things I have written

Dear Internet,

It’s been a busy week over here in Lisa-Universe. For starters, the written word pieces I mentioned a few weeks ago, published. The first piece, “How To Divorce Your Mother In Three Easy Steps,” is available over at WittyBitches.com. The piece proved to be pretty popular.

Preen.
Preen.

That was pretty exciting.

The second piece published, for No Flying, No Tights, is a review of a new manga series, Manga Classics, which specializes in classic books translated into visual prose. My first review, Manga Classics: Emma, is now up! I interviewed the author, Stacy King, yesterday (I’m currently transcribing a 45 minute video call into text. Oi!), which will be published sometime in the next few weeks. The nice thing about doing reviews of this calibre is the publisher is sending on books from the current collection for me to read and review. I adore that this job has a lot of perks.

This, of course, means I got to update my bibliography and resume. I’ve also added a few sample clips that I churned out this week for writing jobs. It’s nice to see published pieces from places that I do not own. This has been, in the writing world, a pretty awesome week.

I’m on the East Coast now and have been for the last few weeks. The whole reason I am here is to go job hunting, which — isn’t happening. I’ve had nary an interview or even a phone call since I’ve been here; it’s incredibly frustrating. I’m forming plans, as I always do, but what I can tell you is I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. While I don’t necessarily feel as if I’m at the end of my rope, I do feel as if I’m running up against walls.

If it were not for the published pieces, I don’t know how I would feel.

In order to keep myself relevant, I’ve been teaching myself to code. I know, I know, I’ve been on the offense in regards to coding not the only thing in the tech world. But as more and more positions I’m interested in start to advertise they want coders of varying degrees, it was time to bit the bullet and get with the program.

I’m constructing my entire education around various coding classes I bought over at Stack Social and Udemy. I’m also looking into Code Academy for additional classes.

The thing that is having me chomping at the bit is where I’m located, there is nay a place for women coders to hang out. Interestingly there is very few social clubs for programmers as a whole. I’m only a short train ride away from NYC and yet this area is a wasteland. I’m working on finding online spaces for women to get together and that has also been slow going.

It’s all a wait and see game, one of which I have grown weary.

MINI watch

In other good news, I took Jeeves in for an alignment this week and the wait was three hours longer than they had quoted me — so the manager gave me a MINI watch. With my MINI car collection (nearly a dozen and growing), my world domination of MINI is coming to fruition.

Mentally? I’m doing – okay. Not 100% great but not down in the dumps either. I’ve long correlated my mania is a tip off of my hormones racing at the beginning of my period but this is one thing I find I cannot 100% control. Hell, even 50% control. My feelings of sadness, anxiety, and loss of overall control have very realistic seeds and I have to keep reminding myself of those things are natural, not disease based, things.

I’m seeing a therapist now and I have signed up with the local Depression Bipolar Support Alliance group, giving me a support system in place. I’m also mediating daily — I’m on a 37 day streak! But I still feel anxious most of the time, I’ve got a new fear of driving, which is apparently not unusual but it makes for interesting dichotomy in regards to the fact I’ve been driving for over 20 years, including several coast to coast trips. Why now? It’s a new thing, for sure, but why and what is what perplexes me.

Therapy better fucking help. I’ve got things to do.

The therapist and I talked about my hyper-sexuality and the coinciding factor I do not get a lot of pleasure out of the sex act itself. She pointed out, with my sexual history, by initiating and fucking someone first, I’m in control (as opposed to previous experiences where my control was taken from me). Once those words tumbled out of her mouth, suddenly everything clicked into place and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. I no longer had to be the goddess of fuck anymore — and that in and of itself is freeing.

xoxo,
Lisa

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This day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2010, 2003

I need to be in the town where they know what I’m like and don’t mind

Dear Internet,

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a serious update, thus it’s time to keep everyone abreast of what’s happening in my little world.

First up, I’m moving. Again.

I’ve been holed up in Kentucky these last six weeks, staying with TEH, as I’ve run out of day to day living money.The GR apartment was pre-paid for a year and I received my refund for the remaining six months, but that would only cover monthly expenses sans rent/food so it was time to go. The plans is I would be responsible for paying my bills and TEH would cover food/housing/gas. (We have the weirdest divorce, ever.) One of the conditions of me living here was keeping up daily chores and job hunting, which I’ve been doing with aplomb.

TEH decided to head up to the cabin for a month or so, starting in the first week of August, in which I would fly to CT to stay with TheBassist as I could not take a break from job hunting. Then TEH decided he was going to go up later than planned after which my open return ticket had been purchased. Since we’re now looking at me being out in CT for roughly two months now, I decided to cancel and swap the ticket over to TheBassist, whose flying out here on Sunday with planning on driving to CT that day.

Follow that? Okay good.

Right now my packing is skilled enough that it’s frightening. If you ever need help to pack for a trip or a house, I’m your girl.

Speaking of jobs, as of July 30th I am up to 113 applications from everything to librarianing to content curation and (now) retail (bookstores). I’m also heavily looking for positions as a tech/copywriting/content. No stone unturned and etc.

My interview rate is about one in ten, which is above average. I often get second interviews and then! Rejection. One place rescind an offer 24 hours later after extending said offer exclaiming I did not “show enough interest in the job” though I drove an hour one way for a 30 minute interview. So yep, totally not interested. I was shopping for apartments in Lexington, KY when they called to rescind the offer. Was it because of the case?

Probably.

Speaking of writing, I sold my first writing piece to a web ‘zine and I’m super excited about it (natch). I cannot publish the piece here nor do I know when it’s going to be published, but I can tell you the title is, “How I Divorced My Mother in Three Easy Steps.” It is non-fiction and clocks in at about 1800 words before editing. My beta-readers said, “It’s impossibly dark.”, so that should give you an idea of the atmosphere of the content. As always, I keep it real.

In other writing news, I’m doing reviews for No Flying No Tights, mainly in adult graphic novels. I assumed I had spread the word for this but apparently not! This is not a paid gig, but it will help with my bibliography (or clips) page. I’m super excited about this possibility.

Flipping back to the job thread, I am using Udemy.com to build my own education, concentrating on front end web development, content, and SEO to extend my skills. TEH and I purchased bundles from them over the years as well as taking advantage of free classes is allowing me to do this on the cheap. I know, I know. I KNOW. I was on the defense war path that coding was not the only technical thing and yet, here we are! I do apologize deeply to those who got tired of that schtick. It’s pretty clear a lot of jobs require some if not all of these for the typical unicorn they are trying to catch, so why not?

Mentally, things have been more or less okay. Last week was awful with the mania where I was hopping off the walls while crying for entire days. The only recourse, at the time, was to drug up on Klonopin and sleep with Ted E. Bear.

Things came to a head when TEH and TheBassist both insisted I up my Lamictal to the last dosage as approved by doctor in Grand Rapids and take myself to the free clinic to talk to someone.

The free clinic in Louisville is designed mainly for the homeless and those on their last hopes. As a walk-in, I was told they could see me when first available slot came open. Four hours later I requested more info to discover the therapists were all at lunch and they closed at 3:30. Would I liked ot make an appointment? Sure, why not. Okay, we can fit you in two weeks. Two weeks? Yes. What if I came back tomorrow? You’ll have to start the waiting process all over again.

(…)

I called six places in Louisville and every single one was booked out for weeks and months. If I was suicidal, which I wasn’t but I was in crisis, I could check myself in at the local emergency room who could throw me in a locked ward for 48-72 hours. THEN I could get help.

(I don’t know if I told you all this but I was stuck on the east coast during a massive blizzard back in January with an appointment with a medicating therapist in GR the following day. I called and canceled and explained why, they said they couldn’t fit me for another five months. This is an emergency I insisted. Doesn’t matter they said. When I finally say said medicating therapist and told her about the run up, she said they had policies in place and times open for just things. It should not have taken me five months to see her.)

Thankfully I had an appointment set in CT JUST IN CASE if I happened to come back that same time, so I’ll be okay in CT. I’m also set up in CT with a local bipolar support group.

I’ve, and others, have said over and over again the state of mental health wouldn’t be this tenuous unless the pain was physical and obvious. It’s frustrating, anxiety inducing, and pointless. But that is a rant for another day.

That’s pretty much it for me at this time and juncture. Sunday is the 12 hour drive day so it might be a few days before I post here again. Happy weekend everyone.

 

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2014, 2012, 2012, 2008

55 Minuts Til X-Files (2015 version)

Dear Internet,

In 1997 I was living with a dominatrix in a dump of a house in El Cerrito, California; a ‘burb of San Francisco. With barely any income, I survived by the generous help of others, my wits, and eating one meal a day.

Every Sunday night my roommates and I, plus circular friends, would get together for pizza and X-Files. This was our ritual, without fail, every Sunday for nearly a year. Even when I moved out with one of my roommates to a house in Oakland, we kept the ritual going. But after awhile, as all things seem to wont to do, X-Files and I parted ways. I was still somewhat of a rabid fan but the magic, and the lure of pizza, were almost gone. Pizza was now saved for video game binges and other special occasions.

I’m excited about the upcoming reboot but also a bit sad as I remember the supposed very last X-Files movie in 2008 where they made it pretty fucking clear that they have tied up all the loose ends, thus no more X-Files. The last shot was of Mulder and Scully in a raft, waving good-bye to the camera.

I was reminded by TheExHusband recently, when the news broke the X-Files were not only coming back but most of the original case (including The Lone Gunmen) would also in attendance, about a piece I wrote one evening before that week’s episode was on.

Here is that piece I wrote 18 years ago (!) about that one particular benign Sunday night, starring a rotating cast of characters in my life, before the night’s episode appeared. I’ve cleaned up the piece for grammar and spell checking but for the most part, it’s as it was when it was published all those years ago.

55 Minuts Til X-Files

The pizza has been ordered.
The seats have been staked out.
Simpsons are on and I am killing time.

My stomach still is grumbling from all the coffee I have had today. Maybe it is still regurgitating from the Taco Hell from last night. I have no idea why in the hell I am going to eat pizza. I should eat I suppose, but, for some reason food hasn’t seemed appealing in the last few weeks. Everyone is telling me how good I look. My mens pajama bottoms keep falling down, showing off my cute little underwear from Victoria’s Secret.

I laugh.

****************************************

Every Sunday, at my house, is brunch day. My housemates and their friends all come over and my job, being miz coffee person, is to make coffee. I can cook, but I tell them I can’t. I just make coffee and swap stories with everyone.

Today I attempted to make bacon.
I burned it to a crisp.
I resolved just setting the table and making coffee.

Rob looks over at me and says “Lisa, I didn’t know you were so domestic.”
“Rob,” I say, “Tell anyone and you will die slowly.”
He laughed.

Brunch has become a tradition here. Every Sunday my two roommates and I prepare from having anywhere from 5-10 people show up. We all crowd around our tiny kitchen table and actually eat a home cooked meal. Eggs, bacon, steak, toast, fresh brewed coffee from yours truly. It sure beats all the frozen and fast food we eat on a daily basis.

A few hours later, we all grab movies and watch the afternoon away. Sleaze tests, teasing, arguments, and scalp massages are all part of the routine. Today, due to one of the guests having their kids with them, the movie selection was trimmed down. We all wanted to see Toy Story which I had on tape. Problem was, so were two other movies. Also on one of my tapes was a video declaration from Danny. Only problem was, I couldn’t remember which tape it was on. I called Danny and left a message. He called me back and told me what tape it was on. Grateful it wasn’t on the one we were planning to watch, I told him I would talk to him later and hung up. He called a few minutes later and said “When you have a few minutes, tape after The Lion King. I don’t want you to see what I said.” Slightly amused, I said okay and hung up.

We ended up watching Trainspotting instead.

****************************************

This is what has been most amusing to me. Danny and I dated on and off for nearly year and a half. We lived together. We were together when my grandfather died and when everything else came tumbling down around me. But for some reason, I can’t conjure up anything but memories of him, and even those, are blanking out. I can’t say I even loved him. I used to think so, but, I can see I never really did. And my “coldness” for him, so apparent, when, not so long ago, when I had resolved that I would never treat him like I had, is something I can’t help.

The person Danny is, is no way related to who I am. It never was. My assertiveness, my aggressiveness, my lust for life, never matched his. He would have been happy living in Grand Rapids for the rest of his life, while I wanted to see the world. If my plans of marrying him, would have been carried out, I would have either cheated on him OR committed suicide within a year. How stifling that was. How limiting. He said, “You’re so special. You have no idea how special you are.” I laughed. I knew how special I was. I did’t need anyone to validate it. I have no remorse for being cold to him, then and now. I used to, but guilt, for being who you are, trying to fix something that isn’t really there, is not me. I no longer think about it. He asked me once, a few weeks ago, how would I feel if he moved and didn’t tell me.

I didn’t answer. I simply didn’t care.

****************************************

35 minutes till X-Files

****************************************

Yesterday, my friend Michael took his wife Beth and I down to the Lick Observatory in San Jose and to the Rosicrucian Temple as well. For over 20 miles we traveled up Mt. Hamilton, talking about various and sundry things, while I looked out the back window and dreamed. How beautiful the area was. How so, un-plastic it seemed from everywhere else I have been in California. It looked so New Englandish, with the leaves changing colors and the air crisp and strong. I wandered around the observatory and wished it wasn’t so foggy.

But I could still see into forever.

****************************************

At the Rosicrucian Temple, I felt so at home. My love for the Templars gave me appreciation for this. Michael and I sat in a little area that had a fountain spilling water into a pool. We talked about various and sundry things. The changes in my life. My flying out to Pennsylvania to see Jeff. Michael’s marriage with Beth. My writing. Michael’s music. I opened up my backpack and took out my wallet. I dug out a penny and pitched it in, and made a wish. Not to be outdone, Michael pitched in a quarter. Not to be outdone, I dumped all my change out (about $5 dollars worth) and pitched it in with glee. I laughed out loud and spun around.

Michael and I walked around the Temple, wishing we could get into the Egyptian Museum, but sadly it was closed. As we stroked the papyrus (Direct from Egypt!) plant (“Looks phallic,” I said) we walked past the fountain again. I stopped short, and ripped off both rings given to me by two different lovers, Michael (a different Michael) and Danny. I tossed them into the water with nary a thought and kept on walking. I suddenly felt more free than ever before. I didn’t feel binded to anything. I didn’t feel as though I was making the past complete. I did not have to apologize to anyone. I didn’t have to make excuses for what I did. I could rid of it all.

I had told Jeff that, today, I was going to do the symbolic thing and burn EVERYTHING ever given to me by an ex-lover. Letters, clothing, stuffed animals, books, video tapes. Thinking of the hug bonfire this could produced, I have resolved just to do letters and stuffed animals. Now it grows late in the day.

X-files will be on in 17 minutes.
After that, I will be watching Leaving Las Vegas.

Hopefully tonight, under the moon, I will dance my ass off and burn it all baby. Just burn it all. What I wanted to do last New Year’s Eve…

Someone just knocked on the door.
Pizza Hut is here.
Time to go.
Till next time.

****************************************

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2012, 2003, 2000