October 31, 1999

Sanctuary

I've tried to write twice since Friday, both entries got abandoned. Either I was too tired, or I couldn't think of anything to say that I haven't already said a million times. I was boring myself trying to write it all again. It was very frustrating. I craved the process, the sitting down at the computer and letting words and thoughts and feelings come off my fingertips. My muse (if you want to call it that), however, seemed to be taking a sabbatical. Although, truth be told, I had plenty I wanted to talk about last night, and couldn't because I was so tired. I was up at 8 am (yes on a Saturday, isn't that barbaric?), cleaning house. I'm still in awe at how domestic I've become. I was dancing around the house to The Lion King soundtrack, mopping the floors in time to "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", and doing dishes to "Hakuna Matata". Stop smirking. It was fun.

Then Dawn and Jason and Alex came over to play Changeling. And that was just all sorts of fun on several levels. First off, I got to show off my house to someone other than my mom. (My fully cleaned and Disney-ized house, mind you.) Dawn and Jason have seen me in almost every place I've lived in Michigan. It almost isn't home until they've come over at least once.

Before Dawn and Jason got there, Alex and I had almost two hours to talk, since he was a little early and they were a little late. He and his wife are friends of Dawn and Jason's from college, and I'd only met him twice before (the first time was when he played with us for the first time). It was a little awkward at first, but gamers that we are, we started exchanging gaming stories and all was well. (I should explain for non-gamers. When two or more RPG players get together, talk inevitably turns to games and to "there was this time when this happened and it was so cool" or "I had a character once who...")

The game itself went better than I'd hoped. (Doesn't it always?) I keep forgetting how much I really love running this game. It's not nearly as high-pressure as I think it's going to be, every single time. It usually takes me a little bit to get going, but once I do, things go well. Basically what we're doing is telling one overarcing story made up of smaller stories (which are the individual sessions). Sort of like a serial TV series, like Babylon 5. I'm sort of the director and I provide the story outlines and additional characters, and the three of them provide the main characters. In our game, the three of them are faeries in the modern world who get to deal with all sorts of problems, from solving a chemical dumping mystery to keeping on the good side of their superiors (both mortal and fae). It's a long way from the 'let's go kill monsters' mentality of games like Dungeons and Dragons. Don't get me wrong. D&D-type games can be fun -- I'm playing in one with another group -- but I couldn't run one.

Every time we play, I end up feeling very satisfied with myself. I end up realizing that, after about five years of playing RPGs and thinking 'wow, I could never run a game', that I can, in fact, run one, and run one well. I'm pretty proud of that fact. Now, if I could just remember that the night before the next session, when I'm freaking out and convinced that I'm going to suck...

I realized today that I've been living here for only three weeks. It seems like a lot longer than that. I've gotten so comfortable here. It's hard to describe how it felt to wake up this morning and just be at home. To have a whole day to spend however I wanted. Granted, I do have some things I need to do elsewhere today, but the lure of my home is tempting me to blow them off and just stay here. Don't get me wrong. I've been known to be reclusive before, especially when I'm seriously depressed. This is a different feeling. This isn't a hiding from the world. This is realizing that I have a sanctuary, somewhere that's mine and mine alone. And, oddly, rather than wanting to hide there from everyone, I want to bring everyone important to me into my sanctuary with me. I want my sanctuary to be a sanctuary for others I love.

I have never felt this way before, but I've always wanted to. And that is utter bliss. Not a bad way to start a new year.

Posted by Lisa at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 1999

Our Job Doesn't Suck!

The meeting today didn't go that badly at all. Went pretty well in fact. We came out of it with a new slogan for our department. We want to have t-shirts made that say "Services Reception: Our Job Doesn't Suck!" Y'know. To improve morale.

You might have had to be there. But The Banal One of all people made that suggestion, and Jo and I nearly wet ourselves laughing. Then again, we were both sleep-deprived today and easily amused. Yeah. That's a surprise.

Still moderately stressed this week, but less so than I was yesterday. All of the work stress has evaporated for now, as I finally caught everything up today. No more spreadsheets hanging over my head. Hooray! Unfortunately, I still have approximately three stories to write and a game to plot out for this weekend. Plus I get to play hostess for the first time in my new place on Saturday. Exciting, but I'm a little stressy about it too. I always get nervous when I have people over. It's something I want to stop. I want to get comfortable with people coming over whenever to do whatever. It'll come with time and with having people over, I know.

I'm trying not to obsess over one of the new support reps. Really. That'd just be creepy, considering that I saw him for the first time today. But oh my. Cute. Reasonably tall, with strong Native American features, including the long, shiny, gorgeous black hair. Nice smile, too. A male accountant with long hair. I'm intrigued. I'm not even completely sure what his name is. He came up to my desk to borrow a marker today, and when he walked away, Jo and I both looked at each other and went, "Who is that?" I made sure to flirt a little when he brought the marker back. Unfortunately, he's too new to have any information listed in the employee directory, like oh... NAME... or marital status...

Gah. I'll stop now. I feel like I'm in high school again. Next thing you know I'll be telling Jo to give him a note telling him I like him. Or whatever.

As a frustrating sidenote, I still haven't heard back from Amelia magazine about the story I sent them back in August. I submitted to Byline at the same time. They rejected it. I had pretty high hopes for Amelia though. Ah well. We'll see. I'm just worried that their letter got lost in the mail when I moved.

That's me. If I can't find something to worry about, I'll make something up.

Posted by Lisa at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 1999

Seven Deadly What?

It's only Tuesday. It feels like Thursday. This is not a good sign.

It seems like no one wants to come to work anymore, so they don't. Out of six full time employees in this department, three have made it here with any regularity over the past two weeks. Tomorrow we're having a meeting to discuss "conditions of further employment", which I'm hoping sounds more ominous than it really is. We'll see.

I was lamenting to myself about the past year, which I spent in utter sloth. Believe me, I'm paying for it now that I'm trying to get more active. Bleah. Everything hurts.

But I digress. I think what I've been doing, looking back, is spending some time exploring each of the the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth. It's apparent now. Since about 1994, I've been spending approximately a year being the personification of several of them. Here's a recap:

1994 - Gluttony
After spending several years starving for life, for some sort of existence outside of a two-bedroom apartment in Martin, Tennessee, I spent a year going overboard with a lot of things. As if to make up for all the things that I didn't do during the last two years of my marriage, I tried to do everything. A lot of everything. Fun, but more than a bit crazed.
1995 - Lust
Once I settled in, back on my own and single again, I spent a great deal of time concentrating on my sexuality. Who I was. What I wanted. Who I wanted. This is not to say I went wild and was Miss Promiscuity 1995, I wasn't. I was practically celibate -- but not by choice. I had sex very much on the brain that year.
1996 - Wrath
My divorce was final this year. There was a lot of anger that bubbled out to the surface. Anger at Gary, anger at his parents, anger at things that were totally unrelated to him at all. Once it started, it was like a dam bursting. All the anger I'd kept in for years just poured out. This was the year Lisa learned how to get mad.
1997 - Greed
Hollingsworth and I were settled together this year, and I stopped working in child care and starting being the office drone I am today. And I discovered what it was like to have a paycheck that actually paid the bills. I was beside myself. More money. I wanted more money. I became more than a little fixated on how to earn more, how to save more, how to buy all the things I wanted to buy.
1998 - Pride
I was good at my job. I was the best at my job. Everyone at my job just needed to kiss my ass, I was so good. Said ass-kissing never came. 'Pride goeth before a fall', indeed. I was dethroned as the Queen of Services Reception. That's okay. I think I'm happier without that particular crown.
1999 - Sloth
Movement? What's that? Work? You gotta be kidding me. You want me to do what? I spent a huge portion of the last year sitting on my butt doing nothing but staring at a computer screen. At home, at work, wherever. Seriously. Oh, and sleeping too. Sleeping is good.
As you can see, that leaves only envy for this year. I find that worrisome, as that's how things have been shaping up. I think I'll cut this year short, like say... now. I'd rather not spend the next eleven months as the personification of the green-eyed monster. Feh.

I also find it a little scary, how well this fits. What started out as a rather tongue-in-cheek statement seems to have turned into a serious analysis of how I've spent the last six years of my life. And despite the framework of the 'seven deadly sins', I can see how each phase led into the next, and how each one provided some seriously necessary growth.

Yeah okay. Except for sloth.

Posted by Lisa at 07:06 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 1999

Confessions of a WASPy Adolescent

I have a confession to make.

While I was driving into work this morning, I did my usual hopping from radio station to radio station, and stopped at one, and just smiled. I started singing along, thrilled to hear a song I hadn't heard in years, but one that I used to adore completely. For several moments, I was in middle school again -- only, the good parts of middle school.

The song? "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.

Yes, it's true. From the age of about eleven to about fourteen (About 1983 to 1986), I was one of the most devoted Journey fans on the face of the planet. Steve Perry, the lead singer, was nigh idolized. He was, to me, rock music personified. Long hair, a little wild, but not so wild that innocent, highly Christian little me was scared off. Those good old-fashioned rockers from San Francisco were rivaled in my affections only by a very similar rock group from Chicago: Styx.

Yes, it's true. (I'm so ashamed!) I bought Kilroy Was Here just about after the first time I heard "Mr. Roboto". I adored that album. I knew every word, every note. And then I found sheet music. For months (with no piano lessons) I struggled on my electric keyboard to play what I could. Finally I could play the intro to every single Journey and Styx song I had sheet music for, and one or two that I'd figured out by ear.

Elaborate fantasies? Oh yeah. Made 'em up. In fact, the first short story I ever wrote I wrote when I was eleven: "As The Nightingale Sings". All about a high school girl in San Francisco and her band, which consisted of her boyfriend, her best friend and her boyfriend, and their goofy oddball friend. Not a horrible story, as far as eleven year olds go, I'm sure. I can't for the life of me remember any of the character's names. Probably just as well. Anyway, the main focus of the story was how the band had a really important gig, and it just so happened that one of the right people was there (a Columbia records exec, if I remember correctly) and wanted to sign them up. And of course, since Columbia is also the record label that Journey was on, they ended up meeting the band and becoming good friends with them. Fame and fortune seemed on its way as the story ended, with one of the band's new singles breaking the Top Forty. It was supposed to be a trilogy: story number two was about how success and fame changed the five, and story number three was the aftermath.

Anyway. The main point of the story, for me, was how to get my heroine to sing for Steve Perry. Sad, huh? Ah youth.

I think that might have been when my fixation on men with long hair began. I find it difficult to resist. Especially very pretty men with long hair. I watched the Disney version of "The Three Musketeers" last night. In truth, the main reason I like that movie so well is because Chris O'Donnell is just so pretty in it, with the longish curly hair and the boyish face and the big blue eyes. Yummy.

Heh. Yes well. Now that you've all totally lost respect for me... did I mention that I used to worship The Monkees too?

Hey. I was an imaginative child. That didn't mean I had good taste. Although, in all honesty, I think The Monkees' TV show is still pretty damn funny, and pretty amazing stuff for the time frame it comes from. Subversive stuff. For example, Micky Dolenz (my favorite) rattles off some long, vaguely Shakespearian rant, then turns to the camera in all his hippie glory and beams, "Not bad for a long-haired weirdo, huh Mr. and Mrs. America?" This was before Woodstock, mind you.

Dear god. I admitted an adolescent love of vanilla, cheesy rock, admitted to bad juvenile fiction, then quoted and defended "The Monkees". I think it's time for me to go to bed.

Posted by Lisa at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)

October 21, 1999

On The Brink

Amusing conversation with my mom this afternoon. It made me giggle.

Mom: (after ascertaining that I really am okay -- she reads this too) You're doing really well.
Me: Yeah, I am. I feel... well, it's hard to describe. Okay no. It's not hard to describe, but it sounds silly.
Mom: Well, what is it?
Me: (sheepishly) Well... I feel like a grown-up for the first time.
Mom: That's not silly. It's about time, but it's not silly...
At this point, I just erupt into goofy giggles. She just sounded so relieved. I mean, I am twenty-seven years old, after all. I described myself the other day as having one foot firmly in adulthood and the other firmly planted in post-adolescence.

Because there is another level there, between adolescence and adulthood. College-age, I guess, except enrollment in college isn't a necessity. Seems like it spans ages 18-25, usually. It's not really adulthood, but it's not childhood or adolescence either. We live at home (or at least dependent on our parents) for so much longer now. Granted, I haven't been dependent on my parents really for five years or so, but that's only part of it. It's a... I hesitate to say lifestyle, but that's close. It's looser than adulthood. It's easier to make mistakes and not get as uptight about them. Spontaneity is more likely. Maybe it's because there are fewer ties holding us down. Life tends to be a little messier, a little wilder.

God. I sound like I'm mourning my lost youth. Shoot me, please.

I'm not. I mean, I think I'm managing to keep all the things that made me an interesting 'post-adolescent'. My interests aren't changing. I can still say, with no shame, that some of my favorite pasttimes include playing make-believe (in the form of role-playing games), dressing up (SCA events), watching cartoons, following comic books... you get the idea. I think I'm learning that being responsible doesn't mean growing up completely. 'Being adult' doesn't mean that I have to stop being silly, stop being a kid at heart, stop watching the moon, stop looking for faeries, stop dreaming.

Just like there are no hard and fast rules for childhood or adolescence or post-adolescence, there are no hard and fast rules for adulthood either. I can be the sort of adult I want to be. That feeling is liberating and scary at the same time. I find myself looking for models of what I want to be. They're not easy to find. The ones I think might be what I'm looking for aren't really all that much older than me. (That's 'cause not many people are older than you, kid, you're ancient!) Excuse me while I go kill the voices in my head.

Seriously, I've caught myself doing some pretty scary things lately (other than housework). I've occasionally looked in the mirror, looking for the beginnings of wrinkles. I think I found them. And yesterday, when I was washing my face before bed... I looked for gray hairs. Just a glance. I didn't, like, get out the fine tooth comb and start searching actively. I didn't find them. Thank goodness.

Why am I so age-obsessed lately? I think I'm going to age myself just worrying about when I'm going to start 'getting old'. That and I'm having fantasies of ending up as the Crazy Cat Lady at the end of the block. You know, the old woman with 30 cats.

Did I mention that Max and I are bonding quite well lately? He usually comes to the door when I get home, and meows at me until I sit down and pet him. He's also been spending a great deal of time sitting on my lap (or trying to) when I'm on the computer at home. I think it's because he sometimes has a knack for getting snuggly when I'm upset. The other new thing since the move is that he's really hyper and playful in the morning. He races from one end of the house to the other, just like every other cat I've seen living in a mobile home.

The really amusing thing is watching him try and figure out just how the miniblinds on the windows are different from the vertical blinds in the old apartment. See, you can't just squeeze through the miniblinds as you nose them out of your way. Believe me. Max has tried. When it doesn't work, he gives up and whines at me until I raise the blinds.

This is my baby. Just think how I might twist and warp a real one.

Posted by Lisa at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 1999

From This Moment

This morning I thought the storm had passed. A good day yesterday, a good night's sleep, everything seemed fine this morning. Everything was fine, in fact, until I started driving home from work. Then the second blast hit. It was much shorter and much less intense than the one Monday night/Tuesday morning. I didn't even cry that much. I just... ached. Briefly and completely. I have to get over this before I make myself nutty.

Torturing myself with visions of me singing at their wedding is not the way to do this. I learned that driving home.

(Sidenote: What on earth makes me do stuff like that to myself? Why is it that I have this overwhelming urge to not just wallow, but bury myself in hurtful things? Is it that I somehow think I'll get over it faster if I get all the hurt out at once? Sometimes I think I get some sort of twisted pleasure out of seeing just how miserable I can make myself. Seeing just how much I can really take. Whatever it is, I wish I could stop.)

I also realized tonight just how bad I am at being friends face to face. I don't mean the actual interaction, but the little things that keep a 'real life' friendship going: keeping in touch, seeing each other regularly, visiting back at forth. I'm horrible at it. It's like I've forgotten how to be social face to face, at least, on a long term basis. That's just scary.

So I have no one that I'm really close to nearby, except for my mom. Dawn and Jason and I are getting closer, but I'm not completely sure they count as 'nearby'; they're an hour away. Jo and I are friends, but not hugely close. Besides, her personal life is so swamped, work is about the only place I'd ever see her right now anyway.

So for now I remain a terribly inexperienced hostess, and a tentative real life friend. I want to change that too. But, realizing that I can't change everything at once, some things are going to have to wait longer than others. I am, however, thinking of calling up an old friend who's reasonably nearby and seeing if she wants to go to movies with me or something this weekend.

Probably be 'or something'. Payday's still about a week or so off.

I feel much better now. While I've been writing this, I've been sitting and chatting with Von via ICQ. It's funny, I'm not usually one to keep how I feel from anybody, but not mentioning that I was upset and just talking to someone normally made me feel a lot better.

That done, I think it's time to find some dinner and upload this rambly thing.

Posted by Lisa at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 1999

Torch

I keep wondering how long I'm going to go on about this. How long does a torch burn before it finally flickers and goes out? How many tears does it take to put it out? That's so melodramatic, and I hate it.

I hate it when I do this. I hate having to write about things when I know the people involved are reading. I'm sorry if this hurts either of you. I'm driving myself crazy. I just want to stop. I love him. I try and I try to stop. I try to tell myself that I don't, that he's just my friend. Then when she's around, sometimes, my stomach burns and my words turn twisted and green and purple, roiling clouds in front of my eyes.

And then I know that I'm really not over it. I hate jealousy. I hate it. These people are my friends and I care very much about them both... why can't I just be happy for them? Sometimes all I can think about is what I could have had. There are times when he and I seem so close that it seems like, for a little while, that maybe I do have it... then something happens that shatters the illusion.

I obsess. I whine when I feel ignored. I pout. I cry. I despise that weak, sniveling side of me. Crying isn't going to change anything, so why can't I stop?

I find myself doing things like dwelling on his flaws. "Well look, that's wrong and that's wrong, and that'd probably drive you absolutely nuts..." and it all comes down to five little words: "You're better off without him." It's just too bad that I can never make myself believe it. I know sour grapes when I see them.

I think the thing that drives me the most insane was that I had a chance. There was a time when he thought it might have been me that he loved. He tried to decide how he felt about two of us. He almost fell in love with me, I think. Sometimes I find myself obsessing over 'what did I wrong' or even just 'what was wrong with me'. Logically I know that's crap. It doesn't work that way. He just didn't love me that way and that's all there was to it.

But that's even worse. It'd be easier if I could point to something and blame it for my loss, for my hurt. I tried blaming her for a while, but I know now that even without her, the feelings still wouldn't be there on his side. There's nothing to blame, except just the intangible whatever that makes one person love another.

I am in such denial about all of this. Even now a little voice inside me wants to hold on, wants to hope. He'll be back, it says, you'll see. You're the one he really loves, he just doesn't know it yet.

I don't know whether to wish the voice away or believe in it.

I love him. It's that simple. It's not going away, so I have to learn how to deal with it.

If either of you read this, I'm sorry. I'm trying. I don't want to hurt either of you. I'm trying to find my way through this without hurting anyone, and without driving myself crazy.

Posted by Lisa at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 1999

Falling Into Hell

I have several projects going on that all require some form of inspiration. And I'm stuck on most of them. There's this, which, I'm sure you've noticed, has been rather infrequent of late. I owe a story to the role-playing group I play with, a background for my new character with them. That's going. Slowly, but it's going. There are two other characters I'm working on that are trying to get out of my head, but it's a long, long birth process. Longer than usual, and I'm getting frustrated.

I'm starting to wonder if one can birth characters via cesarian section.

There's also all the nominee reading I need to do for the The Diarist Awards. I'm working my way through it, but whenever I'm not doing it, I feel guilty, since I haven't made all my selections yet.

There are several journal and web related things that I've been meaning to do that I can't seem to get around to.

I also need to plot out the rest of my Changeling chronicle. As far as I know, we're planning to play again around Halloween (or Samhain, if you prefer), and I just don't have any idea where to go from here. Well, not exactly true. I know the overarching storyline, I'm just not sure what segment to present next. I have a few ideas. *insert evil storyteller cackle here*

And those are just my personal projects, to say nothing about work-related things.

So I'm a little frustrated with that. I mean, there's a deadline on only one of those things, but I want to get them done!

All is still well at the house. I actually did do some unpacking this weekend, so things look even more like someone actually lives there. I had a good weekend overall. Role-played a lot online (and oh my, did some unexpected things happen to Marisol and Caitlin), unpacked probably at least half my boxes, cleaned some, went and played with my real life gaming group (not the Changeling one that I'm running, another one) and stayed up much too late both nights.

It's so awesome to have a place that I look forward to getting back to. Seriously. I didn't realize how tired I was getting of my apartment until I drove back there Sunday to check the mail. There was just this bleah feeling as I drove up -- and I didn't even go in at all. I'm kind of dreading going back to get the last couple things I left there.

Seeing Hollingsworth at gaming yesterday was actually cool. It was almost like nothing had ever happened and that we'd never been more than friends. That sounds pretty sad when I think about it, but it bodes well for us at least remaining acquaintances if not close friends. We caused a bit of trouble together in gaming, in fact, when his thief character convinced my child character to make him invisible with one of his spells. Now, my character (Elen) knew that he just wanted to go steal something, so, amoral thing that she is, she agreed, if he would steal something for her too. We almost got caught, but it was fun at least.

In closing, as the weather seems to be getting much colder here, I'll leave you with a gaming quote from yesterday (character names are used rather than player names, to protect the guilty ;)):

Gamemaster: You find yourselves free-falling through a gray mist. After a while, it starts to get colder.
Skye: Well, at least we know we're not falling into Hell.
Aislan: There are frozen planes of Hell as well as hot ones.
The rest of the group: Thanks a lot!
So no matter how cold or hot or rainy or earthquake-y it gets where you are, just remember: it could be worse. You could be falling into Hell.
Posted by Lisa at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 1999

Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

Well. That was an unexpected hiatus. I tried to write a few times, but nothing really was going on, except for me getting more and more settled in here in the new place. Yes, it's true, I'm still blissful. My first weekend here, and I'm loving it. I still haven't unpacked much except utter necessities, but I plan to later today.

Last night was amusing at best. I stayed up much too late online, playing with Mo. We had a great deal of fun, but I was still awake at 5:30 am when Brand came around. The three of us were chatting when all of a sudden Brand says, "Oh damn. Earthquake." Of course, Mo and I, non-Californians that we are, flipped out and were yelling (okay, typing) at him to get in a doorway. He pretty much laughed at us, long-time SoCal resident that he is. I guess one of his brothers fell out of bed, but didn't even wake up. Of course, if you've seen the news, it was a huge earthquake, but it was centered out in the middle of nowhere. That's my take on current events for the week then: I was talking to someone who was in an earthquake. Whee.

I went grocery shopping again today, this time for real. I was actually pretty proud of myself. You see, a month ago, even a ten minute trip to the store to buy tampons and ice cream (and for you uninitiated males out there, those two items often show up together on a grocery list) wore me out. My back would ache just from walking that little bit through the store, I'd be winded. In all honesty, I'm ashamed to admit that. I'm ashamed that I let myself get that out of shape. Out of control, even. So, because I couldn't shop, I ate crap and got into even worse shape. But today I managed an hour-long shopping trip with only a little fatigue. I haven't had fast food in nearly a week, and yesterday I even avoided meat all day, as sort of an experiment. I'm on my way back up, I think. I feel like I'd been on hold for so long, and didn't even realize it, until life resumed.

Oh, don't get me wrong. This isn't going to become a journal about Lisa trying to lose weight or whatever. I'm not actively trying. I'm just trying to eat good food again, and start moving around enough that movement stops being painful. Back when I was really involved with the SCA, and going to dance practice and events constantly, I was in very good shape, although I was still heavy. I want to get back there. I'm not ready to go to dance practice yet. But I'll get there. I can't believe how far I've come in the last two weeks even.

Now comes the fun part. Do I cook chicken alfredo for dinner, or an omelet? Decisions, decisions... I'd forgotten how much I like to cook.

Posted by Lisa at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 1999

The New Cinderella?

I woke up this morning in my bed, in my home. And I'd forgotten how lovely that could feel. My bed was cozy and the room was cool, just the way I like it. The sun was coming through newly washed windows, shining on crisp new sheets. I was rested, if a little stiff. As I got up and started my day, I felt so content, I swear if I'd opened one of the windows, I could have gotten birds to come to my outstretched hand, like a Disney heroine of old. (The new Disney heroines don't bother with birds. They have more interesting friends, like tigers and dragons.)

You can stop reading if you're sickened, it's all right.

It started last night after work. I... went grocery shopping. Do you have any idea how long it's been since I went grocery shopping? A long, long, long time. And I enjoyed myself. Got home and pretty much went to bed. This morning, everything seemed perfect. My shower was just right. I got my stereo set up, and all the songs sounded perfect. I cleaned a few things up, put away a few things, then... had breakfast. Cheerios have never tasted so good. Morning was just... blissful.

Of course, I pulled my calf muscle going down my steps this morning, but even that didn't mess with my mood. I just really want to get home and get back to everything.

It was funny, looking around today I realized just how much I don't fit in in this office. I'm not the business type. My hair isn't curled and styled and sprayed to within an inch of its life. My hair is long and unruly and growing out and hippie-ish. I'm not skirted and pantyhosed and suited and bound. My clothes are soft and comfortable and just within the bounds of 'business casual'. I don't wear makeup. I think it's safe to say that I'm not really going to 'go anywhere' in this company. I just don't fit the mold -- conservative, Christian (by tradition if not by actual practice), driven and... 'business-like'.

All of this would mean serious trouble... if 'business-like' was what I wanted to be. When I started working here, I went that route. I jumped right into that mold and joined right in. I think it lasted, oh... six months maybe? Maybe a little longer. Then slowly I started to revert to me. Once I realized that I could be happier here by being myself than by trying to 'get ahead' and be what I was 'supposed' to be, things changed. It's funny, once my department was full of people who wanted to 'get ahead', now all those people got ahead, and our department is full of more people like me: people who work here because the pay is pretty good, and because the job isn't bad. I have to admit, it makes for a pretty relaxed job atmosphere. We laugh more than the other departments. We're 'rowdier'. We have more fun. I think we can be more relaxed around each other, because we don't have to deal with being competitive... because none of us are trying to get ahead.

For now, I have to go. We're plotting our Halloween decorations. It sounds like we're going with a "Blair Witch" theme. You know, piles of rocks and bundles of sticks outside of people's cubicles. Well, we'll be amused if nothing else, and isn't that the point?

Posted by Lisa at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 1999

Home

Finally. The movers came today and moved all my big stuff. The worst is over. And now I am so tired. I had to come to work today after moving, and I'm sitting at my desk trying not to fall asleep. But other than that... all is bliss. I could not believe how fast they moved everything! They had my stuff loaded onto the truck, moved, and unpacked in two hours. One of the movers (who kinda reminded me of Adam Sandler) called it a "cakewalk". Sure, for them maybe.

Before I came to work, I made sure to set up my bed and get it made (new comforter and sheets, woo!), and plug in all my lamps. Truth be told, that's about all I did. Oh, I set up my phone and answering machine. Thought about setting up my stereo, but I was just too tired. I hope to do that tonight. What's that you say? What about my computer? Heh. I took that over Friday night. It was the first thing of mine there, and the first thing set up. Useful, since I was stuck in the empty house Friday and Saturday nights. Also useful, because it meant there was nothing distracting me from packing at the old apartment yesterday.

That was sort of odd. I found myself getting nostalgic about the place. "I was here when such-and-such happened" or "I was here when I met so-and-so". And, truthfully, some of that nostalgia was connected to Hollingsworth as well. As frustrated and angry as he made me at the end, we had a good relationship for a long time. I kinda miss the good stuff now. I had a Melissa Etheridge CD in my stereo, and when "I Will Never Be The Same" came up on the randomizer, I started to cry. Not a big cry, just a little one, and all the while I was berating myself, "You don't have time for this, you have to pack!" I have a feeling it won't be the last time I cry over all of this.

And you swore that you were bound for glory
And for wanting you had no shame
But I loved you
And then I lost you
And I will never be the same

But I, I will never be the same
Oh I, I will never be the same
Caught in your eyes
Lost in your name
I will never be the same

Now why that made me cry I have no real idea... it doesn't fit my relationship with Hollingsworth at all. But then again, that's a song that can make me a little weepy on the best of days. But then again, it's a song about an unexpected relationship that changes the singer completely, and I have changed over the past five years. Of course, that's not all entirely because of Hollingsworth, but some of it is.

Anyway... this was supposed to be about my new place! Max was so upset with me when I got there today. I had to leave him there last night alone. When I got there, he was hiding behind one of the toilets yowling at me. When the movers starting bringing stuff in, he retreated to behind my computer. Once they left, he slowly started creeping around, checking out the familiar things in a mostly unfamiliar setting. By the time I left to come to work, he had moved through the entire house, and was moving from one flat surface to another, sprawling on each of them experimentally. I think he was trying to find just the right spot. While I was watching, he went to each of the tables in the living room and laid on each one for a few moments, then to my bed, then the kitchen floor, then the kitchen table. It'll be interesting to see when I get home where he ended up.

Home. *happysigh* And new bedding to sleep on. Which, at the rate I'm going, I'm going to fall into as soon as I get home. :)

Posted by Lisa at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)

October 08, 1999

Empty House Blues

The house is cold, even with the space heater going. I'm glad I had a comforter in my car, otherwise I'd be completely miserable. All that's in the house in the way of belongings are the space heater, a pillow, a comforter, Max's cat carrier and food bowls, a phone, a clock radio, a catnip mouse, a mop and a bucket. Oh, and Max is here with me too. Hopefully before too much longer the phone company will get here too. Although, right now the gas company would be even more welcome!

It's just as well that I didn't move today. It's been damp and rainy almost since I left the house around 11 am this morning. I'd've had to deal with soggy furniture. I forget what the weather is supposed to be like on Monday though.

I'd forgotten just how poorly Max does in the car. He hates it. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure if it's the car he hates or the carrier. He yowled all the way here, and yowled at me for about an hour after we got here. He succeeded in making me feel really rotten. I managed to get him in my lap for a bit and used this new grooming thing on him, called a Shed'n Blade. Normally he hates any kind of brushing, but he ate this one up. It called him down. So now I have a kitty sedative. He's already found a napping spot: on top of one of the kitchen cabinets. He's conked out.

I'm feeling pretty sleepy myself. Rain does that to me. Besides, I'm starting to get warm. I tried washing the walls a bit. I guess it's helping some, but not as much as I'd hoped. I'm afraid we're going to have to scrub the walls, which will suck immensely. So says Miss Lazy.

And speaking of lazy, a nap is sounding so good. I may just stretch out here on my floor and go for it. Then again, I should probably get some more cleaning done while I can. Oh let's see... sleep or work. There's a tough choice.

Later

Well I just talked to my mom (cell phones are wonderful things) and discovered that washing walls is much easier with hot water! Imagine that. Yeah, you can see just how domestic Lisa is, huh? I mean I kinda thought that was the case, but... ah well, we'll get it done tomorrow.

I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to coax Max down from his napping spot. If not, I'm wondering if I'll be able to climb up there and get him. He seems very content, which is a very good thing.

So I'm looking around this empty living room, and I can't for the life of me figure out how I'm going to set up my furniture. For one thing, I don't have enough furniture. Just looking around, it looks like there's room for a couch, loveseat and chair, plus the entertainment center and tables. Great, except that I have no chair or loveseat. Hmm. Suddenly it seems very obvious exactly what my next big bonus check is going toward.

Ack. I want my furniture here already. I want to be settled here. Okay, now is not the time for me to get hyper. It figures, of course, that I always go into uber-packing mode when I'm miles from home. I suppose it's easier to be all set to do something unpleasant when there's no possible way to do it at that moment.

Max update: He's gone from sort of dozing to all-out flopped on his side asleep. I think I'm about to do the same. At least until the phone company gets here. I'm not holding my breath for the gas company.

Later

Okay. This was a super rambly entry. Thanks for wading through it. I ended up leaving Max at the new house. I think I'm going to end up sleeping there tonight after all.

Posted by Lisa at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 1999

Changes

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I called the movers to confirm the move for tomorrow, and found out that the truck they had signed me up for broke down. All their other trucks are spoken for for tomorrow morning. My options were to move tomorrow afternoon instead, or to move Monday morning. Tomorrow afternoon was when the utility companies were coming out, so I needed to be at the mobile home rather than here in my apartment watching movers load a truck. I tried to reschedule the utilities. No go.

So I'm moving Monday morning. It sort of sucks, because I have to miss part of the day from work to do it. But at the same time, that gives me some more time to pack, which is definitely not a bad thing. I feel less stressed about it. Tomorrow, however, I have to spend most of the day sitting in an empty house waiting for the utility companies. I think I'm going to take a book and my Playstation, along with some cleaning supplies and see what I can get done. I'm also going to take Maxie with me too. I'm curious to see how he'll react to this new empty house.

I'm going to be spending most of Saturday there as well, continuing to clean. So really, I just have one extra day to pack. And I've wasted most of this one on the phone, it seems. And doing a bit of goofing off, I admit. I'm sore from yesterday. My hips hurt, what the hell? I can't for the life of me figure that one out.

Man, I wish I could at least take a chair over there with me, but I don't have any furniture that would fit in the back of my Escort. And it's gonna be cold too. One of things I'm waiting for them to turn on is the heat. Ah well. When I was there yesterday, it wasn't that cold in the house, considering that the temperature has been dropping below freezing at night lately. It's sad but true. I had to scrape frost off my windshield this morning.

I've been thinking a lot about my feelings about fall. The 'down time', I think, fades once I actually get into the season. The same colors that triggered such an intense sadness in me the other day made me joyous yesterday. Of course, this year, the circumstances might have had a lot to do with it. Last week, when I was so down about the season, I was thinking in terms of the endings that fall always brings to me. This week has been all about new beginnings. The colors that made me so ecstatic yesterday were on the trees lining the road right before my new home. My life always seems to follow the cycles of the year, I think I wrote about that in Crossroads last spring.

In fact, last October is really when Hollingsworth and I 'broke up'. Halloween (or Samhain, as that seems more appropriate) he and I talked about where we each were going, and realized that it wasn't in the same direction, and agreed to see other people. Whether we knew it or not, that was pretty much the end of our relationship. This October is bringing the real, official, final ending to that. Still having mixed feelings, especially when he and I are getting along. I know the relationship's over. Don't get me wrong there. I don't want it back. There's just a sense of sadness again, that something that was once good is over.

But... what a new beginning I've got ahead of me. And the rest of the weekend to prepare for it. I'm off to do just that.

Funny, I remembered today that I started dating Gary ten years ago today. We were sitting in a swing at Lipscomb University when we decided to 'be official'. Silly seventeen year old me. And on the heels of that thought, I realized that it's James' birthday today. Kinda scary to think that while I was hooking up with my future ex-husband, he was... well, I don't want to think about how much older than him I am. Besides, he'd probably beat me for broadcasting his age. Anyway, happy birthday, James. :)

Posted by Lisa at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 1999

One Day More

Right. So if I'm so busy, why am I updating? Good question. Well, I have to take a break for lunch, right? So I did. Not a lot to say, except that I am stressed. I've gotten a lot done today, much more than I had anticipated, but I'm at that stage where no matter how much I get done, it seems like there's that much more to do. I mean, I can see that I'm making progress, but it's like running down a long hallway in a dream. No matter how far you've come, there's that much farther to go.

Needless to say, I'm getting a little discouraged. And tired. I'm paying for so many months of laziness. Ohhhh am I paying. I'm hoping I don't have to run to the store today, but I think I'm going to. I'm about to run out of trash bags. I'm forgetting a million things. I know I am. Feh. The words aren't coming. I'll try again later.

8:41 pm

Wow. One more day of hardcore packing to go. I'm exhausted. It's early enough that I probably should still be doing things, but I'm beat. However, in addition to packing and cleaning, I got lots of errands done, setting up utilities, shutting off utilities, getting my address changed in various places, doing some shopping for various necessary items. Plus I went by the new house, and took some things over there with me. And, I admit, I wanted a chance to peek around again. Two more days!

A cappella music always, always catches my attention. Driving over to the house today "Road to Nowhere" by the Talking Heads came on. It starts out with a great, almost choral-sounding, a cappella section. It always just tickles my ears. It also, unfortunately, makes me want to pull out all the a cappella music I have, which is mostly limited to one Nylons tape and some gospel stuff. I have no idea where any of it is. And even if I did, I'd just need to pack it.

While I was in K-mart, waiting in line, I ended up behind a mom and two little boys. The oldest was probably three, while the younger one was probably about seven months old. I admit it. I'm one of those people who makes faces at babies when I'm behind them in line. He was sitting in the cart, and he was adorable. Chubby cheeks and big brown eyes. Once I caught his attention, he kept beaming at me, showing me both teeth. I talked to him a bit and he laughed and kicked and waved his arms. I miss that age group immensely. I worked for two years in a Montessori school, working with the kids under the age of two, primarily. I talked to his brother a little bit too, but it was the baby who caught me. Babies always do.

I had another odd moment when I went out to the car after shopping. As I sat down and closed the door, the sunlight caught me at a particularly cruel angle as I glimpsed myself in the rearview mirror. I just sort of stared for a moment, wondering who the old hag was in the mirror. Seriously. My skin looked splotchy, and there seemed to be icky, dark hairs sprouting everywhere on my face. I saw the beginnings of wrinkles. For a minute I thought I was going to cry, wondering when I had started looking old. Then I moved, and the sunlight shifted, and I looked like me again.

It's very odd to look in the mirror and not recognize yourself. But, I'll bet even when I do look like a hag, I'll still be able to make babies smile.

Posted by Lisa at 02:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 1999

Counting Down...

Okay, I'm trying not to panic. The movers are coming Friday, and I don't get to leave early today. Things are too hectic here. Fortunately, I do have the rest of the week off, but I'm feeling overwhelmed. The movers are coming in three days. I have tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday to clean my apartment and pack things into boxes. It's coming down to 'what can I just leave here for another week?' I'm packing as much as humanly possible and letting the movers move all of the furniture and as many boxes as possible. Closets have dropped to the bottom of my priority list right now. If nothing else, I can grab some clothes and take them with me to the trailer and just deal with it for a week if I have to. I'm so glad we actually have the apartment until the end of the month now.

I'm so frustrated just sitting here at my desk, though, when there are so many things I could be doing. I actually got a fair amount done last night, and all the while I was screwing around online too. The good part about that was I got to play a really cool scene with Caitlin, Kip, Micah and a few other of her friends. The bad news is she might get killed, because she made the wrong person mad. White Wolf doesn't call it the World of Darkness for nothing. But, last night we were coming up with a plan to get her back on everyone's good side. We'll see what happens.

I'm working on moving my writing page over from Geocities, which includes some scene logs of roleplay that I've done online, and might explain some of my references here. It's kinda funny, I'm not sure how much I should explain and how much I should just let go. Ah well, if all else fails, and anyone is completely confused, just mail me, I'll explain.

3:11 pm

Well, some of the blind panic has faded. If all else fails, I just won't be sleeping much over the next couple of days. I think part of the reason I'm so freaked is because this is the first move I've ever made completely by myself. Which makes sense, of course, as I'm going to be living by myself. Now I'm sitting here fidgeting. I want to go home. I feel productive! I'd be much more productive there than here. :P I barely managed to get the rest of the week off from work. They wanted me to reschedule my move and come in on Friday. That, of course, is out of the question. Looks like I'm going to have to come in Friday after the phone company leaves, though. The drawback to working the late shift. No one ever wants to work for me. I can't say that I blame them. If I were used to working 8-5, I wouldn't want to work 11-8 either.

Hopefully I'm going to Indiana the weekend after my move. James is in a production of "The Crucible", and I really want to go see it. Besides, I haven't seen the boy in over a year. I need to go see him before he dyes his hair bright red, apparently. So if you're in southern Indiana and you're interested in a production of "The Crucible", email me and I'll get you the details.

I should be making a list of all the things I have left to do. I should, but I'm afraid it would scare me. Okay, off with me to the post office. Updates might be very scarce for the next week or so. I won't have access to my nifty work computer, and I'll be super busy. I'll do what I can, though. This might become my refuge.

Posted by Lisa at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

October 04, 1999

Moving / Gaming / Panel

Moving sucks. I just thought I'd share that. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten nearly as much done as I had hoped. On the other hand, however, I have everything arranged as far as who's moving me and when. This Friday is D-Day. I still haven't heard about my request for time off this week, as my boss took off early today (this is not an unusual occurrance). I'm hoping I'll be able to leave early tomorrow as well.

This morning I thought I was coming down with the death plague that everyone else seems to be getting lately. I had a horrendous headache and felt all snuffly. I'm feeling a little better now. My headache is at least gone. I'm still completely wiped out though. This does not bode well. Lots of vitamin C and rest for me. I think this is my payment for a winter of total and utter sloth. I've already got a backache and I've hardly moved a single thing. Yeah yeah, I know. Whine, whine, whine.

Yesterday was interesting. As per usual, now that a final decision has been made of some sort, Hollingsworth and I are able to relate to each other like human beings again rather than snarling angry things. (Ok, that's an exaggeration. He doesn't snarl, and I don't either -- well, not directly at him.) He and I are in the same role-playing game group, and we actually went to gaming together. I hadn't gamed with this group in a long time, and I'd forgotten how much fun it could be. We tend to be extremely silly, as a whole. There were seven of us yesterday, and I was the only female. Not terribly unusual. Female gamers are rare as hen's teeth around here. Or diehards are, at least. We have another woman who plays with our group from time to time, but (when I'm really into it) I'm the only regular one.

My character for this is fun. It's a standard fantasy world, and I'm playing an elf who looks about 12 years old, but in reality, she's spent the last several hundred years with the faeries. (Leave it to me to connect Changeling to a totally unrelated game!) So while everyone was busy treating her like a child, she was trying to offer to use her magical abilities (which are fairly well-developed) to help them out. Before a potential battle:

Male Adult Character: We can't take her [meaning my character] with us! She's just a kid!
Me: Oh? So I suppose it wouldn't help if your scouts were invisible or anything?
M.A.C.: [blink] You can do that? Um, well, I guess you can come with us...
The group is a little more combat oriented than I actually prefer. That was part of the reason I stopped gaming with them for a while. However, now that I have my own game to run that isn't combat-based, I have an outlet for more story-oriented games. Besides, I hadn't realized how much I missed hanging around these guys.

I found out today that I'm on the panel for finalist selection for the Diarist Awards. I'm really nervous and really excited about this. I'm not sure why I'm nervous, except that I feel like people are going to be watching me or something. Yeah, it's weird, I know. Basically the way it works is this: anyone who keeps a web journal can go here and nominate other journallers in various categories. Once that process ends, on October 13, the other panelists and I will go through all the nominations and narrow it down to about five finalists per category. Once we finish up (by November 3rd), there's an open voting period from November 4-26. The winners are announced on November 30th. So, if you keep a journal, go nominate your favorites! Oh, and if you want to see who my fellow panelists are, go here.

Posted by Lisa at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 1999

Break From Packing

I know I'm so lame for using the same entry design two days in a row. Ok, maybe not that lame. I'm so tired today, but I wanted to grab a little time away from packing and cleaning to write a bit. Plus I just also wanted the break. I'm still not quite used to updating on my home computer. The one I use at work is so much better. Essentially, it was easier to just download yesterday's entry and keep the same calendar than it was to update one of the old pages. Yup, I'm feeling lazy today. This doesn't bode well for me trying to move.

My mom and I went out to look at the inside of the trailer today. Oh my. My mom's first words on entering it were "Ooh! I'm jealous!" It's beautiful. The kitchen alone is worth rhapsodizing over. I've gotten so used to apartment kitchens that are tiny and have those nasty fake-wood-covering-plywood cabinets and ancient appliances. This kitchen is huge and the cabinets look like oak (if they aren't actually oak, they're a damn good imitation! ;)) with nice fittings on them. And.. a gas stove. Do you have any idea how long it's been since I cooked on a gas stove? I won't know what to do with myself! No dishwasher though. That's the only drawback. So I guess that means I get my butt in gear and wash my own dishes.

There are two bedrooms, of approximately equal size. One and a half bathrooms... and both bathrooms have skylights in them! It was kinda funny, my mom kept going to turn the lights off in the bathrooms, and of course, they were already off. There are blinds and some window treatments already up, the carpets and tiles and wallcoverings are nice. And... there's an awesome computer desk in one of the bedrooms already! One of the things I wanted to get after moving was one of those big corner computer desks, and there was just what I wanted already in the master bedroom. I found out from Sheri that they couldn't move it back out once it was assembled, so, it's mine. It made deciding which bedroom I'm going to sleep in much easier. The other bedroom has more windows anyway.

In addition to all the great stuff inside, I have a small yard (Lisa gets to do yardwork, woo) and a shed. Who knows? Come spring I may discover a green thumb. Maybe I'll have better luck with outdoor plants than I do with indoor plants. Then again, that might be overly optimistic.

Essentially, there is tons of room for a single woman and her cat. I think Max and I will be quite happy there. On the way out of the park, Mom said, "My little girl, a homeowner!" Well, not quite yet, but soon.

The plan is to get as much time off of work this week as humanly possible, and pack and move as much as I can. Then, depending on when I can get the movers to come, try and get things moved completely by the weekend. Then I spend next weekend unpacking and getting settled in. I'm planning to take the first boxes over tomorrow. And, if I'm going to do that, I should wrap this up and get back to work packing.

No word on Hollingsworth, except that he found a place too, and already has his key. So I expect he's moving soon too. His stuff is still here, as far as I can see.

Lisa Nichols, homeowner. God that's scary. And would you believe not three weeks ago I was telling Dawn and Jason that I'd never buy a place, that I was never interested in buying a place, and that I was a confirmed renter? I think Fate decided to give me a little poke for that one.

Anyway, off with me.

Posted by Lisa at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 1999

Be It Ever So Humble...

I have a place to live!

That's the important thing. I am utterly delighted. Tomorrow I go to take a good look at the place. I've been there before of course, it's just been a while. I'm just hyper about it. Of course, I could go look at it tonight. I have the keys now and can pretty much move in at will. Utilities. Oy. I forgot about those. I have to get them set up.

So here I sit on hold with Ameritech, the phone company. Why on earth I'm trying to do this on a Friday evening is beyond me. I'm impatient, I suppose. I don't think I have to actually worry about the other utilities for a while. This is a long story and one that gets rather complicated, so it's best left alone. The main point is that I can start moving whenever I want to!

Later

I have a phone number! And an address! You'll forgive me. I'm a bit scattered right now. I feel like I've taken my first steps out into the world where I'm accountable to just me. That isn't precisely true, of course. I'm accountable to the people I owe money to and such. But if I decide to stay up all night -- I don't have to tiptoe around the house! (Or, as with Hollingsworth, if I'm awake during the day, since he worked midnights.) If I want to keep the house at 65 degrees during the winter, I can! If I want to wander around the house naked, I can! (Well, as long as I close the blinds. I'd like to keep on the neighbors' good side.) If I, um... if I want to put up a Christmas tree, I don't have to clear it with anybody! I don't have to get anyone's approval on curtains, or pictures, or colors, or anything decoration-related. I can arrange the furniture however I want to! I can... I can... I can sing loud obnoxious songs to my kitty and not feel stupid! (Well, okay, I'd probably feel stupid anyway, but there'd be no one there to hear!)

However, what happens if I get lonely? I suppose there are always people online I can talk to. However, I'd like to see that become more of a last resort than a first thought. I want to get more comfortable with the idea of people just coming over to hang out. I've never been completely comfortable with that, not the whole time I've been on my own. I'm not sure why. I suppose I could figure out why, and start from there. I may be a little off the beaten path from Ann Arbor now, but I'd like to be a place where friends can come and game or hang out or watch movies or whatever.

And speaking of Ann Arbor. I'm sort of having mixed feelings about leaving the area. I mean, it's not like I'm completely removed from it. I'll be driving through it everyday going to and from work. I'll be at most fifteen minutes from the city if I want to go hang out there. I think I'm going to miss living there though. There's just a feeling to the city that I really like. As one friend put it, "Ann Arbor is 35 square miles surrounded by reality." So I guess this really is all about me moving out into the real world.

Okay, so maybe I really am finally turning into a grown-up of sorts. But damn it, Brand, I am not old!!

Oh, in case you're wondering about the poem to the left, Brian Jude is none other than my good friend Brian. And speaking of Brian, I should probably call him. And give him my new phone number! Hooray!

Posted by Lisa at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)