2010/10/31

Two Year Surgiversary

DaGoddess @ 11:55

Today marks two years since my big surgery. My last one. *fingers crossed* Can’t believe it’s been that long. Can’t believe how much has happened in that time.

I miss Very Cute Doctor and his staff. Yes, I know I have good docs here, but I miss VCD because he was an outstanding surgeon and human being. Plus, you know, he was cute.

Two years.

Where does the time go?*
(more…)

Invasion of the Insomniacs

DaGoddess @ 08:00

MOBD and I are about to be invaded.

The accommodations are sparse and uncomfortable, but if they’re willing to put up with it, who are we to say no? Couch surfing has its privileges, I guess. Anyhow, we are quite happy to have the guys crash here. Wish we had more to offer, but again, they’re willing to endure the bare bones conditions.

Guess there’s even more motivation to get that spare room organized and turned into a guest room for future visitors.

2010/10/29

Book Nook Book Kook

DaGoddess @ 18:52

Oh, this just boggles the mind. From the Barnes & Noble website (pimping their new color Nook):

Read In Store™
Visit any Barnes & Noble store with your NOOK in hand and read entire NOOKbooks for FREE for up to one hour per day with our innovative Read In Store™ feature. Also get exclusive content from top authors and great offers on books and café treats with our More In Store™ feature.

That’s about the kookiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Um…let’s see…you’re IN the store. You have an entire STORE OF BOOKS at your disposal. But you could use your Nook to read a book in store for a whole hour. Doesn’t it seem like it would make more sense to walk over, grab the actual book, and read it for however damn long you want?

The kids and I used to go to the bookstore all the time. It was our happy place. We could spend hours there, just like the library, but we’d go because there was a wider choice of books for them. It was bright and cheery and welcoming. Punishment was not being able to go to the bookstore. They thought nothing of gathering a stack of books to peruse, turning pages carefully and absorbing all the beautiful colors and sometimes the different textures on the pages. You know, some books…the way the ink fell upon paper…the smell…the heft of the book…all of it was part of the experience.

We’d get a couple books, find a place to sit, and we’d read together. For hours. It was our escape from the real world. It was our chance to travel in our imaginations, to visit places and worlds that may or may not really exist. We learned. We laughed. We cried. And it was time we spent together. There was something magical about browsing the shelves and picking up books, choosing each one with care. We’re supposed to believe that a piece of plastic and electronics will bring the same sort of thrill and enjoyment? I don’t think so.

An hour. You can read your book on a Nook in a bookstore for an hour for free. Sounds like something Dr. Seuss would have made up.

Kids, put down the electronics and pick up a real book for a change. Especially in a bookstore.

Michael’s to Host Thank a Soldier Event

DaGoddess @ 17:41

Michael’s, you know…the craft store…is hosting a Thank a Soldier event on November 6, 2010.

The Knack FREE Family Event – Veteran’s Day Thank-A-Soldier Star.

Show your appreciation with a Thank-You Star for a veteran or soldier. While supplies last. Ages 3 and up. Powered by Creatology™

10am-12pm

Check with local stores for more information.

2010/10/28

Project: Valour-IT Fundraiser Begins Now!

DaGoddess @ 04:35

It’s been a couple years since I really got involved with the Valour-IT fundraiser, but as many of you might remember, it is a very special event for me. Had it not been for the kindness of others after my back injury, I would have been isolated and depressed. But someone stepped up with a laptop for me to use and to stay connected with the world. Then came Project: Valour-IT. The fit was perfect.

Imagine not being able to log onto your computer and check your email, read the news, or catch up on the latest photos of your children or other family. You want to, but your hands and arms, for whatever reason, aren’t available to you. Or maybe you can’t see. Good Lord, you can’t see anything or use your arms! Imagine being far away from friends and family and feeling completely isolated while you lie in a hospital bed, scared. For less than $700, a wounded soldier, airman, sailor, or Marine can reconnect with loved ones, erasing the miles and much of the fear that comes with being alone while fighting to recover from severe injuries that have robbed you of your independence.

I felt it then and I feel it now: we can help and we should help. It’s such a small thing for us to do. Matt from Blackfive explains it better than I have:

WHAT IS VALOUR-IT? Project Valour-IT began when Captain Charles “Chuck” Ziegenfuss was wounded by an IED while serving as commander of a tank company in Iraq in June 2005.

During his deployment he kept a blog (an online personal diary, opinion forum, or news analysis site-called a milblog or military weblog when written by a servicemember or about military subjects). Captivating writing, insightful stories of his experiences, and his self-deprecating humor won him many loyal readers. After he was wounded, his wife continued his blog, keeping his readers informed of his condition.

As he began to recover, CPT Ziegenfuss wanted to return to writing his blog, but serious hand injuries hampered his typing. When a loyal and generous reader gave him a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software, other readers began to realize how important such software could be to CPT Ziegenfuss’ fellow wounded soldiers and started cast about for a way to get it to them.

“At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers’ Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can’t wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed.” – Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override (wounded in Iraq) Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss (Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss’ father), provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries, amputations, eye or brain injuries, at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the ‘Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.

Folks, I’ve witnessed several wounded soldiers set up their laptops only to email or Skype their friends and comrades in the war zone to let them know that they are okay. Keeping them in communication with loved ones increases the possibility of a successful recovery exponentially.

THE COMPETITION

In order to fund the thousands of laptops we have distributed and need to distribute, we have an annual competition.

Valour-IT’s online fundraising competition begins today! Let’s see who can raise the most money to help reconnect our wounded warriors with the world!

WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT.WHEN: October 28th through Veterans Day, November 11th.

WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else.

WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world.

HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians “up for grabs.”

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

You have been a part of our community in one way or another. THANK YOU!

We need you to simply blog and email regularly about Valour-IT and the competition with links to the Team Army donation page. Tell your friends, family and neighbors about Valour-IT. We’ll be providing media, links, and talking points for your Tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts, etc.

The competition is military branch specific and you’ve been drafted for TEAM ARMY. If you would like to continue receiving emails regarding this competition and Team Army, email me at blackfive-AT-gmail_DOT-com and you’ll be added to a Google Group for TEAM ARMY. If you’d rather be on a team from one of the lesser branches, hit me up and I’ll send you to the appropriate team captain(s).

All future messages will come from: team-army—valour-it-2010@googlegroups.com .

Thanks for all of your support!

ALL THE WAY!

Matt

Matthew Burden
“BlackFive”
Trustee, Soldiers’ Angels

If you can donate a dollar or two, that brings someone in need one step closer to independent communication. It’s such an easy thing to do. So very easy. As easy as clicking on a link such as this one. C’mon, let’s get this thing started!

2010/10/26

Two-fer Tuesday: The Bee Gees and Tragedy

Musical Guest @ 07:11

I received an email from DaGoddess a couple weeks ago, inviting me to generate a guest post for her weekly Two-fer Tuesday series. It’s a running feature similar to our Turn It Up Tuesday column on THE BS BLOG. Truth to be told, it’s where I got the idea for Turn It Up Tuesday in the first place.

That being said, I thought I’d have a little fun with it…and being lazy, I’m using the same post for both DaGoddess and THE BS BLOG this week.

This week’s featured artist is Tragedy, an all-metal Bee Gees tribute band. These guys are a riot, and actually quite talented. I especially enjoyed their video for You Should Be Dancing, in which they parody almost every cliche of an 80′s heavy-metal rock band.

For comparison, I’ve included the original songs followed by Tragedy’s outstanding covers. Enjoy, and turn it up!

Nights On Broadway

You Should Be Dancing

2010/10/25

Take a Peek

DaGoddess @ 07:29

MOBD and I have been working on a few things lately. Some of the projects are still under wraps. However, we did finish this shoot and are working with the family on their selection for prints. We gave them a great deal on their photo package, have a couple little surprises for them, and even came up with a super surprise for reprints. Boy, if I were to tell you what we were able to do in the way of reprints, you’d just about fall over! (It pays to work with various labs just before the holidays!)

Enjoy the slideshow and if you have any comments, please leave them here (NOT in the flickr gallery). Also, keep in mind that the images online are low-res and there are a couple I would have preferred we not include because of sharpness or lack thereof. But mom and dad were adamant about a couple shots “it’s a fake smile, but that’s HER fake smile and we like it!” Fair enough. So, what do you think? And can you tell which photos I shot and which ones MOBD shot?

IMPORTANT: Cooking With the Troops and Pin-Ups for Vets Fundraiser

DaGoddess @ 04:00

I know most families like to exchange gifts and such for the holidays, but perhaps this year you could make a donation in your family’s name and help out some very deserving people.

Laughing Wolf sent me the following:

Pin-Ups For Vets And Cooking With The Troops Partner For Operation Fight Post Holiday Blues

The post-holiday blues can be bad enough on those who are healthy, and fully engaged in their normal activities. Stop for a moment and consider what it might be like for a member of the U.S. or Allied forces who find themselves evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s has been like a fire-hose of attention, visits, and more. Then, suddenly, it’s gone. They are alone in a hospital, in a foreign country, and away from friends, family, and normal support networks. Despite the dedicated efforts of staff and volunteers, the blues can hit hard.

Recognizing that, Gina Elise of the non-profit Pin-Ups for Vets (pinupsforvets.com) and Cooking with the Troops (cwtt.org) have partnered to create Operation Fight Post Holiday Blues. This special event, timed for mid-January to have maximum effect, will combine a special dinner for a planned 150 people cooked by Guest Chef Ellen Adams (redhotdish.com), with hospital and other visits by Gina to help drive the blues away. To aid this effort, the team is being joined by author Michael Z. Williamson (michaelzwilliamson.com), who will also do visits, autographs, and give away books.

Full details on the event can be found at http://cwtt.org/opfphblues.html and all participants are available for interviews. To do this event, Pin-Ups for Vets and Cooking with the Troops are looking to raise $15,000. Donations can be made by mail, or online at http://cwtt.org/donations.html via PayPal. Donors can note on the donation that it is for Operation Fight Post-Holiday Blues. Any funds raised that are not used will be used to support future operations at Pin-Ups for Vets and Cooking with the Troops.

Larger versions of the attached images are available at http://cwtt.org/opfphblues.html or through the contacts listed below.

Links:

http://cwtt.org/opfphblues.html

http://cwtt.org

http://pinupsforvets.com/

http://www.redhotdish.com/index.html

http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/index.php

Cooking with the Troops is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to supporting U.S. and Allied Troops, their families, and caregivers through special food events, culinary careers, front line support, and homefront support. For more information, please contact Susan Katz Keating, Director of Communications, at skeating@cwtt.org or C. Blake Powers, CEO, at ceo@cwtt.org.

If you want to receive only certain types of releases from Cooking with the Troops, or to be removed from our distribution list, please contact us at media@cwtt.org and let us know your preference. If you would like to be added to our distribution list, contact us at media@cwtt.org and we will be happy to add you.

Great cause, great people, and this is definitely the right time of year to do something special.

2010/10/21

Tora! Tora! Toradol!

DaGoddess @ 20:00

Can we all make a note that I may not have Toradol injections again? Yes, please. Got one at the doc’s office to help with generalized aches and pains I’ve been having (seriously, is fibromyalgia something you can develop after traumatic injury??). Doc thought it would help me.

Helped me right into an ambulance, thank you very much.

Yep, I felt my chest tightening, my throat closing up, and the paramedics said I had hives on my abdomen.

I’m at home. Safe and sound now. Ruined my night out. I was going to go see Corey Stevens, but I’ve been pumped so full of steroids that I’m a freakin’ mess right now. Jittery, sore, exhausted. But safe.

(I’m so fucking dramatic, aren’t I?)

I See Skies of Gray and Trees a-Blur

DaGoddess @ 07:07

It’s going to be another fine stormy day here in Vegas. I’m lovin’ it! Even as I prepare to nap prior to my doctor’s appointment this afternoon, I find myself hoping the it continues on for hours, days, etc.

Weird pinkish-yellow cast to the clouds. Wind kicking up just enough to blur the trees. Everything feeling heavy and ready to just let loose.

Hopefully the windshield wipers will hold out just one more day. The one on the driver side of the car likes to try to reach around and wipe the side window dry. Obviously, we need to make an adjustment.

No matter.

My overnight work has proven to be inspired. Or somewhat inspired. The CD design is going… interestingly. Got the tray done. Got the background for the booklet done. Think I might have the cover done, except font. We’re still deciding on that. The back…I know how that’s going to look, but not exactly how I’m going to manage to get all the necessary info on it with it being as busy as it looks like it’ll be. I’m mostly concerned now about the CD itself. We have an idea on how that’ll look. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to wrap/warp the image enough to make it fit. And the cover…hmm…I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that the cover gets the okay. Otherwise, back to the drawing board.

Kind of exciting to have this in my hands. Kind of daunting, too. But it’s a challenge I’ve always wanted — especially at this level — so I’m running with it. Best part is that I get to include a couple of MOBD’s photos in the project. Star trails, the Milky Way. They fit the theme. Yay!

Tonight, I’ll take a short break and go see Corey Stevens play. Take a few photos. Come back home and use that inspiration to propel me forward.

Here’s another inspiration I’ve been using:

Aloe Blacc | I Need A Dollar | A Take Away Show – Part 1 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

And this:

Jerry Heggleman: The Enigmatic Eye from Mark & Angela Walley on Vimeo.

Off to bed now. Naps are good.

2010/10/20

Droooooool-Worthy

DaGoddess @ 22:14

In The Stars

Wave

Brilliant Earth Diggers

It’s been a long time since I had flat out gorgeous jewelry and this? I get goosebumps.

People, if you have a special lady in your life, you should buy her something from Brilliant Earth.

This has been an unpaid advertisement for Brilliant Earth. I blog it cuz I like it!

2010/10/19

Like Thunder ‘n’ Lightnin’

DaGoddess @ 22:33

We’ve had some great storms rolling through town here. Late night thunder and lightning. I like! I guess I have always managed to equate storms with the comforts of home. Gimme a good storm and all I want to do is to curl up in bed or on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket, sipping tea, possibly with someone else, but not necessarily.

Of course, when a storm rolls through town I always think of the song “Knock On Wood” by Eddie Floyd and the ever-incredible Steve Cropper. Who doesn’t like this tune?

Pathetic, isn’t it? I can’t even start to tell a story about me liking storms without going into some musical interlude.

Is there a cure for the music bug? Is there? Do I want to be cured?

Oooh! Getting close. I better get off the computer now.

Two-fer Tuesday: Pam Edition

Musical Guest @ 05:46

Da Goddess was probably surprised that I like Eminem, but he’s a compelling storyteller.

Who among us hasn’t had a painful relationship, one that ultimately went up in flames?

It was difficult to pick only two… The last one is about family and an epiphany of sorts…

Brought to you by Pam of Pamibe.

Awesome People I Met at BandCamp…er…BlogWorld Expo and Other Stuff

DaGoddess @ 03:43

I’ve been slow to catch up and to get links out there, but here we go, in no particular order…

Laughing Wolf / Cooking With The Troops

Troy Steward / You Served

Toby Nunn / Soldiers’ Angels

Maggie / Bostonmaggie

Matt Burden / Blackfive

Cassandra / Villainous Company

Mrs. P / A Little Pink in a World of Camo

Gary Cagle of Team Rubicon

Jake Rademacher / Brothers at War

Tom Kratman / Author’s page on Amazon

Tom Goering / Navy CyberSpace

Tammi / Tammi’s Trail

Non-milblog related, I met Darren Rowse of DPS. I recognized him from the back of his lovely bald head and called out to him, because I do that sort of thing. Thankfully he was very nice and spoke with me as we hiked our way through Mandalay Bay.

Also saw Adam Carolla while out walking about with Tammi. I didn’t talk with him, but did snap a few photos. Why not?

And then there was Mark Burnett. He made me cry and I didn’t mind. Mrs. P did, too, and she’s allowed to any time.

Oh, can’t forget Mary Ripley, an amazing lady who is very active over on USNI and who is the daughter of John Ripley (USMC).

All the great soldiers who manned the Go Army/Milblogger lounge! Nice folks!

And to my growing legion of sexy bald men, please don’t forget the grapes or the hammock next time. No, not the little one…we shall not discuss that again…I want the full-sized, lying about sort of hammock in which I rest comfortably while you fan me and feed me grapes and otherwise attend and amuse me.

I did NOT get to meet C.C. Chapman, although I wish I had. I’ve adored C.C. since 2002, when we both were hanging with Robyn and gettin’ our boobies on for Boobiethon. I think I saw him a few times, but wasn’t 100% certain and was, of course, blonde while attending an event. Sigh. C.C., next time, okay?

I know I’m forgetting people. Shame on me. I’ve been in total brain meltdown mode for two days. Can’t afford to be as I have much work to do. Photos from BWE, photos from a couple concerts, a CD design…uh…yeah…not just submitting the photos, I’m doing the design and panicking over it! As well, I have a very cute 3 year old’s mother waiting for photos so she can make her selections for her order. Arrgh! Oh, and I have to figure out how to get 1) a sometimes cranky, bitchy/sometimes nice-ish deadbeat to repay her loan (it’s not much, just overdue since March), 2) get presents out to the kids for their birthdays, 3) get my reviews done and posted, 4) not lose the stuff in storage (despite my payments here and there, they want to go ahead and take my belongings…I have a problem with that since I am making every effort to catch up!), 5) get the portrait studio to hire me (it’s photography, it’s a job, and I want it), and 6) find the list of the other things I need to accomplish.

Busy is better’n dead, right? Right.

P.S. If I really did miss your name on this list, I profusely apologize and will write glowing things about you if you leave me a comment and don’t call me a forgetful bitch. Forgetful or bitch is fine. Just not both together.

2010/10/14

Media and the Military: Reality vs Myth

DaGoddess @ 17:16

Interesting discussion regarding Media & the Military: Myth v Reality.

Can the personal, human narrative bias be overcome to depict our military honestly?

J.D. Johannes leads panel with Tom Kratman (author) and Jake Rademacher (director, “Brothers at War”). Lots of points being made, including: with the best of intentions, as a storyteller you have to tell a story, but as a documentarian you also have a responsibility to get the story right!

Rademacher wanted to show Hollywood that the truth can be told and it can be done respectfully. Mrs. P asks where you draw the line, what do you share? Rademacher says you can do it tastefully, but there are horrific bits that are shown because that is the reality. It’s an honest depiction of what our military endure and maybe it takes that glimpse into the horror and ravages of war to appreciate what our military experience.

Earlier, Mark Burnett teared up thinking of his friends lost in the Falklands. It’s a hard reality. You have to face it but you can do so with great respect.

Rademacher mentions Gunny Popaditch and the footage of him used by people trying to push their agenda without honoring him or what others have endured.

Wish I could do justice to this panel. It’s quite moving and these men really do want to give props to our military.

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