Friday, October 29, 2010


When I get to the barn this morning Hopi is outside with the group of other horses. Having more then just sprained my ankle two nights ago walking that far out and getting him is a challenge. The fact that I left specific instructions to only have Hopi be put out with his girlfriend, or alone if he was well enough to go out at all makes me more then just a little pissed.

Another horse in the barn, Spanky is an asshole with no manners in the field. Peter, now actually knowing anything about horses ignores the behavior and refuses to fix it, claiming it's not his job to train peoples horses. Spanky is more then just a little dangerous. Having been chased and kicked twice in the field, and bit on another occasion I can attest to this.

After a twenty minute fight involving a whip I've gotten Hopi and myself out of the field with minimal damage.

When I ask Peter why Hopi was out with the other horses instead of with his girlfriend, Bewitched, I'm told that he threw a fit. Hopi lulls sickly to the side and it's more then apparent he couldn't throw a fit about anything.

I explain I can't safely retrieve my horse while he's in a field with Spanky.

"I'll get him for you," Peter says, apparently believing this is a solution to the problem.

"What if you aren't here?" I counter, my ankle hurts and I'm more then a little peeved that my instructions were so blatantly ignored. Especially after explaining how sick Hopi possibly was.

"Then you can't get your horse," Peter says grumpily.

It becomes obvious that this is going to escalate into something much more.

"Besides I'm not going to fucking be here," Peter starts, his father, a little goblin like man in his late 70's approaches from the Hay loft. "They're making me get a fucking job!" Peter curses.

They, being the owners of the barn. Peters been fighting with them for years over whether he should pay rent or not. In most barns with apartment situations the barn hands are given free board and free lunches plus an hourly wage. Peter claims to get only 150 dollars a month, although I'm not at all sure I believe him, having caught his lying about many things in the past.

"Peter, that isn't my problem," I explain calmly "But you need to make sure Spanky is under control and Hopi is kept safe,"

"I don't have time for this shit," Peter's father suddenly breaks in. "You people are just trouble makers, This isn't even any of your business," He's screaming already.

"Excuse me?" I'm totally unprepared for the attack.

"This isn't any of your business," I tell Peter's father, and in all honesty, it isn't. He has nothing to do with the horses, and doesn't live on the property.

"My son does all the work around here and they don't want to pay him!" Apparently the man is under the impression that I care.

Before I go further I'd like to explain that I am an incredibly even tempered person. It takes a lot to get me going, but at that point I can feel myself tense.

"What does that have to do with me?" I say, trying to calm myself.

And then it all goes to hell. The man is screaming about how he's had a hundred horses, how he knows how to take care of them, etc, etc. He's in my face, screaming so loudly Hopi stops looking blankly at the floor and actually raises his head in alarm.

"If you know so much about horses why doesn't your son know how to do anything?"

That ruffles Peter's feathers, "I take care of them just fine!"

"If you did we wouldn't be having this problem," My mother snaps.

"Listen you!" That's old dude screaming again, right in my face. "I'm homeless and don't have time to deal with this,"

"Well maybe you deserve it," I say loudly, and all goes silent for a split second. See, I don't like being rude. I don't like being mean, but if you attack me first I will hit you as low as I possibly can.

I'm also right. The man has 5 children, all grown. Either he was a bad father and they don't want to help him, or he didn't raise them to be able to take care of themselves. And I tell him so.

Color drains from the mans face and he storms away screaming about how he hopes I become homeless and what a terrible girl I am.

Peter's yelling again in the background, something about not being taught to respect elders.

And then I'm crying and screaming about my horse dying and how it isn't anyone fault that I'll have to put him to sleep but I don't deserve to be yelled at by a nasty bitter old man. Believe me, it takes a lot to get me going, I'm beyond nasty when angry, but my hysteria is much scarier. I'm ranting and screaming and crying all at the same time, Peter takes a step back.

When I finally settle down I continue

"This is business, YOUR business. Either keep your father out of it or quit,"

"I can't tell my father what to do," He says softly, fight slightly draining away from him for a moment.

"Then learn,"

Then he's back to being Peter, explaining why nothing is his fault and everything is the owner of the barns fault. He's do anything for any of the horses but nobody appreciates it.

I sigh heavily. Noting for the seventh or eight time that it's a very, very good thing I don't have a gun.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Forward Motion

I woke up early this morning, having to be at the barn by 9. Packing up the dogs and many necessary items I'll need for the day, I bit Antonio a good day and tell him I'll be taking the dogs with me for the day so he doesn't have to worry. He mumbles something about worrying and goes back to laying tiles.

Hopi is my pony. He's small but sturdy and full of personality. He hasn't been too up to snuff lately, and given the signs he needed a routine cleaning that males horses get once or twice a year. So I ended up calling a friend to come check him out. I also booked a farrier appointment for the same day so that we could get everything over with in one sitting

Rachel is an ex Large Animal Vet Tech, she's also one of the most knowledgeable horse people I know.

Sheath cleaning is common among people in the horse world, it's also the chore that no body in the horse world actually wants to do. It involved putting your hand in places you really don't believe it should be going. So most of us hire vets or friends to do it.

So, after putting on some rubber gloves and lubing up, Rachel told me very calmly that there were lumps and she couldn't perform a cleaning. Rachel knows what she's talking about and asked us to call the vet.

I called the vet and explained the symptoms and was told that they'd call me back right away. When they called I was told that the vet was busy on a farm call near by and would show up in about an hour. Despite what you may think, this is indeed bad news. See, with horses, if you're unsure about something and call your vet and it's something minor they'll make an appointment for a week or two down the road.

When whatever is wrong isn't obvious, such as wounds needing stitches or some form of colic, you always want your vet to make an appointment somewhere down the line.

When they say they'll be there right away it's a bad sign.

Throughout all of this the animal control officer for Rehoboth is there, making her yearly 'inspection' which actually means, sitting around and talking to people without bothering to check on the welfare or health of any of the animals. But whatever. She sat around trying to convince me to breed my dog, complaining about PETA and explaining why foxes and coyotes needed to be culled.

Disgusted, everyone around her walked away several times in hopes of some sort of escape. None came.

Our vet's a cute, young women who wears awesome hats and brings her dog everywhere she goes. He's a small cattle Australian type dog that sits in the front of the pick up and makes sure everything is the way it should be.

Rachel immediately began firing off what was going on and what the problem was in tech language. The vet nodded and explained that she'd be sedating Hopi just to see what was going on. Ten minutes later he was standing in the cross ties trying to stay on his feet.

The animal control officer was still milling around, apparently deciding to watch the entire going's on uninvited.

Peter, the barn manager stood silently in the corner, upset that one of his horses was sick and it had gone totally over his head.

Following descriptions may be disturbing and should be read at your own risk - skip if you're a male with a weak stomach.

After feeling around for quite some time the vet's hand cam back bloody, and when she finally got a hold of his, more personal anatomy and was able to pull it out the problem was obvious.

Half of the tissue has rotted away and was bleeding heavily. Most of the tissue was black and chunks of tissue fell to the floor before the blood started to make a puddle on the mats.

After she began cutting dead skin away, and giving both a liquid pain reliever similar to morphine and a strong antibiotic directly via syringe directly to the injured area (Something that had Peter running for the office in a fit of dry heaves) we were told there was nothing she could do immediately.

End disturbing images?

"It's either an infection or a type of cancer these horses usually get. But the way it's bleeding and because it came on so quick I'm leaning towards the cancer," Of course, she said it much more professional and calming then I did, but the results are still the same.

The biopsies she took will be back in 7-12 days. If he comes back with cancer the price for the necessary treatment would be more then astronomical. In the mean time she leaves me with both an oral antibiotic and pain reliever. I also shouldn't worry about all the blood.

Because Hopi only eats hay as opposed to grain I'm told to buy Hay extender, something similar to grain with less calories, as the vet warns he also needs to lose about fifty pounds.

Rachel helps me get the stumbling pony back into his stall where he stares blankly and sleepily at the wall.

I bid Rachel, Peter, and the Animal control officer a hasty goodbye before headed to the feed store with a long list of supplies to make him more comfortable.

When I return from the feed store with more hay, shavings, fly spray, hay net, and a fifty pound bag of hay extender I leave it for Peter to put up into the hay loft and check on Hopi, who is still more then a little woozy. He ignores his hay and stands mopier then I've ever seen him. The sedative should be wearing off, the vet says when I call. He's just sick.

When I solemnly return home Antonio has an important announcement for me.

"I'm not scared anymore!" He tells me in his heavily accented English when I approach the bathroom to inform him both I and the dogs have returned.

"I'm more scared of you now," He continues before breaking into a hum as he sets down a tile.

"You don't walk on the tiles," He starts again "Don't walk on the tiles until tomorrow. You walk on them and I'll kill you,"

Some consistency would be nice.

By the end of the day all they've finished for the day has been the floor. We're still out a bathroom.

When I return to the barn around five Hopi won't take his medication. I mix it with a hay extender and he ignores it. Beth, another boarder who also has an ill horse offers me some bran mash, a treat much more tasty then Hay Extender. It's also ignored. I ended up leaving it in his bucket in case he changed his mind. In the mean time, all involved pace around nervously.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pressing On.

I woke up today to my mother throwing a cat at my head and hurriedly explaining that the work men that our landlord hired to renovate our bathroom were here. On time. For once. Antonio's an older Portuguese/Italian guy who show's up at least four hours after he says he will, if he shows at all. So I was expecting to sleep in this morning. Which I could seriously need after my 3AM bedtime last night.
But no, I had to get up and round up the cats into one room so no one made a great escape into the great outdoors through the open walls. Two of our cats are feral. Which, after thinking about it for a minute makes them very much like old Vietnam vets. They're both incredibly paranoid and won't let you near them, and they know without a Shadow of a doubt that you're out to kill them, so they should at least attempt to kill you first. 20 minutes and some blood later I'm watching Tony, Antonio's much younger helper watch awkwardly as Antonio dives head first through the open bathroom window. Antonio is absolutely terrified of my dogs, which is slightly hypocritical seeing as he has several lovely family Pit Bulls sitting at home.

Tony, at the risk of getting caught laughing at his boss turns away and awkwardly pats a dog on the head.

Then it's all noise. They're tearing down walls and breaking windows and for some horrible reason - listening to Rhianna on repeat.

Today is also my mothers birthday, which of course, means I must make a half hearted attempt at baking. Please don't get me wrong, I love the idea of baking. I love the measuring and the checking and the frosting and all of that other cool stuff. However, the fact that I have yet to make a cake that doesn't collapse in on itself weighs heavily on my mind. A box of instant cake mix later, and I'm well on my way to another magical collapsing cake.

I start to worry about the boy that ever decides they want to marry me. Poor soul.

It's also at this point when I hear Antonio chattering on in a mix of Portuguese and English very similar to spanglish. Here I could pretend to tell you that, having lived in a Portuguese neighborhood all my life I somehow understood half of what he was saying, but in all honesty the only thing I can say to a Portuguese speaking person is "thank you" and some very choice words I learned when my neighbor found her husband cheating on her and proceeded to beat him with various sports equipment on their front lawn.
While not understanding the words I got the general jist. Something was wrong and it was in some terrible way going to effect me.
As it turns out they ordered the wrong tub. The tub they needed had to be 4 foot 6 inches, and the one they ordered was only four feet. Leaving not only a ridiculously tiny tub in the room, but a six inch empty space where the tub should have continued.
It'll be fine, he explains to me while Tony shakes his head.

I'll drywall the extra six inches. He says.

It's at this point that I send Uma into the bathroom with the command to "Get him". Antonio backs up against a wall and throws his hands up while also attempting to mask his movements and somehow keep his manly dignity. He fails however as the dog trots in wagging her tail intent on licking the drywall dust off his cheek.

You have to understand, if you know me, you've heard about my bathroom. It's four and a half feet by six feet. Which sounds like a perfectly nice size to most people. And it is, when the room is empty. Add all of things bathrooms need to be bathrooms and you're stuck in crowded, claustrophobic little room.

No way in Hell he's taking away those six inches.

Over Antonio's dead, chewed up body.

The problem is the 4 6" tub is a special order, and he isn't going to go around looking for someone who happens to have one in stock. We're at a stand still.

An hour of frantic cursing phone calls and Antonio's on his way out complaining about missing his lunch hour to go get a tub.

This leaves my self, my mother and Tony. An awkward 20-something year old who obviously isn't sure what he's supposed to be doing in a strangers house now that he has no reason to be there. He asks about the dogs and tells me about his girlfriend who works at a pet store apprehensively. So I give him a piece of magical collapsible cake that magically did not collapse today for the first time in forever. It makes him feel slightly more at ease, and seeing as I don't eat cake - somebody has too.

My writing class was canceled earlier in the morning and I'm left with nothing to do for the rest of the day. At least, nothing I don't already have an excuse not to do. So I wander the internet or marvel at how big 4 foot 6 inches by 6 feet really is.

About and hour and a half later, Antonio returns with a tub that should fit. After fifteen minutes of the the two of them trying to get it in I offer my worldly advice that the tub looks about an inch too large for the space. Antonio threatens to smack me and sends me away. 10 minutes and some stripped wood later, the tub fits and Antonio is thanking us for saving him the extra work of extending plumbing and adding more drywall.
"In fifteen minutes you'll be able to take a shower!" he announces. Glancing around the room that currently lacks walls I nod unenthusiastically, and then the house if filled with more Rhianna, a buzz of some sort of saw and a nail gun - a power tool that I've always felt very close too.

While this goes on I sit around hungry because they've blocked all access to the refrigerator and they're both in and out of the kitchen. I consider going down the street for food but decide I'm both too poor and too lazy for it. So instead I sit shifting through email and developing a headache.

I later find that the only place I can find any sort of relief is face down on my living room floor, cheek flush against the hardwood with limbs outstretched in shapes that almost mimic some sort of ritual sacrifice.

Twenty minutes later I decided that there were indeed things I needed to do (including going grocery shopping), I forced myself up and went along with my day.

When I return I find that several sheets of drywall are already up, and Antonio is working on some of the last of it. Hope has returned that maybe tomorrow I can sleep in! They'll be practically done if they keep up at this rate!

Of course these are stupid thoughts, because they don't have anything really done. Unless I want to give up on this whole bathroom idea and instead decide to have a dark, empty green meditation room. Which, as my headache returns starts to sound like a lovely idea.

As Seven o'clock shows itself it becomes apparent that we'll have Antonio and Tony trekking through our home for at least another two days. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. It just kind of sucks.
You can't really act like it's your house when you have workmen wandering around now can you?

As the boys pack up to go I make a list of things I have to do tomorrow.
Sleep in is not one of them.
Another day, Another dollar, another 4 hours of sleep.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Scene Is Dead. Long Live The Scene.

So this is something I've been thinking about since heading to a The Academy is Show in August. That show was dead. I mean, stick a fork in the crowd, we're catatonic. There were maybe 70 or 80 people there, most of them for one of the 5 local opening bands that sold their own tickets. This is The Academy Is people. For those of you who don't know who they are, go look them up. They've "Headlined" Warped tour, (Well, as much as a band *can* Headline Warped Tour). They've had multiple headlining tours, national and world wide.
They have a fan base. But I remember standing there in the crowd feeling a deep sense of disappointment. It wasn't one of the shows I loved attending, and it wasn't the band I fell in love with.
Nothings changed, they hadn't rearranged the dynamics, they hadn't replaced a drummer or don't something morally wrong to lose my respect. They just weren't themselves. The words of appreciation to their fans were hollow, the songs sung hundreds of times were just that, rehearsed, polished, overdone.
I've been listening to Alex over at Fake Pink Glasses talk about a feeling very similar. I met her at a show a year or so back and we hit it off (or maybe I just creeped her out). She's a biologist slash music blogger who I hold a great deal of respect for. I voiced my concerns about this show in question and at the time she very much disagreed.

FastForward a few months later to a dark club with Pete Wentz and a cute new frontgirl named BeBe and I think she's thinking the same thing.

The Scene Is Dead.
This has been proven by the decreasing numbers of concerts goers, the decreasing record sales, the decreasing amount of people who care.

I'm disappointed and in all honesty quite sad. I wanted the scene to continue, to morph to...somehow come back from life support.
I'm sick of going to shows and having 12 and 13 year olds running around caring more about how attractive a musician is then what his music is about. What his or her lyrics are saying. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not being hypocritical here. I get celebrity crushes and appreciate an attractive man just as much as the next person. Hell, I'll even talk about it with you.
I'm sick of the celebrity of the whole thing.
I miss the band dudes and the crew dudes who'd hang out outside a venue for hours and talk to you. Honestly talk to you. Not about the next record or how many awards they've won, but honestly talk to you. About life, about how they got there, about you.
I miss the little opening bands from a town no ones ever heard of who would completely light up and get all giggly you when you asked them to sign their 3 dollar CD you just bought. Because they're little and everyones ignoring them for the headliner and no one wants their autograph.
I miss those band boys (and roadies!) that remember your name.
I miss the people you could stand in line with and talk to about something other then male hotness or celebrity gossip.
I miss the scene.
So what was missing at that The Academy Not the music, not the band, not even the fans, but the caring. No one seems to care anymore. Not the fans, not the management, and in some cases - not even the bands.

So, as Gabe Saporta and Alex say -
The Scene Is Dead, Long Live The Scene.

Friday, October 22, 2010


In the last several months I have....---->

Burned some bridges:
But that happens a lot anyway - where's the news?

Opened an animal rescue:
Look! News! I've opened a Rhode Island based rescue dedicated to adopting and placing dogs and cat who's owners can no longer care for them.
This is Paz, our first "Official" rescue:

And this is Paz in his new home:

Almost died:
That was fun.

Ran almost 100 miles.

Started Geocaching:
Geekist, most awesome, most amazing, coolest thing ever.

Walked around in public as a member of Team Rocket:
I have an awful lot of fun.

Started Learning Latin:
Who the hell speaks Latin? Why does anyone even know this language? Oh? The church? Oh, gee, thanks, another thing to thank you guys for.

Wrote a novel:
Self explanatory.

Found a college.

Anyway, long story short I've been pretty busy. If I haven't been in contact with you, I apologize. (Although then again you *could* pick up the phone...) I'll be all over New England this winter covering all of my more major projects, and honestly, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to update this blog. Which very much leaves me feeling a bit nostalgic. Anyway, I'm on twitter and Facebook. Keep in touch with me there.


‎In the great scheme of things what matters is not how long you live, but why you live, what you stand for and what you are willing to die for.