Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fade Into You

I want to hold the hand inside you
I want to take a breath that's true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth
You live your life
You go in shadows
You'll come apart and you'll go black
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there.

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew

Friday, August 6, 2010

Some day you'll know

Be who you want to be and say what you want to say. We learn best when we make mistakes.

And to that, some day you will know what it meant. Life's happening doesn't so much matter in the now, but matters the most later. So be who you want to be and say what you want to say. We learn best when we make mistakes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where to now?

So... A LOT has happened in the past couple of months that I haven't been here. I got the internship at Blanks/USA. Granted, it taught me a few good things about the working world which is definitely mission accomplished. I can't say I love it or hate it either. I've met fun people here. I have a good month before I leave here.

I'm glad a took the step up in life and made a change but after this internship, I have a bag of worries to carry: Do I go back to school? Or find a new job? How much time have I got 'til I have to pay off my school loans? How will I even pay it off with no job? Etc.

I must say I've attuned myself to the "Go to work-come home-eat-sleep" deal. And I did finally get to just enjoy some ME time instead of having to do projects for school, fill out paper work here and there, and jumping here and there with other pain-in-the-ass priorities etc.

And lately I've been trying to get on with MY projects: more painting, framing my bedroom walls with my favorite photographs, buying shelves and re-staining/painting thm etc. --more so the interior design stuff. I've also learned a great deal about freelancing; NEVER SELL YOURSELF FOR LESS. Some people just have no idea how hard Graphic Designers work on a project etc. Most of the time they don't mention a pension and leaves you at an awkward state about the project and/or throw a project out there to you with out considering what you already have on your plate. Sorry, if we're just acquaintances and you can't respect that then forget it and don't waste my time because TIME to ME is PRECIOUS.

Anyway, our 4 year anniversary is coming up on the 4th of this month. (Should I consider that our GOLDEN anniversary yet? lol) I hope to do something special because the previous years we hardly celebrated them. Shouldn't it be extra special this time around? I'm thinking I should do the planning because... MEN... what do they know about romance?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is it just me?

If its one thing I do know in this life, loving you was the best thing I could do.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

When I met you,

The first time when I met you,
I saw something,
beyond any doubt,

That first touch, kiss and look on your face set a warm sense of feeling that tickled deeply inside of me, penetrating my weakened soul.

I was alive.
I finally awoke from a dead dream I was living in.

That wired feeling I found had came from the look in your eyes. I saw your soul. I felt that we belonged together and that finally, I found what I was looking for; I was finally home.

Monday, April 5, 2010

In Search of Clarity.

Just got back from the gym: Ran 2 miles, Yoga ♥ and extreme p90x ab ripper. :) late night grocery shopping and then late night snack, (dont worry I was good: carrots w/hummus. Brie w/grapes, half a roma tomato with olive oil, salt and peppa!) Now chillen with some chamomile tea, gonna shower, light a candle, read and go to sleep.

Tonight, I felt at ease. I centered myself with the present moment and actually did something that I wanted to do. And it was absolutely simple! I love it. Even though on the side, I'm going through a rough patch with a significant person in my life, I feel like what I'm doing is right. I feel good, and I trust the energy within where the universe is taking me. Sounds hippie, I know, but I'm on that quest to soul search again. I need to find that genuine high, that clarity to strengthen my soul. So, with my tea in hand, Cheers, to a new journey...

Gonna go take a shower now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

When a chapter closes, another one opens.

I am real excited to say that I am done with the first part of college. I just graduated with an Associates degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute. Lately, the question has been "Now, what are you going to do?" Well of course, find myself a job, get into freelancing and I suppose help my brother with his website. Then, at the very least I can stick that into my resume or something.

Anyway, I feel so relieved and that this was the right thing to do; take one step at a time. Since my adolescent years, all it has been was a rush, a rush to get a job, get a car, make money, go to school, finish HS, go to college, pick out a major, etc etc. What I really have wanted to do for the longest time is just to live in the now... synchronize myself with the life I'm living in.

So, here and again, I hope to find peace and happiness within as my continuous soul searching journey moves on. I have time now so I shouldn't give myself any excuses about what I want to do. So here are a few main ideas of what I want to focus on in this point in my life:

I want to read more, paint more, exercise more and get in touch with my inner simplicity.

Sounds like a good list. Don't ya think?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I just gave it a thought... and I want to say: I really appreciate my best circle of friends. They are those who wish you well and genuinely cares for you. Not that others dont have the same kind of sentiments but, on just many levels, their compassion could never be compared to. It takes a good chunk of time to understand and know who those people are.

It's sad to see those who has dealt with what they call, the fake. The answer is clearly there, you enable them to be fake with the kind of relationship that you emanate from the beginning. Also those who find themselves in groups they don't belong in. It's sad but a true story. I love the good people in my life, even those who I don't talk much to on a daily basis.

Sorry, its vague statements that I've just let fly out my head. It's late and I've been just thinking about who friends are to me. We all have some in our lives. Some come and go. Some come back. Some stay forever. And some annoys the shit out of you, like Nhia. :) Anyway I'll leave this post at just this.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Good night,

Being a designer sucks. Being a lover sucks even more. Good night.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Something You Should Know...

I wrote this paper summer of 2009 for an english research essay. To me, it served much as a personal analysis of my background. Take a look if you will:

"...Religion is always a hot, controversial topic. Often times I receive strongly opposing views or negative comments about Shamanism, which makes me uncomfortable. I have come to realize that the customs, traditions and knowledge bestowed upon the newer generations are slowly dissipating. “Americanized” Hmong are forgetting their cultural roots. Conversions in religious beliefs often result in ignorant, incorrect views about Shamanism, and the education of Hmong cosmology is not taught widely, leaving younger generations with clouded views of their customs. To understand the ancient religion of the Hmong, you must understand the culture and history of the Hmong.

The new generation of Hmong Americans lack valid information about their own history leaving them uncertain about the Hmong’s rich, cultural history. One thing that was certain was the diasporas within the history of the Hmong. The exquisite ethnic group faced long-lasting challenges as they fought for their independence and tried to maintain their lasting existence. History has long dated Hmong people from ancient times as early as 3000 B.C. (Faderman, 2). Hmong or Hmoob is also known as “Miao” or “Meo,” although, the term “Hmong” is more suitable. A Hmong scholar stated that the term “Miao” is actually a derogatory term meaning “barbarian,” given by the Chinese (Symonds xxv). The Hmong did not have a writing system; therefore, there are many controversies and confusion about where the Hmong originated from. Some believe the Hmong came from Mongolia, (hence the similar pronunciation) migrating to Siberia and then settling into China. However, this is just a theory. It is more certain that the Hmong have made their historical presence in Southern China, since the Chinese have records in their book of Shujing (Book of Documents) that the “Miao’s” have appeared from dynasty to dynasty.

It is said that a Hmong kingdom was established in the earlier centuries around 400-900 B.C. (Lao Family Community of Minnesota, Inc.). It later fell into the hands of a ruler in the Sung Dynasty. The Hmong then dispersed across China and returned to their nomadic ways. After this event, the Hmong lived peacefully for a few years until the expanding Chinese with a higher power came along and threatened the Hmong.
The Chinese posed a high threat of subjugation, leaving another major emigration in the Hmong history. Wanting to civilize the Hmong, Chinese rulers tried enforcing punitive taxations, forced servitude under govern rules, and conducted ethnic persecutions. The Hmong refuted this mandate and began rebelling which resulted in numerous revolts. The Hmong have excellent tactics for defending themselves especially in ambushing their victims. The aftermath of rebellious fighting pushed many Hmong to move down into Indochina; there they settled in Thailand, Laos, Burma, and Northern Vietnam, settling deep into the mountain sides and highlands. For many decades they lived freely as hunters and farmers while practicing slash-and-burn farming. It wasn’t until the 1960’s during the Vietnam War that the Hmong got involved with the Americans, resulting in the last massive emigration after the end of the Vietnam War.

Nearly fifty years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency recruited and provided artillery along with military equipments to General Vang Pao and his armies to fight in what is known now, the Secret War (Weiner). Since it was kept from the American public, the involvement in Laos was concealed and was not let out until many years after the war. General Vang Pao and many Hmong agreed to be allies with the Americans because they sought tranquility and freedom from the communists. Vang and his recruiters were sent on a mission to cease the infiltration of Northern Vietnamese invasion in Laos; especially since the Hmong knew the mountain sides well. Other assignments were to rescue and protect fallen American pilots who were assigned to bomb North Vietnam. The pugnacious forces grew into somewhere around 39,000 guerrillas (Weiner). In 1975, America pulled out from the Vietnam War, leaving their Hmong allies behind. Communists quickly learned about the Hmong’s involvement and retaliated quickly against them, leaving a horrid bloodshed in casualties. Fearing for their lives, many fortunate Hmong fled to France and America as soon as possible. Many others found refuge across the country’s borders and poured into Thailand. Wherever the Hmong went, they faced foreign challenges in their new world and grieved upon their losses. The rest of the Hmong were left to fend for them selves. Still, to this day, many groups of Hmong are scattered throughout the jungles of Laos. They are being hunted down like animals by radical communists involved with the Lao government.

Lillian Faderman explains about the Hmong in her book: I Begin My Life All Over,

'The Hmong were often in their history like the ancient Israelites who had flee Egypt and became strangers in a strange land, wanderers, forced to run from attempts at genocides. (2)'

In the present day, large populations of the Hmong can be found in China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, France, Germany, French Guyana, Australia, Argentina, and among the most populated, in the United States of America. The state of Minnesota, California, and Wisconsin are heavily concentrated with the Hmong ethnic group (Yau). Here they begin a new episodic struggle: clashing with the American culture.
Like the struggle to keep their existence, it is important for the Hmong to preserve and continue practicing their customs and traditions. My parents and their parents have always practiced the Shamanic rituals since their historic days in Laos and Thailand. My siblings and I have been happy to acquire only the basics about the Shamanic rituals and Hmong traditions. As the first generation of the Hmong American world, it appears that some of my siblings and Hmong peers have little or no traditional values; we know so little about our rich heritage.

The term shamanism is not necessarily a religion, but rather it is a form of medicinal practice. Whether it is mental or physical illness, the Hmong do not classify their illnesses; the ones who have confidence with shamanism believe a person’s illness is sent by spirits as a result of being imbalance (Sydmonds 11). Anne Fadiman, author of, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, notes of her understanding that

The Hmong culture does not dissect easily into disparate parts and neatly labeled categories, as everything in it stubbornly remains connected to everything else (Symonds 10). Medicine ties into religion as religion ties into society and circles back to medicine (Faderman 10). Birth and death is considered arbitrary, as it is seen to be different stages of a continuous cycle. In the land of light, also known as the land of the living, all existents are interconnected (Sydmonds 11).

In the Hmong culture, everyone is from a clan lineage and is the main source of identification. There are eighteen renowned clan lineages within the Hmong and is usually used as a surname in the United States. For instance, my last name is Xiong; I may be identified in the Xiong (or Xyooj) lineage. Although, when I marry, I would then be considered apart of my husband’s clan as I carry his surname. Hmong women who marry into a clan will be reincarnated back into their husband’s lineage and are expected to portray a gender role since it is a male-dominant culture. Men are seen as the stronger body; therefore they have a form of brothers who then decides important decisions within their lineage.

The physical body is seen as a vessel for souls. For the body may have more than one soul, the Hmong usually consider having three: the Sun and Moon soul, the Breath soul, and the returning vital soul also known as ntsuj plig si/ntsuj qaib (Symonds 21). When a child is born, the Hmong believe it is the returning vital soul of an ancestor from the same lineage that has arrived back into the land of light. Usually, three days after birth a soul calling ritual is held where a shaman would chant the calling (hu plig or “who-plee”). A pig or chickens will be sacrificed as the spirit of the animal is to guide the soul back from the land of darkness and into the new born. With out the ritual, the new born will not be considered as fully human.

The shaman is an essence to the conducting of rituals; he or she is the healer. A Hmong shaman serves as a medium where he or she travels between both the land of light and the spirit worlds, also known as the land of the dark. It is not in the shaman’s favor to choose its role but is predetermined by the renowned powerful deity, Siv Yis (ee -yee), the first claimed shaman assigned by Yawm Saub (yer-show) pulled from Hmong folklore. A person falls very ill as he or she is being called by the guides of Siv Yis. For example, the illness of Epilepsy is considered a sign as some one who may become a shaman; the shaking of the seizure is similar to a shaman shaking in the state of trance (Symonds 18). An experienced shaman will normally see to the problem. This is usually inevitable for the victim. If he or she fails to accept, the illness will proceed and in many cases eventually leads to death. When a person accepts to being a shaman, he or she will have to set up an altar in their house where all his or her necessities are place for tuning in a séance. A bench seat, made to resemble a horse, is made specifically for that shaman for no one else may use it. He or she will then have to acquire other important tools and learn the fundamentals of the divined practices from their teacher who is more than likely a skilled shaman. When in the state of trance, the shaman’s spirit is thought to have detached itself from the physical body as it will travel into the land of the dark on a horse to capture the fugitive spirit and liberate it from evil spirits so it can return back to its body (Mottin). A shaman may obtain spiritual guides who help them during the state of trance. My mother, who is a shaman, is endowed with thousands of spirit guides. Many shamans differ from one another by skills and experiences. The black-faced shamans wear a black-cloth veil, covering their face and are able to withhold a stronger set of power from the white faced shamans. White faced shamans simply perform without a mask and do not go into the state of trance for they were not originally called by Siv Yis. Among the powerful black clothed faces, the shamans who wear the red cloth veils posses the strongest powers (Sydmonds 23).

In the universe, everything correlates to one another: plants, water, rock, animals (humans) and spirits (dab or “dah”). There are the tame spirits that offer protection from the wilds spirits. They live in and watch over the home of a Hmong. When you are involved in an accident, a simple spirit calling can be held to prevent further problems. Spirit callings are however held at the end of the year; the head of the house hold chooses a propitious day starting in November through January. Red and white threads are intertwined into bracelets or necklaces and are tied on with a blessing. It serves as a protection from evil harming. Other times blessings of white strings are tied on wrist from family members outside of the immediate family to influence good health and a prosperous life. Hmong Christians may practice string tying too.

Although, if you are not careful you may run into wild powerful spirits that lurk the outside; this may instill fatal illnesses to your health. If that is the case, a ceremony known as to ua neeg (“oo-ah neng”) will be conducted. The shaman will go and see what is wrong as he will negotiate with the demonic spirits to free the imprisoned soul. Food and money will be offered in return with the fugitive soul, but in some cases, the evil spirit prevails and does not accept the grant. The body of the ill one will eventually give out, resulting in a grief stricken lost if little is done.

When it comes to death a precise process of a funeral will be given, lasting typically for three days. Of the three souls that lie within the flesh of a body, the first soul, the Sun and Moon soul stays with the body at death serving as a guard. The second soul forwards into the land of darkness. There, it joins its community of ancestors as it waits to join its spouse’s soul as one. As for the last soul, the vital soul will need to return back the land of darkness as it waits to be reincarnated again. A specific chant called “Qhuab kev” is recited accompanied by the beat of a drum and pipers blowing special instruments (the “qeej”) as it serves to guide the spirits back to find its “jacket” or better known as the placenta which is buried at birth. With out the jacket, the soul of the dead can not reincarnate or complete the journey back into the land of the spirits. Food, liquor, and spiritual money are given to the dead to replenish and help with debts along its long journey. Family members of the dead usually fold thousands of paper boat money and decorate the room in which the coffin is laid. After the funeral, it will be burned and sent along with the dead person’s spirit. From time to time, more spirit money will be sent to the ancestor later.

By and by I have observed my fellow Christian peer opposing to the shamanic practices. As they try to assimilate into the American or modern world, they become heavily blinded by their Christian beliefs that they may even force their religion onto others, claiming that shamanic practices are wrong. This is the result of discriminating those who are loyal and true to the Hmong belief system.
It is possible that the youthful generation of the Hmong population are denying themselves because of the complex traditions. Customs may clash with the misunderstanding that traditions are from an older time and living in the modern world, you must adjust yourself to live within the contemporary. What they do not understand is that it is possible to assimilate both matters simultaneously..."

Yea. quite long, I know. But its good to know! Especially my fellow Hmong peers who don't know much about the Hmong culture. Comment as you will. I take no offense.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Okay, Detox Diet anyone?

I've decided, hey, its the new year, I'm not happy with the way I look, I eat and drink excessively (why, everyone does) and my metabolism isnt in its best shape. I need to feel mentally and physically happy about myself to lead me in a steady balance in my crazy schedule. So, I'm going to detoxify myself. This should be fun. I'm doing it alone and it will be my own personal journey on finding happiness. On the plus side, if I get through this, I'll own up to my willpower to do anything else. This year... will be different.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Things That Inspire Me

The new, the old, whats big, whats small, what is round, or squared, black or white, colorful and witty all bring forth innovated style into my inspiration box. I started collecting inspirational images a while back after taking a previous class that made it a mandatory assignment every week. :) I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Alphonse Mucha. I absolutely adore his work. Mostly of elegant women and spaghetti flying hair.

Nicolas Gouny, a french painter had this posted on his deviantart website. I love the witty romance that hes depicts in this picture. His lighting from the sunrise aesthetically pleasing.

By God, she is one of the best I've ever seen. Her work is super chic. Allison Torneros does alot of mixed media and is a graphic designer/illustrator. She works with alot of graffiti too.

These works of art have already begun inspiration in my work and those work are now in my portfolio actually. :) So... find inspiration! Leech off good ideas! You arent necessarily copying. Its more of a personal journey of finding your own original, unique, creative style(s).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What Dreams Are Made Of...

It's so weird. I've been having vivid dreams lately about strangers and them trying to break in my house. The first dream I had was that I awoke from my parents house and got up to walk to school. It was almost as if I was back in high school again. It was still dark and the weather seemed of a crisp cold fall morning. As I walked down the block when suddenly, I sensed a stranger coming towards me, almost running. As I turned around, he jerks to a stop.(Now, this is all blurry to me and I might have changed it up a bit) I then glare at him and I was furious. As if I knew he was coming towards me to rob me of something. Turning the tables on him, I run towards him to kick his ass or chase him off. Of course he ran. Right when I got around the bend of the street, I saw him jump up and turn into a big ass crow. Flying just above my mom's house or what seems like my old house in Brookln Park, I can see a dark cast of two big ass flying crows up above me from the glow of full moon up above me. I quickly ran inside the house for cover. Panicking, I tell my brother, and Charlie to quickly lock the doors for I knew they want to come inside. As soon as I thought most of the doors and windows were locked, I ran to the garage to see if the back door was locked. I see my dad and Xai try to walk in the unlocked door. For some reason, I knew they were only a disguise. They were the crows and were only imposing as my dad and brother. So I quickly start screaming "Get the fuck out! Get the hell out! You're not my dad!" As I started to head lock him. Andddddddd thats all I can remember.

The second one... I'm too lazy to explain but it was similar to the first only, my little frail grandmother was with me inside the house and I was trying to protect her and I had a huge (what seemed to be as big as a Hmong knife) knife with me to scare those suckers off.

Now, the thing is... through out my dreams, I was almost calm, cool and collective about the happenings. As if... I carried no fear with me but a brave attitude. So... that leaves me to think... What is the meaning behind all of this? If someone can give a good interpretation, that would be cool. Oh! And also, I thought it would be cool if I got an actual journal to write my dreams in. Because... doesn't everyone get those moments where they're going along with what they're doing and *bloop* pops in a dream the they had a lonnnnnng time ago? I just thought that would be a cool thing to do. Also would help me on my writing and help me to be more descriptive about defining how things look or feel like. :D

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dear Diary,

I've decided to join the club. :)

So whats new? How do you do? As we all know, 2009 has come and go and 2010 is here to stay. Its a good idea to start off fresh and new. You see, I started blogging since I was 14 or so. It all start with Still a good website but I figured I'd try something new and get the hang of it. Now that I'm 21 and in a new chapter in my life, its time for a new me! :) Anyway, I look forward to coming here at least once or twice a week to talk about my journey in life. There will be days where I become insightful write a lot of things with meaning and other days I'll have ADD and drop a few lines or so that don't make any sense at all. I look forward to write my blogs here. Til then, peace out bean sprouts.

<3 Nicollazzi