Thursday, October 22, 2009

Editing Letter

Lara Zielin, who is a young adult author (Make Things Happen: The Key to Networking for Teens, and Donut Days, first published novel) and YouTuber. Think John Green but not as popular. Since I am lazy today, I thought I would just throw up a video she made and uploaded to YouTube.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Of Doe Eyes and Broken Hearts

Last week, I embedded a YouTube video by katethegreat011.

LarryLilly said, "Quirky person; interesting lyrics, a bit of personal angst."

Knot, a musician, added, "Same chord progression as that Goo Goo Dolls song 'Slide'. Refreshingly funny. Good voice. Ya, I'd do her."

But the most interesting comment was by Xmichra: "Love the chick below, she is like an oxymoron for the song she sings. She is cute and looks doe-eyed, while the song is bitter and realistic. Pretty neat."

Anyway, I think she struck a chord with some of us. Sorry for the pun. Well, anyway it is a bit strange listening to a cute young girl write with such angst. I agree with Xmichra; pretty neat.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was a doe-eyed, brunette with straight hair. She was cute and shy, and well, easily overlooked in a class. She had this dimple on her chin, and that, along with big, dark eyes, brought me to thinking of her while listening to Kate, if that is her real name.

Oh, when I was in high school, I would use that phrase, "If that is your real name" a lot.

Fred, if that is your real name, please pass me the pepper. I was goofy like that, and I loved telling running jokes. Anyway, I had this friend who was sweet as can be, looked innocent and tried to go unnoticed in school.

The thing I remember most about this girl, however, is that she took a baseball bat to someone's car one day at school. I don't have all of the particulars (whether it was a wooden or aluminum bat, for instance), but there were two things that stand out in my mind: (1) unlike the movies, when someone takes a baseball bat to a windshield, the damage is not that impressive. (2) at that moment, I learned that people could act one day in school and a different way out of school.

I was a school friend of Missy's. We would meet before school and chat in the cafeteria before school started. Her mother dropped her off on her way to work, and I liked getting to school early. My parents would wake up insanely early. 4:30 AM. In Georgia, if you are going to wake up that early, it usually meant you would grab a flashlight and shine deer on the county roads.1.

Missy and I would chat before school about all sorts of things. We gossiped about other girls, who broke up with whom, that sort of thing. But we also talked about teachers, and their relative fairness. We were both good students (As and Bs), so we enjoyed talking about school.

I saw her for 45 minutes nearly every morning when we were juniors and seniors, and I thought I really knew who she was. We never saw each other's homes; we were school friends not friends that saw each other after school. I got the impression from the mornings and some class time who she was. I never dreamed she could explode like that.

So when I hear "Kate" sing about all of this heartache, I wonder what is going on behind what we are seeing. Teen angst has always been popular, in part because teens (and I did at the time) think that everything is so important. Loves seem more rich, disappointments cut more deeply. Things seem like the end of the world, when they just make memories that will mellow with age, taking the sting out of the experience. When people say, "Still waters run deep," I sometimes think of doe-eyed Missy.

1 For the non-rednecks among us, shining deer involved shining a flashlight in a deer's eyes, thus making them freeze. Then you would take your time and shoot them. Very unsportsmanlike. Oh, and very illegal as well. The venison tastes the same, however. Well, that's what I have been told.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Minimalist Meme

That's Sassy has a meme I wanted to attempt. I have not done a meme in years, really, so this should be . . . painful.

The rules: (1) You Can Only Use One Word; and (2) Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers.

Sassy did not follow the first rule. Go to her blog and shame her. Just kidding. Read her stuff; it is good.

1. Where is your cell phone? lost
2. Your hair? unmanageable
3. Your mother? kind
4. Your father? storyteller
5. Your favorite food? Asian
6. Your dream last night? Orwellian
7. Your favorite drink? X-rated
8. Your dream/goal? impactfulness
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your hobby? writing
11. Your fear? spiders
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? published
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. Something that you aren't? boisterous
15. Muffins? pistachio
16. Wish list item? contentment
17. Where did you grow up? Georgia
18. Last thing you did? giggle
19. What are you wearing? glasses
20. Your TV? unused
21. Your pets? digital
22. Friends? talented
23. Your life? spastic
24. Your mood? frazzled
25. Missing someone? family
26. Vehicle? non-hybrid
27. Something you're not wearing? bra
28. Your favorite store? bookstores
29. Your favorite color? Autumn
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? yesterday
32. Your best friend? hubbie
33. One place that I go to over and over? restaurants
34. One person who emails me regularly? spammers
35. Favorite place to eat? Mall

This is really a minimalist post. I so want to explain these answers, but that is not in the spirit of this meme. For instance, I want to let you know my favorite place to eat is the mall, not for the food (Cajun Chicken), but because I love to people-watch. And the mall is great for people-watching.

And I pass this along to the first six people who leave comments - not that six will.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Belated Canadian Thanksgiving

Well, I failed to celebrate another holiday: Canadian Thanksgiving, or as the Canadians call it, "Thanksgiving." (It was October 12 this year.)

I found this YouTube clip that describes the celebration – I will not ruin it for you, Ay.

Here is what I find remarkable about this YouTube channel: all of these shorts are directed by Ryan Rickett. Okay, that is not remarkable. What is, though, is who he has in these shorts: Ellen Page & Justin Long in this short (they are B actors; you can tell B actors because they give away their talent on YouTube). And Ginnifer Goodwin is in my favorite of these shorts, Crappy Easter. And Crappy Easter also has Lisa Nova, a YouTube persona. Anyway, it seems like the director has a bunch of semi-famous friends who like him enough to give away their acting talent for free.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paranoid about Comments

I have been absent from blogging for a while. I have also been absent from my Google mail account, where blog comments find themselves. And while cleaning out that inbox, I found a lot of chatter regarding one of my older posts, entitled Temptation. And when I see someone comment months afterwards, I normally think they Googled something and landed on my page, because even if you have 1,000 pages of crappy posts, Google sometimes sends people your way. Of course, I thought these posts would discuss my incite, but they didn't.

The posts, and there were a bunch of them, were in Japanese. I placed a few of the posts through a Japanese to English translator, and none of the comments had anything to do with the original blog post.

My immediate reaction, of course, is that some branch of the Taliban is using my blog in order to communicate back and forth. You see, they are crafty bastards. And none of them speaks Japanese, probably, so American intelligence would easily dismiss Japanese comments on a second-rate blog. Freakin' brilliant, those bastards.

I imagine that those bastards are using some translation software, then they have code books or whatever, and some comment about seeing a girl walking out of a restaurant is really code for strapping explosives to your body and entering the (insert country here) embassy.

Okay this is totally ridiculous, but it sort of makes me think it is a great idea for a screenplay. Not one I would ever write, but a screenplay nonetheless.

If I fail to post tomorrow, I am in Guantanamo Bay.

Friday, October 09, 2009


Yesterday I shared a Richard Le Gallienne poem on my blog. And today I wanted to share how I first heard the poem. The story is a bit more convoluted than one would imagine.

When I was in elementary school, I had a record player. Me and my friends would put on records and bounce on the beds to the music. One of the 45s was Island Girl by Elton John. Then in high school, I was at a garage sale and saw a an LP by Elton John. I was not a huge Elton John fan, but since the LP was 25 cents, I figured I would spring for the vinyl.

The album was called Friends, and it was not until I got it home that I found out it was the soundtrack to a movie called Friends. Yes, before there was the television show, there was a movie. The shortest track on the album was an instrumental piece with two young voices, reciting the poem. And a few of the words were slurred, but I remember listening to the song/poem. I can even remember, on getting my first turntable, listening to the song in my dark bedroom, the only light being the red and white light on the turntable. A beautiful poem.

Years later, I saw the movie in a Blockbuster and rented it. My husband was out of town for the week on business, and I needed something to pass the time. I am so glad he did not watch this film. I found the movie in IMDB, but I don't remember much of the plot. All I remember is two naked teenagers in a cottage, and eventually the girl/woman has a child. Certainly they were of age to make the movie, but I think they were supposed to be 14-1/2 and 15 years old in the movie. It was weird, bizarre, and it left me feeling a bit violated. Oh, I think it was supposed to be a French film, but it was released in the UK.

Still, it is a beautiful poem.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dirty Shoes

This is a new performer on YouTube. Her lyrics are disturbing, original and interesting. Oh, and she has a nice voice. Just thought I would give her a plug.

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day. I looked up to see if their was an official site, and here it is. And you know what bothers me about this website – it is a dot uk site. I mean, which country invented poetry? I mean, the most famous poet of all time is William Shakespeare, and he is American, right. Oh, crap, he may be from another country. Well, I heard about him in my American school's English class. Hmmmmmm.

Well, then the limericks that we have all heard. "There was a man from Nantucket." Certainly the origins of this is American. Nantucket is in Massachusetts, right? Oh, Nantucket is actually named for a city in Ireland? And limericks are Irish as well? Holy crap.

I am beginning to think that it may be unpatriotic to celebrate National Poetry Day in this country.

All kidding aside, one of my favorite poems – I enjoy the images this poem instills.

I Meant To Do My Work Today
by Richard Le Gallienne

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand--
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Twitter Novels

When I was in high school, it seems like there was a chasm between subjects. What was Language Arts in elementary and perhaps middle school became Literature. American Literature, English Literature and World Literature. Okay, I was kidding – in the 1980s, Georgia schools did not care about world literature. But you get the idea.

And with changing from language arts, where we would read short stories and write a bit, now we would have to read entire novels and remember certain aspects of the novels. That is when I first was aquainted with small, pamphlets, black and yellow, which probably saved many a lazy student. They were called Cliffs Notes, and instead of reading several hundred pages, you could read forty pages, learn not only what happened in the book, but also what it meant. Alliteration, themes, comparisons to other similar works, it seemed to be a cheating way of getting through the great novels.

I was fairly poor growing up, and I had no money for Cliffs Notes. I actually had to read the novels. I was not even bold enough to rent the movies and just get the gist that way. I figure the English teacher probably formed questions based on what was in the book but not the movie. And that fear helped me experience great literature.

I remember reading The Great Gatsby, and my English teacher would almost blush at some of the passages. The subtle sex was lost on this teenage girl. I knew nothing of sex, and the code words F. Scott Fitzgerald used to describe the trysts in his novel.

The other day, I thought about Twitter, and wouldn't it be great to tweet about novels. Instead of the 40 pages of black and yellow, I would attempt to summarize novels in 140 characters. Quite a challenge.

I mean, we have gotten into this frenzy, where no one has time to do much of anything. The students reading Cliffs Notes in high school have more to do than ever. Might as well condense what they need into 140 characters.

I remember laying back on cars, parked in fields, looking at the sky and just watching the clouds. That was a memory in high school – and in college, drinking beer on parked cars in a drizzle before a thunderstorm. Just chatting, sipping and killing time. No computer, no cell phone. Nothing to interrupt life. And I think that is disappearing, slowly . . . or quickly.

I think I will call this Twitter Novel. It kills a bunch of characters, but that's okay. It will take less time to type out the novels.

My first foray into this new experiment:

Twitter Novel, Ulysses: If you fit the Odyssey into one day, 16 June 1904, add a newspaper office, a brothel, a funeral, and public houses, and stir. Nora Barnacle, you should be so proud.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Another Argument for Healthcare Reform Debunked

Someone (I suspect someone working for a political party) answered my short missive on healthcare yesterday:

Leesa your point is valid to a degree, however the debate is not simply that health care costs have increased it is that medical insurance premiums have increased some 119% over the last decade while wages have stagnated or fallen during the same time for the vast majority of Americans. According to the The National Coalition on Health Care, "Employer-based family insurance costs for a family of four will reach nearly $25,000 per year by 2018 absent health care reform." This is only for those who have employer based medical insurance.

Those without any insurance (which are rising) have only Emergency rooms or go without treatment as options. Of course the oldest and the poorest have Medicaid and Medicare so they are covered.

I appreciate your opinions on this issue, but cost increases are not solely due to advances in medicine and without some restructuring it will eventually bankrupt the country.

Thank you for your blog

Mike - NC

This brings us to another argument: look at Medicare/Medicaid. They provide healthcare far cheaper than traditional employee-based health insurance.

Hospital systems basically have three kinds of payers:

1. Those with health insurance. Most people with health insurance have one of just a few types in a given location. Some people refer to this as "Big Blue", as Blue Cross/Blue Shield is the biggest payer in many locations.

2. Medicare/Medicaid. These are government-paid claims. For certain locations, Medicaid goes by a different name, if the state subsidizes Federal money. Anyway, people have cards and the government is billed for the care.

3. Self-pay. These people don't have insurance and pay out of pocket. Most of them don't pay out of pocket; they just receive the care, and avoid the bills. These include members of certain religious sects – Amish and Mennonites, for instance, who believe that they should care for one another. The thing is, none of them are invasive radiologists or cardiovascular surgeons.

So hospitals get money from these three sources, and I have heard arguments that Medicare and Medicaid are so good because they are cheaper than health insurance. Well, traditional health insurance helps pay for Medicare/Medicaid and self-pay patients. Hospitals don't turn patients away – and even though most Medicare/Medicaid patients cost the hospital money on overall care, they get enough so that they take the patients.

A boring technical area of healthcare finance is dividing the cost of care into fixed and variable costs (they do this in all sorts of businesses and teach this at business schools). Generally, if your last customer covers variable costs, it makes sense to take the customer. And that's what hospitals do.

Traditional healthcare coverage is paying partially for the fixed costs of the Medicare/Medicaid patients as well as all of the costs of its uncollectables.

I am sorry that Mike did not leave a link to his blog, or I would have explained this to him.

In short, I believe that the healthcare issue is very complex, and we have a bunch of simpletons that have not even read the language of the bill. Even their staffs have not read the various bills.

And think of another thing – part of doing this is to bring the 46 million health insurance. Many of these people have made a choice not to purchase health insurance. They would rather purchase a big screen television than to purchase health insurance, perhaps because they have little assets to guard (yes, when I first got health insurance as a healthy 22-year-old, I almost did not get any because I had no assets). I decided for myself to get health insurance, not because I was altruistic, but because the $25/month (catastrophic only health insurance) guarded against me having to file for bankruptcy.

Tomorrow I will write about something more interesting.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rise in Healthcare: Hollow Argument

I have been listening to the healthcare debate with some interest. I mean, this proposed legislation may be the most expensive entitlement program in the history of the United States.

One of the key arguments is that healthcare expenses continue to rise faster than other goods and services. You know, that argument may or may not be a good argument for the healthcare bills currently undergoing review.

Consider this simple example: When I was a child, I knew someone who injured his foot while mowing the lawn. The foot was badly injured, and because of the extent of the injuries, the foot was amputated. I was chatting with an online friend whose husband was badly injured in a similar fashion, and he is undergoing several reconstructive surgeries. The foot will be saved and functioning. And this summer, I was on a ship, doing the tourist thing. They were talking about the various compartments and what the sailors did in the compartments. One of the things they showed us was a saw, used in shipboard amputations in the 18th and 19th centuries.

It occurs to me that we have made stride in the healthcare we can expect. Two hundred years ago, two strong male nurses held you down while a doctor quickly sawed off the limb. And most of the time, you survived the ampulation. There was no anesthesia, antibiotics and the like, and so the whole procedure was relatively cheap. Twenty years ago, unless you were in some of the best medical centers in the world, you received anesthesia but the foot still was removed. You received antibiotics and your chance of survival was near 100 percent. And the procedure was more expensive. Now with the vascular surgeons and graft specialists, specialized drugs, etc., you are much closer to being made whole, after several surgeries and physical therapy. And the cost rises. But the number and quality of services also has risen.

When people talk about prices rising, one has to consider that over time, the nature of services or goods may change as well, and just looking at cost increases is not the way to go.

Oh, and besides, if you want to talk about escalation of prices – why is that a primary reason to get the government involved in the first place? We live in a free market, and we don't want to trust a free market.

I am not saying we should or should not support healthcare reform. What I am saying is that price escalation should not be listed as a reason in any politician's position paper.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Keeping Routines

These last few months, I have not been happy. I mean, I have been happy on occasions, but overall, the word "happy" is not a word I would chose to describe myself.

My world has been turning up-side-down, and it is not for one thing in particular. A bunch of things. And you know, when I have been jostled, one thing that happened is that I no longer had routines. We would have a couple of nights a week that I would prepare the same dish. I had been doing this for more than ten years. No longer.

I had been waking up and going to bed at the same times. No longer. It is much more regular that I wake up in the middle of the night, remembering a vivid dream, and then I would question what I thought reality was. And I have not been working out. And I have not been doing anything with regularity, including writing this blog.

I wonder if keeping certain routines are important for happiness.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Popular Songs

When I was growing up, I listened to Casey Kasem on the weekend. Depending on the city you were in, depended when they ran the syndicated show. It was called something like American Top 40, and I think he counted down the top 40 hits, according to Billboard. Perhaps it was something else; I don't remember. The voice of Shaggy was the final word as to what song was popular on a given week.

He would tell the world of his mostly teenage audience not only which song occupied which spot, but how many spots certain songs climbed, as well as vignettes about some of the artists. I would pull for my favorite songs, listening to every word. Time just stood still during his program.

Well, I found the Billboard Top 100 today. And, holy crap, you can see who is in the top 100, as well as listen to most or all of the songs. For someone who is no longer cool (and cannot be trusted according to the hippies of the 60s), this is sort of interesting. I can't get into many of the songs of today, but it is an interesting diversion.

One interesting thing about Casey Kasem is that there was a rumor he was Islamic. Well, he is of Lebanese Druze heritage (which is too complicated for me to explain in my blog). It is generally considered an offshoot of Islam, but it has some interesting twists. I can remember some parents who were scared of Kasem, because they thought he was brainwashing American youth at a time where we were trying to repair relations between Israel and Egypt.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Recent History: Football

Think about good football teams. Storied football teams. Look at this list:

Michigan St
Penn State
Texas A&M

What if I were to ask you for a team that has more national championships than any of these teams. What would you say? We know about USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Michagan, Alabama, Ohio State. But there is one team that might surprise you: Georgia Tech. They have won four national championships to three or less for the teams listed above.

But more shocking than that is that there are a couple of schools who have won more national championships than any of the schools I have listed: Princeton and Yale. Oh, and Harvard has won its share as well, most of which predate World War I. Anyway, just a little fact I tripped on the other day. Just goes to show you that we focus on recent history. This, of course, pertains to more than football. Today, I am just illustrating with a football example.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crazy People

Earlier this week, I heard about Yale grad student Annie Le being murdered by lab technician Raymond Clark III. It was all over the news, and I am sure you have heard something about it.

After a few days, the police mentioned workplace violence as being the motivation for murder. A letter penned by university President Richard Levin stated: "Mr. Clark has been a lab technician at Yale since December 2004. His supervisor reports that nothing in the history of his employment at the University gave an indication that his involvement in such a crime might be possible…."

A big case of CYA.

Can you imagine an employer say publicly "We have employed this person for five years, and we knew he was a crazy guy. Please sue the university for its lack of judgment."

Now I am not saying Yale did anything wrong – just making a bit of a joke.

Years and years ago, I worked for a university system. And I remember some scary guy working in the same building. I got a bad vibe from him, and I avoided him. I did not get on an elevator when he was already on the elevator; that sort of thing.

Women need to trust their instincts. Instincts, I believe, are part of human evolution. Primates are scared of snakes – that instinct, while it does not matter for most snakes, keeps one alive when running away from the poisonous ones.

I am not blaming Annie Le for getting herself murdered. Not at all. I imagine, though, she felt threatened in some way and did not act on those feelings. Perhaps not trusting everyone is the wrong way to go as well. It is difficult to know who to trust and who to avoid in elevators.

By the way, I lost two images recently:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Failing at Social Networking

I have been neglecting my blog. I know I have. Web logs, or Blogs, were one of the granddaddies of social web communities. The Video Blog, or VLOG, followed. Then Twitter, and so forth.

Well, I got an email from Biz Stone in my inbox the other day – not that Biz and I are close, but there was a change to Twitter. Anyway, I googled him, and found his Blog (last updated in April 2008) and LinkedIn profile. He has less than 200 connections on LinkedIn (not a lot for LinkedIn whores).

Anyway, one of the leaders in social networking, and his networks suck. So I guess there may be hope for me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chillin' to "Sweet About Me"

I don't normally listen to "popular" music. Well, that is not really true, I suppose, but the music I most likely am to listen to was first performed in the 80s. It has more to do with when I started listening to music and less about the quality of the music. I am a tragic compilation of my circumstances. And I find myself apologizing for it, only when I think about it. Luckily music is about much more than thought; it is about feelings and even hearing songs during significant events. Sure, we remember where we were when JFK was shot, but we also remember what was on the turntable when we first had sex.1

I heard a song by Gabriella Cilmi recently, and the sound is haunting. It reminded me of Cat Stevens. Not that she sounds like him, but the sound is unique, and so was his sound. More than that is that she reminded me how much fun it is to just listen to music. And in the hectic world of ours, just kicking back and listening to music can recharge the soul.

I also think it is interesting that the song that reminded me of this is called, "Sweet about Me," and the lyrics say that there is nothing sweet about her. Well, reminding me of the magic of music is oh, so sweet.

1Okay, I was not alive for the JFK assassination, but that seems to be the event people most remember. For me, it was perhaps the shuttle explosion. That event cracked the illusion that the world was safe and fair.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Almost School Time

We are less than two weeks away from school starting. I was reminded of this from a VLOG I saw this morning. Two things come to mind: (1) not having children, I don't really know when school normally starts; I just observe changing traffic patterns and figure it out, and (2) because I have not been posting blog entries, I have not really been reading blogs or watching an occasional YouTube video.

In the video Hayley says that for most, high school is not as advertized; that it won't be the best years of your life. Well, I will admit it is not like the movie Grease. Okay, again, two random observations: (1) why did all of the students in the movie look like they were in their mid-twenties; oh, because they were old, and (2) I did not realize until years later that in the lyrics of one of the songs had a dirty word in it; I would not recognize p---- wagon until years later, when I saw a high school production of the play. You can't have a Christmas tree on school property, but you can sing about . . . oh, nevermind.

I thought about high school, and remembered it was really great. Sorry, Haley, but going to your locker to see if your boyfriend placed a note in the locker like you directed him is a good memory. So is selling ribbons before football games, wearing bizarre outfits on certain days, and avoiding physical education for extracurricular activities. It seemed mostly good to me. Memories of heartache, backstabbing bitches, zits and homework fade over time.

But then I thought that elementary school was wonderful, where the biggest decision of the day was white vs. chocolate milk (and rarely we would have the choice of strawberry milk, a truly vile liquid). Walking in straight lines in complete silence seemed more like a game than an imitation of Hitler's youth organization. And science had no real debate. There were nine planets, for oceans, and we did not even talk about global warming. A place where boys were not smart enough to be deceptive, where teachers seemed like teachers and not discipliners.

Middle school seemed cruel. I had some wonderful memories from middle school as well, but I also remember hearing about fights after school, rumors about the first girl who lost he virginity and became very popular with the boys, where people were expelled from school instead of a note going home to a parent. Middle school was all about puberty, about forming cliques, about figuring out how everyone is different.

I look at elementary school through college, and I can't help but grin. Sure, every event seemed more important than it really was, but now, as an adult, do we make things less important than they really are? Well, in a few weeks, traffic patterns will change. For bright eyed children, they will be making memories they will remember for all of their days. Lucky ducks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Healthcare Debate

I have been listening to the healthcare debate for some time, and it seems a bit ridiculous on all sides. Some not-so random thoughts on the subject . . . .

New Legislation will Cover All. The media has said there are 46 million uninsured Americans. One thing that the media fails to ask is, "Yeah, but do these 45 Million want to have insurance?" After college, there was a time where I did not have health insurance. I could have had it, but I chose not to have it. I was young, healthy and I had no assets to protect. Why exactly would I need health insurance? And I am sure many Americans are thinking the same thing. Sure, there are some people who don't have health insurance because they can't afford it, but most have looked about how they spend their money and have decided to do other things with their money. Health insurance was not that important to them.

Sure, society as a whole pays for this. And sure, if healthcare was truly free, this would be great. But we are just shifting costs.

New Legislation will Reduce Healthcare Costs. I don't think it is the government's job to reduce healthcare costs (and the Dems are talking about efficiencies and cost reductions). I mean, as long as the government is concerned with the costs of products for me, why not work on reducing costs of my iPod, computer, car, and so forth. And someone may say that the government already manipulates food prices (we pay farmers not to grow certain crops), gas and oil prices (the government's strategic oil reserve impacts prices; so do our foreign relations), and now prices for automobiles (cash for clunkers will pull automobiles out of the market, and also increase demand which should make prices go up).

New Legislation will Make Healthcare More Efficient. See above. I am not sure it is the government's business to make any industry more efficient. The government did not enact child labor laws because the twelve-year-old factory workers were inefficient; they did so to protect children. And I am not sure I want some government bureaucrat tell hospitals how to be efficient. Think about it: the government is telling us that they can make something more efficient. When you think of government, is the word "efficiently" the first thing you think? Probably not.

New Legislation contains Death Panels. This is one of the coolest aspect of the new legislature. The phrase "Death Camps" sounds efficient, spooky and something that would lend itself to reality television. I can see this now: in order to underwrite the new healthcare legislation, the government will allow one station to televise these death panel reviews. The only problem is that these words aren't even in the legislation. I mean, we don't think these words are in the legislation – most legislators have not read it, and neither has anyone else. Someone can read Harry Potter in two days, no problem, but cannot real legislation that will have a trillion dollar difference to our government budget.

Even if I think we should reform healthcare now and have the government involved, I am not at all confident that our elected officials are smart enough to do this rationally.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Being Offline and Personal Economics

I have been "offline" for a long time. It has really been months, with one little post that filled the gap for those months. And when I posted the blog entry, I intended on started to write again. Guess what, I didn't start writing again.

I wanted to write that I was involved in some international incident, that I was denied internet access until former President of the United States Bill Clinton rescued me and my lesbian lover after months of captivity. But that is not what happened.

I wanted to say that my house was attacked by aliens that placed transceivers in humans to control them, but that is not what happened.

I wanted to say that I was finishing up a book about mitochondrial DNA synthesis, and its applications on sheep duplication, thus ending the worth's wool shortage. But that is not what happened.

I guess not one thing happened. A culmination of things, but the biggest one is that I am doing a bit more work at work. What the heck were they thinking? I wrote about work and pay and how promotions are not necessarily a good thing. A ton more work for $2K a year is not my idea of a good deal.

Anyway, I have thought about writing, and then I thought about the relative value of my time. We do this all of the time, you know? For instance . . . .

When one decides to take a long bath instead of a ten minute shower, you are deciding to spend time out of your day for a bath. And there is probably a reason behind spending that additional time.

Sex can be the same way. For married people, if we wanted, we could have sex until we could not walk anymore. And there probably is a reason we don't have sex all of the time. Remember when you were first married? Or first sexual in a committed relationship? How often was the sex? Well, maybe it was very often. There are lots of things to do, but the satisfaction from sex outweighed doing the dishes, even if you hated dirty dishes. Or later in a relationship, it does not have to be about sexual gratification. If you and your husband are trying to get pregnant, perhaps you had sex all of the time (during the right times) to try and get pregnant. Even if you did not enjoy the sex - and sex for babies gets old really fast.

"Honey, don't worry about foreplay. Just get it over so I can vacuum the carpet."

Yes, vacuuming the carpet is more enjoyable than baby-making sex if it is six months without no pregnancy.

I guess I am getting a bit far afield, but I enjoy the whole "economics" view of the world. There was a book that was popular a few years ago called Freakonomics, and I enjoyed it because it talked about this sort of thing - well, not these examples or even this logic, but it gave me ideas that I now use in my thinking. There have been several other economics books that have been popular as well. I know it sounds like driving an ice pick into your eye would be as pleasant, but they are interesting ideas.

Anyway, from time to time, I have ideas and I have wanted to express them on this blog. Because I have not really been around much, I have just thought "Eh."You know, giving a non-committal utterance.

Two things have happened recently that have been pushing me in a different direction: (1) I got a note from a very popular YouTube person (I know, gag me; but she also has a blog and she can really write) and was touched by her words, and (2) someone with sexual addiction is communicating with me and I am revealing my experiences on the road to recovery. I wrote about it here and here and probably other places. My blog was a starting point, but we are chatting about tools to use to get away from the bad behavior.

Above I mentioned an interest in economics. My job has nothing to do with economics, but I enjoy the thought process - do I spend my money on X or wait and save for Y. And more close to home, do I spend limited time writing a blog or writing a book. Well, all of this time away from the blog was not spent knocking out the first two riveting chapters of a book. It was spent doing work (which I derive only modest benefit from, aside from my paycheck) and spending more time at lunch.

Anyway, I miss writing and may start to write again (and you don't have to believe I am starting; I won't until I see if I write some more). I hear items on the news, and I just want to write about them. I experience something weird in an elevator, and my mind starts writing the post. So I have missed this forum, and I have missed writing others. Perhaps, perhaps, instead of walking to the coffee shop two streets over, I will write an ill-conceived blog entry for a few to read.

This has nothing to do with this post, but I have been dabbling in an online strategy game based on the seedy side of life. But the game is really more about economics than sex and violence. I don't get into the role-playing, really, but I enjoy figuring out how to spend limited time and energy in the game to maximize the gains (money, experience, and other gains). I am not recommending the game, per se, but if you want to check it out, it is located here. And if you think the game is just a way of having some sexual gratification, you will be disappointed. There are a few steamy photos, but they are not that erotic (e.g., they don't do anything for me). They would embarrass you at work more than anything. Oh, and they are not Asian women, so Grant, you would not like it. You know, there are probably a bunch of erotic photos, now that I think about it, because users can create a customized signature page, and they can be quite crude. I play with the images turned off in my web browser (sex addicts do that, you know), so I sometimes forget about how most see the game.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Megan Fox

I just don't get the deal about Megan Fox. I first heard about her (and wrote about her, too) when there was some discussion concerning the new Wonder Woman. She is in consideration for the role. Then I was looking at YouTube this morning (I have not really seen YouTube, other blogs, etc., recently), and saw an original song about Megan Fox. It just seems that the world is focusing on her, and I can't seem to understand why.

I looked her up on IMDB to get the name of the movie everyone has seen her in – The Transformers. I also saw that she was friends with Amanda Seyfried (who was great in Momma Mia). When I think of Amanda Seyfried, I can't help but hearing the Billy Joel song Allentown in my head. I heard she was from there and have since associated her with the Billy Joel song. Talk about neurons that have been misfiring lately.

I like trivia, and as far as Megan goes, this is what I got from IMDB :

Ranked #2 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2009 list. (she was #16 the previous year)

She has a quote from William Shakespeare's 'King Lear' tattooed on her right shoulder that reads: "We will all laugh at gilded butterflies."

And I saw some other random facts, none of which explains why people really think Megan Fox is all of that. I even watched an interview, and even after watching that, I still don't get it.

This makes me think about Farrah Fawcett, and because of the fractured media we now have, I don't think we will see someone as iconic as Farrah. I mean, everybody, from four to ninety-four probably had heard of Farrah, and a bunch of them talked about what she was doing. I mean, when she was divorcing Lee Majors, it was not like people think, "Do you remember where you were when you found out that Farrah and Lee Majors were divorcing." But it was big. Right now, if I met Megan Fox on the street, I would not know it was her. Even if she said she was an actress, my response might be, "Oh, you are that girl on Friends, right? The one that married one of the Arquette men."

I just hope Megan Fox's car doesn't turn into some demon robot thing that tries to kill me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The J-Bunny Addition

Not the typical J-bunny picture.Okay, I will admit it, I have not posted . . . this month. Not a single post. And then I thought I should go back to something that Grant, sort of a Zen Master of the blog world once said. "When you don't have an idea, post pictures of J-bunnies." Well, the first time I read it, I had to figure out what a J-bunny is. I am still not entirely sure. I thought it was a Japanese woman, fairly scantily dressed, but you know, most of the images from Grant are not of Japanese women. There are Chinese, Korean, and other nationalities as well. So I am not entirely sure what the "J" depicts.

I have blamed my absence on writer's block, but that is not entirely truthful. If I was writing a novel, I might develop writer's block. Either that, or I would write a hundred pages that would have to be cut out later, as it is distracting from the core features of the book. My problem is not that I don't have anything to say. My problem is that I read what I am writing, and I think, "Eh, that's not really that important." Sure, I can put it in a blog – no trees are being cut down, unless there is some executive that asks his secretary to print and coordinate web sites he is interested in. I know, it sounds farfetched, but I knew someone who sort of did this. Granted, it was more than 5 years ago, but it was very satisfying (until I realized the executive makes 10 times what I do).

Getting back to J-bunnies, I thought I would try and duplicate what Grant has: blog entries entirely devoted to J-bunnies. And it is harder work than you might think. The first thing I wonder is, "what do guys really want to see with J-bunnies?" I have not a clue. So I decided to let Google help me out. Google ranks pictures, web sites and news articles by popularity. The article may not be factually correct, but it is what people want to read. I can get behind that. Anyway, I have found my first J-bunny pic and will paste it somewhere in this blog entry. Who knows, maybe people will read this because of the picture. I know that thought is furthest from Grant's mind.

I have actually had some personal issues that have taken some time – two separate health-related issues, extra time needed at work, some projects at home. All of the things going on in my life have one thing in common: they require me to spend time on them. So I have not gotten around to blogging. Anyway, I thought today, the day that people are seeing Harry Potter and all, I would make a non-Harry Potter-related post. Oh, if I mention Harry Potter, did I just screw up? Yikes.

Anyway, enjoy the J-bunny. I am just now getting the hang of finding these sorts of pics. I may not be up to Grant standards yet.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Not Uncool; Not Dead Either

Two Three Thursdays ago, Grant wrote, "You haven't posted in a week. You're not dead, are you? 'cause that would be uncool."

News of my death has been greatly exaggerated, hence the title of this blog entry.

I have not blogged in more than two weeks. Okay, it may be three weeks now. Well, I have tried and tried and tried to write my next post. And I have failed on all of my attempts. And then it occurred to me why I can't write right now: I have writer's block (how about that, using the same sounding word so close to one another; another sign of writer's block, perhaps).

And I sort of feel bad because I am writing to say that I am not dead – I have always hated reading those posts. Plus, Farah Fawcett died between my last two posts. So did Michael Jackson. So you see, lots of people have died recently, so you would be totally correct in assuming that I have died as well. Though I don't have Farrah's famous nipples or Michael's famous dance moves. I mean, really, how many of us did not want Farrah's hair or to be able to dance like Michael Jackson. I can remember practicing to moon walk for weeks. If I was a productive member of society at the time, I would have been in an office, doing the moon walk, I am sure.

Oh, but back to talking about me. I have writer's block and I am not dead.

I wrote a Twitter message – I mean, even with writer's block, I can type out 140 characters.

Then I read one of the previous paragraphs – I normally just type out stuff and don't even read it, but with writer's block, the process changes. Anyway, I talk about Farah's famous . . . and Michael's famous . . . . What a lack of a real adjective. I mean, of course, if we know about it, you and me, you on the other side of the world, perhaps, me in Georgia. That would sort of define famous.

Part of me just wants to delete this message – like I did the last two messages, but you see, I have writer's block and I am not dead, so I need to place something out there. Having writer's block sort of sucks. I mean, I have been known to write about any damn thing that pops into my head, but this does not really work right now. I can't decide if I have nothing in my mind right now, or that my filter is just working on overdrive. I have not a clue.

Me, I want red hair. I don't have the complexion or the guts to dye my hair red, but I want red hair. I think hair color should be sold with other helpful items, like something that would give me freckles as well.

I was watching a YouTube video, and instead of saying, "Wow, I like that song or voice," I am thinking I would kill for that hair. I can't sing, and so I sometimes fantasize about being able to sing. Or having a magic lasso would also be so cool. Can you imagine red-headed Leesa walking in a car dealership with a magic lasso, asking about the real gas mileage of the cars on the lot? Of going in a GM dealership and asking what kind of car they drive. "Hey, you get employee pricing on your cars, and you drive a Toyota. Don't tell me it is your wife's car. I have a magic lasso."

I have not brought myself to read the comments on my blog either. Well, I read Grant's comment. But that was weeks ago, and I started writing about it, but you see I have writer's block. I guess I should go to Walgreens and see if I can find something to cure my writer's block. I mean, there are drug companies that sell herbs to cure all sorts of things. Hell, they sell mushrooms to cure cancer. Why can't some company deceive us about a cure for writer's block, too? I mean, writer's block is mental, right? I mean, how hard is it to add a few herbs to witch hazel, and sell it as writer's block remover? That's all I ask. Oh, and to have red hair, a superhero lasso, and not to be dead.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Late Night Conversations

When I was growing up, we would spend time with the grandparents. The family was sort of big, so I did not get that much time one-on-one with my grandmother. It wasn't that she did not love me; it was just the numbers did not work in my favor.

Well, after dessert and showers (with an extended family, showers take over an hour for the kids alone), we would watch a little network television. Actually, there were a lot of nature shows on PBS, as I recall. Then people would start going to bed. Interestingly, the parents would go first. Then the kids. Grandmother and me would be the last two up.

We would sit in large comfy chairs for hours, just talking. Now I cannot remember what we talked about, but it was so nice to have her undivided attention. Grandmother would ask questions, listen, and talk about things she remembered when she was growing up.

She had an even voice, and late into the evening, all else would be quiet. To be in a large, comfortable chair, most lights off in the house, just breaking the night with conversation. Those are the things I remember about my grandmother.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Blah Meter

I have been feeling a bit blah lately. You have probably seen it in my "just hit the damned submit button" posts. Yeah, there have been a few of them. I have been feeling blah, but I really was not aware of it. I would say, "I am tired" or "I have too much to do." I am a fairly positive person, so it is hard for me to say, "I feel blah."

And then I thought to myself, I should find other measures, that are not directly related to my blah-ness, that would be an indicator for me. Sure, I might not describe myself as blah, but if I always do something when blah, I could just look for that something. So then I thought, let’s see if I can look at my personal life for signs of the blahs:

Loss of interest in normal daily activities. I am so spastic, that I sometimes looks interest in daily activities, but it does not mean I am blah.
Crying spells for no apparent reason. I always have a reason for crying. Others may not be aware of it, but there is always a reason.
Problems sleeping. I sometimes sleep a lot or a little for no apparent reason. Not a good indicator.
Trouble focusing or concentrating. All the time. I think that has something to do with my brain chemistry.
Difficulty making decisions. I would be a terrible CEO. I can make any sort of decision with little data or understanding of the problem. Sort of like a politician.
Unintentional weight gain or loss. If you intentionally eat a quart of ice cream but don't intend on gaining weight, does that count?
Irritability. Just a part of my personality when I deal with incompetent people.
Being easily annoyed. See above. These signs are starting to piss me off.
Loss of interest in sex. Pass.
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches. I am talking about the blahs. I am not crazy.

Well, you know, none of those signs can tip me off to the blahs. So I looked and looked and looked. And you know what is an indicator of the blahs for me, "number of items purchased from Ebay." That is it, plain and simple. It may have been shopping in general years ago, but it has changed.

You know, men are the big hunters, with their guns being some giant penis they point at what they want. Don't say this doesn't make sense. Women, those of us without a chronic penis envy fixation, don't see what is so special about hunting. We may say it is cruelty to animals, but deep down, we don't want to point artificial penises at animals. Just too close to bestiality for my taste.

And shopping in a mall for me is akin to deer hunting. High powered penis-gun just blowing away an unarmed large mammal. Ebay is more like hunting flying animals – squirrels, ducks, quail and the like. It takes either skill or dumb luck to bring those animals down. Same thing with Ebay purchases.

So the next time my Paypal account is overused because of Ebay, I have got me the blahs. I heard alcoholism cures the blahs, though. Or maybe I am confused. You see, I have trouble focusing.

And listen, I was kidding about bestiality and hunting. I am from Georgia, for gosh sake, where you will see deer fastened to the top of wood-paneled station wagons outside of Wal-Mart when they are in season.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Running into Classmates

I got an email from a high school classmate (let's call her Becky), and it really shocked me a bit. We were in a writing club together in high school. She was a very talented writer, and I was in the club because I wanted the extra credit for senior English. We published a literary journal, and Becky's work was all over the place. I imagine she had 1/6 of the pages in the journal. She wrote poetry, short stories, Haiku, all sorts of things.

Because of our last names, we were in the same homeroom throughout high school, and the only time I really got to know anything about her was in that literary club. You know, when you are in homeroom for only 15 minutes at a time, and there is nothing but disseminating information to people throughout the year. Then, senior year we spent two afternoons a month, sometimes more, working on evaluating writing talent. I always thought I was a bit more objective about evaluations. None of my friends submitted to the magazine, and I didn't even submit (until the advisor made me). Many of the pieces were about teenage angst. Some were raw; most tried doing things that they would be ill-advised to try. Talking about love, death, longing, all from the memory of high-schoolers.

In reading Becky's email, I was surprised to find that she did not do anything with writing. She has her own small company, and she is an artist. She did not graduate college (she dropped out after a year), though she graduated high school with honors. She has studied, but mostly with small seminars and the like.

I have seen her art, and it is beautiful. It looks like a mixture of impressionism and folk art. Not sure how else to explain it. The thing is, she was considered the most talented writer in my high school, and she does something that has nothing to do with writing. I am sure the biggest tramp while I was in high school put her tramping skills to good use. Why not the writer?

I guess part of the reason I don't try to reconnect with people from my high school is because I don't want the carefully crafted image I have of them to change. I thought I knew these people; sort of like some of these writers thought they knew about love, life, and angst. And I knew in which direction their lives were heading. I just don't want to know that the skillful writer became the artist, the tennis star is selling shoes, the brainiac who breeds dogs. Not that they are not worthwhile professions, but they are not my vision for the future.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I could not sleep tonight, so I crept into the computer room, logged onto an email account, and found an email I had to reply to. It was someone who asked for my advice, and I don't know if you can tell, but I love giving advice.

The letter and response triggered a memory of mine, a painful memory that I am not sure I have ever explored in my blog. Those of you who have read me for a while know that I am married and I strayed in the marriage. Completely my fault. I was a broken person, and I did not even know it at the time. I wrote about my screw-ups here and here, and if I searched my blog archives, probably a dozen more places. I write because it is cathartic, because it is on my mind, and because I want to be that lighthouse warning others of the rocks hidden below the turbulent waters of sexual gratification.

In most of my missteps, the other guys had been unfaithful many times before me. I "dated" married men because it was cleaner – no messy break-ups, mutual discretion. There was one relationship, however, that was different. I tempted him, again and again, and I enticed him to strayed outside his marriage.

I was the other woman, and I destroyed a marriage. Before me, they were a very loving couple (I knew both of them and wanted what she had). And when I said I destroyed their marriage, I don't mean they divorced. They stayed together, but that beautiful marriage that everyone admired was no more. I remember very clearly that he called me a bitch afterwards – I remember where I was standing, what I was wearing, and what I was thinking (it was not nice or Christian). I think if I was not so wrapped up in my own stuff, I would not have tempted him. We can all say that the two of us were consenting adults; at the end of the day, I tempted someone who made his own bad decision. Had I not practically thrown myself at him, there is no way we would have loved. After all this time, had I the opportunity to undue something (anything in the world), I would wish that I had not pursued that man.

When Bill Clinton was caught lying about not having sexual intercourse with that woman, I could understand that as president, he would have been tempted nearly daily. I mean, you are one of the most powerful men in the world (and power is such a turn-on), and fifty million women are going to throw themselves at you. And I am not naive enough to think Monica was Bill's first dalliance.

I think I will go to sleep now, to what I hope is a dreamless sleep.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blah Days and Open Windows

I did not post yesterday. The day sort of got away from me, and by the end, I thought to myself, "Eh, I don't want to post."

After I got home yesterday, I took a nap with the windows open. I was asleep for a couple of hours, and I was groggy all night long. Sort of a blah ending to a blah day. But the traffic noise, with people coming home, reminded me of some summer experiences.

Okay, the rest of this post is not work safe (but since it is all text, you can leave now and no one will be the wiser). I was debating whether to write it, but I thought, eh, why not.

My aunt and uncle had a summer house in a small town a couple of hours from where we life. Every summer, we would travel to the house and spend time there. It was for lazy summers. We would bike ride in the mornings, and by 10:00 am, it started getting hot. We would come in for lunch, and lunch took more than an hour to finish. Lots of people making sandwiches and the like, eating potato chips (something we were not allowed to have regularly during the school year), making Kool-Aid.

After lunch, we would watch a soap opera, and then all of us would nap at 1:00. Since there were so many in the house, I would sneak out to the detached garage. There was a one room studio off of the garage, and I would sleep there.

When I was sixteen or so, I would have the window open but lock the door. I had just learned the art of pleasing myself, so I would slip off my shorts and panties and begin to finger myself. I would think of boys I had met that summer, fingering myself and listening to the occasional car race by on the country road nearly outside the window.

I would lick my finger, than let it work itself, slowly at first, and then faster, and I would always end up quivering after an intense orgasm. I don't know if it was listening to the traffic, the thought I might get caught, or just the guilt of a Catholic girl in the summer heat. Whatever it was, I enjoyed those pre-nap rituals.

Afterwards, I would put my panties and shorts back on, and I would unlock the door and drift to sleep. And sometimes I would wake up with the blahs, if I slept too long. But it was summer, and after another bike ride or a stroll through the woods, my head would clear and I would return to my family. And no one knew about my little fingering sessions. In fact, I forgot about them until hearing the sounds of the cars coming home from work yesterday reminded me. The mind can sometimes connect dots that are not normally connected. Traffic and an open window. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All Twittery Inside

Okay, I finally don't get Twitter. I thought I got it at first. Twitter was like a blog for lazy people; you know, people who could only string together 140 characters at a time. And these twitter people had to have a little more self-involvement than bloggers. I mean, with a blog, there are no instant gratifications.

In Twitter, all you have to do is follow a few people, and every once in a while, someone follows you back just because you followed them. Guess that is the same with some bloggers. I don't totally get this tit-for-tat reasoning, but it is alive and well.

For me, I read tweets when I am bored. And it makes me . . . more bored. Not sure why I am still tweeting, but I am. I am reading more than tweeting, but if you want to follow me on tweeter, please do so. And I have been baffled at some of my recent followers . . . .

Then someone by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk (self-proclaimed description: Wine guy, host of Wine Library TV. Video blogger and Businessman that loves people and the hustle) added me. What interest would a wine guy have in my little life?

And I got a newbie, Dr. Robert Rey, from Beverly Hills, CA. I have convinced myself he is not a plastic surgeon, trolling for middle-aged women in need of boob jobs. On the one hand, I guess I should be flattered that he thinks I have the money to travel all the way across the US in order to get silicone baggies inserted under my breasts. On the other hand, hey, he is dissin' my boobies. Does using "dissin'" make me sound pathetic and uncouth, even for a middle aged woman?

And now I have a band follower, We Shot the Moon. I am not sure if they are a really lame band that plays a lot of Hearts (the card game), or they are delusional marksmen, shooting at the moon without actually hitting anything (we hope). I went to their MySpace page, and I like their music.

I also have a new suspended account, Shelli11Kelly3. Every ten or so subscribers are these suspended accounts. I guess I am lucky enough to get what may be spam accounts. I think Twitter should give a trophy for the account with the most suspended accounts following them. Then perhaps John Mayer would win an award. Oh, other than all of his Grammies.

I started listening to/reading ScriptGirl. I can't tell if she is fake or not, talking about script sales. But it really doesn't matter if it is real. Just that you think it is real.

I have been trying to write 5 times per week, and I have figured if Tuesday or Thursday is crap, that's okay. Just moving the needle, so to speak.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Very rarely do I blog on my day off. With blogger's scheduled posts, however, it makes it a bit easier, I suppose.

First, I have seen many links to the following organization this Memorial Day: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

And my first thought is, "Do people know the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day?" Memorial Day is to honor people who died while in military service. Formerly known as Decoration Day, a day established to decorate the graves of fallen Union soldiers (I don't think there were different branches of the military back then), the day was expanded and renamed after World War I to honor all who died while serving in the military. Time did a story on the origin of Memorial Day recently as well.

It seems to me that as Americans, we blur the lines between Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and Patriot Day. Maybe even Independence Day. Who knows? Living near several military communities, I have had to learn a few things:

(1) Soldiers do not equal all people who serve in the military.
There are airmen (men and women in the Air Force), seamen (men and women sailors), marines, soldiers (those in the Army), and coasties (I don't know the real term, but they are known as coasties around here). There are two other uniformed services in the US: United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, but they are not part of the armed forces (the first 5 mentioned).

(2) Er, oh, crap, I don't know anything else.
I was going to make a list of all of these military things I have learned, and I completely lost my mind. Or at least what I was thinking about.

Also, I am not sure what to say on Memorial Day. I mean, saying "Happy Memorial Day" seems to be inappropriate. It is not solemn enough. All I can suggest is that people take time to remember those who have fallen in all US wars today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not So Random Friday Post

I normally, at least for the last dozen or so weeks, have done random Fridays. It is a way to get certain ideas out of my head and onto paper. Ideas that don't deserve an entire post. I don't want to do this today.

This morning, I was reading blogs. And one blog had a cover of Mad Magazine (I never really understood the fascination with Mad Magazine; probably a Y chromosome thing) with a UPC symbol. Well, I made some comment that this symbol reminded me of a sit-com episode where they were trying to decipher the UPC symbol. I thought it was an All in the Family episode, and so I performed a Google search. I got bored before I could confirm this, but I did see Episode 209 of another show that did they did an All in the Family spoof that dealt with APC symbols.

What interested me more than figuring out the sit-com was that we live in a world where so much is online that it is a breeze to research almost anything. I mean, you won't get "the answer", all of the time, but you can get an answer.

When I was in school, we used card catalogs and books. Books and card catalogs don't really allow themselves to link to other resources. Sure, there are cards in the catalog that give a hint of a link, "see XYZ", but they don't directly link to other sources. With the internet, there is so much to link to, and you physically don't really have to touch any source. Your 1s and 0s touch the sources 1s and 0s, and you get an answer.

Another blogger linked to a Madonna video the other day. I often wonder if she did not wear cone's shaped bras, would we think she was more of an important artist.

Of course, I could easily Google Madonna to see 12 little-known-facts about the singer/artist in two minutes. Oh, and I could also see her videos, most of them. If it were still 1978 I would spend several hours in a library, not see any videos and perhaps find some of the same facts. Maybe.

I don't think we fully appreciate this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book-Reading Ideas

Those who have been reading my blog for some time know that I love to read. I think a lot of bloggers are readers. I mean, most are would-be authors. Even if they only tell themselves in the darkness of their rooms. And people who want to write generally like reading as well. Some are narcissists and just want to put their "important thoughts" to paper, but most read.

I just finished reading a book, written in the 60s. It took a bit longer to read for a few reasons – (1) I was in the middle of three books and was spending my time divided between the books; (2) the book literally took my breath away as I was reading it – I think I was inhaling the pages (literally, not figuratively). I wish the books were made with better paper; (3) with great literature, I like to really have the words and phrases dance around in my head. I don't mind spending the time on a good book.

There are some great books I have not read. For instance, I want to read Ulysses (James Joyce). The book was written between 1918 and 1920 (it appeared in a periodical; too lazy to look up the name of it). The book is a modern-day Homer's Odyssey. I first was curious about the book after seeing it prominently displayed in Godspell. My favorite part of Godspell is one song. [Robin Lamont sings this song.] When I was younger, I wanted to be part of the 60s (before I really knew that drugs were involved in the 60s). Anyway, even though Ulysses was written so long ago, I envision the book as part of the 60s.

I also wanted to read All the King's Men (Robert Penn Warren). Again, I think of this book as read by people in the 1960s, but it was written in the 40s. Many think the main character was based on Huey P. Long, colorful governor of Louisiana, something the author always denied.

Every time I see a book in a movie, I wonder about the book if I have not read it. Not sure that is normal. Same thing in a bookstore. If I see an interesting cover, I want the book. I have lots of books that I have not read, because I think to myself, "I want to read this," and there is not enough time in the day to read all of the books I want to read.

Well, I really don't want to write today. I want to read.

You've Got Moxie

I was looking up some information on someone I know. She writes for Moxie Post (an independent media production company). But you go to their website, and it is nearly not there.

The first bit of news that they posted is an embedded video clip (courtesy of PETA). I am no marketing person, but this really does not look good. I mean, yeah, the vegan getting out of the pool makes one want to give up meat (get it, male genitalia = meat, she is hot, so it could turn a woman lesb . . . crap, if I have to explain it, maybe it is not that funny.) Oh, and if she looks familar, she is Alicia Silverstone (I got that from the site). I don't really know who she is - maybe the daughter in TV's Married . . . with Children. She was in Clueless, The Crush (as the psycho stalker), and Blast from the Past (opposite Brendan Frasier). She was in an aerosmith video, too (thanks, Xmichra).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fifth Grade: Let's Play Today

There are days that I look outside and I wonder why I ever left fifth grade. I mean, my whole life after fifth grade has been okay, but nothing could top that year.

There were things in fifth grade that were awesome: I had my first boyfriend kiss. I had kissed other boys, but this was a boy that I wore down. At fifth grade, girls were interested in boys and boys were interested in boogers. Well, to be fair, the boy I liked was a complicated lad; he also liked fart jokes that he highlighted with the use of armpit noises.

Another awesome fifth grade fact: I was lead syncer in an all girl band. We mostly rocked to Abba songs, and there was four of us. I was Anni-Frid; Björn and Benny were girls as well. None of the boys would sing with us.

Yet another awesome fifth grade item: no pregnancy scares, no STD scares, barely any kissing. But it was all good.

A final awesome fifth grade tidbit: I could be good at science, and they guys kinda liked it. If I liked frogs, I was Ms. Popular. If I knew the state bird, I was queen of the classroom. Last time I didn't have to hide my candle under a basket.

I don't want to do my work today; I want to go outside and play.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Closet Geek

Yesterday, I was told that I am a bit of a geek. And my first reaction is, "I am no geek." And then I reflected over my experiences.

When I was in high school, I took a class called "Computer Science." I don't remember much about the class, other than whatever we programmed in the class, I could do more quickly in my head. The first computer program just displayed "Hello World" on the screen. The second one printed the same phrase on a dot matrix printer. I learned about loops and how to use them to perform the same task a number of times. I also learned that I was not very good at computer programming (it was in Basic). There was one other girl in the class, and she understood computers. I am sure she is some executive in a computer-related enterprise by now. The boys in the class were very helpful. I am not sure I finished a program on my own, well, after the first program. And I am using the term program very loosely. About half of the lines of code were comments. Fairly geeky.

In college, I started using a computer as a sophomore for word processing. I knew people who would make computer cards, program and the like, but it did not interest me one bit.

I knew people in the dorms that would watch old tapes of Star Trek. That was not me. I did not get Star Trek, and I never would.

I remember going into chat room – the first one I saw my whole family was huddled around a computer, and I could not keep up with the number of conversations going on simultaneously. I think there is an art to that sort of thing, and I didn't have the talent. Plus I did not have the cash, as it cost $6/minute for access. Prodigy was the name of the service. I was exposed to this geekiness, but I did not enjoy it or really participate in it.

Fast forward to a few years ago, and I started this blog. At first, I just hung out my 20 or so erotic stories and began looking around. I had toyed with the idea of writing more erotic stories, but since I don't write them very often, the blog would be sparse.

And then I started to write.

My blog looked like any other blog, where the person involved did not know much about HTML. After a few months, I wanted to customize my blog. I had to learn about certain HTML elements. I wanted to hyperlink to other blogs, so I had to learn other HTML elements. Seems like I am getting a bit more geeky.

The thing is, I did not want to be a geek. I just needed the skills in order to make my blog look the way I wanted. A geek? Me? Nah. Although I don't mind knowing a thing or two about computers. I just don't want to attend Star Trek conventions. And the cool thing is that there were geeks before there were computers – think about building ham radios.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Can't Sleep

I started writing this early in the morning – about 1:30 AM – and then drifted back off to sleep before I finished it.

I saw the following poem on a blog this morning:

Jean-Paul Sartre
Shopped at KMartre
An early-morning startre
Was good for his heartre

And the only thing I could think is "What wonderful literary artre!"

This weekend I had a few social engagements. I was making small talk with other adults, and there is something I tend to do that I need to change: I wrinkle my nose when people are reading literature I deem unworthy. I don't tell these small-talkers I disdain the literature they choose to read, but they can read it in my face. Damn nose-wrinkle. I guess I could Botox my nose and loose all feelings in my nose, but that seems a bit extreme.

I heard they are doing a remake of Footloose staring Hayden Panettiere and Chace Crawford (okay, it is a rumor). I don't remember much about the movie – except for a shirtless Patrick Swayze (or was it a sweaty Kevin Bacon). I remember the soundtrack more than the movie. Swayze was in Dirty Dancing. Duh, I can't remember my hotties anymore. Speaking of hotties, Hayden Panettiere is that vegan who can't be killed (the show called Heros; I have not been following the show, so who knows, she may even have been destructible by now). A co-worker of mine loves Heros, and I would watch so that we could talk about it. Spending an hour watching a show seems to be time ill spent, if it is only so one could converse with someone else.

I woke up from a dream about Al Qaeda. Apparent, I had special dream powers, and I was dreaming about Al Qaeda missions. It was all so very Cassandra-ish. I reported my dreams to the authorities and they laughed at me. Then the dreams came true and they started hunting me, figuring I was in on the plans. I was all screwed up though, because I was dreaming about India instead of Afghanistan.

Weird dreams. Weird thoughts.

Well, it took me nearly two hours to get to sleep. It is official, no work will I do today. I wish there was a couch in the conference room.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Random Friday #37

Wasting Time
Someone sent me a link that showed some strange architectural structures. I thought they were really cool and all, but I did not want to send them to anyone else because it would look like I did not do any work all day. Son of a gun.

Don't Say Anything Bad about the Kids
Someone at my work is an idiot. There are very few things that you should not say to another human being. Calling someone's kids a brat is one of them. My co-worker does not understand the concept. In her own words, "I don't know why my neighbor won't speak to me. I mentioned in passing that her child is a bit of a brat, and she has not spoken to me since." I don't say bad things about people's spouses because I figure, if they sleep with them, they probably are a bit protective of them. But someone's own children? I think we are programmed to smite people who say stuff about our children. So why in the world would you call a child a brat, even if they are exhibiting brattish tendencies. (Yeah, brattish is probably not a word, but it should be.)

I give children a pass on most things. If they are brats, the parents probably had a bunch to do about it (I learned that from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a ground-breaking film on child-rearing). Also, aren't children trying to figure out the world? I mean, if I found some high schooler peeing in my yard because they were drunk, I might chuckle. I would not turn the hose on them. And if I knew their parents, I might make a remark that I did not need any weed killer in the yard at this time (or is urine a fertilizer, I really don't know). Why complain about kids when adults, after years more training, do stupid stuff all of the time? Oh, yeah, adults can hire lawyers.

Miss California News Conference
I heard a snip-it from the Miss California news conference the other day, and it sounded like a Saturday Night Live skit. Reviewing the clip made it appear moreso like a skit. A poorly worded skit, but a skit nonetheless. And the kicker, she will earn a hell of a lot more than I earn this year.

Slave Leia Appreciation Society
Bonniegrrl said the following on Twitter: "Slave Leia Appreciation Society on Flickr. You're welcome, boys (and girls!) - #starwars"

So I followed the link and saw a bunch of Princess Leahs. And I am sure that the picture above stimulated some men to think about some of these women kissing. Maybe not.

I was mildly disturbed by the use of slave in the Flickr group. Then I was concerned that

Top 10 YouTube Videos
I saw the top 10 YouTube videos. And the only one I have ever seen was the Girlfriend video by Avril Lavigne.

Onion Parody: Treasury Department Issues Recall of All US Dollars
I saw an Onion video on crappy YouTube videos, but it was not as silly/scary as the following one on the Department of the Treasury.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Haley's Heros

A long time ago, I would talk about YouTube videos. It was mildly entertaining for me, and boring as hell for everyone else. Sine I write this blog for myself, I was okay with that. Right now, I only really watch a few YouTube videos, unless someone mentions one in a blog or tweet.

The other day, I found a YouTuber (sounds like a vegetable) named Haley G Hoover. She is an 18-year-old high school senior who can write. Many of her videos are high school quality, with ideas that high schoolers have. There is a series of videos, however, that I found really entertaining:

Annoyances and Grammar Fairies (1-5)
More Annoyances (6-10)
Annoyances 11-15
Annoyances 16-20
Annoyances 21-25
Annoyances 26-30

There are a few others that are well-done. It is the writing script, more than anything, that makes her videos good.

She has a bunch of friends who also make videos. I think the common denominator is that they are all about the same age, they read Harry Potter, and they are part of the "in crowd" of YouTube. The rest of the group may be entertaining to teenagers, but they aren't as talented as she is.

I sort of paused, and nearly deleted this blog entry for a couple of reasons: (1) It is boring as hell; see above, and (2) Haley is popular. I have an aversion to anything popular.

I didn't really want to read the Harry Potter books originally because they were popular. Actually, when I read the first one, I thought to myself, "Why is this book so special?" JK Rowling, in my humble opinion, really developed as a writer before our eyes. The forth book was so much better than the first three. I mean, the first three books were good – they had a really good story. But the forth through seventh books - better literature.

And I have seen discussions about who was a better writer, JRR Tolkein or JK Rowling. I mean, I can understand the comparison: they both are known by letters (JK and JRR), not their first and middle names, they both are English, the both started a resurgence in a genre of literature. Lots of similarities. Tolkein was a professor at Oxford, an expert in language. He did real research, and he wrote some wonderful books. He even developed a few languages for his books. The difference I can see is that JK Rowling weaves good stories, but much of what she writes about is borrowed from other people's stories. Well, it doesn't really matter who is a more gifted author. Tolkein will probably never be as popular as Rowling; his work is a bit more work to read.

Now I am just rambling.

If you are inclined, view Haley. I think there is a bit of poetry in her words. I like how she constructs sentences, and how things relate. She had the heart of an author.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All Twittered Out

When I started on Twitter, I had a handful of friends, most of which I know from my blog. Either I knew they tweeted so I started following them, or they followed me which clued me into following them. That brought me up to seven or eight friends.

I also would follow a blogger a while back. She blogged, then she started creating YouTube videos. She was a stripper – er, exotic dancer. Her life was interesting. Ever since I was in college, I began to notice train wrecks; people whose lives seem more interesting than mine because of things they are trying to overcome. A friend-of-a-friend stripped her way through college. Well, that's not entirely accurate. She started stripping because she needed textbook money. And the money was crazy good. So she dropped classes to strip on more nights. Pretty soon she dropped out, was doing drugs, and I lost touch with her. She had some issues – an abusive step-father, and we sort of thought there was a sexual component to their relationship. Just guess work.

Anyway, this stripper reminds me of her, so I started following her and one of her friends.

Then I started adding famous people.

LeVar Burton
Mandy Moore
Ryan Adams
Jamie Candiloro

Okay, some are not that famous.

Then I thought, I am not sure I need LeVar Burton. I am not a rabid Star Trek fan (when I originally wrote this, I wrote "Star Wars"; talk about a non-fan), I just think he is cute. And then I thought should I twitforce (twit-divorce) him? But really, since I added him only a day ago when I was adding a bunch, is it a twitullmant (twit-annulment) because of the duration? Adding twit before another word is nearly as irritating as adding an "I" before a word. Oh, but I did add Wil Wheaton.

Melissa Gilbert
Kirsty Alley
Lucy Lawless
Lili Wilkinson

I have been reading the tweets of Melissa Gilbert. I knew she played Laura Engles on Little House on the Prarie, but I wanted to know a bit more about her, Here is what I found on Wikipedia: When she was 17, Melissa made the television version of the movie, Splendor in the Grass. She lost her virginity to her co-star Cyril O'Reilly on the last day of filming.5 And the footnote tells us that this fact was from E! Entertainment "Celebrity Profile:Melissa Gilbert," 1997.

John Green
Stephen Fry
Judith Orloff

Then there are the authors. That makes sense. They write books, songs, stories once phrase at a time. Typing 140 characters would be a bit of a joy. I have still not figured out twitter. But I have tweeted 50 or so times. So I have some experience tweeting. I still don't get it, but I participate in it when I am bored. Or when I want to eavesdrop on celebrities, or faux celebrities. If you are a regular reader and also tweet, let me know in the comments. I would love to eavesdrop on your tweets.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Things Left Unsaid

From what I can tell, Jasmine wrote something last year, an exercise to write down 10 things she wished she could say to people in her life. Lots of people started doing this, and I think Grant's post is the funniest (read: best). I have been toying with the idea of doing something similar – but the difference is that I don't want to say these things. Words can be powerful; they can hurt. And I just don't want to hurt people.

1. You treat your husband like shit; I'd trade husbands straight up.
2. I make fun you when you play the lottery, but when the jackpot gets high, I throw my money away, too.
3. Street vendor, when is the last time you washed your hands?
4. I can tell when you are lying to me. Don't you realize how transparent you are?
5. I want to go back to college.
6. I would like to spend two hours a night and just write for myself.
7. Just once, when I go to the gym, I would like to ditch the workout and catch a movie instead.
8. I bitch about my parents, but after hearing others stories, I really shouldn't complain.
9. I love your children, but they can be real brats sometimes.
10. I could tell you why you are wrong, but that would make me look like a bitch.

I really believe that certain things should remain unsaid.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Last Friday's Lunch

I almost did not tweet on this, and I really don't think writing a post about this will be good for me. You see, I don't want you to think I am a geek. Sure, I have learned a bit about HTML because I blog. But I am not a geek.

Big breath.

Friday at lunch, I saw Star Trek. I did not tell my boss, but I did say that the lunch might go a bit long. I did not particularly want to see Star Trek. I just wanted to rebel a bit, and sneaking out to a movie seemed like a rebellion that was not too terribly risky.

And you know, I did not really want to see the movie. I wanted to watch 17 Again, but amazingly, that movie is nearly done. At least, there was not a showing when I could take "lunch". But after watching it, I was glad I saw it (and probably not for the reasons you would guess).

But before we get into the movie, I want to talk about being bad. When I was in my twenties, I occasionally would leave work and watch movies. Well, I did this twice. I can't remember the movies, but I remember the feeling I had when watching them. I was scared that my boss would find out and fire me. So the entire time I was watching the movie, stealing time from my bosses, I could not enjoy myself.

Well, many years had gone by and I did not steal time from my bosses. I did not want to feel that way ever again, but something reminded me about the experience the other day. And I wondered if I had changed. Having worked for years, I thought perhaps my mindset, my person changed. And I had to know.

Back to the movie. I have not seen a Star Trek movie before, and from what I have read, the only good Star Trek movie is possibly The Wrath of Khan. I don't know if that is true or not, because I don't really care about Star Trek. I can't get through an original episode without yawning, and some of the spin-offs have me confused (Deep Space Nine). I loved "Next Generation", but I had a thing for the captain, the android and the guy with the visor. Plus the episodes were entertaining.

I watched the new Star Trek movie, and I enjoyed myself, but not because of the movie. I liked hearing the audience's reaction to the movie. One of the characters would say something, and then I would hear a geeky gasp, or a clap, or some other reaction. I sat next to a couple (the theater was packed), and the woman made noises that were darned near orgasm noises at one point in the movie.

Me, I had no connection with any of the characters. I mean, one of the characters I recognized as the "In Search Of" narrator – the old Spock character. But I did not see the Price Line guy in the movie, even though there were plenty of aliens he could have bedded.

The reviews of the movie were very positive, and if I was watching the movie without an audience, I might have left. It did little for me. Well, I wonder if I still have that part of me who does not want to get caught taking in a movie during work hours. Could be. I enjoyed myself, mostly because of how Trekkies reacted to the movie. Or is that Trekkers? Some people take Star Trek way too seriously – you will recognize them because they have schematics of the different ships in their rooms, presumably near a package of condoms whose expiration date is was in the last decade. And they can probably tell you the star date for the expiration date as well.

I am working on a new theory about the woman who was making orgasm sounds. Hmmmmm.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Random Friday #36

Texts from Last Night
Delightfully Inappropriate mentioned Texts from Last Night, a site where people can post their drunk while texting texts. The funniest I saw was this text message: "I need to shower the guilt off of my thighs." A funny diversion for when you want to waste time on the Internet. I mean, besides wasting time on reading my stuff.

J-bunnies and Images
I laughed at a bunny quote on Grant's site, was going to share something j-bunny related, but then read Jay's comment and I was a tad disturbed. In Jay's comment, he saw the picture of a hot j-bunny, presumably became aroused, and then thought of Grant? Something is off here. I can't quite place my finger on what is off, but something is off.

Oh, J-Bunny-related thought is back in my head (J-bunny plus something being off). I was at the Jacksonville Zoo (nearest zoo to me is in FL, not GA), I saw a hot Asian couple - looked very European in their dress and both were so attractive. And then she speaks with a completely Georgia accent. My fantasy of sharing her with her husband completely vanished at that point. It was like watching a low-budget movie, shot in Asia, and then dubbed in the US by b-movie-type Atlanta talent.

I don't know why I expected some Asian-type accent, but I did. I felt a bit lookist, a bit racist at the assumption, and it ruined the zoo for me. By talking about j-bunnies, I guess I could grace this post with a gratuitous picture of a j-bunny, but I am a bit lazy today. Head over to Grant's site if you want to see a j-bunny (or read really funny blog entries).

Not Leaving Comments
I read a blog the other day that said, "… the stupid internet was down all damn day." I was about to leave a smart-arse comment (that is a smart ass comment with words spelled with additional us, like colour) about the Internet not really being down all day (there would be a big article in the print media about it, probably suggesting you keep getting your paper the next time the Internet is down). The person's internet connection was down. I did not make the comment because: (1) I did not want to appear like a smart-arse, and (2) I did not want to leave incriminating evidence that I read her blog. For heaven's sake, she wrote the phrase, "poop ear." Reading her was really grating on me.

Perez Hilton
Perez Hilton is a minor celebrity. There was something Miss-America-related in the news, and he was in the middle of it. He got all sorts of press for making a dumb girl look dumb. I know some people will say it was the answer she gave, but because she was thrown and paused and such, I think it was how she answered the question that was off. I thought all of the answers to the Miss America pageant involved world peace in some way or another. If she would have said, "I am in favor of world peace," and did not even talk about marriage in her answer, she would be Miss America. Of course, no one would know who she is. Now, she is second place and can probably broker a career in the public eye. And we still are saying she lost. Hmmmmm.

Things Left Unsaid
From what I can tell, Jasmine wrote something last year, an exercise to write down 10 things she wished she could say to people in her life. Lots of people started doing this, and I think Grant's post is the funniest (read: best). I have been toying with the idea of doing something similar – but the difference is that I don't want to say these things. Words can be powerful; they can hurt. And I just don't want to hurt people.

Well, this has been a long week. I think a bath is in my future.