Friday, October 18, 2019

19th of Tishri

The dishwasher stopped working on Tuesday. I tried to press the buttons to start a cycle, but the lights weren't coming on. It seemed to be totally disconnected from power. Sometimes it's a little fussy where we have to slam the door a few times to get it to work. That wasn't the case this time. Sometimes it just works itself out. It hasn't. This happened the day before my parent left for a conference in Spokane. I thought it was best to wait until she's back to have it repaired. I ended up hand washing all of the dishes that were in there (it was completely full), and have been washing the ones I've used throughout the day each day. It's a bit difficult with feeling so much pain this week (it's been worse) and my hands have been a little shaky. So far, so good with that, at least. I think hand washing gets things cleaner, but can be a hassle.

I decided I didn't like the new speaker, and set up my old speakers again. That new one was getting annoying, especially with it saying "connecting to..." or "ready to connect" so often. Not being able to control the volume was a deal-breaker for me. Couldn't actually turn it off unless it was low on battery power, either. The old speakers aren't great, but at least I can control the volume and there's no voice to them. I didn't put the floor sub-woofer back. Never really needed it. Hopefully, I can find decent speakers in the future. I probably won't get the bluetooth ones. 

Rosie been sick the last couple of days. She was sick just a couple of weeks ago, too. She's throwing up frequently throughout the day. She doesn't usually do it often. Constantly cleaning it up is tiring. I'm starting to get worried about it. She's also been hiding under my bed a lot. I half-thought it might be this 'new' batch of cat food. The bag was over-packed and smelled weird. However, she didn't start throwing up until a little over a week after she started eating it. I don't think that's the cause. Plus, Tasha's been fine. She sometimes takes food from the same bowls Rosie eats from. Maybe she's gotten into plastic again somehow? 

I also cleaned out some drawers in my room that were full of health documents, stuff I got from past Pride events, things from places I've visited, etc. I was searching for something, but didn't find it. It wasn't a waste, considering I got rid of a lot of things. I have more space now. 

Finished reading Hell's Kitchen. Technically, they didn't have the last 3 chapters available online. However, that covers a side-story. Even the last chapter I read said it was the end. It didn't feel like an ending. It was like they were about to start a new story arc. Something that sounded like it would be really interesting. It seemed like the creator had to end it earlier than they wanted to. I had this on-hold for a few years before finally being able to continue it recently. There were only around 30 chapters up for so long. It's 50 chapters long (53 if you count that side story). I'm glad I got the opportunity to finally finish it. It's one of my fave manga. 

I've technically finished Elder Scrolls: Blades. Finished all of the main quest and most of the side ones. I've even finished the special Halloween ones that came with the most recent update. The only things left now are the daily jobs and the Abyss. I can be rewarded through challenges based on either of those. I still haven't completely rebuilt the town yet. It's kind of lost its spark for me, now. I'll still play it, just not often. There's talk that they might add more to the main quest in the future, and there might be more holiday related ones. I like that they've decorated the town in Halloween decorations, turned it into night mode, and the music is different. That music is also holiday themed, of course. It seems like a giant spider threw up or exploded its webbing all over the place. There's snow, lots of jack-o-lanterns at shops, houses have candlelight glows coming from the windows, and there are thorny vines at the entrance gate. Interesting touches. 

Started watching Beastars yesterday. It's better than I expected. Really dark (darker than expected) and psychological. It's set in a world of anthropomorphic animals, with the herbivores and carnivores coexisting. The main character, Legosi, is a wolf who looks menacing, but has a very gentle heart. He's a student at Cherryton Academy and a member of the drama club. Many students fear and hate him because of his looks. During the first episode, one of his classmates is murdered by a carnivore. Some of the herbivores suspect him. I'm surprised that the use of CGI didn't look awful. There have been many lately that have tried to use it, but are really difficult on the eyes. Kimetsu no Yaiba was one of the few that used it well. Gave off more of a 3D feel. It wasn't throughout the whole thing, either. This one, I think, is using it in a similar way.  

Went through more of Duolingo's Dutch course. Made it through the Society unit today. Next is Business. Managed to edit more of Alliance. Finished chapter 13, and halfway through chapter 14. I've gone through 22 pages of the ebook and 32 pages of the print version this week. 



One Piece:


Kimetsu no Yaiba:

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

16th of Tishri

Those sweaters/sweatshirts I got last week have been really nice and comfy. I'm still waiting for one more sweater. That's expected to arrive by the end of the month. Supposedly, it's coming from China. The company's highly rated. I still think they're making it from scratch, and that's why it's going to take so long. It's a winter-like sweater, so I guess it's ok if it comes when it's even chillier. Looks really comfy. 

I also ordered a bra online. I get dysphoric going through the lingerie section in brick-and-mortar stores. I thought it'd be best to try online. I still need it, at least for support...Despite being so dysphoric about my chest. It's weird. It's like getting support for something that shouldn't be there. Anyways, online they have pics of models in them, which was weird, too. Not as bad as being at the store. I just quickly found the same size/style I have normally and ordered it. It was from Macy's. Got it in the mail Friday or Saturday. Not bad. It also was much cheaper than buying it there. Ended up being about $20 with shipping and tax. At the store, the bra itself is $40. This isn't counting tax and gas to get there. Didn't know it would be so much cheaper. Might be the best way to go.

Today's the 2nd day of Sukkot. Sukkot lasts for a week. It lit. means Booths. It's a harvest holiday where we build temporary hut-like structures, decorate them, eat all meals in them, some sleep in them, etc. We also shake a lulav and etrog in it. Both the lulav and etrog represent the 4 species. The lulav has a willow branch, date palm, and myrtle branch. The etrog is a type of citron similar to a lemon. There are many meanings behind the 'species'. One's for the 4 Hebrew letters in G-d's name. Another is masculine and feminine symbolism. Another is as parts of the body: etrog as the heart (place of understanding and wisdom), palm as the backbone (uprightness), myrtle as the eyes (enlightenment), and willow as the lips (prayer). Some interpret as different types of Jews being brought together. We shake them together in specific directions. That represents divine rule over nature, Jews around the world, bringing sukkot within, etc. It's supposed to be one of the most joyous holidays, where we're actually encouraged to be happy. It's interesting how we go from such a somber holiday like Yom Kippur to a holiday like this. 

The sukkah (singular for the 'booth' or hut) is decorated with all sorts of fall/harvest-related things usually. The decorations we'd use for ours in the past were pine cone strings, fake fruit, fake gourds, lavender, other flowers, and more. We also put out a lantern (like you would for camping) and tables and chairs. It has to have at least 3 sides, and can be made of pretty much any material. The roof must be open enough to be able to see the stars. Many people cover the roof with things like branches and leaves. Ours had 3 wooden lattice walls, a wooden frame, wooden slats for the 'roof', and tree boughs on top of that roof. My mom put it together from a kit. Another custom is to invite guests to dinners in it. It's a big hospitality thing, and those Sukkot guests are called ushpizin. (There's even an Israeli film of the same name, which is pretty good.) We often had people who weren't Jewish, friends and neighbors, eat with us. That was fun. I never slept in it, but some people do sleep in theirs during the holiday. I suppose if you brought sleeping bags and something to keep the bugs away, it'd be doable. It gets pretty cold at night this time of year, though. It's not really a secure structure, either. 

Got a bluetooth speaker this past weekend. I don't think I like it, and will most likely return it. One of the major issues is it can connect to my computer, but I can't control the sound from the speaker itself. That's a problem. It talks, too. I don't want something like that. Every time I turn it on it has to establish a connection to my computer, which takes time. Meanwhile, it tells me it's ready to connect every few seconds. It's frustrating, and I want something that just works. My old ones would cut out and make weird chugging noises every so often. Sometimes my computer couldn't read them. I realized later that that was a Windows update problem not my computer specifically. It worked itself out after one of the recent updates. The sound wasn't best either. (Even when it wasn't cutting out.) I might need to go back to those. At least, I can control the sound from them and they don't speak. I might just get a regular non-bluetooth based speaker(s). The only reason I wanted the bluetooth one was because I know it'll at least recognize it. I don't want to go back to possibly one of the future updates creating that error again. Oh, well.

Last Friday was National Coming Out Day. I don't think anyone comes out just once. If you meet new friends, date, or simply want to share who you are with others; you're constantly coming out. I first came out as ace in June 2015. Aro in October or November that year. Agender in May or June 2017. The worst reactions have been to the aro ace part and talking about wanting a qpr (queerplatonic relationship). I think telling some people that I have no gender is too scary, out there, or difficult to wrap their brains around. They think they understand what being aro ace is, and therefore have a say in it. There have been alloromantic (not aro, aka allo) ace activists that are arophobic or extremely ignorant about aros. All being aro ace means is I don't experience romantic and sexual attractions. No one makes me want to have sex or date them when I see them. This isn't a statement on how I or other aro and/or aces feel about having sex, our libido, dating, romantic gestures, etc. Everyone varies. It doesn't mean we can't or don't want to have sex (does not equal celibacy, which so many people think it does), it doesn't mean we don't want relationships (romantic or otherwise), doesn't mean we can't date, and more. I've been told, when I brought up wanting a qpr, that I should just get a dog instead. I'm sorry, but I want to be close to a human being this way. They clearly didn't understand it. It's not based on romance and sex like the standard (romantic) relationship is. The core focus of a qpr is on platonic attraction and emotional connection. Essentially, take out the romance and sex of those romantic relationships, and you have a qpr. If those 2 things are the only things in that relationship, I think it wouldn't be a healthy one. In a qpr, you can still have romantic and sexually coded things. It can be rivaling on the same level of closeness and commitment as romantic ones. Some people marry their partners (some call them squash, pumpkin, zucchini, and other vegetables), have kids together, live together, etc. for many reasons. By the way, next week is Asexual Awareness Week. Not sure if I'll do anything for it this year.

Made 2 things from recipes I found on Pinterest last night. Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup for dinner. I've never had the original Olive Garden version, so I can't compare them. I think it turned out great, though. It's got quite a lot of vegetables and protein. It's creamy, garlicky, and buttery. Wholesome comfort food that's perfect for this time of year. I found out ways to make it easier on myself, too. Real cooking (not just from a box) is exhausting for me, and my hands are painful and weird most of the time. The 'normal' level of fatigue I have because of my colitis makes it difficult, as well. They say that type of fatigue is common even when you're in remission. It's that way with most autoimmune diseases. The only things I had to chop/cut were the spinach and celery. Those are some of the easiest for me. Also, found frozen shredded chicken. I have made shredded chicken in the past, but it can be a hassle and takes time. I didn't notice until later, but they noted that you could cook the gnocchi in the soup instead of separately. I don't know why they didn't note that in the actual directions. It would have been less things to clean up. Cleaning up is a bit more difficult for me, but I managed to do it. Yay! 

I also made butterscotch fudge. It only had 2 ingredients: butterscotch chips and buttercream frosting. They have you melt the chips, mix that with the frosting, pour that mixture into a parchment-lined (I used wax paper) pan, and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour to set. I accidentally burnt some of the chips. I forgot to stir them and do it in short intervals. I probably should have done it on the stove and not the microwave. I freaked out a little, but mixed it into the frosting anyways. It was really tough to cut into. The burnt bits might have actually made it better. They were like toffee pieces. The rest of it really did taste like fudge. Although, it didn't look pretty. That's ok. I might use this template for other flavors like chocolate, mint, vanilla, etc. I could add a small amount of nuts, too. I couldn't find a can of buttercream frosting like the recipe called for. So, I asked someone at the Safeway bakery about it. They said they sell their own by the pound there. I got a pound of it. I didn't use it all, but I think she gave me more than a pound. I might have barely gotten through half of it with what I used for the fudge, which was 14 oz. She didn't charge extra for it. Maybe she wanted to be generous? I don't know what I'll do with the rest of it. Looking it up, it doesn't last long. (2 weeks at most.) Might throw it away, but seems like a waste. She was the one that gave me so much, though...I noticed I might not be able to have a full serving of the fudge. Had 1/2 of one last night, and it was a lot. It was like a blast of sugar. Hopefully, it'll last a while. However, knowing the frosting doesn't last long, I don't know. 

Studied more Dutch from Duolingo today and yesterday. Finished the Looks unit, and am almost through the Science 1 one. Still have quite a few units left of this course. Good, because I'm unsure which language I'll start next. Still in the Ruby League.

Messed around with drawing folds in Junko's clothes. I'll pick the ones I liked the most next time, and go over everything with a pen. Edited more of Alliance today and yesterday. Got through chapter 12 and close to halfway through chapter 13 today. Went through 8 pages of the ebook version, and 12 pages of the print. 

A few days ago, I had a lot of ideas pop up about designing an author card (I recently thought about making one, but need to finish editing stuff at least first) and trailers for my books on Youtube. They came to me in the middle of the night. Kind of annoying, but I still wrote them down. I hadn't thought much about the trailers. I think I tried to make one in the past for Sweet Endless Terror, but I didn't know what to do with it. I now have ideas on that and others. For that one, first, I can draw one thing related to every story (there are 12 short stories). I already have 2 drawings I can mess with to fit 2 of those stories. That being a skull and knife. Other drawings would be things like a ribbon, heart (anatomically correct one), a galaxy or other space related thing, etc. I might pick one quote from each story to share in its part, and use the music provided by Youtube. Some sort of haunting/horror theme. With the first Alliance book, I can pick various quotes, might use some of my pics of nature and/or stock fantasy based pics, and again use music from Youtube. The sequel could be interesting to do, too. It might be similar. With my memoir, I could have pics related to each section, meanings and quotes from them, and music provided by Youtube. With the cookbook, I could use some of the pics I've taken of things I've made from it, a few recipes, maybe the intro, and some sort of theme music from Youtube. Seems like I could do a lot with them. I have a much better computer now, too.