Recap: Naruto Shippuden Episode 455

25560312204_c541bdea2c_oItachi’s Story- Light and Darkness: Moonlit Night

My husband and I love Naruto. It is the show that brought me to love anime. This love has led us to make Thursday nights (when new episodes post on crunchyroll) Asian night. I prepare some Asian dish, sometimes inspired by Naruto itself. Tonight I made Onigiri with a spicy tuna filling and vegetables. Naruto makes you fall in love with the characters and the story lines, even some of the fillers like this current arch. Filler episodes in anime are something I’ve had to adjust to. Just when you get hooked on the action and can’t wait for the next episode its something completely unrelated and sometimes not even in the same time sequence. I do however enjoy fillers that give background information on specific characters. The current story arch is telling Itachi’s story. We’ve heard his story several times throughout the anime and each time there something rich to add. Its to the point that my husband and I realize that Naruto is the main character in the spotlight, but this anime and the Ninja world within are all driven by Itachi’s master plan inspired by his best friend Shisui.

To catch everybody up. At this point in Naruto Shippuden the entire Ninja world is under Madara’s Infinite Tsukuyomi, except team 7: Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, and Kakashi. We call this the “matrix effect”. Everyone else is trapped in this alternate reality. Within this reality the ninja world exist as if war had never happened. Team 7 are protected by Sasuke’s Susanoo. So we come to that point, to enter fillers that show everybody within the alternate dream world. Once those fillers are over, we enter another saga that is once again retelling Itachi’s story, which I have no problems with whatsoever.

The previous episodes showed Itachi’s childhood and rise to power within the shinobi of the Hidden Leaf. He was always a prodigy even among the talented Uchiha clan. With his talent and quick ascension in the shinobi ranks he began to question life and the motives of his fellow clansmen. Much of it started seeing dead shinobi on the battlefield and a brief but powerful conversation with Orochimaru. I wondered if Orochimaru planted those seeds within Itachi’s mind on purpose solidifying his fate before any other influences. But mostly the death of his friend and teammate, awakening his sharingan had changed Itachi, to who he know him as today. Before this occurrence he was a normal, but gifted, young shinobi. Itachi was able to meet another friend, Shisui, a gifted Uchiha shinobi much like himself. The two became like brothers. Itachi continued to increase his skills and earned a position in the Anbu (pretty much the ninja worlds B-613).

This episode showed how he begins to question whether his alliance should be with the village or his clan. As a memeber of the Anbu, he protects the village by whatever means necessary, even if that means doing things the Hokage has not approved of. The other Uchiha are tired of their isolation and being treated like enemies in their own country because of the actions of Madara Uchiha many years ago. They are planning a coup d’etat, to overthrow the current leadership making Itachi’s father the Hokage and the Uchiha respected leaders of the village. In order to prevent their clan from their own treachery Shisui sacrafices himself and gives Itachi his Sharingan, awakening his Mangekyou Sharingan. Itachi has decided to turn his Uchiha brother-in in and tells the Hokage and village leaders of the plan. He is given the task of slaughtering his entire clan, except his brother Sasuke in order to protect the village. He sees this as saving his clan, since they will not go down in history having started civil war, thus ending the dark shadow the clan was carried its entire history. He calls upon Obito, pretending to be Madara, pretending to be Tobi, to help him with the task (although I don’t know if Itachi knew he wasn’t Madara). He leaves with “Tobi” to join the Akatsuki as a rouge ninja.

This episode like this entire story arch shows emotions and thoughts that we never knew of Itachi. We knew about what he did for the village already, because he told this to Sasuke within the Ninja War, but we did not see the agonizing process of him making this decision. I don’t understand how the Uchiha saw their plan as a solution. It would pretty much prove everyone’s fear of them to be valid. The other villagers would still fear their rule and see them as tyrants. They’d have to continue killing and wiping out all those loyal to the previous regime once again solidifying there sinister outlook. Why were only Shisui and Itachi able to see the truth? Maybe it was there connection to other rest of the shinobi world due to their skill. They were not confined as ninja police. They were able to be loved as shinobi by the other villagers. So the blame comes back around to the village for ostracizing them. Which was the same thing that lead Madara to his deep bath of darkness. It was all a cycle that Itachi alone had the responsibility of breaking.  Up until now Itachi just seemed like this all knowing omniscient person among all these other “bigger” people. If I didn’t know it before, I know now that Itachi is the true hero of the Hidden Leaf Village. He did everything for his clan, village, family, and brother. My heart hurts for him, because he did not get to be the big brother he wanted to be. He had to carry the burden caused by others, and everyone but him gets to reap the benefits of his and Shisui’s sacrifice. Shisui, got the easy part. He pain was over, while Itachi lived on many years with his hurt, pain, and sacrafice. He’s like the ninja world Batman, not the hero they needed, but the hero they deserved or maybe its backwards, but you get the idea. The episode ends with his joining of the Akatsuki. I’m interested to see him participate in their Akatsuki terrorism, knowing now that he’s really a hero. Itachi is one of the people I would like to see somehow able to come back to life, where’s Nagato when you need him?

Movie Review: Batman vs Superman

26125750001_372e2a06fa_oFirst, I will go ahead and say that I know I am late with a post on Batman vs Superman being that its been out for going on 2 weeks. I just started my blog and had tons of ideas swirling around in my mind and it didn’t come to me until today to do this. I spoke about my views on the movie a little in one of my earlier post, but now I will go into detail.

The movie seems to take place after the events of “Man of Steel”. Some people worship and are thankful for Superman, while others believe he is a false god and should take responsibility for the destruction he causes. This is an age old issue within the world of a superheroes. I really see it as an allegory of how people think of the military, particularly the United States military in other countries and territories.  Here’s the big bad USA coming to save the day, and in their eyes we could be cause more destruction than aid we’ve given. But we don’t stop them because we need them to save our asses in the event that a terrorist attack occurs or some other catastrophic upset to our society. Same thing in the movie. Batman was among those that thought Superman was bad news. The main villain is Lex Luther who purposely put them against one another, with the intention for them to kill each other. Instead they end up coming together and saving the day.

Lets do a compliment sandwich; start with the positive, negatives in the middle ,and end with something mean again. Hands down the best things about the movie where the visuals and special effects. I always try to see sci-fi/fantasy movies in IMAX  3-D if its an option. So it was a fun, entertaining experience with that respect. I like the daydream scene, all the foreshadowing of a Darkseid villain in later movies, and the appearance of The Flash. This scene did bring me back to the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Iron Man see’s the Ultron controlled world, sorry I couldn’t help the comparison. There was also I sneak peak into the other heroes such as Cyborg and Aquaman. My favorite part of the movie was Wonder Woman she was OP (over powered). Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was exotic, sultry, intelligent, and powerful. Exactly what an Amazonian warrior should be, I can’t wait for her movie in 2017.

Now lets get to the inside of the sandwich. What didn’t I like about the movie? I did not like Lex Luther. When I first saw the trailers for the movie I thought he was the Riddler. This is not the Lex Luther I know. Upon further research I found that Lex Luthor did at one point have long red hair and a larger than life personality. So it was their choice to use this depiction of Luther in the movie. Maybe after his prison stint now that they’ve shown him bald he will be the familiar Lex Luther character. That was another thing that confused me a bit. The movie seemed to have a young Lex Luther and Superman, but yet an older Batman. Maybe its may ignorance of the DC world, so somebody please clear that up for me is this accurate to the DC Universe timeline.  Once again, I’m a Marvel, specifically X-men junky. I’m just trying to be open minded and embrace this DC universe. From the beginning I have not liked the way it seems they are jumping into a Justice League movie. It seems like they’re hanging on the coat tails of Marvel. You have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Doomsday all wrapped up in the same movie. When I saw Doomsday jump out in the trailers, I was like “Are you serious?!”, “They’re taking it here already!”  From what I know the creation of Doomsday was incorrect as well. Doomsday is a baby that was continuously tortured, killed, and brought back to life. Maybe his appearance in the movie was one of the reincarnations, or they just concocted some reason to add him in the mix. The movie was also very slow. I understand building backstory, I really do, but there had to have had it that way. The main action occurred so late in the movie and it was lack-luster. Batman was pretty much hiding the whole time and pretty much said I cannot even play along with these people. He did not play his normal super detective solve the mystery self. He did snap back until Lois Lane told him Superman’s mother’s name is Martha too. OMG, we can be friends. The whole movie he was being played by Luther and in the end Superman saved the day. God I hate that! I really do not like Superman.  He has super strength, speed, lazer vision, x-ray vison, the list goes on and on. To me he’s boring and lame.

Although I mentioned disdain over DC seemingly are rushing to get to a Justice League movie. The end with Batman saying he will find them, left me with pleasant thoughts of all the stories not told yet. So yes, there were some issues in my opinion but overall it was still a good, not great, superhero movie. It did somewhat intrigue me enough to do more research and try to give DC heroes a fare shot, although I still doubt they can pull me from the Marvel side. Some may argue “Why choose?” and those that do know the ends and outs of DC can probably post a reasonable rebuttal to all of my critiques. But it is what it is. And I like what I like.

 

 

Apple Nachos

Every night without fail, after our son has been put to bed, I’ve made lunches, and gotten things organized for the next day, my husbands asks “Do we have anything sweet to eat?” And look at him rolling my eyes and say, “we have fruit.” Remember how I said on my “About” page that I didn’t want to be the annoying person who shoves being healthy down peoples’ throats?” Well, that rule doesn’t apply to my husband. He has no choice in the matter, I didn’t get married to end up a widow by the age of 40 due to him having a massive heart attack or stroke. Nevertheless, I grew tired of his pitiful face, thus apple nachos (and a couple more brilliant ideas that I will share later) were born!

It really is quite simple. You just chop your favorite kind of apple into slices, for me nothing beats a honeycrisp. Melt a 1-3 tablespoons of peanut butter, depending on how peanut buttery you want it. Melt 1-2 dark chocolate bars. I use 70% dark chocolate, that’s my limit any darker and it tastes like charcoal. I use the microwave the melt in 10 second increments, making sure the chocolate doesn’t scorch. If you want to be fancy you can use a double boiler. Take a spoon and drizzle the peanut butter and chocolate over the apple slices. I also drizzle a little honey for added sweetness and dust with cinnamon. So now both parties are happy. I’m happy because we have a healthy snack and he gets something to satisfy his night time sweet tooth. He still ate fruit, though.

apple nachos

Bringing Harry Potter to the gym

16035134456_58a90c5ee4_oMy students know well by now that I am a nerd. I say many things like, “If you need a pencil let me know now, otherwise you’ll have to get it done via telekinesis.” Or when students are talking I’ll say something like, “you should not be talking, if you have a question ask me, help will always be given at Hogwarts for those who ask for it.” I get all sorts of weird faces. After one of geeky references, a student asked, “are you an undercover, geek?” Another student responded, “No she’s an undercover freak.” Needless to say that student received an unpleasant phone call home that afternoon.  Nevertheless, I never miss an opportunity to expose my students to my geeky interest.

Last year I introduced my students to a new sport, Muggle Quidditch. I teach a non-tradition PE class, that focuses on a lot of group and individual activities such as Yoga, Martial Arts, and Zumba. I am still required to teach team sports objectives, like offensive and defensive strategies, so I decided to find an activity that would cover that but not be the basic soccer, basketball, and volleyball. I each brought the librarian to do the introductory lesson for it. The school I teach at is a inner city, low performing school. Most of the students are Hispanic and African American, so some of them had seen at least 1 of the Harry Potter movies, and hardly any had read the book. I was very happy to see that after we went over this, some of the student had checked Harry Potter books out from the library. They can see that I’m just bubbling with excitement as I’m discussing the rules of the game, recalling examples from the story. I also tried to hook them by saying that universities like UNC and Duke have Quidditch teams that participate in championships, and a few of our high schools have intramural teams as well. After my first time teaching the unit last year it was a huge success. Mainly because of incorporates aspects from so many sports.

For those that don’t know in Muggle Quidditch you obviously can’t fly, but you still run with a broom stick between your legs. We use hockey and lacrosse sticks, since we don’t have a class set of broom sticks lying around. There are 3 chaser, that score 10 points by throwing a quaffle through the goal. In official Muggle Quidditch they use volleyballs as the, we use gator balls. We made the goals from volleyball standards with a hula hoop duct taped on the side. Keepers defend their teams goal from the other teams, chasers. Beaters use a bludger to get people out. In the official game they use dodgeballs, we use smaller soft foam balls. Then there’s the seeker who catches the snitch which awards there team 30 points and ends the game. If you don’t know Muggle Quidditch you’re probably wondering how we have a snitch, since its a small, gold, flying ball. The snitch in this case is a neutral player, with a tennis ball hooked to them in a sack or bag. In the college games it hangs over their butt, no way I’m doing that with middle schoolers. They tie it to their belt loop instead.

This year effective lesson planning and having activating strategies has been a big push in our district. For those not on education an activating strategy is used to get the focus and attention on what you’re going to teach. It should gasp upon prior knowledge they can connect to what they learn. So I decided to do “mix-pair-share”. Student mix and walk around the gym randomly. While they walk I play Harry Potter theme music in the background. When the music stops they pair with the closest person to them. Then share the answer to this question, “If you had magically powers what would you like to be to do the most?” Some student said things like be super strong, speed, teleportation was a biggie. I then explained that when I see movies or read books I often wish I could do the things they are able to do with magic. With Quidditch we can experience a part of the fantasy world.

My 7th and 8th graders had been asking thoughout the year if and when we would be playing Quidditch again. The librarian gave me a quidditch book. I offen get dibs on new sci-fi/fantasy books that come through the library given my interest. I haven’t read it yet, but I hope it can give me new ideas for my 7th and 8th grade classes. My 6th grade classes seemed intrigued. They had to get the whole presentation and take notes since they’d likely never had played it before. I enjoy bring some of my world to my classes. Any showing them that their are no barriers. Hispanics can play basketball, and blacks can play soccer. And a chubby
black girl can be a nerd, like me.

Vegan Tacos

I made these earlier in the week after “ODing” on some leftovers from Easter. I decided I needed to take it easy on the meat, that added with my milk allergy gave birth to vegan tacos. The picture was popular on Facebook and Instagram so I decided to share the recipe here.

Ingredients:vegan tacos

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • sweet potato
  • eggplant
  • corn
  • black beans
  • half avocado
  • cilantro
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • spinach
  • medium picante salsa

Directions:

Main filling- Dice up half a sweet potato and half an eggplant. I used reduced sodium canned corn and black beans. Fill free to use fresh or dried black beans. Place
the sweet potato, eggplant, corn, and beans on a pan. Drizzle with EVOO and toss. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and oregano. Bake on 400 for 25 minutes. My husband was not having the no meat thing so a browned some ground turkey with corn and black beans with the same seasoning for his tacos. He also had fat free Greek yogurt and reduced fat cheese.

Guacamole- This is a simple guacamole. I just put half a guacamole in the food processor with cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Blend, and done.

The rest is easy. Take the whole wheat tortilla, scoop some of the vegan filling, add guacamole (I like a lot), salsa (not homemade, I was lazy that day)
, shredded spinach, fold and that’s it. Delicioso!

 

Mourning the End of Spring Break

16598797714_bfe1860148_oToday is the last day of spring break. It is a sad day, as I have enjoyed getting some much needed R&R, but alas, we must return to the real world. I never had any grand plans for my spring break, but I still didn’t do half of what I intended. There are somethings I must accomplish today, before I head back to school tomorrow.

I did accomplish some of my spring break plans. One thing my husband and I did was go see Batman vs Superman at 12:30 while my son was still in daycare. The movie had some mixed reviews and I understand why. I am partial to Marvel so my opinion was already biased. The movie started so slow, all the action was in the last 30 minutes of the movie. Also, it was obvious that DC is trying to speed there way to a Justice League movie to compete with The Avengers. The best part of the movie was Wonder Woman. She is one DC character I can get down with. If I was to rate it I would give it 6.5/10. It wasn’t a bad movie, but I did not leave the theater obsessed and head straight to frantically researching as I usually do after a sci-fi movie.

One of my other goals for spring break was to do something memorable with my son. We went on one of our usual shopping trips to the grocery store, but I wanted to do something different. On the list was a visit to Sci-Works, a science museum right up the street from us, as well as indoor camping in our apartment living room. I decided against going to the museum. He is still young, only 2, so the trip could easily have been a waste of money. I did not want to spend money on something he wouldn’t remember and end up going into a typical toddler fit in public. So I opted for indoor camping. I made s’mores in the oven, which he loved and messily devoured. We made a tent from a large comforter draped over our kitchen table chairs. He loved playing under the tent so much that he repeatedly tore it down, so we settled with a pallet on the floor. I wanted to watch some outdoorsy themed Disney movie, but not Bambi, too traumatic. My original choice was Pocahontas, but only the sequel was on Netflix, and I did not want his first experience to be a subpar sequel.  We decided to watch jungle book on DVD. At first we thought it wouldn’t hold his attention. It doesn’t have the bright crisp graphics and comedy that he’s  used to in movies like Home (which we all know by heart). But as soon as he heard the first song he was hooked. We also did the normal Easter tradition of making Easter baskets. I got a dark chocolate dove bunny, my husband a Reese’s Rabbit, and our son a basket with socks, a puzzle, flashcards, Batman plate with utensils, stickers, and a egg with M&Ms. During holidays I bend and we indulge in some of the usual pleasantries.

With all the things we did over spring break there were still some that fell short. I was supposed to revitalize my fitness regiment, that had suffered from me being stressed out and overwhelmed. Instead I decided to just relax and I’d start again when the break was over. It is better to get used to the regiment within my regular schedule anyways, right? My son just turned 2 so, using his birthday money and gift cards we were going to redo his nursery to be a big boy room. This didn’t happen, but we will do it, I swear. I wanted to do some thrifting, but the thrift stores aren’t going anywhere, nor are the farmer’s markets I was supposed to go to. Instead of jam packing this weekend I enjoyed my son and husband, all while sipping on mimosas. I will get everything else done, starting tomorrow.

Healthy Fish and Chips

Tonight for dinner I made fish and chips, but with a healthy allergen free spin.We had Almond Crusted Tilapia and Baked Sweet Potato Fries with a zesty aioli sauce (my fancy spin on mayonnaise). The recipe includes:

  • tilapia fillets
  • almond flour
  • mayonnaise
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • EVOO(Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • sweet potatoes
  • lemon juice
  • italian seasoning

Almond Crusted Tilapia:

Season fish with salt and pepper. For the “breading”, mix about a half cup of almond flour with salt, pepper, garlic power, onion power, and Italian seasoning. To make the almond flour mixture stick I used mayonnaise with a little water so I wouldn’t be wasting a whole egg ( I know I’m not supposed to be eating eggs at all but it was either egg or yogurt so I chose the lesser of the two evils). First coat the fish mix mayonnaise/water mixture, then coat with almond flour mixture. Make sure the fish are covered with the almond flour, but not too thick or it won’t get crispy. Bake in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes, or until it starts to brown.

Sweet Potato Fries:

Cut the sweet potato into strips. This is pretty difficult and dangerous for me because I don’t have a sharp knife and those babies are hard to cut threw without one. So don’t be like me use a sharp knife. Drizzle with EVOO, and toss to evenly spread it. Season with salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Bake in oven at 425 for about 30 minutes or until fries get crispy.

Zesty Aioli Sauce:

It’s probably not really aioli, I just want to sound fancy. I just mix mayonnaise with a littler water, lemon juice, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.

So There you have it!  Healthy fish and chips safe for someone with milk and wheat allergies. I know mayonnaise is not the healthiest thing in the world. But you’ll be saving a ton of calories, sodium, and fat from not frying everything, so a little drizzle of watered down mayo won’t hurt. You’ll hear me say this a lot, but I believe in all things in moderation. I don’t (other than what I’m allergic to) cut anything completely out. I just try to be as healthy as possible and add a little of the not so good stuff in there. I hope you can make this and enjoy it as I did. healthy fish and chips

 

Here’s where it begins

This is my first blog post. I wondered what I would write about and of course even searched examples of “great 1st blog post”. It suggested that I should write telling people what my blog will be about and why they should read it. That seems redundant, as that’s what’s in my “about” page. But I guess I’ll follow the rules and add a little to it.

I feel like this blog can appeal to anybody. Although the thought has crossed my mind that maybe its all too much. I mean a blog about, healthy living, natural hair, nerdy interest, and motherhood ( which I’m just grouping family life in general into) is A LOT. But these are all the things that make up me, so I couldn’t choose just one thing to focus on. If you’re just here for one aspect maybe another we grasp your eye, and who knows you may find that you had interest that you didn’t even think you had.

That’s how it happened for me. I didn’t even know that I liked the things I liked, until I got with my husband. Before I met him my entertainment sources where limited to Disney movies and romantic comedies. That’s what I had been exposed to and what I thought I should like. I have cousins that were into, what I then considered “that weird stuff”, and now that’s me. As far as being healthy,that became apart of my life early in college. I’ve been overweight since childhood; back then they said it was just baby fat and I would grow out of it. Well, I didn’t. Almost every adult in my family is also obese and has some disease linked to it, being hypertension, diabetes, or both. I had a cousin that even died from diabetes in her early 20s. I did not want that to be me and I became the annoying person that tells everybody if they eat this or that they will get cancer or have a heart attack and die. Nobody likes that person, so I’ve just decided to live by example rather than shoving it down peoples throats.

I not going to continue to ramble on and on about each topic of my blog, I hope you’ll continue following, and reading to discover the rest for yourself.