one, and just found it as I looked for things to add to my 'to watch' list. So far it's very interesting.:iconchibinitalyplz:Reminds me a lot of Fairy Tail. This is older than that series, though. Plus, they use 'magic' differently. Toramizu Ginta's always dreaming of a magical world every night, and yearns to be able to go there. With only his friend Koyuki believing in his dreams (the princess in his dreams closely resembles her), Ginta remains positive despite being made fun of by his other classmates. One day, his wish is answered, and a large door appears in front of him, which summons him to the world of MAR Heaven. They use weapons called ARMs in this world. At first, Ginta seems to be enjoying this new world, but he starts to learn about the terrible wars that world has gone through, and the possibility of a new war. He finds his ARM weapon towards the beginning of the show. It's very unique, and everyone seems to be after it, currently. It's called Babbo, it can talk, move on its own, eat, grow to any size, and more. Seems to be 'living'. Far different than the norm, where they seem to be 'objects' and don't have a personality. Many of them look like pieces of jewelry when not in use. Except for Babbo so far. He's the ball and chain with facial hair, teeth, and eyes. Plus his 'handle' at the other end of the chain that Ginta's holding. It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Finished watching Gugure! (Google it!) Kokkuri-san. I really enjoyed this one!:la:It was hilarious, dark at times, had heart-to-heart moments, and the characters really stood out on their own. I didn't like Shigaraki (a tanuki or raccoon-dog spirit) at first, but he turned out to be one of the more mature and thoughtful characters. He gave off the opposite vibes at the beginning. Although, he does drink a lot and hit on any woman he sees. He looks 'old' in his human form. He perfected his animal form by the end. Before, it looked really scary.:iconchibichinaplz:Inugami (a dog spirit) was one of my fave characters. He seemed to have the most extreme of personalities. He hated everyone but Kohina, including himself. He was unsure as to what his 'true' gender was, and was constantly switching back and forth between male and female. At some point, he decided to stay as his animal self half the time. He wanted to be able to go everywhere with Kohina, and was small enough to hide in her school bag and on places like her shoulder. His animal form looked like a small purple emo dog. He's very violent, too. His 'doghouse' was full of Kohina dolls, and a Kokkuri voodoo doll with nails poking out of it.:iconbelarusmarrymeplz:He has dog-like tendencies too. Which makes it funny while in human form. Kokkuri (he's a fox spirit) is a good character, as well. I felt sorry for him half the time. He's actually older than the other 2, and refuses to say by how much. I liked his animal form. He looked really fluffy and kind of funny with a giant bell collar. (He wears the bell no matter what form he takes.) He was the first one summoned by Kohina, and ended up taking care of everyone. Kohina's interesting as well. Her eyes can either pop off or move around her face.:iconwtfukplz:She still considered herself a doll by the end. A doll that eats ramen...She would kill for instant ramen.:iconbraginskiplz:And, Kokkuri's constantly taking it away from her. She has a wicked sense of humor, that tends to be misunderstood as an insult to the other person. Her best friend is an alien at school named Yamato. Her personality/thinking reminded me a bit of when I was little. (Except for the doll part...) It'd be so awesome if they made a 2nd season!:iconfinallyplz: 

The current story arc in Fairy Tail's starting to drag.:iconnataliaplz:I thought it was interesting for a while, but they seem to be drawing it out. The Celestial Spirits are rebelling, and are trying to gain freedom from humans. If they go through with a certain ritual, they'll be free, but will only live for 12 more days. All of the spirits changed their appearance too. Their personalities seemed the opposite from usual as well. So far, the guild has closed most of the 'gates' to where those spirits reside. In the most current episode, Natsu closes Leo's (or we knew him previously as Loke) gate. He was apparently the new leader of the spirits, but once he was shut out, the 'ritual' kept going. There are still 3 spirit gates to close. (I think it's just Libra, Virgo, and Ophiuchus left.) They say once you close a spirit's gate they'll return back to normal, but we're not really sure. And, what happened to the real 'king' of the Celestial Spirits? It's just all been so slow.:iconromanoplz:Hopefully, they'll move to the next thing soon.
Kuroshitsuji just keeps getting better and better. Didn't realize until now that it's still ongoing. I'm catching up pretty quickly to the most recent chapter that's out.:iconchibiswedenplz:This story arc's about witches and werewolves in a forest in southern Germany. The Queen asked Ciel to look into incidents where people venture into the woods and come back horribly disfigured. And, either they die or go insane after that. The Queen is interested, because she has some relatives living near that forest. The only one who knows German fluently is Sebastian, although he's tried to teach Ciel how to speak it. He can read it, at least. Finny, the gardener, apparently knows more German than he lets on. He said he only knew a little, but he's been able to communicate and understand a lot more. So, Sebastian does a lot of the talking and translating with people they meet. In a certain area, there was a witch hunt that sent the local witches into the woods for protection. The story goes that the head witch or Green Witch made a deal with the werewolves of that forest, where she gave up her legs in order for the werewolves to protect a town they settled in that ended up in the middle of those woods. The werewolves exhale a toxic miasma that 'curses' the person for walking into their woods. The person's face gets puffy, welts start to appear, they tear up first, and it brings out people's worst fears. (It sounds like some sort of plague, to me.:iconscaredplz:) Ciel, Sebastian, and the rest of the group bump into this village, not expecting to actually see a village. It's a village full of witches, and there's only one guy named Wolfram. He serves as kind of a butler to Lord Sullivan, who's the leader of the village. She's very young, and can't walk because they bound her feet. The descendants of the Green Witch bind their feet, in order to keep the 'deal' going. When Wolfram isn't carrying her everywhere, she gets around by tying balloons to her waist. Anyways, they tell them to stay for a while until it's safe to leave. Sebastian and Ciel decide to venture out into the woods really late at night. They both end up being 'cursed', and Sullivan saves them. (Sebastian's surprised that it even affected him. Someone who's not human.) Only, Ciel lost his eyesight for the time being. He seems to only want Finny or Finnian to take care of him now. (Finny's in the pic.) He refuses anything that Sebastian does. It looks like we might get to read more about Finny. That'll be cool.:icondenmarkgrinplz:Apparently, Ciel named him that after the book in the pic, which is Fenian Cycle: Celtic Mythology. (He spells it differently, though.) We know that he was a test subject before Ciel took him in, and he feels like Ciel gave him life and a sense of purpose. He's also insanely strong, and worries about hurting people if he touches them. He doesn't know his own strength. So, it came as a shock that he'll have to take care of Ciel for the time being. 

I've been having a really hard time with sleeping for the past couple of months.:iconamericadisapproveplz:(At least, I think it's been that long...It's at least been a month.) Some nights it seems I never fully go to sleep. Slept pretty well last night, at least. I've started to try some 'natural' remedies. A few days ago I tried having some pure cherry juice. I read that it turns into tryptophan (like what turkey does), and that helps people sleep. Also, eating carbs with a snack before going to bed's supposed to help, so I had some multi-grain crackers. They were both pretty tasty. It was an ok night that time. The next night I had some dark hot chocolate with marshmallows, and an apple. I think it has caffeine in it and normally that puts me to sleep, but it had the opposite effect like what people normally get. Had a tough time that night.:icongermanyplz:Last night, I had some pure chamomile tea with some BBQ chips and another apple. I think the chamomile helped the most. Maybe I'll keep trying it until I feel it's not like a fluke or something. I can't have the over-the-counter sleep aids, because it'll interact with my meds. And, every med I take is vital. It's kind of frustrating to me, though.:iconprussiaplz:If it keeps up into next month, I'll go see my new doc. Maybe she'll give me more advice on it. 

We're going to our friends' place for New Year's Eve. That couple has been friends of the family for a while. They usually invite us to their place for Thanksgiving, New Year's, and Passover. Usually we chat for a while, eat snacky food, play games, and then watch the fireworks on TV for New Year's. It can be a lot of fun.:iconcuteicelandplz:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sixth Day of Hanukkah!


Wow! It's almost over!:iconshockplz:Didn't feel entirely like Hanukkah until last Friday and Saturday, though.:iconpolandplz:The first night started at the same time our support group meets, so I thought I'd try Shari's Potato Pancakes. We usually go there after it. They didn't even resemble latkes to me...:iconwtfukplz:I know latkes tend to be translated as 'German potato pancakes', but this was different. Although, they didn't have 'German' in the name. This didn't have onions, was pureed so much it resembled mashed potatoes (the waitress even started describing it this way...:icongermanyplz:), no garlic in it, and wasn't crispy. What's more, they sprinkled some scallions on top of it.:iconchibijapanplz:I suppose that's one way to get the onion part. But, it's not cooked into it!:iconprussiaplz:I thought it was cool that it'd come with a side of 'apples'. I was thinking that meant something close to applesauce. It was really huge chunks of apple in a cinnamon-y/caramel sauce on the side. They were good, but didn't go with the 'pancakes', and didn't really stick to them like applesauce would have.:iconusaplz:It's like they weren't even trying anymore...:iconannoyedgin-plz:If I thought of them as something totally different, they were ok. At least I thought I was getting something similar to latkes to start off the holiday.

For Shabbat (Friday night's) dinner, I made latkes from a mix. Wasn't as good as from scratch, but that's a bit more of a to do. As it was, these took a while to cook. Turned out pretty good, though.:iconfeelingfullplz:(Messed up 2 or 3 of them in the first batch, but the rest came out like they should.) Of course, we had applesauce with it. Had lemon-filled powdered jelly donuts and some gelt (chocolate coins) for dessert. It was all so good!:iconchibispainplz:Really felt like it was Hanukkah this time.:iconfinallyplz:

Saturday night, there was a Hanukkah party at one of the local synagogues. (The one that's been really nice to us.) We brought our menorah, candles, matches, and a drip tray (to catch extra wax from falling off the menorah). Last time we went to theirs there wasn't enough matches for everyone, and no one thought to have something under their family's menorah. So, it was a mess and a bit dangerous.:iconhanatamagoplz:This time was different. Although, I was one of the few with a tray. I helped 2 other people with their individual menorahs, since they didn't bring matches. But, it wasn't as crazy. 

We all lit our menorahs, sang the blessings and some songs. It was really pretty looking around the tables and seeing them lit up. Each family had brought at least one, and there were a lot of people. It was nice and warm, too.:iconawwwplz: 

After that, we had a potluck dinner. We brought some tabouli for it. There was so much food! There were like 10 different kinds of homemade latkes. I think there may have been some homemade applesauce, as well. Lots of different types of salads (pasta, greens, etc.), some kugels (in fact, someone was calling one of them a latke casserole which looked a lot like a creamy potato kugel), crackers, cheese, etc. For dessert there was a chocolate babka, muffins, fruit, a spice cake, and more. Gelt was scattered all over the tables, and we made dreidels out of a chocolate kiss, marshmallow, and pretzel stick. There was supposed to be a make your own sufganiyot or jelly donut station. But, the deep fryers that were set out on the table next to the regular desserts, weren't working.:iconhongkongplz:So, instead of making our own, they made them in the kitchen and had us be able to roll them in a cinnamon and sugar mix or powdered sugar. Either way, they ended up being really good.:iconfrancisplz: (Although, I'm slightly disappointed I didn't get a chance to learn how to actually make them.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:) I had one of each. They weren't really true sufganiyot, because there didn't seem to be any jelly, but they still were good and gooey in the middle. They were somewhat small, too. Bigger than donut holes, but smaller than a full fledged donut. Perfect size, to me.:iconchibinitalyplz: 

After that there was a paper cutting activity. The woman leading it snapped at a girl that asked her a question and was trying to follow her instructions. She said something like: 'this is for the grown-ups I don't expect you to be able to follow.' It was incredibly rude, and I know she apologized later to her, and she was nervous at the time, but that's no reason to snap.:iconkikuplz:Just close your eyes for a second, take a deep breath, and help. It was something similar to when we made paper snowflakes in elementary school, so it certainly wasn't too 'adult'. Plus, some of the adults were having a harder time with it.:iconseychelles-plz:They ended up making paper Magen Davids, or Star of Davids. Once they finished making them, she gave tips on how to make them with intricate patterns. I wasn't interested in making them, but watching it was interesting.:iconchibihungaryplz: 

After that, they were supposed to have 2 dreidel contests downstairs. So, they quickly cleaned up everything in the main room. Apparently, others thought that this meant it was the end of the party, and left.:iconwtfromanoplz:Not many stayed for it, including us. I hope the people that stayed still had at least one decent game of it. There were supposed to be 2 prizes given away to the 2 winners of those contests. (Besides the gelt, obviously.:iconsleepygreeceplz:) I haven't actually played a game of dreidel in a very long time. While we were finishing our donuts one of the people across the table from us wanted to know how to play the game. I went through the motions of it, and he followed with a paper that had instructions for it. They apparently play a little 'nicer' than what we usually would do. (Like, when landing on a 'shin' putting one into the main pot, instead of half of what you have from your own pot into it.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul:) He really seemed happy that I was able to explain it to him. The only thing I didn't tell him was how someone loses or wins.:icontinoplz:Like, when you run out of your 'pot', you lose. Once someone wins all of the main 'pot', and no one has anything to put in, then that person wins. But, I'm sure if he stayed after he'd be told that, too. 

So, it seemed like a pretty active party. Ended up talking to a lot of people, too. Felt like I did 'something' for it.:iconheroamericaplz:Also, on the 8th night I'll take a pic of my menorah fully lit. 

I had planned to do a drawing project during the holiday. But, I haven't gotten too far on it.:iconsighingplz:I dreamed about some of the drawings, and thought it'd be cool to do. At least something related to Hanukkah. They all involved my oc's (original characters) from Alliance. Anyways, my first drawing idea is of Shadow (the main character) watching the menorah's candles. Kind of like he's mesmerized by them. Kind of similar to a pic of me when I was younger. The menorah part went through a lot of different 'phases'. I wasn't sure how I wanted it.:iconthinkinghkplz:Then, I again, had problems with his hair. Oddly, not too bad on his perspective. I just need to shade and color it. It's nighttime, so obviously it's going to look a bit dark except for the areas that the lit candles light up. So, I guess with the finished product, you won't see that much of his hair. Just mostly the front. I'm thinking of using my colored pencils, shading pencils, and markers for this one. I already used one of my 'manga' fine-pointed pens to outline a lot of it, and the fine pencil from that pack to sketch it. Should be interesting to see what'll happen with it.:iconchibiaustriaplz:

Another idea was having the 4 main characters playing dreidel, and Junko winning. Each character might have a different expression with it. Another one was a good chunk of the main and side characters eating latkes together around a table. Of course, Sin would be the one that cooks everything...It'd be kind of a fun and light one. Another was some of the characters singing. There were others, but these are the ones that came to mind the most. I could probably still do them, even if it's after the holiday.:iconchibiamericaplz:I was surprised I did as much as I did in one sitting for the first drawing. Also, finished coloring the outfits/accessories for my oc's. Another 'project' that I started a while ago, but just finished. (It was to give me more of a 'feel' for my oc's.) Just need to edit it a bit in Photoshop and submit it to dA. I really like how some of my characters' outfits turned out. The rest were pretty good too, but not as cool looking. 

A couple of Fridays ago, it was pouring down rain and very windy. The power went out at around really late the night before. Except for it coming on during my usual lunch time for 45 minutes, it stayed out for about 15 hours.:iconawkwardplz:I made/had breakfast in the dark. Luckily we have a gas stove top, so I could still make tea, and cook some sausage. (I also had some challah, but I don't really need to heat it.) Our camping lantern worked well for this too. I could actually see what I was doing. I was happy that the power came on just as I wanted to make lunch, and stayed on until a little bit after I ate. 

Then, I finished cleaning the china cabinet in the sunlight that was coming in. It was just enough to see what I was doing, too. Tried using the silver polish for the first time, and I think it's gotten so old, that it doesn't do much.:iconswissplz:Had to pour the stuff continually on things. After finishing the cabinet, I vacuumed the carpet in that room. It was pretty bad in there beforehand. Ended up looking really nice after. Luckily, the power was on by the time dinner rolled around. I was pretty cold most of the day until the power came back on, though.:iconitsfreezingplz:

Last Friday, for my 'cleaning' day, I did part of my room. Vacuumed all the ceiling stuff (there were quite a lot of thick strands of webbing), some of the walls, all of the window stuff (again thick black stuff was lifted from them when I used the windex. Scary...:iconchibichinaplz:), and dusted the corner of my room near my door. Vacuumed a little bit behind my nightstand, and the carpet under it, as well. It was pretty bad back there. Next time I hope to dust the rest of the room, take down things I don't want from my walls, and vacuum the floor. In the future, when I get back to my room, I'll go through my closet. Then, under my bed. Those are going to be crazy to go through themselves.:iconraivisplz:But, I'm glad I'm getting to these things.