Apparently I never got around to posting this year's Christmas ornaments. I blame this deadly funk I've had. I almost never get sick but when I do, my body tries to really go for the gold. *sighs*
Anyway, the funk seems to be clearing and I was actually able to remember that I needed to post these on my livejournal. *grins*
Anyone who runs in any cross stitch circles has probably seen these ornaments a dozen times over stitched by other people. What can I say, I had to have them as soon as I saw the pattern... and so did everyone else. Hahaha!
Anyway, here's to a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Reading Haruki Murakami's most recent book Killing Commendatore and I've got to say... I'm not really sure what I think.
I hadn't rushed into to this one because most of the reviews I read were something along the lines of "rehashed Murakami" and "just his same-old, same-old tropes, yet again—nothing new". But I'm reading this book and, speaking as someone who has read all of his other books, with the exception of the one about jogging (because, well, J. Washington Irving talking here), this book feels very different to me. But if asked (or not asked), to explain what I thought was different about it, I would find myself hard-pressed to put it into words.
Yes, there are some general commonalities with many of Murakami’s other novels. First person perspective, vaguely supernatural/otherworldly teases, epiphany shepherded by the unnaturally sagacious animals surrounding Person 1 who finds himself otherwise removed from humanity at large etc, etc. So I can’t bring myself to say that the reviewers were wrong, per say and yet…
They’re not right.
This book is not rehashed Murakami. It is not cut-and-pasted Murakami. It’s not even vintage Murakami.
(I know, I know, bold words for a reader who is barely 150 pages into a nearly 750 page book).
And if you asked me to tell you why I felt this so strongly, well... I guess the closest I could get to naming what I feel is to say there’s something really different, special even, about the tone. That’s still not the right word, but I think it is the nearest that I’ll be able to come to what I'm trying to express. The tone of this novel is what sets this book apart from (and ahead of) Murakami’s other works. It’s not unrecognizably Murkami—just about three quarters of a step off the usual Murakami. But that makes it feel so much clearer, even simpler. But not simple as in lackluster. Simple in a beautiful way. Simple in the "doesn’t need the distraction" kind of way. In the frustrating way that one person’s natural talent can sometimes seem to overshadow another’s lifetime of practice. Or like in a skill that can’t be taught, only found.
It’s a clean tone that, frankly, I find myself envying. I don’t think I’d ever be able to write this way, even after a lifetime’s worth of practice. I find the words hanging with me, reverberating around me in a way that I don’t know I’ve ever experienced before while reading. The story pulls me in and I can’t seem to pack it away. Even now. When I’ve forced myself to set aside the book in the name of getting some desperately needed sleep, instead I find myself up thinking and typing about it. Able to force myself to stop the physical act of reading and yet, not able to shut it out of my head.
If the first 150 pages are any indication, this may be my favorite Haruki Murakami book yet.
I don’t know. Maybe none of that makes any sense (sleep deprivation will do that). Or maybe my opinion will change by the end (I hope not, I feel like that might break my heart).
Anyway. Maybe you should consider trying it out yourself.
J. Washington Irving
“The way I see it,” Menshiki said, “there’s a point in everybody’s life where they need a major transformation. And when that times comes you have to grab it by the tail. Grab it hard, and never let go. There are some people who are able to, and others who can’t.”
Just put the last stitch in my most recent Stitchers' Escapes cruise sampler:
I did have to add a line to account for my longer than average name. And I used a little motif and the variegated floss from my Stitchers' Escapes European cruise sampler just because I could. *grins*.
Now to get back to the project I was working on before I left!
Everyone has that one person in their life. Or so he told himself
That one friend that they like, truly, whose friendship they value, and yet, that they still find themselves resenting or loathing even, often when they least expect it.
The one person that they try, often vigorously, even desperately, perhaps relentlessly not to hate, and yet, despite their best efforts, still do hate.
It is an enmity that is not constant. It fades with distance and time, and can even disappear entirely upon occasion, replaced by nostalgia and sentimentality. It is a hostility that waxes and wanes, only brought forth by, say, extended and/or frequent proximity to the person in question.
You know what really drives me way more crazy than it should? People who store their cross stitch floss like this:
I can hear you saying, "But I thought you used plastic totes and bobbins yourself..." To which I answer, "Yes. But I have enough sense to store the bobbins upright so I can read the G-DAMNED FUCKING NUMBERS LIKE A G-DAMNED FUCKING SANE PERSON."
Oh my god. Form over function at its most brain-dead. It's like the ass-hats who turn their book spines around because they like the way it looks. And all because someone who must not have ever stitched much decided the colors were "prettier" when the bobbins were displayed that way and then idiots who use their floss more as a status symbol than say, cross stitch tool said, hey you're right, and started following the leader (directly off the brain-dead cliff).
Anyway. I'm the idiot for letting it get to me. But still, every time I'm scrolling through a cross stitch group and see something like the image above the rage boils, deep inside. Yeah. I think they're fucking posers. Not that it matters. The kind of "stitchers" who would do something so dumb will either, one, stitch enough to figure out how stupid they're being and stand their bobbins up correctly or, two, never stitch enough to matter anyway. It's a problem that ultimately solves itself either way.
Stitched what will be the back to my entry into the Just Cross Stitch Ornament contest. Of course... being me, I've actively sabotaged my chances at winning. For starters, a big part of the score is based on the design fitting the "christmas" theme. As some one who stitches multiple christmas ornaments each year, nothing turns me off quite like traditional "christmas" themes. I've just stitched the same old holly and trees and santas too many times to count.
So this isn't very christmas-like. In fact, one of my main colors is purple/blue.
Also, the rules explicitly stated 14 count. And while most of this is 14 count... I couldn't resist tossing in a little "over one" work as well.
Hey, J. Washington Irving has got to J. Washington Irving. *winks*
Anyway, here's the back of said entry. I'll stitch it and the front (posted earlier) together soon. *grins*
Tried out DMC's new(ish) Diamant thread and have to say... I was thoroughly impressed. Usually metallics leave you (me) cussing a blue streak. While this isn't tangle proof and it still works best in relatively small lengths, DMC's version was SIGNIFICANTLY easier to work with than Krienik's. So there's that.