2009/01/30

While Strolling Through the Park One Day

DaGoddess @ 10:00

In January, not May…

Windmill bold

Buzz

DaGoddess @ 03:15

I just discovered yesterday that Buzz has a twin brother. I hear they might be hanging out together soon.

Buzzy Bee

2009/01/29

Little Dude’s Heart

DaGoddess @ 13:10

This is a heart my boy found by the side of the road. I love that he sees the world in such a unique way. I promised him I’d photograph this for him and I always try to keep my promises.

Tree Heart

2009/01/28

The Adventures of Noam & Don

DaGoddess @ 12:09

Even though Don gets in more trouble, Noam is still angry that his pal’s in the spotlight more often. Don said, “I tried to duck, but sometimes you get what you deserve, and you’re always too busy roaming.”

Adventures of Noam and Don

Both Don and Noam have been with me for almost 30 years. I found Noam on a lonely forest path while I was at band camp (shut up!). Don found me somewhere else.

Surprise Day

DaGoddess @ 11:26

My day started with quite a surprise. I slept for a WHOLE HOUR! And then I was up. Reading blogs. Answering email. Avoiding looking at all those red photos I need to un-red. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate red gels in nightclubs?

I’m tired. But sort of not. I know I’ll be exhausted later. Like around the time I need to do laundry. So I’m typing quickly, hoping it’ll wear me out enough that I’ll be forced to take a good nap. Please oh please oh please oh please!

Meds didn’t help. Well, one would, but if I take that one, I’ll be out for two days. Can’t do that. I have stuff to accomplish.

My mom is currently watching my sister give a slideshow of all the rat urine and carcasses to the president of the HOA. My mom is also going to call the pulmonary doctor and talk to her about the stuff found between her walls. She promised me she was going to do that. My mom is also going to go to her painting class today like a good girl because she needs to get out of that house for a while. But that’s after she tells the president of the HOA that she thinks this VERY BAD SITUATION is why she’s had pneumonia about 100 times in the last few years. And she’s going to tell him that her daughter the nurse said it’s possible and she’s calling the pulmonologist to confirm! At least that’s what she promised she’d do. I hope to hell she does.

I was going to talk a walk over to my dad’s this morning to pick up a tripod. Since I didn’t sleep and since my back’s hurting like a mofo, I decided to let my roommate drive me over on our way to the bank. I got to choose between two tripods and now it’s sitting here in front of me, staring like it wants something. I’m too tired to mess with it yet. I’ll do that later. While I’m waiting on laundry.

Now I have to come up with a decent thank you gift for the people who gave it to my dad to give to me. Since they own the fabulous Rex, I’m thinking I should put together a few of the photos I took and print something up. I really want to take some new photos of him (Rex) though. Some of him playing. Apparently, he does that. I’ve just never seen it because he only does it in their yard. Nowhere else. I think my dad should take me over to their house next time he dog sits so I can snap away.

And now, now I think I’m ready for that nap. Wish me luck.

2009/01/27

One of THOSE Days

DaGoddess @ 23:37

Everything was weird today. I couldn’t quite seem to get my act together early enough to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. It went downhill from there. Nothing near disaster level, but bad enough that it threw me for a loop.

Little Dude came home from school with his report card. He’s not failing anything, but he’s certainly not doing as well as I’d hoped. His three easiest classes are the three classes in which he has the lowest grades (C). There was also an A+, and two Bs, but those three Cs didn’t sit well with me, especially when I know how much he loves those classes. He says those grades are low because that was during the time I had surgery and was recovering and, well, he was worried. I called B.S. and we discussed the options available to him for improving those grades. I signed the report card, wrote a note to the teacher, and later talked with the ex. We agreed to encourage LD to stay after school M-Th to get extra help. He usually waits that extra hour anyway because his walking home buddy takes advantage of the after school tutoring. So, LD will now join him. If the grades don’t improve this quarter, things and “events” start becoming mere dreams again.

The other big thing that I discovered today is that my mom’s house is currently being torn apart. For the last few years, my mom has always complained about hearing skittering or something in the walls or a weird smell during cold weather. The Homeowners Association said it was nothing. My mom insisted it was rats. Guess what? It was rats. Lots of them. Inside her walls. There was drywall soaked with rat urine, carcasses everywhere, and of course, an overwhelming stench when the men broke through the wall. When they left today, they didn’t even bother to cover the holes they made in the walls, despite the fact that we’re dropping into the 30s at night and those open holes not only allow a really strong breeze to flow into the house, but what about the rats? HELLO! My sister and brother-in-law boarded up all the holes as best they could and my mom is now camping out in the little spare room. I worry about her.

I keep thinking, no wonder she keeps getting sick all the time. All those respiratory infections could be linked directly to the rat situation. I think we’re going to have her tested for a variety of things. I made her promise to call the pulmonary specialist tomorrow.

I feel so badly that I have no room or a bed to offer her here. My sister doesn’t have room because my daughter (who’s into week #2 back at school — yay!) can’t give up her bed as she’s still having a rough go of it while trying to sleep. And my mom can’t sleep on the daybed. My sis and b-i-l offered to haul my mom’s bed over there, but she turned them down. I wish she’d let them do that. I really think that house is bad for her health. Maybe I’ll call my sister later and get her to talk my mom into the move.

Before we moved into this apartment, when our water heater and subsequently the furnace were out in the former abode, when we couldn’t take a shower, not just because we had no hot water but also because the shower and tub were leaking into the dining room — that was hell. It was freezing at night and we were miserable. Then they ripped out our floors and half the walls downstairs and it was even colder. I went to my mom’s a couple times to shower and thaw out. Now I can’t even offer her a bed. I hate that.

Then there was my having to reschedule my physical therapy evaluation. Tomorrow was to be the big day. I discovered the roommate had an appointment scheduled at the same time I did. In the opposite direction. Crap on a cracker! I won’t go in for the eval until next week now and my pool therapy won’t start until the following week. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it definitely put crimp in my plans. Oh well. The good news is that I’ll be starting P.T. and this extra buffer gives me time to see if the insurance company will set up transportation for me (it’s about 15 miles to the pool they use). If I go to pool therapy three times a week, I’ll be going for four weeks. If I only go two times a week, it’s eight weeks. Then I’ll start the rest of my P.T. after that (closer to home, too). Slow but steady, right? Right. Anyhow, everything was rescheduled without a hassle and it is what it is.

And there you have it.

Other than that, it was a banner day. (insert eye rolling here)

PROMPTuesday #39 & #40 – Two, Two! Two for the Price of One

DaGoddess @ 04:25

Last week, Deb wanted us to conduct an interview, real or imagined. This week we have to tell about our first job. I’m not sure if I should talk about babysitting and then being a nanny or if I should talk about working at Baskin-Robbins. Babysitting was very profitable for me, so I did consider it a job. But working as a nanny for twins, THAT was hard work and it paid good money. Do either of those really count, though? I didn’t have to pay taxes on either of them, so maybe I should talk about Baskin-Robbins. Hmm. Decisions, decisions. While I decide, let’s review the rules, then we’ll go to the interview, and THEN you’ll find out which job I discuss.

Da Rules:

  • Try to write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kick in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
  • Aim for 250 words or less.
  • Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy in the writing process.
  • Post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

Okey-dokey, here’s the interview. God and I were having a little chat. I was granted the interview based on my request for answers to three questions.

Me: God, why are some people such jerks? I know that seems like a softball, but I’m really quite curious.

God: I could give you the tried and true answer that I’m testing you and that I know you’ll find the Grace with which to deal with the assholes, but honestly, sometimes I get distracted by that Heavenly choir and I lose track of where I am with the personality wiring. Whenever that happens, I call it an *artistic expression*, not a mistake or imperfection. You’re a photographer, you know what I’m talkin’ about.

Me: I certainly do.

God: Two more to go.

Me: That’s right. Two more. Okay, what’s up with hemorrhoids and yeast infections? Both seem like cruel and unusual punishment just for being women. I realize men get hemorrhoids, too, but women…and that whole pregnancy and pushing thing…

God: Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! Good job! First, I do try to make the hemorrhoids men get extra big and extra painful or itchy. I figure it’s the least I can do. As for the yeast infections, that’s something I didn’t plan on. That’s *nature*. And I do allow nature a lot of latitude. I do, however, apologize for the stretch marks you get with pregnancy. My bad.

Me: That’s cool. I actually don’t mind the stretch marks. Cellulite is another story altogether.

God: What else you got for Me? There’s one question left.

Me: I guess those were the two biggies. Wanna go for a drink?

God: Excellent third question! The answer is “yes” and I’m buying.

—–

First job:

Baskin-Robbins. Back in when they still made us wear those wretched pink and brown short dresses with shorts. And those awful hats. Blech!

My first day of work, I showed up, rarin’ to go. The owners, Russ and Edie, were both there. Edie was a chain-smokin’ old biddy who brought her horny standard poodle into the store with her all the time. Russ was a dirty old man who tried to stick his hand down my uniform to “help me put my nametag on”. I grabbed it from him and said, “thank you, I think I can manage.” I was 15, almost 16 and I knew a perv when I saw one.

In my first week of work, I got called by another employee’s name about 37 times. Her name was Joanne. (I still hate that name.) The confusion wasn’t because of the name. People thought I was her. When I finally met her, I had to admit we did look a little alike. Both of us had long blonde hair and were tan and blah blah blah. Turned out her birthday was two days before mine, too. Weird, huh? Gets weirder.

After four months or so, I stopped giving a shit about the job. Between the dirty old guy and the dog and the crabby old bat, I’d had enough. I quit at the same time they fired me. I went to work at THE pizza place in town. It was where you worked if you were cool. And guess who followed me there? Joanne. We also worked with a Jane and a Janet. Best part about it was if something went wrong, you could always blame one of the other “J” gals and nobody could tell the difference, nor did they care. Not that things often went wrong.

Oh, and that wasn’t the last time I worked with Joanne, either. But that’s another story.

Chet

DaGoddess @ 02:50

Covered an anniversary party for one of the local bands here and I have to say, I LOVE this photograph. All I did was tone it down a bit from all those awful red gels clubs use (they should be outlawed, I tell ya) and voila!

I have plenty of other photos of Chet hammin’ it up for me, but this one, the one he didn’t expect, is so much better. Out of 300+ images, this is THE PHOTO of the night. Sometimes I nail it.

Oh, and just so y’all know, my photography site is finally back up and there are photos of Chet in the archives there. But don’t get too comfy with the way the site looks. It desperately needs to be updated and the minute I have extra scratch, I’m goin’ for it. I have yet to post any photos I’ve taken with Charlie and that simply must happen soon.

2009/01/25

Balboa Park at Night

DaGoddess @ 07:10

I haven’t done a real night shoot in about twenty-five or thirty years. I was pleased to see that I hadn’t forgotten everything. Well, it didn’t hurt that I’d done some reading beforehand, too. I wanted to be prepared. I hope you like the photos.

The Belltower

Five second exposure, if I recall. (It was actually a one second exposure. Obviously my recollection skills have suffered greatly overnight.)

Downtown

Ten second exposure for this one.

The Tree

Eleven second exposure. I got decent enough results at five and eight seconds, but I loved having a bit more color and detail with the longer exposure.

San Diego Historical Society Museum

Eight seconds exposure to achieve this. I loved the look of the building and the lights. I had to keep moving a couple inches at a time to get in the right spot. Right after I shot this, I ran into a woman I assumed was with our group (there were over 100 of us so it wasn’t a crazy assumption) who was lamenting not being able to get the shot. I showed her where I stood and how I positioned the tripod and camera and guess what? She got her shot. Turned out she was just visiting from San Francisco and it was pure coincidence that she was down at the park at the same time we were.

The rest of the photos are up on Flickr. Please feel free to leave comments here and there, especially on those images where I’ve posted two versions of the same shot (color and B&W, color & sorta B&W). I thrive on feedback. And I’m a bit of an attention whore right now. Needy needy needy. That’s me.

My Lucky Day

DaGoddess @ 05:18

Yesterday did turn out to be my lucky day for more reasons than Akismet declaring it so. You see, I returned home from a night shoot in Balboa Park and was editing photos, futzin’ around with deleting spam, and I noticed that Akismet had caught 1,234 bits of spam for me thus far. Don’t believe me?

Behold! Proof!

My Lucky Day

Told ya.

See, that was great and all. I love consecutive numbers, and I consider them good luck when I catch them. Or when I catch something like 11:11 on the clock or when the odometer reads an even number (not that I’m driving these days). I revel in these little things because I’m goofy and because I guess I’m easily amused. Better easily amused than impossible to please, I always say.

So what else was lucky about my day? Well, how about this?

On our night shoot in Balboa Park, I was using a borrowed borrowed tripod (I borrowed it from someone who had borrowed it from someone else, y’see). Everyone else was casually slinging their pods over their shoulders with their cameras dangling unattended behind them. I couldn’t do that. I had my strap in my hand the whole time, just in case. And I sometimes I even carried the tripod so that I was practically cradling my camera and the pod together, like a super long and skinny metal baby. Part of the way through the shoot, I noticed a stabilizing screw had gone missing and I was having to shore up the camera in certain positions (on a wing and a prayer and me wrapping the strap around the base of the pod). That didn’t put me any more at ease, either. After we were completely done, I walked over to my friend and was taking my camera off the tripod and the head mount fell to the ground. If my camera had been on it at the time, it would have shattered and I’d be totally outta luck. I was so relieved to have my little Charlie in my hands that I almost wept with joy. And then I looked up at my friend and said, “whew!” That was quickly followed by an “oh shit, what are we going to do with this thing now” sort of conversation. Thankfully, the guy who owns the tripod works at a camera store, so I don’t think there’ll be any trouble with him getting it fixed. Still, how lucky was I that the camera wasn’t on the mount at the time when it finally gave out?

I also made it through the whole shoot without feeling like knives were jabbing into my hips and lower back, as has been the case for most of this week. Lucky! And on top of that, I got a few photos of which I’m quite proud. Lucky Lucky!

Yeah, I’ll share them. Keep watching. They’ll pop up here soon enough.

2009/01/24

Not Forgotten

DaGoddess @ 05:38

Busy, busy, busy! Two of three music reviews done. One game review to finish. Hundreds of photos still to be edited. Two photo excursions/workshops cancelled because I have too much on my plate and my back doesn’t quite know what to do yet.

I still love you. Honest. I’ll be back. Promise. I haven’t forgotten you. Not even close. Really! I sweat. Soon. Sooooooooooooooon.

2009/01/22

The Headshots

DaGoddess @ 07:05

Headshot One

Headshot Two

Headshot Three

Headshot Four

2009/01/20

Middle of the Road

DaGoddess @ 22:51

Sometimes revisiting your past can be both amusing and informative. Thanks to whoever cruises in from Tempe and digs through the old stuff (you know who you are and, sadly, I don’t. The only thing I do know about you is that you really spend a lot of time in the old stuff and also that you were my 600,000 visitor a while back).

From deep in the borked archives:

Snippet of Conversation

Little Dude and I are in the car the other day. I’m having a really good time testing him on his spelling words and just talking to him in general.

I say, “you know what? I like going places with you. You’re a good companion.”

He replies, “I like going places with you, too. You’re an excellent companion. I like our private time together.”

“You don’t like sharing me?”

“Most of the time? No. I like having you all to myself.”

“What about Mojo? You don’t like sharing me with your sister?”

“Eh, I don’t mind sharing you with Mojo.”

“What about xxxx? Did you mind sharing me with him?”

“Well, at first I was really jealous of him, but I got over it. I decided one day that I liked him too and that we could share you.”

“Jealous?”

“Moooooooooooom! Yes. I was jealous, okay? Get over it! I did.”

Sheesh!

Then, a bit later…..we’re driving again and I’m in the far left lane on the freeway.

“Mom, are you going to go to the middle lane at all?”

“I am. When it’s safe. Why? You don’t like this lane?”

“Oh, I don’t not like this lane. I’m just a middle of the road kind of guy.”

He’s seven.

Posted by DaGoddess at February 27, 2004 12:34 PM

LD isn’t just a middle of the road kind of guy. He’s a thoughtful young man (of tender years, right, Pam?) who has always felt very strongly about right and wrong (“you mean ethical behavior?” he asks), being respectful, and generally trying to do well in life. He’s always been this way. Yes, he’s a kid. But I really do appreciate having a kid like this, one who will question the world, challenge me to think beyond my own opinions, and who makes me think on my toes. I’ve had to frame some arguments carefully in order to open his mind at times, and that’s a good thing. It makes me examine some of my long-held and not-so-long-held beliefs. For me, it’s a true test of my convictions and my patience to have to look at things through his eyes or to restructure my words to meet his current view of the world and his view of some concepts.

Thankfully, he’s a very curious young man who likes to have good conversation. And thankfully, I’m his mom.

Let the Circus End and Let’s Get Down to Business

DaGoddess @ 05:02

As we say goodbye to one president and welcome in another, could we possibly do it without making it a three-ring circus? Let’s face facts, ANYONE who’d been elected would have been making history. The hue of the skin of the victor does not make this any more remarkable than any other time. What is of value is that we are now swearing in the 44th leader of the United States of America. Only 43 others have held this position. It is likely the most difficult job in the world. And each and every person elected to this job makes history. Let’s be clear on that, shall we?

We don’t need 24/7 coverage on every bit of the inauguration. Nor do we need to act as if this is THE GREATEST MOMENT in the history of the world. It’s one man. One inauguration. The exorbitant amount of money spent on this celebration could be better put to use in feeding those who have no food, putting shoes on the feet of those without, providing a warm bed for those who haven’t even a roof over their heads, and providing health care for those who go without. The television coverage planned is equally ridiculous. Why not use that same energy to expose the plight of the ill, the poor, the malnourished? Yes, by all means, let’s welcome the new president with a party, but we don’t need to go so over the top as what is planned.

I wish our new president a successful term in office. I wish for him to surround himself with very smart people. I wish for him to represent all of us, not just those who elected him. I wish for him to maintain a safe, secure nation. I wish for him to continue supporting our military, without whom we’d be at great risk of losing the Freedom we have worked so hard to maintain for 233 years. (Freedom is like a child — it must be tended, nourished, and protected twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.) I wish for him to act with great diplomacy toward our allies and enemies alike. I wish for him to find the strength to stand up to our allies and our enemies when they are wrong and when there are injustices being committed. I wish for him to treat the office he holds with the utmost respect and to remember that he is not a movie star or competing for homecoming king. He is the President of the United States of America and I want very much for him to conduct himself with dignity and grace.

We also need to thank the outgoing president. You don’t have to like him or have voted for him. What I do think we should do, though, is thank him for enduring intense public scrutiny at a very difficult time in American history. He stayed tough and saw his vision through, which is exactly what we ask of our leaders. If he was right or wrong cannot be decided now, but will become much clearer in the future. So for now, we need to say, “Thank you, President Bush.” I did not always agree with him, nor will I ever agree with any president on everything. I don’t need to. I just need my president to be strong and vigilant, which I believe Bush was. So, again, Thank you, President Bush. May you walk off into the sunset, hand-in-hand with the woman you love and enjoy your retirement together. You answered the nation’s call and served us to the best of your ability. Now we make room for #44.

And we need to say, “Welcome President Obama.”

It’s not about politics, it’s about being respectful citizens who choose to believe in and support our leaders — whether or not they were the ones we personally chose. If we don’t agree with them, we can write them, vote them out of office, and/or quietly, with dignity, work to make the world better. We cannot rely upon them entirely to create the change we seek. It begins with us. And if we are diligent in our efforts, it will be reflected in those who hold one of the most powerful positions in the world.

Again, you do not have to be a supporter of President Obama or any other president to give them the respect they are due. They deserve this for taking on a very difficult job, putting up with millions of differing opinions, have to remain strong even when faced with adversity, and still appear to actually want to continue as our president. The very least we can do, to anyone duly elected, is to welcome them as they take office and thank them as they leave. Each has tried to do their best, will continue to do so, and we should respect that.

Now, let’s dispense with the big hullabaloo (we could use that money for a good many other more vital services), say “howdy”, and get down to the business at hand.

Beautiful Evening

DaGoddess @ 04:08

Gorgeous sunset for the family

Sunday night we gathered at my sister’s house to celebrate (belatedly) my father’s birthday. It was just my dad, my sister, my brother-in-law, my daughter, and I. Dinner was fantastic. I wish I could describe the scalloped potatoes adequately. And the ham. But I can’t. They were just too delicious for words.

My daughter and I did most of the dishes and talked. She’s doing much better, moving slowly, but she’s heading back to school on Wednesday. There’s an awful lot of work for her to catch up on and she needs to take finals still. I think she’ll do okay. She looks wonderful and I saw her beautiful smile more than a couple of times. My sis and bro-in-law have taken great care of her — not just during her recovery, but always.

I should have known it was going to be a good night when I walked outside to wait for my dad and saw the sunset. My dad hadn’t shown up yet, so I went back inside, grabbed the camera, rushed back out, shot a few frames, got the camera back in the house, and was outside again in time to see my dad driving up.

Oh, and as I mentioned the other day, Leanne has completed Mojo’s portrait. It’s incredible! She even captured that funny little crooked smile both of my children occasionally display. I love it! Truth be told, I love it so much that I’m going to start saving up so I can afford to have her draw Little Dude, too. I want a matching set of portraits of the kids. (If I suddenly disappear for a month or two, it’s because I gave up cable for the drawing.)

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