2014/02/26

Medicated Day #2

Da Goddess @ 09:38

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention: I’m back on my meds!

It’s taking some getting used to, but YAY!

The new doc is totally old school. No-nonsense, very direct, and a mover and a shaker. Last week’s appointment was followed with an appointment to their in-house pain management guy. THE VERY NEXT DAY! Took until Monday to get my meds (insco snafu, per usual), but now that’s all taken care of. I see the pain doc in a month and the other doc in a month and a half.

Oh, and get this: their office called me on Saturday to set up my appointment with the pain management doc. I told them I’d already done that and they were surprised it had already happened. Surprised, but happy. Just like me. And doubly happy they called to make certain I was getting the treatment I needed.

Whew! I think I need a nap. I done worked myself into a frenzy with all this excitement.

Just A Day Like Any Other Day

Da Goddess @ 09:31

And so this morning, we woke to two cats who were up and out and about. Acting like normal cats. Or rather, acting like normal cats for us.

Celia is now part of the household. Amazing how much has changed in a day or so. Suddenly, she’s interacting with us, playing, and eating. We found the secret “call”: a “ssswwssspppss” sound. It makes her run over to us and beg for scritches on her head.

Last night I went into the kitchen to fix myself something to eat and they both followed me in there, meowing and begging as if they hadn’t just been fed. It was really cute.

Oh! Fletch found his meow! He’d followed King Arthur into the bathroom and then managed to get himself closed in after. We heard two very distinct meows — one, definitely Celia’s. We tiptoed over to the hallway, thinking they were playing, and saw only Celia. She stopped meowing once she saw us, but then we heard the other meow coming from the bathroom. I opened the door and he looked up at me as if to say, “didn’t you notice I was gone? I was LOST! LOST, I SAY!” Then he strolled out like nothing had happened. It was adorable.

They won’t curl up in a ball together when we’re around, but that’s now how they sleep at night. I don’t think Celia wants us to know she’s sweet and sensitive when it comes to Fletch. But the cat is out of the bag (pun intended).

We’re just super happy to see how nicely they’ve both settled in. King Arthur was getting stressed by Celia’s timidity. I was willing to give her more time to acclimate; not so much for KA. It’s all worked out in the end. I think she overheard him voicing his concerns and decided it was better to hang with us than go back to the shelter. Whatever the reason, that’s not necessary. Both cats are now happy campers and so are we.

2014/02/25

Baby Steppin’

Da Goddess @ 09:08

Fletch has turned into the biggest lovebug in the universe! He’s also very silly and playful and just so patient and sweet.

Celia is having a rougher time getting comfortable in the house, but she’s making progress. Last night she came out to get all sorts of petting. And she used the litterbox, proving that’s she eaten, even if we haven’t been able to see her actually ingesting the food. She stayed out for a fairly long while and she’s been out again this morning. Baby steps.

Last night, before bed, I did one last check on the cats and they were actually curled up together. They gave me the whole, “whaaaaaaaaaat? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GO AWAY! You’re not supposed to see this!” look. It was hysterical.

Of course, this morning, Celia just had to hiss at Fletch because IWASPETTINGHERANDHECAMEBYWANTINGATTENTIONTOO.

In other news, Fletch’s tail seems to be the best. thing. ever. once he’s had a little catnip.

I promise I won’t be a total cat blogger. Much. I’m just excited to have these sweeties in our lives.

2014/02/22

Fletch(er), Celia (Calico Jack-ee), and LD

Da Goddess @ 21:14

And here we have the happy gang. Well, the cats are still getting accustomed to the place, but they’ll get there. Fletch is the chillest of the two. Celia is the diva. And LD is, as always, my favorite son. Sadly, he departs in the morning. We’ll have the cats to keep us busy until he returns.

Fletch

Celia

Fletch

Celia

Fletch Lives

Celia the Diva

LD and Fletch

The Best Part of the Olympics

Da Goddess @ 01:24

I watched the skating because…hello! It’s something I can’t do. I could do it when I was young and lived in Ohio, but in California? No. Noooooo. Nope. Didn’t happen. (Roller skating was easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Thankyouverymuch)

I tried to watch other events. The biathlon caught my attention for a few minutes, but still didn’t do much for me.

Back to the skating. All of it. The single best thing about the skating? Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. For reals. Not only did I learn stuff from them, I also enjoyed their witty reparte and their ability to not talk over the entirity of the performances. Well done, Johnny and Tara! You are the true winners of the 2014 Winter Olympics! (I’m not the only one who thinks so, either.)

Bye-bye, Olympics. I’ve had my fill of pre-empted programming and bloated coverage of sports most of us don’t care about. I admire the athletes’ athleticism and commitment, but I’m otherwise not a fan. Still, y’all (the athletes) did good and entertained the world. But I’m not-so-secretly glad it’s basically all over but the crying.

2014/02/21

Some Assembly Required

Da Goddess @ 12:28

Mmm a favorite ingredient

2014/02/20

112

Da Goddess @ 14:47

Ansel Adams. It’s the 112th anniversary of his birth today and it should not go unnoticed. He gave photography a leg up in the art world with his breathtaking landscapes and his unflinching quest for perfection when it came to balancing light and shadows. His zone system is still taught for tonal balance. Anyone interested in photography should study the zone system.

He got his first camera at the age of 14, in 1916, on his first trip to Yosemite. In 1921 his first images of Yosemite were published, thus beginning the nation’s (and, indeed, the world’s) fascination with the man and his art.

Often cited as lyrical in his depiction of wilderness, it should come as no surprise that Adams had aspired to be a professional musician (pianist). So keen was his creative spirit, the same intensity that made his music so beautiful drove him to excellence in his photography.

But, don’t believe for a second that Adams could only shoot landscapes! His portraits — particularly of those in the Manzanar internment camp (Manzanar War Relocation Center) — are just as lovingly crafted as anything else. The portraits were not simply a collection of faces, though. Adams deeply felt the betrayal by the government against its own citizens. Those depicted in the images with dignity and indomitable spirit shining brightly.


The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment…All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use

He also created images in industrial settings, my favorite of which come from the Salz Tannery in Santa Cruz, California.

Every image taken by Ansel Adams and shown to the world had to meet his exacting standards. He sought balance and he achieved it, or it wouldn’t be seen by the public.

Among those images are these from the tannery.

Salz Tannery worker

Salz Tannery worker

Salz Tannery pit

Looking at the tones in these images, one should note the range of those tones. Nary a glaring, blown-out highlight to be found (as is so often the case with photographers these days). From the deepest black to the palest white, the tones are true — much like a perfectly played note.

Without belaboring his entire history (I encourage you to read up, though!), it’s no stretch to say that most everyone in the Western world (and well beyond) have heard of Ansel Adams and have likely viewed one of his images in some manner, such is the depth and breadth of his oeuvre. His desire to teach his techniques to others, to unite like minds, and to pursue his art has made Adams one of the greatest influences in photography.

Happy birthday, Ansel! Thank you for making photography so very intriguing.

2014/02/17

TJH: Inspire – Keep Calm

Da Goddess @ 12:40

This is what I see from the shower. The shower has a huge frosted glass window and this is what I see when I step in.

My view

The bathroom window

It makes me smile

2014/02/16

Happy Birthday, You Cranky Old Cracker

Da Goddess @ 17:05

Missing you, Rob! You’d be 63 today. There’d likely be a box of chilled white zin ready to roll. Franzia.

Rob Smith in Florida on our vacation
Were you here, I’d make you meatloaf with some Vidalia onions you’d make sure I’d have. I’d insist upon you playing guitar and singing some songs. “Louisiana 1927″ — no one could beat your version. EVER. It was pure heartbreak in every note. Of course, you sang me many other songs and I’d be begging you for those, too. Hell, I’d be happy just to hear your voice calling me a bitch right about now. (Thankfully, you never really meant it, but at this point, you could and I’d still be happy to hear you say it.) Which reminds me of this image. Remember sitting on that balcony in Daytona together, watching the storm roll in? That was one of the most difficult trips I’ve ever had to come home from. Finding a friend who makes you laugh and cry as you did, well, that’s more precious than gold, silver, platinum, or jewels.

You and King Arthur would totally exhaust all those around you with your endless supply of stories. You’d be great friends. I know this. You’d laugh and argue and sing and tell tall tales and drive me absolutely insane, but I would love every moment of it. I really wish you could be a part of this world today, Rob. You’d be so surprised at what’s going on. Of course, I’m pretty sure you’re keepin’ an eye on things from a distance and I’m pretty sure you’d have a mouthful to say about all of it.

I miss you, my friend. And today I celebrate you.

Hope there’s a party happenin’ wherever you are.

2014/02/12

Order in the Court

Da Goddess @ 12:37

Headed back to court in the morning. Fingers crossed that we finally get the judge to impress upon the ins co to quit playing games and get me into a doc, cover my meds, and basically quit screwing with me all the way around.

It’s exhausting. My body can’t take this. Forget the pain. Forget the insomnia. Forget the strain on my relationships and my mental well-being. Let’s just get me to the point where my heart no longer skips beats and it doesn’t feel like I’m going to pass out every time I stand up or turn my head or blink (side effects of the cessation of one of the [spendy] meds [I can't pay for out of pocket and, anyway, no longer have a script for]). We won’t even mention the weight gain. We won’t. Let’s just say I need to be back in with a doc and on meds and leave it at that.

So, prayers, please. Thanks.

2014/02/10

Disappointment

Da Goddess @ 18:48

We were up at 04:00. You know me, I don’t get up at that hour — it’s when I go to bed!

But it was for Craig Ferguson. Anything for Craig.

So, up before the crack of dawn, showered, in the car, and on our way to Hollywood. Craig was hosting a special April Fool’s Day episode of The Price is Right.

Waiting in line. Waiting, waiting, waiting. And then we were told “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” Two ticketing/audience companies had issued too many tickets for the day. Ugh.

So, just remember: when you watch TPIR on April 1, you won’t see me.

2014/02/08

That’s Right!

Da Goddess @ 07:27

Was reading over on DIYPhotographer.com and saw the following:

One of the things that I try getting across to my students is that despite all of its amazing capabilities, the camera is just a box. Yes, it is programmed with a seemingly limitless number of exposure combinations, but when all is said and done it’s just a box. It has no artistic intent. We have to speak its language, telling it what we see, in hopes that the image in our head matches the image in the box.

Yep, just one more person agreeing with the truth that it is NOT the camera that takes/makes great images, but rather the artist behind the box.

2014/02/07

Making an Impression

Da Goddess @ 10:56

So, last weekend we went over to see King Arthur’s aunt and uncle and bunches of other family. I’d met several of the family before, but I was unprepared for the onslaught of new faces (and names to go with those faces). I pretty much managed to remember most of the names, thank God! But my real moment to make an impression came as we sat down to play a game. While I was really getting into the game and figuring out how best to play, the chair I was sitting on suddenly gave out from under me. CRACK! OH! BOOM! GLASS BREAKING SOUNDS! Thankfully, no glass actually shattered; it was simply glassy rock-like things in vases that were on the floor behind me. Color me a freshly boiled lobster red of embarrassed!

I almost wish I could have seen my face during the whole ordeal. Part of me was just in shock. The other part of me was horrified in thinking my fat ass was responsible for the chair fail. Thankfully, I didn’t and couldn’t see my face. And even MORE thankfully, King Arthur’s cousin (who is fairly thin) told me he had the same exact thing happen to him in the same exact place (while playing the same exact game, which is rather suspicious, if you ask me).

So, despite my best efforts to be quietly supportive of my darling man, I made quite the impression on his family.

I wasn’t the only one making an impression that day. One of his cousins’ grandkids showed up with Girl Scout cookies to sell the family (smart kid) and (even smarter still) she employed her 3 1/2 year old brother as her chief salesman. I picked up a box of lemon-flavored cookies and young (we’ll call him) Steve said, “you should probably get the other box, too. It’s the last one.” I about peed myself when he said that. 3 1/2 years old with 40 years in sales! He also encouraged anyone without exact change to round up their purchases to make it easier on him since “I’m not good at making change yet.” Tell me this kid doesn’t have the makings of a great car salesman or a politician! And the entire time he was just freakin’ totes adorbs. (Yes, I said it. Don’t hate.)

Also making an impression of late: Yuzuru Hanyu, the 19 year old Olympic skater from Japan who totally killed it during the Men’s short program. Not only was his program sharp, clean, and a “wow”, but he was skating to Gary Moore’s “Parisian Walkways”. STUNNING! It’s one of my favorite Gary Moore tunes. It surprised me to 1) hear it at the Olympics, 2) to have such a young guy capture the soul of the song so beautifully, and 3) have a skater be so bold in his music choice, not to mention do it justice.

Even if Hanyu hadn’t chosen a great blues tune, I’d have cheered him on. His approach is simply beautiful. Relaxed, but with the kind of precision that takes your breath away.

Now, if only other skaters would take a cue from this young man and go with music that has some serious emotion to it. Everything Yuzuru Hanyu did was punctuated perfectly by his choice of music. Tell me those crisp, clean notes paired with the more fluid phrases don’t go with skating. Tell me. I dare you. Pop music doesn’t do that. Some of the more orchestral pieces don’t do that either, which is truly a crying shame. With blues, certain pieces of classic rock, and the right choice of classical or opera, you get the full depth and breadth of the human psyche and they give you the tension and rests you need to build a compelling presentation. (I write this as I watch the Japanese pair skate along to a “floral” but rather unexciting bit of music that gives really nothing in the way of climax to their performance. Grr! I dare say the impression you make on the audience should NOT be one of “I’m only yelling and complaining because you were so boring!” Whereas the U.S. pair skating right after them chose Santana and proved my point exactly. Sheesh, it’s hard to be right about so many things.)

And that concludes today’s thoughts on three unrelated, but slightly related topics*.

* Me, with King Arthur’s family…King Arthur’s grandnephew(??? Is that even such a thing???) knowing how to sell the crap out of cookies for his sister…skaters knowing how the sell the crap out of their performances. Yes, I believe I’d call that a triple!

2014/02/02

22 Pigs Fighting Over the Same Ear of Corn

Da Goddess @ 11:37

Yep, it’s that time of the year again.

Super Bowl Sunday.

I dunno ’bout you, but I’m rooting for the Seahawks. Go Hawks!

And I’m going to be cheering on all the participants in the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, cuz nothing’s cuter than puppies and kittens and whatever else they throw at us. It’s certainly more fun than 22 pigs fighting over an ear of corn (which is how a neighbor describes football).

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