Friday, December 14, 2007 --- Moments of Light Around the House...and Depth of Berries.

[ If you are going to swipe any of my pictures, I think we all know that the polite and righteous thing to do is to make sure you credit me for it with a link. If you don't, well then, you are a photo-thieving asshole and you should be shot... ]

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Sunday, December 9, 2007 --- Do You Know What Is Happening Tomorrow?

Well, if you don't know, you should! Neil Kramer aka "Neilochka" of Citizen of the Month (and twitter) is hosting his Second Annual 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert Extravaganza! What is this exactly? Neil explains it best:

"...It is now time to raise our voices in song again in this new holiday tradition. Hanukkah songs about miracles. Christmas songs about faith. Winter songs about the beauty of the season. Kwanzaa songs about new traditions. It is the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, right here on Citizen of the Month on Monday, December 10th (with a re-broadcast on Christmas Day). The concert is for YOU and by YOU — and this year will be bigger and better than last year..."

Basically, anyone from the blogging-community-at-large is welcome to share a recording of him/herself singing a favorite holiday song! It is meant to be fun...and possibly quite we all celebrate the great big inclusive Holiday of Christmahanukwanzaakah! Plus, if you are too embarassed to sing, Neil also welcomes photographs from bloggers to help "dress the set". It should be a great time. And, if you have never checked out Citizen of the Month before, you really should because Neil's blog is hilariously funny and incredibly well-written. [ I should hope so on that last part because Neil is a professional writer in "real life"! ]

That said, you'll be pleased to know that I have a submission in this year's concert. I sang "The Man With The Bag", a song that was originally recorded by Kay Starr in 1950. This song has always made me laugh because of its unapologetic theme of Christmas greed LOL! (Hence, my allusion to it in the sidebar where I have my Xmas Wish List!) Plus, I love the peppy big-band sound of it. As I explained to Neil, I don't have a particularly great singing I decided to really ham-up my submission in the hope that "really funny" would excuse "lack of talent". I recorded it with a clothespin on my nose so that it would be really nasal and then I tried to do a little bit of Ethel-Merman-like styling, although sans the great power of Ethel's voice. Anyway, I think it is pretty funny. I mixed it myself on the computer with an instrumental karaoke track -- not bad production value for being recorded in my home office. Join us at the concert and feel free to laugh at me and my song! I also submitted the "Winter Berries in Snow" picture from the previous post below as decoration for the concert so you'll probably see that too.

I also created the unsolicited artwork pictured above -- I was inspired by the idea of trying to create a logo design to incorporate the 3 holidays into a graphical image that was clean, attractive and symbolically cohesive. It was a great graphic design challenge! I used the three colors of Kwanzaa (black, red, green) -- the Christmas Tree symbols (which double as general holiday season/winter symbols too) -- and a gold blue and white glowing star of David -- as well as a blue background as another Jewish/Hanukah nod. I sent the graphics to Neil last night, but I still don't know what he thinks of them. He may or may not use them, but my real purpose was to create them for my own use to promote the concert because I think it is such a fun idea and concept that Neil has started. People are certainly welcome to borrow my button for use on their own blogs...I think it is kind of neat to have a "I participated in CHK 2007" badge for the sidebar so that blog readers can revisit the fun we had anytime and maybe become new participants for next year's!

[ I would love it if folks credited me for the button if they use it, but it's not necessary. Just leave me a nice word in my comments if you are going to borrow it! Share the love, baby. ]

Click the button below to visit Citizen of the Month:

<--------------------------- UPDATE 12/10/07! --------------------------->

Hey folks! I created this modified version button badge below (4 colors) that folks can also use in their sidebar -- year round if you like (!) -- to provide a link to the concert festivities any time. It's a nice way to thank Citizen of the Month for hosting this wonderful event...

You will need to host the button image on your own site and modify the code below accordingly. Here's the code you will need to use the buttons:
<a href=" concert/" title="Check out the 2007 Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert!"><img src=" NAME OF CHOICE.png" title="Check out the 2007 Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert!" border="0" /></a>

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007 --- Today's Question: Whether to shit or go blind?

See that beautiful tree with its orange and red leaves? Up until this morning, that tree was merrily going about its business believing that it was still Fall in Virginia. It has been so warm here, that our leaves changed very late and have been holding on to some of the trees longer than usual. But this morning, we had our first snow of the season...and let's just say that the poor tree doesn't know "whether to shit or go blind..."

It is very odd to be looking at the colorful foliage covered with snow...but the contrast sure is lovely!

I thought the berries on this tree were pretty, surrounded by the fresh new snow...Needless to say, it is a perfect day for hot beverages and wood burning in the fireplace.

Welcome Winter! You are beautiful.

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Friday, November 30, 2007 --- Kneel before the Temple of Coldness...and get your wax worms here!

Behold! Our glorious new Temple of Coldness...If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that we recently had a refrigerator breakdown at the Butterfly Cocoon. Our kind neighbor, Teresa, took in our wayward food for temporary storage across the hall so that we wouldn't lose everything. Initially, the apartment maintenance guy, who showed up at our door to check the old monster, said he would need to replace the fan motor (I think?) in the morning to get things running again. Of course, behind closed doors, we said out loud, "Why can't they just get rid of this energy-sucking-fucker and give us a new refrigerator like Teresa has?!?"

Well, I am pleased as punch to announce that they did just that! Three nice men came in, cleared out the old, rolled in the new, and even helped put away what little non-perishable food we had left in the old dying beast. Magnets and pictures have now been replaced on the new magical fantastical Whirlpool.

I especially love the clear drawers that let me see exactly what is in there at all times. Nothing is worse than forgetting about some random vegetable purchase, only to discover some weeks later that you have a drawer full of rotten celery or cucumbers...Ick! [OK, yes, there are worse things -- like heinous rape or murder -- but, in terms of refrigerator things, you get the idea... ]

Now, I am sure there are you nosy little bitches out in Cyberland who are going to zoom in and examine the contents of our refrigerator. And, you are probably going to say, "Hey Butterfly, what's with the container of LIVE WAX WORMS?" Ewwwww.

My longtime readers will know that the worms are a special treat for our amphibian friends -- specifically, our two Australian White's tree frogs. Usually we feed all of our frogs crickets, but occasionally, I will hand feed these guys a few wax worms. I don't feed wax worms to the three Cuban tree frogs (not pictured) because those frogs are too fast and nervous to be held and fed. If you drop the worms into the tank, they will just dig themselves into the soil, never to be seen again. So, it requires holding the worm in front of a lucky frog's face to be snatched in the moment. These two frogs at left, known collectively as "the Bung Monkeys", are very happy to be held and fed. Because they are fat and slow. *heeheehee*

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007 --- A Virtual Meal by a Virtual Fire...for my friend, C.Wess Daniels in California!

Chicken with portabella mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and farfalle pasta -- served with a glass of Smoking Loon Pinot Noir...

By the fire as a "virtual meal" for my friend, C.Wess Daniels and at his other place on the net, here.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 --- Diane Keaton makes me positively nuts...How about you?

Diane Keaton has really been getting under my skin lately. Well, maybe it's been longer than just lately. I think this has been going on for some time now, but I just can't put my finger on exactly when it started. Let's has been off and on for about two years? Maybe.

Anyway, you might be wondering, "How does Diane Keaton make the Butterfly crazy?"

I could say it has something to do with her need to make every character she portrays on film gesticulate like a psychotic mime addicted to amphetamines. It seriously makes me want to grab her god damned flailing arms and strap them to her sides with duct tape...But no, that's only part of it.

I could also mention the positively shrill and hysterical quality that her voice takes on whenever one of her characters is having some sort of neurotic breakdown. Because I mean, really, can you think of any part she has played over the years that did not incorporate this performance?? I honestly think that she is not playing parts anymore, but rather making extended-cameo appearances in films as herself. Except, it's more than that...

I could talk about her perpetually bad posture and how she sort of slouches while jutting her hips forward in a most irritating way...Is this her body's idea of an endearing pout for the spine? It's not sexy, stop it, stop it right now! My former ballet teacher, Ms. D'Aubray Goncharoff would be appalled and promptly throw Diane out of her class if she saw this crap.

I may point out -- what I strongly suspect might actually be written into her contract -- a stipulation that all of her costumes are to involve numerous clothing layers above the waist, ridiculously voluminous skirts and a copious helping of scarves. She looks so bundled and uptight that it makes me constipated to look at her on screen. And, this wardrobe issue brings me agonizingly close to the one thing that makes me most insane about Diane Keaton...

Have you ever noticed that this woman has a serious, serious, SERIOUS addiction to belts? Not just belts, but belts so wide that they'd almost be suitable for use during weightlifting? Diane, dear, you need help. Step away from the belts!

For example, I was watching Because I Said So tonight on cable. On a whim, I decided to count how many times she wore an insane belt. [You can try this same game yourself with any of her movies, like a fashion drinking game!] And, I am positively alarmed to report that she was wearing a belt wider than 2 inches (more like 3-4 inches!) count 'em -- on NINETEEN separate occasions, with the exception of ONE time where she had a belt that was approximately 1 1/2 inches wide, and another scene in which she was wearing her belted bathrobe (which may or may not count, technically) -- all in the same film! That's TWENTY-ONE extremely-belted moments. Jesus Christ. I think she was wearing no belt in perhaps five (?) scenes...not much more than that, I assure you.

Boy, let me tell you, Diane can work a belt into ANY situation. She can NOT do Formal Wear without a menacing belt (as seen in the first two pictures above.) She will do it over a thick series of shirt layers (third picture)...she will do it over blazers and coats (fifth picture which is actually a real life occurrence - but you can just as easily see the same thing in Because I Said So too!)...And last, but not least, her crowning achievement? At left, incorporating a huge belt into a wedding gown -- which by the way, also makes use of the bundled-buttoned-shirt-with-scarf motif!

Listen lady, I'm all for a signature style. But, fuck. Change it up once in a while, will ya? The Annie-Hall-thing had to be phased out of all women's wardrobes at some point, now you need to phase out this "crazy Diane" business, too. Really. It's time.

[ Photo credits: Picture #1, Picture #2, Picture #3, Picture #4, Picture #5, Picture #6 ]

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Thursday, November 1, 2007 --- My man is a slug...

Meet my man is a slug. No, of course, I am not living with an actual terrestrial gastropod mollusk! But sometimes, it feels like I am. Before you misunderstand me, I am not trying to say that the man is slow...or lazy...he's not! No, he is a wonderful guy who is kind, funny, extremely handy fixing things and he has a very cute butt. However, he is very much like the slug pictured at left in one particular aspect of his daily life...

He leaves a slime trail wherever he goes! Here is some evidence that he was in the kitchen recently.

Don't see what I mean? Scroll down to the closeup picture below.

Now, do you see it? This made me laugh -- so much so that I have decided to preserve his handprint for a few-days-more-worth of chuckles -- before I whip out my Orange Clean to wipe it away with a rag for good.

There was a time that this kind of thing would have infuriated me. As I have matured, I see these things as an opportunity for increased household humor. I know he appreciates my decision to laugh instead -- which is why he is willing to be such a good helper whenever I occasionally ask. The best advice I can offer to others who find themselves frustrated by such things is: You'll both live longer healthier lives the more you laugh at and enjoy these differences. Besides, no one loves a nag.

[The slug photo was borrowed from here.]

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Sunday, October 14, 2007 --- I have been sick...Baby Steps Toward A Greener Life...Part 3

In the midst of my popping Benadryl capsules, smearing Vicks VapoRub on my nose (Yes, despite the directions on the jar, I have always smeared VapoRub on my nose when I am sick to help me breathe!), sneezing and constant nose-blowing -- I have managed to incorporate another "green" change. It's a small one, but every bit helps, right?

That's right, instead of using one tissue after another during the course of my cold, I have opted to start using handkerchiefs! A hankie can be used many more times than the 2-3 nose-blows possible with a tissue. And, when they have gotten sufficiently "soiled", I can throw them in the wash and use them again and again...and again! It occurred to me that it was a great option that was sitting right under my nose [pun very much intended, LOL] because we had a large quantity of brand new handkerchiefs already in our closet. I had brought them home a couple of years ago and forgot about them -- one of the many things salvaged from the man's daddy's house after he died. Ever the old-fashioned-gentleman, Pop had packs and packs of brand new handkerchiefs -- as well as boxes upon boxes of brand new towels, never-worn shirts, every suit ever bought, every pair of shoes, every scrap of anything, etc. Yeah, he had a hording problem...Anyway, it seemed a shame to just toss them and pointless to donate handkerchiefs, so I thought, "These could be useful..." and took them home.

Now, not only is that usefulness proving to be very true, but the man and I have the added benefit of being able to make jokes about my using "another one of Pop's hankies" every time I blow my nose! I like the idea that he stays in our minds and in our lives, in this simple every-day-way, even though he is gone. I like to think this comforts the man.

Aside from my current cold, I periodically suffer from allergies and frequent sneezing -- I sometimes feel like I am forever blowing my nose. Handkerchiefs are much softer than tissues and better for the environment. I am enjoying them in spite of my nasal misery. So, thanks Pop...You are helping us "be greener" from the grave!

Related posts: Baby Steps Part 1, Baby Steps Part 2.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007 --- Highlights from the National Zoo...a photographic post.

A lovely bellowing lion...

A Scarlet Ibis preening itself...

A Bald Eagle taking a bath...

...And, an elephant playing in the dirt!

More pictures from the day can be seen on my Flickr page -- see badge in sidebar under "credits".

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Saturday, October 6, 2007 --- Apparently, this is a good place to take a nap...

The bigger Nutmeg gets, the more things she gets into. Not only did she jump into the tub while I was taking a shower today, but she also likes to take a break in the sink periodically. In some ways, this lack of fear with regard to water is a good thing. It means I have very little trouble bathing her when necessary -- because I like to bathe me some cats. Contrary to popular cat-belief, spit does not clean everything well, especially when that spit smells like cat food...

"This carpet has a funny flavor!"

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 --- My Favorite Little Munchkin Came For A Visit This Past Weekend...Isabella!

The man's niece came with her parents this past weekend and we had a lot of fun with them. She terrorized the cats, of course. She also loved the playground in our complex right outside the front door. She's a jungle-gym-climbing-machine! I can not get over how big she has gotten -- she's almost 3 years old (November) -- and looks like an actual kid now!! It seems like she was just in diapers...

Trying to settle down from a hyper period of cat chasing...

In search of those cats...I have a rainbow string, kitties!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007 --- Baby Steps Toward A Greener Life...Part 2

Today, the cats went green! Yes, it is official, we have switched over to 100% biodegradable, Eco-friendly cat litter. As I mentioned in Part 1 of "Baby Steps Toward A Greener Life", we will be trying out two kinds of litter side by side -- one made with wheat and one made with corn -- both pictured at left.

In terms of color, texture and smell -- they are virtually indistinguishable -- as you can see here -- sorry, we are not a Scratch-N-Sniff blog at this point, so you can't smell. World's Best Cat Litter is in the green box, Swheat Scoop is in the red box. They both smell very natural, like feeds for livestock on a farm. There was certainly a lot less dust when I poured them into the boxes, which was nice! As my Twitter friend, margalit mentioned in the comments of the previous Part 1 post, we have already made note of the fact that World's Best (corn) costs twice as much as Swheat Scoop (wheat). The Swheat Scoop came in a 40lb. bag and the World's Best came in a 17lb. bag which cost almost the same price. Obviously, we will most likely stick with the Swheat Scoop in the future, but for the purpose of evaluation, etc. we are trying both right now. Thus far, the cats have liked (and used!) both boxes without any adjustment problems. Of course, we do have unusually cooperative, well-behaved cats so this does not surprise me too much. And, NO, that is not our bathtub -- we have a second bathroom that is designated as the Cat Bathroom -- where we keep the cat litters in the tub with a shower curtain drawn. This gives them a pleasing amount of privacy, keeps the boxes out of human sight, and more importantly, keeps cat litter from being all over our apartment (because it drops off of their paws as they jump out of the tub). We still use the toilet and sink in there -- which works out fine for everyone -- we just need to vacuum out the tub once or twice a week during our normal apartment cleaning activities...that sounds pretty funny now that I put it in writing...vacuuming out the tub!

Anyway, we are happy about this new transition. The urine appears to clump very well in both types of litter. And, as per Margalit's additional advice, we are not flushing our clumps (even though we do not have a low flush toilet) -- we have old newspapers saved under the bathroom sink -- I use 2-3 sheets of newspaper to scoop litter onto, and then, wrap up the waste into a 100% biodegradable packet that can go out with the trash. So, no more need for the plastic supermarket bags. Great!

Speaking of which, we used our new canvas bags at the supermarket last weekend. People did look at us funny at the registers which amused me, but also made me feel proud (?) in a weird way. In addition, we saved .03 cents per bag used on our grocery bill which is not much, but it still feels like a reward. Maybe this next thing is just a serendipitous coincidence, but I stopped into the supermarket again today -- and they are now selling reusable bags at the registers which were never there before! Were the supermarket managers (or workers) influenced to make this change by seeing us with our bags? Or was it already in the works?? I do not know and I do not need to know -- I am purely excited by the fact that it has happened -- whatever the cause! ;-D

Some other small changes we have an effort to reduce the amount of plastic wrap and the number of Ziploc bags we use, we are washing out Ziploc bags and reusing them many times before disposal. Basically, we will be using them until they develop a hole or tear. It is amazing how long these suckers last -- which is why they are a problem in the first place, huh?

We have always had a Brita water filter container in our refrigerator, but we are making an effort to eliminate buying any bottled water when we are out and about. We have saved a few plastic bottles that we fill up at home and take with us rather than buying new ones. The idea of buying water has always been ridiculous -- so this is an easy thing to feel good about from a "saving money" standpoint as well as the plastic and waste issues.

Another recent change...for my intermittent struggle with Starbuck's Mocha Frappuccino addiction...I bought this reusable travel cup which will hold any grande-sized beverage purchased from my local pusher. It is easy enough to take it with me, eliminates the need for all of those wasted disposable plastic cups...AND, I save .10 cents off of my purchase when I bring my own cup! Cool beans, indeed.

We are also making a real effort to recycle properly by making it a more efficient, do-able task. We use the same canvas bags for the supermarket to keep purely recyclable-only items separate from the ones with refund deposits. When it is time to go to the supermarket again, we just grab the canvas bags as usual already filled with our presorts. This makes it very easy to dump the recyclables in the bins outside on the way to the car, and then, we take the deposit refund recyclables with us to the supermarket to get our money back. If we sort as we use and bind the new habit with a well-established habit (going to the store) -- it is much more likely that we will follow through consistently. Plus, it keeps the recycling under control -- nothing is worse than lugging 2-3 months worth of cans and bottles to the supermarket -- at least, until one has children to do that for exercise and spending money! ;-) LOL

Semi-related side note: Twitter friend, cwdaniels made mention of our "Baby Steps" project post on his blog here. Thanks, Wess! You can also read his great post about his own efforts at more sustainable living. Or, check out the rest of his blog at for more good reads! :-D

Unrelated side note: Twitter friend, margalit recently went to the hospital for another congestive heart failure incident -- if you would like to send her some kind-thought-vibes via Twitter or her blog at, I am sure she would love to hear from you. She's very kind to strangers... ;-) Feel better, margalit!

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Sunday, September 23, 2007 --- Fun with Eggs on the Autumnal Equinox!

Today was the Autumnal Equinox -- a rare opportunity for eggs to stand up on end! Here are two eggs that I spent some time photographing this afternoon by candlelight...

...different angle...

...sepia toned...'cause I liked the way this looked too!

...sepia toned again...

And finally, by natural light, just for the fun of it. Took this one with my phone camera -- still came out pretty good for a phone picture!

Hello, Autumn! Let the Dance of the Leaves begin...

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 --- A modest collection in a wooden box...

Another thing I love...this contains my collection of tavern puzzles. They often get mistaken for Medieval torture devices which rather amuses me. But, I also think they are beautiful examples of Blacksmith art.

I do not have a very large collection -- I only have eight puzzles currently, but I would like to expand it further. This is a good Christmas gift idea for anyone who wants to jot it down [Hint: mom].

We have pictured here, left to right, top to bottom:

Row 1: Double Bypass, Blackbeard's Revenge, Dirty Dog
Row 2: Patience Puzzle, Long Island Catch, Satan's Stirrup
Row 3: Double Trouble, Matched Set

For more information on these puzzles, visit the wonderful world of Tucker-Jones House, Inc.

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Monday, September 3, 2007 --- Latest pictures of the new baby...

Playing around with my Picasa Web Albums -- thought I would share a slideshow of today's pictures of Nutmeg (a.k.a. Schmegs, Meggie, Schmeggie and Nutschmegs.)

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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.

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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

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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:

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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Monday, June 25, 2007 --- Oh, those funny GFY girls!

butterfly has sent you a clip...

butterfly's Message:
Clipmarked this lol goody...Amy Winehouse makes me nervous. I expect her to be smelly and possibly have pests in that hairdo!

I think the girls over at will back me up on this -- which is where I clipped this from. Ugh!

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

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Saturday, June 23, 2007 --- This ought to make you laugh!

What the hell is that thing on my head? This is my clever method for strapping two icepacks to the back of my head because I had a terrible headache at the base of my skull. After two Excedrins and the addition of my "apparatus", the pain is finally subsiding...and the amusement over how stupid I look is setting in!

[A flood of catty comments from the Peanut Gallery ensues...?]
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Friday, June 22, 2007 --- We went to visit my little friend tonight...

This is my little friend Cally who lives at Petco. [Sorry for the bad picture quality...we took the pictures with the man's camera phone.] We needed to get a new light fixture for one of our frog tanks so, I got to visit with my "bird friends" again. Isn't she cute?? And colorful?? ;-D

She gets very excited when we come to play -- as you can see from the picture -- as do all the other birds. She "beak climbs" up and down the bars to show off and get the feathers on her belly stroked. Funny Girl...

Here's where she begs, "TAKE ME HOME! PLEASE, TAKE ME HOME!" Awwwwwwwww. Well, maybe someday...poor baby. ;-D

We had a very nice visit with all the other varieties of Conures (including Tank -- who is another Sun Conure) and the Cockatiels, too. Everybody is desperate for attention when we come into the bird room...lots of screeching until you visit each one and say "hi". So, of course, we must coo at all the birds and give them some individual "hello" touching!

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Monday, June 11, 2007 --- Recently acquired items of cuteness...and a heart-melting sweetie!

I am loving these new items that we got at the outlet a few days ago...very cute cotton, empire-waisted shirts from Old Navy. I got this white one as well as black and navy.

...and my ethnic-looking leather sandals from Naturalizer (very comfy on the tootsies!).

And, as a bonus treat for all of you cat lovers...a picture from Noodle's latest kitty photo session! He just melts his momma's heart --- in spite of how evil he can be...

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Monday, June 4, 2007 --- When all else sucks...there is always Jackson :)

When stuff is sucking, you only have to look at this guy (Jackson the Cat) to realize what life is all about --- sunshine, relaxing and a fuzzy belly!

Thanks, Jackson! For always being a cool dude, no matter what. :)

Now if K, J, E, H and L could just get their acts together...(identity-protected friends that are irking me to varying degrees.) ;p

Sidenote: Isn't it incredible that one forward slash (/)...or lack thereof, can completely change one's blog formatting?? For a couple of days, the whole TBB (and tDL) blog had become bolded text and I thought I was going nuts...but it was all because of adding the "Musical Goodness" header on the sidebar. When I wrote the coding in the template, I had the title enclosed in bold tags that were not closed [ < b>Musical Goodness< b> instead of < b>Musical Goodness< / b > ]. DUH!! Thankfully, things are back to normal now. :)

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Saturday, April 28, 2007 --- Another visit to the range...

We took the Lizzard to the range and taught her how to shoot. She did great!!! You can take a look at her targets on her blog...

Here are the targets from my second visit to the range:

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007 --- We had an ice storm in the DC area last night...

This morning, everything was candy-coated with a layer of ice. I decided to take some pictures after I saw how pretty the holly bushes outside our front door were looking...

And then, I discovered that the ice on the holly leaves had actually made perfect little crystal-like molds of each leaf. I tried photographing them in my hand, but it was not doing them justice.

I decided to gather several of them and brought them inside to photograph as quickly as I could! I love how glassy and delicate they look.

After the first few pictures, I put them in the freezer so that I could extend my photographing time. When I took them out again, they were all frosty and beautiful in a new way. I tried to capture this and thought they looked quite smashing in black and white.

According to the Lizzard, the ice storm has made its way to New York today. Be safe, everyone!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!

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

Would it kill ya?

What I Am Doing...

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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!
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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

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