Saturday, November 12, 2011

Food, Life in General, and Finding Things I'm Grateful For

5:00 a.m.

bzzzz

bzzzz

bzzzz

was what I woke up to this morning hahaha. Another amazing Saturday morning to wake up to :)!

This week has been so much better than last week (excluding yesterday, but I'll explain that later)!! I think there's a couple things that I can contribute the goodness to, but!! I mustn't get ahead of myself :D.

I'll start from last Saturday/Sunday and progress throughout the week like I did last weekend.



Gave my bangs a nice trim after showering :D!



And straightened my hair for fun :).



Basically after finishing my last blog I got ready for the day (exercised, showered, made myself presentable--as shown above), and proceeded to go to Dan's house. I remember feeling somewhat hungry for lunch, so we decided to go to JCW's to get a burger and fries for our treat.

And holy cow. It was amazing XD.

I hadn't had a burger and fries in so long--eating it was like heaven on Earth! It was extremely enjoyable to say the least. After this we returned to his house and talked for a long while about how I'd been emotionally struggling for the past few days and he gave me some good advice. He pointed out to me that I'd been focusing on the negative side of situations and that it might be wise if I try to find the silver lining in things even if it's "covered in a pile of crap," as he put it, which made me laugh XD.

After this, we watched a hilariously cheesy movie (Mr. Nice Guy, featuring Jackie Chan), played some good ol' co-op Splinter Cell and that's honestly all I can remember hahaha! It wasn't a very eventful day, but it was enjoyable being with him :).



I'm pretty sure I took this just after we'd been talking and just before watching Mr. Nice Guy. Got to love the psycho hair hahaha!!! Styled by yours truly XD (can't help the fact that I like playing with hair)!!!


Sunday rolled around and Dan and I were able to spend a little more time together :). That morning we made spinach, mushroom, cheesy chicken omelets with a piece of toast on the side and it tasted so good ^^!!!



Here's the omelet Dan made (so fluffy!),



and the omelet I made :D! Mine's significantly more brown ^^; hahaha, but they both ended up tasting delicious :).

After playing some Metal Gear Solid 2, I took Dan home around...3:00 p.m? He needed to do some things for his job and I had music that I wanted to produce at my parent's house, so I took him home and drove up to my folk's house.

I talked to my parents a lot about how I'm most likely not going to pursue a Japanese double major like I'd planned on (because I recently discovered that it's actually an insanely difficult process that BYU highly discourages), but I plan on getting a language certificate stating that I have either an advanced, professional, or master understanding of the language and such. In order to get the certificate I'll have to take a couple more Japanese classes than I need for a minor, which is fine with me considering I'll have a minor by this coming fall. I would have it by the end of this coming semester, but the class I would need to take conflicts with an animation class I need to take that's only taught in the wintertime DX. Gotta love crazy scheduling XD.

After this long discussion, my parents asked me to house-sit for them while they went to Oregon for a few days to visit my aunt who lives up there, and I agreed (#1 because I had no choice and #2 because I thought it would be amazing to be away from my apartment for a couple days).

Once that was all over, I went out into the studio and worked on this song I came up with a few weeks back, and I'm incredibly happy with how it's turning out so far!! I would post up my progress on it, but I'm paranoid about people stealing my work, so I'm keeping all of this very hush-hush until I have a couple songs done and can put them up on iTunes for the world to hear :D. So excited for that to actually happen and it's so close to happening too!! So excited for all of that to really start moving :).

I got all of my laundry finished while at the house and went back to my apartment when it was getting close to my bedtime (8:00 p.m.).



Before I knew it, it was Monday! I went to work that morning and while taking a break on the upper floor of the Central Heating Plant where I work, I noticed this little pattern on the ground that looked like an angry man's face!



Can you see it?? If you can't, I plan on going back and emphasizing it in Photoshop. I would have done that before posting it now, but unfortunately I don't have Photoshop on me since I'm using my dad's laptop to blog hahahah ^^;. So, if you don't see it, I'll definitely re-post this next Saturday with some good emphasis on the face. I thought it was so funny that I was able to find a face in something you'd never really expect to see a face in XD.

Monday was a good day from what I remember. We started reading a new article in my Japanese class and got ready to review for our Unit 3 test in my Physics class (GAH, so nervous about that!). After school was over, as I was walking to my car to go home, I spotted this gorgeous tree and had to take a picture of it :).



It was so red...so pretty!!! I probably looked like a crazy person by randomly stopping to take a picture of it, but I couldn't help myself :D. Eventually I made it home and made myself some amazing whole wheat pancakes!




Whole wheat chocolate chip pancakes...man...I could probably have those every day for the rest of my life and be a happy camper XD.

After eating this delicious meal, I worked out my legs, went home and studied the new Japanese article basically for the rest of the time :). It was pretty difficult actually D8. It mainly talked about 尖格諸島 (senkakushotou). I think that was the kanji for it anyway D8. It's a little group of islands just south of Japan that mainly China and Japan have been fighting over because underneath it there's a huge oil reserve ^^;. There were a lot of new words that I didn't recognize, but I was able to get through it :).

After all that hard studying I wanted some good, healthy food, so I went online to YouTube and looked up some of runnyrunny999's videos (he's a Japanese man that cooks as a hobby and posts up how to make the food he cooks) and found this one about stuffed cabbage and thought I'd give it a shot :).

Here's the video if you're interested :D.






Unfortunately mine didn't turn out quite as good as runny's did, but it was my first try, so I cut myself some slack and enjoyed it :).





I think I didn't roll them quite correctly, so some of the tofu and ground turkey I used was able to come out while I was boiling them ^^;. They were also actually fairly flavorless, so I plan on using tomatoes or something in the broth next time to help give it some extra flavor :). Or maybe just putting some extra spices in there that runny didn't use :).


Tuesday was a pretty good day too from what I remember. I worked early again, went to my Shader Programming class and just worked on my cymbal that I decided to do for class. On my way there, I was walking by these leaves that had fallen recently and noticed that they were all sparkling as I was passing by. They were frost-covered! It was so beautiful :D!




I don't think these pictures quite do the beauty of the frost justice, but it was the best I could do with the time that I had ^^;. It was so beautiful though! Absolutely loved it :).

Anyway, back to business :).




This was my cymbal as of Tuesday. I was getting kind of frustrated because the highlight on this thing was SUPER huge and I couldn't figure out how to tone it down a little bit so it didn't look like the cymbal was exploding with light hahahah!!! I was happy to get at least a little bit of work done on it though :).

Class ended and I went home and worked on what I could between 12:00 and 4:00 when my Character Animation class starts. I then went in and had my teacher critique my animation. He recommended a few simple things, but told me that overall it looked pretty good from what I remember. I was pretty pleased with myself :).


I'm starting to feel like I'm rambling! I'll try to speed this up a little so it's not so boring ^^;.




This is a delicious turkey burger I made for myself on Tuesday. SUPER yummy!! Threw some ground turkey in a pan with onion, zucchini, carrots, and tomatoes and just let it cook :). Then tossed in some turmeric to make it colorful :D. And added a little soy sauce and Spike to it :). Delish!


Wednesday, I worked early, came home and made myself an awesome brunch!




Looks yummy, yes? XD. It was very good, even though one of the yokes of my eggs broke ;(.

We were assigned a new article in my Japanese class that morning and had a review in my Physics class for the unit 3 test. After which I came home and made myself a parfait!



Love those things...a lot XD. The frozen fruit makes it taste like ice cream almost :D.


I had a physics lab to go to on Wednesday to review some more for the test and also to do some homework for that class. It went really well :). I also kept on hearing about how there was this gigantic hunk of quartz near where the physics TA lab was (and it was relevant because we'd recently learned about silicate tetrahedral bonds and such), which is near where my physics lab was, so I decided to go take a look at it :).




This thing...was huge. But it was absolutely gorgeous :D. I think I heard that it's one of the biggest in-tact pieces of quartz, but I could be wrong about that :). So pretty though! I love crystals and the like. They're totally mezmerizing :).


That night after working out my torso, I came home and made another turkey burger, but put much more spices into this one :). Just wanted to try something new, and it turned out really good!



Also used green peppers instead of zucchini for this one, but still used carrots and onions :).


On Thursday morning, I decided to be extra adventurous and try to make an egg-sausage sandwich in the morning for breakfast with some of the remaining ground turkey I had left.

Let's just say it's become a favorite of mine :D.



These were my ingredients (lightly buttered bread, ground turkey with a bunch of spices on it, and a poached egg with a little bit of spices on it).



And this is the sandwich in all of its glory in the midst of being eating :D! You're probably thinking that the ground turkey can't taste like sausage because it's not pork, but it actually tasted pretty close to me! Then again I haven't had pork sausage in quite a while, so that could be why it tasted like sausage to me hahaha ^^;.

I just put some garlic salt, paprika, and onion powder on it and it tasted fantastic to me :).

An amazingly good way to start off your day--packed with protein goodness!!


I went to work, did the usual stuff, then went to my Shader Programming class, where I was able to make some big progress on my cymbal shader :D!





I'm feeling really happy with it so far :). There are just a few more things that I need to put on it to make it look more realistic and then from there on out I think it'll just be lighting and such that I'll need to work on to make it look like it's an ordinary part of the picture :D. Please tell me what you think so far :)!

Thursday afternoon I went to my Character Animation class, but instead of just regularly having class, we went over and listened to a presentation about math in the animation industry given by a previous Computer Science-Animation BYU graduate named Adam Sigwell. His presentation was awesome and it made me realize just how important math is within the animation industry. Of course that made me feel a little like OH GOD, what have I gotten myself into?! But afterward I realized that animation doesn't just require mathematics. You have to have some arts in there in order to get the job done, which was a relief hahaha. We returned to the Crabtree Technology Building afterward and talked a little bit about file referencing in Maya, and afterward we were sent off to work on our special interest projects (I'm thinking mine is going to be a lengthy animation, but we'll see ^^;).

After this, I rushed home, grabbed some things to stay overnight at my parents (the house-sitting started on Thursday), and came up to the house.



I made myself some good chicken and veggies and had a few "addictive" chips on the side :D (they really are--it's crazy!). It was really good despite the fact that I went a little overboard on the poultry seasoning ^^;. This dish is actually really similar to nikujaga, a Japanese dish that I've been dying to make for a while now. Either that or Sukiyaki! I just don't know where I can find a place that sells shredded beef hahaha! I think I heard from one of my previous Japanese teachers that you can get shredded beef from Macey's. I'll have to go check that out today :D! Or sometime soon at least :D.


Friday morning it felt like I woke up on a different planet because I'm so used to waking up in my apartment now ^^;. Waking up at my parents house was so foreign and strange, but it was a good morning despite all that :). I made myself my breakfast sandwich with some ground turkey I brought over from the apartment and then speeded off to work.

Work was hilarious because my boss and my co-workers were being so wild and we were all so excited that it was Friday and the week was over :D. I might explain later, we'll see XD.

I went to my Japanese class and did pretty well on the quiz and the reading of the article that we'd been asked to study since Wednesday. In Physics we started unit 4, which means that I need to take my unit 3 test by Monday D8. I can do it, I can do it! I just have to keep telling myself that and study hard!!! We also had a special moment during 11/11/11 11:11 a.m. where we cheered and such, it was awesome :D! I sent out text messages to a few people. What a special occassion though, seriously :). Doesn't happen very often at all :D. After class was over I went and met with my Japanese teacher and it turns out that we don't have to meet every week anymore because she finished the required amount of mentoring hours that she needed for this class that she's taking, but we decided that I'm going to be her guinea pig just to see what assignments and such I can do because she's going to be teaching Japanese 322 next semester and wants to see how much I can understand on my own...or something along those lines hahaha! Either way, I'm happy to help her out and it becomes extra study for me (which is good!), so I'm good with it :D.

After running back up to PG to make sure the animals were all right, I came back and cleaned my apartment's kitchen because we have a cleaning check today (Saturday).



It looks so pretty and clean!! And the floor is free of crumbs, HALLELUJAH!!!

Cleaning is so therapeutic for me I think. I enjoy it so much and I feel so much better after cleaning. I think I might actually do some cleaning around my parents house if it needs it :), just to be nice.

But anywho! That's been my week! I came back up to the house last night and stayed the night again and slept in my old bed. Man, that thing is so fantastic to sleep in. I was a little warm, but it was fantastic nevertheless XD.


Now for just a second of preachiness, but this week I tried to do something new to kind of help me have an overall better attitude throughout the day. Every morning when I woke up I would think of something I was grateful for and then text Dan and tell him about it and why I was so grateful for it later in the morning so I wouldn't wake him up ^^;. I came up with a lot of good things, and I think it actually did have a positive affect on my attitude during the day :).

These are the things I came up with for this week:

  • Monday:: I decided I was grateful for my past experiences. As sucky as some of my past has been, it's made me who I am today and will make me who I am tomorrow and I really love who I am and who I'm becoming. Hence, I'm grateful for my past :)!
  • Tuesday:: I decided I was really grateful for the fact that I have a body that functions almost perfectly. I almost lost my arm when I was in my car accident back in 2001, so I'm even more grateful for the fact that I have all of my limbs and that they work :). Maybe that's why I'm so hell-bent on taking good care of my body ^^;.
  • Wednesday:: I was grateful for my job and my ability to make money. Despite the fact that it sucks to go to sleep at 8:00 p.m. and get up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to go clean, I'm really happy that I have a job and couldn't be more grateful :).
  • Thursday:: I was especially grateful for Dan because whenever I'm down, he's there to help me through it and if I ever need anything, he's always willing to help me find a way to get it :). Love him a lot.
  • Friday:: Even though I almost got into a car wreck, I'm really grateful for the fact that I have a car because getting to and from school would take so much longer if I was walking everywhere. Super super grateful for a quick way of transportation!
  • Saturday (today):: I couldn't be more grateful for the roof that I have over my head this morning. Whether it's my parent's roof or my apartment roof, I'm just happy to have shelter--a warm place to live, cook and sleep. I really take this for granted all the time, but it really is a blessing to have a place to live :).

Those were all of the ones that I came up with for this week so far. I highly recommend doing something like this every morning. There are so many things to be grateful for. Sometimes it just takes a little focus and perspective to realize how blessed you are :).


Okay, I'm done being preachy!! :D

I hope that you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend (because that's what I plan on doing--besides studying for that blasted physics test!!). I'll be back again next week with more updates and the like!



Love you all so much! <3!

~Ali~