Archive | July, 2012

Have Gigalos, Will Travel

31 Jul

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The Bunny Ranch is in negotiations for a three-month road show on the other side of the State…about 300 miles away.

…Not that road shows are a new deal for us…our “talent” has played tons of places all up and down the I-5 corridor, Alaska and Canada…but this deal is a unique turn.  This one will suck two of our senior (and best performing Bunnies) away for better part of three months to a new remote location requiring far more resources and head-smarts than Boss has a his command to instigate it all.  Warehouses and equipment are needing to be rented, container loads redirected, docking fees paid, and someone is gonna have to man the temporary House of Ill Repute.  It won’t be me…cuz I already have ten or eleven jobs, here.  Besides which, I start rehearsals again soon…and that takes me off the books for all after-hour hanky-panky, starting mid-August.

…What’s fun about this venture is…well…nothing, actually. It’s doomed before it has even begun. But it is interesting to listen to Boss finagling goods and services in order to attempt it.  Mostly because of the fact that he is actually the cheapest human being on the planet, and if he is gonna do, buy or achieve a thing…it will be severely handicapped from the get-go because a deal must be made to achieve it.  

Real life instances of his famous technique have included:

* One lopsided writing desk that no amount of screwing, squaring and hitching could fix.  It is now our coffee pot stand.  And because of the extreme angle off-center…every time we brew a pot up, it leaks down one side and now we have brown stains all over the carpet.

* A laptop without working screen.  It was cheap, and so was purchased as an emergency replacement computer for me when my last one he “got a great deal on,” tanked. That was two years ago and I’m still using it today. It is nestled up at the base of my desk in the back, acting as my “tower.”  Boss then grabbed a screen from Goodwill for $10 (I know, because the price tag is still on the back) and jimmied it up with extra hooks and bailing wire. (Not really, but he might as well have.)  I don’t know why, but it works and as long as it does: Frankencomputer is what I get.  And I’m grateful.  Cuz the last five versions were ten times slower and passed out from heat exhaustion on a continual basis.

* A perfectly good forklift, that only drove in reverse.  We didn’t know why it wouldn’t go forward, but for quite some time it managed to work out for us, due to the fact it was all we had.  Then it died.  It is still waiting on the dock for it’s wake and burial.  But Boss won’t get rid of it because he’s sure he can use it later to swap for something else…like the kid with a pocketful of broken crap he’s sure will make him an accidental barter-system zillionaire one day.

* The Deep Fryer Debacle.  I think he musta found a bulk deal this one time on deep fryers, cuz he had none one day and I came into the office the next and there were three in the lobby.  He tried to give me one at least twelve times, but unless one is planning to start up a business in fair-foods there was little one could do with them. They were huge bulks, that housed at least five gallons of grease a piece.  He musta sold ’em at some point, cuz one day they just weren’t there anymore.  A sofa was.  But that was this whole other story.

* The file cabinet room.  I walked into this deal, and never really knew what went down with it.  All I know is that there was this room in the other Warehouse before we moved, entirely taken up with file cabinets.  Not a single one of them worked fully…hence the need for an entire room full just to hold the required records of the past three years.  Each one had either one or more drawers that would not open, due to crunching, rust, totally missing drawers or a lock that wouldn’t break.  Some would come off their sliders, so I learned quickly NOT to use them for further archiving…and some would only open part-way allowing about five folders per drawer.   I’ve managed (through bitchy insistence) to get at least three of said cabinets into full-working order, and these are the ones now in service. They ain’t pretty…but I don’t have to battle them like a gladiator anymore just to pull a file out.

* Any number of headsets, cordless phones, printers, faxes and like accoutrements.  When you get things for free because all the “good juice” has already been used out of ’em, chances are…said things are rarely gonna work for any capable amount of time.  We are constantly going through a rash of new gagets and gizmos he has acquired for free (or nearly) that he is super excited about, then bummed two days later when it rightfully dies…waxing poetic about how, “nothing is made to last anymore!” Such items usually include (but are not limited to) office or personal-use electronics, adapters and plug-ins.  Also (from time to time) vehicles.

* Our office TV.  It’s one of those giant floor model flat-screens from about a decade ago?  He saw it at the Salvation Army and thought it would be super awesome in our lobby for informercial-like YouTube movies on our product.  Problem is: we don’t get live customers in real-life like we do in his head.  Also, one of the color tubes is blown or something so that our entire product line looks like it is bathed in blood.  For about a month I had to listen to the same fifteen minutes of musak on repeat across eight hours, day in and day out, as the infomercial he made radiated bloody terror playing non-stop, to no one at all.  Finally I “accidentally” forgot to turn it on one day and he (being a whole office once more removed) had no idea.  Then when I was cleaning about a week later, I noticed he’d pinched the EBay DVD player…prob’ly for his kids or another gig.  We’ve had a giant, dormant dinosaur hanging out silently in the lobby, ever since.

…As you can see, going into this new “Project” of acquiring and stocking a temporary warehouse with stuffs that will prob’ly never be used again after this, yet NEED to last at least the duration of the contract, is just a nightmare of Boss-dome waiting to happen. Nothing good can come of this.  Not the type of building he will choose, not the location it will be in…not the equipment he will find to “work” it, nor the fact it is 300 miles away from us so when shit hits the fan (cuz, it will)…he will be far too removed from it to repair it with his world-class McGyver stylings of plastic paperclips, ducktape and WD-40.

The End-Days are nigh, people.  And the second-coming might inadvertently be the Boss.  I’m just putting it out there as a warning.  I might be wrong…but if a sudden set of disastrous “accidents” occur…like buildings going up in flames with no one around to put them out, because the “extension cord” connecting the do-hickey for the blah-de-blah was actually 99 cents of  stripped, live conducting wire…used mid a lightening storm: you are prepared.

So be it.

~D

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Damn Apps & Mosquitos

30 Jul

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My Olympic App has been revised and refreshed three times and it still isn’t working. 

…Since NBC is the only registered network that is allowed to show recaps and footage stateside, (and I don’t have cable), this is really starting to piss me off. 

YouTube postings are all ripped off the web almost as soon as they are put up there.  Only a few have managed to survive, and most of those are Euro country postings recorded with a potato and pixelated all to hell.  I think they are only left up for sheer amusement purposes.  And I think that is sick and wrong.

…All I wanna do is cheer on my country, people!  Things like the Olympics should be free reign to see anywhere at any time, by anyone who wants to…isn’t that kind of the freakin point?!  “Go team world” and all of that?!  Instead it’s been regulated, edited and sold on product lines like the freakin’ Superbowl.  And to top it off, even when you go the “regulated” route, you still can’t watch it, cuz the damn tech doesn’t work!

Way to go geniuses!

…I’d strike all you bastards and your sponsor products if I could!  Only, Coke is delicious! And so are McDonald french fries! But don’t think I haven’t considered it!

To top off these irritations,  a mosquito got caught in my pants the other day and bit me five times on one side.  I just hope the little asshole popped from the binging raid.  I’ve been miserable ever since it happened.

…You can’t scratch through jeans, and lathering up with anti-itch gell isn’t helping, it just makes you walk like you’ve shat a load in your pants. It’s really everything I can do just to make it to a bathroom every ten or fifteen minutes to scratch the hell out of them until they grow to pink welts the size of silver dollars and get hot and start hurting.  Then I cuss at ’em a bunch and lather more anti-itch gell on ’em.  Not scratching is not an option…not when there is that much poison concentrated in one square foot body of area…therefor my leg by day three, looks like it’s contracted the mumps and has more toxins in it than Joan River’s face.

Plus, it’s Monday.  And overcast.  Again.  And I started my show diet.

…Color me surprised that every customer I’ve contacted for the Bunny Ranch bookings today, has been totally incompetent on understanding procedure and prep…sucking time from me like that effing mosquito. Every call has been a twenty-minute frustration…and no I don’t even know how the math works out cuz that would make today something like 320 hours long…which it FEELS like…but they tell me it couldn’t possibly have been.

…Add all these things together and I’m just a regular Mary Sunshine.  You only wish you were around me all day. 

…But it’s almost over now.  I’ll be able to go home, and change back into boxers and scratch my leg until it falls off, if I want.  And I can make my spinach salad and Gollum juice of disgustingness and NOT watch Olympic updates that won’t actually update…and ignore all the stuff that needs doing like sweeping and laundry and all of that.

It’s just been that kind of day.

Fuck it.

~D

Tunnel Tranny

26 Jul

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First of all, this blog is in no way a personal judgement call on those persons who happen to genuinely enjoy decking out in the opposite gender’s accoutrements…for whatever means of pleasure it may provide them.  This is, however, about the appropriateness of time, location and circumstance for those who do it just for money, at my place of work.

…Which may be a little confusing seeing as I have often referred to this place as a public Brothel.  But it isn’t “really.”  The fact that we have our own Tunnel Tranny (like some people have their own Tunnel Troll) is not within the norm of our particular “business”…just so you know.

…It started several months ago.

Our offices take up a sizable plot of land, down in the port.  Busy traffic, and our neighbors, keep it safe and watched…I’ve never for a moment felt “sketchy” about working here, or unsafe in any way.  Ports are busy places.  And what with the rail right by us and the freeway, traffic is at a constant stream, roaring outside the windows and just down the street.

…But when it turns nightfall, I’d say this place would prob’ly turn into one the top ten places that you just don’t wanna be.  Too many shadows and large machines and containers to hide behind and inside and between…too many places to kill you and hide the body in. Too eerily echo-ee.  Also, we have this tunnel, a small overpass for the Amtrak rail that is literally just outside my own office window.  And a couple of months ago, a new phantom resident began pitching camp there, ‘tween whatever hours where we are not present. 

No one has ever actually seen him. 

…Which is really something, considering the span of hours we keep here, at the Bunny Ranch.  But we know “of” him, thanks to the wardrobe he occasionally leaves behind, and various other accessories.  We go on the presumption he is a man, given the size of his shoes, and various intimate clothing articles.  We go on the presumption of his “trade,” given the occasional cast-off makeup, accessories, fishnetting and wigs.

…He prefers being blond, for instance.  Short, curly cuts, most especially, but he does have an ironed “look” option as well. And he takes, “Maybe you’re born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline” to it’s most literal translation.  He’s not the greatest fashion-setter (unfortunately)…the other day we found a pair of brown go-go boots next to a crazy-print black blouse, and sweatpants. And his house slippers don’t match each other let alone his boxer shorts.  Also, he has substance abuse problems involving gross amounts of Rockstar and Wild Turkey (possibly together, possibly as chasers.)

…He doesn’t smoke (from what we can tell), but he does chew…which you would think might screw up his lipstick line at bit.  But I guess that doesn’t bother him too much, as we’ve no detection of mirrors…but he does enjoy a good morning newspaper. After a particularly disturbing appearance of a travel gas container, we’ve also concluded he’s either a sniffer, or a Pyromaniac.

…We still have offices though, so are placing bets on the former.

All in all, he keeps to himself though…his clump piles to his tunnel home.  Occasionally they redistribute into new grouping and staging areas…which we toss up as some kind of tunnel version of a multi-client house party. Occasionally they float a little too closely to our property line, but seeing as you couldn’t pay any of us decked out in full-out hazard gear to touch any of it, the piles remain as they stand…until such time as his next tunnel-cleaning, or orgy.

…Meanwhile, wardrobe comes and goes according to weather and season. This one time, he tried the life of a brunette without (I’m guessing) much success as the wig has never returned. And for whatever reason he sometimes leaves us Happy Meal toys out on the mailbox slab.  I think as a sort of peace offering. 

We don’t bother him, he doesn’t bother us. 

…And somewhere in his head I’m sure he feels more secure in the fact that we are here every day, watching his stuff.

We try to be good neighbors.

…But if he ever bakes us a thing of cookies and leaves ’em on our doorstep, I ain’t eatin’ ’em.

One must draw a line at some point.  And that is mine.

~D

Daphne & Niles Buy Greece

26 Jul

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This one day, I decided  I needed a pet.

…Actually, we know each other too well by now for me to pull that one off. 

This one day, (after hours and days of careful contemplation, weighing every angle, doing tons of research and pretending like it was a life or death decision of epic proportions) I decided I needed a pet.

…But because I’m me, it wasn’t just a simple “trip to the pet store” kinda deal.  Selecting a pet was this whole other thing I had to do.  (Because when you work things up to the level that I do, almost everything is a gigantic deal.)

I don’t have time or the schedule for a dog. Cats and I despise one another openly. Gerbils and bunnys are stinky…rats are rodents (did you know?) and birds are so loud its like having teenagers in the house.  I don’t do reptiles.  Except those tiny, tiny turtles.  Which (after research) I realized are illegal here cuz of this weird bacteria that can kill you (prob’ly.)

…For the record, almost everything can kill you, so one should always gauge these things accordingly.

In the end, I chose NOT to illegally import thumb-sized ancients from China.  Instead, I chose: “fish.”

Now “fish” and I aren’t this thing.  I find them disgusting, and refuse to catch, touch or eat them.  But they don’t mark your furniture, shed hair all over your clothes or poop on the carpet…so they were automatically ahead of the curve by the time I finally walked into the pet store.  I haunted the tanks, refusing “help” because I am a self sufficient human who can do everything herself (excepts some stuff), and picking a damn fish should be one of ’em.

…After about thirty minutes of careful contemplation…of all the tropicals (who I’ve killed before) and gold fish (who I slaughtered on accident in childhood), and giants (who frankly scare me)…I found myself facing the Betas.

Tiny plastic cups.  They sit there barely moving.  They sit on people’s desks in vases next to “contemplation gardens.”  How complicated could they be?

A lot, it turns out. 

…I’ve written about them before, and I obviously will again.  But in the end, it turns out I was fated to get the most stress-out, possibly heart-attack-ridden, suicide-committing, cannibal fish…of all time.

I named her “Daphne.”

…And a couple days later, I added another little isolation tank (for company) and brought home a “Niles.”

They get along pretty well. Neither has jumped into the other’s tank to eat the other one, or had stress heart-attacks from anxiety about having a housemate.  This is good (I’m told.)  Daphne has had a bout of illness that research finds out is a fin fungus (though her baths, water conditioning and feeding exactly matches the totally un-disturbed Niles)…she is at nine-drops-a-day of fish meds, soon ending her treatment regime, and seems totally unfazed about it.  I of course felt the horrible guilt of any parent whose child has anatomy rotting off of them from neglect…but I am starting to get over it.  Mostly because I think my kids might be “genius.”

…First of all, they are both stellar bubble-nesters.  They blow bubbles like a sunofabitch.  And because they practice total abstinence, there have been no fry to worry about…which is good, cuz that includes things like worms and incubators and mothers eating their young (not me, Daphne.) Also, they totally recognize me.  And not just in the “passing fish” way.  We have whole staring contests.  And sometimes they have to let me win, just to make me feel better.  I play them jazz and blues at bath time and they’ve developed an obvious liking to Billy Holliday and Frank Sinatra. Which means they have good taste.

…Also, they do really intricate water ballet to candlelight.  It’s this whole thing.

…They even make good guard dogs, as they watched the house for me while I was on the film shoot two weeks ago…and Ma said the grand-fish ate all their breakfast and dinner when she visited them, over the weekend.

…So can you blame me that I sometimes spoil them?  Various new additions to their environments, from time to time, have arrisen.  Succulent ammonia- eating plants, floaty toys, food-treats, new rock floors and two versions of condo-houses. Today, while picking up more meds and water conditioner, I scoped out with Ma some new real estate additions. 

The Greco-Roman ruins won. 

Bath time, water temp check and conditioning, medicine application and dinner commenced thereafter…and Daph n’ Niles were introduced to their new home editions.  They were a big hit.  Niles likes the part where he can swim in and out of the pillars…like a stealthy super spy.  Daph likes the fact she feels like I’m finally acknowledging her proper Goddess status.

…She’s practicing toga wrapping as we speak.

…And already a cluster of bubble-nesting has collected at the bowl-lips of each “tank.” A sign of, “contented, healthy and happy Betas.”

Best Mother of the Year Award, right here.

I’m just saying…

~D

And Your OCD Today Will Be…

24 Jul

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For those new to the “me,” let it be known that I sometimes have anxiety issues.  I was diagnosed during a breakdown several years ago, and how it works is: you know how people who have had bronchitis once tend to have every cold they get ever after default to bronchitis again?  Your body has established a weakness, and that weakness is now prone to kick in for the rest of your life.  It happens.  So it goes with the mental stuffs. 

…Where before in times of stress, I would be “stressed,” like every other red-blooded American…now I get stressed for a while and if I don’t check it, bounce over into some aspect of anxiety.  Doesn’t mean I start screaming about the Aliens coming to get us and wearing fashionable tinfoil hats to keep the Feds out of my brain…it just means I begin to manifest slight residual signs…which, thanks to a LOT of money in therapy, I’ve become in tune to and can most of the time work my way out of with good old fashioned reasoning and breathing.

…Also, I make fun of it a lot.  Nothing pisses fear off quite like laughing at it. 

…Anyway, cuz yesterday was specifically a life-stress-event kind of day, with no rising prep of it’s reality…just BAM, right there in m’face, it was sorta inevitable that my old friend Le Freakout would stop by for a visit.  And it did. 

Anxiety is a funny animal, too.  It attacks people in different ways.  For me, some form of physical impediment starts it off…kicking in my warning sectors.  In keeping with the body’s natural “fight or flight” reactions, I go into a kind of very pinpointed shock.  Plummeting temp as the blood is sucked in from all the body extremities to it’s panicking heart-center.  Sometimes fingers and toes will go numb.  I’ll flash in random sweat-waves at the back of the neck and forhead, get the shakes near to a lightly diagnosed Parkinson’s  patient, and either sit in wide-eyed panic or burst into tears involuntarily.  One symptom does not always preclude another…and with very few exceptions has it outstretched my well-trained abilities to shut it down before it’s final manifestation.

…But sometime, it hits harder and stronger.  Sometimes I’m just not prepared.  Sometimes it tricks me with side-stepping the issues until it’s too late.  And I gotta live with that.  For the rest of my life.  Its my superpower weakness…my personal Achilles heel.  It sucks, but I can name it, point at it, make fun of it, and survive it.  I already know this…even when in the middle of a total freak-out.  And that helps, lemme tell yuh.

Yesterday, was a sideswipe on a freeway, kind of day.  Not prepared. And it cost me.

…But after I regained myself…which didn’t take long, frankly…I was back doing paperwork at my desk (excellent for keeping nagging thoughts at bay.)

I thought to myself, by the time I got home, that I was pretty amazing to have dusted the whole episode so quickly.  Which is about when it smiled to itself and shook it’s head.

…”Stupid little human,” it said.  “I’ve only just begun.”

So here’s another fun factoid: Most people with anxiety issues also sport a myriad of cling-ons that suck to it’s host and come along for the ride from time to time.  These cling-ons include things like depression or anger…or for people like me: control issues.  My anxiety’s BFF since apparently childhood, is OCD.  Not the totally incapacitating kind…only types which several people who know me have called, “charming” and “quirky.”  I don’t require anyone else to abide by them, but I feel “bad” if I don’t follow the rules myself.  If you’re going to have an OCD, this is the kind (apparently) you wanna have.  And it isn’t always constant, but it will from time to time make an extra special reappearance.  And it is fucking exhausting.

Guess who decided to pack a bag and show up with Mr. Anxiety on this trip?

“Hi! Straighten that table runner,” it said first. And I did because, well…it needed straightening. Then it moved onto: “That’s chair is in the wrong spot,” and “plate the chicken on the left.”

…”I don’t like how you folded that blanket, ” and “six redvines, not five or seven,” came next.  Also: “re-stack the dishes in the strainer by size,” “stop everything at two a.m. to get the spot out of that table cloth,” “Oh God how can you be such a slob with the bed pillows you aren’t using right now, stacked at total random on the chair over there!  We’ve talked about this!  This is not allowed!  Not in my house!”

…My every little “routine” and “ritual” was magnified and ending in exclamation marks!  Like this!  And as time went on!  I began to finally get wise to it!

Holy crap!  Did I just triple check all the doors for the twelfth time?!  And I think by the fourth washing, that cup is clean now!  And, you don’t necessarily have to  worry about how the blanket is folded when you are in the middle of actually using it!  Also, the fish don’t understand that their rapid movement in scattered patterns is freaking you out!  Stop yelling at them to get their shit together and synchronize their movements like they’re “supposed” to!

…When I finally wound down enough to sleep last night…which was actually at around 3:30 this morning…I had exhausted myself into oblivion.  And though I notice, the residuals aren’t as bad as yesterday…I still had issues with the order of my morning routine, and me and the doornob spent some quality time clicking and re-clicking though I already knew well-enough: it was locked.

…Washing out my coffee mug, starting on my paperwork…so my day began. All a little more uptight than usual.

…Which is my cue to call it out.  And why I am blogging right now instead of the paperwork I should be doing.  Because this is a more important job: calling myself on my own shit.

Hey! Me!  Enough!  Relax!  I know you miss the control!  I get that you feel helpless right now!  But this isn’t helping!  Making sure these things are “just so” will not help you at all in the mainframe of your actual difficulties right now!  You’re just making it tougher on yourself!

…So cut it out, dammit! 

Right.  So that’s done now.

…Back to paperwork.

~D
 

Second Chances

24 Jul

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Listen, today has been rough.  It’s personal. It’s family.  Its not something to write about at the moment…but it got me to thinkin’.

…I’ve had a full weekend of events and friends and easily five blogs worth of one-liner similes and metephores to go with ’em.  I could paint you some verbal pictures that might just raise the corner of your mouth, or make you join the “amen” chorus of, “Am I right, or am I right?!”  And those blogs would prob’ly be more fun to read as well as write.  But I just ain’t got it in me tonight.  I know you understand, you’ve had those days too.  Instead, I think I’d like to tell you a story…it’s true.  I heard it first-hand on Saturday, as I joined The BFF on a Grant Writing interview.

…And I pick this moment above all the rest to record for you, because its important for me right now to remember that green grass follows the storm…you just gotta give it some time.  There are alternate purposes to events in life…and it’s never worth a “give up” scenario, despite frustrations and losses that may come.  As long as there is life, there is hope and reason to fight.

***

A little back story: 

There is a family in Poulsbo, WA who is one of twelve certified rescue farms for horses in the U.S..  Now, I’m not much for farms…and aside from the occasional glance or random passing whim, have never thought much about horses…but even were this your stance too, you’d have been impressed by end of a two-hour meeting with the man in charge.  I certainly was.

He’s an “old school” cowboy look…leathery, long hair with a wave to it, deep smile crinkles at the eyes…68 years-old, and has lived at least three lives (the ones we were told about, anyway.)  He is very, in walk and talk and manner, of the Sam Elliot vein…always with a slow grin like he knows something you don’t yet (and let’s face it, prob’ly does), but is self-modest, boastful of his friends, family and peers, and has reached the point where he knows the next heir apparent needs to be crowned and legacy passed on.  We were there, not to supply hand-outs or milk donations…only as part of a “Will and Testament” on his behalf: to leave those who have been in his care for decades, with enough to support the work he has begun. To protect a two-fold project and lifestyle, that began when he was a boy in Colorado, got left by the wayside for the next many decades of his life, and picked back up again…fifteen years ago.

The boy loved horses.  Loved farming.  Love a man he called, “Mr. Peyton” (and still does to this day): A Buffalo breeder on a Halifax County farm who taught the young man everything he would ever need to know about livestock, and being a horseman.  The boy was given a pony little more than a yearling to break on his own and did, managed stables, broke and trained the horses: cared and worked with them. And then the boy grew up, moved away, married, and lived a life.  It was (as usually is) hitting rock bottom, that brought him back to his first love again.

…With no home, no job, no prospects, the man knew he had at least one thing in his mind’s pocketbook to help him: he could be (if he dusted the saddle off again) a horseman.  After all, those were the happiest years of his life, looking back…and why not, (he reasoned), pick that to make your future as well?

So he did.  And has.  For the past fifteen years.  But it came with a catch…an asterisk coda next to the title of profession.  The man did not choose to trade in breeding and breaking and buying and selling.  His life had taught him too many lessons not to share them, with those in need both animal and human alike.

This ranch, which we visited, of which this man and his family runs and owns purely on non-profit basis, is set as a certified horse sanctuary…and one of only a handful of those dedicated to serving as home for the full remaining lifespan of it’s occupants.  They adopt wounded, worn, blind, cast-offs from neglect or ill owners with zero compensation, and specialize in rescuing retired race horses from the meat block. 

…Over thirty-five animals across a host of pasture lands and stalls, today call this place “home.”  Non-solicited donations have given badly needed fencing, renovated stables and exercise arenas off and on across the years.  Dues are paid (when they have the money) by parents seeking significantly cheaper riding lessons for their children, day in and day out.  When dues become issue, a shrug of the man’s shoulders serves as free-pass…so no child within his family of classes is turned away, should circumstances arise which might otherwise require it.  Taught  primarily by teens and twenty-somethings, who themselves grew up on the ranch, they pass on their trade as it was to that boy once, all those years ago. He has now become the much revered and loved “Mister” of the herd (both animal and human versions), showing the children how to keep the land clean, composted, recycled, organically planned and innovative in it’s daily runnings. It is kept healthy by two veterinarians and an ecologist specialist, whose helped the family rework and irrigate their land to the optimum benefit for horse and pasture life, nothing is wasted…and the students are taught to earn their keep, and must work for what money cannot buy: more one-on-one time with their favorite four-legged friends. 

…And the reason this slick-as-bells-and-whistles organization needs help at the moment is part longevity, part general repair, and part the abnormal lifespan of their live-in “guests.”

The average life of a horse is roughly twenty-five years.  Much, much less for those abused in sport, or neglected and abandoned day-to-day.  Horse Harbor Foundation is nearly at half in upper twenties, with a few reaching mid to late thirties.  They won’t die.  Why should they?  Saved from abandoment  or worse, put through health screens and therapy…exercised and re-educated, and then making friends with a handful of special children has given them new leases on their lives…which has grown the herd beyond holding capacities, and made staffing, feeding and housing them more difficult than the original “business plans” had allowed. 

…But a promise is a promise, and this: their home until they choose to leave the earth they stand on. So, the family continues to hang on. 

…And that was why The BFF had been called in: as “fresh reinforcements” to the cause, which even now, the man was uncomfortable in asking help with.

…Which goes even deeper, should the animal-lover gene in you alone, not have been enough to impress you.   And herein is where the story I set out to tell you, really begins.

A rescue place for horses.  A mother with limited funds hears it is in her area.  And she has a son: severely autistic…at age thirteen has never spoken a word or walked one step into a schoolroom.  But he has shown interest, the therapists say, in horses…pointing at pictures in books as a constant repeating theme and indicator.  Perhaps to see one live, meet one, touch one, might give him some secret inspiration of some form of communication or opening up.  The mother decides to reach out and give it a try.

“Might we visit?” She asks, explaining her cause to the stranger across the phone.

“Of course,” the man says.

“We’ve tried it before, but no one will allow it.  Not only because of his handicap.  He’s also a haemophiliac.”

“I have just the horse…a mare, blind, gentle as a lamb.  Come on out.”  The man replies.

…And one day soon after, a boy with no voice was standing face-to-face with an old mare.  He looked.  He touched it.  He was put atop it.  No visual change in facial expression, no noise of communication given.  Then, the man got an idea (knowing boys and horses as he did)…that maybe a little private bonding time was called for, excused the mother to outside of the barn door, and spoke up to the boy.

“I’m just gonna go get a lead from out there and be right back, okay? If she starts getting fussy at all, just rub her neck like this and talk to her a bit.  Keep her company while I’m gone, if you don’t mind.”

…And he walked out.

…And the boy…who had never spoken in thirteen years…when left alone with his horse, decided to make a new friend. 

He spoke. 

…And kept speaking. 

…Through enrollment of his first school, through making up all the grades he’d missed, through graduating the school with honors, through getting his first apartment, and job.

…A second chance for two new friends destined to meet, which created and then became the ranch’s Harmony School of Horsemanship, still pairing up special needs children with retired, abandoned and otherwise less fortunate four-legged friends to this day.

The children are taught to care for and build relationships with the animals, to nurture and be thankful for the bonds they share, to respect one another’s difficulties, and specific needs.  It’s a partnership which has gone on to win ribbons at rodeos and The Junior Olympics, built lifelong horse ownership with the kind of responsibility one should have, has majors in Equestrian sport at colleges, and even while we were there: teenage teachers on the track, handing down the lessons they have learned like a holy passage of rights.

You cannot see these kids without shaking your head in wonder.  You cannot talk to this man without wanting to comb the countryside of every influence within grasp who you know, who might help them.  It isn’t golden paddocks they want.  No hand-outs of charity.  They don’t make any money off of it, and seem perfectly content with the “cause” being reward enough.  What they need are basics: hay feed, and fence extensions, and water irrigation for their herd to stretch out. With a chuckle, the man seems quite tickled with the “Senior Citizens” in his care…pointing to one (the oldest) long retired even from the “school,” who they several times a day have to mix a special mash-up for, on account she no longer owns a tooth in her head.

“Lookit her,” he grins as we stand by a gate looking out to the pasture,” so old she falls asleep middle of eating sometimes, but give her a sunny day, and you’d never know she’s sp’osed to be dead ‘most fifteen years ago.  Just nippin at the grass and loppin’ along, and ‘time to ‘time old friends and new one come on back to pet and remember her.”

“It’s a pretty good set up,” I agree with him.

“I don’t like to toot m’own horn, but it’s a pretty great way to spend your retirement years,” he winks back with the confidence of one who outta know.

…And I just thought you should too. 

“Know,” I mean.

~D

Freebees

21 Jul

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Everything past 1:30 today was a freebee on account that Boss told me to not come back from lunch and drink the week away with his blessings. I chose the sober activity-heavy approach instead…starting with BFF antiquing, manicures, girl-clothes shopping, and eating.

It was mostly a good second half.

…Except they should really consider the crude lighting in dressing rooms I think.  They’d sell more.  And being in the market for “girl-clothes” specifically, only makes it worse. 

I hate clothes shopping in any circumstance, let alone for dresses.  They’re bothersome. And cut weird.  And make you look like a souped up version of yourself who spends the whole night walking funny, worrying about the breeze updraft, and keeping your knees together when you sit. I can wear a dress for shows and things and pull it off, but when I have to be “me” and do it, I feel like a Linebacker in drag.  Except if I totally overdue it and crossbreed a dominatrix  with theme’d ’40’s Noir dame.  Then I can pull it off.

We don’t know why.

…And you’d be surprised how few places stock those kinda things, outside of Halloween and porn stores.

…Anyway, I can’t do either because this is for a classy cocktail shindig.  The kind with printed invitations, and finger foods and wines in actual non-plastic glasses. In truth, it is exciting to me.  Cuz it’s grown-up and very retro in thinking.  But the realization that I would have to also outfit myself, kinda took a little air out of my newly weight-gained sails, as I perused the racks at the mall.

Desperationville starting popping up in the form of panic. 

…Because just NOTHING at all looked even remotely “okay” once it got put on. 

At one point I even started defaulting to my “comfort-zone,” and was sporting what amounted to three whore “almost-dresses” and (I swear to you) a leopard-printed boob number.

…Now, I am fiercely against animal prints and always have been…unless you are ethnic enough to pull it off, and have big tits.  And though I am ethnic (or used to be before I moved to the greater Northwest of white paper-skined-people)…the boobs I’m sportin’ ain’t that great.  But once I put that animal-skinned form-sucker on, it managed to lift, suck, grasp and produced amazement.  I stared at my reflection in horror as my entire life flashed before my eyes . I was suddenly 45, with a bad spray tan, letching on a twenty-something boy-toy, with tits up to my chin and Fran Drescher hair. Also, I was Italian.

…The problem is: I “liked” it.  And I realized that.  And it was terrifying.

For the greater good of all mankind, I immediately got the hell outta the animal print, soon as I saw the freakish grin on my face.  I must be stopped.  No good could come of this. And I put the monstrosity back for another woman of far more…whatever I haven’t got…to fill it and be at peace with her amazing looking breasts and general Cougar splendiforousness. Cuz that was not me.  Anyway…not yet.  Given time and circumstance, God only knows how ridiculous I will get.

…Which was about when The BFF’s fella texted and rescued me by suggesting a dinner of Pho.  So The BFF and I rejoined up for our second meal of the day, and all made plans to break, run errands, and meet up for some bowling, after.

By now, the day which had started with a dead network screwing with closeout and payroll timing…had managed to produce a lunch, some antiquing, clothing depression, nail overlays, a coffee, dinner and some dish washing. Naturally, three games of bowling in shoes sporting every cootie in the nation, and two pitchers of piss-poor beer, would come next. And they did.  And it was fantastic.

…Which brings me here: the lowest scores of double digit accomplishment ever committed in a bowling lane, a clouded left contact who gave up about half an hour ago, and a beer gut slowly depleting with every rush to the bathroom I make.  It’s finally starting to die down now.  Which means, I’ll be able to go to bed soon.  A happiness, as the thunder woke me up first thing this morning, well before the light did.

…So to sleep I go.  Well, first to the twenty-minute ordeal of face and teeth washing, rinsing, hydrating etc, which once accomplished, sets me on my second wind…but will die down of its own accord soon enough. 

Soon to my bed of yay, where nests of pillows swallow me up.  I can turn my alarm clock to the wall, pop in my extra sexy mouth-guard, and float to happy land. No doubt, I’ll be meeting up with that animal-dress-from-hell as I walk the Roman countryside…dark men tossing me cat-calls, the swelling of  cleavage…my  amazingly presented chest…keeping perfect rhythm, with their sing-song accents.

…I purr out,”Ciao, baby,” to my unsuspecting prey: the burly youth in the fields…sweating, and picking wine grapes.

…And I sleep with a grin the size of Texas, pasted on my face.

FYI: tomorrow? We won’t be talking about this.

~D

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