2009/08/31

All Y’all Suck!

DaGoddess @ 09:13

(Not You, THEM)

Mood: foul. You may want to just skip this one today.

After running all over town in the ghastly heat on Friday to avoid having the cable shut off, I made my partial payment, faxed the receipt into the company whose name rhymes with socks, was told by a very nice man there that he’d received confirmation of payment, and I could now rest easy as there’d be no interruption of service.

I’m pretty sure the laughter started right after I hung up.

In the middle of 1) a show I was watching and prior to several others I had planned to watch, and 2) while trying to upload images to the lab for printing, the cable went out.

A call to them yielded little more than “oh, looks like it was an accounting error. They’ll be able to turn it back on for you…in the morning.” They knew what the problem was and could have turned it on last night, but apparently there’s only one little teeny switch in one teeny little office somewhere that gets to turn it back on.

I gave up trying to prove to them that their charges were wrong because they kept coming up with all sorts of ways to disconnect me and transfer me to someone else who didn’t care and blah blah blah. I was about to give up on the digital portion completely, but it turns out that it’d cost me two dollars more to have regular cable as opposed to the what they were able to “reduce” my current service costs to using all sorts of “discounts”. Excuse me, but what the fuck? I mean, if you have all these discounts you can apply, why the hell don’t you? Oh, that’s right. It’s because you’re the only game in this part of town.

It’s back on, but only after I spent 75 minutes on hold and being shuffled around to three different departments. Oh, and that’s not even the best part. I get to go through all that again next weekend when I make the balance of the payment.

Oh, no. That’s not quite right. To make matters even worse, I have NOT sold my dining room table yet, which means I’ll probably not be able to pay my cable bill next week anyway, so all this kvetching and running around and wheeling and dealing was for naught.

And speaking of games, Zazzle, you’re getting on my nerves. Supposedly they “started” paying me for products sold back on August 7th. In the meantime, the money’s just been sitting there. Not going anywhere. Not doing anything. I was going to use that to pay for my Flickr renewal since I have client proof galleries on there. No problem, right? Except that here we are almost a MONTH later and the payment’s still “pending”. I called them to ask what the problem was. I used the number in the email they sent me during the hours they said and I was told that particular department doesn’t get in until later this afternoon. And even if they do get to my question this afternoon, there’s no guarantee that payment will go through today. Apparently sending a payment is a very complex operation and requires people who work special hours and use mysterious methods to get the money from one account to another. And they’re even more special because it takes them about a year to do it. Are you fucking kidding me? You are, aren’t you?

And let us not forget the attorney’s office for 1) originally telling me they had my mileage form and then 2) last week telling me it’s not there. I have to reconstruct the entire thing and I am having the devil of a time doing so because the one piece of paper I need to decipher the facility codes is missing and the big bad healthcare system I’m dealing with won’t tell me what I need to know without me driving over there.

Do I even want to bother dealing with Linkworth today?

Shall I discuss the ex who DOESN’T pay child support or anything but has a brand new SUV with GPS and satellite radio?

Or how about the fact that my son is really pissed at me? Not because of something I’ve done, but because of something I’m going to do. And because, well, even though he was cool with it before, he’s not now and it’s just hitting him.

Shhh. No. I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to sit in the corner and start banging my head against the wall for the next 72 hours. It’ll hurt less than all this other crap.

2009/08/29

More Portraits

DaGoddess @ 04:00

The day of this session was mega hot. Kind of like this weekend. Blinking caused you to break out in a sweat. Thinking about blinking caused you to break out in a major sweat. It was hot. And still we had fun!

My little boyfriend

Happy Family

Happy funny family

Happy family

2009/08/28

Portraits

DaGoddess @ 06:00

This family really wanted a retro feel to their photos and they’re happy with the proofs. Now I get to send them out for printing. I’m so privileged to know this family and I hope to be able to capture many milestones for them.

Welcome Home

Welcome home

Together again

The boys club is back!

Oh, and all you girls stay away from my little boyfriend. ;)

Frantic Friday

DaGoddess @ 01:44

Trying to stay on top of everything, or at least get everything done before cable goes out. I have families to print for and that’s a priority. I’m loading the blog with automatic posts since I know I can point people here if nothing else. Flickr, well, that’ll have to wait. I think I have a few more slots to use temporarily until that gets caught up. Why does everything happen at once?

Anyhow, you’ll be seeing fewer comments, but it’s not because I don’t care; it’s because I do and am trying desperately to get everything together.

Yesterday I had a total meltdown. I was up all night have a panic attack or something. The day did not go as planned. Especially after talking with the attorney and discovering the paralegal who was handling my paperwork is no longer there, the mileage report I submitted isn’t there either, and I have to somehow reconstruct it because I forgot to make a copy (I had a lot going on). Nothing to make you feel absolutely incompetent than have lots to do and making stupid mistakes along the way. I’m normally more organized. But the worst part is the super huge delay on the check getting to me and me being able to pay my bills. Grrrr. So today is catch up day.

Pam’s husband is supposed to be in town this weekend and I hope to get to say hello to him. I know LD wants to meet the man who gets to hang out with Pam, Bree, and Daisy! LD might even talk him into taking him back with him so he can join the clan and take care of the dogs.

If you leave comments, and I hope you do, I’ll be doing my best to get to a computer so I can read and answer them.

Smooches all around!

2009/08/27

Family Redux

DaGoddess @ 10:00

Waiting game almost over!

This family — you’ve seen them before, they’ve been so patient waiting for photos. I had all my editing done for them, sent the files off to the lab for printing and when I got them back, there was something terribly wrong. Why no one at the lab caught it is beyond me. They’re supposed to check for such things. I finally figured out what happened. In uploading images for OpLove’s database, I’d had to change my settings to reduce the file size. Before I started editing this batch, I’d forgotten to reset to highest quality and everything I’d edited saved at low quality. Very low quality. I had to go back and re-edit every single photo again. It’s taken forever. And ever. And ever. I’m almost done. I have about 15 more to go. (I edit every usable image and then cull because I can’t do it otherwise. Stupid, huh?)

The lab will reduce my print cost by half since they didn’t catch the error, but because it was MY error, I still have to pay. Anyhow, the family will be getting their photos next week. Finally. Arrrgh! I now have a post-it note stuck to the computer to remind me to check my settings prior to saving any photo files. D’oh!

Today’s Post

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Is brought to you by IB at Idiot’s Stew.

I was writing something similar, taking my time in crafting it. Then I read his post and I realized I didn’t need to write anything more than a pointer in his direction.

—-

Also, in unrelated news, I am officially cursing and praising school. Praise: I scored some super clean and perfect boxes for my rhinos and other special breakables. Since I lost a big piece of furniture upon which they sat, they must be packed carefully. Cursing them: New shorts for the boy because he grew so much over a two month period that his shorts suddenly didn’t do more than barely skim the top of his knees, which is against the dress code. Instead of calling a parent to bring him a new pair of shorts at a much cheaper price, they sold him $15 shorts. But that’s not the end of it. Not by a long shot. They want us to prepay all his special AVID class field trips, which cost $80. Um, I can’t even pay diddly at this point. (Note to self, call and email the hell out of the attorney’s office all day so we get paid for mileage finally…they’re over two months late with it and nothing’s getting paid otherwise.)

That’s all. I’m off to sleep and then go put 4 hours in at my friend’s business at unofficial minimum wage. It’ll buy us milk and put gas in the car. That’s something.

—-

In the meantime, go read IB’s post.

2009/08/26

The Ghost Who Liked Popcorn

DaGoddess @ 09:22

Dear Ghost,

Really. THREE IN THE MORNING? No. Just no.

Come back any time before I go to sleep or after I wake up. I promise to look the other way and not notice you (I don’t want to break any ghost code or whatever). But with my meds and such? I’m not exactly the sort of person you WANT to wake up. I’m cranky. So, either learn how to eat popcorn quietly and not make a mess, or you’ll be working around my schedule.

Thank you,

Da Goddess

Apparently our ghost likes popcorn. Also, he/she/it isn’t too good at the whole “see popcorn, grab popcorn, don’t make a mess” thing.

At 3am, I was awakened by a bowl of popcorn being thrown to the floor, a weird flutter and rustle in the air, and a mess to clean up. I opted to let the popcorn stay where it was until I got up this morning. I mean, really, like I’m going to pick it up and have the ghost come back to do the same thing all over again? I think not.

Thankfully it wasn’t food that could stain the carpet.

2009/08/25

PROMPTuesday #70 – Blind Date

DaGoddess @ 04:49

I have been on blind dates. Several. But one sticks out most in my mind and that’s the one that will feature in today’s PROMPT.

The rules for this week: Make it up or give us a little truth is stranger than fiction. Bonus points and adoration from afar: If you make it up, include “Finland”, “chenille robe”, and “casserole” in your submission.

I was working at a local home electronics store not too awfully far from home. We had a great spokesman for the chain and it was a place at which everyone wanted to work or to at least visit. We were busy. I was working as a cashier. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but it was a job and I liked it. The salespeople were a mixed bag of nuts: St. John (obviously the religious guy who was cute but shy); Dave K (who had dreams of management dancing in his eyes); EMT Matt (who was part John Cusack, part Jon Cryer and who adored me but I couldn’t see that for the longest time); Candy (an actress/model who was killing time until she could make the big move to Hollywood); Beth (the rocker who had a band and was tough as nails); a handful of others, and Dan (he ruled the salesfloor from his wheelchair). Of all the blathering, gum-chewing non-sequiturs out on the salesfloor, Candy, Beth, and Dan quickly became my crew.

Candy was my shopping, self-improvement, goofy as hell buddy. I’d accompany her to modeling sessions and we’d obsess over our thighs on a regular basis as we split a sliver of cheesecake, dooming ourselves to even wider thighs (and at that time, I was crazily thin — I don’t know why I worried). She’d laugh at me as I’d pick my feet before we’d cross railroad tracks — a silly superstition I’d picked up somewhere. Then she’d tell me of a friend of hers from high school who also did the same thing. Except one time. And then that friend died. “Just one more reason for me to continue picking up my feet, Candy. I’m not ready to die yet.” Then she’d be off giggling like crazy again. Then she moved. To Hollywood, which may as well have been Finland, but whatever. Sigh.

Beth would be the one to drag me to band rehearsals because she hated being the only girl there. I liked music, so it worked out well. We’ll forget the drummer I dated for a while as he really has little bearing on the story. Let’s just say that this is the time I started learning about lighting for bands, sneaking into clubs because I wasn’t yet 21 (I was barely 19 at this point), and I also got to hang out with Beth’s friend Laura who was a photographer. I got to play model for a few sessions and I loved it. I’d lounge about in a chenille robe, jeans, and nothing else (yes, I did a few nude shoots) prior to the session, feeling pampered as the girls worked their magic on my makeup and hair. I also loved learning more photography tips from Laura because she knew studio lighting. Beth was also the first friend who hosted an adult toy party. I went and blushed the whole time. But I laughed hysterically when some of the (slightly) older guests mimed outrageous acts with some of the props. It was always fun with Beth around. Until she moved. Sigh.

Dan was something else altogether. He was funny, smart, geeky, and goofy. Never once did you get any sense of him hating being stuck in a wheelchair. It was just his base of operations. He had a few girlfriends who’d stop by from time to time, all of whom were cute and sweet, but just self-absorbed enough to not put in any real time with him. The rest of the time, he had his posse of guys over to his apartment for cards and beer and music.

One night, I went to a big party at Dan’s place and met the cutest, sweetest guy I’d met in the longest time. His name was Kip. From Idaho. Dark hair in the pretty much standard uniform of the mid-80s — the mullett. But he was cute. His eyes were bright and clear. His smile was genuine and toothy. His laugh…a man with a good laugh is always a bonus and man oh man, his laugh was great. We hit it off right away. We spent the whole night talking and laughing, holding hands, just enjoying each other. He asked me out. And I said yes. So, the next night, Dan had us over for dinner, a casserole, wouldn’t you know. Because Kip was picky about his food, we set up his plate extra special for him so he could eat his food in the way he liked best. You see, Kip happened to be blind. Not 100%, but enough to be considered legally blind. Hence, the blind date (quit groaning…I can hear it from here). Dinner went great until after the drinks started flowing and somehow one of the other guys ended up throwing up on the table during cards. I did my best to help clean up (I didn’t like vomit even then), and then Kip and I got the hell out of there. We went to sit out in a hill somewhere, talking, laughing, holding hands, and finally kissing. He was a good kisser.

The three weeks he was in town went awfully quick. We spent as much time together as we could. Many nights were spent watching movies like Monty Python, Kentucky Fried Movie, etc. I was the designated reader since Kip couldn’t see the smaller print and the rest of the group was generally too blitzed to do more than burp or barf or throw cards. Still, it was fun — except for the casserole reappearance (nobody likes to see green beans a second time like that, though, have you ever noticed that green beans always seem to show up in vomit even if you haven’t eaten any? I think there’s a special reserve somewhere inside us that stores them indefinitely).

The most fun we had during his time with us was taking Kip out to drive. Yes, I said out to drive. Essentially he was gradually losing his vision and the little he had left was peripheral. It wasn’t easy for him to drive well, but he could do it with help. On the farm where he lived in Idaho, it wasn’t really a big deal as they had lots of room. But in the city, we’d have to wait for early mornings and then head down to the shopping mall parking lot. With Kip behind the wheel, Dan and I would position ourselves to cover the angles we knew he couldn’t see. And then we’d begin.

It was hard to say goodbye to this man I’d only known for a few weeks. He was absolutely wonderful, cute, funny, loving, and a great kisser. But he had to go back because college was starting up again soon for him and because his family felt he’d do better on the farm. We made promises to stay in touch but after a couple months the calls and letters slowed to a standstill.

I don’t know if he ever thinks of me, but I sure do think about him. My favorite blind date.

If for some reason you know blind Kip from Moscow, Idaho, whose best friend Dan in the wheelchair lived in Escondido back in the mid-80s, tell him I said hi.

2009/08/24

UM #343

DaGoddess @ 04:00
  1. Disguised :: meaning
  2. Big wheel :: in the sky keeps on turning
  3. Irritating :: people
  4. Care :: giver
  5. Grandpa :: Jones
  6. Shooting :: blanks
  7. Sunglasses :: at night
  8. Stampede :: Road
  9. Painstakingly :: detailed
  10. Terrible position :: (it answers itself)

Unconscious Mutterings

2009/08/23

Finally!

DaGoddess @ 03:52

An actress comes up with a “green” clothing line I can get behind.

God bless you, Julia Stiles! And the Vacationeers.

Go check out JuliaStilesStyles.com. Practical solutions for these dangerous times.

Don’t forget to watch the bonus footage, too. Then, go click the link to purchase. You’ll be happy you did.

2009/08/22

Not Me, Nooooo

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I was not made to do certain things.

I was not made to not have money. I know this because not having any sucks. As I prepare to clear out ever more belongings, some for cash (she says hopefully) and others just to ditch for good, I realize that a regular income would be nice.

I was not made to not work. This may sound odd, but it’s true. I like to work. I like having a reason to get up, get showered, dressed, and do something with purpose.

I was not made to be without internet. That’s looming here and if I should disappear, you know why. Seriously though, my entire life is basically online, stored online, stored in email, stored on Flickr, connected to someone I know online, or, well, you get the picture. I’m pulling my hair out just thinking of the prospect of no connectivity. It hurts my heart.

I was not made for intenstinal complications. Nevertheless, when I get nervous, my stomach is the first to go. Actually, I don’t even have to be stressed. It just happens whenever it wants and I don’t like that. I’ve spent the last several weeks thinking…”hmmm, wouldn’t life be so much more fun WITHOUT having to buy toilet paper every three days?” (See the money and work things.)

I was not made to not have a car of my own. I’m one of those people who gets in her car, heads out on errands or to a specific destination and then has forty-three and a half adventures along the way. Whether it’s ending up chasing a spectacular sunset because it’s just to beautiful to pass up, following the guy with the 5 story bicycle (giving him my card and practically begging him to call me so I can photograph it, which he hasn’t done, but I’m not crazy because my friends from New Mexico saw him, too), or meeting some interesting little old man in the grocery store who was one of the first people to settle in this town (he’s only — like — 130, so there’s at least one other person older than him here)…I meet people and see things. It’s just what happens. But without a car of my own, it just doesn’t happen like that anymore. (See the money and work things.)

I was not made to have a senior in high school and a 7th grader. I’m not that old. I refuse to be that old! And yet, I couldn’t be more proud of the wonderful people they’ve turned into.

I was not made for a world without a beach, but I think I can get used to it.

I was not made to be given a promise and then have it savagely yanked from me. The promise that patience wins out in the end is a fable. And then a new promise on top of it that says “it’s finally time”…only to have it ripped away. I was not made for this.

I was not made for speed. I was made for comfort. That’s why God gave me two arms to wrap around someone, shoulders upon which someone might cry, ears to listen, and a heart to care. I know this without question. I may not be physically quick getting anywhere, but you know what? That gives me ample time with those who need me. At least, that’s how I see it.

What are you not made for?

2009/08/21

Zucchero, He Soothes My Soul

DaGoddess @ 04:00

LD and I had a long wait for my prescriptions and we spent the time listening to one of my favorite CDs ever — Zucchero & Co. The above song is the last on the album and it’s gorgeous beyond belief on a real stereo. It reaches places inside you that you didn’t even know existed. The one video I’d love to share, doesn’t really exist. But the song is available on YouTube, just not with actual footage of John Lee Hooker and Zucchero. There is a live version, though, with JLH’s vocals added in.

This was the first song I’d heard from the album and it laid me flat. I still get goosebumps when I hear it. It’s as though each note is meant to wring out every last bit of pain from you. It’s visceral. “I Lay Down” is the sort of song you listen to over and over again. And when you’ve purged yourself of whatever needs purging, you celebrate.

The version of “Diavolo in Me” on the album with Solomon Burke is awesome, but there’s nothing like that available on YouTube. Regardless, this is the sort of song that makes you dance. It simply compels you to do so. As LD says, “it’s like something out of the Blues Brothers”, and he’s not entirely wrong in that comparison. In fact, Zucchero joined Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi (as the Blues Brothers) on stage during a party for the late John Belushi in 1995. Just close your eyes and imagine the church scene when Jake is moved by the preacher, and well…you get the idea.

I could go on and on for hours about this album, but really it’s the sort of experience one needs to have for oneself. I thought I’d done a review of it years ago, but apparently it never made it online. It’s likely sitting in a file on a dead computer. Anyhow, the whole CD is chuck full o’ music that will make you take a step back and re-examine your idea of music. Zucchero collaborates with just about everyone under the sun, from B.B. King to Sting to Miles Davis, from Macy Gray to Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, from Eric Clapton to Paul Young (of “Every Time You Go Away” fame), Dolores O’Riordan (of the Cranberries), and artists who aren’t familiar to most Americans, artists like Mana and Cheb Mami. This is the perfect introduction to them and I heartily recommend you head over to YouTube, type in some of those names, and settle in for a special treat.

Zucchero may be relatively unknown in this country, but that doesn’t mean he’s destined to remain that way. I’m only sorry I hadn’t written about him before. While you’re over on YouTube, check out his performance in the tribute to Freddie Mercury.

I’m so glad I found my CD. I’ve thought of it many times over the last few years, wondering where it’d run off to and lamenting the fact that my other computer had died, taking the music with it. I’d camped out on YouTube and added all the Zucchero vids I could into my favorites, even creating a special category just for him. I know most of you think of me as blues obsessed…and I am…but first and foremost is my love for good music — Period. And Zucchero delivers. Go enjoy.

2009/08/20

More Details

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Glider port swings

Roof leakage

Roof detail

2009/08/19

Waiting for Their Return

DaGoddess @ 04:00

While I waited for the kids to come back down to earth, my dad and I talked a bit and then it was time for more photos. My dad wanted some of the runway and the building for the glider company, but from a distance. “It’s like what you see in those movies with a little airport out in the middle of nowhere, where someone’s waiting for drug runners or some other bad guys,” he said. I laughed. He was right. So I took shots from varying distances, walking up and down the runway. Then I started taking other photos of little details, which are pictured here.

Restricted!

Tow Plane

Glider Rules

Glider sign

2009/08/18

PROMPTuesday #69 – Tell Me Who Are You? Who? Who?

DaGoddess @ 11:40

Last week’s PROMPT sat in Deb’s comment section by sheer dint of my own laziness. This week, I’m actually going to try to do something with her question beyond a quick response. For ill or for good, here we go:

1. Who are you?

2. Where did you come from?

3. Where are you going?

I am, I am…I think I am…dare I go all Nacho Libre? No, I suppose not. I am…just me. I’ve never tried to be anything other than who I am. I’ve always just tried to be the best me I can be. Even when I’ve come up short in that respect, I was completely myself. I guess that means that I’m perfectly imperfect. Flawed in the most innate and honest way I can be. I live, I love, I hurt, I cry, I try, I succeed, I fail, I try again, I just keep going. I pray fear doesn’t hold me back. I pray I do as little damage to others along the way as possible. I pray. Yes, I do pray a lot. I put a lot of stock in those prayers because I’m human and entirely too fallible. I would hope God is along to help guide me.

I come from…well, I believe I was asked and I answered that back in PROMPT #28. More literally — because I’m having a little fun and because I’m a smart ass — I am originally from Ohio. Cleveland area. From a family of circus performers. Okay, maybe not circus performers. But we do manage to act oddly at times. We do a weird dance of drawing together and pushing apart, like many families, I suppose. Sometimes I feel like I fit, somtimes I don’t.

Where am I going? Forward. Other than that, the Witness Protection Program won’t let me say.

So, who the hell are you?

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