December 27, 2012

On lunches (post feast related holidays)...

I  always feel rude turning down lunch invites.

What I actually said out of my mouth after looking directly at bagged lunch on my desk: I'd love to. (swarmy).

10 minutes later what I actually typed: Hey K, I forgot I had to run some errands on my lunch break today (lie). I will def be up for next Mexican outing though! (lie with emphasis!) Thanks for the invite! (truth..oh my what am I doing..) End with cold digital work signature.

The unedited version:
"Thanks so much for inviting me to the Mexican place for lunch..while I find your company delightful..I find the food grease-laden and covered in toxins (true delicious toxins)....also I have eaten enough to feed a small Nigerian populus over the course of the holidays and need to starve today to feel better about myself the rest of the week (very true) ...thanx for the invite,  smooches - Leslie"

The answer to these answers:


December 12, 2012

Flu Flu Katchoo..

I think I have the flu...I'm going to admit defeat and go to the doctor today. This is quite a departure from typical Leslie behavior in which I attempt all friendly advisments and google diagnosis and try to handle the situation myself.

I thought I'd jot down a few of the recommendations I've gotten from friends, colleagues, and random Christmas party attendants all of whom want me to feel better.

1. Green Tea: I've consumed more of this substance than I care to share. I waited patiently for my skin to clear, my hair to fluff out and my life to generally get more awesome. Alas, its' only tea - my throat still hurts, my hair still resembles a disco lion, and stall number 4 at work is tired of lovely face.  I'm more of a Sleepytime, Earl Grey, and Long Island tea girl myself.

2. Brandy (and Coke): It tasted pretty good, but other than laughing awkwardly over a tragedy and burping myself to sleep - I fail to see the medicinal value.

3. Emergen-C: Boo. Nothing.

4. Zicam: BOO! Nothing!

5.  Dayquil: This seems to hold the coughs at bay but does nothing for the earache or the roller coaster of personal temperatures during the day.

6. Sleep: I have more of this going on then I care to admit. Going to bed at 6:30 is just not my style.

7. Water: Yuck. I'm sorry, but yuck. (I'm drinking this too..along with my non-working Emergen-C and green tea. )

8: Crackers: Please someone order me a pizza.

In conclusion, I am TRYING to not cough...and I'm trying lots of things...but sometimes you are just sick...and need to go get the Z-Pack and I've never had a Medical Doctor prescribe Green Tea.

December 7, 2012

Tumbling, tumbling.....

In addition to listening to the Black Keys and Lana Del Rey (i.e. things I should have been doing 2 years ago) I've also started a tumblr account.  Right now it's still a structureless modge podge of things I'm doing, funny memes, and all sorts of pictures drawn and not.

I'll never abandon Lavaponyland or OEF - so no worries 5.2 loyal readers and authors. 

December 5, 2012


I'm totally out of shape.

So I'm going to blame these things:
the quality of fall television, the affordability of Little Debbie products, the pain one week of attempting an insanity video caused, seasonal flu, creepy stalky neighbors (not my bff), my ipad (precious),  traumatic comic books, car trouble, pretentiousness, not pretentiousness, uncertainty beyond house cave.

Next week I'm stepping away from the cookies and turning off the tv. Wish me luck.

November 29, 2012

Thursday Randoms..

On television:
I've given up on HIMYM. I don't care who the mother is anymore. Fans deserve to meet this woman and fall in love with her too - and I don't mean yellow umbrellas or side shots of calves. Good Luck Ted Mosby - I've moved on to Sons of Anarchy and Ben and Kate. Peace out crappy show!
On resurgence:
Eating dry cereal while drinking light beer in my pajamas (by 5:30 pm) is a failure. 4 Jars of pickles is unacceptable. Why do I keep buying Ragu and Salsa? I do not know.
On friends moving:
Whomever you are..I'm NOT happy you are leaving. Ever.
On use of the word "intimate":
If using this in conjunction with a party over 5 people..(and especially over 50 people!) - I'm going to just come out and say it's not "intimate" anymore.
On compliments (or Little Debbie Cherry Cordials):
On decisions that impact your future:
There are occasions that call for you to look upon your target audience before you speak/act/post and contemplate how it will impact your future..I'm sure Joan of Arc contemplated this before becoming a human marshmallow.
And finally...
Christmas is making great strides to take down Halloween in the Leslie's favorite holiday unofficial contest. Step aside turkey, tinsel coming through.

November 26, 2012

Another cat blog entry...

As I sit here, trying to peck out this meager attempt at a blog - Bey, my cat, is weaving her away around the monitor and trying to completely block my view of the screen. She seems to be watching the type move across the document - and although she’s not sure what I’m up to - she’s purring, so I have to take this as my go ahead to lay down a bit of thoughts for a friend. 

Baby, was given to my mom in a coffee cup my senior year of high school. She was my mother’s cat - I left for school shortly after Mom got her and didn’t look back.  So it was Baby who Mom could hug without embarrassing.  It was Baby who watched Larry grow up and leave for the military. Baby who protected me from all the dark forces lurking in attics, and basements, and long dark driveways. Baby who stayed with Mom through life change and loss after loss..and never asked for anything more than turkey and a back rub.  

I hope you’re with Cobb Webb, Chow-Chow, Valentine, and Tommy and maybe if there’s an ODU scene up there you’ll roll around with Baby Gardler and Shorty and the countless other fur children that preceded you.

so many hugs sweet girl...
Baby Cat Paxton

August 27, 2012

Some of my favorite historical figures (and what I think they might have driven if modern vehicles were availble back then.)

Lincoln -- I think President Lincoln would drive a Honda Pilot. He would need a lot of leg room, and also room for his brood of boys. But I bet he would buy a cute little Volkswagen Beetle for Mary Lincoln to zip around in D.C. on the weekends.

Henry VIII -- In his prime I think King Henry would have driven something sporty and fast, like a Porsche Carrera GT (convertible, naturally). But somewhere between the death of Jane Seymour and that whole Anne of Cleves debacle, I think he would have added a Hummer to his fleet. Much easier to get in and out of with that damned leg ulcer.

Mary I -- Oh Bloody Mary. So pious, so proper, so...bland. Except when it came to executions. Nothing bland about burning people at the stake. Anyhoo, I think Queen Mary would probably have driven a Toyota Prius.

Elizabeth I -- King Henry's younger daughter might have driven something a little more flashy. Maybe a Lotus of some kind? An Elise S would probably suit her. After all, she never had kids so there would have been plenty of room for Her Majesty and Robert Dudley. C'mon, Gloriana, we all know you two had a thing going on.

John Smith -- 1965 Ford Mustang. Probably a fastback. Or, a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. Classic "bad boy" cars.

Napoleon -- Mazda Miata. Hands down. Either that or a vehicle on the other end of the spectrum (size wise): A Ford Excursion.

August 16, 2012

The man behind the tax returns

I finally realized that this blog is a much more appropriate space for my musings than Facebook. Of course I still see the draw of the status update, but sometimes I wonder if they should have a character limit like Twitter. Anyway.

There are some things I've been wanting to say about Romney, and I hope you don't mind if I do it here.

Romney is bad for our country. Could be really bad. Hopefully, we'll never find out.

I'm very lucky to work where I do, and to have access to the knowledge my wicked smaht coworkers share with our readers everyday. I've learned so much about taxes and still learn new stuff everyday. With knowledge comes power. And yes, taxes are a complicated issue, but the more you read about them the more you start to understand (some) of it. I'm not going to plagiarize the talented authors of the articles and reports I'm reading at work, and I'm not going to give away the intellectual property of my company, but I'd be ecstatic... to talk about this offline with anybody interested. I'll also direct you to a website where you can see presidential tax returns (including from some presidential candidates) and other pieces of fascinating tax history. The website, established by my employer in 1995, is
What I'm learning about Romney makes me want to climb a tall building and shout stuff from the roof.

Romney was a partner and the managing director of company called Bain Capital, which is a leveraged buyout fund (LBO). Smarter people than me have written about LBOs and their business practices, concluding that they are motivated by tax savings and can make a lot of money that way.  Bain is a particularly secretive LBO and doesn't make much information publicly available. Just the financial statements that are legally required. Sound familiar?

There is speculation that Romney doesn't want us to know that he has millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts. He says that he doesn't pay more in taxes than he is legally required to. (Did he learn that from Bain, or vice versa?) His assertions that he's doing nothing illegal are puzzling because nobody has accused him of breaking the law when it comes to his taxes. We merely want to know more about his financial situations and what tools he has used to lower his tax rate. It's fair game. We have the right to know more about the man who wants us to vote him into the highest office you can seek in the United States.

There is nothing illegal about taking advantage of the myriad tax deductions, credits, and "loopholes" available in the tax code. But there are undoubtedly more opportunities for ultra-rich people to lower their tax burden in ways that may be legal but are slightly sketchy.

Romney is one of those ultra-rich people. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said Romney hasn't paid taxes in the last 10 years. If I were a betting woman, I'd bet that's not quite true, but I'd also wager he hasn't paid much (relative to what he has made). His wife Ann made a statement yesterday that no more returns will be released. She says they're not releasing returns because "the more we release, the more we are attacked." Sounds like the Romneys need to develop thicker skins if they believe they belong in the White House. U.S. presidents are subject to some of the harshest criticisms. Gotta be able to take the "attacks."
Romney was apparently in the running to be McCain's running mate. As part of the vetting process he gave McCain's people 30 years of tax returns. So why won't he release them? I think this is a bad thing for him to take a stance on. There is something in their tax returns they don't want us to know about. In 2010, Romney paid taxes at a 13.9 percent tax rate. For comparison's sake, Obama paid taxes at a rate of 23 or 24 percent in 2010.

In an effort to distract the public from Romney's refusal to release more of his tax returns, his supporters have been requesting Obama's school transcripts. (Why? Because the birth certificate issue worked out so well for Obama haters?) It's hard to believe that some think school transcripts are on par with tax returns.

They aren't. Release the returns Mitt. Or don't. But I think a candidate who is already keeping secrets from the public has no business in the White House.

July 30, 2012

Want this now.

July 30th's needful thing (want).

Okay so maybe you could argue that I do need it to develop apps..which is what my job will evolve into.

But right now..I selfishly want to cruise the internet from my sofa, draw things with a stylus, play Angry Birds on big screen and download the most recent Buffies and Walking Dead comics from the (safety) comfort of my living room.

Hash tag selfish. Hash tag savings death.

July 15, 2012

July Gratitude Journal

I'm going to attempt to chronicle some of the things that I'm happy about versus bitching all the time for awhile here. Heavens knows we all have enough crap to deal with on the regular.

July 13th 
Today I jumped my first car battery. So I'm happy for iphone and it's easy step by step how to. Here's hoping I never have to change a tire(!).

I'm happy for friends who have decided to "live their truths" and wish them luck on the boldness to do so. 

I'm thrilled that G is down in New Orleans making travel plans and trips and hopefully eating all things Cajun with her sister and having a blast.

I'm also happy that a big surprise doesn't in fact need to be an atomic bomb of one all the time - i.e. pregnancy, divorce, pending nuptials. It can indeed be an epic "arm covering tattoo" who keeps it concealed for well over a week (nice one Magic Miller!). ........And it most definitely can be a long lost little (not so little) brother standing at your doorstep after 4+ years and his new wife ..who makes herself at home when she couldn't be farther from hers..and makes it extremely easy to like her. :)

The complete set!

July 6, 2012

June Randoms

May 27th
Mom is here. Yay! New flowers, clean house, and avalanche of Judy-type software updates to install.

June 8th
My mom bought me quite possibly my favorite present... Wait correction, 3rd favorite. Seafish being #1 (my first car!) and Cob Web (the grumpy cat) being #2.  Opsail parade witnessed.

June 9th
Hair did. Confidence overflowith. Harborfest/Opsail (?)  fireworks from great non-chaotic parking spot. Mental note taken and location logged in.

June 10th
Mom is gone. So sad. So alone. - Ooo, True Blood is back on!

June 16th
Checked out Boardwalk Art show with Miss Page and realized I was undercharging for basically everything I've ever done.

June 18th
Softball Blitzkrieg: The Unicorns fall in a most unceremonious and painful manner..oh wait that was my arm.

June 24th
Kayaking trip with the Page sisters - Pros: Seen dolphins, pelicans, and seagulls catching fish! First experience propelling and steering watercraft.
Cons: 3rd experience with sea/heat sickness, nauseating swaying, total failure at boat safety, the scariest bruise I've ever incurred, and total failure at dragging kayak 2 miles down the shoreline.

June 25th
First ever rained out softball game - not entirely sad about this, mostly due to the infamous and not famous yet -  "Kayak Beatdown" and arm decomposing while attached to body.  Get overcharged for food at the exchange - not a total loss here...much needed "uniform" and Navy community research.

June 26th
Left work early to attend to home wear and tear. Played Zelda with LJ until the nunchuk finally made it's final ascent into tech heaven. Note: LJ "blows" on the Wii Mote the same way I used to blow the dust out of the old catridges.

June 29th
Midnight Tornado strikes Covington...Mom sends cryptic text at 1am rather than calling me. I start to worry this is the end of the phone conversation in a real meaningful way.

June 30th
Crazy storms and heat waves make it to Norfolk.  Finally catch up "verbally" with my mom. She's okay but lacking basically all items that separate us from the cave dwellers. Beyonce (the cat) wedges herself between the stove and the cabinet and gets some sorta cooking oil all over her fur.  I incur the fury of "bathpocalypse".  The yellow guppy dies.  I'm suspecting an inner tank murder scenario. My money is on Red Guppy aka Mayhem.

June 6, 2012


If you have a savings account with more than $500..this blog entry probably isn't for you. It's really not for you if you own a house already (like paid off). If you leave the country more than once every five years it's not for you either. I say these things not to be hurtful, but it's because you already know more about money than I do. So take this time to go watch some HBO, the Game of Thrones Season finale was amazeballs. Now to the four of you left...

I was taught as early as grade school that witholding education was a way that people were able to gain power over other people. So even then, I thought if I got smarter on topics to which I was ignorant to - then people would no longer have POWER over me. So I read, I went to class, and learned all manners of things except FINANCE. So now, I'm taking power back over my money..and thought I'd share my findings with like minded people.

As G can attest to, I seemingly break down emotionally via telephone once or twice a month over where my money is going and how I can be working all the time in perpetual motion and not have a house or a yacht to point to as mine. In particular my grievance is that I seemingly cannot hold or maintain any sort of savings account. The thing is; say I have $500 in the SAVINGS ACCOUNT. What usually will happen is:  a rock will fly through my windshield (true story); I will get a hospital bill from hell (true story); or I will have to pay some cray cray deposit even though I've lived here more years than I care to think (true story).

The things I took away from class today (in Leslie-speak):
Your money should start with the 70-20-10 principle.
  • 70% of money toward living expenses.
  • 20% of money toward indeptness.
  • 10% of money towards saving/personal/miscellaneous.
This is your life on a spending plan. *Don't call it a budget because that is almost as bad as a Diet.
A savings account is only a benefit if you have paid or are paying your life expeditures in a timely manner. If you put your mortgage payment on your credit card..that is not a good idea.
Paying $100 towards your credit* card payment if you're going to spend $100 is also not a good idea. Pay more than the minimum..but unless you are closing the card account - put that money towards the 70% (living) and not the 20% (indeptness) .  More on credit cards after my Understanding Credit class.
Budget for everything.
Your haircut, your gas, your groceries, your fun, your 7-11 trips - that is under LIVING EXPENSES not the 10%.
Savings vs. Investments
If you're going to save money you want it to work for you.
Say you put $100 under your pillow in 2011. In 2012 it's still $100. No movement, the money is not working for you (and inflation has most likely occurred to outside expenses).
How much interest accrues on a regular savings account over a year? (Not much)
Sooo -
Ask your bank what types of money market / investment options they offer for long term savings (could mean 2, 5, 10 years..this is different than retirement). Base your contributions on the money you have left over from your spending plan. Sure there maybe an early withdrawal fee, but if you've made a profit - the money lost will come from the money you quite possibly doubled (by putting the money to work).
Example - setting a goal of 10k by Jan 2014.
Putting in: $555 a month in savings will get you 10k in 18 months.
But what if you put $250 into a money market account for 18 months (same amount of time). There is the potential to earn 20k, lose 6 to taxes/penalties and make 14k?
and that's how money works for you.
This blog was supposed to be about Mother's day (but I think she's proud of my efforts to stay financial sound.) Also Judy doesn't even read my blog.
Next up: How not to damage a tiny ecosystem. Why Leslie shouldn't probably shouldn't own an aquarium.

May 10, 2012

The Best Week(ish) Ever!! April 30 - May 10

You b***chs are wearing me out! (but I think I like it). 
This is place is yummy and you can get alot of food and drinks for $20. Why oh why (?!) have I overlooked the restaurants right outside of my own house! WW startup postponed again.

My boss hosts a yearly pottery sale in her back yard and lets some of her peeps join in the fun. To be honest, I didn't know what to "sell" so I wasn't as prepared. I didn't actively market this to my entire friend group for the same reason.  Many of my pieces are just commissioned for your own purposes so it's weird trying to sell something I've drawn for myself.  For the next sale - I'll be alot more structured and much more inviting.  Readiness. I can haz this!
Many of these pieces are still for sale!
I had company! I mean real drink making, movie watching, college margarita mixing guests. Which brings me to Tequila which you should not drink the night before....

.....see the was like that except for the actual running which was like a herd of wet humans tromping through a mud bog. Some mental notes: Getting messy like kindergarden = fun.  Trying to get any kinda of speed through the horde/tiny mud path = not so much. Running post tequila..not good.
Damn Hippies.

We won our SECOND softball game. Technically it was a tie, but we did NOT lose.  It's just that both teams WON. And that's some real knowledge I'm dropping. My concise recap: their girls walked, our girls hit (real women hit...and look pretty doing it).  Our guys hit (50% into the hands of some guy with magnetic gloves or taking steroids). 

Up next: Profiles in Dopeness - Mother's Day Edition..


May 2, 2012

Leslie-o-Rama Spring 2012 Edition

Dear Diary blog blob..whatever...

It's been the busiest of times and I need a Red Bull. NO seriously..a Red Bull light anymore? 5 Hour Energy please?  Coffeee??

On those pesky lbs. ...
To begin; the moment I declared that I was going to restart my Weight Watchers plan, seemingly everyone around me wanted lunch, dinner, and all manners of snacklicious yum yums, pot-lucks and free foods. I pressed pause on the dietary issues in favor of social graces..but June is less than a month away now and I don't want to be wearing a sensible cardigan (or sensible anything) on the beach. So cheers to a new start - wish me luck. Goodness knows it will be tough to have two tacos instead of my normal five.

On Freelance and Volunteer endeavors...
A personal victory: I inched ever so close to my dream job of bartending this past Saturday. I wanted to test the theory of "situational hotness" from HIMYM. There wasn't any White Snake or Warrant playing and I mostly served weird brown beers to myself and sang tunes from Disney's The Little Mermaid but I had fun. I carded two women bordering on a century old and gave us all a good laugh, as it turns out a red orange wrist band won't get you into Scope but it will get you some Killians.  I hope someone cards me at 91 (or chip since I'm sure we'll be implanted with them soon). 

An educational nugget to file away for future use: bartending and freelancing will get you a fancy staff badge, it will not get you into any functioning restroom.  (Thank you again MacA for saving me from yet another set of restroom shenanigans).

Even you Uniformed Officer/Performer will be carded....

On softball..
Up until this past Monday my softball team - The Unicorns of the Apocalypse -  had not experienced the glory of victory. I have however; experienced: many many many domestic-violence-looking- bruises, ruined tennis shoes, hair bigger and frizzier than a lion's mane, and massive amounts of mosquito bites. If we never win again - I will remember April 30th as the day the little team that coudn't actually DID.  And also that my iphone failed miserably at GPS by getting me lost in a scary scary section of Pungo.
Blurry Pictures of the UoA's Victory Night

On unicorns and spirit animals..
What's with all the unicorns?
Simply put - my friend Marcia nicknamed me the Beer Unicorn in early 2011.
Because of my magically uncanny ability to conjure free "spirits" AND new friends at public festival related events. This theme trended into the following day with the horn symbol..(a pointy finger in front of the forehead signifying the occurrence of a social event).
What about the softball team?
Merely a coincidence...they were Unicorns before I joined (in the fall of 2011)..and just got more magical upon my joining.
Are you really a unicorn?
That completely depends on your imagination and if you believe in the power of awesome.

April 25, 2012

Reluctrant Truce

After finishing my 5th powerpoint for my new new job (which is another entry for another time) I decided to fully accept Powerpoint into my life and resume. We've had our ups and down, in the years post college I've thumbed my nose at this program, figuratively mooned it, and fairly sure I've made fart noises in it's general direction. I push it away year after year and there it is..back at my a lyric from a scary love song.

So powerpoint, for better or for worse..I accept you as a valid design program. I will no longer complain, but design each presentation as if it were a keynote for Steve Jobs, with the artistry and execution of a webpage and the symphony and creativity of an oversized poster.
- yours

March 29, 2012

Thursday Random

The recent passing of Whitney Houston and the theatrical re-release of Titanic have subsequently combined "I Will Always Love You" and "My Heart Will Go On" in a continuous mash-up loop in my brain. No good can come of epic power ballads combining.

March 12, 2012

Revelations - March 12, 2012

1. Newport News has a scary section that is not in any way tied to the Oyster Point area.
2. Pear Riesling is real..and it comes as a SALAD.
3. Kids do not eat free on Moe's Monday, but you can however enjoy a bloat inducing burrito for $5.
4. I have procrastinated some jobs to the point of almost reckless disregard. (Just how far can you drive on E I wonder?)
5. My eyebrows are indeed blonde and defiant of the rest of my natural hair coloring.

March 7, 2012

Leslies are of both light and dark...

So my friend Jennifer wrote a blog about a "no complaint day" ..below are my thoughts in chat stream about how this day worked out for me:

so it's funny
i tried the day of no complaining
but i found by mid no-complaint day
there was an excess of every other thought
which manifested in me eating tuna helper and falling asleep at 9:47
i think *Leslies must be of both light and dark
or thus may explode from the perpetual sunshine