Towel Birthday: Now I am 42

Dear Internet,

Today is my birthday, which is both a bizarre and wonderful thing.


Fjörutíu og tvær.

Pedwar deg dau.

Daichead a dó.1


(It apparently does not get any better when not said in English.)

If this was 1514, I’d probably most assuredly be dead, probably from childbirth. And probably would have owned no property of my own. Or been educated Or would have been considered a full fledged human. But hey!

It’s not 1514.

It really is the little things. Like clean water, soap, and science.

Where was I?

I’ve been thinking about how to document this year and since it happens to be Throwback Thursday (#tbt), a trip down Lisa memory lane seems like a good idea. Below is a sample of the pictures I started curating a few years ago to document how I aged.  You can see the rest over at Flickr.

Lisa, 1972 (I'm the one in the middle)
1972. I’m the one in the middle with my maternal grandparents and my two older cousins. They were 4 and 2, and I was 4 months old or so.

Lisa, 1975
Christmas, 1975. I would be about 3.5.

Lisa, 1979 (with my brother)
Spring 1979 right after Jeff, my brother, was born. Yes. I am a little Catholic school girl with ribbons in her pigtails.


Sometime in 1989. The eyes? Violet contacts that I rocked for about a year or two. The lipstick? Frosted. I tended to rock punk rock hair and preppy clothes — a style that has not changed two decades later.

Lisa & Justin, 1998
1998. Pictures, taken with a B&W webcam, of me and TheHusband from 1998.  The images were tiny enough that I just put them together in a single image. Our secret to staying so young? Virgin’s blood – duh.

Lisa, 2005
2005. Taken before my undergrad graduation, but right after one of the most expensive hair cuts/colors I ever paid — about $350 dollars. My hair was bad ass.

Early morning #projecttiara cc @vforrestal


2014. Taken last week.

And remember: 42 is the new 28.


This day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 1999

1. “Forty two” in Icelandic, Welsh, and Irish.

A Husband’s Lament To His WIfe On Her Birthday

[Ed. It is tradition that TheHusband and I exchange prose or some kind of creative work on various holidays. This is his contribution for my birthday this year.]

Oh Pookie Bear! As your trusty squire, shall I regale you with adulation of your bravery, your honor and your conquests of wanton maidens?


Shall I exalt your victories to the filthy commoners? Perhaps the tale of how you tamed the Nemean Lion, convincing it to perch upon your head for eternity, its mane becoming your mane! Or, your legendary slaying of the Hydra Aunt. Luring it out of the swamp with the promise of Thanksgiving leftovers and nickel slots. Only to charge it on your trusty steed Pugacles, lopping both heads off with your sword and bathing in the sanguine maelstrom of victory!


That isn’t doing if for you?

Shall I sing the bardic anthems elucidating your great beauty? The Song of the Resplendent Cheekiepoo is always a favorite among the grunge infested plebian mobs. Or, perhaps, one of favorites from the Primevalvision Song Contest? How did that Yotvingian tune go?

I have to tell you something
It’s been on my mind so long

Then he mentions something about the greaves he is wearing today, oned call love and the other called Hispania? It never made any sense to me; but you sure seemed to enjoy it.

Absolutely Not?

Must you be so curt?

Shall I order up a doxy with a socially acceptable level of feculence to rub your weary shoulders? To massage your mystery lump? Your lone vulnerable ounce of flesh. Covered by a leaf just before you were bathed in dragon’s blood as an infant. No one knows about it but, I, your trusty squire, and, uh maybe the strumpet I’d hire as a masseuse.

Go to hell and die?

Really? That type of language is unbecoming of one so noble, one so fabled, one so grand, so….

Leave you the fuck alone? May I ask why?

Cat gifs.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 20121999


To celebrate my turning 29 for the 11th time, we held a small party here at Throbbing Manor last Saturday in which I invited close friends and new neighbors. The turn out was good, last person was kicked out shortly before 4 AM, we ate party left overs for days and I did not, unfortunately, wake up in my own puke as I have been known to do before.

TheHusband, who is not so much socially awkward but that he hates people, wanted “TheHusband time” on Sunday, the actual day of my birth, to balance out all the socializing he did the night before. With TheHusband off doing whatever it is he does when he’s alone (namely, reading the interwebs, listen to podcasts and watching sports), I figured it was a good time to start unpacking boxes of books and journals for my office that I had not seen in years. Our living room bookcases finally arrived a few days before and in the process of unpacking and organizing those, I discovered more stuff for my office and I knew, likewise, that more items would be in the boxes marked the office that belong downstairs.

[In contrast to the recently arrived living room bookcases, my office bookcases have been here for months and I’ve not done a thing with them. Boxes in the guest room have been silently waiting for me to unpack them. The glare of the unpacked boxes is much like the glare of the pug when she thinks you’re up to no good.]

officebookcases-small For the better part of that Sunday afternoon, I spent time reading old journals dating back to my teens and 20s. Some entries were difficult because it was clear I thought of myself as being this sophisticated teenager when I was obviously so wholly naive. Other pieces were just sad in that back of hand to the forehead type of way and others were painful just for the memories they stirred. In addition, I also ended up reading some of the short stories I wrote through high school and it seemed that a lot of them ended the same way: someone dies a violent death. It’s pretty clear some things never change.

As I was reading, sorting and unboxing, I thought of these papers in several ways:

  1. As an archivist and with that in mind, how future generations are going to look at my work and attempt to figure out chronological order and such. Also how to preserve these materials in their current state AND move them digitally? Seventeen year old Lisa did not think to buy everything on acid-free paper. Seventeen year old Lisa was also hugely romantic.
  2. Collection fodder for story telling and telling of stories. I’ve long known I have had a habit of writing down bits and bobs on scraps of paper, which I’ve now collected into a folder with hopes to turn them into something solid instead of just collecting random bits of paper.

Re-reading these old tomes of mine sent me into two equal, but separate, trains of thoughts: I have accomplished much, have had experience and seen much of the world that most do not. Go team Lisa! On the flip side: Jesus Christ, I’ve pissed away a lot of opportunities, I’m soon to be officially old and there is still so much work to be done. Will I be able to get it all completed? Recently, my lovely friend John wrote an interesting spec on his own life plans and the fluidity of his life plans (from game Reindeer to game Caribou) as things in his own life have changed. This got me thinking about my own life and how I plan for the short term, not the long term. I have game ThinkAboutItTomorrow! TheHusband gets on me about this quite a bit whenever we talk about moving to Europe. He points out that if we go abroad every year, as I want to do, our chances of getting a home across the pond will either take longer or cost us more. Logic does not bode well with my own reasoning. I’m about instant gratification, I could be dead next year from a car accident and where will my savings get me then?

Since we’ve moved into Throbbing Manor, I’ve been having this minor existential crisis, of sorts, on a near weekly basis. But after reading John’s post, I began to wonder: If I spent more time living and less time wondering about this life I think I am supposed to be living, how different would my life really be?

Interesting thought.