home is where the…i have no bloody idea

(This piece is longer than I had intended so grab a cup of coffee or beverage of choice.)
Dear Internet,
I’m taking a break from working on the “How To Write Fiction” MOOC, and oh boy aren’t I in for a treat.
In the pre-week comments I stated I wanted to strip everything I knew about fiction and if the critiques I’ve received on my first draft are any indication, I’ve got a long way to go. (However the general underlying response was my first draft was intriguing, so I’ve got that going for me.) If I would have taken this class even a year ago, I would huff my work was perfect and the cleansing was not necessary. This time, I am not so angry that I’m throwing insults about “how dare they” around the cabin.
(Or maybe I’m still sedated from the Klonopin I took the night before.)
This is all prep work for NaNoWriMo, which I’m hoping will allow me jump start my novel, get a rough draft done, and so I can feel accomplished. I have plotted out some of the work, wrung my way through other;  fingers crossed I’ve not created a hot mess.

I’ve started using marginalia from the British Library’s collection again in the featured image as it is in the public domain, it’s pretty, and because I can.

I’m still sick because my body is an asshole and has nothing better to do. I’ve started week three of a cough I can’t shake, which I think has more to do with quitting smoking and getting rid of the crap in my lungs than being actually sick. Whatever the case I sound like death’s rattle when the coughing fit starts with the bonus of learning how to spit like a man.

We’re now inching towards the end of week two of TheExHusband’s jeep still indisposed. It’s sitting in a parking lot of the local mechanic who, it turns out, is the only mechanic on duty. TEH is adamant of giving the guy business since the shop recently did super minor work for free. It’s frustrating and endearing at the same time, with the lean towards frustrating than endearing. All plans have been canceled as we wait to find out the status of the damned thing, so goodbye East Coast, I still love you.
I’m championing selling the piece of shit for scrap and buying a new/used car from a dealership in Louisville rather than some shady garage (as he did this money hole a few summers ago). It’s a good shot I’ll be driving him down to Louisville once we find out the status of the Jeep (which I’m betting is a goner. If I’m repeating myself it is because it is my every desire the thing is beyond repair).
In the meantime I’ve had TheBassist ship me my winter things because it’s dropping into the low 40s and high 30s. There is a good chance if I’m still here by the end of the month or early November, there will be snow. Literally, winter is coming.

I’m 80% doing okay, taking into factor the most recent meltdown (that was three weeks ago? Fuck. It felt like yesterday.), the sickness, the Jeep bullshit, and other maladies. I’m anxious about the right things instead of jumping off the ledge about others.
It’s lovely to be at Throbbing Cabin in the summer and early fall for a week or two. I could handle a month, but we’re now closing in on two months in late fall and we’re getting close to becoming batshit crazy. The nearest villages are 10-12 miles away and the big city of Traverse City takes 30-40 minutes to get to. Three of the closest villages are tourist traps and after a while you get tired of $15 burgers and trunk slammers from Florida. I often go walking around our area but without a proper coat it gets a little chilly and I can only walk in certain areas thanks to the big hills and little valleys (and the goddamned golf courses).
I’ve completed 98 straight days of meditation. Tada!
Throbbing Cabin is 1000 sqft and surprisingly we’re not killing each other or fighting (just crazy from lack of things to do), which I consider with all the circumstances to be a small victory. TheExHusband turned on internet the first week I was up here, brought up a TV from the old house; which coupled with my Roku means we’ve got loads of things to keeps us entertained. He works all day in the second bedroom which we flipped into an office for him in the summer of 2014 while I work on the breakfast bar in the kitchen. We are more or less out of the other’s hair.
It’s cozy and we do not lack for anything. I have my coffee maker, there is a working regular stove and apartment sized fridge. The closest of all the villages has an all in one gas station / deli / pizza place/ grocery / video store. They even sell Lisa-milk and GF food stuffs. The village also has a post office, two resturants, a free library inside the bank, a meat shop, a knitting store, and a local art gallery. For laundry and weekly groceries, out to TC we go. The area is pretty much perfect except for the location and the so dark you can slice it with a light saber which does not make even a dent into the denseness. However, lack of light pollution does make for a pretty sky.
The cabin is well heated from several space heaters. While there is baseboard heat, the first winter we were here, and only for 2.5 weeks, the electric bill was $500. For 2.5 weeks. Two space heaters heating up this entire place will run TEH, for a month, around $150. The baseboard heat will only come on when it dips below freezing so the pipes don’t freeze, which if the weather is any indicator is going to be end of this week, early next.
(And my rush to get the fuck out of here is compounded by the storms of 2013-14 bought 240″ of snow to the area. That is not a typo.)
(I know I keep flipping between “we” and “his” when discussing about Throbbing Cabin because of all the work I’ve put in to it, it still feels like “mine” even though TEH got it in the divorce. I declined his offer of ownership as so much work needs to be done, such as $15-20K for a new septic tank and drain field. It’s lovely to visit but I don’t want to own this place. At all.)

I’m 1100 words in and I haven’t even touched the main point of this piece which is “home,” what it means, and how I want to achieve it. (This is inspired by Theodora Goss’ piece on a similar topic on crafting a life.)
Which is a very good question and the apex of my problems since I was born and one I keep struggling with it often takes over my life.
The original plan was to move to the East Coast, retreat for a few months, look for a job, and get a place of my own, preferably with TheBassist. The plan changed. Then it was to Grand Rapids for six months while I healed emotionally and mentally which turned out didn’t happen and it was suggested I couldn’t, shouldn’t, live alone. Then it was to Louisville, then CT. Now it’s at the cabin, then more than likely Louisville, then who the fuck nows. If I end up in Louisville longer than two months, it’ll be the first time I’ve stayed anywhere longer than 1/6th of a year since October 2014.
For all intents and purposes, I am homeless. My possessions, what is left, are at TheExHusband’s house. Some of my things are at TheBassist’s. I’ve pared down my car goods to between 1/3 – 1/2 of what I took to The East Coast last October. I’ve been living out of two small bags and a bag full of toiletries since the first week of September when I arrived at the cabin.
During all of this whiplashing around, the goal and my greatest desire has been a job, financial independence, and a place to call my own.
I’ve applied for, between writing and librarian career tracks, 150 jobs since February of 2015.  I’ve made a grand total of $150 off my writing since August. My day to day living funds ran out in July (TEH has been supplementing me since August). My mental health, while mostly stable now, still has it’s downsides (mostly brought on by pre-menstrual hormones these days). I’ve taken my crazy pills daily since November 2014. I’ve racked up (and half way pared down) nearly $40K in credit card debt within the last year.
These are the facts.
I’m not revealing the minute details for sympathy, understanding, or a handout. This is what it is. This has been the apex of my life since forever and a time ago.
What am I running from or who or why?
I’ve been moving house every two to three years since I was 13. Throbbing Manor, where I lived for four years, has been longest place I’ve lived on my own since I was 24. Prior to that, my mother changed our living locations every 2-3 years from ages 13 – 24. So insofar as actual living space, I do not know what home means.
(When I’ve been at TheBassist’s or TheExHusband’s, even if room was made for me in their space, it still feel like “their” space, not mine. I was just a temporary boarder who happened to be cute. (It should be noted that was never their intent to make me feel uncomfortable, they went above and beyond to make me comfortable, but that is how I often felt.))
It’s been remarked numerous times over the last 20 years I’m running from something because of the shifting or it’s a pathos of my disease. I’ve never known physical space as mine, it was always someone else’s, even when I’ve had roommates. I’ve always felt like a visitor instead of a primary occupant.
(Which is why if you’ve ever visited me at any of the places I’ve lived, there has hardly, if any, decoration to showcase my personality. Decoration was in the form of my clothes, which are cheap and easily disposable.)
I know I’ve romanticized where I want to live. Do I want an adorable apartment in a big city? A home of my own in a quaint little village? A flat somewhere in Europe? This parallels the kind of life I also romanticize. Jet set traveler? Famous writer? Raconteur around town?
I want to be everything, live every place, and be every person.
This, obviously, throws a wrench into daily life plan and reality, most which seems to blur together into one grey line.
If home cannot be about a place, then what about being with a person? If i could not feel at home with the two most important relationships in my life, TheBassist and TEH, then how does that bode for me? What does that say about me? I’m too frightened to forge a relationship with anyone, romantic or platonic? Why do I destroy everything that should be the best of my life?
If home is not about a place, or a person, what about the material things? I have my cases and cases of books, 50-60% I’ve now donated. My clothes, shoes, and accessories which I’ve significantly pared down and donated the rest. Personal objects or things I’ve picked up over the years, donated.
I’m cast adrift with no thing, person, or place to call my home.
If it’s not a place, or a person, or things. Then what is home and how do I get there?
P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2010, 2001

3 More + 16 Years: The Chronicles Of A Girl Online

Dear Internet,
Pre-Tumblr (2007), pre-Twitter (2006), pre-Facebook (2004), pre-WordPress (2003), pre-Blogger (1999), pre-LiveJournal (1999), and even before the word “blog” (1999) became part of our everyday vocabulary, a twenty-something girl with lots of opinions and is an exhibitionist at heart started putting her life online in 1998 (1995).
In those days, we did not style ourselves as “bloggers” but as online journalists, diarists, or memoirists. We banded together on mailing lists like Diary-L and went to JournalCon. We often kept not only our own sites, but also companion sites at LiveJournal and DiaryLand.
Things were different then. Vastly different. You weren’t a brand, you were a person. Some wrote anonymously, some wrote brazenly, others wrote somewhere in between. You wrote to explain, connect, bend, fabricate, conceal, and open. You wrote because if you didn’t, you would explode.
We were fearless. We gave no fucks. We were the voice of a generation who came to the Internets guileless and unafraid, knowing whatever transgressions would ultimately be forgiven. We knew anything and everything was possible and we wrote about it all with no pretense. There was an intimacy and an immediacy to the writing. It was also comforting, knowing, shocking, and absorbing.
It was all life unrestricted.
We were all Samuel Pepys, but with laptops and modems, not quills and parchment.
Jarring shift: Last week I found out that whomever now owns simunye.org now has set robots.txt to NOFOLLOW.
And boom, just like that 10 years of Lisa on the ‘net has been wiped out for good.
This becomes important because simunye.org was the first domain I ever purchased, and the first home of The Lisa Chronicles. Once that robots.txt file was changed, tangible proof of my historical online record are forever gone. Now all that is left, other than the local copies safely tucked away in the cloud, is a mention of my early work in an article in Wired from February 1999.
(The incredibly short version of how I lost access in 2010 to the domain registrar where the domain was registered, the domain expired, and I didn’t grab it in time when it was free to renew. Despite this, I was still able to link to the simunye.org archives that lived on via Wayback Machine, but with the new domain owners setting robots.txt to NOFOLLOW, this also effectively wiped out the entire history of the domain at Wayback Machine.)
(And if that doesn’t get you thinking about the so-called permanency of what the Wayback Machine was meant to be as a social history archive of the Internet, then why does it even exist?)
(And it was perhaps fortuitous of me knowing this day was coming? I’ve been steadily putting up the old archives, which is why everything pre-2010 is in spurts. In 2008 I said it would be done by the end of the summer. So.)
But let us not mourn too much about the past, or what it has become. But let us look at this world I’ve inhibited for nearly two decades and how it is starting to come full circle. I was one of the few writing about their whole lives online then and I’m one of the few doing it now.
Now, everyone has an agenda. A brand. A business. A sale. They have a schtick and job, with goal settings, social media analytics, and use phrases like “bounce rate” and “conversions.” They write to make money and hope their kitschy blog on a niche thing will turn into a book or a movie deal.
However I find for all these sites that tell you how to do something, solve your problem, or make you laugh under the banner of “personal blog,” seem to lack a certain soul. A certain personality. Sure, many include tidbits and trinkets about their life in the piece, but the piece is not about that tidbit or trinket; it’s about selling you something and getting you to keep on buying what they are dealing for every time you click a link or land on a page, they are somehow making money.
So we swing back and here we are on the 16th anniversary of my online diary, my journal, my memoirs.
The anniversary of my online journal has always been fluid. Things were put up on GeoCities as far back as 1995, but apparently it was not until July 16, 1998 that I made an executive decision to do this regularly and The Lisa Chronicles (and subsidies) were born.
After a very prolific period that lasted well into the 2000s, I started to write less sometime in 2006, and then almost never and to the point I  thought I would never come back. Various forms of the site evolved in bursts and in August 2010, after finishing library school and floundering around for a bit, I decided to resurrect the site in its previous glory. I also explained why I kept my world online:

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. 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?
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.

The 2010 resurrection did not breathe life to the site as I had hoped and I started thinking maybe it was time for a new domain and a new name. I had been The Lisa Chronicles for so long but it didn’t feel quite right anymore. I needed a change.
On a trip to England in 2012, I was at Shakespeare’s Globe browsing the gift shop when I saw a pin that said, “Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” referencing the stage direction from The Winter’s Tale. Almost immediately I googled to see if the name was being used and it was in various forms that seemed to be mostly defunct but definitely not as a blog.
This is where I needed to be.
The tag line, “A Most Unreliable Narrator,” is a spin of the literary term “unreliable narration” which refers mainly to first person narratives, typically in fiction,  as they are often biased and filled with self-interest. You know, like life.
In 1998, I was an unmedicated bipolar living in sin with TheHusband in near dump in Oakland, working for a sleazy ISP in San Francisco, and with a borderline drinking problem. I also smoked like a chimney and got into a lot of trouble. In 2014, I’m still unmedicated bipolar living no longer in sin with TheHusband in a too big for us house in a historic district in Grand Rapids, working freelance life as a writer who can barely have a drink a month, no longer smokes, and finds staying up late on Friday nights to be worrisome.
Who the fuck knows what this site, and me, are going to look like in another twenty years?
But personally, I can’t wait.

Fun Facts

  • Someone once made me The Lisa Chronicles ICQ skin
  • I produced t-shirts for supporting the site (and still have one)
  • Most of my oldest, and dearest, friends were met either via IRC or my online journal
  • I have been signing all of my entries, “xoxo, Lisa” since the very beginning
  • TheHusband figures prominently in the beginning since we were together when I began the journal
  • After nearly a decade of not being in touch, TheHusband tracked me down via my journal and we picked up right up in 2008 where we left off in 1999
  • I’ve had romantic and platonic relationships end and begin because of my journal
  • My preferred disposable pen is still a Pentel RSVP in fine point blue
  • I still love nachos (but I no longer smoke)
  • I finally finished college and went on to grab two masters after just to be safe


Total Words: Over 1 million
Total Posts: 2000 and growing (Average 125 posts a year for 16 years)
Content managed by: By hand until 2004ish, then Moveable Type, Blogger, WordPress, Joomla, Indexhibit, and back to WordPress.
Domains: simunye.org, trippingonstars.org, pronstar.org, bitchasshoe.org, modgirl.net, shesgotplans.net, biblyotheke.net, and finally, exitpursuedbyabear.net.
Here is how the site  looked in 2001, 2004, 2007, and 2011.
Here is what I looked like in 1998, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2014
2001 About Page 
I’m 6′ tall in stocking feet. I don’t know what my natural hair color is. I was born in Toronto, Ontario Canada; I have a half-brother, my father is dead, I’m eight years older than my fiancé. I have a shoe, handbag and clothes fetish. I style myself as a voracious reader and I have had up to 14 piercings at any given time. I dropped out of highschool – twice. I have yet to finish college. I’ve driven cross-country solo and I chain-smoke like a sailor. I love music, literature, walks on the beach and torturing ants with a magnifying glass.
2001 About page alternate
this isn’t going to be some sort of deep psychological debate with myself. you can form your own opinions about me via reading what i write. but that is just the tip. the basics are as follows:

  • I’m 6′ tall in stocking feet.
  • I’ve driven cross country (san fran to dc) solo
  • I’ve been engaged multiple times (but not all at once)
  • my fiance is eight years younger than me
  • my brother is 7’2
  • i was born in Canada and raised in Michigan
  • i was arts/entertainment editor on the college paper
  • i’m obsessed about harry potter and Anita Blake books
  • the first thing i do when i get up is: feed the dogs, make coffee, pee, smoke a cigarette and check my stocks in that exact order
  • i make more snide comments than i do straight answers
  • i’m obsessive /compulsive
  • i’m a drew carey fanatic.
  • i admit to owning albums by “Aqua” “Color Me Badd” and “Britney Spears”
  • i have a purse/shoe fetish
  • i only write with Pentel’s rsvp pens in fine point blue
  • i also tape (via tivo) beverly hills 90210 every time it’s on
  • i’m a zelda fanatic
  • my favorite comedian is eddie izzard
  • if i would, i would marry christian slater in a heartbeat.
  • same thing for brendan fraser
  • ahh hell, imhotep from “the mummy” would so be my bitch
  • i cannot live without my cellphone or my visor
  • or cigarettes, cawfee (from Barnies) and nachos

2004 About Page
Don’t know. I’m an exhibitionist at heart? Whatever the reason, I’ve been keeping an online journal since 1996, a written one since I was a kid. Yah, I’m an old-timer. Fuck this blog shit!
I decided one day to keep an online account of my life and my feelings. I wanted to see how much I have changed (or not) through the years. It is also much cheaper to write than to see a shrink or take drugs. 😉 It’s become some sort of personal project for me and I hope to continue working on it. I write about anything and everything that strikes my fancy. I’ve had partners break up with me over the journal and others fall in love with me because of it. Chances are, if you know me, you’re in here somewhere. I do not use last names or try to reveal identities too terribly much. I don’t have issues about people knowing who I am, but others do. I try to respect their privacy as much as possible. I don’t believe in being anonymous and I don’t believe in keeping secrets. I try to provide as much detail as possible. I’m very verbose — you’ve been warned.
2007 About Page
I first started keeping my journal on-line in 1996 at the age of 24, before the word “blog” was ever coined. And by that logic, I’ve never “blogged” but journaled. Old-schoolers will back me up on this.
The first incarnation of The Lisa Chronicles started on a now-defunct Freenet in my hometown, moved to GeoCities, and found its first permanent home at simunye.org. Various minor moves to other domains that I procured over the years before its final resting place here at modgirl.net.
And in the last decade plus of journaling my life on-line, I’ve met amazing people from all over the world, fell in and out of love, found employment, ranted about the things I despised and raved about the things I loved. It’s been my cheap therapy, my way of expressing myself, of often much needed ego boost, and I have often been humbled by those I’ve met simply by their sheer amazing selves.
2011 About page
In no discerning order: 30 something. Punk rock librarian and archivist. Sassy. Waffle. Pug owner. World traveler. Pierced. Tattooed. Tall. Music and book lover. Discriminating Guinness taster. Aging, alternative hipster. Eco-conscious. Geek. Equally in love with James Bond and Jane Austen.
2014 About page
I’m Lisa.
I am from the Internet.
You may know me as @pnkrcklibrarian, or from my previous online journal, The Lisa Chronicles. If we’re going to go back even farther to the days of Undernet IRC, as simunye or lisha.
You may also know me to a lesser extent from LiveJournal, Goodreads, Tumblr, and Pinterest and  things I have created.
“Fuck” is my favorite word and I also have a lot of opinions.
I used to want to write for Rolling Stone but have worked everywhere from meat packing plant to a newspaper salesperson to a network engineer and then a librarian with multitude of stops along the way. Now I write full time and wave my cane at the kids on my lawn.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 2010, 1998

Exit, Pursued by a Bear is back!

Hey there!
I’m pleased as punch to announce EPbaB is back. TheHusband and I migrated the content and did the DNS cutover on March 30 to the new provider. The DNS migrated within a few hours and the site for the last two days has been super snappy. While everything is more or less in place, a few notes:
Continue reading “Exit, Pursued by a Bear is back!”

Things I may or may not have learned

It’s a vampiric version of Romeo and Juliet with a mixture of The Cure and Morrissey song lyrics to fatten it up a bit

– My tl;dr summary of Breaking Dawn

Dear Internet,
TheHusband was kind enough to extract content from what I was thought to be corrupted SQL tables of previous incarnation of the blog, with the date range of 2008 – 2010. Because the data was all dumped in a text file for me, I had to manually place it in EPbaB, which is incredibly time consuming. If you follow me on Tumblr or LiveJournal, you may have seen a plethora of the posts show up that while were time stamped with the correct date of their original publication, were showing up as new content in the Tumblr and
LiveJournal feeds, which caused some confusion when several people asked me what the devil was going on! Understandable, so I turned off the auto-posting when I work on the project but plan on writing up a summary (such as this) of the content posted so you can follow along.
I’ve so far have been able to get through July and early August of 2008. A month has shown me definite patterns to my thoughts, like struggles with my mother and that I was able to expand nearly 3 THOUSAND WORDS on a review on Breaking Dawn. I’m both curiously fascinated and total cringe worthy of this forensic expedition. But one thing absolutely does not change: I am always of the fierce opinion.
More to come soon.

One is silver, the other gold

Dear Internet,
Here is how it begins:
I was working on updating the Caravaggio Project and I was having difficulty remembering if I had been to a particular museum when I was in Rome in ’05. Since I, thankfully, have been cross-posting content over to Livejournal since 2001, I no longer have to depend on my often wrong memory.
As I read through the archives, what piqued my interest in this research was not necessarily finding a definitive answer to my question1, but that many of the people who were commenting on my posts at the time. I either lost contact with them over the years or the relationships had shifted in focus; where we may have once been super close and were now mere Facebook friends who wished each other “Happy Birthday!,” every year not because we genuinely remembered but because Facebook told us.
Continue reading “One is silver, the other gold”

Amsterdam – Pimp City: musings on social networking

108883519To support NaNoWriMo this month, I’m finishing the 30+ odd drafts laying about and posting them through the month of November.
Back in June of 2010, Brian IM’d me and said that while reviewing his LinkedIn network updates, he noticed that an entry from me containing the word “Amsterdam – Pimp City” was on the list. He’s referring to an image I recently uploaded to Twitpic and was thusly shouted out to Twitter and anywhere else that I have Twitter bleeding into, including LinkedIN which in turn showed up on Brian’s LinkedIn weekly update email. Follow that? Good.
This image, which is completely safe for work, is nothing more than words on cheap tin ashtray we bought for my brother in Amsterdam since it is a the kind of cheap and tacky gift you get for a loved one. At last you do in my family.
In my world view, I couldn’t see what the fuss was about — it’s an ashtray with cheap print overlay but Brian, in his opinion, was concerned about the word “pimp” and how that word could possible be related back to him via social network streams and what not, thanks to me. In one innocent posting, I could have possibly marred ever so slightly Brian’s professional reputation.
In short, while I was clearly okay with the posting, Brian certainly was not. And what was even better is that I could do nothing to rectify the situation since there were several days of lag between the posting and Brian’s complaint. Which when I pointed that out to Brian, he didn’t really expect me to DO anything. (Because he wouldn’t want me to change who I am but if it turned out if that word did cause a ripple on his network, he would have to defriend me on the LinkedIn service since it would reflect badly on him. Huh.)
I did, admittedly, get a bit defensive about our conversation but it wasn’t about Brian’s issue with my use of the word “pimp,” rather it’s about after how many years of “social networking,” we (as in the general public we) still do not have an agreed upon consensus on what this all means! Secondly, that the extent of our ramifications of our actions, because we (again the royal “we”) suppose on many different instances where things are definitely stupid (befriending one’s boss on Facebook then apparently talking shit about said boss in one’s status updates, thus causing one to get fired.), we agree they are definitely stupid. It’s the gray area that is troubling.
As most of you know, I don’t have a problem expressing who I am online or off. And in some cases, I’ll tone it down when toning down is warranted. But Brian’s observation about his LinkedIn list did give me some food for thought – how much of social networking responsibility am I willing to carry? In the example Brian laid out, a Twitter update with an image with the words “Amsterdam – Pimp City,” while benign for all intents and purposes, could be seen as not that benign or remotely innocent. While I take responsibility for content that I push onto my social networks and those connected sites (In this case, Twitter ->LinkedIn), and am I still responsible for the content if it’s being aggregated through other people’s LinkedIn profiles that is done without my knowledge?
As someone with a long history of online overshare, it was (and still is) difficult for me to comprehend when people publish information online, regardless of format and they almost always naively believe they can attempt to secure or privatize that information. There is a long standing hacker idiom that goes along the lines of if you want to TRULY secure or privatize your data, wrap the sever in chains and throw it into the ocean. Tada! Instant privatization and security.
Back in ye olde tymey days when LiveJournal was my social network crack of choice, I vacillated between privatizing my account or at least some of my entries so that only approved “friends” could read it and keeping it wide open for the public at large. On the whole, my account was 99% public with only a few private entries available to “friends” with the friends demarcation being those who had accounts on LiveJournal and were reciprocal. The vacillation between public and private posting, for me, has been an ongoing struggle for over a decade. When I posted at modgirl.net from the mid 90s to early ’00s, it was all public. When I started cross-posting between modgirl.net and LiveJournal, it was 99% public. Towards the end of the ’00s, I privatized all the back entries on LiveJournal to the beginning and only kept what was cross-posted from 2008-2010 between my regular blog and LiveJournal as public. And after all that forethougth and decision making, in early 2011 I opened up all of my LiveJournal again to be read by the general public, which included all the cross-postings from around my blog-o-sphere.
On one hand, I firmly believe that all information should be free and available to the public regardless of content. On the other, I’m well aware that there is information sensitive enough that should only be shared between a small group of friends and that publicizing could lead to additional problems/issues down the road. When TheEx and I split in March of 2008, I used LiveJournal to disseminate the information to my friends group at large. When I started detailing TheExe’s mental and physical abuse towards me over the prior two years, that’s when I used LiveJournal to go public with his abuse.
In the case of what I was writing, and how I was writing it and when, I was in control of content access. In the last couple of years, this is not so true anymore. Integration across the networks, marketed to save us time and energy is really a huge privacy issue since I can no longer control absolutely how my data is disseminated, and what is hilarious is that we (the general royal we) really don’t care as long as our pictures are on Facebook and we can check into Foursquare. If I choose, however, to stop pushing content over to LinkedIn from my blog and Twitter accounts, I can more or less guarantee that the content will not be redistributed on their networks. But if I don’t, I run the risk, in the case of Brian’s musing, of my work being used in ways I never thought it would be.
If I am taking responsibility for what I’m posting on my approved social networks, is it my responsibility if those networks choose to aggregate that content in other ways (In this case, LinkedIN pushing updates from “friends” into an email that the user subscribes to that I have no control or access to)? Where do I draw the line, imagined or real, on what I’m posting anymore? This is not 1998 and the only way to get access to my content is via RSS or visiting my site, you can find me anywhere.
And the biggest question of them all: How much should I care?

Things are a changin’

A few weeks ago, I accidentally nuked the content at biblyotheke.net when I ssh’d in to my hosting server and accidentally deleted the wrong directory when I hit enter after the auto completion of “biblyotheke.net” instead of finishing it out with “biblyotheke.net.old.”
For some time, I’ve been whinging on my existential crisis (of sorts) in regards to my writing and social networked life. While I was hemming and hawing publicly, I started some backend work by pulling down the content from modgirl.net, which contained work from 1996-2008 as well as content from other blogs and my LiveJournal, in the attempt to start organizing it into a better searchable and indexed listing of writing with an idea to get it consolidated into a single location at some near future date. (So what I was whinging on about for the last several years, but at a task was to be done at leisure rather then rush, while I worked out my “issues.”)
The accidental nuking of the content at biblyotheke.net turned out to be an awesome way to for me to make an executive decision to fasttrack the content to biblyotheke.net and decommisioning modgirl.net and shesgotplans.net. Ergo, problem solved. So here is the haps of what is upcoming in the next few months:

  • Starting immediately, I’ll be cross-posting content to both sites, but biblyotheke.net content will now be posting to Twitter/Facebook/LiveJournal while content from shegotplans.net will not.
  • I’ve imported the content from shesgotplans.net over to biblyotheke.net over the weekend and I have been working, on and off, to straighten out the links, tags, categories and images over there. A lot is still broken, but should be fixed soonish.
  • Once everything is fixed, I’ll be implementing 301 redirects from shegotplans.net over to biblyotheke.net to handle off-site links so they are not (that) broken.
  • If you follow me using RSS feed, you will want to update your feed link to biblyotheke.net/feed since content will be duplicated on both sites starting immediately.
  • I’ll be updating on progress by using sticky notes on both blogs on where I’m at over the change over.
  • After everything has been fixed on biblyotheke.net, I’ll stop cross-posting to both blogs and will remove the duplicate information on shesgotplans.net.

As always, if you have any questions or shit is broken somewhere, email me at lisa at biblyotheke dot net.

Decadence Tackycake

For years I’ve talked about consolidating and collating every single thing I’ve written into a central, preferably online, location. And for years, I’ve ignored the digital written mess building up though I kept buying domains and designing pages like it was going out of style. I kept producing the near daily online journal, sure, but it was everything else (the prose, the poetry, the essays, the fiction and the absurd) that needed a separate digital home. Bits and pieces kept getting shoved about into folders and sub-folders, directories and strange cataloging systems that made sense to my 23, 28, 34 year old selves but that the 39 year old self could only ask, “What the bloody fuck is this mess?”
So years of “some day” and “perhaps next weekend” were piling up. Domains bought, produced and lapsed. Finally, it was thanks to our telephone lines getting cut this past Monday morning for the fifth or sixth time1, I found myself with plenty of time (and with lack of Internet comes no procrastination) and renewed interest to work on this project. I pillaged my hard drive, went digging through all the nooks and crannies.
Here is what I found:

  • 16 books outlined & started (Though to be fair, most of them are similar in theme to the other and some are only a chapter or two in.)
  • Hundreds, literally hundreds, of finished pieces written in a variety of formats (prose, poetry, non-fiction essays, stories, etc.) that were published $deity know where
  • Dozens of pieces started, notated and never quite finished.
  • Hundreds of web journal entries dating back to 1996, with web publication “officially”beginning in July, 1998. This is in combination of what was published on The Lisa Chronicles from 1998 forward AND LiveJournal entries from 2001 and forward. For a long time there was separation between the two, but consolidation between the two started in the late 2000s.

Mind, this is just the digital forms. This is not including all the materials & research I have in paper format from when I unearthed what I unpacked and sorted my office last week.
Not everything I wrote is pure brilliance. Or even witty. Or fuck, even good for that matter. But finding those chunks of writing that are so pure, the language so on target or even just a simple line is so beautiful, I question who the author is every single time. And every single time, I genuinely am surprised to find out that said author is me.
I am overwhelmed, not only with the voracity of my output, but with the range of topics from men to sex to jobs to emotions to state of affairs to current events. I pile on reviews on books, movies and music. I drop science and knowledge on so much goddamned information, philosophize about everything. I thought the discovery of my high school journals was bad, simply because I had much more material then I originally believed, but the digital format makes the analog look paltry.
Writing is such a fucked up career move. I’m not talking about the Cassandras who pontificate about the chances of a writer making a living off of their work (slim to none), or how difficult it is to break into traditional publishing (slim to none) or even finding an agent (slim to none). I’m talking about this catch-22 mythos that if you do not publish something of brilliance before you are 30, you are worthless. But by the same token, there are dozens of critics who postulate that clearly one cannot have written a masterpiece when one is under 30 because they have nothing of substance to write about, let alone publish. (We’re a pampered generation, after all.)
25 came and went. 30 came and went. 35 came and went. I ate myself alive knowing I would never make it to 20 Under 40 or make some supposed (depending on who you ask) prestigious book list for best young writer. I would not be crowed with my supposed speakers for my generation, at least those as assigned by Time. Many of whom, if you’ve asked me on such topics, I tend to wholly disagree with or find their work highly derivative.2 Or full of crap.
It was like those years of interviewing myself in front of a full-length mirror, prepping for my big interview with Arsenio Hall that sadly never came to pass, was all for naught?
This is what I told myself (and continue to tell myself) for weeks, months and years. All the while, being bitterly, insanely jealous of writers as I watch them come from under the pack and push forward to the big times. While I beat my chest in mea culpa, waiting for my own recognition when I’ve done what? As time moves forward, as opportunities (we believe) get more scarce, as we find ourselves tired and lacking of energy because our youth has faded past us. Because tomorrow, tomorrow tomorrow is always another day but we always seem to think we can get caught up, inbox zero, take time off of work.
And we never fucking do.
I installed in myself I had completed nothing, when discovering all these years later that was such a blatant mistruth. How could I have ignored so much of what was completed?
Why did I live vicariously through others, paralyzed by jealousy when the back list actually exists?
Why did I, in so many ways, sabotage myself?
It ends now.
I have so much work to do.

1. Major construction on our road, the telephone company (regardless of various incarnation of said company throughout the years did not bury our lines at the minimum of 18″ as policy but between 3-4″. In addition, some of the lines were not properly marked.
2. Except for Gary Shteyngart whom I harbor such a major fan-girl crush on, that it is kind of (but not quite), stalkerish in its intensity.

Everything you wanted to know about lisa marie rabey, but were afraid to ask.

I’ve talked, almost incessantly, over the years how keeping an online journal has influenced my life professionally and personally. 1 And yet despite the fact at how times (and technologies) have changed in the last decade, I still get amazed when my own interests often parlay into new opportunities for myself.
For example, recently I’ve become the go-to girl for WordPress based stuff. Several librarians at the academic library I work at have started using WP for professional and personal blogs, and I just happened to have been around when one of them whipped open the WP dashboard to their site. I said something like, “Oh, hey, you’re using WP!” and conversation stemmed from there of me giving tech-tips and know-how on how to use WP, how to integrate widgets and all that brouhaha.
Several weeks later in my digital imaging class, the museum my class will be working with wants to use WP for digital curation of our project — the catch is, the museum is just getting their feet wet on how to use WP and guess who is the only person who knows how to use WP in this scenario? You’ve guessed it — me!2 Because my WP dashboard is loaded to the gills with tweaks, gadgets and widgets, I showed them lib schooled. (and obvs. the dashboard) to explain some of the more robust features of WP and walk them through how things are done and what they can do with WP.
There are, almost literally, no limitations for what WP is capable of and I sing its praises loudly. But the one thing I thought was interesting about myself while I was showing colleagues and supervisors on the functionality of WP via my own site, is that it it dawned on me that I was ushering them into a vaguely private world where even a Google search for me will not bring up this site. I never meant to be completely anonymous with lib schooled. or even private, the content here was to be about my foray into obtaining my MLIS degree and boy howdy, some of the drafts in progress (like “Men I’ll never, ever date.”) having NOTHING to do with librarianship in the slightest.
Did I really feel comfortable showing this this data? Did they need to know that I have/had people calling me “god” for a variety of reasons for some time? That I have a fondness for Guinness, James Bond and Jane Austen? That I like to say “fuck” a lot? Is that information relevant?
On one hand, my line of thinking is clearly ridiculous. Since that ill fated day in 1995 when I discovered “the internet,” I’ve been obnoxiously postulating myself online in a variety of ways ranging from writing about my sex life, detailing very private information about myself to posting images of my tattoos and piercings3. I have left a virtual breadcrumb trail4 of who or what I am all over the internet — it’s almost like you can’t trip without finding me attached to something, somewhere.
So why was I suddenly being Ms. Coy, 2009 about showcasing my blog, let alone a blog about library school? I’d like to blame Google, but that’s the easy way out. I’d like to think that as I’ve gotten older that I’ve become slightly more sophisticated and mature about my online dealings. As I near the end of this long, hard journey of schooling (I’ve been in classes since January of 2003, have completed two degrees and am working on my third), I know that my online presence is going is going to be more scrutinized now more than ever by future employers.
In the the book Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences, Bowker and Star discuss using (at the time of their writing) AltaVista for researching candidates from their application pool and questioning themselves about the moral and ethical ramifications of their actions. They deemed it like snooping in the host’s medicine cabinet while at a party — you shouldn’t do it, but yet you do it anyway because the curiosity is killing you and now you have information about your host (they, perhaps, like to use KY personal warming lubricant and Preparation H (but not at the same time)) that makes the urge to snoop almost impossible to resist.
So even, ethically and morally, having your future employer search for you online– this is not to say it hasn’t nor will it be done, you can almost guarantee yourself that somewhere, out there, grunts are doing research on your application while you wait for that call back for the desperately wanted interview.
The world has become so tech savvy that we are almost heading back to the era of chisels and stones. Bowker and Star are not the first ones to discuss snooping online nor the ramifications of your employer finding out about your online activities and squashing them, ala dooce who got canned from her job in 2002.
In the late ’90s, the idea of an employer Googling (before Googling was even a household name let alone a verb) was not necessarily an uncommon thing, as written by demonika in the ‘zine F.U.C.K.Her entry is poignant — and speaks volumes. And it’s now been a decade, when are we going to realize that flashing our boobs on a camera phone is not necessarily a good thing?
Google searches for me bring up varied results depending if you use my middle initial or not. But what is telling is that you get scads of information that is slightly different enough and old enough that may not be applicable to whatever it is you are looking for about me. If you search for academichussy, you get a bit more about me way more current and even more so if you do a search for pnkrcklibrarian, which has become my new nom de plume to reflect my new obsession, you find almost up to the minute stuff. There are still people who search for me as modgirl AND lisa because they remember that at one time I owned the domain modgirl.net (which I still do indeed own and use). So what does this mean? What you find about me varies depending on what you currently know of me, how you search for it and figure out if it is relevant regardless of how dated it is.
You also have to take into consideration that you’re only getting a small percentage of the picture of who I am, what interests me in 1995 and 1996 (J.D. Salinger, IRC, R.E.M.) is different from 2002 (Aphex Twin, Tivo, Laurell K. Hamilton) which is completely different than 2009 (Elbow, Wii, Kate Atkinson). The bottom line? Employers who use data derived from interent searching are screwing with the possiblity that what they see is not necessarily all that what they get. It’s almost impossible to not be integrated somehow online without showcasing personality aspects of yourself that may not be deemed professional or appropriate. There are people, like my boyfriend, who reject social networking and web 2.0 like there is no tomorrow. Overall, I think making an employment decision based on what one finds on the internet is morally and ethically wrong — and also i think that making a personality call on someone based on what you find out on the internet is also morally wrong.
In short:

  1. This is going to be more than likely bite me in the ass.
  2. I am a hypocrite.
  3. I don’t give a fuck.

1.If you’re interested in how my journaling has changed over the years, the Wayback machine has archives for simunye.org [From 1998 – 2000] and modgirl.net [From 2000 – 2005]. The entire archive should be up soon (I’ve been saying that for years) at modgirl.net. WP now has the functionality to import my LiveJournal [From 2002 – present-ish.]entries into WP, which I’d love to do on modgirl.net instead of freakin’ doing everything by hand.
2. I’m now working on a special project for this class on how to incorporate WP and other open source software into a workable, searchable archives; with the catch being geared towards small museums/libraries (primarily, where the archival/tech staff consists of 1-2 people).
3. Which seems innocent enough until you learn that some of those images are not exactly work-safe. Employers tend to frown when you’re perusing pictures of pierced nipples.
4. Amazon.com WishList | de.licio.us: modgirl | Facebook | flickr: modgirl | Goodreads | last.fm: modgirl | LibraryThing: academichussy | LiveJournal: academichussy | MySpace: modgeekgirl | Pandora: academichussy | ravelry: academichussy | /.: simunye | Twitter: pnkrcklibrarian | WiiNumber: 6103 8766 7240 5040
5. I also wrote for F.U.C.K. during the late ’90s and you can find my articles there as simunye or at modgirl.net.

Internet rockstar for all of 5.2 seconds

Everytime I post on lib schooled., my blog automagically updates my Twitter and my LJ with the entry. This always makes me giddy for some reason, I have no idea why.
When my twitter updated with this entry@pandora_radio on Twitter caught it and broadcast it to the masses. I was talking with Lucia, the CM and she told me that a lot of people seemingly liked the station I created. I also found out that she, too, is a librarian!