Archive for October, 2008

October 20th, 2008

» cows of all sorts

Yesterday I got Rock Band 2, and Jo came over, and we had a blast. Even after the downstairs neighbor came up to complain about the drumming. The downstairs people, they are not scoring points with me lately. (I was, for the record, very nice and offered to switch to guitar even though it was only 8 and we hadn’t been playing that long [erm, at least not since they'd been home -- we did start mid/late-afternoon and took a break to come to my office for internet connection to import the RB1 songs], and! offered to get some mats for under the drums to help the noise. She, though, practically walked away in the middle of me trying to discuss solutions. The pot-smokers are crazy if they think I’m going to stop drumming. Yeah, it’s loud, but I hear their videogames all the time. We live in a cheap, thin-walled apartment building — what do they expect?) I so want a house. Or a detached townhouse. Mmm lack of yard chores.

Saturday G and I took our horses team penning. And you know, I was going to sketch you out a little diagram to help explain it, but in the end it would mostly help explain why I gave up my dream of becoming an artist in middle school — this is why I have my words, people. The cows (calves, whatev) are at one end of the arena. Each of them has a number tied to its neck, in this case 1-8. The horses are in teams of four; when it’s your team’s turn you enter at the end of the arena opposite the cows. Down the middle of the arena is your “line” — a panel of fence stands perpendicular to the arena wall on both sides, leaving a big hole in the middle. It’s your job to get each cow through the hole to the other side of the arena in the correct order, making sure that the cows who aren’t supposed to go across yet don’t come across, and the cows you’ve already sent over the line don’t cross it again.

As the first person on the team crosses the line toward the cows, the announcer calls out a random number — say, 4. You have to cut the number 4 cow out and get it across the line, then the 5, etc, wrapping from 8 to 1, 2, and 3 to finish. The horses who aren’t cutting a cow stay on the line, blocking any cows who aren’t supposed to cross.

Everett did awesome. He was very interested in the cows (I brought him over to investigate before mounting), and he watched the first few teams intently, ears all pricked. When it was our turn I had him watch the first two — I don’t know the right lingo here, but the first two cows being sorted — and then followed Chip (G’s gelding) as he went for the third. Ev was a little hesitant to approach the herd at first (when he’s uncertain about anything he sucks back, gets slow), but once he really figured out he could move the cows he was all for it. By the next round he was chasing them all by himself. He’s such a fun horse. We still need a lot of fine-tuning on the steering and the go button, but he’s just a good guy to take anywhere.

I do have pictures, and video! But I haven’t had a chance to resize the pics or edit the video together yet, so — give it a week or two, I’d say.

October 15th, 2008

» vet day

Yesterday was vet day. (And for some reason some old lyrics just popped into my head, something about the cries of the carrots, something about Tomorrow is the harvest and to them it is the Holocaust. But it wasn’t as bad as all that.)

Everett had his wolf tooth out. It’s heartbreaking, this dental work. After they tranquilized him he was so wobbly, standing all contorted with such sleepy, distressed eyes. They rinsed out his mouth and when they hoisted his head one hoof slipped in the water and he lurched violently aside, and though the vet was nonchalant it looked to me like he very nearly went down.

I didn’t get a good look at the head of the instrument they used to chip out his tooth, but from the handle it looked for all the world like a screwdriver. The vet hit it with his fist, not quite a whack but not exactly a tap, until he was finally able to reach in and pull out the tooth, wreathed in blood.

I brought him back to a spare stall to doze off the tranq, the vet tech holding his tail to help him balance. I led him in and he stopped there with his head nearly touching the back corner. I slid off his halter and was going to leave him there for his own quiet time, but when I went to the door he lurched around, moving faster than I thought possible, and pressed his face into my chest. We stood like that I don’t know how long, maybe half an hour, me leaning in the doorway with his head buried against me. I stroked his cheek, his neck damp with nervous sweat, combed my fingers through his mane. His watering eye left a damp patch on my vest and every few minutes a bit of blood would fall from his mouth, leaving little patches of bright red in the shavings by my feet. When I went home it looked like I was early for Halloween, blood smeared down one sleeve, along the edge of my hood, one spot on my left boot.

I hope I never have to do that to him again.

October 10th, 2008

» correlation

Today I wanted to make a little graph in paint showing the relationship between the stock market and my chocolate-consumption habits, which is: when the market crashes, I eat lots of chocolate. Largely because it is October, and October is a great excuse to put a gigantic plastic pumpkin full of candy on my desk. It was going to have funny axises (axes?) all ‘bury pennies in back yard and hide out in bunker’ and ‘buy second private Tahitian island’ and you know what? The phone, it will not stop ringing. So funny paint graphs are so out today.

I give you instead this totally unrelated but much funnier picture that Bryce sent over: click!.

October 8th, 2008

» ‘knock three times’

I got in trouble this morning with my downstairs neighbor for my six a.m. step aerobics. Either that or there was some kind of gigantic bug crisis on their ceiling that required a lot of jabbing with probably a broom (or maybe a fist, if they are tall).

Which is sad because I am really, really trying to get recommitted to exercising at least three times a week, and mornings are my times. After work I’m usually heading to the barn, and the last thing I want to do is spend an hour working out, then climb all sweaty and exhausted into my riding clothes and go try to have a good, productive ride. (And my rides this past week have been frankly demoralizing, which is a whole other story.) And I’m usually rolling back from the barn around 8:30, and planning to exercise at the very end of the day, when I’m tired and hungry and wanting to watch tv then go to bed, is just a recipe for failure. So, I don’t know.

Weird thing is I did a whole hour on Monday without a peep from downstairs, and last week did 45 Monday and Wednesday mornings. Maybe they just happened to be up and cranky this morning? Or maybe they’ve reached the end of their rope with it? Or maybe I was stepping in just the wrong spot that makes it all creaky downstairs?

I don’t know. I don’t know what to do about it, really. I could try talking to them (ugh). I could try, as I’ve often daydreamed, of somehow subtly alluding to their pot-smoking habits. We could strike an unspoken bargain where they can smoke and I’ll ignore the smell of it coming all up in my balcony and into my living room when the sliding door’s open, and I can exercise in the mornings in peace.

Sometimes I just really, really hate apartment living.

October 2nd, 2008

» consolation prize

I have a couple of really adorable videos of my nephew that I shot last weekend, when he was feeling particularly sugared-up and like dancing — including a rare few moments of the Pony Macaroni, something we’ve been trying to get him to show us for months. Alas, these vids are sadly stuck on my phone at the moment; they’re apparently too big to upload, so I have to wait ’till I’m home, where the cable is, and then hope that I can persuade them off the card where they’re saved. And then save them onto something else so that I can bring them back into work, where I can upload them, and — given the speed with which I’ve gathered and edited and uploaded my Maui photos and videos, I leave it to you to guess when this might actually happen.

In the course of trying to sweet-talk the vids onto the internet, however, I rediscovered a few pictures I snapped when I was in Cali in early August. Behold, then, the deliciousness of the sweet potato fries at The Counter, and the generous leg room in the bathroom stall at the drop zone.

mmm sweet potatoey
stretch on out