PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Going Batshit Crazy And Medieval All At Once


Discover card sent the statement out by accident. Kind of like Capital One auto finance sending me a letter I'd been denied credit (and causing a sequential Panic! At the NuWos!) and it turning out to be the fact they MEANT to send the letter that my check was expiring soon. Whups.

So I left a message with the po-lice to get an update, and then I thought, hey, let's just make sure the Pizza Hut collection bitches are off my ass. Good thing I checked. They are clinging as tightly as a deer tick on a bloodhound. Fuckers. And Tashina, the "customer service" person, a term I use quite loosely in this situation? Apparently dressed up like a big fucking bitch for Halloween. I know I hinted it was going to happen, and it did. I blew a gasket. I saw it shoot up to the ceiling and disappear, piercing through the roof on its way to the moon. They are demanding a notorized affidavit from either the police (yeah, like that'll happen) or my bank. And wouldn't tell me what it should say to make it go away, just kept saying I had to send it. So I thanked her. Thanked her for being so helpful through such a difficult situation, Thank You for making me, the victim, have to do even MORE work to prove I did not buy $60 worth of goddamn pizza. And then I hung up on her. I never, ever hang up. I hope she gets Dung Heap Cupcakes in her damn trick-or-treat bag tonight.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:51 AM | link |

No, You Cannot Have A Bite.

Really. I mean truly and really and this is the end and who keeps throwing the dice on my game? Weren't we done, when the light bill charge of $1600 was attempted? And wasn't the icing getting the Pizza Hut collection notice? And then, then! I thought I'd discovered the silver dragees on my Dung Heap Cupcake, that was Saturday night, when my bank called to ask if I'd been buying things all day on the Internet. From various newspapers around the country. Ah, no.

Apparently someone got hold of my Visa check card numbers, and had a heyday, placing online classified ads. But I am SLEUTHY. I have someone in the accounting department at one of these newspapers checking INTO it, you cockaroacha from hell! So I will know exactly what your thieving ass is peddling! (However, sadly, you are not related to the Bastard Burglars. They are going to get acid enemas in hell if I have any say in the matter.) But we got the card shut down, and so on and so forth and the waves on the shore and we beat on against the current, and yes, it's all very F.Scott Fitzgerald except with loads more cursing and not enough gin, and we (the Royal We) thought, "Sigh! Life has served me a very bad Dung Heap Cupcake." But I at least thought we were done.

And now today, I got a statement from Discover, chiding me for being so late and asking me to pay the money the Bastard Burglars spent on gas right after they left my (emptied) home that afternoon back in June. And the Super Duper Crackerjack Fraud Investigation department wasn't open when I called and I got some damp-behind-the-ears representative who stammered and apologized and gave me a number to call tomorrow, and told me two conjectured reasons why I would now suddenly be getting this bill, one of which is that they've decided I indeed DO owe the charges and of course that set my hair on fire, and now I have to go knit myself some boxing gloves, perhaps out of Noro, because it is truly so beautiful, but I'd sure hate to get blood on hand-knit boxing gloves. And I don't have time to knit a pair of boxing gloves overnight, despite the rumors I keep illegal workers in the attic, and I am tired of fighting and battling these horrid distractions that pull me away from healing up the things inside I NEED to cope with, and I do not want to eat Dung Heap Cupcakes anymore. Apparently mine also have edible glitter on them, and within a week I expect to discover some marzipan figurines that sit on top. I hate marzipan.

And I'm mean when I'm out of patience and I don't edit my tongue and I'm angry at having to fight large companies and police departments and collection agencies and have to stand in government lines to get replacement paperwork and being vigilant is tiring, and I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. I didn't steal anyone's worldly possessions, I didn't run up fraudulent charges, and yet it is all my mess to clean up, but we know how I do fight for justice and righting wrongs, and attempting to keep things fair, whatever that might mean, and that, my friends, is the only thing that keeps me pushing forward, but it still makes me angry. And tired. And sick of this fucking cupcake. And yes, I still give the mean old lady across the street the finger, every day, when I go out to get the paper. I do it subtley, and it's essentially at her house, not her in particular, but in the end, it's the small victories that carry us through the darkest of times.

"So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past."
posted by PlazaJen, 12:01 AM | link |

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm Never Letting Them Out of the Attic.

My friend Kristin has made the assertion on more than one occasion that I have illegal immigrant children living in my attic and I make them do my knitting. What can I say? Some people drink; I knit like a fiend.

I give you the final six blocks of Lizard Ridge:

Final Six #2

And after I finished the final block, I began the arduous fun of seaming. As I stated earlier, I'm sewing three blocks into a strip, and then blocking them. After they're done blocking, they get seamed into the final afghan. The seaming was a Battle Royale - I did my first three following the Principles of Sewing, which in this case, is WRONG. You can't line up the ridges to their mirror end - these pieces fit together like a puzzle! So where there's an outward curve, you must line it up with an inward curve. I'm sure this information is in the directions/pattern? I realized this morning I didn't bother to look at it again. So I ripped those two seams out. I was using a tapestry needle & trying various stitches - whip stitch and semi-mattress stitch - neither made me happy. Since I'm a pretty speedy slip-stitch crocheter, I tried that out. That looked a bit better, though given the nature of the pattern & the yarn, you will still see the dark purple Cascade peeking through. It's not like I've got a lot of "color concerns" going on, using all these different colors!

Once I got going on seaming, I couldn't stop. Here's the finished pile of three-block strips:

Riotous Pile of Knitting

Notes Thus Far & What I'd Do Differently:
-I needed two extra skeins of Noro to finish the afghan; it might be a function of me being a looser knitter.
-There's been discussion about doing the afghan in panels, not blocks - I think it would work, and obviously would cut down on the amount of time needed to seam. (Though you'd need a bigger space for blocking.) I think you'd want to plan out your color choices a little more if you did it this way.
-I'm still wrestling with the idea of putting a border on this. If I do a border, I fear it will require crocheting, which I'm not a fan of.
-Also wrestling with putting on a backing - possibly wool felt? A backing will require some sort of quilting - I was thinking maybe 6 buttons, placed in the center of each four-square. I'm not sure if I'll just whip-stitch it to the backing? There's a lot to figure out if I go the backing route.... or at least I need to get those kids back out of the attic......
posted by PlazaJen, 9:19 AM | link |

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Funniest News Story Ever

The local CBS station just ran a story about a guy who broke into a local sub shop up north, went into the basement - and ate a bunch of raw cookie dough. And then passed out. They found him in that (presumably sated) state - wearing only a t-shirt. I've been desperately trying to find the link to the whole story, but it's not up anywhere yet.

Let's go out on a limb & hazard a guess: Stoner dude?
posted by PlazaJen, 10:19 PM | link |

Friday, October 27, 2006

We All Fall Down.

I took a bunch of pictures the other day on my drive home - nothing earth-shattering, but I wanted to capture some of the fall colors that line my commute on Ward Parkway. There's a tree by McGonigal's Meat Market that's been particularly spectacular. Even though it's blurry, I like it - because everything does go by quickly. Time, the seasons, life experiences, fall leaves... and with the rains and wind this week, there won't be much left on the trees and we'll be in Winter weather mode before we know it.

Speeding by

Even now, I look back on April, May and June of this year and think, "It went so fast. He went so fast." I make my choices differently, now. I see things differently. Time is a limited commodity, and it's precious. I don't have time or patience for things, people, situations that sap my energy or my time. Our leaves are only on the tree a short time.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:28 AM | link |

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lordy. Thank Heavens It's Wednesday.

We just got back from one of the funniest, strangest, chaotic rep lunches to date. I can't even describe it, but the three of us (agency side) were in top form with our random topics of discussion and it led to some very funny conversations. Our IT person here wants to get a channel on XM and broadcast us for profit. (Of course, we'd have to be on XM so as to not get fined by the FCC every hour for the swearing.) And yes, this is the same IT person who left the seminary, so we just thank all of the deities that he finds us amusing, rather than offensive. In any event, just like lunch, today's blog is a complete randomizer.....

-I need to put my license plates on my car, and I'm thinking about getting the frame/cover that you put over it, just to make it that much harder for someone to steal my tags. Not that cutting each tag into 16 smaller pieces with a box cutter isn't enough of a deterrent. (By the way, it's Bring Your Box Cutter To Work Day. Did you participate?)

-My hair FEELS good today, however, it doesn't look very good today. I don't know what's going on, and I guess I'll just be grateful I don't sit in front of a mirror.

-I am alternating between being as frozen as a popsicle and burning up. Either the HVAC is incredibly inconsistent, or I'm going through menopause about ten years early. Or I'm coming down with bird flu. I hear the threat is back. Anything to swing the elections, hm, fearmongers?

-OH! YEAH! Speaking of elections, here's the conversation my husband and I had last night.
"Did you steal the sign out their yard? That sign?"
"Did you? It's been gone for about a week."
"NO, James, I did NOT steal the signs."
"You can tell me, you know. I can't testify against you. It's the 5th amendment."
"It is NOT the 5th amendment, that's YOUR right not to incriminate yourself. That thing's not an amendment. And NO! I did not steal it!"
"Well, you can tell me if you did."

FOR THE RECORD. As much as I detested the signs (anti-stem-cell research, anti-abortion), I never took them. I fantasized about it, I envisioned running over the signs with my car, but it was a delightful afternoon when I drove home and saw they were gone.

And that, my friends, is your Wednesday Randomizer, a little peek into the maelstrom that is the inner-workings and pathways of my brain! You may return to your work (Ok, internet surfing.)
posted by PlazaJen, 1:19 PM | link |

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Squeaky Barky Bitey

All I've done today is bitch. Bitch, bitch, bitch. Some of it was work-related, most of it has been related to the burglary, and the fact that three months later, someone is writing checks on our closed account. GOOD FUCKIN' TIMES.

Yesterday afternoon, a little collection notice showed up, claiming we'd written a check for some Pizza Hut back in early October and that the check had been returned. Duh. The only time in my LIFE I've spent around $61 on pizza is when I moved. Apparently our little idiot friends who tried to pay their $1600 light bill ordered their bitch asses some Stuffed Crust Monster New York Bitch Ass Hand-Tossed to celebrate. I fucking hate these people so much, all I want to do is slap them. SLAPPITY SLAP. God, it would feel good. And maybe make them do manual labor. And take several things from them that they really like. Maybe then the universe would balance out.

In any event, it fueled a new set of Rage Pistons inside. I called the police again, and was more than a little disgruntled to have to leave a voicemail. And then was appalled with myself for the message I left, because I? DID NOT STOP WHINING. I couldn't. I just went ON and ON and ON and the hardships and the inconvenience and the lack of action and the questioning of how much longer do I have to endure this whack ass situation?

And when I hung up, anyone in my vicinity heard me mutter, "Mother FUCK the po-lice." Because if you want to get something done, it's good to quote Dr.Dre around the po-po.

Well, they called me back, at least the front desk lady did, and she tried to tell me it had gone to fraud. UH-NUH-UH, lady. I've officially hit Terrier Mode on this, and I am not letting up, because if I do, my head will explode off my body, and I'd prefer that not to happen. So she goes off and thirty minutes later, a Sergeant calls me back. He's apparently new, and that seems to be the saving grace. He used to work in fraud. He sees these latest developments as LEADS and is actually pushing to get something done. Making calls himself. Holy shit. I become a completely different person in the space of 60 seconds. I even brought up the cell phone package they tried to buy when this first happened. He has no knowledge of this, nothing in the file - despite the fact I went over ALL of it with a detective. Let me interrupt myself to tell you one solid thing: GET NAMES. I document like a muthah, but I did not have everyone's name written down, and that's crucial. There's no accountability without it. And you know what he said? "It's no problem to get a subpoena, I can do that in no time at all." OH MAH GOD. I was torn between gnashing my teeth in a fit for the lost time, and kissing him, because this has been all on me to push, to prod, with limited power, all this time and finally, someone's doing something. ANYthing. He gave me his fax number and I sent over all that information as well. Jesus.

So then we went to lunch, at Chili's, and were seated next to eight policemen. It was all I could do not to take them all down (unrelated, recall my deep-seated fear around police officers that I will lose control and try to take their guns.) Kristin offered herself up to be wounded so she could go home for the day. She's selfless, really. And then they gave me the wrong dressing again, or now they've changed the recipe, because it's no longer Honey Lime, it's Honey Lime Mustard That You Hate And It's All A Vast Conspiracy To Make You Crazy. However, this time, the waitress did not argue with me and we found a reasonable solution (Balsamic Vinaigrette! It's tasty!) and I did not have the hatred displaced errantly in her direction.

Now I'm just looking for other things to take on, as long as I'm in this mode. I'm like Joan of Arc, crusading through, except now that I think about it, things didn't really end well for Joan, so I might need to re-think my role as a Vanquisher of Evil and Terrier Proponent For Justice. Maybe I'll get some Thai food for dinner. Red Curry Beef: soothing the savage beast.
posted by PlazaJen, 2:28 PM | link |

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bu-Reauc-Ra-Cy! Workin’! Fo’! Me!

I took today off because I had to get license plates for my new car. That in of itself wouldn’t make you think “Uh, yeah! Whole vacation day! Who’s Lazy?!” – but this was one of those sequential things, like when you give a mouse a cookie. (Mmm, ok, let’s not talk about mice.) Anyway, I needed to get plates. As long as I’ve made the trek there, I should update my driver’s license and have my current address on it. I thought this would take the same requirements as renewing, so I perused the website and discovered I would need seventeen different pieces of paper proving my existence in the universe and my place of residence – one of which was my social security card.

Which, of course, was stolen in the burglary. So, now we back that thing up (call me Big Daddy) and put a trip to the Social Security office in front of the DMV. I thought about wrapping myself in red tape last night, just to mentally prepare. Let me just say that the DMV part of this excursion was a cakewalk. Though I did realize I’d forgotten my insurance card in the car, and on my way back to the DMV, I did speedwalk so I’d get in front of a very frail old lady who looked like she was going in to renew her license so she could drive to the cemetery and die. There wasn’t too much waiting, but enough for me to notice the fact the staff at Ye Olde DMV is getting into the Halloween spirit. They have giant monsters and skeletons (like, people-sized and three-dimensional) and the eyes light up and sing. Sort of like Billy Bass on a whole new level. And yellow caution tape draped all over the posts and dividers that corral you into line. That’s not what I expected. AT all.

Speaking of things you don’t expect, nor did I expect to have my purse searched by an armed security guard at the Social Security office. Thankfully, I did not have to remove my shoes, because it’s freezing here and the floor was tile. The actual process to get a new card was straightforward, and I didn’t have to wait too long, but long enough to see another armed guard stroll through, who later wished me a nice day in the parking lot – not that I could park there, because all the spaces were full. The whole armed-guard thing, juxtaposed with the mostly-elderly clientele, was the weirdest part of the whole morning. I marvel at my own naïveté sometimes. As I was driving off, I couldn’t believe I said it out loud, but I muttered, “Freedom isn’t free, is it Jennifer?” And I answered myself with, “It’s not the same kind of freedom anymore, is it?”
posted by PlazaJen, 1:44 PM | link |

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lizard Ridge Mania!

So, I've been cranking over the past couple of weeks, and have two more sets of photos - 12 more blocks - to show for the freneticism! (Is that even a word? It oughta be.)

Lizard Ridge Blocks, Set #2

Lizard Ridge Blocks, Set #3

Since these photos were taken, I have one more block completed, and another on the needles - five total blocks left to finish! Woohoo!

I'm holding off on sewing any together yet, because I want to get alllll my blocks done and then arrange them so there's some degree of color balance. As for finishing, I'm planning to seam three together in a strip, then block the strips, then do the side seams. I've been weaving in the ends with each block when I'm done, so as to not have a Knitter's Finishing Nightmare waiting for me - which of course would stand in the way of me actually completing it!

I also find my mind wandering to some sort of backing for the afghan. I'm not sure what that would be - a soft wool panel, perhaps? But then I'd have to do some degree of quilting/spot-tie panels, and that might be evolving the project to far beyond where it needs to go.

After all, I have more yarn just screeching to be knit!
posted by PlazaJen, 12:32 PM | link |

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Me & You & a 2x2

Ack. It's been A Morning already. Suzy's barking woke me up, and I let her outside; I didn't go with her, because it's freakin' cold and raining. As I'm standing by the back door, I hear, "SQUEAK! SQUEEAK!" coming from the breezeway..... the preferred Mouse Habitat, apparently. Oh lordy. And that's what she was barking at, I believe. I thought I heard scuffling last night, but there was nothing in the glue traps. Things change overnight.

I won't go into great detail, however, you can imagine that I was wishing mightily that the JWo was home! I wrestled in my head through all my options, but in the end, I needed to quickly and humanely dispatch said mouse, and honestly, I just don't have a future in vermin control. Let's just say I was also wishing I had threaded my robe tie at this point. But no, it was still in the laundry basket and I was relying on arm pressure to keep it shut. Half-naked mouse bashing on the front step is probably someone's idea of a sexy good time, and yes, I'm trying to bring sexy back, but for me, this does not work.

I'm going shopping. It's the only good antidote I can think of right now to turn this day around!
posted by PlazaJen, 9:24 AM | link |

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Finding The Poultice

Long-term readers know my youthful obsession with All Things Pioneer, my desire to wear a bonnet; I often drifted off to sleep, imagining myself in the back of the covered wagon, off on another adventure. I must have read a lot of period pieces right around the same time I owned every Holly Hobby doll to have such a confluence of old-timey goodness influencing my youthful psyche. Everyone should just be grateful I didn't sustain my love affair with calico.

One of the things I remember reading about, and thus wanted to have one myself, was a mustard poultice. I don't even like mustard, really, and the descriptions of having a mustard poultice applied were never glamorous - people writhed in pain - but hey. This is the same girl who wanted the mumps.

I seem to find myself doing most of my grieving for my father in the car, on the way to work. Whether it's a particular song that triggers memories, or just feeling like I have a 15-minute capsule, that has a definite closure (because as understanding as they are, I doubt my boss would get on-board with the All-Crying, All-Day-Long plan for work.) During this time, I think about how this pain feels, how I would describe it, what makes it different each time, why it only hurts sometimes yet is inexplicably, always there. What will fix it? What would ease it? And my ever-wandering mind ran right over and pulled the bonnets off the pile and held up "poultice".

This sadness, this pain, it feels like another layer was inserted into the existing layers of my epidermis. A bruised, blue-black-orange layer that pools and slides and can be as thin as paper or as thick as a brick. And a poultice is a hot mixture that is spread on the skin, opening the pores and drawing the illness out and smothering it in its own mass. To the best of my knowledge, there is no poultice for grief. I spoke with my therapist about my sadness, and told him that (a while back) a very caring person suggested I should increase my medication, talk to my doctor, if the crying and whatnot continued. I told him I felt myself resisting it, just the idea of trying to mask these emotions made me envision my heels digging in. It's not that I enjoy how I feel; I just think it would only delay me "getting through". Even though intellectually, I know, there isn't a point where you get to be rid of this pain, ever. It gets easier, it doesn't haunt or pierce or feel like a kick in the stomach; at least that's the general consensus from those who've carried their pain longer. I trust them. And I'm not debilitated by my grief - I go to work, I function, I even laugh hysterically at Bubb Rubb and his whistletip interview.

I still cry fiercely and hard when I realize how fast everything happened, when I see the fall colors my father so desperately wanted to live to see, when the sharp hard truth that he is dead cuts through the jumble and flotsam of everyday life. And when those tears fall, and I feel the huge sadness under my skin, I wish for a poultice, to pull some of it out of me, so it won't hurt quite so badly, it will make the soul-sucking pain end a little sooner. Time, time time. The universal healer. Oddly enough, the song that has made me cry every time I've heard it? Time After Time. Just the line, "If you're lost, you can look, and you will find me". Because I know, if I look hard enough, even in the recesses of my mind, he is there. Probably putting mustard on a brat, just to make fun of me. But he'd like that the word "poultice" is still in my vocabulary.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:41 PM | link |

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Am the John Henry of Social Suppers

The whole point of Social Suppers is to socialize with friends while you assemble 8 or 12 meals. Well, it's sort of a selling point. The main point of it is that you go in to a big kitchen area and they have all the ingredients chopped and prepared and set out, and you assemble meals by following the recipes, and when you're done you have a freezer full of meals that are ultimately cheaper than going out to eat. Not necessarily cheaper than going to the grocery store & doing all the chopping and preparation yourself - but show me the weekend in my life where I've created 12 meals in 2 hours, bagged them, put cooking instructions on them and put them in the freezer. Nope. Plus you can try different things you might never make on your own, like "savory chicken enchiladas in pumpkin sauce".

One thing about my personality is that it's not consistent with one categorization. I'm not anal, I'm not organized, but man, I'd have made one hell of a factory worker. Put recipes in front of me with directions on how to do things? And I turn into a machine, unable to have much of a conversation, solely focused on the task at hand. Projects like that to me are things to GET DONE. Get 'er done. Crank the handle, turn that mothah out. So I found myself not responding to my friends when they tried to talk to me, and I completely missed the duet my friend Beth was trying to sing with me - "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart, she was Elton John and I, apparently, a drug-addled Kiki Dee, unaware that we were even onstage. I was FOCUSED, people.

But, the good news is that we have lots of fun recipes to try, the quality of the ingredients was great - we'd tried a dish from their open house & were impressed with the meat quality. And even though everything still requires preparation, it will take some of the "what's for dinner?" mystery out of our lives. So if we're happy with it, I'm sure I'll do it again, and maybe this time? I'll have a glass of wine and try to suppress a little of that inner-John Henry and his recipe-making hammer.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:13 AM | link |

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Whistle Tips with Bub Rub

This is quite possibly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I especially like the wrong-side-of-the-road driving and the running of a stop sign. Apparently, this has been around forever & I'm behind the times.
posted by PlazaJen, 4:38 PM | link |

So, Yes, You Are Familiar, No?

And by that I mean, Familiar With The Craziness That Can Be ME. For right now, I think I shall dash out of my office, into the street, and begin pounding on the motherfucking cherry picker that is in front of our building doing the "working" and more importantly, making the non-stop beeping sound that is inciting the MADNESS. Oh My God. Every time the fucking thing moves, it beeps. And it's that "Hi I am a truck backing up over you NOW" beeping sound, however, I do not understand the point with the beeping feature on a no-good fucking cherry picker. Perhaps it is so if you are walking under it (which I did), you look up and make sure it is not coming down directly on your head, despite that being more the responsibility of the dude IN the cherry picker.

And it's not like you can MISS the fucking thing, all parked up on the sidewalk and surrounded by cones and then a big tarp and yellow tape and shit all over the place, but god DAMN you sure can HEAR it, even inside, through the walls, as it BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEPS along through the afternoon.

It makes me miss the drilling. And explosions. I'm ready to go home.
posted by PlazaJen, 2:07 PM | link |

Monday, October 16, 2006

Mondays Are For Bitching

Well! This morning, I had a huge list of things to blog about, bitch about and in general just match my mood to the weather today (gloomy, humid, mist-raining, send-you-back-to-bed kinda weather). However. I'm just not that much of a hatah. I'm actually in a pretty good mood, though that might have everything to do with the Philly sushi rolls I just ate. Mmmmm. There's precious little our friend cream cheese can't fix. Or our friends bacon and butter.

But I digress. On Saturday, I was a Baby Hatah, according to my husband. I woke up, hair sticking out from every angle towards every point in the sky, and plodded into the living room, where he had the news on. Moments later, the big story about the family who had quintuplets came on, and apparently was the missing flint for my match to set my hair on fire.

Now, I don't care if you use AI or any other great scientific discovery to help yourself have a baby. But I do think five kids is pushing it. They will be in the hospital for who-knows how long, how on earth you pay for the diapers and food and clothes and Oh, my god, I'm doing it again. I judge! I do! Ack! I'm just set to the "rant" gear today! I already ranted this morning with co-workers. OK! Let's talk about hair-pulling and the NFL. LOL!

And, we were/are a household that has mice. The change in temperature sent them seeking warmer climes, and they picked our house for the first time since we've been there. I think (and am fervently hoping) that we got 'em all, but it made me wish our dogs were better mousers, that's for sure. James is going hunting this weekend, and I don't know what I'll do if we catch any more in his absence. Nothing like getting in touch with your inner killer with a mouse and a 2x2, I suppose. Eeesh.

Let's see. Heaven forbid I run out of things to complain about......

Actually, I think that might be about it. OH no, never mind. The police, who are doing nothing (or at least not updating me) - because indeed, someone tried to pay their electric bill with our checking information (and who has a $1600 electric bill, I ask you? Probably people with quintuplets! Or hair-pullers! Or people with a mouse problem!) And Prison Break still isn't on. Fucking baseball. They need to pull some hair, boost the ratings.

OK, I'm going to go grumble about something else, away from the keyboard for a while. Don't worry. I'll be back.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:06 PM | link |

Friday, October 13, 2006

It Could Be A Slippery Slope

I don't think I'm overly OCD; that said, I've noticed over the past 6 months or so an increased need and delight in washing my hands. Not over and over, until the skin falls away, that to me would indicate a PROBLEM. But just enough that if I can't wash my hands, or I have to delay washing them? I'm not comfortable, there's a heightened anxiety of a sort, and I start trying to figure out at what point I will get access to soap and water.

And I would assert most of this is pretty normal. Or at least that's what I tell myself so I don't get carted away by the men in white jackets.

Clean hands are happy hands!
posted by PlazaJen, 1:39 PM | link |

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Because That's How I Roll....

So, I got quite a few inquiries yesterday when people saw a new car parked in my spot in the garage. Mostly because it was a Mercedes, and not the Murano.

Mimi got her new dashboard installed, and let's just do a fervent hand-clapping YAY about that! And I was even happier that they got it done in a day. I made the dealership get me a rental car (slowly eating away at that profit they made from me), and kudos to Enterprise for the savviest upsell tactics, ever. The girl drove over and picked me up (just like in the commercials) and when I got in, surprised it was a Mercedes, she said, "I know the dealer is covering the base price on the rental, but for $10 more you can have this car for the day." Now, since they'd originally told me I'd be in a Chevy Impala, I ask you, dear reader, what you would do? It certainly wouldn't come as a shock to you, anyway, that I said, "Oh! Of course!" Well, let me tell you, it was the C-280, and it just wasn't as comfortable as the Murano (even though they're priced the same. And the Mercedes requires premium fuel.) I spent the entire drive to work mucking with the seat position, steering wheel position and desperately trying to change the radio station from the bubblegum pop she'd turned on.
However, it was still kinda fun. It was definitely responsive, more so than LaFonda or Mimi, and the handling was tight, so I was tempted to do some Super! Aggressive! Maneuvers! (calm down, JWo) but I didn't, mostly because I just wanted to get Mimi BACK as soon as possible.

I'm sorry. I've gotten distracted by "Work". I had to paste someone's picture on the Blink-182 album "Enema of the State" because another co-worker sent out an email she'd be doing cavity checks due to the donuts & brownies she brought in - and I'm sorry, you can't send out "cavity checks" to the whole office and not get a response from ME, and then I got a prank phone call for a bajillion reams of salmon three-hole punched paper and I TOTALLY fell for it. You can send one (not to me, please) here, and it was damn funny. I was PISSED, like, why in the hell am I getting this call and why isn't he letting me interrupt so I can transfer this to the office manager?

Karma, man. I tell ya, it's the real deal!
posted by PlazaJen, 11:10 AM | link |

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quite Possibly The Funniest Thing All Weekend.

This isn't the first time he's done it? But it was the first time I had a camera handy, and so we had a little amusement with the built-in rear-view camera on Mimi Murano. Personally, I think you've got to turn and look & I don't really rely on the camera - except as a double-check - especially in the garage at work, where there are many Perilous Poles and a co-worker scraped his brand new car a week after he got it.

So I think it's pretty damn funny that the Wo jumped in and started making faces. The first time he danced & pulled his shirt up; suffice it to say that left to our own devices, we make just about everything into a comedy show.

posted by PlazaJen, 6:10 AM | link |

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Binocular Anus"

Sometimes the spam subject lines just have to make you laugh. I can't imagine what random word-generator paired those two things together, and honestly, if your ass can admit a pair of binoculars, then you, my friend, might have what we call a "problem". But the Mexican drug cartel sure would be happy to know ya!

I got the bank account OFFICIALLY closed this morning, the overdraft charges reversed & we don't owe anybody money; I'm still going to have to follow up with the electric company to determine if the charge was made to an account (and then subsequently follow-up with the po-po) or if it was just a stupid (large) error on their part. I'm honestly hoping for the latter, though the terrier inside me kind of perked up its ears at the idea we could have another lead on the burglary case.

And, the weather continues to cool down, for which I'm grateful & it helps my mood. The leaves are turning - I plan to get some pictures one of these mornings, or even over the lunch hour, because the Ward Parkway commute is just lovely with all the trees beginning to change their hues. On the knitting front, I've churned out 4 more Lizard Ridge blocks, and my hands are starting to squeak a little at me. I'm also getting geared up to knit myself a sweater - not sure which one I want to make, probably a Harry Potter sweater with a big "J" on the front...(bought the yarn last year!). I think I'm officially nesting in for Winter!

Oh, and we named the car - Mimi. Mimi Murano. And her new dashboard gets replaced tomorrow, and order will be restored to the universe. Apparently I think I'm in some sort of Murano club, as I wave at other people driving them, because I believe they, too, must be as excited as I to be in one. I don't get out much.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:32 AM | link |

Monday, October 09, 2006

Grouch Potato

Well, I'm struggling to stay in a decent mood - it really is counterproductive to be such a control freak, and I can intellectually recognize how the behavior doesn't help - but change, oh my, it is so hard.

Last Friday, either the burglars tried to pay off their electric bill using our old checking account - OR - the electric company made an enormous error, but regardless, it's still a problem, because the bank didn't properly close the old account & they think we're in the hole for over $1,600. It's extra joyous that today's a stupid holiday and everyone's closed, so there are no answers to be gleaned. I know I will get it straightened out, and we will be fine, but it doesn't stop my stomach from doing the flippada and churning up some extra acid. I hate that I've always been like this, too. Such a worrywart.

The other part of it is, if it was burglary-related, it means I have to pick up my battle axe and go head-to-head with the (very unresponsive) police department again, because hello - they weren't trying to pay for electricity to their moving mobile home, they had to have tried to put it towards an account number, so this would be a pretty good lead. You just have to wonder who has an electric bill of $1,607, and you also have to wonder how fucking stupid someone has to be to think a) I'm not going to notice a debited amount that size or b) someone won't come knocking on your door with the LIGHTS on inside because you paid for the LIGHTS with someone else's money.

I once asked my aunt why she thought I was so worry-centric, and she said that maybe long ago, my ancestors stopped to worry if there was a saber-toothed tiger behind that rock, as part of their self-preservation. Apparently for one of my ancestors, there was a very large tiger, and possibly some wolverine-esque animals that went for her ankles. Thanks, She-Rah. It's just the DNA gift that keeps on giving.

So, let's talk about tv instead. (Distract! Shiny things! Jingle, jingle!) Here's my take on (some of) what I'm watching, sound-byte style. Prison Break's on hiatus. People, I don't care about baseball anymore, and this is a huge inconvenience. Vanished - I hope I remember all the intricacies and conspiracies in three weeks. CSI My Jammies: I can do without the hi-def closeups on David Caruso's face. EEK! What is up with Smith getting yanked? CBS! Please! ACK! Lost - could that get any weirder? I suppose green men could fall from the sky. Desperate Housewives is getting tedious. Let's ramp it up. Survivor: better pick up the pace - last week was boring, but at least the castaway was something of a surprise. I hate that Parvo chick. (Yes I know it's not her name exactly, but I dislike her, so she shall be known to me as the dog disease.) Grey's Anatomy - such a soap. Is it wrong I don't want Meredith to have either guy? CSI - we're hosed because last week's episode stopped recording, ten minutes before the show ended. YouTube, I need your help! Law & Order (pick any of 'em) - you're my old comfy shoes, my friend. Don't ever change. However, I'm not used to the new faces yet. So give me some time.

Sigh. All the cancellations & haituses - well, I guess this means we can get caught up on The Wire! Gotta love the ol' iControl. I'll just sit down with the remote - and a bottle of Mylanta. And hope the power doesn't go out.....
posted by PlazaJen, 2:09 PM | link |

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Great Show

Well, if you like Cyndi Lauper & ever have the chance to see her perform, jump at it. She put on one hell of a show last night, and the night would have been PERFECT had we not had the rudest girl in the world in front of us. Not so confidential to the bitch in seat J-18: YOU SUCK. There's a reason you had an awesome view of the show - everyone else was SITTING DOWN. Oh, and nobody really wanted to crane their head around your stupid-ass interpretive dancing. (and folks, two security people asked her repeatedly to be respectful & she refused.) All I can say is, Karma is a Bitch. Because this particularly rude girl apparently lost something in her dancing & running around to other seats - and I hope it was really, really important and she didn't find it. She disappeared towards the end of the show, and perhaps she was trampled. Sigh. A girl can dream.

But enough about her, she was just the gnat in the air on a gorgeous summer's evening. That Cyndi can SING, and she did some crazy improv jamming in her encore, proving herself to be far more a musician than the entertainer she always has been. And, despite the rudeness situation, the Uptown theater continues to be my favorite place to see shows. We had some really fun, crazy drunk ladies behind us who were ready to do a takedown in the bathroom on this girl, so let's just hope they got home and didn't spend last night in jail. Now the Wo & I are up really early & he's got an ambitious day planned with all sorts of outdoorsey work. Me? I'm gonna restore a little order, do some laundry, and then attack the DVR, before it starts deleting shows on me. I have a lot of tv-catch-up to do, and that means KNITTING. And possibly Thai food. Mmmm, I love weekends! Enjoy yours!
posted by PlazaJen, 7:31 AM | link |

Friday, October 06, 2006

Multi-Purpose Posting

I have about six things in my head - half of which are angry & irritable, so don't you want to come sit next to ME for a spell, especially if I have a knife handy? Mmm-hm, I didn't think so. So rather than go too deeply into those things, it's been a rough week, let me give you a couple quick updates with the added benefit of PEECTURES. Doesn't everyone love photos?

The new car:



I especially liked the first one because it's almost stealthy, the way it's reflecting the greenery around it. Like "Predator". Only no dreads, and no icky face. I'm still bantering names around in my head - Shanny, "Alyssa" was funny, if only I liked the actress, it would be perfect. I've considered "Mia", "Minnie", "Machuko" and "Bertha the Blue Murano", in honor of my Great-Aunt Bert. She was -let's be kind - a rugged-looking woman, as manly as her name, but she wore dresses & hats and my father's memory of her was mostly her fur coat that he would press his face into & smell her perfume & feel the softness of the fur on his skin. So it might have to be Bertha/Bertie, even though that name has no jive with "Murano".

Then - and Lizzie-Lou, are you still reading me? I call these pictures, "Here, Lizard, Lizard, Lizard...."



These are squares that will eventually be sewn together to create Lizard Ridge, a wonderful Noro afghan from the latest Knitty. You can see there's a choice - do all one color, or mix it up. Well, go figure, I am using 21 different skeins.... because I CAN! And I love the process, and the finished result will be crazy gorgeous. I need to go join one (or both!) of the knit-alongs that's happening so I can see how other knitters are doing.

This weekend's already going to fly by - tonight we're going to Cyndi Lauper (tickets exchanged from the Depeche Mode debacle), and Sunday is Ren Fest, which is geeky, but I do love the setting & the food & holding hands in the sunshine with my sweetie, which just the thought of is enough to push some of my sadness & anger to the side. Bless the Wo for his True Colors, which are as vivid as Noro knitting, and for loving me so....
posted by PlazaJen, 12:10 PM | link |

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Wasn't Called "Princess" For Nuthin'....

So, the new Murano is excellent, I love it, and once I could finally relax enough to not white-knuckle grip the wheel and stare straight ahead, I noticed a blemish on the dashboard. It irked me, and on closer inspection seemed to be just that: a blemish. So I toodled in to the dealership this morning,and they are ordering a new dashboard for me, as they were unable to solvent-it away. I felt relief, because I was gearing myself up for a Battle Royale - hello, the car has 150 miles on it, I barely drink coffee in it, why would I be digging in to the dashboard in Week One & rubbing schmutzig over it? (That's like, an activity for Week #149.) The funny thing is that if we'd bought this car used, I would get over it, or, as a friend suggested, knit a dashboard cozy & cover it up, but the whole point of "new" is that you pay the price for something unblemished and as close to perfection that you can get.

As I drove away I felt very much like the Princess & the Pea.... but hey. It was about getting what I wanted - but it was more about right v. wrong & Truth, Justice & the Jennifer Way.

In a semi-related note, the '06 model has the capacity to play MP3 CDs, which is awesome. I put in a mix CD yesterday, and was a little perplexed that it didn't show any song/artist information, but I just decided to go with the flow & be surprised. Today, perhaps bolstered by my victory, I looked down and saw a button marked "Display". When you push that button? All the music information is displayed. I know! How crazy is that coincidence? In any event, as I wrote the Wo, it was like Christmas morning, complete with a squeal of joy. After all, I knew I was bringing Sexy Back, but it was good to have it in black & white on the screen.....
posted by PlazaJen, 10:56 AM | link |

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

See Ya In The Funny Papers.....

Don't worry. Even though the parallel to my own mother is right there, I laughed. With maybe a wee bit o' the wince, but I still choose laughter. And it's Wednesday! Halfway there. And, I'm feeling loads more comfortable behind the wheel of the new car. Now I'm focusing on not making the mistake I made four years ago in LaFonda right after I got 'er: Speeding Ticket. It's very easy to catch myself going fast because the ride's so smooth, and being up higher & in a bigger vehicle disguises your speed a lot more. I'm sure that'll be a great explanation to the muthafuckin' motorcycle cop. I can only hope for the Hot Cop of Prairie Village. (He drives a cop car. And he's smokin'. Hmmm. Maybe I DO need to speed through there.... heh.....)
posted by PlazaJen, 8:54 AM | link |

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Short Week But The Saddle Still Makes Me Sore.

So, yes. I'm back at work & muttering & puttering and taking care of things & extremely grateful I took the time last Thursday to CLEAN my desk off. Because that could have proved to be the tipping point, you know? So far it's a rather herky-jerky hodge-podge kind of day, like I arrived too late at the ranch and they gave me Hooter, the Angry Mare, and Hooter is going to decide completely the pace at which we ride.

Meetings that were supposed to happen haven't - and nobody bothered to tell me. So I get to do the aimless wandering-around with a blank look and eyebrows-raised face until I find someone to tell me what is going on. Other meetings are not starting on time and I have to ask to be told (aka, "GRAB ME please!") when they will start, otherwise they will just start without me. These sorts of Business Nuances (BN)(tm) are the stuff that make my head sit lower on my neck, like a linebacker preparing to dig in and do some damage.

Or, perhaps, someone about to be thrown from Hooter. The countdown to Friday begins....
posted by PlazaJen, 11:55 AM | link |

Monday, October 02, 2006

800 Miles, 58 Hours, 6 Knitters, 5 Yarn Shops, 1 Fabulous Wedding.

OK! So we're back, safe and sound, due to our trusty driver Kyra, who pretty much drove the whole way. Beth was our local tour guide, since she is from the Quad Cities, and we hit the great local establishments under her guidance - Happy Joe's Pizza for lunch on Saturday, and Whitey's for shakes on Sunday morning. Yes. I said shakes on Sunday morning. Pumpkin shakes with Reese's peanut butter cups. You try telling me it's not for breakfast, because you are WRONG. Oh, yes, and it's certainly a one-eyebrow raised kinda name, but once you have a pumpkin shake in your face, you could care less if it sounds like it was made by the KKK.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning, Friday morning. Here was our trusty transportation:

Kyra decorated our rented Kia Sedona with some festive magnets from Patternworks. (People, I can only do so many text links in one post, bear with me.) Basically our 6-hour trip took 12 hours on Friday, because we went to three yarn shops in Des Moines - Creative Corner, Donna's Creations and theVillage Knit Wit(my favorite of the shops) - and then the Tanger Outlet Mall in Williamsburg, and we ate at the Amana Colonies in what can only be described as a blend between surreal and the Twilight Zone. I forget how much perm solution is consumed in my home state. No offense to those who do, because perms can be very helpful, however some people take it to a level it should never go. Our waitress was in a very interesting get-up, involving ruffles and layers and polyester, and her counter-suggestion for Dr.Pepper was Mountain Dew, and somehow that just clinched the oddness of the whole experience. But the sauerkraut was awesome, and the food was hearty, and it made me really long for the Rheinland Restaurant in Independence MO. Spaetzle..... Mmmmm... and it's across from a yarn shop...... I DIGRESS!

So we got in to our hotel, and my Sleep Number bed worked...on one side. The other side had a broken pump, so I had this unbearable ridge halfway down the bed. The front desk sent up Vern, who was very sweet & offered to change the pump, it would only take ten minutes, but the broken a/c was another story, that would take over and hour & a half. So we moved rooms at 10:15 pm (FUN!) and continued to mess with the sleep number beds. I hate them. There you go! It's always good to rule out something you thought at one point you might want to buy!

Saturday morning we headed out to the Yarn Shoppe, where we all found something we "needed". Everyone at the store was lovely and helpful and if you find yourself in the area, find them. They were great! Then we had taco pizza for lunch, went back to the hotel & prepared for the wedding.

The ceremony was lovely, I cried (of course) and took lots of pictures. I'll get them uploaded to Flickr in the next day or so. This is my favorite picture of the just-happily married couple:

Then, it was off to the reception, and we all had our knitting - because we know how to party! Actually, it was great because we were early, and it helped pass some time and the other guests pretty much instantly knew who we were. Each of the tables had a different cake, which was fun - ours was red velvet. I'll give you a picture of the bride & groom's table (butter pecan), and eagle-eyed readers will spot the same decorative tulle from the bridal shower, which made all of us go "Awwww", because it was like a little piece of our dear friend Jo Ann was there at the party (she was unable to go because she was on vacation in France. We understood her not changing those plans.)

Despite having had several glasses of wine, our table allowed me to cut the cake. I was relieved to hear, later, that other people had the same issues transferring the cake in one cohesive piece to a plate. It all tasted excellent, and that's what mattered the most! Perhaps if I had been industrious enough to stand up to do it....

The other notables from the party: Tamar & I are having a commitment ceremony to each other, the song will be "Dykes in White Satin", it will be called "Brokeback Knit Night" and honestly, to try to capture all the funny moments would detract from the overall point of this blog post. :) We had a lot of fun, needless to say, and I'm just going to apologize right now for the fact I'm pretty sure I'm on the official video dropping a very loud F-bomb. God, you just can't take me anywhere.

Sunday was our drive back, and we were able to shave some time off our previous record - at least three hours - and we also stopped at another yarn shop in Des Moines: Purls the Yarn Studio, which is my favorite of all in the area now. We stumbled on the last yarn store in the area, Knitted Together, because it was right by the awesome noodle place we went to for lunch, but alas, they are closed on Sundays. Oh well! I bought some Lopi at Purls and tried to make an entire hat for JWo in the last leg of our journey, because I borrowed everything from Beth, including the pattern, and somehow thought I needed to give everything back when the van pulled in to our driveway. It could explain why typing all this has made me twinge a bit..... I worked on a pair of socks the rest of the trip, and I think it's safe to say we all had a really good time. It was a whirlwind, and I am extremely grateful I have today off - even if it's going to be 90-degrees. Bleah. Fall? Where did you go, good friend?

OH and I made tote bags for everyone on the trip, you remember, the endless stream of pom-pom trim? And they turned out really well. I still need to take a picture of those, and finish the ones for the people who couldn't go. So there will be more wedding/trip/bachelorette-party-related pictures and blog entries to come. In the meantime, I'm jealous of Justin & Kristin's week on a beach in Mexico. But happy for them nonetheless! It was a great weekend.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:10 AM | link |