Is A Return After A Long Absence Worth It?

Hey all!

It has been over 2 and a half years since I’ve even been on WordPress and I’ll admit it, it’s producing a little anxiety. What am I doing back here? They say you can never go home again, but is that my goal? So much has changed that there is no way this blog will follow the same trajectory as before. I’m a different person. I mean, an amazingly different person. But I feel like I have something to say again, something to share, a lot of things to make sense of, and I hope it’s something that interests past and new readers as I once did before.

This blog was aptly named ‘Tales of a 30-Year-Old Nothing’ at the time I created it and now I feel it could be more like ‘Tales of a 30-Something-Year-Old Something’. (Name change currently under debate in my head). When we last met I was mainly struggling through unemployment and the dreaded job search. I got a job, or 2, or 3 and switched to find struggles with nothingness, lack of motivation, uncertainty and instability, depression, this past winter on the east coast (you know what I’m talking about NE-ers), finding purpose, finding my place in life, an eventual move back to my hometown, making sense of the adult I was fighting against becoming and the adult I’m working so hard to be. It’s no pleasure cruise (but sign me up for one of those stat), and looking back knowing that there has been a 2 1/2 year gap between then and now makes me realize how little and how much growth there has been. These progressions aren’t happening over night and they have been met with resistance from my own psyche as well as other’s. The old adage 1 step forward, 2 steps back becomes a way of life and the best we can do is make sure that step forward is more of a stride. It’s the only way to get anywhere. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many moments of contentment and happiness, times of pure elation, ecstasy, and joy that have shaped my journey. It all matters and plays a role. And really, I’m not a heavy person. Put on a cheesy 80s song (such as the one I’m listening to now) and I’ll dance to it like a lunatic. (Unfortunately, videos will not be provided).

I’m not looking back anymore. At least not to live. I will, however, take a handy-dandy time machine to certain points that I feel are important to address in hopes of achieving a deeper understanding and to share with those who are/have been stuck right along with me.

So I’ve heard starting at the very beginning is a very good place to start, and I feel it’s time to reintroduce myself to the WordPress community. I’m 33, I moved to Philadelphia within the past year after over a decade in Manhattan, and am reawakening a part of myself that has laid dormant for far too long. I’ve always loved writing but occasionally lose focus when life gets in the way. Just like working out, once you put it off a few days, months, years, what’s a few more? This time I’m committed, as I am in all aspects of my life. That is the difference. And I’m on the computer all day anyway (like the rest of us dry-eyed zombies) so what’s another hour? But why am I on the computer all day? I work in social media. It’s a glamorous life of home offices in bedrooms, neighborly door-slamming distractions, soap opera lunch breaks, and bun hairdos. My co-worker/housemate is a cat and I have a pair of Kurdish farming pants hanging on my bedroom wall to remind me of a trip to Turkey in my 20′s. My favorite color is pink and I like long walks on the beach… (wait, just kidding, that last bit is not at all true). Most importantly, I’m navigating through a series of mazes and obstacles on my way to living the life I want and know I deserve. We can do it with a little help, determination, time, and a very well-timed bet that a friend jokingly proposes but you take on with extreme gusto.

-xo

And Now For Something Completely Different

I am not known to be a domestic goddess by any means. I clean on a regular basis, mainly because I don’t enjoy living in the kind of filth that New York tends to create. Though I don’t go overboard. I mean, why waste time cleaning when you can be laying in bed watching TV? But over the past year I’ve unearthed an interest in cooking thanks to my best friend and holistic health counselor. Previously, my most complex meal involved adding a microwaved bag of veggies in cheese sauce to some pasta. Include some pepper to the mix and I was almost going gourmet. Now, though, I’m getting in the kitchen like a good little woman and making some pretty tasty things. It’s helped me feel like a real grown-up as well as shed quite a few pounds, the only negative is the excessive amount of dish washing afterwards.

Last week I made something called sweet potato shepherds pie, a dish that many of my British friends laugh at because it in no way resembles traditional shepherds pie. The only things the two recipes have in common are carrots and onions, but I’m not worried about it because it’s pure awesome-ness. I’ve been thinking about how good it tastes since I finished it days ago, it’s the best meal I’ve made to date. Today, I’m going to make it again and thought I would capture it’s beauty for you all and share this fabulous fall recipe for you all to enjoy!

First order of business is to cook and mash the sweet potatoes

 

Then saute the onions and carrots

This process starts making the house smell amazing. It’s the perfect time to sip on a glass of wine while watching the rain outside the window.

This is the part that you add the beans and broth to simmer

After that is all finished, you add the bean and veggie mixture to a casserole dish and lay the sweet potatoes on top to bake in the oven.

All ready to go in the oven!

 

Finished product right before it went in my belly

 

See the recipe here: Sweet potato shepherds pie. I omitted the leeks and turnips for no real reason, I just didn’t feel like buying them.

So, there you go! If you end up making it let me know what you think.

 

*This short, and random, post is due in part to the fact that I’m currently working on a personal essay but didn’t want to go yet another month without being in touch with you guys. I hope to have the thing I’m working on be finished soon so I can maybe get back to normal.

-xo

First Full Moon of Spring

Tonight we see the first full moon of spring, also known as the ‘Pink Moon’ or the Paschal Full Moon.

I happened to unlock my eyeballs from the TV at the perfect moment the moon was being brushed by the clouds right outside my window. It’s a window (for lack of a better word) of opportunity, from my vantage point, that only presents itself about one hour an evening (on a clear evening, that is). Enjoy its ethereal beauty.

Perfect

 

 If you want to learn more about this pre-Easter moon you can check it out here: April’s Full Moon.

Good night.

-xo

I’m Seriously Sad/Scared for the Future of Soap Operas

There’s something I haven’t really addressed here yet, I’m not sure why. I’m not embarrassed by it, it just hasn’t come up. I’m just going to come out and say it. Here goes…

I’m addicted to television.

I watch it all the time, while I read, write, get ready in the morning, clean, and even sleep. I can’t go to sleep without it, unless I’m obnoxiously tired or obnoxiously drunk. Don’t get me wrong I have other loves too, like music. Sometimes I force myself to turn off the TV and listen to some tunes but lots of times I just turn on one of those music channels on the TV, so it’s like the best of both worlds. I usually reserve music listening to various modes of commuting. Television gets watched at home. (Obviously, my TV is a little too big to carry around with me). And I watch a little bit of everything. It may be a factor of living alone (the comfort of hearing other voices [besides the ones in my head]). But I really love it so much that I studied it in college, wrote papers on shows such as Full House (20 pages on that madness), and branded myself with two tattoos that show my love for the visual medium. So you can understand my shock and sadness when I heard about the cancellation of two iconic soap operas yesterday. It’s really coming close to the end of an era.

I don’t watch All My Children or One Life To Live but I do have memories of watching it with my mother when I was younger on occasion (I’d sit to watch them with her while waiting for the soap I did (and still do) watch General Hospital). The memories I have of watching those shows were slight boredom due to confusion (because if you don’t know the background of the characters you’re kind of lost) but also of bonding. It was something that my mom and I did together on the days I got home from school early, lying on the couch and talking about the crazy scenarios. These days my mom and I call each other after crazy GH episodes and I fill her in on spoilers/news that I’ve run across on the internet. When I joined Twitter I began to follow all the actors because they are a part of my daily life on TV so why not on the Internet?

I grew up watching soap operas. Before I was even in first grade (mid 1980′s) I was watching Days Of Our Lives and Another World with my older sister. Those short couple hours were some of the only times we didn’t fight. When summer would end and my sister had to go back to school she enlisted me to take notes on those shows so she wouldn’t miss anything. I always felt so important and proud to present her with the events of the day’s episode. ‘Marlena did this!’ ‘Patch and Kayla talked about that!’ ‘Cass went here!’ ‘Felicia went there!’ It was the only time my sister would let me talk without being interrupted for more than a couple minutes. And though my ‘job’ didn’t last long, I’ll never forget doing it. After I started going to school for a full day soap operas sort of took a back seat, but I was always home in time to catch some General Hospital. I’ve been watching it most of my life.

Soap operas allow you to look into the lives of these amazing, glamorous, funny, crafty, crazy and rich people. Lives you could never lead and, in most instances, wouldn’t want. They force you to look at yourself and ask what you would do in a similar situation. Of course, as long as you’re terribly unlucky, you don’t have to worry about the psycho ex brother-in-law who is possessed by the devil, threatening to kill you every other week but is untouchable by the law because he is the police chief so no one believes you. But what if? How would you handle it? What are the La La Land loopholes that exist so this storyline can continue for the next year? Aren’t you glad you aren’t that person? But at least you can be transported for an hour into that world and forget all your ‘silly’ problems.

Yesterday as I was watching the news report on this unfortunate turn of events the ‘expert’ was asked if this is a sign of things to come. He said ‘yes’. He believed that soap operas will be a thing of history in the next couple of years, my heart sank into my stomach. I hope he’s very, very, very wrong. Firstly, because I can’t imagine what I would do without my daily GH fix and secondly, because I think it will rob future children from a special type of connection with their mother’s, grandmother’s, sister’s, aunt’s, who ever (I’m not excluding the men who watch). How many of you have stronger television childhood memories connected to a different genre such as news, evening cop dramas, or even sitcoms? From my experience, the occurrence is rare. Daytime TV, specifically soaps, become exotic in our young minds because we only get to watch them when we are home from school (which always felt naughty even when you were super sick). There are no shows quite like the soap opera, even prime time ‘soaps’ like Desperate Housewives can’t reach the depth that daytime soaps can go. It’s not their fault though, there is only so much you can do once a week.

Television won’t be the same without soap operas. I hope I never have to see the day. All of the people involved with the creation of these shows work extremely hard everyday to bring you an hour of pleasure and means of escape five days a week. If you are a fan, you need to speak up and let the networks know that soap operas are needed more than another lifestyle program. We need to protect this dying breed before it goes the way of the dodo bird. Now my mom watches General Hospital while watching my 2-year-old nephew and as long as that is able to continue it will be one of those kooky memories he’ll have about her forever. Similar to the warm memories I have of watching insane amounts of game shows with my grandpa.

If you’re in interested in getting your voice heard about AMC or OLTL you can call here to keep the soaps alive ABC Comment Line 818-460-7477 ext:255 for AMC ext 663 for OLTL.

-xo

Basking in the Glow of Being Freshly Pressed

 

What a difference a day makes

Looks like my letter worked! And with the help of getting pressed pushing my letter into the forefront, spring had nowhere to hide. We did it people!

Color me surprised yesterday afternoon. I woke up in the morning to goosebump-covered arms and a foggy cityscape so I made a little plea for spring. I was just minding my own business, looking for jobs (ugh) when my inbox began to expand. After about an hour of trying to keep up I reminded myself that I actually had chores to do (yes, yes even us ‘pressed’ people have to clean) and had to tear myself away from my computer, even though it was just so tempting to stay and watch it all happen live. (I’m very easily distracted!)

I’m glad to hear that I’m in such good spring-awaiting company and thank you for completely distracting me from my job search (again, ugh)!

Now off to enjoy the beautiful weather with a little walk around the city accompanied by my good friends iPod and camera. Get off your butts and do it too! (If you have the opportunity).

High fives all around!

The heat is on.

-xo

An Open Letter to Spring

 

Spring?

The view out my window this morning

 

Dear Spring,

I feel duped every year. The middle of March rolls around and I start gearing up for some lovely, sun drenched weather. I get itchy, anxious, almost certifiable gearing up to end my intense winter hibernation… but you never show up. Eventually you’ll breeze by for one glorious day (one that I am undoubtedly stuck inside for one reason or another) then leave in your place your gloomy, rainy, horribly depressed little brother who ends up sticking around like an oblivious houseguest. It is now the middle of April and you’ve made an appearance once this month.

My rational mind knows that this is typical. In recent memory you do tend to make us wait as long as possible to make your appearance, like you can’t hear how loud we’re cheering for you from behind the curtain. But you have to understand that the idea of spring evokes many strong emotions such as love, happiness, good will towards others and nostalgia. I always become filled up with memories of running around outside as a child only days after the first thaw and now I’m beginning to think they were all dreams. Why do you toy with us so? Why do you wait so long to show up? We really do want you here.

Spring, please consider my plea. I know I’m not alone. Come hang out with us and see how happy we become. I am also extending an invitation for you to over stay your welcome (I like you better than summer, you’re easier to clean up after).

Much love and warm, sunny wishes,

Lisa Lisa

-xo

A Curious Case of My Neighbors During the Day

I’m lucky enough to live in a very nice apartment building. It’s fairly large, has a doorman, is taken care of consistently, has laundry in the basement, and is fairly quiet. Interested in it? It could yours if the price is right! Psyche! (I’m a fan of 90′s humor).
Anyway, I’ve had only a couple minor hiccups through out my many years as a resident here and I found myself thinking about two events this weekend that still strike me as super odd and random. I figured I would recall them here lest I forget them forever in a couple more years (my memory really isn’t the greatest). The following events took place quite close to each other, like within a couple of weeks maybe 6 or 7 years ago.

I was still in college and keeping myself busy with nannying. This particular early afternoon (early afternoon, this is important) I was headed to pick up the boy I watched from school. In order to get to the elevators I walk down my small little hallway (I’m on one end of the building), make a right then walk down the long main hallway to the block of three elevators. Shortly after turning the corner there is an apartment that houses an elderly woman who looks way older than she probably is and her old wiener dog. Sometimes I ride in the elevator with them and listen to her slur her words about about the weather, she likes the sauce. So as I round the bend I hear a noise. I stop and listen and I begin to hear a faint ‘help’ coming from that apartment. I stand there for another 15 seconds making sure that’s really what I’m hearing and I wonder what I should do next. I knock on the door (which is not fully closed), ask if everything is OK through the door but don’t get a response. I check the time and realize the kid is soon going to be waiting for me outside of school instead of the other way around (heaven forbid!) so I push the ‘down’ button and make it to the lobby. As I leave I tell one of the doormen what I heard, I knew I couldn’t go about my day wondering if she really needed help. He told me he’d check it out and I ran for the bus.

That night I came home and asked the doorman how it turned out and he just looked at me. If a blank stare could also have despair, fear and hopelessness behind it it would have been all oozing off of his face. He said he went up to check on her, walked in the door and was greeted by the woman laying naked in bed. Her bedside table strewn with half empty vodka and whiskey bottles. She drank too much (by mid afternoon, mind you) and couldn’t make it to the bathroom, thus needing help. While hearing this I try to hold the laughter back (the case of the woman being an alcoholic is unfortunate, yes, that’s not why I wanted to laugh) because it could have been me facing that spectacle and I’m so glad it wasn’t. He now has to live with that memory whenever he opens the door for her and isn’t that one of the reasons we have to pay such absurd amounts of maintenance fees each month?

A couple weeks later I’m sitting at my desk one evening doing homework and watching TV (I do everything while watching TV, everything. Don’t judge me!). Suddenly I’m startled nearly to the floor by a knock at the door, I wasn’t expecting anyone and had never had that happen at my place before. I freaked out for a second and considered ignoring it. I was in my pj’s and had no make-up on and I wasn’t really in the mood to give anyone a scare. I heard the knock again and opened the door. In front of me was the old lady with gray/blue curly hair in her bathrobe I see getting her daily exercise pushing her walker up and down the hallway almost everyday. I immediately thought she was lost because I know she lives on the other side of the building, she opens her mouth and has a favor to ask of me. She needs me to help her dial her phone… seriously. I put on a pair of shoes and shuffle with her to her apartment in the amount of time I could have run up and down the hallway at least five times (I’m not a fast runner, I hate to run but you get the idea).

Inside her apartment I realize that there are studios bigger than mine! No fair! Hers had an alcove and even an area for a dining room off the kitchen, I can’t even have a couch and a chair in my place without having to move things around when I need to do something. I start thinking that I should become friends with this woman then convince her to swap apartments with me. What does she need with all the space? Her gym is the hallway!

She strikes up conversation while looking for the phone number she needs dialed which feels like it takes an hour. We have a nice little chat then she hands me the piece of paper. I pick up the phone and stretch the cord so I can pull the phone closer to me, punch in the numbers, make sure it’s ringing and hand her the phone. We stand there silently for a couple seconds until it’s obvious the intended call-ee picks up. This frail, hunched over old woman wearing slippers and a house coat opens her mouth and starts yelling at the poor person on the other end of the receiver. My eyes widened so much I could lick my eyeball and stood there totally frozen as I listen to the woman berate who ever it was on the other end. I snap out of it, ask her if she needed me to do any more of her bidding and was released.

On that long walk back to my apartment I couldn’t help but feel awful for being a party to some sort of phone-call-sneak-attack and I also wondered how, when she lives on the very other end of the building, I became the chosen one. She made it to me when there are so many other apartment doors in between us to knock on. I’m never answering my door again.

 

-xo