Sunday, May 4, 2008
Cloudy and cool
Nothing like waking up on Derby Day with a migraine. And I mean the Anytime-you-want-to-stop-jabbing-that-icepick-in-my-eye-
Skipping out was not an option.
To backtrack a bit: The show was fine Friday night. I said my farewells to the actor who’s leaving the show (while I’m covering the Preakness). I was surprised he remembered that it was our last show together, but he did. Hopefully, our paths will cross again – he’s one of the good ones, both on and off stage. I’ll probably send something over to his opening night this summer.
Finished The Summoner. It follows high fantasy quest tradition, and it does so well. There’s some wonderfully imaginative and inventive stuff in there. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. There were a few lapses of logic I found difficult to roll with, but perhaps they were set deliberately in order to set up something in a future book. And the copy editor should be fired. It is inexcusable that a book on the store shelves should mix up “where” and “were” AND have such a high rate of typos. I was furious, especially on behalf of the author, who I am sure pointed all of these out in the galleys. Obviously, the manuscript was only run through spell check and a copy editor didn’t actually sit there and read it. The amount of mistakes in books lately is truly, truly appalling. When I pay full price for a book, I expect all the steps in the production process to be taken, and I expect the book to be free of typos.
Yesterday morning, I had to go grocery shopping before the race card began because I needed cat food and had to make the stuff for the party.
I had trouble getting going, though. I was overtired, which meant I couldn’t retain body heat, so I was freezing and shivering. Rethought my clothing and opted for something warmer, but still spent most of the day wrapped in a horse’s blanket (don’t ask, really, my on-site colleagues are going to be teasing me about it until I’m ninety).
I got some potentially positive responses to some ads I recently answered, so that’s sorted. Llewellyn’s hired me for a 2010 calendar piece. That’s sorted. I may be working for a travel site. I’m up for a script job. All good.
I was late getting to the races because I received bad news from a friend that another close friend’s father died last night. So I wanted to see what I could do.
The races were quite interesting, for the most part, and, prediction-wise, I did pretty well.
Although I had Big Brown in my picks as a safety, I honestly didn’t think he’d keep his head together enough to win. The fact that he did indicates he could very well be one of the “freak” horses.
The tragedy of the day was the death of Eight Belles. As the day progressed, I fell more and more in love with her: Her beauty, her poise, her intelligence. She was radiant. I went from thinking she’d finish ninth or tenth in the Derby to believing she could be in the top three.
She came in second – then fell, breaking both front ankles, and had to be euthanized on the track. Completely heartbreaking. But, it’s about time the general public see the dark side of horse racing, with both Barbaro’s accident two years ago and this one. Positive change will not come in this sport, and certainly not quickly enough, unless tens of thousands of people realize what’s going on.
Banning horse racing is not, in my opinion, the answer. Banning the sport would result in tens of thousands of horses going to the slaughterhouse, which is certainly worse than what’s happening now. The price of dog food would go down, but it would be an equine holocaust.
But changes need to be made over a period of months, not decades, which is how long it’s been taking. The well-being of both horses and jockeys needs to be taken more seriously by the industry as a whole. Individual trainers and owners are doing what they can do, but until the rules change – and they haven’t, for the most part, since the 1800’s – the mortality rate will continue to rise.
Unfortunately, it’s corporations making the profits in the sport, not the individual owners, trainers, and jockeys who actually take the risk. And, as in the rest of our society, the corporate executives don’t care as long as they can make obscene amounts of money to pay off their wives and sustain their mistresses.
Until the corporate culture is destroyed, our society, as a whole, is going down the road of Rome. And we all see how well that turned out.
Only our ruins won’t last for centuries.
I was not in the mood for a party after the races. I came home and was in bed by 8:30. I stayed in bed for nearly twelve hours. Not always asleep – I was plagued by bad dreams. But exhausted. And I don’t feel much better today.
I’m sad: sad for Eight Belles; sad for the deaths of my friends’ parents over the last few weeks; sad because my grandmother is getting worse.
I have an article and a review to write. And then I have to finish packing for Maine. The next few weeks are going to be busy, some good, some difficult.
On a positive side, as I was driving to and from the grocery store yesterday, I got an aha! moment as far as Yuri’s Tale: Gunslinger Cole Larkin’s backstory was revealed to me, and I’m starting to figure out the structure. This book is certainly a challenge. Not in a bad way, but a challenge.
All I want to go is to go back to bed, but I’ve got work to do before I leave for Maine.