indefatigable

And I’ve been looking for my truth
Since God was a boy Guy Garvey

Dear Internet,

I’m taking a break from making holiday cards as there is only so many pithy messages one can write before the hand gets tired. The breakfast bar looks as if Michael’s has thrown up glitter and paper everywhere. I’ve received so many responses for the cards I closed down the form because a girl can only make so many damned cards. What is surprising me the most is I have not sliced a finger with the Exacto knife or glued things together that are not paper.

Edit: I’ve made all the damned cards and have loads of extras. If you want a card, go to bit.ly/HolidayCards2015.

I’ve been getting back into crafting again to help quell my brain and the satisfaction having a finished product made by oneself. I started with coloring this summer, moved on to knitting again when I found my knitting supplies. This, of course, meant I had a ton of projects started and no idea now who or what said projects are for. I tore each project back to a ball of yarn, using said yarn to knit myself a long scarf. Nothing fancy, just a garter stitch back and forth. I forgot how to fucking purl, cast on, and cast off. These are all simple stitches and if it were not for kind friends on Facebook and YouTube, L-ville would hear the brunt of my swearing on why I could not do what I had mastered so long ago.

A million and half years ago (2010 –  2012) I ran an Etsy shop, Excessively Diverting. I sold handcrafted holiday bulbs, pins, bookmarks, and other trinket specializing in out of copyright books and authors such as Jane Austen, the Bronte’s, Charles Dickens, and so forth and so on.

The shop was successful but the time & cost could not justify keeping the shop open as the majority of sales came during October, November, and December. When breaking down the wholesale cost of making the items and I was paying myself $0 per hour to keep prices competitive, meant I was barely breaking even. I kept all of the templates and other similar items in a box for said store re-opening sometime in the future, but I don’t even have a permanent place to live so that’s not happening anytime soon.

Back to crafting! I also do cross-stitch, which has been slow going. I started a project of matryoshka doll style Avengers ages ago as gift for someone I now have no idea who for. Captain America and the Hulk were finished before I realized I had fucked up the dimensions. That project is just hanging out in one of my craft boxes for something as I do not want to waste what I have already completed.

Then there is the holiday cards, which I’ve been steadily working on for the last week. I was perusing Etsy, Amazon, and other sites for cards to send this year, as you do, when TheExHusband suggested I make the cards instead. This is marvelous idea as I owned most of the major supplies required and all I needed to purchase was paper and a few colored glitter gel pens to finish the cards. Buying office supplies? Oh twist my arm. I have a large vintage tackle box chock full of pens of all sorts (gel, glitter, fountain), colored art pencils for the coloring, nibs and ink for said fountain pens, highlighters for paper and otherwise, drawing marks, and disposable calligraphy pens. Then there is my notebook collection which has grown so large, I have at least on packing box filled to the brim.

One could say I have a fetish for office supplies.


It’s been a couple of days since I started this entry, not finishing it as I didn’t really haven’t the heart. TheSads are again attacking, which probably amounts for and while TEH has been great on cheerleading me on to not dwell, but when you hurt, everything hurts: brain, body, emotions, feelings. Every change in inflection from whoever sends a cavalcade of feels from my brain to my toes.

It’s in that particular space I don’t want to be touched or spoken to. I want to do my thing (crafting, reading, watching TV, whatever) because I don’t have to think when I do these things. This is where I can not worry about my actions, my words, my being intrusive to someone else. It’s where the crying jags come, less frequently now but still appear nevertheless.

The non-touching part can be problematic when you’re around people who simply care about you and want you to feel better.

A friend on the Facebooks shared a mantra, of sorts,

momentofsuffering-web
Which has been a gods-send for me to remember that TheSads are a part of life, are not permanent and will leave at some point.


Yet a couple more days have passed since the above update. TheSads lasted all of one day, where I soaked TheExHusband’s shirt with tears. The following day I was feeling slightly right as rain and the day after that only got better.

For about a week I’ve been walking 17 minute miles on the treadmill since I wrote the above and the endorphin high has been awesome at keeping sad feelings at bay. I get up in the morning, throw on my workout clothes, eat breakfast, and head down to the in-house gym with a bottle of water and workout for about 40 minutes. The workout is two minutes to warm up, walk two miles at 17 minutes a mile and then cool down. With my Spotify “get fit” mix in my ears, the time passes quickly.

I haven’t done yoga since we’ve returned back to Louisville and while one could point out I was being lazy, I will retort there was no space in the condo for me to lay my yoga mat down. True facts.

The lack of space has much to do with my stuff taking up all the available space. Over the past weekend we moved all of the boxes down to TheExHusband’s storage unit and now the condo looks huge. After some furniture shifting, there is now space for my yoga mat and the condo doesn’t seem as claustrophobic as it once was. I joked to TheExHusband that as we’ve shifted all of my things into the storage, I will now get a job.

You can bet on it.


Speaking of such, my Louisville job interview went really well as they are bringing me in for a two day in-person interview in a few weeks. My Connecticut interview, via Skype, is tomorrow. I’m nervous but I feel pretty confident about both situations. I need to get a mutha-fucking job. Full stop. I’m doing research on both positions and living in both locations. If by some grace of the gods I get two offers, it’s going to be a really hard call. The bennies for both are nearly identical but the pay is wildly disparate: $20K between the two at their minimum pay rate. Taking into account the cost of living for both cities, the Connecticut job will allow me to pay down my $20K credit card debt that much sooner. (Which is crazy to think about when the cost of living is a bit on the high side.)

You might be thinking, “Okay. Get through the damned interviews first” and I get that. I do. But I have to think about these things so I’m not making half-assed jumps for one over the other. Both positions are awesome and I can do a lot of good at both institutions, so if I come to this crossroads, I’ve got a lot to think about.

It should go without saying if only one position offers me the job, that is the one I’m taking. A girl cannot be picky.

If neither offer me a position, I’m starting the search again in January when the academic job search reopens.

It should be no surprise I’m exhausted from the amount of job hunting I’ve done over the last 11 months. But it will get better soon, this I do know.


One of the last things I said to TheBassist before the break-up was I’m emotionally exhausted and that is still true. The idea of dating right now makes me nauseous and compounded with reading OkStupid, just ugh. (I would implore you to not read OkStupid for the simple fact it will depress you on the state of humanity.)

I’ve resigned for not dating for year but I will be open to finding new friends in the area I’m living in permanently. In Louisville it would be super awesome to go out with other people not TheExHusband and it would be super cool to meet new people on the East Coast. Friends are good. Dick pics are not.

I dragged TheExHusband out to a social event last week and that went…not so well. It was run by one of the larger social groups in Louisville and the crowd was mainly yuppies and other ilk; not my scene at all. TheExHusband and I met a few people, mainly creeper guys who were there to pick up women and “get free shit” (as told to us by one such individual). I was feeling anti-social, part of TheSads, and TheExHusband was amazed he was the one making introductions rather than myself. I’m a pretty outgoing person when I need to be but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe of this particular group of people. TheExHusband mused we need to find our own people, geeks and such, and there are socials for them so that will be on our agenda in the upcoming weeks.


I’m leaving the house on a daily basis, I’ve cut sugar out of my diet and eating as little dairy I can get away with, I’m exercising, and meditating (131 days in a row and counting), — you know, all the things that I need to live a life and that I should be doing anyway. But I loathe to talk about ThePlan, in this space, right now because I always have good intentions and then they peter out. I want to make these changes permanent — and I think this time they are sticking. I don’t feel rushed about doing these things, I just do them. I may not be talking about such matters in-depth as I am wont to do but I will at least give some kind of update every now and then

A big part of my feeling better will be when I get a damned job. That’s a certainty that cannot be denied. When that happens, everything else will fall into place.


Finally, it is a mere 209 days to Lisa-mas.

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 1998

Kalendae Januariae : 2013 will be the year of creativity (even if it kills me)

Dear Internet,
To continue kicking of 2013’s ass, next up is:

2013 will be the year of creativity, even if it kills me.

I have a lot of hobbies. Well, let me rephrase that, I start a lot of hobbies and never finish them. I also have lot of projects on the burner that I start and never complete. A pattern develops! A big push for the “Buy Nothing in 2013” was realising I spent a lot of time researching / buying supplies for a project, not a lot of time working on the actual project to get it to completion. Something I have said numerous time to people is an example of this is I learn how to play Chopsticks, I think I can then play Wagner.  My brain cannot fathom why it does not know how to play complicated when it learned the base, for it thinks that single base is all it needs. I don’t have the skillset on what it takes to learn how to practice. Which sounds grammatically wrong, but is so true. Throw in the ADHD (impulsivity, unable to focus), and you can see where this is becoming a mess. The idea here is to take one of my many hobbies/projects, pick a month, and start working on that said hobby. When the next month rolls around, continue with hobby/project A and then add in hobby B. Continue until all hobbies/projects are exhausted. Some are one-offs, others will be life-long learning.  Here is that list:

  • Start up the podcast, AUDIOMUSICBIOGRAPHICALLY.
    • I own 100G of music, which comprises of about 1000 CDs and hundreds of artists.  Due to my ADHD fueled depression, I actively stopped listening to music several years ago. The idea is to go through my list of artists, alphabetically from 0 to Z, listen to the band, write out how I got introduced to them and my connection to their music, and then podcast about it. Goal is a new podcast every week, 20-30 minutes each episode. Length of project is going to be over years. For holidays, TheHusband got me a mic and I did a test run reading the first chapter of Pride and Prejudice
  • Learn a language, namely Anglo-Saxon and/or French/Italian
    • Awhile ago, Alice and I decided to learn AS together, but life sort of got in the way. I think I may have to poke her on starting up with me again, but I will be going at it for sure since I have all the books / mp3s and online resources. Why AS? The better question is: Why not?
    • As for French/Italian, I have the Rosetta stone in French for levels 1-5, so that would be the easiest to start with Italian, another Romance language,  is more desirable since TheHusband and I plan on one day retiring to Italy. Or maybe Scotland. Maybe I should pick up Scottish Gaelic?
  • Learn to cook
    • If you’ve been following me for a bit, I’ve posted recipes on/off for various things, but the truth of the matter is, I’m a terrible cook. I’m a most excellent baker, but a terrible cook.  This morning, I nearly destroyed the pancakes I was making. So, I sourced the interents for suggestions on how to learn to cook and they were to get Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything The Basics and Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques, which were purchased before my self-imposed buying ban. Here’s hoping I don’t burn the house down.
  • Finish all my knitting/cross-stich projects.
    • Pretty self-explanatory. I bought a lot of supplies for these two hobbies, got really into them and petered out. I want to move beyond making hats/scarves and finish the gifts I promised with the stashes, that would be delightful.
  • Learn to sew.
    • TheHusband planned on buying me a machine for my 40th birthday this year, but since I was having foot surgery shortly after, throw in a long recovery, the machine in question is still on hold. Because I have zero supplies for this on hand right now, this will probably get pushed out towards the end of the year as the other projects take precedence.

While it’s awesome to keep my hands busy, what about my brain? With that, 2013 is also going to be all about the year of the written word.

x0x0,
lisa

Cross-stitch is not for the weak

While I was in Chicago recently for a few work conferences that were back to back, conversations with girlfriends and boyfriends often turned to DIY and the crafting movement. All the cool kids are doing it, it seems. Now I’m no stranger to the DIY/crafting world as I’ve been dabbling on and off for a few years, including but not limited to the following:

But the one that seems to be all the rage in my circles is cross-stitch. I can name half a dozen people off the top of my head who currently count this as their number one crafting past-time. Their constant yammering about their projects, and since it seems you really don’t need to know how to do much other then thread a needle and sew, appealed to me. I like the idea that it is essentially paint by numbers, but with thread. (I will also admit TheHusband has asked me to put the knitting needles down as my hats keep getting more and more interesting. The latest one ended up shaped like a used condom.)

Since having an instant support group for any kind of activity appealed to me, I took myself off to Hobby Lobby tonight after work to get supplies. Since I was not fond of getting a pattern that was “of the lord” or of a fruit basket, I bought a bag of 150 colors of floss, rolled up tube of cross-stich fabric, a hoop, needles, and other accouterments as seen in the picture above. I figured I come home, have dinner, find a pattern, and go. And if I hated it, I would pawn the lot off to Kristin.

No. Not that simple.

The cross-stitch world is complicated. The surge for wanting things handmade has increased the amount of information on the topic, which makes sense since there are thousands nay millions of pages on just about any topic in the universe, according ye olde googles. But I’m a librarian! I should be able to find stuff easily. No, not quite true either. Bad taxonomy and tag stuffing also thwarted my plans. After an hour of looking for patterns, for an easy one I could do in a few hours, turned out to be horribly wrong. I had thought of coughing up a few bucks to Subversive Cross Stitch, whom I long amired, only to find as I was going through their patterns, nothing appealed.

Kristin suggested creating my own pattern, using something like MyPhotoStitch to generate the colors and patterns for me. But the problem is that I wanted to do something BIG AND FLASHY vroom vroom, when I still need training wheels. So instead of creating something that requires 44 different flavors of floss, I need something that has say, eight. Tomorrow when I’m not feeling so emotionally drained, I’ll probably create a TARDIS or something Doctor Who related.

And hopefully this time, nothing will come out shaped like a used condom.


1. The proof that I broke even on my investment with Excessively Diverting proved to me that I could make and sell something of my own creation, which is a huge confidence boost. Now only if could apply that to other things in my life.