Thursday, September 29, 2016

Longines Master of Los Angeles

Well, last month I said I was going to attend the Longines Masters of Los Angeles...and I had every intention of doing that.  Even bought my ticket and splurged on "VIP" Seating (the cheap VIP seats lol).  Had my plane ticket, too.  And a car rented for a couple of days.  The only thing I didn't have was a hotel reserved.  But then I got to thinking.  My car's registration is due in October and while I could still afford to go after paying that, I decided it wasn't in my bank account's best interests to go.  Oh well.  Since I fly Southwest, I was able to cancel my flight and can use the ticket another time.  Getting a refund for the show was a bit more difficult.  It said to contact the show host for a refund and when I did that, I received an email back stating the tickets were non-refundable.  Okay.  But then why is there an option to request a refund on the website?  Their response was to give me a refund.  I guess I had them with that.  hahaha.  When I bought the ticket early last month, I was certain that by doing that I would be less likely to cancel the trip because I didn't want to "eat" the cost of the ticket.  Fortunately I didn't have to.  I am a bit bummed about not being able to go and I kind of wish I had decided to just go and deal with the consequences (low bank balance) later, but when you're trying to rebuild your credit, that's not always the smartest attitude to have.  Maybe I'll go next year.  Another reason I didn't really want to go anymore is because my favorite rider Beezie Madden wasn't going to be participating.  And while there's plenty of other world-class riders who are, she's the one I want to see in person the most.  I don't know why she isn't, I just know she isn't.  Maybe she's taking some time off post-Olympics.  As far as I know, Cortes C is still out of action, but she has other horses who could compete.  Oh well.

Anyway, last week Longines had a live feed of the arrival of the international horses at LAX, I believe it was.  It started at 5am and I had every intention of being up to watch it, but I just couldn't get motivated in time and I missed it.  Thank goodness for the Chronicle of the Horse and Facebook.  FB posted the video of the event and COTH posted pictures and that's where we are now.  Pictures of the horses arriving.  I tried watching the video, but I got bored.  hahaha.   Especially since the videographer started out filming between the shipping container and the closest trailer.  At 5am, all you can do is hear their hooves as they unload from the container and walk onto the trailer.  He eventually moved, though, and things got a bit more interesting.  They had several trailers lined up, side-by-side and they would unload a horse and walk him down the line, using boards between the trailers, until they got to the one on the end.  Pretty cool, I think.  And efficient.  That way they didn't have to walk down off the shipping container then back up a ramp onto the trailer and with them being mostly inside like that, they were less likely to get freaked out over the sights and sounds of a major international airport. 

So, without further ado, here's some pictures of the arrival of the international horses.  All photos by Bernstein Associates for EEM

I imagine this plane is bigger than it actually looks

Walking from one trailer to another

That's a LOT of carrots.  I wonder how many deep those bags go...

 Well, I guess that's about it for now.  This morning they posted a video on Facebook of Lucy Davis and Scott Brash going out for a ride on the beach, but the horses had other ideas.  They didn't seem to like the waves that kept coming on the beach and kept spooking.  You can watch the video here  I don't know how to link it better or include it in my blog post, but it's about 5 minutes long so I won't force it upon you.  hahaha.  I think it was some kind of publicity thing because there were a lot of photographers there.  I don't kow.

Our weather is starting to "cool down".  I think we're done with triple degree temperatures for the season.  Thank goodness.  We've had some minor storms the past couple of nights.  Nothing major and it's drying up by morning.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hugs and hugging...

Yes, I know that's an unusual title and this is going to be an unusual post about hugging.  Specifically, hugging among friends.  I'm going to start at the end to explain why I'm writing about this and then go back to the beginning.  There's a girl I know at work.  She's in a different unit than me and currently works in a different location because our parent company has been unable to get everyone back to the same location.  I've known her for probably 7 or 8 years, but we aren't what you'd really call good friends.  We don't associate outside of work and we rarely communicate by email.  When we worked in the same location we were always seeing each other in the hallway so we chatted often.    I can remember two times when she has hugged me...when I went to say goodbye on my unit's last day in that building...and Friday.  I was on my way home from work and stopped to get gas.  There was a car at the pump in front of mine that looked very familiar, including the 'H' on the license plate to signify the driver is either deaf or hard-of-heari.  Leslie is deaf and I knew she had a plate like that.  The girl pumping gas looked like it 'might' be her, but her hair was so much longer than I'd ever seen it plus it was pulled back in a ponytail.  Eventually she came over and I realized that it was her and she immediately engulfed me in a hug.  A rather long one, too.  The length surprised me, but I went along with it.

So, why do some people hug and others don't?

While in grade school, friends didn't hug hello or goodbye.  It wasn't uncommon to see little girls holding hands or hugging 'just because', but that's about it.  Hugging was usually reserved for family members.  It's possibly because that's when you learn about bad people and the Boogeyman.

In junior high, my group of friends increased, but there still wasn't hugging.  A friend I'd had since I was 8, we started to hug goodbye when I'd go with her family to drop her off at the bus station to go back home to Flagstaff.

So, why do some friends hug and others don't?

I don't think familiarity or closeness have anything to do with it.  In high school I gained even more friends than ever before (thank you, Duran Duran!) and while we were all very close, even calling some of the other parents 'mom' and 'dad' (not all of them), we didn't hug unless someone was really down.  We were always at each other's houses and spending the night, but we didn't all hug each other.  The first time my friend Sherry's mom hugged me she said 'Boy, she's a hugger!' Because it was a firm one.  The only kind I knew how to give since in my family we didn't do those fake, air hugs.  When you hugged someone, there was a reason.

At my 10 year high school reunion, I reconnected with a couple of close friends and we started hanging out.  One of them, we didn't hug at all.  The other, she and both her parents hugged hello and goodbye.  It was nice because my family had 'split up' by brother living on his own, me with my own place and my parents having moved 90 miles away.  They became a second family to me and I looked forward to the hugs.  When I started getting into hockey and going to player appearances and practic, a married couple I hung out with were hungers, but another group I hung out with, did not.  In fact, we were at a player appearance and I was playing street hockey with one friend and the other two were doing something else.  The girl I was with, Amber, noticed the other two hug each other or hug someone else and Amber said 'I guess we're huggers now' so we started making a joke out of it.  It was fine.  It was the kind of relationship we had.

So, why do some friends hug and others don't?

As a general rule, I don't tend to hug people I don't know very well, so I was a bit surprised when one of the Shamu trainers at Sea World California hugged me for the first time.  It was my birthday and I was doing a program called Dine With Shamu.  She knew it was my birthday and had come over to say hi and wish me a Happy Birthday.  When she hugged me, it took me by surprise, but I just went along with it.  But then she started to hug me every time she saw me, when she was close enough to do so.  One time, she even climbed up the stadium stairs to come see me and give me a hug.  I liked it because I didn't have hugging friends anymore.  A friend I ended up making because of Sea World turned out to be a hugger and a couple of others weren't.

Would you believe the last time I hugged my mom was when I took her to have one of her dogs put down...three years ago?    We just don't.  It's not a decision that was made, but we see each other daily so I imagine that has something to do with it.

But family aside...why do some friends hug and others don't?