Still Midwest

I haven't been able to really be online since landing in the Midwest; I've checked my email and pertinent things on my Blackberry, but since this is the first "vacation" since leaving my old job I knew I needed to have the first trip where my laptop, for the most part, stays in my luggage.

Tonight I've spent a little bit of time uploading pictures, replying to messages and reading stories and blogs I have gotten behind on. I checked my blog reader for new posts from my blog list and, forgetfully searched for a new post from Lemmondrops before realizing that there wouldn't be. And won't ever be.

I don't really have the words to express how I feel, but I'm really...sad. I miss her insight. I feel like I could use it tonight.

I really hope that Emilie knew how much her writing inspired her readers. And how very much she is mourned and missed.




An Eve and and End, or Beginning

I got up this morning and rushed to upload some photos I wanted to print before leaving tonight. I got dressed, and rushed out, only to deal with the hordes of people trying to spend money before the stores close for Christmas. I got annoyed and angry at people who were driving like idiots. I almost got hit by a car while walking. I got less done than I wanted to, and came home feeling annoyed.

And then, I logged on to my blog, and saw a post in my reader that I didn't expect to see. I knew I'd see it someday, but I didn't expect, on Christmas Eve, to see this post, titled "Emilie's Passing". I almost didn't click on it, but I did.

It's amazing to me that someone who I have never met has touched my life. I never once spoke to Emilie, but the honesty she shared through her writing made me feel as though I knew her. She was so open, so genuine, and so real about her life and her soul. I found Emilie's blog through my Sister In Law, right before her oldest son was born, and I've followed her ever since. Looking through the comments left for her over the past months, I can see that hundreds of other people who found her blog through one vein or another have been touched just as I have.

Now, I sit on the floor of my living room, with so much stuff left to do, and no ambition to do any of it. I can only think of sitting next to my husband, enjoying him, listening to him, keeping him close to me. Doing and being the little things that I miss in my hurried nature far too often.

I ache for Emilie's husband and her two sons. I know they will be alright. I know Emilie's spirit will keep them and guide them as they grow, teaching them that life is about love and soul and spirit. I think about what a miracle it was for Emilie to become pregnant with her youngest son naturally, when she and her husband tried for two years with fertility help before conceiving their oldest son. Had Ben not been conceived, so magically, Emilie would most likely have had much less time when she finally learned of her cancer. Instead, she was able to survive (and her son in utero) a surgery, lots of chemo, and another year. I smile for the connection that little Ben will feel with his mother, even after he's forgotten her touch.

I'll leave you with a post Emilie wrote two years ago that I stumbled upon just yesterday and re-read, feeling a much different sentiment than I did the first time I read it: Easter Prayer.

Emilie, rest in peace.



Oh, I suppose

...I'll write a blog post to start off this Monday morning, even though I doubt anyone will read it considering it's Christmas week and people are busy with gifts and travel.

Remember all those big plans I had for blogging once I wasn't working anymore. FAIL. Final projects and papers for school have totally overtaken my life for the past three weeks. I have done nothing but stare at the computer and draw. I drew so much that my thumb hurt. That is not usual for me. I do not particularly like to draw. I would much rather paint. Or print. But, thankfully, that class is out of the way.

Ohhh but I'm done now, at least until February. I will again try to schedule myself time to get moving.

We're leaving on Christmas Eve for Wisconsin/Minnesota, and I'm excited to be staying in the Midwest for an entire week. I'm not excited about trying to travel between families.

David has weird work days this week to make up for the PTO he's taking over the next week, so today and tomorrow are the days we'll finish our shopping and pack. I have done basically very little for Christmas so far, so I'm hoping to hunker down.



Mini Golf

My husband turned 27 this year, and decided that he wanted to go mini golfing. There is a sad lack of mini golf in this area, and he's been missing it and pining away since we moved. Recently, he located a charming little establishment about a half an hour inland called Scandia , and on his birthday, also a Sunday, we journeyed to this Scandinavian themed Americana family fun for all.

It was an enjoyable adventure until about the 16th hole, when I launched my ball toward the Windmill with closing door, and the ball bounced off said door and flying toward the two of us and the kids behind us. David leaped into the air to deflect the ball, but he was also carrying my baby, otherwise known as the Canon. It slid off his arm and hit the cement with a crack heard across the world. It was hilarious. Hilarious and awful, but I couldn't decide whether or not to laugh or cry. Luckily, the lens just feathered - it will last at least until I can afford to pick up my choice lenses .

David Golfing

Don't Swing!

David @ Scandia

David and Nissa at Mini Golf

Happy birthday, hon.




I've been subduing my sensitive side on this blog lately, opting for less gory material as I transition into a profession that bares only my name. But I'm throwing up my hands on that one for the time being and throwing up a nice healthy chunk of language because I'm hungry and annoyed. The hunger is caused by a changed eating habit that incorporates smaller, more frequent meals and a very low caloric intake. The annoyance is caused by the hunger.

For those of you who know me, I'm chubby. Some would say fat, though I choose not to. For most of my life I have been chubby, save for a short time in high school when I "discovered" starvation and got down to a size 8 - which by many standards is still "fat". Since then, I've gone between 12 -14-16 regularly.

Until two years ago, I barely thought about my weight - I thought. I never dieted, even when I was on the heavier side. When I started planning my wedding in 2006, I freaked, as I'm sure most women do. Friends and family I rarely see. Pictures that will last for-ev-er. I went on the South Beach Diet, which consists of mostly meat protein, very little carbohydrates and the substitution of sugar with alternative. It worked. I lost 8 inches around my waist between my first dress fitting and the day I tried on the original muslin, much to her chagrin but happiness for me. It felt great. I gave up sugared soda and learned about portions, but I was miserable without bread and pasta. I ended that diet a few weeks before my wedding when my husband convinced me to try vegetarianism, which made great sense to me after some investigation. By the time December rolled around, I had gained all of that weight back.

Fast forward to 2008, past endless diets and fasts, pounds lost and pounds gained. I'm miserable. More miserable than I've ever been, because I've realized that my problems with food and weight are much more than a few extra calories not burned on the treadmill. My problem is my head. And this problem has been reocurring, but hidden behind the other crap my brain has been dealing with.

(Remember, I warned you at the beginning of this post. )

Being an emotional eater is not at all out of the ordinary. I imagine there are more women who do it than women who don't, so I've found no shortage of confidants in the battle. It just sucks, and will always suck. And attempting to deal with the problem, while cutting calories and ending the binging, is like losing your best friend when you need them most. There's no one to quiet the horror inside my head; just visions of mashed potatoes. Withdrawl.

Crappy food is everywhere. Horrible, high calorie, saturated fat touting foods that are advertised on Television all hours of the day. Why not have a Carls Jr. Hamburger stuffed with bacon? Why not add double meat to your Subway sandwich? You've got to eat M&M's. And Ice Cream. And don't forget to take a trip to Taco Bell for fourth meal! These are not foods that I ever eat. But when I'm "dieting", they sound like gourmet, gotta have foods.

In fact, the only time that I truly feel hunger is when I'm dieting. Not because I'm always eating, but because, when I'm just normal me, I eat when my emotions tell me to. Not my stomach. I eat when my Mom calls. I eat when I'm depressed. I eat when I'm manic. I eat when I'm bored. I don't eat tons of garbage or thousands of calories. I just eat what makes me feel better.

It's sad. And I've tried to fix it, and failed, so many times. This battle trumps the battle with manic depression; because success is like a pipe dream. At least with the MD I can taste happiness and feel progression that doesn't recind with one mistake. Emotional eating controls my life.

And though I've never felt like my weight horribly affects my beauty, I've realized recently that I never admitted to myself that my weight was a problem. Now, as a "grown up", I have. I feel like I'm shorting myself life. I've begun losing confidence because I don't feel comfortable in my body. I feel like the person on the inside is lost by the person on the outside, who just feels out of control - not ugly - just wrong. It affects my relationship with my husband, not because of how he feels but because I am uncomfortable sharing what I am with him.

It might sound like another fat girl's sob story, but this "chubby" girl has never felt like this. So out of control. Ashamed, and defeated. I used to think fat wasn't bad; and now I think that fat is all that's possible. I can't even imagine being comfortable in my own body, but the thought of what I'm stuck with causes thoughts of actions I won't share with you in this public blog post. And when it comes down to it, when it hurts and I eat, I feel better. I feel comforted.

And the comfort is defeat.




Thanksgiving is generally a non-holiday in this Brehmer household, because David is usually working so that we may use his time off for Christmas travels. This year, we're spending an entire week in the Midwest, and we're both 90% happy to give up Thanksgiving for a longer Christmas trip. The 10% of non happiness is reserved for wishing that we could begin our own family traditions for the holiday, considering they'll be quite different than those we grew up with, sans turkey.

This year, my favorite California lady Taylor invited me to spend the day with her family. We didn't do much cooking - in fact, the only thing I did was peel potatoes - because her husband and her brother in law's boyfriend took on the preparations for the day. It was nice to lounge around with Taylor and her daughter while taking in the warm scent of cooking turkey and mashed potatoes(I still love how turkey smells while baking, even though I don't eat it).

It's also interesting to observe the different traditions of different families. I was rather surprised that Taylor's family didn't serve green bean casserole, considering that's the staple of my family Thanksgivings. No matter, though, because any family that incorporates mashed potatoes in to their dinner will have a happy guest in me. I could eat them for days.

Anyway, onward to December, a.k.a. the month for eating everything you see.



Live: Etsy Store!

I'm happy to announce that I've launched my Etsy store!

I'm very, VERY happy to have finally gotten here.

Even better: I made a sales within 30 minutes of my first listing!

Check out my store here: Nissa Nicole's Etsy Store

I'll be adding more listings daily.





I know that other people will blog about this, and there will be detailed discussion on the whos and whys and whats of it, but REALLY?

Black Friday is the poster child for what is wrong with our priorities in this county.

I understand the deals. I get that the sales are great. I even know that some people love the hunt, the game of going out at 4 am to stand in line for $5 DVDs at Best Buy. I do. But why have we gotten to the point where people die? Why are people so desperate for junk? Why?

If these people put half of that energy in to raising their children and contributing to society, we wouldn't be in the social economic crisis we're in now.

I'm really sad and frustrated today.



Notice the New Digs

I know, I know, lots of changing on the design from here for the past few months. That's all done now. I spent a good amount of time getting things as I'd like them, so hopefully, you'll all feel good about it too.

Happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate those things.


Family Photos

The Foot

Family by the Fence


Happy Family

Carys and Taylor

Carys in the Sun

Carys B+W

Carys's tutu

Carys from Heaven



An Open Letter


I must tell you that I despise you in that sick, sweaty way one reserves for unrequited love and the one that got away. I hear your sweet voice in the morning when I wake, echoing inside my head and throughout my bones.

BMPOAT, I blame you for my sadness. I blame you for the difficulties in my life. I think I may hate you, in fact. You; with your ocean and your ridiculous hourly wage. You and your stupid crappy website and photo ops; your wonderful unborn baby and desperate cry for organization.
Don't you understand this pain? My aching heart?

I suppose not.

The one who lived too far away


At Least for Today

I don't know, for me it's strange. I try to do a lot of things, which I suppose is a good quality for the most part. I jump in to things without any real experience and expect that I can do them and learn on the way. Generally, it works fine. That's why I've been able to become what I am today: mediocre at a lot of things. Not an expert at anything.

Some things I do or did because I had to. Example: my last job. I needed money, I needed experience, so I did the work. Somethings I do because I want to. Example, graphic and media design. I chose to study it because it's an all-purpose type of art that can get you a job.

And sometimes, something comes along that I do because it happens, like it was meant to happen all along. And that something or those somethings are harder to see, even when they are in progress, because it's so natural you don't have to try.

That's how I feel when I'm behind my camera. I don't worry about it working, I just do it and it does. I don't try, and I don't struggle with frustration.

This weekend, I photographed Taylor and her family again in Half Moon Bay. We went early, around 11:30, and the sky was illuminated with bright, unrelenting sun. David warned me that it would be difficult to set photos with that light. I agreed but knew that it was the only day we could get the photos done, and we did, bad light and all. When we left for home that day, I was worried that none of the 400+ pictures I took would be suitable, since I'd been chasing shadows and blinding light all day long with an infant. I waited two days to even start post production.

With squinted eyes, I started to run through the pictures early this evening. I popped the first few in to Photoshop and felt better, and better, and better. They are great. Many are better than what I captured during our last visit, and while many did fall victim to the curse of the sun and the shadows, many more were transformed in to great shots.

This may sound very basic to you, but to me, it is not. I feel like I constantly trick myself in to thinking I can do this or that, simply because I'm afraid of being stagnant, or losing an opportunity to find what I'll be truly great at. It feels good to know, at least for today, that my attention can focus on one thing, successfully.



Random old chair

Random old chair
Originally uploaded by nissanicole
Walking home from the car shop I found this. Too lovely to be discarded.



Best Wishes, Emilie

Please take a moment to send your best wishes and good luck to Emilie. She's a fantastic person who is fighting a tough battle with cancer that is making life more difficult the past few days.

She and her family can use our love going forward. Please think of her. She has a donation fund as well, which can be found here.



After the Storm

That's it! I'm done. Yesterday, Friday, was my last day in the office, and it was pretty sad at some points. It has not been easy for me to make this decision, but I am very confident in the direction that I'm going.

Bye Bye office cubicle! It was a long, fun, and priceless ride. Thanks for everything.



To Everything, there is a Season

Hi everyone.

I've fallen behind on blogging, it would seem, but there's lots to talk about - I just haven't had the time to sit down. Let it suffice to say that I'm busy. This is my last week at my current job - I am finally leaving to spend my time fully engaged in my career of choice, which begins with finishing college in less than 5 years.

What's next for me? Don't worry, I'll be busy. During the past 2 years, I've gathered no less than 15 projects that are waiting to blossom. I'll be freelance blogging, doing photography work, working to sell my art, showing my art, and doing freelance design. Additionally, I've taken on a number of duties for my Dad's company, including re-branding, web work, and marketing.

I'm really very excited to take this leap in to my future. It has been a very difficult choice, and leaving has been very, very sad, but I know that that the time has come for me. I'm a different person than I was when I joined the company in 2006 - when I was newly married and attending my first semester at college.

Look forward to some big changes on this blog and the others that I own. If you haven't already, you should go over and subscribe to my newest project, Love Hand Made, which has been lacking in posts since it's beginning, but will blossom as one of my main priorities over the coming weeks. We plan on featuring great handmade creations and their artists. My photography/design blog has also fallen by the wayside, but will be updated daily with the things I'm working on, and soon, more discussion.

I will soon be unveiling two new blogs - one is a social/political conversational, the other, a Bay Area Music Magazine. Both have been in the planning stages for over six months, and both will soon be open to other writers. I can't wait to share them with you.

So: this really is a season of change. Good, long-lasting change that makes smiles and happiness. There's no shortage of trials, tribulations and hard work ahead, but, I think we're better off on this path. Our country, and me.

p.s. I will blog about my Las Vegas vacation next week!


Watching Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

Friends who joined us to watch Barack Obama become our nation's 44th president on November 4th, 2008.





New Blog!

My friend Taylor and I have started a new blog, Love Hand Made. It will feature posts on Hand Made goodies and issues surrounding. We're really excited, and hope that you guys will join us!




I didn't have an easy childhood. The things that I went through still haunt me to this day - things that I'm just now getting used to talking about, peeling back my clenched fists to expose scarred-anger-sadness-frustration-hopelessness that I have to learn to leave behind in order to be the best person I can be.

But there's people in this world who have suffered so much more than I. Wonderful, broken people who've lost everything and still live. I know one of those people, and she's an inspiration. She's beautiful, kind, generous and loving; much more so than many people I've met who think they are those things. She's had to experience pain I cannot fathom, more than once; yet she's resilient and strong.

My friend just turned 28 last month; and in a few short weeks, she'll be older than her mother or her sister ever grew to be. The stories are tragic; chronic illness that stole two of her three immediate family members and all of the women in her life. A small child who laid with her mother in her hospital bed, unaware of all the things that she would lose, miss, and yearn for as she traveled through her own life. A young adult who stood by her sister as she succumbed to an illness that had plagued her throughout her own young life.

In May, my friend became a mother. Her daughter is a beautiful little person and the light of her life. She's a wonderful mother, as she is a friend, but as she forges through the new world of parenthood, she's haunted by pain. She's tortured by the fear of what she cannot control; the curse of women in her family that she's somehow survived long enough to create a maternal relationship she cannot map. She struggles with the unknown. All of the possibilities, the tragedies, the chances follow her like a spirit; watching her as she lays her child to sleep.

She wants to feel better, she wants to be free. She knows why she's here. But she's built her life on top of a sunken pile of bricks; crafting a facade of strength to hide the sinkhole beneath her. And in order to fix it, she'll have to tear down everything she's standing on slowly, painfully and with care not to lose what's most important.

My friend is a gift to me. She may never realize how much I love her, how dear I hold her, and how close I will be even when the walls of her life are bare wall studs standing alone. I'll do everything I can to share the pain.



Welcome, Fellow NO ON PROP 8 Voters!

I've been getting a boost in traffic through Google Images, as my sidebar button for noonprop8.com has been indexed. For all of you that are coming to see it, here's the native size. Use it as you wish, just don't take credit for it :D

I am supporting a NO vote on Proposition 8 in California. I believe that love makes a family, not a man and a woman. I do not believe in taking rights that promote positive ideals such as respect, loyalty and commitment. There is no negativity being forced on others - this does not affect the greater population of the state. Marrying my husband 2 years ago was the best thing that's happened to me - and I think that all people should be allowed to experience that with the one they love.

While I respect the opinions of those who believe that this is wrong in the eye of their personal religion, I don't believe that is an argument that holds any weight in a country that practices a separation of church and state. In the United States, we are free to choose who we marry and when. We need more love and commitment to raising happy, healthy children and families. Don't segregate. Be progressive.

I would love to hear from any of you who have visited this blog to take this picture. How are you supporting NO on Proposition 8?

For those of you outside California, I'd love to hear your opinions as well. I know that some of you from my home state - Wisconsin - voted for or against a ban on gay marriage a couple of years ago.



In Search of Autumn (And Other Stories of Hope)

Autumn does not exist in California. Now, I must clarify before going forward that no seasons exist here; regardless of what the weather man suggests. It is, however, Autumn that leaves me longing to trade 70 and sunny for crisp, cool air, apple cider and changing colors. For piles of fallen leaves and Fall jackets; dewy morning grass that sticks to your shoes.

People who live here still act like it is "Autumn", they shop for pumpkins and decorate their stoops with Indian Corn. But they don't get it. They still complain when the temperature dips below 70 and the blue skies could be compromised.

In these weeks before Halloween, I miss Wisconsin. I miss the things I can't explain to anyone who hasn't been there. The sights, the scents, and the feeling that Autumn brings; the death of the year that will soon come to an end.

Today, Dave and I went out in search of some Autumn. I came back with a heightened appreciation for my home and my husband, a refreshed spirit, and maybe, just maybe, a more open mind on what "Fall" is, or what it can be.

On a whim I suggested we drive down Hwy 1. outside of San Francisco, toward Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. You'll remember that the BMPOAT was in Pacifica, and ever since I drove out there for the interview, I've been thinking I needed to take Dave for a drive along the coast there. Also, there's some giant redwoods on the path. We didn't see redwoods today, though. We parked just outside of Pacifica at a parking lot that lead to a few different trails going toward the hills on the opposite side of the ocean. The trail we chose went up the hill and paralell to the water.

After our little hike, we stopped at a roadside farm that had a pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, between the two of us, we had a $100 bill and a $1 bill - neither of which were correct for buying a pumpkin. We strolled a bit through the patch and then headed home, where we proceeded to catch up on this week's episode of the Office while burning my pumpkin and harvest candles, which I call my "Autumn Fireplace." Even though I'm feeling a little better about California in October, I'll still yearn.

David and I along the trail

These pumkins were silly. I've never seen them in gray. They were decidedly dreary and beautiful all at once.

At the top of the trail, looking out over the Pacific

Fall color wasn't prevalent, but here's a little taste of what it looks like in California:




My dresses from Alight arrived last night, so I'm on official orders from myself to buy no more clothes until January 2, 2009.

Except if I need underwear. I may. That, I think, is OK.

I went to Target last night and had no problem skipping the clothes.

I'm waiting for Taylor to declare too and share the pain!



Tunes on Tuesday

I'm feeling a little Beatles-y this week.

One of the all time, best songs to sing harmony to:

But, the best use of minor-to-major chord progression ever, and best song ever written about being unable to write the song that begs you to write it:

It's difficult to say "favorite" when it comes to the Beatles, but...maybe.
Anyone else want to play? Favorite Beatles?



Better Me #1 - Why My Closet Will Have Cobwebs

Things are changing. I'm starting over, in a lot of ways. This is the first post in a series of installments about a big change happening in my life that will surprise some of you and disgust others.

No more stuff.

I'm manic. When it hits, I shop. That's the dirty truth. I've found a way to to make spending incremental money like hitting cocaine. It's euphoric. I can't necessarily explain it, but if you are someone who has obsessive compulsive behavior of any kind, you'll understand why doing it is like a drug you need to feel good.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not going out and buying $300 dresses or expensive shoes. It's the little stuff, from Ross or Target that gets me in trouble. Cheap stuff that doesn't last longer than the guilt I have for buying it. At the height of the insanity I'd buy things that didn't even fit me and store them. Things had tags.

You may think "Nissa. You need self control." And, you'd be right. Unfortunately, it isn't as simple to just stop. It's my belief that my problem is stemmed from years of being horribly poor and being unable to replace holey jeans. We never had money to buy what we needed, so who the hell was saving it? We spent it when we got it because we had to. Now, being an adult, having a job that pays alright, I spend it because I'm afraid if if I don't, it will be gone, and I'll be without all the things I need. It's sick.

And, I don't want to do it anymore. I should say I've been working on this already, because I have. I sold a bunch of clothes on eBay and trash-bagged more to give to Goodwill. I stopped buying clothes that dont't fit. I started using an allowance method at stores rather than just getting whatever I wanted.

I ordered myself three new dresses on clearance from an online store I love last week for my upcoming trip to Las Vegas. They will arrive this week, and once they get here, I'll have the last three new dresses for 2008. No clearance racks, no eBay, no new stuff for the holidays. Nothing.

It's not going to be easy. Withdrawl never is. Can I do it? We'll see.



Baby + Puppy = World Peace?

Friday, Baby C and momma Taylor came to work. This happens often, however, it isn't often that a puppy is in the office when the two of them are there. Can you imagine it? A baby and a puppy?

Well, it happened. And here's the proof.


Solano Street Fair

I'm posting a few photos from the Solano Stroll, a street fair that happens about a mile from our house every year. It's your average street fair - food, crafts, political booths. We had an OK time, but it was a little bit too crowded to enjoy it throughly. I think it happened the second to last weekend of September.

I ate french fries covered in crab. I didn't feel well afterwords. We saw some interesting music groups.




i think she hears me
when it's six a.m. and I'm throwing on clothes that haven't been washed
when I flick on the bathroom light
and the fan turns

but, maybe not.

I wish she could know love instead
Maybe then, she'd know
why it happened.






It's funny what happens when you snap. It's not just the snapping that causes trauma. It's the flooding that occurs when your body is separated in half, working independently from each other. Things don't work right and things fall apart.

Well, the good thing is that life is long, and I'm resilient. A depression can't ruin me.

For the people who left nice comments, emailed or called - thank you. I appreciate the kindness and believe me, it helps.

Here's the thing about this blog: I've spent my whole life afraid to talk about my emotional and social dysfunction for fear of being judged. I need to talk about it. I will use this space to discuss these things in the way that they affect my life - because I'm not the only one who feels these things and I think our trials and tribulations are important. I'm not afraid of how people will see me or react to me, and I'm not doing this for pity. This is reality, and I need to talk it out, preferably with the discussion from others that happens here in the blogosphere. These things cannot be left inside me, inside us, to rot.

I am a lot of things, good and bad. And I'm trying to be the best person I can. That's how it will always be. I'm not better. Mania results in depression. I think deep down, I knew this was coming, and like our economy, there will be better days. I have a home, a healthy body, and the best, most supportive and wonderful husband that never gives up on me.

And I get love from this little lady:



Possiblly a Birth Problem

I know I probably should have posted sooner after that last one, considering it was somewhat heavy, but I haven't felt like I had anything to add to what I said.

Maybe I'm just in a flux period, where negative energy has surrounded me? I'm trying to stay optimistic that the force will be relieved. Until that time, though, it seems I'm bound to be in the path of destruction. Not one to shy away from superstition, I'm re-evaluating my relationship to my Mom's maiden name - Murphy. Unfortunately, events as of late make me tend to believe there is an influx in the legitimacy of said law.

On Friday, I was presented with what I'll call the Best, Most Perfect Opportunity of All Time. I will not go in to details on this BMPOAT, mostly because it hurts too much. Suffice to say that it included architecture, color, design, photography, branding, and animals - not to mention a location along the Pacific coast. Sent an email to BMPOAT at 7 a.m. and was called back within 15 minutes to schedule and interview. Saturday, I met the BMPOAT and totally rocked. I was amazing. I brought the A game. We hit it off and things felt very comfortable. However, BMPOAT was concerned about my location, and the drive required (less than HALF of the drive I currently do). I vehemently denied this as a problem, which it is not. Continued to rock, and even met her wife, who is a musician and needs some help with music branding for her next album. BMPOAT and said wife are trying for a baby. Anyway, to make this lenthening story short-er, BMPOAT called an hour ago to tell me she gave the BMPOAT to someone else who lives in the area, but that she loved my personality and thought I was a wonderful person. Let me reinforce that. I lost the BMPOAT because of my location. Some will say this is simply the "right thing but the wrong place" syndrome, I say its either God (if existing) or the sun or whatever controls this earth playing a horrible trick on me, in which BMPOAT is dangled in front of my face, made very possible, and pried from my super-glued grasp. I'm horribly depressed. (Writing about BMPOAT has re-opened the wound, and I may need to cry for awhile. Not kidding. )

My brother (whose last name is Murphy) got in a car accident this weekend and smashed my Mom's car. He isn't injured, and the accident was his fault. He was issued an expensive ticket. This accident comes only one day following my Mom's registration of and insurance granted for my brother's own car, of which he was driving to pick up a battery. This incident will be marked on her insurance instead of his.

She heads to court on Friday and I hope that everyone out there who reads this blog will send good wishes her way. She's battling the father of her youngest 3 children - who wants to discontinue his child support payments because his "career status" has changed. This is the man who moved an hour away from the family and has failed to see his children on any regular basis, who illegally tried to claim the kids for head of household benefits on his 2006 tax returns (causing a year-long audit process), and who owes my Mother over 6,000 in past-due child support benefits. The woman needs a break, and so do my young siblings. Anyway, send her your wishes. She could really use the positive energy. I'm trying to muster up the morsels I have to give to her.




It's one of those days. Possibly one of those weeks, when it seems like everything I know to be true is, in fact, in question. When maybe, just maybe, I've started to grow up, in that way that only time and experience can force.

I'm seeing things clearly, more clearly than in a long time; but less clear all at the same time. What is the right way to do it? To figure out what to be passionate about, to live for, to give everything to in order to succeed. How do you know when its the right time to give up everything else in order to pursue it?

There's a beast, a monster that invades us at the time when we're most vulnerable. That monster has invaded me. I can feel it writing inside my veins, stretching them to their capacity, working my heart to the point of failure. It travels through my spinal cord and in to my brain, through my nerves, and out every action of my body. It pays my bills and pushes me past what I was, where I was and who made me this way.

But, I'm only human. The beast can only feast on my blood for so long. Sooner or later, my heart will die. He will quickly devour my organs, my bones, my skin and leave me to die, moving on to the next victim.

Thankfully, I'm not there yet. But with every day I can feel it getting closer. I'm weaker. I'm a shell.

Nights like tonight, when I've been alone for days and days, I've reconciled these thoughts. It's just me and myself, hiding under a thick sheet with a flashlight, from the Beast. We try to see the world through the eyes of ourself before the weight of this world pinned us down.

It's not a misunderstanding of who I am. It's a cloud; a fog that keeps me from seeing myself.
It's the darkness that lives in my mind, the fear, the uncertainty.

This existence is a lonely one.



Visiting Baby C



Friday, September 30th 2008


September 25, 2008



September 22,2006

Right about now two years ago, we were kicking off a great night of music, family and friends. Funny how long ago it seems.

We spent the night at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa to celebrate our anniversary.



Home Made Beads

I've become obsessed with making jewelry. For the past month or so, I started just buying tons of cool beads from Michael's and Joann Fabrics, along with beading wire, crimps, and a adding some found pieces to create. Now, I'm using little glass pieces and small photos or art pieces and sculpey clay to create more unique necklaces and bracelets. I'm basically varnishing the photos to the back of the glass pieces and cooking it in the sculpey clay, using a little bead making tray I got.

Today, I started making my own round beads. I bought a bunch of different colors of sculpey, and cooked it in to round beads. Then, I painted a lighter or brighter color over the beads, and when it dried, I "antiqued" it using a clay tool. Once antiqued, I applied a crackle glaze to complete.

I'm actually enjoying the new beads, and plan on eventually phasing out store-bought ones.



Black Friday

Wow. It has been a week for weeks, that's for sure. We made it through. We made it through without our bank failing, or having to worry if the FDIC would cover our money should our bank fail.

But, damn.
These are some scary times.

And to aid us, what does our government do? They created a plan that would effectively give every big bank the freedom to fail without repercussions - if Congress passes this bill, we will take on the debt of ourselves and others around us. The only problem here: it's not the American Public's fault.

A couple of years ago, Congress passed a bill that made it much more difficult for Americans to declare bankruptcy, in fact, almost shutting down the relief of debt in exchange for a payment plan scheduled by the Government. Now, I think it's great that people take responsibility for their spending - in most cases. The astounding thing to take in to consideration here is that over 50% of bankruptcy cases in this country are a result of MEDICAL BILLS. Medical bills!

The BS situation that the banking giants have gotten us into is a result of THEIR INCOMPETENCE, GREED and a number of the other seven sins. The idiots running these companies, paired with the idiots in the White House removing regulations on that type of business activity, has created this problem. Who in their right mind thinks that a person on a small income can afford, first, an excessive house loan, and second, an irresponsible double-digit interest rate? The only answer to this is that these companies knew all along that these home buyers would not be able to afford the contract they were signing, and that eventually, they would default - at which point, in the housing industry pre-bubble, the house in question would be worth MORE money, and could be sold for a profit - having collected ridiculous interest rates up to that point.

So, this new bill going to Congress in coming days is, in effect, stating that our government thinks that the American public is responsible for their actions, or acts of God, and that the American corporate is responsible for absolutely nothing.

This is egregious.



Self Portrait, Day One - September 15 2008



To Finish or not to Finish

I'm always on the hunt for mid-century furniture because I'm frankly obsessed with it. I've been looking for a coffee table to replace the one we have (that is great, but ends up tipping over all the time because it's so stout) but have been unable to find anything for a good price.

Today while browsing the aisles at Urban Ore, I found this little guy:

NOT a coffee table. But, finding any furniture with tapered legs on it is pretty rare, especially for the $9 that I paid for it. It's pretty small and will work nicely as a little side table somewhere.

It's in rough shape and will have to be reconditioned. I don't think the wood is very nice, maybe a pine or something like that, without any nice grain. It could be stained to look much better. It could also be finished in a few other ways. I need your advice!

Should I:

  1. Refinish the table with a dark stain
  2. Paint the table a light, cream corn yellow
  3. Refinish the legs, and tile the top
  4. Paint the legs, tile the top
I've got some picture tiles I made which I think would look nice with some other neutral tiles on the top of the table. Here's an example:


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