Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Of Animals And Arizona And Abby (The Second)--And All Better Now!

Pardon me, but it's time to shake out a little Cerebral Residue. I've simply got to get rid of these little clutterbits and oddments that have been taking up the more...Intellectual Residences of my brain.

}*{ When I was watching the Preakness, a couple of thoughts occurred to me, and--obviously--I haven't been able to get rid of them. Firstly, why are the horses that escort the racehorses (I have no idea what the proper term for these Buddy Horses is) so much better-looking than the actual entrants? I mean, these are some gorgeous animals. They are vastly more interesting, for one thing: they are spotty or lovely grey or just much prettier. I prefer horses that come in different colors, not just brown or black. I always root for any grey horse, even if it looks like a brokendown old nag with its tongue tied off to the side or something. Secondly, what is up with Maryland's badass State Song? Holy crap, have you ever listened to that song's lyrics? Let me tell you, that is one Thug Anthem song. Talkin' 'bout "Avenge the patriotic gore" and "Remember Howard's warlike thrust" and even "She spurns the Northern scum!" Hey! That Maryland talks a helluva lot of trash! I used to want to retire to southern Maryland, but once I got deep into that State Song, believe you me, this is one Northern Scum that got totally spurned. Mission accomplished, Maryland!

}*{Speaking of relocating, I used to have Arizona on that list, too. Oh well--another one bites the dust! Hey, Arizona! You are just Ohio with better weather. I already live in the State Of Intolerance (aka OHIO)! We said no to gay marriage a long time ago, and now one of our downstate statesmen wants to adopt your model for an immigration law. "Get over yourself, Nance," Rick said. "There is no place that fits every requirement you have. Besides, Arizona is redder than Ohio. What were you thinking?" I don't know. Help!

}*{In today's Plain Dealer the second letter to Dear Abby was...startling. I read it aloud to Sam this morning. He laughed and said, "Better ask Dad if he wrote it." For the record, allow me to state the following: 1. My children are done with college; 2. Rick and I adopted the kittens together; 3. I have only photographed them a couple of times; 4. Rick and I have a lot of feline-free time together and not much of it is spent talking about the kittens. (Both of whom, however, are still pretty cute.)

}*{Finally, two more animal-related notes: one about bunnies and another about cows. Longtime readers of the Dept. (and even the now-defunct Stuff On Our List) will recall how I often bemoaned the fact that Bunnies Are Sadly Under-utilized In Advertising. I have noticed now that there are two commercials on television that use bunnies! Upsettingly, one includes a snake, but hey! We cannot have everything. My second Animal Newsnote deserves a little paragraph all its own.

}*{This exciting Cow Mention was brought to me by my Google News Cow Alert. There is a baseball team called the Delaware Cows! Here is their logo. Also known as the Battlin' Bovines, the Delaware Cows have, naturally, a website where you can get all kinds of gear bearing this baseball bossy. As you know, I am not On Board with animals wearing clothing, but the simple fact that there is a baseball team known as the Cows is good publicity for the herds, who have been taking the heat for global warming--wrongly, some environmentalists and scientists now claim.

I feel like we've been able to cover a lot of topics with this one, Readers. And I feel so very...refreshed! It's been lovely. Do shake out a bit yourself in Comments, should you feel so compelled.


  1. LOL - we used to live in Butler County Ohio - which just happens to have the MOST EVIL SHERIFF in the world! Even more evil than that Sheriff of Nottingham. Shudder. I'm sure our current county (Greene) is just as intolerant, but it doesn't get shoved in my face quite as overtly.

  2. Crap, I read so many horse racing books in my youth, and I do not know the name for the horse that leads the tightly wound thoroughbred out to the track. Companion horse perhaps? I like that sometimes race horses have goats or miniature horses that travel with them, and stay in their stall even. They're social creatures, and a familiar face is welcome, no matter how goatish.

    I had never read the words to that song before, but wow, what a battle song, huh? Talk about rallying the troops. We drove through Maryland a couple of times, and it's very pretty, except perhaps for the fact that the trees look like the ones in The Blair Witch Project, which can get kinda creepy.

    I read that Dear Abby this morning. HA! Not sure she should have advised him to stray to another 'kitten' though. ;)

    Arizona? Really? Didn't you realize how HOT it gets there? No way.

    I missed all three races this year. Getting my hair done during the Kentucky Derby, in Santa Cruz for the Preakness, and I don't remember where for the Belmont, but it was a bit disconcerting to realize I had missed them all. We went to the races back in December, and I remember thinking about how pretty those companion (guide?) horses were.

  3. Ah, the Maryland state song. I believe that their state constitution contains a clause requiring the legislature to periodically hold a short hearing on the impossible state song and then never replace it.

    Many years ago, before we posted everything on the internet, there was a wonderfully silly, namby-pamby "suggested" replacement song for Maryland on one of the public radio shows. Friends of mine made copies of the thing and I wish I could locate mine. I do remember that it began with lines that went something like "We've got some woods, we've got some trees, we sing in four-part harmonies."

    My own personal favorite line included the phrase "Our highways mostly run two ways."

    No Northern scum to be found, but great for a case of the giggles.

  4. Several thoughts come to mind:

    1. You don't want to retire to Maryland, for God's sake, or Virginia, for that matter. Take a gander at "Carry Me Back to Ol' Virginny," and you'll see what I mean. You want to retire to NC, where the beach and the mountains are GORGEOUS, and Jesse Helms died a long time ago!
    2. Don't forget to put Texas, my home state, on your list if you're talking about intolerance. At least downstate Ohio has Athens, which, the last I heard, is a burgeoning metropolis of intellectual charisma!
    3. And speaking of Ohio, Ella Numera Una stopped by Cleveland's lovely airport, en route to the beach. To say that she, who is a world traveler, and savors her airports (Detroit is a favorite), was disappointed is to state the case mildly. Here's hopin' C-town remodels, much along the lines of Cincinnati, which has a decent hub as of late...
    4. Mr. Fairway and I only speak when we're talking about Pepper, the cat. I guess that's the result of 31 years of marriage (I was a child bride)...

  5. Awright, awright... that's enough of dissing my state. I lived in Maryland from... uh, let's just say 2nd grade through 7th grade, so I am familiar with the state song. I do not remember learning all those lyrics, though, lol. I think we sang only the 2nd stanza. The biggest crime about that song is the fact that it is set to the tune of "O Tannenbaum."

  6. Melissa B. is right. Athens is not exactly a burgeoning metropolis, but it's all full of tolerance and warm fuzzies, for sure. One of the "Welcome to Athens" signs says, "Building an inclusive community." Makes my heart flutter a little.

    Can't say as much for the poverty-stricken rural area surrounding Athens. I guess they have other things to worry about.

    But, I mean, every state has one or two of those--one liberal big city or a couple hippy college towns.

  7. As the Dept's horse expert fan, I can tell you that the horses that lead the Thoroughbreds around the track are called "Lead Ponies". They are usually chosen because they are calm, cool, and mostly unflappable. As a side note, we went to Hollywood Park Race Track this past Sunday morning, and got to meet two very famous Thoroughbreds: Lava Man (won $5 million+) and Zenyatta (the most winning horse in racing history). Lava Man is now retired from racing, and his owners have decided to give him a second career as a Lead Pony, and he absolutely hates it. As far as he's concerned, racetracks are for his running pleasure and he just has no patience for leading these younger whippersnappers around the track when he could be running instead. I predict a third career soon...

    As for the tolerance thing, I live in California, usually the hotbed of tolerance, and we couldn't even pass Proposition 8. How disgusting is that?

  8. LaFF--re: Prop8. If I recall, Cali had a lot of outside interference with that one. Too bad they got to some of the more provincial Californians.
    And thanks for the equine terminology! I have such a vast array of expertise available from my readers. It's like my own Personal Google.

    Tiana--Yes. Even Lorain County has Oberlin, after all.

    Ortizzle--I think Maryland is a lovely state. Remember, I was going to retire there, and I have some very dear friends there. But admit it: that song is scary! Besides, I think your New Adopted State is far more embarrassing than MD.

    Melissa--Oh, lovely CLE Hopkins...yes, it is remodeling. Soon. It has been criticized by everyone forever. I don't give a crap as to the dinginess of airports--Chicago Midway was always my fave--as long as I don't have to walk too far or take some confusing shuttle. I just hate Hellanta, the only place that ever lost my luggage. TWICE. Talk about slow, shiftless, rude...AWFUL.

    Phyll--Hello! Welcome to the Dept.! I don't mind a...robust state song, but Maryland's goes far beyond that and well into just Sheer Violence. Isn't there a Happy Medium between namby-pamby and bloodlust? LOL.

    J@jj--I know Arizona gets HOT, but I am a devotee of the tired old cliche of "it's not the heat, it's the humidity." I just want to move someplace WHERE I WILL NEVER EVER SEE SNOW EVER AGAIN. And there are places in Arizona where that will be true.

    The Bug--That's really what I mean: I am so tired of provincial Christian, gun-toting, gaybashing, rightwing bullshit getting shoved at me constantly, along with crappy weather. That's what I am runing away from.

  9. I have lived in many states. The one where I live now is not my N.A.S., because: (a) I lived here before, through no choice of my own; (b) as you rightly point out, it is excruciatingly embarrassing to admit that one lives in a state where public school textbooks think it is more important to have Noah's Ark in the history books than, say, Thomas Jefferson. Where serious moves are being made to include an emphasis on anti-feminism advocates, the National Rifle Association (not my BFF), canonization of McCarthy, creationism....

    I live here for mainly circumstantial reasons, because my few marketable job skills are perhaps more valued here, and... when I re-patriated, this place offered me a roof over my head, and, quite honestly, more possibilities than a lot of other places where I would have been very unlikely to have met the likes of Mr. O.

    End of soapbox. (Except: the state song is a vast improvement over that of Maryland.)

  10. Nancy8:26 PM

    I know exactly how Ortizzle feels about a state such as the one she lives in now.

    I once lived in Virginia,which was the center of the Universe to its citizens.

    My daughter's fifth grade Geography book was titled :


  11. Heidi B2:06 AM

    I just read the Abby article right after I read your kitty column...and you know I thought of you first right?? I swear I can't make these things up!

  12. Heidi B.--I feel like I'm not nearly a Crazy Cat Lady...yet. Sigh.

    Nancy--Virginia at least can lay claim to some very Big History of America's. And both it and Ohio have given birth to lots of the US Presidents. (Wow. Those are some horrifying sentences, syntactically speaking. My excuse is that I'm just back from a little jaunt and am not yet over Vacation Mode.)

    Ortizzle--One of my cousins was recently interviewed on CNN during the Texas Textbook Brouhaha. She was trying to argue for some sanity in the matter: i.e., not calling the Slave Trade some inane term like the African International Commerce or something. The whole thing was completely intolerable.

  13. "She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
    Huzza! She spurns the Northern scum!"

    I cannot believe that they actually have "Huzza" in their anthem! I guess there are no perfect states to retire to. They all have "issues" and/or bad weather at the very least.

    And the Dear Abby letter is quite striking. Thanks for sharing "Nance." If that is your real name. : )

  14. Anali--I'm not giving up. I WILL find the Perfect State. Or close to it. The kittens are fine, thank you. Hee hee. Oh, you didn't ask? Hmmmm.....

  15. Nance, CA is dry when it gets hot, not humid. AND we have avocados. AND wine. The big downsides are that our government is completely ineffective, and everything turns brown in the summer. Part of the dry heat thing, I guess.

    LaFF, thanks! Lead Pony. I had read that somewhere. That seems cruel, retiring a racehorse to be a lead pony. They want to lead the pack, not watch from the sides.

  16. J.@jj--Cali is such a Problem. I mentioned this to you once before in a much earlier Post Comments, I think: you have wine, but you have earthquakes; you have avocados, but you have mudslides and forest fires; you have a nice climate, but you have lousy economy at present; you have a great variety of landscape and entertainment/restaurants, but you have terribly high cost of living.

    Currently, NEO is having a major, major heat wave. We have been in the mid-nineties for a week now, and no rain in sight. Unfortunately, the humidity is a factor, too. Our lawn is now crispy and brown. My fishpond is a mass of string algae--can't treat for it in this heat. I'm holed up in the house, praying that my cobbled-together AC makes it through.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...