PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, June 30, 2006

Because Nothing Else Is Goin' On.


That's a camera-phone shot of the interior of the safe at the bank. I've never done the whole safety-deposit box thing, and it's always had mystery and intrigue around it. It was on my list of things to do today, but instead I started out my day closing accounts, opening new ones, blah blah blah. Then I did the safe thing.

We were burglarized yesterday, and while some fucknuts are out there pawning all our shit, I'm spending time out of my life cleaning up the wreckage. At least good friends came over and cleaned up that wreckage, because these people went through EVERYthing and dumped them out on the floor. It sucks getting burgled. I know, you thought it would be fun, right? All the electronics (my precious big tv!), all the PS2 games, all of it just one big vacant hole in the living room. Then my computer, all the electronics upstairs - ugh. It just is one big list to turn in to the insurance company at this point. For, if we were going to reflect on the month of June and all her evil fucking lessons, we know that this, while an invasion and a cause for angst, is just stuff. Stuff can be replaced, forgotten about, paid for and rebought. Stuff that can be made more secure (and oh yes, it will, I'm going to have an alarm system that will make the dogs belly crawl around the house). And our dogs were padlocked in their kennel, and oh-so-thankfully not hurt or stolen. We might have avoided the break-in had they been in the house? But it could have been worse, too. So I'm trying not to spend all my time running down dead-end thought roads that will only make me more tired than I already am, and just focus on having some normal life stuff this weekend.

I could not be more grateful for the friendships, the work that was done, the help and support that was offered up, yet again, on my behalf. I started crying last night, in front of four people, which for me is already really pushing my limits, and I told them that I've spent most of my life fighting any need to rely on other people, avoiding asking for things, not wanting to lean too hard, and I guess what I'm getting right now is a huge lesson in humility, to accept the kindness and love and help and friendship and to not give it back in equal or greater amounts right now, and realizing that it is, after all, ok. My father was a proud man, and he never wanted to be beholden to anyone, he never had debt of any kind - monetary or otherwise, and he always made sure he gave more than he received. I learned a lot of my value system from him; it explains my extreme discomfort and awe at the outpouring I have received. May it come back to everyone tenfold, for I am just one person. Without a lot of stuff, energy, or strength right now.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:36 AM | link |

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Look Who I Feel Like:

Hour 8.

I expect by 5:00 I'll be feeling this way on the inside:

Good news for my knit night buds! Tonight's fun is hosted by PREDATOR. Mind you don't lose a hand or a nose and for god's sake, don't come between this woman and her food.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:56 AM | link |

Hello, 4 a.m.! You're One Ugly Beyotch!

Yeah, I had a great big post about the horrors of being awake at 4 a.m., and then my computer froze up, further reinforcing the horror, and then Li'l P decided to explore the entire neighborhood when I let the dogs out, so I stomped around for half an hour, until I spotted her and dragged her home, which also reinforced the horror of early mornings, actually for both of us.

Let's just try, in a quick recap, to gather the essential nuggets before my head blows off my body. I do not like early mornings, and now I'm mothertrucking wide awake. I also referenced a desire to buy the Time-Life Superstars of the 80's CD set, because Huey Lewis was telling me how awesome it was, and I also saw this commercial for fatherhood, because the only other commercials on that early are PSAs (for me and the dairy farmers). But that commercial was damn cute. There was another one about a woman who fought a company to get them to stop dumping in streams and their waste was causing cancer and she got the company shut down but it put half the town out of work and all the kids are sick with NO insurance now. The message payoff? Give blood (instead). WTF???? Give blood, and let the motherfucking polluters run rampant 'cause Lawd knows we're better off having a job, insurance AND cancer than just cancer. Whatever truth may lie in that statement, doesn't support the ad. And I still don't like 4 a.m.

(Her Royal Grumpiness)
posted by PlazaJen, 5:30 AM | link |

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Move Over, Cesar....

That's Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer. Yes, he's a stud.
But we have a new stud in our life, named Mike Rowe.

Star of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery channel. Holy Toledo, this is an awesome show!!!! We've been DVR-ing them and catching up on all his escapades. I have to say, the pig farm outside of Vegas that uses all the buffet leftovers & cooks the refuse into slop is still the worst one, ever. Though the cockroach-infested home comes a close second. I told JWo if that were my house, I would just burn the motherfucker to the ground and never look back. I'm still itching at the thought of all those hideous roaches, everywhere. And the funniest episode (so far) has to be the ostrich farm. I could not stop laughing at the ostriches & their changed behavior once their little heads got black hoods pulled over 'em. It was like all up-in-your-grill angry-could-kill-you-ostrich maneuvers and then whoosh, a little blindfolding and they're all, Heeeeeeeey, duuude. Where ya wanna go? Like stoners smelling pizza.
Anyway, if you haven't seen this show, and you work at a desk job, it's good to remind you of all the other things out there that you could be doing and maybe wouldn't want to - and you learn stuff, too. Plus there's Mike. Funny, fast, and charmingly handsome. Sigh.

But I wouldn't wanna do his laundry, that's for sure.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:36 AM | link |

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Snoop Suzy

She'll be droppin' her new album in a couple of weeks, featuring her badass self with a few of the tunes featuring the hot new artist Li'l P. (We will get photos of Li'l P at some point; she's been busy doing her Dogly Duty patrolling the perimeter and keeping the homefront SquirlFree as part of her contract.)


posted by PlazaJen, 7:41 AM | link |

Monday, June 26, 2006

My Own Salty Ocean

I feel like my father's memory, my love for him, the love he gave me, are like an indentation you make with your foot when you step from the beach into the ocean. The water rushes around, you feel specific grains of sand slide away, you sink a little deeper, and yet, when you lift your foot, what once was a hole becomes filled with fresh water, new sand, broken shells. It becomes easy to believe this, to become paralyzed, because to move is to chance forgetting, to blur and obfuscate the past, the things you treasure. But the more you stand immobilized, the less you are living your own life.

Back and forth, back and forth. Waves visit the shore and leave, and these similar push/pull feelings wash back and forth within me. I am so weary of crying, yet the tears still come. I am still searching for patterns in the tides. I know one truth: I will not drown, even if sometimes it feels like it could happen.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:32 AM | link |

Friday, June 23, 2006

When You Start Butchering The English Language, The Gloves Come Off.

I attended a big to-do industry banquet last night, mostly because one of my co-workers was up for an award, and our agency was nominated for "agency of the year". (We didn't win.) They had a couple of local talking heads as the masters of ceremonies, and boy-oh-boy, you just have to be able to read off a card to make it in the world of TV. And these two? Not making it.

There were two grammatical flubs that I seized like an otter on trout. The first was when the smiley-chick pronounced "Czar" - and after two stuttering tries, settled on "Cesar" but more like seeZAHR and I announced to our table if we won the agency award, I was going to proclaim I felt like the seeZAHR-ina of media. (At the last agency, I was dubbed the Czarina of ProBono. And we said it right.)

Then, another woman was painfully trying to simultaneously understand and pronounce "mimeograph", and this, dear friends, is why you REHEARSE if you've been given a script. So she went with MIME-o-graph, as in Marcel Marceaux pantomimes a document for you, 16 times. I, of course, immediately began my own miming at the table. Hey, I was sandwiched between the non-stop laughing of Kristin and my boss who is afflicted with ADD. He kept muttering and snarking, until finally I strongly advised him to "GO INSIDE." (as in, yourself. That's what I do, anyway, when faced with long speeches or painfully forced banter and I can't escape.)

That or I just get uber-snarky. Like when my boss said, "Hey! Check out the tat(too) on (name of person who f'n hates me)!" And I replied, "Yeah. I think she got it in prison." (Thanks to Kristin for remembering that one.)
posted by PlazaJen, 9:05 AM | link |

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Funniest Lunch, EVER.

Actually it wasn't the lunch itself, but what happened right afterwards, that was jaw-droppingly hilarious. Kristin and I dined at Cupini's (I had the salsiccia sandwich and am now Dragon Garlic Breath Extraordinaire...) After we finished eating, we went back towards the entrance so I could refill my soda. There was a man who had just ordered, getting ice/water from the soda machine - precariously holding his little wire table spike that held his number, so the servers would bring him his order. However, this man wasn't succeeding in his efforts - the ice had gotten stuck in the spout. He was shoving his hand up into the spout, trying to dislodge the ice.

Now, that kind of freaked me out a little, but it seemed like he was mainly touching the ice in question, so I just stood back, waiting patiently. (Thinking, "Self, we will not get ice. THE GERMS.") He was slamming his cup under the spout, alternating with the clawing, and I finally said something like, "Not co-operating, huh?" He grunted something, and then the clawing began with redoubled fury. I was thinking, ok, don't burst out laughing, even though this is kinda funny. I tend to assume most people find uncooperative machines (soda, fax, copy, computer) to be generally amusing and frustrating at the same time. In other words, nothing to have a heart attack over. This guy? The recalcitrant ice somehow unleashed some sort of holy fury within him. He started dropping his glass, ice fell on the floor, he FLUNG his table number & holder at the lemons & coffee pots, to free up his other hand, and once he got his ice and water, gathered his table number (leaving the wire spike with the lemons) and huffed off in A Great Pique to await his lunch.

I stood there with my mouth open.

Kristin broke into a hundred peals of laughter. I was looking around & finally caught the guy's attention behind the counter. I gestured to the ice on the floor with big swooping arm movements:

"Number Three? He just had a MELTDOWN."
posted by PlazaJen, 2:16 PM | link |

Graph Your Blog!

Originally uploaded by plazajen.
Enter your blog addy here & see what it looks like!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:26 AM | link |

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Fast Descent Into Madness

My friends aren't even going to know who I am. I give you proof that the slippery slope to insanity has begun, and pretty soon I'll be blogging from our trusted institution, Two Rivers. (A girlfriend of mine just started working at the state-run nervous hospital, and she said I won't get to keep my knitting there. So much for my tax dollars helping me in the long run, I guess on some level I always knew I'd have to pay for quality institutionalization.)

Yep. I have no idea why I'm doing this, except it was a small-ish project and I thought it would be good to do something different. And I ask, what is more natural in the 96-degree heat than to knit a wool hat? The answer, as you back away slowly, is: NOTHING. The kit is from Bea Ellis. I know, I know - it's as if the Amish suddenly started driving SUVs. I've professed such an utter distate of knitting with cotton (hey, this was less than 3" of that behavior - it's just the lining of the hat, the lighter burgundy that's crazily, mad-cap stitch-marker "hemmed" to the underside of the hat), and then I've been equally vocal with my dislike of fair isle knitting.... well, all I can say is, send cards. Come visit. Because I have the yarn to make at least two or three more of these.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:13 AM | link |

Monday, June 19, 2006

Even A Circle Is A Line

Somewhere along the way I got the notion that each day would be a little bit easier, a little bit better, as I move on with my life and move through my grief. Maybe it's true, but I'm starting to think that might be something you see easier in retrospect, like, say, a few months from now.

I'm determined, and I'm process-oriented. It's why I love knitting, even if the end result doesn't delight me. So I keep thinking with the "one-foot-in-front-of-the-other" principle, and I think I'll move in one continuous direction, a straight line, out of the worst of the grief and into a better, more adjusted place. Yeah. It's not exactly like that.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and started feeling the fingers of a panic attack clutching at my chest. All I could envision was curling up on the floor by the seltzer water, sobbing behind a big display of Monster energy drinks, and I thought, OK, if I do that, I'm only going to say JWo's cell phone number over and over, so they call him to come get me. Because I'm not going to tell anyone my father died. Don't get me wrong - I'm grateful for the sympathy, but I'm exhausted by everything related to the subject. The kind strangers at the Price Chopper can just think I'm insane for no reason at all. Then I thought about how stressful it would be on everyone, including me, and I just held on tighter to my cart and hurried through the store. I bought 27 yogurts. TWENTY-SEVEN. I had to help the cashier count them, twice.

So, as much as my intellect doesn't want it to be so, it's pretty clear right now that this process is NOT a straight line. It's a doodle, that doubles back on itself, that soars high and sinks low, it is a path that is clear and strong and then blurs and fades, but there is not a direct highway between Point A and Point B. I will say this: I'm grateful the whole path is filled with love. It buffers and cushions and reminds you why you must keep walking, no matter how much it feels like you're going backwards sometimes.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:28 AM | link |

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Let Go & Let Green Goddess.

James and I both have put Deluxe Hamster Wheels into our minds, and they are so large, (and shiny! The chrome is just incredible! Leather trim and everything) it's hard to find any other space to just BE in our heads. I am speaking for him, because even though our wheels may not be the exact same model, I know completely what he's going through & how difficult they are to extricate oneself from.

Today, my mind skips along like a smooth flat rock on a clear, mirror-surfaced pond. My Hazelden gift of the day reminded me to "Let go, and let God." Hey, I'm all for it, I'll let Elmo take over at this point, the challenge is to unclench my mighty knitting-strong fists from the hamster guard rails. So I said it, over and over in my mind, and immediately started changing it. "Let go and let Goddess." Hm. "Let go, and let GREEN Goddess!" Yum! I love that salad dressing. Boy it's been a long time since I had some. Huh. Yeah, and it was one of my dad's favorites, too, and WHEN WHEN WHEN will all roads stop leading back there? I've braced myself for this commercialized, celebrated weekend, one I'd orginally planned to go home and give him knitted socks, now I've winced and ignored all the blaring reminders to get Dad something good for Father's Day, but I wasn't prepared for the salad dressing. And there are a million other things out there, I know, I see him in everything, I hear him in me when I say something sarcastic, and I know, I KNOW this is a way of treasuring him, but I just keep waiting for those moments to feel more like melancholy, more of a wistful smile maybe, not tears streaming down my face AGAIN. I also know I can't rush it, it would only result in shutting down, and then that'll come back around much later to bite me in the ass. But I want to rush it and so that's why I climb on the hamster wheel, the illusion of something to DO.

Well, I'm going to try to stay off the wheel today, and maybe I'll just keep saying "Let go & let Green Goddess" until I laugh.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:54 AM | link |

Friday, June 16, 2006

So Many Ways To Cry

If I haven't utilized all the ways there are to cry, I'm sure I will before the year is out. I most dislike the gaping soundless crying that precedes the gut-wrenching sobbing. I know it's a relief, it's letting out grief, but I hate hate hate it. All the anxiety and restless hope that lived like a clawing scrambling ferret in my chest has been replaced by a similar-feeling sense of dread and worry; the future holds many opportunities to sledgehammer me emotionally, I fear some of the practicalities of sorting out the estate, and I am basically being irrational and channeling my lifelong desire to control things, to know what's going to happen, and to try to impact it.

Deep breaths. Leaky tears. One day at a time.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:08 AM | link |

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Right now I'm trying to balance the emotional with the intellect, the sense of peace with the huge sadness, the bracing for what happens next with living in the moment. My eyes droop and I have bouts of crying; last night before sleeping I had borderline hysterical giggles with my husband in the dark. He had turned on a flashlight, and was swirling it around the room; then he started switching it off & on like a strobe, and what else could I do, but dance? And beat-box the club sounds of nnntz nnntz nnntz while doing it. There have been other moments over the past few days, of insane, clear capsules of humor; I know it borders on crazy at times, but it's also nice to balance the tears with some laughter here and there.

I am so touched, so overwhelmed, so grateful for all the comments, words of support & kindness, understanding and love. I cannot thank everyone enough. I know your kindness would comfort my father, to know that I turned around and saw all of you there, reaching out.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:50 AM | link |

Monday, June 12, 2006

Brightest Moonlight

I'm not going to be able to write much right now. I have wonderful things to share in my head, but I am also working at re-shoring my energies, pulling myself together, and some of these things will be counter-productive to accomplishing that. I just looked up through the skylight, and I saw that the sun is finally beginning to shine. It has been gray & cloudy since we got into Iowa on our drive here, and raining intermittently. It felt fitting, and yet it also does nothing to boost one's spirits.

We have been sleeping in dad & brenda's bed, partly because I think she is reluctant and afraid to do so, and at first it freaked me out, but I also found it comforting. To lie where he slept, to have the same view; it has felt like an embrace. I was awakened last night by the brightest moonlight shining in on my face, and the first thing I thought was "dad". It matters not what you believe, everyone has their own notions of heaven or nothingness, but I will take these healing moments as they come.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:28 AM | link |

Saturday, June 10, 2006

In Memoriam

Richard Nugent
January 22, 1944 - June 10, 2006

He passed away comfortably, surrounded by family, at 6 pm tonight. I held his hand as he took his last breaths, as the one thing, the biggest thing I've feared my whole life, happened. And it wasn't terrifying. His death didn't shatter the universe. It was the most profound moment in my life, and I am so grateful I was here to give him my love, I was able to tell him over and over, how much I loved him, and I repeated the words he spoke on the phone last night: it will be ok.

It is.

Rest in peace, my father. You will live on forever in our hearts.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:09 PM | link |

Friday, June 09, 2006

I need help.

Three little words.

Nine letters total.

You wouldn’t think that tiny little sentence would be so big, would you? It is, for me. I find myself steering away from the phrase, as violently and sharply as spotting your ex-boyfriend at the mall with his new girlfriend. Turnabout, about-face, rigid spine, determined marching. Can’t do it. Can’t say it. Won’t.

Don’t worry. I have a therapist. A really good one, and we talked about this. We talked about everything, as I attempt to cope & deal with my father’s illness, and my own grief, because that’s truly what it is. I have pulled myself inward, retreating with my big ball of emotions, protecting myself and building a buffer. After all, plenty of people who don’t know me very well are asking me how my dad’s doing, or just asking me how I’m doing, and I’m a terrible liar. I’ve had to adhere to The Skim, which is to breeze by the question with a non-informative, shut-down answer & deflect to something else. I know they mean well by asking, and they want to know, but it get exhausting to repeat things and talk talk talk about it and listen to someone try to give you hope or yet another perspective. To borrow from Jack Nicholson, I’m all full up here.

You might think this is a bad idea, and I see it a multitude of ways, because this is not a subject that is clearly defined, black & white, or right & wrong. In many ways, my sadness & grief are very solitary experiences. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to have these emotions, I know this, but I am very alone with them: I have no siblings, my mother has no love for my father & she and I haven’t spoken in nearly 3 years, and I am losing the one person who has always been there. Always. I am blessed to have such a loving, caring husband, with a family behind him who loves me & cares about me. I have a tremendous group of friends, both here and in the land of the internet. I do not like to break down at work, or in front of many people. I have difficulty right now talking about what is going on, because the sadness shoots up inside and closes my throat, and the only other way out is through tears. I have to function, I have to do my job, interact with others, have some positive experiences, and I cannot do those things if I’m horrible-face crying all the time.

So today, I’m going to practice trying a little bit, to ask for a smidge of help. I’ve asked a friend to see if there are any support groups that meet my (somewhat stringent) criteria – the cancer support groups all seem to support the people with cancer, and the hospice groups support people who’ve already lost someone. There aren’t any purgatory support groups, for those who wait and hope and grieve and sit with this huge mixture of loss and love and pain and guilt and anger and all you can do is wait and try not to fall apart. I know I’m not the only one, but it is hard, feeling like the lonely one sometimes, especially when my entire approach to life is to be strong, to seek intellectual answers and solutions through research & action, to do the right thing, to do it yourself. Small steps, but today, I asked for a little help.

I say I’m tired of hoping, but that’s not true. Hope springs eternal, and I give you these absolutely beautiful words to prove it:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
-- Emily Dickinson
posted by PlazaJen, 11:49 AM | link |

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hide the Silverware

So, yes, I am no longer hell-bent on pronging out my own eyes with a pickle fork, but am deeply steeped in the lovely fantasy of taking out the eyeballs of others, and have not limited myself to just the forks, but how I could knock out some teeth with an ice-tea spoon, and don't even GO to where I get medieval on their asses with the butter knife.

I still really like my job. Some weeks are more arduous, stressful, and eye-rolling than others, and when it shows on all of us, it's hard to remember that sometimes our jolly little crew could be confused with the Fun Committee at a Mexican resort, we have such good times. This week, most of us are playing the role of la pinata. And most of the work I need to finish involves (cue psychotic music:) BILLING. I freakin' hate billing reconciliation, bills, all of it. I want to stab them with a steak knife.

Oh, and while we're at it, and I'm being all frothy and whatnot, I'm just going to give you my line from last week, which is that I fervently hope that even the stupid can read lips. Yes, it was another instance of some Jen Road Rage, but seriously? If a copper has pulled someone over, I have my blinker on, and have edged the front half of LaFonda into your lane, before your dumbass even came over the hill? You have NO RIGHT to surge forward, nearly hit me, and give me a big arm movement with a thumb gesture that I should "get behind thee". So yes, I hope you could read my big lipsticky lips mouthing the astonished "FUCK YOU" in reaction to your audacity & dangerous, rude behavior. But I suspect I might be wishing for too much. A pickle fork in his eye might have been the only effective form of communication at that point.

I wrote the above yesterday (Wed)because a combination of sloggy internet & blogger being drunk prevented me from posting. This morning? I had an INSANE driver experience on my morning commute, something that immediately made me think I was in another country, because seriously, does anyone besides an ambulance cross into the oncoming lane of traffic and turn left on red? Apparently, one Kansas City resident does, and despite the fact he almost hit me (and would have CLEARLY been in the wrong, not to mention I'd have had the six cars of witnesses he illegally passed) he completely ignored LaFonda's irate horn. Motherfucker. For him? I would develop a special torture with a gravy ladle.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:28 AM | link |

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

And On Tuesday, She Pronged Her Eyes Out With A Pickle Fork

OK, I’m not completely caving to Tuesday yet, but she is proving to be a slightly more tenacious, if not passive-aggressive bitch.

I figure if I manage to get the fork tines way back in there, I can pop my eyeballs right out with a delicate flick of the wrist. After all, I’m going for effect, not distance here. And just think! With no eyeballs, I will have no road rage! And life will be like last night, when the power went out, only I won’t fruitlessly struggle with JWo’s 8-gajillion candlewatt flashlight that has a rocker switch on it, somewhere, but hells bells if I can find it IN THE DARK.

My first thought, as I was inspecting my skin in the mirror & the lights went off & all the house noises plummeted into silence, was, “OH! It’s like old-timey times now.” My next thought was, “How in hell am I going to sleep without a fan?” Plus there’s the whole, “They won’t fix it iffin they don’t KNOW about it!” concept, so instead of donning my bonnet and making off to bed prithee forthwith, I went in search of the aforementioned flashlight while my no-longer-sleeping husband rumbled to alertness with all the grace and fluidity of a Mack truck off-roading over landscaping rock. Claw, Claw, Claw. I ran my hands all over that thing (the flashlight, not my husband), effectively cleaning all the dust off it, and still no light. Finally the Wo stumbled into view and immediately, with his Y chromosome fully alert, flicked on the switch. I called the power company, placed an outage report, and then we harrumphed around, which for me meant being REALLY pissed the people across the street still had their lights on. I pondered how the power company could estimate my lights would be back on by 2:23 a.m. As we returned to bed, poor Wo unable to really sleep now, because his bi-pappy machine runs on, you know, electricity, I continued to ponder. “I heard sirens right before the lights went out. What do you think it means? We could drive around and see what’s going on.” Which is really apparently my own double-speak for, “Hey, JWo, you should go investigate what’s happening in our neighborhood.” And he did. I, in turn, thanked him for his exploration by promptly falling asleep. (But not before I set my Palm Pilot to wake me up! I love my gadgets. Oh, yeah, but I had to turn the flashlight on to find the Palm Pilot? And had to get shouted instructions from the Wo. Goddamn Y chromosomes.)

Everything was restored around 1:30 a.m. (see! Those KCPL peeps, they beat their time estimate!) and again, choosing sleep over everything else, I let James turn off lights & reset his clock. After all, I had the Palm on the job, I didn’t need to jack with my clock. And, the fan was on. Bliss!

So, back to Tuesday & our cage match & who will triumph: my workday’s going pretty well, but the general ennui and irritation hasn’t been completely flushed from my system, and while I’d never really gouge out my own eyes, I do dabble sometimes in the insanity of the fantasy of doing something so dramatic and drastic, so King Lear, to portray the melodrama inside my brain. Just be glad you’re visitin’. Living here can get purrrrrty interesting some days….. but I’d still put the money on me. I might be using that fork on Tuesday! I’d like to use a fork on our internet right now, but that would be the moment it would finally come back to LIFE
posted by PlazaJen, 1:27 PM | link |

Monday, June 05, 2006

Nothing Some Ointment & Patron Can't Fix....

So, I am one cranky-ass bizotchy. Yes. I just made that up, because I don't think there's a single word in the human language to fully capture how mothertrucking irritated I am, and I have had approximately 54 hours of said irritations.

Let us start with the Wedding Caravan, which inofitself was nice, and seeing my hubby in a tux was a pleasant treat. I was Le Photographerrrre Extraordinaire, which meant I was carrying the bridal couple's enormous Canon Rebel around my neck, complete with a humongous flipping lens. Did you know I know very little about Le Photographie? Yes, indeed, and thank god the camera was digital. I was sweating like le swine in le mud pitte, and running up and down the gravel path as though I had become the wedding co-ordinator. Snappy! Snap! Many pictures, hopefully some of them will be treasures, and my biggest memory (apart from the Wo in the Tux) will be the parakeet-sized mosquitos that feasted, nay, bellied up for the BUFFET that was my body. I react pretty strongly to bites, too, so I have these quarter-sized lumps on the backs of my legs, on my ankles, tops of my toes - and they all itch like madness.

Then we have Sunday, and I'm not even getting into the debacle which has been my father's medical care, but keep in mind that is all just swirling along in the background/forefront throughout everything else. (They have screwed up his meds more times than I can count now, which results in him suffering swelling in his brain which in turn lends him to sounding as though he has dementia. Change the meds and he's back to his normal self. Enraged doesn't even begin to capture it.) Back to Sunday. I go and get my eyes examined, and that is mellow and fine, but suddenly they declare my insurance does not cover it. Wha? But I checked? And the lackadaisical attitude does nothing to assure me that anyone even called. Eventually, Don and I determine we will just wait & he'll follow up today. Don could be Michael Jeter's long lost cousin, which, if you were a big Evening Shade buff, might not instill the greatest sense of faith here. Don informs me he'll be working until 2 p.m. on Monday; when I call at 1 p.m., he admits to not having time to get to it. No biggie, Don, I'm not buying glasses until they go back on 50% off. He agrees with me, and even tells me when that sale starts again. Redemption, through the irritation.

I then came home from kickin' it with Michael Jeter & finished up my Chicks with Sticks bag, and what then ensued was such a disaster, I'm so pissed I'm not looking for a link. The third color of yarn didn't felt at the same rate as the other two - so much so, I would have sworn it had a different fiber content - and my efforts of copious knitting were in effect, ruined. The bag looks horrid, it will take a rather-large sewing & scissoring re-design to even salvage what did felt properly, and I haven't had a response from the yarn store I purchased the kit from, because you KNOW I sent an email immediately. Knowing them, they'll offer 20% off my next purchase. Uh, yeah, that's adequate compensation. It's not like I'm a new knitter here, and there's obviously something wrong with the yarn - and since they also screwed up once before, sending me two different dye lots (which I didn't notice until the very end of knitting a sweater), I don't have a lot of faith in their ability to handle this to my satisfaction. In other words? NOT ORDERING FROM THEM, EVER AGAIN.

Today? Was one cluster after another of pus-filled bags of non-joy. Sorry for the icky imagery, but hey, it's appropriate. I'm itchy, on edge, clients are being insane, some co-workers have become unhinged, deranged, or worse, both. Yeah, and the internet was jacked up, so I got to wait until I had an entire day of itching, bitching, and being irritated to get home and post a proper blog.

All I can say is, come on Tuesday. Bring it, bitch. You WILL be a better day when I get through with you.
posted by PlazaJen, 6:46 PM | link |

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I Thought The Point Was To Motivate Knitters.

OK! Come sit next to me, my knitting friends. Let's look at this picture, shall we?

All I can focus on are those uncooked sausages. This is a free pattern for a "grill mitt." I challenge you to keep your eyes on the mitt. No, no! You cannot! Who puts their raw meat on a bed of cilantro? Let's make up our minds here, food stylist or knits stylist.

Now, did that not inspire you? No? How about a project that calls for both a Pound of Love AND Fun Fur????? HAHAHAHAHA yes, it is your purgatory, welcome, we have your knitting basket right here.

With the bonus being, it already looks like moths, your dog, and Sasquatch have chewed it up. Yes, my child. Snuggle under the nightmare.

And those of you with the accident-prone youngsters will get a big chuckle out of this free pattern:

Why, it's the Diamond-Back Rattler Cast Sock! As you can see, this hapless youth wasn't satisfied with scrawling "Don't Tread On Me", a popular theme with the passionate Colonists in early Americana as evidenced on Revolutionary flags. There's a lesson to be learned at every point in life, beyond skateboarding next to an empty pool, and that's the proud history of our forefathers, the story every teen is hankering to communicate via their leg cast. Because nothing goes with an iPod like a Diamond-Back Rattler Cast Sock for today's discerning, yet historically-conscious teen! And, please note, for those terrified of snakes, that the EYEBROWS on the snake will reassure even the most skittish that it is not real. We don't want the lesson to be lost because someone gets squeamish! You think our ancestors turned and ran? The WHITES OF THEIR EYES, people. Never forget. NEVER.

All hideousness courtesy of Lion Brand.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:47 AM | link |

Friday, June 02, 2006

Flavors of Days Gone By

Whenever we're facing our own mortality, or that of someone we love with every cell in our body, you are not only tackling a daily wash of emotions, but you also get doused with flashes of the past - good and bad - and the smallest things can trigger them.

Driving to work yesterday, I saw a huge rope swing hanging from a tree. Like an ice pick, the image of the swing my father made for me pierced through, the board he cut & sanded, the ropes he tied over a tree branch, so high up, and I can still see his face when he was done, smiling as he grabbed both sides of the board & told me to jump on. I couldn't begin to count how many hours were spent on that swing, recklessly trying to touch the sky, or at least a wayward branch. A memory I had forgotten.

The other night, I was possessed by a desire for something salty. Not chips, not something fried, but only a straight-up boullion cube would sooth the salty needs. Because yes, back in the day, that was one of my "snacks". (I loved 'em! Beef? Chicken? Bring it on!) I ate them extremely slowly, gnawing a thin layer off at a time, and I've since referred to them as my teeny-tiny flavored salt licks. I was a little disappointed to discover the only boullion in the house was a Costco-sized shaker of granulated chicken with herbs. I dipped a finger in, and while yes, it was still salty goodness, it wasn't the same. (I'm sure my blood pressure is grateful I didn't succeed in finding a cube.)

One of my favorite comfort foods is extremely simple, but also extremely particular. It was a spaghetti made by a family friend, and I've never had another person make it quite like Frances. First off, when you cook the noodles, they have to be broken in half. Then, and this is crucial, you take home-canned tomato sauce & cook it down. It has to be home-grown tomatoes, maybe it's the acidity or the "brightness" of such tomatoes, but I've tried with store-bought and it doesn't work. Fortunately for me, I married a canner & a gardener. Then, you fry bacon. And you assemble your dish: spaghetti, topped with sauce, topped with crumbled bacon. A little salt, a brief marrying of ingredients with a quick toss, and then hunker down for a meal that rockets me back to being 8 years old, when my first real summer in Iowa was spent at Frances & Jake's farm, clambering over hay bales and playing with cats in the barn, picking strawberries, swimming in an old horse trough, watching Hogan's Heroes on a black & white TV, making a doll quilt, and just generally being a sponge to all of my surroundings.

It was a time of pure innocence and great moxie, before I knew how to be insecure, untouched by anger or depression, free from the responsibility of being a grown-up, unaware of love and all the joy and sadness it brings. I know we can never go back, but in that first bite, I squint, and I can almost be there again.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:45 AM | link |

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm Comforted, Because Those Who Truly Are Crazy Don't Ever Think They Are.

I have been obsessed a bit with order, not that you could tell it from my desk here at work. (Hm! Maybe I should attack it!) A bowl or glass barely has time to settle in to the sink, and I'm whisking everything into the dishwasher or scrubbing it up and I realize it's all a psychological effort to maintain control and order while this large piece sits out there, beyond anything I can do, influence, solve or fix. It has given me a bit of a peek into the world of OCD, where touching a doorknob six times before you enter the house is the only thing standing between you & catastrophy.

Today, I took a break. I didn't make the bed, and I left a dishwasher full, waiting to be emptied, and a sink full of dishes, waiting to be cleaned. It's when I start lining up the soup labels that you've got to be worried, JWo.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:22 AM | link |