Come Back Soon, Conan

And all I ask is one thing...and this is...I'm asking this particularly of young people that watch...please do not be cynical.
I hate cynicism. For the record, it's my least favorite quality.
It doesn't lead anywhere.
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get.
But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you. Amazing things will happen. I'm telling you.
It's just true.

-Conan O'Brien, during his final Tonight Show on January 22, 2010

And, quite possibly the only time in my life, past, present and future that I've laughed heartily at Will Ferrel:

Conan was never the comedian for everybody. He never will be. He is, however, the guy for me, and so many of my friends. I was so happy to see him take over the Tonight Show this Summer, but something always seemed off to me. Conan will always be crude, self-deprecating, and the sort of crazy that doesn't always appease the people who watched Jay Leno. I feel like he watered himself down these past 7 months, and he (and we) will be much happier on another network, where he's appreciated for what he is and how he does it.

His final speech last night solidified him in my mind as one of the most grounded and admirable people in show business. Thanks, Conan, for making me laugh like hell for the past week, and sending me off with a teary eye.

Come back soon!



Free Photo Booth Event!


On Saturday, January 30th I'll be throwing a Photo Booth Party at my studio - err, my garage studio. What's a Photo Booth Party? Well, it's when a photographer (me) creates a photo booth - a backdrop, and a box of crazy props - and invites everyone they know, the people who know them, and anyone else out there who want to come and have their photo taken for free.

Come, stand in my photo booth, and take home two digital files of your photos. You can bring anyone or anything - I'll fit as many people, dogs, or props in to your photo as possible. Looking for a photo of yourself and your dog? Of you and your loved one? Yourself? You and your prized cupcakes? Anything is possible!

I'm a new photographer, and my goal is to meet everyone I can out there. Also, I want you and everyone you know to meet me!

There will be snacks, free yard play for the doggies, and did I mention fun props?

I really hope you can make it. The event will happen starting at around 12 p.m and go until around 5 or 6.

Please tell everyone you know!

If anyone has any questions, they should email me at nissanicole AT gmail.com.




Nissa Said,

January 8, 2010 @ 2:41 am

I too have battled with faith, after losing important people. Yet, the more I learned about (Christian) God, the less I believed in him, or at least, the popular belief of what he is. The older I get, more I see and experience, the further I move from believing in any sort of God or deity. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I do believe in science – in the idea that this is all the circle of life. We started as carbon and end as carbon, recycled in to the earth to be reborn as trees, plants, etc.

Where some find comfort in religion and heaven, I find comfort in the fact that we are all part of this ecosystem, that we contribute to the circle of life, and that while were here, life is precious and should be lived to its fullest. We should be kind, generous and make the earth a great place for all who are here. Each person’s life is a lesson to those who exist after. This is the cycle, and it continues.

I do hope that you find some clarity in this time, whether it’s through your old faith or a new one. I think it’s wonderful that you explore other people’s thoughts and feelings to better understand your own.

That's a comment, left by me, in reply to Her Bad Mother's blog post We, Who Need Such Great Mysteries. Please click on that link to read the post if you have time, because it is a fantastic piece that left me thinking for quite awhile. Catherine recently lost her Father tragically, without notice. Her writings since have been devastatingly heart-wrenching. In this piece, Catherine writes of being unable to accept neither that death is the end, nor that death is a return and a reunion with those you love for eternal life. She's searching for the answer, and speaks truthfully about her desperate desire to find faith, to trust it, to know that this, here, is not the end - or not to.

She doesn't know it, but her post couldn't have come at a more opportune time. A year ago today, a friend of mine committed a murder/suicide. Aside from the fact that he and his wife are dead, little else is known of the circumstances in which me made that particular choice. Unfortunately, the things that are known make the grief more complicated. My friend and his wife were in the middle of a separation headed toward divorce. My friend was visiting a psychiatrist to get a handle on his depression and was taking a popular anti-depressant. Aside from our friendship, I also have a cosmic connection with my friend and his wife, as I officiated their small backyard wedding two years ago.

In this year since, I have struggled to find peace. In hoping to cleanse my soul, I explored many faiths, some for the first time, others for the second or beyond. I have always envied the peace that religion gives to some people around me.

I have furiously held on to pain and anger - tremendous anger - over my friend's choices that somewhere in myself I think I felt I needed to share within when I saw him again. I held on to the sorrow, the pain of not being able to know, not being able to help him and her. I was nauseous with regret for enabling their marriage, which at the time seemed so joyous, so true. Still, there was nothing in faith that gave me peace. Though I have tried, numerous times in my life, to give my sorrow and my pain to God, to free myself in his plan, I just...cannot. I have begged to believe. Begged myself. Why do I hold on to this pain, this anger, this frustration, this sadness - if this is the end? Of what use is this strife?

These things ultimately have led me back here. Here is now, because that's what I understand. When I typed that comment to Her Bad Mother, I realized that something in me has changed. I really, truly believe that which I wrote. If I close my eyes and visualize death followed by nothing - by peace - I am flooded with relief. I'll be honest - at first, it shocks me - but if I let it continue, I see the circle of life, our Earth, and the life around us recycling.

That fighting thought that this can't be the end - we're too smart, too wonderful, too connected - it illuminates the true beauty of human life. But for me, it's not because after death, we're all reunited in heaven. We, to those who come after us, are a lesson. Our actions on this earth change everything. Our hands create brilliance (if we let them) and our love moves mountains. Those things cannot be erased once our lives end. Think about it - you are who you are because of other humans - your family, your friends, people you don't know but run in to, the doctor who fixes you, the guy at the grocery store. And it builds as children are born, raised, and passed into the world. Our journey is less selfish than it seems. We are all but a part of a cycle that will continue far beyond our death.

My friend's actions are accountable only to him. I did what was humanely possible. I gave him what I had to give. I cannot change that I didn't know he would commit this horrible act. I also cannot change that he is gone, for his family, his friends, or myself.

I am accountable for my life. There are no excuses. How do I want to be remembered? What will I give my children, and those who come after me? How will I participate in this cycle? These questions sound contrived, but they are so relevant. With this freedom to believe that the end is the end, I'm left beginning to understand that I need to be more selfless in my life journey. This doesn't mean I shouldn't take care of myself, or be successful for myself, but instead it means that I cannot dwell inside fear, anger, pain, or grief. I need to use the resources around me to contribute, however that contribution formulates. To forgive. To allow myself to understand that with time I WILL age, I WILL change, and eventually, I WILL lose those who are important around me. At the end, I will die, and the energy of my life, my successes, my failures, my lessons will circulate those around me. My body will decompose and give life to something new.

With that, I feel great peace.



100 in 1000

As inspired by other photogs out there, here's my 100 in 1000 (goals for 2010 - 2013)

I will probably post these on the blog somewhere to update as I hopefully complete each goal.

And, if you're out there and want to complete your own list - link back!

100 in 1000

100 in 1000




I thought I was going to have a great post to write today, about this past decade, this past year, and how it's related to my life. I've thought about this particular post for the past week and thought it was going to be great.

Then, today came. And I didn't have anything to say.

I think I just realized I want to look forward. I want to leave what's in the past behind me, the good and the bad. Some great things happened - and some terrible things happened. But, that's likely no different than any decade. Every year is filled with the good and bad.

I like the sound of 2010. It's kind of sci-fi sounding, real futuristic-like. And, it's a round number. We can say twenty-ten instead of two thousand ten, which let's be honest, is too long.

So, instead of writing a post that reflects on this past year, this past decade, I'm just going to look forward, and hope that this can be the year, the decade of happiness and success. Of being the person I feel like I am, not always the person I give to the world at large.


1.365 - Hank, watching

1/365 - 1.1.10

Yes, I'm going to try and do Project 365 again this year. :D If it happens, it happens!


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