Oooh, I thought I'd be able to wait until after tonight's raid to chug half the bottle of NyQuil, but with the way my immune system's rolled over and died, I think I'm going to be raiding Ulduar while high on acetaminophen. God, my brain. My nose. My lungs. Kill me.

Final grades for the semester:
WR100: B+
Public Policy: A-
Campaigns & Elections: A
Astronomy: A
Final GPA: 3.75

Fuck yeah, bitches.

Preakness tomorrow. Torn between wanting Mine That Bird (longshot Derby winner) or Rachel Alexandra (crazy awesome filly) to win. Leaning more toward Rachel Alexandra, even though a Triple Crown would be awesome... Blaaaargh.

...

*lunges for the NyQuil*

Blargh

Apr. 27th, 2009 07:28 pm
Ugh, just three more days of class, then the four-day study period, than finals, and I am done for the semester.

Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

Thinking about getting a job this summer. There's a Barnes & Noble in Hyannis, which is maybe a twenty-minute drive from the family homestead in West Dennis, so I'm going to see about working there (maybe part-time). Eee, employee discount!

...And the Kentucky Derby is this weekend. As college has been kicking my ass, I don't even know who's running in the Derby this year, much less have a pick. Must do research!

Ooh, hey, Ben & Jerry's Cake Batter ice cream... *wanders off to eat it and watch the game*
The eighth [livejournal.com profile] randompulp challenge is now up. (And we'd dearly love more members; it's so lonely with only five people! *puppy eyes*)

Also, a few rants.

1) NaNoWriMo. It's only the third day, but I think I hate it. Yesterday I stared at my Word Processor for a good ten minutes, exchanged baffled looks with my muses, and swore a blue streak. This quickly has become something akin to work for me and I've always written because it's fun and I love doing it. Writing fifty thousand words in thirty days or less is an impressive achievement, yes, but I refuse to write crap to meet that. I love and respect my stories and my characters and I want to use them in works I'd be proud to show off.

Plus, y'know, [livejournal.com profile] randompulp challenges keep me on my toes in terms of character and world development. I mean, Hell, I didn't think I'd ever have Nora and Sav babysit dragons.

Ugh. I'll stick it out for a few more days, but I shouldn't be apprehensive about opening up a document in Word.

2) 'Tek rumors. Word on the grapevine is is that the Tigers are interested in Jason Varitek. Seeing as how this rumor was started by Scott Boras (who, as Bill Simmons so deftly put it, is "one of the worst human beings in America who hasn't actually committed a crime") and just how much the Tigers are in need of young talent, I find this laughable. DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF SCOTT BORAS'S MOUTH, especially since this is obviously an attempt to start a bidding war over Varitek's contract. As painful it is to watch Varitek bat (almost as painful as watching Mike Timlin pitch), he is the best catcher the Sox have. He has the best relationship with our pitchers, something neither Kevin Cash nor our prospects in the minors can boast. I'd like to see 'Tek return next season, but at this point I can't predict what the Sox front office will do.

...Other than that, I know of no other trade or free agent talks the Sox are involved in at the moment. Time to scour the Internet.

3) IEAH. They just bought Stardom Bound (winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, shoe-in for Champion Two Year Old Filly) for a whopping $5.7 million and to say I'm pissed off would be an understatement. IEAH is buying up the good talent almost as fast as Coolmore and the sheikhs (and if Godolphin/Darley/whatever had gotten a hold of Stardom Bound, you'd still be hearing my screams of rage) and to top it all off they send the filly to train with RICK FUCKING DUTROW. I hate Rick Dutrow just as much as Scott Boras, if not more so.

Right, I think I'm going to go read for a bit, get my blood pressure down.

EDIT 12:38 AM: Starting to freak out about my voter registration status. I haven't gotten any information from the Boston Elections Department, I haven't gotten any responses to my e-mails, I can't get a hold of anyone at the department on the phone... I'm really, really worried I won't be able to vote tomorrow.
So, I'm debating whether or not to sign up for NaNoWriMo this year. I've never participated before as I've never really had time due to school and I've never really had a solid idea what to actually write. I'd like to at least try; it'd be a great way to further develop my style and see if I can extend a story's length into a real novel format, not my usual short stories and challenges.

My problem is I don't really know which of my 'verses to use: I loves my Watchers 'verse, but I don't have an actual plot for it and what I have written for it have been snippets of the characters' everyday activities. If I do sign up, I'm thinking of using either my Brindlewood/steampunk 'verse (I've done a lot of world building for it but haven't focused too much on characters) or my science fiction/space pirates 'verse (lots of character work done there, not too much world (galaxy?) building for it, though).

(My space pirate 'verse makes me wish my drawing skills were a little better, I'd love to do a series of "WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE" posters for the crew of the Schadenfreude.)

Well, I've still got some time to decide about NaNoWriMo. In the meantime, I've still got my [livejournal.com profile] randompulp challenge to work on and finish.

It's also the first day of the Breeders' Cup and I still don't know what to think of making the first day "Ladies' Day." Ugh. Last year was the first year with two days of races and the first day simply had the new races while day two had the usual card. Now all the races specifically for fillies and mares (a grand total of five out of fourteen races) aren't on the main day and won't be getting much attention, including the Ladies' Classic (formerly the Distaff).

As much as I hate the change, I can't really do anything about it. And it's almost time for the first race, so I'll put aside my ire for now and enjoy watching the crème de la crème of the racing compete.

EDIT 4:42 PM: Right, well, I've gone and signed up for NaNoWriMo (under the username Dranyari for those of you interested).

Oh God.
Finally got the new challenge post up at [livejournal.com profile] randompulp so that's one less thing to worry about.

(I've said it before, I'll say it again: I will never stop pimping out my writing challenge comm. Deal with it.)

Freezing my butt off; this house is cold. I'm wearing two pairs of socks, sweat pants, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, a jacket, and a shawl. Going to go make some hot chocolate before I settle in to watch The Lost Evidence: The Battle of Britain on History International and convince my cat to move over and share the damn blanket while ignoring her Glare of Doom.

Right, hot chocolate needs to be made before my fingers freeze.

P.S. Irked that Zenyatta won't be in the Breeder's Cup Classic (though this means I can cheer for Casino Drive with a clear conscious), but I'm totally going to enjoy the grudge match between her and Ginger Punch in the Ladies' Classic. It's going to be an awesome race.

Hm...

Oct. 21st, 2008 07:10 pm
Well, with no more baseball until spring training (the Red Sox have been eliminated, so far as I care the season is over), I'm at a loss (once again) as to what to watch in regards to sports. There's the Breeder's Cup this weekend; I'm still clinging to the minuscule hope that Zenyatta's connections will decide to run her in the Classic rather than the Distaff (excuse me, the Ladies' Classic *massive eye roll, makes disgusted noise*), but the likelihood of that is slim to none. And other than that, there's what, football? I love the Patriots, but it's still a sport I don't understand. Basketball? Snore. Hockey? I'm not that bloodthirsty.

Sigh.

Am suddenly popular with the kitties, if the jockeying for best snuggle spot among Jazz, Bounce, and Beep is anything to go by. My laptop doesn't generate that much heat, so I haven't the faintest idea of what is up.

Bored, can't find anything to keep my attention for longer than five minutes. No one to talk to at the moment, either. ([livejournal.com profile] barcelona_pho, where are you? We have modly duties to attend to!)

Right, time to find my book.

EDIT 7:19 PM: Billy got an A on his essay for his writing class! The highest in the class! THE ONLY ONE WITH THAT GRADE.

I am so fucking proud right now. Please excuse me, I need to spaz, do a happy dance, and flip off BLS.
Big Brown Retired After Workout Injury

Updated: Monday, October 13, 2008 11:19 AM
Posted: Monday, October 13, 2008 10:34 AM


By Karen Johnson and
Steve Haskin


Dual classic winner Big Brown has been retired after sustaining an injury during a workout at Aqueduct the morning of Oct. 13.

The winner of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) had worked in company with Kip Deville over the turf course, with the stablemates finishing together in final time of 1:12 4/5 for six furlongs.

Afterward, it was determined that the colt had grabbed a quarter on the inside of the right front foot. The injury and subsequent retirement means the highly anticipated showdown between he 3-year-old colt and reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will not take place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).

"Big Brown has been retired," said Michael Iavarone, co-owner of IEAH Stables. "He not only tore the bulb off his foot, but half the foot was torn off. We did everything we could to get to the Breeders' Cup. It's devastating. And what makes it even worse is that he worked great."

Big Brown will enter stud at Robert Clay's Three Chimneys farm for the 2009 breeding season.

~*~

*facepalm* I'm really not all that surprised; actually, what surprises me is that this didn't happen sooner. Big Brown's hooves were horrible and really, he's never been sound all year. I'm of the opinion he shouldn't have raced at all. I mean really, "half the foot was torn off"?! Normally I'd be in a tizzy about the horse's health, but seeing as how they're talking about him going to stud rather than recovery time... *rolls eyes* Probably an Iavarone exaggeration, if half his foot had been torn off the poor horse wouldn't be able to walk.

Big Brown's babies are going to be the most unsound thoroughbreds to step onto a track. I can see the injury and mortality rates skyrocketing all ready.

However how bad the injury is, though, I'm willing to bet BB's connections are breathing a sigh of relief that they won't be taking on Curlin, Casino Drive, and the rest of the Classic field. Dutrow's put his foot in his moutht so many times there was no way he could have talked himself out of losing the Classic like he tried to do with the Belmont.

Right, time to go make a Casino Drive banner.
I don't go and advertise this very much, but I'm a big horse racing fan. I've gotten lax in the past few years on keeping up with the big names in racing, but I watch all the Triple Crown races and the Breeder's Cup religiously. I never miss them.

So, this past Saturday was the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby and my pick was the lone filly in a field of twenty, Eight Belles. She was a big girl at seventeen hands and this beautiful shade of gray; they had shots of her workouts during the pre-race specials, and she was just a sight to behold. Gorgeous creature, absolutely stunning, and with a rather lackluster field I felt she had a great chance at winning.

She took second to Big Brown but had a great run, but during the gallop out (when the jockeys slow down their mounts after crossing the finish line), she apparently sustained injuries. They showed a shot of her on the ground, and I knew it was bad - laying down isn't natural for a horse unless they're either giving birth or something is very, very wrong. And then the track vet came on and said she's broken both front ankles - in the same stride - and she was euthanized immediately.

I was in shock. I didn't cry, but I was definitely in shock. Rationally, I knew nothing could have been done for her and she must have been in an excruciating amount of pain; horses rarely recover from one injured ankle (these bones don't just break, they tend to shatter or even break through the skin, and surgery is almost always required), either due to complications with the original injury or the development of laminitis in the other hooves. Horses' legs are incredibly fragile, and they have to support about a ton of weight. They can't just shift all that weight to the other three legs entirely, otherwise they're thrown off balance, and sometimes horses react very, very badly to having casts on their legs.

I've had a few days to stew over this situation. The track vet said he'd never seen an injury like Eight Belles's, and the track vet at Churchill Downs has probably seen every horse injury imaginable and then some. And the more I've been thinking about it, the more I've realized just how common it is for three-year old horses in their sophomore year of racing to be retired due to career-ending injuries - or being put down because of truly horrific ones. Two horses in last year's Breeder's Cup had to be immediately put down after being injured: Pine Island in the Distaff and George Washington in the Classic. And Fleet Indian, also in the Distaff, suffered a career-ending injury.

Wake up, NTRA! Wake up, Jockey Club! It's not the track surfaces, it's not the riders, it's not the races, it's not the horses themselves that are causing an increase in injured thoroughbreds. It's the fucking practices. These horses are being raced far too early - horses don't finish growing and developing until they're at least four, but thoroughbreds are racing when they're two! Hell, even younger, because the "official birthday" of all thoroughbreds is January 1. Jesus Christ, they're still babies and they're running a mile and a quarter or more!

Another practice is the breeding of thoroughbreds; take a quick peek at a thoroughbred's predigree and don't be surprised if you see a stallion's name more than once, particularly famous sires such as Storm Cat, Northern Dancer, A.P. Indy (and by extension, Seattle Slew), and Mr. Prospector. It's not as bad as, say, Egyptian Arabian breeding (they call it "line breeding" - it's actually incredibly extreme inbreeding), and I've never come across information talking about diseases or health problems related to inbreeding (which is odd, considering it comes all the time with other animals like dogs), but you just have to look at thoroughbreds today to see the problems. Sure, you're getting horses who can sprint or run distances or handle dirt very well or are champions on the turf; those are the traits breeders aim for depending on the match of dam and sire. But you what you're also getting? Weaknesses. Unsound horses with legs too fragile to carry all the weight of a full grown thoroughbred. Couple that with racing babies who are still developing their bones and you have a recipe for disaster.

I love horses and the thoroughbred is probably my favorite breed, and I think racing exemplifies the beauty and power of such wonderful creatures. I don't give a damn about the money involved, I watch racing to see these horses do what they love. Used to be horses would be raced a little older and they could handle a very tight racing schedule for years with few ill effects. Now you rarely see horses raced past four and retired without some sort of injury. I love the sport, but something has got to change.
So, Billy's school assignment's in and... He's assigned to BLS as a sophomore!

Can it really be? Can BLS have come to its senses? Are things starting to look up?

I'm going to stay cynical for now and say "No," simply because then I can be pleasantly surprised if I turn out to be wrong.

*crosses fingers*

In other news, my Citizen's Bank debit/ATM card came in. *insane cackle* My PIN number came in a few days ago, so I'm a jumpy lil' geek right now. I plan on hoarding, though.

Yesterday was my last day of work. ^_^ I can sleep in next week, woohoo! I've got to go pick up my last paycheck next Friday, which will be awesome, and Dad's going to close my old account at Hyde Park Savings Bank (because he's the trustee, I can't do shit with it), give me a check for what was in the account, and then I'll have even more money! Muahaha!

...I should probably look for a part-time job this fall. *ponders*

In racing news, today is the Travers Stakes, the oldest Thoroughbred race in America (held at Saratoga, the oldest racetrack in America!) and probably the biggest prep race for the Breeder's Cup Classic. Unfortunately, Rags to Riches won't be running - her trainer, Todd Pletcher, is aiming her for the Breeder's Cup Distaff, and she'll be running in the Ruffian Handicap on Sept. 8 at Belmont as a prep race. In fact, the only horse in the Travers that also raced in the Triple Crown this year is Street Sense, the Derby winner, so good luck to him!

And Hard Spun (second in the Derby, third in the Preakness, and fourth in the Belmont) just won the King's Bishop Stakes, which is a prep race for the Breeder's Cup Sprint. That'd be awesome to see - Rags to Riches in the Distaff, Street Sense in the Classic, and Hard Spun in the Sprint. Be cool if they all won, too.

*happy thrum* Life is so good so far.

...I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, though.

P.S. Man, I remember watching the big races and seeing everything monopolized by Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lucas. I think Baffert's still around, but it's so damn nice to see so many other trainers in the big leagues now. Much more refreshing, and a lot more interesting.

Le blah

Jul. 7th, 2007 08:24 pm
So, I start work down at the South Boston courthouse on Monday. So far as I know, there is no way I'll be able to get there on my own via the T (plus, God, five bucks or more a day for fares? Damn money-grubbing MBTA), so Mom and I are going to make a dry run tomorrow. Luckily the route's pretty straightforward (hop onto Dot Ave, then onto Dot St., then finally turn onto East Broadway), but knowing Boston traffic, I'm going to have to leave early each day to make sure I get there by 9.

Bloody hell, why couldn't I have been assigned to the John Adams Courthouse or Suffolk Superior Court? Interesting things happen there! For all I know the only thing of interest that goes on at the Southie courthouse is arguing with the judge about parking tickets. *makes a disgusted noise* Ah, well, I'll see what I'm getting into on Monday.

So! Random stuff to go over because I've been lazy in updating.

June 9: Belmont Stakes won by Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the race in 102 years, and only the third overall to do so! (Funny enough, the first horse to win the Belmont was a filly.) She stumbled coming out of the gate, but she game back to have a homestretch duel with Preakness winner Curlin before pulling away to win. Absolutely spectacular race to watch, and that stretch run was gut-wrenching to watch. Rags to Riches is a gorgeous chestnut filly (and she looks even prettier wearing that blanket of carnations!), and a phenomenal racer; I'd like to see her run against the colts again in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga next month.

(Yes, I'm a closet Thoroughbred racing fan, and have been since at least fifth grade.)

June 27: Finished The Kite Runner for summer reading. Fantastic book! The ending made me cry, but in a good way. :) Currently I'm trying to get through Medea (it's only thirty-six freaking pages!), but it's a drag. I should not have read the most interesting book on my summer reading list first. *sighs* Damned AP Lit.

Also, beat the Elite Four in Pokemon Diamond, which made me jump up and down happily. (I'm a geek, of course I'm sharing this information.) Since then, I have been obsessively trying to complete the National Dex, and working on breeding a Feebas with a nature that likes dry-flavored poffin so I can up its beauty, evolve it into a Milotic, and then compete in Super Contests. (Super Contests, btw, annoy the crap out of me. I HATE the "dancing" portion, hate it I say!)

*coughs* Um, moving on...

Now: The Yankees lost 2-1 to the Angels in thirteen innings, and right now the Sox are winning 2-0 against the Tigers in the bottom of the fifth. And guess what? The Yankees are eleven and a half games behind the Sox in third place! *does the happy dance*

And we've got SIX players going to the All-Star Game in San Francisco this year! Six! The Yankees have only three! And our boys are:
Josh Beckett (Pitcher)
Mike Lowell (Third base)
Hideki Okajima (Relief pitcher; and this is his first year playing in the US!)
David Ortiz (First base; normally the DH, but they'll be playing by National League rules)
Jonathan Papelbon (Closing pitcher; you'd better be watching the All-Star game this year, [livejournal.com profile] predikit!)
Manny Ramirez (Outfielder)

Big Papi isn't doing too hot with hitting home runs this season (at least, not yet), so I don't know if he'll be taking part in the Home Run Derby; Manny could be, but who knows?

And I think I've run out of things to say. I'm gonna go catch up on my manga now. *toddles off*

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