Vacation

I’ll be gone on a trip to germany -> mostly france -> germany the entire month of august.

I’ll try not to die and may or may not ever get nets

Farewell cruel world

 

If you want to contact me, hit me up on Twitter because that’s what I’ll be looking at on muh smartphone and ill only be using muh smartphone for any random wifi hotspot while we travel.

Cooking With Zaka: a Super-Legit Tomato Sauce Narrative

Oh shit, I’m cooking today and it’s like one hour til I have to start. I really should have remembered to take something out of the freezer to thaw… I really don’t want to thaw something in the microwave, so my options are basically gradually peeling off a block of ground meat in the pan (huge pain), krögarpytt (brand of frozen mix of potato, onion and various meats, plus lots of things I’d have to look at the ingredients list for), or… oh yes, my saviour – that lovely meaty cylindrical thing I first had back in Eastern Europe.

Regrettably, I am not speaking of dicks.

The frozen ćevapčići lidl sells in 1kg bags is both delicious and affordable, but we’ve had it a few too many times recently. I should probably cook something else… maybe I’ll change the condiments from rice to pasta or fries… fuck fries turning them is a huge pain… meh fuck pasta too… okay it’s rice again… wait, I could make a sauce! …but what exactly? It’s not like I have the time to make tomato sauce from scratch, and frankly it’s not like it’s that great anyway (I’ve done it according to a legit recipe once!).

Well, if you don’t like a recipe you can always change it! I quickly search the fridge and find a fairly small red onion, garlic (not an option, was rotting), and okay that was all I was looking for in the fridge to begin with. Next I reach for the box of strained tomatoes I know is in the larder next to the fridge. Surprisingly it has not been abducted by aliens (maybe the red on the packaging scared them off), allowing me to wrest it from the depths of the… just kidding, it was at chest height on the second shelf.

I get a bouillon cube, a knife, put some rapeseed oil in a saucepan, and set to business; the business is making the bouillon cube submit to my knife (not the easiest), and cutting the onions.

I managed to not cry.

The preparation of the ćevapčići and rice was easy (and irrelevant). Anyway, the sauce. I heat the oil at medium-high for a bit, pop in a piece of onion to see if it’s ready, and the bubbling around it assures me that this is the case. I put in the rest of the onion and stir it around a bit, lower the heat, and pour in some of the strained tomato and the semi-powdered bouillon cube (it did not submit fully, but I was able to impose strict limits on its military and generally destroy its infrastructure), let it boil, add salt (used a lot, which was a bad idea – try not to do that, the bouillon cube prolly has it already), white pepper, and finally the x-factor ingredient I just had to put in: chili flakes. A bit too many, I reflected after I had thrown in a bunch. After letting it boil slightly and stirring it around a bit, I decided it was done, used a spoon to try it, and was promptly greeted with something strong and edible, probably in that order.

It was actually not too bad, and if nothing else it proves that whipping something up on your own isn’t necessarily too bad. At least if you’re a Zaka. I may or may not make it ever again, but I’ll probably take it a bit easier with the chili flakes and use less salt.

Thus concludes this episode of Cooking With Zaka.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 1 red onion
  • strained tomatoes
  • white pepper
  • salt (maybe)
  • chili flakes / seeds / whatever
  • rapeseed oil (olive oil might be better)

Serve with other stuff, if you actually think it’s worth trying. There are probably better recipes.

Rectal Hachés And Other Misadventures

As you may or may not be aware, for a while now I have been waiting on a diagnosis, or lack of one, after a series of psychiatric evaluations. I started it due to suspicions of me having ADHD predominantly inattentive (also known as ADD). What transpired today was thus somewhat of a surprise: I did indeed receive a diagnosis – of Asperger Syndrome.

It’s not all that easy to accept because, well, I never felt all that aspergery. I’m not the best guy ever when it comes to socializing, but I’m not really super bad at it either and I don’t like, interpret idioms literally or totally make an arse of myself all that much. Lots of things /do/ fit, however, and I think the doctors are right. Especially the typical life story outlined, with a failure in uni studies, an outgoing early life but a descent into passivity when grown up… it all fits me to a T[1].

The one thing I’m thankful for is that I performed like a normal person in the video test where I was supposed to interpret people’s motivations and feelings based on a video I was shown. Apparently this is because I use my highly developed other skills to interpret information in a logical manner, allowing me to mimic the intuitive understanding exhibited by your average joe. Also a plus: my iq-penis is apparently in the top 2% of the population, to the point where if I tried to join MENSA I might be able to pass the test. Not that I see much point in doing that. A part of me really wants to be top 1% because that’s just a much prettier number somehow, but, uhh, I guess I’ll have to deal.

Unfortunately my short-term memory and “speed”, whatever that means exactly, are significantly less above baseline than my other skills are. I can definitely agree with this assessment, and hopefully I’ll be able to learn how to compensate for this efficiently somehow.

So where does this leave me? Well, apparently I have the right to… stuff that places can provide. And things. I feel pretty weird about like, taking courses in how to handle typical aspie problems – I feel like some people I see there might be much more hindered socially than me and thus a real bother to deal with. Is this unfair? Maybe. But given that this is something I’ll be doing voluntarily, it’s something I’ll have to think over. In any case, I’m meeting the people currently coordinating my efforts to get back into some form of occupation on the 28th, so I think I’ll take it from there. I actually have something I need to think about more before that visit, and hopefully I really will get it done… if only to not feel bad. That’s a pretty bad reason, but, uhh, results are all that matter right?

…I should really try to mentally reframe it as something to benefit myself when I can.

In conclusion, how I feel like right now is kind of like when I got diabetes – I’m really annoyed with this shit and will try my best to kick its ass. As for you all – all I can really say is, I still (probably) care about you even if I might occasionally seem not to. Feel free to remind me to think about your feelings on occasion, because I don’t necessarily do it automatically😛.

The title is a lovely piece of bilingual wordplay. It may or may not make you groan if you figure it out. If you want a hint… the English word you seek is not politically correct.

[1] The Grammarist claims that “to a tee” is incorrect, but it’s in the bloody Cambridge English dictionary and all with no note of it being a misspelling or anything. I still like the form I use here the most, but while it grates on me to see the more teematic version, I can’t really correct it in good conscience. Yet another little annoyance that I will have to either get used to or suffer through to the end of my days, sigh.

Cooking with Zaka: Chicken Stew à la Zaka

I’ve always loved good food. It’s not too rare for the highlight of the day, in retrospect, to be dinner. Home cooking, whilst quite a bother, is something I’ve gotten more and more used to recently. Unfortunately, the more good food I cook, the more mum will want to make me cook instead of her, and the more of my time will be spent away from the keyboard. On the other hand, my chicken stew is kind of good, and I’m getting better at preparing it all, so I guess it all balances out.

Oh yeah, the stew. I did title the post after it and shit.

I based this recipe vaguely off of this one (I hope you can read Swedish lel), which actually looked a bit different back when I checked it. Among other things, it called for red wine, not white. I wasn’t too keen on the walnuts and prunes, but I figured a few substitutions were reasonable. I mean, it’s a stew. Science, it ain’t.

Unfortunately, you may have trouble getting the funnel chanterelle this recipe uses (we pick it ourselves at a certain place in the woods, then dry it.) Much like Dr. Boom in most Hearthstone decks, there’s probably no real replacement. You basically want something with a bit of spiciness and a bit of general mushroominess. Good luck.

INGREDIENTS

  1. ~500g chicken filet of some sort (~1.1 pounds)
  2. 1 red bell pepper, medium to large (this is known as red paprika in Sweden, while paprika powder refers to the powdered spice. Very confusing.)
  3. 1 yellow onion
  4. ~0.7dl of red wine (1/3 cup)
  5. 1 bouillon cube
  6. 1 tbsp wheat flour (15ml, this is apparently same as the Amurrican tablespoon)
  7. 2.5dl of cream (1 cup)
  8. Thyme
  9. (Dried) funnel chanterelles, reconstitute if dried
  10. 2 carrots, medium size
  11. Salt, white pepper (Do I even need to add this?)

PREPARATION

  1. Creamy Mix: In a convenient vessel, mix za cream with some thyme (don’t be shy), the red wine, and za flour, then crumble the bouillon cube into it. Take a moment to lament your now-crumbly hands. Lightly whisk it all together.
  2. Cut za bell pepper into ~2cm (0.8 in.) wide, ~5cm (2 in.) long strips. Stripping own body optional but recommended (to be a naked chef).
  3. Peel, then cut za carrot into thin rods about 5cm (2 in.) in length. Resist urge to joke about eating rods.
  4. Chop za onion. Relish opportunity to shed manly tears by thinking about CLANNAD / listening to Close Your Eyes.
  5. Cut the chicken meat into medium-sized pieces. If there’s a goddamn tendon in each piece like in what we use, do consider cutting that out too.
  6. Be really annoyed that you have to wash your hands and everything in general like it has ebola or something because fuck chicken.
  7. Time to start actually cooking. If you have a pan with a lid which you can both fry and stew in (Wikipedia makes me think this is a saute pan, but fuck terminology), use that. Otherwise you might have to put everything in a pot for the actual stewing stage (when you add the creamy mixture), which would be a huge bother.
  8. High heat: Lightly brown the chicken in some kind of cooking fat. Salt and pepper ’em.
  9. Medium-high heat: Sear the bell pepper, then the onion. If using a saute pan, be lazy and shove the already seared stuff to the side while searing the next item, it won’t matter really.
  10. Medium-low heat: stir the Creamy Mixture into the pan, put the lid on. Let boil softly for 5 minutes. Don’t worry, it isn’t actually that reminiscent of semen.
  11. Mix the carrots and funnel chanterelles into the pan and let boil for another 5 minutes. We call them trattkantareller in Swedish.
  12. Serve with basmati (master race) rice, which has magically appeared (I hope you actually read through the recipe once before starting on this shit, otherwise, rip in lazy recipe tradition. Don’t forget to salt the water.)
  13. Holy fuck it’s done.

Obligatory tweet of shittily lit low-res picture of result:

Hopefully you will enjoy this as much as I do, assuming you actually cook stuff random amateurs post on the interwebs.

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Ameliorating Hyperprocrastination Death-spiral Syndrome

So, a while ago one of my contacts at the mental health clinic told me it might be a good idea for me to visit a counselor at same. I did, and then eventually rather a range of things happened. They are currently still happening, albeit somewhat slowly.

My problem, as I described, was mostly related to my inability to do important things that I found unpleasant. For an example, have a gander at my shower history widget at the lower right.

On second thought, don’t.

When coupled with persistent responsibilities, this amusingly leads to a downward spiral where you feel guilty that you haven’t fulfilled said responsibilities… which makes it even harder to eventually get to it. Eventually, you probably give up, and have another delicious failure to add to your record. Probably my latest fail in this regard is QC for KoiRizo, which I quite simply didn’t do more than 100 lines of. Granted, so did half of the others too, so I don’t actually feel that bad. But still.

The program I’m in starts with a documentation phase where the issues and wants of the person are mapped through a series of set procedures, and inevitably, the papers associated with those procedures. There’s then going to be a phase of things to help me achieve my goals happenin. The main difference with this program and previous is that people from disparate departments/clinics/agencies etc can communicate more efficiently, apparently.

Admitting I needed help with such a basic thing that anyone should be able to do as this wasn’t easy. Granted – if nothing else, all my years should have taught me that there is strength in admitting weakness. It just doesn’t get much easier.

I often advise getting help from a professional when facing mental health issues. While not the be-all-end-all solution, and certainly one that can be combined with other methods, it’s usually not a bad idea. I’ve come to realize, though, that a lot of the people I know live in Amurrica. One person I knew only recently was able to get therapy for his depression, and this was due to some extraordinary circumstances. One of the great things about Sweden is that healthcare costs, excluding some stuff but including all my mental health shit, are capped at ~$230 a year. If your finances prevent you from this sort of thing… I hope your country gets saner and/or out of crippling eurozone debt soon.

In closing, regarding the title: I googled HDS and the Wikipedia disambiguation page didn’t list any syndromes. HD syndrome -adhd -add w/o quotes does reveal that Huntington’s Disease is in fact HD, but considering the limited acronym namespace, that’s still pretty good. A golden opportunity?

The featured image seems kinda sucky, but oh well, it’s kaminomi. Can’t not use. In other bored news, I re-enabled post RSS importing for my fuwaforum blog since it seems to suck slightly less. We will see if this trend continues.

Zakabox w3 July – Because Tay Won’t

A lot of this stuff is going to be even more outdated now considering I wrote it six days ago, but I want this up somewhere. And so, enjoy muh zakabox, divorced of vntays. We still don’t know how he died, will keep y’all updated :kappa:.

Please note that while I (and thus the box) did die,  I was resurrected through various means, Tay’s misguided assertions aside.

Having been struck with a combination of industriousness and boredom, I’ve somehow written a pre-post box for this week – so I won’t be talking about progress or releases this time. I can’t promise anything in the following weeks of my vacation, but hey, wifi does occasionally happen. Anyway, let’s get onto the actual, sometimes regrettably outdated, commentary…

New localization contender Culture Select, who have at long last started their Kickstarter for Type-Moon inspired VN WISH, did an AMA on Reddit recently. There aren’t that many answers, but they are long and of high quality.

This was a while ago, but I’m not sure if anyone caught it: MG’s Himawari release will be all-ages only, as Front Wing does not intend to make an 18+ version of their remake.

VN studio Dischan is now dead for good, and has shut down its store. As of current you can still log into Dischan’s web shopif you’ve got an account, but this is to be disabled in a bit over two weeks (*future note: even less time now). Dischan previously bled most of its members after its director Jeremy officially declared the end of the Kickstarted Dysfunctional Systems ep 2 and 3 project due to lack of funds and general disillusionment with how things were turning out. Jeremy didn’t actually kill Dischan itself back then, but did end its sojourn as an explicitly commercial company. Do note that Kickstarter refunds will still be paid out as money becomes available.

Being on the road makes using my laptop to read VNs a bit tough at times, which is why, apart from some amusement at the concept, I read Get Dumped. I can recommend it somewhat – it’s not too bad for a free phone VN, but use a walkthrough after you get three ends if you can’t get the fashion disaster one. It’s not originally for phones only, so if you’re feeling adventurous you could just read it on your PC – I’d only recommend it for those with a fetish for the unusual in that case, though.

A lot of VN studios have set up Patreon pages recently. One of those is Alice in Dissonance, creators of the fault series. Off the top of my head, Love in Space (Sunrider) and Lupiesoft (The Reject Demon: Toko) have also done so. More humorously, so did Sekai Project’s CEO, though he explicitly tells you not to give him money. He seems to use it to post some blog-y stuff, including this anecdote about how SP managed to land CLANNAD through the magic of Google Glass.

Personally? I’m alive and well in France, though the heat can be a huge pain sometimes. I’ve been reading VNs quite a lot, and have actually reached the second chapter of Amairo Islenauts, reading it in Japanese with the help of a text hooker. These things happen surprisingly often when you have no Internet connection. If you’re using a wireless connection, one productivity tip would be to just disconnect and keep it that way for a while.

Anyway, I have to finish this and get it to Tay in Pastebin form (future note: that was this) before the world explodes. Thus, this commentary will now end.

…alright, a little bonus recent info to add:

I think we all thought Ren’s Aokana project was dead. Apparently, we were wrong to the tune of the common and two character routes.

Translator vgperson released a free English version of the somewhat odd 1bitheart, which features friend-making through giving presents, a very sci-fi setting, discussion battles somewhat similar to the Phoenix Wright model, gorgeous artwork, p. cool music, is fairly story-focused, and, uhh, it’s quite nice aight? You can download it here.

Zaka: The Being-In-France-ening

I’d say the rain in France makes my donger dance, but the truth is, we’ve had fuck all on this trip. The overcast sky and tiny droplets hitting me at the moment are threatening a deluge, but they’ve barked without bite for like an hour now already. I sit here wrapped in wafts of petrichor, head getting as stuffy as the air, and wonder where I went wrong in life to have to agree to cook dinner for two nights just to get Internet access.

Tonight is 4 cordons bleus de dinde with rice. What, you expected something more sophisticated? Silly boy, we’re camping. Our only cooking apparatus is a two-plate electric stove, which anecdotally is quite a tricky thing since some low-quality camping grids will happily trip their circuit breakers when using both plates at once. In the case of our last camping, La Pinède in Six Fours, we plain couldn’t use it at all and had to eat out each night for dinner. Luckily, that night we had the hard-to-beat combination of French baguettes and butter on our side to substitute for our packet of chicken nuggets.

Come to think of it, chicken nuggets are kinda interesting in France from my perspective – chicken nuggets in Sweden are always precooked, and made of ground meat. French ones are sometimes neither, and can be quite delicious.

In general, grocery store pork and beef in France is depressingly lackluster, and despite this, expensive. If you want to cook a cheap meal in France, chicken or turkey – poulet or dinde, isn’t a bad way to go. Either the cordons bleus or escalopes will do the trick. Alaska pollock – colin d’Alaska – isn’t a bad pick either, though that’s actually considered low-class in Sweden unlike the first two. Turkey is probably the weirdest of the bunch, since it’s uncommon (and rather expensive) in Sweden, and quite the opposite in France and Germany.

I’ve been reading VNs a decent lot; I finished up Tsumugu’s route and got quite a bit into Eika’s in Ikikoi, read through the (free) android version of Get Dumped, finally got to the second chapter of Amairo Islenauts, a bit into Angel Beats 1st, and read a tiny bit of AIR (all in Japanese – I decided to read just AIR in Japanese after I saw some of both translations of it, since Winter Confetti’s is apparently inaccurate and the Gao Gao tl is kinda stilted. Obviously I will probably interpret AIR less accurately than either of those, but on the other hand I will be learning Fapanese and knowing that I’m missing stuff (笑)).

I haven’t managed to meet anyone from Fuwa this year, but I’ll try again the next one. We had some unfortunate misses… and that was it, It’s too bad. I did manage to meet my old German friend in Hannover, whom I originally met through a Warcraft III map-making clan of all things. He took me and my parents on a p. cool tour of the city. One might say he is quite the cool person himself😛.

As you might have expected, I didn’t exactly write this continuously – hell, I even managed to write a Zakabox for the Fuwazette in between bouts, if Tay actually sees my DM in time (otherwise, it’ll be here.) In between the beginning and end, I’ve went from a-woeing having to make dinner to actually having cooked it hours ago. It was quite nice. Damn our stove is finicky.

It’s now 22:53; night has fallen here in the south of France. It feels a bit weird; in Sweden, the sun might still be up – but it’s been down for like an hour here already. Sky’s still overcast, and there’s been some actual Rain, not to mention a few peals of thunder. Regrettably the air’s as oppressive as it was when I started. It’s rather unpleasant, and the loud, bass-heavy music being blasted nearby for some camping enterpainment isn’t helping. All in all, I think I’ll just crawl into my tent, listen to some non shit music, and perhaps read some VNs as well now.

Please do excuse me, and greetings from the land of cheese-eating surrender monkeys.