Monday, August 01, 2011

Marlo Thomas Tweets?

I was reading a blog the other day, and it said something having a conversation with Marlo Thomas, then comma, a best-selling erotic novel writer. It seemed that Marlo Thomas started writing erotic novels. So I clicked on the link, which brought me to her Twitter account. Apparently the person who wrote the words were a bit vague, and the comma separated two idea; it was not their attention to attribute the "best-selling erotic novel writer" description to Ms. Thomas. Anyway, I clicked on a link from her Twitter account, and it brought me to one of her videos.

I had not seen Ms. Thomas for years (really just remember her in Free to be You and Me), and although I was unable to identify her with how she looks (she looks really good, actually, for a 73-year-old; I would have guessed she was 50 by her appearance), her voice has not changed at all.

The video went to another Marlo Thomas video, and another one. And I loved her videos. They made me feel like I was 10 years-old again, listening to someone tell me how to live my life. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but it was comforting. I felt like I was listening to her words on a record player (not a turntable), sitting on my twin-sized bed, floral colorful printed bedspread, the whole little-girl enchilada. I like feeling like a 10-year-old every once in a while.

After a while, the cue must have run out of Marlo Thomas clips, and I was snapped into reality by some other person – perhaps Tory Johnson talking about career advice. And I was not ready to put on a pantsuit and act like a grownup.

Speaking of women with interesting names (Marlo), I have a confession to make: I get Alanis Morissette and Avril Lavigne mixed up in my head. Ironic is one of my favorite songs, even though it does not make sense. And I really though Avril sang Girlfriend.

Don't pretend, I think you know I'm damn precious,
And hell yeah I'm the mother fucking princess,
I can tell you like me too and you know I'm right.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Having Your Cake

When I used to blog – and I was fairly good at it – I would write first thing in the morning, and then check on the blog a couple of times per day, harvesting the comments like plump, juicy red tomatoes in the afternoon sun. I would respond to the comments, being oh, so pleased with myself.

When I was a little girl, we had a garden in the backyard. In late July and August, I would be responsible for picking the tomatoes. I would travel down each row, looking for the bright red treasures, sometimes exposed for all to see and sometimes hidden under two well-placed leaves. That is really what I enjoyed about the summer; finding the gifts, either easily spotted or well-hidden. The comments I would pick were so similar. I knew I could count on Deb, on Grant, on Ian, on some others to write comments. And then there would be occasional readers, unique readers, just different readers commenting on my words.

Now it is different. I write in the morning, and I read a few blogs after I write. I do this perhaps three times per week, knowing that I need to read others' writing to feel more connected. Instead of taking several hours per day, paid for by my employer, I now spend about 30 minutes three days per week. I still get to do all of the things I normally do, and then three times per week, I get to write a bit.

I am having my cake and eating it too, I suppose. Comments and tomatoes. No mention of cake.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ode to a Vibrator

Deb wrote something on Friday about stifling. And, well, it inspired me to write a few verses of poetry. When I was in high school, we had to write a lot of poetry – and since I hated it, I rebelled by making fun of many of the teachers in the school. You see, my English teacher was the advisor for the school’s literary magazine, and I did not want any of my words going in that thing. So without any fanfare, here is an original poem by Leesa.

Ode to a Vibrator

Oh, my three plastic egg,
So discrete and cute,
With a remote control that’s easy to use,
This “friend” of mine is a bute.’

I got you as a gag gift,
Accepting it made me blush,
Who knew you would become a welcome friend,
This fact you have to hush.

I don’t need to shave my legs,
I don’t need to brush my hair,
I just need to ensure the batteries are fresh,
Before I place you . . . there.

You’re always at my bedside table,
I am never ever in need,
You never say things to pressure me,
Into doing the deed.

I don’t have to be polite,
I don’t have to laugh at your jokes,
I don’t have to make coy suggestions,
Before you pleasure me with your electronic strokes.

You are designed for going out,
You are designed for playing an erotic game.
I can’t imagine bringing you to a bar inside of me,
For I am much too tame.

Oh, my AA-powered friend,
I don’t have to lie,
If I want you three times per day,
My actions don’t have to be sly.

You expect nothing from me,
You silently sputter and hum along,
I don’t have to wear a push-up bra,
With a matching, uncomfortable thong.

So while you don’t take me to dinner,
Buy me roses or other mushy stuff
You bring me something (cough) few men have,
And trust me, that’s more than enough.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Curse of 27

I saw an article today by E! Online, entitled "Did Amy Winehouse Suffer the Curse of the 27 Club?". I really wanted to blast the statistics, but the article itself claimed that no more people died at 27 than at any other age. That would have been my point. The article also said that numerologists dislike 27 because the digits add to nine.

Have you ever noticed that numerologists are all about simple math? I mean, they deal with additions and subtractions, and translating letters into numbers (Nero = 666).

Well, I looked at the people who died at 36, taking the numerologists's perspective, and here are some of the famous people who died at that age: Lord Byron, Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe, And princess Diana. And the weirdest thing about that the entries is that princess Diana is listed as "Diana Spencer, much-photographed glamorous blonde and Elton John song topic (July 1, 1961 -- August 31, 1997)." I would think princess of England and heir to the throne at one time trumps glamorous blond.

Tomorrow I will post an original poem. Be gentle.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


The other day, I was talking with a girlfriend who has been recently separated. Well, her hubbie lost his job shortly after they got married (he is a hunky construction worker, 'nuf said), and he just did not really look that hard for a job. She has a good job, and so he stayed home to play WoW.

I could never get into Wow. Well, I have never played, but I have a feeling there is a learning curve, and I don't do well without instant gratification. I mean, I am sweet and all, but I don't think I could invest a bunch of time so that I would do whatever it is you do in WoW. I am assuming it has something to do with killing dwarfs or zombies or whatever.

And it is not like I am strong and don't have an addictive personality. I have never tried drugs, partly because if I ever did, I would be turning tricks for dime bags. I don't know what that means exactly, but I have heard it somewhere. Yeah, I get around.

Our society likes addictions – we say that we are addicted to chocolate, cell phones, whatever. I sort of see it, but it is hard to wrap my brain around having someone playing WoW being in the same category of someone who loses their child because they spend all of their time and money on cocaine. It just seems different, you know?

I have been incredibly busy right now - so I have not written. Sorry; please forgive me. I will try to do better next week. Am I addicted to blogging? I don't think so.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dating Milestones

When I started dating again, I began talking to several people about new dating rules. A near universal first rule is have your first date in a public place, for instance. And most of my girlfriends who are single suggest you decide how many dates you will go on before you are willing to have sex with the guy. That seems calculating, but upon review, that seemed to make a lot of sense. After really good kissing, I don't think logically and I might do things I would not do with a clear head. Most of my girlfriends (and a gay male friend) seemed to sleep with people at the third date. In fact, the gay guy said that if there is no sex at date three, he is on to the next person, no matter how much he likes the guy.

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to have a list of dating milestones – this is taken from my memory of magazine and news articles, none of which I want to find right now. These milestones are not mine – but I will comment on mine, I suppose, at times.

First Date. Goodnight Hug. I read somewhere that 44 percent of first dates end in a kiss. Here is my rule – I won't initiate a first date kiss, but I will kiss all first dates if they make the move. And yes, I have wet and parted my lips when I wanted a kiss, but I thought the guy would not end the date in a kiss. It just fascinates me that 56 percent of first dates don't end in a kiss – I don't think I would say 'yes' to a date if a kiss was out of the question on the date.

Second Date. Goodnight Kiss. Although I will kiss on the first date, I assume most kiss by the second date. If I had a short kiss on the first date, if I say 'yes' to a second, the second date has a bit of French kissing.

Third Date. Goodnight Fuck. Here is where things get weird – on a first date, less than half of people kiss, but the most common date where people have intercourse is the third date. This makes no sense to me. I don't have a third date rule that some do. When I was in college, I did not have a lot of third dates (I said 'no' a lot on a second date request if I did not think things would progress, mostly because it interfered with studying. I would say 'yes' to all first dates because when I was in eighth grade, we had a Sadie Hawkins dance and a boy said 'no' to me.)

Forth Date. Interesting Date. For me, if any of the first four dates are not really interesting, I am probably not going to say 'yes' to another dinner- and-a-movie type date.

Sixth Date. Leesa's Goodnight Fuck. If I say 'yes' to a sixth date, I think things are progressing nicely, and although my Church does not agree, we end up fucking. And if he does not call the next day, the relationship is over. Yeah, I am a bitch, but I want a thoughtful man.

I could go on-and-on, but if I do, Deb may complain or sue me for trademark infringement. I mean, I have not seen what date number the anal sex, three-way or roleplaying dates are.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dating Exhaustion

I try to write on this blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and as you may have noticed, I did not write Wednesday. And part of this is because I have been dating so much.

I went out Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday - three different guys, and two of the guys were first dates. I won't mention the first dates right now - both were dinner dates, and both were "okay." The men were nice, they did not do anything to embarrass me or themselves, and they were perfect gentlemen. Perfect gentlemen are not normally interesting to write or read about.

Anyway, on Date #3 with one guy, we had a long talk at the end of the night. It must have been about 1AM when we started talking - we had been kissing before. I let him know I was new to dating, and I was not interested in anything too heavy. I also said that sex was off the table because I have not officially divorced. He texted me the following day, so I figure the talk did not scare him off.

We had un-official Date #4 on Tuesday night. Well, probably unofficial to him, but when I shave my legs to meet someone, the time goes in the date column. He brought chinese food for dinner and we watched a foreign film (containing subtitles). Well, there is some backstory. I had to drop off my car at the shop, and I sort of wanted my date to go with me because he is a guy. Anyway, after chatting with the mechanic, the mechanic asked if we were together. He looked a little shocked, but he said, "Yes" with no further explanation. That seemed a bit forward, but comforting at the same time.

Anyway, we had dinner and the movie on the couch. A little hand-holding because well, just because. He had his warm hand on my knee, and I thought he was wondering how far up my thigh I would allow his digits to travel. The movie was confusing, and we started necking on the couch. He had actually, before that night, said that he wanted to watch a movie in, without making out. I think he wanted to let me know he heard 'sex was off the table.'

After the movie, we were making out anyways. And about an hour later, he was talking off my panties, leaving my dress on but pleasing me, oh, so pleasing me, downstairs. I let him please me for longer than I want to care to admit, and afterwards, he shyly asked "if I came." Not sure why guys ask that, but I wanted to say, "Fuck, yes, I had multiple multiple orgasms. Strong orgasms. Surprising orgasms. Fucking awesome orgasms."

I think he wanted a number, but I just smiled and shook my head in affirmation. I was blissful, and that's what mattered most at the time, and that's all he needed to know. He looked like he needed more, and I vocalized, "Uh huh." It was almost a whisper, and here I was, want-to-be writer, and this is how I answer.

I did not plan for this to happen, but now, this serial dater, this guy I know who likes to keep things light. He texted me later that evening, then a couple of more times the following day.

So far with these dating experiments, all I have done is say, "yes" to dates and say 'no' to sex or even grabbing my ass on the first date. Guys, I think, like for their women to say 'no' sometimes. At least, they stick around until they here a 'yes.' I think that is strange, but I think that's the way it is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Team USA

I don't watch soccer games because, well, for two main reasons: (1) I don't understand soccer, and (2) there is a lot of running around with few goals scored. That being said, it is Woman's World Cup time, and the Americans are playing right now.

Sunday, Team USA played Brazil, one of the powerhouses of women's soccer. Already Germany surprisingly lost, perhaps the best women's soccer team in the world. Some would say that Brazil was number two. Now they are out. But instead of guessing what Team USA's chances are in the semi-finals, I want to chat for a bit about the game. Or at least two different perceptions.

Again, I did not watch the game, but I Googled the team names to see who was winning. I got to FIFA's site (they are the international organization in charge of world soccer – the second 'F' in their name is football, what the rest of the world calls soccer), and they had the statistics for the game. In the second minute, the Brazilian's scored a goal in its own side, giving the American's a 1-0 lead. Then the Brazilian's scored a penalty shot goal and another goal, giving them a 2-1 lead. At that point, I was out in the yard, pulling weeds and trimming bushes. To me, it appeared as if Team USA did not score anything. I came back inside, showered, and then surprisingly found out that Team USA scored a last minute goal to tie the game in overtime, and then won in a shootout. My perception, just looking at the statistics, well, I thought Team USA was extremely lucky and should not have advanced. But then I read an article that put things in a new perspective.

The Brazilian's first goal (a penalty shot). Well, they missed the penalty shot, but the refs thought the Americans were not set properly, and they gave the Brazil team another change, which they converted into a goal (apparently the call the refs made is rarely called). And their second goal was a goal made when a Brazilian player was offsides. I never understood offsides, and apparently, on this play, the refs didn't either. The second goal that was a bit suspect. So some think the game should have ended in the USA's 2-0 win against Team Brazil. There was also a red card and yellow card penalty against Team USA that seemed excessive.

So the statistics and what happened in the game had two different perspectives. Whatever the case, Team USA now plays France. I am not going to watch this game either, but I am wondering if I should just read an article instead of relying on statistics. Or you can find the highlights, hoping that the camera catches an image of a hottie soccer fan.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Book Reading

I was reading Karen’s blog the other day, and she is on pace to read 75 books this year. That is freekin' amazing.

When I was newly married, we didn't have a television, so after work, there was just sex and reading. I mean, we went to parties, went out, whatever. But that left a lot of time for reading. I read and read and read. At the end of the year, I estimated that I read 60 books. I don't really know how many I read, but I know it was more than one/week. I was a reading machine, though they don't make reading machines yet.

During the next year, I went to a talk on organization. It was a guy who talked about how to do things more efficiently. Towards the end of the hour talk, he said something about reading books. He said he wanted to read 100 books in a year, but adjusted to 50 books/year soon-there-after. And he said he met that goal by listening to books on tape while in the car.

I had two initial thoughts:

1. Are you freakin' kidding me? Listening to books counts? Does watching movies based on books count as well? Unbelievable.

2. Someone who works on organizing should have known that his original goal was way off. And we are listening to this guy.

It is summer reading season. Grab a book and a blanket and go outside and read! It will save baby ducks.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tweet This

I have not added a tweet since February 2010 - that is more than a year. And when I started blogging again, I did not really look at the design of my site. I did that so long ago, I suppose. I just started writing.

Today, for the first time, I looked at my site. I have been getting home really late at night, and so when I came to work today, I was so tired that I am just goofing off at the computer. It was the first time I have looked at twitter (lined on the right hand side of my blog), and I notice that it said I was comparable to three twitter profiles:

1. A keyboard player that plays songs for 13-year-old boys.
2. Some chick who is into Beetlejuice, tattoos and piercings.
3. Some geek who is into Apple.

Well, I just refreshed the page, and apparently Melissa Gilbert is like me now. Perhaps that is because Melissa Gilbert is responsible for 10% of all twitter traffic.

I don't think I have the energy to tweet 120 characters at a time.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence Day

Like so many others, I am taking the day off.

One pet-peeve I have is that people call Independence Day by another name, "the 4th of July." I mean, do we call Christmas, "the 25th of December"? I don't know why we call Independence Day by the other name - is it that Americans don't remember when we celebrate our independence from the repressive King George III. I saw pictures of him in Schoolhouse Rock, and I can tell you, we are better off without that weak-chinned man.

Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Debt Ceiling

I have two guilty obsessions: (1) The Daily Show with John Stewert, and (2) The Colbert Report.

This clip cracked me up, but unfortunately, there is an air of truth in it. If you can't tell, I am taking the day off. Actually, I will not be around next week, and I wanted to write some stuff so that you won't know I am actually playing next week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kissing an Octopus

I went out on a date last weekend. The date went well, and at the end of the date, I found myself at his place. We were just going to drop off the doggie bag at his refrigerator, and then hit a bar for a nightcap. Before any of you say, “He just wanted to get you into bed; that’s the dropping-something-by-the-house move”, yeah, I knew that. We had a drink at his place (an Australia Shiraz), and we continued our conversation out on his deck. He is cute, but a little timid.

I told him I was tired, and needed to get back home, and we kissed by my car in his driveway. I could tell he wanted to kiss me, and I figure one kiss and back home. Well, what I did not count on was that he was a really good kisser. After about a minute kissing, his hands started roving. And like most guys, he went straight for my ass. I blocked his move with my hand, grunted “n’t, nah” into our continued kissing, as we continued. After another minute, I suggested that we sit down for a minute.

The next hour, we were on the couch, kissing. Every ten minutes or so, he would reach his hand towards my ass and breasts, and I always countered. When I was a twenty-something co-ed, I hated guys who were all hands. This, however, was much more enjoyable. He knew his boundaries and tested them, normally after a barrage of wonderful kisses. I would make some comparison to hockey and red lines and icing, but I really don’t know enough about hockey to make the analogy work.

The point is that dating, even dating people who want things other than me, can be fun anyway. I mean, part of me wanted to do more than kiss, but the kissing was . . . awesome. Okay, to read the previous sentence correctly, you need to sing the word ‘awesome.’ And I don’t want the kissing to end. Sometimes when things progress, awesome kissing stops. And the roving hands was sort of hot, too. I mean, it was hot because all it took was some light pressure or a no-no groan, and he played nice. Now, I don’t know when he will call next (during the date, I told him I was really busy today), but he will call. I just have to figure out how to interact with him that does not lead to me losing my panties on a second date.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated by the talented and music-loving Xmichra with the “Versatile Blogger Award” (pictured above)

This award is a way to give some virtual “shout-outs” to other bloggers you follow and whom others might not yet have discovered. People on my recently resurrected blog probably know Xmichra – she’s Canadian, so she misspells words like ‘color’ and ‘honor.’ And she knows more about music than I ever did.

The rules:

1) Publicly thank the award giver and link to them in your post.
2) Tell your readers 7 things about yourself that you might not have already.
3) Present this award to other bloggers whose work you enjoy and
4) Contact the honorees

On to the Nitty-Gritty:

1 – I love really good seafood, but I also eat at Red Lobster. I really like their rolls, but I hate their broccoli. Their broccoli is disgusting most of the time, and there is nothing else green on the menu. I don’t really know why I eat there, but I do, and I don’t tell others about it.

2 – I swore I would never dye my hair, and now, I dye my hair. I don’t know if I would dye it if I were in a happy marriage. It shocks me that I dye my hair; completely against all I believe in.

3 – I am not on Facebook. And until recently, I was not really on any site. Life is better, I think, when we avoid these sites (even blogging sites). Just my opinion.

4 – I didn’t know how to drive until I was 18 years old. I got a learner’s permit at 14, but I never drove. One week before entering college, I purchased a crappy car and got my driver’s license. I failed the driving test the first time I took it and passed the second time (my total amount of time behind the wheel by then was less than two hours. When I went to school, I drove 150 miles. I spent more time in the car driving than my whole life. When I drive now, I assume there is at least one similar driver on the street like I was at 18. Scares the hell out of me.

5 – When I was a sophomore in college, I saw one of my former professors in a bar and he hit on me.

6 – My first kiss with tongue was with my cousin. I did not French kiss anyone else for 3 years afterwards because it was so gross. I have a feeling I really missed out for those three years.

7 – I don’t watch much television, but when I do happen to like a show, it gets canceled soon-there-after. The latest show: The Unusuals.

And the Pay it Forward goes to:

And I still think so - He is a real writer, I am just a pale imitation. Sometimes I am not sure what he is writing about, but I love the meter.

Peace of My Mind - A few years ago, I would tease Leesa, since we share a name. She lives in a house where bears visit, and that is not just symbolism.

The Muse Wakes - She is a bit like me. She stopped writing for some time, then stated again.

Discombobulating Grant - Another writer. He knows more about the craft than me, but he hides it well by posting pics of young Asian women.

Smiling Through It All - I have read Karen for a while. She has a razor sharp wit, and I enjoy her posts.

Two of the five people Xmichra picked would have been people I would originally have had on my list.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Too much information.

Okay, I was involved in two conversations recently. During the conversations, all I could think is, “you are just giving me too much information.” I will share the information to illustrate this point (and it doesn’t count for me – this information is not mine).

Plane Trip
I was recently traveling, and I sat next to a kind-looking woman.

First, I would like to tell you how I look for a seat (I fly Southwest Airlines, where there is no assigned seating). I actually like no assigned seating. The first thing I do is try to get a number that is in the high A’s or low B’s. Southwest, when you check in online or in person, assigns you a sequential number. You can pay $10 to get in the first 15, but I caution against it. Get the high As or low Bs. I like at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the plane full, so I get to pick who I am sitting next to. With assigned seating or low numbers, you don’t get to pick. And I pick a skinny person who is reading, if at all possible. That way, I get to use all of my seat and elbow space and I don’t have to hold up a conversation. Male or female, it does not matter to me at all. I am all about elbow room.

Anyway, kind-looking woman, after the plane takes off, starts talking with me. She wanted to talk about her kids. Both are early 20s and both work in the same Hooters. She shows me a picture of her daughter, and says, “She is so smart, and she said she would only work there for three months. She has been a waitress at Hooters for two years now.” Then she tells me about her looser boyfriends. Her name for one was “looser.” That’s what she called him. When I was dating, my parents were really nice to my loser boyfriends, because they knew I would continue to date looser boyfriends. Their disapproval was part of the attraction, I found out later. The same parents who were all about delayed satisfaction (eat your food before playing in the McDonald’s playground, for instance), wanted me not to date losers. I figure there must have been something good about them that was not good for me but satisfying.

If I had a daughter who worked at Hooters, I don’t think I would be bragging about it to strangers.

Transgendered Children
I was on a first date with a gentleman who had four children (two from his first wife, two from his second). Okay, I knew he was divorced before, but I didn’t know twice before the date. Dating at my age and most of the men have been married before.

Anyway, he tells me about one of his sons. I first thought the son was male, but it happens that his son is a 19-year-old transgendered female. Now, I don’t know too much about the TG world, but I did find out a lot on my first date with him. Well, apparently her measurements are similar to mine (I did not tell my date that).

During the date, he answer and talks on his cell phone, talking to the TG son, and apparently my date was dissuading the 19-year-old son from going swimming in a public pool. Apparently he wears men’s swim trunks – so basically it is a TG female swimming topless.

I have never really thought about TG issues, but I am not sure I would have brought up the issue on a first date. My head was spinning all evening, and I was a bit distracted. At the end of the evening, I knew little about my date and a lot more about his TG son. I don’t know if I like the guy, but I declined a second date because I figure it was easier to decline now than to figure out the whole TG issue at a later date.

I just think we share way too much information way too soon. And I am not sure why.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I was supposed to put something out yesterday, and I didn't. I am tapped out.

I have written a few pages this morning, but they are for a play, not for the blog. It is a children's play - part of something I am doing for some volunteer work. It does not really matter what it is, but I look at the computer screen and I am tapped out of ideas.

I mean, I could talk about the US being in the finals of the Gold Cup again - but how many people watch soccer between World Cups? Okay, in many other countries, people care about soccer every year.

I guess I am focussed on other things right now. Perhaps I should just finish up my non-blog writing. And then clean my kitchen.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Alamo Drafthouse
A woman was thrown out of an Alamo Drafthouse theater for texting, and she calls up to complain. Obviously, the message she left on the theater’s voice mail made its way to a commercial for the theater to use to inform others that texting won’t be tolerated. I know, she starts out by saying she used the cell phone as a flashlight, but then she talks about texting. She probably used it to find her seat and then started texting.

Cell Phone on NY Train
Then someone catches a woman traveling on New York's Metro North train line telling train employees that she is too "well-educated" to be told to quiet down and not use profanity in her cell-phone conversation. Part of the conversation:

"Do you know what schools I've been to? How well-educated I am?"

"I'm sorry do you think I'm a little hoodlum?"

What do these two examples have in common? Well, I would say that there are two examples of grown-ups (why do they both have to be women?) who are not particularly well-mannered.

When I was growing up in the south, we learned a lot about manners. Some of the things were a bit silly – to pause before entering a building when traveling with a boy/man to give him the opportunity to open the door for you. Elbows not on the table. Placement of spoons and forks and the like. Manners seemed to be imposed by grown-ups in order to remind us that they had control over us. Again, that is a 12-year-olds view of the world.

But then it struck me. Well, actually, it struck me while reading a book by Miss Manners (Judith Martin). In the book, she said that manners have been established in order to make people feel comfortable. I paused before entering a house so that if the man/boy was so inclined, they could hold the door for me. The placement of spoons and forks – the hostess serves food and equips guests with proper utensils to eat the food. Table setting placement indicates which utensils to be used for which food. That way, you can be sure to have the salad fork for use with the leafy veggies and the desert fork for the delicious pie.

For the above examples, I have ridden on commuter trains, and most passengers chose to entertain themselves in ways that do not impact fellow passengers. Most of these rides are an hour or so, and people generally read, work on laptops, sleep and text. None of these activities are particularly intrusive. Please remember that a train is for transportation, and most trains I have been on are a bit loud/bright so that keyboard sounds/screen light is not intrusive.

As for movie-goers, people are at the movie to watch the movie. Clicking on cell phones, bright lights and the like are intrusive to the movie-going experience. The texter does say that movie-goers in other theaters don’t care about texting. Some do, and manners are set to ensure that people are comfortable with social interactions.

New technology has us thinking of what should be socially acceptable. Although not universally accepted, it seems to me that the two people mentioned above seemed to be rude. We are not trying to penalize people and extinguish their fun. We have to acknowledge a few things that seemed to be lost to my generation: (1) we have obligations to others, (2) just because something is legal does not mean that it is necessarily condoned in polite society, and (3) we should strike a balance between individuality and conformity – and conform when it is polite to others.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pink Slime

I don't know about you, but I have a few people who like to be "helpful" each week, and send me stuff to enrich my life. I get emails from people sending me phishing notices, virus notices, and even sometimes copies of police reports. Yeah, someone sent me an email alert from the local sheriff’s office - like I am not already scared of the world.

Well, someone sent me something the other day that was dealing with pink slime. I had never heard of it, but apparently a cable show (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution) covered it – and perhaps it started the “helpful” emails. Below is a clip – please don’t watch this if you are eating lunch.

I don’t eat hot dogs because of fillers, I don’t eat hamburgers because I just don’t like them, but I will occasionally eat other things with ground beef. And the email – and the clip – really turned my stomach. Well, I am not sure if I want to change how I am eating, though I don’t think I want to eat ground beef anymore. It is not that all ground beef has pink slime in it, but 70% of it does. And how can you tell. I just wish the USDA would make places just tell us if the meat contains pink slime. I guess since the USDA seems to have a tight relationship with big food, sometimes USDA doesn’t act in the best interest of its citizenry. If you are a US Citizen, you can sign a petition here.

I don’t purchase ground beef to cook with at home. I normally use ground turkey, and when that is unavailable (which is rare), then ground chicken. And now I am wondering if there is pink slime associated with turkey. If anyone knows, an answer would be appreciated.

What really worries me that pink slime is just the tip of the iceberg. Am I eating better food than my grandparents? I somehow don’t think I am.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Reading Bad Books

When I was in college, I picked up a book from the bargin bin. I remember the book's title well: Perfect Order. The book, written by Kate Coscarelli, was hard cover, the dusk jacket long lost, but the book was in good shape, except for a fat black felt tip pen mark along the book's bottom edge - the remnant mark.

I really don't remember too much about the plot line, but I remember it was the first novel I read and thought, "I can write better than this." Stephen King calls this "popping your literary cherry." It just occurred to me that someone may place this book on their favorites list - sorry if that is the case. The words used were predicable, the phrases over-used, and the characters were flat. There was some sex in the book - not Judy Collins sexual frequency, but more than I am comfortable with. I have nothing against sex - just that it should help move the story along, and these labored passages hindered the flow of the story. And some of the phrases did not make much sense.

Writers need to read bad books. It teaches you what not to do - what seems ineffective, trite, etc. And it also helps motivate you. Someone got a book published, and they wrote a real stinker. To be fair, I googled the book I mentioned, and the reviews are generally mediocre (scoring three of five stars).

Speaking of bad books, I just purchased a volume of poetry called Touch Me by Suzanne Somers.

I have not started reading it, but I really enjoyed Kristen Wiig reciting it recently. It is so bad it is good. I don't know if this makes me a bad person, but at this point, I figure at least I have not done anything terribly wrong with a twitter account.

Celtic Knot and Xmichra took up my challenge of writing Commencement Addresses. I was pleasantly surprised that someone attempted it, two someones. Please read their words - both really came up with something very fresh.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meme: Commencement Address

Yesterday, I discussed giving myself a challenge of writing a Commencement Address. I don’t really have many people who read my blog, but this meme is more for myself than for others. It is just a writing exercise I suppose, inspired by all of the graduation news I have seen recently.

Here is the body of what I might say at graduation (below). If you do this exercise, let me know, and I will read yours as well.

When I was younger, I thought life was all about balance. In actuality, a balanced life is a life that does not challenge you. Sometimes you need to focus all of your energy into one area of your life. I mean, we don’t bat an eye when a new mother and father focus all of their energy on that bundle of joy; we recognize the importance of being unbalanced at times. I was unbalanced in college as well – studied continuously for a few weeks around finals. Spent another week going out every night (it is harder than it sounds).

Read to enhance your life, not to escape from it.

Have sex (religious folks can insert “in a marriage/monogamous relationship”) to express love, to wash away a crappy day, because your lover looks happy, sad or indifferent. Have sex to say “there is nothing this good on television.” Have sex more than you would admit to your friends because it helps us connect with the ones we most love.

Skinny dip in a public pool at least once. You will be able to draw upon that experience later in life and remember it fondly. And if you get caught, the stories might even be better.

Don’t trade sex for food. Unless the food is really good. Or you think the sex will be really good.

Eat your veggies and learn to cook. Learn to dress up things that are good for you with spice. And add spice to all aspects of your life. It makes the bland palatable, and it makes the wonderful extraordinary.

Say “yes” to a date when you want to say “no.” Either you will be pleasantly surprised, or you will have funny stories to tell others.

Forgive your family even if you don’t think they deserve forgiveness. The relationship with them is worth more than any lesson you can teach them. And swallowing pride is less painful than not sharing their lives when you get older.

Change the batteries in your smoke detector every six months.

Drink red wine.

Laugh at children’s jokes, even if you don’t get them. Or even if the joke is about farts or poo. Seeing them join in the laughter is worth every bit of the acting you may have to endure.

Technology, once Fix-a-Flat was developed, has not improved our lives at all.

Don’t be embarrassed to purchase condoms. If you are single, it means you are taking responsibility for your sexual health. If you are a woman, just think of it is making a statement about not relying on a man to protect you in all aspects of your life. But never make love with a man who you don’t think will protect you.

Buy memorable gifts for your nieces and nephews.

Alcohol won’t solve your problems, but it does make those around you seem more interesting.

You will find yourself trying on a dress you can’t afford that looks awesome on you. Buy the dress anyway.

I guess I could sum up these thoughts with the following. We are only on this earth for a short time - make the most of it. Don't let fear keep you from being the person you are called to be. And share your talents with the world; your gifts were never yours to keep anyway.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Giving Advice:A Challenge to Myself

I was shopping in a Target recently, and I heard one older mother criticize what I presume to be her son-in-law about an issue concerning a newborn child (grandchild to the mother). The son-in-law did not follow the advice, but she gave the advice in such a condescending, uncaring way that I was not all that surprised, even though the advice concerned the safety of the newborn.

A week or two ago, I saw a couple of YouTube graduation speeches - Tom Hanks and Amy Poehler. By the way, although I am still somewhat impressed with Ivy School graduates, I love the quote in Good Will Hunting: "See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you're gonna staht doin some thinkin on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certaintees in life. One, don't do that. And Two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library." I clipped the quote from IMDB - I don't speak or spell Bostonian.

Anyway, the Target incident and the recent commencement speeches gave me an idea for a challenge, well, two challenges.

The first one is a personal challenge - if I give advice, do it in such a way that I know that the advice is given out of love. That it is compassionate. That way, I know my true intent. If I am just being a "gotcha smart ass", it does not help the other person, and it pollutes my soul at the same time.

The second challenge is to me - and if you want to accept the challenge as well - for you, too. Write a commencement speech, and publish it on your blog. You can think about your audience (recommended) or not. But what would you say? What have you learned over your lifetime that you would want to tell a bunch of college graduates making their way into the world? And after you have read your words, are you still following them? I may try and bang something out by Friday. I actually hope that this comes easily . . . we should have these life lessons in an easy-to-retrieve place in our brains.

Oh, and if you do this, please point to these rules - or copy them in your post. Since this blog is all-but-dead, I figure all of my 5 readers would be better at starting the meme than me. I am not called to create memes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sweet Dreams

The other day, Zephyr made a comment concerning "I wish I had a sex dream."

While I can't help out Zephyr specifically, I wanted to tell you a little secret about unlocking sexy dreams. It works for me, and it may work for you. Now I have not done this in a while, but it works every time I have tried it.

I start by drawing a very hot bath before bedtime. I imagine it does not matter what kind of bath salts (which I prefer) or bubble bath you use. The trick is to stay in the bath a long time. I bring a book into the bath; any book will do. The trick is to get really sleepy because of the hot water and the reading.

Afterwards, I towel dry, but instead of getting into my comfy PJs, I slip into bed. I normally don't sleep au naturel. And I drift into a deep sleep.

During the night, I always seem to have erotic dreams. In the winter, I did this nighttime ritual three nights in a row, and it worked each time. If you normally sleep in the nude, my guess is that this will not work for you. Who knows, perhaps it just works for me. But it works like a charm, and it can be wonderful.

Who needs a boyfriend when you have a hot bath?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Strange YouTube profile

I sometimes watch YouTube - not for the cats, the drunk people falling off tables or the vloggers. I find old songs, and sometimes when the Daily Show makes fun of a video, I look for it.

Well, the other day, I noticed someone who signed my profile page. She sent a sweet note, but the note below was a bit upsetting. It said, "Great Channel lol". Okay, upsetting is not really the word. I was a little pissed. I don't really spend any time on my channel because I don't make videos. So I went to his/her site, just to see what a good channel looked like.

Well, his/her channel is a bunch of new age stuff. Most of the stuff on the site refers to J. Krishnamurti. Well, I had no idea who Krishnamurti was, so I looked for his site, or at least some article discussing the philosopher. After reading the stuff, I was still confused on what this guy believed. Here is a sample:

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not choice. It is man’s pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward.

That is not the surprising part. The surprising part is that the background image is a repeating image of a woman (I have included a copy to the right of these words).

Someone who is all about interspection has the background of a hottie, and talks smack on other's pages. Just strange.

Speaking of strange, I got this sweet message from Katie in response to some constructive criticism:

Hey! I don't want you to think I took that song down because I was upset about what you said. I am doing a challenge with some friends where we have to write a song every week. And I haven't written a song since October - ie I cannot just summon up inspiration so I am really struggling. I agree with just about everything you said. (And so you know, this week's song is even worse.) But I will keep working at it - I promise. (:

Xmichra likes accustic versions of songs, and Katie just uses a guitar to accompany her voice. She also writes her own music. You ought to check her out. She is really good.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Fine Print

I sometimes purchase tickets from Fandango, and when I was waiting in line recently, I read the fine print.

The first part of the fine print states, “Your purchase guarantees your admission.” Then it talks about getting their 30 minutes early for the best seats, etc. At the end of the fine print, it concludes with, “The theater management reserves the right to refuse admission on this ticket by refunding the purchase price.”

So my question is, how does your purchase guarantee admission when the theater management can refuse admission? That does not sound like a guarantee to me.

I don’t often read fine print. When I have to install updates to software, I don’t read the fine print. A bunch of legal stuff pops up, and I think it sort of says if the software screws up your computer, the software company cannot be held responsible. I click okay that I have read and agree with the fine print, but if I even really read the fine print, I would not install any software or updates.

I remember so long ago when I got my wisdom teeth out. I was in college, and I had to sign a piece of paper before they pulled my teeth out. The paper was filled with “fine print”, but with medical stuff, they don’t call it fine print. Anyway, it said something about the possibility of them breaking my jaw. Now, I didn’t want my teeth pulled because of that, even though they stated crowding my other teeth. I really don’t know what people did before dentists. Perhaps they just had overcrowded teeth.

I have read a lot of fine print, but the older I get, the more I wonder why I read it. I don’t want to know that there are chances a dentist can break a jaw. Imagine having surgery? What does that consent-to-treat paper look like? I am sure I don’t want to know.

I mean, coffee cups have fine print that the contents may be hot. Motorboats say that you should not operate them when you are drunk. Fine print is not for information dissemination; it is to protect the company’s legal arse.

I still can’t get over Fandango. When is a guarantee not a guarantee? Apparently when you purchase a ticket.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Comparing Price Tags

Xmichra does a Musical Revolution each Friday, where she shares music she has been listening to.

I want to do a comparison of the song Price Tag. Well, Jessie J originally released the video, but then some 12-year-old covered the song. Maddi Jane has a powerful voice for a little girl. The difference in thesong, as far as I can tell, is that she says "Dang" instead of "Damn."

I have started watching The Voice. The first two shows were the best - just dealt with the voice of the participant. Now they work on presentation, etc. For the two videos, obviously Jessie J has a more polished voice, and she sexes up the song. I just can't get over Maddi Jane's cover, though. I actually like the song better. It is less cynical, I suppose. More pure. But I just love the strong, not polished voice.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Learning while Driving – Not Procrastinating

I have a secret: I listen to The Modern Scholar audiobooks. You can check them out from many local libraries. Most of their subjects are on CD media (older selections may be cassette tape-based; I kid you not) now, so if you have a CD player in your car, you can learn while you drive. That’s what I have been doing, and it is a bit relaxing. These audio books are really just recorded lectures, more or less. And it is a way to learn something you may not normally learn in the course of your day.

One of the books (lectures?) I heard recently was called A History of Ancient Sparta. I thought the ancient Spartans were interesting. I mean, in school, they said that the men would go and fight the wars, and the women stayed home, raising kids and making all governing decisions. Sounds good to me. Well, this lecture series really smashes my 7th grade image of this culture.

I learned lots about the culture – I still have a lecture to go, which translates to three trips to the grocery, and a longer trip up the interstate, I suppose.

One of the things I was thinking about today dealt with how its citizens worked out. The Spartans were very opposed to being fat – its citizens worked out year-round, the men basically needing to be fit to fight. There is some evidence that some workouts were nude. Adolescent girls worked out nude, and they were encouraged to make fun of overweight adolescent boys. It seems to have motivated the boys to get fitter, the whole point of the public jibes.

In middle school, I enjoyed physical education in school, but I was quick to avoid any after-school sports. I did not want the jock designation – hey, I was a kid, and that seemed important at the time. Anyway, if I lived in ancient Sparta, it would have been fun to work out and poke fun at the boys.

More than anything, it reminds me even in ancient times (about 500 BCE), the Spartans had people who procrastinated. I really think this “putting things off” really limits our happiness. Or our productivity. Or both.

Someone I used to read (Carrie Ryan, a NY Times bestselling author, even uses a derivation of the word ‘procrastination’ in the title of her blog.

I am not sure I will start writing a blog again, but I am starting to write.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Beautiful . . . Toilet

I saw an ad for a Kohler toilet that was so far from my reality that I was fascinated by it.

It about $6,300, it does a lot more than transport waste to the local sewer system. Normally I don’t suggest looking at a video when we can describe things with words, but if you want to be in awe, look at the video before reading further. Really.

The first think one notices is the design of the toilet. We are talking about a piece of plumbing that, at first, looks like a piece of modern art. Some sort of elegant three dimensional trapezoid. Press a button on the remote control, and the toilet comes to life. What originally worries me is that there is a remote control. If you misplace the television remote, and you have to use buttons on the television that’s not as convenient. If you misplace the toilet remote, you have to look for the darned thing, legs crossed. [Actually, there are auxiliary controls for the “basic functionality” of the unit.]

There is an advanced bidet that has pulsation, oscillation and wave patterns. If you can adjust the angle, this would seem like a water-waster (think about it). There is an integrated air dryer (think of what you would dry after the bidet (really). The seat is heated, and you even have warm air that can be a foot warmer.

For nightly trips to the most expensive appliance you may have in your house, there are illuminated panels to guide your way. Of course, you can also play music that could help guide you as well. And, yes, there is a connection for your MP3 player. I could find no information if Brad Paisley’s Ode de Toilet is included in the sound system.

Speaking of toilet preferences, there are “user presets” so that each person can customize their unique toileting experience. Bidet on or off (and type of stream preferred); warming tushie/tootsie or not. Music preferences. Whatever.

Okay, I am not ready for this toilet. When I can’t figure out how to use a toilet, I am below the ignorant zone. And I can’t let a toilet do that to me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dream within a Dream

I had the weirdest dream last night, and well, since it was extremely weird and disturbing, I can’t really tell my girlfriends about the dream.

Okay, this was the dream, and it is a bit confusing because I dreamt that I woke up (it reminds me of stories within stories, like some old Indian fables):

I woke up, then made my way into my bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror – tousled hair, sans makeup, sleepy eyes. I looked lovely. I smiled, improving the image significantly, and made my way to the toilet.

I sat myself down, sleepily staring straight, and I began to pee. And it burned, like there was some sort of microbial battle occurring within my ureter. Or is it urethra? Darned high school biology. I think urethra is the one in this case – both are kidney tubes, so to speak. Anyway, first thought is STI, and in the dream, in my mind, I recall the last sexual encounter I had.

And the encounter, in my sleeping mind’s eye, was part of the dream as well. I remember the encounter well, me wanting him so bad and in such an anti-Leesa way that I did not want him to use a condom. Completely out-of-character, but that’s probably why I was dreaming the experience.

Then I woke up (in real life, not in the dream). The first thing I did was check the sheets, knowing that dreaming of peeing may have had some unintended consequences. My 600-count sheets were bone dry (pun intended), and I relaxed.

Then I went to the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror. I smiled and made my way to the toilet and was almost afraid to pee. No burning – but no sex either. Just a real surreal morning. After getting back to the bedroom, the morning sun dancing in the clouds looked more like a sunset than a sunrise, and momentarily, I thought perhaps I slept through the day.

I spent the next hour searching through the Internet, wondering about how I should interpret this dream. Some things are better left alone, I suppose.

It should not surprise me that so many authors make videos. Meg Cabot was the latest I found. I have three books in my mind right now, and I am working on them. Next step is getting them down on paper. One will take me so much time to write (non-fiction), one is half-of-a-story, and one may write itself if I have the right mixture of time, rest, wine, and inspiration.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fifth Business

The first real post I wrote in three years concerned, of all things, opera. Of all of the subjects, I have thought about opera twice in the last 20 years of my life. Then all of a sudden, I am reading a book by Robertson Davies. Well, to be quite honest, it is the reason non-intellectuals like me know his name. It was one of the most celebrated novels of the early 70s. Yeah, before Harry Potter there was s All the President's Men and Love Story.

Anyway, the novel centers about Dunstan Ramsey, a retiring history at an exclusive Canadian school after 45 years. The present headmaster published a tribute to the teacher, and this novel is the teacher’s conversation with the headmaster to set the record straight writing what amounts to a defense of his life.

It is actually late in the novel when the character, Lisle explains to Dunstan who he really is, namely fifth business.

"Who are you? Where do you fit into poetry and myth? Do you know who I think you are, Ramsay? I think you are Fifth Business. Here are Mr. Davies wonderful words:

"You don't know what that is? Well, in opera in a permanent company of the kind we keep up in Europe you must have a prima donna --always a soprano, always the heroine, often a fool; and a tenor who always plays the lover to her; and then you must have a contralto, who is a rival to the soprano, or a sorceress or something; and a basso, who is the villain or the rival or whatever threatens the tenor.

"So far, so good. But you cannot make a plot work without another man, and he is usually a baritone, and he is called in the profession Fifth Business, because he is the odd man out, the person who has no opposite of the other sex. And you must have Fifth Business because he is the one who knows the secret of the hero's birth, or comes to the assistance of the heroine when she thinks all is lost, or keeps the hermitess in her cell, or may even be the cause of somebody's death if that is part of the plot. The prima donna and the tenor, the contralto and the basso, get all the best music and do all the spectacular things, but you cannot manage the plot without Fifth Business! It is not spectacular, but it is a good line of work, I can tell you, and those who play it sometimes have a career that outlasts the golden voices. Are you Fifth Business? You had better find out."

I look at my life - nearly divorced, not really wanting to date - and I wonder if I am a fifth business. I am not sure I want to be the heroine, the sorceress, the lover. Maybe I am the one who keeps the story together for others. I am the fun aunt, half girl, half woman. The one adult who will kick off her shoes and play in sprinklers. The one who tells stories of their parents; how their parents were not always all knowing and perfect. Love the saucer-unbelieving eyes.

Fifth business can be lonely business, even if it is a good line of work.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Die Walküre

The Metropolitan Opera has these “live events” where they simulcast a production nearly monthly, and in mid-May, I attended my first live event. It was an . . . opera. I am not a big opera fan - I have only seen one opera live, and that was something of a field trip from elementary school. If I tell you the name of the opera, several of you (who am I kidding; this is an abandoned blog – no one will read it anyway) will discount the opera. Peter and the Wolf. Anyway, the opera this weekend was Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) by Richard Wagner. I was going to pretentiously write the name in German throughout the blog post, but let’s face it, cutting and pasting the umlaut is a pain-in-the-ass, and I like simple.

I knew the opera was in German (the title sort of gives it away), and most people have actually heard at least 8 minutes of the opera (Ride of the Valkyries). Elmer Fudd chasing Bugs Bunny introduced me to this piece of music, Fudd repeating the words “Kill the Wabbit” to this familiar tune. What I did not know could fill a book, but the two most important pieces of information were: (1) the production is actually the second of four epic operas which are part of the Ring Cycle, and (2) the Met’s production today was scheduled to last 5-1/2 hours (it took nearly 6 because of a technical problem with the stage).

I tripped upon this information as I was looking for a synopsis of the opera. I know a bit of German, but unless Brünnhilde is going to be singing about getting directions to the train station, or Siegfried about asking for the check after ordering in a restaurant, my German was going to be a bit limited. I mean, German is tough enough for me to get when it is spoken by people enunciating correctly. Have a rotund soprano belt out the words accompanied by a loud brass section, and I am a bit out of my league.

I really wanted to see this for a couple of reasons: (1) purely for the experience; (2) I doubt anyone I want to date would actually want to accompany me (most men are more interested with 300-pound linebackers, not opera singers with the same stature); (3) I could not imagine me having 5-1/2 hours of free time consecutively in the near future; and (4) lasting through the whole performance would be a challenge - sort of like waxing my legs, when I did not know the rules.

I won’t go through my entire experience, but I was shocked at the number of people who were at the theater. Ninety percent of the patrons were at least 20 years older than me, most people were either in a large group or were coupled up with someone, and nearly everyone in attendance probably knew more than I do about opera. I was surprised but a bit relieved to see subtitles during the live simulcast, as I could actually follow the story.

I am not entirely sure why I wrote this blog entry; I have not written in years, and this subject is not really something that I would normally have tackled. And I don’t think it is fair to say that I will be writing blog entries in the future. I saw that a friend started a new blog entry, and I felt encouraged to write myself. I am waiting for this feeling to pass.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Doing Fine

I have not posted in more than a year. I am doing fine - just posted a story on a naughty site. Not a true story, but the start of the date was similar to a date I had recently. All the sex stuff is fantasy. I know, too bad. I am dating, but not having sex at all. I want to find me before letting someone else in. And sex without the hope of a connection seems shallow at this point in my life.