Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Busy Day

I planned to go shopping for some silk shirts, finish inputting tax info, and make dinner for the Sunday Super Supper Squad because The Amazing Race starts tonight with, get this, two Harlem Globe Trotters on board as contestants. How's that for stunt-casting? Now, I've got to fit in a visit from Tim Prindle, my terrific farrier, who will be leaving for two weeks back east on Thursday and it's time for Ace's toes to be done. Too little time, too much to do. So why am I procrastinating at the keyboard? Probably because it was over 110 yesterday and will be another scorcher today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Hurrieder I Go, the Behinder I Get

It seems a little silly to pop in and say I'm sorry I've been too busy to post. But I just haven't had enough time to finish writing about my trip to New York or cover what else has been going on. One big time-sink I can't even address just yet.

Repairs on the house continue at a snail's pace. We can see improvement on the roof and reframing on the inside, but we're told it will be February until it is ready. I'm guessing we'll be at the rental for the better part of a year, unless I can convince Len to buy while the market is in our favor and then sell the old place when houses are on the upswing. It's not like I couldn't carry that mortgage on my own right now, and it would make a good rental property.

I'm doing a quick in and out of town in a few weeks to go to the wedding of a first cousin once removed. I've never met him, but he found me through the Internet a number of years ago. I'm looking forward to meeting him and seeing his father and uncle for the first time in a zillion years. I'm also hoping to squeeze in time for a ride at the Wild Horse Resort where the wedding is taking place. It looks lovely out there.

Len's had his plate full with follow-up meetings from Comic Con and the several projects he's deeply into. Plus, he's getting a tremendous lot of press because of the X-men Origins: Wolverine movie release. He's on a 15 minute short having a conversation with Stan Lee, which is one of the extras on the disks. Many of the reviews are calling it the best thing about the release. He spent Monday morning with Lauren Shuler Donner and Gavin Hood doing a press junket at a Beverly Hills hotel where he did 35 on-camera interviews in four-and-a-half hours. When his adrenalin dropped, he really crashed. He's not used to being up at 6, and it was a good thing they sent a car for him.

Len gets to go to conventions in Columbus and Baltimore the first two weekends in October, with a five day layover in between in New York, where he hopes to catch the play starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. He also gets to see my sister and my nieces, for which I am most envious. I'm trying to remember what else I saw at Zabar's that he can bring back to me, since my sister's apartment is nearby.

While he's gone, I will finally get to see "August: Osage County." My lovely niece Kristina turned down the opportunity to do the national tour as an understudy, so we aren't enjoying her company for the six weeks the show is in town. She managed to go on 20 times on Broadway, and played three different roles, but she wants to be paid to act instead of being paid to not act. I can understand, but I wish she was here.

We've got fires raging in Southern California again. My friend Erin is not allowed to go to her horses right now, because after they were moved back to their stables (which were saved from the Station Fire), the road has been closed to all except residends. The cops aren't letting people who have other legitimate reasons to be there in, even though names have been provided. There's no indication when this will change. This is likely to damage the business of the boarding facilities and the trainers.

The latest big fire is to the west in the Filmore-Moorpark area. It's major horse territory and they are being evacuated to the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The news said the last big fire out there was in 2002, but there was a pretty big one in Moorpark more recently than that, because my friend Lira had to evacuate her big mare to Pierce. I could see the black cloud over the north-west ridge of the valley this morning. At the moment, I have no reason to worry about it getting near Ace.

Speaking of Ace, we're probably going to enter him in the big Arabian show at the Equestrian Center over Thanksgiving weekend. Ashley wants to ride him and we'll put him in any category she thinks he can do. She's started taking him over jumps and the stinker clearly loves it. As long as he doesn't do it with me on his back, I'm fine with it. He's been getting out on trail a lot more lately, which is good for his brain. I just wish the Schleese saddle fitting folks would do a fitting session near by. His saddle needs some serious adjustment and it would be nice if Ashley could ride in it at the show.

We managed to get to the Los Angeles County Fair on Saturday, where it was Saddlebred show day (pretty but prissy) and I learned that mustangs are "dissidents of the horses brought by the Spaniards to North America." You'd think someone in the BLM took enough English to know the meaning of "dissident" is not the same as "descendant." Spell-check strikes again.

I used the fair to start rebuilding my pearl collection at the Kobe Pearls booth. Len and I each chose 4 oysters to open and I now have a pendant with three large gold-cream pearls. I only got one black this time, so I'll save that until next year. Choosing oysters for pearls has been a long-standing tradition with us and I got one or two a year every year we went to the fair. My collection disappeared in the fire, because they were in an open music box on my dresser (they melt or burn.) My black pearl ring was in a drawer, and that survived. My black pearl drop necklace is a bit damaged, but that piece I still have. I was lucky enough to be wearing my black-pearl earrings. I had several pendant pieces made over the years, but I found none of them in the debris.

The last of the recent time-sinks has been a city-wide team trivia competition that takes place in bars around the city. Our group started late, so we've been doing two nights a week to get enough points to qualify for the final and a prize of $1000. The final is on October 10, and we did qualify. We came in third last night, but we had one three or four nights in a row between that bar and the other one we've gone to regularly. Unfortunately, neither my husband or J. Keith van Straaten will be in town for the night of the final, which will make things a little tougher. But then I remind myself that Jim Newman and his friend Don and I pulled several of those wins off without additional help. I think we can have six members on our team for the final.

Now, if I can just get the damned 2008 tax material ready for the accountant.