Monday, January 26, 2009

pass the dramamine

another wish

One of the things I've noticed lately is the myriad of emotions I am capable of having in one day. I can wake up groggy and cranky, get to work and be irritable, laugh with my friends at lunch, have a melancholy afternoon, be stressed and tense when I get home and think of all the things I'm not getting done, have an absolute blast and blow off happy steam at rehearsal, then come home and curl up in a ball on the couch and remember everything that happened just before Christmas. I am a mess. And not necessarily in a bad way. I'm just all over the place all the time, processing and thinking and dealing.

Can I have another wish? I wish for truth. I have been lying to myself for years, not dealing with patterns that are hurting me, blocking out others that I just hope will go away. Well, they're not going anywhere; I keep spinning in circles, reliving the same script over and over like some demented ferris wheel ride, breaking promises to myself left and right. I'm tired. And slightly nauseous.

Enough, already. I owe myself more than this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

roll in the snow


I'm feeling better today, so no need to call the crisis hotline. I ate a sleeve of Girl Scout thin mint cookies (yes, I said A SLEEVE OF THEM), I had a good laugh at Donna's expense, and I went outside to frolick in the snow.


I made a snow angel and got all sloppy messy.


And now I'm off to rehearsal. I've set my DVR to record the season premiere of Lost, which I cannot WAIT to see. Things are looking up.



Not having a great night here. In fact, it's been pretty crappy. It's 2:00 a.m. and I have to be up in four hours for work. FOUR HOURS.

This photo was taken on Sunday at a lake that was completely frozen over and covered by a foot of snow. People were ice fishing on it; it should have been completely solid. But toward the edge was this huge hole with water in it, and the snow all wrinkled and sunken in around it like a sheet. How does that even happen? It looked like someone had just punched a hole in it and left.

This is how I'm feeling at the moment, like someone punched a hole in me and left. I don't know what to fill it with or even what to do, except stare at it and think, man, Lisa, that's a really big hole. I feel lost and scattered and empty and achingly sad.

And I'm just really, really tired and can't sleep.

Monday, January 19, 2009



You know how once in awhile you find a song that sums up everything you feel about a particular situation? This one does it for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

cuteness abounds


Have you ever visited Cute Overload? That's what this post feels like.

Above is my niece, Hope, who is growing up so fast and getting cuter by the day. She's eight months old now and has lots of red hair - I'd like to think she takes after her aunt Lisa! Mike was visiting her this morning and sent me the above camera phone photos. I just want to squeeze her.

While I was receiving all sorts of adorableness over the phone, I had a houseful of cute, myself. I got to babysit my favorite little neighbor for six hours today and we had soooo much fun!


It's the first time she's stayed at my house for the afternoon; usually I go to her house to watch her. She played with Sophie and Sadie, jumped on my mini-trampoline, played with a pile of teddy bears, and watched some Noggin.

Oh! Has anyone out there ever seen Yo Gabba Gabba? She was playing in the living room, but when this show started, she stopped, sat down, and was mesmerized for a half hour. The same thing happens when Laura's girls watch it. I don't know what it is about that show, but I love it, too! It's kind of retro-1980's-Devo-Atari-game meets Sesame Street. I've never seen a preschooler who could resist it. Or, apparently, a 39-year old.

Here they all are:

I know! But it's strangely addicting.


Here she is, eating a cracker after what was supposed to be nap time. That didn't go very well. I don't think she ever shut her eyes. Every time I peeked at her, she was smiling at me.

She's being potty trained, and every time she goes successfully, she gets a sticker. Somehow we lost her stickers after about 10 minutes at my house, so I used my return address labels instead. She thought it would be funny to stick them all over herself, so I gave her the roll and let her have at it.


We read books and then she occupied herself by taking all the lids off my Yankee Candle collection and putting them back on. I had all these toys out for her to play with, and she had the most fun with the candles.

And if you don't feel you've been sufficiently bombarded with cuteness, please enjoy these two little camera phone videos of Hope.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

only fun

Katie on her 12th birthday, last March.

Tonight, I will discuss only fun topics. The happiest moments I'm having lately are at the theater. Other areas of my life are causing angst and worry, but onstage I am completely content. This is very wierd.

I auditioned for the play to branch out, do something that scared me, and gain confidence. I've always felt awkward in front of big groups of people, so I thought it would be, as annoying teachers from high school liked to say "a good learning experience".

What I didn't expect is that I would be having so much FUN. I can hardly wait for rehearsal nights (even though it's great to have a night off, like tonight). It's stressful, crazy, confusing, and wonderful. I'm learning so much, like how to trust myself and other people, conquer the fear, and just enjoy it.

Other fun things to ponder:

Joss Whedon's (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Firefly) new series Dollhouse. They all kind of look plastic and odd in this photo. Back off the Photoshop, people!

Coraline, a stop-motion film based on Neil Gaiman's novella:

And this cute and creative site. I find myself wanting to own a plush toilet, stick of butter, and angry slice of toast.

Monday, January 12, 2009



Sunday, January 11, 2009

being brave

white dog
My neighbor's dog.

You know how you read other people's blogs, click on their links, then click on their links, and pretty soon you have twelve browser tabs open and don't know how you got to the page you're reading? That's how I stumbled onto this blog entry.

It made me question how I "take the edge off" my own life. What am I doing to numb myself? Comfort eating, drinking a few more beers than necessary, sleeping, holing up in my house, movies, sewing, photography? Where is the line drawn between a relaxing day at home and hiding, or between a hobby and an escape?

I think I've lost my edge. Sometimes I feel so worn out that it's easier to numb myself than to set myself up for the possibility of more disappointment. I worry that I've become so emotionally dead inside that if I actually find a healthy relationship, I won't even be able to recognize it. And I worry that while I'm busy padding my heart with bubble wrap and clunking around in a suit of armor, I'm also shielding myself from the good things in life.

This will never work. Plus, a metal suit isn't all that flattering.

I promise myself to get out of my comfort zone. Feel the edge. Be a bit afraid. Vulnerable. And open to all sorts of possibilities.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

snowy night out

The ceiling and part of a balcony at the Detroit Music Hall, taken with my Canon Digital Elph.

Ever since I was blown away by Giselle last March, I've wanted to see another ballet. Tonight I took myself to see Don Quixote, performed by the Russian National Ballet at the Detroit Music Hall. Although it didn't capture my heart like Giselle did (there is just something about that ballet!), it was fantastic and fun. I enjoy getting dressed up and going downtown, seeing something new, and people watching.

It had snowed for two days straight, dumping 9 or more inches on the area. I love snow, so that's fine with me - the more, the better. But it also made for some slow driving on my way downtown. The freeways were completely covered in snow so I couldn't tell what lane I was in, if any. It was like one gigantically wide road.

I snuck this photo, without flash, as the dancers were taking their bows. Shhh! Don't tell anyone . . .

music hall
Here's everyone leaving the Music Hall after the ballet.
It would be a nicer photo without the huge snowplow parked right in front.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

and then a week later . . .


My Christmas vacation was the equivalent of getting cracked on the head. Twice.

Right before the holidays, I learned something that stirred up all sorts of emotions, both old and new, and pushed me into a tailspin that I'm still kind of coming out of. I won't elaborate. You've all been there. Heartbreak? Despair? Going to your counseling session in your pajamas? Yep, see, you understand.

So the past three weeks were all about purging unwanted blech from my life. It went something like this:

Four days before Christmas (as undisclosed bomb of news drops on my life)
Universe: Clean out the emotional crap, Lisa.
Me: I don't want to. It hurts too much.
Universe: Your heart is broken and you're angry. You have no choice.

Then a few days later (as my basement fills with water)
Universe: Clean out the cluttery crap, Lisa.
Me: I don't want to. I hate dealing with clutter. Really, really hate it.
Universe: Your carpet is underwater and a sock is floating by. You have no choice.

I saw a pattern forming (because I'm quick like that), so I listened. I worked and worked and worked, on the inside of me and the basement of my house. I read self-help books, thought about things, and hauled boxes of soggy junk to the trash. It sucked. It was not exactly how I had pictured two weeks off from work.

Last night I was completely, utterly physically and emotionally exhausted. Just done. I got home at 5:00, put on my pajamas, and fell asleep on the couch until 8:30. Then I got up and went to bed. So overall, I slept about 12 hours: one of those deep, cleansing sleeps where you just conk out and your house could get blown out to sea and you wouldn't wake up. Meanwhile, your brain takes the opportunity to rewire and process and clean out the bad stuff, do some filing and sweeping, so that when you wake up, your head is more clear. Today is the first day I've felt like everything might be all right.

This year, my resolution is to be selfish - in a positive, self-nurturing way. I'm tired of pleasing people or worrying that they'll be mad at me. I'm tired of being superwoman and taking on too much because I can't say no. And I'm really tired of fake feelings, fake relationships, and not telling people how I really feel. I want to ask myself at every moment: are you doing this/saying this/feeling this because you truly want to, or because you're worried about what other people think? Why is this person in your life and is this relationship in your best interest? Maybe it took me until January 8th to come up with my resolution, but I think it still counts.

Today feels more like the beginning of a new year than a week ago. All I need is a party hat, noisemakers, and a glass of champagne. Oh, and maybe a cheese platter.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

solitary evening


Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

– from "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell (1621 – 1678)

I've always loved that poem, and it seems so appropriate tonight. I resolve to burst through my life in 2009 and not sit back as an observer. Sign me up to participate.

I spent my New Year's Eve by myself, hanging out in my little house with the furry creatures and the Project Runway marathon. It's the first time in decades, or maybe ever, that I've spent this night alone. And I don't feel particularly bad about that. It was an introspective evening of plans and goals and lessons learned, and I got to enjoy it in my pajamas in my favorite place in the world: my home.

I made myself spinach lasagna (recipe is at the end of this post) and garlic bread (the buttery store-bought kind in the foil that has like 800 calories per bite) and sipped on Sam Adams lager all evening.

At midnight, I watched the ball drop in Times Square on television (trivia: Dick Clark and I share the same birthday). Here's the ball at exactly midnight:


Then I put on my coat and boots and rushed outside to meet 2009. I lit a candle in my yard and watched it twinkle in the snow.

candle in snow

It was cold. I came in, warmed up, and ate brie on crackers and Mediterranean olives.


I love the fresh start of a new year; it's like we all get a second chance. Even me.


Lisa's Spinach Lasagna
(this recipe will serve one extremely hungry person, two average people, or three people with tiny stomachs. I usually eat half of it one day and the rest of it the next.)

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese (with some extra to sprinkle over the top)
1 cup thawed, very well-drained, frozen chopped spinach
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dry basil
pinch of red pepper
fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped, to taste (I use about a teaspoon)
salt, to taste
3-4 lasanga noodles

Mix all ingredients except noodles. Boil noodles, 2 at a time, until flexible but not mushy. Place a noodle in the bottom of a bread loaf pan (I use those disposable aluminum ones), then a layer of the cheese mixture. Alternate layers and finish with a final lasagna noodle. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese across the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, removing foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. Let it sit a few minutes before cutting.

I don't use sauce in this recipe, but feel free to use spaghetti sauce between the layers of lasagna noodles, if you'd like. It's great served with garlic bread and a salad.