Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Updated: But...Is There Hypoallergenic Tattoo Ink For My Rabbit??

So, I have relatives visiting this fall and was looking for anything equestrian-related to maybe go do while they're here, because they'll be six months early for the Houston Rodeo. A coworker suggested the Harris County Fair, which will be near my house (woohoo! Convenient AND close).

No joy: there's no horse stuff, just other livestock and FFA events. I was mildly bummed until I opened the rules page and found THIS:
NO EXCEPTIONS to Tattooing your Rabbits, people. Tramp stamp approved.

Someone may have to explain what sort of tattoos are appropriate for bunnies, because seriously I have visions of a green-mohawked, badass bunny with a tribal trampstamp above the tail. Do bunny tattoo artists give full sleeves? If so, would that change the luck factor regarding rabbits' foot key chains (which I consider pretty unlucky, personally, since it was decidedly unlucky for the rabbit)?
I should never click "publish" until I've let an idea percolate.
What if the bunny in Monty Python and The Holy Grail had been Tattooed? Would it have been even MORE of a badass?
Green Mohawk, tattooed face and arms, yelling "take this assholes!" and throwing the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch right back at The Mighty Tim??

Then I foolishly tried the search fields on the Houston Chronicle website. Please note the WHAT field, and the results the search gave me...

So...Katy Perry is now a Horse in October in Houston. Chased by Zombies and Dirty Girls.
In the mud. Wow.
Honestly, I don't even know what to say about this, except I don' think I've ever heard KP referred to as horsey in any way.

PS: I checked out the Zombie Charge event because it sounded fun...until I got to the "running through swamps/mud/trails/surprises" parts. This fat woman will not huff and shuffle through swamps in TX, particularly not when "surprises" could just as easily be gators or water moccasins instead of zombies.

Now, if I could shoot zombies with paintballs...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

UPDATED: Why Yes, I DO Prefer Non-Test-Tube Men, Thanks

Sign on my way to work this morning:

Homemade   males*

Now I'm 99% certain the males in my life of all species in all capacities are 100% homemade by their parents. No plastic Ken dolls here, and no test tube or clones. 

Of course, one can never be certain the body snatchers or Stepford scientists haven't been here, I guess.

Perhaps the Ancient Aliens dude with the super hair has a point? Are Homemade Males off the rack or custom made? 

That's not weird or gross at ALL...

*P.S. Said sign is for a Mexican restaurant; pretty sure it just lost the "Ta" from tamales. 

Which prompts the "what sauce options come with homemade males" question.

UPDATE: the raging discussion at work today is exactly what SORTS of upgrades and add-on options are available from a Homemade Males store.

Sadly, a cleaning option seem to be the most popular (self-cleaning AND house-cleaning were mentioned).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mythic Monday: The Hind

No, no, I'm not referring to the butt of anything.

In honor of this weekend's release of the fabulous Dwayne Johnson's rendition of Hercules, today I'm covering The Ceryneian Hind. The Golden Hind: Cerynitis. Herc's 3rd of his twelve labors...which are really another post that I won't put up until AFTER the movie is actually released because spoilers are a jerk move.

So, as the tale is told Artemis (Goddess of the hunt, the moon, and all things wild and free) protected five golden hinds. Four hinds faithfully pulled her chariot. The fifth was nowhere to be found.

At the same time, Heracles returned to King Eurystheus having successfully completed his first two Labors, both of which were designed by the King and the Goddess Hera to kill Heracles. Foiled twice, they conspired a Labor that Heracles would likely fail, and if he managed to succeed would draw the wrath of Artemis. He could not win, no matter the outcome of his hunt.

So Eurystheus sent Heracles to capture the Hind alive. Heracles, bound by his word, set off to track and capture the huge doe reported to have golden antlers like a stag and bronze hooves. This proved to be a tough job: Cerynitis could run faster than any arrow, and she eluded Heracles for a full year before he finally trapped her.

The actual way in which he defeated her is varied: some say he shot an arrow between her front legs, tripping her up while she ran. Some say he wrestled her into submission, breaking an antler in the process. Some say he snuck upon her while she slept, others that he caught her in a net, laming her.

In any case, Heracles caught the Hind...and promptly also caught the attention of Artemis. Instead of punishing him, however, Artemis was moved by Heracles' admiration of the Hind's beauty and prowess (which implies he did not lame her in any way). Artemis knew why Eurystheus and Hera sent Heracles after her creature, and chose to forgive Heracles the moment he promised to free Cerynitis. Thus he thwarted another Goddess's anger and saved his demigod skin.

Heracles returned to King Eurystheus with Cerynitis and discovered the King intended to trap the doe in his menagerie. Heracles wasn't just a musclehead, however, and had a plan. He agreed to turn over the Hind on the condition the King take her from him.

Eurystheus agreed...and the moment Heracles released Cerynitis she was gone, faster than the King or any of his men could possibly follow, running to the safety of her Goddess.

Heracles went on to the next twisted Labor the King and Hera invented, and Cerynitis (contrary to the TV show) did not marry the demigod.

PS: Pronunciation as follows, as far as I'm aware (hey Greek cousins, feel free to weigh in if I'm off here).

Heracles: Hair-a-klees (the Greek name for Hercules)
Eurystheus: Yuris-thee-us
Ceryneian: Ker-in-ee-an
Cerynitis: Ker-in-I-tis (C in Greek names is pronounced K)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Nothing Makes My Day Quite Like Han

Last week was filled with extremes of both joy and misery for me. I am reminded that I can only fix things I have control over, and I only have control over my own motivations and reactions. In the midst of the emotional roller coaster, I received the following set of pictures.

We are celebrating the arrival of Han's brand spankin' new sister (who really needs a Blog name..."Han" isn't Han's real name either), and all of the family is trying to make sure big brother gets attention as well.

Normally I'd caption these, but they truly need no caption at all. There is nothing that captures the adorableness of happy exploration quite as excellently as Han, chasing bubbles.

I seriously miss that kid.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

There Aren't Enough Spanx In The World...

This isn't a real post. I just had to point out something horrid.

You know, I don't pay a lot of attention to fashion. My ideal of dressing up is jeans instead of yoga pants.

I noticed when the '80's invaded Target: leg warmers, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts. Headbands. diagonal stripes.

It was a style horror show.

But REALLY? Jumpsuits are back? Jumpsuits with TUBE TOPS are back? Seriously, that wasn't sexy the first time. Tube tops aren't sexy: they're 80's uniboob. And jumpsuits just seem dangerous to a woman with a small bladder, since I assume they don't come with the pee-flap (despite their resemblance to 1885 long underwear). I shouldn't have to get naked to pee.

Black and white paisley tube top jumpsuit...on a 6' tall amazon.

On second thought, maybe I could make it one of those long-sleeved shrug things for my shoulders. 

PS: Blogger doesn't accept "uniboob" is a real thing. I beg to differ, Blogger: anyone with a C cup or larger who's squeezed into a sports bra knows the uniboob.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mythic Monday: Lorelie and the Siren

I have to say, I chuckle a bit to myself every time I hear this name. Lorelai/Loralie/Lorelay...doesn't it sound beautiful? It rolls of the tongue like a melody.

I suppose that's fitting, considering the Lorelie is a Germanic Siren.

The Siren: supernaturally gorgeous women with voices impossible to ignore, who lure men to their deaths, generally by drowning. If you recall your middle school reading of The Odyssey, you'll remember that during his decade-long journey to return to Ithaca, Odysseus passed the Sirens' island. Odysseus was a famously (notoriously) clever man...we'll get to him in a future post, as he's one of the most fascinating characters in ancient history. Anyway, he'd heard the stories, and there was no way he'd get caught up like all the rest. Sirens enjoyed the havoc and death they wreaked by luring sailors with their honeyed voices and overwhelming beauty...they enjoyed luring the sailors close a rocky shore that sank ships and killed men.

Sirens were a beautiful, irresistible death.

So, the Lorelie.

Germanic myth says Lorelie was a young woman who, upon discovering her lover was faithless and broke her heart, threw herself into the Rhine. Her anger and despair were so great she turned into a siren: a monster (in some renditions a mermaid) who can be heard singing from a specific rock along the Rhine. Her song lures sailors on the river and men on the bank to the water, where they're drowned. In some versions, she mirrors the Waterhorse by dragging her victims to the depths of the swirling river, taking her vengeance out on rather hapless victims. In others, she just happens to be there singing her laments and the rough waters at the specific area of the river take care of the victims for her.

Personally, I find the Siren and Lorelie's powers just as creepy as Dracula's powers to subvert Mina's will with his gaze. The horror of the Lorelie isn't the drowning death: it's the concept that a man's will can be so totally subsumed with her power that he is literally incapable of preventing his own death, regardless of his love or loyalties. Marvel, incidentally, loves the Lorelie. In the Marvel universe, Lorelei is an Aasgardian with (unsurprisingly) the disturbing power to convince men to subvert their will to hers...using her voice. She and Sif (powerful warrior who eventually marries Thor) have an ongoing argument in Marvelspace.

In addition, the Lorelie is a tragic character in myth: unlike the Greek Sirens, Lorelie doesn't seem to take any pleasure in her victims' deaths. Instead, it seems an unpleasant result of her suicide, or at the very least a dark misery that didn't die when she killed herself. There's no real punishment aspect to Lorelie's fate: it's more tragic sadness than puritan anti-suicide warning.

If you want a hauntingly beautiful Lorelie poem (translated from German to English by Mark Twain, because OF COURSE it is), go here. It's wonderful. And terribly sad.

If you want to see some lovely Lorelie art, look here.

In any case, the Lorelie is associated with a particular "echoing" rock near Sankt Goarhousen (St. Goar), Germany. It's a rocky cliff where (presumably) quite a few ships have gone down and sailors lost. As such, of course, Lorelie is a name that's associated with deadly, dangerous allure.

Not exactly a name I'd give my kid, but hey...femme fatale isn't a bad reputation to have. I definitely wouldn't give that name to a German restaurant...but someone did. In Green Bay, Wisconsin, you MN and WI peeps of mine. If you ever check it out, give me a review!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Mythic Monday: Lilith

Tonight's post is dedicated to one of my favorite women in mythology: the rebellious badass, Lilith.

For those of you old enough remember Cheers, not that Lilith. This is my first post on any of the myths surrounding Abrahamic religions, and I'm acutely aware of the potential here for me to piss someone off. Let me preface this post by saying I approach all religions as myth and all myths as religions. It's not my intent to convert or insult: it's my intention to explore the cultural ramifications and possible sources.

So. Lilith.

In the beginning, God created both Adam and Lilith from the earth.

In a more...hmm...adult version of the myth, Adam is lonely after watching animals mate like, well, animals. He tries a female from each species for himself, but none are what he's really looking for. So eventually, he marries Lilith so he has a female of his own species.

In another, Adam asks God for a mate like him because he doesn't match well with the female animals, so God creates Lilith out of the earth (after Adam has been around for a while), but God grabs a handful of muck instead of pure earth, and so Lilith is tainted from the start. There's a whole theological discussion door there that I'm going to leave closed for purposes of this post, but I find the possible interpretations here utterly intriguing.

(It's probably important to note here that the occasional relief found with a member of the shepherd's herd was an accepted part of life in many tribes at the time...after all, herding is a lonely lifestyle. So it's not considered an evil or sin in the myth for Adam to be experimenting. One of the differentiations between other herdsman tribes in the ancient world and the Israelites is the prohibition against messing with animals.)

Anyway, Lilith, being created at the same time as Adam and from the same materials, insisted she was Adam's equal in all things. She refused to submit to Adam sexually (the generally accepted idea here is she refused missionary position) because why should she be on her back in the dirt, subservient, when she's Adam's equal? In some variations she wanted to be on top, but the implications here are that she didn't want to submit: she wanted equal partnership. They fought about it. 

Lilith left Adam to hang out by the Red Sea, refuting his demands. Adam pined for her and three of God's angels to talk her into returning. She refused, and chose to spend her life cavorting with other males (angels and demons both, depending on who you ask), birthing around a hundred babies a day. Busy lady.

Adam, in the meantime, was lonely and angry that his wife left. He begged God for a more pliant partner, and God created Eve. As she was created from a part of Adam, she was bound to him from her beginning. Think about the implications of THAT for just a moment. Her story is another post as well, but suffice it to say she was appropriately submissive for Adam's tastes, at least in the beginning.

Lilith, the bad girl who wouldn't listen to directions, was condemned by mythology as a demon. Interestingly, though most of the common mythology points come from Hebrew sources, Lilith is in all the Middle Eastern mythologies in some form or another. In Akkadian, she's associated with the lilitu (night she-demon). In Sumerian, 'lil' mean air: possibly Lilitu was a mix of Sumerian and Akkadian meaning night air demon.

This would fit with the idea that Lilith strangled babies in the night, which is one of her more horrendous crimes. Lilith's children were taken away by God in punishment for spurning Adam, and she declared war on all women in childbirth, stealing and eating their babies (especially boys). The three angels sent to fetch her forced her to promise to leave anyone wearing any of their names on an amulet alone.

In some versions, Lilith mates with Satan after spurning Adam, creating the Djinn.  In fact, in the Middle Ages she was often called the wife, mistress, or even grandmother of Satan (which seems like a lot of work for one woman)...she became a catchall for anything considered female evil. Her daughters, the lilim, were said to cause evil 'nocturnal emissions' in men, and people wore amulets against their evil well into the Middle Ages: Lilith was queen of the succubi.

In Greece, she becomes associated with Lamia, the Libyan woman cursed by the gods to eat children. Lamia becomes, as time goes on, a blood drinker...particularly of young men. This, I suspect, is the beginning of Lilith being associated with vampires. Lilith pops up regularly in modern myths intertwined with vampires, sometimes as the original, sometimes just as a

Lilith is fascinating because she's not a demon until she resists assimilation. She's independent, sexual, strong, violent, and (I think) fun. Culturally, I think Lilith has a significantly sad tale. Her fertility and her independence are both hallmarks of an Earth Mother goddess: she's literally populating the area on the edge of the Red Sea herself, and she belongs to no one. She has both a nurturing and violent. She's untamable...and therefore, she's dangerous.

Ancient tribal societies in what is now Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc. had a patriarchal structure, with the man central to his family and ruling over them in everything. My theory about this need for total control is based on economics and survival: nomadic peoples in harsh environments lived harsh lives. Every mouth to feed was important because children were the future of the tribe, and every mouth to feed was a drain on resources. The only way a man could ensure the children he's giving precious food and water were in fact HIS was to control the mother's sexuality.  This is not a commentary on modern Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religion. There are many societies outside the Abrahamic religions that put importance on controlling the source of progeny (including Greek and Roman). Honestly, we're looking at a chicken vs egg situation when talking about both secular and religious rules for that time period. They were so wholly intertwined, it's hard to separate, especially in the myths as old (or older) as the Old Testament. These are rules that existed in many of the nomadic tribes pushing into the established agricultural lands.

So...if you have an agricultural, relatively peaceful society that worships the Mother Goddess, and tough nomadic tribes move in on the territory to take over, who becomes the demon when history is passed down by the conqueror?

The one who refuses to submit.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

This Is a Real Post. I am not funny...today.

I originally titled this "not a real post" but it occurs to me this sort of...confession, I suppose, is more "real" than the snarky commentary posts. Someone asked me once why I write anything personal and put it out there for consumption, the argument being that it's intended to elicit emotional response. I maintain it's a way for me to be open in a way I'm often not able to in person. Shrug. I don't need a response. I don't really need anyone to read it. I post these sometimes because I've been helped in the past by people sharing their struggles, and I need to pay that forward.

I caught part of the Kardashian show today (it wasn't on purpose: I was making grilled cheese and didn't realize the show I'd been watching ended...Don't judge me!). Anyway...I came to a fairly uncomfortable conclusion.

I don't understand ambitious people. I really don't: I don't understand entrepreneurs of any kind (and yes, the Kardashian clan has made money off of their modeling, sex tape, and basic socialite reality TV, but there's no arguing they are a successful brand). It's not the work: I can work. It's not about the glitzy life or the big money: I'm not jealous watching anyone's life on Reality TV (or social media). It's the "making" opportunities, the energy for constant "doing" that I don't understand in my guts. I've always been a planner, not a doer. It's getting me nowhere. Let me explain.

I have a book to finish. A book I really think I can write (when I manage to hogtie and gag the internal editor in a basement room of my mind). A book that is me taking a step toward getting out of a job I don't love, a step toward making income that could potentially help us not worry so much about money all the time. A book that I'd write to get it out even if I was guaranteed it will never make money or even be published, because I have to write it. I have a plan. I have an outline. I have characters. I have a plot...but I perpetually find other things to do instead of writing, knowing (and feeling guilty) I'm putting it off.

I trap myself in my own inertia.

The amount of weight I need to lose to be healthy is somewhat overwhelming, even if I think of it in 10 pound increments. Or 5 pounds, or even just 2. More importantly, I need to eat better and exercise more to FEEL better. I know this, and so I make a plan. An easy plan: 30 minutes a day, eating more fruit and veggies (which I LIKE: it's not a hardship).

So far, I've actually done the opposite of everything on said plan.

I have a home to unpack, a desk to set up, cleaning to finish. Cleaning to start.

Those little guilts are the terrible, insidious worms that crawl within the depressions that hit me. Like the proverbial thousand cuts, all they irritate and build and distract until I'm overwhelmed and bleeding out, energy-less and unable to actually DO any of the activities that would make me feel better. 

Today, I didn't leave the couch except to take care of the dogs, wash my sheets (so I'm comfy in bed later) and get unhealthy fast food for dinner. I didn't work on the short story or the book. I KNEW I was sinking and couldn't do anything to stop it. Or, I just didn't do anything to stop it.

Recently I won something really cool. Something so cool I didn't actually believe my name was called. I didn't speak up, didn't claim the prize I'd won, because I found myself physically unable to respond AT ALL. I couldn't raise my hand, couldn't get a word out of my mouth, and it was all for NO FUCKING REASON AT ALL. I stood in the crowd, anonymously allowing an opportunity a lot of people would fight over to go to the next name called. WHY? I don't know. I couldn't really explain it to Husband (who wasn't in the room and couldn't speak up for me, which I'm sure he would've done had he been there). He was disappointed in me: I saw it. I was disappointed in myself.  I still am.

I don't know why I sabotage myself: it's the most fucked up sort of self-harming destructive behavior I do: it's like I'm rebelling against anything positive even though I WANT those positive chances. And every time I squander one, or waste time, or find I've lost a day to stupid shit I wonder just how many chances I'll be allowed. And I feel guilty and ashamed for being frozen, and inertia is followed by depression.

It's a goddamned cycle of ishy.

Sometimes it feels like I'm stuck in a giant, sucking spiral...Charybdis inexorably spinning me faster and deeper into the black nothing at the bottom, waiting to swallow me whole.

I'm unbalanced and short sighted and scared, and it's just so damn tiring. I WANT to understand ambitious people. I WANT to understand entrepreneurs. I WANT to be successful at my own goals. It's frustrating as hell to battle this crap, and I know it'll be better soon (maybe not tomorrow, but within the next few days...usually these pass within a few days as my energy returns over a weekend) and I'll work on the book again and get my house in order and get back on the daily walking thing.

But just for tonight, I wish I understood.

Filed Under "What The HELL, Texas?"

See the smoke and the Firefighters? They're putting out a truck fire.

What's left of the truck. Hi Firemen!

So yesterday I was on the way back from Galveston to Houston on the freeway, when my super awesome friend Mary (she's driving) pulled off on an exit ramp because HOLY SHIT FIRE and smoke...which causes traffic. Fire and smoke resulting from a pickup that apparently had a meltdown in the heat. We saw three burnt cars on the side of the freeway yesterday. I suspect the tow truck from Cars is on a serial killing spree.
I feel it necessary to point out here that we pulled off the freeway on a legal exit ramp...meaning we stayed on a road. This will be relevant.
So you can see the grassy median between the freeway and us in the pictures, right? What you can't see is the mass exodus of drivers who weren't bright enough to exit the freeway by road, and instead decided to exit the freeway via median. There were about forty cars in various stages of exodus in the grass. The pickups and SUVs did just fine.
The Smart Car probably didn't choose wisely.
The two 18-wheelers were just fucking disturbing. Why? Because the two semis bouncing through the dip in the median and over the curb were carrying gasoline and propane. Awesome.
I'm still somewhat shocked and...well...impressed: I've never been in a state where the lemmings on the road break free and do their own shit. Good to know in case of a zombie (or lemming) apocalypse.

Thursday, July 03, 2014


What the hell does this mean?


What the FUCK is an American Parasite?
No snarky political comments here. Really.

Ok, first of all, if you begin this sort of inflammatory email with "Dear Friend" you're already losing credibility.

When I can't actually copy any of the text (because doing so launches a website that asks if I'm ready for the truth. Oh the conundrum!

Fox Mulder would say the truth is out there. Plus, you k now, this whole thing (according to the email) is a government conspiracy to infect 250 million Americans with a dangerous parasite. Of nefarious origins.

OH MY GOD...Could Dr. Crapetta (oh sorry, Dr. Capetta) be Mulder in disguise? Is the parasite some sort of intelligent black goo?

Jack Nicholson would scream that I can't handle the truth.

I'm so torn! I should probably click the link...the email swears the safety of my family hangs in the balance.

If you never hear from me again, call Scully.

PS: There's an address at the bottom of the email. In Dallas, TX...I'm SO tempted to drive up there and knock on the door (which is likely some random teenager's garage).

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Mythic Monday: Bucephalus

I've been completely enamored with horses since (literally) before I could walk. It's probably not a terrible surprise, then, that one of my favorite ancient legends is the tale of how Alexander the Great came to win a horse so great his name is still remembered in some circles nearly 2,500 years later.

Walter Farley based The Black Stallion on his story. The horse that conquered the world.

Bucephalus as depicted in Greek history. Photo courtesy of Bing.

So, the quick version of Alexander's story (because really, one post would never cover the legend, myth, and reality of Alexander). Alexander of Macedonia, son of King Phillip II, was (of course) a remarkable child born in 358BCE or so. Over the course of his relatively short life, Alexander conquered all of Greece, Egypt, and the Persian Empire (including pretty much everything below Russia and China between the Mediterranean and India). By all historical and legendary accounts, Alexander was an intelligent, precocious, and extremely talented child. The story of how he wins his mount only adds to the legend.

In 346 BCE, a horse trader, Philonecius of Thessaly, brought an untamable beast to the amphitheater for Phillip, thinking the stallion's imposing stature and tough reputation would make him an excellent warhorse. The price of this giant black beast was three times the normal cost. This is a time when warhorses are supremely prized and very expensive. Xenophon wrote his treatise on horsemanship not long before Alexander was born, and horses were extremely valuable in war tactics. (Xenophon's rules on horsemanship, warhorses, and the relationship between rider and horse are part of what developed eventually into modern day Dressage...although today it's in a MUCH diluted form). So...what I'm saying here is that Philonecious was trying to sell Philip a Bugatti Veyron.

Anyway, Phillip after seeing the completely crazy, dangerous behavior of this unruly horse, refused the offer and ordered the stud led away.

Alexander, apparently a rather entitled smartass even at 12, heckled his father from the crowd, calling the King of Macedonia a coward. The crowd was shocked, I'm sure, but Philip mocked his son in return, offering to buy the boy the Bugatti Veyron (yes, that is the equivalent. A multi-million dollar supercar)...IF Alexander had the balls (at 12) to prove his own courage by taming a horse that required multiple handlers to control. Philip didn't think the kid would take him up on the offer.

Alexander, though, had been watching while everyone else laughed at him. This giant, muscular monster who endangered everyone around him in the ring only shied and ran when confronted by shadows. Specifically, by his OWN shadow. No one else saw it. Alexander ordered the ropes removed and the handlers back, then he quietly approached Bucephalus and spoke his name, catching his attention. Carefully and quietly, Alexander turned the horse until he faced the sun, rescuing him from the terror.

The laughter of the crowd turned to raucous cheers when the boy mounted the untamable badass horse and rode him around, then out of the arena. Bucephalus and Alexander were utterly inseparable from that moment. No one else could ride the stud, and Alexander's enemies were pounded into red mud under Bucephalus' hooves. Oh, incidentally, Bucephalus's name literally means "Head like an ox." He reportedly had a huge, thick head. Believe me, the physical descriptions are fascinating to a person who's written articles on the history of (now extinct) Medieval warhorses. In every way, this horse was an intimidating terror to everyone except Alexander.

After the battle of Gaugamela (in modern day Iraq, north of Kirkuk), Bucephalus was kidnapped (um...ok, horsenapped) by the Persians. Alexander promised to cut down every tree, burn every crop, kill every living thing in the region until he was returned. Nobody fucked with his horse, seriously. Bucephalus was returned with a plea for mercy by his captors.

Bucephalus carried his master from Greece to India, where he died in 326 BCE. The manner of his death is disputed: some historians say it was due to wounds after battle. Some say it was simply old age (after all, he would've been over twenty by then, and that's getting fairly elderly in horse years). Either way, Alexander mourned Bucephalus so strongly he named a city after his longtime companion. Alexandria Bucephala was somewhere (historians don't know exactly where) near the border of what is now Pakistan and India, on one of the Indus tributaries.  It's a little hard to tell: Alexander named THOUSANDS of cities some form of "Alexandria" all over his empire. Some of them still survive today. Unfortunately, not Bucephala.

Where is the line between myth and reality? It's impossible to tell, particularly since Alexander himself is surround by myth and legend. That horse is so famous the name of random horse trader who sold him is still known. Walter Farley even told the story of Bucephalus in the beginning of The Black Stallion, before essentially modernizing the tale for the 1940's.

You can still, to this day, buy statues of Bucephalus...I know. I have one.

And he's goddamned legendary.

My Bucephalus. Photo courtesy of Bing.