one is called love, the other is spain

Dear Internet,
Happy St. Crispian’s Day!

I’ve been obsessed with Eurovision since I was first devirginized by its gloriousness, in 2010, in Amsterdam. I try to catch it every year and if you follow me on Twitter, I give great commentary.
In 2013, Lithuania had a great entry:

The song makes absolutely no sense:

If you don’t know I’m in love with you
When summertime falls It becomes untrue
Because of my shoes I’m wearing today
One is called Love the other is Pain

When I first heard the song, I conflated “pain” for “Spain” which to me sounds a whole lot better.
(It’s been brought to my attention the shoes reference means he walking away from his love or walking towards her. Still doesn’t make sense, which means I enjoy it even more.)

Sitting in my drafts is an entry I worked on all of Saturday night. Prior to writing that, I had read and re-read my paper diary entries and they were all repetitive of the same thoughts:

  • I had lost my self-esteem
  • I had lost my self-worth
  • I had lost my dignity
  • I had lost my confidence
  • I had given up my own power, willingly

What is interesting is what i’ve lost had no bearing on me going forward. Yes, I was emotionally exhausted and tapped out, but! I got up everyday determined, but struggling, to make it through the day. I take showers, I yoga, I meditate, I apply for jobs, I do my homework. Nothing externally is slacking, but internally I was dying. I was dying for a long time.
The realization of how much I gave up or lost is sobering. How did I get here? Why did I let things happen the way they did? Why wasn’t I control of my own life?  It was far easier, I thought, to let others make decisions for me rather than making my own decisions. I let the world dictate who and what I was nary a thought this was harmful to me, to others, but especially to me.
Back to that draft.
I tried to be angry like I was all those years ago, because the end result was the same: He made a unilateral decision to break it off with me on the pretense he was not a factor in my life. Just as he did in 2005 when he broke it off the second time after I told him my mother was just diagnosed with cancer and we were in the midst of chemo, he broke it off when i needed him the most.
That part stung.
But what made me so angry was at myself for not tossing him into the wind when he did the breaking up this time around. No. No, I cried. I cried and held his shirt, that smelled of him, close to will him to come back. I cried, when there were no messages in the morning, willing him to come back. I cried when certain songs came on the radio because I was willing him to come back.
I cried a lot.
And talked to myself a lot in addition to writing in my paper journals. Working shit out of my head. That’s when I started coming to realizations I posited at the beginning of this piece: I was soo fucking angry at myself more so than him breaking it off with me. I stomped around for awhile and silently screamed to get the aggression out. This lack of everything was not me. This was certainly not me. I willed the anger to come thick and fast so I could erase him out of my blood. I cried to TheExHusband  every day – how fucked is it another person who proclaims I’m the love of his life is comforting his ex-wife who is still in love with someone else? Who walks her through the stages of denial and grief as they happen? He’s either a saint or a madman, I haven’t decided which.
I needed to get my dignity back.
TheBassist said I could spin this anyway I wanted to make myself feel better; I could vilify him because it “always happens” (I don’t know if he meant me in particular or his ex-loves). I cried I could not vilify him or spin this anyway but all of this was my fault and he was not in the wrong. He couldn’t trust me to save his life because “the plan” kept changing. He didn’t know what was going on from one minute to the next. Which is a lie in itself: the plan never changed and I told him everything as I knew it.
Hoo boy. Was I ever deluding myself.
To sum: He’s a man child who wants the “big love” (as he calls it), he wants “the one” (as he calls it), and he wants all the trappings and delightful things that come with that love. He will tell you women always dump him and he’s never the dumper. He will tell you he doesn’t want anyone who doesn’t resonate. He will tell you a lot of things to paint him into a pretty corner of his own making.
What he won’t tell you is he can never be single too long, he always needs a partner, and I’m betting it won’t be long before he’s on a dating service, despite the fact he told me, “if I can’t have you, I don’t want anyone else.” What he won’t tell you is a lot of those relationships overlap and I know as I was one of them, twice, as he was spinning these tales of great big love to me while he was involved with someone else. What he won’t tell you is that he spun those tales to other women I’ve known about during the years and I was not the only one. What he won’t tell you is that he vilifies his exes, even the rare ones he’s friendly with. What he won’t tell you is one of his best friends convinced me he was cheating on me this time around. TheBassist threw that back in my face about the cheating comment I had said all those months ago. I just — don’t get how you can throw “love” around so easily. I’m the love of your life but you can never be single or not “fall in love” with every woman you sleep with?
He will tell you he, “did his best.” He will tell you, “I kept breaking his heart every time I left and he never knew when I was coming back.” He would tell you, “we were on pause, we’re always on pause. I wait for you, it’s what I do.” He will tell you, “I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and for you break it off with me.”
What he won’t tell you is I worked my ass off to get to him when I could but lack of money and no job was the hold up. I had to cut my visits short because I ran out of money and had to go either back to TheExHusband (as a friend, not a lover) or when I had my own apartment (pre-paid for a year when I got my divorce settlement. It was decided by everyone involved it was cheaper, and mentally easier for me to live on my own rather than try and find a place in CT), which made me even more depressed about not being with him and I choose him over making myself whole.
What he won’t do, when the shit hits the floor, is stick around, like an adult, and work on the couple problems. What he won’t do is take criticism about him seriously or even try to defend himself. He locks down and shuts up so the problems, the arguments, the pain, the shit that comes with the other side of relationships is placed in a box and you look like an asshole.
What he won’t do is stop accepting handouts from his family, and me, and get a fucking job; he uses his depression as a crutch which drove me insane. You can go to school full time, play 3-4 gigs a month, but you can’t get a piddly part-time job to pay for gas and coffee when you don’t have any gigs? He’s all about “taking care of his business” but he spends any random cash he has on toys, not thinking about he may need gas or coffee in the future and gets angry when you point this out to him.
e.g. On my birthday we were out at the mall. He bought his children (two of whom have jobs) a video game. He bought me — nothing. Not even a card, handmade or otherwise, but when his children didn’t make him a card for any holiday, he was “devastated” and “heartbroken.” When I brought up the hypocrisy between how they treated him and how he treated me, he would muse that he “thought about it later about the awfulness” of the way he treated me but he never rectified the situation.
What he didn’t do was defend me. In the beginning, I was the “Michigan girl” the one who everyone knew about, even his exes. None of them were me, none of them loved him like I loved him. None of them got him. But when I started breaking down, when I was a hot mess and I kept leaving and WHY I was leaving he never told them; his friends started turning away from me. I saw burgeoning friendships disappear. When I pointed out what was going on, he said he didn’t need to explain anything to anyone as it was his business and not theirs. I saw the look in their eyes when we did hang out with some of them. I was a terrible person for doing what I did and how dare I break the heart of a man so beloved by many, but hardly, if any, knew what was going on because it was easier for them to disparage me rather than understand me. I felt awful and even more of an outsider. I felt on guard. I felt like a pawn in his game.
His friends will tell you he is a great guy. He’s one in a million. His friends will tell you he will do anything for them. They will tell you all these great qualities about him. They believe in this guy, they do. He praises them constantly when he was down himself. When all was said and done, they were there for him.
I understand that but I don’t/didn’t understand is why he kept throwing me under the bus.
They were never in a relationship with him. Their perception of him and their knowledge of him is vastly different than mine of him.
He dumped me over Facebook. A year together and I get dumped over FB. When I called begging to be taken back, a moment of weakness on my part, he was contrite but then said, “Well it’s your preferred method of communication.”  No? No. I’m a phone girl. I am an old. We used to Skype every night and if not, phone calls. We used messenger and texting as a method of touching base during the day. Not for deep conversations. Are you fucking kidding me? I sniffled through “I couldn’t bear it you date someone else!,” and his reply was, “Then stop following me on Facebook.”
It seemed wholly unfair he could follow me or check on my life, unbeknownst to me, on how and what I’m doing, but I could not interact with his or had to take what he was doing, “going on with his life.”
To that end, I unfriended him on Facebook, archived our conversations so I don’t have to see them, and deleted all of his texts. I am in the process of moving the zillion of pictures of us/him to a folder far far down in my NAS so I can forget about it.
To be fair, there were a few lines of “to be fair” about him; but not today. Today I don’t want to think about his random positive and good things he has done. Or my own fair shake in this. No. This needed to get out, to be said.
Last night, I unfriended him, but sent him a message he know how to find me. Today I am angry. Tomorrow this may all change. Tomorrow I may be contrite and wish I had never said these things. Tomorrow, I may feel the repercussions on what I said. Tomorrow I will love him with the light of a thousand suns and yearn for him to come back. Tomorrow I may hear from him he’s never coming back. I may be angry or relived or sad.
Love is like that; I will, of course, be devastated, hurt, confused, and pissed off. But that is how life rolls and that is what you work towards: happiness, wholeness, togetherness. You don’t throw that away because your life is “too stressful” or because you don’t want to deal with the problems.
But today! I will be angry. I will take a shower, yoga, meditate, and I will apply for jobs.
But right now, I will angrily use a leaf blower, use a hack/chain saw on wood, and throw the wood into the wood chipper.
Now I will start to get my dignity back.

This Day in Lisa Universe: 2001


Dear Internet,
It’s Memorial Day and while most of you are out enjoying (hopefully) the good weather, I’m in TheExHusband’s condo waiting for it rain. Without access to a grill, and impending iffy weather, we’re keeping it indoors for the day. Pot roast will be consumed, laundry done, and at some point I will be start catching up on some telly. If we’re super honest, I will not get out of my jimjams for the rest of day and I’m okay with that.
I’ve spent the morning doing clean up and restructuring of some things around here.It seemed if I’m going to be coming back with gusto, a lot of the old features should be revamped and reinstated. I’m bringing back Collection of Cunning Curiosities, my breakdown of things I’ve liked that week across various mediums. I’ve dropped the medieval spelling and instead of a line item of things, it will be a summary of that particular medium. I’ve been Pocketing loads of things for months without referencing them after they were saved which was the point of CoC.
I’ve massively updated my Book List of 2015 and while it feels like I’ve been reading more as of late, the list still looks fairly puny to where I should be in order to hit the 100 book mark for the year. If you’re a visual person like me, I’ve also updated the board at Pinterest.
TheExHusband sprung for a new iPad Mini as an early Lisamas gift. Of course, I’m feeling overwhelmed with his generosity but my old iPad2 was becoming slower than molasses in January, close to obsolescence, and often freezing up. Surprisingly, as a second generation tech, it’s still much preferred over the next few generations until the iPad Minis and Airs were released.
I used my iPad2 like mad in the four years I’ve owned it but at some point, I noted it was, in addition to slowness, coupled with only 16g of space, almost too cumbersome for reading and game playing. The new iPad Mini that is sitting next to me is several chip generations ahead, bigger drive, thus much snappier and reading on it, especially comics with its retina display, is a delight.
I’m pretty sure TheExHusband and I do not have a normal divorced relationship, considering how much he’s been by my side through all of my foibles. But we were so integral to each other’s lives for so long, just disconnecting altogether would feel wrong.
My mania pitched this morning. It may be partially due to my intake of Lamictal, which is slowly being upped to 400mg and should be stabilized in the next few weeks. It could also be due to the pot of coffee I’ve had today. I swear, I didn’t feel manic when I woke up this morning and I even went to bed at a reasonable hour with zero problems sleeping! I have been so energetic this afternoon that we went on a walk because I’m even annoying myself. Of course the walk had to have a purpose – to get a waffle cone of chocolate sorbet. Huzzah!
I’ve been interested in tracking my sugars, not because I’m diabetic or even close, but I read a recent article in WaPo that it isn’t exercise or cutting fats that will allow you to lose weight, but cutting sugars. I’ve had success in the past when I’ve been diligent with calories, so cutting those along with watching my sugars seems a natural way to go with changing my eating. It is also bikini season.
The author, a doctor, uses reports and studies to back up his findings, and hell, who couldn’t do better with a more normalized diet? As a starter, I started documenting my food intake today  in which the only meals I have had is brunch and a snack, yet I have already consumed 125% of my sugar allowance. Obviously the sorbet didn’t help. So there is that. (And if you’re one of those people, you can find me on MyFitnessPal as biblyotheke. You can also find me on FitBit if you do a search for byvalkyrie@facebook dot com.)
Eurovision was Saturday, which TheExHusband and I watched live. The best way to explain it is American Idol on super speed but with 40ish countries competing instead of 12 hopeful contestants. The pageantry, costumes, and kitschy national pride is what sets it apart from just about anything else. Don’t believe me? Here is a quick recap of all the contestants from 2014.
Rising like a phoenix,

Today in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2o03

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes for May 17, 2014

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,
You can now follow me on Pinterest on what I’m readingwatching, and listening.


I’ve been really into BBC Radio these last few weeks and below is some of my current favorites. I’m not going to lie, Benedict Cumberbatch figures prominently in two of the series, so there’s that.



The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce #6) by Alan Bradley
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
At this point, there is not much more one can say about this series that has not said before, so I won’t regurgitate it all over again. I will say I’m not sure where this story is going is the right path. The twists of where Flavia is headed, the AHA moment Bradley springs upon us, and how Bradley neatly ties up some lingering questions seem kind of amateurish. But obviously I’m on the hook now for what happens, so bring on book #7!

Sex and Rage: Advice To Young Ladies Eager For A Good Time by Eve Babitz
(Amazon | WorldCat | GoodReads)
Earlier I said,

I was introduced to Babitz recently via a recent article about her in Vanity Fair. The idea of an intellectual good-time girl intrigued me as it should, and I was dismayed to find that her work is not only largely unknown but also out of print. I was able to get a first edition copy ofSex and Rage via interlibrary loan to read and boy, am I ever glad I did. Babitz is glorious as a writer, the work hums with the fastness of the era, of the good time unapologetic choices that Jacaranda makes, doing so with such easy going nature you are desperate for the drugs she’s on.

Two of the books main characters are cities (LA and NYC), who are plumped up in their finery to show you what they are really like during their heights. Make no mistake, this is very much a roman à cléf of Babitz’s life and I don’t think this book would have been successful any other way. The only way to capture the essence of the era and the city would have been to live it as wildly and as fully as Babitz. Once you get past this is a thinly retelling of Babtiz’s life and realise her wordplay is punchy and clean, the book sails forward in all of its gloriousness.
Currently reading

Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham
(Amazon | Worldcat | GoodReads)
This is supposed to be HILARIOUS. A laugh riot. Bawdy.  A modern retelling of Twelfth Night.  In reality? A trainwreck.
The premise of the story is a moderately successful writer is approached by the family of a  recently deceased big to do writer to write his biography. But there is a catch! The biographer has to erase all mentions of the dead writer’s first wife, who was so bawdy and outlandish, she turned him bohemian. Craz-zee.
Except, the linear story is a hot mess. We’re introduced to a nameless (at first ) 1st person unreliable narrator, a writer, at the beginning of the story who is fretting over accepting the call of a slightly more successful writer friend. Maugham then spends nearly 20 pages on what Mr. moderately successful is and isn’t.  Then as we start to get into the meat of the story, so-called Mr. moderately successful is then dropped from the story. I’ve spent the next 70 pages of the primary unreliable narrator basking in the glow of his youth, and where we find out he is the one who has met the dead writer when the dead writer was married to the bawdy first wife. While the crux of the story is to circle around the moderately successful writer writing the biography, I’m 1/3rd of the way through and Maugham is dragging this on.
Maugham is better known, and respected, for his short stories which are supposedly sublime. I keep thinking I have read Of Human Bondage, but I think my memory is faulty. So Cakes and Ale is meh.


  • Vikings
    The Vikings ended a few weeks back and I’m curious to see where this goes. Historically, Ragnar Lodbrok doesn’t last long past what we’re at now in history on the show, and they have been tap dancing around the settlement of England (and yo. Dane law.). Where will this go and how much will the producers manipulate versus the truth?
  • Penny Dreadful
    Gaslight retelling of various Romantic and Victorian nightmares (Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper, Dracula) starting a James Bond, a Bond Girl, and a Companion. One episode in and it shows a lot of promise. I’m curious to how they will continue intertwining the various mythologies into a single story.
  • Louie
    TheHusband is a big fan of Louie, so we’ve been watching this as it has been appearing. I find Louie’s comedy mostly great, but he always tends to have one or two jokes that fall flat with me.
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Another new news show encompassing the weekly worth of events in half hour, but with a British spin.
  • Fargo
    Starring Billy Bob Thorton and Martin Freeman, along with a host of other big actors, on a spin of the Cohen brother’s movie.
  • Eurovision
    I cannot possibly encompass the gloriousness of Eurovision in a mere paragraph.
  • At Home With The Georgians
    Originally aired in 2010, it was rebroadcast this past week to begin the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the first George of England. It stars one of my favorite academic/presenters Amanda Vickery. What is really interesting about this series is not just the historical view of the Georgian era, but how much we think is modern in terms of how we view homes and living actually is centuries old. DIY is not a novel or new concept.

Weekly watching:  Mad MenGame of ThronesSilicon ValleyVeep, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey, Doctor Blake Mysteries, The Americans, Survivor: CagayanElementary
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: June 1, 2013

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,


Cunning Tales from a Systems Librarian

The Lisa Chronicles


  • Eurovision soundtrack
    Eurovision is everything American Idol wants to be, but amped up 100 watts and on speed. Nearly 40 countries from around the European block (and then some) compete in a song off where each country submits its own entry to the contest. Over the course of three nights, two semi-finals and the grand finale, all of Europe votes for their favorite entry. The songs are often ridiculous, over the top, and borderline absurd. But that is what makes it so goddamned much fun. We caught Eurovision for the first time in the spring of 2010 when TheHusband and I were on our honeymoon and were able to watch it live. We were entranced. Every year we track down ways to watch, most often on delay. We are seriously considering planning our 2014 vacation around getting to a country to see it live (and by live, we mean live telecast).  Eurovision has kindly put the videos of all the contestants up on YouTube for your enjoyment.




  • Elementary
    Much to my chagrin, I found I rather enjoyed Elementary. The gender bending of Lucy Liu’s Watson and Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock is fantastic, even more specifically Miller’s Sherlock is a mixture of sexualization of the Robert Downey Jr. interpretation and the staid, uptight Benedict Cumberbatch version. The fact that Miller is tattooed and a bit punk rock also doesn’t hurt. The final twist at the end was a twist I certainly didn’t see coming, and it was scarily clever. I dismissed the show based on the earlier trailers and I’m glad I owned up and started watching. I’m curious now how the second season will most definitely play out.

Weekly watching: Rectify, BorgiaDaVinci’s DemonsMad MenNurse JackieThe BorgiasVeepDoctor WhoGame of Thrones, The Vampire Diaries.


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

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

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