Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yee-haw! (Aka, we went to a rodeo.)

I have been told by lots of military folk, ranging from "Army brats" to a major general, that one of the perks of military life is the chance to see a variety of different places and experience the cultural experiences they have to offer--if, that is, you choose to take advantage of your circumstances. Far be it from me not to take advantage of cultural happenings!

So. Army Post #1: Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Cultural Happening: Rodeo.

Well, this is the land of the cowboy! That being the case, Spike and I drove to Altus, Oklahoma this weekend and watched The Great Plains Stampede Rodeo. It was, to borrow a cliche, our first time to the rodeo.

Altus is another military town: home of the eponymous Altus Air Force Base. Exhibit A: lots of airplanes.
The Captain and I arrived at the arena and parked--we were one of approximately 549 pickup trucks, and a few horses. We saw a line of cowboy hats and large belt buckles waiting to buy tickets--but don't worry, we totally fit in. I wore my cowboy boots (for which I paid $2 at a thrift shop) and Spike wore his John Deere hat. (We figured that John Deere machinery was doubtless involved in the feeding of the horses and cattle present.)

My awesome, authentic, secondhand boots
Much to our delight, the Captain and I got to see bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, team roping, tie-down calf roping, and steer wrestling.

As one might imagine, bull riding was the most impressive of the events. At the risk of sounding a bit idiotic, those animals are BIG! 2,000 pounds, to be exact, and more vindictive than the horses post-ride.

My less-than-professional shot of one of the bullriders

Speaking of bulls, Spike wants to know why those who ride the open range are called "cowboys." "Think about it," he told me. "You've got cows, which are placid and are known for cud-chewing. And you've got boys, which is what we fellows are before we grow beards, get deep voices, and become men. So, the word 'cowboy' really isn't all that complimentary." And here, he told me his grand solution to this travesty: "Instead of cowboy, it should be BULLMAN."
*I might have taken liberties with the floweriness of the Captain's language.

I thought about this suggestion and agreed with Spike's reasoning, but concluded that "Bullman" sounds like a superhero whose origins I'd rather not know. Spike says I lack vision. ...Well, perhaps. Or perhaps I'm afflicted with too much vision.

Much to the Captain's glee, the rodeo-goers were a very patriotic crowd.

I also enjoyed steer wrestling, which involved a cowboy pursuing the steer (looked like a rather large-ish calf to me), leaping off the horse, and tackling/wrestling the steer to the ground--then tying it up. The best times for this event were between three and four seconds.

Oklahoma cultural activity: success! I'd love to go to another rodeo!

In other news, Spike and I bought each others' wedding bands this past week. Mine was sent off to be sized, along with my engagement ring. They ought to be back within a week and a half, which will make another happy event (I'll leave you in...ahem...suspense as to what that is) possible. If you'll indulge me in a bit of feminine sentimentality, I do miss my ring...but it'll be nice to have it fit without wearing a ring snuggie. (I overestimated my finger by a size when Spike asked about it...clearly, I'm a big fine jewelry buyer when left to my own devices.) In the meantime, though, I've been wearing my grandmother's wedding band.

Grammy's wedding band, circa 1949.

And lastly, Spike has been hard at work on battle plans (I'm sure there's a more official name for them, but it's escaping me at the moment) in class.

Behold: the battle plans that ate the living room.

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