the symbol of the thing in the thing itself

Dear Internet,

I want to take Chingy’s Holidae In and gender reverse the roles, something along the lines of Law Revue Girls’ Defined Lines. As I can neither rap and laughably have moves that no way indicate my decade of dance lessons as a child, someone else should get on that toot suite.


TheHusband asked me how I was doing with the social media sabbatical, I found myself answering honestly — I kind of have not missed it. Oh sure, there have been times when I want to just brain dump and Twitter is a natural fit for that activity or there are times when I find this really awesome link and I can’t really share it excent on my weekly roundup, which doesn’t quite have the same satisfaction.

Before I took the sabbatical, I was often finding myself posting a link or a quote from somewhere and spending more than say 2 or 3 tweets giving my opinion on the matter. Which is, frankly, kind of useless giving the context of how Twitter works. Someone coming in on the middle of me bestowing random commentary would be confused. I was churning how to handle this since I recognize this is not Twitter’s intent and that I often get cross when others do the same trick. I came up with linking, asides of things I want to share but do not want to get buried in the weekly round-up.


I’ve started Clarice Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart and it is beyond exquisite. I injected half the book in one sitting last night and had stop because I was getting woozy on a Lispector overdose. She adroitly does things to language and words, even in translation from Portuguese to English that is just breathtaking. I am having trouble reconciling that it was published in 1943 as it reads so contemporary. Reading Lispector is breathing flames under the muse for me and I’m reconsidering how to write fiction.

I’m terrible at fiction. I always feel so damned constricted when trying to form the rules of the game, my writing comes out halting and unsure. I’ve got brilliant ideas for stories, I see the stories in my head as they are played out but getting them onto paper? No. The ease of my language sounds immature and protracted. Sure, you could argue if I practice more it would mature and grow and there is some truth into that. But I think because I’ve been reading tightly bound prose for so long, I’m near drunk on Lispector’s stream of consciousness and realising that yes, this is how you do it. This is how you give birth to a story and how it will end.

Feral. Unstructured and messy, like life.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2003

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