April Fools Baby Tricks

After 24 weeks of the gestational experience, you get pretty used to 2 things: thinking about the fact that dogs only gestate for 6 weeks, and feeling a squid-like creature violate you in various charming ways from the inside out. I can't begin to explain how mixed my feelings are about this experience. Every instinct tells me it's the creepiest damn thing that's ever happened to me, and yet, I'm completely obsessed with the next time I'll feel my prodigy knocking out a bedroom wall in there to make room for a crafting space. (She's going to DIE when she finds out about Pinterest).

So this morning when I was getting ready, driving to work, and enjoying my morning tea at my desk and I realized in a panic that "renovations" were awfully quiet this morning, I started to needlessly panic like any good first time gestator. Fortunately, I have learned from friends and internets that drinking ice cold water and laying on your back can kick construction back into high gear. So I proceeded to fill my water jug full of ice and frigid water, chug it, and go lie on my back on the couch in my office ladies room.

Needless to say, in swift and merciless response to me abruptly waking her from peaceful morning slumber, the squid decided to turn the craft room into a home gym, and decided my icy-full insides were the perfect punching bag. Let's just say it was lucky I was already in the ladies room.

I'm still not totally sure which of us was the victim and which of us was the perpetrator of an April Fools joke, but certainly, everyone got what was coming to them.

In unrelated/related news, here is a picture of me looking pregnant on a beach in Hawaii on the day of my BFF's wedding. I'll be posting about this trip very soon!


Culture Tangent: A Film About Helpless Blind Women and "Love"

I just watched this short film.

But just because I'm putting it here doesn't mean I'm endorsing it. Did I think it was sweet? Sure. Did I cry? Of course I did. I'm pregnant. McDonalds Arches glowing radiantly in front of an epic sunset make me cry right now. The bar for that has been set exceptionally low.

But let me give you the cliff notes of what this 8-minute movie (which was almost certainly made by a man) is all about:

  • Woman cooks and cleans and does laundry for her husband, even though they both appear to have equally demanding full time jobs.
  • She insists she does this, because it's important his coworkers can tell from his crisp white shirts that his wife loves him. (GAAAAAG.)
  • He doesn't seem to put up much fuss about this.
  • Woman goes blind, and because she feels she can no longer serve her husband, feels unworthy of his love.
  • Woman appears to slowly learn to adapt and continue cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and going to her demanding full time job.
  • BIG REVEAL: Turns out he's silently helping her to adapt by pre-sorting the laundry and following her to work every day, during which he condescendingly remarks that she insists on continuing to work, as if that's cute. 
  • He gives himself a big old pat on the back, "She will never know how much I do for her, and I never need her to know."  (Nevermind that he ALSO doesn't seem to notice how much she does for him.)
  •  Because that's what makes her feel like she's worth something in this world! How sweet! What a SELFLESS guy. What a romantic! What a love story! 
  • And what I think must be the sub-moral of this story, if you go blind and you're single, you're TOTALLY screwed and will never adapt, because disabilities mean you can't do anything by yourself anymore without dying.

I hope if I ever go blind, people will be as patronizing and self congratulatory as this guy is about continuing to love his super hot, hard-working, intelligent, and resilient blind wife. Because God knows without his help, she'd NEVER learn how to adapt on her own to continuing to serve her husband at all costs.

4.5 MILLION HITS and counting. 

I know, I KNOW, I watch The Bachelor. But you know what the difference is between The Bachelor and this? We all agree that those women are crazy and that whole scenario is culturally regressive, and we accept it as sort of a sick and twisted entertainment device. This is just straight-up misogyny dressed up as an artsy and culturally accepted perspective on love. DO BETTER AT LIFE, SHORT FILM SCENE.    


A List

1. This is probably the most boring "new look" my blog has ever had, and yet, it's still incredibly turquoise. We'll see how long it lasts before I inevitably bedazzle it.

2. Speaking of bedazzle, I feel like this woman accurately captures all of my childhood fantasies about the fashion choices I would make as a grown-up when I had the liberty and finances to do so. I'm a little sad that I haven't lived up to that, but certainly, it's not too late!

3. The reigniting of my desire to write about my personal life happens to coincide with the fact that I am pregnant. While I probably will mention the whole pregnancy, motherhood, cute baby thing here, do not fear- I have no intention of suddenly becoming a mommy blogger. I think the internet has enough of those without me, and I still have way too many things to say about Corn Dogs.

4. For example, THIS IS A THING. My beloved life partner apparently knew this existed AND EVEN ATE THERE months before mentioning it to me, and when I confronted him in horror about this, he stated that he did not know that I had these feelings about Corn Dogs.

5. Truth: I had one of those "oh my god, I'm a stranger in my own home, we don't know each other at all, this is how it ends" moments in the course of this conversation. I also cited the subtitle of this blog as evidence that I do in fact have very serious feelings about corn dogs. He relented.

6. Still haven't eaten at Corn Dog Commander. Stay tuned.

7. In addition to worries about the expenses, the day care, my career, and the curiosity about EXACTLY how much childbirth hurts, yes, one of my primary daily worryings is what will I do about Itxa between the months of April-August. It doesn't sound that long, but Itxa wants to be a star, bidges, and she don't wanna wait for my fat can to get back in the saddle.

8. This worry recently HILARIOUSLY led to me asking my trainer to pop up on the little demon to pop around a few fences, and the Neurotic Stink had an absolute meltdown about it.

9. She's apparently convinced herself she's a one-woman horse. How cute. How inconvenient.

10. Did I mention she's also the love of my life?

11. "What about your husband?" "What about your unborn child?" BLAH BLAH BLAH people. Look at those socks. When my unborn child stops poking my gag reflex and enjoys me sticking my fingers in its ear canals as much as Itxa does, we can talk.

12. My childhood BFF is getting married next month in Hawaii, and I'm her maid of honor. How cute is that? There will be pictures and travel updates galor, so LOOK AT ME! Pregnant and traveling. Don't give up on me yet, globetrotters.

13. I tried, but I can't stop/won't stop liking Kanye West. Interesting people make bad choices, America. This one was harmless. Get over it.

14. I like all of you. Thanks for reading.


Excerpts of a Marriage

Lorraine: Make a note: Nissin Cup o'Noodles are the best cup o'noodles.

Dan: Noted. I had instant lunch as a snack yesterday and it was great. Good to know that there's something even better

Lorraine: Somewhere, out in the vast culinary world, a Michelin Star chef just died. That's what happens every time a young couple compares the merits of instant soup.

Dan: Oh god, I've probably killed thousands of them then. Between dollar menu items and frozen meals. I can't bear to think of it.

Lorraine: You're like the Pol Pot of award-winning chefs.



I Miss Tom

There's a couple dozen times and places in my life where I can transport myself with a deep inhalation of breath and a quiet room. There's perhaps a few places where, no matter the bustle, the grief, the chaos around me, even gasping for air, I could find myself in an instant.

The one I'm thinking of today is Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building during Tom Lantos's memorial. I remember listening to Ellie Wiesel speak, and his words fading in and out as the sun came bursting through the cupola window above my head. I remember the swell of souls in the room, and making one of the most sacred vows of my life, that I would not forget or neglect Tom's work. We must stand firm against atrocities, we must reward movements of equality, we must live and enjoy these precious brief lives that we have no right and every right to live.

The ways that I have feebly gone about upholding that vow are embarrassingly distant from what I thought they would be, and sometimes I feel as though I've done more than my share of enjoying my life and not enough standing firm.

As atrocities of all kinds, in all countries, whip around us in the heat of summer unrest, I miss Tom and his unbending and unapologetic demands for human rights. I wish he were here to tell us what to do. This morning, as I punched off NPR in the car and fought back the sting of hopeless tears about our human calamities and my uselessness in it, I suppose you could say that I had an experience of sorts. My claim to spirituality is a complicated one, to say the least, but call it what you will- enlightenment, inspiration, The Ghost of Hanukkah Past- but the calm and quiet thought that entered my head was a clear one.

Keep going. Keep learning. Keep growing. That time will come.

For a brief moment, I felt like my experiences in this life all added up and made sense and had their place...and quickly the lights went dim again and here I was with these peculiar jobs and a long commute.

So I'm going to try and do that. I'm going to keep living the exact life I have, but maybe with the deeply held hope that it will all add up someday. Even if it never does, I think it would be a better way to live.

And in the meantime, I hold the tender innocent citizens of this planet securely in my heart, and hope that a voice of reason, compromise and mercy will inspire the leaders of those who hold those innocent lives in their hands. Enough mothers have sobbed into their skirts already.


Excerpts of a Horse Marriage

Said while stalking Kaley Cuoco on Instragram...

"I'd like to think that if I boarded my horse at the same barn as her, it would be nerve-wracking at first and I'd be all weird and shy, and then I'd realize she's just a normal horse person who happens to be on The Big Bang Theory, and then we'd have long talks about...poultice."


"Yeah, poultice."

"Like, herbs?"

"Well, like, horse poultice. You put it on their legs to bring down inflammation."

"Why would you want to talk to her about poultice?"

"Well not specifically poultice, I just mean... Nevermind."


Riding and Writing Reconciliations

A totally superfluous and unrelated photo of Itxa

HorseNation informed me this morning that they'd like to pay me for the stories I write for them. I have little dreams, but getting paid to write about the thing I love most has always been one of them. 

When I was teeny tiny, I would make "newspapers" about the horse shows my model horses were having on the braided rug of my bedroom; envisioning myself covering the equestrian events at the Olympic Games someday. HorseNation is far from the Olympics, but it's sure a long way from the braided rug. 

As a little kid, you have so many dreams about what you're going to do. I think reading Great Expectations in high school was the first time I ever confronted the inevitable lesson of adulthood that all those dreams will probably be losses you will have to reconcile with your therapist someday. I have reconciled some of those losses, maybe never more than I did after working for Congress in Washington and then going to work as a glorified receptionist for some pretty difficult and jaded people. The glass ceiling was a heartbreaking discovery, and the politics of politics were too much for me. I knew I could fight for better, but it wasn't worth the fight to me.

But horses have always been worth the fight. Whether it's draining "mud" puddles up to my shins in February, taking a washed up racehorse from a field and turning her into a promising eventer, or begging a quirky upstart website to publish my stories on mustangs or crazy horse stuff on youtube, it has always, always been worth it. 

What "the fight" looks like currently.

That being said, I have to make some hard decisions. (That certainly comes with the territory of horses).  I can't do it all. I have to follow the trails that make sense. The Utah Trotter, despite how much I love it, and how much good it's brought to my life since I started it, has never really truly made sense. I haven't really found my voice or my audience there, and I don't know that it's ever going to contribute to the Utah horse industry the way that I envisioned it. So, I'm going to publish the last couple of stories that I've been working on, and then shutter the digital doors. It's done some great good- it shared Robyn's wonderful story as a mustang trainer (and turned us from strangers to wonderful friends),  it helped raise awareness and find homes for the starving horse herd in Spanish Fork, and maybe it's done some other good for groups here and there over the years as well.  But you can't always continue to throw good hours after bad. 

I'm a little under the weather, and today is a mixed day of emotions for me, but I'm content and confident and eager for tomorrow. There are many more stories to tell, and I'm humbled to be finding my place in it. most of all, I'm grateful that this dream didn't stop at the edge of that braided rug.