I can’t believe it was 9 years ago today that I started my YouTube channel. I started it to be a place where I could post personal video blogs (or “vlogs”) about my journey of making indie films while also trying to pay my bills. In the beginning, blogging was fun and easy. I even did a stretch where I did them DAILY! Omg, that was a challenge. But I LOVE the people I have connected with through YouTube and many are still friends of mine to this day. YouTube has changed a lot over the years. It’s definitely not the same as it was June 6, 2006. No way. At that time, I was working at Paramount Pictures and I was full of dreams and excitement for the future. A lot has happened, some good, some not so good, since then, but I’m still going. Be sure to subscribe to my channel because when I do finally finish my documentaries: “Soul Providers” and “I Have Dreams Dammit!”, I will organize private Meet & Greets in each town to meet specifically with my YouTube family. What were you doing 9 years ago today? Or 9 years ago this month?
Last night, in our home, with her family… April passed away. We are absolutely heartbroken and in shock so I apologize for not texting you if we know each other personally, but our heads are still spinning from what was a whirlwind week of tears and questions and anguish.
Her health “scare” was more like a nightmare that we couldn’t wake up from. Other than some allergy issues, she has always been so healthy. NEVER were there any indications that she was sick in the least. She rambunctiously played with Pickles, she jumped up on things with ease, she loved chicken and raw broccoli (weird, I know), she LOVED sleeping, she loved arm & paw massages, she loved Pickles & Blanco, she loved us, she loved people… she loved life.
A week ago today, she threw up. Dogs throw up from time to time – I thought it may have been the chicken breast I cooked for her the day before… perhaps it was like mild food poisoning. So I watched her. She still ate. She still went to the bathroom. She still drank water. In every other way she was acting normal. I was already planning on taking her to the vet first thing Monday morning but then when she threw up the water she just drank early Monday morning, I knew it may be a blockage of some sort. After a few tests on Monday, it was determined that she had a “mass” on her spleen and they needed to open her up to see what it was and perhaps remove her spleen. We went to a second vet directly from the first vet for a second opinion. She had the same diagnosis and we scheduled the surgery for Tuesday morning. We stayed in the waiting room the entire day as the vet’s assistant would come out and let us know what was going on every now or then.
At first, there was a “mass” on her spleen, but then once they had opened her up, they found that the large mass was actually a tumor on her intestines. She still had a few “masses” on her spleen so they took that out as well as the tumor on her intestine. By this point, it was suspected that she had an aggressive form of intestinal cancer. After two nights at the vet hospital on an IV for fluids, pain meds, and nutrition, we asked to bring her home so we could care for her at home, to be with us, her family. If she only had a little time left, then we wanted her to spend that time with us starting ASAP. We thought she had a few weeks or even months, but I guess the Universe had other plans for our little monkey.
We brought her home on Thursday afternoon. We made a really comfortable bed for her and we brought our blankets and pillows into the room with her. It was like a little family slumber party. Dapo played acoustic guitar for her because she was always soothed by his guitar or piano playing. (Recorded music doesn’t work for my dogs, it has to be an instrument… they must be more sensitive to the vibrations from an instrument.) She had many moments of little victories where we would get so excited and think we were on the road to healing, but then, just as with any other aggressive piece of shit kind of cancer, it was just too strong. April fought hard. She is a trouper. I’ve never had such a strong-willed dog before which is why we had high hopes that her life would be extended – but with the surgery on top of the cancer, it was all just too much for her body. Had we not taken her into the vet when we did, usually the spleen eventually ruptures and dogs bleed to death. We were so grateful that we caught it before it came to that, but it was still late in the disease. In my research, even with early detection, the survival rate is extremely low and the survival time is weeks or months, at best. It all happened so suddenly, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around what has happened. How did we loose our little monkey? Our little pack’s heart? My little daughter and friend. WTF just happened??!
She was too young to die – just turned 6 last month. She ate top quality food. She got exercise and had a great fun life. She was too vivacious and seemingly healthy to have an aggressive cancer. How could this be?
I am grateful that she was at home with us when it was her time and not alone in a vet hospital. We got to make her comfortable and hug her and kiss her. I am grateful that she didn’t have to suffer long with a debilitating cancer eating away at her insides. I am eternally grateful that I found her picture, laying on the ground with a tennis ball in front of her nose, on PetFinder.com six years ago. And even though I am in immense pain, this pain is the price that comes with love and I cherish the six years I had with her more than anything. She was AWESOME!! Some of you reading this have met April and you know what I mean… she was special and I’m not just saying that because I’m her mom. She was beautiful – inside and out – and she was so kind, eerily thoughtful (for a dog), and fun!!
Pickles and Blanco are mourning as well. Dogs are so connected to their nature, and since death is a part of nature, I’m sure they knew what was going on. They may have even known she was sick before we did. Pickles was in the room with us when April passed. He was very sad and so we had to get out of our own pain and be there for him… she was like his mommy or older sis… she showed him the ropes and he wouldn’t do anything without looking at her first.
I promised April that we would take care of Pickles and that she could go…. run free where there is no limiting physical body holding her back with all the pain – and that we would see her again. Rest in peace our sweet April… see you on the other side.
It’s a beautiful life! From pulling into the gate at Paramount Pictures, to filming my Free Hugs In Hollywood viral video (Yahoo! featured on their home page) to being the Grand Prize winner in a contest with Entertainment Tonight to attend the Emmys, VIP-style, and everything in between… here I am!
PLEASE WATCH IN 1080HD (*See below for info about audio)
…a SkyGirl Production (in post-production)
Shot and edited by me
Music composed by Dapo Torimiro
*If watching on mobile device, please listen with earbuds or headphones. YouTube did something funky with the sound and you won’t hear the audio on a phone without headphones – audio will play decently on computers though, sans headphones. But just use headphones. It’s YouTube because when I directly uploaded to Facebook, it was 100% perfect audio on all devices. WHYYYYY??? lol I don’t know… but that’s what’s up. And you’ll definitely want to hear what they are saying in this clip to understand what this documentary is about. Thank you!!
Subjects: Scotty Grand, Julia Huffman, Onch Movement, Oren Yoel, Stephanie Owens, Poison Ivory, Jarell Perry, Dapo Torimiro, Lee England Jr., Ester Brym
My god, it’s been forever since I’ve updated this website. Yowzers. I spend the majority of my social media time on Twitter, second Facebook. I am BARELY on Facebook so that should tell you where I am most of the time. So if you aren’t already following me, here’s my Twitter link –> @LisaMurray
About 2 weeks ago, I started juicing fruit & vegetables. I have always loved juicing but I haven’t ever done it with this level of concentration and attention before. As I’m working on my dream, I have realized I have some really horrible habits to deal with my stress. Because I deal with such high stress situations, I need MORE stress relievers, not less. I also have stopped being physical. It’s like I shut down when I moved and I just focused on research, writing, and working and my health has taken a back seat. Well, no more. I started juicing and I have to tell you, I feel SOOOO much better in just 2 weeks. All of the little aches and pains have almost completely gone away. I feel a general sense of “well being” too that just feels amazing. I HIGHLY recommend juicing to any and everyone. I haven’t really changed anything else – just added juice to my diet – so don’t stress about it, don’t worry about it being perfect, just add 1-2 freshly juiced juice to your diet each day and let me know how you feel after a couple of weeks. My goal is to juice 100% organic fruits & veggies but sometimes that is not possible. Like earlier this evening, I went to get some veggies and I found everything in the organic section except celery… they were out of celery so I had to go over to the regular produce side to pick that up. I think there’s a scale somewhere that tells you which fruit and which veggie have the highest level of pesticides so if the produce you need is on the low end of the scale, or not at all, then maybe that’s where you can save money. But truthfully, I’m trying to support organic growers. These pesticides are ridiculous and I don’t want to support that bs.
I’ll try to update here more. I seem to post everything on Twitter (links, pics, rants & quotes) so follow me there and say hello! Let me know you’re coming from my website! Hope you’re great and you’re living or pursuing your dreams!
Pretty amazing day the studio with Sophia Grace Brownlee (@PrincessSGB on Twitter). She has such a natural love of music and is filled with so much joy and happiness, it was a pleasure to spend time with her in the studio when she was in Los Angeles with her parents and her cousin, Rosie @PrincessRGM, to film yet another appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show!!
Sophia Grace and her cousin, Rosie, interviewed stars on the red carpet at the AMAs (American Music Awards) for The Ellen Show! So be sure to watch The Ellen Show on Monday (today) to see their segment. Looks like they met a lot of great stars!! Can’t wait to hear what those 2 clever little girls asked them! haha
In this video, Sophia Grace sings “Moment For Life” by Nicki Minaj! Enjoy and follow her and her cousin on Twitter!!
I took this picture at last night’s screening of Butterflies of the film’s director Ester Brym and YouTube hottie Olga Kay as part of the Arclight Documentary Film Festival — at Arclight Cinemas Hollywood.
I went to an incredible show last week, Stacy Barthe (w/Luke James) at The Roxy. I took a bunch of pics and video. I’ll be uploading the video soon! You have to check her out if you haven’t already. Her EP “Sincerely, Stacy Barthe” is free to download!
Lisa is a filmmaker, writer, music manager, animal rescuer, "pitbull" advocate, fighter of animals in captivity, and soon-to-be --> podcaster! (Launching soon!) She left her "safe job" at a film studio to work on her documentary, "I Have Dreams Dammit!" a film about the realities of pursuing dreams, and to serve as Managing Partner to Dapomiro Productions, a music production company that she co-founded with multi-platinum songwriter/music producer, Dapo Torimiro. She is currently in post-production with a new feature documentary about art & artists. Follow Lisa on social media to be notified of upcoming festival screening dates all over the U.S. and beyond.