Wednesday, December 31, 2008

home, oh erect us!

It's been awhile since I've posted pics of my home sweet mobile home, so I thought I'd share some recent ones. As you can see, wow- I actually have some real furniture (furniture that's not lawn chairs!) now. And no more clothes hanging in the kitchen ha...




The red velvet couch & chair were found tossed out on the side of a road, not in the best of shape but a definite upgrade from lawn chairs. The Heather street sign behind the sink was stolen by a couple of my hooligan sk8r friends way back in high school...




My bedroom is finally shaping up, too... nasty wallpaper is gone and I've moved much of my own stuff in. As always, my chichi Mia loves to post up on top of my pillows like the little chihuahua princess that she thinks she is...






My dressing table has somehow been developing a punk-pirate Adam Ant-ish vibe... definitely still a work in progress though, I still have stuff to unpack yet. Ugh, unpacking.




I would show you the bathroom, but, well, it's so tiny that I can't really get in there to get a photo! Anyway you get the idea...






And finally, here's a shot of the view from my back deck... I do get the most incredible freaking sunsets out here...



This place is finally starting to feel like home, and I'm looking forward to starting the new year here. May it be a good and happy one for us all.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dearly, departed

This past Saturday night, my much-adored dog Dearly died in my arms.

I haven't been able to write about it because I have been heartbroken... well, I am still crushed. But I want to leave a memorial here for my beautiful Dearly-dog. So I'll do my best. Forgive me if I'm still a bit um, overwrought...




Back in July when Dearly mysteriously went blind overnight, the vet warned me that there might be underlying problems that she couldn't really diagnose or reverse. One possibility for the blindness was a brain tumor or some sort of aneurysm (they can't diagnose those things by x-ray because of the skull, it would take an MRI which costs approx $1500-2000 and can't even be done locally)... and these things, even if they could identify them.... they couldn't have done anything about them. The best (and only) thing we could do was to take Dearly home and to try to keep her happy and help her manage with the blindness, and if she started becoming sick or distressed take her back to the vet. And thus we have been since July... Dearly actually adjusted to her loss of sight quickly, like a champ, and she'd been her sweet lovable self ever since.

Then for a few days last week she didn't seem to want to eat as much as usual. But she was still her regular happy self, seemed ok in every other way, so I got some different dog food (thinking maybe she just didn't like the other) and kept an eye on her... and she actually seemed to feel a little better. Then this past Saturday night she suddenly started acting sick again, and vomited once. After that she became really lethargic, she almost seemed like she was drugged... could barely stand, seemed drowsy. I laid her down on her pillow and her nose and lips were icy-cold. I covered her up in blankets and me and my cousin took turns holding her for awhile... she warmed up a bit but she never regained alertness, she was just limp in our arms, and very quiet.

A few hours later, she was back on her pillow and I was on the floor beside her petting her when she suddenly stood up and staggered onto my lap. I wrapped my arms around her body meaning to hold her when she made a little coughing sound and went limp in my arms. At that exact moment I felt her heart stop beating against my hand, which was cradling her under her chest, she was still standing in my lap but she was... gone. Her head went heavy onto my chest and her breath sighed once and she was gone in my arms. Just like that.

The horrible feeling that opened up in my chest at that moment just won't seem to go away. I know her prognosis wasn't too great 6 months ago but I still for some reason cannot believe she is gone. Ever since I rescued her from a cemetery death-trap years ago, Dearly has been my literal shadow... trailing closely by my side every single time I moved, and I am not exaggerating. So her absence, and the silence when I walk (I can't get used to not hearing that tickticktick of her nails against the floor)... it's just overwhelming me still.

She was really special to me and I hope her spirit is somehow still trailing me even now... because I just can't bear to think she's gone. Goodnight, Dearly-dog... I love you very much mama. I know I'll see you again someday.

RIP Dearly D. Parted



Saturday, November 29, 2008

go be a snake

Life. Life life life life. What the Hell. Last time I posted here with the utmost naivete... talking about happiness with such simplicity... like it was ever that easy? It never is. And that's the beauty of it, in retrospect. Right?

As I write this I am not sober... I am riding on a warm lovely wave of drunken buzziness that tingles my limbs and lubricates my brain... lately I am learning to love myself so much, and also to be easier on myself, and to take care of myself. And to recognize the BULLSHIT. And to call it out when I see it. Last time I posted here I had a 'boyfriend'. A 24-year old, motorcycle-racing, death-defying, drug-snorting boyfriend. And wtf was I thinking on that one? Yeah. 35-year-old midlife crisis insanity... riding on the back of a bike at 195 mph... playing with guns and snakes and all manner of dangerous things that I would normally have a much healthier sense of respect for... who knows what I was thinking? But I straightened my shit and dumped the loser, and I got it together again. Dumbass Shady!

Right now I am in such a state of pureness... so in touch with myself. I am in love with life. I am letting myself go. I am feeling it all. Yeah yeah fuckers I know- you're all like "daaaaamn she's so wasted right right now!" ... and yeah, I am! But I am being sincere. Life is good. Life is worth living. It really is.

So last post I mentioned that I had inherited a pet snake- a 4 foot+ bull snake- and last week, I walked out into the desert and set him free. I watched him slither into the sandy desert floor, watched him feeling his freedom at last... and I told him, "Go be a snake, old man"... and he sidewinded off into the wild. It was fucking beautiful.
I let a little piece of myself go with him, into the wild, into freedom. Viva!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

taser guns + alcohol equals...

So last night we were hanging at my house when my crazy cousin Mike decided to see what it would be like to taser himself.

Here's what happened. Don't try this at home, kids.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

shady for president

Vote for me!!

Ok not for president. That's a job I'd never want! But you can help me out by voting on my photos in the Capture El Paso project...



Capture El Paso is a project where EP photographers submit their work to be included in a coffee table book. The images used will be chosen by vote. It's a pretty cool idea, and you can see (& vote on!) all of my submitted photos here. Also, look through the site in general- there are a ton of great El Paso photographers on there... enjoy!

And thanks ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

home is where the start is

I'll start this off with a shot of the great full moon view I had recently at my new place...



There are these really great old vintage-style lampposts in the park I live in, I love them... and the other night they were lined up perfectly as if leading to the fat shiny moon in the sky. Dreamy.

So as you can tell, I am totally wrapped up in my new place right now. I spent the week cleaning, packing, painting, & preparing and I spent my first night here on Thursday (after a 16-hour-long day of moving!!) And laying my head down and going to sleep inside the box-filled, messy cocoon of my very own place was exciting, scary, disorienting, exhausting & thrilling all at once.

There is still a ton of work to be done- tiling & painting the living room, then bringing in the rest of the furniture- but for now I have a habitable space to live in and it's awesome. I am sort of roughing it, though... the gas is not hooked up yet, so I'm cooking on a hot plate and taking ice cold showers, doing it campground stylee, at least til Monday when I should have the gas connected. Also cable is not hooked up to the TV yet so I have been watching DVDs at night, and damn, I have a lot of zombie movies. All of which I have been watching so it's been like a little zombie flick marathon over here!



It's cool to look around and see some of my stuff scattered around, even in this chaotic state. And I've got my computer hooked up and internet connected, so my lifeline is intact.



My bedroom is the most 'finished' room so far, as the floor and the paint is done, and I've moved furniture in. Of course everything is all mismatched because I am working with purely donated stuff right now... as far as stuff like that goes, and curtains and linens and all that I have some nice things, only they are in storage still. So I've got this insane sort of color non-scheme going on at the moment ha. But at least it's comfy and cozy!



It's nice to surround myself with things that remind me of people that I love. The side tables belonged to my sister, and she also gave me the beautiful red lamp for my birthday one year. An angel and a wooden chest that are sitting on the tables were given to me by my Grandmother. The angel is a reminder of my Mom, the chest used to hold my Gramma's letters & keepsakes when she was very young, now it holds my jewelry.



And I also got the bathroom in my bedroom painted, tiled & cleaned up. It doesn't look like much yet but just remember how atrocious it was before... *shudders* I look forward to my first HOT shower in it! :P



So me & the critters are getting settled in and are happy in our new home. I'm so so exhausted, I have scrubbed and cleaned so many little nooks, crannies, and surfaces that I feel like I am getting to know every square inch of this place-literally! It's taken days just to get to the point where I can eat, sleep, shower and move around comfortably, and still lots more work to do, but it's a good kind of exhausting. And it's so very quiet out here at night, peaceful and still. I am loving it so far.

I haven't been able to do much online than a quick scan of emails and such, I've been super busy and then, super tired! Trying to catch sleep when & where I can. So if I have been MIA that is the reason why. But hopefully I'll get things in hand soon, and get back to my regular life & online routines. I'm looking forward to the housewarming party! *grin*

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

almost home

When I got to my new place yesterday afternoon to do some work, I found this in my backyard and wondered if I should start worrying:



Is it just me, or does it look like it's ready for a coffin??! But no worries- it's just something the gas company is doing in my backyard, no idea what exactly, but I'm pretty sure it involves gas lines and not dead bodies (I hope!!) 0.o

So this is what my place looks like right now, TOTAL disaster area! Mostly though it's just stuff that we're working with to renovate, so it will be cleared out soon...



Yeah, I have clothes hanging in the kitchen right now. What, you don't? Ha no really, it's because there are currently no rods in my closets (painting etc) so this is where they stay for now...



Here is the brand new flooring we are putting down, in the first room we finished, the master bedroom. I love it. Man I hated that ugly wallpaper though!! *shudder*



...so I painted over it! Here is a (HORRIBLE) shot of the new wall color, which looks absolutely nothing like the actual wall color (just look at the difference in the tile color between these two pics and you can see just how OFF the color is in the second shot) I'll have to get a better-lit shot to post when I am finished because it's actually a great color- a sort of red-based gray/brown, almost like burnt cinnamon (though for some reason here it just looks pinkish, and it's not pink at all!) Very warm & cozy and just dark enough. And no more ugly wallpaper yay.



Here are a few shots of my awesome views from my new place. It's so wide open and peaceful out there, and the sunsets and skyscapes are just spectacular. Expect lots of sky shots from me after I move in!





If all goes well I will be spending my first night in my new place on Thursday and I am beyond excited about that. I'll definitely keep you all posted.

And all posts on the progress of my very first home (I'm a homeowner!! OMG) can be found here, fyi.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

story of a picture: reflection



I was thinking earlier today about photography, and the stories behind photos... a picture says a thousand words and all, but, as a photographer I am always curious about the story behind the images. And so I've decided to start a new category here to tell you some of the stories behind my images. Off we go.

This is one of my favorite images. It was shot on an overcast day in the Pine Barrens of Jackson, New Jersey (*cue Johnny & June singing Jackson inside my head*), sometime in '99 as best I recall. And I do remember this day well...

I had just moved to New Jersey at the time... I was adjusting to a foreign home on the east coast, 2159.20 miles away from the West Texas desert I grew up in... and a whole different world from anything I'd ever encountered. I was definitely a stranger in a strange land up there; there was some extreme culture shock at the beginning for sure. It was an adventure, though... I was still a new bride at that time, and remember being very much in that mode... just starting out in love and happy and looking forward to roses and daisies and fluffy bunnies and all that stuff. For me it was an exciting time in my life. Of course it all came to a really bad, sad end years later, which makes this photo sort of a bittersweet thing to look at, for me.

I had the day to myself that day, everyone else was working. On days like that I used to grab my camera and hop into my truck and just randomly drive around, usually in search of an abandoned place to explore. It was so weird for me, living in the middle of the woods... it was disorienting when it came to getting around because I grew up in a flat desert land and I always had my Franklin Mountains as a landmark. In Jersey I was surrounded on all sides by either towering forest, or towering city buildings, depending on which part of my Jersey life we are talking about. I remember finding this place- a small abandoned cottage- not too far from our apartment and being happy to have discovered it. I remember wondering about the people who might have lived there and feeling sure somehow that it had been a couple in love.
I really wanted to capture the overcast skies and the puddles and drippy branches and everything, there was a real melancholy air to this place.

I got this particular shot in the driveway... I remember noticing the tree-shaped puddle on the ground and then watching how perfectly the tree's reflection fit into it when I moved into the right angle, like magic. I loved the deep, wet, gray colors and the rough glimmer on the pavement. My favorite part was the yellow leaf floating on the water, I loved how it seemed to be caught in the branch-reflection. I remember the crisp chill in the air and the smell of rain and wet leaves. I remember feeling very peaceful and content at the moment I took this picture.

I can see a lot of different meanings in this photograph, from the juxtaposition of life & death, to the contrast of reality & reflection... but mostly the meanings are much more personal to me.

It reminds me of the beginning of a story that you have already read through once... and even though you know it's headed toward an unhappy ending, you can still take something from the unaware beauty of that moment, nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

movin on up, to the east side

So I haven't posted anything about my move yet, because... I haven't moved. Literally. I have been sitting frozen- in the exact same position- for a month now. Somebody call Guinness Records!! Haha. But seriously, I haven't moved into my new place yet and I am sooo antsy I could just about climb these walls.

Last time I wrote about it, the mobile home had yet to be moved to the lot. Well after a day riddled with a string of unfortunate events (!), my gigantic snail shell of a home finally made it, and we've since been working on getting it fit to be lived in. It was really awesome to get my new key, I did a little dorked out dance and everything.



The biggest problem with getting it done (man I am such a pottymouth I almost used another term there, one that rhymes with sockrock I need to get ahold of myself!! LOL) so far has been getting the water & gas lines hooked up. I never knew that hooking up a mobile home was so damned complicated but yes- you have to have certified people to do certain things, and there are ridiculous amounts of permits, and inspections, and blah blah blah and it turns out all of this takes forever and is a great big pain. During this whole process I had this crazy trench around my place for weeks and I had to tease my overprotective Dad that he was secretly setting up a moat around my mobile home. I kept asking him when the alligators were gonna get there...



Until this Trench Of Doom was filled in, we couldn't put the air conditioning in (as it has to be installed up against the side of the mobile home) And so you know there was no way I was able to move in yet- not with our crazy-hot Texas weather.

One thing that happened when they excavated this freakin' trailer-tributary was that all these itty bitty little frogs came out and have been kicking it, hoppity hop style in & around my yard. Super cute little frogs!



My yard is spacious, and really peaceful. It's gonna be strange to go from living right in the crowded, always-noisy Central heart of El Paso to the wide open, crazy-quiet East Side desert. I'm gonna get some amazing sunsets out there and I plan on putting up a bat house to hopefully attract some of the adorable batsies I see flapping around at night out there.



There's going to be a wooden deck out here in the back and everyone is already joking about me out there in the rocking chair with the corncob pipe. Ha, ha.



To bring it up to date, my dad got the first air conditioner in today and is installing one more tomorrow, and after that I can start moving in. Which means that right now I am wracking my brain over paint colors and other such stuff while trying to ready myself for moving the estimated, oh, one ton of stuff I have to move from here to there.

So... who's gonna come down and help me move?? :P

Monday, September 8, 2008

in real life

I sort of didn't realize that I'd been missed here until I got a few 'hey where the f**k are you' comments & emails, my bad. I dunno why I've been so absent... ok, well I do, but I kinda hate writing about it...

Having blogged for the better part of a decade now (8+ years in various formats!), it seems weird for me to be shying away from it after all this time. But I got burned so bad after being so publicly open about my life for so long- it was all good & well when things were going good... but when I had problems it turned nasty fast. There's such a fine line to blogging when it comes to privacy- if you keep it too anonymous, who wants to read it? I know that my favorite bloggers are the ones who allow peeks and glimpses into their personal lives, whatever their chosen blog topics may be. That's the flava. But putting personal details out there is risky at best and downright dangerous at worst. I mean, no, my actual birth name is not Heather Shade (but it's official enough at this point to count *wink*); that came about after my early years online, when publishing my photography & writing under my real name led to some really scary situations- I had total random strangers track me down! And I am not talking interesting mysterious type strangers I'm talking these kind:


Gifs at Giftube.com

So for practical reasons, I try to keep myself a bit anonymous, nowadays, you kinda have to. But I am also a pretty open person and I like sharing my tales with you guys, and for the most part, it's 98% LOVE in return from my readers. Problem is that the other 2% is a bitch...

People can be totally evil online. Trust me on this!

In fact that should be the caveat that comes with any type of public posting... people can be dicks. All that anonymity allows the worst to come right out, and people do and say things they'd never in a million years do in real life. And lately I've been having thoughts about what I am posting, even though I think I keep it pretty confidential now. It's easy to post about art and photography and tattoos and stuff but when I have deeper stuff going on it's another story... I am a bit paranoid now, I think.

And lately I have some more personal stuff going on, which is not at all unusual (it's life) but I haven't wanted to post about any of it. I've just sort of been in my own little world I guess. I've gotten pretty used to going out by myself... I've developed this weird stubborn independent streak, and even while I sometimes do hate heading out alone I always feel this strange, unfamiliar pride in it because damn it I am not just sitting around at home I am doing stuff. There's always shit to do, whether I'm solo or not. And I'm actually getting used to it... I just hope I don't get too independent, you know, to the point where I become all loner-ed out heheh. It's weird right now for me to post about it, though, even though I'm not sure exactly why?

So basically, I am just trying to find that balance between life out there, and life inside this glowing little box here. I'm all off-balance and stuff because so much in my life is changing so fast right now... it's like walking... no, running... running down one of those people-mover thingys that they have at airports, moving faster than the world is moving around you... very disorienting. I'm in process of moving (really slowly and a lot of work!) and trying to juggle a bunch of stuff besides. I've just gotten lost in the rat race. Writing is a good thing for me though, so I shouldn't neglect it and I'll try not to.

And now, a random shot of the pretty-much-healed zombie babe, for those of you who asked for a zoomed-out shot to show the size of it...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

my day in pictures

I finally made it to Sinister Pleasures so my girl Francella could finish my coverup tattoo, we did the final 3 hours on it and without any air-conditioning the entire time (it was broken) cause we're hardcore bitches like that. Heh.





The before and after... and Francella did this coverup FREEHAND. She is incredible!!! My goal is to eventually have a devil-girl on the other side that resembles my little sister (as the zombie pinup girl is meant to resemble me!)




After the tat sesh I went to Francella's to hang awhile and I held a snake! I. Held. A. Snake. Might not sound weird unless you know how scared I was of doing that (I adore snakes, but got bitten once and have been a bit nervous to hold one ever since) This was the coolest, most laid-back snake I have ever seen. Thanks, snake!




Then I drove home in a pouring monsoon of rain. Everything looked so beautiful, the sky was so bright, and even the dirty asphalt was sparkling like jewels. I heart rain.



The End.

Monday, August 25, 2008

my cat = alarm clock kitteh!

Oh my lordy my cat is famous!

Today while randomly surfing icanhascheezburger.com I found a picture of MY cat, look here!
I heart lolcats, and that is the best site for them on teh interwebs, so I am actually pretty flattered... and of course I have to give props to my model-slash-crazy-cat Bela...

This is my original image:




Here is one more from the flying cat series:




Yep Bela is a little insane.
And no.... no kittehs were harmed in the making of this photo! Bela is a ninjacat and will climb onto & jump off of anything and everything he can. And these shots involved the use of a laser pointer, a tripod, a LOT of patience, the assistance of my best friend, and maybe a little catnip. Heh heh. It took about 50 tries to actually get anything other than a blurred gray streak, and these were the only two shots that actually came out ok... but so worth it lol.

Anyway, more of my Bela pics here if you are interested.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

book review: Hooked



A Thriller About Love And Other Addictions

Medical journalist Nat Idle is relaxing in an Internet cafe when a mysterious, barely-glimpsed woman slips an anonymous note onto his table, a note warning him to 'Get out of the cafe- NOW!' Moments later Nat narrowly escapes death as the cafe explodes behind him on his way out. Thus begins Matt Richtel's thriller, Hooked.

And that's just the beginning of a tangled tale of love, technology, lies, murder, and above all, addiction.

It gets even weirder when Nat realizes that the handwriting on the note belongs to the dead girlfriend that he's still grieving over. Both his personal and journalistic curiosities kick into overdrive, and Nat begins a feverish search for the truth which quickly leads him into a maze of danger and deceit which threatens his sanity as well as his life. Along the way he meets some who can either help or harm him, and much of the time it's almost impossible to tell which is which. This is a story where everyone has a potential agenda (or two) and Nat can trust no one, not even his own failing senses.

Hooked explores the complex workings of the human brain and asks, what is love? What is experience? What is memory? And in a world where our subliminal senses can be more and more subtly manipulated... what is actually real? Nat slowly unravels a web of technological horror that is a threat to anyone who comes into contact with it. To say more would give away the twists and turns, of which there are very, very many!

I enjoyed this novel, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers with a technological twist and a peek into the psyche. With it's clever secrets and it's many questions about love and human experience, Hooked is a thought-provoking race to the finish.

For more info on Hooked and other work by Matt Richtel, visit his official website.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

tonight I will wear blue

It's Thursday again, and that means... girl's night out woot!

I've been waiting for tonight all week long. I'm ready to whoop and holler. Well, maybe not holler. People may think I'm a little bit insane if I just HOLLER. I just might give a 'whoop-whoop' though.

I can tell that I am getting better because I actually want to go out. I am excited about it, even. When my depression is rearing it's butt-ugly head I have a hard time even leaving my room. I become Hermit Woman... and if there was a cave handy with connection to teh internets I would so be there. That feeling has gradually been fading the past few weeks, and I am so grateful. I'm ready to come out of this stifling shell. I have a lot to thank Dollface for, as she's always, always ready & willing to be my sidekick on these Thursday night adventures.

I'm going to wear electric blue tonight... I am craving more color in my life lately. I want to sweep the dark stuff aside and see the colorful stuff underneath. I can't remember the last time I ventured out in anything that wasn't dark or muted. Tonight feels like a good night for electric blue... bzzzzt!

Tonight I will wear blue, tonight I will drink cranberry juice + vodka and listen to karaoke. Tonight I will tell my BFF some secrets and some jokes... tonight I will laugh, and smoke a cigarette or two, and be open to the possibilities... tonight, I will let my (much-shorter!) hair down and let myself be myself.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

merde!

So I am sitting here relieved and frankly, kinda pissed. I just went through an awful 3 days preparing for the death of my 14 year old dog Courtney. Only to find out that she has a severe case of...... constipation. Constipation!! Yep.



This is the Courtster (hanging with her kitty friend Sabre) She's a supersweet, lovable Spaniel mix who I have had since she was a wee pup. This dog was given to me just after my Mom's sudden death 14 years ago, at a time when I was so overwhelmed with grief that I could not eat, sleep, or even speak. At the time I couldn't even summon the strength to care enough to take care of myself. Watching my Mom's terrible death had left me shell-shocked and lost. But then someone handed me this needy, homeless baby puppy and I looked at those brown eyes, and had no choice but to love her. I took her in. And then I had this little life to take care of, and it helped me to survive that horrible time. It channeled my energy and pulled me out of my fog of grief.



This is an old pic, I've had her such a long time! This was me & my chubby puppy maybe 10 years ago?

Anyway. Last weekend, Courtney seemed to be having a bit of a problem with dropping the kids off at the pool. She couldn't launch a sub, couldn't chuck the football. You know, she just could not um..... well it rhymes with 'make a spit'. So I took her to the vet on Monday because she has had this problem in the past and it's usually an easy fix (you want no more detail than that, trust me) So I told the doc what her history was, thinking he'd do the usual fix (which rhymes with schmenema) Instead, he ignores me completely and orders a round of (expensive) x-rays & blood tests.

After the tests he brings me back into the x-ray suite, and shows me her x-ray. He says that there is a huge mass in her belly area, and that it was NOT there a month & a half ago (when she had to have an emergency surgery) And he says because it's so big, and has grown so fast, he's pretty sure it's cancer, and that the 'prognosis is very, very poor' He says that due to the 'deadly cancer' and her old age, his advice is to just go ahead and put her down right away. Well, I'm never one to give up on my babies so easily (yeah you guys know that by now right? Haha) So I say what are the alternatives. He says a very risky $300 exploratory surgery. I say, can't we try an enema or some other treatment first, since you're not even sure WHAT the 'mass' could be? And then maybe do a second round of x-rays? He says no, it won't do any good. He has to put her on an IV for 2 days and then do the surgery. And he assures me that he really does not expect her to survive this.

So I try to prepare myself.
I left her there and went home crying. I went back yesterday to say 'goodbye' to her... sitting on the floor on front of her cage and curling my fingers through the bars while she whined and touched my hands with her paws. I told her how much I love her and that she will always be my babydog. Because of the IV and stuff I couldn't even open the cage to hold or pet her. It was excruciating. So I tried to make my peace and leave her with some love. Again, I came home crying.

Today was surgery day. I had tossed & turned all night long, feeling sick to my stomach. The hours passed by so slowly. Finally the news came of Courtney's surgery.

And guess what.

They opened the poor girl up, put her 14 year old body through all of that surgical stress, and found nothing. No tumor, no cancer, nothing whatsoever other than a badly constipated canine.

Now, as relieved as I am to know that she doesn't have some awful deadly cancer, I am also pissed, because had the vet just listened to me I'm betting they would not have seen a 'mass' in her belly. Now she has to go through a long recovery process from the needless surgery. In my (humble) opinion, they should have tried an enema first, then an x-ray... they might have seen that that 'mass' had um, moved along after the enema. Have they never heard of the scientific principle of Occam's razor, for pete's sake??! (Occam's razor= 'All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best'... I am not a doctor but I do watch one on House! :P)

Now they suspect that maybe the mass was food that couldn't pass into the intestines. DUH. I wish they would have listened to me, we could have avoided all the stress, trauma, surgery, and oh yes the almost $400 vet bill!!

Anyway... *deep breaths*... at least she is ok. I am thankful for that. I know she's 14 and she's not gonna live forever, but thank goodness I did not listen to them on Monday and just 'put her down' Can you imagine- I would have put my dog to sleep for being constipated. And that is scary stuff.

And PS I never ever expected to blog the word 'enema' so many times- let alone ever- in my blog, lol. I will most likely get some um interesting search results as a consequence ha ha hahaha.....

Friday, August 15, 2008

BFF

So I went out with my girl Dollface last night, and we had such a great time... ohhhh, I love how much we laugh when we go out! It's killer. The bar's karaoke alone last night had us in stitches, it was beyond great... we kept convincing people to go up and sing hilariously mismatched songs (watching tough boyz singing Hit Me Baby One More Time and Purple Rain was soooo funny, woot!) and we had so much fun.

And today I was thinking about how lucky I am to have met this awesome chick.



It's been a long time since I have felt like a had a really close girlfriend, and Dollface is definitely it. I felt good friendship chemistry from the very first time I met her, literally. She's got a great vibe and I knew she was someone I wanted to hang out with.

And since then, I've been so grateful for having her. She really is my BFF.

She never, ever gives up on me. Even when I am having really bad problems with my depression, she is patient and she is there long after everyone else takes their toys & goes home. I've had to break plans with her so many times- because of cars problems, or pet problems, or health problems- and she never complains or even has an attitude about it. She is so understanding. She never forgets about me and she never blows me off. I like that we can talk about anything. I think I understand her, and I'm sure she understands me. She's also got a great laugh and totally brings out the comedienne in me cause I like to make her laugh! And that's always a good thing. I am such a total goofball when I hang out with her.

I've just been thinking bout how glad I am to have her in my life.
Thanks for being my besty, Doll!!

Oh... and here's a bonus shot of new hair from last night :P

Thursday, August 14, 2008

art attack

As promised, I have added a new artwork page to HeatherShade.com. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

taking a shortcut

(first off an apology for the craptacular quality of the following photos, they were shot in the only mirror I have: a tiny, ancient, stained, warped mirror hanging in a very dimly-lit bathroom)

So... I did it. I cut my hair!
And I love it.

It's a bit messy here because I shot this after I got had gotten soaked in rain, and then fallen asleep on my bed for 2 hours (well the bed was just so cozy after the rain, and the chihuahua was just so cuddly... heh) And even messy, I still like how it looks (though I shoulda taken a photo of it right after the blowout when it was all perfect and purty, duh) I can't wait to play around with it.



My stylist braided it first so I could save the hair, and it felt crazy when she cut the long, heavy braid off... like my head was going to float away, light as a balloon... 14 years of hair detached from me... it was exciting and freeing. It was funny because the whole salon- even the customers- watched, and let out a collective "ooooh" when she cut it free!

Here is the foot-long+ braid I got to keep as a souvenir...



This is my happy face- happy to no longer have a few extra feet of heavy hair to haul around! And no longer do I have to stand up while getting haircuts. Heh.



My fabulous stylist is Susan at Hair Biz btw, she's incredible. One thing I love is how she cut the layers just so, so that it's a little bit edgy- I could go totally 80's new wave Teri-Nunn-ish with it- but she also made sure I could go softer with waves and my 50's pinup-inspired styles too. We talked a bit about what I wanted beforehand, and I told her my look veers between rockabilly-80's-punk... and I think she gave me exactly what I wanted. I just love it.

I'm supposed to go out for a girl's night with my girly Dollface on Thursday and I'll see if she will get a few (better!) shots of my new hair because I know these kinda suck... *wink*

Thank to those of you who encouraged my scaredy-cat ass to go ahead and cut it already. I was totally confident when I did it so it was a great experience... and I love my hair now. I feel really rejuvenated.

Lesson learned: screw fear, take a risk now & then :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

the bitch is back

Welcome home, Wicca, you baaad dog, you!



Here is the little runaway shortly after she got back home from her grand adventure. She looks pretty happy to be home, no? Note the wagging tail :P

They told us that she was wandering the streets in northeast El Paso when she was picked up by Animal Control. That's reallllllly far from where we live- she never could have just walked there on her own- so now I know without a doubt that someone took her (and shame on them for not trying to find her owners, she is microchipped so it would have been really easy to find us... freakin' dog thieves!) I am betting that she escaped from wherever she was (she's a master escape artist, we had to Wicca-proof our yard long ago) and that's how she was found on the streets. So booya to the dog stealers. She was clean and well-fed, so I'm sure somebody had her for most of the time she was gone.

I am just happy to have the little scoundrel back home :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

hey there cupcake

Behold, my latest portrait...



(click the pic to see the high res full-size version, trust me it looks much better)

This is a portrait of my super-stylish Australian friend Super Kawaii Mama (check out her seriously great blog if you haven't already) She always takes the most adorably glam pictures, she's got that pin-up vibe down pat, and this one was inspired by one of my favorite shots of her (see the inspiration here)

I loved drawing that tiara, the cupcake, and the hair... it totally fulfilled the line-lovin' art tweaker in me. I am digging the black-white-pink combo, too, since it complements the combo of playful, cupcaking innocence and edgy pin-up sexiness that I love so much about this photo. I really enjoyed drawing this.

It pains me to admit that I still have not added my artwork to HeatherShade.com, doh. As of right now, the only place I have my art up is in one of my Myspace albums. I am working on updating that though. I'll post links when it happens ;)

As always, I am available for custom portraits & artwork.
Get in touch if you want anything, yo.