A BLAH-G IS BORN!

You know when you hit the fridge over an over again hoping something new will magically appear, and it doesn’t? Those wilted spinach leaves and that hairy-lipped carton of orange juice are still the only things in there! Well, that’s what trying to find words feels like today: a maddening cycle of hope and futility.

My brainwaves have short-circuited. Reduced to a blinking cursor; an anxious heartbeat flipping the bird at my lack of creativity.

Flip… flip… flip… 

As a professional writer it’s a terrifying place to be. All I’m good for are words and ideas. What am I supposed to do when I run out??

And yet, I am at my favorite sushi restaurant typing away. When I sat down I had NOTHING to write. Still, I forced myself to do it. And behold–A blah-g is born!

Okay, so technically, this is not about anything. But it’s also about everything–everything that being a writer is. Which is showing up and writing anyway, especially when the fridge is empty.

When you do, something filling always appears.

sushi

TTYW,

Lisi

Intention Deficit Disorder

intention

A few years ago, I was having one of my many panic attacks while trying to finish one of my many books before one of my many deadlines. Not one to wallow in my own suffering, I looked for help and found Candice. I’m sure I’ve written about her before. She is a life coach and really helped me look at my stresses in a new way so I could manage them. One of my biggest issues was Life vs. Work. As a writer, you really need to enter what I call The Cone Of Silence and stay there for many straight hours.

There are no texts inside the cone. No phone calls. No e-mails. No paying bills. No online shopping. No visits from friends. No doing dishes. No haircuts. No waxes. No mani’s or pedi’s. No reading. No listening to music with lyrics. No helping old people or ducklings cross the road.

It’s a cone.

A silent one.

And there’s only room for me.

So when do all those other things get done? Not on the weekends. The weekends are for my kids. Not at night. That’s when I decompress. Candace’s suggestion? Create one non-writing day every week–preferably the same day–and make it about your to-do list.

I made mine Wednesdays. And I’m so in love with it I want to marry it. This is the day I do all the other stuff that life’s vomiting in my face, and it’s worked incredibly well.

Another thing I recently discovered is Intent.com

The website was created by Mallika Chopra (yes, daughter of Deepak, but she is so much more). She wrote a book called Living With Intent that has brought so much meaning to my life. For those of you who are inundated with exams and not quite ready for a summer reading list, I suggest you join the website and get the app. It’s a game-changer.

Taking a moment to think about what you want each day really helps you get it. It’s so simple and so effective. And it doesn’t have to be spiritual or deep in any way. Look for mine, you’ll see. It can be about anything–no one judges. In fact, everyone supports.

You can also:

* Share your intents with other community members.
* Receive encouraging comments on your intents.
* Show your support for other people’s intents.
* Adopt other people’s intents that you can relate to.
* Sync your account with Twitter and Facebook so that your intents are automatically shared with your Twitter and Facebook friends.
* Reaffirm you intents every day so you stay on top of your goals.
* Track the intents that you completed or accomplished.
* Add inspirational or informational photos and videos to your intent.

Let me know when you’re on so I can follow you.

I intend to TTYW,

Lisi

The Teat of Technology Part 2

Hey Good Looking,

(Yeah, I’m talking to you.)

Last week I gave you a list of ten reasons why those of you born in 2000 and beyond have it easier than those of us who are, as old people like to say, wiser. Well, now it’s my turn to gloat.

The following are ten ways that pre-millennials had it better.

1) Prank Calls. We got to make ’em, got to answer ’em, and we laughed our abs into six-packs because of ’em. Nothing brought more hilarity to a sleepover than dialing up random people or our crushes and messing with them over the phone. Unless the victim recognized our voices (most of us mastered the art of disguise), we got away with it because there was no caller ID. It was total anonymity and a total blast.

2) We embraced our awkward stages. Yep, I had braces, a layered perm that made me look like a pineapple, and forehead zits. It was hideous. But we didn’t feel the need to document every second of our lives and post about them. The only people who knew we were scary and pubescent were our family members and classmates. And guess what–they were busted too. We got to surf our hormonal waves, experiment with ill-fitted clothes, and rock unflattering hairstyles without some future boss or lover finding the evidince online. All experimenting was done off the record. You’re seeing this high school picture of me because I’m CHOOSING to share it with you.

lama

3) For the record I am a huge environmentalist. But in 1970s, not so much. We used to eat McDonalds in the car and then throw our wrappers out the window when we were done. It was insane. Awful on every possible level. But when you’re a kid, and no one tells you that littering is bad, and when even grown ups are doing it, you don’t realize it’s wrong. Let me just say if I ever saw anyone do anything like that now I would hunt them down and force feed them public bathroom trash. But back then it was considered normal. And let me just say that tossing a Big Mac container (Styrofoam, no less) out of a speeding station wagon felt like total freedom.

4) On that note, we ate fast food without shame.

5) We suntanned without shame.

6) We didn’t have devices so playing with friends was way more creative and, dare I say, FUN! We made up games. We got messy. We laughed and ran and got yelled at by uptight neighbors. We were living in all three dimensions and because of it our social skills can beat up your social skills. (If you don’t know what social skills are, Google it.)

7) Sadly, bullying existed back then. But it was limited to the bus, the playground, the neighborhood. It didn’t reach global proportions. No one was publicly shamed. Bully’s couldn’t hide behind screens. They had to face their targets. And many times that meant facing consequences, too.

8) Electricity blackouts were exciting. They in no way made us feel like the end was near. Why? Because we weren’t completely dependent on electricity for every single thing we do.

9) We didn’t have to take our shoes off when going through airport security.

10) We were alive! (no offense.)

Now I want to hear what you think the ups and downs are of your generation.

 

TTYW,

LIsi

The Teat of Technology part 1

Hey,

I hope you all had a great long weekend.

What did I do, you ask? I drove to Palm Springs with my friend Elaine to celebrate her birthday. If this picture proves anything it’s that you can take the girl out of Laguna Beach but you can’t keep her from dropping a french fry in her bellybutton. That’s me on the right admiring my accuracy. And yes, of course I shared it with Elaine. It was her birthday.

Palm springs

Anyway, we got to talking about how different life was when we were in high school (1980s)  compared to life in high school now (2000 and beyond). And we came up with two lists: We Had It Worse Because… AND  We Had It Better Because…

After reviewing them both it was hard to say who had it better. You be the judge. Here is the first list.

WE HAD IT WORSE BECAUSE…

1. When we wanted to withdrawal or deposit cash we had to line up inside the bank, fill out forms, and deal with a snooty teller.   YOU HAVE ATM’S.

2. When we needed driving directions we had to use a map (like the paper kind) or write directions on some crumpled up gum wrapper and try to read it while driving without getting lost or killed.  YOU HAVE GOOGLE MAPS, GPS, and UBER.

3. We had to write letters, invitations, thank you notes, and hate mail with pens and paper. Then we needed stamps and mailboxes. Anxious for a reply? Pack some snacks and get a book. It might be a while. YOU HAVE EMAIL, TEXTS, and MENTAL TELEPATHY. (You don’t have the telepathy yet but you probably will by the time this posts.)

4. If we wanted to talk to someone and they were on the phone with someone else we’d hear a busy signal. We’d have to keep dialing for hours until they hung up. When we finally did get through there was a good chance one of our parents or siblings was eavesdropping on the other line. THE FACT THAT YOU CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THIS SAYS I DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN HOW YOU HAVE IT BETTER.  JUST KNOW THAT YOU DO.

5. We didn’t have phones. So if we were meeting someone at the movies and they were late we’d either assume they were dead or standing us up. Since both possibilities were equally upsetting we felt evil and self-centered. By the time the person did show up we were in a terrible mood and the night was soured. A SIMPLE TEXT AND ALL IS EXPLAINED.

6. If I liked a song I’d have to buy the whole crappy album. iTUNES, SPOTIFY, PANDORA…

7. Think about how many times you hit delete when typing. Now imagine there is no delete. Every mistake you make you have to open a jar of White Out and paint over it. Wait for it to dry then start again. A single sentence could take months to perfect. By the end my fingers looked like I worked at a bird sanctuary. All those white splotchy stains… HIGHLIGHT-DELETE.

8. Have a research paper due or maybe a question about nocturnal animals? Get off your butt and get a ride down to the library. Once you’re there you better hope someone is free to help you find the right books because there are thousands of them. THOU—-SANDS. If no one is available prepare for a panic attack or an F.  SEARCH ENGINES.

9. I had to know at least thirty people’s phone numbers by heart. ADD CONTACT.

10. People smoked on airplanes, in restaurants, cars… and I had the pleasure of inhaling it all. I wanted to be an opera singer. I am a writer. Thanks Dad. I’D SAY YOU HAVE E-CIGS BUT THERE’S NO WAY THOSE ARE MUCH BETTER SO I’M GOING TO CREDIT THE LAW ON THIS ONE.

I’m not even going to mention your ability to delete ugly pics of yourselves. It’s so unfair. I looked like the magician, Doug Henning, in High School. Don’t know who he is? Google him–because you can.

Growing up is easier for those of you fortunate enough to suckle on the teat of technology. But is it more fun? I’m going to say no. Next week I’ll tell you what technology has taken from you. Unless the power goes out. Then you’ll know.

TTYW,

Lisi

ADVICE TO THE DAUGHTER I DON’T HAVE.

Hello my friends!

As promised I have attached a photo of last week’s extraction.

Still Life: Dead Rat.

rat

My apologies to those of you who would have preferred I show the unbagged version of what lay decomposing under my house. Believe me, I would have loved to. But I have a line–it’s thick and bold and drawn at a “dead rodent teeming with maggots”. Even the professional was dry heaving.

I do wish I had the temperament of sociopath–if only for the time needed to photograph and post the vile creature, because a teaching moment was lost. Mother Nature went to town on this beast and I am censoring her work. So I would like to teach something else so you don’t feel cheated. I call that something: The Rest of Your Life.

I have given this advice to the daughter I don’t have. And now I will give it to you.

1. Know the difference between love and infatuation. Love feels like being safe and at peace. Infatuation feels like a power struggle with a side of pit in your stomach.

2. Handle your finances. Never surrender that power and/or knowledge to your partner. If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad and don’t earn an income make sure you write the checks, have access to the accounts, and understand what’s going on. It’s easy to be ignorant in this area. Especially if you’re like me and numbers remind you of dead rats. But I have seen too many people get taken advantage of here. And I won’t let that happen to you.

3. If you are considering marriage ask yourself one question: Can I see myself growing old with this person? Can I see us taking care of each other when we start pooing our adult diapers? Like can I really see it? Zoom in on that person’s expression as they hose you down. Are you both laughing or do you feel shamed and pathetic? If not you’re not laughing you’re about to make a terrible mistake.

4. When a friend is in need don’t ask if you can do anything to help. Show up.

5. If you want to be loved, be loveable.

You’re welcome.

Happy Memorial Day. Take time out of your potato sack races to think of those who lost their lives and loved ones for us.

TTYW,

Lisi

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