PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, September 28, 2007

Slow Down Challenge

I just thought this morning, "I have a good life."

I know, I bitch & moan, and rail at the heavens, and shake my fist at those stupid drivers, and freak out about work, but really, if you made me put all the beans in two piles, good & bad, there's so much more that's good.

I had a long conversation with a friend, and partway through, even though I knew it would heighten emotions, I leaned over and put my hand on her arm and told her one of the things I admire most about her. I won't make this into a weepy post, but you know what? We all need to hear those things. And they have to be genuine, and heartfelt, and you can't do it every time you see them because then you'd be kind of a dork, you know, that person that gushes and makes you uncomfortable every time you're around them, but you know, I challenge you to try it. Don't force it, but sometime in the next week, tell someone with whom you have regular interaction something that's great about them. You don't even have to touch them while you do it.

See, we get going. And we catch momentum. And we forget to stop, that we have the power to stop. This world is so fast now. We make half (or more) of our decisions and conclusions in front of a glowing screen that's not much bigger than a purse. (My purse :is: bigger. Sigh.) We read things and decide things and we don't see the facial expressions or have the chance to know that there are 100 other things going on outside of that keyboard and screen, and we have email and websites and instant messenger and cellular telephone devices and some people even have the iPhone. Hell, we still have a fax machine at work and it's the most antiquated tool we use. Used to be that very device revolutionized how business, and communication was done.

There is no substitute for talking to someone face to face. Seeing their face, seeing their humanity, seeing they are just like you. And me. And we need things we'll never, ever get from a computer. But we forget it, because we get so used to the endless stream of data and information, and that is the norm and it feels strange to demand more. I was just thinking about my challenge, and had automatically started to mentally write emails to people, to tell them something great. Again. My challenge to you, and to myself, is to do it in person. In the moment. It is the purest essence of being there, and you will feel more reconnected than any of those rechargeable, wired/wireless devices could possibly do.

Let us know how it goes. (That's all the readers here, all 14 of you, not the Royal Us.) Put it on your blog. I know there's irony in it. Using this one-sided form of communication to challenge other people you know to stop using it - but I never said all this internet stuff was bad - it's just different. It has changed how we process and react to things and in some ways it is phenomenal. I have a whole circle of people I like and I've never met (most) of you - and we only communicate through the glowing screen. But I found my mind wandering to the dream of taking a trip, so I could meet all of you. (I'd call (or email!) first, don't worry.) Because the foundation and the solidness of our loves and friendships comes from the face time. I know I probably won't meet everyone I like and know through the online community - but I know on some level my life would be far richer if I could.

Go do something real, live and in-person. Slap a little love on someone who needs to hear it. And if it makes you want to chuck your iPhone, send me an email, I'll give you my mailing address. ;)
posted by PlazaJen, 6:29 AM | link |

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


It's a dance, it's a sock yarn, and right now, it feels like ants in my pants! I'm going to freak out and scream because there is so much going on and I am going to panic! Or maybe I have already panicked.

Excellent. I can cross it off my LIST!

Oh, and this morning I heard a co-worker spelling out her last name, I said out loud, "U, for Urethra", because that's exactly what our summer intern said when spelling out the company name to a caller. I didn't hear about it until after she was gone, and it's also taken the form of "U, for Uranus" and now nobody knows which one it was for sure, but Oh Mah God, that made me laugh. I guess the person who overheard her gently said there were better terms to use & sent her the standard military alphabet guide. U! For whatever body part U like!

Off to freak out.


posted by PlazaJen, 3:13 PM | link |

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch!

Man, everything I wanna write about is a complaint. I'm glad the weather's started to change - but it's still gonna be in the 80's later this week. (I see they've backed down from "86" to the low 80s, that kinda took the wind out of my sails. But don't worry! I'll carry on kvetching!)

I was behind a chevy cavalier at the Wendy's drive-thru at lunch, and I realized JUST how much I profile people based on their driving behavior, their car, and where they're from. Show me a KC MO resident (at least 10 yrs) who doesn't see a JOCO sticker on a Kansas plate and make judgments. Well, I'm more guilty of doing it when there's a "WY" on those KS plates.... Wyandotte, aka, the Dot. Had I not noticed that plate, I'd have sworn these two lovebirds had taken a break from cooking meth in Independence and went for a drive for a Frosty. But no, not just a Frosty. Some sort of specialty tweaker drive-through special that required the longest conversation I have EVER seen, all the while she's twisting her stringy hair around and around and around while her boyfriend slouched in the front seat, opened the door to spit, and continued to chime in on the ordering process. Let me tell you what. Special orders? They upset US. I was so irritated I ordered a mandarin chicken sandwich. (That doesn't exist. But it does come as a salad. And is quite tasty!)
And a frosty. Vanilla. Yum.

But that hasn't succeeded in soothing this savage beast. Why? Because it's raining outside, and while my friends at say it's all of 61 degrees F out there? THE HEAT IS NOW ON in our offices. And Glenn Frey can SUCK IT. And the heat is on what, you asked? Not just a little, to take us up to whatever these hot blooded people like, surely above my comfort zone of 68, but ok, even if it were 70-72? But no. It's BLASTING. I thought I was getting ill, until I asked my neighbor if she had noticed a definitive warming in the office.

I was eating my lunch and realized my iTunes had rolled through into Phil Collins. Now, no disrespect to the balding buddha of ballads, but dude, the last thing I needed today was your plaintive, earnest tunes about how we'll just go on li----ving ..... sep---arate lives. Finally. Something I can control. I've switched to rap. Bust'n caps in yo' asses. (I had to explain to a co-worker yesterday what "NWA" stood for. Gah. My life! Nobody else can live it quite like me, eh?)

I can't WAIT to see what happens in the next hour.
Signing off,
Comtessa Von CrankyPants


posted by PlazaJen, 2:08 PM | link |

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Am I Wearing Shoes Right Now?

Because the mouse that has decided OUR house is much lovelier than, say, his previous home, in a thatch of grass or even hubby's workshop, has moved IN. There's nothing like seeing something skitter across the floor out of the corner of your eye - and knowing you weren't hallucinating or anything. Eeeeyow. I have no idea how having my shoes on helps? But it makes me feel a little more secure. I have no desire to stomp a mouse, or even really kill one, but seriously when the chips are down, it's him or me, and I can tell you, evolution-believer or not, I will come out on top.

Polly is not a cat. She snoozed through the entire skittering. I wish Wo and I weren't allergic, because having a cat right now would be great, except then I think how said cat might wake us up with said dead mouse in mouth, as a joyous 2 a.m. offering, and that would be say, not so lovely.

I have been cranking - I am teaching three classes at the Studio this Fall/Winter session - Baby Surprise, the Brea Bag, and Chevron Scarf. I have Baby Surprise completely done, with buttons basted on, and the Brea bag is done - took me a frantic day to find the long-ago purchased purse handle - and while I didn't get the lining done, the bag itself is DONE. And Chevron is going to have to wait to be finished, but I am half done, will block it tonight, and we can display it in its prettiness until it's time to teach the class & I'll finish that bad boy. I'm definitely going to make Polly model it, because it looks great on her!

Wow, I have a lot of work to do tomorrow, I can't think about it or I'll never fall asleep! Must block, then bed....
posted by PlazaJen, 9:32 PM | link |

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dear Fall,

Hello! How are you? We thought you would be here by now. In fact, one of your pieces of luggage arrived a week or so ago, and we got very excited. We changed the sheets in the guest room, tidied up the clutter in bathroom & fluffed your pillow, just so sure you'd be on our doorstep at any moment, to stay for your usual duration of a few months. We even started to think about knitting on things that are larger than a loaf of bread, such was the anticipation and excitement.

Sadly, and you know you are my favorite of the seasons, so I tell you this in confidence, your idiot brother Summer showed back up, and has not only eaten all the cheese (and I mean the GOOD cheese), potato chips and popsicles, he has been sleeping on the couch, leaving the toilet seat up, not turning off the lights when he leaves a room, and in general, being a veritable nuisance. Not to mention all the sweating. It's the end of September, he has far overstayed his welcome, and I've left NUMEROUS messages with his mother (Nature) and she seems to be avoiding my calls.

So, dear, please get here as soon as you can, because we are anxious for the autumnal color show you put on, and the crisp evenings and the soup-making. Summer has got to go! Anything you can do to speed that up would be greeeeeat.

Much love,
posted by PlazaJen, 4:51 PM | link |

Thursday, September 20, 2007

DING! Fries are done.

Holy smackerel! We're busy at work! But, I at least got the go-ahead to hire an entry-level person, and even though we'd face the time-eating hurdle of training someone? It means there's another person in here & they can take some of this stuff on, off our respective plates, and free us up to do more work.... It's just been wacky! I am glad that we're busy, because not busy is dreadfully boring and a mind-numbing grind. It just feels like the days slip through my fingers & I look at the clock and it's 4:00 .... with so much left to do!

Looking ahead, to non-work-related adventures, we are excited about being meat & side dish judges at the American Royal in a couple of weeks. We're waiting for our tickets/info packets, and I am already feeling the pressure I felt as a juror, the need to adhere strictly to the rules, as I take my responsibility very seriously. So much so I have to keep reminding myself, "This is for FUN, Jennifer, FUN, don't forget!" Then we have James' MWA banquet the second weekend in October, and at some point I become a WW (Waterfowl Widow). Which is when all those tv shows get watched! :)

I did finish the knitting on the Baby Surprise Jacket last night, coming :just: short of enough of the Artyarns, but I switched in some Cascade 220 I had on hand, in a lovely complementing purple, and reserved just enough (like, by 6") Artyarns to finish the sweater as trim & bind off. I purchased some buttons at lunch, and they are a nice olive-green. I'll sew them on, but rather temporarily, so I can switch them as needed for the recipient, once we know if he's a she or a he (you know what I mean.)


I'm off to collapse, preferably face-first into some Vietnamese food & a cocktail. Better odds of absorption if I go face-first.


posted by PlazaJen, 4:12 PM | link |

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fall Television....

My friend Beth asked me what shows might be worth watching, and my email to her was so long, I decided it could also be a good blog post! I'm going to edit it for a slightly better sentence structure, and we'll see how many shows I decide to actually link to. (I just wrote the whole thing? The answer is NONE. Sorry. It'd take me an hour.)

As I say at home, partially to remind hubs why the DVR is squeaking and dual-recording things and cock-blocking him from watching something else, this is my bidness. I love all forms of media, by & large, and the new fall season of TV is like getting a big catalog of fun in the mail. You peruse & look and sometimes even laugh & point at things that will never, ever make it.

Do you wonder how I figure out what I can realistically watch? I take a highlighter to a new season schedule & I'm still going to have to juggle some cable shows for a few weeks to keep the DVR from exploding. Thank goodness those cable shows do immediate repeats. And we do have an extra DVR, and it's moving down to the treadmill shortly. Might as well get some walking in while watching!

So here we go! Remember, everyone's tastes vary, which explains why Smith was yanked after three episodes, but ER continues to live on...and on.... and on.

Honestly, and despite all the brouhaha, I think Kid Nation looks good. I doubt I will add it to the lineup, but Kristin thinks she might watch it. The extended clip we saw from the station really shows a wider breadth of experiences, and the society these kids build. It could also be heart wrenching.

I'm going to give Cane a go, on CBS, Tuesday nights, 9p. Jimmy Smits, good eye candy, heavy production budget, it looks like the first mainstream tv show that also will speak to Hispanics. I feel like this is a Smith Risk, because it could also be so expensive that CBS decides it's not worth the bucks for the eyeballs they get. They've certainly marketed the hell out of it!

I've already added K-ville, a cop/crime drama on Fox (Mon, 8p), and it's done very well in the ratings; I haven't watched it yet, though.

Reaper on the CW, Tues. 8p, looks hilarious. It's directed by Kevin Smith of Clerks.

Big Bang Theory, 1/2 hour sitcom on CBS, Mon, 7:30 is also going onto the DVR. The clip was hilarious and I love geeks & nerds.

I'm going to give Private Practice (Kate Walsh/Grey's Anatomy spin-off) a go, though I'm reserving judgment. It could really tank. Same goes for Dirty Sexy Money, and 90% of why I've got that one marked to watch is because it has Peter Krause in it, and it does look pretty entertaining. Those are on ABC, Wed, 8p & 9p respectively.

I'm also going to watch Women's Murder Club on ABC; Fridays at 8, but that doesn't premiere until mid-Oct.

Shows getting buzz that I'm not going to watch? Gossip Girl (CW, Wed, 8p), Bionic Woman (NBC, Wed, 8p) and Chuck (NBC, Mon, 7p). Back to You, with Kelsey Grammar (Fox, Wed, 7p), also looks pretty funny - I'm just not a sitcom gal and Big Bang looked funnier.

Cavemen & Carpoolers are on the short list for who'll get canceled first. Viva Laughlin? The CBS show with drama, singing & Melanie Griffith? Gets my first-to-get-the-axe vote, but because it doesn't premiere until 10/21, something else will die first. But hands-down, that show will perhaps air once, maybe twice. We've obviously learned nothing from Cop Rock. I wish CBS would just give me half the money they spent on that damn thing so I could tell them to keep the other half & we'd both be happy. They have overestimated the star power of Hugh Jackman, too. If America wants a sing-along, they have Singing Bee and Don't Forget the Lyrics.

Despite this list, looking at my highlighted stuff - of all the new shows, I'm not watching many of them. My tried-and-true line up includes Prison Break, CSI & CSI Miami, Law & Order (all of 'em), Criminal Minds, Survivor, Without A Trace, Grey's, Earl & Office. Plus Damages (Fx), which has about five episodes left.

And if ever there was a time to have Showtime, it's now. I'm hooked on Weeds & Brotherhood, and the new season of Dexter premieres in a week. There's still time to watch the first season on-Demand. My god, what a great show. Michael C. Hall has outdone himself and his tightly wound performance as a serial killer (but for all the right reasons!) containing his demons while living a "normal" life nearly rivals the still-reigning king of my heart, Vic Mackey, of The Shield (Fx, final season starts sometime in '08).

I love the telebision. I get lots of knitting done on the weekends when JWo has gone hunting, and having shows to watch while treadmilling will be good. Most industry predictions are that ABC will have the best fall, in part because their new shows are good (except Cavemen/Carpoolers) and are of course sandwiched among their many #1 shows. NBC continues to flounder to find an identity, but may break through on Bionic Woman. CBS will stay middle-of-the-road and pray that people don't get tired of crime dramas and all their other dramas that keep them afloat. We'll see if that inexplicable viewership of Ghost Whisperer really wants to stick around for a series about a vampire (Moonlight). Fox just waits for January and the cash register to start ringing like mad for American Idol, and My TV learned the hard way last year that telenovellas are NOT sweepin' the nation in a tv sensation. The CW has gotten spunky & should do pretty well with younger viewers - and even me for Reaper.
posted by PlazaJen, 9:58 AM | link |

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'm Taking My Life Advice From A Dove Chocolate Wrapper.

It says:

Go to your special place.

um, ok. Do I have to come back out, ever?

(It's a little stressful at work again. However, we're all shorting out earlier and earlier in the day now. It's like those wind-up nun toys that spark out their mouths, but instead, something gets jammed and they just start riding the whirly wind-up duck.
With sparks flying out their butts.)

At least I leave you with colorful imagery. My work here is done.

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posted by PlazaJen, 4:42 PM | link |

Monday, September 17, 2007

Holy Whipstitch, Batman!

Gosh, I was toying with rolling through my weekend events backwards, but I'm more likely to forget things if I go that route. So, fair warning, this is going to be a loooooong post, because lots happened & lots of miles were traveled, and there's just so much to talk about! And there are pictures! Go grab something tasty to drink, and put a little Pete Yorn on the iTunes, and read along.....

Saturday: I left the house, late, to head to El Dorado Kansas. Now, if you're from the general area you know that it's not pronounced the way Texas says their city. It's El Do-RAY-do, a long "a". I put that in as a snippet of trivia, and because my Auntie Karen couldn't believe her ears last week when I said it. I've never been west of Lawrence or Topeka, driving, so it was an adventure! It rained pretty much the entire way, sometimes a downpour of biblical proportions, sometimes a light drizzle, so my OCD got a workout adjusting the wiper blades to the perfectly correct calibration based on the varying degrees of rain. I went through the Flint Hills, which were stunning. Breathtakingly beautiful! I love how this country has such wildly varying terrain and I am always awed at the new things I've never seen before. These hills were a color of green not ordinarily seen in my everyday life. I was blown away, and inspired to dye some yarn, quite frankly. I then tried to take some pictures, but alas, was unable to capture exactly what my eyes saw.
Unbelievable Greens

Big grey sky, rolling hills, little lagoons and ponds dotting amongst the undulating earth. Simply gorgeous.
Sunshine is Somewhere Up There!

Oh the rain.
Rain on the Toll Road

I finally arrived at my destination, and met Laura, to get started on seaming up the afghans for the folks of Greensburg. We could've used a few more hands, but with a little instruction, Susanna, Laura's 11-year old daughter, was put to work on an afghan with me & we were able to finish the 56-block blanket that day. I started a second one & will get that done soon! There were two television stations covering the event, and I caught one snippet feature on the 10p news that night - Kyra was seaming & looked up at the camera and said "hi!"!!!! Laura is going to bring a bunch of sorted squares to Kansas City & work with Cindy at the Studio to get them seamed up by volunteers here - I know there are numerous folks who'd love to pitch in locally, and with enough helpers, we'll have the survivors of that devastating tornado at least wrapped up in some local, national & international love in no time!
Completed Afghans for Greensburg

Our Seaming - Purples & Pinks

OK! Are you still here! Good! We're only one day into the monologue! At the end of the day, I toodled on in to Wichita, taking a very circuitous route, because I was not clear on how to get back to the highway, so I made my own route. It was ok, but a bit longer than it should have been. Then, I hit Wichita, and frankly, Wichita? We need to talk. The fact that all the roads have not one, not two, but THREE highway numbers? And your signs are sometimes placed at varying degrees of closeness to the actual exit? Well, let's just say that if you're trying to discourage people from living there, this is an excellent way to do it. I ended up sailing north again, and because I had printed off, um, like, 5 different map scenarios for myself, I realized pretty quickly I was no longer headed towards my bed & breakfast. So I got off on 13th Street, and deduced I could head west on that street, catch another highway & go back south. See, I didn't want to turn around and find myself back at the intersection where it had all gone badly the first time. Plus, who doesn't want to do a little exploring?

Let me tell you this much. Thirteenth Street? It definitely has an abrupt line where it goes from one socio-economic class to one quite its opposite. I can't find a picture of it, but I about threw my neck out when I sailed by what could arguably be called a castle. The biggest building ever. Ornate, lush grass, and the omnipresent gates. The gates were big. High. Sturdy. Some of the gated communities had little guard houses (with guards!) and I was surprised. But then it quickly became clear why. The drop from Big Money to No Money was steep and fast. I was in the ghetto in a matter of blocks. The vast divide grows wider between the have & have nots. Me? I just wanted my interstate to appear, rather quickly, and I finally made my way to the B&B.

Which was nice. It's a little odd, having your bathroom down the hall, but since I was the only guest there (in the upstairs, anyway, one couple was in the basement suite), it wasn't an issue. I went out & procured some of the Absolutely Worst Vietnamese food I've ever had, gahd, what a dreadful disappointment that was, and then took a jacuzzi bath, read my book & crashed like a grand piano on the sidewalk.
(Oh god. Wichita. Please. You need good Vietnamese food. I'm so sorry!) If I had more time today, I'd be eating V. food to make up for the horrid, godawful meal I had. I shudder!

The next day, I proceeded to look for Target. I wanted to get a different pair of shoes, and perhaps just wander my familiar, favorite shopping place. My map? Outdated. I found Wal-Mart, and KMart and a whole bunch of other big box stores, but no Target. I finally pulled into a QuikTrip (I love the universal experience one gets at the QT. Clean, friendly, NICE.) and was told how to find the new, moved Target. I then went to Twist, the wonderful new yarn shop, and met up with the Crew from KC - Beth, Kyra, Kristin, Ruth, Jimmi, and there were knitters from all over. We had lunch & then it was off to the Yarn Harlot book signing/speaking engagement. What fun! But oh mah god, my butt. The seats were made for 1940's-sized arses, and they made thunking or creaking or whining noises, which makes a big gal a mite nervous when she squeezes into one, and so I am proud to say my ass muscles are practically sculpted from the hour-plus suspended clenching as I braced myself for the moment the entire seat broke apart. Fortunately, old-timey seats may not be comfortable? But they are sturdy as hell. Iron and wood. Here's Jimmi & Kyra during the waiting period.
The Most Uncomfortable Seats In The Universe

Stephanie is truly a delight. Her talk was funny, there were so many things we knitting fanatics understood and the connectivity exists, no matter how wildly different we all are. I will say we are different. There was one woman who had a small stuffed sheep, and she made it clap at times, covered its ears at others, and sat it on her shoulder while she waited in line. I'm going to leave it at that, except I will say I'm really glad nobody in our party was doing the same thing, because I might have to say something and it could result in a knit night fricasee of beanie-baby proportions and discussion of age and what you do in the privacy of your own home versus my line of vision. Back to the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie was so kind to stay as long as people were there, waiting for books to be signed. Our tickets were numbered on the front, and we were under the impression that was the order we'd go in - and woohoo! Numbers 9-16! But no. It was the numbers they stamped on the back when you entered. Numbers 100-113! Boohoo! But actually, it sorta worked out. We hard core knittahs hung around to the bitter end, and that's when all of us, including the Yarn Harlot, got punchy. I have pictures to prove it. And she'd heard of PlazaJen! It was like my other famous Canadian encounter, meeting Bryan Adams, without telling him I'd had a sex change operation and if he also read my blog. Only better. Loads better. Because Bryan DOESN'T KNIT.

First, my Chevron Scarf, in the hands of Canada's most famous Knitting Humor Writer:
Yarn Harlot! With Chevron Scarf

I got to pose with Second Sock:
Me with Famous Sock

(I am wearing my Mystery Stole! Many people came up to me and showed me where they were in the knitting. It was fun, and the perfect venue to make its big debut.)

I Kinneared her feet. It seemed fitting.
Kinnearing Her Feet

Then, I started taking a bunch of pictures when Kristin was meeting her, and Stephanie might have made a comment about she sortof was feeling like she was having a stroke from all the flashbulb flashy flashing. Sorry. I didn't stop, and then the ladies got into posing. There was even some voguing. Here, they are doing a photo shoot for a Sears catalog:
They Are In A Sears Catalog

There are more pictures over on Flickr, and I'll leave you with this one. While she never actually said she wanted to punch me, this photo sort of implies perhaps she might, and I also think Kristin looks like she would completely back her up in a Wichita Minute. Ah, fame, how drunk you make a BFF.

On Retrospect, She May Be Threatening To Punch Me In The Face If I Don't Quit! It! Now!

See, now, there was more, because we had to drive home? And we stopped for dinner at a Village Inn in Emporia - and that had loads of hilarity, too? But I can't type any more & I need to order a sandwich before my webinar starts. The real world has crashed back around me, but I had a super-duper weekend and I'm glad I did everything I crammed into the weekend! (Except the Vietnamese food. Gah. It's going to take a long time for that memory to fade.....)

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posted by PlazaJen, 10:12 AM | link |

Friday, September 14, 2007

Still Nuts!

So! I attempted to get here and just typed in, and guess what? It takes you to a lumberjack kinda site. Go me and the inability to type right now.

What a wonkers week. WON! KERS! It's like my new personal cheer.

I started this um, an hour ago? My brain, it's fried. I actually typed "fired" but seriously, I haven't got a brain-waiting-in-the-wings, so I'm in no position to let the current one go. It'll just go wandering in the streets with my gnomes and leave me here to watch Court TV all night. Let's hope I get through the weekend at this rate..... I'll definitely have lots to blog about after this big weekend! The Greensburg Afghan seam-up & the Yarn Harlot! Woo hoo!
posted by PlazaJen, 8:48 PM | link |

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Extroverted, Mean & Arrogant....

I'm wishing more people at work would take this quiz. I found it absolutely hilarious. And, if I'm being totally honest, there were definitely some parts that were true...... I love nothing more than a mean, sarcastic joke. Well, maybe custard from Sheridan's, but other than that?

Your Score: Class Clown

You are 42% Rational, 71% Extroverted, 57% Brutal, and 71% Arrogant.

You are the Class Clown. This means you wear grease paint and have a big, red nose...

I really need to stop thinking so literally...

Anyway, I MEANT to say that you are the Class Clown, and this means that you are extroverted, mean, and arrogant. You are not very rational, so you gravitate towards things that produce feelings or emotions over thoughts (like fart jokes or spitballs, for instance). You are also an extrovert and rather full of yourself, so of course you want constant attention for yourself and think you are somehow better than others. (Upon hearing the expression "you are full of yourself", you probably also slyly feel the need to ask women if they would like to be "full of yourself" too. I am assuming you have a penis. I often make that assumption, being fond of the penis.) You can also be a bit mean-spirited, and like a class clown you wouldn't hesitate to make a joke at someone else's expense, no matter how terrible it would make them feel. A lot of people probably find your antics annoying, sophomoric, and desperately histrionic. Like some sort of crack-taking hyperactive monkey, you'd do anything, mock anyone, just to get someone to pay attention to you for five seconds. So your personality defects are that you have to be the center of attention, that you don't care about others, and that you are rather irrational and motivated by intuitions. Now stop walking around with those books on your head and sit down this instant! Or else I'll be forced to stand here, hands on my hips, doing nothing once again!

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more BRUTAL than gentle.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


Your exact opposite is the Robot.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Schoolyard Bully, the Smartass, and the Brute.



If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.

The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

Be sure to take my Sublime Philosophical Crap Test if you are interested in taking a slightly more intellectual test that has just as many insane ramblings as this one does!

About Saint_Gasoline

I am a self-proclaimed pseudo-intellectual who loves dashes. I enjoy science, philosophy, and fart jokes and water balloons, not necessarily in that order. I spend 95% of my time online, and the other 5% of my time in the bathroom, longing to get back on the computer. If, God forbid, you somehow find me amusing instead of crass and annoying, be sure to check out my blog and my webcomic at

Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


posted by PlazaJen, 4:40 PM | link |

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If you Find My Mind, Please Put It In The Nearest Mailbox... it can be returned to its owner, me.

Oh my lord. Things feel a little unravelly. I went to CostCo last night to shop & get more things for James' lunch, and some basics for us. I've been making him a sack lunch each day, and it's worked out quite well - I make up the sacks of packaged things for a few weeks at a time, and then just make a sandwich each morning, grab a sack at random, and off he goes. He likes it, he doesn't leave school ravenous (which was why in previous years he found himself in many a drive-thru for an after-school meal), and I like doing it, because it feels like I'm taking care of him & gives me the opportunity for some surprises. Not all those surprises are planned. Today, I got an email from him - I made him a sandwich this morning, even mixed it up a little more than usual with ham AND turkey, plus some spicy mustard with the Miracle Whip - and apparently? I left it on the counter. Didn't put it in his lunch tote. CRIMINY!

Add to that the fact that when I bought milk at CostCo? I bought WHOLE MILK. We drink skim. I can't stand whole milk, though I think I'd enjoy it in a milkshake, because ice cream makes everything better, and I was astonished. Disbelieving, in fact. Asked him three times if he was sure I'd bought the wrong thing. Well, there's no denying milk that coats the interior of a glass like housepaint. Jesus. He at least likes it ok, but we both know it's as good for us as melting a stick of butter and chugging it.

I'm not losing my mind, I've lost it. I guess I'm stressed & it's just shorting out the normal/habit-formed synapses of my brain, because I'm in such triage with everything else, and my gnomes can't even take a look at the sparking cables that are flailing around unattached. We just sigh and shake our heads (me and the gnomes) and vow to try harder next time. And seriously, if you see my brain - and some of the resident gnomes - just galloping down the street, chugging a Colt 45 and mooning the traffic, would you please shake it, give it a stern talking-to, and send it back, please?


posted by PlazaJen, 12:00 PM | link |

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I'm not going to blog about 9-11. Remembering that morning still feels fresh, like so much grief does. On that day six years ago, my father, to whom I always turned for answers, had none.

That's what I realized yesterday, the core of the ache, the magma of my grief. He's no longer here to tell me what he thinks. I have to do it for myself. I was telling my therapist this, that I have my Top Ten of advisers, and have had my whole life (an ever-shifting list), but he was always the constant, and at the top. Interestingly, I don't really have the rest of the list made out. I'm going to make it, though, to remind myself I'm not alone, and I found it interesting that with his departure, I elevated from somewhere lower to the top. I guess that's all part & parcel with growing up, too.

I think about today's date, and I think about how our country continues to change and the things that make me angry and the things I wish we could change, rapidly. Starting with responsibility. My husband's school has had the police remove two parents, on two separate occasions, from the classroom & school this year. Because these parents aren't really parents, in the responsibility sense of the word. Yes, their DNA fused with another person's DNA, and they biologically produced a child, but they haven't set their own baggage aside in any way to lead by example, to create a safe environment, to understand the need for boundaries and limits and - here it comes again - personal responsibility.

Years ago, I watched the coverage of Columbine in our office, and called James that afternoon, to find out how he felt, what he was thinking. We had just started dating, and I remember thinking that I was glad he taught in an elementary school, not high school. Less tortured teenager angst, just crazy kids. But he's had kids with kill lists, kids who've threatened to bring an AK-47 to school, kids who've pretended to shoot at a teacher with a toy gun. And despite that recklessness at such a young age, we also talked about how he would still have the advantage of age & wisdom, and gun knowledge, and that the chance of this happening was still - well, small. But now we have unhinged parents, who don't understand the difference between retaliation and self-defense, who place undue burdens on their children and abdicate their role as parent and moral compass. And those people make me nervous. Frightened, in fact. He's not in the worst of the worst school districts, either. He still loves his job, and he makes a difference. I just wish for better security, and wish to be able to control it all from ten miles away.

All of this responsibility talk reminds me of something my dad used to say, back when I was a kid, and the IRA was setting off bombs and then calling the media to take responsibility for the bombing. We'd hear the announcer on NPR say something to the effect of "The IRA claims responsibility" and he would snort with anger. "Takes responsibility. Right." And he proceeded to explain to me that they (all terrorists) were in no way taking responsibility. They were responsible for setting the bombs - and guilty of doing something horrendous. Taking responsibility means something different It means atoning and taking care of the survivors, the families and loved ones of the people they'd killed. Doing the right thing in the first place. I still hear the mental argument against the use of that word, in our new and changed world, where terrorism talks to us half a world away with glorification and delight, and where a different kind of terrorism takes place just a few miles away.

What a different, and better world we would have, if only responsibility were the mainstay of our societal fabric.
posted by PlazaJen, 12:17 PM | link |

Monday, September 10, 2007

My Spidey Sense

...tells me that someone may end up getting me THIS for Xmas. (James, no. This is not a hint. Or a request. Thank you. It could not be less romantic.)

I love the Angry Chicken & her things and it cracks me up that she now has a bonnet pattern - in all sizes, including grown-up. Nothing says Ye Olde Wagoney Trail to work in a Murano on Ward Parkway whilst wearing my bonnet. (Out of some extremely trendy fabric, mind you.)

In other hilarity, I give you this discovery from the Oriental Supermarket:
Veggie Chopper: Solution To All Our Problems

Seriously, for the low low price of $11.99, you can solve everything in your life. Just me and my veggie chopper, cozied up on the loveseat. Without a touch. Without a world... do you think they meant "word"? I like to think so.

ETA: This IS a veggie chopper. I got a close-up of the box so I could get the verbage. After publishing this post/pic I realized you can't tell what it is, and could very well jump to some seriously incorrect conclusion. Ahem.

In other garbled communication, I have a fortune taped to my monitor because I misread it, and I loved it so in my version. "You're like sunshine and fresh air." Of course it just says "You like sunshine and fresh air", but I added a colon after "you" to make it more descriptive. I am. Like sunshine. And fresh air. Without a touch. Without a world.

But with a bonnet.


posted by PlazaJen, 2:06 PM | link |

Friday, September 07, 2007

Charles Gibson Has A Very Firm Handshake.

Seriously, he seems like a really nice dude, one of those people who just emit a combination of charm, intellect, confidence & niceness. I was leaving the KMBC party, because even though they had fans in the ceiling of their very nice tent, it was humid and I had on a lined, long-sleeve shirt, and was rapidly in danger of melting on the spot. And it was after 7 and I was wiped out. Charlie (I call him Charlie, we're pals now) had just arrived & I was waiting to get around the person talking to him to hit the exit, and then everything just sort of opened up/broke up, and he walked towards me & smiled, and that's when all those great qualities just sort of blasted through, and I smiled, probably reminding him of a fat sweaty muskrat, but hopefully exuding a small bit of muskrat charm, and we shook hands (and ohmygod my ring finger screamed, he has such a firm handshake) and he said "Nice to see you" and I said, "Nice to meet you" and it was all meet-n-greet nicenicenicey and then I was out of the tent & he was on to the main throngs of people. No telling him anything crazy, just an ordinary "hi" & it wouldn't have been appropriate to dig out my cell phone & make him wait while we did the arm-extended self-portrait.

He's in town, broadcasting the ABC World News from Liberty Memorial, and his connections to KMBC's general manager go way back. The new office/studios are fantastic, they're the first in town to broadcast the news in Hi-Def. We'd had a tour earlier this summer when we'd gone there for the fall TV preview - and at that time, things were still a bit in-progress, cables everywhere & the lights had all just gone up, but even then it was quite impressive. True to most big open houses, I guess they were putting up pictures & scrambling last-minute last night to finish the place for all their fancy guests (present company excluded!) I took some camera phone pix from the balcony that overlooks the whole studio area, while the 6:00 news was on, and I'll get those posted at some point. For "real" pictures (you know, ones with light, not take from overhead, you can see HeyCameraman's photo stream, they look awesome & give you an actual view of the studios.

The most fun of the night was running into old friends from the old job, and catching up on what's going on with them, etc. Despite the heat, it was a nice party (I mean, an open bar usually does the trick pretty quickly for most folks), everything was quite classy, and I was glad I went.

Then, I came home & we watched a Dirty Jobs we had on the DVR - the one where Mike Rowe goes to Mackinac Island, and then to Canada to band geese? And my dreams were crazy. I was on vacation - with hilpalny, whom I've never met or even emailed, really, so I'm sure that makes her feel really good, crazy muskrat lady halfway across the country is dreaming about her, and some other knitters, knitters I didn't know, and we had been in this (unknown, unnamed) city for a week, and we'd all bought way too much yarn, and I was packing like crazy, trying to get all this yarn into boxes and suitcases and how would we get it all back on the plane, and meanwhile, Hil wanted to buy this really cool, enormous candelabra as a gift for all of our parents, and I was like, "Look, I can't go in on that because my parents aren't together anymore, and my dad's dead, and so if you really want that, you're going to have to figure out how you're getting that on the plane." And they didn't have cars in this city (Mackinac Island doesn't, everything's horse-drawn) and so I was driving this bicycle-cart contraption back and forth trying to make sure we hadn't left anything behind and trying to find a suitable box we could check through at the airport without having to pay more. Even in my dreams, I'm stressed.

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posted by PlazaJen, 6:31 AM | link |

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Blind Spot

So, yeah, it's been a while since I touched back on my grief, my sadness, the piece of me I carry with me every day while, at times, pretending it doesn't exist. After all, if I stayed in touch with it every moment of the day, I'd simply be debilitated. But it doesn't change the guilt, when I finally realize that I'd spent a day or two without thinking about him, without even a hint or a shadow of the door opening, quick as I can be to shut it when needed. That's the rub, you see. Little chunks of time feel.....normal. Feel like they did Before. I hear the hospice nurse every time I think of the word "Before". I hear her saying, "This will always be a point in time in your life. You will have Before he died, and then you will have After." At the time it made sense in a foreign, removed way, like part of me was hearing her and writing it down, while the other part of me just stared at the place mat, willing myself to maintain adult control, to behave as he would have wanted me to. And I hear those words, so kind and wise, but they take me back to that very moment and the pain is so palpable. It is a an undulating pool that rises quickly, spilling out my eyes, visibly moving through my body, I hate it and I welcome it and it has become so private, so ..... mine alone.

Because I can't walk around every day feeling it in full. It's toxic in its purity. The thoughts in my mind, the things I see and remember, each one breaks my heart like it was yesterday, so I think them, in private, in the dark, or when I'm alone, or sometimes they roll in at inopportune times and I muster all my resources to regain control. And I think, "Is this it? Is this what it will always be like, carrying a dead body around like it's normal and in the normalcy I begin to not see, not even feel the weight?" Or is it self-preservation, the times of blurred forgetfulness, because the alternative is not a life of living? I watched a former friend spend two full years after her father's death, flinging herself into her own personal pool of grief on a daily basis. Unable to leave her house at times, paralyzed in her pain. I swore I'd never be her, I'd never let it consume me, and yet I have found, perhaps, a little less judgment now. Granted, it was still not the best path, remaining trapped and caught in her grief, but I can see, too, that there is nothing natural about finding the balance, swinging between forgetfulness and focusing your eyes past the pain, and then in a blink of the eye you are back to feeling it, like it was yesterday, like it was happening anew.

I feel like a drunken monkey, swinging wildly through the jungle, slamming into trees, losing my grip on the vine, falling to the forest floor, alternating between scrambling and slightly stunned, and knowing that I just have to keep going, going, going, because stasis is nothing, it is staying stuck, it doesn't work, it doesn't help, but even in the bruising and the pain and the momentum, I know I need a map, a compass, some sort of orientation to the sun. A little more direction and a little less hitting-the-trees-face-first.

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posted by PlazaJen, 5:06 AM | link |

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Finished Objects!

So, the weekend started out a bit nutters, but I did get a bunch of knitting in. Even finished some things!
Most notably, the Mystery Stole 3. There were points along the way when I wondered if this really was going to be something I'd like at the end. Especially with the abruptness in the asymmetry - but I figured I'd already come so far, just go with the flow, don't fight it, don't rip it out, and just see what happens. I opted not to lengthen the stole, despite knowing it would probably be a wise decision for my size, however, at that point in the knitting? I couldn't take one more minute of the cat's paw lace. So I didn't, and I won't be able to wrap it around in a great flourish, but y'know what? I don't care. I think it's absolutely lovely. Exquisite, the wing is stunning, I think two wings would be gorgeous, and I'm obnoxiously proud of the piece.
I'll give you the blocking pics, and at some point, I'll get it photographed in all its blocked out glory. The problem is that my sofa is a nice dark green so it doesn't photograph well against that!

Geometrical side, blocking:
MS3 - Blocking

Wing, blocking:
MS3 - Wing, Blocking
I had to spray-dampen the wing side, so it looks like the color's uneven but it's just the water absorption doing that.
MS3 - Wing

Then, I got some socks done for JWo, out of Knit Picks Memories, in the "Fly Fishing" colorway:

Waiting in the wings.... the Tulip Baby Cardigan, in a custom colorway kit from Threadbear..... soooo so sweet:
Tulip Sweater DiC Kit  from Threadbear

....and then last night, because the baby shower's today, a decorated onesie for a co-worker, who is having a girl:



Pretty cute, if I do say so myself! I just sort of freehand-winged this with some cotton perle and a notion in my head. If she were having a boy, note to self, we could totally go with a baseball theme, since blanket stitch kinda resembles baseball stitching.

Currently on the needles: Baby Surprise Jacket, out of Artyarns Supermerino, and the Tomato, upsized for me, in a blueberry shade of Goshen. Gotta start some more socks for me, since the Yarn Harlot trip is in a couple weeks, and I need to take a sock to visit her!


posted by PlazaJen, 10:33 AM | link |

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Well, we were supposed to see Ginuwine tonight, at - of all places - the Beaumont Club. Which is a little wacky, having an R&B concert and definitely a corresponding black audience all in a country-western club. We had been told our (comped) tickets were VIP and even such phrases as "Meet Ginuwine" accompanied the plans, so you know me & class C celebrities, I love 'em, and god only knows what'll come out of my mouth, so off Kristin & I sailed, to meet up with Jimmi & hit the cluuub.

The first tip that things weren't going as planned ocurred before we even got to the door. Someone semi-official (I assumed official based on the large plastic tickets hanging around his neck) was on the phone telling someone else that there was a mix-up and his DJ (presumably Mr. G's DJ) wasn't getting in until 11:20. Not good. It was only 9:00. So we gave it a go, went inside & got a drink, and seriously stood out like sore thumbs. It didn't matter that we were fancy dressed, we had no entourage or any street cred and we knew it. If only I had worn a pair of sunglasses. (How do you see in a dark club, wearing sunglasses? Maybe you just don't walk around so much.) Our rep wasn't there (the one who'd gotten us the tickets) so we had no way to assimilate, and we finally settled on standing near the stage and watching the crowd. No question, there were some people there. to. party. Unfortunately, as a large banner was assembled before our eyes, we realized the opening act had even been delayed, presumably to extend the show until said DJ got there.

At what point do you say, "I'm good enough but I can't roll without my DJ?" I understand you need your crew and your people but lordy. We split because there was no way we were staying until midnight, and we went to McCoy's for some dessert. Numerous office peeps were there, celebrating a graphic designer's birthday, so it was fun (albeit weird, since I never go out) to run into people we knew. When we walked back to our cars, past the club, one woman was leaving, chewing out someone about show times and how late it was going to be and how it was a lie and MMMMMMM child, she was NOT happy.

And if I'd paid $75 for a VIP ticket? I'd be pissed. Ginuwine better make me breakfast for my troubles, not showing up until that late. Fill up the gas tank. Unload the dishwasher. Screw posing for a picture with me, go get some groceries! Me? I'll be in bed before midnight & Ginuwine probably hasn't started singing yet. Now, Usher? I'd probably wait up for him.
posted by PlazaJen, 11:24 PM | link |

Saturday, September 01, 2007

OMG! It's Crazy Already!!!!

I have to write this down, like, right now. I nearly offered to take a picture as evidence, but that would have just prolonged the crazy.

Doorbell rings. I'm thinking maybe a package, other than that we don't exactly get the pop-ins in our neighborhood. It's Crazy Lady's Daughter, from across the street. The ones who like to scream and such. She's got a handbag & a small drink from QT, something red, and she is soaked to the skin, like a drowned rat. I thought about ignoring her, because hey, it's the weekend, it's been a crazy week, I'm enjoying the Cold Case Files on A&E, playing some Word Whomp on PoGo. But I instead say (through the windowed door), "Can I help you?"

Well. This turns into a fifteen minute conversation (actually more her monologue with me saying something short here and there) about how she was pissed off at the people down the street who have the basset hound, and they have an ATTITUDE and she went to talk to them about how their basset hound chases her cats and THEY TURNED THE HOSE ON HER.

She wanted me to help her. I told her she needed to call the police. She asked if this was assault. I said she needed to call the police. She wanted me to open the door to feel how wet she was, stating as she pulled her tank top out from her stomach "I am not a villain!" I told her I could see clearly she was dripping wet. She wanted me to join forces with her. I told her there wasn't anything I could personally do, that she needed to call the police and that I didn't have that kind of power. She then informed me that she was quite powerful. She told me numerous times how my fella sent our big dog out after that basset hound to chase it off the property, and she thought he'd seen her swinging her fist in the air, cheering him on. I could only nod at this point. She said he'd called our big dog back and she'd come right back because our dogs are VERY obedient. I could only nod in agreement, grateful she had revised her opinion from six months ago.

Then the house phone starts ringing. Clicks off. Then my cell starts ringing. This is JWo's M.O. for reaching me, and all I can think is, "How on earth can I get this woman off my front porch?" I told her again to go call the police, and if they want to interview me, I'll tell them that she was soaking wet. That they would probably go ask the people down the street what had happened as well, and if they're on drugs and high as a kite (as she also reported to me), then they would see that and be able to act on it. She finally accepts this and dodders off.

I called James back and said, "You will never in a million years be able to guess why I couldn't answer the phone."

I was right. He almost peed his pants laughing. Probably a good thing he wasn't here, either. (Oh because she wanted to talk to him, too.)

I'll let you know if KCPD's finest want to take a statement from me as to how wet my neighbor was. That would be kind of exciting, it would make this a real COPS kinda week here at the house. I hope the rest of the weekend isn't this nutters, though.

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posted by PlazaJen, 11:03 AM | link |