It has been almost two months since my last blog post, which is rather unacceptable, I know. It’s not like I have been busy since leaving my job. I’m happier, that’s true. I can actually smile and laugh when I am with friends – and I can actually see my friends now! Alex and I go up to visit about every other weekend or so. The other weekends, I usually drive down to Alex’s house. That’s usually the only time I drive anywhere.

But let me back up. Let me tell you what I have been doing in my re-unemployment time.

In February, shortly after I left my job, I went to visit my friend Jennifer at her school. It was the first time I had ever driven down there, and it was the first time in about four or three years that I had visited her there. I met some of her friends, played with her kitty, Sadie, we ate Indian food, went to a local yarn store, and saw a band Jennifer likes and she’s friends with. It was a very good visit.

Valentine’s Day came and there was a power outage that affected the whole town. We were in the dark for two and a half hours. Mom was grumbling a lot about it, but I just read by candlelight during that time. It was good that the power came back when it did, though. It was quite cold.

Also that month, Alex and I celebrated our fourth anniversary of being a couple. I gave him a pair of hand-knit socks and an autographed photograph of Clint Eastwood. Yeah, I know, I’m the coolest girlfriend ever. It’s funny, because it simultaneously seems like it hasn’t been that long since we’ve started dating, and yet it also feels like we know each other so well and feel so comfortable being with each other that it feels like we have been dating much longer. Or at least I think it feels like that. We don’t get to have the closeness a lot of couples get in four years, what with the two of us basically having a long-distance relationship for the past two years or so. It’s tough. But we make do, and hopefully, once I get a job, that distance problem will be solved.

My brothers David and Alex both had their birthdays in the past two months. Alex is nine now, and David is twelve. It makes me feel old. It’s unbelievable how quick they both have grown, and how much I have missed of their lives. If I could fix that, I would, but it is one of those circumstances beyond my control. It isn’t that I haven’t tried, though. I might be going to see them at the end of April – that is, if I am still unemployed. Part of me wants to see them, but there’s the other part of me that really needs an income.

In March, I cat-sit for Jennifer one morning and was so happy to play with Sadie. Then, during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, my mom was visiting a friend in Missouri and I had the house to myself. I went up with Alex that Friday night so he could play poker and I could have some time hanging out with Sarah and Scott. We went back home the next day, built a giant blanket fort in my living room, made chicken piccata for dinner, went to Good’s for ice cream, and then watched Harry Brown to cap off the night. We actually slept in the blanket fort, and it was rather comfortable. After Alex left the next morning, I made brownies, did laundry, and hung out in my blanket fort the whole day reading Looking for Alaska and watching The Walking Dead marathon.

Mom and I went to see The Hunger Games movie the first weekend it came out. I loved the books and finally convinced her to read them. I think the movie was all right. It was as good as a PG-13 movie adaptation of the books would be. I felt it was too fast-paced in the beginning, and I hated the shaky camera. It made my head hurt, and it’s hard to focus on what you’re seeing sometimes if the camera is whipping back and forth so much. I did like the cast, though, and there was at least one moment where I cried.

Then, last weekend Alex and I went up to see friends and we had a good time hanging out, drinking hard cider/beer, eating pizza, playing Fiasco and Cards against humanity, and watching Two-Headed Shark Attack. All in all, a good weekend. I always look forward to the weekend, though some people tease me because they believe that being unemployed means I get a weekend every day. It’s true that I spend a lot of time knitting, reading, and watching stuff on Netflix, but I also search for and apply to jobs every day, I write (in order to hone my skills and hopefully make something of it), and I try to make things better around the house for my mom by cooking and cleaning for her. I’ve also had at least two interviews in the past month. It hasn’t amounted to anything, but I am hoping that sometime soon, it will.

Well, that’s really all that’s going on. I’m really just back where I was a year ago – the same old, same old.

I am very bad at updating this, but it is difficult to write about the same things all the time. I mean, it’s not like my past two months have been uneventful, there are just so few big things happening.

So, let’s see, where have I been?

After my last post in December, things were pretty good. I still had my crappy job, but I was riding high on the holiday festivities. Goodies to bake, presents to buy and make, presents to wrap, things to plan. Alex and I went on our first big date in a while and went to Basbeaux’s pizza and then the zoo, where we got to admire the pretty Christmas lights and see what little animals were out.

Then, there was Christmas. Mom flew down to Texas to visit her side of the family because for the first time ever, they had everyone down in Texas for Christmas – except for me. I had to work on the night of the 23rd. I got off work at 5:00 in the morning on Christmas Eve and drove the three hours down to my dad’s house. I nearly passed out on the front porch because I was so tired. When I went upstairs to sleep, however, that didn’t go over so well. I felt bad because my brothers and my youngest cousin were playing and they had to be told multiple times to be quiet because I was trying to sleep. Of course, with fifteen other people, two dogs, and two cats in a house, sleeping during the day just doesn’t work. I somehow made it through Christmas Eve without passing out, though.

Christmas overall was good. I wished that it had lasted a little longer, as the day after, everyone left my dad’s house – including my brothers. I had originally wanted to stay and hang out with them, but with that news, I decided to leave as well. Presents were fine, though sometimes I wish my family understood me more. I’m not the kind of girl who needs or wants two televisions in her house, nor am I the type of girl who needs the newest and best everything. My phone isn’t a smartphone, my laptop is going on five years and it might be on its last legs, but I’m not rushing out to buy a new laptop…

Anyway, so yeah. There was some awkwardness, to say the least. After leaving my dad’s, I drove up to Alex’s house and celebrated Christmas with him and his parents. I had to go back to work on that Tuesday night, so it was quite the whirlwind Christmas visit and it hurt. Yes, I know I’m a young adult and this is a part of growing up, but still. I don’t want to be lonely.

I was actually lucky to get the night off for my own birthday party. Two weeks beforehand, she had put me on the schedule for the 31st when I had been planning this party a month beforehand. I know that bosses don’t have to ask to schedule your times, but when I had previously been under the impression that I would have that night off (it was a voluntary sign-up sheet and I hadn’t signed it), I was greatly annoyed to see that I was scheduled. Lucky for me, the part-time guy wasn’t a jerk (for once) and took over for my shift. I was so happy. I didn’t have to ring in the New Year and my birthday in a place I hated with all my being, and I had one awesome party. It was such a good night, even though the oven went out the night before and I had to run over to Nick’s house and bake my birthday cupcakes at his house. Yeah, that was a fun story. Our garage door and the opener went kaput the day before that, too.

Anyway, so January was okay. My birthday was fun, we finally had our Secret Santa exchange, I got sick with what I am pretty sure was the flu, and Mom and I went over to Ohio to see my grandparents. That was a fun visit, let me tell you. I got home at 6:00 in the morning and we had to leave two and a half hours later. I basically went for twenty-seven hours on two hours of sleep. However, it was actually a great time. We went to an art museum and saw a huge exhibit on Norman Rockwell, and then ate dinner at an Irish pub where I had the best beef stew in a bread bowl. I seriously wish that place wasn’t hours away, it was so good.

This month is shaping up to be pretty good so far. We watched the Super Bowl and bored the crap out of my boyfriend. We ate good food, though! I’m reading more, writing, working out. I’m happier. I can breathe easier. I can’t remember the last time I cried. Seriously. It’s been so long since I had that uncontrollable wave of sadness.

You know why?

Because I left that horrible job.

No, I don’t have another job lined up, but I’m searching. There was only so much I could take. Driving for one and a half hours a night, paying at least fifty bucks, if not more, a week for my gas (and that’s only if I drove to work), and a few other factors worked into my decision. My family and friends have been pretty supportive about it, except for my grandpa. I mean, I know where he is coming from, but he doesn’t understand the magnitude of anguish I had been going through these past few months. He was there for Thanksgiving, he should have had some idea.

Sure, I wish I had some form of income right now, but my mental and physical health is not worth ten dollars an hour. Either that job had to go, or I am pretty sure I would eventually have had either an aneurysm or a heart attack at the age of 23. I know it was a risk to leave, but I am confident I will find something better.

It has been eight days since my last bout of uncontrollable crying. So… progress! I am also happy to report that this is not the result of any prescription, but is completely natural. I have not felt sad. I’ve felt a little angry because of some things that are happening at my job, but not sad.

It has been a good past week. Last Sunday, I got to visit with Jennifer and her newly adopted kitty, Sadie, before Jennifer had to return to school. It was so great to see her, because I hadn’t since my Labor Day party. We just sat and talked for a few hours (and I fawned over her Sadie because I really wish I was in the position where I could adopt an animal right now), and I think that’s some of what I needed – just some social interaction.

Alex came up last Monday after he got off work and stayed the night. I made turkey broccoli fettuccine and garlic bread, we watched television together, played Words with Friends on his phone, and ran out to get Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I accidentally fell asleep on the couch with him, and I ended up going to bed at 10:00. Again, I was sort of lame and we didn’t do much, but all I needed was to be around him, and I felt better.

Tuesday, my day was pretty normal. I hung out in my pajamas, watched television, and knitted. I laid down for a nap around1:30, aiming to sleep until 4:30. I woke up at 5:00 when Mom came home. I had enough time, though, to take my shower and get dressed.

We had dinner at IHOP, where I had pumpkin praline pancakes with eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Then, Mom and I went to the movie theater to see The Muppets. The clerk said we had missed the first twelve minutes because there is a discrepancy between the times on the mall website and a normal Google search, apparently. We still took the chance (and got a discount on our tickets), and it was perfect. We didn’t miss any of the movie, just the previews and the Pixar short before it. There were only two other people in the theater. And the movie? It was magical. I would say that if you are a person who has ever enjoyed the Muppets, you would enjoy the new movie. They’ve done a wonderful job of mixing the old material with the new, the cameos were great (Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Alda, and Jim Parsons FTW) and there were several times where I was in a laughing fit. I am certain that I was grinning from ear to ear the entire film.

At the end of the movie, there’s a bit that might make you tear up a little. Not because it’s sad, but because it’s such a display of how the Muppets will always be in the hearts of those who grew up with them in their households (like my mom and myself), and there is room for them in the hearts of generations to come. I could hear my mom sniffling next to me, and I reached out to pat her leg, as I understood what she was feeling. Then I shed a few tears myself, because I felt like it was okay to. These weren’t tears of frustration, pain, and sorrow like they have been, but tears of love, for beloved characters I was glad to welcome back

The rest of my week has been pretty decent. I’ve wrapped the majority of my presents and put them under the tree (why yes, I am an overachiever), Mom and I have figured out what Christmas goodies we are making, and then we took our Christmas card picture. Yes, that’s right. We have a bunch of Christmas cards with photo frames, and since this might be the last Christmas my mom and I have while living under the same roof (as I’m hoping to move out next year), we took a Christmas picture together to put in our cards for the first time EVER. Yeah, this Christmas season has been full of weird twists this year, and it’s not over yet.

My nights at work have been okay. We haven’t been too busy. I loathe Thursdays and Fridays, but once I get over that little hump, I only have to work Saturday night until I’m free. This past Saturday night was a nightmare. We were not only full, but a lot of my co-workers on other shifts neglect to pass messages on to other shifts, or they don’t pay attention and it trickles down to our shift. I was so glad when my relief came in on Sunday morning. It was one of those mornings I was surprised I made it home because I was so tired, and I’m surprised I just didn’t lose control of myself because it was just such a long night.

When I came home, Mom just pulled monkey bread muffins out of the oven. Even though I probably shouldn’t have, I ate three and then went to bed. I woke up in the afternoon, got ready, and Alex showed up. We ran to Goodwill because I was trying to find something for a project with no success, and when we returned to my house, we had dinner. We didn’t do much, but I did have him try on the sock that I’ve been knitting for him and finally figured out how I can make them fit him. I will try finishing that up today so maybe I can actually finish the pair of socks before our anniversary – or, even better, before the end of this year!

Alex and I cuddled and played one of the games we used to play when we were first dating – a line of questions. We went camping once and walked around in the woods, just tossing questions back and forth about our favorite childhood memories and books and Thanksgiving traditions. This time, we asked Christmas-themed questions, even though we knew some of the answers already. However, I think we were meant to be when I asked him what his favorite Christmas movie was and he said that it was Love, Actually though he also likes the original animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sentiments exactly.

In the past few years, Christmas has made me miserable with everything we’ve had to do and all the presents I’ve had to make, but this year, I think it has brought me a sense of comfort that I’ve needed for a while. I look forward to the next few weeks full of Secret Santa trades (OMG SOCIALIZING WITH MY FRIENDS!), actually allowing Christmas music in my car, holiday baking, and finishing up the rest of my gift buying/making and wrapping. Before I know it, I will hopefully be in Lexington, celebrating with my family.

This girl’s not a Scrooge this year, that’s for sure.

The day before Thanksgiving, I had an invitation to a party. I wanted to go, I really did. But because I had so little time on Thanksgiving Day to make my pumpkin soup appetizer and my double chocolate pecan pie, I had to do them the night before. I got stressed out about the crust on the pie. It shouldn’t have made me freak out, but I did when I realized I had to redo the crust or else I wouldn’t be able to put the filling in. My inherent need for perfectionism made me lose it. I cried. Mom tried to console me, said she would bake the pie and make the soup while I should go to the party. But I knew she had so much cooking and cleaning to do for the event, and I should help her.

I didn’t finish the soup and pie until 9:00. If I had gone to the party, I might have had an hour to socialize before I had to leave for work, and that wasn’t going to work. I hadn’t seen the people I knew would be at the party for months, and I would want to be there for longer than an hour. So I didn’t go, and I drove to work with a lonely heart.

I would say Thanksgiving was nice. Not the best, but all right. Mom was cleaning when I got home that morning, I ate, crawled into bed, and I didn’t wake up again until a little after 2:00 when I got a text. I tried to go back to sleep, but then I started having hunger pangs. I rolled out of bed. Grandma and Grandpa had arrived,, and they were all very apologetic because they thought they were being loud. I had to explain, “No, it’s not that. I’m just hungry.” Luckily for me, they were snacking. I had some sweet pickles, black olives, crackers, and cheese. Then, since I figured I wasn’t going back to sleep any time soon, I took my shower. After that, I hung around for a bit.

We ate dinner around 5:30 – curried pumpkin soup, stuffing, turkey breast, carrots and parsnips, and mashed potatoes that Mom made (though I hate to tell her that mine are much better and don’t have to have all the onions, bacon, and garlic that she threw into hers). Everything was going well until the first words out of my grandpa’s mouth as soon as the blessing finished was not, “Please pass the turkey,” but rather, “I bet Sam is glad she has a job.”

I have no doubt in my mind my mother briefed my grandparents on what has been going on. I hear her whispering sometimes about me to them when they visit. I figured that, in their hours before my awakening, they heard the truth about how I feel about my job, and how I have not been myself at all. That remark really put a sour taste in my mouth. I just simply replied, “No, I’m not thankful for my job. I’d rather be spending time with my family and friends.” My mouth was shut for the remainder of dinner, for fear that if I opened it for even the slightest response, I’d bust and the well of emotions would come out again. I only ate single helpings of everything but the cranberry relish, because even though I like cranberries, I just really didn’t feel like having it. I excused myself from the table early because I was feeling tired, and I crawled back into bed for another hour. A call from my dad wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving awoke me. I just wish I could have a conversation bearing happy or good news, rather than the, “I’ve got work. There’s nothing else going on in my life right now because I have no life.” answer I seem to give every time we talk anymore.

We finished the evening with a viewing of Up, and even though I like the movie, it was difficult to keep my composure while watching it. The opening gets me every time.

Friday was worse. I came home after my nine-hour shift (that was actually a little longer because my relief came in ten minutes late. Apparently being punctual doesn’t extend to all employees). My mom had made me a breakfast sandwich, which I ate while crying. I went to bed shortly afterward. I woke up and started to cry, so I ducked into the shower to disguise it.

Mom and I had already put the Christmas tree up, but she got the ornaments and other decorations out while I was sleeping.  We ordered pizza and decked the halls while waiting for the delivery guy. Our tree looks lovely.

Before we ate dinner, Mom told me she had a surprise for me. I was led out to the outside of our house, where Christmas lights lined the roof of our house. For the record, I cannot remember the last time we had Christmas lights on our house. My dad and mom did it at least once when they were married, but that was over seventeen years ago. Mom and Paul never decorated the two houses we lived in, and we’ve been in this house for seven years and never put lights on it. We’ve always been so busy, or Mom knows how much work it is to put them up there. I’ve looked at other decorated houses with envy for years, and now, even though it is quite simple, I have Christmas lights on my house.

“We just wanted to make you happy, baby,” my mom said. It did. I mean, I was incredibly grateful for the time and thought that my mom and grandparents put into decorating our house. That was the problem, though. It just made me want to stay at home with them even more.

We ate dinner and watched Tangled, and everything was good. But after the movie ended, Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa played a game of Rummikub while I had an hour before I had to leave for work. I was going to have a slice of my chocolate pecan pie, but after I got the plate and the pie out, I started crying. I lost my appetite and put them back. I just went ahead and put my uniform on, and tried not to say anything.

My mom stopped me by the door before I was to go. She asked if I was okay, and I lost it. I couldn’t stop sobbing. She pulled me close to her and let me cry. For the first time in a long time, she didn’t yell at me or make me feel like a failure. I barely made it out of the house, for I was overcome with so much emotion and pain.

I don’t even know how I made it to work because my eyes were so blurry with tears. There was a moment when I looked up and realized, with a little confusion, that I was already at my exit and hadn’t noticed how close I was to it. When I thought I had cried so much that nothing else would come out, there were fresh wet spots on my green scarf. If the police had pulled me over, they would have thought someone had died.

I don’t know how I made it through work, either. Thankfully, it was a night I was able to leave early.

My Saturday was relatively good. I came home early, ate breakfast, and crawled into bed. Mom woke me up around 11:30, which mean I got about five hours of sleep. I felt pretty good. I got ready and we were out the door and down at the shopping center by 1:00. We ate at McAllister’s Deli, and then we walked around and went into stores. Mom and Grandma wanted to hit nearly every women’s clothing store. Grandpa stood outside. I felt bad for the guy.

I did buy something, but it was technically Mom’s purchase before I decided I’d pay for it so she didn’t have to put it on her credit card. It has gone from an immediate gratification purchase to being her birthday present. However, I didn’t buy anything for myself, nor did anyone buy anything for me. In the stores, Mom and Grandma would say, “Isn’t that nice? What do you think about this?” and I had to tell the truth: “It’s nice, I like it, but I can’t justify having it. I would have no place to wear it to, or I might wear it once.” I know this job isn’t permanent, that I’m not going to work here forever, but it feels like I will. When I have two pairs of work pants (which are technically my two pairs of nice khaki pants that are getting stains on them because my manager still hasn’t ordered my work pants) and three shirts, why bother? I spent so much money last year on professional clothes to use for teaching or a nice little office job, and I hardly wear any of it. I looked at so many nice items while shopping, but I knew that it would all be money wasted.

I tried to find a few gifts to complete my Christmas shopping list, but I didn’t succeed at that, either. For the most part, though, the gifts I need to make or buy are done. Why yes, I am an overachiever.

After walking around in the open air (and in the air of the stores), we went to Orange Leaf. Grandma and Grandpa had never heard of it, and since a new store opened in Noblesville a few weeks ago, we went. It was good, as always. Then we came home and I took a two-hour nap, which refreshed me just enough. We had little snacks and watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I had been wanting to watch for a few days. The DVD skipped a little, but it still worked, and it was a nice night.

Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa played a game while I did some knitting. I had some coffee and a slice of my double chocolate pecan pie before I had to get into my uniform and go to work. Everything, for the most part, went well. I was only a little upset when I had to leave, and then when I got to work I sat in the parking lot and cried a little bit, but I pulled myself together and came in. It was a fairly uneventful night, thank goodness. I did cry a little, though I think I hid it well from my co-worker.

All in all, if it hadn’t been for my job and all the crying, it would have been such a wonderful Thanksgiving…

There’s a reason why I haven’t been writing. Well, two. One reason is the fact that nothing exciting has actually been happening in my life. If I were to do a pie chart of my typical week, 33.3% of it would be spent sleeping. Approximately 41.6% would be spent working and commuting to and from work, approximately 2.9% of it would be spent seeing Alex, as I only see him once a week. Therefore, 22.2 percent is devoted to everything else in my life – eating, hygiene, and getting on the computer to check my e-mail or search for another job.

It sucks. But what sucks even worse is the second reason why I have not been posting here. I haven’t been feeling like myself since I went on the night shift. About a month ago, Allie Brosh of Hyperbole and a Half wrote a post that summed up a great deal of my own feelings, and that is of depression. It is a little comforting that I am not alone in the world in suffering from depression, and yet, it is not comforting. It’s terrible.

Now, my own depression is not necessarily like Allie’s, for people deal with their emotions and their illnesses differently. For example, let’s say… a roommate. My roommate gets sick. Just a little cold. She over exaggerates her symptoms and buys things and medications she will never use, and she claims she’s dying but it’s a minor cold that she gets over in a day or two. Me? I get sick and I ignore it. The symptoms come up and I think I’m tough. I am the Clint Eastwood of illnesses, or so I’d like to believe. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I don’t take medication because for the most part, it doesn’t work. I once suffered through a sinus infection for three months. The only time where a regular sickness turned me into one of those typical kids who go off to college and calls their mom to come up and help them. That was because I got the flu, and I was so weak my legs barely got me to the bathroom – and even then, they crumpled under me like a lawn chair outside the bathroom door and I had to wait a minute or two until I could use the wall to get me on my feet again.

Even though that was a long-winded tirade, it’s pretty much the same way I’ve dealt with my anxiety issues, and they’ve built up into a detrimental change in my behavior. I have had anxiety issues for a long, long, time, and it didn’t help that in college, I underwent a great amount of stress with my workload, dealt with bullying from a peer, and then was ultimately failed by the university I had entrusted with providing me with a quality education. I was also lied to by society. I’m not a perfect little snowflake. The things I love and are good at are not useful in actually earning money, and even though money can’t buy you happiness, it can give you a sense of security, especially when you have bills to pay, a car to keep running, student loans to pay off, or you take care of another person (the last one I actually don’t do, I’m just giving an example). Security is the second tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. However, while I do earn money in my employment, I do not get one very crucial part of that hierarchy that I once had: a sense of love and belonging.

I live with my mother. Besides her, the only other people I interact with are my co-workers who are all older than me, guests as they check in/out or inquire about something they need, and I get calls and texts from Alex – and, again, if I’m lucky, I see him on Sundays when I’m off for a few hours. But other than that, I don’t have people I interact with. I spend two hours commuting when I work – alone, in a car. I sleep while everyone is at work or in class, and I’m working when they’re sleeping or having fun on the weekends. Basically, I went from being at the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy to being near the bottom.

So there. On top of my long-ignored anxiety issues, I have lost so much of myself and what I had before. Even if my friends want to invite me to something, I probably wouldn’t be able to make it because of my job, and I know that everyone else has work and school during the day on Mondays through Fridays, so my chances of getting out of the house and doing anything fun are slim. I don’t even know what fun is anymore. When Alex and I get together, I never know what to do. I am lame,  I am boring, and I am sad and mopey all the time.

Which just makes it worse. The aura of perpetual self-loathing hangs around me, making me a miserable person to be around. I feel like a monster has taken control of my body and I can’t get rid of it. I just want to be who I once was, whoever she is.

I am not going to go into lengthy detail about how my job is going. It has its nights of merit, but it just seems like there is a lot of drama going on. Overall, it’s still a decent job. I like the tasks I have to do, and I have the chance to move around a lot rather than sit in a chair for eight hours. I don’t mind the commute most days. I like listening to one of the radio shows that’s on while I drive to work between 9:00 to 11:00 at night. It’s just lonely sometimes, and every once in a while I wish I could have Fridays and Saturdays off or Saturdays and Sundays off so I could have the chance to visit with my friends or family.

I get to see Alex once a week. Sundays are usually our days. But it still isn’t ideal because he works Monday morning. I can’t wait until we are able to move. I’m crossing my fingers for March.

While I went down to visit him the last two weekends, Alex came to visit today. We were both a little tired, but we talked, watched part of a terrible movie (The Happening – what the hell is up with that movie?), decorated some Halloween cookies, and ate chili. We also cuddled under blankets because even though my house’s furnace was replaced in the past month or so, we haven’t turned the heat on yet. After stepping outside after my shift this morning and finding my car covered in frost (I happened to be wearing only my uniform and a jean jacket), I feel we should reconsider.

I was sad to see Alex go tonight, but I was glad I at least had the chance to see him for a few hours. We have had several obstacles to overcome together so far, and even though our schedules are our main one for the time being, I feel that we will one day eventually get around it and be happier.

After he left, I went back to carving a pumpkin. Mom and I went to a local farm a few weeks ago and picked out a humongous gourd. Mom tore it right off the vine and tried to carry it out of the pumpkin patch, but it wore her out and I had to run and fetch a wagon to take it to the cashier.

Anyway, it sat there for a bit, and eventually I got the inspiration for my carving. I used to never be a fan of horror films, though during the month of October, it is somewhat difficult to avoid. Freddy Krueger is, in my opinion, one of the most frightening of slasher-film villains and he has even haunted my nightmares (though of course, I’ve woken up from those…). I prefer my zombies to shamble though I don’t mind if they run, and my vampires most definitely don’t sparkle. Mom and I have been watching a lot of recent thriller and horror movies lately, and that’s been fun. I think my favorite was the original Let the Right One In. The ending was so abrupt and disturbing, yet in a way, endearing in reference to Oscar and Eli’s relationship.

Oh wait, anyway, I got off track. I swear I have a point to this rambling. So in my junior year of high school, I got my wisdom teeth removed around Halloween. I didn’t put together a costume, or at least I don’t remember having one. I went to a Halloween party the day after I had the surgery, and my friends said I just sat around, staring off into space and occasionally giggling. Also, I kept saying, “You’ve got red on you,” to a guy dressed up like Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. I seriously only remember saying it once.

While I was recovering from having my wisdom teeth out, I sat around on the couch a lot. It was before I took up knitting, so I didn’t do any of that, but we rented some movies. I had heard about Evil Dead and was curious, and that was on top of the video stack as well as Evil Dead II and the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s The Rules of Attraction. I may or may not have watched American Psycho around that time, too. Anyway, I just remember watching the Evil Dead movies and I was so confused with the second one because I was doped up and couldn’t tell the difference between Evil Dead and Evil Dead II except the second one was funnier. But I liked it. I thought it was weird and Bruce Campbell was cool.  Eventually I got my hands on Army of Darkness, and I loved it. It was hilarious. I did an econ project my senior year of high school where I examined the film industry and what considerations have to go into making a movie, specifically a low-budget horror movie. I have watched Army of Darkness many times, and on my graduation from college, I wore a “Hail to the King, Baby” button on my gown.

So, anyway, my inspiration was my love for Army of Darkness, and after spending at least six hours over the course of four nights scraping images of Ash and Evil Ash out of this pumpkin, here are the results. I am so glad I was able to finish it in time for Halloween.

By the way, I actually didn’t realize I would have Halloween night off until last Sunday. With my old schedule, I would have been working. I wish I had noticed sooner, though. I’m not going to go through with making a costume this year. Reduce, reuse, recycle, they say. It should be fun, though. I’m going to go up north and hang out with some friends for Rocky Horror. I haven’t really seen anyone besides Alex for about a month. Oh, mature adult world, why do you have to suck sometimes?

Well, it’s been an interesting turn of events. Okay, not really that interesting. I am currently writing this in my town’s public library, using their wireless Internet access because ours at home have gone kaput. We don’t know why, it was slow last night and then, when we tried to fix it, we completely lost it. My mom called my Uncle Dave, who set it up, and he thinks it might have to do with the provider, but it’s been a day and it’s still not working. I texted Alex and told him we had no Internet and it was like DEFCON 5 at my house. He corrected me on my botched Wargames reference. It is in fact, a DEFCON 1 situation.

I hate to say how reliant we are on the Internet nowadays, but we are. My mom does the majority of her schoolwork online, which is good for her because she can plan out when she does her homework. Unfortunately, I think she has something due tonight and that’s why we’re here. I wanted the Internet only so I could check my e-mail (which is probably junk) and I could write my 750 words for the day, since I have a good 115 day streak going and I am hesitant to just let it slip through my fingers. I just hope we can make it home in time to see the new episode of The Big Bang Theory. One of my nerdcrushes Wil Wheaton is on it again tonight, and I can’t miss that.

Otherwise, I haven’t really needed the Internet. I’m hoping to finish a Christmas present for one of my brothers tonight, and then I have a bunch of other Christmas knitting to work on. I’ve even started reading again, though most of my reading is done at work. So that means that in a 738-page book that I started three weeks ago, I’ve gotten about 102 pages in. Oh well. I vow to get back into the reading habit. I have far too many books to let them go unread. The large tome I am working on is a collection of Rudyard Kipling’s horror and fantasy stories. I admittedly only bought it because I saw it had “The Mark of the Beast” in it, which I love, but I am quite interested at what I’ve read so far. His language is a little hard to decipher at times, but that’s to be expected. Just wait until I get to my collection of Shakespeare – I’m going to go out of my mind because of his workings on the English language.

Also, I watch too much television. Mom and I got the first season of The Walking Dead and devoured it. We’re looking forward to the new season starting on Sunday. I’ve recently gotten interested in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and rediscovering South Park. My mother is not pleased. She also thinks I’m weird.

Anyway, nothing too exciting happening now. I’m a young, employed, apparently responsible adult now. I have been working at the hotel for four weeks now, though I’ve been in training for three. I actually enjoy my forty-five minute commute most days. I have noticed that the radio has a certain taste. It seemed like just about every time I was in the car either going to or coming from work, “Hotel California” would be playing. I don’t know if other hotel employees find that funny, but I thought it was hysterical. I have heard “In the Air Tonight” a lot, and that usually results in me belting out the lyrics and beating the drum part on my steering wheel. Also, Adele plays a lot, and though she has the most beautiful voice, there is only so many times I can take hearing “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You.” It’s such good music, but it makes me so sad and I really don’t have a reason to be sad right now.

Well, okay, maybe one reason. They are now getting me on a regular schedule. I’m going to have Sundays and Mondays off now instead of the proposed Thursdays and Fridays. That was my choice, though. I would much rather have Friday and Saturday off, but that’s not an option. I will, until some miracle happens, always work on Saturdays. So that sucks. I mean, I would be fine with my schedule, I just wish it didn’t seem like everyone I knew was in another time frame. I don’t know if I’ll actually get to visit my dad again until I have a year put in (because that’s when I earn vacation time). My friend Jennifer wrote on my Facebook wall the other day saying I should come visit her, and I’m just thinking, “Sure, but you’re still in school. You probably have classes or clinicals on Monday, so that’s probably not a good idea for me to come stay with you on Sunday…” but I really want to see her.

Before I was employed, I wanted to be a responsible adult. I wanted (and still want) to move out and be on my own. I wanted to feel like I was mature, or well, actually acting my age instead of feeling like nothing changed since the four years since high school. So now that I have a job to go to, why does that make me feel so crappy? I still don’t know what I want anymore, I guess.

Oddly enough, another song that reminds me of my job other than “Hotel California” is “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” I should make a mix-tape.

Just a quick pop in right here. I’ll try to post something bigger in this upcoming week.

But yeah! I got a job! I found out over a week ago, started training on Tuesday. I’m employed a front desk worker through a hotel and I think it will be an interesting experience. I have already learned a lot and have only been working for four days. My schedule has been switching around a lot, but eventually my regular shift will be the C-shift, better known as the “night shift” or “graveyard shift.” I keep joking that I’m going to become a vampire. I think it will be a good opportunity for me and I think I will gain a lot from this experience.

While the shift isn’t ideal, it’s something. I know that I won’t enjoy the weekends off like my friends and boyfriend will, but it’s something. I already can’t go to Christmas in Texas this year, but it’s something. The commute is an hour down and an hour back, but it’s something. I miss my free time, but it’s something. I needed to get out of the house and I needed to earn money, so it’s something. I am so happy to finally find a job after six months of sitting around and moping.

And with any luck, I’ll be able to at least cut the commute down in a few months when I move closer, and I’ll also be with the boy. <3

Ha! See what I did there? Yeah, that’s not a typo. That’s a poor pun. I suck at telling jokes.

I am enjoying my long Labor Day weekend with the house to myself. I spent the majority of my night cleaning the house the best I could. I don’t know the last time the kitchen floor was washed. That was disgusting. It makes me shudder just thinking about it. I rewarded myself by eating an Oreo Blizzard I spontaneously ran out and bought in the middle of my cleaning because I had a coupon and didn’t know when our local Dairy Queen closed.

Last night was good. Except for the part where I double-checked the locks on the doors, locked my bedroom door, and still freaking out whenever I heard a strange noise that was, of course, just the house. I guess this is why I don’t live alone. Luckily, Alex will be here later.

I slept in and now I’m doing laundry. I know I should probably work out, but it is past 11:00 and I should definitely take a shower. Whatever. This post isn’t about me. Well, it sort of is. But it is about my excursion into the territory where I dye my own yarn. Oh man. Next thing you know, I’ll be spinning my own yarn. I think my mom will hate me once I get to that point. I have enough crap as it is.

I used Knit Picks Bare Fingering Weight – the superwash kind, since I most definitely did not want to worry about felting. I looked at a bunch of tutorials for this, but I think I mainly used Eunny Jang’s self-striping tutorial. I like stripes, and I was feeling ambitious. So I figured out my colors, and I did some math, but then gave up on math and just pulled out a skein of Felici and measured its stripes. The circumference of my yarn then spanned two chairs I put out in the backyard on Tuesday. It was huge. I had to have my mom help me bring it in, where it looped around the entirety of our family room. I took a picture, but I don’t have it here.

Wednesday I bought the Kool-Aid. I went to my nearest grocery store and was dismayed that there were only two colors I needed there, so I went out of my way and drove to Meijer. I will now buy all my Kool-Aid from there, since they have an entire shelf of it. I also happened to run into some dear friends of the family while I was out, so that was fortuitous.

Thursday was when the magic happened. I cleared out a giant Tupperware tub that usually holds a large portion of my dishes from school and filled it with water and a cap of delicate soak. I put the yarn in and let it sit while I was preparing cookie dough. I put the Kool-Aid in mason jars with some water.

I used Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Lemon-Lime, Orange, and Lemonade. I used two packets for the Lemon-Lime and the Lemonade, though I feel I should have added more of the Lemonade because it wasn’t as strong as the other three colors in the end.

Now remember how I had carefully planned out my stripes? Well, I had a little issue putting the wet yarn into the jars because it decided to tangle. I was trying to undo it and ended up with water dripping all over the floor and all over myself. Good god. There was water EVERYWHERE. I put one of the ends into the green jar like I had planned, and then realized that I had put too much in. Oops. I was mad at myself for botching the plan, but I continued to put the rest of the yarn into the other jars. I used the double-boiler method, and this is the view from above the pot:

 

White Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies + Yarn Dyeing =

Multitasking like a boss.

I let it sit until it was clear, then I rinsed it out and hung it up to dry. The next morning, I wound it into a hank. Since I don’t have a yarn swift (hopefully a Christmas gift this year?), I had to make do with what I had, which was an upside-down desk chair.

I wound it a little too tight, admittedly. It still did the job, though.

These are my bright pretty colors! I’ve christened the colorway “Weird Science” because 1) the bright, strange, acid-tripping neon colors, 2) I truly tried to plan things out and it became skewed, just like an experiment gone wrong, and 3) I’m a nerd. I’m quite proud, especially since before Thursday, I was a dyeing virgin. I feel an addiction coming on, unfortunately.

Finally, here’s my yarn all wound up! I can’t wait to see how it looks once I’ve knitted it into a pair of socks!

The only bright side of being unemployed is the fact that I have a lot of time. Yes, I do job search. I job search every weekday morning, and sometimes I actually find something that I would be qualified to do that isn’t at McDonald’s. In even rarer cases, I actually get an interview. But usually, I get an e-mail saying that whoever was hiring has decided to choose someone more qualified.

I read. I workout. I write. I knit. I do a bunch of stuff. However, I feel that I am missing a lot out of my life. Namely, the fact that if I can’t move out of my mom’s house sooner, the longer I will feel that I am not, in fact, an adult – among other things.

But enough of that! The point of this post is not to wallow. It is to celebrate a bit of my work. While this is not everything I have done since graduation, these projects are perhaps my favorite work so far.

First up: Polly Jean Socks knitted with Knit Picks Palette (in Mulberry) gifted from my friend Krista.

Second: Jaywalker Socks knitted with Knit Picks Felici (in Abracadabra). I used opposite ends of the skeins so they are quite funky. I love them and can’t wait until it cools down enough so I can wear socks again. Because let’s face it. It’s summer. You don’t want to wear socks – but you sure as heck can knit them without sweating!

Third: A mohawk hat, taken from the pattern for Punk’s Not Dead from Pretty in Punk. I basically got the book just for this pattern. I also made one for my mom because we want to wear them to next year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Hers is solid, while mine is striped. It makes me feel awesome.

Four: My first embroidery project! The quote, “Sriracha is the Worcestershire Sauce of Thailand” is from My Drunk Kitchen – Episode 7, Tacos. I love watching this show. If you don’t watch it already, you totally should. Hannah Hart is so adorable. I introduced my boyfriend to the show as well, and he likes it. He also likes sriracha sauce, which I never tasted before I met him, so I decided to do an embroidery in tribute to this affinity for the angry rooster sauce. I think it will look great one day hanging in his (*cough* our) kitchen. I gave it to him for his birthday, and he really got a kick out of it.

Now I’m going to clean the house, because I really should do that. I’m going to have company over this weekend.

 

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