Thursday, May 31, 2007

The American Consciousness

When I was growing up, I can remember a conversation that always puzzled me. The conversations were always on television (just because I rarely watch now does not mean I did not watch as a child). And the conversation concerned the assassination of John F Kennedy. All of the conversations, among different shows, were the same: "Where were you when you heard Kennedy was assassinated?"

I remember that question being asked on several shows. There are certain events that the whole nation, or most of it, understands. A shared consciousness.

An image of the Challenger Accident.Challenger Accident
January 28, 1986 - 73 seconds after launch, the space shuttle challenger exploded. I was in high school, and I can remember the social studies teacher wheeling out the television after the accident occurred. School stopped that day, and we were all glued to the televisions. There was a hushed silence in the school that day, for several minutes.

Those 73 seconds were played on the news that night, that day, that week. We heard a lot about space exploration after that. Really, NASA, which had been in the background for a few years, took center stage again. We heard about all seven astronauts that day, especially Christa McAuliffe – who was supposed to be the first teacher in space. The same Christa McAuliffe, when asked about the dangers of the mission, said, "Every shuttle mission's been successful."

Those older than me will remember Sputnik, they will remember Apollo 11 (Neil Armstrong, 'Buzz' Aldrin and Michael Collins) and Neil Armstrong's moon walk. Sort of reminds me of something Alan Shepard once said: "It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract."

The Day After
I was in middle school in 1983, when it seemed everybody watched "The Day After." Okay, I don't remember much about the movie, but it was a much anticipated movie, showing the effects of world war involving nuclear weapons. It was not the movie that was so important – but our reactions to the movie. This was in an age where newspapers had things about SALT and SALT II (Jimmy Carter), and Star Wars (Ronald Reagan). I was a child, so I did not pay close attention to it all. All I knew was that we had nuclear weapons, the USSR did as well, and we did not know if anyone could survive a "nuclear winter." This movie popularized the concept of a nuclear winter.

I remember hearing the news – about one, perhaps two airplanes that accidentally ran into a building in New York. Preliminary reports were very sketchy, and then when all flights were being grounded, we knew this was not an accident. I remember when there were 8 unaccounted for planes, one eventually running into the ground in rural Pennsylvania. And when we remember 9-11, most don't even recall the plane that hit the Pentagon. Sort of like it hit a military site, not as shocking as hitting a civilian structure. I did not really get that, but whatever.

Point is that this generation remembers what they were doing, whether it was getting breakfast, on the way into work, or waking up to a phone call from a friend or family member.

The point, I guess, is that there are certain events that grip the United States. Where we remember what we were doing when we heard. It is part of the American Consciousness.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Would you like cheese with that wine?

Pampering Oneself
Have you ever wanted to be real good to yourself? Was it this week? Did you follow through and pamper yourself? The answer is nearly invariably no. And the question I have to ask myself is, "why the heck not?"

I am not saying spending your retirement fund to go to the spa every other week. I just mean pampering yourself sometimes. I mean just taking the time to take a long bath full of wonderful fragrances, reading that book that you just don't have time for.

Now, I sort of wonder, however, if this is the right thing to discuss. I was part of the "me" generation. Or am I Generation X? I don't remember and really don't care. I do know that most of my generation were a little less interested in going into careers for the money (I am a prime example of this, but some would call this "setting one's sites too low."), but even so, people buy all kinds of stuff.

Pretty houses, lovely house, full of lovely stuff. Pretty houses, bigger houses, to hold all of our stuff.

I mean, people are buying all this stuff, but I wonder if they are enjoying their possessions. Or, actually, I wonder if possessions are supposed to be enjoyed.

Today, I want to pamper myself. What to do? I am not sure, but a bath would be nice.

Back to Work
I sometimes don't like coming back to work after a holiday. It is like cramming five days of work into four days. It is exactly like that. Personally, I would like a stamp called, "Not enough time to do request. I was on vacation."

I am just wondering if purchasing such a stamp would be pampering. The object (stamp) would not itself pamper. It is getting out of the work that would be pampering.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Got Nuthin'

Okay, this is sort of a lame post (well, I am still working on it, making it, hopefully, less lame). I started writing this post earlier this month, and for some reason, I never finished it. But you see, I had a wonderful long weekend, and I have almost nothing today. And, yes, I do see the irony in the post today.

I was reading the Peanut Queen's blog the other day, and she said something about not having anything to say – you know, when you're all blocked up.

When I have writer's block, I sort of make my best posts. You see, even with writer's block, I have plenty to say. I just take off my "this has to be good stuff" filter, and just write. The writing could be really bad. Or it could be about a cum stain I saw on my floral bedspread this morning. But you know, before you realize it, there are words appearing on the word processor, my fingers are typing away, and I am writing.

Now, gentle readers, I am a bit concerned with you. I mean, it may not be interesting talking about the smell of pee after eating certain vegetables. But you know, as I type, the words flow, the counter registers another word, and the writer's block is no more.

One of my favorite movies is Finding Forrester – to see Jamal Wallace's struggle to find his voice, polish his writing, as Prof. Robert Crawford1 tries to place obstacles in his path.

William Forrester, the fictional author in the movie, says to Jamil, "No thinking - that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is ... to write, not to think!"

When I have writer's block, I just take off the old filter, and then I don't have writer's block. Then I have the crappy post problem. What to do with that, I have no idea. Except don't listen to the comments.

1Played by F. Murray Abraham; I love that this actor is the nemesis for both Jamal's character and Mozart's in Amadeus.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Have you ever had an epiphany?1 Sure, I am extremely thoughtful most of the time. I ponder things, mull them over. I am not quick to judge. Most of the time, when I form an opinion, it is after a lot of thought. I am not saying I am right, but I am saying that it takes me a while for me to form an opinion. So because of this, I rarely have epiphanies.

A while back, I went to a party and had an epiphany. And it really though me for a loop.2

I went to a party recently, and I had an epiphany. This is not one of those things that it is comfortable to discuss, so those not wanting to read somebody bear ones soul should go to the next blog on their list.

I was having a charming time at the party – eating yummy hors d'Ĺ“uvre and such. There were these cute twins at the party, maybe five years old. And I was talking to their Dad and some other guy. We talked and talked, and then it hit me, "They were both their Dads."

I was completely taken aback. For those of you who have not read all of my posts, I am infertile. I have known this for a number of years, and so, I have had time to ponder things. Like how difficult adoption can be, for instance. And I have heard that homosexual men should not adopt children.

Thoughtfully, I reasoned that the best parents for children, adopted or otherwise, would be two adults, one male, one female. But after seeing these two well-adjusted kids, I thought to myself, "Perhaps I over thought this."

Perhaps I am full of crap.

Here I am, thinking I am so "open minded" and all, and after weighing all of what I considered the facts, I really thought two homosexual men were less able to care for a child than a heterosexual couple. Oh, and you know, I thought the same thing about a lesbian couple.

Yeah, there is Leesa, full of crap.

I thought, as some research alludes to, it is in the child's best interest to have one male and one female parent. Men are from Mars, women from Venus. Men and women are different (to spite the 70s mantra that I truly believed for so long), and because of this, obviously men and women can contribute differently to the live of a child.

Then I met these two wonderfully happy children. And I thought about love, about discipline, about . . . about being good parents. And then I got knocked off my horse.

Here I am, trying to be all open-minded, and in the back of my well-thought-out mind, I am completely dissing people because of their various private parts. Just because two people have penises does not mean they would make bad parents.

I mean, I sometimes feel hip because when I was a college co-ed, I spent one wonderful week being a girlfriend's lover. I was young, confused, and for a brief time, in love. I did not stop the relationship because of some verse in the Bible. I stopped it because I wanted something different in my life. Including children. Funny thing is that here I sit, sans children. Off the point.

Point being that two men (or two women) can be wonderful couples, wonderful parents. And until that dinner party, I had no idea because I was just looking at the situation with my head and not my heart. I think it is best to use the head, the heart and the soul on such matters, and in that dinner party, I did just that. All at once. Knocked me off my horse.

And you know, getting up off of the ground after being knocked off, I did not care that I was wrong for so long.

1I am not talking about the feast on the 6th of January associated with the visit of the three wise men to the infant Jesus; I am talking about a sudden revelation.

2Remember in the Bible when Saul was knocked off of his horse? Before he changed his name to Paul and wrote all of those books in the Bible. I guess talking mano a mano with God would do that. Or would it be mano a Dios?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Urban Dictionary

For the truly clueless (that's me, folks), someone has a new (or old) Urban Dictionary.

Actually, when I started blogging, I remember using the Urban Dictionary (September 2005) because there was a blogger who I read who made reference to all sorts of things. Her screen name was Lorali Gilmore, yeah, not incredibly interesting, but neither is my screen name. I would use the Urban Dictionary about once every four or so posts with her, the first of which was "rusty trombone." Now that I think about it, perhaps she was looking up words in here and simply fitting her posts to fit the dictionary.

I don't use the Urban Dictionary much, actually, but I think the idea is cool. Very Web 2.0, where everybody puts in their definitions.

Anyway, someone was talking about dingleberries the other day, and I thought to myself, "This does not sound like a discussion of the Vaccinium erythrocarpum, otherwise known as the southern mountain cranberry. I looked it up in the Urban Dictionary, and after disinfecting my fingers, I gagged again.

Did I mention that the Urban Dictionary has a lot of fecal references? It does.

Think "rusty trombone." Think (all of these are new to me, thank god) "dirty sanchez". Think "alabama hot pocket". Think "detroit stir fry". Think "cleveland steamer".

Thanks, Urban Dictionary, for really ruining my appetite. This leads me to a side-note: what is the big deal with having sex and feces so intertwined? I really don't get this. Perhaps due to my OCD.

Getting back to the non-fecal part of this post, I have noticed a lot of letters thrown together to mean things. Perhaps this has to do with typing with one's thumbs while wheedling a sidekick. Oh, and I did not know what a sidekick was until watching The Resident recently.

Even BFF is after my time. In the 80s, there were few things "in code" so our parents did not understand us. Now, I don't know about all of these letters. But thanks to the Urban Dictionary, I can figure some of this out. All I have to do is ensure I am avoiding feces.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Clandestine Panchira Photos

An early example of an upskirt; oh, and women in the 18th Century didn't wear panties.Today I want to talk about clandestine panchira photos. Sure, you have heard about these photos, haven't you? I have chosen Fragonard's The Swing (1767) to illustrate this type of image. Now, you have an idea of what I mean.

There are a lot of weird sexual oddities – and I never really understood the whole upskirt thing. I remember reading about some court decision, where the courts decided that if people took public photos of upskirts, they could. It was not an invasion of privacy. It was lewd, the courts said, but it was okay for photographers to take pics up women's skirts without their permission.

At the time I was aghast, but you know, I am an amateur photographer, and I have taken lots of pictures of people throughout the years. No upskirts, no nude photos, none of that. Old men fishing at sunset, little girls and boys playing in sprinklers, motorcycle enthusiasts at a rest stop, a band marching in a parade. I took all of these pictures without consent.

Well, there are a few differences. I did not place the pictures on a website, charging $14.95 per month for access, and advertising with pop-ups. But still, when you are in public, you need to know that within reason, your image in public can be snapped, filmed or otherwise captured and you have little recourse.

I have a YouTube friend that had her videos downloaded and placed on another site, with whoever stole them indicating that the person in the video was the poster of the videos. In essence, the person who stole the videos stole the identity of my friend. Well, this is a little difference then walking down a flight of stairs with a skirt that accidentally reveals a wink of one's panties. In public, I have a reasonable assumption that prying eyes or a prying camera lens will see me. And since I was 12, I have been practicing ensuring that my panties remain hidden.

Now, though, I would think if you place anything on the web – pictures, video or words, you will probably have your work stolen. I have seen my work lifted – not even my best work. I have seen YouTube videos taken, songs lifted from record labels (think Napster on steroids). I know with Web 2.0 and all, we are more connected than ever. Some of this is good. Most of this is good. But now, we have a few people (multiplied by thousands because of the power of the Internet) that get their jollies by either stealing stuff or placing micro-lenses in public restrooms. Now, I can reasonably expect privacy when voiding my bladder. I mean, I would even think judges from the courts would agree to that.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Have you ever used a tuning fork? Me, I remember holding them in science class. Now, I can't remember the point of the tuning fork in school, but we had them in science class. You hold it and whack it on the table, and then it makes a sound. A tuning fork resonates at a specific constant pitch after whacking it, and I guess the pitch helps with tuning pianos and such. But I forget why we had these things in science class. I never got the dissecting frogs, either. Other than dissuading me from going to vet school. I don't want to touch another frog. Oh, and I ma allergic to formaldehyde (or so my science teacher believed).

Note to future high school science students: say you are allergic to formaldehyde if you don't want to touch frogs.

Getting back to the tuning fork. I have noticed that when I am in a funk, I am not in pitch with my life. Either I am not exercising, or I am not doing anything creative at work, or things are not going well with my family (mostly my sister). When I don't resonate, everything seems less real, less important, less happy.

We all need something that speaks to our soul, to the core of who we are. Some may make fun of certain Christians, but if they are living a centered life, they are pretty happy. And I am not talking about the ones who just bash gay people because of traumatic events in their own lives or that they did not get enough unconditional love, or whatever. I don't agree with much the Mormon Church says, but most of the one's I meet that give me free Bibles and ride bikes seem to be fairly chipper folks. And the Mormon Bibles can be used for lots of things.

For me, I had my hubbie cut out the middle of the Mormon Bible and then I glued the pages together. Now I have a neat hiding place. And it is in a Mormon Bible, something no thief will ever pick up. Okay, I did not do that to one of their Bibles. Just in case that is a bad thing. But in a funny, sacrilegious way, you have to chuckle about it.

Oh, I was making a profound point before all of this. See, some atheists may say, talking about religion makes you miss profound points. Yeah, but you really develop those calf muscles, peddling from neighborhood to neighborhood. You know those porno movies that had the pizza guy that gets lucky? Why don't they do it with someone peddling Bibles? They always come in the middle of the day, when all of the hard-up housewives are watching soaps. I mean, when I order pizza, it is the end of the day and I don't want to cook. I am rarely horny and want the delivery guy's pepperoni. Again, sacrilegious. Sorry, I know this is wrong, but I actually find humor in religion. Got me in trouble in CCD.

Focus, Leesa. Main point. What the heck was it? Something to do with tuning forks, or cute guys in science class. I know, do what resonates with you, so that when you are working on life's work, you are in tune with the world, with your own heart, and with the pizza guy. Er, perhaps I have been out-of-tune lately.

At least I did not cut up the Mormon Bibles. After all, it would ruin my Mormon Bible tower. Twelve books high, affectionately called, "The Tower of Babble." Er, I didn't mean that, especially if the Mormons are right.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Closet Television Viewer

I don't know if you have noticed, but I have added links to websites of television programs. I know, I really don't watch television at home – no time for it – but I have found that some television shows have either teasers or full episodes of television programs.

CBS does the best, in my estimation, with its innertube. There is no rhyme nor reason for the episodes available. I mean, CSI, CSI-NY and CSI-Miami seem to have the last four shows posted, and as a show is run or re-run, then they take off the oldest show. Oh, and Numb3rs seems to be the same way.

Then there are shows where all of the episodes are one it (let's call these, crappy shows). I am not sure if they are crappy, but CBS places all of these on their website. "Rules of Engagement" is one show.

Then there are shows that only have the most current episode on the site (e.g., "The New Adventures of Old Christine").

I won't bore you with reviews of these shows, in part because I don't want to write about them. In part because I have not watched all of them. That being said, "Ending Happy" (CSI) is really well-written. It is sort of funny, and it is about crime scene investigations. Yeah, funny.

I don't feel much like writing today. Sorry.

Friday, May 18, 2007

In a Funk

I have been in a funk lately. So sorry.

And you know, I figured out a way to get rid of this feeling, albeit temporarily. Just put on the ear buds to the ol' iPod, crank up some music, and dance while walking. That's it. Cheaper than one year's worth of happy pills. Really, try it. Look silly, listen to good music, and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Or enjoy the summer showers and fresh air. Whatever.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I did not post yesterday. I read something that disturbed me, well, made me think, and then the day took over. So I did not post.

When I was growing up, we had three television stations. Well, there were really four, if you count PBS, and then a fifth after a while, but you get the picture. We had few stations, few programs, few choices. We did not need to filter what was on television – we were able to take in all of the choices and make decisions. Now, there are hundreds of video outlets, cable, satellite, whatever. Most people can't take in that much information and filter choices. Not all of the time.

Again, growing up, there was one primary newspaper delivered. Perhaps two in some cities. There were three nightly news programs. Again, not many choices, but it is not hard to take in that information and know what is going on. Now, we have the three news stations, CNN, other cable outlets, the Internet with access to most local papers, and literally thousand of other sources. Some even get their news from talk show hosts, morning television shows. We are getting information about lots of gruesome things. Things that were happening a long time ago. But when you here more about them, you assume these things are more "regular." Again, it is hard to filter the news.

Part of the reason I did not write yesterday was a comment about YouTube. It said something about YouTube getting worse, getting to where everything is "same old same old." I would have posted something that was "same old same old" and I just did not want to do that.

YouTube, in which Google paid billions of dollars, has many faults. Its biggest fault, and a fault of blogging sites as well, is that there is not good filtering. There are good videos on YouTube, but most of the videos are, well, not so good. Blog entries are probably the same. Out of a week's worth of posts, I probably have one good post. Well, less than one per week right now. More than one per week on good weeks.

I held the "Battle of the Blogs" to find other good blogging sites, and I really did not find a bunch of sites. At first, I thought it may have been because blogs are getting worse, on average. And then I began thinking, "Is it me?" Perhaps I am the one who is off of my game.

I still think those who can filter better will do well in this new world (with Web 2.0 and all). Me, I don't know. I think I have given myself permission not to post when I think all I can write is a crap post. That might not mean much to some, but for those of us with compulsions about doing something every day, this is a big deal. I just don't want someone to filter some of my crap posts. I will do that myself.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On Occupations

The other day, I was filling out an application and got to the part about occupation. Instinctively I wrote "Administrative" but then I got to thinking, you know, I do a whole lot more than my job description. And I am not just talking about what I do at work.

Consider this: many companies have off-loaded parts of their traditional jobs over the years. And I just want credit for doing parts of those jobs. Here are some of my "occupations":

Grocery Store Cashier/Clerk
At my grocery store, I now have the option of scanning, bagging and paying for my groceries. And I choose this option much of the time.

Funny thing is that before I still had to help with cashiering by identifying fruit. So I guess I was a botanist at one time.

Clerk: So are these oranges, right?

Leesa: Clementines. They are called clementines.

Clerk: I can't find the code for clementines. Are you sure these aren't tangerines?

Leesa: They are clementines.

Clerk: I can't find the code for clementines.

Leesa: Okay, they are oranges.

So now I do all of the work of the grocery store cashier/clerk. And I am fine with that.

Gas Station Attendant
I have been told that gas station attendants once pumped gas. Well, they pretty much just sell drinks and snacks now1, but they once pumped gas. So I pump the gas, I ask myself for my credit card, and I swipe my card through the machine. Again, my job.

A lot of people have gardeners in our area. Well, they have people that cut their grass, edge, blow the grass away, and so forth. Not me. Well, I don't mow the grass much – I have a husband for that. But I do garden. I plant tomatoes in the backyard, water them, watch them grow. And peppers, and lettuce (fancy kinds of lettuce). And other vegetables. My hubbie would be more encouraged if I could plant something that grew meat or some kind, but what are you going to do. I am a gardener.

Most of the time, I don't go to the doctor when hubbie or I am sick. I diagnose, medicate, give orders. In short, I am a physician (for myself) and a pediatrician for hubbie. 2 I have allergies, and so when I get a "cold", I have to distinguish it from said allergies. Is this ragweed that is causing this, or do I have a rhinovirus? I take my own temperature, or the temperature of my patient, prescribe over the counter drugs, and order bed rest. Sounds like a doctor to me.

And I make house calls.

I am feeling a little over-worked today, but after all, I have lots of jobs to do.

1Believe it or not, gas stations make more on the food/drinks they sell than on each gas transaction.

2I bet you could guess that.

YouTube Anonymous

I get my political views from YouTube. One of the funniest videos shows Obama and Hillary (LisaNova) discussing the 2008 elections. Really cute and, well, from this video, I know who I am voting for already.

Of course, if I wanted to really know about politics, I would hop on over to "25th of July." (m3xlc4n)

Once I get done figuring out who to vote for, I start talking to myself, sort of like BlossomingViolet. You can see her in the "Dear Body" video. Her voice is in my brain, as I walk around my office. Right feet. At least she did not talk about her butt.

Then I go to a more reputable source – Geek Girl. This issue concerns the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the inverse relationship between the number of pirates and average daily temperature.

Of course, then I wander over to some child who has more talent in her little finger than I have mustered in years. Yeah, she is nine years old, and she really plays wonderfully. I wonder what Reinhold would have thought?

Once I am feeling completely bad about my lack of talent because of some 9-year-old's piano-playing ability, I hop on over to "The Resident." She is talented, too, but at least she has a few wrinkles. Thank goodness.

So then I go over to Community Chanel and the best Aussie video maker.

Well, I have another favorite Aussie. Hugh's News. He is so informative. I wish I would have watched his video before starting dating. His STD video is extremely informative. After all, he is a scientist. Plus he has a video in which he, Caitlyn Hill and Natalie (community channel) chase two huge testicles. Hugh's News and huge testicles. After all, he is a scientist.

And afterwards, I head over to "I've Got a Theory" and see if they have a new episode of Betty Homemaker. When I was a child, we put on plays. Now, girls post on YouTube. Welcome to the 21st century. I am not ready for it.

Oh, and for me, I am looking for some YouTube anonymous group to join. Do you think I can find it online?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Phrases I Hate

There are certain words or phrases that really bug me.

"I wrote this to tell you I am alive."
When you start a letter or a blog and state that the reason is to tell you that you are alive, you are sort of stating the obvious. When I see a blog entry or letter from someone, I assume they are alive at the time of the letter. Makes sense?

Please, if you are dead and writing me, tell me that you are dead. That is so much more impressive. And it needs to be stated because it is generally assumed that one is alive when writing.

"Do you know how fast you were going?"
When a policeman says this, well, I learned from my defensive driving class, you don't say a think. The police officer wants you to admit to speeding. Me, before this class, thought it was some sort of contest.

Leesa: Sir, I was going 82.4 miles per hour. How close was I?

Wrong approach.

"I have nothing to say."
I have read many bloggers that blog about not being able to write. And I have done it as well. In fact, I am probably going to do it soon (hint). But you know, I think the reason people do it is that they feel compelled to write on some interval, and then they can't do it. I don't like the phrase, but I can understand the need for it. It is sort of like a long "hmmm" with many more words and punctuation.

"Did you watch _____ last night."
I don't hate this because I think television is evil. I like to be included in conversations, and when people are talking about television, unless they are talking "Wonder Years", "Happy Days" or "MASH", I am in over my head, completely left out because I don't watch television. I just feel inferior because I don't know who was kicked off American Idol last week, who is dancing with the stars, and who got laid or shot by one of the Desperate Housewives. And I don't like feeling inferior.

"Ooops. The condom broke."
Just joking. Never happened to me, but that would really suck.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Underappreciated Mothers

Yesterday, I posted about hating Mother's Day. Well, I really don't hate everything to do with Mother's Day. I think that mothers have a difficult job, so I wanted to give you a different post on the "work eve" of Mother's Day.

It seems to me that mother's don't really get a fair shake.

Think about this "ledger sheet" that might reflect some year of mine in the mid-80s:

Mom stayed up with me much of the night because I was really sick with some virus. I remember her wiping my brow with a damp washcloth. She changed the channels on the television for me. For those of you who don't remember, there was a time when all televisions did not have remote controls. I felt so sick, so weak, so pitiful.

My Mom comforted me, and for Mother's Day, I made her a clay ash tray.

As a high schooler, I was learning about love. Not the love of middle school where you kiss a boy, get a carnation on Valentine's Day and write his name in your spiral notebook. Not that those were not good times, but when you go further, when you talk about futures, about your pasts, about what you like. In short, it is when you start to focus beyond yourself, to another person. The puppy love is mostly about you. Adolescent love is about you, but it is also about the other person. Mom listened to me as I figured this out.

My Mom listened to me, and for Mother's Day, I made her a clay ash tray.

Since my mother spooned strained peas into my mouth, my Mom made me almost every breakfast and dinner until I was out of high school. Nearly every meal on the weekends. That is about 13,000 meals. She made them with love and without complaining. And, you know, after being married and making meals for longer than I want to admit, I cannot believe that she did not ever feel like complaining. And in this year, she was teaching me to cook as well as further cementing our mother-daughter relationship. It is so much easier to talk about boys when you are cooking a meal.

My Mom cooked for me and taught me how to cook, and for Mother's Day, I made her a clay ash tray.

She did so much for me, and for Mother's Day, she got a clay ash tray. Actually, I gave her a clay ash tray years before, and she loved it. No, she did not smoke, but she loved the ash tray. That's what a mother is all about. She does not keep track on a ledger sheet, she just mothers. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

On Hating Mother's Day

I have a little secret to tell you today: I hate Mother's Day. I don't want to hate Mother's Day, but I do.

It started a few years ago, in church of all places. On Mother's Day (it falls on a Sunday), I was handed a single red rose as I entered church, and the usher, grinning at me, said, "Happy Mother's Day." I don't want to seem like a bitch, but you know, I am not a mother. I have never been a mother, and well, at the rate I am going, I am not going to be a mother in the future.

I talked about my infertility here, here, and here. And probably other places as well. Anyway, I have an "issue" with regards to Mother's Day. A sore spot. And I admit it.

When I was younger, I thought, "Why do we need a special day for mothers?" We should be kissing their collective asses every day of the year. Not that they slow down enough for us to even get our lips near their butts. Because most of their time is spent developing young minds, cleaning up after young minds, or cooking meals for empty tummies.

I have heard many people complain about different mothers. You know, the mother that gives the spoiled child everything he or she needs. To that, I remind you that in old age, the child will be expected to look after the mother, and you know what, he or she won't. Okay, I am just joking, because you see, I am not a mother, and I don't know what it takes to be a mother. Some will say "working ovaries and a thimbleful of sperm" but that is a bit simplistic.

But I really don't like Mother's Day, because just because I have breasts and am in my thirties, people assume I am a mother. And that's not fair. It just is not fair. So when you wish someone a "Happy Mother's Day" on Sunday, at least know her well enough to know if she qualifies.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Field Trip

Today, on the way to work, I passed a school bus full of middle school or high school students. They were going on a field trip, and I always wave and smile at school buses that look like they are field-tripping. Let me explain.

When I was in eighth grade, I went on a field trip to Tybee Island – to view the lighthouse. I think it was to give the teachers a break. Perhaps the students a break also. Anyway, we all piled in the bus, and I don't know if you can remember field trips, but for me, the worse part of field trips was dreading having a seat in an "uncool" part of the bus. Now, for me, I did not want to be in the ultra-cool part of the bus, for I did not want to be in the lower quartile of coolness, which I would have almost certainly have been. But I just did not want to be in a boring part of the bus.

Anyway, on this trip to Tybee Island, I sat in a nice area, having guys behind me, my girlfriend beside me, and other good friends in front of me. You see, I did not have to turn around to chat, which added to the experience.

I do not remember the conversation; what I remember is that the guys behind me, at some point, were waving at some woman in a car below. She was flirting, and they completely ate this up. Here I was, a few feet from these boys, and they were flirting with a woman in a car they had no chance with. Ever.

So since I have graduated from high school onward, I have wanted to be that woman in the car. I have innocently flirted with boys in buses ever since.

So here I sat, this morning, earlier than I remember field trips, waving and smiling at the boys. And they always hoot and holler back. Always. Not sure if they are doing this for my benefit or because they are with their peers, but you know, it really doesn't matter. For this is a rite of spring, Le Sacre du printemps. And I am not talking about the Igor Stravinsky composition.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

That's Not What I Said

People misunderstand things all of the time.

John Lennon of The Beatles: "We're more popular than Jesus now."
Well, John Lennon did say this, but I am not sure that was the point of the statement. Actually, later, John Lennon did say, with regards to his statement, "I should have said television was more popular than Jesus, then I might have got away with it...." His statement had as much to do with Christianity not being as popular as it once was than anything else. The whole line was, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me"

Casablanca line: "Play it again, Sam."
"Play it again, Sam" was a line never spoken by Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca to Dooley Wilson (playing Sam, the nightclub pianist). Oh, and the song to be played again: As Time Goes By. What Bogart actually said: "You played it for her, you can play it for me...If she can stand it, I can. Play it!" Ingrid Bergman said, "Play it once, Sam."

Murphy's Law: "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong."
Edward Murphy gave his name to Murphy's Law. Murphy's Law is really a design principle: if something can be done in more than one way, somebody will eventually do it. It is about designing things defensively, knowing that people will use these inventions in unanticipated ways. That's sort of the trick with beta testing a product – users hit keys they should not hit, they add peripherals they should not add, they should do lots of things they should not do.

Personally, I think Murphy's Law was named to take credit for the much older Sod's Law: "Toast will always land butter side down." Americans (myself included) cannot afford to give the British credit for anything.

Sometimes when I talk, I am exact. But even being exact, I am misunderstood. Some people would call this a "you problem", but, personal communication is two-way. Both parties are in partnership in order to ensure the message is received and understood as it is intended.

John Lennon wanted to talk about religion, and his bold statement affected what was heard (shock jocks, beware). With the Casablanca quote, I think the line was cleaned up (and the Marx Brothers' parody A Night in Casablanca did not help matters). And for Murphy's Law, we just apply one phrase, and change it to meet our needs. Sort of like Christians and the Bible.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Take a Breath

Sometimes I have to remind myself, "Breathe Out, Breathe In."

I have been really busy lately, in blogland and in real life. This Battle of the Blogs and the drama that surrounded a couple of ill-timed reviews really took the wind out of my sails.

Breathe Out, Breathe In.

I look around and I sometimes forget to just do the simple things that add so much color and interest to my life. It is the difference between taking a stroll at lunch and eating at my desk can be enormous. You see, I love to walk, to just walk and view the world.

Breathe Out, Breathe In.

I have also been so busy that other than paying bills, I have not really opened any other mail at home. And then I looked at my calendar today, and you know, this is the first time in my life where I asked for a tax extension. And I want to get the taxes done before June. Crap-ola.

Breathe Out, Breathe In.

I have been reading non-fiction again. All sorts of non-fiction books. How to hang shelves. How to balance checkbooks. No, not really, but it has not been as enjoyable as reading children's books. You see, I love books that are targeted at adolescents. Harry Potter, for instance. Not that Harry Potter is bad. The books are well-written.

Breathe Out, Breathe In.

Work is getting a bit more difficult. I am not sure if it is the work or the people. Funny thing is that a lot of problems at work can be the source of the problems. I head an old adage, "If you don't like people, we can use you. You see, all we have around here is people."

Breathe Out, Breathe In.

I am tired today, dear readers. This is one of those days that I should have just crawled in bed and woke up at noon. Heck, I would even read Harry Potter. After all, the new book will be out fairly soon.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Asking Ms. Dewey

I saw a more interactive search engine, with Ms. Dewey as the search engine.

I put in the words "clothing optional" and got a funny skit.

If you want to get her to curse, type in "ho." You get an earful. Or if you type in the word, "Ricardo" a few times and get different things. You can find "Easter Eggs", but really, the Easter Eggs are not well named because this is an interactive video. It looks at all searches and does something. I mean, if you clicked on her chest and she removed the bra through her arm hole and shot it at you, that would be an Easter Egg. The woman is Janina Gavankar, and she has been on Maxim Radio, as well as other places. She recorded about 600 video clips over three days and now you can see these flash videos on a search engine. And apparently, she is a television character on a show called The L Word.

Okay, I don't know if the television show is regular television or cable (I am thinking cable). It just sounds like a cable show – apparently she is a lesbian that has lots of lovers. Show sounds interesting, but alas, I am a bit of a Luddite.1 Of course, it is fairly ludicrous to blog using a computer about being someone who is rallying against technology that is threatening jobs.2

Back to the interactive search engine.

Frankly, I want a search engine that gives me links to the sites I am searching for. Is that too much to ask? I don't think so. So I typed in "Leesa's Stories" to see what I would get. First was my blog, of course. Then I typed just Leesa, and my blogging buddy, Bitch Leesa, is first on the list. I am second, but I don't mind being second to Leesa, so at this point, I am okay with the search results.

I did several other searches and the first few results looked okay. But the problem is that it only gives you a few results. So why I think the technology behind Ms. Dewey is cool in a creepy kind of way, it doesn't seem to be real useful.

Personally, I can see having this type of search engine take off if the following changes occur:

1. You have the ability to easily turn off her voice. [edit: I did not see the mute button because the normal view was a bit larger than the view in my browser and I had to scroll to see it. Perhaps they should use a most standard size.]
2. Instead of taking up the whole screen, the interactive Ms. Dewey should be much smaller so that you can see many more results on the first page.
3. When searching, the first result should always either contain my blog, a site that has Orlando Bloom shirtless, or Shakira dancing.

Until then, I will continue to protest by destroying textile machines.

1 From Wikipedia: "The Luddites were a social movement of English textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested — often by destroying textile machines — against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt threatened their livelihood."

2Computers allow people to be more productive, thus impacting the livelihood of others.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bottled Water

I wrote this a few weeks ago, but I don't think I ever posted it. I searched and was surprised I did not post it. 1

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. I sort of wish I was born 5 years earlier or later, so then my youth would land squarely in one decade or another. If you would have asked me when I graduated from high school if I would ever pay for bottled water, I would have said, "Heck no! Heck no!"

More than a buck for a bottle of water when you can just turn on the water and drink to your heart's content. I would have never guessed it.

I mean, I love going to my grandparents' old house because they are on well water, and you can just turn on the tap and drink the world's best water. It is cool and fresh and probably full of mercury. But it tastes so good.

I really think the bottled water industry started making stuff up so we did not want to drink tap water. Now I can't confirm this – that's the fun part of conspiracy theories (they cannot be proven because all of the witnesses are dead), but I believe something happened throughout the nation that caused people to stop trusting the water that they drink.

If you would have offered me money for bottled water companies, I would have laughed, though Dasani is owned by Coke, and others are owned by other beverage distributors. So this is not really a good conversation – I would have loved Coke stock, or Pepsi-Co stock, or Budweiser Stock. Loved it.

Still, bottled water. I buy bottled water by the pallet2 (actually hubbie buys it because I don't want to lift it). And if you would have asked me about bottled water, I would have laughed and said it was for the tennis-playing, pinkie-dangling rich people who belonged to country clubs.

Sorry, I am under the weather and don't feel like writing right now. Darned allergies. And I really normally don't have bad allergies. At least I am not allergic to my bottled water. Or am I?

1My allergies are no longer bad – read to the end and you will find out why I feel compelled to say this.

2Okay, pallet is a bit of an exaggeration.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Change is difficult. I have read that loosing weight, quitting smoking, starting an exercise program, events in your life that involve change can be very, very difficult. How many times have you lost five or ten pounds and then lost focus – change is hard.

Well, I contend that making change can be as difficult as changing. My making change, I am talking about those in the "service industry" that make change when getting snacks at the convenience store, at the fast food restaurant, and so forth. I, my dear readers, am their worse nightmare.

Clerk: That will be two dollars and eighty-four cents.

Leesa: Here you go. [Leesa hands the clerk three one dollar bills, one nickel and four pennies ($3.14).]

Clerk: Ma'am1, you gave me too much money.

Leesa: That was intentional. I wanted the change.

Clerk: [handing me back my nine cents] Here you go. I only need the three bucks.

Leesa: [handing the clerk back my nine cents] No, please take this change. Then you will give me a quarter in change.

This goes on for a few minutes, and eventually I take back my nine cents because the clerk just does not get it. He has already punched the three dollars in the cash machine, and he just cannot make change in his head. And then I get back my fourteen cents, and I point out that the two dimes and five cents are equivalent to the quarter.

The clerk just does not know how to make change, and really, if I am a clerk, I would think one of the skills I would have would be the ability to make change. Otherwise, how likely would you be able to enjoy your job?

This happens so often.

This morning I gave the clerk $21 (a twenty and a one spot) because the bill came to almost six dollars. I just did not want all of those ones as change, and I figured, the clerk would not want to give out all of the ones for the transaction. When I gave the clerk $21, she immediately gave me back $1 because she did not need it. I could not convince her to take it before making change. Really gets to me.

So making change seems to be nearly as hard as changing one's habits. At least for the clerks I have met. And, "no bag please" means no freakin' bag. Can I get want I want, please?

1I absolute hate being called Ma'am. I would much rather have been called hot chick with a soda and a Twix bar, but you know, I am seldom called hot chick anymore. When I was younger, "hot chick" would have offended me, and you know, it was probably more accurate than now. Part of my vision of myself dies when I am called Ma'am. I think it is code for "nice looking woman that I don't want to fuck." This would be a great blog topic ladies. I think I will post on this in the future, not the being unfuckable part, but the being categorized in the category of a ma'am. This footnote is entirely too long. Get back to reading the blog entry.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Leesa's Imagination Pyramid

This diagram shows Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more primitive needs at the bottom.You know, there is something called Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Basically, his theory contends that humans seek basic needs, and then, once satisfied, will seek to satisfy higher needs. He organized these needs in a pyramid1, apparently due to the USDA's hyping of the food pyramid.

Well, anyway, when I was reading some of the comments on my last blog entry, and people were commenting how "Books on Tape" and book reading is not the same thing. This spurred me to think of an imagination pyramid.

Here is how Leesa's Imagination Pyramid works: similar to Maslow's pyramid, or a food pyramid, it assumes that people with limited imaginations will only seek media activities associated with the amount of imagination one has. Sadly, unlike Maslow's pyramid, once one seeks one type of media, one may not advance to seek the next type of media activity.

The media which needs the least amount of imagination is television. Some will bathe themselves in the media, choosing to just sit there and allow the images to float over them. The viewer is fed all of the information, all of the images, all of the sounds, all of the dialog. You don't use your imagination for this. If you use your imagination, it would be to guess who the killer is on CSI or to figure out how Jack Tripper will trick Mr. Roaper again.2 For those who want to trick themselves, they say that PBS is "thinking television." Again, you are still fed the images, the sounds, the plot. In short, it takes little imagination to watch much television.

Movies are sort of like television. I mean, you are still fed the images, sounds and plots, but you know, it seems like movies require a bit more imagination. When I watch television, I go into a vegetative state. For movies, it seems a bit more interactive with the brain. When I watch a movie in a theater, I sort of place myself in the movie. Well, sometimes, for decent movies. Again, it takes greater amount of imagination to watch a movie, according to Leesa's Imagination Pyramid.

Live theater seems like it takes more imagination than watching a movie. The actors are live, instead of on cellophane (what are movies made of now?), and it seems that more imagination is needed. Again, you are looking at images, but since the actors are live, sometimes you have to use a bit more imagination. You know, sometimes you have to imagine certain things – unseen characters offstage (either because of the artistic nature of the play or the inability to place the characters on the stage, "giants" for instance).

Okay, I am not old enough to just have radio as mass entertainment, but I have listened to old radio programs. There are no images to see, so you have to imagine what characters look like. You can here them and that might indicate something about what you see in your mind, but you still have to use imagination to get the full picture. Books on tape can fall into this category, as they are audio devices.

Okay, with reading, you do not have audio cues. When you read the stories, you have to imagine sounds, images, characters, and even some of the backdrops to the story. That, I think, is why most people think "the book is better than the movie." Our imaginations, for the most part, can come up with better images than directors can create. We are so imaginative, and it shows when we read. Similarly, I remember reading that when movies of popular radio shows came out (e.g., the Shadow), many people were disappointed. Peoples imaginations trump how directors construct the plot.

Writing has a higher level of imagination than reading. For reading, still the author is steering your imagination. To write, to fill a blank sheet of paper, there is no person directing the plot, creating the characters, discussing their thoughts, their goals, whatever.

I am not saying that television is worse than writing. Not that at all. Maslow would not say that certain needs are inferior to other higher pursuits (e.g., creativity above sex). I just wanted to prattle on about a subject that I was thinking about today. More imagination? Perhaps. Well perhaps not more imagination than watching Night Rider with David Hasselhoff. Now imagine him giving me a rub-down. Yum.

1A joke. Not the Maslow stuff, but the reasoning behind the pyramid.

2Okay, as you may know, I don't watch a lot of television. My sit-com knowledge is a tad old. So sue me. Not really.