PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I Just Can't Shut Up

Today is my day on Self Portrait Day, and I had to laugh at myself, because I just CAN'T answer the questions succinctly, apparently. Hi Jennifer, where do you live? OH blather blather blather and did I tell you about the time I got caught chewing gum back in Iowa and about the wild dogs? And about my body gnomes?

I think it's fitting that, on self portrait day, I am laughing at myself. I was branded a Social Butterfly at the age of 9, and it's never stopped. I love people, meeting new people, talking to strangers while we wait in line, making tiny connections with the world, because even though there are idiots and jerks and bad drivers (GOD there are bad drivers) out there, there are amazing human beings who also wanna say "hi" and who care about each other, whether it's in line at the grocery store or across the miles via a computer. Everyone has a story & they just want, to quote John Prine, someone to say, "Hello in there......"

Cheers to all of you, because as long as there's more of us than them, the world will be a better place.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:33 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I'm exceptionally light-hearted this week, gosh, wonder why? I am hesitant still to even blog about my Former Employer, because it feels a little too dirty-laundry-ish and would certainly seem like I was exiting with poor sportsmanship. So I thought I'd blog about an OLD boss I had, and in fact was the absolute CRAZIEST boss I ever did have, with perhaps the exception of the woman I worked for in college, who was agoraphobic and never left her home and basically I went through her mail, with her on the phone, sorted it for her, and had what she wanted to read delivered to her house. She was in charge of selecting films and such for the campus, so I also made the posters for the films. It was really quite an easy job, she just lived in denial and would talk about going out and playing tennis and whatnot, even though she hadn't left her home & had all the windows covered in plastic, for years. So, she was just sort of mentally ill.

But my SuperCaliFragiCrazy boss, let's call her "Jodi", was WONKERS. Good god, the stories. She had her own agency. She actually wanted to be a movie star. She spent money like one, that's for sure. Gosh, I hardly know where to begin and end with the stories. When I interviewed, she was nice as pie. She even wanted to compensate me with a CAR. A Lincoln Navigator. Hello, that is too big for me. I would have to get a running start to even make it into the front seat. I declined, preferring cold hard cash to a giant tax and gas burden. Anyway. She wanted to be big and important and glamorous. She was intensely paranoid, and had every single piece of email route through her computer, incoming & outgoing. She rifled through offices at night. Her apartment was above the agency, and she would listen in on the phones, thinking we didn't know. One night, five of us had worked late & we decided to all go out and grab dinner. We headed to the 39th street area, planning on going to a cheap burger place over there. Jodi tagged along. We discovered said burger joint was closed, and as we did that sort of aimless-milling on the sidewalk trying to determine where to go next, Jodi commanded, "Follow me." We dutifully did, and ended up at the now-defuct Cafe Allegro, one of two four-star restaurants in Kansas City. Now, the dinner that we had? This was how she entertained clients, and there wasn't a client at the table. For seven people, our bill was thousands of dollars. Yes, you read that correctly. Like $2,500 plus tip. Are you staggering? We didn't because we'd had so much to eat & drink it was a blur. What did we drink, twenty dollar bills blended with vodka? Yes, this will be the only time in my life that I've had wine that cost FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A BOTTLE. And she ordered two bottles. Her style was to order one of everything and if someone liked it, order two more. Keep in mind this woman eventually went bankrupt, and fled the state, with a million-$-plus lawsuit against her for unpaid accounts. You see where the money was going? I have so so many stories about her, and I only worked there four months. The breaking point for me was when she called me in to the conference room to scream at me over something stupid. Ordinarily, I am a pleaser. I want approval. I need it, I've always needed it, and have been learning the necessary lesson of getting it from myself, not others, as I grow up. At this time I was still a lot more over on the "must please" side of things, but when she started screaming at me, in front of two other people she'd just finished screaming at, all I could see were the ugly lines around her mouth and how unattractive she looked while she was yelling at me. And while she continued with the SHOUT SHOUT SHOUTING I was off in a corner of my brain, conferring with my gnomes, and we all agreed that I was so out of there as soon as I could get another job.

But the funniest, craziest, most insane story was this: She had a business assistant and a personal assistant, because she was a movie star, at least in her own mind, not an advertising executive. Then one of them quit. I was already gone when this took place. She was upstairs in her apartment, getting dressed, and she couldn't get her pantyhose on. Now, Jodi was a large woman, and as a large person myself, and most women in general will, too, I can attest to the fact that pantyhose are a pain in the butt. However, Jodi, living in her little fantasy dream world, wouldn't buy the correct SIZE of pantyhose for her body, but a much smaller size. And thus, she couldn't get them on. So she called both her assistant, and the assistant media planner up to her apartment to PUT HER PANTYHOSE ON HER. When her assistant told her, after hoisting and pulling & tugging and being way too close to her boss' skin and underwear and things one never needs to see or know, that they weren't going to fit, Jodi commenced with the screaming about how she KNOWS her size and she ALWAYS buys this size and they should just TRY HARDER. It became an ongoing joke with our group of friends - what would your annual salary have to be, to put pantyhose on your boss? And no playing the "well if my boss was Cindy Crawford" game, we're talking your boss is Roseanne Barr before all the surgery and weight loss and ten times meaner. She finally screamed at the two assistants to leave and she found something else to wear.

As I prepare for my new job next week, I would like to go on the record to say that I will never. Ever. ask anyone to put my pantyhose on me. EVER. Because that, my friends, falls under the header of "things a boss should never do".
posted by PlazaJen, 10:28 AM | link |

Monday, March 28, 2005

Why's it so beautiful?

I Quit My Job. That was the BIG news for today, in the World o' Jen. Boy-o-boy chef boy-ar-dee, did it feel good to resign. I've got a job at another agency, as their media director, and it's a much smaller place, with loads of opportunity. There will be loads of work, but hey, I'm used to loads of work, so why not get paid well and have more freedom and support at the same time? In any event, it was time for me to go. I start a week from today, so I'm going to try to enjoy a few days off, get some stuff done around the house, help my friend Mike with some committment-ceremony stuff, and in general try to rebuild some of my self that has eroded and pickled in my anger and resentments over the past couple of years. Can't be done in a week, I know, but at least I'm aware it's a rebuilding process. Thanks, BloggerBuds, for your well-wishes & positive thoughts on my behalf, because it worked!
posted by PlazaJen, 8:55 PM | link |

It's a Beautiful Day!

posted by PlazaJen, 3:55 PM | link |

Sunday, March 27, 2005

My Eyes, MY EYES!

WOw, I had no clue how bright that sunshine stuff was. I spent most of the day squinting & tilting my head, what with all the LIGHT, bright glorious light everywhere.

After Sunday Brunch with good friends, we had a big date trip to Lowe's. All garden stuff, ka-ching! ka-ching! I am always amazed how much stuff adds up - but it was nice, we got a couple of cool iron trellis-y things, one for the rose by James' workshop, and an obelisk thingy for the whiskey barrel planter, that will hopefully be covered with sweet peas in a month or two. I also got a bunch of bulbs for one part of the side yard, and we got wood to make a sign for the perennial bed out front, a sign that indicates our house address, plus a big "E", because without fail, people will go to the West version of our address, and remain confused. My job is to paint the numbers/letter & backdrop board as well as come up with something decorative to draw on wood that will go above the sign - fun practice for James & his new scroll saw (from last week's auction - easier to care for than a PUPPY.)

On the Folly update, I'm on the shoulder shaping for the sleeves. Whew. I swear, when this sweater is finished, I don't care if it's the middle of June, I'm cranking up the A/C and wearing the damn thing!!!!

Monday, Monday, fast approaching. Should be an interesting week!
posted by PlazaJen, 10:15 PM | link |

The Saddest Easter Ever

It wasn't even Easter. It was summer, circa 1972 in Knoxville Iowa. Since I've now told my father about my blog, I think it will be extra fun to start sharing ALL MY DREAMS in my blog from here on out. HAH!

This was one of those dreams that was SO VIVID, when I woke up, I thought it had actually happened. I was only 4 years old. But I dreamt that I had a giant basket of Easter candy, complete with a big ol' chocolate bunny, sitting right by my bed on my nightstand. And I was SO DISAPPOINTED that it hadn't happened. I even wanted to try to go back to sleep and see if the waking up without the Easter basket part was maybe the dream, and then there WOULD be a basket of candy waiting for me. Since we didn't celebrate Easter, it never did happen, either. But every year, and now we're talking 32 years later, I still remember that momentary flash of thought and hope & the realization that it was only a dream and the sunshine and the smell of grass and the reconciliation struggle between dreams and reality. That stuff never, ever leaves you. And often the struggle remains the same.

Today, I will bite the ears off the bunny I got from my Operation Haremail pal, Leah, and then share the rest of the bunny with my hubby, who once hid plastic eggs with jelly beans all over the apartment to surprise me. Not only is he a keeper, he's bona-fide. ;)
posted by PlazaJen, 7:19 AM | link |

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Wild Dogs

Here's a little 8-track flashback most of you probably don't have. I was 9 or 10 years old, just your standard 4th grade life in rural Iowa - except for the raised-by-hippies, never-gonna-fit-in thing, but anyway, I had a half mile walk to the county gravel road from our house. This is where the schoolbus would pick me up, and my dad would often walk me out in the morning with our dog, Ghost, and I would be on my own walking home after school.

But then that fall, some neighbor across-the-way (and keep in mind, neighbors in rural speak is anyone within an 8-mile radius of you, sometimes more) had basically lost control of his dogs. He let them go wild, and they were running as a pack, taking down deer, etc. It was quite the buzz. As a fleshy child, smaller than a deer, there was some reason to be concerned about my own safety. I can STILL remember my dad putting his hands on my shoulders and talking to me: "OK, Jennifer. There are wild dogs running on the property. Now, I'm going to do my best to meet you at the schoolbus after school every day, but if I don't get there in time, here's what you need to do-"
(me: GULP)
Dad, continuing. "If the wild dogs come (HOLY SHIT IF THE WILD DOGS COME? my brain was racing.) you need to climb a tree. (HOLY SHIT HAVE YOU SEEN ME EVER CLIMB A TREE? NO!) But there aren't any really good trees to climb along the lane, so here's what you do, you get a big stick right when you get off the bus. (HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO FIND A STICK. FIND A STICK. GOT IT.) Then, if the wild dogs come (OH MY GOD THERE'S THAT PHRASE AGAIN), you need to find a big tree, put your back to it and wave the stick around in front of you at them and yell. (YELLING, WAVING STICK. NOT A PROBLEM. ENVISIONING LOSING BOTH ARMS AND JUGULAR TO WILD DOGS.) I will be there shortly. (SHORTLY? LET'S TALK ABOUT WHY YOU'RE NOT THERE ALREADY, MAN.)"

All I could do was nod. TER-RI-FIED. And for the record, my dad met me every day at the bus, so this whole stick procurement/tree safety thing never needed to be put into place, not that I didn't have stark visual images of it in my little 9-year-old brain. I have always been prone to delusions of grandeur, but I never fancied myself the hero in those imaginings, more like a terrified child watching the last few minutes of her life be images of a big wooden stick and the snapping teeth of a wild dog or three.

It didn't end well for the wild dogs. They were "taken care of" one weekend when my father heard them down on the bottoms, and with his binoculars could tell that they were chasing deer. He called the farmer in question and informed him that he was going to go down there with his rifle and kill them. This was where, in terror, I thought it could all end Disney-like, the farmer would come to his senses, drive over and get the dogs and take them home and be a responsible person again, and everything would end well. No snarling snapping dogs anymore, just kind, gentle farm dogs that licked the back of your hand. URRRRRT, that fantasy screeched to a halt. The farmer said he didn't care what happened to them, that he couldn't control them anymore, and so my dad, along with one of the other hippies, John, went down and we could hear the cracking report of their rifles, and it STILL makes me sad, because they weren't wolves, they were dogs, but they weren't dogs anymore, either, they were back in the large food chain cycle, where large deer and chubby 4th graders all looked tasty on the buffet of life. Re-reading this, I also realize that Hippies with Rifles is pretty damned funny. They weren't your typical hippies, my folks. Nothing about my life has felt particulary typical, but it sure does make for some funny stories.

Not that being attacked by wild dogs is funny, for let me tell you, I will carry that Wild Dogs Safety Lecture to my grave.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:23 AM | link |

Friday, March 25, 2005


First off, we've apparently become the sister city to London. I went out to get pizza and beer tonight & it was damp, chilly & misting. I've forgotten what the burning orb in the sky even looks like. If it ever returns, I'll be blinded for days, blinking like the Mole People. ENOUGH already, I needs some sunshine!

Second, if you haven't heard Snow Patrol's cover of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love", you are missing out. It's one of those songs that makes me want to get up on a (sturdy) table and dance all hoochy-mamma-ish, slowly enough that I don't slosh my drink everywhere. Therefore, if you are looking for a good laugh you should get me a drink, a sturdy table, and coerce the bartender to play this song.

Third, I am PISSED at Roadrunner because they keep jacking up my email / master user account and now it's my name with a NUMBER, hello, I am not J LO on the 8, I am the ONE AND ONLY. Spent 20 minutes tonight on the phone with tech support so I could finally download my email - one email containing the aforementioned MP3 so I can sit here and imagine dancing on a table while I play the song over & over.

Fourth, I am almost done with the flowers for Folly. Let's do a quick tally and pats on the back, shall we? 8 large flowers per color (4 colors) = 32 large flowers. 6 small flowers per color (4 colors) - 24 small flowers. (look, I'm doing all this math in MY HEAD, I am so RainMan.) 32 + 24 = 56. FIFTY SIX. This is the reason I will be the first person on EARTH, besides the designer, to finish THIS SWEATER. I have to stitch the last 6 flowers and then finish the sleeves. THEN, then, oh lord, could it be? DONE? I will need a drink.

Fifth, I discovered my local Gomer's carries Herradura tequila. If all goes well, I will be buying myself a bottle next week & doing several shots. All tables in the vicinity had better watch out.......
posted by PlazaJen, 11:11 PM | link |

Sweet Hangover

My head is splitting in two this morning, and it feels like I downed half a bottle of Herradura tequila last night. Quick inventory. What did I do? Oh yeah, went over to Kristin's for a knit night and the whole famdamily of gangsta knitters showed up. We were missing a few comrades, but if they'd shown up we would have had to put people in the bathroom.
Oh, mah god. My hangover is from laughter. I know Mary Englebreit's got that cute magnet that says "When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on"? Well, peeps, when I reach the end of my rope, I go down in a blaze of gunfire, sharp-tongued observations and maniacal laughing. Think Bruce Willis in the original Die Hard. Yippee Kiyay.

I can't even capture the individual quotes and string them together to have them make sense. I remember shouting at Abbey "HEY, Only Child Bitch!" (Dont worry, I'm one too.) There was also a lot of discussion and jokes about the room Abbey & I are getting at Two Rivers, our local mental health facility. My chief complaint about our plans to stay there is that they do NOT have spa services, and the rooms do NOT look very luxurious. It also looks like they might have meetings and interventions and such, and I need to make sure I tell them when I check in that I'm NOT going there for that, the last thing I need is another fucking meeting.

So, praise the heavens, I'm laughing again, I'm feeling a bit more like the phoenix, and so perhaps I can rise this weekend myself. I've got a craving for the Herradura tequila now, but I bet they don't let you bring it in to Two Rivers.....

For everyone who commented & wrote me, thank you! And on the puking dog front, Polly recovered beautifully - was her adorable loving self the following morning, albeit a bit hungry. :) Meanwhile, I'm off to work. Yes, off to work. You mean some people get today off? Huh? I am SO taking one of those mental health days soon.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:37 AM | link |

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ringleader of the Unhappiness Circus

Good lord, peeps, I don't know what's happening in the world, but it's like the clock got shoved backwards & we were smack on March 15th all over again! Foul stuff happened at work, my friend David got stuck in Lee's Summit last night because his car died, and he & Roger worked on it until almost 9 last night - and Polly threw up more times than I want to try and count right now, so I was up until nearly midnight, when I finally surrounded her bed with newspapers & unfortunately, the only thing she had left in her was liquids. I never even got dinner, because my stomach was so in knots from the events of the day and then, well, suffice it to say, cleaning up after a puking dog is not really an appetite stimulant.

I actually woke up before my alarm went off this morning, and I'm hoping that means today is going to be better. It has to be better. Hell, the dog has no food left in her to puke at this point, so already we're off to a better start. I'd ask that you say a little prayer, or wishful thought, or even place an offering to Buddha, Vishnu, God, whomever guides you on your journey, to make my road a little less rocky right now. I'm quite prone to turning my ankles, and I just need things to settle down. With that, I give thanks in advance, because I know all of you who tune in to this blog actually will, because (not to get all Sally Fields here, but) you do care - I love the internet and its ability to bring people together across the miles! (it's how I got my husband, who, thankfully, is coming home early & I will not feel quite so alone. I miss him. Did you know we met online? That's a good blog entry. I'll do that one soon.)

Thanks. From the bottom of my bruised, achey-breaky heart. :)
posted by PlazaJen, 6:43 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ex Post Facto

I've told this story so many times, I was sure I'd done it on here..... but a search of my archives says I didn't, so here we go. I've already given away the punch line, but the story's still funny. If I've told it & just can't find it? Apologies from me, BlameShift onto Blogger. Poor Blogger, such an easy patsy these days....

I spent a lot of time with my Dad, hanging out in his shop, "dusting." Looking back, dusting in a room where loads of sanding and cutting and general woodworking was taking place was rather -how do you say - FUTILE? But it was more an excuse to just hang out with him. The sun the moon and the stars were hung by my father, and while I know he's a mere mortal and I've grown up a lot, he is still an influence in/on my life and I love him totally. In our times together, he would teach me all sorts of interesting things, about philosophy and Latin and ethics and anything else I could fit into my growing brain. One of those little gems was "Ex post facto" ("after the fact" as Dad taught me, a more detailed, legal version is here).

Fast forward. I was a covert gum smuggler in 5th grade. We would walk up to Bob's IGA at recess (one whole block away), and I would stock up on Bubble Yum and Bubblicious. Sweet sugary forbidden goodness, people. We were NOT allowed to chew gum in class, and did that ever stop me? Well, no. I tried to be covert, but did get caught. After one aggregious transgression, Mrs. Urlaub, the science teacher, made a new rule. Any student caught chewing gum THREE TIMES would be sent to the principal's office. Duly Noted. My gum chewing became more underground, less present in her class, and the smuggling via pencil case continued. I was caught again. DAMN. Then, shockingly, I know, I was caught AGAIN! But dudes, dudettes, it is not curtains! It is only catch number two! So I was oblivious as she told me to come out into the hallway. DOop de doo. My fogbanks persona had no idea what was up.
"Where're we going?" I inquired.
"To the PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE," Mrs. Urlaub grouched at me, peering over her glasses.
Amazed, agape, I say, "But why?"
More peering and a big frown. "For chewing gum, that's why! This is the third time I've caught you, and I said that on the third time you'd go to the principal's office!! So, come on!"
Momentary pause, mind racing.
"But wait!"
She turned and looked at me.
"Ex post facto, Mrs. Urlaub! You made that rule AFTER you caught me the first time. This is only the second time you caught me with gum after you made that rule. You can't count the first time. Ex. Post. Facto."
Holy Shit. I could have knocked her down & stolen her glasses. She was dumfounded. I was not trying to look smug, but I know I was giving her the "I AM RIGHT" look, complete with skyward-bound eyebrows.
She collected herself and tried to recover.
"Well. NEXT TIME, NEXT TIME I catch you. You are going to the principal's office."
I nodded. "That's fine."

And she never caught me again. Thanks, Dad. I'm sure you never meant for me to use Latin to evade punishment, but, hey - when in Rome.......
posted by PlazaJen, 7:45 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Gnome Update

I like to categorize the different parts of me inside as being run by gnomes. It makes for a fun visualization, and well, I like gnomes. I have very stringent rules about gnomes, for example, their hats must be POINTY. They cannot be CHEERFUL or GAY in the CHEERFUL sense. What they do behind closed doors is their bidness. This does not mean they must have a dour look at all times, but the true gnomes have a seriousness about them, as serious as a 5th grader telling her science teacher, "Ex Post Facto, Mrs. Urlaub, you did NOT catch me with gum a third time, it's only been two times since you made that new rule."

Right now, the gnomes that run the Fun Center, which is where my emotions funnel through, and usually get some semblance of humor or at least a twinge of sarcasm, those gnomes seem to be pissed off and annoyed. They don't fling Happy Powder into the Emotional Stream, as assigned. I imagine they're just standing around, grumbling & grimacing, discussing the possibility of starting a GnomeUnion (the Gnomesters! Who will be their Jimmy Hoffa?). Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that I started the day filled with joyous hope and a newfound appreciation for Springtime, and now?



All I can say is, "Goddamn."
But you know what? I could be this lady with bad hair wearing a CAT SWEATER on The Wheel. So I can still find that shiny fucking silver lining. And my gnomes had better not unionize. I can plant more than tulip bulbs, y'hear? Y'HEAR?
posted by PlazaJen, 6:26 PM | link |

Operation Haremail Success!

So, my bunny pal Leah out in NY was quick-like-a-bunny and sent me a package HOPPITTY SPLIT, and made me promise not to open the box until my package to her went out. I finally got it mailed yesterday so, Leah, keep your eyes peeled & don't let the dogs open it for you! :) I opened everything last night & got the CUTEST Easter stuff, I will take a pic tonight & post with more thank yous and adulations. Kudos to Tammy at polkadotmittens, too, for such a cute, clever exchange!

posted by PlazaJen, 9:27 AM | link |

Spring Has Sprung & The Coffee Is Hot

I have said earlier my fondness for Fall, rather than Spring. I love all the seasons, and I enjoy cooler weather more than hot, sticky, humid badness. But this Spring feels a little different. Maybe it's seeing allllll the tulips I planted (with some hole-diggin' help from my hubby) springing up through the mulch. Did you know I never really got to plant my own stuff as a kid? It was all things my parents wanted - I was the extra pair of hands. Maybe if I'd had my own garden, I would have learned this lesson a little quicker, about patience, and planting months out and how things spring up after snow and ice and rain to flourish and flower. Maybe it's the promise of learning more about gardening & getting more pretty flowers in the ground this Spring, and anticipating all the bountiful goodness that comes out of my husband's vegetable garden. I still marvel that plants actually grow from SEED. I guess I got too used to buying plants, already started for me!

Maybe it's that there are many things growing, budding, brewing and that this Spring will contain new things, new changes, new growth. The one thing I did get from my mother that I'm proud to own is an undefeatable optimism, that manages to live deep inside me alongside the darker, sadder, more critical part of me. That optimistic part refuses to lose hope, not so much in things or situations or stupid stuff, because I recognize the limitations of what I can control or influence. That optimism refuses to lose hope in ME. I feel like the tulip bulb, spreading out my roots, and I can't wait to burst forth in a glorious rage of color and shout out, "I AM HERE". Good things happen, and hope springs eternal. I wish for all my friends, here & in blogworld, a change-filled spring that gives you growth, opportunity and a joy inside of you that illuminates and shines so the world can see how wonderful you really are.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:59 AM | link |

Monday, March 21, 2005

Jenny is an Ass

I tell ya, I totally dodged a bullet in third grade, when Mrs. Parker noticed she had TWO Jennifers in her class now, and so we'll call one Jenny, and she assigned the other Jennifer with her new name. I even remember thinking "I hope she doesn't make me the Jenny," because I was SO GRATEFUL that I got to stay Jennifer. I even remember looking up the definition of my name & being horrified that the shortened version was a name for a female donkey - who wants a nickname that means ass!?!?!

Even now-a-day, being called Jenny by people makes my skin crawl. It's just not ME. It feels diminutive, and it feels like a liberty that can only be granted by me. (Now, don't think I spend days in a rage over this. This is just one of those peeves.) What's really difficult is when people I know do it, because I have yet to develop a tactful way to tell them, KNOCK IT THE HELL OFF. I try to lightheartedly say that Jenny drives me crazy, and they can always call me Jen if they want to shorten my name, but sometimes it's one of those things in passing on the phone, like my friend's wife this morning said, "Oh hey Jenny how are you" right before handing the phone off - there was no way to say "NOOOOOoooooo" but I still felt the internal shudder. Often when I've corrected people, they end up feeling bad or apologizing - for all the people who ASK if they can call me something different, I love you, and thank you.

The worst offender was my art professor in college - he was my advisor & I tried repeatedly to emphasize calling me Jen or Jennifer - to no avail. FOUR years, of cringing in every conversation & class with the man. He ended up getting a sex change operation a few years after I graduated, and instead of being "Bob", he's now "Bobbi"...... guess he trumps me for ch-ch-ch-changes.......
posted by PlazaJen, 9:16 AM | link |

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Snarky in St.Louis....

According to my husband, I got snarky in St.Louis. I think he was just jealous because I had (cue music!) MEM'RIES and there were landmarks and reminders and new things, too, and I didn't shut up the entire time I was driving us towards, around and through Clayton, where I used to work.

Back up a second, though, because I almost skimmed right by the banquet, where I did NOT wear a duck-bill tiara, or anything hunting-related, but it was a night containing a mixture of regret and relief. For at every major banquet like this, there are auction items. Like carved & painted decoys, wildlife prints, all sorts of guided hunts, and - drum roll - a pedigreed BLACK LAB PUPPY who was 14 weeks old, male, the stockiest, beefiest, CUTEST DAMNED THING with HUGE FEET and the sunniest, sweetest disposition and granted, I had had a number of beers, but I told James we had to pick the dog if his ticket for "pick of the auction" was drawn. He agreed completely. And then we didn't win pick of the auction, and some dude chose a wildlife print. (?????ookay....) But then the dog came up for bids. And nobody was bidding. And it dropped down to $100. And there we were, bidding ON THE DOG. At $500, I thought our lives were going to change forever, because the bidding had stopped, we were the high bidders & two roads hung in the balance, while that sing-song cadence of the auctioneer's voice swirled around me and all I could think was "HOLY SHIT" in both a good and bad way, because puppyworld is as wonderful as it is hellatious, and there's so much work and we hadn't even been THINKING about getting another dog and then with a crack, the path of New Puppy Ownership broke and fell away as the bidding suddenly surged forward, and we had said "no higher" with big eyes to each other, and someone went home with a gorgeous dog ($675 was the winning bid, and the winner DID get a month's worth of free training.) So. Maybe in a few years we'll do it at one of these things. Technically, the dog was Polly's half-brother, out of the same sire. I should point out as soon as James stopped bidding, the dog stopped and peed all over the floor, which was funny & a good reminder to us about allllll the cleanup puppies entail.

So, Sunday was a day for nostalgia as well as seeing all the new stuff that's sprung up - we went to Trader Joe's, where you can get wine for $3, and we also got snicky-snacks and then we went to PetSmart (ok, duh, we have those in Kansas City, but we were feeling sorry for the dogs kenneled up at home, imagining them talking to each other & saying how they were SURE we'd be out any minute to play and feed them s'more.) We had fun laughing with all the toys and picked out "Dirty Rotten Kitty" for Polly, and then two jumbo bones - which are being devoured right now. Then we were off to Crate & Barrel, where I waxed nostalgic about working at one in Minneapolis, and we left with three bags o' fun purchases. THEN, no, it doesn't stop, the fun keeps going! We went to Imo's for pizza and salads and it was SO yummers, even though I accidentally got some of James' anchovy on my last piece and I was kinda ooked out by it - I can eat anchovies by the truckload in caesar salad, but not so much on pizza. We drove home, and now another work week is going to begin, already!

I wrote a blog on Saturday afternoon about our road trip out (which was more fun than the drive home, you know how you just get tired & irritated & READY to get home.) - I'll post that sometime later this week when I'm short on things to talk about! I have to get to reading all YOUR blogs and get caught up on everyone!
posted by PlazaJen, 6:23 PM | link |

Friday, March 18, 2005

Michael Bolton Is A Mosquito

James just realized Michael Bolton was crooning, droning, whining about this time when a man loves a woman, and I'm grateful, because he changed the Music Choice channel and saved me from throwing the television out the window. Blessedly, he changed channels on Whitney Houston five minutes ago, but then was so engrossed in his computer he didn't notice what was on and what was on was MICHAEL F'N BOLTON. I am reeeeally good at finding a "happy place" where I can tune stuff out for at least a few minutes when I'm on the computer, a skill honed when James would try to get my goat by tuning in to "The Man Show". But much like the inexorable mosquito in your ear after you've zipped your tent up, even Michael Bolton can break through my tuned-out zone. And break through he does. I usually start recognizing my irritation by looking over at the television, in disbelief, much like one might look at a five-year-old standing up on a vinyl bench seat in a diner, banging a spoon on the window and screaming about Mister Pibbles and shrieking, hitting notes so high you marvel that your water glass is still intact. Usually this look is shifted into "amazed mode" and on to the parent, who has found their own Happy Place by ignoring everything but their soup and is seemingly unaware that the aforementioned child has sterilized all small mammals in a 50-yard radius with their keening, unfathomable scream while drumming out a GNR solo on the window. That astonishment and fear is contained in the second look at the television as my brain starts to comprehend that yes, indeed, we are sitting here listening to Michael Bolton. MY GOD WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US!? And then James surfaces from his Tuned Out Place and goes, "Oh my GOD!" and flips channels. We have now landed on a Prince Sexology series and, as always, I am astonished at how many Prince songs my husband knows. It always makes for some entertaining road trip time, playing Prince in the car. JWo can hit the squeaks and squeals with amazing ease. Thank God he sings Prince and not Michael Bolton, we'd be in big trouble.

Speaking of road trips, we're off to St.Louis tomorrow, where I will sit in honor as the First Lady of Waterfowl at the East Siders' banquet tomorrow night. I'm guessing I will get to wear a tiara fashioned from duck bills and feathers? Who knows. (Hubby is the Board Chairman for the Missouri Waterfowlers' Association. I'm royalty by marriage, I guess.) The big event part of this trip for me? Going to the new Crate & Barrel store in Brentwood. Yippee ki yay, mo-fo, I got my retail therapy ON, and I plan to come back Sunday cured of EVERYTHIN' that ails me. See ya Sunday when I return with Packages of Happiness - and a duck bill tiara.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:11 PM | link |

Lil' Big House

I saw on my Yahoo news that Lil' Kim was convicted of lying about some lil' ol' thing like a shootout to something as inconsequential as a lil' ol' grand jury..... and that she could actually be sent to PRISON! I tell ya, I'm pretty sure that girl could get scrappy in a prison yard scuffle, and she might prove to be very inventive when it comes to fashioning her own stylish line of shanks, but I have YET to see a prison uniform that allows you to WEAR PASTIES. I'm thinking prison could give her the opportunity to wear the most amount of clothing she's, like, ever worn in her LIFE.

And then, when she gets released, and she wears bright orange pasties & a g-string that one of the other inmates crocheted for her? Alllll of the knitting & yarn companies will scramble to make their own versions available to the public. Maybe she will even go on Martha's new show and they can have a "prison segment" with knitting, gardening, and smuggling how-to tips. Lil' Kim reportin' from the Pokey, with Pasties in Prison and Shower Takedown Strategies.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:44 AM | link |

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bat Outta Hell

Let's see. James was still living in Clinton. I was living on the 8th floor. I still had ClancyMan the Cat, despite our allergies, and as one step to contain those allergies, Clancy did not sleep in my bedroom. (Clancy now lives with my best friend Shelley, where he is allowed to sleep on her HEAD.)

I got into bed, and had pulled the covers up. I hadn't turned the light off yet, when I heard this soft "thump thump thump" at my bedroom door. Usually, that would mean Clancy was doing his Uber-Cute reach-under-the-door-with-a-paw thing. I rolled over to look at the door. Miliseconds later, all of a sudden a BAT was flopping around my bedroom. I did what any normal person might do in that situation, I shrieked & immediately got under the covers, completely. Peeking out, I could see the bat FLYING LOW, all around the bedroom. HOLY SHITBUCKET. The phone was right by the bed. I snatched it. Called James. Who was living an hour away.
(He was asleep, of course.)

"wull..... what's it doing?"
"open a will fly out. If it doesn't, open your door and get it out of the bedroom, then stuff towels under the doors and that will keep it out."
(more repeating of the same directive.)

So we hang up. I slid out of bed and hit the floor like covert secret agent Sydney Bristow. I scrambled towards the bathroom and ultimately came around to the living room in my Bat Fighting Gear. Just use your inner eye to imagine this get-up. A royal blue cotton dress. A straw hat. A broom. And the piece de resistance, the scoop shovel my father gave me long ago in Minneapolis. (Remember, I'm in an apartment, all these things are readily available in my Fibber McGee closets.) I burst into the bedroom, poised to fight & using my scoop shovel as a giant HeadShield. I dash to the window, open it, and then look for the bat. It is happily perched up on the crown molding in the corner. Hesitantly, I get closer. I can not hit a bat with a broom, because I need to keep the scoop shovel in play as my defensive force field, and that impairs my vision, along with my giant straw hat. OH, I should also point out that before preparing for battle, I put Clancy Man into his crate in the bathroom, because I was convinced he would eat the bat if he caught it and then he could get rabies. Clancy was PISSED, because, after all, he had flushed the bat into the bedroom!
I am stymied and freaked out. I make another call. This time to an acquaintance, Shawn, who only lives 30 minutes away. "Hullo."

We run through my arsenal. I can tell he's amused. But he's now my BatFightin' Coach. "Jennifer. Just go in there, swat at the bat and get him flying. He'll go out the window. Set the phone down and give it a try. You are a modern woman, just channel your inner fighter, you can do this."

I set the phone down. Because I can't hold the phone, my broom AND the defense squadron scoop shovel. I proceed to repeat my process and I'm barely poking this bat, and it's annoyed, so it starts flying. Apparently, and because the phone is right there, I am (unaware that I am) yelling "FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK" the entire time I am ducking, poking, SHIELDING, and otherwise NOT getting the bat out of the room. The bat just does a few courtesy flights around the room, every time returning to the same corner, I'm sure he was panting right along with me.

Back to the phone. Shawn is dying, because all the laughter is not allowing any oxygen into his body.
"Try it again."

I did this three times. It's now 11:30 p.m. The bat got tired, I got tired, because it's an upper body workout, maneuvering a broom and scoop shovel. Finally, I said it. "Shawn. Will you please come over and help me?"
"Yes. I'll be there soon."
SO, thirty minutes later, Shawn calls up, comes up, within 15 seconds the bat has been thwacked down from the ceiling & tossed out the window. He said it was dead, my pollyanna self wanted to believe it just flopped off, stunned. Shawn declined the protective use of my scoop shovel through all of it. I think my outfit also made a statement, one that said, "This woman is CAH-RAY-ZAY. Back away, slowly." So we went outside and I breathed in some air and we talked about him moving away, which he eventually did, and then I went back upstairs. WHUPS. Clancy man. In his crate. Crapped his cat pants in all the excitement and being confined. Mmmm! Poopy kitty in an enclosed space. So I got to finish off an awesomely exciting evening of FIGHTING A BAT with BATHING A CAT, the cat that fights the whole time and tries to climb the shower curtain to escape.

This really was the "Big Bat Story". There were two more bats after this one, of course neither of those stories holds a candle to this one, but I'll tell them all the same - when you've had time to rest & perhaps unburn the image of me & a scoop shovel shield......
posted by PlazaJen, 7:15 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Suck THIS, Freud

In the spirit of continuing to tell people about my only-interesting-to-me dreams, despite my father's admonishment otherwise, I will share with you last night's dreama: I was in line at a very cool restaurant, that was a to-go sort of place. This restaurant does not exist in real life. But I placed an order, because I was going to bring food home for James & I, and the cashier rang it up. $26.58. Or something close on the cents, I know it was $26 dollars & change. I handed over my debit card. They ran it through and THEN?! and THEN?! The cashier wrote in on the tip line, $13.42! And handed it over to me to sign. I said, "What are you doing?" to which he casually replied, "We automatically calculated the tip for you!"
I was all "What the HELL? That is half the bill! I'm not signing that." And, just like I would in real life, I got the manager.

The manager re-rings my order, and then takes my card, and when the printout comes up, WRITES IN THE EXACT SAME TIP AMOUNT, $13.42!!!! I was so angry, there was lots of blathering and spluttering on my part, and eventually, I left without signing anything or getting any food. On my way home, a second restaurant, just like the first, appeared, and I went in and told them what happened, because there were Great Wrongs taking place and I thought the NuPlace manager could perhaps call corporate or something - and it turns out? They knew there was a restaurant doing this scam, under the same name as them, and they told me the other place was totally shady and trying to rip people off and most people don't catch it when they sign for their meal.

But not me, even in my sleep. I get all UP in the manager's ass, and make a scene. Poor JWo. He would have moved to the guest bedroom if he'd had any idea the ruckus I was creating in dreamland - he always sidles away when I get my I-Demand-Customer-Service-NOW hat on......
posted by PlazaJen, 1:20 PM | link |

Ides Is Over!

Yesterday was a very tumultuous day, with ALL sorts of stuff going on - it wasn't until 6:00 last night it finally clicked: The Ides of March! I think it explains a lot. I feel like the only thing missing from the day was a paper cut.
In that vein, I can only close with one line:
Et tu, Brute?

(and I went to to make sure I was saying this right, in case my Latin Experts out there want to weigh in)
posted by PlazaJen, 6:16 AM | link |

What About ME

Ahhh, teenage years. I was on the phone yesterday with a friend of mine, yapping and laughing, & the words "what about me?" came out, instantly triggering the memory of that schmaltzy early 80's song by Shannon Noll. I remember I used to sing this song ALL THE TIME into my curling iron, just my own little version of American Idol in my bedroom, as I poured out my angst and soul while wailing out the lyrics, backed by a homemade tape I'm sure was created while listening to Casey Kasem. I remember one particular evening I sang some song over, and over, and over, completely forgetting about my responsibility to keep an eye on dinner, and didn't remember until I heard the front door open that there was, indeed, chili on the stove (burning), impervious to my melodrama and need to be a tragic star. As my own personal version of Survivor continues, I laughingly remember the words, and how goofy I was, and how even though I'm more grown up, sometimes the drama still fits. Let's all sing, shall we?

Now I'm standing on the corner, all the world's gone home,
Nobody's changed, Nobody's been saved,
And I'm feeling cold and alone
I guess I'm lucky, I smile a lot
But sometimes I wish for more than I've got
What about me,
It isn't fair I've had enough, now I want my share,
Can't you see, I wanna live
But you just take more
What about me, It isn't fair
I've had enough, now I want my share,
Can't you see, I wanna live
But you just take more
You just take more
You just take more than you give
What about me...
What about me...
What about me...

Today's Self Indulgent Moment has been brought to you by? Diet Coke, Dove Chocolates and crunchy Cheetos. Tune in tomorrow when we sing "Cat's in the Cradle" or perhaps a special song from Dan Fogelberg.
posted by PlazaJen, 5:40 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

He Hears The Secrets That I Keep

We were both wayyy lazy this morning, I think I hit the snooze at LEAST three times, and then neither of us lept up into action. James told me I did quite a bit of talking in my sleep, which always fascinates me. Apparently I had one full, complete sentence that was understandable, and that was, "I'm going to take myself out now." Which struck me as odd, until I remembered Part One of what I was dreaming, and that was that we were visiting my mother, and she was being nice at first but then she went into her predictable I-hate-you-because-you-are-fat-so-I-will-weep-and-beg-you-to-have-your-stomach-stapled persona. Oh, yeah. She's a peach! And while this seems rather dreadful to you, and don't get me wrong, it is dreadful, but it's more like a worn patch of rug to me anymore, it's just part of the decor in House O Jen, I was just SO PLEASED. Because obviously, I was exercising GOOD JUDGEMENT and removing myself from a toxic situation, even in my dreams. Huzzah for moi!

Now, this is where it gets even wonkier, and slightly NC-17. Before I go there, let me just say that at about the age of ten, my father looked at me one morning whilst I was in an excited recount of my dreams from the night before, and said, "Jennifer. Nobody wants to hear your dreams. The only person who finds your dreams interesting is YOU." Good lord, my daddy could be a harsh bastard man sometimes, but every time I think of him telling me that I LAUGH because it was one of those arenas where he never fully succeeded in stopping me. Ha! I don't care! And now you've given me information on how to torture you!

So, back to my dream, I'm not sure why, but I know what the source was, it was that damned current issue of Martha Stewart Living that arrived yesterday. Martha's out and already giving me unattainable home projects, and let me just tell you I would love nothing more than to make these cakes, but I don't want to burn two weeks of vacation time to do it. OH bother I can't find a picture. Anyway, if you see the April issue, grab it and flip through it - you'll see a lamb cake, fashioned from using a lamb cake pan mold, and then covered completely with white chocolate curls. Making the chocolate curls alone would take three days. And then there's a bunny, covered with mini-marshmallows, with chocolate-espresso-bean eyes and yellow licorice whiskers and cotton candy ears. And an amazing chicken you frost with skills that take a month at the Culinary Institute to learn, complete with little coconut-covered chicks. Every one of 'em's adorable and would take at least 47 hours to make.

Resuming the dream, and cover the children's eyes, because for some reason (perhaps my gay friend's bachelor party I need to help organize?) I needed to make penis-shaped cakes. And I had to find a mold, but I couldn't go to a cake store, I had to shop at this other store, where they had a wide variety of scuba diving and other water-stuff equipment. Most of which was stuff I didn't recognize, but I was hell-bent on finding these molds for my dickcakes. And half of what I found was NOT GONNA WORK. It was basically a frustrating shopping experience, but I think I did find something to use, and I've tortured you long enough with reading about my dreams.

Who knows? Maybe I'll be surprised next month, when I get the Merry May Issue of Martha Stewart Living, and they'll have a whole how-to on Crafting the Perfect Penis-Shaped Cake For That Special Gay Man-Bride.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:12 AM | link |

Monday, March 14, 2005


I've been in a really melancholy place the past few days. I realize some of the causes of it - for instance, another person's probably going to quit and then the rest of us have more work to do, etc., but I think in general, I go through a few "mood dips" a year, despite all the cognitive work I do and the medicine that keeps the absolute crazies away. But despite that, the sadness seeps in here and there, and I resist crying over stupid little stuff, as much as I teeter on the edge of doing so. Like I just want to watch American Beauty and get in a good sob. (Not the horse movie, the one with the roses, and the beautiful plastic bag in the wind.) The good thing is, I see this and I feel it and it doesn't overtake me. In the past the melancholy would wash over me like a huge wave, and I would get caught in the undertow. As I typed this, I realized that this happens to me pretty much every Spring - kinda weird, hm? You'd think Fall would be the more likely candidate for that effect. It's the opposite - I love Fall, and the burrowing in to Winter. I must have been a bear in a previous life. :)

I think my dear hubby is one of the other reasons I don't have so strong an undertow anymore. And, despite all the craziness in his family, their existence in my life has given me a whole new set of memories and laughter, along with some of the furrowed brow and irritation that only family (my side included!) can give you.

For instance, surely you noticed I misspelled "melancholy" in the title. That's because almost all words ending in "ly" at our house are given a special treatment. During one of the first summers we spent down at his grandparent's house at the lake, we were fishing on the dock. Specifically, in the enclosed section of the dock. While waiting, waiting, waiting, which is the key part of fishing if you've not done it, I was looking around. (I can be a bit ADD at times.) There was a big 50-gallon trash can, and it had a sign on it. It said "Can's ONLEY". Now, I let the apostrophe go, because that's a pretty common goof. (forgivable? never. But common all the same.) But the spelling error/correction on "only" cracked me up. I kept saying, "Cans ownLEE! Cans ownLEE!", cracking both of us up. With that, James and I rooted another inside joke that is still with us today, and so today I can say I'm melancholEE, and smile and get through all of this crap, because I'm not going into the undertow, and there are so many things more important than the things dragging on my ankles right now.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:49 AM | link |

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?

Well, if it's a buttonhole bag, a la Mason-Dixon Knitting, then I guess I've got TWO! My knit friend Leslie made several of these, and they are so cute, I had to jump in and play.
If you decide you wanna play, too, then here's the pattern.
The first one I made has a little more "character", because I was teaching a continental knitting class while I was working on it, and I mad-hatter free-wheelin' used my bag to illustrate various things. I then ripped it all out, but didn't rip it quiiiite far back enough and so I got a protrusion on one side, with an indentation on the other. Must've been showing how to decrease or something. O well! I don't really care, and if it does end up driving me crazy, I'll cut the thing into coasters or potholders. :) I used Brown Sheep in a dark navy, light blue & orange. I had to incorporate the light blue, because I felt like just dark blue and orange would come out a little too “DA Bears”.

The second bag was knit much taller, as you can see in the pre-felting picture - and it came out a nice-sized handbag. Good for weekend play. My current focus is on Folly, and trying to get the sleeves done this weekend, so I can start seaming & doing the collar. I am starting to think I won't get to wear the sweater before next Winter, but, I still feel the need to finish 'er up before beginning anything else overly ambitious.

Because I can't have just ONE thing going, though, I am working on Anouk, and while the Pima Tencel cotton is loverly and smooth and soft, it just reinforces my dislike of working with cotton. So hrmph on that, good thing it's for a baby, right?

In other news, my husband has decided to grow Giant Pumpkins. Giant. Like he'll be happy if he gets a 300-pounder, but the real competitors grow pumpkins in excess of a 1,000 pounds. You know, we all have our obsessions. This one's funny and charming and makes me love him even more. I'm sure there will be pictures to come as that project progresses! :)
posted by PlazaJen, 11:09 AM | link |

Bags, pre-felting. Bag on the left has some "issues". :) Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 11:08 AM | link |

Here they are, post-felting! Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 11:06 AM | link |

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I Didn't Because It Wasn't My Couch

But I heard a very strong rumor tonight that the big top executives at Crate & Barrel are looking at the space on the Plaza once occupied by Saks 5th Ave. (Hell, for all I know they're still there? But if C&B is comin' they best get their asses in gear and GIT OUT.) Anyway, I nearly peed with excitement. But I didn't because I was on Beth's couch and that would have been Very Bad Manners.

But hooooo doggies. I used to always say, "I'd quit my job and go work there again if they came to Kansas City!" But of course we know that would be Insane Talk, seeing how every cent I'd make would just go back into the store, and then JWo and I would be livin' on the street (but with exceptionally nice furniture and barware!) I think I just miss being able to troll for deals and how great it is at Xmas and then Chicago's got the Outlet, which is awesomer than awesome. (Now, when I was in Mpls. I worked at C&B part time, just for the discount. I'm not above doing it again, peeps. This pull might be more powerful than - gasp - yarn!) Plus, I'd feel like maybe, just maybe, if they moved here, our city would get that retail oomph, like we're finally "making it" - I've said for YEARS this town would support it like crazy, just GET HERE already, and you know what seems to often follow our dearly beloved Crate & Barrel?

Ikea. Good thing I'm at home now typing this. Cleanup, Aisle 12.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:31 PM | link |

I Dub Thee "Clogger"

Boy, let's hope I don't meet Blogger on the street. It might plummet into a scene out of "Fight Club" and let me tell you, I'll be the one playing Edward Norton, stompin' Blogger's butt. I'm one of those incredibly selfish, foot-stomping 8 year olds, who expects her internet and websites to work ALL THE TIME, NO MATTER WHAT. Yesterday, I left SIXTEEN comments on Leah's blog (sorry Leah, I'm not doing a link right now because Blogger will probably puke on my shoes if I get all "wild-n-crazy" with the html sheeit.) Today, I tried to leave one on beer girl's (again, no links! Blogger is sensitive, like Nathan Lane playing a damn Broadway orchid!) and it was dayumned funny, and I got error message after error message. Rather than leave a comment there 110x, I decided to post a Blogger Bitchslap. Because I rely on this site WAY too much, probably falls under "addiction" in that big book they use for diagnosing all your mental problems. So when Her Highness doesn't get her fix, Her Highness gets all schoolyard brawlin' and sassy.
Oh, and beer girl? Here's what I was trying to say: the good thing about the Banc du Jen is that a) the loan officer always forgets about the loan, immediately and b) the only interest is - you guessed it - beer points!
Now, let's see if this bitch'll fly and post or if I'm going to have to hold my breath & turn blue.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:31 PM | link |

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ripped from the Polly Files....

So, the Lady was all wrapped up in watching her tv, and Mister was off someplace, maybe in that bathroom place where the heater comes up under the sink, I like to lie there in the morning when Lady takes her shower, but what I was trying to write was that they were both doing things, you know? And so I did one of the good tricks I rarely get to do, which is stand up on my hind legs and get stuff off the counter or stove when I think noone is watching! It is so great. And I was very careful and quiet except for a little clicking of my nails, and a little jingling of my collar, I sure wish they'd make that jingling go away because Lady and Mister ALWAYS seem to know where I am, and what I'm doing, and where was I? Oh, yes, so I got a WHOLE FRIED CHICKEN wing or some part I don't know it was fried and meaty and the outside was really tasty and it was going to be SO GOOD I thought I should try to just nonchalantly walk into the living room with it sorta hidden in my mouth so I could lie down and really, really enjoy it? But Lady already seemed to be on to me and I heard a lot of YAP YAP YAP POLLY NO YAP YAP YAP and so I slowed down a little and got kinda low to the floor, thinking, like, maybe she won't see me coming in to get on my pillow and savor this chicken wing I'm hiding in my mouth?

But she did. She even took it away, like right, Lady is gonna eat something I had in my mouth but I think she just threw it in the garbage to try and teach me a lesson but I know I'll forget it the minute something good-smelling is back on the stove or counter. And she kept on with the YAPPING and the NO POLLYing and the BAD DOGging and then I had to lie down on my pillow with only the memory of the chicken wing in my mouth and that really sucked because that was gonna be one tasty chicken wing. Oh well. It's a dog's life here. I will keep checking for good tasting things, no matter how much they YAP and NO POLLY me, because I'M PRETTY and Lady tells me that all the time.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:57 PM | link |

Bats in Excess

The apartment building jacked up my rent and so instead of luxuriating in my break-in-able first floor apartment, we moved me up to the 8th floor. (Yes, there was an elevator. It was built, I believe, in 1812 in honor of the War, and Overture, and had lost all its charm, except when it didn't work, and then it looked peachy compared to the stairwell.)

The Next in the Bat Story Series: We had returned from a big road trip through Iowa, visiting my freshly-divorced parents, separately, of course, so that was fraught with all sorts of excitement and nerves. I will tell you what I remember the most about that trip? James gamely ate potato salad at my mother's apartment, despite being a person who does not eat mayo-based salads, and then when the a/c went out in my car and we were forced to drive in the summer heat with the windows down, we coped by waving wildly out the window at EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE we passed on the two-lane highway. Anyone waving back made us giddy with delight. But it was hot, and it's a long drive and so we got back to my apartment and collapsed. The next morning, I trailed behind James towards the kitchen, desperate for coffee, and not wearing glasses. He was making the coffee, and I stood in the dining room, blinking. Something in the corner caught my eye. Way up high. A dark blob on the crown molding.
"What's that up there? I don't have my glasses on."
James: shuffling, looks up at the corner in question.
"Oh. That's a bat. Leave it alone and try not to wake it up."

WHA HA HA HA HA WHAT? Well that was not an adequate solution or answer. I commenced with the Freaking Out Over the Bat Presence. "GET IT OUT OF HERE!" Screw coffee, a live bat in the house is enough to make me get my glasses on and move at speeds ordinarily associated with 2 in the afternoon.

James got his trout net out and stood on a stepstool. Unfortunately, the crown molding posed a problem. And at that moment, the bat woke up, and began hissing at James, showing a lower set of icky teeth.
"Just leave the room, Jennifer."
And the bat was, unfortunately, sent to the Big Batsoteria in the Sky.

I love bats, when they're outside and catching bugs and skeeters and flopping about, with their sonar and amazing dips and dives. I'm not afraid of them at all - but when they're inside, I turn into a shrieking basket case, and that, dear internet, is what happened on an even grander scale with the NEXT Bat Story.

And yes, I did eventually figure out where the hell they were getting in.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:53 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Homer driving
"Stupid risks make life worth living."
You love adventure. You're quite spontaneous,
and will do anything for a little thrill.
You're certainly not boring. However, sometimes
you get a bit carried away, and could wind up
doing something incredibly stupid and die. Tone
it down a bit.

Which Advice Quote said by Homer Simpson are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by PlazaJen, 10:36 PM | link |

Bats in the Belfry

I figure it's time to start sharing the Bat stories. Oh yes! I have bat stories. Do you have bat stories? Do you like soft rock the way WE like soft rock? (sorry, some bad 90's ad for a cd compilation crept in there.)

Let's start with Bat #1. This one made it out alive, and I'm still convinced, to this day, he flew off and told the entire Bat Colony about me, and that's why my particular plague of bats continued. I was living in the 1st floor apartment off the Plaza, and had been burgled a month or so earlier. So my paranoia was still on "High". My bedroom window faced the driveway that went to the basement garage, so it was elevated almost to a second-story level, but that didn't always leave me feeling safer. One night I woke up and looked at the window sill by my bed. My window was open a couple inches.

There were black-gloved fingers fluttering back and forth along the sill! HOLY SHIT! In the time it took me to get air back into my lungs, it became clear, even without my glasses, that it wasn't actually a piano-practicing burglar, but the wings of a bat fluttering about. And now? Now it was climbing up the INSIDE of the screen, which meant it would be able to get INSIDE my bedroom through the gap in the window at the top. Apparently the screen had a gap in it. Zoiks, Batman! I'm still not exactly clear on what happened, or how this happened, but as the bat climbed higher, I knew I had to do something. It was almost at the top of the gap. So I slammed the window down. EEEK. I caught a little bat toe in between the two window frames. Did you know bats can scream? They can. EEK EEK EEK! I collapsed and went back to sleep. And the next morning? There was no dead bat, anywhere to be found. I felt a little relief, because I'm basically pro-bat, and I didn't want to kill the thing - I just didn't want it in my bedroom.

Just a little smidge of blood on the window and I'm sure if I could read Batglish, it scrawled out, "We'll be back for you later, bitch." But I don't know Batglish, and so I thought, "Whew! That's the end of that!"

So naive.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:10 AM | link |

Monday, March 07, 2005

Stand Back! She's Walking With A Fork!

Sometimes, it’s the small stuff that’s just very difficult. For instance, right now? I seem to be going through a phase in which I cannot feed myself with regular utensils. Yesterday, we went to Thai 2000 for their Sunday brunch – and let me just pause to say there is nothing like this brunch. And you must say “Thai 200!” in slightly inflected tones with urgency every time you say, “THAI 2000!”. Because that is how we do it. Their brunch is exceptionally authentic, and yet also caters to the 5 Anglo people who go there, unaccompanied by someone of Asian ethnicity. I do draw the line at tripe soup and the beef soup which has been flavored with anise, because licorice beef broth and giant hard-boiled eggs and leathery mushrooms in soup is not my cup o’ – well – soup. But the mussels? On all that is sacred, I swear, these mussels are the best mussels in the city.

But I digress, as usual. I tell you, I am one of those people who start out on a journey and then end up in the ditch, trying to find that shiny object that caught the sunlight. I emerge 12 hours later with many chigger bites, some bits of tin foil in my hair and some garbage I picked up, and a new journey idea. So. Back to it.

I could not feed myself a bite of food yesterday without some portion of it flying on to my shirt, dropping onto the table, etc. I apparently had pad thai sauce all over my mouth. I was beginning to feel like a special needs person, who should not be allowed to use a fork, for fear of quadruple-piercing my nose with a vigorous jab towards my open mouth, and finding myself off by three inches, again. Usually these episodes go away, but today at lunch, I sat at my desk eating a gyro from the deli, and I am not kidding about this, I am wearing tzatziki sauce and gyro juice and every single f’n bite meant something was falling down the side of my face, into my cleavage, onto my desk, onto my shirt, and I’m seriously surprised I didn’t just eat the blasted napkin by accident, as I kept wrapping my pita with a napkin, trying to stem the fountain of flotsam cascading onto me. I went through 6 or 7 napkins, too.

I AM A MESS! I need to be hosed off. I need my co-ordination back! Lord knows I wasn’t given a generous amount to begin with, and if this keeps up my hypochondria will kick in, and I’ll be convinced I have a brain tumor (TU-mah) or some degenerative disease I never even thought to bring up at the doctor’s office this morning. GOOD GRIEF. I must now go wash the tzatziki sauce off my body. Give me a very wide berth, I may trip and crush you.
posted by PlazaJen, 12:58 PM | link |

Clean Bills of Health.

On Saturday, the doggie girls went to the vet. They were VERY pissed at me, having been promised a spa morning, and instead were victims of an evil bait & switch. Polly weighed in at 42 pounds, Suzy at 84. Both were pronounced in excellent health, despite their roundworms (damn feral cat poo) and now they're on a regimen that includes regular de-worming on top of their heartworm dosing. They were relieved to leave, and our bank account was just, well, relieved of money. I confess, I gave them an extra milkbone each from the free bowl. Sheesharoo it costs some serious coin to take the dogs to the vet! My friend Shelley was my helper, and we ran a few errands afterwards, the highlight being a stop at Sheridan's Custard, where they give you a free pupcone if you bring your dog. Polly and Suzy LOVED the pupcones, except for the fact they're SO SMALL and where is the NEXT ONE?

Then I had my doctor appointment this morning, nothing like starting Monday with an ill-fitting paper shirt & a disposable speculum. Oh yeah, and getting blood drawn. I always request the baby needles, it may take a little longer but it doesn't hurt as much. I was very impressed with my phlebotomist, she was rapido and got the needle in without any problem. I showered her with compliments, because one of the last times I got my blood drawn (at a different location) the person kept exclaiming, "Your veins are SO RUBBERY!" as she proceeded to poke the needle up, down & around under my skin. That is one visual I never need to see again, because even though I'm pretty sturdy and try not to be wimpy about stuff, I had to say "Hey now. Maybe we should try one of those baby needles?" while looking away and trying not to pass out. I think I even gave her the Hairy Eyeball, which is supposed to strike fear into the hearts of every living thing but mostly makes me look funny.

So all of this means that the ladies of the house have been pronounced healthy & only one of us really needs to start exercising more, so dammit Suzy, get on that treadmill!

I got a Diet Coke at McD's afterwards, and they screwed up - I knew instantly that it was regular Coke, which always tastes good for the first few swigs? (especially if you're hungover, but I wasn't.) Then, as a Diet Coke purist, it just gets to be too much. Have you ever been in those little boutiques? Where they have 800 scents and everything's sweet and heady and a bit overwhelming? Well, if you could take that environment and make it into a beverage, then that's what drinking regular Coke tastes like to me. I gave up. As I came into work, I scammed a Diet Coke from a friend who was setting up for a client meeting. Yay! Normalcy is returning.

Knitting update: I've got two buttonhole bags ready to felt, and will follow up with before & after pictures tomorrow! I started Anouk from, and then there's still the Folly. I feel a surge of energy comin' for the Folly. It must be done while there's still a remote chance I can wear it before next winter.....
posted by PlazaJen, 10:34 AM | link |

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Getting My Driver's License (The End....or The Beginning?)

This is the last in the "Denied Driver's License/Learning to Drive" series. I hope you've been more entertained by it than I was at the time (grumble, grumble - do you ever lose that feeling of being 16 and totally hosebagged by your parents?)

I had to wait until I turned 18 to get my license. And then? There was no Judy (mom) or Rick (dad) to dare say stop. They couldn't. It was my Iowa-God-Given Right at that point. For some crazy reason, though, I didn't get my license until the middle of winter. (My birthday's in July. Shop early, shop often!) Probably because I didn't have a car, or access to one. But then I found out I could be a student driver, and I would HAVE to have a license to do my independent internship in Des Moines the following semester. Being a student driver meant going to pick up visitors at the airport for my college. It paid pretty well, and it meant you could DRIVE to stores along the way instead of, say, riding your bike. So, I ended up borrowing my friend Jon's car, and my friend Ellen accompanied me to the testing station (because you had to have a licensed driver with you, in case you FAILED.)
We'd had a small-ish ice storm the night before. Fab-u. We get inside, and there's a handful of people waiting for the driving test. Some dickwad stands up in front of us all like a drill sergeant and proceeds to shout out the rules and pitfalls of the driving test. "YOU WILL FAIL IF AT ANY TIME - BLAH BLAH BLAH -" but what broke through my fogbank of nervousness was "WE HAVE ICE ON THE ROADS BUT YOU WILL BE TESTED AS THOUGH THE STREETS ARE CLEAR AND IF YOU SLIDE THROUGH AN INTERSECTION THAT WILL CONSTITUTE FAILURE TO HAVE CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE AND YOU WILL IMMEDIATELY FAIL."
eep! wild eep!
So I get paired up with a pink-cheeked corn-fed tester named Penny. Penny's wearing a full body snowsuit. We go out to my borrowed car, and I am petrified of everything, it's not my car, there's ice everywhere, holy crapcakes batman, this is what I've spent years in battle with my parents over, and it could all swirl the drain over a little ice storm.
We commence with the driving test. I kept my hands on the wheel in such a way that my left thumb and index finger constantly formed the letter "L", so I wouldn't have a complete break with reality if she told me "turn left" and I errantly turned right. I did slide a little on one hill, and lost some points, but it wasn't enough for immediate failure, I thought, as we continued driving around town, signalling, turning, doo-de-doo. I was dreading the three-point turn test, or parallel parking, having heard some horror stories from classmates about their experiences. Ten minutes into my driving test, I notice that Penny is shifting about in her seat. Two minutes after that, she says, "That's enough. Let's go back to the testing station." I'm all "holy fuck, I've totally failed, that slip through the four-way stop doomed me." We get back. Get out. She says, "You scored a 97. I took 3 points off for sliding a little at the stop sign. You passed. Take this in and get your picture taken."
I'm ecstatic! YIPPEE! No parallel parking! And I passed! Awesome! I collect my license and go back to the car, with my friend. I'm chirping and chattering, so very excited. We start to drive back to campus.
Ellen says, "Can you turn the heat down? I'm boilin' up in here."

It was like a crack of lightening on my forehead. Move over, Harry Potter. I'd had the heat blasting the entire way over, because it was cold and we'd scraped & it was quite chilly. I was so nervous and worried, I didn't touch a single thing when we got back in for the test. I thought my own warmth was nerves. Everything fell into logical place. Corn-fed Penny. In her snowsuit. Bright red cheeks. Trickle of sweat when we got out of the car. Cutting the test short. Passing me with flying colors.


I'd baked her into submission.

However, lest you think I am lacking in parallel-parking skills? I can parallel park like a mo-fo. Spots that look like you'd have to pick the car UP and lower it in with a crane? No problem. Might take me a second attempt, but I can get it in. It's really almost dazzling, if I may be so egotistical. Many a co-worker has emerged from my car, stunned and amazed I fit the car where I did. So. I'm jus' sayin'. I may hit a lot of potholes (I do live in Missouri) because I'm short and can't see 'em comin', but I would relish a parallel parking Olympics. Winter or Summer, baby, I'd bring home the gold.
posted by PlazaJen, 12:43 PM | link |

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Our Hardcore Porn Collection

Yarn porn & seed porn. We're just that crazy.

And, it doesn't even arrive discreetly packaged in a brown wrapper.

My Porn Posted by Hello

James' Porn Posted by Hello
posted by PlazaJen, 12:27 PM | link |

In Defense of Wo

James has pointed out, several times this week, that last year he planted a big ol' bed of asparagus, FOR ME, and it was the hardest thing he put in the garden, because the holes had to be really deep. (and of course you can't even get asparagus the first year you plant it.) So despite it not being HIS favorite veggie, he planted me a great big bunch, because he loves me and he loves to garden.

He is also developing an overwhelming obsession with growing giant pumpkins. He is currently germinating seeds from parent pumpkins that weighed 200#-750#. Perhaps we'll get one big enough to build into a car, and we'll drive that until it starts to sag on the sides! (How do you get insurance on that vehicle? Collision would be a bitch. "Hi, uh, American Family? I just drove my pumpkin to work and got broadsided by a Ford Festiva, and uh, it's all in pieces on the road. Can we salvage for pies? Yes, I'll hold. No, I'm not Cinderella.")
posted by PlazaJen, 12:12 PM | link |

Friday, March 04, 2005

If You Try To Connect The Logic Dots, I Swear I'll Take The 5th

File this under "Tourism Information." I'm only going to tell you, Internet World, that if you like strawberry margaritas (frozen) and you have grown used to the idea that they are foo-foo and not terribly strong? Then you need to salsa dance your Sir Mix-A-Lot ass down to Rudy's Tenampa Taqueria on Westport Road in Kansas City, and get yo' ass one of their 'ritas. Because you, my dear internet friend, will re-write your definition of "foo-foo". And you will eat a lot of chips.

Let's all sing the Tequila song now, shall we?

da dot dadadada da da.
da dot dadadada da.
da dot dadadada da da.
dadada dadada
posted by PlazaJen, 4:02 PM | link |

Martharitas, Anyone?

In honor of Martha Stewart's release from prison, my friend Cindy & I are going to have "Martharitas" & Mexican food for lunch today.

Raise your glass & toast our domestic diva's impending freedom!

Yes, she's a bit wonkers. And no, it's not realistic, like, how she decorates those damned cookies, or makes an entire Christmas village out of paper, balsa and boar bristles. But seeing those unrealistic things is still part of the fun, and there are some things worth doing/making/baking/crafting.

I will say that even though I think she was persecuted more because she's a woman, this whole experience has hopefully given her a greater sense of humility and an appreciation for how the "other 92%" live. When I went to see her introduce her new furniture line at NE Furniture Mart last year, I got her "Weddings" book signed, and I put my hand on her shoulder and said, "We're behind you 100%." And the look she gave me really showed the person inside, I think she was honestly grateful. She said "Thank you," and just looked really hard at me, but hard with appreciation. At least that's how I saw it. Maybe I was just drunk on being in her atmosphere. Drunk on Martharitas!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:02 AM | link |

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I Smell Bacon........

Today in Kansas City, we will hit close to 70 degrees. This means a gorgeous, warm, Spring-IS-Coming kind of day. Of course we'll have at least one more grisly cold spell before Spring is really here, and we know that, but it doesn't stop us from reveling in the warm sunny joy.

The one thing that can stop the joy? Motorcycle cops. I expect them to be out in droves. Whenever the weather gets really, really nice, for the first time? They are everywhere. Hiding behind trees, parked off side streets, wielding their bulky radar guns like Ghostbuster blasters. It's like Agent Smith in the Matrix, they just keep coming from everywhere. Just the sight of them pisses me off. Yes, yes, I know. Speed limits are there for a reason. BLAH BLAH BLAH. There are never motorcycle cops when some nutjob is barrelling down Ward Parkway at 55 mph, weaving in and out of the lanes, which to me is Behavior Begging For A Ticket. Instead, say you are boxed in and trying to get around some old man who is waiting for God to punch his ticket and bring him Home, and you accellerate to do so, and then HO NO, there's one of those damned little scooter cops. And you negotiate for a living, so you say, "Is there any way you can work with me on this?" And Vespa Squad Member #814 says, "This is my job. I write tickets." And you ALMOST say, "Your mother must be SO PROUD" but you don't, because anyone who has the authority to arrest you cannot be screwed with directly.

Did you think this was hypothetical? Well, it happened to me, several years ago, my SECOND ticket in my LIFE. And I have yet to forgive him. I did get pulled over in Prairie Village last year (again for the speeding thing.....arrrgh) by the most gorgeous cop ever and he was in a CAR and the fact he was so HOT, I could have sucked that ticket up, but nooooo, I only got a warning, my first ever WARNING in my life. And if he'd been on a scooter? He would have been UGLY UGLY UGLY.

Midday Update!
A co-worker sent me this email, she was out this morning & lives in my area:

Jennifer - I just got back in and they are EVERYWHERE! On Wornall they are sitting just South of Loose Park as well as right after the school around 63rd Street. Then, further down, just across the street from the school at 85th.

Y'all been warned. They are EVERYWHERE. And they're not pretty.

(Thinking to self.... Now, George Michael in a cop uniform on a motorcycle? THAT could convert me. Maybe.)
posted by PlazaJen, 9:36 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

When I Became Ma'am......

Actually, because of the big hooters, I've gotten "Ma'am" for longer than I should have, in my opinion. People think big boobs & being bigger-sized means you're old. Whatever. I don't worry too much about age and all that, but I confess I still don't always feel like a "grown-up".

I had one of those "WHOA, NELLY" moments though, two Christmases ago. James' bratty cousin is one of those boys you just want to whack upside the head. Sometimes, he's ok. But he has too many other things going on that bring out the whack factor. And there he went, into the kitchen, got the entire HUGE tin of homemade chex mix out (and Gramma D. makes awesome stuff - cheetos and mixed nuts in addition to the standard mix!) and the little fucker starting picking out the cashews.

Just. The. Cashews.
And eating them!

Now, I am not one to do a lot of overt nose-sticking-into in my husband's family. When you're an in-law, you always keep one eye on the foul lines, because you don't want to even get a toe across that line. That's how I am, you might be different. So I don't usually get involved with "the kids". But this blatant selfish nut-snacker hit my last patience button.

"J.R.!" I shouted.

"Wha?" He vacantly looks up for a milisecond and resumes picking out cashews.

When I get really mad, I feel the hair on the back of my head start to stand up and things get kind of white-hot around my eyes. This was happening. I yelled,


And he did.

I was amazed. I commanded authority and obedience like a bona fide grown-up. Whoa. Nelly.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:43 PM | link |

George Michael, Will You Be My Friend?

I am listening (with headphones) to "Patience" by George Michael, and I want to be his friend. I have earned ENOUGH faghag points that I should be able to redeem them by now on a really big prize, and I choose you, George Michael.

I mean, think about how fun that would be. I'm just imagining getting all tipsy on mojitos with him, and after he's had enough to drink, convincing him to put on those really short shorts he always wore in the Wham videos. And the laughing - OH the laughing we would have at those silly old days. And then, I would confess how foolish I was as young girl, believing he could someday love me like that, before my gaydar became more finely-tuned, and how I look back now and wonder, WHY, HOW I never saw it, because it is so crystal clear, but nevermind, even after I knew you were gay, George Michael, you had to go and do that Fast Love video and then you made it into the sacred circle, of gay men I'd actually sleep with just out lust and affection.

Have a seat right over there, next to Ricky Martin.
posted by PlazaJen, 2:56 PM | link |

Ladies First, LADIES First!

Did you know that some foods are inherently "girly"? I made James a salad long ago that involved mandarin oranges and he was non-plussed, to say the least. We were only dating at the time, and he was polite about it, but explained that "fruit in salad is more a girl thing."

Then, tonight, I was sauteeing asparagus with garlic, olive oil & lemon. James stated that it wasn't his favorite vegetable, as he considers it more a "girl's vegetable." WE-HE-ELL. I was not aware there was a machismo/feminine nature in the world of veggies. More asparagus for me! (After all, I am a girl!)

The ultimate in "feminine" consumables came when I brought home a new tea. "Can I have a cup of your new tea?" he asked. It was fancy lookin'. Here's a picture:

Lavender & Chamomile Tea (in the blue tin) Posted by Hello

He took a couple sips and looked at me. "This is really girly tea. Flowery. I mean, REALLY girly. Like, ULTRA-GAY GIRLY."

And this is all coming from a man who only drank Zima and Boone's Farm when we first met. Mmmhmm. MANLY drinks.

Good thing I don't make a mandarin orange-asparagus salad, he'd probably grow boobs and get mad for no reason halfway through dinner. ;)
posted by PlazaJen, 7:37 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Standing Down.

I have been informed my secret pal who has MY name does not live in the U.S. Therefore they could have sent me something and it's just taking a while to get here. My apologies to my new secret pal, who is probably already internet-mail-ordering me some dog poo and crackers to go with my vintage whine.

However, I still stand by my earlier statements regarding how these things can blow. Blow and burn. And at least now everyone knows not to buy me RESIN FIGURINES.
posted by PlazaJen, 5:07 PM | link |

Secret Pal, Secret Santa, Secret Cupid - it all blows.

OK, I should say that for the most part, I've had good luck with Secret Santa. But Secret Cupid? Man, the first year they did that at work, my "big present" ended up being a 3" resin bear holding a honey pot and faux resin honey dripped all over him.

I ask you. What about me makes anyone think such a gift might be appropriate? Yes, I have a lot of tchatchkes. But they are COOL. Like the rubber duckies, or the alien creature from "Toy Story" with three eyes, or Curious George, with handpuppets. Or miniature fashion purses. Or the MooDoo VooDoo doll. Nowhere, anywhere, are drecky crappy dollar store figurines. Or anything out of resin. I digress. But its illustrative usefulness is not lost, I'm sure.

So despite that big searing scar on my secret gift-giving psyche, I still signed up to do a secret pal exchange on one of my knitting lists. Because (lean back in your chair, my ego might hit you through the computer), I am an awesome secret pal. I excel at giving gifts and picking out things for people, and if I could be a highly-paid professional shopper, that's what I'd do. Again, I digress. After the month of January went by, I wrote our SP organizer, because I had yet to get a gift. She followed up with the person who had my name. Ooops! They have decided they just can't participate. Well, that chaps my hide, thanks for not volunteering this information until we're a month IN to the exchange and then only after you've been contacted with a query as to your non-participation. So now a new person has my name, for February. Hey, look at the calendar! It's March 1! And I haven't gotten anything, AGAIN!

Now, I will interrupt my ego/pity party to note two things. My dear friend Kristin mentioned my situation to a very awesome person who has her own on-line yarn shop, and that individual gave me some store credit, JUST TO PAY IT FORWARD and because she, too, had been burned by the whole Secret Pal thing. The only reason I'm not trumpeting her name/info is because I don't want her to get more sob stories or anyone looking for a handout (not that YOU would ever do such a thing, but I'm just sayin', it's the internet and there are a few crazies out there.) And my friend in St. Louis gave me two skeins of ribbon yarn from her stash as a secret pal present because she, too, is getting the short end of the stick in this exchange. I don't normally do very well with people feeling sorry for me, but I really appreciated it, because I was feeling really rejected by the whole process.

I resume this story with some observations, because I'm all about the introspection and understanding why we react to things the way we do. And I will do so with a confession. This whole thing made me cry! My feelings got really, really hurt because I took it very personally, that someone who has access to my blog & the opportunity to get to know me through it, decided to not fufill their obligation to the gift exchange, and if there's an opportunity for me to take something personally, I usually snatch it. (Dur. Something I need to work on, obviously.) But it also hits that whole "this isn't fair" button, because I've spent about $20/month so far on gifts & shipping, and I'm not playing Secret Charity Pal, for someone who has lost everything or is dying here. I'm playing Secret PAL, where the concept of "what comes around, goes around" is in play, and somebody out there is gettin' and not givin'. And that fries my crackers.

The Karma Bus is comin'. And it's runnin' on fried cracker fuel.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:14 AM | link |


I'm trying to assess how many Cool Points I'll lose if I go and buy the new Jennifer Lopez album. It hasn't been reviewed at my usual sources (Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly), which makes me wonder if it's one big serving of ear taffy. Of course, that single "Get Right"? Biggest F'n earworm of the year, I spent a weekend hearing that hook go through my brain, just from memory.

I remain undecided. However, this is the week to do it since it's on sale. And lordy, I do so love a sale. ;)
posted by PlazaJen, 7:48 AM | link |