Boku no Inochi Dakara

I've been really down lately, since the job market is looking kind of thin. I have no leads currently, and all the applications I put in (about 20 or so) have been put "on file." Every single one. I think that's enough to dishearten anyone. I keep thinking positive thoughts, though, because it's one of the only ways to keep me from being bitchy all the time because I'm upset about my situation. I'm going up to the bike shop near my house tomorrow to get a new rim for my bike tire, then next week (my weekend is booked) I'll ride down to the mall and just fill out applications everywhere. Maybe it'll work.

Today's post title is in Japanese, and it means "Because it's my life." I keep thinking that this is my one life to live as Katie, daughter of two loving and fun parents, sister of two fabulous women, and friend of some really awesome and supportive people, so I'm going to make the most of it. In an anime I watched a while ago called 'Manabi Straight!' the main character's favorite phrase was "kyo mo ichinichi massugu ni go" or "today is all straight forward go!" I've been trying to adopt that sort of thought process, and I've adapted that saying to fit myself.

Kyou mo mainichi massugu ni go! (today and every day is straight forward go!) It helps a little when I'm feeling really down about something. And whatever helps, right? Haha, anime: my anti-drug.

And now, for some pictures.

Here we have Manny. Manny is an alpaca. Isn't he cute? Em got him for me from a store up where she lives. He's made from alpaca wool and is mostly fluff. Manny keeps me company by my computer and guards my knitting needles. I have to be careful now, because he seems to really like the merino wool I got for the cosplay socks (the WIP you see posed with him). I quite like the way they're coming out; they'll be nice and cushy on my feet while still being comfortable at the same time.
I caught Manny earlier tonight trying to get out my door with a skein of the black merino.
He's on probation now, and I'm going to have to lock the merino away, because Calvin has also taken an interest in it, and he wreaks havoc on yarn of any kind.
Speaking of wreaking havoc on yarn, Emily texted me earlier today to say that she had seen the second moth in her house in a week and was panicking an option yet? I calmly asked if they were anywhere near her stash, and had she checked it yet? She said no, but she was shaking out her yarn to be safe. I don't blame her, every time I see a moth I follow it with my eyes until it lands and I can kill it, even when I'm not at home. Actually, at the pet store, I got very good at moth-fu, or the art of knocking a moth out of the air with a shotei punch and then squashing it with your foot or any available flat, heavy object.
I have an email-penpal in South Korea, and she's very sweet. She wants to learn several languages and work in the UN as a translator. She tells me all the time that her friends tease her that her English is better than her Korean, and I always tell her that her English is very good (it is, I have to say) and that if she works hard I'm sure she'll get the job she wants. She always tells me that receiving emails from me makes her feel better, because I'm always so positive. It makes me smile hearing that I made someone else feel better. She told me that in her English class, one of their tests was they had to pick a person, place, or object that was important to them and describe why in front of the class. She chose to talk about me, and how I always had something nice to say and helped her with her English all the time. She won a prize for her speech, and her English grade has gone up since she started emailing me.
It's the small things like that that make me feel like all the tough stuff you go through are worth it in the end. Knowing that I'm helping someone in a completely different country, even if it's just correcting a verb tense, and receiving a note of gratitude for it the next day makes the crappy day I had at work lighten some. Am I sounding too sappy? Maybe. But oh well.
You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note.
~Doug Floyd


Well, Otakon '08 is fast approaching (is it almost February already? good grief!) and so costume production has stepped up in my group. For those that don't know, Otakon is an anime convention down in Baltimore, Maryland--one of the biggest on the east coast. We (my friends Corey, Brandon, Colleen and myself) are doing several group-cosplays (costume play: dressing up as an anime/game/fictional character) including the anime Bleach, which has become popular rapidly in the US; Final Fantasy VII, one of the most wildly popular Final Fantasy games which has spawned several remakes, sequels, and even a movie; and gothic lolita harry potter. Yes, it sounds very strange, I know, but we're anime fans and we're weird. And, of course, I manage to include knitting into this year's costumes: I'm knitting the socks that go with the girl's outfits.

They're knee-high socks, simple enough, with black as a base color and red and gold stripes near the knee. The pattern I'm using is toe-up, though I've never done that before. It's an experience. I think the toe will be stronger than the normal kitchener stitch, but that may just be my imagination. It's been very active lately.

Emily, having moved out, can no longer plague me with silliness when she gets home from work; now, she texts me a lot. An example from earlier today:
Em: Hi!
Me: Hi. Again. What's up?
Em: Hi. Is bored. Wants to text. Hi.
Me: Hi. That sucks. You are. Hi.
Em: Why are you such a grump?
Me: I'm not a grump, I'm just cleaning off my bookshelf.
Em: Okay. You sounded like a grump. Don't be a grump, 'cause then I won't give you the super cool surprise I got you today.
Me: Ooh, I like surprises.
Em: You will like this one. It is not fuzzy and adorable, but it is super cool. And fun.
Me: Sounds awesome. Alas, I don't have a surprise for you.
Em: That's okay. You don't need one, it's enough that I'm coming home to mooch dinner.

Yeah. Emily is strange. Not so strange as I am, I think, or maybe equally strange in different ways. Last night she sent me a text saying that she got an alpaca and his name is George. I was confused and momentarily imagined her building a stable for an alpaca in her back yard. While that was an amusing image, I opted to reply most verbosely with "What?" She sent me a picture of a fuzzy white stuffed alpaca. When I asked if she could get me one and I'd pay her back when she came down, she said "I can't, sorry. We already left the mall." Not cool. I spoke to Mom about it, and she said it was uncool of Em not to think of us. Good job, Em. Now mom is going to make a dinner on Saturday with lots of ricotta cheese in it. Just for you.

I have no real pictures to share this post, and not a whole lot of news. Be sure, however, that unemployment is not fun and I am not enjoying being really freaking poor. I've put out applications all over the place, mad some follow-up calls, and have been assured that my applications were "under review." I'm relatively sure that that's employer code for "thanks for the scrap paper, babe." I am growing slightly discouraged, but I keep telling myself it's because the holidays are over, and most companies have had massive lay-offs of seasonal people. Yeah, that's it.

I have learned to use the word 'impossible' with greatest caution.
~Wernher von Braun



I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

And here I thought I'd be Marianne Dashwood.


Joyous of Most Joyful Joys!

I have, in my adventures in knitting (they are all adventures, each of my projects) found that I have problems finishing socks. No, it doesn't even get as far as Second Sock Syndrome, where I can't complete the second of a pair. I usually become discontented with the first sock halfway or more through and pull it out.

With that explanation out of the way, it is my utmost pleasure to reveal to you ...

...my very first pair of completed socks. These are the pointsettia socks that I started for Julie's strikke-along that started in October. It has taken me rather close to two and a half months to complete these, my first foray into stranded color, and I am so pleased with them I was hard put not to wake up my mom when I was done shrinking them to uniform size (my tension changed between socks, making the second one to be a good 3/4 inch smaller in all measurements than the first) to show them off. I reminded myself that she saw them yesterday pre-blocking. It's working so far. I'm wearing them proudly now and love them dearly. Here, have some more pictures!

I am so proud.

In celebration of this FO, I offer two quotes for you.

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do.
-Henry Ford

Be fearless with knitting.
-Stephanie Pearl McPhee, At Knit's End


Is it a bad sign when you discover (or rather, remember) that you're going on a car trip with your BF to pick up a TV from someone and you immediately think that you can't do your current project in the car and start digging through your stash to find something simple and easy to cast on?

I didn't really think so.

Also, I lose scissors so often that trying to find them again is driving me to distraction. The room that I spent three days cleaning is a mess from me tearing it apart trying to find my scissors. And my pen knife, which I often use in place of scissors.

"Sanity calms, but Madness is more interesting."
-John Russel


Despair. I has it.

Well, we finished breaking up the calendar store today. All that's left are some boxes of calendars ready to be whisked away by Fed-Ex and pieces of displays/shelves to be taken by Borders Grunts. I feel bad leaving Borders behind, more than I did at the pet store because I like Borders a lot. I love books (even shelving the childrens section, which is made of four other sections combined and is totally back-asswards), I'm good with people, and the people that worked there are nice. Oh well. The Great Job Hunt begins anew.

Now that Em has moved out, I'm over-hauling my room to move it back the way I like it. My parents offered me our entertainment stand and tv for when I play my ps2 (since we don't watch tv), but I declined and BF has offered me a 27" instead of the 36" I'm letting Em and Jim take if they want it. I'm trying to move my room around while I have time, because I know my parents would like that stuff out of the rec room. My room is getting cleaner, though it's still an abominable mess. I'm also trying to clean it up quickly because my dad gets all twitchy when he sees it this messy. I am making progress, though. Honestly.

The weather this week is strange. It made it to 70 today. It's a blue sky with some wispy clouds and lots of sun.
Does anyone know what happened to January?
Anyway. I said I would post some pictures, and so here we go. I can't post any picures of the hat I knit for the polyanna at Borders because I didn't take any before I wrapped it. The woman who recieved it said that it was warm and she loved it, though. Mission accomplished. Then she said that she washed all her wool things with Wool-ite or whatever it is. I winced and tried to dissuade her from doing that, but she insisted. So when her hat felts, she'll wish she had listened and read the instructions for washing that I included.

Right. Pictures.

This lovely basket is a Christmas gift from my mom. It's supposed to be for my yarn and other knitting things, but, uh....it doesn't hold them all, so I still have two boxes of stuff next to my book case. That's okay, though, because the basket is pretty and it's good for keeping common-use things in easy reach. When Em and I saw these oddly-shaped things wrapped in trash bags Christmas morning we kind of guessed what they were. It's hard to hide baskets, but my mom did an admirable job with everything else.

That right there is my wrap. I don't really need one right now because it's so warm, but New Jersey weather is a fickle thing. Tomorrow, it could be thirty and blizzarding. You never know. I made it up as I went along, so if you ask me for the pattern my response will be, "knit some, purl some, throw in a cable somewhere, then purl and knit some more. Repeat until it looks right."

This is a slightly blurry close up of one of the cables. This yarn is so pretty. It's very earthy to me, and I think I might have to go back and buy more. Not even because I might need more to finish the wrap, though I might, but because I really love it. It's Patons, so it's 100% wool and I'm not looking forward to trying to block it. It'll be....unique, I'm sure.
And this month's Art Walk sock yarn is Flaming June. When I went to take a picture of it, I discovered it gone from my basket! It had escaped into a nearby tree, I assume for some sun bathing. I'll have to keep it on a short leash if I ever take it outside again.

And, keeping my mom's theme of smiles, this post's quote is:
"A smile is the shortest distance between two people." (unknown)


My laziness. Let me show you it.

Wow, has it really been almost a month since my last post? Oops. I am neglecting my blog.

I have no pictures to post right now, but I swear on the life of my pink shirt that I'll post some later. We're taking Holly down to AC today to walk the boardwalk and have a splendid dinner at Harrah's buffet. They are so much win.

I have done very little of anything productive in the past week and a half. Mostly because Holly is here and I don't feel like doing much. We went to Haddonfield and had crepes. They were delicious. We went to Philly to see the Mummers Parade. It was cool but really boring because there were fifty billion comic brigades and the comics suck. The fancies were nowhere to be seen. We went to Philly yesterday to have lunch at the 10th Street Pour House with my mom and one of her coworkers. The sandwich I had (cajun popcorn chicken po'boy) was absolutely delicious. ...I ate a lot this week.

On the knitting front, not much has happened. At all. I am slightly ashamed of my lack of knitting, but not very. I've recently lost my job at the pet store, so I'll have more time to knit, soon. The reason I got fired, I've been told (by the trustworthy manager) is that the district manager decided that the Echelon store was going to hire back two people who left, and then fire all the other animal care. So Alecs, the manager I don't like, managed to keep Mike the Caveman Smoker and had to get rid of everyone else. He also decided that he wasn't going to tell me I was fired until I asked why I wasn't on next week's schedule. Ultimate suck! So Matt, the cool one, filled me in. He said it wasn't fair for me not to know.
Matt=the only cool person in the store

Anyway. Ranting done.

Hope you all had a wonderful new year, and that the coming months are full of FO's!

"It's Christmas Eve and the Soviets are cheating on arms agreements!" 12-24-85
(I took it from my mom's quote book. No idea who said it or what was going on that made them say it.)