Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My little helper

As I sit here at my computer, Piper is meticulously knocking objects off my desk, one by one. First it was a pen. Then it was a stuffed cat. Now she's eyeing my digital camera. She knocks them off, then looks at me to gauge my reaction. And, I can't really get mad at her; I mean, could YOU get mad at this little face?? Or at that fancy claw??


I mean, she's *helping* me clean, right??

Anyway. I'm trying to work on the freelance stuff, but i'm not very inspired right now. I haven't been in several days, which is why I haven't posted anything. I've got no new amazing updates, but you can be SURE I'll post as soon as something fabulous happens!!

And I leave you with this...

If only I felt as self-satisfied as she looks in that pic...[[sigh]]

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Just can't get enough

I just finished watching Taylor Hicks on Jay Leno and my cheeks actually hurt from smiling. I never watch Leno -- I'm more of a Conan gal -- but when I saw Taylor was a guest, I tuned in. And people, I don't know what it is about that man, but I can't stop grinning and clapping at almost everything he says. I know, it's immature, weird, even creepy -- but honestly, I can't remember the last time I was so into a public figure. Me and David Hasselhoff, Taylor's biggest fans. Heh.

In other news, BT made a reappearance today, which was surprising but nice, I went to the new Walmart by my house and the experience didn't totally suck, I went a little overboard on buying plastic storage containers, and finally, we broke out the kinder eggs that have been in my utility room since my trip to Germany in 1996 and boy, was that 10-year-old chocolate nasty. I knew it wouldn't be edible, but it was grrooosssss. However, the toys inside were still mucho cool and worth touching chocolate ectoplasm.

the end.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Live Blog: American Idol Season Finale, Part 4

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Vindication at last! I'm so happy with the winner!!! I was actually getting kind of teary-eyed, a little nostalgic, feeling the love, when the cameras panned to the audience and stopped on someone's face...someone who was also crying... and it was

David Hasselhoff.

So yes, Cheesefest 2006 has come to a close, but at least the best man won. Yay Taylor!!! My favorite idol so far!

Lisa Hicks. I like the sound of that.

Live Blog: American Idol Season Finale, Part 3

and just when you thought you were in the clear....

dirty dancing.

this is me, speechless.

Live Blog: American Idol Season Finale, Part 2




Live Blog: American Idol Season Finale, Part 1

OMG, WTF is this??? American Idol does ELEVATOR MUZAK????

It is an hour and thirty-three minutes into the season finale and I am about to scream -- only about 5 minutes of the last 93 have been worth watching. Other observations:

- so. do you think clay aiken is gay? is that what they were trying to say ever so subtly??
- was it me or were taylor and katharine underwhelmed at their brand new shiny mustangs? I almost expected kat to say "...but my daddy only lets me drive japanese cars..."
-seriously, who's idea was it to feature elevator music on the season finale??
-what happened to poor Elliot when he was singing "with" Mary J. Blige? Was it me, or did she kind of swoop in and take over the whole song, drowning him out and even doing a breathy "thank you, thank ya" at the end of the song? weird.
-I love Mandisa. I really do. But she should not wear bright red. That's all I'm saying.
-Taylor is H.O.T.
-I didn't realize how much I didn't miss Ace until he came back.

to be contd....

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

it's getting to be that time of year again...

...the time of year when crazy people think it's fun to go sleep outside in the woods and rise with the sun. Makes absolutely no sense to me -- why not go in the winter when it's not Africa hot??? [this is me shaking my head in wonder.]

Anyway, here is a list of the Top 12 Reasons Why I Hate Camping:

1. no A/C.
2. bugs.
3. lots of bugs.
4. I don’t care about predators, just bugs.
5. gross food. I’m not a big “eat meat that’s been in an ice chest for 24 hours” person; my friends will tell you about my slight mania about refrigeration… also, I hate trail mix and lukewarm drinking water.
6. dirt.
7. no Internet access or color TV – those little handheld b/w TVs with antennas that only pick up sports don’t quite cut it.
8. no **clean** restroom facilities. clean as in you do not have to wear flip flops and shower with one eye fixed on the daddy-long-legs formation throbbing ever so gently yet ominously next to the shower nozzle.
9. everything about camping smells funny.
10. especially musty, gross sleeping bags. does anyone besides me wonder about when the hell they’ve last been washed? I mean, you get into a sleeping bag in your [dirty] clothes, you’re sweaty and [dirty], you sweat all night due to the number one reason I hate camping, then you roll the sleeping bag back up and stick it out in your garage until next time ---- ewwwwwww. and no, “airing it out” does not count.
11. that time nicole rescued a mayfly and we were running for shelter in the pouring-down rain and one of us tripped on the tent rope (ok, it was me) and went flying into the mud and knocked the other one down, tragically smooshing the mayfly.
12. the time there was a downpour and a river was running through our tent and in the middle of the night my cot “snapped” closed, tossing me onto the cold, wet, muddy ground. with the mayfly remains.

I've earned every bubble in my bath tonight


So here I am, back in an office, sitting at a desk that is not in my house.

Traffic. I’m not used to it anymore. It’s like relearning how to drive. Weird. I’d forgotten just how much it sucks. How it adds 20 minutes onto a normally 15 minute drive; how my sweaty legs stick to the leather seats during the summer; how every single radio station will be playing a slew of ads, all at the exact same time. Other things I’ve forgotten how to do in two short months: sit upright for more than an hour or two at a time. Make small talk. Small office talk. Wear clothes besides slouchy cotton t-shirts and shorts. Oh, and how could I forget, makeup. Ugh. [aside: yes, I love makeup; just not every day…]

So here I sit in an actual office, freezing my ass off while it’s 95 degrees right outside the window. I dressed for the warm commute and several-block walk after parking downtown, but I did not dress for –30 degrees below zero office temperatures. So I’m just sitting here in front of my laptop, which is what I do at home, yes; but it’s different here. Here I have to be quiet. I’m wearing shoes. I feel like I shouldn’t slouch. Or sit cross-legged in the chair. Someone else’s chair. Very odd. Can I get used to this again? Or am I just going to realize how much I like NOT going into an office everyday? I wish there was a way to have it all.


It is now 10pm. I stayed at the office until 6:15, just like old times. And people, I. Am. Tired. I rushed through my errands to make it home in time for American Idol, but I did it. Today, I was mainly nervous about parking downtown. Now I’m all nervous about being there during lunchtime tomorrow – what will I do? I hate being “the new person.”

This is not to say that I am not grateful to have the opportunity to sit in a hip downtown office and write about HIGH END SKINCARE every day, ohhhhh noooo ... I'm not complaining about the work; just getting back into the routine of the daily grind.

Let's say it again, together now: high-end skincare. [cackles at good fortune]

Sunday, May 21, 2006

the sky is falling

or rather, the moon...

I just had an unfortunate shower incident. I am still traumatized, and thought perhaps writing about it would purge me of the dreadful memory.

The accident involved dropping this lovely, large, LUSH soap:

While lovely, yes; creamy, yes; gorgeous and fragrant, yes; that mofo is slippery. It is like holding a slimy boomerang in your hand. It is much larger than my hand, so I had to grip it around the face, which you would think would be nice and secure. Not so. In any event, my lovely moon-face soap now has a lovely dent, as does my foot. At a critical moment, I accidentally flung the slippery moon-face soap into my shower window, where it bounced off, knocking three bottles of shower gel and two soap dishes full of other soaps out of the window sill -- and I witnessed all this with soap in my eyes and a razor in my hand. Thank Heavens I jumped in surprise or surely my feet would have been crushed by the falling rubble. As it turned out, I simply have a red "egg" growing on the side of my left foot where the moon-face itself glanced off the side before schizing down the center of my tub and collecting with the other asundry items that were now clogging the drain.

The moral of the story: shaped soaps are indeed lovely, especially those from LUSH, but they are f-ing slippery and overall, dangerous if you live alone and like to shower at 1 am. By candlelight. ahem.

Perhaps that was more than you wished to imagine. But it is the truth, people, and I speak nothing if not the TRUTH.

Beware soap that has a face.

Friday, May 19, 2006

from the archives

I wrote this 8 years ago, at a completely different time in my life. I was in therapy at that time, working through a lot of things, including the end of my marriage. I found this tonight and decided to post it, with just a very few edits to protect those I love. Funny how much things have changed, yet how much they also stay the same.

January 23, 1998

I knew this before, without voicing it so precisely. I may have even mentioned it to people as an example. But a moment ago, as I was flipping through my Daytimer looking at the month ahead, I saw where I had marked the anniversary of my Grandmother’s death. Instantly, I was there. Two years ago, but still fresh when I close my eyes.

What I realized just now is that I do know the precise moment my marriage was over, the instant in which my decision was made. My ex was driving me to San Antonio for the weekend funeral, though he hadn’t been with me earlier that week when I was at the hospital waiting and waiting for life. He was trying to chit-chat and act “normal”, and even asked if I wanted to stop at the outlet mall. It was dark outside, and I remember watching him as he spoke. Watching a stranger. He had now switched the topic to my family and was inventing all the possible crazy scenarios that might occur with all of us in the same room together. Just for fun. He was cracking himself up talking about what if one of my uncles finally let loose on my dad. He went on and on, and I watched him silently, and suddenly I felt so hard the love for him die out. Just vanish. My heart went numb as my mind realized that I didn’t love this man, this man didn’t understand me or know who I was, nor did he realize it, much less give a damn. I realized I could not, would not spend the rest of my life with this person that I despised at that moment. I felt disgust for him, as well as sorrow. This was all an instant, one he was unaware of, and one that I tucked away somewhere until now, when I can look at all of it with clarity.

If I knew then what I know to be true now, as they say, I would have listened to my heart and my body and acknowledged my decision. It was my self that wasn’t ready to give up. Although ironically, that is when I did give up. I stopped caring, I stopped trying, I stopped thinking of a future with him. I began to realize over the next few months how fucking stifled I was, and how had I become so not me? So began the next year and a half of the ending of our marriage. The attacks I made on him, then the guilt. The blame he put on me, and more guilt. Always guilt. It was my fault, I didn’t try hard enough, I had grown cold, I needed help, I was fucked up, but not him. I lived like this for months and months, getting more and more numb and withdrawn, protecting myself with more and more weight. No one would touch me, not my body or my soul. I wouldn’t have it.

We stopped touching, in any way, approximately a year after my Grandmother’s death, in fact, about this time a year ago. It had tapered almost to nothing anyway; he was actually forced to take the initiative because I didn’t care anymore. I went through it, but was not really there. He repulsed me. Finally I said enough. When he wouldn’t honor that, I gave him the ultimatum--couple’s therapy or divorce. I was not going to feel stalked in my own home, and I was aware that it was so wrong, so absurd that I didn’t want him THAT MUCH. I knew that couple’s therapy would be the end, but I was finally ready. And surely, it took only a month before we were separated, then a week before starting the divorce. Time started moving for me again. There was grief, but also hints of joy that I at first tried to stifle out of guilt. How could I feel joyous about getting divorced? But I did. My sense of freedom widened, as did my group of support, my friends. I began to live again. Time started flying by me as my soul picked up speed. As I changed, as my spirit was freed, so was my body. My body went through an amazing transformation all by itself, just following the fashion of my new perspective, my new hope and joy. I feel the transformation culminated in my trip to Europe. On that trip I lived as the person I now am; I felt no dead weight from my past. I lived completely in the moment without analyzing anything, and felt free and happy and alive, all at the same time. I noticed details like never before. I felt the wind, smelled the city, listened to traffic mingled with foreign tongues. I felt myself feeling. I absorbed the experiences like a sponge, and I am still full, almost overflowing. This is living.

I believe that is a gift my Grandmother gave to me, somehow. The Sunday before her surgery, my birthday actually, she was saying her good-byes to all of us, even though we didn’t know that until later. She knew. She was ready. She wasn’t afraid. I remember so clearly her smooth face, her dark, wet eyes, her smile and little laugh. She hugged me good-bye, then pulled back, her hands still on my shoulders, and just looked at me with brimming eyes and her lips pressed into a smile. She just looked at me, and said softly “Good-bye, honey.” I said something to the effect of everything would be fine, I’d see her Tuesday before her surgery. But she knew. She gave me a birthday card, and it said “My Love Always, Grandmother”. That was very significant, in retrospect. For 26 years I’d gotten her birthday cards signed simply “Love, Grandmother”. Later, after she died, as the family was going through her desk looking for insurance papers, they discovered, rubber-banded together, a stack of birthday cards for everyone else’s birthday for the whole year. Signed and stamped. She knew.

I always think of her when I doubt myself or what I’m doing. I truly feel she would be proud of me. She lived a full, adventurous life in a time when it wasn’t proper to do so, and I know she would have understood bolting from a cage. She made mistakes and learned from them and then made more mistakes, but she lived her life. And I know she was with me too on my trip last year, seeing Europe from my eyes, experiencing my joy, so happy and happy for me. I could feel her.

I finally feel peace about her unexpected (for us) death. There is a reason and a purpose for everything, and I think I know what my lesson was. Do not waste a single day being sad. Live fully. Take care of yourself no matter what others say. Be an independent woman. I feel her strength through me also as I battle my other demons that affect me still. She would tell me to keep going, keep digging, keep fighting, until I find resolution and peace. So I will.

Day by day. Lessons, every day, if you know where to look and how to see.

Interesting I should discover this jewel from my past right when I'm on the brink of drastically uprooting and changing my safe little life... yay, Grandmother! She still sees...

Just another day of lizard-avenging and anti-aging skincare

Yes, so just now I rescued yet another lizard from literally the jaws of death. Piper's jaws, to be specific. Fortunately it looks like I got him before she maimed or punctured him, although the poor thing was heaving like he was having a heart attack. He was an icky brown color when I pulled him away from her, but when I set him outside under the bushes he turned back to a brilliant green, caught his little lizard breath, and scurried off. And the cats are grounded to the indoors for the rest of the afternoon. So, crisis averted. I wonder if Colorado has lizards? Hmmm... and I wonder this because...well, you just never know what's around the corner...[mysterious eyebrow wiggle]

I accepted a freelance gig yesterday that requires me to do writing for a high-end skincare website. A name brand that I am familiar with, that I admire, and that I cannot afford. I almost cackled with glee when they told me the client name, I feel like I've hit my marketing nirvana. Then next week, I'll start freelancing for the company in Denver for which I have been pining. It's all looking and feeling pretty good on this Friday afternoon, and it's about damn time. This time last week I was just not sure at all what I was doing or what I even wanted to do.

I feel like I should have some great weekend plans to top it all off, but I don't have anything planned yet except to madly get my house in order - again. I kind of got unmotivated and left the projects in the dust a month or so ago, but now I need to get moving again....

that is all. for now. check back in 10 minutes or so, the way things have been going, who knows...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

...and then there was light.

Can you see it? I can, if I squint and hold my head just so...there it is, a light glow peeking through the darkness. Do you see it now?

I am better. I am taking deep breaths again, feeling alive again, cleaning my house again. I had slumped into the land of "Meh", but i'm clawing my way out, with a little help from the Universe and All That is Holy.

Today I received an email from the agency in Denver I was interested in a couple months ago. The one that seemed so promising, that had me calling my realtor and going through my garage, the one that had me giddy and optimistic. The one that crushed me when I found out the position had been put on hold. Well, it's coming off hold very soon, and they want to talk to me! In fact, they want me to start doing freelance work for them between now and then, to get my feet wet.

I can't even begin to describe how relieved I feel right now. Because everything had been feeling so yucky. I was getting interviews, yes, but I was not swinging from the rooftops proclaiming my love for said companies. No. I was hiding in my house, staring at piles of paper I started to organize a couple of weeks ago, and feeling no motivation to move forward.

I don't know what's on the horizon, but at least I know it will be interesting. Having that job in Denver put on hold allowed me to realize how much I was looking forward to a change. To the mountains. To moving to a new place. So that now, when it might come to fruition, I am not at all doubtful. I know I want to take the chance. I am ready for the change. I am ready for whatever.

AND I landed a freelance job today, here in town. AND a friend of mine, who became unemployed at the same time I did, got a job today. AND Idol comes on in 20 minutes. I'm coasting, people. I might even break out the Target box wine...

Monday, May 15, 2006


Nothing is all right. Everything is, in fact, all wrong. The balance of my universe is off, and it’s starting to make me dizzy.

First no job. Then no sleep. No money. No interviews. Now the latter three are better, but there’s No BT. He is M.I.A. And his timing couldn’t be worse, because I need some shred of instability to be stable right now, dammit. It wouldn’t be such a big loss if I had, oh, I don’t know – OTHER things going on in my life that make me temporarily forget my plight. But you see, I don’t. I have had only interviews for jobs that are “meh”. I have enough money to pay the bills right now, somehow. I’m even sleeping through the night again. But. A girl needs an outlet, you know? Why does he have to fall off the radar when mine is bleeping out of control??? Not. Fair.

So I watched the Grey’s Anatomy 2-hour season finale tonight, and all I have to say is, wow. That is the best show EVAH. Usually they leave you hanging in some annoying manner at the end of a season, but this one was perfect. Everything happened and everything was in turmoil yet there was some closure, and I sobbed through ¾ of the show, and now it’s over. Yet another end to one of the few things that brings me pleasure nowadays. Yes yes, just send Kleenex®. I’ll be fine.

After a whirlwind week of travel, now the prospect of just slothing around again is not so appealing. I may just bite the bullet and get in my car and drive. Drive and drive and drive. All the way to nowhere. It also occurred to me tonight that I could always go to travelocity right this very minute, buy a ticket to anywhere for tomorrow, and just disappear for a while. God, that sounds so appealing right now. Just leave my pet sitter a blank check and take off. Ahhh, to be young, impetuous and irresponsible. [bitter, ragged sigh]

I want to stop the ride and get off. Not forever, just for a while. Is that so much to ask? IS IT?

Friday, May 12, 2006


Just, yes. I thought I'd anticipate the questions you might have -- am I doing ok? am I indeed alive? does Jess still sleep on my head? did you miss me terribly?

So I've been pretty low-profile lately, but I have a reason, yes! I have been Travelin' Lisa. It all started last weekend with a trip to Dallas to attend my friend Sarah's wedding. Which was loverly, I might add. Then, inspired by the refreshing-ness of being away from my house, and tired of compulsively checking email and waiting for the phone to ring, I skipped town again on Tuesday to visit two dear friends in Houston. Two dear friends I've been wanting to visit for a looonnnggg time, but for one reason or another, just hadn't made it down there. And of course, the first day I was gone, I received a phone call about setting up an interview on Friday. And I wasn't planning on returning til Saturday. You know the way it goes -- but I'm certainly not complaining about getting an interview!

Besides, the interview was today and it was very intriguing. I left feeling a little excited, a little overwhelmed, but mostly, a little hopeful. So we'll see what happens there -- the CEO said I'd hear "something" on Monday...which is when, incidentally, I have aNOTHER interview somewhere else! Yes people, when it rains it pours. And here is something very important I've learned over the past few days: If you are waiting for something to happen, leave town. It's an offshoot of the "watched pot never boils" theory. Take it from me, it works.

I had lovely, albeit short, visits with my friends and got to meet their most recent chilluns. Muffins, I say! Each of them has had a little girl most recently, and you know, little dresses and pigtails and all that -- MUFFINS. I want to go back again soon to finish my visit with Crazy Momcat, since it got cut short on account of the stupid JOB interview... mutter mutter mutter... haha, just kidding. Job = Good.

Besides all of the above, nothing earth-shattering is going on. I'm back at home, it's trashed and smells like cats, and it looks like I'm leaving tomorrow for an overnight Mother's Day trip to San Antonio. Yes, I'm the Travelin' Lisa. (isn't that a band or something? no? it should be...can you sing?)

Monday, May 01, 2006

My eyes. They suck. And possibly my cats, too.

So this afternoon I took a long, langorous shower. As I stepped out into the steamy bathroom, I saw Jess sitting patiently by the door, so I started cooing and chirping at him. "Hello JESSSSSSS, were you waiting for me? huh? well here I am! You're so handsome, you're such a handsome gray cat..." etc etc. I finally located my glasses on the counter and slipped them on -- to find myself cooing at the t-shirt I had removed right. before. my. shower.

In other news, I have had to retrieve two lizards from the jaws of mis gatos in the past few days -- one was alive and one -- not so much. I tell myself he might have just been dazed...I mean, lizards are cold anyway, right??? I can't really punish los gatos, because you know, they're cats. They proudly brought both acquisitions right to me in the house in expectation of the requisite praise. In retrospect, it probably confused them when I pried their jaws open, took their prey, and yelled "ASSHOLES" as I flew through the house to put the lizard back outside. And ban the kitties from anymore outside until tomorrow. But, really, what are you gonna do? See Babs's similar experience...

Ahh, the exciting life of unemployment. Hopefully that will change soon...