Thursday, October 30, 2008
  I think that's why they call it a TURTLE NECK.

Check out my new turtle friend. :)

I took pics for like 10 minutes and he only poked his head out ONCE. I got it on "film" though. He's cute.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008
  One of those nights...
when I actually just want to go to sleep.
Most nights I am like a child and fight sleep until I end up passing out in the midst of whatever I was going to do instead of sleep, e.g. reading.

But tonight I am TIRED and want to go to BED, but I have a paper due in the morning. :(

I didn't get to take baby pictures today. Instead, I got ready in a rush and got out of the house in time and en route decided to stop for a coffee, and at the coffee place I locked my keys in my car. So instead I got to pay $33 for a cab ride back and forth from home and had to call the lady to basically let her know I was standing her and her newborn up. :p

On the bright side, I got a 95 on that linguistics midterm (the one that I learned everything for in four hours... The "I am impressed by your command of the material" note from the teacher made me feel a little guilty) and a 93 on my English Studies one. And something like a 96 on the last paper I did for American Lit. So while I may get lots of short nights of sleep before these events or due dates, at least the payoff is satisfying.

OK, back to the paper. Blech.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I'm inordinately excited about Wednesday.

See, Wednesday I am going to take pictures of a brand new baby.

I am taking advantage of the fact that babies can't move much at all... I had a gift card for $100 so I went on a little spree at the fabric store and got some nice backgrounds. Zebra stripe! Plain black! Pink-checked, blue-checked... And a really fuzzy section of fabric that I think will look all lovely and snuggly.

I really wish school would just get done with. Or that I had started this earnest attempt at photography this past summer, when I had so much free time.

'Cause today I wanted to do nothing but play... I am rediscovering flash.. I am using this diffuser and reflector I got last year when I ordered the same thing for a friend... I haven't used it much myself but now am finally playing with it and realize how handy it will be.

But I had to keep myself in check so I could write a paper. And do handouts for a report I have to give to class. And now I'm studying for my literature course as I have a test tomorrow.

I can't wait until this semester is over!!!

This day could not have been worse, by the way. When I showed up to do the dogs, I was the only one there.. Walking around in the dark with all the dogs barking 'cause they wanted to go potty... Another volunteer showed up but it was a far cry from the FOUR we had last week.

Then I found a baby turtle. This after a very serious NO MORE ANIMALS discussion Chris & I had after Moo joined us (he needs his teeth removed, by the way). A baby turtle, by the Dumpster behind the dog place. Had the grey doggy not been constipated, I wouldn't have seen him and the ants that were covering him or the cold night we're having tonight would've killed him for sure. He's brand-new, the size of a quarter roughly... And there's no natural way he should've wound up back there, so god knows how he did.
(So, OK, I don't REALLY mean that this contributes to my bad day, as we all know there is about nothing I like more than being able to help something that needs it, but I need another animal like I need a hole in my head.)

Then I took one of the doggies out of the crate and realized it was my beloved Onella. Onella used to be a puppy... She reminded me of Maggie. A black schnauzer mix. Love to have her belly rubbed and loved to lick. Just the sweetest thing ever. I put her on Craigslist a lot but no one was interested. She went to the Naples shelter, and I hadn't seen her since... Well, she's back - and she's about twice as big. She will have a lot harder time finding a home. But she's still my girl. I sat on the curb and she just nestled under my arm and I rubbed her belly and cursed the fact that she was going to have to go back in a fucking crate where she stays for approximately 23:30 hours of the day and tried to not cry. Maybe I'll take her to the dog park this weekend and beg people to adopt her.

Then that thing happened with my computer and I realized that I lost so much. I called Chris blubbering when it happened but couldn't even talk about it when he got home I was just so upset.

Then my printer's ink just died so I can't print out this paper.

Well, whatever. The day is done.

The good news is that I found out that 17 doggies got adopted this weekend at the shelter, including two that I had been hoping and praying for them to find a home (and putting them on Craigslist!). And the one was bigger and homelier than Onella, so she may have a chance.

Oh, yes, and an event-filled day it was! I also discovered my tortoises are gay! Well, one of them at least. I hear them going at it ALL THE TIME. Wailey mostly. It's like a snorting noise. Especially now that the windows are open, I am just like, "DAMN! Give it a rest already!" I see Bjorn kinda trying to get away from him sometimes and Wailey trying to mount him and making the sex noises. I have always been pretty confident that Wailey was just being hopeful and no penetration had actually occured, despite the noises coming out of the big guy.

Tonight I had to bring the torts in tonight on account of the cold and I am pretty sure that the thing sticking out of Bjorn's cloaca was a penis. So Bjorn is Bjorn after all, not Bjork. And Wailey is gay. And I don't have to worry about baby tortoises, thank GOD. And also, I put Bjorn in a separate box tonight so he could have a night of peace without Wailey trying to plow into him. (Seriously, when we had them in before, Wailey just chased Bjorn around the floor everywhere.)
Um, OK. I think that's all. Back to Mark Effing Twain.
OK, so a couple of weeks back, remember how my green laptop completely crashed and I had to do a complete restore for the SECOND TIME in like TWO MONTHS?

I had to buy a new 500 GB external hard drive to back everything up from the Dell laptop before I wiped it clean.

Now, guess what. The hard drive is broken. Making a clicking noise and not recognized by the computer.

So. Uh. Now I have to figure out how to rescue the files off of THERE.

I can't trust ANY of my computer equipment to hold on to ANYTHING. And I wish I had the money to pay someone else to do this, since I don't have the FUCKING TIME.

ETA: The clicking noise indicates that the hard drive is messed up; using an enclosure device to recover the files will not work. Which means that if I want the files, I have to pay someone hundreds of dollars to recover them for me. Which I can't do. I have pics like the Galapagos pics on my OTHER external hard drive, but other pics are now just GONE. Like the first lady whose belly pics I did. She'll have to deal with only having the pics I have on Flickr.

How am I supposed to start a business if I can't trust that anything is going to work for me?! I'm so upset today. Blah.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
  A bit of a rant
Buddy is a bit of trouble. He doesn't mean to be, but on account of his lower-than-average IQ (which says a lot, since the average doggy IQ can't be all that high) he ends up being a PITA quite often. And we're watching him until January.

He has adjusted to the cats pretty well. When he first came here, he would regularly corner Kitten, and for some reason he always gets the other dogs going too -- almost always Gretchen, and sometimes Maggie, two dogs that completely ignore the cats when Buddy isn't here. They would have her surrounded, barking, and she'd be hissing and crying and looking terrified.

So anyway, he's gotten good now with the cats. The one problem is at night when Ellie comes in, around 9-10 p.m... He's so skittish to begin with, and then when Buddy notices him, Buddy goes flying light lightening outside to chase him, and then the other dogs follow and I can't imagine how scary it is for a little scaredy cat. So we have taken care of that problem by putting Buddy & Gretchen to bed in the master bath by about 9, preempting the problem.

OK, so what am I going to rant about?

Well. Today the dogs were barking at the front of the house. Nothing new, since they bark when the mail comes or someone walks by with a dog, etc. Sebastian was sitting with me, and soon jumped up and ran to the front of the house to bark with them. I ignored it, knowing it would soon quit, but finally it went on too long, so I yelled, "STOP!" And they did.

But then I thought, well, I had better MAKE SURE nothing is happening up there.. It wasn't their barking-cat-the-cats bark, so I was pretty assured of that, but just in case...

They were standing on the couch looking out the window, whose screen had a HUGE tear in it. On the other side sat Wailey, curled up into his shell and on his back.


I put the pups in the bathroom, then went out to check on Wailey. His shell is scratched... Thankfully his self-defense shell worked pretty well. They made a little gouge in one area, and the scale over one of his red spots is torn away and it was bleeding a little. I washed him up and took him outside and he wouldn't come out of his shell for anything.

Finally I found Bjorn and brought them some food, knowing pretty well that Wailey would come out if Bjorn were around. I am always lobbying for animals to have company, and this is proof of why - they don't act like they like one another so much, but sure enough, Wailey came out when he heard Bjorn.

He's OK, thankfully. Only his shell and little arms & feet were exposed, and it looks like his sturdy shell took the brunt of what the dogs tried to do. Phew.

But I am PISSED. Seriously. This happened an hour ago and Gretchey & Buddy are still in the bathroom because I am just too mad to deal with them (don't worry; they have access to the outside in there). There are dirty paw prints on the couch from where the dog jumped back in, whichever it was... I question whether Buddy could've made the jump or not, so think maybe it was Gretchey, but I know from watching them that Buddy instigated the whole thing. The torts have been here for two years and we have yet to have had an incident with them whatsoever, until today.

Now we just have to keep the dogs in the back area of the house during the day. All the better, since Buddy pees in any carpeted room he has access to so now we don't have to shut all the doors, thereby locking the cats in whatever room they were hanging out in.

OK. Thanks for listening. ;)
Friday, October 24, 2008
  Well, here goes nothing...
Today I got brave.

(I have a better domain registered, but it's not forwarding yet...)

It's not much of a site... someday I want to have a cool one with a bit more of my "voice" but this will do for now, mostly because it's free. Since I have, like, no money, I can't pour anything into this until it makes me some money. I think my band-aid looks alright though. :)

And I'm not charging much - yet. I would have to be charging more than this to make a real business of it, but it's a start.

I put an ad on Craigslist asking for newborn and pregnant models, and I would do their photography for free. To get practice and some pictures added to my porfolio. I've had one request so far, from a pregnant lady, and one email that says that she is willing to pay me to take pics of her 5-month-old and 6-year-old. :D :D

Do I have my first paying client?! I don't even know what to make of the email. Does she mean she'll pay me a little bit? I dunno! But it would be super cool if it that's what it means...!!!

Also, Chris's sister is an OB. I think if I got a "portfolio" put together (aka photo album with my info), she may let me put it in the waiting room of her office. It's an idea! Hope it works! Definitely need more maternity/newborn pics for that type of thing, though.

Oh yeah - constructive criticism on the website would be welcomed. I really want to work on the opening page and all that, but writing that type of stuff is a lot harder than you would think it would be!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
  This is like a Cabbage Patch, right?

I can't get over this little face.

  See? Pictures!

Baby bonnet, originally uploaded by estacey.

I love not having a test to study for (or, most specifically, a test to avoid studying for but which is on my guilty mind so I can't really do anything as self-indulgent as fixin' up pictures of babies.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
OK, so I played hookey today, citing 1) cramps; and 2) LINGUISTICS MIDTERM.

This is somewhat of a critical issue considering I have basically not done anything for my linguistics class for the entire semester.

See, we were supposed to read the chapters from our two books -- a grammar book and Elements of Style - before each class, and then we would "talk about it" in class. So I did that. The first week. At which point I discovered that my teacher literally reads the chapters aloud in class. Seriously. I mean, the teacher is this nice older very proper blonde lady (think: WASP) and she means really well, but I don't think she's doing the best job teaching the material. So I said, okay, I'll just pay attention when she reads the information out loud.

But that got really boring. So I made an effort to bring something else to class to read while the teacher read aloud. Even though I am usually a pretty good student and try to be conscientious. For example, I make an effort to not start packin' it up while the teacher is still talking just because the clock shows that our class is over. I sit there and "listen" attentively as to not be rude to the teacher. So for me to not care that the teacher sees I'm reading while she's speaking? That says quite a bit about my desire for something to keep me awake in there. (You should see the campus Starbucks before that class; everyone from class is in there seeking caffeine to get them through.)

Well, then I forgot to bring something one week, so that week I concentrated on trying to write with my left hand to look like I wasn't writing with my left hand. (Unsuccessful.) The next week, I tried to see how high a score I could get on Brick Breaker playing only with my left hand. (Not very high, although I theorize that I could do better if I weren't simultaneously taking notes.)

I got around to making flashcards for my linguistics stuff this weekend. I looked at them last night, and then basically tried to cram half a term of this class into 4 hours today. And even then it took all my will to stay focused on the material.

Ha hahahahahaha!

Imagine my surprise when I get to class and discover that she has written up the most bullshit test ever. In a real uh-oh way. Like, every time she left the room, everyone would just start saying, 'THIS IS FUCKING RETARDED!" Like, I memorized all the tenses, right? If I was told, "Tell me the 1st person singular form of the past perfect progressive of the verb teach" I would be able to tell you, "I had been teaching." (I think that's right.) But what did this teacher want us to do? "List the 1st person and 3rd person singular of all the 12 tenses for one regular verb and one irregular verb." It was obvious I couldn't come up with the tenses on my own since I ended up with 14. Whee! I told the teacher on my way out that I probably came up with a couple of new ones. You're welcome, you know. My contribution to the English language.

Basically, the teacher did not test us on the material; she was asking us to regurgitate the entire grammar book for her. It was horrid. I took up an entire blue book, both sides of the paper -- PLUS the back cover. My hand still hurts.

So we'll see. I knew the material surprisingly well considering my time investment, and am a pretty good bullshitter on tests for the folks who fall for it, but I couldn't guess how I did on this test and won't know for a week.

But at least it's over. Now I can resume reading that book I got about Marie Antoinette. And finally get back to processing some damn pictures!!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
  Pic of the other lady

The beach is such a great place for pictures... It was pretty, the breeze was blowing, and it was fun.

I hope this woman Lisa likes her pics!!!

  Photo shoot yesterday
I did the photo shoot of the friend of the pregnant lady whose pictures I took a month or so ago, with her hubby and kids and also one of her (pregnant) friends.

It was actually a whole lot of fun. I left in a really good mood and was thinking how much I would like to be a photographer by profession.

How cute is this? The girl on the right, Paige, does this every time you tell her to smile. By the way, they had two changes of clothes, but by the end of the shoot (notice that late-afternoon light!) they were naked and SO HAPPY. :)

There is a lot in the pictures that I am kicking myself over. A bunch are crooked.. they look straight but the horizon is crooked(?!). This was one of those, but I managed to fix it mostly. I also f'd up and my ISO was set to like 600 for the first half of the pics. DURRRR. Um, yeah, I have to remember to do the ISO/WB/Size check before I start snapping. Isn't there a mnemonic device to remember that? I guess I can make my own...

I also notice that I often go TOO close. I mean, I think sometimes it's hard not to... I think I just have to remember to take another step backwards. Give the subjects some breathing room, opportunity for creative composition, and me some room if I want to crop.

But anyway, I am happy with a few of the pics. And that is good. :) Also, I took the P&S with me today to the doggy shelter and, combined with the pics I took Saturday, I have sent pictures of *20* different dogs for the website. That probably catches up the website to the shelter "inventory" which probably never, ever happens. The P&S pics were CRAP - I was holding a dog (or two) with one hand and the camera with the other, so I dunno how much you can expect.. But something blurry is better than nothing at all. :) So yay!
  The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
I was told years ago to read this poem. I printed it out and tried, but it was too long. See, I'm not big on poetry... Really, really not.

Right now I am both in a poetry class (I HAD NO CHOICE!!!) and just finished a poetry unit in another. In that English Studies class, we had to read Wordsworth & Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads. One of them was Ancient Mariner, and confronted with such a long poem after already being poetried out, I decided to see if I could find a reading of it online so I could listen to it in the car.


It's about a half-hour long. And I actually sorta love it. I've listened to it about four times now, once even after I was tested on it so it was no longer necessary.

In fact, on the test, we were asked to identify a passage and its significance, and just reading the words made me all happy inside, thinking about the poem.

And it's about the perfect length for my drive to school... I just downloaded it onto my phone and played it on the car speakers. Great. Also, the reader does a really good job.

OK, so I guess I am big on poetry. Sometimes. :D
Sunday, October 19, 2008
  Chris really loves football. Really loves. Football.

Chris really loves football. Really loves. Football.
Originally uploaded by estacey
OMG I'm so mature.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
  Also, I DO know that I'm totally ridiculous.
I was going to the place to get the bun the other day and realized I had put on my Jane Goodall t-shirt.

And was carrying a purse with whales all over it.

And was going to be paying the adoption fee with a Humane Society checks.

And, you know, I was going there to adopt a bunny.

And even though I knew I was going to a pet rescue place, I decided I had better change my shirt. I'm only 30... I can't touch that level of crazy until I'm 50 or so.

But then, bring it on... There's a cat tapestry bag I have my eye on. :D
  Also, here's Tracey

CHUNKY LOVE! Tracey :), originally uploaded by estacey.

I took her with two others to the dog park the other day because, obviously, she needs exercise.

They thought she was pregnant. They took her into the vet to ask when the puppies were coming and he was like, uh, she's just morbidly obese.

She's super sweet and cute, and even energetic.. My suspicion is that life in a crate isn't doing anything to help her physique.

  Cat room collage

Cat room collage, originally uploaded by estacey.

Chris came with me to help me wrangle the dogs and get pics. We were there for about an hour and managed to get pictures of nine dogs - not bad. And then one of them got adopted...

Anyway, I snapped these pics quick in the cat room. This is kinda the room where all the un-adoptables go.. unadoptable only because they are fully grown and often tabby or black. They all get along well with other cats (obviously) and are, for the most part, really sweet. You walk in and they all crowd around hoping to get petted. I really hate that they just are all kinda stuck there.. So this is up at Craigslist and maybe someone will have a heart.

  I think Sebastian's back fat is really funny.

He cries himself to sleep because of me.

Friday, October 17, 2008
  Introducing... Moo!

Introducing... Moo!, originally uploaded by estacey.

Uh yeah, so we said no more pets. I know.

But we're watching Patty's dog and bunny until January or so. She has a big test to study for.

So now I have to deal with watching poor George be BORED all the time. She just sits there, all the time. I even take her out of her cage and she jumps back in to sit some more. I feel so bad for her.

I have been pressing Chris & Patty with the issue that she needs a friend. Bunnies are happiest in groups. I've been doing this for a really, really long time.

Patty said she doesn't have the time.

Chris defers to her, since it's her bunny.

But.. well.. we're watching her now. For a while. And I really cannot watch her day in and day out just sit there. Cannot. Chris didn't object as much to the issue anymore it seemed. (And a while back, may I say that we actually WENT to the shelter to meet bunnies? But it never panned out and then the answer was no again.)

So I found a bunny on Petfinder. Today I went to meet the bun. I texted Chris on my way saying that I was going to meet a potential friend for George. I was going to just NOT say ANYTHING, but realized that would be pretty shitty... So, yeah, he didn't respond to my text. Hahaha!

When he got home tonight, I ushered him into the living room, where this cute little bunny was sitting. He was like, "NOPE! Send it back!"

He was really NOT impressed. I pled my case. He was grumpy. No, he didn't want to hold the bunny. No more animals, he said! I said, I know, but two bunnies isn't really worse than one! He said that I had better hope Patty wants them both because they're not staying here.

Within minutes, he was coming up with ideas of how to make an outdoor run for them. Minutes more, he was helping me figure out a setup that would keep them contained to a certain area without being confined to the cage. Later on, he sat with me and watched the bunnies trying to feel one another out. :)

So, um, I dunno what the story is. Where they'll be living in a few months - here or Patty's. I really do not mind having them here... I like them, actually. I mean, I wouldn't go out and get bunnies on purpose, but I am happy trying to make their lives as good as I can make them. (Which is probably why George is so fat! The only thing I could do for her before is give her treats. Now I won't feel so inclined.)

I feel a little bad for what I did, but I also think it needed to be done. And I am getting payback now - my allergies from the bunnies are HORRIBLE and will probably continue to be so for weeks.

Oh, and although George and this bunny, Moo, met today at the bunny place, and they seemed to get along fine, and then they rode home together in a shared carrier, now Georgie is chasing Moo all over the place. "Get outta my litterbox! Get outta my box! Get outta my cage!" I hope she gets over it. Moo was procured in order to be her friend, after all.

Moo, by the way, is a neutered boy 8-month-old bunny. He is litter-trained. He is tiny - smaller than George even - and adorable. All the dogs and cats have taken turns sniffing him today. Maggie went a bit further and I came into the room to discover Moo's ears were wet. :D

Also, the place I got him... an animal rescue for guinea pigs and bunnies (and a chinchilla!) operating out of this couple's one-bedroom apartment. More like the apartment belonged to the furry little animals and they were allowed a loveseat. Thank god for these people, but I could not do it!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008
  I shouldn't have done it.

Big-ass truck., originally uploaded by estacey.

But Chris re-set the trip odometer for me when he filled it up last, so this time when I filled it up I figured out what kind of milage I'm getting.

12.78 miles per gallon.

Ha ha ha ha!

OK, folks, never do not have a job.

On the bright side, I am getting a lot more comfortable driving this big bastard. Tight spot in the parking lot, and one side of me is an island of grass? I drive right over the curb now. Well, I mean, I have often done that, but before it was an ACCIDENT; now I'm doing it on purpose. It's better, trust me. ;D

A school update, because to see something has been accomplished gives me motivation:

- English Studies midterm out of the way as of 6 p.m.
- American Lit paper out of the way as of 10 p.m.
- Have done as much studying as I can for tomorrow's 8 a.m. World History exam. Cannot keep all the Charles(es) and Fredericks straight.
- Then I get to get crackin' on my Linguistics midterm for Tuesday.

Then I think I have, like, a few days where I have no big major thing to worry about. Praise jeebus.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
  They looked so cute all lined up like this.

Tres gatitos, originally uploaded by estacey.

They're all in their new homes now. I hope they're happy.

It was a major bummer to see Orange Kitten go. I have had a few updates from his new mama, though, and she said he is happy and much adored. :)

Hopefully now no more kittens for a while. Back when I was bottle-feeding these guys, I happened to have a hell week at school and it was all just too much. But when I'm done...

And oh, I can't finish next semester. The schedules came out and I just can't... long story, but basically ALL the classes I take from here on out need to be upper division, but I have only taken Intermediate Spanish I, which means I need to take IM2 to get into any upper-division courses still... which at this point would be a waste. So I'll be done in the summer instead.

This is a little bit of a bummer, but also a bit of relief: I already have my scheduled picked out for Spring and I managed to fit 4 classes in that I need on just Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9-5 more or less. I'll have 3 days a week at home to read, which I'll need since they're ALL LIT CLASSES.

One of the classes is "The Animal In Literature." :D I do realize this could include Hemingway hunting stories and stuff, but I was just all OMG when I saw the course. Another is Holocause Lit, which should be interesting. Another class doesn't sound so exciting, but it is taught by the best lady ever. And the last is Asian-American Lit. That just kinda fit in my schedule.. plus, I'll probably have some Asian-American babies someday, so.. it'll be good to educate myself. ;)

OK, back to studying for my midterm which is in like 5 hours. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So I just saw a girl in the parking at school with a lemur. A pet lemur. Wearing a diaper and a skirt.

I woulda gotten a pic but she seemed annoyed by my attention. Which is strange, considering she had a lemur wearing a skirt in a public place.

You know, like the girls who wear low-cut tops and get offended by guys ogling?

Monday, October 13, 2008
  Talk about sad

Happy-sad, originally uploaded by estacey.

Today we finished nice & early at the shelter since we had like SIX volunteers. (So awesome.)

So I took two little terriers that are caged up together, and then the fat girl named Tracy who needs exercise... To give you an idea, we thought she was pregnant. They asked the vet her due date, and he is like, uh, no, she's just obese... Anyway, we went to the DOG PARK!

There were only a few dogs there, and then everyone left, so we just played ball and then ran around and smelled things and peed on everything and then everyone just seemed to want to sit in my lap and/or have me rub their belly. Oh, and I happened to have baby soap in the truck, so they got baths too! And they were so good about it!

We spent over an hour there. When we went back to the shelter, I gave them chewies in the hopes that they wouldn't mind going back in the crate as much, but I had to literally PUSH the little guy.

Tonight I came home and put a big long ad up on Craigslist for them. It's just not fair for them to not have these great days all the time.

It was just so weird to see these shelter residents in my car, looking around, and in the expanse of the dog park. I could see them settling into a real life like that, and I hope so much that they get it.

  I'll take that as a compliment, then.

I got an email today from a friend of the lady whose belly/family shots I did. I wasn't really happy with either shoot... One day it was too early (HARSH SUN) and the other it was too late (DIM, BLURRY).

But she was wondering if I could take her daughters' pictures too. And she has a pregnant friend who would love to have some belly shots, if I could.

So maybe this photography thing IS going to work out. I mean, these will be free... I would like to have a few DIFFERENT people represented in my "portfolio" before I try charging.. But at least there are people that look at these pics and think I do a good enough job for them to want me to do theirs too. :)

  Introducing KATIE
I walk this girl every Monday. Well, if I can beat the other volunteers to her. She's a beautiful Boxer. I made the mistake of saying hi to her the other night when I stopped by the shelter to pick up some vaccines when someone was walking her, and she basically dragged the girl across the road to say hi to me. (Granted, this is probably more due to my crazy high baby voice I adopt when speaking to the furry ones rather than her recognizing me as someone she likes.) She's big and awesome and has been there since I started volunteering, a good 3 months ago.

We partially blame the fact that this is the pic of her on Petfinder. Pics make a HUGE difference. One dog sat in the shelter for weeks, but within 3 hours of her picture going up she was on her way to her new home (and had seven other people who had TRIED to get her).

Knowing how important pictures are, this weekend I went to take some. A nice Canadian lady named Mary met me there so we could take as many as we could manage in an hour, but when we arrived we found out that NONE OF THE FOUR VOLUNTEERS scheduled to work that day had shown, so instead we got to walk dogs and clean cages. They called in for back-ups, and after a few people arrived, I set off to take some pictures. But managing a hyper-omg-I've-been-in-a-cage-for-months-basically dog AND a camera isn't all that easy.. So after an hour and fifteen minutes, I only managed some doggy-walking, a serious amount of frustration with the entire situation, and three pictures. And by then, I had to leave.


At least I got this, though. Improvement? :D I put her up on Craiglist tonight with the new pic. Cross your fingers!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
  Ode to a TV show

The Office crew, originally uploaded by ryan b church.

OK, for years about the only thing I've watched on TV is Law & Order.

I caught The Office every now and then.. and really liked it. But, of course, I usually didn't know what was going on as I would only see 1 out of every 20 episodes.

Then I think during that week when we had no cable, I went to the NBC website and watched a whole bunch of episodes from last week and.. I have a new show to watch! I missed the season premiere, so I got it from iTunes. And last week I actually watched it on Thursday night. I can't tell you the last time I actually planned to watch a show when it aired; Law & Order is always in reruns. And.. and.. any of you watch it? That premiere?! I watched it walking from class to my car and ended up sitting in the truck for another 20 minutes so I could finish it and ended up all teary-eyed.

The show is just great. Check it out if you haven't. I would say, "Oh, I love Angela" but.. well, I love everyone. Kelly is hilarious. Dwight. Pam & Jim. So. Good.

Uh, yeah, Go watch. :)

  OK, hi, cute.

Baby Skyler!, originally uploaded by estacey.

After spending THREE HOURS on the phone with a nice man in India who works for Dell, I then spent another two hours installing (and in some cases, uninstalling and reinstalling) software and updates. Yeesh.

When all was done, what is the FIRST thing I did? Uploaded pictures. :) Just a few, because I am dead tired, but still.. a few.

Including this one. I took pics of this little girl on Friday afternoon at the beach, as another adventure in photography experimentation. I got some pictures I'm really happy with... mostly just ones I critique in my head. But I definitely felt like I learned something. Also, I discovered that this brown fleece blanket I bought on clearance at Target also happens to be the EXACT color of sand. It's like an invisible blanket. Excellent.

OK, I tahrd.

Saturday, October 11, 2008
  Last one left

Last one left, originally uploaded by estacey.

And OH is she lonely. She keeps crying whenever we put her in the kitty room. I felt so guilty today when I was leaving that I put Maggie in to keep her company.

At least she loves Maggie. Even while Maggie acts oblivious, the kitten rubs all against her. It's ridici-cute.

The tabby kitten went home yesterday with an old co-worker, who seems like a really nice guy so I think he'll be a good kitty daddy. The orange kitten went home yesterday to his new home, as a gift from a nice guy named Scott to his fiancee. Light grey kitten has been at her new home for a couple of weeks now, and I just got pics of her snuggling with the lady's dog. I'm glad they're all happy.

I feel super bad for Tabby and Grey kitten tho, as they are going to be the only pets at their new homes. I feel like they're going to be so lonely. But I guess lots of cats live alone happily. I should be happy they will have PEOPLE to love them at least.

Friday, October 10, 2008
  I've been meaning to write this for a while.
But I wanted some time to devote to it. I don't really feel like it tonight, but I also want to get it done already. So here goes.

You know, I don't cover too much personal stuff on this blog anymore. Ever since a guy I dated went through the archives and was loaded with all sorts of resentment the next time he saw me due to things I had said about my ex-boyfriend. Months before. Then I realized how dangerous it was to talk about your feeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings. I mean, I do to some degree still, but I definitely keep it in check.

But writing and sharing personal stuff feels good sometimes. This is incredibly personal. I won't name names, although some of you will figure out who I'm talking about.

So I have.. or had.. whatever.. this friend of mine. We're related. We've been really good friends since our moms played matchmaker when we were 14 or so. One of our moms (I forget the details) and said, hey, your kid is about my kid's age - and I think she's bored - wanna see if they want to hang out? And we did. And we were super close for many years. Until last year, I guess it is.

For years, I considered her my closest friend. I considered her my best friend. Even after I left Wisconsin. We managed to stay close. I don't know what she considered me... she had a friend that she got matching tattoos with, so I'm guessing she beat me out for the role of official "Best Friend" but even realizing that, I considered her to be my best friend. She was the one person I felt I could trust with everything. Who would be understanding, and who would be honest.

She was the one who came to stay with me the night my dad died. We didn't really talk about it, but instead we ate s'mores under my "starry" sky (I had put glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling back then). She was probably the one person that at the time I could've had around me, who would be a comfort by just being there. She helped me through more things than I can say. And I hope I've helped her through things, too. I mean, I tried my best.

Some things about her worth mentioning? I have always thought her to be one of the kindest people I knew. And, you know, while most people piss me off from time to time, she really never did. She was the one person I never talked shit about, ever. (This isn't something bad about anyone else; just something really good about her.) The one person whose phone calls I always answered if I heard them. When Chris and I have talked about getting married, I thought that the people that were absolutely crucial to be there (besides Chris, of course) were my sisters... and her.

Then around last summer, something changed. She met someone around that time, who I guess now has evolved to be her best friend. They spent a lot of time together...

And for us, by the beginning of this year, it went from us calling each other every day or every other day to me always calling her. Her never calling me.

I didn't get a gift for Christmas, nor for my 30th birthday... What had I asked from her? To get pictures of my nieces and nephew (she's into photography, and some 1500 miles close to them than I am). I thought it was a simple request that she may actually enjoy, but.. yeah, no. I sent her a box of stuff at the beginning of the year to my sister's place, and she never picked it up. I let her know that it bothered me that she wasn't troubling herself to pick it up, and kept saying she would, but by July, I just told my sister to keep the stuff inside before it all expired because it was obvious she wasn't going to make the trip across town to get it. This just kills me.. she knew it upset me for, like, SEVEN MONTHS and she never bothered to stop by to pick that box up. ?! After she knew that I had told Kamille to keep it, she said she felt really bad and at least wanted to call Kamille to apologize for letting it sit at her house for that long, but she didn't make that call either.

To me, it looked like she was putting absolutely no effort into our friendship.

So rewind to January. I checked my calls and realized she hadn't initiated a phone call to me in over a month. Not even to return a call. So I decided I would just not call and see if she would bother to call me, ever. She didn't. So after a few weeks of this, I sent her an email, letting her know how unhappy I was with the situation.

She wrote back and said.. and forgive me if I get the details wrong, but it's been nine months now.. More or less that she didn't realize it, she was sorry, and she would try harder. Also something about how she didn't take all the responsibility in it, but she took a lot of it.. That, I never understood. The falling-off of communication was not double-sided; it was only on her part. But whatever, I didn't argue the point. I said more or less, okay, and thank god 'cause I really didn't want to lose you.

For months, it was.. well, it wasn't anything like it had been before. But I felt like she was making an effort. A little bit of one. We talked on the phone sometimes. Somewhere in here, this new friend of hers started dating someone and those two stopped talking more or less for a while. She was really upset and told me how she felt like she had just been tossed aside, which is just crazy to me because that is more or less what I told her I felt she had done to me months before. I would think at that point she would realize it, but she never made the connection somehow. )Those other two broke up, and I am guessing she is back to being thick as thieves with her friend by now.)

She has another friend, a close friend, who moved away and stopped initiating contact and returning calls and emails, and I have listened to her over and over tell me how much it hurts and bothers her - yet she does the SAME EXACT THING to other people herself. How can she not see it???

By this summer, it was back to like it was before. I was hurt. I kept waiting for her to, you know.. make an effort? I figured that I had already told her how I was tired of doing all the calling, which is really all we could do from this far away from one another, and was leaving it in her court to get in touch with me. She called me during July at some point. She regularly ignored my emails, when I still bothered to send them. I didn't understand why, after all that had happened, why she couldn't just acknowledge my emails even. I mean, I would send a picture or something, and I would get absolutely no reply. The salt in the wound was that she told me that her and this friend of hers basically emailed each other all day on her phone -- I remember how she even paused one of our phone calls once so she could email this girl back. So I knew it wasn't that she just wasn't emailing in general.

When I went to Wisconsin, I figured I would leave it up to her to contact me; she knew I was there, and she already knew how I felt. A few days after I arrived, she texted me. (!?) I texted back saying yes we could get together, she could call me to figure out when. A little while later she called me and we talked, and I was glad. She was figuring out her moving situation, but she did want to get together and would call me later. Something like four days went by before I heard from her.

I was due to leave Monday. We made plans to get together on the Saturday before. My sister and nieces and I came back from Minnesota so I would be there by the 7:30 time we had agreed to go out. We texted back and forth for a couple of hours wherein she kept basically asking if it was too late to come. I kept saying no, come on. I sat and waited. Then at 9:00 or so, she texted to ask if we should just call it off. Considering she was an hour away, I said, yeah, probably -- a 10:00 p.m. dinner in La Crosse, Wisconsin just doesn't really happen.

It turns out she had a headache, but... I dunno, considering all that had happened, I really didn't appreciate it. The texting back and forth for like two hours... It was just not cool.

We ended up going out to eat Sunday night. She met me at my sister's, and when we left her place to find somewhere to eat, her phone rang (or did she call out?). In any case, she spent the first three minutes or so of what we had seen of each other in over a year on the phone with her friend. Three minutes... I'm being petty, right? Look at the time on your clock and pay attention for the next three minutes and think about how you would feel in this situation. Especially when you consider that she lived next door to her friend at this point...

So out of the two weeks I was home, I saw her for one dinner at The Olive Garden. C'est tout. Still, I was happy to have seen her, and wanted to get back to the way it was. This is sounding like a drawn-out breakup, isn't it? So on Tuesday, while I was driving the long drive to the airport, I called her just to chat. No answer, and no return phone call.

A few days later, it was her birthday. I called and got her voicemail, so left a message wishing her a happy birthday and said to call me back if she could (the "if she could" because, by this point, I was pretty sure she wouldn't be calling back). Later that night, I got a "Thanks for the call" text message from her. After a couple of days, she still hadn't called me back... at which point I totally gave up. I mean, if you're too tired or whatever on your birthday to call back, couldn't you at least call the next day? To make it LOOK like you give a shit?

You know, it's not that ANY of these things on their own are that bad. It's not like I would get pissed at someone else for not returning my call on their birthday. No big deal. But when it is this no-effort behavior OVER AND OVER, it adds up. Big time. Every little thing feels like a harder slap.

So anyway, I sent her an email saying that I was giving the hell up, that I didn't want to hold out hope any longer and keep getting disappointed by her. I said that she didn't really need to respond, and I meant it. Like I said in the email, it's the way it had been for a year, so how the heck would it change now? I more or less sent it because I was sick of feeling shitty about it, and I figured if I at least closed the door on the whole thing, it would be better. Instead of WONDERING if she'd ever call, I knew she wouldn't. That's easier.

But she did respond. And this is the kicker... she texted me to say she was in class and would respond to my email afterwards. A few hours later, I got another text that said that she had gotten carried away with her studying and lost track of time, and did I want a reply anyway? I didn't even bother to respond to that one. I mean, dude. DUDE. Way to go ahead and finish my argument for me.

So how do I feel about all this? Well before, I kinda felt like it compared with the stages of grief. I went from so sad and feeling bad about myself, thinking there must be something wrong with me for her to be willing to drop me like that, and I still wonder about that.. then it went to angry.. you know, THE NERVE! And then I felt like I had reached acceptance. I even stopped asking my mutual friend for updates about her. She's done more or less the same thing to that mutual friend, but they are still on speaking terms..

But now I kinda feel like I'm back in the angry stage. I'm bitter. I'm annoyed. I feel like she's been wholly inconsiderate. Selfish. Flaky. To put it bluntly, she's been an asshole, and I never, ever expected this out of her. This person I always felt was just the best person ever... how could she have changed so much? How could she throw people away... how she thinks her new best friend is the only person she needs? How does she change from someone who I thought should be at my wedding (no, there are no plans for one yet, but it's the IDEA) to... someone I don't even talk to? In, like, a year? It brings a lot of issues of trust out. If you can't trust someone you so wholeheartedly love and respect, who can you trust?

Chris says, oh, she'll figure out someday what an ass she's been and want to be friends again. He said he's had people do it to him before... They find a girlfriend or whatever and drop out of sight completely and then realize that, yeah, if you meet someone you'll have LESS time to spend on you friends, but that doesn't mean you can or should drop them altogether... I said, you know, that's not even what I want. I don't know how you could go back to being friends after all this.. I gave her chance after chance, wiping the slate clean in my mind and just hoping she would be better, and she just didn't bother. I spelled it out for her in black and white that it made me feel thrown away, but she just kept right on not callin', not writin', not tryin'. If what you were doing made someone you cared about feel like they were being thrown away, wouldn't you try to make it better? So while I don't hold hope, or even desire, for it to go back to the way it was, that doesn't stop it from upsetting me.

Golly, this got long. So anyway, thanks for listening. Losing your best friend is a kinda big, upsetting thing - hence all the WORDS here. Whatever.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
  effing computer

effing computer, originally uploaded by estacey.

Second system restore in 3 mos, with all the phone time, backing up, and reinstalling that entails. LUCKY ME.

When I got this error, I swear I started to cry. :(

Monday, October 06, 2008
  I can't get enough of this shit.

They LOVE their Maggie., originally uploaded by estacey.

  oh, dammit
remember how i was broke? and then i got my financial aid and i was all happy?

well, fast forward some overdue health insurance payments; credit card bills i had racked up in the couple of months previous; school books; some clothes before we went to boston; some pet store runs; and too many coffees out... and the end of my money is terribly within sight again. i mean, the truck costs me like $75/week to drive by itself! (chris fills the tank once in a while, but only when i hint AHEM - the truck costs twice as much to drive even though i drive half as much... and then the truck-necessary stuff we do on the weekends drains the stuff i put in. so he filled it for me yesterday, after driving the boats back and forth - thank god.) i seriously would BUY a car - i could probably just about have a car payment AND gas for a smaller car for the amount i'm spending on gas each month.. but alas, with no job......

so anyway, yeah. THIS SUCKS. i hate money. lack thereof.

i don't think anyone but the kids will be getting gifts for christmas this year.. :(
  ha ha!

where did he come from?, originally uploaded by czuczy.

my niece macy is so cute.

kamille, her mom, has amassed a treasure trove of halloween costumes for her (she's big on those rummage sale deals). you know, cute, girly type costumes, like.. a princess!

well, what does macy want to be? SPIDERMAN!!! much to kamille's dismay, our other sister still has her son's spiderman costume from last year, so macy is getting her way.

such a little character, that one.. i'll have to send over a copy of star wars so maybe next year she'll want to be baby darth. (that's an reference to the funniest thing ever, but i am too lazy to go find it, so sorry.)

Sunday, October 05, 2008
And an interesting article from the Times which basically sums up what I thought about Sarah Palin's performance at the debates:

(and here is tina fey as sarah palin. she was nail-on with sarah's maverick performance.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008
  "a toilet.. or a guy who f*cks hookers"

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.
Friday, October 03, 2008
  just when i thought i had seen it all...

i came across this pic quite accidentally and thought it was a hoax until i saw the nat'l geographic link at the bottom... sadly, the petition referenced is no longer up.


STRAY dogs are being skewered on hooks and dragged behind boats as live shark bait The cruel practice takes place on French-controlled Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean A six-month-old labrador pup was recently found ALIVE with a huge double hook through its snout
and another through a leg The pup was found in a coastal creek and is thought to have somehow freed itself from a fishing line.But other dogs and kittens have been chomped up and swallowed by sharks.

  "taco party"
baha! i'm so glad i rediscovered natalie dee!

natalie dee
  If you have some time...
Write these numbers down, or copy & paste or whatever:

(954) 473-4242
(954) 452-8588

Then go to
Do a search for the numbers, and flag every damn ad you see. Th

They are phone numbers for Super Star Puppies, a PET STORE which sells PUPPY MILL PUPPIES. On Craigslist, they pretend they are a RESCUE and are ADOPTING OUT DOGS with a "REHOMING FEE." This pisses me off so bad.

I flag them all, but I think you can only flag once per computer, so I don't think me flagging every day is going to help...

In the alternative, bookmark these pages:
Flag whenever you think of it!

I know how well Craigslist works to place animals in new homes, so I hate to think of how many puppy mill dogs they're selling via Craigslist, even though it is PROHIBITED to sell animals on the site.

Please? :)
  sniff, sniff

The little grey kitten, originally uploaded by estacey.

it seems that this little girl will be going to her new home this weekend.

i'm really sad.. sad for her, too! i hope she isn't too lonely without her brothers and sister. the new home has a dog, though - and grey kitten LOVES dogs. so i shouldn't be sad, i shouldn't worry - she's going to a good home!

but still - oh so sad!

Thursday, October 02, 2008
  Baby ginger cat

Baby ginger cat, originally uploaded by estacey.

Today I had a little while when I got home, so I took the kittens one by one into the spare bedroom and snapped pictures of them.

Okay, let me just say that a manual focus lens is MUCH harder when you're photographing something as quickly (always) moving, like a 6-week-old kitten. Seriously.

But I did get a few cute snaps... Thankfully, because they will all be going to new homes soon. Yes, they all found homes!!! Good ones!

We are going to miss them. They are just so playful.. You walk in the room and they all pile on top of you and wrestle and try to eat each others' tails and bite your pant leg and all things crazy and adorable.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008
  Oh gawd, fabulous
Met with an advisor today.

It's official: I have 16 credits left to go.

I have my 4 necessary English classes and then I figured that I could take an advanced Spanish course to make up the difference of four credits (most classes are only 3 credits, but blissfully language classes often count for 4 due to a lab component). I think Spanish is what I would choose to study anyhow if I had an elective to go. Good news all-around.

So those five classes... And I graduate! :) I'll know in a couple of weeks when the schedule comes out if I can do it by May or if I have to go to summer school again. Either way I guess is okay. But the point is: AN END IS IN SIGHT. After years of going to school part-time, and then this year....... AN END IS IN SIGHT!!! Yipee!!!!
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


froogle wishlist
Amazon wishlist

Animal Concerns Community
PetFinder, adoption
PetHarbor, adoption
Animal News
HSUS - Farm Animals Info
HSUS Guide to Veggie Eating

TWIP - This Week In Photography
Nat'l Geographic PoD
Clyde Butcher, photographer
Reference Desk
Powers of 10
The Morning News
Bad News Hughes
Cute Overload
natalie dee

June 2004 / August 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 /

Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

Powered by Blogger
i power blogger