Saturday, November 22, 2014

Infra 4


By Max Richter. He's a German-born British composer, and is considered to be one of the most influential composers of the last 10 years. Essentially spearheading the recent movement in neo-classical composition and he's been expanding the definitions of classical music ever since he started in the 90's. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in composition. He's written for stage, opera, ballet, screen, etc. music. This is from his 2010 album entitled Infra. It's an extension of his 25-minute score for a ballet. I haven't looked into the other pieces from the album, but I might in the future. This one's really beautiful.:iconchibihungaryplz:Really draws you in. I might look into his other albums, too.

It's finally starting to warm up into our normal temps. Most of the week has been cold. (Well, cold for what's normal here.:icongermanyplz:) It's crazy about what's happened this week on the other side of the country. Especially in Buffalo, NY where I used to have family living there. Not sure if we do anymore, though. 

I'm still going through the after effects of being sick. It apparently hit me hard.:iconwtfukplz:But, despite that, I tried my best to get some walking in. Managed to get about 3 walks in this week. All ended up being about 1 1/2 miles long each time. Not too bad. The cold air made my throat and lungs feel like they froze over.:iconitsfreezingplz:Been keeping up with the 10 sit-ups twice a day. And, I've kept relatively close to the way I want to eat. So, not bad after being sick for a while.

I might turn Fridays into cleaning days. (Kind of like to get ready for Shabbat as motivation.:iconchibiamericaplz:) Yesterday I did my entire bathroom. The only thing I didn't get to was mopping the floor...:icontinoplz:I haven't done pretty much everything in a long time. First time really using the vacuum cleaner to get things like cobwebs, dust that I can't reach, dead spiders, etc. It was actually a lot of fun.:iconheroamericaplz:There's all sorts of little attachments you can use, and I didn't really know how to empty it before. Now I do, and it ran amazingly afterwards. (It was rather full...:iconusaplz:

There was a rather big spider that for weeks was winding its webbing around the room. It was impressive, and I hate to destroy things that obviously was a lot of work for the little thing.:iconraivisplz:But, I needed to take back control of the room, and it needed to be cleaned. I also didn't like that I ended up sucking up that spider, and another small one that I didn't see until it was already too late. Kind of sad, but I'm hoping I put them out of their misery or something.:iconlietplz: 

I also vacuumed the screen to my bathroom window. I was amazed at how much stuff was coming off of it.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:(Didn't even realize there was anything there.) It looked so clear afterwards. There was so much webbing around the room and stuff on the screen that it clogged up the brush and some of the other attachments I was using. Had to 'clean' them out by taking them off and using other parts to help with vacuuming it off. 

Also, got rid of a large vase that had a lot of ugly, in my opinion, fake flowers. It took up a good portion of my counter. I think it took me a while to get rid of, because Mom had given it to me and put it there. Kind of like a piece of her.:iconamericasadchibiplz:Came close to feeling guilty for not liking it, but I'm getting more in touch with how I feel about things and my preferences. It looks so open, bright, and free without it now.:iconfrancisplz: Also, cleaned a few more small things that didn't have to do with my bathroom.

The room took a lot longer than I expected, and I had wanted to get to other rooms/areas, but it was too late. And, I was really tired out.:faint:It's kind of a workout in itself. But, now it shines and looks really nice. 

Went back to Amatsuki (Rainy Moon) and Ranma 1/2 this past week. Did it because I've finished up Time Spiral and ST. And, because the next drama season isn't until January. I only see 2 shows that look worthwhile to watch that season, too. That's Ouroboros and Pure White. Ouroboros' main characters are played by 2 of my fave actors, and the story sounds really interesting. Pure White seems to be about a corrupt hospital. Sounds interesting, too. I'll finish watching Senryokugai Sousakan this week. It's a 2-hour finale, though. Not sure if I'll break it up...:iconswissplz:So, that'll free up another spot. Also, since I finished watching the first season of Hamatora, I went back to Kuroko no Basket to replace it. And, since I couldn't find much on Black Cat and Flower Shop, I replaced it with the second season of Hamatora. I'm back with watching more anime than dramas...:iconkikuplz:Plus, it looks like I'm close to the end of the other dramas I'm watching. Great...

I think my faves for the current anime season have been Gugure, Parasyte, and the second season of Log Horizon. These 3 have been amazing!:iconawwwplz:All in different ways. Gugure has been hilarious, touching at times, and each character stands apart. 

Kiseijuu or Parasyte has its hilarity as well, although a bit more 'crude' or earthy. The story's really fascinating, and they make you feel for the parasites. Even if some seem to love killing other humans besides their host. Others seem fascinated by them, and love learning about them. Each parasite has a different personality, too. The main parasite, Migi (means 'right', as in the direction. He only was able to travel to Shinichi's right hand at the beginning, instead of to the brain), is likeable pretty quickly. He also has a wicked sense of humor, and seems to be very intelligent. More so than a lot of the other parasites they've encountered. There is quite a bit of gore, but not really overdone. 

Log Horizon has been just as amazing as last season. The game world seems to be changing drastically, in ways the Adventurers couldn't have predicted. For example, the players who are playing characters of the opposite gender will experience qualities of that gender in themselves. One of the things that'll change for them is their voices will be more like their character's gender. (Girls with deeper voices, guys with softer ones, etc.) Girls will become more muscular, have more body hair, etc. Guys will have more of a 'figure', breasts, etc. Very fascinating, and might be scary for some of them. The cursed weapons have really become cursed. Now they eventually attack their wielders. We still don't know what's truly happening in the real world. Like, are their bodies being taken care of? Does the public know? Is anybody trying to bring them back? How much time has really elapsed? Sword Art Online was more open about that aspect. 

Started reading Sougiya Riddle or Undertaker Riddle. Still not entirely sure if I like it.:iconseychelles-plz:It's pretty funny, and the story's been interesting. The only thing I don't like is there might be slight, ever so slight, hints of yaoi (essentially boys' love. The genre is usually written by women for women. An odd mix. Some gay men despise it too, since it usually portrays one of the characters in a rather feminine way). I'm not really interested in that.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Riddle is unusually friendly towards Hayato, the other main character. He's an interesting character, but I'm not really liking that. Hayato doesn't seem to feel that way towards him, at least. 

If I decide to drop this one, the next one I might try is the manga version of Tegami Bachi or Letter Bee. I liked the anime, and the concept was interesting. I think the manga lasted much longer than the anime showed. So, there is a point in the story where it diverges. Not sure if the rest of the story towards the beginning is any different, though. It might be. If I don't want that, the next one on my 'to read' list is Makai Ouji or Hell Prince, which sounds interesting and would feel 'fresh' to me. I have 14 other possibilities on my list.:iconchibiaustriaplz:So, we'll see. Kind of like going on an adventure and discovering new stories.:la:

Oh, and World Embryo is greenlit to have an anime version this coming anime season. I liked it for a while, then it got stale. But, seeing it animated might add a different 'dimension' to it.:iconchibiswedenplz:It'll be interesting to hear what the characters will sound like, the music, seeing the 'flow' of it, etc. There was only one other manga I read before I watched the anime version, and that was Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge or The Severing Crime Edge. That was quite interesting. They followed it pretty closely, but ended it early. The manga's still going, so maybe sometime in the future they'll pick up the anime version again.:iconfinallyplz:I kind of doubt it, though.

I was able to write more of the 12th chapter of my nightmare anthology, play my clarinet, color more of the drawing of my characters' (from Alliance) clothes and accessories (almost done with them), edited more of Junko (character from Alliance) from the exaggerated expressions meme, started the translating 'process' of that article in You Maga, practiced writing some sentences in Japanese, studied a kanji (found out one of the dictionaries I use has a mobile site version, which is pretty handy), practiced my Japanese on JapaneseClass' online site, and read some articles in Japanese on Asahi's mobile site (that was interesting) this past week, too. So, I've had pretty good week.:iconeestiplz:

Monday, November 17, 2014

National Baklava Day!


One of my fave desserts!
:iconyayhanatamagoplz:I'm kind of surprised it's a national holiday here, but it definitely deserves a day to celebrate it. There are many different versions around the world, but they say it may have originated with the Turkic people in Central Asian nations. The word baklava first appeared in English in 1650. In general, it's a sweet pastry made with layers of filo dough, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. It's also Homemade Bread Day. That's the best kind!:iconfrancisplz:I've been curious about making my own bread in the past. Maybe I'll get to it sometime in the near future. My mom used to make homemade challah every Friday until she got really sick. The whole house smelled awesome. And, sometimes I could smell it as I was just outside the door coming home from school. It made for a nice and cozy atmosphere.:iconthailandplz:

It's been really cold lately.:iconitsfreezingplz:So cold that there was a pretty thick layer of frost out when I went for my morning walk today. For a couple of nights I've been able to get the fireplace going with some interesting firewood from Safeway, so it's been somewhat toasty inside at least.:iconwarmandcomfyplz: 

I've been sick for the past week.:iconlietplz:I'm still at the very tail-end of it. Had a very low grade fever, but it was quite a bit higher than my norm. Apparently, I'm cooler than most people are with body temperature.:iconwtfukplz:(Might be one factor as to why weather has affected me a little differently...I used to be numb to cold and hot weather, only noticing that the colder or hotter it gets the more headaches and/or sweaty I get. I'm still a little odd with it.:icongermanyplz:) I've felt lightheaded, cold/hot sweats (funny to be absolutely freezing and absolutely burning up at the same time:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:), felt nauseous, nose going, a weird scratchy throat, etc. At least I seem to be coming out of it. 

I really had an urge to go for a walk this morning, and went out for the first time in a while. Bumped into a neighborhood friend, and she said I should still take it easy. My body might not be up to walking a lot. Turned out the air was so cold, it started to hurt my sides and throat. I had to cut it a little short because of it. Probably was close to 1 1/2 miles compared to the 2 miles I usually do. Not too bad. Took me a while to recover from the cold, though.:iconitscoldplz:I'm glad I got out there, too. I needed it. 

On Saturday, we went to Barnes and Noble at the mall. I got an iced gingerbread latte at their cafe. It was surprisingly good. I don't usually like coffee, I'm more of a tea person.:iconusaplz: 

Also, while we were there I found a regular calendar for next year. It's called A Walk in Paris, and it comes with a 'matchbook map guide' which has a tagline saying Walk, Shop, Eat in Paris. It looks cool from what they show you on the outside. I took French in high school (all of the levels that were available...:iconeestiplz:) so I have a certain affection or draw to the country, too. Although, it's not as strong as it used to be. (Japan has outdone it now.:iconkikuplz:) It'll still be cool to see places in the city of Paris. This one doesn't seem as busy as my current Italy calendar. A pic a 'day' (some stretched for a couple of days) makes it a little cluttered looking.:icontinoplz: 

I hope to get the next Jewish calendar from the same people as last time, the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. It's fascinating to see the really old stuff, and they always have interesting things each year.:iconchibihungaryplz:They sell them on Amazon, so it's easy to get. I usually have to get 2 calendars, because the regular one doesn't have the Jewish holidays/calendar dates/parshas (weekly Torah portion). A lot of the time the Jewish one doesn't have all the American holidays or things like Daylight Saving Time. So, it's like you have to get both in order to stay on top of everything...:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:The Jewish calendar is lunar, so things 'jump around' when you compare them to the regular calendar. (They're always on the same date on the Jewish calendar itself, by the way.) 

Managed to have my birthday cake Friday night! Yay!:party:A week late, but awesome nonetheless. It is/was a cream version of a Black Forest cake. I love Black Forest cake! So it's like an over-the-top version. It's huge!:iconshockplz:No matter how thin I slice it, it makes huge slices. 

Started the 2nd season of Hamatora. Apparently, they tried to troll the audience for a while making it look like Nice really did die. (Even held a memorial service at the cafe.) Then, towards the end, he shows up and reveals that he was in a tiger mascot costume that was there in the background for a good part of the episode.:iconhanatamagoplz:He apparently was sent to the hospital, but they haven't revealed what really happened when Art aimed his gun and fired at Nice. (Or so we assume. Art held the gun to the back of Nice's head, it faded to black, then a gunshot was heard.) Nice was also badly beat up by Moral, so that might be another reason why he was at the hospital if Art didn't really shoot him. They seemed to paint the current Art in a bad light, like he's the next 'villain'.:iconpolandplz:Maybe it's for show, too. Although, he's looking a lot like Moral...I kind of feel more confused after watching this episode than I was before.:iconawkwardplz:Although, I'm glad to see Nice's alive. Oh, and last season the owner of Cafe Nowhere was always grinding coffee. Now he's apparently wiping dishes with a dishtowel. It'd be interesting to see some more background stuff on him. 

Finished watching ST. It was ok and had its moments. Wasn't the best mystery/cop drama, though. Had a lot of actors that I'm familiar with too. All the members of ST are slightly flawed and socially inept. (All except for the Captain.) They also have names that are related to colors. Akagi (his name has 'red' in it, and is a part of the tagline for the series 'Red and...') is a forensic expert, has severe agoraphobia, is obsessed with solving mysteries but gets upset when he figures it all out, if there isn't any mysteries he prefers to stay home (in fact before joining the team, he refused to leave his house for anything), and he can be incredibly rude to other detectives. Midori (which means 'green') has super sensitive hearing, a physicist, and tends to say 'how disgusting' to anything she doesn't like. Aoyama (has 'blue' in hers) can't function if things are organized, a profiler who has a PhD in criminal psychology, and she prefers to be tomboyish (her rich parents forbid her to, so she changes her clothes on the way to work and acts like her natural self while there). Kurosaki (has 'black' in his name) is a chemical expert, tends to only speak to one other member of the team, and 'speaks' through his cell phone to the others. He has an unusually strong sense of smell, and is really strong physically. Knives and anything pointy scares him to death. Another member (who is the only one Kuro speaks to regularly), Yamabuki (there isn't really a color in his name, but I've seen him be represented as 'yellow' and he wears yellow clothing) has chronic insomnia, also is a chemical expert, and is a Buddhist monk. Their Captain, Yurine (there isn't a color in his name, but he's represented as 'white'), seems to be the most normal. But, he's always trying to calm them down, teach them manners, knows how to deal with them, etc. They tend to cause him a lot of stress.:iconsighingplz:At the end, he was promoted to a higher position outside of the ST. If they come back for another season, it just won't be the same. There are hints about a movie in January, from the last scenes too. Apparently, Akagi gets arrested just after Yurine leaves.:iconnataliaplz:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rocky Road to Dublin


By the Young Dubliners. The Young Dubliners are an American Celtic rock band, formed in LA, in 1988. Their music is a fusion of traditional Irish instruments and folk songs with modern rock. Really cool and interesting band. The band was founded by 2 Dublin natives, Keith Roberts and Paul O' Toole. Eventually the band grew and now has 5 members. (Paul apparently quit, and there were other musicians that quit over the years.) They were influenced by bands like Thin Lizzy and The Pogues. I like this version of the Irish folk song.:iconheroamericaplz:Apparently, the original's from the 19th century, and the words were written down by D.K. Gavan, "The Galway Poet", for the English music hall performer Harry Clifton, who popularized the song. (Clifton lived from 1824-1872.) The song is fast-paced and about the many troubles and travails that the protagonist encounters during his travels. 

My birthday was on Friday.:la:Kind of did things that I really enjoy doing during the day (going on forums, games, reading, watching Jdramas/anime, etc.), as like a personal celebration. Then, I had BBQ pulled chicken on a kaiser roll sandwiches and a huge 'birthday' salad for Shabbos/birthday dinner. The salad had mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage, craisins (dried cranberries), and croutons. I used one of my fave dressings, Caesar, for mine. The kaiser rolls were really hard on the outside and very soft inside. So, it really soaked up the sauce. It was all really good!:iconfeelingfullplz:

I was told that there would be a possibility of cake, as well. But, they didn't have my fave cake available, which is Black Forest. (Chocolate cake with cherry filling, whipped cream, and cherries on top. All my faves, chocolate and cherries, combined!:iconinloveplz:) So, we had chocolate eclairs instead. Still pretty awesome, though. Dad was talking about putting the number of candles that make up how old I am now on the cake. That might be a fire hazard...:iconhanatamagoplz:It still might happen, because we might get a cake to celebrate it again soon. It might be there next week. Hey, it's still my birth month...:iconhongkongplz:

On Saturday, we did a couple of errands in the morning, and then went to Mizuki Buffet for lunch. That place is amazing!:iconfrancisplz:They have such a selection of stuff. The dessert section seems to change quite often, and had a lot of good stuff this time. (One of the most interesting ones was a green tea tiramisu cake. Another was banana pudding in a small chocolate cup with sprinkles and a grape slice. Looked like some sort of intricate scene.) I got a strawberry ramune with it. It was kind of loud, so apparently the waitress at first thought I said lemonade. Interesting, because the people who created ramune came up with its name as a play on that, even though it's a soda company.:iconkikuplz:I asked if they had any flavors besides the regular one, and all they had was strawberry. Not a bad flavor though. I normally have tea or water, but it was my birthday, and I thought I could splurge a little because of it. 

We went to Uwajimaya afterwards. It's a huge Asian supermarket. Another amazing place! There are so many things to see there.:iconchibihungaryplz:They have their own bookstore, food court, salon, etc. Their bakery, deli, seafood, and produce sections are always interesting. They have some Russian and German things along with the main Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. stuff. We got some assorted Russian cookies. A few years ago, we had that same brand's cookies with cherries and they were really good! (They actually are imported from Russia. It's cool!) We saw maybe 85-90% of the store before we got tired and stopped looking at things. Not too bad. I wanted to tour the International District on top of that, but, again, we were too tired. Saw Little Saigon on the way to Uwajimaya in the car, at least.:icontinoplz:That was interesting. 

Wanted to go to the Oak Table the next day, but I had fizzled out by then. Already ate quite a bit at the buffet as it was...I'll post pics of what I got at the buffet, and the cookies on fb and dA soon. 

I actually completed a birthday/Hanukkah wishlist a day before my birthday!:iconranranruuplz:A little late for birthday presents, but it can also be used for Hanukkah. I only managed to think of 4 things that I wanted. I have a hard time thinking about what I want sometimes.:iconthinkinghkplz:I'm still getting in touch with my own preferences for things, or even just about myself in general. I thought I'd want some better more vibrant/vivid eye shadow colors. The eye shadows I do have barely show up. Some have asked me if I'm wearing any eye shadow when I wear makeup. Maybe it's my skin color or something...:iconwtfromanoplz:

There's also something I wanted for a while which is an anthology of Japanese stories in Japanese vertical text. It has the English translation after each one. 

And, the last 2 things were both expansions of the Sims 2. One introduces pets, and the other introduces seasons. Two things that'll make it feel more 'real'. Normally, the game is in a constant spring-like season. It'd be interesting to see other ones. (Especially interesting to see things like rain, the leaves changing, snow, etc. It's too stagnant right now.:iconpolandplz:) Plus, both of them add more clothes, decorations, furniture, garden tools and plants, goals, etc. With the pets one you have a wide range of cat, dog, bird, hamster, or fish breeds to choose from. You can even make your own. I love pets, so that would be a welcome addition.:iconthailandplz:

I'm hoping to get back into my fitness routine. Been kind of lax about it lately.:iconchibiswedenplz:Decided it might be better to stick with a certain amount of sit-ups twice a day for a month, instead of a week. I started the 'month' last week with 10 twice a day. Thought I should start over at a simple amount, again. I was kind of waffly about it last week, but I'm trying to be more strict this week. Next month I'll do 15 twice a day. Just like I would have if it were weekly. (Adding 5 twice a day each week. Now, it's every month.) I think being more gradual with it might be better for my body, too. 

I want to get back into my 2 2-mile walks as well. Didn't really work out today, but I can do it tomorrow. Also, trying to get back to being better about looking at my calories for the day. I was a bit more lax about it lately, for obvious reasons, but I feel like I should get back into it. 

Finished watching Time Spiral. The story was very good and interesting. The actors seemed to overact it, though. I thought it was going to have a bad ending until the last 3 minutes or so. Everything turned out alright in the end. No one was killed off.

Finished watching the first season of Hamatora. If I hadn't known that there was a 2nd season, I'd be pissed.:iconprussiaplz:It seemed like one of the worst ways to end a show. Nice defeated Moral, and Art showed up looking very much alive on the boat they were on. Moral was still alive, and Art shot him in the head. So not like him.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:It ended with Art putting his gun to the back of Nice's head, fade to black, and the sound of a gunshot fired. We don't know if he actually shot/killed Nice or what. Everyone thought that Moral had killed Art when they faced off alone earlier. They fought over someone's grave, and with that episode, the ending scene was Art bleeding out while Nice was trying to call him. They said that he was always trying to make up for not having a Minimum power. Does he suddenly have one now? Did it awaken when he was on the brink of death? People with Minimums are kind of like the X-men. They have special powers, and are sometimes ridiculed by the general public because of it. One of them even had a Hulk-like ability. Only he turned purple, and it was 'given' to him. He wasn't one of the people born with it. Nice can move at the speed of sound, Murasaki has super strength, Birthday can use electricity if he absorbs a power source, Ratio can harden his fists to be as hard as steel, another one can predict things 10 minutes into the future with her laptop, another can teleport people to a certain distance, etc. All of these ones were born with it. There are hints that Art and Moral might be brothers or have some sort of other relation...Moral was a really disturbing villain. There are few that really make your skin crawl like he did.:iconwtfukplz:He would steal the original Minimum users' brains, and inject the chemical serum that has components of those powers from those brains into someone who sought power. They usually felt weak and useless beforehand. He'd use them to wreak havoc. He had a tech savvy person broadcast signals that only teens could pick up on urging them to seek power from him. She was finally captured, too. His reason behind everything was to make everyone 'equal' by giving the weak power. Also, he used some of it on himself. He felt that Nice was lonely with how powerful he had become, and therefore he needed someone who was on the same 'level'. I'll start the 2nd season soon. There's no way I'm leaving it like that...:icongermanyplz: