Standing Starvation

Standing Starvation

Daily musings of a phat photographer.
Just read a post from one of my favorite blogs Coco+Kelley about being uncomfortable & bored & uninspired. And it got me thinking. So, I responded to her post which I thought I’d share here too…
This is so wonderful Cassandra…so happy for you! Indeed I have a story… Spent many years “bored” as you say…but depressed too, because I knew there was more & different & wonderful that I was capable of having in my life. Just had no idea how to tap into it or where to turn. I sent daily wishes into the universe for things to become more clear & for guidance to the right people, places, & things.
Very long story short: I was on sabbatical from my psychotherapy private practice when I met up with the guy that originally sold me my very groovy mustard yellow original vinyl with dual chrome 4-star bases “shrink’s sofa.” (I know you will appreciate that description LOL!) We went out for dinner one night & my life changed forever.
He was a mid-century design guru & taught me everything he knew. I soaked up everything fabulous about design, which is when I first found your blog.  I taught myself graphic design & photography & he set up a studio in our home for me to shoot all of his daily finds for the online store we were running by then. Nope, never went back to the day job. This was too fun & scary & exhilarating to even dream of doing that.
About 3 years later I stumbled on a facebook group that was walking dogs on the weekends for the city’s animal control shelter & I joined them the following Saturday. Again, my life would never be the same. Brought my camera up the next weekend & took some pics of volunteers with the dogs they were walking & they found their way to facebook on my personal page that night.
I kicked the boyfriend to the curb & became a crazy dog lady. Soon I teamed up with Craig Malisow from The Houston Press & he wrote amazingly creative descriptions of the dogs & cats I would photograph that were up for adoption. We saved lives together every week…& I was hooked. Pretty soon people were asking if I could take photos of them with their dogs.
Six weeks later I had a full-time business I never even planned. There are no rules & creative juices flow every minute in just the way I always dreamed it. The business remains my platform for advocacy & rescue work. I’m definitely never bored! And I realized the only real way to a fulfilled life is to be of service to others.
Best of luck to you. Be humble. Be curious. Be yourself. Hugs.

Just read a post from one of my favorite blogs Coco+Kelley about being uncomfortable & bored & uninspired. And it got me thinking. So, I responded to her post which I thought I’d share here too…

This is so wonderful Cassandra…so happy for you! Indeed I have a story… Spent many years “bored” as you say…but depressed too, because I knew there was more & different & wonderful that I was capable of having in my life. Just had no idea how to tap into it or where to turn. I sent daily wishes into the universe for things to become more clear & for guidance to the right people, places, & things.

Very long story short: I was on sabbatical from my psychotherapy private practice when I met up with the guy that originally sold me my very groovy mustard yellow original vinyl with dual chrome 4-star bases “shrink’s sofa.” (I know you will appreciate that description LOL!) We went out for dinner one night & my life changed forever.

He was a mid-century design guru & taught me everything he knew. I soaked up everything fabulous about design, which is when I first found your blog.  I taught myself graphic design & photography & he set up a studio in our home for me to shoot all of his daily finds for the online store we were running by then. Nope, never went back to the day job. This was too fun & scary & exhilarating to even dream of doing that.

About 3 years later I stumbled on a facebook group that was walking dogs on the weekends for the city’s animal control shelter & I joined them the following Saturday. Again, my life would never be the same. Brought my camera up the next weekend & took some pics of volunteers with the dogs they were walking & they found their way to facebook on my personal page that night.

I kicked the boyfriend to the curb & became a crazy dog lady. Soon I teamed up with Craig Malisow from The Houston Press & he wrote amazingly creative descriptions of the dogs & cats I would photograph that were up for adoption. We saved lives together every week…& I was hooked. Pretty soon people were asking if I could take photos of them with their dogs.

Six weeks later I had a full-time business I never even planned. There are no rules & creative juices flow every minute in just the way I always dreamed it. The business remains my platform for advocacy & rescue work. I’m definitely never bored! And I realized the only real way to a fulfilled life is to be of service to others.

Best of luck to you. Be humble. Be curious. Be yourself. Hugs.

FuglyTown! …Robyn Arouty Photography Houston, TX

I meet lots of peeps. On facebook & in the real life. Photos of new products & services bombard my eyeballs daily. Of course, I’m exceptionally tuned in to the new doggie products. And last year I discovered Fugly Friends. My life will never be the same. Here’s their company’s aboutness on their etsy store:

About

Each Fugly Friend is handcrafted with care from durable, tightly woven fabrics, and is completed with a triple stitched seam for extra strength. Every toy has its own unique shape, name and personality (most come with a special heart surprise inside!). They are jam-packed with love, love and a bit more love for your adored furry pets of all sizes to smash, stretch, chase, toss, cuddle and enjoy.

$1 from every Large Fugly purchased is donated to a pet rescue organization in order to help an adored animal in need.

Become a fan on facebook

http://www.facebook.com/FuglyFriends

So, of course I bought some for the dogs. But, the first batch never made it to the dogs. I loved them so much, I pretended they were decorative dolls & displayed them at the studio. A client’s dog jumped up & grabbed one off the shelf one day. He loved it so much I brought them home that nite & let my dogs have a whirl. Youda thought I brought crack. Damn! Let’s just say I didn’t buy enough fuglies for them each to have their own. Diego doesn’t even like toys! But everyone fought for them!

Fast forward several months of stalking…friending the owner…& becoming great friends: she messages me last week to say her bf has a conference in San Antonio & she would like to rent a car & drive to Houston to see me. OMG!! So, that’s exactly what happened…& while she was here we had a shoot for some new website pics.

Marketing people are paid lots of money to work their booties off trying to figure out how to present their companies’ brands to the public. Defining what the brand means for people, who their target audiences are, what motivates people to buy stuff. I’ve never met a business owner embody their brand as much as Marissa does. She really is “Miss Fugly.” LOL!

Received a note on my page tonite & after careful consideration I responded. Thought I would share with you in hopes it is helpful for others as well.
QUESTION: ”It was suggested by a fan of yours that I contact you regarding a situation that has thrown me over the edge of understanding a patience. I rescued a dog three days ago. He is a young, Black Lab mix who has obviously been running the streets since forever…very scared, skinny, open wounds, hungry. How I captured him was luring him into our warehouse with food which took, literally, hours. If I wasn’t the owner of the business, no doubt, I would have been fired for my efforts.
The homeless woman he had been seen hanging around had been taken by the police. I called our city’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control (BARC) to please pick him up. For three days, I have been waiting patiently for someone to arrive - but no one. I have called them four times and each time they take a report, but no one shows up. I am at a complete loss as to what to do. Any suggestions?”
ANSWER: ”BARC, CAP, SPCA, & Humane Society are all shelters that euthanize animals. If you surrender an animal to them, they don’t have to wait 5 minutes before they do it. Most of the time it’s due to space restrictions or lacking the resources to care for medical needs, so he would likely be put down right away.
Here’s what I would do:
1.  Take him to the vet immediately for wound care, vaccinations, microchip check, & a heart worm test.
2.  Foster him at your home or your place of business until you can learn more about his behavior & demeanor…i.e. is he friendly? Does he like other dogs/cats? What about kids? Does he exhibit any type of aggression? What’s his favorite toy?
3.  Feed him the best food that money can buy. It will help him get stronger, fatter, & heal quicker.
4.  Take good photos of him & network the hell out of them on facebook.
5.  Find a great home that can provide for all of his needs.
There are over 1 Million homeless animals in Houston. We all have to pitch in & lend our skills to their plight. Bringing a dog to a shelter is not a gift you give them…& even though they need to accept the animal, you must know what will happen if you make that choice. It’s a death sentence. You cared enough to lure him in, now you just need to follow through. Foster & care for him until someone steps forward with a commitment for the rest of his life.
Your heart will thank you. But more importantly, his heart will…”

Received a note on my page tonite & after careful consideration I responded. Thought I would share with you in hopes it is helpful for others as well.

QUESTION: ”It was suggested by a fan of yours that I contact you regarding a situation that has thrown me over the edge of understanding a patience. I rescued a dog three days ago. He is a young, Black Lab mix who has obviously been running the streets since forever…very scared, skinny, open wounds, hungry. How I captured him was luring him into our warehouse with food which took, literally, hours. If I wasn’t the owner of the business, no doubt, I would have been fired for my efforts.

The homeless woman he had been seen hanging around had been taken by the police. I called our city’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control (BARC) to please pick him up. For three days, I have been waiting patiently for someone to arrive - but no one. I have called them four times and each time they take a report, but no one shows up. I am at a complete loss as to what to do. Any suggestions?”

ANSWER: ”BARC, CAP, SPCA, & Humane Society are all shelters that euthanize animals. If you surrender an animal to them, they don’t have to wait 5 minutes before they do it. Most of the time it’s due to space restrictions or lacking the resources to care for medical needs, so he would likely be put down right away.

Here’s what I would do:

1.  Take him to the vet immediately for wound care, vaccinations, microchip check, & a heart worm test.

2.  Foster him at your home or your place of business until you can learn more about his behavior & demeanor…i.e. is he friendly? Does he like other dogs/cats? What about kids? Does he exhibit any type of aggression? What’s his favorite toy?

3.  Feed him the best food that money can buy. It will help him get stronger, fatter, & heal quicker.

4.  Take good photos of him & network the hell out of them on facebook.

5.  Find a great home that can provide for all of his needs.

There are over 1 Million homeless animals in Houston. We all have to pitch in & lend our skills to their plight. Bringing a dog to a shelter is not a gift you give them…& even though they need to accept the animal, you must know what will happen if you make that choice. It’s a death sentence. You cared enough to lure him in, now you just need to follow through. Foster & care for him until someone steps forward with a commitment for the rest of his life.

Your heart will thank you. But more importantly, his heart will…”

Sometime last year my brother sent an email to his 3 older sisters suggesting that we all get together once a month for lunch. No kids, no spouses, just us. Lots of personal reasons for doing this…which are none of your damn business. LOL. So, he shows up to the first lunch with a big envelope. Let’s just say he had some interesting exercises planned for us. Today was my turn to plan our meeting. As the paper & pencils were handed out, I gave these instructions: “List 3 lessons your parents taught you or you learned by the example they set.” It was really fun to do & talk about & I wanted to share the results with you. Some siblings don’t know how to follow directions, so there are some extras…
Loyalty to family comes first.
Put your seatbelt on as soon as you get in the car.
We don’t like shredded coconut.
Don’t force yourself to eat if you’re full.
Always wear socks.
Don’t burn your bridges.
Work hard & be nice to all people.
Follow your dreams.
Protect your children at all costs.
Don’t steal.
No such thing as too much garlic.
Education is never wasted.
Being jewish is very cool, so embrace it.
There is never a towel too old or ratty to throw away.
Always do the right thing.
Never mow your own lawn.
Don’t go near fireworks.
If you hide shopping bags in the closet long enough…when the questions come from your spouse, you can honestly say, “No, I’ve had it for a while.”

Sometime last year my brother sent an email to his 3 older sisters suggesting that we all get together once a month for lunch. No kids, no spouses, just us. Lots of personal reasons for doing this…which are none of your damn business. LOL. So, he shows up to the first lunch with a big envelope. Let’s just say he had some interesting exercises planned for us. Today was my turn to plan our meeting. As the paper & pencils were handed out, I gave these instructions: “List 3 lessons your parents taught you or you learned by the example they set.” It was really fun to do & talk about & I wanted to share the results with you. Some siblings don’t know how to follow directions, so there are some extras…

Loyalty to family comes first.

Put your seatbelt on as soon as you get in the car.

We don’t like shredded coconut.

Don’t force yourself to eat if you’re full.

Always wear socks.

Don’t burn your bridges.

Work hard & be nice to all people.

Follow your dreams.

Protect your children at all costs.

Don’t steal.

No such thing as too much garlic.

Education is never wasted.

Being jewish is very cool, so embrace it.

There is never a towel too old or ratty to throw away.

Always do the right thing.

Never mow your own lawn.

Don’t go near fireworks.

If you hide shopping bags in the closet long enough…when the questions come from your spouse, you can honestly say, “No, I’ve had it for a while.”

And On The 22nd Day…

The toilet breaks. Plumber can’t come until 5pm. He says this thingee is cracked so he has to weld another one on…& this is so old he doesn’t have that size adapter in his truck so he’ll have to go to Home Depot to get one…& I then I hear a crash…the toilet toppled over & now has a crack in it…add new toilet to the shopping list. He is taking a long time & it’s already an hour past the time I normally feed the dogs. Between hunger & wanting to see the mystery man in the bathroom, they are all barking out of control & stressing me the hell out. My IBS sets in. No way. It’s been months since an episode. No, please, not tonite! I only have 1 bathroom for Christ’s sake! “Excuse me Sir? Do you think you can jack that thing up enough for me to use the restroom while you’re gone?” “Sure. Here’s a bucket to fill up the toilet with water & it should go down no problem.” Several minutes later he is still tinkering. “Excuse me Sir? Are you almost finished?” “Oh, yes. I know you have to go. I’ll run to Home Depot now.” Rush to the bathroom. Mind you…this is not a normal IBS situation…I have just been on a 21-day cleanse! And he lied! I can’t flush the toilet! Please just kill me now…

And On The 22nd Day…

The toilet breaks. Plumber can’t come until 5pm. He says this thingee is cracked so he has to weld another one on…& this is so old he doesn’t have that size adapter in his truck so he’ll have to go to Home Depot to get one…& I then I hear a crash…the toilet toppled over & now has a crack in it…add new toilet to the shopping list. He is taking a long time & it’s already an hour past the time I normally feed the dogs. Between hunger & wanting to see the mystery man in the bathroom, they are all barking out of control & stressing me the hell out. My IBS sets in. No way. It’s been months since an episode. No, please, not tonite! I only have 1 bathroom for Christ’s sake! “Excuse me Sir? Do you think you can jack that thing up enough for me to use the restroom while you’re gone?” “Sure. Here’s a bucket to fill up the toilet with water & it should go down no problem.” Several minutes later he is still tinkering. “Excuse me Sir? Are you almost finished?” “Oh, yes. I know you have to go. I’ll run to Home Depot now.” Rush to the bathroom. Mind you…this is not a normal IBS situation…I have just been on a 21-day cleanse! And he lied! I can’t flush the toilet! Please just kill me now…

Day Twenty-One!!The best part has been how I feel. When I woke up 22 days ago, I felt like an 85 year old woman. Now I feel 31. Will continue with the program just no shakes…& slowly introduce foods I choose into my diet to determine how my body responds. Will likely continue writing…but maybe not as often. XOXO

Day Twenty-One!!

The best part has been how I feel. When I woke up 22 days ago, I felt like an 85 year old woman. Now I feel 31. Will continue with the program just no shakes…& slowly introduce foods I choose into my diet to determine how my body responds. Will likely continue writing…but maybe not as often. XOXO

I’m Scared.

2 more days of the cleanse. I have appreciated all of your well wishes & feedback so much. Surprises me how many people think this would be hard to do. The truth is that it was a pleasure…& that the real work & the hard stuff begins on Thursday. I need to create a new plan for myself to continue on this healthy path & lose more weight. I’m going to start exercising…as soon as I can find the fucking key to the treadmill…ugh! I’m excited about the next chapter…but more scared…

I’m Scared.

2 more days of the cleanse. I have appreciated all of your well wishes & feedback so much. Surprises me how many people think this would be hard to do. The truth is that it was a pleasure…& that the real work & the hard stuff begins on Thursday. I need to create a new plan for myself to continue on this healthy path & lose more weight. I’m going to start exercising…as soon as I can find the fucking key to the treadmill…ugh! I’m excited about the next chapter…but more scared…

Day 19. TOXIC People, Places, Things, & Food.So, Wednesday is the last day of cleanse. Starting Thursday I’ll reintroduce foods slowly into my diet. Only some of them. And see how my body & mind react. Different foods are toxic to different people. I’m fairly certain cupcakes are evil altogether. Still looking for yummy sugar alternatives. And toxic people? See ya!

Day 19. TOXIC People, Places, Things, & Food.


So, Wednesday is the last day of cleanse. Starting Thursday I’ll reintroduce foods slowly into my diet. Only some of them. And see how my body & mind react. Different foods are toxic to different people. I’m fairly certain cupcakes are evil altogether. Still looking for yummy sugar alternatives. And toxic people? See ya!

Day 18. The Lies We Tell.I’ve learned so much the past 18 days. It’s just amazing to me how much crap we eat & don’t even think twice about it. For example, I probably drank about 5 cups of coffee a day…each with about 2 tablespoons of sugar & some 1/2 & 1/2. And around 3 or 4 diet cokes a day. The caffeine, sugar, cream, preservatives, fake shit were all contributing to me gaining weight & being unhealthy. I ate cheesy, creamy, sugary, greasy, carb-loaded crap all the time. It’s so normal to do this in our society. We are taught every day…bombarded with stuff that’s tempting. Well, enough is enough of my instant gratification. I’m worth working a little harder & waiting to eat the right foods. I won’t die of starvation if I skip a meal.

Day 18. The Lies We Tell.

I’ve learned so much the past 18 days. It’s just amazing to me how much crap we eat & don’t even think twice about it. For example, I probably drank about 5 cups of coffee a day…each with about 2 tablespoons of sugar & some 1/2 & 1/2. And around 3 or 4 diet cokes a day. The caffeine, sugar, cream, preservatives, fake shit were all contributing to me gaining weight & being unhealthy. I ate cheesy, creamy, sugary, greasy, carb-loaded crap all the time. It’s so normal to do this in our society. We are taught every day…bombarded with stuff that’s tempting. Well, enough is enough of my instant gratification. I’m worth working a little harder & waiting to eat the right foods. I won’t die of starvation if I skip a meal.

Day 15. All In Due Time.

I’ve always been fascinated with the reasons people gain weight. Emotionally speaking I mean…cuz obviously, if you put more in than you put out then it’s gonna pack on. My weight started packing on after I got out of a bad relationship & my business took off which put me in front of the computer a lot. Easy excuse, huh? Blame the relationship. Blame the job. There was plenty of time for me to CHOOSE to learn about eating right & exercise too…but I made excuses. 
Then early last year I lost my 4-legged soul mate. Maya’s death was sudden. Of course, in true control freak doggie mama fashion, I had actually been preparing for it all her 16 1/2 years on the earth. Nightmares, panic attacks, rescuing & adopting other dogs so the blow would one day not put me between some padded walls. But it was all in vain. Never could I have imagined the terror & despair I felt when she left. I spent many months grieving…I still am…but also stuffing my face…in hopes, i suppose, to fill the void in my heart.
Soon after Maya passed, I commissioned several of my artists friends to create original MayaArt in their style. My most cherished possessions now. And I smile more & cry less when I glance towards the MayaArt wall at my house.
An unexpected surprise arrived yesterday. From a woman I’ve never met in person, but have known for years. Lizzie was one of the first artists I contacted originally because I love her work…but due to her schedule, she wasn’t able to do it right away. Or maybe she didn’t want to…I wasn’t sure, but I adore her & moved on. Until yesterday. When I was totally overwhelmed to receive her painting. She loves animals & she knows my heart. The timing could not have been more perfect…

Day 15. All In Due Time.

I’ve always been fascinated with the reasons people gain weight. Emotionally speaking I mean…cuz obviously, if you put more in than you put out then it’s gonna pack on. My weight started packing on after I got out of a bad relationship & my business took off which put me in front of the computer a lot. Easy excuse, huh? Blame the relationship. Blame the job. There was plenty of time for me to CHOOSE to learn about eating right & exercise too…but I made excuses. 

Then early last year I lost my 4-legged soul mate. Maya’s death was sudden. Of course, in true control freak doggie mama fashion, I had actually been preparing for it all her 16 1/2 years on the earth. Nightmares, panic attacks, rescuing & adopting other dogs so the blow would one day not put me between some padded walls. But it was all in vain. Never could I have imagined the terror & despair I felt when she left. I spent many months grieving…I still am…but also stuffing my face…in hopes, i suppose, to fill the void in my heart.

Soon after Maya passed, I commissioned several of my artists friends to create original MayaArt in their style. My most cherished possessions now. And I smile more & cry less when I glance towards the MayaArt wall at my house.

An unexpected surprise arrived yesterday. From a woman I’ve never met in person, but have known for years. Lizzie was one of the first artists I contacted originally because I love her work…but due to her schedule, she wasn’t able to do it right away. Or maybe she didn’t want to…I wasn’t sure, but I adore her & moved on. Until yesterday. When I was totally overwhelmed to receive her painting. She loves animals & she knows my heart. The timing could not have been more perfect…

Day 14. What? No Facebook?!

One week to go! Slept a lot last nite & was able somehow to doze off about 11p. Probably a fluke, but I wrote The Clean Program peeps…who btw, provide EXCELLENT service for anything you need. They suggested I shut off all electronics well before bed & read a book instead. Shit, I haven’t read in bed since graduate school! And that was way before facebook…so I guess my body is telling me something. I miss the good ol’ days in more ways than one. Have a great day! (Photo by Steven Klein for W Magazine)

Day 14. What? No Facebook?!

One week to go! Slept a lot last nite & was able somehow to doze off about 11p. Probably a fluke, but I wrote The Clean Program peeps…who btw, provide EXCELLENT service for anything you need. They suggested I shut off all electronics well before bed & read a book instead. Shit, I haven’t read in bed since graduate school! And that was way before facebook…so I guess my body is telling me something. I miss the good ol’ days in more ways than one. Have a great day! (Photo by Steven Klein for W Magazine)

Day 13. Rules Are Made To Be Broken.
It’s not recommended that you get on the scale during your cleanse, as losing weight is not the purpose. But, I’ve never been very good at following rules. And I have officially lost TEN pounds! Holla! Damn, that was hard! Much easier putting it on. LOL!(photo by http://leahnaomi.com/) 

Day 13. Rules Are Made To Be Broken.

It’s not recommended that you get on the scale during your cleanse, as losing weight is not the purpose. But, I’ve never been very good at following rules. And I have officially lost TEN pounds! Holla! Damn, that was hard! Much easier putting it on. LOL!

(photo by http://leahnaomi.com/

Just realized today…my mind is a lot clearer since I started the cleanse. Difficult to explain, but I’m happy about it & have been more productive as a result. Oh, & this is a photo I took of my friend’s dog Einstein the other day…couldn’t find a photo that illustrated clear thoughts well & I didn’t think the extra dose of cuteness would bother anybody.

Just realized today…my mind is a lot clearer since I started the cleanse. Difficult to explain, but I’m happy about it & have been more productive as a result. Oh, & this is a photo I took of my friend’s dog Einstein the other day…couldn’t find a photo that illustrated clear thoughts well & I didn’t think the extra dose of cuteness would bother anybody.

Day 12. Mama’s Girl.

I’d prefer this blog not only be about my sleep patterns. But again last nite, 2a-8a. Ugh. Like a dumb ass, I keep trying to sleep starting at 10p & get out of bed every hour just to be bored to tears on facebook. LOL. Only 1 baby accompanies me every hour & stays by my side…even though I can tell she’d rather stay in the warm bed with the others. My Apple. <3

Day 12. Mama’s Girl.

I’d prefer this blog not only be about my sleep patterns. But again last nite, 2a-8a. Ugh. Like a dumb ass, I keep trying to sleep starting at 10p & get out of bed every hour just to be bored to tears on facebook. LOL. Only 1 baby accompanies me every hour & stays by my side…even though I can tell she’d rather stay in the warm bed with the others. My Apple. <3