Blog .:. June 2009 3 Entries

Million Dollar Questions

29 June 2009 Comments

When I said I hate the cold and moved from the frozen wasteland down to hot & humid Houston, did I really mean it? If my choices are 100+ degree heat or 20 below cold… what kind of choices are those, anyway?

* * *

Why are “they” allowed to say things like “the world gets out of the way for people who know where they are going”? Isn’t that false advertising? I have tested extensively, and I assure you: corners do not move. Chairs and tables do not move. Walls, doors, windows… it doesn’t matter how purposefully you walk; in fact, walking purposefully only makes the lesson more painful: they do not move.

* * *

Has humanity really sunk to this? “This” is a symptom checker on WebMD. It advises you to read the provided questions and “click on the “Yes” in front of the question for information about how soon to see a health professional.” First question? “Do you think you have broken your knee or pulled your kneecap out of place?”

Seriously? Seriously?!

Who does this? Whose process goes “I think I broke my knee… I wonder if I should see a doctor. I know—the interwebz will tell me.”

And why, for the love of french bread, does it take two questions before WebMD says “go see a doctor”? Try it yourself—click yes; you’ll get a second set of questions.

Now, before you point out that some people don’t know when to see the doctor, I realize that. My brother, in his infinite wisdom, just dislocated his ankle playing soccer, accidentally popped it in place on the way to the doctor, and then skipped the doctor to go fishing. His argument? “I was standing in a stream all day, which is like icing it.”

He felt my eye roll from thousands of miles away.

* * *

Why didn’t my expensive paddock boots ever break in at the heel, thus causing me years of a hateful relationship with them, but I bought a pair of cheapo boots and my first ride was comfortable bliss? Really. My unbroken-in new boots are more comfortable than my old Ariats. Why can’t I have quality and comfort, both?

* * *

Is it bad that my knee kind of clicks when I extend my leg and then hurts like hell? Should I go see a doctor? Should I be checking WebMD for that information? Wait, that’s what I was doing when I got sidetracked by the ludicrous “I think my knee is broken; what should I do?” question. My knee is not broken, by the way. It’s just… clicky. Would fishing in a glacier-fed stream help?

Would I have to move back to the frozen north to find a glacier-fed stream?

Was the frozen north really that bad? As bad as the oven they call the air outside my apartment?

This heat wave is frying my brain. I don’t think all the brochures mentioned brain frying. I’m sure I would have noticed.

I wonder what WebMD has to say about fried brains. Should I see a doctor for that?

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Relatively Speaking

23 June 2009 Comments

When your aunts and uncles are complaining about how hot 80 degrees is and how humid Wisconsin can be, do not, under any circumstance, scoff and flaunt your hard-won partial acclimation to Texas weather.

Or, if you must scoff, do it after the card playing is over.

It was a good trip. Sure, I had to change my card goals from “win and impress the uncles with my talent” to “please don’t let me get skunked,” but I managed to cross the skunk line in every game. Sure, a rogue shade umbrella attacked me. I’m still not sure what that was about, but I think I won and I came away with only minor scrapes.

Lessons learned. It was a good trip.

Then I came home, and may be learning yet another lesson re: offhand comments. We’ll see. I’ve said before: the gods have a sense of humor.

Tagged:

But the dog really did eat my homework, teacher!

12 June 2009 Comments

My younger brother and I spent most of our childhood objecting to each others’ existence. This played out as a drawn-out war of destruction: he cut off my Barbie doll’s hair; I smashed his G.I. Joes to pieces. I cut holes in all his toy parachutes; he fed my book to the dog.

That is how the dog learned paper tasted good.

And that is how, not long after, I learned that liars ruin life for the rest of us. The dog, having discovered that paper was good, decided to see if notebooks were also good. To her delight, they were. To my dismay, not only did I get a zero on my homework assignment, but I also got in trouble for lying to the teacher because “dogs don’t really eat homework.”

At the time, I didn’t understand the larger lessons in play here. What I did understand, with the clarity that only children have, is that somehow—and I hadn’t figured out the “how” yet, but I knew without a doubt somehow—it was my brother’s fault that I was in trouble. I used his socks to try to catch minnows in the creek, and then dumped the soggy, stinky socks back in his closet.

I am surprised, honestly, that my parents didn’t kill us both.

I am off the horse market.

A couple weeks ago, I had called a seller about a cute-looking horse. He was priced very low, and after talking with her I was comfortable with the reasons for that. She sent me a video link, and that weekend I decided I’d go try the horse.

The day I was going to call her, my mother called with some family news. Just that quickly, instead of buying a horse this summer, I’m buying two or three plane tickets. I could, possibly, still buy a horse, but my heart’s not in it right now. I have no reservations or regrets about making this decision; when things settle down again, I’ll pop back into the market as suddenly as I dropped out. It is not a big deal; it is life, it is family. It’s not even my little brother’s fault, although wouldn’t that be a great narrative twist?

I’ll admit that I felt something like a heel when I emailed the seller. Just days before, I’d been saying how great he sounded for my needs. Now I was off the market.

The seller probably thinks I’m a flake. I’m sure my “I’m off the market” email was as believable to her as “the dog ate my homework” was to my teacher. If you read forums for five minutes, though, you quickly realize that buyers just can’t win no matter what we do. If you don’t contact the seller, you’re an ingrate. If you do contact them, you’re either lying or you’re too clueless to recognize a good horse when you see it.

In their defense, sellers can’t win, either. They don’t put enough information in their ads; if they do put information in their ads, the information can’t possibly be true. On paper, the odds of a horse actually being sold are about the same as my brother and I both making it to adulthood—and yet we did, and horses do get sold. It’s a good thing life doesn’t read the internet.

And, fortunately for me, I have learned a thing or two since the days when I got chalkdust in my hair from banging out erasers after school. I can’t do anything about what other buyers do or don’t do, or what sellers do or don’t believe. We can only do the best that we can do, and hope for things to work out better.

Things generally do work out, in my experience. I mean, I am signing over all my frequent flier miles to the brother who once nearly drowned me. If that’s not a made-for-Hallmark ending, I don’t know what is.

Tagged: Horse Sale Ads, Horses

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