stitching, zombies, and fountain pens

My little exercise in bargello went well! I might even frame this. I think I can now say I have mastered the stitch.

This is a fairly large project I’ve been meaning to make for a while. It’s a true sampler in that it “samples” different techniques. Already in this little start, in addition to regular cross stitch I’ve also used: Padded satin stitch; rhodes; Smyrna crosses; mosaic stitch; rice stitch; and one of my personal favorites, blackwork. It also uses variegated and metallics in addition to regular floss. The darker metallic was supposed to be a copper, but I couldn’t find it at Michael’s (and since I stopped driving, going to a bunch of different places looking for one 99-cent item is too much of a pain in the rump), so I improvised by blending a strand of reddish-brown regular floss with a thin gold embroidery thread. I think it worked out quite well.

Saturday I needed to go to the Hub to mail Granny’s pillowcase from the UPS store, and thought I’d pop into Borders and get a new book. During my morning channel-surfing I caught parts of both Shaun of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead. So with that in mind I decided on World War Z, which so far is a decision I do not regret at all because it’s fucking awesome. I think I’ll read his other book too, The Zombie Survival Guide.

Was George Romero the first guy to come up with the whole zombies-attacking-and-eating-people thing, or did he just popularize it? Because in Vodoun, zombies aren’t really scary. The fear is of becoming a zombie, not of zombies themselves. Zombies are seen as more pitiful than anything to fear. And they certainly don’t eat people. That must have been just a weird mistranslation between cultures or something.

Lastly, I finally found a place to buy my favorite pens, the Pilot Petit 1. Before I had to trek all the way to Japantown, but thanks to the Pen Addict blog, I discovered JetPens. I ordered a couple of pens and a bunch of colored ink refills (it’s a fountain pen) on Friday, and I got them the next day! It helps that they ship from Mountain View, which is in the next county south from mine. Anyway, if you’re into pens, I recommend them.

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wednesday in japantown with emma

Yesterday I took off work and met one of the very first good friends I ever made online, Emma. She’s in the Bay Area to see some cousins graduate from high school and college, so we met in San Francisco and I took her to Japantown. It’s my very favorite place in the whole city. We had lunch at Izumiya (ebi fry and matcha ice cream!), then spent way too much $$$. It’s easy to do that in Nihon Machi.

I got some incense at Asakichi, yuzu and lychee and orange blossom, then let the owner talk me into some green tea. He lit a stick and OMG it smelled good. He also gave me a free sample of hinoki and said to burn it with the tea and it smells really unusual.

We took some photos in a photobooth–there’s a store in Kintetsu mall that’s got at least a dozen of them:

We wandered through Kinokuniya bookstore, and at the stationary store I got some refills for my Pilot Petit 1, which is the best pen ever made, but hard to find. I also got a new cell phone charm (the eyes have worn off my old one, kind of creepy) and another papercraft chest of drawers. I love assembling those.

We also went to Ichiban Kan, where I got:

tabi socks!

Now I can justify getting another pair of geta–my old ones are all splintery.

bento supplies!

I’ve been looking everywhere for those mushroom-shaped cookies! And I really don’t need more picks, but when they’re only $1 a pack, why the hell not? I also already have those pig-shaped sauce bottles, but the ones I have didn’t come with stick-on wings.

So that was where I was yesterday. Good times, noodle salad.

p.s. I didn’t really take any general photos of stores and buildings because I go to Japantown a couple times a year and have done it all before. You can see some of the photos here.