welcome home

Week 13 – April 26, 2016
The weekly silly pics are less silly and more watching my hair grow.

Dear Internet,
I’ve stayed consistent with the silly pictures goal and just posted week 13. So too with the gratitude and happy lists, though I will admit the last few weeks I’ve been posting one massive gratitude and a few happy things as nothing at this time in my life can compare my gratefulness of getting a job and finally starting a life of my own.

The fates have finally bestowed their approval of my life and allowed me to get a job.
I am going to be straight up honest here: I had my doubts. I cried for a few days about this new adventure. I have not lived alone since 2005. I am going to an area where I will know people but we’re not intimate friends. Yet.
Lots of questions and anxieties abound.

  • What if my new gig fired me?
  • What if my contract doesn’t get picked up?
  • What if I hate my job?

The “what ifs” kept stacking up and everything was almost to overwhelming to bear.
I can’t do this, I thought. I’m too scared, too old, too something.
But then I reminded myself of all the big jumps I’ve taken like moving to San Francisco alone when I was 25. Moving back to Grand Rapids more than once without knowing a single soul. Solo cross country trips without nary a thought.
The list of what I could, can, and have done began to overtake the “what if” stack. There were a lot of things I’ve jumped to that turned out to be good, I could do this.
Once I told my fucking anxieties to take a hike, I knew I had this.

The job is located in New York, in Westchester county, which is near the New York / Connecticut state lines. After laughing manicaly at the $3K price tag for one bedroom apartments in the area, I started looking at close-ish Connecticut towns / villages / cities to call home.
Connecticut, like most states along on the eastern seaboard, have their larger cities along the coast. 95, which runs from Florida to the Canadian province of New Brunswick, follows along the coast making the hop from Boston, New York City, and so on pretty easy. This makes sense as many of these towns were originally ports for trading and shit during the early days of the formation of the US.
There are a few cities inland but I wanted to be near the action on the coast. I decided to concentrate on areas around Norwalk and a few towns north. My qualifiers were fairly simple: Within an hour commute to work; Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Stew Leonard’s near by; close to a MINI dealership; easy access to Metro North, and an apartment community1.
Norwalk fit the bill perfectly.
I massaged the numbers, I cut out things that were possibly not needed. I looked for cheaper apartments but in the end I just couldn’t make it work. Even after cutting things to the bone, I would end up – $47 a month. Yes, I would be in the red with no savings, no emergency funds, nothing to help me out if the world fell apart. There would also be no going out to eat, no entertainment, no fun.
It was that bad2.
It seemed holy unfair I received a job offer, with decent pay, and I couldn’t afford to live in the area I desired.
For a brief moment I thought about rejecting the offer and staying put in L-ville. I would throw myself at recruiters and start the process of slowly integrating myself into the workforce before venturing out in the big, wide, scary world.
We all know I do nothing by halves. It’s either both feet or nothing at all.
After pulling myself together and looking at my options, I started researching apartments in Danbury.
Danbury is in south-western Connecticut. Not quite on the gold coast but close enough. Instead of the 50-70 minute commute I would have from Norwalk, the commute from Danbury is 30-45. Community apartment rents were significantly cheaper. I was close to 84, an interstate that connected me to work fairly quickly (the drive from Norwalk would have been mostly back roads) and I could get to a Metro North station tout suite. There was a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and a Stew Leonard’s nearby and I was equidistant between two MINI dealerships.
I heard from various people Danbury was a borderline shit hole. There was huge crime problems3. When I was there in December for my job interview at a local university, it was rainy, miserable, and what I saw looked sketch. My Google Earth stalking of the downtown area made me side-eye. How in the fuck was I going to ever live here (if I got that job) if the area seemed below my standards4?
Here I was five months later and I needed to live somewhere that was relatively cheaper than what I was seeing in Norwalk, Westchester County (and New York as a whole) was out, and I wanted to be in a fairly decent sized city.
Much to my chagrin5, Danbury it is.
I started the search for Danbury apartments. The community I looked at in Norwalk has a sister community in Danbury so I made an appointment to tour the facility the Saturday after I arrived. A few other communities popped up on my radar which I put in way down on the reserve list as the Google and Yelp reviews were terrible. I started to fret I wasn’t going to find a place a live until I stumbled across the City Center of Danbury site and I felt like I had come home.
The first thing I noticed was the images of downtown places and markers were markedly different than what was on Google Earth. There also seemed to be a fairly decent list of things to shop, eat, and live.
I went back and talked to a few friends again about the area. The downtown core was booming and people seemed to love it. There were loads of amenities downtown like parks were also enticing. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
I had forgotten this site existed even though I scoped it out in December. I found I was intrigued with a few of the apartment places, particularly with 1 Kennedy Flats.
This complex caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, the rent was within my budget even with the amenities and pet fees added on and it was cheaper by $350 than the places in Norwalk, which meant I could eek out some kind of life outside of work AND pay my bills. Second, it was located in what seemed to be a thriving downtown and I really wanted to make sure the walk score of where ever I lived was above 75. The complex was across from the downtown park (Connecticuters seem big on these main square parks which is fine by me!), it has reserved parking, an on community storage area, a gym for me to work out in, a pool (time to get out that fat girl bikini!), gas appliances, fake wood floors, and walking distance to everything.
It wasn’t just the apartments accoutrements and location of the community that sold me on living in Danbury, but also everything else going on the city.

  • The public library is a 7 minute walk from my apartment
  • There is a hackerspace and it to is located downtown
  • The mall looks pretty decent and it has the ever necessary Apple store
  • There is a local minor league hockey team and the arena is within walking distance
  • A sports arena that does soccer and lacrosse (only local leagued)
  • And a mutherfuckin’ rugby leagued team that also has a leagued woman’s team (Fuck. Yes.)
  • I could get to NYC in about an hour (hello museums!)

I am relieved.
Of course moving in is not going to be exactly smooth. I’ve reserved the apartment and paid for the first month without stepping a foot onto the property so there is a chance of me not liking the place or location. My stuff isn’t scheduled to arrive until a week or two after I arrive. I will be without home internet for a week, which means I had to up my data plan6 to survive. The only furniture I will have is my bed and that’s it for at least a week. (An IKEA trip is already in the works.) Daily household items I have are boxed up and won’t arrive until the move AND there is a longer than my arm list of daily household items I know I don’t have and will need, primarily while my stuff is in transit, which means I’m spending more cash.
I should say it’s not “had doubts” but “have doubts.” Moving is stressful. Borrowing and spending more cash on the move is stressful. Starting a new job is stressful7. The dog’s anxiety on a new place and a 1000 mile road trip is stressful.
My medicating and talking therapists are convinced I can handle this. I’m tough. I’ve been mentally healthy for quite awhile now so I’m less likely to breakdown if shit happens. Even my close friends feel I can do this. And if I do cry, or get upset, or feel anxiety about everything happening, that is totally normal — remember it’s how I handle it determines whether or not I’m mentally healthy.
I’ve fucking got this.

1. I wanted a community over living in a private home apartment / owing a home as I wanted all the trappings of what a community offered such as 24 hour maintenance, on site gym, guaranteed parking, and washer/dryer in unit. I wanted to be catered to and not have to worry about a fucking thing.
2. It was around this time I was crying a lot and my anxiety, understandably, was through the roof.
3. When I think of Connecticut, I don’t think of “crime” or “gangs” or anything nefarious — after living in Detroit and Oakland the rest of the country seems like small potatoes.
4. I readily admit I am a privledge asshole. Living with TheExHusband at his condo for the last eight months has raised my bar on what I want / don’t want in my life style and Danbury seemed fairly far from that making that reach. Turns out I was wrong.
5. I associate things with things. Memories with music, people with smells, and so on. Pre-me 2005, TheBassist dated a woman who lived in Danbury and she went batshit crazy when the relationship ended (She stalked me for awhile.). Even without direct association, Danbury has always equaled batshit crazy to me. Yes, this is silly.
6. I have a 2gig a month plan which is normally more than enough for my phone data needs. I am paying an extra $40 or $60 (I forget which) to bump that up to 18gigs month. If I don’t, the overage, per gig, on my original plan is $15. So I’ll be able to hotspot my laptop, conservatively, but not kill myself with the overage charges.
7. Everyone is apparently really excited I’m coming and there is plans for everyone to meet me on my first day. No pressure, none at all.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2015, 2014, 2012

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making it rain

Dear Internet,
I got a job.
A real, in my field, letter of interest signed and sealed with a start date job.
Here’s the bittersweetness: I’ll be living in Connecticut.
OH! The irony.
So the gig is as a digital archivist in a corporate setting.1 I’ll be working with the processing and corporate archivists on a large project that is scheduled to run until the end of the year with an option to be picked up in 2017. I signed an NDA so I cannot tell you who I am working for.
I’m nervous. Excited. Grateful. Nervous. Lots of other emotions.
My start date is May 9th.
I am going to have to wear PANTS (which is anything not Chucks, t-shirts, or jeans). I will be out in the world interacting with other people. I will be paying taxes!2 I will be contributing to society.
I get to be an adult with my own things, my own place, and my own decisions to make.
It’s preeetttyyy exciting.
I made the announcement on Facebook on Thursday and nearly half of my Facebook BFFs liked/loved and some commented on the post. SO MANY PEOPLE are rooting for me. I never thought in a million years I would have this large of a fan base, but there you go — I have proof I am loved and wanted.
I’m leaving L-ville on May 4th, arriving in Connecticut on May 5th. I’m lining up the usual apartment and hotel shenanigans. I’m packing and getting business done here.
I’ve got a lot of shit to do.
Another great thing? I don’t have to look for a job! First time in 18 months I do not have to feel dehumanized and dejected on the job front. Oh happy day!
There is a kind of creepy part to this equation.
The weekend before I heard from the corporation in regards to scheduling my first interview, I decided to color my hair one color and take out my nose ring. That Monday I got the email with the request for the phone interview that afternoon. If I was moving forward they would reach out to my references and schedule the video interview.
References were checked Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
They got in touch with me Tuesday afternoon to schedule the video interview for that Friday. After the video interview, the next process would be for them to confer, make their recommendation, and move forward with the candidate of their choosing. I would know by the end of the following week (April 22).
A few days after the interview, I had a discussion with TheExHusband on the need for more profesh clothes as it was spring, nearing summer, and my interview clothes were for fall and winter. He gave me a budget to work with, I surveyed my closet, bought flexible items to fill in the gaps of what I was missing. Clothes had been ordered before I even knew my status.
Thursday the 21st (nearly a week since the video interview), I followed up to find out my status and they said they would let me know as soon as they knew.
They called me that afternoon and I missed the call. We rescheduled the call for 5:15PM and within three minutes they asked if I was still interested and if so, they would like to extend the offer to me. I said yes and here we are!
Time from interview to acceptance: less than two weeks.
Academia can learn a thing or two about the hiring process.

So let’s get to what everyone wants to really know more than about the job: What about TheBassist?
Good question and not unsurprisingly the number one question I’ve received (privately) after my I AM PAYING TAXES announcement. (People worry about me and I love it and I am wholeheartedly always grateful.)
What about him indeed.
On occasion I’ve thought about different scenarios in different contexts if he got back in touch. As my mental wellbeing started to lean more towards being healthy than the crazy, my attitude went from “this is what I would I totally do” (see pre-Wellbutrin) to “I’ll deal with it when it happens. I’ve got shit to do” (see post-Wellbutrin).
Before I continue, let me make one thing clear: I am not getting in touch with him. I’ll be living an hour south of him so the likelihood of us running into each other is pretty slim.
But there is a catch: Many of his local close friends love me and can’t wait to integrate me into their social scene. I’m beyond flattered (and grateful) so I had to put some thought into a scenario where TheBassist and I end up in the same place.3
At first, my thought was, “Oh. No. I hope his friends understand I am not ready to be around him” and “I could never be friends with him after everything that has happened.” When those thoughts started creeping, I took to my journal to write it out.
Within a couple of pages, I had a 180 degree turnaround about the situation.
It’s pretty clear the last year has taken a toil on my psyche and mental health. My self-respect and dignity are making a comeback. I love the sassy me.
Making these wide gestures of “oh no, look at me” is creating drama, even unintentionally. As we’ve seen, even unintentional drama serves no one (especially me). So then I thought, “You know. I can pull up my big girl panties and handle this like a champ. If we’re in the same place at the same time, I can be gracious and kind. It hurts no one and being cruel has never been my forte. It serves no purpose.”
And the job, the move, and everything else? It’s none of his business. It’s my life and he has no say in it.
It came to me I had a choice: I could be a spoilt child having a tantrum or I could be graceful and keep my dignity intact.
I choose the later.
Once I came to that conclusion in my journal, I signed off for the evening and went to bed.

I’m a catch. I’m adorable. I’m funny. I can converse on a variety of topics. I’m kind to people. I’m loyal and I can be naughty as fuck when needed. The list of my good qualities and personality endeavours is as long as I am tall
(I am humble too.)
But there is a crazy Lisa and a mentally healthy Lisa. He came in the beginning of the crazy. If he can’t strip that away, disregard whatever fantasy (I believe) he had of me, and see the real me. Well, his loss.

I will be gracious and kind if I come across him in social situations. But to be coffee meeting friends? No. To wish him ill will? No. To cause drama and strife? No. Do I wish him to have a good life? Absolutely.
Will feelings about what has transpired hurt? Of course they will — my therapist assured me this is normal. How I respond to these feelings is what dictates whether or not my mental health is, well, healthy. To start out a bit panicky about the prospect of running into him in social situations and to come to the conclusion I’ll be fine and the situation will be fine is what differs from then to now.
I will be okay.

I’ve got a hunch he’s seeing someone. No one has told me, and I had asked them not to, so my hunch could be unfounded. But I’ve got a feeling and sometimes my feelings are right. Of course it hurts my heart a little bit to know he could be with someone or he’s pursuing someone. It has been six months since the break-up and while I have taken time out of the dating world to handle self-care it does not behold him to do the same.
In the end, all I’ve wanted was for him to be happy and for me, obviously, to make him happy. If I’m not the person who can do that, I hope he finds someone who can love him the way he wants and needs to be loved and to find happiness in that person. That is all I’ve ever wanted.
As for me? I’m a grown ass woman and I’ve got shit to do.

1. I swore until the ends of time I could never work corporate. Well end time is nigh and I’ve got to make it rain.
2. A friend of mine who is an accountant swore he’s never heard someone get excited about paying taxes before. It’s how I roll.
3. I give myself ideas of potential scenarios to get a vague idea of of how I would react to that situation. I like being, to some extent, prepared for eventualities. It’s what I do.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2000

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Subscribe to the mailing list, Bloglovin’, or
follow via RSS. Want Lisa goodness but less
frequently? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator.
Want to start at the beginning?
Buy my book, The Lisa Chronicles: Vol 1: 1998

I need to be in the town where they know what I’m like and don’t mind

Dear Internet,
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a serious update, thus it’s time to keep everyone abreast of what’s happening in my little world.

First up, I’m moving. Again.
I’ve been holed up in Kentucky these last six weeks, staying with TEH, as I’ve run out of day to day living money.The GR apartment was pre-paid for a year and I received my refund for the remaining six months, but that would only cover monthly expenses sans rent/food so it was time to go. The plans is I would be responsible for paying my bills and TEH would cover food/housing/gas. (We have the weirdest divorce, ever.) One of the conditions of me living here was keeping up daily chores and job hunting, which I’ve been doing with aplomb.
TEH decided to head up to the cabin for a month or so, starting in the first week of August, in which I would fly to CT to stay with TheBassist as I could not take a break from job hunting. Then TEH decided he was going to go up later than planned after which my open return ticket had been purchased. Since we’re now looking at me being out in CT for roughly two months now, I decided to cancel and swap the ticket over to TheBassist, whose flying out here on Sunday with planning on driving to CT that day.
Follow that? Okay good.
Right now my packing is skilled enough that it’s frightening. If you ever need help to pack for a trip or a house, I’m your girl.

Speaking of jobs, as of July 30th I am up to 113 applications from everything to librarianing to content curation and (now) retail (bookstores). I’m also heavily looking for positions as a tech/copywriting/content. No stone unturned and etc.
My interview rate is about one in ten, which is above average. I often get second interviews and then! Rejection. One place rescind an offer 24 hours later after extending said offer exclaiming I did not “show enough interest in the job” though I drove an hour one way for a 30 minute interview. So yep, totally not interested. I was shopping for apartments in Lexington, KY when they called to rescind the offer. Was it because of the case?

Speaking of writing, I sold my first writing piece to a web ‘zine and I’m super excited about it (natch). I cannot publish the piece here nor do I know when it’s going to be published, but I can tell you the title is, “How I Divorced My Mother in Three Easy Steps.” It is non-fiction and clocks in at about 1800 words before editing. My beta-readers said, “It’s impossibly dark.”, so that should give you an idea of the atmosphere of the content. As always, I keep it real.
In other writing news, I’m doing reviews for No Flying No Tights, mainly in adult graphic novels. I assumed I had spread the word for this but apparently not! This is not a paid gig, but it will help with my bibliography (or clips) page. I’m super excited about this possibility.

Flipping back to the job thread, I am using Udemy.com to build my own education, concentrating on front end web development, content, and SEO to extend my skills. TEH and I purchased bundles from them over the years as well as taking advantage of free classes is allowing me to do this on the cheap. I know, I know. I KNOW. I was on the defense war path that coding was not the only technical thing and yet, here we are! I do apologize deeply to those who got tired of that schtick. It’s pretty clear a lot of jobs require some if not all of these for the typical unicorn they are trying to catch, so why not?

Mentally, things have been more or less okay. Last week was awful with the mania where I was hopping off the walls while crying for entire days. The only recourse, at the time, was to drug up on Klonopin and sleep with Ted E. Bear.
Things came to a head when TEH and TheBassist both insisted I up my Lamictal to the last dosage as approved by doctor in Grand Rapids and take myself to the free clinic to talk to someone.
The free clinic in Louisville is designed mainly for the homeless and those on their last hopes. As a walk-in, I was told they could see me when first available slot came open. Four hours later I requested more info to discover the therapists were all at lunch and they closed at 3:30. Would I liked ot make an appointment? Sure, why not. Okay, we can fit you in two weeks. Two weeks? Yes. What if I came back tomorrow? You’ll have to start the waiting process all over again.
I called six places in Louisville and every single one was booked out for weeks and months. If I was suicidal, which I wasn’t but I was in crisis, I could check myself in at the local emergency room who could throw me in a locked ward for 48-72 hours. THEN I could get help.
(I don’t know if I told you all this but I was stuck on the east coast during a massive blizzard back in January with an appointment with a medicating therapist in GR the following day. I called and canceled and explained why, they said they couldn’t fit me for another five months. This is an emergency I insisted. Doesn’t matter they said. When I finally say said medicating therapist and told her about the run up, she said they had policies in place and times open for just things. It should not have taken me five months to see her.)
Thankfully I had an appointment set in CT JUST IN CASE if I happened to come back that same time, so I’ll be okay in CT. I’m also set up in CT with a local bipolar support group.
I’ve, and others, have said over and over again the state of mental health wouldn’t be this tenuous unless the pain was physical and obvious. It’s frustrating, anxiety inducing, and pointless. But that is a rant for another day.

That’s pretty much it for me at this time and juncture. Sunday is the 12 hour drive day so it might be a few days before I post here again. Happy weekend everyone.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2014, 2012, 2012, 2008

good morning Europe, good night lisa

Dear Internet,
It’s some ungodly hour here in Kentuckiana (should I be worried that word is not coming up misspelled?) and TheExHusband is snoring so heavily, I’ve lain awake for hours waiting for him to, well, not snore so I could get to sleep. It doesn’t help that I took a nap on the couch from 20:30 – 23:00, so I was wide awake for a bit regardless.
The sun is starting to make its ascent.
I’m here because I’m in the last throes of sorting through my shit from the stuff was shipped down here from the east coast. The deal made with TheExHusband was he could have my furniture (the purple leather couch and living room suite) if he paid for the shipping from east coast to him. As he reckons, that bill would be significant lower than buying all new furniture. Worked for me.
In this need to purge since I’ve been here, I’ve gotten rid of three big black bags of clothes, a big box of toys and trinkets I’ve collected over the years and have remained packed for longer than I care to admit, three to four boxes of books, and some other odds and ends.
This is in addition to the purging that happened when we separated last fall.
Lisa the minimalist.
I am noticing some stuff missing like my Chucks collection, the only shoe I’ve been able to wear since my ankle surgery three years ago. I left a few pairs unpacked but the rest, including black high tops and Aquaman high tops, are now missing. I had nearly a dozen pairs. Also missing are other shoes, mainly spring and summer, that when packed last fall, as I had assumed I would be in my own permanent place by now. So at some point, those need to be replaced when I’m more flushed with cash.
I’m also missing my Swatch collection and a few other things that ARE packed somewhere and I haven’t found them or were stolen at some point. My Fiesta Ware collection surprisingly remains unbroken, which is important because that shit is expensive.
Once I leave here on Friday, I’ll be heading back to Grand Rapids for about three weeks. TheBassist will then be coming to town to be my date for a friend’s wedding and then we start the drive back to the east coast. The plan is that the stuff in Grand Rapids (of which is not much, mainly furniture) will stay, over the summer, in a storage pod. The rest of my stuff will remain here in Kentuckiana. I’ll be shacking up with TheBassist as I continue my job hunt from a singular location (if none of the current positions pan out). Once job is acquired, everything will be shipped to me at the new location. If job is not acquired by, say, Labor Day weekend, then I’m more than likely have to head back to Kentuckiana.
Then, who the hell knows.
I wish I could say I’m desperately trying not to have panic attacks as I flip around the US due to familial concerns, but that would be lying. I’ve been pretty zen as things have popped up and surprised me, I’m not stressing about money too badly (though I am beyond broke), and while I’ve gotten to the point airport security knows my name, the traveling hasn’t worn off just quite yet.
With no income coming in, this is obviously not the way to continue living. My landlord made a half-joking proposition to buy Jeeves. I was tempted because as not long before I jokingly said to a few friends that I should sell him (and he is paid off) and float around Europe for six months. But I would be in the same position then as I am now, just even more heavily in debt.
I’ve been noticing patterns in my writing in that during the headier days this past fall of the mania, I barely wrote. You’d think with all of that bloody energy I would be cranking out a million words a minute and even more poignantly, working on my book.
That answer would be a, “Fuck no.”
The book is stalled as it is, and again, I am zen about it just as I am with everything else.
Obviously the lamictal is working.
When I think about the long road of mania that lead me to where I am at right now, what pushes me forward is to NOT go through that again. I’ve always prided myself up to that point on not doing many stupid things when off the drugs That’s what makes me atypical as a bipolar: I have no drug, alcohol, or sex addictions. My spending was minimally excessive (not an oxymoron). I’ve held down jobs for long periods of time, finished my education and all of this (mostly) without drugs.
This last early fall/winter just broke that streak.
I have started referring to this past year as my long nervous breakdown, though I wasn’t hospitalized or put into out patient care other than my weekly shrink appointments. But the best way, even if it is glib, to come up with an explanation of my train wreck of a life is, “You lose your dog, your job, your husband, your home, AND get sued for $1.25M in the span of seven months and see how you handle the situation.”
Amirite or am I right?
I could see how that statement was pushing the responsibility of my actions onto others but recognizing I’ve made some very bad decisions about a host of things and since the fall, the repercussions have been coming fast and furious. It’s a combination of bad luck, timing, and bad decision making.
Along the way, I’ve noticed that numerous people, local and far, have cooled towards me. It’s hard to repair relationships when you’re not sure what went wrong or that you know because of your train wreck of a life, they’ve cooled against you. It’s sad, it’s diappointing, but I can’t blame them.
What I’ve accepted is I have a wonderful opportunity to completely rebuild my life from scratch. There is nothing tying me down to one place or even one profession. What I need though, more than anything, is a break. A sign. Anything to at least point in some direction so while I mentally may never be lost, physically I’d like not to be a whirling dervish.
But right now, I’m sitting in a darkened room eating tortilla chips at nearly 06:00.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 20111999

Last Post From Throbbing Manor

Dear Internet,
This is happening now.
The movers are almost done loading my shit; Jeeves was loaded this morning. After they pull out and I hand TheSoonToBeExHusband keys to the house, I’m free.
I am free.
I’ve been a little too giddy about my impending freedom, but fuck it. The amount of back and forth about the marriage degrading and who gets what leaves me with one thought: Burn it all.
I’ll be in town for a few more days to do more paperwork and other odds and ends. My co-conspirator arrives later in the week to help me drive to the east coast, with a stop over in Detroit to see the east side contingent. I should be firmly planted at my new locale by the end of the weekend.
My stuff arrives mid next-week.
Throbbing Manor will be going up for sale within a few weeks. TheSoonToBeExHusband retains ownership of Throbbing Cabin. The divorce should be finalized within sixty days.
Then what?
I sleep for weeks.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2010, 2008, 1998

There she goes

Dear Internet,
The Lisa Extended World Tour: 2014 Edition
1972 Toronto to Port Huron, MI
1985 Port Huron to Grand Rapids
1990 Grand Rapids to Toronto
1991 Toronto to Grand Rapids
1997 Grand Rapids to San Francisco
1999 San Francisco to DC
2003 DC to Grand Rapids
2009 Grand Rapids to Detroit
2011 Detroit to Grand Rapids
2014 Grand Rapids to East Coast
TheSoonToBeExHusband and I are in the throes of sorting, packing, tossing, and cleaning. If I could light everything on fire and be done, I certainly would. We accumulated a lot of shit for being in the house for only 3.5 years but the house still feels empty in some spaces; it is a strange juxtaposition but also a great metaphor of my life up until now.
The biggest concentration of Lisa-stuff is my office, which looks like a scene from Apocalypse Now. And being a librarian and all, my organizational skills are brilliant. So brilliant, the eye is fooled with how much is in here.
(There is a lot here.)
Divorcing, job hunting, apartment hunting, and moving at the same time started to take its toll. My plans were so fluid, they literally changed from one hour to the next because something was always coming up and things had to get readjusted. I had no concrete idea when I was leaving Grand Rapids but that I only wanted to be out before the snow falls. My partner in crime on the east coast and I sorted out what would be feasible when and agreed that the concentration is on the divorcing and moving. They’ve secured long-term, albeit temporary, lodgings for me which takes a lot of weight off my shoulders (as well alleviates money worries and long list of couch surfing).
The firm plans are as follows: I fly out on the 23rd and set up east coast things (storage, mail, etc). I come back on September 30th. Movers come October 13-16 and load up the truck. I leave on the 17th and start the drive east.
Once I’m settled east coast side, I wait for the chaos to subside and get cracking on the big projects like writing and researching opening up my lady-owned comic book store.
And just being deliriously full of joy every single day.
[iframe src=”https://8tracks.com/mixes/4805286/player_v3_universal” width=”300″ height=”250″ style=”border: 0px none;”]
Track listing:
Intro – The xx
Miles Iz Ded – The Afghan Whigs
Natural One – Folk Implosion
Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors – Editors
He Can Only Hold Her – Amy Winehouse
Moving to L.A. – Art Brut
There Is No Other Way – Blur
Brother Misery – The Mercuries

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2002, 2002

fire woman

I was having a post-coital moment after sex tonight sitting on the toilet reading stuff (the august 2001 issue) when the article on “how to stratify her to tears…of joy!” caught my eye.
Apparently, in this article, the journalist(s) dis on everything from different positions and tantric and kama sutra saying that in short, none of it works. They blamed Sting for how bad tantric is because part of the exercises is that you have to stare into your lovers eyes for hours before even engaging sex. Also, apparently, ‘dirty talk’ (72%) and ‘anal sex’ (41%) were on the list of ‘kinky things’ people have tried. In the category of ‘kinky things we have tried and didn’t like’, group sex (38%) and anal sex (38%) were the top two things people would never try again. Also listed were bondage, role play and voting for a democrat.
Aha. They polled 1200 Cosmo readers. NOW it makes sense.
In any regard, this recent backlash of going to an almost puritanical stint in the terms of human sexuality is all wrong. Women should be gathering and empowering their sexiness, not turning into boring little boards with boobs. it angers me. yes missionary is fine. Vanilla sex is fine. But even after awhile you start to count the threads in the sheets you are so bored.
I’ve been in this mood lately, since i arbitrarily changed my meds to 75mg of Effexor and 150mg of Serzone. When I was on the 350mg EFfexor and 50mg of Serzone, i was thinking clearly but my sex drive was low. Since mid-july (due to when I was in Michigan and having to ration out my crack), I’ve been on this new cocktail, I’ve been feeling more sensual and sexual. It’s like taking a hot bath after days of having no hot water. It’s a wonderful feeling. I can tell by the change in drugs how my mood has changed and how more confident I feel (Don’t worry Dr. B, I’ll be making an appointment again, I haven’t forgotten) both naked and when wearing clothes. I feel more alive, as it were.
This is of course, bothering Paul, to some extent. I took the initiative and put a personals ad on nerve.com to meet people (no, not just for sex but to just make friends with hello) in the area that i hadn’t already met via work or some geeky type of thing. I wanted to meet people that were of my interest and not just the geeky-types. I was getting pretty fed up with how our social life was resulting in meeting people and Paul chubbing a wood because of all the toys everyone has. Not to say our local friends aren’t great, they are, i just need more.
Which is the story of my life.
At any rate, I’ve been striking up conversations with people via nerve and having a damn fine time. I plan on meeting one in October when both of our schedules are free and another longtime ‘net friend this weekend (i hope) since he is finally getting a divorce from his wife and we can hang out without her getting feisty about it. I’m also going to start taking dance classes next week (adult tap/jazz/ballet) as I haven’t danced in years (not including clubbing) and i don’t want to look like a big dork when I DO go clubbing (thanks alisha!).
So sex is on my mind and today i had shaved every hair on my body i could find, even down to my cunt making it as bald as i could with a bread trimmer and my Venus razor. I get so turned on by shaving, I instantly masturbated after my shower thinking of a lisa sammich. Afterwards, wrapped in a towel and a bathrobe, i walked out to the computer room, grabbing Paul’s hand to feel my hairless cunt, telling him, lets go make some noise. As per usual, he was more interested in Tony Hawk than fulfilling my needs and immediately got upset when I had told him I had masturbated. He accused me of cheating. When I asked whom was I cheating with (we were standing in our bedroom at the time), he said Aaron Lewis (lead singer of Staind, my lust for bald tattoo’d pierced men has come to the forefront again). I laughed. At any rate, I attempted to pin him down this evening for some quality pussy time when he kept giving me the jibe of ‘not right now’, and I’m thinking to myself “you know, fuck this, he always put his computers in front of me and I’m sick of it’, so i said ‘are you turning me down?’ and he said ‘no, just not right now I’m busy (playing a video game)’. so i begged and i pleaded and finally we went to the bedroom and started snuggling.
Paul now has this new habit of where he no longer feels ‘dominant’ or ‘aggressive’ cos he’s not in the mood to be. To preface this, we both have ‘issues/matters/concerns’ with our sex life, which has lead heavy discussion with Dr. B on what to do next. Primarily “was it me or is it him or what the fuck is going on”. Partly, he is scared because anything that is beyond vanilla i tend to get upset at. Riguse anything that is beyond episodes within the last few years and now that I’m on crack, i feel so much the better for it. I learned how to deal with my anger and my depression (as it were), and i want to have more. Nothing so far, is seemingly, working. It’s a huge issue between us, as you have probably guessed.
So by this time tonight, I’m hot and horny again (i have no idea what’s been setting me off lately — my trigger points usually are smells and music, but this time everything seems to be setting me off), and I’m rubbing up and down Paul in my grey little nightie and thong looking at him adorably and telling him I want to go make love (I’m changing tactics here, I’m infamous for wanting to just ‘fuck’). I beg and plead some more and we go off to the bedroom where Paul climbs under the covers and starts being passive. I’m trying hard not to get angry, I’m trying hard to be different in approaching him in anticipation he see’s i really do want him. This continues for a few minutes while I snuggle and kiss him and I feel like I’m ‘forcing’ myself on him. I get his shirt and underwear off and climb on top of him, 69 style, driving my cunt into his face with only my thong to keep him from tasting me. Usually, this works. Usually, he is such a cunt-eater, that even the smell just gets him going. I’m giving him head, notating how I give it and paying a lot of attention to his cock, all the while I’m driving and grinding down hard on his face and he is just …. laying there. He is hard and he is moaning, but he is just laying there. So I reach around, pull my thong to the side and shove my cunt deeper in his face. He finally starts reciprocating. After awhile, I get naked, grab a condom, sit on him and place his hands on my breast. I start just moving my hips only slowly, very very very slowly and Paul is like ‘come here and give m a kiss’ and I’m not in the mood to be kissed, i just want to feel his cock inside of me. I’m grinding away and he comes but at the same time i keep mashing his hands against my breasts and he sighs this content of relief.
I roll over on the bed still hornier than fuck (i have only been able to cum vaginally once, maybe twice in my life) and start to masturbate. Paul has referred me to being male as I roll over and just sleep when I’m satiated.
Sex has been figuring heavily in my mind lately as I’m watching friends of mine divorce or break-up and one of the biggest reasons why is “lack of affection/lack of sex” (besides cheating, but I won’t go into that). I value having a relationship with Paul, but this putzy way we are having sex is driving me crazy. We used to have fun in the begriming (as I refer to as the “Atlanta time”) and now i feel like we are an old married couple. We seriously need to start working on this issue before I stab him or something because I do not want to spend my life with someone who isn’t sexually compatible with me. People get married for all the wrong reasons, and while I may love someone deeply or am in love with someone deeply, i DO however see sex and love as being together and not separate. I never thought, in a million years, of being with someone I wasn’t sexually attracted to, had that intense feeling with, etc and staying with them because i loved them. Physical love needs to grow as well as spiritual love. No more compromises and no more ‘another times’.
the time is now.
I’ve moved a lot in my relatively young life. When is started thinking about all the places I’ve moved to, I wanted to draw up a list:

  • 1972 – Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1972 – Moved from Toronto to Port Huron, MI
  • 1985 – Port Huron MI to Grand Rapids MI – apartment complex
  • 1989 – GR: Apartment complex to my mothers lovers (Chuck) house
  • 1990 – GR: Mothers lovers house to her own house on Paris Ave
  • 1990 – GR back to Toronto, Canada
  • 1991 – Toronto back to Grand Rapids, MI
  • 1996 – GR: Moved from my mothers house in with Danny
  • 1997 – GR: Moved back to Mothers house
  • 1997 – Grand Rapids, MI to San Francisco, CA
  • 1997 – SF: Changes apartments
  • 1998 – Moved to Oakland, CA
  • 1999 – Moved from Oakland, CA to Virginia Beach, VA
  • 1999 – Moved from VB to Fairfax
  • 2001 – Moved from Fairfax to Herndon, VA
  • 2001 – Herndon: Moved across the complex to a smaller apartment

new digs!

if paul and i extol the virtues of our apartment any longer, someone would think we were being paid to do so.
the big move day was 3.15.01, where we both woke up at 5:30, to drop the dogs off at the new apartment (so they wouldn’t drive the movers nuts whilst loading and unloading) and to drop paul off at work. That’s right, you heard me correctly. That mother fucker had a very important meeting the day that we moved and I ended up directing traffic for it all day. Which, ironically, wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be. With my dominate nature and how much of a control freak I am, paul would have just been in the way. Regardless, the fact he had to work is enough for me to extract punishment from him. 🙂 Just kidding. Really. I am just kidding. Maybe.
The move really went off without a hitch, really. We had packed most of the house the previous days and basically all I had to pack was the kitchen and the bathroom. The movers carted all 30+ boxes (half of them books…) down three flights and were not looking happy to realise that they had to cart all 30+ boxes back up four flights (including what scant furniture we have). The movers were at the old place at 9:55am and were gone from the new place at 3:00pm. By the time paul got home, I had started unpacking most of our stuff (leaving the computer/office room and the kitchen for him) and I was lying on one of the futons watching teevee trying to keep my eyes open.
here is the floor plan to our apartment. nearly 1400sq feet and in person, the apartment is HUGE. You might be wondering why we needed a three bedroom? Good question — typical couples get one maybe two bedrooms. However, since paul’s sister was planning on living with us before we got this apartment, we had to find one that handled large dogs (she has a 50lb boxer) — and this place was perfect. Like Penderbrook, I did all the leasing information over the phone before I even saw the place — we were getting desperate looking for apartments that handled large animals and had the space we needed. When paul’s sister “changed her mind” (ie: flaked on us), we took the apartment any ways, with the option of having a guest bedroom/sitting room for me.
I took Wednesday till today off to deal with the move and get the dogs in order. Every night paul and I have been taking baths together in the “garden tubs” and we are both amazed our fat asses can fit into one 😉 I’ve been walking around on the ubersoft carpet in this daze that I can’t believe this is *my* apartment and *I* live here. With the furniture (or what little we have) spread out, I can see several buying trips to Ikea coming up in the near future. The bedroom is “technically” smaller than the one at Penderbrook, however, once we got the bed and dresser moved in, we noticed there is enough room for another dresser against one of the walls if we choose, a teevee stand and a chair/love seat. We are figuring Penderbrook shortchanged the rooms somehow because with the same bed, dresser, teevee stand we have now, we could not have fit the additional pieces of furniture in there AND have room left over. The walk-in closet is large enough to fit a twin size bed in there and the bathrooms are wonderful. The kitchen is large enough that we can have both the dishwasher door and the oven door pulled down without hitting each other. The dogs have plenty of space to roam and play and everything is just wonderful all around.
Don’t I sound like a goddamn advertisement for this company?
But it’s true (it’s true!).
There have been a few problems since we moved in here, nothing that couldn’t be fixed and for the most part, OakWood has been very gracious about getting some of the items attended to. I found out from one of the maintenance guys that our apartment was never on the “daily clean list” the day before we moved in — which is funny since they knew we were moving in a month ahead of time. But they are fixing everything in a more timely manner and there is people on staff 24/7. Hell, I’ve been so motivated by the move and just starting to realise how a new apartment makes one feel better, I’ve been thinking about starting to work out again. But as always, I let the thought keep wandering.
Sometime between Thursday and Friday, I pulled a muscle in my back and i was calling (in pain) to our chiropractor to have him put me back in shape. As Friday wore on, the pain got worse where I couldn’t even get in/out of my car without difficulty. When I got home from running errands Friday afternoon, paul attempted to “put me in my place” which resulted in me screaming like a little girly-man cos it hurt so goddamn bad. I couldn’t move to my right or bend to my left without screaming bloody murder. But, on Saturday morning when I woke up, I realized the pain was gone with no trace or after shocks, if you will. It was, very odd.
One of the great things about moving (even though there are just a few it seems) is how much you discover about yourself and how much crap you find that you forgot you had. I found my partial collection to strangers in paradise, the comic for the non-comic reader, that i had forgotten I had. I have not read any of the current books since issue 13 (and they are now up to issue 38 — shit) and sitting in the “sitting room” floor reading the comics made me realise how much I’ve missed Katchoo and Francine. I started digging around and found that amazon.com carries all the trade paperbacks for them up to the latest one and I’m thinking about subscribing to have SIP delivered directly to my door. If you haven’t read SIP, I would highly recommend you do so. NOW I SAY, NOW GO BUY IT. ahem.
I’ve also discovered I’m a bigger fan of Anne Rice novels than I care to admit. I have almost all of her work in paperback and hardcover and that alone frightens me. But she amuses me and I like being amused.
Speaking of books, TLC BookClub seems to have fallen to the wayside — it hasn’t helped that my own mind is on other matters.
I’ve also got to stop buying these books written by brits — akin to “Bridget Jones’ Diary”. I keep purchasing these books (without intention really) that tend to be all based in London and written from the female perspective and it’s always about these whiny bitches who have issues. or something. The horrid part is that since I’ve been rating my books on amazon.com, they’ve been suggesting other related authors. ARGH! It’s madness i tell you, madness.
I have more to say, but it’s 1am in the morning, I have to work tomorrow and geekbox is down so who knows when you’ll be getting this.
Go buy me something. My wish list is getting too goddamn long .

that prep school bitch

i had decided this weekend to start going through all of my stuff to sort and pack before we began the actual packing. like a lot of people, I’m a pack rat, but what i keep tends to be more paper than actual junk.
sorting out through some of stuff that was crammed into a four shelf bookcase, i came across pictures, memorabilia and other paraphernalia of days gone by. Pictures of high school friends, tickets to concerts long since seen and other stuff that I had kept for a reason that escapes me even now.
later on Saturday evening, a friend from back when I used to hang out on the mailing list fte (back in the mid-90s when my obsession for sarah mclachlan was going strong), IM’d me out of the blue. I had by chance logged into my aol account (hey, it’s free, fuck off 🙂 and he had IM’d me wondering if that was still me.
it was indeed me and we got to talking and i asked about how people were doing and what not. We had a loosely knit group of friends who had formed a sub-list off the main list as most of the people we talked with hung out in the bay area and it was easier to plan to see shows like lilith without all the chatter of the static of the main group clogging it up.
over time, i saw that while sarah mclachlan still rangs up there as one of my all fav singers, it was time to move on with myself. i unsubbed myself from fte in the spring of 99 before lilith had started and removed myself from sf-fumblers as the traffic was so slow and sometimes there would be weeks without email. I knew that if anyone really wanted to talk to me, they could always email/IM me if they choose and that was that.
talking to greg brought up a lot of painful insecurities that i had long forgotten in my daily life. you see, there were a few females on the mailing list that i alternated between hating and liking within a moments notice. the two particular females had seemingly grown up with everything being golden to them. One had gone to Vassar and the other had gone to private college in CT. They were the kind of girls who in their early 20s had already traveled fairly extensively outside of the US, knew which types of wines to order with their dinner, could afford or had knowledge of the better things in life. both had wanted to marry someone early and have babies and live the full life of a soccer mom.
yes, those kind of girls.
the kind of women my friend Jennifer at work and i mock when we head out to dulles town center for lunch, the kind bored and restless with their expensive degrees shuffling along with their 2.5 kids, the kate spade diaper bags and their stupid SUVs parked in the parking lot, wasting away the day while their husband is off having a fling with his secretary.
can you sense the bitterness here?
one of the girls was honestly sweet — but we never really became close as friends as other than a few musicians we had nothing in common. the other girl, however, has long since been a manipulator in the big scheme of things and it was widely discussed about how she manipulated people for her own things.
i can’t really fault those two for the things they have done/said/will do, but it was amazing to me the resentment that came out talking to greg when i asked how everyone was doing. it always seems that the privileged, or those i think as being privileged, are having a high time in life while i still feel like the poor student working her way through college.