Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Misadventures in Purple Tights

This is going to be long, and no amount of pictures will make it feel less long. I’ve tried and tried to figure out a shorter, punchier way to tell it, but to no avail. I thought of posting it in sections over several days, but whatever, read it all if you want, skim it all if you want, skip it all if you want.

I’ll try and condense some of the background story into snippets.

Fact 1: I was in Hungary for 2 very dear friends’ weddings, one on September 25 and one on October 2.

Fact 2: Friend 2 (Lídia)’s wedding reception/dinner was on October 2nd from 8 pm till 4 am.

Fact 3: My flight back to America was leaving October 3rd at 7 am.

Fact 4: It was determined that I should leave from Lídia and Gergö’s dinner for the airport.

Fact 5: Gergö’s apartment was very close (walking distance) to the place where they were having the dinner.

Fact 6: I was staying at Friend 1 (Krisztina)’s apartment while she and Balazs were on their honeymoon.

Fact 7: I’d been using an old phone of Krisztina’s dad’s.

Fact 8: I had to, upon departing Krisztina’s for Lídia’s, leave her dad’s phone and drop her keys in the mailbox, which once you drop in you can’t get back out.

Fact 9: There was to be an interval of undetermined time in which I would be phoneless and keyless.

There are still quite a few facts to go, but I thought I’d do a little fact intermission with one of my fav pics from my first week with Krisztina. This was during one of her dress fittings, and she was on the phone with Balazs.

Here’s is another pic to show you what I did for almost 2 weeks solid, besides tying bows with tulle and ivy.

Coffee . . . lots of delicious coffee in marvelous European coffee houses.

Back to the facts . . .

Fact 10: I had 3 HUGE pieces of luggage, HUGE (I was bringing home the last of my stuff that’s been in Hungary since I left in 2004), plus a camera bag, plus a purse.

Here’s a pic of all the books that didn’t make the cut and got passed on to Lídia’s library (which is probably one of the very, VERY few places I would be willing to pass them on to—a fellow bibliophile).

Fact 11: I was wearing a very short dress. (Work was CRAZY before leaving for Hungary so I bought my dress for Lídia’s wedding in such haste that I didn’t really assess its length.)

Fact 12: I was wearing very bright pink-purple tights.

Fact 13: I was wearing shoes that were a tad too big for me. (I can’t find shoes in America that fit me, so my shoes are typically a bit too tight or a bit too big.)

Fact 14: I had to be at Gergö’s appt. between 7 and 7:20 pm, from there we would leave for the dinner.

Fact 15: A taxi had been arranged to pick me up at Krisztina’s at 6:30 pm and it was supposed to take about 30 min to get To Gergö’s (traffic can be insane.)

Fact 16: Gergö lives on one of the main walking streets, meaning cars can’t go on it—it’s full of gorgeous architecture, street vendors, and tourists—meaning, I couldn’t get dropped off, with my bags, at his doorstep (this will be important).

Before we get to that here’s a pic of Lídia and her dad at the wedding, so beautiful, even if I didn’t understand a word.

So I was majorly anxious leaving Krisztina’s appt with all my stuff, because of the whole dropping in of keys and leaving behind of phone—it had a strong element of finality to it, point of no return and all that jazz. So I checked and double checked my stuff. Passport, yes. Tickets, yes. Heart medicine, yes. Xanax, yes. Three bags: first, oversized, and weighing 50 lbs (23 kilos); second normal size but still weighing 50 lbs; and third, carryon, packed full to 40 lbs (18 kilos), YES.

In my anxiety at the prospect of how many hours I was about to be up and the maneuvering of bags, etc., I decided to go ahead and start taking my stuff down early. I very inelegantly hauled my bags into the little room where the mailboxes are. It’s still in the building, next to the last door that leads outside. I looked, assessed, felt confident, and dropped the keys in the mailbox. Then I started hauling out bags 1 and 2. As I lugged bag 2 out, I let the door close behind me. If you’ve ever lived in Europe or probably any apartment building that requires a key to get in, you can guess my mistake and the wham with which my heart hit the bottom of my rib cage. My last, and hugest, bag was still inside, with the keys irretrievable in the mailbox. I muttered several inappropriate, yet so appropriate, words. I had no idea what to do, and just stood staring at all the Hungarian names on the buzzer that I could buzz and then in a language they wouldn’t understand try and convince them that they should let me into the building. Then I heard the elevator start in the building and someone came down and I hand motioned my predicament to them. They looked at me blankly but let me get my bag.

Fact 17: The taxi was there early, so we left early.

Fact 18: Instead of taking 30 minutes it took 10.

Fact 19: I arrived at the street at 6:30 pm.

Fact 20: Taxi guy unloaded my bags and zoomed away.

Fact 21: It’s just a bit of a walk to Gergö’s door.

So there I am on this street:

With this luggage:

In a really short dress and shoes that are too big (which there is no picture of). I stood there irresolutely for a bit, because there was literally NO way I could get down the street.

Fact 22: If you leave anything unattended, it will be stolen. If you attend it, it could still be stolen.

So all I knew to do was drag 2 bags 2 inches, go back, drag the 3rd 2 inches, and so on and so forth, ad nauseum. This, as you can imagine, was getting me nowhere. So I stopped again and just stood utterly uncertain of how to proceed.

Fact 23: No one passing me offered to help.

I finally realized I could strap the smaller-huge bag, to the medium-huge bag, but as they were all at their max weight and I was in a really short dress, it was very hard to finagle. After much awkward struggling and after probably flashing who knows what to who knows who, I got the bags strapped together.

So then I started pushing one huge bag in front of me and pulling the double decker behind me down the street. They were veering all over the place and the double one kept toppling over. People were having to move out of my way because I couldn't control the veering.

I wasn’t exactly sure where the apartment was, I’d only been outside of it once, so I of course passed it. In my effort to get turned back around, I was standing about 1 foot from a vendor guy who was watching me as in mid turn, while trying to guide the turn with my foot, my shoe flew off and my bags completely turned over. As I was trying to get everything righted and my shoe back on he said “Can I help you?”

Me: Well I’m just going to that door right there.
Him: But do you need help getting the bags up.
Me: No, my friends are there so they can help.
Him: You need to be careful, that bag is unzipped.

I then, again, in my short, short dress tried to get the zipper zipped. I finally struggled my way over to the door and realized I was 20 minutes early. They said they’d be making it back to the apartment around 7 pm, but I went ahead and hit the buzzer to their apartment, but no one answered. So I set up all my bags, in my short skirt and blazing purple tights, and waited. The vendor guy came back over.

Him: No one home?
Me: No. But they should be here by 7.

He then told me some really long story about how he bought his watch off some Muslim guy in Spain, and how it’s always slow but works decently well.

Me: (awkward laugh)
Him: What are you doing? You’re all dressed up, with all these bags.
Me: Yea, my friends got married and I’m going to their party and then after that, the airport.
Him: You got married to your boyfriend and are moving in?
Me: No, my friend, a girl, married her boyfriend.
Him: They are American?
Me (looking at clock tower; isn’t it 7 yet): No.

Here’s a pic of the clock tower:

Him: Well, would you join me for a drink? (there was a little outdoor restaurant directly opposite us)
Me: No thanks, they should be here ANY minute.

He went to drink and watch me, and I went back to trying not to look so conspicuous in my short dress, purple tights, and massive amounts of luggage.

Fact 24: I was standing on the step, slightly above my luggage.

Two sets of boys walked by and openly gawked at me. And by gawk, I mean intake of air, mouth hanging open, gawk.

Fact 25: I jumped off the step and hid behind my luggage.

The first set came back a bit later but I gave them the most withering of stares and they walked, chagrined, on by.

The vendor guy, as the minutes ticked by and my friends still didn’t appear, came back:
Him: Are you sure you won’t have a drink? You’ll be right there; you’ll definitely be able to see them.
Me (at now 7:15): No thanks, really, any minute they’ll be here.

Fact 26: My bags are old and well traveled, meaning they have holes and worn places.

As the vendor guy went and sat back down to watch, a very tiny little man from Spain walked up to me, pointed at my bags, and said, “How much?” I started, and trying not to laugh, said, “sorry, they aren’t for sale.” He shrugged and rambled off.

By this time it was after 7:20 (which is when we were supposed to leave for the dinner). I got to thinking, what if they are here and I just buzzed the wrong apartment earlier. I didn’t want to buzz again while the vendor guy was watching me because I thought, if they don’t answer, he’ll be back over trying to get me to have a drink with him. So I watched him closely and as soon as he got up and went into the restaurant, I high-tailed it over to the buzzer and buzzed, and LÍDIA ANSWERED. I was like, “WHAT?!!”

She sent Gergö down to help me get the bags, but before he got there a guy was coming out of the building and opened the door for me and I started trying to haul my bags in, and of course my shoe, AGAIN, went flying in the process. But I made it in.

Me: Sorry I’m late.
Lídia: We were beginning to wonder.
Me: Yea, I’ve been downstairs for the last 40 minutes. I lost my shoe several times, was asked by someone if he could buy me a drink, and nearly sold my luggage to a man from Spain.

The rest of the evening was far less bizarre and much more beautiful. I haven’t edited any of my pics of Lídia’s dinner, except this one, which I really like. (After midnight, Hungarian brides can change into a new dress, hence her black dress.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Childhood Plays

Sadly, these pictures were taken with my phone and aren't very good, but hopefully you'll get the gist.

When I was at my friend Heather's recently, her daughter Molly Kate (who's been featured before), aged 8, and her cousin Mia, also aged 8, prepared several plays for us. There is a fab, dramatic curtain between the dinning room and the foyer that is perfect for performances. They spent the morning getting ready and then Molly Kate stepped in front of the curtain to set the scene.

Molly Kate: Presenting Tom and Jerry, when Tom gets drunk.

she jumped back behind the curtain

Mia (whispering from behind the curtain): You mean hydrated.

The curtain then opened on a classic Tom and Jerry tableau. At one point Jerry fell into what we were later told was a vat of root beer. His equilibrium seemed to have been compromised by this encounter as he subsequently ran into a wall and tripped over a pillow, but he was in fact hydrated and not drunk. Which means root beer is far more dangerous than we ever thought.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Smattering of Favorite Moments

I jumped out of an airplane for my 30th birthday. This was an experience, make no mistake, especially since I’m completely phobic about flying. How then do I fly all over you ask? Simple. XANAX! Anyway I was just Facebook chatting with an old high school friend (shout out Jimmy). I was saying that as I exited the plane I thought “this was not a good idea.” And he said, “yea, but I bet you count it as one of your best moments.” Which got me thinking . . . I’ve had such a spectacular life. I mean really! I have a gorgeous family and the most amazing friends that I think anyone has ever had, and I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, it's really true.

I started thinking "what do I count as my greatest moments," and this is what started popping into my head:

Making Minnie Driver uncomfortable at a play in London. (I’m sorry I didn’t believe you, Bryan, when you said it was her!) – 2000

Successfully saddling a horse (thank you Rachel!!). –2009

Playing a British version of Monopoly with the Nigerians we were staying with in Logos, Nigeria (that was the point we finally looked at each other and thought, “oh, we all are the same here,” up to that moment we had been eyeing each other uncertainly). –1995

FINALLY hearing my name called at graduation [from Etövös Loránd in Hungary] (I wasn’t sure until I heard it if they were really going to let me graduate) after barely surviving 16 linguistics classes, the writing of a master’s thesis, and that little business of extortion the secretary to the foreign students pulled on me at the LAST minute. –2002

Thinking and crying, "well, I'll never graduate since they want me to pay them a bribe" (to get them to accept all my general credits and to not have to take a foreign language exam, which for the entire 4 years I was there, every semester they had said they would accept and that I didn't have to take) and then hearing my dad on the phone say, "How much? I'm putting it in your account." –2002

Unexpectedly coming upon Anne Brontë’s grave with Jen while roaming around the Yorkshire Dales (it would have been even more sublime if it had been Charlotte’s grave—but I’m not complaining, much). –2000

Landing in Europe for the first time, granted it was only a layover in Brussels on the way to Africa, but still it was Europe and I was there. –1995

Singing, completely abandondly, with Jeni, Julie, and Karen, while Karen's parents played dulcimers. –2005

Being hopelessly lost on the streets of Venice—that’s seriously Magical! –2005

At a birthday party for a Hungarian friend, looking around, and realizing I was the only American among Hungarians, Nigerians, Cypriots, South Africans, and Australians. (kind of a sequel to the monopoly one. I absolutely love when tons of cultures all come together and form a new community!) –hmmm 2003, maybe

Meeting Alida, Jason, and Andi at the train station, as they passed through Budapest, to pass off a video and then being convinced (correction: dared!) by Alida and Andi to jump on the train (I was moneyless, phoneless, id-less), skip class the next day, and go back to Miskolc (2 hours away) to watch the Sting: Behind the Music tape Jason’s parents had just sent them. (It’s a very dangerous feeling [the next day-riding back] to be in a foreign land, where your ability to communicate is basically nil, riding a train without anything to help you should you miss your stop.) –hmmm, 2000 or 2001

Landing in Australia the first time and feeling that overwhelming sense of camaraderie from everyone I met. We were all on the same team, I didn't know what we were playing, life perhaps, but we were winning. –2005

Trying, with Julie, to read a Midsummer Night’s Dream with British accents by the River Avon in Stratford Upon Avon, laughing hysterically, and switching to southern accents. “Ill met by moonlight fair Titania.” “What, jealous Oberon?” –1995

At the opera house in Hungary watching a completely inexplicable opera by Wagner, while Jen “translated” the German for me. Oh did the other boxes cast us disapproving glances! It was the entrance of the dinosaur while the Klingons in big boots were belting out their song that really pushed things over the top. –1999, maybe

Standing at the rail of the boat with Katrina on the way from Athens to Kos as we prayed over our ouzo bottle containing our pact, and then tossing it out into the Agean Sea (not anywhere near enough of our pact has come to pass, but it was a marvelous moment). –2004

Hiking up to the top of that “mountain” in Norway with Katrina and Stian, and cooking out on the little grill Stian had lugged up there, while listening to the tinkling of the bells on the sheep that were even higher up. –2004

Going in the back door, and bypassing all the security, at Versailles with Alida and Ildi. (the memory of you guys flashing your entrance passes at the other tourist who was trying to get out is CLASSIC). –1998

Sitting outside in Newcastle with Katrina and Stian drinking mint tea from her tea set from Jordan and enjoying other Jordanian treats, and talking and talking. –2009

Sitting, exhausted, in the marble, chandelier decorated McDonalds in Budapest after bussing back from Romania, while Edo and Krisztina got our food. When they came, laughing, back to the table, I was so keenly aware of how much I loved my life at that moment. –2003

The way Krisztina would plop down on my bed, very late at night, as I would be trying to fall asleep, in spite of my constant insomnia, and say, “Wait, don’t go to sleep yet, we haven’t even chatted. What happened today?”

Belly lauging with Jen and Lídia in the tiny back portion of the school café that was semi smoke free.

Thirsty Thursdays with Rachel and Michelle.

Riding horses with my dad.

Taco Casa stops on the way to SawGrass.

The many delightful cups of coffee and pastries with Alida, Andi, Ildi, and Jen.

Hearing all the latest fascinating things Jen, Heather, and Katrina have discovered.

All the moments involving twinkly fairy lights.

All the glorious dance floor, backyard, lounge room dancing that has been danced around the world.

Being overwhelmed to the point of tears when I was little over how lucky I was to have such a great family. I couldn't figure out what I had done to deserve that from God.

Fifteen billion little, seemingly inconsequential moments when, surrounded by brilliant family-friends and/or brilliant scenery, I thought, “I’m really happy right now.”

This doesn’t even come close to all the great moments, which means, basically, I’ve been the luckiest girl to ever live. It’s good to remember that, because I may also be the most spoiled girl to ever live, meaning I often forget my luckiest girl status.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Employee of the Week

I'm blogging! Mainly because I have an easy work to blog crossover, which requires very little work with the words on my part. (granted it's still taken me 3 months to get this up)

Every week at work we have an employee of the week. They're chosen randomly so don't think this means we are exemplary in anyway, it just means we were drawn from a hat. But when you are chosen EofW you get a nice, close parking space, which is rad if you are frequently a tad late and all the good spaces are gone. You also get featured in the weekly work email, where they have a little Q&A about you. This year we've been giving pics of ourselves from when we were young.

All the pics of my early youth still live at home with my parents so I stole this one off my Aunt Laura's Facebook page.

me and my cousin Jonathon, aged 3 to 4 or 5
I still totally adore Winnie the Pooh, that bear is genius!

Here's my feature:
Name (and nickname you prefer to be called): Leah

Birthday (month and date): August 24

Date you began working at WMU: February 2006 (intern/temp) April 2007 (as a real employee)

Job title at WMU: Web Technician (though I’m actually the Web Designer)

What is your favorite WMU artifact/piece of WMU history? The map of the world that shows where it’s day and where it’s night. (we have loads of antiques and artifacts from missionaries and lands far and wide)

Favorite vacation spot: can’t commit to just one: England! Australia! Norway (in the summer)! SawGrass! All places green, vast, and beautiful that lend themselves to dramatic horse-back riding, preferably while wearing a cloak.

Three words that describe you: frenetic, loyal, noncommittal

Favorite cartoon: Smurfs and Muppets (not technically a cartoon)

Something you miss about your childhood: my grandfathers

Favorite movie: can’t commit: Sound of Music, Moulin Rouge, The Village, In America

Food you “just can’t live without:” Hamburgers. Rather uninteresting but true. I'm also very, very fond of pizza, curry, and pineapple

Favorite toy or game from childhood: saving the world as Luke Skywalker (when the neighbor boys would let me be him); learning that I was a long-lost princess from another planet, and then subsequently saving that planet, which was embroiled in a horrible civil war; winning Wimbledon and the Tour de France—the usual.

Hobby or interest you’d like to start: Polo. I’ve no doubt I’d be mortally wounded in seconds, but I’m pretty sure those brief moments right before would be awesome!

Favorite book (fiction): Jane Eyre, hands down! Though as a true bibliophile there is a long list of runner-ups clipping at her heels: The Lewis and Tolkien omnibuses, obviously; most of Dickens, even the ones that aren’t that great; P.G. Wodehouse (he is hysterical. he describes one of his characters who is plagued by the coming socialism to England and has bad indigestion as looking rather like "a pterodactyl with a secret sorrow"); Harry Potter (all of them, but 2 and 5 just a bit more than the others)!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the Opera House

So . . . (a digression after only one word: I REALLY overuse the word “so” in writing. I’m not good at beginnings; I am definitely a concluder—cut to the chase, get to the bottom line. ((digression in a digression: the irony is not lost on me!)) This trait always posed a problem for me when it came to writing papers; and as a Lit major, that was a LOT of papers. I had no idea how I was going to write my 80-page thesis. What is there to say? They came; they wrote.)

Here’s a pic of Tolkien. Why? Because blogs should have pics and I wrote my thesis on him. He’s awesome, seriously, look at him. Holla Middle Earth!

So, anyway, this entry is, eventually, going to be about my Australia trip. You’d think my blog would be brimming with tales of that trip. And it should be, but I’ll just conclude: I went to Australia; it was freakin’ awesome! Holla Newcastle!

Stian, Katrina, Oskar, and I all went to Sydney for the last 2 days I was there. I was flying out of Sydney, and even though this was my second trip down under, I’d never seen SY other than while flying in and out, which is a shame because it’s really quite fabulous. I felt like I was in London. Except London has tons of Arabs and Sydney has tons of Asians.

So that night we wandered around Sydney, marveling at its insane gorgeousness. It was a perfect night. The moon was huge and everything had that ambery glow. It was a bit after Oskar’s, aged 2, bedtime, and we thought for sure he’d just fall asleep in his stroller, right? What aged 2 child wouldn’t? The lovely amber moonlight; the slight crispness in the air; the millions of people chattering, loudly; the sudden booming of the trains (which Oskar is obsessed with); the fireworks! If all of that isn’t conducive to sleeping, then I don’t know what is!

So we were roughly here:

when a sudden burst of fireworks, the big 4th of July kind, went off over the opera house. We could only see the very tip top of them as they burst up above the trees and slightly behind the OH. Katrina grabbed my arm and took off running towards them. I am not in shape, at all, and we were not close. We were making our way around the harbor and towards the fireworks, when she said, “come on, this is a short cut” and headed up a huge mountain staircase that looked like it was cut for giants. She was scampering up, two huge steps at a time, as I pulled myself up slower and slower. It was at this point that I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I tried to get her to go on, but she wouldn’t leave me, and so we did not reach the opera house in time to see the last of the fireworks.

We waited for Stian and the not surprisingly awake Oskar to catch up with us. Stian was like, “seriously, trains and fireworks?!”

We ambled on over to the opera house, where there was a really cool photography exhibition going on outside. Katrina and I looked at that as Stian wheeled Oskar on past to the back part of the OH that faces the water.

And that was when the fireworks started again; Trine and I raced to the back of the OH as Stian raced away from it. We passed each other, K and I full of delight and S full of consternation and incredulity. And then, finally, there we were, directly under the fireworks. It was spectacular.

I am happy to say that sometime after this, 10 pm or a bit later, Oskar did eventually, in spite of chatter, trains, and fireworks fall asleep.

K and S concocting a sort of barrier between Oskar and all that would thwart his sleep.

That was the second time I’ve ever been directly under real fireworks; it’s pretty incredible. The other time was while I was living in Budapest. I was watching the first Lord of the Rings movie, with my friends Jen and Greg. We were at the part where Pippin knocks the skeleton down the well and then you hear the booming. I remember reading that in the book and being totally freaked out. Well, anyway, at the EXACT same moment the booming started in the movie, we heard a booming outside. We sat bolt upright, stared at each other for a few seconds, and then ran outside, where, at the house across the street, they were setting off fireworks—the real kind. Bizarre.

Oh, I’ve come full circle. Tolkien to Fireworks. Fireworks to Tolkien. I love symmetry!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Australia, how I love thee...

I'm in Australia (Newcastle to be specific; lower right-hand side).

I'm really wishing I had one of my euphoria pills, and that I didn't possess any of the scruples that would prevent me from using it simply for it's side effects. (In case you haven't read my April 14 and 15 post, I'm not a total drug head; there is a completely innocent explanation.) My longing for said euphoria pill has nothing to do with a lack of euphoria; I'm more naturally euphoric than I have been in years . . . well, probably since the last time I was in Australia (summer 2005). I really just want that marvellously prolific-writing side effect the pill induced, because I’m chock full of thoughts and impressions and experiences, but not the focus or motivation to get them out.

I absolutely love Australia and for so many reasons. They get all jumbled in my head and trip and tangle up in each other when I try to think them out. I never use to really think that much about Australia. England was always my obsession. (And still is to a great degree), but Australia completely surprised and enchanted me the first time I came.

It's so familiar in many ways. While we aren't the same culture, we are more alike than not, and the differences are fascinating and fun. It fools you by making you feel settled in and on familiar ground, and then it totally surprises you with how unique it is. I love that. Each morning I get woken up by magpies with their
fascinating calls. The trees, many of which we don't have in the Northern hemisphere, are full of parrots. Parrots! Like the serious kind. The red and blue headed kind. There's a pair that whistle and gibberish to each other each morning outside my window.

Flocks of cockatoos fly over, and there have been two black cockatoos, which are huge, sitting up in Katrina's tree breaking off limbs with their beaks. Limbs, not twigs, limbs. When they first flew up on Friday Katrina said, "Do you hear them? Don't they sound prehistoric?" I imagine they sound roughly like what a pterodactyl probably sounded like.

I love it; I love the familiarity, while simultaneously being shocked by how unfamiliar and wild it is. And we aren't even in the outback, just the suburbs, the wild Australian suburbs.

(so the above photos are all stolen, of course. i only just got my luggage this afternoon after waiting for SIX days, but hopefully i can get some real shots soon.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Copyright Infringment

I was going to upload these to facebook but it asks you, do you have the right to these, and so I chickened out, because I don't. As if the big words across the center of each picture wouldn't give that away! Not that it's any more legal here, but at least blogspot doesn't ask.

But anyway, these are from my horse riding competition from June. I was in two classes. I won the first and lost the second. The horse I was riding, Bingo, went a bit crazy right after this. And I totally lost control during the second class. He was afraid of the people standing on the outside of the arena. He's also afraid, terrified actually, of donkeys. I am given to phobias myself, so I have nothing but sympathy for him.

He looks so alert, so ready for anything, and he is, he's ready to run like the wind should any donkeys, random people, scarves blowing in the wind, or any thing else he deems a potential threat come his way.

In fact we were supposed to go from here to stand by the judges in front of a big wreath and have pictures, but he was sure the flowers all clustered together like that were definitely up to no good and so he did what any sensible horse would do, prance and dance and snort, so we just did our victory lap and got the heck out of there.

Note the blue ribbon, blowing in the wind. Ah, if only the day had stopped right here, and there hadn't been the debacle that followed. It was full of yelling (by my teachers), confusion (me and Bingo), snorting and fear (mostly Bingo but a little bit me), and the vaproizing of my dreams of representin' in the next Olympics!

He is gorgeous though!