Thursday, November 19, 2015

National Baklava Day!


This food holiday was actually Tuesday. Interesting that there's one for baklava. It's really good.:iconfrancisplz:It has layers of filo, filled with chopped nuts, and syrup or honey soaked into it. It originated during the Ottoman Empire, and apparently there's some dispute between where exactly. It's popular in Turkey, Greece, and the Middle East. I also read that it's apparently an ancestor of what is now the modern strudel. Very interesting. Strudel's awesome, too! It somewhat makes sense that it was related. It was also Homemade Bread Day. Nothing beats homemade bread.:iconfeelingfullplz:I remember when my mom used to make her own challah every Friday. (Challah is a braided egg-type bread. It's commonly eaten during Shabbat.) The house smelled amazing! It tasted much better than the store-bought stuff, too. Maybe someday I'll get up enough courage to make my own at least once. 

It seems like the weather's getting colder now.:iconitsfreezingplz:Yesterday morning I saw a thick layer of frost outside. I also saw in the forecast that it might snow next Tuesday and Wednesday. We're already having lows in the high 30's lately. I do remember that we usually have some snow around Thanksgiving time. Sometimes it's a little, and sometimes it's a full on blizzard. So, I guess we'll see if either actually happen this year...It was very windy and rainy on Tuesday. Many places were flooded out. People lost their power, too. Ours only went out for a few minutes that morning, but flickered the rest of the day. I kept thinking it would go out, so I was prepared at least.:iconherotimeplz:A couple of days before that we heard about 3 loud booms, and the power briefly went out after each time. Sounded like transformers were blowing up. The power company must have been really on top of it during that. Scary sounding, though.:iconchibichinaplz:

I'm still doing 25 sit-ups twice a day, and haven't missed a time since I got back into it. Yay! I don't think Rosie likes when I do them, though. I've also kept up with the amount of calories I've set for myself. And, have tried to have a good portion of each meal be protein-rich. I already feel lighter, and better about things. Haven't gotten back to doing my walks, but hopefully I will soon. It gets more difficult as it gets colder. 

I've been going to bed earlier, and getting up earlier for close to a week now, too. It's like what I mentioned a while back, about basing when I get up to when I go to bed. Setting things for 8 or 9 hours from when I go to bed. So, for example, if I go to bed at 10pm, I'll try to get up at around 6am. I think I'll give myself a slightly longer time during the weekend. I feel a lot better, though. It feels more 'normal' or natural, and my body's already getting used to it.:iconranranruuplz:Sometimes I get up a little before I want to. This way it's also like I don't have a truly set time to get up in the morning, yet I feel I still get a morning this way. Also, that I feel I go to bed at decent times now. I remember my grandpa told me, last time I talked to him, that it's good for the body in general to go to bed early and get up early. 

I got half my contacts through the mail on my birthday. I had ordered a year's supply, which is 8 boxes in total. So, I only got my left eye's contacts. I thought maybe they needed to do 2 separate deliveries or something, so I waited. Nothing else came, and on Monday I called the optical place. They said there was some glitch, they immediately fixed it, and will be sending my right eye's contacts through express shipping. I thought, ok cool. As long as I get them, and it doesn't cost more to correct this mistake, it's fine. I didn't realize when they said 'express', it would arrive the next day. It wasn't even 24 hours yet since that call, and I got it the next morning. Pretty fast.:iconshockplz:So, now I have the correct prescription in both eyes, and am seeing things a lot more clearer. It's amazing to see how much better a prescription it is than my previous one. I didn't know my eyes had changed that much. 

Also, since I hadn't heard anything from my gastroenterologist after I got my most recent test results, I decided to message her about it. Normally, she sends out a message to me after she reviews the results. Even if it looks fine, she still sends something out. So, this felt odd to me. I got a reply from one of her nurses thanking me for the 'update', and said they'd send it to my gastro. Odd, because that email address is supposed to go directly to her. I got another nurse's reply back. This time it was more detailed. Saying she won't be in this week, that the metabolite I was worried about is just slightly elevated and most patients still get benefits from it (slightly high? It seemed quite a bit higher), suggested setting up a phone appointment or seeing her in person, and asked about my current symptoms. I think it'd be a waist if I had a phone appointment just to talk about this one thing. Even more so, if in person. The messaging system is supposed to go directly to the doctors/other medical professionals, and patients are usually encouraged to use them instead. (During my last actual physical visit with my gastro, the nurse encouraged me to use it as often as I could, too...) Especially if you have a question about something that could be talked about rather quickly. Understandable they'd ask about my symptoms, but that seemed like an afterthought. I don't know, this sounds suspicious to me.:paranoid:I was able to immediately contact her about ordering the lab work earlier, so why can't I now? Also, this blood draw was right after I was put back on health insurance, so I wonder if she even got it. She normally messages me about the next blood draw, too. I'll message that nurse back about it later. 

Global Day of Jewish Learning was on Sunday. It's a day where Jews from around the world give lectures based around a certain theme. This year's was on 'love'. The year before that, it was on 'heroes and villains'. This event started in 2010. They schedule these lectures throughout the entire day. The lectures are through Youtube videos. There are some that are just in Spanish, some in Russian, some in French, some in Portuguese, and the rest (the majority) are in English. I only watched the first one during the actual event. The speaker for that one was Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, and his topic was titled: "Love: Seeing Through All the Veils". It was very interesting. Basically comparing different types of love, and exploring what makes them different. Like, loving a certain type of food, romantic love, parental love, friendship, self love, etc. Interesting that for his location he has it as 'worldwide'. He's the only one that listed it that way. Also, apparently he's like the head of the Aleph Society which created/sponsors the event. (They have a surprising number of other Jewish organizations that sponsor it as well.) So, it does make sense that he'd be first. I read that he just wants to make Jewish works/knowledge accessible to all Jews regardless of their backgrounds, gender, where they come from, etc. That's pretty cool.:iconchibihungaryplz:I might watch some of the others in the future, since they archive the videos. 

Also, he puts out a daf yomi every day on the Aleph Society's site. Daf yomi lit. means 'page of the day' or 'daily page'. It's a page or section of the Talmud that's read, studied, and discussed. Talmud lit. means 'study'. It's a record of rabbinic teachings and laws that spans about 600 years. Starting from the 1st century CE, up until the 6th and 7th century CE. He has the page/section, his interpretation, and some questions to ponder/study. Some people read/study a section every day, and it takes 7 and half years to complete one cycle. The Talmud is huge. It's about 63 volumes/books long. Depending on which version you get. You can study it throughout your entire lifetime, and never run out of material. There are modern rabbis now that have extra commentary to go with what's already written down. Most of it is commentary on top of lots of other rabbis' commentary. So, even those books and what's in them, don't quite make up all of it. I would like to learn more about Talmud stuff, so it's cool he has something like that. I think a few other sites do it, too. 

I finished a version of the cover art for Sweet Endless Terror. (My nightmare anthology.) I'm thinking I'll make another one with a few more tweaks to it. Like, the skull looks like it's positioned a little too high on the page, the title position might be slightly off, etc. I like the color and font I chose for the title. It's clear to read, and the color is similar to the flame of the candle. I decided on just having a black background with no effects, too. I want it to be simple, and not too cluttered or too much to see at once. I most likely won't even shade it in, or add a glow to the candle. But, I did smooth/color over some of the white specks that the colored pencils missed. So, it looks a lot more uniform. Now that I know more of what I want, the new version shouldn't take as long. Then, I'll go over everything again. Just to make sure everything's the way I want it. Also, edited more drawings of my original character (from Alliance) Junko. These are for an expressing emotion meme. I'm now to the last 'most extreme' version of the worried category. Blushing will be next, and there's only one more after that. Each one has 3 different levels of that emotion. So, like this category, the first is slightly worried, then just worried, and finally extremely worried.

I've been playing my clarinet on a more regular basis now. I haven't done so in a long time. It feels good.:iconheroamericaplz:I'm getting better each time, too. The flexibility in my hands is slowly coming back, as well. I'm still doing the 40 minutes each time. I might up that to 45 minutes next week. Played some klezmer, Mozart, and one piece from my regular solo book. I'm trying to do more of the pieces in these books. I tend to play the ones I like more often, but I can improve even more if I play the others, too. I also realized a couple of the ones I skip over normally I used to love. So I'm also rediscovering things. 
I studied the common compounds that were listed for , and the kanji . (差 in general means: distinction, difference, variation, discrepancy, margin, balance.) 差異 or さい (sai): difference, disparity, gap. 差遣 or さけん (saken): dispatch, sending. 差別 or さべつ (sabetsu): discrimination, distinction. pronounced as さい (sai): side dish. As (na): greens, vegetables. 野菜 or やさい (yasai): vegetable(s). Did pretty well this time with quizzing myself on JapaneseClass' site. Actually managed to get a lot of the new stuff correct, and remembered things I haven't seen in a while. Translated more of that You Maga article, too. 

Read an article from RocketNews24's original Japanese site. This time it was on discount bentos or packaged lunches at a discount supermarket. They couldn't believe how cheap they were. They tried 3 of the most popular kinds. Each one had a hefty portion. One was with Chinese food, another fried food, and the last one was with grilled mackerel. They all sounded really good. They said they really anticipated the taste of the Chinese one, but it was a lot more bland than they expected. They said it would probably be better suited for an older person. But, they seemed to like the others, and recommended them to people. I practiced some sentences in Japanese, too. Again, the topic was still on my birthday stuff.

dA faves:
I did not make these. I just want to share them. (Haven't done this in a while...:icontinoplz:Adoption This painting illustrates an interesting concept. What if cats (or maybe pets in general) adopted humans instead? Scp-093 This one's from an interesting artist I watch. His stuff is usually very surreal and somewhat creepy. The first thing I saw of his was a painting of a huge pet spider with its owner taking it out for a walk at night in the rain. For some reason, his stuff doesn't creep me out. He does it in such a way that it seems more creative, interesting, and cool than creepy. The 'monsters' in this one are interesting, and it makes you wonder what happened beforehand. Moomin Box This one's made by another artist I watch. They sometimes do Moomin related paintings. Moomins are central characters in a series of books and a comic strip by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson. With all the books and comic strip, the original series was released from 1945 until 1993. There was an anime in Japan based on it, and they became popular in that country soon after that. It's mainly popular in Scandinavia, Russia, and Japan. This one's kind of cute. 

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