introductions, introductions

The cottage from The Holiday.
The cottage from The Holiday.

Dear Internet,

Happy early Svein Forkbeard day. I’m in the wilds of Connecticut prepping for the series of holiday events that will be happening over the course of the next few days. Tonight most of the Connecticut family is heading to the midnight service and I’m thinking of joining them. There is something about theological rituals during the holidays that I still yearn for even though I do not prescribe to any particular religion.

Like previous years, I’m in the throes of making holiday cookies. This year the list is small: macaroons, white chocolate cranberry oatmeal, no bakes, sugar, and finally, gingerbread cookies. I’m shipping cookies to my brother and TSTBEH and of course, leaving some for the Connecticut family. Since the next couple of days is going to be jammed with family activities, I’m stealing time when I can – like waking up at 5:30AM to start the prep work for the cookies and the cornbread stuffing for the big meals that are happening today, tomorrow, and Boxing day.

Nick Frost plays Santa!
Nick Frost plays Santa!

It’s also time for holiday episodes of my favorite British TV and radio shows. So far Stella, the first part of the Zurich episode of Cabin Pressure, and first episodes of Good Omens have played. Then of course come the regulars and new shows that are upcoming like: Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and Miranda. This is yet another reason why I love the British: the unabashed love for holiday episodes of their favorite shows which Americans give no fucks about.

But I have to reaffirm the bigger news than holiday cookies and TV shows; though in my world, those are very good things.

Skaldic Press Presents
Reminder about the 4x a month newsletter from Skaldic Press (my publishing arm) that includes updates from Exit, Pursued by a Bear, so glad is my heart, and other adventures in addition to Skaldic Press. Includes themed GIFs. You can check out the archives for a better taste of what to expect and then subscribe below.

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The Lisa Chronicles, Vol 1: 1998
Also another reminder that my book is now available for pre-order. Publishing date is January 31, 2015.

From the blurb:

In 1998, having an online diary was a brave new world. Mailing lists, communities, chat rooms, and more all sprung up over people’s favorite diarists. Now we would call them bloggers. But then, THEN was a whole ‘nother beast. Then writing online was intimate. Then it was more personalized and personal. Then writers had less shtick. Not much was expected of these online exhibitionist scribes other than the ability to tell a good tale and regularly update.

I miss those days.

I never expected to get rich or famous, but what I wanted was to be able to connect to others who were like me. The scared, the frightened, the brave, and the bold. (No relation to the terrible soap opera of the same name.) I wanted to eat the world and in 1998, what better way to do that was through the Internet?

What can you expect from the first volume? Love, conflict, obsessions with people, places, and things. Rotating cast of characters and adventures. Sprinkle of song lyrics here and there. Pop culture references galore. Sex. More sex. Profane words and a bipolar girl desperate to connect with a world she did not understand.

While this work has been edited for grammar, clarity, and the obvious typo, it remains largely unchanged from when it first appeared online nearly two decades ago.

And lastly, every word here is true.

So if you’re intrigued by the book description or want to help support me thanks to the saga of #teamharpy, I would be most grateful if you would pre-order the book.

[amazon template=image&asin=B00R2808QE]


Not much else is going on in my world right this very second other than prepping for the holidays and editing my book. Typically I feel some sort of sadness and isolation since my family and I are not very close, but while I feel some semblance of that feeling this year, being around people who care kind of lessens the pain. I still feel awkward and out of place, but when do I usually not feel a disconnect to others’ lives?

The drugs may stabilize my moods, meditation may help me deal better with impulse feelings, but some things about me will just never change.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2011, 2002

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: December 28, 2013

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

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.

Dear Internet,




  • Blandings
    Based on the stories by P.G. Wodehouse, a frothy watch that is coming back for a second season in 2014.
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  and Sleepy Hollow
    I watched the first few episodes of both and let the rest pile up on the DVR. I found, as time went on, I had no fucks for either show. I was bored, found Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. neither clever or intriguing and Sleepy Hollow was just plain boring.
  • Boardwalk Empire
    Another show, like Homeland, that I stopped watching at some point in mid-season only to have TheHusband keep me up to date on the goings on. Now that one of my favorite characters is dead, the plot is overly messy, another character has been tossed to the side, I am glad this is now over. If this gets picked up for another season, we’ll more than likely not watch this hot mess.
  • Downton Abbey Christmas Special
    This was, it has to be, a parody of the entire show. Two major events were pushed easily to the side and summarily forgotten, no real movement in the plot, and speculation about some of the characters was heightened all dressed under snark about the English upper classes by the characters playing the upper classes. Just meh.
  • Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Christmas Special
    Yay Phryne. Now what am I going to do until season three comes to fruition??
  • Death Comes to Pemberley
    Based on the novel by P.D. James, this three part series is currently being shown in the UK. I have yet to read the book, but, the series is interesting. It has loads of good actors, Matthew Rhys, Matthew Goode, Anna Maxwell Martin, and others. But the movement is slow, the dialogue is a bit thin, and frankly, I am not caring enough about the characters but I will continue.
  • Raised by Wolves
    Written by Caitlin Moran and her sister Caroline, it is an emphasis of their ramshackle homeschooled life from the ’80s, except placed in the current climes. I have a love/hate relationship with Caitlin, and the first episode got a slow start, but I found myself warming up to the show pretty quick.

Weekly watching: BBC Tudor Monastery Farm, Reign, DraculaProject Runway All-Stars, Breathless, Atlantis,  Elementary, Doc Martin, QIPeaky Blinders,  Sons of Anarchy,  The Vampire Diaries

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?


This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2011

On the Occasion of Doctor Who’s 50th Birthday


Dear Internet,

I’ve long acknowledge I’m a late bloomer since I’ve never done anything in the usual linear pace of time for anything. In the realm of life events, I didn’t graduate high school on time, I got my GED when I was 19; I finished my undergrad when I was 32, and I got married when I was almost 40. Hell, the first time I ever saw Star Wars was on laserdisc in 1994! But it goes much farther back than that – I was even born late by nearly a month.

My introduction to a lot of things I’m into now were also not via the usual methods of self-discovery or influence. My interests in the last decade have begun to deepen to reveal what my true self is: A very nerdy girl. So much so, TheHusband is often found mumbling that he married a 12 year old boy when a new toy arrives at the house, the DVR is stocked with cartoons, or my wish list contains mainly video games and comics.

My interest in Doctor Who came about on a very haphazard road that did not fully take shape until 2005. Though my family were PBS aficionados while I was growing up, where the original Doctor Who series was shown on late at night, my introduction to science fiction or fantasy was hazy at best. I remember watching the original Star Trek and Lost in Space on Saturday afternoons as they were in syndication when I was a young lass, but I grew up in a house mainly of women, with nearly zero male presence, who were into the stereotypical womanly things and whose interests were definitely not into the galaxy shoot outs, alien races, and interplanet travel variety.

[iframe class=”alignleft” src=”//″ height=”263″ width=”350″ allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″] Fast forward a decade plus and my first introduction to Doctor Who was not through the show itself, but through the song Doctorin’ The TARDIS by The TimeLords (aka The KLF) that was released in the late ’80s and was a mainstay on college radio and in clubs. I remember dancing in my bedroom to this tune a lot in high school, but the references were falling on deaf ears. There is a hazy memory of someone explaining to me it was a tribute to a beloved sci-fi show from the ’60s and ’70s, but during the mid to late ’80s, I was going through a horror film / metal music phase so I just filed it away for future reference.

By the time I was in my 20s, I thought I had some very definite tastes figured out. I was very much keen on telling people that I had no interest in science fiction OR fantasy OR mythology until someone finally said look, a lot of those movies/show you watch you like or books you read ARE tinged with fantastical or science fiction elements. Just because you’re not buying them in the SFF aisles doesn’t mean they are any less of that genre then the ones that are stocked on those shelves. I’m not terribly sure who said this to me, and I’m also fairly certain it was more than one person, but whatever stigma I thought was attached to liking SFF crashed and I started gorging on as much as humanly possible. It was around this same time I finally gave in and became a Terry Pratchett fan, which anyone who was an existing fan at the time and met me was convinced I would flail for PTerry to the end of my days, turned out to be absolutely right.

As the Internet became more prevalent, and information widely spread, Doctor Who and its related fandoms were one of those cultures that still eluded me. There was Just. So. Much. And it was not just with the main show, but the spinoffs, the books, the games, the fanfiction, and everything else related. I had no idea on where to begin and it was especially hard when much of the original shows were haphazardly around the web or a library may have some on VHS/DVD, but nothing close to completion.

When Sci Fi (now SyFy) channel announced that in 2005 it was going to start showing the newly rebooted Doctor Who, I was ecstatic. FINALLY, I can see what the fuss is all about. While there were missed chances to get into the series before, now with the reboot and its full intent on introducing a whole new generation to become Whovians, I could. In the spring of 2006, I set my TiVo to record and waited.

The entire first season of the reboot, in which we’re introduced to the Ninth Doctor, sat on my DVR for weeks after the season ended. At some point I got a mutant version of the plague and was on the couch for days, in which I mainlined the entire first season in one go.

I fell in love. Hard. Almost painfully so.

CMMRB Doctor Who
L-R: 11, 4, 10, Donna Noble, Rose, Captain Jack, 9
Cosplaying at C2E2, 2013

They say your first Doctor is your favorite Doctor and that is most definitely true of me. Christopher Eccleston, as the brusque northerner (all planets have a north!), regenerated as the Ninth doctor stole Rose’s heart and my own. From that point on, I became a fan for life.

You can unpack Doctor Who, regardless of where you come into the series, in a whole manner of different ways and dissertations have been written on the subject doing just that. To me, the Ninth Doctor and following, are all represented pieces of myself that were either hidden or realised by being unveiled for the first time as each episode. I saw in each episode something I could relate to on a very deeply personal level, whether it was the hard choices I had to make in my own life or how the show somehow explained a complex thought or action into something much more simple.

The show is not marketed as a philosophical treatise on the human condition, it was and still is marketed as a kid’s show. But if you strip away all the fun and fluff bits, but it is at its core that very ideologie of presenting complex and very human situations in a manner that makes easily accessible and understandable. And at least in the reboot, the show is also very much a feminist show where all characters are given equal footing AND tasks.

I may not be able to tell you which episode Cyberman appeared or the catchphrase of the Third Doctor, but I don’t think that makes me any less of a fan of the show or series. And after all, as the madman in the blue box will tell you, I have all of time and space to find out.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 2010, 1998