Here there be dragons...

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

Quick Question

A question for the bloodline enthusiasts out there. Sienna is out of "Super Icey" by "Gold Legend". Anything you can tell me?

Edited to add - I found Gold Legend -- in Alberta of all places! He's a Seattle Slew baby... http://www.esquirolfarms.ca/gold_legend.html

Shopping Anyone?

So your completely useless fact of the day -- the biggest money in the world! How'd you like to carry this around in your pocket:



From the Pacific Island of Yap (an unfortunate name in itself :) these Rai stones are used as money and can be up to 3m in diameter and weigh 8,800 lbs. (How's that for a product of the very confused Canadian education system -- I use m for distance and lbs for weight *g* For those who actually learned one entire system that = about 10ft and 4tons respectively).

I gotta admit that'd prob put an end to any spur of the moment shopping!

Apparently there's one on the lawn of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa -- I think a road trip may be required. hahaha :)

Flash Fiction 30: Maybe you've heard this one before?

I've fallen and I can't get up! Or have I? This is either a creative commentary about the all-encompassing effect of the constant barrage of marketing on our society, or I was out of my own words and needed to borrow the words of others. You decide :) How much of this have you heard before? Had to leave out many of the classics -- 1000 word limit and couldn't quite work them into the plot. Maybe next time :) Enjoy!

---------------------

Between love and madness lies obsession, and Karen was very much afraid that her work, finding a solution for a small planet, was there. It was the toughest job she'd ever loved, but sometimes she wondered if simply finding the antidote for civilization would be easier.

Her coworker Susan futily put the unresolved issue to a vote: "alright people, raise your hand if you're sure." Sure enough, there was no agreement. "Nobody? Really? Well I guess if you don't get it, you don't get it. After all, there are thousands of possibilities. Why not ask for more?"

"We've already run through 57 varieties of this conversation, can we please just do it?" Diane requested.

"No, when only the best will do we have to keep going and going and going until we find the one that lasts like a rock. But only diamonds are forever, so we should be sure to use the real thing."

"Oh give me a break. We need to think outside the bun here people. Life's complicated enough without making this a different kind of company. All we need to do is offer a fair and balanced perspective and demonstrate how we can think young and get more. Then people will start seeing small business differently and we'll be good to go. Karen, I know you have a friend in the digital age, what does he suggest?"

"Think," Karen said simply. "He says 'nobody knows it but me' and he's certainly not about to leave the driving to us. He told me that if we want to have billions and billions served we should ask how and ask now. But I believe we should think small. As an army of one we can prevent forest fires and bring good things to life. Seeing what the future has in store makes me proud that I am Canadian and feel that we should reach out and touch someone personally."

"She has a point," Jake mentioned.

"Does she... or doesn't she?" Susan interrupted. "It's good to talk, but maybe it's time to fcuk advertising let our fingers do the walking."

"meow, meow, meow, meow" Diane commented snarkily.

"Let's take a pause that refreshes and consider these options." Jake inserted calmly, "After all, like a good neighbour, we try harder. We are good to the last drop. And if they can't appreciate that, maybe they just don't care enough to send the very best."

"I'm lovin' it," Michael the CEO, previously silent, contributed before excusing himself to attend the greatest show on earth.

"He likes it! Mikey really likes it!" Karen laughed, relieved, as soon as he departed.

"That's news that's fit to print," Jake agreed.

"Well I guess you get to have it your way." Susan resentfully relented. "Same time tomorrow?" she asked, ending the meeting as she gathered up her notes.

"Hey, leggo my eggo!" Diane snapped as Susan accidentally picked up her priceless copper-top pen.

"So where do you want to go today for a quicker picker upper?" Jake asked Karen as they escaped the office to enjoy the ride.

"Where's the beef?" she asked in return.

"At the happiest place on Earth," he commented as he drove them to their favourite pub where they had shared many moments.

"I'm going to obey my thirst and have the king of beers," he told the waitress, "the one that made Milwaukee famous."

"I'd rather have coco pops," Karen commented idly, "they're not just for breakfast anymore."

"Hungry? How bout a finger lickin good burger instead?" the waitress suggested.

"But I'm craving the wave. Have you got milk? And maybe a pizzapizza?"

"We'll see what Brown can do for you," the waitress told her.

They chatted for a bit about the Jake's involvement in the first network for men, where wonders never cease, and how their project could be all that it could be until the waitress reappeared.

"We never stop working for you," the waitress said as she placed the food in front of Karen, " all the taste, 1/3 of the calories! Enjoy!"

"m'm m'm good! Magically delicious really," Karen commented as she took her first bite.

"These are grrrreat! " Jake commented as he snagged a fry. "Betcha can't eat just one!" he stated as he continued to munch her fries.

"I'm sorry," Karen told him sincerely as he neared the end, "but I just don't love you enough to give you my last one."

Jake went to pay the bill, digging his card out of his wallet. "The future takes visa, but for everything else, there's mastercard," he joked.

"We love to see you smile, but unfortunately we don't take mastercard," the waitress told him.

Sighing, Karen dug out her wallet. "Cash," she handed the waitress, "Don't leave home without it!" she reminded Jake. As if they hadn't replayed this same conversation 100 other times.

"Thanks, we love having you here," the hostess stated as they left the restaurant.

After dinner they split up, Jake to go put a tiger in the tank, and Karen to get out there because life is not a spectator sport.

"Have fun; I'll leave a light on for you," he concluded as they went their separate ways.

Where is Darwin when you need him?

So I'm driving to work today and at the roadside I see one of those temporary bullitin boards -- such as are used for construction sites to warn you there's a lane closed or something. Lots of lightblubs, message that rotates, etc. But today -- today there was a new one up on my commute advertising . . . Earth Hour! Now really people? What exactly were you thinking? For how many days are you going to power this sign asking people to turn their lights OUT for an hour. Sheesh.

So that was the first stupidity of the day. The second one was a bad comedy routine. At some point we've all tried to pull a push door or push a pull (comeon, admit it!). Nobody is brilliant all the time. Well I was @ No Frills searching for office supplies. This has the same kind of door as every grocery store in the world -- you step on the pad and the door opens. One door goes in, the other goes out. The door always opens away from the direction of travel. So I'm attempting to leave the store with my purchases and there's a very heavy woman on a scooter sitting on the opposite side of the out. Presumably waiting for it to open to let her in. Now multiple problems with this. Apparently there's some sort of sensor that the door won't open if there's something on the other side of it, so on the plus side it didn't bang into her, on the minus side -- I couldn't get out! No way to get out the in, and no way to open the out. And the door is closed so can't talk to the woman and ask her to move. And she's just a *little* slow since it was a good 5 mins and another person appearing behind me both of us trying to sign to her to move before she figured out what was wrong. And then she backs past the sidewalk and into traffic. Fortunately the truck driver was crawling and could stop. You have to wonder sometimes how people can function on so few braincells...

Ugh. Ok end of rant.

Theory Thursday this week is Jumping. Had a lot of fun playing on youtube... oh wait, uummm researching! Yeah that's what I meant. Had a lot of fun finding vids for this one :) Enjoy!

Creatures of the night

So I'm used to waking up in the middle of the night -- between roommates, pets, and a truly evil alarm clock *g* -- it's not unusual. But last night was a first for new ways to be awoken. The perpetrator? Mr. AG Bear. Yes that's right, a teddy bear right out of the 80s. A talking teddy bear. Or more accurately a growling teddy bear. AG is voice-activated and growls his end of any conversation; the tone mimics the tone of whatever it heard. Great bear for any kid w/ a decent imagination :) However, AG has one minor flaw... He gets *very* sensitive when his batteries start to die. So every time I rolled over, he perked up and growled.



Unfortunately for poor AG, I am not happy when I'm unnecessarily awoken; alas he is now minus the weight of one battery. hahaha ah well -- I'll bring him back to life some day :)

And that, is two minutes of your life you'll never get back. You're welcome >;-P

And just in case you have more time to kill: Improv Everywhere -- these guys do some interesting stunts.

Just cause...

Today has just been one of those days. Teaching went well but the rest of the day pretty much sucked.

So some random amusements for the day:

-- N sent me this link. Click the pic for more fun and games.

50 Greatest Comedy Sketches -- when you have some time to kill :)

Cause I'm still smiling hours later...

*taken from GRS blog*

So I took Sienna for an off-property jump school today. N the facility we went to -- yeah pretty much if you took exactly what I'm looking for (in my dream "if I had $" world) this is what you'd end up with. Right size, style, type of property. It even had a pond. And the arena was amazing. *sigh*

Anyways -- Si was pretty kewl when we got there. Took her a bit to chill out, but I was there super-early to give her time to do so, so all good. At least she refrained from bouncing while I put her tack on! hahaha So we had a revert to when I first got her -- in that she went from reasonably calm to absolutely spun as soon as I put the bridle on. Less good. But on the plus side, while she was a little high, she didn't actually lose it; so I had hope :)

Go in the arena and walk around a bit -- she was looking at the world (esp the mirrors -- much higher than @ M's so she could only see her reflection occasionally; thereby startling her each time) and the windows, which were just over her head. She actually almost stood for me to get on, so I was pretty excited about that, and then was willing to walk around the ring. Woohooo. Gaining some maturity. We had a brief discussion that it was inappropriate to stand on her hindlegs to look out the windows, and otherwise, she was great. Got over the mirror thing reasonably quickly. I will admit I was grateful for the martingale as we went into the trot though -- had a few definite giraffe on crack moments! hahaha fortunately we were just about through those when my coach appeared. She was still trotting around on speed and not exactly vaguely resembling a relaxed working trot, but at least she was pretending to listen to what I was saying. hahaha

Let her canter around a bit (Si is always better after she canters) and then try the trot again. Still strong, but rideable.

Start with poles on a circle. Np. Sienna's an old pro. Then a jump on the circle. Still np. Till we tried to do it @ canter. Entirely demolished it. Which of course worried her just a bit (read, brain fell out ear when poles scattered). Poor girl does NOT like to make a mistake. So it took me a while to reinstall her brain and convince her the world really was ok. Repeat it at trot, clear fence by extra foot. Yeah no surprise there. Tried it at canter... hmmmm well she cleared the fence beautifully, and then randomly decided to change direction. Not quite sure what inspired that, but unfortunately my coach was standing right about there (theoretically to "help" -- uh-huh). Did the left-right-left-right-squirrel-in-headlights dance that nearly had him getting flattened and me hitting the dirt and Sienna very very upset at the whole scenario (that whole something wrong drama-queen thing again). But I managed to defy the laws of physics to follow the far more important rule #1, and my coach is a lot faster than I'd've thought, so I just pretended I'd *intended* to randomly change direction and schooled her that way till she chilled again.

So of course we had to do it again *sigh*. hahaha fortunately by now we were about out of wrong options, so we just had to go and do it right *g*.

From the baby-gymnastic that we'd thoroughly destroyed in every way shape or form we moved to jumping around the course -- focusing on ridability between fences (ie circles ARE legal :). Sienna was a complete pro. Got a little strong once or twice but never looked at a thing. Coach's comment of "you know she jumps better when they're higher" was somehow not as reassuring as he'd intended it to be :) Translation of course "don't screw it up!" hahaha but we didn't. N in the end jumped one of (possibly THE) nicest course I've ever done on her. Perfect hunter round over a jumper course. Steady rhythm, da-dum, da-dum,da-dum, over-the-fence, da-dum, da-dum. Every lead change. Entirely in balance. No circles necessary. Bang on spot to each fence. Just wow. So we stopped *g* hahaha we all know the value of quit-while-you're-ahead and the whole point of today was confidence building and achieving control off-property. And we did that. We did that far better than I'd ever imagined doing that. So I'm pretty excited.

Still not convinced we're ready for PT @ Grandview yet, but hey, I've got almost a month :)

Happy Birthday Steve!

Hi Max,

I believe Laura can provide the source code for the link below,

Laura,

Can you help Max out?



So I got that message today at work, attached to a long thread between Max (whom I've never heard of before) and a variety of other people. Now I'm sorry, but if you expect me to go out of my way to track down stuff (esp stuff you technically have no right to, and have definitely not paid for) do you think you just *might* do me the consideration of knowing my name?!?! Esp as my first name is in my work email address. Definitely felt like responding with a "sorry, you must have the wrong address; there is no Laura here." Kinda like answering telemarketers who ask for Ms Coody. Sheesh. Ok end of rant. Names have not been changed to protect the guilty -- no need since they were never correct to begin with. Wonder if Max's name is really even Max? >;-P

So on a much happier note, Steve -- K's wonderful husband who so often rescues me when the beast chooses to take the day off -- is turning OLD today >;-P (and by that I mean older than me :) So altogethernow:

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear St-eve
Happy birthday to you!

hahaha seriously though Steve -- I hope it's an amazing year!

Great ride outside this am. That is how every day should start. Well maybe without the exceptionally enthusiastic jumping.... hahaha but the flat-work was good :) My horse is fit for XC; her rider otoh... You'd think given that I conditioned her, I would've caught up in the process. Yeah not-so-much. Cause turns out I do her endurance work generally not in 2-pt. 20 mins of that today @ trot and canter and my calves were feeling it. Ah well -- fixing fitness issues has never been difficult for me. Give me 2 wks and I'll be good to go :) And I've got about two months till the first ht.

Also turns out we've been more than a *little* reliant on the walls for steering. Oops! Have to get on that. Sheesh. Took me a good half-hour to get the whole straight concept into her little mind... And bending left? Yeah, apparently that's not in the contract. Really have to get the beast and trailer driveable and get to M's for some DQ help sooner rather than later! On the plus side, our canter work has been reasonably impressive lately :)

So what'd you think of my Friday Flash this week? I was really hesitant to post it, feeling it was NQR... But then J told me it's her fav one yet. So now I'm not sure if it's just a case of writer's inability to evaluate their own work (of which I'm often guilty) or if it really does need rewriting... I like the general concept of it, but there was just something... I don't know :) If I knew, I would've fixed it! Thoughts?

Amazing customer service @ Canadian Tire today. Yeah I was stunned too :) hahaha Seriously impressive though -- both from the person who helped me find what I was looking for and from the exceptionally efficient check-out girl. Craziness.

Flash Fiction 29: Life After Death

She was dead. It was the best she'd ever felt.

She looked out into the sunlight and shivered. She was 19 and it was to have been her wedding day -- she should've been thrilled. All brides long for sun on their wedding days. But to her it was a negative omen; even the weather was conspiring in the deception. As though her marriage were a happy occasion.

A marriage of money to power. The man she was marrying was broke, but politically powerful; a power her father needed on his side. The only way her wealthy father could get the contracts he needed was through this alliance. Her fiancée -- the term had always held such romance for her, now it too seemed to mock her -- her fiancée had made it clear he was marring her solely for the income it would gain him; he had no intention of changing his lifestyle to accommodate a wife. And she wanted nothing to do with his abusive lifestyle.

She had tried to say no; they told the hospital she had fallen down the stairs. She'd always been so clumsy -- good thing she'd have a husband to look after her soon. She ran away; they found her. On the outside, a spoiled teenager who'd been given everything money could buy, too stuck up to even speak to the others at school; on the inside, scared and rapidly sinking into a deep depression. She could see no way out, but despite it all she was proud, too proud to allow herself to be sold to the highest bidder. She'd been privileged to grow up in a free country, but sometimes she felt as though that too were a cruel joke.

She couldn't run -- they were to rich and too powerful. They would find her. She couldn't stay; it was too much for anybody to live with. Her only way out was death. Her mother might mourn, at least a little. Her father and fiancée would be livid that she had spoiled their plans. But perhaps they would realize that they could trade money for power even without her as a pawn. And then they would forget she ever existed.

She hoped.

She planned her death carefully. An eager bride driving too fast up the treacherous mountain road. Would've been better had it been raining, but still believable even in sunlight -- people died there every year. Getting out of having a driver was tricky. She convinced her father that it would be politically unwise for her to show up with a driver while her fiancée had to drive himself, all the while making it seem like she really wanted the limo. The years had taught her to be a brilliant actress and she manipulated the conversation with a skill she hadn't known she possessed. Complete with the almost-hidden sulk when she was ordered to get herself to the church on time. The sulk he would ignore because she tried to hide it and he knew she wouldn't dare disobey. Her parents would go on ahead -- there was work to be done.

She dressed for the wedding she dreaded and left the house only a few minutes earlier than expected. She stopped at the park where the road starts up the mountain and changed as quickly as possible into the jeans and sweat-shirt she'd bought for today. Her wedding dress and shoes she put in a trash bag, and covered with the actual trash she'd taken from their kitchen. The whole collection got thrown in with the many bags in the park trash. The cash she'd been carefully stashing since the day she decided she'd have to die was belted around her waist.
She drove up the mountain, along the winding path. She parked the car and took out her backpack, which held the rest of her cash, some new toiletries and clothes and wig she had purchased. Leaving it by the side of the road she walked up to the curve and peered over. It was a long way down. It would destroy her beautiful little Mercedes. Returning to her car she got in, left the seatbelt undone so if anybody found the car it would at least be plausible that her body was no longer in it, and put the car in drive. She realized quickly this would not be nearly as easy as Hollywood would make it seem; she was just as likely to be killed getting out of the car as going over the cliff. But it was a risk she had to take. Better dead than this life. Holding the door open she perched on the very edge of her seat, with her left foot on the runner, her body half out of the car. And with a deep breath, she floored the gas. The car accelerated with the rapidity it was known for. Right before the road curved treacherously, she set the cruise control and allowed herself to roll out of the rapidly moving vehicle.

She hit the ground hard and it hurt. But it hurt a lot less than being found had. She got up tentatively -- checking to make sure she hadn't broken anything serious; her sweatshirt was shredded and she was banged up, but otherwise ok. The guard was destroyed and her car was gone. Peering over the edge she saw the last of it sinking below; the last of that life. Turning she quickly returned to her bag and ran back down to the park where she'd ditched her wedding dress, ducking off the road into the trees as soon as she could. There she stopped to catch her breath, but the adrenaline was running too fast. She had to keep moving. She didn't have long before they'd realize she was gone and came to find her. She stuffed the sweatshirt in the bag, changing to one of the cheap t-shirts she'd bought and checked as best she could that her blond hair was entirely hidden in her wig, before walking the short distance to the parking lot and hopping on the town bus. Never was she so thankful for the hordes of tourists. She looked like any other backpacker. She hoped.

At the station she stuck beside a group of kids her own age, yet in some ways so very much younger, and when they purchased a long distance hop-on, hop-off travel pass, she did the same -- hoping she'd be instantly forgotten as one of the pack. She checked the schedule and got herself on the first bus leaving. It was going one to New York. She'd been to New York; they knew people there. She couldn't go there. But there were lots of little towns on the way she could stop at. And she would.

She could feel the blood running through her veins. Every sense was super-alert. She was so close to being free. She slouched in her seat and schooled her features so anyone looking would merely see a bored random teen. The bus pulled out of the station, but she couldn't relax. After a couple hours she began to hope that maybe she was free. At every stop she expected somebody to be waiting for her; she changed busses three times in two days before finding herself in a station nearly the opposite side of the country. There she saw the news of her tragic demise broadcast; the body had been swept out to sea. A too young bride, her life cut short as she sped to her wedding. Not wearing her seatbelt. Let this be a lesson.

And though she was young, female, alone, with no id and limited cash, she felt the relief course through her. She was smart, willing to work, and desperate to survive. She would keep moving till she found somewhere she could be safe. A small town where she could settle and live the life she had died to have.

Theory Thursday 7 - Preventative Care 101

So TheoryThursday is now only on it's own site. This week is Preventative Care 101. Also managed to get my flash written tonight :) Woohoo! Admittedly I finished that the other day but still happy about it. Now just the latin hw left to do. hmmmm

Happy St Pats Day!!!

One of the guys brought in green cupcakes for breakfast :) Yeah St. Pat's day :) A little iffy looking, but very tasty.

hahaha ok so this site has an entire collection of "No Photos" signs! I love it. "Strictly no photography is a photo-sharing site for photographs taken where you are not allowed to take them. From the inside of the Kremlin to Kensington palace, from art galleries to war zones. Here you can see everything you've ever wanted to see that you're not supposed to. There are pictures that range from the ordinary to the profound." -- had fun flipping through here, so thought I'd share :)

So teaching, riding, training -- all things I love in the horse world; buying and selling, not so much. Too frustrating and heartbreaking. So I don't do it very often. Occasionally though client I'll help a client search for their perfect match. Have been keeping an eye out for somebody whose considering but still on the fence about buying. Started riding as an adult and is a very novice (and reasonably nervous) rider. As such I'm looking at older "been-there, done-that" types, and keeping my eye out for phrases like "children's horse" or "beginner horse". I was completely appalled by the phrases I came across. For instance: "Excellent Children's Horse Prospect". I'm sorry what?!?! If it's an excellent children's horse by definition it's not a prospect -- it's proven. At very least proven to be thoroughly broke, bomb-proof, and tolerant. So I clicked on the link to see what they were thinking -- maybe it really *is* a child's horse but has talent to be something else. Oh no -- it's 3 and just backed. Yeah, that's what I'm going to put my kid on. Sheesh. And really, *most* of the 2-3yos I've started have been quiet. Many even "kid-safe" (although personally I'd have serious issue w/ putting a novice rider on anything that green). The problem is when they turn 4 or 5 and become teenagers and suddenly are not kids' horses. I will admit though the Children's Horse Prospect was significantly less oboxious than the one which advertised the "3 yo Kid's Horse". Ugh. Ok end of rant.

I'm soooo excited by it being warm and sunny :) hahaha doesn't take much eh? Rode outside today, n really that's all it takes to make it a good day :)

Critter Stories

So my cat understands about the snooze button. I love it :) He knows that when I get up I feed him, so he'll come start meowing as soon as he hears the alarm. But if I hit snooze and tell him to go away, he stays quiet till I actually get up. The other day he was on my bed when the alarm went off (he's usually not allowed in the room) and he got all excited for breakfast. I hit snooze and rolled over, and he curled himself up in a little ball and went back to sleep. The next time the alarm went off he looked up but didn't even bother uncurling. hahaha when I eventually (3rd or 4th try) made an effort to get up, THEN he got super-excited again. hahaha I was amused anyways. Reminds me of when he was a kitten -- my apartment in Fredericton, I had no end-table, so the alarm clock used to sit on my bed between the pillow and the end-table. It was always set to start quietly and get progressively louder. Well one day I hit snooze instead of off before stumbling my way to the shower. I come back after the shower to the alarm beeping smoke-alarm volume and Sherlock sitting glaring at it. He takes one paw and swats the snooze button with all his strength. It turns off and he gives the "so there" look that only a cat can and stalks off. hahaha

The slightly larger four-legged critter provided some entertainment today. Got on and she was soooo quiet. Was like somebody switched my TB for a schoolie when I wasn't looking. Walk, trot, canter blah. Jumped a little almost apathetically. Was starting to think she either had too much fun playing in the mud (even her face was coated) or was maybe not feeling well and about to stop for the day when suddenly somebody somewhere flipped a switch and suddenly I had my TB back. She was bred to canter and that's exactly what she wanted to do. And canter and canter and canter. Not even slightly frantic, it was actually quite civilized just no option to stop. She's done that to me once before -- ages ago. Weirdest thing ever. Does make for an amazing floaty balanced canter though :)

Took what she gave me and worked with it -- riding the pole course on the ground, working on legthening/shortening, turns, etc. World was good. When she finally deigned to walk we went for a walk outside :) Woohoo!

Friday Flash Fiction #28 - The Magic of Spring

This one could've gone two very different ways. I'm not sure I like the one I picked *g* But I picked it because it would allow the story to qualify as Flash :) hahaha Let me know what you think! Enjoy.

-------------------

It was spring. Well not really, not technically anyways. The calendar said spring was still way off and the groundhog said it'd be even longer. My mother and I voted to have groundhog burgers for dinner when we heard that. Cause it was definitely spring. The first day that you could walk outside, braced for the cold, and then laugh in relief when you discovered it wasn't necessary.

Spring was the season of magic. Every season was magical according to my mother, but I knew better. Because only in spring could I see the Fair Ones.

Oh don't look at me like that. Just because I can see and hear people nobody else can does not mean I'm crazy. I'm simply more receptive; at least in the spring.

I imagine they're really here all year -- I mean logically that's all that makes sense right? It's just that I can only see them in the spring. It might be that New Year's senses are stronger -- with them I can see more than at any other time. Or it could be that they, like us, have an almost childlike glee when the world comes back to life each year, and are perhaps less cautious than otherwise.

Whatever the reason, I know it's spring because I saw the first one today: a young woman. I would've thought she was human were it not for the absolute perfection of her form and the telltale thread of gold running through her hair. She was gardening, and actually deigned to speak to me when I was so rude as to approach her. I was amazed -- they'll sometimes let me listen to them but they almost never acknowledge me. And why should they? Next to them I am, well, not much more than a slug I would imagine. And when was the last time you spoke to a slug? But she spoke to me, and the music of her voice held me enthralled. I sputtered a reply -- I can't even remember what -- but I think I held up my end of the conversation relatively well.

At least I did till we were interrupted. Some random person, their voice dripping with false concern, asking me if everything was ok. "No it's not ok -- you're too bind to see the magic that's in front of you, and because of that, now she's lost to me too." But I only thought the words; experience had taught me that there was no point to itterating my frustration. If they can't see, they can't be shown. Their loss.

But to me, a Fair One had spoken. Life couldn't get much better.

When I got home I had to hide my elation. My mother would understand; she could see the magic too. But the rest of my family could not, and they feared what they didn't understand. They made my mum take pills that blinded her to the magic. Ever since I was very young, when she realized I too could see the Fair Ones, she's warned me never to let them know. So I waited patiently untill she was alone to describe to her the magic she could no longer experience. But containing my excitement was nearly impossible; she could see it in my eyes. She and I offered to go pick up dinner so that we could talk. "They spoke to me today," I blurted the second I got in the car. "Really TO me. Not just around me. How amazing is that?!?" My mother's eyes lit with an excitement I rarely saw these days. She understood how important this was. And more importantly, she remembered. They used to speak to her too -- taught her so much the blind ones would never understand. Things I was only beginning to learn.

That night there was a whisper at my window. It sounded like tree branches rustling in the wind -- but there were no branches there, and even if there had been, there were no leaves. I opened the window and peered down -- the same Fair One who'd spoken to me this morning and her male counterpart stood below; they wanted me to go with them. I hurried outside, afraid to turn away for fear they would vanish but desperate for the unheard of opportunity being offered to me.

They each took one of my hands -- so soft were theirs it was like holding velvet. The golden strip each had in their hair sparkled in the moonlight. Their melodic voices made even small talk captivating. As I followed them I was so grateful for the opportunity that I never questioned where we were going. And when they led me across their lake -- where the stories said the queen lived --I knew their magic was strong enough to carry me.

It never occurred to me that where there's fair, there's probably foul. It never occurred to me they might leave me out there, where mortal legs could not stand. I didn't realize until that moment how much safer my mother was being blind. And I wished, too late, that I had never experienced the magic of the spring.

Theory Thursday 6: Shoeing

So today's Theory Thursday topic is Shoeing. Review section will be up by the weekend -- basically out of hours now.

Brutal day made much better by the superpony. Who was not even particularly amazing today (how could she be when I definitely wasn't?), but just being with her made all the difference. That and having a good Flash this week :) @ least I think it's reasonably good anyways :)

Sleep now.

On avoiding road rage

I have stumbled upon a way to make traffic almost bearable. And because I'm such a generous person I'm going to share *g*

So I have a secret addiction... That is about to become not-so-secret :) That is absolutely related to making traffic almost bearable. Skittles. Seriously. Best. Candy. Ever! Now this is not an addiction that I indulge all that often (although perhaps this is why it remains attractive). But when I do... It's such a happy day :)

I went to the movies the other day (stay with me here; these points will be connected shortly :) And at the movies I indulged said addiction and got a bag of Skittles to munch on. mmmmm Skittles. Now you see the connection :) But movie candy tends to come in rather excessively large bags. Meaning at the end of the movie I had left-over candy. Is there anything better than leftover candy?

Now when one leaves ones leftover Skittles in the car, one is set to have a far more pleasant drive home. But no, it's not just snacking the whole time I drive -- that'll just turn me fat. N really, Sienna would not appreciate that. No the key is in timing; every time you have to stop, eat a Skittle :) Suddenly red lights and stop-and-go traffic are far more fun. When the traffic's really horrendous, might want to change it to every time you can put the car in neutral -- make the Skittles last a little longer.

hahaha so that's my silliness for the day. But it did manage to keep me amused on my commute home last night. And since I didn't eat all of said Skittles, I have more for tomorrow. Woohoo :)

Have been haviing a lot of fun both teaching and riding this week :) And it's only Tuesday. hahaha That story's on the Graduate Riding School blog. Enjoy!

Ok must go tackle the latin hw now. After this week I've survived first term! Half way through the course. As of Sat. Woohoo!

Flash Fiction 27: One More Minute

As one who is continually doing things at the last second (note the blog post time :), I had some fun with this one. Hope you enjoy!

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Time is an unusual creature. When you're standing outside in -20 degree weather waiting for the bus to come, ten minutes can seem a lifetime; but when you're trying to get "just one more thing" done in an all too frantic life, those ten minutes pass in a heartbeat.

The trick, I've learned, is to borrow from the long time to use in short time scenarios. Bet you never realized that when it seemed to be an awfully long ten minutes that's because it was -- but such is life; with the right connections, you can learn all sorts of interesting secrets. And I, luckily, seem to have those connections.

It was one of those seemingly serendipitous moments. I was running late, as usual, having tried to cram in "just one more thing" before leaving for my job interview -- and now I was already a minute late, and as the minutes ticked off far too quickly -- two, three, four minutes late; the elevator still didn't arrive.

My anxiety radiated off me in waves; I was sure they could feel it up in the office. Certainly the guy next to me could; he sent me a look that clearly said "chill"".

"What's so important that it can’t wait for the elevator?" he asked,his tone suggesting he really didn't care but felt compelled to ask.

Almost unwillingly I found myself answering in amounts of detail totally inappropriate for sharing with a stranger. And as I relayed my tragedies large and small a hint of a smile appeared at the corner of his mouth. "Glad I could amuse," I thought sardonically.

"It sounds like what you need is a course in time management," he told me. I thanked him for his suggestion and replied politely that I'd already done that, more than once.

"Not this one you haven't," he stated confidently with an enigmatic smile as he handed me his business card. "Call me when you decide it's time."

Jason Cook, Time Librarian

I only had a second to puzzle over it before the elevator finally arrived to deliver me to my floor.

"You're late," the dour secretary addressed me. And that was the highlight of the interview.

I got home, thoroughly disenchanted with life -- it seemed I'd be staying at my same horrid job a while longer. I dumped my keys and wallet on the desk as always and sticking out of the wallet was the card. Jason Cook, Time Librarian. There was no phone number, only an address.

Googling the address placed it in an area of town that a century ago had probably been quite the ritzy local, but now not so much. Feeling I was setting myself up to be a fool for the second time today, I turned around and walked back out of my apartment.

I soon found myself at the city library. I had to laugh -- at least the prank had some thought behind it. Resolving to follow it through I entered anyway. Worst case, I'd find something to read and hang out for the afternoon.

Surprisingly, Jason cook did appear to work there. Finding his office was a bit of a challenge, but at the top of a nearly hidden stairway was a door with his name on the plaque. My hand hesitated a moment and just as I went to follow through on the knock the door opened. There was nobody inside. I called out tentatively as I let myself in, to no answer. The door slammed shut behind me, making me jump. I spun around but there was still no one to be seen. A note taped to the inside of the door caught my attention:

Sarah,
My apologies for not being here to meet you -- Time is such a fickle master! I'll be back in a nanob (that's 30 long minutes to the uninitiated) and would be honoured if you would deign to sojourn until my arrival.
Yours in time,
Jason


Deign to sojourn until my arrival? Who wrote like that? And far more importantly --how did he know my name? Or maybe the note was meant for someone else; it wasn't exactly an unusual name after all. I determined that I would wait for half an hour or until either Jason or the intended Sarah arrived.

I lurked his bookshelves -- lots of history, science fiction, and a Dilbert comic book. Ah well, at least I could relate to that one. The time passed slowly as I continued to doubt the sanity of my staying there. Eventually, Jason Cook arrived; a quick glance at my watch told me it was indeed exactly 30 minutes from when I'd read the note. Eerie.

"So how'd the job interview go?" he asked with a grin that was entirely too knowledgeable.

"Oh about what you'd expect," I told him.

"And if you'd been on time?"

"Probably wouldn't've gone much better," I admitted.

"So what is it you're looking for?" he asked.

"Something better than what I have now," I answered honestly if not politically correctly. I didn't really care what it was so long as it paid the bills and got me out of where I currently was.

"See here's the thing," he stated, "I need an assistant, and I think, with some training, you'd be perfect. You certainly understand the need for what we do."

Seriously doubtful as to the sincerity of the offer, I couldn't help but ask the obvious question, "What is it you do?"

"I'm a time librarian. I lend, and collect, time." Uh huh, at that I turned to leave. "Bet your wait seemed longer than 30 minutes," he stated. "But the clock told you that's how long it was. And you believed it." I stopped and raised an eyebrow in exaggerated disbelief.

"Look Sarah, the thing is, the moment you're born you're given a set amount of time -- and that time is divided into short time and long time. Short time is when hours seem to pass in seconds. It keeps life moving and makes the world an interesting place. Long time as created to balance it out. It's when time seems to take forever to pass.

"But sometimes people don't like the balance they've been given, and so they want to trade long minutes for short ones, or less often, the reverse."

“So what’s the exchange rate on minutes?” I asked, as though I believed a word of this.

“At the moment it’s 0.5 SM to 1 LM.” Somehow I was only slightly surprised at the instant answer.

“So somebody can give you two of their long minutes – that would be used waiting in line or generally killing time, in return for one short minute to use when having ‘one more minute’ really matters?” I reiterated for clarification.

“Exactly,” Jason confirmed.

I had to admit the theory had its uses but, “if people buy short minutes with long minutes, they’re left with fewer total minutes. How do they get them back?” I asked.

“They don’t,” Jason told me bluntly. “The brightest flames burn the fastest; the same is true for people. We believe it’s up to each individual to use the time they’ve been given in a manner they see fit. Most prefer to live quickly –- which is good for business since our profit comes from collecting long minutes. But there are those who prefer a slower life, and for them it’s a great deal! Two long minutes for every one short!"

I briefly tested my conscious to ascertain if I had any serious moral concerns about this whole idea; quickly deciding not, I figured I’d use up my remaining vacation trying this job to see if it was for real. But something puzzled me, “So what do you do with all the saved up long minutes?” I asked.

“Well that is precisely how we stay in business. You see long minutes are the key to time travel.”

The Beast wins the Battle... The war is still up for grabs.

Petulant -- the word of the day. Somebody used it to describe a mutual acquaintance of ours and it was just so apt. hahaha completely irrelevant if you don't know the key players or understand just how incredibly correct it is, but had to share anyways.

Anyways, moving on. So I had good plans to take the Beast to the doctor today to see what's going on with the battery. Friend with equally beast-like vehicle was ready to give a boost, but oh no, the Beast is smarter than that. It *really* doesn't want to work. So decided since we were clearly prepared to revive the battery, it'd better take a more significant step: it refused to open the hood. Seriously. 3 people, one phone call, a stupid amount of time, and some creative language later and the Beast finally opened up. Turns out brute force wins again -- beat it and then pry it open (with a boot-pull of all things!). hahaha but by then tired, cold and frustrated so the Beast gets to remain immobile till the wknd. Which means there will be no jumper show this wknd. Boooo.

Theory Thursday now has its own website!!! Woohoo. TheoryThursday.com Yes I know, very creative. And very exciting. So exciting in fact that you should tell your friends :) Spread the word, so as to spread the knowledge. Please! Don't let my efforts be in vain! hahaha so says she who's brain hurts after typing these every week. You know it takes me longer to find/manipulate/create/etc the images then all the rest of it put together? Sheesh. A picture better be worth a thousand words! That's all I have to say about that! This week's topic is Movement. Enjoy!

Ok well I promised myself I would be asleep by now, so tis off with me. Night!

When product reviews take a life of their own...

I laughed and laughed and laughed... (but then I'm a geek :) When product reviews take a life of their own: "Very good if you need to write on paper". hahaha somebody felt the need to post a fairly in-depth review a BIC pen on Amazon. The resulting comments and other reviews are somewhat amusing. If only to note how much free time people have!

Some things I'll be sure to consider when making my next important writing utensil purchase:

"Worked fine with my right hand, but when I came to use my left hand my writing came out looking like the work of a complete imbecile. I can only assume Bic have created a right-handed only pen, and would caution left-handers to "try before you buy"."

I recently watched a film called the bourne identity, he killed a man with this very model of pen.

An important consideration: I often use pencils to write notes on paper, but have been thinking about changing to a pen. Is this pen a good starting point for a novice?

It is worth remembering that your pen will last longer if you don't bother to dot your I's and J's!

I purchased this biro to test out the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword. Having challenged a black belt Kendo champion to a fight I am now down to one arm and I think the bic got stepped on - so the old saying is a load of rubbish.
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And just cause it fell under the realm of flash fiction (I hope!) and it's almost Friday I share this post in its entirety:

I bought this item 2 years ago now and i have to say, it was the best decision i ever made; not only is it a unfaultable writing tool but it has saved my life on numerous occasions. The first time it proved a lifesaver was in my local convenience store; i had merely entered with the intention to buy a bar of chocolate when a masked man came in behind me with a gun. He shouted at everyone to get on the floor which we did. He then demanded all the money out of the till,however the cashier refused to comply and i am sure that if i had not intervened, he would not be alive today. Grabbing the nearest item i could find (which turned out to be a terry's chocolate orange), i threw it at the man to draw his attention. In reflex, the man shot at my chest, but luckily i had my pen in my chest pocket so the bullet merely rebounded off the pen and struck the man in his hand, causing him to drop the gun. He then fled the premises, so thanks to this pen, both the cashiers and my lives were saved.

The second time it proved to be of assistance was when i was on holiday in a remote part of Wales, i chanced upon a hidden cave in a cliff. As a generally inquisitive person, i could not resist to explore, however, on entering the cave there was a loud rumbling and the entrance colapsed, leaving no way out. To my furthur dismay, i discovered that i was not the only being present; a large bear was also present which luckily had not noticed me. Using the only tools available to me, i fashioned a crude bow which i used to fire the pen as a missile at the bear. As always, the pen proved a reliable resource and struck it in the eye, rendering it unconcious. I then used the pen as a means of removing the rubble to allow me to reach freedom.

The last time it saved my life, i was in my basement when i had a leak. As i have no drains, a leak could prove extremely serious so i was urgently trying to fix it when my hand got caught between two pipes and i could not remove it. The basement continued to fill with water and when i was almost out of my depth, i decided i had to do something drastic, so i used the pen as a saw to cut through my wrist. I was then able to phone an ambulance and a plumber, however they were not able to save my hand. Ironically it was my right hand, so my pen was the item which rendered me unable to use a pen, so regretfully, i have stopped carrying it around with me.

I would greatly reccomend this pen as it serves very well at a wide range of applications, for example, a bullet shield, an arrow/missile, a pickaxe, a saw and even... a pen!

One of those days...

So it's been one of those days. That was the short version. Consider yourself forewarned...

Actually started out relatively well; when my alarm clock went off after only 4h sleep, I actually woke up. Good start :) (why 4h? No idea. Went to bed at a civilized hour and then my mind just spun and spun. And at one point it spun towards show season. So years of "visualization" practice led to me mentally riding XC. Ummm yeah, anybody else remember that XC is an adrenaline rush? Really dumb idea when one is trying to fall asleep. *sigh* Anyways -- despite the lack of sleep I got up and to work on time :) Woohoo!

Morning was good and scarily productive. Then drive out to meet people for lunch. My instructions say Brock Road. So whose brilliant idea was it to put a Brock Street only a couple exits before Brock Road? Really? Was that necessary? So yes, I got a good tour of Pickering before I figured that out. Actually did manage to get where I was supposed to be (and on time too -- isn't that impressive?) Lunch was good -- met some interesting people and learned about their business. So that was good.

Now leaving work is supposed to be a good thing... And it probably would be... If I'd gotten gas. Yup. Rabbit got hungry while I was on the 407. Booo. Very scary when you know you have approx five seconds to merge across three lanes to the shoulder while your car decelerates. Less than fun. Fortunately CAA prioritizes anybody on the highway (didn't know that) so instead of the several hour wait I'm used to when I call them, they were there in about 40 mins.

Go to the barn where both the beast AND the trailer are dead. Beast's battery is toasted (even though we put a new one in last year!) and the trailer, I couldn't open the people door. Very strange. My guess is it's rusted, so going to invest in some WD40 and see if that helps the scenario. Was very strange. Could probably force it, but had visions of it then being stuck open.

Was really looking forward to riding in the wonderful weather. Till I saw my horse's left knee was three times the size of her right one. *sigh* Look more closely -- a gaping wound? Yeah not even close; a tiny scrape. Classic TB.

Get home and discover that the file I was working on yesterday is corrupted. Have to start over. N would really rather just go to bed.

Ok end of story.

On a much better note -- taught a lesson yesterday that was one of those "why I teach" days. Serious lightbulb moment for both horse and rider. Fun fun fun :)

A Hollywood Moment

So I don't watch hockey @ all, but even I found the gold medal game entertaining; Disney couldn't've written it better *g* Seriously -- Canada vs US is a script seller to begin with. Then tying it up in the last 20 seconds to force sudden-death overtime? Who does that??? >;-P And then for the home country to win, with the shot being scored by the small-town kid who hasn't managed a goal all Olympics... Talk about saving his talent for when it matters. Sheesh. Was pretty amazing to watch though :)

Some random silliness -- when you're *really* bored and have 5, 10, or 20 seconds to kill: Press the space bar Yeah, there's 5, 10, or 25 seconds you'll never get back :) And worse, it's addictive! I'm betting you'll play more than once. You're welcome >;-P

I am insanely tired. Boooo. Going to have to seriously caffeinate before teaching tonight. Can't believe it's only lunchtime.