Status Quo

When I was teaching in Japan, I had a student, a volcanologist (whom I nicknamed, appropriately, Mr. Volcano because I’m clever like that) who had gotten his Ph.D. in England. His English was Scrabble-good, but he paid for lessons anyways. And to be perfectly honest, I looked forward to my time with him–especially after a day of explaining gerunds and dangling participles to people who frankly just weren’t interested. Anyway, during one conversation, he asked me why I was doing something, and I replied that it would help me improve, and his response to that was “what’s wrong with the status quo? why are Americans so intent on improvement?”

That just floored the 24 year old me. Who wouldn’t want to improve? Why be satisfied with the status quo?

Well, 24 is barely a speck in my rear-view mirror, and here I am, still so intent on improvement.

Case in point: September Morn. AKA the Olympic sweater. I have finished this puppy now for the third time. Still not quite satisfied, and after her first public airing, I may rip out the bottom and re-do it, AGAIN.

The most bothersome is the length–both the arms and body. I want the cuffs to actually cuff, so I may just have to tack on a few more inches. And I want to bend over and not expose the small of my tramp-stamp free backside. I’m also not a fan of the ridge under the front neckline, but I’m not going to rip back that far–I knew as I was knitting that short rows in the back would have taken care of this, but I didn’t pause to add them. Shame on me.  That being said, generally, I’m pleased with the outcome.  I love the raglan sleeved ribbing–it makes my nonexistent shoulders broader.  And the neck is warm. And it matches my skirt. Always a good thing.

More improvement: Wednesday (3/5) was the Mister’s and my 20th wedding anniversary! It’s a big year, but we decided to be a little low-key about the actual date because of our summertime trip to Europe.  Over the weekend, though, we were in Maine at a friend’s second wedding (side note: SO FREAKIN’ HAPPY THAT GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE), and the Mister mentioned what a “jama” (Japanese word for ‘obstruction’) my packed and preserved wedding dress box is. We decided to open up the box and do away with the dress.

Guess what? It still fit! No knocking self-improvement.  Three years ago, this would not have fit At. All.  But all that running and core work has paid off.  (another aside: I was soooooooooo tempted to wear the dress All. Day. Long.  To work. To our dinner. Just for the hell of it. The biggest deterrent? The freezing temps.)

My idea prior to unearthing the dress was to cut up the silk and use it to make a baby’s christening gown (for waaaayyyyy down the road) or to pimp up the three Things’ baby picture frames in the fabric or something rather Martha Stewart-esque.  It was not an expensive/designer/fancy pants dress, but it suited me. But once out, I got rather sentimental and now I’m faced with the decision–to I pay to re-seal it up? Or proceed as planned? Now in it’s unpacked state, it’s even more of a jama in my closet than it was entombed in the basement.

Improvement on a larger scale: Wednesday (yep, it’s been a big week chez Sato), I finally got my #bia sports watch.  This was a Kickstarter project I had backed WAY BACK in August of 2012. The watch was due in April 2013.  There were numerous delays, and to be frank, the frustration of waiting so long soured me a bit. But it’s here, and I ran with it on Thursday.  And I sorta liked it.  The best thing about it? The way it sits on my wrist.



Yeah, it looks a little wonky, but I gotta tell you, while running, I HATE twisting my wrist all around to see the face of my Garmin.  AND I HATE how typical watches bang into my wrist bone. This is brilliant. Slightly wonky look, yes, but brilliant.  My Garmin does more (it holds my running calendar and beeps to tell me to speed up, etc), but I think the bia will catch up.

Future improvement: Again, Wednesday (talk about the convergence of things happening) was also the start to Lent.  I know, I know, it’s supposed to be about sacrifice, but I’m taking this opportunity to set myself up for a GOOD spring/summer (if it ever gets here). All the dark and snow and cold have helped me really pack on some pounds.  I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment.  I was at a fundraiser last week and the ONLY topic of discussion, other than the charity, was how much weight everyone had gained so far this winter.  Which was a lot.  I think the fierceness of the season sparked everyone’s hibernation gene. And baking gene.  Look, for example, at my mother’s handiwork (she was minding the Things while the Mister and I had traveled to Maine for 17 hours):

Red velvet cupcakes (Thing 1 did those). A layered pound cake. Brownies. Key lime short bread. Blueberry muffins.

So my sacrifice for Lent is to give up food make better food choices.  Eventually the snow will melt, the temps will rise above freezing, windows will have to be opened, legs will have to be shown, and wedding dresses will have to be fit into again in 20 more years. Lots of room for improvement!



  1. Oh, now I’m tempted to get out MY dress, which totally won’t fit, but which has rosettes on it similar to yours! We were 25 years this past year, so I’m a wee bit older, I guess.

  2. Good for you that you can fit into your dress! I wore my dress for Halloween about ten years ago and couldn’t zip it up past my waist…somehow my two kids made my back spread! I wore it anyway with a cape to hide my shame!

    • Usually I’m so eager to finished with projects, I just let the details slide, but I’ve got a growing number of unwearables, and this yarn was too precious to waste, I kept at it. One more re-do should be the charm.

  3. I’ve never heard before that wanting to improve in an American trait, interesting. I guess I can see that though – this is supposed to be the “land of opportunity” and was founded by people who firmly believed in continual self improvement. Anyway, love seeing your wedding dress! Mine is a print, so after my wedding this June, I think I want to make a floaty skirt out of it. Then I can rewear it!

    • I think that’s why his comment floored me–I thought of it as more a human trait than particularly American. And I love the idea of a print wedding dress-such a good idea. My sister married about 10 years after me and her wedding dress had POCKETS and she served cupcakes. Now that’s an improvement on two fronts!

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