40 Days and 40 Nights: Taking a vacation from social media

Dear Internet,

Last November I made the adulting decision to give up Facebook for a variety reasons. I forgot to add to those reasons the “theymeanwellers” and “helpfuladvicers.”

Theymeanwellers are the types who almost habitually post the same shit other people have already posted on your Facebook wall because they think you may like it — even though it’s clear 900 others thought the same. They are kin to the helpfuladivcers, who when you post an image showcasing your meal for the night, will offer up unsolicited advice on how it should have been cooked, presented, or something of that ilk. If you make a statement about your allergy, will start educating you on said allergy even though they are not allergic themselves to OR have any type of medical expertise or education.

You know these types. May the gods save you if you even point out what they are doing is not well or helpful for you’re a terrible, awful person.

The above coupled with Facebook’s continuing disregard for respect and allowing people to control their own privacy, Byzantine rules for posting content and how it was being viewed, I left.

I said,

If we’re friends on Facebook, as of this writing, I’ve deactivated my account. I have a private account I’m using to manage pages since several projects require it, and if we were friends on that particular account, I’ve unfriended you and made it as private as Facebook possible.

…there is an intimacy associated with Facebook that isn’t even available anywhere else, regardless of how many layers I peel back as I write on this site. I need to reign in the control of what the world can see and Facebook was the first to go. At least here, in my sandbox, I’m forcing you to come to me and not the other way around.

Since that time, I’ve gotten the occasional email, text, ran into someone locally who wanted to know where I was and why I hated them. But out of over 300 Facebook BFFs, I’ve heard from about two dozen in some capacity as to why I left. Almost all thought it was personal and about them.

It has not been a totally glorious rebellion as there have been a few kerfuffles on participating on some sites because they ONLY allow Facebook connect to add content and I’ve chosen to just not participate. Or apps that require ONLY a Facebook account to function, so I stop using the app. Overall, I’ve been pretty happy about stripping Facebook out of my life. The private account, which has been stripped of identification, locked down, and only used to manage pages, remains blissfully ignorant of any drama, shitty product endorsement, and related items.

Five years ago, I gave up Twitter for Lent and then wrote about coming back after the break.

Then I noted that all the supposed free time I thought was going to appear, didn’t. But I was wholly naive in the process because I was bloody on Facebook the entire time! Giving up Twitter wasn’t really a hardship rather it was feeding the obsession (Twitter) into another (Facebook). I may have patted myself on the back for being so restrained during that period, but who the fuck am I kidding?

Twitter has started to go the route for Facebook for me in that the bullies, the “theymeanwellers,” the “helfpfuladvicers,” and now the “talkarounders” are starting to grow in leaps. Talkarounders are a breed I’ve identified of people who, for whatever reason, talk about you, your work, or things related to you and your work without engaging you. It’s frustrating trying to work on goals when people dismiss you on a regular basis so while I’ve stopped following and engaging, they still creep into my world.

So I’ve decided that I’m not giving up one or the other, I’m giving them all up for 40 days. But, and I have to stress this, much my work requires me to be socially active. Any content posted will be done automatically and I will not be engaging anywhere. Here are the rules:

  • No Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, or any other social media engaging or responding from March 5 – April 17
  • Content posted from EPbaB will continue to auto-post to Twitter, Facebook, LiveJournal, Google+, and Tumblr. It is also available via RSS
  • If you comment/respond anywhere or send me DMs through any service, I will not respond or engage. If you want to get in touch, I recommend sending me an email

What do I hope to gain out of this? Less stress about being up to the minute on everything. Less frustration from people’s stupidity. More work on the projects that are important to me. More time with TheHusband. More time to read.

More of everything.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 20132003

in like a lion

Medieval Oscar Party via Bodleian MS264, circa 14C.
Medieval Oscar Party via Bodleian MS264, circa 14C.

Dear Internet,

Russia has invaded the Ukraine. Suddenly The Americans seem topical television show, not one steeped in history.

Tonight’s the Oscars and the only reason I can muster the will to watch is to make sure white people don’t overrun the awards with their sloppy circle jerking, but of course they will.

It’s a cold (19F/-7C) early Sunday afternoon and I’ve started listening to R.E.M’s entire catalog, starting with Murmur. According to Spotify, this exercise will take me 24 hours. Since I have nothing really planned for my spring break week, this seems fortuitous.

Though I will note my hot cocoa has cooled off and is like drinking a thicker version of chocolate milk, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Thick, barely warm chocolate milk is much preferable to the remnants of milk from my cereal I poured into my coffee this morning because I was too lazy to walk to the fridge. Lesson learned.

This morning, as I ignored the phone calls from my brother to go the gym, TheHusband asked what was on my plans for today. I said read and write. I need to start working on my fiction. I have an article due tomorrow which I’ve started and need to finish, I need to start making headway into my large to be read pile. I keep checking out titles from MPOW because we are given almost unlimited time for titles without consequences. Some titles I’ve had for over a year. Possibly longer.

But it’s hard when you keep finding authors who pique your interest. Recently discovered Clarice Lispector, a mid-century Brazilian Mary Maclane, who is getting new breath injected into her work via Penguin. Then this morning, I found Eve Babitz via an article I read in Vanity Fair.

Eve Babitz playing chess with Marcel Duchamp, 1973. © Julian Wasser.
Eve Babitz playing chess with Marcel Duchamp, 1963. © Julian Wasser

How could not become enamoured of a confident naked woman playing chess against Marcel Duchamp?

Babitz’s work, unlike Lispector’s, is out of print. I will be able to procure much of her work via interlibrary loan, but purchasing it? Not unless I get eagle-eyed on jaunts to used book stores. Used copies are fetching for hundreds on Amazon. Another important and critical voice burnished into obscurity.

It’s painful to consider how much is lost to the void. It has made me conscious of my own work, the never ending fucking battle of getting all of it back up online after nearly a decade of remove. But will it lay in the ether forever because once we’re dead, the lights of the site will go dim. Not that I’m going to die anytime in the near future, knock wood, but what would happen?

This July marks 16 years I’ve been writing online and right now the goal is to get as much of the back content up before then, to make the archives complete. The whole site is already indexed, but to make it even more available, I’ve started manually forcing the Wayback Machine to crawl it to archive the latest and greatest. It will always be available then, under different guises. Even if something happens to me, my work will live digitally on until the world dies.

I’ve added this thought to my project list this summer: Finally do something with the work other than getting it back up online. Edit it, clean it up, release it in volumes of something.

And then write some more.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2010, 2010, 2003

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for March 1, 2014

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.


Dear Internet,


  • Vikings
    I had been so excited about the premier, I wore my I GEEK VIKINGS shirt Kristin had gotten me as a present. TheHusband and I had also started main lining episodes to prep for the second season. Overall thoughts? Very slow start. It is following some of the “known” historical data about Ragnar and his relationships, but some of the main characters so detrimental to the first season were not faded gracefully into the background to make way for new developments but pushed. I do love the show with all my heart, but next time  we are not watching it live, rather, we’ll go back go watching it on the DVR for the commercials were just too plentiful and too laden with testosterone.
  • Chozen, Witches of East End, and Dracula
    For reasons we could never figure out, the DVR just simply refuses to tape Chozen. It will show up on the schedule and when we go back to watch it, the episode is missing. There is no conflicts and we have no idea what is going on, so having only watched one episode, Chozen has been removed from our list. It was lewd and crude, but even with the DVR mishaps, not worth trying to keep. Dracula and Witches of East End have been sitting on the DVR for months and I was something like 10-12 episodes behind on each. With so much great television not only out there but also coming up, watching mediocre television is not worth the hassle of trying to play catch up.

Weekly watching: The Musketeers, Mr. Selfridge, Black SailsTop GearStellaUniversity ChallengeHouse of LiesEpisodesArcher,  True Detective, Under the Gunn, Justified, Banshee, Reign,  Elementary

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003, 1999