2020/03/31

Two-fer Tuesday: Something Beautiful for You (Quarantine Playlist)

Da Goddess @ 03:26

This is for you. Yes, you. You deserve this.

And you deserve this. Yes, I’m still talking to you! Quit acting so surprised.

Hang in there, my friends. We can do this.

2020/03/26

Must Watch: Alternatives, Part 1

Da Goddess @ 09:06

I’ve found myself seeking out shows that aren’t available via regular TV channels in the U.S.

First up: Portrait Artist of the Year. This is a fantastic British production. You can find the entire current season on the YouTubes. Here’s a link to the first episode. It’s really a wonderful program. All but the final episode for this show are available through the account I’ve linked to.

Also on the tubes of you, The Great Pottery Throw Down. Listen, you don’t need to be a potter to enjoy this show. The artistic value of the craft is exceedingly entertaining and you’ll come away with a greater appreciation for how cups, plates, teapots, vases, etc., are made. There are three seasons available and I’ll get you started with season one, episode one. I think you’ll find yourself yelling at the contestants when they take crazy chances with their designs, when they forget an important step, and/or when they don’t manage their time well. You’ll also yell at the judges when they send home someone who, while they missed the mark on this one challenge, has shown such amazing work throughout the season. It’s truly a delightful show. And don’t worry about the crying judge. It happens frequently enough that you’ll simply accept it by the time you get through a few episodes.

I can only find the most recent season of Master of Photography on YouTube. I watched an early season a couple years ago on Ovation or some other channel I no longer have access to. Anyhow, this is a very good program in that it offers great lessons on composition and the value of critiques from experts. There are some interesting images and equally interesting photographers. It’s given me a lot of inspiration and motivation for future projects, but mostly I just enjoy picking out the contestants’ missed shots/opportunities. I do a fair amount of commentary throughout each episode.

On Netflix, check out Blown Away. It’s all about glassblowing and it’s fascinating! There’s one season. Episodes are only about a half hour, so you can get through them quickly. I would have liked longer episodes, but you get what you get and you don’t get upset. Or you do. But it’s totally worth your time.

I’ll post more shows next week. These should keep you busy until then.

Bonus: Upright. An Australian show that’s funny, beautiful, touching, and so many other super superlatives. It’s brilliant! IMTV has it available to those of us who live in the States. You’ll have to create an account to watch (when you get to the options of NA or EUR, choose NA (North America, natch). If you can’t watch every episode free of charge, let me know. I’ll see if I can find you another option.

Now, go get busy watching TV and forget about our current situation. We won’t always have a pandemic to justify our viewing habits, so make the most of the NOW of it.

2020/03/19

How Y’all Doin’?

Da Goddess @ 22:58

First things first: how are you? Are you and your family healthy and safe? Have you been able to fend off the ennui? Are you reading? Listening to music and/or podcasts? Are you watching TV and/or movies?

How are you passing the time?

Secondly, have you checked in with family and neighbors? Are you a helper?

Thirdly, have you been able to avoid or minimize exposure to the 24/7 news coverage?

Fourthly, what’s up with you these days? Anything new?

Fifthly, are you washing hands? Are you using soap and water and washing for a minimum of 20 seconds? I’d prefer 30 seconds, but blah blah blah. Are you really, truly, honestly washing your goddamn hands? Please let this be your reality. Hand sanitizer pales in comparison to handwashing with soap and water.

Sixthly, my trip to see my daughter and her hubby is on hold. As it should be.

Other than that, life is pretty much the same. I have books, TV, movies, puzzles, games, and the cat. I also have a neighbor who just got a donkey (another got a horse not long before that) and I’m determined to find out where the donkey lives. I’m mostly of the mind that the donkey was brought in as protection against the very busy coyotes we have in our area. They’re quite active. I’ve seen them out on my morning walks — one street over, at first, then right at our gate — and my landlord has seen them in our yard. They’re well-fed and in good shape, but they got that way because of the abundance of available chow. Chickens (so many chickens here), cats, dogs, bunnies (oh my God, do we have buns!), and squirrels. Who knows what else. So, now the donkey. I love hearing the braying! It’s a nice change of pace.

There you go. My pandemic post. I hope you’re all safe.

2020/03/13

Leaving L.A.

Da Goddess @ 17:11

Tim Minchin is a fucking genius. Don’t let anyone (especially him) tell you otherwise.

His new song and video are exceptional. After I heard a brief clip a few days ago (or a week or? I dunno. The days all blend together anymore), I had the tune stuck in my head. And now I have the entire song running on repeat in my brain. I love it! I hope you enjoy.

2020/03/12

Baggage

Da Goddess @ 14:32

Any recommendations on luggage? Nothing expensive, just durable and easy to maneuver for a gimpy old broad. It has to have good wheels and it would be a major bonus if it could fit in an overhead compartment.

Yes, for the first time in a decade, I’m getting on a plane. I’m going away. Not for long, but for long enough. And I’m going to see my daughter and son-in-law. And their cats. In a beautiful locale. Yay!

So, yeah. I need a decent, inexpensive but easily wheeled about suitcase. I mean, just because you have baggage doesn’t mean it can’t be functional and maybe even pleasant.

Floaty

Da Goddess @ 14:20

I’ve spent the majority of the day in bed. I’d been up for two days and finally collapsed from the exhaustion around 03:00. Despite waking multiple times, I was quite happy to remain floating in the land of soft, warm cottony slumber. It helped to have Monsieur Chat at my side and all the rain in all the world raining down on SoCal.

Speaking of rain, there’s a lot of it coming down. Lots. And lots more. And then some more. It’s kind of glorious.

I’ve been fully awake and moving freely about the cabin for an hour now and I’m still embracing the floaty feeling. Pain is not allowed more than a background murmur. I’m going to tackle the dishes and then curl up with the cat again, watch some tv, enjoy my little cocoon of comfort.

2020/03/03

TJH: INSPIRE — Always on My Mind

Da Goddess @ 16:46

Ever have one of those days when someone is always on your mind? You know, the kind of day when you can’t shake the feeling you need to talk with someone, but can’t and it makes it even more difficult to get that someone out of your head?

Yeah, it’s been one of those days.

2020/02/17

Anything but Love?

Da Goddess @ 21:13

I love J.D. Souther. My favorite of which is Anything But Love.

If we had never met,
And the world got on without us,
Just as if we were never there at all.
We’d be searching yet
For the next big thing that ever happened
Trying not to fall …
Anything but love will do
Anything but hearts that beat like thunder,
Anything but love would be enough
For anyone but you.

The too-shortly-lived sitcom only used the version with lyrics briefly, which was a shame because it was beautiful and had the potential for reducing me to tears on the regular. Still does. “Trying not to fall…Anything but love…” that’s my favorite bit. And the rest of it. But mostly that part. Though the rest is wonderful. But seriously, mostly that particular portion of the song.

He’s going to be in town very soon. Do I go?

2020/02/09

Pretty Circus Poodles

Da Goddess @ 23:46

Ugh.

I didn’t mind the whole Academy Awards red carpet parade of pretty people. I enjoy entertainment as much as anyone else. But, when I see certain celebrities, I heave and fight to keep my finger off the mute button.

Muting did come in handy when a certain late night chat show host from another country appeared, I had to do something just to not hear his voice. Sadly, Rebel Wilson was also silenced (and I enjoy her). I also couldn’t look at the guy in question because he really irks me THAT MUCH. Thankfully, their bit was short and I could resume watching and listening to the show.

Everything was going fine until Joaquin Phoenix rambled on about giving people second chances, being kind to the earth, and all the other sentiments that were in no way related to winning an award (except for his mea culpa about having been “difficult” in the past) and he went long over his 45 seconds of speech time. While what he said wasn’t awful in any way, shape, or form, it was just out of nowhere jibber-jabber. Okay, fine. Good for him. Awkward moment passed.

Then, ol’ squinty won for her portrayal of Judy Garland. And she rambled. I can’t listen to or look at her for any length of time (much like the man who made a bad adaptation of a certain movie about felines even worse with his very presence). She’s nails on a chalkboard to me. And she fucking rambled. No one cut her off at 45 seconds.

Those two circus poodles were indulged by the producers. None of us wanted that. None of us needed to listen to their nonsense. Thank the people who helped and get off the stage. But, no. That didn’t happen.

Worse, still, was when Parasite won best picture and theeeen someone in the control booth decided to dim lights and try to rush the makers of the film offstage. The audience rebelled! It was a thing of beauty to hear the audience boo the control booth and then chant for letting Parasite‘s creators get their due. And it happened.

In a very ridiculously white- and male-dominated awards season, something wonderful and unexpected happened: a South Korean movie took top honors. The cast, the crew, the creators…it was an amazing moment and they deserved the time to celebrate and be celebrated and say what they wanted to say without being rushed. Joaquin and Reneé had more than their fair share of time, it seems only right to allow a large group — winning the biggest award of the night — extra time. They got it, but only because the people in attendance demanded it. It was just stunning to watch.

In case you don’t know anything about the movie, here’s a quick take:

The lives of two families — one wealthy, one struggling — intersect in “Parasite,” with a young man masquerading as a college-educated tutor for a rich family in Seoul, South Korea. As the story unfolds, much of what is on the surface isn’t exactly what it seems.

Bong Joon-ho and Sin-ae Kwak deserved their time in the spotlight having achieved so much, including the first foreign language film to win an Oscar for best picture. The message of the film, especially in this insane current timeline of ours, is something most of us can relate to. It is and isn’t “just” a South Korean film. It’s a film for all of us that just happens to have come from South Korea, by South Koreans.

For once, I’m glad Hollywood stood up and demanded fair treatment for these filmmakers and artists. It made my heart sing!

I don’t know about you, but I love seeing the longshot make it. I love seeing the joy on their faces and feeling the true sense of gratitude they express.

After all was said and done, the Oscars closed with a victory that felt good and right and helped ease the painful overindulgence by those who didn’t seem to know when to just say thank you and move on.

P.S. I want to add: if the producers really want to trim some time, why not simply name a nominee, show their clip, and go on to the next one instead of showing a mishmash of clips and THEN announcing the names. They could also trim the opening number. Or not. But they could definitely cut some of the awkward “banter” between presenters. Most of the jokes don’t land (rarely do they land). And finally, they could try having the presenters run from backstage to the microphone and then have everyone run offstage once the speechifying is done. Granted, some of the outfits and shoes aren’t conducive to such speed, but it would be infinitely more fun than listening to awkward and forced jocularity between people who quite often have no connection other than them both being in the movie industry.

P.P.S. I didn’t say anything last year, but best actor went to Rami Malek. It was an Oscar really meant for the late Freddie Mercury. Let’s face it: Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t that great a movie. The only reason so many people saw it was because they loved Freddie and Queen. Rami wasn’t Freddie until the last little bit of the movie. In fact, the movie wasn’t very much a movie until the last little bit of the movie. Unfortunately, this is often how it goes with awards shows: the best don’t often win.

P.P.P.S. I’m done now. I’m getting over a stomach bug and this little bit of mild ranting has knocked me out. Congrats to Bong Joon-ho, Sin-ae Kwak, and everyone involved with Parasite for a well-deserved win!

2020/02/05

Bundle of Joy

Da Goddess @ 01:08

My boy. He’s the only reason I’ve bothered getting out of bed the past several days. Aside from getting to the bathroom and getting meds and water, my fuzznugget is THE reason I’ve done anything at all since Friday. He’s pretty much stayed by my side the entire time. He’s a very good boy.

2020/02/03

Another Reason to Get Riled Up

Da Goddess @ 23:37

Seems like everywhere you turn these days, something shitty is happening to good people. Yes, I know the world is going to Hell in a handbasket, but some of the injustice in the world hit very close to home, making women and children and the vulnerable feel even less secure in their own homes.

There’s a case in Alabama that has my blood boiling. I’m not going to tell you the whole story myself, but I am going to direct you to the article that spells it out very clearly. Let me know how you feel after reading it. I’ll be waiting right here.

Still…Alive…Mostly

Da Goddess @ 23:31

I’m still alive, but it feels like an uphill battle to remain so for the past week.

Last Tuesday, Mojo was in town and we had a date to go shopping. I had to delay our start a bit when I was informed that my new medication was being delivered. So, I waited, got my new med, took my first dose, and off we went. As far as shopping went, it was a mild affair (I got a food storage container, a phone charger cord, soup mix, & hair color).

Then we decided it was time to eat. I hadn’t eaten at all and Mo had eaten very little. To the Garden of Olives we went. Salad, a couple bread sticks, a little pasta, and dessert. We both felt better.

After arriving back at my place, she noticed my bookcase still in its box, unassembled, and next thing you know, my bookcase was built and awaiting books. Boy, do I have books! (Fletch had fun with it while his big sis built it and again after it was built. I’ve left one shelf mostly bare just for him.)

Sadly, that’s all the time I got with my girl while she was in town. It was also the last day I felt okay.

Since then, I’ve been swelling up and hurting like a son-of-a-bitch. By Friday, I couldn’t bend my knees because of the edema. By Saturday, my hands were starting to swell, one eye was blurring, and my chest hurt. Having been down this road before, I stopped my new med. I called the doctor’s office to see if they wanted me to go to the hospital or if I should just ride it out at home (my call wasn’t an emergency, but the was an urgency to it). It’s now almost the end of Monday and I still haven’t heard from anyone at the office. As much as I actually like the doc himself, I don’t care for his nurse practitioner (10 days ago, she had me sitting in her office crying because she was making me feel like I was in the wrong for not having a copy of my MRI report [their printer/burner was down] and for not knowing what I wanted her to do for me in the meantime. I told her she was the healthcare provider and I was coming to her for answers. Ugh.)

Since I stopped my med on Saturday, I’ve gotten rid of the chest pain, eye issue, upper extremity swelling, and the last of the swelling is confined to my lower legs and feet. My big, comfy, loose shoes are still too tight, but I can walk a bit and I can bend my knees again. This part always takes the longest to resolve. The other lasting side effect is the fatigue. I slept in. I did very little all day. And I found myself in bed at 22:30 tonight, typing away at this sob story of mine. I’m wiped out. I really don’t like this.

Needless to say — but I’m saying it anyway — I’m downright pissed at the doc’s office for not returning my call. I’m pissed with the way I was treated at my last appointment. And I think it’s time to find another doctor. (There are other issues with the NP, but I’ll spare you the details.)

My adjuster found another clinic that takes cases like mine and I’ve asked her to get me in to see someone there. Fingers crossed this works because I’m pretty much at the end of my emotional rope.

I really miss my former doctors from up north. They were always on my side, always fighting for me, always attuned to what I needed. I knew getting in with good docs down here would take time and patience, but I didn’t think the first go round would be as bad as this one is turning out to be.

I don’t ask for much. I really don’t. I just ask to be treated with respect, compassion, and not be left feeling alone and neglected.

Anyway, I’m still alive. I’m still fighting. I’m just a bit quieter than usual.

Hey, how about that game? (I didn’t watch. It was either that or the weather.)

2020/01/27

Mad for Plaid

Da Goddess @ 23:27

I have never seen a plant that looked like it was swathed in plaid before. But now, I can’t think of anything else.

Meet Euphorbia obesa.

Euphorbia obesa

Doesn’t it look like something created from tartan and pure imagination? I feel like this is the most Celtic plant in the world, except it’s from nowhere even close to Ireland or Scotland. Maybe it just wants to be. Perhaps its DNA test proved there was no way it could be from either country, but in a fit of pique it wrapped itself in plaid, declared itself a Celt, and has decided it will die upon this hill, no matter how many tests say it’s wrong.

I totally get this plant. I have one DNA test that says I’m 0% English, Irish, or Scottish. I have another that says 2.5%. While I’m not sure I agree with the data from the 2nd 2.5% test, I’m hoping it’s true. My little sister took a 3rd test (as in a third company different from the two I dealt with) and got a smidge of British Isles. Maybe these two separate companies are more accurate? I dunno. But I understand that plant. I understand wanting to be a part of a culture…I’m a bit mad for plaid myself.

2020/01/07

89

Da Goddess @ 05:30

Dad would have been 89 today.

I miss him so very much. Every single day.

I’m so grateful I had a father who was so memorable and missable.

2020/01/01

Happy New Year! 2020 is Here

Da Goddess @ 00:01

Happy Mew Year!

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

May 2020 be the year we all have good health, loving relationships with family and friends, personal growth, and the kind of prosperity that ensures your comfort, contentment, and sense of security. For the creative amongst us, may you find the well of inspiration deep and full.

Woo hoo! 2020, let’s do this!

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