2016/08/20

Olympics

Da Goddess @ 14:31

I watched a lot of the Olympics this year. Despite my declaration 18 months ago, when NBC started advertising them, I couldn’t resist the urge to see what all the incredible athletes would do.

Gymnastics: A.Ma.Zing. All the way around, the women and men were fascinating to watch. I even managed to keep my eyes open for the balance beam routines, which I’ve been loathe to do in the past. As someone who has NEVER been able to do a cartwheel, I have the utmost respect for the courage it takes to careen across a mat at a high rate of speed and fling oneself in the air. The strength and flexibility are unbelievable. I am in awe. I predict Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian will take all the gold medals in 2020 Tokyo.

Swimming: What can I say about the strength and speed of the swimmers that hasn’t already been said? Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Maya Dirado, Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer…all the women gave their best in the pool. Ledecky is only 19 and just couldn’t get enough of those medals. Manuel, 20, is the first black American woman to medal in the Olympics. Sadly, NBC didn’t think to prepare a package on her journey to the Olympics, which is mind boggling because there was a big opportunity to talk about *why* we’ve seen so few black Americans in the pool. There’s *history* there that deserves to be shared. Instead, we got plenty of coverage of Phelps and Lochte*.

Diving: I am humbled by those who can stand atop a board and then fling themselves WHILE PERFORMING ACROBATICS off, toward the water, and still barely make a splash. How is it even possible?

Equestrian: I had to scout around to find coverage for the equestrian events. USA and MSNBC carried the bulk of riding and jumping events. Thank God I thought to dig around until I found the schedule! Fletch was equally happy that I found the horses. He sat in front of the TV, mesmerized by them. Then he ran through the house, scampering and leaping as if he were competing. I wish I’d thought to record him doing it!

There is such beauty in watching horse and rider strive to achieve the most difficult jumps, to navigate a course full of challenges, to place their trust in one another… it’s truly amazing.

My younger sister could have been an Olympic horsewoman. She may try to say otherwise now, but she was GOOD and she could have done it. So, not just because I have always loved horses, but because I always think of my sister… that’s why I watched, why I’ll always watch.

My only complaint with the equestrian competition is that it doesn’t include reining events. I took enough riding lessons on reining horses to know and understand the level of skill required to get a horse and rider to the point where they can achieve such smooth movement and “effortless” control. Granted, I was pretty much a hack in spite of all the time and effort I put into riding, but STILL! (Really, even though I wasn’t as good as I had hoped, I was plenty happy to be on a horse under the vast Colorado sky.)

Cycling: I tried to get into cycling more this year, but I gave up after the first event. Once upon a time, cycling was special to me. Apparently, I grew out of it. I still admire the riders, but I no longer feel the need to watch.

Finally, I have to say how disappointing I found NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. Forget how underwhelming the opening ceremony was, it *might* have been better if we had been given the opportunity to see it without commercial interruptions every few minutes. Perhaps. We’ll never know at this point.

During events, the network continued to suffer from “gotta get an ad in” syndrome. Aside from swimming heats that would be over in a matter of minutes, NBC had a very difficult time sticking with coverage for more than 8 minutes. And if they did, they spent that time focusing on little of importance. Where were the lovely, heart-warming stories about the athletes overcoming adversity? Oh, sure, there were a few stories, but too much time was spent on interviewing breathless competitors or cutting back to a sports announcer, or worse… Ryan Seacrest. Am I the only one who has had enough of the guy? I do NOT get his appeal at all.

The best thing NBC did during the Olympics was bringing Leslie Jones down to Rio. Her enthusiasm was infectious and endearing. Might i suggest we replace Seacrest with her next time? Actually, let’s do that AND let another network broadcast the Olympics in the future. After this round, I’m pretty sure a community college broadcasting class could do a better job than NBC did.

Before I end this with my rant below,let me just say how much I appreciate the dedication of the athletes, their families, and the coaches. I marvel at the sacrifices these people make to chase a dream. Even for those who don’t “get sports”, they must see the beauty in chasing a dream. So few of us have the fortitude to focus as much as these athletes do. I often wonder if we made opportunities to try a variety of activities available to everyone — from the wealthiest to the poorest — if we could create more dreamers and achievers. I believe it’s possible. And I don’t think we should wait for the next Olympic games to start inspiring the next generation to go for the gold.

__________________

*Now, allow me to vent about the idiot for a moment. Lochte, despite his medals and fame, couldn’t manage to behave like an adult following the completion of his events. His actions in Rio, outside the Olympic compound, were asinine and reflected so poorly on not just America, but the athletes in general. I sincerely hope he’s punished somehow, someway. I don’t know what, exactly, but there must be consequences for his (and his fellow delinquents) actions. I’d send him back to Rio to face the music and I’d ban him from the U.S. swim team for at least the next games in 2020. Isn’t there some sort of code of conduct for these athletes? What are the repercussions of breaking the rules? This angers me in a way I find difficult to explain. I mean, I’ve had enough of athletes getting away with bad behavior, or getting a mere slap on the hand. Whether you are representing your family, school, your neighborhood, your city, state, or nation, you need to be held accountable for your actions. It’s not enough to be embarrassed or ashamed that people find out what an idiot you’ve been. There must be more done to deter others from behaving in a similar(or worse) manner.

I truly do not comprehend how we humans have allowed others to get away with all manner of crime simply because they are known for their athletic abilities (or whatever their claim to fame may be). Why? As a parent, you spend so much of your time trying to raise your children to be responsible, honest, law-abiding citizens. Those character traits should not be optional because they excel at sports, acting, academics, or anything else. In fact, the bar should be even higher for those who work so hard to achieve “greatness” in whatever field they choose that also puts them in the public eye.

At some point, were going to need to say, “enough is enough!” and demand our national “representatives” adhere to a specific level of conduct. If they don’t, they should be stripped of their awards and banned from future competition. I can’t see any other way to get the message across.

2016/08/08

Thicket

Da Goddess @ 11:54

Sometimes I get the urge to let my eyebrows go untended. You know, to set the tweezers aside and see what happens.

My steadfast efforts to tame the brows has, over the years, often left me with regrettable looks. Thankfully, brows grow back.

These days, there are evermore exceedingly pale hairs showing up. While they’re less visible, they cause me untold moments of discomfort and anxiety. Thick and pokey, they itch and, occasionally, sting as they come in.

I tend to stay right on top of each hair as it appears, quickly tweezing it away with a tenacious swiftness that borders on obsession; a pathology of some unspecified origin.

But this past week, with raging sinus pain, I did nothing. I cared not one whit about the prickly entities pushing up through the skin over my eyes, threatening to unite in the middle of my forehead. I did nothing. Even now that I feel better, I’m casually considering the possibility of doing nothing about the brows. Not forever. Just for another week. To see what happens. To see if the thicket grows to some remarkable unibrow of magnificence.

Or, maybe my sinuses have finally rotted my brain to allow me to ponder such a thing.

Eh. I doubt I make it to Wednesday. Like everything else in life, there are just some ideas that are meant to be discarded for their sheer lunacy.

2016/07/28

Pondering

Da Goddess @ 03:06

Sometimes I wonder if those who cite the Bible/religion as their basis for hating on or denying the rights of homosexuals and/or transgender individuals ever considered the idea that God made these people and put them here on earth with us to help us open our minds and hearts.

Substitute homosexual/transgender with black/Hispanic/Asian or any other ethnicity and the depth of that type of prejudice becomes even more ridiculous, doesn’t it?

I truly believe we are all here for a reason and we should be more open to others before we become so isolated that we’ve walled ourselves into individual compounds and the entirety of the human race dies off.

Just something I was thinking about.

2016/06/26

Ten Years After and it Still Stings

Da Goddess @ 00:06

Rob was the sort of man who got under your skin and migrated to your heart, kind of like a thorn or a parasite. And I mean that in the best way possible. Basically, once you made contact with him there was no way you were going to shake him.

TEN YEARS. Ten whole years he’s been gone. It continues to feel as though he might still call or email, as if there’s another story he needs to tell. I don’t know if that’ll ever really go away.

There are far too few people in this world like him and the loss of just one such person reveals the special place we hold in our hearts for them. I, thankfully, live with and love such a character. But the space where Rob lived will never truly be filled by anyone else. And I’m okay with that. Special friends deserve special places forever.

Day By Day - Acidman

Chris Muir

2016/06/07

Six Months is not Enough

Da Goddess @ 01:11

I feel sick to my stomach that six months was considered an appropriate sentence for the attacker. I feel sick to my stomach because it’s not anywhere close to a deterrent for the next guy who decides he’ll assault someone and he knows he can get away with it.

My heart aches for this young woman because of all she has endured — including the trial, the questions about her life, the treatment of her by the probation officer, and so much more.

I have been in her shoes, minus the trial and national exposure. I didn’t go after my attackers because of who one of them was. I wish I had as I later learned there were more victims of his. I don’t know what happened in the other guy’s life and don’t want to know. In fact, my heart says it’s best for me not to know anything about either of them.

Just like this young woman, I was lucky to have had some incredibly supportive people in my life. They helped me through the first year of recovering from the attack. And for all those who continued to help me long after, I can only say thanks. The memories never go away completely, but they do blur around the edges and they don’t have power over me as they once did. When I read about how this young woman (and many others) have suffered, a part of me feels their pain, the panic, the anxiety that follows. I wish I’d had their courage when I was attacked. I didn’t. But I do have a bit now and am no longer ashamed by any of it. I’m hoping anyone in a similar situation understands how important it is to realize they have nothing to be ashamed of. Their attackers should be ashamed, while the victims should be supported by family, friends, and the community.

As long as there are foolish judges handing out lenient sentences, parents who obfuscate the truth and try to raise pity for their criminally convicted children, and a society that tries downplay the seriousness of sexual assault cases, these stories will continue and the victims will continue to feel ashamed for something in which they had no choice but to endure.

Your mother, sister, daughter, wife, cousin, best friend, next door neighbor…She is the one who carries this weight and this pain when the rest of us don’t give sexual assault cases the utmost care and gravity they deserve. It’s time to stop victimizing the victim over and over again, somehow turning them into a villain for expecting justice. It’s time to stop downplaying the attacker’s role and turning him into some sort of misguided, lost soul.

We need to educate our children so they understand the difference between right and wrong, teach them to take responsibility for their actions — regardless of the consequences. If they do the crime, they do the time. It’s not negotiable. Rich or poor, boy or girl, black or white or purple, famous or not. At some point we must stand up for victims and stop allowing the perpetrators to control the narrative, stop giving them nonstop media coverage. Let’s remember the victims could be our family, friends, or even ourselves.

2016/05/19

50 & 14: I Did It!

Da Goddess @ 03:57

I. Fucking. Did. It.

I’ve made it to 50! And the last 14 of those years included blogging. Crazy, isn’t it?

This past year’s been a rough one. Frustration, pain, and heartache seemed to be around every corner. My own health issues, my family’s health issues, deaths of friends and my sweet Celia, and having to say goodbye to Mojo as she packed up for Alaska. But this is all part of life and we get through it, don’t we?

So I’ve survived and am grateful for making it this far. Of course, I wish things were easier, but without sadness I’d never appreciate happiness; without pain I’d never appreciate pleasure. It’s all part of life. LIFE. I’m still here! I almost feel like hunting down that vice principal and a few friends’ parents just to say, “you were WRONG!”

Heavy sigh, deep breath, and many prayers I get to try writing another post like this next year!

2016/05/01

Christos Anesti! Tis Pascha Once Again

Da Goddess @ 00:02

Christos Anesti! He is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

Before the dawn, Mary and the women came and found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They heard the angelic voice: “Why do you seek among the dead as a man the One who is everlasting light? Behold the clothes in the grave! Go and proclaim to the world: The Lord is risen! He has slain death, as He is the Son of God, saving the race of men.”

Thou didst decend into the tomb, O Immortal, Thou didst destory the power of death! In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming “Rejoice” to the myrrhbearing women, granting peace to Thy apostles, and bestowing resurrection to the fallen.

The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all you people! Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The Glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exalt now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

Happy Easter, my friends!

2016/03/27

Happy Easter!

Da Goddess @ 00:25

Happy Easter

Wishing you a very joyous Easter!

We’ll do this again May 1st, okay?

2016/01/27

Three Things

Da Goddess @ 02:51

First thing: my favorite doctor I’m currently seeing for my back is leaving to start his own practice or something like that. I found this out on Monday and promptly felt abandoned. There will be another doc taking his place, but it won’t be the same. He could tell just by looking at me how I was feeling and seemed to understand my and anticipate my needs. I’m going to miss him greatly.

Thing, the second: I’m finally going to celebrate Christmas with the family! Woo hoo! Very excited about this.

Thirdly, I’m going to meet my lost sister. I feel as though I have waited forever to meet her, and I suppose that’s accurate. I mean, since I found out about her I’ve wanted to meet her and now I’m going to! (Yeah that super high-pitched thing you heard but thought you only imagined was my squeal of delight.)

Yes! I managed a concise post! Make note of this, friends. It’ll likely never happen again.

2016/01/22

Protected: Worst. Friend. Ever.

Da Goddess @ 02:04

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2015/12/21

TJH: Inspire – Ode to Joy

Da Goddess @ 08:12

Tis the season for joy, is it not?

Yesterday, while baking cookies with King Arthur’s daughter and grandkids, I’d noticed something interesting: an upside-down candy cane cookie was right next to a wreath cookie, which was next to a mitten cookie. Looking at the way they were laid out there, it read “Joy” to me. Everyone else came over to look and they saw the same thing. It was appropriate for the occasion, as well as for the season.

Which brings me to my next bit of joy: my kids.

Mojo was down from Fairbanks the 2nd-9th. We only got a bit of one day together, but it was wonderful to see her, AND LD, again. Yes, they both met up with us at a little place down Temecula way. I’d told them we were going to do some photos for Grammy and Papa and they were cool with that. Here are a couple shots from that day.

Mojo 1

My sweet kids

LD 1

My Mojo girl

LD 2

Mojo 2

Handsome LD

A wonderful pair

Beautiful Mojo

2015/11/15

Recovery

Da Goddess @ 04:27

With all that’s been going on in my life (family stuff, faire, cat training, etc.), I forgot all about mydomain registration being due. As I’m sure you noticed, we went dark.

I feel so stupid! This isn’t like me to forget these things. I briefly contemplated not renewing at all and hanging up my blogging suit for good. But, after 20 seconds, I realized there was no way I could do without this site.

And so I’m back. Thanks for sticking around while I got my shit together!

Back to business as usual in a few moments.

2015/11/03

The Lost Sister

Da Goddess @ 02:09

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but in case I didn’t or if you missed it — I have another sister. Yes, I have my older sister, C., and my younger sister, J. But there’s also another sister. One I’ve never met.

When my mom was young, before she and my father got married, she had a child. She gave that child up for adoption. She’d named her, but her adoptive parents gave her a name of their own choosing. My mom never knew what that name was. She said her goodbye to that little girl and went forward with her life.

Years later, this child tracked down my mom. She didn’t want anything other than to know who she was, get some background on her, and, of course, get medical information from her.

I was the last one in the family to find out about her. My mom thought I might not understand. But Mom did finally tell me about her and I always wondered about her. B., as she was named, was a mystery. A mystery I wanted to solve. Or, at least, explore.

It’s been many years since the revelation of this mysterious sister and now I’m finally going to get some answers to the questions I have. Turns out she’s living in California, not far from my younger sister. She walked into the veterinary clinic where J. works and, in the course of chatting, discovered they were related. B. was suddenly a reality for us.

J. called to tell me about her and wanted to know if I was interested in meeting her. Hell to the YES! And now our journey of discovery begins.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress!

2015/09/27

Vanity, Thy Name Is Fletch

Da Goddess @ 02:35

My darling boy, you are one of the silliest cats I’ve ever known. You are also one of the clumsiest cats I’ve ever known. And yet, you are also one of the vainest cats I’ve ever known.

Fletch doesn’t do it often, but when he does, he does it for hours. Doing what, you ask? Examining himself in the mirror. He’s prone to sitting in front of the mirror for long periods of time. Adjusting his position, this way and that. Stretching his neck. Moving his tail. Turning his body. Practicing poses. He’s like a teenage girl prentending to be a model. When he finds the one pose he prefers for the session, he gives himself a good long look in the mirror, blinks, good long look again, slightly turns, adjusts the pose to get it right, looks at himself in the mirror again, and then when he gets it exactly right, he stares. Stares. And then he stares some more.

I stand off to the side and watch him do this. I try to get his attention in every conceivable way, but he just wants to gaze upon himself. His very lovely self. Not even the promise of food can lure him away when he’s in one of his vanity trances. One of these days, I’ll record him doing this and post it online. One of these days. We’ll see how that works for me.

2015/09/11

September 11 – 14 Years Later

Da Goddess @ 03:46

When we think of this day, we often focus on the loss and the pain. It’s very natural for us to do so because it was a very painful time for our country. So many people lost so very much. But a lot of good has risen from the ashes of that dark day. Here’s a story from Bob Dotson:

He no longer put off anything that brought them joy. “If we’re lying on the floor and all of a sudden Victoria says, ‘Daddy, I want to go to the park,’ I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go to the park.’ That’s what I’m thinking, but I say, ‘Let’s go. We’re going to the park.’ ”

Robert shouted “Hang on, guys!” as the kids squealed with laughter. They were riding in a grocery cart, careening across the lot toward dad’s big SUV. “Why should I deprive my children from going shopping?” Robert said. “I see all the other mothers going shopping with their kids. Why can’t I do it?”

He raced alongside the grocery cart, jumped on its rear axle and pushed with a powerful leg. The children exploded with laughter again. “When my kids smile, the terrorists lose,” Robert said with a grin. “The people who killed Janet wanted to destroy our happy lives. They lost. We won.”

In his book American Story, Dotson also tells of a Newfoundland town that took in stranded passengers from several planes that were forced to land. It’s a beautiful story. The entire book is full of them. To say I recommend this book highly is an understatement. It’s what every American should read. Most particularly today. Go get yourself a copy and let each story remind you why America is so special, why we triumph even when faced with horrifying tragedy like September 11, 2001.

Today, while I remember the lives lost and those impacted by the the actions of hateful people, I will also remember the goodness and strength we found along the road to recovery. Neighbor helping neighbor. Children leading their parents. Strangers holding hands and offering whatever they could to ease another’s burdens. We have triumphed because that’s what America is all about.

Yes, I still remember and I still grieve, but I also see the promise of America through the veil of tears.

Always remember, and always hope.

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