Thursday, July 31, 2008

Creative Solutions

Problem: I have no office supply art to blog about today
Solution: I will blog about "creative solutions" for my life problems

Problem: After a pizza dinner last Sunday night I had nothing to wrap the leftover pizza in. No tinfoil, plastic baggies, toilet paper, wax paper. And the damn box was too big to fit in my tiny fridge.
Solution: First I tried swearing at the pizza, but that did no good. Then I tried to fit the leftover pieces in an 8"x 8" casserole dish. The slices were too large. Finally I got out the big dog: the 10"x 12" casserole dish. I put the pizza in, putting pieces of torn up paper from the pizza box between the layers. Then I realized I still had no tin foil, plastic wrap, etc, to put over the top to protect my precious leftovers. I hunted and pecked until I found this giant zip seal bag. I know this bag arrived at the house last July, at the same time as Anthony. I do not know what he orinigally stored in it, but I'm hoping it's something pleasant, like...well, let's just say I'm hoping he didn't use it to transport his dirty laundry down here.

Problem: Wrestling matches with coworkers and customers often times end up with the ruining of perfectly good pants. In the case of my pair, above, the hem fell down.
Solution: Staples. When you are too busy (lazy) to sew, go ahead and use office supplies to mend your clothing. These staples have been not only effective in keeping the hemline of my pants, but add a certain amount of flair and sparkle that the pants did not have before.

Problem: The economy is in the toilet. Times are tough. Money is tight.
Solution: Put your household pets to work. This is one of my cats, Nola. We agreed that since she has lived with me for two whole years and never once helped pay the mortgage, she would teach yoga classes from the house. But this is all she does. She lays on the yoga mat and asks to be petted. This is not what I had in mind. In case you're wondering why I don't put my other cat, Coconut, to work, it's because she is in charge of pest control. Last night she killed a bat. In my house. I do not want to know where the bat came from or if there are anymore. I am just going to trust that Coconut is on top of it and that that I can rest easy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Work is Still Fun(ny)!

Oh the joys of Powerpoint! How thankful I am that I live in an era where I can make absolutely ridiculous presentations about a non-existent (as of yet) Center of Awesomeness and post it on my blog where one person (Hi, Mom!) will see it! My life is a joyous, joyous thing. Without further ado...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Paperclips, Cougars and Mustaches, Oh My!

Oh the weekend. How it stretches out for only a few short moments and then curls back up into the long, dry, and crusty work-week so quickly. Thank goodness I made such excellent use of my short time with Saturday and Sunday: Yes, it's exactly what you're thinking. Wait, that's what you were thinking? Ew, no, that's not it at all. It's landscape art, a paperclip drawing/sculpture. I used multi-colored and silver paperclips to add to the visual excitement. Obviously, these are paperclips from my own home, the paperclips at work are not nearly so adventurous. This is pretty basic, your tree, your rolling hills, your mountains, your cougar-attacking-a-postman (behind the tree, see it?), your sun, your cloud.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you make this genre of art (the genre is "Awesome", by the way) and don't glue it down. Did a hurricane hit? Did someone sneeze? No, this is what happened when my sweetheart decided he wanted to make a salad on the counter, the very same counter where I carelessly left my creation. I had not warned him about it's state of impermanence, plus he was making dinner for me, so I let it go.
And made this! It's a French man in a snow storm. A bodyless French man. He has no nose, but he has a very wild and wacky mustache, which is really all one needs to get by in France. So I hear.

What sort of art will the week bring? No one knows for sure. Hopefully something else with facial hair, though.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Logo and New Disaster for the NexJen Center of Awesomeness

Things were going along swimmingly for the NexJen Center of Awesomeness, currently only operating in my mind and occasionally out of my home. Last night I designed the logo for the center out of what else, office supplies. I know hand-drawn logos are a thing of the past, call me old fashioned if you will. I prefer software-challenged. As in, I don't have the software to make a logo because I'm too poor to afford it, and this is more fun anyways. While I was designing this logo I had the pleasure of hearing Amy playing and singing live in my living room, please go visit her website and buy an advanced copy of her new CD, because if you don't you will not like the consequences. (Help. She's holding me hostage in my own Center of Awesomeness. Please call her psychiatrist.)

Amy then spent the night at my house, after playing art director to my logo. She encouraged me to press forward with the ridiculous number of arrows, which I appreciated. Back to breakfast though. Anthony, my sweetheart and Amy's sometimes-bass-player, volunteered to make his famous french toast.

All was well.

Until we sat down and starting pouring on the maple syrup (the real stuff, none of that high fructose corn syrup junk). We didn't notice anything was amiss immediately, in fact we started eating our syrup-drenched toast.

Then Amy (damn her good eyesight) noticed that there was something horribly wrong. There was a teeny ant on her plate. And then she noticed there were many more teeny and dead ants in the maple syrup bottle! I almost hurled. I could not continue with my meal.

Amy pointed out that the NexJen Center was probably going to be shut down due to lack of health standards. it is a sad day for us all.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Signing Workplace Birthday Cards - My Version of Hell

Every month in my place of work every employee with a birthday that particular month gets a birthday card, signed by the other staff members, and a gift coupon for lunch at a local restaurant. The birthday cards are awful. Sparkles? Yup. Bunnies and/or kittens and/or puppies? Check. Some line about how "neat" the person is and how "nifty" it is that it's their birthday? Of course. Sigh. These birthday-wishes-from-the-cheese-factory are all in their own individual envelopes with the name of the person with a birthday on them; they are then stuffed into a larger envelope that has a list of all of the other employees names on it, the ones who aren't having a birthday that month, to initial that they've received and signed the cards.

Even explaining the whole process is terribly painful for me. The big envelope was in my mail slot today. My dread began immediately. I supressed the urge to run, screaming, down the hall away from it. I took it back to my desk and pulled out the six envelopes. Sigh, again. I didn't even know who one of the employees was. One of them is brand new. One of them works in a department completely separate from mine and probably wouldn't even know who I was if I did sign his card, which I didn't. One of them is the second-in-command over the whole company and who knows what you write on a card for someone that high up. If you try to be funny and witty you risk failing, miserably, with the rest of the staff knowing, since they signed the card after you did. Or you could always scratch out what you wrote after the fact, leaving a giant black blotch leaking through to the back of the card.

Do you see why this is so stressful for me?

Not to mention the fact that, damnit, Rick (who the hell is he?) has already written what I want to write (Happy Birthday ______!) on every single card. That is really all I can think of to say to these people. I hate this. I'm always claiming to be so creative, but when it comes to writing birthday well-wishes to people I don't really know or care about, the creativity dries up. If they asked me to make a paperclip sculpture the birthday boy or girl, than maybe it would be a different story.

I don't even want to know what people will write in my birthday card - but I will have to wait until November to find out. I think I'll be sick next month so I can avoid having to do this again. Or maybe I'll get lucky and nobody that works here was born in August....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Blurry Photos

Here it is, more office supply art. Or at least some blurry photos of it. I decided I wanted to make a couple of pieces that spoke to my heart, to the deepest essence of Jen. These represent two of my very favorite things about work: and

Can you even read what they say? "Lunch!" and "Payday!" Not sure why I need the exclamation points, I guess it's to make sure you know that I really get excited by these aspects of my job. I would also like to point out, to any parents or future parents out there, that I have a studio art degree. Yet this is all I am capable of. I would like you to encourage your artistic children to go into another field, one more profitable. Perhaps cat herding? Or maybe he or she could be one of those people who searches the beaches and the dumps with a metal detector?

I, obviously, do not get paid to make art. I am in a completely different field, completely unrelated to my major in college. Unfortunately the creativity keeps seeping out of me, pus-like, and I can't seem to control it. Does anyone else have this problem? The creativity problem, not the pus problem. If you do and would like to share, send them to

And if you aren't afflicted, lucky you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Are Pink Eyes Artistic?

This is me today. Look at my pink eyes. I also have had a reocurrence of the rash I developed on vacation from too much sun while taking Tetracycline. I was supposed to wait two weeks before resuming the medication and last week the time was up. I took it...and three hours later the rash appeared and now I've also got the chills.Hmm, on the bright side I'm extra colorful today, and I can stay home from work (assuming someone can cover my shift) and I can create couch art - you know, when you become a living sculpture? A moving, breathing sculpture with used tissues, tossed banana peels and discarded magazines surrounding you and creating depth to the piece?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rejected Already

It's true. I've gotten my first Which means that the self-addressed envelope I sent to Kensington Publishing will never make it home. And I wasted a forever stamp on it, damnit. Here's the rejection:

Dear Ms. Trinque,

Thank you for querying me about your project, OFFICE SUPPLY ART. While this sounds like quite a hilarious proposal, at only 12,000 words, it’s a bit too short for our current list. A project of such a length would make a wonderful gift book, but unfortunately, Citadel does not publish gift books at this time.

I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you, but I wish you the best of luck in your search for a publisher.

All Best,


See, it's actually kind of a good rejection, as far as rejections go. And I will admit, I thought this was kind of a long shot for me. Cross your fingers for a yes next time!

What Now?

I'm not sure what now. I finished the edits to the book, laughed my ass off in the process, and then saved the final file and that was that. I'm happy it's done (for now) and that I have my submissions in to publishers. I didn't work on my other book idea at all this weekend, but I had a great time none the less. I went to see the band Silver Machine at the Emerald Lounge on Saturday night with my sweetheart and some friends. I know the drummer. I've always wanted to say that. Visit their myspace page, their music sounds like the soundtrack to some trippy sci-fi flick. My favorite thing at the show was probably the girl dressed up like Pocahontas. Don't see that often - unless you live in Asheville, that is. Here it's pretty run of the mill.

I also played some Scrabble and watched some episodes of Deadwood, our current addiction. I'm back at work today and thought of another brilliant book idea: Roll Your Soul in Glue and Cover it in Sparkles. I already wrote the outline for it. Of course, I've got about three outlines right now and no books to go with them, so it's not saying much. I feel good about this one though, sparkly, even.

My lunch break is drawing to a close so I've got to run. Or maybe I just feel like surfing for celebrity gossip, but you don't need to know that. Oops.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Always Helpful. Always Shedding.

Today I will be spending the morning finishing the edits on my book. The edited pages are sitting on top of my printer. Under my cat, Nola. She is always there for me, helping me reach for the stars. Perhaps she's making additional edits. Coconut, on the other hand, does not want to help me with the book. This is where she was while Nola tried to help me.
She's not really this blurry in real life, I assure you.
Back to work!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Let the Waiting Begin

Today I dropped off my two other submission packages at the post office. The other publishers that I'm relishing my talent on are Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, CA and Sourcebooks in Naperville, Illinois. I think it's a good sign that I was able to help a troubled customer that I met at my place of employment who REALLY needed something mailed today - I conveniently was on my way out the door heading there. I'm not sure what kind of sign it is that I got lost trying to find the post office...

Now all I can do is wait for the rejection letters to roll in. Or, if I'm lucky, some other form of communication not involving a rejection. A smoke-signal invitation to an all-night cow tipping party, perhaps?

I do need to finish the edits to the rest of the book this weekend, and then just hold my breath for six weeks to three months, depending on the publisher. I plan to start book two this weekend: This Body Was Made for Snuggling.

Since I'm not feeling terribly creative or funny (my brain usually takes Fridays off), I'm going to stop trying to string sentences together.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This is what I get paid for?

This is what I did this morning. I made a tree that says bored. Which got me wondering, trees are stuck in one place their entire lives. Do they ever get bored? I then lost my train of thought because I was distracted by a man wearing pink plaid shorts. I have noticed that plaid shorts are the trend this year, but I will not be joining the party.

So back to the tree. And my boredom. I tried incredibly hard to find things to occupy myself with this morning. And this time I'm not kidding, I really did. I cleaned out my hanging-file-folder-filled drawer, (Amy, hyphens, see? I can be taught) printed out the phone logs for the phone at the desk where I work, did some math based on some numbers that are work-related but far, far too boring to explain here...and then I ran out of things to do. Until I struck upon the brilliant idea of making a tree out of the word "bored".

Sadly, even that did not end my boredness. I feel like I have had my eyes glazed over by the same delicious sugary coating that covers Krispy Kreme donuts, but without the same happy, tasty outcome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Work is Fun(ny)

I was asked to make a powerpoint presentation for work recently. It was a very long, boring task. To make it more fun, I also made a presentation for my own business, the NexJen Center of Awesomeness. I figure powerpoint is kind of like an office supply, right? Under threats of death from Amy, co-worker and editor extraordinaire I have posted the presentation here. Where no one will ever see it. Because no one knows that I exist. Behold the wonderment of my creative genius:

Monday, July 14, 2008

One down, two (or more!) to go

Today I mailed off my submission package to Kensington Publishing Corporation. This company doesn't take chapters, just query letters and a summary of my work.

Amy finished editing my book today, so I should be able to make the changes and submit to the other two companies this week.

How will getting a book published change my life? Will I be able to plate my cats in solid gold? Will I be able to upgrade to real furniture (as opposed to hand-me-down and stolen-from-the-curb furniture)? Can I quit my job and write full time? That's the big question, and from my (mom's) research what I can tell is: No. They all say don't quit your day job.

Since I'm a dreamer, I'm still hoping that Bill Gates will realize I am his love child and that he needs to donate large sums of money to me. Actually, my real dream is that I'll get this published and maybe make some money. And that they'll want to publish the sequel featuring other people's artwork and more of my artwork with my witty commentary. And that they'll want me to write more books, which I'm doing right now. I got a firm outline and one and a half chapters of my next book done this weekend. I also have two more outlines for other books. The key is figuring out how to fit art and spreadsheets and other unusual things into my books. I really want this to be my career. I also want to feel free and to be okay in the present space I'm in, not always looking for a way out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Missing Author

She returns! I have been going incognito as a beach bum - and unfortunately I was a beach bum on medication, which means I now have a bad rash wherever I got sunburned, I am hot!

I was away for a few days to celebrate my sweetheart's birthday, plus it was an awesome excuse to get away for a few days. I wish it had been a few days longer, but when I got back I got some great news. I'm being published! Okay, okay, it's not my book, but I wrote a column on the same subject matter for wncwoman magazine and I'm going to be run in the August issue!

This is huge for me, bigger than when I got my tattoo, bigger than when I was accepted into the kitten-juggling program at State, I mean, this is awesome! It's not a paid gig, but this is a door for me, I can feel it. Also I feel my rash itching so I better get going....