2009/07/31

We’ll Always Have Pastrami

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Everything may be going to Hell in a handbasket here, but at least I have the memory of a recent perfect pastrami sandwich to buoy me.

Pastrami sandwich from DZ Akins

Really, truly…things have been bad here before, but never this bad. If I’m gone for a few, well, it’s because I’m trying desperately to find us a safe place to live.

If you need to get in touch with me for anything big, the cell phone’s the best bet, and those who need it, know it.

2009/07/30

Working Hard!

DaGoddess @ 11:00

I’m still hard at work getting the OpLove photos edited. Some of the conditions while shooting were a bit crazy at times, but those one served to drive me to work harder and have more fun.

I have noticed that certain images lend themselves to a more “aged” look, too. Not every image. Not every family. But there are those…and I’m trying to decide, at times, if I’m overthinking some of these. I will say this: my Photoscape program? Single best extra program you can ever have. It brings me actions/options that I’d have to spend hours creating the “look” and then writing down the formula (since I don’t know how to write actions for PSP X2). Anyhow, like I said, I do have this sense of nostalgia for some images and I have to try them out on “unlikely” shots — meaning shots that either show the family in their natural element and would otherwise be a throwaway shot as cute as it is.

Here’s what I mean.

Original

The aged version

As always, feel free to weigh in. Keep in mind this was a very fun, active family with four distinct directions in which they were headed, four very different activity levels, and they were just lovely to work for and with.

Tell me what you think.

Happy Couple

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Birdy couple

Photo Friday entry: Seaside

2009/07/29

Without a Leg to Stand On

DaGoddess @ 10:00

For some reason, the fine Buckingham Nicks tune “Without a Leg to Stand On”* keeps running through my head.

She's got LEG

I found this in the parking lot on Friday. I keep hoping someone rescued their baby doll’s missing leg. Somehow, I don’t think that happened. Also, it’s not hugely apparent, but I found a heart there, too.

*There’s so many fine people
That I believe in
They don’t care where I’m going
It’s not their show
I got nothin’ but time
No time for living
I used to be somebody
But that was so long ago

Look around but you won’t see me
Just a picture of what I used to be
There ain’t nothin’ to set me free
Without a leg to stand on

Insanity

DaGoddess @ 04:00

We stood safely off at the far “edge” and watched as young man after young man jumped from the cliffs into the rocky water below. It was both thrilling and terrifying to watch. “No way are they doing that!” we said. But they were and they were having fun. We also knew it was only a matter of time until someone got hurt.

Did we stay and continue to watch, maybe witnessing the trainwreck that was bound to happen? Did we walk away and silently wish everyone well?

We chose to walk away, opting to watch the surfers for a bit instead. Eventually a couple girls walked passed and said, “we were just going to jump and some guy hit the rocks. No way were we gonna do it after that!”

Sunset Cliffs Divers

Sunset Cliffs Divers

Part of me is damn glad I’m old enough to know better and avoid certain acts of pure insanity.

But there is that part that misses the fearlessness of youth.

The pics aren’t nearly as great as the memories.

PROMPTuesday #66 – Send my Mix Tape to the PO Box

DaGoddess @ 02:45

Easy stuff: what kind of mix tape are you makin’ and for whom?

The number one tune on this tape? (And yes, you do have to watch the video)

All the rest are just so “practical”.

This goes out to all my friends with sofas, a spare room with just enough space to fit me, a blanket, a bag, and a pillow, to those who need someone to watch their kids, prepare meals, unpack boxes, dog sit whilst they travel, water plants, look in and help re-orient old Aunt Rose each morning. Or who know people who have need of such services for we are about a week or two away from:

Mix Tape #1

Paul Simon – “Homeless”
Homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
Homeless, homeless
Moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
We are homeless, we are homeless
The moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake
And we are homeless, homeless, homeless
The moonlight sleeping on a midnight lake

Zio yami, zio yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami amakhaza asengi bulele
Nhliziyo yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami, angibulele amakhaza
Nhliziyo yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami somandla angibulele mama
Zio yami, nhliziyo yami
Nhliziyo yami, nhliziyo yami

Bruce Hornsby – “That’s Just the Way It Is”
Standing in line marking time, waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by as he catches the poor ladies’ eyes
Just for fun he says “get a job”

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them

Huey Lewis and the News – “Bad is Bad”
Went uptown to see my cousin
Plays guitar, sounds like a chainsaw buzzin
In the crowd, I see his mom and dad
I said hey, hey uncle, man your son is bad

But sometimes, sometimes bad is bad
Cool is a rule, but, sometimes, bad is bad.

Across the street, a neon sign
All you can eat for a dollar ninety nine
Aww, that old stew is the baddest in the land
But one dollars worth was all that I could stand

But sometimes, sometimes bad is bad
Cool is a rule, but, sometimes, bad is bad.

Back uptown to see Marie
Nobody home, I opened the door with my key
I love you, Huey was the note I read
But theres a strange pair of shoes underneath the bed

But sometimes, sometimes bad is bad
Cool is a rule, but, sometimes, bad is bad

Bessie Smith’s “Poor Man’s Blues”
While you livin’ in your mansion, you don’t know what hard time means,
While you livin’ in your mansion, you don’t know what hard time means,
Poor workin’ man’s wife is starvin’, your wife is livin’ like a queen!

Please listen to my pleadin’, ’cause I can’t stand these hard times long,
Oh listen to my pleadin’, ’cause I can’t stand these hard times long,
They’ll make an honest man do things that you know is wrong

Joe Bonamassa – “Woke Up Dreamin’”
Devil’s risin’,
You don’t have a chance.
Devil’s risin’,
You don’t have a chance.
Where there’s fiddles playin’,
Shake your bones and dance.

I just want to,
Live another day.
I just want to,
Live another day…

James C. Fox – “The Homeless Blues”
I ain’t got no place to sleep.
I ain’t got no place to go.
I’m feeling kinda cold & wet
Right down to my toes

I’ve got the Homeless Blues.
I’ve got the Homeless Blues.
I’ve got the Homeless Blues.
And I Don’t Know What To Do

I ain’t got no money.
I ain’t got no job.
I ain’t got nothing to eat
Can’t seem to get on my feet.

Watermelon Slim – “Hard Times”
I’m too poor to pay attention,
I’m too hungry to eat,
too sick to see my doctor,
and I’m too tired to sleep,

I couldn’t catch a cold,
I couldn’t pitch a fit,
I’m waist deep in alligators,
sometimes I’m neck deep in bullshit,

Hard times — Lord, hard times have come at last
If you want to see me on my good side baby,
you had better look fast

I’m too frustrated to see my psychiatrist,
I’m too toothless to chew,
too far down to ever get even,
I’m too hard up to screw,

I can’t see to put my pants on,
I can’t hear myself sing,
I can’t always taste my whiskey,
and I just can’t feel much of anything

Joe Bonamassa – “Bridge to Better Days”
You sit in your big house baby
you drive your fancy car
you treat me like I’m not there
but I guess that’s who you are

I’m on the bridge to better days
better days are coming now
tired of asking all my friends
please help me once more
this old life that I’m leading
got me down the floor

There are more songs that would fall in on the mix tape. But I’m running out of time tonight. You get the point.

So, I’m officially advertising for two week stints (or longer if possible) on a sofa, extra bed, clear spot on the floor, backseat of a car. Gotta do what I gotta do, man. And yes, I’m serious.

2009/07/27

Cravings

DaGoddess @ 05:09

I wish I could say there was a pregnancy to go with some of my cravings, but there isn’t and never will be again. So, it’s only oddness, apparently, that drives these overwhelming desires from time to time.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been craving pastrami and birthday cake (the sweetest, frostingest kind in the world). Not together. Just…both.

I got…both this weekend. The pastrami was awesome, but I’m still harboring a hankerin’ for it. I fear I always will. The cake? After a napoleon (a mille-feuille, if you must), I thought I’d had enough sweet to last me a few years. Nope. Later that night, at the reunion, there was cake. I had a piece and it was as sickeningly sweet and disgusting as I could have ever hoped for. Had I seen this site a couple weeks ago, I might have saved myself a couple hundred calories. Then again, it could have just made everything worse.

I’m off to try sleeping again. No good can come from me being awake and talking of food (or anything else) at the moment.

2009/07/26

Time Keeps on Ticking…Ticking…Ticking

DaGoddess @ 01:52

Oh, there’s something so leveling about gathering together a bunch of people who’ve known each other over the years, who’ve known each other since they were small children.

No matter who you are now, you were once a little kid with crazy hair, funny teeth, odd clothing. You were that kid. And somewhere deep inside of you, you still have a bit of that kid hiding there.

I spent the evening with friends new and old last night. Some I’ve known since 2nd grade, 4th grade, high school, and even one I’ve known for just a few years. We’re still the same kids we used to be, but we’ve also changed a great deal.

What changed? Me. I did. We all did. It was amazing. Nobody cared if someone was rich, poor, dressed to the nines or just hanging out in jeans or shorts or whatever. The boys and girls that we used to be were accepted for who we are, who we were, and for just being there. I looked around at so many familiar faces and I saw people who understand what it means to be parents and who get what it means to be adults. We’ve all made it this far in life and you know, we’re all survivors in our own way. The beautiful boys and girls we were (though we’d never had said or thought that what we were) still exist in all of us. There are hopes and dreams, fears, desires…we’ve come so far, lost much, moved on, or we haven’t. And you know, it’s okay. We made it this far.

I did encounter someone who has challenged me in the past. As I was leaving the neighborhood bar (where we ended up after the reunion), a mutual friend asked if there wasn’t a way we couldn’t move on from what this other person said happened. It didn’t happen as she said. But you know what? That’s okay. She has her view and her own sense of the past and I’m not going to spend precious energy on worrying about her or what she remembers. I’ve done far too much of that already. We’ll never see eye to eye. She’s created her own version of the past and I will never be able to trump that or what she recalls. I just…don’t…care. I don’t wish her ill. I just wish to move on.

And then…

I still can’t believe that there are people who exist, people I met 36 years ago, who recall what I was like and yet are willing to talk with me. My goodness, it just doesn’t seem possible. But it is. We’ve changed so very much. Oddly, there are more things that are similar in our lives anymore…I just had to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

The other funny thing was one woman…she was my first friend in California. Lisa. I’m ready to about burst into tears as I think of her (okay, a few tears fell just now). She had such kind and loving memories of me, my family…and I of her and her family. Yet, neither of us recall our own families in the manner the other remembers. Her dad worked for one airline as a pilot. My dad worked for another airline as ground crew/fleet maintenance. Yet, we lived three or four houses apart and we were such good friends once upon a time. Today, she lives in another country. She’s successful. She’s gorgeous. She’s loving and kind and possesses grace that I can only hope to someday achieve. But, to hear her talk…I dunno. It’s just weird to see my family and myself through someone else’s eyes after all this time and to be considered a peer of someone who is so amazingly put together.

It all comes back to feeling like we’ve all found our own place in the world, for ill or for good. We’ve all managed to get here and will no doubt attempt to make it to the next milestone with some dignity and grace.

To all those who have been young once (and that’s everyone, right?), just remember this: there will always be a bit of that child who will surface from time to time and who will revel in the simple joy of being around those who can remember that person you were while enjoying the person you’ve become. We don’t have to be rich or famous or anything else…we just need to be and we need to accept that there is something amazing about each one of us.

Forgive me my overly sentimental moment here, but I love you, Class of ’84. Thank you for your friendship and your many memories. Thank you for the joy and laughter you’ve brought to my life.

And for all those lovely dates, spouses, and friends who attended the reunion? Y’all were the best! Thanks for putting up with us, our terrible photos, our crazy chatter, for our odd disappearances, and for just liking us enough to be a part of the whole event.

2009/07/25

Back to Alaska

DaGoddess @ 04:00

In Denali Park, to be exact.

Denali National Park

I’ve had some feedback already that sugggests I take out the sign. I can see where they’re coming from, but I keep thinking of that as a little mental marker about all the construction on the road and how that was part of the trip. HOWEVER, if I were to stop viewing this image as a trip reminder and an actual landscape photograph, the sign should definitely go.

What do you think?

Must Read Post

DaGoddess @ 00:38

Seriously, any of you with kids who are asking how they’ll know when it’s the right time to have sex should read this post.

This is the best explanation of how anyone can know they’re ready, if the person you’re considering having sex with is the right person, and…yeah. It’s just the most perfect response — up until the moment Dad started rambling…just…go…read…you’ll understand what I mean.

I wish I’d been given this “talk” when I was a teen.

2009/07/24

Photo Friday: In Shadow

DaGoddess @ 02:20

Photo taken back in May at Muzeo. You didn’t see this guy.

From out of the shadows, the Yeti with the cell phone problem appeared. He blocked my way. So I blocked his. We ended up dancing. Why not? How often do you get to dance with a Yeti? And this one…cell phone! Hello! He might actually call once in a while. Or not.

Cell Phone Yeti

And there’s my Photo Friday entry.

Look at the Stars, Look How They Shine for You Me

DaGoddess @ 02:00

Bring me Comic-Con Treats!Tron: Legacy is due out in 2010. I don’t know that I’m really up for a remake/sequel/prequel/tribute to Tron as it was for what it was and it was pretty damn awesome. It’s the sort of movie I can throw in the DVD player and watch with my son and we can both enjoy it. Yes, some of the special effects are dated, but the concept behind them, the stars for which they reached are apparent and make the movie work.

But that’s not the main reason I’m blogging this. No, I’m blogging because Jeff Bridges is in San Diego. Right now. For Comic Con. Hello! Has everyone forgotten my ruv for him? How did I not get invited to be his special assistant for the duration of his visit? How? HOoooooooooooooooooooow? (Almost a howl, isn’t it? It’s really that painful for me.)

Johnny Depp’s also in town. Same reason. Not the same movie, but for publicity for Alice in Wonderland, which appears to be very Mad Hatter-centric, which might make the movie interesting. Oh whatever. It’s JOHNNY DEPP. And for all you google bots: Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp Johnny Depp. There, I should be covered on traffic for JOHNNY DEPP AT COMIC-CON IN SAN DIEGO for the weekend. I’ll be too busy otherwise to blog much (and I’ve run out of advance posts — unless I race through something now and I’m not in a racy mood right now…race-ish…”racy” is almost a fatal character flaw of mine. You’ll see.)

Miguel Ferrer, Bill Mumy (always had the Robot giving him the “Danger Danger” speech), Ray “FREAKIN” Bradbury(!! “The Illustrated Man” turned my world upside down for two days), June Foray (“Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” — voiced Rocket J. Squirrel and Nastasha — I spent half my trip in Alaska doing a very bad Nastasha “Moose und Squirrel” bit [my deepest apologies to my guides]), Kathy Najimy, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster), ELVIRA!!!!, and Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are going to be there, too. Maybe, just maybe, Danny DeVito and Robert Downey Jr, will show up. Keith David’s going to be there for sure (for Coraline, but I love him mostly for Sgt. Kilgore in Delta Farce: Sgt. Kilgore: Now, Larry, I’m appointing you as acting Squad Leader. Don’t get too excited.You beat out a mongoloid and a candy-ass. How does one not adore such a man? He broke his back while filming Delta Farce, finished the scene, and then went the hospital. I totally love him.
Everette: [to Bill] He called you a candy-ass.)

Also in town are the fine folks from Burn Notice and Psych, two of my USA shows. That means Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, BRUCE CAMPBELL (!!!!), James Roday, Dule Hill, possibly Corbin Bernsen will all be in town. C’mon, folks. You’re killing me. I have so much going on this weekend as it is and you bring some of my favorites to town…mere miles away from me and I’m expected to act sane? Jeff Bridges alone is enough to make me lose my shit. Anyone seen Starman? Seriously one of his best movies EVER. And then you add Johnny Depp and Bruce Campbell and it’s like a trifecta in my little world. It could only be made better with an appearance by Craig Ferguson. Or Drew Carey. Okay, so I have a southern Drew Carey-lite here. That’s beside the point.

I’m not there. I’m here. I have things to do. Which I’m doing. And enjoying a great deal (no complaints from me), but…the opportunity to add to my collection of…people…would be so nice.

OOOOOOOOOHHHHH! Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi — the genius minds behind the Spiderwick Chronicles will be there and they were amazingly talented storytellers and artists. I LOOOOOOVEE THEM!

So…Work with me people. If you go to Comic-Con and don’t bring me back one of the above mentioned perfect three, we may have to reconsider our friendship. (I’m willing to work out a timeshare deal, if that helps.)

I know they’re here for me, though. They’re wonderful for me. Because…I’d shine for them if given the chance. Honest, I would. And they’re all pretty cool about proactive shining. They shine for me.

(Guarantee that no matter how dorky that just read, it’s heaps better than the “we were young and amazing once” post that was crinkling around in a piece of paper in my head. Ad that could still show up anyway.)

Remember, if you’re at Comic-Con, bring me my darlings. Ooooooh! And if Jackie Earle Haley walks by you, scoop him up and put him in one of those gift bags and bring him along, too. Pretty please!

Oh…maybe next year. (If I keep saying it long enough, it’ll happen, right?)

2009/07/23

CD Review That Won’t Be Published Anywhere But Here

DaGoddess @ 11:33

I wrote this a few months back when I got a preview copy of the disc. I shared the review with only one person. But upon reading it, and after reading one too many “this CD is great!” reviews on other sites, I just gotta post it.

——–

Hundreds of artists release CDs every month. This is one of them.

For her sophomoric CD, no typo there, Cee Cee James has fallen victim to the problem that plagues too many self-produced albums: the inability to self-edit. You see, this CD is the perfect example of why someone else should oversee a “fair” performer’s work. A good producer will call you on it when you try to throw in everything AND the kitchen sink.

Low Down Where the Snakes Crawl has such potential, but it quickly falls apart halfway through the first song (title track), which, at 8+ minutes long, could use a serious cut in length. Truthfully, I liked the tune until I hit that midpoint and then it became a real battle of self-control to keep from hitting the “Next” button on the stereo. Instead, I did my non-English speaking neighbor’s taxes. Long form. Upon completion of those financials, I continued to struggle against that desire to fast forward. Thankfully, the song ended and I was able to enjoy the second tune “Black Raven”.

Everything after track two is a painful blur. All I could think of was practically any episode of Project Runway and Tim Gunn saying, “that’s a lot of look on that outfit”. Yes, it’s almost as if James is a recent fashion school grad who’s intent on showing off every single trick she learned in school on ONE outfit. The overall effect is too many influences converging into a hodge podge of a gloppy mess. You don’t know where to look, can’t focus on what you’re hearing, nor can you fully appreciate what she’s trying to do because there’s simply way too much going on. That ain’t good. She rambles and roams and warbles and moans a little too long about everything.

Some songs suffer from what appears to be a very conscious effort to be a TV show soundtrack cut. Watered down, listless, and just moody enough to be played in the background while the real action is happening. In fact, I dare say that this is probably the best way to listen to the CD — to actually NOT listen. Or at least not listen too closely. Anything else and you’d find yourself amongst lyrics the likes of which you’re bound to find in the average teenager’s diary.

If you’re a fan of Cee Cee James, this may work for you. If you’re new to te Cee Cee James universe, you may want to see if you can book a return flight to earth poste haste. Really, you don’t want to be stuck here long.

——–

Please note that I stayed away from the clich├ęd comparison to Janis Joplin (which James — and most female blues artists — painfully strains to make happen). Mostly, I wanted to spare the Joplin legacy.

And there we have it. A CD review that will never be published anywhere but here.

Rockabilly

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Tommy Price of the Stilettos

Tommy Price

Tommy Price

2009/07/22

Green

DaGoddess @ 05:00

Green texture

I love textures and can’t help but make more images of them than is probably necessary. What makes each one different is, well, everything! Color, the depth of a brush stroke or erosion, light, angles of scratches, all of it. It’s all intriguing to me. This is just one of many I discovered in Alaska.

I’m still working furiously on OpLove photos, so it’s all catch as catch can around here. Wish me luck. I have only this week to get caught up.

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