Archive for March, 2008

March 28th, 2008

» the better to see

How much would you pay someone to stick a laser in your eye? If it made you see better, I mean.

I had my Lasik consultation yesterday. I am an excellent candidate (and am possessed, apparently, of big pupils [not to imply that they make me a better candidate]). It is sort of monstrously expensive. With the money I could, for an example pulled from an email I just got, go to Portugal for a week to train with Olympic jumping riders: five days of morning lessons and afternoon trail rides. Surely I could go to Egypt for the cost (it is, I think, my next Peru). I could get a lovely new saddle. I could get nearly two Everetts, for that matter. I could horde it; spend dark nights stroking my account statements, all My precioussss. Or, that old haunting refrain: Down Payment.

I’ve really struggled with this whole money thing. Do you have money mentors in your life? How do you make your spending decisions? When do you say when? It’s always been quite a secret thing in my family, money, and I admit I feel a little adrift about it. I’ve never been one to do something just because other people are (a bit of the opposite, really), but I’m also a research fanatic and this is one thing I’ve really come up dry on. I keep searching after some conventional wisdom, a pool of experience, but I can’t find any rhyme or reason in this. How should I spend? I don’t know what the rest of the world is like, but it seems Americans have really fallen down on the whole budgeting/money management education thing. Where is that line between saving for later and living now?

I like my eyes. The idea of cutting them open and shooting lasers in them is a little freaky, but not having to mess around with glasses or contacts any more sounds blissful. Today S– said that I should do it, and I asked why. “Because life is better,” she said. “Life is just better.” What a compelling idea, that.

(Unrelated: I took this just after my move to show you the mess of boxes and trees and lamps and stuff my life had exploded into. I still haven’t found a place for that damn tree.)

March 24th, 2008

» Spring me


Ladies and gents, I give you spring.

Well, two days before spring — but this was the start of snow that lasted through yesterday, and is supposed to continue intermittently throughout this week. Inches and inches of snow. I have other pictures from Friday out my balcony, but they’re on my camera at home and are almost too depressing to contemplate. There shouldn’t be a pretty snowed vista outside my balcony right now. Give me green!

In happier news, my horse (if I’ve neglected to mention) is lovely:


For the past month or so we’ve been working on ground-tying (the doggie equivalent being ‘stay’) after every ride. He picked it up right away, and he’s getting quite good at it. It’s quite useful to be able to leave him to go grab a whip or turn out the lights or whatever, but I really should transfer the lesson to the barn aisle now, where there are significantly more distractions.

Also, that pony you can see in the background there? That’s my friend and her daughter’s new pony, a fjord/mustang/paint (which is a crazy mix). He is about two hands (eight inches) shorter than Everett, but their taped weight is the same. (There’s a tape you can wrap around a horse’s barrel just behind the front legs to estimate their weight — they give you a pretty good idea, though I’m not sure what the margin of error is.) He’s going into training and on a serious pony diet. Anyhow, I hopped on him last week and he is crazy amounts of fun. He feels ridiculously smooth. I’m very excited for them.

Also, totally unrelated word to the wise. If you’re ever tempted to buy green tea flavored gum, don’t. It’s not good.

March 20th, 2008

» Vet Day

Last Saturday was Vet Day out at the barn, and I spent nearly nine hours there, holding horses for shots and making sure everyone had nametags and freezing my toesies in my new leopard-print rain boots (which are adorable but not, perhaps, appropriate for 20 degree weather; when I left the house I really expected the day would get much warmer). Everett was a trooper for his couple of shots and his blood draw and his intranasal flu vaccine (which involves having a plastic tube shoved up the nose) and, later, his teeth floating.

As a horse’s teeth grow, they can develop sharp points or hooks along their outer edges — particularly for domestic horses, who don’t typically consume the same amount/toughness of roughage as wild horses — so the vet comes in and files those hooks down. (Well, and whatever other dentistry that might need doing, like removing wolf teeth.) For his floating on Saturday, Ev first got a nice shot of sedative to send him off to lalaland. Once he was feelin’ groovy, the vet gave his mouth a rinse with a giant baster of water and the vet tech put the dental-work halter on him — two big metal pieces fit on the top and bottom front teeth, respectively, and then the contraption is pulled open. It locks in place as it’s opened, and — you know, you can do a search if you’re having trouble imagining it, because it’s pseudo-Friday afternoon (market’s closed tomorrow!) and I just can’t muster a better description for you.

So Ev’s strapped into this thing, mouth open, head elevated by dint of a rope slung around the top bar of the open stall door. He has really big chewing teeth — they’re very broad across, with lots of texture to them, and they go very far back in his mouth. It was very cool to see, and the vet had me reach back in there to feel the sharp hooks on their outsides. Slimy! Then he took his — you know, I’m not sure what the correct term for it is; the whole process is called a ‘power float’, so ‘power floater’ seems fitting. It’s got a long shaft with a circular grinding head — maybe the size of a half dollar? I didn’t get a good look — at the end. I’m told the alternate, non-electric, method involves just a big file. Once the vet was done grinding all the hooks down I had another feel, and it was indeed nicely smooth. They lowered his head down, gave him a few rinses, and then I took his tripped-out self down to his stall to rest off the sedation.

We had a really spectacular ride on Monday. We’ve been doing lateral work lately, and it’s really clicking. I had a couple of beautiful, soft canter transitions too. In the last few weeks he’s seemed stronger in his canter work in general — the right lead is really coming along, and when he picks it up wrong on the lunge he’s frequently been correcting with a quick flying change. He’s just getting softer and stronger. I can’t wait to see where this spring takes us.

March 17th, 2008

» cold

Two weeks ago it was below zero. Last week, above 50. This morning I woke to snowfall. Spring is a fickle fiend.

Last week Cities ran an interview with someone from REM about their album due out next month, and they played “Horse to Water” and I think I liked it, and I want to listen again, so I am reminding myself here for when it’s actually available. March’s song, so far, is “She’s Electric” by Oasis, which I’m sure is a very old song but is my favorite in the current rotation.

On Saturday my horse had his teeth floated, and it was fascinating, and I will tell you about it but I’ve suddenly realized it’s time to be on my way to see him.

March 3rd, 2008


I am moved! Not unpacked, but moved. And possessed of some very generous, incredible friends and family.

You will have to imagine the pictures I didn’t get a chance to take of my old place: the 1940′s doorknobs, the weathered wood bottoms of kitchen drawers, sunlight honeying the wood floors. And you’ll have to wait for pictures of my new place, because right now it’s a minefield of boxes and crumpled newspaper.

In a turn of events I’m sure you didn’t expect (I know I didn’t), my new-February-songs are Chris Brown’s “With You” (or the “hearts all over the world” song, as I think of it — a little sadly, since YMJ only offers a 30-second clip) and Akon’s “Shake Down”. I know, right? I blame the former on the hip-hop dance class I took at the gym last week. The latter would have to be the club Sara and I went to, the one that started all the faxing. It’s bopping music. As is, lord help me, Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me”.