Monthly Archives: April 2005

hot to trot

Dear Universe,
I know you get bored with unorginal requests for help. Those folks falling to their knees, shaking a lottery ticket at the sky. Or the uninspiring “please make Boy X like me.” So I try to give you some requests to keep your daily task of fulfilling people’s wishes interesting. I toss out a few challenges to entertain you.
But you gotta stop having this quick turnaround, because it’s freaking me out.

Last week I was thinking about horseback riding. It’s beautiful out, and I would give anything to go romp in a ring somewhere. In a year or two, I may be able to afford to board a horse. In the meantime, I was thinking about taking lessons again. As a city girl, my certified horsefreakdom has lain dormant for a few years. But I spent a good chunk of my adolesence up to my hips in muck, cleaning other people’s stalls and feeding other people’s horses so I could get a few riding lessons. Or just so I could be in the barn, where I am really truly happy. Carrying enormous buckets of water up frozen paths in January, excercising rich people’s petulant Thoroughbreds and falling on my head more times than I can count, baling hay, scraping feet, getting kicked and bitten by foals, racing down trails in the woods, scrubbing show coats, and loving all of it.
Last week I decided I really want to begin dressage training. In case you’re not familiar with riding, dressage, which is pronounced with a snooty French accent (dress-AHSH), is a kind of riding discipline that is based on intense communication with the animal using weight, posture, and hands. Using nearly invisible signals, you guide the horse through complicated maneuvers that almost resemble dancing while you’re mounted. It’s amazing to watch, graceful and elegant. You may have seen it in the Olympics – it’s a summer sport. It’s the finest form of riding and makes Western cattle roping look barbaric.
Yesterday I was on Petfinder, where I spend a lot of time trying to save abandoned animals, and I was searching through the horses. I found one mare who was described as ” an excellent prospect for dressage”. So I started thinking about dressage even more, and decided to look into taking lessons once I’ve moved and gotten settled, even though I have no idea where I would go or how I’d come up with the cash to do so.
So I’m selling my car. It’s been a challenging process to say the least. I have about 30 people coming to look at dear Verna tonight. But this one guy calls me this morning, and is really interested in the car. We talked for a while, and he looked up the vehicle on and was pleased. He said his daughter needs a car for college. I told him to come on over to check it out, and he said, “My wife has a lesson at 4:00, so we should be over by 6.” Naturally, I asked, “What does she teach?” He says, “Dressage.”
But wait – there’s more. The daughter, who needs a car, goes to college in Bennington, Vermont. It’s a sad, sad story – she has this gorgeous 16 hand Thoroughbred gelding who is suffering from neglect because she’s all the way cross-country. She really wishes she could find someone to ride him while she’s away.
He actually says these things. Out loud.
I asked the Universe to please set me up with someone needing a good car to take care of. Maybe the Universe was just trying to be efficient. Apparently, I need to sell my car to someone needing a dressage student.

dirt in your fries

Maybe I should just stop trying to be “productive” for the day. My brain is going in a million different directions, none of them work related. Actually, today has been quite productive. Just look at my new buttons on the right nav! I’ve been quite the busy bee.
VVB just called me from the Yale Spring Fling, where the Shins are playing. She got some Yalies to sneak her in as a guest. She held out her cell phone for the entire duration of “New Slang”. We have the moronic habit of calling one another during shows and providing a live digital feed until our batteries run out. My phone is yelping its low-juice tone repeatedly, and she says, “If I call back, that means I’m meeting somebody famous.” Last time she called me post-show, she was hanging out with Ray Lamontaigne.
We started this silly ritual years ago when I was in Boston and missing Mighty Purple shows at BAR and she’d sit in the front and hold out a cell phone.
I miss New Haven today. And not just cause the Shins are playing.
I have to go sell my car now.
More to follow.


I was sending this link of photographs to a friend and realized that
I wanted everyone to see these pictures. They’re absolutely brilliant.
Nathan Bright Autumn Sky went to Guatemala to teach and he truly captured
what was going on there. A few of these really tug at my heart.

He’s an amazing photographer so please check out his work. You can also order prints there online. He should have some more coming soon.

Now hopefully he won’t kick my ass for saying all of that.

Nate’s pics

the storm is coming

What I really want to tell you is that everything feels important these days. Every letter from a friend brings tears to my eyes, every song title reads like a command: Wake Up. The Storm is Coming. Don’t Look Away. Don’t Be Scared. Smile Like You Mean It. Let It Fall Apart. I feel fateful and heavy. Like the answers to everything are printed on the sky. The walls are some paisley smattering of 25 cent words. Contrails of planes tell the future. Watching the soymilk spiral in my espresso is like reading tea leaves.

Continue reading the storm is coming


It’s late Friday afternoon and I’m at Victrola. Funny how evening becomes “late afternoon” in the spring when it’s lighter later. It was 75 degrees and sunny today. Conveniently, I’m sick, and so I didn’t have to work under flourescent lights. I did, however, need to ingest several cloves of raw crushed garlic and four cups of Gypsy Cold Care.
Magali has this recipe. It works every time.

Continue reading vampireless

no more babysteps

“Don’t be afraid to take a big jump when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps.”
– David Loyd George
(didn’t anybody tell you — this river’s full of lost sharks…)

home sweet boat

So we bought a houseboat.

The past two weeks have been quite an adventure already. I have gone from not knowing port from starboard, to explaining why this guy’s transom has dry rot. Thank god I’ve got a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Boating.
I’ve always been a little obsessed with houseboats, and when I moved here the fascination was given new wings. One thing led to another and in a few weeks, the Boy and I will say goodbye to 12th Ave. E. and call Lake Union home.

Continue reading home sweet boat