July 7th, 2014

Ships passing in the night

New anime

Hey, you know what? The new season started on July 1st. You know what that means!

Tokyo Ghoul: Ghouls exist, and they skulk around in Tokyo. Ghouls need human flesh to sustain themselves, but luckily they can go for one month per body consumed. But it does become a problem when there's a "binge eating ghoul" about. Bookish type Ken gets in the clutches of such a ghoul and is almost eaten -- but then the ghoul is crushed under some iron beams. Ken is rushed to the hospital, and to save his life, he gets some organs transplanted from the ghoul. Now he is a half-ghoul, and he has to come to terms with the fact that he needs to eat human flesh to survive...
Lots of blood-spattering violence, and of course there are much more ghouls about than you'd think. And of course there are some shady organisations dealing with ghouls (or indeed the ghouls governing themselves) -- at least, that's what's hinted at. It didn't work for us, because it seems to be a by-the-numbers shounen series.
Glowing LED

Vacation

And so, the first week of my vacation has passed: two more to go! We're having loads of fun, and we are even getting things done!

On Monday, we went to Amsterdam to visit the Stedelijk Museum. Good fun, though it's too big to see it all in one day. I especially liked two of the temporary exhibitions: Jeff Wall's photos because he takes carefully constructed pictures that seem almost accidental. And the exhibit about the show that Gijs+Emmy (two jewelry makers in the 1960's) gave at the Stedelijk: retro-futurism at its best along with some really cool head-and-neck gear!

On Tuesday, we got a new window installed in our bedroom. The double-paned window was 'leaking', so there was lots of moisture in between the panes. This has been the case ever since we bought the house (ten years ago!), but it was finally time to get it fixed. We also got locks for the window: with the extension behind the house, it's easy to climb onto the roof of the extension and then force the window open. Not anymore.

On Wednesday, we also did something long overdue: we cleared out a lot of debris from the shed. When we bought the house, we had the bathroom re-done. All the debris (and stuff like the old toilet) were still in the shed. Basically, trash taking up space. So we loaded up a lot of it (along with the remnants of my grandparents' leather couch that we still had in the attic) and brought it to the sorting station. Hard work, but the results were immediately apparent.
That evening, I had a session of Shadowrun -- we've wrapped up a scenario that we've been doing for more than a year now! (Yes, we're not very fast...) We also discussed some stresses that have been hiding just below the surface for some time now. Maybe the campaign will continue, maybe we'll go do something else during that time slot.

On Thursday, my father came to visit us, to watch "The Desolation of Smaug" with us. When "An Unexpected Journey" came out, we took him to see it in the cinema for his birthday, and we had planned to do the same with the second movie. However, due to all the stuff going on with klik's job prospects, we missed the opportunity to see it at the cinema. Now that the movie is out on disc, we bought it and watched it on our couch. Added bonus: pausing the movie to go to the toilet or to get new drinks!
That evening, I had another session of Ars Magica. We fleshed out our convenant a bit more, and the story progressed nicely. After three sessions, I'm getting more feeling for the setting and the characters.

On Friday, klik had to work in the morning, so I took that time to load the car up with more debris for the sorting station. That evening, we both took part in a session of "Oog Des Meesters" that I wrote about earlier. Good fun.

On Saturday, we went to Rotterdam to attend a workshop for baking macarons. That warrants its own entry!
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    relaxed relaxed
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Sort-of new anime

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane: There are zones where the light is blocked out. If you get caught in such a zone, you'll be attacked by Admonitions -- human corpses transformed by some sort of mobile, dark metal into grotesque monsters. As the lightless zones are encroaching, mecha are created to battle these monsters, and to perform forays into the lightless zones.
It's like a zombie movie, but then with mecha to combat them -- and the young people who have to learn to pilot those mecha. It's rather dark (duh), but the first episode suggests that, instead of mindless monsters, there is a method to the madness of the lightless zones. Might be interesting.
(Also, this is technically a series of the spring season, but by the time it premiered, we had already stopped checking for new series...)
curry ga dekita!

Macaron workshop

We've been experimenting with baking macarons a few times now. The results were tasty, but they weren't really good macarons either. Searching for recipes on the internet only takes you so far -- so I wanted to learn from a pro. After some searching, I decided on a workshop from Zoete Workshops ("Sweet workshops"), which is a sub-label from a chain of patisserie shops.
The problem with most workshops is that they're easy to book when you're with a group, but not individually. Finding a workshop open for individuals that attracts enough people to actually go through is kinda hard. I had good hopes for this one, and we did get a confirmation that the workshop would indeed be held.

We had to go to Rotterdam, though. But then again, one of 'my' clients is there, so it's not like I haven't driven there before. But this time, we parked outside the city and took the tram into the city centre. After a tasty lunch at a café next to the iconic Erasmus-bridge, we walked along the water to the workshop location.
There were nine people taking the workshop -- and as is usual in these things, I was the only man. I wonder why that is -- don't men want to learn new skills? Or should I do woodworking workshops or stuff like that, in order to not be the only man present?

We were split in three groups. Each group would make a batch of shells, with a colouring of their choice. One lady had specific instructions to make orange (the colour) macarons, because the Dutch national soccer team would be playing that evening. I suggested that the other groups could make red and blue shells, and with a white cream, we'd get red-white-blue macarons -- like we did before. This was met with approval, and we got to work.

I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say that we learned a lot of techniques and tricks to make good macarons and delicious buttercream for the filling. Of course, I also took (crappy cellphone-)pictures:
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We even went so far as to buy a Kitchenaid mixer to be able to bake at home...
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
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New anime

Free! Eternal Summer: The continuation of the first season of Free!. There's not much to be said about it: it's the same cast (though it seems someone will be joining them), with the same behaviours -- though Rin chilled out quite a bit, which I liked.
In short: more antics from the Iwatobi Swim Club! It's already in our to-view pile.

Sword Art Online II: When the top players of the top VRMMO "Gun Gale Online" are found dead in their rooms, something seems afoot! Especially when it seems that a mysterious player who calls himself "Death Gun" shot the players in-game... Kirito is called by one of his contacts in the government, and is asked to help them investigate this -- by playing the game, reaching the top and attracting the attention of Death Gun...
So basically, it doesn't have anything to do with SAO, except that it's just another VRMMO that's in trouble, and the same characters get on the case. But it's interesting none the less: and since you already know these characters, it's like you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.