Blog .:. October 2008 8 Entries

Is that a zebra in the road?

30 October 2008 Comments

The other night as I was cooling out the horse, I stopped to talk to another rider who said she couldn’t believe I was wearing a t-shirt.

I kind of laughed; I had just been thinking how perfect the weather was: cool enough that I didn’t have to worry about overheating, not so cold that I had to worry about frostbite. Somewhere in the 50-60 degree range. It’s what I consider ideal riding weather, and I was really enjoying the fact that the temps had finally dropped somewhere reasonable.

This is the point where people start saying, “If you think that’s reasonable, why the heck did you move to Texas?” and I change the subject.

Like this: a couple weeks ago, I was driving down the street and saw a zebra on the road. Actually, the first thing I saw was a tiki bar, and then I saw a zebra. And no, drinking was not involved. Apparently there was some car art exhibition going on somewhere, so there was an entire cavalcade of decorated cars: the tiki bar, one covered in what looked like ping pong balls on wires (why?), a car painted like… I don’t know what. I’d guess it would make sense if it were parked and you had time to walk around it. And the zebra.

The zebra was kind of cute. It was a jeep-like vehicle and the tail was bolted to the roof rack, so it waved back and forth as the car moved. It looked like two ears were fixed to either side of the windshield, too, because I could just see the tips flipping in the breeze.

I thought about taking pictures—I had my cell phone with me—but then the idiot in front of me dived down into the passenger seat of his car and almost side-swiped the ping pong ball car. A few seconds later he popped back up and almost rear-ended the car in front of him while wildly waving his camera out the window, trying to take pictures. Or get videos. Or kill someone. I wasn’t really sure which.

Fortunately, we all—Doofus driver, me, the cavalcade—got caught at a red light, so I thought the idiot would get the pictures he wanted and we could all be on our way, right? I mean, the zebra car was cute and all, but we’d been driving 5 mph on a road where the speed limit was 40, and I was really over it. I was really hoping that he would turn back into a normal driver when the light turned green.

All of a sudden, Doofus with the Camera darts forward. Squealing tires and everything. I check the light, because I was pretty sure it was red. Yup, still red. I turned my radio down, thinking maybe Doofus heard sirens somewhere. No sirens. I check the red light again. Is it blinking? Maybe it’s a four-way stop and I missed it. Nope. Solid red. So… Doofus stopped for the light and then ran it? Why?

More tire squealing up the road answered the mystery: Doofus swung a hard right into a school parking lot, whipped the car around, and about fell over himself trying to get out of the car. Ah. He wanted to film the cavalcade again. I guess that’s a good reason to run a red light at an intersection with cameras on it. I hope the pictures were worth the ticket he probably got.

Fortunately for me, that meant he was no longer ahead of me, and that meant I could resume normal driving speeds Yay!

And the joke turned out to be on him, because a couple miles up the road I saw some other decorated cars turning into a parking lot, where there was clearly some sort of event going on. If Doofus had only been patient enough to wait… but then, given his reaction at seeing just these four cars, it’s probably best that he didn’t know. I think the excitement might have killed him.

But since I don’t have pictures of the actual zebra car I saw due to having to keep two eyes on a guy who could barely keep his car pointing in the right direction (forget about maintaining speed or staying in the same lane), check out pictures of other zebra cars I found around the web:

I like this one best; be sure to check out the detail shot.

A collection of zebra cars. I don’t know; after the first one I linked to, painting stripes on a car and calling it a zebra car feels about like throwing a sheet over your head for halloween and entering the best costume contest. Yawn. (Speaking of which… I think I’ll be a ghost for halloween).

Here’s another one, with little zebras glued on top.

And another.

I was going to find a picture of a lion art car and make a clever joke about having the lion car chase the zebra car, but apparently, while zebra cars are a dime a dozen, lion cars are not very popular.

There’s probably a metaphor here about wild horsepower and men who love metaphors, but if there is, it couldn’t be anywhere near as funny as this.


Insights on the Lease Horse

27 October 2008 Comments

I have discovered something interesting about the horse I’m half leasing: he’s tone deaf. Which is to say, if I start singing when I’m tacking him up or while I"m cooling him out, he doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

He is one of three creatures in the world who will tolerate my singing. Obviously, I tolerate my own singing. But I am tone deaf, so what do I care if I’m out of tune? The little cat, Onyx, also tolerates my singing, but then she falls off the bookcase every couple of weeks. She’s not the brightest thing out there.

And other horses? The mares I used to walk would pin their ears at me. The Chestnut Mare would actually walk as far away from me as she could; my singing hugely offended her. In this, she was like Pookie, who will leave the room if I start singing around her. As a result, I sort of count on animals to remind me I’m singing so that I’ll quit before I make someone’s ears bleed.

But Rogue? I’m standing there singing Donald, Where’s Your Trousers? and What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?, and there’s Rogue, falling asleep in the cross ties. Not good! There could have been kids around! There’s plenty of time for kids to learn Irish pub songs later in life; they certainly don’t need to hear the lyrics and my voice.


It’s 2 a.m.; do you know where Morpheus is?

26 October 2008 Comments

After an unbelievably stressful week, I had a great ride Friday night and went to bed feeling, for the first time all week, nearly human. I was planning to go watch a schooling show on Saturday, and was finally able to really put the source of my stress out of mind.

Unfortunately, after a period of significant stress, the same pain issue that made life unbearable for me in the far north kicks in. And so, this morning, I woke up barely able to walk. It took several hours before I was able to drive to the store, and several hours after that before I felt human enough to be around other people. Well, besides the people I had to be around at the store, but they don’t expect me to talk or be friendly. By that point, of course, the show was over or well on the way to being over.

So no show watching for me. It’s unbelievably frustrating that what should have been a minor issue is having such severe trickle-down effects.

I am still planning to ride tomorrow, though. The worst of the pain is gone and I’m continuing with the maximum dose of Aleve in anticipation of any residual pain tomorrow morning. Assuming, of course, that I ever get to bed.

On the plus side, Halloween is coming and I live in an apartment complex that has quite a few kids. I’m not sure if they actually trick or treat (the last few neighborhoods I’ve been in weren’t big on it), but I hope they do. I actually like Halloween—it’s such a kids’ holiday. There’s the undertone of coercion, the license to run wild, and the stash of candy as a reward. Oh, there’s the ugly side of Halloween, I know, but I’m talking about the kids and the fact that this is the one holiday of the year when we drop all moral and religious strings and just say, hey, go wild. Be kids. Have fun. Have some chocolate.

Chocolate makes everything better. Hmm. I should try hot chocolate. Warm milk usually puts me right to sleep.


I am a great big blueberry

22 October 2008 Comments

When I bought my breeches, I really only had two things in mind: they weren’t white, and they weren’t hunter puke-green.

No, they were a nice pretty navy color: conservative, but, again, neither white nor that funky khaki color. It worked for me.

You can tell I’ve lived in the north for way too long, because I obviously didn’t factor in sun fade.

My breeches are now, for lack of a better word, blueberry.


Actually, I’m sort of amused. This is cosmic proof that whatever higher being there is, if there is one, wants me to be a fashion nightmare. Even when I try, I can’t get it right.

(This post brought to you by the letter “I am not a programmer, and staring at code for eight hours makes my brain bleed. I start typing in italics; that’s how bad it is.)



13 October 2008 Comments

Today’s first lesson: revisiting opening the knee and relaxing the hip. Again emphasizing the ability to cue the horse better, sit the trot better, and get more results with less flinging the body about like a drunken monkey.

Today’s second lesson: opening the knee and relaxing the hip is great, until you get off the horse and realize you might have overstretched things, just a bit.

Tomorrow’s lesson: pain.

It really was a good lesson, in that it was one more step away from my hunter/jumper comfort zone and another step towards a good dressage seat. Unfortunately, I think I tweaked my groin muscle, given the way I was gimping to the laundromat and back tonight. We’ll see how things go tomorrow morning.

Oh, and in one of those moments that shows God or Fate or Destiny or Plain Dumb Luck has it in for me: I left Houston during Ike because I didn’t want my car to get beat up. So what happens last week? Someone banged into it and scratched off the paint on the right side. Figures. I’m annoyed, but even I can see the humor in the situation.

Tagged: Horses, Riding - Lessons

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