Welcome to the world, baby.

It's really wonderful to watch a dear friend hold her new daughter. I cried. She's beautiful.



I'll get there

Spring semester is over in three weeks, and I've got enough projects to last me until fall even if I don't take a summer class.

Honestly, the only thing that makes working full-time plus with full-time college is the lack of personal time. If I required no personal time, or hobby time, I would totally rock the hectic out of that. I can't do it though. Maybe if I was someone who had no extra curricular activities I would be happier. Sometimes I get to the point where there's so much to do that I can't do any of it.

I had a moment this weekend when I realized that I missed the life I had before I moved here. In a masochistic way. I don't miss not knowing if I could pay my $200 rent every month, but I do miss the complete lack of responsibility and creative freedom. I miss band practice in the basement.

Isis Eye Music Magazine is my priority. Now if I could only learn how to curb my necessary sleeping hours to 3.



do I stick out in this?

Dave and I are heading back to Minneapolis this weekend to attend the Minnesota Teacher of the Year banquet, which his Dad has been nominated for. We're leaving Friday night and coming back Monday morning, but it should be a nice little weekend. We're also pretty excited to see the little monkey baby, since Sarah will also be making the trip.

I had a hard time finding something to wear for this event. Strangely enough, David chose my outfit, after I returned three dresses that didn't work. The last one I returned before finding the right one was a beautiful, yellow silk Liz Claiborne sleeveless trapeze dress I got for a great $40 (gotta love Ross). It was adorable and fit perfectly, but when I found out that it would be in the 40's in Minneapolis, I remembered how spoiled I am to think I could pull it off. I'm slightly regretful for taking it back, actually. I found this dress while waiting in line to return the yellow dress.

I think it will work with black trapeze pants - David's idea. It's very, very pretty with some incredible turquoise details. It's not offensive. I don't want to stick out.





NO! Don't Leave, Toby!

I'm so upset! My masochistic need to constantly dig for Office tidbits between episodes has both proved my end-of-season theory wrong AND thrown me in to utter sadness.

Toby is leaving! The season finale is titled "Goodbye, Toby"...

Now, I know he just felt up Pam's leg in "Night Out" and told everyone he was moving to Costa Rica, but I thought that was just an excuse to jump the fence and evade Jim's wrath. But really, Toby? Costa Rica? What am I going to do without your drugged up reactions to Michael's ridiculousness? Most of my favorite quotes from this television show are effects of their relationship. I am devastated.

Also, I don't want another new character mixing with the chemistry. Look what happened when Karen came in. No thanks.
I'm a spoiler-reader, I can't help it. I know two things: someone's getting engaged, and someone's leaving the office. With the Office spinoff happening next season, I was totally sure of my plan for the finale: Dwight wins back Angela's affections somehow, leaving a huge, angry dispute between the three of them, leading to a Dwight and Angela engagement and Andy leaving. Andy gets his own show. Man, I thought I had it.

Oh, Office, you better not disappoint me on this one. If Jim and Pam are not engaged by the end of the season, I'm going to call shenanigans.




Ugh. I feel awful. For the last two days, I've been achy all over, but not like I am when I get a cold. My joints hurt like I slept wrong. Even the base of my nose hurts.

Last night, I laid in bed at an early 11:00 (i'm usually not tired until 1-ish) and did a little work, but felt really woozy. D came in at 11:30 and we chatted for awhile, during which I was beginning to fall asleep, but in a strange way. I felt like the world was sort of fuzzy, and sleep was just happening on the inside rather than me closing my eyes. I felt delirious.

All day today I've been this achy, and headache, and floaty sleepy. I don't like it.



Yay! Our taxes have been accepted! Woo hoo for no audit!


Oh, those Revolving Bristles

Oh, man. I needed a new toothbrush, and on a whim while grocery shopping I picked up one of the Crest Spinbrush Pro Whitening electric variety. Why I did this, I don't know. I often buy products based on packaging and that may have applied.

I've used it for a week now, and DAMN! I got me some shiny white teeth! That thing plows through the nooks and crannies and evacuates with a vengeance. The top half is a rotating set of bristles, and the bottom half is a square of bristles that goes up and down. Much more clean with much less machismo = happier teeth and happier Nissa.

Seriously, if you are in the market for a new brush, check these out. I am by no means being paid by Crest to promote their products, but this Crest Kid is putting her endorsement on their handiwork. Thanks, guys!




Baby Shower

My good friend and cherished employee left for maternity leave today. We threw her a big shower with everyone in the company, played some baby games, and piled her up with gifts. It was a good time; I've never thrown a baby shower before, but it was fun. Even a few of the guys came in and played some baby games.

I feel like I've been thrust in to a new level of adulthood; weddings, baby showers. For some reason this realization did not hit me when I got married myself; but being in the weddings of others prompted the idea that I was really not a kid anymore. I was one of the first, luckiest people to know about Taylor's pregnancy, and have been with her through each stage and trimester. I'm really excited to meet the baby, see what she looks like, and see Taylor add to her family and become a mother. I'm also excited about experiencing a little person who belongs to a close friend, who isn't a relative.





Death and Taxes

Well, I paid my taxes today. That's right, paid. I worked as a 1099 contractor for most of 2007, so the IRS has to get their money somehow. I will never, ever do that again.
We paid less because I could claim educational credits, thank monsters. But I'm still depressed about it.

I'm nearing the end of the semester, and with 5 weeks left, I'm starting final projects that will take me through May. I'm pretty happy with my ability to handle both school and school over the past months, as I didn't have such a good winter. I have started to doubt how much I can physically work before I start to break, and I think I reached that. I've pulled back a little from work and seem to be hitting deadlines all around a little better than before. Being realistic isn't always by best quality; because of the opportunities I have, I tend to try and hoard everything so that I don't end up losing something. Taking on extra projects at work is like this. I love my job, but I need to finish school sooner than later.

D is doing some career thinking of his own, and is possibly going in to education. For some reason, the thought of this makes me very happy. He's always been troubled with questions on what to do with himself, and even though he's got a great job that pays well and gives us good benefits, the happiness and fulfillment level is pretty low. He needs to be challenged, and he isn't.

I can see him teaching, being challenged, and yet having the stability I think he needs. His parents are both teachers, and I think the characteristics the three of them share really work out in a way that points them in that direction. He's got tendencies of giving too much of himself to others without giving himself what he needs - he wants to help people in any way he can. Of course, it's great to want to help others, but there has to be a legitimate compromise. I feel like his patience, understanding, and intelligence are extremely needed in public schools where kids don't see enough of that from their parents or peers.

I'll go along with whatever makes him happy, but I really hope this is what he finds to work for him. There's a lot of variables in our life right now that make it extremely difficult to even imagine our future. That's a more selfish reason I have. I feel like there has to be goals; this works fine for me as an individual, but it's difficult when I have no control(and do not WANT control) over what he's going to be doing. I worry that choices I make regarding where I take a job and where we live will be too influencial, that he'll go along with it because it makes me happy. I know this has to be a common worry among married couples. It would be easier if he at least knew what he was going for, so that we could weigh the factors independently and together when the time comes to make those choices. I hate thinking that he's not working toward that. It's very true that I'm a bit too quick to try to work out the next steps, but in this case, we've got to start making those decisions.

I've got the disease of always thinking in the back of my head that I will do all of this alone. It's incredibly wonderful to know that I won't, but I've never known anything different, and not having the control is completely jarring. I'm lucky to have someone who has begun to change that.



A reminder to myself

It's 1:30 a.m., and I'm feeling thankful for the important people in my life who I might have taken for granted at 12:30 a.m.




Living far away from family and most friends leaves for money and gift cards on birthdays, but I don't complain about that too much. I got money (that will go to taxes, blah) and a gift card for Blick, which I spent almost completely on paper and some other random things I needed for class.

The best gift I got was from D, who is fantastic and just always knows what I want and need. I got my new, 88 key digital piano (that weighs around 50 lbs.) in September and have been mulling over dual keyboard stands ever since.

He finally had enough of keyboard moving and got me this for my big gift. It is AMAZING. It holds each of the keyboards sturdily, and allows for both to be plugged in and accessible at the same time. I can plug both in to my m box and record them both at the same time. It is heaven, though a little intimidating.


Can I have it?

Please, will someone magically produce for me a digital SLR camera? Please. I will owe you, and believe me, I can make some really neat stuff.

I don't mind our point and shoot, in fact, I'm always blown away by it's accuracy and overall quality. I've taken some fantastic photos with it, and I don't mean just snapshots. It some "expensive" features that really work well for artistic shots.

But darnit, I want a "nice" camera. I get jealous every time I see another blogger who I can tell by their pictures, obviously has an SLR. All of the children, pets and musicians in my life call for shutter speeds and light I cannot give them. I just want non-blurry pics, people!

Oh, but the reality of the matter is, I don't have an extra $600 to lay down for a precious and wonderful tool like that. Anyone out there with tips on where to find a Canon 10mp SLR for a good price?



Oh, bother.

Ahh, the joys of couple-friends. Or in this case, not-a-couple-anymore friends.
I spent the night with a dear friend who caught her long time, live in boyfriend doing some "things" with another woman yesterday and kicked the boyfriend out.

Needless to say, it wasn't good. It's a major shocker. To add to the situation, her boyfriend was calling D and I every 5 minutes, looking for my friend and most likely, to find a place to stay. When he wasn't calling us, he was calling her cell phone and their home phone. I felt bad for leaving the guy on his own, but he made his bed and I was surprised he'd put us in that really ackward situation. Do I let this person stay with us? I don't feel right doing that.

I'm just walking in the door and going to hug D now. :(



Work FTW

So, fast is over. Us emotional eaters do just fine on fasts when we have super wonderful husbands and cozy apartments with sweet rats to love us. You are super happy, feeling the best ever when you reach work, and your boss tells you the four worst words you could possibly hear in my line of work.

%&ck. I was feeling so good. This fast was a breeze compared to last time, and hopefully, that means I'll be able to do it again with the same luck. It isn't that I couldn't have found some way to keep going, I could have...but knowing that the next week or so is going to be one big stress after another, the whole no-food-in-stomach wasn't doing it for me. Not to mention the wonderful caffeine withdrawl headaches.

Anyway, 2.5 days wasn't a failure. I feel better than I did before, anyway. I think the key this time was consuming just water - last time, as advised for first-timers, I did a juice fast. I think the juice kept tricking my tummy in to thinking there was more coming.

A co-worker has finally started putting down some guitar to tracks I gave him months ago, so my outburst over lack of musicians over the weekend has calmed some. I'm not sure if it would work to truly play music, play gigs with this guy - he's fantastic and all, but I worry about that connection to work - but at least getting somewhere in this phase is really great.


Home is Where the Green Plastic is

Yep. That's where the rats live. If you look closely, you can see them all sleepy in their daytime naps. I can't imagine a better life for a rat. Also, I'm not too good with the feeding of treats. I share whatever I'm eating, and well, it shows in the belly area.

Both Agatha and Suzanne have started to understand the correlation between time and attention. When I get up, Agatha is always looking for me at the edge of the cage. In this picture, you can see her sitting where she always sits - If' im in the the chair (which is right where this photo was taken) she sits there, waiting to be played with or given treats.



Last Minute Travel Plans

D's dad has been nominated for the Teacher of the Year in Minnesota.
We're going to be flying out to attend the banquet ceremony on May 4th. The tickets were pretty cheap, respectively, and we snatched 'em up. Hopefully, the Monkey family will be coming as well - we won't be going home until next Christmas, so it would be nice to see the kids before they are 25.


Fasting, again.

I did a fast about 6 months ago after I dealt with a life-changing event, and it was really great. A fast is not starving yourself, it's not keeping food away to lose weight, but instead, it's a chance to start over, cleanse your system, and reload.

I felt really good after the first one. Back story being, I'm trying, for the past 4 months or so, to rid my diet of dairy and eggs. I've been a vegetarian for a few years (best decision ever), but I'm ready to take it further and go vegan. Anyway, I did the fast as a causeway in to this new diet, and for the first few weeks, it worked. But, I have not stuck to the diet as I wish I would have.

I'm doing it again, because I'm really unhappy with my inability to completely stick to it. Also, my stress level and my mental health is just not at a good place. Starting over is what I need.

Anyway, I'm at the end of my first day of fasting, and it's much easier this time. Last time, I think I psyched myself out and was totally consumed by the cravings I had, and those cravings were strange. I have them today, too...all day, I wanted to have a hot dog. I haven't had a hot dog in years. But, I haven't felt the physical pain. I did a full cardio workout after work and I feel really clear and energized. I hope this continues for the next three days.


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