I’m still learning how to be in charge

My riding lesson with Tigger last week was pretty bad.  Lessons like that are certainly instructive for me (not fun, but helpful), but Tigger was being a jackass even when Wendy was in charge.  At least it wasn’t just me.  He didn’t do anything new (and I didn’t fall off) – he did the same old refusing to stay along the wall, veering off in the wrong direction thing, and all my leaning back and yanking the other direction (to Wendy’s shouted instructions) did nothing.  Over and over and over again.  At the point in the lesson where I would normally start cantering, I told Wendy that I wasn’t feeling terribly confident about that part and while normally I would try not to let my lack of confidence get in the way, maybe we could skip that part…?  She had already come to that conclusion, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

He continued to be a pain in the ass, though, so eventually Wendy switched out his normal bit for something called a pelham bit, which is more restrictive.  I’ve looked it up, but there are so many variations (and I don’t know what kind of bit we were using before) that I don’t really know what’s different about it.  EXCEPT THAT IT TOTALLY WORKED.  From the second Wendy put that thing on him, he behaved for me.  It was great (considering that we started the jumping portion of the lesson after that), and since Wendy thinks he’s going through a phase, we’re going to keep using that bit for a while.  So on the one hand, I’ll have to be careful and gentle with the reins (which I need to be better at anyway, so this will be good for me), but on the the other hand, I won’t have to fight him so much.  Yay!

Then someday we’ll switch back to the gentler bit and he’ll take his revenge, but that’s Future Me’s problem.

Mostly not-good smells

My nose was more in tune with my surroundings today, probably as a precursor to the allergies I can see waiting in the wings.

In my kitchen, there are banana peels in the trash can.  I love bananas, but only while I’m eating them.  I don’t want to smell them before or after and heaven help the person who brings a banana into my car.  I’ve got two days’ worth of coffee grounds in the trash, too, but they seem to be losing the odor battle.

Also in the kitchen, in the early afternoon, there’s occasionally the smell of tuna.  It’s awful.  John has been making tuna salad for lunch nearly every day, and I know he rinses out the can even before he eats, but I think some days the tuna water doesn’t make it all the way down the drain right away.  Ugh.

In yoga today, the woman next to me was wearing a light perfume.  It was vaguely flowery, but still very much a perfume, and it was too much for an hour supposed to be spent in deep breathing.

The great outdoors tried to make it all up to me.  It’s spring, trees are blossoming, and people are doing yardwork.  The combination of some fragrant flower, newly cut grass, and the gas mower doing the cutting smelled fantastic.  I’d buy a candle that smelled like that.

Still trying to do too much

I signed up for another thing.  I couldn’t help myself.  I joined the Legislative Task Force committee within our chapter of NOW.  I am going to try to keep my participation to a minimum, though.  Really.  I mean it.

And now, after talking my head off at that meeting, I have no more words.  I’m going to devote my brainpower to my book.  Book club is next Tuesday, so I need to get cracking.

Keeping score

  • I found out that a coworker I already like reads fantasy novels.  Plus.
  • I called out sick last night so I could sleep in a little today.  I slept until nine and then worked 5 hours.  That is my perfect work day.  Plus.
  • I went for a 4.8-mile walk with John today.  Plus.
  • It was chilly and it rained on us the whole time.  Minus.
  • Going for a walk despite the rain and chill is another step in becoming a Real Oregonian.  Plus.

Today: four pluses, one minus.  Overwhelmingly positive.  It was a good day.

 

Catharsis

Watched The Iron Giant for the first time last night.  Cried a ton.  Watched Logan tonight.  Cried a little.  So what’s up for tomorrow?  Old Yeller?  Steel Magnolias?  Up?  Oh, no – Beaches?

For anyone wondering, though, we really liked Logan.  Violent as hell, but it’s a really good Wolverine movie.

Hush please

You know the noise you make when you’re relieved and you sigh?  Or maybe you feel refreshed and you sigh audibly?  Vocally.  You know?

DON’T DO IT IN YOGA CLASS.

And that other noise you make when you stretch really long first thing in the morning or after sitting in one position too long?  A sort of pleased moan or groan?

DON’T DO IT IN YOGA CLASS.

I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying yourself, and I agree, yoga DOES feel good, BUT KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, PLEASE.  This is my quiet time.  Except for the instructor’s guidance, I can pretend I’m all alone.  Your happy noises make that difficult.

That is all.

Spring has sprung

John and I were walking in the park this afternoon, chatting, enjoying ourselves, and then he nudged me hard in the upper arm.  I lost my balance and windmilled a bit to keep from landing in the muddy grass, and DUDE. I barely tapped you on the arm. Overreacting much? (or some such) went through my head.  I didn’t fall on the grass, I did get my feet under me on the sidewalk, and then John yelled, “No, SNAKE!”  You would have been SO impressed by my high-stepping prancing moves.  I leaped OVER the teeny tiny TERRIFYING snake that I was thisclose to stepping on and landed on the far side of the path.  Then I came back to look.  Now maybe it was more scared of me that I was of it, but if it had made any sudden movements I would have been up a tree.

I’d like to show you what it looked like, but I didn’t take a picture of it, and there’s no way in hell I’m googling snakes.  I don’t google bugs, either.  I don’t need those images in my brain.

Soggy

I suspect I failed my Real Oregonian test today.  It started out well.  I decided to go for a run instead of to the gym because it was only raining a little and it seemed likely to stop.  And it was 60 degrees out, so running in a little rain would be practically pleasant.  I could pretend I was a serious runner – a little rain won’t hold me back.  Less than a mile in, it started to come down a little steadier.  I ducked under a kiosk for a few minutes, but it didn’t get better.  Runners and walkers and other hardy folk went by me, and I decided to suck it up and keep going.  Then, of course, it turned into real rain.  Still not a driving rain (that’s pretty unusual), but steady and soaking.  I ducked under a bridge to wait it out – surely that wouldn’t last.  Packs of runners went by with disdainful looks at the tourist (that I may have been imagining).  Dog walkers gave me a wide berth – my prissiness might be contagious.

The message was clear: Real Oregonians don’t hide from the rain under bridges.

I was watching the rain hit the canal, and after a few minutes where it actually really did come down hard, I couldn’t see drops in the water anymore, so I hit the path.  Yeah, I was wrong.  It was still raining, but now it was a heavy mist.  Too light to see it hit the ground, but plenty wet enough to soak through my clothes and get in my eyes and make it hard to see.  Sneaky rain.

By the time I got home, dripping water, it was time to turn around and go to yoga, where the studio was so warm ACTUAL STEAM was rising from my damp clothes.

The hot shower I took tonight seemed almost unnecessary.  No.  It was necessary.

Early bedtimes are a must this week

I am sore and tired and sore and tired and sore and tired and can I have another day off please?  Yesterday’s workout caught up to me this morning.  I was going to go to a 9:15 yoga class this morning, but I could barely lift my arms over my head and that would have made yoga difficult.  Also, any balancing would have been just impossible because I’m SO TIRED I can’t see straight.  John had a gig last night, and it went late, and then it went later, and then they finally took the stage, and then it was even later because Daylight Saving Time started last night, so it was 3:30 in the morning before I crawled into bed.  Stupid spring forward.  Yoga at 9:15 didn’t have a chance.

So it’s 8:15 on a Sunday night, which technically should feel like 7:15 on a Sunday night, but as far as I’m concerned it feels like midnight on a Sunday night and I really need to be sleeping.

I miss my boxing class

I picked up my boxing workout today for the first time in a year – no exaggeration – and it showed.  I have a 30-minute audio track of a guy calling combos for 2-minute rounds, with a minute of rest in between.  (I have another half-hour track for 3-minute rounds, but I am nowhere near ready for that right now.)

On the plus side, I still remember the combos.  I don’t have to think before throwing punches.  On the minus side, everything else.

  • I’d forgotten how to wrap my hands.  I figured it out again after I got back home.
  • My punches are sloppy.
  • I’ve forgotten how to hit quick and draw back, so the bag was swinging like crazy, like I was pushing it (which is bad).
  • After every single round, I spent the first half of the rest minute sucking in air.  I felt like I sprinted each 2-minute round for half an hour.
  • AND, judging by how my right pinky hurts, I’ve forgotten how to properly twist my right arm on a right cross so as NOT to damage that sad little finger.
  • And let’s not pretend I’ve remembered how to move and duck and block.  I might remember how, but I didn’t have any energy to spare for it today.

I have work to do, but it felt SO GOOD.  This is work I’m happy to be doing.

Don’t bring me down

Let’s play a game:

Optimistic or Naive?

1. I ordered a t-shirt.  The tracking information indicates it’ll arrive by 8pm today.  Do I think it will?  Of course I do!

A. Optimistic?
B. Naive?

2. I ordered mouse pads from Amazon.  They’re being shipped by a company from China.  They never arrived.  I contacted the seller, and they responded immediately and said they would ship again.  Do I think I’ll get those mouse pads?  Of course I do!

A. Optimistic?
B. Naive?

3. I travel plenty.  For the most part, my plans take off and arrive on time, I don’t miss connections, and my luggage arrives with me.  Do I think that will continue to happen for me?  Sure I do!

A. Optimistic?
B. Naive?

4. Earlier this week, the forecast showed pretty constant rain through the end of Friday.  Today’s forecast shows rain today, but sunshine and a high of 60 degrees for tomorrow (Friday).

Do I  think the weather will be nice tomorrow?  Yes.  Yes, I do!

A. Optimistic?
B. Naive?

Mystery solved

I figured it out!  No, I don’t have a baby chest-burster lost in my skull (thanks, Michelle, for the image – that’ll linger).  I rode today, and when I ride, I wear a helmet.  When I wear a helmet, I put my hair in a ponytail, and the helmet goes on over the base of the ponytail.  Some days I don’t get the placement just right, and midway through my lesson I become aware of this painful pressure in one spot near the base of my skull.  I forget about it as soon as I take the helmet off, relieving the pressure, but apparently that 45 minutes or so of pressure leaves a lasting sensitive spot.  That must have happened last Friday.  I don’t remember that specifically, but I definitely remember that pain from other lessons, so I’m willing to go with this theory.  My odds of survival are better with this theory.

I got the placement of my ponytail right today – no pain, no fear of aliens.  Well, no pain.

When WebMD just doesn’t cut it

The back of my head, at the base, has been sensitive to the touch in one spot for a few days.  I haven’t fallen or smacked my head on the wall or a low ceiling or a car recently (I have to say “recently” – those are all things I have done in the last year).  Not that I remember, anyway.

I guess this is the beginning of the end.  The aliens that burrowed into my brain and have been hiding for years are close to breaking out.  Although why they’d choose to come out the back of my head instead of through my ears or nose like any self-respecting gross killer parasite, I don’t know.  I’m expecting an explosion of bone and brain so, you know, keep your distance if you want to remain unspattered.  I wouldn’t want to be responsible for ruining your favorite outfit.

This is my way of helping others make a difference

I did a thing I haven’t told you about yet, but I can tell you about it now because it’s live.  It’s live and it’s out there and, like, real people can see it, and you know?  It’s pretty cool.

So.

At the first rally I went to at the courthouse, maybe five or six weeks ago, I met a woman who was taking email addresses for the local chapter of NOW.  They had just started up, didn’t even have their officers selected, and they were looking for members.  I went to the monthly meeting four weeks ago, and before I knew it, I had volunteered to be their tech person.

So.

In the last month, I have worked with the president of the chapter (the woman who was taking email addresses – more on her some other time) to create and manage the official website of the South Willamette Valley chapter of the National Organization for Women.

I really should just upload the official logo. Instead, this is a picture I took of a banner with the official logo. Please don’t let this affect your opinion of my technical skills.

I am the web master, I am a member of the PR team, and I am a member of the Budget and Finance committee (because, like Mom, I sometimes have a hard time saying no to things).

So.

The website is live as of today (www.swvnow.org), the March monthly meeting is tomorrow night (Monday), and the plan is to tell everyone about it then even though it still has a couple of placeholders.  Don’t tell me if you hate it, do tell me if something is wrong with it, and no, I’m not fishing for compliments.  In fact, let’s just stop talking about it.

Two surprises

Something happened to me that has never happened to me before in Eugene, and has only rarely happened to me in other places we’ve lived.

I saw someone I know out in the wild.

And on top of that, she came over to me first!  My facial person was just leaving the dog park, and she saw me stretching, so she came over to say hi.  And I met her dog.  I’ve said this before, but I almost NEVER run into people I know when I’m just out, and in a year, I’ve never seen anyone I know in Eugene.  I suppose that could be because I hardly know anyone in Eugene, so the odds are against it.  But it was nice!  And only mildly awkward!

So that was surprise #1.  Surprise #2 was this gadget I saw on my way home, one whose inventor was BRILLIANT and should win prizes.

Look, Ma, no training wheels!  The dad was riding slowly ahead on his bike, the little kid was teetering along on his, and the mom was walking behind the kid, ready to grab the handle (which she did a couple of times).

I never liked training wheels.  Too unsteady.  And this is way handier than grabbing the back of the seat, right?  So yeah, I am overcome by the brilliance of this simple idea.

The mighty motormouth

I couldn’t make myself stop talking today.  (Yeah, yeah, you’re a bunch of comedians.)

I talked the ears off people in my work meetings, I asked a ton of questions during my riding lesson, and I kept up a constant stream of chatter directed at Tigger when Wendy wasn’t handy.  I’m usually self-conscious about talking to the horse, which is why the nonstop babbling caught my attention.  I talked to him while catching him, walking him to the stable, grooming him, walking him to the arena, while cooling him off and walking him back to the stable and feeding him treats.  He didn’t toss me today, so I hope that means he appreciated the attention.

It’s more likely I wore him down so much he didn’t have the energy to shake me loose.