Missing Our Dalai-Lama Dog

Our BrodybearIt doesn’t feel like it’s been seven months since he’s been gone. Last night my dreams were full of our Brodybear. I’m working on an art/design trade with the talented artist Rachael Rossman; I’ll be working on a new design for her and she’s painting a picture of Brody for me. Ash found a ton of pictures of Brody that I had never seen before when we went on a hunt for references for Rachael, and last night I poured over the images and cried and it just hit me that he’s not here. I’ve never really let myself think about it. He was taken from us far too soon. We saved him from a kill shelter, only to let his one dangerous habit get the best of him. I don’t know why he hated cars so much or why he felt he needed to protect us from them, but in the end, he died because we weren’t fast enough and the road was too close to the house, and there was just too much bad timing on so many people’s parts. I don’t think any of us will forgive ourselves.

Brody was the happiest dog you’d ever find. Always smiling, always playing; that dog laughed through life. He was our golden Dalai-Lama dog, from the day we picked him up from the pound one year ago. Has it really been a year? On the fifteenth of January, 2009, he came into our lives, a furry little skittish pup. He quickly took all of our lives by storm. He loved everyone, he loved the dogs, he loved water, he loved camping, he loved the world, even the worst of it. I miss him so much sometimes it hurts, and I try not to let it show, but there are times I feel like my world is caving in. I know he’s with Brandy waiting for us, two golden angels on the other side of the bridge, waiting far more patiently than we ever will. Time heals, but sometimes it’s also a punch in the gut.

I miss you, Brody.


Okay not really, but maybe that got your attention. Remember when I said I was going camping and I lied and stayed home instead? Yeah, well now instead of telling you I’d be gone, I just up and deserted the blog. I’m actually in Austin at the moment – I drove another car-full of crap down to storage and I also had an interview (which I must say was probably the best experience I’ve ever had in an interview – everyone was so chill and laid back and easy to laugh). I’m going back to the good old Smokey Mountains on Sunday, but until then, I’ve been hanging out with Ash’s family, going to a Queen Sing-a-Long with her brother (you are all so jealous of my stick-on Freddie Mercury mustache), and attempting to not melt my brain in this heat (and gosh, it’s hot!). I’ve also been looking through the paper and online trying to find us a place to stay. Tonight I’m going out to dinner with Ash’s dad, and tomorrow her sister and I are going to go house hunting.

All of this is to say that there is a reason behind my lack of blog posts (though it is by no means an excuse since I was going to try and have some set up to post while I was gone but I simply ran out of time and, well, didn’t do it). Hopefully you can forgive me – I’ll try and make up for it in the coming weeks by posting at least once a day when I get home.

This post is so sad you don’t even get a picture. No time, no time. But to make up for it, have a really bizarre Jackie Chan commercial.

I’m still not quite sure what just happened, but Jackie Chan kicking butt on a Segway? There’s nothing else quite as cool.

I’m a Lying Fire-Pants of a Liar.

I totally lied. I am not camping, nor did I ever leave town for that matter. We got about twenty minutes into the drive and changed our minds. We’re going camping in two weeks closer to home, but for now, I’m here. Hi. Expect a large amount of blog posts soon as I catch up on my “To-Blog” list.

I have been working on something though… have a peak:


Coding is in the works. Hope everyone had a great Monday!

A Reason For My Absence

Alright, life has taken on a whole new meaning of hectic. Ash and I recently took in three strays: a four month old, thirty pound Irish wolfhound mix and a mother cat and her kitten. This brings up our total amount of furry kids to three dogs, six cats, two ferrets, three rats, and two fish. Our house is absolutely insane. To top it off, Ash’s laptop is out of commission and she’s been using mine for her work – which I’m fine with since it has allowed me to focus more on art and catching up with reading materials, but it means I’ve had to take a break from twitter and some designs I was working on.

Anyway, Ash and I recently took the three strays to the vet and spent a little over $160 to make sure all three were healthy. The cats were strays, but the puppy was obviously someone’s pet – only we’ve had him for five, six days now and nobody has called in a lost dog anywhere. We’ve checked the paper, the shelters, animal control, etc, and yet nothing. Unfortunately, we can’t really afford the bill, having just paid the vet even more money on our rats and our oldest dog, so we’re asking for donations from other animal lovers to help us get these rescued animals fixed up for their future owners (since we can’t keep them ourselves, we’re fostering them until we can find them new homes).

All donations will go straight to the vet bills, to get vaccinations, get tests, etc. Anything helps – even $5 goes far. I usually don’t like asking for money, but this is for such a good cause and we really can’t do this without your help. Also, if anyone is interested in a puppy or a couple of cute kittens, let us know. ;D If you want to know more about these cute kids, go check out the blog over at our rescue site I Love Rescue Animals.

Snarf the Pup
The Kittens

Hopefully this all explains why I haven’t been online and why I’m pushing my ComicCon Contest back a few days. I just can’t keep up with things right now – our house is a mad house and there is far too much to do offline. I hope you can understand. I’m sure you will. I can’t say no to a fluffy puppy face. Who can?

Being Sick & Good that Comes With It

For the past three weeks or so, Ash has been sick with some cold/illness/death/plague that has finally started to give her a break only to jump to me as host. I am now laid up in bed, too sick to stand, and coughing too much to talk. So I shall blog.

Here is a list of my favorite things to do while sick that generally perk me up and help me get through the whole thing faster.

1. Sleep

Normally I feel guilty if I take a nap in the middle of the day, but when I’m sick, it’s generally all I want to do. Not that I don’t still feel guilty about it, but at least other people don’t get as irritated with a sick person that sleeps like they would if a perfectly normal and healthy person wants to catch a few Zzzs when they have time. Which still isn’t fair, but ah well. Sleep is good. And good for a sick person.

2. Watch TV

I’m not a big TV-watcher. I make up for my lack of big-screen watching with staring at my computer for hours on end, but when I’m sick, sometimes the mind-numbing effects of a stupid TV show or a no-brain movie can be comforting. You don’t have to think or move or type or work; all you have to do is keep your eyes open. Sometimes I even fail at that, but it’s no big deal because nobody will bother you about resting your tired eyes (see point #1).

3. Be Pampered

I’m a big baby when I’m sick. A lot of the time I’ll fight whoever is trying to make me take care of myself and pretend I’m fine and that I don’t want anyone to take care of me, but I do secretly like being pampered and tucked in and fed soup and tea and, basically, being treated like an invalid. Sometimes you just need that, you know?

4. Reading

Reading is one of my biggest passions, but I rarely ever get to do it. Lately, because I’ve been sick, I’ve been devouring book after book and rediscovering how much I love to read. There’s just something about getting sucked into a good book – you don’t have to be yourself anymore. You can be any character in any world and you don’t have to be sick and laid up in bed. You can leave everything behind. It’s an escape.

5. Ignore Everything

If you’re like me, you almost always have a large list of to-do items. When you’re sick, everything on that list can wait (okay, almost everything – you can’t exactly put off bills or someone’s wedding or use the coupons that expire tomorrow), and nobody is going to say otherwise. You’re sick – how can anyone expect you to be competent enough to code an entire calendar in CSS or create a design for a photoblog when you can’t even brush your own teeth? Need ideas on how to ignore everything? Please see the four previous points.

I’m sure there are more things that could be added to this list (and if you think of any – let me know), but I am far to sick, dehydrated, and completely out of it to really type anymore. I think I’m going to go crawl into bed, turn the TV on, grab a book, have someone make me soup, and ignore everything.

That’s one thing you can still do while sick – multitask.

One by One, Hurrah!

Well we made it back to Tennessee. I’m already missing Austin, but if all goes well, we’ll be back for good in a month or so. I’ve been coughing ever since we’ve been back, and considering that Texas is the second state with the most cases of Swine Flu, I’m crossing my fingers that I just picked up a nasty cold. I’ve got my cough drops and ThermaFlu, so I should be fine.

The last few days in Austin were good. We continued to help out Ash’s dad at his carwash, and in return, he’s looking after Kendi for me until we can get down there. We moved Kendi down there because we set her up with a new ten gallon tank (as opposed to her large Tupperware tub) and it will be easier to control the humidity in Texas than it has been here in Tennessee. She’ll be much happier down there. I’m already missing her. She has Ash’s leopard geckos to keep her company though until we get down there.

It’s been raining nonstop since we’ve been back, and I can’t say I’m not enjoying it. I love the thunder and the sound of the rain on the pond outside. Speaking of the pond, while Mama Goose hasn’t had her goslings yet, the ducks have two new ducklings! They’ve taken to spending the rainy days in our backyard and no one is complaining. They’re very cute. I’ll try to take pictures at some point.

The ant infestation has also come back tenfold since we’ve left. Honestly, ants are the most amazing insects. They just stun me by how much they do. They walk for miles to find the smallest crumb and just know exactly what they’re supposed to do in life. I wish I had that security. Ants. Amazing. Just amazing. I just wish they would keep their amazingness limited to the outer walls of our house. I have to walk on my tiptoes for fear of squashing some poor defenseless scout.

In any case, I love being back and seeing all our kids, but I miss Austin. I can’t wait till we’re all there. It can’t come soon enough.

Sacrificial Television & Miracle Fish.

Today was another day spent outside playing basketball, though we did take a few minutes to charge down into the basement and start making lists of the things that we are taking with us to Austin (the rest will go into storage).

Unfortunately, there is one thing that won’t be going with us. Our TV. Which is now dead.

See, last night we had a scare. At around 12:30am we put the cats up for the night (they sleep in the laundry room so they don’t tear the house apart), and around 2:30am we finally came to bed. I was under the blankets already when I hear Ash say, “Oh my god.” At first, I had no idea what was wrong. She was standing by the TV with her head down, staring at something behind it. When she moved back, I finally realized what was so terrible.

At this point in the story, this has nothing to do with the TV. We’ll get to that. This is more important.

Oh the bookshelf behind the TV is where Galileo and Aristotle, our two bettas, live and swim (in separate tanks, of course). As soon as Ash had backed away, I saw that there was only one tank. Aristotle was swimming happily in his, but where Galileo’s tank was supposed to be was nothing but empty space. Ash reached down and picked up Galileo’s empty and broken tank and then very slowly picked up the fish that had now been in the carpet for at least two hours. Both of us thought he would be nothing but dry and dead, but when she picked him up, she found him still wet! And alive!

Quickly, because she’s amazing in the face of emergencies, Ash put him into a small bowl with fresh water and healing drops and he swam around in no time. We transferred him to a glass jar and put him back up on the shelf with his brother. From what we’ve deduced, sometime before I put the cats up for the night, one of them had managed to pull down his tank and somehow didn’t eat him when he fell on the carpet. But that fish had been out of water for AT LEAST two hours and he lived to tell the tale. Insane.

We should expect it from our fish though. We have miracle fish. Yep. Don’t believe me? Go read this story about the time one of our cats ATE Aristotle and then spit him back up, and that fish is still doing fine. Seriously. Miracle Fish.

What does this have to do with the TV? Well while our fish managed to float by unharmed, the TV wasn’t so lucky. About twenty minutes ago we tried to turn the TV on for the first time since yesterday and discovered it dead. DEAD. Won’t even flicker. When the cat pulled over the fish tank, some of the water must have hit the TV and was enough to kill it. Ash is currently attempting to dry it out with a hair dryer and rescue the poor thing, and I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be okay though it certainly isn’t looking good.

While I’m happy Galileo made it safely, I really wish this hadn’t of happened. Why is that things like this take place right before big events that need money? We can’t afford a new TV. This just sucks. Seriously. Why do things like this happen? I’m thankful we have our fish, but why did the TV have to get sacrificed? Not fair.

Guess we’ll just have to go back to living in the Stone Age. And watch movies on our laptops like cavemen.

Photographic Hiking Moments.

This weekend was absolutely beautiful. It was like the clouds had finally given up keeping the sun back and Spring dropped down on us with warm weather in tow. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Saturday, Ash and I (well really it was my idea and I got Ash to go along with it) decided to take the pups to Cumberland Mountain State Park and have a picnic and do some hiking. And by picnic I mean pick up some Taco Bell on the way, and by hiking I mean wandering slowly through the woods making our own trails and taking lots of pictures. Either way, we had a lot of fun and the dogs had a blast.


Ash took advantage of the sunlight and tried out her new macro lens on her camera and took a lot of beautiful pictures to add to her portfolio. A few times, I thought for sure she was going to fall into the river we were walking next to in her unstoppable effort to get that great shot. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

Oh Jeez

And while I’m not that great of a photographer, I did have some fun getting pictures of one of the tiny creeks we jumped over while creating our own path through the woods.


While I didn’t fall in, I did come out of the whole thing with a few scratches because the dogs pulled me into a thicket of thorny brambles. I forgive them. They were having fun. Of course, Ash decided to take matters into her own hand and decided the dogs needed to be punished.

Poor pup

Poor Rufus. Don’t worry, he’s a good swimmer. *

On Sunday, the Spring weather continued to grace us with her presence and we spent the day outside playing basketball, gardening, and cleaning up the backyard while the dogs barked incessantly at the geese that hang out on our lake. On Monday, we woke up to snow.

That’s right. Snow.

Thank goodness it only last two days and today shot back up the 60s and we continued where we had left off on Sunday, by going outside, playing basketball, gardening some more, and chasing down the dogs as they tore up the grass in the front yard. It was gorgeous. The night is cooler, but the house is warm from the day’s sun and we’re in the middle of making a good dinner of fresh broccoli and cranberries. Tomorrow, I’m going to work on some design projects and continue our search for a house and jobs in Austin. I’ve been submitting my resume to several places but I think it would help if I could go in person. Maybe we’ll take a trip down there before we actually have to move. I hope so.

In either case, at least we’ll be in Austin eventually, where warm weather is more constant than in Tennessee. Though that reminds me… why is it so expensive to move? U-Hauls should not cost so much.

*No puppies were harmed in the making of this post.

Egg Hunt, Anyone?

A man from the local church knocked on the door this morning to let us know that they were having a meeting about Easter soon. Ash’s mom answered the door and came back to tell us what he said.

Ash: “What did he want?”
Her Mom: “To tell us that the most important holiday in the bible is coming up.”
Ash (puzzled): “What’s that?”
Her Mom: “Easter.”
Ash (excited and waving hands wildly around her head): “EASTER! We gotta do eggs!”
Her Mom: “I don’t think that’s what he wanted to remind you to do.”

In any case, Ash and I are now completely excited over painting eggs and hiding them around the house and getting lots of chocolate. Yeah, yeah, I know the whole Christian religious meaning behind it, but I’d rather dance around naked in the backyard and pretend I’m Ä’ostre and eat lots of eggs. Makes more sense to me. Maybe minus the naked part. I don’t think our neighbors would appreciate that.

Respect for Mother Earth.

Earth Hour is almost upon us here in the US. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, read my previous post. There are quite a few people out there who aren’t going to acknowledge this event and will instead be celebrating what they call “Human Achievement Hour.” To them, I say this:

I would think that’s awesome and all because we should celebrate the good that’s in the world and all that we’ve managed to do, but our carbon footprint is much bigger than our foot. This isn’t just about global climate change, whether you believe in it or not. It’s about conservation and preservation. It’s about taking one night out of how many nights and saving Mother Earth a little energy. It’s about shutting down our preconceived notions that we own the planet and looking up at a sky with little light pollution to stop us from seeing the stars. It is about celebration – celebration of what people can do if we all just get together. Already, millions of people around the world have banned together to do something amazing. Whether you think it doesn’t serve enough of a cause or whether you think it’s all just a bunch of lies doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that people are trying to do good for the world.

Ultimately, it’s about paying our respects for Mother Earth. And that’s what I’m celebrating and acknowledging when I turn my lights off in three hours. That’s what I believe.

It looks like it’s going to storm here. I’m going to turn off the lights and enjoy the rain and the wind and the night. Yes. Vote Earth.