PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: juggling porcupines (page 2 of 2)

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

When you hear someone talk about how they have a batting cage in their basement, what do you think?

“Man, that’s a big fuckin’ basement,” comes to mind. Also, “Holy moly, you have money.” I also think, “Goddamn I’m jealous.”

How awesome would that be, to come home after a stressful day, and just start cracking the bat & feeling that delicious thunk when the ball collided into your swing?

I’m not sporty. Never really have been. The one thing I could marginally do, at least exceeding expectations of those around me, was hit a softball with a bat. Perhaps it is the degree of solidness I bring to the plate. There isn’t any amazing upper-body strength, that’s for sure. But I always got an extra degree of smug satisfaction seeing the softball sail right on by the motherfucking first baseman, or second baseman, or shortstop, or pitcher, or third baseman, because all of them had moved forward about five feet when they saw me come up to bat. (We won’t talk about the running. Run-ning. Not so great. But still. They were runnin’, too, to get that ball. HAH!)

I feel like I’m walloping off the softballs today. It feels good, if not a little exhausting. Hope you’re having a productive, walloping sort-of-day yourself!


annnnd 6.

I will admit, I had planned to get Mimi Murano’s official MO Safety Inspection earlier than today. It’s just been a bit… chaotic.  So after my morning of meetings, I took off about 2, and headed out to get the inspection, with plans to continue on to get new plates at the DMV, as well as exchange the faulty DVR remote at the cable store.

Stop #1. I am greeted by a hefty man who looks like he’s walked out of a small-town movie set, shot by Clint Eastwood. When I ask if they can fit an inspection in today, he sorrowfully shakes his head, adjusts his glasses, and prepares to write me in for tomorrow. Sorry, buddy. I’ve got a limited window here, so I’m going to try someplace else.

Stop #2. I am greeted by a burly man who looks like he could be cast as one of numerous State Troopers in a straight-to-DVD Dukes of Hazzard movie. I repeat my inquiry. He shakes his head. Tells me they’re scheduling inspections after Tuesday of next week. Obviously, that’s a bit too late for me. I am starting to worry a little bit about my afternoon’s plans.

Stop #3. I spy an inspection sign on a muffler and brake place, and veer into their parking lot, thinking they might be a little less busy. The waiting area is spartan, and I apparently startled a customer out a deep stupor. I am greeted by a skinny man who looks like he was an extra in Deliverance. It wasn’t so much his disheveled appearance – greasy, unkempt hair seemingly trying to escape its own destiny and owner by spiraling outward in various directions – nor was it the various-sized nodules studding his neck and face, but it was his eyes, vacant and staring, while he intoned they had no time, and astutely observed that this was the end of the month. I exited quickly.

Stop #4. Actually, it was a drive-by. I started noticing that all these places have their phone numbers on their signs, and as I passed another hole-in-the-wall, I shouted out the phone number to myself. No luck, they, too, were busy.

Stop #5. I pull into the parking lot, and immediately find myself in a sticky cluster fuck of cars, as suddenly three vehicles are trying to exit. I park. And call the number on the side of their building. No again. Their inspector hurt himself and is out for a week.

I am starting to get a little panicky at this point.

Stop #6. I pull into another little garage’s lot, and see a woman swiffering the floor to the waiting room. Having made eye contact, I think it will be a little odd for me to call from 5 feet away. I walk in, she gestures towards the back, and a man comes around to ask me what I need. I repeat my request for an inspection.  He tells me to come back tomorrow. I think my shoulders slumped a good four inches.  I started to succumb to what seemed to be the inevitable, and asked what time they opened. 8 a.m. How long will it take? The guy asks what kind of car I have. I start to flail. I’m feeling defeated, and frustrated, because I have a 2006 Murano that has just over 17,000 miles on it, for pete’s sake, and I can’t believe I even have to HAVE an inspection, and I’m saying all of this while flapping my arms like a flightless bird, spiraling on his freshly-swiffered floor. He pauses, and says, “Come here. Write down your name and address. I do it right now.”

At one point, while I waited, I’m pretty sure I uttered an audible, fervent blessing upon this man.  This wasn’t the most comprehensive inspection, I’d wager, but frankly, my car doesn’t warrant a fine-tooth comb. It’s still under warranty!!  The bill was $12? I gave him $20, with heartfelt thanks. And he blessed me, at that point! It was a win-win, in my book.

So, finally, I have new plates (that are grammatically incorrect, but yours truly & a Sharpie are gonna fix that), a new remote, and I dropped off a lemon-berry slush for my husband, who’s having parent-teacher conferences all day today. I’ve got to get my halloween costume pulled together tonight, and I must say, I’m ready for the weekend!  I’ll get some pics of the costume up tomorrow, and hopefully (fingers crossed!) get back to slightly more regular blogging! I’ve missed it – and while the blogs I write in my head are undeniably awesome, they’re also super-easy to forget.

One Indication of the Stress In My Life…

…is when I don’t blog. There’s been a healthy handful of work stress (some of which would have made LOVELY fodder, but then, we do like to pay our mortgage, unlike, apparently, eighty-million people).  And frankly, as stupid and trite as it sounds, I will never be able to read a memorial (such as Paul Newman’s) that says the person died at home surrounded by family and friends without thinking of my father. I believe there will be a time when it simply makes me melancholy, and it will feel like it is more of an arm’s-length away from me? But in this time of my life, it still has all the unpleasant qualities of being squished by a sweaty, garlick-breathed man on the bus.

Except it also makes me weepy. And, I cannot wait for the election to be over, because everything to do with that enrages me. I believe I alarmed quite a few drivers on Wornall this morning, while I listened to John McCain avoid the question as I screamed “FUCKING ANSWER THE QUESTION” and all my windows were down. It’s quite a pendulum to swing on, lemme tell you. All that we’re really missing are some mice in the house to make me feel like I’ve finally lost my shit. (You know, because you catch sight of them out of the corner of your eye?) And then I’d have to kill them and I don’t enjoy that one bit. But who knows? Perhaps election-year mice are therapeutic?!

This weekend is the American Royal, and we will be judging…. everything. Invitational meat, open meats, side dishes and desserts. Lawzy. Thank god we learned from last year, and are bringing a cooler. I hope I get to bring home a 14-gallon brandy snifter of pudding. I seem to have seen a photo of something like that once, and obviously, it stuck with me. (Though I think we can all agree such a snifter would be useful for after-work beverages, too.)

I’ve also got some finished knitting items to get pictures of – Gigi, and the Sweet Tarts Montego Bay scarf has been blocked, plus some socks.  I also have a small baby sweater on the needles for a co-worker of James’; and tonight, I finished sewing in a zipper on his jeans. Which might explain why someone found my blog when they searched for “what’s the difference between sewing and knitting.”

I’ve stayed up too late as it is; got an early meeting & lots to do again tomorrow. Catch ya on the flip side, peeps! And congrats to Meesha for winning Pitch’s Best Blog!

Oh, hi. Miss me?

It’s been another crazy week here! Yup! Work has consumed a big chunk of my time/life/brain, and as a result of that work, I’m heading back to NYC on Monday. Since I was a late-addition to the itinerary, my co-workers & I are going to be engaging in an Amazing-Race-esque travel event, with me leaving before everyone, flying to Atlanta, then on to NYC. They leave an hour and a half later, go through Cincinnati, and yet we’re all supposed to arrive at La Guardia at the same time. My brain keeps seeing the two colored lines peeling out from Kansas City in two directions, and I hear Phil Keoghan’s voice conjecturing if one team will encounter delays, or will we both arrive on time, and someone…..may be eliminated.

So, there are worse places to be stuck for 2.5 hours, which is my layover time in HotLanta, and I have loving, fond memories of that airport, because I walked off a plane once and saw a Body Shop in front of me. That was the trip where I’d forgotten my hairbrush, so it was a welcome sight indeed. I’m going to charge up my Zen and add some more music/This American Lifes to it, and of course, I’ll pack a knitting project, and a book. I dreamed a couple nights ago that I ran into the Yarn Harlot on my travels, too, which was pretty cool. My favorite part of this trip was when my boss told me that if they encounter delays, to just take a cab and get to Times Square. (That’s when my AE said that’s where we’d have the Amazing Race carpet to jump on.) So if you’re there on Monday during rush hour, and you see a fat lady talking to the singing naked cowboy dude, come up and say “hi”, I’ll be there waiting to get my next clue.

In other news, it’s a busy day here at the shop, because we’ve got our annual client/vendor party this afternoon/evening. There’s been a lot of hustling & bustling to get the place ready, and I’m just going to say it, my office is a disaster. I’m going to have to remedy the situation pretty quickly, but I also have another piece of my presentation to finish for Tuesday’s meeting. Instead, I’m blowing off a little steam & blogging. I miss my blogging!

Last night, we went to BB’s Lawnside BBQ, which is a fixture in the KC BBQ community (and I love that they underwrite on NPR); I had never gone there, despite its proximity to our house, so when I heard co-workers were taking our out-of-town AE there, I ran it by the Wo, who heartily agreed it was better than scrounging in our (very messy) kitchen for something. They had a band, and a helluva special, with a full slab of ribs & two sides for $15. Pretty tasty! And the music was great, and I even got snorgled by the harmonica player. I was engrossed in conversation (more like listening to the conversation between my hubby & a co-worker), and suddenly there was a man with a cowboy hat & a harmonica, playing by my face. Whenever I leaned away from him, he followed me, tickling my cheek & neck with the air from his playing. I couldn’t stop laughing, it was that crazy mixture of fun, unexpected attention and a pinch of embarrassment!

All right, I need to crank out my spreadsheet, and determine what’s for lunch. I know I’ll be Plurking my way through New York again, so if anything hilarious happens, I’ll let you know, and I’m going to see if I can blog with my phone as well. Just in case there are pictures that need sharing. Who knows? It just might be my week for cowboys!

Widgets & Countdowns & Crazy

I’m a little nutters right now. Each day has been jam-packed, and it definitely feels like it’s Whack-A-Mole time here at PlazaJen Enterprises. (The PJE covers all aspects of my life, btw. Laundry to Work to Dogs.)

I did finally flip the switch on a bunch of WordPress Widgets. They should all be working fairly adequately, though I will say, I thought importing my Bloglines feeds would be a snap – and it was – but then re-categorizing them all? That blew chunks. Big beefy ones. Bleah. And it’s not one of those things I can  just leave hanging out there, either. OCD! Must! Finish! Or! Gouge! Out! Eyes! So who knows if I mastered that properly but right now, I am done with it and let’s leave it at that.

If you look over there to the right, you’ll see my Plurk feed, which may get entertaining over the next couple of days, as long as Plurk Mobile stays intact and doesn’t self-destruct. (Reports from the field are that it’s not working, which puts me in a TIZZY.) I’m off to NYC tomorrow, with a whip-back-home the next day, getting in late Friday night. Again with the little planes and the connecting flights, but at least coming back we’ll have time to eat/drink in Chicago. She says, even though last time we were stuck on the White Plains tarmac for an hour. LA LA LALALALALALA. And I forgot to buy my airline-approved liquor as a cost-saving measure. Maybe tomorrow. I miss the good old days, when you could take an entire bottle on board.

OH, and because I haven’t had enough time, I squeezed a pedicure in over lunch, went across the street with a co-worker, and while they were fairly fast, they were NOT my Nancy at Nailcessity, and they also charged more. Bleah. But I was happy, at least, to have gotten a good polish and buff….for fifteen minutes, until I dashed off to another meeting and put my very nice leather handbag on my foot as I got into my boss’ car. I noticed the bright pink polish on my bag, first, then the large gap down the center of my big toe. Nice. I will say this: what did we do before the internet? I found a site that instructed me on every way possible to remove nail polish from every surface imaginable.  And? It worked! With very little effort. So now to just get the toe fixed and be done with that … lordy!

Now, I’m heading home to finish laundry & pack. And pick up OPI’s “Kinky in Helsinki” from Beauty Express on my way there. Or not. A quick search (I was going to link you to the color!) shows it’s discontinued. I might have it at home….. or I might be that girl with one big toe that just doesn’t match the others. Hell, at the rate I’m going, I could start a trend.

Tu quoque, my friends…

I posted a response to a fellow Raveler about the soap we watch – yes, I still enjoy my frothy taffy goodness of ATWT….. and while I was snarking, I heard a voice in my head saying, “Tu quoque, motherfucker.”

Because my father planted these seeds of Latin in my head growing up, they rattle around and surface at various times in my life. Not to mention he was hell-bent on teaching me every element of Philosophy and Logic before I hit middle school. (Long-time readers will recall how effectively that worked in fifth grade, what with the Ex Post Facto Bubblicious Incident of 1978)

It was a nice break in my day, hearing a little smart thing in my head, and then, because I can sometimes be wrong (don’t gasp or clutch your heart, it has been known to happen once in a while), I went and looked it up just to be sure I was using the phrase correctly. Indeed I was, and I smiled, because Dad had done a good job. The phrase he intoned with that was always, “If I am one, then you’re another”, and it aptly summarizes the fallacy of the argument. (Too bad they didn’t  have “nanner, nanner boo-boo” back in Ye Olde Roman Times, it would have made it so much sassier. Or “motherfucker” for that matter. Wait. They did. Oedipus!)

In other updates, it’s been a pretty stressful week, and I’m going to be working part of the weekend, with a business trip Monday/Tuesday. It’s half exciting, half stressful, and if there would be room to squeeze in something extra, I’d complain about the weather. But, we do have our li’l pool, so I am going to do as much chilling in it as I can in-between all this other stuff. For it all does pass, it works itself out, and some of the things I’m worried about may be only imagined shadows.


Juggling Porcupines

Boy, it’s a bit nutters again! Work’s suddenly lurching along at a borderline-frightening clip, and then all the other stuff outside of work is just… there. Needing to be done, needing to be remembered. (The remembering is my downfall!)

Since I absorb everything around me, I am also agog at my husband’s whirling dervish abilities of the past week – he put up the greenhouse! He did, he did! It looks a-ma-zing. I promise, pictures to come. He’s working on the benches that go inside now.

Dog training is work! Yes it is! Tripper is very cute, and also a bit headstrong. I have learned from Polly and being a bit more of a badass this go-round. Polly just looks at me when he bites her face, and I say to her, “You did that exact same thing to Suzy” and refuse to feel sorry for her. She has to grow up, and 4 years old is time to grow up.

I hit the wall with my molar #19 and am getting a root canal. I initially scheduled it for this week, but moved it to the end of the month. What the hell, I’ve lived with all this joy & pain since June, another couple weeks won’t wreck me.

We’ve been getting fencing & siding estimates, and it’s been an interesting process. I am glad I renewed my membership to Angie’s List, because even though I’m a cheapskate on some things, I figured that when you’re going to spend a chunk of change on things that you don’t want to do yourself, it’s better to at least find out if the people you choose to do the job have a good history of doing the work. So far, the fence guy I found on CraigsList is in the lead, but the siding guy from Angie’s List impressed JWo so much, it’s already worth what I spent to renew. Good times and home improvements. And having a fence truly encapsulate the property will be a HUGE benefit. With three dogs & one who loves to run off & roll in poo, nobody needs her teaching the little one it’s a great idea.

We’re going to see Avenue Q tonight – should be really entertaining! And we’re going to see Garth Brooks next week, which is really crazy, because I’m not exactly your Country Music kinda gal. But I think he’s got a pretty universal appeal, and lordy, he’s only doing 9 concerts here….!

Oh, and I exchanged our DVR this weekend (making it the 3rd DVR we’ve gone through), because it was refusing to record things & do normal DVR activities, like pause live TV? And within one day, the new box was doing the exact. same. thing. I thought my head was going to fly off my body. Fortunately for everyone in the room, JWo had drunk a celebratory martini (after finishing the greenhouse) and he wasn’t freaked out by me getting pissed. (“Jennifer, I just don’t care.” was the exact response. It made me GUFFAW.) The CSR at Time Warner asked, “With whom do I have the pleasure of speaking tonight?” and I replied, “Well, that’s gonna depend on how you define PLEASURE.” I need to say, in my defense, that I don’t scream or yell, but I do tell them I’m frustrated, that this isn’t working, and I’m not going to settle for the solutions we’ve tried already since they aren’t! working! He was basically of no help, so Friday afternoon, a technician is coming out. And I’m irked because it’s sweeps, and none of my shows are recording. However, after he re-booted it remotely, it recorded some shows and worked properly. For the moment. I’m sure when I get home it still won’t be working. It’s actually less about the shows themselves – because I can get ’em online – but the fact that something I have isn’t working. It zings my OCD inner self and that inner self freaks out. (Remember? Floor lamp? Order must be restored!)

OK, I think that’s it. Because it’s all infused with stress, it doesn’t qualify as a Random Orts post, but instead is a newly-established category: Juggling Porcupines! Not as much fun as riding the bike with one pedal, but I did dream last night that I had a lengthy conversation with Lenny Kravitz while spinning some yarn. (I don’t know how to spin in real life, but in my dreams, I’m quite good.)

sotto voce: Nobody wants to hear about your dreams, Jennifer. Thanks dad. 🙂

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