Monthly Archives: December 2010


-sift through all the photos of you from the past year. choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. share the image, who shot it, where and what it best reveals about you.-

this is both who i am and who i strive to be… an adult-o-lescent.

it captures my capacity for genuine joy.
it celebrates friendship, accomplishments and art.

jeremyriad hit me with this best shot at the opening of his “love movement” exhibition.


new name

-let’s meet again, for the first time. if you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?-

a return to reverb 10. after giving myself permission to participate imperfectly, i practically stopped participating. i’m picking it back up with a real time response. i’ve skipped almost a dozen prompts, but i can always revisit them in january, since the new year is also an important time to reflect and manifest. some of them aren’t as inspiring to me anyhow and i don’t want to dwell on irrelevant issues. besides, it’s my blog, i can reverberate whatever way i want to.

as for introducing myself, i am who i am, and i couldn’t possibly be anyone else.

i identify with my first name. nicole is derived from the greek “nikolaos” and means victory of the people. i have long considered myself one of the masses, the working class, the proletariat. fortunately, i’ve often been victorious, both personally and publicly with peers. i think this is due to my tenacity and powers of persuasion.

i inherited my middle name. my maternal grandmother is a first generation immigrant from the former yugoslavia. similar to most serbs, she was only given a first name, anne. she passed this on to her daughter, carolyn ann, who passed it on to me. if i ever have a girl, her middle name will be anne as well.

my maiden name is derived from the french “l’ile” which translates to the island. liles literally means dweller on the isle. my paternal grandmother had a french maiden name too, “lacroix” or the cross, referring to someone who either lived at a crossroads or carried a processional cross. many members of my father’s family have had their own crosses to bear.

i married a man of scandinavian descent and our last name is almost always mispronounced. evje (ev-yeh) is a little village in the setesdal valley of norway. my husband’s great-grandfather was a famous composer in that country and even has his own street in the capital of oslo.

so what is in a name? is it simply etymology and genealogy, or is it something more? when i introduce myself, do you form your opinion on what you hear or what you see? i’m not sure it matters what my name is… it just matters that i’m me.

five minutes

-imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. set an alarm and capture the things you most want to remember.-

it’s like a moment from the movie memento… ready, set, go!

the mixture of relief, triumph and fear that i felt walking away from where i worked for over a decade. spending our anniversary in pacific grove; strolling on the sand, smelling the surf and seeing the monarch butterfly migration. getting behind-the-sea-turtles-scene at the monterey bay aquarium. baking a star wars cake for my nephew’s fourth birthday and the disneyland trip we took to celebrate it. turning thirty-six in santa cruz. riding the big dipper on the boardwalk. boarding the historic roaring camp railroad and taking the train into the redwoods. going whale watching, spotting several species and wretchedly retching over the side of the boat. having red hair. having pink hair. fasting for fifteen weeks. changing my body and my mind with medical weight management. taking the alcatraz night tour and experiencing intense negative energy in cell block d. engaging in more “active” halloween activities; going on ghost walks and taking cemetary tours. descending into the earth underground old town and in the black diamond mines. walking and talking with my dad, hearing dreams he had about my mom. carrying on family tradition by cutting our own christmas tree and decorating it seventies style. wearing a smaller-sized, form-fitting dress to my best friend’s art show opening. feeling proud of both him and me for all that we’ve accomplished.


-what was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?-

i’m making a wise decision right now. i’m trying to change my all-or-nothing thinking. to paraphrase a reverb10 tweeter, i will allow myself to participate imperfectly. i’m skipping the “beautifully different” and “party” prompts. because we’re all beautifully different, just as much as we’re grotesquely the same. and i didn’t go to any sock rocking social gatherings. one of the reasons why i was such a party pooper has to do with the wisest decision i made this year.

i was unhealthy, which made me unhappy. i was overweight and my diabetes was out of control. my stylist had been super successful on a medical weight management program. i learned all about her experience while she applied my atomic pink hair dye. i went home, did some research, attended orientation and evaluated my options. desperate times call for drastic measures. and even though it wasn’t covered by my insurance, i made the commitment… emotionally, physically and financially.

how did it play out? after an intensive 15 week fast, i’m tentatively transitioning back to a balanced diet. i’m 65 pounds lighter and 21 inches smaller. i’m healthier, which makes me happier. i still have a little left to lose, but my diabetes in completely under control and i’m off all those meds. now i need to continue making wise decisions, get to my goal and maintain my weight loss. it’s not going to be easy, by hopefully i’m past the hardest part.


-where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?-

community is defined as a social group of any size, whose members share a cultural or historical heritage, common characteristics or interests, and perceives itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists. i belong to a community of two. i rediscover it every year. not just in 2010, but since 2001. my husband and myself comprise the most important community that i’ve ever been a part of.

from my mid-teens to my mid-twenties i was a part of the punk rock community, a staple on the gilman street scene. i was even in a band. so were all my friends.

when i settled down somewhat i became a member of the working class community, interesting enough in the adult industry. it’s not what you might think. good vibes was a progressive, female-focused business that provided sex-positive products and accurate information that promoted health, pleasure and empowerment. during my decade there, i developed a unique and useful skill set. i started out as an educator and ended up as a marketeer, discovering a talent for copy writing along the way.

i’ve been on the periphery of the weight loss community for the last five years. i consider myself a member of the programs i participate in, but have never identified with the group “at large”.(sorry, i couldn’t resist). losing weight is something i do, not who i am.

in 2011 i would like to explore my creative options. i want to write more. i want to compose pieces with a purpose. i’m interested in both the on-and-offline communities. i’ve already started this blog. i’ll see where it takes me. maybe i’ll even enroll in a college course.

and next year, as well as every year after that, i look forward to connecting more deeply in my community of two.


-what was the last thing you made? what materials did you use? is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?-

the last thing i made was this blog. then i made a fuss about it.
i used wordpress (to make the blog, not the fuss).

there are lots of things i’d like to start making and a few i need to finish.

i’d like to finish the scrapbook from the trip i took to europe over 10 years ago.
i’d like to start several other scrapbooks, especially since i already have supplies for some of them.

i’d like to finish the pirate quilt i started with my mother-in-law last winter.
i’d like to alter a lot of the clothes i’ve shrunk out of. i’d like to start sewing some new ones from the fabulous fabrics you don’t see in stores.

it’s not all about arts and crafts though.
there are more important things i want to make.

i want to make an impression.
i want to make certain people proud of me.
i want to make others think twice.

i want to make it to my goal weight.
i want to make it to a ripe old age.

i want to make plans and progress.
i want to make a difference.
i want to make history.

i just want to make it!

i don’t need to clear some time as much as i need to clear my head.
instead of additional hours, i could use some inspiration…

let go

-what (or whom) did you let go of this year? why?-

i let go of a lot this year, and with each act of letting go, i changed my sense of self.

for over a decade i was the girl who worked at good vibrations. i rose through the retail ranks of sales associate and assistant manager to become a member of the marketing team as advertising coordinator and copywriter. the tough economy took it’s toll. we were bought and sold. i started as an owner of the co-op, was then converted to shareholder of the corporation and ended up an employee of the company. gv wasn’t what i wanted it to be anymore. i wasn’t who they wanted me to be anymore either. so we let each other go.

i had already been letting myself go for quite some time. both my weight and blood sugars were at an all time high. i decided to take the opportunity of unemployment to let some other things go. first i let go of food. i entered into an intense medically monitored fast for 15 weeks. i let go of my aversion to exercise, as well as some insecurities about sweating and being seen. eventually i let go of about 65 pounds and all my diabetes meds. my body was changing and so was my mind.

i’d like to think i’m a little less negative, but occasionally i behave just as badly. i’d like to say i’m more accepting, but i can still be just as judgemental. i do believe i’m a better person who’s been through worse. i may have held on to some things that i shouldn’t, but i’m proud of myself for the things i’ve let go.