That Broken Tooth Again….

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to knowing that Saleem has a broken tooth. I had hoped that having the vet check up on it last month, and finding nothing wrong, would have eased my mind a bit, but truth is, it didn’t.

Looking back, to before the tooth broke, Saleem has always been a bit of a troubled eater. I have had his teeth checked two times a year and there has almost always been issues, or even wounds on the inside of his cheeks, once the vet opened his mouth. At times, even though he had just been checked, he would have moments where he wouldn’t eat, for unexplained reasons. For an hour or two, he would simply hang back, refusing to open his mouth, until he suddenly seemed to get over whatever it was, and ate as if nothing was wrong.

He has been driving me crazy with this behaviour before he broke his tooth, he has, but still…

Knowing that he HAS a broken tooth, is killing me. Every time he doesn’t eat as fast as he should, or if he spits out some rolled up hay balls while eating, or if he is simply not too hungry and can’t be bothered, I am about ready to fall apart.

The last two days, he has been strange at the evening feeding. At morning he has been eating perfectly normally, but the last two evenings, he has seemed, disinterested, he has been spitting out hay balls and he has been chewing a bit funny. I have been staring my eyes out at him, sniffing around his mouth, wondering if the broken tooth has become infected.

He doesn’t smell bad from the mouth. And he eats in the morning. Why then, does he seem unhappy at the evening feeding time? And does he? Or am I just driving myself insane?

I keep asking myself one question. If money was not an issue, what would I do? Am I not driving him to a hospital, because of the huge bill that will be waiting down that road, or am I honestly keeping him at home because I don’t think he would survive the sedation? What if I had all the money in the world, would I take that chance on his behalf then?

Saleem has had some very bad reactions to sedation in the past. I truly dare not hospitalize him. I fear that my chances of bringing him back home again are too small. I don’t think he can recover from the sedation, if he needs to be put under, have his jaw broken and the tooth operated out through his cheek. And should he survive, that is a LOT of pain he needs to go through in recovery afterwards.

The answer is no. Even if I had all the money in the world, I wouldn’t have hospitalized him unless I absolutely had to. I drove home from the stable today, crying all the way, terrified that if he doesn’t start eating normally again, at evenings as well, I WILL have to… And I just don’t know if he can survive it. I am scared senseless that the broken tooth will get infected and I will have my hand forced. I will chose to operate. I will fight for him all the way, if I must, I know that in my heart, but at the moment, I do believe I am doing the one thing I know I can, to help him survive the best. Nothing.

But for how long can I do that?

I know a lot of horses who has lived with a broken tooth, or a missing tooth, and never had problems with it. My old Pikant had a missing tooth and it never bothered him. My lovely mare Amalia had a broken tooth and it was never infected in the 14 years I had the privilege of knowing her. Why then, do I have such a terrible feeling about Saleem? Why can’t he just eat and be happy for the next fifteen years? Please?

Haven’t we earned a little happiness after all? This November it is two years since Apollon crashed and burned, and died within a month, never leaving me a fighting chance, even though my vet and I fought with everything we had. Two years, is that what we get?

Or can Saleem please come out on the other side of this, never having to go through this horrible surgery? I’ll worry for the rest of his life, but that’s okay. As long as he is here, as long as he is happy and pain free, I’ll find a way to handle it. I will.

Just don’t let him have complications. Please. Don’t let him need surgery.

After all, the tooth broke at the beginning of August. It’s too late now, to get infected. It is. It has to be… The vet said he was fine on September 10th. Why is he eating funny now?

I am not going to get much sleep tonight… And add to that, I just discovered that Apocalipse is finally changing his “four year” teeth and it kind of looks… iffy. The new tooth is not pushing the old tooth away as it should, it seems to be growing out next to the old tooth instead. That could be annoying…

But well, we will see. This evening, I am babysitting my mom’s dog, who cannot be alone at any time, and who has spent the last four hours whimpering because I am the wrong mommy. Maybe I am just a little frazzled right now. I think I should just watch My Little Pony on Netflix and stop thinking so much. And I will. Right after I have complained to my telephone company, who managed to send me the second bill this month, claiming amongst other things that I have had 12 outgoing calls this month, which I KNOW I haven’t, and when I check my phone, is says I have had four. So either the company has made a mistake, or someone is using my number. If the latter is the case, and you are reading along, please feel free to fuck off. I believe I have had enough trouble with ghosts on my computer lately, I do not need anyone using my phone…

Happy Wednesday everyone. I will return shortly, in a better mood, that is a promise.  By the way, the treatment I got for Tarids and her skin infection is WORKING! I’ll make sure to get pictures of her soon, without a bald spot in her face. So on that happy note, time to watch some cartoons… And wait for my mom to come and get her dog. It’s a Mexican hairless, by the way, with hair, so it’s kind of excused, being so small, there can’t be a lot of brain space… I am sure that if you Google “unintelligent” there must be a picture of this particular dog as the perfect explanation…

No, to be fair, he has been good today, not nearly as annoying to watch as he usually is. And that is saying a lot.

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Rain & A Foal

I think I mentioned it briefly before, but we got a new neighbour across the street, one that has horses. The first day, where the new horses moved in, it took my kids a while to see them, but once they discovered that there was something across the street, they were enthralled.

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The horses across the street includes a foal. A very, very hyperactive foal, which my horses never tire of looking at.

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And once the foal discovered my horses, and it was done running at high speed around the pasture, it started calling out for my horses. These days, Tardis spends a lot of time, watching the foal, and once she leaves the corner of my pasture were they can see each other, the foal calls for her. In a way, that is amazingly cute. (The foal is not alone on its pasture.)

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In other news, the rain set in, kicking off the fall in Denmark, by drowning everything. Even my well drained pasture has taken more water in some places than it could hold. The horses don’t mind though.

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I always found it funny, that when given the choice between a dry pasture or a minor lake, my horses are drawn to the water… They could have just stayed away from the water for a day or two, and it would have dried up, but no, that’s not how we roll…

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So here we are, beginning to wish for winter to set in soon, with a bit of frost and hopefully, less rain. At least I am. My horses doesn’t complain. Apologies for all the pictures being cell phone pictures, I haven’t brought my camera out into the rain lately…

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Twilight Imperium – Board Game

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I haven’t played a lot of board games in my life. Mostly Harry Potter games, which are quite funny… Anyway, when my sister asked if Aston and I wanted to play Twilight Imperium with her and her boyfriend and one of her friends, I was curious. Aston said yes instantly, having played a lot of board games and always wanted to try this one.

So, basically, the objective is to conquer the universe one galaxy at the time, with your fleet, all the while earning victory points, because without them, you don’t win the game. I kind of like the idea that it is not a game where you have to beat up your fellow players without mercy, to win it, but it is about earning victory points the fastest.

That is about all I like about this game and let me start by saying, there is nothing fast about it. We played it for 12 hours straight and it only ended because Aston played the end game card in the end, having been lucky enough to draw it and thus being able to end the game. I even tried to kill myself twice, but the game wouldn’t even let me die…

Here is the thing. No, actually there is a lot of things wrong with this game, first of all the rules.

There are too many, too unspecified, the same word doesn’t mean the same thing, on two different cards, and too many of the rules are left to be questioned. We ended up in a situation more than once where one player played a card and another played a card that may counter the first card, and then no one knew what would happen because the description wasn’t clear.

I will say too, I have never before encountered a game where the language was an obstacle for me, most of the time I am pretty good at English, but in this game, I found myself reading every card over and over, simply not taking in what it read on them, not understanding the rule that was – not – being explained.

I got the strong feeling that to understand this game, you have to have a photographic memory, read and remember the rule books, and what it says on the cards doesn’t matter then. Us mere mortals, we simply can’t learn a rule book from cover to cover, which is why an explanation should be possible on the cards, but it really wasn’t written in a way so that mere mortals would understand it.

I found that through most of the game, I felt blindsided, because I didn’t know the rules, and every time I picked up an action card, or a diplomatic card, or any other card, I felt that there might me more to it that I understood from reading the description. A good board game should explain itself along the way, and not leave anything hidden from its players. I felt that my greatest opponent as I was wasting 12 hours of my life, was the game itself. That is bad. Really, really bad.

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The turn system is confusing as well. One of our players kept misunderstanding when it was his turn, what he could do and how a turn ended. Other than it being confusing it is designed to make the game longer. What it really does is prolong the agony.

Once a turn starts, the first player does something. It can be moving the fleet or building something for instance. Once this player has done one thing, the next player does one thing as well and so forth, but that is not the end of the turn. Once all players has done one thing, the first player can do another thing, and then the next, until all players has nothing left to do. That means that with five players, one turn took about an hour at least, all players having four or five turns in one turn.

What could speed up the game a lot, and make it much more interesting to participate in, was if the turns were different. Simply let one player move all his pieces at once, let him build and be done whit his turn. That would make the other players much more alert, it would make it interesting to watch (and a lot of the time you spend just watching the others,) and it would cut down on the time spent on each turn a LOT.

And then, the Victory Points. Like I said, they are a good idea, but really, they don’t work in this game. The idea that most of the time, at the end of each turn, you can only claim one Victory Point is ludicrous.  That means that if you play to nine Victory Points, (until the first player gets nine and wins), it will at least take you nine fucking hours, if that player gets a point at the end of every single round. It means to, that there is no possibilities of catching up, if you get left behind at the beginning. Once you are just two or three points behind, how could you ever hope to overtake someone then?

It is not a game that leaves you a lot of fighting options.

Which makes it long, slow and pointless.

Another thing that got on my nerves about this particular game, is player etiquette. This game has no rules, protecting its players, and if you play with someone who is a bit of an asshole, (no offence,) you can be played out very quickly. My sister, for instance, was attacked very early in the game, by her neighbour and he destroyed her army and took her home system. Now, that is just uncool game-man-ship.  It left her playing along for the remaining 10 hours, without a fighting chance. All she could do was sit on her last planet with her ground force and smile. For ten fucking hours. Uncool. Really. And the game doesn’t offer any chances for someone to get back in the game when something like this happens.

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I could have easily done the same to my neighbour, but I chose not to. I don’t find that kind of playing funny at all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind fair battles, I don’t mind at the end of the game, to kick the other players asses, but that would be by the end of the game, not the beginning, no matter how strategically clever that may be. Let’s be honest, in an all day game like this one, the main objective must be for all players to have a good time. Nothing else should matter more. Being kicked off the face of the universe early on, can’t be much fun at all.

Speaking of player etiquette, this game has a lot of  options if you want to disable your opponents. Like, for instance, you can play the Trade card, and cancel another players trade agreements, and forbid the other players to trade with said player. Again, that is a funny idea, but it doesn’t work in praxis unless you have some grown up players who knows when it is okay to use it and not and who can handle having it used against them as well. I had my trade agreements cancelled by one of the other players, and it didn’t really bother me, since I didn’t really need it, but when, much later in the game, I played the card against the player who had cancelled me, after he had snuck up on my army, and used all the rules he knew and I didn’t to back stab me, he got angry at me for playing the trade card. I have very low tolerance for that kind of playing.

First of all, in an introduction game, which this was, since three of us had never played it before, you help each other, you explain the rules, and you warn your neighbours before you sneak attack them, making sure that everyone has a fair chance. Once you all know the game and the rules, THEN you get to the back stabbing. Or maybe that is just me, but stealing victories because the other players doesn’t know every single rule, must feel a bit hollow. And again, it doesn’t help serve the purpose of all players having a good time during the game.

So, in conclusion. This game could be fixed. It could be sped up, the rules could be adjusted and then, maybe it could work, but as it is, even with both expansions, it is drawn out, pointless, insanely boring and leaves ignoble players far too many options when it comes to making sure that someone has not having fun at all.

And it is a shame. Because the idea of the game, is kind of cool. As a computer game, I would totally play it, because the computer would know the rules and nothing on the cards would be debatable and you wouldn’t feel blindsided even if something didn’t make perfect sense at first.

As a computer game, I would still want to be able to earn Victory Points faster though.

Anyway, I tried it. And I am not playing it again anytime soon. Maybe someday, with some other players, who understand the point of a strategy game, and who will be willing to change the rules to make it winnable within a reasonable time limit, but as it is now, my life is simply too short for that. I would rather play Heroes of Might and Magic  on my computer, or Harry Potter board games with my girl friends. At least that is funny, even when you lose, because you have a fighting chance all the way.

And before I just sound like a sore loser, I didn’t lose. I actively threw my army at an opponent twice, desperately trying to leave the game before night fall, as I was due at the stable, and I would much rather go feed the horses in the rain than finish this game, even if I was way ahead with the Victory Points at the time.

And I couldn’t even kill myself. What kind of a game doesn’t leave you with a suicide option? Can I please start banging my head against the wall, any wall? Or might there be a debatable rule about that as well?

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Dracula Untold- Movie

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My boyfriend was always into monsters much more than me. To be honest, the only vampire books I have ever read, is Twilight. I will admit, my boyfriend was a bit horrified to realize that I had not read Dracula. I just don’t like blood, you know? Twilight is kind of cute little vampires… Bram Stoker’s Dracula is mean. I know, I saw the movie with Gary Oldman… And I saw Van Helsing, and lots of other vampire/lycan movies. I do love fantasy and the idea of buying eternal life at a terrible prize…

Anyway, when my boyfriend told me about Dracula Untold, he was kind of snickering, saying “look, it’s Orlando Bloom, but it could be cool anyway…” Don’t get me wrong, but we have watched a lot of Disney Chanel and Orlando is kind of a standing joke in most of the series, always the object of any teenage girls, teenage dreams. That, and he played in Lord of the Rings, and the massacre that is now the Hobbit… No, my boyfriend, who is a true geek, is not too big a fan of Orlando. To be honest, I am a bit of a teenage girl when it comes to it. I always liked him somehow, with his awkward body language, the way he tends to over act when he delivers his lines, and the way he went through the entire LOTR trilogy with one single facial expression.  So, monster movie, or not, blood or not, I had to go see this one, just because it was Orlando Bloom. Yeah, I am that girl. Both Twilight and Orlando Bloom… I should grow up already.

Refusing to do so, I saw Dracula Untold today. It is really great.

I don’t often leave the cinema being this positive. It is a really good movie, and mostly so, because of Orlando. Or, should I say, Luke Evans, who plays Dracula… It’s not Orlando. I could have sworn when I watched the trailer, and the movie, that it wasn’t, but my boyfriend was rather stubborn about it… He did have me fooled for a while. Thank you, Evil Icequeen, for setting me straight :)

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Spoiler alert.

So, how did Dracula become a vampire? I haven’t read the book, but I always thought that Dracula was the first, the original, the one… In this movie, he is not. In this movie, he is a boy who has been taken away from home at a young age, handed to the Turks, and raised in their army. Beaten and mistreated, he still carries the scars on his back as a grown man, but he did become a great warrior. A man others feared greatly. Or so we are told.

Except, no one really does seem to fear him. His own men keep dropping snide remarks around him, which seems a bit odd, unless they were really close friends, which doesn’t truly add up with the introduction, but it is forgivable somehow.

And once the Turks come to claim a thousand boys, including Vlad’s own son, they don’t fear him either, at all. So really, he is a bit of a hollow legend at the beginning of the movie, but it is forgivable, simply because it is entertaining and kind of evil, considering that it is a Hollywood production.

Refusing to surrender his son, and let him be raised the way he was himself, Vlad seeks out the monster who lives in a cave nearby. He knows that the Turks will attack his people, when they don’t deliver the children, and so he must gain power somehow to defend his people.

All in a noble cause. Like he says, in a pretty cool scene, sometimes this world doesn’t need a hero. Sometimes it needs a monster.

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True. And if he had been a monster, that would have been awesome! He just… isn’t.

He is in many ways, a classic modern hero, despite his fangs. He is forced to become what he is, he doesn’t embrace it and accept it, he fights it all the way, and in the end, he even tries to kill himself. I mean, come on, be the monster the world needs, then.

He does kill a lot of people, no doubt about that. He does have a brilliant scene where he is using bats to kill the enemy army. That is really cool and really awesome acting. That is a monster, embracing his power for a moment.

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I like the idea of the power struggle, of the darkness in ones soul, taking over, don’t get me wrong. It’s just… he is Dracula. He is an unstoppable force.  The one. The original. A monster.

Not another Hollywood unwilling hero, please.

I did find the vampire curse itself a bit strange as well. I mean, the guy who turns him into a vampire is bound to live in a cave and cannot leave until someone takes his curse. Enter Vlad, who is in desperate need of strength.  I was thinking, but wait a second, if that other guy can’t leave the cave, why can Vlad then? Why is he not bound by the same rules as the original curse?

And then there is the sensitiveness to silver. Somehow, silver seems to drain vampires of their powers and even burn their skin. That’s a little too Lycan for me, but what do I know…

The scene where Vlad faces his old army body, the leader of the Turk army, in a room full of silver, is kind of… Hollywood again. Vlad has to become weak, even as this unstoppable monster, and in the end, he has to overcome his weakness to defeat the bad guy. Come on… its Dracula… You have to be Van Helsing to present a problem to him.

I do love how this is real vampires who cannot go out into the sun light, without burning and who cannot face a crucifix. None of that Twilight sparkle stuff. (As a true My Little Pony fan, I must giggle now. Twilight Sparkle… it’s a good thing I can always amuse myself…)

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The scene where his wife dies is pretty cool. The entire fall is awesome. How he reaches for her, how she is just out of reach. Really well done, except for one thing. The sun has risen on the third day.

He will die when he reaches the bottom? Won’t he?

That was the rules for the game, when the old vampire changed him. If he could resist the blood lust for three days, he would have a vampires power for those three days, but by sunrise on the third day, he would return to being human. That would give him time to defeat his enemies and walk away unchanged. Perfect. Unless your wife falls off a tower and you go hunting after her as the sun is rising…

That is one of the things I hate about Hollywood movies these days. Everything doesn’t happen in the nick of time anymore, it is always too late and it violates the rules of the universe. “By sunrise.” We have been told that quite a few times. Why is the spell not broken by sunrise then? Why must it be that it isn’t broken until Vlad has had a chance to chase his wife down the tower, say goodbye and bite her, thus becoming a vampire in the end anyway, long after he should have missed his opportunity to make the spell permanent?

I expected him to die, all the way down, and it ruined the beauty of the scene for me. As a writer, such violation of the “game,” is something I find hard to accept.

So, should you watch it?

YES.

Don’t mind me. It is awesome.

It is not a movie you should think about too much, but it is entertaining, it is beautifully shot, loads of great scenes, great animations, (it takes a lot for me to say that,) lots of details in every picture.

And Orlando Bloom is brilliant as Batman… I mean, Dracula. And Luke Evans… oh snap, never mind…

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I for one, can’t wait for the sequel. Which by the way, will be set in modern times? That old vampire who turned Dracula into a vampire has been waiting for quite a few years for the “games to begin,” as his catch phrase is… But never mind. It works, in its own, cheesy kind of way.

So don’t miss out, really. Go watch it.

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Excuses

It’s been a mild fall this year. Actually, it’s been great. Warm weather, not much rain, (until now,) the grass has been growing, the horses has been growing fat, from grazing and the awesome hay I got my hands on, not to mention how they have been growing up and all…

I really should be riding. There has been no reason why I shouldn’t be. I just haven’t. Usually, in October, I have the perfect excuse of the winter setting in, with rain and storm and frost, and the whole “welcome to Denmark, you will hate the weather here,” routine, but this year, I am fresh out of excuses so I had to ask myself, why?

Why am I not riding my horses at the moment? The answer is simple, really. Because I don’t want to. So why is that?

I have been wondering a bit about that. I keep telling myself that Apocalipse is only four, he shouldn’t be ridden anyway, anymore than he already has been. And it’s true. He shouldn’t. Fair enough, that was one down. What about Tardis then?

She is five, she is slightly overweight, in desperate need of some muscle building on her topline and her belly after she had Ablaze a year and a half ago. I totally should ride her. I really should. And then again, I can always use the growing up excuse. She is only five. She is not done growing and with having had a foal at such a young age, she might need more time to develop than an ordinary five year old. Truth is, unless she develops laminitis from being chubby, it is not hurting her not to be ridden at the moment… It may even do her good.

See how I explain everything away? Then there is Saleem of course. With the small swelling in his left hind hook, and my vet guessing it to be mild arthritis (at seven years old, due to the position of his legs, which my Ferrier has been battling for years,) I kind of, sort of lost the will to peruse dressage and jumping or any kind of “at home” training with Saleem. I don’t want to add to his problems, by wearing down his joints, by riding in circles, even if my pasture is big, the wear on his joints is greater at home, than on the road. So when I have been riding him, it has been in a cordeo at home, to learn the signals, or on the road… straight forward, into the wild.

Saleem loves going out. I should ride him more. He loves seeing the world. So why don’t I?

At the moment, the best excuse I can come up with, is that someone *cough, Apocalipse cough* keeps walking on Saleem’s back. Yeah, you read that right. These days, when I show up at my stable, Saleem has a new cut down his back every other day, from a hoof,  right where I would put a saddle… and we can’t put a saddle on the top of a wound, and we can’t go on the road without our saddle, because we just got a new neighbour and they have a mare and a hyper active foal, who is bound to make Saleem remember that he is in fact a pure bred Arabian and well… tons of excuses to stay home at the moment. All of them sort of valid, but none of them I couldn’t work around, if I really wanted to.

So why don’t I?

I guess the truth of truth’s are just that I am a strange kind of person. I have my periods where I write on my books and work like crazy, and hate it when something tears me away from my computer screen and I have periods where I hardly open my draft books, and where I jump through hoops to go riding my horses, even if it rains. I am just not a stable kind of person when it comes to writing and riding.

I have asked myself if I am honestly losing interest in horses and the simple answer is, yes, I lost interest in horses years ago. I hate the equestrian world and everything about it. I hate how most horses are frustrated and misunderstood on a daily basis, even by people who mean well.

The thing is though, my five horses are my world. I haven’t lost interest in them. Not at all. But I do, once in a while, lose interest in riding. These days, I enjoy our time together, I love sitting on the pasture, watching them eat, I love hugging the foal, (who is hardly a foal anymore,) I love everything about my horses and once in a while I do take Tardis or Saleem for a ride and I know in my heart that come spring, I will put my books away again and ride my horses once more.

Right now though, I need a break and I need to not feel guilty about it. That is another thing about the equestrian world. I grew up learning that you must ride your horse every day, no matter the weather, no excuses, and if you couldn’t, someone else would have to ride it for you because the horse had to be kept busy at all times. How else was it going to win ribbons?

Having let go of the ribbon chasing part of the equestrian world, I have to admit, I find it harder to let go of the guilt when I don’t train my horses. I should do something. Grooming and feeding and hugging hardly counts.

But it does though. It is what I need to do right now. And it is not hurting them, in fact, since they are young, and Saleem may be developing arthritis, it may be a good thing to take some time off. While I try and save up enough money between my hay bills, my vet bills and my Ferrier bills to get Saleem started on Cortaflex. I am going to fight for his future with every weapon I have. He will be here for the next fifteen years and he will be fit and happy the entire time. I will make it happen.

And I will not feel guilty for not riding him more than three or four times a month, which to be honest, is what I have been doing lately. I will write my books, kiss my horses and try and let go of that rest piece of me that has been raised in the equestrian world.

At least I hope so. Proving that I was in fact raised in the equestrian world, I have to add, that my horses live on a pasture, in an open barn, so before anyone feels sorry for them, they walk and exercise and play with each other all day and night. They are never bored and never alone and never locked up. And I have to say that, because I know, everything I do is wrong, unless I explain it, that is how we roll, us equestrians. Judging each other and ourselves at all times.

I guess it is not only my horses who has some growing up to do.

So do I.

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My Little Pony- Friendship Is Magic – Series

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Season One.

I have to admit, I don’t like the new My Little Ponies. You know, the generation 4. They look like bats. Or cats. Certainly not like ponies…

I always loved the old ponies, generation one, and their movies. You know, back in the day, where the evil dark lord would haunt down the ponies, cover them in darkness and turn them into dragons, forcing them to pull his carriage. Back in those truly evil days, where the ponies were so mean to each other, they truly felt like real little girls. Haven’t we all snickered when Baby Lickety- Split  messed up the dance routine, ruined the show and was told off for it, being told that she ruined everything and that they could never trust her again, sending her crying from the show? And it can’t just have been the Danish translation. Ah, those were the days… Where My Little Pony were cute looking and more evil than any other children’s show you could come across.

I discovered Netflix recently, and on Netflix, is the Friendship is Magic series. That is My Little Pony, g4. I have to admit, I sneak peaked. You know, just because everybody keep telling me that it’s a good series and I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to like it. I am so disappointed in the ponies themselves, how could the series be any good?

It really is. I surrender. It’s a great show. My boyfriend even watched a lot of the first season with me. He even came by last night and asked me if I would stop writing so we could watch My Little Pony. If he didn’t get the evil glory of the old series, he sure finds this new one amusing.

Which is mostly, what it is. Amusing.

Twilight Sparkle is the main character. She is kind of the bookworm, studying magic, and writing to Princess Celestia about her studies on friendship at the end of every episode.

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She also has Spike, our all time baby dragon, who was a baby dragon when I was a child and still is, apparently. But it is okay that Spike never grows up. He is more than a side kick in this series, he is a real character, which is pretty cool.

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Spike is in love with the pretty Rarity, who is the fashion designer of the group, the one who always looks perfect at all times.

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Pinkie Pie is at all times just funny, always over the top, singing (out of key, just like back in the old days,) at the top of her lungs, never walking like an ordinary pony, always jumping about like a rabbit. You got to love her, just because she never stops being her annoying self.

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Those three are the three I identify with the least though.

Applejack was an old hero of mine. Back in my time, Applejack had a male voice in the Danish translation, and as such, I grew up thinking he was a boy. Meeting Applejack now, a redneck girl, is pretty awesome. Applejack is such a cowgirl, you won’t believe it. She is just awesome, from the top of her cowboy hat, to her applebucking tail. And her accent… She is one of the ponies that makes the series worth watching at all times, so yes, Applejack remains a hero of mine.

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Another pony I identify with is Fluttershy. A Pegasus pony who is afraid of heights, who is too shy to speak to most other ponies, but have a way with animals, because of her gentle nature. She has her moments, where I see myself in her, and she has her moments where she becomes a Disney parody, singing in the forest to the animals, like a true Disney  Princess. Which is always awesome.

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And then we have Rainbow Dash, of course, my high flyer. Full speed ahead, always looking to prove herself, and her talent, Rainbow Dash tends to be rather insensitive towards the others at most times, but in such a way that you can’t help but just smile and shake your head and love her for it… I believe I was that girl for quite some time. I am not sure I haven’t turned into a Twilight these days, but Rainbow has dreams and goals and she aims for the sky. I love her for that.

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The stories are mostly just cute and entertaining. Granted, the first two episodes felt almost like the old series, with a dark Princess Luna, covering the world in darkness and you know, muahahaha and stuff… But it sort of went away. I keep waiting for Luna to show up again, but she doesn’t… Maybe in season two, fingers crossed. I know I will watch it, that is for sure.

Why? Because it isn’t just a children’s series. It is full of very adult references, that will make you snicker when you least expect it. And because it is cute, entertaining and most importantly, it is My Little Pony. You even forgive them their cat like looks in the cartoons. I am feeling my resolve slip when it comes to the ponies themselves as well. I am collecting g1 and g3 ponies. Not g4, they are ugly. But I already have a Rainbow Dash.

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Maybe, I should just get an Applejack as well? And a Shutterfly? And maybe a Rarity, she is sooo pretty, even as a cat… and then, how can I not get a Pinkie Pie and  Twilight? And I have been looking up Princess Luna on ebay for quite some time now…

So let that be a warning. If you are a My Little Pony collector, don’t watch them. You will get sucked in. But if you are not a collector and just wants to gain some insight in the female version of friendship, or be entertained and amused, go watch it. Now.

You will only regret it a little, once you realize how much you actually enjoy it.

Thank you, Netflix.

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Casshern- Movie

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My boyfriend has a thing for Asian movies and once in a while he somehow makes me watch one. I have to admit, I have a thing for not watching movies where I don’t understand the language, because reading subtitles all the way through, kind of spoils the focus. With a movie, especially a movie like Casshern, your eyes should be free at all times, to take in every aspect of the picture.

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Casshern is first of all, a beautiful, beautiful movie. And I am not talking about the story here, or the acting, but simply, the picture. Every single frame has such detail, you can’t help but be impressed. It has taken hours in post production to make it look like this. The colours, the land, the forest in particular, even the scenes where the robot army comes marching, are warm, red, and alluring.

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The bad guy, the blonde mutant, sure knows how to work his red cape, in an otherwise dark setting, most of the time. He has a lot of shots that are so posed he could have been in top model, (or a cartoon hero) and he would have kicked their asses, and it works. He is so choreographed, at all times, you can’t help but wonder why it doesn’t get tiresome to watch, but it doesn’t. He is picture perfect, just like the rest of the movie.

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Tetsuya is our hero, only it takes a while before you realize it, since you first meet him when he is about to go to war, mostly to spite his father. Like a true soldier, he comes home in a box, after having been party to a series of war crimes that would haunt him forever, had he lived.

Tetsuya’s father is a scientist, and has been working for the military, trying to perfect his project on Neo-Cells, a cell that can regenerate human tissue. Basically it repairs you. If you lose an eye, a neo cell will give you a new one… If you lose an arm, you will grow a new one… and so forth. Quite a nice little cell, no doubt about it. When Tetsuya comes home in a box, his father bathes his dead body in the neo cells and he is forced back to life, later taking the name Casshern, who according to legend was a protector of the people.

Now, the story in itself is not that brilliant. Suddenly the neo cells create a gang of mutants, rising out of the pools in the laboratory, only to be gunned down instantly by security. A handful of them escape, bringing with them the scientists wife, Midori. She is sick and dying, by the way, and still she teaches these new born mutants quite a lot about compassion and understanding. In the end though, she cannot stop the war alone, as the mutants stumble across and old castle, filled with robot warriors. At which point you are thinking “what idiot left them out there for someone to find?”

I don’t know, I am pretty sure something got lost in translation somewhere.

It doesn’t really matter though, because what this movie is really about is not science fantasy, it is not about mutants vs humans, it is not about neo cells or anything else. It is simply about war.

It is about how there can be no winner at any war. How people die for nothing. It is about the cruelty, the horror, the inhumanity of war. Even when Tetsuya takes it upon himself to make up for what he did as a soldier, and protect the civilians, he cannot win. Genetically mutated as he is, he is still getting his ass kicked by those who want it more.

He has a really beautiful sword fight with one of the mutants, where he makes the mutant promise that if he should win, he will help the people who live there. At which point I was thinking well, they are not going to kill t he hero. They wouldn’t. Unnamed mutant will die now… Right?

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Had it been a Hollywood movie, yes. But then I remember, all bets are off, when it comes to Japanese movies. They could very easily kill the hero. I guess that is what I love about this movie. It is nothing like anything you will see in Hollywood. You can’t anticipate what is going to happen at any time and there is no one, I repeat no one, you can trust.

So, as beautiful as this movie is, as detailed, as perfectly produced, it is cruel and heartbreaking, simply because everybody fights for nothing and no one really does win in the end.

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It isn’t pointless though. Not at all. It is a movie that makes you stop and wonder, mostly because, what if? What if a science project like the neo cells went wrong in our world? Would we welcome the mutants? Or would we try to exterminate them on sight, never giving them a chance to live?

In a lot of ways, this movie could have happened in our society. It already has. And nobody is winning. Even worse, nobody really cares anymore.

Should you watch it? Well that depends. Are you into a movie for its beautiful, artistic picture? Because then, absolutely yes. Do you like a movie that is not just action, sex and explosions, like most Hollywood movies? A move that will leave you with a lot to think about? Then yes.

It is as beautiful as it is horrible. And it is absolutely worth your time. Even if reading subtitles is tiresome…

Oh, and Natio gets points in my book for how many times he manages to flick his hair out of his eyes during this movie, in a totally girlie way, and still be one of the evil empire’s men. Got to love how Asian guys can always look cool at all times.

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I skipped talking about Luna and the mutant girl, because as much as they are the token women in the movie, they could have been left out, and it wouldn’t have made a world of difference to the story they are telling. Luna does have a lot of beautiful, beautiful scenes, with perfect light, and perfect settings, so she gets points for that. She is too, the one human to be accepted by the mutants, which is kind of a really cool scene, but in the end, she and her fellow female character, are mostly there to make it personal for the heroes.

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Which works for the mutants better than for the humans, I may add, as they seem to grieve more for their lost ones, than the humans do. The mutants does seem to, in the end, understand what it could have been like, if there had been no war. At least a few of them seem to grasp the concept of peace, better than the human race. Think about that.

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I won’t go into details about the ending, but I love it how I was on no one’s side through the entire movie, how there was no real good or evil, just two sides of a war and how they were both wrong.

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