Wednesday, April 29, 2015

National Blueberry Pie Day!


I love blueberries, and putting them in a pie makes the whole thing awesome!:la:(This was actually yesterday, but it can still be celebrated!) For some reason, I used to have a hard time thinking that you could make a pie with blueberries. Like it sounded too indulgent to me, and couldn't possibly be true.:iconlaughingplz:More indulgent than cherry pie. It was a similar thing with mince meat pie. I guess it was with things I wouldn't expect in a pie...

I managed to get my 2 2-mile walks a day in for about a week. Towards the last few my shoes and socks essentially died on me.:iconwtfukplz:My shoes lost their cushion, the heel part of the soles are making deep holes, they've become very loose, etc. Since I'm still losing quite a bit of weight, my socks that were stretched out to fit for what I was before (some I thought were pretty new, until I go through it in my head and realize they really aren't), have become very baggy and fall off easily. This is a weird combo.:icondisgusted-hongkong:So, my socks end up wadding down to the ball of both my feet. This leaves my heel open to the air, since the shoe has become loose. One of those walks was when it was very windy, and I could feel it go straight through to my bare heels.:iconitsfreezingplz:The soles of my feet were a very dark red and looked extremely irritated after those few walks, too. I used some foot calming cream or 'remedy' when that happened. It felt much better after. 

So, while trying to rack my brain about using different shoes, the only options I have are either my winter boots or summer-like shoes. I sometimes get blisters if I walk in my boots for too long, and they hurt after walking for a short time. So, that wouldn't have been a good choice. Most of my 'keds' and varying forms of them looked beaten up, and had some sand in them. (Why sand?:iconseychelles-plz:) I decided to use my nice and comfy sandals. Or, at least, they usually are. I went for a walk with them to test them out. It felt fine most of the way. About 3/4 of the way, my feet started to really hurt, and in my right leg the lower calf started to hurt too. When I got home, and looked at my feet, they didn't look as irritated. But, there were some red bumps that seemed to be about to turn into full-blown blisters.:iconhanatamagoplz:A couple of them actually ended up on the side of my toes. I used the foot remedy again, they stung a bit, but felt better afterwards. So, the sandals were not good either. 

The pain in my leg amplified the next day, which was Monday. It was like my leg was going to fall off, and someone was stabbing me with a hot poker and moving it around.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:I noticed last night that there was some bruising around the area. I realized that I probably pulled or strained a muscle. I've had those before, and they're very painful. Most of the time they go away within a few days, though. Usually happens if I push myself too hard with things like walking too much at once. I don't want to 'ease' into it, though.:iconpolandplz:It feels so nice to do the whole thing! The pain has gradually been diminishing by today, but I'm still resting it. 

On top of getting new shoes and socks, I also need to get jeans. The jeans I have currently have holes in the lower part of the butt area. Funny, because nothing rubs in that area.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:The butt is actually made for someone bigger than me, so it slides down all the time, and I'm constantly pulling it back up. I think that movement has made it get holes over time. That's the only thing I can think of. It's a weird area. I've never filled it out. My butt's kind of like a pancake.:iconsadnessplz:I think it was more so after my tailbone injury a while back. I also can't 'high step' or walk the way I used to. Had the injury during marching practice in college, and that was the end of marching for me, considering I couldn't do high steps afterwards. It'll probably never be the same. It's just slightly off, and usually no one notices it.:iconkikuplz:At least I can walk, run, etc. Anyways, the jeans were also made for someone that's slightly more 'curvy'. (Wider hips, more butt, etc.) Not necessarily bigger. Although, now since I've lost weight, it's really for people who are bigger than me. They were poorly made too. It started to fall apart about a week or 2 after I got them. But, there were no holes until pretty recently. Makes it hard to walk with. The holes aren't visible yet, but it still makes me feel self-conscious.:iconwtfromanoplz:The holes are only slightly visible if I pull them up. But, they're saggy and way too baggy if I don't. Not really my kind of 'style'. 

Dad made it back home safely last Thursday. She rested a bit over the weekend. She said she wasn't feeling much pain when she got home, but she's feeling it more now.:iconraivisplz:I hope things get better for her soon. I don't like when anyone's in pain, let alone my parent. She said she feels complete now, which is awesome.

I went back to watching Ranma 1/2. One of the recent episodes I watched seemed to be the closest to a trans theme. (I've heard many trans people like the show for a variety of reasons. I could also see why some wouldn't like it now that I've watched a good chunk of the series...) More so than the rest of the time. Ranma was hit very hard over the head, and confessed that he always felt that he was a girl but was too scared to tell anyone. He said it felt like waking up, when he saw himself in his girl-form after being hit. I suppose normally there is a trans like theme in the way he mostly wants to stay a guy, but keeps changing into a girl. He feels horrible when he's stuck as a girl. (Although, he does seem to be getting used to it.) They attributed the feeling like he was a girl thing this time to him being hit over the head. But, he said things like he's always felt like a girl...It was very interesting, but a bit sad that they played it off so easily. I also think a lot of the family's reactions might be more 'real', but they don't hate him. They're just unsure as to how to go about stuff like that, so they try to make it humorous. 

I also went back to watching Ansatsu Kyoushitsu or Assassination Classroom. I was going to take a break from it in order to try out some of the new shows, but a lot of the new ones seemed to be flops to me.:icongermanyplz:This show has gotten much better with every episode. It was starting to lag before I picked it up again, but now we're getting more into the action. I'm liking the characters a lot more, too. Karma is just an awesome character all around. I like the ones that are kickass and twisted. Nagisa's getting more interesting. They also answered what many viewers were wondering. Whether he's a guy or a girl. (Doesn't really matter that much?) Koro-sensei made a pool for the class, and they went swimming. When Nagisa showed up in his swim trunks topless some people were surprised. He does put his hair up in kind of a 'feminine' way, talks softly and calmly, is short, and looks kind of weak. And, apparently to some that equals girl, but nope they were wrong. They started the series off with the premise that he was the main character, too. But, then proceeded to focus on other characters. Kind of interesting. Nagisa also seems to be the most deadliest. You'd think Karma would be, considering how vicious, calculating, manipulative, etc. he can be. But, no one expects Nagisa to do anything. Kind of the nice and friendly quiet type. He's so good at keeping his cool, that his victim won't know what happened until it's too late. While smiling he can calmly walk up to them, then with a quick fluid motion wrap his body around them, then he attacks from behind. Kind of like what a snake might do. Their 'PE teacher' (he's really just there to help hone their assassin skills and train them in order to kill Koro) finds him the scariest and most likely to assassinate someone. Most of the time, Nagisa's constantly scribbling down weaknesses Koro might have. Some laugh at it, but it's come in handy numerous times. 

Kekkai Sensen or Bloodline Battlefront has been awesome!:iconfrancisplz:I didn't like the other new shows (that weren't sequels). It's kind of like a hidden gem. The first episode didn't seem all that great, and a lot of the story seemed to be shoved in our faces way too quickly. But, it got much better. It seems like it's a pretty complex anime overall, but I like the ones that make you think, keep you on your toes, etc. Plus, the animation is amazing! I'm still unsure if one of the characters, White, is really a ghost or not. She's probably pretending. Leo has sometimes told her that the nurses at the hospital are looking for her. She usually hangs out at a cemetery near that hospital. People can see her...I don't know. Not sure what's up with her yet. I like that one of the main characters, Zapp, is darker skinned. There aren't too many good characters like that in anime, and especially as a main character. (There are some, just not many.) Most are pretty light skinned. I like to see diversity in them too. There are other side characters who have darker skin tones as well in the show. Zapp is also voiced by the seiyuu or voice actor who voices Hijikata from Gintama. It's interesting to hear that voice come from Zapp, but it definitely fits him. I really like his character, although he seemed a little too abrasive at first. He has several cool abilities (most of which are based on his own blood), is Leo's partner (he acts kind of like a guardian, always watching over him. Although, sometimes he likes to mess with him), a kickass attitude, is very passionate, and more. Vampires were introduced last time. Libra thought for a while that at most there would be 13 in the city. Leo used his eyes and said there were hundreds of them towards the center of town underground. They were able to capture one, but 2 of their agents were severely wounded. They were able to help them because of Leo's eyes. The vampires don't show up on video or pics, and most can't see them when they're face to face. He can see people's auras, and vampires apparently have an intense red one. It'll be interesting to see what happens next with this anime.

Finished watching Ouroboros. It had a really sad and disturbing end.:iconchibichinaplz:It could have gone so much better. I kind of had a feeling it wouldn't end well from the beginning, but this was just crazy. It was really good until the end, though. Every episode was intense, they threw in some humor, the story had a lot of twists and turns, and more. I really feel like that was the worst way to end it...I won't say much about the ending, because I don't want to spoil it, and it was just too disturbing to go over. 

So, now I'm not watching any Jdramas at the moment...Kind of sad, considering that's how mediocre this drama season is.:iconohboyamericaplz:Not that many great sounding new shows out there. So this season for both new anime and drama is kind of lame. Although for the season as a whole, Gintama came back even better than before. But, that's a continuation of an anime, not a new one...
Started watching One Piece last week. I was really reluctant to try this one. Mainly because there's so much hype about it, it's a really long series, the art is a bit off-putting at first (xxxHolic's art gives off a similar feel, but turns out to be awesome. It's not the same style, but also takes a while to get used to), and various other things. I can already see some similarities to Fairy Tail. Fairy Tail's art, at least in the manga, is kind of similar too. One Piece's manga is about 2 years older than Naruto's. (That's saying a lot...) Starting in 1997, and is still going. The anime started in 1999 and is still going, too. As of right now, there's 692 episodes, plus several films and specials. So, this is probably the oldest series of the big 5 anime. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Hitman Reborn, and Fairy Tail. They're long-running series that usually rank at the top on anime rankings. Bleach and Reborn have ended. So, maybe it's just the big 3 instead now. Although, Gintama is rising through the ranks, as well. Maybe that's added to the list now? It's not older than One Piece, though. It's the top best-selling manga in history. It's popular around the world, and has won several awards. It follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, whose body gains the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. Also, about his diverse crew of pirates called The Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy explores the ocean in search of the world's ultimate treasure known as 'One Piece' in order to become the next Pirate King. It's ok so far, and better than I expected. I guess I'll have to watch more in order to get more of a feel for it.
Started reading Tegami Bachi or Letter Bee last week. I've watched both seasons of the Tegami Bachi anime, and some of its specials a while ago. I remember reading that the manga was quite different. For one thing, apparently allies were actually villains in the manga. So far, it seems to be going like it did in the anime. Although, I think I read that the manga's and anime's plot diverge from each other early on. The last season of the anime ended in 2011. The manga is still going. It started in 2006. So there's at least a lot more to it than what was in the anime. The chapters seem to be pretty long so far, too. Letter Bees are couriers that deliver important letters and packages (which carry a part of the sender's heart) throughout the land of eternal dusk, Amberground. Gaichuu are giant insects that feed on the hearts or feelings of humans. The story revolves around Lag Seeing, who was born on the Day of Flicker, when the man-made sun went momentarily dark for unknown reasons. It follows his ambition to become a Letter Bee, to find Gauche Suede (he was the Letter Bee that was in charge of 'delivering' him to his aunt. Lag ended up looking up to him) who disappeared, and to find his mother. Letter Bees usually bring Dingos to fight/protect alongside them. They're usually dogs or cats. Niche insisted that she'd be his Dingo, so he agreed to it. Niche is kind of animal-like. Her hair's famously known as the 'Golden Sword', and she can manipulate it like powerful blade-like tentacles, which are also capable of lifting things several times her size. She has bear-like forearms that are usually covered up. She can sniff the air for any signs of danger. She hates wearing pants or even underwear. But, when Lag makes her wear a new pair of his underwear, she ends up never wanting to take them off. Saying she wears them for Lag's sake, and that he's the first male to make her wear pants. They end up looking huge on her, and kind of like baggy shorts, but at least she agreed to wear something to cover herself up. She also has a 'pet' named Steak. He was also from a circus that Niche was about to be forced into participating in. It was full of exotic animals, which later escaped when Niche broke herself free. Steak likes to sit on her head. He's a bit of an odd animal. She also calls him her emergency food supply. The world itself is pretty unique. 

Also, started reading Midori no Ou (lit. Green King) or Verdant Lord. It's interesting so far. It's set in the near future when Mother Nature has decided to fight back against all of human encroachment. Vines and foliage entangle cities around the world, and large wooden creatures called Arethusa rampage through them. The main character is Shin Souma, who came from Japan to New York City to visit his twin brother Ken. Ken is a scientist that was experimenting on little kids. He felt they had a higher understanding or were in-tune with nature, and that somehow they might be able to control what was happening with their findings. He also sent for a 'delivery' by plane of one of those Arethusa creatures in order to observe it. It busted out of the plane, and began wreaking havoc throughout the city, but is able to communicate with the kids. Shin got mixed up in everything when he tried to save the kids. He suffered injuries that were lethal. Ken showed up and injected him with something, and he woke up alone and with not much pain. Apparently he injected him with something that encourages the growth of plants in his body. Half his face looks like the Arethusa's did from before. His arm has changed, too. He ended up saving the kids in the forest that was near the compound, but people chased after him hoping to capture, kill or experiment on him. Ken is just watching everything unfold from a helicopter at the moment. One of the kids saved him, and called the Arethusa that was delivered earlier over. The next thing he knows, he's waking up in a hospital bed with restraints. The doctor that was there said at most he might have a year left to live. The 'plants' have become essentially capillaries throughout his body. There's no way to get rid of them. They're just going to continue to grow, and the doctor doesn't know what will really happen if it does. The doctor seems ok, and he didn't do anything to the kid that saved Shin. 

Went over and edited the 5th short story to my nightmare anthology. This is probably one of the most gruesome, and hard to sit through.:iconusaplz:The weird thing is with the original version of this nightmare, it felt so real. Only 7 more stories left. 

Played my clarinet. Did some jazz and Irish tunes. Messed up a bit at the beginning, but the rest was great. 
I studied the kanji:. It's usually not used by itself. Just in compounds. It's most commonly pronounced as きょう (kyou), but on rare occasions it's かなう (kanau). It means: co-, cooperation. 協会 or きょうかい (kyoukai): association, society, organization. 協議 or きょうぎ (kyougi): conference, consultation, discussion, negotiation. 協賛 or きょうさん (kyousan): support, mutual aid, cooperation, approval, authorization. 協奏曲 or きょうそうきょく (kyousoukyoku): concerto. 協定 or きょうてい (kyoutei): arrangement, pact, agreement. 協力 or きょうりょく (kyouryoku): cooperation, collaberation. 協和 or きょうわ (kyouwa): concord, harmony, concert. Did some of the practice and chapter quizzes on JapaneseClass. Was pretty good. Translated another sentence from that You Maga article. Read a couple of articles in Japanese on the original RocketNews24. There was also a new compilation of Japanese commercials on Youtube. I like that the person behind that account compiles current ones every 2 weeks, and then posts a vid of them. They end up being 7 to 10 minutes long. Most of them are without subtitles, which is great for me. It gives me a chance to see it being used as is, and to use the knowledge I already have. It's a bit more of a challenge with ads, because they tend to talk really fast. Sometimes the text that comes up in certain ads doesn't stay on for very long. Those 7 to 10 minutes can be quite a workout for my brain. Their ads are pretty entertaining, too. Some are really bizarre, but not as many as most people would expect. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

National Garlic Day!


This was Sunday, but I really really love garlic!:iconinloveplz:(It's kind of like on the same level as chocolate to me...) Why not keep celebrating it? The more garlic there is, the better the dish...:iconfeelingfullplz:There have been few times where I've felt there was too much of it in something. Yesterday was the start of the month of Iyar on the Jewish calendar. 

The weather has been amazing the last few days, especially yesterday.:iconthailandplz:It was around 72, very sunny, a slight breeze, and the smell of flowers was in the air. The mountains looked great, too. Really amazing to walk through.:iconawwwplz:

I managed to get both my 2-mile walks in yesterday. Yay!:dummy:Apparently many people were out walking, too. I guess the nice weather really brings people outside. It was interesting to see. I didn't go nearly as early as I usually like for the morning one. Went out at about 10. That's ok. At least I got out there.:iconhongkongplz:It was already starting to heat up, and after doing 2 miles in it, it felt much warmer than it was. I was wearing my black slacks because it was laundry day. It doesn't have any pockets. It was too warm to wear my coat. So, I strapped on my purse instead. (It's nice that it crosses my shoulders, instead of being only on one side.) I need pockets for my keys and mp3 player. Since my purse is rather big, I brought my iPhone both times, too. I threw in my small pocket flashlight for the night one just in case, too. I have a lot of other stuff in it that helps me be prepared for a bunch of stuff normally. So, maybe it worked out better than usual that way.:iconchibiaustriaplz:

One guy saw me during the tail-end of my first walk, and said: "I thought you'd beat me to the corner, but your purse probably slowed you down!" I wasn't sure what to make of that.:iconusaplz:Plus, I had my music blaring, and I was in 'the zone'. It kind of sounded sexist, now that I think about it...:iconwtfukplz:I don't think my purse slows me down all that much. (Ended up getting home about the same amount of time as usual.) I don't even remember seeing him, and he acted like he saw me before. I know he also thought I was fast. So...this was odd. Maybe he was trying to start a conversation about my purse? When I'm in the zone, I don't feel I have much time for that.:icontinoplz: 

I didn't have many people talk to me during my walk last night, just a nod and hello from most of the ones I saw. Towards the end of that walk, Dad called me. I'm glad I brought it with me.:iconginsmileplz:We were talking the rest of the way of my walk, and a little after. 

Her surgeon had called me at around 4:30 yesterday, once the surgery was over with. It lasted around 3 hours instead of 2. Most of that last hour was for repairing things from the last surgery. Apparently, Dad had a ring of scar tissue. It was causing her a lot of pain.:iconraivisplz:I'm glad it was taken care of. He told me I wouldn't be able to talk to her for a couple of hours. He said everything went well. 

Like I mentioned before, Dad called me towards the end of my walk at around 8:15. I didn't think she'd be up to talking at all that night. She was a bit groggy and tired, which was to be expected. Her throat was sore from having the breathing tube taken out, and couldn't talk much. I'm glad she called, though. She was able to stomach some broth, too. I'm hoping the recovery goes well. 

I managed to get my 1st walk in today, too. It was a little later than yesterday's 1st walk, but at least I did it!:iconswissplz:It was slightly chillier than yesterday, which I felt a bit more because my hair was still wet from doing it just before.:iconitscoldplz:It felt nice once I really got into the walk, though. People were really friendly this time. I was stopped as I was going through a green belt that has a nice paved trail going through it. It feels like a mini park. Lots of trees, birds, plants, etc. around. Really nice part of the walk. The people that stopped me apparently haven't seen me in a very long time. They said the last time they really talked to me was just before I went to college. They still live near us. They saw me yesterday, and were apparently blown away by my hair. They said they had to talk to me today.:iconseychelles-plz:They told me my hair was 'simply stunning' and 'gorgeous'. We talked a lot about what's happened in our lives since we last talked. I barely remember them. They were incredibly nice. They said they hoped to see me again when I'm on my walks. They also said I looked like I was glowing. I was starting to blush with all the compliments. I'm not used to that sort of thing.:iconkikuplz:It was nice though.

Yesterday, I decided to go back to watching the anime MAR, instead of continuing the drama Teppan Shoujo Akane. That drama was kind of tiring.:iconsighingplz:I got sick of her dad's friend basically sabotaging every single thing she did. I know he was trying to get her to 'grow' more in her abilities as a chef, but it was getting ridiculous. And, she was growing pretty well on her own through experimenting. She really didn't need his antics every time. The stories were getting kind of stale. Things became too predictable, and unrealistic. MAR is getting a lot more interesting. I'm liking it so far. 

I also watched Fairy Tail. Not sure if I'm liking the current story arc, but it's interesting. Minerva joined a dark guild, and paired up with an interesting partner. One who can turn people into kids. They become as weak as kids, their defense also goes down dramatically, they move like kids, etc. Erza was the first to change. She's very unsteady on the ground now, especially with it being mostly ice. She also can barely hold her sword, and that was the only thing she had the energy to equip. (Her shirt from before hides everything. It basically turned into a dress.) Natsu changed, too. Only he seems weaker than he was originally at that age. He still could use the same 'tricks' he used as a kid, though. He was barely able to keep his clothes on (by holding everything up), and he also had to get rid of his shoes since they were too big for him now. Erza met Minerva and are about to go at it. (Even though Erza can barely stand or carry her sword.) Wendy and Lucy got separated from Gray and the others. Gray's by himself now. Happy and Carla are flying over to look for more clues as to how to revive the frozen town of giants. Flare suddenly showed up to help Lucy and Wendy. Don't know why she was there, and seemed a bit too convenient...:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:

There was a new chapter up for Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler. There wasn't much to it this time. Basically, the 'Green Witch' saved Wolfram for the time being. I'm glad that he looks like he'll pull through. They still need to get him to a hospital or at least treated by someone secretly at one. It looks like Wolfram might still be able to take care of the Green Witch once he sees someone. And, it looks like they made it out of the area, too. So, there might be a new arc soon. That'd be interesting. Maybe we'll learn more about Ciel's family. I think they said that his grandmother had something to do with the Shinigami (or Grim Reapers, or lit. 'Death Gods'). I guess we'll just have to see. 

Yesterday, I also went over and edited the 3rd short story to my nightmare anthology. Only 9 more stories to go through and edit again. It was a pretty trippy one, although most of them are...:iconchibiswedenplz: 

Played my clarinet. Did some tunes from my regular clarinet solos book (I have an advanced one, too), some Duke Ellington, and Gershwin. Started off a bit rocky, but ended up doing pretty well the rest of the time. It's been a bit of a while since I've played last. I think I really need to get to doing it every day, or at least every other day. But, again it was pretty good this time. Rosie seemed to enjoy it, too.:iconlaughingplz:
Studied some of the common compounds for the kanji: . 共演 or きょうえん (kyouen): appearing together, co-starring. 共学 or きょうがく (kyougaku): coeducation, coed. 共感 or きょうかん (kyoukan): sympathy, empathy, response. 共産 or きょうさん (kyousan): communism. 共存 or きょうぞん (kyouzon): coexistence. 共著 or きょうちょ (kyoucho): collaboration, co-authorship. 共通 or きょうつう (kyoutsuu): common(ness), community; to be common, be shared; (suf) -wide. 共通語 or きょうつうご (kyoutsuugo): common term; common language, standard language. 共謀 or きょうぼう (kyoubou): conspiracy, collusion, complicity, being in cahoots. 共鳴 or きょうめい (kyoumei): resonance, sympathetic (sound), (being in) sympathy. 共用 or きょうよう (kyouyou): common use, communal use, sharing. I'll be going over more common compounds for next time.

I know I mentioned last time that I'd go over more of the chapter tests on JapaneseClass' site next time, but I felt I needed more of a refresher beforehand. So, I went through the practice questions instead. They threw a bunch of new kanji/vocab at me this time. I tripped up on some, but I've never seen most of them before.:iconhanatamagoplz:I'm always surprised when I get those correct right off the bat. Especially with kanji pronunciations. I can somewhat figure out the meaning behind a vocab question with looking at each 'radical' or smaller kanji parts that make up one kanji. Like 語 for example. There are essentially 3 parts in this one. 言, 五, and 口. 言 basically means to talk, 五 is the number 5, and 口 is a mouth or opening. 語 means language or word. (日本語 is lit. 'Japanese (or Japan) language'. They usually put 語 at the end of a word for a language.) So, 言 (I've noticed most kanji who have this 'part' have something to do with talking) and 口 definitely have something to do with the meaning. But, it's not always that simple.:iconlietplz:With the kanji pronunciations, it's a bit harder to 'guess'. Although, if it's a compound with one kanji you know, it's a bit easier. They seemed to be testing me a bit more aggressively than usual this way, which is a good thing. Keeps me on my toes.:iconberwaldplz:

Finished translating another sentence from that You Maga article. This one was slightly more difficult than last time, even though it was shorter. I also read an article in Japanese on RocketNews24's site. It was about the lady in Australia that stood up for a Muslim couple. Another couple was sitting across from them on a train and was saying some pretty hateful things towards them. It was disturbing. I'm glad that someone who wasn't Muslim stood up for them. The lady who did, ended up saying: "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything." They seemed to be shocked by that. I like how she was trying to explain things in a somewhat calm manner. Trying to educate rather than being violent.

I went back to watching Rurouni Kenshin and D.Gray-man for Sundays. Decided that Arslan wasn't for me, and none of the new Jdramas that I want to see are out yet. Next Saturday, I'll watch the finale of Ouroboros. It's been a great show.:iconfrancisplz:I hope it doesn't end badly, although there have already been some crazy developments to the story. Ikuo and Tatsuya have split apart. Tatsuya thinks Ikuo is too close to the truth, it might break him, and he might not end up on his side. Ikuo's beyond pissed about the whole thing. They finally found some major clues as to what really happened, and who was behind it all. They both had made a promise that they'd bring that person down together. In the next episode's preview, Ikuo apparently meets the guy behind it all, and goes crazy. Apparently, the orphanage they both grew up in was basically to gather a bunch of very healthy kids in order to harvest their organs. Whenever they thought a kid was 'ready', they used the excuse that someone finally wants them to be apart of their family or that they needed to go to another orphanage, then they'd take them away. The kids that stayed behind and survived never heard from them again. The guy behind it all might actually be Ikuo's biological father. Also, their teacher, who they cared about so much, might be his biological mother. Might be why Tatsuya doesn't want him to find out. Should be interesting to see what happens next. 

Finally got around to looking for some new music on Sunday. Only found one this time. A couple of weeks ago I found 2. I don't think I found anything 'new' for a few months before that. All 3 are cool, though. Also, finally made a playlist of my top fave songs currently. Ended up being about 72 out of around 350 songs. That's kind of funny.:iconpolandplz:But, these 72 songs are the only ones I seem to never want to skip through. I put the playlist to my mp3 player as well, so I could listen to it during my walks. Probably if I end up occasionally listening to the rest of the songs, they'll seem fresher. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

National Peach Cobbler Day!


This was actually on Monday, but it's one of my fave types of cobbler!:iconinloveplz:I don't see it too often at restaurants, and only occasionally at our local markets. (Like, it's a seasonal thing...) I think cherry, blueberry, a mix of berries, apple etc. are a lot more common. I love peaches in pretty much any form, though.:iconpolandplz:It was National Pecan Day on Tuesday, which is one of my fave nuts. It's a close tie with walnuts. Yesterday was Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. I used to be obsessed with that when I was around 10 up to my early teens.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:It definitely should be remembered, but what's happening currently (with the Jewish community around the world), for better or worse, is also important. I like to think about more of the positive stuff now. Life is important too.:iconhongkongplz:Today's Bat Appreciation Day. Bats are awesome! Glad they have a day devoted to them.:iconthailandplz:

Weather has been a bit odd lately. Monday was rainy, cold, and there was a sight fog. Dark and gloomy looking out. A few days before it was actually somewhat warm. It was cold for most of the rest of the week. Heavy downpours at times. But, at other times, it was sunny. Which was very deceptive, because it made it look warm out.:iconlietplz:

I managed to get one of my 2-mile walks in yesterday. It felt so nice!:iconsleepygreeceplz:The sun was shining, but it was still cold. I went after dinner, so the sun was just starting to set. The mountains looked amazing. They were bathed in a golden foggy glow. The flowers smelled amazing, too. I didn't bump into any of my neighborhood friends, but a cat jumped out of nowhere to greet me. It certainly startled me.:iconshockplz:It really wanted to be petted. Towards the end, there were more people out. One lady managed to keep up with me when we first met, but did a weird loop-de-loop around an area I usually just walk all the way around. I actually ended up being much faster than her, and when we met up again (she's was actually walking the wrong way), she said: "You're fast! This is quite a work out!" The weird thing is I was going at a somewhat leisurely pace, taking in all the stuff around me.:iconseychelles-plz:I get a lot of people that tell me on my walk that I'm really fast by myself. I don't know...My 'leisurely' pace when I'm by myself is what I've read to be a brisk walk. Sometimes I feel like going faster, though. It depends on how I'm feeling, and if the music I listen to during them is really energizing/fast/motivating/etc.:iconchibiaustriaplz:

I'm doing 20 sit-ups twice a day this week. I feel like the sit-ups are working again. Yay!:iconranranruuplz:Also, trying to stick more to the way I want to eat, again. During the holiday I was a bit more lax about it.:iconkikuplz: 

Managed to make every dish I had planned to during Passover. They all were pretty good. Friday night, for Shabbat, I made leek and potato patties from Rhodes. Basically, big and thick versions of leek and potato latkes. It was my first time cooking with leeks. Very interesting. The potato took a lot longer to soften enough to mash than what I expected.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul:(Longer than what the directions mentioned, too.) Luckily, I started pretty early, so it didn't matter as much. I did it early as a precaution, too.:icontinoplz:They were finished just in time. Not too late or early. Had lots of garlic, which is always a plus to me. 

For lunch last Saturday, I made 'Mina de Espinaka' or Matzah and Spinach Pie. It also had feta. So, it was very similar to spanakopita. This is traditionally made by Greek/Turkish Jews during Passover. I had to scale the recipe down from 8 servings to 1-2 servings. Since there wasn't enough matzah to cover the edges of the pan, it made a golden egg ring around the whole thing.:iconhanatamagoplz:That in itself was interesting. The matzah ended up being kind of hard still (even though they told me to soak them in milk until they were soft beforehand), so it was easier just to hold pieces of it rather than eat it with a knife and fork. It went everywhere, but it was so good!:iconchibispainplz:If I were to make it again, I'd add even more feta to it. Parts of it were lacking a bit. 

The holiday ended at sundown during that day. I was starting to go through a bit of withdrawal.:iconsadnessplz:Legs didn't feel good, I was getting dizzy, antsy, things weren't sitting too well, and more. So, I really needed a lot of chametz at the very least when it ended. We went to Red Robin to celebrate the end, and for a 'chametz fest'.:iconawwwplz:I got their fish sandwich, side salad instead of fries, and Dad and I had an onion ring tower to share. The sandwich was pretty good, but it looked like it was twice as big as usual.:iconwtfukplz:The fillets were huge and had lots of breading. The bun was nice and fluffy. The onion rings were just right with the breading and crispness. I asked for bleu cheese dressing for my salad. The salad itself was good, but their bleu cheese dressing's intense. Similar intense flavor as what's on their Bleu Ribbon burger. After that we went to Safeway, and grabbed cream filled chocolate covered donuts. After not having chametz for so long, they were even more 'heavenly' than usual. So good!:iconitalyplz:A feel so much better now that I'm back to eating normally. 

On Sunday, Dad went through some more of the junk we had in the garage that was on top of a coach. For years, we've piled up junk like fried electronics, dead fans, lamp shades, and other stuff on top of that coach. (It also needs to go, after everything's taken off of it.) She found one of my boxes filled with stuff from when I was in college. Some of the stuff I forgot about. So, it was kind of like a treasure chest.:iconhappychinaplz:I thought I had lost my little James Dean poster, but it was in that box. There was a grogger or noise maker we use during Purim, only I don't remember ever getting it.:iconusaplz:It's wooden, colorful, and looks old-fashioned. I'm keeping that, too. Found a dreidel that used to light up and sing as you spun it, but the batteries are dead.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:It's still a nice dreidel, though. Also, found my bouncy dreidel. It has a big windy pink spring at the bottom, the body is purple, and you're supposed to wind up the top (it's pink and purple) then press the big yellow button and watch it fly. It still works. I remember that it was slightly hazardous to play with in my dorm room or in the hallway.:iconenglandispervyplz:Sometimes I'd let it go from my bed (in one of the dorms I stayed in), which was at the highest part of a bunk bed (there wasn't a bottom part, so I had to climb every time I wanted to go to bed or study up there). It was cool to see it jump up as high as I was and bump into things. Also found my toolbox. I thought I lost it a long time ago. I also didn't remember that my emergency sewing kits were in it. (I've been looking for them for a while.) The tools themselves looked like they were barely used. So, I'm definitely keeping them. There was a piece of paper filled with nice comments from people who were on my dorm (it was a different one, I think) floor that was given to me on my 21st birthday. It was really sweet.:iconfrancisplz:I had forgotten about it, too. Just for sentimental reasons, I'll probably keep it. Also, found an old pic of Buster and another of Shadow. Buster was our beagle, and Shadow was a snowshoe cat. Both of whom have passed away.:iconamericasadchibiplz:So, I'm keeping those pics, too. They were nice pics of them, and it's good to remember them by. Although, with one of them, the corners are falling apart.:iconromanoplz: 

Dad stuffed a lot of the junk we didn't want in the car, filled it as much as she could, and we took it all to the dump. It was kind of cool to watch how far things flung when you threw stuff on the 'pile' there. Broke a few things when they hit it. Felt kind of good to do.:iconchibinitalyplz:There's more stuff to go through in the garage, and we'll probably go to the dump again at some point to take care of them. We went to Starbuck's afterwards, and I had an iced chai and chocolate chip cookie. I was hungry, and it was really good. 

Later, we went to Safeway to stock up on things. Had dinner beforehand there. I got a rice bowl with sweet and sour chicken, a chicken egg roll, and a drink. The rice is kitniyot, so it was nice to get back to that, too. The sauce to my chicken was very sweet, and there wasn't much 'sour' to it.:icondisgusted-hongkong:Most of it went into the rice rather than on the chicken. The person who filled up my order, really drowned the stuff with it. She's always a bit odd. She loves my hair, and usually says so. It feels like it's in a creepy way, like she wants it for herself...:iconbelarusmarrymeplz:The egg roll was slightly burnt, but really good. A neighborhood friend showed up after we had eaten, and tried to talk with us. Neither of us were all that into talking, and she seemed to ramble on and on about things. (Some things that got on my nerves.:iconchibienglandplz:) She eventually stopped and asked about something, I sighed, and said it's a long story. She seemed to get the picture, and left not too long after that. That's like the 2nd or 3rd time we've bumped into that person at Safeway's lounge area, and all those times it was while we were eating...

Dad spent some of her spring break at home this week. She just left for Arizona really early in the morning yesterday. She's going to have her 2nd and last phase of GRS or Gender Reassignment Surgery done on Monday. I sadly won't be going with her this time. Hopefully, everything will go well.:iconchibiamericaplz:She called me during the early afternoon yesterday saying she made it, and that nothing crazy happened on the way. Although, apparently they took her through a separate line through security. She didn't have to take her shoes and jewelry off. Didn't have to take her laptop out, either. She doesn't really know why she seemed to have special treatment...But, that still sounds cool and a nicer way to go through. She's taking a few days off after she comes back from Arizona to recover. I think it might take a while, even though it's a bit more minor. They said it's a 2-hour surgery. The 1st phase was about 5 hours. I'm still nervous about how things will turn out, but I think she's with good people. The nurses were incredibly nice to me. Hopefully, she'll also get to sightsee a bit before the surgery. 

I went over and edited the first 2 short stories of my nightmare anthology on Monday. They're better than I remembered them to be. Now even more so. I think they were written in 2 very different styles compared to the rest of the stories. Which might make it interesting.:iconheroamericaplz:
I studied the kanji: , . When is pronounced as 漁る or あさ.る ( to fish; to look for, search for, hunt for, scavenge, scrounge, look through, rummage through. As りょう (ryou): fishing, gathering seafood (e.g. clams, seaweed). ぎょ (gyo) is only used in compounds, not by itself. pronounced as とも (tomo): (pref) together with; same; (suf) (uk- usually in kana not kanji) both, all, neither, none; (uk) including... As ども (domo): (suf) (humble) first- person plural (or singular); (derogatory) 2nd and 3rd-person plural (implies speaker is of higher status than those referred to). きょう (kyou) is only used in composed, not by itself. As 共に or とも.に ( (uk) together, jointly; (uk) (often as ...とともに [totomoni]) at the same time, with, as..., including, along with; (uk) both. Next time I'll go over its list of common compounds. There's a lot. I might be on this one for a bit. But, it's especially important to go over the really common ones, too. 

I went on JapaneseClass' site a few times already this week. Mostly went over the practice stuff. Had a lot of long 'combos' during it, and made it into the top 20 for the day every time. Not bad. Next time I want to spend more time on chapter tests. I'm trying to go back over old ones to get perfect scores. Also, to understand the ones I missed a bit better. Also, looking more at their entries for every kanji, vocab, compound I don't know. They give definitions, pronunciations, how to draw them, what searches look like on Google for that term (that's always interesting to see), practice sentences, news related to it, and other things. It's pretty extensive, and has recently helped in my understanding of them more. 

It's not where I go to when I study normally for each kanji. That's over a few sites. The main list comes from a wikipedia article that has all the jouyou kanji. They're basically the most common. They are a baseline that the Japanese Ministry of Education compiled to be taught for students in primary through secondary school, and list of characters that are permitted on official documents. People who are learning the language focus on it for studying kanji, too. There are 2,136 kanji on the list. (There are a lot more kanji characters out there.) About half of them are taught in primary school, and the other half are taught in secondary school. I've made it to about halfway through what they study in 4th grade. They learn a lot of them by this grade...For every entry, there's usually a bit of history. Plus, how the Chinese use/pronounce it (with different ways in different dialects), as well as the Koreans (they have how they convert it into their alphabet), Vietnamese, Japanese, and a few others. They list their common compounds, occasionally the expressions, and more. It's a pretty good base for it. For every entry they also have a link to more compounds. 

Translated more of a You Maga article I've been going through. I think I have 2 more long sentences to this paragraph. I try to translate it as close to the original meaning as I can. It's very interesting. Read some more articles in Japanese on RocketNews24's original site. I've been reading their English articles for a while, and thought it'd be interesting to see their view on things. The English version focuses on a 'foreigner' perspective, while the original Japanese site is more 'local' centered. It's a slightly different feel. 

Went back to the 2nd season of Hamatora on Tuesday. I'm apparently coming back to a really intense part in the series.:iconchibigilbertplz:It's been a while since I've last watched it. They may have killed off Murasaki, but we're not sure. You're never really sure with any death in that series...:iconnorgeplz:Art seems to be becoming indestructible, and has turned a bit crazy to say the least. His number one goal is to kill Nice, although we don't really know why. They used to be really close. People seem to get a bit of a complex around Nice, because he seems to be the best out of all the Minimum holders. Many have tried to become better than him, but have never truly beat him. Art's come close several times during this second season. 
I started watching the new anime called Kekkai Sensen or Bloodline Battlefront last week, and was a bit unsure of it. I really ended up liking it during the 2nd episode this week. It's very interesting, and there's still a lot of unanswered questions.:iconchibiswedenplz:Even about their world as it is and how it came to be. It takes place in New York City. One day it vanished overnight into a mysterious fog. It's now known as Hellsalem's Lot. A breach between Earth and other 'worlds' has opened up over it, trapping New Yorkers and creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. They've lived together for years in a world full of crime. A secret society called Libra was formed to keep the 'balance' in town. They all have some sort of special power. Leo, who's a journalist and photographer, is mistakenly recruited into the group. Eventually, they realize his potential, and keep him as a member. He traded his eyes with one of those 'creatures', in exchange (I think) for his sister's life. He can see things no one else can, confuse the enemy by sending out light-based illusions, and other things. He's not the best at fighting, though. He normally has his eyes closed, too. I was wondering why until they talked about him exchanging eyes. His current eyes look really alien-like. I think most of the time he tries to protect them by squinting and sometimes wearing goggles. He has a special monkey, too. They're apparently known for stealing and are extremely fast. (They first met when the monkey stole Leo's wallet.) No human eye can see him when he's running, but Leo can. Many characters are voiced by seiyuu or voice actors who voiced characters from Gintama. So, it's really funny to hear familiar voices coming out of new characters.:iconlaughingplz:Plus, this is going on at the same time Gintama came back. And, I think the actress who does both Kagura from Gintama and Happy from Fairy Tail, voices a character in this one. That's 3 happening at the same time. She sounds super busy. But, good for her, if she can do it. This show has a certain jazz-like feel, and I think they also captured a bit of NYC's atmosphere. The animation is really great, and the fight scenes seem to be unique and interesting. Still feels like I've barely scratched the surface with this one, but it's good. 

I'm still unsure about Arslan. I'm not sure why I can't fully get into it.:iconohboyamericaplz:The animation's really top-notch, the story's interesting, and so far I like Arslan himself. I think some of the other characters rub me the wrong way. Some of the characters are drawn a bit oddly, and don't really seem to fit with the other characters' style. It's of course pretty dark. That's to be expected, since it's not the happiest story. I think it may be darker than Fullmetal Alchemist, as far as the story goes. Although, FA was pretty heavy and dark. Feels more 'real', too. The humor seems to be lacking, as well. At least with FA, there was quite a bit of that.:iconannoyedgin-plz:I'm only comparing them this way, because they both were created by the same mangaka or manga creator/artist. And, I'm not comparing them based on their specific story lines, because they're quite different. I might drop this one and go back to another anime I've put on hold. 

Went back to watching Haikyuu yesterday. I'm close to finishing the 1st season. Apparently, the 2nd season starts in September. Kind of interesting considering I'm about a year late to it. It'll be interesting to see how the season I'm watching finishes. It's not as great as Kuroko no Basket, but it's good. Both are sports anime. Kuroko no Basket is based on basketball, and Haikyuu is on volleyball. 

I finished reading Pandora Hearts' manga. It was very long, trippy, amazing artwork, kept you guessing the entire time, so many twists and turns, you really start to feel for every character (no matter how twisted they are...And, trust me there are a lot of demented characters in it:iconchibichinaplz:), some Alice and Wonderland elements, and more. It was a lot better than the anime ended up being. The anime started off just like the manga, but seemed to rush it, and made their own story halfway through. In the manga, they essentially saved the world at the end. There was a point where they made you think that Oz and Alice would never return from the Abyss. Gil managed to outlive most of the other characters since he's a Baskerville, and waited for 100 years for Oz and Alice to come back. They did at the very end. Gil didn't seem to actually age, even though I think the other Baskervilles did. It was a good ending. They got rid of Jack in kind of a gentle way, too. He admitted that he was wrong about Lacie wanting to bring both worlds together. She just loved both worlds as they were, and didn't want to change that. He thought that she was waiting for him, and he'd do anything to fulfill what he thought was her wishes. It was kind of sad in a way. Jack's spirit left his body, and Oz seemed to be able to keep Jack's body. That body will never die out, but is continuously being 'reborn' every time Jack would reach the age he was supposed to die at. His soul would be eaten away a little bit each time. Oz was originally just a plush rabbit, but the Abyss gave him life, and his soul was put into Jack's body when Jack was about to be reborn for the last time. Before he occupied the same body, he was Jack's Chain. Basically a creature from the Abyss that would be like a familiar to its owner. It fights for them, and is forced to obey them through a contract. 

Since I'm going to be alone for Shabbat dinner, I decided to get something only I would love.:la:Dad hates cheese, but I love it. She's not allergic/lactose intolerant, just doesn't like it. I think that's starting to slowly change, though. Anyways, I got a frozen 3-cheese tortellini with pesto bowl. It sounds so amazing!:iconchibihungaryplz:I love tortellini! Shabbat dinner is a little more 'special' compared to the rest of the week. Although, we do have some great dinners normally. I decided to get some blueberry scones for dessert tonight, and for the next few days after. They smelled so good, and I don't think I've seen them too often at Safeway. That'll be awesome, too! They're huge!:wow: