2020/08/05

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears

Da Goddess @ 09:04

I just finished I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg. A collection of short stories, it’s absolutely delicious!

Each tale is perfect on its own, but as a set: magnificent. At turns intriguing and heartbreaking and as simple and complicated as humans are, the characters are given a chance to speak for themselves, to recount their own stories in their own way.

Every protagonist is someone recognizable and familiar as if made up of the parts of ourselves and our known world. They’re us, or a part of us, and this is the common thread tying the stories together (although a couple do happen within the same immediate vicinity).

I found myself returning to the beginning and starting over again, compelled to find new clues within and perhaps discover the secret to slipping into the stories myself, getting lost in the fog alongside my new friends, holding them when they need it the most.

Deftly crafted, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is my newest and strongest recommendation to anyone who loves to read and appreciates finely told tales.

2020/07/27

Teach Your Children Well

Da Goddess @ 09:47

I have friends who are teachers. One pair, married and both have been teaching from home, while also having two kids engaged in distance learning. They’ve struggled to keep up with their own kids’ lessons as much as any other parents because they’re striving to provide their “other families” with fresh curriculum, attention, reinforcement of lessons, & sometimes even coordinating food for these kids.

The teachers I know are committed to helping another generation LEARN & build successful skills that will last them a lifetime. They’ve struggled to keep up with growing class sizes and shrinking resources. Some don’t even have enough textbooks for a classroom of 30, let alone enough books for five more periods of classes of the same size.

Now, here we are: the president wants to push everyone back to school. How are teachers supposed to enforce distancing and masks and handwashing in packed classrooms with kids who are often soft (read: resistant) on basic hygiene? Seriously, these are often kids who are lucky if they have enough clean clothes for three days a week and shower about as often.

And what about those textbooks that must be shared? There’s no way to get two kids to a book and still be maintaining proper distancing. Nor is it possible to disinfect the books in any way that would be helpful.

Our children and our teachers have struggled long before distance learning became a “thing” due to the pandemic. Now? We’re putting them in harm’s way because the president wants to make it look like we’re winning the battle against coronavirus when we’re clearly not yet there? How? Why?

After reading Dave Grohl’s piec. In the Atlantic, I gotta tell you, I’m even more worried about what this will do to our kids, our teachers, school staff, and to the families who will be put on the frontlines of this viral battlefield.

Please call, email, and write actual letters to your representatives to urge them to postpone this insanity for at least another six months. Let’s protect our children and our families, our school systems, and our communities until we know for certain that it’s safe for them to return.

2020/07/04

Happy Independence Day!

Da Goddess @ 15:12

Happy Fourth of July

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
~ William Faulkner

May your 4th of July be safe and happy! And may you recall what this day is truly about.

Freedom is a hard-won reward. We can’t take it for granted or we may lose it. So, please, take a moment today and consider how special this great nation of ours is — we have fought for our right to disagree and speak our minds, as well as the right to take a day off and celebrate all manner of our liberties.

In this day and age, with quarantines and isolation, with loneliness and the loss of gathering together, especially on days like today, it’s good to remember the days of yore, times gone by, the times we thought were rough, but have turned out to be the good ol’ days, and be thankful we’re still here to celebrate and say God bless America!

Stay safe, friends. Stay safe.

2020/06/25

TJH: Inspire — Winging It

Da Goddess @ 00:46

I find a lot of interesting things on my walks.

I’ve found:

1. A snakeskin, but no snake, which is weird out here in the country. That’s the only evidence I’ve seen of there being any snakes around at all in the year and a half I’ve lived here. I’ve seen more snakes in suburbia than I have here. I think that’s odd.

2. Coyotes. There’ve been singular sightings and sightings of several hanging out in one general area. But, the most frequent sightings are of the three coyotes who stick together. I love this group! I’m assuming they’re a mama, papa, and their pup. I could be completely wrong, but the size of each makes me believe I’m right.

3. Birds. I see so many, especially crows, but also lots of hawks, bluebirds, doves, woodpeckers, orioles, hummingbirds, mockingbirds, ONE raven, and others that I can only guess at the species. I’m trying to make notes so I can look up the descriptions and possibly identify them, but sometimes I forget. Okay, mostly I forget. I’m trying.

4. The occasional surprise. Gloves, always a single glove. Dead bunnies. Dice. CO2 cartridges from those homemade soda machines. There’s always always always a ton of them at the side of the road. And this little item below:

2020/06/11

Just NO

Da Goddess @ 00:02

I’m suspicious of chin dimples. Not a cleft chin, but dimples in the chin. You know, the kind that look as if someone stuck a skewer deep into puffed up dough and you can’t see if there’s even an end to the depth of the dimple. Imagine that on your face. Or on anyone’s face. Imagine the bacteria and/or fungi living in the deep, dark recesses of that dimple. Imagine leaning in close to hear a whisper from someone with a simple full of soupy microbes and smelling the stench that comes with such a thing. Gross, isn’t it? I mean, if your belly button can collect lint and sweat and germs of all sorts, so, too, can a chin pit. And it’s on the face. Where everyone can see it, where everyone can picture the bacterial and fungal sludge simmering together to create a superbly disgusting stew of utter grossness.

So, like, y’know, I’m suspicious of chin dimples.

P.S. this does not apply to Kurt Russell, possessor of glorious dimples and a cleft chin. See? They’re two entirely separate things.

2020/06/10

Thanks, Pam!

Da Goddess @ 12:02

Many thanks to pamibe.com for posting my last two entries. I sent them to her via text and she was lovely for posting.

My internets are sketchy at best these days. The only place I can usually get a steady signal is in the bathroom…in the shower or on the toilet. One inch away from either is dead zone city. And I only discovered this yesterday.

Thank you, Pam! You’re a wonderful friend and top notch human being! Love ya, babe!

2020/05/18

When I’m 54

Da Goddess @ 03:34

(it’d be better as Studio 54, but c’mon, I don’t have access to a glitterball & I’m not wasting my tinfoil hat making one!)

54.

I seriously never thought I’d be alone on my birthday because of a pandemic. I always assumed it would be due to my having pissed off everyone I know and love.

But, here we are: the world is trying to ease back into living like we did before we knew about this thing called covid19. I think it’s too soon to ease up, but what do I know? I’m sure the politicians of the world know what’s best for us. Not. If nothing else, the people throwing caution to the wind and gathering en masse sans masks in bars (I’m looking at you specifically, Wisconsin) and other such places will be our guinea pigs. I just don’t want to hear any of them crying about it after. Common sense dictates you proceed with caution and if you rush out to throw back some drinks in the local tavern with a bunch of other people who you can’t verify have been sticking to the isolation protocol, well, you get what you deserve. It’s like going into a brothel and having unprotected sex with a sweet painted lady. Chances are you ain’t goin’ home alone.

So, yeah. There’s nothing in my 54 years of experience (as a human or even as a nurse) that could have led me to envision THIS as the reason I’m spending my birthday alone.

Crazy times. Insane, batshit crazy times.

Yay. Actually “yay” in all lowercase letters. Good news is I made it this far. Bad news is I made it this far.

Cheers!

P.S. someone please bring me vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. Boring, I know, but I have a hankering. Small Walmart cake is perfect. Refrigerated section.

2020/05/17

18

Da Goddess @ 08:38

Blogiversary day! 18 years.
Eighteen fucking years.
Eighteen. Damn. Years. That’s a very long time to do something voluntarily.

EIGHTEEN YEARS.

Damn.

2020/05/08

Da Goddess @ 00:49

I’d like to take this moment to say, “fuck you, Lucy Ellmann. Fuck you very much.” This is the first time it’s ever taken me a week to read 42 pages of a book I don’t actively loathe.

Ducks, Newburyport is 998 pages long and I’m only on page 49. It’s taken me a week – a W.E.E.K. – to get that far in. And I’m a speedy reader. Not Evelyn Wood fast, but pretty damn fast. And this is an excruciatingly slow fucking read. 98% of the book is one long run on sentence, which stops being a clever storytelling device about 1.5 pages in. Rather, it becomes a tedious method for driving the reader mad with unnecessary nonsense in the middle of what seems to be a decent story. Instead of allowing the readers to easily keep track of characters and plot, we’re forced to assemble the pertinent details from an overworked stream of consciousness blather that truly detracts from the essence of the tale.

I’ve stopped all other reading, set aside puzzle books, kept Netflix off, just to focus on forty-fucking-nine pages. And I’m made about it. Angry. ANGRY. It makes me wonder how the book was shortlisted for the Booker prize.

You know those comedians who run with any irritating joke to the point where it becomes painful and then keep on with it until it becomes kind of funny? That isn’t happening here in book form. Knowing I still have 949 pages left of this only makes me want to waterboard the author. If your story doesn’t allow the reader to come up for a breath of fresh air, you’re going to have bodies strewn across the country – nay, the WORLD – from asphyxia and your readership is going to dwindle. To the publisher, I must say this, “you made a big mistake. HUUUGE.”

Honestly, if not for the fact that I’ve invested actual hard-earned money on this book, I’d have chucked it into a fire or offered to sell it for toilet paper.

And here’s another thing: if your story isn’t strong enough to stand on its own, without this exhausting nonsense with which to prop it, then perhaps the author and publisher ought to take a step back and examine their entire lives and ask themselves where they went so very wrong. What led them to thinking this was a good choice? And what led the Booker prize committee to shortlist this work of drudgery? Is the fact that this massive run on sentence of a book really that innovative? Did they actually enjoy the read? I can’t believe they found this enjoyable.

As I previously mentioned, the bit of the story I’ve “extruded” (that was a deliberate jab at the author, dear reader) hasn’t been bad, just exhausting. I feel I deserve better than this. If I hadn’t splashed out the cash for it, I’d have quit reading and made a fortune selling the pages for toilet paper. Really, I would have. Still might if I finish before the quarantine is over. I guess I just found my motivation.

2020/05/07

Dad. Two Years On.

Da Goddess @ 13:49

Today is the second anniversary of Dad’s death. I miss him more today than ever. I miss his grumbling and his yelling and his laughter. But most of all, I just miss HIM.

He was one of a kind. He was belligerent and bombastic. He was loud and often angry. But he was also loving and kind in a hundred little ways. He was thoughtful and funny. He was creative and had a vision for junk that was incredible. He was upcycling long before upcycling was a thing. He bought junk, but he sold functional art.

Dad, I will miss you forever. I love you always.

2020/04/29

Quarantine Quick Picks

Da Goddess @ 16:50

I’m working on a big booklist for you, but it’s going slow due to the fact I’m caught up in some incredible reading! Yes, only top shelf recommendations for you fine folks.

So, while I’m working on that, let me give you a couple of quick picks to brighten up your quarantine!

1. After Life – on Netflix. Ricky Gervais is, well, brilliant in both seasons 1 & 2 of this series. Six episodes, 30 minutes each…this is a heartfelt and occasionally heartbreaking series you can watch again and again. Wry, crass, bittersweet, and full of heart. Don’t second guess yourself — or me — and just watch it.

2. No Tomorrow – Netflix again. One season of a lovely little series. There’s just so much to like about the characters and the storyline. I won’t say more beyond: just watch!

3. Finally, I give you the most important recommendation of all:Cottonelle toilet paper. Listen, I’m very picky about my toilet paper. As someone with inflammatory bowel disease, let me tell you how important the right toilet paper is! After years of trial and error, I’d settled on the Kirkland (Costco) brand because it was the only TP my sore butt could handle. Then came the day I couldn’t get to Costco and had to rely on Walmart’s Great Value version. It’s the one with the blue packaging (the red isn’t worth it). And then, coronavirus hit and I had to make do with whatever my sister could get for me. That’s how Cottonelle came into my life. O!M!G! People, this is a one-ply toilet paper. ONE-PLY! So much better than most two-ply papers. And it feels like heaven. That’s right! I said it feels like heaven. And I mean that. My poor tush has personally thanked me repeatedly. It’s soft, but not too soft. It’s strong, but not in a rough way. It’s like nothing I’ve ever used before! Cottonelle, I will use every platform available to tell the world how great your toilet paper is and all I ask is for you to always make it because, otherwise, I’ll shed tears forevermore!!! Yes, three exclamation points!!! That’s how much I love you, Cottonelle!!!

Why is this so important to me? Irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, food poisoning, and/or whatever has you on the pot for any length of time, you need a T.P. to clean your very sensitive and frequently raw hiney. The poo can do a real number on your skin and you want something strong, but gentle. Believe you me! After the dead legs, the pain of sitting on the toilet, the cramping, gas, and the enzymes/proteins in your stool that can make you look like a res-assed baboon, repetitive wiping can tear up that fragile skin. Be kind to what’s behind…you. I usually have to add baby wipes to help clean because whether you say papier toilette, papel higiénico, papur toiled, giấy vệ sinh, туалетний папір, tuvalet kağıdı,toalettpapper, karatasi ya choo, letër higjienike, komuneko papera, paper de vàter, carta igienica, toaletni papir, necesejo-papero, tualettpaber, tisyu, vessapaperi, húskepapier, papel de baño, Klopapier, chartí ygeías, papye twalèt, wahila, WC-papír, salernispappír, páipéar leithris, papier toaletowy, aainsarhcakkuu, pepa wharepaku, kertas tanda, taratasy fidiovan, tualetinis popierius, hwajangji, impapuro zo mu musarani, kradeasabangkon, kertas jamban (Javanese, my favorite), or akwụkwọ mposi, toilet paper occasionally needs a bit of help back there.

And that’s it for today’s recommendations. Two shows to watch and the best toilet paper here on earth and also probably in heaven.

Note: I was not paid for my recommendation of Cottonelle, but I’m open to working with them if they need someone.

2020/04/24

Medical Advice Advice

Da Goddess @ 07:12

I don’t know who needs to hear this (I’m lying because I know everyone needs to hear this), but take medical advice ONLY from people who have been to medical and/or nursing school and who have passed rigorous testing and received a license to practice.

DON’T INGEST OR INJECT BLEACH, FFS!

This message brought to you by the committee who wants you to live.

P.S. I’ll give it a go if trump goes first and lives to tell the tale…without any medical intervention.

If you need a handy reminder of this advice, please have a listen to Mr Nick Harvey.

2020/04/21

Better to Laugh

Da Goddess @ 23:55

My frustration level has peaked. I have so many things I’d like to do, so many people I’d like to see, and many places I’d like to visit. Since none of that’s possible, it comes down to lots of tweeting, reading, TV, and movies.

Of course, now is exactly when shit hits the fan. My landlords have moved off the property and out of state. I have missed them a great deal when they drove up to Oregon to be with family. I miss their daughter’s little voice and adorable giggles. I miss hearing the baby fuss and then coo. It’s just so weird without them here.

And I now have to set up my own internet and cable. That was one of my favorite things about renting here: those were included in the rent. Now, they’re reducing my rent to make up for not providing it. But I’d rather just keep it the way it’s always been. I’m THAT horrified by having to figure it out for myself. When manlord was down to pack up the house, I got him to extend the service until they have someone move into the main house. Except, here’s the thing, internet works and cable doesn’t. I’m watching Netflix until they get it figured out.

And I’m reading a lot. Right now, my favorite site is McSweeney’s because I end up laughing for hours. Current favorite article is Frasier & Niles Tell Their Dad to Stay Home. Go read. You’ll like it.

Ta for now. I have to go look for ants. I had three extremely tiny ones show up earlier and I’m obsessed with killing any others that may exist.

2020/04/08

It’s a Different World

Da Goddess @ 10:34

Had the world been put back to right by now, I’d currently be on a plane to a place in the middle of a vast ocean. I’d be just a few hours away from seeing my daughter and her husband and their cats.

But it’s a different world at the moment and everything is upside down and topsy turvy.

I can’t wait to wake up one day soon to news reports of a week without any new cases of coronavirus and no deaths from it in a month. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

I want to ask you to remember the past several months when you cast your vote in November. I want you to remember the man and his administration who all hemmed and hawed and screamed about Covid-19 being a big Democratic hoax, the people who sat on lifesaving information while they divested themselves of stocks that would tank and bought up shares of stocks that would payoff big once they put the wheels of fighting the pandemic in motion.

I want you to remember the man who has no redeeming qualities — personally or professionally — and who has shown no true leadership skills, who diverted attention from a global health crisis to tell us he’s trending on Facebook or that he used pandemic pressers as campaign rallies.

I ask you to remember this when casting a ballot in November because it’s important he not be re-elected. If he’s re-elected, we will not survive the next crisis, be it health or otherwise.

I may not be a working nurse any longer, but knowing what I know and having access to emails from former employers, I wouldn’t want to ever face another shitshow like this knowing the government didn’t have the backs of those who fight to prevent as many deaths as we’ve seen.

I would willingly give up ever going to see my girl & her hubby any time to ensure my family, friends, and my global neighbors were able to avoid another insane event like this. I wouldn’t have to think even a second to vote this massive oozing chancre out of office. With any luck, his actions will land him in prison. You don’t get to play at being president and profit off the deaths of the citizens of your country. Not in this day and age. Not in a time when your acting Secretary of the Navy is forced to resign after he castigated and demeaned a true leader who was trying to protect his troops. If we can create such pressure in less than 24 hours after a leaked recording of Modly’s address to Captain Crozier’s sailors and get him to resign, surely we can create even greater pressure to have trump removed for every act (not just words, but direct actions) leading to the deaths of our countrymen and women and children. This goes beyond party. This goes to the very core of what it means to be human.

Yep. I will give up any future travel, entertainment, and merriment on my life to avoid another catastrophic event like this.

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.

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