All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Dear Internet,

A million and a half years ago, or 1994-96, during my first foray into college, I was too busy interviewing rock stars, working at a radio station, working at the college newspaper, AND trying to get my college’s radio station booted up, to study. (I was busy.)

During all of this, I interviewed a band, who have since disbanded, at a local to GR dive club. There is nothing unusual in this activity; I’ve interviewed bands before. What was unusual was a week or two before interviewing said band, I finished reading a book of prose by a famous author lent to me by a friend. The title of one of the pieces happened to be the band’s name. Surely this is no coincidence.

During the interview with the singer, I bring up, “Hey, are named after so-and-so’s prose piece, blah blah blah?” The lead singer said, “Yes! No one ever gets that.” In that very tenth of a second, the world was aligned just so and you and your other half have finally found each other.

I watched their show that night, during which their manager came up and said the lead singer wanted to know if I wanted to go on with the band to their next gig in Detroit. I demurred and said no, I had school to worry about (you know, the classes I wasn’t attending). Nothing ever happened between the lead singer and I. I don’t think he ever got my last name.

For awhile after that, I wondered what would have happened if I had gone. (I’m a whiz at playing the what-if game.) Memories fade faster when you’re 24 as you’re so anxious to go out and eat the world as you’re sure more memories will be forthcoming. (They usually are.) You stop playing the what-if game and take bites of things as they continue to occur. Now your memories are overflowing and some of those, the ones you swore you’ll never forget, you do end up forgetting.

Every five or so years (maybe more, possibly less), something reminds me of the band (last night they had a song in the movie I was watching), memory sparks up and it all comes back. Sitting in the back of their van, notepad on my knee, the lead singers face not far from mine. That briefest hint of tension.

After last night’s movie watching, I dreamt the friend who leant me the book all those years ago sent me an urgent email that I just HAD TO GO FIND THE LEAD SINGER OF THAT BAND. It was important. I had to do this now.

In my dream I tracked the lead singer down. I emailed him and a correspondence sprung up and of course, as dreams are wont to do, the ending is ambiguous.

I got up this morning, put on my workout clothes, and before doing anything (here I am, eating a cold syrup soaked pancake and wiping my fingers on a napkin so I do not get syrup all over my keyboard) tracked down the lead singer from all those years ago. I had forgotten his name, so I back tracked to the band’s Wikipedia page, and went forward. Now I spend ten minutes on searching and reading about him. I know once I am done, he will then fade, again and again, back into memories of yon past.

He’s now a famous visual artist and composer, based in LA. The last time I tracked him down, there was scant information about him other than a few random interviews and in one he talks about finishing his BA in English through correspondence courses when the band was on the road.

Here is a webpage! Contact info! A Tumblr! I breeze through his work. The words “pretentious” and “douchebag” come to mind. He’s balding now. His body has gone soft. I cannot say time has not been kind to him, the recognition he looked for in the band was now happening in other areas, so I am happy for him. Time has not unnecessarily been unkind to me, but just as he had physically changed, so have I.

I like to remember that brief tenth of a second when we fell in love in the back of that van. I was wearing my lime green cardigan, a t-shirt of some kind, jeans, and a pair of Chucks. My hair a hot curled mess, a bobby pin pushed into the left side to keep the hair out of my eyes. (Yes, my sense of style has not changed in 20 years.) He was long limbed, squared jawed, t-shirt and jeans wearing, a van dyke sprouted below his lower lip as was the rage during the mid-90s.

We were just kids then. God, we were so young. (If I ever track down my photographer friend from that era, I believe he got a picture of me interviewing the lead singer, but I have forgotten the photographer’s last name.)

I found the promo picture of the band, the standard 8×11 images with the band’s name, and AR info at the label sends out with additional materials. I could recall some of his details by memory, the others I cheated. However, what made me laugh is the words “historical image” watermarked across the image.

Nothing was ever implied or stated during that time at the back of the van. I probably didn’t even fall in love. It is what I felt then, it was I remember now. He probably doesn’t remember me.

What I like about these stories, other than they make for great retelling, is the reminder, no matter how brief, there is someone like you in the world. Similar connections have been made over the years, some romantic others platonic. Some last a mere moment and others last years. What strikes me the most about all of these connections is that brief time we are together, there is that sense of hope.

I live for hope and for belief in those things. It is what keeps me going.

There is not a consideration of contacting him as I am sure he will have no recollection of someone he spent a few hours with 20 years ago, let alone the story I am retelling here now. I add the band’s music to my work out lists. I close the browser tabs and wish him luck.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2015, 20152014, 2010, 1999

50 Things To Do in 2016: 11 – 20

Dear Internet,

But what I need, what I believe everyone needs, is to plan for things and accomplishments in the next year. Some of them can be quite small and others can be amazingly large. One thing I totally want to kick ass at this year? Being silly. I’m goofy as hell but I need to be sillier more and t’ll help with my often crippling social anxiety. A couple of things you may also note in these lists: Nothing having to do with romance and no couple-y things. I’m on dating lockdown for at least a year. It’s all about me, baby! Here is my own 50 things to do in 2016 list,10 of which I’ll reveal over each day over the next 5 days. In case you missed it, here is 1 – 10.

50 Things To Do in 2016:  11 – 20

  1. Tell the truth — even if it hurts
    1. I wrote about half-truths recently, “And the most painful thing? No one trusts you. TheBassist doesn’t trust me. TheExHusband doesn’t trust me. I’ve lost a lot of friends who can no longer trust me. What comes out of my mouth today can and has been either half-way true or another variation tomorrow. It’s hard to ask for help when no one trusts you, even if they love you.”  For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on stop spinning things to make me the center of attention (borderline trait) and just — tell the truth. It’s been pretty freeing.
  2. Get a new tattoo — one of a quote
    1. I definitely want Snape’s quote from Harry Potter and I was thinking something from Jane Austen (of course). I want to wrap them together around my never be lost tattoo. This one is going to take some time to sort out.
  3. Get lost in a city
    1. I have an allergic reaction to not knowing where I’m going. I like to visit a place and just randomly get lost. I do have Google maps so I need to stop being paranoid about not finding my way home.
  4. Watch the sunrise
  5. Watch the sunset
  6. Make a new awesome friend
  7. Make a list of things that make you happy
    1. I have a list started and I need to work on it more.
  8. Do at least one random act of kindness a month (beyond opening doors, saying please & thank you)
    1. I’m pretty polite person to strangers (opening doors for those in need, helping people out if they need to lift/carry/etc something, saying please and thank you), but I’d like to do more.
  9. Take a dance class
    1. I’ve done tap, ballet, and belly dance (which is dancing to some degree). I’d like to find something I’m into and take a class in it. Or take a bunch of classes and just get into it.
  10. Write in nothing but glitter pens for a week
    1. This is a lot easier than I thought.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2015, 20152014, 2010, 1999

50 Things To Do in 2016: 1 – 10

Dear Internet,

Earlier this year I wrote down 5 goals I wanted to accomplish:

  1. Get a job and all the accouterments that go with said job
  2. Continue on with the healthy plan
  3. Travel more
  4. Write more and not just in my paper journal. Write true, write what matters, write what you love.
  5. Per the graphic, Be Fierce

A lot of these are general things already in progress (healthy plan, writing) while others, like travel more, are often planned dates and times. I’m heading to Chicago in March to be with my #cmmrb crew for C2E2 and there are some other travel plans potentially on the horizon. And I’m being as fierce as I possibly can be. Have I mentioned I’ve signed up to play ladies’ rugby? Yes. Me. Rugby.

But what I need, what I believe everyone needs, is to plan for things and accomplish in the next year. Some of them can be quite small and others can be amazingly large. Earlier this year, Gala Darling posted an illustrated list of her 50 Things Things To Do in 2016 with encouragement for her readers to use this a jumping off guide for their own list. I’m taking her challenge and decided to do my own 50 list, 10 of which I’ll reveal over each day over the next 5 days.

You may note there is far more than 50 items on my list and I’ll probably continue to add more as time goes on. Can’t hurt to over shoot!

A couple of things you may also note in these lists: Nothing having to do with romance and no couple-y things. I’m on dating lockdown for at least a year. It’s all about me, baby!

One thing I totally want to kick ass at this year? Being silly. I’m goofy as hell but I need to be sillier more. It’ll help with my often crippling social anxiety.

(I may not believe in a god, but I do believe in woo-woo. I have a close witchy friend who does tarot and spells for me and I’ve got lots of friends who are pagan and druids. Even if my belief isn’t super strong in the woo, I like having something to believe in and a lot of the list is woo-woo)

50 Things To Do in 2016: 1 – 10

  1. See at least two music show this year
    1. I used to see numerous shows a year, local and national bands, and that has petered off significantly.
  2. Learn how to read tarot cards
    1. Yes, it’s true. Mock all you want but a few days before TheEx and I split, I saw a psychic. She told me he and I were going to break up very soon (we did two days later), I was going to be married twice (one down!), and I would not have kids other than the furry kind (See.). It could all be pure coincidence but learning to read tarot is not going to hurt anyone. So there.
  3. Write a letter everyday for a month
    1. This, hopefully, will be happening during the month of February.
  4. Wear false eyelashes for no reason
    1. I’ve been told over and over again I don’t need them, but why the hell not try them for a night or two?
  5. Volunteer time at a least one charity
    1. I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, now that I’m in a city for some time, I should back up my talk.
  6. Commit to doing something physically challenging
    1. I start rugby in a few weeks. Hopefully I can keep up with it.
  7. Read a new fiction book a month
    1. The amount of fiction on my shelf and in my to read lists is staggering. Time to start cleaning that out.
  8. Read a new non-fiction book a month
    1. See fiction above.
  9. Buy and use more scented candles
    1. While gerbera daisies are my favorite, flowers make me sneeze. Here come the candles.
  10. Knit a sweater something complicated
    1. I need to move on from hats and scarfs. This has been going on long enough.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 20151999