PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Sunday, April 30, 2006


Both of my parents gave me strength of spirit, stubbornness and an iron-clad grip on what is right. Most of this came from my father, but I would be remiss to not acknowledge my mother's own determination and inability to let go of things, since I see that within me.

The appointment at Mayo has not yet been made. My father is in pain and on so much medicine. I was raised without television, and I never saw the incredible Hulk cartoon? But today, I felt like that cartoon, if I just gripped my fists tightly enough, I would explode out of my own skin, and I would carry him on my back to that clinic and put him in the hands of someone who might be able to fix him. I already know and see the rage inside me, peeking out, slipping through at a bad driver, an easy target, a stupid salesperson. And so tomorrow, I will be on the phone. To his doctors, to the Mayo clinic, whatever it takes. I am so used to getting things done, moving plans into place, resolving crises or problems, and I have hit my limit. I cannot allow myself to care if this upsets anyone, anymore. I have waited for three weeks and in that short span, I have hit abject despair and felt the relief of a joyful hope. I am a forceful, driven person with great inner strength and a tenacity that I have always felt I have kept in check, hidden away, lest it keep people away from me; I have always felt that part of me to be frightening, like the intensity and roar of a lion. I also know I can be very, very weak. I can be consumed with pain and grief and negativity. But the chips are down, I can be strong, my mind is clear, my heart is filled with such love, such great, great love, and I cannot be the child any longer.

Right now I feel like the rage and the passion and the strength are swirling, so much I could bend a spoon just by looking at it. I imagine the phone lines are going to bend a little tomorrow. Wish me luck & hope; I have the fortitude to launch an army, I just want, NEED, require that things get done - and fast.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:13 PM | link |

Friday, April 28, 2006

Miracle Whip v. Mayo

I have always been a Miracle Whip girl. I enjoy the tangy zip of the Miracle Whip. The "light" is just fine with me, though JWo prefers the original version. Growing up, that's all we had, no mayo in the house. I think it's your family of origin that gives you a preference, what you get used to. I have a friend who went through a buffet at a wedding reception & helped himself to a big dollop of vanilla pudding, only to ruefully discover at the end of his meal, with a big spoonful in his mouth, that instead it was mayonnaise. Mmm, mmmm. That is a nightmare.

One summer, when we were building the house, we lived in a room that was roughly 15'x20', had a sink, and all we ate for dinner were braunschweiger & tomato sandwiches (with Miracle Whip), Chips Ahoy & Ruffles. It was years before we could enjoy a B&T sandwich, but they are still my favorite. (It has to be Oscar Mayer braunschweiger, too. You wouldn't think I'd be picky about such a processed meat product, but just ask JWo, it can be done and is on a daily basis.)

You might be wondering, what on earth is PlazaJen doing today, blathering on about sandwich spreads? Well, it's just the natural word association in that crazy mind of mine, because my Dad is going to GO to the Mayo clinic in Rochester MN (hopefully next week), and those people there work miracles. (I don't know so much about the whips, but if I had to be whipped to create a miracle for my dad, I'd do it in a heartbeat.) And I've never been this much in love with the word "Mayo" before, given my prediliction for the Miracle Whip. I'm not saying I'm switching sandwich spreads, but I do have a butter knife's swipe more hope now, and that, my friends, makes all the difference on a rainy day in what has been, truly, the Cruelest Month.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:35 AM | link |

Thursday, April 27, 2006



Or, you might say, bacon in a bucket.

I showed GREAT restraint. (Boy I hate the motorcycle po-po. I got enraged when I was looking at their little containers by the seat, just KNOWING that's where they store the evil radar guns. HARRUMPH.) Of course I wouldn't do anything. I'd never last in prison. No blogging!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:19 AM | link |

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


OK, I put my phone on Do Not Disturb last Thursday? What a lovely feature. I need to use this feature more often. It's 10 a.m. and guess what? I haven't gotten a phone call! Because I haven't turned it off yet. MOOOHAHAHAHAHAHA. I love it.

Also, the Frenetic Twins (Kristin & Jennifer) have started stealing things from a co-worker who moved down by us. It's going to be amusing when he finally catches on, which at the rate they're going & the rate he's not noticing, they'll have to take his phone and chair before he picks up on it. Good times.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:58 AM | link |

Tiny Little Fingers

Fear is fast-fingered thief, black-gloved fingers that flutter up and sieze my heart, like a Faberge egg, plucking it from its core, snatching it away, anywhere, anytime.

I hate Fear. It robs me of my strength, it holds my hope as a hostage, it gives me no path but down. Fear shows me the worst possible outcomes, the terror within me, the sadness that seems to know no end or bounds. I hate Fear.

Fear's cousin, Sadness, sits on top of my stomach and waits to erupt. Sadness bubbles. I am trying to thicken my skin, not be so raw. Do you know how many times a day we are asked, "How are you today?" Do you know how many times that question has made me cry? I'm a terrible liar, but I'm starting to do it. Lie. Say, "Fine." I even smiled at the checker at Wild Oats. I wondered if she could see my sadness. I wondered if I would ever stop lying, that someday I'll say "Fine" and mean it. Fear jumps in and shoulders next to Sadness, telling me no, I never will. I know it's lying, but it's hard to see when your eyes are brimming.

Then there's Grief, stony & cold. She sits and stares with accusing eyes, anytime there's a tinkle of laughter or a glimmer of joy. Grief has no room for laughter or lightness, they are a betrayal. She is icy & sharp, and takes no prisoners.

And then we have Strength. Strength has taken a beating and is wondering, can she last in this long-drawn battle? Can she ass-kick Fear, Sadness & Grief, day after day? She has no choice. She must join forces with Love, who feels responsible for everything. They must find Faith, who has been fleeting. It is a monstrous battle, sometimes waged minute upon minute, with no clear plan and no clear end.

I need brass knuckles. (Good thing I already have the matching balls.) Onward we go, into the day.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:31 AM | link |

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Knitting Hugs

When I was home over the weekend, I did a lot of knitting. Before we left, I made my dad a Kufi-style hat out of Debbie Bliss Aran cotton, so when he goes through chemo, he'll have something soft to wear, if he chooses. A damn good looking hat, if I say so myself. Then, I finished his socks, and I think he was touched by how custom-fit they were, and was struck by how warm they are. Handknit socks truly are a magnificent piece of knitting. Not stopping there, I pulled out the skein of Artyarns merino (hand-dyed in a slatey-blue colorway) and made a roll-brim hat for him, too. Now he has choices, depending on how warm he wants to be. And he looks damn good in hats! I knit the second hat at lightning speed, and astonished most everyone. (Thanks to JWo for rubbing my hands when I was done....)

It's interesting, I didn't take pictures of any of the finished objects - maybe because what they represented to me was both a little bit painful, and knowing that the emotional energy poured into those things could never be fully captured in a photo. I have wonderful pictures in my mind, of him wearing each of the hats, and the socks, too. They are my small hand-crafted hugs to him, since I can't be there every day. I gave Brenda (his wife) a shawl I'd knit out of tartelette & told her to wrap it around herself whenever she wanted to feel a hug as well. Fancy hug, with fringe.

Hugs come in all shapes, styles & forms.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:58 AM | link |

Sunday, April 23, 2006

It Goes The Other Way, Too.

That's a great line from "True Romance". It captures the essence of my whole weekend, and while I'd love to be brilliant & write all kinds of things and tell you all the stories, I'm wiped out. It may take a long time to get to that point. I'm on a pendulum that swings between high hopes & abject grief, and I don't really see it stopping anytime soon.

We had a wonderful visit. Many tears were shed, many smiles, many long lingering hugs. It is a blessing and a curse, you know, to be told you have terminal cancer. It means you're going to die (time: unknown) and it means you have time (unknown), to cherish every moment and put your life in a little bit of order. Unfortunately, it means you & everyone else's heart breaks every day. Mine is breaking all over again, and I can't write much more. So, I give you the excerpt from one of my father's most favorite movies. Pretty much sums it all up.

I kept asking Clarence why our world
seemed to be collapsing...

and everything seemed so shitty,
and he'd say,

"That's the way it goes.

But don't forget:
It goes the other way too."
posted by PlazaJen, 7:47 PM | link |

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Big Spillin'

Seriously, sometimes it's a wonder I am able to leave the house. How do I even find the door, (without walking into it)?!?

Still Life with Thai & Keyboard

Does "Tide to Go" work on keyboards? Is this my passive-aggressive way of getting a new computer? Is this a sign that working through lunch is not a good thing? Good thing it wasn't curry. You can't shake that out.
posted by PlazaJen, 12:56 PM | link |

Big Pimpin'

Good thing I met & married JWo. He knows me so well & knows what will make me laugh or what kind of wacko website I would find hilarious.

Yesterday, he sent me a site all about pimpin' your snacks. Because the world needs a 14" peanut butter cup!

And, apparently the kids at school were selling pickles to raise money for a field trip. And they put notes in all the teachers' mailboxes, beseeching them NOT TO USE THE PICKLES AS PUNISHMENT. (As in, if you don't do your homework, you can't buy a pickle.)

Good times. I may have to start threatening my reps I'm gonna get Vlasic on their ass.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:15 AM | link |

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

And When I See You, I Really See You Upside-Down

But my brain knows better
It picks you up and turns you around
Turns you around
Turns you around

If you feel discouraged
When there's a lack of color here
Please don't worry lover
It's really bursting at the seams
Absorbing everything
The spectrum's A to Z

...from "A Lack of Color" by Death Cab for Cutie. One of my favorite songs right now, and the words floated into my head last night while I reflected on a single sharp moment in my book club, sharp like a shard of glass, reflecting light.

We sat outside, and while it was a little cool, the wind swirled around us, and I was at the end of the patio table. My dear friend Phyllis was talking, and as I looked at her, it was as though I was looking at a photograph. There was Arlo to her left, with his son Cameron on his knee, and as I saw this arrangement of life in front of me, jumping from 2 to 39 to 65, all of the colors and lines and features seemed to sharpen, giving me vision I wished I had every day, it felt as though my own eyes fixed themselves, that I had developed not only 20/20 vision, but that I was suddenly given the gift of clarity.

While I may wish for the vision, I don't think I could handle a daily existence of full clarity, because after the moment passed, I had to pinch the skin at the top of my nose where it slides into my forehead, a mannerism that I use to keep the tears at bay. It is strange to be filled with so much sadness and love simultaneously; I always believed if I had enough love, I would never be sad. They are inextricably linked, but I would not sacrifice love to be relieved of sadness.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:20 AM | link |

Monday, April 17, 2006

Still Knitting....

I took some pictures of all my finished objects yesterday - I have been bad about updating on the knitting front, but I have finished two scarves & two pairs of socks, plus a third pair on the needles. (for my dad; I feel like hand-knit socks are hugs for your feet.)

I would put all the pictures in here but our internet connection at work is a PITA. And I have a hundred things to do today. So! If you care to click on my Flickr badge over there on the right, the first bunch of photos/most recent are of the Noro scarf, the Opera scarf, the beaded hand-dyed socks, the On Line bright self-patterned socks, and the blue/green socks for my dad. I'm also going to knit him a lightweight hat, like a Kufi-style hat, so if he loses his hair & wants something soft for his head, he will have it.

Oh, look, the little gerbils started running on the wheel & the internet's going a little faster:

On Line socks
Riotous Socks

And now the gerbils are taking a smoke break. No wonder they can't power the wheel more than five minutes at a time. Damn smokin' gerbils.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:06 AM | link |

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Not Dead Yet

OK, this is one motherfucking rollercoaster we're all on. Dad's got the front seat & all the rest of us were snatched up at gunpoint to ride this thing and we're in various positions of clusterfuck seating. Pardon all the swearing, I'm feeling rather colorful and angry today.

I spoke with my dad twice yesterday evening, and his spirits were excellent. He actually enjoyed his first radiation treatment, because, as he put it, it felt good to know they were killing those motherfucking cells. Kill! Kill! and then we both started doing the bit from Arlo Guthrie's Thanksgiving Massacree about how he was sayin' keeel keel, jumpin' up and down and we were both shoutin' Keeel Keel and I wanna see blood and guts and veins in my teeth and my god, it was good to not be crying. (if you haven't heard that piece, just know my father & I were not actually jumping up and down.)

We are definitely going up there next weekend (barring any nosedives on this rollercoaster); my aunt will also be there, and Brenda's daughter will be back in school & her son will be with his dad - so we will be able to stay with him. I was prepared to stay in a motel (somewhere), so he'd also have his space, but he sounded happy & excited to have us all together. The part of me that lives in my brain, perhaps it is the old wise gnome who wakes up a little bit more each year I'm alive, knows and tells me that there are a thousand more ascents and descents on this ride we're on. Right now I'm clinging to the seat back, grateful we are in a semi-flat part of the ride this morning, that the sun is shining and I don't see the plunging-into-darkness terror in front of me today. It probably also helped that I had my doctor give me something to help me sleep, and for the first time last night, I didn't have the hamster wheel creaking & spinning behind my eyes while I stared into the dark, waiting to sleep. (She gave me something that is also prescribed as an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety. Bonus!)

Today is a new day. My husband just rolled by the house on our new (used, yay eBay!) riding lawn mower & I thought the noise was coming from our neighbors. It made me laugh. The smell of fresh-cut grass is awesome. Thank you again for all your emails & comments, your sympathy & prayers. I will hopefully be able to blog about some other things soon, joyful & funny & bitchy. Today, I leave you with a picture. My knit night friend Peg just got a 7-wk old lab pup, Sam, and she brought him to knit night, where he got to meet Remy, the 4 & 1/2 month old siamese kitten. Damn funny stuff. (I used my phone camera so forgive the quality...)

posted by PlazaJen, 8:57 AM | link |

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wrung Out

The cancer has spread to my father's brain. Radiation begins today, chemo to follow. Second opinions to follow as well. At least we have action & steps & things to do while the question of where the cancer is coming from is still to be determined. I hate hearing him cry. Perhaps that is the price we eventually pay for a society that doesn't want a man to cry, ever, so he is always the rock, the strong man, the wise and knowing being who never wavers, and yet sometimes life throws huge curve balls that bring you to your knees.

He wants to be alone. I so desperately want to hold him, see the wrinkles around his eyes as he squints at me with his sardonic humor. He wants and needs alone, because that is how we are. We rebuild and fortify in solitude, find our center, help us get off our knees. I turned and screamed through a snotty blur at a co-worker yesterday, "I CAN'T BE AROUND ANYONE RIGHT NOW". She was trying to offer to drive me home, bless her heart. I called later to apologize, but I needed, REQUIRED my solitude at that point. To sit and hang on the steering wheel and sob until my chest hurt, then to drive home, so slowly, bobbing my head rythmically, counting silently over and over, as I resealed and respackled the fissures and cracks in my heart so I could function another day. And I'm not the one fighting cancer.

So I will wait. And daily reseal and respackle and accept that I will not have a single day for a while, where my eye makeup stays on all day. And I feel gratitude to everyone who lets me be this way, who doesn't judge or tell me what I should do. That is a gift, and I am blessed to have so many people who care and are praying and want to see this whole thing turn out well. I thank you from the bottom of my broken little heart.

The email signature of a sales rep, who has no idea how much the words meant to me:

When the World says Give Up

Hope Whispers, Try One More Time
posted by PlazaJen, 9:46 AM | link |

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Owning My Fear

I have subscribed to the Hazelden Gift of the Day email for over six years - I found it after I failed to get my mother to enter their treatment program. Funny thing was, she just didn't think drinking an entire bottle of vodka and almost dying was really indicative of a problem. I'm always the CRAZY one! {Insert big moose-hand rapid-waving by my ears here.} Sometimes the emails don't do much for me, sometimes I save them for their poignancy & appropriateness - and today's couldn't have been more spot-on. So I share it with you, as I climb back into my hamster wheel & try to wait patiently for more news. I'm thinking of embroidering "No situation is more than we can handle" into my forearm.

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
-- Dorothy Bernard

No one of us is always courageous. With trepidation we embark on many journeys. Fear is dispelled each time we rely on our inner strength and trust that our lives are in good hands.

Self-talk is powerful and will prepare us to meet whatever lies ahead today. Self-talk is like prayer and quiets our fears, making it possible to give our full attention to the events transpiring. Self-talk, when positive, cultivates a healthy self-image, one that offers security, even in the face of disaster. We all carry on a dialogue with ourselves much of the time. Taking charge of the messages -- making sure they enhance our personal well being -- is an option always available to us.

No situation is more than we can handle. Whatever courage or strength is needed is as close as our willingness to go within, to commune with ourselves.

I must own my fears before I can let them go. Courage follows closely on their departing footsteps.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:10 AM | link |

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Let Us End With Hope, and A Little Humor

I had a good conversation with my father late today, no real news, that will be tomorrow, and even then, they still do not know where the source of the cancer is. But treatment (radiation) has been mentioned, and really, all I wanted to hear was him sounding so much better, which he did. He is out of patience for everyone rushing around as though he is about to die. He suggested perhaps the influx of visitors and well-wishers bring pointy sticks with them, so they can poke him & see that, in fact, he is still alive. Once I know what the next steps are, I will plan to visit him and, well, poke him with a stick. He invited it.

Tonight is the least obsessed I have been in five days. That's not saying the obsession and rumination and big hamster wheelin' ain't happening, but it's at least half a step down from code red. or code purple. Who knows what code level I've attained lately.

Here's the funny part. Someone found my blog today, by searching for the word "dickcakes". I thought, when in hell have I ever even USED that word? And why was I surprised to discover, that indeed, I did say it.

Scrotum Pie. There. Now another wacko can find me.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:57 PM | link |

Single-Focused Orts

* We still don't have a diagnosis. It's unsettling, we were first delayed from Monday to Tuesday, then on Tuesday to Thursday. It's a little like someone you don't know juggling with your soul & the souls of those you love, waiting breathless and praying they don't drop them. It's a lot like sucking.

* I am perfecting the click of my eyes into the 1,000-yard-stare. Sometimes I look right through people.

* My most common reaction to things that would ordinarily send me screeching (and blogging) is succinctly captured in the form of two lines from an Eminem song:

Screaming "I don't give a fuck!"
with his windows down and his system up

Because, in fact, I don't give a fuck if the spot ran wrong or you want a schedule to start on Monday or you need a plan. My father has cancer. He told me yesterday it's Stage IV. But that it didn't mean anything, it only meant it's in more than one place. Well, there's no Stage V, no matter where you google. So. How do you know it's Stage IV without a diagnosis of what the cancer is? Does this give you a glimpse of what the hamster wheel in my head looks like, the one I climb on and run at least every five minutes, the one I can't shut off at night unless I take something to sleep? The one that spins the tears and the hope and the futility and the helplessness? The hamster wheel I cannot leave, until I have more information, I cannot separate it from my head or my heart, I cannot turn it off, I cannot let go because it is sometimes the only thing that keeps me going, when I want to collapse in a heap, when I want the one person who could fix everything when I was a kid to give me answers he doesn't have.

* Do the right thing. This has been a common theme on the hamster wheel. To go home now, to wait. To respect my father's needs & wishes, to care for my own as well. (He is already exhausted by the people & family there non-stop streaming into his home & through the phone.) None of these can truly be answered until we know what we're dealing with. I know my presence would be a drain, it would also be a benefit. Being the only child is an enormous trump card that bears great responsibility and great wagering. The only thing I've done is start to knit him a pair of socks.

*Breakdowns are becoming a daily way of life. A junior AE tried to set up an interview for our department intern & called me on the phone to see if I would be available. I burst into tears. This is my new way of telling people what is going on, it seems to be working. At least it's effectively communicating "GIRL IS CRAZY". Which in the end, is what I want to leave people with. Ayup.

That's all I've got. It's an effective snapshot of pretty much every ten minutes in my head. If only my hamster wheel were a good fat-burning device, instead of a crazy-sobbing hope-despair track to nowhere. I'm getting there fast, that's for sure.
posted by PlazaJen, 3:17 PM | link |

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tuesday Night's Alright For Fighting

Oddly enough, I believe our conversation started as we were watching the news & the coverage of the Hispanic protestors on the telly. Suddenly JWo was singing, and I did not, for the life of me, recognize the song. Here are the lyrics he was singing:

"And there’s a word in spanish I don’t understand
But I heard it in a film one time spoken by the leading man
He said it with devotion, he sounded so sincere"

Now, keep in mind, there was a lot of EMOTION in the singing. And big hand movements. So all I could really focus on was how funny it was. And because I refused to recognize this song, we had to go upstairs & get on the computers and listen to the snippet & prove that, indeed, my husband knows his Elton John backwards & forwards, and I have, at some point, heard this ballad.

JWo: "It came out in 1988. Whoa. You were on Social Security then."

"Oh shove it. (I'm THREE years older than JWo.) I was listening to COOL music, like Scritti Politti and Flock of Seagulls. I didn't have time for pop."

JWo: "I'm getting into Elton John now, just to spite you."

"I'm just saying, he's pretty GAY."

JWo: "He's not gay, he's just a snappy dresser!"


JWo: "Hey!"

"You are so gonna see this conversation blogged."

JWo: "HEY!"
posted by PlazaJen, 9:27 AM | link |

Monday, April 10, 2006

Like Sushi

I'm a little raw right now. My father called Friday night from the hospital & told me he has cancer. He has a lesion on his spine & a spot on his sternum & they were giving him pain, so he went in. We'll know today what we're dealing with & what the course of action will be. It's rather amazing, how much stuff sticks to your wound once the abrasion has been made; watching Johnny Sack dance with his daughter at her wedding on the Sopranos last night made me blink back tears - and there are a hundred other things in the past two days that have shot tears to my eyes. Like, taking a shower. Showers are good for crying, I think. Water washing the tears away, cold tile on my hot face. I just keep telling myself that we'll be strong & optimistic & there are a hundred things in our favor - early detection, he's a tough motherfucker, people beat cancer all the time. I started to write a blog yesterday, a recap of the conversation, but I couldn't even let JWo read it, and I couldn't finish it. Too many tears. Damn me for not buying waterproof mascara at Sephora!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:01 AM | link |

Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday's Random Orts

*If I had a bitchin' Camaro, I wouldn't goose it and challenge a Porsche on Ward Parkway to race. I'm sensible like that.

*Insider Blasting & Ho-Ram Scoop: The girl who was hurt? Hanging on the fence leaning over the blast site. Sure, the blast screwed up? But that's not too far from looking down the barrel of a gun to see if you can see the bullet. DARWIN called, he wants you out of the gene pool!

*More Scoop: One more week of HO-RAM. Then, corrected blasting on a same-time-every-day daily basis. The sensation of the building falling around me will still be there, so I'll be leaving the building same-time-every-day for a while. Rational? Probably not. But I'd rather be up the hill and feel the earth shake than inside wondering if I'm going to be crushed.

*Sephora opens today. I shrieked (no joke) at my boss when he tried to set a meeting that would conflict with a long lunch hour. I have my priorites, people. Plus, I'm a little fried from burning the candle at both ends AND the HO-Ram. He's revising the meeting time. I should probably shop for some aromatherapy?

*Sims Update: You will all be happy to know that my Sim has recovered nicely, she no longer weeps constantly (but our roommate does - GEEZ, she's irritating.) Now I need to figure out how to unlock the gnome so all the cheat codes can be used. I'm terribly excited that there's a gnome. And yes. I'm a cheater.

*This has probably been done, but I'm thinking of a fun Blog Day called "Flash Your Bath". I would love to see just how jammed everyone else's bathtub/shower area is & what-all products you have. I know I'll need to splice two photos to get all mine in the pic. ;) Whaddya think?

HAPPY FRIDAY. May your day be free of HOs and HO-RAMS.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:56 AM | link |

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sunshine... On Magnolias.....

....makes me smile......

Tulip Tree, inside & up

Look to the sun...

(Sorry. couldn't resist the schmaltzy song!) Took these pictures over the past weekend, leaning back into the tree. This is one of the trees Polly thinks she should be able to climb in her Squirl Patrol Exercises. She's quite persistent in the War on Squirl Terror. And, really. Couldn't we all be a little more vigilant?)
posted by PlazaJen, 7:08 AM | link |

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Life On The Gaza Strip

So, yesterday, the infernal construction of the Bob Mahal was going on, and they decided to blast. I loved the idea of blasting, because we weren't supposed to hear anything & it was supposed to be 800 times better than this goddamn HO-RAM that goes DuDuDuDuDuDuDuDuDu nonstop throughout the day. As Kristin said, it's like being in a washing machine.

Well, something went wrong with the blasting. First of all, I did not even understand what was happening, and thought some large piece of moving equipment had HIT our building, and I kept staring at the walls waiting to see if they were going to crumble around me or not. Everything SHOOK. And the noise. An explosion! People with offices on the south side of our building had rocks hit their windows. I don't think I'm overstating the general feeling when I say everyone was "freaked the fuck out". An employee of the restaurant around the corner was outside when it happened, and she was hit in the face by a rock. (She was ok, overall. Cut, bleeding, but minor injuries. Apparently she was swearing a blue streak at well-meaning people who kept asking her name. "I'm not telling you my name. Get the fuck away from me!") So, now we're back to the HO-RAM. We're going to have 8 of them by the end of summer. I'm sure it's spelled HoeRam, but fuck that, it's a HO and I hate it. I'd rather try the blasting again (the right way, not the "Beruit Way") but that's not going to happen, because people are going to sue, blah blah blah. I'm about ready to lodge an emotional stress complaint for the HO RAM though.

Perhaps the owner of this construction project should give us complimentary, weekly massages until the HO stops Ho-ing? I think that sounds splendid.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:52 AM | link |

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Take Me Out.....

I have "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" stuck in my head today. And I'm sportin' a horrid sunburn on half my neck. That's damn sexy, let me tell you. Hi! I'm red! I'm white! I'm a Michael Jackson video, morphing before your eyes!

We may not have a very winning team, but we do have a gorgeous ballpark:

KC Royals, Home Opener



And, what isn't more all-American than a flyover by the Stealth Bomber? Holy crap.

Holy Toledo, Batman!

Of course, you can't hear it until after it's already gone & it was a ROAR. I put my camera down so I could look up as it went directly overhead, and you could see all the metal panels on the underside, it was THAT close. Amazing technology, scary as hell. I think everyone in our group was impressed & amazed.

The rest of the game was freezing cold, because our seats weren't in the sun, and several sections over, a woman got arrested, one section over, a woman fell down the stairs, and at the end of the day, the Royals lost. All-in-all, it made me sentimental for my days in Minneapolis, when the Twins were so good, they'd selectively walk players, as we screamed and booed. It's unfortunate we don't keep the good players (they get snatched by teams with more money) and yesterday, the stands were as full as they'll be for the season. And I don't think any sort of roof (we have a vote on that today - a gigantic expensive rolling roof for both stadiums) is going to fix what's wrong with the Royals. Better to plow that money into the team.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:40 AM | link |

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ahhh, The Dreaded Bathing.....

Too Funny.

I absolutely love this picture of Suzy. Both the dogs got baths on Saturday, given what a gorgeous, sunny warm day it was. As you can imagine, I also got a bath, but more by proximity. Polly's the worst, because she hasn't figured out yet that the more she fights it, the longer it takes. Suzy, being older & wiser, is much calmer & suffers through with enormous dignity, looking at you the entire time with her giant brown eyes, asking, "Why? WHY?"

Polly, post-bathing:

I'll relax for a moment. Just one.

Our agency's off to the Royals home opener today, it should be fun! (I like any Monday that is a half-day!) I'm taking some sock knitting, though, you can't make me sit for that long without yarn.....
posted by PlazaJen, 7:11 AM | link |

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Today Should Have Been My Birthday

Given how many pranks I've played in my life - too many to count - I've always thought today would have been a fitting birthday for me. In fact, it's a blog bud's, Becky's, so pop over & say Happy Day in her comments if you have the chance.

Meanwhile, one of my favorite pranks.

I was dating this guy waaaay back when I lived in Minneapolis. He started buying all this high-end gym-quality equipment. And put it in the living room. It was a good look, if you were going for a gym-theme in the home. She says sarcastically. One day we were looking at it, and I was snorting about how homey it was, and he said, "I wish there was something I could buy to put it on that I could move it all into the corner out of the way."

Oh, yes. See, to a prankster, expressing a wish is like giving me a key. To the kingdom! So the next week, I wrote this little script, and had a guy at work call & leave it on his answering machine. It went something like this: "Hi, this is Tom from USA Gym, and we were going through our records & saw you'd recently purchased several large pieces of equipment. We wanted to tell you about this great new item we've just gotten in, called 'Space Savers'. Space Savers are made of high-grade steel & raise your equipment 4" to give you room on the floor, where you need it most. They're sold in sets of four, and they're $69.99. Give us a call if you're interested."

Hee hee hee. So I wait, until I know he's gotten home, give him 20 minutes, and then call. "Hi! How are you?" Blah blah blah. He doesn't say anything. I finally said, "So, did you get any interesting messages today?" "Nope." Silence. "Nothing about say, some gym equipment?" "Uh, yeah, actually." Big pause.

OK, this is when it all slid way the hell out of control. Turns out, he BARELY listened to the details of the message, but heard the magic words "Space Savers" and immediately called USA Gym. Where he eventually got sent to the manager, who got out his catalog to start trying to find these things. ("They're called WHAT? Space Savers? I've never heard of them.") As he was paging through it, he asked who had called & left the message. "Tom." "Well, what the hell is Tom doing calling you? He drives the truck! He's not allowed to be selling things on the side to customers!" Oh shit. "What were they called? Space Savers? I'm going to have to call you back."

Hi, now I'm getting poor schlump Tom fired from his job for selling FOUR INCH CASTERS on the side. I said, "Didn't you LISTEN? They only raise the equipment UP four INCHES! They don't do you any good! And they don't exist!"

"I gotta call this guy back before he fires Tom. I'll call you later."

Yeah, it's not really surprising that relationship was not destined to last. But he did laugh about it, and Tom didn't get fired.

If that's not enough to make you worried about hanging out with me, go ahead & read the one I posted , last year.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:54 AM | link |