Friday, September 28, 2007

Random Friday #9

I have started and stopped Random Friday a couple of times, not really being focussed on the effort. Colleen, on the other hand, has just celebrated her 100th Thursday Thirteen. Now that is quite impressive. I have counted my random Friday posts, and I was surprised this was only number nine.

Drugs
If I were some drug-selling pusher, I would have my "office" behind a Walgreens. That way, when some dope head figures they will go to the drug store to score some more weed, I can get their business. Why hasn't anyone else figured this one out, yet? Oh, and kids, don't do drugs.

Lie Machines
You know, if we could tell when people are lying, less people would try to lie. And the world would be a better place – though the politicians would be more interesting to hear.

"Vote for me. I will try not to raise taxes, but in the end, bribes from special interest groups will force me to change my mind. Then, when they take me to task in the media, I will retreat with my mistress to Camp David."

Animal Print Undies
What is the deal with animal print undies? I mean, I know, a long time ago, we wore animal skins. Well, not me, but our ancestors. Still, why the fascination with animal skins. It just reminds me of the 70s, before killing endangered species for economics or sport was frowned upon.

Crackling Records
Earlier this week, I linked to a YouTube video for American Pie. And at the beginning of the recording, you could hear the crackling of the record. You know, in the twenty years or so since CDs were mass marketed, I have sort of forgotten about the sounds of a record. I listened to American Pie several times, and it made me feel good. The music sounded better – not clearer or anything. It sounded like music I grew up with.

Old Fashioned Turntable – called a Record Player.Jumping on Beds
Growing up, I had a record player (not a turntable) in my room. And we listened to 45s every day. But we did not just listen to records, we experienced them. We would take our shoes off, put on a stack of 45s, and just jump to the music on the bed. I do not recommend doing this as an adult (a trip to the ER would dampen my spirits).

Google Definitions
The other day I saw a comment in mememolly's YouTube account that said, "I am a 'Molly' too." So what did I do? I used Google and typed in "define:Molly" to see what the definition of that type of Molly was. Well, the first definition came back with was "fourth grade student, in Ms. Malvin's class at Worley Elementary, who asked a question for the crew of the S.S. Enterprise about where waste goes." Well, I clicked on the link to the page to see exactly what this was - the definition looked a little too specific. Well, the definition was for "McCook, Molly", and it was part of a Star Trek Enterprise online dictionary. Well, I guess I have two take-away points from this experience: (1) The woman who said she was a molly too must be a female mule, and (2) there is a lot of strange stuff on the Internet.

Pat Benatar
Every time I hear "Love is a Battlefield", I wonder about Pat Benatar and her love life. And as I type this, I can hear Prata's voice in my head. He would be wondering why I am thinking about Pat Benatar, when Holly Knight wrote the song. Fair enough, but I still wonder about the song.

Numerology
I like numbers. If two bad things happen in the news, I always am looking for a third. Something to do with the old wives' tale, "Bad news comes in threes." I stay the heck away from seven dwarfs. Sevens, forties, sixes1, forty-twos2, many prime numbers. Lots of numbers are special. But you know what, numerology is a bunch of bunk.

Reunions
I have successfully ducked every high school reunion I have had thus far. It is not that I don't want to see these people. I guess I just don't want them to know what I have been up to. I have seen some of my classmates in the news. Not being led off in handcuffs, but actually doing great things. Well, things that bring attention to themselves.

Learning Flemish
Has anyone you know, love or respected said they wanted to learn Flemish? No, me neither. Sounds like the native speakers should live in a country called Flem, which Americans would spell Phelm, and would not know that it was located in northern and western Belgium.

Katherine Heigl's Emmy
Katherine Heigl's mother told her she "didn’t have a chance in hell" of winning the Emmy. But Katherine Heigl also said that her mother is very supportive. Not sure those words are necessarily supportive. Can you imagine going to your little girl's softball game and telling her, "Sweetie, I can't believe you actually hit the ball"? After saying, for good measure, "you didn't have a chance in hell of hitting the ball."

Maybe not. I feel so random today.

1A perfect number. The proper divisors (1, 2, and 3) both add and multiply to get 6.

2A primary pseudoperfect number.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bloggers Unite Against Abuse

Bloggers Unite against Abuse.
I received a message in my inbox yesterday morning.

Thousands of bloggers from around the world are joining together this Thursday, September 27th with a single message: Stop Abuse!

BlogCatalog would love for you to be one of them!

On Thursday, September 27th, post about any abuse topic you care about - child abuse, domestic abuse, animal abuse, drug abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, political abuse - and let the world know you stand united with thousands of bloggers as part of the Bloggers Unite "Blog Against Abuse" campaign. Depending on your topic, you can even link to local, regional, national, or international organizations that you care about or support. Every post will count!


And I got to thinking. What kind of abuse could I write about to affect change? Or change people's minds? I started thinking about child abuse. Horrible abuse of people who cannot protect themselves, but most of us – all of us, really, except a few outliers – know that abusing children is wrong. People who abuse children don't tell their neighbors, blog about it, or want people to know they are doing it. So they know it is wrong already but do it nonetheless. Elder abuse is pretty much the same thing. Not that it is the same as child abuse, but people know its wrong, some do it anyway, most people are against it. And Michael Vick did more for animal abuse awareness than I could ever do.

The Princeton Dictionary defines abuse this way:

  • mistreat: treat badly; "This boss abuses his workers"; "She is always stepping on others to get ahead"
  • pervert: change the inherent purpose or function of something; "Don't abuse the system"; "The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers"
  • maltreatment: cruel or inhumane treatment
  • use foul or abusive language towards; "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket"; "The angry mother shouted at the teacher"
  • a rude expression intended to offend or hurt; "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"; "they yelled insults at the visiting team"
  • misuse: improper or excessive use
  • use wrongly or improperly or excessively; "Her husband often abuses alcohol"; "while she was pregnant, she abused drugs"
I guess I will use the maltreatment form of the word, as that is the meaning I think they mean by this blog effort.

I have witnessed many bloggers, vloggers and such, and at times, they type things, say things, write things, and respond to things when they want to change a little part of the world. They say things, create things, and I sometimes wonder if anything really changes. They might raise some money for breast cancer, for disabled troops, coming back from Iraq, maybe. Mostly they self-pontificate, say things they believe, of course, but their words, their videos, their voice, their actions do little to change things.

So here I sit, pondering, wondering what type of abuse I write about will make an impact on any of my readers. What type of maltreatment can one write about, that when read, or experienced, can change someone's mind. Because that's what I would want to do, change someone's mind to something.

I have been guilty of maltreatment. I have. While I have not been fighting dogs, I have been unfaithful. And if you are talking about maltreatment, I cannot think of a worse way to treat someone you love. Someone you swore before God and family that you were going to cherish forever. Well, beating your child, beating your wife or husband, that would be worse. But to cheat on your spouse, it is a form of abuse and not many people see it that way.

When you look into your spouse's eyes after finally telling them you were unfaithful, you see the hurt in their eyes, and I don't know how you don't see it as abuse. Well, initially, I did not see it as abusive, but the more I pondered what I had done, there was an element of abuse to my infidelity.

On more than one occasion, I have stressed that the momentary thrill you will feel with the sex, the acceptance you hope to get, whatever drives the infidelity, is not worth it. It poison's your soul and abuses your spouse. We just don't use those words because the abuse is "not intentional." I don't care if most people don't believe this classifies as abuse. It is, and if someone reads this and decides not to do something they will regret, I will be overjoyed.

And if you just go home tonight and keep a promise, not just to a spouse, but to your child, your dog, your goldfish, I would be happy with that. More importantly, you should be happy with that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Little Things

When I was a little girl, I can remember a few discussions about "being rich." Not philosophical discussions about how our religion makes our lives rich. I am talking about hypothesizing what we would do if we had lots of money.

My answer, the answer I can remember decades later, is that I would have store-bought hangers in my closet. My mother pressed on, suggesting I could buy more with millions.

I thought for a second, cocked my head, and said, "I would also want some cedar blocks to put in my closet." And I was completely serious.

As a middle schooler, I thought that the little things were what was important. Okay, I had not had a class on finance, economics or common sense. But still, I would purchase hangers if I became rich. Yeah, I am a big spender.

I have traveled to Europe, and although I did see many nice things – castles, churches, artwork – I can remember the taste of an Italian Ice, the feeling of relaxing like a Parisian in a park, the smell of lavender in the linens in a B&B near London.

Even my college days, I remember the little things. I remember the type of ball-point pens I used, the feel of writing in composition books, dancing in dingy bars, the sticky beer making squeaky noise between loud songs.

The smell of rain five minutes before the sky opens up.

The taste of my first meal in my first apartment. The turkey sandwich tasted so sweet because it was my turkey, my whole wheat bread, my tomato and my new apartment.

Today I remember the little things. And when I get home, I will offer up three little words to my husband. After all, it is the little things that count.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bad Luck, Determinism, and Irreverence

The Day the Music Died
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson all went down in a plane crash on February 3, 1959. Okay, we all know this from Don McLean's rock ballad, "American Pie".

What I did not know is that Buddy Holly chartered a plane to take him and his newly formed Crickets band (Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings) to Fargo, North Dakota.1 Richie Valens and "The Big Bopper" were not supposed to be on the plane. "The Big Bopper" came down with the flu and didn't feel comfortable on the bus, so Jennings gave his plane seat to him. Rickie Valens had never flown on a small plane and requested Tommy Allsup's seat. They flipped a coin, and Valens called heads and won the toss.



So in a sense, we could say the following about the plane crash:

1. The flu can be deadly to healthy adult males. Forgive me, Mr. Richardson.
2. Tommy Allsup cheated death with a coin flip. Were I him, I would make all decisions with coin tosses. Okay, over the top.
3. I guess people who believe in determinism would say, "See, we are right. Nana, nana, boo boo." Determinists can be childish.
4. The plane crash inspired one awesome song.

You know, sometimes I wonder about myself. I type some irreverent things, and some could be hurt by these things. I guess it is a mechanism for dealing with them.

Oh, that was a little bit off track.

When I was looking for the YouTube clip, I tripped upon a video by Madonna. What is this world coming to? Madonna2 performing a Don McLean song.


1I never saw Fargo. Was any of this in the movie? Did they make the movie in North Dakota as a subliminal message to the day the music died? Are there any coin tosses in the movie? Are there any determinists acting childish in the movie? I think I need to rent this movie.

2I really don't have a problem with Madonna. She is a talented singer, albeit a (good) self-promoter. Evita was terrific. I guess I want to give her grief for tonguing Britney Spears. She should have had the class to tongue Shakira and her truthful hips.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heather Michele O'Rourke and Childhood Awards

The other day, I was watching a YouTube video that had picures of famous people and their birth and death dates. Must have been some sort of a tribute video. Well, I saw this one girl, who died very young, and she looked familiar, but I could not place her.

Using my mastery of Google, I found her, and I really found her on a sort of creepy site (Find a Grave).

Thing is, I thought was Heather Michele O'Rourke (the little girl in the Poltergeist movies) was Drew Barrymore. Okay, okay, I mixed up Poltergeist and ET (the Extra Terrestrial, not Entertainment Tonight). She sort of looked like the little girl in the Witch Mountain movies, as well (Kim Richards).

She died of "cardiopulminary arrest due to intestinal stenosis". That's fancy for her having an intestinal block, it getting infected, and this leading to a type of heart attack. I read the one page biography by Kit and Morgan Benson, and I was taken aback by the final sentence: "Of her many achievements, Heather stated that she was proudest of being elected student body president of her 5th grade class in 1985."



My take away point: what you expect people to be most proud of may not be what they themselves are most proud of. I won an award in fifth grade, and to this day, I am so proud of that little laminated award. Sometimes laminated paper trumps plaques, fame, or fortune.

Vertical Day

From the Campaign of Mike Huckabee:

On Monday, our campaign has set aside 24 hours, for what we are calling a “Vertical Day”. The focus of Vertical Day will be a discussion of the most important issues facing America. The plan is to promote my positions on these issues through video and personal blogs, and to have an online conversation with voters about our ideas, the solutions we see possible, our hopes for America and the challenges we face.

I’d like you to be a part of Vertical Day. I encourage you to tell your friends, family members and co-workers about it and ask them to participate. Vertical Day will start on Monday, September 24 and end on Tuesday, Sept. 25. I’m excited about this opportunity. With your help, and the power of the Internet, we will be able to involve thousands of voters all across America and truly build excitement around this discussion of issues.


Vertical Day is scheduled to start at 10 AM Central Time1. Websites will post content throughout the day and evening, focusing on the issues of the day. Unfortunately, only Huckabee supporters will probably participate, and well, how many people can that be, like 2262?

Actually, perhaps people should blog about campaign reform, because it seems like most good candidates (I don't know if he is good or bad) can't stomach running for the most important offices. Oh, and an unofficial blog, but the one that gets the most hits for Huckabee doesn't have anything yet for today, but has a Budweiser Commercial clip from yesterday.


19AM regular time, also known as Eastern Time.

2I counted the number of bloggers linked to his blog. Well, the blog his campaign maintains.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gibbs' Rules

I really enjoy NCIS.

It is well-written, smart, and I enjoy the character development.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs is the senior field agen of a Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) team; well, from what I have seen, he is second to the Director of the entire NCIS organization. In many of the episodes, there is conversation about some of Gibbs' Rules, rules that are not written down but that his team is in the process of learning. In "Switch" (Episode 304) we find out that there are "about 50 Rules", but we don't find out exactly what all the rules are.

Thanks to Google, here are the rules thus far (please note that a couple, rule 1 and 3) are repeated, and the rules are different). This is either a mistake by the writers (which I doubt), or this may indicate that Gibbs internally changes the numbering of the rules, perhaps based on their relative importance to him.

Rule #1: Never let suspects stay together.
Episode 101 "Yankee White"

Rule #1: Never screw over your partner.
Episode 414 "Blowback"

Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene.
Episode 101 "Yankee White"

Rule #3: Don't believe what you're told. Double check.
Episode 101 "Yankee White"

Rule #3: Never be unreachable.
Episode 313 "Deception"

Rule #4: The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best.
Episode 414 "Blowback"

Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie.
Episode 123 "Reveille"

Rule #8: Never take anything for granted.
Episode 310 "Probie"

Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.
Episode 113 "One Shot, One Kill" and Episode 120 "Missing"

Rule #12: Never date a coworker.
Episode 115 "Enigma"

Rule #18: It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.
Episode 304 "Silver War"

Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation.
Episode 410 "Smoked"

Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee if you want to live.
Episode 209 "Forced Entry"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Random Friday

Two posts today, because of a meme. Scroll down if you want to see the meme.

 Geek Between Two Hotties at WoW Costume Contest. Back when my blogs were good, I would have Randomness Friday - I would call it something different each time, partly because I did not remember what I started calling it, partly because the randomness was cute. Or so I thought.

Some thought I did this to showcase my cleverness - actually it was because I have trouble finishing thoughts.

Certain Movie Titles
When I was in college, I was invited to a party. Okay, I was invited to lots of parties (everyone was), but this one was an "Octopussy" Party. It was supposed to be some sort of a take on the James Bond movie, but instead of inviting Russian secret agents, each frat boy was required to invite 8 women to the party. Well, my idea of a party is not a poor ratio of men to women – plus, I always got embarrassed with the name of the movie.

Another movie that I never saw was "Josie and the Pussycats." Another title that was a bit embarrassing and a movie with a bad male to female star ratio.

Turning Hate to Love
I saw a blog the other day, and it really opened my eyes. Well, maybe it did not open my eyes, but I loved reading the entry. It was about someone who grew up Christian who turned to Islam. From hating people of a religion to turning to that religion. Now, I may find fault with the person's logic, but to turn hate to love is wonderful.

Bitter Mr. Stewart
I saw a Rod Stewart quote the other day, and well, I can tell you that he is no Heraclitus. 2. Please remember Rod Stewart has had women (and probably a fair amount of men) throw themselves at him since he was old enough to notice. Heraclitus probably was not as lucky, so he had more time to use his head.

<--Insert Sexual Innuendo Here-->

Anyway, here is the quote:

Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house.
- Rod Stewart

WoW
I don't really get World of Warcraft (WoW). I mean, not playing video games probably has something to do with it, but still. Part of me is fascinated though. To have some sub-culture I know nothing about . . . . Well, seems that WoW has parties. Well, BlizCom had a party, and there was a WoW costume contest. My favorite picture is embedded in the blog entry. It is just seeing two people dressed in appropriate attire, with some guy (notice the shorts), some geeky guy, standing between them. Classic. Most of my readers would rather see the two hot chicks, probably. I am guessing these contestants are not WoW people. Not really. Their thumbs don't look like they play video games.


1 Since I never saw the plot summary, I have included it for the general reading audience. Just-in-case they want rent the movie.

2Heraclitus said "You cannot step into the same river twice." (not Pocahontas) and "Change alone is unchanging."

Seven Ps in a Pod

You know, Ian asked me to do a meme. I don't think Ian likes me very much. Well, I am supposed to write about seven "p" words. The first thing that came to mind was the number seven. Since it is a meme, I figured seven was chosen to represent the number of gateways traversed by Inanna during her descent into the underworld. Okay.

Pandora's Jar. When I was in high school, I learned about Pandora's Box. Yeah, thanks Greeks, blaming the evils of the world on a woman's womb. Nice. But what I remember most is in college, learning that Erasmus of Rotterdam (I have always loved the word "Rotterdam") mistranslated Hesiod's poem – substituting box for jar.

Since that time, I no longer trusted the public educational system. Something mistranslated centuries ago endures to this day. Oh, and the words for jar (in Greek) and box (in Latin) both start with P. Newspapers bury corrections on page 16, and apparently historians bury mistakes completely.

Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house,
she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not
fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the
lid of the jar. This was the will of aegis-bearing
Zeus the Cloudgatherer.


Peccadillo. Yeah, I am Catholic, and since peccadillo can be translated into "little sin," many of you might have guessed I would chose this word. I love the way the word sounds, and I love the fact that everybody I know has these little faults. I think of them as warts, though I don't have any warts. But I have a peck of peccadillos.

Preppy. When I was in high school, preppy was in. I wore some preppy clothes, and looking back on things, I wish I had been born in a different age. I would have loved to be a teenager in the 50s, but then I would be seventy or seventy-five by now. Okay, I can't do the math right now. Sock hops and puddle skirts, really good music, and perceived innocence. Izod® shirts were part of my history.

Perfection. Some people strive for perfection. I sometimes wonder if perfection is the enemy of progress. I see people working on projects, planning and meeting, working towards the perfect plan. But then they don't do anything because of this or that. If their sites were set on good instead of great (or perfect), maybe more people would succeed. I am not a fan of perfection.

Pooh Bear. When I was growing up, my parents read a lot of AA Milne to me. I loved listening to the adventures of Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet and the whole gang of the Hundred Acre Wood. I did not have a favorite, but since the headliner was Pooh, I am using his P for my meme. Pooh was a philosopher (another P word), and I love his outlook on life. I love his voice. I love his perspective. He makes me feel comfortable.

Privacy. Privacy was not really an issue when I was growing up. I look around, and I think it is a big issue now. You can't go to a store without people asking for your phone number when you pay cash for an item. I once had someone say that I could not buy something for cash if I did not provide them with a phone number. And I was paying cash. I left the store. On the way out, the cashier said, "You could use a fake phone number."

I turned to say, "That is not the point."

Promise. I keep promises. I don't make many of them, but I keep them when I make them. I think that is important. It is an important P word.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Movie Exec Secrets

For many years, many movie studio executives shared a secret. And the secret's name was Epagogix. Problem was that some senior executive (Copaken could be the name) was showing off to Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point), bragging how this company could predict how a movie would perform at the box office before the movie was released.

More incredibly, when looking at various factors that determined box office success, the actors really did not matter all that much. Location of the movie, where it was set, the number of different locations, that sort of thing, had much more to do with box office success, than other things. I mean, it turns out that Angelina Jolie's puffy lips have less to do with box office success than a location, such as Los Angeles or Rio De Janeiro.1

Now I don't know too much about any of this, but the point is that we are in a world where there is so much data out there. And people are just now figuring out how to use this data. Simple regression analysis can tell you things that, years ago, nobody knew. Think about it – companies have data on their servers that can tell us by moving toothpaste to a higher shelf, how many more tubes will be sold. Powerful data.

Please take a breath.

This should scare the crap out of you.

We all think we are unpredictable, but with enough data, computer nerds now can make expressions that can accurately predict human behavior.

Please take a breath. I am sure some mathematical expression know I would type that. I am going back to bed now.


1Okay, I don't know if Los Angeles is good or bad for a movie. Rio De Janeiro has to be good (Brazilian waxes and all). But you get the point.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Meme by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

Colleen asked me to do a meme the other day, and I normally don't respond to these types of things (most memes seem a bit on the lame side), but since this meme dealt with writing, I decided to participate. Musing Woman actually started the meme, and I will have to admit, it seems a bit clever.

Oh, and part of the reason I like this is that it deals with strengths. The other day, I saw a bunch of videos concerning "Favorite People", and most of the videos had people saying, "Nope, I am nobody's favorite." That seemed sad, and I did not explain why in the blog entry. Sure, kids are getting patted on the back for doing substandard stuff, but most of us don't focus on our strengths.

Anyway, the meme concerns listing five strengths in our writing:

1. I observe the world. I really like observing others, asking what makes them tick. Or wondering what makes people tick. I enjoy telling other people's stories.

2. I understand grammar and break the rules on purpose. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but I understand about nouns, verbs, pronouns, capitalizations, comma faults, dangling participles and the like. Now I don't always follow the rules, but I know most of them and follow them often. Sometimes following the rules interrupts thoughts and ideas. Then I break the rules. The first speeding ticket I ever got I had no idea I was speeding. Sort of sucked. I mean, I want to know when I am breaking the rules – and speeding without the joy of knowing I was a bad-ass, was less thrilling for me. Same goes with writing.

3. I love analogies. I think in terms of making connections. And when I explain something, I often use analogies to explain myself. That way, I can use fewer words, or more vivid images, to convey my point. Hopefully, this strategy also gives the reader a way of remembering when he or she has read in the future.

4. I have been told I have a good voice as a writer. Some people enjoy reading my stuff because it seems familiar, like long conversations at the end of a party when you are cleaning up. My writing style is not terribly structured and formal, and people can follow what I am trying to say. Well, most of the time.

5. I love adjectives, but I don't let them get in the way of a good paragraph. Have you ever read something that was hindered by the use of excessive adjectives? The blatant and obfuscatory misuse of adjectives tends to elongate and complicate rather simple sentences and ideas. I have a thesaurus, but I don't really think my readers appreciate having to figure out long and complicated sentences or go to a dictionary twice in the same paragraph.

Okay, this was a fairly straightforward post. There were a lot of strengths that I did not mention, partly because it would have turned this meme into a humorous piece. I could have said the following:

1. I write a lot about lesbians, and lesbians are so "in" right now. I hope this does not offend, really. I guess I really think a lot about lesbianism. And it shows in my writing.

2. I went through a slutty period, and let's face it, sex sells. If I look at my blog entries, people like when I talk about more sexual issues. Who would have thought? But if you are not Marquis de Sade or D. H. Lawrence, people who write about sex are normally not good writers.

3. I masterfully use Google. You can be an expert on anything if you know how to use Google. I mean, take it from me, Google is making "know-it-alls" out of a lot of people who would normally be of average intelligence. And those who know SQL are "gods". Well, that was a little bit over the top.

4. I don't like saying the "P-word" and guys think that's cute. I also don't curse all that often, and it gives my writing a bit of freshness. I just don't want to be accused of having potty mouth.

5. I don't plagiarize because I can't remember anything I read. Actually, there are some really successful people who plagiarize. Well, they are less successful once they get caught.

6. I know when to stop writing. Crap, this post is too long.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Beginnings

You know, whenever I start a blog entry, my heart begins to race. For more often than not, I have no idea what I am to write about. And after typing the first sentence, I sometimes am surprised as to what sentence follows. For when you read my blog entries, you may know where I am to go, but I will let you know that the destination is normally a mystery to me.

In a similar vane, I love starting over. I have noticed that Lisa, one of the most prolific blogger I know, has started again and again and again. Okay, the forth time is a bit secret, but, there is another again for this blogger. But for me, I don't really want to start a new blog. It is just too much work for me.

I have tweaked my blog several times, and after a few times, I am satisfied with the way my blog looks now. And you know, it really matters little what the blog looks like. Just as long as I can click on the "New Post" and start a new beginning.

I guess instead of starting a new blog, I have the pleasure of beginning something every work day. I did not see that coming, but I suppose many of you did. I normally try and type one page, but I wanted to make but a short journey today. Sometimes short walks are as pleasurable as long, rambling strolls.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Playing Favorites

The other day I heard someone ask, "Are you anyone's favorite person?" Actually, it was asked by a vlogger named mememolly1, and until that moment, I did not get her name. Now, I understand her name, and I have been thinking about the question.

Other than my spouse (I think that is a bit of cheating, and parents ["We love each of you the same amount, and none of you is our favorite"2]), I am not sure I am anybody's favorite. In the past, I have been others' favorite – and at times, I have been lucky enough to have been more than someone's favorite at one time. And that feeling was pretty terrific.

I remember in primary school3 that being someone's favorite or having a favorite was a big deal. Each week, there was drama concerning, "Molly is my best friend, now" or "Molly is in the doghouse. Jenny is my best friend now." "Hey, Laura, you can't speak to Jan. We aren't her friends any more."

Okay, guys may not relate to this, but for girls, this was a big part of growing up. Actually, I think guys sort of have the right idea. They don't sign up for all of this drama. After one guy disappoints another guy, they don't stop being friends forever. They just punch each other on the arm, and say, "We're cool, huh?"

I guess this is "the grass is greener" syndrome.

I guess when I was younger, I needed to be somebody's favorite. Now, not so much. When I was younger, I loved fish stick. Now, not so much.

Ramen
Someone the other day thought it necessary to define Ramen for me. I mean, when I was in college, I lived off of Ramen for a year. You could buy it in Styrofoam cups, and it cost like ten cents per cup on sale. Normal price may have been, okay, I don't know what normal price was. I bought everything on sale.

Thing was, you could have a cup of it almost anytime since all you needed was hot water. And I was always in hot water in college. No, that's not what I meant. I can remember coming home from clubbing, and sometimes we would be so hungry – especially towards the end of the month, when no one had any money. And we would sit around eating Ramen.

You know, now I would rather be like Ramen – always there when someone needed me – than somebody's favorite. I am strange, that way.


1A meme can be described as "an idea, project, statement or even a question that is posted by one blog and responded to by other blogs. Although the term encompasses much of the natural flow of communication in the Blogosphere, there are active bloggers and blog sites that are dedicated to the creation of memes on a regular basis"

2Have you heard this from a parent, and then thought, "Hey, Jennifer is your favorite, you know, she got that really cute dress."? Well, I don't have a sister named Jennifer, so I have not thought that, but you know what I mean. Actually, my parents were pretty great about not playing favorites.

3Don't I sound a bit English with that statement?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feeling Guilty

You know, I feel a bit guilty about 9-11. Not that I had anything to do with the terrorist activities associated with 9-11. Not that at all.1

I remember watching a lot of coverage, and many people called the people in the twin towers heroes. And there were heroes in the twin towers that day, but just because you were working on a floor and were killed, it does not make you an automatic hero.

Many people who were killed that day were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most who were killed did not wake up in the morning and say they would sacrifice themselves for others.

I remember hearing about a priest who arrived on the scene to give comfort to the injured and dying. Someone who jumped off the building hit him, killing him (the jumper, of course, would have died, no matter what happened). Now I am not saying the jumper tried to kill the priest . . . . That was not the point. But the priest was a hero. He ran towards a dangerous situation, not retreating from it.

People say there were 3,000 heroes2 that died that day. Now, a bunch of people died, but not all of them were heroes. And I think of that every time I hear that. I don't know if I would be a hero – if I were on the United Flight 93, from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, I don't know what I would have done that day.

I am not saying that we should not mourn for the people who died on that day. Even on YouTube, there has been a lot on death lately. A video here and there. And I added to the clutter by writing about it as well.

Getting back to my guilt. Since I am Catholic, I know a lot about guilt.

I remember 9-11 like it was yesterday.3 I remember what I was doing when I found out the planes hit the World Trade Center. I listened in horror as newscasters explained what they were seeing, and we got a very incomplete picture of what was going on. I remember hearing that all flights were grounded – that there were still, as one point, eight unaccounted for aircraft. I remember hearing stories of the first victims, and I remember thinking, "I will always value my friends and family more now."

And you know what, over time, I forgot about that promise. I had resolved to do things differently. And, over time, much like people in Congress, I forgot about my resolve.

So on 9-11, I think about some heroes, wonder why we use the word so freely, and remember that I once resolved to make some changes in my life. Yeah, I know many people have written eloquently about 9-11. Me, I wanted to wait a few days. Because of the guilt, I suppose, plus I wanted give people the chance to remember 9-11 without my unnatural thoughts entering the day.

One thing on 9-11 that I did find disturbing – I was listening to the radio, and there was a moment of silence. Well, the moment of silence lasted about three seconds. Either the announcer that was reading skipped the directions (pause for one minute), or the radio station did not want dead air or was cheap. No matter what the case, having that moment (3 seconds) of silence did not seem to meet the spirit of what a moment of silence is for.

<--- Insert prosaic and philosophical closing here. Perhaps steal it from Jay Leno show. --->


1I think I have unwittingly made it on to someone's watch list. In 24 hours, I am sure my phone will be bugged, and the next time I go to the airport, I will get pulled over to do the body cavity search. Do they really do the body cavity search in real life? That's just in Wayne's World movies, right?

2Well, a good estimate is 2,996 dead. Not sure if that is the right number, but it is a reasonable number.

3Some are saying, hey, it was only a few days ago. Yeah, funny man, get your own blog. Actually, I was referring to 9/11/2001.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Leesa Springbutt and Yahoo Answers

I have a confession to make: I was the girl in class that always answered questions from the teacher. Yeah, I was little miss springbutt, always with my hand in the air, always wanting to answer questions.

And, guess what? Well, I just found Yahoo Answers, where you can log onto the site and answer other people's questions. Google had a site where you could get paid for answering questions, but it did not really catch my attention. Was it Google? Maybe Yahoo or someone else?

Anyway, I logged onto it the other day, just playing around, and I started answering questions. I answered five or six questions, then thought better of my time. Well, tonight I am informed, one of the question askers rated my answer the best answer of the bunch.

Here is the question. Drum Roll please.

Does she have lesbian tendancies?
A few months back my girlfriend approached me with the idea of wanting to see what I would look like with makeup. She wanted to apply it and possbily (sic) dress me in her lingere (sic) before making love. So what do you think?


Sooo. According to Yahoo Answers, I am an expert in lesbianism. Straight Catholic girl an expert on whether some guy's wife has lesbian tendencies.

Oh, and my answer: the other night when she came over, she did not make a move on me during the bra-and-panty-clad pillow fight. So I think she does not have lesbian tendencies, though she has really good taste in bra-and-panty sets.

Okay, not really. I mean, I really answered the question, but my answer was more heart-felt.

My real answer: I am a clinical psychologist at Duke Medical Center, and I do not believe your wife shows lesbian tendencies. But you want her to, don't you? You want her in a threesome, don't you?

Okay, another BS answer. Not my real answer either. 1

I sort of want to post questions myself.

Possible question: I just got over a really bad relationship with a celebrity. Trouble is, I took lots of nude pictures of him, and now I am torn. Do I just discard the evidence, or do I sell the pictures to a tabloid for $50K? What are the moral and legal implications?

Possible question: What is the safest way to remove a light bulb from my lover's anus? He is married and cannot go to the ER, and we have to remove it without leaving marks? His wife is a bit near-sighted and not very bright. His anus, of course, is not very bright either – no electricity.

You know, there are hundreds of ways to waste the day at work with an Internet connection. This is just one way to do so for the show-off2 in me.


1Okay, the real question can be found here. And I found the answer under recent questions, not "homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered." I just looked under recent questions, regardless of my expertise in the matter. And, by the way, were I homosexual, bisexual or transgendered, it would piss me off to be linked to the other two categories. I mean, really. Oh, and since I wrote this, I was the best answer for two other posts - one on pregnancy (and I have never been pregnant) and one on retirement (and my retirement plan is either to stay married or become a bag lady).

2Oh, and people who comment on blogs are sort of springbutts too, did you notice? Springbutt = someone who springs up to answer a question, sort of like there is a spring in their butt. Oh, and my most clever answer to date.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Ghost of Mrs. Leesa

The other day, I had the most non-Catholic conversation with my nephew. Okay, I am the cool, kid-less aunt, but I am also the Catholic aunt, so I am not sure I am totally proud of the conversation. Oh, and I have changed his name.



Duncan: Aunt Leesa, do you believe in ghosts?

Leesa: Pardon me? (I often say "pardon me" or another filler in order to give me time formulate a good answer.)

Duncan: Aunt Leesa, do you believe in ghosts?

Leesa: Well, Duncan, when I was a little girl, I thought ghosts were just made up. That they were created to scare children. But I was wrong.

Duncan: Really?

Leesa: Yes, when I was a little girl, I lost my great-grandmother. She had many grandchildren (oh, and in the conversation, I did say grandchildren when I should have said great-grandchildren), but I was her first great-granddaughter. The only one she ever met. A few months after she died, I was missing her terribly. One night, I was thinking of her, missing her terribly, when I saw her. She told me to wipe my eyes, that she did not like tears.

Duncan: And?

Leesa: Well, my tears turned to giggles. She did hate crying, and it reminded me that she would tickle me when I cried. As a ghost, she was translucent, and over the course of a few minutes, she was gone. I guess I did not need her anymore.

Duncan: So you really believe in ghosts?

Leesa: Yeah, I guess I do.

Duncan: And they don't like the light, right?

Leesa: Well, Duncan, I saw my great-grandmother in the early evening, but I suspect that ghosts are around us all of the time. We just can't see them. And in the daylight, it may be harder to see a translucent ghost, sort of like you don't see the stars in the daytime even though they are in the sky.



And our conversation continued for the next few minutes.

Part of me was a bit concerned that the Catholic Church would consider this blasphemous. But part of me was glad that my nephew asked me the question. Sometimes we have to believe in things that seem, well, hard to believe in. So often I think with my head, and every once in a while, I find myself feeling with my heart. It makes me feel more human, more vunerable. But to Duncan, I am now Crazy Aunt Leesa who believes in ghosts.

Oh, and those with children have probably guessed: this was not the answer Duncan's parents wanted him to hear.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blink, Speed Dating, and Delusional Marriages

The other day, I saw a video by a VLOGger I was unfamiliar with, and it was a sweet VLOG. It was a VLOG about looking for someone. My initial reaction was to post his video on my site and say, "check out Omar." But then I thought, "Most of my readers are either (1) guys or (2) lesbians. Er, not quite the pool of potential mates for a heterosexual male.

So, instead, I wrote the following response:

Crap, I wrote a great response to you, that was clever, intellectually stimulating, and well-written. Thus, YouTube ate my response.

I wanted to tell you about Blink, a book by Glaswell (I can't remember his first name, but he also wrote "The Tipping Point." It's a book about rapid cognition. When you meet someone for the first time, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. And these initial impressions are normally spot on.

Well, add in some clever things, and that is about what I said. Oh, and I did not write you to get you to read my blog.

They did not have speed dating when I was dating. I had to endure dates that you know are going badly, but you have to continue on the date. You can't just "go to the ladies room" and call a cab to get the hell out of here. Oooops. I did not mean to say that.

Well, good luck with your search. You seem sweet.


I wish I could have listed my initial response, but, you know, I was just typing in YouTube. Did I mention I hate YouTube's email interface?

Then, I pop onto ~deb's site, and she was writing about relationships as well. In it, she lets us know about a site concerning the Law of Attraction. A really interesting movie.

And it sort of reminds me of what I wanted to write about today. Well, I was going to write about it some time. Today seemed like a good enough day as any.

I read something on marriage the other day, and it resonated with me. In any field, we make assumptions which may or may not be true. For instance, in the area of relationships, sometimes we spend a lot of energy looking at failed marriages (labeling them as bad marriages) in order to see what the components of a good marriage are. If a bad marriage has two people with little in common, we reason, things in common may be essential for a good marriage. But we really can't make that jump. Thinking of this another way, let's say you have a meal that you don't like, and it has MSG in it. One could think, "MSG is bad in meals. Eliminating MSG will make for a good meal" Two fallacies: (1) perhaps MSG is important in a different meal, and without it, the meal would be less special, and (2) simply eliminating MSG does not make a meal good.

Well, part of this research was fascinating, because they found that realistic views of a marriage (something most of us would want) actually decrease the chances of having a successful marriage. The study did this by surveying couples – in good and in bad marriages (they defined good verses bad, but for sake of discussion, let's assume they got it right). In bad marriages (or divorced couples), both the man and women answered consistently about the traits of each other. That is, they both had consistent viewpoints of their spouse. But in good marriages, the man, for instance, thought better of the woman than the woman thought of herself, and visa versa. That is, they were a bit delusional.

I was a bit disturbed by these findings, at first. But it makes sense.

Think of it this way: Lets say that your spouse is bull-headed; very opinionated. Well, you can label that as bull-headed, or you can say that your spouse is "focused." One word has negative connotations, one positive. And if you feel more positive about your spouse, well, you probably treat him better, say more complimentary things, and the like.

Now some might say that you are tricking yourself into a better marriage if you do this, but you know, our thoughts and feelings are only chemical reactions in the brain anyway. And I would not mind tricking myself to a better marriage? Wouldn't you do it as well?

Monday, September 10, 2007

On Death

Luciano Pavarotti died last week. He was in the news one day, suggesting that he was seriously ill, and the next day, we heard of his death. Interesting site note: I found a site that actually has a database that shows whether an actor, a politician, or an economist (how can you tell with economists?) or several other categories is dead. You can browse by category, search by date of death, by cause of death, and other ways. Sort of cool. Oh, a long side note.

Two people I have had emails from in the last week have lost their fathers recently (in the last month). Oh, and one of my friends lost a grandparent this week as well, so I have been thinking about them, praying for them.

A few years ago, there was a movie that I did not see that was about relationships. I can't remember who was in the movie, its title, or even when it came out. Early dementia, perhaps? Anyway, there was a quote from the movie that I wanted to use, and because I can't find it, I can't quote it. It was something like, "People get married because they need witnesses to their lives."

Oh, here is the quote from Shall We Dance (released in 2004, perhaps I blocked out the movie because of Richard Gere1, and yes, I did see the movie):

We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

Well, I don't know if I believe this about marriage – that the overarching reason to get married is that we need a witness to our lives. If that were the case, we could purchase video recorders and save us the hassle of training men. What I do know is that our parents hold some of the keys to our memories. They are the ones who tell us when we took our first steps, who Uncle Charlie is related to, where the pink-flowered china came from, all sorts of things. And when a parent dies, you loose some of that. When you lose both parents, you lose even more memories.

I want to be able to talk about this with an air of authority. I want to be able to say things that would clarify the emotions one feels when a parent dies, when a grandparent dies.

But I can't do that. All I can say is "I am sorry for your loss." And perhaps, that is all that needs to be said.


1I really don't like Richard Gere. Not sure why, but I get the willies when I see him.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

One Word, One Thought, One Message

The other day, Kicesie did a VLOG that said something about people being paradoxes. That most people, when they reveal something deep about themselves, will have conflicts, that there lives will be paradoxical.

And then a few minutes later, I viewed another video (embedded below).



The imbedded file has a bunch of people with things written on their palms. I think someone in YouTube-land challenged people to communicate what is important to themselves in one word, one thought, one message. Kicesie is a bright young student, but she is young. When I was twenty-one, I was full of contradictions myself.

As I have matured, some of the things which were less important faded in my life. Some of the things that were important have become more important. It sort of occurred to me in Church this Sunday – the priest was talking about one of Jesus' parables (Luke 14: 25 - 33). For those of you who don't know, the Catholic Church has standard Missal Readings so that most Catholic Churches are reading from the same Bible passages each week.

Anyway, the verses end with "so therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple." A Bible quote that basically is close to the YouTube challenge – have one priority, and in Jesus' case, it is renouncing all except God. Now I don't want to convert anyone with this blog entry – I will leave that to ~deb. Besides, an attractive Christian lesbian is much more likely to convert someone to Christianity anyway.

In today's society, we have lots of choices. More choices for pizza, more choices for movies (when I was a kid, once a movie was not in theaters, you could not see it; now, you can rent it in several formats, get it from a dish, see it on cable), more choices period. These choices make noise, and I think some of us have trouble removing the noise.

Getting back to the YouTube example, these people could write anything on their palms, and yet, they sifted through all of the things they believe in and decided on a word, perhaps two or three, that mean the most to them.

Now, some will say that a word or two is simplistic. That life is much more complicated than that. Perhaps life is really that simple. Perhaps, for some of us, life can be summed up in a few chosen words.

And the chosen words don't have to be spiritual in nature. It would have been my choice, but it does not mean it has to be the choice.

And my phrase: "Moving towards God". But explaining that phrase will have to wait for another day.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Internet People

There was a video featured on YouTube recently called Internet People.



It is a cartoon compilation of stuff found on the Internet. I feel a little low-tech with this description, but there you go. I wonder, since many of the sites are archived, if people, with nothing better to do, will eventually ponder back to the year 2006 (yeah, 2006, since there are no entries of Leesa's Stories for 2007) and see what people were viewing on the Web.

I can hear people tell their grandchildren, "Yeah, in my day, we connected to the Internet over the telephone line using something called a modem, which modulated some sort of signal to ensure that you did not get buckets of porn delivered to your house all at once."

And the grandchildren will probably ask, "What's a telephone line?"

When I was growing up, American's had a shared consciousness, and it was, sadly, network television. There were three networks, and on Monday morning at school (or sometimes another night, depending if Happy Days was on), we would talk about television. Since I rarely watch television now, I can't participate in these conversations, but I think, especially if you leave out some of the reality shows, there is less of a shared consciousness since there are so many more choices to see (or in my case, not see).

Okay, back to the Internet. Actually, I was hoping that Scriggity was going to be part of the compilation I mentioned in the first paragraph. Shauna was always so hip. Sort of like a female Fonzie with a lip piercing.

Point is, even with billions of Internet pages, still things bubble up that most of us have seen. Part of this is fascinating, and part of this is a bit on the sad site. I would much rather be hanging onto a leather-clad hunk in a dinner than at work viewing web pages on the Internet. But I guess I don't get paid for appearing in a dinner. Not that part of my job description outlines my Internet usage at work.

Have a good day, my Internet People!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Show Me the Money

Every once in a while, I purchase a copy of Worth Magazine. Okay, I read it in the tub and then recycle the magazine. Last month's Worth, or perhaps this month's, had an article on pet care. It talked about the average amount of money a certain segment of the population spends on pet care.

Now, I cannot remember the particulars of the article, but they were giving examples of what people spend on their pets. Pets with real gems in their collars, purchasing seats for them when taking them on vacations, all sorts of expenses. And at the end of the article, they mentioned inheritances. The people in the article, and the stats that were listed, were generated from Worth subscribers.

Okay, the magazine only costs a few dollars to purchase, and I will admit I read it, on occasion to see how the other half lives. Okay, I see how the top 3% lives. To give you an example of some of the other articles in the paper, there was an article on how to purchase a helicopter. It talked about what the purchase price range would be, what it costs to maintain the transportation, and how long you are likely to own the same helicopter. Oh, and if you have to ask how much a helicopter costs, I would guess you are not a candidate for this type of transportation. Besides the initial cost (200K+ for one of the more affordable models), you have to spend $20K every 100 or so flight hours to completely overhaul the engine. And since these things have many more moving parts than airplanes, after about two years, you ought to purchase a new one – because maintenance gets much more expensive.

And there are articles about setting up trusts, golf ball collecting, antique safes and where to purchase them. You know, the normal-type articles. Er, yeah.

I remember shopping in a very expensive neighborhood – I did not know anyone in the neighborhood, but we were passing through and needed a few things. Everybody seemed nice. They seemed happy. I have always heard that money can't buy happiness, and I sort of believe it. Remember Elvis? To Elvis, happiness was a peanut butter and banana sandwich – hey, I can afford those. Okay, maybe I can't afford the carbohydrates, but you get my drift. Still, rich people seem somewhat happy. Well, when they are not in detox, or when they are not being indicted for stock fraud. Or when they are not being arrested for propositioning an undercover cop in a bathroom stall.

Coming full circle, I don't care how rich people spend their money on their pets. It is a little bit sad that they will leave their pets more in their wills than anyone will ever leave me (darned, that Bill Gates, all holier than though about not wanting to get me pregnant). But I mean, 12 Million to the family dog – if you have a billion dollars, may not be a big deal. Personally, if I were rich, I would leave a sizable chunk of change to my favorite blogger. You know, fund the arts. A blogger who writes both pithy essays and erotic stories, someone who lives on the East Coast. Someone with real world experience. Just saying – and I would even wear a ruby studded cat collar. Just saying.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day, Diana and Shops

Labor Day
Today is Labor Day. For me, I am not sure what Labor Day is. I mean, I did not grow up working in a sweat shop, or having my father come home after 12-hour days of working in sub-standard conditions. Labor laws had already righted many wrongs.

To me, Labor Day means a three-day weekend. That's all it means to me, and part of me feels sad because of this. Not that I want to be old enough to have been put under "the man's" thumb, not given overtime hours for more than 40 hours per week, or have been subject to dangerous working conditions.

I just don't get Labor Day.

Diana
Recently, there was a big deal about the tenth anniversary of Diana's death. I am probably in the minority here, but I don't get the big deal about Diana. Some people said she was one of the most influential people of the Twentieth Century, and I just don't get it.

Diana married a prince with very large ears. Enormous ears. A prince that fantasized about being a tampon for Ms. Camilla Bowles. I don't see greatness in this. She had means and wore designer dresses. She looked good. Again, not seeing the greatness.

Diana did a fair bit of charity work concerning AIDS and landmines. Bill Clinton said of Diana, "In 1987, when so many still believed that AIDS could be contracted through casual contact, Princess Diana sat on the sickbed of a man with AIDS and held his hand. She showed the world that people with AIDS deserve no isolation, but compassion and kindness. It helped change world's opinion, and gave hope to people with AIDS."

Compare her compassion with Father Damien. He was a priest who moved to Hawaii to live with lepers. He wanted to be with lepers because he believed that all Catholics need to have access to their Church, no matter what their lot in life.

Diana had no idea what her chance of getting AIDS (in 1987, I knew that you could not get AIDS from holding hands – apparently Diana and Clinton did not). Father Damien was almost sure he would get leprosy. He did so anyway.

Diana – one of the most influential people of the Twentieth Century, and Father Damien, er, who knows who he is? He was the subject of a 1980 made for TV movie (I didn't see it, but I saw a link for it when Googling Damien to make sure I spelt his name correctly).

And I won't talk about the cocaine use, the partying, the boyfriends and everything else.

I just don't get our fascination with Diana.

Shops
You know, with the Internet comes information that makes it easy to share. I like this.

As you may or may not know, I love books. And not only do I love reading books, but I am a bit of a collector of books. I am not talking first editions of Where The Wild Things Are (worth about a grand for a very good edition), or the Royal Octavo Edition of JJ Audubon's Birds of America (not sure of the price, they are very rare; a single plate may go for as much as $2,000). The books I like are quirky – small runs, interesting topics. And on the Internet, you can find copies of most of these books for reasonable prices.

Another thing I find is that artists can sell their wares on the Internet. For instance, you can go to a shop site, like the one I linked to, and get a set of note cards for not so much money. I like getting note cards that are unusual, and you can find sites like the one I mentioned. Unique cards at cheap prices.

I do get online shopping!

Have a nice Labor Day. And shop online. I would recommend in favor of unique books or cards, and against compilations of Princess Diana. Just a thought.