My first weekend off in Louisville

It was a long week at United Tote. After signing papers for Human Resources, getting acclimated to a computer station, and figuring out what I must do, I have the weekend off. Naturally, I decided to spend my Saturday at Churchill Downs.

I really miss the coziness of the Winner’s Circle. I can get my Diet Coke for free and plug my cable into the bar. I wish there are charging outlets on the table stations. But at least the well drinks are cheap and it is smoke free.

I am debating on revising Weep No More to reflect my move to Louisville. Last year, I was lucky to visit Barbaro’s grave twice. Now, I can sit there and plot my week.

My phone needs to be charged, so I will make this post short.

Internet Limbo

After mostly unpacking my stuff, I realised I needed the Internet. I am typing this on my cell phone, which autocorrects my usual spelling and I had to return back and correct the autocorrect function. AT&T was not offered in my area, Google Fiber is installing right now, so I have to use Spectrum. In about an hour, I will pick up their installation kit. Will keep you posted.

Enter the Kentuckian: 7 Furlongs of Fury!

Okay, I drove to Kentucky to sign paperwork for my new apartment and then I went to the clerk office to get my license. It was easy and painless. “Thank you ma’am,” I said when I received my new license. “Does this mean I’m now a Kentuckian?”

“Yes, you are! Congrats! Welcome to Kentucky!”

Then I asked for a free mint julep as I’m now a Kentuckian. Nope. Drinking and driving rules, don’t cha know.

“Oh, you do need to go to the county clerk office for your plates. This office does not do that.” No problem. The nearest one is in Jeffersontown. By that time, it was raining. So I drove, parked, got out of the car and entered the office.

“Hi, I need to get my plates as I’ve moved from Indiana.”

“You need to get a sheriff’s inspection before I get you your plates. Here is the list of county clerk offices that will get you that inspection.”

And I walked back to the car, wet as I had no jacket.

The next day, I drove up to the nearest office with the sheriff inspection station. No problem, it was fast. Then I went in to take a number for the next agent.

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At last, I sat with an agent. I brought out the title and the inspection paper and proof of insurance. She looked and asked if my car was a trade-in. It was. “You most likely did not pay taxes for that, and that would be…” *typing, entering information* “$836.00.”

“Ah, profanity!”

After paying, I got my plate and installed it. The tedious part is over, now it is time for returning back to the Fort and get my stuff packed and ready.

A New Direction

12 July will be my last day at VooDoo/Winner’s Circle. The next day, I will move my things to my new apartment in Louisville, and on 17 July, I will start my job as a hub systems operator at United Tote.

The job change started when I noticed I have reached my limit of maximum hours I can work per week. Despite being a hostess, a programs seller, and a mutuels clerk, due to budget and union regulations, I can only work up to 32 hours per week and most of the time, I am allocated about 28 hours on average. I thought I might supplement with another job, but it carried the risk of restricting the hours I can work due to inflexibility. I asked the managers about more hours, but we arrived to the conclusion that their budget (which is handed down from the corporate office) won’t allow me to get these hours. I did thank them for trying. We were all eager to get more hours, not just for me but for other employees. Ask my bosses, if there was someone that actually asked for MORE work to do, it was me. I get my energy from work, my motivation from the busy busy busy. I was the “All-Purpose Carol” who would run errands, organised expense reports, and do internet research.

You will NOT hear me complain about my coworkers or my bosses. I certainly do not have beef with my job. It was just that I have reached “Lvl 99” at VooDoo and I realised that if I needed more hours, I will have to apply for a corporate/professional position at Hoosier Park in Anderson.

Then I heard that Churchill Downs will move its Twinspires.com HQ from Silicon Valley to Louisville, bringing 70 jobs. I thought: maybe I have some chance. So I visited the Churchill Downs corporate webpage and found that their United Tote division needed someone to work behind the scenes with their tote system.

We have seen cartoons in which a horseplayer would place a bet at the window. But what happens after the bet was placed? It goes to a large pool that is shared by various horseracing facilities in the United States (or world wide). Horseplayers would bet at the last 5 minutes before the gate opens. What United Tote does are two main things. First, they develop and place these betting terminals, where electronically these bets are placed and ‘gathered’ into a large pool. Second, there are hubs of operators that would watch these races and make sure the placed bets are gathered correctly until the gate opens and they close the pool. The pool is calculated during the race and then the money gets divvied out according to odds once the race is official.

So I applied for the job one night, and the next morning, I got a phone call for a phone interview in a few days. Had the interview and they invited me for a in-person interview at the Churchill Downs HQ in Louisville. So I got my best career jacket and drove 4+ hours to the headquarters. And then I had my interview. I thought: There is bound to be someone more qualified than me and had a moment of “impostor syndrome” after I ate my lunch and drove back to Fort Wayne.

And the wait was tedious. Will I stay put and try other ways to boost hours or will I get this big break? Vacillating between optimism and pessimism. “I will stay…NO, I want to go!” And then, I got the call.

Whirlwind.

I bought boxes to pack my clothes. I drove back to Louisville to go apartment hunting and to attend Downs After Dark with WinStar Farms. On the way home, I stopped in Indianapolis and visited Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and Williams-Sonoma. Got a cute LED fairy light sparkler lamp, canisters for dried fruit, and two ceramic knives. When IKEA opens at Fishers this August, I will get furniture there.

Located a confessional Lutheran church in Louisville. In fact, it is near one of the apartments where I applied.

Kentucky with its horse culture has been a major part of the last two years of my life. It was there that I found what I truly needed: permission to live my life. It was there where I saw the end of the wilderness years. I found respite. There is something about visiting the horse farms and meeting the horses that are the foundation of my employment.

And now, Kentucky is where I will live and work.

In the next several weeks, I will blog about my experience in moving and settling into Louisville. I hope you can join me as I am making this transition.

My Prayer Beads. Let me show you them.

In the Weep No More guide, I suggested using a small cross or a set of prayer beads for meditation during episodes of mental pain. You are probably thinking, are you flirting with Rome with that suggestion? Far from it! Prayer beads have been an aid to Christians for centuries, and even Lutherans during the Reformation period used them for meditation.

There is a group of High Church Lutherans that are using beads for meditation, and I happen to be one of them. My beads are a Catholic Easter-themed rosary that I found appropriate for my convictions. Instead of a Marian center, it has Jesus emerging from the tomb. I used to have a smaller set, but they melted in the dryer when I left them in my pants. This rosary is from Italy and I really like the decor.

So, what do I do with them? I use them at night before I sleep. I would do the Creed, the Our Father, and the Glory Be. The one difference I have is due to what the Book of Concord had to say about prayers to the saints. Instead of using the Hail Mary, I use the Jesus Prayer. During the day, I carry them in a pouch tucked in my purse. Peace of mind, you know. Saying these prayers gave me peace and reassurance that God has shown mercy to me. I do not believe in magickal incantations nor I do not believe what the Roman Catholic Church promised to its adherents when they pray the rosary.

There are prayer beads available for purchase from Lutheran Beads of Minnesota. You can visit the Chemnitz Fraternity on ways to use them.

If you decide to get a Catholic Rosary, there are some available that do not have a Marian or saint-themed center. The first communion ones usually have a chalice. If you are a gentleman or a chick with badassery to her name, Rugged Rosaries have a tough paracord version.

NEW ADDITIONS AND NOTES: Self-Care Guide

Yesterday, I spent all day writing a series of posts on Facebook about self-care during spiritual trauma. I felt that I have the happy obligation to help fellow sufferers with what I learned.

There is so many things I want to touch on, like the subject of spiritual warfare and misconceptions due to popular concepts. I will touch on the Roman Catholic approach in their exorcism process, which does involve mental health professional care.

It will always be a work in progress. I will need an editor to make this flow properly. I also will need an artist to design a themed picture.

I removed the Makeup Holy Grail page. It felt out of place to have that section next to the guide.

The Finickies: a horse racing theory

The last few months has been filled with work as my boss allowed me to work the mutual line. Now I also process bets. I felt better regarding my books. A deaconess fieldworker at my church now has the books for her own theological library. I just ordered more DRF books and in the meantime prepping for the Kentucky Derby in less than three weeks.

During certain times of the week, usually Saturday or Sunday, I would be the most successful with Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs. It was when I stumbled across this factor.

I noticed that in a given circuit, most horses would favor one racetrack over others. The dirt ground of one track is different in composition. For example, a horse would be in the money constantly at Gulfstream Park West (formerly Calder), but once he ships to Gulfstream or Tampa Bay, he would perform abysmally. And if you read Steve Haskin’s Derby Dozen for this week, read the McCraken part. He noticed that horses that did very good at Keeneland won’t do well at Churchill Downs. Check out last year’s Ashland Stakes and the Kentucky Oaks. For the lack of a better term, these horses I describe have “the finickies”.

Spotting the finickies has helped me be in the money. I remember noticing one horse at Aqueduct, her name is Roman Ceres. She was a 15-1 shot and at post was around 30-1. In her past performances, I saw that she did not did well at Belmont or Saratoga, but did very well at Aqueduct’s inner track. Add a jockey that works with her very well, and you got a massive overlay. Man, my voice was hoarse when she won by a head. I also saw that at a Tampa Bay Downs stakes, in which Muggsamatic was 5-1 in the morning line but was 30-1. I checked if he had the finickies. Oh yes he did, and oh look! A good jockey that worked well with him. Let’s say I have been the recipient of many high-fives.

Later on, I will edit and add material to fatten up this post. See if this may be of help to you. My advice is free, so it’s either priceless or worthless.

Photo Album Feature

I just added a photo album to my website and changed the design of my index page. I finally figured out how to get into my webpage and add more stuff.

You may find my photo album at http://www.carolrutz.com/photoalbum/.

The first set of pics features my recent trip to Kentucky from a little over than a week ago. As mentioned, the cure for cowbell is more cowbell. I have visited the Lexington area and the Keeneland race track with my best friend Lindsay. We met various Derby winners, had a VIP tour in one of the farms, and attended the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes. I will need to add the captions.

Boxes of Books: A New Chapter

It has been a year since Preggie moved to the nursing home. And now I’m downsizing, moving into a smaller home.

I should be relieved that I will have less to worry. However, it means I must give away my theological books to a fieldworker. So I packed away my Loci Communes, the Chemnitz treatises, Walther’s Law and Gospel, and other reminders of a life interrupted. What could have been…

I have not opened these books for over 10 years. The memories of 11 years ago ensured that I won’t read them in the future. Tainted. The voice of my professor echoed as I touched them. Out of respect, I kept my Bible and the Book of Concord. Nowadays, I just listen to the Scriptures via the weekly sermons. If I wanted to read, I will download via Kindle.

Eventually, I will read the books of my adulthood. But right now, I have Beyer On Speed.

Synchronicity and the Bluegrass State

The past few weeks, I have experienced some kind of apophenia, when you see patterns in random things. If you ever watched the cult classic Repo Man, there was a scene in which Miller and Otto were talking about some unified theory. There Miller explained the Jungian concept of synchronicity in layman’s terms:

A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, “plate,” or “shrimp,” or “plate of shrimp” out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.

While I do not follow the spiritual working of Carl Jung, one can learn that people would see connexions in random events. When a woman becomes pregnant, she sees pregnant women everywhere. She is processing her own status as a pregnant woman and is aware of her future as a mother. She then prepares for her new identity.

During the last few weeks, I have seen various instances in which the word “Kentucky” appears out of the blue outside work and home. It has to be a random occurrence; visiting a liquor store and seeing a Jim Beam display does not count. And passing by KFC does not count either. The OTB, reading Blood Horse, my decor, anything of that sort, does not count. The key word is random. Here is an example: I was at the Van Wert County Fair in Ohio, and there were carnival games. One of them involved a mechanical race in one moves the horse via a skee-ball ramp and ball. My coworker’s partner said to me that he challenges me to this game. So I took up the challenge and looked at the horses. There was a sign that read “Kentucky Derby”. Yea, seems legit. But it brought me a chill and felt my hair stand up.

Let’s see: Two Persons of Walmart crossed my path, one wearing a Wildcats hoodie. A contestant for The Voice mentioned he was from Louisville, KY. A news article from the Verge talking about a Samsung Note 7 exploding in That Certain State. The church bulletin had an announcement for a youth trip to the Creation Museum, over There. And today on Facebook, there is a picture of beauty pageant contestants in swimsuits, with sashes. One of them read “Kentucky”.

My coworker suggested that it means we must visit Keeneland next April for the Bluegrass Stakes, plus visit the Coolmore stud farm. That is a great idea– the cure for cowbell is more cowbell. After we visit Gulfstream Park for the Pegasus World Cup. But this pattern pops out.

So today, I took the time why I am seeing a pattern. Why “Kentucky”? There, I must use psychology.

I drew word maps and did free association. From that word I got horses. Stakes. The time I attended the Spiral Stakes at Turfway. My outfit. Fascinator. Elegance. The Derby. American Pharoah. Spend A Buck. My childhood. Churchill Downs. The day I visited Churchill Downs. Now I’m getting somewhere. 9 May. No psychological pain on that day this year. Standing in front of Barbaro’s grave, realising that I have survived the wilderness years. I could have… but I resisted, Deo Gratias.

Liberation. Farewell to my old broken identity as a theology reject. Hello full-time career with benefits.

Weep No More.

There is the crux of this apophenia. It is my mind’s way of telling me that my life has changed and is now unfolding. All this time while seeing these words, I was transitioning to my new identity. Then, I tried to be normal. Now, I am openly Autistic without fear. Then, I hated God. Now, I come to the Sacrament. Then, I loathed my existence. Now, I accept myself.

Those random instances out of static are a mental signpost. I am going somewhere. I hope God goes with me. I will do my best at my job. And I have more things to do, places to visit, horses to be fed mints. Hopefully, I won’t be seeing much random patterns popping up in the future, but my coworker tells me she wants more– bring it on! Dude, you do not want to tempt the universe into giving me overload. I am typing carefully to avoid using the “K word”. I prefer exposure to the Bluegrass State controlled, thank you very much.

Degenerate Arts: Songbird Canvas Shoes

Introducing a new category: Degenerate Arts! If you want horse racing themed crafts, this is the place to get inspired! Show how much you are dedicated to the craft by making stuff to wear or show off!

My cheapo pair of canvas shoes I got at Macy’s were coming apart. So I figure: I’ll get some canvas shoes… maybe Converse like that Lucha Libre video or Vans.

Then I remember that there was an art store that sold blank canvas shoes and markers. Maybe I can customise a pair for myself. Maybe I can do a themed shoe so I can wear at work. Pharoah? The Preakness? Too much drawing. Maybe a Tapit-themed design featuring his blacktype progeny. But, my drawing is primitive– the Picts were better artists than I am.

That is when I thought of a quick and not-so-dirty solution: Iron-on transfer paper.

I thought of a simple design. One horse. Songbird. Her pic on one shoe, silks on the other. So I downloaded a few images and I printed them up on opaque dark fabric transfer paper. I thought I was quite successful.

View post on imgur.com

The most important part is to preserve the design and correct/hide the melted transfer at one section. I am going to get Mod Podge and seal the design.

Coming up next: Travers Day shirt design, featuring one of my picks!

The Writs of Carol Rutz, High Church Horseplayer