Thursday, March 26, 2015

National Spinach Day!


Spinach is awesome!:dummy:It's so nutritious. I really hated that I had to avoid it when I was on blood thinners.:iconannoyedgin-plz:Was sent to the hospital several years ago for having about 60,000 times the blood clotting factor. (If I had waited any longer, I probably wouldn't be here today...) No one knew why, and the clots (they were in almost every aveoli or 'air sac' in my lungs) mysteriously went away after 6 months of monitoring. Thank goodness they haven't shown up since. One of the things I couldn't have was spinach during that time. It has a vitamin that naturally thins blood, and if you're already on a blood thinner, it's not a good combo.:iconohboyamericaplz:Some other vegetables do the same, but I think I missed spinach the most. It can be easy to overcook if it's in a recipe of some sort. That's when it turns nasty. I like when it's fresh as a salad the most. Although, it goes well with some egg dishes. Pretty tasty with garlic, cheese, olive oil, and walnuts as well. I don't think I ever hated spinach. Even as a kid.:iconawwwplz:

Oddly, felt a bit depressed last night.:iconsadnessplz:I was feeling pretty good most of the day, until I watched something before going to bed. I don't really know why, but things seem to be affecting me in an odd way lately. It could be stress, meds getting a bit stale (luckily I got my next batch recently, but I need to finish my current one), something to do with my IUD, or some monthly 'thing'. (The last 2 might be related.) It could be a combo.:iconswissplz:I think my IUD has been a bit unpredictable lately. Maybe it really will stop my monthly 'friend'? Not sure. I've had this 'new' one since the end of August. Maybe it took a while to stabilize in my body. Hormones are weird no matter how they're used...But, it keeps me from hemorrhaging.:iconshockplz:

Got the rest of the Pesach or Passover related stuff on Monday. Dad went to that QFC I mentioned last time for me. (Which was great!) I'm surprised most of that stuff was still there, considering there was only 12 days until the holiday. (Now it'll only be a week from tomorrow...:wow:

They still had kosher for Pesach salad dressings, which is good for both our salad for our seder, and possibly for our friends' seder. Decided on the balsamic Italian one. Sounds really good. 

I now have the matzo farfel (crumbled chunks of matzo) for my granola. Had some matzo farfel leftover from last year, but it had been opened and probably didn't have enough for that recipe. Didn't seem safe with it being opened already, and sitting for a year on a shelf.:iconhanatamagoplz:Got the chocolate covered orange peels too. Those little candies are surprisingly good. Not very many calories, either. 

Also got kosher for Pesach mayo. They had either 'lite' or original. I chose lite. Regular store-bought mayo sometimes has soybean oil, or sometimes corn derived products. (I thought the olive oil ones would be ok, but they add things like corn syrup.) If you follow Ashkenazic Pesach dietary laws, then that's not good for the holiday.:iconpolandplz:I think it'll be my first time trying kosher for Pesach mayo. When it was just mom and I, we weren't that strict about it. But, I feel odd about the regular stuff right now.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Heck, it might be better than the regular mayo. I like to use mayo in my egg and tuna salads I put into matzo sandwiches for lunches during it. The relish we have is surprisingly ok for Pesach. I like to add that to both salads. They use things like actual sugar instead of corn syrup. 

At our local supermarket that has the huge Pesach display, they had kosher for Pesach noodles. I love them!:iconinloveplz:But, no one else does.:iconlietplz:Mom hated them...If cooked too long, they turn globby and into kind of a glue consistency. I think they still taste good even then. May look nasty, but so tasty!:iconitalyplz:I use them for lunches, too. Interestingly, the spaghetti sauce we have is also ok for Pesach. Yay! 

Also, last year I thought that QFC had a big horseradish display next to their Manischewitz wine. But, apparently they don't this year. It was in one of the regular store aisles. She got the 'extra hot' kind. I only like horseradish when a little bit of it is mixed into a sauce. Gives it a nice kick. But, as it is, I can't stand it.:iconusaplz:(Certainly not if it's extra hot...) Maror ('bitter herbs') or horseradish is one of the main symbolic foods of the seder. I usually use a very tiny bit for myself. It's barely visible, but enough to taste. As long as I can taste it, it's fine.:iconhongkongplz:

Posted the first 2 'pages' of drawings of my original characters' outfits/accessories from Alliance to dA. Both have been getting a lot of views, and a few faves. A group, that I'm not a member of, liked it so much they asked if they could put it in their group's 'featured' folder. I don't think it was that great, but agreed to it.:iconkikuplz:

Panda Cloud Antivirus was acting up the last few days. (Also, probably put me in a weird mood.) I was so frustrated with it, I ended up having to reinstall it. It kept having popups saying this program encountered a problem and needed to shut down. This was every few minutes after each time it would start up. I noticed that my computer was much slower, too. Then, after reinstalling it, the next day, it asked me if I wanted to update. Panda uses the 'cloud' to update itself in the background, so this seemed odd.:icongermanyplz:I agreed, and it started having problems again. I got rid of what I had installed entirely, and installed it again. It's been working fine ever since. Just in case, I ran an in-depth scan. It detected something and fixed it. So, maybe that something was messing with it? I might look for a new free one online in the future...But, this is good for the time being. 

I'm extremely close to finishing the last short story to my nightmare anthology. Probably will finish it next time. It's a pretty weird one, even when comparing the rest of them.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul: 

Played my clarinet. After not practicing for a while, it felt good. Did a lot of klezmer tunes, and some Mozart. Sounded much better than I expected. Felt smoother than last time.
Studied the kanji: , . is only pronounced as きゅう (kyuu) in compounds. As 救い or すく.い (suku.i): help, aid, relief, (religious) salvation, (Christian) grace, providence. As 救う or すく.う (suku.u): to rescue from, help out of, save. When is pronounced as きゅう (kyuu), it's mostly just in compounds. But, on rare occasions when it's used on its own: (obscure) wage, recompense. As 給う or たま.う (tama.u): (male) (after the -masu stem of a verb) semi-polite or endearing auxiliary verb indicating reception by the speaker. As 給え or たま.え (tama.e): (suf) (usually in kana) (male) (after the -masu stem of a verb) please... 給料 or きゅうりょう (kyuuryou): salary, wage. 供給 or きょうきゅう (kyoukyuu): supply, provision. 

Did some of the practice stuff on JapaneseClass' site. The practice part of the site basically quizzes you on a mixture of vocab, phrases, and kanji. Some new stuff, some you haven't encountered in a while, some you might have been weak with in the past, etc. In order for 'attendance' to be taken on there, you need to do at least 20 of those practice questions. I ended up with a combo of like 70 correct in a row this time. The most I've ever gotten was around 85 in a row. It was a good session on there to say the least.:iconeestiplz:Next time I might take more of the chapter tests, and some of the reading quizzes. The word/phrase list quizzes that the other members come up with are good, too. Some go into more detail with verbs and grammar. It feels like that site is growing and improving every time I go on. You can challenge other members, as well. I'm also looking more into their detailed study list for new words/phrases/etc. Should have been doing that more often from the beginning. They list the pronunciations, verb forms, practice sentences, how to draw them, and more for every entry. The practice sentences have been very helpful, too. Everything has audio (except for when you're being tested on kanji), but it's not entirely accurate.:iconwtfukplz:They're working on fixing that. 

Started the translating process for a paragraph from a You Maga article I'm going over. I always try to keep it as close to the original meaning/tone as I can. Got through the first couple of sentences. (One was particularly long.) 

Read some articles in Japanese on RocketNews24's original site. Their English version has different articles, or when they translate from the Japanese it has a 'foreigner' spin on it. Interesting to read the original articles.:iconchibihungaryplz:It's still got that edgy/alternative feel to its news. Often entertaining, funny, touching, cool, upsetting, etc. stories. Stuff you might not get from other news sites or shows. The first article I read in Japanese on there was about a new trend in Japan. Where people mix 2 7-11 products together, usually with things that you'd normally think wouldn't go together. This time it was on mixing a type of noodle bowl (it has its own sauce included) and potato salad. They said it sounds and looks nasty, but tastes good. I wonder how much sodium that would have?:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:
Watched the 2-part OVA of Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler: Book of Murder. It's so long put together, I had to break it up into a couple of days. It's like 2 movies in one. I thought it was pretty good. Stuck really close to the manga. I think the only thing they left out was when Woodley was about to be taken away on a carriage (I think they were heading to Scotland Yard). The whole scene where Earl Grey impales Woodley's head in a downward angle lengthwise. (Rather than just decapitating him.) It's pretty brutal, but they left all the other gory details in. Maybe they thought it would go too far? I almost had a laughing fit when Sebastian laid on the floor 'dead' and Ciel acting crazy about it. Plus, when they decided to surprise the other servants, and brought him back to life. They buried him, and he rang the bell that's usually used in emergencies where someone was buried alive. The servants believed it, and once they 'saved' him and opened the coffin, everyone piled on top of him crying and saying how relieved they were that he didn't actually die. It'd be cool to see them make more 'specials' or anime seasons featuring the manga arcs. The sinking ship with zombies one would be cool to see in motion. But, if they just say Book of Zombies, there's another arc related to it. Maybe they could put them together? Although, those are pretty long stories. 
Started reading Shichifuku (Seven Gods) Mafia last week. It's pretty good. Apparently, it really is a new one. A lot of the ones on my 'to read' list are new to me, but have been around for a while. The Alfano Family are a vigilante group from Italy, since they're loved by the local residents, they've lived peacefully. However, ever since the rise of a rival mafia family, dark clouds have been hovering over them. Leo is the new leader of the group, and is told to go to Japan to bring back the 7 strongest people who were once his mother's subordinates. His mother was head of a yakuza group before marrying his father who was the head of the Alfano family. Her nickname was Lion Goddess. He's bilingual, and occasionally swears in Italian. Apparently, those 7 people are The 7 Gods of Misfortune that were sealed away in a hanging scroll. He breaks the seal when he starts firing his gun at a cockroach that appeared behind it. One of the Gods appears before him after that, and his family back home's luck starts to run out. They team up and try to look for the others. They're all a bit eccentric. It's an interesting start. 

Parasyte has been crazy! They decided to end last week's episode on a philosophical note. Basically about what roles do humans really have on earth? What does it mean to be human? Does it matter? Aren't we the same as those parasites? What does it mean to be alive? Will something evolve, become superior, and wipe us out? And, other questions. They brought back Migi. I knew he didn't really die. Felt really bad for Gouto. Even though he was a mass murderer, and was in pursuit of Shinichi for so long. He seemed to be just trying to survive and improve himself. When Shinichi 'killed' him and his organs were trying to come together to repair/build him again, they made this whiny sound, and Shinichi was forced to destroy all his parts. There was a slim chance that his organs/other parts would be successful. He would have threatened his family, friends, and possibly the rest of humanity otherwise. The finale is this week, which I'll hopefully see tomorrow. It was quite a ride.:iconheroamericaplz: 

Started another drama called Teppan Shoujo Akane or Teppan Girl Akane. Teppan is a metal grilling plate used in teppanyaki style cooking. Akane's mother passed away a while ago, and her father disappeared shortly after. She's always been proud of her father who's called 'number 1 teppanyaki chef in Japan'. She naturally acquired teppanyaki cooking skills from him. She's managed and protected the family's restaurant ever since. A rich daughter of a major food company orders Akane to move out at once, because her father borrowed money against the restaurant. At first she closes up the store, but her father's friend, Kurogane, shows up. He shows her her father's teppan nicknamed ittetsu, that he cherished. It reignites her passion for teppanyaki cooking. In order to protect the restaurant she embarks on a journey with Shinta (a childhood friend) to find her father. She ends up being involved in several cooking battles along the way. It's a bit campy at times, and feels like maybe it came from a manga. But, it's good so far. It's been a while since I've seen a cooking-themed drama. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Oatmeal Cookie Day!


This was yesterday, but why not continue celebrating it?:dummy:I love oatmeal cookies! Although, I pretty much love anything with oatmeal! By itself, it's pretty awesome, too!:iconawwwplz:They seem to be a lot more filling compared to other cookies out there. I like both the raisin and chocolate chip kinds. Not sure if I like them together...:iconseychelles-plz:I think that'll confuse my taste buds, considering they can look similar, might have a similar texture, and are both sweet. The cranberry and nut ones are good, too. It's Poultry Day today. Poultry is good, too! I tend to eat quite a bit of chicken and turkey. You can do so many things with them. :la:

Some weird things have been happening the last few days. A little of the good, scary, 'huh, interesting', and just 'what the heck' kind.:iconhanatamagoplz:We went to group Tuesday night. Apparently, a couple of people were there before group started, and were incredibly rude to everyone. Not exactly sure what happened, considering it was before we arrived. It made everyone that was already there a bit rattled, though. Had a really good turn out. Some of them were people we hadn't seen in a very long time. It was nice to see them. 

After everyone checked in, we suddenly talked about changing the rules or guidelines of the group. It seemed at least 2 people were prepared for it, while the rest of us were most definitely not.:iconsighingplz:One of the people that seemed to be leading it, started listing out what other people have told her has been the problem. Then, she seemed to say things like: don't do this___, or this___. It left no room for discussion. One person was so fed up with it, they left and said they might not ever come back.:iconraivisplz:I agreed on why she had an issue with it all. Another person did a similar thing, but came back later. I felt that the person who led that part was maybe...using really poor choice of words.:icontinoplz:I think people were so turned off by it, they couldn't say anything right away. Once it sunk in, everyone explained to her why it seemed like the wrong way to go about it. She said she didn't really mean for it to go that way. 

Another problem most people had was about negativity. It's supposed to be a group that supports people, so obviously there's going to be pretty negative things that come up. Censoring people and telling them to not be negative, creates a lot more problems. No one gets their voice heard.:iconwtfromanoplz:I like the idea that everyone should end their 'story' or 'discussion' topic on a positive note. That's cool, and leaves it fresh for the next person. Also, helps the person who was in a negative place feel just a touch better about things, I'm sure. That benefits everyone.:iconthailandplz:This discussion on negativity was brought up in several other groups that I've gone to. So, it must be an issue they all bring up. I also liked that a while back we came up with the idea that when someone is about to go into something that might be a trigger for others, that they actually give a warning before they say anything. This way they can go to the other room, bathroom, or outside while that is brought up. (When that person's done, someone could tell the one who left to come back.) It would help a lot with people. I've even had an issue a while back that was a bit triggering. I took it in stride after a while, but what about those who can't? What about that person that brought up such a thing didn't know it'd be triggering? They'd be unknowingly hurting someone eventually. I don't think that's good for them either.:iconlietplz:When this topic on triggers came up back then, we brought up what triggered me too, and they understood. So, this way you can be negative (and probably go someplace pretty dark), help people who might have a trigger beforehand, and eventually end on a good note. 

After talking a lot about these rules and guidelines, we decided that a lot of that should probably be slowly discussed on fb. Also, someone brought up that we're going to have a table at the local pride event coming up. She had some very cool and interesting ideas.:iconchibiamericaplz:Also, she thought we might be able to make our own shirts for it, too. I asked later on if maybe we could have some that said 'allies' or 'ally' underneath the main part. That way people know that there are others like me that support them. Just knowing that probably helps someone. 

Our next meeting is going to be a potluck and movie night. That should be interesting. Have no idea what we'll be watching...After Tuesday's meeting, Dad and I went to Applebee's instead of Shari's. 

Last time I barely could find something I could actually eat.:iconwtfukplz:Almost everything had some form of pork. (Even their mac and cheese had a bacon based sauce. Shouldn't it just be cheese?:iconromanoplz:Glad they told me...) So, I was reluctant to go again. They changed their menu, and now there's a ton of new stuff I could try. I decided to get their salmon from their 'healthy' section. Mainly because I felt I was lacking vegetables that day, and salmon usually is good. Plus, it said it had artichoke 'butter' on top of the salmon. That sounded pretty good. The salmon was very dried out, the 'butter' barely had any butter in it (just looked like a clump of artichoke hearts chopped up finely), the spinach was overcooked, the peas were mushy, a few small pieces of asparagus were thrown in, potatoes weren't bad (weren't great either...), and there was a bit too much pepper in the vegetable mix. For the most part, it was pretty much a dud.:iconohboyamericaplz:I was also thinking about trying their chicken wontons. So, maybe I'll do that next time.:iconswissplz:

That night, while I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed, I saw a huge spider waving its giant legs in the air on the side of my sink.:iconchibichinaplz:It was mostly all legs, but looked different when compared to a daddy-long-legs. The body part wasn't as small, for one. It seemed to be just as startled. It waved its legs at a more of vigorous pace after. Almost like it was a weird looking dancer.:iconusaplz:I decided not to do anything with it, and thought it'd find a place later that's nowhere near me. Although, if it was still there in the morning, I'd grab the vacuum cleaner and suck it up.:iconmochibelaplz:It was too big and scary looking for me to think of putting it in a cup or something. This way I'd give it a chance, too. (Didn't see it again.)

Thinking that was the only thing to worry about before falling asleep, I got in bed and laid on my side like usual. I was about to turn the light out when I noticed something weird next to the pillow in my peripheral vision. I looked at it closer. I didn't have my contacts in, but I was close enough that it was clear to me. (I'm very near-sighted.) It looked like a hollowed out giant spider leg at first. Then, I started thinking: "Oh no! Where's the rest of it?!":iconitalyishorrifiedplz:I panicked. For a moment I just stared at it.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul:Eventually something slimy that looked like a tendril protruded a little out of it.:iconshockplz:It went back inside and out, and then it waved in the air a bit. At some point, it came out quite a bit, gripped the bed, and moved the entire thing, including its 'body', across the bed. I guess it would be similar to seeing something come out of a severed human finger and it moved on its own. Really freaky. Watching it move, I was at first extremely fascinated. I had never seen something like it. Then, that fascination turned to uneasiness/fear when it really dawned on me that I've never seen it before, not to mention it looked freaky. So, not really knowing what to do, I blew on it. It apparently was as light as a feather, and that was enough to propel it somewhere across the room to the floor. Needless to say, I had a very tough night after that.:iconsadnessplz:

I found out yesterday, the day that our friends are doing their seder. I was hoping it'd be the 1st night on that Friday. (Passover starts at sundown on April 3rd. Again, it lasts for 8 days.) But, apparently it's going to be on the second night. It just seems like we'll be more rushed for ours on the 1st night if it's then. Plus, both our haircuts are on that Saturday. It's scheduled to only be a couple of hours before their seder. So, if it ends up looking bad, I won't be able to come up with a temporary 'fix'.:iconannoyedgin-plz:I'm only asking for a trim, so it shouldn't be horrible. But, I haven't had a haircut in about 2 years. (That's when the stylist helped me find a style I loved.) Before that, I hadn't had one for about 7 years. So, I'm a little weary of haircuts now. (But, I definitely think I need a trim...:iconpolandplz:) This'll be with the same stylist as last time's. So, it probably won't be horrible. She made the 'ringlets' odd looking though. I like the way I have them now, but that's something I can tell her. We didn't know at the time, she just steered me in the right direction. 

Anyways, I think most of that week before Passover even starts I'm going to be doing quite a bit of cooking. Good, but tiring.:faint:Might be cooking more than last time. It's probably healthier to make some of the stuff from scratch, too. Oh, and not only are we doing the 1st night, it's also the start of Shabbat. So, it's even more of a big one. 2 holidays in 1. Wahoo!:iconranranruuplz:I think there's a few more prayers/readings that are said if the seder ends up on Shabbat. (Shabbat starts at every sundown on Fridays and goes until Saturday night.)

We found a good portion of what's on my Passover-specific list. Most of it was at our local supermarket that has a pretty sizable Passover display every year. Some of the stuff was already gone...:iconinsultedplz:I wanted the kosher for Passover potato chips we usually get, but they had them in regular, BBQ, sea salt, reduced sodium, and regular with ridges. Normally we don't have such a variety.:iconinloveplz:I got the BBQ one. We'll see what that one's like. I didn't think we'd find potato starch, but lo and behold, it was there too. They have them in pretty large canisters. I don't need very much, but that's all they had. Got some matzo. That's one of the biggest staples for the holiday. Found some kosher for Passover peppermint patties. I can't remember if we've had them before, but they looked/sounded good.:iconitalyplz:Decided to get that in place of the fruit slices this year. They had more of a variety of flavors for the coconut macaroons, too. Decided on the chocolate chip one. There was red velvet, almond, espresso, and a few others. That company seems to make a new flavor every year. It's interesting, and usually good. Also, found some matzo meal. It's used in many things. For example, with the Passover popovers I make, they're almost entirely made out of the stuff. It's ground up matzo. (Matzo is a cracker-like unleavened bread.) Matzo farfel is just crumbled chunks of matzo. We use matzo in so many things, since we can't use flour or anything that could be used for leavening. (We also use a lot of eggs, potatoes, and butter or margarine.) They had ran out of matzo farfel this time, though. It's the main part to my matzo granola. Which is soooo much better than those store-bought Passover cereals. (Those have a weird aftertaste, and disintegrate as soon as milk touches it.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:)  It holds its own like normal granola. We'll have to get it from the QFC across the water that has the largest amount of Passover products in the region, along with the other things that they didn't have. Like, chocolate covered orange peels (they're surprisingly good), kosher for Passover dressing (for the salad at ours, and maybe with the salad we'll bring to the other seder. Not sure what we're bringing to it yet, they still have to tell us, but usually it's that and my popovers), etc. Also, got some gefilte fish at our local Safeway. But, the rest of the display in their kosher section wasn't kosher for Passover...:icongermanyplz:Sad. 

Today, I decided to leave my bathroom door open while I took a shower to see what Rosie would do. (No one else was home, so why not?) I was surprised by her reaction. She was very curious, and occasionally I saw a head pop up over the side of the tub. She stayed in that room the entire time I was in there. When I went to dry my hair with the towel, she intentionally stood so the drips would fall on her. She seemed really happy that I was out of the shower, and meowed a lot. She also licked my feet. She didn't like when I combed my hair and applied hair products. She gave me a confused look. It was so cute, and for some reason, the whole thing felt like a bonding experience.:iconsleepygreeceplz: 

I posted my Hanukkah-themed drawing to dA. Don't think anyone faved it, but got a lot of views. Yesterday, I posted the 1st 'page' of colored in drawings of my original characters' outfits/accessories/extras to dA. I immediately got 2 faves for it. One even put it in their 'Awesome' collection. Not sure if it was awesome...:iconkikuplz:Getting quite a few views, too. I might post the 2nd page either tonight or tomorrow. I think the other pages were a lot more interesting. So, we'll see. It was more just for my reference, so it's interesting it got any likes for that 1st one. 

Found out Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler: Book of Murder is available to watch now. It was one of the best arcs in the manga. Saw Book of Circus not too long ago, and it was treated like a regular anime season. I think for Book of Murder they made it into 2-part movies. So, like 2 super long episodes. I wonder why they handled this one so differently? The arc in the manga was longer, I think, than the Book of Circus one too. Both these parts of the anime franchise are supposed to be closer to what happens in the manga. The 1st season started to veer off from the manga's story line towards the end, and the 2nd season was like a totally different story. It wasn't in the manga. None of those extra characters were either. A lot of fans were pissed off.:iconchibienglandplz:I actually liked all of the 1st season of it, including the end. I couldn't stand the 2nd season. I think I watched, maybe, 2 episodes of that one. It lost its humor, the new main characters seemed flat, senseless violence (it's normally pretty violent, but there's a reason behind it), etc. Book of Circus followed the manga to a T. I'm not sure if I've seen an anime version follow it so closely. They even kept a pretty risque scene. The series is definitely not for kids...:iconhongkongplz:I'd love to see if they did the same with Book of Murder. I might try it tomorrow.

Found some more Jdrama possibilities, and manga for my to-read list. Started Konjiki no Gash or better known as Zatch Bell. (Not sure why people have changed his name to Zatch rather than Gash...) Not sure about it yet.:iconnorgeplz:There are 11 other 'new' ones for me to try. New to me, anyways. Plus, one that I've only seen the anime for called Tegami Bachi or Letter Bee. It's supposed to be very different. Like some characters that were allies, are villains in the manga. I'll give it a shot. Another one's extremely popular, especially after the anime version became so popular, called Tokyo Ghoul. I didn't like the first episode of the anime, but I'll try the manga. The idea is interesting, just seemed 'off' in the anime version. I might start another one for Fridays, tomorrow. Especially since I finished Variante.