Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Winterthur point to point

Leslie and I unexpectedly found ourselves holding tickets to the annual steeplechase at Winterthur this weekend.  We had never been and figured, "Why not? At least there will be ponies." (If they were racing hamsters, we would be there. Hell, if I hadn't gone to the point to point, I would have been in Phoenixville for the goat racing.)

I've been to cross country events before but never a steeplechase. Basically, it's a race on a grass track that involves several jumps.  On Sunday, each race consisted of one loop with eight fences and the competitors ran the loop twicetogether .  It's pretty intense--you really don't want to fall in the middle of one of these things.  However, it looked pretty thrilling.

I knew there would be shutter speed shananigans if I tried to take any movement shots here.  The first batch didn't turn out so well. I can't tell if my shutter is too slow or if the camera is focusing on the spectators behind the jump (maybe both)?

For the second race, I intentionally slowed the shutter waaaay down knowing that this would probably over-expose the shot.  I usually take my shots on the aperture-priority setting which allows the camera to pick the shutter speed to go with my aperture choice. I put the camera on complete manual mode for the first time in years and years ... not my best work.

I do love the perfect arc created by the horses in the shot directly above.  There has to be something geometrically perfect about that.

The grey horses have always, always been my favorite.

In between races, you could wander around and look at these gorgeous vintage cars--most of them were Rolls Royce, but there were a few Bentleys too ... I've never actually been near anything so expensive before now that I think about it.  (Have I? I don't think so.)

Picasa has all these new filters in its photo editing options--I forget the names of these filters, but they're fun to play with.

Leslie and I had NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR to this.  ugh.  Totally stumpifying/stupefying.  What do solidly middle class people wear to a hoity-toity outdoor event when the sky is threatening rain very much and it's not really warm but it's not really cold and winter is definitely over but it's not really summertime either?

I have no idea.  Leslie took the Kate Middleton approach with skinny jeans, flats, khaki trench, and pretty scarf.  I took the "I hate it when my feet are cold and wet approach" and based my whole outfit on boots.  It turns out that we were the only morons NOT wearing 1) strapless spring dresses  2) bare legs  3) four inch platform wedges  4) enormous straw hats and/or feathery fascinators  5) pink anything  6) seersucker anything.

Oh well.

At least my feet didn't feel soggy.

Leslie kept saying that she was partial to the beige and brown cars. Shocking.  None of the cars were Martha Blue.

Yes, that is Grey Poupon on the tray table of that car.  Leslie laughed at it ... but I couldn't tell if she really remembered those commercials or not.  (The only thing better than the 80s Grey Poupon commercials are the 80s Polaner All Fruit commercials: "Wouldja pleeze pass the jell-lay?"  YouTube-it if you have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Oh God: I really, REALLY need to get my car washed.

I don't know how this year's turn-out compares to previous years, but it looked pretty crowded to me. The best way to enjoy this event is to bring a big picnic and plenty of booze and hang out on the grass all day.  The only problem with this arrangement depends upon whether you are one of the porta-potty averse (like me).  If you hate fake bathrooms, this plan is not for you.  Leslie said people probably don't care if they drink enough, but I think I still (definitely) would.

Here they come ...

We tried to move around the huge course to see a few different races from various perspectives.

For this race, I'm pretty sure I had the camera on the aperture setting. I just kept my finger pressed down to continuously release the shutter, and then I moved the camera with the horses.

I felt out of breath just watching them.  I don't know which is more reckless: something like the Iron Hill Twilight Crit or this?  Both are pretty scary.  If I could only do one, I'd pick the steeplechase.  After this race, we headed out.  I'm not sure if I would go back ... it would be fun with the whole picnic thing, but I wouldn't allow myself to take a sip of anything due to aforementioned lack of public plumbing.  So, I don't know.

Like I said in the post right before this, you need to take advantage of the discounted frappucinos at Starbucks this week. I never buy these things because they cost too much damn money.  But, half off they're not bad.

Leslie tried the green tea and I had the mocha coconut.  I liked both, but I thought mine was better. 

Today was grey and cloudy just like yesterday, so I rewore yesterday's outfit to my last class.  I guess I'm doing something right because one of my students told me that he and the girl that sits behind him think my wardrobe is "totally fly" and more professors should wear bright colored pants "like those purple ones you have."

Technically those pants are BLUE, but at least they're paying attention to something.


Cat Lady, Esq. said...

a) OF COURSE I remember grey poupon commercials. They aren't THAT old.

b) I hate my sunglasses now.

c) Why do you care what other people wore? Speak for yourself when you call us morons. I'd call everyone else morons for teetering up and down the hill in 5 inch platforms and wearing bright summer dresses on a cool overcast day. No thanks.

Tiff said...

I like the sunglasses!
Looks like a fun event....it gets me excited for FNUTS!