PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Puzzle Is Jenga.

I am working on an outdoor/billboard campaign for a client, and I'm working with two vendors & two time frames. I am slowly, sometimes rapidly, going insane. I told one of my reps today that it's the equivalent of playing Jenga over and over and over, but every time you take out one single block, the whole damn thing falls down. And when I get input from one vendor, it changes what I need from the other, and honestly, this is the kind of stuff I love, the mental juggling and whatnot, but this has been pretty extreme, and I've had a bunch of OTHER stuff to do in the same amount of time. Plus I'm getting a crown on my tooth tomorrow, and I have The Anxiety.

So, I've had all these awesome things I wanted to blog about, and then I forget them. Poof, right out of my head, leaving a dark hole of memory, like a brick out of a Jenga tower. I appreciate you checking in on me, but I also realize my blog's been about as fun as watching paint dry of late. I have knitting pictures to share, I have foodie pics to share, I still have stuff to SAY! And shout! I did get my invitation to Ravelry, and I immediately snatched it up like fresh sock yarn and clutched it to my chest with great gusto. Then this afternoon, I got invited to the De-stash blog, and so I can only conclude the stars are aligning for me. Which is nice, because if I were going to write myself a retrospective horoscope, I would say, "For the past year, you will have a lot of suckage and unsolvable puzzles and big hard emotional blocks to work with, and they will collapse around you like a Jenga tower, sometimes multiple times a day. The Jenga will sometimes be impossible to balance and you must learn to accept this futility even as you never fully stop trying to solve the puzzle."

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posted by PlazaJen, 4:15 PM | link |

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I had a mini-revelation in the Sun Fresh parking lot: Today? Today, I am letting EVERYTHING GET TO ME!

Bad drivers on the commute in - I yelled at several.
More bad drivers at lunch - scary!
One delivery vehicle in our parking garage - ON CRACK! Or Meth or something equally damaging. Bad news!

Mean bitchy lady at the Sun Fresh who looked me up & down like who was I to put my cart in her same stratosphere: Go directly to hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect Free Parking money. As I got around you, I actually said out loud, "Because you ARE the only one in the store." Not loud enough for her to hear, because frankly, she looked like a person who would run up at you from behind and pull your hair, and honestly, I've had enough hair loss from all the stress & just. don't. need that.

However, I'm also having a good day! I went to Indigo Wild before the Sun Fresh adventure, and had a lovely time. The staff there brings their dogs in to work, and as I was leaving, it was Dogs Outside! Time, and there was a cavalcade of four-legged furballs running around the parking lot. I picked up a couple of gifty-things & then something that's new called "Magic Stick". Of course, now all I hear in the soundtrack of my mind is Fiddy-Cent .... I got the magic stick....(I don't think that song is about a stick, per se, cough, cough.)

OK, that was my quick update. I'm embracing my sensitivity to EVERYTHING (Wo, you've been warned) and I will just put a li'l Magic Stick on anything that bothers me!
posted by PlazaJen, 3:24 PM | link |

Yes, I'm Often Described As Shy.....

I saw this over on the Knitting Cybrarian.... took it & got mixed results!

Your Personality Profile

You are dreamy, peaceful, and young at heart.
Optimistic and caring, you tend to see the best in people.
You tend to be always smiling - and making others smile.

You are shy and intelligent... and a very hard worker.
You're also funny, but many people don't see your funny side.
Your subtle dry humor leaves your close friends in stitches.
The World's Shortest Personality Test

More later.... gotta find some outdoor boards for a client pronto!
posted by PlazaJen, 10:30 AM | link |

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ripped From The Funny Pages......

I have my set of comic strips that I read religiously. Get Fuzzy, & Pearls Before Swine are my top two, and then I pretty much hit the rest of them, reading the ones I like, scanning quickly to avoid even making eye contact with the one strip that will certainly follow me straight to hell where I'll be forced to proofread and catalog the entire collection: Family Circus. Less dangerous, but still quite uninteresting, I don't read the soapy strips - Brenda Starr, Mark Trail, and I'm not much for the same joke over and over, which I deem to be Beetle Bailey or Wizard of Id. I read Dilbert, and it doesn't usually make me laugh, laugh genuinely, not in that wincing OMG my LIFE! sorta way - or at least not the way Bucky or Satchel or Pig & Rat do - except then you get one that reminds you of universal truths in the working world, and I give you today's as proof:

Welcome to Tuesday!
posted by PlazaJen, 2:10 PM | link |

Monday, May 28, 2007

Gnome Peas

James has been picking snow peas like crazy this week...... before I snapped them all for tonight's dinner, I took some pictures. One word: YUM!




posted by PlazaJen, 11:32 AM | link |

Friday, May 25, 2007

Random Happy Orts.....

-Our boss shut the office down at 2:00 today. I heard him, I thought, saying, "Go home, we're closed!" and I started jabbering aloud (which is how we all communicate with each other, and it is why the IT developer wears his headphones frequently) "Did he just say the office is closed? Huh? Did he?" And then he came over and confirmed it, and I think Kristin shrieked a little. I might've even gotten a little RennFesty and Huzzah-ed. Woo hoo! Everybody's workin' fo' the weekend! I got my red bandana on right now.

-I could've stayed & worked like mad, but since that's what I've pretty much been doing all week, it was nice to just chuck the piles & files and tear out to recharge. And wear a red bandana.

-So, speaking of letting go of indignation, and pride comething before the fall and all, I had lunch yesterday with a former co-worker & found out that she'd had some lengthy chats with a person in-the-know about the state of affairs in my old department. And I mean in the KNOW. And she told said person that she never really knew much about the department, but that everything she did know had come from me. Anyone who's read this blog for over two years knows exactly what THAT narration must've sounded like, and I recall many of the conversations my friend referenced involved the phrase "LOONEY TUNES" because my paranoia (justified) and anger (justified, but damaging me) and despair (inevitable) were triggered on a weekly basis. And Person In The Know? Said "She (meaning me) was right on." Sad but true. I think I'd have reveled in the statement a lot more in the wake of leaving - now it's just nice to know I :wasn't: as crazy as they tried to make me feel/seem, and that I have a job I truly enjoy, and work with people who are just as nutty and creative and exuberant as I....

-For the first time in three days, I actually remembered to She Laq my eyebrows on, so I was able to express my joy more....expressively! With raised eyebrows! Like I said, if I don't she-laq 'em, they just fall right off my face. My eyebrows aren't bushy or dense or dark, and they need powder or pencil to really be noticeable. But those things also rub off, and the only fix I've found that works is She Laq. It's spendy stuff, but I pretty much only use it on my brows, and in a year only used half a bottle. (Since I rarely forget to use it, it sees pretty regular usage, too.) I've read reviews of people using it on their eyeshadow & being frustrated by it making their eyelids stick - here's a handy tip: Keep your eye shut after you She Laq the makeup on, and if you have a cold shot button on your hair dryer, use it to help speed up the drying process. THEN, apply a small amount of eyeshadow powder OVER the She Laqued lids, and you won't have the sticky lids. And your eyeshadow will seriously stay on all day & night until you wash it off. I love makeup, can ya tell?

-Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers are on sale at the local Price Chopper, and eagle-eyed shoppers will note the "$1 off seasonal items" coupon on the display. Since the wine coolers are 2 for $5, and you can use two of those $1 coupons, dude, that's like a four pack for $1.50. I don't really frequent the wine coolers, but that was too good of a deal to pass up! However, I have noticed that on the last two visits, the checkers have entered my birthday year as 1910. I am SMOKIN' for 97, let me tell you! I think it's their easy handy-dandy number when they don't need to card you, but still. 97?

-Three! Day! Weekend! I am reveling in the nothingness. Sleep, look out. You are going to be doing some overtime at the NuWo household! Have a safe & happy weekend, wherever you are & whatever you're doing!


posted by PlazaJen, 9:55 PM | link |

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What "IN" Can You Throw Out?

I've had a burgeoning thought the past day or so, and it really clicked together last night before I went to sleep. We (peeps in general) spend an inordinate amount of energy on things - things that aren't worth the energy. Some of this behavior is inevitable. Part of it is simply human nature. Another part of it is our past learning that trains us to respond, react, fret, worry, get angry. I started thinking about the words that I associate with fruitlessly expending time and energy: Insecurity, Intolerance, Indignant, Inferiority, Indecisive, Inconsiderate. There are also a bunch of "In" words that are positive, inspirational, as it were: Insightful, Interesting, Independence, Integrity, Intellectual.

Insecurity is a huge one, and it's not something I think is realistic to say, "Today? I throw away Insecurity." Obviously it can be managed, and that's what I'm talking about - recognizing when some energy-sucking behavior rears its ugly head, and instead of letting it drive the bus, we put it back in its cage. For me, it's Indignant. I spend a :lot: of time being indignant. Hell, half my blog entries about other drivers are derived from righteous indignation. But that's exactly what made it click for me - I had a guy weaving in and out of traffic, cutting me & other drivers off, in general endangering himself and everyone in his path, and instead of screaming at him, I thought, "Wow. I hope he gets a ticket before he kills himself." Now. Lest you think the aliens came to Kansas City and replaced half my brain with oatmeal, don't think I'm going to stop screeching at idiots. Sometimes it's simply therapeutic!

I've had some work situations, where I feel something isn't my job or responsibility to shepherd or be the leader, and I feel indignant. Why should I have to do that? And then the whole debacle with a couple people I thought were my friends - they accused me of doing something, betraying their confidences, and the naked truth is that I simply didn't do it. Fucking scorched earth indignation there. And frankly, I don't take that back. I own my mistakes, I take responsibility for myself completely, and if you accuse me wrongly and say I'm lying and end our friendship over it? Fuck. I feel the indignation surging back through me as I type it out. And that's what I'm talking about. That situation, specifically, no longer deserves any energy. I cannot change it, I will not run around and beg people who show no consideration for my feelings to be my friend and undo the damage they wrought on not only me, but many of my close friends. But when I think about it, it flares. And it's an utter waste of time & energy. So I want to throw it away. When I feel the surge of anger, or defensiveness, or righteousness - all pieces of how I feel indignation, I want to hold up my hand & have it freeze in place. Go no further. Occupy no more time. I can't prevent it from rising, but I can stop myself from letting it wash over me & allowing it minutes on the clock of my life.

It's difficult to do. It's taken me a long time to even see how indignation works against me. I know it's part of my personality, and it's even part of just being human and feeling defensive and coming from a place where you don't feel you deserve a bad driver running you off the road or friends spitting in your face or having to do someone else's job because they are hampered by their own limitations. But being angry, or indulging in the indignation doesn't get you any closer to happiness. People confuse righteousness with happiness a LOT.

There are a ton of other words for emotions & reactions that hold us back and they don't start with "IN". Perhaps the best way to put it is this: What INhibitor to your happiness can you give up, set aside, control better, and instead put that energy towards positive thinking & action?

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posted by PlazaJen, 8:51 AM | link |

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Simply SMASHING, My Dear!

Let's see...
1. Forget coffee on the counter, check.
2. Forget to run dishwasher before leaving, check.
3. Use identically-shaped eye pencil in place of lip pencil and MARVEL the entire time that it doesn't look like it normally does (pale lavender instead of burgundy.)Check!
4. Forget to She Laq eyebrows, have them disappear by lunch. Check.

So I'd say today's been a bit rocky. At least (and my co-workers breathe collectively in relief) I got dressed and wore shoes. We must celebrate these things, because as evidenced by the above list, I could literally show up one day disheveled, un-caffeinated, no eyebrows, purple lips, and dirty dishes waiting at home. Without a shirt. Or worse, pants.

Off to my client meeting! No eyebrows, but have resumed the caffeine intake & my lips don't look like I'm freezing/drowning. Carry on!

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posted by PlazaJen, 1:02 PM | link |

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Warp Speed, Mr. Sulu!

I have got to change my ringtone, because last night was the finale of "24", and for the past however many weeks, my cell phone ring has been the phone ring for the lines at CTU. I love saying, "Oh hang on, Jack Bauer's calling." Of course, I only say that to the Wo, and he tolerates it, albeit with an eye roll.

I came :this: close to downloading Chewbacca last night, and had it been louder, I would have. Chewy cracks me up, probably because on the rare occasions Suzy talks to us? She sounds exactly like a Wookiee. I think I get more entertainment just listening to the 800 different ringtones - and the drawback of listening to so many is that I'm so distracted & torn I can't actually decide on one.

Meanwhile, work has turned into a cornpopper overnight. Industrial movie-theater sized popper. I have a rep who is twenty minutes late for our scheduled meeting, and I'm about ready to tell her (and her boss) to just pack it in and leave if/when they ever freakin' show up. I can be late, but you can't. It's an EXCELLENT rule in my kingdom. I won't do it, because there's also always the chance I have the time wrong!

So, I realize with my Chewbacca discussion, and the Warp Speed subject line, I'm mixing sci-fi metaphors like a cocktail, and probably violating 14 different codes of the genre. But I feel like I'm traveling at Warp Speed, and yammering about everything I have to do in the language of the Wookiees. RRRRRNNNNHHHHHHH.

Tell me what your ring tone is, too! I could use suggestions.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:14 PM | link |

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blammity Blam!

I am taking out things on my to-do list with the vengeance of a gun-slinger who knows she only has 48 hours to live.

Wait, that sounds frightening. I'm not dying. I just have a LOT to do, and it's made me extremely anxious, so the best coping mechanism I know is to start systematically taking things out, one at a time. Blam! Blam! Kerpow!

Our dinner Friday night at the Capital Grille was truly lovely (and delicious), though I am not sure if it was something I ate, or a bug that I caught, because ever since, I have been in the throes of what you might call "stomach flu" or "lower GI distress" or "Did you drink the water in Mexico?" Good lordy. I am not a happy camper and so I find that just sitting very, very still is the only coping mechanism I know. I've taken every over-the-counter medication possible with little-to-no success. I'm not going into any further details because, as our friends from A Mighty Wind say, that's dessert talk.

Oh, and I have a client meeting and I'm all uber-casual cool, with a lace wrap top & jeans and FLIP FLOPS because I have to show off my bright blue toenails. Guess who forgot she had a client meeting today? And is still in the process of doing laundry? Why, you are all so smart, look at you pointing at me. Silly Jen! Did it again! But my boss said I would be fine as long as :I: was comfortable, given that the office is somewhat swanky. (Where we're going. Not ours.) Listen, buddy. I get insecure like everyone, but I will rock the flip flops. And maybe even work in the longtime goal of using the word "crackwhore" in a meeting. It's called going for broke. BLAM! Cross it off!


posted by PlazaJen, 12:32 PM | link |

Friday, May 18, 2007

We're Losers & We Like It That Way

Last night, our local Ad Club held the annual "AdWars" trivia contest. A year ago, we came in second to last, so we didn't hold out any wild hopes of first place, but we DID set a goal for ourselves to get to third from last.

Sadly, we came in last place.

It might have had something to do with all the free beer. People at our table grew increasingly distracted (setting fire to the chopsticks, for example), and it was more a group gathering with chatter & laughter than an actual competition.

Losers at the trivia, Winners in Life. It was a lot of fun, and earlier in the evening, I started to get warm & assumed, as usual, it was FLSS (Fat Lady Sweating Syndrome), but several of my tablemates also confirmed it was unusually warm in the room. Right after that, a chipper young thing came up & asked me if I had bought my raffle tickets yet. Never missing an opportunity to negotiate for what :I: want in life, I said, "Hon, if you can get the a/c turned on? I will buy raffle tickets from you."

Off she scampered. And within a few minutes returned to tell me they were locating the thermostat & taking care of it. So I bought $10 worth of tickets, shortly thereafter, we felt the air kick on, and I felt it was worth the ticket price alone. But don't stop there - I later actually won THE one thing I wanted - a gift box from Indigo Wild - filled with 9 different soaps! Zum Yum, baby! I was quite happy, and apart from being hungry, the night was a true success. (If you're starting a party at 5:30, you simply have to have enough food to constitute "dinner", otherwise you end up with a table of shrieking drunks. Just a handy little Martha tip for party planners everywhere!)

That said, the food was quite delectable. Little slices of fried beef & chicken legs from En Chamas, which had just been reviewed in the paper & sounds freakin' awesome! Then there was cornbread & chili from another place, and they ran out of cornbread AND the little beef slices in half an hour.

Also, at some point in the evening, I became the table's Sue Johanson, which was simultaneously amusing and uncomfortable. Must be because I was the oldest person at the table (by a few months, but still.) I had to make a phone call to the Wo to look up a definition & then had to hang up abruptly because we could have been disqualified (even though my question had nothing to do with the ad trivia!)

All in all, a fun night with co-workers & it made for some amusing chatter today as well. One other person won a raffle prize - Queen's Greatest Hits - so I'll have to roll that through the iTunes rotation sometime today. Because We Are The Champions, my friend.


posted by PlazaJen, 9:53 AM | link |

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Funny Craigslist Ad....

...found in Furniture:

Reply to:
Date: 2007-05-17, 1:00AM CDT

I am trying to sell my kitchen table. I got a buyer BUT BE WARE..... DO NOT SELL TO BARRY WHITE!!!! iT IS A SCAM. iF YOU WANT MORE INFORMATION CONTACT ME.

Dude, if Barry White emailed me, I'd be a little suspicious. Same goes for Luther Vandross. Little Luther OR Big.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:14 AM | link |

From the Front Lines of Life

This is a little different than your standard "Random Orts", because it includes lessons? And I only have two of them. Welcome to a new segment here at Passion Knit.

1. When eating couscous that has been re-heated, and seems to be rather hot? It is not a good idea to BLOW ON IT. Unless your couscous is drenched in a sauce of some sort, you will send countless micro-orbs of pasta flying, like pollen on the wind, only in those nature shows, there's a point to it all. In your house with the couscous, it's just a mess.

2. Consider the two-cent stamp and when you, and everyone else in the United States of America is going to need one or twelve. Going to the post office the day after a postage increase - no matter WHAT you tell yourself - is not a good idea. I told myself, "Self! We are going after the lunch crowd, it's late and therefore it will not be crowded!" and I told myself, "Self! We will use the machine to buy stamps, so there will be no waiting in line!" And I did not count on the fact that fourteen other people had the same brainiac idea about going late, and I did not count on the fact that the post office - despite having stamps for sale at the counter - would choose not to refill the stamp machine with the two-cent stamps, and instead spend time taping a sign over the slot that said "SOLD OUT". Lovely. So into the line I went, and let me just interject that every post office I go to in this town has a certain - how do you say? Je ne sais quois. Let me invoke the French when I cannot find my own language to express myself. The Westport location is exceptionally colorful. I had braced myself for the panhandling homeless, but once inside found myself sandwiched between a woman who wanted to talk (and touch) the man in front of her (they did not know each other) and an older Asian alcoholic man. You ask how I would know he was an alcoholic? Well, let me just say that when most of the people I know drink, you can smell it on their breath. People who drink heavily and daily exude it from their pores, and his pores were on High Exhaust. So as I braced myself (and my nose) against the Southern Winds of Dispomania, I watched & listened to these two hippy-dippy wannabes talk trees, vegetable stamps and her fawning attempts to touch his extremely dangly earring. I finally got my stamps and fled. ZOIKS! I can really only conclude one lesson: Plan Ahead.


posted by PlazaJen, 7:02 AM | link |

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Quite A Lot To Show For Ourselves.....

Four years ago today, the Wo and I stood out by the ocean in a gazebo and exchanged rings while the wind whipped around us and a Jamaican minister pronounced us husband and wife. He wore a tie I knit him out of Koigu, and I wore a long openwork duster knit out of "Wild Stuff" (how appropriate!) Barry White crooned on the boombox, which seems kind of funny, and as fast as it all went, I still remember standing by my now-husband and being so happy to see that ring on my finger, the ring that is identical to his, titanium for strength and platinum for purity, engraved on the inside with a line from a children's book. Simple and true, "To the moon...and back."

Coupla nutbrown hares, we are. We're going out to dinner on Friday, just so there's no school-night factor and we can go clubbing if we want to. We're so into clubbing. SO into it! Nntz! nntz! Nntz nntz nntz!

It's a little daunting if I start listing everything we've done, gone through & learned over the past four years. With buying our house, adding a dog to the family, losing my father, me changing jobs - there have been a number of things considered "major life stressors". However, we're mellowing, and learning (never stop learning!) and we've evolved in our communication skills, and yeah, we still fight and aggravate the snot out of each other at times, because if there's one thing nobody puts on a Hallmark card when you get married, it's: "This will be one of the most challenging things you do in your life." I've said it a million times, too, that in saying that, it's not BAD, it's not all some arduous work, it's just that far too often you think, "OK! Got married! Check that off on the list, wouldja?" And it doesn't work like that. You have to care for your marriage, and adjust within it, and have difficult battles sometimes, and then you get rewarded with crazy things that only make the two of you laugh, and references to oddball things and minds that think the same and start singing the same song when someone on tv makes a reference, because you are SYMPATICO. This is the first year I finally understood a longer-view on gardening, that some things can wait until next year to do. It was a strange, foreign feeling. Yet I would never have felt that, without the Wo. I'm always, "Git it and go! Right now! Now! Now! Now! Must accomplish all and everything at once and did I mention NOW?! Must do it now!" And usually I get so tired with all the "NOW!" and "Everything!" parts that I flop down in exhaustion and watch 6 hours of Law & Order. So I'm glad I'm still learning a few things, despite all the other things I seem to be forgetting at a rapid pace these days.

Last night as James described his day at Worlds of Fun with the three students he chaperoned, I listened to him describe his kindness and practicality with a girl, who kept pretending she had ridden the rides and just didn't want to, when the truth of the matter was that she was terrified and scared, and didn't want to admit it because she thought the other kids would make fun of her. He told her not to lie, to just be honest about what she felt, that it was all ok. I watched him and I thought of how much I love him, how every time I think I've reached, you know, "maximum capacity" for how much I could love another human being, I'm surprised to see, and feel, that I love him even more. So so much. Now now now.

Happy four year anniversary, my dear. Eight years to the day we met, outside of Broadway Cafe. I was late. You were early. Of all the things in our lives that :have: changed, those qualities in each of us still have not. :) I love you!


posted by PlazaJen, 12:05 PM | link |

Monday, May 14, 2007


So. Grief. Maybe you've noticed I haven't talked about it all so much, all the time, cataloging the minutes of each day spent weeping and the dreams and the sadness. Because it's spaced out, it fades, but then -AHOY!- it schlumps back through the kitchen like a teenager dripping books and clothes and dirty dishes in their wake. GAH! I hate the unpredictability.

I don't like the fact that songs that are written about lost loves, broken relationships, also apply :startlingly: to a dead parent. "Who Knew" by Pink always catches me by surprise -
When someone said count your blessings now
'fore they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better
Still you said forever
And ever
Who knew

Yeah yeah
I'll keep you locked in my head
Until we meet again
Until we
Until we meet again
And I won't forget you my friend
What happened

If someone said three years from now
You'd be long gone
I'd stand up and punch them out
Cause they're all wrong and
That last kiss
I'll cherish
Until we meet again
And time makes
It harder
I wish I could remember
But I keep
Your memory
You visit me in my sleep
My darling
Who knew
My darling
My darling
Who knew
My darling
I miss you
My darling
Who knew
Who knew

I usually am fine through most of the song, and then we hit that part about the final kiss, and I see my father about to die and his skin changing color and knowing I was there for those final moments, holding his hand, feeling my husband holding me from behind. Gah. Hey, guess what's coming up, less than a month away ? Maybe that's why. Anniversary of his death, one year. June 10. I'm going to the Royals Stitch & Pitch that day, so I'm looking forward to a good distraction, among friends, spending some time later with my husband, looking at the grasses we planted in his memory, but today, I just keep falling apart, just a little bit, just a small seam ripped, a few tears spilling out each time before I can pin it back up, fold over the selvedge and restore some order...

On a lighter note, Pink's latest song/video "U + Ur Hand" completely makes me want to do this to my hair:

James looked very nervous & afraid when I told him that. Apparently nearing 40 is not making me want to buy the Nissan Z as much as it is making me want to look like a punk. (No, I don't want all those tattoos. Though if I could ever settle on one tattoo, I'd be


posted by PlazaJen, 1:43 PM | link |

Sunday, May 13, 2007


If you don't regularly read Post Secret, read it this week.

If I had a child, the first postcard could've been mine. It is one of the reasons I never felt a strong desire to have children, that the cycle would simply continue.

Three other postcards on the page could have been mine, some even word-for-word. They made me cry. And in a twisted way I'm thankful (but sad), grateful for the reminder that we're just not all that different from each other and our problems and relationships certainly aren't unique. Gotta love the internet. We create our own families here, don't we?

Nobody needs a Hallmark Holiday to remind us of what we don't have - and if you do have it? Don't wait for the second Sunday in May each year to demonstrate how you feel.
posted by PlazaJen, 10:25 AM | link |

Friday, May 11, 2007

Straight Road Trippin'.

We went to Omaha yesterday for a market trip - we have an awesome client up there, and we wanted to get into town & meet all the people we've been talking to on the phone for several months.

Rather than impose on our client's space, we decided to find an outside place to meet all these salespeople. At one point we thought maybe just parking ourselves in a Starbucks would work. But my boss said, no, go ahead & spend a hundred bucks & get a meeting room with beverage service, etc., it'll be better for everyone, including us. So I did. Went online, found what looked to be a very nice place, and when I called, they were very accommodating & inexpensive. So we booked the Nottingham room and started telling folks to meet us there & to wear their Robin Hood garb.

When we pulled up yesterday, it was all shades of the last business trip and the hotel was a castle. Except this hotel looked more abandoned and run down, and without all the castle-theming. But the surprise and oh-my-gosh factor was the same! To the hotel's credit, they were EXTREMELY nice. And our room had its own bathroom, though the fixtures had been removed from the tub, giving it a bit of a hard-times and on-the-run-in-Mexico flair. There was glitter confetti on the floor (in the bathroom), so something fun must've happened at some point. But all our reps were a little shocked, I think, that we were there. Hey, I say we just showed them we're fiscally responsible & not some big flashy ad agency rolling into town and demanding the Presidential Suite.

Let's see. Highlights.
We left on time, but it still took us more time to get there, in part because of stops, construction, and traffic once we hit the city. So I will go on the record and state unequivocally that Mimi Murano has some serious get-up-and-go when the rubber needs to meet the road. We rolled into Omaha and I drove like we'd robbed a bank. My passengers did a little screaming, but the driver they know & loved kept them entertained with a stream of profanities directed at certain other vehicles who could not commit to a lane.

My favorite part of the day was getting settled in & then going back out in a sales rep's car for two hours to look at outdoor boards. I'm kind of done with car riding/driving long distances for a little while. We also saw all sorts of po-po and troopers and I'm pleased to report that no tickets were issued on the trip.

Punchy was the theme on the way home. We discussed the length of time it'd taken us to get there that morning, and I think I said something about how someone should've worn Depends, could we learn NOTHING from the astronauts? And then the last hour of the drive was spent leapfrogging with the craziest old lady driver who refused to use her cruise control and alternately drove at 65 mph and 85 mph. Oh, and if you ever get the chance to listen to Kristin sing along to Weezer? It's the greatest. I think the very loud volume at which she belts out the chorus is what truly makes the difference between "good" and "great".

Needless to say, I'm one happy camper that today's Friday. And that I'm not driving anywhere this weekend!


posted by PlazaJen, 10:27 AM | link |

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I told ya this week was crazy!
I've been up since 4:40 a.m., and if you know anything about me, you know just how wrong that is. W.R.O.N.G.!
Kristin & I went to the baseball game last night, and I got some cool photos of the game, mostly because we were in the dugout suite - courtesy of my reps at the Kansas City Star. You can see them all over at Flickr, but if you know me, and my fear of going crazy around police officers, then you'll enjoy just how close I was to the security detail:


Notice that my choice of hot dog is not winning the race in the background. Damn you, ketchup! (Mustard won in case you had a bet out....)

Kauffman Stadium truly is gorgeous.....


Now we just need our team to start winning!

More tomorrow on today's adventures..... hopefully I don't forget it all with Owen Wilson Drag Queen Dreams.....
posted by PlazaJen, 7:53 PM | link |

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Butterscotch Stallion Is A Drag Queen.....

yes, when you have an insane day, and eat triscuits and potato salad for dinner, it is only inevitable that your nighttime of dreams are filled with the most random frothing of a storyline.

Owen Wilson was on trial, Law & Order style. So much so, it was confusing everyone in America, because was it Real? Or Reality TV? Even my subconscious makes a statement. Anyway, he was found guilty (of what I do not know), and he retreated between the verdict & sentencing to his favorite drag queen club, a four-story walkup in NYC, which happened to be right next door to where I lived. We became the BEST of friends, and I brought him drinks during a show (we were sitting together), and he had the biggest Shirley-Temple curls (because he stayed in drag to remain incognito!) And he was quite beautiful as a woman, and he was also gay. Given the gossip about Owen Wilson & his self-proclaimed Butterscotch Stallion status, and then his general physical appearance, I'd say the whole gay-thing and gorgeous-as-a-woman-thing are going to remain only in my dreams.

He did such a good job with his makeup! And we knew he couldn't go to prison, so I had to help him escape and just before that happened, I threw a police officer through a window & we found all kinds of money in the walls of the club. It was quite a movie-in-the-making, that dream.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:20 PM | link |

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This Day Is No More!

OMG, I declared today dead at 5:15 today. I am so tired. I worked through lunch, went to a meeting that went an hour longer than anticipated, didn't get the dogs to the vet, sent James to meet me at the vet (I was still in the meeting and could not tell him I was not AT the vet), drove on I-35 from Olathe (lots of traffic), called CVS to inquire as to whether they had my new prescription or not, they said "No", my eyes shot laser beams, but it was 5:05 and my doctor's office was closed, two minutes later JWo called (no longer at the vet) to say CVS just called and that they were filling my prescription right now.
Until I got to CVS. I could see through the bank-teller-bulletproof glass that pandelerium had broken out. Baskets were being emptied (multiple baskets), paper bags being pawed through, and I continued to sit there while my helper person disappeared from my line of sight. Finally he reappeared with a "Sorry 'bout that" and I ascertained that they had just filled my prescription while I sat there burning gas at $2.89/gallon. I ascertained this from the "NU WAITING" at the top of my bag. And from the wait. Then, crazy beyotch from probably Olathe came up behind me, HONKED, and then backed up from the drop off lane to pull into the full service lane, and I could see she was on her cell phone the entire time and frankly, I was so tired and spent from the day I actually yelled, "HANG UP YOUR GODDAMN BARBIE PHONE AND PAY ATTENTION!" and of course she had no clue because we both had our windows up but I could see her magenta moto taser phone and she was an idiot and I needed to label someone at that point.

I came home and had triscuits and potato salad for dinner. Oh yes. TOGETHER. Like a dip. And a pot pie. And pink lemonade. Because even if you're staring a dead day right in the face, pink lemonade makes it a little bitty-bit better. And then I shredded things. Destruction with the shredder is therapeutic. However I jammed a check card somehow and had enough sense to just STOP because I had the shredder apart with a letter opener jammed into it (all while the thing's still plugged in) and some gnome woke up from his pink-lemonade-and-carbs stupor and finally shouted, "HEY! Bad idea! You've shredded enough for one night!" Now I'm waiting for the Shield to come on so I can watch Vic Mackey shred it up and then I'm collapsing in bed.

17:15, I had to call it. This day? Dead. Natural and unnatural causes. We shall try again tomorrow.

Labels: ,

posted by PlazaJen, 8:31 PM | link |

Something About Being A Princess, A Crown, Mutter, Mutter......

Yeah, I'm a self-proclaimed princess. My dad called me princess my whole life. So I guess it's only fitting that I get a crown, right?


Have to admit, I was hoping for something more along the lines of precious metals and jewels (which, I suppose is still possible if I get a grill), but indeed, I am destined for a crown of the porcelain nature. Sigh. My dentist showed me the crack in my tooth (going from the inside outward), and it did look pretty bad. (My liberal arts training right there, who needs to study all those books.....) He was a bit on the fence, it was right at the minimum (or maximum), depending on how you look at it, but in the long run, I'd be risking a root canal, and those cost more than crowns, are more painful & have a greater exposure for infection.
SO! Crown it is. Someone, somewhere, in a lab far, far away, is crafting me a custom-fit crown for my molar, and I'll be getting it installed early June.

My jaw is nice & sore today, from the drilling out of the old cavity, and of course having a syringe the size of an ice pick inserted into my lower mandible. I have remnant stress, too, from tensing my muscles. Good times! I feel like I'm entering the phase of life where all we do is shuffle from one specialist and medical situation to the next. You know, the phase that happens right before DEATH. At least I've had three nights of cough-free sleep! But my doctor still hasn't gotten my new prescription phoned in, so I'm trying to reduce my stress and not skyrocket my blood pressure. Jesus. I'm seriously one step away from talking about bursitis and heel spurs, aren't I????

In any event, the sun has reappeared for at least a short time, and I think everyone in town is just a smidge happier because of it. We were seriously getting close to flood levels of yesteryear, and the Weather Channel has been having calf upon foal in our area, what with the tornadoes and rainfall and flooding. I don't want to speak for everyone (but I will), when I say that I think we all just want a little normal right now. Just a day or three. Normal, level everything. Weather, health, gas prices, general human interactions. I'll truly just settle for the weather right now, and if anyone can make that happen, it's Jim Cantore. C'mon Jim. Thousands are counting on you. I'll even make you a weather crown.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:38 AM | link |

Monday, May 07, 2007


Well, it's a Monday, that's for sure. I have a dentist appointment today (one that I've already rescheduled once), to get a cavity pried out & either re-filled, or a crown put on. For the first time in my life, I don't want a crown!

Add to that a nasty headache that resists all forms of treatment - Excederin, Water.... and work things are bursting into flame, so I just want to bury my head in a pillow (possibly bite it) and sleep, sleep, sleep. The bonus is that I've now had two nights of blissful, cough-free sleep. Go allergist dude for identifying the meds as the culprit!

Oof. It's a Monday all right. I've got a case of 'em, too.
posted by PlazaJen, 2:03 PM | link |

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm Bringin' Scratchy Back.....

Those other dust mites don't know how to act....
Cats & Dogs give me attacks....

OK, enough lyric spoofing. I went to the allergist! I got results! AND! Who knew I was allergic to dogs? Not me! I'd say whatever my allergic reaction to dogs is, it's nothing compared to cats. Cat pelt, to be specific. If I'm in a room with a cat, it's a matter of time before my eyes start to puff and burn, my skin feels like a rash is starting & I get itchy and the sneezing begins; not so with a dog, or at least any dogs I've met - including Polly & Suzy. But the truth is - if you inject Essence de Dog under my skin, I do react. And despite being OFF my allergy medication for three days, I didn't notice any major reactions in the house - sneezing or otherwise - just a runny nose. And my cough. Oh yes. My cough. The whole reason for going. The doc took one look at my prescriptions and immediately pronounced my water pill/blood pressure med as the culprit. The very prescription I started less than six months ago. Had a fella in last week with the same thing. 8-10% of people who take an ACE inhibitor-based medicine have this cough. No big deal to switch to something else, and I've already sent an email to my doctor about it. Let's keep our fingers crossed! He was extremely confident, which was lacking in my ENT's diagnosis.

However, allergy testing is not the most fun a gal can have on a Thursday afternoon. After the first set of 20 scratch tests on my back, they did an additional 9 on my arm. They tested cats & dust mites again, and I was exercising all the restraint I had not to claw my arm off. As a distraction, I took a couple of photos, you know, because I like to share the excitement of daily life:

The Final Nine

Not Happy

I'm glad that's over! And I'm back on Allegra, and getting my prescriptions changed, and hopefully returning to MY definition of "normal" tout de suite.


posted by PlazaJen, 9:42 AM | link |

Thursday, May 03, 2007


So, I'm off to the allergist shortly. This should be fun. You know, the way being stung by bees and bitten by mosquitoes is fun. There's a reason I never took up rattler wranglin' for fun.

I have mixed feelings, and am a little nervous - who knows what-all I'm allergic to now, and if my cough is or isn't related to allergies, and if they'll have horse pills for me and oh yeah, do they at least put something on my back to stop the maddening itch from all their scratch tests? The woman on the phone informed me they do this every day to children, so that might've been my cue to GROW UP about it, I suppose, or perhaps she was just hinting that if I start to wail, they might give me a Saf-T-Pop.

I feel kind of queasy, but that could be directly related to my extremely apathetic lunch, which consisted of smokehouse almonds & a V-8. And Diet Coke. Which does not ordinarily make me a might nervous when I drink it, mmmmhm. We'll see! Won't I feel stupid if I'm allergic to nuts!


posted by PlazaJen, 2:28 PM | link |

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Large & In Charge

Shit, that's what they'd probably put on my tombstone, if I were to have one. Except I guess it would have to say 'Large & Not In Charge Anymore'. And speaking of tombstones, I don't want one, fyi. Back to taking the reins, sometimes when you feel really off-kilter and out-of-sorts, the best thing you can do is TAKE CHARGE. And that's what I did today. Bam! Boom! Thwack! (No people or animals were harmed in the Taking of the Charge.) Felt good. Got rid of the crazies that were fluttering around like drunken moths obscuring the light from my soul.

Speaking of crazy, My Friend Kristin has some sort of restraint. Yesterday on HER morning commute, a crazy woman stood in the middle of the intersection and started taking her clothes off while talking wildly to noone in particular. If :I: had seen that, you bet your bippity I'd have had my camera phone out so fast you wouldn't have even had time to SPELL crazy. Blog Fodder, posting by 9 a.m.! Crazy People! Disrobing! Not me for once!

Well, it's day #139 of overcast and rainy, and yes, that's a grotesque exaggeration, it's only been two days of it, but still. I know we all need rain and clouds and April Showers Bring May Flowers, but embroider that shit on a pillow, I need some SUN! Not baking, broiling, stifling heat (we had to put the a/c on for one. whole. day!) but just nice beams of sunshine and Vitamin D and a little drying out and really, in the end, this is all about the tempo of the wiper blades. When it's not pouring rain, you put the wipers on "intermittent". And then there's a gauge for "super long pause intermittent" on one end, and "why aren't you just kicking it up to regular wiper speed intermittent". And finding the perfect balance in-between, the exact point where the wipers clear your windshield without allowing too much rain to collect, people, this is frustrating to find. And I'm tired of playing the What's My Proper Wiper Speed game while I'm trying to drive, and slowing for school zones and looking at Ward Parkway and then add to that, I'm now on watch for insane people pulling their shirts off. The burdens. How does one smaller than I bear them, I ask you? :sniff: It's difficult to even imagine it.

(I'm feeling verbose AND dramatic and that can only lead to one thing: bizarro blog entries!)
posted by PlazaJen, 1:57 PM | link |

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

When I Rule The World, Some People Are Gettin' Smacked Upside The Head.

Unbeknownst to me last Saturday night, I witnessed a burglary.

I had gone to pick up some dinner, kind of late, because I'd gotten all wrapped up again in my plantings, so it was around 7:30, 7:45. As I headed for 99th Street, I looked over to where the KC Gardener's Association plant sale had been, and saw people loading the plants into their cars. Of course, I thought they were volunteers, because every year after the plant sale, the leftover plants are taken to the association chair's home, where they are sold at half price. The Wo and his buddy Eric were going to go over to his house Monday after work, and I even remember thinking, "Wow, they had a lot of plants leftover, the guys will have fun on Monday looking at them all!"


Jerkballs, thieves, assholes, you pick the noun - they loaded up all the plants into their cars and STOLE THEM. From a non-profit organization. $7,000 worth of plants. James and Eric discovered this when they went by the chair's house last night. And imagine my surprise to discover I'd watched it happen.

I said to James this morning, "Well, certainly the police will investigate that, given how much the plants were...." and I trailed off, because of course, the value of the things stolen from OUR home last year was more than that. And nobody ever followed up or did anything to make me feel like an ounce of effort was being put into finding the culprits. So I'm just saying. When I rule the world, things like this will be given the attention they deserve. Part of me wishes I'd been feeling my usual chatty self and gone over and chirped at those people, maybe gotten a better look or even an inkling that they were up to no good. Of course, who knows. They might have been armed plant robbers, and god only knows how badly they wanted all these plants. It's just a damn shame, because it's their only fundraiser and you want to believe that the hobbies of gardening, or knitting, attract and retain only good moral people, but we know people steal yarn, steal knitted samples, and now we know they steal plants.

Maybe instead of a head smack, they should get a cactus smackin'. Where it counts.
posted by PlazaJen, 1:44 PM | link |