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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blog Birthday

My head attaches itself to dates and that is funny to me because it does not attach itself to other numbers such as chimp math. Maybe it's best characterized as a talent for retaining numbers that mean little any more, because I can still recite my phone number from when I lived in Las Vegas in 1976 - (702) 873-2378. I am able to accurately tell the loan number of our first mortgage from 1977. Amber's Social Security and even Ex's? Yep. I can tell you the birthdays of people I knew decades ago, and their significant others', too. And I was able to tell Kass my address from 1958: 2503 South 6th East, Salt Lake City, Utah. So when the head began to rattle over last weekend, I paid attention. Yes, it does approach! Limes' pink bus first rolled off the lot just about a year ago. My blog is celebrating her first birthday. It's a good time to reflect.

I like birthdays and New Year's and remembrance days. Upon them I like to look both backward and forward. What was going on a year ago and two and three? What did I think and feel? What did I do? What did I want and did I achieve it? What lies ahead? Am I happy or at least satisfied for the most part? What can I do to enjoy a better experience? Is it time to let go of certain things? One wise advisor says to me frequently, "Can you just change the way you do one thing? Even if you don't land on the perfect solution, just try to do it differently." To what things might I apply that right now? A few feet across the room from me stands a much-loved decorative plaque. "Learn From Yesterday," it gently reminds me. OK, I'll try to do that.

It was New Year's Eve and we were visiting during a long walk that became memorable mostly because we were almost killed in a crosswalk by a gigantic SUV that likely wouldn't have been as jarred by our bodies as it would have by a speed bump. My companion leaped into the air and slapped the passenger side window while shouting an expletive, while pulling me out of harm's way by the arm. When the driver slowed a few yards ahead it was not to apologize, but to call the Badger a potty mouth. But I digress. He'd been telling me that he had begun to write for a blog and he was about to publish it. I'd heard the term before, but I had not yet explored the blogosphere and I asked him to tell me about it. After a few miles, I commented, "I think I get it. You're journaling, like you've journaled all your life. But publicly. Other people can say something about it, too. And there are some unknown bazillions of other people out there doing this, some of whom will attract one's attention because of what they post about. " He said that I'd caught it.

When he published and pointed that out to me, I had to learn how to even get to his blog and I read. I learned to navigate the site and - yes! - that sidebar was fascinating and led me to other blogs, mainly those of other cyclists. He was right! That woman called The Old Bag in Minnesota was funny and smart and engaging. Hmm. The cyclist called Wheel Dancer seemed to be connected with The Old Bag. I found Doozyanner in a logical progression from The Old Bag's blog - I feel like I know Doozy in person and understand a good deal about her, although I am not a cyclist. And so it went. I signed on as a follower wherever I felt a connection or interest and learned about making comments. It didn't take me long to ask him, "How do you do it? Is it anything like when I create a website in DreamWeaver?" "Much, much easier," he said. Hmm. I found my way to Blogger and noodled around a little. The templates came in all sorts of colors. I am moved by color. Color speaks to me. I am also moved to speak, to tell my story. I've always loved to write ~ letters, stories, journals, instruction manuals, post-hearing briefs, even very clunky poetry. Maybe this was my forum. Hmm.

I spent a long time thinking about what I would write. I'm a walker. But I didn't want to write a blog relating my adventures in walking. I manage a small business, but I had no intention of writing a blog about business matters. I'm a lifelong creative person currently in a longstanding period of constipation in that area, so I had no wonderful wares to show and tell about. I've been told one wants to write about what she knows and loves. Hmm. I am a human being and I know about many things human, both good and bad, joyful and tragic. I love to interact with other humans, absorbing and reflecting some of what they are about and hoping they will do the same with my essence. I can talk about many different things and express my thoughts and feelings about them. I know how to Google images to use for illustrative purposes. I love music of many types and I'm familiar with YouTube to share the music on my blog. "What if I'm fully me on my blog, not presenting just one of my interests? What if I just present as a whole person, with all that means, like one meets at a party or takes out to share dinner?" Hmm. Seinfeldian. A blog about nothing. Would it work? Would it interest anyone? Would I connect with any others?

To any endeavor I engage in, I bring my own particular brand of hinky. I'm odd about the certain things I'm odd about. I told the reader I'm human. I approached blogging with a great deal of consideration about many of its elements. I had a few stumbling blocks. Among the larger ones was my aversion to using my real name or photograph. Uh-uh, I was not going to reveal those. Please don't ask. I wasn't having it. And I would moderate comments. I had a reasonable expectation that someone I didn't care to welcome to my blog would appear. I didn't want public surprises, so I'd use the filter of moderation. My blog name and face were easy to land on. After I spent more than 20 years living in Lemon Grove, and using lemony references to myself and my family, I became a lime when I escaped. LimesNow was easy, and the limes/chilies/olives image fit me for all kinds of reasons. I was ready to roll!

I selected a template and polished my Blogger profile like touching up one's resume. I struggled for a few days trying to land on what my maiden voyage should look like. I didn't know how one made her debut on the blogosphere stage. I didn't know if there were rules and etiquette or what they entailed, if they existed. I made it much too complicated and taxing. Sometimes I do that. Finally, I asked, "May I use some of your photos to illustrate my blog posts, with credit, of course?" "Sure!" came the reply. So I wrote a little piece about 'tend friends and connecting with others across time and space. I put it up as my first post, not without some trepidation. I put out a couple of very shy invitations on other blogs. And what do you know? Bloggers talked to me. Hey! The Badger and Wheel Dancer and The Old Bag on my blog. I had to figure out how to drop their comments in, but I learned quickly. This was fun!
By my second post I was including "In my ears right now" and "Something that charmed me" because I felt it made interaction with me and my blog more personal. I believe these little glimpses give more details about the me of right now. I'm going to write a post or two about blogging and what it has done for me. How the writing has affected me, and how the comments have impacted me. I want to tell how connecting with others has felt. I want to share some of what I've learned from blogging and from yesterday. I want to say the little girl was pretty smart for carrying her 'tend friends around with her. It's damned fulfilling! After some months, I showed my face and gave my name. I've rejected comments extremely rarely, despite having some bloggers come aboard who rattled me by their very presence. I relaxed my demand of myself to write and post each and every day. Hi! I'm Leslie ~ Les to my friends. Happy birthday to my blog.

In my ears right now: Join me in the car with the little girl again, please. Except she's older now and I don't drive a mommy van any longer. As she had spent a lifetime listening to the music I love, I felt it was fair to play her music 50% of the time. It gave me an appreciation of 'N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and Pink not common to people of my age. The kid knew how to spend time in a car! It's not remarkable video - just a late 1990s boy band. But the song is nice.

Something that charmed me: Reviewing the year has charmed me and continues to do so. It's been one of the rockiest periods of time, ever. And I've learned many, many things about myself. Most of those things learned are qualities I like in other people, so maybe I'd just better like them in myself, too. I've not spent a lifetime highly admiring of myself. Maybe it's time to start that, just a little bit. As I muse about the blogging year, I'm going to create a virtual charm bracelet celebrating things I've learned.

Here's my first charm. It is a shield representing a mighty warrior. I've learned I'm fierce. I learned I only think I will collapse. In reality, I am hard and strong and resilient. I can write about difficult things and I can withstand things no one should be expected to tolerate. I can forgive as many times as that is deserved. And that charms me, too.

Some photo credits, with appreciation of a great group of bloggers: Kathryn Feigal, J. D. Morehouse, The Old Bag, Wheel Dancer, Doozyanner and LimesNow


  1. Happy blog birthday. After only a year, you certainly have it down pat.

  2. @ Kirk ~ I thank you, Sir, as does my pink bus. As I progress through the year, I'll tell how we "met" and what I've learned from you.

  3. You learned from ME?!

    Don't put that on your job application.

  4. @ Kirk ~ With absolutely no joking going on here, I have learned many things from you, Kirk. When you write about political or historical subjects, my jaw drops. When I see you comment on a serious posts, like a few times over at Elisabeth's, I am struck by how much you considered the post and how much thought you put into your comment. You're very level and balanced which is admirable to me because I tend to be more jagged. Your knowledge about movies and TV outdistances mine by far. And I learned one very human thing from you which is to simply say "I don't understand" when I don't understand something on a blog. Not slink off and wonder, but ask. And I like that you are very free with your "I didn't know that!" Yes, I've learned from you and appreciate you. I'm not filling out job applications, so I won't be tarnished by rubbing elbows with you, so to speak!

  5. @ the Badger ~ Thanks for showing me the ropes. Thanks for yanking me out of harm's way! Thanks for helping me in general.Thanks, in general. Thanks for calling that driver what she was, Mr.Potty Mouth!

  6. Can't say I've been on board the bus since it left the terminal but I'm happy to have jumpled on the first time you came by. I'll add my congratulations to Kirk's, Badger's and my fellow travelers on board to share the ride.
    Thanks Leslie for the warm and funny sharing of your tour through this sometimes crazy world.
    WV - skindrap - Not certain of what it is but I'm sure I'm taking a pill for it.

  7. Weehee - Happy Biffday - to many more! May your wheels be bouncy and your brain well oiled!

    It's fun riding along :)

    I like the shield very much.

  8. @ Tag ~ You are one of my best finds in the year of blogging and it pleases me that you ride with me. You once wrote about how odd it is to have friends you wouldn't recognize if you passed them in the street. I feel differently. I think if I encountered you in an airport, I'd hear tinkling temple bells or lights would flash. Something would tell me, "Hey, there's friend Tag!"

    I'll continue to share my sometimes crabby, sometimes laughing skindrap here. I'm compelled to do so.

  9. @ Rachel ~ I'm so glad you take the ride! You add much to my blogging pleasure. I miss you when you take your blogging sanity breaks. I'm glad you like my shield charm. I thought its design was hilarious since the Badger mostly recently became a bona fide mountain goat.

    I'm already on record as being grouchy about some of Blogger's inconsistencies. You left two comments, Rachel, and I published both of them. The other one said something I wanted to address here. I'm going to give it a few hours and if the comment doesn't appear, I'm going to cut and paste it from my e-mail account.

  10. Happy Blogging Birthday! I remember when you first started out! Something to consider...maybe you're not really creatively constipated, maybe you're just using a different medium these days. Because really...your blog is VERY creative! Just because you don't have a photo of a {whosit} to post doesn't mean you're not creating!

    WV: joryllo--Joryllo a fun gal!

  11. @ Doozyanner ~ Ha! Yes, you were one of my earliest blogger friends and I haven't ever felt that was 'tend. What you say here about my creativity is interesting to me and is something I actually have been considering. I was e-mailing with new blogger friend Kim and she said much the same as what you've just commented, basically that I'm creating with my writing. Her comment (now supported by yours) made me pensive. I've been spending some time on trying to figure out when I stopped, why I stopped, what was going on . . not just bemoaning, but trying to analyze the who, what, when, where, why, how. I've landed on at least some of the answers. Maybe that will lead me back to the sewing machine, the hand needle, the fabric, the doll housing, the paper art, the seashell angels. I know at least part of it stems from the end of the marriage (we used to do some of these things together) and from Amber growing up. She didn't need the world's best Halloween costumes any more and mom didn't know what to do with herself. Always learning something new about oneself!

  12. Happy Blogiversary Limes! By the way, I like the Limes story.

    I'm sure this echoes Kim and Doozy...creative people will always find expression through more than one means. In addition, if you're a personality always looking for the next challenge, that creative bent will show itself in a variety of ways...once one thing is mastered and perfected, there will be something else that piques.

    It may take awhile to get used to the idea that a variety of experiences is as valid as honing and perfecting one thing. Personally, I'm all for it!

  13. Hey, don't worry if my comments don't appear - I talk/type rubbish!

    Sometimes I rant at blogger for "eating" comments and then I realise they were left on an older post and i feel really stupid for having pasted said comments from my email in the comments box of the post they were NOT intended for! Mostly I blame tiredness for my daftness but really I think I am just quite scatty! Apologies to blogger where due :) And thank you, it is very lovely to think my bloggy visits are missed when I go AWOL. I can honestly say the same - it's genuinely the feeling of catching up with a friend when I call in here.

  14. @ OB ~ It pleases me to have you stop by and comment! You were there on my first post and I felt validated. Thank you for your thoughts here. I find most change very difficult. Even quite minor things. When some of my past creative activities were put aside, it was during the time of my biggest upheaval in my life. I think I've been a bit harsh on myself. Beating myself up because I'm not doing what I used to do. Maybe the old activities just aren't appropriate or as appealing any more. Thank you for helping to clear some of the fog. The clouds are parting for me. I am taking tentative steps toward some new intrigues.

  15. @ Rachel ~ [Blushing] I found your comment and posted it, Rachel. For not the first time, I finally realized it was a comment to an older post. I hate when I do that and I'm not going to admit publicly how frequently I do it. So if you read this and go back to the prior post, you'll see your comment and mine that followed. [Blushing}

    Anyone who comes here knows I get very pissy at Blogger, but sometimes it is I who screwed up!

    I'm glad you feel friendship here, Rachel. That is how I want everyone to feel when they visit my bus. But you are a particularly special one.

  16. Wow, a whole year! I'm late boarding the Birthday Bus because my computer is threatening to crash. For months now I've been intermittently unable to connect with internet. When I look in systems preferences under network, I get a 169 message, which is very bad. It means my network card is bad or I have a corrupted driver. Mysteriously, I connected today, after being disabled for 4 or more days, so I'm striking while the iron is hot (but not burned out).

    I've learned a lot about blogging from you. A lot, in general, from you. What an interesting ride you have provided for us. I look forward to many more bus rides.

  17. @ Kass ~ THERE you are! I've been distressed and sent a couple of e-mails. Now I know why you've been MIA and why I didn't hear back on e-mail. I'm relieved! I was concerned about your mother.

    And that is SOME sexy computer talk, Kass. I don't speak the language or understand the culture as well as you seem to. I'm impressed! And also sorry ~ I don't wish computer ills on anyone. They so frustrate me, I cave in to childish outbursts of frustration.

    A year, and one rich with experiences both wonderful and terrible. I appreciate your kind words, because I feel that I am living a rather small, narrow life right this moment. There are some signs that that is shifting in some ways, but I've felt small most recently. We all learn from one another, don't we? Everyone has something valuable to contribute. That is why I thrive on connecting with others. That renewing, refreshing, refilling charge we get from other people is what I enjoy most.

    You've got a VIP pass to this bus, my Sugarhouse Cookie.

  18. One year on.

    It's terrific to read about your early blogging experiences here. In some ways they match my own, only you are much more computer savvy than I'll ever be.

    Happy blog birthday.

  19. @ Elisabeth ~ I'm always so happy when you pop in, my friend. Birthdays are lovely to celebrate and I know you had one in May. That must mean I will turn 58 very soon. :~}

    Remember, Elisabeth, I only know about things computer because I had to learn for work on various jobs. I'm not particularly brilliant and being able to do some things on the computer is only convenient, not my passion. I'm not a techie. Let's both continue to do what we do well, enjoy one another and toast after another year.