Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hug Your Cat Day!


This was actually yesterday, but why not keep celebrating it? We should be hugging our cats every day.:iconhongkongplz:They deserve it, and we feel better afterwards. Same goes for petting them. It's kind of a stress reliever for us, and for them. Today's National Orange Juice Day. I can't stand orange juice by itself.:iconnataliaplz:I almost have an allergic reaction to it, where my throat closes up. (A lot of different juices do this to me, but orange juice is the worst.) When it's used in cooking, it's pretty good. It's also International Firefighters Day. They have a really tough job, and I highly respect them for it. They deserve a day, if not more, devoted to them. 
This is my wallpaper for May. It's Lambo meeting his 20 years later self, from Hitman Reborn. He's presently 5, so this version of his future self is 25. There's also his 10 years later self that shows up more often. But, with 20 years into the future, he's a lot more powerful. And, kind of becomes cool. He's normally a crybaby, and at first looks incredibly weak. Whenever he's about to break down in tears, he grabs his 10-year bazooka and aims it at himself. He usually switches places with the older version of himself after he fires it. If the 15 year old version of him starts to cry, he fires the bazooka again at himself, and the 25 year old version pops up. Again, switching places with the younger one. They usually can only stay in another time period for 5 minutes. So, the 15 year old one, would have to shoot himself within that time limit to have the 25 year old show up. And, he still is running on the time of when his 5 year old self used it. So, there's less time for him anyways...He also apparently travels through parallel universes, so none of them know what the outcome would be for the world the 5 year old version is living in. They can't predict things. But, they can give advice about themselves. They can't really meet themselves face to face like this either. Lambo doesn't seem like it at first, but he's a pretty central character. Without his bazooka there really wouldn't be a story, or at least there certainly wouldn't be a Future Arc. He impacts a lot of the other arcs in kind of subtle ways. And, even at 5 he can do a lot of damage. (His 5 year old self can be annoying at times, though. But, it's kind of typical of a 5 year old.:iconsighingplz:) I still don't know much about him even after watching the anime. Hopefully, they'll explain more about him in the manga. He's technically the Lightning Guardian of the Vongola family (youngest Guardian), not the Thunder. There isn't a Thunder one. Looked online a bit, and apparently some people are confused by it. He definitely has an affinity for lightning. The horns are used like lightning rods. And, his body is specially conditioned, so lightning doesn't affect him. 

My Italy calendar features the Amalfi Coast this month. I've heard of it before, and mostly all they say in the description is it's beautiful and a great tourist destination. Yesterday's pic was of Positano at dusk. Positano's one of the towns along the coast. Today's pic's of wisteria in Ravello. Ravello's another town in that area. 

My Jewish calendar's main pic for this month's a rug, and it has an unknown maker. It's made out of textile, silk, chintz, brocade, metal, silver, and gold. From Goa, India; 1675. The second one's a spice box, has an anonymous maker, made out of tin and silver, from the Netherlands; 1800-1900. The last pic's of Torah finials, unknown maker, made out of silver and silver-gilt, from Germany; 1912-1913. Again, interesting to see the really old stuff.:iconchibihungaryplz:Cool that there's something from India, and it's a beautiful rug. The spice box is used during Havdalah (our concluding ceremony for Shabbat or our Sabbath). This one looks interesting. It's kind of big and wide looking. The Torah finials go on top of the Torah scrolls. These ones look kind of average though, but still interesting to see. Kind of shows how little their design has changed over the years. 

The month-long holidays are: National Asparagus Month, National Barbecue Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Mediterranean Diet Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, National Strawberry Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Global Health and Fitness Month, Haitian Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, National Pet Month, National Vinegar Month, Women's Health Care Month. Some are important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun. Interesting stuff this month. I love asparagus, eggs, hamburgers, salads, salsas (and yes it's the food kind, not the dance style), vinegar, and strawberries! Barbecue is always good. The Mediterranean diet is interesting, and is generally very healthy. Health and fitness is important no matter where you live! Cool heritage holidays! I'm a little partial towards the Jewish American one, but that's because I am one.:iconheroamericaplz:Doesn't make any of the others less cool and interesting. They should all be celebrated. I'm all for celebrating pets, they're awesome! Women's health is a very important issue as well. 

Thursday was the 2-year anniversary of my mom passing away.:iconamericasadchibiplz:It didn't feel like it was. I barely remembered except for when I went to bed the night before it. And, even during the day it was only vaguely on my mind. It seemed like a bit of an odd day in other ways, I guess. 

It reached record breaking temperatures. At least 85 degrees here. That was the last time I checked which was before the hottest part of the day. I decided to be smart and go for an early walk, so I wouldn't get stuck in the heat. During the walk I was stopped by one of my new friends, who I've known as a neighbor for a long time, and she asked if she could walk back to my house with me. I said sure, and along the way she made a bouquet for me.:iconthailandplz:Most of the flowers were from her own garden. Some were from the park at the tennis courts where she planted a little patch of them, and some were from neighbors who told her it was ok to pick them. It was very sweet of her. 

Later on during the day, there were the May Day protests in Seattle. The first one was planned, peaceful, and they were very clear with their message. Mainly about the minimum wage increase, and on other workers' rights. Then came the more entertaining, yet dangerous, protesters.:iconusaplz:The ones run by Anarchists. No one knew what they were going to do, and last year they vandalized, broke glass, broke into cars, fought against the police, etc. Basically just causing chaos. This year wasn't as violent. I think I heard a few people were arrested, but it wasn't all that big. There was definitely a bigger police presence. They seemed to outnumber the protesters. They were from neighboring counties along with the Seattle PD. They had hordes of bicyclists with body armor and cameras attached to their helmets (which I think was very smart:iconberwaldplz:), black vans behind the crowd, police on horseback, motorcycles, etc. They basically made walls around them so they couldn't attack the local businesses, fellow police officers, pedestrians, and control them overall more. It was kind of cool to watch how well prepared and on their toes they were.:iconchibinitalyplz:

After watching a bit of that on TV, we went to Red Lobster. I ordered from the 4-course meal deal again. I got the Caesar salad, spicy chicken tortilla soup, Cajun chicken linguine, and red velvet cake in a jar. I wanted the grilled tilapia instead of the linguine, but they were out of it.:iconwtfukplz:The only other option for me on there is the linguine. It's really good, but the dish has one of the highest amounts of calories on the menu.:iconwtfromanoplz:That's kind of why I try to stay away from it. So, I can only have a little bit at a time especially if I'm sticking to my plan for eating. (Which I did really well with during the rest of the day.) The red velvet cake in a jar wasn't one of the dessert options for this 'deal', but you can substitute it for a dessert for about a dollar more. It's a lot more exciting to me than a brownie or Key lime pie.:iconpolandplz:Those are the only options through it normally. I love the cake in a jar thing. Kind of makes it fun. Although, this seemed to have a lot more icing than cake.:iconseychelles-plz:Halfway through it, it became very heavy and rich tasting. I tend to be pretty strict about the dinner part, and eat all of the dessert. Kind of to reward myself. Plus, if I had eaten most of the food before the dessert, I wouldn't have the stomach for it and would have consumed even more calories. So, it works out. 

But, this way there are quite a bit of leftovers. I found a way to eat them before they go bad, and still keep up with my 'diet'. Just have them throughout the day. Nothing else really, except maybe dinner might be different. But, spread it out for the other 4 'meals' I have. I try to eat 5 small meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and a night snack. And, I've heard that's actually a pretty healthy way of doing it. While sticking to my 'plan', each meal is pretty low in calories, but it's not too long between meals either. Kind of like I'm grazing all day.:iconsleepygreeceplz:

Friday night my new friend, the same one who gave me a bouquet of flowers, mowed our lawn for us. While she was doing it, I thought the sound I was hearing was our neighbors doing their own lawns and didn't think much of it. I came down a little later to the smell of mowed grass. I looked outside and saw what she did. It was kind of a surprise at first.
smilies/icon_eek.gifShe did a pretty good job. She had told me before that she'd surprise us at some point with doing it. I thought that meant in the far future, not now.:iconchibiaustriaplz:It was very nice of her. She even saved our picnic table outside, and picked up a lot of the sticks. (The table was falling through the deck.) 

So, I tried calling her the next day to thank her. She wasn't answering, so we went to her house to personally thank her. (Both Dad and I.) We talked for a while with her. She loves to chat, so I think we were there for a couple of hours.:iconkikuplz:She told us that she basically ruined her cell phone while mowing our lawn. Dropped it somehow. I don't remember all the details. So, she was waiting for the replacement, and people couldn't contact her that way. When we were about to leave, she wanted to give us something from when she went to Costco. I said ok to the fruit leathers. It's been years since I've had them.:iconchibiswedenplz:She said she wants to plant strawberries in our strawberry pots, as well. She's apparently did that today. She's a very sweet person. Kind of feels like we're her little project or something. 

After that, we went on our monthly Costco run. Got some interesting things. One of the things we got was a huge thing of chocolate covered raisins. The pieces are bigger than I expected, and apparently each piece is close to 10 calories. Have watch it on those.:icongermanyplz:Sounds like a great dessert or snack in itself. 

After that we went to Hale's Alehouse. (Sometimes shortened to just saying Hale's Ales.) Hadn't been there in a long time. The menu looked a bit different. Some of the entrees did, too. I got the jerk chicken on a Caesar salad, and iced tea to go with it. The jerk chicken had just a bit too much spice, but it was still good. The croutons to the salad were huge, and actually felt 'real'. Like you can tell that they're pieces of bread, instead of hard little bricks. Couldn't really taste the Caesar salad part too much, but it seemed nice. It also came with some homemade bread on the side, a packet of butter, and a couple of lemon wedges. The bread was good at first, but soon I noticed a really strange aftertaste.:iconlietplz:I don't know what the aftertaste was. The iced tea tasted good at first, but also had a nasty aftertaste. I kept thinking that it was just brewed oddly or something, and that maybe if I drank more that taste will go away. But, it didn't. It was odd. So, kind of a mediocre experience overall.:iconhanatamagoplz:There were some really good points to it, but also some not so great ones. After that, we went out for a little more shopping, and got home late.

Recently, I dropped Tokyo Ravens, and started watching Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei or The Irregular at Magic High School. I might post more about it in the future. I'm still unsure about it. I really like the girls' uniforms, though. They don't have really short skirts like so many high school anime shows do. Instead the design looks kind of like a futuristic kimono thing. The skirt is long, and has a sheer layer over it. That layer has kind of a cool kimono design. The top isn't bad either. A lot more modest. The guys' uniforms don't look too bad, either. This anime takes place in the future, so there is kind of a futuristic look to it. I'm just not sure if I like the characters enough to continue it. The siblings seem awfully close, and the brother seems kind of oblivious about it. (The sister realizes, but just blushes about it.) There isn't very much comedy to it, which is what I like in a series. It has to have a nice blend of comedy and seriousness. Otherwise, it'll get tiring to watch.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:I guess I'll watch one more episode of it.

I dropped Toraneko Folklore and started reading elDLIVE. It's by the same mangaka (manga artist/creator) who did Hitman Reborn. It's her newest one. It's interesting so far. I'm definitely interested in it enough to continue it. She has an interesting way of storytelling, and usually there's many layers to it. 
Started watching Border recently. It's pretty good so far. The concept I think has been done on American TV before, but I think it's done well. Interesting to see a Japanese version. It's essentially about a detective that's been shot in the head, dies for a few minutes, and is brought back to life in the hospital. He's left with a decision of whether to have the bullet surgically removed or kept in there. They say there's a high chance he wouldn't live through the surgery. The heads of the department want him to get it out, so they can have the only piece of evidence that was left behind in that case. He's unsure at the moment at what to do, so for the time being, he'll keep it where it is. He ends up getting massive headaches, then can see the victims' ghosts and interact with them. The lead is played by one of my fave actors, Shun Oguri, and he does a really good job. I like most of his shows, and the few movies I've seen him in. There was only one drama recently that I wasn't interested in. He seems to be pretty active, especially recently with both dramas and movies. Doesn't surprise me because he's very flexible with his roles, and is very believable. (He's not type-casted to be one particular character, although he's played a detective before.) I'm going to drop Fukuie. It wasn't going anywhere, and there wasn't any emotion. 

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