Category Archives: Lessons, Life,

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


As if it was something
Nothing appeared out of nowhere

Stopping by
Saying hello

Another beginning left behind
Leaving you barely enough time
To turn back around

And say goodbye.


Eating out w an ex, the complaining friend and blow jobs + women who won’t give ’em.


Erin: Lisa, how are you, have you missed me, what’s up?

Lisa: Erin, I’ve missed you terribly and although they say it never rains in Southern California, it’s totally raining in L.A. right now. How’s New York?

Erin: Hot. Hot. Hot. And sweaty. Are you ready, are you prepared to enlighten/ruin people?

Lisa: I was born ready, bitch.

Q.Eating out with ex-boyfriend
Do you think it is a normal for a girl to have a lunch with her ex-boyfriend three times a week when she’s already married? Do you still have contact with your EX? and why?

Lisa: Ummmmm….No. I think it’s totally fucked up actually. I do have limited contact with a select few of my exes. Why? Because a few of them are good guys and I like them, BUT I certainly don’t see them for lunch and shit three times a week. This is very suspicious and I don’t like it at all.

Erin: I have contact with all of my exes who will still speak to me. I tend to leave still wanting a friendship. However, for a variety of reasons, sometimes because they hate me (JK, not really JK) that is not always possible. I do not think it is normal to have lunch with ANYONE three times a week, let alone an ex. Your girlfriend is either: A, using lunch with the ex as a beard for something else. B, having a sordid affair, at least in her mind. Or, C, is extremely co-dependent and has a poor sense of boundaries. Totally normal to be friendly and/or friends with an ex. Totally not normal to be that involved with an ex. Huge Red Flag.

Lisa: Agreed.

Q.Friend’s ALWAYS complaining!
I have a friend with whom I hang out with quite a lot. I enjoy it but she’s always complaining! From her work, friends to family. Its been like this for two years now- and speaking to her is beginning to depress and annoy me now. I really don’t know how to tell her.

Lisa: How do you enjoy hanging out with someone who complains all the time? Being around that kind of energy is totally exhausting. I had a friend who used to complain too and when she started complaining I would get off the phone with her or change the subject as quickly as I could. Or, I would suggest she make a list of all the things she is grateful for in her life.

Erin: We all know someone like this. I have probably been her at times. The frustrating part is that people like this generally do not want to hear our suggestions or advice or the truth. So, at this point in my life, I would probably pull a fade. Sorry!

Lisa: Yeah, most negative people just want to stay in the problem, which sucks. Your last resort might be to tell her you can’t listen to her whining or complaining anymore. But like Erin, I would probably just pull the fade.

Erin: As a parting gift, maybe you could direct her to a good therapist. The operative word being good.

Q.Hi, I’m 36 years old and my bf is 34. Our sex life is great, except for one thing. He wants me to go downtown. And I hate it, like horrible, gag-reflex, hate it. I have always been like this and I don’t know how to change it. To be fair, I don’t expect him to go downtown either, but it seems to come up in a passive aggressive way from him, even though he says he understands. Do you think it’s unreasonable? I just don’t think I’m the girl for that job, but I love him and see a future together. Do you think he is really ok with it?

Erin: Whenever I hear someone say “go downtown,” all that comes to mind is the euphemism for buying drugs. Putting that thought aside, I don’t trust anyone, male or female, who says they don’t like to do that job.

Lisa: EVERY GUY WANTS A BLOW JOB, ALL THE TIME. I’ll bet you a dollar if I asked your boyfriend, he would NOT concur that your sex life is great.

Erin: All this talk of downtown, reminds me of that song…

Erin: I don’t understand your problem. But, I am aware that there are people, who like you, won’t go downtown. I always wonder, Gay? Maybe you don’t like dick. It seems like it would be a deal breaker for most humans. I think that oral sex is a integral part of a healthy sex life and I think that a good lover should enjoy giving and receiving the job.

Lisa: TBH, I quite enjoy the job and I don’t get your issue.

Erin: Lisa, maybe she needs a sex therapist. I don’t know any, but I’m sure you can google that shit.

Lisa: Oy vey, I don’t know about the whole sex therapist thing, but I DO know that your boyfriend is probably not cool with this AT ALL.

Erin: Which is why he’s being passive aggressive… which is about as attractive as not going downtown.

And on that note, If you have a question for us about love, sex, friendship, oysters, lead pencils, kundalini yoga, or anything at all, use the box on the top right of Erin’s page. As always, your anonymity is golden. All questions will be answered (eventually) and with (some) care. xox


Idiots and anger.


I’m pretty chill. But the other day, some Stupid Fucking Nitwit* made me INCREDIBLY angry. Was it her tone? Was it the asinine request? Whatever the trigger, all of the sudden I couldn’t think. Rage filled my body. All I could see was black and red. I wanted to rip her arms off. I wanted to claw her eyes out. I wanted blood. Instead though, I held back (most of) my rage and incredulously exited the scene (stage right). I stewed over this incident for days. DAYS, OKAY? I tried to understand where she was coming from. I tried to see her point. More anger. Her point was ridiculous. She was on the wrong side of me and, as my grandfather used to say, “that’s not a good place to be.” Um, no, it’s not. I can be rather vicious when pushed hard/far enough. Not really a place I like to visit too often, but still, it exists.


Although I consider myself pretty mellow yellow and operate with yoga brain most of the time, I can be triggered like we all can and, yano, lose my shit. So, I called my team of BF’s: Moya, Erin, Chella and Bonnie. We talked it out. I worked through why I was so angry. My pals listened and offered their invaluable feedback and I finally got that what I was angry about had nothing to do with this ignoramus. It had to do with me. I’m not a super confrontational person and most of the time I try not let anger in – like a duck, I let that shit roll right off. But maybe too much shit, you know? I guess I’d gotten into this mindset that anger is not useful or it’s bad or I’m too evolved to participate in such low-level emotional responses. HA. And then, like a gift, there it was – my anger – handed to me on a silver platter.

It’s okay to get angry. Stay there all day if you need to. Or a few days, like I did. But figure it out. Find out why. Feelings buried alive never die – I personally believe that holding BS in can make you sick – like with cancer and shit. Don’t hold it in. Talk about what’s bugging you. Break on through to the other side, baby – even if it’s a emotion or situation that ain’t fun to confront.

In the end, this person that incited me ended up helping me. A lot. I got to dig a little deeper. Tbh, It was actually nice to feel such strong emotion.

And it was really nice to let it go, too.

*Not her real name.


the substance of scars.


Scars. They begin after an injury. A natural form of healing, they come after an accident, a broken heart, a mishap of some kind. If you’ve been on the planet for a bit, you probably have at least one or two you got when you were a kid, haphazardly trying to navigate some dangerous new thing. There are those kind for sure, but then there are the ones we cannot see: emotional scars that we keep hidden, buried so deeply we don’t even recognize ourselves as the walking wounded.

I had so much hope.
I don’t know if I have it in me to go through this again.
It hurts.


When I fell off my bike and onto the pavement, my two front teeth broke off. I felt them force into my top lip, making a jagged slice; he was half a mile in front and didn’t even know I’d fallen.

Why was he so far ahead?
Why wasn’t he riding beside – or at least nearer – to me?
Why was I facedown on the ground, tasting my own blood, alone?

The ER. Stitches. “Time heals.” Fuck you.

My Scar.

Every day it gets better. It’s growing fainter and fading. But I know. I know it will always be there – a little two inch reminder of what happened, of what once was.

A reminder of how hard it sometimes is…to fall.


the guy is a joker, a serious question + riddle me this.


Erin: Hey girl, it’s been a minute since we did the last one. How you doing?

Lisa: well erin, i’m nearly healed from a horrific cycling accident that happened a week ago. i’m amazed at the body’s ability to recover.

Erin: That’s what you get for getting all Tour De France on us. But, I’m glad you’re ok. Since it’s been about month since our last Ask Erin and Lisa!, I have pulled the oldest questions from the crevices of the inbox.

Lisa: ok, bitch, let’s clear those spider webs.

My boyfriend and I have been together over a year now.
This time last year he was moody and would blow hot and cold, I recently discovered that that was because of seasonal affective disorder. We have a really good relationship, we never argue and have the same goals in life etc.
In May 2013, I moved in with him pretty much and he went off work with work related stress due to his job. I supported him through that and helped him move in June 2013.
In Aug 2013, we hit our first relationship hurdle where he became very distant and asked me to move out because he felt a bit smothered. However during this I left him alone and he hooked up with a girl.
Within 2 weeks of me moving out he came crawling back and started inviting me out and back over.
The horrendous then happened in September 2013, he had a very bad car accident where I was called to the scene and he now has severe whiplash and scarring over his body.
I moved back in and we have got back together.
I knew he still had contact with this girl and that they were friends and I confronted him about it in December and he said they’re just friends and that there’s no need to worry, he wants me and not her. We didn’t argue and it was civilized.
I accepted it although I feel awful and down about it and he knows it upsets me.
Now this girl keeps trying to invite him around every week to play cards. I act okay with it because I don’t want to control him but he always asks if I’m okay with it and he says thank you and he promises to text me constantly when he’s there, which he does. When I’m with him he isn’t rude and doesn’t text anyone much.
It’s breaking me, am I being insecure?
He’s talking about planning things with me but I wish she wouldn’t contact so much.

ok, so this guy has a bunch of weirdo disorders, cheated on you, and totally disrespects how you feel. what the fuck is the question?

Erin: Hold on, I’m on google trying to figure out if playing cards is a euphemism for having sex. It’s so hard to keep up with that urban dictionary. Ok, here we go. According to internet authorities, to “play cards” can be a euphemism for masturbation or a “weed session” with 2 or more people.

Lisa: hey erin, there’s a phone app for urban dictionary. download that shit. as for the question, you’re not being insecure. it seems like to me you’re trying to justify this guy’s BAD BEHAVIOR. fuck him and his card playing mistress, bitch. listen to your intuition, it’s talking to you really loudly.

Erin: I think it’s fair to say that someone with work-related stress, seasonal affective disorder, and questionable fidelity, is not a great catch. By the time you mentioned your “first relationship hurdle,” I believe you had reached your tenth. Based on how you describe the situation, it is my opinion that you will continue to attract people who treat you like a doormat. And, sadly, the more accepting/pliant/forgiving you are with these types, the more they will feel compelled to walk all over you. When I was young and a nightmare and behaving poorly in relationships, the more submissive/passive the guy was, the worse my behavior got. It’s an ugly thing, and as a reformed asshole, I can tell you, the sooner you address your self-esteem issues, the sooner you will begin to attract men that are far healthier than old whiplash card player.

I met this guy about a week ago and I really liked him but he had a girlfriend so I didnt think anything of it. Two days later he wanted to have sex with me and we started hooking up. I told him i wasn’t going to do anything else with him if he was still with his girl and he didnt seem to care. So we hooked up a few more times and the fourth time he wanted to have sex with me and I said no and he wouldnt listen. He held my hands above my head so I couldnt grab his hands and when i got my hands loose he wouldnt get off of me. I finally got up and left. The next day he did it to me again and I started to get fed up. His girlfriend found out and dumped him. He got pissed at me and blamed it all on me. I said sorry and asked him how I could make it up to him and he said have sex with me. I said to him I wanted to because I really did like him but I dont know what I want anymore. I told him thats he bases everything thing on sex wether or not hes in a relationship with that person. He hung up on me and called me the next morning and when i picked up he hung up again. He keeps calling me but I havent answered his calls. What should I do?

Erin: All jokes aside for this one. I feel that you are probably a young girl, based on the way this question is presented. It breaks my heart that a young woman apologizes to some asshole who basically tried to date rape her. The fact that he has no respect for anyone’s boundaries, be they emotional or physical, is alarming to say the least. And not to start some big debate, but this question is indicative of the rape culture we have all come to passively accept. I implore you to stay the fuck away from this piece of walking shit. I also implore you, through school, an older women you trust, or a counselor, to get some help in cultivating skills that will prevent you from finding yourself in a similar situation in the future.

Lisa: what you should do is not answer his calls. based on what you have said in your question, you were the victim of sexual assault. that being said, there is help available. i encourage you to call the national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE and i wish you all the best in your healing. you are courageous by writing in and asking erin and i this question and i want you to have courage again and call that number.

Erin: For anyone that needs help or has questions pertaining to incest, sexual assault, rape, date rape, or harassment there is a ton of information and help available through RAINN.

I’ve been seeing this girl for nearly three years. at the beginning she was a godsend — came along at a time when i really needed someone who understood some very specific things i was going through (vague enough for you?) she did understand and she was very accomodating. Also, she had gone through a bad break-up and had a lot of family problems, which i know i’ve been able to help her with. so, ya know, very mutually beneficial relationship. the thing is that lately she talks about marriage, she talks about knowing i’m the one and i do not feel the same way. there is almost nothing i can say that is bad about her, but what kind of relationship is that, right?
i’ve been agonizing over this for a few months now. i keep flip-flopping. what if i’m just not being honest with myself and I DO want to marry her? or what if i’m wasting her time and mine with this flip-flopping?
the bottom line is — i’m trying to think this through clearly and it’s become darn near impossible. if you have any nifty trick questions that could give me a new perspective on this situation, i’d sure appreciate it.

Lisa: this is one of the best, most clearly written questions that i feel we have ever received for ask erin and lisa.

Erin: Yes, this is a clear question and there is a clear answer. Let her go. You’re not an asshole. She’s just not the one. And you both deserve to find the right one.

Lisa: because i like this question so much, i’m gonna play along with your request for a nifty trick question…riddle me this: can you imagine being in love with someone that you feel excited about and compatible with and COULDN’T WAIT to marry? the answer to this riddle is to stop imagining and go find what you want.

Alright, we’ve basically told everyone today to move on and find someone new. It’s Summer! Get outside, have fun, be safe. (Use a condom!) To ask a question, use the form on the top right of Erin’ page. All questions will be answered (eventually and with some care). xoxo


For Cliff.


I don’t remember when I met Clifford Cantor or how, it just seems like I always knew him. He was one of those kind of people: familiar. He would pick me up from my apartment in the Miracle Mile district in his Cadillac and we would drive around the city of Los Angeles listening to dirty gangster rap, windows down, AC on. He was funny and we laughed a lot – well, mostly it was I who laughed at his sarcastic, sassy ass, self-deprecating humour. We’d go eat Thai food. We’d go to a meeting. He was kind. Kind in the way that many people don’t know how to be – he made you feel okay, even if you felt like nothing would ever be okay again. He was handsome in that Jewish Prince-handsome-kind-of-way. He was generous. He always opened the door for me. He never let me pay. He never let me pump my own gas. He let me cry when I needed to and I never felt judged. Yeah. He was that kind of guy. Kind. Compassionate. A sardonic tongue with a soul as sweet as honey. Cliff was a friend to me.

I guess I thought he’d always be around.

I’m not sure what happens when people die. It’s a concept I’ve wrestled with since my best friend, Juli, died at the ripe ’ol age of 13. This notion, this action of death – it, like, it, um – haunts me. So today, as I sit here thinking about life and death and Cliff and how nothing seems to make any sense sometimes, I remember our laughter, the drives through the Hills, the repose I felt when I was around him – and find comfort in the fact that knowing Clifford Cantor changed me. He existed in this time-space continuum, on this pale blue dot and I was one of the lucky people that got to know him. I loved him, I did – and goddammit, I wish I woulda told him this more recently. But isn’t that the way it goes sometimes?

Oh Cliff: We will all miss you so. Godspeed. Kisses. Good wishes. Thank you for every last ridiculous fucking thing. I will think of you often and when I do, each thought will surely be accompanied by a stupid smile and a little bit of regret.


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.