Saturday, December 31, 2011

A horsey New Year's Eve

I slept a long time.  10 hours?  12 hours?  Let's just say many.  It felt great.  I needed that.

JD made me a bagel, I took an Imitrex (migraine day two, yay!) and I mellowed out while it took effect.  And then I went to the barn.

I hadn't seen Pluto in over a week.  I was a little nervous.  Sometimes he gets mad when I'm gone too long, you know.  Plus, I left before the end of his antibiotics.  What if he weren't better?

When I got there, I dropped the halter on the ground while I went to check out his round bale of hay.  When I came back, he had his nose down on the halter.  "Put the halter on me!" he was saying.  So I did, and he had apparently chosen today to wear his Perfect Gentleman disguise.  He didn't even flinch when his girth fell to the ground from on top of the saddle.  I had forgotten it was there when I was lifting the saddle onto him.  What a change from a few years ago, when he would have lost his mind.

We walked very calmly and casually to the arena.  I put him on the longe to watch for short strides in his back end.  He didn't look like he was *quite* reaching as far as I wanted, but when I checked his hoofprints he was overstriding.  Good enough.  I switched from longe line to reins and took him over to the mounting block.  He played keepaway for a few seconds, but didn't seriously protest.  Second good enough.

I rode him briefly, maybe twenty minutes.  He clearly wanted to trot (so did I) but I kept him to a brisk walk.  We did a lot of bending, lateral work, and figures.  It's so easy to forget there's no bit in his mouth now.  I do think I'll try reintroducing the bit after it gets warmer out - just because if something should happen and I needed to sell him, it would be good for him to be accustomed to it.

I threw a leg over the saddle and slid down his left foreleg like a firepole.   It's so much farther to the ground than it used to be!  I can't believe he got tall.  I didn't WANT him to get tall.  But tall he is.  I'm not sure how tall exactly - I need level, firm ground and a good measuring stick to be certain.  But he's definitely over 16 hands.  Sheesh.  Also, he has withers now.  I didn't know horses could suddenly grow withers.  He was round and witherless his whole life, and now there he is with withers.  I like it.  It keeps the saddle in place.  It's weird, though.

I am so pleased that he has turned into a gentleman.  Kind of a smart gentleman, too.  He is SO much more pleasant to be around than he used to be.  All those years of struggling with him, trying to teach him manners, trying to keep him from destroying his environment.. I'm not saying they paid off, but at least they seem to be over.

I have hopes.  Possibly misplaced hopes.  I hope that with sufficient physical therapy, I'll be able to trot my horse this year.  I will work at abdominal exercises like a veritable demon if it means I can go back to doing that.  I don't need a sixpack.  I just want to trot my horse.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The second coming of Christmas was camping oriented

On the last workday of the year, I finally chivvied others into doing things.  I wrote a monthly report.  I deleted things.  I think that's about all should realistically expect of a sysadmin on the afternoon before a holiday.

My boss poked his head in during the afternoon and told us to skedaddle, which we did.  I went home and watched "No Strings Attached" on Netflix, a predictable but sweet romance.  Or romantic comedy.  Either way, I liked it.

JD made a vaguely Irish dinner (crock pot beef, cabbage, potatoes) and then it was Christmastime.  Again!  JD and I waited until today to open gifts because we didn't want to tote them to Arizona.  And we didn't want to open them as soon as we got home, because of the tiredness.  So this evening was it.  It was fun opening gifts, as always.  Two really made my eyes widen - DeLee got me a Jetboil (eeeee!)  and JD got me a purple Members Only jacket (heee!)  Also Santa got me a balance ball chair which I have put together but so far haven't gathered the gumption to move into my office.  Perhaps in the morning.

JD went to bed early and I think I'll be following him.  Tomorrow's a busy day, getting ready for excessive drinking and neighbor-hugging at midnight.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The ear mites are looking pretty good by comparison

My horse vet called me to see how Pluto was doing.

A)  When did my vets start calling me to check on animals?  Dr J does it too.  That sure didn't happen 20 years ago.
B) I have no idea, because I haven't seen him since last Wednesday.

I told her that I wouldn't know until probably the weekend, because I have to go out and spend some time with him before I know.  A five minute fly by isn't going to do it.  Thinking about the mild shortening of stride which I noticed as the first symptom, I said "the signs are pretty subtle, so I'll have to watch him for a while before I know for sure."  She laughed out loud.  Then I remembered the NEXT signs I observed, which included excessive weenie waving and related dribbling.  Yeah, those aren't too subtle.  But honest, those are not the first signs!

So in the next couple of days I need to spend some time observing my horse for weenie action.  I'm expiating sins from a former life.

What is it with me and grey horses and their uncomfortable, awkward to explain issues?  Couldn't I have a bay with ear mites?  Just once?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The first two laws are also interesting

Christmas got me to thinking, once again, about how very weird our culture is, sometimes.  We don't believe in magic.  Magic is evil.  Magic is from Satan.  (We apparently do believe in Satan, whoever, who is an invisible, persnickety, kinda magical figure.)  UNLESS.. we are talking about our children.  We teach our children a fairly large store of magical lore concerning Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.  Santa and the Easter Bunny coincide with religious holidays but are not, themselves, instruments of religion.  If I recall my history correctly, they're remnants of pagan rituals inherited from older cultures.  Which, fine.  Let's do May Day too.

The part that bugs me is we teach kids that magic exists, that it's real, and then later we tell them that it's not.  This was bugging me.  What's the point?  So I asked a father of young children.  His answers were enlightening.

1)  Mythical figures are a great way to get children to behave.  You better stop hitting your sister, or we're going to tell Santa you were bad and he'll skip this house this year.

2)  Children WANT to believe in magic.  A lot of things seem magical to them anyway, because they don't know enough yet to understand how things work.  A fat man who annually breaks into their house to drop off presents, who knows all their secrets, who has a herd of flying reindeer, really isn't that different from the magic box that flies up when you push a button (the elevator), the magic box that is cold and lit up inside (the refrigerator), or the box that holds the magically replenished food (the cupboard, after Mom goes to the store.)  I'm old enough to have forgotten how many things happened inexplicably when I was a child.  I mean, until I was a teenager I thought the car JUST KNEW when Dad was going to turn a corner, and signaled everybody else for him.  I had no idea that there was a turn signal lever.

Since children are effectively primitives, Clark's 3rd law applies to much that they encounter: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

I studied physics in college because I wanted to know how things worked.  Once I found out that most things could be explained, I needed to know.  I wonder if that is a common reaction in our little primitive minds, once we start to grasp that everything doesn't work by magic.  Or do most, instead, cling to the magic?  Which way is better for you?  Do you want to know how those fireworks work?  Or do you prefer it to be magic?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Even better, when we got home? Leftover Xmas cookies.

I'm back!  Did you miss me?  I was off having adventures.  And this time most of my adventures didn't involve blisters OR extreme sidetrips into the realm of stinkiness.  Much.

JD and I flew out to see my Mom and Dad for Christmas.  We're on a three year rotation.  Last year was JD's Mom's year.  This year was mine.  Next year, we're staying home.  In theory anybody is welcome to travel to our home for Christmas, but in practice there is a strong bias in favor of the bipedal grandchildren.  Presumably because Dori refuses to wait until Christmas morning to open the presents.

So JD and I flew into Phoenix, and then we stopped.  Previously we flew into Phoenix, rented a car, drove for a couple of hours, and then collapsed for two days at the other end.  Stopping in Phoenix is so much easier.  AND it meant that we got to eat at Sweet Tomatoes, which is a wonderful restaurant, existing only in places where we do not, currently, live.  So after a good night's sleep and more salad than you can shake a fork at, we finally arrived at Chez Mom and Dad.

It was a pretty nice, relaxed Christmas.  I love nice, relaxed Christmases.  We did jigsaw puzzles, and went for walks, and calmly discussed the fact that I want nothing to do with Skype.  And we ate.  We ate A LOT.  I'm afraid to get on my scale now.  Not so much because the number will be higher.  More because I'm afraid I will give it a hernia.  My double chin grew an extra chin this weekend.  I blame that bitch See, whoever she is, and her yummy, yummy candies.

On Saturday JD and I went for a hike in the Dells, which are fantastic weathered granitic formations.  In three hours, while almost completely covered, and with two applications of sunscreen, I burnt both my hands and my face.  I am not made for desert living.

On Monday we started the travel in reverse, only this time we didn't go to Sweet Tomatoes.  We went to Julio's and had excellent Mexican food and met up with my hiker friend Phoenix Rising.  I suppose I feel like I know her a lot better than I really do.  We hiked together in 2005, and then I saw her for like 90 seconds last year.  But we've kept in touch, and she sent me trail magic all during 2010.  She's planning to hike a big chunk of trail this year, and I hope to return the favor.

Everybody else Skyping

Mom's furniture is a little snarly.  What's up with that?

Look!  I got a fuzzy, soft, wonderful scarf!  It's delightful.

My folks looking cute.  It didn't take much persuading to get them to go to a brewpub for Christmas Eve dinner.  JD and my Dad don't even drink, but their wives do.

A redhead attempting to minimize the damage

The fact that this is so weathered that you can't read it anymore is slightly reassuring.

That sky!  Those wacky rocks!  Love 'em.

A lone decorated tree along the trail.

Sigh.  So pretty.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Move along

I was going to write a post but there was pie (making, not eating) and dog walking and I had to tell somebody their car lights were on and then there was TV.  The Eureka Christmas special is very special.  Really.

So I'm pretty much just going to go to bed now.  Gnight!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Would you like some cheese with that whine? Well forget it, we're out of cheese.

I'm having kind of a shitty day over here.  No real reason, I just woke up grumpy.  I have every reason to be in a great mood but I'm not, and I can't seem to do anything about it.

Good things that happened today:

JD made pancakes
I picked out my wardrobe for an upcoming trip, and I think it will all fit in my daypack
I rented "Friends With Benefits" from iTunes, and it was pretty good
I got to see Pluto twice
It's a really nice night out
JD made us stuffed shells for dinner
I finished reading "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman and it was really good

But on the other hand:

I have a nasty migraine and the left side of my face is mostly numb
I had to drive for two hours
I tried to take a nap but couldn't fall asleep
I've felt like crying all day

I think my hormones are all aflutter.  It would explain the headache and the tears.  I hope they're settled down tomorrow.

Olli and Dori being precious

This is why we can't have nice things

One of the piles of bulbs that somebody dug out of our front garden and left on the surrounding brick wall.  What a waste.  They left them there so they're probably hungry anyway, and now we'll have fewer of whatever that is next year.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In which Pluto is unhelpful

I tried an experiment this morning.  Pluto has been taking his antibiotic/apple juice /karo syrup  solution by syringe quite nicely, so I had hope that he would eat food soaked in it.  But it was not to be.  I mixed the solution with some pellets, and doused the mass in still more karo syrup.  Not only did he not eat it, he never even tasted it.  He just sniffed it and then gave me a look.  And that was that.

I gave in the inevitable and prepared another syringe on the spot.  He gracefully submitted to me haltering him and putting the medication in his mouth.  He just wasn't going to do it on his own.

I worried about how I would get his medicine into him on the last day of the course of medication.  I have found a solution, fortunately.  I asked one of the other horse owners if she would do it.  She's in college right now, and on winter break so she has the time to drive out to the farm.  She agreed.  That takes a load off of my mind.  I will still medicate him morning and evening for the next several days, which is an annoyance.  Not so much the medicating as the driving.  I went through a tank of gas last week because of driving back and forth to the farm.  Normally a tank of gas lasts me two or three weeks.  But beside the expense, I miss the time given up to commuting between the farm and home and work.  I most keenly feel the loss of two hours a day from my free time.

Although I have been medicating him religiously on schedule, I haven't been able to check to see if it's helping.  I plan to bring him out of the field tomorrow and try to convince him to let me look.  He is at times oddly shy about his wiener.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I wouldn't piss off a sysadmin, if I were you. Certainly not electronically.

I am not one to act out in public, usually.  I find it embarrassing.  But I am so fed up that I am about to do so anyway.

JEN WALCZAK will not leave me alone.  She started emailing me out of the blue several years ago about her Pampered Chef something or other.  I asked her to take me off her mailing list, and JEN WALCZAK agreed.  But she didn't.  She keeps sending me her damn monthly email about chefs in pampers.  I have no interest in chefs OR pampers.  I set up an email filter to move JEN WALCZAK's email directly to my trash, but sometimes I see it on my phone first and it pisses me off all over again.

So, if any of you have a chance to do business with JEN WALCZAK, otherwise known as, I suggest you pass up the opportunity or you will never be rid of her again.  If you see her on the street, turn aside.  Do not let her get hold of your business card.  She is relentless.  You don't need to be interested in cooking, or pots, or in fact know who she is or what she does to be hounded by this woman for years on end.

Just so you know, JEN WALCZAK, I've never been to a Pampered Chef party.  I have no interest in them.  I have no interest in you, and I wish you had never darkened my email server's doorway.  I'll be trying to get off the list again, JEN WALCZAK, for all the good it will do me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I shouldn't prepare medicines in the office

What a long day.  A long day full of embarrassing stains.  Somehow I managed to hit the ceiling of my office with Pluto's antibiotic / apple juice / karo syrup mixture.  I also hit my desk, my phone, my calendar, the top of my cabinet, the back of my sweater, and probably some other things.  Oh, and my shoe.

I already had it on my pants.

Really this stuff needs to be handled in a clean room, while wearing a bunny suit.  It's pernicious.  There is something about the combination that wants to escape and stick to everything.

When I finally got home after 7 pm, I had not had a chance to rest since the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning.  I was so tired that I ached all over.  JD fed me, then I went and lay on the sofa.  I could have happily stayed there, but I have chores to do.  Most importantly, I must clean out the syringe so that I can get goop all over myself again tomorrow.

I am going to be looking at those ceiling stains for years.  Dammit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I used to dress like a grape

I like purple.  Again.  Because apparently I'm fourteen.  That's how old I was the last time I liked purple.  But back then I REALLY liked purple.  I had an entire purple outfit.  Baggie pants, button down shirt, sweater, Members Only jacket (which was only the coolest thing EVER), socks, I think the shoes too.  All purple.  Purple bandana.  Purple earrings.  I don't recall if my underwear and bra were purple. It seems likely, and yet I can't remember ever owning such things.   And I wore the whole outfit all together.  Somewhere I feel certain that there is a picture of this.  Sadly, I do not have a copy of it.  Unless it's in a yearbook.

*Edited after I found it:

Oh wait!  I found it in my 1984 junior high yearbook.  Sadly, it's in black and white so you can't even tell how purple I am.  But you can tell by the expression on my face that I was pretty pleased about it.

Hello, junior high yearbook.  If only they had color pictures back then.

Oh, and let us not forget the purple eye shadow!

I felt like the snazziest thing on two feet.  Sometimes being young and totally clueless is AWESOME.

Recently I've noticed that every time I've really liked how something has looked on me, it has involved a purple top.  Not always the same shade of purple, either.  Looks like I have the jewel tone thing going on in my forties.   I think I will discontinue my decade long blue shirt streak, and start looking into more purple.

Don't worry, Tara, I'm not planning on outfitting me and the horse in your colors for riding.

Do they still make Members Only jackets?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Unfortunately, what he had ordered was the Venti Mocha

I forgot to mention the last straw from last night.  As I was leaving work, I adjusted my rear view mirror for night time driving, and it came off into my hand.  I started giggling.  Parts of the rest of the day had been bad, but this was just ridiculous.  Fortunately at the next stoplight I found that it had slipped off a mounting and I could slide it right back on there.  Which I did.

I got up an hour early this morning so I could try not to be too late to work after driving out to the horse farm to dose Pluto.  I made a cup of coffee, then used the Keurig to make plain hot water in a travel mug that seals really tightly.  I packed up that, a bottle of karo syrup, some paper towels, my 60cc syringe (what, don't you have one in your kitchen?), and a fresh jar of apple sauce.  With all that crap in tow, I headed out to the farm.

Once there, I loaded fifteen pills into the syringe, then drew some hot water out of the mug.  But it was .. kinda brown.  I suddenly realized I had failed to take the decaf hazelnut coffee container OUT of the Keurig before pressing the "please make me some hot water" button.  So Pluto got his morning dose of antibiotics in latte form.

After the pills had all dissolved, I sweetened the mix with the karo syrup, and set out to catch Pluto.  He had been watching intently from the gate, but as soon as he saw me get out of the car with a giant syringe he left.  I trudged after him for a while, then realized it was pointless.  We could spend hours like that, with me walking just out of reach behind him.  Instead, I stopped and turned my back to him.  Fifteen seconds later I peeked over my shoulder and saw him facing me.  I turned and walked away from him.  Very shortly thereafter, a horsey nose hove into view beside me.  I looked up at him, "surprised".  I threw the rope around his neck and buckled him into his halter, then gave him a cookie.

When I got the syringe out of my pocket, he tightened his lips and threw his head up.  His entire body said "Nuh uh!"  I managed to wedge the tip of the syringe between his lips and press the plunger.  You should have seen his eyebrows fly up.  I'm pretty sure he's never had coffee before.

A couple more cookies and a pat, and I was done.  I took a moment to appreciate the beauty of the scene - fuzzy white horse standing on frost-coated grass.  And then it was back to the highway.  Oddly, I got to work on time.

At some point during the day it occurred to me to check the cafeteria for apple juice to use instead of coffee.  They had it in wide necked plastic bottles, bonus!  I was feeling quite the genius until I put the syringe into the bottle while sitting in my car, out at the farm.  I put it in too far and displaced apple juice from the bottle to all over my lap.  My pants, my underwear, the driver's seat, and probably the rest of the car are now sticky.  Not genius.

Pluto was standing impatiently at the gate, waiting for his cookies and antibiotics.  He and Mystery milled about in the light of the car's high beams.  I didn't have to chase him this time.  The new flavor caught him by surprise again, but I think he kinda liked it.  Not sure enough to add it to his food, but fairly sure.  Perhaps I'll experiment with it over the weekend.

Monday, December 12, 2011

If your day went worse than this, you have my permission to have a beer.

My day is seeming pretty negative.  I slept okay, though.  That was a bright spot.

Out of milk, so oatmeal for breakfast.  Which I like, but which doesn't stay with me as well as my nice high protein, high fiber cereal.

Getting ready to leave the house, I found a Christmas ornament in my boot.  I have to wonder how Olli managed that.

I spilled coffee down the front of my (already considerably stained) jacket while trying to juggle lunchbox, new horse blanket, keys, and coffee on the way to the car.

I was a little late to the farm (heavy frost had to be scraped off the car.)  The news from the vet could have been worse.  A)  Pluto's sheath was really nasty.  He needs to be on a quarterly cleaning schedule rather than the usual yearly or every six months.  B)  He has a small lump, which I will have to keep an eye on.  If it is melanoma, there isn't anything to do.  You euthanize when it gets too bad (years and years in the future, I'm not trying to be dramatic here.)  C) His urethra has a thickening.  Could be due to infection, could be due to a stone passing through.  Either way he has to go on antibiotics now.

Later, I heard D) the horse won't eat the pills with his food despite the karo syrup we added, so I'll be driving two hours a day for the next ten days to force antibiotics down his throat twice daily.

The worst part may be E), which is that the OTHER possible reason for his urethral issue is excessive masturbation.  The new mare in the field next door doesn't look that great to ME, but maybe she does to Pluto.

Oh, and F) I have to try to get a urine sample.  I've only seen him pee twice.  I've owned him for eight years.  Friends have given me some suggestions, such as bring a large bucket of apple juice and water to entice him to drink a lot.  Perhaps I will try that this weekend.  Perhaps I will wait until after the antibiotics finish to see if we REALLY need a urinalysis.

On the way from the farm to work, a rock flew up and chipped my windshield.

I've had better days.  But then, a relative stranger didn't forcibly clean my genitals, or insert her entire hand into my colon, so my day was probably better than Pluto's.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What our night was like

This is what we came home to last night.  So while I was feeling sick from beer and Tollhouse pie, the dog was feeling sick from moldy pork and who knows what else.  As soon as we found it, I got out the hydrogen peroxide and forced it down her throat to make her vomit.  (Not that I had any idea how long previously she had eaten all that.)  Our hydrogen peroxide turned out to be old and ineffective, so she didn't vomit.  Which means that on top of moldy pork, she had a tummy full of hydrogen peroxide.  Oh, she was an unhappy doggy.  She spent the night groaning and needing to go outside, and committing stinky farts in the bedroom.  JD was of course spared this last detail, as he cannot smell.

Also unknown?  How many of the rotten grapes she ate.  I gave her activated charcoal and hoped for the best.
 Prior to this exciting development, I went for a pleasant walk around the park.
Pretty animal tracks down by the water

This water, unfortunately, is the path.  Did I mention the 3" of rain we got in one day, earlier in the week?

No shit!  New sign in one of the kiosks - in case all the other warning signs and the giant blinky "check yourself for ticks!" roadsign at the entrance didn't clue you in.
After poor sleep for all of us last night, I cancelled riding today with Tara.  I sent the email at 4 am, when I was up with the dog on one of her many visits to the yard.  I hoped to sleep in, but the dog also wanted to get up at 8.  I gave in.  I hoped to get a good nap later to make up for my crappy night of sleep, but it never happened.  Instead I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and I think I finished my Christmas wrapping.  And also I washed clothing forever.  We took it all upstairs and folded it and put it away, and then JD went and got a whole bunch more and we folded THAT and put it away, and it has continued replicating such that we will need to do the same thing tomorrow.  I am starting to wonder if our laundry is related to tribbles.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This is why I'm not allowed to bring good beer to the party

Oooh, I don't feel so good.  JD and I went across the street to the neighbor's house for a holiday party.  I had four (FOUR) beers, and probably too much in the way of sweets.  I feel kinda barfy.

Just talk amongst yourselves tonight.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Not a real post (but it has giant construction condoms)

So tired.  I went out this evening to do a bit of Christmas shopping.  Some things are hard to buy online.  I expected massive crowding, and didn't find it.  But I don't find shopping to be particularly fun or energizing.  JD informs me that some people are energized by shopping.  I find this hard to believe.

I can't say what it is, but I could not believe how hard it was to find one item.  I thought it would be really common but it is not.

I came across a camoflage necklace in one store.  What's the point?

Okay, bed now.  I have to go recuperate from shopping.  But first, two pretty much random photos.

Notice the two elephant sized condoms taped to the building, just to the right of the "Do Not Enter" sign.

The moon last night while Pluto was being a dink.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My horse. Is afraid. Of ghosts.

Let me say that again.  My HORSE.  Is afraid of GHOSTS.

Does anybody else see the problem with this statement?

I did not have what you'd call a productive training session with Pluto this evening.  I'm trying to figure the best way to summarize it.  I think a dialog is the better option.

Me:  Hi!
Pluto:  MOM!  I missed you!  Here I am waiting at the fence, hurry up!  I will shove my head into the halter for you.
Me: ... okay.  I'll just go ahead and brush you and stuff.
Pluto:  Hurry up!  I will shove my head into the bridle for you.
Me:  Hey, looks like you're in a good mood!  Excellent.

(I see Tara pulling up, a little late.  Pluto and I head out to the arena ahead of her and Timber.)

Pluto:  AHHH There's something lurking!
Me:  No, that's a chair.  See?  I've turned the lights on and you can see that it's a chair.
Pluto:  All righty then.

(Four out of six lights in the arena are working.  The end closest to the road, gate, other horses, and cemetery is dark.  Also, the light on the nearby barn keeps turning on and off.)

Me:  How about we longe a little bit?
Pluto:  Okay, and look how good I am at it.  But I feel.. kind of.. off a little.  Like maybe I don't want to really step through with my hind legs.
Me:  Aw, crap.

(I palpate his legs, his back, the muscles all over his hind end.  Nada.)

Me:  Well, no trotting tonight for sure.  We'll wait for Tara to get here, then we'll just do some walking.
Pluto:  In the meantime, I'll be a lot of fun!  Let's do some games at liberty!
Me:  Hey, look at you paying attention and going through the obstacle course like a pro!  You kind of rock, you know.
Pluto:  (is modest)

(Tara arrives with Timber.  That's my cue to mount up.)

Pluto:  I don't think I want you on my back right now.  Also, have you noticed my giant penis?
Me:  Yes, yes, you're hung like a horse.  Har.  Put it away.  Also, please stand still so I can get on.
Pluto:  I am going to continue sidling away.  And I REALLY like you.  I like you so much that I'm biting you now, in a really annoying stallion-with-mare way.
Me:  Seriously.  Put it away.  And I'ma punch you in the face until you stop biting me.
Pluto:  I like you so much I'm getting kind of drippy.
Me:  Okay, you know what?  I'm gonna email the vet to see if you have a UTI or if you are just unnaturally attracted to me.

(I email the vet from my phone.  Tara opines that Pluto REALLY likes me.)

Pluto:  Still not gonna stand still so you can get on.
Me:  Okay, fine.  No riding tonight.  I have a policy against riding when you're a dink anyway.
Pluto:  You ain't seen nothing yet.

(he finally puts it away.)

Pluto:  HEY!  There is something intensely fascinating in the dark corner of the arena!  I'm going to stare at the cemetery until I figure it out.
Me:  Try not to knock me down, dude.  Also, I see nothing.  My flashlight sees nothing.  I hear nothing.
Me:  You have got to be kidding me.

Timber, at the other end of the arena:  I say.. is something happening over there?

Me:  Let me put a leash on this horse so Tara can ride.

Timber:  I am mildly concerned.
Tara:  I'm just going to get up and ride for a little bit.
Timber:  Concern level rising!
Tara:  You know what?  I'm just going to get back down now.

Pluto:  Let's go stand at the other end of the arena.  Where the lights are.
Me:  Sure.  How about you go back on the longe?
Pluto:  I am not leaving your side.  Are you kidding me?
Me:  SIGH.  I guess I'm just grateful you're keeping it holstered now.

Tara:  I believe I'll put Timber on the longe, over here in the scary corner by the cemetery.

(Timber spooks so hard he goes down to his knees, the leaps up to his feet again.)

Me:  Good night not to be on a horse.  Also, the walk home, past THE CEMETERY, should be fun.  Not.
Tara:  Trade horses with me.  Timber will not run away with you, and I can handle Pluto.
Me:  Deal.

(We have an uneventful walk back, under the beautiful full moon.)

Pluto:  Well, that was fun.  Could I have some cookies please?
Me:  Are you kidding me with this?

My vet:  Call me tomorrow.
Me:  (Sigh.. it's unnatural attraction, isn't it?  And split personality disorder.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You know that thing where you reach back and grab your ankles? Are you supposed to scream when you do that?

Man, yoga kicked my butt tonight.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.  We had a substitute for our substitute.  Our main teacher hasn't actually been to yoga for the last two sessions, as she is unfortunately having chemo.  Well, better than the alternative, I guess.  Anyway tonight's teacher wanted to do several moves that involve pulling your leg back toward your butt and also arching your back, and my body no longer does that.  When it tries to, the leg muscles go into spasm.  At least now I feel it happening and stop before I get a full on charlie horse.  It's a good thing yoga isn't a contest, because if it were I would have come in last today.

I'm kinda hungry these days, because I'm trying to lose weight again.  Every round of dieting I lose a few pounds and then plateau.  So here's to a few pounds.  The neuro doc says the best thing I can do for my back is get down to the lowest weight I possibly can.  I keep plugging away at it, a few pounds at a time. If I end up with at totally rockin' bod as a side effect, I wouldn't sneer at it.  It's like buying the safe, fuel efficient car that just turns out to have the coolest lines and the best radio.  But mostly I just want my spine to stop being stupid.

That, and my brain.  JD told me tonight that he's asked me to do something several times, and I have no memory of it, whatsoever.  And it's something that I want, and have pestered *him* about, in the past.  It bothers me that I can't remember.  Usually things that I've forgotten completely are much farther back in my past.

I haven't even hit my head recently.  That I recall.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Going to bed, but first: I am irked.

I hab a code.

Actually it hasn't gotten that far.  I have an incipient cold.  Runny nose, sore throat, general feeling of ooginess.  I'm going to bed early.

I'd like to leave you with the three levels of this photo.  The sign is from the coffee mess in my building.  The coffee mess a small closet, which somebody is responsible for opening and closing every day.  They've been closing it earlier and earlier.  This is irritating me.  I don't drink the coffee, but I do use the sink.  And they take the hot pot from across the hall and lock it up too.  I do use the hot pot.  Or at least, I would like to.

We do have a building cafeteria, but it isn't open past 3 or so.  If you want to make a hot drink or wash a bowl past whenever Mr. Coffee Closet has decided to close up the coffee mess, you're out of luck.

I find it ridiculous that in a building which houses hundreds of people, there isn't a kitchen.  Seriously?  This is such a tough thing to do?  In my old building, which was much smaller, there were TWO kitchens.  With functional sinks, and refrigerators, and microwaves, and coffee of one kind or another.  Somehow, we got along just fine.  However, in this building apparently we are not allowed to have hot drinks past two in the afternoon.

Oh yeah.  I am irked.

So in this photograph of the sign on the outside of the locked doors, I would like to note three things.  1) Nice with the passive aggressive, coffee guy.  2)  Nice with the grammar and spelling, coffee guy.  3)  Nice with the passive aggressive corrections, other guy.

Well, four things.  4)  You missed some stuff, other guy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The dog and I make a fine, gimpy pair

I haven't talked about the dog very much lately.  She did very well all summer, recovering from her extreme bout with inflammatory bowel disease.  Last month we tapered her off of steroids (on the vet's advice and schedule), while leaving her on the other drug she was taking.

In the last two weeks, unfortunately, she hasn't been feeling very well.  Either she needs to stay on steroids, or it's time to change her food again (as the doc predicted we would probably need to, about six months from when we started her on duck and potato food.)  We're going to go visit our veterinarian tomorrow to talk about it.  I hate to see her hurting.  She moans and groans, moves very very slowly, and has little appetite.  It's hard to watch.   The disease waxes and wanes, so some days she feels better.  It's easy to pretend she's fine on those days.  But when she's at the foot of my bed, groaning in her sleep, it makes me sad.  I hope we can come to a happy medium with the disease again, after a change in diet and medication.

For myself, I'm pondering life with degenerative disk disease.  I've been doing some reading in equestrian forums.  There are plenty of people with problems just like mine.  Many of them ride.  Many of them ride but say it hurts, or that their legs go numb.  I don't want that.  Most of them say that finding the right saddle makes a huge difference.  I hadn't even considered the saddle issue.

I've been very good about not riding when I'm already hurting, and riding only at a walk.  I haven't gone jogging at all (well, barring several steps at the metro a few weeks ago.)  And the damage from the disease is still spreading.  I'm not sure my activity (or lack thereof) makes as much difference to the progression of the disease as I thought it did.  If the disease is going to get worse regardless, maybe I should enjoy what I can do now, while I can still do it.  Some time when Pluto is feeling very sedate, I'm going to try a few strides of trot to see what happens.

In January when my insurance changes I hope to get into physical therapy.  I'm also contemplating acupuncture.  Apparently it can be quite effective in this instance.  The description I've read is that while it doesn't heal your back damage, it teaches your body to ignore the pain.  Kind of like painkillers, but without the organ damage.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

We went to Hollywood East and it was good

We'd been meaning to go out for dim sum for a long time.  Over a year.  I first got a hankering for it while I was trying to thruhike in 2010.  That was approximately 18 months ago.  I can't remember exactly how long it had been prior to that since I had gone out for dim sum.  Too long, I'll say.  Every so often the topic of dim sum would come up, and one of us (probably me) would say "We should do that."  And we would agree that we should, and the matter would be dropped.

So a few weeks ago I made a stand.  WE WERE GOING TO DIM SUM.  I put a date on the calendar.  I invited people.  I chose a restaurant.  I made it happen, dammit.

JD, full of dumplings and other yummy things

This carrot-looking thing actually has egg custard inside of it.
We went to Hollywood East, a restaurant I had not visited in its current incarnation.  The previous incarnation had good food, but it wasn't dim sum.  Generally, I visit Good Fortune (several hundred yards away) and they were pretty good.  But I really liked Hollywood East, in large part because almost everybody spoke English, and they were completely comfortable discussing the different foods with you and predicting what you might like.  Also they bullied us into trying the congee, which was delicious.  Sometimes you need a little push.

I didn't take pictures of the whole meal because I was busy eating. I didn't even think of it until my carrot/dessert.  Too bad, because most of the food was pretty.  I can't remember what all I ate, but I know it included steamed shrimp dumplings, steamed chicken buns, baked roast pork buns, congee, turnip cakes, steamed chive and shrimp dumplings, beef rice noodle crepes, and shrimp rice noodle crepes. We ate family style, so generally I had one of a thing, or half of one of a thing.  It's a lot of fun to eat that way.

Afterward we were all really full.  JD and I came home and relaxed for a couple of hours.  My digestive system needed the time.  After a bit we all moved out to the living room and got comfortable.

So comferbuls
Finally, I felt like I could risk going for a walk without my innards leaving me.  I lollygagged my way around the park, taking pictures of this and that.  Also the other.

This holly

That branch of pine cones

The other path through the woods

Winter bonus: you can see the sky!

A railroad spike in a stump.  Huh.
When I got home, A) I was ravenous, and 2) JD had a very picturesque fire going in the dining room fireplace.  My plan had been to eat dim sum for breakfast, and then have a very small snack for dinner.  Hiking in the cool (though pleasant) air showed that my plan had flaws.  Such as the fact that hiking makes me really hungry.  So instead of a tiny snack I had leftover turnip cake, then a sweet potato, and finally a microwaved apple.  And frankly I could still eat.  However the very pleasant feeling of all being in the dining room around the fire helped stave off my hunger a little bit.  Winter is all about being cozy together, right?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Something I hope to do again in the not too distant future

What a nice day!  I got to sleep in, then I met Windy out at the farm so she could ride Pluto.  At a trot, which is something I can't really do.  He needed the exercise.

It was really nice to see Windy.  Usually we see each other only a couple of times a year, at Renaissance Festival and maybe once at sig-beer.  So it was special to be able to get together and spend time with a horse.

Pluto was on reasonably good behavior today, other than his forceful head-dives for any green-looking grass.  He was actually a little bit low energy in the warm afternoon sun.  Windy had to boot him a couple of times to get him trotting which is NOT like him it all but is better than his occasional explosion.

I started her on the longe to let her get used to that bit trot, then gave her reins and let her go.  I was pleased with both of them.  She adapted to his very bouncy trot really well, and he handled having a new rider really well.  Amazingly, my stirrups are actually a bit long for Windy.  (The same stirrups had to go all the way to the last hole for my trainer Amy, and were still a wee bit short for her.)

Here he is just trotting like a normal horse:

After she rode, I got on and walked him around doing some lateral work.  Also, I chatted with Griffin.  He's relatively new to the farm.  He thought we had been introduced before but I didn't remember it.  He has a really cute little four year old mare he was working with, and I really need to get him to teach me and Pluto some of the things they did because it looked really fun.  And let me take this opportunity to say really a few more times because it is a word I really like.  Really.

He volunteered to take pictures of me and Windy and Pluto:

I had no idea Pluto was sticking his tongue out, but I find it hilarious.

And here we are all looking kind of normal, although I look maybe a little overenthusiastic.  You think?
Later in the day my farrier came out and now Pluto has pedicured feets and he is very happy.  Or maybe he's happy because of all the cookies he got.  Either way, a happy horse is nice to have.

Friday, December 2, 2011

An evening at Chez Dory

DeLee came over for dinner and then we hung out talking.  Because we're happening that way.  Poor poochie is not feeling so hot so she just snoozed on the sofa.

Andy.  The center of attention.

Nazca, with fricking lasers.  He stuck to the edge of the room.  Just outside of it, actually.

My pet-averse husband

Dory.  Would not hold still for a picture.  Here seen sniffing the woodstove.  I guess that's what the kids are into these days.

Olli.  With fricking lasers.  (Also DeLee)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am so fierce that Sasquatch runs away from me

Okay, now that was a good night's sleep.  I flipped my anti-drug sentiments the bird and dosed myself up.  I slept like a somnolent log.  Man.  Good sleep is a luxury, isn't it?

I will say that I still dreamed.  This time, I dreamed that I was hiking (yay!) and came upon a sasquatch.  Two of them, actually.  They ran away from me.  It felt very much like coming upon two bears in the woods, only they were upright.  And sasquatchy.

It was a beautiful day today, which helped my mood.  Yesterday it was dark and cold and windy all day.  Today was just cold and windy.  I can handle that!  I went for a delightful walk.

Also, it was donut day.  Half an apple fritter can have quite a positive effect on one's morning.

This evening I drove out to the farm in the dark to ride Pluto.  His girth confirms that he has lost some weight.  I need to find my weight tape, but I think I'm going to start feeding him.  (What?  He's half Lipizzan.  Lipizzans are air ferns.  Normally you don't really feed them. )  Just a little to start with, maybe half a can (~two cups?) of pellets twice daily.

Also wondering if I should get him tested for Lyme.  He's still not interested in cantering on the longe, which is unlike him.  He looks just fine at the walk and the trot, but he wants nothing to do with cantering, in either direction.   Something is going on there.  Muscle stiffness or foot soreness.  I hope the farrier can provide me with some clues on Saturday.

I got on for just a few minutes tonight.  Mostly I wanted to touch Pluto to reassure myself of his existence, but I also wanted to get on him and have a positive experience.  Riding in the dark is a little iffy at the start of the winter, and the arena closest to us is not in his comfort zone.  I got on, we walked around, voila.  I didn't ride very long because a) my back is tweaky, and b) there was an angry bird.  (I'm serious.)  Still, it was nice.  It was good to be with the stinker.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I want a redo

Everything started to go wrong when I was getting ready for bed last night.  I blame Nazca.  He was being all cute and cuddly on the guest bed, so I went in to pet him.  On the way back out, I rammed my right foot into the pet gate.  I didn't break any toes, but I bruised them pretty good.  In bed, every time I turned over my foot hurt as the blankets pressed down on it.  And I was having a particularly insomniac night anyway.  Between the two I didn't get a ton of sleep.

When I finally did fall asleep, I had a horrible nightmare.  I dreamed I was riding Pluto in a dressage test, and somebody shot him dead.  Right under me.  Two shots and he was gone.  In my dream I was sobbing, those horrible wracking sobs that tear you apart.  I woke up and realized it wasn't true, that it was just a dream, but the feeling stuck with me.  Then I started remembering Playboy's death.

Despite those cheerful thoughts I was able to fall asleep again for a couple more hours, though I was partially awoken by a thumping noise.  I figured it was burglars.  Or the cats knocking over the Christmas tree.  One of those.

The alarm went off at 7:24 as it was supposed to.  I finally struggled my way to consciousness at 7:44.  Upon stumbling downstairs I found the Christmas tree smushed onto the floor.  I think after they knocked it down they trompled on it because it's looking pretty flat.  I set it upright again but it leans now.  The poor star is pointing ninety degrees off to the side instead of up at the ceiling.  JD is going to try to tie the tree up to the ceiling, but given that it comes in three sections I think I'll wake up one morning soon to the top section dangling and the bottom sections on the floor again.  (Still, we have to try.  It's that or no tree this year.  Those rotten cats.)

It turns out that the ornaments we put on the tree weren't entirely unbreakable after all.

At breakfast I realized that we were just about out of milk.

All day it was cold and dark and gloomy - both outside and in my head.  I don't know why a dream affected me so much, but it did.  I'm glad I'll be seeing Pluto tomorrow night, to reassure myself that he's the same old loving, pushy, brilliant, hyper pudge that he's always been.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Word salad

I learned some new words today.  Nominal aphasia.  "Nominal aphasia (anomic aphasia, amnesic aphasia) is a severe problem with recalling words or names."  I do not have nominal aphasia, because I don't have a severe problem.  But I do have trouble with recalling nouns.  I frequently have to scramble for a phrase to describe the thing I am thinking of.  It's normal for everybody to occasionally be unable to think of a word.  However, in my case the lapses increased in frequency fairly suddenly after a severe concussion I sustained during college.

How severe?  Well, I was unconscious for a while.  Then I was conscious again for long enough to see a face over me.  Then I was unconscious.  I remember very little of the time surrounding the injury, and for the next week or so I had to be watched carefully because I had lost my short term memory.  The problem with losing your short term memory is you will end up brushing your teeth five times because you don't remember that you've already brushed.  Similarly, you can eat multiple breakfasts with no idea that you've done so.

I trace my noun problems back to that time.  Prior to that I'd had the normal "it's on the tip of my tongue" feeling that every other person occasionally gets.  Following that concussion (and, unfortunately, more concussions over the years) it became more frequent.

Fortunately, I've gotten used to working around it.  I seldom spend much time searching for a word.  Instead, I describe the thing and let my listener figure it out.  ("You know, it's tall and green and has nuts and birds like them?"  )  And then I move on.  Life is too short to worry about words you can't think of.

The tricky part is the other half of my word problem.  The half where the word I'm thinking of is not the one that comes out of my mouth.  Spinach instead of cabbage.  Door instead of window.  Vi instead of pine.  If I'm lucky, I hear the mental echo and correct myself.  If not, I have very confused friends.

It's interesting to me that it seems to be primarily an oral problem, for me.  My writing is mostly unaffected, although I am prone to inserting any word I might hear into the sentence I am writing.  Works great for dictation, not as well for trying to write while sharing an office.

On a completely unrelated note, I am looking at a USPS "Sorry we missed you!" note and wondering who sent me registered mail.  According to the post office, the sender's name is "Taiwan".  I don't think an island sent me mail.  I could be mistaken.  With luck I'll find out tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In orbit around a shrinking Pluto

Today we went out to see Pluto, visited stores multiple times, and put up Christmas lights.  I'm exhausted.  There needed to be more naps this weekend.

JD isn't happy with the entryway lights, which are cool white vs the warm white elsewhere.  So that may be changing soon.  Me, I want more lights of any kind.  We've been buying LED lights which are crazy expensive but with which you can string 45 strings of lights together.  So that's nice.  I'm thinking maybe we'll decorate the Japanese maple next to the house.  Or cut back the dead summer growth and line the flower beds with lights.  It depends on our gumption levels.

Pluto was happy to see me, but he was looking kind of bony in the hip region.

I am not thrilled, but I have only myself and my stupid back to blame.  He's not thin, just unmuscled.  I need to make the rounds of the horse community and try to find an appropriate person to lease him, I guess.  Or something.  In the meantime I gotta get him in the round pen and make him move around to build that butt back up.  I keep having thoughts of selling him, but so far I can't bring myself to do it.  And I  keep thinking my back will settle down in the future and I'll ride him more.

I am ambivalent.  Obviously.

Today is the last day of our four day weekend and I will be sad to see it end.  Though I will be happy to do fewer dishes.  Three people eating several meals a day at home use far more dishes than two people eating one or two meals a day at home.  Oy.  Perhaps I should have invested in some nice Chinette.  Does that come in a pattern?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Starting to worry that my continued obvious happiness will become annoying to bystanders

Wow, another great day.  This is the best little mini vacation.

I woke up last today, just in time for JD to make me some breakfast. I left Lori to laze about on the sofa with a book, and I went off on a delightful hike.  No ticks, that I noticed.  Just flowing through the woods, listening to history podcasts.  I noticed that I'm a bit on edge, though. I kept jumping at noises.  I don't know if I've had bad dreams or what.

Typically I would get a good meal and then have a nap, but instead I  got a good meal and then started setting up the house for Christmas. JD hauled all the Christmas stuff out of the basement during half time for his football game.  We didn't get much done - mostly just the big tree and candles in a few windows.  I hope to get a lot of the railing lit outside tomorrow.

It feels so, so luxurious to know that I have ANOTHER day off tomorrow.  With Lori here it's been a very enjoyable time off from work.  I think having a friend here helps me view things with a fresh eye, and helps me to get out of my routine instead of sitting in front of my computer all the time.

Unfortunately my back has decided to start hurting on the left side.  After fifteen+ years of pain on the right, it's shifted.  Probably means some disk has degenerated a little more and started putting pressure on a new nerve.  It's not awful, just annoying (so far.)  Sometimes I feel like I have mild mutant progeria.  I keep hitting aging milestones too early.  Not the obvious ones like grey hair, hair loss, or wrinkles.  Just the internal ones having to do with my internal organs, joints, and brain.

I'm wise before my years, I am.  Or old.  But I prefer wise.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Good night, Chinatown

This morning JD got up in the dark and went to work.  Me, I stayed in bed.  I finally woke up after 8 and toddled downstairs for a leisurely breakfast of leftover blueberry pancakes.  I couldn't see any reason to wake Lori, so I left her to wake up on her own.  And she eventually wandered downstairs too.

Then we did something that I almost never do:  we went into the city to go to museums.  First we went to the Smithsonian's Museum of the American Indian, which was pretty awesome I must say.  Especially once we figured out where the exhibits were.  There were exhibits on modern American Indians, but also on indigenous peoples throughout the world.  Also, the "A Song for Horse Nation" exhibit is showing now.  There's a movie but it wasn't playing today, sadly.  Still, the exhibit was neat.  It talks about the history of the horse in American Indian culture, what changes the horse brought, and what they're doing now.  The Nez Perce are breeding a new Nez Perce horse from Akhal Tekes and Appaloosas.  There was a video playing which showed some of them, and they are some *nice* looking horses.  Very, very nice horses.  Also I was impressed that the guy on the video was in the "stallion field" - which was just a bunch of stallions hanging out together.  And they were no more nippy or fierce than your average band of geldings.  I know some breeds are managed this way, but I can't say that I've ever dealt with stallions in a group.  It's uncommon near me.

We thought it looked like a castle.

You know, I've lost track of what the hell this is, but it's pretty fantastic.

I'm pretty sure this is meaningful

Indians for the MTV generation


This told a whole big story.  I can't tell you the story.  But I can tell you that all those rectangular hoofprints in a row indicates travel.

Loved this horsehead saddle.

Hello hello hello hello

Metro is so not sexy

I was starting to flag and Lori was a bit too, so we headed out to lunch.  We went to "Meatballs", a new restaurant in Chinatown.  You get your choice of meatballs (regular, lamb, crab, chicken, or vegetarian,) your choice of base (salad, grinder, pasta, minis (i.e. two small slices of french bread) or creamy polenta,) a choice of several sauces, "extras" of which I don't remember much except for fritos, and a side.  I got chicken balls on polenta with tandoori sauce and spinach cooked with garlic.  It was *fantastic*.  The price is reasonable for DC food, and the portions were pretty huge. I couldn't finish mine.  I hope the place stays open.  It deserves to.  They need more seating, though.

I can't tell if this really conveys how appetizing my meal was.  Just looking at it is making me a wee bit hungry again.  Also?  Thank you, restaurant industry, for starting to serve sauteed spinach everywhere.  I love you.

BALLS!  (The word meat is in tiny letters just above it.)

Lori's all happy and pretty!  Also, she loves spinach.

Refreshed and revived, we walked over to the National Portrait Gallery, which turns out to share a building with the National American Art Museum.  This led to some confusion, as we thought we were heading into portraits and we saw.. it's hard to describe.  Not portraits, though.  At any rate, we made it through two levels of the building before we were entirely pooped.  Both of us were getting kind of achy.  Walking all day is fine, but standing around kind of kills.  So I have no idea what the third floor is like.  I will say that my very favorite part of the museum was the Black List - a collection of photographic portraits of famous or important black people.  They were just really good portraits.  Maybe I liked them more because they're of people I've heard of, in the news?  Or maybe it was just really good photography.  Either way, I recommend seeing the exhibit.
Elvis is everywhere

Yeah, I don't know either.

Proof that obesity is not a modern problem.

You gotta love a military man.

Very fine stained glass.

JD got in touch and we decided to meet in Chinatown for dinner.  Lori and I headed outside, and immediately found a parade!  Or so we thought.  It turned out to be a brass band and a police car blocking traffic with its lights on.  I was a little disappointed that it wasn't an actual parade, but I was happy to sit on the museum steps and enjoy the brass band for a while.
You'll have to trust me, there's a brass band in this picture.

The temperature started to drop so I persuaded Lori to go to Fadó, an Irish bar.  (It didn't take much persuasion.)  We had appetizers and beer while waiting for JD to arrive.  After that we weren't much in the mood for an entree, but appetizers plus dessert seemed like a good idea.  :)

Lori is getting dubious of all this picture taking

Probably you would rather see the food.  Or the awesome bar.  Sorry.

It was a long day of tromping around in the city, but the weather couldn't have been better and it was great to get to see new museums.  Before we went I had a whole bunch of things I wanted to see (like the Botanical Gardens next door to the American Indian museum, and the National Building Museum) but I think I'm museumed out for a little while now.  Maybe next time I'll plan to go only for two or three hours instead of a whole day.  Shew.

Good night, Chinatown.