Blog .:. November 2008 4 Entries

There must be a lesson in there somewhere

26 November 2008 Comments

I think I traumatized some small children this weekend.

You need a little backstory here. A week or so ago I went to pick up something, completely misjudged what I was doing, and jammed my middle finger into the wall. Since then, I’ve been splinting it and keeping it wrapped because otherwise I try to type with it, and typing hurts. I was using bright blue vet wrap. I love vet wrap. However, it is very… blue. Bright blue. I mentioned this was the middle finger, yes?

So my bandaged finger and I went to San Antonio for the weekend, where I met up with a friend. We went to the Alamo. We were walking along. The Alamo needs to hire better contractors, because a recently-replaced paving stone was not level with the others. I stepped on it just wrong and rolled my ankle badly.

So there I am, hopping on one foot, waving my bright-blue middle finger in the air, and trying very hard not to swear while a group of horrified children watched me.

I decided to stop doing an angry bird impression and walk away like a civilized adult, but two steps later I realize that while I may have rolled my ankle, I also torqued my knee, and that hurt a whole lot more than my ankle. I almost fall down again. More angry bird impersonations, this time with feeling. The poor kids looked scared. I feel bad, but at the time I was trying not to fall on the ground or pass out. On account of my dignity which, in retrospect, was probably hiding in a nearby bar and denying any association with me.

Later that evening, I tried to walk through a door. I don’t mean I tried to open a locked door; I tried to walk through it, like it wasn’t even there.

I knew a horse who used to do things like this. I nicknamed him the Walking Vet Bill. I have jokingly referred to myself in the past as a Walking ER Bill, but I think I’m going to have to reevaluate the “jokingly” part.

At least I was able to ride today, for the first time in weeks. Interestingly, while shifting gears in my car hurts, posting trot does not. I wonder if I could justify riding a horse to work.


Jousting and other Ren Fair type things

10 November 2008 Comments

I spent part of the day, at least, as the Texas Renaissance Fair or Festival or whatever they’re calling it. It was amusing. Apparently it was a Greek or Roman themed weekend, although the number of people in togas were sadly outnumbered by the number of people in Star Wars costumes I saw. I am a little confused by the presence of Star Wars costumes at a Ren Fair, but hey, if someone wants to slap on Stormtroooper armor and march around in 75 degree heat, go for it.

The shopping was interesting. I was actually planning to buy gifts for a couple people that I know go for typical fair fare: candles, wood work, leather work, pottery, etc. I didn’t see anything I couldn’t find cheaper online, though, and the one time I was in a shop contemplating a purchase, the shopkeeper came over to tell me about how this was the biggest festival in the whole world, or maybe she said the U.S. I don’t remember. At any rate, it’s bigger than California’s fair. Take that, California! And it rakes in millions of dollars. And then she proceeded to tell me that she only ever sold the item I was looking at at this fair, no where else. Well, that explained the price on the item, clearly. Not only was it priced exorbitantly because it was at the fair, but she must have tacked on more for being exclusive to this fair. You’d think shopkeepers would save their gloating until after the purchase was made. I declined to buy and went off looking for somewhere else to spend my money.

I did eventually find a gift for the last person on earth I ever expected to find a fair-style gift for. And it was even reasonably priced, or at least didn’t make me wince when I paid for it. I guess this means I’ve officially begun Christmas shopping.

But possibly the most amusing part of the day was the joust. It was… hilarious, actually.

See, my family lived in England for a while when my brothers and I were just at that age where fair style things were the best ever. And England can put on fair style things like no one else can, and they have lots of them going on. At real castles. With real dungeons. And we used to watch the jousting exhibitions, because I liked the horses and my brothers liked the fighting.

You can see where I might have had some high expectations, right?

Yeaaaaaaah. Yeah. Erm. It was, you know, moderately entertaining, in the way staged entertainment can be.

And there was no question it was staged. I’m all for safety and don’t even mind choreography, because fairs should be fun and not Kiddy’s First Lessson in Spinal Cord Injuries, but when one of the riders shifts his lance out of the way three strides before impact and turns the shield so the other rider can oh-so-carefully aim and smack it… there’s such a thing as being too obvious.

Even better were the falls. The jouster gets hit… canters for two strides in a perfectly balanced position, tosses his lance away, and does a flying dismount. Even the ten year old kid in front of me was pestering his father, wanting to know why the rider had jumped off his horse instead of continuing the joust.

The warm-up games were more impressive, actually. One of them involved the jousters trying to catch an upheld ring on their lance.

Then they graduated to throwing the rings up in the air. Hey, I was impressed.

Sorry, that’s the only picture I have—apparently, I have awful timing when it comes to taking action shots, and my camera was too low on battery to try taking video and abstracting photos later.

The one good thing about the jousts was that they were relatively short; they weren’t running the horses into the ground for peoples’ amusement, which was especially nice since they do several shows a day (maybe… I think one rider, at least, changed horses between shows, but I can’t be sure since they were all covered in curtain thingies).

All in all, not a bad way to spend a sunny, fair weather day.

And on the way out, I passed some random lady riding around on a Friesian. The horse gets major props for practically falling asleep while a family tried to get up the courage to pat him. The horse was a whole lot less intimated by the fair than people were by him.

Tagged: Horses

Why is it…

7 November 2008 Comments

That I can never just vacuum?

I started out vacuuming, but as I passed the bookshelves I noticed they were a little, um, neglected. They got dusted—and not just dusted. Books were moved. They were dusted.

Then I went back to vacuuming, and got as far as the sideboard. That poor thing had turned into a giant junk drawer. It still is a giant junk drawer, but it’s now the most organized junk drawer in the universe.

Of course, I had to do something with all the papers I’d been stacking on it “to file later.” My filing cabinet is now also organized within an inch of its life, which was no small feat considering that when I moved, I tossed every paper I owned into the cabinet. They hadn’t been sorted out since.

Back to vacuuming… until I realized I’d moved a kitchen chair right under the ceiling fan, which was ideal for, yup, dusting the ceiling fan. And if the ceiling fan was being dusted, the bedroom fan might as well get dusted, right?

Back to vacuuming… and on it went. For hours. The apartment is the cleanest it’s been since I moved in. My cats are now freaked out—Onyx because I found about 6,000 toys for her to play with, and Pookie because I only ever clean this much when I’m going on a trip.

I suppose it was inevitable. The past couple weeks have been so busy I just couldn’t keep up with everything, so I was going to have to clean this weekend anyway before the clutter drove me insane. Now I can do something fun. Hm. Now I have to come up with something fun to do.


As observant as a turnip

3 November 2008 Comments

When it comes to non-critical things, I am not the most observant person in the world. When I was in high school, someone asked me if my brother had gotten his braces off. I said I didn’t think he ever had braces. My best friend slapped me upside the head and told me he had, and they’d come off a week before. I’m sure I knew all of this on some level, but it wasn’t mission critical to my life, so it hadn’t really sunk in as something I needed to remember.

So, when I got out to the barn today, I did the usual critical checks: horse outside? Yes. Trainer in the indoor? No—must be at the dressage ring. I went into the paddock to get the horse, reflexively looked down to check his legs (habit from the Super Saint), and nearly had a heart attack. It looked like the legs had been severely scraped up, and then copious amounts of green medicine applied.

I had a major deadline at work on Friday, with several more in the upcoming weeks, so I hadn’t been at the barn much this week and I hadn’t had my cell phone on, either. I was sure his owner had been in touch with me about whatever this was, but I hadn’t gotten the message.

And then, as I kept staring at his leg, I realized a fly was crawling all over it and he clearly didn’t care. He was busy trying to find out why I was holding a halter and not putting it on him. I bent down to see what was happening, and realized it wasn’t wounds and medication at all—it was paint.

Oh, right. Halloween.

I forgot about Halloween. Really. On my way home from work Friday night, I remembered long enough to swing by the store and pick up some candy (total failure—all they had left were Reeces, and I wouldn’t subject Reeces on anyone. I abhor that candy). But no trick or treaters came by, so I settled back in to work some more and… forgot.

Rogue’s owner told me 6,000 times that her kid was decorating Rogue for Halloween. I even talked with her kid earlier in the week. But it completely escaped my mind.

And to make things worse, once I realized it was just paint on his legs and looked over the rest of him, I realized there was paint all over him. You’d have to be a blind bat to miss it. So even given that I’d forgotten about Halloween, I should have seen all the other decorations before I saw his leg and had a minor heart attack.

Good grief. I know there is medication to help ADHD people focus; surely there’s medication to help people like me become more observant?


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