PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, March 31, 2006

Enough Already With The Sobbing!

So, I took a half-day of vacation today, and kicked it off right by doing the next best thing to a spa day: shopping at CostCo! I procured many things, some were essential (batteries, potatoes), others were not (mangos, smoked salmon I thought was really cheap but wasn't!) (I mean, technically, it's still a good deal, but I thought the price was per package, instead it was PER POUND. Whups!) And, after losing numerous eBay auction bids on a copy of Sims 2, I decided to go through every box of video games for PS2. Persistence pays! I finally found the game. And JWo & I have spent the entire evening playing it.

What an unbelievable step up from the computer version we have. (several years old, admittedly.) It also helps to have a biggish TV, too. All of the technical advances and high definition, however, only make it more frustrating when all I do is CRY ALL THE TIME. I swear, if I'm not sobbing, I'm peeing on the floor, and more often than that, tipping over from exhaustion and passing out anywhere, really, the street, the floor, the boardwalk, the bedroom. My Sim hits a point where she will not even do what I tell her, even if it's exactly what she needs, like "SLEEP". So I have to wait for her to pass out, get enough rest in that very uncomfortable position, and then try to get something done to make life better. It took almost an hour to recover from my almost-in-toto absence of all life necessities, and now I'm only lacking in socialization, and let me tell you, walking around weeping is not the fastest way to make friends. Timon actually hates me, and yet he was the only person I could find to talk to, so I'm trying to turn that situation around. JWo is doing just fine, by the way, and he's developing skills much faster because, well, he's not passed out on the floor with flies buzzing around his head for half the game.

Have I mentioned just how much this is all a little reminiscent of my sophomore year of college? Weeping, passing out, lacking focus.... everything but the flies....
posted by PlazaJen, 10:45 PM | link |

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Brain Putty

If someone thinks I'm smart, and lets me know it? In non-overt, cloying ways, of course, then I am veritable putty in their hands. Vanity, thy name is Jennifer. Preen, preen!

I was heading out the door to a client meeting this morning, and a different client was in the conference room. He stopped the meeting, waved me in, just to say hello & introduce me to his business partner. I can only attribute it to the fact I've been in a couple meetings with him, had some crazy unique ideas, combined with the fact I understand his business & consumer, and he sees all that & values what I think. Those moments for me are identical to the feeling when I'd actually connect with the softball, launching it over the heads of all those idiots who saw "fat girl" at the plate & moved in real close for the "easy out".

Like a fucking cockatoo. Puffed up and proud. That's Me! Preening aside, I'm having a good day. Despite Sephora not opening today.
posted by PlazaJen, 12:17 PM | link |

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gimme a Whooo-Eeeee and a Golly Geee!

Boy, I've been a bit of a slacker on the blog. Work's just flippin' crazy. But it's fun, and how many people can say they spent the end of the day barking like a dog, only to have your front desk manager wave wildly at you because you (didn't realize you) have clients in the conference room?

Not many, I bet.
(Dammit! I was telling a story. I get swept up in the drama and the moment, and I was illustrating how our big boss' dog will come in to your office and bark at you at inopportune times, like when you're on the phone. That happened to me! And it was funny! So, I threw in the loud barking to illustrate the situation. WHUPS.)

Tomorrow, my highlight will be lunch, which used to be my only highlight at my last job. I never thought that was really a good sign, y'know? When the only thing you have to look forward to is..... lunch? Not good. Anyhoo, we are finally getting a Sephora in Kansas City (and by gum, a Crate & Barrel is going in out south, too, I will be taking the whole day off for that). Now, I just went online to confirm the date I was told, and there's no hard & fast information confirming that tomorrow is, indeed the date they're opening. PANIC at the DISCO, I must pause to do some research.

OH mah god. It doesn't open until April 7th. I called the mall. I nearly barked at them. I don't think they would have understood. And I'd hate to get blacklisted before the grand opening... heh. Banned for Barking! Well, then! Tomorrow: World Market for lunch! It's not the same, but it's closer. And I have a coupon.... and.... in that area of town? Barking? Not so odd, actually.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:54 PM | link |

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Suzy's Spa Services

Monday was a lovely day, with the whole facial-massage-mani-pedi treatment at a local day spa. I realized over the weekend that even though I do my share of lying around & knitting, watching TV, and now, playing PS2, I maintain a constant internal hum of stress. Forcing myself to relax was challenging, and of course, a good thing. (I kept trying to see what time it was, though. They keep the clocks out of view on purpose!) And, as soon as I got in the car, I called work just to make sure nothing was burning down. It wasn’t.

So last night, JWo & I each had some popcorn, and we were sitting opposite each other in the living room. He had spilled some early-on, and the dogs were anxiously awaiting a second spillage. He stopped eating his & I gave each dog a few kernels of mine. That made Suzy fixate on me like a cat watching a winged bird in the yard. James started zinging kernels of popcorn at her & Polly, and Suzy KEPT STARING AT ME. Polly was skittering all over the place, snarfing up the popcorn, while Suzy just stared at me, waiting. It became the funniest game EVER. I’d hold up popcorn like I was going to throw it, and there’s my Suzy, staring, eyes big & dark, ears up, and James is pinging her on the head with a kernel coming in from offsides. She was SO CONFUSED. (She did get some, of course, but it just never seemed to come from my hand.) It took 10 minutes for her to finally figure out the popcorn was NOT coming from me, and we finally had to stop because our sides hurt, we couldn’t see from the tears in our eyes, and we’d missed the entire beginning of “24”.

We thanked her later for being so funny. I’m trying to figure out how to turn her into a spa service & make a gajillion dollars off the therapeutic laughter she creates.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:56 AM | link |

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Backwards Glance

Today, one of my dearest friends is quitting his job. He's got a new one, better, more money, closer to home, yadda yadda, and I couldn't be happier for him. I was reminded that my own emancipation proclamation took place about a year ago, and I had to go back into my archives to look up exactly when. Tomorrow, in fact. March 28, 2005 was the day I gleefully, joyfully, bitterly & blissfully left my last job. There have been some rough patches since, of course, but nothing compares to what I left behind. I gave myself six months to get over being so pissed off, and a year later, I can honestly say, I don't get too wound up about it anymore. Would I be the first to grab a violin if the place started to burn? You bet your bippity, baby. I can take the high road a lot, but the urge to chortle will never leave me.

I've got today off, with a spa day planned. My stress the past few weeks has been pretty high, what with all the work & the new business, and some choice people who've managed to find my buttons & punch them. I still really like my job, I'm hopeful for the future & what we'll end up doing. That said, the fact I'm missing the Monday status meeting & instead, getting a massage & a facial? Chortle, chortle!

All that aside, I'll leave you with this: I had two dreams last night, feel free to interpret what you will. The first, a sales rep called me at home to try to finalize this buy I'm going to finish when I go in tomorrow. I went APE SHIT on her. Gee, not a lot of depth to plumb there, interpreters. But the second? I was cleaning out my ears with a Q-tip? And kept getting grass clippings. Lots of them. Think I'm coming down with Spring Fever?
posted by PlazaJen, 8:03 AM | link |

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Let's Talk About How Much I'm NOT A Gamer.

So, JWo bought a PlayStation2 on eBay & we have it hooked up to the wonderful big TV. He's playing the family-friendly game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" on it (came with the PS2), and he also got a car racing game with it. My contribution was to go buy wireless controllers, a violent motocross game that allows you to beat each other up with crowbars while riding on a dirt bike, and then BACK out to buy AAA batteries for the dang controllers.

(I thought the motocross game might add benefits to our marriage, you know, build some communication skills. ;) )

I so missed this whole gaming boat. My knowledge of gaming is 1) Tetris on the computer, 2) Sims on the computer, and 3) SEGA! With my beloved Sonic the Hedgehog. And let me tell you, unlike GTA:San Andreas, Mr. Sonic does not "jack" people out of their cars, cause blood to fly around, or participate in gunplay.

Here is a comprehensive list of what I've learned in the past 24 hours:
*My thumbs hurt.
*Time flies by in the blink of an eye.
*JWo is much better at the gaming than I am.
*I have a tendency to drive in circles, and I also fight that way.
*I do not win many fights.
*I do not win many races.
*I believe if you lean forward on the couch and stretch out your arms, it will help you cross the finish line faster.
*I believe in honking my horn, A LOT.

Really, it's just like real life! (I AM getting the Sims2, so I have something I can excel at..... those Sims can SHOP.)

posted by PlazaJen, 11:50 AM | link |

Friday, March 24, 2006


Just a few random observations from the big trip yesterday:

We rode in my boss' minivan. It has those automatic sliding doors on either side? After we stopped for gas, I started to get back in, decided to throw out my trash, and as I was getting back into the van, he shut the door on me. (Thinking I was already in.) There's nothing like mechanical apparatus panic & seeing your life flash before you while a minivan door is going to kill you, and while I never thought to look around, I'm sure some people got a big ol' laugh yesterday. (Don't worry. Everyone in our car did.)

The presentation went very well, and that's all you can ask for in this business.

I started a very fun slip-stitched Noro scarf. I'll post an in-progress picture at some point! Today, I am sort of walking around the house like a zombie.

Men and women listen to the radio differently. Men can also follow basketball games on the radio. It puts me in a trance. Psychotic trance, in fact. Might still be in it today.

Popcorn, slim jims, Coors Light & pretzels? Does not a dinner make. I exclaimed at one point we needed a bigger expense account. Or was that complained? It's all a blur.

I discovered nobody in the car has a secret fear of being wrongfully imprisoned, except for me. However, for the first time, I found someone else who shares my fear that when around a police officer, I worry I will have a complete mental break & try to get their gun. I'm not alone! But now it's "Crazy, party of two." Good thing he's my boss, hm?

Happy Friday. I expect I'll wake up at some point. :)
posted by PlazaJen, 11:03 AM | link |

Thursday, March 23, 2006

On The Road Again....

We're off on a new business pitch today, and I've got to go find a knitting project for the trip. (I know! I owe you some finished object pics - the Opera scarf & my beaded cable socks!)

It's going to be a long day, but there should be some fun times, too. And then? Four-day weekend! And JWo will be home tonight! (He's been on Spring Break down at the lake, fishing, playing poker & I envied the extremely mellow sound in his voice on the phone last night. By gum, I'm gonna have that sound by Monday!)

I'll be a little more entertaining & a little less STRESSED tomorrow. Promise!
posted by PlazaJen, 7:08 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

From Bonnets to Bitchslaps

I sure do appreciate everyone's patience with me, especially this week. I think my blog-identity is as multifaceted as the chart in Sybil's file at the shrink. Supposedly, this blog's about knitting. Which I do, every day! Sporadic crafting, which I do, sporadically! But I seem to write more about everything that irritates me, along with all my misty-colored memories. And then sometimes I have to search my blog to make sure I'm not getting all golden-years hazy on you and telling you the same old story about how my daddy taught me to handle the wild dogs of Northern Iowa.

Right now, I'm burning the candle at both ends, work-wise. When I get home from work, I collapse in a heap, grab some knitting & watch TV. My life right now doesn't exactly make for a spectacular blog entry: Woke up, went to work, screamed at stupid drivers (I do! Every day.) Worked. Came home. Ate meal, played with dog, watched tv, did dishes. Woohoo! I mean, in the end, I don't think having a blog is about having a glamorous life and writing about it. I like to expound on my ideas, my philosophies of life, what I've learned, what makes me tick & what makes me crazy (Bad drivers! Always!) & I know that through blogging, I've made some great friends, entertained current ones, and oddly enough, sparked a flurry of comments on the topic of bonnets.

I'm going to take Friday & Monday off, so I stay out of Two Rivers Psychiatric Hospital. It's more of a public service & workplace safety decision, I'd say. Tomorrow is a big new biz day, and when I get home? I'm pouring myself Patron on ice, and saying "Hello, Four-Day weekend. You look GOOD." And before I can even leer like a fifty-year old man at the titty bars, I'll fall face-first into bed to, hopefully, sleep uninterrupted for at least 12 hours.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:00 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bitches & Hos, baby.

OoooooOOO! I could just slap somebody!

Let's see. I won't. But I sure could! OOOOO! Even an impartial viewer said it was a diss. But there wasn't any graceful way to handle it except to Miss Manners Rise Above It, and good goddamn sometimes, I sure would like to just get my scrappy-do out and out-bitch the bitch. But, reason must prevail.... and don't worry, I'm not goin' soft or nuthin'. I once got a little lecture at the old place that I could cut to the core with my sharp tongue, and I about fell off my chair, considering the lecturer was the KING of tongue-lashings, not to mention, I had been biting mine. Not that I wouldn't love to see the reaction, especially now that I SEEM to be a pacifist. MY ASS. Pacifist of my underpants. Bite my big-ass peace treaty RIGHT HERE, beyotch. So when the lesser person lets loose with their little barbs or observations, I try to just inhale, and remind myself that just because I have a tart sharp tongue does not mean I get to use it, or that it would ultimately further MY interests to do so, and that's really the bottom line.

Some days, though, it's like having a motherfuckin' bazooka mounted on your car and it would only take one little punch of a button to blow the offending car in front of you right out of your way. Yet you don't. Because bazookas are not street legal. Nor, really, is my mouth. This should be filed under "potty-mouth blogging". I'm going to bed now. It's not good to watch the Shield and then blog. I get all Vic Mackey and pit-bullish.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:12 PM | link |

True Confessional Tuesday

OK. Put down whatever you're drinking. Your keyboard will thank me.

For, I am about to confess something. When I was a young girl? All I wanted to do was wear a bonnet. A BONNET. I was reminded of this when I said aloud at work yesterday, "I feel like I'm starring in a crime drama right now" and Kristin replied with, "I feel like I'm starring in Little House on the Prairie!" To which I gleefully shouted, "Do we get to wear bonnets????"

For I wanted nothing more than to go through life as a living, breathing Holly Hobby doll. Bonnetted and aproned. Calico print was my best friend. Some strange fascination with pioneer living infused me in those 8-10 year-old years, though I think we all know I'd start screaming and kicking five minutes into the life. (Especially now. Pioneers do not have the DVR technology. Nor, I believe, the internet.) I think my Mom even caved at an art fair & bought us matching bonnets, and she wore hers all of one minute in the van (the big blue van with only one side window & the director's chair I rode around in, digging my feet into the floor for balance...that van). I wore mine much longer, though it did piss me off with how much it impeded my ability TO SEE AROUND ME. I'm not sure when the whole Laura Ingalls Wilder phase finally passed, but my heart still patters & skips a beat for a tiny calico print....

Bitchin' in a Bonnet. That'd be me.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:32 AM | link |

Monday, March 20, 2006

I Marvel, Simply Marvel....

At how many people watch The Ghost Whisperer. I won't even link to it. Sorry if you love it - you have many friends if you do - but I predicted it would fall flat on its face & die in a pool of ghost vomit. It's chugging along quite nicely & I remain amazed, every week I have to put a buy together.

Shows ya how wrong I was..... of course, I also said Beverly Hills 90210 would tank. (Yes, I am that old. I had just started in advertising when the networks presented that show to us, and I thought it DUMB.) Now, I have done a pretty good job overall of spotting stinkers & winners, but the ones where you're wrong are always the most glaring.

The lesson here? Never underestimate the general populous, and their love of ghosts. Ever.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:41 AM | link |

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I just parked my car in the garage.

DO YOU KNOW what a big deal it is? DO YOU? It has been :cough: 2 years since I could say that. What with imminent danger & winter warnings flying all over the place & doom & destruction that has YET to come true (all of this was starting last night) (which it didn't), I decided the last thing I needed on a Monday was to clean my windshield in the cold. So I shoved everything out of the way & parked LaFonda in her spot.

Now, my only other advice for you today is if you are watching Sleeper Cell on Showtime, (the first season is On Demand, so you can watch, like all 10 in a row?) You & me need to form a support group where one person gets to sleep, and the other one stays on red alert. That show is freakin' me out.

And here's one of my self-portraits from Friday night, you know, where I didn't realize everyone was laughing at me, because they thought I was alone? AND I WASN'T, JWo was right there. Dammit. Laugh away!

Self-Portrait #4
posted by PlazaJen, 5:06 PM | link |

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Jen Loves Gin

Yes I do
Gin Gin Gin
How 'bout you?

So much Gin
In In In
Jen Jen Jen
Shout: Woo Hoo!

OK, so maybe I am destined to write cheers. However my cheers aren't exactly youth- or sports-friendly. But if my friends at Tanqueray ever need a freelance cheer writer, I'm their gal! I don't regularly/normally whoop it up & over-imbibe, but after the past week's work & stress & swearing & shouting, it just really felt OK, and there was an abundance of limes. I love limes. JWo, the designated driver & corned-beef-cooker-extraordinaire was astounded I didn't have a headache this morning; that's because I am MAGIC. (And, it doesn't take as much to get me dancing, singing, and whooping it up. For I am a cheap drunk, people, even with top-shelf stuff.) I have re-hydrated my body (gin + corned beef = organs turn into salt licks) & am about set to go out & do a li'l shopping, and then later on this weekend, there will be photographic evidence of all the whoopin'.

Not sure if I will be posting the series of self-portraits I took, when I was in the living room & it appeared to the people in the dining room I was by myself. Making sweet love to the camera. After one corner of my eye actually focused on them (one of the girls POINTING at me while giggling was a huge clue), I kept yelling, "I HAVE AN AUDIENCE" while gesturing wildly at JWo, who was sitting in a chair out of their line of sight, and all he did? was LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH at his gin-besotten wife. He is the lime in my gin & tonic. :)
posted by PlazaJen, 2:12 PM | link |

Friday, March 17, 2006

Beeeeeeeeeee Aggressive! Be Be Aggressive!

Sometimes, how the searchers hit my blog crack me up:

On the one hand, I'm terribly disappointed that my secret book on crafting with plastic medicine bottles has been discovered, and it will probably affect my chances for a book tour. On the other hand, I'm glad to help anyone trying to make two socks for idiots. Even the stupid need footwear.

And let us not forget to Be Aggressive. Yesterday, I was a veritable pit bull, as I hung up the phone and whispered, "My motherfucking head's going to explode Right. Off. My Body." For you see, it's not when I'm at my yelling and loudness that I'm the most scary, it's when it gets all quiet and the tumbleweed blows by and the silence is interrupted only by a faint sinister whistle. That's the moment I'll be gettin' medieval on yo' mothahfuckin' ass. There won't be any clapping cheerleaders to warn you I'm a-comin'. Be Be Aggressive! (are you kidding? are there more words to that cheer anyway? Get away from me. I do not service the cheerleader industry.)

Oh yeah, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Top O' the Mornin' to ya, my pretties!
posted by PlazaJen, 7:15 AM | link |

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Such A Poser

I haven't participated in a March Madness pick-em-bracket thingy since I don't know when. I think it was only once, in Minneapolis, where I decided to pick teams based on how their mascots would fare in a cage fight. Like, a panther could TOTALLY take a buckeye in a skirmish. A buckeye's a flippin' nut!

So, not surprisingly, that governing principle didn't work really well. Instead, this time, I looked at who's been winning more games. And what sounded familiar. Florida? Florida! I have family there. Florida will beat those Buckeyes. Having nothing vested in any team makes it a little easier, too. As in, I DON'T REALLY CARE.

Mmm-hmm! I will enjoy spending all my winnings, laugh all you like!!!!
posted by PlazaJen, 10:26 AM | link |


I have worked at a couple agencies where the profanity was rampant. RAMPANT. I remember my one hilarious boss in St. Louis, screaming a blue streak as we visualized the devoutly religious accounting dude in the office next to her freaking out, quietly, in his office.
Then when I was at Crazy Agency From Hell (the 4 month stint one, not the 5.5 year one), and I was tempted to even blog about that crazy woman by name, because whatever, she's on the run from a $1.1 million dollar lawsuit because of "financial mismanagement" and not paying her client's bills. Hey, Jodi, how's Texas treatin' ya?
ANYhoo, at that place, all sorts of blue language was screamed, spoken, laughed and expelled. Having learned the Art of Cursing from my father, I consider myself quite adept, if not extremely unladylike. And so that brings me to Current (Happy) Place, where I do enjoy my job, even if it does get stressful. And a place in which we all swear like sailors, including my boss, and every so often I just feel a little bad, because, like, we all sit near the front desk/reception area. Oops! Well, what the fuck. In times of stress, strong language is to be expected. I just keep thinking that if we move our offices in the next year, which is pretty likely, especially if the non-stop fucking DRILLING POUNDING RAT A TAT TAT motherfucking NOISE from the Bob Mahal construction keeps up, that they'd be wise to put our department in the back. With a little soundproofing.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:02 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Because Life Wasn't Stressful Enough Already

OK, I went out at lunch today because it's supposed to be the last nice warm day before we go back in the freezer for a week, and because I was fighting off stress-crying all morning, due to all the, you know, stress. I ordered a li'l take-out pad thai, and the dude on the phone coerced me into soft spring rolls, my absolute favorite thing. If they weren't $5 for three rolls, I could seriously eat like, 10 and call it lunch. It's like salad, herbs & noodly goodness in a wrapper!
Anyway. Traffic was a bitch going in to Westport, and an equal ruling bitch coming out. Thinking meself all "clever" and whatnot, I took a different route. It's the gamble route, because there's one big bad intersection to get through, but if traffic's light, or in your favor, it's the straightest way back to the plaza, where my office is.

Mmmkay! Even as I was getting to the intersection, I was thinking about what a bad intersection it is. I even looked up at the signs, to see what exactly in hell this street was. 43rd Street, and then I was at The Bad Intersection, where it hits Belleview. This is where you have to watch in a lot of different directions, pay attention to everyone ELSE'S lights, and then git where you're goin', and fast. I had one car in front of me, and then I saw the southbound Belleview traffic got their light. Damn. Who knows how long I'll be here - and then it all slowed down, as a woman decided to cross coming towards me and BLAM she hit a dude on a motorcycle. It felt like time moved in micoseconds as I watched him slam into her car, fall, and stay down.

The guy in front of me jumped out of his car and ran to the guy. I grabbed my phone. Dialed 911. And I was On Hold. Good lord. As I explained later, back at the office, though, I am excellent at communicating in a crisis: "We've got an injury accident at 43rd & belleview, we have a man down on the ground in the street." I sounded like a fucking dispatcher on COPS. Then time screeched back to normal, people drove by with their mouths open, this other dude and I moved our cars and then stood around while the sirens and the onlookers and the other people and the fire trucks and the ambulance and there were like, 8 paramedics, put this guy on a backboard and so carefully, so fearfully, they got him on a gurney thing and wheeled him away. His helmet still on. I was so glad he had his helmet on. I saw a gash in his leg as they wheeled him by, underneath where his jeans had torn. Watched the officer take his wallet from the paramedic, flip it open. The everyday for her, this was not earth shattering, this was not a bubble inside her about to break open, as mine inside me desperately tried to push tears out while my calm-in-serious-crisis persona stomped the hell out of that desire. Instead, I calmly gave my account of what happened, gave this policewoman my information, went back to work, parked my car, finally let go of the wheel, went inside, met with a rep, ate my spring rolls, wrote a document detailing my account of the accident and then got 14 more things done before I came home.

Where, I expect, I will eventually crack and some of the tears will leak out and the stress will ebb, and I will pray, yes, will pray that the man with his helmet on and the cut on his leg will be fine, able to walk, and will be, please, just fine. No more, please. Not today.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:51 PM | link |

Still Searching....

...For a way to add-on a Taser feature to my new Palm T|X. I think it would be EXCELLENT, and I would get a lot of use out of it. For instance, I could eliminate waiting in lines right off the bat, which would make this gadget a REAL time-saver. Not to mention the fact folks would finally start to respect mah authoritah!

Here's my new leetle friend, who is being safely secured from all liquid beverages:

posted by PlazaJen, 8:22 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sometimes, It's The Small Things.....

Yeah, yeah, I can sweat the small stuff with the best of 'em. Right now, my mind is divided in a multitude of fractions: general irritation with a couple people, mild irritation with myself, an unending desire to be on vacation, a sense of panic with the work that has to get done, a constantly-changing post-it list in my head of everything I need to do, buy, not forget, blah blah blah, and basically, I need several stiff drinks, preferably on a beach in Mexico, fuck the umbrellas, they simply get in the way.

So, yes, on the big see-saw of life, I have a lot of crap weighting one side down. On the other side? I place this, my new coffee mug. Yes. I get joy from splashy, stylish travel mugs. Purchased at Target, and they come in red, aqua & hot pink, too. Don't you need one?

New Coffee Mug
posted by PlazaJen, 9:45 AM | link |

Monday, March 13, 2006

What, No F**kin' Internet?

So, I was planning a whole post about the baked ziti I made, and the Sopranos premiere, but I started my day in the stirrups, you know, that annual ritual we women get to go through, and then I had blood drawn, too, so this is one of those exceptional Mondays. Then, Miss Kristin calls me to tell me everything's down at work. The internet, the servers, everything, KABLOOEY. Nothing works, no programs, nuttin', so I shouldn't be rushin' in, because they were all sitting around waiting for miracles to happen. Okey dokey! I went to Target & Hobby Lobby, grabbed a bagel at Panera, and then came in around 10:30 - no change in connectivity. We had a rep lunch, and after I threatened to work a CostCo field trip in for the media department, something clicked & five minutes ago, access was restored. I felt like I was marooned! But now I have to bust a move & really get workin'. So I give you a couple photos of the food I spent a good chunk of yesterday creating:

Baked Ziti - recipe found here - it was delish, though I think making a double batch was a leetle overboard. It looked impressive as hell, though.
Baked Ziti

Then, I also made french bread from scratch. YUMMEH.

Mmmm. Fresh bread!

Now, I must frantically work. This has been one hell of a Monday, that's all I have to say!
posted by PlazaJen, 2:02 PM | link |

Saturday, March 11, 2006


So, I got my new Palm Pilot, it's great, I'm dazzled by all it can do; then last night my new phone showed up. I didn't go crazy with that one, just an upgrade as we renewed our contract, a simple little nokia camera flip phone, and now I feel like I'm suddenly cramming for some test trying to learn about both of my new gadgets and figure out what-all they can do before I'm given a pop-quiz on how to tune the radio on my cell phone, take a picture, and can I send it to my Palm Pilot? (the answer would be "sorta", if I were sitting in a wi-fi zone. The house isn't wi-fi. Yet.) Keep in mind, I'm doing all this while moving files & data on my home computer to the new external storage hub, since I *am* the home Network Administrator and my computer is getting bogged with pictures, and all this just results in the fact that I feel like a goddamn old-lady poser. Howdy, skateboarding youth! Look at me! I've got tech-no-logical tech-nology!

Yeah. I can play solitaire in THREE places now!

But I did get the phone camera goin':

The world is now just a little less safe with me careening around in it, clutching all my gadgets.....
posted by PlazaJen, 10:50 AM | link |

Friday, March 10, 2006

Happy Weekend....

Well, hellzbellz, I had a whole post this morning, that either Blogger or the Skinnernet at work ATE and I wasn't able to recover it. Sigh. But hey?! What do I care?! I took the afternoon off, which was nice. (hello! someone has a lotta vacation to burn!) Lunched with a girlfriend at a new spot, hung out with two more g-friends & did some sock knitting at a local coffeehouse, where I also discovered I can check my email on my new Palm Pilot; of course I seized that moment & celebrated being a huge geek, then I went to the grocery store & am now home, with time to spare before the "official" end of the workday. Whew!

We're having grilled venison steaks & shrimp on the bahr-by-Q for dinner, and life is good. I'm so glad the weekend is here..... how 'bout you?
posted by PlazaJen, 4:42 PM | link |

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Somebody Needs A Vacation

I think I'm starting to experience a titch of the ol' burn-out. I still really, really like my job, the people I work with, my boss is awesome, there's still insanity and irritations, but again, it is called "work". However, I have only taken 4 vacation days in the past year. Granted, I've had summer hours - every-other Friday afternoon off in summer months, and some holidays, and 6 personal days (also used as sick days), but in terms of some true rest & relaxation, for a stretch of days, it just hasn't been there. Part of it's just been the nature of coming in to a new job, and the uphill climb its been, putting new processes together, handling a large load of work, etc. - and part of it is my own control-freak insanity: if I'm out of the office, they might just decide they won't need me anymore. WONKERS!

Now, my anniversary date is approaching at work, and I'm faced with a surplus of time, and too many commitments to be able to use my days off. As in, a new business pitch, so there's not really a way around it. I'm glad my boss is reasonable & understands, and will (waiting for confirmation, but) allow the days to roll over; my take on that is it's not exactly an option - unless you're willing to pay me for the unused days as compensation. Not taking vacation time, in my opinion, is like paying the company out of your pocket. After all, I don't work for the sheer thrill & joy of it - even with bags of candy as a perk.

Confidential to Bekah: Yup. The peanut M&Ms are open. Mmmmmmm.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:05 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

If The World Measured Wealth In Sugar, I'd Be Rich.

So, the most adorable reps in the world just dropped off bags of candy for each of us in Ye Olde Media Department. And when I say bags? I mean DOUBLE-BAGGED bags.

-1 8-pack of Almond Joy snack size candy bars
-A similar big pack of Nestle snack size candy bars, which I immediately traded with Kristin for her Almond Joys
-1 8-pack of Butterfinger snack size candy bars
-1 10-pack of Snickers snack size candy bars
-1 10-pack of Twix snack size candy bars
-3 Bags of Jelly Bellys, one in "Tropical", one in "Sours" (Woo!) and one in "30 Flavors"
-Two handfuls of Smarties
-1 "medium" (14 oz) bag of Peanut M&Ms
-1 "medium" (14 oz) bag of Regular M&Ms

Holy crap. Take the above times three, and that's how much candy is now floating around. Today's blog entries have been brought to you by the chemical compound SUGAR and its favorite cousin, CHOCOLATE.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:55 PM | link |

There Are Worse Things To Be Pelted With.....

Him: Did you ever get those cherry Hershey’s kisses?
Me: Yeah! I got them last week at Knit Night.
Him: (Mock Horror noise) And you didn’t SHARE them with me?
Me: I haven’t even opened the bag yet.
Him: You hoard things. You do this all the time. And then you never eat them. We have candy in the pantry from last year.
Me: Well, yes.
Him: And then you’re going to not eat these, and then they’re going to get all white and nasty.
Me: That’s exactly my plan. Because once they’re like that, I’m going to PELT you with them.

(We opened the bag last night. YUM! These are a special, limited edition Cherry Cordial Hershey Kisses, and they’re only at SAM’s club, to which we don’t belong. Thanks to Peg for buying them for us!)
posted by PlazaJen, 8:56 AM | link |

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yah Mo B There!

So, I was saddened this morning to see that Kirby Puckett had died. An awesome baseball player, I watched him help win the '91 World Series when I lived in Minneapolis, and his exuberance for life & the game made him one of the most-loved players in town. Unbelievable to have a such a bright light gone at only 45 years old. Then I see that Dana Reeve, wife of Christopher Reeve, has also died, at the age of 44. These people are not that much older than me! ACK!

Looking for a picker-upper, I read my horoscope. Apparently I should have just stayed in bed:
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You cannot win for losing during the daylight hours. Crankiness and difficulty with situations merge. Know when to retreat. This act could easily define your mood. Why interfere with the obvious? Tonight: ** Come out of your shell.

Well, fuck that. I came out of my shell early. I listened to the ULTIMATE Michael McDonald Collection on my drive in, and there is something about him that puts me in a hysterical & happy place. Partly because I have this shard of a memory, of the guy in accounting at the last place, who would burn us CDs & had a wicked sense of humor. I happened to request a little M.M. Motown, which garnered me much mockery and when he delivered the disc, he did a dead-on warble to rival Michael, and it was flippin HILARIOUS, and of course, it's really only funny to me? But it's leg-paralyzing, bubbling-over with high-pitched laughter hilarious to me, and when you've had my morning, it's necessary.

So, I'm driving along, sing-shouting along, "Ain't no mountain hiiiiigh enough" and I am dancing in my car seat and I think to myself, "How will this explanation fly with the po-lice if I get pulled over for speeding?" Because Michael McDonald makes me speed, too. Not only that? My dancing has NO rythym. I become the Worst Dancer Ever. Like how you imagine your parents dance, as they chaperone your high school dance. You feel the shame & pain wash over you, just imagining it. I don't have this dancing problem with Outkast, or Cake, or Death Cab for Cutie, or Fall Out Boy (do you see how I am subtly striving for musical redemption here?) But Michael McDonald turns my internal rythym OFF but still inspires the dancing. Sigh.

Let the teasing commence. In my defense, it could be worse. It could be Michael BOLTON.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:31 AM | link |

Monday, March 06, 2006

Socks! And Charms!

I finished my Socks That Rock in Queen Rock colorway; I made them on 1's with a yarn over cable, very soft, very cute.

Then, I cast on for MORE socks. This time with yarn I hand-dyed last fall - and this time, WITH BEADS. Woot! I'm nuts. I strung 240 beads on each end of the skein (with a wooden beadspinner I got on eBay) and am making a faux beaded cable anklet sock. I'm only on the third row, but hey, the camera was on:

On Saturday, my friend Beth & I took a class at Urban Arts & Crafts down in the River Market, where we learned how to make our own soldered charms. The class was great, and the afternoon flew by. Beth was such a sweetheart, she printed out a couple photos for me to use, because I wasn't overly prepared (story of my life)(I was on the waiting list until Thursday) and that resulted in the cutest charm - which then became my first finished project.

Burf! Burf!

I put silver beads spelling out "Burf" on each side; then, on the other side of the charm is, of course, Miss Suzy:

Suzy on the Flip Side

The rest of the charms, and on the backs of all the letters, I have tiny-patterned, colorful origami paper. You could put pictures, fabric, a poem, whatever. Great presents, and I want to make some more for exactly that purpose. The rings below are for attaching small dangles of beads, as you can see on the "K".

Letter Charms

And, because a finished sock post is going to start containing foot conversations, I give you one last picture of the Socks That Rock:

My feet have a lot to say, people. Especially in hand knit socks.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:33 AM | link |

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Congratulations, Shelley & Kurt

Our friends, Shelley & Kurt, are getting married today. They went away to a B&B, in northern Arkansas, and it is a very small gathering - just their families. While we wish we could be with them today & celebrate in person, we are celebrating in spirit, and they will both be in my thoughts today. There's something special about watching an entire relationship evolve & culminate in marriage; especially when, from the outside-looking-in, you see two people who are utterly perfect for each other & meant to be together.

We love you & are so happy for you both!!!!
posted by PlazaJen, 7:32 AM | link |

Friday, March 03, 2006

"I" is for "Idiot" but "S" is for "Sweetie"!

So, yesterday, I ended my day once again in a hurried rush to get out of the office & my mind was elsewhere, thinking about work things & the fact I was going to eat my fingers one by one if I didn't get a snack shortly, and so I put my travel coffee mug in my large tote. Thinking, "It's empty, and it will stay upright anyway."

Yeah. Uh-huh! Let's try NOT empty, and not only that, it proceeded to pour coffee directly into my Palm Pilot case. Which is made of nylon, and trapped the coffee & gave my Palm a nice, caffeinated soak. All it does now is CLICK CLICK CLICK, plays a little start-up tune and shines a blank window. That's exceptionally handy for storing appointments, don't you think? Yeah, and I've tried hard-reset & plugging it in and all sorts of things. Basically, the lesson here is the Palm is not water-proof, and I'm glad I didn't buy anything above the basic model.

So, I was delighted to walk out to my car this morning & see a Lamar's donut bag on my windshield! DUDE! The Sweetie got donuts this morning & left me one as a surprise! Not just any ordinary donut, either. LAMAR'S, people. And it was a chocolate twist with German Chocolate icing! No wonder he wanted to make me a go-cup of coffee! Again! Hey, what was left to ruin in my purse? I'm going to wrangle a new cell phone today anyway, let's pour some coffee on that.....
posted by PlazaJen, 8:50 AM | link |

Thursday, March 02, 2006

TicketMaster Is A Father Raper

To borrow a phrase from Arlo Guthrie.

I ask you, does $31.50 in handling charges for three $75 concert tickets seem REASONABLE? I'd rather they say the tickets were $85 and hide their blatant fist-stuffing-of-cash-into-their-pockets from my eyes, because the handling charges set my eyes on FIRE. And then? THEN?! I get to pay tax on top of all that!

Depeche Mode in May, opening for them is She Wants Revenge. Yeah, it'll be worth it & the seats are good. But still..... grrrr........ that's like, several skeins of sock yarn.......
posted by PlazaJen, 9:05 AM | link |

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

No, I'm Not Bitter, Why Do You Ask?

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article about the burgeoning union between media & creative (in ad agencies), two departments long thought to be like lions & hyenas: mortal enemies.

What-f-n-ever. My only regret is that I didn't start my own business doing this hybridization when things turned for the worse a few years ago, but hindsight is 20/20.... At the Old Place, I knew every person in the creative department. And suffered weekly the question, "Why aren't you in creative? WHY are you in media?" Or, from She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-But-Spit-Upon, "You're TOO creative." (I always enjoyed the department meetings where we were challenged to be more creative, but like a sick mo-fo family, you will be beaten later if you actually do it. Hello, Threatened! How ya doin'?)

Well, because I'm a sensitive beyotch who studied PRINTMAKING and that's not a skill used a whole lot in a graphic-design based universe, and yes, I can be a pretty good writer, and even came up with some excellent stuff, but no, I still don't like criticism & don't know how to divest myself from my written words, I ended up in media. And I'm pretty good at it, despite VoldeJanemort's opinion. And, I'm super creative. Crazy creative. The idea is to be crazy, because in madness, you find brilliance once in a while, where someone's willing to take a risk, do something novel, get yourself noticed.

Yeah, I'd link to the WSJ article, but it requires you to pay for it. And I spit out my bitterness now, instead of swallowing it. Because loving your job is still the best revenge! MMMMmmm. Revenge. So tasty.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:44 PM | link |

Rewards of Teaching

A few weekends ago, I went to Lawrence to hang out with my friend Ashley. We used to work together at the "old" place, and both went through some major learning periods while we were there, as we each re-evaluated our priorities and lives. I treasure so many things about her, and one thing we share is a love of dogs. Yes, I will give you pictures of her dogs, in a minute! Her dogs are all so different -Crimson, the wirefox terrier, always busy, always making sure everyone's staying in line; Bear, the lab mix, who simply wants to be loved & has some of the dopiest looks in his repertoire, they make you laugh uncontrollably; and last, but not least, there's Robin, who is half the size of a small pony. She's mostly Great Dane, has a gorgeous brindle, and thinks she's a lap dog.

Dogs in a minute. As we were shopping & walking up and down Mass Ave, Ashley suddenly asked me if I would teach her to knit. Now, I had already stated I wasn't going to the Yarn Barn, because I didn't need to buy anymore yarn. But if someone wants to learn to knit? How could I refuse?!?! Plus, it had only been like, 6+ years of me trying to get her to put down the crochet hook & try knitting. So into the Land of Temptation we went..... she got a skein each of some gorgeous turquoise & lime green Brown Sheep bulky, and nice Brittany hardwood needles. Uh, yeah, and I got a few things, too. (Trekking yarn, for JWo's socks, featured on Monday; couple skeins of baby brushed alpaca, and a gadgets - a bright green kacha! you hang around your neck for row counting. I love me the gadgets.)

We went back to her house, and despite Robin's obvious interest in also learning to knit, got Ashley started on her first project, a scarf. She has told me several times since that she loves knitting, enjoys it more than crochet, and then - music to my ears - she finds herself wanting more time to knit. ("Dang! I have to grade these papers? But I want to knit!" ....words of a true knitter!)

Yessssss...... I am this [] much closer to getting that toaster oven in the Knitters' Recruitment Program.... ;)

And, as promised, dogs :)



posted by PlazaJen, 7:18 AM | link |