Thursday, August 30, 2007 --- What has been going on in Butterfly's cocoon?

As you all know, we put Trudy to sleep on August 13, 2007. She was cremated on August 14, 2007...and, we got her ashes back the following weekend in this pretty little box -- which is now on a shelf in our living room. It came with an engraved name plate which we affixed on the inside of the lid. We have been missing her terribly, but we are glad every day that she is no longer suffering.

As a household, we will always have a hole in our hearts for Miss Trudy. The boys were missing their sister...Peanut, especially, was walking around meowing and howling, looking for Trudy for days. We still miss her non-stop purring, her instant appearance whenever you called for her, her love of tuna water, her insatiable need to rub her cat lips on us when she wanted to be pet... We have ALL needed some cheering up...and, we had an available spot in our place to offer someone special a new home! So...

...Meet Nutmeg! It was a difficult choice, but this little bundle stood out from the crowd at PetSmart's Adoption Day as the best candidate to join our little, not-so-little family. She's very outgoing and she has a cool orange spot on her head. The boys accepted her relatively easily -- we only had them segregated for one day!

Jackson offered to give her a wash off the shelter a rather untraditional manner!

You can see that Peanut is pretty oblivious to her presence when he is sleeping with his dad...

...And, after a rough start of throwing up whenever he looked at her...from fear(!)...Noodle is now able to take a nap with her on the sacred chair...

Her first major act of mischief??? Eating through the wire on these headphones for her Daddy's XBOX 360! Surprisingly, Daddy was not that upset...probably because it gave him the perfect excuse to buy the better X2 wireless headphones from Turtle Beach...

Vive l' XBOX 360!
Merci beaucoup, ma petite Nutmeg!


We also just got back from Connecticut and visiting Mommie Dearest for a Belated 4th-of-July-Birthday Celebration -- she's a Firecracker Baby! Here we are in the dark making motion trails with our super-long sparklers. You can see some of our other fun with explosives on her blog.

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 --- More Facial Symmetry Studies...well, maybe Asymmetry would be a better description!

Sorry. I have not been much in the mood for blogging this week. We have been a little bit busy with stuff I will tell you all about another time.

Since the Facial Symmetry Study of Amber Valletta was enjoyed by all, I thought I would show a few more of other famous people. Many of these faces have much more you will see. Watch out for Meryl Streep -- she's a beautiful lady, but not when it comes to symmetry! And Sarah Jessica Parker's Right-Side Symmetry looks like it could be her transexual brother! As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry ------- Right-Side Symmetry

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry -------------------- Right-Side Symmetry

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry -------------------- Right-Side Symmetry

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry ------- Right-Side Symmetry

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry --------- Right-Side Symmetry

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry ------------------- Right-Side Symmetry

Photo Credits:

Ray Romano Photo
Photo by Lester Cohen - © - Image courtesy

Sarah Jessica Parker nonTAN Photo
Photo by Steve Granitz - © - Image courtesy

Sarah Jessica Parker TAN Photo
Photo by James Devaney - © - Image courtesy

Tom Cruise Photo
Photo by Lester Cohen - © - Image courtesy

Jerry Seinfeld Photo
Photo by James Devaney - © - Image courtesy

Meryl Streep Photo
Photo by Steve Granitz - © - Image courtesy

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 --- In Sunnier News...the Foetus Update!

My good friends, Michael and Lori, recently sent me this updated ultrasound picture of the foetus, also known as Nicholas. Yes, it is a boy-foetus!

Enjoy rolling around in that amniotic soup, my friend, covered with a cottage-cheese-like substance...Soon enough, you will be here in the real world with the rest of us, wishing you could go back!

It is hot today! I am thirsty:

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

Monday, August 13, 2007 --- Trudy's Last's a sad day indeed.

These are the last two pictures I took of Trudy...We are very sad, but doing okay -- because we know that she is no longer in any pain. Honestly, I think she was ready. She actually seemed relieved as the vet started the injection into her IV catheter. She went quietly (except for the purring) with the vet and I petting her and talking softly. The man stood outside and cried privately...he doesn't handle these things well ;-)

This beautiful girl will be missed every day. Luckily, I shot a bunch of videos of her to help us remember and smile.

[ You can click this picture of Trudy taking a nap on her Mommie to see her last video clip. ]
Current Mood:

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

Saturday, August 11, 2007 --- Studies in Facial Symmetry...the Amber Valletta series.

As a graphic designer, photo editing softwares like Photoshop and Fireworks are a part of my everyday life. But, when I am not using these programs for a design project, I love to edit and manipulate photos purely for the fun of it. I suppose you could call it one of my "hobbies"...

One of my favorite things to do is a Facial Symmetry study. The majority of us have extremely assymetrical features...and, if you have ever done one of these on yourself, you will probably get very disturbing results! Typically, one side (half) of the face reflecting itself to create a "symmetrical whole" will produce a very strange-looking wide head, and the other half becomes a narrower head, or has what I call a "pinched" face. Trust me, generally, it is not very attractive. When I have done my own face in the past, one side produces a cute, wide-eyed and wide-foreheaded, semi-retarded-looking girl and the other side, looks like I was squeezed in a vice as a child...I shall call her "pinhead"!

Not too long ago, I was listening to an NPR or PRI podcast -- and I heard a story regarding the study of facial symmetry and attractiveness. I seem to recall it had something to do with criminals as well, but I have been unable to find the exact story on either website. [Connections between lack of symmetrical features = perceived ugliness = less-liked and fewer opportunities = tendency toward anti-social behavior = crime, etc.?? Something like that...]

Anyway, scientists have been doing variations of these facial symmetry studies, body proportion ratios, genetic health, etc. for a long time. The thing that stuck out to me in this story, is that they mentioned studying the faces of many people, famous and not famous, that were perceived universally by subjects as "beautiful" -- and it always came back to having high symmetry and particular facial size-ratios. The model Amber Valletta was mentioned as having one of the highest measured facial symmetries and almost perfect size-ratios -- and therefore, in the study, she rated very high with subjects on her "perceived" beauty. This got me would be interesting to do one of my Facial Symmetry studies on Amber Valletta's face!

I needed to find photos that were as "forward facing" as possible, preferably with a relatively "even" or "neutral" expression. I found three very interesting pictures to work with that I thought would yield interesting artistic results. As I began to work on them, I was truly amazed...I have never seen anything like this...

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry ------------------- Right-Side Symmetry

There is almost no difference between her Left-Side Symmetry and her Normal Front View -- while she does still have some asymmetry (crooked smile, slight nostril difference, etc. which, personally, I think creates her most charming attribute, her impish grin) -- it is so slight that her Left-Side Symmetry could be a post-plastic-surgery "after" photo, displaying a minute nose job correction and right side chin implant. I would say this is her "too perfect" incarnation.

What is even more unusual, is that her Right-Side Symmetry looks completely normal. It does not look as much alike to her Normal View as the Left-Side Symmetry did, but it is still so much like her that it could be a slightly different "twin" sister. Neither one of these symmetries has any hint of being abnormal-looking, like you would expect to see with most faces. Indeed, apart from the "overly perfect" aspect of the exact-mirror symmetry, these women could be triplet sisters with small facial differences. This is incredibly unusual and I am amazed at how these pictures turned out.

These next two groups were very bizarre! I did them purely for the crazy symmetry fun of it -- to see what would happen! She still looks like a beautiful lady, but with some serious...ummmmmmm...birth defects?!? Yikes.

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry ----------------- Right-Side Symmetry

Here is a body series, but again, aside from the weird shadows on the face and the crazy bodies, look at how much the face on the Right-Side Symmetry version still looks very normal!

[ I would recommend clicking on the image to zoom in on the face -- you'll see better how "normal" it looks close up. ]

Normal Front View

Left-Side Symmetry ----------------- Right-Side Symmetry

Photo credits:

Picture #1: Photo by Jeff Vespa/ - Image courtesy

Picture #2: Photo by Raymond Burrows

Picture #3:

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 --- Meat is murder...Tasty, delicious, mouth-watering murder!

Part of me was concerned that I was posting too much about the Cancer-Cat...but then, I one reads my blog! "Butterfly," I said, "you post that Cancer-Cat. Don't you worry about those nonexistent readers for even a minute!"

And so, with that, I give you another video of the lioness, Trudy-the-Cancer-Cat!

The fabulous "meat graphics" come from the I Love Meat Sticker Collection that can be purchased at one of my favorite hilarious shopping spots on the net, Archie McPhee Toys.

[Click on the picture to go to the video page.]

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 --- Vinyasa Flow Yoga...squeezing them toxins.

I have been trying to get into doing my yoga on a regular basis. This does not happen, of course, but I am trying... Which kind of makes me crazy -- because it really does make me feel good when I am doing it -- and when I am done. You would think that it would be pretty easy to get into something like that. I have all of my fun colorful strap...and my really great instructional DVDs, courtesy of Seane Corn. But, alas, I do not do it enough. I think this has something to do with feeling like I have such a long way to terms of feeling like I did when I was my most fit. It is discouraging and annoying not to see results quickly. Yes, this is probably the crux of the matter! But no excuses, I just have to do it. Eventually, I will start to see something happening and not just feel achy all over.

Things I do feel differences in pretty quickly are: my lower back usually feels better, a truly deep breath actually feels relaxing while I am doing yoga, and I sweat like a maniac, which is great for my skin.

The thing that I have a hard time buying? The whole idea of the yoga poses and the twisting "squeezing toxins and waste materials" out of my organs. I have read that this is true -- because the contraction of muscles helps to move blood and fluids through the body, the faster they move through the body, the faster your body can process them and move them out. From a circulation system standpoint, this all sounds perfectly reasonable. But, it always irks me when the yoga DVDs mention this during an exercise...because it sounds so similar to the language that the "high colonic" nutjobs use...and, from what I understand, colonics are total bullshit. I think colonics appeal to people's psychological hangups about poop and disgust with their bodily functions -- that if they could just get the "dirty, dirty poop!" out of them faster, they would "feel cleaner" or "feel empty" -- all under the guise of "removing toxins" and losing 3lbs faster...

So, what am I saying, here? I am not sure. I guess, if someone would like to show me some real medical evidence that colonics are good for you, then great. I might even consider having one -- it's not bloody likely that I would pay for one, but if I could do it myself, I might. In the meantime, I will continue to push myself to do my yoga. And, I will grit my teeth and take a deeper Vinyasa breath when Seane mentions the squeezing of my toxins, trusting that she is not a total nutjob who is putting me on. Conscious intention of breath, whatever.

All I know is that, even with crunchy-granola Seane Corn having a chunk of one of her eyebrows missing, I still like her WAY BETTER than that condescending bitch, Suzanne Deason and her f'ing crooked, sideways-talking mouth! I can not abide that woman talking about squeezing my toxins. I would like to squeeze her toxins, with my hands on her neck...while I am in Downward-Facing Dog position, of course!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, August 5, 2007 --- I have CANCER...Hear me ROAR...With lesions too big to IGNORE...And I know too much to go back an' pretend!

Okay, so this photo is from a better time in Trudy's life...when she still had all of her fur intact...But, the sentiment is the same!

The video [click on the image when you are done reading] is from yesterday -- Jackson got in trouble for chasing his sister out of her little cardboard-box-tray-thing (from the recent canned cat food purchase) -- which she has been enjoying sitting in lately. And yes, I know, the apartment is very messy at the moment...what, with all the kitty nursing we have been doing...and not wanting to upset her with the vacuum! We will be cleaning TODAY because I can not stand it anymore! The man would be fine with living in squalor -- so long as he can play XBOX 360 -- which he is welcomed to return to just as soon as we straighten this place up a bit!

Ugh. Double Ugh.

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

Thursday, August 2, 2007 --- Childhood memory migration...from a stuttering, shy attempt at blogging in 2004.

When I first became interested in this whole blogging thing, I was strictly a reader. I tried to start a blog, but did not feel I had the stamina to keep up with it. Growing up, I never kept a journal -- beyond a few isolated entries in notebooks here and there, sometimes years apart. I did write letters to friends pretty often. I guess something of a "journal" was given away in the letters I wrote.

The other problem was a feeling of shyness. Not sure I wanted to blog, to share. It felt weird. So, I gave it up right away.

But today, I was feeling struck by the fact that my entries on this blog, while plentiful, were more often than not, fluffy? Not always. I do try to keep things funny for my own sake. I try to say something, even something silly, or just a notation of something interesting I saw elsewhere, as a time-capsule of "self" an exercise in sticktoitiveness. To say, "I DO have the stamina!"

I thought back for a moment, back to my few feeble attempts at an anonymous blog. I re-read my few entries (posted and not posted) and felt almost perplexed -- "Who is this person? I wrote that?" And so, I decided to dust one of them off...because I thought it was funny, but also very telling. To those who know me really well, it speaks so innocently and simply, but peculiarly accurately, of the person I am today. What do I mean by this? I see the seeds of my current self in this childhood joy of feeling chills from spider-like tickling...and my selfish, demanding nature with regard to things being done "properly!"

Early childhood inventions: The Tickling Machine

As a child, I built the following engineering masterpiece:

Using several Tinker Toy sticks, I attached a rubberband to each one, knotted and fitted at the end of each stick - tight enough so that they did not slide off. This formed a loop on the end of each stick by which the individual stick could be hung. A much larger, "master" rubberband was threaded through these loops and looped through itself to tie the grouping off - into a sort of "key chain" of sticks.

I then presented my father with this bouncing windchime of sticks and rubberbands. In addition, I offered my bare 5-year-old back to him and demanded to be tickled with the instrument. My father required extensive training before he mastered the desired effect I had envisioned for the apparatus...namely, chills.


Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 --- Remember this video from Mothers' Day? Funny girl sure can dance!

Some of you may remember this funny video from The Daily Lizzard? -- it was a Mothers' Day surprise for Mommie Dearest posted on her blog. That Trudy sure can dance...

[Don't worry -- we didn't make her dance for the whole song -- we shot a little chunk that she tolerated pretty well and then we looped it to make it longer for the whole song ;-D ]

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?