10.27.2008

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!

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10.23.2008

Bricks

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.

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10.22.2008

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.

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10.19.2008

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:

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10.16.2008

Ready...Set...GO!

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!

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10.14.2008

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?

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10.13.2008

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.

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10.12.2008

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.

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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.

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10.11.2008

Sometimes

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.

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10.10.2008

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10.08.2008

After

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:

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10.06.2008

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.

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10.02.2008

She

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.

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