Swimming With Dory

DaGoddess @ 17:26

“Swimming, swimming, just keep swimming…”

That’s my mantra this week.

Too much to contend with. Topped by now catching what MOBD has had. Of course, I gave him my big ol’ bottle of cough syrup, leaving just a half dose for me. I’m trying to sleep my way out of this. And hot shower the phlegm away. Anything to get better because I HAVE SHIT TO DO!

Also found out that Nevada does not have a state disability program. Ugh. So I’ve filed, once again, for Social Security Disability. Who knows? Maybe six years of…this…will finally qualify me?

Cherry on top is an issue I can’t even begin to comprehend. I can’t write about it. I can barely speak about it. It’s the sort of thing I am absolutely unable to do anything about for someone I love beyond words.

Instead of panic, I’ve been emailing, texting, calling everyone I know who might possibly know of some sort of part time work I can do (and that won’t interfere with doc appts). Using all that crazed energy to put my personal search and rescue plan into action.

Please say a prayer…not so much for me, but for…well…everyone.

Same Deal, Different Day

DaGoddess @ 00:50

If you don’t know where to find the magic password, you can email me with the subject line: What’s Up, Buttercup?

Or better still, just hit up my private email account. The only people who really need to read that post are the ones who know me well enough to have my private email.

It’s going to be a nail-biter of a week. My head already hurts.

Protected: The Other Shoe

DaGoddess @ 00:48

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Doug Gordon is Hotter Than Nigel Barker

DaGoddess @ 01:30

And that, my friends, is the truth.

Nigel is man model pretty. Doug is hotter because 1) he’s real, 2) he’s adorable, 3) he has a of humor to die for (that’s Mr. Hotness himself posing in the studio at the beginning), 4) he’s wonderfully kind, and 5) he’s super talented. You heard it here first. Amirite, ladies? Real trumps all.(Hoping his wife doesn’t come kick my butt for having a photo crush on him. Doug, please let her know it’s a sickness…I like creatives.)

(Don’t mind me, I’m just waiting for this to hit Google so Doug sees it… la la la la la la la…*bad whistling*…la la la la la)

And now we’re back.

WPPI was very good. I walked away feeling a new sense of excitement about photography as well as about myself. Some of the concepts that were discussed were things I already do, but to a level of which I never even imagined. And that’s the key right there: my imagination. I was a little frozen. The photographers who inspired me most basically lit a fire inside of me. That’s the point of the classes. The whole point of WPPI. So it was pretty damn wonderful to have that kick in the ass right when I needed it most.

In addition to some of the techniques I learned, I also got some much needed clarity on a personal project. I had no idea how far afield I was going. So, I’ll rework what I have and refine my methods.

I have so much more I’d like to add to this, but I’m back to wobbly neck and headaches. It’s time for meds and bed. I may not feel 100% great, but I know I’ll be dreaming of photography while I sleep. It’s happened every night this week and honestly, I can’t tell you the last time I dreamed of photography like this.

Kind of scary to think of me being that inspired, isn’t it?

Even scarier, is that I think I figured out how I can incorporate a lot of what I learned and apply it to concert photography, too…where I have no control over movement or light.



DaGoddess @ 23:26

I reached the end of the internet again today.

I hate when that happens.

Am I Dead Yet?

DaGoddess @ 23:12

WPPI has been a whirlwind of activity. I’ve learned so much in just two days and there’s still more to come.

Yesterday’s first class with Doug Gordon was incredible! His flow posing is brilliant and so fluid, fast, lovely…I walked out of there feeling confident that I could apply all I learned at my next session and be very successful.

Today’s best class was with Jesh de Rox. He reduced a room of almost 1,000 people to tears. A few times. It was beyond amazing. He’s one person I’d want to pay to spend time with to learn everything I could. Unfortunately those sessions, one-on-one, are a cool $20k ($16.5K if you use the conference discount.) Um. Okay. The other option is just under $500 for his online workshop, support system, and then $1,000 scholarship to future gathering. I’m seriously eyeing the penny jar. If you could only see what he’s done with photography, what he’s capable of doing with his clients, you’d understand why I wish I had a house to mortgage for that one-on-one training. Seriously, grown men were crying when they saw what he was doing! I didn’t know he’d done a here just before WPPI. For around $2k. I’d have sold a leg or a lung for that.

Tomorrow is full of more classes and more excitement. I’ve been up since 05:30. Folks, you know I go to bed at that hour, not wake up at that time. But I’m all over this. I’m making the most of every opportunity. There are photographers (like Doug and Jesh) who have been on my radar for a long time, inspiring me to achieve more. To see them in person is simply beyond compare. I’ve also met a lot of lovely people from all over the place, including one woman from just down the street from where I lived in SD before I moved here.

I’m going to finish laundry (can’t wear sweats…I mean, I could, but I won’t) so I have clean clothes for tomorrow and then I’m curling up like a little a armadillo. Have to be up again at oh-my-God-it’s-way-too-early.

WPPI – Day 1 – Doug Gordon and Nigel Barker (yes, THAT Nigel Barker)

DaGoddess @ 02:41

First class was wonderful! Funny, energetic, exciting, informational, inspiring, and just what I needed. Doug Gordon is brilliant. Like a diamond. Princess cut. (His beautiful wife and children were also in attendance, proving what I have long held to be true: a solid support system at home is your greatest tool as an artist and business person.)

I got my “free hug” when I went up to the stage and I’ll go see him at the trade show tomorrow…er…later today (I gotta go to bed if I’m going to be up and in the car by 0630 for my 0800 class). Can’t wait to talk with him more. I truly believe this man has magic fairy dust that he can sprinkle on me and make me a better photographer. Oh how I wish I could take one of his New York 4-day workshops! OMG! Really. If I can walk away after two hours and not shoot but still feel like I learned some very valuable lessons, imagine what I could do spending 4 days working/shooting with him! (On the wishlist, of course.)

Next up was a class that was labelled Motivational. A couple, whose work I like and who come across quite well in print, were to be talking about marketing and pricing and branding and all that stuff. MOBD left after 20 minutes. I wanted to leave. But my greed kept me there. They were giving away a lighting kit that I really wanted. So I wasted two hours of my life to gain the super secret code to where they have their pricing guide on their website. Listened to a woman who was neither interesting nor organized nor pleasant unto the ear. The husband said little. Unfortunately. And when he did speak, she’d cut him off. HE’S the photog. HE’S the one who interests me most. But marketing is her thing. Wah. I didn’t win the lighting kit. Suffered unnecessarily. But it should be noted that someone from whom I have taken a paid class from in the past was also there and he walked out. Half the attendees walked out. When they were calling names for the drawing of prizes, there were endless amounts of “oh, did they leave?” or “Must have left” and “well, they’re gone”. She wanted to turn up the lights to see the crowd. He told her no. He knew better. Anyhow, I high tailed it out of there as soon as I could and off I went to find MOBD and head toward dinner (no one poisoned me this year!).

The two hours of wasted time were salvaged by the only possible cure: Super hot and sexy…model, philanthropist, phtoographer, and judge on America’s Next to Last Top Modeling Chef. The lovely and talented…Mr. Nigel Barker!

Hotness was in the building! For real. I ♥ him even more now. I ♥♥♥ him. He has this adorable little overbite thing becomes noticeable as he’s smiling and talking with models, getting to know them. It’s charming, really. And he inspired me photographically. The way he treats people. His overall kindness and openness. I was going to get a photo with him after the fashion show, but I missed out whilst talking with a lovely lady from…San Diego. Of course!

Anyhow, without further ado, Mr. Niiigeelll Baaarrrrrrkkkkkerrr!

Nigel Barker at WPPI 2011 by Laughing Rhino Photography

Nigel Barker with camera at WPPI 2011 by Laughing Rhino Photography

Hello, Hotness, my old friend. Roooowwwr! I’d be a cougar for that. The man is sex on a stick. I wanna lick his face. And the hair? I like it. I like him bald, too. Roooowwwr! Please mind the drool puddle. Can’t afford a slip ‘n’ fall here.

And with that, I’m outta here. Gotta be up in 4 1/2 hours for a full day of classes and schmoozing. I’m lovin’ it! Hoping I can get the missed hug/photo with Mr. Nigel Barker at the Sony booth. (Say a prayer, please!)


The Shape of Things

DaGoddess @ 23:55

My doctor’s visit went exceedingly well. For me, that is. We aren’t scheduling the next epi just yet, as he wants to see how long this lasts. He did, however, get very upset when he discovered which patch had been used on me after my trigger points last week. There is now a BIG BOLD NOTE on the front of my chart and he made sure everyone knew that no NSAIDs were to ever be brought anyone near me. He also announced to the entire office that the patch was never to be used on anyone again (especially me). It was a huge, loud moment. Also, he’s going to argue with the insurance company that it’s worth us doing the upper back epi even though it didn’t work pre-operatively all those years ago. The fact that the lower back epi did work POST-OPERATIVELY…well, that’s a good sign and it’s worth exploring using the same treatment to provide me with effective relief. So he’ll fight them as much as necessary to get me the treatment that I need. I like this office.

The real joy of the visit always comes with the waiting room adventures. I tend to update my facebook account frequently whilst I’m waiting and this was a particularly interesting day. Figured I’d copy and paste the whole thing over here for you to enjoy, too.

scenes from the waiting room:

Scene 1: “yo BITCH, who yo mothah fuckah?” some woman’s ringtone…full volume.

said woman’s companion has been going on for a good 20mins on how he just wants a decent bitch he can kick it with. and then the two are having separate LOUD convos on their phones

would it be foolish of me to suggest 1) going to silent… mode for ringtione? and 2) taking their calls outside?

scene 2: civil war cap with awesome civil war beard.

scene 3: everyone near loud rude couple in back becoming increasingly disgruntled over something. attitudes are contagious. me? I have a phone and fb.

scene 4: today my name is “John” (usually they call me “Jo ANN”)

scene 5: one cute tween sitting in waiting room is becoming super uncomfortable with the conversation at the back of the room. her mom isn’t exactly pleased with the language used. since I’m now back with the nurse, I narc’d. no need for anyone to endure that behavior…anywhere

scene 6: rude couple ejected and they were not happy. had a choice to turn down their volume, go outside, or leave…they got mean so decision made for them. they’re standing outside yelling now. by my car. no good deed goes unpunished

scene 7: the miracles

miracle #1 – doc happy with progress and my level of pain relief. he’s going to fight ins. co. to let him inject my neck, too.

miracle #2 – doc ran out of room and announced to evryone that the flector patch is a no-no…especially for me. and he scrawled big note on front of my chart

miracle #3 – rude couple apologizes

And there you have it.

Only thing I really need to make it all perfect is a personal masseur at my beck and call, a personal trainer to help me work my core, and a good bed. I’ll take any one of the three, any combination of the three, and I’ll even take all three. Please note these as they appear as items #1-3 on my early birthday list.

Tonight, I went to dinner with long time blog friend Sapper Mike, who is in town for a couple days. BBQ for dinner. Lots of talking (sorry…I can’t seem to shut up sometimes) after dinner. And tomorrow we’ll attempt to see the horses if the weather isn’t horrible. After that, he has kindly consented to be my escort when it’s time to check out some “Soul with a capital ‘S'”:

Someone…SOMEONE…in the Pacific Northwest…SOMEONE gave me tickets for Christmas. SOMEONE who happens to have a blog and who comments here. Uh huh. I’m not mentioning any names. HE knows who HE is. He’s a very generous soul and he’s been wonderfully kind to me. Plus, we have great conversations. Anyhow, someone know what he did and I will be forever grateful.

Before I forget, if anyone is interested in very VERY inexpensive CDs from a great music collection, I know someone who is selling many of those CDs on eBay. it out.

I’m such a brat, aren’t I?

Dear President’s Day Flyer

DaGoddess @ 03:08

Great. See that you’re offering all these great deals on beds. Awesome. I’d buy one in a heartbeat, but I can’t afford it right now.

Do me a favor…extend that offer…just for me…for another month…cuz I desperately need that bed. With my back finally feeling good, I need it to stay that way and a six inch inflatable mattress just ain’t cuttin’ it.

So, are we in agreement? You keep that insanely good deal for me for at least one more month and maybe by then I’ll be in just enough green to pick up my new bed.


P.S. If you want to throw in some new sheets, too, I’m all for that.


Just a Note

DaGoddess @ 00:34

Happy birthday, Rob. You may be gone, but you’re not forgotten.


Weird and Wild and OMG

DaGoddess @ 21:22

I’ve been busy trying to recover from a bad reaction to the dressing the doc used after my trigger point injections last week. I’d had the dressing before and had a little rash as well as some GI bleeding, but didn’t think anything of it. This time, however, they gave me a second dressing to apply after 24 hours and within an hour of the second application, I was in big trouble all the way around. I was downing Benadryl, hitting the inhaler, almost passed out in the shower, and had my finger poised over the “9” on speed dial. It wasn’t pretty. It’s taken me all the way until today to feel somewhat normal.

Good times.

This weekend’s been pretty much full of me recovering from that big fun.

The good news is that my back is feeling pretty good. And I spent part of my doctor’s visit weeping with joy.

Just when I thought I was feeling better after the reaction, it was like a second wave of the medication from the dressing surged through me. WTF? Hit the inhaler and Benadryl again and recovered faster than I had two days before. But the steroids from the inhaler knocked me for a loop. I went from not being able to breathe to being wired and not being able to sleep. And then it was crash city. It’s kind of been a wild ride.

Still, all of that seems worth it when it I get up and move around. The back is good. I mean, I don’t remember the last time I felt this good. It’s incredible! Yes, I still need to take my Vicodin and Ambien at night, but that’s all part of the pain management program. I’m kinda diggin’ the feeling.

And now, the OMG! moment: WPPI is coming up. Full registration is basically $400. I can’t afford it. I registered just for the trade show portion and was happy with that. But then one of the presenters posted on FB that he had some full registrations to give away. All you had to do was leave a comment as to why you wanted to win…so I did…and…I FREAKIN’ WON! Included are all these amazing classes and opportunities to learn great photography techniques, business practices, and…my God, there’s just no end to what’s possible there! (You may remember that last year I went to the opening reception and accidentally ate pasta with lobster and had an allergic reaction…well, I’m not eating anything I don’t take in there myself this time! I’ve had my fill of Benadryl and albuterol for the year, thankyouverymuch.) I’m still kind of in shock over this. For once, the universe and I are in sync and you can bet your sweet bippy I’ve been knockin’ wood since I found out I won.

I know I still have other stories I need to blog, but in due time, my dears. In due time.


Mental Notes

DaGoddess @ 07:52

1) Post lizard story

2) talk about the doctor’s office adventure

3) beg and plead for real cable TV and send ABC a nasty gram for not running The Middle episodes in full online anymore. (*The Middle*, as Brick would say…I love that kid)

4) tell the tip boy tale.

5) find a way to work “nose dimmers” into a conversation.

6) go to bed!


Certificate of Achievement

DaGoddess @ 05:24

Betcha didn’t know I’m getting a Certificate of Achievement for photography. You didn’t know, did you? Guess what? I didn’t know either until I got the email the other day. I’m not sure why I’m getting it. Well, beyond the fact that I’ve entered prints in a competition for the past three years. Last year, I got “nominated” and didn’t even know it until about three weeks ago. Maybe that’s what the certificate is for? The image? Ghost Rider. None of my other past entries were nominated or even have any sort of indication that someone saw them.

Here’s this year’s entry.

Polly O'Keary

“Polly” may not look like much as far artistry goes, but I loved the series of photos that I layered into that final image. First, she’s a fantastic bassist. Second, she reminds me so much of my daughter. Third, she was my last year’s girl crush. If you saw her perform, you’d understand why. Anyhow, that’s this year’s entry. Best part of last year’s and this year’s entries? Both were free. Because I’d been entered previously, I got entry fee credits. If I’d wanted to enter more, of course I’d have to cough up the dough. But I only had that one image to submit (although I did consider my Tab Benoit photo, too). I have a budget, y’all, and I’m sticking with it! So, one entry this year. I think I feel better that way as well.

Now that I’ve boreditized you with my self-induced scapula bruising post, I shall leave you atonce and go get my ass in bed.

Do you think anyone offers certificates of achievement for going to bed before sunrise? Maybe? Possibly? Anyone wanna make one for me?

Greedy Bitch Alert

DaGoddess @ 05:07

Or maybe it should just be “bitch alert” so that it serves as a general warning of my current mood.

Actually, I’m not really all that super bitchy all the time. But there have been moments over the past couple days when my level of fantastic bitchiness has reached new, soaring limits. I could blame it on the steroids that are slowly being absorbed into my body, but I don’t think that’s really all there is to it. It could be my lack of sleep. Or readjusting to having MOBD back here after a couple months of having the house all to myself. It could also be the lack of consistent internet connectivity. Or the fact that since I’ve had the epi that I’ve gone nowhere and seen no one and done nothing. I don’t know. I don’t even really care. Well, okay, I do, but whatevs.

So, I decided I’d try to turn my frown upside down and start planning for festival season. The first big festival I’m covering this year is Doheny Blues Festival. Love that festival with a passion! It’s the weekend after my birthday (which is where the greedy bitch part comes into play) and I could drive out…or I could book tix now at $49/each and fly out. T’would be fun. Plus, I’d get to thumb my nose at Southwest’s happy new rewards plan. (I’m one flight away from my freebie and damn it! I’m gonna get it! I’ll totally need it for my trip to Portland in July.) Anyhow, so this is where you get to play along. If you’d like to help with my birthday wishlist, I’ll take a flight to San Diego on May 19, on Southwest. Please. A flight back to Vegas on the 24th of May would also be lovely, but needn’t be purchased together. Also, there is the possibility that I’d need to actually pay for my festival VIP pass this year. I’m truly hoping I’ll get press credentials, but if those fall through, I’m gonna be looking for my full weekend VIP pass. (That’s for Daddy Warbucks, if he exists…and he should note, I didn’t get so greedy and ask for the Gold pass. I only need to be at the front of the stage, not backstage and certainly not in need of free beer and all that. No thanks. Gimme the VIP and I’m happy to have a beer at the end of the day, when work is done, and it’s been sitting in the hotel fridge getting all nice and cold.)

I think that’s a fairly decent wishlist, don’t you? I could add camera gear, a trip to Hawaii (it’s been put on the table several times…a fun group of blues women from the Pacific NW asked me, but I know it’s out of the question, just as the Cabo trip was out of the question when offered 10 days ago [for that it was totally lack of a passport that made me say no way, Jose]), a new wardrobe, a cowboy, a new computer, a banker, an Indian chief (or warrior), a year of spa treatments, a year of mani/pedis, a haircut, a pony, and a kite. Yet, I didn’t ask for any of those. I focused all my need…all my yearning to plane fare and festival entry. Silly, isn’t it?

Good Lord, I just realized that I’m actually typing this and will actually post it. My meds are working and I have a brief window of net time, I’m going for it, kids! And you know what else I just realized? I’m not grumpy anymore. Just greedy. So bitch alert over. Greedy’s still on, though.


Inbox Reminder

DaGoddess @ 06:12

My friend sent this to me and it made me smile. All very, very true. Yeah, it’s floated around in emails for ages, but it’s a good reminder of how many blessings we truly have…no matter how sucky things seem to be.

Written by a 90 year old

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, and wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, and then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.