PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


When you say the word out loud, it sounds funny. I think we've heard too many words via advertising that are related to prescription needs, and as my pal Beth pointed out, it sounds like a side-effect of something: Excessive usage can result in florilegium.

Ah, but while it is not an affliction, it could become an addiction! Florilegium is an absolutely gorgeous shop in Parkville, MO, that sells yarn, ribbons, needleworking supplies and various & sundry other needleart resources. I did some digging on the definition, and found this - and it seems consistent with the focus of the shop: to provide an exquisite collection.

Presentation is fantastic. If I hadn't been sweating buckets, or worried they thought I was a marauding corporate spy, I would have taken more pictures. In fact, the owners were so gracious, they offered to go buy us drinks or snacks! And I was directed to a large roll of paper towels when we walked in, which was also greatly appreciated. (We went on "Parkville Days" and the roads were blocked off - so we had to hoof it.) But look at this: A wall of yarn. IN JARS! With tassels so you could feel a sample of what was inside.

And an antique wrought-iron fence/grate bursting with Cascade 220:

Miss Kristin, perusing a book. Note the stained glass windows. In the windows on the back wall, the letters spell "Y A R N".

I loved it. They're worth the drive!
posted by PlazaJen, 6:48 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

You Know It's Been A Long Day When.....

You find yourself secretly wishing the lemon tea you're sipping was Theraflu Nighttime Lemon Cold Relief drink.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:10 PM | link |

The Boys of Summer.....

Kristin and I were chatting the other day (well, like, we chat EVERY day during the work week, and even sometimes extra on the weekends), about the young men, well, ok, they're basically boys, on the Rockhurst Cross-Country team, and how we see them as we're driving in to work and they are running along in little packs, all lean and young and did I mention they're young? They make me feel old, but they also make me feel a little lusty-old-lady-ish, and I'm not sure why, since I like my men BEEFY. Perhaps it's just all that youth in motion.

So on Saturday, I snapped a pic of a similar group running in a race. Nothing says creepy like a middle-aged woman DRIVING and pointing her camera out her passenger window at young men.

In my defense, I took a bunch of random pictures on my drive:

This one makes me kinda carsick, but I still like it:

posted by PlazaJen, 8:21 AM | link |

Sunday, August 28, 2005


What a fun weekend it's been. A bit of a blur, actually, but I'm really jazzed about the fact I washed all our bedding today. All. Of. It. Actually, I had to stop washing the pillows, because the cheap ones were EXPLODING in the washing machine. It was like a horror movie, with pillows committing hari-kari and exploding their stuffins all over the place. And then one load of pillows had PMS & they retained a ton of water, so they're drip-drying until they're less waterlogged & bitchy. After two pillow deaths & two pillows in Time Out, I quit with washing the pillows. Damned dust mites. I had hopes of killing them ALL!!!!

I met my first real, live blogger (as in, a blogger I knew solely through blogs) yesterday - Carrie of Wild Scorpy was kind enough to drive in to North KC to meet me for lunch. Where else would we dine, but a thai restaurant? "Tasty Thai", and she gets extra points for being so adventurous. I had not dined at the TT before, and it was a bit of a mixed bag, not knowing their food as :cough: well as I know Thai Place's, Thai Orchid's, Thai House's, and Thai 2000's..... (sidenote, Kristin & I saw another Thai restaurant downtown, it's right next door to Bazookas. (titty bar) Swell!I probably won't be going there anytime soon.) Anyhoo, the food wasn't as fantabulous as I'd hoped (spring rolls were made with really thick rice paper sheets, red curry wasn't, well, red), and eventually, I'll have to do a complete Kansas City Guide to Thai Food (Not Located Next To Titty Bars) - which will require further dining at Tasty Thai so as to provide a thorough analysis and report. All of that aside, meeting her was great fun & it was surprising to realize that three hours had flashed by & our legs were getting stiff from sitting so long! I will give Tasty Thai props for having a hilarious, festive delivery vehicle:

Oh, yes, I had to use the zoom:

So thanks for driving down, Ms. Scorpy, it was a lot of fun & we'll have to do it again - but I swear, if we go back to Tasty Thai, I am buying this bigass pikachu - it's a bank! It stared at me through lunch and I know it would have started talking to me, eventually.

posted by PlazaJen, 10:25 PM | link |

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Only Five?

My knitbud Abbey tagged me with a little query, to share: Five Idiosyncrasies.

Gee, just five? I would guess my list is.... endless. And, much like Abbey, I find my little quirks captivating, endearing & charming. As you should, too. Also, like Abbey, I can't do the face-to-face sleeping thing. I fear oxygen deprivation.

Anyway, I gave it some thought, and here they are, selectively presented.

1. I cannot see the band name "Hoobastank" without saying it out loud. Every. Single. Time.

2. I am very particular about the tines of my fork. If I am dining out & the tines are uneven, I will do everything to get a new fork. It really affects how much I can enjoy the meal.

3. I color-separate all my candy before I eat it. M&M's, Skittles, Gummi Bears...

4. I apply lipstick all the time. Even if I know I'll be wiping it off in five minutes. I LOVE LIPSTICK.

5. I always stop before I get to the bottom step, of anywhere. I stop & look & then continue down. (I fell down a flight of concrete steps & took all the skin off my shins when I was moving. I didn't break a single dish but it hurt like bloody hell. It was 15 years ago, but I'm paranoid.)

I see you wanting to share your quirky-quirks! Bekah? Shannon? Carrie? Kristin? Show us what you got!
posted by PlazaJen, 6:57 AM | link |

Friday, August 26, 2005

When I Rule The World.....

If it is nighttime-dark in the morning, due to thunderstorms? Everybody will stay home, preferably in bed.

See what happens when you elect a ruler who can sleep through just about anything?

posted by PlazaJen, 7:13 AM | link |

When I Rule The World, Part II:

People who design & promote knitting/crochet patterns like this? They will be immediately packed off to Taste Camp, where severe re-programming will take place.

(Oh, and you KNOW who's in charge of Taste Camp.)

posted by PlazaJen, 7:10 AM | link |

Thursday, August 25, 2005

What Price Vanity?

That's the line that has rolled around my head for a couple months, ever since I went to the dentist for my regular checkup, and inquired about teeth whitening. I had thought it cost around $200. And I was seriously considering it, because while I have many things I don't invest a lot of angst or energy in, I do like my teeth. I've got "lucky teeth", or at least that's what I've been told my whole life: when people have asked if I ever wore braces, and I said "No", they always said, "Wow, you're lucky." I believe 'em - my teeth are pretty straight, and I take fairly good care of them.

So back to the tooth-whitening adventure. To have the professional trays made, and your first set of whitening solution? FOUR HUNDRED AND TWELVE DOLLARS. I must shout that amount. Because there were times over the past 2 months, even as long as five minutes, I decided I was going to do it, despite the cost. And then I'd hear that voice in my head saying, "What price vanity, Jennifer?" So I did some internet research. And some eBay perusing. I decided to risk it on eBay, having read the different auctions thoroughly and intently, as though I was signing away my life's savings. The grand total damage? $89. Not cheap, but that's about what the "professional" grade Crest white strips will run you at the dentist. For my $89, I received a month's worth of 22% whitening solution, and dental forms & putty you activated by kneading the two balls together. A mailer to send the forms back, and complete instructions.

Here is where you get the glimpse into the obsessive-side of my brain. I read the directions three times, at least. For once you knead the putty together (for 40 seconds, timed maniacally with a watch), you are now in a window that is slamming shut. You must roll the putty into a small snake, place it in the dental tray, position said tray in your mouth, and imprint your teeth CORRECTLY. Getting the gumline, but not biting THROUGH the putty. This is apparently what costs the $350 at the dentist's office, that expertise, and unlimited putty if they fuck up. Which I did, on my first try, and so I read the directions again, 2x. Because I only had one extra set of fuck-up putty. My next two attempts came out "OK", but not being a trained putty-form-dental-tray maker, I was still concerned. But then I noticed in the directions "take pictures of the forms if you are at all concerned about if they'll work." Hello, you haven't met me, have you? I like to cover my bases. (Because it costs a bunch more if you arrogantly send in your f-d up forms and they're not right. Like another $20 or so, to get replacement putty & a mailer and all.) So I take pictures. Big ones. Detailed. I send the eBay seller four of these, so big he can use them as wallpaper on his computer, if he so chooses. He emails me back, these look fine, send them back.

So yesterday, I got my little plastic dental trays & I had my first hour of whitening while we watched a movie. I think I've got the real-deal, the solution isn't expired, it's the same stuff sold at the dentist & you can't buy it direct. My plastic trays fit my teeth like painted-on latex, and I paid a 1/4 of what I'd have spent at the dentist. And I guess the answer to my question? I like my vanity anywhere from 50%-90% off retail.

My next job: at-home-dental-tray-putty-form-teeth-impression maker:
posted by PlazaJen, 7:27 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Thing About Book Club

Is that you gotta read a book. (I know! WTF?!) I tried this past month, and just could not get into it. (American Woman, by Susan Choi. Good luck.) So I emailed two of my book club members about my predicament and they both encouraged me to attend book club, for the social aspect 'n' all. I did, it was quite enjoyable, I mean good god, Phyllis brought triple cream brie with rosemary crackers & there was a profuse quantity of lemon bars. Best of all - GET THIS - the majority of the attendees did NOT read the book! And here I was feeling all high-school-dropout about it. I'm psyched about the next book, "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt. I wish I could knit & read at the same time, but I just can't. CAN'T equals WON'T don't you know? I love the remnants of self-help books that never quite leave you.

And now I've violated the first rule of Book Club. You know what the first rule of Book Club is, right? I can't say any more. Edward Norton is lurking.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:28 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No, It's Not.

My cell phone usually rings around 3:30, 3:40 in the afternoon, and it's JWo, leaving work. So when it rings at other times, during the workday, I'm a little alarmed. It just rang (12:30) and I'm sitting here at my desk putting out some small brush fires (it is best to use a side-to-side sweeping motion across the fire), and I got a little alarmed. Like, what else is going to happen today? Around noon, my work phone rang, I'd pick it up, and there was nobody there. By the third time, I was giving my phone the Hairy Eyeball. FIVE TIMES this happened, until on that fifth time, Representative Dennis Moore's recorded voice started talking about some f'n banjo get-together speakeasy he's gonna have over in Fairway and since I work and live IN MISSOURI DENNIS, and therefore can't VOTE FOR YOU, I hung up. With much spluttering and swearing.

So back to my ringing cell phone & my nerves all jingle-jangle. I answer.
A ginormous pause on the other end. OK, not helping the anxiety I freely shovel around every day. I'm worried about one of my friends right now and I am running from Dennis Moore.

"This isn't George's D&D Electric, is it." a woman on the other end stated.
"Ah, No. This is Jennifer's Brushfire Service. So sorry. Can I interest you in Dennis Moore's hoedown in Fairway?"
posted by PlazaJen, 12:31 PM | link |

The Community We Build

When my dad told me he was divorcing my mother (6 years ago or so), I was a huge mixture of things - relief, dismay, shock, and most of all, sadness. I've never had much of a relationship with my mother, it's always been with my dad, and yet that family, such that it was, was all I'd ever known, and its disintegration seemed to challenge the very foundation I stood upon every day. A year or so later, when my father told me he was marrying someone else, I still can see James, sitting on the side of my bed, and as he held me in his arms as I sobbed, telling me that he was my family now, and to let my sadness go. I didn't quite grasp the significance of what he was saying at the time, because I didn't understand how to "be family" with anyone but my parents, and really only my dad, if you put it under the microscope.

The past years have opened up my eyes so much more, far beyond what I arrogantly believed I thought I already knew. For all through my "formative years", I spent many, many significant points in time away from my parents - Christmas, college summers, because we were fighting or because of impending snowstorms, and I told myself throughout all those times, that family was something you could make yourself. I cooked enormous Thanksgiving dinners for friends. I spent Thanksgivings alone. I fancied myself independent, selective, choosing my new family, year-to-year. I ignored the fissures of grief, over the family dynamic I didn't have, couldn't create, couldn't fix. I spent a lot of my younger years in a turmoil I couldn't even understand. Those pockets are still there, somewhat scarred over, somewhat healed, most of them are now like an inactive volcano. I don't erupt with grief at everything. Probably because I have such family with James. And I have such excellent, treasures of friendship. Some are closer than others, some drift in and out like the ocean, some are far-flung and sporadic, some are just beginning - and yet all those connections are so deep, they pull focus away from the core that is no longer, they give me strength, they motivate me to keep giving.

I recently helped a friend through a rough break-up, packing the ex's items & providing distraction & fun. His thanks were so heartfelt, and to that, my reaction was surprise. Surprise that my actions merited such emotional thanks, because they really were done without a second thought - and that surprised me as well. I'm a selfish, selfish, did I mention selfish? - person. I clutch my time like little Charlie Bucket clutched his golden ticket to Wonka's chocolate factory. People don't think "giving" when asked for the first word to describe me. ("Loud" is usually a common response.) But I like that I have it within me to give, even if it's not my second nature. I feel more complete, having given my friendship & support & love to those who really need it, and here is where I show my age & experience: it is now given to those who won't suck it up and give nothing in return.

I love the notion of fixing things, even though I know I'm not that powerful. Given that, it's not surprising that I married someone who also wants to fix things. And so, I dedicate this blog to JWo, because whenever I hear the song "Fix You" by Coldplay, I think of him and how he always wants to make my sadness disappear. He is my family, and I love him for that gift. His light guides me home.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:11 AM | link |

Monday, August 22, 2005

'Cuz I Got High.....

There is work being done in the building. What sort of work, you innocently inquire? The sort of work that makes the air smell as though there are a thousand black markers with their caps off, and we are back in college mounting art projects on foam core with the fixative spray. This scent is telling some gland in my body to generate saliva at the back of my tongue, and the saliva tastes like I have been sucking on an old tin can. The gnomes that reside in my brain, they do not like this smell, and several have sat down in the corner. A couple are stomping their feet while shouting, "I don't like this!" so it also feels a little headachey without being so severe, we find ourselves in the car driving home. One person here thinks it is affecting his nervous system, as he has run into walls several times today. But he could just be klutzy, and personally, I can never use motor skills or lack thereof as a good litmus test, I trip on lo-pile carpet, for heaven's sake.

In any event? The smell? It must to be stopping now.
posted by PlazaJen, 2:17 PM | link |

Mmmmm, Meatshake

Apparently, a few years ago, a dude worked here and he was on a diet. And not any diet, but it was more like Atkins on Crack, from what they've told me. The really choice part of his diet was his breakfast, and he would make it here at work. It was a blended smoothie of sorts, made worse because he heated it in the microwave. Nobody was really sure what-all was in it, except it had meat in it, thus the term "meatshake". And they were RANK. People would literally gag at the smell. As, I'm sure, you're trying not to do whilst reading this blog. Sorry! Anyhoo, they finally had to have the office manager address his meatshake habit & ask that he no longer consume them in the office. Said dude is no longer here.

I made a joke a couple weeks ago in a meeting, about 'mmmmm, meatshake', and after the initial laugh said, "I heard there was a guy here who used to make them!" One of the more senior people here looked at me and said the meatshake maker's name, but what was really funny was the look in his eyes as he looked at me, gauging whether or not I was going to start making meatshakes because they sounded cool. That look was FEAR. They were that scary. Seriously, can you imagine? Oh, hi, I'm blending up a mandarin-orange-strawberry-chicken smoothie, with bee pollen and ginseng. Wanna taste? Or even better - the SNL classic - MMMMMM! THAT'S GREAT BASS!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:34 AM | link |

Sunday, August 21, 2005

When In Doubt, Go With The Dogs.....

I wrote THE BEST blog in my head last night, around 1 a.m. before falling asleep. It was insightful, meaningful, and would have made you really reflect on your life. Well, now that you're let down & sad and wondering how you'll get through the day, I should admit I'd also had several amaretto sours & some shots of Hot Damn! prior to going to bed. But that blog, it was awesome! And I didn't even feel the need to write down some notes to help me today, because it was SO GOOD, I would remember it for sure. Uh, yeah. And then I had crazy-ass dreams about travelling the world by train, and I had ridden the Switzerland-Minneapolis train, but I got separated from JWo on our Minneapolis-Kansas City connection, because a woman on the Switzerland train left her purse & I was trying to turn it in, but those Swiss bitches in Minneapolis could have CARED LESS, and I kept pointing out the woman was of Indian descent, but she spoke fluent English and Italian and she NEEDED to get her purse or she wouldn't be able to continue her studies back in Switzerland, and finally I threw the purse at those haughty wenches because we were late for the train & we had to run. And the train-entry doors were like the little elevator boxes at Tower of Terror, but only for two people & the door shut before I could get in. But I still made the train by running to the next stop, and then Will Ferrell was behind me, grabbing at me and hitting on me. And of course, I was flattered? But I'm married! So I was all, "Uh, I have to go." So, I got nothin' because all I can see in my brain is Will Ferrell and those mean Swiss bitches. And when that's all you've got? You pull out pictures of the dogs. Doesn't Suzy look scary? She would have come in handy last night at the train station.

posted by PlazaJen, 9:36 AM | link |

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Breakfast of Champions

I thought I would show you my very horrible breakfast from a workday last week. I don't eat breakfast from the vending machine too terribly often, but once in a while, lard-based products just sound tasty. Two diet cokes & 32 oz. of water? Why, it's practically healthy with all that water involved.

A couple years ago, I was very involved in my company picnic, and organized/hosted an eating contest. Each contestant had one minute to finish everything in front of them, and everyone was divided into teams, and you signed up for different competitions. The food contest was hit or miss on what you got (sort of like Survivor - will it be a candy bar? Or the West African dung beetle?) - the "nasties" were pickled pigs feet, pickled quail eggs, spam, and pickled herring. (Not that those are nasty, per se, but just not as common for someone to LIKE.) Surprisingly, people plowed right through them. I was getting a bit worried. Then there were wasabi peas, which people also ate at lightening speed. And then came the finale, the piece-de-resistance: apparently, it's damn hard to eat a Hostess Cherry Pie in under a minute, and it ended up being the tiebreaker between the teams.

Mmmmm. Lard. And cherries. Slows you down every time. Or in my case, kicks the morning off juuuust riiiiight.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:44 PM | link |

Friday, August 19, 2005

Yet Another Shocker:


You are interchangeable. Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!
What kind of knitting needles are you?brought to you by Quizilla

methinks some of my knitting buds might be the same! ;)
posted by PlazaJen, 10:24 PM | link |

Whole White, Toasted.

The night of JWo's birthday celebration, we had lots of laughs & stories, and of course, some time spent talking about various restaurants, and that led to Thai food, and James extolled the virtues of Thai 2000's Sunday Brunch, and the fact that we are usually the only all-Anglo party when we go, is a sign that we are dining on very authentic food, since nearly all of the other diners are Asian.

I think we all agreed with that, and our friends Ashley & Russell were talking about some similar experiences, going to some places in Houston, where some of Russell's family lives, and this part of his family is Vietnamese (Russell being half-Vietnamese, half-Caucasian). Ashley turned to Russell, mid-way through a story about going to a Vietnamese restaurant, that was packed with Vietnamese people, and her experience, being Caucasian & in the minority said, "I mean, Russell, you're not whole-white, you're half-white, I'm whole-white." Of course that just sounded so funny, like ancestry & nationality were bread or milk or something, and Russell said, "Ashley, I'm really more 'IronKids'."

Dare I say it- they're Wonder-ful friends? (insert groan here)

Happy, Happy Friday. Happy Half-Day Friday to me! Oh, I'll still have the whole day, but only half-work, please. With extra sugars.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:35 AM | link |

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Life is a Straw

I'm having a frustrating day. The essence of today can be captured by this: I have a super-sized diet coke sitting here, half-drunk. And my straw? MY FUCKING STRAW? It has a greeeeeeat big split in the middle. So, it was NOT my imagination the past four drinks that I was getting equal parts air & soda. And so I've replaced it with one of MY straws (yes, I keep them at my desk), but that straw is too short. Story of my frickin' life.

Now I'm gonna burp all afternoon.
posted by PlazaJen, 2:00 PM | link |

Birth of the Blowfish - PV Ch. 2

So, transportation. That will be the theme of my second chapter of my trip to Puerto Vallarta a few years back. The first evening, we decided to go into the city. Our resort was actually in Nuevo Vallarta, and we were informed we could go by taxi or bus. All the taxi drivers wanted far more than our combined busfare, so we decided to wait & take the bus.

Now, I am impossibly gregarious to strangers here in Kansas City. But I was not raised on reading "Cosmo" or "Teen", I grew up reading "Woman's Day" and "Family Circle", with cautionary tales of overdosing on PCP and being kidnapped and sold into slavery and hooligans robbing you blind in foreign lands. Weekly women's service publications: the true source of all my irrational fears, I'm sure of it. So we get on our bus, which happens to be the main transport for all the employees of the resorts, and we are the only gringos on the bus. I lead us back to a section of open seats, adopting my "in a foreign place" body language and do not say anything to anyone. So you can imagine my horror as Shelley, normally the most reserved one in our trio, is suddenly CHATTING UP A STORM at various natives, asking them if they're taking the bus into town, and at every stop, inquiring if this is our stop? Is this our stop? Do we get off here now? I am sure we will be kidnapped and sold to a Mexican brothel as soon as we get off the bus because now we have been marked as "NAIVE: KIDNAP FIRST". After several rounds of her trying to speak to people who did not speak Englilsh, I was clenched-jaw whispering, "SHELLEY. THEY ARE NOT GOING INTO TOWN. QUIT ASKING THEM. I WILL TELL YOU WHEN TO GET OFF THE BUS!!!!!!"

We get to Puerto Vallarta. We disembark. Leading our razzmatazz team of Foreign Voluptuous Ladies (FVL), I stride off towards the heart of the city. I get almost a block, and realize I no longer have Shelley & Meredith behind me. I turn around, fully expecting to see them being pushed into a windowless van, and instead I see them patiently smiling & nodding at some shysters trying to tell them they need to take a Jeep tour with the lure of a FREE MAP. I go back. Again with the dramatic whisper: "COME ON." They are giggling, and we are marching single file. I begin a lecture, straight from the pages of "Woman's Day" on How to Behave in a Foriegn Land. Because of my love of the metaphors, I come up with the best: the Blowfish.

You must BE the blowfish. You are puffed out, and nobody can come close. NO STOPPING. You don't even speak. Look like we come here all the time. You do not care what they think or what they want. Just BE the blowfish. And from that point on, it was a one-word command we all used. Want to buy some silver, lady? BLOWFISH! Maps? Jeep Tour? Lace tablecloth? BLOWFISH!

We took a taxi cab home, and I did think that we might perhaps die, because while the roads in Missouri can be bad? The roads in Mexico are atrocious. And they travel at extremely high speeds, in cars the size of Ford Festivas. But I'll give our cabbie props for his sense of humor: as we passed a large dirt track that apparently combined racing and bumper cars (for fun!), he elbowed me and pointed, saying: "Driving school!"

I laughed, but I was also making sure we were staying on the same road we'd gone into town on - and weren't being driven to Tijuana to be used as drug mules for the Mexican Mafia. The Blowfish never lets down her guard.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:40 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mea Culpa

I was driving home from work yesterday, the Migraine Gnomes doing their darndest to fissure my brain right in two (I believe they were using a combination of ice picks and jackhammers), and I had the windows down & no radio on - just the sounds of other cars & the air flowing through my car. We've finally gotten a spate of weather that isn't torturous, and I wanted to enjoy it.

I was thinking, for some reason, about people to whom I owe an apology. I try not to live with loads of regret, but sometimes random memory strands break off & float around in my brain. Probably released by the Migraine Gnomes. Here's who's on the list right now:

1. The Wilsons in my hometown. Granted, they were strange kids in general. But all of a sudden, when they got off the schoolbus, they would stop and peer into a hole in the hill. This somehow got them dubbed "Turtles". (I guess there was a turtle in the hole.) One night, I was dared to open the window and shout "TURTLES!" at them, and I succumbed to peer pressure, and then subsequently felt horrible. I berated the next person who did it, and the whole thing subsided a bit. But I'm sorry. I was 9? Kids are stupid. You're not a turtle.

2. The incredibly insecure and self-centered gay friend in St. Louis. You asked me about my weekend and then, without giving me even a chance to inhale to speak, launched into a description of yours. At the end, you looked at me, not asking about me, and I asked you, "What's it like to live in a bubble, lined with mirrors?" You nervously laughed and ignored the insult. It was really mean of me, but I have to give myself props for such a scathing capture of the situation. In any event, I hope you're more aware of the world around you, and I'm sorry I was so blunt. But I did drag you out of the closet. Does that balance things out?

3. To all my dear friends that I suck so badly at staying in touch with, for indeed, I am a raccoon, distracted by shiny things off in the ditches, and I wander and lose my way. I am so blessed that you do not hold it against me, and that we allow a timeless nature to preserve our friendship. Your grace is the formaldehyde that sustains & preserves the wonderful connection we have. Thank you & forgive me.

4. To the former boss who tried to fire me and never did any work (BEYOTCH!): I'm sorry that after you gave your month's notice, that it was me who told everyone you used two people under you to do the research (using company resources) to write your grant-winning business plan, and consequently, you embarassingly were asked to leave immediately, despite having already quit. Yeah, actually? I'm not sorry about that one at all, bitch. How's the karma bus feel when it backs up over your scrawny ass?

OK, I'm never going to fully lose my mean streak. My upbringing fostered a fast, sharp tongue, and clever slicey observations were rewarded with adoration & praise. I am my harshest critic, though, and that is my punishment. Maybe one of these days, I'll figure out how to fully forgive myself.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:06 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Crow's Nest

I find myself wishing we had a Crow's Nest here today. I have a splitting headache, probably quite close to a migraine, and I realized I was thinking to myself, "I JUST WANT TO GO TO THE CROW'S NEST." And then I realized, nobody really knows what in the hell that is, do they?

When I was in grade school, there was a tiny little room at the very top of the building. Standard-sized stairs led up to it, where a landing met a door, and in that room were dry old books, and a small padded bench, with a white cotton blanket & small white pillow. It had a little window that overlooked the playgrounds. Students who didn't feel well, but didn't warrant being sent home immediately, were escorted to that little room, which was called the Crow's Nest. I only went there once, but it was so comforting. To be relieved of duty, no longer sitting in my desk, but safe & cozy at the very apex of the building, surrounded by books that hadn't been opened in years, and the distant hum of classroom activity reassured me the world was carrying on.

Everyone needs a Crow's Nest.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:31 PM | link |

Happy Birthday, JWo!

Today is James' birthday. He likes to bring up the fact that Elvis died today, too. It's a little trick to help you remember the date. (and it works! And, it also happened to be my anniversary date at the old job, how 'bout that!?)

We celebrated last night by going to a new restaurant (read: one we haven't tried, therefore, it was not Thai.) We brought our own CostCo cake, blessed it was and the sugar high kept me up late. Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Buttercream Icing & Vanilla Cheesecake Filling is really everything it's cracked up to be.

It was a lovely evening, surrounded by good friends, family, laughter & stories. Because I am wild, crazy & practical, he got his birthday presents last night: new shoes! Two new pairs, and they're snappy. Just. Like. Him.

A Snappy Man Eating Shrimp

So shouts out to the man I love & look forward to spending the next umpteen years with. And let me just say, in a dramatic stage whisper, that I am quite glad I'm not celebrating my 6th anniversary at the former employer today. A couple years ago we got logo-branded lunch totes as our anniversary gift, with a "ha-ha" note encouraging us to work through lunch. Yep. Hello, Lead Balloon, are you my new mascot? And they honestly wondered why morale sucked.

Anyway. Vanilla Cheesecake Filling & JWo, those are the good things in life, and logo lunch bags are a speck in the rearview mirror. Elvis, wherever you are, you should have a slice of CostCo cake, man. I think you'd like it.

posted by PlazaJen, 6:07 AM | link |

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hola! PV Ch.1

Several years ago, Shelley, Meredith & I took a trip to Puerto Vallarta. It was a 4-night cheapy FunJet vacation, and it was not only exactly what we needed at the time, but man, we got some FUN-NY stories out of the trip. You can't go wrong with an all-inclusive resort & girlfriends - even if the "resort" is not top-of-the-line. I guess you CAN go wrong, but we managed to have a good time, if not a luxurious experience.

First day, we got in, and decided to immediately hit the ocean. Shelley (wisely) decided to stay under a thatched hut & fight off the peddlers, while Meredith & I grabbed foam boards & body surfed. That was all well & good, my first time doing it, and it was swell until I headed back to shore.


I didn't even know what had hit me, at first. A whale? A schooner? A cannonball? Oh, that's a WAVE. Well, I struggled to the surface, dimly aware that my nerve endings were SHRIEKING at me from my knee/shin area, having landed in the large shell line under the water & received numerous cuts, all of which were awash in salt water. Unfortunately, the shrieks were being obscured by the fact I had ocean water in my nose, ears, eyes, mouth & windpipe. I spluttered and coughed and shook my head & tried to spot Shelley on the shore, to walk towards her. As I finally regained my balance, struggling against the receding water -


And we're under water again, and again into the sharp little shells. OK. Now I am PISSED. PISSED OFF. My sunglasses are gone, I have sand packed up my ass, cuts on my legs, salt in my eyes, and this fucking ocean isn't letting go of me. I felt a surge of anger and furious determination pour out of me (along with some bits of the ocean), and I remember thinking, "WELL! This is NOT FUN, motherfuckin' ocean, I am getting OUT." And I did, and found my sunglasses, and yet, I know I never quite got ALL the sand out of my nooks and crannies on that trip.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:01 AM | link |

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Yuptown Girl

So, I have Saturday allll to myself. I sleep in, I mess around on the computer, I love on the dogs, I have a bagel & then it's off to my shopping mecca: SuperTarget. Actually, I stopped at the dry cleaners first & dropped off the blouses that have been in my trunk for uh, a really long time. And I got a customer bag so I can use the 24-hour drop, and I felt like I was 42 years old and I started wondering how much starch JWo would want if we started doing his shirts there.

Then I got to ST, and before I did any shopping, I went to Starbucks (I LOVE that they have them inside SuperTarget, it's like my own little bio-dome!) and got my current MOST favorite drink EVER, a venti non-fat vanilla latte, iced. Each time I take the first sip, I look at it as though it has arrived here from outer space, and its purpose is to heal all that ails us. My short-term memory must be on the blink. Anyway, some brilliant person (probably the same one who thought up putting the 'bucks in Target) also came up with a cup holder you snap on to your cart. Smashing!

And so I spent an hour roaming the aisles & buying the latest organizational solutions for my life that won't, really, fix my life, and looking at dog chewies and birthday cards, and sipping my venti non-fat vanilla latte and felt like the biggest yuppie in the entire universe, if yuppies even exist anymore. I got an extra-sharp cheddar cheese ball for the wine & cheese party I was going to later that night (again with the yup factor).

I just might have to spend the day calling JWo "Gordon Gekko".
posted by PlazaJen, 9:48 AM | link |

Saturday, August 13, 2005

New Stuff for My Pockets!

Me: "Did Stevie Wonder just say 'Pass the chocolate chips'????"

JWo: "Got some honey kisses for your LIPS."

Me: "Oh."

JWo: "You need to go to that Kiss This Guy site!"

Me: "Nah. I prefer the ones I come up with."

Chocolate Chips & a Pocket Full of Cheese!

Seriously, how can you go wrong? I like my world. It's full of tasty things.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:05 AM | link |

Friday, August 12, 2005


You got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

Hey Kenny: NEVER FOLD. This would be the governing poker advice of my dear friend, Shelley, a.k.a. "The Dawgg." In case you're ever playing poker with her, you should know one thing: The Dawgg Never Folds. Of course, she's never played for money, so her philosophy is: play every hand as though you have aces! Not really the secret theory behind World Tournament winners, but it's made for a fun catch line now: Hey, Never Fold! While the philosophy definitely has gusto, I'm thinking it might be a ::teensy bit:: flawed.
(as an aside, I think a portrait of The Dawgg Playing Poker might be a good one to put over the fireplace. On velvet, of course.)
So even though it may not mean it's a guaranteed winner, I still love it. It reminds me of my inner determination, sometimes to the point of hurting myself, with an inability to let go, or fold, in the face of unbeatable odds. Specifically, how I cannot let go of certain things, like injustice, or bad managers, or people who lie, or drive badly, or treat people like they're so much better than them when they're really not.
So when it's time to fight against those things? I'm all in. ALL IN, BABY.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:22 AM | link |

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How To Win Points With Your Boss

In a recent brainstorming, we were discussing ideas for an upcoming new business pitch, and for those of you who learned everything about advertising from Melrose Place? Let me be the first to banish the romance and exotic nature from your mind. Yes, I got to talk to Bryan Adams last week, but I also deal with a lot of whining and begging and stupidity that isn't nearly as entertaining to blog about. Heather Locklear's character would not exist in a real ad agency because not only did she do account management, she did creative, and, well, she also did her employees. All in addition to being a landlord!

Anyway. We were discussing the point at which we leave & take the prospective clients to lunch. Because these kinds of meetings resemble nothing short of a strategic military operation, we are throwing around every possible idea/solution: limo? 15-person passenger van? walk? And I was all, OH SHIT, I hope we don't walk 10 blocks in this 95-degree heat, because if I don't die on the way, I am going to look like I just got out of the shower, with my hair plastered to my forehead in an extremely unattractive way, not the sexy way, no, please let us NOT WALK. Blessedly, walking was nixed. Then, my boss says, "Hansom?"

Because we have these horse-drawn carriages on the Plaza, and some of them are wire pumpkin cage-carriages entwined with white boas and mini xmas lights. And I broke the cardinal rule of brainstorming, which is that there are no bad ideas, and I boomed at him, "ABSOLUTELY NOT."

He hasn't stopped giving me shit about that one. But I can take it! It was funny, and yet, I wasn't risking one minute of time on the notion that it might actually be our lunch transportation. Not that it was REALLY going to happen? Because I think they only do the horse rides at night and on the weekends. But there was no way in HELL I was riding around the Plaza in a horse-drawn carriage over the lunch hour in 95-degree heat and risking the chance the horse decides to take a dump, or has flatulence, or dies of heatstroke, or anything else. Not to mention I always associate the carriages with the crime story that broke when I first moved here about how one of the owners of one horse carriage business put a hit (a HIT!) out on the OTHER carriage business owner - both parties involved being ruthless, bloodthirsty: women! I still harbor a secret fear that the FEUD will re-erupt, and it will be that one time I foolishly agree to ride in a Cinderella carriage, and the next thing you know, I'm in some sort of modern-day Western-style shoot-out because I have the misfortune of being in the wrong hansom at the wrong time. And me without my shotgun.

So, Ix-Nay on the Ansoms-Hay. I think even Heather Locklear would agree with me on this one.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:20 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

When I Rule The World....

When new asphalt is poured, we will intentionally wait at least a week to draw the dividing lane stripes & dashes on the road.

Motorcycle cops (my "favorite"!) will be posted surreptitiously along the route. (They're sneaky fucks anyway, it will come naturally, and while I would love to eliminate them entirely from my dominion, I will need them for the motorcade.) They will be watching the non-marked roads, and those who CANNOT IN THEIR OWN BRAIN FIGURE OUT HOW TO DIVIDE THE ROAD EQUALLY AND DRIVE ACCORDINGLY will be pulled over, their vehicle confiscated by the State of Jen, and sentenced to six years of walking or public transportation.

The good news is, when I rule the world, I will have an EXCELLENT bus system.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:29 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Oh, I'm Bad... Bad Dog Mom!

Polly has very malleable ears. She, of course, likes them rubbed. I, in my bizarro humor world, like to fold them into origami shapes. For whatever reason, her ears will fold in half & flip up, so she looks like she's auditioning for the Flying Nun, or perhaps a new version of Princess Leia. Maybe even a Bjork-esque video. Sometimes they'll "stay" in folded position for quite a while, and the other night she was jumping around, showing us her rubber bone and quite encouraged by our gasping laughter, completely immune to the fact her ears were staying in their folded-up state and giving her an absolutely goofy look. I tried to re-create that look this morning, but her ears must be less "fold-able" in the a.m., and so it took some effort to keep them folded long enough for pictures. But oh yes, there are pictures!

From the side....

And head-on.....

Good thing she can't use the camera to get a shot of MY hair in the morning!!!! Revenge would truly be hers!
posted by PlazaJen, 7:51 AM | link |

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sim, I am

Well, if I were more tidy, organized & technically inclined, I'd figure out what's jacked up in this html code. But that might interfere with being playful & chatting with the dogs, and I can't be bothered. Let me know if I get too brash or wear on your nerves.... But keep in mind, I have been known to start bitch-slapping fights between my Sims characters. (But I HATE when they go off and sob!)

My Sim Personality

Score (0-10)

Personality Dimension


Neat (vs. Sloppy)

Neat, tidy Sims typically enjoy cleaning up the house or grooming themselves in front of a mirror. There's always something to be done around the house and they'll more often than not be found doing it; great for a house, but it can tire Sims out.

With their constant disregard of cleanliness and hygiene, sloppy Sims are content to simply "be." They tend to enjoy just about anything that doesn't require planning or cleaning up on their part.


Outgoing (vs. Shy)

Outgoing Sims are likely to jump headfirst into any situation. Charm and confidence are their best traits and when they're in a friendly mood they enjoy group activities most of all. Keep an eye on these characters, though; outgoing Sims can be too brash, and others aren't always so impressed.

Introspective and quiet, shy Sims often think about the world around them and write in their diaries rather than actually interact with anyone. It may be harder to break out of their shells, but if shy Sims take the time to get to know others they'll be delighted by the social world awaiting them.


Active (vs. Lazy)

Active Sims are almost always on the move but need a lot of food and sleep to keep up their hectic pace. They're apt to be happiest while breaking a sweat, an exhausting idea to most other Sims. An active Sim will usually get more enjoyment from watching sports on TV than reading a book.

Lazy Sims have been known to veg out on the couch for hours on end, so naturally, they don't need much sleep to sustain their constant lazying. They still enjoy socializing wiht other Sims and can be persuaded to get out of the house once in a while.


Playful (vs. Serious)

Playful Sims are more likely to find entertainment and fun in the world around them; they tend to be more curious than any other Sim. They may have a lighthearted nature, but they can wear themselves out with their antics, as well as get on their fellow Sim's nerves.

Serious, quiet, thoughtful Sims are more inclined to enjoy logic puzzles and good conversation, but they don't respond too well to chaos or silly behavior. Repairing broken items or working on an important project can keep serious Sims content.


Nice (vs. Grouchy)

Encouraging and generous, nice Sims tend to be easy to get along with and very positive. They'll listen to what other Sims have to say whether it's interesting or not and clean up after dirty roommates. If they don't watch out though, other Sims may take advantage of their good nature.

Grouchy Sims, despite their sour mood, can still be social creatures. They'll probably enjoy teasing a Sim as much as telling a joke. They don't seem to mind when other Sims overreact and they like playing a game as much as anyone else, but be warned: they tend to be sore losers.

Find out your Sim personality at!

posted by PlazaJen, 9:29 PM | link |

Really Good Food, Really Bad Puns.

Yesterday at brunch (Thai 2000!), the karaoke dvd was extra-peppy. One song was repetitive enough, we both thought we could actually do the chorus, despite not having a clue what they were saying. I know nothing about Thai music, but there seemed to be two categories playing on the TV yesterday: ballads and cheerful ditties.

During one of the former, I looked at JWo (who was seated with the tv at his back) and said, "You'll never guess who this is singing."
(He looks at me expectantly.)

"Mariah Curry!"

Well, that got a groaning laugh, and then a minute later, he said, "You know who they're playing next?"
(me, laughing, "No!")

"Tom Kha Jovi" (tom kha gai is yummy coconut chicken soup)

Then I said, "OK, we've both done one, they are both really funny, we can't do any more unless they're really, really good."

I had one more groaner: Flock of Sea Eaw (phad sea eaw)......

Music & Food, the international languages....
posted by PlazaJen, 7:34 AM | link |

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Comfort Zone

A while back, I asked JWo if he thought I was competitive. He laughed. He said that I am, and that I don't do things (or try new things) if I think I can't be the best at it. Well, that rang true, I guess we all have our Achilles' Heel..... and I don't like to do things if I can't win. Conversely, I don't like to play some things I'm exceptionally good at, because it's like being in 10th grade English all over again, with my hand up....again. Hell, yes, I was Hermione .... at some things! And I was not immune to the eye rolls that accompanied being really good/smart at those things. The gauntlet is thrown: I flat-out rule at pictionary, and god help you if you're on the opposite team.

So I've been cognizant that my inner Bela Karolyi keeps me from maybe having new experiences, out of the fear I'll fail, make an idiot out of myself, etc., etc. And when JWo suggested we go to a local pub (and by local, I mean, it's REALLY close to the house) and play Texas Hold 'Em last night, I agreed. We played a little at home, with chips, so I could have a bit of a practice. Though I had to ask, 30 minutes before starting, if three-of-a-kind beat a straight. I still don't have it all down. But it's a "for-fun" league, there's no money involved, and everyone's really friendly & helpful. So I did it! I was nervous as hell, I didn't grasp everything, and obviously, you won't be seeing me on the World Poker Tour anytime soon. I was the first person out at our table, though I did last about an hour. After losing, I felt free to drink beer, which I do quite well, and joined other losers for "shit on your neighbor", which I won the first time I played. (That one is easy to figure out.) Anyway, the point of it all is that the inner perfectionist doesn't want to play unless there's a good chance I will win - and yet, you can't improve if you don't play! So I'm glad I did it, I did NOT stay for the second tournament (JWo chauffered me home & went back to compete), and will probably do it again sometime. So I tell you, if fear of failure or embarassment or losing is holding you back on something, just tell yourself what I did:

Fuck You, Bela. I will lose, and LOVE IT.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:00 AM | link |

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Weekend Guest Blogger: Polly

This morning? It was so cool, I went outside, and like, I LOVE OUTSIDE! I went good go pee, and I got the PAPER and mostly I ran around on Squirl Patrol, back and forth between these two big trees? Because I can smell them, and it is MY JOB to track them and chase them. And I like to jump up really, really high, and if I keep trying, one of these days, I will land in the branch that hangs down, and then I can run further up the tree? And I will catch one of those squirls! It is going to work. But then, then, Suzy? Told me to point my nose West, did I smell it? Oh YES! I smelled something really good. And I had to run off and find it and see it and then I had to roll in it. I smelled SO GOOD! But then it all went to hell because I finally came back home and Mister grabbed me and got out the one thing I hate more than the vacuum: The HOSE! And then I like, had a bath, and I hate baths, and now I don't think I smell nearly as good and now I have to stay out in the kennel. Suzy came out a while ago and told me she got all the breakfast leftovers, and I'm starting to think she planned this WHOLE THING. So every so often I bark, just in case Lady is awake and wants to come and get me. Because I'd like to try to jump in the tree again. And give kisses. And Hugs. I am a good hugger. But I never get hugs after I do my perfume rolling. I don't get that. It's when I smell the best!
posted by PlazaJen, 1:04 PM | link |

Random Thought.....

If R.Kelly is trapped in the closet, could we just pretend we don't hear him & leave him there?
posted by PlazaJen, 11:47 AM | link |

Friday, August 05, 2005

Snort of the Week

Joann's (the mothership for crafters everywhere) is sending out emails to their loyal cult members, beckoning to us with the new hot advertising phrase: "You pay what we pay", because now you can get the 15% employee discount sale on-line.

Because hey, if it works for the auto manufacturers, it might as well work for everybody else! Never mind I can take a 40% off coupon into the Joann store & save more without paying for shipping. And they take competitor's coupons. Hmm. Wonder if the Volvo dealership takes Joann's coupons? I'll take the Cross-Country XC70, oh, and yes, here's my coupon.....

Now, if only Crate & Barrel would have one of those "employee pricing" sales.....or Williams-Sonoma..... or Thai Place...... mmmmmm. A girl can dream.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:30 PM | link |

FFFFriday is for FFFFFriends!

Me & The Dawgg, at the commitment ceremony a couple months back. Let's play the Suave ad game: One of us has had 6 gin & tonics, one of us hasn't! WELL, if YOU can't tell, why should we?

She is "The Dawgg" because of our equal amusement at The Original Kings of Comedy & Cedric's bit about people asking you to call them things, like "Delicious". I don't know if I can pinpoint it exactly, but Lizzie Lou & I also were into All Things Hip Hop at the time, and so it just stuck. Plus, The Dawgg likes to ride in the car, what dawggs don't?! But her real name is Shelley. ShelleyDAWWWWWGG, as I like to say on the phone.

She's one my best girlfriends, we're cut from the same cloth, the crossweave being 50% feisty bitch and 50% righteous indignation and boy howdy can we get mad, you should see the 4" nails just fly out of our mouths. The Dawgg can also give a good hairy eyeball, which I sorta remember her doing to the guy at our table who was chemically analyzing the potatoes, when he asked, "Do these have cardamom in them?" I'd had so much gin, I just gave him gaping slackjawed amazement, combined with the "Are You Stupid?" eyebrow raise. And then I went back to eating all of the chocolate favors in front of me. Because there are times when one just CANNOT be bothered. Cardamom, shmardamom!

posted by PlazaJen, 8:47 AM | link |

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Reason #942

I still love my job:
because Kristin & I can shout at each other about nonsensical things, like if Alan Rickman is sexy and if so, in what movies, and Kristin says, "You know, that MOVIE" and I say, "OH yes, the MOVIE, yes, yes," and the people around us just laugh, and even chime in.

But nobody says "HANS GRUUUUBAH" quite like me. All those years of German. Paying FOR THEMSELVES TENFOLD, people.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:34 PM | link |

And Then, I Told Bryan Adams That I'd Had A Sex-Change Operation.

Oh yes, you read that right!

Kristin has the charge of recapping the private luncheon & intimate accoustical concert with Bryan Adams. I will just say that he was really good, the lights were dim, there were candles and it was kind of startling to be in a mini-version of MTV Unplugged, if only for 30 minutes. Disconcerting to be among women who were crying, though. But good for them, I'm sure it was a dream come true.

The music ended, and then Bryan (we're close now, I'm going with the first-name only) sat at a table & signed things. Because we were at a "reserved" table, we were given a CD. Good thing! I was only half-joking when I said I'd have him sign my boob. Then, someone else gave me their CD, so we thought we'd get it signed & bring it back for Cap'n Jim, our boss, the best boss EVER. So we're standing there at the table, and there's little Bryan (he is a very small man) and I am behind a SuperFan. She is about to pass out from the excitement. She set her camera down, and I offered to take a picture of her & Bryan, cool dude that he is, told her to come behind the table for a side-by-side head shot. She would've had an orgasm but that would've taken too much time.

Anyway, then it was my turn & I gave him the first CD & said, "To Jim". He's writing away, and then one of the host/handler people is falling all over herself asking if he'd rather have a silver sharpie, they got him one, and (because I apparently feel like I should touch all of the celebrities I meet, I put my hand on Martha Stewart's shoulder last year) I grab his little bicep (lightly, he's little, remember) and say, "Are you high-maintenance, Bryan?" And he (very sincerely) says, "NO! No, not at all, now who should I do the second one too?" And I say, "To Jennifer!" And now I start babbling and feeling like I am a Speedy Wit but it's all in very slow-motion. "I don't answer to Jim anymore. Not since the operation." Bryan's head shoots back up with a puzzled look. "You know. The operation from Jim to Jennifer. Well, No. I mean, I really DIDN'T. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" And I hear peals of Kristin laughter behind me and TO HIS CREDIT, Bryan Adams looks at me (and my bosoms) and says, "Well, it was VERY successful." (and for the record, he did not BELIEVE ME, but I would also wager he thought I was flippin' INSANE.) As we staggered away, I said to Kristin, "Did I really just tell Bryan Adams that I'd had a sex-change operation? OH MY GOD!"

Mmmmhmm. CLASSY. That's me!
posted by PlazaJen, 7:21 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Random Dots, Forming a Circle....

Yesterday morning, Kristin and I were chatting, and she mentioned she'd watched the movie "Benny & Joon" again...which led to a conversation about how hot Mr. Depp is, and of course, let's not forget how hot Mr. Aidan Quinn is, either.

One of the songs on the soundtrack of that movie is an all-time favorite of mine, and can usually reduce me to tears in about 4 seconds flat. "Have A Little Faith In Me", by John Hiatt. He's got to be the one singing it, mind you. Mandy Moore doesn't turn on my sprinklers.

That same morning, I sat through a presentation of the local NBC station's new fall programming; one of the new shows is called "Three Wishes", it's their answer to "Extreme Makeover", and it's intended to make you weep, sob, and feel like a pathetic jerk for thinking you ever had any problems in your life. Well, OK, they call it "feel good". I was doing a good job of maintaining a steely exterior - and then there was John Hiatt, singing about having a little faith, and it was one of those Pavlovian reaction, I felt tears in my eyes almost immediately! Good thing it was just a snippet.

I got to see John Hiatt perform in a radio studio, maybe 11 years ago or so. There was a station in Minneapolis (The Cities 97) that was my favorite - they played a wide variety & included some folky stuff here & there. People coming to town for concerts often promoted themselves in their studios, and usually did some acoustic work. My rep knew how much I loved all the artists they played, and invited me to watch John Hiatt - it was awesome, we shook hands (me grinning and my lower jaw unable to move or form any sounds that resembled words) & I think he signed my TAPE COVER, yes, how smooth did that look?

Later that day, I had another meeting, and the sales manager had worked in Minneapolis, and apparently knew everyone up there, so I sat through his rapid-fire "Did you know -----?" until I felt like Memory Lane was going to swallow me whole.

Today, I get to see Bryan Adams sing over lunch, as part of a radio station's listener appreciation thing. I'm just glad his music doesn't make me weep. But his song, "We're in Heaven" WAS the theme to my junior prom, you know, the one where I was in charge of all the decorations, including some lovely airy "cloud fiber"....

It's weird to have these random moments, experiences, memories, just all swirl in the same day. It's not deja vu, maybe it's just a reminder that things in this ad biz never really change. I guess it's part of the bonus of getting older, experiences repeat themselves. So I leave you with a portion of the lyrics that have been running through my head for a day now. Try not to cry.

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me

And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try
And have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

When your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin’
From a whisper start
To have a little faith in me

And when your back’s against the wall
Just turn around and you will see
I will catch, I will catch your fall baby
Just have a little faith in me
posted by PlazaJen, 6:43 AM | link |

Monday, August 01, 2005


Stealing a line from last week's Six Feet Under (numb arm, NARM NARM), I have a Sore Arm, SARM, SARM.

I shot my new shotgun for the first time ever this weekend, and I have a nice little bruise and a fair 'mount of ache in the crook of my arm/shoulder. It was extremely hot, I was not a very good shot, but I did finally show that milk jug I could hit it. I had a big long post written up about why I now have a shotgun & all that, but it went on really long & while the whole incident that sparked my decision to get a shotgun was really dramatic at the time, in the re-telling (especially in written form) seems really soap opera-ey, melodramatic & over the top. The Cliff's Note version: Someone was ringing the doorbell at 2:30 a.m. a few weeks ago, JWo was gone, the dogs went ballistic, I would not go to the door, but despite that, and the dogs, the person kept ringing the doorbell & did not leave until 15 minutes later, and the police did not get there in a timely manner AT ALL, and by the time they drove by, the doorbell-ringer was long gone. And whoever they were - knew my name & said it, repeatedly. But nobody ever called the next day to fess up. Didn't recognize the voice, didn't recognize the vehicle. So. Coulda been someone we know? Coulda been someone going through the trash. I wasn't taking any chances by answering the door. Suffice it to say, I was Absolutely Scared Out Of My Gourd, and the most scared I've been, ever.

So, now I have a shotgun I know how to use, and more significantly, I'm just that serious about the decision - because it wasn't an easy decision for me. I'm a liberal, I believe in some degree of gun control, I disagree with my husband over these things. I hope I never, EVER have to use it anywhere but on the firing range. Those fifteen minutes were the longest minutes of my life, it took far too long for a police response, and the 911 operator wasn't much better. If you think I'm wrong, you're entitled to that opinion - but this comes down to one of those time when you can walk a mile in someone else's shoes - and still not know exactly how it feels. And the next morning after basically no sleep, I told myself: I will never feel that way again.

As for Six Feet Under, don't even talk to me about this week's episode, because I've already had the emotional upheaval and next week's episode is going to rip my heart out and throw it off the deck. (Good thing Polly is such a good retriever, she'll bring it right back to me - but then she'll want me to throw it again.) Alan Ball is a brilliant man, and I should have absolutely predicted this path the show is taking, student of American Beauty that I am. Sigh.

Sore Arm, Sore Heart.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:44 AM | link |