Anyway, it's taken care of, and everything (other than the deer-damage (which gets taken care of on Thursday)) is fine now. Shimp Cookie is still nasty. Otherwise, I am trying, unsuccessfully, to clean my closet (see many previous entries). The decision has been made. That crap that I've been holding on to and trying to get rid of? It goes. That's it. It just goes, probably to St. Vinnie's, unless I can eBay it in another "Box of Stuff." I'm not getting rid of anything you would want.
What else? Oh, Midautumn Mitsuwa! I accompanied evil_jim, his friend Tom, Tick and Linsday to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, Illinois yesterday, and a good time was had by all. The mall has changed a little since last I was there -- you can no longer get red-bean crepes (this is a bigger travesty than it sounds), and the toystore is gone. I was really looking forward to beating myself up again over whether or not I should buy the soundtrack from Lain.
First stop was the food court, and I tried beef curry udon. The verdict? I wasn't too fond of it. I think it's the seasoning that bothered me. So far I'm zero for two in terms of authentic Japanese cuisine (junk food doesn't count). Perhaps I don't like Japanese noodle dishes very much. Next time maybe I'll try some sushi -- at least I'll know what to expect.
After lunch, we checked out the stores. The bookstore holds little of interest for me because everything is printed in Japanese, and much of it is shrinkwrapped. The DVDs they have are all Region 2, and I can't figure out how they alphabetize their CDs (in English, and yet somehow not). There's less pornography than anime would have you believe, and everything is printed in a jarringly colorful style which unnerves me in the same way that CAPITAL LETTERS DO WHEN THEY SHOW UP UNEXPECTEDLY.
Up toward the registers they have a small selection of handheld computers, most of which are dedicated English/Japanese translators. Some of them are PDAs and I really like them because they have keyboards. We consider built-in keyboard input on PDAs to be fairly archaic, but I think it's insanely cool. I'd like to write my own proprietary software for one, and every once in a great while I check out the selection of DOS-based palmtops on eBay, but I never bid. Not going to, either. Oh, well.
I spent my time mostly tagging along behind Jim so that we could hit the grocery store together. I knew I'd have a big armful of stuff to take out to the car. We looked around the china shop, and Jim purchased a bowl for his ramen. Some really beautiful stuff there, but it's also very expensive, even for really nice China. I doubt though, that Jim would've found a bowl like that in Madison.
I bought too much stuff at the grocery store. Looking at my receipt, I can't identify the names of most of my purchases (Usukawamanjyu 12 piece - $3.69?), but I spent about $4 more than last time and got quite a bit more stuff. Go figure. Namely, I stocked up on Pocky, melon Ramune, fruit gummy and Honey Twist Snack. All of it looks good, but so did Shrimp Cookie which was awful. I'm not sure how much I trust the rest of my new purchases, especially the ones purchased solely for the packaging. I think I'll write more about my finds as I try them. If nothing else, you'll know when I drink my can of God Coffee, because the post will be eleven pages long and all in caps.
Incidentally, Shrimp Cookie is gross. Whoever's responsible for that stuff, I want him fired.
After grocery shopping, I hit the Yuki Discount Store. Think dollar store, except that everything is Japanese and costs $1.50 ("or 4/$6.00. Do not open container.") They sell stainless-steel sporks, everything Hello Kitty (except the um, you know...), and housewares. The housewares are generally things you can find at Walgreens, but here they're in more cheerful colors (four of them). Yuki is also a great source of Engrish, but just I purchased practical items -- an egg slicer which was less expensive than the cheap one I considered buying last week, a couple of binto boxes, and an exercise product called "HAND * GRIP" which I bought to replace one that I lost some time ago. It looks like a cartoon character's mouth. A cartoon character with braces. And only four teeth.
Once we finished at Mitsuwa, we piled back into the car and searched for a Japanese toystore we'd been told was in the area. As luck would have it, the store from the mall had simply moved to a new location. I don't care much for anime so it wasn't of much interest to me, but I had fun watching my friends suck at DDR (not as badly as I would have), and looking at action figures sporting breasts that would make Barbie jealous. I asked if they came in more life-sized models, and the woman behind the counter was unnerved by the way I inadvertantly emphasized the word "action." I spent awhile moping around the CD selection, which had shrunk considerably despite the larger store and (otherwise) larger selection.
After the toystore, we headed home. When we dropped Tick and Lindsay off, they invited us to dinner with Ahnika whom I've never mentioned in this journal before. At first we were interested, but then as the hour grew later and they were still unable to reach Ahnika by phone, Jim and I decided to call it a night. When we got to his place, I came inside to check out some ideas he had for Jerry the Banana, and he got a call from Tick and Lidsay saying that they'd gotten ahold of Ahnika and were going to Noodles & Company, and did he want to come along after all? I whined my way into accompanying them (or rather, I was willing to whine, but they offered no opposition). We went to the one on the south side of town, and (having reached my quota of Asian culture), I ordered the Penne Rosa. Did I mention that my sister created that dish when she worked there? Well she did.
On the way home from Noodles, Ahnika kept encouraging Jim and I (but mostly Jim) to stay out and do stuff. I don't do stuff on Sunday nights anymore. I have to work early on Monday mornings. It's just not right. Instead I went home and opened that awful bag of Shrimp Cookie. Did I tell you about Shrimp Cookie? It's awful stuff, man.