Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rosh Hashanah


Rosh Hashanah starts tonight. It's our New Year. (Lit. Head [of] the Year.) It'll be 5775 on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah lasts until sunset on Friday. It's also the start of the High Holy Days or 10 Days of Awe. 

It ends with Yom Kippur. Which is our Day of Atonement. It is the most important/holiest day of the year for us.:iconchibiaustriaplz:You're supposed to fast on that day, but people with medical conditions, little children, pregnant women, and the elderly are told to not follow that. It would be considered a sin in itself. I'm exempt from it, but feel a little odd about not fasting during that day.:icontinoplz:I try to eat just enough to have my meds, and have them work through my system. So, it's pretty light. You can't drink or chew gum either. It lasts for 25 hours. It ends with a big feast to break the fast.:iconfeelingfullplz: 

For Rosh Hashanah, there are many symbolic foods associated with it. The most common one is honey and apples. We eat them to wish for a sweet new year. (Also, pretty much any sweet can have this symbolism. Like, candy, cakes, and other desserts.) I've read some communities eat fish heads or sheep heads to hope to be a leader, not a straggler, in the coming year. Pomegranates are another one. Supposedly, there are roughly 613 seeds in them, symbolizing the 613 mitzvot or commandments. Others would be pumpkins, dates, string beans, and more. Many Sephardic and Mizrahi communities have a seder or ritual dinner with these symbolic foods. Seder lit. means 'order', and most people think of Passover when they think about a seder. Because we start that off with one. It sounds very interesting, though.:iconchibinitalyplz: I might want to do something like that in the future. Some Ashkenazic families are starting to do it too. (Which is what I am.) Sephardim are Jews from Spain and the Mediterranean. A lot of South and Middle Americans identify as Sephardic, as well. Ashkenazim are Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe. Some say France is apart of it too. Mizrahim are Jews from the Middle East. Some say specifically from areas where there's a Muslim majority. They consider themselves Sephardic, but they do have some different customs/traditions. 

Anyways, I finally was able to figure out where to go for High Holy Day services.:iconheroamericaplz:We're going to another local congregation that we've known for years, but have never been a member of. If we did, it might have been for maybe a year. I know we were thinking about being apart of both of them for a while. They're a lot more friendly, and not really toxic towards us like the other group was.:iconsleepygreeceplz:After tonight's service they're having a dessert oneg, in keeping with eating sweet things for a sweet new year. The desserts are already provided, so it's not like we have to bring something for a potluck.:iconranranruuplz:We just have to show up, really. Tomorrow after services, they're going to have tashlich. Maybe I'll get to do it this year.:iconswissplz:It's a ritual of casting our 'sins' away, usually in the form of breadcrumbs, into a body of water. A few prayers are said, and there are a couple of songs. Then, that's it. But, it's nice to go to. They said to bring a bagged lunch for ourselves. So, eventually we'll probably eat together, too. The Break-the-Fast for Yom Kippur is a potluck. I know that people go crazy with it then. Sometimes half the things are gone by the time I get through the line.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:I understand why though...

Yesterday, I walked down to the new Safeway for the first time. (I've been there before, just haven't walked there before.) It was pouring down rain, so I had an umbrella. It got so bad at one point, the umbrella wasn't helping that much.:iconlietplz:When I got there, I got some bananas and strawberries. We were totally out of fruit. Then, made my way to some lunch type stuff. I got a Snapple iced tea, and sesame chicken rice bowl. I kind of embarrassed myself at the checkout area, but it all worked out.:iconkikuplz:I sat in their lounge/resting area to eat my lunch. It was nice.:iconthailandplz:They even have a fireplace in the middle of the room. To kind of decompress from what happened at the checkout, I messed around a bit on my phone after lunch. I saw a lot of other people who were by themselves do the same. After a while of doing that, the rain subsided, and I decided to walk back home. I didn't realize how humid and warm it would be.:iconwtfukplz:Would have been a nice walk, if it wasn't for that. Although, it's also a bit more of a challenge considering it's mostly uphill. I made it safely back as well. The bananas and strawberries were intact still. Yay!:iconyayhanatamagoplz: 

After that, I decided to shave my legs. Haven't done them in a long time.:iconchibiswedenplz:Since I wear jeans most of the time, I usually don't see the need to. But, if I want to feel and look nice for Rosh Hashanah and see people, I kind of do.:iconthinkinghkplz:I was able to get to a lot more areas this time, because of losing all that weight. To do a well enough job, you kind of have to do a lot of bending and twisting. A bit more difficult before because the weight was more in the way, now that it's not, it was a lot easier to do. That might be another reason why I didn't do it too often. 

Later, we went to Red Lobster for dinner. It was around 8 or 8:15pm. I got the parmesan encrusted chicken Alfredo with broccoli. The parmesan on top of the chicken was lightly toasted. It was a huge chunk of chicken. Lots of pasta. Would have liked a little more broccoli. It was so much food, I felt like I barely made a dent before I was full.:icongermanyplz:Although, I've been eating small meals. Didn't have much besides that rice bowl for the day, so I thought I could eat more. Apparently not that much more. (It's ok, just means I get to savor it longer.:iconfrancisplz:) I got a Caesar salad with it. The Cheddar Bay biscuits seemed unusually small this time. They were slightly doughier than usual, too. Like it wasn't cooked quite enough.:iconhongkongplz:All of it was really good, besides that. The parmesan had an interesting flavor. I wanted their cake in a jar special like usual, but apparently they don't make those anymore...:iconusaplz:I would think it'd be a hit with customers, so why axe it? They keep cutting things out of their menu. Maybe they'll introduce new things soon? Hope so. So, I got the apple crostada instead. It was really good.:iconchibispainplz:They had a huge scoop of ice cream over it, with caramel sauce drizzled on top. I realized after ordering it that it seemed very Rosh Hashanah-like. What with the apples and a sweet sauce. So, I guess it was even better for that reason.

A couple of days ago I decided to go through iTunesU. I was quite amazed with what they had.:iconchibigilbertplz:I thought it wouldn't be that great. Found several Jewish, linguistic, Japanese, and Asian studies in general 'collections'. The collections have lectures, sometimes worksheets, and sometimes notes. I was thinking of focusing on either linguistic or cultural anthropology in college. So, it's cool that they have at least one linguistics 'course', and several Asian studies ones. One of the Japanese collections is on the radicals in kanji characters, or basically the little parts that make up the character. Very fascinating. I know a lot of them, but never had them pointed out like this. They use a powerpoint presentation for it. For the Jewish ones, I just like to learn as much as I can about my own religion. Kind of feels like I build even more of a connection with it. I watched a few minutes of some of their lectures, and found out a lot of them were to help people who are studying to become rabbis. Really cool. Doubt I'd go down that path, but it's cool to learn similar things. One of them is also on gender roles in Judaism. Another compares those roles with Islam.

I also got some Jewish based apps. There's one called PocketTorah that has the entire Torah in it. Plus, you can listen to someone chant the portion, you can see what it would look like in the actual Torah (no vowels, and complete with calligraphy), there are translations, and one view has the 'trope' or the symbols that show you how to chant the words. It's amazing! Another has most of the Talmud translated and in Hebrew, plus the commentary. I've wanted to go over the Talmud for a while. It's basically about the laws that the rabbis made based on Torah and traditions. There are 2 more apps that have vids with lectures on the Torah portion, issues that come up, holidays, life cycle events, etc. I watched a little bit of one that was on modesty. Again, very interesting stuff. Haven't found too many specifically themed Japanese language apps. I've found several recipe type ones. And, iBooks has an interesting collection of cookbooks. I'm just really fascinated by my iPhone...:iconchibihungaryplz:

I posted a pic of Rosie that I took with my iPhone to fb and dA. Didn't get a response from fb with it.:iconohboyamericaplz:For some reason, people on dA loved it.:iconawwwplz:I've had 11 faves, most of them were put into collections. When people put them into collections, usually it means they really liked them. There was one who had put it in a collection called Awesome Work, another has it under Realistic, and another has it under Fascinating Felines. I didn't expect people to like it that much...It's not that great a pic, which is why I'm thinking I might go back to the old digital camera. Still a little unsure, though.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

National Linguine Day!


This was actually on Monday, but I like linguine so why not still celebrate it? Linguine literally means 'little tongues'. I love pretty much all pasta.:iconinloveplz:Last Saturday was International Chocolate Day. Yay! An excuse to eat more chocolate!:iconyayhanatamagoplz: 

Yesterday morning was really bizarre.:iconawkwardplz:I got up at the time I like to, which was great. After getting out of the bathroom, I found out Tasha had thrown up big time all over the banister.:iconlietplz:None of it made it to the carpeted floor, which was at least one good thing about it. Tasha looked embarrassed. Took me a while to clean it up. Meanwhile, my slippers are ripped up so much now they barely stay on my feet. So, going up and down the stairs cleaning it up, was kind of an obstacle in itself.:iconwtfukplz:

When I was starting to make my bed, A huge spider crawled out from beneath the covers. I'm hoping it wasn't there while I slept...:iconchibichinaplz:Scared the heck out of me. Mainly because I wasn't expecting anything there. I thought it went into my pillow case, so I grabbed my big heavy flashlight and smashed it down throughout the pillow and case.:iconmochibelaplz:It was more to scare it into coming out, and never wanting to visit the bed again. Not intentionally to kill it. After that, I was nervous and went out for my walk to clear my nerves. When I got back, I started to take my bedding off to clean it. Was going to anyways, but seeing how a spider came out from it, made me want to clean them even more.:iconannoyedgin-plz:Apparently the spider was just waiting in a corner that was a little further out from my headboard. So, I couldn't see it, and pulled on one of the bottom sheets. It came scurrying out, and went down the length of the bed to the other side.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul:Couldn't tell where it went after that. Freaked me out even more. 

I was so nervous about it, I put my black leather gloves on, and continued with taking the bedding off. Once everything was off, I used something normally used for stains on the mattress, thinking the smell would deter it. Also, sprayed air freshener around and on the corners of the bed. Then, sprayed some of my new body spray all around the edges of the mattress. Then, to try and be extra 'safe' I put some nail polish remover on a Q-tip and went over all the edges.:iconberwaldplz:I think I remember reading an article a while ago that this 'method' keeps away various pests. Later, I put everything back together on the bed. 

Rosie was especially happy for the interesting smelling, fresh, and clean bedding.:iconcuteamericaplz:She's been killing some rather large spiders lately, too. There was a much bigger one in my bathroom a while ago. I usually don't get too freaked out if they're far away from where I normally am and in a corner somewhere on the ceiling. So, I let it be. Apparently, it made its way to Dad's bathroom, and she put it outside with a cup. Then, I saw a big one that was dying and Rosie kept pawing and mouthing it. The next morning we saw 2 dead huge spiders, and Rosie pawing at them again. I think she likes them, but feels odd about actually eating them. Fun to play with and taste, but eating is another story.:iconusaplz:

Anyways, I had a very hard time sleeping last night, because I kept feeling like that spider was going to come back.:iconscaredplz:Once I fell asleep, I was out like a light. (So, I woke up later than I'd like to today.) I barely moved from the spot I started with. The spider never came back. This time, Rosie was rather happy and she had made a small nest around me. I almost feel like she ate it whole, and was having a food coma or something.:iconhanatamagoplz:So, maybe it is gone for good. Probably thinks my bed smells nasty now. Although, it could be under it, too...:iconshockplz:

During that morning walk yesterday, I bumped into one of our neighbors/friends. She said I looked like I was about to cry. Well, first of all, the lighting was strange that time of day so maybe I was grimacing a bit. Secondly, I was deep in thought. Mainly about what I was going to do about the spider. I told her about the spider, and she said I'd never sleep in that room again. Oh, thank you very much for making me feel even more uneasy...:iconjustaway-deathstare:

Dad came home early that day, too. We got to have a walk together, which was nice. Then, we went to group. There were more people this time, but it wasn't all that big a crowd. Had some interesting discussions. Dad and I didn't go to Shari's like we usually do. She needs more sleep, and we would've gotten home really late. Shari's tends to take a while to get our food. So yesterday, now that I think about it, was weird all around. Certainly out of the norm at least. It seemed like even the weather couldn't decide to be sunny, cloudy, cool or warm. It just cycled through all those.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:

I also did my nails that day. This brand never lists the names of their nail polish on the bottle. But, it's kind of a glittery lilac-like color. Kind of fun and party like.:iconchibihungaryplz:Oh, and recently I got some body spray. I rarely wear that stuff anymore. But, this smells nice enough I'm thinking about getting back into it. It's a nice and warm vanilla smell. Kind of like a birthday cake smell. It's a more intense vanilla than I expected, though. I used to wear jasmine body spray all the time, then got sick of it. There was another time where it was a raspberry something smell (it was like a blend of some sort). I never was totally crazy about actual perfume or cologne.

Went grocery shopping a couple of days ago, and bumped into a couple of people we knew. The same people we bumped into at Costco a couple of months ago. The first thing one of them said to me was: "Look at you, Skinny Mini (or was it like Minnie?)!" Felt odd, yet nice at the same time.:iconkikuplz:She grabbed part of my pant leg and said: "Your pants are so baggy!" Yeah, I'm a little surprised myself at how roomy they've gotten. Might have gone down another size already...If that's true I'll be down 5 sizes from my heaviest weight. (Which means my current jeans would be 2 sizes too big...:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:That would make sense. They feel that big on me now.) Nuts! I'm seeing even more signs that I'm losing weight, too. She kept praising me for my discipline and sticking with it. She said she brags to other people about me. I'm not sure if she should brag about me...:iconseychelles-plz:

I've changed my routine a bit more to incorporate both my walks. This way it's harder for me to 'skip'. Doing things like taking a shower or washing my face (I can't take a shower everyday...) after my morning walk, instead of before. I could wash away a lot of the sweat this way, too. There's other ways I've made it easier to make the 2nd walk more of an important part of my routine, too. I feel even better after doing them now.:iconchibinitalyplz:I seem to be doing them at certain times of the day, too. Rather than all over the place. The only day that's different is laundry day, the first walk is later. But, the 2nd one's still roughly at the same time of day. Since it's at a certain time, I've seen some people regularly on those walks. It's been interesting. 

There's only one week until erev Rosh Hashanah. Or, the night of (eve of) Rosh Hashanah. Holidays start at night for us. I think I've decided on where I'd want to go, and just recently emailed them about attending their services. Tickets tend to be pretty expensive if you're not a member of that congregation. Most people can't afford them, and most places will negotiate on cost. Just got a response pretty quickly back. They said I should call them, and tell them what our 'comfort-level' would be for them and that it's a donation. They're a huge congregation, that have 2 synagogues already. They also occasionally hold Pride Shabbat, an LGBT themed Shabbat service usually during the Seattle Pride. We've gone there for it before, and I think for a couple of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Every time we've been there it's been packed. I think they have a kosher kitchen that they use especially for big holidays like this. Shows you just how big they are. They also live stream their services online. Not sure if they'll do that for the High Holidays. I'll call them at some point...I was surprised by how quickly they responded to it.:iconchibiaustriaplz:

I'm trying out some of the newer Jdramas that are coming out for this new season or have finally become available. Have to decide on what to put on hold of the extra anime shows, too. So, I've put Gochisousan on hold, even though it's a Jdrama. It's a long series and has short episodes, so I think I can get back to it in the future. Started watching Time Spiral in its place. (It's one of the new shows for this season. Actually starts the earliest of the 'new' shows I want to watch.) So far it's much better than I expected. I'll mention it more at some point. Still will watch Fairy Tail for that day, too. For Tuesday, I put Shounen Onmyouji on hold. Started to watch Senryokugai Sousakan for its replacement. (It's not as new, but it's the first time it's been available.) For the time being, I'll still watch Rurouni Kenshin for the anime slot. I'm thinking of keeping Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus and Kuroko no Basket for Wednesdays. At least until one of them finishes. I know Kuroko has another season, but I can put that off for a little while. I'm still debating whether I should put Kamen Teacher on hold, or just continue with it until it's done. There isn't much left. Like usual, I'll keep Naruto Shippuden for Thursday's anime. Can't decide if I want to put Hamatora on hold or just finish this first season. It's close to the end of it. I'll keep Ranma for now, too. I could probably put Amatsuki on hold for now, and add a new drama in its place. I'll keep D.Gray-man for now. And, I decided to put Cardcaptor Sakura on hold. I'm not sure if I like it yet. So, I'll have another slot open for a new drama. Keeping Haikyuu for now. It'll change when the new anime season starts though. I know for sure I'll want to watch the 2nd season of Log Horizon. That's at least one anime 'slot' to jumble around. This is kind of exciting, though!:icondenmarkplz: