Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Workouts and Cars

I like using analogies. It is a way of wrapping my brain around a more complex issue, or perhaps it can be a new way to examine an issue. Whatever the case, I like analogies.

The other day I was working out at the gym on the treadmill, and the news was on. Nothing thrilling so far. But then I started thinking about health and fitness – partly because they had an iPod/Nike report on the news. But it occurred to me that most Americans don't take care of themselves (healthwise) as well as they take care of their cars.

I mean, I change the oil in my car every 3,000 miles. Well, I pay someone to change the oil. But my car gets a check up at that time, and the mechanics make sure everything looks okay.

Side note: why are mechanics normally so uber-sexy? I mean, I am way into clean hands, but I see a set of powerful hands that have oil on them, and I wonder what those hands could be doing to my . . . . Oh, sorry. And it is a little concerning, because mostly, I want people to wash their darned grubby hands.

Back to the oil change – no sexual innuendo opportunity here. I mean, I look at my tires weekly to make sure they are properly inflated. Actually hubby does check with the tire gauge (is that what it is called?) every week or two because my eyeballing the tire pressure is not super-accurate. I make sure there is gas in the car. The works. My car is not new or hot, but it runs well.

Now my body. Do I get yearly check-ups? Sort of. I get a pap smear every year or so, and I honestly think this is some sort of sadistic practice that will be ridiculed in the future. "Can you believe that doctors used to sandpaper woman's cervixes for the diagnosis of cancer? And now we just draw blood." I am sure this will happen. I mean, I don't intentionally not care about my health. I work out, and I see others work out. But I would guess that I am in the minority at work.

We go to the doctor when something goes wrong, and I would say men more than women. I have yearly checkups, and hubbie has not gone for a checkup at his doctor's office since we have been married. He had to get a blood test the year we were married, so he thought he would also get a full checkup. He has not been since for preventative maintenance.

I am actually feeling under the weather today – I normally post by 7:30 or 8:00 am, and here it is lunchtime, and I have yet to post. Guess I should go to the doctor and see what is wrong.

Memorial Day Comment
With regard to my last two posts. They were about veterans and Memorial Day. Goddess, an occasional reader and a member of Ddot's commission, wrote me a really wonderful comment, and I wanted to share it here:

Being in the military for the last 9 years, it has been my experience that the members of our ranks are not uneducated, underprivileged people. Sure, we have those. But most that I have encountered have come from middle class homes. Maybe their families did not have a zillion bucks, but they were never lacking for anything either. Some joined for the GI Bill, to pay for college. Some joined to learn a trade or skill. Some claim that they were lied to by their recruiters, (but I have a problem with that.... you are joining the Army. What do you think the Army does? Builds campfires and sing camp songs?) but most that I know, joined because they WANTED TO. They WANTED to serve their country. They WANTED to be a part of this organization.

I know "civilians" who tell me how sorry they are that I am in the military, how sorry they are that I was away from family at Christmas or Thanksgiving. How they are "so sorry" I had to leave my 1 1/2 year old daughter to go to Korea for 12 months. And while I appreciate their thoughts and concern, I think to myself, "Do not be sorry for me. I choose this life. I choose the life that takes me away from my family at times so that you can always be with your family. While you are 26 years old, just starting out life after college, entering the workforce, I am already at middle management level. While you have thousands of dollars in student loans, I have my education paid for. While you have never left the state, I have been to 7 different countries. While you have stayed with the same group of friends since high school, or college, I have met hundreds of the best people in the world."

Yes, we sacrifice. And that should be remembered. Our veterans should be honored, and treated with reverence. They have done things and seen things that other people can not even fathom.

For that man and his family to live in at a campground is disgraceful. It is horrific for anyone, but for a man that put his life in the hands of those who control the government, it is disgraceful.

Thank you for caring, Leesa. The thought means more than you could ever imagine.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Radio and Comments

Memorial Day
Monday was Memorial Day. I am humbled by the contributions veterans have made to our country, largely because many of them have fulfilled one of their citizenship obligations by performing military service when drafted. I know, we have not had a draft since the 1970s, but even now, I am humbled by voluntary military service. That being said, I try and spend some time on Memorial Day thinking of veterans.

When I was cleaning house on Monday, I had the radio on – intent on finding a radio station telling veterans' stories. You know, there are usually radio stations that do these things. Anyway, I found a conservative radio station that was doing this. So here I am listening to these stories, tears streaming down my face, and then the radio host goes on a little tear on how Memorial Day is a day of sales and three-day weekends. Sad, I think, and I agree with the host.

Then they break for commercial. The commercial is for an auto dealership having a Memorial Day sale. Of course, they are also "honoring veterans" with hot dogs, soda and other things. The cynical part of me thinks, "How wonderful. Indirectly, the radio station is supporting this, but, eh, they at least have to pay the bills. So I was a bit annoyed for a second, and then thinking better of it, until ….

It happens that the radio station has a personality there, handing out free stuff, indirectly aiding in what the talk show host is rallying against. More than moderately annoyed now. Anyway, I still listened to callers – they had some really heart-warming stories, some of them. Others had tragic stories. I think war is like that. There are some wonderful things regarding comrades. Horrible things as well.

Since I took the day off from blogging, I peaked at my comments. Not the words, but the number of comments. 21 that I have to answer. I read all of my comments and try and personally answer them. One day I was feeling rushed and made a general, "thanks guys" sort of comment, and one reader rode my ass for it. He sort of called me out, saying, "Hey, no individual answers." And he was right. He expected an individual answer, something I try and give each blogging day. And his comments are always, er, generally thought-provoking.

Well, I guess I better get answering. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day Memories

Several years ago, hubbie and I decided to go to a state park on Memorial Day. Initially, I was not thrilled at the plan – knowing full well that there would be so many people camping on that weekend. Secretly, I hoped that the campground would be full, but my initial disappointment in finding that we did have a camping spot would turn out to be a blessing for me.

During the second day, hubbie and I decided that we wanted to do different things. Hubbie wanted to go hiking, and after the first day of hiking, I wanted to sort of laze around. It was warm, sticky and I just did not want to hike anymore.

So we sort of split up during the morning. After watching hubbie walk towards an unconquered hiking path, I decided to walk on a more level pathway and perhaps wade in a stream. So I began meandering along a path, got a little lost, changed directions twice, and then happened upon a fairly isolated playground. There were two picnic tables, one functional, one not. And there were two children playing by themselves.

The little girl was about ten or eleven years old, and her little brother was six or so, and she was every bit the big sister. I think I startled them, as the girl just stared at me. But as kids do, they started playing again. I love watching children play – I can watch them for hours. I sort of wonder what the kids are thinking, get lost in their games, and an hour later, I wonder where the time went.

But with these children, they looked a little different. Dirtier. I grew up in a home where money was tight, but after looking at these two children, they looked poor. Their clothes were worn, very worn. And then I started wondering about their parents. Where were their parents? I just could not tell. And these children were skinny, almost too skinny. When I started talking with them, they were guarded. The little boy did not say anything, rather strange for what are normally chatty young boys. My experience with six-year-olds is that you cannot shut them up – most talk about everything under the sun, and they ask a million questions. Not him.

The girl's name, it turns out, is Samantha. She goes by Sam, she tells me. I ask where their parents are, and they say that they are at a nearby campground. I had noticed an old textbook on the one picnic table, as if the girl would do some homework between playing. I have some food in my backpack, and although I am hungry, I offer them everything I have. Not that the food was really that great – camp food. Dry cereal bars, an apple and some bottled water.

I insist that I meet their parents, thinking these two children may be run-aways. Initially, they did not want me to meet them, but I said that I would take them to the park ranger if they did not produce their parents. And a short walk later, I walked up to a tent, and I could tell that they had been there for some time. Perhaps that's why they appeared dirty. I know when I camp for a weekend, I have an extra two inches of dirt on me, so maybe this is why they are dirty.

I meet their mother, and to make a long story much shorter, I learn that this family lives in the park. The mother does not say that exactly, but that's what she was doing. Here is what I did learn from my conversation with this woman: her husband was separated from the military and I got the feeling that it was not retirement, but something that he did not want. Perhaps he was injured, who knows. I do know he was part of Desert Shield. I remember her saying this, because most people I have met talk about Desert Storm, not Desert Shield. This phrase just stuck in my mind. Anyway, apparently things got a little rough. But here it was, Memorial Weekend, and a former war veteran is in a state park living. She did not say all of this, but I surmised this based on what I saw.

Her children were thin, she was thin. Not a healthy thin, but thin nonetheless. I asked her if she would do me a favor – if I brought some money back, would she accept it.

"That is not necessary" was her answer. Her family was doing fine. After talking with her, I told her that I was thankful for her husband's service to our nation, and I could tell she was so proud of him. I did return later, "by accident" and managed to give her all of the money I had. It was not much, but she did accept it.

I don't understand how we have war veterans "camping" in parks because they can't afford housing. I just don't understand this. Anyway, every Memorial Day, I wonder about this family. I never met the father, but I wonder where he was. I wonder where they are now, if they are safe, if their outlook changed. You see, they seemed defeated, like there was not any hope. And without hope, I wonder how we survive.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Random Dating and other Randomness

You know, I wonder about the state of affairs between women and men. We don't talk about it much – okay, men don't talk about it, women talk about everything (we are intellectual that way) – but there seems to be some conflict between men and women. Sort of like the book, "Men are from hell, women are from Venus." Was that the title? I can't remember now.

Anyway, when I was in college and dating, we women wanted a date to do stuff that we liked. Tickets to the theater, eating out, long strolls, flowers, girl stuff. Even the movies we wanted to see were different. We liked romantic comedies, men wanted movies where things blew up. Well, a super men's movie would have scantily clad women decorating the men, and things that blew up (a James Bond movie, perhaps). And when I dated, I wanted the same things mentioned.

I approached dating sort of randomly. I mean, a guy asked me out, and we went out. The first date was normally to a movie (lack of imagination), and if the point of a date was to get to know someone better, this date did not accomplish this. Not really. Second date would be out to eat and then dancing – or to the theater.

I like going out to eat, but on a date with someone I want to impress: absolutely not. I would order something on the menu that was fairly cheap, had lots of green, and then I would eat half of what was served. The last thing I wanted was a reputation for eating. No "clean plate club" for me. I can vividly remember coming home after a date and then eating again. Because I was hungry. How crazy is that?

I guess I did not understand the point of dating: If the objective is to have a good time, I failed because for the most part, the first few dates could be painful. If the objective was to find a mate, then my selection process was not very efficient at all. I had more fun when we went out as a group – I could dance with anyone, and not upset my date. When going to a movie in a group, I did not have to spend my attention on a lame date. I guess I just did not get dating.

Now that I am married, I think I would be a better date. And hubbie knows that I need to be taken out a couple of times per month. And I can eat all I want at dinner. Trouble is, now I can't try and ditch my date if things don't go well.

Extra Stuff
The other day, I found this in Wikipedia and I thought it was interesting:

"Faithless elector" in Minnesota
One elector in Minnesota cast a ballot for president with the name of "John Ewards" [sic] written on it. The Electoral College officials certified this ballot as a vote for John Edwards for president. The remaining nine electors cast ballots for John Kerry. All ten electors in the state cast ballots for John Edwards for Vice President. (John Edwards' name was spelled correctly on all ballots for Vice President.) This was the first time in U.S. history that an elector had cast both of his or her votes for the same person.

Electoral balloting in Minnesota was performed by secret ballot, and none of the electors admitted to casting the Edwards vote for President, so it may never be known who the "faithless elector" was. It is not even known whether the vote for Edwards was deliberate or unintentional, although the Republican Secretary of State and several of the Democratic electors have expressed the opinion that this was an accident. It is worth noting that an Independence Party straw poll, which was published in lieu of an endorsement from that party, selected John Edwards for President, though there is no evidence to suggest that this is related to the Edwards electoral vote for President.

Similarly, I read this story yesterday and was floored:

Trucker's Breathalyzer Registers 18 Times Legal Limit
VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Police in Lithuania are amazed by a truck driver's Breathalyzer test.

They said the driver registered 18 times the legal alcohol limit.

At first, officers figured the machine was broken. It wasn't. Authorities said it must be an unofficial intoxication record.

One police official told The Associated Press that the man should have been dead -- and certainly not driving.

The truck driver told police he had been drinking the night before and tried to sober up with a beer for breakfast. He's been fined more than $1,000 and will lose his license for up to three years.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jobs I Want #3: Futurist

Okay, a long time ago, I wrote about jobs that I want:

Jobs I Want #1: Replay Official
Jobs I Want #2: Substitute Granny

Okay, a long time ago was in January and February, but to a fly, we are talking generations.

I want to be a futurist. This is an actual profession. They have societies, blogs, the whole nine yards. I have linked to a blog, but I have not read it. I don't want to steal from an actual futurist, plus I have a preconception of futurists that I don't want changed. You know, jobs look so good when you don't really know about them.

When I was in sixth grade, we talked about the future. It was in a textbook, and here is what I remember:

1. Because of technology, most work weeks will be four days in 20 years, three days perhaps thereafter.
2. We will receive most of our food from the sea by the year 2000. By most food, I remember a picture of farmers diving for kelp.
3. We will have underground cities because of the limited space above ground.
4. We will have several manned space stations that will be performing many science experiments. Not just "space" experiments, but more dangerous experiments.
5. Our pinkies will get smaller because we don't use them when typing, and most of us will be typing all day.

I don't know about you, but looking at this list, I would say that the futurist that had an impact on the state textbook is 0 for 5. And I will have to admit, part of the allure for this profession is that you are considered a success if you are right only occasionally.

Judging from people I know, I cannot imagine that we will ever be as good as people are in the Star Trek series. Okay, for those of you who want to debate Star Trek, please don't. I am not a trekkie or trekker, and I don't even know the difference. What I do know is that if you know Klingon or have a Star Trek suit and know what your rank is, it will adversely affect your ability to breed. That's all I am going to say on Star Trek fans. But for the series, I don't see a lot of greed. It is not like people are hording money or anything. And, sorry, I can't imagine going from what we are now to a society where money seems to not have much of a place. If that were the case, I just don't know how things would be.

Anyway, that is sort of the benefit of being a futurist – predicting the future. People pay you money, and they can't tell if you are any good for twenty to fifty years, depending on when your predictions are going to come true. Can you imagine having your next performance appraisal twenty years from now?

Okay, I know, as a futurist, you probably need to be entertaining. That is part of it, perhaps a large part of it, but that's not the part on which I am focusing my attention. From what I have read, many people did not know that plastics were going to be big, real big. And from a social perspective, if anyone said that VCRs were going to help the movie industry, people would have thought they were crazy. I can remember reports that the VCR was going to be the downfall of good movies. Why else would anyone go to the theaters? They must have forgot about other possible revenue streams.

My point is this – it would be way cool to just think up stuff all day, and bill whoever for your random thoughts. Because in the grand scheme of things, my random thoughts and someone else's random thought have about the same chance of being correct. And you are depositing paychecks for years before anyone is the wiser.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Leesa the Busybody

Friday, I wrote about women changing babies on public tables. Kathi wondered why I did not say anything to the woman. Well, there were three women within one week, so I had three opportunities to say something, and, er, I did not say anything. Not at thing. Okay women, keep changing your babies on these tables; I won't say crap about the crap that your children are depositing.

The reason is simple: I said something once, several months ago, and the experience was anything but pleasant. I was not hoping for a response like this: "Oh, dear, thank you for pointing out the error of my ways. I had no idea feces was undesirable on eating surfaces. Not only will I take your advice, but I will sign up for a parenting class at the local college. Thanks, thanks, thanks." Okay, said without sarcasm. No, the interaction was not that pleasant. I can't remember what was actually said, but it included references about me, where she would like my nose, and a lot of dirty words. I left the encounter feeling violated. I learned my lesson: don't say anything to mothers concerning anything regarding their children, even if it is about changing them on tables meant for eating.

I had not learned my lesson as a busybody though. Not totally.

A few weeks ago, I was coming out of Wal-Mart. I so want the store to be something other than Wal-Mart, but it is already out there. Yes, I shop at the store that is destroying millions of "Mom and Pop" stores around the country, in little towns everywhere. But I shop there.

Anyway. Here I am, discretely leaving Wal-Mart, and I see a man with a baby in his lap, front-and-center of a pick-up truck. Wife is in the passenger seat, and I am thinking to myself, "No way are these two going to leave the parking lot with a little baby in the driver's lap. How irresponsible." For those of you who can't tell, I have a judgment side to me. Yes, I judge. I also think that child molestation and child pornography are wrong – and I know, a lot of you don't judge because you don't want to be judged. But I do judge, and I don't mind if I am judged. The woman who nearly made me cry in the situation above judged me, and I was not too keen on the judgment, but that's life.

So trying to be helpful and caring, I approach the truck.

"Pardon me," I say, probably softer than I intended.

I wrap lightly on the driver's side window to get noticed.

"Pardon me," I repeat, and make eye contact with the father.

"I couldn't help but notice that you have your cute baby in your lap. I hope you don't intend on driving, even a short distance, with her in your lap. You see, a friend of mine lost her child in a similar way, and I just could not bear to pass you and not say anything."

The man did not look angry at all, as he said, "No, ma'am, we are just quieting her. My wife intends on feeding her before we leave."

With that, I thanked them and went to my car.

As I was pulling out of the space, I looked at them in my rear-view mirror, and saw them exiting right after me. He lied to me, and that beautiful baby was not in the car seat that I saw in their car. I just don't understand people, to have such a gift and not protect her.

I guess I judge and I am a busybody. Guess that makes me a bitch. But a bitch who cares about that little child; a bitch that doesn't really want to eat on a poop-y table or have others do so either.

Monday, May 22, 2006

9-11 and Affairs

I am not normally a very "political" person. Yeah, I vote every four years for the president who would be most likely to receive a blowjob from me in the Oval Office. I figure I could blackmail the guy, as long as I could keep evidence in a safety deposit box; part of my retirement plan. I mean, if the president can't personally help me, why bother voting.

Anyway, I still listen to some political chatter. And recently, I have been tallying up the number of events, laws or otherwise, that continue to talk about 9-11. I mean, when we talk about immigration policy, we do so because of 9-11. President Bush talks about raising taxes on children from ages 14 to 17, we need the money because of 9-11. Taking our rights away in the Patriot Act, we do so because of 9-11. It is amazing how many things we are doing because of 9-11 now, and part of my cynically envisions political pundits sitting around in a room, thinking up reason for doing whatever it is the major contributors want to do. Well, we would like for the FCC to limit access to competition in the phone industry. Can we use 9-11 as a reason for this? We need to give tax credits for hybrid cars. Can we use 9-11 as a reason for this? It seems like the political pundits are bundling excuses here.

Here is a non-political way of bundling excuses. Let's say you cheat on your hubbie and he takes you back, for whatever reason. But when you make a male friend, hubbie is visibly upset and makes small barbs at the man. Well, even though he does not say so, you know the underlying reason is because of the affair. You come home a little late from work, hubbie looks hurt and asks where you have been. While not said, the reason is because of the affair. You get in a heated argument, and what is brought up? Perhaps the affair? Are you seeing a trend here? I sure am.

I have been reading a strong woman for a while. I linked to her blog until recently – she is not going "under cover," but I think she doesn't want as much attention drawn to her site. We have not talked about this, but I imagine she experiences the same thing. You see, we both cheated, and we are trying to get back "to normal" – heck, we probably want "extraordinary"; we both deserve it – after the affair.

An affair in a relationship is sort of like 9-11 was for the country. We were completely obsessed with it for weeks afterwards. Every single conversation contained parts of the affair or 9-11. Every single conversation. It was the elephant in the room, but instead of ignoring it, we were talking about it ad nauseum. Then we did things to protect ourselves. The Patriot Act for the country, serious therapy for the individuals. Maybe even stashing a bit of money away "just in case." But we cannot sustain this, and eventually, life got back to normal, sort of. But 9-11 or the affair is still out there. It is always there. Can we move forward as a couple, as a nation? I hope so, but we are moving forward gingerly. Cautiously.

And I am not trying to make light of 9-11 and the aftermath with this post. A friend of the family died in one of the twin towers, and it has really affected their immediate family. But affairs can be extremely destructive on a personal level. Anyway, as Memorial Day approaches, I wonder if we should have a day for healing on a personal level. I'd fly a flag for that as well!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pictures, Diapers and Hungry Eyes

Okay, I am scratching my head over a few things I have seen in the past few days.

Pictures in a Gas Station
I was in a gas station the other day, standing in line to purchase Lotto Tickets. Okay, no lectures on my gambling. I spend one dollar every once in a while as a diversified part of my retirement portfolio, so I was here, patiently waiting to waste my dollar when I saw it. There was a woman getting cigarettes, and someone waiting in line in front of me had a cellular phone, and before she bought her cigarettes, the guy points the phone at her and takes her picture. Right there in the store. I could not believe it. This woman, who I would not consider that hot, and this guy – who now has to be considered a dork – sort of steals her picture.

Okay, it is probably not illegal and perhaps not immoral. But certainly that action is in bad taste. I could not believe it.

Table for Two, Not for ~Deb
This event happened three times in the past 10 days or so. Not just once. But I will just describe one of the three events.

I was sitting in a mall the other day, enjoying my bourbon chicken, minding my own business. Now, I will not tell you exactly where this mall is (okay, it is the Savannah Mall), but there is this place in the food court that serves this yummy bourbon chicken. I have a sneaky suspicion that the place puts some type of addictive substance in the chicken or the sauce, because it is so good. For those of you who have yet to orgasm, try this chicken. It is close, oh, so close.

The bourbon chicken is normally my treat for doing well in a mall. So here I am, by myself, peacefully eating my drugged chicken, and I see a mother changing her child's poop-y diaper on a nearby table. All I can think of is that others will be eating where the baby's feces was removed. Cute baby, I know, but feces on an eating surface. Enough said.

Flirting at a Gas Station
I was pumping my own gas yesterday. I don't like pumping my own gas. Truth be told, I try and get hubbie to borrow my car so he has to gas it up when he is driving it.

Hubbie: Did you know your car was almost out of gas when I was driving it. I was driving on fumes.

Leesa (looking helpless and cute): Oooppsie. Thanks for gassing up, sweetie.

I just don't like pumping gas. Anyway, here I was, after getting the pump going (it had one of those latches that actually worked so I did not have to stay there pumping gas), I was getting all of the trash out of my car.

So after fishing gum wrappings and such from the car, I wiggle out again and catch a young woman in the passenger side of a truck staring at me. Her eyes were hungry-looking. She was giving me the eye! Her car window was three-quarters of the way down, and she was gliding her fingers on the curved glass. She seemed to be flirting with me.

I did not know what to do. Obviously she was with someone, so I take a long way to the garbage can to peek at who was gassing the car she was sitting in, and I see a woman perhaps twice her age. Her mother, I am assuming. They looked like they were related. So this teenager, probably still in high school was checking me out. Weird.

Part of me just wants to stay in bed today. Too many weird things are happening to me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Computer Hate and Heather's Meme

Well, I officially hate my computer. My work computer keeps crashing, and I am thinking to myself, "Do I call the computer fix it guy"? Okay, for one, I can't fix my computer. Not that I don't have the ability (well, that too), but the computer guy has "locked down" my system, meaning that I can not really do much, like add programs, search porn or even get updates for MS Office.

Part of this, I know, is computer guy's problem because if I need to do any of the above, I need to call him. Well, not search porn. I am sure he would like me to call him for this.

"Computer Guy, I am feeling really horny today. Can you come over so I can search porn?"

And computer guy, after masturbating in the restroom would allow me to search porn, and I am sure he would be staring at my chest the whole time for any sort of nipple changes. I learned that in college – men that want women to look at porn with them, look at their chests to see what they like.

Another reason I don't want to call Computer Guy is because he fixes the computer about 60% of the time, doesn't bother to fix it because of complexity of the problem 10% of the time, and completely screws up the system 30% of the time.

"Let me just install this update.", Computer Guy says. And thirty minutes later he is taking my hard drive to a place where he will ice it down. Er, sure, Computer Guy. Thanks for giving me that mental break for the next three days.

And Computer Guy, do you know that I blog? And how am I supposed to do this from work now? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Oh, well, better get this meme posted. Third time is a charm.

This is a bit overdue, but I completed this the other day. It was a meme from Heather. Anyway, I lost the post twice and I wonder if I will lose it a third time.

I dream ... in color.

I cannot stand ... to wait in line behind slow people.

I stopped ... bitching about my hubbie always keeping the toilet seat up. I also stopped complaining about a bunch of stupid stuff – nagging. And you know what? Hubbie is more loving.

I'm sorry ... when I say cruel things that I want to be funny.

I could ... really go for some chocolate about now.

I would ... still work if I won the Lotto – and as proof, fix it so I win the Lotto and watch me work.

I don't understand ... string theory. It sounds so simple, but when people talk about it, I just look at their lips moving, wondering if others are as clueless as I.

I yell ... at drivers who can't hear a word I say.

I get aggravated ... when I try threading a needle and miss on the first time.

I'm shocked ... that it's been 19 months for Heather. She is a hottie!

I dislike ... traffic.

I can't wait ... to pee! Guess that's what comes with a small bladder

I sense ... when someone is staring at me; I look around and I normally catch the vision-stealer.

Hmmm ... who to tag ... no one. I don't like to be tagged or tags. But I love me some Heather, so I did this.

And those of you who love GP, she wants links so she can keep up with you. She toasted her blog the other day. She may not be blogging for a while, but knowing her, she will be back soon, stronger than ever. I love me that girl!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Classes that Matter

Crap, Crap, Crap.

I wrote the majority of my post for today and my freakin' computer crashed. MS Word did not save what I was doing, and I am upset. It was a good post, a damn good post. Now it is "blowin' in the wind." The answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind, the answers are blowin' in the wind. With apologies to Bob Dillon. Or did Kaavya Viswanathan write those words as well. Whatever, I know I did not write them.

Anyway, the awesome post that was deleted was about VX. You see, VX was posting about her love life the other day. Well, about her being single all these years. And in typical Leesa fashion, I saw her open wounds and sprinkled cayenne pepper on them. I told VX that perhaps it would be better if we had some type of "Picking a Man 101" in college. Ouch. Sorry, VX, you know I love you, and sometimes my fingers just hit the wrong keys on the keyboard. How is that for shifting blame?

But it lead me to think – you know, college is to help prepare people for life. I took many classes in college that didn't seem to prepare me for anything. I mean, how often does someone use college French, or "The History of Europe from 1266 to 1650"? Probably not every day. Don't get me wrong, I think it is important to learn useless crap; that sort of helps us when our bosses give us some assignments when we really don't know why we are doing what we are doing. Logic does not have to enter into the conversation. It is some unique boss logic that they learn in Business School. Anyway, here are some courses that I think should be taught in college, or perhaps they could even be AP courses for High School as well. Some of them, well, PTAs may not want to endorse, but it is all about preparing people for life after they leave Mom and Dad's home.

Dating 101
This is for the guys, primarily. When I was in college, I went on some lame dates with guys that had little confidence. Now I don't know if these were lame people or that they just did not know what ingredients were part of a successful date. For most of these guys, I am thinking it is the latter. So two things happen when dates go bad – the woman looses an evening that could have been good, if not great, and the man, more often than not, will not go past first base. So I think people, okay mostly men, ought to learn how to date. If a woman is boring on a date, for the most part, she just is being kind. She does not want to give the poor guy hope. Sexist? Yeah, but it is true as well. Sorry guys.

How To Find a Good Man 310
This could be a graduate level course as well, because this is a course that is extremely complex. Go ask VX. Or look at the divorce rate – I think finding the right guy might be a large part of the problem. Oh, I have noticed that this is from a woman's point of view. Sorry, this is my blog, and it happens to be from a woman's point of view. If you want a man's point of view, visit Mike. Er, on second thought, his point of view is fairly odd. Visit Joe. Er, ditto. Well, you can visit some male not directly linked to me.

But I really don't know how to find someone using any good methodology. I mean, for me, you date, you get to know someone, you freak out because he has ear hair or flosses with your hair, and you look for someone else. I probably would have been more confident when saying, "I do" if I had one of these classes. Yeah, some people have good hubbies, but a stopped clock is right twice per day. I mean, just because you ended up with someone who you can live with doesn't mean you made a good decision. Perhaps you just got lucky. Such a course is needed.

Blow Jobs 102
Okay, no one ever told me how to give a good blow job. I mean, the first time I "did it", the guy probably hurt. Well, he did, but he did not say anything about it. I mean, he had some girl tonguing his penis. How to complain when the girl can just "bite it off." Monica reminded me of this one. You see, she doesn't swallow. I mean, she wants to, but there is a gag thing going on. I think a little time with a psychiatrist could help with this. "In the past, did you have a bad experience with men? Did you like your father? Do you like the power of denying pleasure?" Okay, none of this is the case for Monica. Heck, she is a cool chickie. But I mean, who doesn't want to give good head? Perhaps there can be a separate course to help out with those who want to be better at going down on the women. And it would be better if that course was taught by a woman – I mean, you can get an education, and for heterosexual women, you can check off your "lesbian experience" at the same time. I am all about efficiency.

And there are lots of other courses I have thought about – how to buy a car without getting ripped off too badly. How to find a job. How to give a massage. But these courses are taught at some colleges, not for credit, but for experience.

Oh, and I completed a meme that I was tagged with, and I lost that one as well when my computer crashed. Crap. Crap. Crap. I guess I need a course on how to swear. I mean, what the fuck.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Nudie Day

I am going to have to fight my OC tendencies. You see, I really want to write a post for Friday, and Monday, and then another post for Tuesday. You know, I like posting each day, but I will resist the temptation, partly because I was gone from work for a couple of days, and, well, I have, um, work to do. I sort of wonder if blogging will make its way to my performance appraisal. Somehow, I think I should refrain from putting this under the heading of work accomplishments. Call it survival.

Anyway, I did something yesterday that sounds very sexy but was actually sort of peaceful. I know, after reading the last sentence, you are wondering what I am talking about. Anticipation, sweeties, that is what this is all about.

Anyway, I took what I like to call a "mental heath" day on Monday. I just sort of called in sick, trying not to lie. Okay, the conversation sort of went like this:

Leesa (while holding my nose to sound more nasal): Um, (cough), I am not (cough) feeling that (cough) good today.

Boss (currently being deceived): Er, Leesa, there is a lot of work to do today.

Leesa: I know, Boss, but (cough) I don't want what I have to infect the rest (cough) of the office.

Boss: Okay, thanks for thinking of us.

Leesa: I think staying (cough) at home (cough) will do a world (sniff) of good for me.

And that's how the conversation went. Now I will show you how this is deceptive but not untruthful (okay, suspend your rational thought for a moment, please). First, I was not feeling good. I did not want to go to work and I had a case of the blahs. Maybe I still do – if you find this post crappy and mindless, I still have the blahs.

The coughing and the nasal voice – I never told Boss I had a cold or cough. He just assumed this because of what he heard. And my concern for the office? Well, I did not want others at the office get the blahs; it is really a bad feeling. Plus, it shows the office that I am putting their welfare above my welfare. Okay, that is stretch. But you know, I was trying to tell statements that were correct but deceiving. I know this is not truthful; sort of reminds me of President Clinton and the definition of the word "is".

Here I am telling you of the set up, and I have almost exhausted my page limit for a post. Drat. Another thing that I am disregarding.

Okay, yesterday after I called in "sick", I took the rest of the day for me. I did not leave the house, and after a long and relaxing bath, I did not dress. I just lazed around the house nude all day. And this was not a sexy nudity, it was more of a relaxing nudity, if that makes sense. I just did not want to get dressed.

I am not really in touch with my body – okay, that made no sense. Start again: I don't sleep in the nude; never have, never will. And I did not sunbathe nude growing up, even when we all wanted to do so senior year so that we would not have tan lines for the prom. I did actually nude sunbathe once during the senior year with some friends, but it went horribly wrong, and some very delicate skin got burned. Better than the one girl that put baby oil all over her, including her lips, and she had burned lips.

I like clothes, partly because they are useful. I get cold really fast, and clothing helps with this. I also have a problem with other people being nude because of the whole OCD, if you think there is feces on shopping carts, check out chairs with a bunch of nudists, thoughts. Sorry for being so direct, but there you have it.

I knew someone who worked at a nudist facility in the 1980s. I did not know her very well; she was an adult, and I was a teenager – but I did housesit for her when she and her husband took a trip once. I just thought she must have been a little bit of a swinger. Probably completely wrong, but again, that's how my mind worked at the time. I have actually met some nudists since then, and none of them were swingers. They were very liberal, but they did not swing.

Well, I had fun on my nudie day, and I can really imagine the attraction of those who go to nudist colonies. It can be so relaxing. But for me, if I ever went nudist, I would have to wear something to sleep in. Does that sound prudish to you?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Kaavya Viswanathan

I have been watching, reading, and thinking about Kaavya Viswanathan, the young Harvard student who wrote a book that had countless lines taken from other books. I first heard about Viswanathan's book, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life," on the Today show. Her book bore a striking similarity to two books by Megan McCafferty: "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Thoughts." I can't remember the exact numbers, but Katie Couric said that Harvard editors noted 19 similar passages, while McCafferty's publishers counted 61 similar or identical passages. Now it looks like her book has been permanently pulled by the book publisher.

I know what you are thinking – I was only watching the Today show because I wanted to watch Shakira sing and dance. Well, it was the show before the Shakira show, so there. Since then, though, I have heard others say that passages were lifted from other books as well (The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot, and Can You Keep a Secret?, by Sophie Kinsella, to name two books). And Forbes reports that she had a secret stash of material for other books that show similar patterns of unabashed borrowing.

Arun Krishnanactually defends Kaavva, saying that borrowing is okay. From his article (note that I am attributing words to the author, something Ms. Viswanathan failed to do),

Kaavya's crime was not that she copied; but that she didn't do it well.

She was young and enthusiastic. In the rush of youth, she didn't take that extra second, to rearrange this thought, move that comma, or insert that metaphor. Her only fault was that she was being overtly honest and -- possibly under the influence of her publishers -- unnecessarily rushed.

I wonder if Arun Krishnan would say that Bonnie and Clyde's only crime was that they were surrounded on Highway 154, between Gibsland and Sailes, Louisiana, and got riddled with bullets. Makes about as much sense.

Now, many of us in blogland are either published or want-to-be-published authors. And I read a lot in my spare time – because I enjoy it and because it makes me a better writer. But I don't read Dickens and think, hey, I like that line, let me steal it. Or think lines like, "The name is Bond, James Bond", while cool, would ever find its way into one of my stories unless I was mocking Ian Fleming. Little known fact: President Kennedy popularized Ian Fleming by listing his books on a list of his favorite books in a 1961 list.

I know an author who does not read anything because he is afraid he will unintentionally lift phrases and place them in his works. Going overboard? Yeah, I think it is. But if he had a book deal with Little, Brown, he would not have to give back the $500 K advance.

I don't know if the lifting was intentional or unintentional, but it appears that the phrases and lines are so similar that it looks bad. But she has a published book and I don't. Does it count if a published book gets recalled?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Meme from Leesa

I stole this from Leesa. Oh, yeah, most of you know I call her Bitch Leesa, but you know, I started reading her blog so a feel a bit hypocritical. She is just so intoxicating – and I love the pictures she takes. So now you know a dirty little secret of mine. Drat!

I AM: lost right now, and I may stop blogging for a week or so.
I WANT: to be able to have male friends but I just can't right now.
I WISH: I could go back in time and fix mistakes I have made.
I HATE: when my feet get dirty; I love going barefoot but hate when they get dirty.
I MISS: some of my high school friend but I don't really want to find them. It would be worse if they have changed – I like them just as they were, not as they are. Fickle, I know.
I FEAR: death, not my death but others' death. I know I am supposed to be happy when people die, but I am so selfish sometimes. And I fear change – I want to be 15 for my whole life. You know, firm boobs, don't have to work, not a real care in the world. And take summers off.
I HEAR: the wind blowing through trees when I eat lunch; it is such a peaceful sound.
I WONDER: how diet Cola's only have one or zero calories and they taste somewhat like regular colas.
I REGRET: being so mean to other girls when I was growing up, hoping they only remember the sweet me.
I AM NOT: very social.
I DANCE: when I am happy; I giggle and dance to old songs and act like a little girl when no one is watching.
I SING: in the shower and I sound wonderful; I sing in the house and . . . not so much.
I CRY: deeply and into my pillow when the world gets too big for me to handle.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: as "in control" as I appear to be.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: expressions that I dare not say with my lips.
I WRITE: to make an impression on the world or an impression on one soul; either would be fine for me.
I CONFUSE: those I love.
I NEED: to know I am loved.
I SHOULD: learn to love running.
I START: many book ideas but have finished none.
I FINISH: projects and feel content when I finish them.
I TAG: no one; I hate being tagged myself.

Normally, I don't do memes. I guess I am not normal today!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Milestones Part II

Okay, this post is going to be all about me. But if you think about it, most of my posts are all about me. So nothing has changed.

Award Nomination
First, I was nominated for some award.

At first, I thought this was because I really don't write well, and well, my blog is freakin' stupid. That would be no great surprise to me. But that is not the case. The "freakin' stupid" part of the award concerns the award categories. The category I am mentioned for is because I have no kiddos. So if you want to vote for me, either e-mail and say, "Leesa is the bomb. She really sucks good dick." Sorry. Don't say that. Say, "I would like to screw Leesa." Sorry. Don't say that, either. Say, "One vote for Leesa's Stories for category number 8." But if I win, I don't get money, or even a digital certificate. Not even a little icon I can place on my site to drive traffic to her site. But that is beside the point. I am just a competitive chick!

200th Post, a day late
On another me-me-me front, this happens to be my 201st post (I wanted it to be 200, but I really don't pay close attention to these things). Okay, so 50 have been about buying my used undies. Well, a girl has to put herself through college (I say that to get hits on Google). Oooppsssieieee. I forgot, Google is ruining the western world. I meant to say Yahoo. I have also passed 50,000 page views, and I am guessing it is not because of my cogent religious arguments. Or my NAFTA blog entries. Sort of like SALT II analysis. If falls flat when it lacks bodily fluids or curse words.

Monica Has a New Blog
Okay, I have noticed that Monica has a new blog. Actually, her current entry on rules to live by makes a whole lot of sense. She still has her old blog on MSN, but I swear, she only had it there to teach me patience. Anytime I wanted to comment, it would take me like 17 times to post a reply. I usually just gave up and left. Perhaps that was on purpose. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Okay, so Monica still has not edited her template too much. She has links to Google News and "Edit Me" twice. My guess is that she is still spending loads of time fixing up her house or having unabashed sex with her hubbie. I hear the neighbors can hear their lovemaking sessions. She is a screamer. Kidding, hun, really I am. Her basement is completely soundproof. Not sure what the manacles are for.

Crappy Blog Entries
Have you ever been blogging, and you post an entry and think, "I could do so much better, but, crap, I just don't care today. I guess that's where I am today. So here I am asking for your vote (see above) and admitting that I am not really doing that good of a job right now. Er, I could never be a politician.

I wonder what God thinks

Last week, I read with interest on a subject that both ~Deb and Dani were having concerning who is the hottest woman in show biz. ~Deb seemed to think Shakira was so hot, and Dani seemed to think Ellen Degeneres was the woman who moistened her panties. Okay, I am full of crap; it was actually a debate on homosexuality and Christianity. And actually, I did not read Dani's site – I just read her comments on ~Deb's site. Well, now CP and Kathi have gotten involved in the fray, and I was thinking that a good old-fashioned mud wrestling match would probably be best to settle this argument. I mean, biblically, it sort of seems appropriate in my twisted point-of-view.

Actually, this sort of reminds me about what was going on in Jesus' time. Well, I am not that old, but from what I remember from Sunday School, a lot of what Jesus was saying was, and I am paraphrasing here, "We have too darned many laws. Here is what is important – love should motivate everything we do." Okay, for those Bible-thumpers, I am talking about Matthew 22:36-40.

Matthew 22:36-40
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love he Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Okay, I am no religious mastermind. Yeah, I read the Bible, and I understand some things. Some things I do not. After years of discernment, I feel content to make things simpler, not more complicated. In a nutshell, for me, I try to move closer to God, and when I do, I characterize that as "good." And when I move away from God, I characterize that as "bad", and things that help me move away from God I try and get rid of.

Case-in-point: someone once e-mailed me with something like "what are you wearing today?" Then I don't email the person ever again. I just don't. Any conversation with that person will move me away from God.

I have done some incredibly horrible stuff in my past, and I was moving away from God. Maybe being a little crude on this site does the same thing. I don't know. But I do know that I am faithful to my hubbie and I am more compassionate with others (you know, the love thy neighbor thing). Actually, what if I misinterpreted the Bible and thought "Love thy Neighbor" meant really lovin' thy neighbor! I mean, I can't have intercourse because of other "rules" but am I supposed to give neighbors good oral sex? Of course not.

I don't have any more incite than other people on the nature of God, but I love the phrase, "God's ways are not our ways" (or whatever that trite saying is). I wonder, for instance, if after death, serial killers, pedophiles and other degenerates may be enveloped in God's love like everybody else. Maybe God wants to see our reaction to this perceived injustice. I mean, Jesus died for our sins, all of our sins. Not just the "politically correct" sins.

I am not a big believer in "don't ever judge." I mean, if my friends could have compassionately said, "Leesa, you are screwing up your life," I may have listened. But instead, the friends who knew what I was doing were more interested in juicy details than to set me straight (thanks, friends). And in the past, I have judged others – I lovingly helped a friend get back on the path she strayed from. But I don't look at strangers shooting up in the street, and try and change them. I have no leverage.

One thing that disappoints me is when people are violating their own values, not because it hurts me but because it may hurt them. I had a Jewish friend once who would eat pork every time she was upset with herself. At the time, I did not know much about Judaism, so I did not know exactly how to classify her. She was probably not Orthodox, but I don't know if she was Conservative or Reform. It just bothered me that she seemed to perform self-destructive behavior when she didn't like herself. Okay, that was a random thought.

But going back to my judgment thought, it seems that people who say, "I have my stuff together so I am going to judge you now" are a little off-the-mark. I don't think Jesus meant, "Get your stuff together so you can bug the crap out of others" when he talked about the splinter in the eye. I am still working on my stuff, but when I see friends doing stupid stuff, I talk to them about it. And I am not talking about taking a second slice of cheesecake.

The good news is that, from my point-of-view, ~Deb and Dani are loved completely by God, that God would have made the universe for either one of these girls. This is a type of love that I cannot really comprehend. By heck, I cannot comprehend wireless telecommunications either. But I would rather have God's love than wireless. Even if the wireless doesn't drop calls. That's how special God's love is!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Work Does not Equal Pay

You know, I am an administrative type. Not the airlines, “Coffee, Tea or Me”, but just answering phones, surfing the Internet, and making copies. On really ambitious days, I would send a fax. I really liked that job. You see, I worked beneath my skills. And I was freakin’ happy.

Now I do more work. Yeah, I get paid a little more, but not much. And I cannot understand what happened.

I had a philosophy when working. If my boss asked me to do something that seemed like it (1) would take a great deal of time, or (2) would take a great deal of brain-power, I would give him a sort of confused, vacant stare. I worked on that stare, and it was money. At times, I thought he would pat me on the head and say, “Don’t worry about the big bad work. I will get someone else to perform the tasks. Now back to your desk.” He was not that demeaning, but I am sure he was thinking it.

I had a co-worker who would purposefully screw things up. She made more money than me and was given greater responsibilities, but she did not want them so she screwed them up. Now managers give her no real work and she still gets more pay than me. No performance awards, but she still gets cost-of-living increases, so she at least keeps up with inflation.

And I am thinking about adopting the same strategy. There are two things holding me back: (1) they could actually fire me, and (2) part of me wants to do a good job, as long as it doesn’t take too much work. About the firing thing – well, sooner or later, managers are going to have to realize they are attracting dolts and freeloaders, and they will have to either make some people work (but that takes energy on management’s part) or they will start to fire employees they are turning into dolts and freeloaders.

So I have a problem. I am doing more work for nominally more pay. But I wonder if these things are isolated to the business world. I mean, in entertainment, can you think of people who really are not good performers and yet they still get parts year after year. And you know that the movies they will make will be stinkers – Carrot Top, for instance.

A shorter post than normal today. I got to get some work done!

Oh, and by the way, apparently someone has noticed this little blog. If you want to vote for me, please click on the image below. Sort of cool that the award uses a word I rarely use.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ticklish Subjects

I am catching up on some reading – hubbie and I tried having sex for 72 hours straight, and since I did not want to get any goo on the laptop, I have not been looking at blogs this week. Sorry. Anyway, I was reading Joe's blog, and he had a picture of a young woman in body paint.

Body Paint
Unlike the guys who were trying to make out her nipples or whatever, I began to think about the experience of being body painted. I have seen some people with body paint on, not like the picture, but bikini-clad women with paint on their tummies. But I was thinking – okay, fantasizing – about being a model, and having me body-painted for a photo shoot. Now, in this model-fantasy, I am okay about being nude. I figure, you have to dress all day long for photo shoots, and so you are in and out of clothes all day long. So lots of people must see my boobies. Not a problem since I am making ten grand per day. Remember, my fantasy. Oh, and as long is this is my fantasy, Orlando Bloom is waiting for me – he wants to take me clubbing afterwards. Yeah, life is a bitch.

But I could never get body-painted because I am so ticklish. The artist would be painting and then I would be giggling, and all of a sudden, his masterpiece is ruined. I mean, I am so ticklish that he would apply just a bit of paint, and then all of a sudden, I would have a line drawn across my tummy. Not good.

Word Verification
I have also noticed a new feature for Blogger/Blogspot, which is way cool, the accessibility feature in word verification. It looks like this:
Leesa is a Hottie!
You see, all you have to do is click on the image, and then instead of typing in the letters that you see, it gives you numbers by audio. At first, I thought the audio was going to have stuff like trains in the background or birds chirping, children playing, or Shakira lyrics. No, instead, it is just audio that you can actually hear. I don't know about you, but I fail with the word verification about half the time. And the trouble is that I know my ABCs – I learned them in elementary school. For the life of me, I can't guess some of the letters. I sort of think some programmer who hates people (okay, all programmers hate people, so I am being a tad redundant) purposefully puts some function in his work that makes even correct word verification answers fail 35% of the time.

Personally, I don't use word verification – and now I get all these posters wanting me to purchase male enhancement stuff. Not sure what that is all about. No one ever suggests breast enhancement cream. Why is that?

Paris Hilton
I just found out that Paris Hilton has a sister. Okay, having a sister is not that special. Okay, it is special – she can braid your hair, paint your toenails, find out who likes you when you are in grade school. Perhaps she even knows a ninja-bunny dentist.

Okay, I dislike Paris Hilton. No secret there. And, really, I don't think she is that hot. If she were to come into my work today and offer to orally please me, I would say "pass." Even if she were going to videotape the entire experience. She just looks like someone who has had too much tweaking – with Botox and otherwise. If Barbie ever came to life, instead of who I would want her to be, she would be exactly like Paris Hilton.

And then someone told me that Paris is not even the hot Hilton. So I googled Nikki Hilton, and got a view of her. Okay, I know I am going straight to hell for using Google and oppressing the Chinese people, but Nikki looks better than Paris. And I think Nikki is a slut, too. I am not much into pop culture, but the question in my brain is, "Why is Paris so much more popular than Nikki?" Is it that darned little dog she keeps under her arm? Was that sex video that was "accidentally released" that good? Who knows? Must be a marketing scheme or something. I remember when video tape recorders came out, there were two basic kinds in the US – Betamax (or was it just Beta) and VHS. They were completely incompatible. At the time, I thought they were about the same – you put a tape in a machine and watched a movie. My family got VHS, and a whole lot of other families did the same. They ended up dominating the market – thing was, I read later, is that Beta-formatted machines were technologically better – clearer image, etc.

Happy Friday! I think I am going to use the audio word verification on sites I read from now on.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wrong Turn

The other day, I got a wee bit lost in an area of Savannah that I did not know well. I don't know how many of you have explored downtown Savannah, but if you go over a few streets in certain directions, the safety of the streets seems to deteriorate quickly. There are several streets with huge houses, beautiful yards with wonderful trees and then two streets over it looks like, well, another city. Rugged and dirty with people trapped in another existence.

Anyway, I took a wrong turn, turning right instead of left, and several minutes later, I sort of lost where I was. I don't have the best direction skills, but I know the streets I have traveled on for years.

Anyway, I see this old gas station and I go in to ask for directions. The first thing I noticed was that the pumps were old – no credit card swiping at this station. Normally I avoid these gas stations. I would rather swipe a card than enter a gas station. I always think of gas stations like convenience stores – you know, a place where the cashier probably has seen a weapon or two and may even have been shot at.

I enter this dimly lit station, and immediately I see several people inside. People that look like life has treated them hard. There are people that look as if they have control of things, and people who look like the environment controls them – these fell into the latter category. My first instinct was to exit the building quickly, get in my car, and lock the doors. Then drive off, lost. But instead, I mustered up my courage and asked for directions. When I am scared, I normally want to look like I am in control, swinging my arms with authority, and seem as if I know the area well. Instead, I was timid, brushing my hair behind my ears and asking meekly for directions – not much of a hard ass.

As I was asking the clerk, who looked kinder than any of the patrons, a dirty man stood uncomfortably close behind me, waiting to buy a large beer that would inevitably find its way into a brown bag. I looked back at him – and his skin looked more grey from dirt than anything – hence the description as "dirty".

Then another very large and somewhat younger man looked at me, stared at me, and opened his mouth. I wanted to bolt for the door, but the large man said, "Frank, get the hell away from the little lady. Mind your manners." Instantly, I felt as if there was some sort of code – that some skinny white woman gets a pass at getting hit on in this store. At least when the large man is around. I got my directions and left the store.

Afterwards, I thought this little scene is sort of like life. I mean, occasionally we get lost and don't know where to go. We can ask for help, if we are brave enough to, but it takes more courage than normal. And sometimes other people help us find our way. Sometimes they don't even realize how helpful they have been. There are kind people in the world who will help us. And there are others who can give us direction. All we have to do is ask.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sanity Check

I sometimes wonder about my sanity. I mean, when I was a little girl – well, even when I was in high school, college and soon thereafter, I did not believe in a lot of fringe beliefs. I am talking about "the sixth sense," UFOs, conspiracy theories (think JFK assassination and the grassy knoll). I had experimented with Weegie Boards, ESP, and I was one of those people who made fun of people believing in this "mumbo jumbo." By the way, mumbo jumbo is a technical term for "crap".

But things started to occur that I began noticing. Notice the last sentence – passive, as if I don't want to attribute the experiences to anything. Oh, well, stop playing junior sleuth. I have read others talk about having connections, knowing when things will happen before they do, and these crazy people usually meet with some support, some ribbings and some people wanting to give them money for tummy tucks.

Well, I want you to know something – I am one of those crazies. I have had some experiences that, very occasionally, I know things that will happen in the future. Yes, dear readers, I am a crazy person. Although I don't talk to myself – well, not with a bottle of desert wine in one hand, beat up umbrella in the other. I mean, people don't cross the street when they see me coming, but if they know some of the things that I believe, perhaps they would.

I also think I have seen a ghost – if you are familiar with Savannah, you know there are lots of ghost tales around the city. Apparently, you should not die near Savannah – because it seems that lots of people here have unfinished business. So if you want to rattle chains, glide through old buildings, and be dinner conversation for the next hundred years, come to Savannah to die. Bonus points if you are a transvestite, or treat your dogs like toddlers.

I also interpret dreams – and lots of my dreams have to do with forensic medicine. And you thought it was all about sex! Okay, I am kidding. I have a lot of naked dreams, probably because, believe it or not, I am shy and I don't really want people to see me naked. Funny, considering my colorful past. Oh, please don't try and analyze this.

I have always wanted to feel what it would be like to wear a straight jacket. If I keep this up, maybe I will find out. Ouch. Reality hurts.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jose' Can You See

I have heard lots about a Spanish National Anthem. I mean, Jimmie Hendrix did a guitar riff National Anthem – perhaps that met with similar public backlash. I don't mind some group putting out a Spanish National Anthem. Seems to me it is a way to celebrate the United States.

I mean, forever, I have heard people sing, "Jose' can you see" instead of "Oh, say can you see." So what is the big deal? I mean, half the people who sing this song butchers it, and it is not their fault. The scale – okay, I don't know what it is called – seems to have a very wide range. So the song is hard to sing. If it is easier to sing in Spanish, I say we all change to the other song. Bad joke.

I think what got lost in the shuffle is that the Spanish National Anthem came out for the National Immigration Boycott Day, or whatever it is called. And they are not really boycotting immigration; it just seems that there are so many undocumented workers that some people say we should just change the laws. Well, if enough people feel this way, maybe it will happen. Or you could get the courts involved. Heaven knows, the court system like overstepping its bounds.

I don't think I will be protesting. Seems to me that the reason for the boycott is fuzzy. Perhaps that is because it involves legitimizing people who break the law. And our law enforcement doesn't want to deal with arresting undocumented workers when they break the law – basically because it is a pain in the butt. I am not sure there is a memo out there saying, "Don't arrest undocumented workers because there is too much paperwork, but I have seen articles in the local paper taking about this. You know, 15 people in a van, driving reckless without a license or proof of insurance. The local police just escort them out of town. Don't blame the undocumented workers; blame the agencies.

I can't wait until liberals will say that Bush started this issue to change focus that should be on our efforts in Iraq. Or getting our men and women out of that country. Okay, I am babbling. I should stick to lighter issues. But this has been weighing on me.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Undocumented Racism Clouds Issues

Immigration. I have been very concerned about recent immigration debates because no matter what people say, they sound like they contain subtle racism undertones. And some not so subtle. But before I begin, I want to say that I really am not that political of a person – I mean, when Clinton was president and politics included facials, stained dresses and plump interns, politics held my interest. Now, not so much.

First, I think the issues concerning immigration are being muddled. When I think of immigration issues, I think about the number of people the US admits legally from each country. But when people talk about the “immigration issue,” I have a feeling they are talking about “undocumented workers.”

I should pause and explain why I use the term “undocumented workers.” I have heard the term “illegal aliens”or “illegals”, “undocumented workers” and “migrant workers” used interchangeably, but those terms are not really interchangeable. Perhaps reporters and political pendants like to vary their words, perhaps they are using terms to bolster their hidden agendas, or perhaps they don’t know the difference. I don’t know. Some people argue that people cannot be labeled as illegal – and I sort of get that. Their actions may break laws; but it does not change them otherwise. Okay, it may change their status in this country. Do people that speed consider themselves lawbreakers? Most probably don't. I have heard people say that speeding laws are stupid; perhaps people who cross into this country illegally feel the same way. Again, I am talking over my head here.

I have known two people who, technically, were in this country illegally. Neither one of them was Hispanic. One was from Ireland – actually he was from Scotland, but I always said he was from Ireland because it drove him nuts. I used to say he was from Wales, but that didn't seem to bother him as much. There must be some history between Ireland and Scotland. I must have been asleep when it was discussed in Social Studies.

I have heard many people say that they wouldn't mind giving citizenship to undocumented workers if (1) they paid taxes, and (2) they learned English. Now I know some people who I think would be far less of a problem if I could not communicate with them. So if I were queen, the pain-in-the-butt people would not have to learn English. Furthermore, pain-in-the-butt English speakers would have to forget English. I recommend electric shock therapy for this. Heck, I would launch a career to accomplish this myself. Think about the job satisfaction you could get by being able to shock the crap out of annoying people. I am thinking recruitment would not be a problem. Sorry, everything turns out to be a joke for me.

Does it matter if undocumented workers paid taxes and learned English? I mean, we are selecting someone that purposefully broke the law for, and I know this is a generalization, economic gains. Seems to me that we are selecting people for citizenship who have no problem breaking the law for money. Well, I guess the founding fathers were rule- and law-breakers as well. Maybe we want the same now.

You know, I keep typing and typing and not making much sense. Sort of like this debate. Seems to me that when we talk about undocumented workers, most people think about Hispanic people picking strawberries in California. Or harvesting fruit and vegetables across the US – maybe putting up houses in your neighborhood. I know, Americans won't take these jobs. But then I see this Oprah show a week or so ago that shows people on minimum wage working two and three jobs. No health insurance, seems like a lower standard of living. Do these Americans not want these types of jobs? Oh, they already have them.

I have gotten to the end and don't know what I have said. Again, looks like a political debate to me. I do see racism in the words people use – how "those people" are harming the US. Or how "they have to learn English." Or how they should not learn English. Both seem to subtlety say either (1) I don't like people different than me, or (2) these people are too stupid to learn English. Oh, well. It would be a lot easier if we were talking about President Bush receiving blow jobs in the White House. I mean, from someone other than Laura Bush. See, Laura looks like a lady that likes to swallow.