When Drama Happens, Pull on Your Boots

Earlier this week there was a bit of kerfuffle in the M/M community (I know, surprise, right?). My original post today was going to be about my frustration with people, in general, who are uninvolved with something, yet feel free to state their opinion/beliefs (generally unasked). I mean, obviously people are allowed to state their opinion about things whenever, but I just find it happening so often on social media, that it feels like it’s only there to stir the waters and make people angry–often about something they don’t have all the facts on, if the person is being vague in their spouting.

Today’s post (ironically) was going to be my opinion on people keeping their opinions to themselves. On how people need to just kinda sit down and shush sometimes. That we don’t have to scream our thoughts from the rooftops every time something comes up.

Then I decided I’d rather not. (Well, not more than I just said.) What’s the point of getting angry. Instead, I give you cat picture.

This is Lily. She’s sort of a barn/house indoor/outdoor cat. She’s a love muffin and every time I have to go to the fields by the house where she reigns, she stops by to say hi and beg rubs. Unlike some cats, who beg rubs and then attack you completely unprovoked when they’ve reached max rub, Lily just walks away.

And I didn’t really realize this when I was originally planning on posting, but Lily is doing something we could all learn from. Absorb the love while it’s there and when you’ve had enough or are no longer enjoying it, Walk away. There’s no need to make a fuss. (Look at me bringing it back around. Don’t expect the same for all of these :P)

My Monday ride was kind of crummy. The weather was gorgeous and cool. Unfortunately, the horse was in a bad mood from the beginning, and while lately he seemed to have settled down and be doing okay, on Monday he’d returned to his insane self. To say that my ride was not stellar is accurate. It may have been related to the level of stress I was feeling. Maybe the horse knew. Maybe I was just already on edge. It wasn’t a good combination, whatever it was.

On Wednesday, however, when summer finally decided to show itself and make it hot, the horses were good. First was Dish, the quarter horse I’ve been exercising for a friend, and we’ve been making some nice advancements in our ride, but today was just great. She had good energy, I was positioned right, and things just clicked.

Part of it, I’m sure, is that she was feeling good and energetic and like she didn’t want to challenge me at every turn. But I also feel like the work we’ve done together has give us this progress. I kept my legs stretched down, I sat up straight, I didn’t lean forward, and I was there to give cues when she needed them.

A good ride is a tenuous thing, because you know that the next ride can always be horrible (see previous horse mentioned). But it also makes you feel like master of the world. Because you managed to get in sync with a half-ton animal, get it to do what you wanted, and both of you ended up happier for it (because they don’t really like when you get pissy with them either). So being able to connect with the animal and advance in your personal goals/skills, is amazing. And because it’s a physical sport, the results of the victory are also physical: sometimes that means you’re energized, sometimes that means you’re exhausted, but you still have a grin on your face. (Sort of like when writing a huge emotional scene.)

After I finished my ride, circumstances were such that I could ride another horse, a sweet, dead quiet mare whose owner rarely comes to the barn and never rides. The only exercise this horse gets is when she’s (sometimes) ridden from the field she stays at to the barn for the day. It’s a 5-10 minute ride.

I wasn’t really planning on giving this horse a hard ride, just plod around while waiting for someone else to get done, so I just threw on a bridle and rode bareback (well, I used a bareback pad because she has bony whithers, but mostly bareback!). I only did walking and jogging (she has loping issues), but it was another good ride. Nothing magical, but it was nice to get this girl moving and working. And I ended up working her for a lot longer than I’d planned.

Of course, that means I dismounted and my legs are like Jello-O and I ended up getting home a lot later than I wanted.

But horses, man. This is what it’s all about.

And the Days March On

The past week (since Sunday) has been very sad, and I’ve mostly been removing myself from social media, because knowing the harsh realities is one thing, but the barrage of information is overwhelming. Constantly thinking about those who have suffered, the ongoing problems in our country, and fearing for yourself and friends and all your brothers and sisters…is overwhelming. My heart is sad and I’m mourning and I feel helpless. But I’ve also worked hard to continue living my life and BEING ME. 
Which, you know, means riding horses. This is me doing a selfie with Khade. (He has some strange Arabian breed name but everyone calls him Khade.) Like most Arabians, his deck is short a few cards. He’s old enough to know better, but OMG DID THAT LEAF JUST MOVE I THINK IT DID – WHY ARE YOU ON THE GROUND?
His training (whatever it was) before we got him didn’t really help this, as far as we can tell. He has a lot of neurosis (when he’s nervous, he HAS to touch his nose to his knee and give it a rub). He’s also physically unbalanced and his back muscles are weak on the right side, so the rider tends to list to the right. 
This summer I’m riding him once a week and another girl is riding him too. She’s a much better/skilled/experienced/confident rider than I am, but between the two of us, he seems to be making a lot of improvement in a lot of different ways!
Wednesday I ride the quarter horse named Dish, and she’s less stressful in being nervous, but she takes a lot more leg/seat than Khade. But she’s also helping me learn things and improve my riding, which is helping when I ride Khade, so it all works out. Those two sure are different, but I’m having a lot of fun switching back and forth. I love a challenge!
And that was the first half of my week. Lots of horses and riding and being connected to the community and nature. It was great.
I’ve also been thinking about switching to a different blogging site, because Blogger just doesn’t feel like it’s really satisfying my needs anymore. There’s a lot I like about Blogger, but there’s so much social media posting that other sites do FOR you (rather than me linking to a billion places) that I’m really tempted. Just a heads-up. I will of course spread the word far and wide 😉
Finally, I’m planning something for my birthday toward the end of August, so keep an eye open for that!

Well, least there’s corn on the cob?

This week has been very up and down.

Up: I ordered my friend’s birthday present early enough that it might arrive on time.
Down: I spent Sunday at a family reunion, which in itself isn’t bad, but not how I want to spend the whole day (most of it in a car).
Up: I hit my editing goal and I think I added some good emotion development to a scene.
Down: I didn’t have time to write much last weekend.
Up: My meals have been very yummy. Summer corn on the cob. Mmm.
Down: I got kind of a downer email at work and I’m obsessing on it.
Up: I got to eat KFC on Sunday.
Down: My diet didn’t do well this weekend >.<
Up: I had a really good ride on Sunday and an OK one today
Down: I may not be able to move tomorrow 😀

We’ve been having temperatures in the 80s, but with the storms that moved in last night and today, our high today was barely in the 60s. And it was windy. And slippery from the rain. So we went on a trail ride (the ring wasn’t a mess), me on the quarter horse I’m working with and a young woman on a crazy Arabian (the one I rode on Monday). She’s a better (and more calm/confident) rider. But the winds were high, the horses were spooky, and we rode for two hours when I was expecting one. Nothing bad happened, but it was more tense than I usually like. But it was gorgeous out. Shining sun and not too hot, to say the least. I’m just glad I was on the saner horse.

This is the long-haired barn cat we have at the barn. Yes, a long-haired barn cat. I swear he’s not as pissy as the picture seems to imply. He actually hides in the hayloft most of the time to avoid the dogs. His name’s Alexander and he’s a sweetheart. (You’re getting a picture of him because I didn’t take any on the ride :p)

I won’t be a downer, but…

This week has been difficult for me. I’m not sure if it’s the lessening sunlight hours, the cold, or what, but I’ve been very blue. When I’m focused on something (reading, exercising, putting up my Solstice tree), I’m okay, cheerful even. But if I sit and think, or sit to write, I become rather maudlin. I’m trying to ignore it (the whole logic of “If you smile, it makes you happy”), but sometimes it’s more difficult than others.

So, to say the least, my writing has been stilted. I get a few words out at work, but nothing much. Frustrating. In addition, I keep thinking over the novel I finished and I am terrified of going back to it in January. The more I think on it, the more I think it’s no good at all, and I question if I want it associated with my pen name. I’m hoping when I go back to read it, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But I suppose my confidence in my writing is a little lacking.

On the other hand, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Possibly too much. I have a document full of reviews to post, many of which are shorter than I normally would deem acceptable. But in a week and a half I read almost two complete series (I’m working on finishing the one, and the other I’m holding off, because I enjoy it and want to reward myself at some later date). Maybe if I post some of the reviews I’ll feel less overwhelmed.

My netbook is still broken and my monitor may or may not be glitching. It could just be my brain being tired. I’m not sure which, but if my monitor breaks, I may just throw a tantrum. I think it’d be good to relieve some of the pressure in my skull.

To keep from being too depressing, I’ll end on some of the more positive things in life.

I’ve been riding on weekends still, all bundled up. I really hate the cold, but its a little bearable on the back of a horse. There is Christmas Caroling on Horseback this Sunday, which is always fun and spirited.

I’m mostly done my holiday shopping. Technically I have some small things I should buy to even out the expenses, but I’m done all my major purchases. Which is good because my credit card is worn out. (Look a joke!) I really had fun doing my shopping this year, and I’m a little sad it’s done, because it was keeping me in the spirit of things.

I think that’s it. Unless something interesting happens, I probably won’t post again until after Christmas.

Oh! One last thing: I’m considering taking up the habits of a fellow blogger and doing a list of improvements to work on over the year. We’ll see how I feel about it in four weeks.

Just thought I’d drop by

I realize I haven’t posted anything in a while…and I have (good) reason. [You can’t judge whether it’s a good reason once I’m through.]

Books

This morning I realized (and it’s what catapulted this entry), that I’m reading a very odd collection of books right now. First off The Art of Happiness, which is an interview with the Dalai Lama about finding happiness in life (mostly through compassion, so far). Going hand in hand with that is Sex God, which isn’t about sex as much as you’d think, but more about relationships and connecting with people (I’m drawing plenty of parallels between these two books).

Finally, I’m reading Deflowered, which is autobiography of Jon Ginoli (lead singer of Pansy Division), but is really telling about the creation, growth and life story of the band (with sporadic mention of when he gets laid). I’m not normally an autobiography-reading person, but I love PD and my friend said it was worth a gander. I’m just over halfway through (at which point I bought my own copy so I’d stop abusing my friend’s autographed one), and while it’s not good enough that I need to gobble it all up (too much band politics for me sometimes), I’m surprised how much I’m enjoying it.

So, I’m reading a Buddhist book about happiness, a Christian book about sex, and a queer book about music.

Freetime

Some people have mentioned that I seem to be a bit busy and unable to get things done that I should be getting done (like responding to discussion about books). What’s keeping me so darn busy?

First off, with spring comes romance…haha…no, with spring comes more riding time! I try to get out twice during the week and twice during the weekend, so it pretty much doubles the time I spend at the barn during the winter, plus, I’m more likely to hang around and help out, since I’m not cold and miserable.

Second, spring also brings about people wanting to have social lives. Aside from my normal Friday night gathering, my Saturdays are also sometimes filled with people being social.

Finally, words. Although I have three books listed as what I’m reading, that doesn’t count the other books I pick up randomly, the short stories I read online, the not-so-short stories I read online, and my own writing. Maybe not good excuses, but I enjoy participating in those, so :P.

Conclusion

I probably didn’t do a real good job of convincing anyone I’ve been particularly busy. But life just kinda happens, you know?

PS: Buddhism doesn’t make comment about homosexuality or anything, just says “To refrain from committing sexual misconduct.” So there is some freedom there, on exactly what that means. Of course, sex is a hinderance to enlightenment, so you should be avoiding it anyway…but moving on. The 14th Dalai Lama (current) said in 1997: “even with your own wife, using one’s mouth or the other hole is sexual misconduct.” Of course, this is just one man’s opinion, but he’s kinda a big deal. Of course, he says nothing about two guys loving one another (in the piece I found) but just no sex.

More Snow, Seriously?

As if the two feet we currently have sitting outside weren’t enough…more snow. This is only a few inches, so it’s nothing to write home about (but is enough to blog about, it seems). I feel like we’ve had more snow in February than we have had in the past two years.

In other news, my Chinese New Year party on Saturday went swimmingly. Although not everyone could make it due to snow/rescheduled flights, everyone who attended got along well enough and the food turned out edible, always a worry when you’re the one cooking. The downside is I’m still washing dishes from it, but that’s okay. I had a blast and I really am happy I followed through and didn’t have a panic attack.

Sunday, the day that shall not be name, was fine. I had a sweetheart ride with my sweetie and then napped. After baking brownies and cookies, I went to KFC with my parents and gave them their gifts. It was very laid back but highly enjoyable. Small things in life and all that jazz.

My sweetie.

On Riding, Deodorant, and Life

This has been quite the week. Nothing of particular interest happened to me, but the world around me seems to be having bad luck!

At my barn 1. a woman was kicked by a horse which cut open her leg and broke her patella 2. my riding instructor broke her arm when a horse bucked and hit her 3. a worker was in a car accident. I’m a little afraid to go back!

My last several days have been looking at all the back entries at http://www.postsecret.com. I think I’m going to send something in. Or several somethings. It’s weird when you’re reading them and you’re like “someone else is too…” (I especially like the people who write in “I’m 27 and a virgin” because it makes me feel a little less alone). What’s weird is thinking about what secrets I’d share–and realizing it has to be the one secret that I need to share.

I think I love Degree deodorant. I haven’t given it a full test, but so far, I smell like me in the morning, not OMGMETAKEASHOWER.

Why do we keep secrets?