Email from the Moon, The Art Scene, Fiction


Well, I said I’d tell you about the lunar arts scene, which mostly means Moon Rats. They’re the ones with the leisure time. The rest of us are either working all out to maximize our limited time here, or exercising to keep our system in shape to go home. When they say We Live Here, they really emphasize the “live.” As in, all parts of the human experience. Except for walking through a U-pick orchard and eating fruit right off the tree, or sitting on the beach watching a sunset, or not worrying that you are one blow-out away from dying a sudden and decompressive death. But I digress.

So, anyway.

Really, you already see a lot of what gets produced up here. All the electronic works get published on Earth immediately. The comic, of course, that’s what the Moon Rats are best known for. Also, novels, animated movies, music, digital artworks, lunar documentaries, yadda, yadda, yadda. Even the color poems get reproduced on Earth. I saw a few before I came up.

That leaves dance. Ya can’t really perform lunar dance in full gravity. Well, they call it dance. I’m not sure what is dance-like about hanging by one foot from the ceiling. It’s more of a combined acrobatic/gymnastic/dance … thing.

I was going to say demonstration, but of course it’s not a demo. It’s more of a dance performance combined with an exercise class. You have to participate. It’s part of the package. The audience is not allowed to sit and watch. Part of the choreographer’s mandate is to come up with moves for us lumps on the ground. I’ve had people sit on my shoulders. I’ve been swept into impromptu waltz steps.

It’s fun, but sort of weird and disorienting. Am I watching? Am I dancing? Am I trying to both at the same time? I suspect the disorientation is part of the point. I’d probably get more out of it if I had a more artistic soul. I mean, I can get confused by dance performances on Earth when I’m just sitting and watching people on stage.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Say hi to Felix for me.

I just reread this. It’s not as us-and-them as I made it sound. There is a range. People are here for days or for years. A few folks live permanently on the moon but not in the tunnels. Being people, they have all kinds of opinions on the viability of different choices. Having said that, there is a bit of a two-camp feeling. It seems you either plan to go back home or you plan to stay and therefore embrace all of what that entails.

Yours from on high,

~~~ curtain~~~

Doctor Whooves and The Master, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021, Guest Photos III

Riding Journal

Pix from the Prof!

Photo guru Meg McKinney brought her critters class to the show as a photo field trip. She was kind enough to send photos. Welcome Meg! [Show Report, Guest Photos I, Guest Photos II]

Rodney offered to narrate this set of photos. (I added the specifics.)

That’s my dressage test. They are talking about meeeee! (Averil Loague in checked shirt)


Why am I not eating grass now?

Hoomans. Amiright?

Horse show paparazzi. Are we done yet? (Rodney, Me, Averil Loague, Ginni Best).

On Course
(Jumping post. [Conversations With My Horse])

Gimme a minute. There’s a lot of stuff to look at here. Where we going? That one? Okay. Let’s do this. (Post salute. Still walking. Heading for fence 1.)

I don’t care if I could step over it. It looked like a lot of jump and wanted to give it a lot of room. (Jump 5.)

Of course I’m handling this well. I’m amazing. Also, please keep holding my paw. (Jump 7.)

Thank you Meg! [Post archive]

Stay safe. Stay sane.

The Return of Doctor Whooves, FCHP Schooling Show, April 2021, Guest Photos II

Riding Journal

Yay for more photos!

Photo guru Meg McKinney brought her critters class to the show as a photo field trip. Photo student Ginni Bush was kind enough to send photos. Welcome Ginni! [Show Report, Guest Photos I]


Before. Handwalking as a warm-up technique. Whatever works.

After. Who wins the smug trophy, horse or rider?

I never thought I’d see the day. [My Heart Is In My Boots]

What did I get for gaits?


Handsome face.

I was so sure I could get Rodney to roll on cue. That would have made a great subject to photograph. Alas, Rodney had other ideas. Ms. Bush still got a nice narrative shot. Our next step is imminent.

While I love having all these photos, they do force one to confront one’s shortcomings, don’t they? My hands. Gaaaaa. In my defense, the pretty stills do not tell the full story. He looks so calm. He was having such a big day. Egad! A crossrail!

Quotes from jumping post. [Conversations With My Horse]

Jump 2.

Me: (Rodney gets an eyeful of white poles. ) We’re trotting and we’re trotting and we’re trotting.

Rodney: !

Jump 3.

Me: Look at the jumps, not your fan club on the rail.

Rodney: .

Jump 5.

Me: (Course is colorful. This fence is brighter than the rest. Puts leg on.)

Rodney: !!

Me: Didn’t like Auburn colors? Maybe you’re an Alabama horse.

Thank you Ginni!

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Whatever Happened To Saddlebred Wednesdays?

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. Dentist yesterday. Drafted this on Monday. If there is nothing relevant here, it’s because I had trouble seeing past another round of the dratted epinephrine. [Ring, Conversations]

Flowers at the farm.

So what happened to saddle seat?

At first, all the public health information said stay home if you can. I could. So I did. Didn’t hurt that we had horses to ride and a place to ride them. What with one thing and other, I haven’t restarted.

Earlier this week, I went over to SSF to help load for a show. I had no interest in joining them.

What?! Me not want to go to a horse show!? Even when I can’t go for perfectly good reasons, at least I swan about the house moping dramatically.


I think I can safely say that I have plucked the fruit of Academy and squeezed it dry. Time to move on. Only, I have no interest in making the commitment required to ride suit. Never have.

Oh, sure. If someone handed me a fancy horse and lent me the outfit, I’d love to give it a go. Right up there with someone handing me a western horse, a pair of chaps, and a pass to the Quarter Horse Congress. I like the idea of it. I don’t like the idea of it enough to do the work, pay the money, take the time to make it happen.

I could still take lessons. I miss the horses. Plus, there is plenty to learn from sitting on a educated horse, even if I never finished another pass.

I’m likely to pick up again at some point. At the moment, I’m keeping my focus & energy closer to home.

While I was there, I took my walk for the day. The oval on the top left is the outdoor ring. The circle at top right is the covered. The GPS mess down to the left should be three parallel tracks down the aisle and around the outside of the barn. I assume it got wonky due to the metal roof. [LEJOG]

Compare to (with?) GPS track when we rode there. [The Pause, The Thoroughbred Invasion]

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Looking For Lessons, The Big Nope

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. While I am not personally a fan of either bars or medieval torture instruments, I’ll cheer on whatever it takes. The Buffalo News: Free beer offer results in more vaccinations than all Erie County first-dose clinics last week, Tan, May 8, 2021. BBC News: Covid: Dracula’s castle in Romania offers tourists vaccine, May 9, 2021.

Unrelated photo for visual interest. The peacock kids at Stepping Stone Farm.

And now, the story I teased yesterday. [Looking For a Lesson Horse]

Read a post about looking for a jumping instructor at Lyrical Equine: Selecting a trainer. Commented,

This may be obvious, but since its jumping, look for safety first. What is their attitude when a horse/rider has a problem? Ive seen lessons that cause me to walk away. Are the horses careening about like racecars? Ditto. We all need support but shouldnt be overfaced. Where you fall on that continuum is personal & needs to match where the trainer draws the line. $0.02

Here’s what prompted the first part of the comment.

In an unidentified time, in an unidentified place, unrelated to yesterday.

Went to check out a possible jumping instructor. Watched lesson. Older kid/young adult on nice looking horse. This was not the trainer on a horse. Not the trainer schooling the assistant trainer. This was client having lesson.

Here’s what I saw.

The horse ran at the fences, hesitated in front, went straight up in the air like a helicopter, then bucked afterward.

Every fence.

Maaaaayyybe a horse will run at a jump from an excess of enthusiasm. I’ve ridden a few. They are rare and to be treasured. Rushing is more likely to stem from anxiousness.

The rest of the litany – hesitating, popping up, fussing – is a horse saying no as loud as they can. Any one of these behaviors is a red flag. All four is mind-boggling.

The horse needed a complete body check, a complete tack check, and then to go back trotting crossrails until they were happy with their job.

The trainer’s answer? Raise the jumps.

Bye, Felicia!

Did they …

A) Not know.

B) Get caught in a pressure situation. Money had been spent. Expectations had been raised. I imagine it’s hard to tell a client that their fancy show horse needs to go to rehab.


C) Not care.

or possibly D) Have a training theory that I don’t even want to contemplate.

In no situation do I want to be around someone who fails to advocate for the horse at that level. Call me a tackbox quarterback who can’t jump my way out of a paper bag. Fine. Doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Looking For a Lesson Horse

Riding Journal

Awareness of the outside world. No masks at barn described below. I wore one. The four people there did not: Possible New Instructor, boarder, and two construction guys building the new show barn. OTOH, they were all outside and naturally more than six feet away from each other. Vaccination status unknown.

Unrelated photo for visual interest. Our first adventure in riding for an hour involved much stand practice. Play to your strengths. [Clinic Prep]

And now back to our regularly scheduled post.

Went to a barn to ask about jumping lessons. Looking for a school horse to jump in a calm, unexciting fashion while I try to remember how to point a horse between the standards. I picked a barn that had a high level of activity, possibly indicating an established lesson program.

Let’s call it New Barn and Possible New Jump Instructor. Will be less vague when/if I go back & find out what level of representation they are comfortable with.

We chatted. They did this. I had done that.

They said this horse here did the X-meter jumpers. I said that the last time I was doing jumpers, we were still using inches. And the Warmbloods had not completely taken over, but I didn’t mention that bit.

They start with a new student lesson. Was it okay if it wasn’t until next week? I smiled noncommittally, nodded, and thought, Next week!?! Do you know how far I had to wind myself up to come talk to you? If I manage to get on one of your horses this month, I will consider it a great and shining victory.

Lately, I have been getting on Rodney with aplomb. The way one is supposed to get on a horse.

The very idea of getting on a new horse brought it all back. My stomach hurt. I was flustered. No change. I know I shouldn’t hate parts of myself, but I wish I wasn’t like this. It’s not like these reactions are holdovers from situations where they come in handy. It serves no useful purpose.

How flustered? I took me three tries to add a new name to my phone. Okay, maybe I don’t have a lot of practice meeting new people and getting their info in real time.

How flustered? I blanked on Stepping Stone Farm.

Me: For a lark, I took saddle seat lessons.

Possible New Jump Instructor: Where?

Me: … um …

Seriously?! I have half a closet full of clothes monogrammed with SSF and the SSF logo.

Speaking of SSF, here’s the message I sent Coach Courtney from the parking lot of Potential New Barn.

Began quest to find jumping version of Sam. Feel like I ought to give her your number so she can get the straight scoop: good rider, hot mess. I feel I did not convey the depths of my messdom. I guess (they)’ll find out soon enuf. Sigh.

Finding an ASB barn was easy. Had a name. Went there. Said Hi. What did I know from saddle seat? It is harder to find jumping instructor. I have way more opinions on jumping than I do on saddle seat, or even dressage. Which reminds me of a story. Which I will save for tomorrow. [Riding Toward Random]

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Deja Vu All Over Again, An Exercise in Graphic Design Recycling


Awareness of the outside world. Did you know that the UK celebrates Mother’s Day on a different day than the US? I didn’t. I learned this interesting fact early on the morning of Sunday March 14.

Wait!? What!? How did I miss this!?!? Okay. Calm down. Deep breath. Apparently other countries do things differently. Who knew. timeanddate: Mothering Sunday. Instagram post by @allontheboard. For non-Insta folks, Evening Standard: All On The Board review.

Meanwhile, back in the US, Happy Mother’s Day!

#36days_8 and #36daysoftype
No, you are not imagining it. Yes, you have seen this design before.

… how can I celebrate 36 Days of Type? … all 26 letters and 10 numbers is a bigger mountain than I care to climb right now … maybe a few … maybe one … I don’t have a design idea for Sunday …

… check the calendar … see what they have for that day … 8 … 8? … seriously? … score!

[Blog Logo in Blue]

[Counting Posts]

Stay safe. Stay sane.