Friday, January 30, 2009

Movin' On Up

Wow, lots of good things happening of late – I can’t say I’m not a little baffled by my stint of good luck, but it’s probably best not to ask questions and just enjoy the ride. The divorce process went from hitting-every-pothole-in-the-road bumpy to smooth-as-silk easy over the course of a week or so, and I’m happy to announce that with a little more luck, I should be a single woman come February 11th! Of course, I’m actually far from single, and of course, I have to be prepared for any curveballs that could still be thrown my way by the effin’ NJ court system, but all signs are pointing to divorce-land. It’s time to start a new chapter in my life, so I’m hoping to dot those “i”s and cross those “t”s and for the love of Pete, get this thing over with. On to bigger and better things!

Change is kind of the theme as of late, because, ironically, I’m also moving out of my apartment this weekend. This is great because: A) I’m officially moved in with my main squeeze (even though I’ve actually been living there for quite some time), and B) I won’t have to pay for rent and cable for February. Wahoo! But this is also kind of bad in the timing department because I’ve got a busy month of vacation and work travel coming up starting on Monday, and I’m kind of falling behind in all the stuff I still gotta do. No matter. Whatever gets done will get done, and whatever doesn’t…well…will be waiting for me when I get home.
But this ‘official’ move out of my apartment has kind of left me feeling a little more settled and at home in that amazing house of his…er…I mean ours. Poor Brian is slowly losing his bachelor pad one vase and wall-hanging at a time. He seems to be taking it in good stride, though. It’s all about turning HIS house into OUR home, and I think this transition is putting a smile or two on both our mugs. *takes a moment with that dopey grin on her face to reflect on moving in with Brian. Warm fuzzies abound…*

So, I’ve got about a million things to do between now and Monday when we leave for our fabulous winter vacation in Quebec including (but not limited to) moving out of my apartment, massive amounts of laundry, packing, gatherings Jericho’s crap together for a stay with Mom-mom and Pop-pop McVey, and perhaps taking part in the annual Mt. Holly Chili Cook-off. Okay, I’ll most likely just be hanging out with Carrie, Rob, Skip, and Erin and sampling delicious chili while THEY take part in the Chili Cook-Off, but I’ll take a little “fame by association.” And if I’m not mistaken, Brian is trying his darndest to squeeze in an early-morning game of “old school pond hockey” in the drainage area next to the house on Sunday (injuries are anticipated), capped off with dinner and a doggy-transfer at the McVey’s Sunday night. Monday’s adventures start at about 4:00am EST.
I swear, I didn’t know that 4:00 am even existed ‘till I met this kid.
Whew. I’m tired already.
So, stay tuned for NUMEROUS fabulous pictures of my Quebec adventure and hopefully a jubilant (and possibly drunken) announcement of divorce in the near future. Hooray for Fridays! Hooray for Vacations! Hooray for CHANGE!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I considered writing about a lot of different things today.

I could have written about how excited I am that my trip is 5 days away and how I have muchos packing to do involving practically every winter-appropriate garment in my wardrobe, which makes me glad that we’re driving and not flying because at this rate I’m gonna need a tractor-trailer to get all my stuff to Quebec, because, damn it, it’s cold up there!

I thought about writing about the minor wrist injury I obtained while snowboarding this weekend, and about how, while I was disappointed that I had to cut the day short, there’s a small part of me who thinks sports injuries are awesome and my wrapped wrist is a testament to my adventurous weekend and makes me proud of myself for trying new things.

I almost wrote about the winter “storm” we’re going to get, and even though I know for a fact that the weather people always blow these storms out of proportion and I know for a fact that corporate offices would rather have their employees risk life and limb to get to work than pay them for time spent not working, the little kid in me can’t help but hope that we’ll get a snow-day or at least a snow-morning tomorrow, and I’ll be able to tuck back under the covers and snuggle with my favorite dog (seeing as my favorite human will have already left for work – firemen don’t get snow-days)

And then, I though about writing about the fact that my lease on my Collingswood apartment is happily (but unexpectedly) ending two months early, and while I’m thrilled to not have to pay rent come February 1 (or ever after), I’m also faced with the burden of getting all my stuff out of the place by Saturday night, which is a bit overwhelming, considering I was going to spend the rest of the week packing for my trip at a leisurely pace that would have allowed for significant gym, home-improvement,and socializing time.

And it occurred to me to write about how awesome it is that several pairs of my jeans and work-pants that were about to be too small for me are now fitting me again, and even though it’s just a matter of a few pounds, I’m thrilled to see that eating (more) healthy and working out (more) consistently are strategies that seem to be paying off, and not only am I now healthier and looking better, I won’t have to spend money on new pants either, which is always a good thing, because I really need to get new tires and replace that fersnuggen bent rim on my car.

But you know what I’m going to write about? Those little red and green dots you see when you close your eyes, or when you’re out at night and its pitch dark. What’s up with those things? Is it just your cones and rods going berserk over a lack of light, or are you maybe getting a peak into another dimension, considering that most modern-day physicists subscribe to the belief that there are in fact multiple dimensions, and our brains have a lot to do with keeping us from ‘seeing’ them, in a sense.

I’d like to think it’s a little of both.
Or maybe I just watch too much Discovery Channel.

Friday, January 23, 2009

And Speaking of Nuts...

WTF was I thinking? Why did I waste a post on crazy dogs, when I could have been celebrating the best food in the world?!?

Happy National Peanut Butter Appreciation Day!!!!!!!

Well, technically, its tomorrow, not today, but I avoid the computer like the plague on weekends, so I’ll have to post my salute to all things peanut butter a day early.

Anyway, I encourage you all to go out and enjoy some delicious peanut butter. Just do it responsibly – that salmonella outbreak is no joke. Strait up. You don’t want no salmodizzle in your peanut bizzle.

Clinically Depressed Poodle Attacks Former French President

There's poetry to be found somewhere in that heading.

Got this story from Michael K on

Clinically Depressed Poodle Attacks Former French President!! Is It Okay To Laugh?

Seen here is former French President Chirac with his pet Maltese Poodle Sumo. Sumo may seem like your regular poodle: barks at anything that moves, loves rhinestone collars against its fur, sticks its nose up at mutts... etc...etc.. Well, Sumo isn't your regular bitch. The motherfucker is certifiable! The crazy bitch reportedly went after Chirac for no reason and mauled his French ass (or face, this hasn't been confirmed)! Maybe Chirac told Sumo his butt looked fat. You know how bitchy those poodles can be.
Chirac's wife said Sumo has become crazier and crazier over the years. He's like the gay ass version of Cujo! Cujosofierce! The bitch was diagnosed "clinically depressed" and is currently on anti-depressants. She said, "The dog went for him for no apparent reason. We were already aware the animal was unpredictable and is actually being treated with pills for depression. My husband was bitten quite badly, but he is certain to make a full recovery over the coming weeks."
Maybe Sumo was sick of taking Prozac or whatever the fuck they are hiding in his Fancy Feast (you know he eats cat food, he's that elegant). Bitch just wants a damn joint and a DRANK so he can mellow the hell out.
It's obvious that Sumo and Chirac can no longer be best girlfriends. That's why I'm suggesting that Parasite Hilton adopts Sumo. The ugly whore loves dogs, right? Once he's done mauling the wonk off her face, he can go live with Jessica Simpson, then the Kardashians....and so on and so forth.... Sumo: Mauling the dumb bitches of Hollywood one bite at a time!

Okay, first of all, can I just say that Michael K is ridiculous and I love him?

Second of all, I know EXACTLY what this guy must be feeling right now! My family had a poodle growing up that must have been beat with the same crazy stick as Sumo, because that dog was NUTS! I don't have any pictures of Benny, mostly because any time we tried to take a picture of him, it immediately disintegrated in flames due to the evil nature of it’s subject-matter (that, or there were no digital cameras around when I was growing up...same difference). However, below is an artist's rendition of what Benny looked like circa 1995:

Benny was seriously insane. He used to pee all over any crate or room that we would try to put him in, which completely defies the purpose of crating in the first place. What kind of nut-job pees where he sleeps?! Benny would also bite me on a regular basis, because he was the worst dog that ever existed. Period. One time, he almost bit me in the eye. If his tooth had hit me an inch to the left, I would have been blind! Ironically, we had to put him down at the ripe old age of 14 because he went blind. My mom had to stay home with him because he kept running in to things. LOL. Serves him right, the little bastard. Anyway, let’s have a moment of silence for the most evil dog that was ever conceived from the depths of hell.

Benny, you might have been the biggest POS dog that ever lived, but you are missed (in a McCain-misses-Vietnam kind of way)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

McNugget, Anyone?

I stumbled across this pretty picture on the interwebz today:

Now, I know what you’re thinking right now...
“Wow, I LOVE strawberry ice-cream, and that’s a WHOLE LOTTA strawberry ice-cream there!”

But allow me to burst your bubble.

This, I’m sorry to say, is what Chicken McNuggets are made out of.
Ladies and Gentleman, may I present to you:

Mechanically separated chicken.

Ugh, I knew there was a reason why I’ve been abstaining from McDonalds for the past 3 years and 2 months. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Happy Thursday, folks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chasing Time

Where, oh WHERE does the time go? Why does it seem like I’m running in place, filling the hours between the job and the bed to the brim, but accomplishing nothing? Why does it seem like I’m merely putting out fires instead of checking off lists. I swear, sometimes I think my life just rolls along whether I’m actively participating in it or not. I have this nagging sense of loss of control, and I don’t necessarily like it

My poor painting sits in the sunroom, half finished waiting to turn into something instead of blotches of nothing. My junkmail piles up in a passive-aggressive kind of way, not really demanding attention, but not exactly settling for being ignored, either. My dog looks up at me and says, “Why don’t we go on walks anymore? Remember walks? They’re so fun!” And the projects conceived in my brain are getting backed up; it’s like a traffic jam of ideas and potential, being held up by…what? Time, I guess. Or a lack thereof.

Between work and commuting and meals and the gym and my need for excessive amounts of sleep (9 hours, kthanxbye) and an insatiable appetite for quality time with the boyfriend, it seems like there’s very little time left for stuff. There’s a constant tug-of-war going on in my head these days:
“Do the dishes or read a book”
“Sweep the floor or cuddle with the dog”
“Go to the gym or finish painting the basement”
“Fold the laundry or watch an hour of TV”

And if Brian and I are home together, it’s like life stops completely. I know that’s not really a rational way to go about day-to-day living, but god help me, if he’s around, chances are I’ll be up his ass. Can’t help it – I love the guy. We could be watching paint dry (actually, that’s exactly what we did last night), and as long as we’re together, I’m having a blast. Great for my happiness; not so good for dishes that are piling up in the kitchen sink. Meh.

I was hoping that after the holidays, things would settle down a bit. Granted, the great “Basement Flood of ‘08” has demanded more time and attention that we would have ever though possible (who knew concrete walls required not one, not two, but THREE freaking coats of paint to look uniformly white?!?). And granted, of late, precious weekends have spent in the pursuit of all things fun rather than getting around to organizing the bathroom closet. But c’mon people! You only live once! And snowboarding is really fun!

Well, I fear I’m paying for these adventures with a messy house, a rammy dog, and a pile of laundry that probably requires its own zipcode. And I think I’m going to have to learn to be okay with that, because until scientists figure out a way to cram a few more hours in the day, my time will be limited to working, eating, driving, snuggling with my man, and attempting to get my heart-rate up to 165 bpm. And if I happen to have the luxury of an entire day off with Brian, then adventures will be pursued, no matter what the cost. I guess it’s just all about priorities. My floor may be covered in animal hair, and I may be running out of clean dishes, but come Monday, I’ll probably have a pretty cool story to tell. Just try to ignore my wrinkled clothes.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Out with the Old and In with the New

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: that man sure knows how to give a speech!

What a proud day to be an American! Although I was kicking myself for not having the foresight to finegal a way to attend the inauguration in person, I was more than thrilled to be able to watch history in the making via a live stream of it from my (significantly warmer) office. It was an amazing event, to be sure. I don't know what was more impressive: the surging croud of more than 2 million people who showed up to celebrate what is hopefully a major turning-point in the history of America, or the moving performances by musical giants like Aretha Franklin and Yo Yo Ma. (I don't care if her hat DID look like a ginormous Christmas present mounted saucily to one side of her head, Aretha Franklin still is and will always be the Queen of Soul). I couldn't think of a performance more fitting to welcome in our new leader.

And then President Obama (oh man, it feels good to write that) spoke. And what a speech it was! Never have I been more hopful for the future of this country. Never have I been so prouud to be an American. I lok at this man - this African American man that MY COUNTRY actually voted for, and for the first time, I believe we can do the impossible. Of course, I don't expect him to work miracles over night, or even over his first term (Obama 2012!!). But he is sure to be an advocate for change and an ongoing representative of what our country could potentially become. And he couldn't have come at a better time.

Mr. President, I think I speak for the vast majority of Americans when I say Welcome to the White House!!! It's been a long, tough journey, but you managed to get there with your dignity, open-mindedness, and intelligence waving like a banner, ushering in a new era of progressiveness, restring hope in all Americans for a better tomorrow. We're all counting on you, and I know you won't let us down.

Rock on, Mr. President. Rock on.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Happy Friday. Lets Go Climb Some Rocks!

It’s my birthday! It’s Friday! Hooray! Two BIG reasons for me to celebrate!

Last night, Brian and I cashed in those two gift certificates for rock-climbing lessons I got at Christmas at Go Vertical in Philly. What an absolute blast! Our lesson was at 7:00, but we were having so much fun we closed out the joint at 10:00. They practically had to kick us out – it was that much fun. Needless to say, I’m a little tired today, but when you have a schizophrenic sense of adventure like mine, sometimes sleep has to play second fiddle to rocking and rolling. Luckily, Brian’s sense of adventure is just as bizarre and insatiable as mine, so we can share these experiences together. At least, until one of us kills ourselves ;-) But then how will we belay? Hmmmm….

At any rate, I recommend rock climbing to…well…just about anybody. It’s a lot less technical and a lot more hands on (pardon the pun) than I would have expected. Essentially, you get a half-hour crash course in how to safely climb and belay your partner (not as complicated as one might expect. Trust me – if I can do it, anybody can do it), and then they set you loose in the gym! As my instructor put it, “unleash your inner monkey.” How did she know I have an inner monkey?!?

So you clip yourself in to the rope, make sure your partner does the same, and up you go. About 5 stories up, to be exact. Unfortunately, I have this fear – well, more like discomfort – of heights that immediately causes my palms to sweat. Sweaty palms and rock climbing do NOT mix. I definitely need to invest in one of those cool pouches o’ chalk I saw the regulars sporting on their belts. Luckily, courses are marked with different colored tape, and rated for difficulty. The easier courses have deeper “thingeys” to grab (I need to find out what the name of those things are), so my sweaty palm syndrome wasn’t a big deal.

And when we were resting our tired bodies, we got to sit back and watch the experts dominate the wall, hanging upside down with nothing but technical skill, physical prowess, and an inhuman grip (I would NOT want to play thumb-war with these folks). It was really spectacular. We would look up and marvel and say “I want to be where THAT GUY is.” Really spectacular stuff. I mean – I always knew rock climbing was physically challenging, but seeing these guys expertly make their way across the wall in a way that would put Spiderman to shame really gave me a whole new appreciation for the sport of rock climbing.

I’ve pretty much decided that there are too many cool things to do in life. Work is really starting to interfere with my intense desire to participate in all things active and semi-dangerous. Between hiking, camping, horseback riding, kayaking, snowboarding, kick boxing, rock climbing, and any other hobby I may pick up, there really isn’t time for a 9-5 job. I need to win the lottery, like, now. In the meantime, I guess I’ll have reserve these activities for evenings and weekends only. Does that make me a Weekend Warrior? Maybe more like a Weekend Spaz, but I’ll take it. Anything is better than sitting in front of the TV. Anything.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Almost 27

Don't worry, I’m not going to make this a lament about being a year closer to the dreaded age of 30. In fact, I just read a forum posting by a girl who was about to turn 22 and was convinced that her life was over because she felt so old, and I really just wanted to reach through the computer screen and smack her “fresh-from-a-night-of-binge-drinking-at-the-frat house” face.

Give me a break.

Twenty-two is not old. Christ, when I was 22, I was still getting used to the fact that I had to work 5 days a week in order to feed, clothe, and house myself. But 27 isn’t old either. In fact, it’s quite young, and I’m happy to say that as I enter my 27th year, I’m finding the later twenties to be quite pleasant: At this age, I consider myself to be slightly less poor and less stupid than I was when I was 22. And that’s an accomplishment. For example, now that I'm (almost) 27, I know how to:

File for a marriage licence
File for divorce
File my tax return
Jumpstart a car
Replace a sump pump
Host a dinner party
Ask for a raise
Drink in moderation
Wake up at a reasonable hour, even on weekends

Hell, I didn’t know how to do ANY of that stuff when I was 22.

Granted, a few lessons had to be learned the hard way. For example, if you’re thinking “I wonder how THIS is gonna turn out” on the way to the wedding chapel, it’s probably not a good idea to get married (more than likely, it’ll turn out in a worst-case-scenario kind of way. Trust me on this one). But I really don’t (or at least try my hardest not to) regret a single bump in the road. At 27, I can say with confidence that I’m completely comfortable in my own skin. And in my mind, that kind of comfort was not given, but earned through a series of obstacles and challenges that left me flat on my face on more than one occasion. Hey, that’s life, right? Every time you can get up, dust yourself off, and make a mental note to not do that again, you’re one step closer to being wise…or, at least, less stupid.

So I propose a toast to 27! Here’s to a year where I’m slightly less stupid, slightly more wealthy, and a heck of a lot better at just being me. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Trip of a Lifetime

As many of you know (isn’t it cute when I act like people actually read my blog?), Brian has been dangling a mystery birthday/Valentine’s day trip in front of me since August of last year. His original plan was to keep quiet up to the moment we left, even going so far as to pack for me. Luckily, since that time, he’s come to realize that it doesn’t matter HOW well you know your girlfriend, it’s always better that they pack for themselves, lest you forget something important (e.g., contacts, feminine products, razors, pantyhose…the list goes on and on).

Realizing this unfortunate fact of life, he then decided to reveal our destination and itinerary on my birthday, seeing as the trip IS a birthday present and all. And I really have to hand it to him – he ALMOST made it. Almost. I eventually got it out of him last night, after several glasses of wine and a lame attempt at seduction that turned into a wedgie fight (wine is fun).

Apparently, we’re going to Quebec! But that’s just the start of it.

Our first two nights will be spent in one of only two ice hotels in existence, the Hotel de Glace! Freaking incredible!!!! This place boasts an outdoor thermal spa, custom-carved rooms with one-of-a-kind ice artwork (of course, Brian managed to get us a suite, because he’s just that awesome), a restaurant, and even a bar where they serve your drinks in glasses made of ice! At night, you sleep on a bed of ice in a Big-Mamba-Jamba sleeping bag designed to withstand temperatures of -30 degrees F. And get this – during the day, we’ll be dog-sledding. DOG-SLEDDING! Who freaking does that?

After our stay in the ice hotel, we’ll be heading to Quebec to attend the city’s 400th Winter Festival. I’ve heard it’s off the hook. Lots of partying and ice sculptures and canoe races and the like. In between we’ll have a cozy hotel room and several great meals at Quebec’s finest restaurants.

Unbelievable. I’m speechless (well, not really, because I just wrote a blog about it, but you know what I mean).

I’d post pics of the hotel and festival, but the stupid internet filter here at work says that’s a no-no, so maybe tonight when I get home? Aaahh, who am I kidding. I never go on the computer at home. You’ll have to Google it or something.

And now? Well, since the trip is my Valentine ’s Day present, I need to do something for Valentine’s day that will truly express how grateful I am for this awesome guy who manages to put up with my shenanigans. Time to put the ole’ thinking cap on. Suggestions are appreciated…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Snowboarder Extraordinarre

First of all, can I just say that the picture above is the most ridiculous thing I've ever created? This, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent of my "photoshop" skills. I know...there are no words...just look downward and shake your head in pity and shame. It's okay, I don't mind - I'm doing it for myself as I'm writing this.
Second of all, I'm not one to toot my own horn - well, who am I kidding, I LOVE to toot my own horn - but can I just take a second to say that I am completely in love with snowboarding, and I think it loves me back a little?

This past Sunday we were off to Blue Mountain for "Snowboarding Part 2: Twilight Edition" (no, not "teenage vampyre" twilight, actual "time-of-day" twilight). It was even more awesome than last time, and over the course of about 10 runs, I went from "able to heel-slide down the slope without falling down" to "kicking out that hind foot and carving the slope like a pro." At least, that's how it went in my mind, but I have a wonderfully supportive boyfriend who also claims that I'm a quick study, as well as a powder hottie (thanks for the confidence boost, babe!)

Of course, faster speeds mean harder falls. Much harder. Not only does that result in sore bums and bruised knees, but - and maybe this is not a shared experience - when I'd hit the ground, all that snot that I'd been sniffing back would be expelled in a giant exhale...all over my face. The really interesting falls would result in a combination of snow being thrown in my face as my momentum hurled me down the mountain PLUS the aforementioned snot shower. I'd finally slide to a halt, my face covered in an icy mess of nose-juice and powder.
I would then sit there, grinning like an idiot, attempting to wipe the snot/snow mixture from my face, absolutely convinced that heaven comes in the form of a snow-covered 45-degree pitch and a plank of polyethylene. My butt, on the other hand, is convinced that snowboarding is the devil's plaything and should be banned forever. Sometimes my butt and I disagree. It happens. Luckily, my butt has no veto rights. I have made an executive decision to declare myself (butt included) a snowboard junkie. Let the boarding begin! Hip Hip Hooray!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Deep Thoughts

Brought to you by ROFLrazzi...

Truer words were never spoken....

Happy weekend, everybody!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why did I just do that?

Bad ideas for a Thursday afternoon, in sequential order:

1. Going on the forum on my lunch break

2. Clicking on the "Horses and Ponies for Sale/Lease" thread

3. Finding several attractive and affordable jumper prospects

4. Emailing the owner to see if the horses are still for sale

5. Starting a thread titled "Looking for work-for-board situation"

Commence daydreaming.

Now, someone please tell me why I just did that? Granted, owning a horse has been a life-long dream since I was about…um…7 years old. The problem with horseback riding is that it is, if you’ll pardon my French, undoubtedly the most f*cking expensive sport in the world. It’s one of the few sports where you have to continuously feed (and likewise clean up the excrement of) your equipment. Your equipment is also prone to various veterinary disasters including but not limited to colic, bacterial and viral infections, broken limbs, and numerous cutaneous assaults, (thanks to an inherent combination of curiosity and low IQ). Add on that the price of tack, blankets, grooming supplies etc., all tailored for a class of individuals with unlimited disposable income and a penchant for monogramming, and you’ve got a hobby that will suck the financial life out of you faster than you can say “Custom-made, hand-stitched, Italian leather bridle.”

Horseback riding is also beyond time-consuming, especially if you do it the right way. These guys need exercise a minimum of twice a week to keep them sane, but more like 3- or 4- times a week if you want to keep them athletic. Exercising them takes an hour. Grooming and tacking them up takes half an hour. Untacking them and putting them out takes half an hour. And then there’s clean-up and commute time. We’re talking several hours a day, 2 to 5 days a week. Once you own a horse, you’re a horse-owner. That’s it. There’s very little time to be an author or a fitness fanatic or a violinist or anything else that might take up significant time to achieve, at least for us working folk. In other words, it's one of the biggest commitments you'll make in your life, and it's to a 1,000 lb partner that usually doesn't have the sense god gave a doorknob.

So if this entry sounds like a giant argument for why NOT to buy a horse…well…that’s the point of it. I’m trying to talk myself out of buying a horse by listing the various reasons that I could find myself eyeball-deep in shit, both literally and metaphorically speaking. But the problem with this approach is that I’ve been reciting this list in my head for years now, and every time I do it I find myself to be less convincing.

There will always be a myriad of reasons why I shouldn’t buy a horse. There will always be other places where the money would be better off going, and there will always be other things in life that are more worthy of my time. And yet, day after day, week after week, month after month, I dream of breaking and training and riding on my own terms – not on the terms of some client who is paying me, and not on the terms of some owner who is throwing me a pity ride. So who knows what will happen. Will there always be a reason to not buy a horse? Absolutely. But sometimes you gotta ignore your head and go with your heart. And my heart is telling me to get my butt back in the saddle – MY saddle - where it belongs.


THIS is one of the horses that's for sale. 4 years old, and drop dead GORGEOUS. Priced at $2200. Repeat after me....I don't need a horse...I don't need a horse...I don't need a horse...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Funny

I came across this nonsensical-yet-somehow-hilarious comic several months ago and have been a reader ever since. Think Cyanide and Happiness, but more random (if that's possible).

Shanking will always hold a special place in my heart <3

Monday, January 5, 2009

Owning the Mountain

Okay, well, I may not have "owned" the mountain, exactly, but I did rent it for a few hours and boy did it feel good!!!!!
When I was 14 I went on a several-day snowboarding trip with a well-to-do friend and her family (you tend to meet those people when you're immersed in the horse world). Now, I don't remember much about the trip, but I do remember this:

The first time down the mountain, I went down on my butt. I couldn't stand on the damn thing, let alone commense any sort of snowboarding-like activity. I fell and I fell and I fell. And then when I fell again I realized I was only half way down to the bottom, and I was exceedingly unhappy, not to mention in a lot of pain. When i finally reached the bottom, having aborted the board and choosing instead to walk the last 50 yards, my friend convinced me to go back up. To this day, I don't know how she managed it, because I was beyond frustrated with the sport, and more than ready to call it a day. But up we went to the top of the slope, and set off for another painful descent. I stood up and swung my arms to steady myself. And clicked. I wasn't freestyling or anything, but I could stay up. And I could move. And I could steer, just a little bit. And I was in love. Snowboarding just felt...right.

But that love was short-lived. I never went back, although I had dreams of zooming down snowy peaks on a pretty regular basis. That is - I never went back...until this weekend. Thanks to the generous gifts I received at Christmas, I needed only a snowboard and boots and I was ready to roll. Would I remember what to do? Could one possibly pick up where one left off after a 14-year hiatus? I purchased a snowboarding lesson, but it didn't start for an hour. So....only one way to find out. Up we went to the top of the bunny slope, where I tumbled from the ski lift, strapped myself into my board, and stood up to see what would happen. A few minutes later, I was heel sliding with the best of them. Then I was shifting my weight to the front of the board to glide swiftly for a few seconds before halting my descent with another heel slide. Glide, arrest, glide, arrest, I made my way to the bottom of the slope. I was grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. I was in love again!

Over the course of the afternoon, I improved slightly to incorporate occasonal toe turns and slides (a maneuver that scares the ba-jesus out of me because I have to turn my back to the downhill slope). I tried the "alternate" bunny slope, and even attempted a blue course - the next level up to the bunny slope. Granted, by then I was so completely wiped out from my lingering cold that I focused on just getting down rather than challenging myself, but I did it nonetheless. Again, I wasn't freestyling or breaking the sound barrier, but I was happier than a pig in shit. It just felt...right.

I hope to go back many more times before this season is through. Brian is an avid skiier and is thrilled that I'm enjoying being on the mountain as much as he does. And me? Well, I think I just found another way to enjoy the great outdoors.

Up next is rock climbing. I have the shoes, and I have the gift certificates - let's see if it suites me as well as the powder does:-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting 2009 Off With A (Cliche) Bang

As a rule, I don’t believe in “New Year’s Resolutions.” Personally, I think that self-improvement should be an ongoing activity, not something to be highlighted once a year and forgotten as soon as that box of Valentine’s Day chocolate rolls around. However, I DO believe that the new year is a great time to reflect on the current status of your body, mind and soul, and make tune-ups where appropriate. The following actions have fallen a bit by the wayside in past months, and I will take this moment to highlight them, with the hopes of re-establishing some habits that are sure to improve my overall well-being.

1. Playing outside, despite the conditions. Although I cringe to write this, I fear I’ve become more of a fair-weather outdoor activist than I’d like to admit. Despite the fact that my tent, sleeping bag, and gear are designated for “3-season” use, the coldest temperature encountered on my most recent backpacking trip was a balmy 65, and yes, I was in the (general) northeast area of the country. Maybe it’s the new fireplace we had inserted, or maybe it’s the lull of a temperpedic bed covered in a down comforter, but whatever the reason, my personal “call of the wild” has been replaced by the “call of all things toasty and warm.” Even the incidence of Drunk Canoeing, a popular pastime at our household, has decreased considerably. Sadness. Luckily, the gifts I received at Christmas included an MP3 player, a plethora of ski-gear and long underwear, and rock climbing shoes and lessons; all items that encourage one to embrace the outdoors on a year-round basis. My desire to get outdoors has suddenly increased tremendously, and for my own health, as well as the health of those around me, I’d better get my butt back where it belongs…on the side of a mountain.

2. Flossing. I know I should floss more. It keeps my teeth cavity-free, makes my gums happy, and takes all of 60 seconds to perform, but for some reason, my little round container of floss is getting dust on it. I guess it’s hard to floss when you’re sleepy, and since I brush my teeth in a constant state of sleepiness (early in the morning or before bed), it sits, collecting dust. This is unacceptable. My gums are sad.

3. Cooking and baking. The act is fraught with peril, and the results are unpredictable at best. So is it any wonder that dinner is more and more consisting of cereal, PB&J, canned soup, and take-out? But like many things in life, irony is that the more you cook and bake, the less perilous and more predictable (and enjoyable) it becomes. So I shall restock my pantry with fresh ingredients from the store and dive anew into the world of controlled heat and chemical reactions with the aim of creating delicious, wholesome, well-balanced meals. An of course, if a few desserts get thrown into the mix (pardon the pun), I suppose I’ll just have to eat those as well. Again, Father Christmas has generously provided me with the tools I need – a brand-spankin-new bread machine. Mmmmmm….fresh warm bread…..*drool

4. Writing that damn book. I keep saying to myself, “as soon as I buy a laptop, I’m going to begin writing my book.” But financing a divorce – especially one that seems to get messier by the day – has left little cash left over for personal, mobile computers. At the rate I’m going, buying a laptop is probably going to make my 2010 list (if I’m lucky). Lest I procrastinate another year, I’m going to have to start writing my book, laptop be damned. I’ve got a laptop at work, and a somewhat functional PC at home, and that’s just going to have to do. And on that note…

5. Getting that damn tattoo. I’ve spent a good 6 months envisioning my tattoo in my head and I’m still pretty happy with it. Sure, I could spend another year contemplating the design and worrying that I’m making a mistake that will haunt me for a lifetime, but that’s not really in the spirit of getting a tattoo, is it? I’m not suggesting drinking six shots of tequila and getting a loony tunes character tattooed on your ass or anything, but I think you eventually reach a point where you have to stop worrying about how you’ll feel 50 years from now and just DO IT ALREADY. Hey, that’s what youth is for, right? But at the advice of Aunt Sarah, I’ll definitely be sure to put it on a place that won’t get “gross and saggy.” And no, it's not the tattoo in the picture (althought that tattoo is pretty bad-ass)

I’m sure there is more I could do to improve my life. I am undoubtedly a “work in progress” and hope to be so until the day I die. But I figure this is a good start. I mean, what could be better than fresh air, healthy food, self-expression, and good oral hygiene? Well, I’m off to start improving myself via the above activities….well, actually, I’m off to continue writing this newsletter on cytomegalovirus. But AFTER THAT, I’m off to improve myself.