Category Archives: Department of Extreme Silliness

I. Can’t. Get. No…Status Traction (I Try, and I Try!)

The Rolling Stones…? Suits…? Can I be hallucinating?

And I thought this song was about designer athletic shoes….

Last Monday, I got wacked on the head. This turned out to be quite useful. Not in a concussion-y sort of way (That part sucks), but in an: “I know! Blogging with a concussion is a GREAT idea!” sort of way.

After declaring the ER doc incompetent (TWO WEEKS recovery? Is she nuts?  I’ll be fine in a couple of days), I set about dealing.  I lay there in the dark: no reading, no sound, no TV.  Nothing but me and my internal horseman’s alarm clock, which says I can recover from anything in 24 hours. 

I'll think about it tomrrow. (are we sure I'm not a drag queen?)

I’ll think about it tomorrow. (Are we sure I’m not a drag queen?)

 I do everything the doc says for the entire 24 hours.

Then I wobble out of bed, fling the curtains open, and..fall over, from the searing, blinding brightness of  a blackened, rainy sky at 6 am.  Luckily, the bed hasn’t moved. Shaun flings the curtains shut, shoves me under the covers and says, “Do NOT make me sit on you.”

I hit the snooze button on the “I’m Over It” clock. Doctors can be right? Who knew?

The reason I have a concussion isn’t all that important.  You know the drill: there was a horse nearby. The ground tilted up, ambushing me. A pipe corral panel leapt in and whacked me on the noggin.  I was not wearing a helmet, since I was not ON the horse. Strictly a ground-attacking me with a pipe sort of thing.

The good news: with friendly encouragement (you know who you are…Thank Youuuuu) and complete willingness to totally suck at blogging, here I am.  

Bonus: I get to see my brain on a concussion is pretty much the same as my brain off a concussion. (Minus the nausea.) Good to know. I’ve had some episodes of misreading stuff. Before I got bonked. 

Driving home from work, pre-concussion, I passed a dilapidated barn with a giant sign:

BRAIN SALE, Saturday 9-3. EVERYTHING MUST GO. 

Brain sale? Whoa. Creepy barn. Because I’m picturing this:

It's a brain sale!  Everything must go!

It’s a brain sale!  I could pick up a spare!

Another day, I stopped for coffee, and read bulletin board flyers while waiting in line.  This one caught my attention:

Local ATHEIST COMPETITION! Are you Atheist? Come join us in friendly competition. Many sections! All levels welcome! FREE!!

This is my non-concussed thought process:

  1. Atheists compete…?
  2. There are levels and classes of atheists?  Who knew? 
  3. What does an atheist competing look like? HOW do they compete…and why does this flyer make it sound fun and community oriented? 

Is this what an Atheist Competition looks like?

We had a time of high anxiety a few months ago.  Christmas was sick. We had to leave him at the vet for testing and observation.  Finally our vet called back: 

“I’m afraid your dog tested positive for pancakes.  We’re starting him on IV fluids right away”

I probably test positive for pancakes too...

I probably test positive for pancakes too…

Um. WHAT?!

(Christmas is fine, no need to worry.  Or send syrup.)

Then, post-concussion, I read this sentence in my blog spam:

“Remember, before going into the castle, you must knit every Zombie, or you will die.”

Uh. A video game in which you knit zombies…? Huh. Knitted zombies.  Could be cute?

Today, there was a news-ish post in my Facebook feed, with this headline: 

“Cinderella over time: tracking the glass spider through the centuries.”

Because everyone knows about Cinderella and the famous glass spider...

Because everyone knows about Cinderella, the prince, and the glass spider…

Much slower than I like to admit, I got some traction:

I’m sure by now all of you have figured out I passed a barn sale, saw a flyer for an athletic competition, our dog had pancreatitis, one tends to knife zombies in a video game, and Cinderella didn’t have spider issues. (That would be Miss Muppet.)

Forget the status, I just need traction.  I better get over to the brain sale.  

Anyone else want to come? We can listen to Bob Marley on the way over. I like a rousing human rights song about food shortage.  

Who knows all the words to Stand Up For Your Rice?

 

Hello My Name Is…

I have a pathological inability to remember people’s names the first time I hear them.

It’s like my brain has installed a panic button that overwrites the spoken name with static, while the person is still speaking.

I have zero chance of hearing the name, let alone remembering.

if you are a horse, dog, cat, goldfish, lizard, turtle or hamster, I will never forget your name. if you are a horse, not only will I know your barn name, I’ll probably know your six-foot long registered name too. I’m cursed with a strictly human name memory  malfunction. Unless you introduce yourself like this:

With the exception of this name.  I would totally remember this one.

Then, I will totally remember.

Awkward doesn’t begin to describe it when I coo over Bug the Pug – I’ve only seen photos of him on Facebook – but can’t remember my newly born niece’s name, a FAMILY member, that I’ve met, held, and delightedly played with for six hours….yesterday.

I try the memory tricks: creating an association based on fascinatingly long ear lobes or a strange rhyme. This is a particularly bad idea, as I discovered, after addressing “Ginny” as “Voddy” because she had a red nose and I remembered just enough to get in trouble: her name was something alcoholic and off beat.

Because there really are people in the world named Vodka, right?

Sundays were a relief: I figure I’m in church, so people will be forced to forgive me. Sort of goes with the territory. I can explain as we introduce ourselves: “I have trouble with names. I may need to hear yours a few times before it sticks, but I won’t forget YOU.  Welcome to our church.”

This worked pretty well. Turns out people are slightly more indulgent after a sermon on cheek turning.

Here is how that stopped working for me, and may have made the pastor request I stop greeting people. Which then may have been followed by a suggestion to hide near the back pillar. Or not come back.

In the desperate hope that writing a name down would help me remember, I volunteered to work the Label Table near the entrance. I’m feeling intoxicated by the feelings of petty bureaucratic power (I’m in charge of Magic Markers! “Hello My Name Is” tags!) when a woman I’ve never seen walks up.

Gah! Mayday, Mayday! 

The woman waves off my attempt to helpfully slap a HELLO MY NAME IS…in front of her. Mildly worried, I give my “I’m terrible with names, but I will remember your very special self.” spiel.

The woman assures me I absolutely won’t forget her name. Too distinctive. Which not only  slams my panic button, I become completely deaf and unable to hear the next few sentences out of her mouth. But I do manage to laugh appropriately when she does. I assume we laughed at how absurd it would be for me to forget her name.

Whatever it was.

Oh God. (In church. So counting this as a prayer.) Unless her name is “Bug” we have a problem. Did she have a squashed nose? I can’t remember.

No Jane, NOOooooooooo

No Jane, NOOooooooooo…

After the service, she wanders over during the coffee hour. I elbow my memory for her name. It ignores me, completely clueless, and continues contemplating how Amazing Grace would sound if sung by Elvis Presley. Oh hey, what if Metallica performed it?

Wait. is her name Grace?

I’m not going to chance it. I politely invoke my pre-emptive: “I might forget your name, but never you”.

She laughs heartily, as though I’ve just told the best joke ever. EVer. It’s the first time my pre-emptive strike hasn’t worked. Susan? Jill? Tanessha? VODKA? Oh lord, it must be Ginny. What do I DO?

She stops laughing abruptly, and stares at my face.

“But we laughed about it, remember?”, she says, quite hurt.

Of course I remember laughing. I was covering up the fact I couldn’t hear what she was saying.

“I’m so sorry”, I say, miserably, “remind me, please?”

She looks at me for a long time, certain I’m messing with her.

Finally, she turns to toss her paper cup away, and says with utter disbelief and disgust,
“Jane. My name is Jane. NOW do you remember?”

Because I’m me, I think I’m off the hook. Why on earth should I be expected to remember THAT name above all others? It’s not like she’s named Jesus or anything. Shoot, why should her name be familiar…it’s so unfair to expect…uh…um…

If only John Jacob had come in with her! I would have remembered. I swear.

Right. That’s my name too…

The other Jane is making a bee-line for the pastor.

I mentally cross off church number six.

We live near Temple Beth Ami.  I wonder how hard it would be to convert?

I Am a Hero. Obviously.

Heroic Act #1:

A body was sprawled out in the grassy lanes between the paddocks, a large hat knocked off to one side. I recognize the hat. It’s John’s. He’s not moving.

If I had not been leading a very excited horse down this hill, I wouldn’t have had the vantage point to see him in the tall grass at the bottom.

He was waaaaay down by the tree in the middle.

He was waaaaay down by the tree in the middle.

I call out his name. No answer. Horse feels my nerves and begins to try the whole “I am a Dervish” thing, on the line, ensuring I can’t run straight down, or John will get trampled. I yell for trainer and co-worker, shouting “John is down! I think he’s hurt, HELP! Paddocks!!”

They run out of the barn, closer to him than I am, and like good horse people, instantly read my body language, following my line of sight, know where he is before I say a word.  I whip out my phone and start to punch in 911.

This is how John was rescued from a nice nap in the sun, in the grass, near his beloved horses.

I am a hero.

We’re calling it a safety drill, FYI.

Heroic Act #2:

Last night, in my dream, I finished bagging Hudson’s Happy Meals for the week. (Okay, aside: who the heck dreams about bagging grain?) I was suddenly, in the way of dreams, standing on my front porch: halter to clean in one hand, turning the key in the lock with the other. I open the door and am faced with a very large mountain lion. One pacing and eyeballing Husdon’s good leather halter in my hand. It smells like horse. The lion wants the halter.

Just throw the halter to one side...

Just throw the halter to one side…don’t clean it

But. But. It’s Hudson’s good halter…(horse people are unbelievably stubborn)

lt still takes a slight amount of stalking behavior from the mountain lion in my kitchen, to convince me I probably should hand over the halter if I want to live.

I do. Resentfully.

The dream should end here.  Smart people’s dreams end here. (The horse person lives, buys a new halter, the mountain lion has a light nosh on sweaty leather. Win win.  Right?)

Instead, I follow the lion as it stalks out of the house, halter in  mouth. Somewhat safety conscious, I stay back at least six whole feet. The lion doesn’t think six feet is enough.  We stare at each other.

I am not a brave person. But dang it. It’s Hudson’s good halter. Why didn’t I grab a can of tuna? Bait and switch. Too late.

What do I do? Dart forward and snatch the halter from the lion’s mouth.

The lion flattens his ears and hisses, begins to whip his tail. I immediately come to my senses and hurl the halter back at him. He picks it up, and turns to walk away.

Unbelievable! I run up and snatch it away again. I am highly aware this is a very very bad idea.

So I throw it back again.

I woke up on the third mad dash to steal the halter back.

Can we say: “Jane has problems letting go?

I could understand this dream if the lion wanted Hudson. I can see becoming uncharacteristically brave if I were trying to rescue my beloved horse. But…a halter…?

Since I was uncharacteristically brave in the face of a mountain lion (over a stupid halter), I’m sticking to “I am a Hero”.

Obviously.

Scratches: The Musical

Enter Hudson’s Scratches, portrayed by Robert Goulet, center stage:

Scratches can be irritatingly devoted.  To the point of needing a restraining order.

In November, the areas beneath Hudson’s rear pasterns were so bad I didn’t recognize scratches. I thought he’d been in a weird rubber mat burn, getting-up accident. One that happened to get infected and scabby. Overnight.

In November, I’d never owned a horse with scratches. In fact, I’d never seen a horse with scratches that had not been within 100 miles of mud. Dry scratches.

What horse gets scratches in the middle of a drought?

*Warning to the medically queasy or non-horse people, this post includes graphic photos.

I didn’t think to take photos when the scr*tches were at their worst.  I was alternately Googling, panicking, COTHing, hyperventilating, and pelting  {Bella, Daisy, Alice, Carlos, Shaun, God, Laurie, The Vet…you get the idea} with questions.

How do you treat Scr*tches?? Why is nothing working?

Enter Hudson’s vet stage left, singing:

Dr. James Kerr doesn’t wear this hat. Which is sad.

Right here in River City!

Right here in River City!

Below: Scr*tches shot a month after a course of oral antibiotics and two changes of topical cream.

After a month of treatment, swelling is waaaaay down.

Trouble.  OW.

Another course of oral antibiotics and a sixth medicated cream change later, we got it down to this:

photo
Blech.  And still OW.

I leave my barn, and arrive at the training barn early to work. When trainer arrives, and I keep my professional demenor intact by hurling myself on her, sobbing, and incoherently anguishing all over her new jacket.

“What?”, she says, “Jane?!?”

Note to self: anguish sooner next time. Trainer knows stuff.

photo-1

She said, “try wrapping after topical”.  We discovered the magic of bandage socks.

photo-3

I also liberally applied my Christmas present from Bella: Flower and Rainbow Unicorn grooming tools. That should fix it!

 Luckily, I can now bandage faster than Hudson can think:

Cole Porter had no idea how much he knew about horses...

I didn’t know Cole Porter was so horse savvy…

You have to fight Musical numbers on their own terms.

How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away:

I’ve turned to my favorite coping mechanism (when denial is not an option) and I am outgrowing my riding pants…again. Looking for cheer in all the wrong places.

My kind of work place.

My kind of work place.

Honestly. I had no idea that song was about the weather:

Jane, as Barbara, singing: “On Eclair Day, You Can See Forever”.

I can’t tell you how popular this musical makes me. The drama! The wailing and grief. The sheer joy of near recovery. The disaster of relapse. Very Shakespearian.

I’m certain there is a secret Phone-Tree Alert in place. Jane just pulled in, RUN.

Hudson is recovering.  Still.

I was standing next to Jamie. We both had our arms crossed, staring at the scr*tches. heads cocked. We have gone through his copious arsenal of treatments. If the latest cream doesn’t work, we will have exhausted every recipe except one.

Axel grease.

We look at each other.

“Theoretically, it could work”,  Jamie says.

What Does Your Horse Want for Christmas…?

Daisy sent me a dad’s response to his 7 year old’s outrageous Christmas list.

Yeah, I don’t think I’d give a seven-year-old $1,00 bucks either.

But it did remind me of Hudson’s last outrageous Christmas List. This year’s plan: don’t ask.

I repeat, Hudson: I AM NOT BUYING YOU A STEER.

So let’s here from all the horses out there! What would you like your human’s to get you for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Yule festival, Solstice…or just BECAUSE?

If your horse writes you a paper letter, email a photo to theliteraryhorse@yahoo.com, and we’ll post ’em. OOoo…send a photo of your horse too!

Too late, Jane. I WIN.

Too late, Jane. I WIN. It pays to bribe the cat to type. FYI, I promised her you’d bring a can of tuna.  Please pick some up. Also, pencils taste terrible. Why do humans like them?

The Physicist and The Hare

The phone is crammed between my shoulder and ear. I’m listening intently as I reach for the fax about to drop onto the floor, while simultaiously holding up my sock-covered foot, to prevent the giant, long-eared ball of fur from getting to the fax before me.

Image

“What?”, I say, distractedly into the phone, “You’re leaving for Japan, when…?”

Undone by my startle reaction, I miss the fax AND the rabbit, who gleefully snatches the paper, bounds outside my office onto the deck, and leaps onto a cardbord box with a hole cut in the top.

“Can you hold a minute?”, I say.  I have roughly 20 seconds before the fax is confetti.

“No.  I’m boarding.  I just faxed you the specs I’ll need in Tokyo. Can you fix them and email it to me in English?”, says the physicist.

“Got it”, I say, “You’re cutting out.” I drop the phone and scramble for the door.  Chloe is balanced on the box, busily stuffing the paper down the hole. In 2 seconds, she’ll stuff herself down on top of the paper. Twelve pounds of fuzzy, adorableness determined to shred paper into teeny tiny pieces.

I wasn’t smart enough to cut the bottom off the box. In fact, I reenforced it with duct tape, worried her weight would crumple the “roof”. My only option is to go in.

Right after I squeeze through the dog door to get onto the deck. Undoing the sliding door deadbolt would waste too much time.

Riiiiiiiip.

I hurl myself mostly through the dog door and get my arm down the hole. I shove the warm fuzzy stomach sideways, feeling for the paper underneath with my fingertips.  Cardboard…cardboard…bunny foot…OW, she bit me!  I resist the urge to snatch my finger out of the box and stick it in my mouth.

Riiiiiiiip.

At this point, my roommate, who is moving out, greets a prospective new roommate at the front door. I ignore them, no longer going for the fax, now going for the scruff of my bunny’s neck. This works! I’ve got her!

She still has the paper in her mouth. Did you know rabbits can still shred paper while hanging in the air? Me, neither.

We’re at an impasse.  She’s far to big to haul back out of the hole. I’m laid flat out: half in, half out of the house, with my arm plunged to the shoulder into a cardboard box.  I’m also yelling at the box to “LET GO!”, then giving it a vigorous shake from the inside.

My roommate pokes her head around the corner of the door. The No Longer Prospective Roommate is on tip toe, looking over her shoulder, suddenly aware of why roommate #1 is leaving.

Jane has desperate, furious arguments with cardboard boxes. And uses the dog door to go in and out of the house.

“It’s not exactly as bad as it looks”, says former roommate, helpfully. “Wanna see the kitchen?”

The kitchen. With it’s Wall O Rabbits.

I’m doomed. I’m going to have to figure out how to make the whole rent. For the rest of my life.

The fear of rent doubling shoots adreniline into my body: I still have the 500 pound struggling bunny by the scruff of the neck, though she is kicking angrily with her back feet and trying to continue chewing. Not a team player.

I shove my other arm into the hole, ripping the cardboard and busting my chin open when it hits the deck. I grab the fax, try to ease it out of her mouth.  This turns out to be surprisingly simple, because she’s opened her mouth to lunge at the other intruding hand.

This is the same giant bunny who was spread out from my waist to ear, snoring on her belly, with her nose snuggled up under my jaw before the alarm went off this morning.

I get the fax.

Jane 1. Chloe 2.

I have the fax in one hand and bunny in the other.  I’m trying to keep them seperate and figure out how to slide the fax away from her chompers and out of the hole.

My almost former roommate and the not-in-this-lifetime looky-loo are peering around the door again. Former roommate knows what’s going on. She’s having the time of her life not explaining a thing.

“A little help, here?”, I beg.

“With what?”, she asks, innocently, eyebrows raised.

(I might have deserved that, FYI.)

At that moment, Chloe goes completely limp in my grasp.

Oh God. She’s had a heart attack! Noooooo!!!!

Fortunately I’m still suspicious: I snatch the paper up and out of the rabbit hole before I check on her.

I also fall over from the sudden lack of bunny weight and the momentum of yanking my arm out, flipping the box and me on our sides.

One very miffed rabbit is staring at me through the hole. Alive and perfectly healthy. Her eyes zip to the paper.

“OH NO YOU DON’T!”, I shout at the box, hurling myself away. “It’s MINE!”

Former roommate is trying to look grave. Never in a Million Years Roommate is horrified.

I realize she still has not seen the rabbit.

All she has seen is Jane fighting with an inert cardboard box as if it were a many knived serial killer.

Never in a MIllion Years Roommate says to Nearly Former roommate: “I just looked at the nicest two bedroom, two bath, but didn’t have anyone to room with.  Are you looking for a place?”

They go out for coffee. I’m doomed.

Chloe leaps out of the box. She’s seriously miffed.  She flys on top of me, squeezes her plumpness through the mostly Jane-filled dog door, and hurls herself at the metal trash can inside the office. She knocks it over, and begins to roll it end over end around the room.  Rabbits. They love noise.  Who knew?

Holding the fax way above my head, I blindly grope the bottom of the box for the missing corner piece. Bingo.

Chloe is rolling the trash can back and forth over my stretched out legs.  I get the message.

 I am not happy.

I am not happy either. My astro physicist-slash-engineer-slash-inventor employer is on a flight to Japan. I can’t quite make out the numbers near the rip. I can’t have his office fax me the specs again.  I AM his office. Like many geniuses, he has trouble communicating with those less genius-y.

My job was to make him repeat himself over and over using successively simpler words and anologies until I understood what the heck he was talking about, and rewrite the info in psuedo-scientific language, so he can hand it over to his less genius-y clients without anyone but me feeling stupid.

Win-win.

I was going to have to explain the little white lie I told him the previous week, when he realized he needed to make sure I was shredding all important documents.  Of course I had.  I might not be genius-y, but I have office street-smarts.

I had been outsourcing the shredding to a very reliable source till my first paycheck. And she had been doing a stellar job until today.