Dear Internet,

  • I’ve been keeping up with my Silly Pictures goal
  • I’ve meditated for 236 consecutive days
  • Wednesday 3/9 marks my 7th week of smoke freeness
  • I’m making some headway into my 50 Things project
  • I am still exercising, of some sort mainly yoga, a few times a week since November
  • Job application status (Start date: January 24, 2016)
    • Total: 25
      • Academia: 21
      • Public: 3
      • Other: 1
    • Rejections: 4
    • Interest: 2 3 (As I’m writing this, I got an offer to do a video interview. Hell fuck yeah.)

I’m keeping better stats on my job hunt, mainly for my own edification. As for the “interest” bit, the “other,” which was a corporate gig, called me on Friday and left a message to talk about the position in question. I returned the call and two days later, nothing. The other interest was from a public library system that wanted me to complete a civil service test which would last an hour. THEN if I passed the civil service test, I would get a call back for an interview, however, there is no known time from the test to the interview. It’s a 10 hour drive, one way, to the city so I had to politely decline.1
But hey! It’s keeping up with my above average of 1ish in 10 on interest/interviews to applications submitted.
(I have been expecting the deluge of rejections / interviews to start happening around this time. The jobs I applied for at the end of January / beginning of February, closed near the tail end of February so decisions are coming out now.)

I drew up a plan for what I’m going to do on a M-F schedule to keep up with all of my projects. Part of that plan was to write once a week over at the profesh site and in addition to the weekly gratitudes, write here twice a week. We see how well that’s going, but for once I am not beating myself up because things are not on a tight schedule, which is a huge difference from where I was even a few months ago.

Speaking of ThePlan, I had a breakthrough with my therapist this week. For the first time in four months, I sat down and said, “These are the issues I am having and these are the things I want to change.” I know you’re thinking, “Okay, Lisa, you’ve been seeing a therapist for that long of time and you’re just getting to the meat of your crazy?” Au contraire my friend, I’ve been spending the last four months pulling my ass out of the giant hole that exploded back in October. Couple that bullshit with jobs, family, lack of money, and other large topics of discussion, I haven’t had a time to really think about that kind of stuff or really how to fix me. I was more interested in putting out fires.
Along with job hunting process, being crazy is a full-time gig.
I broke down to my shrink about this plan, telling her I was sorting out what I needed to do on a weekly basis (work on TeamTreeHouse, job hunt, DBT, journaling to name a few) into daily chunks and she said, “Lisa. You do understand you’re spreading yourself thin, right?”
Honestly? I thought I wasn’t doing enough. That sounds a reasonable thought, doesn’t it? If you look at my newly planned calendar, I have, on average, six things assigned to each day. Two of them I approximated two to three hours each (and I was being generous). The other four? No idea on time. Just glancing at the remaining objectives, they could last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour each and that is not including time to yoga, meditate, eat, shower, and housekeeping duties that add-on the daily lists.
My argument to her is, “Look. I need to apply for jobs. I need to work on refreshing / learning new skills using TeamTreeHouse. I need to check my email on a regular basis and I need to keep up with my RSS feeds to keep abreast of library trends. I can not not do these things.” “Maybe something has to go?” “Okay, what?” “That’s for you to figure out and prioritize.”
(This is not a verbatim conversation but you get the general gist.)
When I came home from the session, I gave TheExHusband the tl;dr and he agreed with my shrink. “You’re spreading yourself too thin. You don’t have to do everything right this second and at the exact same time.”
I agree.
Obviously the job hunt is top of that list and it buttresses neatly with the day to day stuff mentioned above. That’s the given.  But as for the rest of it? I have no idea, right now, how to stagger it so I’m not overwhelmed. As I explained above, I don’t have TeamTreeHouse set for everyday, it’s for twice a week. Writing on my profesh blog is only once a week. Writing here is twice a week.
This type of balancing act is what’s been keeping me in my thoughts this week. I’ve been pretty motivated to keep pushing forward because I’ve now got a history of not giving up on projects. The exercise, the meditation, the quitting smoking, and the on going stuff for 50 Things. I am not as susceptible to starting projects and abandoning them as I once was. I’m not saying I’ve perfected the best balance for home / work, as that’s bullshit, but I have a better control on my life than a year ago.
I’ve always been a fighter, that pretty strongly evident through the course of my life, so it’s never been a big concern that I would not pick myself up by my Chucks. I’ve never thought I wouldn’t get out of here. I may have been pissed it was taking so long, but if anything this last 18 months has shown me, I can do this.
Where as before I would think myself as a loser or failure for not following ThePlan or the calendar or whatever I’ve concocted to a T, I get that I’m not perfect, life is not perfect, and if I want to be happy, I need to be fluid on many of my plans.
And if you read anything prior to the last six months on ThePlan, you know to be true.
So all in all, how I’m handling this makes me proud and gives me the hope I can get an even better grip on my life.

After that, “Go get’m girl!” speech, it seems a little spurious to switch gears, but that’s how I roll.
I’ve been pretty open I’ve been having bouts of depression these last few months or so. It’s different from the blow up in October (manic depression) where I was crying on the couch for hours on end, binge eating (skip breakfast, lunch, splurge on dinner or some variant), sporadically showering. No, this was subtle. Quieter. I wasn’t having suicidal feelings. I was able to do things that I needed to do without feeling much issues. I would feel, “Huh. It’s gray outside. I’m gray inside. Whatevs.” and continue on with my day.
It was super frustrating to know this was depression happening and I couldn’t meditate, yoga, or whatever my way out of it.
So when I saw my medicating shrink a few weeks ago, I gave him the above and told him I felt my depression was around 8 out of 10. He put me on Cymbalta, which is fast acting (takes a few days to kick in instead of a few weeks) and hoping this would be enough.
If you’ve been reading my site for a few years now, you know I’m super sensitive to drugs. I’ve had psychotic breaks on ADHD meds, suicidal thoughts on SSRIs, and a whole host of other problems. The currently bipolar cocktail (Lamtical (400mg) and Risperdone (not sure of the amount of but it’s the beginning dose)) works really, really well. The symptoms are in control and I am so fucking aware of my triggers it’s insane. (“You’re one of the most self-aware people I know!”) The anxiety is kept in check with Klonopin and Hydroxyzine, but depression, however, is a whole ‘nother ball of wax based on the aforementioned problems.
I won’t go into too much specifics but anti-depressant drugs fall into three classes: SSRIs, SNRIs, and Atypical. SSRIs are the ones most people know about (effexor, paxil, etc) and the ones that make me, honestly, psychotic. SNRIs is where Cymbalta lives and last week it showed that after metabolizing it for a few days, I felt awesome (3 out of 10) for a few days, and then the rage hit so hard, I would have beaten up the couch if given a chance. Atypicals, where Latuda and Wellbutrin live, are pretty much my last shots. I was on Wellbutrin ages and ages ago and I don’t remember how I reacted to it, but then again, I was on a whole different bipolar cocktail. Latuda, I’ve never been on.
So to finally put this to some kind of ending, the doc put me on Wellbutrin, which I started today, and I should see some kind of result in a few weeks. (And hopefully not in some kind of psychotic rage. 😀 )
Viva la crazy drugs!

1. My clearly out of state address was on the app and the follow up email. I half expected they would reject me based on that information. But nope. Go figure.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2004, 2003, 2001

The Lisa Chronicles: What’s in a name?

justinwhinges When I started keeping an online journal in 1998, the main reason I started chronicling my entire life online was for me to remember it. I have no memory of my childhood and most of my tween years up until the age of 13 and there are even spots of time in my 20s that are vacant.1 If personal recollections, photographs, handwritten letters and other realia were so incredibly fragile, were my words digitally constructed that much stronger? Could I not access them at anytime and any point with no fear of deprecation?2 Wasn’t this the whole point of the internets? Justin and I bicker about this topic quite a bit because while he understands as to WHY I’m so obsessed with keeping my digital life in order, he still thinks it’s an invasion of privacy. But for someone, himself, who can easily recall his life at any stage with minute detail, I can see his point. But for me, I don’t have that option. I became obsessed with chronicling my life because I wanted my imprint to last forever. And this is why my online journal was called, “The Lisa Chronicles.”
I kept the name for nearly a decade, regardless of which domain it was hosted on, but in 2006 (in several more entries to come, you ‘ll see how 2006 proved to be a pretty pivotal year), I registered a new domain with a different idea: shesgotplans.net. I wanted to go beyond just writing chronicles of my life/snarky commentary, I wanted to have an all-in-one place place to showcase everything I was/will be into: Books, movies, music, food, opinion, pop culture, photography, librarianship and archives (and everything in between). I had gone from having my own domain for keeping my online journal, to LiveJournal and was feeling the pull of having my own site again where I could do the above. The name of the domain was culled from an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,”3 when Meridith exclaims about Finn, her mens of the moment, “And Finn! He’s got plans!” I wanted shesgotplans.net to not only be entertaining, but also to keep track of anything new or fun or interesting that I was obsessing about at the moment. Food? I would want millions of pictures of food and recipes. Photography? Here’s what I learned and why I liked these tips. Writing? Here is a new short story/poem/ I wrote and you can have it for free. Music? Here is the latest CD I’ve been digging and why you should dig it or why it fucking sucks.
That was the general idea. My writing, when I started in 1998, went from dozens of posts of month to one or two (if that) and then to nothing for months at a time by 2006-07. I started and stopped writing. A lot. When I started my MLIS in the fall of 2008, I saw it as a perfect way to reboot my writing while I worked on this degree. I wrote a lot of posts about librarianship, archives and anything remotely related. And while in the last several months, since graduation, I’ve been writing more personal then professional, the number one reason why people come here is for the “So, You Want To Be A Librarian/Archivist?” series.
That depresses the fuck out of me as I feel I’m much more than a snappy piece about going to library school, at least I used to be. No one reads me anymore because I’m provocative or interesting and that bothers the hell out of me. I feel I have grown way too conservative and soft in my old age. Gone were the days of owning domains like pronstar.org and bitchasshoes.org4, writing about sex, drugs and rock and roll. I’ve become so hypervigilant about what I was posting on what network5, with what content that saying the word “fuck” made me cringe. Me. Cringe at saying the word fuck!? What in Nigel’s name has happened to me? Don’t answer that. With all that is being said, I don’t want this to become some boring ass librarian page of dick tugging and circle jerking.6 But that is what is happening. The top keywords that drive traffic here is “So, you want to be a librarian?” and “Jobs that require MLIS.” I’ve taken back ownership of “The Lisa Chronicles” for the journal title, content will be be more what I envisioned and lots more updates are planned.
It feels good to be back.
1. I blame the memory loss to conscious forgetting and loads of alcohol. I married my husband because he remembers more of my 20s than I do.
2. Digital archivists will bicker on this point, but for the sake of the piece, it makes sense. 3. Don’t judge. This is where she goes back to McDreamy. Again.
4. .Exhbit A: pronstar.org and Exhibit B: bitchasshoe.org.
5. Numerous (okay, 2) people have emailed/FB’d/etc me to warn me to watch I say on Twitter/blog as possibly be detrimental to me obtaining a job. I understand and get that, I’m not incredibly stupid.
6. There is enough of clique in the library world that it drives me INSANE that this behavior is so easily accepted and even, in some cases, applauded.

a brief and quick update

Had to take a deep breath there for a moment as I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO AND VERY LITTLE TIME TO DO IT! type of mood. I shouldn’t even be writing at this hour but hey, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
First up, the image is from the wonderful site indexed, which I’ve fallen in love with recently. That card is one of my favorites and also available on a t-shirt. Size men’s M if you want to get me something for the holidays.
Secondly, I’ve created another blog that will be a group collaborative thing for one of my classes. We are working on a group presentation on intellectual freedom, with my sub-topic being book censorship. This should prove to be awesome if we can get it off the ground.
Thirdly, I’ve got a wonderful set of things I want to discuss about lib school, including writing a “so you want to be a librarian” series discussing topics that I wish that I had found when I was researching lib schools. If by judging from some of the communities I read on wanna be’s and current grad school participants, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of running around with the head cut off scenerio — of which I’m gleefully one.
I’m also planning out more observations on some of the work I’ve been doing along with commentary on current attitudes towards the practice. I also have some minor research I have to do to solidify some of my opinions or to figure out some of the theory behind, for example, why librarians seem to hate people who work in bookstores. I’m not the only one who has felt this, which is interesting because we should work together in a parallel manner but we seemingly are not.
My eyes are currently glazing over, so it’s time to hit the hay.

Those librarians, they sure do know how to party

[Maintenance note: I’ve just updated WordPress and my blog theme to the latest and greatest and am still debugging the hell out of it. Things should be back to normal in a day or two.]
Things for the last month or so have been fairly dramarific and full of chaos. I emotionally and verbally discharged all of that pent up rage and aggression over on my livejournal for a bit, realized I had to but a squelch on that behaviour right quick and locked up seven years of LiveJournal entries to friends-only. This decision was long in coming, something I’ve been debating about for years really, because I’ve been writing online for so long and so prolifically that I would constantly argue with myself (and others) that this is who I am — I’m the one who has no problems airing her business in public. So to me, shutting the world out from my thoughts, no matter how repugnant, vile or vindictive they may have been at the time, seemed just totally dishonest. It felt like I was hiding bits and pieces of myself when dammit, you should take all or nothing. I am Lisa, hear me roar.
But it wasn’t the current drama with the ex-bastard, my online temper tantrums in regards to that or the fact that every, single thing about the last seven years on livejournal nor the five years before that on modgirl.net that I’ve spent meticously documenting every facet of my life that was bothering me. My past is my past and I can never change that — but it was my future that suddenly seemed so bright and full of promise that I had to damage control everything possible to make the best me there is out to be.
I’ve spent the last several days in Detroit attending lib school orientation at Wayne State and knew, before I went, that I had to present myself as the best self possible. For years I’ve always underplayed my awsomeness in that I never really set out to achieve all the things I could achieve, rather, I just skulked along and did what I thought was best for the situation and just kept plodding along. I never really set out to want something really badly because if I didn’t get it, failure would disarm me even more. I kept myself locked up in this totally ridiculous situation that I set out to do the bare minimum as humanly possible and skate along until something found me. And while it did, it was never really enough.
It never really is.
Armed with this information, I was determined to stop repeating bad habits and was determined to own Wayne State by the time I graduate. In order to do that, the first thing I had to do was knock off the silly shell of “shyness” that I constantly covet and steeled myself to grab every possibility and opportunity as humanly possible. I was going to fuck with the eagles, dammit and learn how to fly.
My excitement was palpable when I drove into the parking lot at Wayne. I announced, giddy, that I was here for the lib school orientation and I was SOO excited to be here. The steely security guard cracked a smile and announced, “We are excited to have you here. Welcome to the University.” (You could hear the captial “U” in university.)
For the next two days, I put myself out there. I became the gregarious person that everyone who knows me knows me to be and I started making friends, contacts, networked and introduced myself all over the place. The profs enthusiasm for the program was contagious and the more they talked up the hard work and the program, the more rearing I was ready to go. It was the first institution, ever, that made me feel like I really belonged there. That I was a part of something really awesome and terrific and new. I’ve got a stack of business cards, emails and phone numbers and the like of new people who are as excited about me as I am excited about them. I can’t WAIT for school to begin in the next two weeks.
Things are changing and I’m so totally excited about the change. I’ve got a gazillion plans, natch, and I can’t wait for all of this to begin.
I’m so going to totally own Wayne when I’m done, they have no idea. 😉