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.
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
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?

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2013


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.


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

Drunk Cabin Time

Dear Internet,
I decided to get drunk last night – because that is what writers do! They get drink and let it all fucking go and in that aspect of my career, I am sadly far, far behind.
TheHusband and I have a pretty well stocked bar at Throbbing Manor and we never, ever partake. Like ever. There are loads of reason for this, ranging from alcoholism in our individual family histories to my bipolar. Neither of us have cultivated a taste for alcohol “just because” we like the taste, it was always about getting drunk; this attitude ruled much of our 20s.
But I’m 42 now. Adult. Need to step up the game. Get serious about letting go and learning how to handle my alcohol much more responsibly than I did back then. That’s why I made sure to bring up some delights from home for my writing retreat.
So it was entirely in the realms of the possible I start mixing myself white russians while waiting for the 42 year old stove take 1023984102938 minutes to boil some goddamn pasta for my dinner.
(TheDrunk informed me last night via Facebook I made the amateur mistake of carbing up before drinking. One should only do that if they are planning on a day long binge, like beer fests.)
During all of this, I decided I really needed to hear Aphex Twin. Which turned into me mixing a 33 song set, while regaling people on the Internets of g-d nearly every song, lyric, and dance moves coupled with stories behind songs I was choosing. I even started ranting about TheEx for a bit with the thought if I ever saw him again, six years on now, I’d rip his testicles off and shove them down his throat.
I’ve totally grown up and gotten over my anger — I didn’t use the word “balls.”

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You will note Aphex Twin is not anywhere on the list.
I spent a lot of time “singing” and “dancing” around the cabin, with the blinds wide open on the and not giving two fucks. And I’m using quotes here because shit starts moving when in places you don’t expect when one dances.  So I decided to tell the world that, and then this happened.
I sort of got clued in around 2AM that I was not the least bit tired, I was ready for yet another glass of my magic potion, and I could continue mixing my love song to the 90s tape for a few more hours.
So of course I was probably manic. Durr.
To wind the night down, I decided to make a Vine to prove the darkness of the night and in the background, you can hear the BZZZZZZZ of the cherry orchard equipment running at 2 goddamn in the AM. They are fertilizing and or picking cherries, according TheHusband.
(Sorry, the Vine autostarts!)
[iframe class=”vine-embed” src=”” width=”600″ height=”600″ frameborder=”0″]
Hilarity: I had to google how to use Vine because I am old and forgetful.
There is something infinitely freeing about just letting it all the fuck go. Not getting sloppy drunk, or getting maudlin drunk (though that was close to happen there for a hot second, but I pulled out of it).
I woke up this morning with nary a trace of a hung over, while it was probably the carbs and the gallons of water I drunk before bed, I’m giving thanks to my Scottish ancestry for stepping up like woah, lassie.
Time for tea.

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2008, 2003, 1999, 1998

daily walk: Bear Paw Pizza

Dear Internet,
Our story begins last night when TheHusband and I decided to head up to Northport, a village 20 miles north of Throbbing Cabin in the tip of the peninsula accessible by the lovely twisty turny M22, where we went for dinner and to catch the Fourth of July fireworks.
Last year we showed up when the fireworks were beginning and parking was near impossible, so this year we thought we would be slick and go super early, get a good spot, have dinner, and wander around town before the show began at dusk.
Aren’t we a clever lot?
We arrived sometime after 6PM and found parking easily in the downtown area, which was a few blocks from the marina where the fireworks are held. People were already picnicking and saving spots four plus hours before the show was to begin, so you know this event is legit.
Dinner was pulled pork sammiches with sweet potato chips at the Garage Grill & Fuel Lot, which had all the makings of becoming a favorite of ours. I thought the pulled pork was heavy on the grease and less on the BBQ, while TheHusband raved about how great the pork was smoked. The sweet potato chips and coleslaw were divine, so I didn’t trouble myself much over the greasy BBQ.
All of this washed down with the nectar of the gods, Labatt Blue.
We walked around town for a bit after dinner, having a drink at Northport Brewing, before heading over camp our spots at the park for the night.
Sometime after we finished dinner, and around the time we got drinks, I started feeling not so hot. My period started that afternoon before we left, so I put the blame on it even though I kept feeling like I needed to throw up which was NOT a typical period accoutrement.
The rest of the night alternately crawled and sped on by while I struggled with brain issues, stomach issues, and period issues. Plus, the weather had turned decidedly cooler, dipping into the 50s before the evening was over.
Last night would be the second night in a row I would need to use a heating blanket. Pure Michigan, my arse.
TheHusband and I played Words with Friends during the wait for the boom show, but the battery life on my phone was draining insanely fast and when it hit 23%, immediately depleted itself to 0%. I managed to catch a vague sharp picture of floating lanterns being released into the sky but not a single image of the fireworks show.

Floating lanterns before the fireworks show. The white blob is the moon, not aliens.

The crowd was pulsing as the night wore on. Drunk soccer moms and their families camped in front of us and became surly when we declined the cupcake topper American flags they offered us in their half-hearted attempt of friendly patriotism.
Every once in a while a drunk voice would yell, “‘MURICA!” and the crowd would laugh. Everyone around us seemed to be having a good time while my mood became darker, my stomach was in agony, and the temperature continued to drop.
We could see the fireworks show from down the bay in Traverse City and across the bay over in the Eastport area, both of which began at around 10PM. Northport advertise “at dusk,” but actually start their show at 10:30PM and at 10:30PM on the dot, the show began. After 20 minutes of their half-hearted fireworks show, TheHusband gave in to my agony and suggested we leave to beat the crowd.
On the drive back, I kept muttering, “I feel like I’m going to throw up” and “I don’t feel good” and YET, nothing was forthcoming. I drowned some Pepto when we got home, took a Klonopin for my mood, and went to bed.
Three hours later, I up in bed out of a dead sleep. “I don’t feel good,” I said to myself as I made my way down to the bathroom.
Literally the moment I flipped on the bathroom light, the heaving started. I knelt and clutched the toilet as dinner, beer, and Pepto all came back up. The force of the constant heaving turned my throat raw and my stomach into pin cushion.
Once everything was out of my system, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and crawled back upstairs into bed. TheHusband rubbed my back while I fell back asleep, finally having relief in getting rid of the alien out of my stomach.
This morning was slow going.
I didn’t wake up until later, snuggling under TheHusband’s arms while he read Grantland or some other ESPN derivative on his tablet. Today we were going to go on a hike, then head to Traverse City for Cherry Festival and see Emili. None of those things happened. Instead, after a brunch of toast and OJ, we got dressed to run errands – like picking up a ladder and buying tampons. (The bloodwolves are devourous creatures.)
We crisscrossed Home Depot so many times, we actually got a mile in which means — hurray! Walk for the day completed.
Dinner was depending on if my stomach felt better (pizza) or not (burgers on the grill). I figured since my stomach was already all fucked up from whatever the fuck it is I ate the day before, eating cheese was going to be fair less painful.
I had been bragging to TheHusband for the last few years that when I used to come up to this area with TheEx, we would get pizza from Bear Paw and it was the best pizza I ever had.
Distance: A mile round trip through Home Depot
Walk time: N/A
Pace: N/A
Apparently my memories of the pizza are rose colored memories because once that first slice hit my mouth, I had to concede it wasn’t that great. I tentatively ate a few slices while we discussed the merits of good vs bad pizza. After dinner, we declared to the other now that dinner was complete, we would relax for a bit before doing some long overdue DIY around the cabin and putting our telescope together to take to the beach later in the evening.
The flag of St. George flies at Throbbing Cabin. ‘Murica.

Five hours later, I’m still on the chaise writing. TheHusband is still in his chair reading and we’ve been listening to a mix of Calypso, Mambo, and ’60s protest music while we did our individual things.
Fuck it. It’s vacation time. The gutters can wait another day to be cleaned; the hammock will get hung at some point. The stars will still be there tomorrow for our gaze.

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

invasion of the barbarians: safe space

To support NaNoWriMo this month, I’m finishing the 30+ odd drafts laying about and posting them through the month of November.
I wrote a charming man sometime in 2008, but never posted it. I wrote a companion piece, Friends don’t let friends waste wine when there’s stories to sell over on LiveJournal within a day or two of a charming man, but that one I posted with glee. Why I posted one and not the other, I have no fucking idea. It is what it is, but it’s important to note that they were written the same day or within days of the other.
These two pieces are related to the the piece below, which I wrote sometime in late 2010 when I found out by sheer happenstance, almost right before TheHusband and I moved back to Grand Rapids, the TheEx was living and working in the Royal Oak area where TheHusband and I were still living. While nearly 2.5 years had passed since TheEx and I had seen each other at the time that I wrote the piece, I spent my remaining days living in the area on high alert that either he was going to find me or I would see him and kill him.
My idea, I believe, in writing this piece was to convey several ideas; namely that no matter how much you work through the pain and tragedy, no matter how much you can forgive, you are still always carrying around shrapnel of that hurt. And all it can take is just a very small trigger to bring the full experience back to life again. The second idea was that I felt, even selfishly, that I had pissed around Royal Oak, marking it as my own and how dare he come to MY land and disturb MY world. Irrational? Fuck yes, but I am thinking that I wanted to write that no matter how far you have come from somewhere, there is always at least something that can send you right back to that space, if not physically, at least emotionally.
The end does not finish cleanly, which I’m leaving as I wrote it last year. I remember now that I struggled so much writing the below, even without having read Friends don’t let friends waste wine when there’s stories to sell.
It’s been 3.5 years since that night when the events of a charming man/Friends don’t let friends waste wine when there’s stories to sell take place and I have not seen TheEx.
I hope I never see him again.
[This post may contains verbiage and/or descriptions that may be triggering to those who have suffered physical, sexual or verbal abuse. Educate yourself: Globally, 1 in 3 women will be abused in her lifetime. ]
I am a survivor of:

  • Physical abuse
  • Attempted gang rape
  • Several date rapes

This in addition to physical, emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of several partners.
Do I have your attention now?
I need for you to know the background in order to understand the various levels emotions that are going to spill out. In “normal” circumstances, finding out an ex-lover is living in your city is typically nothing to note. Finding out the abusive, predatory jackass you were once involved in, whom you thought lived far, far away, is another. Realising that you’re dedicated safe space has been invaded, even if unintentionally, can be traumatizing. If the safe space isn’t really “safe,” then where else do you have left to go?
Now let me begin.
A few years ago I met and dated someone I thought was the bees knees. I have referred to him, on and off, in the past as TheEx. We met, we fell in love, we lived together. Shit got bad. Shit got worse. Shit got downright awful.
The stereotype of what they say about abusers is true: They are charming, sweep you off your feet as if you were ever the only one and you have NO IDEA they are manipulative, controlling abusive assholes until your knee deep in their bullshit and wondering how the fuck you got here, because you’re a smart girl and you’d NEVER be blindsided by this shit. And then there is a slight humiliation to the whole thing because you thought you were “better than that” and by “better than that” I mean you thought would not fall for such trickery. You are, of course, wrong.
I knew TheEx had “problems” with his ex but his spin was the marriage had gone bad, there may have been a little something but it was a one time occurrence. TheEx was under advisement of several medical and psychological doctors, so how bad can it be? He’s getting help, right? Pish! It was nothing! Merely a trifle.
TheEx, of course, spun HisEx as the crazy bitch from hell and that in the grand scheme of things, he was the spurned one (of course). Even his mother would jump on this proverbial bandwagon that HisEx was a money grubbing harlot, low class with no talent who hurt her baby boy. Sure, TheEx has problems! But, who doesn’t?! And he’s under medical and psychiatric care so it’s not like the problems are being addressed! Who am I to worry!
And the fact that HisEx, after the divorce, not only left the state but would not give TheEx her address or contact info under any reason should have been a big red signal, but it wasn’t. Because the seeds had already been planted by him, for weeks at this point, about how he was scorned one and etc. And he so pitched the woo to me that I scoffed at the circumstances. Naive, I know. But my reasoning was that I had been involved myself with crazy people and while not abusive, there were some levels you just do not want to cross. I put HisEx in that category.
My burning hatred, which is now simmering embers but could go up at any time, can be best explained in this post on LiveJournal, which has been private for the better part of two years. It was public for a short duration, after it was written, and then made private a month or two later.1
1. The striking difference of my LiveJournal (before I started x-posting blog entries from here to there) and anywhere else was the easy, openness and laxness in which I wrote. Most of which was due to having security controls for each entry individually rather than an all or nothing setting found in most social networks. I could freely discuss my sex life, which I did regularly, without ramifications since I could privatize those entries. Upon beginning my MLIS program in 2008, I locked down the entire journal from public view to prevent any kind of “misunderstandings” about the content.

A charming man

To support NaNoWriMo this month, I’m finishing the 30+ odd drafts laying about and posting them through the month of November.
Late summer or early fall of 2007, TheEx and I made the joint agreement to apply to grad schools together. The plan of attack was to apply to schools that offered programs for both of interests (he, urban planning; me, library and info sciences). We made plans, contingent plans, and back-up plans for almost every possible outcome.
Except for breaking up.
I mention this because on in August of 2008, TheEx moved to Ann Arbor to attend U of M while I’m moved somewhere in the general Detroit area (location undetermined as of yet) to attend Wayne State for my MLIS program. Over the course of the summer of 2008, shortly after we broke up, we’ve started hanging out once or twice a week by going to movies, seeing concerts, and having dinner.
After a few awkward steps of figuring out the deal with how to proceed with the fallout of the break-up, since I came back from the U.K. in mid-June of 2008, things have gone fairly well. We see each other when we see each other, I honestly didn’t think twice about the arrangement (And no, I’m not kidding myself.) and just thought that things being as they were, I was/am okay with the set-up.
And for the better part of that summer, I was told over and over and OVER again by everyone and sundry that I was making a huge mistake. I was making things worse by continuing to be involved with someone when the healing process of the break-up had yet to begin. I was putting myself on the line for something that may or may not ever pan out, regardless of which direction. I sought out therapy (paid and friends), walking, knitting, trips, yoga, doing sage cleanses, and seeing a palm reader. (Who, incidentally enough, predicted the break-up two days before it happened in which I poo-poohed her decision. I thought everything was fine between TheEx and I, only to find out said two days later, it clearly wasn’t.
And I’m stubborn.
I ignored the commentary from well-meaning friends, because if I was okay with how things were going, then isn’t that the main concern? And if I could reconcile the past and put forth energy into the future with being friends with him, and was totally okay with that, isn’t that what it is ultimately all about?
And lastly, I had already thought long and hard about the probability of him seeing someone else, thus, knowing I wasn’t going to be happy about it (more so with my ego over anything else), but you know, I’m an over educated woman of the ’00s, I’ve been around the block a few times, I know how these things work. You meet someone, you date, it ends, you grieve for X amount of time, you move on.
But how the relationship ended, why it ended and the after math were different from prior relationships I have ever been in and thus, I had no road map to work from. I made mistakes in the beginning of the break-up, lost some footing and floundered once or twice, but I always quickly regained my steps and I made sure to always put myself first before anything else.
Because he was leaving G-Rap (more than likely for good), we decided to get together for one final hang out session. Change is afoot and change is never really easy, as we all know. I picked him up and we opted to head for dinner at a place we’ve frequented before and for ice cream afterwards; a typical TheEx and Lisa evening. Dinner was fine, we were having a good time talking about our upcoming school plans and walked over to grab ice cream afterwards only to discover the line was too long. We then opted to head to another favorite place, walking there from his current adobe and enjoying the same brand of ice cream with very little wait.
As we’re sitting outside, he totally getting into his mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone and me attempting to eat a very messy soft serv Twist dipped in hardshell, TheEx brings up that he has to talk to me about heavy topics.
“Is this about the New York Times billing?”, I inquire while ice cream drips all over my hands and onto the ground.
“No,” says he.
He then launches into what now sounds like a pre-rehearsed monologue about how he may begin dating in three weeks, three months or three years and I need to be happy for him. And if I’m not happy for him, then the onus is on myself. (I’m paraphrasing the later, not the former.)
I’m stunned.
I toss my now soggy cone into the garbage and attempt to collect my thoughts but I find that I don’t really have anything to say. Prior to our meeting, I had thought of some things I wanted to say to him this fine August evening but decided that by doing so would be pointless, some things were just better left unsaid. I just assumed that our relationship, with the change in geography and lifestyles, would eventually peter out and we would go on with our own lives in much different directions. I had maintained the relationship for most of the summer by almost sheer force of Lisa-ness: Most of the planning, getting together and encouraging friendship was my idea. At some level, he really is an ultra-cool guy but he’s a loner, who barely sees anyone outside of his family even when he was working and had cultivated work relationships. Most of his friends, his longtime friends, lived outside of the city or even the state. Those in city are busy with their own lives, as people are wont to do. Our social life when we were together was cultivated by my social circle, not his and when we split, he moved back into hermit mode once again.
And we talked about this, his lack of making the effort for anything when we were together as a couple and later, as we attempted to build a friendship. A lot of the decision process in regards to social activity always tended to lay on my shoulders and I was growing more frustrated as our intimate relationship grew and later our platonic relationship and he said he knew that was a problem with him and he needed to “work on it.” Whatever the hell that means, I’m now guessing.
We stumble over conversation for a bit and it was getting difficult to talk while people were coming in and out of the ice cream store. I requested that we head back to his place and sit on the front porch to finish this discussion. We walk back in silence and I’m attempting to formulate my thoughts but I find that I’m angry? Pissed? Upset? I can’t name the emotion that is bubbling towards the surface. Other than a drunken faux paus I made last weekend when we were at a wedding together, I had not made the moves towards him romantically — I can’t handle a romantic relationship with anyone right now. Yes, deep in my heart of hearts, perhaps I did want us to “date” again but when things were better, when stuff was more settled and I could handle knowing what I know and reconcile all of this together. Dating him now would be too easy, it wouldn’t be worthwhile for me emotionally to go through all of this again.
I know this, rationally and logically, I have gone over this a gazillion times with my shrink, my friends and with myself. I know a lot of things about why this relationship wouldn’t work, why I would ultimately would not be happy and why I am doing nothing but beating myself up against the wall. But there is something, something I cannot name that pulls me to him. When he calls or when I’m around him, I’m like a 15 year old girl. Call it love, call it infatuation, call it a crush but one thing that is agreed upon by people who know him is that he is a charming man.
I don’t know how long we “talked,” an hour? More? Less? I keep trying to put together the conversations, stilted.
“I did not or have not felt romantically towards you all summer and I have no desire to pursue a relationship with you now, or ever.”
“Did you fall out of love with me,” I asked.
“I guess, if you want to call it that” says he.
“Are you still attracted to me,” I venture further. (Masochist, I am.)
“That’s irrelevant,” he responds. “I cannot be in a relationship with you because I cannot commit emotionally or physically with you or with anyone. I do not want to get your hopes up. It doesn’t feel good, for me, to think that way.”
The above was written sometime in late 2008, before TheHusband I got back together and when I was still reeling from the aftermath of my relationship with TheEx. There is quite a few more posts about TheEx lurking about my draft box, hundreds of words that I cannot bear to trash and that need to be made public to the world.
Update: September, 2013
I haven’t spoken to TheEx or seen him since the above conversation took place five years ago. Reading this now, one would think the relationship broke off due to any myriad of usual breaking off reasons. TheEx and I broke up because he hit me. We broke up because he has a long history of physically assaulting his women, which I had found out via happenstance when we were still together of the depth and breadth of the assaults that lead to police charges and jail time.
TheEx is also Bipolar, with various other mental ailments but on a much larger, and more dangerous, scale then I could ever be. Whether or not his physical abuse is tied to his mental issues is a blurred line, but despite the 2x a week shrink he was seeing by the time we met and the rainbow of drugs in his life, these treatments were obviously not enough.
I thought I could change him, having just come off my time in behavioral therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder. I thought I had changed him. I was wrong. After he had hit me, and the furor had died down, and he had moved out, I wanted to immediately protect him. I wanted to comfort him and tell him that it was a one time thing and would never happen again. I wanted to forget he had hit because he would never do it again, previous history of police charges notwithstanding.
His close friends and his family all blamed the brain disease – this wasn’t TheEx! This was the chemical problem that lead to these problems. It didn’t matter it had been going on for nearly 20 years, that he had run ins with police and safety departments, and so forth and so on. This wasn’t him!
While I was the victim, they turned him into a martyr. I was shut out from his family, from his friends who had offered up phone numbers in support “in case something happens,” and treated as a non-entity when I called for help. He was back to being protected and that is all that mattered.
I was pretty angry after we broke up, ever more so after those close to us disavowed me. I was the one who was abused but he was the one who must be protected. I wouldn’t go to Ann Arbor, where I knew he was living for fear of running into him. I found out a few months before TheHusband and I were to move from Royal Oak, he was now living there and then I found it difficult to leave the house for fear of seeing him.
In some ways my life was crippled because of this and I have yet to find the freedom in letting go.

To Read: Discworld Project

When TheEx and I split in the spring of 2008, I moved in with the family for a few months until I could save up a bit more cash before I moved to Detroit to finish my MLIS. This arrangement meant all my worldly goods were stored in their basement instead of having to hire a storage locker in the city, with the idea that I would be saving money in the long run for the move.
The winter of 2008-09 was particularly bad. When packing up my things to move to Detroit in January 2009, we discovered that out of close to 50 odd boxes of books (and some household items) that were stored in the basement, roughly 15-20 boxes were destroyed by water damage and flooding from all the goddamned snow. You see, one thing neither my ‘rents nor I figured into this storage plan was while their basement was not a Michigan basement, it suffered from severe leak problems which they never knew about since the winters were not as ferocious the first few years they owned the home.
With that being said, neither their insurance nor mine would cover the loss as the flooding of the basement was not due to burst water mains, hot water heater, or an act of god. The flooding was due to poor sealing of the basement foundation coupled with the house built at the end of a low hill. I.e.: Sorry, but you’re out of fucking luck.
I lost thousands of dollars in books and irreplaceable paper items such as letters, photos and journals.
It makes people cringe when I talk about the loss and my own heart aches when I think about it. Thankfully, with the help of my mother, I was able to catalog the damaged books and paper goods and have a decent idea of what books I’m now missing. Many, if not most, I will not replace as they are either out of print, given and inscribed as gifts or I no longer have any interest in the subject matter.
The exception to this rule is that I lost a good chunk of my Terry Pratchett collection, which I started collecting in the late ’90s and early ’00s. I was introduced to Pratchett by numerous people and became a huge fan (though to be fair, I started in the middle of the series at the time and didn’t care for it, so it took a bit more convincing to get me to start the continue on reading). Like the pedantic that I am, I eventually started at the beginning of the series, The Color of Magic, and pushed on. At some point, I caught up with the series and switched from buying paperbacks to hardcover (hc) books. Pratchett is one of the few authors that as soon as a book is announced for pre-order, I’m on that like white on rice.
A number of friends of mine who live across the pond, upon hearing about my Pratchett loss, asked me to compile a list of the destroyed books to help with replacement. While I did start purchasing Pratchett’s books in hardcover instead of paperback sometime in the mid-00s (when I caught up with the series), I’m not picky in which form I find the book (though I would prefer getting the British cover over the American one). Ultimately, I just want to get my collection close to completion again.
I compiled a list of Discworld books I DO have over at LibraryThing, which also includes materials about Pratchett and not necessairly by him. If anyone is able to help me out, that would be fantastic. I know a lot of Pratchett fans tend to have multiple copies of his work (differing covers, editions, etc) and if anyone has any extras they would like to donate to complete my Pratchett library collection again, that would be fantastic. Comment here or email me if we can work something out.
The Color of Magic
The Light Fantastic
Wyrd Sisters
Guards! Guards!
Moving Pictures
Reaper Man
The Fifth Elephant
The Last Hero
The Wee Free Men
Hat Full of Sky (hc)
Thud! (hc)
Wintersmith (hc)
(Books I’ve been unable to obtain in the .us or were unable to find easily)
Only You Can Save Mankind
Johnny and the Dead
Johnny and the Bomb
The Bromeliad Trilogy: TRUCKERS
The Bromeliad Trilogy: DIGGERS
The Bromeliad Trilogy: WINGS
Where’s My Cow?
The Discworld Graphic Novel

circling the topic

Having a week of downtime between semesters, I opted to do some spring cleaning which meant dumping extraneous emails off of my two primary gmail accounts as well sort through papers and other stuff to prep for TheBF’s arrival soon (extended stay) and to do basic organization. I came across emails from various members of TheEx’s family on one account as well as love notes from him stashed in various papers that were tucked around willy nilly.
I was heart broken, pained and battered emotionally for about five minutes before I moved on with whatever it was that I was doing.
Since my move to RO, I’ve come across such things but not in such strength or number before and I disqualified everything as momentary lapse of reasoning. It was okay to mourn the death of something that was important to me and I felt like there was some ridiculous conspiracy to regurgitate that pain all over again every time I found something new. A flux of emotions would of course then appear only to be waylaid by reason and common sense (typically after a few beers).
No matter how awesome my life has gotten and how great the people I’ve met recently who have aspects and interests that were like his, I still mourn him and for the last year I’ve been mourning him heavily. Part of that morning means still exhibiting verbal output that I’d like to
This long, dreary, seemingly never ending winter (and semester) finally ended last week. Academically, it was one of the most challenging I’ve had in a very long time and I carry my B+ in cataloging with pride (considering I flunked the final, this is a very good thing). My cumulative GPA dipped from 4.0 to 3.88, but I’m also totally okay with that. The academic stuff will be forthcoming in another post from lib schooled. because there is a lot going on that in arena. The whole thing about world domination before I graduated? Totally happening.
I’ve been indulging in pure, unadulterated laziness this last week or so by catching up on network and series TV, pleasure reading, and basic couching. One of my girlfriend’s said recently that she felt her entire creativity get sucked away when she’s in school, hence the lack of posting on her blog and I realized that was the same for me as well — it wasn’t about time so much anymore as about energy and feeling. It feels easier to sit and internets for hours without contributing to the conversation more so than creating something to give. Contribution requires energy and brain power and a dedication that sometimes I don’t always have to give, no matter how much free time I have lallygagging about.
TheBF is coming in a few weeks for another extended stay with plans for permanent move in July sometime and marriage happening sometime after. We’re eloping, I just don’t know when or where as of yet. And we’re not technically engaged either, but I do have a few rings he’s purchased and surprised me with for “sizing” purposes. There is also apparently a “ring fund” that he’s been contributing to for this purpose of getting me my desired fat rock, but every bloody fucking cunty time someone starts talking about marrying me, shit hits the fan so I’m not holding my breath on this one until after the ring is on my finger or I’m at a JP signing my life away.
Moving right along, I’ve been going through some personal effects recently, tossing and getting rid of even more stuff before TheBF gets here. My apartment is only about 600 sqft and with two large humans (he is 6’6) and an 18lb diva pug (Ms. Wednesday herself), the apartment feels cramped. And that’s with just my stuff so to imagine his things, no matter how scant, and the apartment feels claustrophobic. We talk of nesting and of buying better things at a better time when the big girl job comes long for me after graduation next summer, but until then, we will more than likely be slumming it in RO until that time occurs.
As I was cleaning, I ran across things from TheEx that I had forgotten about – nothing spectacular, just random love notes and such that were shoved away in random and various places, I’m assuming that I shifted about for reasons that seemed logical at the time which makes no absolute sense to me at all right now.
Also what was found was a list I had started before the first break-up entitled, “How to be fabulous in 2008.” and much of what I wrote figured him prominently in the plans but what was interesting was that intermingled with that list were items that were deeply personal and independent of him (or of anyone). That to me was the most striking, that shift from coupledom to absolute autonomy. Also interestingly enough, I accomplished a lot of my goals without realizing I had done what I set out to do in those early days of 2008. I had no idea when I wrote this list we would be breaking up a few months later, but yet we did and I survived.
After seeing those notes, what I wasn’t prepared for, really, was how much my heart still pained after all of this time. Getting over people has been one of my strong suites, so much so that I’ve been called a cold-hearted bitch1 a time or two in my life. There are men, however, who’ve gotten so ingrained in my psyche that it’s almost impossible to get them out no matter how much I tried. Alan is a good example, Ex-Fiance #1 as well as TheBF (first go around) to some extent. TheEx, obviously, is another.
Wait, am I starting on my “Top Five Most Soul Sucking Break-ups Ever”? Go away, High Fidelity! I am resisting the urge to lean out my window and start shouting out that there is no room in my top for the likes of TheEx, but of course, there is. And TheEx doesn’t drive a Saab.
When I was younger, I always imagined myself to be the “once in a lifetime” kind of girl who’d fall in love for once and forever and as 37 starts sniping its claws at me, I think it’s time to dispel that myth forever – because I’m not that girl at all. I’ve been involved with a number of men over the course of my life to dispel that overly romanticized notion. I like to believe though that at the time I really and truly felt that way and that because of that, I would never regret being with them. I love big and whole heartedly and passionately and when the relationships fell apart, I was beyond gutted.
I find myself meandering in my writing here, to and fro and I keep having to reign myself in with my point (which there never seems to be anymore).
I’ve met some wonderful people in the last year who have taken his place in some degree or another, namely my Music Boyfriend who is as passionate as myself on music, who happily engages me for hours on the topic. Other F1 and West Ham fans, TheEx was not a total special snowflake and I get that. But it was everything

1. Or serial monogamist.

40 Days (and nights) without Twitter.

By definition, I’m an extremist. I can’t eat one cupcake, I have to eat the whole batch. I can’t watch just one episode of $Television_Show, I must watch the entire series. I can’t do things in halves or partials, I must have the whole entire wondrous, beautiful thing. Thus, anytime I need to quit or par down on something, it’s hard for me to get into the mindset that majority of the population already does this on a daily basis and that it’s totally okay to have $X in small amounts or not at all.
Temptation and gluttony be thy middle name. And usually, I’m totally okay with that until it starts running my life — like Twitter.
Let me spin it this way: When TheEx and I broke up for a second time in August ’08, I swore that I was not going to read his blog anymore. This sounds silly, yes, but after nearly two years of being together and the joining of our digital and physical lives, I did not want to know what he was doing or how he was doing in grad school. I went from checking his blog several times a day, during the entirety of our relationship, to not checking his blog at all. NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING IT WAS TO GO THERE! I especially did not want to find out about his love life. I’m egotistical enough to state that once you go Lisa, you never go back and I know myself well enough to know that my little heart could not bear to find out that in “3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years” he’d be dating someone else. Also finding that information would lead me to want to track the newGF down and talk sense in her before he started smacking her around (literally).
But I’m horribly digressing.
The point being is that I had to rationalize my way through of not going to his blog: What was I going to learn? How was this information going to help me? Did I or do I need know what or how he is doing? How is this going to help me in the healing process? I deleted cached information so that there would be no auto-complete when I went to the browser bar, I cleared out the cache so that it would not show up in my history. I did not want any easy way for me to stumble upon his blog, even innocuously. Melodramatic? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.
Like reading TheEx’s blog, like smoking (25 days smoke-free! woot!), like most anything that has a shred of addictiveness to it – Twitter has become one of those indispensable things in my life that one wouldn’t think would make such an impression or be declared a necessity but because it has, I have to nip it in the bud before it takes over my life — which it has started to do.
I discovered Twitter in the August of 2007 via somewhere, created my account and tweeted my first tweet about procrastinating on a now-abandoned thesis. I lost interest in the technology — I knew no one really other than a handful of people on Twitter and since at the time the interaction with those people was sporadic, I too was sporadic with my tweeting. My tweeting picked up in December/January of ’08 and from June onwards, I became a tweeting fiend. I’m not sure what changed — perhaps finding out I could tweet from my cellphone via SMS was probably a huge factor, tweeting non-sequitor stuff I was thinking about while grocery shopping or what have you seemed like the bestest thing since sliced bread. Or that my own readership was growing as well as those who were following me.
Discovering that not only people but robots, news services, and whole corporate entities were on or getting on Twitter also helped further along the obsession. But what really hooked me was the immediacy of Twitter — there is no thought process or need for editing (other than “Can this fit in under 140 characters or less?”). Getting out a thought, no matter how minute or ridiculous or profound fanned the flames. According to TweetStats, I averaged 20 tweets per day for January 2009. My overall average is 10 tweets per day, which via another statistical tool (of which I can not find now, obvs.), was higher than the average tweeter who does something like 5-7 tweets per day.
Some popular tweeters get along on much less. But it isn’t about the time of writing the tweets that becomes a problem, really, it’s the auxiliary work that becomes the issue. I use auxiliary as a term for things such as reading my public tweet line (which can take time especially when reading pages upon pages after period of non-reading. Like reading what was going on in the Twitterverse while I was in bed.), finding new tweeters, researching said tweeters (yeah, like you don’t Google everyone you digitally meet), reading those tweeters back log and making decisions on whether to follow them or not.
In short, tweeting is not just about the immediacy of getting out your special snowflake thought but it is also about researching and developing relationships with those in your network, which of course takes a lot of time. So much so that everything else I am working on (such as working in a library, homework, studying, personal projects) went to the way side and I hadn’t realized to the extent of how bad this addiction of mine was getting until it dawned on me that the first thing I do when I’m at work everyday is log into Twitter — before I do anything else. My own writing for my various blogs, journals and personal use also took a huge nose dive – libschooled. alone hasn’t been properly updated in ages.
Couple this with I was beginning to write professional emails in Twit-speak, the problem had to be curtailed and soon. Several Twitterpeeps were discussing what they were giving up for Lent and while I no longer practice Catholicism, I do like a challenge. Could I go 40 days without participating in the Twitterverse? No tweets, no adding friends, no reading the public tweet lines? If I could give up smoking, which was on the one crutch that I have been trying for years to give up, surely Twitter could be no worse. So, I resolved for the next 40 days (starting today, Ash Wednesday, of course) of no personal tweeting and no reading of public time lines. Twhirl has not been removed from my computers but it has been removed from my desktop. I’m even debating on removing the Twitter SMS number from my phone.
In my little world, Twitter will not exist, at least for 40 days. But of course there are exceptions, such as libschooled. has third party software that tweets when it is updated, so that is okay. And I also believe some other software stuff I have installed on various forms also tweets when that is updated, so that is also the exception. As long as I am not personally involved in the tweeting, then I have not broken this vow of Twitter-chasity.
What I’m going to be interested in is how much the Twitterverse will have changed in 40 days — how many people have stopped following me, how many people will begin to follow me. What new, cool and useful toys will make its appearance while I’m gone and how social networking within my own Twitter group will also change and also social networking as a whole in the Twitterverse. You can get in touch with via the usual routes and I’m always on gTalk.
See you in 40 days. More or less. 😉