2014/03/31

And Now For Something Completely Different

Da Goddess @ 07:19

Was up at 0445 this morning. My wake-up call was…dun dun DUUUUUUUUUUUN! Another aftershock.

And you thought I’d be blogging about something different? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Suckers.

Just had another little aftershock as I began typing this. Perhaps it’s as King Arthur said: I’ve never been so close to the epicenter to notice all the aftershocks before. But, me? I think it’s just insane that we’ve had over 100 since Friday’s quake. It’s unnerving. And it’s kept me on edge just enough to make me feel as though something bigger is on its way.

As I told Pam in comments yesterday, I feel like we’re all just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I don’t like feeling this way.

However, I did actually get to sleep last night. 4 hours. That’s a pretty good stretch for me since all this started.

Everyone is up and moving now, so I’m off to vacuum the bathroom to get all the remaining pottery shards I didn’t get already. Some are in the shower itself. How they got in there, I don’t know, but they’re in there. Every time I look, there are more. I’ve gone in with wet cloths to clean up, I’ve swept. I’ve done this multiple times and still keep finding more.

Eh, who’m I kidding? Princess Bride is on. I’ll wait until after it’s over before I go do that.

2014/03/29

Officially Tired of Earthquake Weekend™

Da Goddess @ 23:32

I’ve never been so done with anything in my entire life.

Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water, Jaws comes racing to the surface to eat us all up.

We’re really nothing more than ragdolls being tossed about carelessly by a rambunctious child.

That child needs a timeout. A very long timeout.

There’s really been no break in turbulence longer than an hour. I’m done. I want off this crazy ride.

Earthquake Central

Da Goddess @ 11:09

We’ve had tremblers all night following our 5.1 earthquake at 21:09 last night. They’ve continued all morning.

And then we had another quake. Probably somewhere in the 3.0 range. Doesn’t sound like much but it was knocking things around.

I’ve not slept at all. This whole thing has left me a bit discombobulated. I keep thinking I’ll just pass out from exhaustion at some point, but it has yet to happen. So I’ve been playing with Fletch. We’ve thrown the ball up and down the hall, through the living room, over the couch, etc. He’s having fun. It’s wearing me out. That should be enough to knock me out, right?

King Arthur went out to get shopping done earlier and the drugstore was closed because of the mess from last night’s quake. He hit several other stores while he was out and said everything else was running smoothly, he just made sure he was far from shelves and heavy stuff while he was in stores.

And with yet another trembler while I was writing this, I’m outta here. Gonna actually attempt to lay down and sleep. Let’s see how well that goes, shall we?

2014/03/28

Death Loomed just 3 Miles Away

Da Goddess @ 23:03

Thank God it didn’t come to thatl No deaths that we know of thus far and I’m praying there will NOT be another quake that leaves me feeling this unsettled. For a long, long time to come.

Okay, I was more than unsettled. I was scared. Even after it stopped my heart continued to race and it’s been over for several hours now. The aftershocks don’t seem to bother me all that much. I just don’t like earthquakes.

This one was scary because you could tell it was close. Those are the worst. And any that shake and roll at the same time make it seem longer and you’re much less steady. This is the kind we had.

We’ve had endless sirens all night. Helicopters flying about, circling the big water main break.

All manner of odd noises are going on late into the night, which, of course, up the ante on the tension. Continuing aftershocks don’t help either.

Oh, and during the big 5.1 (or 5.3, depending on your source) magnitude, our front door flew open and wouldn’t stay closed. The cats freaked out, which meant I panicked and believed that Celia exited through the front door when I spotted it open 5 minutes later. Nope, she hid behind some artwork stacked in front of the bookcase. It took us an hour to find her. WHEW! I can handle the stuff that fell and broke, I can handle all sorts of things. But not a lost and frightened cat. I was near tears the whole time.

We were lucky in that our damage was cheap stuff that I’m comfortable with never replacing.

Mark my words though: if Celia had escaped, she’d be hard to find and unlikely to ever be turned in if someone caught her. And I would never be able to stop crying. But she was found and now all is right with the world and I am still too shook up to try sleepingl

And for those of you of the Visuals Appreciation Society, here’s a little visual aid.

The Friday March 28th game night map that reveals why our terror was so real

You can see where that orange arrow indicates the epicenter (La Habra) and the varying shades of pink indicating Fullerton, which is where I reside. The blue arrows indicate major freeways or areas of importance (like Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm or other freeways). To say this quake hit a little too close to home for my liking would bearly scratch the surface of how I feel. Still, as scary as earthquakes are, I prefer them to tornadoes, from which no one is truly safe. Experienced enough of those in my lifetime to know they’re near the tippy top of my Scaredy Cat list.

Anyhow, to make a long story just a wee bit longer, as the quake hit, Music Choice was playing “Shake Rattle & Roll”. God has a wicked sense of humor sometimes.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Thinking Outside the Box

Da Goddess @ 15:54

I love the way kids look at the world.

Imagine a 14-year-old coming up with a way for the government to save millions of dollars simply by changing the font they use.

That’s how it’s done, folks. Let the kids tackle some of our budget problems (and why not other problems?) and we may find a way to balance the budget.

2014/03/27

20 Minutes: Wounded Warrior Project

Da Goddess @ 17:38

I love the Wounded Warrior Project and all it does to help our injured military personnel adapt to life and take charge of their world. Here’s a video that’s worth every second of your time.

2014/03/04

Glad to See I Wasn’t the Only One

Da Goddess @ 02:54

Since I was less-than-thrilled with the Oscars and the hosting job Ellen did, I figured I was likely one of the few who felt that way. I mean, it’s THE OSCARS and it’s ELLEN. But, it turns out I’m not the only one who thought the evening could’ve been better; Ellen’s outfits (especially the opening tux — wildly unflattering on her), and the lame time-wasting bits all took a hit, too.

Is it too much to hope that next year will bring us a host like Billy Crystal again? He was fun! He was funny! Heck, let Bill Murray give it a shot. Or why not have Bette Midler do it? She’s more than capable of singing a song, telling a joke, and keeping things rolling along. Yes, that’s it. That’s my vote for next year’s host: Bette Midler. She’d be fantastic! And if she can’t do it, then bring in Neil Patrick Harris, because that man can do EVERYTHING and he’ll do it with class.

As for tweeting and posting selfies during the show? No more of that crap. It’s lame. And let’s eliminate lame bits that include handing out pizza or presenters who can’t pronounce someone’s name.

2014/02/22

The Best Part of the Olympics

Da Goddess @ 01:24

I watched the skating because…hello! It’s something I can’t do. I could do it when I was young and lived in Ohio, but in California? No. Noooooo. Nope. Didn’t happen. (Roller skating was easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Thankyouverymuch)

I tried to watch other events. The biathlon caught my attention for a few minutes, but still didn’t do much for me.

Back to the skating. All of it. The single best thing about the skating? Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. For reals. Not only did I learn stuff from them, I also enjoyed their witty reparte and their ability to not talk over the entirity of the performances. Well done, Johnny and Tara! You are the true winners of the 2014 Winter Olympics! (I’m not the only one who thinks so, either.)

Bye-bye, Olympics. I’ve had my fill of pre-empted programming and bloated coverage of sports most of us don’t care about. I admire the athletes’ athleticism and commitment, but I’m otherwise not a fan. Still, y’all (the athletes) did good and entertained the world. But I’m not-so-secretly glad it’s basically all over but the crying.

2014/02/20

112

Da Goddess @ 14:47

Ansel Adams. It’s the 112th anniversary of his birth today and it should not go unnoticed. He gave photography a leg up in the art world with his breathtaking landscapes and his unflinching quest for perfection when it came to balancing light and shadows. His zone system is still taught for tonal balance. Anyone interested in photography should study the zone system.

He got his first camera at the age of 14, in 1916, on his first trip to Yosemite. In 1921 his first images of Yosemite were published, thus beginning the nation’s (and, indeed, the world’s) fascination with the man and his art.

Often cited as lyrical in his depiction of wilderness, it should come as no surprise that Adams had aspired to be a professional musician (pianist). So keen was his creative spirit, the same intensity that made his music so beautiful drove him to excellence in his photography.

But, don’t believe for a second that Adams could only shoot landscapes! His portraits — particularly of those in the Manzanar internment camp (Manzanar War Relocation Center) — are just as lovingly crafted as anything else. The portraits were not simply a collection of faces, though. Adams deeply felt the betrayal by the government against its own citizens. Those depicted in the images with dignity and indomitable spirit shining brightly.


The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment…All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use

He also created images in industrial settings, my favorite of which come from the Salz Tannery in Santa Cruz, California.

Every image taken by Ansel Adams and shown to the world had to meet his exacting standards. He sought balance and he achieved it, or it wouldn’t be seen by the public.

Among those images are these from the tannery.

Salz Tannery worker

Salz Tannery worker

Salz Tannery pit

Looking at the tones in these images, one should note the range of those tones. Nary a glaring, blown-out highlight to be found (as is so often the case with photographers these days). From the deepest black to the palest white, the tones are true — much like a perfectly played note.

Without belaboring his entire history (I encourage you to read up, though!), it’s no stretch to say that most everyone in the Western world (and well beyond) have heard of Ansel Adams and have likely viewed one of his images in some manner, such is the depth and breadth of his oeuvre. His desire to teach his techniques to others, to unite like minds, and to pursue his art has made Adams one of the greatest influences in photography.

Happy birthday, Ansel! Thank you for making photography so very intriguing.

2014/02/07

Making an Impression

Da Goddess @ 10:56

So, last weekend we went over to see King Arthur’s aunt and uncle and bunches of other family. I’d met several of the family before, but I was unprepared for the onslaught of new faces (and names to go with those faces). I pretty much managed to remember most of the names, thank God! But my real moment to make an impression came as we sat down to play a game. While I was really getting into the game and figuring out how best to play, the chair I was sitting on suddenly gave out from under me. CRACK! OH! BOOM! GLASS BREAKING SOUNDS! Thankfully, no glass actually shattered; it was simply glassy rock-like things in vases that were on the floor behind me. Color me a freshly boiled lobster red of embarrassed!

I almost wish I could have seen my face during the whole ordeal. Part of me was just in shock. The other part of me was horrified in thinking my fat ass was responsible for the chair fail. Thankfully, I didn’t and couldn’t see my face. And even MORE thankfully, King Arthur’s cousin (who is fairly thin) told me he had the same exact thing happen to him in the same exact place (while playing the same exact game, which is rather suspicious, if you ask me).

So, despite my best efforts to be quietly supportive of my darling man, I made quite the impression on his family.

I wasn’t the only one making an impression that day. One of his cousins’ grandkids showed up with Girl Scout cookies to sell the family (smart kid) and (even smarter still) she employed her 3 1/2 year old brother as her chief salesman. I picked up a box of lemon-flavored cookies and young (we’ll call him) Steve said, “you should probably get the other box, too. It’s the last one.” I about peed myself when he said that. 3 1/2 years old with 40 years in sales! He also encouraged anyone without exact change to round up their purchases to make it easier on him since “I’m not good at making change yet.” Tell me this kid doesn’t have the makings of a great car salesman or a politician! And the entire time he was just freakin’ totes adorbs. (Yes, I said it. Don’t hate.)

Also making an impression of late: Yuzuru Hanyu, the 19 year old Olympic skater from Japan who totally killed it during the Men’s short program. Not only was his program sharp, clean, and a “wow”, but he was skating to Gary Moore’s “Parisian Walkways”. STUNNING! It’s one of my favorite Gary Moore tunes. It surprised me to 1) hear it at the Olympics, 2) to have such a young guy capture the soul of the song so beautifully, and 3) have a skater be so bold in his music choice, not to mention do it justice.

Even if Hanyu hadn’t chosen a great blues tune, I’d have cheered him on. His approach is simply beautiful. Relaxed, but with the kind of precision that takes your breath away.

Now, if only other skaters would take a cue from this young man and go with music that has some serious emotion to it. Everything Yuzuru Hanyu did was punctuated perfectly by his choice of music. Tell me those crisp, clean notes paired with the more fluid phrases don’t go with skating. Tell me. I dare you. Pop music doesn’t do that. Some of the more orchestral pieces don’t do that either, which is truly a crying shame. With blues, certain pieces of classic rock, and the right choice of classical or opera, you get the full depth and breadth of the human psyche and they give you the tension and rests you need to build a compelling presentation. (I write this as I watch the Japanese pair skate along to a “floral” but rather unexciting bit of music that gives really nothing in the way of climax to their performance. Grr! I dare say the impression you make on the audience should NOT be one of “I’m only yelling and complaining because you were so boring!” Whereas the U.S. pair skating right after them chose Santana and proved my point exactly. Sheesh, it’s hard to be right about so many things.)

And that concludes today’s thoughts on three unrelated, but slightly related topics*.

* Me, with King Arthur’s family…King Arthur’s grandnephew(??? Is that even such a thing???) knowing how to sell the crap out of cookies for his sister…skaters knowing how the sell the crap out of their performances. Yes, I believe I’d call that a triple!

2014/02/02

22 Pigs Fighting Over the Same Ear of Corn

Da Goddess @ 11:37

Yep, it’s that time of the year again.

Super Bowl Sunday.

I dunno ’bout you, but I’m rooting for the Seahawks. Go Hawks!

And I’m going to be cheering on all the participants in the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, cuz nothing’s cuter than puppies and kittens and whatever else they throw at us. It’s certainly more fun than 22 pigs fighting over an ear of corn (which is how a neighbor describes football).

2014/01/16

Three Arrested as Fire Rages

Da Goddess @ 15:38

Three very stupid men are sitting in jail because they did not heed the red flag warning in effect for most of L.A. and Orange Counties this week.

“They were tossing papers into [a] campfire and a breeze reportedly kicked up and set this fire,” Staab said, adding that one of the men “has admitted to setting this fire.”

Apparently, they set up camp and decided they needed a fire during the worst time possible for one. Super low humidity and gusting winds plus fire = BAD.

I can’t decide whether these guys were just desperate for attention or are just extremely EXTREMELY stupid. Or both. All I know is that I hate fires and this one could have been prevented. $20,000 for bail isn’t nearly enough. I hope to hell they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that we never hear their names spoken again.

2014/01/15

Shake Senora!

Da Goddess @ 01:48

We just has a freaky little earthquake here. It was very wobbly and it went on a bit longer than I’d like. Currently bracing for aftershocks because earthquakes usually bring a friend.

It was less than 40 miles away. 01:35. 4.4 magnitude.

Too close for comfort

2014/01/08

Two Kids Explain Elvis

Da Goddess @ 05:29

2014/01/02

Happy Blues Year

Da Goddess @ 17:47

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