23 August 2010

I finally left the damn house and did something!

Yes, I’m still here. I try to write at least once a week but since all I’ve been doing recently is trying to get through this damn novel that I started back last Christmas, I didn’t have much to offer. I did finish the damn novel and it was quite good. I even managed to get 5 chapters into a second damn novel before my love of all things television took over. It’s sad really – I’m a reader, always have been – but I need to have pretty much complete silence when I read or else I get distracted and end up reading the same page over and over. If someone is randomly chatting at me, or the television is too loud, or the cat is trying to get pet or aliens come down to ask if they can set up a portal to their space ship in my living room, I get distracted, then frustrated, and then finally I just stop reading. It’s a shame, it really is. I miss reading.

On a completely unrelated note, I learned last week if you are in America and there’s a cool breeze coming through an open window, it’s obviously called a ‘draft’, but if you are in England and the same thing happened, it’s a ‘draught’. I told Andy that was stupid since there’s no ‘F’ in his spelling even though there’s an ‘F’ sound in the word, but he shut me down quick with references to ‘enough’. I hate it when he’s right.

All that above has absolutely nothing what-so-ever to do with the purpose of this post. The purpose obviously is to tell you I finally left the house, in August no less, and it was interesting enough to write about it. Well, I think it’s interesting enough but what do I know? I’ve been making a hole on the couch for the last two weeks.

So, the weekend previously, Andy and I were at the Harp. Me being the obnoxious sort, I was fucking around on Facebook on my iPhone looking up upcoming events to share with the Harp group to appear “cool”, “with it”, and “in the know”. I had noticed that one of our friends had posted a free Weezer concert down in Del Mar at the racetrack. While I like Weezer enough to see them live, I don’t like them enough to suffer the crowds that a free Weezer concert was sure to attract. I did, however, like the idea of betting on some ponies. We asked the group if anyone would want to join us for the horse races the following Saturday, and much to our delight, Dave and Jill said that they were interested.

A quick word about Dave and Jill - I have known Dave and Jill since I first moved to California back in 2000. They are great people. Dave is quick witted and grumpy old man-ish and his wife, Jill, is the polar opposite – always cheerful and never has a bad word to say about anyone. While they are only 10-15 years older than Andy and I, when we all go out together there are times when waiters or bar staff will think that they are our parents. A fact that is pretty hysterical figuring that Andy, personality wise, could be Dave’s bastard son.

Because I’ve been on a no drinking kick, I offered to drive the group. We picked up Dave and Jill around 11:30 AM on Saturday and started what should have been the hour long drive down to Del Mar. Except it wasn’t an hour long drive – it was a 2 ½ hour drive, or 3 ½ if you count the hour we spent for lunch. Traffic was terrible. I figured it would be bad, but I had no idea that the highest speed I would get for 60 miles was 23 mph. The HIGHEST speed, mind you. Poor Jill – she was terrified of my driving – and having to be in the car for twice as long as normal – well, let’s just say she had her eyes closed for most of the trip. In my defense, both Dave and Andy thought I drove just fine, thank you very much. I only almost ran into that car the one time – and that was only because everyone was shouting at the time unable to tell which way to turn.

When we finally got there, they were just about to start the 4th race. Andy and I bought one $5.00 Place tickets each for every race (4th – 10th) costing us a total of $70. We both did the highly skilled technical horse choosing of picking whatever horse name we found the most amusing. While this strategy worked in Andy’s favor, I should have stuck to my original plan of picking whatever horse was wearing blue.

Getting ready to make some big bucks betting on the ponies.

Right off the bat, Andy’s horses win the first two races. Already we had won back $45 of the $70 we had spent. Andy was quite chuffed. I, in the meantime, kept losing race after race. They say that when you are picking horses, you should look for active horses with a spring in their step. Every horse that I had picked looked like it just woke up from a nap and very much wanted to just go to the pub for a quiet pint. To be fair, most of my horse picks did exceptionally well right out of the gate before halfway through discovering, “Oh shit, I’m running! I don’t like to run! What the hell!” and fell into last place. I didn’t win one single race. Andy carried us by winning yet another race at the very end and getting us to a total of $55. $15 loss – not bad I would say.

Andy shows off one of his winning tickets.  Check out that shit eating grin!

Because there was 25 minutes of nothing time between races, I spent a lot of the afternoon wandering around looking at the women in fancy hats (I want a fancy hat! Preferably one with 1,800 feathers and a dead bird) and the horses that were going to race next.

One of the many races in which I won nothing.  These are the lead horses.  My horse, I'm sure, will not show up in this frame for another 18 minutes.

This horse won.   Andy seemed to know that was going to happen...I certainly didn't.

We ended up leaving around 7 PM and even with a stop for dinner, we made it back home by 9 PM. It was a great day overall, and it was really nice to get out of Dodge for awhile. It certainly made all of us appreciate the lack of traffic we all had getting to the Harp the next day, that’s for sure.


  1. I always choose the horse that looks the happiest. Sounds funny, but if they look calm yet energetic to me, they usually place. If you like your job, you do it well.

    I like the pictures of the horses. Did you take them or are they from somewhere?


  2. BH,

    Sadly I didn't see the horses until after I picked them. (Boo!)

    I took the pictures myself! I wouldn't cheat on that. ;-)