à la débandade

Dear Internet,

After all the cheeriness of #lismentalhealth week, it’s time for happier random updates.

Hah. I (sorta) fibbed.

This morning I woke up with the overwhelming feeling of TheSads, which are feelings that come in waves, typically lasting a few hours or sometimes a few days. There is no cause for TheSads, I’m often not triggered, and they leave just as quickly as they come.

There are a number of reasons of why TheSads are hanging out today: I’m going to start ovulating in a few days (my mood is all over the place when I start ovulating), I’ve been job hunting for the last few days and that’s always depressing, and I’ve been smoke-free for the last six days which is also a grump inducing mood.

These are legit reasons for TheSads to shuffle hop step across my mind’s stage.

These are normal things to feel.

After dragging myself into the shower and getting ready for the day, I started clutching various particular straws on the pretense if those things were firmly, and safely, in my corner my life would be so much better.™

I know that’s not true. I know I’m deluding myself on those things.

I know there are lots of things I cannot control that are a part of my life and I have to just keep putting one step in forward of the other. It’s hard. It feels like a snail’s pace. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m making any progress when I am.

The usual bullshit.

At the meeting with my therapist a few hours later, the conversation turned to that morning’s feelings: Why am I clutching at straws? Why do I think I can change the past? Why blah blah blah? (To be fair I’m not concentrating on one specific thing in my past to change, there are a whole host of things I would adore to change, but that is neither here nor there.)

After talking this out with her, I started to feel better. I teared up (mascara that actually doesn’t run for the muther fucking win!) in therapy, as I tend to do, when discussing certain subjects which are really facades for my frustration levels of not being to make the massive changes I think/want I need: Job, place of my own, my own money.

I keep harping on those things because those are things that plague most of my thoughts. Sometimes I can keep those thoughts in a cage and smile evilly at them and other times they gang up like, well, gangbusters. Most of the time these days they are in the cage but this morning they decided to make an unwanted appearance.

After the discussion with my therapist, I felt better — I always feel better. It could have been the coffee I was consuming during my hour. It could be the release of those thoughts. It could have been the greasy lunch I had later.

I spent the afternoon starting this entry, combing through job sites looking for positions to apply, and prepping for Thursday’s obedience class this evening. TheSads, which were starting to abate, came back in full force: Why did I fuck up this particular job interview? Why did I fuck up that job interview? How much different would my life would have been if I had not done X,Y, or Z?

I started feeling awful all over again. The feelings of failure, worthlessness, and my own stupidity came crashing down in waves.

It’s always a struggle to get them under control.


I got new glasses. How exciting! (Not as exciting when I figured out how to safely wax my under arm hair last week but I do like living on the edge.)

Still. Very exciting!

This is my fourth pair of glasses in the last 20 years. I’m thankful my script hasn’t changed too much and rotating the previous three pairs hasn’t been that big of deal as time went by.

Until last year.

Last year I discovered I needed progressives. You know, bifocals.

I’m officially old.

I couldn’t afford new glasses and contacts thus the optometrist recommended getting contacts but adding a pair of those cheap reading glasses you find everywhere to help with the near sightedness. I didn’t like pairs I found so I continued working with just contacts and sort of winging it which really didn’t seem to be that big of deal.

After it hit the one year mark of my last appointment, it was becoming pretty clear, despite my attempt to convince myself regular contacts were just fine, I needed those new glasses. Contacts be damned. (Honest truth: I have enough unused contacts from the last few years, due to slight difference in scripts, to last me another solid year.)

TheExHusband agreed to front me the cash for the new specs and trying on new pairs was that week’s excitement. (Did I mention I liked living on the edge?)

I had the following demands:

  • Buddy Holly frames. I’ve done the fancy, quirky pairs over the years and I wasn’t loving those frames so back to my trusty Buddy Hollys.
  • Anti-glare/scratch and a few other thingies
  • Black. Preferably matte.
  • Lenses sit far enough away from my eyes so mascaraed lashes don’t streak the glass. (Yes, this has been a problem in the past.)
  • Properly fitted.

The last one was the most important as left alone to my own devices none of my previous pairs really fit my face and after a while, some of the arms were stretched out due to my large head and mounds of hair.

With the optometrist’s help, I found the perfect pair and hoo boy, am I pleased as punch!

I am a vain, vain person and I would not have considered wearing glasses as a regular thing until the last few years. (This despite almost everyone I met would mention at least once how great I looked in said frames.) Now that I have found a pair I love and look fabulous in, I feel more confident in wearing my new specs.

(It was pointed out to me I could have gotten said specs way cheaper at Zenni Optical but as fit was more important to me, there is no guilt for what was paid. Now that I have the specs for my specs, I’ll be buying from Zenni in the future. (Also Zenni is optometrist approved.))

When I posted the above image on Facebook, in addition to the usual “you look great!” comments, numerous women posted my eyebrows, make-up, and skin is on point. Here are my secrets:

With the exception of Yes To, Rimmel, and Kat von D products, everything else was recommended by rankandstyle.com. Since I’m on a drugstore budget, I’m pleased as all get out I was able to find products that worked and worked well with spending a small fortune.

If you’re into librarian-y things, I’ve started the redesign of my librarian profesh site which includes starting and updating a blog in addition to the occasional site updates. One of the suggestions from a prof was to start writing about my experiences in the job market, trends in library land, and commentary on current practices. THIS! I can do.

I’ve been importing the librarian-y posts from EPbaB over to lisa.rabey.net and it’s been going fairly well and it keeps the site current where as before it was a bit more stale. I’m also updating my, “So, You Want To Be A Librarian” series which you should check out if you’re thinking about getting your MLIS.

This week is finally my mammogram appointment which has me alternately relieved and a bit scared.

From a few weeks ago,

“…able to find the benign lump in my right breast, discovered a year ago (2014/15) with my first mammogram. (If you recall, I had a total of six mammograms including an ultrasound over six months and it was decreed everything was fine.) The lump is located at the intersection of my armpit and my breast, so I would not have found it if I was doing a self-exam.

Speaking of which, I go in for my yearly mammogram this week and hopefully the benign lump is still benign. I shudder at the thought of getting a biopsy to make absolutely fucking clear it’s benign.

LADIES! Get your tits checked.”

I’ll obviously update the status once I know, but whatever deities you pray too, keep me in your thoughts the lump is still benign.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 20152014, 2011


And I’ve been looking for my truth
Since God was a boy Guy Garvey

Dear Internet,

I’m taking a break from making holiday cards as there is only so many pithy messages one can write before the hand gets tired. The breakfast bar looks as if Michael’s has thrown up glitter and paper everywhere. I’ve received so many responses for the cards I closed down the form because a girl can only make so many damned cards. What is surprising me the most is I have not sliced a finger with the Exacto knife or glued things together that are not paper.

Edit: I’ve made all the damned cards and have loads of extras. If you want a card, go to bit.ly/HolidayCards2015.

I’ve been getting back into crafting again to help quell my brain and the satisfaction having a finished product made by oneself. I started with coloring this summer, moved on to knitting again when I found my knitting supplies. This, of course, meant I had a ton of projects started and no idea now who or what said projects are for. I tore each project back to a ball of yarn, using said yarn to knit myself a long scarf. Nothing fancy, just a garter stitch back and forth. I forgot how to fucking purl, cast on, and cast off. These are all simple stitches and if it were not for kind friends on Facebook and YouTube, L-ville would hear the brunt of my swearing on why I could not do what I had mastered so long ago.

A million and half years ago (2010 –  2012) I ran an Etsy shop, Excessively Diverting. I sold handcrafted holiday bulbs, pins, bookmarks, and other trinket specializing in out of copyright books and authors such as Jane Austen, the Bronte’s, Charles Dickens, and so forth and so on.

The shop was successful but the time & cost could not justify keeping the shop open as the majority of sales came during October, November, and December. When breaking down the wholesale cost of making the items and I was paying myself $0 per hour to keep prices competitive, meant I was barely breaking even. I kept all of the templates and other similar items in a box for said store re-opening sometime in the future, but I don’t even have a permanent place to live so that’s not happening anytime soon.

Back to crafting! I also do cross-stitch, which has been slow going. I started a project of matryoshka doll style Avengers ages ago as gift for someone I now have no idea who for. Captain America and the Hulk were finished before I realized I had fucked up the dimensions. That project is just hanging out in one of my craft boxes for something as I do not want to waste what I have already completed.

Then there is the holiday cards, which I’ve been steadily working on for the last week. I was perusing Etsy, Amazon, and other sites for cards to send this year, as you do, when TheExHusband suggested I make the cards instead. This is marvelous idea as I owned most of the major supplies required and all I needed to purchase was paper and a few colored glitter gel pens to finish the cards. Buying office supplies? Oh twist my arm. I have a large vintage tackle box chock full of pens of all sorts (gel, glitter, fountain), colored art pencils for the coloring, nibs and ink for said fountain pens, highlighters for paper and otherwise, drawing marks, and disposable calligraphy pens. Then there is my notebook collection which has grown so large, I have at least on packing box filled to the brim.

One could say I have a fetish for office supplies.

It’s been a couple of days since I started this entry, not finishing it as I didn’t really haven’t the heart. TheSads are again attacking, which probably amounts for and while TEH has been great on cheerleading me on to not dwell, but when you hurt, everything hurts: brain, body, emotions, feelings. Every change in inflection from whoever sends a cavalcade of feels from my brain to my toes.

It’s in that particular space I don’t want to be touched or spoken to. I want to do my thing (crafting, reading, watching TV, whatever) because I don’t have to think when I do these things. This is where I can not worry about my actions, my words, my being intrusive to someone else. It’s where the crying jags come, less frequently now but still appear nevertheless.

The non-touching part can be problematic when you’re around people who simply care about you and want you to feel better.

A friend on the Facebooks shared a mantra, of sorts,

Which has been a gods-send for me to remember that TheSads are a part of life, are not permanent and will leave at some point.

Yet a couple more days have passed since the above update. TheSads lasted all of one day, where I soaked TheExHusband’s shirt with tears. The following day I was feeling slightly right as rain and the day after that only got better.

For about a week I’ve been walking 17 minute miles on the treadmill since I wrote the above and the endorphin high has been awesome at keeping sad feelings at bay. I get up in the morning, throw on my workout clothes, eat breakfast, and head down to the in-house gym with a bottle of water and workout for about 40 minutes. The workout is two minutes to warm up, walk two miles at 17 minutes a mile and then cool down. With my Spotify “get fit” mix in my ears, the time passes quickly.

I haven’t done yoga since we’ve returned back to Louisville and while one could point out I was being lazy, I will retort there was no space in the condo for me to lay my yoga mat down. True facts.

The lack of space has much to do with my stuff taking up all the available space. Over the past weekend we moved all of the boxes down to TheExHusband’s storage unit and now the condo looks huge. After some furniture shifting, there is now space for my yoga mat and the condo doesn’t seem as claustrophobic as it once was. I joked to TheExHusband that as we’ve shifted all of my things into the storage, I will now get a job.

You can bet on it.

Speaking of such, my Louisville job interview went really well as they are bringing me in for a two day in-person interview in a few weeks. My Connecticut interview, via Skype, is tomorrow. I’m nervous but I feel pretty confident about both situations. I need to get a mutha-fucking job. Full stop. I’m doing research on both positions and living in both locations. If by some grace of the gods I get two offers, it’s going to be a really hard call. The bennies for both are nearly identical but the pay is wildly disparate: $20K between the two at their minimum pay rate. Taking into account the cost of living for both cities, the Connecticut job will allow me to pay down my $20K credit card debt that much sooner. (Which is crazy to think about when the cost of living is a bit on the high side.)

You might be thinking, “Okay. Get through the damned interviews first” and I get that. I do. But I have to think about these things so I’m not making half-assed jumps for one over the other. Both positions are awesome and I can do a lot of good at both institutions, so if I come to this crossroads, I’ve got a lot to think about.

It should go without saying if only one position offers me the job, that is the one I’m taking. A girl cannot be picky.

If neither offer me a position, I’m starting the search again in January when the academic job search reopens.

It should be no surprise I’m exhausted from the amount of job hunting I’ve done over the last 11 months. But it will get better soon, this I do know.

One of the last things I said to TheBassist before the break-up was I’m emotionally exhausted and that is still true. The idea of dating right now makes me nauseous and compounded with reading OkStupid, just ugh. (I would implore you to not read OkStupid for the simple fact it will depress you on the state of humanity.)

I’ve resigned for not dating for year but I will be open to finding new friends in the area I’m living in permanently. In Louisville it would be super awesome to go out with other people not TheExHusband and it would be super cool to meet new people on the East Coast. Friends are good. Dick pics are not.

I dragged TheExHusband out to a social event last week and that went…not so well. It was run by one of the larger social groups in Louisville and the crowd was mainly yuppies and other ilk; not my scene at all. TheExHusband and I met a few people, mainly creeper guys who were there to pick up women and “get free shit” (as told to us by one such individual). I was feeling anti-social, part of TheSads, and TheExHusband was amazed he was the one making introductions rather than myself. I’m a pretty outgoing person when I need to be but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe of this particular group of people. TheExHusband mused we need to find our own people, geeks and such, and there are socials for them so that will be on our agenda in the upcoming weeks.

I’m leaving the house on a daily basis, I’ve cut sugar out of my diet and eating as little dairy I can get away with, I’m exercising, and meditating (131 days in a row and counting), — you know, all the things that I need to live a life and that I should be doing anyway. But I loathe to talk about ThePlan, in this space, right now because I always have good intentions and then they peter out. I want to make these changes permanent — and I think this time they are sticking. I don’t feel rushed about doing these things, I just do them. I may not be talking about such matters in-depth as I am wont to do but I will at least give some kind of update every now and then

A big part of my feeling better will be when I get a damned job. That’s a certainty that cannot be denied. When that happens, everything else will fall into place.

Finally, it is a mere 209 days to Lisa-mas.


This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 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