Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear" - Ambrose Redmoon.

My friend Donna posted this on FB -- I figured it was worth reposting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em9wR9e5emY&feature=related

Now the video shows a 13yo girl w/ an amazing voice singing the Star Spangled Banner at a basketball game. The catch is she gets stage fright and basically freezes, at which point the coach of one of the teams steps up and helps her through it. The video caption says it "shows how leadership & solidarity at the right time can make a
great difference to help a human being" -- and this is entirely true. He did possibly the best thing anybody could've done in that scenario. But what I think it also shows which isn't mentioned is the courage of that young girl. First to go out there at all, and then to be so scared as to forget what she's undoubtably been practicing endlessly, and then to CONTINUE despite that fear (and various other negative emotions that she was undoubtably facing at that moment) to a strong finish... Well that shows the kind of strength and character I would love to have. And on top of it all, she has the presence of mind after the whole thing, to thank the guy who stepped up and helped her through it. That, to me, is what makes this video worth watching. So I thought I'd share.

Possibly the most disjointed post yet...

So was driving to work today -- after rush hour cause I rode my horse first before it got wickedly hot, and traffic was stopped. It's not usually stopped at that time of day so ok there's a prob up ahead somewhere. And sure enough after 45mins of sitting in stop and go and rocking out to the ipod (I'm sure the other drivers around me were amused *g* but hey if I'm going to be stuck in traffic I figure I may as well enjoy it) we get to the point where we realize that we're stopped because everybody's looking at the OTHER side of the road. Gotta admit that makes me a little bitter. But then I realized just how long it'd been since we'd seen an oncoming car... Sure enough -- the cops are standing in the middle of the highway and ALL the lanes are closed... As we got closer they were starting to let one lane through. Wished as I drove along for the next several miles there was some way to let others know that this was not going to be a *short* wait and perhaps another route would be a good idea! Cause man, the ones joining the end of the line would have no idea how far they'd have to go before getting through -- and from the looks of things it was going to be a while before the rest of the lanes opened! hahaha and at that time of the day no traffic reports. But I guess you have to assume if you hit wicked traffic during a no-traffic-report time that it means something's more than a little nqr...

Ok well I feel obligated somehow to address the death of Michael Jackson so may as well get that out of the way. Mostly, I was thoroughly offended at the media continually referring to "covering the death of . . ." Seriously, can we have *some* consideration people? First of all, it's not an ongoing event so the tense is way wrong and second of all what are they thinking? He died, tragically young, this is news. Announce it as such. But the "ongoing coverage"??? No. If you want to recap his life, celebrate his accomplishments, any of that -- fine, by all means. Just "covering the death of" struck me as so wrong. I was also somewhat amused by those agencies who clearly felt they should be reporting it but had enough standards not to report something till they were absolute certain, who were announcing "network X is reporting that this has happened." The other thing that seemed a little excessive was signing on to Amazon a few hours later to already see first thing: "Michael Jackson, 1958-2009 Michael Jackson has died at the age of 50. One of the world's most recognizable entertainers, Jackson is best known for Thriller. His incalculable musical legacy lives on. Discover the great works of Michael Jackson!" and of course a link to all the products they'd like you to buy. And yes I know most sellers will be turning his death into a marketing opportunity, and I'm not sure whether it was that fact or the sheer speed by which it was accomplished that set my teeth on edge; probably a combination of both. Could we as a society, please show a little class? Would it really be so hard? Ok stepping off pedestal now.

So I sign into my email this morn to see a message apparently from my bank. Now I'm not new here; I know fully well this is spam so I go to delete it automatically, but there was something in the title that made me question that move and as there were no attachments to it I opened it in preview mode to see... Sure enough "Dear valued customer . . ." blah blah blah but what caught my eye was "Because email is unencrypted, and therefore unsecure, it is our policy not to send, or ask our customers to send, information by email. . . " and went on to say if there were any questions to call them. So I'm thinking well that's odd -- where's the scam? Go back to read the rest a little more closely and it turned out it was actually legit. hahaha it was essentially a message telling me that something I had requested (but they're not going to say *what* through email) had been done. But it was by far the most veiled "mission accomplished" email I've ever read. To the point that I have to wonder why it was sent in the first place since I'm sure more often than not these get filed as spam instantly.

Was eating lunch outside today and at a table near me was a woman, a few years older than I, writing away in her journal. Would pause and look around every once in a while and then go back to writing. N I think of the hundreds of times I've done just that and it occurs to me I almost never see other people doing it. And of course I couldn't help but wonder *what* she was writing. Which led me to thinking what I'd be writing if I'd been alone and had my book w/ me. hahaha classic.

Do you suppose it's a bad thing when the barn-owner comes up to you and says "your horse can stand on two legs for an awfully long time." hahaha I took that to mean her hock strength is finally getting there :) It's all about being optimistic.

So my last two lessons both students had lightbulb moments, and then my horse was an absolute superstar today. Which means I'm pretty high on all this at the moment. If I were of the "end on a good note" philosophy this would be an ideal time to find a new career. (un?)Fortunately I'm more of the "one more time, prove it wasn't a fluke" philosophy which means tonight's lessons and tomorrow's XC school could prove to be interesting... And in a last-second decision prompted by the OHTA email, Miss Sienna (show name: "Si Senorita" - and yes I had to look up how to spell that) is going to her first full HT next Sat. Still only PE so I'm not at all convinced that counts, but it should be entertaining none-the-less. First E HT will be Grandview if the world is good.

One of the guys at work came across this: http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/engineering-student-builds-real-transforming-robot-car -- now clearly someone had too much time, but discounting that it's kinda impressive :)

In summer, the song sings itself. ~William Carlos Williams

Had fun teaching tonight and am still a little too wound to sleep so as always, blog it is :)

So have to admit I was very impressed with the "live chat" feature on The Source's website this am. Browsing along looking for something very specific just about at the point where I'm going to give up and up pops a window "Hi, I'm Chris, I'm a live agent. Is there anything I can help you with?" So I'm a little dubious about this, but I type my question in and it responds with an msn style message and... get this -- actual service! Now they didn't actually have what I was looking for, but he was helpful and friendly and even gave me some ideas of where to try next. Overall, very impressed.

Ok well day two of the wire assembly was far more successful. Turns out it's a fine line between patience/finesse (which I've usually got) and brute force (which I generally do not). Since rarely do those skills combine it doesn't surprise me that nobody wanted to do this. Once I figured out the brute force aspect of things though it went much better and by the end they were all working on the first try. Woohoo! Of course now that I know how to do it, we're done that project. Classic eh?

So at lunch today had some interesting experiences...

Walking down a fairly busy street past the resident speed trap (it's there 8 times out of 10) and have to admit I was sort of amused. The camera was set up in its hidden location, but there was no officer behind it -- that's ok, sometimes it's there and the officer is on the side of the road (the camera is always on the divider in the centre of the road). Well his *car* was there, and running. But the person in question? Nowhere to be seen. So that led me to thinking -- I wonder what type of personality it'd take to steal a police car? *g* Definitely not one I have, but there have got to be people out there (probably teenage, male and slightly intoxicated would be my guess) who would take advantage of this opportunity. Obviously would be caught pretty instantly, but even more entertaining would be the report the cop had to file. I mean seriously, how do you justify having your cop-car stolen??? "And where were the keys officer?" "Well sir, they were in the ignition." There's a duh-squared moment if I've ever seen one. hahaha and typing that just brought back tons of memories as I don't think I've even *thought* that phrase since high-school!

With the city workers on strike, there's no trash collection. Today I noticed all the public trash bins have been saran-wrapped with signs saying "temporarily closed"; however, the one that made me laugh was the one that says "temporarily closed" juxtaposed directly beside the one that requests "please don't litter". Can't put your trash here, but don't put it anywhere else either!

Walking back from lunch up said busy street, and it's over 30 deg out so as is typical drivers are a little impatient. Well the light turns red on the high-traffic street to let one of the side streets cross, and this poor little car has obviously been sitting too long in the heat waiting its turn cause it makes it about half way into the intersection and sputters to a stall. And won't come back to life. But now it's off the traffic sensor so of course the light changes back to the high-traffic direction. 4 lanes of traffic are now effectively stopped due to this one car; the the driver hops out to push it - but of course pushing and steering at the same time is a challenge. Well w/in seconds the guys in both of the stopped cars in front of the north traffic line hopped out to help -- one a uni age guy dressed appropriately for the weather and pushing cars around, but the other was nearing retirement age and clearly on his way to a fairly important business meeting -- or at least was dressed as though that's where he was heading! Had to have been sweltering once he left the confines of his air conditioned car, but he did it and all involved seemed cheerful about the whole process. Once the little car got rolling the driver hopped back in w/ a wave and a thank you and steered it as it coasted to a stop out of the way. But the part that shows signs that there's help for civilization is that not only did these two strangers willingly go out of their way to help solve the situation in a pleasant manner, but the people waiting waited patiently -- there were no horns honking and when traffic did start moving again, none of the obnoxious "let me out front" aggressive driving that had been evident even just before the enforced "take a break" moment. The entire drama was less than five minutes -- by the time I got to the intersection the car was coasting to its resting place and all were back in their cars and off again.

And on the plus side -- my horse was sound tonight! Woohoo :) And I'll tell ya, if you have to ride a young fit TB who's been off for nearly a week and is finally feeling good again, doing so in desert temp is not a bad idea. We had wheeeeee moment for about a lap and a half and then it's "ok that was fun; I'm done now." Obviously didn't work hard or long, just wanted to feel if she was right (looked ok yesterday). And she was :)

Saw a city bunny on my drive home. Sort of amused by this. What's a city bunny you ask? Well it's an urban rabbit -- as in one who, given the choice between the field of dandelions on one side of the sidewalk and the field of clover on the other side of the sidewalk, choses to nibble at whatever was growing out of the crack IN the sidewalk. Sitting in the middle of the paved pathway apparently content as could be. hahaha

Ok well that's enough -- I'm off for now.

"You can drink the rain . . . ?"

hahaha the subject... Well if you already know about it, I don't need to say anymore, and if you don't already know about it, you probably had to be there :) Those who know requested the story be told, but in the interest of protecting the guilty we'll consider it acknowledged and let it go. Well in writing anyways; the comments will probably never get old >;-P

So work is crunch time for a major project and everybody is stressing and thoroughly short-tempered; combine that w/ the stunningly gorgeous weather that I'm *not* getting to enjoy AND the fact that my horse is still not sound n we have a pretty thoroughly unhappy Lauren. Booooo.

On the plus side, one of my students took her greenbean to Caledon and was a superstar this weekend, coming 4th! woohoo! Even through the torrential rain. Story on GRS blog of course :)

Did get some of Graduate Riding School web updated -- calendar, xc pics, and a few other random odds and ends. Fun fun fun. Still more to come, but at least it's a start.

A suggestion for those of you who drive standard; when you switch to a much bigger automatic vehicle and are getting off the highway, please remember there is NO clutch. hahaha yeah didn't learn *that* one the hard way or anything. Esp w/ the Beast being so much bigger, the break is actually where the clutch is in the Rabbit. Down-shifted a *whole* lot faster than anticipated let me tell ya!

So spent the day assembling ethernet cables. Now in my sheltered little world, these come w/ the ends attached. I *like* my sheltered little world. Cause let me tell ya, never would be entirely too soon for me to have to do that again. Incredibly tedious -- but that I can deal w/. It's when you fiddle w/ all the tedious details and it STILL doesn't work that it gets frustrating.

Found a good $ type blog. Author is a really good writer w/ pretty basic financial ideas. I enjoyed looking around anyways: http://www.thesimpledollar.com

Ok gotta run. Later!

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." HL Mencken

So today did *not* start out well.

Got no sleep last night so was thoroughly grumpy when the alarm went off to begin w/... Bilbo had mistaken his waterbowl for his litter box so had to clean all that up. I forgot to put my water bottle back in the fridge last night so no cold water. Etc etc. Stupid little stuff all made worse by no sleep. Then of course getting stuck behind a truck for pretty well the entire drive. Get to the barn -- things get better at the barn right? Tack horse up, fight w/ ridiculously heavy arena door, get outside... Footing is sloppy but not horrendously so -- safe enough to ride in. All is well. Get on -- yeah, horse is lame. No riding for me. N worse, no lesson for me. N to top it off, when I call to cancel, coach tells me he has to cancel next week too. Booooo. So yeah, day just keeps getting suckier. By this point I was in *such* a foul mood I wasn't about to go to the office (and I still had time since they weren't expecting me for a while).

So I go home and dust off the wii fit. Now I don't know why, but I definitely discovered several years ago that when I'm in that kind of truly foul mood (esp if for no apparent reason) the fastest way to kick myself out of it is a serious workout. N it has to be cardio -- strength just doesn't cut it. Something to do w/ endorphines I expect -- but what I do know is it works. Lacking time and inclination for a serious workout, I settled for the wii fit... Which got huffy at me since I haven't been on since oh April *g* and it "forgot" my name. Sheesh. But really -- how can you stay huffy at the little wiis? They're cheery enough you might want to shoot them, but you can't really be mad at them. I knew better than to drag out the ddr cause when in that mood I wouldn't have the patience for the coordination that requires, but wii doesn't require any actual talent.

So ok I do the step as a quick w/u and then figure I'll play some balance games. But when I went from the aerobic game to the balance game it says to me "you've lost some weight since last calculation, do you want to continue?" ummm what? I'm sorry but that 'workout' of 5 mins of nxt-to-nothing is not going to burn *that* many calories! hahahha but then I realized -- I always carry weights when I do the aerobic components, but usually not for the balance ones. I must've been holding them when it took the first reading. hahaha classic. Evidently I've never made that mistake before cause I've certainly not seen that message before. Did sort of amuse me though.

Anyways the wii-workout did the trick and I was feeling human in time to get to work, so the world is good. Well other than my horse being mysteriously lame :( Just as well I didn't sign her up for Caledon. I have exactly one student there tomorrow -- easiest coaching day ever! AND she even has decent times. Imagine that :) Now if only the threatened rain could stay away I'd be set.

For lunch today I got a 711 slurpee :) Woohoo! Complete w/ bubble lid and (P you'd be impressed by this . . . ) a PURPLE spoon-straw. hahaha n yes I realize that nobody whose age is past single digits should be drinking slurpees, but then I don't drink adult drinks (think coffee, beer, wine...) so I figure that allows me to indulge in child drinks instead. We all have our weaknesses -- mine is that somewhere along the way I clearly forgot to grow up!

hahaha and along that line, had an interesting situation at work the other day. Have been emailing a supplier for the last day or so. Since he's been going out of his way to get us something we need on a very tight deadline, I've been fairly chatty and casual in my emails with lots of thank yous and ! and various other happy things. But at one point I asked him the ETA to which he replied that English wasn't his first language and he wasn't sure what that meant. Ok, fair enough, so I explained what it meant... Well then I got a fairly huffy answer that said if he went around asking his clients for an "estimated time of arrival" they'd up all the prices for being a pompous ass (ok so he didn't use *that* term precisely, but that's definitely the tone). N of course, having asked him for exactly that, that's directed at me. So I roll my eyes and set about to compose a very formal message explaining that the term is very casual or slang and is usually used as a friendlier version of "when are you going to get this to me?" Went on to discuss that the full phrase spelt out would indeed be excessive and how knowing how to use slang is one of the hardest things about mastering a new language (which of course I've never managed to do!) So the response I get to that is that this email was "much more sophisticated" than the other ones and he added 10 years to my age - even though he has no idea how old I am to begin with. hahaha just made me laugh. Seems that even online my age is a bit of a curiosity. Lesson learned though -- don't be casual unless you're absolutely certain the other person gets it! Oops. My more formal message got a really flattering reply which was good on the ego but really didn't undo the embarrassment over all the silliness over the first stupid message. Blah. Oh well -- live and learn eh?

It is a bit of a fine line though -- n I think I *usually* judge it right (albeit not so much in this case) -- but when I've never met *most* of the clients I deal with every day, I don't want to always be formal. It's *much* easier to build a good working relationship with some level of casualness than with strict business writing. And I've found when you have that, it's significantly easier to get things done -- and likewise, I'm more likely to get things done for those who have a more relaxed tone to their emails... hahaha but I guess when all else fails, revert to formal -- and then people complain it's not friendly enough. Gotta love modern communications.

Anyways work's mostly good. There's one person I wouldn't mind never seeing again, but there's always one in every group right? Makes me tense to the point that my shoulders and neck hurt. And then that makes me not ride well -- which is def not acceptable! hahaha pretty clear where my priorities are. Anybody know how to get rid of neck/shoulder stiffness? Teaching is all good -- well at least when my students stay *on* their horses >;-P No but seriously, I have all kewl students now which makes it even that much more fun. hahaha and am seriously impressed by those dedicated enough to have their lessons even when it's raining!

Ok gotta run. Later!

XC fun :)

So horses and riders all had a blast @ Grandview this weekend! That story is on the Graduate Riding School blog (http://www.graduateridingschool.com/blog.htm -- or click the link on the right side of the page).

Congrats also to all friends who had amazing rides @ Equus -- everybody I spoke to seems to have had a great day!

Pics of GV school here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=267783&id=823765365&l=6de11c9023

Sorry short post cause I'm insanely busy today. But @ least it's stunningly gorgeous weather out today!

Meeting fun people where least expected :)

Had such a great ride today! Kerri and I hit the rail trail again and had a blast! Iroc kept up with Sienna *almost* all the way *g* Woohoo! hahaha had one of the best canters on Sienna she's ever given me. Best feeling.

Dropped C @ Kerri's barn and then we took my trailer to the end of the trail (Kerri drove over as well) -- then both hop in her truck to get back to the barn. Means never having to backtrack. But of course I didn't think through far enough to bring Sienna's halter and lead out there (next time!). Kerri to the rescue -- yeah western tack that's created for day-trips. She had a bag that could fasten to the saddle. hahaha simple but totally perfect :) Ok so it's the little things in life, but it just wasn't going to work w/ my silly little XC saddle!

Was kinda fun though -- there was a group of cyclists (my guess would be family but I don't know that for sure) who were slightly ahead of us, but they kept stopping so we'd catch up. Then we'd pass them and eventually walk to give Iroc a break and they'd catch up to us again. They were super patient about this both being stuck behind us and careful about not spooking the horses when we were passing or being passed. At one of these leapfrog moments we chatted for a bit -- turns out they were geocaching. Basically using that as a way to keep everybody motivated on the whole cycling thing. hahaha but I thought it was kind of kewl cause while I've read about this particular craze, I've never participated. And I certainly never thought there'd be so many on a route that we travel regularly.

Concept being basically buried (or in this case hidden :) treasure. You leave the GPS coordinants of said treasure for somebody else to find, then the next person comes around and finds it -- takes that treasure and replaces it with one of their own. Rinse and repeat :) Apparently it's mostly silly dollar-store type stuff but still somewhat amusing. If you're interested: http://www.ontgeocaching.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=18

Anyways -- again not nearly enough hours in my day. Off to Grandview tomorrow -- driving the 4-horse trailer for the first time. Yikes! Wish me luck :)

Question Everything! - my new favourite phrase :)

"Question everything. If something doesn't make sense ask. Question what you're told by your coaches until you're sure you understand it. I'm not perfect, I could say something wrong -- so if something doesn't seem right, ask me about it."

This from my coach after a lesson in which not once but twice I had questioned something he had told me to do (which the first one I had heard before but never understood why. The 2nd went against everything I've been taught for years and while I'm still not 100% convinced I believe it, I'm certainly willing to give it a sincere try).

Now, I try to be reasonably respectful when I ask said questions but several of my past coaches, even those who claim to be "question friendly" have had serious issues with it -- whether it's that they feel I'm challenging their knowledge or are frustrated cause they'd rather I just do as I'm told -- I'm not sure. But it's happened often enough that a huge part of me is now seriously hesitant about asking questions of the "why" variety. However, a small but insistent part of me knows that for me to truly get it and be able to apply it when said coach is NOT standing there supervising (which, let's be honest, is most of the time) I *have* to understand why and how what I'm doing works. And even more so to be able to teach it. So you can imagine my relief when I got the above lecture! hahaha we'll see as time goes on whether he's *really* ok w/ said questions, but I have to admit there were no signs of concern or tension when answering the ones today -- and they were the types that would've set off previous coaches.

With my students I actively encourage questions (some of whom take it to the extreme *cough*Stephy*cough*). But I'm always impressed when I get a truly intelligent question -- it kinda makes it worthwhile. One of my quite novice students comes up with those fairly regularly. She's fun to teach cause I know she's always thinking. Never anything particularly out there, but just things that show that for the level she's at now she's thinking about what she's being told and how it compares with what she's been told in the past and how it should apply to what she's doing now.

As far as the actual lesson? Brilliant things happened on the flat, which if I can actually replicate them mean it's time to go visit my dr coach again (hahaha let's be honest, it's *always* time to go visit my dr coach -- it's just a bit of a scheduling nightmare!) AND equally brilliant things happened over fences! Woohoo. So yeah, I'm pretty excited about the whole lesson thing in general really.

"Gold stars shouldn't have fine print!"

So I heard something the other day: "consider what water does to a fading plant. Now apply this to yourself." Now we know you're supposed to drink water every day -- how many times have we heard this lecture? But that particular analogy, whether true or not (n no I haven't looked up the details of this -- I'm happy in my ignorance) has resonated well with me so I figured I'd give it a try. Yeah for three days now I've brought a bottle of water w/ me to the office. Do you think I've yet managed to actually drink an entire one? Very sad. On the plus side I'm drinking less pop since the rule is no pop till the water's gone *g*

Ok just three more from yesterday:
Eat. Sleep. Ride. Rinse and repeat.
Who are you? I don't know.
"Gold stars shouldn't have fine print!"

hahaha so the story about the gold stars: I was teaching last night and a student got the hang of something she's been working on for a while so we celebrated "woohoo!!! Gold star!" And of course: "now, go do it again." hahaha Fairly typical exchange, but what I loved was the immediate response: "I hate it when gold stars come with fine print."

Tell me your six word story!

Ok so someone sent me the 6-word story thing on FB again and I got rehooked... hahaha it's been keeping me entertained this am. Enjoy! And better yet -- join in!

Reading biographies instead of living one.

Normal is boring; sanity highly overrated.

X Halted, Ran Fast, Jumped High.

(and of course I didn't write this one but wish I had: "3 phases, 2 hearts, 1 passion.")

Too much work, too little time.

Kerri -- let's go trail riding Sat!

Avoiding reality by living the dream.

Keep horse between rider and ground.

Seeing the world from my backyard.

Life is best lived on horseback.

I lived. I loved. I lost.

Girls! Shut up and Ride! Please.

Yes you have to do dressage.

Best time of my life: now.

Writing this blog keeps me sane.

Chocolate and ice cream and pizza: the really important things in life.

What more is there to say?

Came in on time, under budget.

Jen -- go for dinner somewhere cheap?

Sorry can't make dinner after all.

Waiting for money tree to bloom.

This gets much easier through practice.

I'm thinking in 6 word sentences.

Planning to win lottery; still waiting.

Need to get away from computer!

Turn Facebook off; see REAL friends!

Could keep playing this game endlessly.

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." (ok not mine but still :)

Ok I will stop now. Really.

hahaha here is an article written by one with more talent than I about this phenomenon done entirely in 6-word sentences: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2008/02/25/080225ta_talk_widdicombe

Then there's this variation -- one sentence stories:

From the cute: "My 8-year-old sister proudly declared that she knows that "WTF" means "Wow, That's Funny" and has been using it all over the internet."

To the poignant: "I held my father's hand as he died in that hospital room and realized I'd never held his hand before that moment."

To the just for fun: "I knew God had a sense of humor when I hesitantly answered the ringing K-Mart payphone, only to hear my best friend, who had misdialed my home phone number, on the other end."

Tons of these on this site: http://www.onesentence.org/stories/popular/all/

Ok I'm off now :) Please do share your stories!!!

A non-human friendly post

hahaha ok best advertising campaign I've seen in a long time: "Bus shelter for humans only! Report non-humans here: 866-666-6601"



Definitely caught my attention in a "did I read that right?" kind of way :) hahaha and then of course had to go back and take a pic, so they captured my attention TWICE with it -- not bad for an ad that's on a bus shelter I've never really noticed before today. Apparently there's a whole campaign of these (billboards, park benches, everything) advocating anti-alien specism. How's *that* for a word eh? But really, it's not racism cause it's not a race being alienated -- it's a whole species! Which may or may not exist, but surely that particular detail is irrelevant? Just closely enough based in reality of what has happened with disturbing regularity throughout history to evoke strong and instant reactions (even from those of us who've never seen evidence of it outside a text-book) and yet distant enough to be able to take it with some objectivity. While I'm sure some people will be offended by the campaign, it has served to create discussion and capture attention -- and really as far as "creating buzz" goes what more can the average media-industry-marketing-pro want?

Am definitely tempted to call the phone number just to see if it goes anywhere interesting. Maybe when I get a free second :)

And talk about all inclusive! hahaha this website has "non-human" jobs listed in their careers section: http://multinationalunited.com/#/careers They also offer "Guidelines to a Peaceful Coexistance"

As to the movie in question? It's called District 9 (http://www.d-9.com/) and looks like a typical blow-em-up aliens invade type movie. Not exactly my standard first choice but sobeit.

Anyways I was thoroughly amused by the breadth and thought in this particular campaign. So just had to share. Thoughts?

Random teaching interlude

So I don't know how many times over the years I've had a student lose a stirrup, panic cause they don't have it, and either fall off or just have a very scary moment. Well I had to laugh the other night when I was teaching. Student in question has quite a good dressage position and was working w/ jockey-stirrups to improve strength and balance for jumping. Well her horse spooked at something and shot forward and her immediate instinct was to DROP her stirrups so that she could get her leg long and on. hahaha Well I was amused anyways. She did, of course, bring horse back under control no problem and then reluctantly took her stirrups back. But it's possibly the first time I've ever had a student drop her stirrups in that scenario. It's all about the comfort zone eh?

Anyways -- that just amused me so thought I'd share. Weather is hovering around headache stage today. No fun @ all.

Back to work w/ me.

Early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

ugh -- canaries woke me up @ 6am. First day in sooooo long I've been able to sleep in (could've gone all the way till 8!) n the canaries wouldn't let me :( booooo on that. I threw a towel over the cage which bought me another hour, but really they'd already taken me out of my lovely dream... Not impressed. @ least the parrot (who's *really* shrill) stayed quiet. And he does appear to be eating and drinking so I'm less worried about him now...

Crazy going slowly am I...

So suddenly insanely busy @ work. And it's gorgeous out. Classic eh? Ah well -- such is life.

Amazing jump school this am. Story on Graduate Riding School blog :)

Sooooooo looking forward to the weekend!

I haven't got time to be tired...

Ok so yeah, I'm pretty thoroughly toasted. Went XC yesterday, horse reared and caught my jaw, got the bar-fight look going now. N those who know me will know I of course had no makeup available to cover this *g* Sheesh. That being said, bruise is very minor, should be faded by end of today. I hope. I also managed to fall off my horse yesterday (separate incident). (yes longer story will be on GRS Blog) That was simply under the "stupid should hurt" category n while I'm totally fine, I'm certainly showing my age in that everything is rather sore today. Apparently I don't bounce as well as I once did. N after my XC school I felt the need to follow the next group around w/ C in-hand. Both cause I really enjoy lurking lessons and cause I wanted to take C over most of the stuff again sans-rider just to reaffirm that nothing is scary. But this means that I was hiking up and down the rather steep hills and running and jumping the various fences, ditches, etc w/ the pony. All great at the time. But by the time I got back, unloaded C, cleaned the trailer, put everything away, went and rode Rye (who's a sweetheart but HUGE which means more of a physical ride than I'm used to), n of course me being me felt the need to take advantage of the opportunity to ride a broke horse and did so w/ no stirrups. By half way through the first lesson I had to teach I gave up and sat down in the middle of the ring *g*. By the time I finished the last one it was all I could do to work the clutch to drive home! Came home crawled into the bath... N was tired enough that I didn't get back out till the water turned cool. hahaha Today my arms shake when I lift my water bottle, my neck only turns half way, my shoulders hurt in ways I didn't know they could move and my abs are so sore that sitting upright is a challenge. Ironically my legs, which *should* be toasted after that workout are just fine. Yeah spin class. hahaha

On the plus side -- the parrot drank a little bit yesterday so I'm starting to have hope he may survive the week :)

So was teaching last night and had one of those moments that transcends the riding world... We were discussing about how important it is to pick your battles and her immediate response was "we DO pick our battles -- we just don't always pick the smart ones!" hahaha and while it struck me as highly amusing (and accurate) at the time just think about how often that happens in the grander scheme of things. How many times have you fought w/ your significant other over whose turn it is to make the bed, feed the dog, mow the lawn, or some other petty thing while the things that matter get lost... Anyways -- just thought it was worth a second's thought :)

And for those who weren't aware -- chimpmunks have absolutely no sense of self-preservation. Just in case it ever comes up, keep that fact in mind *g*

Now I often find working @ a design firm (having a completely uncreative mind myself) to be highly entertaining. The guys will randomly turn anything into art. For instance, some of the speakers have a hole in the middle of them -- well one day I came in and the speaker was "smoking" a highligher and had been given quite dramatic eyes and a nose drawn on sticky notes. hahaha so these kind of random things just occur here. N my boot-socks are a source of constant amusement. All that being said, today's creativity definitely made me laugh. Went into the washroom and saw how we're now storing TP . . .



hahaha so much for rows under the sink like every other washroom in the world! But it's just so typical of life in this office that I had to share :) I have no idea who was actually responsible for the sculpture but was def amused by it :) And I'm sure several times over the next few weeks it will be resculpted into new and interesting forms...

So was writing an email to a client after a particularly brutal project (brutal for both of us due to a third party who shall rename nameless) just finalizing some details and in it wrote something about a request from "our suppliers" blah blah blah. Perfectly normal. What set me off laughing was when I re-read it before sending it and realized that while I was *thinking* "our suppliers" what I actually *wrote* was "the survivors". hahahah omg soooo appropriate in this case :) Absolutely classic. So I forwarded the typo version to some of the guys here and then fixed it for the client *g*

"Courage is the most beautiful kind of madness."

So I'm house sitting this week. N most of the resident critters have decided I'm their best friend. Cats are super friendly (yeah there's a surprise given that all I do is feed them :) one of which I absolutely adore. Canaries get all excited when I walk in the room (ugh but one of them is soooo shrill it just makes me cringe -- but still, the concept is good). The one I'm concerned about is the parrot. He doesn't appear to eat or drink and he certainly wants nothing to do w/ me. Now I'm ok w/ this entirely in that I was warned he's not exactly what one would call friendly, but I am starting to get concerned about the complete lack of eating/drinking. Anybody have birds? Is he going to live through the week? Quite an impressive fellow -- I'd really like him to remain that way.

Graduate Riding School went to Foggy River on Sun; to give you an idea, Sienna was the most experienced horse of the group. hahaha and one of the greenbeans was being ridden by a hunter rider who got brave long enough to agree to come and promptly forgot her bravery at home. But by the end she was jumping everything like a prostar :) Anyways for the curious, more on that on the GRS blog...

Going XC tomorrow w/ my new jump coach. Not convinced we're at all ready for this hahaha -- keep in mind we never got out of the TROT in our last lesson >;-P But I am soooo looking forward to it. Been a while since I've been that excited to ride. Also excited to spend a work day just teaching and riding. The way my work days SHOULD be!