October 31, 2013


My favorite blogger stopped writing some time in May. Just threw down the THANK YOU - and the peace sign and headed out into the world, to live as before - the talented anonymous. I'm not hatin'..and it seems fair that she would disappear into the same microcosm I found her on...which subsequently was the result of me looking for "wines that taste like fruit juice" on a Google search.

It kind of reminded of Liz Lemon going to find her future best friend in the ladies room of Barnes & Noble. I'm all over the place today - but this is going somewhere better than the salad entries I promise!

I had two conversations with people whose opinion of me mattered, or that I thought mattered - and when I went to read my favorite blog entry (aka: Leslie's silent life counseling) I found it gone. 

My wino is gone, I have to read something else and I will HAVE to make a change.
So today, while aimlessly meandering around Facebook, and trying to find my way over, under, and through these too personal conversations. I found this one.
Change is like spring cleaning. There are a lot of things that you need to throw away so that your closet is clear enough to add space for new things.

What is one thing that you have to get rid of in your life closet in order to allow for space?

Whether it's people, places, things or weight, the goal is a HAPPY you for the future

from Shaun T
(the crazy exercise man that yells at you while doing complex jumping jacks).

So I'll take this part from my departed favorite blogger -
"You are you. Glorious mother-fuck​ing you."

and remember there are things besides weight that I need to lose.
Change is good.

October 7, 2013

Day 2

I had my 2nd of 7 cold emotionless lunches (lettuce).

  1. healthy
  2. not wasteful
  3. cheap
  1. cold (like today's weather)
  2. soggy (also like today's weather)
  3. rewarded self with not healthy mcdonald fries (and beer later)
  4. was scolded for non-related over consumption of diet mt. dew....again
Notes to self:
The Wendy's by your job is closed for remodeling, don't even try it.
Beachbody workouts are different than running. 
I have no idea how to cook ahi tuna effectively.

Thoughts moving forward:
Maybe dumping pizza is not the answer. Is it as easy as just not eating an entire pizza? 

October 6, 2013

Lettuce forget the past!

On October 4th, after throwing away an innocent yet forgotten unopened bag of lettuce, Leslie Paxton vowed never to let produce go to waste again.  On October 5th, her best friend entrusted her with the world's largest bowl of fresh salad.  

Over the course of this week, I'm going to eat all this lettuce and keep my promise to the universe.  For health, for savings, for dignity.

This is the 2nd week of October 2013 - Humble readers - THIS is 7 days of salad. 

June 17, 2013

Let's tune out while turning up the radio...

I quietly deleted Facebook from my phone a few months ago, I'll be deleting it from my Ipad by weeks end. I cannot deactivate my account at this point because it's now literally a part of my job and randomly (at times) it can be enjoyable - but only in that way a college party is fun only once, but the magic is just not there if you go two nights in a row. (G, do you remember our theorem on isolated party magic?)

I can't advocate a Facebook diet for everybody but I can tell you I'm feeling a little better everyday.
I watched the fireworks at Harborfest with my eyeballs. I took pictures of my godsons (and my cat!) with my real camera. But my favorite thing was that - I was able to have a conversation with a friend, without already knowing everything. And all they knew about me was how many miles I'd ran due to Runkeeper (I've been running since 1998 btw).

I did not see the parties I wasn't invited too, the unsavory political opinions, or the countless parade of "selfies" from people that should have better things to do than take pictures of themselves.

If you need me, I'm in the same place. If you're worried, concerned, or miss me the number is still the same. If you want to chat all digital like - the green dot is on 50% of the day. If you want Chilli's, or No Frill - I'm your girl and if you want to run then say no more - my shoes are in the car.


April 19, 2013

Playing is for the turds. I mean birds.

I have a confession.

I hate playing. I hate playing princesses. I hate playing dinosaurs. I hate playing trains. I hate playing tea party, and animals, and I hate playing grocery store with the cash register, although I hate that game a little less than others. I hate playing in the bathtub. I hate playing while we get ready for bed.

I dread hearing "Mommy, do you want to play with me?" in that sweet little voice. I feel so utterly guilty that I hate playing. I think I hide it well most of the time, when I force myself to say "Yes, of course I want to play with you!" I don't, I really don't! But I know I have to, and I know one day I'll be sad that Kai doesn't even want to look at me, let alone spend any time playing with me.

I know of one person that absolutely refuses to play with their kid. Just flat out won't play, tells him "Go play on your own." That feels too cruel. Kai does need to learn to play on her own, but not that way. I feel like that would crush a kid's spirit. I don't know this person firsthand; I wish I did so I could know if they are telling the truth, and if so, how do they live with the guilt when they see the disappointment on their kid's face??

My mom said I never liked to play by myself when I was a kid. Great. But at least I had a sibling. Kai only has her parents. And right now, she only wants me to play with her.

I come from a long line of sticks in the mud, which is why I think I hate playing. I didn't hate playing as a kid, but abhor it as an adult. But like much of my life now, my time is no longer my own.

So play I will. But you can't make me like it.

March 21, 2013

Freelance Evolution

Pride and Reluctance:
I’ve stopped and started writing this particular entry more times than I could count, but there in the unlikely place (at the bag of a bottom of Doritos, depression-flavor) was the beginning. I didn't want to hurt any feelings, or run anyone off - so OEF is the best home for this entry as I'm just talking to my "friends" and myself.  I may not know the “sexy” thing to say, but I know the “honest” thing. That’s as good of a starting point for a blog entry than anything else I can think of.

Imaginary Alter-Egos
The Lava-Pony of Lavaponyland - was born out of a joke I made to one Carol Ann Gardler eons ago in a time space where we were far less jaded and had less wrinkles around our eyes.  We had a friend that would destroy her perfectly kind-hearted boyfriends..and I had joked that she would ride that “pony right into the lava”.  I later realized I was being ridden into the lava professionally by well meaning freelance clients ( circa 2003). I was much greener and perfectly kind-hearted and heading towards a boiling demise. 

Meat is not a metaphor:
In 2003 I did my first “paid” freelance.  I worked on a 40 page (50 year) high school reunion book for two weeks and was paid in ham. You read that right, ham ...as in the canned meat.  If you give me a minimum wage for that time period - that would 40 x $8 per hour = $320. The client thought I did such a wonderful job, that she would pay me with meat.  Two weeks of my life..traded for meat and not even the sexy kind.  Imagine doing anything for two weeks and being paid nothing. I bought nothing. I travelled nowhere and  that “exposure” was laughable. Anyone that seen this project was well into their mid-late retirements.  I vowed never again.  I did no freelance after that for about 3 years. Fast forward 10 years later and I find myself in the same situation except worse, now I am ham-less with the added torture of social media.  I get to watch my deadbeat clients vacation and party - while I ask my mom to help me pay my utilities.  Hi, I'm Leslie and I am a doormat.

Beneficial Agreements: 
I had an understanding with my next and “only” freelance client after that - that I was not to ever be paid in trade or ham..only money.  Every agreement has went this way up until recently when I started getting “ham or nothing” again. 

I have a day-job and plan on keeping one well into my 70’s. Yes, I have to drive and eat briskly - but the rent is paid and the lights are on.  I like having medical insurance and the promise of retirement.  And this isn’t just any day job. If I were an actress I’d now be an A-lister, so I don’t have to star in any straight to dvds.  I love this job.  I choose it, not the Freelance after-party. 

Batteries not included:
I missed Halloween working on a “rush” project, that to date - I haven’t been paid for. My logic at the time was that I needed the money more than I needed the life experience. But folks..there’s no freelance job worth more than Halloween.  Even more devastating..I may not even be able to fit my She-Ra costume. What a waste of super powered nerd-bliss. Let’s hope I have better luck as Ravishing (rick) Leslie - Rude at the 80’s wrestler costume extravanganza. 

The Re-Up:
This was going to be my retirement from freelance blog. However - I have clients and friends that are fair and prompt and consider my time valuable.  They are worthwhile and fun. It’s not fair to them. So I’m not "retiring", I’m just restructuring. Moving forward I will require a contract and a deposit. The contract and deposit information will be available in the next two weeks for any interested parties as a downloadable pdf on Lavaponyland.  I’m not explicitly turning down “unpaid” pro-bono jobs - but if you need my help enough to request it without even the hope of paying me - I’m going to at least have to hear a case by case reason of why.  I need the option to accept or decline a project. 

Poker Face:
It’s my hope I haven’t lost any clients over showing my cards in this here piece of writing. If your project is only 50 bucks. It’s still gonna be 50 bucks. I’m just not starting it without a signature and some incentive.  As for friends, that’s always free. I prefer presence over presents anytime.   And if it’s quiet....that’s okay too. That's a sign I need to move on to other Leslie projects.  Like photoshopping goats' heads on bikini models..or watching Zombie tv shows with half-open eyes. Hey..I didn’t say they were noble projects.

Laters -

March 15, 2013

Leslie Journal 3.15.2013

Diet Mt. Dews Consumed: 2 (as of 10:00 am. - we're cooking with pure gasoline today people)
Weight: More than Jennifer Hudson, but less than Kim Kardashian with child
Bangs: Inactive
Length of Mom Visit: 3 months

A Cry for Help
I pulled a filling out of my back teeth with a Rollo. It was written up in this manner on my chart: "Patient presented with oral pain after consuming a pack of Rollos." Cavities hurt like a m*fer. In my defense I'm an avid brusher and flosser - but I will woman up and say: Hi, I'm Leslie and I am a candy/soda fiend. The appointment has been made for this to be fixed, but if you see me with sticky chocolate candies, please save me from myself.

On colored pants:
My cobalt blue skinny jeans are amazingly comfy. My ass has found it's habitat.

Ridin' Dirty:
Sitting in court for four hours attempting to void a ticket for expired inspection is a humbling experience. You will meet the finest your city has to offer. You may also meet your newest friend, Quixota with a cheek piercing and hot pink hair who thinks you smell great and your real friend who is a lawyer may see you in court sitting very low in the seat as you try to dissappear from embarrassment. Not that this happened to me. ;)

Battle Royale (with Cheese):
The Cookout restaurant chain is building it's latest Norfolk offering directly across from Doumars. This could get ugly...or really freaking fantastic. I shall report my news findings on both as research is conducted.

February 1, 2013

Shameless Use of OEF

A foreword: I'm fighting a very losing battle at my place of employment to just get a few social media quotes posted.  I cannot find a way to explain that these things are just meant to educate/attract new readers (and hello Colonel Meow and Takei can't be wrong!) It's a place of education - so it's not wrong to utilize these quotes to get people to come and learn. We're not selling anything.

So to make me feel better about designing all these - Hench said I could post them. Use the knowledge as you feel. It can't hurt to have some factoids in your brain. I enjoyed making them. If you have any silly ones - where you'd like to replace credit with mayonaise, or Bankrate.com with "Lil the Cat".  Please let me know.

Pointless outpouring of love (for music)

With apologies to my main man from high school, J. Mascis was my first love.  I was 13 and I didn’t even know what he looked like, and I didn’t really care. (This was before the internet was what it is now, no Google, no Yahoo, no way to find out every intimate detail about somebody by simply typing in their name and hitting “enter.” Kids these days are so spoiled.)

Had I seen this when I was 13, it would have enforced my love. (Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
All I knew was that his voice, his lyrics, his freaking amazing guitar playing was all for me. He was my soul mate. He’s the reason I spent my early teenage years in a fog of manufactured sadness. I wanted to hug him, to protect him from whatever made him so sad. It was all about the music.

My first musical crush was Chris Cornell, but with him I think it was all about the hair and the piercing eyes. Let’s face it, that man is a minor god, still. He’s aged very well. But he was no match for the pure soul that J. Mascis poured out from the dented speakers on my portable CD player. You know, the kind that had a CD player on top and a tape deck on the front. Because, well, my Dinosaur Jr. albums were on tape. I was cheap and tapes were cheaper, so that’s what I bought.

I liked other bands, sure, but I was crazy for Dinosaur Jr. I listened to them everyday, sometimes all of the albums back to back, over and over. In the car with my parents, I begged them to let me listen to my tapes. My dad even liked a few of their more radio-friendly songs, though he insisted on calling them “Dance for Junior.” (He also called Pearl Jam “Toe Jam.” So disgusting.) I had the names of all of the songs memorized in order from oldest to newest and vice versa. What can I say, I had a lot of free time.

When I discovered that J. was in a movie called Gas, Food, Lodging I recorded it (VCRs, ha!) on HBO and watched it over and over again. I memorized his few lines and obsessed over them, and his delivery of them. I still love that movie.

J. was Dinosaur Jr. for me. Yes, I knew he had a reputation of being so difficult that there was a revolving door of artists that were in the band with him. I even grew to love Lou Barlow and Sebadoh. But despite what Lou screamed at J. during a Sebadoh show, J. was the band, not Lou or Murph. Lou and Murph did not make J.

Now, almost 20 years later (can that really be true??), Dinosaur Jr. has reunited and released several albums. J. released a solo album that takes me right back to my teenage years. He still speaks to me. He gets me. "Can I" is one of the best songs I've heard. And even though he has a wife to protect him from pain now, if she needs backup, I’m available.

January 25, 2013

The Hatefire Burrito

To be filed under the "therapy letter that may never reach it's intended"...

I started writing a rebuttal to a ridiculous expletive laden tirade - lobbed directly at me by a (distant and secondary) family member earlier this week on Facebook (sigh).  The first variation of this rebuttal was really ugly - but I got (blissfully) distracted.

Because then:
Mom packed a bag lunch for me with at least 10 different items; Jen and CJ are going to have a baby; Jen C called randomly (and from far far away) and presented me with some new opportunities;  Latitus J  (my amazing Godson) won a science fair award and I clapped like I was at the Golden Globes;  I had the best dinner at Bravos with the Daniels' sisters, and then Chilli's (I know right!);  Arlene P wrapped up something with her family and tried to join us but was blocked due to a venue change, but she tried - next week hot yoga!.  My brother is having a baby and painting a mural too - except his has texture (and mine doesn't which I'm jealous about).  I'm wading through a sea of great new comics I bought for my iPad; oh and I took some classes and bought some online and..; and tomorrow..? I don't know, but I'm looking forward to it.  

You see most of these things were some sorta posts on my Facebook.  It's a public forum. I assume when I read these things that the people posting them are aware someone is reading them - and maybe even occassionally tell someone else something they what seen, like say a parent. I read things and discuss them with people around me.   A good friend once told me, she didn't feel any guilt about posting something as long as it was TRUE.

The point is: I am not a "nosey f*n bitch" and I did not "start sh*t with your mother". I only told my mom that your Facebook said that you had moved. That's it and this is pretty much where this story goes to ground. I'm not launching a COUNTER CAPS LOCK ATTACK. As I feel the adjectives in front of bitch would just stack up and I'm not apologizing. 

Life does not suck. It's not so boring.  It's really kinda great even the crappy parts.  Excessive cursing also doesn't mean you're a badass. It just means you're hiding behind a monitor. And you have alot to learn about growing up. 

I'll be seeing you sometime in the future as it seems with family you always do. Like it or not. 

But I'll be the one holding the skateboard next time....not getting hit with it. 

I leave you with the awesome Gemma..my sometimes hero from Sons of Anarchy. Handling things the old way...you know before Facebook. 

January 2, 2013

My Christmas was better than your NYE.

So's if you're here reading you have successfully survived another Christmas (or the imaginary war on said holiday). You probably also survived a New Year's celebration featuring a strong beverage of which you are currently paying for. It's okay if you're too old to drink like a fish or too young to handle it. I stayed home on the holiday itself - took down my lights and had a fabulous bowl of chilli. Not even one night before, I spent the whole day in Christmastown taking in the lights, a hot tottie, a giant pretzel and carnival almonds. Also the Redskins won via Mom's couchside coaching - so life is peachy.
2012 was *the* best year of my professional 9-5 job life. I got awardish type things: A GIANT PLAQUE (it's big enough to cover 2/3's of my body), a letter from the DoD, a picture with the Admiral, 2 coins, 2 baskets of flowers, more trips to Chilli's than you can shake a stick at, 2 cakes, and more hugs and Thank You's than ever. If 2011 was the dream deferred, then 2012 was the climb back - and the climb continues.
Friday I celebrate the unfortunate anniversary of Taste Trauma 2012. Food poisoning + passing out = head/shoulder injury. Secretary Clinton I felt/feel your pain. Here's to a speedy recovery on her pain and my wallet!
I seen some friends walk out the door - but more came in (including a niece/nephew Paxton in progress ETA August 2013.)
My goals for 2013?..
Let's see - I've long wanted to crash into a food tray. I want at least one photo with teeth where my gums are not showing. I want to replace the meat in an enchilada with pumpkin filling and see who notices. I want to swim alot more. I want a place with a yard big enough to mow and a kitchen with room to open the stove and the drawer simultaneously. I want at least 4 trips by train and waaaay more hugs and kisses.
No resolve here - just a wish out into the universe for some good things.
As G said - That's it. The end. :)