Saturday, September 30, 2006

902 Skunks

After the previous post, I was compelled to go read up on skunks. Now I want one as a pet.

When I was in high school and living on the air force base on the mountain, there was a wild skunk living under one of the barracks. The airmen made friends with it, and it had pretty much free run of the base.

One day the APs at the gate called our house to warn me that they had seen the skunk chasing my cat Smokey down the road. Before the call was over, though, they reported that "now Smokey is chasing the skunk". Whoops, now the skunk is chasing Smokey again. The two of them chased each other back and forth, playing. They got to be good friends. They even invited each other into their homes. My mother didn't much care for that.

Skunk smell close up might be pretty bad, I guess. I don't know because I've never smelled it close up. With all the animals I've had, and all the living in skunk-owned woods, all the skunks trekking across my lawn, and petting the "wild" skunk on the base, I've never had anything sprayed.

I love the far-off smell of skunk-spray on the breeze. Not as in "it's not so bad" - I actually like it. I take little slow sniffs and it makes a good feeling in my brain, a tingly feeling in my chest.

The skunks around here are prettier than the pictures of striped skunks to be found online. Ordinary striped skunks have the white cap and then a stripe down either side of their body, and a little white on the tail. Most of the skunks I've seen around here, the space between the stripes is filled in white so that they are solid white on their backs, and the tops of their tails are completely white. Their black is just on their underneath parts. Their fur is long and fluffy. Very pretty.

They waddle, and poke their noses into everything.

I'll bet a skunk in the house (even a descented one) could be as much of a burglar-deterrent as a dog. Probably harder to travel with or board, though.

901 Skunk Hair

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I've got skunk hair! And I love it!

Being female, I naturally got bored with my hair. It's not exactly blonde and not exactly white. It's pretty much the same color all through, except for the palm-sized dark patch smack at the top of my forehead, which I bleach to match the rest.

I've been thinking about coloring it - a temporary 8-10 shampoo deal - but I can't use temporary color on the bleached part, because it might turn a strange color and might not wash out. I can use a permanent color, but that's - uh - permanent. I just wanted to experiment a bit.

I've heard that no one in (on?) Long Island has gray or white hair. You see it around here a bit - little old ladies with black, brown, or red hair. Not only does it look sadly fake, but dark hair with white roots looks terrible, make that TERRIBLE, much worse than light hair with dark roots. So I'm afraid of that, too. My hair grows too fast for chancing pathetic white roots.

Idea! Light bulb goeth on.

I gathered up a 3"x5" patch on the top and crown of my head and pinned it out of the way, and then used an ash-brown temporary color on the rest. It came out very light brown or medium ash blonde. It looks really great with the white-blonde top hair (kinda like a skunk's topknot) spilling over and blending into it. I've even got streaks, without that ugly broad striped look so popular with young women lately.

I love it! I love it so much that after all the temporary color has washed out, I'll do it with a permanent dye.

The darker underneath makes the top part look lighter, and I don't have to worry about roots - there are none showing. Bored no more.

This opens a whole new world - I can play with lots of colors if get bored again, just so I stick with relatively light colors.

900 Oooo - I'm So Naughty!

Borrowed from True, who borrowed it from Dirty Blonde.

You have to answer yes or no to each thing to see what your sins are worth.

Smoked pot-- $10
Got drunk, passed out and don't remember the night before-- $20
Went skinny dipping-- $5
Had sex in a pool-- $20
Kissed someone of the same sex-- $10
Had sex with someone of the same sex $20
Cheated on your g/f or b/f -- $10
Cheated on your g/f or b/f with their relative or close friend--$20
Done oral-- $5
Got oral-- $5
Done / Got oral in a car while it was moving --$25
Prank called the cops-- $5
Stole something-- $10
Stole something worth over more than a hundred dollars--$20
Had sex with someone 10 years older-- $20
Had sex with someone under 21 and you are over 27--$25
Cried yourself to sleep-- $5
Cried during sex--$20
Been in love-- $25
Been in love with two people or more at the same time --$50
Said you love someone but didn't mean it-- $25
Went streaking-- $5
Went streaking in broad daylight --$15
Been arrested-- $5
Spent time in jail --$15
Peed in the pool-- $0.50
Played spin the bottle-- $5
Done something you regret-- $20
Had a crush on your best friend--$5
Had sex with your best friend --$20
Had a crush on someone at work --$5
Had sex with someone you work with at work --$25
Lied to your mate --$5
Lied to your mate about the sex being good --$25

My total = $310.00. True's total was something like $70, poor child. Dirty Blonde got $325.50. I guess I'm a naughty blonde. (No, I never peed in a pool. Ocean, lake, river, yes. Woods, yes. Even a front yard once, but a pool? Never.)

P.S. - Being in love is a $25 "sin"? Whoa! I counted only one $25 for that (I assume that no matter how many times you've done something, you count it only once), but I've apparently "sinned" many many times that way. I've loved many men. Some truer than others, but truer only because I knew them better.

Friday, September 29, 2006

899 Tiring Day

Friday, September 29, 2006

[Later edit: Changed reference to Ex#1 to Ex#2. Oops. It's not like I really mix them up....]

After stopping in to visit the mini-van, I headed for Poughkeepsie (pronounced p'KIP-see, for you outlanders. (Valatie, up the road, is pronounced val-LAY-sha. We gots us some weird names 'round here)), to deliver some more Pilot Logs. Naturally, I had to make three trips up and down each road to find the businesses. No numbers. And in one case, no sign.

Then I headed for New Paltz, where I had to deliver to an insurance business in a big old Victorian house. There was a number, and a big sign --- but there were two doors on the front porch, a sidewalk around the side to another door, and a fourth door at the back where there was a parking lot (I had parked on the street). No sign that said "office", or "use this door". I rang all four doorbells in turn, got no response, and ended up leaving the Logs on the porch in front of the most likely-looking door. Of ninety-some delivered, that's the first batch I didn't actually hand to a person. But there was no way I was going to make another trip to New Paltz.

Then to Tivoli. I rarely get to Tivoli, and when I do, it's just to pass by on Route 32. So today I had the map, and was looking for the back/side street to deliver my Logs to a bus company.

A story: In 1969, when I was dating Ex#2, one of his best friends, Frank, lived back in on a side street in Tivoli. I had been to Frank's house once with Ex#2, but hadn't paid any attention to where it was. Frank's house was a big 2 1/2 story farmhouse. They had a bit of land, with a barn and several sheds. They kept some ponies, and Frank's collection of old Subarus.

Frank's wife decided she wanted a large window in the dining room, instead of the existing blank wall. Frank promised her he'd do it. A few years passed, and Frank hadn't got around to it. Nagging didn't work. One day, the wife decided she'd about had it. She took a chain saw and cut a huge hole in the wall. No supports, no braces, no nothing. Just a big hole through the plaster, studs, and siding. When Frank got home from work that evening, he was greeted by a huge hole in the wall. Breeze blowing in. Within a week, the wife had her window.

My visit was the day after she had cut the hole. (Frank had to show it off.) We moved to St. Louis shortly after, and I'd never seen the new window.

So, I'm driving down this street, looking for the bus company, and remembering the story of Frank's wife and the chain saw, and wondering where the house might be. I'm thinking there had to be enough space for the out buildings, and the houses are too close together on this street ... and wham! There were the barn and sheds! The very ones. I'd have expected them to have been torn down by now. As I passed, I glanced in the side mirror, and sure enough, there was a huge window in the house, right where the hole had been. Amazing. I found a needle in a haystack!

Anyway, I was so excited about that, that I passed right by a big fenced-in yard full of big yellow school buses without even noticing. And then got lost. Took me a long time to find that bus company.

Then to the Kingston Wal-Mart to buy another house telephone. (They've all decided to die at once.) Then back to the village to an auction preview, then home. I got home about 7:30ish, and for some reason I was very tired. About 65 miles today, and 5.0 hours for the museum.

The state legislature (I think it's them, anyway) is looking at allowing a deduction on taxes for volunteer hours, similar to the deduction for volunteer miles. That would be nice, and I'm sure it would encourage volunteerism. The federal government should look into it.

898 The Van Is Back!

Friday, September 29, 2006

I've got the mini-van back! After how many weeks? Five? Well, I almost have it back. I stopped by the Chrysler place today, and paid for the work, but I had to leave the van there because I was on my way to Poughkeepsie. But I did sit in it, and try starting it, and it started, and the check engine light didn't go on. I'll call them Monday, and they'll send someone here to take me in to get it.

The service manager said it was the hardest job they'd ever had - trying to figure out what was causing the stalls and the sensor failures. It turned out to be a combination of things.

Apparently, it all started with a rubber cover over the computer. It had a "slit" in it, which allowed moisture into the computer. This caused intermittent false sensor readings. When the sensors (oxygen and cam position) were replaced (several times), whoever replaced them screwed it up a little bit more each time - bent connections, out of alignment, incorrect gaps, etc. So then the sensors started reporting both bogus and real failures, while the computer was also intermittently failing. That caused some fuel mixtures, air mixtures, timing, whatever, to be off. Which caused stalling even when the sensors said everything was ok.

So fixing any one thing wouldn't have fixed the system.

They replaced the computer and the wire harness (and I HOPE they replaced that rubber cover), reseated the sensors, and a bunch of other stuff. They must have test driven it at least 350 miles, because I gave it to them with a full tank of gas, and it's on empty now.

We'll see how long it behaves.

Oh, and it didn't cost much at all because the computer and harness was still under warranty.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

897 Memories in Boxes

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Daughter has several boxes in my basement. I'd kinda like her to take a look at the stuff, but I've decided now is not the time. I know her well enough to know that if she thought I'd like to clear it out, she'd tell me to throw away everything without even looking at it - her theory being that if she hasn't needed it in the past eight years, she won't need it ever. I think I'll wait a few more years. Need is not the same as want.

That got me thinking about a box I had left in Ex#1's parents' attic when I left him. He didn't want me to retrieve it because he didn't believe I was really leaving, and he didn't want his parents to know anything. He promised he'd send it to me after I found someplace to live. But within a week of my leaving, his father left his mother (a complete surprise). Naturally, she blamed me, everybody blamed me for showing that it could be done, and she threw my box out.

It contained all my old diaries. Letters from friends and first drafts of my letters to them (we were big letter writers in those days). High school and college essays and term papers, of which I was very proud. Art projects from college. Photographs from high school and college. Dried corsages. Mementos. All gone.

Forty years later I still think about that box. This morning I sat down and sifted through the box in my mind.


When I went to college, in that time and place, the goal was to turn out "well-rounded" citizens. You didn't graduate until you could swim, hit a tennis ball and a golf ball, shoot an arrow, bowl, turn a back somersault, speak before a large audience, paint with oils, sculpt, and recognize the styles of the major classical composers. (Unfortunately, they didn't include guns, which was the one thing I was already very good at.) Those classes were not fluff classes, either. You really didn't graduate without passing them.

Also, back then, the average grade was a "C". At my college, in every class, there were no more than two "A"s (if that many) given in any class, and there were always two "F"s. It didn't matter if your average in a class was 95%. If everyone else's average was above 95%, you failed the course and had to repeat it. If three or more people tied for top scores, then they all got "B"s, since nobody was "the best". It wasn't like a curve. It was possible for everyone in the class (except the bottom two) to get "B"s, if it was an outstanding group. One more thorn - no matter what your average was going into the final exam, if you failed the final (that one was based on %), you failed the course. Period.

I needed to graduate in three years, and I had two majors and a minor, so I was carrying a very heavy load. It's funny, but the classes I remember as the hardest were the "rounding" classes. I wasn't very good in any of them. I think I got through on charm.

My golf instructor said I had a perfect textbook stance and swing - but I couldn't hit the ball for love nor money. I'd haul off with this perfect swing, and everybody would look off into the distance, then back in confusion, and there'd be the ball still sitting on the tee. I don't think I ever hit the danged thing.

Bowling was just the opposite. I got decent scores, but every time I released the ball, I'd fall down. Splat right on my doupa. Terrible form.

I was good enough at archery that the instructor insisted that I try out for the team, but it turned out I couldn't pull the heavier bows used in competition without losing control of the arrow. You know, one of those fly two feet plops.

Swimming was horrible. The instructor took one look at my kick on the first day, and decided that I was lying when I said I didn't know how to swim. Hey, I've got strong legs! He threw me into the deep end and let me drown. I threw up after every class.

In tumbling, I could do everything on the final exam except one thing. To demonstrate flexibility, you had to sit on the floor, lean forward so that your shoulders were between your knees, put your arms out under your knees and around to the front of your calves, and then interlace your fingers down to the base. I couldn't do it. I couldn't even get my fingertips to touch.

The day of the final I took a tape measure to class. The length of my arms from underarm to the base of my fingers was 19.5 inches. My legs are short and powerful. The length of the distance my arms would have to traverse, from mid-thigh, under the knee, around the calves, to the mid-point between my calves, was 23.0 inches. And that's assuming no bones in my arms and with the calves close together. The calves would have to be separated because my shoulders would be between my thighs, so it's even longer. Therefore it is physically and mathematically impossible! for me to do this, no matter how flexible I am.

Never underestimate the stupidity of an instructor. She insisted that I had to do it or I would fail the class. I couldn't fail because on my schedule I couldn't afford to repeat any class, besides which no matter how many times I retook it, I was NEVER, EVER, going to be able to do that one thing.

So I did my best. My knees were behind my shoulders, and as close to my neck as possible - the only way I could get the calves close enough - and I was finally able to interlace the tips of my fingers. The instructor was impressed. She acted like she was doing me a favor passing me even though I "didn't meet requirements".

That night, and for the next two days, I was in the hospital. I had really messed up the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in my upper back. It was so bad that nobody realized that I had also dislocated my left hip. I walked around with that undiagnosed dislocation for the next ten years. There might have been some satisfaction that maybe the instructor might have felt bad, except that I had another problem. The day after the flexibility thing was my speech final.

Everybody in the speech class had to give an x-minute talk before the class on some subject chosen by the instructor. Your time was assigned, and with so many speakers and so little time, if you missed your time slot, you failed. Period. No excuses. No recourse. During my slot, I was lying in a hospital bed zonked on pain killers. My speech was ready (and it was a really good one), I was ready, but I missed my slot. The instructor informed me I had failed the class. I fought that one all the way up the chain, and finally gave the speech at a faculty meeting, and got an "A" on it.

The hardcopy of that speech was in that box. I wish I had it.

What kicked this all off was thinking about the little figurine in the box. We had been handed a lump of clay and told to make something. I fashioned a little girl, with braids and a full skirt, and chubby legs. She was very detailed, very pretty, and quite well done. But the instructor turned his nose up at it, "You made a Hummel!" I got a low grade for her, but I really liked her, and I wish I had her now.

I know now what I should have said to that instructor. My little girl really was well done. She wasn't very original, but the craftmanship was superb. Forty years later I know that I should have said to him, "Yes. A Hummel. I admit I have no talent. But you can't teach talent. You teach craftsmanship. So are you going to grade this project on talent, or craftsmanship? On what I brought to the class or what I'm taking away?"

Colleges today don't try to produce "well rounded" graduates. It's just the facts, ma'am. But throughout my life, it's the "rounding" classes that have stuck with me and influenced me the most. I don't remember much of history, or literature, or languages, or mathematics, but I have an appreciation for the arts that seems to be missing among today's youth. They don't seem to be able to differentiate between something produced by talent and hard work, and something that's only quality is uniqueness.

Which reminds me - when you hear "music", and you find that when it stops your shoulders relax and you think "Thank God it stopped", that's not music. That's noise.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

896 How to Get Found

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I delivered more Pilot Logs today. Five hours and 53 miles. All I have left to do now are the far-away ones (Saugerties, Woodstock, Bear Mountain, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz). Unfortunately, I got talked into distributing rack cards to libraries and mansion museums on this side of the river.

"No. NO. I can't. No! I don't want to. No no no! I have a life!" Practice saying that. Damn. The weather is finally good for outside work, and here I am delivering this stuff instead. The same thing happened to me in St. Louis - I volunteered at the veterans' hospital, intending to put in no more than 4-6 hours a week, and when it grew to 35 I thought "Sheesh, if I'm going to work this hard, I may as well get paid for it!", and that's how I ended up rehiring with The Company.

The city of Kingston has some strange streets. Hasbrouck Avenue used to run straight up parallel to Broadway, I guess. But it's been "cut" in two places, and the maps don't show it. Like, for example, when they put in the bypass, it cut Hasbrouck. My first attempt to find the business I was looking for, I found myself on a 1-block piece of Hasbrouck, with four houses, no exit, and no place to turn around. I had to back out. When I found the other piece of Hasbrouck on the other side of the bypass, I was driving up the street, and wham! there's a fence across the street with a parking lot behind it. The city decided to put in a highway department something-or-other, and it was going to take up most of two (small) blocks, so they just plunked down the buildings and lot right across the street. And of course, the "blocks" aren't rectangular, and the area is laced with one-way streets. I got pretty tangled up a couple of times trying to find my way back to Hasbrouck.

Another oddity is "Boulevard". That's it. That's the name of the street - Boulevard.

I was looking for (say) 123 Boulevard, a large electrical business. Naturally, most of the houses and businesses didn't have numbers. I found 89, and a half mile up the road was 178, but no numbers in between, and I didn't see any sign for the business. Finally I pulled into a restaurant parking lot at about where I figured 123 should be, and I called them. They were right next door. It looked like a private residence set back from the road, and the woman told me to go down the driveway to the back, and the office was "in the back".

So I drove to the next driveway. No business sign, but the number 123 was on the FRONT of the mailbox. Hey folks - when someone is driving past and looking for the number, they can't see it when it's on the front of the mailbox! A driver can't be driving safely on a winding busy road with their heads turned to the side. Put the flippin' number on the SIDE! so it can be seen before we actually get to it!

I went to the back, and found another (huge and beautiful) private residence, with a high wooden wall with no gate blocking the parking lot from the house in front. Is this 123 also? Is it the business? Still no identifying sign. There was a small upper parking lot and a small lower lot. There was a fancy front door at the upper lot, and a simpler door and a garage under the house at the lower lot. No signs anywhere.

I went to the front door and rang the bell. I didn't know what else to do. When a woman (the woman I had talked to on the phone) came to the door, she said that I didn't need to ring the bell, I should have just walked in. I said I wasn't sure if this was the office, and she laughed and said "Oh, everybody says that. They all think it's a private residence."

Duh? So, uh, why don't you maybe put up a sign? Even just "Office" on the door would help. As a representative of the museum I had to hold my tongue, but really, folks, aren't some things obvious?

Well, sometimes things aren't very obvious. This building was huge, fancy, a fantastic view, a glass room, wings with huge windows, beautiful landscaping. If the setting is any sign, this is a hugely successful business, even if no one can find it. Maybe they don't want "drop in" customers. Maybe all their business is from building contractors who need to know only the phone number. That's still no reason to make it so hard on delivery folks - of which there must be a few, since she said "everybody says that".

Or maybe they're a front, or a money-laundry. There used to be a fancy horse farm down the road that was a Mafia front, until the owner was convicted of something-or-other, and it was sold. But if they're a front, it's unlikely they'd advertise in the Pilot Log. A tax dodge would, though. We've got a lot of them around here, too. But tax dodges don't usually look so successful. Nah. Don't know what their story is.

895 Rakkasah Schedule

The performance schedule is up for Rakkasah East, October 13 through 15, in Somerset, NJ. That's 132 performances over the three days. Willow is dancing at Rakkasah for the first time on Saturday night, at 8:26 pm. (Video clips of Willow: Floor work, and finger cymbals.)

I'm a little disappointed because the ATS troupes I want to see don't seem to be on the schedule.

I think this year I'll go down on Saturday morning, and stay over Saturday night at the hotel across the street. Join me. You'll love it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

894 Hairless Hunks

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I mention my groundskeeper, the Hairless Hunk, every so often. He was working out there again today.

I just walked out to the kitchen, and caught the last pair of contestants on Dancing with the Stars. Joey Lawrence and his pro partner.

If you happened to see it, take that Joey, make him a little shorter and tighter, with blue eyes that smile nicely, and that's the Hairless Hunk. If you didn't happen to see it, the photos I can find don't do him justice. (Unfortunately, I can't find an online photo with an open shirt.)

Well, even if I can't find the perfect man for inside the house, I sure can pick them for outside....

893 Virtual Romance

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates. You may visit the store ONLY ONCE !

There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch. You may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband....

On the first floor the sign on the door says:
Floor 1 - These men have jobs.

The second floor sign says:
Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids.

The third floor sign says:
Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going. She goes to the fourth floor and the sign says:
Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!" Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign says:
Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign says:
Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.

Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!


That's beginning to look like my online man search. Maybe my requirements are too tight. I reject everyone who isn't obviously fairly smart or who doesn't live close enough for casual get-togethers. I want a shorter man, because I like being able to see his face when we walk together. I want a man who doesn't have a very large belly or wide hips, because - well, never mind, but I assure you it's important. I want a man who's retired or close to it, because I want a companion who can get away whenever we want to. I want him physically active. I want a man with values close to mine.

I have to keep reminding myself what Jay's profile might have looked like if he'd ever written one. Under my current criteria, I'd have found him much too tall, too broad, too much belly, too inarticulate (and he couldn't spell worth a damn), too shy, too religious, too conservative, not healthy enough, and before we got involved he lived too far away. Also, until he met my dogs and cats, he thought he was allergic to beasties. He probably would have listed square dancing and skiing as major activities. All he'd have had going for him is good looks, intelligence, and nerdish sweetness, but those attributes would have taken a lot of time to discover.

I'd probably have rejected him offhand. "Nice guy, but too big, too far, a little slow, and rather dull."

(By the way, in actual fact, I fell in love with him the first time I saw him, a 3/4 view from behind, before I ever saw his face.)

So, if there's someone out there for me, will I find him? Or will I brush him off without even meeting him? Should I meet every man who "e-glances" my way, regardless of criteria, just in case? Isn't that dangerous?

Monday, September 25, 2006

892 Booker

Well, I finally came to a conclusion regarding Booker (the latest online date). He's handsome, remarkable eyes, gentle, intelligent, in touch with his feelings and able to express them, and all that. I didn't feel a physical thrill, but I can get past that, I guess, depending, and the 100 miles is a problem. But what tipped the scale was that I tried to imagine him with me in the places I like to go and the things I like to do, and I couldn't see him there. It just didn't fit.


So I wrote the "wanna just be friends?" note. I almost hope he says yes.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

891 Something Cute

This is cute. Take a guess, then do click on the link to get the answer.

890 Of Horses and Men

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I love watching equestrian events. Steeplechase, jumping, gymkhana, harness racing, calf roping, whatever. I accidentally stumbled into the middle of the World Equestrian Games this afternoon. The jumping events. I love watching the horses, but half the time I really have no idea what I'm seeing. I just like watching the horses, because it's so obvious they know what they're doing and love it.

Today, I was surprised when the announcer said something about the riders and horses being unfamiliar with each other. And another time he commented that one sector of the audience wasn't sure how to react, since they would be for the horse, but against the rider. And he said that the horses compete in a set rotation, but the riders switch around.

Hmmm. Seems to me that other jumping events I've watched, the horse and rider are a long-term pair. I guess today not so. However, I did notice that the riders always got the medals, not the horses, which always seemed like a cheat to me.

I noticed that the horses didn't look like what I was used to in jumping events. Most of the horses were very slender and streamlined, more like racers than the hunters I'm used to seeing. The announcer even remarked that "the riders aren't used to these lighter-weight hotter-framed horses". There was one big heavy gray, who kicked his hind legs out behind him instead of tucking them up under like the lighter horses, and I thought "Yeah, that's more like it."

Three riders were tied at the end, so they had a run-off, and for the run-off they were allowed to ride "their own horses". The winner was the guy who owned the gray, on the gray. Yeah! The gray seemed to know he'd done a good job, too, because as they circled after the last bar, he kicked out behind him several times, midrun. He looked happy and excited.


I have done nothing today. I haven't even gotten washed or dressed. I got hungry a bit ago and cooked some pasta/chicken/asparagus stuff (chosen from the freezer because I wanted pasta and some vegetable), but now that it's done, I don't want it. It's sitting here getting cold. I guess I'm depressed because Booker has been waiting to hear from me for a week, his emails are getting plaintive, but I just don't know what to do. He's so nice, and so intelligent, and has such a pretty face, and I'd love to keep him as a friend, but I really don't see us in "that kind" of intimate relationship, and I don't want to waste his time. Or, to be frank, mine. Not to mention the 100 miles. I'm really going to have to think of something to say tonight. I can't keep putting it off.

There's another guy who "winked" at me a while ago (20 miles away!). His profile photos were "private", and the text emphasized the importance of religion in his life. So I emailed him back thanking him for the flattering wink, but saying that the religious issue would probably not bode well for us as a match, that he should keep looking. I also pointed out that many women wouldn't even consider a profile without photos, "why are yours private?" So he gave me permission (a link) to see his, and I wrote back that he's actually quite nice looking, he should make them public, and he did, and sent an email thanking me for my kindness.

So, a few weeks pass, and then on 9/16 I get another email from him. His text: "Would you be against a meaningful overnight relationship?.......Just thought I 'd throw that out never know until you ask...."

I laughed. Every time I read it I laugh again. The poor guy. I haven't replied to him yet, either, but maybe I should rethink that religion problem.

There's something a lot of men don't understand about women. Women understand something about men, but I think most women don't understand the strength of it. (Now, what I say next doesn't apply to all. And it applies more to the younger than the older of us. But it applies a lot more than we want to admit. These are my observations, and I do have a lot of experience in the subject.)

Sex is important to women (in general) when they are in love. If they don't have a man around to focus on, to torque up the hormones, most women don't really miss sex all that very much. The longer without, the less it bothers them.

Sex is always important to men, even when there are no women around. The longer without, the more it bothers them. It's like it backs up into the brain or something.

A man will usually not leave even an unsatisfactory relationship (even if there's no sex left in the relationship, there may still be the possibility) until he has another strong possibility or actuality lined up. Women will leave a bad relationship just because it's bad. She doesn't need another man to leave "for". When I was young, every single man I broke up with asked "WHO IS HE?" and wouldn't believe me when I said there was no one else. They wouldn't believe there was no one else because they would not have left unless there was someone else.

So, now I'm meeting men. Only maybe about two a month or less, but hey, pickings are slim out here in the sticks, especially in my age range, where single women outnumber the men by a factor of two. (I read something recently that is beginning to seem true: "The good ones are taken, and what's left are damaged." Or something like that.) Anyway, the guys I'm meeting are divorced or widowed, and they want sex. Soon. Like right now, if possible. They are very anxious about it.

I want it too, and suitability for such is one of my criteria, but "soon" is not. I don't intend to get into that until after a mutual admiration develops, and there are strong signs of a future. There's no way I will fall into bed with just anyone, and THEN see if it works out. Besides which I am monogamous, so I have to be sure before I restrict myself. (I've already had two very likely candidates tell me that they already have too many "female friends" and didn't need another - so there was no third date.)

This causes a disconnect. Most of these guys want to get right to it, and, unfortunately, much of my "competition" is so anxious to hook a man that they will use sex as the hook. After all, if they get along at all, as long as he's getting some, he's likely to stay with her (especially at our age - he's not going to chance going back to nothing).


I hate these games, and I don't know how to play them. Or maybe I do know how, but I refuse.