Monday, April 27, 2009

A closet tyrant

Why is "Oh, sure I can help out!" such a stupid thing to say?
Well, there were 500 entries at the inter-regional horse show this weekend at our pony club.

I volunteered to help out, thinking I'd be in the mess tent, serving coffee (free coffee) crepes (free crepes) and sandwiches (you got it - hot drinks and nibbles all day.) Inside warm tent. Gossip and leaning over the counter, or stepping out back to stand in front of the barbecue and get toasty.

Instead, I was put at the starting gate. Now, for those who don't know, a horse show has to be organizd in order to go smoothly. With each class having between 55 and 120 entries, you have to give out numbers to each entry, and they have to arrive in order on the show jumping ring. And there can't be any pauses, and you have to keep everyone moving. There is a little warm-up ring, where 2 or three jumps are set up, and the contestants arrive and warm up their ponies before being called into the ring.

I was in charge of calling all the riders into the ring. Of course, it never goes in order - someone is always late, fell off, forgot their boots, had a flat the gatekeeper (me) is trying to keep everyone happy ("Ok, you can go find your boots so you can go after number 22, and number 19, you can go as number 30 if you feel you have to rest after that massive fall you just took, and yes, number 54, if you absolutely have to leave, go right ahead. I'll just tell 20 to be patient.")

I was working as a team with the person in charge of filling up the warm-up ring, who had to make sure it was never too full or too empty. I had to deal with the irate trainers sayig things like "what do you mean my number 26 can't go right now, he's ready!" so I have to explain that for my sanity and for a minimum of order I wanted to try and keep the numbers in order...

And then it went to my head. "No, you can't wait five more minutes. You're number 45 and number 44 is in the ring. If you don't go now, you'll lose your turn. And don't argue. I'm in charge here."

I don't know if the pony club realized that I was a closet tyrant.

I had a great time. From 8 am to nearly 8 pm, I controlled the gate. (it's actually a big green rope) and had free crepes, coffee and sandwiches, (so it wasn't too bad). The weather was not bad either, and my daughter came in fifth in her class (over 120 in it!) and her place in the national finals is now official!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Terrible Blogger Award

I'm giving myself the Terrible Blogger Award -
I haven't been blogging for ages - and yet, there is so much to blog about!
I'll try and catch up...

We've had strikes at the university for over 10 weeks now - number one son hasn't had classes since before Christmas, and he's in his second year of psychology studies. Number two son (second year biology studies) has had about one week of classes since Christmas. Both are bored and worried about exams and passing. Both have drowned their boredom and worries in marathon computer games with friends (also out of classes). I'd go crazy - but they are awfully helpful around the house so I'm actually not complaining - I'm just worried for them.
There seems to be no solution to the problem, and no end in sight. We still don't know what will happen with this semester.

Work is going well - I'm swamped, actually, with no time to write fiction, but a huge translating and illustrating job is on my plate, along with the usual jobs so that's keeping my busy.
Daughter is doing her pony club thing - lots of horse shows, and she's done so well this year she's landed herself in the national finals. Whoot! We're quite proud, but the horse shows take up a lot of time on weekends, and I feel as if I don't get anything done.

I'm also feeling sorry for the poor kid they caught and who is going on trial for piracy - anyone else think it's cruel? Nevermind - he'll probably be better fed, cared for and treated in a US prison than free at home in his country - but just thinking that makes me depressed. What kind of life can he have? I do think that the rich are far too rich and the poor far too poor. It's exaberated by the fact we can see how everyone else is living via TV and internet. Life is definetly not fair, and if there is a god, he/she is doing a crappy job if the job entailed making life good for everyone.

And the poor polo ponies that were killed by lethel injection in Palm Beach - what a terrible thing to have happened. No, polo is not regulated like racing - yes, it should be. No, it wasn't done on purpose, and no, it doesn't excuse the fact some idiot made a deadly mistake. If a horse is well trained and well fed, it certainly shouldn't need any kind of supplement or vitamins. As for steroids and pain killers, don't get me started.

My poor Labrador is ill. She has some sort of intestinal infection (I won't get into details...) We think she ate a hedgehog (Labradors are not the brightest bulbs in the dog-family chandelier) and so she is on a strict diet and antibiotics - and she is perfectly miserable (about the diet).
Out dachshund sympathises, but doesn't go as far as sharing his food.

Hubby is home from Spain and we played 9 holes of golf yesterday just because we felt like it!