practical uses for a bidet

Impersonation of dramatic monologue
My impersonation of dramatic monologue, Trevi Fountain, Rome, 2005.

Dear Internet,
TheHusband and I opted to head out to dinner when we got out of work Wednesday night (“Jesus Lisa! Why must every outing turn into a trip to Target?”). Over our plates of meat (after our trip to Target AND Staples), we ended up having a good discussion on writing. He says this compulsion of mine to over share my self-absorption is cheapening my talent (“You’re not writing for meaning, you’re writing to fill the space”), which lead into a conversation about what writing means as a whole, what it means to me and what I want it to represent. TheHusband is obsessed with CBC’s Writers and Company podcast which he uses as his basis for everything and anything when it comes to writing. So he judges me, fairly or not, to the quality of those who came before me but on a much grander scale.
TARDIS! No, just a police info box, Royal Mile, Edinburgh 2006
TARDIS! No, just a police info box, Royal Mile, Edinburgh 2006.

Unfair? It is my carrot to succeed. If HE thinks I can be as good as this person, then the world can grovel at my feet.
There are times when I am feeling choked upon the ground, unable to get out what it is I want to say in the manner that I need to say it. I’ve noticed the more stable I am feeling mentally, the less forthcoming the muse is. My purest power is when I’m manic, so it is a shame I cannot turn this disease on and off like a switch because if I could, I would make my life a whole lot easier.
Stonehenge
Stonehenge, 2008.

Trying to balance my own mental disability without drugs while living a full life while then attempting to use said broken brain for MOAR work is exhausting. And taxing. But especially exhausting. But I feel, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, as this is my life line and I cannot let go.
I do agree that not every day is like sunshine and rainbows around here, but my argument is neither is life. To wish for everything to be perfection is ludicrous. I live and thrive in the chaos and uncertainty of what exists here in this space. But I know not everyone is in agreement, but it should be remembered I am here for me and not for them. The fact you are reading this is a delicious bonus.
Corfe Castle.
Corfe Castle, Dorset, England, 2008.

As work is wrapping down for the semester before winter break, I’ve decided to make the next few days image heavy from pictures of my various romps around Europe while I get sorted on some kind of schedule and process for writing. A few days ago, I gave TheHusband a few short stories to edit which I heard some grumping about how much work said editing was going to take because the stories were that bad. It’s hard to swallow the imperfections, I want to believe everything is as it should be and just call it experimental. Rather, I will re-read the pieces, guffaw at the obvious problems and fix them.
In the interim, enjoy your trip to Scotland, France, England, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
One of the many roads into the Red Light District, Amsterdam, 5 AM
One of the many roads into the Red Light District, Amsterdam, 5 AM. May 2010.

Interior, Pelgrom, Antwerp
Pelgrom Bar, Antwerp is a pub/bar/restaurant located in a medieval cellar in the Old City. The entire ambiance was fabulous as the entire place was lit by candles. May 2010.

Hammish, the hairy coo.
Hamish, the hairy coo. Highlands, Scotland, 2006.

We found a use for the bidet
Practical uses for a bidet while in Rome. 2005.

Marseille, 2004
Marseille, 2004

Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge, England 2012.

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2008

Tattoo U

Dear Internet,
Here is what I did Saturday afternoon:

Tattoo #14 - Viking Dragon Back
Tattoo #14 – Viking Dragon Back

Tattoo #14 - Viking Dragon Front
Tattoo #14 – Viking Dragon Front

Originally, I had the idea of having the dragon’s mouth open up at the shoulder joint while his body intertwined around my bicep. Gareth thought that may be a waste of real estate and instead came up with my Viking dragon in a osborous style, which will look bad fucking ass when it’s completed. The knotwork and my mom’s name were already on my arm, so this is just being added to it. This will end up being a half sleeve when all the work is finished and the dragon is only the beginning.
The inspiration for this came from the Oseberg ship’s head as well as various other influences. The entire sleeve will encompass all things geeky. It’ll probably take a year plus to finish out, after the dragon is done, depending on money and time.
I’m often asked about the rest of my body work so below you’ll find the tattoos I have and in the vague order I got them. If you want to see the whole shebang, the entire set is on Flickr. I would probably say this may be considered NSFW.

  1. Eye of Ra
  2. Butterfly
  3. Marietta (My mom’s name)
  4. Calf piece part 1
  5. Kanji
  6. Celtic knotwork – Thigh
  7. DEATH
  8. Buttercups
  9. Calf piece part 2
  10. Right arm knot work
  11. Back piece part 2
  12. Back piece part 2 again
  13. Thorn
  14. Viking dragon front, back, dead on

The story with the kanji is this: It was translated for me by a native Japanese speaker who worked at the shop where I got the work done. It was to mean “free” as in “free as a bird.” In hanzi, which is the Chinese character system, it translates into “free” as in “cheap, no sale.”  I got tired of explaining the damn thing so I decided to get it covered, which Gareth is doing with back piece part 2 again. Lest you be so stupid, take this as a cautionary tale.
The dragon will be filled in with color in January, so I’ll update then when he’s been done.
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2009

Morris Street Project: May 21, 2011

Happy Memorial weekend, or as we American’s like to think of it: Another weekend for us to light things on fire, drink copious amounts of bad beer and strut our painfully overweight bodies in clothing three sizes too small.
TheHusband and I are getting ready to head out for own hedonistic fun, but wanted to get these images up before we left. I also took an amazing shot of a poppy this morning, that has bloomed in our front gardens while its brethren are too heavy to even keep their heads up. The poppy plants in our backyard, also the same gorgeous tangerine color, have also bloomed and the heads too are so heavy that they are laying on the ground.
I was thinking today as I wandered around our gardens taking picture that it seems that movement, blooming and the like doesn’t seem to have moved that much through the month of May. Turns out I was wrong. If you look at the shot of the front of Throbbing Manor from two weeks ago on 05/07/11, it looks positively barren compared to the shot taken on 05/21/11. The other thing you can notice is that on 05/07/11, the blossoming cherry located to the right of the image is in full bloom while two weeks later, the blossoms are gone and the tree is fully green.
Who would have thought so much has changed in a matter of two weeks? But it has and this is why I will continue to do this project, to document the things that previously would have gone unnoticed or possibly, even ignored. I love how lush our neighborhood is becoming and our backyard is looking positively like a rain forest.

MorrisStreetProject-052111b-small
Morris Street view.

MorrisStreetProject-052111a-small
Throbbing Manor view.

Morris Street Project: May 14, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 9
Nothing earth shattering to report in the world of our gardens this week other than everything is blooming within an inch of its life after the recent rains, including all the fucking ivy and creepers that keep coming back though I seem to spend a gazillion hours pulling, chopping and murdering anyway I can. We’ve also planted some of the vegetables and began plotting what to do with the rest of our lot as either the former owners or the flippers laid out and landscaped the plot to an inch of its life but did not do any upkeep in the interim until we bought it. This means that various ivys, nettles and creepers have taken over controlled areas and we may end up tilling most of our front and back yards back to soil and starting anew for next year. TheHusband grumbles that our city lot is much harder to tame then if we had bought the damned 22 acres in Ada with the bubbling brook simply because we could have just let everything gone wild. His consolation is that our dream of buying a ruin villa in Italy for our vacation home means that he can get his goddamned bubbling brook with olive trees aplenty. That is until we both see something of a modern condo layout in which, all plans are pulled from the table on the goddamned bubbling brook.
But I digress. In other news, the excavation company has not been working on our street all week, so what you see below has not changed since the image was taken. The talks from the crew that our street will be “finished” by the end of June seems to be a lot further away then they make it seem. I’d just like to point out that since we moved here in January, there has not been a week a port-a-potty has not been installed somewhere on our block. I’d like to think that with this being a historical neighborhood, that is not necessarily “period.”

Morris Street Project: 05/14/11
Morris Street view.

Morris Street Project: 05/14/11
Throbbing Manor view.

Morris Street Project: 05/14/11
Drainage ditch across the street from our house.

Morris Street Project: May 7, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 8
At first I was going to comment that I wish I had some torrid or interesting tale to tell to accompany this entry when I realised that I already forgotten about Conversations With My Mother (part i), which events occurred over the weekend. Forgotten is probably not a good word, “choosing to ignore” is probably better.
Mother’s Day weekend was almost too beastly hot in addition to the blinding sun which meant TheHusband and I spent most of the weekend in the gardens. I shot loads of images from around the gardens, which are far more interesting then the same street view and Throbbing Manor view I’ve been shooting almost religiously with my iPad2, but I still need to process them and I’m feeling lazy.
The images taken below have a washed out look to them, which I attribute to too much sunlight and I was not able to really color correct. I kind of dig the washed out look, so I’m okay with that. This weekend is such a contrast to last (blindingly sunny and hot, droopy with rain and cold) that the images taken from today (May 14) are looking much more lush.
I have been uploading all the images to a Flickr set and the transformation of our street is much more remarkable when you run it through a slideshow rather than the weekly installments I’ve been dishing out.

Morris Street Project: 05/07/11
Street view.

Morris Street Project: 05/07/11
Throbbing Manor view.

Ciao,x0x0x

Morris Street Project: April 30, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 7
My mother-in-law and her sister came to visit us this last weekend of April to get the garden kicked into gear (because ultimately, TheHusband and I are lazy sumbitches). Of the photos I’ve been releasing onto the world of Throbbing Manor, you may have noticed we have no goddamned grass anywhere and that our plot was landscaped to death initially by the last owners of the house and furthered along by the flippers.
With the construction still ongoing, we’ve have started to lose most of the easement in front of the house which means the bushes, trees and any vegetation you can pick out in the photos in that area will be gone within the next few weeks. The city will replace the trees, but not the bushes or flowers. I spent hours truffling for tulip, daffodil and narcissus bulbs, eventually unearthing between 100-150 bulbs that will be replanted somewhere on our property, exchanged or given away.
While she was here, my mother-in-law’s identified most of the perennials, shrubbery and trees in the yards (front, side and back); which has been a tremendous help with knowing what we have and don’t have on our grounds.
In conjunction with all the outdoor gardening we’ve been doing, we’re also repotting a number of plants given or bought, including an indoor herb garden that is currently blooming in the solarium and will be replacing the outdoor herb garden the flippers marked off in the urban garden area in our backyard (aka the patch of land with chain-link fence around it, complete with beds constructed out of untreated wood (which are now rotting)). The solarium is going to become a poor man’s greenhouse, with the hopes that we can keep the temperatures in the fall and winter times warm enough to continue growing vegetables all year round as well as growing fruit trees.
Morris Street Project: 04/30/11
Morris Street Project: 04/30/11
Morris Street Project: 04/30/11
Morris Street Project: 04/30/11
We refer to this as the landing strip and TheHusband pulled out two wild rose bushes, dug up annuals that were left for dead and replanted some of the truffled bulbs. In addition to a hybrid rose bush growing at the back of the strip (near the brick of the house), we also have tulips, fairy pants, crocuses, daffodils and hostas.
Morris Street Project: 04/30/11
One of two containers with my truffled bulbs. Currently we have shifted dirt on top of the bulbs to keep them happy until we replant.

Morris Street Project: April 17, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 5
Construction is still running rampant on our street, with it slated to be done with our phase by end of June and the entire neighborhood by end of October. The changes to the landscape are so minute, when comparing it to a month ago, it looks like nothing has really changed in the last 30 days; when indeed flowers have started to bloom, buds have started to unfurl on the trees and the smell of fresh cut grass is everywhere.
Morris Street Project: 04/17/11
Morris Street Project: 04/17/11

Morris Street Project: April 09, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 4
The purpose of the Morris Street project was to catalog the coming of spring and if continued, the changing of the seasons. Instead it seems its going to be chronicling the construction taking place in our neighborhood. A week before these photos were taken, the neighborhood was given notice that there would be no parking available on the streets from 7am-7pm. That\’s it. No commentary in regards to driveway parking. What they (meaning the construction crew and/or the city) failed to say or even warn was that access to our homes would be incredibly limited and no provision for parking was indicated (if our driveways were being ripped apart). A few days before the photos below were taken, there was a 15′ deep x 10′ wide trench in front of the house. Our driveway remains the only inaccessible driveway on the block, with other houses at least having dirt laid down to allow occupants access.
The purpose of the city’s project was install new water and sewer mains. According to one of the contractors, they should be done with our block sometime “soon,” which soon literally means June. I shall expect loads of the upcoming weeks to be filled with construction process and hopefully, a new bud or two blooming in the background. Yay for spring in Michigan.

Morris Street Project: 04/09/11
Construction season (also known as spring), has started in GRap.

Morris Street Project: 04/09/11
We lost a driveway due to the pillaging.

Throbbing Manor – Gardens

TheHusband and I have been trolling Home Depot, Lowe’s and Mendard’s almost every weekend looking for garden/outdoorsy based things, impatiently waiting for the weather to break so we can start work on our yard. On one hand, we’re extremely lucky as we have no grass. No grass means no lawn mower needed! Instead, we have English Ivy and a yard that was landscaped an inch to its life. On the other, the clean up (since the flippers did not pull any of the plants not destined for hard snows and winters) is going to be long, tedious and incredibly overwhelming. I’ve got nearly a dozen planters, filled with various dead plants that were left outside all winter long, sitting on our veranda making it look like a dead plant cemetery.
While most of our friends have been hard at work on their gardens for prep for the upcoming season, we’ve been a little lax on that. But even in our laziness, flowers and buds have started to bloom. I took my DSLR (Pentax K-X) out for some fun yesterday afternoon, using the standard macro lense coupled with the toy camera filter (a digital filter available on the camera), took various shots around our front yard. You can see the entire stream here. I plan on updating that stream more as the spring and summer days progress and you can get a better sense of our gardens.

Birdbath in our front yard.
Birdbath in our front yard.

Crocuses
Mixed crocuses.

Veranda bank wall and water spout.
Veranda bank wall and water spout.

Morris Street Project: March 19, 2011

Morris Street Project, Week 1
Back in high school, I remember for a biology or some class, we had a group project where we tracked a specific area of land over the course of the semester to learn about the subtly of nature and how change slowly happens. A few years ago, armed with that same idea, I started tracking the growth of the daffodils at Wilcox Park, which after a month or so I abandoned.
Three weeks ago, after receiving my iPad2, I stepped outside on a fairly bright Saturday morning and started taking pictures just to see how well the camera worked. The idea of tracking something over a period of time still appealed to me, coupled with spring finally coming into its own after such a long winter. Doing the tracking using my iPad2 to illustrate the camera clarity and use was also bonus. Also showing off the garden work that TheHusband and I are doing couldn’t hurt either.
While I lapsed for a few weeks, I stepped out and shot images this morning after walking Wednesday. But because there is so much happening on our street right now, it didn ‘t seem fair to start today without giving you a context of the before. So thus every Saturday I will publish the images I took the week before.
Below are the images I shot on March 19 and you can still see some of snow mounds, I had not taken the live wreath down yet and to be honest, nothing physically outside has changed much in the missing weeks so I feel comfortable using this as a starting point.
But just wait until you see the images I took from today… 🙂

Morris Street Project: 03/19/11
Looking south, at Morris and Logan streets.

Morris Street Project: 03/19/11
Throbbing Manor