Monday, March 31, 2008

I'm Not a Total Failure, Dammit...

This past Saturday was a windy day, clearly not best suited for a ride on my trusty steed. However, spring fever has hit me, and hit me hard, and as a result, I was desperate to ride.

Desperation + A Need To Ride + Raging Winds = Horse Not Happy With Wind In His Ears

I headed out on my horse, and now that I'm looking back, I'm thinking, DO YOU SEE HIS DAMN EARS?

Let me tell you something about my horse. I bought him for several reasons. One of those reasons was that, when we met, Zydo was quite sedate. He was quiet, bored, and friendly. I typically break up with people like that, but in this case, the sedate and relatively friendly character I had in mind was a FRICKIN' HORSE, and so these are all qualities to be admired.

About the ears. My horse's ears are not meant to be like clocks in the spring time. I do not want them to spring forward. I'd like to see them lolling lazily at the side of his head, much like people near a pool in the summer time. Lazy. Flipping carelessly through magazines. Contemplating moving, and then realizing how much effort that would take, and so deciding to stay put.

I managed to stay on top of my dancing, prancing, skittering horse for near thirty minutes. And then, as we neared The Ranch once more, planning on looping around and going on our walk once more, terror planted itself firmly in my heart because I DID NOT BUY A HORSE SO THAT I COULD LEARN TO DANCE. (Ironically enough, I do not want a dancing horse, but I have a horse named after a South American dance, the Zydeco. IRONY.)

As soon as I was back at the laneway, I LEAPT off my horse and stood on the ground beside him. My mother was somewhat bewildered when she saw me return beside my horse, instead of planted firmly on top of him. Later, she bemoaned the fact that she got pictures of me leaving, but got no pictures of my graceless return.

I think Zydo was a little confused to be returned to his stall with such haste; he paced for a moment in the doorway, whinnying out at Tia because, HEY! He was having FUN, dammit! But then he realized that his fearful rider was standing beside him in tears, and so he stopped his pacing long enough to let me lean on his shoulder, and I'm sure that he briefly contemplated biting my back fat before he realized that I NEEDED SUPPORT, not a chunk of my ass missing, and so he stood beside me and nuzzled his nose between my shoulder blades.

I did not want my day to be a complete and utter failure: Each time I go out riding, I have specific goals in mind. If I don't complete those goals, I feel like I have failed on a mission, and I need to repair the damage ASAP.

I briefly contemplated tacking up the horse again, going back out, and RIDING past the plastic bale wrap rather than fearfully dancing around it, standing up in my stirrups and praying. But no.

Instead I returned the the safe haven that is my kitchen, cracked open a beer, and polished my boots.

And so, even if my RIDE wasn't successful, my BOOTS were successfully polished.

Sometimes you don't achieve all your goals; but that doesn't necessarily mean failure. It just means that as you're furiously and tearfully ripping the tack off your horse, you need to come up with a NEW goal.

And my new goal was achieved quite properly; my boots are shiny, leather treated, and free of mud and debris.

In all, it was success. I just needed to come up with a new version of success before admitting failure.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

On My Orally Fixated Horse...

Zydo and I have many similarities in our personalities, and sometimes we are so much the same that I get a little concerned. Like, should I be slipping him some Luvox with his Bute, or is he comfortable with who he is?

Zydo is a disgusting slob in his stall, much like I am a disgusting slob in my bedroom. The entire place often looks like a natural disaster, with high winds and driving rains, have pounded the premises for hours. Zydo needs frequent naps to keep him chipper, needs arch supporting footwear wherever he goes, and he needs to chew.

Tia also has an interesting personality in that she is just a little fucking crazy. She is scared of everything, including wind and shadows, and I firmly beieve that we should rename her Dancing Queen. Tia is physically incapable of walking anywhere, and instead she chooses to travel up on her tip-toes, waltzing this way and that in order to keep a keen eye on all the terrible creatures that are about to jump out and consume her whole if she doesn't stay on the look-out.

Tia wears a halter and a blanket, the same as Zydo, when she is outside. This is convenient because Zydo can follow her around the pasture, gnawing happily on her apparel, and her body never actually undergoes any harm as a result of his chewing.

Now, I'm not sure if its the abnormally long, cold and snowy winter we've had here in Canada this year or what. But these last two weeks Tia has lost all patience with Zydo and his chewing. And so, he stands beside her trying to gnaw on her halter and Tia is all like "STOP PULLING ON MY DAMN HEAD WHILE I'M TRYING TO EAT, ASSHOLE!"

So, she'll try to wander away from him, but her halter is firmly planted in his jaws, and because he outweighs her by about five hundred pounds, she's kind of stuck. So then she gets all angry, and screeches at him and starts flailing her dainty little hooves in his direction, and Zydo tucks his tail and steps back until the violent onslaught ends.

And then Tia stalks haughtily away and Zydo looks sad, and follows her and chews on her blanket. And then she tries to kick him in the teeth and he's all like "Dude, what's your damage?"

At any rate, we're currently looking into a product that we can apply to Tia's blanket and halter so that Zydo will not be as interested in gnawing at it for eleven hours daily.

Personally, I think she should just be more understanding and empathetic to his need for oral stimulation, but whatever. Apparently my Dad is upset that Tia's hundred dollar winter coat now has a big hole in the rump of it.

Wimps, all of them.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

On Riding My Horse....

I didn't really write too much about riding my horse yesterday, because I was just so excited about the ride and the pictures.

People sometimes ask me what it's like to ride a horse, because its something they've never experienced themselves. I'm not sure about how to describe riding a horse... the feelings it leaves you with after a successful venture out are hard to put into words. If I was to wake up beside someone who was blonde haired and blue eyed and over six feet tall; and if that someone had already driven the twenty minutes to Tim Horton's and gotten me a perfect triple triple; and then he had my favorite sweater washed with Gain and a case of beer that he never, EVER wanted me to pay him back for; and then instead of pestering me to make out with him all night he offered to sit idly by while I drank the beer and watched Sex and The City on DVD.....

That's the kind of joy I get from riding my horse. It is an all-encompassing feeling of joy and warm fuzziness that starts in my toes, works its way up my burning, aching legs, through my nearly blistered butt and up through my stiff and hurty shoulders. Because even though I love riding, after a three month hiatus, damn, does my ass ever hurt when I get off.

My whole life I have had the priveledge of watching expert riders ride horses. Sometimes I get to see my mother ride Zydo, and it fills my heart with joy because I know that perhaps, some day, I might make him move in such perfect segue from one stride to another. If that ever happens, I will know that I HAVE ARRIVED.

Riding is unlike any other sport because you are dependent on communicating with someone who is non-verbal. You literally control the motions of the horse with your thighs and your ass, your hands, and sometimes muffled screams as you dive through bushes at twenty three miles per hour in hopes of escaping an emu.

Zydo and I have to have a perfect relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and understanding, much like that which you get from a stable companionship with someone you love. If I don't trust him, he picks that up in my behavior, and if he doesn't trust me, I pick that up when he pitches me through the air and into the nearest telephone post.

I'm fortunate to own a horse that I have that relationship with, and sometimes when I think about how lucky I am to live back here at The Ranch, with my pony and my family that loves me, I have to stop and breathe for a minute. There were so many times in the last four years that I thought I would never be at peace with what I have, but then I think back on some of the wonderful, amazing opportunities I've had in the last twelve months....

And I think, Damn, this is what its all about.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pony, Pony....

See here a picture of RIDING FUCKING PERFECTION. That's right. I'm swearing in caps lock because out of a hundred and fifteen pictures, I managed to find this ONE of my horse in a perfect frame, together and looking like he knows what he's doing.

Zydo actually has capability far beyond what my skill level is at, and so for me to see him with me on him doing what he's supposed to be doing is a big boost.

Here is a pic of the Precious Boy riding ... we let him loose on Zydo for the first time this week, and he managed to make the horse walk, turn, and stop. He held the reins in his hand, and needs a helmet that fits better than the trusty Mickey Mouse helmet he's currently working with. And we all know what that means....

A trip to the horse store. God, how I love a trip to the horse store.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Little Too Much Information...

Sometimes I worry about this blog, that someone I might potentially date would find it and read it and think horrifying thoughts about me, because I am altogether too honest about the way I feel about certain things.

I have recently received a large amount of joy from watching my dog pee.

No joke.

You see, last fall Dixie the Beagle had a bladder problem: That is, her bladder was full of little stones that prevented her from being able to store urine in appropriate amounts. As a result, every time she went out to pee, she would trundle around, pee for about three seconds, trundle around, pee for about three seconds, and repeat eighteen times. Then she would come back inside for about five minutes, ask to be let out, and would repeat the afore-mentioned trundle-pee-trundle-pee routine. Sometimes we would get sick of letting her out every ten minutes, and so she would give up asking and pee on the floor.

There is nothing more irritating than Beagle pee on your kitchen floor.

However, since Dixie had her thirteen hundred dollars worth of surgery, she has been able to pee in mass quantities at one time, every few hours.

The other day I was bringing something in from the car, and Dixie was peeing in the front yard, and she seemed to pee for hours... I was watching in wonder, thinking, my GOD, that dog can pee in large VOLUME, and then not need to pee any more!

And I came inside and I thought, really, I wonder what it means about me as a person that I just watched my dog pee and experienced joy?

I think I need to get out more.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Its a Cold and its a Broken Hallelujah....

So now comes the time to discuss my mental health status on the Internet once more.

For the last several weeks, or even months... who knows? Its hard to keep track of deadlines when one is struggling to roll their lazy ass out of bed in the morning. But regardless, for the last random period of time that has passed, I've been struggling within myself to keep going.

I have a desperate need to pinpoint the things that could be wrong with me, as though if I could put my finger on that one magic thing, I could make it disappear and go away for good. But the fact is, I don't know why I feel the way I do, but I feel that way, and I can't make it go away.

That's not to say that I haven't been managing. I've been managing quite well, thank you very much. I've been going to work, going to school, showering, brushing my teeth, and generally doing my best to be a hygenic, functioning, upright and sober member of this society.

I feel like I deserve applause here. I smell GOOD, DAMMIT, and that's a large statement considering how I've smelt in the past, what with my laying in bed for days and the not showering and the chain smoking and all that.

I wake up every day, and I force myself to roll out of bed. I then force myself to shower and put on clean clothing. Then its time to force my way downstairs, force myself to put on a pot of coffee, force myself to be pleasant at school or at work, force myself to do my school work...

Quite frankly, I'm tired of all the damn forcing. I'd like nothing more than to do what I did last year, to curl up into a ball and never move or switch positions unless it was time to pee or my back hurt. I'd like to pull the curtains down so my room is dark, and lay in my bed until a time comes when I feel like getting out of it again.

And then, when I think about it, I just feel angry. Like, why do I feel this desperate need to close myself off from every other sentient being and just lay-- for a long and quiet length of time? Why ME? What is so wrong with my life that I SHOULDN'T want to get out of bed in the morning?

I've done everything I can think of to help me get through this: I've taken up journaling; I've taken up finding time for me and only me; I've been reading trashy novels in an attempt to escape; I've been allowing myself special treats -- generally in the form of coffee-- because I 'deserve' those special treats; I've purchased name brand shampoo and body wash so that I smell pretty when I make my weary way into the world.

In short, I've done all the things those handy little self-help books have told me to do in order to maintain balance in my life, and the balance is just not there.

I am a firm believer in the chemical imbalance that plays a role in anxiety and depression. So, of course, my first thought is that I need a med switch, I need to change up the doses of Seratonin in my brain to make me balanced again. But the last time I did that, it nearly killed me, quite literally, and I'm not sure that I'm ready to go through that again.

In all honesty, I'd like to try a life of being medication-free. I'd like to slowly drop down in the massive amounts of anti-depressants I take in a day, so that there are no more foreign chemicals flowing through my bloodstream. Then, after six weeks or so of being med-free, I'd like to re-evaluate.

I have an appointment with the ever-wonderful Dr. Chuck this coming Wednesday, and I'd like to propose my idea to him. When I first started taking meds, he said it was a short-term thing. But with my ongoing issues, he slowly approached me with the idea of being on meds indefintely. I'm 23 frickin' years old, and dammit, I'm sick of depending on meds to make me normal. I'd like to learn what my issues are, specifically, and deal with them as best I can without pharmaceutical interference.

And that's what I'm going to tell him. Six years on meds, and I've done nothing but go in circles from fine to very, very not-fine.

The circles stop this Wednesday.

I'm apprehensive, but at the same time, I look forward to meeting a me without meds, to meeting a me who can perhaps cope with life the same way everyone else gets to. The normal way.

I need all the luck in the world.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Beer Fairy...

Today is Saturday, the Saturday of the Snow, the day that will forever be ingrained in my head as the day that so much snow fell, I breifly contemplated ending my life.

We were anticipating this snow day, and as a result my mother and I went shopping yesterday to stock up on supplies. We got Taco mix, cheesy popcorn, cases of pop, and pizza pockets. If we ever have another Eastern Seaboard power outage, we'll be totally fucked, because really, how can you heat up pizza pockets without a microwave?

Of course, I was in a rush yesterday because I was called in to work early, and this means WE FORGOT TO PICK UP THE BEER. We pulled back into the driveway and for a moment, I thought that my head was going to roll right off my shoulders and wedge itself under the tires of my mother's car.

I came home from work last night to discover that the Beer Fairy had paid a visit, and a full case of Canada's finest discount lager was in our cold storage room. Turns out my Dad is the beer fairy, and while I'd love to talk about how he loves me so much he can't bear to see me without my favorite beverage in tow, the reality of the situation is that he KNOWS me so damn well. He just KNOWS that I would run out of my own beer and happily help myself to his beer, and then he would be out of beer AND I would be out of beer, and really? No one wants to be snowed in WITHOUT ANY DAMN BEER.

And so now here we are, snowed in and getting fatter by the second. I've eaten half a bag of cheesy popcorn, so much taco-y goodness that my stomach nearly exploded, enough Coca-Cola Zero that my hands are shaking from the caffeine, and now its after five!

And after five is the time that normal, healthy people start drinking!

But first I need a nap. Lord knows I need to work up some energy before I have to twist off all those pesky bottle caps.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Just Call Me Madame Positivity...

1) I'm meeting up with an old friend this Thursday, a friend who has access to HIGH SPEED INTERNET, and as a result I've been promised lots and lots of very fast, very happening music downloads.

2) I brought Zydo in from the cold the other night, and he cuddled up to me and licked my hand and nuzzled into my chest the way he always does. Because of my work schedule, I've been neglecting him something wicked, and it was just too thrilling that he still seems to remember who I am. Either that, or he liked the fact that my barn coat smells like Reed Canary grass, which happens to be his favorite. Regardless, I got cuddled by my horse, and I'm happy with that alone.

3) The Little Chevy died on me the other day, ceased living right in front of the shop I was driving her to. I didn't really understand what was going on when the battery light came on, the radio became wavery, and the windshield wipers were groaning with the effort of standing up and sitting down every time I asked them to. I mean, I groan and whine every time I have to get up off my big fat butt, so why wouldn't they? It turns out my alternator died, but before it died COMPLETELY, it made it to the mechanic's place. As per usual, the mechanic I deal with seemed perplexed that I was a woman allowed out of her house without her veil, but fortunately, my father met me there with my mom's car. So I only had to talk to him for a moment before I dove into the safety of the Vue and spun the tires on my way out. Because this is TOTALLY 2008, and I can TOTALLY handle a stick shift like its my job.

4) Dixie and I have a newfound love for one another, and I'm not entirely sure why, but every time I return to the house she howls and jumps on me, whining in such a beagle-y fashion that it makes my heart melt. Perhaps she realizes that last fall, I threw the tantrum to end all tantrums and demanded that THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS be spent to save her life. Tonight I came home from work and she jumped and squealed and licked my face with such vigor that for just a moment, I thought perhaps the layer of skin that has all the acne on it would simply melt away. No such luck, but regardless, I have to say that the six hundred dollars I paid toward her surgery are the best dollars I've spent in my life.

5) I've managed to make it to month eight in my field of work, when some people I know thought I wouldn't last two weeks. And really, its not like I'm COUNTING the months, but having made it that far past the two week mark makes me feel very happy indeed. I haven't lost my mind because of the work I do, I haven't fled a shift in tears (at least until the shift was over), I haven't called in sick when I really just wanted to sit at home and drink beer, AND I've been congratulated on the way I can write up reports. That's right. I CAN WRITE UP REPORTS, DAMMIT. If I never have another positive quality about me than that, I can die a happy woman, because I am ever so happy to be congratulated on my grammar. My dress? I could care less about. My grammar, however, is what makes me feel like a person worthy of drawing breath form the air, and when I get congratulated on that?


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Monday, March 03, 2008

A Good Day to Feel Like Death...

My parents went away this weekend, leaving me all alone to tend to The Ranch. I took care of Tia and Zydo as if it WAS MY JOB, and damn, those horses have never faced such neglect as when they were left in my care.

I love my horse, and I even love my father's horse, the crazed and maniacal little lunatic that she is.

The problem is that on Saturday evening, I started to feel a strange scratchy feeling in my throat.

And then things just went downhill from there.

I came home from a night out on Sunday morning and fed and put out the horses, fully intending to clean their stalls properly, and even fork the cleanings from their stalls to the top of the shit pile. (See how I wrote there, 'the cleanings from their stalls'? Aren't I polite on the Internet? Usually, I would just say 'fork the shit to the top of the pile'. I love how being in the public eye makes me classy.)

Today was a snow day, and I had no intentions of going to school regardless of the weather. At ten, my mother informed me that she and my brother were going shopping, so, in hopes of scoring some free coffee, I begged to go along for the ride. We arrived home back at The Ranch in a beautiful afternoon, one of those afternoons that just screams how Spring is coming, and Damn, Girl! You should tack up your horse and ride him for all he's worth.

And instead, despite the fact that Zydo was looking balefully at me from the pasture, I got home and found myself in my warm and cozy bed, and I slept for two hours LIKE IT WAS MY JOB, and I woke up...

And then it was dark, and all chances of riding were over and gone....

And I have nothing left but to think that perhaps another such day may come. Perhaps another day will happen upon us here in The Great White North where I will feel like getting my lazy ass off the couch to spend some time with my horse.

Sadly, today was not that day.

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Learing About Life...

My mother and I have recently gotten our hands on a copy of the first season of Third Watch. And so, we've been sitting on the couch and watching episode after episode.

Tonight we watched an episode in which the characters asked each other when they learned that life doesn't turn out the way you want it to. And I thought to myself, what an interesting question.

For the last several years, I've been meandering about in this life wondering when it was going to take shape again. I was once a person who had faith in this life, that with hard work one could make happen what he or she wants to make happen. I once believed in true love *swoon* and endings that truly were happily ever after.

When I was nineteen, all of these ideas blew up in my face, slapping me swiftly and soundly, and left me laying in a heap on my mother's living room floor.

I can proudly say that it has been some time now since I've lain in a heap on the floor: My more recent breakdowns are apt to leave me on the couch with Dixie or in the barn with Zydo than they are to leave me on the floor. (This gives me hope, because clearly my breakdowns of late have been of a lesser variety than breakdowns of the past. I now lay on the couch in a heap; read: I've elevated myself up off the floor an on to modern-day furnishings.)

Because I am such a curious person, I had to ask my mother when it was that she learned that life doesn't turn out the way you want it to. She blinked at me several times, and answered by saying that she supposed she learned that when she was fifty three.

And now I'm sitting here at my computer, baffled and wondering as to which is worse. Is it worse to live your whole life the way you wanted to live it, and then find out through cancer that things don't go the way they are supposed to? Or is it worse to wake up one day, young and with a sparkle in one's eyes, to be whacked about the head with the fact that sometimes, shit doesn't go down the way you think it is supposed to?

And I'm sitting here focussing on which is worse, and really, I think the question is which is better....

Like, with my newfound cynical self, am I better off and less likely to be tripped up by foolish ideals?

So, I really can't decide if I'm better off for having learned the hard lessons fast and young, or if I'm worse off for having the youthful idealism slapped out of me at a young age.

At any rate, it's been a long, long day here at The Ranch, and perhaps I'm not really interested in mulling these thoughts over at all. Perhaps I just need to curl my lazy self up into my luxurious flannel sheets and drift off into slumber, thinking that nothing really matters at all; as long as you have a cozy and safe little haven -- one that you can call your own-- to curl up into at the end of the day.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Day for Me, and Only Me....

Today is my day off. Not only is it my day off, but my parents have temporarily left town and I have the whole house TO MYSELF.

In celebration, this morning I woke up and walked around in my underwear. It is always a mistake to walk around in one's underwear in this house, however, as Dixie makes it a point to jump up on my bare legs and scratch me with her beagle-y little claws. What's more, I sat down in the computer chair to check my email in my underwear, and the flab on my thighs stuck to the leather chair.

And now I ask, who IS the asshat who bought my parents a leather computer chair for Christmas?

At any rate, it has been a phenomenally productive day. I've gone for coffee, cleaned the horse stalls, had a good cuddle with Zydo, played with Dixie, texted some friends... and now I plan to eat an entire frozen pizza (I even bought the kind WITH CHICKEN ON IT) and drink beer in front of the television.

I will be wearing pants for this portion of my day, for those of you who are interested.