Yay for pie! (This was on Monday, but why not continue celebrating it?) There are so many different kinds out there. They vary from savory to sweet. My fave dessert pies are: pecan, peach, cherry, Dutch apple, blueberry, and chocolate chess. I've made the chocolate chess pie one before, and it was awesome! (I should make it again sometime...) I've had a s'mores pie that comes close to being a fave, too. Today's National Apple Pie Day, so it's still relevant...
This is my wallpaper for December. It's Kuroko and Kagami from Kuroko no Basket or Kuroko's Basketball. They're the main characters of the series. Kuroko feels that he's Kagami's shadow while on the court. It's a bit of a play on his name. Kuro means black. He also is like a ghost while playing. Most of the time their opponent doesn't see his moves until it's too late. He's perfect at passing the ball that way. They don't notice him off the court either. (In fact, it may be worse when off court...Sometimes his own teammates don't notice him.) Kagami is very talented, but is a bit of a hot-head and jumps the gun on things. In a recent tournament game that I watched, he almost got all the fouls a player could get. (Almost disqualifying the team.) Kuroko also has a way of calming him down by sometimes punching him. Of course, he punches back, and it's meant in kind of a friendly way. I'm really liking this show so far, and glad I went back to it.I like basketball, so it's interesting to watch their strategies and plays.
My Italy calendar features Umbria this time. It's a region in the center of Italy. The only region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries. The capital is Perugia. The region is known to be like an artistic and cultural hub. It's hilly and has a lake called Trasimeno, waterfalls, and the River Tiber runs through it. There are quite a lot of famous places in the region like Assisi, Norcia, Gubbio, Spoleto, and others. A lot of the places in the pics look pretty rural. Today's (and yesterday's) pic's of a couple of friends chatting at a cafe. On the first, they had a farmhouse seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. It'd be interesting to see what the Paris calendar will be like for next month. Sounds like it might be better than this calendar. This one was good, but seemed very busy what with all those pics.
My Jewish calendar's main pic for this month's of a menorah, maker's anonymous, made out of brass; 1850-1900. They don't list the country that it originally came from. Maybe it's from Amsterdam, which is where the museum is located? It's one of those tall ones, and in a golden color. The second pic's of a menorah that's made out of silver; 1998. There's no mention of where it came from, or who the maker was.This one's pretty recent compared to what they've shown before. It's kind of 'modern' and odd looking to me. Each 'holder' is twisted and in columns, instead of in branches. The Shamash candle holder part is taller than the rest. Like many other menorahs. Others set it apart somehow. Like, in some traditional branched menorahs, it's right in the middle, coming from the main body while others are 'branching' away from it. The Shamash candle is like a 'leader' or 'helper'. It's lit first, and it lights the other candles in a certain order each night during Hanukkah. The last pic's of a kiddush cup, made by Daniel Henriques de Castro, made out of glass, from Amsterdam, Netherlands; 1856. It has a cool design etched into it. We use kiddush cups when we say the blessing over wine or grape juice. Usually that's during Shabbat and other holidays. I like seeing more of the older stuff. It's very interesting.
Hanukkah is coming up on the night of the 16th. It's coming up pretty quickly!The last day's on the 24th, which is interesting. We might have a chance to go to a Chinese buffet during Christmas Eve on that night. (Dad has an appointment that day, which might make it easier to just go to the buffet afterwards...) It's kind of a traditional thing to do for Jews during that time. It's either that and/or going to a movie. I think it's because everyone who celebrates Christmas won't be out, and those are the few places that tend to be open during that time. So, it's not all that crowded then, either. Plus, some Chinese buffets run specials during Christmas Eve through the next day.
There was only one month-long holiday that I thought was interesting: National Egg Nog Month. There really weren't that many listed. I love eggnog!Obviously not the traditional kind with alcohol...But, it's silky smooth, and has an awesome flavor. Recently got an eggnog latte at Starbucks, and it was really good. Better than the gingerbread one was.
Went to a friends' place for Thanksgiving. The couple has been friends with our family for a very long time. They usually host Thanksgiving dinner, and invite us to celebrate New Year's Eve, sometimes Hanukkah, and Passover at their place. There have been very few times where they called off their Thanksgiving dinner. They also smoke their turkey. It's really good.Some years they have a lot of guests, and some...not so much. This time there was only 5 people all together. Including the hosts.
We brought the salad, someone brought some candied carrots (I normally like honeyed carrots, but these were even sweeter. Wasn't my thing...) and cornbread. Our salad had dried cranberries, walnuts, shredded carrots, and cherry tomatoes along with a greens mix. We brought Caesar salad dressing, and a raspberry vinaigrette. The Caesar one seemed to be very popular...The hosts did the turkey like usual, gravy, stuffing (with chestnuts, which I hate. I always end up picking them out), orange cranberry relish (another thing I'm not fond of. They usually get canned cranberry sauce as an alternative, as they did this time. I think adding orange to it destroys the sauce...), sweet potato pie (something I really can't stand), and there might have been something else that's not coming to mind...The person who brought the carrots, also brought 3 different pies and caramel ice cream for dessert. The pies were: sweet potato (made to look like pumpkin pie), pecan, and apple. I hate sweet potatoes, so I stayed away from that. The pecan one was really good.The apples in the apple pie were too soft. It almost felt like they became apple cake instead. The topping was good, though. And, overall it wasn't a horrible pie, just weird.I heard that she used pumpkin pie seasoning for the sweet potato one. One of the hosts said it was just ok. So, oddly, I didn't have pumpkin pie this year. Usually, one of the hosts makes it, and their own homemade whipped cream. The whipped cream usually comes out kind of blah, though. Like they don't add sugar to it or something.
We took the leftovers of the pecan and apple pies home with us. Now we have a boatload of desserts.We now have a huge box of Belgium-style chocolate cookies (barely have gotten into them), 2 pies (there was a lot of it left still...), chocolate almond biscottis, Halloween candy, and chocolate covered raisins. That's a lot. We'll be good on that for a while.
I'm continuing with my idea of making Fridays cleaning days.Last Friday I swept and mopped my bathroom floor. That completes cleaning my entire bathroom. I hadn't mopped in a while. Had to dry the floor with a towel after I did it, and then sweep it again. But, now it looks amazing!Like a totally different room.
Also, today my bathroom towel rack fell off of the wall.For a moment I thought that the wall itself was decaying behind it or something. I found a screwdriver, and tightened the screws that were inside the part that is on the wall itself. Then, put the part that holds the rod and connects it to the wall over it, and tightened the screw that was on the outside of it. (That part holds it secure to the wall one.) It worked super well. Now it's really stable, and it hadn't been for years.The other side is starting to pull apart from the wall too, but it hasn't gotten to the point where it's easy to take off. So, I'll wait on that. But, I'm proud of myself for figuring it out, and that it wasn't as bad as I thought it was.One of the screws looked badly rusted, though. Oh, and recently I super-glued the cover of one of our fancy matchstick holder cases together with its case. The cover has a Shabbat table scene on it, and looks cool. It fell off the holder about a year ago. I've wanted to fix it for a while. So, yay! It's fixed, and the cover is pretty well bonded to it.
This coming Friday, I hope to start cleaning the dining room. Not sure how much I'll get done, but I'll start it, at least. Almost everything in the china cabinet is covered with a thick layer of dust.So, that'll be a major part of it. Our cats have done some odd things on the carpet in there, too. I'll see what more I can do with that. When I get to doing my bedroom, I think that'll take the most amount of time. So, hopefully doing that in 'stages', and cleaning other areas in between them, it won't seem so big.And, I can reach those other places within that time as well. When I get to my closet, I'm thinking of trying on the rest of the clothes I haven't gotten to, as well. So, it's so much more than just dusting and vacuuming things.
Finished watching Amatsuki (Rainy Moon) on Monday. It was one of the worst endings I've seen in a while...Felt like they really meant to have a 2nd season, but it fell through. It felt like it just started. Things were finally moving along. The story was starting to get really interesting. They still didn't explain how Tokidoki and Kon were transported into this world that was supposed to just be a virtual reality program at a museum. The 'program' wasn't designed to have demons, people with special abilities, etc. in it. Just historically accurate events from the Edo period for high schoolers to get more of a 'feel' for it. You could interact with characters, but they were supposed to only be able to do superficial stuff, and couldn't have thoughtful conversations. So, why did it 'change'? And, there are hints that other characters may have gotten stuck in that world, but have lost their memories of the outside world. Apparently, the manga is still ongoing, and started in 2002. This anime version was only 13 episodes, and was in 2008. So, there obviously is a lot more to it. But, I don't want to have to read something that I watched in order to get some kind of 'closure'.And the show for most of the season was just lukewarm with me anyways.
Decided to drop Sougiya (Undertaker) Riddle, and replace it with Variante. It's very interesting so far. It's definitely not for the faint of heart.Lots of gore already, but the story's been good so far, too. I love the horror genre, so this intrigued me. Hosho Aiko's a girl who was brought back to life by the left arm of a 'chimera'. Chimeras in this are a grotesque human-derived species that drastically alter the shape of their own body parts. It all started when Aiko saw her family slaughtered in front of her eyes by a chimera. The creature attacked and killed her after it noticed she was there. But, the next thing she knows, is she wakes up in what she thought was a hospital room. She was in the morgue beforehand, and was about to have an autopsy done on her body, when the ME noticed she had a pulse. The only thing they noticed that was abnormal with her body was her left arm. It looked deformed. Apparently, as she's 'rested' the arm has begun to heal a bit. But, when she woke up, she had amnesia and didn't remember what happened. She saw her arm and tried to cut it off with a shard from a mirror she passed and broke while walking around the 'hospital'. There wasn't a nurse or patient around at the time. She passed out eventually, and woke up again with restraints this time. After meeting the detective that dealt with her case, she came face to face with a chimera. As her arm attacked it on its own, she started to remember everything. Her arm is apparently a weapon now. She was into playing the piano only because it seemed to make her parents happy. Now that her arm is deformed, she feels she'll never be able to play again. Hence, the title of that chapter. Should be interesting to see what happens next. The detective was the one who brought the chimera in, but it was only so that Dr. Kochigawa could study it alive. She's the one who's now looking after Aiko. So far this has been much better than Riddle.
Looked a bit at Kuroshitsuji's (Black Butler) soundtracks. They're quite interesting. There's heavy Indian influences, some have German tones, English flair, classical, and more. It actually makes sense now that I look at the series. It's set in England in the late 19th century, too. Some characters are Indian, some German, etc. The Indian songs sounded like a mix of ragas and a bit of Bollywood type music. I know that on that soundtrack there was a curry competition Ciel and Sebastian were forced to compete in. In that arc, they also met 2 of what are now somewhat regular side characters. Prince Soma and his 'butler' Agni, now live at the mansion too, much to Ciel's dismay. (Now that I remember, I think that he gave one of his manor houses to them to take care of eventually. But, they still visit him constantly. Almost like they never left.) Only because they try to help him out, make sure he's healthy, berate Sebastian if they feel he's not doing a good job taking care of Ciel, be friendly with Ciel, etc. It just gets overwhelming for him. But, they're really interesting characters. Small aspects of they're religion sometimes pops up too. Like, in the manga's arc that I'm currently on, Soma asked if a meat pie had beef in it. (Hindus don't eat beef. Cows are considered sacred.) People were unsure, so he refused to have any. Turned out Sebastian had put a powerful laxative in it, so he was the only one who wasn't affected. I'm glad that they influenced the music for it. I might feature a couple of the tracks on here soon.
Dropped S-The Last Policeman, because the last few remaining episodes haven't been subbed yet. Maybe someone will sub those episodes in the future, but it's not looking very likely...Sad, because it was really good.
Finished watching Senryokugai Sousakan. It had a really good ending, and the humor was spot on this time. It was a 2-hour finale. It was cute and funny, but I'm not sure if it'd be worth it to see a 2nd season if there is one in the future.
I dropped Donten ni Warau (Laughing Under the Clouds), because I just didn't like how things were going in it. For some reason, it was kind of difficult for me to get used to the animation. I'm not exactly sure why. The hair and eyes kind of threw me off, and that might be part of it. They killed off the oldest brother too, and I thought that was kind of lame. He was willing to just sacrifice himself like that. Although, he said he didn't have much time left anyways. They could have looked more into his 'condition'. Since he died early in the show, I'm assuming it didn't end the threat either. Seemed pointless.
I've gone back to Rurouni Kenshin and Ranma 1/2, too. I might go back to D.Gray-man on Saturday. That leaves Monday open for another anime for me to try. Also, I'm getting close to finishing Hero. So, another spot will be open for it. I have 9 anime on my 'to watch' list, so it'd be interesting to look at those. A few are really long shows. And, I might have seen the beginning of a couple of them a long time ago. Those being Kyou kara Maou and the original Prince of Tennis. I might try One Piece out eventually. That's an extremely long one, and doubt I'd ever finish it. But, it'd be interesting to see why people are so into it. There's a lot of other anime that I don't know much about and would be interesting to see. It's kind of like an adventure with each one I'll try.