PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Vaseline Lens

OK, today, I feel like I'm going through the day with a big ol' schmear of vaseline on my eyeballs. It's worse on the left eye than the right. BLEAH! All I want to do is go home and nappynap and I can't because we have to CLEAN. Double BLEAH!
At least I get PollyHugs and JWoHugs at home.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:21 PM | link |

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Knitty Day!

So, last night I finished the Chiefs Squiggle scarf. It's fun! It's a bit wider than I typically make my fun scarves, but it should narrow up a bit from the weight of it when worn. Picture to follow.
Started a poncho, as it is mandatory for everyone who knows how to knit or crochet in this country to be knitting a poncho. I would hate for the Poncho Police to show up and discover I'd only purchased yarn & looked at patterns, nothing on the needles sir, can you give me a warning this time? The obligatory poncho is two strands of yarn - a raspberry-browns-pinks mohair with fuchsia Brown Sheep wool. I am using a couple of freebie net patterns as inspiration, and making my own up as I go along. First major change was to knit back & forth before joining in the round - I detest things tight on my neck, so hopefully a ribbed collar of sorts will give me the coverage, yet not restricting. It's also a simple YO K2tog for one row, knit the second row, open lacey pattern. Increases every other row at the front point & the back point. It will get interesting when it hits about wrist length, because I'm pondering putting slits in for my hands! We'll see. Not time to worry about that!
I have done nothing but knit & do paper crafts - I cut out ghosts for Halloween cards & leaves for decoration from the Paper Source shopping spree yesterday at lunch. Actually, it wasn't much of a spree, given how much I've blown in the same amount of time there on previous visits! But cutting out the details with my super sharp scissors eventually was too much for my right hand - I played the Evil Zuma until late last night, and I think I'm overexerting it.

In the meantime, here's a fun quiz - I was so intrigued to find out what yarn I'd be...... and then had to laugh. Could it have come out any differently?
You are Cashmere.
You are Cashmere.
You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be
found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with
the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful
people and you don't let anyone forget it!

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

As for Polly? She's already pulled one of the monster's horns off his nose. Poor monster. Polly loves him though.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:12 PM | link |

A confetti of fun.... Squiggle + Deco Ribbon. Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 4:08 PM | link |

This is the wreath I made for our front door. Inspired by the wreath on the back of the current Crate & Barrel catalog, but much cheaper! I love Fall! Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 9:35 AM | link |

Look! When Dad goes away hunting, I get a NEW TOY! It's a purple monster baby and I LOVE IT! Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 9:29 AM | link |

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Polly & Her Kong. If the exposure had been better, you'd see big soulful eyes just begging you to play! Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 10:35 PM | link |

It Fell.

I came back from lunch & my sandwich shop menu board had fallen down. It took me five minutes to find the missing piece of plastic that frames it on the side. I had just been thinking how I needed to take it down & revise the lettering on it, as it has prices for "media plans" and various planning-related tasks, and it's been just over a year since I went to the buying side.

I looked over at the sign, propped against the wall, and was reminded of a ritual in the monumentally huge & gorgeous Cathedral Basilica Catholic church in St. Louis in CWE.

When archbishops in that church die, their hat things are suspended from the ceiling by a piece of thread. (This would be the ceiling in one of the smaller chapels, off to the right, the Mourning Chapel, I do believe. It's stark, dark, somber, and dead priests are buried under the floor. It's amazing to move into that chapel, especially if you're leaving the bright beautiful Tiffany-designed chapel. I digress.) Anyway, those hats are suspended until the thread breaks, and then the mourning period for that individual is over.

It is time for me to move on.

I love rituals like that. Odd to those who know me, I used to go to that Catholic church, just for the peace I felt there, along with the jaw-dropping beauty of the mosaics..... for nothing in that church is painted. Take the virtual tour

Now I have to find all the right letters to re-do my sign!
posted by PlazaJen, 3:17 PM | link |

The Killers live up to their name.

So, like, the first time I heard The Killers, I thought, "Wow! Heavy Duran Duran influences. Me love it." What's so fabulous is that when I later read the Rolling Stone review, they also referenced Duran Duran. In listening to the album some more, I'm also picking up some Queen influences. All I can say is, all of us have a little Cameron Crowe inside of us....... it's nice when it gets validated!

What I found annoying today: People who purchase expensive sports cars and then drive 5 mph under the speed limit. Seriously. Come on. The whole reason I didn't buy a VIPER was because my commute at the time was on Forest Park Pkwy in St. Louis, and it's 35 mph the whole way. Too many unbridled horses under that hood, baby. They'd get me in way too much trouble. Oh yeah, and the fact the car cost like $100k, that also played a factor. It was dead in the water when I learned it doesn't have air conditioning.

What I found wonderful today: A big bowl of shrimp galanga coconut milk soup.

What I'm looking forward to: Dinner with Roger & James, watching Survivor & Knitting. Tomorrow's Friday. Sewing bunches this weekend. The Weekend. Yay!

What I'm still disappointed by: Dad not making the trip this weekend to visit. *sigh*
Perhaps I'll forget about my sadness by going to see The Forgotten- hey, I know the reviews are mixed, but I'm not going to care. I love Julianne Moore, ever since she was Frannie (& Frannie's twin, who as I recall, sometimes was damned evil) on As The World Turns. And it's got that Hot Guy from HBO's The Wire in it. (I'm sick of linking. it takes me 800 years to get it to work right. BOTHER!)

And dammit, I'm eatin' some ice cream.

posted by PlazaJen, 2:29 PM | link |

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Nothing serious.... just on of my favorite writers added another volume to the planned 13-book collection......Lemony Snicket's Series

Though there was the series of Unfortunate Events last night ..... from the black hose with black sandals to the seating arrangements that had me wishing for more *cough* room. But on a scale compared to those suffered by the Beaudelaire children, an easy night overall.

And the a/c has been fixed upstairs, a tremendously Good Thing, so I can once again get going on the dog beds - and cleaning/organizing! I'm on the one-room-at-a-time plan, and tonight was the dining room. I'm feeling hyper-structured right now, very linear in my thinking. It's ok, but it reminds me of "back in the day" - it's a characteristic in me that I don't always access, and the times in my life in the past when it reigned supreme were also rather destructive times. Thankfully, I have learned from those times, so it's not like they'll repeat themselves - it does just make me a little edgier than normal when I look inside. To borrow from Lemony's titles, with me, it can be a Slippery Slope sometimes. :)

posted by PlazaJen, 10:57 PM | link |

Friday, September 17, 2004

My eyes, MY EYES!

So, I had an eye exam today, and they did the whole gamut of everything, including those evil yellow eye drops that dilate your eyes. In the exam, we discovered I've been overcorrected for the past year & a half. Lovely. Explains why I've been unable to wear contacts & work on the computer, though. (By overcorrected, we're talking -325 and it should be -200!) I still wonder how reliable those eye test are. After all, it's very pressure-filled to me, because your answers (One, or Two?) are all in this compressed two minute time frame, and your eyes are straining and it's not like I put those satanic dilation drops in every day, so who the F knows. We agreed to scale me back to -250, rather than drop me down suddenly. I also feel vindicated by my anger & dislike for the last doctor.
Then, I went up to the counter & got those damn sexy black plastic things that help you cope with the BLINDING ORB OF FIRE IN THE SKY, I swear, I took every holy deity's name in vain when I left the office. It struck me that if they can make drops that open your pupils, they oughta have drops that shrink 'em back! (and it turns out, they do, you just have to ask for them, how stupid is that?) It also struck me that driving a car while your eyes are dilated as though you were walking in a pitch black underground cave probably isn't the wisest thing, either. I stayed on State Line until I got a stop light, and then made my way over to Ward Pkwy, a route I could possibly drive with my eyes shut, so I didn't endanger myself more than necessary.
Work was non-existent today, what with the big appreciation lunch & gambling at the casino. This year I decided I'd spend the $10 they give us & no more. It bought me about 15 minutes of fun on the slots, and then I came home & took a four hour nap. It was delicious, and when I woke up, my eyes didn't hurt!
Fabulous Friday. I have SOOOoooo much cleaning & work to do around the house, not to mention the work I brought home - but hey - it's the weekend, and I'm getting some sewing done, as well as finally finishing the felted door mitt! yay!

posted by PlazaJen, 10:34 PM | link |

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Devil's Playground

I have discovered the Devil's playground, and it is called "Full-Version Zuma".

Thank you Princess of Yarn Kristin for the hook up.

I also FINALLY got my new sewing machine out of the box last night & fixed a pair of JWo's pants. Stunning. Having never sewed on a machine that cost more than $75, I thought all sewing machines made humming semi-grinding noises and didn't really work all that smoothly. Wows. It is like a hot knife through buttah. I can't wait to really dig in & play with all the decorative stitches! And, according to and UPS, I will have my dog bed fabric here by tomorrow, so I'll have my projects to work on this weekend! I can only imagine how awesome say, $6,000 machines are. They probably dispense perfectly frothed cappuccino and lightly toasted macaroons for snack breaks, all without getting a crumb or drop on your fabric.

I am ready for the weekend. Loverboy, you never knew how prophetic & long-lasting those lyrics would be..... I hear them every time I say that!

posted by PlazaJen, 9:39 AM | link |

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Silence on the Train Tracks

Right now, I'm fat & happy. I have a belly full of Vanilla Cinnamon "Oatmeal for Women" and red raspberry yogurt. Now I'm sippin' on home brewed coffee flavored with Torani vanilla & International Delights French Vanilla creamer. You'd think for so much vanilla, I'd be boring.

I am a bit frightened that the older (and fatter) I get, the more absolutely eccentric I'm becoming, not to mention my interesting wardrobe. I have visions that in ten years, I will be wearing hats I've created myself, with piles of fruit and birds and other various items from Hobby Lobby.

James will certainly not go out with me in public, but Polly Precious Purebred will. :)

A Girl and her Dawg. Polly was the absolute cutest this morning with her Kong, I tried to get pictures, but none captured the first moment where she just eyeballed me, motionless, for over a minute, daring me to try to take her Kong and simultaneously pleading with me for admiration of said Kong. She's a goooooood giiiiiiirl!

It will be fun to share her with Dad when they come to visit a week from Sunday. I'm looking forward to that, but not so much to all the housework that must get done before they arrive!

As for everything else, it's a John Prine song. Right now, I am waiting. I am waiting to see what happens. There are so many things that could happen. But there's really only one right solution. I am hoping that good triumphs over evil, sooner rather than later. The Karma Train has its route, and I had the honor of seeing it a couple months ago screech by and deliver some long-overdue righteousness. My ears are straining for its whistle, to hear the hum of the wheels on metal, as it churns forward, bringing with it the hope for a new tomorrow.

posted by PlazaJen, 9:06 AM | link |

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Oh my Lordy. Yesterday I said, "I'm leaving work at 5!" So, then I left at 6:30. Skipped the grocery store, went straight home & took care of the dogs & started processing tomatoes. That took some time! So finally, around 8:15, I decided I had to have dinner, and I'd drive down to China King & do their drive-up window. Put Polly in the back seat, because if left in the house on her own, I'd be sure to come home to pee, poop, and her sitting on the dining room table, eating green tomatoes.

So we pull up at China King. I'm trying to decide what to get. What to get? I love so many things. Hmmmm. I pull forward past the giant menu to the open window. A tall skinny Asian man heads over to take my order.
"Hi, may I "
We both laugh.
I feel compelled to explain that I couldn't leave her behind in the house, and then I interrupt myself when I see his uncomprehending stare.
I'll have sesame
and a quart of
hot & sour soup

I never order sesame chicken. When we go to chinese buffets, I get three pieces. Now I've gone and ordered a whole entree of it? My only explanation was that my little Burfinator threw me off and I ordered as fast as I could, with the first item that flew into my head.

So we waited, about five minutes. Every 15 seconds for the first two minutes, softer "Burf!"s came out of Polly. She wasn't going to let that crazy Asian man think he'd gotten out of her sights by just going away from the window.

We imagine every "BURF" session begins with a "Hey, MISTER", followed by whatever's appropriate for the situation. I laughed to myself in the car, imagining Polly's true message, decoded.

HEY, Mister! I know about you people! My Lady told me you EAT my kind, that I'm an APPETIZER in your country! I don't like that ONE BIT! You stay away from me & my Lady! You hear? Hey, Mister, I'm talking to YOU! This is MY Honda car and MY LADY and I am NOT to be EATEN!

posted by PlazaJen, 9:22 AM | link |

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

One Thousand

I got myself riled up last night, in the middle of the night, about doing an art installation in my office to commemorate the 1,000 soldiers who have died in this war. It probably was stuck in my brain because of my snippity-snap jaw-setting conversation with James earlier that evening, because he thinks we're fighting the Good Fight, and those soldiers' families are proud of the service they gave to their country. This is from my conservative husband, who has a huge admiration for the military because he wanted so badly to join it out of high school, but wasn't able to. Still. It's pretty hard to trump my argument, which is, Yes, I don't deny they're proud, but they'd trade it for another chance to hold their father/uncle/wife/child in their arms again. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they wouldn't. I just don't think love can come second to anything.

I hate this war. Death is upon us too easily and quickly, without putting bombs and automatic weaponry into the mix.

My first thought was to cut 1,000 rectangles of black plastic, to represent the body bags, and have them suspended from the acoustical tile ceiling. Then I thought I should knit something, maybe put each person's name on the knitted rectangle.

James is right, one thousand is not a lot of death given how long we've been there, and oh yes, Saddam Hussein was/is a bad man, no longer in power.
We went there because of ..... wasn't it Osama? and wasn't it for the WMD - and how insane is it that we have evolved to that acronym? - WMD's that weren't there?? And when there are other heinous, horrible dictators who are allowed to continue oppressing, continue slaughtering, continue their denial of human rights, but because they don't sit on oil fields or represent a history of fighting with the U.S., we just let them be? You can't tell me this was all for the Greater Good.

I was reminded of George Bush Sr.'s "Thousand Points of Light" speech. The utter absurdity of it then, the weighty symbolism to me, now.

One Thousand.
Points of Light.
One Thousand.
Dead Soldiers.
One Thousand Points.
Shimmering Light.
Become Stars over Stripes.
Shine as Stars in the Sky.
May their Grace and Light forgive us.

If it is true, "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown", then I am satisfied. Nobody should sleep well, and you can bet 1,000 U.S. families do not tonight. Uneasy Sleep, Dubya.

posted by PlazaJen, 6:06 PM | link |

Monday, September 06, 2004

Camping. Much, Yet, Sometimes, Not So Much.

Well, well, well.

Camping can be awesome. Let me list some things I love about camping. I love the cooking & eating & playing with dogs. The slow pace that seems to set in, and the comfortableness of being yourself among friends you love. I love the quietness and not-so-quietness of a 1,000 cicadas & crickets. I love watching the sun rise & set, and the smallness of my universe as I throw my head back and look into an inverted bowl of cerulean blue, liberally strewn with stars.
And then, there's the whole sleeping-in-a-tent thing, where it's a good 20-degrees warmer than outside. Bleah. One nap marred by being woken up by my own sweat, running into my ear. Eesh. Then, a clear night, with some wind. The storms traveled off to the north. Let's try to make it a ten-degree difference with the night air, and take that rain shield off. Oh lord. Troubles so hard, to quote Moby. I have no idea what time it was. But when the raindrops hitting the tent sounded like the JiffyPop popcorn consumed earlier that night, I finally woke up. Apparently it had been raining for a while, and poorPolly was in her crate whimpering, girl, you shoulda BARKED so I would have gotten up sooner, and it was mad-dash-oh-lord-wow-my-back-is-really-wet-how-long-was-I-sleeping-in-the-rain? and then James was there & we got the rain guard up but it was too late, there was water everywhere, and so I made two trips in the rain & pitch blackness to take in my yarn (that went before my clothes! ha!) and books, and then our bags of clothes. (James was sleeping in the house when the rain hit, otherwise this wouldn't have happened.) I have become a very defensively sound sleeper, and that has been illustrated more than one time with some of the major storms we've had this summer. Wha' storms? So then I was trying to sleep on a sofabed thingy, very unhappy, jaw clenched, and James came to check on me & startled me so much I sat up fast & at an angle & folded the bed up on myself. That was the least happy moment of the weekend, I'd say. I am covered in mosquito bites, I didn't knit or read a thing, because I was afraid of getting things dirty, and I can say we had fun. And S'mores. They were really awesome. And breakfast yesterday was incredible. And the stars, and the sky, and the moon & the sun. Big big world. And I am so excited to sleep in my bed tonight.

posted by PlazaJen, 6:16 PM | link |

Thursday, September 02, 2004

An Evening in Tuscany!

Well, it's been Catalog Week at our house, with a whole great big bunch of yarn catalogs rolling in - always fun, always inspiring! I was leafing through one of two Herrschner's catalogs (they have a Yarn Shoppe one, and a general crafts one, this was the general crafts), and I saw this:
My What A Big Bird You Have
the verbage said, "your guests might think they're dining in Italy".... or a crazy person's house! If I had guests over, I sure as hell wouldn't be putting a big-ass fake bird on the table to distract them from all the hard work I spent embroidering a table runner! It was definitely a "what-the-hell" moment.
Knitting Update: I am running out of yarn for the felted door mitten so I'm getting another skein tonight. I also realized (DUH!) that I can take in the one I made LAST year to the Yarn Shop for display, and I don't need to cramp my hands trying to speed knit this thing done. My hot pink Fizz mittens are drying as I type; they are SO FUN. I want to make two more pairs, one bright red, one bright yellow, and then have two pairs of one-red-one-yellow for Chiefs games, and I know I'd be able to sell the other pair, or make somebody reeeally overwhelmed by the gift! I say this like I'm going to so many games. I only luck into going, but still. The games are so fun, and who knows, maybe we'll just go out and tailgate. I look like a lunatic at those games with my enormous faux fur bright red coat, people think I bought it just for the game? Nope, that's all me folks, spot the bright red chick. I think it's better than the women who spend BIG money on those Alaskan fur coats that are Chiefs colors, sheared & shaped & have football numbers on the back - ay yi yi, if you have that much money to be ridiculous with, throw some at me, I'll dance for ya, or even make you some stunning mittens!
Can't wait for the weekend. A three-day weekend, filled with camping with my best gay friends and my husband, this should be hilarious. Hubby is already shaking his head at our elaborate menu. Whatever Mister, you'll be happy eating homemade pancakes!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:37 AM | link |