Friday, November 28, 2008


Heidi spent the day after Thanksgiving in Hawaii. She went to a luau and learned to hula dance. She wore a grass skirt and a coconut bra. She watched the red sun set into the ocean. She watched a fireworks display. This is her:

She's a blond, Lord knows blonds have more fun. (Though I have information from a reliable source that she Highlighters her hair.) Heidi is wearing a funny had and has no arms, but that doesn't seem to be stopping her from having a great time.

Jen spent the day after Thanksgiving at work. Working very hard with her dry erase markers and some Styrofoam cups. She read some books and did some emailing. She has an appointment with her life coach in a couple of hours. She is looking forward to her three-day weekend.

It's been 18? 19? More? weeks since she sent her submission materials to Ten Speed Publishing. She has still not heard anything. It's been 3 months and 11 days since she sent her stuff to Chronicle Books and she still has no asnwer. That's okay though, because she has arms and doesn't have to color her hair.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Ten things I am thankful for: (Notice: This list may be longer or shorter than the previously specified number, depending on how funny, creative, or boring I am once I start typing.)

  1. Electricity
  2. Mashed Potatoes
  3. My friends and family and cats
  4. Indoor plumbing
  5. Colors
  6. The Internet
  7. Stripes
  8. Hot chocolate
  9. Room temperature chocolate
  10. Trees
  11. Pancakes
  12. Carbohydrates in general
  13. Naps
  14. My home
  15. That I survived that vicious turkey attack yesterday
  16. Cars
  17. Planes
  18. Art supplies, office or otherwise
  19. That I only have 5 more days of work left after today!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Breaking News

A shocking crisis is unfolding. Our normally quiet and peaceful community is currently undergoing an attack of epic proportions. Members of the population have reported sightings of a giant turkey made of what appear to be paper clips and Post-it notes on the loose in our mountains. Here is a shot of the beast, captured by local biscuit n barbecue salesman, Minty McAffey:

It is thought that the creation came to life when an office supply artist extraordinaire, known only as "Jenny Silly Pants" was so bored at work she created this turkey and then conjured up an ancient spell to bring her creation to life. We have information that the spell backfired and the turkey not only came to life, but grew to 1000 times its original size and gained the ability to fly or, as some reports say, levitate.

It apparently also grew vindictive. This monster appears to be looking to harm any and all individuals involved in the corporate world. If you are wearing high heels or a business suit, remove the items immediately! It will not attack people walking around in their underwear. If you are a member of middle to upper management, for goodness sake, tell your children you love them. The turkey was last spotted 3 miles southwest of the interstate. We will keep you updated as this matter unfolds. Please head for cover or at least take off your pants.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jen and Sculptures

As promised, pictures of sculptures. Okay, the subject of the photos is me and my wit, but the sculptures are there, too:

This is a dog with a drinking problem; his paw is raised in anger at his misbehaving children.

This is boy with a cramp in his side from running too quickly after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He's doing the stretching technique to try to relieve the pain.

I wish I had some office supply art to share with you, but I've spent today working. Sigh, I know, you expect less from me. Actually, I'm helping Amy with a project so mighty and terrible that I can't stand that she has to do it alone. She's de-lighting fake Christmas trees. No, not "delighting" the trees with her war stories and card tricks, but taking off all of the non-working strands of lights in order to put new ones on. The problem is that these trees came pre-lit, which means the lights were strung on by evil Nazi robots with seven arms each and one, giant, all-knowing mechanical brain. It takes the two of us about an hour per tree to get all of the lights off, and we have wire cutters, to boot. And we have about four more to go....

It is my lunch hour, but in the spirit of togetherness and because of the peanut M&Ms she gave me a few minutes ago, I'm going to help her tackle another one...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mondays and Buildings

Monday, November 24th: My last Monday at this job and first Monday as a 29-year-old. It's pretty much the same, really. I am, of course, much wiser, a little taller, better looking, and have a few more grey hairs. On my chest.

Saturday night Anthony took me to Chattanooga, TN, as per my request. And I took some pictures of buildings to put on the blog. Isn't that exciting??? I bet you didn't get to see buildings on your last birthday!

This is a pic of the hotel where we stayed:

See that guy on the very right of the shot? He's wearing a white suit. We saw an inexplicable number of men dressed in unusually colored suits, wandering the streets. One man had on a mint green suit, which was a good color on him.

Anyways, the hotel isn't anything special from the outside, but the inside was really neat. The best part, though, were the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the jar right outside our door. Oh, and the gourmet breakfast where I got to have stuffed French toast (Ingredients: Thick white bread, cream cheese, orange marmalade, butter, and enough fat to kill a triathalete in one fell swoop), yummy vegetarian quiche, fruit, cereal, and yogurt. I took some of everything so I could try it all. There was some meaty stuff, too, but I let Anthony take care of taste-testing it.

On our first day we went to the aquarium, this is a picture of one of the buildings (there are a few separate ones making up the whole aquarium):

The feet are not part of the aquarium, no. There are sculptures all over the place on the riverfront in Chattanooga, maybe if you're nice I'll put up some pics of them tomorrow. The aquarium was very cool and of course I forgot my camera! My favorite things were the penguins and otters, plus they had lots of GIANT tanks filled with fish and sharks. Oh, and they had a whole display of sea horses and sea dragons! If you've never seen a sea dragon, click this link, they are so cool!

On Sunday we went to the Hunter Museum of American Art, isn't the building awesome?

When I was in Chattanooga a few years ago I remember there was a sculpture of a horse out front that I loved, and I wondered if it would still be there. Lucky me, it was!

This sculpture is called Boreal and I put the close up picture because it looks like wood, even up close, even though it's made entirely of painted bronze. The artist, Deborah Butterfield, always sculpts horses and always uses found objects, which she has cast in bronze and then assembles into her sculptures. One of the workers at the museum said that horses are her life, she gets up, rides horses, takes care of them (I guess she lives on a horse farm) and then in the afternoon works on her art. Sounds like a great life, I get the feeling she is really following her heart.

Only 8 days of work left after today and thank goodness for that!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm Like Cheese

Fridays are best spent in your pajamas, drinking hot chocolate. So that's exactly what I'm doing.

This morning I woke up to snow and the news that there was black ice all over the roads! By 8 am there were about 100 accidents total reported between the county I live in and the county next to mine; by later in the morning there were 168 calls to the State Police to report incidents.

Needless to say, I stayed home today.

After I wiped away the tears I shed over not being able to go to my favorite place on earth, I read, watched TV, and just a few minutes ago, talked to my life coach. I always, always feel better after I talk to her, and I truly hope that I can help someone else feel that way in the future.

Tonight we are supposed to go to my mom and step dad's house for my birthday dinner, but I don't know if the roads are going to be safe enough. My actual birthday is on Sunday, and tomorrow morning Anthony and I leave for Ch-Ch-Chattanooga, which was my birthday request, to spend the night in a nice hotel and go to the aquarium and art museum there. I am so excited! The hotel we're staying in has all of my favorite things: a wine and cheese reception on Saturday night, and a gourmet breakfast on Sunday morning! Plus a very comfy bed and fireplace. I hope tomorrow the roads are safe enough for us to go on.

I'm turning the big 2-9. If I ever tell you that again, I'm lying, but this year I'm telling the truth. I have nothing but excitement about this, I am not upset about getting older and think my life is only going to improve with age, like a good cheese.

Next time I write I'll be a year older!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Creativity Lives at Home

I was quietly minding my own business last night after work. When I say "quietly minding my own business", I mean throwing small projectiles at my cats. After the entertainment value of that activity lessened (which was when the cats decided they no longer appreciated my company and one went outside and the other hopped on top of the refrigerator, where I couldn't get to them), I headed into the office to read my email. Amy sent me what I consider to be one of the funniest things ever. Check out this link. I wish I had thought of this. She actually sent me a completed example, with my face in the box.

After visiting this site and enjoying it thoroughly, I noticed some paint chips that I gathered from the store over the weekend and, what else, forced them to become part of my never-ending-art-project-theme, trees:

The reason I was wandering around so aimlessly last night, when normally I am parked on the couch, is because Anthony was busy working on his own Awesome and Creative Project (ACP).

Don't be distracted by the spectacularly-dressed example of perfect feminine beauty reflected in his creation - what I really want you to notice is the window and the mirrors. He buys old, used windows and grinds them, sands them, takes the glass out, stains them, buys mirrors cut to fit in the panes, puts the mirror in, glazes them and ends up with these beautiful, functional mirrors. He has lots of patience (if you knew me, you'd know he'd have to) and involved projects like this do not bore him to tears as they do me. Here's another:

He made 5 altogether, and I really love it that he's had a fun project to work on, too. It does make me want to do some longer, more detailed art projects (nothing that involves power tools, mind you), but I really can't see myself getting started in something like that until after my last day.

Only 10 days left after today....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Boredom: the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest

That would describe my "state of being" today. I did make a list of things to accomplish at work on this fine Wednesday, (yes, um, they all had to do with my job....) but I'm still just BORED. I think it is not from lack of entertainment, but from the fact that I just want to get out of this situation. I gave my notice four weeks ago, which seems like a really long time to stay somewhere. I only have 11 days left after today, and I'm going to make the best of it, but it is going to take lots and lots of caffeine, web-surfing, office-supply-art-making, day dreaming, and...I don't even know what else, to get me through.

I know what you're thinking, "Come on, Jen, you've made it through 1460 hours of this job and only have 91.5 left. Plus your hair looks really good today, and even though your socks don't match your purse, (or your pants or shoes) they do match each other, nice work. And after December 5th you are totally free to do whatever you want every day. You won't have any income to speak of and you do have two cats to feed and a mortgage to pay, but hey, you won't be bored anymore. So suck it up!"

Okay, okay, you're right (thanks for noticing my hair. And socks, I think.)

In honor of this topic, here is my list of stuff to do when you are so bored you are seriously contemplating getting the name of your deceased gerbil, Mr. Mickbitsy, tattooed on your forehead:
  • Look up that word you used yesterday when you were describing to your parasitologist the hairy thing you noticed, but weren't exactly sure you knew what it meant. The word, not the hairy thing, that's why you were seeing the parasitologist. When I did this I learned that "bucolic" is not a disease you get when you visit Mexico.
  • Name your toes. Since you asked, from left to right, mine are: Brisket, Topper, Flipsy, Dixie, Pooper, Popper, Dominic, Gertrude, Slinky, and Maverick.
  • Plan your dream vacation
  • List all of the people you've _______. Pick a verb. You know, list all the people you've kayaked with, crossed the border illegally with, shared recipes with, swing danced with, made fun of, drawn while naked (them, not you), worked with, bred purebred racing horses with, etc.
  • Try to list all 50 states. Once you've done that, list the ones you've been (arrested) in.
  • Compile a list of your favorite vanity plates and pick one out for yourself. I was thinking "FREE2B" would be a good one for me. Sure beats "PRNCESS".
  • Think of a way to impress your eye doctor with your X-ray vision and laser-beam-shooting eyeballs next time you visit.
  • Invent a new board game involving deep sea creatures, the music library of Leonard Cohen, and lots of diamonds.
  • Send money to someone who really needs it. (I'm pointing to myself, in case you didn't get that part.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Last Days of Powerpoint

I just realized this morning that I will no longer have access to Powerpoint to make my ridiculous NexJen Center of Awesomeness slide shows. This was so disturbing to me that I fell asleep. When I woke up I made this:

Perhaps I will come up with some kick-butt alternative that involves, whaddyacallit, interpretive dance. And Youtube. We'll see.
One thing I know for sure, I'm going to have to be much more organized when I start working from home/running my own business. This weekend I did a cleaning and organizing project and it was pretty successful. I had this plastic container with hanging file folders that contained all of my important documents and lots of other random stuff, too. Whilst looking through the important documents I got so incredibly bored and agitated I was afraid my brain would force me to the kitchen where I would then get a fork from the utensil drawer and stab myself in the eye. Thank goodness I came up with an alternate plan: don't look at the boring crap!
Basically, the entirety of the plan looks like this: When I get a document that seems important (dealing with health insurance, car insurance, home owner's insurance, property taxes, kitty taxes, social security, etc) I open it to make sure I don't have to pay anyone and then I file it away. Possibly forever, never to see the light of day again, but at least it's somewhere if the IRS or CGB knocks on my door. The second part of this plan is that in a couple of years I will be doing so well, financially, that I can pay someone else to you know, do that icky stuff. My step dad already does my taxes (thankyouthankyouthankyouletmebakeyousomecookies) for me, but maybe once a year someone else should tell me if I've missed something important.
I must get back to the important task in front me now: counting down the minutes until the weekend.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dynamic Dentistry

This morning I woke up with something to really look forward to: My semi-bi-annual visit to the dentist. Today's visit was especially exciting because not only did I have the standard gum-pulling and tartar-vaporizing session lined up, I also knew I was having an old filling drilled out and replaced.

I wasn't feeling terribly hungry this morning so I skipped breakfast, thinking I'd eat it right after the dentist appointment, maybe even in the parking lot. Ha! Did I think they were going to replace my filling without numbing the entire left side of my body (brain included)? Or maybe I thought that the numbing would be done with pixie dust? Or perhaps a compound made from unicorn hair and toad warts that would be gently applied by magical, miniature faeries?

No such luck. I had a numbing agent applied to my inner cheek, then two giant needles worth of Novocaine were stuck in my gums. Needless to say my mouth and head region were far, far too numb to consider eating after my appointment was over. Or apparently thinking, because today at work the only thing I've accomplished is lunch. Oh, and bathroom breaks!

Just so you know, what I write on this blog is, I would say, on average, during a month with two full moons, between 35 and 75% true, approximately half of the time.

For those of you who are still here, I was creative this weekend!

Both of these were made with polymer clay and lots of love. I am moving out of the funk I was in and appreciating the fact that I will be done in just a few weeks! I can't wait to be home full time and create and write and then in January, start my courses to be a life coach. Life is looking good! Especially now that the feeling in my face has returned.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Ever feel like you were really lacking in creativity? That there was no possible way you could make anything interesting, even given the fact that you have a brand new trade magazine in your hands, just aching to be cut up and made into something stunning? Or that you wouldn't be able to come up with anything interesting to say on your blog because today, to be quite honest, you're just not that interesting?

Well, I feel that way today but I have excuses:
  • It's dark and murky outside for the second day in a row
  • My job is boring
  • I have peanuts stuck in my teeth
  • My socks don't match my pants
  • This morning I pulled something out of the drain of the shower that I couldn't even look at for fear that making eye contact with it would paralyze me or send me into some sort of spasms. I think I've got a touch of post traumatic stress disorder over the whole thing.
  • I still have not heard from the publishing company I sent my book query package to and approximately 300 million years have passed...I'm pretty sure the mastodon/editor that I sent the stuff to got stuck in a tar pit on his or her way to the mail room.

But it's Friday and that means no pants for two days, which may help with my creative dry spell.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm back to my favorite subject again, trees:

I figure I may as well make office supply art while I still can, so this is Post-It Note, pencil, and recycled copy paper piece. See the one random black box in the space occupied by the lower right hand tree? I always try to use materials that would otherwise go in the trash, and this had a mistake on it and couldn't be reused. I am really happy with this piece and when Amy saw it she said she wanted it. But, extra-demanding-with-a-cherry-on-top as always, she wants it matted and framed first. If I can manage to keep it from being destroyed (crumpled, stepped on, torn, spilled on, set on fire, etc) I might actually have it professionally prepared and give it to her as a going away gift. Yes, I'm the one going away, but she deserves a gift for putting up with me for as long as she has. In fact, not only has she put up with me so far, she's even taking me to a place called Sante Wine Bar after my last day of work and buying me both wine and cheese. If there was going to be peanut butter and hog-tying my night would be perfect.

When Amy saw the above creation, Turtles Mating In A Gently Rocking Doughnut, she told me I was going to be famous one day. I asked what for, and she said anything I want. Hmm, that sounds dangerous. I'd like to be known for my impeccable dental hygiene and pancake-eating skills, do you think that could work? As a distant second choice, being a world-famous author/blogger/artist/Awesomeness Inspirer/cab driver would be okay, too.

I have to get back to being my effortlessly creative self now, TG tomorrow IF!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bitter Sweet

A decision has been made about my replacement. A job offer hasn't been extended yet, but that should happen soon.

My last day will still be December 5th, but I may not have a long weekend prior to my last week as I had planned, since I could be training this new person that week. Things will be worked out somehow so I either get the time off at a different date or get paid for the days.

I'm feeling sort of sad, oddly. Not sad about leaving my position, but certainly sad about some of what I'll be missing. Specifically my coworker Amy. And there are some other people and situations I'll miss, too. However, the interviews this morning really reaffirmed for me that I don't want to be part of Corporate America. The silly (to me) questions, the managing, the making up professional sounding phrases to say the simplest things, the egos. It's not for me!

I can see very clearly that what I really, truly want to do is help other people find their own way. I want to enrich people's lives and help them find their center, their purpose, and their passions. And yes, I want to make pancakes, be silly, write humorously about my life as a working stiff, and spend lots of time petting my cats. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities I've had in my life and even for this job. I am so looking forward to the next chapter in my life, which will be here after 17 to 19 more working days.

I genuinely hope my replacement loves their job here and stays a very long time.

Time for me to make some office supply art while I still can....

99th Post! And It's About Hiring My Replacement!

Wow, 99 posts already? Wish I had thought of some way to celebrate...

I'm on a break between interviewing candidates to be my replacement. At work, not in my personal life.

As we were interviewing I was thinking, "Thank God no one is ever going to ask me questions like these again." Things like: "Tell us about a time when two people you were supervising had a conflict and you had to use your management skills to mediate the situation. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?" I wish I could add something funny into that question but then it would take away how incredibly boring that sort of thing is for me. I want to help people find their passion and their joy, and maybe for some people answering questions like that does it for them, but not me!

Also, one of the questions is (not kidding): "What Disney character would you be and why?" My answer? "Donald Duck. Because he doesn't wear pants."

Gotta get back to the grind...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Story of 11/11

Today is November 11th, 11/11. It has significance for me for a number of reasons and we have quite a history together. No, November 11th never got me pregnant and then left me for my best friend, and November 11th certainly didn't try to peer pressure me to eat paste back in the second grade.

In the spring of 2001 I was preparing to graduate from college. I was mostly preparing by skipping my classes, but I also spent a significant amount of time watching TV. Okay, okay, honestly, I applied for lots and lots and lots of jobs. I really wanted to have a full time job lined up by the time I finished school. Through my senior year I worked for a newspaper designing ads, but they didn't have room for me to go full time, nor would I have wanted to. For some strange reason more and more frequently when I looked at the time it would have an 11 in it. 1:11, 4:11, and often times, 11:11. I had no clue what this was supposed to mean.

Time passed, I graduated, I did not have any full time job offers, September 11th happened, job prospects dried up even further. I decided the very best career move I could make was to move to Killington, VT, population 1100, to become a waitress at a ski lodge and live in staff housing with 15 other people and two toilets. The day after my 22nd birthday I moved there and lo and behold, when I signed my work agreement, my official date of hire had been November 11th. Huh.

Many, many things transpired from that point including me moving to Montana, living in a tent for six weeks (part of which while a serial killer was loose in the area), moving to Virginia Beach, anincrediblybriefmarriagethatIdon'treallywanttotalkabout, and more. For a while I thought that was the end of me and November 11th. But I noticed, on and off, whenever change was about to occur in my life, I'd look down at my watch and there it was, 11:11.

Then on November 11th, 2006, I met the man who is now my boyfriend for the first time. He came down from New York to visit a mutual friend and we hit it off instantly. After I gathered the courage to take my head out from underneath the dining room table, that is. So today is our two year anniversary and also is the focus of my art project for the day:

The book is one of the ones I'm reading for the upcoming life coaching course, but the scissors and the collage pictures are for Anthony's anniversary card. What? you don't think a German Shepherd with its tongue hanging out is romantic? Obviously you don't know me very well.

But back to 11:11 again. I have entered another period of my life where I see it on my watch at least a few days a week. When I first started noticing it in 2001 I was worried, I thought maybe I was going to die that day or something. But now I just notice it and am happy to see it, it just means change is coming in my life, and it always means adventure. I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Colloquial Paradoxical Levity

A Monday that doesn't involve being at work is a Monday for me. I think I will adopt this Monday.

Did I sleep in and revel in the fact that I had nowhere I had to be this morning? I wish. I woke up at 5:45 with a scratchy throat and a phlegm (only took me six tries to spell that properly) problem that threatened to choke me in my sleep if I didn't get up and drink some tea. So that is what I did. Eventually I moved on to strength training, oatmeal, and a walk. Not all at the same time, mind you. I also had to drop my truck off at the mechanic, again. Jeez, it's only 20 years old with 95,000 miles on it, what gives? The brakes are giving me problems again, and this time the mechanic mentioned the words "Master Cylinder". He might as well have said "Colloquial Paradoxical Levity" as an explanation to me since both of those phrases mean nothing to my brain. I take that back, the word "Master" makes me think this could be expensive.

Hey, my watch alarm just went off, indicating that I can stop meditating now. Oh, blogging isn't part of standard meditation practice? Who knew? I've been off the meditation ritual for about the past week. I did do it Saturday morning, but I skipped it yesterday. I thought I'd give it a whirl again today. Obviously I lost interest in it before my time was up. Maybe after I am done with my job I'll have better luck? Or maybe after my lobotomy?

I had a really nice Saturday. I made some more art:

I am not super-duper happy with this piece, although I did enjoy making it. Now it's sitting on my mantle with all of my other art projects. Ideally I'd like to spend some time, energy, and possibly dollars in creating some art that I could sell locally. There is a huge art community here and our main industry is tourism, so selling some pieces on the side is certainly viable.

On Sunday I created some chunky lentil soup, which I got from the website Eat, Live Run. Mine looks absolutely nothing like the blog author's, but it's still very yummy. I also made two loaves of bread. One ended up naked on the counter. When I tried to pop it out of the bread machine the entire crust, I kid you not, stayed in the bread pan and only the warm, chewy insides fell out. I scraped the crust out and tried to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, but it will never live the life its parents envisioned for it: Sandwich Bread. However, it is still delicious in giant chunks. I then made a second loaf which was much more successful. I'm bringing my mom some soup and the Successful Bread for lunch today, and I'm going to have some with her.

This should be an easy week at work, tomorrow is the actual holiday that I've taken today off for so no one will be at work. You know what that means, right? Highballs and Cheez Whiz.

Wednesday is round two of interviews for my replacement. Or as I like to call them, "people who I should warn, but if I did I could never leave, so forget it".

OOhh, and tonight I get to have Indian food, so this Monday just got even better. Time to go do something productive. Or not, who cares, it's my day off!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Please Stay Awake

When I was a small child my mother used to say, "If you don't have anything incredibly interesting to write on your blog about art made out of office supplies, than don't write anything at all."

I'm going to ignore her advice today. I have no office supply art or pictures or anything, and I was talking to my lunch coach...I mean, my life coach, over lunch, so this is going to be quick.

  • I have a three-day weekend! Yay me!
  • Life coaching today was great, I am very happy!
  • I would go into more detail but you would probably fall asleep, hitting your head on the keyboard in the process, and end up with a permanent indent shaped like the space bar in your forehead.
  • It's been 16 weeks since I sent my submission package to Ten Speed Press. What is going on???
  • I only have 17 more days of work after today.
  • Today's fateful fun-sized Halloween candy is going to be a Mr. Goodbar. Mmmm....
  • Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mysteries and Reasons To Smile

Today my stepfather, Joe, wanted to send a picture to me. He had taken a photo of a beautiful tree using his cell phone. I emailed him directions on how to send it to me, since he'd never done it before. This is the picture I received:

What exactly do you think is going on in the foreground?
  • Lochness Monster or other large serpent-like creature is bobbing through?
  • Giant demon bunny (those are its ears, see?) popped up and got in the way just before he snapped the photo?
  • Elephant stuck its trunk in front of the phone?
  • Black hole is beginning to form in the parking lot?
I, personally, think it's the demon bunny. Thanks for the photo, Joe, the tree is beautiful and I am thankful you weren't harmed.

On to office supply art! I have mentioned before that sometimes I leave projects for Amy to do while she covers my one-hour lunch break. Sitting at my post can get a wee bit boring sometimes (allthetimeallthetimeallthetimeohmygoshgetmeoutofhere). Past assignments have been quizzes, drawing assignments, and lately, a few word searches. These are the two I made for her today:

I got the idea to make the word searches in various shapes after a lame-o luncheon I went to a few weeks ago. The one they provided was shaped like a horse, but I'm not quite that talented/smart/motivated, so I make easier shapes. The first thing I made was a cross shape. I will not elaborate here as to what the words involved were because I do not want to offend any one's delicate sensibilities. The second one I made was shaped like a tear drop and contained reasons Amy should miss me (awesome, goodfriend, niceass, etc). I made one today with reasons to smile, the top one, but realized they mostly applied to me, so I went ahead and made a second one for Amy with reasons to make her smile, the bottom one. Notice that her crossword puzzle smile is missing a front tooth, like she is. (If I don't ever blog again it's because she has killed me after reading this post.)
The reason I'm showing you these word searches is to prove that you can have fun at work. Especially if you have a spreadsheet-making program, absolutely no supervision, and very little work ethic. It takes a professional like me to come up with something this advanced, but I have faith you could make something awesome, too, if you had enough to drink.

Interviews for my "replacement" started today. My boss is interviewing five foolish people today and six tomorrow. I have 18 days left. How do I know me leaving this job is fate? Because one of my other favorite coworkers, Daniela, who works the evening shift of my job, gave me some leftover Halloween candy and it's exactly the right amount for me to have one piece each afternoon until my last day. What are the chances of that? Yes, thank you for pointing out that I can make something out of less than nothing.
Today was the first day of my at-least-month-long-news hiatus. That meant no Today show during my morning oatmeal and no NPR in the car to and from work. And no checking to see if North Carolina ever got called either way in the presidential election. Oh well, I can find other things to do while I drive, like curl my eyelashes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

From One Countdown to Another

Yay! I am very happy that Obama, along with Hope and Change, have been selected as our next president. Did I help make that possible? I sure tried! I live in the only state, North Carolina, that is still too close to call. I guess Obama didn't need my vote to win, but I was pulling for him anyways. A brief history of my presidential voting experiences so far:
  • November 2000, I was 20 and living in Connecticut and voting for the first time. When I went to bed on election night my chosen candidate, Al "I thought I'd hide how great and passionate I am until much later, way after I lose the election, and let people think I am made of cardboard for now" Gore was securely in the lead. He'd won Florida, all was well. When I woke up it was a different story, which I won't rehash here. My state went blue but the country didn't.
  • November 2004, I lived in Vermont. I wasn't super crazy about John Kerry, but he wasn't W and and that was good enough for me. (A rabid pigeon running on the Fowlatarian ticket would have been good enough for me at that point.) Again, my state went blue but the country, using some of its best judgement ever, went red. Again.
  • November 2008, I live in North Carolina now and as I said, I finally voted for the winner!Even though I don't know which way my state went! (My guess is: To find some deer to hunt or possibly someplace where it could get biscuits n' gravy.) I am very hopeful that Obama will do the job that I expect of him that he'll get a whole eight years to make a difference...and maybe during one of his terms I'll have my own little liberal that I can tell about how he/she was born during this historic time. But I'm not holding my breath!

I've been counting down to the election, but now that it's over I have a new countdown to concentrate on:

This is my "Countdown To Unemployment" calendar. Snappy title, huh? I just made that up. As you can see, I've already marked today off, even though I still have a few more hours left here today. I am getting down into the teens, I only have 19 more days to go! Interesting that I colored in the weekends as deep and dark black holes, devoid of all meaning, when I really should have colored them in with sunshine and lollipops and rainbows and pancakes. And unicorns.
Time to go read some more about Hope and Change because starting tomorrow I'm taking a news hiatus.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Eagles and Freedom and Elections and Office Supplies

Remember when I mentioned an eagle made of Post-It Notes yesterday? I decided in honor of election day and our freedom and all that stuff I'd go ahead and make one. I'm pretty happy with the way it came out:

It's made entirely from Post-It Notes and Highlighters and Sharpies and other Name Brand Products. I am not quite certain what its prey is. Some options:
  • The Styrofoam-and-folder-tab field mouse I mentioned yesterday
  • The Daschpoopard from last week (but would you want to eat a toilet paper roll?)
  • Sarah Palin. I'm really, really hoping it's Palin the eagle is after. That means when her ticket loses today she will disappear from the face of the planet. She will never become the Face of the Republican party and we'll never have to hear her say "Joe Six Pack", "Maverick", "Hockey Mom", or "You Betcha" ever again.
  • Although I do like the impressions that Tina Fey does of Palin on SNL. How about a sketch where she gets picked up by a giant eagle made of offices supplies? I'll pitch it to Tina.

In other news: My camera is seriously on the fritz. (On the fritz? What is the fritz, anyways? Is it a street? An animal? A monthly hormonal cycle?) See the pictures below, which are supposed to show you how beautiful plain and simple preserved leaves are:

The first set of leaves looks diseased and second set looks like it was scanned by a computer with some sort of emotional issue. Try to look past those problems and see the beauty of nature. Try harder!
My mom and I took a trip to town and parked the car and picked leaves last Saturday. Yes, we actually spent part of a day picking leaves. For fun. I am currently in the process of using silica gel to dry the leaves out. Silica gel is that stuff that comes in the little white package when you buy a new purse that says "DO NOT EAT!" Don't worry, I've only eaten a little of it. Tastes like Coconut. (My cat, not the hard-shelled fruit.)
After the leaves stay in the gel, which is really a dry powder, for a couple days I put some incredibly poisonous-smelling stuff on them and it brings out their original color. I'm not quite sure what Mom and I will do with the leaves once I'm done preserving all of them, but they look gorgeous just sitting on a paper towel, so I doubt we could make anything less than beautiful out of them.
Oh, also I wanted to say that yesterday my boss asked me to look through resumes for people to fill my position. They got hundreds of applicants. It is very, very weird looking through them, trying to figure out if they'd be good at this job and if I even care.
Go Vote if you live in the United States and are going to vote the way I want you to!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Get So Emotional Baby

Wouldn't an impressive and inspiring blog about how finding creativity and your true self can lift you to the greatest heights of ecstasy even in times of war and poverty be wonderful right now? Or maybe a post showing the office supply art I made today, maybe a giant eagle made of Post-It Notes, swooping down to grasp its prey, a field mouse made out of file tabs and Styrofoam coffee cups? Or even some pictures of my weekend and how I worked towards being the best Jen I can be?

I'm falling a little short of those brilliant ideas today. Maybe it's a case of the Mondays, maybe it's that my time at work seems to be dragging out longer than this presidential race, maybe it's because I hurt my face trying to pluck my out-of-control eyebrows this morning, or maybe it's because I'm turning 29 in less than three weeks. No, I'm happy about that last one, birthdays mean presents, or at the very least chocolate and well wishes.
Over the weekend I looked at some of the materials from the life coach training I'll be starting in January. I have to read three books and one article, answer a questionnaire, and submit a head shot (Do you think the picture of me with the hay in my hair would work for that?) by December 1st - not much time! Luckily I've already read one of the books so a quick refresher-read should be fine, my mom owns the second book so I can grab that copy sometime this or next week and read it, the article is short, and oddly (or not so oddly, sometimes the Universe seems to know what it's doing) I was already in the middle of reading the last book on the list before I ever knew I was going to need to read it for class.
That book is "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie. The book is amazing - but it's somewhat draining to look at and analyze all of your thoughts and fears and angers. From the fear of clowns attacking you in the middle of the night to thoughts of death to anger about the toilet seat being up, you kinda feel like a horse's ass when you realize some of the things you've worried about have made your life not has happy as it could be. But the point isn't to make you feel stupid; it's to show you your thoughts trap you. And I do it all in the name of self-improvement. Maybe I'll change my goal to getting rock-hard abs. It probably wouldn't involve so much emotion. Eh, maybe not.
The questionnaire I have to turn in is straightforward and involves one of my favorite things: Talking about me. Question: "Bullet-point your life story below. Start from your birth and end now. Please only use one page." I started this and realized I don't have much to say between the ages of six and 21. Is that weird? Another question: "What you are ridiculously good at?" You know I had to put making spinach lasagna, cat-petting, and napping in there. But then I listed some serious things - but being silly is something I really am ridiculously good at, and I feel open and honest enough to include that part of me in the answers.

So this blog isn't completely devoid of visual stimulation, check this out:

That's me. Thinking it's a good idea to go out on a Saturday night to a club named "The Garage" and stay up waaayyyyyy past my bedtime. I went with Amy and Anthony, and our friend Dan met us there. Luckily Dan and Anthony did whatever it is guys do, so I was able to be a complete and total fool with Amy. This included me impersonating a dance I once saw a woman doing at a Lilith Fair concert when I was in college. At the time my friends and I called the dance "The Nordic Trac" because of the way the woman swung her arms and legs. After demonstrating to Amy she wanted me to actually go out onto the dance floor and do said move in front of multiple people, but I wasn't brave enough.
I WAS brave enough, however, to try smoking part of a cigar. Or stupid enough, possibly. Don't ask me why sweet and innocent Amy had a cigar, but she did. It was disgusting (I'm not just saying that because my mom reads this blog, it was absolutely completely gross) and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, anywhere, ever. But if you want to lick the paper, I totally vote for that, the outside of this cigar tasted like a vanilla cookie. But in hindsight, I would have preferred the cookie.
I hope to get some more creative juices flowing this week, but I'm in a state where I have to concentrate on reading, growing, answering questionnaires about myself and preparing for my birthday (which involves lots of napping). Only 21 more days of work after this and I truly hope to make the best of it.
PS - I voted this weekend - I hope my man wins!