Dear Internet,
You may have noticed a drastic change in the design and layout of the site. I’ve been using the same theme for years and with so many changes and the cluttering, EPbaB is/was a hot mess. Like a child dressing up in their mother’s clothes.
I knew I had to re-do the design and layout, and while I was learning how to do backend from scratch  I was far far behind where I needed to be to make this site what I really wanted. Perusing through the WordPress Codex is often a disappointment as I ended up downloading and testing themes that are broken or far too complicated to use. (You know, like the ones who talk about how easy it is to drop and drag modules and you need a Phd to get it to work.) I stumbled upon Seasonal, which didn’t look like the other “personal” blog themes and was geared more towards my type of writing rather than those personal bloggers about their “brand.” Despite its attractiveness, I was weary. Very weary. But woah, all I did was just download the theme, configure it, and some small CSS changes. BOOM. It’s done (and under an hour to configure and launch I must add).
So hopefully you’ll like the site as much as I do and find it not only aesthetically pleasing but also easy to use.

If yesterday was spa day, Thursday was cleaning out my jewelry box that I’ve been lugging around for the last year day. I cannot even tell you what jewelry I DO own that is not with me. Last I knew, it was a lot of bullshit.
If you need a way to procrastinate, untangle your necklaces.
Pro Tip: If you slide the chains through straws, they won’t tangle up when you’re traveling.

Tuesday afternoon, after reading something or another on the interent, the world began to spin. There were two of everything as I struggled to right myself in my chair, calling out to TheExHusband to come help me. The few seconds it took to get from his office to me was enough for the moment to pass. A terrible low throbbing headache took hold and kept banging on for hours. I laid on the chaise, not doing much of anything as I waited for the headache to subside. It’s not that far-fetched to state I did nothing that evening.
Wednesday I had several appointments in the city that I did not want to miss but the thought of driving 10 miles of two lane country road and another 10 miles on a moderately busy two lane country road made me super anxious. I couldn’t get it out of my head I was going to have an attack while driving and thoughts of, “What would I do? How do I react?” flashing like a movie reel in my brain. I couldn’t shake the IMPENDING DOOM.
Half a Klonopin swallowed.
I did deep breathing and eyes open meditation as I drove, a very light sheen of sweat on my person when I pulled into my parking spot at the salon. The facial included a message of my face, arms/hands, and upper shoulders and i could feel the tension in my body actually getting worse rather than better since I was grinding my teeth every time she was touching me.
Full dose of Klonopin swallowed.
I weaved in and out of anxiety as I went about my day, dreading the thought of driving that 20 miles back to the cabin. Even stopping at Gallegher’s for donuts and cider didn’t really shake the impending doom.
Of course the Klonopin kicked in when I got home and everything was rosy.
Somedays it takes every once out of my being to pretend my heart is not palpitating a million miles a minute, impending doom is in my brain, and I am so scared to exist in this world. Every ounce of my being.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2001, 2001, 1999

META NAME=”description” content=”Link to me and I’ll…”

Dear Internet,
Re: Today’s title. It’s been languishing in my drafts for years (and I don’t recall what the original intent of the piece was going to be) and comes from a very earlier incarnation of this site (1999ish) when you could throw anything in the meta tags because you could. It was not about SEO, following HTML rules, but about being clever and perhaps a bit naughty. At one point I had t-shirts printed with a spin on the wording.
So there’s that.
Sunday finds us a bit lethargic as we laze about the cabin if you so please. We are both on the mend from ThePlague but it seems even going out and about, even for a little while, is exhausting. I have several appointments this week I cannot reschedule again (they were reschedules from the previous week when ThePlague was in full bloom), including an appointment with a local therapist.
I’m a bit unsure about this local therapist thing. When I called to reschedule, the scheduler seemed a bit, how do I say this delicately, as if he didn’t give a shit. “What time is available?” I says. “Anytime you want,” he says. Err, okay. Do they not get crazy people up in here? Aren’t the therapists have at least some bookings?
I hope this isn’t a waste of my time. Am I in crisis? To some extent yes, but I need to feel a bit assured as I search for support. My experience in Louisville this summer was emotionally debilitating:

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 to 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.

Being your own advocate about your mental health is a full time job. Every little process, every move, every counsel, every everything needed to keep your brain in a place where you can at least function on a daily basis Is. Up. To. You. So how in the hell can the system expect those who are really sick to keep up with this? The short answer is: They can’t. They fall through the cracks. Lives are destroyed, dignity is stripped, and humanity is pummeled.
I will have been at Throbbing Cabin for two solid months. Was it stupid of me to pull this while in the midst of starting therapy? Absolutely. That’s something I have to take on as my responsibility. But it shouldn’t be that hard to get even temporary help.
It’s even worse when you have no insurance.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2005

aquatic monster

Dear Internet,
ThePlague is still here and it’s making my life miserable in numerous ways. i.e. My new sleeping schedule is now bed between 04:00 – 05:00 and waking up between 12:00 – 13:00. If I’m lucky. Today I rolled out of bed at nearly 14:00.
With my sleep disjointed, my daily To-Dos are a fucking mess. I have a long list of things I need to get done for various things to keep myself up to date on a variety of projects but it ends with me just working on one or two. Count in things like eating, showering, and other human things, my working day is shot by 19:00. I’ve tried working while watching telly with TheExHusband (we’ve plowed through Key & Peele, Fresh Meat, and are now working our way through RuPaul’s Drag Race), which lends us to staying up late. He’s able to get up at a reasonable time and then there’s me, sleeping fucking beauty.
I’ve been inhaling short stories, swapping between Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of MaladiesCat Valente’s The Bread We Eat in Dreams, Chekhov’s The Witch and Other Stories, and LampLight magazine.  I’ve had Lahiri on the back burner since my days working at the bookstore; Valente I recently finished one of her new novels and I wanted to re-read her shorts; Chekhov as he’s the master of shorts, and LampLight magazine as I’ve recently submitted some work to them.
I’m most surprised, given my ADHD, I’ve not dipped into shorts before and it’s been fascinating to where my reading tastes are taking me. Some stories were like eating the most luscious of chocolate cakes (and I love some chocolate cake!) and others were burnt custard. The dropping in and out of various collections rather than reading them straight has kept my palette clean rather than getting getting overwrought over one particular author or theme.
But I’m learning a lot. Where I’ve been clutching to things that are secondary or even tertiary, so reading across a variety of authors has helped considerably.
Even complaining about ThePlague, I was finally able to leave the house for the first time in almost a week without feeling I was going to leave a lung somewhere along the road. I wore pants for a total 1.5 hours and that was 1.25 hours too long.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 1998

sunday nights are full of telly

Dear Internet,
How is it October already? It’s cord season (fwap fwap), cider, plain cake donuts, decorative gourds, and of course, all the pumpkin spice things. Wasn’t TheBassist and I just having our New Years Eve ‘do the other week?
Fall is the time of knitting, of which I have a large collection of skeins and needles, except I cannot knit one purl two as my knitting stuff is currently buried in a box, which box I have no fucking clue, at TEH. So I can either go splurge and buy a set of needles and a few skeins or just wait. At this point, I’m in the just wait category.
This year, especially when you’re traveling from house to house, has flown by fast. I specifically hate calling myself homeless, even though that’s exactly what I am. I do not have a place of my own, I’m bouncing between two locations, my stuff is either in my car or at TheExHusband’s / TheBassist’s. I’ve been day dreaming about cleaning my own toilet, that’s how bad my longing is for a place is getting.
As I’m heading (90% sure) to the east coast in a few weeks, and with the weather turning, I’m now in a scramble to make sure I have winter clothes to get me through until the spring. Of course all my heavy coats are packed at, you guessed it, TEH’s so I’ll more than likely be flying to him sometime in November for a short weekend to get my winter stuff.
Or not. Who knows. Stay tuned.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2003, 2003, 2001, 1998

eyes big love-crumbs

Dear Internet,
The crisis is over and I’m feeling better. Yes, I’ve been taking my drugs (because that is the first question people ask). Yes, I’ve been in touch with a local to Throbbing Cabin therapist whom I’m seeing next week. My therapist in CT has been notified (by me) on what’s going on. I have enough drugs to keep me going for some time.
I am fine.
After the small mental hoopla, I caught a massive cold that was borderline strep. The plague1 showed up on Friday as well as did redness in my right eye that didn’t look quite right. Sunday saw me in the urgent care because I was feeling so awful, bodily, I could barely sleep and the red-eye was getting worse. Turned out I had a massive cold in not only in my head but also my eye. Yes, your eye can catch colds.
Since this is all viral, of course I passed it on to TheExHusband. Now we’re two sick peas in a pod.
(The question I keep posing on social media is: How much mucous can a body have? I was informed, biologically, the more hydrated you stay the more mucous the body produces. Of course.)

I’ve been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Always a tryer, never a winner should be on my tombstone.
But who wants to wait until November? Why not attempt two novels? Sure, I said to self. Why not?
Why not indeed. Inspired by the framing of a piece I wrote 19 years ago, I started writing. Then I thought of another idea on how to structure it. Then another. Then another.
I’m a big fan of using sketch books for mind mapping. If you flip through mine, you’ll see loads of notes, dialogue, and minutia written down in a variety of colors (thanks gel pens!), which includes the beginnings of several projects. The digital notes are for research I canvas from the internets but the nitty-gritty of stuff is in this sketch book.
While mulling over how to best approach writing a novel without writing a novel, I came up with a couple of ideas that could work. As I was working these out last night, I found I changed the structure of the book at least three times. What I originally wanted versus what came out was fascinating process. But it was encouraging and the current set up is something I can totally do without putting too much stress on my brain. At least, at the moment.
It’s a long slow, hard road to get to anywhere, that’s for damned sure.
In other news, I’m now a contributing writer at nerd underground.
1. I have a tag for The Plague? Who knew.
P.S. Don’t want near daily emails or can’t make it here everyday but want to keep up with what’s going in my world? Subscribe to A Most Unreliable Narrator, a monthly-ish newsletter roundup of what’s happening. Bonus! Comes with GIFs!
Today in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2013, 2003, 1998

In which the dog hate pees, my boyfriend shows up, and thehusband admits he has no sense of humour

Hercules vacuum cleaner, 1930s; State Library of New South Wales. Courtesy of The Commons, Flickr.
Dear Internet,
First I must tell you it’s much later than what the time stamp says on the entry. The second thing I must tell you is that I’m fairly high on Klonopin, which is in part thanks to having a physical anxiety attack this late evening. One pill couldn’t  cut it, it seems, so I took two.
This week was kind of adventurous, which I’ve got started as another post-dated entry, but to bring you up to speed, we’re up at Throbbing Cabin which was solely to be for our vacation and not for renovations. Yet instead,  it has turned into a comedy of errors.
As some of you may know, earlier this week I had a round of The Plague which changed everything, namely this entire week was to be our vacation week where the cabin was to be our actual vacation home and not a money pit of despair. The hope was to have day trips all over the area and see things we haven’t seen yet outside of our little 10 mile area.
We were obviously too ambitious.
We came up to Throbbing Cabin late Thursday afternoon, two cars packed with goods. After getting unpacked, it is discovered I left the non-perishable groceries on the counter in the kitchen back in Grand Rapids, which leads us to quick on the fly thinking of where to do for food, ending up having dinner at Little Traverse Inn, where their gastropub specialize in British foods with a twist. I really enjoyed the haggis parcels.
After a marvelous dinner, we head into Glen Arbor to grab the missing dry items left in Grand Rapids, head to the cabin to get ready for bed and sleep.
Except that didn’t quite happen. Wednesday had been acting odder than usual since I picked her up from the bordering place earlier in the day. I had thought it was their off her schedule walking that twas giving her troubles, but even after we right the wrong she decides to do two things:

  • She pees on the new wood floors right after we arrived
  • She pees on our bed at the end of the night, soaking through the duvet, sheets, and the mattress pad

Even better? TheHusband had been laying on some of the pee.
Thankfully we had back up sheets and comforters on hand. Also thankfully the mattress pad was designed for just such an occasion so the mattress itself never got wet.
Now I can speculate for as long as the day as long as to why both instances happened:

  • She’s 13 (or 101), and she’s incredibly picky how things are done. If they are not done just so, she gets upset
  • Boarding place said they had walked her twice before I picked her up at 11:30AM that morning, yet she almost immediately shat and pissed in my car. So see point the first.
  • We walked her more as soon she got home and after, yet our punishment was the peeing in the house.

It’s worth nothing that today she’s been fine. As a precaution, we’ve removed the water bowl we kept for her in the bedroom (since we’re upstairs, and she cannot get up/down stairs).
With that incident having now occurred, we knew we were going into Traverse City to do emergency laundry and then the thinking went, well as long as we’re in Traverse, might as well run a few other errands since we’re in the city.
Which completely shot our damned day. We were thinking beach! Hikes! Things! Not sit in a laundromat, watching DEAL OR NO DEAL.
My boyfriend, as he’s referred to, is the contractor who laid down our flooring and also builds homes. We’ve been getting price quotes from him to do work beyond our means, like rip out the second bathroom and redo it properly. We’ll also be contracting him further down the road to gut out and redo the kitchen (hopefully via IKEA).
He’s called such because it seems he only calls me, not TheHusband, for anything and we’ve now moved on to texting. The luck of the draw is that he looks like someone I would date. And there might be slight chemistry between us. But it’s kind of hard to feel the allure when the only times he’s ever seen me is when I look my not so very best.
After TheBoyfriend had come and gone to drop off some contract work, breakfast was made and consumed, we spent time putting together yet even more IKEA items from our haul this week. I prodded TheHusband to call a pest control person for we were finding little piles of dust in the master bedroom area and as luck would have it, the pest control could be out there early evening.
With our chores and bathing done, we started the slow trek into Traverse as we had stops such as at the recycling and gas station to embark on.
The bane of my existence during our courting years was TheHusband’s obsession on finding the perfect engagement ring. I looked at hundreds, if not thousands, of rings that all began blend into the same one.
Shopping for floor rugs with this man has the exact same experience. Online or off, there is always something not quite right about anything we have seen. We stopped at a rug showcase on our way to the laundromat and one after. My eyes were glazed over with all the seemingly same choices. My final threat was we were going to pick up something from Target, which turned out how our search ended with two area rugs thrown into our cart. Now we’re finding ourselves saying things like, “Well, if we don’t like it, into the guest room it goes!” which was also our mantra for Throbbing Manor.
Which explains so much about our decorating process.
Errands done, finally, headed back to the cabin, we meet up with pest control guy who showed up a little early. After poking and hunting around the cabin, he can’t quite find any trails to suspect carpenter ants are eating at the cedar. Since it’s either them or carpenter bees, and the bees are not here, then it’s got to be the damn ants. Traps were laid about the house and the outside perimeter was sprayed with poison. We report back to him in a week.
After all of this is done, it’s now closing in on 8PM. We wolf down dinner, grab the dog, and head to the local beach to watch the sunset and ended up staying for little over an hour. I was hoping to see more stars, with zero light pollution, but we were woefully unprepared for hanging out on a darkened beach.
We headed back to Cedar and got slushies before heading home, and here we are.
Mood update: Mood update has been pretty chill, though I’ve been sick for the better part of the week. I skipped a few days of the klonopin because I didn’t want to have an interaction with Day/NightQuil. I have not started Wellbutrin but several friends are reporting they are feeling good things about it, so that is still a  might see.
I cancelled my appointment with Dr. H. on Monday because I had completely spaced on the appointment AND I don’t have the ready cash. Dr. P. and I have been unable to connect for a few weeks so hopefully I’ll get to see him soon.
Lisa (Day #21)

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003, 2003