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mysterious ways fellowship book of days step inside home is behind home is behind
Noro Lim
the goal is soul.
silvercharmer
Rain tried very hard to interfere with our Memorial Day, and succeeded to some degree, as we did not get any work in the yard done and I didn't get to play with the pony. I got downright moody in the afternoon, as we had waited too long to go catch a movie, heavy thunderclouds were resting comfortably over our house and our long-anticipated grilling extravaganza was in jeopardy. At that point we decided to hell with it, let's go for a walk. About ten minutes after we left home the rain started, and just about the halfway point of our venture the skies opened up and dumped a torrent of rain onto our heads and into our shoes. We spent the rest of the walk ribbing each other and pointing out that we had now become the people that people like us laugh at when we catch bikers or runners out for a romp in a downpour, while simultaneously thinking the whole experience was actually kind of romantic, and snapped me out of my funk. By the time we got home we were soaked, and our poor dog, who had trooped gamely on with us even though she kept looking over her shoulder with serious doubt on her face, looked like she'd just gotten a bath. She acted like it too, and took a few sprints around the house once we'd toweled her off. I don't think I've played out in the rain since I was a teenager and routinely goofed off in the rain at the barn. Sometimes we stood outside in it to have a pointless conversation, just for the sake of being contrary.

To top it off, the rain cleared up right after and we had our grilling fiesta. Grilled steak, grilled veggies, and to top it off...SMORES. Chalk one up for the advertisers, as I felt like I had been inundated with in-store advertising and coupons that brainwashed me into needing smores, and fast. So there you have something else I haven't done in eons. Husband in fact was quite shocked to hear that I had camped as a kid. I mean, real camping. As in, a tent. And not a tent in a cabin or hotel room. I reminded him I used to be one hell of a Girl Scout, but I'm not sure he believed me.

Oh, and to really top it off? My boy Thorn Song pulled off a win in the Shoemaker Mile! I feel like a proud parent. I've been rooting for the guy since his win in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last year, but he's been off the board in four tries. He gutted it out yesterday, though. Tough little sucker. Good boy!

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Current Mood: happy happy

5 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
What we saw on Saturday was nothing short of spectacular. This year's Preakness lived up to everything everyone made of it in the days leading up to the race. What had the possibility of becoming a drama-induced spectacle that could have ended in disaster turned out to be a showcase of two spectacular thoroughbreds of the most unconventional sort, a huge, elegant filly vs. a small, average looking gelding. The former dazzled the racing world with a 20 1/4 length victory in the Kentucky Oaks, while the later snuck through the slop on the rail and took the Derby garland of roses at odds of 50-1 to the shock of the crowd at Churchill Downs.

Rachel Alexandra did something that the toughest of colts would have trouble doing, and Mine That Bird told his naysayers to go to hell. I don't think anyone will pay much attention to the rest of the three year old crop from here on out, especially if these two meet up once more for the Belmont. At first glance, a lot of people wonder if the Bird was the better horse, when you look at him flying in the lane, honed in on the laboring filly. But take a moment to look at what Rachel really did before you let that thought get too far. This filly came cockeyed out of the gate, had to straighten up and bust ass from post 13 to get to the rail and find position. Once there, Big Drama floated her four wide into the first turn and never let her get closer than the three path or so through the entire race. She set fractions of :23 and change and :46 and change, fractions that even champion quality colts might have trouble finishing a race on. Not only that, but the hot pace set the race up for a closer like Mine That Bird, making his job easier and hers that much harder. When Bird and Musket Man started to close, they made up ground, but they did it slowly. When you look at the replay, they only really got close to her in the last 2-3 jumps. But if you look at Calvin, he'd already geared down on her, even though he'd had to go to the whip when they made their stretch run. Had she needed to really get into a dogfight, I think she would have, and I don't think she'd have come out on the losing end. At the end of it all, we learn that she did not like the loose surface at Pimlico, and was struggling over the ground from start to finish. Now you tell me that's not something incredible.

As for Bird, that little horse once again picked his way through horses from the back of the pack, inhaling them like they were standing still. He just goes twice as fast as they do when he really gets going. Any horse with that turn of foot has the power to go on and do great things, and anyone who scoffed at his Derby win and muttered that another Broker's Tip had won the Derby should hang their head in shame. This little horse is a force to be reckoned with, and there is a significant part of me who is sad he has been denied his chance at a Triple Crown.

This is the best possible scenario for racing - a filly who beat the boys and a Derby winning gelding who won't be whisked off to the breeding shed at the end of the year to the chagrin of his fans. Horse racing should embrace these two and thank God we have them, and that we got to see a race like that.

Fillies have not won the latter two triple crown races not only in my lifetime, but in my parents and even grandparents. And now I have seen fillies win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. I want to see Rachel's beautiful head and long, fluid stride thrilling racing fans for as long as possible, and I want that unassuming little horse in the plain brown wrapper to continue to defy the odds for as long as his heart is willing.

This is what racing is all about. We're watching something amazing unfold. Let's enjoy the hell out of it.

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Current Mood: grateful grateful

6 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer


Worker Hardwired for Infiltration and Thorough Sabotage


Get Your Cyborg Name



Though, husband said it should stand for: Will Happily Inhale Tasty Sweets.

Also, I have apparently killed my dog. She is collapsed on the bed with her tongue hanging out after a relentless torture session with a squeaker toy and being chased a few laps around the house by the crazy human. At least one of us worked out tonight.

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Current Mood: amused amused

1 hellraiser // raise hell
silvercharmer
SHE DID IT!

SHE DID IT!

SHE DID IT!

(more coherent thoughts later. right now? that's all i got.)

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Current Mood: giddy giddy

3 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Ok. I haven't said much about Rachel Alexandra and the Preakness leading up to today, partly because I did not want to weigh in on the drama, because Whits is not fond of drama. The fact that the connection change, entry blocking drama was very reminiscent of something the Big Brown camp was capable of, I decided I really wanted to stay away from it, seeing as that kind of shenanigans ruined Big Brown for me.

Also? I am always the person who hates people that put horses up on pedestals before they have earned it. To this day I cringe when I think of the cover of the Blood-Horse when Cigar was pictured alongside the statues of Man O War and Secretariat. It was unforgivable, as he hadn't earned it. And I am going to try very hard not to see Rachel Alexandra as the next great filly of our generation until she's proven she is.

But I have fallen so head over heels for her, I can't be objective. I've watched her with fascination leading up to the Oaks, but that 20 1/4 margin was the greatest performance I have ever seen in my lifetime. I don't care that the field was lackluster. Does that really matter, when a horse does what she did? Not since Serena have I fallen this hard for a filly, and as far as I'm concerned Serena can walk on water.

Therefore, I can't even begin to offer a meaningful handicap of the Preakness. But I am looking forward to it more than I've looked forward to a race in years, maybe ever, although with that excitement there is also apprehension. It got to a point where I couldn't even watch Serena's races anymore; I was so terrified something might happen. I feel the same here, even though I don't really think anything will. This race is monumental to me, and hearing D. Wayne Lukas, who has two starters today, say quite candidly that if she gets to the first turn without problems the race is probably over, only further reinforces how good I - how good a lot of people - think she is.

I almost feel bad, because I want to root for the Derby winner. I want to root for Pioneerof the Nile, and I even want to root for Terrain, who is one of my kids from Keeneland. But with that filly there I don't really think I'll even notice them. This is a bad case of hero worship, and I've got so many stars in my eyes it's a little hard to see, but that's what I love so much about racing. Things like this happen. Horses come along who inspire you, wake up your imagination and astound you with how stunning, graceful, and fast they are. "Thou shalt fly without wings." Rachel, you go girl.

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Current Mood: nervous nervous

6 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Ok, so I intended to post earlier about my geeky fangirl heart palpitations over the prospect of going to see Star Trek tonight, but that was before our internet connection died a fiery death. Now that it has been resurrected, I can squee to my heart's content. I'm not even sure if I was this excited about Return of the King.

#%(@%(@%BY*@YCG@BV@BIWORHVOWEYR@*(#$YO@C$HO@HV O@$YTV*OEUVGEO IGT#OWITVWYV O@T$.

I think that's about as coherent as it gets. This is my childhood, folks. I grew up with Trek, lived and breathed it. I watched every episode. I could quite the Nitpicker's Guide by heart. I went to conventions (and dressed up). I own Conversational Klingon. I had a cutaway poster of the NCC-1701 D in my closet. Trek brought me to science fiction, which is such an integral part of my life I can't really imagine what I would be without it. So I, like many die hard, dedicated Trek fans waited with both trepidation and anticipation to see what JJ Abrams was going to do to our sacred universe.

He nailed it.

He captured the spirit of those characters, cast them with people who were able to root out the essence of them and recreate them in a way that did homage to the original actors and yet reinvent them for their own. He gave us a freaking badassship that will do those characters proud. It's all wrapped up in breathtaking action that never forgets that this story is really about the characters, and without them there is no story.

Karl Urban, I am pretty sure you were possessed by DeForest Kelly, in the best possible way.

It's entirely possible I will have seen this twice by the end of the weekend. Only my inner Vulcan (if there is one) will keep that number from being higher.

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Current Mood: geeky geeky

2 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
So...what the hell just happened?

I am SLACKJAWED. My exact comment to the husband about Mine That Bird before the race was, "If his gate was the only one that opened, he still couldn't win this race." I swear to God.

If it weren't Calvin on him, I'd be irritated. But Calvin can melt anyone's heart.

Current Mood: shocked WTF?

10 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Woohoo! Informed Decision is one of my Keeneland girls. She ran a helluva race against Ventura in the Vinery Madison. Was she the first horse to win from off the pace today? Now let's see if Thorn Song can rebound from his horrible race a couple of weeks ago.

I am snacking on Derby Pie and sipping on an Ale 8 Freeze (a more...palatable take on a Mint Julep). We're hoping one of us will be sober enough to grill burgers a little later. I am also hoping that some of my wagers pay off. At the last minute I put some money in TVG and placed some straightforward bets. This will be the most I've ever bet on a race. Considering how cheap I am, it still isn't that much. I haven't wagered a dime on Dunkirk, which might be my mistake. But you can't take them all, and of the talented ones in this field, I just don't take to him like I do to the others.

If by some amazing miracle Pioneerof the Nile and Advice come in 1-2, you should be able to hear me screaming a few states away. That is a purely sentimental play, because both of those kids were in the Futurity at Keeneland last fall, so I've been following them for a long freaking time. Had Eddie and Terrain also made it to the gate, I'd have bet a superfecta.

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Current Mood: excited excited

4 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
That was amazing.

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Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

raise hell
silvercharmer
Okay, bets are in stone. I swung by Keeneland on the way home, and the cards fell like this:Collapse )

Right, so I'm not sure how much I can stand of this "whoo! let's talk about FASHION at the Kentucky Oaks" rather than the race. They are catering to women who have never seen a horse before and happened to stumble on Bravo by mistake, and I don't appreciate it. Poor Bob Neumier looked a little horrified when WhatsHerName declared that she chose her horses according to whoever has the best ass. Because she has probably never opened a program before, even though she is commentating on the event. Growl.

GO RACHEL ALEXANDRA!

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5 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
A few notes:

Observers at the backside this week have given top marks to Pioneerof the Nile and the two Dubai horses, Desert Party and Regal Ransom, all who have had spectacular works over the surface. General Quarters seems to be a candidate for Most Improved since arriving at Churchill. The post position draw didn’t have any horrible shockers. I think the horses who will have the most to say are all in good position. Regal Ransom and Join In The Dance should be well poised to take control of the pace.

The last minute additions of Atomic Rain and Nowhere to Hide really don’t thrill me; they really can’t be considered more than gate fillers.

I’ll probably post who I’m backing at the windows tomorrow. I will for sure put money on Pioneerof the Nile, Advice and General Quarters, since I consider them Keeneland homeboys.

Kentucky Derby breakdownCollapse )

To sum it up:

The Elite: I Want Revenge, Friesian Fire, Pioneerof the Nile

Smart Picks: Chocolate Candy, Dunkirk, General Quarters, Regal Ransom, Desert Party

Overlooked, But Probably For A Reason: Musket Man, Advice, Papa Clem, Hold Me Back

High Priced Gambles: Flying Private, Summer Bird

Not A Chance: Join in the Dance, Mine That Bird, West Side Bernie, Mr. Hot Stuff, Nowhere to Hide, Atomic Rain

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Current Mood: excited excited

raise hell
silvercharmer
You don't get more St. Louis than the weekend I just had. I'm usually pretty good about neglecting my Midwest roots in favor of my Texas ties, but now that I'm a little older I can appreciate more of the things that do in fact make St. Louis a great place. We got in on Friday in time to pick up my brothers and go have dinner on The Hill, the Italian neighborhood that is home to baseball greats and fantastic Italian food, which is a place I rarely went when I lived there (because of how far it was from our house) and couldn't have really understood the significance of, either. We spent Saturday morning at the zoo, which is quite frankly an awesome zoo and could probably kick the ass of your zoo, wherever you are. It's located in Forest Park, which is a marvel of its own, larger in size than Central Park and full of museums, hiking trails, etc. The zoo is a pretty expansive, sprawling place that is well kept and well cared for. It was funny how certain things triggered memories (it's been a thousand years or so since I've been there), like the exhibits and theater complex at the North Entrance (I remembered the sharks hanging from the ceiling), and the avian exhibit that was built for the 1904 Worlds Fair.

We met up with the boys again for lunch, this time at Sooulard, where my brother lived last year. It's another distinct neighborhood like the Hill that is home to a gargantuan Marti Graw party. We ate at Llewaylens (I think I horribly mangled the spelling, but you get the idea), then caught a shuttle to the Cards/Cubs game. I tell you, there are few sports rivalries that can hold up to the Cards and the Cubs. When the Cubs come to town, the stadium fills to capacity with red vs. blue, everyone ready to die defending their honor. Goodnatured and not so goodnatured heckling abounds, and just about everywhere you can hear someone yelling "Cubs suck!" or some variation thereof. I miss the old Busch Stadium, but the new one is pretty freaking awesome, and does still hold on to the spirit of its predecessor. We sat in the last row in the top section, but we had a birds-eye view and a breeze at our backs (which, in the random April heatwave of 85 degree plus temperatures, was very welcome), and had a perfect vantage point to see Albert Pujhols whack a 441 foot grand slam. While the new stadium does't have the flying eagle anymore, it still shoots off fireworks when the good guys hit a homer, and that was one hell of a homer. We won the game 8-2, the first time I've seen the Cards win since I lived there. That was a hell of a streak to have come to an end, and what a way to end it.

Dinner was at MacGirks, constantly rated as one of the top Irish pubs/bars in the country. I envy how well my brother has become part of the scenery and history of this city. He wears it like a glove, and fits in so naturally I can't ever picture him anywhere else. St. Louis is his city, in ways I will never know even though we were both born there. He's the one who's lived there; I only paid rent for a few years when I was a kid.

We topped off the night with frozen custard at Ted Drews, where there was such a crowd at the windows that it spilled out into the street. I think the only thing we missed out on was Imo's pizza, but since the husband is still scared of it, I think we're ok. (Imo's, while constantly ranked as the best pizza in the city, is generally despised by anyone who did not grow up on it).

We left the Arch behind early this morning, since we discovered on the way there that the air condition in my car doesn't work, and it was going to be 85 today. The less driving in the heat of the day the better off we were. Ugh.

So anyway. This is the first time I think I've really been back there as an adult with my eyes open to really see the place for what it could be to me now, as opposed to what it was to me as a kid. Kind of an experience, really. It's a unique place with its own charm, though I might wait to go back until they get the damn highway fixed. =)

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Current Mood: happy happy

7 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Ok. From now on, I need to bet whatever horse I'm standing smack in front of in the paddock, because he/she is almost guaranteed to hit the board, or better yet, win. Advice was right in my face in the paddock (I even saw myself in the ESPN broadcast), and I was thinking to myself when I watched him that he looked like he had really grown into himself well since his last Keeneland appearance in the Breeder's Futurity last fall, which is proving to be the Ultimate All Star Preview of Awesome Three Year Olds (the starts also included Eddie, Pioneerof the Nile, and Terrain).

I'm still watching the ESPN coverage to see if Eddie's move going into the turn was as awesome as it looked from my vantage point. From my point of view, he made a monster run and got tired, but if he comes out of the race ok I think he just got the best prep he could have gotten. He really needed the race, and though I wish he'd had more time, if they decide to run him I think he'll be in great shape, but if they wait for the Preakness I suppose I'll be okay with it, since it might be better for the horse anyway.

I just love Eddie. That charismatic little blaze on his face, and good Lord he runs his guts out every single time. He's my boy.

So, by default, I'm supporting Pioneerof the Nile, Advice and Eddie (if he runs) in the Derby. My Keeneland Kids. Whoo!


....ok, that move was as bad freaking ass as I thought it was. Damn. Come on, give the kid a chance!

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Current Mood: excited excited

10 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
I am wiped out. Spent all day yesterday at Keeneland, where half the world's population was on hand to see the races. You'd think they were all there for the Bluegrass, but I'm telling you, I bet half the patrons didn't even know there was a major race, nor did they care. When it comes to Keeneland, it's just about Keeneland, and the experience of being there. Spring is finally here, and yesterday it was 60 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Therefore, so many people showed up you had nearly a mile hike to get to the entrance and once you got in, there was room for you to stand, but probably not move. =) You have never seen so many people in hats and sundresses, high heels and suits. Derby Day comes once a year in Louisville, but in Keeneland every weekend of the meet is a high society affair, and let me tell you, people look the part. If you can stand the crowd, it's an awesome experience. Especially when there's good racing, like seeing the champion turf female take on a great field and win the Jenny Wiley, and seeing a hot group of three year olds tackle one of the last major prep races before the Derby. Excitement is the only option.

Today, we packed up the dog and met up with family at Bernheim Forest for the day to hike and picnic. Now, I had not heard of this place before, and in a state so chock full of impressive state parks, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought if I had. But this place was fantastic, even if it was a bit too early still to really appreciate how beautiful it was. Lots of trails to pick from (most on the short, leisurely side, but enough to fill up the day), a gorgeous arboretum, and a fancy schamcy visitor center that was brand spankin' new and completely dedicated to preserving the ecosystem (stuff was growing on the roof). We plan to go back in about a month for the Bloom Festival. It's only about an hour and fifteen minutes from our doorstep to theirs, and our dog just about died of sheer joy. She is currently passed out on our bed, dead asleep and dreaming about chasing squirrels. She might still be sleeping come Tuesday. Talk about sensory overload. She was beside herself.

Then it was back home to take the cousin out to dinner, and now I am in bed with plans to do nothing other than read, watch some South Park, and sleeeeeeeep. Next weekend we get to choose between going to Thunder and going to Keeneland to see Square Eddie run in the Lexington Stakes (!!!!!!), and the weekend after that we're headed to St. Louis to see the Cardinals and have some fun with my brothers. Then the weekend after that is DERBY and time to plant pretty things!

I LOVE spring!!!

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Current Mood: exhausted exhausted

raise hell
silvercharmer
So, an appraiser is coming to check out our house on Friday as part of our refi, and he needs to get in the attic. Which could be interesting, as we have never been in our attic, and upon examination of the attic door, we have re-realized the reason why we haven't been in our attic, aside from the fact there could be monsters or dead bodies up there, and the Winchesters aren't actually real (according to The Husband). The attic door is in a closet, obstructed by a shelf. If he's flexible, he might be able to get a head in there. But he would have to be a freaking contortionist to do more than that.

This is all part of a process that has the unfortunate side effect of telling us exactly how much less our house is worth now than when we bought it, which I definitely do not want to know. But I totally want to save a crapload of money on our mortgage payment. Besides, it's not like we're going to move anytime soon. I hope.

Also? I was initially trying to decide whether to duck out of work an hour early tomorrow to catch Evita Argentia at Keeneland, but since I just found out Ventura is racing on Thursday, I think I'm picking her. Which still means skipping the turf grade 1 on Friday, but at least I've seen Thorn Song before. Stupid Keeneland and their bad habit of running graded stakes on week days. Growl.

PS: Winter? Piss off. I do not need snow in April, thank you.

Netflix has the vast majority of South Park on Watch It Now. Bliss!!

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Current Mood: curious curious

2 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
It probably has to do with the fact that I just watched last week's Lie to Me, but that episode of House pissed me off more than any hour of television has a right to. That was a godawful hour of television

WHY are all of my shows letting me down this season?

Bones: Terrible writing, characters acting out of character, no overreaching theme to pull the season together, so every episode (except last week) is about how ridiculous we can make Booth look.

House: Terrible characters, and tonight's episode.

Supernatural: The Gospel of Winchester. Enough said.

Heroes: We gave up.

I could probably come up with more, but I'm going to go shower and try to sleep off my bad mood.

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Current Mood: pissed off pissed off

3 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Right, so I made fantastic bread over the weekend. Really fantastic honey oat bread. Because I've recently discovered that the bread machine that has been rotting under the sink for two years is actually God's gift to carbohydrate addiction. It's dangerously easy, as long as you have a three hour span in which you can press "start," wander around and do whatever, then show up again at hour three to remove the now hot, perfect bread from the pan.

I cut half a slice of said magic bread for breakfast this morning, drizzled it with honey, intending to eat it on the way to work. Until I set it in the driver's seat while I juggled too many other things and then promptly sat on it. Sticky butt is definitely the right way to start a Monday.

It's rainy, temperatures are dropping rapidly into the 30s (snow will occur later today, the weather man tells me), and The Pamplemousse is out of the Derby. I think I might cry.

Hell, I'll just go home and make more bread. That will make everything better.

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Current Mood: grumpy grumpy

4 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
FIRST: While at first the headline of this article filled me with dismay, upon reading it I damn near shrieked with joy, promptly convincing the husband the world was about to end. THE PAMPLEMOUSSE MIGHT RUN IN THE BLUEGRASS.

Did you hear me? THE PAMPLEMOUSSE MIGHT RUN IN THE BLUEGRASS!

I just about died with joy at even the prospect. Hopefully this soft tissue "issue" is minor and of no consequence. BECAUSE THE PAMPLEMOUSSE MIGHT RUN IN THE BLUEGRASS!

On to what was originally the point of this entry.

Stardom Bound was drop dead gorgeous. Drop. Dead. Didn't look like she liked the Poly much; I haven't looked at a replay yet but it looked to me like she just didn't kick at all. I was so focused on photographing her that I did a horribly lousy job of getting the finish, and therefore the winner.

It was a perfect day for the track. Not a cloud in the sky, 65 degrees, and therefore the entirety of Lexington crammed into that racecourse to the point you needed riot gear to fight your way through to...ANYWHERE. I don't think I've ever seen it that crowded. Yikes. I had to be on my A game to get positioning by the paddock and the rail, so there was running involved. But I got Stardom Bound, which is all that mattered. It's too bad Dream Empress ran so poorly. I was happy to see her again. Despite her boring name I feel pretty attached to her, and I thought for sure she'd run a good race now that she was back at Keeneland. That's racing for you!

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Current Mood: ecstatic ecstatic

3 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
I'm laughing so hard I can't really breathe.

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Current Mood: amused amused

raise hell
silvercharmer
Woohoo!! Quality Road! That went exactly like it was supposed to.

Does this mean the Dunkirk people will shut up now? No? Well, it was worth a shot. You're going to whine about the track, like Todd Pletcher, aren't you? Yep. I gotcha.

Good day on the track. Good World Cup (despite the fact it was the only Dubai race on the ESPN feed that froze up, forcing me to miss the actual race), good World Cup undercard (with the exception of Indian Blessing's defeat, which was too bad). Great Florida Derby.

KEENELAND OPENS NEXT WEEEK! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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Current Mood: jubilant jubilant

2 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Holy crap. Wow, I never expected that. Other than being skinny back in October, which could pretty easily be blamed on his long trip from Saudi Arabia, he looked fantastic. What a huge blow to lose two Derby winners in a week...

I'm so glad I had the privilege of visiting him. I had hoped to go see him again in a couple of weeks now that spring is here.

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Current Mood: shocked shocked

3 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Ok. Supernatural? Here are our goals for tonight.

1. No creepy Sam The Demon Vampire.
2. Ok, I have other goals, but I'm willing to sacrifice them for #1.

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Current Mood: anxious anxious

1 hellraiser // raise hell
silvercharmer
My first trip to the Bluegrass was in 1995 at age fourteen, when my mom took me to my first Kentucky Derby. It was a trip out of a dream. She took care of every detail, from seeing the Derby trophy in person to watching the blanket of roses being crafted, and a trip to Lexington to visit the horse farms. The latter was what I looked forward to the most. This trip would culminate in the Derby, but before that awesome two minutes I would get to meet several of my heroes, the horses who had raced their way into history before Thunder Gulch hit the winner's circle that year. Our list of farms included Buckland to see Pleasant Colony, Vinery to see Strike the Gold, Walmac for Sunny's Halo and a little place called Old Frankfort Stud to see Lil E. Tee.

Lil E Tee was never a superstar. He was not a great success as a stallion. But no horse that I have ever laid eyes on has ever impacted me the way Tee did. When his handler led him out of the barn, I came face to face with a horse that was more proud and beautiful than any horse I'd ever seen or have ever seen since. It was in the way he held himself, posing for us everyday tourists like we were royalty, the gleam of that blood red coat, the adoration in the eyes of his handlers. Everyone at Old Frankfort loved that horse, worshiped the ground he walked on and treated him like a deity. You could see it in every inch of him. His is my favorite photo from that trip. It's amusing to look at the contrast between his photo and Pleasant Colony's, which is on the same page of that photo album. While Tee looks like a painting on canvas, Pleasant Colony stands dusty in his paddock, ears cocked to the side and curious if I have a carrot.

It could be that I'm remembering something through childhood eyes that wouldn't strike me in nearly the same way that it would today. It might be that I had just that past year come to own my own blood bay filly, who I was ever after determined to make shine just like Tee. Had he been some other color, maybe I wouldn't have been quite so impressionable. I don't care. Of all the famous thoroughbreds I have met in my time, Tee stands out clearly in my mind as the standard others have to meet. I'm very saddened by his death. I will never forget that day in Kentucky, and I thank him for that memory.

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Current Mood: sad sad

4 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Nothing like dropping a wad of cash on a plumber on a Sunday afternoon. And for a really stupid problem, too, that cost about $2 to fix if you have mad plumber skills, which we don't. See, we needed to change the wax ring on our toilet, which was intimidating to do, but really? Not hard. Not hard at all. Until we reconnected the water valve and it sprung just enough of a leak that we had to shut the water off to the whole freaking house. Now if we had a house that wasn't 30 years old, still an easy fix. But our house is 30 years old, and the fix involved putting a hole in the wall and replacing the pipe. On a Sunday.

Dammit.

I can handle all the problems that come with having an older house, because this house is totally worth it, except the toilets. I HATE the toilets in this house. But, now that we know how easy it would be to replace them ourselves (with water saver toilets!), we're totally replacing both of them. In a few months. You know, after we've paid the taxes, gotten the brakes fixed on the car and now...paid the plumber.

Yay adulthood! Yay home ownership!

Oh, and I am definitely suffering from my standard Post Vacation Massive Head Cold, which is guaranteed to strike within 2-3 days after I get back from an awesome vacation.

And it was an awesome vacation. Except for the travel part. Those who are familiar with my abysmal traveling luck will be amused to know that this was the worst travel experience I've ever had. Gold star, San Juan. Gold star.

But? I am already dreaming of our next cruise. It's seriously the only way to vacation. (Unless you're going to Disney. Or an awesome National Park, such as Yellowstone, which scientists are yet again claiming is going to kill us all within the near future, at least according to The Week.)

Cruise pictures will show up on Facebook...eventually.

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Current Mood: irritated irritated

16 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Hm. It seems that whenever I skip a few days of entries, it magically turns into a month. Or two. I should probably avoid that. Because since my last entry, I have:

A) Met up with my siblings, cousin and Aunt in Western Kentucky, where we had what is becoming one of our famous recharge weekends in which we lounge, relax, watch movies, eat lots of food and forget about things for a weekend. I love the company of my extended family, and I don't get to see my brothers nearly enough. And because they are so damn amusing, that's a sad thing. I am so unlike my brothers, which is perhaps why I'm so fascinated by them. I'm not as extroverted, I'm not as quick on my feet or even as quick in my head.

In addition to just hanging out for the weekend, we got to see first hand how bad the ice storm damage is elsewhere in the state. If we thought Fayette County got slammed, we've got nothing on Western Kentucky. My aunt lives south of Henderson, and what we saw there was stunning. Trees peeled apart like bananas, the remnants that were still standing looking more like wraiths than trees. Front yards of homes looked more like lumber mills, with stacks and stacks of branches, some small and twiggy and others thick and mature, trees that had been entirely uprooted. It was everywhere; no home or business had been spared. It's amazing how something that was so beautiful could have been so destructive.

B) I have the perfect husband. He is my first and only Valentine, because in my dating years before him (the term dating is used loosely here), I never happened to be in one of my very brief and temporary flings in February. Because of this, his duty on Feb. 14th has always been very simple: flowers and chocolate. I mean, if you've never gotten that before, it's not old and cliched, at least to me. So I was thrilled beyond reason to get that. So on our fifth Valentines together, he went ahead and did something different. Because of our hardcore workout program, he was worried about getting me sweets. So instead he got me a "bouquet" made of fruit. It was cute as hell, different, and so very touching I could have cried. It might sound stupid, but I was so thrilled he was thinking of what my goals were, and did something to support it that was different. I love that boy.

C) Jeff Dunham. Our mutual gift to each other for Valentine's was to go see Jeff Dunham at Rupp. He was spectacular. Since we own all three DVDs and have watched them numerous times I was a little worried we'd be hearing things we'd seen before, but not really the case. Most of the material was new, Guitar Guy was there, and we had a blast. But perhaps the most unique aspect of the show was the appearance of Bubba J, who I actually don't care for as much on his own. But Jeff had apparently gotten a ton of e-mails from people begging to have him at the show. Problem was, Bubba hadn't been part of the show in a long time, and Jeff needed a cheat sheet. Until he realized that the entire audience knew the punchlines better than he was. It was kind of surreal to hear the sea-like chant of the crowd parroting the lines, and Jeff looked both bewildered and touched at the same time. You know you've made it when.

D) Cruise obsession. Ok, I've had this for months. But we leave in just over 2 weeks, and it's become more of a frenzy. We just went on a shopping spree at Walgreens to get things like sunblock, and this weekend I might actually start packing (at least the stuff that won't wrinkle). Because I'm that excited, and it's not like we'll be wearing shorts or tank tops between now and then. I've been almost living on Cruise Critic, making last minute adjustments, and in general driving the husband nuts.

E) My boss got hurt. He got bucked off a horse on Sunday, and had surgery today to fix a broken clavicle. He's going to be fine, but it's made the week seem very strange, and I've been pretty worried. I feel better now that he's come through the surgery fine, but things are definitely not as they should be.

Otherwise things are as they should be. My parents e-mailed me today from somewhere in Australia, further infecting me with a bug to go travel down under. I need to go find some hobbits in New Zealand. Once I see their pictures I think I'll be done for.

I'll talk about Derby thoughts soon. Right now I'm torn between my Keeneland horse with the stupid name and the horse with the BEST NAME EVER.

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Current Mood: relieved relieved

5 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
Scrubs tonight is MADE OF WIN. Bonus points for using three of my favorite songs in the second episode. Two of them acapella. Scrubs is my happy thought for the night.

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Current Mood: happy happy

4 hellraisers // raise hell
silvercharmer
I just had the craziest revelation. I mean, this was epic.

Inigo Montoya is Mandy Patinkin.

Seriously, people. This is absolutely earth shattering.

Ok. Fine. It's not. Little things excite me, that's all.

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Current Mood: silly silly

1 hellraiser // raise hell
silvercharmer
We definitely watched a significant portion of the Puppy Bowl tonight rather than the Superbowl. Or anything else.

Sun came out, the temperature jumped up and the rest of the ice finally melted, leaving us with a muddy mess. You would not believe the tree carnage. Massive branches wrenched from their trunks, some uprooted completely. Thousands of branches piled on the ground like matchsticks, leaving in their wake one misshapen tree after another. It should be interesting to see what the city looks like come spring.

Got out to see the pony for the first time since all this started. She was happy and surprisingly un-muddied (so far), but there was just enough ice leading into shed where I groom her that I deemed it unwise to bring her in to brush on her. So instead I fought off the herd of paints to give her some carrots and love, and then went home. Our poor dog still has not gotten her coveted walk; even with the high temperatures and massive meltoffs, the sidewalks are still too treacherous. This makes her sad, but at least she's cute when she's sad. Power seems to be back on at the clinic, so it is back to work for me tomorrow. It seems the world has returned to its normal state.

I am officially at that point where I hate winter and everything to do with it. One of the few drawbacks of Lexington is that most all of the things it has to offer are outdoors. This time if year I am so stir crazy and anxious to be OUT I almost can't stand to be in my own skin. Going to the comedy club yesterday was a much needed break for us. We had fun, felt like social, non-lame people, and I even got a little drunk. Next weekend we go visit my aunt and see my brothers, and the following weekend is Jeff Dunham, meaning we should stay sane for a little while.

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Current Mood: irritated hating winter

1 hellraiser // raise hell
silvercharmer
Well, that was fun. The expiration date on one of the credit cards is fast approaching, and when I called to see when I would be getting a new card I was told rather cheerfully by the automated system that I had put an extra 0 in my payment yesterday. After about four heart attacks and a scramble to see whether it was a mistake (it wasn't), I managed to get someone on the phone to refund the payment. Granted, it might take a week to show up in my checking account, but if all goes like it should, the only collateral damage is a $10 fee.

The good news is we can survive a week with a wiped out checking account
(hell, we currently have a rather hefty credit on the flippin' credit card). The bad news is I feel like an idiot and gave myself four heart attacks.

The moral of the story: Always proof read your payment information. Wow. This was bad. It could have been much worse, but it was still pretty freaking bad.

In better news, we're going to Comedy off Broadway tonight to see Carlos Alazraqui, and we plan to have a lot of fun.

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Current Mood: shocked shocked

raise hell
silvercharmer
Out from work for the fourth day. It sounds like Versailles is an absolute wreck. I wrestled the Hyundai out of the driveway to seek out Keeneland, because the sun came out just a little and I did not want to miss the opportunity to take some photos. Not often you can capture Keeneland frozen solid. The photos in general don't do justice; the ice is just transfixing. The thaw should start tomorrow, which will be good for many. I can lament the melting ice only because I'm one of the lucky ones, with power, heat and water. There are some people missing one in that list, others missing all three. We have tree damage, but not catastrophic (I don't think, but it might be too soon to tell). Because we're so blessed, I can still look out my window and be enamored when the sun hits that ice, but most of this state will be very glad to see it go.

Tonight, I am looking forward to going out, having dinner, and wandering around. Just because we can.

Photos below. Some of the house, a couple from the bazillions I took at Keeneland. I can post more, if anyone wants to see them. There are more on Facebook, too.

Ice storm photos!Collapse )

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Current Mood: grateful grateful

8 hellraisers // raise hell