your taste in men is weird

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson from the Icelandic TV show, Trapped
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson from the Icelandic TV series, Trapped

Dear Internet,

After several episodes of the Icelandic tv series Trapped, the lead, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, has my current lustful admiration. When I declared he was my one true love to TheExHusband, he looked at me with a quizzical look — “Your taste in men is weird.”

Which I suppose is true.

If you’ve been hanging around me here or on various other social media spaces, you’ll see me often comment about my future husbands (and wives). This seems to make people uncomfortable with one of the biggest complaints of, “If you’re with $nameoflover, why are you lusting over other people?” Many saw it as some form of disloyalty because obviously I wanted more than what was being given in my current relationship.

This is poppycock.

Rebuttal 1. It’s a fantasy. The likelihood of myself partnering up with any of those people is about as great as winning the Powerball. Anyone who says they don’t fantasize is lying through their teeth.
Rebuttal 2. I can control the fantasy. Simple enough: When I’m day dreaming about  X, I control the what, when, and where (obviously we already have the who).
Rebuttal 3. It’s not so much the actor whom I’m lusting after but their character in a particular movie / tv series / whatever. All of them are gorgeous in their own right but it’s their portrayal in whatever I’ve seen them is what sets my heart aflutter.
Rebuttal 4. Men have been objectifying women since the dawn of time. While men continue to remain the ones in power, I have no qualms on turning the tables on them.
Rebuttal 5. It’s fun.


Here are a couple of examples of my current loves of my lives.


My darling Ólafur plays Andri, the chief of police in a sleepy, remote hamlet in eastern Iceland, in the Icelandic tv series Trapped  (which is currently available on BBC’s iPlayer1). The series is best compared to Fargo (the tv series). Throw in a blizzard, human trafficking, murders, a titch of romance and it’s obvious Ólafur has a lot to do. He’s 6’5 (always a plus), silent, clever, and brooding. (Brooding is always important.) But it’s not so much the tallness or the cleverness that pulls at my heart strings, whether it’s the simmering passion below the surface. The way he is passionate about his work, how he looks at his ex-wife, how he wants to do always do the right thing even if is at the expense of his own safety. There is depth that remains unexplored and ladies and gentlemen, I want to explore that depth.

(I’m not the only whose noticed Ólafur’s allure.)


Shawn Cortese from the TV series, Nothing Trivial
Shawn Cortese from the TV series, Nothing Trivial

I subscribe to Acorn, a streaming service that specilizes in British (and sometimes Australian and New Zealand) tv series with an odd movie here and there.2 Nothing Trivial3 is a series based in Auckland, NZ about a group of misfits who met via a weekly pub trivia quiz. Shawn Cortese, which I’m sure many would argue is hot in his own right as a silver fox, plays Mac, a staid advertising man going through an acrimonious divorce. His love for Katherine, another pub quiz member, is buried beneath their pretense on being friends. As one does, their love ruptures when they’ve been drinking and ends with, “No. No. We can’t do this.” In one particular scene where he and Katherine are in a passionate embrace, he throws her down on the floor and rips her panties off with his teeth which leant me to giggle lasciviously. (Well, he rips her panties off in a lustful manner, which is the same thing.)

At first glance, Cortese’s character is nothing what you would expect me to generate impure thoughts™. He wears button downs and khakis. He’s in advertising. He has a big boy job. He drinks wine for christ’s sake. If I saw him in a bar, I would grant he was attractive but dismiss him almost immediately. But all it took was that one second action that would have me throw myself at him at first opportunity.

I’m such a hussy.


henryrollingsMost of those I meet expect me to woo at men like Henry Rollins. Tattooed. Cranky. Obvious rebel. Creative. Amitous. It makes sense: I’m tattooed. Cranky. Obvious rebel. Creative and ambitious. But there is much more to this world than just obvious physical attraction. The older I get the nuanced my love gets. Primarily, I look for wit and intelligence4. How they treat their families and friends. What they are passionate about and what they are interested in. They need to have spirit and soul. The more intense the better.

There needs to be more than great thighs, big hands, and height.

(And may the gods help me if they look at me like they are going to eat me up.)

(Obviously accents help)

It’s not their physical characteristic that makes me crazy about them, which does help, it’s these characters that burns them into my soul. This is why I love these men with the fire of a 1000 suns.5


Rebuttal 6: Taking control of my sexuality and sensuality.

When you’re a fat girl, the stereotype that continues to perpetuate is no one will love you let alone find you sexy. You will never find a partner who is going to adore you let alone desire you.

When it’s drilled into your head by words, images, and media you will not now nor ever will be seen as the object of someone’s lust, you believe it. The self-loathing is so deep even masturbation is overshadowed by your own self-hatred and touching yourself is taboo. The longer you go without a partner, the more evident it is, to you, all of those fat girl songs are true.

And the adage of, “If you don’t want you, who will?” continues to reverberate through your brain.

The equation is: No one will find you attractive + your self-loathing of your own body = more proof no one will ever want to date you.

It’s a catch-22.

And if they do love you, desire you, lust after you, it’s because you are a fetish and not a person.

No matter my weight, for most of my life I thought this all to be true.

In my early 30s, as I ended a serious relationship and was starting a new chapter in my life, I started to harness the passion that was I knew was simmering below the surface. Everything was sensuous from the food I ate to the perfume I wore to the fabric against my skin. Everything was to be loved and it would love me back.

And it did.

That is when the world opened up in new ways — the more I loved me, the more others loved me. Despite the often crippling social anxiety tossed about with bits of self-loathing, I was not always lousy with others wanting me but this was different. The confidence I was slowly building helped changed me on the approach and reciprocation of relationships, platonic and romantic. The self-loathing was beaten at bay and with that came self-esteem and self-respect.

All of this is tenuous. Fragile. Delicate. That brief period when I not only was in love with the world and myself was short. All that hard work started to slide when I started dating TheEx and by the middle of my marriage a few years later, the idea of someone finding me desirous was laughable.

It took everything I had to hold a shred of self-respect.

Then as I was then, here I was now: No one was ever going to find me desirable let alone love me and all of this came crashing to a head in October 2015.

It takes everything to hold on to a modicum of self-respect.

From a stranger’s glance, you know this is not necessarily true. Within the last couple of years, I have (had) two men declare I was the love of their lives. I have had many tell me, without fetishizing me, how wonderful was my body. Everything about me has been adored in some fashion or another.

I shouldn’t feel unloved or not lusted after and yet here we are.

Self-loathing has packed its bags and decided I was a long term stay Air BnB. Any good that came out of that period when I was in love with myself has long left. When I look in the mirror now, it’s very seldom I see an attractive person in front me. Instead I see myself as fat. Ugly. Not the least bit sexual or sensual.

Much as I felt in my 20s and late 30s.

At the root, logically, I know this not to be true. i know if I can bring out the sexy goddess who lives deep inside of me once, I can do it again. It’s going to be a struggle. It’s going to be hard. It’s not going to be pretty, but I will rescue her now as I had all those years ago and this time she will stay for good

So yes, there will be much lustful conversations about what turns me on. This body, my body, does not contain an unsensual, let alone unsexual, persona. I keep saying logically, but it’s true, logically I know that what I believe is bullshit — it’s the emotional crap that fucks you up and beats you down so bad you’re part of the floor.

You may not find this to be tasteful or have a purpose or part of your mores, but this isn’t your life, it’s my life. It’s time to tell the naysayers and the evil voices who make my life miserable to suck it haters and I’ll bloom like a fucking flower.

xoxo,
Lisa

P.S. And dimples. Can’t forget the dimples. Also someone who can raise their eyebrow to give you a most stern look. No why that particular feat of muscular control drives me to lust but yes, yes it does.


1. I’ve been raving about the show after mainlining all 10 episodes over the last couple of days. If you can find it, I implore you to watch!
2. Acorn was the first service to have Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries long before it was on PBS or Amazon.
3. I’ve also mainlined Nothing Trivial‘s seasons 1 and 2 and am impatiently waiting for season 3 to show up on Acorn. Maybe if I sacrifice something? I’m on pins and needles here.
4. If you believe in such things, the average IQ score of my previous mens hovers in the 150 range.
5. The conversation with regards to my love life can be distilled to the two most important men in my life: TheBassist and TheExHusband. I loved the others as much as they’d let me but they never quite caught my heart as much as TheBassist or TheExHusband, especially TheBassist. The general quip I hear when I have said there will never be anyone else like him is, “Of course not! Those are separate people, etc etc.” To which I respond, “You poor soul. You have no idea do you?” Fuck ’em.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014

dickensian scenes

.Dear Internet,

I started this a few weeks ago with intent on having it auto-post when I got back to Louisville and of course I never got around to finishing the damned thing; think of this as a catcher-up.


re: The featured image: I’m being mindful of not taking over TheExHusband’s condo but I was allowed to put up my Pop! collection “as long as they are gone when you move out.” Charming guy, that ExHusband.

From left to right: Oswald Cobblepot, Groot, Agent Carter, Kal Drogo, Drogon, Ragnar, Lagertha, Alcide, Darth Maul, and Thor.


I’m doing holiday cards for the first time in ages this year. If you want in on the action, sign up here.

And to step up the game, I’m making the cards this year and some will be pop-ups.


Currently I’m in the kitchen area of TheExHusband’s condo putting together a play list of work out music. Which lead me to continue with my favorite obsession. musing on mix-tapes. To wit: I was cleaning off my hard drive recently and found an unnamed mix tape I made probably in the 2006-2008 range based on the music. It was probably for TheEx as the songs are, from a listening point of view, from that period. I renamed the mix, “Music For Old Flames” (there are also songs reminiscent of TheExHusband and TheBassist), and added only one additional song, GMF (Greatest Mother Fucker) by John Grant, which came out last year.

(Because I am the greatest mother fucker that you’ll ever meet.)

I won’t pretend to be a genius at making mix-tapes but I have my favorites which tend to show up on a regular basis (Ahem. JoyDiv’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). Yet sometimes I even surprise myself. Last year I made “The Gods Were Listening” mix with nary a thought of JoyDiv!

As Spotify seems to be one of the best places to make mix tapes, it hasn’t deterred me of plowing through my digital music collection (currently over 100gigs and 20K songs) to find treasure. One conclusion screaming out is the most obvious: I like a lot of depressing shit. I come of age in the late ’80s, early ’90s and my taste greatly reflects the period. I used to say, to anyone who would listen, great music stopped in ’94. ’96 tops. That is not necessarily true – a lot of my new favorite bands came up through the ’00s and ’10s. But I gravitate towards UK bands (specifically Madchester and moody Scottish bastards), chill, and dancey pop songs.

Yet it’s getting harder and harder to connect to new music as I tend to listen to only retro channels in Jeeves or one of the pre-fab lists from Spotify, mainly chill stations so my on fire brain can slow the fuck down. I keep a wish list of bands I’ve heard over the years, on Amazon, whose music I wish to collect but to be truthful, going through those track listings today does not hit the remembrance area at all.

I stopped listening to music for a long time as there was too many feelings (FEELINGS) associated with a lot of the songs/bands that it became almost too painful to listen to any music.

I’ve slowly reacclimatizing myself back into the music world and as I’ve mentioned, it’s slow going. My brain flips through a thousand images and memory sparks of where I heard this song or that band. I can never listen to Elbow’s “Newborn” without recalling listening to it on the metro in Rome. “GMF” recalls John Grant, who opened for Elbow in 2014ish in Chicago. Any Bloc Party = TheEx. Interpol = TheBassist. New Order = High School Sweetheart. Bob Dylan = TheExHusband. 50 Cent = my brother. And so forth and so on. It’s not just people but also places, things, happenings. “Head On” by Jesus and Mary Chain = early ’20s clubbing. Morissey/Siouxie/The Cure = Slit Your Wrist hour at a local to GR radio station. Atari Teenage Riot = ExFiance #2. Tool = ExFiance #1.

(TheEx is/was heavily into Stereolab and I still get stabby when I hear the intro to any of their songs.)

The list goes on and on.

As emotionally painful this has been as of late, I’m forcing myself to continue on to reclaim these songs for me. I’ve done this before, and it’s hard, but it must be done.


TheExHusband and I left the cabin last week and I’ve never been more thrilled to leave a place in my entire life. We spent the weekend and that morning finishing up the little things to get us out of here, things we should have done (or I should have done) before the first week of October as originally planned. But life happens, you move on or you get rolled over. I’m a fan of moving on.

But hey! I don’t have to drive 22 miles to do laundry. I can have food at a zillion different places within walking distance. I can go do things without having to plot out the distance and last but not least, there is cement beneath my feet.

I’ll miss the trees, the silence, and the unobstructed sky, but once a city girl, always a city girl.


Once we got back to the condo I’ve been unpacking, repacking, and organizing what is mine for what seems like the 100th time. I’ve been donating loads of stuff again but It’s nice to have access to all of my things and being able to get to items in need. It’s been like fucking christmas up in here with “Hey! I forgot I had that!” happening once every 15 minutes.

While I will always been grateful to TheExHusband and TheBassist for opening up their homes to me, it was still their spaces and I did not, honestly, feel terribly comfortable putting my mark in case I overstepped my bounds. I’ve gotten so used to living within my small physical means, it’s difficult to understand what is mine anymore. TheExHusband has plainly stated he doesn’t care what I put up to make the space more “mine” as long as those things are gone when I move out. The Pop! figurines, so far, are the only items that are showcased in his space.

With the unpacking, repacking, and sorting of things I’ve started the arduous process of packing up TheBassist’s stuff and things that remind me of him, putting them in storage. Two months+ on his shirts still smell heavily of his scent. I was planning on burning the flammable things when I was at the cabin but got frightened on losing his tactile memory. Instead, I buried those items deep in one of my suitcases as we were packing up to leave and then into a box of their own.

(Burning the flammables would have been the easy way out and if there is anything true about me is I do not do easy.)

It’s especially hard as TheBassist and I lived together long enough for our laundry to be intertwined. No special soaps were used but the combination of daily household products smells distinctly of his house and more pointedly of him. I’ve refrained from wearing the clothes I had with me when I was in CT as much as I can from those far away laundry days. At one point I may have to just do a load of all those items to purge my olfactory senses from continually going into overdrive.

Some items, like my Pops! and mini MINIs, will not get stored. Those are my things, things I would have bought on my own. The memory that he was the one purchased them will soon pass.

The love letters and the goofy signs he would make for me when I would arrive at the airport will remain in my travel file cabinet. Surprisingly I haven’t read them over and over again (remember I purged his texts and FB messages. Email is archived. His digital footprint will be deeply buried in my NAS), which may surprise some. I may be in pain but I’m not an idiot.

Purging TheBassist has been easier than would have thought. Yes, I have tangible things and yes, I often think of him, and yes, my heart is still broken BUT!, and this is important, I’m not letting this keep me paralyzed from having a life. I’m fucking determined to do for me rather than do for him with the hopes he will come back. I’ve been doing for him (and TheExHusband) to some extent for far too long. I tried to be the girl they wanted me to be.

Time to get selfish.

Of course a week or two after the break-up my thoughts meandered to, “I AM GOING TO REVENGE DATE. FUCK THEBASSIST.” I’m only human after all and a girl has needs. But the thought of starting the process all fucking over again of meeting someone (how classy would it be to hook up with someone while still living with TheExHusband?), starting the life story business, and all the trappings of dating life makes me ill. Watching my friends, most in their 30s, dancing on the dating floor is pushing me to swear I WILL NEVER DATE AGAIN. I once reasoned if the whole TheBassist/TheExHusband blew up in my face (which it did), I wanted a dog, my books, and a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows, natch) for my nights. Fuck the world. Fuck love. Fuck everything.

But I’m human. I need to remind myself of my own humanity and I’m not built for being alone. (Not really.) Own space? Sure. Independent? Absolutely. But alone? Never.

When searching for some posts about music, I came across my old profile I used on dating sites nearly a decade ago: Sassy Skirt Seeks Alliterative Ally. I chuckled because 80% of that profile is still true and one I would probably use again.

Dating, however, scares me. I don’t want dick pics. I don’t want to be with someone whose sole communication is digital. I don’t want a burned out, twice divorced 50 year old who couldn’t rock out at a concert. (Christ. I could date a 50 year old without nary a thought to age difference. Gross.)

I want the male version of me.

I’m a jeans and tshirt kind of girl. I swap hair color with the wisp of the wind. I read comics and Jane Austen. I like opera and Icelandic indie. I’m a dichotomy and just like everyone else. You won’t catch me in heels, suits, or my hair in a chignon. I won’t do Jamberry parties or live in the suburbs. I won’t obsess about having a blow out or catching sales at Nordstrom. My nail polish will always be black or a similar hue. I’m always going to get more tattoos. I’m always going to want to travel the world, make snow angles, and marathon watch period pieces AND Harry Potter. I’m always going to collect toys, watch Doctor Who, and wear something with a skull on it. I

I just, in fact, bought a sweater with a Union Jack giant skull on the front.

I sleep with a teddy bear I’ve had since I was 3.

I also want want to argue the critical analysis of late Baroque painters. I want to have conversations about Romantic poets. I want to be swayed why the Bronte’s are the shit. The influences of Romans in classical architecture.

I’m just not your average 43 year old.

Some, it has been said, want me to act my age and stop being an overgrown teenage boy. Look, I can adult. I can hold down a professional job, live on my own, pay my bills, and get shit done. This may not seem OBVIOUS right now as I’m broke, living with my ex-husband, and my mental brain has been all over the place, but before the last 18 months happened? It was all true.

Back to the dating thing. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been single for longer than a few months. TheExHusband and I first dated from 1998-99. ExFiance #2 from 1999-2002. ExFiance #1 (again) from 2003-04. Patrick and Derrick in 2004. TheBassist from 2004-05. TheEx from 2006-08. TheExHusband from 2008-14. TheBassist from 2014-15.

My heart is tired.

And this kind of serial monogamy is what I called TheBassist on when I’m just as guilty of the same thing.

No more. If I want to break the cycle, and I have to break the cycle, I need to take a year off of having my heart trampled. I’m not a casual sex person so that’s easy. Just no jumping into relationships this very second, which shouldn’t be a problem since the dating tap dance makes me queasy.

Pinky swear.

(Plus neither of TheBassist or TheExHusband were fliters, and I used to flirt a lot, so I have no idea how to flirt anymore.)

To sum: Boys have cooties; Lisa has her chastity belt on.


In other painful things, I interviewed for a librarian position based in Louisville last week. I have an interview next week with a CT college. I, of course, sent myself into tizzy if I had to come out to CT for the second interview and should I contact TheBassist and OMGHERD. What would I do?! First, calm the fuck down Lisa and get through the Skype interview. If you have to come out to CT for the in-person interview, so what? It’s a job. You need money. You’ve wanted this position for a year (it’s a repost). The money, even with the higher cost of living, is fabulous. The area is lovely. You’re close to NYC and Boston. The social plans you’re putting in motion in KY can be applied to CT. You’re 43 years old, buck it up lady.

That quelled my panic. Situation under control. You’ve got this.

I talk to myself. A lot.


Speaking of social, I’ve joined loads of MeetUp groups in the Louisville area and tomorrow I’m heading to a open social. I know, I know, I’m putting pants on and leaving the house. And I’m dragging TheExHusband with me so he can get aired out.


And finally! My fucking brain.

I made an appointment with an APRN to manage my drugs. Intakes are always a delight as you recount your entire sexual and medical history to a stranger for an hour. At least this one did not ask me to roll up my sleeves to verify I was not using needles.

My new APRN and I get along well, which is a relief. We talked about my goals and the big one is to

TURN MY FUCKING BRAIN OFF WHEN IT GOES INTO OVERDRIVE ONCE A MONTH.

So there’s that.

It has mostly to do with hormones when I start ovulating, but it’s disrupting my life and it’s making me feel like I’m crazy. The crying jags and the irrational decisions are making my life harder. I just cannot deal with that aspect of my brain anymore.

Other than that, I feel pretty stable, clear headed, and in control.

He’s taking me off of Abilify (thank fuck) and putting me on Risperidone since it’s not a weight gainer (I’ve gained 20-25 lbs on Abilify) and what is one of the first side effects of Risperidone? Weight gain! Jesus fuck!

So that’s me. How are you?

xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013

catastrophic

Dear Internet,

There is a before before to this story.

I’m currently wrapped up like a mummy at the cabin where it is currently 60F outside, prepping it for winterizing for TheExHusband. I stopped by a local village to have dinner one night when I saw TheEx. Remember TheEx? Oh, I sure as hell do. My rage against him may have subsided but the idea of cutting off his member and dissecting his testes still tastes warm and fresh in my mouth.

So there I was, having dinner, and I see him with a woman and some kid. Maybe his wife? Why else would he be up in this area? His parents have a condo in a large ski/golfing resort that is so full of white privilege, you may contract hives. Why else would he be up here if not with his (current) woman? Why do I care so much?

Because I’m nosy as hell and all of my questions must be answered.

He saw me; of course he saw me. How could you miss me and my overly obnoxious laugh? We played peek a boo through stranger’s shoulders. I forced dessert down my throat to prevent leaving before him. I won the fake war of insolence.

And of course we didn’t say a word to the other! What kind of heathen do you think I am?

Once when we were together, actually many times, his road rage almost killed us. As I said in the above piece, he would beg, cajole, and plead his apologies; me forgiving him as a woman (then) rightly should. I was blinded by everything — he was the (then) closest substitute to TheBassist and I was hungry for that connection. TheBassist and I had been broken up for 1 1/2 years – the thought that I found someone so much like him (but not him) was too much to ignore. I was blinded by the probability. Lusted after the possibility of a TheBassist lesser.

Boy, was I glamorized.

Seven years later, TheEx and I are side-eying each other in a restaurant.

TheEx left me a gift all those years ago, not that you swine, but a new anxiety that causes a fear of driving. Specifically on highways.

It’s called catastrophic thinking, and I had no idea it had a name until a clinician recently asked me a few questions as I spoke, giving a name to the demon.

I run scenarios in my head, while driving, from getting decapitated by a semi getting out of control to careening into cement barriers to having my car going dead in the middle of a major construction area. This despite all of the assurances I give myself such as if Jeeves broke down every 1000 miles, you have bigger problems to there are others who are sharing this anxiety with you right this very second (thanks meditation!). No matter what I do, short of taking drugs, I can’t shake the thoughts of something happening while I’m driving.

To illustrate the point of the ridiculousness of this thinking, last week I drove a thousand miles from the east coast to ThrobbingCabin to help TheExHusband out. I wasn’t getting any job offers, or even interviews, I was going stir crazy, so I left. Again. I figured the sojourn to the cabin would do me good (true), help me think clearly (true), save on finances (also true).

I drove alone.

The only hiccup was getting lost because fuck a Ohio turnpike and their terrible directions!

So I drove a thousand miles, nothing happened, and I’m more or less (more) driving a thousand miles back at the end of the month.

Rationally, RATIONALLY, I know what I’m thinking is irrational. I know that the likelihood of a fatal car accident is .0103% or 1 in 10,000 for every 100,000 people. The likelihood of getting into a car accident at all is 1.76%.  I KNOW THIS. I know this, but I cannot stop thinking about what that less than 1% means to me.

(This thought process exploded last night as I came back from the city to cabin; 20 miles of unlit highway. Me with my Xenon beams and assholes with their brights, in front and behind. My eyes ached and I had a headache for most of the night after my driving escapade. Tonight I’m heading back to the city and I’m nervous, ALREADY THOUGH IT’S HOURS AND HOURS AWAY, of coming back here. Fuck a duck.)

I talk myself down. I remind myself I have driven across these United States with nary a thought, TWICE. I’ve driven from Michigan to the east coast at least six times in the last year. Some of it alone. I’ve driven to lots of long places, by myself, and I come out fine. So why the freak out?

With me, anxiety can be drilled down to a singular incident which builds upon itself into this catastrophic thinking. TheEx’s road rage has finally manifested itself all these years later, which causes me even more irritation than anger because I just want to be done with him. This hold over me is paper thin but it ill not rip. It’s annoying and in some ways, it’s fucking with my life.

Because it’s paralyzes me. It paralyzes me to the point I often cannot leave the house, enjoy my time socially with other people, or even enjoy a nice car ride.

My therapist says most anxieties can be worked through, controlled, and often cured. I am too impatient to get rid of the driving one, I want it to begone! But it’s something I have to control and work on, slowly and methodically.

Something that only I can deliver myself from. And lots of Klonopin.

xoxo,
Lisa

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This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2012, 2010, 2008, 2008, 2000, 1999