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I have about 20 screenshots hanging out on my desktop waiting for meaningful file names and a purpose. I’m trying to figure out where to start (as addressed in the subject line), and I can’t really think of anything more topical than Michael Jackson.

I know everyone and their second cousin twice removed are talking about MJ right now and how he changed their life, but dudes, he did. I started to wade through my own bank of Jackson memories, and had a great conversation with my mom about us gathering around ye olde television set to watch the Thriller video. I was four when the video debuted, and I’m not sure if this memory is from the day that MTV first played it, or just the first time WE saw it. Either way, I was no older than five. The video is terrifying. It’s one of two beloved pop-culture phenomena that have scarred me for life (the other being Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, more on that in a future post). I made it about two and a half minutes into the fourteen-minute video. When were-Michael looked up with his yellow eyes and yelled, “GO AWAY,” I did. For years, YEARS, I had nightmares about this, and not just nightmares, but also hallucinations. I used to sleep with my bedroom door open and we had a yellow-tone light in the hallway, at night, I would look up and there he’d be, were-Michael, in his red jacket, hunched over about to pounce, yellow eyes glowing and claws ready for the attack. Years. We moved out of that house about seven years later, and the hallucinations stopped, but I still would have occasional nightmares.

Unlike Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, however, I love Thriller. Love. it. Do you all remember all those Michael Jackson marathon’s MTV used to do? When he came out with Dangerous in 1991 I was glued to MTV. I wore that tape out. I grew up listening to Bad and Thriller on vinyl, my parents learned to disco to Off the Wall. The Jackson Five are on all of my “cheer up” or “shake your booty” playlists, also, some of my wallowy playlists, and definitely on “Lea Sings in the Shower: Songs to make the neighbors break their leases.”

I think what has been most difficult, is to me, and I’m sure to many people of my generation, it felt like Jackson died a long time ago. Our MJ was gone, and these increasingly bizarre iterations appeared every couple years or so, but now, we are all celebrating all that he’s done, the many people he’s been, and the staggering legacy of FORTY years of music.

As you may know, I recently watched The Queen, about how Queen Elizabeth II dealt with the public’s reaction to Princess Diana’s death. I keep going back to that, just watching how the mourning swelled, how millions of people were affected, and see that happening for MJ too (but on a astronomically larger scale). I am pleased that the MJ events are celebrations of his life and his art. I can’t wait to hit up a few myself – friends and I went to the MJ singalong for my 25th and I highly recommend it, if you can get tickets.

I also love that Michael Jackson broke the Internet. That is just so amazing to me. He crashed Twitter and AIM, freaked out Google, blew up Wikipedia, and appeared in millions of Facebook status messages. The latter was incredibly powerful for me. My Facebook friend list is comprised of people from the many different phases of my life. There was just something about seeing my elementary school classmates, summer camp friends, fellow former Cleveland-area alternateens, college and grad school folk, just really everyone I’ve ever known – all react to the same event – it just made me think about the universality of Jackson.

Oh man, MJ, I want you back.

MySpace is streaming tons of Jackson songs and videos, here is one of my favorites The Way You Make Me Feel.

What are your favorites?

If you don’t know where to start, may I suggest this?

I wish it wasn't :(

I wish it wasn't 😦


Save Ohio Libraries!

Save Ohio Libraries Web site

Hey everyone. Ohio has some of the best libraries in the country, and I am very lucky to have benefited from their resources and programming as a kid, but Ohio public libraries are in danger. Ohio has a 10.8% unemployment rate. In times of economic distress libraries are used more than any other time, and the funding is always slashed. Public libraries are many people’s only access to the Internet, and as you all know, that is how people find and apply for jobs. Additionally, many government services are only available online. People also need the library to access newspapers, homework help, free classes, story times, SAT preparation guides, scholarship funding manuals, and so so so much more. So if the public libraries aren’t open, then people won’t be able to access the resources they need. The library is more than a place for books. It is an integral part of who we are as a society. Libraries strive to create a population of skilled information consumers, and this is the foundation of democracy. Ohio needs your help. Please, send an email to Governor Strickland today.

The following is from the Ohio Library Council Web site –

Why are Ohio public libraries in trouble?

At a news conference on Friday, June 19, the Governor proposed a cut to state funding for public libraries of $227.3 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 as part of his plan to fill the $3.2 billion gap in the budget that must be balanced by the Ohio General Assembly’s Conference Committee by June 30.

The proposal amounts to a 30% cut in funding for Ohio’s public libraries. This cut is in addition to the 20% reduction in funding that libraries are already facing, because their funding comes from 2.22% of the state’s declining General Revenue Fund.

Libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor’s proposal. With some 70% of the state’s 251 public libraries relying solely on state funding to fund their operations, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close branches or drastically reduce hours and services.

The Governor’s proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio’s public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services. In every community throughout the state, Ohioans are turning to their public library for free high speed Internet access and help with employment searches, children and teens are beginning summer reading programs, and people of all ages are turning to the library as a lifeline during these difficult economic times. Ohio’s public libraries offer CRITICAL services to those looking for jobs and operating small businesses. Public libraries are an integral part of education, which Governor Strickland says is critical to the state’s economic recovery. But it is unlikely that many of Ohio’s public library systems, especially those without local levies, can remain open with these proposed cuts.

About 30% of Ohio’s public libraries have local property tax levies that supplement the state’s funding. However, with the Governor’s proposed drastic cuts in the state funding for libraries, even those libraries will face decisions regarding substantial reductions in hours of operation, materials, and staffing.

What can I do to help Save Ohio Libraries?

Contact your legislators! Let your state legislators and the governor know what your library means to you! Locate your State Representative or State Senator.

Governor Ted Strickland
614-466-3555 or 614-644-4357
contact online
Post a message on Governor Strickland’s Facebook page.

Resume editorial from LibraryLea
I’m counting on you dear friends and readers to support Ohio libraries, and to do it in a way that shows that you are a person to be listened to. Some of the posts on the Facebook page are, well, typical Facebook posts, but we are educated library users and professionals and have a deep understanding of the role of libraries in our communities. I thank you all for your help!


Audiobook (so, listening to instead of actually reading) – Stockett, K., Lamia, J., Turpin, B., Spencer, O., & Campbell, C. (2009). The help. [New York, N.Y.]: Penguin Audio.

  • I’m really enjoying this, I’m about halfway through. This is from multiple perspectives like My Sister’s Keeper, but does a much better job of it. I love that the voice actors imitate each other. So Minnie tells her story, and another voice actor will mention Minnie and do her impression of Minnie’s voice. I’m not sure why I think that’s awesome, but I do.

Jacobs, A. J. (2004). The know-it-all: One man’s humble quest to become the smartest person in the world. New York: Simon & Schuster.

  • I’ve warmed up to this. I didn’t love it at first, but I’ve made peace with the A-Z format, and I’m more in the mood for factoids then when I first started reading it.

I finished watching The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe today. I started watching it over the weekend, but my disc froze at the 12th scene. Damn you, Netflix! I loved it. I read the books when I was a kid and don’t remember much about them except that I liked them. I tend to be a purist and get rather irritated at movies that adapt (read ruin) my favorite books (*cough*harrypotter*cough*). I’m not sure how I’d feel about this one in a side-by-side comparison, so I’m glad I don’t remember anything about the books, and I think I will watch the movies before I reread the books. Also, Netflix, you don’t know me as well as you think you do:

Not quite, Netflix.

Not quite, Netflix.

Johnson, M., Adamson, A., McAlpine, D. M., Moore, P., Steuer, P., Peacock, A., et al. (2006). The chronicles of Narnia. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. Burbank, CA: Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

Lewis, C. S., & Baynes, P. (1950). The lion, the witch and the wardrobe; A story for children. New York: Macmillan.

What a lame post! Although I did find a screenshot to stick in there . . .

I didn’t quite know which song to go with. I need a super sappy pop ballad. Like the kind I listen to when I’m driving really late at night and get sleepy. I crank up the soft rock, roll down the windows, and belt. it. out.

Anyway, Kelly would say that she’s been waiting a lifetime for a moment like this. Whitney would just beg for that one moment in time where all her dreams were a heartbeat away.

This could be my moment:

Dear Lea, I think you're brilliant.  Please, come be our new consigliere. <3 Ira

Unfortunately, it was a mass email wherein Ira asked me for more money. Alas. However, if you all listen to This American Life, then you should head to the site and donate $2. Unless you want Julie Snyder to roll up in your hood on her single-speed Schwinn yelling ” I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS! TWO DOLLARS!” Really, it’s up to you.

Oh, and Whitney wins, 1) because she’s Whitney, and 2) hellloooo 7th grade “One Moment in Time” clarinet section feature. I’m sure we were fantastic.

Look what’s streaming on Netlifx!

Saturday mornings @ Casa del Lea

Saturday mornings @ Casa del Lea

According to Wikipedia, it was only on for three months before syndication – and its total run was about two years. That seems strange because I feel like we watched it a lot. It was twenty years ago though, so I guess my memory could be a little rusty.

If you remember it from your childhood, I strongly recommend checking it out on Netflix. It’s so cringe-inducingly, terribly-but-secretly-awesomely, and kitschily and crazily good/awful.

On the TV Guide homepage today:

Hey TV Guide, you might want to wait a day or two before this is funny again.  You know that whole people being denied their votes thing?, those pesky riots?, and the police having permission to use live rounds on the Irani protesters?, but, hey! Andy Samberg!

Hey TV Guide, you might want to wait a day or two before this is funny again. You know that whole people being denied their votes, riots, and the police having permission to use live rounds on the Irani protestors, but, hey! Andy Samberg!

Stormy weather:

The other day during our tornadic conditions, my Gmail looked like this:

Gmail Storm (top)

Gmail Storm (top)

Gmail Storm!

Gmail Storm (bottom)

My insomnia playlist

My insomnia playlist


I had to read this three times before I realized it DIDN’T say “Bay of Pigs”

Bay of Big-Pay Pigs

Bay of Big-Pay Pigs

It might be time to sleep.

*tweet tweet*