Collection of Cunning Curiosities – May 30, 2015

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

A weekly compendium of things that delight my fancy.

Dear Internet, You can follow this collection on Pinterest. x0x0, lisa


I’ve been super lax on keeping my list updated but no more! I’ve added loads of new books as well as the comic serials I’ve been reading and finishing, so the list is mostly current now. The best book this year I’ve read is Genevieve Valentine’s The Girls of the Kingfisher Club, which I finished in one sitting. Valentine confirmed what I’ve known for quite some time: exquisite writing will be the convincer needed to get me to finish a book. Time is far too short to read bad books and I seemingly keep picking up bad books.


Noon Pacific is a weekly mixtape of the best songs handpicked from the best music blogs, delivered to your inbox every Monday at Noon (Pacific Time). Definite pluses: You can listen via their app which you can grab from iTunes and Google Play. Lisa’s take:  I was recently turned on to this via somewhere and the idea I can stream it on my phone/iPad as an independent app was a great appeal as well as the introduction to new music, curated weekly.
Neko Atsume is Animal Crossing sans annoying talking creatures but populated with cats. So what exactly do you do in this game? You buy some food, a few toys, put them in the garden and wait for the cats to show up. That’s it. The cats will come and go as they please but as a reward for keeping them fed and toyed, they will leave you trinkets of sardines to continue buying them food and toys. It’s the new obsession as illustrated here, here, and here. You can pick up Neko Atsume at iTunes and Android.
How to: Perfect Winged Eyeliner! is the best YouTube tutorial I’ve seen on how to do perfect winged eyeliner. Yes, I’m almost 43 years old and need help putting on make-up but this easy to follow tutorial with practical steps (make dots on your eyelids, connect the dots, viola! Perfect eyeliner) was a huge game changer for me. Seriously. I typically like to wear eyeliner + mascara as the sum of my make-up for the day but my lack of steady hand or unable to draw a straight line means my eyeliner is always just a bit off. First go around with this technique and my eyeliner was on point.
Ceremony (the band) is, according to Wikipedia, a punk band from California. I disagree with this, naturally, because they are post-punk and this is an important distinction. They are grittier than Interpol but still have that Joy Division sound, so of course I like them. Their single Separation from their most recent album, L-Shaped Man, was demoed on some place I forget and I loved that so much, I preordered the album. So if you’re into a Joy Division derivative with hints of She Wants Revenge and Sex Pistols, this is your band.
New authorized James Bond novel will resurect Pussy Galore.I’m super excited by this announcement as I’m a huge fan of the Bond movies AND books. Yes, yes, both media should be against my feminist leanings (misogyny is but one of the fallacies), but sometimes you have to just ignore things to enjoy something. I mean, Sean Connery – amirite? If you too are interested in the Bond universe, I highly recommend getting your hands on the Moneypenny Diaries, which can be had for dirt cheap on Amazon.

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2001

good morning Europe, good night lisa

Dear Internet,

It’s some ungodly hour here in Kentuckiana (should I be worried that word is not coming up misspelled?) and TheExHusband is snoring so heavily, I’ve lain awake for hours waiting for him to, well, not snore so I could get to sleep. It doesn’t help that I took a nap on the couch from 20:30 – 23:00, so I was wide awake for a bit regardless.

The sun is starting to make its ascent.

I’m here because I’m in the last throes of sorting through my shit from the stuff was shipped down here from the east coast. The deal made with TheExHusband was he could have my furniture (the purple leather couch and living room suite) if he paid for the shipping from east coast to him. As he reckons, that bill would be significant lower than buying all new furniture. Worked for me.

In this need to purge since I’ve been here, I’ve gotten rid of three big black bags of clothes, a big box of toys and trinkets I’ve collected over the years and have remained packed for longer than I care to admit, three to four boxes of books, and some other odds and ends.

This is in addition to the purging that happened when we separated last fall.

Lisa the minimalist.

I am noticing some stuff missing like my Chucks collection, the only shoe I’ve been able to wear since my ankle surgery three years ago. I left a few pairs unpacked but the rest, including black high tops and Aquaman high tops, are now missing. I had nearly a dozen pairs. Also missing are other shoes, mainly spring and summer, that when packed last fall, as I had assumed I would be in my own permanent place by now. So at some point, those need to be replaced when I’m more flushed with cash.

I’m also missing my Swatch collection and a few other things that ARE packed somewhere and I haven’t found them or were stolen at some point. My Fiesta Ware collection surprisingly remains unbroken, which is important because that shit is expensive.

Once I leave here on Friday, I’ll be heading back to Grand Rapids for about three weeks. TheBassist will then be coming to town to be my date for a friend’s wedding and then we start the drive back to the east coast. The plan is that the stuff in Grand Rapids (of which is not much, mainly furniture) will stay, over the summer, in a storage pod. The rest of my stuff will remain here in Kentuckiana. I’ll be shacking up with TheBassist as I continue my job hunt from a singular location (if none of the current positions pan out). Once job is acquired, everything will be shipped to me at the new location. If job is not acquired by, say, Labor Day weekend, then I’m more than likely have to head back to Kentuckiana.

Then, who the hell knows.

I wish I could say I’m desperately trying not to have panic attacks as I flip around the US due to familial concerns, but that would be lying. I’ve been pretty zen as things have popped up and surprised me, I’m not stressing about money too badly (though I am beyond broke), and while I’ve gotten to the point airport security knows my name, the traveling hasn’t worn off just quite yet.

With no income coming in, this is obviously not the way to continue living. My landlord made a half-joking proposition to buy Jeeves. I was tempted because as not long before I jokingly said to a few friends that I should sell him (and he is paid off) and float around Europe for six months. But I would be in the same position then as I am now, just even more heavily in debt.

I’ve been noticing patterns in my writing in that during the headier days this past fall of the mania, I barely wrote. You’d think with all of that bloody energy I would be cranking out a million words a minute and even more poignantly, working on my book.

That answer would be a, “Fuck no.”

The book is stalled as it is, and again, I am zen about it just as I am with everything else.

Obviously the lamictal is working.

When I think about the long road of mania that lead me to where I am at right now, what pushes me forward is to NOT go through that again. I’ve always prided myself up to that point on not doing many stupid things when off the drugs That’s what makes me atypical as a bipolar: I have no drug, alcohol, or sex addictions. My spending was minimally excessive (not an oxymoron). I’ve held down jobs for long periods of time, finished my education and all of this (mostly) without drugs.

This last early fall/winter just broke that streak.

I have started referring to this past year as my long nervous breakdown, though I wasn’t hospitalized or put into out patient care other than my weekly shrink appointments. But the best way, even if it is glib, to come up with an explanation of my train wreck of a life is, “You lose your dog, your job, your husband, your home, AND get sued for $1.25M in the span of seven months and see how you handle the situation.”

Amirite or am I right?

I could see how that statement was pushing the responsibility of my actions onto others but recognizing I’ve made some very bad decisions about a host of things and since the fall, the repercussions have been coming fast and furious. It’s a combination of bad luck, timing, and bad decision making.

Along the way, I’ve noticed that numerous people, local and far, have cooled towards me. It’s hard to repair relationships when you’re not sure what went wrong or that you know because of your train wreck of a life, they’ve cooled against you. It’s sad, it’s diappointing, but I can’t blame them.

What I’ve accepted is I have a wonderful opportunity to completely rebuild my life from scratch. There is nothing tying me down to one place or even one profession. What I need though, more than anything, is a break. A sign. Anything to at least point in some direction so while I mentally may never be lost, physically I’d like not to be a whirling dervish.

But right now, I’m sitting in a darkened room eating tortilla chips at nearly 06:00.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 20111999


Dear Internet,

It’s Memorial Day and while most of you are out enjoying (hopefully) the good weather, I’m in TheExHusband’s condo waiting for it rain. Without access to a grill, and impending iffy weather, we’re keeping it indoors for the day. Pot roast will be consumed, laundry done, and at some point I will be start catching up on some telly. If we’re super honest, I will not get out of my jimjams for the rest of day and I’m okay with that.

I’ve spent the morning doing clean up and restructuring of some things around here.It seemed if I’m going to be coming back with gusto, a lot of the old features should be revamped and reinstated. I’m bringing back Collection of Cunning Curiosities, my breakdown of things I’ve liked that week across various mediums. I’ve dropped the medieval spelling and instead of a line item of things, it will be a summary of that particular medium. I’ve been Pocketing loads of things for months without referencing them after they were saved which was the point of CoC.

I’ve massively updated my Book List of 2015 and while it feels like I’ve been reading more as of late, the list still looks fairly puny to where I should be in order to hit the 100 book mark for the year. If you’re a visual person like me, I’ve also updated the board at Pinterest.

TheExHusband sprung for a new iPad Mini as an early Lisamas gift. Of course, I’m feeling overwhelmed with his generosity but my old iPad2 was becoming slower than molasses in January, close to obsolescence, and often freezing up. Surprisingly, as a second generation tech, it’s still much preferred over the next few generations until the iPad Minis and Airs were released.

I used my iPad2 like mad in the four years I’ve owned it but at some point, I noted it was, in addition to slowness, coupled with only 16g of space, almost too cumbersome for reading and game playing. The new iPad Mini that is sitting next to me is several chip generations ahead, bigger drive, thus much snappier and reading on it, especially comics with its retina display, is a delight.

I’m pretty sure TheExHusband and I do not have a normal divorced relationship, considering how much he’s been by my side through all of my foibles. But we were so integral to each other’s lives for so long, just disconnecting altogether would feel wrong.

My mania pitched this morning. It may be partially due to my intake of Lamictal, which is slowly being upped to 400mg and should be stabilized in the next few weeks. It could also be due to the pot of coffee I’ve had today. I swear, I didn’t feel manic when I woke up this morning and I even went to bed at a reasonable hour with zero problems sleeping! I have been so energetic this afternoon that we went on a walk because I’m even annoying myself. Of course the walk had to have a purpose – to get a waffle cone of chocolate sorbet. Huzzah!

I’ve been interested in tracking my sugars, not because I’m diabetic or even close, but I read a recent article in WaPo that it isn’t exercise or cutting fats that will allow you to lose weight, but cutting sugars. I’ve had success in the past when I’ve been diligent with calories, so cutting those along with watching my sugars seems a natural way to go with changing my eating. It is also bikini season.

The author, a doctor, uses reports and studies to back up his findings, and hell, who couldn’t do better with a more normalized diet? As a starter, I started documenting my food intake today  in which the only meals I have had is brunch and a snack, yet I have already consumed 125% of my sugar allowance. Obviously the sorbet didn’t help. So there is that. (And if you’re one of those people, you can find me on MyFitnessPal as biblyotheke. You can also find me on FitBit if you do a search for byvalkyrie@facebook dot com.)

Eurovision was Saturday, which TheExHusband and I watched live. The best way to explain it is American Idol on super speed but with 40ish countries competing instead of 12 hopeful contestants. The pageantry, costumes, and kitschy national pride is what sets it apart from just about anything else. Don’t believe me? Here is a quick recap of all the contestants from 2014.

Rising like a phoenix,

Today in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2o03