Saturday, December 28, 2013

Yearling Filly

I wrote this awhile ago and after coming across it last week, thought that I should share it for your amusement. There's some equestrian lingo that might be foreign for the non-horse people, but that's what I'm here for. Fire away.

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She’s a beautiful work of art, this one.

I was walking back from taking one of the horses to the turnout. Behind me, I could still hear him pounding the ground as the giant animal raced around as fast as he could in the not so large space when she came walking up to the fence. I had seen her eye us with those large doe eyes of her when I walked past her little pasture the first time with my charge, and a small, hopeful spark went on when I returned her gaze. She had trotted over to the fence alongside us, following as long as she could before turning back and walking away once we passed the entire length of the fence. I couldn’t see her when she followed since she was on the other side of the horse I was leading, but I could hear her.

Her pasture was one of the private ones, and definitely the nicest. It was one of the largest, and even had some grass growing in it. A sprinkler system had been installed to keep it growing, but coming from a place where we had acres and acres of green vegetation, I find it pathetic.

She watched me walking back towards her and walked up to the fence, towards the other end of her pasture. The path went a little closer there, so I wouldn’t be far. She knew that. She’s a smart little thing, this yearling filly. I didn’t plan on stopping for a chat, but she looked so hopeful that I couldn’t help it.
“Hey pretty girl.” I smiled as I walked up to the fence. Her eyes and ears perked up, and she reached her delicate little nose towards me as I stuck my hands through the fence.

Even at just a little over a year, her baby awkwardness has all melted away, and she carries herself like a queen. I love watching her move. She does it with such ease, confidence and grace; even the baby fits of energy bucking and leaping are graceful. She has good, strong, long, solid legs, with an already well-muscled, high croup that looks out of place. She’ll grow into it though, it’s just part of growing up. Her front half is far more refined and delicate looking, but with those solid legs, she’ll definitely be a very pretty, fancy mare. I ran my hand down her face, brushing her soft, fuzzy nose with my fingertips. She quivered, ever so slightly, enjoying the attention. I cupped her muzzle in one palm, tracing the outline with my finger. She has a very pretty, refined head. A decently sized forehead, not too big, but not narrow either. It makes for a good, strong base, but with a delicate touch as it narrows down seamlessly and effortlessly into a long, slender muzzle perfectly flushed with a baby filly nose. Her nose is tiny, a lot like an Arabian’s, except it’s due to her still being a baby. I assume that as she gets older, her face will continue to mature naturally and she’ll lose some of the delicateness. But for now, her head is the epitome of what she is: small, sweet, beautiful, delicate and innocent.

“I think you should be a dressage horse. You look like one. If not, you’ll make a great children’s schoolmaster,” I told her as I scratched between her ears.
Really? She tipped an ear towards me as she stared at me unblinkingly, her baby eyes full of wonder and curiosity. If I had to describe her in one word, it would be feminine. Everything about her is pretty, from her little hooves, the long lashes, to her quiet, gentle personality. Fillies are known for being living, breathing, kicking nightmares, but not this one.

“Gotta go.” I drew my hand back, then spontaneously leaned forward a little and touched a quick kiss to her soft nose. Her ears perked up and her liquid brown eyes brightened even more in surprise, but she didn’t move or pull away. I smiled and walked away as she followed me as far as her pasture went. Anyone who ends up with this one is going to be one lucky person, so they’d better treat her well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Desolation of Smaug - A Review

I want to take a moment to talk to you people about the film that opened last week and according to Box Office Mojo has made a domestic total of over $96,000,000 and is currently the reigning king of the box office: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

I’m not going to bother with much organization here, but I will keep the visible text spoiler free so if you haven’t seen the film yet, you may proceed safely. Just don’t highlight that last bit until you’ve seen the film, and if you can’t resist, dude that’s all on you.

I was so excited to see this film last weekend. The first one was wonderful; I enjoyed every second of it. This one however, too many flaws. It annoyed me. A lot. I accidentally kicked the seat-back in front me a couple times out of irritation. Sorry dude who sat in front of me. It wasn’t personal, I  promise. My foot just attacked your seat without my consent. (In my defense however, I didn’t kick very hard at all. I think.)

Why the film irritated me in one sentence: deviations from the original story, less than perfect CGI in several places, and really just too much made-up action and storylines and too little original Tolkien. It's such a shame because this film is overall a beautiful piece of work; Jackson really has great taste and style in film-making. I have a lot of respect for him and his work. The cinematography is great, the sets outstanding, acting also great, makeup - very nice (good job on contouring and highlighting those elf faces), scores as usual wonderfully done, but script? Meh.

Tauriel's story and addition to the company is not one that I personally liked very much, at least not the particular twist they threw in. Also, aside from one major problem being settled in this film, all other ends are left open and unresolved and the ending comes about at a most irritating time.

Speaking of Tauriel, the lovely Evangeline Lilly gave an interview here where she made some really interesting remarks about her fake Tolkien character, and throughout the article I was all,

Ah ha.
Yes, yes, I get that.
Okay fine that makes some sense.
Well at least I now have a better idea as to what their ideas were.
Your people really thought all these replies through, didn’t they?

But then I just look back at the film and want to scream, “WHY?” It’s really the same issue I have with the trilogy. Beautiful films through and through, but good grief man, why must you wander away from the story and do this to us?

I mean, I totally get it. Marketing strategy, for one. Example: Bloom is nice to look at. He has a big fan base. His character has a big fan base. Character and nice face making an appearance in a film where most of said character and face fan base is even though he doesn’t appear in The Hobbit story? Win-win.  Same thing with their created elven character. Strong female roles sell well. Also, personal ideas, forward thinking in what’s best for the film, Other People with power and money have a say in what’s in and out as well and a million other things are taken into account and all have a hand, foot and tooth in the making of a film but that doesn’t stop me (and many, many other die hard Tolkien fans) from getting thoroughly pissed.

I can respect this as a film, but as a follow-up to the first one that stayed so true to the original story this just went too far off the other end and as a result many of the characters ended up in situations that their original personalities per their original storylines just wouldn't take them. As a fan of the books, this was disappointing. However, those who griped and whined about the first film being too slow and the general audience who is not an avid fan of Tolkien, this film will probably be more to their liking.

When it comes down to it, all I can say is: enjoy the film for being an amazing piece of artistry. If you are only going to see it once and want to see it in the best way possible, IMAX 3D is where it’s at. However, Tolkien book fans, I’m afraid we’re all pretty much going to agree that this one kinda sucks.

I gave the film a 3 1/2 on Flixster, mostly for the artistry. The first was a 5, for everything. That, and the collective gasps, sighs and general noises of irritation that filled the theater at the end of The Desolation of Smaug pretty much sums it all up.

Additional gripes which are spoilers:

Gandalf going into Dol Guldur by himself – worst CGI of the film and people, please. Gandalf is smarter than that.

Tauriel and Kili. I just can’t. The whole idea of it still blows my mind as horrendously stupid that I still have a hard time finding the right words to express my extreme displeasure. 

The dwarves and Bilbo summoning their inner masochistic Latin dudes and trying to take down Smaug all by themselves (for real! Or fake, because it’s completely made up). They’re supposed to be smarter than that too. At least, much smarter than trying to kill a fire-breathing beast with liquid gold. I mean, really? The creature has fire INSIDE of him. Tell me again why you think you can somehow scald him to death?

Thought so.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

People Forget

You know, it’s funny how we forget.
How when the mind looks back, all it wants to see is what was good.
People always say remember the good old days
But in reality, there never were any good old days.
We just remember what was good.
We forget that the past had just as much poison as our present
And let our hearts be the filter as the mind sifts away all that was wrong,
Because history is all the proof that we need to see
There has never been such a thing as “the good old days”.
People fight and covet, steal and murder
They make big mistakes, and then they make even bigger mistakes
They enjoy times of good peace in the midst of such stress.
Is that really any different from our world of today?

It’s just unfathomable, yet completely comprehensible, how we forget.
We forget the worst of the past in the midst of the worst of the present
We forget that the past had horrible things too
Because all we see is the discontent we are in at the moment.
But sometimes in that moment we do remember the worst of the past
And all at once our worlds can come crashing down because suddenly we realize
We built fake worlds of Past and Present, and in one step we found the flaw
So now they come crashing down.
You know, the mind has this filter
People are obsessed with pleasure.
It wants to remember what was good
Because deep down
We all have wished that only the good was reality.
In the quicksand of time
The forward march of seconds,
Our memories wind down
Our heartbeats slow
The mind forgets
All but a few.
We remember the good days
Because they were good days.
But I think that’s just a little sad.
How could we even fully know what is good
If bad never existed to show us?

It’s strange how people forget.