your yearly update on teamharpy

Dear Internet,
I haven’t written much about #teamharpy, if anything really, since the case was dismissed back in March 2015 here or over on my profesh site. I’ve barely spoken about it publicly. There was/is nothing really left to say other than the case was dismissed. That is that. But there are no gag orders in the dismissal to prevent nina and I talking about it anytime or place we wanted to. Additionally there was no time frame when we had to keep the apologies and retractions up.
Yet nina and I felt safer not discussing because, hahahaha, who knows what will happen!
So we didn’t.
Majority of you know I’ve been applying for positions all over the midwest to east coast within the last year, 18 months if you include the few positions I applied for at the end of 2014. Today I wrote over at lisa.rabey.net,

I’ve had two offers rescinded and I’ve been the top two in several final positions with hints I would be extended the position and ultimately rejected. How do I know the case is affecting my employability? After the first or second interviews, the institution google searches me (I now know they have seen the pages related to #teamharpy), goes to my site(s), and spends hours combing them. One institution had seven different people combing my profesh site. How do I know this? By my web logs. I see who (by ip / domain name) has searched for me, how they found my site, and what they are reading on my site. Some continue to read this site long after the interview has been over.

What I forgot to mention is that at least three institutions there was at least one person at each who printed out reams of my blog pieces and became mildly obsessed with me. No, not scary at all.
Over at twitter I wrote,

But I’m getting ahead of myself. You can read the breakdown of the #teamharpy case at https://lisa.rabey.net/2016/01/we-need-to-talk-about-teamharpy/. Below is the commentary I gave on Twitter after the piece posted. 

 
As always, if you have questions, you can find me on twitter or contact me through this site.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in the Lisa-Universe: 20152011

we need to talk about #teamharpy

*nina has written their thoughts on the nearing year anniversary since the dismissal of the case.

Dear Internet,

March 25th is the one year anniversary of #teamharpy case being dismissed, by the plaintiff’s lawyers’ request no less, from court.

There are several reasons why I’m writing this.

First, to set the record straight, to tell in chronological order what happened and how it ended. If you search for me on any search engine, due to the popularity of the plaintiff’s website and other (large) websites that wrote about the case, there is nothing in the first pages of results discussing the dismissal or discussing the dismissal with accurate facts. My own websites barely stay on the first page.

Second, my professional reputation has been damaged. Not irrevocably, but fairly damaged. See reason above on search results. I’ve had two offers rescinded and I’ve been the top two in several final positions with hints I would be extended the position and ultimately rejected. How do I know the case is affecting my employability? After the first or second interviews, the institution google searches me (I now know they have seen the pages related to #teamharpy), goes to my site(s), and spends hours combing them. One institution had seven different people combing my profesh site. How do I know this? By my web logs. I see who (by ip / domain name) has searched for me, how they found my site, and what they are reading on my site. Some continue to read this site long after the interview has been over.

(What I initially forgot to mention is that at least three institutions there was at least one person at each who printed out reams of my blog pieces and became mildly obsessed with me. No, not scary at all.)

This is why I have the blurb box in the upper right corner stating the case has been dismissed and the #teamharpy link points to this page.

Now that’s out of the way, Let me catch you up what’s been going on:

  • August 2008 – October 2013 I receive first and second-hand accounts of the plaintiff’s alleged unwanted, mainly sexually harassing, behaviour, which allegedly was happening mainly at conferences.
  • October 2013 While I am at a conference, two separate individuals relate how each of them, at separate times, were allegedly harassed by the plaintiff. One reported when she rebuffed the plaintiff’s advances, the plaintiff allegedly responded, “Your husband doesn’t need to know.”
  • May 2014 Fed up with discussions of alleged numerous persons using conferences as their ground for alleged harassing behaviour, I go on a rant on Twitter about the lack of community accountability and name the plaintiff as one of the assumed and known persons perpetuating this alleged behaviour
    • I did not use the word “alleged” in my tweet, which could have changed everything.
  • May 2014 nina writes a blog post, “Time to Talk About Community Accountability.” While she names the plaintiff once (possibly twice), the piece is more about why professional communities (any community, not just library profession) seemingly refuse to police their own. She uses my tweet as the jumping point.
  • June 2014 nina and I receive cease and desist papers from the plaintiff’s Canadian lawyer. We are asked to remove the tweet / blog post and apologize.
    • After much discussion between the two of us, we decide to stand firm on our words and refuse to remove the tweet and blog post. I mean, who sues over a single tweet and a blog post written by two persons who do not have influence?

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

  • July 2014 nina and I are served papers, again from plaintiff’s Canadian lawyer, with the plaintiff suing us for, collectively, $1.25M. This is not a typo.

I live in the US, nina lives in Canada. Why the Canadian lawyer and why sue us in Canada?

Here is the simplified answer: In the US, if someone defames another, it is up to the defamee to prove what the defamer said was/is not true. The burden of proof lies on the defamee.

In Canada, the opposite is true. It is up to the defamers (nina and me) to prove what we say is true.

Hence the Canadian courts getting involved.

You may be asking yourself, “You live in the US. Can they sue you in Canada?” The answer, simplified, is yes. But, I can decide not to accept the summons and they are up shit’s creek without a paddle — to some degree. In my understanding, once they sue me in Canada, they cannot sue me in the US. US / Canada have ties in various legal things that prevent the same case being tried in both countries – ever. So yes, I could have gotten myself out of the case with a technicality, while nina could not.

So why did I not use the technicality? I was the one who started this mess, I needed to stand my ground, and I needed to support nina. I am the one who sleeps with me at night and I could not morally leave anyone to hang for something I was party to .

So I stayed.

I will and would stand by my responsibilities all over again. No questions asked.

How did the hashtag #teamharpy come about? nina coined the term in relation to how women who whistle blow are treated. I picked it up and it blew up. (Apparently it’s now being used by a muay thai group. Did they NOT do their research on the name?) Both sides of case use(d) the tag in Twitter to relate news and case movements. The Canadian lawyer’s last tweet in relation to the case was in November 2015, eight months after the case had been dismissed.

  • August 2014 – February 2015 Lawyers for both sides go back and forth. Plaintiff’s American and Canadian lawyers allege the plaintiff is being shunned from their various professions (library conference keynoter and futurist to name a few) and is allegedly losing money by the truckload.
    • We (nina, myself, our lawyers) continue to find (and archive) evidence on various, public, social media sites depicting the plaintiff is still preforming their professional responsibilities, including keynoting and working around the world. During the cross-examination, when presented with that evidence, plaintiff allegedly demurs on their activity.
    • When we did the call for witnesses, 22 women came forward. Of the 22, two agreed to do a deposition, and one ended up being our witness.
      • The general consensus between nina and myself is the position of these women could be damaging to their mental and emotional health, as well as open up a whole can of worms that could prove traumatic for them. We did not want or put anyone in that position. We understand why the other 21 refrained from going forward.
    • A neutral person put together a change.org petition requesting the plaintiff cancel the lawsuit since it went against everything that librarians/library science stood for. Over 1000 people signed the petition in agreement. As the case heated up, I requested the petition to be removed as to not antagonize plaintiff and their lawyers. It was removed.
  • February 2015 The process of the cross-examination had come to fruition. Myself, the single witness, and nina convene in Toronto. We are there two days.
  • February 2015 The plaintiff’s lawyers offer up a dismissal (case is dropped; we do not get sued) if we follow X things. nina and I discuss it and decide to accept the offer.
    • Why? Canadian legal system does not work like the American legal system. First, Canadians are not litigation happy. Second, when it comes types of cases that go before the courts, family court is almost always first up on the docket. If we were lucky, our case would go to court in about two years. Yes, two years. It was agreed to take the dismissal for two reasons: First, our mental health. The last year had taken a huge toil on both of us and seeing it to the bitter end (which we had both hoped to do) wasn’t looking so good anymore. Second, money. We raised $15K which completely went to pay our legal expenses. The remainder of the legal bill was paid by myself and nina.
  • March 2015 Actions for the dismissal, and with an agreement on both sides, the case is dismissed. The agreement is nina and I post retractions and apologies on our individual websites and on the #teamharpy website. We also have to tweet we’re apologizing with links to the apologies.

If we thought our own personal harassment up until that time was awful, it became nuclear after those tweets. I remember after tweeting the requested info, I shut the lid on my laptop, and didn’t look at the internet for a few days. When I came back, my mentions were a list of insults, sexual harassment, death threats, and other fun things from colleagues in the profession, gamer gate, people not even associated with anything in the profession/case, and random trolls. I reported and blocked hundreds of twitter, facebook, and fake email accounts and I had to scrub off all contact information from my websites (and anywhere on the internet) so I would not get doxxed.

During the case, and even significantly after, there were articles, opinions, acts of defaming our names and images, including:

  • People not involved / associated with either myself, nina, the profession, or the case writing / commenting as if they had first hand knowledge (no one knew who the hell these people were)
  • Nearly none of them were Canadian lawyers, did not understand Canadian law, or even understand American law but proffered up opinions on such matters
  • Articles were written on several websites such one that rhymes with box and another that rhymes with fifart that completely and utterly had the information (what nina and I did for a living, the details of the case, everything) so skewed, it was laughable. We didn’t care if they disagreed, we did take umbrage at the poor reporting of even simple facts.
  • We were called “grifters” by several well known sites such as the one that rhymes with nopefat. A “grifter” is a con-artist, mainly out to get money. Somehow the fact (yes fact) the plaintiff sued us for $1.25M, and we did not counter sue even for damages, was not lost on me.
  • The plaintiff, after the case was dismissed, appeared to have forgiven us, accepted our apologies, and allegedly “moved on and find peace,” etc but I found full copies of the apology and retractions, tied with my image and / or nina’s image as the preface on the platintiff’s public social media accounts on sites such as Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and SlideShare. I sent in DMCA takedowns to every site I could find and most of images / content were removed from most of those sites.
  • The plaintiff  was using covers of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in social media, tagging the tweets / other social media with the #teamharpy tag, and pointing out we were allegedly witch hunting the plaintiff across the internet, just like in the witching hunters in the play.

Additional information:

  • There is no gag order in the dismissal, which means we can openly discuss the case.
  • There is/was no time limit to when the apologies/retractions needed to be up on our websites. I took  mine down about a month later and TheExHusband set up blocking so anyone trying to get the archive, direct links, or any other access will be denied
  • All tweets in relation to the case, even the deleted ones, were captured and made available by a third party. If you scroll all the way to the bottom (the beginning) of that link and move up, you’ll see the timeline of the harassment everyone in the case went through from trolls, gamer gate supporters, and more mixed in with the positive support

There you have it

This information is true and chronologically correct to the best of my knowledge. I am speaking from my perspective only.

Edited
1/29/2016 11:59EST to clean up incorrect legalese.
1/29/2016 17:15EST to clean up some grammar mistakes and add a clarification.
1/31/2016 14:28EST to add nina’s piece

Mental Illness, Shame, and the Art of Asking – 2016 Edition

#LisMentalHealth week is an initiative started by my good friend Cecily Walker and Kelly McElroy. You can follow along on Twitter, add resources to the Google doc, or check out the Storify of Monday’s chat.
Dear Internet,
If you’ve been reading (or following me on social media), it’s no surprise I’m open about my mental health. I talk pretty extensively on being bipolar (especially since I’m bipolar one which means I creep towards mania than depression), mental health in general, borderline personality disorder, adhd, depression when I get it, anxiety, and about my drugs, shrink, and fuck, probably a lot more I’m forgetting.
While I try not let me be these diseases, so much of what they do is an integral part of my life, it’s very hard to talk about them in some sort of context, “I’m being cray today. Ugh!”
So here is a week where I can talk freely and abundantly about my brain with professionals in my chosen career only to find as I opened up this editor to write — I am stumped on what exactly to say.
Three years ago (!), spurned by a TED Talk by Amanda Fucking Palmer, I wrote this piece: “Mental Illness, Shame, and The Art of Asking.”
In case you missed it, here is Amanda’s talk:

What I said three years ago

Yesterday, I was part of a panel at MSU Comics Forum where we gave a presentation on Golden Age: Comics and Graphic Novel Resources in Libraries. Our schtick is to present on this topic at non-library conferences because we knew it was important for artists, writers, creators, educators, and comic book lovers to be aware of what/how libraries are doing with comics and graphic novels. Within the library world, it is a given. Outside the library world, not so much.
 
While prepping for my talk, I was debating on whether or not to mention I was bipolar and relate that to graphic novels available on the topic. If part of my argument is graphic novels should be in libraries is because they help broach difficult topics, is this not a difficult topic and ergo a perfect example? The other question that would be asked is what kind of obligation do I have in mentioning I am bipolar to anyone about anything? Why does the onus fall on me?
 
This debate went on in my head up until I took the podium.
 
When the slide came up I had earmarked to mention being bipolar, I found myself just saying it as naturally if you please:
 
“I’m bipolar. I’ve had several friends who’ve read Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me and say to me, ‘Okay. I understand what you’re going through. It was eye opening.’ And this is perfectly illustrates how graphic novels and comics can help broach difficult topics.”
 
Several heads in the audience nodded with agreement.
 
In the space of a few minutes, I had negotiated in my head the trust relationship between myself and the audience. I gave myself permission to be candid. The floor did not open up and swallow me nor did fire come reigning down the heavens.
 
While I was feeling manic up until that moment, and then the world shifted into focus. When my 15 minutes was done, I felt my body relax for the first time in weeks.
 
Before watching AFP’s talk last night, I had not realized the mental negotiations taking place in my head about having a mental illness were about exchanges in trust with whomever. Oh, not you Internet, but with those in contact of my daily life, who don’t follow me across the social sphere or read this blog. There is a price tag on honesty, and on revealing, one that was too high in the past to contemplate, and one that is constantly always under scrutinizing but is becoming easier to negotiate.
 
AFP rationalized it is not about taking a risk, rather it is trust. Shame comes in when those not part of the negotiation attempt to criticize it. I am currying trust with my readership by telling them about my crazy, but someone who doesn’t read my blog, or know me, starts to make judgements on the already established link between me and my readership, they are installing shame on the affair. Anything different is open to criticism and this needs to change.
 
My name is Lisa and I am bipolar.
It needs to be said, it has to be said, I will continue to say it.

That piece still sums up what I feel today, except when it’s not.
Bipolar can be controlled with drugs and therapy. I’ve been on the same cocktail for over a year now and 9 times out of 10, life is pretty even keel. Now Borderline Personality Disorder is taking center stage, rearing its ugly head and that has been running my life for the last year+.
BPD has ruined a lot of things with the most current such as TheBassist1 breaking up with me not because he didn’t love and want me, but because I was a flight risk2 and will always be a flight risk until I got my shit together.
BPD has ruined not only romantic relationships, but platonic relationships; it’s distorted my world view; it’s fucked a lot of things for me and sometimes I feel utterly and completely out of control. “I hate you, don’t leave me!” “Everyone hates me; I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread.” “I have made a mistake somewhere and now I will be shunned/fired/etc.”
Coupled with being bipolar, I’m often surprised I’ve made it past 40. Hell, past 30.
I talk a lot about the domino effect which has plagued me these last few years. But what I haven’t discussed is exactly how that affected me on a much more personal level:

  • The #teamharpy case has made me a leper in the library world
  • nina and I racked up $15K in legal fees
  • I ran myself into $40K credit card debt between September 2014 and June 2015
  • On paper I’ve been homeless, on and off, since October 2014
  • I’ve had several breakdowns, starting with a long period of mania that lasted for about six months, then a bout of depression, back to mania, which finally came to a head in October when TheBassist broke it off with me.
  • From October to mid-December I rarely left TheExHusband’s condo or got out of my jimjams or did any kind of self-care. I ugly cried nearly every day
  • I’ve rarely smoked more than a couple of cigarettes a month until this past summer where I’m coming up to half a pack a day
  • While not suicidal, I’ve been in crisis at least twice in the last year

I’m probably missing a few things but this is the laundry list of ills that have been the albatross in my life for the last 18 months. A lot of these are my own choices, “If only I had…”

  • …used the word ‘alleged’ in that fucking tweet
  • …stop spending money on useless shit since I don’t have a job
  • …stopped denying everything was great and I was sick
  • …listened to what my loved ones said instead of thinking I could go at this alone

There are a lot of “If onlys.” Aren’t there always?
Being mentally ill is a goddamned highway with lots of on and off ramps. You make decisions based on your illness, it backfires, and you lose something important. You make a decision based on your illness, it comes up smelling of roses. You just never know how the die is going to roll and we keep taking the chance that what we decided was right.
We’re gamblers, we are. We worry by not telling anyone, we’ll not be able to get help when we need it. We worry if we do tell someone, we’ll lose out on life/partners/jobs. We worry how drugs will affect us or if self-care will actually work. We worry about the stigma, the pain, the anguish, the shame. We make ourselves sicker because we cannot disclose our sickness without fear something terrible is going to happen.
And the most painful thing? No one trusts you. TheBassist doesn’t trust me. TheExHusband doesn’t trust me. I’ve lost a lot of friends who can no longer trust me. What comes out of my mouth today can and has been either half-way true or another variation tomorrow3. It’s hard to ask for help when no one trusts you, even if they love you.
A lot of hard questions are coming up in the #lismentalhealth chat. Questions I want to be the queen of all that is mentally ill and bestow my wisdom to everyone as I have all the answers (“I am the greatest thing since sliced bread.”). I’m afraid to post because I don’t want to be seen as a scene stealer (“Everyone hates me.”). I don’t want to seem “weak” (“I can control this thing no matter what you say”), whatever that means, and I don’t want people to take pity on me even though I crave their adoration (“Don’t leave me.”). I’m a raging, sarcastic asshole towards people (“I hate you.”)
Being mentally ill is goddamned exhausting. I think this is one thing we can all agree upon.
One of the questions that did come up I can, somewhat, safely answer is about disclosing your illness to current and future employers. Right now I’m of the mindset of “No.” In my last position, because I was hell bent on being open and honest, I told my immediate boss. Within a few months, they used my illnesses against me. See the revised job description they put up when they did a call after my contact was about to expire. Look particularly at 12. They also would use verbiage such as, “Go take more drugs,” and “have you seen your therapist lately” out of spite. (Yes, I did try to get them reprimanded for such impertinence but since no one heard them, I had no physical proof…you get the idea where this going, right?) Despite the disability act/equal opportunity form you can volunteer to answer when you apply for a job, I choose “no response” to the question or I don’t fill out the damned thing at all. I cannot take the chance if someone sees I’m bipolar they will automatically disqualify me from getting a job. While this is illegal, I’ll never know since I will just get your standard rejection.
I have nothing to say. I have everything to say. I have a zillion answers. I have no answers.
I wish I did.
xoxo,
Lisa

1. One day there will be a day when I don’t mention him in a piece but today is not that day.
2. I can’t blame him for this part of why our relationship failed this time around. When the love of you life is leaving you every couple of months and then calls you ugly crying, you’d probably cut ties off too. But that’s a post for another time.
3. Pinky swear, on my grandmother’s grave, everything I’ve written in here, my world, has been true. It may have been fucked up, crazy sounding, or depressing as fuck, but this is the only place I have always felt like my safe space and thus can be completely honest.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2011, 2011, 1997

2771.7/divorce

Dear Internet,
The last few weeks have been jammed pack with excitement and drama, so let me catch you up.
Epic Trip
Couple of weeks ago, Kristin and I drove from Michigan to DC to see Angela Lansbury in Blithe Spirit. But to add even more excitement to the trip, we drove up to Connecticut to take care of my stuff in storage, got caught in a mini-blizzard and ended up crashing at TheBassist’s house, then the following morning we drove to New Jersey to see our friend Val. Then we came home. The epicness of this? We did this over five days.
If that wasn’t enough, I was home less than 24 hours before I drove to Kentucky for a job interview at a $museum and came home that weekend.
Over the course of 13 days, I drove 2771.7 miles. I am not leaving the house unless I have a REALLY compelling reason.
Next week I’m flying (thank fuck) to the east coast for an in-person interview with $college, which will be my second interview with them. Fingers crossed.
Then I come back in time to head to Chicago with Kristin, again, for our yearly mecca to C2E2. She scored us a photo op with Jason Momoa, so if you never hear from me again, you know why.
The Case
While I was in Kentucky, our retraction of #teamharpy statements went live and a few days later, I posted the essential case facts to get everyone up to speed. I know I said that I wasn’t going to comment on it, but I think what happened after the retraction is fascinating. Namely,

  • No one reads or listens. After the plaintiff publicly accepted the retraction and asked for people to stop trolling so that we can move on to heal, after I wrote a follow-up to the retraction explaining the outcome in curt facts and posted it publicly with permission for others to copy it to their sites, speculation and trolling are running rampant. Within the librarian community, on larger community sites, even after the “this is what happened” post went live, people are still running their mouths on what they think they know. Only those involved in the case know, but suddenly everyone is an expert on Canadian law and apparently received their JD by sending in two box tops and a dollar. It’s just fascinating how the mob just turns even when those involved are like, listen here are the facts that we can provide you.
  • Nearly everyone is a troll I wasn’t privy to the trolling of the plaintiff, but allegedly it was bad. #teamharpy was trolled on a pretty regular basis, and I know that got worse with time. Once the case settled, the trolling of everyone involved boomed through the roof. It wasn’t just librarians in our online communities, but nearly every MRA and GG realsie and sock puppet accounts. Here are some of the examples:

troll4 troll3 troll2 troll1
I RT’d most of the threats, abuse, and harassment I received. People were shocked, but, having known that regardless of how the case was going to end up this was going to happen, I am not.
If you’re curious to the extent of the harassment, here is a complete list of every tweet about #teamharpy archived.
The trolling wasn’t just about online comments, but attacks on my life. EPbaB had several hundred malicious exploits attempted, which were blocked by TSTBEH as an example.

  • Safe spaces are slowly becoming unicorns I know a lot of people are working tirelessly to end this, and this is not disregard their work (and I am not being passive aggressive here — just so we’re clear), but (isn’t there always), a lot of folks told me privately they don’t feel safe coming forward if they have been harassed by someone, regardless of who and where, in any manner. It didn’t matter how the case ended up, the backlash by humanity at large is still forcing those who are oppressed, suffering, and etc., to not move forward. We’re being stripped of our humanity, even as I write this, because if you put forward your voice on $x, there are those who will denounce you and silence you until you are metaphorically beaten. I’m not even referring to the case, but being a woman in general, my voice has been silenced in lots of ways because I’m willing to show the world that I am human.
  • Support comes in unexpected ways Thank you to everyone who came forward with hugs, kindness, and public support during this crazy time. You are very much appreciated and beloved.

The Divorce
As of March 31, 2015, the divorce is now final. TSTBEH is now going to be referred to as TEH. It was a bittersweet moment in court, even more so after seeing those who went before me. I cried last night, threw up this morning, but handled it pretty well. Thankfully. TEH and I are still very close and amicable, so as it was said to me today, I am very lucky that this pain is not going to be so much anger as it is heartache.
Now how have I been feeling? Surprisingly pretty zen. Accepting how things were going to be (the case, the divorce) and what to expect in the realm of emotions, I’ve been doing pretty good at keeping myself together. I haven’t had any breakdowns in the last month (other than some anxiety which is typical for me regardless of the bipolar) and that is also to say, when I have had breakdowns they have been less frequent and much shorter time span than before.
Here’s to moving forward.
xoxo,
Lisa

the teamharpy lawsuit has been settled out of court.

Edit: Reposted to correct a few issues
This is the only time I will discuss this, ever, publicly. You may, as long as you attribute it to me, cut/paste this to whatever to pass on the full scoop for those asking.
The ‪#‎teamharpy‬ lawsuit has settled out of court. There was no trial. The apologies/tweets were part of that settlement. No damages were paid out to the plaintiff. We should have the dismissal from the courts any day now, then it is officially over.  If you wish to read the documents on the whole case, I would recommend you contact the civil court in Toronto, ON to read them for I will not provide them for you.
Myself, and I assume everyone involved, want to move on. Please respect that wish.
And thank you to everyone who supported us; we appreciate it more than you could ever know.

Mini-Break: The Packing List

Dear Internet,
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a packing post; but much of that has to do because most of my latest flights have required me to check in baggage, which is no fun for a packing post.
As some of you may know, I was set to travel to Toronto for #teamharpy business but the trip got cancelled at the last minute so I decided to take a mini-break for a few days. Yes, I’m not revealing where.
With that in mind, it was optimal to pack carry on rather than check baggage, so behold gentlemen!

Before
Before

after
after

In addition to my solid shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion, I’ve also purchased a LUSH solid face cleanser and I’m packing solid coconut oil for my face as well. No matter where I travel in the EST, it is cold and super dry, hence the need for solid coconut oil.
I also swapped out my beloved charging brick for a Jackery one as the old brick kept dying every few charges. So far the new one has held up for almost a year (compared to a few months with the old brand).
On this trip I’m not packing toothpaste or a loofah as I will be using the ones where I’m staying. But I do have travel toothpaste ready if I require another trip! While I’m bringing one of my favorite clutches to act as a wallet, I’m also bringing one of my Coach bags that is crossbody nylon to use for everyday out and abootness. That is packed flat in the bottom of my bag. Additionally, I shoved socks into my dress boots and as par usual, everything is rolled tight.

Tom Bihn bag:

  • Ugg boots (wearing)
  • Dress boots
  • Socks 5 (6)
  • Coach nylon bag
  • Underwear 6 (7)
  • Camis 2 (3)
  • Bras 1 (2)
  • Cords 1 (2)
  • Heart dress
  • Tights 3
  • Sports bra
  • PJ jimjams bottoms
  • Green/black tunic
  • Blue leggings
  • Tshirts 6 (7)
  • Turtleneck
  • Cardigan – wearing
  • Winter coat – wearing
  • Scarf – wearing
  • Gloves/hat – wearing
  • Belt – wearing
  • Make-up bag
  • Tooth brush
  • Drugs
  • Solid soap, shampoo, lotion, face wash
  • Contacts, saline solution
  • Glasses
  • Solid coconut oil
Rickshaw bag:

  • Mac Air
  • iPad
  • Personal notebook with pen bandolier
  • Clutch with money
  • Bag o’cables for devices
  • Portable recharger brick
  • Quart bag with toiletries
  • Pouch with miscellany
  • Ms. Marvel graphic novel
  • Bag of cashews
  • Cliff bars

As much as I love my pencil bag, I’ve noticed I don’t use all the pens, pencils, etc that is in it so I purchased a Space Invaders pen bandolier to go around my journal and this has been one of the best purchases ever.
I always seem to get hungry when I travel and spend gobs of money at airports on cashews, so I decided to pack my own.
I will be at place that has laundry available, but without the need for laundry, I can go seven days on the current list and closer to two weeks if I just wash my underwear, bras, and socks. Not too shabby for not being in the game for awhile.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe:

daily entry: January 31, 2015

Dear Internet,
HEY! My eBook is officially now live on Amazon and you can LOOK INSIDE (that part cracks me up):
TLC-Cover-Final

  • Morning ritual: Wake up, use the facilities, pop contacts in, take drugs, turn kettle on for tea, figure out breakfast. While the kettle is heating up, fill last nights Bopple and also the humidifier. With tea and breakfast in hand, check email, Facebook, Twitter. Respond as necessary
  • Started prepping for the trip for Toronto by booking my flight (it was cheaper for me to book 1st class ($950) then economy ($1700)), upgrade my phone to work internationally (we all know Canada is the 51st state), locate passport, start calling credit card companies and phone company to notify I will be out of the country
  • Do some updating across my websites
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • Start packing for the trip
  • Shower and get dressed for the day. My brother called to invite me over for dinner that night at his place
  • Eat lunch
  • As promised in ThePlan, I built out a daily todo list for the week, breaking up days I’ll be at the coworking facility, gym, and etc.
  • Worked more on updating the websites and cleaned up a short story which I submitted to an online magazine.
  • Had dinner with my brother and his girlfriend; hung out for the evening
  • Came home, depanted, watched Banshee
  • Bed ritual: refilled humidifier, grab Bopple for the night, take contacts off and wash fash; use the facilities
  • Woke up at 5:30AM to one of my neighbors shoveling the apartment parking area, which is basically just my car. Thanks neighbor!

xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2011, 2001

State of the Lisa Address

Dear Internet,
TSTBEH and TheBassist have been very concerned about my state of well being now that I’m living alone. Others have also expressed concern so it seemed like a good idea to do an update.
I’ve been busy every day with errands since I’ve been here, so I’m getting out of the house. Today is the first day in over a week I don’t have plans or errands to run so I decided that I’m going to couch all day watching Father Brown, and we all know I have a thing for crime solving priests.
I had a meeting with my business accountant on Saturday and he’s suggesting it would be far easier for me to get a co-working space rather than trying to build out a home office (as you’ll see in a moment, there is no space for me to build out a home office). My talking therapist, Dr. P., is encouraging me to not do home workouts but head to the gym. Originally I was going to sign up for yoga at a local place that Bethums have scouted out for me, but I have to go to the Y so I can get walking AND swimming thrown into the mix.
Those two things are on my agenda this week.
Mentally, I’ve been okay. Thursday night I started crying because the enormity of the situation has finally taken its toll. The tears didn’t last long but knowing I was here alone, without two people who care about me the most. I have friends here, close friends, but it’s not the same.
The interesting thing is that I’ve not been getting myself in knots about any of the messes I’ve gotten myself into. And for that, I am grateful.
I saw my GP last week and she’s upped my dosage of Lamictal, so instead of 25mg three times a day, I’m now taking 50mg in the morning and 25mg in the afternoon, and another 25mg in the evening along with 10mg of Abilify. The ability to feel rational and not overwhelmed emotionally has been fabulous. So far, this has been the best bipolar cocktail I’ve ever been on. If this is what “normal” feels like, I’ll take it.
I’ve been on this particular cocktail since November and this is the longest I’ve felt stable. I had some of the cracks starting to show about three weeks ago which signified that the drugs were starting not to work, which is why I went off to see my GP. I have an appointment with a medicating therapist in February to for her to manage my scripts and see about possibly getting on ADHD drugs (again).
Creatively and productively, I’ve been feeling good. When I’m home, I’ve been working on my book(s) almost none stop. I think I’ve calculated I’ve spent 50-60 hours in designing the cover, editing, and more. Working on the print version has taught me a lot about book design and formatting; I have made numerous mistakes getting it just right but instead of getting super frustrated, I kept chugging along. Hence I know the drugs are working.
Last week I had an interview for an entry level IT position for a local corporate company here in GR. This was approved by everyone (TheBassist, TSTBEH, Dr. P.) because it would get me out of the house, interact with humans, and plus make some extra scratch. My budget right now is super tight but this would give me some breathing room.
With my name being dragged in mud due to the lawsuit, in addition to changing my last name, I’m looking at changing careers. It’s been over a decade since I held a pure IT job, so this look like a good entry point and the money isn’t bad.
The first interviewer said this is the first time in his career he’s interviewed a person with a double master’s for the position. No one asked me with my education and background, WHY I applied until it was time to ask questions of the interviewers. Eight candidates are interviewing for three positions.
So the apartment. Here is a tour.

Front of the building.
Front of the building.

The building was built in 1870 and was used as a hospital in the area and pre-dates other hospitals in Grand Rapids. There are five apartments, which are cobbled together from patient rooms. Though my apartment is #2, #10 and #9 are on my doors. The buzzer doesn’t work and I will have to make arrangements for shipping items, but all and all, the front of the building is gorgeous.
newlivingroom-before
Living room from the front door.

newlivingroom-before2
Living room from Kitchen door.

newlivingroom-after
Living room after.

newlivingroom-after2
Living room from the kitchen door.

The apartment is only 600sqft but it’s cozy enough for my needs. All the mouldings, floors, and appointments are original to the house. The transom windows are adorable but the landlord leaves the lights on in the hallway so light is always shining through the living and bed rooms.
The apartment faces north and west, so I don’t get early morning sun. Even when it’s sunny out, I have to keep the lights on at all times.
mantelofminis
Mantel of MINIs. (11 in total.)

Most of the furniture and accoutrements are from Throbbing Manor, what TSTBEH didn’t want or was going to sell to consignment, so it worked out. The couch, bed, and TV were bought specifically for the apartment. When I move out, TSTBEH is going to take some of the furniture (mainly the TV, bed, and possible one or two pieces of furniture) for Throbbing Cabin, which works out for both of us.
Interesting, neither of us miss Throbbing Manor. Nearly four years and we don’t miss it one bit.
newkitchen-before
New kitchen – before.

newkitchen-after
New kitchen – after.

The kitchen is tiny, there is no getting around that bit. The oven temperature gauge doesn’t work (yes, I know. Go buy a manual one) and the stove is a bit sketchy. Thankfully, I am a grazer which means my meals are simple and not overly complicated. If I need something more substantial, I have instant meals (soups, frozen, packet Indian, etc) at my disposal. I was planning on crockpotting meals and freezing them but I haven’t bought a crockpot yet but that is on the list of things to do.
newbedroom-before
New bedroom – before.

newbedroom-after
Bedroom after.

newbedroom-after2
Bedroom after.

The bedroom is basic and does its job. Teddy enjoys it very much.
viewfrombedroom
View of downtown Grand Rapids from my bedroom window.

I’ve started getting into rituals, which after the last seven months, have been a godsend. I get up in the morning, use the bathroom. Contacts get put in; slippers found and slipped on. I turn the kettle on for tea and refill the humidifier so I don’t strangle myself in my sleep from the dry air. Breakfast is procured and then I check email, Facebook, and Twitter.
I plan the rest of my day, which typically includes appointments and errands. I get dressed and do what I need to do; come home and depant. Then I do the household things and once those are done, work. Work on my writing, work on my books, work on myself.
It’s a quiet life. No drama. After the last seven months, it’s a welcome relief.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2011

In Case You Missed It: Top Posts for 2014

Dear Internet,
2014 was a banner year with my dog dying, my marriage busting up, finding new love, getting sued for defamation, getting back on the bipolar drugs, and losing my job. But the big question is, what did you favor on my site in 2014. Below is a breakdown of the top posts written and viewed in 2014.

  • About That Job Description In which I reveal that my position at GRCC was announced in January and my decision not to reapply. Add in the Internet getting my back for this line in the posting, “Ability to demonstrate the mental health necessary to safely engage in the librarian discipline as determined by professional standards of practice,” and you now know why I decided to move forward with my career.
  • I am the bitter fat chick who told you “no” In which I reveal an ex-high school boyfriend who kept sending me Facebook messages every couple of years in some fucked up attempt to “win me back” and his responses each time I said “no.”  Also explained my decision to change my name across various social networks only to be forced to change it back on Facebook due to “valid name” concerns.
  • For The Case of Humanity In which I reveal why I will not shut up about my feelings in regards to the $1.25M defamation lawsuit, job hunting, and other unpleasant topics.
  • About my article in American Libraries on libraries, technology, and gender  In which I reveal the background on an article I wrote for American Libraries Magazine, a publication of the American Library Association.
  • Librarian How To: Graphic Novel Collection Development in Academia In which I reveal my process on collection development, promotion, use, social media (and more) of graphic novels in community colleges.
  • into which the cosmos will collapse once again In which I reveal the break up of TSTBEH and myself.
  • #teamharpy tweet clarification In which I reveal that no, we’re not deleting online content in regards to the lawsuit.

Thanks for a wonderful year, dear readers.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 2012, 2012, 2002

for the case of humanity

Dear Internet,
When I was out on the east coast for those two months, I applied for jobs. The original plan was I was going to wait until the new year to do so, to give myself some breathing room, but with the selling of the house, divorce then in limbo, and my savings running low, that seemed like a luxury, not a necessity.
I applied for eight jobs. Most were public librarian positions while the rest were academic. Out of the eight, I had two interviews and one hint of an interview that fell through due to funding. The last interview I had, I felt like I was a shoe-in for the job.
For that particular interview, I was asked to give a 15 minute presentation on an emerging technology that I either used and built myself or collaborated with others. I presented on my use of social media to do collection development, teaching, and promotion of graphic novels in academic libraries. I talked about a wide range of tools from using individual services such as Twitter and Pinterest, to my own site, to using LibGuides and other similar software.
My deck was awesome. I practiced before the interview (something I typically do not do) and made sure I looked as regular as humanly possible (nose ring out, hair reasonably coiffed, tattoos covered).
The interview was brilliant and they loved me. We had long discussions about upcoming projects, how I was to either run or contribute to said projects, and they were even more impressed with my topic. I had my deck online for the off site interviewers that I was able to give to them with a specialized bit.ly link. Because yes, I just am that thorough.
They were so excited about me, they started discussing my second interview with the dean and president of the college. The director was coaching me on how to handle myself at the second interview while she walked me to the main library entrance. I posted in FB I was 90% sure I scored the second interview and 85% sure I got the job.
Finally, a break.
Weeks have gone by and I heard nothing from the college. I emailed them over this past weekend and received a note from the administrative assistant that they have already interviewed the three candidates for the second round.
I was not one of the three.
I lamented about this on FB today that I was reasonably sure the reason why I did not get the job was because of my involvement in #teamharpy. A clean search (not logged into any service, using incognito mode) through Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo showed me what I already knew: The first hits were my websites (EPbaB, lisa.rabey.net, and lisarabey.com) and after that, within the next 10 search results, were links to and about the #teamharpy case.
I am, as I speculated months ago, untouchable thanks to this case. I am a risk. I am a liability. I am an unknown that carries massive amount of danger to her name. Hiring me would be like hiring a bomb because you never know when this case will go off and with it, the potential damage and or liability that would affect my then current place of employment.
Some have speculated what I got from the interview committee was nothing more than mouth service at the time of the interview – I get that I do. But as I said, when they are openly talking about your second interview and the director is coaching you about the second interview, it’s hard not to want to believe them. Or start planning for the second interview. Or start thinking about your career future.
It could also be that I really wasn’t genuinely chosen for other reasons. That’s a reasonable suggestion, but, given what transpired during the interview, the interviewers excitement over me, and how well I seemed to fit within their culture, I’m arrogant enough about my skills as a librarian to think this is not necessarily true.
It’s also been suggested that I not discuss any of this publicly – who knows who may be watching. Again, good advice but one I will not heed. Everything here is already public; for their worth, search engines do not lie. But I decided that I’m also not taking their advice for one very simple reason: my humanity.
#teamharpy has been racked over the coals across the comments, blogs, reddits of the internet. I’ve been called everything from unstable to a fat whore to a lot worse. The platiff’s American and Canadian lawyers have taken to disparaging us on Twitter (I have screenshots) before we even set food into a court room. This is intimidation, pure and simple, but it’s also a matter of oppressing our humanity.
I won’t back down.
I refuse to do it. I won’t do it. It is not happening. Even if this means I have to live in my car and my savings are depeleted, I am not letting them take away my dignity or my humanity.
I have every right to factually discuss the case as well as discuss my own emotional involvement of the ramifications of the case. I do not, and will not, shut the fuck up. If I don’t get a job now or in six months or even in a year; even if I have to leave the profession permanently, I am not backing down.
I am scared. I am frightened. I am angry. I am frustrated. But this makes me human. The ability to feel and to rationalize and to process these very stressful things  is what makes me, well, me. Did I not get the job because of #teamharpy? More than likely but I will never really know. Will my job hunt be successful in the future? Again, more than likely but until I get back in the game again, I can only reasonably guess what’s going to happen.
I really, really hope I’m wrong.
xoxo,
Lisa