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.

hot diggity dawg!

I don't know what happened to swing my luck around, but since the day we (oh-so-luckily) found my mobile home, things have been looking up, and my bad luck has seemed to be slowly turning to the good...

Case in point: WE FOUND OUR RUNAWAY DOG!!!
Yes, for those of you who have been following the saga- the missing Wicca has been found! I am so happy I could do back flips. Well, ok maybe not back flips. How about a Peanut Butter Jelly Time dance. I am so happy I could do a Peanut Butter Jelly Time dance. And Hell I just might!





To recap: this is Wicca. She was my sister's dog, and since my sister's murder, we have had her here at my Gramma's house (where I have been staying), and I've been taking care of her. It has meant a lot to me to have my sister's dog, because taking care of Wicca (and also Haley's cat Moofi) is pretty much the only thing I can still do for Haley.

Well, a little over a month ago, someone (no not me, heh) accidentally let Wicca out of the back yard one night, and she took off running like a big, spotted, 4-legged bat out of Hell... and had been missing ever since.

I have been heartsick over it.

I've spent almost every day since then putting up Lost Dog fliers, and calling the shelters, and checking the papers... all to no avail. No sign of Wicca was to be found.

I have been even more stressed over the fact that Wicca has seizures (apparently, it's pretty common with certain full-breds, like Dalmations) and, if you don't know how to care for a seizure-prone dog, they can die. For one thing, you can never leave them unattended on a leash (they can get strangled if they seize while leashed) Also, the seizures are pretty violent, and can go on for over an hour without proper medication being given, and the dog is totally helpless during the seizure... they can even break bones or choke on their tongues. So... the thought of Wicca being out there somewhere, and having the potential to seize and no one to help her, has been TORMENTING me. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind, even though, after a month+ I admit my hopes of ever seeing her again had faded to almost nothing.

And then, just an hour ago, I got a call from my Dad. He had just gotten home (yeah at 2 a.m., he's a musician what do you expect heh)... and he found a note from Animal Control taped to his front door, saying that they have found Wicca, and that they have her at the shelter! We dunno yet how she got to the shelter (did they pick her up on the streets? Did someone turn her in? We don't know), but she was identified at the shelter when they scanned her and found her microchip! And we can pick her up on Monday morning!!

Oh, happy day! Wicca! Yay!

So... whatever I owe my new found good luck to, thank you.... Fates... I will do my best to keep deserving it. Finding this dog again means the world to me. It means I can keep a promise that I made to my little sister, and yeah that means the world to me.

Now, if only dogs could talk. I mean, where the Hell has she been this last month, what adventures has she gotten herself into??! I guess we'll never know!

All I know is I am so happy to have her back... *grin*

Thursday, August 7, 2008

hair today, gone tomorrow (well ok tuesday)

So I have come to a momentous decision.
I am going to cut my hair.

(shhh... don't let it hear...)




See this unhappy face? That is me, thinking... 'lordy it's 150 degrees outside, and I feel like I am wearing a stifling, heavy cape... a cape made of HAIR'.

Are there alternatives? Ohhh yeah... I can always pin it up. Then it feels like I am walking around, balancing a heavy-ass ottoman atop my head... an ottoman made of HAIR.

Same with ponytails and braids... they do restrain the hairmonster a bit more, but they are so heavy they make my neck hurt after awhile.
That shit is heavy.

Sometimes I sit on my hair. It also gets caught in the seatbelt when I drive. It's been known to get shut inside the car door, too, on windy days... so that I am caught, shrieking inside the car, with a hank of my hair flapping outside the car door as I flop around trying to reach the door handle to free myself. Not cool.

It STRANGLES me when I sleep.
I swear sometimes I think it's... alive.
*gulp*

It's been a whopping 14 years (!!) since I last cut my hair. It's high time. I need a change.

I have an appointment at the salon on Tuesday. As for the details about my upcoming cut, you'll just have to wait and see. That is, if the... you know what... doesn't find a way to stop me... *pictures self wrapped cocoonlike in a gigantic web of angry hair* ... eep!

Monday, August 4, 2008

hallelujah!!!!

Omigod you guys. I HAVE A MOBILE HOME!!!
Yes! Finally! It finally happened!

I am beyond excited. After all of our bad luck, we stumbled onto this incredible find- an MH that has been sitting there- VACANT- since 1998. We found the owners, who don't even live in El Paso, and they were sooooo happy to sell it (they've been paying rent on that space for 10 years!!), that they drove all the way down here over the weekend to finalize the deal. Woot.

Anyway, this is it:




Since it's been abandoned & vacant for 10 years (which is actually perfect for me if you think about it- it's a Lost Destinations trailer, ha), you can imagine there's A LOT of cleaning to be done. But it's 80 x 16, 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths... and it came with a washer & drier, a refrigerator, air conditioner, and 2 brand-new toilets still in the boxes.

It's gonna be fabulous to get in there and redo this place myself. I already have so many ideas for it- I am thinking of an eclectic mixture of mid-century kitsch and gypsy wagon glam, with lots of color and personality. I'll definitely be posting the progress of my first real (non-rental) home here. In fact, I may have to start a 'mobile home chic' blog, since I have yet to really find one anywhere... *wink*

Thanks to everyone who performed rituals to the Trailer Park Gods on my behalf.

Now I have to go collapse with excitement. 'Scuse me.
*shrieks*

Sunday, August 3, 2008

to grandmother's house we go

Lately I find myself compulsively picking up my camera and wandering around taking shots (pictures, not alcohol... I put my camera down for the other kind... *wink*)

This is a good thing. Photography= love.
Today I share with you a peek into my Gramma's domain. Even though she was looking at me weird while I was traipsing around her house taking these pictures. Sorry Gramma!

Gramma was a red-haired hottie back in tha day...




This little green shoe is one of my favorite decor items at Gramma's house, total cobbler chic...




I don't recall the last time anyone used it (or ever used it??) but yes, it does get polished regularly...




My Gramma is a badass on the piano, she can wail like Little Richard on the keys...




Gramma has amazing taste in lighting fixtures...




These 2 plaques have been hanging in my Gramma's kitchen as long as I can remember...




Silver teapots and sheer and lacy curtain-age, that's how my Gramma rolls...

and the winners are...

*drumroll, please*

As promised, here I am drawing winners for the Wheel Of Darkness book giveaway out of my magic lucky box:



Anita Y, Tim P, Grace W, Amanda W, and Chick A.- you guys will be getting a free copy of Preston-Child's The Wheel Of Darkness! Congrats!!

Your books will be in the mail shortly :D
Thanks for playing!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

book it

Just a quick post to let you all know you that if you haven't entered already, you have one more day to get your chance at a free copy of the horror novel, The Wheel Of Darkness by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

I will be choosing 5 lucky book winners and posting a vid of me drawing the winner's names here on Sunday (don't worry, if you win, you'll also be notified by email as well) If you need more info click the link above.

Now, carry on...