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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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ah, a Faint Voice From the Distant Past ~ Oh, No! It's MY Voice.

Just to call a spade what it is, I'm struggling. There is more bubbling on my plate than I'm currently capable of sorting out easily and I was a bit premature in the last couple of posts saying, "I'm back, things are fine!" A more correct assessment would be "I've had a few brilliant spots of diversion and pleasure in the middle of some miserable and frightening and depressing times and I am grateful for them." I have friends who check on me nearly constantly on e-mail, the phone, texting and at AA meetings. I have a friend who makes me nearly insane asking me how I feel. "I don't anything except frightened - it's asymptomatic," I reply invariably. I've decided he doesn't comprehend the meaning of the word. I'll use a different one in future and simply be happy that he thinks to check in on me. I'm not doing anything "bad", "wrong" or "forbidden". I haven't once been tempted to take a drink. I'm just not doing very much of anything. And the verdict on that has been unanimous: "You don't have to do anything. Wait and listen for the answer. And then you'll know what to do next." OK. That's my short-term plan.

I got the darnedest e-mail yesterday:
Dear Limes,  I am embarrassed to say I don't know how to blog so the email is it.......      I was so excited to see your story. I grew up in Ogden Utah, and there, Hoppy Taws were a serious thing!!!!   I loved it and recall one day that I fell playing hopscotch and ripped my new white leotards in both knees, but did I give up, no way.....  My Grandma Jensen worked for the Hoppy Taw Co. in the early 50's so we always had them and loved them.  I am an artist and I think that my love of color swirls and individuality came from the hoppy taws.  Every one was different .          I have been trying to get the real history behind the hoppy taw co.  Do you have any info .   The company on line just gives you current revenue potential and stuff like that, who cares.
Any way  just thought I would write to a fellow hoppy taw lover and tell her "you are not alone".   Thanks for your story,                    Debi in Idaho 
I had to do some quick thinking. She called me Limes, so she has read something from long ago when I was known only as LimesNow in the blogosphere. Now, of course, and for quite some time, I am Leslie Morgan, the same name that appears on my birth certificate and driver's license. And I sport my face all over the place. But I didn't at first. And Debi refers to the hoppy taw, so she has to have read something I wrote about my childhood in Salt Lake City. I noodled around in my blog archives and found it - voila - December 2, 2009! How and why Debi has come across it now, I am uncertain, but that's OK. A writer appreciates having been read. A human being appreciates a connection. And no, I will not give up "hoppy taw" in this post. The reader must follow the link to the original post.

Referring back to my original hoppy taw post, I re-read my own words. I was reminded of yet another time in my life when I was unsure and frightened of things. I leaned on others to help me through. My father and my friend modeled good behaviors for me to follow. I learned to plan, to strategize, to size up others and to trust my judgement. I learned toughness and commitment and I learned to be a sponge, soaking up everything I could from any situation. I became fair and honest and tenacious. Maybe, in a tiny number of situations in life, even heroic, if that simply means reaching beyond one's assumed limitations and acting. I learned that more people are good than bad. More people will like you than hate you. I learned that on a really good day, one might make a connection with another human being never contemplated before. I learned that one might say something that resonates with another person, and that is magic to me.

After my AA meeting tonight, I sat outside on the picnic benches talking with a group of people I really enjoy. I'd done some research online for a man who shall be called a rascal here. He likely deserves a harsher assessment sometimes, but we'll stick with rascal. I shared the information I'd found for him and then spoke of the pleasure I get from writing my blog. I told him some things I'd written about. "But you don't use your name, right?" I told him that I do, and my photograph as well. His eyes got big and for the second time in a few days, someone called me "brave". Emotionally brave. I wonder. Did I learn that, too? And how will I apply that now?

Some hoppy taw art for Debi, though I am not an artist:

In my ears right now:


  1. One of my favorite songs. Bruce is a local boy from Williamsburg, VA but i didn't know any of that when I first heard this song. maybe a Saturday Masters one day. I wonder that I've left him out and given attention to much lesser artists.
    I well remember your hoppy taw stories of Sugarhouse. That was about the time Kassie joined us. You and she had that immediate connection. It's been good watching you grow and come out of hiding. In those early days of my blogging when I exclusively Tag I used the anonymity to say some things that shouldn't have been said. I've regretted them ever since, but I can't very well go backward . I got thrown off the Bladder cancer awareness network again. This time I will stay away, though I regret not having that outlet of people who understand just what that cancer has done to me.
    I mention that because even though I screwed myself out of their support, I realize just how important having those folks available was for my well being. Like AA in the respect that folks know you've what been through and what you may expect. So if you're at all willing to talk with others here is the address:
    Thanks again for the birthday call last week. That was definitely the high point of my birthday weekend. it was very nice to talk with you again, and to Rraine and Jenn as well. Oh yeah, In case you forget I'm always available (well mostly) to chat if you just want to do that. Oh and check out projectwcwio on twitter.

  2. Leslie catching up with my blog reading .....i'm making a connection with you .....i'm sorry i have been distracted and selfish recently....just thinking about myself and my darned back pain....sending you my love and positive thoughts ....xx

  3. @ Mike (Tag) ~ Check out Bruce's band (The Range) - man, what a lot of 80s perms going on! Still, I'd enjoy seeing you feature him on Saturday Masters.

    I am glad I finally "came out", too - showing my face and my name. So far, I cannot think that showing myself or anything I've so far written has given me any regret. I'm becoming OK with who I am and what I have to say.

    You hit it about support groups! We know why AA works. Throw us all in the same room to talk about the ONE thing we have in common, and there you are. It bothers me a little, without knowing the details, that your group may have been a bit political (?). I can't imagine what you might have said that should result in your being ejected.

    Your birthday was a good thing for ME, Mike. I needed to focus on something whimsical and fun. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    I miss our Kass. And I shall be in better shape soon. In fact, I'm better now than yesterday.

  4. @ Artymess ~ Lorna, you're not selfish! Remember, I've spent some time flattened by sciatica and it's not pretty. This, of course, is not the first time you and I have made a connection, and I appreciate you for it. Thank you, with love.

    Rwy'n dy garu di. Did I do that correctly?

  5. This I time I got thrown out because I had the temerity to rejoin under a different name.

  6. I love this: "I've had a few brilliant spots of diversion and pleasure in the middle of some miserable and frightening and depressing times and I am grateful for them."
    Oh, those wonderful, soul-saving spots of diversion and pleasure.

  7. I remember the Happy Taws post. Can't recall if I left a comment or not. My guess would be Deb in Idaho googled "Happy Taws" and your column came up, the same way it came up for Sam Cooke's nephew when you wrote about that subject. Interesting that Deb wrote that she didn't know how to blog. She probably assumed she needed a blog to post a comment. Deb, if you're reading this, you don't. Just click on "Post a Comment".

    I have another comment coming.

  8. Sorry to split this up, but the computer wasn't cooperating with me.

    A while back I

    Screw this. My connection slowed to a crawl. I'll tell you some other time. Sorry.

  9. @ Tag ~ Well, once again, I'm alarmed to think of a support group that would be 86ing sufferers for almost any reason. However, I must say this: put a group of people together and things will get political, no matter what. Rules and regulations are highly overrated.

  10. @ CramCake ~ Well, at the end of the day, perhaps a few brilliant spots of diversion and pleasure are all that remain standing, and I'd say that's not such a bad remains of the day. I AM grateful, too.

  11. @ Erin ~ Aw, you're just all Hoppy Taw Love because you are now the proud owner of such a device. I may think of a jingle and write it. Maybe perform it.

  12. @ Kirk ~ Good memory! This "finding" of me and Sam Cooke's nephew finding me [Erik Greene] have been some fun spots in blogging. I did send Debi an email to tell her the ins and outs and to thank her for ringing in.

  13. @ Kirk again ~ In your honor I have put that image back up on my lefthand sidebar. I got what you meant even though it looks like you got cut off! How's that for the Chick Who Deserves a Crystal Ball Award?

  14. @ Kirk even once more ~ Nope, you didn't comment last time, I discerned by clicking on the link. You want a hoppy taw, too? You and Erin coul dmeet up for a match and send me pictures.

  15. Forgot to say: LOVE the new profile pic. You delish little imp!

  16. @ Erin ~ Oh, god. {{{Blush}}} in the privacy of my own office. It's just an accident of photography from last Friday with the girlfriends. I cropped it down and thought "Yes, I can live with that. What the hell, I'll be 59 in a month. This is OK enough. It's a fresh new view." I have to confess, I was the one who said "take 2 of every shot, I don't photograph well". A photographer's daughter, I've grown up with a camera aimed at me, but am rarely OK with what comes out. Thank you for telling me! I got a grin AND a bright red face.

  17. A writer appreciates having been read. A human being appreciates a connection.

    Yeah, I admit that I enjoy having my stuff read as well as making connections with people across the planet. Its weird but one of the things I fear most is being alone in a room full of people and given my strange mindset in the midst of the usual orthodoxy here in South Carolina that happens a lot.

  18. @ Beach Bum ~ Hey, I appreciate you! You're talking to one of your own kind. Here's how I'd put it: I'm not everyone's cup of tea. Not universally liked, admired or appreciated. So sometimes I have to go a little far afield to make a connection. And - when I do - over the moon. Delighted! I have had a few pretty remarkable, fun things happen to me on blog through a chance connection from time to time. Maybe I'll write some of that up. I'm glad you stopped by, my fellow odd-man-out.

  19. Hullo missus. You mentioned on my blog something about honesty and rawness - I picked up a little bravery from you is all. Keep on keeping on x

  20. @ Rachel ~ I am so glad to hear from you! I am sorry about your computer woes. They befuddle me, as well. If you picked up any good thing from me, then my work here was good. No, really. I'm just keeping on. Love, Les

  21. Ha! Nice picture in the corner.

    I just wanted to pass along this little anecdote. Some time ago I noticed on my site meter that a number of people was accessing my blog from another blog whose name I didn't recognize. So I checked it out. Turns out I was on that blog's blogroll. The other fellow's blog belonged to one of Blogger's competitors, so he wasn't a "follower", and thus had no way of knowing about it. I was curious about how this other blogger found out about my blog. I suppose could have just ASKED him. Instead, I googled my own name and the name of his blog. Here's what happened. A while back I became curious about the comic actress Thelma Ritter (best remembered these days as the nurse in REAR WINDOW). I googled her name, and came across this fellow's blog. Ritter was his topic that particular day. I left a comment, and (I feel guilty saying this) promptly forgot about it. Meanwhile, the blogger had added me to his blogroll, and I wasn't even aware of it! So, yes, it's funny how you can be reminded of something you wrote online in the past.

  22. @ Kirk ~ Which picture? The "You're Screwed" one?

    I"m reminded of Erin O'Brien's comment when I put up the original hoppy taw post. After a few days, she wrote, "Google 'hoppy taw' and see how near the top you come up!" So, yep, when we put stuff out there.

    Similar anecdote: I Google around a bit for interesting illustrations for the blog. I use some pretty strange search terms sometimes, to see what will pop up. Sometimes images from a recent post of mine will appear. But this one trumps everything: I was searching on "strangers" and "bus" for fairly obvious reasons. Up popped a photo of my baby! I nearly fell out of the chair. I am so familiar with the little shirt with a Scottie dog on it and the bedspread in my room at my Dad's - Amber about 6 weeks old. It gave me quite a start. I'd posted with her photo about 6 days before that.

  23. Yes, the "You're screwed" one.

    You're daughter popped up when you googled your own blog? That's not really surprising. Pictures take on a life of their own. Remember the post I did about photography and modern art? No pictures appeared on my blog, but I had a lot of links. Well, according to my site meter, those links now link back to me. For instance, somebody googled an image of "Venus De Milo" and came to my blog! Yet, when I try googling "Venus De Milo", I get some other fellow's web site, so I have no idea how it works.

  24. @ Kirk ~ Yes, I liked that image, too! My life at the keyboard.

    No, actually I was searching the vast world of Google Images using the terms "stranger" and "bus". Up popped Amber's pic. Also a smattering of other images I'd used in that general timeframe.

    I actually do know how to optimize Google to get an end result and it's mindboggling. At A1, of course, we always wanted to come up in the top 3 when Las Vegas folk Googled for carpet cleaning. David learned how. To keep it short, let me just say it involves setting up thousands of search words, paying $X per click (differing with times of day and day of week) and constantly checking to make sure you're coming up that way. David used to look like a madman when he was manipulating Google. I know photos won't work exactly that way, but I mention it to show the relationship between search terms and what has been posted online. Maybe I could take on the project of cataloging the internet. That would divert me for a little while.

  25. A whole new look here, Leslie. I like! Been swallowed up and off the sphere for a while--just busy. so have to work back through archives to see if you've ventured into blogging some of your forays into the fearsome world of ....sigh...dating [as promised in one of your comments on my blog]. sooooo. JF

  26. @ JF ~ Hey, welcome. Now let me get this straight: some people actually look away from the blogs and conduct life? I didn't know! For my dating stories (so far) you want June 16, 18, 19 and 26. More to come, because I'm not dead yet and I don't learn well from past disasters. I wonder why I am one of those who repeatedly sticks a finger in the fire to see if it really burns? It does. I know that from the neck up. Thanks for your comment about the new format. A person wants to know what others think, eh?