This Was Supposed to Be Coffee

Da Goddess @ 03:24

Three types. Don’t remember which is which, though. However, in my search to identify the varieties, I couldn’t find anything that resembled these images. Either I misread the signs in each plant’s pot, or they were mislabeled. I’m going with the latter.

The gold version

All three were labeled as coffee

I thought it was coffee

Eh, no matter. I think they’re lovely.

And and I had fun cruising around Balboa Park that day.

Calotropis gigantea

Da Goddess @ 01:45

Love love love this plant! I’ve been fascinated by it for years. It took until recently for me to learn more about it.

Calotropis gigantea has beautiful, waxy flowers that just don’t look of this world. The aroma from this plant is somewhat on the pungent side (although some sources claim it’s not scented, they certainly weren’t sniffing the plant I was). I wouldn’t dab it behind my ears. Actually, that’s a bad idea anyway, since the sap can be extremely irritating to the skin. It’s part of the milkweed family, which, if you know anything about milkweed, can be very toxic to humans if not handled or prepared correctly. So, it’s not a plant I’d play around with much without knowing the exact side effects it can have on the body.

And with that, I will leave you to these images.

Calotropis gigantea in Balboa Park, San Diego

Calotropis gigantea in Balboa Park, San Diego

Calotropis gigantea in Balboa Park, San Diego

Calotropis gigantea in Balboa Park, San Diego

Calotropis gigantea in Balboa Park, San Diego


Let Me Show You How It’s NOT Done + A Couple Handy Kitchen Tips

Da Goddess @ 03:14

Photographic evidence of the crime scene.

Crunch you don't want in your food

Broken glass is NOT a spice.

Broken glass is not a spice

Helpful hints:

Here’s the thing. The older we get, the more we require good nutrition to help us fight disease, to promote good healing, and to basically sustain life. My dad isn’t a big veggie eater. I have, however, found that by including extra veggies in stew, soup, chicken and dumplings, etc., he’ll eat them and not fight me on it. If, by some odd chance, I give him the option of choosing vegetables, he’ll say he doesn’t want any. (Sounds a lot like feeding children, doesn’t it? It’s worse. Worse because he’s old enough to use a LOT of words we really don’t want to hear.)

Also, when it comes to setting up a kitchen safely. think in terms of the upper body strength of those in the house. Face it, most 65+ parents don’t have to have their home babyproofed. So, consider using those lower shelves for items that are heavier and more difficult to reach for overhead. Put plates and larger, heavy pots and pans down low. Put the drinking glasses a bit higher. And definitely put all those random plastic storage containers missing the majority of their lids even higher. If you drop a plastic storage container, you’re not going to have shattered glass everywhere!

One last tip: don’t pack things into the back of cupboards. Most of us can’t reach back there anyway, especially without a stepstool. Pull items forward on the shelves so they’re within easy reach.

Let’s keep our parents off stepstools as much as possible, reduce the amount of stress and strain on their backs and upper bodies and keep them healthy and independent for as many years as we can.


Proofreaders Are An Asset

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Professional company sends me an email asking me to purchase their products. Email is rife with errors.

Said email starts off nicely enough:

At *Company X*, we think creativity has an endless shelf life. If you agree, enter to win an Amazon® Kindle Fire™ or Amazon® Kindle™ and $250 USD worth of *Company X* books of the winner’s choice (Total value: $450)!
How’s that for a happy holiday season!

We won’t even quibble about the need for a question mark at the end of the last sentence. Basically, the company wants you to be so excited about winning a Kindle or Kindle Fire that you’ll get caught up in their amazing products and make a purchase or two for the photographer/creative in your life. Nothing wrong with that. Except…except when each book you then list has a “sneak peak” available.

Obviously, I’m completely bent by: sneak PEAK.

It’s a damn sneak PEEK, people!

A peak is something you see. A peek is something you do or “take”. Either way, “peek” is a verb. “Peak” is a noun.

Are we clear on this? Would you like to hire me to proof your copy? (I’m also available for tattoo consultation before the inking begins. Another essential skill/gift.)

P.S. Any errors in this post are the direct result of my unmitigated ire at lack of command of the English language by those in charge of marketing. Shouldn’t “proficient in the English language” be a required job skill for anyone in the business of writing copy?
Yes, these are jobs I should have.


Cranky Photographer Factor

Da Goddess @ 13:02

Hey photogs: quit making bigger problems for yourself by thinking you NEED everything you see someone else use for a class or read about in a magazine. Most of this stuff is wholly unnecessary. Think of a way to work with what you have or to create something better that’s less cumbersome and much cheaper to obtain.

If you’re insistent upon spending all that extra money, let me know and I’ll send you my address. I also take Paypal.

~ * ~

I’m pretty close to quitting a photography group because the vast majority of the togs are so thick they can’t seem to get past the “I GOTTA buy that!” mentality. They attend a class or read an article featuring some expensive or wieldy item (4 inch foam core boards for backgrounds, a new lens, a contract bundle, every bit of editing software/plugin/action) and they think it’s THE THING that will make them a photographic superstar.

Um, no. It won’t. All you’re doing is putting money in the pockets of those who are selling these items.

For the 4 inch foam core boards (6ft tall by 4ft wide), why not just use a plain white door? Or, maybe, hmmmm…a wall? Why not grab some clearance sheer drape panels or plain fabric from Walmart or Joanne’s? You can tape that stuff on the wall and have an inexpensive backdrop that won’t give you a herniated disc from trying to move it. Nor will you need to rent a truck to transport it. Worse, the photographers are thinking they’ll take these heavy items to a hotel room for boudoir sessions. *THUD* To me, that’s like saying you’re going to get a nice hotel room but bring in all your own linens. MAKE USE OF WHAT YOU HAVE THERE, PEOPLE!

As for every class, bootcamp, photoshop action, template, etc that someone is hawking: if you use it, you’re going to look just like every other photographer who’s using it, too.

I get the desire and the need for lenses and lighting, but for people just starting out, you don’t need the most expensive gear — you just need to first learn how to use standard gear and determine if the other items are truly necessary. As in, you don’t need to buy a fisheye lens if you really want to shoot lovely family portraits. Waste of money. If you simply want to try a lens for an effect, rent one! Calumet, BorrowLenses.com, and many local camera shops have rentals available. They don’t require a huge outlay of cash and rarely result in over-eager or newbie or gear hound buyer’s remorse.

It all comes down to common sense and some creative thinking.

And during the time it took me to elaborate on my thoughts here on the blog, I’ve gently taken the entire group to task in our forum.

Two-fer Tuesday is Back!

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Two largely unrelated videos that simply make me happy. One is upbeat. The other is just beautifully written and sung by a favorite artist.

Ian Britt

Alfie Smith

Today’s Two-fer is different from what I submitted to By Sound. That post includes a cookie — because I like cookies.

Wandering Jew

Da Goddess @ 02:05

Purple Heart Wandering Jew, to be exact. Actually, to be precise, it’s Tradescantia pallida. And it’s lovely.

Purple Heart Wandering Jew

I think I’d rather have that in a yard than standard ivy.


I’m a Drop You Like a Hot Potato

Da Goddess @ 10:44

Remember that little incident from yesterday? Yeah, me, too.

Well, it appears it wasn’t just me not knowing the second lid was in the pot. Nope. I’ve now dropped several things. Thankfully, nothing else has broken. *Thank you, God!* Well, my spirit…my spirit has broken.

This is usually the end result when my back is phasing up into a hella bad cycle. Now, having been off my Cymbalta for two weeks, I shouldn’t be surprised. But I am. Because you couple that with no Vicodin and ever dwindling sleep and it’s a wonder worse hasn’t happened.

Do I call the attorney every day? Yes. Twice a day? Sometimes.

I figure if I call and bug them, they’ll call the insurance company and bug the people there. At some point, someone will cave in and stop fucking around with my med approval.

TWO WEEKS. Two weeks of people messing with me just because they can legally do it.

And this, my friends, is why I’ve either been close to tears or in tears for the last 10 days.

P.S. The good news is this: I only broke ONE of the bowls yesterday. Upon looking back on photographic evidence (yeah, I took a couple photos), the carrots simply flew out of their bowl. It was only the flour mixture bowl that shattered like a young man’s ego after getting turned down by the girl everyone said was a sure thing.

P.P.S. Someone wanna send me a reminder at 13:30 to call the attorney back? I’m going to bug the shit out of everyone in that office until I get results.

P.P.P.S. Once I get back on the Cymbalta, who volunteers to hold my hair for me while I vomit? Cuz that’s what’s gonna happen for at least a week.


My Turn

Da Goddess @ 17:05

On Thanksgiving, my lil sis cut herself. And I heard my big sis had hurt herself as well. Little Dude said, “Mom, it’s your turn now.” I told him that was a horrible thing to say. It was virtually guaranteeing something would happen.

I managed to get through Thanksgiving unharmed. I managed to get through Friday unharmed. I managed to through Saturday unharmed.

Today is Sunday. And it was my turn.

I was making beef stew for my dad. Cut all these beautiful carrots and set them aside in a bowl. Got my onion cut. Got the meat and cut it into nice strips and then into squares. Dredged the meat in a flour/garlic salt/pepper mixture and threw it into a hot pot to sear. Everything was looking beautiful and smelling great. I added the onions to the meat. Then I threw in two cans of vegetable broth. My mouth was watering over the delectable aroma. I decided I needed a bigger pot since I still had to add veggies and potatoes and the biggest pot available was one my sister had put up on the top shelf of one cupboard. I grabbed a chair, climbed up, and grabbed the pot.

Rule #1: never let the tallest person in the family put things away that the shortest person in the family will need to use.

Rule #2: Store lids (especially glass ones) separately. At the very least, put them off to side. There were TWO lids in this pot. I didn’t know it was there. I couldn’t see it.

One of the lids slipped off the stack and went slamming into the counter. The bowl with the carrots shattered. The lid shattered. The bowl with the flour mixture shattered. The two drinking glases — the most fragile things on the counter — survived.

As this was happening, I tried to grab the lid. All I got for my efforts was a handful of shattered glass and a profusely bleeding thumb. My big concern was having glass embedded in my thumb. I couldn’t tell. I was holding it under gently running cold water, trying to see if there was any glass. I couldn’t move it because the water would catch one of the flaps of skin and I would have to fight back the urge to curse. Yes, I restrained myself.

My dad tried to come out to the kitchen to see if I was okay and I had to tell him to get out because there was glass EVERYWHERE! Can’t have a diabetic with peripheral neuropathy, a walker, and recovering from knee surgery wandering about in a glass-strewn room. Somehow or another, he managed to get out to the garage and haul in his shop vac for me. God bless my dad! Then he went to get four of the eight boxes of bandages he has for me. He kept asking if I was okay and he wanted to see the thumb to make sure there was no glass still in the wounds. Did I mention my dad doesn’t do blood? It makes him woozy. And here he was doing his best to make sure I was okay.

Gotta love dads!

He called my sister to ask her for a broom (of all the things he doesn’t have at the house!!). My sister shows up with a vacuum cleaner and rags.

A few hours later, the glass is gone. The stew is almost done (moments away…mere moments). The floors have been scrubbed (kitchen, living room, hallways, bathrooms). I grabbed a glove and covered my hand so I could clean both bathrooms while my sister did her thing. And laundry is almost done.

It was my turn. My turn to get hurt. And from the way the stew smells, it was totally worth it.


As Close to Christmas As You’ll Get From Me

Da Goddess @ 04:00

This gorgeous frilly hibiscus is as close to something Christmas-y as I’m gonna get until December.

Frilled Hibiscus


A Dancing Turkey is Never Not Funny

Da Goddess @ 22:20

Joey Turkey Dance

Grateful For Artists

Da Goddess @ 02:01

Especially one like behind Penguins.

Absolute. Utter. Genius.

Most Grateful – Happy Thanksgiving!

Da Goddess @ 01:18

I hope, like me, you are able to look about and find many reasons for which you are most grateful.

Family, friends, and even strangers have made the most enormous impact on my life this year and I will not forget this.

Today I forgive the idiocy and cruelness. Today I focus on the kindness and love. And today I offer my thanks all those around me for being a part of my journey.

May your day be absolutely amazing!

Goodbye Edward

Da Goddess @ 01:15

General Hospital did it right in the last two episodes. In crafting a story to say goodbye to John Ingle (who was the last actor to play Edward Quartermaine), they figured a way that allows the action of other stories to keep moving forward, yet still pays tribute to Edward, the dysfunctional Quartermaines, and their history with the soap.

Most touching to me was the ending with Edward and Lila.

John Ingle died in September of this year. Anna Lee died in 2004. And yet, for a moment, we had them back together, guiding their odd family and then finally walking off to get back to the business of loving one another.

It broke my heart.

As much as we’re having to endure big changes at GH, I have to say, when they get it right, the GET. IT. RIGHT.


TJH: Inspire – Part 4 – Guess What It Is

Da Goddess @ 04:00

What does it look like to you?

TJH Balboa Park

So, have you guessed?