Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrating Independence

We saw our first ad for Swing Vote on television the other night. Swing Vote is a film we saw at a screening several months ago. It stars Kevin Costner. If they haven't screwed it up after getting feedback, it's a terrific film. At least it was in February or March. It opens on August 1. Go see it.

Tomorrow is July 4. Len's off being a guest of honor at CONvergence, in Minneapolis. If you happen to be there, find him and say hello. It means that he cannot participate in our long-standing tradition of watching the wonderful film of 1776, which we always try to do on July 4. I love the film, the music, and the performances. I saw many of the same actors in the original Broadway production back when I was in college. Somewhere in those boxes I pay too much to store is the Playbill from the show. For me, no one has ever done John Adams as well as William Daniels and I always hear and see Howard Da Silva when I think Benjamin Franklin. If no network is running it, I'll play the DVD before the day is over.

The temperature promises to be be in triple digits, so I'm planning an early visit to the Arabian Prince tomorrow. A friend wants to come by and visit him--it's been several years since she's had a chance.

He was really good during our lesson last night, but Gayle said he was a real pain on Tuesday when she tried to do a dressage test with him (she wants to take him to a training show in August.) So she dropped by to do a little "join up" with him on Wednesday afternoon before I got there and he wasn't particularly cooperative. She made it even more annoying for him by turning on the sprinklers, which he hated. Apparently, it did convince of the benefit of following the program. Unfortunately, when Gayle turned her back to open the gate to the paddock when they were finished, Ace dropped and rolled. When I got there to tack him at 5, he had a lovely dried layer of sand on top and lots of grit underneath the surface of his coat. That's probably the dirtiest he has ever gotten voluntarily.

Gayle's taking him out on a trail ride today with a group of her students and expects to be out about three hours. He should be exhausted today and tomorrow.

In the late afternoon tomorrow, a friend is having a barbeque over in Studio City and, when it gets dark, we'll walk over to Ventura Boulevard to watch the fireworks. The Radford Studios, where shows like Grace under Fire and Dave's World were filmed does a big July 4 event. We can't really hear the music, but we can watch the light show.

During the 15 years I lived in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, I saw a lot of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. The first year we lived there was the Bicentennial and we went to the Pentagon to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately, there were a lot of "groundworks" and the Pentagon, which is across the Potomac from the Mall, was not a good vantage point. The folks watching on TV had a better view. Another year I was on the steps of the U.S. Capitol shooting toward the Lincoln Memorial--one of the photographs was licensed by the DC Yellow Pages the next year. For a few years, I just sat on the stoop in the front of the condo where I lived and watched the local display in our suburban town. The last summer I was in D.C., I worked for a law firm located on Pennsylvania Avenue. The firm held a party on the roof of its building for all the employees and their families and we had a great time and a great view.

So enjoy your celebration and take a few minutes to read the Declaration of Independence. Or do a sing along to 1776. Happy holiday!


Grey Horse Matters said...

I hope they play 1776 on TV, it's a great movie. Ace sounds like he's been getting a lot of work lately I'm sure he rolled because he was so hot. I feel bad for you and the horse having 3 digit temps out there. We won't even ride our horses if it's over 90 and the humidity is a big factor too here, as you know.
It might not be a bad idea for some people(who shall remain nameless) to read the Declaration of Independence.

M. C. Valada said...

Amen to your last sentence, Arlene.

We generally don't have the humidity problems out here that you do, but it does get too hot to make the horses work. We often make that call based on whether there's a breeze or not or whether there's some shade. At the currently unoccupied Pierce College Equestrian Center, the covered arena would bring the temperature down about 10-15 degrees. I really miss that.

We try to spray the arena just before we work out. That does an amazing job of making things feel cooler for a little while. And we generally do not over work the horses when it is this hot.

Two years ago, while we were in San Diego, there was a horse show at Pierce College. The temperature went to 119 degrees that day--the record for Woodland Hills. What they couldn't do under the covered arena, they just couldn't do, I hear. I am so glad I missed it, but I do feel sorry for my poor horse who was there in his stall. At least he was in the shade all day and wasn't out working.

I find I get sick to my stomach if it is too hot and I'm working hard around the barn. But I do think that Ace's desert horse background helps him to deal with the hot better than non-Arabs. Even in very hot weather, he barely breaks a sweat.