Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birds fall from the ledge outside my window

Back in 1993 I had a cheap, little CD with a song on it called Mr. Mastadon Farm about lying in bed watching birds fall from a ledge outside this guys window and how he had to lean forward so he could see them start flying after they fell otherwise his whole life would fall too.  I had a friend who had just started a record company and I played the CD for him and said, "You should sign these guys!"  I swear it was about the only moment of good marketing foresight I've ever had (and ever will have).  Said friend did not sign them and they went on to become pretty big anyway.  And said friend shut down the record company and became an elementary school teacher which is probably a much better use of his talents anyway.  I, on the other hand, never again achieved any more moments of good marketing foresight and I actually think that when it comes to marketing and sales I am cursed and quite possibly the worst person on Earth at it. 

I went out to free lunge Toad today because she needed to get her ya-ya's out.  I love watching her run around free in the arena.  Today she was all over the place and really took off when the barn owner walked by the arena with his stallion.  Apparently, Toadie is in heat because she stuck her tail straight up in the air, then took off at a full gallop across the arena.  Kelsey was watching from the arena door and did some "oooh aaaahs" with me.  I wish I had access to a secured race track so I could just let Toadie run full barrel down a straight away so she could really stretch herself out and let loose.  Our arena isn't big enough for her to really get going.  Kelsey has a Thoroughbred too and said that you can really tell the difference between a Thoroughbred like hers and a Thoroughbred like Toad who was bred and trained to race.  Well, Kelsey can really tell the difference.  I might be able to if I saw her horse and Toad run next to each other.

I was very proud of Toad because after she ran around enough to wear herself out, she calmly walked over to me at the end of the arena where I was standing.  Technically, I was guarding the south gate of the arena because there are horse stalls on the other side and Toad used to like to gallop up to the gate and skid to a stop and bang into the gate, so my job is to guide her during her running and playing to go away from the gate.  She galloped past me a couple times today and all I could do was get out of her way.  Anyway, she walked right up to me and stuck her head against my chest for me to pet her.  I had left her lead rope in the middle of the arena so I turned toward the center of the arena and said, "Come with me Toadie" and used my body language to let her know I wanted her to follow me, and she did! She followed right in back of my right shoulder all the way to the middle of the arena then stopped when I asked her and stood quietly while I put on her lead rope!  She got lots of hugs and praises and kisses on the nose for that!  And of course some carrots.  I'm so proud of how far she's come in the last four months!

I turned Girlfriend out to let her roll and run around and she was so cute - she wasn't amped up as much as she has been so she just went out and cantered in her barrel patterns.  But what was even cuter was that Kelsey and I were standing at the arena gate and Girlfriend was watching us the whole time she was cantering in her figure-eights, as though to ask, "Are you watching me? You're watching, right?"  Then she cantered right up to me, did her little Western quick stop next to me, and lowered her head right under my face and waited for me to give her snuggles and kisses.  I really do have the cutest, snuggliest horses anyone could ever want!

I rushed off after the barn to the school to help my friend who is the art doscent.  That is a cute experience, watching all the different types of art the kids make.  I could never be a teacher thought because there are definitely kids I like and kids I don't like.  Most kids I like unless they're just not very bright.  Isn't that horrible?  There's one kid in the class who has a severe learning disability but I like him just fine.  He still can't read at all but they're working on it and I don't know what his diagnosis is but it's enough that he has and IEP and part-time special ed.  But I like him because despite whatever he's struggling with he's bright and creative.  Of course there are a couple jocks who already play football and are obsessed with it, but they are friendly and very smart about football.  There really are just two boys who bug me and they just aren't very bright and they clown around a lot - but not in cute funny ways, in obnoxious Beavis & Butthead ways, and they don't listen and they just bug me on a visceral level.  This of course makes me feel terribly guilty because they are just seven year old boys. And it's really just the one who really bugs me.  This is why I could not be a teacher.  How do teachers do it?  To be effective they can't possibly not like their students - at least at this age.  Maybe they're all just nicer, more relaxed people than me.

And on a completely different note, my boss has a lot of interesting friends.  One of them is a pepper farmer in Eastern WA who lives outside the Tri-Cities not too far from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.  He made some great homemade Habanero sauce and ghost pepper jelly and all sorts of stuff that he gave to my boss who then brought into the office.  Oddly, I seemed to be the only one that took a bunch of it home.  And the ghost pepper jelly was a hit (well, a hit with my friends from India, Nigeria and Laos ... not so much with the white people).  One of my friends keeps asking when she can get more ghost pepper jelly from Tom's friend so I asked Tom again last week if he could get more and we would pay for it.  Sadly, another one of Tom's interesting friends is Marco Kaltofen and all Tom had to say in answer to the ghost pepper jelly inquiry was "Yeah ... you probably don't want any more of that cause I sent it to Marco to be sampled."  That's all I needed to hear.  But of course, I asked anyway, and there was celenium in it.  So, after letting it glow in our refrigerator for awhile and making jokes about making the most un-P.C.-pepper spray I finally threw the last of the Habanero sauce away today.  And no, I did not dispose of it in the way I probably should've seeing as it is toxic waste.  I just tossed it in the trash.  Ssssshhhh ... don't tell anyone!

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