Yesterday D and I went to our first horse show. It was in an extremely tony area and the rich folks were out in force. At this particular show (what is referred to a hunter/jumper show) they even judge the tack rooms. The farms where the various horses are from put up these amazing portable stalls and tack rooms, at the front of each is a seating area under lovely cabanas, complete with fountains, gorgeous flowering plants and monogrammed directors’ chairs. Some even brought their own sod so the area in front of the cabana would look fresh and green, and put down expensive carpeting under the teak furniture.
The winning farm also used expensive wood (mahogany?) for the individual horse’s tack boxes. You could literally smell the money. There was a huge covered viewing area for sponsors only, but they were nice enough to set up smaller covered bleacher seats for the riff-raff.
Vendors of high-end tack, riding clothes and jewelry were there to take your hard-earned money. I was lusting over a pair of butter-soft Ferragamo riding boots that cost more than most of the shoes in my closet combined. The age range of the competitors was from about 7 to about 55; the smallest children rode ponies. The entire time I kept wishing that I had had the chance to start riding so much earlier in life. Not that I would have necessarily competed, but I wouldn’t still be learning how to trot as good as a 7 year-old.
There has been so much going on in the news lately, and I’ve consciously avoided blogging about it. Partly because this isn’t a political blog, and partly because I don’t want to deal with the fallout from the crazies who troll blogs looking for key words so they can write hate-spam. One of my favorite bloggers, Helen at Everyday Stranger, lives in the UK and heard the news of the arrests of the would-be terrorists hours before we did here in the US. She wrote a post detailing her feelings on travel and her despair at the state of the world. It didn’t take long before part of her post was copied by a widely-read political blogger (who I refuse to link to here) to show the “moonbat” perspective. Of course it was taken out of context, but that didn’t stop the hateful trolls from inundating her comments and email with insults, anti-American rhetoric and even a few death threats. Because of this exchange she was also invited by Fox News America to come on their radio show as a guest to share her perspective, which she bravely did.
This all made me very angry. Not only because I love Helen, but because I strongly feel she has every right to say whatever the hell she wants to say on her own blog without fear of someone threatening to slit her throat. If we all start censoring ourselves, what are we left with? Of course, we all must live with the consequences of our actions, but once again, if you don’t like what you are reading, you’re welcome to leave.
One of my favorite talk-show hosts is a guy from LA named Karel. He’s the first openly gay host on KGO, which is consistently rated the best talk radio station in America. I don’t always agree with everything he says (although I do more often than not) but I do agree with his feelings on the situation in the Middle East. Here’s a link to a recent post of his that says it better than I could.
In unrelated news, I hired a professional blog designer to spruce up these digs a bit. Watch this space for a new, improved design shortly.