Category Archives: Hope

The Rear View

I spent Thanksgiving alone. I wasn’t meant to, but an early morning text from my Aunt Nancy indicated my cousin Scott was sick and thus, Thanksgiving would be pushed a day later to Friday. No big deal, right? Wrong. What was I going to do? OMG, spend it alone? WTF?! Fuccckkkkkk. Mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I just wasn’t prepared for this shit. Holiday or not, I’m weary. Okay, that’s actually not the right word, so here’s the right sentence: I’m sick of being fucking alone. Oh I know I know – you just ended your toxic relationship a little less than five months ago, Lisa! You need time! Relax! Everything will be fine! You’ll meet the right one eventually. You’re so impatient – jeez! Enjoy your alone time! Relish in it! Enjoy being with YOU!

Eye roll.

Instead of taking a Xanax (or two) and watching Lady Dynamite on Netflix (again) and feeling sorry for myself (some more) and eating every Ritter Sport I had in my kitchen (seven of them, ranging in flavors from “Butter Biscuit” to “Caramel Mousse”), I decided to go on a very long hike. Get out of myself, get in nature, get some endorphins going – you feelin’ me?

Thanksgiving 2017 was an unusually clear day in L.A. Smog typically hides the city and views of the ocean, but on this day, the City of Angels was clear, as in crystal. Climbing, I turned back to look at her a couple of times, this crazy sprawling metropolis that I just can’t seem to quit. The doing so made me wobbly; I nearly fell. Regaining my balance, I realized this was my lesson: to stop looking back. Up until this point, I hadn’t really understood the extent to which I’d been doing it. Sure, I’d though about him (and that him and that other him) almost every day. And well, gee, sure, I’d been thinking about every mistake I’d ever made a lot lately, every different turn this way or that I could’ve taken, but didn’t. And well, yeah, I’d been playing out different scenarios in my head over and over (and over and…) until I was spinning like an out of control dreidel under a Christmas tree, confused on where I belonged.*

The rear view. It isn’t serving me anymore. I’m here – and all those mistakes, all those choices, all those dumb motherfuckers I wasted so much of my precious energy and time on, are but theoretical objects that, although I’ve been straining to see them, I hardly can anymore. The looking back is what has been hurting me.

My forced time alone on Thanksgiving was a gift. Up the canyon I kept climbing. When I got to the top, I cried and laughed at the same time.** Los Angeles was spread out like a vision before me and I could see every little thing so clearly – the ocean, the endless possibilities, the happy life I’ve been afraid to lead, the people I’ve yet to meet…and the bottom from where I started. It was all beautiful.


*Christmas or Hanukkah, which do you celebrate? I mean goddamn, LIsa, figure it out already.

** “Laughing and crying, you know it’s the same release.” – Joni Mitchell

Sticks, stones, words as weapons – and other thoughts on toxic relationships.

I had to let go. Let go of the people that weren’t good for me anymore. What’s that word again? Toxic? Yeah, that’s the word, I guess. Peeps I thought I’d always know, would always and forever be in my life and I, in theirs. LOL. Guess again. We all know a few – the ones who use words as weapons and when things end, they end not with a whimper, but with a big, loud, alarming bang. If you’re like me, you question yourself and then doubt yourself: How did this happen? Why did this person think they could treat me this way? Why did I allow this? And then my favorite (and the best for really getting to the nitty-gritty of the situation): what in me attracted this behavior from them?

The final interaction I had with Stephanie* ended with her hanging up the phone on me, mid-conversation and subsequently sending a shitty long-winded text that ended with: “You deal with your own life. Figure it the fuck out.” So sweet and so kind! The kind of friend for which we each so desperately long. Rainbows and moonbeams all the way. The fin finale with Person Number Two ended with him saying the ever-loving words “fucking hate you” and then calling me a “sick fuck”. Weeeee! It was a like a toxic waste wonderland up in there, ya’ll!

Needless to say, I responded not, to either. When I’m done, I’m DONE.

The point here isn’t the verbiage chosen or why things ended the way they did. I’m certain (like, 200% certain) they each would tell you a very different version of our time together and the many many many issues, resentments and complaints they had with me. I’m no angel, ok?

But fuck them. This is my blog.

Anyhoo, after thinking about these endings to death (my mother says I overanalyze everything) and going through the stages of grief that accompanies loss, what I realize now is that we were just in vastly different places in our lives – or as Abraham Hicks would say – vibrationally, we just weren’t lining up. Ahem. I like to think there are some souls with whom our time runs its course and the lessons needed to be learned from each other, were. Even though things ended badly, I want each of these people to be happy, joyous and free. I really do. There comes a time when you have to let go. Let go of people. Let go of ideas and constructs that no longer serve you. Let go of love. Let go of friendships. Yada. And you know what? It’s ok – you gotta let go or be dragged. As hard as it is cut the cord, it’s way easier than being dragged around by somebody else’s bullshit, ya know?
Yeah. You do know.

What I’ve realized is The People Who Teach Us Lessons become beautiful when looked back on through a lens of love, a tiny dose of nostalgia, and a realization that forward is the only way to travel. Eventually, they will find their own, I will find mine, you will find yours. Water seeks it’s own level, so I’m told. Dylan** said it best and so, in summation, I will end with his infinite wisdom with regard to letting go and moving on to things better and brighter: “Go away from my window, leave at your own chosen speed. I’m not the one you want, babe. I’m not the one you need.”

Thanks for reading. I hope this helps someone. It helped me just writing it for you.

*Not her real name.

**As in Bob. As in Robert Zimmerman. As in ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’. Give it a listen sometime why don’t ya.


Beginning again.


I hadn’t see him in years. Like, I don’t know how many, but def more than five. As an Aquarius (me) and a Leo (him) are wont to do, we dove right in.

What happened to that girlfriend you used to have? The one from New York with the big tits who wore glasses that never liked me? (They broke up.) Are you still Mr. Fancy Pants in the ad agency world?
(He is.)

And then he: what’s up with your blog? You still writing it? (Er, um, uhhhhhh…)

No, I haven’t in about a year actually, Richard*. I got involved with someone, and while that was going to absolute complete shit, I quit writing. Yano, I was fucked up and consumed with being all fucked up all of the time. (Mostly true, except for the incipiency of the relationship which is always so very very magical, what with meeting their “representative” and all.)

Well you should start it again – I mean, you’re a writer, Lisa.

I am?

Sigh. I guess I am kinda. (Yawn.)

So, here we are; fresh new installments of The Trouble With Lisa comin’ at ya. Yay? Does anybody even read this? What should I write about? What mind-blowing topics ought I proceed to explore? Do I dare disturb the universe?** Do I dare eat a peach?**



New beginnings? Yes, let’s begin again with that, shall we?

See you soon, lovers. And thanks for reading – if anyone is reading – whoever you are.

*not his real name, but close

**with apologies to both T.S. Eliot and J. Alfred Prufrock

Love and Louboutins.


There they were, in an almost completely empty restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard. The soup was cold. The waiter circled. Although it became clear to her, after two very dirty martinis and a lot of looking into his vacant hazel eyes, she was still in disagreement with her self. Maybe he was enough. Maybe his just alright sense of humor would make the fact that he was 5’ 5”, her height in flip flops, okay. Maybe she was just becoming too particular and that was somehow fucking everything up… because really, there-is-no-one-perfect-person-we-all-have-some-sort-of-flaw-and-anyway-Lisa-who-cares-if-you-never-get-to-wear-Louboutins-again.

Maybe you just get what you get these days. Maybe you should stop trying so hard. Maybe you already had it once and that’s all you get in this lifetime. Maybe all the reasons you want it aren’t valid and that’s what is stopping it from appearing. Blah blah blah yada yada yada.


Maybe you should listen to that voice within you that you know is right (let’s call it, oh you know, intuition) and not a bunch of bullshit broken record chatter (see above).

Therefore, maybe you end all of this lame-ass-cold-soup dating, go get yourself a brand new pair of sky high heels, KNOW he’s on his way and that whoever he turns out to be, he’s gonna be a badass like you – and is gonna totes diggity dig those brand new 150 mm Louboutins.

Just sayin’.


Lotsa kisses and thanks to my pals Erin for the editing help and to Stephanie for the day of shopping – and the pic ;o)

The Weight (Going Back To Cali).


So, I’m heading back to California, back to the city I love, the City of Angels. In this tiny tornado of packing, clearing, donating and cleaning, I’m realizing that I have, um, a LOT of books. Books that I’ve read, books that I keep meaning to read, books that I love, books that I’ve schlepped everywhere – from town to town, house to house, state to state. But books, like so many other things in life, can get, um, you know, heavy. Weighty. Cumbersome. In an attempt to achieve that blessed state called The Lightness of Being (Kundera** would call it something else, butwhatthefuckdoesheknow, anyway?) some of that weight has to go and thus, I gotta get rid of many of my beloved books. There’s this weirdo thing I do with books: I hide stuff in them. Sundry things like flowers, pictures, notes – blah blah blah, you get the idea. It’s as though if I put things within the pages of a book, there they will stay safe and serve as prospective reminders of something, someplace, sometime, someone. Tucked away. Enveloped in words. Hidden from any external events that might cause harm. (You get the idea, right?)

In this latest round of The Great Book Cleanout, I found the following: a receipt from the Bodhi Tree, one of the best and now (sadly) defunct bookshops in Los Angeles; a small, handmade paper kite; a photo of my first great love, Jeff Futernick as a child of five or six, his curious brown eyes beaming; and lastly, a photo of my grandmother a la the 1980’s. I don’t really recall placing these particular whatnots within these different books (Gore Vidal’s “United States: Essays 1952-1992”? Really?) but finding them again made me happy.

So, yano, anyway:

The books are heavy and it’s def time to be rid of them, but what was put inside are reminders of who I was, who I’ve become – and the gentle acknowledgement that the weight of what we really love is light – and it’s okay to let the things that hold us, go.

**As in Milan. As in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. Read a goddamn book once in awhile, kk?


There are.






The Interim.


There are books to read. Poetry to be devoured. Dreams to be remembered. All in the waiting. It’s not so bad. There will be another. Another better, another who is a mirror. Until then, long walks alone. Time. Laughs with friends. Words to be written. Countries to visit. Tequila to drink. Drives to be taken. Work to be done. It is okay. Until the one. Until the seeker becomes the one being sought. After Monday, Tuesday. Who were you yesterday? The same, but different. There is music to melt into. Music will save you. Always. Listen loudly. Tangled Up In Blue. Remember that one. Daydream. Fall backwards. There are oceans to swim in. Miles to run. Museums where nothing exists except beauty. Dancing. There are woods to wander in. Bikes to be ridden up hills and then down so fast your breath you can hardly catch. Until then, until him. Mountains to ski, valleys to rest. There is someone. Somewhere. Out there. For you.


norway, pt. 1.


her own indifference became refreshing. he’s not there, he’s not there, he’s not there. and then they were nowhere. the sun, the heat, the sirens, the newest revision of the latest revision. gaza and israel won’t stop and neither will we. flares, explosions and gunfire. and then the white flag took too long and then it meant nothing. where are you? where did you go? i couldn’t find you so i had to disappear too and here i thought the long thought of thinking those days of unannounced departures were over. but nothing is really ever over. a continuation of a continuation, a postscript that is applicable to everything. the long goodbye. raymond chandler. i understand the title now. thank you. problematic preclusions. words. she’s not there. neglect never breeds respect. sometimes island and someone else. but norway remains and we are not broken.


An open letter to Team Super Awesome.


Dear Overlord + Team Super Awesome:

On this, the 23rd day of June, 2014, I hereby submit the requested list of my lamentable skills to you and yours for consideration for member status in T$A. Firstly, let it be known that I am a novice cyclist. Actually, I have little to no knowledge of the sport of cycling – but i did just buy an R1000 Cannondale road bike – so, um, like, does that count for anything? Also: although, this might seem like a stupid, idiotic and far-fetched notion, I thought T$A would be the ideal entry point for me, the trouble with lisa, in which to immerse myself in the wonderful world of cycling. I mean, why not just start at the bottom, you know? (And by bottom, I mean a team of super-skilled weirdos)

Since I am a newbie and since I understand this particular value proposition may be not that great for T$A (as it is my assumption you most likely prefer more knowledgeable, advanced members), I propose you review my limited, paltry, pathetic, list ‘o skills and perhaps consider me (if after your conscientious review you deem me worthy to go on to the next phase), as an apprentice member of your most elite squad; a serf, a peasant, someone to facilitate the needs of the other uber elite members. Said apprenticeship would last until either of two things happen: 1) I decide that cycling is not for me, or 2) you decide that cycling is not for me. Really, this could be a win/win situation for both parties as I am quite affable and take almost nothing (excepting oral hygiene) seriously. And so, all this being said and true, I abjectly give to you my skill set (in no particular order):

1) Moderately hard worker/somewhat trainable. (hard skill)

2) Appropriate usage of my sardonic sense of humor – often handy in stressful, shitty situations. (soft skill)

3) Not bad w/ a twitter account or writing (I hold a degree in public relations, I think). (hard skill)

4) Not too much of a jank. (is this a skill?)

5) Motivated + magical. (soft skill)

And there you have it. Thank you kindly for your careful consideration. I look very forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards blah blah blah,


PS: Or can I just have a shirt


REVISED: 5 things to please refrain from doing. (reminders for you and for me too).


hey freaks: last year i wrote a post about five things that we should all be mindful of and stop doing. it was such a hit amongst my 10-15 readers that i thought it was time to do it again. i’m also working on a top 5 list of personal skills as part of the vetting process for team super awesome, the bike team i’m trying to join, even though i don’t really know how to bike. whatever. i’ll share that with you next, because i know how much you care. cheers. and, so, without further ado:

1- pretending to be invulnerable. the ability to be vulnerable with others actually helps them trust you and to be vulnerable and open in return. this doesn’t mean you have to let your insecurities lead every thought or every discussion, but people spend far too much time acting cool because they are afraid of being real and subsequently getting hurt (i’m a master at this, fyi). open up. see what happens.

2- creating resentment. as my mother often tells me, “don’t borrow trouble, lisa”. creating trust and affection is so much more rewarding than making up reasons to be a hater, don’t you think?

3- comparing yourself to other people. really. don’t compare. there will always be someone more handsome, prettier, richer, skinnier, their shit more together than you. comparing yourself is a waste of your precious life + mind space. you are the only one of you. and congratulations – you’re amazing.

4- blatantly checking out other guys/girls esp. when you’re with your steady. yeah, yeah, i get it: there are good looking people everywhere. but don’t be a disrespectful asshole – it’s fucking rude.

5- overthinking things. this one gets me in trouble a lot. i’ve wasted copious amounts of time trying to figure out shit that in the end never mattered anyway. go fly a kite. go for a run. or do what i do and go zone out at your local skatepark. free your mind – and see what follows.