dickensian scenes

.Dear Internet,
I started this a few weeks ago with intent on having it auto-post when I got back to Louisville and of course I never got around to finishing the damned thing; think of this as a catcher-up.

re: The featured image: I’m being mindful of not taking over TheExHusband’s condo but I was allowed to put up my Pop! collection “as long as they are gone when you move out.” Charming guy, that ExHusband.
From left to right: Oswald Cobblepot, Groot, Agent Carter, Kal Drogo, Drogon, Ragnar, Lagertha, Alcide, Darth Maul, and Thor.

I’m doing holiday cards for the first time in ages this year. If you want in on the action, sign up here.
And to step up the game, I’m making the cards this year and some will be pop-ups.

Currently I’m in the kitchen area of TheExHusband’s condo putting together a play list of work out music. Which lead me to continue with my favorite obsession. musing on mix-tapes. To wit: I was cleaning off my hard drive recently and found an unnamed mix tape I made probably in the 2006-2008 range based on the music. It was probably for TheEx as the songs are, from a listening point of view, from that period. I renamed the mix, “Music For Old Flames” (there are also songs reminiscent of TheExHusband and TheBassist), and added only one additional song, GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker) by John Grant, which came out last year.
(Because I am the greatest mother fucker that you’ll ever meet.)
I won’t pretend to be a genius at making mix-tapes but I have my favorites which tend to show up on a regular basis (Ahem. JoyDiv’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). Yet sometimes I even surprise myself. Last year I made “The Gods Were Listening” mix with nary a thought of JoyDiv!
As Spotify seems to be one of the best places to make mix tapes, it hasn’t deterred me of plowing through my digital music collection (currently over 100gigs and 20K songs) to find treasure. One conclusion screaming out is the most obvious: I like a lot of depressing shit. I come of age in the late ’80s, early ’90s and my taste greatly reflects the period. I used to say, to anyone who would listen, great music stopped in ’94. ’96 tops. That is not necessarily true – a lot of my new favorite bands came up through the ’00s and ’10s. But I gravitate towards UK bands (specifically Madchester and moody Scottish bastards), chill, and dancey pop songs.
Yet it’s getting harder and harder to connect to new music as I tend to listen to only retro channels in Jeeves or one of the pre-fab lists from Spotify, mainly chill stations so my on fire brain can slow the fuck down. I keep a wish list of bands I’ve heard over the years, on Amazon, whose music I wish to collect but to be truthful, going through those track listings today does not hit the remembrance area at all.
I stopped listening to music for a long time as there was too many feelings (FEELINGS) associated with a lot of the songs/bands that it became almost too painful to listen to any music.
I’ve slowly reacclimatizing myself back into the music world and as I’ve mentioned, it’s slow going. My brain flips through a thousand images and memory sparks of where I heard this song or that band. I can never listen to Elbow’s “Newborn” without recalling listening to it on the metro in Rome. “GMF” recalls John Grant, who opened for Elbow in 2014ish in Chicago. Any Bloc Party = TheEx. Interpol = TheBassist. New Order = High School Sweetheart. Bob Dylan = TheExHusband. 50 Cent = my brother. And so forth and so on. It’s not just people but also places, things, happenings. “Head On” by Jesus and Mary Chain = early ’20s clubbing. Morissey/Siouxie/The Cure = Slit Your Wrist hour at a local to GR radio station. Atari Teenage Riot = ExFiance #2. Tool = ExFiance #1.
(TheEx is/was heavily into Stereolab and I still get stabby when I hear the intro to any of their songs.)
The list goes on and on.
As emotionally painful this has been as of late, I’m forcing myself to continue on to reclaim these songs for me. I’ve done this before, and it’s hard, but it must be done.

TheExHusband and I left the cabin last week and I’ve never been more thrilled to leave a place in my entire life. We spent the weekend and that morning finishing up the little things to get us out of here, things we should have done (or I should have done) before the first week of October as originally planned. But life happens, you move on or you get rolled over. I’m a fan of moving on.
But hey! I don’t have to drive 22 miles to do laundry. I can have food at a zillion different places within walking distance. I can go do things without having to plot out the distance and last but not least, there is cement beneath my feet.
I’ll miss the trees, the silence, and the unobstructed sky, but once a city girl, always a city girl.

Once we got back to the condo I’ve been unpacking, repacking, and organizing what is mine for what seems like the 100th time. I’ve been donating loads of stuff again but It’s nice to have access to all of my things and being able to get to items in need. It’s been like fucking christmas up in here with “Hey! I forgot I had that!” happening once every 15 minutes.
While I will always been grateful to TheExHusband and TheBassist for opening up their homes to me, it was still their spaces and I did not, honestly, feel terribly comfortable putting my mark in case I overstepped my bounds. I’ve gotten so used to living within my small physical means, it’s difficult to understand what is mine anymore. TheExHusband has plainly stated he doesn’t care what I put up to make the space more “mine” as long as those things are gone when I move out. The Pop! figurines, so far, are the only items that are showcased in his space.
With the unpacking, repacking, and sorting of things I’ve started the arduous process of packing up TheBassist’s stuff and things that remind me of him, putting them in storage. Two months+ on his shirts still smell heavily of his scent. I was planning on burning the flammable things when I was at the cabin but got frightened on losing his tactile memory. Instead, I buried those items deep in one of my suitcases as we were packing up to leave and then into a box of their own.
(Burning the flammables would have been the easy way out and if there is anything true about me is I do not do easy.)
It’s especially hard as TheBassist and I lived together long enough for our laundry to be intertwined. No special soaps were used but the combination of daily household products smells distinctly of his house and more pointedly of him. I’ve refrained from wearing the clothes I had with me when I was in CT as much as I can from those far away laundry days. At one point I may have to just do a load of all those items to purge my olfactory senses from continually going into overdrive.
Some items, like my Pops! and mini MINIs, will not get stored. Those are my things, things I would have bought on my own. The memory that he was the one purchased them will soon pass.
The love letters and the goofy signs he would make for me when I would arrive at the airport will remain in my travel file cabinet. Surprisingly I haven’t read them over and over again (remember I purged his texts and FB messages. Email is archived. His digital footprint will be deeply buried in my NAS), which may surprise some. I may be in pain but I’m not an idiot.
Purging TheBassist has been easier than would have thought. Yes, I have tangible things and yes, I often think of him, and yes, my heart is still broken BUT!, and this is important, I’m not letting this keep me paralyzed from having a life. I’m fucking determined to do for me rather than do for him with the hopes he will come back. I’ve been doing for him (and TheExHusband) to some extent for far too long. I tried to be the girl they wanted me to be.
Time to get selfish.
Of course a week or two after the break-up my thoughts meandered to, “I AM GOING TO REVENGE DATE. FUCK THEBASSIST.” I’m only human after all and a girl has needs. But the thought of starting the process all fucking over again of meeting someone (how classy would it be to hook up with someone while still living with TheExHusband?), starting the life story business, and all the trappings of dating life makes me ill. Watching my friends, most in their 30s, dancing on the dating floor is pushing me to swear I WILL NEVER DATE AGAIN. I once reasoned if the whole TheBassist/TheExHusband blew up in my face (which it did), I wanted a dog, my books, and a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows, natch) for my nights. Fuck the world. Fuck love. Fuck everything.
But I’m human. I need to remind myself of my own humanity and I’m not built for being alone. (Not really.) Own space? Sure. Independent? Absolutely. But alone? Never.
When searching for some posts about music, I came across my old profile I used on dating sites nearly a decade ago: Sassy Skirt Seeks Alliterative Ally. I chuckled because 80% of that profile is still true and one I would probably use again.
Dating, however, scares me. I don’t want dick pics. I don’t want to be with someone whose sole communication is digital. I don’t want a burned out, twice divorced 50 year old who couldn’t rock out at a concert. (Christ. I could date a 50 year old without nary a thought to age difference. Gross.)
I want the male version of me.
I’m a jeans and tshirt kind of girl. I swap hair color with the wisp of the wind. I read comics and Jane Austen. I like opera and Icelandic indie. I’m a dichotomy and just like everyone else. You won’t catch me in heels, suits, or my hair in a chignon. I won’t do Jamberry parties or live in the suburbs. I won’t obsess about having a blow out or catching sales at Nordstrom. My nail polish will always be black or a similar hue. I’m always going to get more tattoos. I’m always going to want to travel the world, make snow angles, and marathon watch period pieces AND Harry Potter. I’m always going to collect toys, watch Doctor Who, and wear something with a skull on it. I
I just, in fact, bought a sweater with a Union Jack giant skull on the front.
I sleep with a teddy bear I’ve had since I was 3.
I also want want to argue the critical analysis of late Baroque painters. I want to have conversations about Romantic poets. I want to be swayed why the Bronte’s are the shit. The influences of Romans in classical architecture.
I’m just not your average 43 year old.
Some, it has been said, want me to act my age and stop being an overgrown teenage boy. Look, I can adult. I can hold down a professional job, live on my own, pay my bills, and get shit done. This may not seem OBVIOUS right now as I’m broke, living with my ex-husband, and my mental brain has been all over the place, but before the last 18 months happened? It was all true.
Back to the dating thing. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been single for longer than a few months. TheExHusband and I first dated from 1998-99. ExFiance #2 from 1999-2002. ExFiance #1 (again) from 2003-04. Patrick and Derrick in 2004. TheBassist from 2004-05. TheEx from 2006-08. TheExHusband from 2008-14. TheBassist from 2014-15.
My heart is tired.
And this kind of serial monogamy is what I called TheBassist on when I’m just as guilty of the same thing.
No more. If I want to break the cycle, and I have to break the cycle, I need to take a year off of having my heart trampled. I’m not a casual sex person so that’s easy. Just no jumping into relationships this very second, which shouldn’t be a problem since the dating tap dance makes me queasy.
Pinky swear.
(Plus neither of TheBassist or TheExHusband were fliters, and I used to flirt a lot, so I have no idea how to flirt anymore.)
To sum: Boys have cooties; Lisa has her chastity belt on.

In other painful things, I interviewed for a librarian position based in Louisville last week. I have an interview next week with a CT college. I, of course, sent myself into tizzy if I had to come out to CT for the second interview and should I contact TheBassist and OMGHERD. What would I do?! First, calm the fuck down Lisa and get through the Skype interview. If you have to come out to CT for the in-person interview, so what? It’s a job. You need money. You’ve wanted this position for a year (it’s a repost). The money, even with the higher cost of living, is fabulous. The area is lovely. You’re close to NYC and Boston. The social plans you’re putting in motion in KY can be applied to CT. You’re 43 years old, buck it up lady.
That quelled my panic. Situation under control. You’ve got this.
I talk to myself. A lot.

Speaking of social, I’ve joined loads of MeetUp groups in the Louisville area and tomorrow I’m heading to a open social. I know, I know, I’m putting pants on and leaving the house. And I’m dragging TheExHusband with me so he can get aired out.

And finally! My fucking brain.
I made an appointment with an APRN to manage my drugs. Intakes are always a delight as you recount your entire sexual and medical history to a stranger for an hour. At least this one did not ask me to roll up my sleeves to verify I was not using needles.
My new APRN and I get along well, which is a relief. We talked about my goals and the big one is to
So there’s that.
It has mostly to do with hormones when I start ovulating, but it’s disrupting my life and it’s making me feel like I’m crazy. The crying jags and the irrational decisions are making my life harder. I just cannot deal with that aspect of my brain anymore.
Other than that, I feel pretty stable, clear headed, and in control.
He’s taking me off of Abilify (thank fuck) and putting me on Risperidone since it’s not a weight gainer (I’ve gained 20-25 lbs on Abilify) and what is one of the first side effects of Risperidone? Weight gain! Jesus fuck!
So that’s me. How are you?

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013