PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Thursday, August 31, 2006

There Are Days....

Like yesterday, where you expect to hear a chorus singing "Everything's goin' my waaaaaay" and then there are days like today, which, according to Amazon, is the day my books are going to arrive, look at them stepping up and gettin' ON IT, so thanks for that guys, because the rest of the day makes me want to run around with my hands over my head like I'm a monster in a bad Michael Jackson video, and I want to grimace and shriek and yell at anyone in my path, and some of those in my path will also be bitch-slapped. Which means I'll have to bring my hands down from up over my head, BUT, I'm just going to have to bust up the choreography & do it.

I'm seriously considering getting a punching bag for my office. And my books just arrived, right this minute. I yelled, "Praise Jesus" at our office manager. Maybe this means we're working towards an upward swing again. I'm ready to put my hands over my head at any minute, however. BUST A MOVE or BUST SOME HEADS.

posted by PlazaJen, 1:19 PM | link |

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vengeance is MINE, Bitches!

So last night, late, I get a standard oh-so-sorry email from my lovely friends at Amazon going ON and ON and fucking ON about how their shipping and Prime and timing and grouping and delayed books and why all those things collude to keep me from my shit. And that my shit will still be arriving on September 7.

Blink, blink. I go off to bed, but my mind won't turn off. I go back to the computer. For I? I have a plan! I will cancel the one book that is dragging this thing along, and then the other books will be here, post-haste! Oh, but no. Suddenly my whole order is not changeable, as it was before I wrote my first letter. I give you one giant hairy eyeball and this word: CONSPIRACY? And do you think this stops me? HAHAHAHAHAHA.


I write a letter to NkNk Haroova or whatever in hell their fake-but-pretending-to-be-real name was, and basically say, this is utter bullshit, now I can't even change my order, three weeks for all my books, on and on I go, and I tell them how they can make me happy. Get me my books by Friday, bitches. That's the only way to make me happy.

Fast forward to five minutes ago, when I received an email, telling me my Amazon order has shipped - and will be arriving - Friday! But it's being sent to work, and guess who has Friday afternoon off. Just guess. GUESS WHO. ME. But I have a friend here. I bet she'll help a homey out.

So, let's talk about the pendulum swing at lunch, on top of all this High! Seafaring! Bookworm! Drama! We went to a sandwich place, and it took for-fucking-ever. They were a wee bit short-staffed it seemed. And there was a crisis with the iced tea pot. CRISIS. I'm surprised Homeland Security didn't show up. But the entire accounting department from my former job was there, and it was kind of the same thing. Then, finally, we trundled off to Starbucks to use the free iced coffee coupon (today only) they sent one person at the office, who kindly sent it on to all of us. As I love to do, I checked out the sale bin & found a spiffy orange water bottle. Because I :need: more shit. Need it! Hey, it was way on sale. Why not. I order my coffee, and the cutest gay man in the metro area, the one who barely beat out the feller working next to him, tries to ring up my water bottle. And cannot. Cutey-patootie #2 tells him it's been on clearance too long, and therefore it's free, just give it to me. Zero it out. Free coffee, free water bottle. I tipped well.

And when we left Starbucks? I felt that perhaps, just maybe, a brass band would herald my coming and flowers would rain down from the air. I sense my takeover of the world is IMMINENT. And do you know what this means? It means the crazy bitch in front of me on Wornall this morning, the crazy smoking lady who couldn't find a happy consistent speed, the same one with "I LOVE PARROTS" on her license plate frame?

She will be sent to work in the shipping department of Amazon. And she will like it. (After all, I will allow her helper parrot to join her.) I'm nothing but benevolance in a brandy snifter.
posted by PlazaJen, 12:46 PM | link |

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Now, Why Was I Pissed?

I have a recurring theme in my life, which is brought about by two great personality traits (flaws)reaching a confluence within me: A) a white-hot rage that gets stoked every so often, and B) a tendency towards absent-mindedness, which only seems to increase the older I become.

What happens when these two converge is that I blithely continue doing whatever it was I was doing, but with a vague sense of...uneasy. Irritation. Like a small child with peanut butter all over his hands, tugging at the hem of your skirt. Finally the irritation becomes so persistent, I have to ask myself, "Now, what was I mad about?"
Which always seems to be filled with great irony and amusement, because if it was worth being mad, I would still remember it, and the attempt TO remember it is only prolonging the unpleasant. However, in today's case (Pissed off at Amazon Prime, how dare those fuckers give me a free trial which is akin to dusting my toes with powdered sugar & licking them, and it gets me thinking just how fan-fucking-tastic Amazon Prime is, getting books in a mere day or two, instead of Free! Super! Saver! Shipping! and waiting for two weeks. Those fuckers. They gave me a free trial and then I ordered some books and now it's going to be THREE weeks before they get here! It's enough to make me kick them in the face. Given that they're already down there and all (the confectioner's sugar toes, remember?)) Where was I? Yeah. In today's case. It was NECessary to remember why I was pissed, so I could unleash my Holy HellRage on them and maybe get my damn books here a little sooner. So I tried their "We'll call you right back" feature, which is awesome! Awed by the technology that allows me to enter my phone number, and immediately have my phone ring - them calling me back! - I wasn't even troubled the first THREE TIMES the line then went to "Busy". By the fourth attempt, I could have gotten frownier, but I'd have looked as though I were related to a shar-pei. The only recourse left was a gigantor email, and I even apologized for being such a beyotch, but all the same, WHERE'S MY STUFF.

OH mah god. I'm surprised I don't have white spittle on my shirt from being in a frothing rage.

I wonder how I'll feel in ten minutes. Probably wondering why there's spit on my shirt.
posted by PlazaJen, 3:35 PM | link |

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mmmmmm, Cake. Cake With Layers!

OK, you know you're supposed to read that title in a Homer-Simpsonesque voice, right?

I'm talking about the movie, Layer Cake, starring the newest 007, Daniel Craig. I must admit, when I saw him gracing the cover of my Ent. Wkly magazine, I wasn't impressed. After all, there have been numerous machinations and interpretations of Bond, thank you, and I admit, I've always been partial to the brunette ones.... specifically Sean Connery & Pierce Brosnan.

But then? JWo wisely DVR'd Layer Cake one evening, thinking I'd like it. Oh what a lovely thing it is, to have someone know you. He was so right! Great music, an intriguing story, and an all-around good indie-feel movie. Made me tumble hard for one Daniel Craig, as well. WHOOOOOO CHILD. He's smokin'.

Now, do you want a couple movies to avoid? (Hi, who didn't leave the house or change out of her pajamas on Sunday?) I won't bother linking "White Noise" with Michael Keaton. Hi, I saw "The Ring" already and this doesn't even come close. Click, end of story. The other is Crash, and I don't mean the Oscar-nominated "Crash". This one's about freaky people with car-accident sex-fetishes, and no matter how many terrific, Emmy/Oscar-caliber actors you assemble (James Spader, Holly Hunter, Rosanna Arquette), it's still about freaky car-accident fetish folk. Hey. To each their own, but despite near X-rated scenes, I found myself bored & fast-forwarding to see if any big life-changing message or reveal was going to happen. Nope. The movie left me feeling like I was watching yet another twist on addiction, where people sink lower and lower out of a desperate attempt to actually FEEL something, and really, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, nobody needs to ride along for that.

(But I still adore James Spader.) And watch Layer Cake. Maybe make one, too. Mmmm. Cake......
posted by PlazaJen, 8:21 PM | link |

Late-Night Peek Into The Funhouse....

So, what happens when you are so dog-tired at 8:00 at night, cross-your-eyes falling-asleep-at-the-tv tired? You crawl into bed, and have delicious notions that you will sleep for -oh- 11 hours. Maybe 10. Certainly not just THREE. Hello! Now I'm here on the computer, trying to recapture that eye-crossing tiredness, and it's just not working. -ohp, there was a huge yawn. there's still hope. It just sucks when you have all the optimal conditions for a real humdinger of a sleep, you know? The temperature was perfect, the pillows were arranged perfectly (I get a little nutty about having everything stacked just so - please, contain your shock and awe at that one...). It was just dreadful to get up and accept the fact that no, I am not getting 10+ hours of sleep tonight, and so what if tomorrow's Monday, (oh yeah, I came up to see if I have meetings/appointments..... that drives wardrobe....) oooookey dokey, no meetings, no lunch plans, NUTTIN. Perhaps I am coming down with Le Plague. Well, maybe it is just the infernal BUG BITES, but it could be that the bugs were CARRIERS of .... Le Plague...... Perhaps I will need to stay home and accumulate the 10 hours of sleep randomly, between scratches. Perhaps I am simply dreaming, because even as I spun that little fantasy candyland, about six things I have to do tomorrow came scrambling in, shouting for attention. And that's productive for getting back to sleep. Hmmmm.....
Arrighty. Time to re-enter the somnosphere. Curtains down....
posted by PlazaJen, 12:10 AM | link |

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Red Sea At Night

Sea of Red at Sunset

So I'd just posted about being ready for football, and looky-loo, lucky me got tickets to the pre-season game from a friendly TV station. (Apparently they're not holding any weather-personality-stalking against me. I think it means they want me to spend some moolah.) If I hadn't had to walk 14 miles uphill both ways from my parking spot to the stadium, I'd have taken a better camera with me. As it was, I toted some knitting along, but was too intimidated (and distracted by the game) to bust that out. We take football seriously in this town, and some people around us would have interpreted knitting as hating. NObody likes a hatah! It didn't help that I brought along a 24-row repeat sock pattern I've never done before & it would have required me ignoring everything around me. (Not smart.) But it was a win for the Chiefs, and now I'm home & a little keyed-up still from the experience. Even though half the crowd had left by the 4th quarter, it's still a thundering noisy stadium, full of energy....and drunken folk. Speaking of drunken folk, somebody in the neighborhood is having a party, as I hear the thump-doop-dum-thump of a bass from a stereo cranked up high. It's rare for around here, and hopefully by the time I crawl into bed the white noise of our fans and my sleepiness will obscure the noise. Makes me glad I don't live next to an aspiring band..... or Arrowhead Stadium......
posted by PlazaJen, 11:22 PM | link |

Friday, August 25, 2006

When The Bees Return On The Wind

I was locked up with several co-workers yesterday in a hotel conference room, having one of those long meetings where you chart and discuss the future of the business, review goals, all that stuff I never saw in the fine print when I took a job that put me "in charge" of things. Don't get me wrong, the process is necessary & good for getting the process of change in place, and I sat there and remembered my last boss & how I never want to become her. It's always good to stay motivated! But it still made for a very long day. And I catch myself sometimes thinking, "Huh. Is this me now? Have I become that person/boss I hated/didn't understand/resented when I was 22, or even 32?" I certainly have seen my perspective change and shift and adjust over the past few years, as life and its priorities and stuff in general become more important, less important, worth fighting over, worth letting go. I think as we get older, we get tired more easily, and that alone makes it simple to look at something and go, "Yeah. I don't want to mess with that anymore," or, "It's not worth putting anymore energy into." Prioritizing got a whole lot easier this year.

I've lost a lot this year, first and foremost being my father. I have lost some friends, lost some innocence, lost some patience, lost a bunch of belongings, lost a lot of time. I barely remember April, May or June, as if I'd been in a twilight coma, simply floating through time and space. I'm sure I could go back and read those blog entries, but I'm not ready to do that. Again, something that would require too much energy, and while I still have my sadness, I'm not trying to actively seek it out. I described the grief to a friend as being a deep slice. I don't think, in conversations with people who've survived loss a lot longer than I, it ever goes away, or even ceases to cut you to the quick at times. In my mind, it's as though a scalpel-sharp dagger pierces straight down to the bone, a fissure, a break in my emotional weft. But it knits itself shut again, and the amount of time everything is open & laid bare is shorter. The surprising part is the unexpected moments that catch you so unaware. Something so small as seeing the jar of honey in the pantry, that jar we bought from the bee lady two days after dad died, the lady who keeps her bees just north of our farm, and the lovely letter she wrote my dad when she heard of his cancer, of how in years to come she will see the bees returning from South Cedar Creek on the wind and she will think of him, and it's like my knees buckle under from the elegant, gorgeous, brutally stark beauty of the love that existed in the world and within me, for my father. And then moments later my knees unlock, the ice-pick in my heart pulls out, and I take a deep breath and continue living.

I'm just trying to be the best person I can be, and while I know I don't always succeed, the older I get, the more experiences I have, the more I understand that every summer the bees will return, they will do their marvelous dance and tell the other bees where the flowers are, and honey will be made and I will never, ever stop loving him.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:58 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

KC Weather Forecaster & Me, #2!

Attacking Another Weather Personality

Here I am with Channel 9 (ABC)'s Brian Busby. Could not have been nicer, could not have been more polite, despite the Clay-Aiken-Stalkeresque-Quality I feel coming out of my pores when I solicit a photo with any of these TV people. For whatever reason, I feel compelled to introduce myself with, "My husband LOVES the weather." Because I? I am a hatah. Weathah Hatah. Not really, but seriously. If there's anyone I know who can watch & read & understand weather charts and forecasts like these weather people, it's JWo. He could give them all a run for their money. And I have many pictures of us together!

Two down, technically two to go. (Fox and NBC). But really. It only matters if I get a pic with NBC's Gary Lezak, the King of Weather and Giant Arm Gestures and Excited Utterances. I could make this photo opp happen, but I'd prefer it to unfold a little more "naturally." After all, I do this more for my (and your!) amusement than anything else!
posted by PlazaJen, 2:46 PM | link |

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Late Summer Fantasy.....

I am currently in two fantasy sports "operations". One is baseball, and given everything that happened this spring, I didn't do a damn thing. I was assigned some players, somehow, and through absolutely no skill or action on my part, I am currently in 6th place (out of 10!). Go me!

I'm attempting to put a little more effort (not that moving from "zero" is that much of a challenge!) into the football league I joined, formed by Bekah. Right now, my favorite part is the "Smack Talk" section. (Statistics? Selection? Whatever, Schmatever!) It helps that I'm more of a football fan now, vs. baseball. But I'll never be one of those statistic-spouting dudes, or even one of those people who can shout out what the next play SHOULD be. That is just too risky. I'm excellent at screaming, cheering, and understanding (for the most part) what is actually happening, and I adore the once- or twice-per-year chance I get to attend a game, when the wind whips over the arch of Arrowhead and slices through the stadium, freezing my nose and fingers. When it's 4th down and the Chiefs decide to go for it, and the roar of the crowd (the loudest in NFL) thunders through your skin, and your own voice is lost in the enormous chorus, untrained and unrehearsed, and you lose the sense of being alone even in your own mind, because you are now part of the Chiefs Borg, the swaying, howling miasma of drunken fans and everyone stomps their feet to make some noise and hopefully keep their toes from freezing off.

Yeah. I'm ready for some football.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:14 PM | link |

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Like Fargo, Without The Snow

Something about the combination of me, one PlazaJen, and copious amounts of tomatoes turns the kitchen into a veritable bloodbath. It's not that I set out to make a mess, or that I'm careless, but I ended up with enough tomato spatter on the front of my shirt to make me think twice about walking out the front door of my home, lest the 75+ year-old neighbor across the street think we're sacrificing goats in the comfort of our air-conditioned home.

Truth be told, JWo and I were making vats of tomato sauce & juice. Our friend Roger is moving, and he had picked his garden clean of tomatoes, only to realize he'd already packed his canning supplies! We already had a couple large bowls filled of our own, so we bit the bullet & started processing. As we were grinding tomatoes through the uni-tasking tomato press, I was reminded of the grisly scene in Fargo, involving Steve Buscemi and a wood chipper. And even though I can do a wicked Minnesota accent (hell, being from Northern Iowa, it's simply a matter of mileage from where I started myself; Missouri living has draped a drawl on top of my round "o"s and flattened "a"s), I resisted. Might have been the distraction by the fact that every small cut or fissure in the skin on my hands was screaming at the acidic tomato juice burning at my nerves! Anyway, Alton Brown hates uni-taskers, but I love that tomato press. And my panini maker. So now when I hear or even think of the phrase "uni-tasker", I immediately think, "Fuck off, Alton Brown!" Jen loves her gadgets. Hey. I love Alton Brown, but not when he's telling me my gadgets are wasteful. (And anything Alton Brown says gets repeated by the Alton Brown SuperFan in the house, and since the dogs haven't mastered English, you do the deducing on who THAT is.)
Nobody is putting my gadgets in the woodchipper. Or me in a corner. Yeah. I'm really tired. Time for bed. I'll probably dream I'm Carrie, and Alton Brown will be releasing the vat of juice on my head. With his fucking unitasker prom-queen-dousing-kettle!!!!
posted by PlazaJen, 10:00 PM | link |

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Balls to Nuts

Yesterday afternoon, Miss Kristin and I attended the local CBS premiere party. The much-touted, prize-filled, lavish exTRAvaganza. There were drinks! Celebrities! Trips to NYC to watch various tapings - Letterman, Ellen, Regis & Kelly. We heard there were scads of additional prizes, gift certificates, whatever. So it was definitely a must-attend event.

All of the TV people were there as well, and we rode up in the elevator with the 10p news anchors. Cementing my role as a stalker, I later introduced myself to Katie Horner, and told her my husband just loves the weather. During the presentation, we sat with all the news people, me parked right next to Ms. Horner, and true to form, Kristin & I giggled and had our own sort of entertainment through the whole thing. Finally? Prize time. The first prize given away was an "Ellen" t-shirt and sneaker deodorizing balls. Surprised it wasn't a Rolex, I leaned over and whispered to Kristin, "I hope you win that!" and as we laughed, her name was drawn. Ooops. She pointed out if I won a trip, she was coming with me. Basically, it was t-shirts, some toasters that imprinted "Regis & Kelly" on your toast, and the trips. I won nothing. Except we did get a picture of me with Katie:
Kickin' it with the weather lady

So, that covers the "Balls" part of the title, lets move on to the nuts.
We went to Joe's Crab Shack to have dinner with my MIL and our nieces, who were hilarious chatterboxes the whole evening. We went back to MommaLinda's house for Pecan Pie Cake (OMG, OMG, best dessert EVER), and apparently our younger niece Danielle doesn't like nuts. So as she's picking through her cake, she's talking: "These are BIG nuts. Big nuts. I can't believe how big these nuts are. How am I supposed to eat nuts this big? These are some BIG NUTS." My mother-in-law and I were positively shaking from internal giggling.

OH, and last, but not least, and backtracking a bit, we took Leper Barbie to the CBS party. One of our sales reps from that station gave her to Kristin (that's a whole separate story); she had been his daughter's Barbie until the family dog got hold of her and did a serious number on her arms & legs (thus her rather unfortunate name.) She has a couple of outfits, and since she lives most of her life in Kristin's cubicle, we thought she'd like to get out and go to a party. I apologize for the qualitiy of these photos, I didn't bring the Canon with me, but as you can see, she had a pretty good time, even though, just like me, she didn't win ANY fabulous prizes:

Leper Barbie Gets Out
posted by PlazaJen, 11:23 AM | link |

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Last Thursday, the delightful Miss Shanny came to knit night, and we had much fun with the group, knitting, drinking, noshing, all good times. We finally got the cameras out, and Shannon's an expert at the self-portraiture, mostly because she's got them long arms and can get at a good angle away from herself. Me? I got them T-Rex arms, only good for bunching up yarn close to my bosoms and flapping my hands at anything that gets too close for comfort. (Mind you, I do NOT have the Short Arm Syndrome, where my arms are 3" too short for my torso. I'm Just Plain Short.) So my series of self-portraits featuring Shanny are a little like how I feel when I'm trying to get into the top cupboard and not crash all the dishes down on my head. Peeking! Peeking! They also had a photobooth feel to them, albeit a photobooth with the camera jostled out of proper pointing direction.


Fun times - good eats - great yarn! We're glad you visited, Shanny!

AND a day-after shout-out to JWo, Happy Burfday to him! Love you sweetie! For the first time ever, he actually had to teach school on his birthday. But all the 5th graders sang to him! How cute is that? Next year, he & I will be celebrating birthdays again, but this year we kind of back-burnered 'em. (We've had a lot going on, you might say...)
posted by PlazaJen, 8:59 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Eau de Burnt Popcorn

When I was at my last job, I sat for a time near the microwave area/small kitchen on our floor. This was disastrous when people would throw a bag of popcorn in, hit a few buttons, and then run off to the restroom. After one particular bobblehead did this, and then EMPTIED the burnt bag into the trash, I finally wrote a page-long remonstration titled, "Popping Popcorn: Rules of Engagement". It informed the reader that the microwave in question was to a normal microwave the same way a Tritan Missile was relevant to a squirt gun. It was one step below military-grade, and thus needed to be used with extreme care, caution and attention. I believe I also quoted the great Rick Springfield, urging snackers, "Don't Walk Away!", but to monitor every moment as their salty snack remained in the device. And if they did, in fact, still screw up and char their popcorn, to BURY the bag, contents and all, in the garbage. Don't open it to further dissipate the stink! I apologized if it made them feel like a nocturnal animal, rooting around in the trash, but they were warned, they disregarded the advice & now they have to pay the price.

So we have a new business meeting in 20 minutes, and someone burnt popcorn about an hour ago. (And I don't mean a little burnt, where you eat around the ten kernels that are singed brown, I mean, It's-A-Wonder-It-Didn't-Catch-On-Fire burnt, Look At The Veil of Smoke In the Air!) It has created high drama, as everyone started running around with fans, candles, Febreze - doing anything and everything to diffuse and eliminate the smell, which, if you've ever smelled it, you know simply can't be done.

My boss just strolled by and pronounced the whole place smells like "Burnt Vanilla Febreze".

Awesome. I think we've got this account in the BAG, baby.
posted by PlazaJen, 3:29 PM | link |

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Snails on a Plane

I was having a conversation with a co-worker about SNAKES! on a PLANE! and my fascination with the whole "thang" - less with the movie itself, but with how the surge of fans grew and awareness was built and the viralness and popularity of the movie - long before it was ready to be released. And how they went back & added & edited the movie, based on that fan buzz & devotion. Would that people got that excited about VOTING. In any event, I was describing how there's an audience participation script already written, and when I went to Google it, I had dyslexic fingers, and kept typing "Snales". I burst out laughing & said, "Snails on a Plane! Can't wait to see THAT movie! RUN! There's SNAILS! Well, ok, WALK! Oh hell, just move over a seat."

But if you do go to the official website? You can have Sam Jackson email or phone message a directive to go see the movie, and he incorporates all the details you select. So of course, JWo got a message. And since we're not big movie-theater people, we'll probably wait for the Netflix copy....via snailmail.
posted by PlazaJen, 8:45 AM | link |

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pistachios for Breakfast

There you have it. I've started my day with chili-lime pistachios (Archer Farms/Target brand, aren't they doing crazy things these days with their house brand? Kudos!) And I'm drinking diet Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke. Piss off, Wheaties & coffee! I've got a new bizarro combo!

I'm notorious for strange consumables in the morning, especially on the weekend. I've had spaghetti for breakfast, I've rationalized Triscuits as simply Shredded Wheat with salt, instead of sugar, and I've eaten more cheese for breakfast than I've ever had as an appetizer. I even know a certain someone who has ice cream for breakfast. Hey, it's dairy!

What're some of the strangest things you've eaten for breakfast? Not counting brunch, or cold pizza (shudder). I can tell you, even though this was dinner on Friday night? I'd eat all this sushi for breakfast in a New York minute. YUM!

posted by PlazaJen, 10:25 AM | link |

Friday, August 11, 2006

Good Times!

We had a fabu knit night last night; the lovely Shannon drove over from visiting her parents & joined us for knitting, beer brats & sangria.... pictures to come this weekend, let's just say she's much better at the arm-extended portraiture than I am. However, we'll have an entertaining series from my camera, as I sliced the bottom of our faces off at different points, repeatedly.
Some things are hard for me to learn.

It's Friday, this will have been the first full week of work for me since I-don't-know-when and I don't really care to figure it out, since most of the weeks involved sadness or badness. I mean, yeah, I left an hour early last night, but I'm not counting that. It's almost the weekend, there will be much knitting & netflixing, and I swear, by the time I watch all my Prime Suspects, Crackers, and finish reading the first Thursday Next book, "The Eyre Affair", I'm going to be affecting a faux-British accent just like Madonna by Monday. Minus the leotard, mind you. I do have good taste, and I don't want to drive someone to putting their own eyes out.

Happy weekending to all of you, too! And if you want to wear a leotard, in the privacy of your own home, then bollocks, just go and do it.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:56 AM | link |

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My eyes, my EYES! (II)

We've got some new business we've been working on, and last night, all I did was dream about lasik surgery. Well, for the first half of the night. I woke up multiple times, and each time was after I'd just had some lasik done. I'm actually considering the surgery, more seriously than I ever have before. I think one of my challenges that I didn't admit to is my own vanity. I feel like my glasses define my look, add character & personality. But the argument for being able to see the moment I open my eyes in the morning outweighs that vanity!

In any event, I didn't come here to tell you about THAT dream, but the other one, later in the night. I dreamt that (much like the gasoline crisis) there was a tomato supply crisis. And since much of my job involved chopping tomatoes, I panicked, quit my current job, and went BACK to my old agency in the same day. Without getting their sign-off on hiring me back. As soon as I got there & was waiting to talk to the powers-that-be, I realized I'd made a horrible, horrible mistake. I could weather this tomato crisis. I raced back to my current employer & hoped they hadn't discovered I'd left. Then I woke up.

Now, it's no shocker my old place is floating through my head - they just lost a big chunk of business, and everyone's buzzing - surprised and not surprised all at once. I still have some friends there, I still care about those people, and I hope they don't find themselves without jobs in six months. Or they find new ones in the meantime. When I think about some of the other people, I see the smugness, the clubbiness, the superiority complexes & apathy towards change, I hear the public statements to "be more creative! think beyond the numbers" and I remember the pounding down, dressing-down, near-hatred of me when I was told, "you're too creative! you just don't GET it! You get to the same conclusion but you don't do all the research to get there. You don't fit in."

And when I remember those words? And even though those bastard people probably won't pay the price (and the little people will) for the client loss? I'm ecstatic I'm chopping tomatoes someplace else.

I'd sworn I'd written a blog several years ago about how complacency kills - maybe I was too paranoid then? I did find a post referencing myself as the Ringleader of the Unhappiness Circus. Now I'm more the Ringleader of the Insane Ass-Clown Posse and our Fabulous Days of Hysterical Laughter. There's hope, people. It can, and does, change.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:02 AM | link |

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Random Orts

1. Today is election day in Kansas City, and I personify the great American unwashed voter: I'm uninformed and apathetic. At least when the zoo bond was up for a vote, the city (and our yard) had cool polar bear signs. Don't politicians understand all it takes is a cute, cuddly (but deadly) icon & their awareness would shoot through the roof? In any event, I'm going to spend some time today & review all the questions & candidates and vote after work. I'm just glad the phone will stop RINGING constantly with political polls, tape-recorded pitches.... for a little while, anyway.

2. We should have a minimum of 12 days per year that are "I can't get out of bed" days. I felt like I was a danger to myself and others driving in to work this morning, and you know how I feel about bad drivers. I gave myself the finger at least twice and shouted a couple times, just for penance.

3. With daytime highs forecast to hit 104 AGAIN this week, I am Officially Ready For Fall. ORFF. You're either with me or against me, and if you like this weather then I'm going to run you over in the street. Don't worry. I'll honk at myself afterwards.

4. I'm so absent-minded, I opened my first Diet Mountain Dew, and then turned to the left & opened the second one. Out of embarassment with myself, I chugged the first one. I'm well into the second one and the fog is still not clearing.

5. Overheard at breakfast at Sharp's in Brookside:
Me: "I just felt like I was ... settling, on the car I want."
JWo: "Do you hear that sound?"

*Referencing my theme song at the last job, "Sound of Settling" by Death Cab for Cutie.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:13 AM | link |

Monday, August 07, 2006

My Left Boob

OK. I'm starring in my own non-Oscar independent movie today. I'm wearing this shirt:

And it's a "mock wrap top". So that would make you think it's not a real wrap shirt, right? Well, it's not, in the sense that you have to wrap & tie , blah blah blah, BUT the whole panel that goes into the side & stretches across, the "underneath" panel? That baby ties to the far right side: there and ONLY there. So I have a triangular panel of fabric that quite adequately covers my left bazoomba, BUT, should a wardrobe malfunction take place, like a slippage or bunching, then? Left boob al fresco.

Whenever I'm presented with the opportunity to be paranoid, I grab it. Sieze it, really. Shove it in my mouth and swallow it whole. I love to incite the Paranoia Gnome within. So all day, I've spent spare moments stealing moments to check my left boob panel, and assure myself that I'm not exposing myself to the office. I'd like to think I'm subtle, but let's face it, I'm not exactly a master of the art, and the boobs? They're not exactly "shrinking violets". More like uh.... Kansas Sunflowers.

Yeah, I know. Safety pins, quick whipstitching with a needle & thread, yadda yadda. But then where would the EXCITEMENT be? Hm? I have many sources in my wardrobe: I haven't fallen in my Doc Marten sandals yet today, so that disaster's still out there, lurking. And you know if I fall down, Left Boob is totally flying out of the panel and putting on a matinee show.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:37 PM | link |

Friday, August 04, 2006


I tried to post this video early this morning & it didn't work, and then I forgot all about doing it. So now, I'm back & trying again & I think it's going to work, finally. Am I the only one who just shakes her head with amazement at the entity we know as "YouTube"? It as if the greatest invention we never even knew we needed sprang from the earth with a flourish and said, "Howdy! How'd you like to waste some time today?" Even my boss loves the YouTube.

I was thinking to myself, which I do in excessive amounts, always have, sometimes I even mutter, and as I am wont to do, I check in with myself and see how I'm doing, and then I search for words and images that might describe it, whether or not I'm going to put them in a blog. And I got the imagery of mercury balls, scattering across a flat surface. I remember when I was young, maybe 7 or 8, and I accidentally broke a thermometer, and proceeded to spend a fair amount of time captivated by the silver skitterings until my mother caught me. Then, later, when she was telling my dad about it, he had me retrieve the rest of the broken thermometer & we had some good times playing with the mercury (but not touching it, as I had been doing earlier.)

Sometimes the best thing we can do is not struggle. Not grasp. Not try to mold, control, compress, strangle. Just marvel. And many years ago, I had taped this video & showed it to my dad. We marvelled at the simplicity of the imagery, while also reflecting on the complexity of emotion, symbolism and commentary on human nature it made. If you've never seen it, thanks to our good buddy YouTube, now you can. It won an Academy Award in 1989, and I first saw it in Minneapolis at a Spike & Mike Animation Festival. I think it's as stellar today as it was 17 years ago.

posted by PlazaJen, 7:01 PM | link |

Thursday, August 03, 2006


The story of Bob Smith's life was in the paper today, and while I never met him, I was absolutely captivated by the photo! He was an interesting character. And I think I could put his aunt in my purse.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:26 AM | link |

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rain, Blessed Rain....

I have an uncommon knack for going to the grocery store ten minutes before the heavens open up and dump all their stowed-away contents onto the earth. Pretty much a rain dance for me, driving to the Price Chopper. Actually, I got gas first, and noted how windy it was getting. In the back of my mind, I thought, Heh. Maybe I should just go home. But no! I must bring something to knit night, and there's no way I'll get up in the morning to shop.

So I drove over to the store, and noted that all the tree tops were scolding me, shaking violently and waving, "Go home! You fool! Big storm's a-comin'!" Instead, I chose to press on, and marvel at how the huge volume of dust in the air was blowing horizontally and if you squinted, it almost looked like rain. I got in the store, and I hoofed it. Only the utter necessities, at warp speed. It didn't matter. By the time I pointed my cart back out the door, people were running in the parking lot, rain was pelting down, and it was hap-mad-dashery to LaFonda and then - oh lord, karma will get me - my cart blew away. Blew away! Ran right into the front corner of my car and was off like a race car, making a break for freedom. I've never seen a cart travel so fast without a push! And I had a choice. I could race after it, and become a fully drowned rat, or I could collapse into my car and watch, with an open mouth, as the wind pushed said car across the parking lot (there were no cars in its path) before I could even get the car started. So. Yeah. I didn't get the cart. I apologize, and I simply hope that cart-retrieval tonight at the Chopper was delayed due to the weather and someone goes and gets it when it's not quite so torrential.

I think everyone who got caught in this rain tonight could pretty much have cared less, because we all knew the line of storms was bringing with it a dramatic change in the weather - it's already dropped 30 degrees from the high today! Now, I best get to bed, so I can get up and chop 'maters, onion & squeeze some limes - I am doctoring up some purchased guacamole.... if I made it tonight, I'd have eaten it for dinner! :) Hmmm. Guacamole. It's not just for breakfast anymore!
posted by PlazaJen, 10:48 PM | link |

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Good Thing The Chair Already Leans Way Back

So, I never thought a dentist would make me swoon, and I never thought being viewed as young would be so startlingly appealing, but today? My dentist thought I was under the age of 30. Now, upon further reflection, I am wondering if he can see, or if he is perhaps going daft, but in the moment, it seemed like a really swell compliment. We were talking about my lower wisdom teeth, and he said, "Well, if you were 20, then there'd be no question, we'd take them out." To which I replied, "Considering I'm nearly twice that, then, we won't?" He turned and said, "Oh! Well. I didn't realize you were over 30, no, we will just leave them where they are." And I, the one who is firmly devoted to AGING GRACEFULLY and accepting myself and ignoring the Beauty Myth and Hollywood, that girl, I exclaimed, "OH MY Dr. Morgan, you certainly know the fastest way to my heart, hmm, thinking I'm under 30?!?" And that flustered him a bit, which was rather amusing, though I think we all know the notion of hitting on my nearly-60-year-old also-married dentist is about as absurd as me taking flight off of our rooftop with some Icarus wings in this heatwave; we then had a fairly one-sided conversation about how people's ability to gauge age changes as you grow older. One-sided, because his hands were holding my mouth open and he was checking all my fillings.

The swooning, it was so fleeting.
posted by PlazaJen, 5:13 PM | link |

Bruised Orange

That's the title of a great John Prine album, the man can write songs that are breezy and fun, and he can write songs of great pain, real downers, songs that were slightly dangerous to me in my younger years before I figured out I was actually depressed.
Today I feel like a bruise, not fresh and purple, but yellow-orange and dispersed, still sore to the touch. Last night in the grief group, I shared pictures of my dad, and talked about him briefly while struggling to keep the tears from obliterating my power of speech. I went first, because I wanted to just do it, and not wait for my turn. It wasn't easy for anyone to talk about their loved one - and I understand the importance of being able to do this, to keep them alive in a healthy way. But as I walked down the hallway towards the blazing asphalt and my car, my face screwed up and my shoulders shook as I lost, if only briefly, my battle with the sadness. I made sure I got some deep breaths & regained control before I got in my car.

I have a hard time allowing myself to remember anything about my dad right now, because at the same time the images comfort me, they pierce me, like a trumpet, the metallic sharpness cutting through with the reminder that he is gone, he is never coming back, we will never have new memories together, he isn't going to call, he isn't going to laugh with me, the credits have rolled and the movie has been played. I know that in time, these things will mellow, my memories will be easier to see and share again, I will not turn and avoid and pretend I do not have this bruise just to get through the day.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:28 AM | link |