Most of the time, I love sundaes!They're so simple, and you can make your own with various different toppings and ice cream. It's a pretty good go to thing for parties, and can be fun. (I think we had them quite often at sleepovers and birthday parties when I was little.) I've only had one bad one, that I can remember, at a restaurant. They put chunks of ice in the ice cream. Maybe it was freezer burn or something, but it's rare to find large chunks of it lodged in there.The chocolate syrup was watery, too. But, most of the time, you can't go wrong with it. I like fudgy chocolate syrup, butterscotch, or caramel on top of mine. Whipped cream and a cherry make it good, too. Nuts are ok, but seem like filler for something like this. Toffee chunks can kick it up a notch, though. Cookie pieces are good on it, too. The ice cream doesn't have to be vanilla, either. It's also Veteran's Day.
Rosie seems 100 times better than what she was a couple of weeks ago. She's pretty much back to her old self.She's energetic, cleaning herself like usual, eating (maybe too much now...), drinking, meowing (she's normally a talker), tripping everyone, etc. All her normal things, but feels good now since she was lethargic and not doing most of these for so long. Her nose isn't dripping green liquid, and she's not drooling profusely anymore either. Yay! So, whatever she had seems to have gone through her system.
She decided to sit on my lap for close to 2 hours on Friday. Half sleeping, and then just watching me and purring loudly. She's not normally a lap cat. I think the last time she was on my lap was 2 years ago on Halloween night. We weren't giving candy out to the kids, it was cold, and we were watching scary movies. Maybe she was cold and scared at the time? But, why wouldn't she be at other times? This time it was the day before my birthday, so maybe she somehow knew and that was her present? Or, maybe she knew we both had just gone through a lot...Either way, it was really nice.I only lightly pushed her off, because I was hungry and needed to switch the laundry over. Hasn't done it since, but I hope she does it more often. It was kind of a bonding experience, too.
I had a really fun birthday on Saturday.Went to a local brunch place called the Oak Table. It's an amazing place, and I decided to go to their new location. They only have 2 or 3 stores. (I'm not sure if one of them is closed or not.) I hadn't gone to the Oak Table in a long time. Since they're so popular, there was about a half hour wait, but it was worth it. I got their famous apple pancake, which is more like a souffle. It's huge! (I don't know how anyone can finish it in one sitting.) It has a burnt caramel/cinnamon glaze on top, and an apple filling. It comes with an apple/honey/cinnamon syrup on the side. You don't really need it, though. To offset the sweetness, I had a side order of 'breakfast' potatoes. They're sliced up and piled high on a plate. Again, so much food! I had hot chocolate with it. I think we had 2 waitresses. One of them seemed to have a slightly rude attitude. But, she did try to be nice. Almost like she was having a bad day. It was a little off-putting, though. I made 2 more breakfasts with the leftovers. It was all very good.
Then, we went shopping. I wanted to go to Fuego, which is a cool kind of eclectic store at our local mall. I always seem to find interesting jewelry there. I got a pair of silver realistic looking octopus earrings, a pair of gold cobra earrings, and a seahorse necklace. After that, I noticed they were having a sale on slippers at Sears. My old ones were really ratty looking. I found some nice fluffy red ones. I'm not used to it being open in the back, but it might be easier to move in and out of. I think I can get used to it pretty quickly. After that, we went to a cafe at the mall and hung out for a bit. I got one of my fave drinks, chai.
Saw the Martian in 3D after that. It was better than I expected, seemed more 'real', and I liked the attitude of the main character. Also, the 3D part of it made it really cool to see.
Had a nice spaghetti dinner at home after that. Dad made the sauce from scratch, like she sometimes does. I had some of the nice Italian cookies we still had. They seem a lot better than the Belgian cookies we occasionally get from Costco. These were also from there, and were actually cheaper.There are some puff pastries along with some regular cookies. Some of the cookies have fillings.
I didn't have birthday cake that night, because it wasn't ready. We went to the local market to pick up a Black Forest cake Friday night, but they didn't have any. It's my fave cake. What's better than my fave fruit (cherries), chocolate, and whipped cream put together in cake form?Anyways, one of the bakery ladies said they'd be happy to make one for me. When we told them it was for my birthday, they seemed excited about it. They asked me some questions, and said it'd be ready on Sunday.
On Sunday, when we went to pick it up, another person from the bakery pulled out a cake thinking it was for me. She said 'Happy birthday, Ashley!', but I told her that wasn't my name.And, glancing at the cake she pulled out, it didn't have anything that they told me it would have. So, we said it was for me under Dad's name, she went back in, and found the right one. They said it was unusual that there would be 2 of the same type of cakes, being ready at the same time. I'm not sure how popular that type of cake is. But, the other person certainly has good tastes, too.The text was in red frosting. My fave color is red (preferably, the darker the better), although the frosting looked more pink than red. I hate pink, which is interesting, because it's just another shade of red.But, I know that this was as close as they could get to being red, and it wasn't a pepto-bismal or bubblegum sort of color. There were lots of flowers and vines along the edges. Really looked nice. Very tall and huge, though. Even skinny slices are huge because of the height. It came in a very flimsy cardboard box, so I decided to transfer it to a platter. The only problem was that the cake was slightly taller than the cover to that platter. So, when I closed it up after slicing it, I had to squish everything down a bit. It wasn't by much, though. And, some of the frosting actually stayed in place. We still have a few more days' worth of the cake.
I'm doing 25 sit-ups twice a day this week. I'm feeling it a bit more. It's a good feeling, though. I've gone back to really sticking to the way I want to eat again. The 1200-1600 calorie range, and that split into 5 meals. The closer to the 1200, the better. I don't ever want to go below 1200, unless it's for a medical thing. The only thing that's different this time is I'm trying to add more protein into the mix. If you limit your intake of things, you might have less nutrients, too. I already have problems with getting enough protein. Even the normal amount.I'm supposed to try and have a bit more than normal, too. Especially, because I don't absorb it too well with my IBD. So, along with trying to have full servings of fruits/vegetables, I'm going to add full servings of things that are packed with protein. This limits my other foods, though. This morning, I tried out this new 'method'. I had 1/4 of a normal serving for a granola-like cereal and a tiny bit of milk mixed with it, then 3 small maple chicken sausage links, and a banana. The cereal part looked almost comical, but interestingly, it was still pretty satisfying.I had almost forgotten about the sausage, and it was sitting in the freezer for a couple of months, but was still good. I might explore other sausages (of course, without pork)/proteins in the future. I had peanut butter on challah, and Gatorade (it's helped me, and I get the low-cal version) for snack. That seemed a pretty decent add, too. I might have some of the walnuts that we got recently to go with my snacks, too. I don't have as much of an issue with protein for lunch and dinner. Hopefully, I'll get to my walks soon. It's been rather cold lately, so the motivation to do it isn't as strong...
I got that metabolites test back that I mentioned that I was waiting for last time. I'm a bit better with one of them, but still under what I should be. The other one doesn't look too good. I ended being about 4 times the amount I was last time they ran it. I was in mid-range back then. They say if it's higher than the range, there's a risk I might have liver damage. It's quite a bit out of range.At least, it didn't have 2 H's. I'm still waiting for my gastroenterologist to email me about the results like she usually does. I'll also bring up a few things that have seemed unusual for me. Not sure if they're related, but it doesn't hurt to tell her.
I've come up with some more ideas for my cover art. Also, already in the process of putting my colored-in drawing onto the background. But, I might change the color of the background, and leave a tiny bit of what was the background color as in outline of the drawing. Kind of like it's glowing. Then, I'll see how I can make the candle 'glow'. Should be interesting to see what it will look like at the end.
Played my clarinet for the full 40 minutes again. If I do it often enough, I can increase the time to 45 minutes. Hopefully, I'll eventually make it to an hour-long practice time.That used to be my normal amount for practice. I sounded pretty good this time. Not perfect, but good. I played some tunes from my general clarinet solo book, some Gershwin, some Duke Ellington, some pieces from my advanced classical clarinet solo book, and some tunes from my jazz book. Edited a bit more of a drawing meme that featured one of my original characters, Junko, from my first novel Alliance. I still have a few more to go through before I'll put them in the meme, and post it on deviantART.
I studied the common compounds for 好. 好き or す.き (su.ki): liking, fondness, love. (I didn't think this was a compound, but it was listed under it, same with this next one.) 好き or ず.き (zu.ki): (suf) -phile, enthusiast (for), love (of); being attractive (to), to tend to be liked (by). 好物 or こうぶつ (koubutsu): favorite dish, favorite food. 良好 or りょうこう (ryoukou): favorable, satisfactory. 愛好 or あいこう (aikou): love, adoration. 友好 or ゆうこう (yuukou): friendship. 嗜好品 or しこうひん (shikouhin): luxury grocery item, indulgence. 好感 or こうかん (koukan): good feeling, good will, favorable impression. Also, quizzed myself on JapaneseClass' site. Did pretty well. They threw a lot of new stuff at me this time.Interestingly, there's been a surge of new users from Taiwan on there. Someone on facebook had mentioned it, and apparently all their friends joined. Then, some of the friends of those friends joined. Kind of set off a firestorm, but threw a lot of people off. That person must know a lot of people. The front page was full of little Taiwan flags. (The area where they list new users. Most users input where they're from when filling out their profiles. Always interesting to see how many people are from what country, or an unusual flag.) It was quite impressive to see.
Started writing out another section of that You Maga article. I'll get to translating each piece of it next time. Read on RocketNews24's original Japanese site about the Starbuck's cup issue. Funny how it's traveled even to Japan. Some are angry there because it doesn't have the Christmas mood or 'spirit'. Seems a bit odd to me.Even odd with the weird people from here having a fit about it. Once you think about it, they're still in Christmas colors. The main part of the cup is red, the logo is green and has some white parts. There are also Christmas songs being played across the radio in many of them, there are advent calendars, a Christmas blend, etc. They aren't taking much away. For someone, like me, who doesn't celebrate that holiday it can be stifling and feels like I'm being slowly smothered to death.It's everywhere. You can't escape it. (Unless you stay home during the whole thing. And, even then, you might hear a Santa saying 'ho ho ho' riding on a fire engine while the siren's going off, like our neighborhood does.) And, they're angry that the cups are plain when they have so much Christmas stuff around them anyways. It doesn't make sense to me...It gets kind of scary for me this time of year. Sometimes I can't stand to be in certain stores for too long because of the music. (If it's your holiday, all the more power to you. I just don't want it constantly around me for so long.) Anyways, the reporter didn't understand the outrage either, but tried to figure it out. I think they failed in that endeavor.
Practiced some more sentences in Japanese. This time my topic was on my birthday. I tend to think about topics that are current to me to write about with them. Watched some Japanese news clips. Some pretty crazy stories. Some of them made me cringe just watching it. The more I watch, the more I understand it, though.
Looked at the top charts for Jpop, Kpop, and Cpop. Nothing really stood out for the current stuff for me. I sometimes look at it to see if I want to look at the bands' other songs, but none of them appealed to me. Interesting how most of the time Cpop is kind of sad, Kpop is more like party music, and Jpop has its own thing. This time, there was a lot of country sounding Jpop songs, which kind of surprised me. There were quite a few hard rock songs on that chart, too. I might look more into what's trending on the site I go to for it. A great placed to be introduced to more music.
Read a bit more of Day of Atonement by Faye Kellerman. That's been getting interesting. Before, I thought that the missing kid was kidnapped. But, turns out that that might not be the case. He might be an apprentice to the killer.
Started watching IS today. IS stands for intersexual. The tagline reads: Otoko demo Onna demo Nai Sei. Essentially, Neither Man nor Woman. It's very interesting. There aren't many dramas or movies out there about intersex people. I've heard things about them, and I think I've met a couple. This was originally a manga. I'm kind of curious about that now, too.It seems 'real', showing the troubles faced by Haru, who's intersex. But, there's also some good points in their life. It's not really depressing, just frustrating at times for Haru. Their parents are really cool and understanding. They just want to do what's best for them. When Haru was born the doctor said the parents needed to decide what gender the baby should be, and to have surgery to 'correct' them. The parents were extremely upset about it. In fact, the mom was so upset, while still in the hospital, she took Haru with her up to the hospital roof. She was going to jump taking Haru with her. The dad stopped her. And, eventually they said they want Haru to decide for themself which gender they want to be. The doctor found out that Haru had testes and they were lodged in their intestines. (At the time, Haru had both ovaries and testes.) So, of course, they agreed to take them out. But, they didn't want to do anything else to Haru. Thinking it would be cruel. They had to choose a gender for Haru's birth certificate, and decided on female. They thought that they can change it at some point if they wanted to. They started raising Haru as a girl, then noticed Haru had certain male tendencies and characteristics. So, they switched to raising Haru as a boy when they were about 3. Haru seems to identify most with being male, although half the time he doesn't feel like he's either. He wanted to enroll in a high school that had a good cooking program in order to become a pattissier. (His father is one.) But, when they had a private meeting about Haru being intersex, they said since Haru looks very feminine, he must present as a girl in order to attend. He said he'd do it, even though he's not happy about it. He feels he'll try to 'pretend' to be a girl for 3 years. He has a sister, too. She seems cool with it, as well. There's a strange girl he meets while going to his first day at the new school. She asks him: "Do you feel lucky you were born a girl?" He didn't know how to respond, and it seemed very wrong to him. He also didn't tell her about it. I have a strange feeling that the girl he met might be intersex, too.