The Lisa Chronicles: What’s in a name?

justinwhinges When I started keeping an online journal in 1998, the main reason I started chronicling my entire life online was for me to remember it. I have no memory of my childhood and most of my tween years up until the age of 13 and there are even spots of time in my 20s that are vacant.1 If personal recollections, photographs, handwritten letters and other realia were so incredibly fragile, were my words digitally constructed that much stronger? Could I not access them at anytime and any point with no fear of deprecation?2 Wasn’t this the whole point of the internets? Justin and I bicker about this topic quite a bit because while he understands as to WHY I’m so obsessed with keeping my digital life in order, he still thinks it’s an invasion of privacy. But for someone, himself, who can easily recall his life at any stage with minute detail, I can see his point. But for me, I don’t have that option. I became obsessed with chronicling my life because I wanted my imprint to last forever. And this is why my online journal was called, “The Lisa Chronicles.”

I kept the name for nearly a decade, regardless of which domain it was hosted on, but in 2006 (in several more entries to come, you ‘ll see how 2006 proved to be a pretty pivotal year), I registered a new domain with a different idea: shesgotplans.net. I wanted to go beyond just writing chronicles of my life/snarky commentary, I wanted to have an all-in-one place place to showcase everything I was/will be into: Books, movies, music, food, opinion, pop culture, photography, librarianship and archives (and everything in between). I had gone from having my own domain for keeping my online journal, to LiveJournal and was feeling the pull of having my own site again where I could do the above. The name of the domain was culled from an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,”3 when Meridith exclaims about Finn, her mens of the moment, “And Finn! He’s got plans!” I wanted shesgotplans.net to not only be entertaining, but also to keep track of anything new or fun or interesting that I was obsessing about at the moment. Food? I would want millions of pictures of food and recipes. Photography? Here’s what I learned and why I liked these tips. Writing? Here is a new short story/poem/ I wrote and you can have it for free. Music? Here is the latest CD I’ve been digging and why you should dig it or why it fucking sucks.

That was the general idea. My writing, when I started in 1998, went from dozens of posts of month to one or two (if that) and then to nothing for months at a time by 2006-07. I started and stopped writing. A lot. When I started my MLIS in the fall of 2008, I saw it as a perfect way to reboot my writing while I worked on this degree. I wrote a lot of posts about librarianship, archives and anything remotely related. And while in the last several months, since graduation, I’ve been writing more personal then professional, the number one reason why people come here is for the “So, You Want To Be A Librarian/Archivist?” series.

That depresses the fuck out of me as I feel I’m much more than a snappy piece about going to library school, at least I used to be. No one reads me anymore because I’m provocative or interesting and that bothers the hell out of me. I feel I have grown way too conservative and soft in my old age. Gone were the days of owning domains like pronstar.org and bitchasshoes.org4, writing about sex, drugs and rock and roll. I’ve become so hypervigilant about what I was posting on what network5, with what content that saying the word “fuck” made me cringe. Me. Cringe at saying the word fuck!? What in Nigel’s name has happened to me? Don’t answer that. With all that is being said, I don’t want this to become some boring ass librarian page of dick tugging and circle jerking.6 But that is what is happening. The top keywords that drive traffic here is “So, you want to be a librarian?” and “Jobs that require MLIS.” I’ve taken back ownership of “The Lisa Chronicles” for the journal title, content will be be more what I envisioned and lots more updates are planned.

It feels good to be back.

1. I blame the memory loss to conscious forgetting and loads of alcohol. I married my husband because he remembers more of my 20s than I do.
2. Digital archivists will bicker on this point, but for the sake of the piece, it makes sense. 3. Don’t judge. This is where she goes back to McDreamy. Again.
4. .Exhbit A: pronstar.org and Exhibit B: bitchasshoe.org.
5. Numerous (okay, 2) people have emailed/FB’d/etc me to warn me to watch I say on Twitter/blog as possibly be detrimental to me obtaining a job. I understand and get that, I’m not incredibly stupid.
6. There is enough of clique in the library world that it drives me INSANE that this behavior is so easily accepted and even, in some cases, applauded.

about:lisa, circa 2010

Hello, my name is Lisa.

I’ve been keeping an online journal since 1996.1 You may know me from simunye.org, modgirl.net or from my LiveJournal. If you are interested in my lifestream, you can find that at [digital biblyotheke].

The original concept for shesgotplans.net was to discuss, in-depth, my sojourn into library and archival school, which I started in fall of 2008. The premise intent that it would contain entries on the nuts and bolts of school while addressing concerns as someone new to the profession. But Twitter changed all of that — my pithy commentary was released instantly to the masses! Thus, the journal languished because writing 140 characters is a lot faster and easier than writing a nicely constructed and in-depth essay.2

Now that graduation is now looming, all the personal projects that I swore I would have time for during breaks is now finally available. This is the first time in in nearly a decade, I currently3 have no plans on being in classes this next school year, it’s time to get back in the writing mode and less on the “OH HOLY FUCK! I HAVE A HUGE PROJECT DUE IN TWO DAYS!” I so won’t miss those days.

Other places where I’m also writing at:

  • Tech-Ink: A librarian’s collection: Tech-Ink is a collective of tech savvy librarians from around the world. I write from the student / new librarian/archivist perspective
  • The Brit & The Yank: A music blog with a twist, co-written with my friend Chris.
  • AMPed: Staff writer for Archival Media Preservation, a professional blog sponsored by Archive Media Partners that discusses the ins and outs of digital obsolescence, digital media and social networking in the archival world.

Below is the “To Do” list for shesgotplans.net as of 1/31/2010:

  • Update more frequently (2-3x a week).
  • Change blog name (not domain) before graduation.
  • Import journal entries from prior incarnations into database.
  • Create categories and folksonomies for those entries.


1. My first journals were on Geocities (now defunct) and I transferred everything over to simunye.org in 1998, which is why the InternetArchive only has my listing from 1998, not 1996, and forward. Interestingly enough, So, you want to be a librarian? Part I is the most requested page on this site. Clearly, I was on to something.
2. I have been made to promise to the family that there will be no more schooling for me! Three degrees in seven years is enough, right?