I am in the middle of NOWHERE…Starbucks is 28 miles away :O

writing

I have a few things worthy of reporting. Right this moment I am perched uncomfortably in an aisle seat of a US Airways plane. I paid 37$ extra dollars to change into this seat while checking in, as the seat that had been assigned to me was in the very tail of the plane. Tails of planes don’t bode well for me, uncontrollable nausea leads to rampant vomiting which leads to awkwardness between me and those hapless few seated near me. But now, in my +37$ seat in the very front of the plane, I am pissed, because the plane is half empty. I could have used my will and my legs to move into it free of charge. This is bullshit, Us Airways. I am done with you. *Shakes fist in air.

So where am I going? I am going to Houston, or rather Wharton, Texas! I had never been to Texas, but I just read that Houston is something like the first major U.S. city to have an openly gay & female mayor. A double whammy. That’s darn amazing to my thinking, and in Texas? Who could have imagined such a thing was possible? Progressive, inclusive thinking and a democratic election process based on merit, free from bigotry and sexism is like my catnip. So even though I have also been told that Houston is an utter shithole filled to the brim with pollution and strip clubs, I am very excited to visit this shining example of the modern age. First thing I discovered while peeing, that Houstoneans are quite a wordy bunch, where paper is lacking they see not an obstacle, but an opportunity. photo 3 copy

I love airports. I love them for a few reasons, but mostly because the people watching is superb. A complete spectrum of humanity is dished up in all of its glorious variety. If ever Aliens needed a good sampling of the human species they could just abduct the contents of one airport and be done with it.

I take airporting very seriously, I spend a dubious amount of time trying to figure out what to wear to the airport and doing something to my hair so that it falls just so atop my head. Most of the times allI can come up with are pajamas and unkempt pixie buns, but whatever I decide on has to fit the mood just right. It’s not so much a vanity thing, as an exercise in disguise. Alas, I am not at all happy with my outfit today. The airplane is very chilly, at least I am glad to be wearing long sleeves, as is my custom. One important rule of airport fashion is to wear things that offer full coverage to skin, as you simply don’t want to be touching anything here. Trust me.

Now for a little racism. 😛 Originally, before everyone dispersed evenly across the half empty plane, I sat in a row with two gentlemen. One very Asian and elderly, quite like Mr. Miyagi, the other very Mexican and somewhat surly.photo 2

The Mexican man is wearing a slightly ornate, pinstriped dress shirt; extra tight, dark navy jeans and a hand tooled brown belt to match his brown, alligator skin, sharp nosed shoes. He has on Prada sunglasses and a Louis Vuitton carry on, the checkered kind not the monogram. He keeps looking at me slyly but obviously, it’s not the slickest operation I’d ever been subjected to. I imagine in Mexico he is quite the stud, the ladies must get slayed by the barrel full.

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Both have some appearance of FOBishness, and I am not saying this derogatorily, it’s just an observation. To my surprise and thorough amusement, when the Asian man finally spoke to me, I discovered that his is the tongue exactly like that of my Californian compatriots, every bit of his diction and cadence smacked of a Malibu surfer dude. It made my brain giggle uncontrollably. A few minutes later the Mexican man had occasion to utter a few words as well, he needed to use the lavatory, and once again I blinked confusedly as he sounded like my college English lit professor. Perhaps I should quit racially profiling….naaah that’d be no fun. I love surprises. America, the land of so many and so varying, I love thee.

I am ready for this plane to land, I am almost entirely out of sustenance. So far I had eaten 2 bags of chips, a rather hearty sandwich, a bag of M&Ms,one of those hummus snack packs, some grapes and some pretzels. I have Bugles left and Sprees. I am starting to get weird looks from everyone who has me in their sights. I am a bored plane eater. Sorry. Jeesh. Shameful plane behavior, like gratuitous overeating is part of the airporting experience. A part I love.

Back to where I am going. I am going to Wharton to hang out & ride ponies with my friend Radikah at a Polo farm which is currently employing her. Wharton is a very small town as far as I understand, and now that I am driving my little rental car over to it, I have realized that it is 1.5 hours away from Houston and literally in the middle of nowhere! First thing I did was I Googled the nearest Starbucks. T’is 28 miles away, ladies and gents. That noise you just heard piercing the atmosphere, was my screaming. Although Raddy has extended her hospitality to me, I can’t stay with people ever, I can’t even share a hotel room due to my social issues, of which I have plenty. So I booked a motel room in Wharton 2 miles away from the Polo club. It’s one of the fancier options, as far as I could tell, from the overwhelming list of 3 in total. And walking into the lobby, I am not disappointed. Splendor, thy name is Country Hearth Inn.photo 4 copy

I have no plans except to enjoy some nature, to ride crazy Polo ponies to my heart’s content, embarrass myself trying to play Polo, partake in various tomfoolery with Raddy, on and off horse back, & of course try not to melt from excessive humidity that everyone talks about….excessively. I will be reporting every bit of my impressions on here. It’s going to be AWESOME. 😀

P.S. Right as I arrived a foal was born. It was equal part beautiful and disgusting.

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On Hell & other people…

humor, miscellaneous

…in heaven’s clothing. It’s 100 F.

Riding out and amongst people is not exactly a private or modest endeavor. I always shelf my misanthropy for the Greenbelt park, because I am not an asshole. I realize that a giant horse galloping through a people park is a glorious sight, I wave at gawkers, slow down for children and say hello to everyone who says hello, with a big smile.

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But even at this, my most social, most pleasant, I am reminded of how icky people are.

1) There was the requisite dumbass who honked his truck horn, just for the shits and giggles of startling me & spooking my horse. Little did he know we’ve seen it all & are well acquainted with his special & commonly inbred subspecies of human.

2) Whilst quietly walking along the narrow area of the park where only a bikepath offers passage, a jogging prune ran past us & uttered “this is a jogging path”, giving me a decidedly dirty look. To which I said “then keep on jogging”. She stopped whipped around and glared at us intending to make a scene “what was that?”… There was no reason for me to engage further, so we walked on and away, I heard her squawk a few more words at my back. How do you instruct a middle aged woman in the ways of amiability. It’s a losing proposition, can’t force a soul into an old hag. What’s especially ironic is that it’s more a bike path than a jogging path. In short, she can eat horse poo and die. Let’s hope she hadn’t had occasion to procreate, lest my future children have to live amongst her children. 😛 😀

3) Then of course there are these people, shockingly always adults, who will both chase me on foot and pull over in their cars to take video with their phones?! This one is tough, a part of me wonders if, like a celebrity, I have forfeited the right to privacy by climbing on a wildebeest and riding her in civilian areas? Obviously I am not the subject of their awe, she is, and i can’t blame them. Still, we are not a public circus, I am a human being, albeit attached to a horse…and i have the same reaction to people disregarding my humanity & privacy as i would were i on foot. Imagine, you’re jogging, and some guy starts pacing next to you with his camera phone unabashedly extended into your face. It’s kind of infuriating. Thank the god i am not a movie star or a rock star, as i would surely be serving a life sentence behind bars for assaulting some hapless paparazzo. 😛 Conflicted as this situation makes me, I direct all my energy into not letting my middle finger pop up in profane indignation...I don’t want to ruin their video. That’s the kind of person I am. A NICE person, a beacon of hope in a rude, cold world. 😛

Just to clarify when people ask if they can take a picture I usually say yes, but turn away. Like members of some native american tribes, i subscribe to the notion that a poorly angled or otherwise unflattering photograph can steal my soul. 😛

Alas, can I really complain about anything when kisses are so readily received & tolerated.

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Revolt, escape, FREEDOM!..or..Reclamation of SANITY!

writing

Today I decisively reclaimed my sanity. I showed up at my stable at 7:30 am. Tacked up my horse. Jumped on her back and rode out of that hellhole, without a word to anyone. Sayonara bitches! I do not have a trailer, and did not have the time or want the hassle of arranging for one, so I grabbed a map and devised a route. We rode 4 miles through the city to my new barn destination, would have been 3.5 had we not gotten turned around. Some would say radical, but it was mostly just liberating. I’m sure it was a weird sight, a giant horse toting around a girl through streets and suburbs. But for me it was perfect, until, despite all of my planning, we got lost. At first it seemed a lot like a set-back, until we came upon a ravine I had never seen before, concealed as it were in a wash, below and between streets. Green at its floor and wide open ahead, it beckoned we lay foot to its soil and reconnoiter. It wasn’t a setback, it was a gift…and we accepted. There was gallop. Hooves bouncing rhythmically from grass, warm waves of air brushing against skin, blood rose to head and freedom to mind, sanity was once again firmly within our grasp.

 In my recent blog entry titled “Proximity over sanity” I had described the unfortunate circumstances of my horse’s lodgings. To sum it up, due to considerations of proximity I had subjected myself to continual indecency from the two “women” who own/run the stable. These two have over time proven themselves to be completely deranged, mostly rude, never helpful, seldom civil.

 For months I had walked on eggshells, tolerated being the subject of untrue gossip, endured castigating outbursts and unfounded suspicion. Boohoo, poor me. I know. Stay with me though. Riding had taken a backseat to escalating anxiety, to keeping a low profile, to worrying about the welfare of my equine child. I don’t mean to come of as a victim, but there is a frailty to my composition, which stems from being raised by good, decent, intelligent people. That’s the thing about a stable upbringing, it can be a hindrance in an unstable world. It precludes people like myself from developing the coping mechanisms necessary for fending off those people unlike myself. I should have thicker skin by this point, as my world-the horse world, is full of folks who would greatly benefit from a spell in a mental health sanitarium or, at least, a lithium prescription. But I don’t. I think in this way I’ll always be a bit of a delicate flower :P.

Being treated like dirt, it just doesn’t become me, and, on the few occasions in the past, I tried to fight fire with fire, mean with mean, insult with insult, but I felt so much unlike myself that it was not even worth it. The trouble is, somehow the ratio of crazy to sane is sorely disproportionate in the horse world. The greatest, most unifying flaws in horse people character are, in my opinion, lack of humility, perspective and restraint, in the worst-case scenario they are vicious too. In general, I’ve found also, that those, who lay claim to being paragons of kindness and compassion, tend to be the worst kind of snakes, most proficient at inflicting hurt. I am no saint, but I simply can’t attack people, not even in retaliation. I don’t want to wound them, to hurt them using their shortcomings or insecurities. I just don’t, I can’t. CAN ANYONE RELATE? This leaves me feeling defenseless and without any recourse, short of avoidance. But being a horse gal, I don’t have the luxury of avoiding horse folks. Sigh. Anyways, I digressed. I’ll have to expatiate on all the reasons for which I dislike human kind in a separate blog entry, eponymously titled Misanthropy Misunderstood. 😀

Thanks for reading.

On Sanity & Proximity

humor, writing

Proximity over Sanity? or The day I got yelled at and cried like a baby.

It became apparent to me today that I have traded my sanity for proximity. I want to warn you, in terms of entertainment value, this post is about as effective as a flat tire.  I don’t really want to burden you, reader, peruser or scanner, with the minutia of my daily life, but in this instance, it can’t be helped, as it is I who needs to unburden. And just as a disclaimer, I’d like to add that I too hate blogs where people discuss inconsequential occurrences in their day, like they are some universally relevant and relatable events. Be warned this thing falls under that peevish category.

To preface, I am a dedicated equestrian. I board at a facility with the unique advantage of extreme proximity. It is located no further than 4 miles from my home, which really means it’s magical. If you are not keeping your horses on your own property, and don’t live in the country, then you know what I mean, a centrally located barn is like the Chupacabra of the equestrian world. Furthermore, mine is reasonably priced, which is a miracle! So it’s both, magical and miraculous.

This barn’s inhabitants are an eclectic band of people and horses. It is overseen by two women, who live on the property, or quite literally in the barn, as they lodge in a structure attached to it. If one of them wasn’t big and the other one small, and if they didn’t have a gap of a few decades between them, they could quite literally be the same person. One owns it, the other one runs it. Both are about as hospitable as a flu, and entirely devoid of restraint, with a habit of raising their voices on a dime. I have learned from a few experiences here, that they are like hot skillets, as long as you don’t touch them, you’ll be ok….unless somehow one lunges itself at you of course (as it did at me today), then you are, quite frankly, fucked . The other trick to surviving here, in this viper’s nest of estrogen, conceit, gossip and bad manners, is to stay away from mostly everyone. Which is fine by me, since I am, by my own admittance, a bit of a misanthrope.

I try my best to be invisible, which is not hard, except that I am quite tall ;P. I don’t socialize, don’t partake in the chatter; and, since I am a night owl, I ride late and mostly alone.

Now to the meat of the matter. My horse’s stall is barely getting cleaned. In all the time me and her had been together, she had never been in a stall so disgusting or so menacing to the health of her feet. I don’t complain, this is not a barn where complains do anything other than come back at you in the form of tongue lashings. I try to do what I can when I can, and ward off abscesses with positive thinking.  Last night, I came to her around 8pm and noticed that the entirety of her feet was sunk into a swamp of waste. I got her out, worked her and, come 9, it became evident to me that I had to try and remedy the state of that stall. I got in there with one of those huge buckets, ruined my shoes and my clothes trying to muck out the mess and drain the soupier areas. I did the best I could in the dark. Having filled the bucket I realized that moving it was way beyond my physical capabilities. I did my best pulling it out of the way, reasoning that the stable hand, the guy who is supposed to do the mucking, will deal with it in the morning, using his god given male muscles. Now, it wasn’t something I readily expect of him, but he was my only option. I give him extra money rather frequently, we have a very friendly relationship. I intended to give him my profuse gratitude next time I saw him. Then I went to the giant pile of shavings and filled one poultry wheelbarrow, the cost of this action had been quoted to me at 20$ per wheelbarrow just 2 weeks ago when I used the shavings trying to yet again wrangle the sludge. Anyways blah blah blah, I did my best and left.

Today, first thing I did upon arrival at the barn, was I find one of the two governing bodies mentioned previously, shared with her my experience of muck in the dark, told her that I will, of course, add the cost of shaving from last night to my board check and asked if she had any ideas for a permanent solution. I assured her that I am willing to pay extra, if she feels that my stall is an extra bother, as long as it gets the attention it needs. With these people, I’ve realized, if you want something, you have to let them think it’s their idea. But moving on, yes, although it is already their job and responsibility to keep the stall clean, I offered extra money, in order not to let them think that I feel they are not doing their job. This story is getting too long even for me.

Following the conversation with the larger lady overlord, the other, small one, came up to me some half an hour later. The hot skilled was flung. Her exact words were:

“If you EVER leave a bucket full like that….

Me: “I am sorry I couldn’t move it and there was no one around to help me, I hoped M**** would move it in the morning, I dragged it away as far as I could..”

Her: “Well of course you couldn’t move it, and you shouldn’t expect anything of M*****”

Me: “I am pretty sure I already don’t, given the condition of my stall..and also I didn’t expect anything, I found myself in a unique situation, I misjudged my strength, there was no help. I knew M would do me the solid of taking care of it in the morning, I intended to thank him profusely, it was a singular occurrence, I didn’t mean any disrespect”

“ALL you do is disrespect me…!!!!!!!.”

“Huh? all I do?  disrespect you? What in the world are you talking about?! I am quiet as a mouse here, I have nothing to do with you and you never even see me”

“You try to come here and do these things when no one is looking at night…..”

“That’s ridiculous! Are you joking? Who says things like that to another person? I ride at night, I happened to see her in distress last night when i came just for a visit….”

“In distress? this is how it is for her every night..”

“Well then there is the problem!….”

She was beyond condescending and insulting. This senior, but quite sprightly, quite scary, lady was yelling at me, yes yelling, accusing me of what can only be described as underhanded behavior, like I am some thief, skulking around in the night, doing unseemly things when no one is looking. It’s asinine. My only, and singular concern, is always the well being of my horse. Tears started pouring down my face. It’s a real inconvenience, it makes me feel weak, plus I can’t see that well :P. I was emotional to a fault here, partly because the injustice was so great that I did not know how to address it. It was a full fledged assault on all that is my dignity. How do I respond? …. what do I say to accusations which are over nothing and based on nothing? It’s like adult bullying, I imagine if adults came at other adults with the intent of bullying them, this is how they would do it. Accuse someone of a scummy, intentional transgression, when the accused is, oh I don’t know, partaking in some innocent pastime, like feeding a hungry squirrel in the tree..or breathing.

The other reason for the tears was that I really could only respond with half of my conviction. And that’s incredibly hard for me, being as I am quite equipped verbally speaking. I had to swallow my words, whole sentences even, because despite everything, I am not ready to part with that god damn precious proximity

 If you read to this point, let me know in a comment, because congratulations, you are a paragon of patience. I would like a chance to properly applaud your steadfastness. Even I got bored with myself. Like I said earlier, writing this kind of thing is a bit of a crime. But it’s mighty cathartic! Maybe the fact that I Illustrated it with a scenic photograph will mitigate your disappointment, when I tell you, that there is no pay off. This is it. My horse lives in poo, I tried to fix it, ruined my shoes, got yelled at by a paranoid curmudgeonly old lady, cried like a baby, protested the injustice, went home and wrote a monster of a blog about it. Shoot me…with a marshmallow gun, I bruise like a peach.

Update: If you want to know what happened just a few short days later, please read: Revolt, escape, freedom..or..Reclamation of Sanity! I promise it’s riveting, life changing even. Dang, I’m such a liar. 😛