Last week, I was looking at my credit card statement and I noticed that I had a fraudulent charge that went to an old card that I no longer use. It was a very small charge for a surgical practice in Alabama. Apparently some scammers got ahold of a bunch of numbers on the dark web and were trying them out. My old credit card number was among those they got access to, but fortunately, the charge was declined. I didn’t call USAA, since no harm was done. However, the charge raised my awareness of fraudsters out there. That may be why I found myself on the phone with USAA this morning after checking my bank statement.
This morning, I noticed I had a mysterious charge for $8.44 on my debit card. It was made at a hardware store in Mexico, Missouri. I haven’t been in the United States for nine years, and I certainly wouldn’t be shopping at a hardware store there, so I didn’t recognize the charge. I called up USAA and spoke to a very nice operator, who put a block on my debit card as I disputed the charge. Now I have to wait a couple of weeks for a new card to get to me via the APO system. I guess it’s a sign I shouldn’t be buying more Christmas presents.
I don’t know if fraud is at an uptick right now, but I guess it’s the season for it. I wish these scammers would get jobs. Anyway, let this serve as a reminder to you readers to check your banking and credit card statements. There are a lot of dishonest scumbags out there who would love to victimize you, and the prey on people who aren’t paying close attention to their accounts. This time of year, people are doing a lot of shopping… so it would ordinarily be easy to dismiss a small charge at a hardware store in Missouri. But I live in fucking Germany, so I wasn’t out buying a wrench or a hammer in the USA. The person who just did this has now put a temporary wrench in my finances. How annoying! But it could be worse. At least I caught it before they had a chance to try again..
Yesterday, after I wrote my blog post, I wound up watching the 1994 Miss Virginia pageant on YouTube. I had forgotten how totally cheesy beauty pageants are. Miss Virginia was especially cheesy. I remember I used to watch it on TV when I was a kid, but I don’t think they even air them anymore. When that particular pageant aired, I was working at a summer camp in rural Virginia. That was the pageant Cullen Johnson Hill won, which put her on the road to her first runner up win in the 1995 Miss America pageant.
We went to a Christmas party last night, so I was killing time by watching the pageant. It was very cringeworthy, although I was kind of impressed by the male dancers. Most of the singing was crappy, though, with the exception of when Julianne Smith-Kiedinger sang. She was Miss Virginia in the 80s and went on to be first runner up in the 1986 Miss America pageant, and she actually can sing really well. The rest of them varied from pretty decent to pretty bad. I was surprised to see there was a non-finalist talent winner who did a baton routine. How stereotypical! But at least she did a good job with her routine. I think she deserved to win her $300 prize, even though baton twirling is kind of a dying art.
One contestant sang a song with her backside waving at the audience for at least a minute or two. She wasn’t a very good singer, and her wagging ass didn’t really help her act much at all. I did like her dress, though.
I try not to knock pageants, since I know a lot of women have gotten valuable scholarship funds through them. On the other hand, you really kind of have to have a certain kind of look to be successful in a pageant. They really seem to reward conformity, and the types of people who succeed in pageants are often already kind of “blessed”. I used to like watching pageants when I was younger, but now I find them really boring. The talent portion usually makes me physically uncomfortable, while the interview questions are often a lot of bullshit. I mainly like to look at the gowns and hairstyles. But even that isn’t very satisfying for me anymore, since I can’t imagine myself in most of the gowns. And the ones from the 90s are pretty horrifying, anyway.
I had to fast forward through some of the “entertainment”. It was just too cringey for me. It would have been cringey in the 90s, too… Egad! It was a crime that I spent time watching that dross.
Well, at least it’s Friday. I don’t have any big plans this weekend, or for the rest of today. I may go back to bed and try to do more reading… and hope the person who tried to steal from me falls into a trench full of piranhas. I hope this process is as painless as possible, but one of the drawbacks to living in Germany is that it can take forever to get stuff in the APO mail system. Grrrr!!!
This morning has gotten off to a very interesting start. I woke up at about 6:00 AM, because Bill decided to take today off work. He has to go on a TDY next week, starting Monday night. Since Monday is Labor Day, he decided he’d enjoy today at home with me.
I was a little hesitant to check my iPad because I was afraid of waking up to a shitstorm on Facebook. Yesterday, I shared a somewhat controversial post that appeared on George Takei’s Facebook page. A minor argument ensued, with no final resolution. I wasn’t wanting to continue arguing about it today, and I was a little worried that other people might have chimed in on that controversial post while I was sleeping. It was a relief to see that there was only one other comment on that post, and it wasn’t contentious.
Then I went to my notifications and saw that I had one from YouTube. There was also an email from them. Behold:
Mind you… this is not the first time I’ve had content age-restricted. For some reason, the bots seem to go wild in August and September, as that is the time of year when I tend to get these notices. Two years ago, YouTube dinged a video I had posted in 2015 called “Big Pink Dildo”. It was a parody of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” that I did in response to a bunch of uptight military spouses who were upset because someone on a Facebook yard sale page had posted a joke listing for her used pink sex toy. It looked like maybe the thing had been co-opted by the family dog, though.
I thought it was crazy that YouTube age-restricted the parody, since there was no swearing in it, and only one photo of the toy, placed at the very end of the video. Most of the video is black, with my singing over it. Also, the video has been up for years and only has a few hundred hits on it. I appealed, but they declined to remove the restriction. I got over it and moved on with my life. 😉
None of the other videos I’ve posted have ever come close to being “adult content” of any kind. Most of my videos consist of vacation pictures or of me singing a song. When I saw the title of the video that was tagged, I had forgotten what it was about. I clicked the link to check it out, and was flabbergasted to see that it was a video I made in mid August 2016, when Bill and I visited a “Barefoot Park” in Dornstetten, a Black Forest hamlet in Germany.
Barefoot Parks are where people take off their shoes to experience nature and feel different things with their feet. There are a number of them in Germany. They are health promoting, fun, and absolutely kid friendly! But furthermore, I don’t think there were really any kids featured in my video. It’s not even three minutes long, and consists of four clips– Bill cranking a machine; Bill bouncing on a trampoline; Bill walking on a balance beam like log; and Bill walking through mud until he falls on his ass.
We didn’t even curse in the video, although doing so would have been perfectly understandable. So I was puzzled as to why YouTube’s bots decided to age restrict the video, especially since it has about 166 views as of today. It’s hardly a high profile performer that presents a danger to anyone. In fact, it shows what can happen at the Barefoot Park if you aren’t careful when you walk in the mud… You can end up literally hitting mud!
The only potential infraction I could come up with was “child safety”. Below is what YouTube says about that…
I clicked the child safety link, and then realized that my video is not at all like their description of one that would be dangerous to children.
I thought about just ignoring the restriction and going on with my life, since no one watches it, anyway. But it’s one of my rare uploads that doesn’t have a copyright restriction, and besides, the bots just plain got it wrong this time. So I asked for an appeal. Happily, within a few minutes, I got one, and the restriction was removed.
The stuff I put on YouTube is nothing like what I write in this blog. Likewise, my travel blog is mostly not the same kind of content this blog is. I’d say this blog is more “mature themed” and potentially R rated. My YouTube channel is mostly PG rated, at most. And certainly, aside from my “Big Pink Dildo” parody, there’s nothing there there that would make anyone blush.
Ironically, the other day I considered doing a cover of Red Peters’ “The Spelling Song”, which is a bit profane. But I decided not to do that, precisely because I didn’t want to get an email like the one above. If you don’t know the magic of “The Spelling Song”, here’s a link. I warn you, though… it’s kind of raunchy, especially if you know how to spell.
Anyway… I do try to be a good YouTube citizen. If you’re curious, below is the now non age-restricted video that prompted today’s blog post… It’s really dirty stuff, alright… LITERALLY!
The best part about the above video was the round of German laughter when Bill hit the mud with a resounding splat. Maybe that could be considered a form of bullying… I don’t know. Fortunately, we all had the fortitude to recover from that incident without any lasting psychological ill effects.
By the way, after I got my video unrestricted, I visited YouTube, where I was immediately confronted by a video about a 17 year old girl, one month from turning 18, being arrested for running away from a group home. There’s a lot of swearing, screaming, and manhandling into handcuffs and police cars. As of today, that video is not age-restricted. I wonder if it ever will be. Surely that content is more frightening to children than Bill’s spill in German mud…
Or how about the scary news content about Donald Trump, wanting to get rid of the Constitution so he can run the United States his way? I watched a news video about a Georgia legislator who warns of another “Civil War” this morning. He literally speaks of getting out his rifle to “defend” the country from Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis, who is a threat to our country, as he sees it. But that video was unrestricted, as far as I can tell. My seven year old video, on the other hand… much too dirty for kids to see. 😉
Ah well… all’s well that ends well. I’ll try to clean up my act, going forward.
I swear, I’m not a “boomer”, nor am I a member of the “greatest generation”… I’m sitting here having flashbacks to the late 1990s, when my dad struggled to send emails and would call the local computer wizard to help him with that basic task. So many of us tried and failed to teach him that skill. It got so bad that the local computer wizard quit answering my dad’s calls!
No… I’m not THERE yet… But I do seem to be having some issues with iMovie that I didn’t used to have.
On my travel blog today, I wrote a post about how I made a new music video starring our dog, Noyzi. This is something I’ve done dozens of times over the years. I bought my first iMac in 2011, and although no one ever taught me how to use iMovie, I quickly figured out how it operated. I made a whole bunch of YouTube videos, most of which didn’t feature my visage at all.
It wasn’t until some months ago that I finally decided to make music videos that show my face. Surprisingly enough, the videos that show me tend to do better, even if I think pretty scenery and pictures of my dogs are much more beautiful than I am. But, as I explained in my travel blog a few days ago, I had a really nasty looking “bloody eyeball” bruise over the weekend that was kind of disturbing to look at. It was mostly healed yesterday, when I decided to make a new video, but the song I recorded just really lent itself to using clips of Noyzi, insteading of my homely mug. So I recorded the audio portion of the video, then went off to iMovie, to make the visual part.
I tried to drag photos and clips from my photos into the editor. None of them would import. I got one of those circles with the diagonal lines through them when I tried. I went looking for an explanation and a solution. I found a few suggestions, most of which involved granting permissions, moving media into the application, rebooting my computer, updating software, and changing security settings. I did all of that, but today, I still can’t make videos the way I used to.
Another hindrance is the fact that everything help related seems to be made in a video, rather in a written article, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Yesterday, I was finding that I had to keep stopping and starting the videos I tried to watch in order to help myself, flipping back and forth to try to fix the issue. Ultimately, my efforts failed, anyway.
I created yesterday’s video using my trusty laptop. I don’t like to make videos on that, because I don’t have a mouse for it. I did have one for my old laptop, but I so seldom used it that I didn’t bother to get one for my newer one. Consequently, it’s a real pain to try to maneuver things on my laptop, and it makes creating videos all the more annoying. I did manage to succeed yesterday, though. I thought maybe I could just make the visual part on the laptop and send it to my desktop, but no dice… the video would NOT load into my iMovie app. I got the infuriating circle with a line through it and the message that I “didn’t have permission”. Grrr… it’s my computer and MY photos, dammit!
So then I airdropped my audio track to the laptop and created the video that way. It’s now on YouTube, doing fairly decently in terms of engagement. And today, I’m looking into seeing what I can do to fix the settings on my newest computer, so I don’t have to use the laptop the next time I don’t want to video directly from my desktop machine.
I’m sure there are better video editing software programs out there, but as I’m not a technogeek, I have no desire to try to find a new program and figure it out. In the past, I’ve bought new software, only to never use it, because I couldn’t quickly and easily figure out how it worked. I just want the Apple software to work easily. Is that too much to ask?
Some people are fascinated by techie stuff. Figuring things out is exciting and fun for them. I am fascinated by figuring certain things out, too… but mastering computers isn’t among my passions. I wish it was. It might make me more employable. Some people really have a real gift for mastering any and all gadgets, but I am definitely not one of them. I could probably make videos on my old desktop, but I relegated it to light duty for good reason. It’s kind of on its last legs.
Anyway… I’m sure the issue plaguing me is a minor thing. It’s just annoying, is all. But it’s not as annoying as the prospect of vacuuming the house, which is today’s dreaded chore. Guess I’d better get on that.
By the way… I’m dealing with a petty annoyance on my travel blog, too. For some reason, it won’t let me use certain category tags on my posts. For instance, if I try to tag a post with “Germany” or “dogs” or certain other categories, it will automatically revert to “uncategorized”. It doesn’t do that for all categories, just certain ones. It’s very annoying, but not as annoying as contacting tech support. I just wish things would WORK properly!
Edited to add…I ended up deleting iMovie and reinstalling it, and Final Cut. Final Cut, which I hadn’t even had on this computer (I bought it for my old one), was giving me the same weird error. It finally let me move a clip, but presented it as a still photo instead of a video. But then I tried iMovie again, and that time it worked. Why it suddenly worked is a mystery, but for now, my issue is resolved. All’s well that ends well… for now, anyway. 😀
Apologies in advance for this post, because it may be upsetting to some readers. I don’t mean to upset people. This post is meant more of a reminder to be considerate.
Earlier this year, I found out that some people take what I write much more seriously than I ever realized. It was funny how it happened, too. This person reacted inappropriately to one of my posts. I shared a viral photo of someone and she said I looked “great”, mistaking me for the person in the picture. I probably should have just laughed it off. That’s the (unsolicited) advice people usually give me in such cases. Unsolicited advice also tends to piss me off. 😉
I ended up venting about that incident in this blog. My former Facebook friend (also a relative by marriage), who had been so complimentary of a picture that wasn’t of me, read the post, got offended about my vent, and blocked me. It’s not a big deal. I don’t miss her, since she pretty much proved to me that she’s not a real friend, anyway. What I feel is more disappointment than anything else.
What puzzled and upset me most about that exchange is that it started out perfectly innocently. With no malice whatsoever, I shared something I liked, and thought was important. My former friend reacted inappropriately and mistook the person in the photo for me. Instead of excusing herself, she just “laughed” it off… which made me feel belittled and disrespected. After a lifetime of that kind of thoughtless treatment from so-called loved ones, I got kind of mad about it, so I processed the disrespect by writing about it my blog. I naively figured that was better than telling her off on Facebook. She read my post; and the next thing I know, I’m an even bigger asshole to her. Oh well. I guess our family reunions will be more awkward from now on. 😉
At the risk of sounding like an asshole again, I’m going to write a similar post today. Once again, I’m feeling kind of disrespected and need to unpack it this blog. If you see yourself in today’s post and feel offended, please know that I do feel your pain. But I’m writing this because I was offended, and my feelings count, too. This is just my way of processing stuff. It helps keep me sane. The alternative is me either bottling up my feelings or ripping someone a new asshole in a more public setting. So I’m warning you now… don’t keep reading unless you can handle the truth.
Still with me? Okay… here goes.
A few months ago, a college friend of mine was in a really terrible car accident. She was very badly hurt. Her mom and a cousin posted a little bit about the wreck when it happened, but they never really followed up on my friend’s progress after that. They kind of left us hanging about her well-being. I kept checking my friend’s Facebook page over the summer, wondering how she was doing, but there was never an update.
Yesterday, two of my friend’s family members shared a crowdfunding post on her behalf. With their post, they included a rather disturbing picture of her right after the accident, which I’m sure was shared as a way of provoking shock, sympathy, and emotion. Personally, I’m not a big fan of taking photos of unconscious, intubated people who are hospitalized in intensive care units, and then sharing them publicly. But, under the circumstances, I guess I can understand why my friend’s family did it that way. They really need financial help, hence the GoFundMe post. A dramatic photo of someone who is grievously injured, hospitalized, and on the brink of death, is much more effective for fundraising, than a photo of someone who is conscious, somewhat healed, dressed, and sitting in a wheelchair.
I decided to donate some money. I know that people who are dealing with medical crises need financial assistance, and at this point in my life, I’m in a position to help. There was a time in my life when I had no money and people helped me. This is my way of paying it forward, and I do it with Bill’s blessing.
Although it kind of made me cringe to do so (mainly because of the scary, dramatic photo), I also shared the GoFundMe post on my Facebook page, because my college friend and I have mutual friends who might also want to help her. I know sometimes people stop following other people on social media, but still think of them as friends. It’s happened to me a few times. 😉 Maybe some of our mutual friends still follow me, but don’t follow her anymore. That’s probably unlikely, though, since she has never been a particularly frequent poster on Facebook and probably annoys people less often than I do.
Minutes after I posted the GoFundMe, I got an “angry” emoji reaction from someone who doesn’t even know my friend. This person didn’t explain why they were angry, so I was left to wonder about it. Were they angry at my friend’s family for asking for money? Is it because her insurance has run out and she’s being “kicked out” of the rehab hospital? Were they angry because she got t-boned by a 19 year old who broadsided her? Or were they angry at me for sharing the post and messing up their feed? I really don’t know, because they never explained.
I asked what was wrong. I didn’t get a timely response, so I deleted the post. Or, at least I thought I deleted the post. Then I made a new post, this time with a little more information about my friend.
Later, I got another “angry” emoji on that post. It was someone else who doesn’t know my friend, but works in the healthcare field. This person decided to leave a rant about how “greedy” rehab hospitals are, and how they can’t just kick her out if she has nowhere to go. That may be the truth, and as someone with a background in social work and public health, I certainly do know there are people who are trained to assist in these situations. But that post wasn’t the place for her rant.
I was also irritated that she had left an angry reaction on a post I thought I’d deleted and reposted, as a means of getting rid of the first angry reaction. But looking at it more closely, I realized that she had commented on the first post, which evidently wasn’t deleted after all. So now there were two inappropriate angry emojis. I started to respond to the rant, but then decided to try to delete the post again.
Imagine my unpleasant surprise this morning, when I woke up to two more angry reactions on the first post, which I thought I had deleted but clearly it hadn’t disappeared from my timeline. One person left a comment that I didn’t read, because I was further pissed that–
1. People were not keeping in the spirit of the post, which was simply asking for help for someone who really needs it.
2. There were a bunch of aggressive orange emojis staring back at me, when all I was doing was trying to help a friend… someone I actually know offline.
3. Twice, I had tried to delete the post, but people were still inappropriately responding to it.
Meanwhile, the new post I put up, edited with a request not to leave rants about the healthcare system, went completely ignored. I wondered if anyone could even see it. In fact, I just took it down, because I don’t like looking at that frightening photo of my friend, and I can see that other people have donated. I don’t want to feel angry today, especially while looking at people’s orange emojis on a post that was meant to do something good for someone else.
I wish Facebook would allow people to disable things like reaction emojis, comments, and gifs on serious posts. Far too many people are careless, situationally unaware, or just enjoy being trolls. Then they leave reactions that cause negative reactions in me. And, while I totally agree that the healthcare system sucks, and my old friend shouldn’t be threatened with being “kicked out” of rehab due to losing her insurance coverage, that post was NOT the place for a soapbox rant.
I should also mention that I’m not aware of the specifics of her case or the local laws where she is, nor do I know what type of facility she’s in. As I mentioned before, her family wasn’t very forthcoming with information in the weeks that followed the accident, not that it was anyone else’s business. But, because I don’t know the specifics, I can’t really speak to whether or not what the rehab hospital is allegedly doing is “legal” or standard.
However, I DO know, from being a social worker with a health administration background, that people in my friend’s situation pretty much always need financial support, regardless of what kind of insurance coverage they have, or what the official “rules” are. And that was the spirit I had when I initially shared the post for people who know and care about her.
If you can’t or aren’t interested in helping, just keep scrolling. It’s not that difficult. Leaving inappropriate angry reactions and rants isn’t useful to anyone. And leaving the first angry reaction is basically an invitation to other people to follow your lead, which is obviously what happened in this case.
I don’t want to tell people what to do… and God knows, I don’t want to tell anyone to “refrain” (hate that word) from doing anything. But I do wish people would be more thoughtful and considerate, and not make things about themselves. I’d love it if Facebook would let us just share things without allowing reactions or comments, so this kind of thing doesn’t happen.
On a side note… I noticed that my friend and her family members are folks who wholeheartedly support(ed) the orange overlord who is about to be booked in Fulton County Jail this week. I wonder if this situation might help them realize that everyone needs access to affordable healthcare, and that asking your friends and loved ones to send financial support is kind of akin to taking welfare– only instead of applying for government assistance, you’re playing on people’s emotions and hoping they’ll be kind and open their hearts and wallets.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind helping my friends when I can. But we all need access to healthcare that doesn’t break people financially and put their loved ones’ livelihoods in jeopardy. It really is for the public’s good that decent, affordable healthcare be a human right. I know my friend never thought she’d be in a horrific car accident right after she took a vacation to Hawaii. Now, according to her family, she’s homeless and about to discharged from a rehab hospital she evidently still needs. That shouldn’t happen in the United States in 2o23.
So ends today’s rant. If you feel like blocking me because of it, have at it. I just hope it inspires some consideration in a few people.
The featured photo was taken in September 1988, right after my beloved Appaloosa pony, Rusty (Diamonds n’ Rust) and I won first place at the State 4H horse show in Richmond, Virginia. There were about seventy other ponies in that class. It was a great morning and a highly unexpected surprise to win first. Rusty bucked, but I guess the judge never saw it happen.
If you follow my blog, you probably know that I have a tendency to overshare sometimes. I often feel compelled to share the whole story, even if it’s not necessarily interesting or wise to do so. We all have lessons we could learn. I know I could use a few lessons in brevity. However, even someone who overshares, like I tend to do sometimes, can be surprised by other people’s expectations on social media platforms.
Before I get started, I will issue a half-hearted apology for the fact that my writing this week has been so much about stupid Facebook dramas. The good news is, I’m so annoyed by the responses I’ve gotten on recent comments I’ve made, that I now make a conscious effort to comment less. That could mean that I’ll move on to more hard-hitting or entertaining topics. One can only hope!
Anyway… on with today’s gripe.
A couple of days ago, Facebook suggested either a group or a page about Elizabeth Taylor. I honestly don’t know why it was suggested to me. I was never a big Liz Taylor fan. I mean, I certainly thought she was a beautiful woman, and as a horse crazy kid, I appreciated her performance in National Velvet. I do remember seeing her guest star on The Nanny, and I saw her in commercials for her perfumes and such, but I don’t know much about her acting career.
Liz Taylor was a little behind my era, and had done a lot of her most famous acting roles before I was born. I wasn’t into most old movies when I was growing up, aside from the major ones like Gone With The Wind, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz. When I was coming along, I heard more about her marriages, alcoholism, and celebrity activism, than anything else.
I think I was more familiar with her son, Michael Wilding Jr.’s, work as an actor. He was on Guiding Light and Dallas, back in the 80s, and I watched both of those shows.
Anyway, for some reason, Facebook suggested this Elizabeth Taylor page to me, along with a post about her love for horses. There was a picture of her, as an adolescent, with a horse– probably the one who starred with her in National Velvet. And there was a quote by her about how she’d learned to jump before making the movie, and had successfully jumped a six foot fence while riding bareback. She allegedly said it made her feel like she was flying.
As someone who literally spent a huge portion of my childhood in a barn, I find that story pretty hard to believe. Is it the truth? Maybe… but I still find it implausible. Not that many horses regularly jump six foot fences. Those that do tend to be very valuable jumpers. And, in all of my years around horses, I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone jumping at that height bareback… at least not on purpose! Could it have happened? I suppose. But I noticed a lot of people agreed with me that the story sounded a bit like bullshit. They were saying so in the comment section.
I added a casual comment to someone’s response, reminding everyone that National Velvet was made in 1944. So if she did try to jump six feet while bareback, it likely would have been extremely dangerous and foolish. She probably didn’t bother wearing a hat (helmet), and even if she did wear one, it was not as safe or effective as the ones that people wear today. If she tried such a stunt and was successful, she was damned lucky… and pretty stupid, in my opinion. But again… it’s just my opinion, and I realize I could be wrong.
When I left this comment, I was being totally casual. It was an offhand remark– the online equivalent of small talk. This is a very trivial issue to me, and not something I care to research or verify. Mainly, I was just gratified to see that I wasn’t the only one who was calling bullshit on the story’s veracity.
Naturally, people started tagging me in responses, reminding me that Liz Taylor allegedly started riding when she was three years old, so she wasn’t a “new” rider, as I wrongly assumed, based on what was written in the quote.
Again, Liz Taylor doesn’t really matter to me, so I didn’t look her up to see when her ass first landed on a horse’s back. If she really started riding at age 3, fair enough… although I doubt she was progressing that much in her skills at that age. I wouldn’t expect her to be good enough to be piloting talented jumpers over six foot fences, even if she did start riding at age 3. Certainly not bareback. That’s sheer lunacy to me. My opinion again. It was not something I really wanted to argue about. If it’s true, it’s true. I don’t really care one way or the other.
The evening wore on, and Bill and I went to bed. I spent all day blissfully unaware of that post and, in fact, had completely forgotten about it. Then, at about 5 PM, I got a tag from someone I didn’t know. Not knowing what she was referencing, I clicked to see what was up. And it was some twat who wrote something along the lines of, “Have you ever even been on a horse? Do you know *anything* about horses?” Then there was a long diatribe about how Liz Taylor certainly could have been jumping six foot fences bareback, and a link to some site that I didn’t bother checking. To tell you the truth, I didn’t read beyond her first two sentences, because I found them extremely insulting and irritating, and I was momentarily really pissed.
You see, I spent years riding horses. I owned a very special Appaloosa pony for years. I took lessons, cleaned stalls, went to horse shows, showed hunt seat and Western, went on competitive trail rides, attended riding clinics given by fancy Frenchmen, fox hunted, completed 4 H horse projects, and I have a huge box full of over 200 ribbons, plaques, medals and such in storage in Texas. I even won a horse blanket one year. So yes, I do know my way around a horse, even though I gave up riding a long time ago.
Maybe I should have responded to the idiot with just a picture of my ribbons…
I realize this person doesn’t know me at all. I don’t know her at all. My guess, though, is that I was probably riding horses and shoveling manure when she was still a spark in her daddy’s testicles. I also suspect, like a lot of Facebook experts, she moseyed on over to my Facebook page to see if there was any evidence of my “expertise” with horses. When she saw no equine pics on the public version of my account, she wrongly assumed that I don’t have any experience with horses, hence her moronic challenging questions to me– a total stranger.
I was tempted to respond with indignance, but instead, I took a deep breath, and then sighed with a loud groan of utter annoyance. Then I posted something along the lines of this:
Yes, I have experience with horses. I grew up riding and showing my own horse. I still don’t believe this story. If you do, good for you. I really don’t care.
Then, just because I had a feeling it would inspire laughter from those who knew me when I was young, I posted this:
I was gratified when my former riding instructor wrote this…
A time or two?. Try more years than I care to think about!
I am honestly very indebted to my old riding instructor, because I certainly wasn’t the easiest person to teach… or even just to deal with, especially when I was going through puberty. And she was there to see me in all my moody, hormonal glory! Isn’t it awesome that I still know her as I’m now going through menopause! I’m not quite as moody these days… or, at least I cry less.
It’s because of her that I ever owned a horse of my very own. She taught me so much, and having unlimited access to her farm no doubt kept me out of trouble… and possibly even the psych ward. I had a tendency toward depression in those days (as well as today, but now I have booze).
The fact that I had a horse, and had to work to keep him, kept me productive and active, and helped stave off the darkest moods of depression. I spent hours riding my bike to and from her farm, cleaning the ten stalls in her barn, and doing the many horsey chores required when you have a horse. Even if you aren’t into showing, as I was in those days, there’s a lot of work to be done. I do miss it– and horses– very much. But I think the work might kill me these days. 😀
So yes, when some rando on Facebook asks me if I “know anything” about horses, simply because we disagree about a silly quote allegedly by Elizabeth Taylor– a dead actress I don’t even particularly care about– it does smart a bit. Was she really expecting me to post my horse experience resume on such a random comment between total strangers? Who’s got the time for it?
However, I was also gratified that my fellow horsey friend from those days, another of the many Jennifers born in the 70s, posted this in response to my peevish status update…
Ha! I was doubting that post from Liz too. I’ve never seen anyone do six feet bareback.
Jennifer and I were in 4 H together and enjoyed many a hot Saturday at horse shows when we were growing up in Gloucester, Virginia. She knows her way around horses, too. And anyone who knew me in those days, knows that horses were then my life. It’s almost hard to believe now. Seems like a dream.
I guess this incident can be filed away under yet another reason why Facebook sucks. But then, if it weren’t for Facebook, I couldn’t share a laugh with the people I knew when I was an avid horsewoman. It’s a testament to the specialness of that time that those people are still my friends so many years later.
Whether or not Liz Taylor ever jumped six foot fences while riding a horse bareback isn’t that important, at least not to me. She’s been dead for years, so it’s not like her feelings are going to be hurt if I don’t believe this alleged quote from her about her horseback riding skills. Maybe it is the truth, but I don’t feel like verifying it, one way or the other. Especially now.
Liz’s alleged quote kind of reminds me of that ghastly video of Alan Osmond, when he talked about how he was the best marksman in his Army basic training unit, yet he never saw a single day in Vietnam. Instead, he stayed behind at Fort Ord, where he served as a typist. Now, I absolutely respect Alan for serving in the Army, but I think his claims about his military badassery are probably hyperbolic bullshit. And this quote by Elizabeth Taylor is probably similarly hyperbolic. I base that on my experiences with horses, even as I acknowledge that I’m not an expert and I quit riding some time ago. I never claimed to be an expert. I just know what bullshit smells like.
So no, I don’t feel like qualifying myself with a rundown of my equine experience and expertise, just to be allowed to leave a comment on a random Facebook post about horses. I shouldn’t be expected to do that. I’ve got more important things to do, like manscaping Bill’s chest hair.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.