Monday, March 31, 2014



Sung by the Len Kagamine vocaloid. The original was sung by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. I didn't like the original as much as I liked this cover.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:It's supposed to be cute and weird. (According to the original artist.) The original video with Kyary is pretty trippy. It kind of creeped me out. I think it's a fun song, though. There isn't that much sense to it. Pon can be onomatopoeia in Japanese for the sound of clapping. (Sometimes it's the sound for something that's popping.) Although, I've also seen it as 'pan', which is also the word for bread...:iconwtfromanoplz:Some people translate it as the clapping song. Somehow his voice sounds better to me for it. With the vid I found, I don't particularly like the pics they use. But, they are based off of what Kyary wore in the original. Kind of odd to see him in a similar get-up, I guess. It has the Japanese, Romaji, and English lyrics which is kind of nice. Be warned, it will get stuck in your head...:iconbraginskiplz:

Found out that our friends are having their seder on the 2nd night of Passover, so we're having ours on the first night. (Feels like a more important one considering it's the first night. It starts it off. Also, it starts the night of April 14th.) I invited the 3 people I was going to for our seder. They said they'll be there. Yay!:iconyayhanatamagoplz:I told them to bring either a salad or fruit. They seem like they'd be easy for people to bring. I didn't want them to bring something too different than that, since it runs the risk of them bringing something that we can't have on Passover.:iconhanatamagoplz:I told them if they bring a salad to obviously not put in or bring croutons. That's a big one. One person asked if corn was ok, and since I'm Ashkenazic it's not. (It's also best if they don't bring dressing, and we just provide it.:icontinoplz:) I think fruit would be the easiest, and I love fruit. You don't have to mess with it. One of them said they tend to bring desserts to these sort of things (according to her she's been to many different kinds of cultural 'feasts', never to a seder though). I told her fruit's a dessert, why not bring that? 

In addition to them we might have people from the support group coming. I'm not sure if they'd even be interested in it, but we'll bring it up at the meeting tomorrow. (Or on the fb group page, not sure.) If we do have people from it, it's going to be a pretty packed house.:iconseychelles-plz:I suppose we could get the extra picnic/card tables out or something...We have quite a bit of chairs, too. We'll have to prepare the food and such for more, too. I like to have people over for it, but hope there aren't too many people coming. Plus, there might be a ton of salad and fruit if we have a lot. That'd be kind of funny, yet awesome.:iconenglandispervyplz: 

I wasn't sure if even those 3 people would be interested. So, the seder is becoming more 'real', I suppose.:iconberwaldplz:It's different when it's just the immediate family. It doesn't feel as formal, I guess. I'm telling people to dress casually, by the way. I will too like usual, but the rest of the stuff feels more of a 'to do'. It's kind of motivating though.:iconchibinitalyplz:I haven't really hosted at home before. (I did host a few times while I was living in the dorms in college. Those were fun, but not quite the same.) Dad's usually a great help with the seder. It's usually been Mom who hosts it. There's a lot of cleaning that has to be done before people come...I'll do a little at a time, though. It won't feel as overwhelming then. (Plus, traditionally part of preparing for Passover is cleaning. So, I'd be following some of it.:iconchibiaustriaplz:) Also, one of the people I invited said that if I needed help with anything, including cleaning, she's there for me. That was incredibly nice of her.

I also started a list of things we'll need for the seder, and another one for the rest of the holiday. (It is 8 days long.) After my therapy appointment on Friday, we're going to the QFC that has a ton of Passover stuff. It'll hopefully be early enough that there's still quite a bit of stuff there. People tend to start getting their holiday stuff roughly a month before the actual holiday to make sure they have it in time. The stuff goes by quickly that way.:iconwtfukplz:They always have something new each year, so that should be interesting to see, too. I find it fascinating to see what can be done for Passover with these things. Some of it tastes better than the stuff we have the rest of the year. I still have to look through our cookbooks beforehand for the recipes we usually use for the holiday before we go to QFC. I'm kind of getting excited about the whole thing!:la:I thought I'd be too nervous. 

Oh, I also think I should look online for better recordings of Passover songs. The ones we have on tape and that Mom would use during the seder, are kind of too hokey for me.:icongermanyplz:I might be the only one singing (Dad at least might be singing with me too, but there may not be any Jews coming who know the words), so it'd be nice if I could sing along with something. I want to hear the songs this time, too. Last year I don't think we sang too much. It makes it more 'festive' and entertaining.:iconchibihungaryplz: 

Also, found a Passover seder 'planner' on top of our Hagaddot (plural for Haggadah. Lit. means 'telling') books. We go through/read the Haggadah during the service, it lays out the 'order' of the seder. It's a mitzvah (commandment) for every Jew to retell the story of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt. It also explains the symbolism that's laid out, like what's the roasted egg for? Or, the shank bone? There are prayers, songs, times we drink (we don't drink alcohol, so we'll have grape juice), etc. It's basically the foundation of the seder. 

Anyways, the 'planner' was very interesting. I didn't think we had something like that. It lists things to get for the seder, ideas, what's permitted and what isn't, etc. Apparently, you're not supposed to change too much of your family's own service/traditions from year to year. You can add a few things to make it more interesting, though. I'm thinking of adding an empty chair to it. It's supposed to symbolize people who aren't able to attend a seder because they may still be enslaved or oppressed in some way. I like that. Kind of like they're there in spirit.:icontinoplz:We'll probably put out an orange like we have the last few years. It symbolizes the LGBT community, women in general, and people who just feel like they don't belong or are 'punished' by society because they are different. Someone said that a woman belongs on the bima like an orange belongs on a seder plate. This was in opposition to the first female rabbi. It stuck, and many people have related to it. It was supposed to be an insult, but it was turned around to empower people. We also have Miriam's cup that's full of water, in addition to the traditional Elijah's cup. Kind of cool and interesting things. Went through the actual Haggadah we might use, and there's quite a lot of stuff. We only have 5 of them, though. I think there may be 2 more, but they're from a different edition. If we have a lot of people, I guess we can double up. Although, Mom might have made some copies of them under the Haggadot pile. (We have a few different Haggadot, but we seem to use one in particular more often and there aren't that many of the others.) I guess I'll have to see.

I'm doing 55 sit-ups twice a day this week. My morning ones today seemed easier than last week's. Yay! I'll definitely do both of my 2-mile walks tomorrow. 

I tried to fill out the application for the state healthcare insurance program, but ran into a few snags. I submitted it anyways, and got a response the next day saying it wasn't finished. But, they gave me an extension to have it done by April 10th. I called them and talked a bit about it with someone who seemed to understand, but she said she can't do anything but will patch me through to an enrollment officer who could. She told me that it may be a bit of a wait. I was put on hold, and the automated message system said that the estimated wait time was 111 minutes.:iconamericadisapproveplz:I don't have that many minutes on my phone, so I ended the call. Later, I got another email saying that since I have an extension, it'd be advisable for me not to call until after the 31st. Kind of funny. I might try them again tomorrow, then. I kind of need the dental/vision insurance plans. They're supposed to be separate from the regular health insurance plans. I'm covered by a regular one, they just don't cover dental and vision.:iconwtfromanoplz:

Watched a teaser for the anime Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. I thought it was the actual first episode. But, it doesn't start until next week. The main characters were drawn in a chibi style for it. They aren't usually. They explained parts of it. From the explanation, it sounded interesting. Still unsure about it, though. I guess I'll see when it actually comes out.:iconswissplz:
Finished reading Hiiro Ouji or Scarlet Prince. I really enjoyed this manga, and it's sad that it's over. Kind of felt short. Only 3 volumes. But, then again I'm used to ones like 666 Satan (also called O-Parts Hunter), Tripeace, and Hitman Reborn. Those are all pretty long. Awesome, but long. It would have been cool if they had continued this one. Still don't know much about the rest of Akira's family, or even much about Mana's past. But, at least Akira (he's the furthest to the right in the pic) confessed that he loved Mana (second from the left in pic, she's an exorcist). Mana feels something for him too, but is still in the denial/starting to realize stage. They were about to have a sad ending. Mana thought since the church told her she doesn't have to observe and research Akira anymore (he's a vampire who gets his blood through an IV transfusion that he carries around with him most of the time. The hospital donates the blood for him and his wealthy family), that they'd transfer her to a different school. So, they all said their heartfelt goodbyes and Akira confessed. The next day she shows up at school saying the church can't afford the money for her to transfer, so she's stuck with them.:iconusaplz:Wataru (at the far left in the pic, he's also an exorcist) told them that he'll transfer in so he can protect Mana. If I remember correctly, he's passed high school age. Plus, not only was he forbidden from the school, but the church doesn't have enough money. Seemed fishy. I want to know more about Mamoru (he's an incubus, and is second from the right in the pic), he's an interesting character and it kind of feels like he was pushed to the side. I like how this manga made the 'monsters' people are afraid of into seemingly normal people. They don't want to hurt anyone, and aren't at all like what's in folklore. Although, Akira's brother Kazuya sucked Mana's blood to keep her quiet. He was the only one that forced his victim into something. He hated her blood though since she's an exorcist, but felt that if she didn't keep quiet and he didn't erase her memories he'd be in big trouble. His regular victims willingly give their blood to him. Although, he's a bit of a player, and they're all young girls. I know the least about the 3 humans in the middle of the pic. They were kind of like ghosts, and rarely popped up. You knew they were apart of the group and were friends, but didn't have much of a role. I'll miss this one!:iconcomebackplz: 

Wrote more of the 7th short story from my nightmare anthology. I was stuck for a bit, but managed to come up with some interesting ideas for it. It might be turning out to be trippier than the nightmare it's based on.:iconchibichinaplz:Not sure where it's going, but I kind of felt like that while the original nightmare was happening. I had no idea what was going on and woke up confused. 

Played my clarinet. Did some Irish tunes and lots of Klezmer tunes. Sounded pretty good with the Klezmer ones. Better than I expected. Maybe I'm getting used to the new reeds. Although, I haven't been playing with them for very long and there have been long intervals between those. Oh well, it was a nice feeling.:iconsleepygreeceplz:
Studied 2 kanji today. or ふく (fuku) means: luck, blessing, fortune, wealth. 幸福 or こうふく (koufuku): (mainly literary) happiness, blessedness, joy, well-being. The other one was . I knew about this one already, but haven't gone over it with the method I'm using now with writing it, hearing the pronunciations and compounds, finding all the common readings, common compounds, the other meanings that I hadn't gone over (tend to look for as many meanings as I can), etc. (This method has really helped me so far.) When pronounced as ぶつ (butsu): stock, products; (usually in katakana) (slang) stolen goods, loot, spoils. Pronounced as もの (mono): thing, object, article, stuff, substance; (as ~のもの [~nomono]) one's things, possessions, property, belongings; things, something, anything, everything, nothing; quality; reason, the way of the things; (formal noun often used as ~ものだ [~monoda]) used to emphasize emotion, judgement, etc., used to indicate a common occurrence in the past (after a verb in past tense), used to indicate a general tendency, used to indicate something that should happen; (suf) item classified as..., item related to..., work of...; (pref) somehow, somewhat, for some reason; really, truly. In some compounds it's pronounced as もつ (motsu). (This is obviously a very common kanji.) Next time I'll study a few of its compounds, and maybe the next kanji on the list. I really thought this one was a grade 1 one, not grade 3. Interesting. After that, I practiced, took quizzes, and went over my weak kanji on JapaneseClass' website. I'm at a high B+ now for my overall grade. Yay!:iconheroamericaplz:Hopefully I can get that up into the upper A range. I'm learning a lot through them too. I hope to go over more grammar stuff and sentence structure soon, too. Started to go over translating part of a You Maga article. This one's on inner ear inflammation. It's a short paragraph. So far, it's been interesting. Read a few articles in Japanese on Asahi's website. Apparently I can't read too many of Mainichi's without having to pay. Sad.:iconohboyamericaplz:Most of Asahi is free on their site. Plus they have a video section where they have the news, cultural programs, sports, etc. It's fun.

Went to Elmer's for dessert tonight. They apparently only have 2 things available for dessert: apple pie and sundaes. Not much, but they do have crepes and French toast on their regular menu. That was too breakfast-y for me though.:iconnataliaplz:I got the apple pie. It came with a huge scoop of ice cream on top. Our waitress asked if we wanted cheese on it beforehand. Why would you put cheese on it? It kind of feels like it desecrates the cheese and the pie.:iconhongkongplz:I also got a hot chocolate. It was really good. Especially towards the end where all the chocolate concentrates and the whipped cream mixes with it. It was good overall, too.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pecan Day!


Yay for pecans! (This was yesterday.) One of my fave nuts!:la:(The other one being walnuts.) They're amazing. Taste great, and are very nutritious. I like them by themselves or in something like pecan pie. Yesterday was also Waffle Day. Waffles are awesome too! Actually pecans and waffles tend to be great together. Interesting. It's Spinach Day today. I love spinach! There are so many different ways to eat it.

Well, I managed to do my evening sit-ups Monday night. Forgot about the morning ones for yesterday, but remembered to do the evening ones. Didn't go for a walk on Monday or Tuesday.:iconkikuplz:So far today I've done my morning sit-ups and walk. Hopefully I can get my second walk in for the day in addition to my evening sit-ups!:iconberwaldplz:It felt good to do the morning 2-mile walk, even though it was drizzling outside. On Monday, I decided to launder all of my bedding including my normal stuff, so I had a bit more exercise than usual with that. It took a while to get everything done, so I went to bed later than I wanted to. Took a while to fall asleep, and since everything was clean, once I was asleep I was totally out like a light.:icononionlullabyplz:I barely noticed my alarm going off Tuesday morning. I only got up to turn it off and go to the bathroom, but came back and went to bed. I was kind of in a zombie-like state during that.:iconseychelles-plz:So, I ended up sleeping in more than I wanted to, as well. Couldn't sleep very well last night, but managed to get up a bit earlier than yesterday.

Also, something someone said on facebook got to me. I know it had nothing to do with me, but it seemed awfully rude and condescending. She's someone that even in high school seemed to think she knew everything. (Especially everything to do with English grammar, music, and science.) She can be a nice person, but occasionally she pulls stuff like this. She said something to the effect of: "It's sad when people don't understand how to use *blank* properly in English." I don't even remember what kind of thing she referenced. But, it seemed kind of mocking and harsh.:iconinsultedplz:(She even commented later in a joking manner about it.) I know she studied a bit of linguistics in college, but she could just help the person instead of air it on fb in kind of a weird way. There were a lot of other friends of hers who are writers who asked if it was them she was referring to. Plus, there's the thing about a writer's voice or artistic license that could invalidate what she said. Unless it was in someone's status or something, and even then...:icongermanyplz:Anyways, I don't need that kind of negativity, even if it's not at me. So, I defriended her. She rarely posted stuff like that, but again I don't want to see that kind of thing again. You can have your own opinion about stuff, but if it's in a mocking or in a higher than thou attitude, I'm sorry I'm not sticking around for that.:iconhongkongplz:

Watched the season finale of Log Horizon on Monday. It didn't truly feel like a finale. In fact, it seemed like they were just starting a new story arc. They said at the very end after the credits that they'll be back for a 2nd season in fall 2014. That's a ways away, but at least they are letting us know that it will continue. Most shows leave that up in the air. It was a very good show. Drew me in within the first episode.:iconchibinitalyplz: 

I'm actually thinking of dropping Tokyo Ravens, which is supposed to have its last episode today. I'm behind on it though. It seemed exciting at the beginning, but its kind of grown stale. The main character has yet to improve (although I do like his personality), Kon is cute but hasn't really done much, can't really tell anymore who's 'good' or 'evil' (in some shows that's a good thing, but it's weird in this one), etc. I might try one more episode before I drop it, though.:iconsighingplz:

Watched the first 2 parts of a 5-part documentary called The Story of the Jews, last night. It was much better than I expected.:iconheroamericaplz:It's not only about our history, but our religion and culture. Simon Schama, who's a historian and hosts/narrates it, is Jewish himself. (He also wrote the book with the same title.) So, it's good to see someone who is Jewish covering Jewish history and culture.:iconyayhanatamagoplz:It was a very personal 'journey' for him. I don't usually care too much for documentaries, but this was well done. Occasionally, the visuals were a bit trippy, but I'd rather have that than emptiness. He seemed very emotional by the end of the 2nd part. But, a lot of heavy stuff happened. Mainly, about the Spanish Inquisition and England expelling the Jews. (He's from England, so it also hits closer to home for him.) He also touched on one of the ghettos in Venice. Since he also has an art background, he made it a point to cover a lot of it, which was great. It was also kind of more about the Jewish identity itself. What makes us Jewish? Or, what does it mean to be a Jew? Both questions have been popular with various Jewish media outlets lately. (Mainly because of a recent national survey about Jews in America. Some were surprised by it, and think we need to rethink things.) He's been answering it very eloquently. Next Tuesday, they'll show the last 3 parts. 3 hours worth of it. Sounds a bit long...:iconwtfukplz:It's kind of fun to watch, though.

Yesterday, I wrote more of the 7th short story to my nightmare anthology. Not sure where it's going, but its been interesting. Played my clarinet. Did some Irish tunes. Felt good to play again. Wasn't very interested in playing it while I was sick, so its been a while.:icontinoplz:Sounded pretty good despite this. 

Finished the drawing meme on exaggerated expressions. Not sure if I'm entirely happy with how Junko's expressions turned out, but they aren't bad. Next, I'll scan it and edit it a bit in Photoshop. Then, put the drawings to the meme itself, and post it to deviantART. It won't take very long. Kind of debating whether I should color it, though.:iconchibiaustriaplz:Maybe after I'm done with it, I can make another one that's colored in. Should be interesting.

Yesterday I retook some of the kanji chapter tests on JapaneseClass' site. My overall grade is going up. Yay!:iconfrancisplz:Trying to get 100% on all of the tests. So far so good. I made it to the 6th spot for the top 20 rankings for the day. Not bad. Oh, and apparently with the oblivion lists it starts back up if you haven't covered some of the kanji/vocab in the last month. Unlike the 3 months I thought it was. So, my oblivion lists have picked up again...But, with going over the old tests, I'm covering the older kanji as well. So, they're being eliminated as I go through.

Monday, March 24, 2014

National Ravioli Day!


This was actually last Thursday, but I love ravioli!:iconinloveplz:The beef or cheese filled ones are great. I think I've tried a cheese and spinach one that was really good. Artichoke and cheese ones aren't bad either. They can have all sorts of different fillings.

Well, I finally made an appointment to see my new doctor. That will be close to the beginning of the month. I'm glad I did it, but a little nervous at the same time.:iconwtfromanoplz:There are quite a few things I need to go over with her, and I hope she's nice and understanding. Sounds like she might be from her profile. It's interesting how during that week there's the support group, then this appointment, and then another appointment with my therapist. So, I'm kind of getting my mind and body looked at towards the end of the week. 

I haven't been able to have an appointment with my therapist for a while. Only met her once, I think. A lot of the time she ends up having a conference or she's sick, and sometimes I'm the one who's sick.:iconlietplz:She's more into the spiritual or religious stuff. Which I think I might need, but I'm not sure. She's not Jewish, so I'm not getting that perspective and I kind of want that instead. Since that is where I'm coming from. She's Catholic, which is obviously quite different, and already during that session where I met her I was 'teaching' her a few things about Judaism.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:So, personally, I still feel iffy, but again I've only met her once and have talked on the phone a few times. I'll see how it goes this time. Hopefully, she won't be sick or have a conference spring up that she forgot about...

I am feeling better than I did this past week. I can breathe easier, and I'm not coughing as much. Also, got up early like I usually try to. (Went to bed later than I'd like, though.) I was sleeping in so often because I was sick, so it felt nice to get up at a better time. It was really beautiful out yesterday, which made me feel even better. It was sunny and the trees were blooming. It was kind of deceiving, because it was only in the high 40s and low 50s. Hot in the sun, but really cold in the shade. Kind of odd.:iconsleepygreeceplz:

Managed to do both my morning and evening sit-ups, and a walk yesterday. Yay!:iconranranruuplz:Did my morning sit-ups today, and I think I'll definitely be able to do the evening ones again. I've decided to do 50 sit-ups both times this week. It's a good starting point for me. The only thing I didn't do yesterday was my second walk. Not bad at all. Hoping to do both walks today, too. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of it again. I need to stick a little more to the way I want to eat. Its helped me a great deal. 

Went shopping yesterday. There was a special at Costco for bulgogi. It was already marinated and ready to be cooked. Bulgogi is Korean BBQ or grilled beef. I think I've only had it one other time and it was amazing.:iconfeelingfullplz:It's one of the most popular Korean dishes out there. We had some of it for dinner over some noodles. It was pretty good. Just that the meat seemed to be only a couple of very long strips.:iconseychelles-plz:There's still quite a bit more meat, so that should make another good couple of lunches or dinners. It was 3 1/2 pounds of meat...:iconitalyishorrifiedplz: (That's a lot!) Also, got a few essentials that we were low on there.

Later we went to the market to get some more fruit. I noticed that they finally put the sign out in front of the Pesach or Passover stuff. (They've slowly been adding stuff to this special section for a week or two.) Also, added more to the section this time. It's always good to get the interesting/new stuff or some of the staples as soon as you see them, because they might not last long on the shelves.:iconpolandplz:Certainly, most of that section on display will probably be bare a few days before the holiday. We perused it for a little bit, and got some chocolate covered orange peels, potato chips (these seem to go really fast!), and chocolate macaroons (also goes pretty quickly). I'm not sure if I've had the orange peels. They sound interesting. The chips are very popular, and I think even people who don't celebrate the holiday get them. The macaroons are something we usually get. They can come in a variety of flavors, which the QFC in Seattle has more of. They usually have a huge section devoted to Passover stuff. Biggest section that many know of in this region. It's like a pilgrimage there just to look and get stuff.

I can't believe Passover's coming up so quickly.:iconshockplz:It starts the night of April 14th and ends on the 22nd. It's a pretty big holiday for us. You can't eat anything leavened during it. And depending on which custom/laws you follow, Sephardic (Jews with ancestry from Spain, Mediterranean) or Ashkenazic (Jews with ancestry from Germany, Eastern Europe), there are different food restrictions. (These are not the only customs people follow according to where they come from, but these are the most known. There are several others.) Ashkenazic seems to be the most strict, and that's what I follow. For us, you can't have ketiniyot either. They're certain grains and all legumes. So, no corn, rice, beans, peas, lentils, mustard, peanuts, etc. The leavened part, or what we also call chametz, means we can't have anything made with these 5 grains: wheat, spelt, barley, oats, or rye. So, that's what everyone has in common. (With ketiniyot there are other types of grains in addition to this.) But, oddly, I don't feel restricted during most of it. (Sometimes it gets hard towards the end...:iconhanatamagoplz:) It might be because I can have things I don't normally have the rest of the year. But, everything seems to be matzah, or potato, or egg related. I usually have a lot of vegetables, fruit, and meat too. There are some amazing things that people have come up with, even with these dietary laws. 

Usually, we go to seders or special dinners for the first and second nights. Seder literally means 'order', but it's associated with these special dinners. Everything has some sort of symbolism to it and it does have a specific order, except for the actual dinner part. We go through all the symbols, read the story, sing songs, etc. before the actual meal. Afterwards we finish the story, and there are some more songs. Different communities do different things during it. Kind of acting out the story. 

Anyways, there's a couple that have been friends of the family for a long time that usually invite us to one of the nights. The other night we might do one at home with just the family or with guests along with us. There's a thing where we're supposed to invite the stranger, so many invite people who are not Jewish along with friends and family who are. It gives them a taste of what our religion/culture is like. And, many of my friends have liked it when they've been invited.:iconheroamericaplz:I'm not sure when our friends are having theirs. There are usually quite a lot of people. More people than we can fit comfortably in our dining room. So, ours have been kind of more cozy with less people. 

I'm thinking this year of inviting 3 people. So, it'll be 5 of us. Not too bad a crowd. That's if they can come. It'll be my first time inviting people to our home one without Mom there.:icontinoplz:Last year we just had one for the 2 of us. I think I made too much food for it...(Dad helped a great deal with it too.) Although, I think it's better to have too much than not enough.:iconchibinitalyplz:Plus, there are so many awesome 'regulars' we have. Matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, salad, a main meat dish usually (like brisket, roasted chicken, etc.), hard boiled eggs, popovers (made with matzah meal), potato kugel (it's like a potato casserole), etc. And, that's not even mentioning the myriad of desserts we sometimes have at seders. (After 2 seders, I feel very full and tired for a while.) I invited and hosted for several people in college. But, that was quite different. (For one thing, I had a bigger space to 'play' with in the study hall of our dorm floor.) All the people I'm inviting are neighbors, so this should be interesting. They won't have far to go to and from for it. I don't think they've been exposed to too many Jewish things, either. But, when I know which night our friends are having theirs, I can invite these people to ours. 

While I went for a walk late Friday afternoon, I was stopped by a neighbor of ours towards the tail-end of it. I thought she just wanted to have a quick chat. I've known her probably since we moved here. But, never was all that close. She invited me into her place, and I stayed there for roughly 2 hours. First, she asked me if I babysat, and had any experience with kids who have downs syndrome. I haven't babysat in years. Her son's 2 and has downs. I've never watched over a 2 year old, and don't know much about taking care of a kid who has downs. (She told me that they use sign language to communicate for now, and I don't know how to sign. So, communication will be down as well.) So, I couldn't really help her there.:iconohboyamericaplz:But, after that she told me she's been meaning to talk to me for a long time. She wants to become friends, which is great. She seems interesting, nice, and quite a talker. I just didn't expect to stay there for so long. And, she even suggested we watch something together. I had to sadly decline. (My stomach was starting to growl.:iconswissplz:) Her kid's actually pretty cute. We swapped phone numbers, and I wrote down the name of my novel and where she can get it. She's one of the people I'm thinking of inviting. I used to think of her as just the really nice lady down the street with the chihuahua. She still has the chihuahua. It's really cute, although a bit too energized and excited. He always wears some sort of shirt or sweater. 

After that, I had a shabbat dinner to myself. Dad had an appointment around that time, and was going to come home late. I finally tried something from the new Asian hot case section at the market, which is right next to the sushi shop area. I thought it'd be cool to try an onigiri that a pro has made. The only 2 that were left were a bonito one and an umeboshi (pickled plum) one. I got the pickled plum. They're huge! And, theirs seem to always have the nori or seaweed strip. It was really good.:iconfrancisplz:First time I had something with whole umeboshi. The nori didn't become sticky/slimy at all, which was cool. I had some orzo pasta salad with it. 

For dessert, I had a lemon 'surprise' cupcake. I didn't really read the surprise part when we got it. So, I was literally surprised.:iconwtfukplz:It had kind of a white chocolate ganache or candy coating over the icing part. The icing part was like whipped cream. After going through that (it's a huge section of the cupcake), there's like a lemon curd thing. Which seems to have chunks of lemons. The first one I had, it kind of jumped out at me.:icongermanyplz:The cake part is like angel food cake. Once I knew what was in it, it was pretty good but odd. 

Watched the finale of Hard Nut. It didn't really feel like a finale. There were far too many things that weren't covered or explained. Leaves it wide open for a 2nd season. In this last case the head of homeland security basically pulled off a money scheme. He got his hands on a deadly virus, killed many people to test its effectiveness (including his wife), and finally was going to kill a room full of people. His men tampered with the sprinkler system, and if a switch was set off, the sprinklers would spray the virus on everyone in the room. There was a big meeting/party for a politician going on. That part of his plan worked, but in the end they were able to save almost all the people who were sprayed with the stuff. During the panic, his money scheme was going to go into place. So, no one would know something had happened. The other police officers didn't believe Tomoda, and said even if that were the case, their jobs would be on the line if they did something about it. He was thinking of shooting the head of homeland security at a press conference, but was stopped by Nanba. She thought he sounded like he was either going to kill himself or go somewhere far away, on the phone just before. It turns out from the screenshot of a report he might have some sort of terminal illness. He was worried about it earlier in the show, and with the advice of Nanba, he told her he would get another test done. I'm not sure really what kind of illness he has, but it doesn't sound good. So, for now, in the end the head of homeland security got away with it. Still don't know much about Tomoda's or even Nanba's past. They revealed only a little of Nanba's story, and said that Tomoda comes from a yakuza family essentially. Nanba's father committed suicide when she was little because he was played by people who gave him a patent on something. They got most of the earnings, and he got close to nothing. Her mother became sick soon after, and passed away. According to her, her revenge against the patent company is going to involve math. Not sure how she'll do that...So, lots of questions left unanswered. I really liked it though. The beginning was a bit iffy, but with each episode it only got better.:iconchibihungaryplz:

I've been going over my kanji/vocab on JapaneseClass' site for the last few days. Mainly going through my 'oblivion' lists. The oblivion list is a list of vocab or kanji that you haven't covered in a while (like if you haven't 'seen' or gone over them in at least 3 or 4 months). In order to get rid of them you have to take quizzes based on 15 of them at a time. I had roughly 300 of them before I finally decided to take the quizzes on them. Finished with those quizzes yesterday.:iconeestiplz:In the process, I have gone up a level to level 6, and I've been in the top 20 rankings for a little while now. Pretty cool. Another person on there friended me a couple of days ago. Maybe they're noticing me more because I'm actually using the site, and I've ranked so highly lately. I think next time after the practice part, I'll do more of the chapter tests. (Might redo a couple of them.:iconkikuplz:) I need to get better at the kanji ones especially. Vocab seems to come much easier to me. My overall grade is still at a B+ though. It's pretty good, but I hope to get that up even more. Things are sticking more with the help of this site. I think I should also use the reading tool more often in the future. Wish they had a grammar section, but they do quiz you on some common phrases.:iconchibiaustriaplz: