Monday, July 30, 2007 --- The ultrasound verdict is in...

Well, things are not good with ChooChoo, but this is not terribly surprising to me. I was prepared for that...and really, an answer does make us feel better, even if it is not a nice answer...because we can feel secure in our decision...that we are going to do everything possible to keep her comfortable and happy until she is ready to go. But we are not going to intrude, biopsy, chemotherapy, etc. We want her remaining time (weeks?) to be happy and calm -- minimizing her stress for whatever time she has left before we put her to sleep.

The official situation:

1)"Bullseye" lesion in right lateral liver lobe, extending through to the right middle liver lobe. Multiple other 1-2 cm lesions throughout 3 other liver lobes, all of similar appearance, most likely, with her history, age, and clinical signs, this is carcinoma or other type of cancer. 2)Abnormal left wing of pancreas with dilated pancreatic duct. 3)Left kidney has a focal lesion of hypoechoic tissue, similar in texture to the liver lesions, concerned that this represents spread from primary process in liver. 4)Asymmetric thickening of the duodenum, mass-like appearance with enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes.

I made a little video of her when we got home to show how she is doing at this point -- still feeling pretty bright and happy (you can hear her purring in the video!) You can click on the picture below to go to the video page and watch it...We want to document a little bit each day of her so that we have some stuff to remember and be able to watch our cute little girl's videos in the future, when she is gone. ;-)

UPDATE: When the man got home around 10PM from his class, he fed everybody wet food for dinner...and Trudy ate normal cat food with all the boys on her own!! She actually kept eating after everybody else had walked away. And then, just before he went to bed, we took her temperature to see if she still had a fever...BUT, she had a normal 100.8F temp -- which means that she does not have an infection -- she was just VERY stressed at the vet's office (there, it was about 104.5F which is about 2 degrees over the high-end of normal). We did not give her the antibiotic shot (I will ask the vet tomorrow if they want us to give them to her, but I think probably not if she has no fever...) We prepared her B12 shot, but we had to wait a little while to give it to her -- because she was busy eating her normal wet cat food, again! With the B12, hopefully this eating trend will continue. The more she eats, the better she will do for a while longer, while her liver still functions. Of Course, at the first hint of any pain or change in attitude, we will know it is time. For the time being though, she is feeling pretty good and hungry ;-D

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 29, 2007 --- Silence of the Lambs...the Mosaic!

I'm tellin' ya...those folks over at Twitter Mosaic sure do like my butterfly icon! I was a little bummed that I was not in the Transformers mosaic, but that is A-OK because I think the Silence of the Lambs one turned out much better. You can see my "occurrences" in the picture on the left -- or the original versions with the members list at -- and of course, you can follow twitter_mosaic to become a "part of the art."

In cat news, Trudy-the-Cat has her ultrasound appointment tomorrow (Monday) at 3PM. She's not allowed to eat for 12 hours before the appointment -- before I go to bed, I have to take away everybody's food (Eat up, Cats!! You only have a few more hours...) We will finally find out what is going on with this cat's liver so they can get her on some medicine to help it -- or we find out something worse (hopefully not) and make her as comfortable as she can be, until it is time to say goodbye. It will be a rip-roaring drive to the specialist's office, drooling all the way...Good Luck, ChooChoo!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 26, 2007 --- One of my most treasured a coffee can.

This lamp, which sits amongst my plants in our living room, is one of my most favorite possessions in the world. Which is sort of funny, because it is basically worthless on a "parts" was made from a coffee can, a piece of wood, a bulb socket and some wiring. One of my parents' fellow hippie friends made it for us as a gift when we lived in Sacramento, California. I don't remember who the person was -- because I was only a baby at the time -- but, I have loved this lamp my whole life. And last year, my mom let me take it home!

We recently replaced the wiring to ensure its continued safe use in our home. I never get tired of seeing the beautiful swirly patterns it makes all over the ceiling and on my plants. It just goes to show you, recycling can be beautiful! ;-)

Anyone else out there have a monetarily worthless, prized possession? Why not tell me about it in the comments section? I would love to hear from you! :-D

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 23, 2007 --- Trudy is home again...and boy, is she happy about it!

"Mommie, look at what THEY did to my fucking leg! I look like I am wearing one of those ridiculous Chewbacca fur boots that Hollywood bimbos like Pam Anderson wears!! Ugh...Thank God I am home where it is QUIET so I can get some sleep tonight. You are not taking me back there, are you??"

Here are her sweet little bones. We got a cd with her Xrays on it that we will need to show to the specialist who will be doing the ultrasound exam on her liver. We are still not sure if we are going for that exam -- making the appointment, but depending on how she appears to be doing with her medications, eating, etc. if we feel that she is going downhill fast...we would rather humanely intervene than take her for more tests and upsetting poking and prodding. So, we are letting her feelings and behavior be our guide. And, so far, she is much improved from her hospital stay. She was pumped full of good medicines, nutrients and fluids, which plumped her up a bit. She's still skinny, but she is no longer scary-skinny. She was eating well for the vet techs (at night mostly -- she's a midnight muncher, I guess!) When we got her home, she calmed down very quickly from her traumatic car ride and she ate about 1/3 (!!) of the man's grilled chicken breast that he shared with her -- Papa is so nice! He won't share his fries with her Mommie, but for ChooChoo, he will give her the chicken out of his own sandwich...We were amazed at how much he got her to eat. Then, she went and munched some dry food, too! If her energy level and appetitite are any indication of the future, she may have some potential to get better from whatever this liver problem is. We hope so. Tomorrow morning we continue with her pills -- fun! fun! But, we are very happy to have her back and she's very happy to be back...and not have an IV in her leg anymore.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

--- You have got to watch this...I don't even know what to say about it.

One of my Twitter buddies had this on her blog (margalit) and I just could not resist sharing it here with my small audience...Hungry, hungry Hippo!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 22, 2007 --- Trudy-the-Cat is in the hospital for the weekend...

We visited our girl today -- and she was very happy to see us! But, obviously, not happy about being at the hospital. She was drooling like crazy when they brought her in for her visiting time. After a few minutes, she calmed down and was a non-stop purring machine.

[As I am writing this, the vet tech called to give us a status report and said that she pretty much drools the moment they approach her cage because she knows something is up when they do. They are giving her Pepcid to help with her drooling...guess that should dry her mouth up a little? Who knew.]

I will go back to see her tomorrow, poor thing. We left her a care package of her favorite new foods du jour -- #1 Fancy Feast with Gravy -- #2 Whiskas with Gravy (in a pouch.) We also left her a package of Whisker Lickin's treats, Chicken Flavor. Hopefully, if they are trying to have her eat solid foods, they will have more success with ones we know that she likes. We shall see.

Here is her intravenous pump thingy -- that's about $150 right there in her leg...Woohoo! She is still jaundiced -- the insides of her ears are yellowish. But her energy level is still pretty high, which is somewhat good, I guess? It is hard to sleep at night without her frequent visits to the bed to say "hi" -- we really would like her to be home again, but hopefully the fluids, meds, etc. will make the hospital stay a good thing for her. Wish her luck!

Posted by Picasa

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, July 21, 2007 --- Made a slight change to my template...Let me know if you prefer it?

You may have noticed (or not!) that there are now dotted lines underneath the title of each post and above the footer of each post...I was experimenting with this because it seemed to me that it was hard to tell where one post ended and the next began? I had a good amount of space between each post before, but it seemed like it still needed more delineation. So, I have made the change here on TBB for you all to get a feel for it first -- you can compare it with mom's blog at tDL, which is still in the "space only" format. If you like this better, I will make the change on her's too.

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 19, 2007 --- I was always struck by the enormity of his head...

With the most recent upgrades to our area's cable service, we now have VH1 Classic -- which is really great incidentally -- because we get to see all kinds of old music documentaries and vintage videos. Periodically, I will see a Smiths' video and it will make me laugh...I have never gotten over the enormity of Morrissey's head and that extreme-high hair of his. He was like a caricature...or a bobblehead! Whenever I think of The Smiths, I see him in my mind's eye with his big head, high-styled hair, a loose plaid shirt, and drooping Levi's with substantial footwear, dancing around the stage in that lazy-crazy "I don't give a shit" way. Reminds me so much of my NYU days and all of the serious brooding types (gay and straight) that I knew.

[Photo credit: Steven Wright ]

But, it also makes me think of how my mom, her friend Robert and I were all so tickled by the lyrics of one of our favorite Smith's songs:

Bigmouth Strikes Again

Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
When I said I'd like to smash every tooth
In your head

Oh ... sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking
When I said by rights you should be
Bludgeoned in your bed

And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know how Joan of Arc felt, oh
As the flames rose to her Roman nose
And her Walkman started to melt
Oh ...

Bigmouth, la ... Bigmouth, la ...
Bigmouth strikes again
I've got no right to take my place
In the Human race

Oh, Bigmouth, ha ha ... Bigmouth, la
Bigmouth strikes again
I've got no right to take my place
In the Human race

And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know how Joan of Arc felt, oh
As the flames rose to a Roman nose
And her hearing aid started to melt
Eek !

Oh, Bigmouth, la ... Bigmouth, la ...
Bigmouth strikes again
I've got no right to take my place
With the Human race
Oh ...

Bigmouth, oh ... Bigmouth, la ...
Bigmouth strikes again
I've got no right to take my place
In the Human race

And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know how Joan of Arc felt, oh
As the flames rose to a Roman nose
And her hearing aid started to melt
Oh !

Oh, Bigmouth, oh ... Bigmouth, la ...
Bigmouth strikes again
I've got no right to take my place
In the Human race
Oh ...

Bigmouth, oh ... Bigmouth, la ...
Bigmouth strikes again
I've got no right to take my place
In the Human race
Oh ...


Goodbye, and thank you! Goodbye!

[Morrissey photo: The uncropped version can be found here.]

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 --- The Great Twitter Mosaic...I am in it again!

Remember my recent post where I mentioned that I was part of the Big Blue Marble Negative Twitter Mosaic?? For those who do not, you can refer to it here.

Well, the newest mosaic has just been completed -- Soylent Green -- I made it in again! This time my icon is more rare...I was only able find it once. Which is kind of cool, I think, that it had its perfect spot with no repeats. You can see the original picture and the list of included folks (who knows, you might be in it!) at -- also, you can become a part of future mosaics by adding twitter_mosaic to your Twitter friends' list.

And, of course, you can see my modified version of the picture where I circled my occurrence here.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 15, 2007 --- Today, I had 2 cats in my ass!

As filthy as that sounds, it was all pretty innocent. I was taking a little nap and these two (Peanut and Noodle) decided that the crook of my leg under my butt was a good place to sleep. Since I sleep half on my side and half on my stomach, I always have one leg bent up and one leg straight -- so they were actually sleeping on top of my straight leg. Rest assured, this was not good for my circulation in that limb! I was woken up by the man snapping pictures... Eventually, we dismantled this cozy little arrangement because my leg was getting numb and I needed to use the bathroom. But, it was very toasty and sweet while it lasted. ;-)

In other news, Trudy has finished her course of liquid antibiotics. Now, she just needs to continue one daily pill, which is not so bad. We have been monitoring and recording her weight, hairball puking incidents, etc. She has been slowly putting on weight, but it is really difficult to keep her interested in any one particular food. She likes certain foods one day, then she gets bored and will not eat them the next day.

Today we bought a couple of new foods to try. She devoured an entire plate of Whiskas Mixed Grill in Gravy -- a really creepy, juicy concoction that comes in a pouch, of all things. SHE LOVED IT! I guess she liked the idea of eating like an astronaut? ChooChoo in Space, woo hoo! Just you wait though. We will buy a few more pouches of this stuff and she will probably never eat it again...which means the garbage disposal cats, Peanut and Jackson, will come along and eat it for her. It is good to know that her finickiness will result in her brothers' gaining weight, and not her. Just what I wanted.

However, Noodle is a good boy. He is universally finicky and barely eats his wet food. He is a dry-brown-pellet man, mostly -- I do not expect him to gain any extra weight as a result of the Kitty-Buffet table.

And now, I think I will have some Corn Flakes...all this food talk made me hungry for a snack...Damn Cats!

Posted by Picasa

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 14, 2007 --- Produce mother and child...

butterfly has sent you a clip...

butterfly's Message:
Baby Carrot learns to walk!

Artist: Terry Border
Title: "Baby Steps"

Get Clipmarks - The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web. It's free!
Sent with Clipmarks

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007 --- am having a cuteness-sugar-rush!

butterfly has sent you a clip...

butterfly's Message:
I think I may get diabetes from the sweetness of this little darling that was born in Japan recently...oh God, where is Claus von Bülow when you actually NEED an insulin injection???

clipped from
Puppy / Reuters
Get Clipmarks - The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web. It's free!
Sent with Clipmarks

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, July 9, 2007 --- Blythe was very excited to do another photo shoot with me...

Oh, so pretty and serene. I love how she looks against my mosaic dish from Pier 1. Nice contrast to her coloring...she really pops against the fiery the inspiration for my background choice from her sunglasses. Annoying reflections on her plastic skin were a challenge.

This is the shot that I used for the comment banner in my sidebar. I needed to retouch the photo so that I could get rid of her pull-string hanging down in the back. Also, I had to do a duplicate layer and flip horizontally so that I could make the background wider for the text area of my banner. I love the way it turned out. What do you all think?

Lighting was a little weird in this one, but I like the way her hair seems to glow and you can really see her green eyes. I should take some more pictures with her other eye colors (blue, pink, and orange), but the green eyes are my favorite.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

--- Blogger and FTP Publishing difficulties...oh boy.

Been having some problems with publishing to my blog...I write posts and try to publish them...and get the dreaded "Publishing taking longer than expected...blah blah blah." Eventually, hours later, the posts will arrive on the blog. There is no such thing as a "spontaneous post" to my blog when this garbage is going on. And if I decide to edit or add something, that will take hours to appear on the blog. Very, very annoying. Been going on for a few weeks. I called my host service -- nothing useful. But, I think I found some actual help on resolving the issue from one of the kind folks in the Google/Blogger Help Group. Doesn't happen very often, but once in a while, someone answers...and actually knows what s/he is talking about when it comes to the question being asked. Which is refreshing -- as compared to the responses where the person just generically refers you to Blogger Help -- as if you haven't read all of those articles already. So thanks, nitecruzr. It seems as though your writings on FTP/Blogger problems may have fixed my issue. This post is a test of that...

In the meantime, I felt I needed some virtual flowers to pick up my spirits. Because the Trudy-ChooChoo-Cat has been trying our patience something awful. We had a horrible time with trying to medicate her today -- getting clawed, bleeding, foaming at the mouth, wasting pills, getting pissed with her, getting pissed with each other while getting pissed at get the idea. She is impossible! But, by 11PM?+/- I found a method of wrapping her in the towel that works much better for keeping her "blades of death" out of our skin. Doesn't help us with the drooling and foaming, the biting and the Exorcist-head-turning theatrics that she puts on to keep us from easily putting anything in her mouth -- BUT, it does give us a better chance with those challenges when we are not screaming in pain from being slashed by her. So that's good. It is a good thing she is a wonderful cat in every other way because this shit is for the birds. Seriously.

Ok then, enjoy my virtual flowers! Aren't they pretty? They make me feel better (even if they are just imaginary!)

UPDATE: Yes, the test seems to show that the fixes worked! YAY! Thanks, nitecruzr, again!

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 7, 2007 --- More than meets the eye...and other stories.


Acting was great -- totally believed that the actors were terrified and/or interacting "with" the robots (which is hard to do when nothing is there) -- and Shia LaBeouf was really funny. Effects were un-fucking-believable. Story kept me on the edge of my much so, that I refused to take a bathroom break...even though I needed to pee really, really badly. And, amazingly, I was in-major-love with the robots by the end -- as if they were actual people. I thought I would cry when it seemed BumbleBee was going to die. Optimus Prime, I love you. [swoon] Anthropomorphizing rules.

One question though...Why no female-voiced Transformers? Maybe the sequel will have some? Just a thought.

On the Fourth of July, we saw this little number (because Transformers was sold out for the whole afternoon) -- which was just fine. Why? Because this movie was Hi-lar-i-ous...HILARIOUS! Possibly...funnier than The 40-Year-Old Virgin...?? Maybe. I am not entirely sure. But, I think so. It is hard to quantify the hysteria-factor when the movies do not occur back-to-back for comparison, but I am willing to go out on a limb and say it was.

This has been a great week for movies, indeed. I think I want the DVDs of both of these babies when they come out. Yeah, they're that good.

What else? Oh yeah, we had a day of hell in the feline arena. This mother f*cking cat can NOT be made to take a pill or swallow a liquid medication OR HOLD STILL FOR ANYTHING OR ANYONE!!!! Maine Coons are known for not liking to be held and being rather wriggly...And Trudy is the worst. The worst! And the quantity of drool that accompanies ANY amount of stress is incomprehensible. We wasted 3 pills today just trying to get them down. They all became mush. We tried to hide them in Tuna...NO GO. We tried to dissolve them and syringe blast them down her throat...NO GO. We suffered several personal injuries and have lots of holes in our T-shirts that were not there before. We lost more than a milliliter of the precious liquid medication that needed to be swallowed, but instead was splashed all over the bathroom in a shower of drool and antibiotics. So glad we have several more weeks of this to look forward to...Finally, after the many failed attempts, lost patience, and the addition of sweatshirts and leather gloves, we finally got the crap liquid antibiotics and the pill down. I can hardly wait for the morning when we start again.... ;-(

Here is something exciting. the_butterfly aka my Twitter identity, is part of the Big Blue Marble Twitter Mosaic. Don't know what I am talking about? Well, this Twitter person(s) collects the little avatar pictures that everyone uses on Twitter to ID themselves -- and uses them to create intricate mosaic pictures of works of art, photographs, etc. [Add twitter_mosaic to your friends' list and you could be in the future mosaics!] You can see these mosaics at the Twitter Mosaic Blog which is at Anyway, I was included in the "Big Blue Marble: Negative Mosaic". It is easiest to look at it first on the mosaic blog, but then, you can also see my saved copy of the image where I have circled the occurrences of my butterfly picture -- where I could spot it so far in the mosaic (not easy!) ;-D WooHoo! See it here.

Okay, this has been one of my longest posts in a very long time. As juvenile as it gushing over my Transformer-Love...and the Knocked Up versus 40-Year-Old Virgin debate...and other stories of fame...and misery...

I am now tired and must fold some fresh laundry that is about to finish in the dryer before I go to bed. So g'nite

[Photos source: Yahoo! Movies]

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, July 5, 2007 --- Terry Border is Really Bent.

butterfly has sent you a clip...

butterfly's Message:
Some of you may have checked out one of my favorite blogs, Bent Objects, by the very talented and humorous artist, Terry Border. If you have not, you should!

That said, Terry Border has just launched a raunchier permutation of our beloved favorite. "The more graphic, black sheep cousin of Bent Objects" aka Really Bent. Below is the most recent post from the new blog, "Teabag". Hilarious fun!

[For the more sheltered folks in the crowd, who may not know what "teabagging" is, you can get a brief education at Needless to say, if you are a "Yute", you probably should ask your parents before looking at the Really Bent blog.]

Get Clipmarks - The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web. It's free!
Sent with Clipmarks

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 --- Poor Trudy aka "ChooChoo" --- she's not feeling so well today.

I think it is clear how she feels about the two visits she had to the vet today... Drooling the day away, bloodwork taken, shots, shitting in her carrier on the way home, throwing up after she got home from her first visit (probably from eating too soon after being stressed in the car), going back to the vet, temperature taken again (ouch!), slight fever, and then, sleeping the night away. Fuck you, veterinary medicine professionals! I am ChooChoo and I hate you.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, July 1, 2007 --- Blind Melon Cat, you make me laugh. Thank you!

butterfly has sent you a clip...

butterfly's Message:
Remember the Bee Girl? Meet the Bee Cat...Blind Melon would be so proud!

 clipped from
All I can say is dat my life is pretty plain.
Get Clipmarks - The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web. It's free!
Sent with Clipmarks

Labels: , , , , ,

________ - THE BUTTERFLY BLOG - Copyright ©2007 Vanessa Lee Hamlen. All rights reserved.

Would it kill ya?

What I Am Doing...

Follow the_butterfly at

Twitter Balloon code developed by korelab

About Me

I am a graphic designer. I love animals and have quite a few pets. There is a frustrated DJ inside of me --- hence, my ongoing obsession with making music mixes.

Recent Posts


Musical Goodness

-- Music from Butterfly's personal library --

LORI'S LABOR: A collection of 6 unique playlists with varying intensity and mood for your listening pleasure! I created these original mixes for my friends to use during the labor and delivery of their first baby, Nicholas.

You can visit their blog here: ---> The Bridenstines!

Listen to my comical, purposefully nasal, total HAM-job submission to the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert in the mini-player above!
Links and Friends

vanessa lee hamlen
towhead productions
lizzie sue
the Daily Lizzard
joe hinsburg
fleck family
katie haverly music
joe sorren art
the sneeze
archie mcphee toys
eric joyner robot art
nishant choksi illustration
neth creatures
grammar girl
go fug yourself
jeffrey fulvimari art
don't click it
favourite website awards
paul neave
jared tarbell flash art
liquid journey flash art
my pet skeleton
tobie giddio fashion illustration
van beater art
pure breed revolution
pixel girl
jay bibby game reviews
the mighty jimbo
be the boy
sweet blog o' mine
bent objects - sculpture blog
terry border art
anne taintor - vintage gift items
anne...straight from the hip
the naked rabbit world power foundation
i can has cheezburger
passive aggressive notes
citizen of the month
the daly blog
craxy's blog
john's adventures
guerrilla gardening
kung foodie
this is blythe
deron cohen art
life student
hug nation
march of the hugmobile
tales from the dad side
ikea hacker
easy being green
marc johns's blog - mildly amusing drawings
ideal bite - easy green living ideas
gathering in light - c. wess daniels
schmutzie's milkmoney or not, here i come
we are rantasaurus rex, hear us roar
the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks
lyrical venus
the world's most local burger
readymade: instructions for everyday life
giant microbes
busted tees
inarticulate fumblings
i am the diva
wesley riot
queen of spain
in palinode's palace
mustaches of the nineteenth century
sera faery NEW! - the daily overdosage NEW!

DO NOT CLICK on the following links if you are under the age of 18! These blogs are not for you...

really bent
where i vent my spleen
cocky bastard
tassy pink

Contact Me

Want to contact the butterfly? Vanessa would love to hear from you! NO SPAM, PLEASE...


Twit This!

IF YOU ARE ON TWITTER: You can use this button to twit about my blog in your tweets!

HELP HINT: To send an individual post, click on the Permalink TimeStamp at the bottom of a post -- then, click my TwitThis! button here.

All We Are Twittering...

These are the twittering friends that I follow...Why don't you join us? It's fun! Plus, I'm sick of just seeing my own voice bubbles in the scrolling thingy... :)

Digg This!

Like my blog? Use the button below to submit TBB to Digg!



Site Map


Check out TBB's SITE MAP


Image and skin styling by: the butterfly
Skin coding by: vanessa lee hamlen
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called vlh_butterfly's photos. Make your own badge here.


Subscribe to TBB's Posts

Subscribe to TBB's Comments

Subscribe to TBB's Posts

Subscribe to TBB's Comments

Subscribe to the_butterfly's Twitter Feed

Where Do They All Come From?