Sit at desk.

Listen to quiet house.

Try to order brain.

Lean back.

Close eyes.

Fold hands on stomach.

Feel heat on bare feet.

Hear sound of water in the pipes in the walls as the shower runs somewhere on the other side of the house.

Hear sound of dog as he lets out a sigh in his sleep, sprawled out next to me.






Feel diaphragm as it raises my hands which are folded across it.





Twenty moments pass.

I do not move.

My brain does not order.

Somewhere from my unordered brain, I pray.

Or maybe it’s from my unordered heart.

The water in the pipes ceases.

Still I sit.

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It

Just a second ago, I got thirsty. I thought to myself, “Hmmmm…I’m thirsty.” I went to the kitchen, poured myself some cold water and guzzled it down. It was so good. It made me realize that I never get thirsty. I am always so obsessed with trying to drink enough water every day that I never allow myself to get thirsty. I don’t even know how good it feels to satisfy my thirst because I’m always glugging down water that I don’t really want because somebody somewhere tells me I’m supposed to drink a certain amount every day whether I’m thirsty or not. My days are bleak indeed, I know. But here’s the thing – I hate drinking water that I don’t really want. It doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me feel bad, actually. It makes me have to go the bathroom all the time, which is really a very not good feeling. And when I stop to think about it, if all I’m doing is going to the bathroom all day long, isn’t all that water just going to waste? I’m just putting it in there so it can come right back out again. Who needs that?


Today is where I change the bleakness. Today I resolve to not drink any water before its time. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Today I am Dutch

My friend, Caity, recently got back from a trip to Europe. She went to England to see my other friends, the Beans, and then she went to Holland. While I am happy that she went to England and saw the Beans and I hope that I too can go do that real soon, it is her trip to Holland that forever changed my life. Apparently, they have a beautiful custom in Holland. They buy these jars of chocolate, spread said chocolate on a piece of toast in the morning and call it breakfast.

Chocolate in a Jar

Caity found this funny. And then Caity had a thought. The thought that forever changed my life for the better. She thought, “I bet Leslie would like this.” So Caity bought a jar of chocolate in Amsterdam and came to my house and pulled it out of her purse. I promise you, the moment that jar came out of her purse, the room was filled with a beautiful light and a chorus of angels could be heard singing softly. Coincidence that one of my favorite songs ever is Amsterdam by Coldplay? I think not. I think I’ve always been Dutch and didn’t know it.

Here is a picture of what I had for breakfast this morning. I don’t know if you can call it a breakfast of champions, but it’s definitely a breakfast of happy Leslie. Thanks, Caity. And Coffee Ambassadors. And Walmart (for the sugar and half & half).

Breakfast of Champions

My Brain Wants Your Opinion

Can I get some input on this whole issue of universal health care please? I can’t figure out how I feel about it. It’s not a new issue, I know. It’s not new to my head either. In fact, it’s been trying to figure itself out in there for the last ten years or so and only just now has finally come to the point where it can even ask questions of others. In case you lost track of what “it” is, it’s the issue inside my head. The one of universal health care; all the other issues (and there are many) need to tumble around a while longer before they make it to center stage.

Here is my extremely well-educated overview of the issue as I understand it: I understand the need for health care for all people. I understand that insurance companies are stupid. I hate ‘em. I understand that some people don’t like the idea of giving the government more control over how we take care of our bodies, what doctor we see, what medicine we must and must not take. I believe I am one of those people. I understand that in countries with socialized medicine, you have no choice over what doctor you see and you go to the doctor for every little cut, tummy ache or cold because a)it’s cheap and b)you can’t trust your own common sense. I also understand that our taxes will go up like a bajillion in order to cover health care for the masses. I also understand that my little family alone already pays $740 out of Chris’ paycheck every month just to pay for our own stupid health insurance. And we’re one of the “lucky” ones whose employer offers health insurance. That amount is just to cover me and the kids. Chris’ premium is paid for by the company. And then we’ve still got to pay all the copays whenever we actually do go to the doctor. I’m wondering if our taxes could really come to that amount monthly if health care were covered by the government and we no longer had our own huge premium to pay out of pocket. I betcha we’d actually be paying less. But maybe I’m being naïve.

I understand Hillary is proposing that health insurance be required for all people. Either I’m too lazy to research this to understand what she’s talking about or I’m too afraid of being overwhelmed and sinking into a deep depression. Whatever the reason, I’m asking for some enlightenment here. What does that mean? Will there still be different insurance companies and different plans to choose from? What will be the consequences if you don’t get insurance? Will you go to jail? What about all people living here illegally? Surely they won’t be able to get insurance. What if you can’t afford it? Will the government provide it free? Isn’t that a lot like our current system?

Well, there you have it. My first political post. Let’s hope it’s not a sign of where I’m headed. I’m just really wondering how I feel about it all. Maybe some of you can tell me. I mean, I’m all for caring for our sick. I’m all for saving money too. And I’m all for making my own decisions. Too bad I seem to be incapable of that today.

Three Questions For a Friday

1. Can anybody tell me what those dark spots are after washing dark colored t-shirts? Every time I buy a new dark colored shirt, it goes into the washing machine spotless and it comes out with stupid dark spots on it. Surely I’m not the only one with this problem?

2. Can anybody tell me what the letter “M” is for on reply cards for wedding invitations? I get the distinct feeling that somebody somewhere is trying to strongly encourage me to start that line with the letter “M.” Like “Maybe I’ll come, but maybe I won’t.” Or “Me and Mine will gladly join You and Yours.” Or “My name doesn’t start with an M, but Chris and Leslie will be there.”

3. Can anybody tell me when, where and why I became such a late stayer upper? It really seems to be adversely affecting my ability (and desire) to get up early in the morning.

Adventures in Walmart

I went shopping at Walmart today. I only needed two things: a roast and some dinner rolls. As I stood there surveying the many different cuts and sizes of roasts on the top shelf of meats, another woman walked up, leaned down sort of in front of me, sort of to the side of me, and began looking over the meat on the bottom shelf. There we were, she and I, checking out the meat together. Then I spied the one I wanted. It was the perfect size of tender beef chuck roast to make the perfect dinner for my family tonight. The problem was that it was underneath some of the other roasts, all of which were nowhere near good enough for me. As I began to gingerly lift the inferior meat in order to retrieve the perfect meat, the inevitable happened. Yes, that’s right. I kid you not, the ENTIRE top shelf of meat began sliding off right on top of that other woman’s head. I did some kind of a mix between a yell and a gasp and a “Ohmygosh, I’m so sorry” as her hands flew over her head to protect herself and I scrambled to catch the flying pot roasts. I basically threw my entire body into the refrigerated section of the meat department in Walmart in order to protect this poor woman from my incredible lapse of judgment. Finally the sliding meat came to a halt and I froze, roasts perched precariously on every spare limb of my body, afraid to move for fear of setting off another avalanche.

Her response was so funny, I started laughing, which upset the whole balance of the universe one more time: “Oh, don’t worry about it. I’ve got three kids and they throw stuff at my head ALL THE TIME. I’m used to it. I’m just glad this was a couple of three pound roasts instead of a twenty-five pound turkey.” That’s when the rest of the roasts came down. We were both laughing so hard, I couldn’t remember what else I needed to get at that Walmart. I grabbed my perfect roast and left. It’s in the crock pot right now. With horseradish rubbed all over it. Boy, does it smell good.

Here’s to you, funny lady at Walmart. I want to be like you when I grow up.

Josh and Jennie

Well, my brother and his lovely wife came this weekend. It’s always good to see them. Man, but I wish we had more time together. It’s kind of weird how you grow up with someone and you’re so close, in the same house, doing absolutely every activity of your life together and then you’re old and somebody lives in Chicago and somebody lives in Sarajevo and somebody lives in Dallas. That’s weird. Because so much of who we are today is because of who we were back then, raised by the same parents, forever intertwined, even though we’re all separate now. I don’t really like to think about my own kids growing up and separating from us and each other that way. But maybe by that time, I’ll be more ready.

Anyway, I’ll take whatever I can get. And we got a weekend with my brother and sister-in-law, for which I am very grateful.

The highlight of the weekend was that after all this time of being addicted to Texas Hold ’em and playing it every chance we get, I had never seen a straight flush in any of the games I’ve played. I saw my mom once fold what turned out to be a straight flush. But that’s not quite the same thing. Well, last Friday night it happened, my friends. And it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. My brother Josh, not only got a straight flush on the river, it was a ROYAL FLUSH. Yes that’s right, a 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of Hearts. Unbelievable. And he went all in and Chris called him, which put Chris out. Josh went on to win that game. Good game, Josh.

Maybe we can come see you guys in Chicago next time.