Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Reading is essential

Last week, I bowed to the inevitable and bought some Crest white-strips for my quickly yellowing teeth. I can't imagine why I need them - I mean, I only drink four servings a day of coffee/soda. Ahem.

Anyways, I tried them the other night. I very carefully applied the plastic strips to the fronts of my teeth. The first thing I did was accidentally swallow one. No problem, I thought - they'll dissolve like those rice papers you see on Chinese candies, right? Completely edible, but maybe a little gross? Just like rind on brie.

Um, no. The second thing I did was read the directions. Yes, it would've made more sense to have done that at the very beginning. I'm not entirely sure why I skipped it; I guess I thought that they were fool-proof. Not so much. Emblazoned all over the box and the instructions was DO NOT SWALLOW PLASTIC. Okay, when you look at it that way, I would have to admit that it probably wasn't the brightest idea to ingest it. And if I hadn't had been the person to do so, I probably would've mocked whoever required that sort of warning. Then again, I have been known to iron clothes while wearing them.

Anyways, I've had this psychosomatic lump in my throat ever since. Other than that, no harm no foul and all that.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Crisis averted

As I'm sure everyone has been sitting on the edge of their chairs, wondering out the Great
San Antonio Gravy Debacle of 2006 ended, here's an update: the cowboy breakfast organizers caved and offered biscuits and gravy after all. All traditionalists heaved a truly enormous sigh of relief.

This last-minute addition to the breakfast menu was a front-page picture on the Express-News, a huge story (with pictures. multiple pictures) in the metro section, and an editorial.

Moral of the story: Do not, repeat, do NOT fuck around with Alamo City's gravy needs.

Friday, January 27, 2006

A call to arms

So the big news in yesterday's Express-News - and I mean, front-page, top of the fold, accompanied by photo and screaming headline - was that the Cowboy Breakfast which traditionally kicks off San Antonio's rodeo has opted to cut out the gravy this year. Done as a logistical matter, since the breakfast was served in a buffet format and participants were forced to mill around with food in one hand and coffee in the other, it nonetheless has created a chasm between those who cling to the old ways and those ready to face the future.

Of course, what chaps many is that the VIPs still get their gravy. If this isn't a prelude to class warfare, I don't know what is.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

This is getting ridiculous

I came home from yoga to find that I somehow developed a blood blister on my finger during class. WTF? I thought that this was supposed to be a low-impact activity, goddammit. I think it's a sign from the yoga gods to move on. Or shape up and do it right. One of the two.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The big 2-1

A few weeks ago, The Texan made an astounding discovery: given that I already get my long-distance from the cable company and am paying through the nose for that luxury, for a mere $8 more a month, we can have a DVR.

Life, as we knew it, changed forever.

I've had some troubles lately as Fox keeps fucking around with the shows that I would have wanted taped (why, Fox, WHY did you cancel Arrested Development?). But I've been slowly building up a reserve of shows to enjoy.

I just worked through "Gilmore Girls," a show that had been denied to me while I lived in DC as my crappy TV didn't pick up the WB. I'd been forced to keep up with it via recaps at Television Without Pity - an entertaining source, but not quite the same as watching it yourself.

[Sidenote about GG: while visiting my parents last Christmas, I turned it on, thinking it a safe, mom-friendly show. My mom asked me what it was about. When I told her it's about a woman who's best friends with the daughter she had when she was sixteen, my mom paused and then carefully said, "Now, how do you feel about that? Do you think that was a good idea?" Never mind I was years past sixteen. Anyways, the next time I was home, I noticed my mom had it on. "It's such a snappy show," she informed me.]

The GG episode I had on earlier was the one where Rory turns 21. Of course, her grandparents threw her a ridiculously over the top birthday party. And of course it got me thinking about my 21st birthday. Not that I had an over-the-top party: just bar-hopping with friends in
Westwood. But I did fall down a flight of stairs (just the last two, and in my defense, it really was dark and crowded in the bar), so I guess it was something of a rager.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Cattle country

Things I saw in Ft. Worth this weekend:

1) A guy pop a wheelie on his motorcycle while doing at least 60 mph on a curved freeway on-ramp.

2) Far, far too many shrugs. Ladies of Ft. Worth, let it go. That trend has come and gone.

3) A topiary cut to look like a longhorn.

4) The famous Andy Warhol painting of multiple Marilyn Monroes in the Ft. Worth museum of modern art. I'd seen replications of it, but never the real thing. It's cool to look at and see how each one differs. And who knew it was in Ft. Worth? That museum was small but world-class.

5) The Dallas Symphony perform Mozart in honor of his impending 250th birthday.

6) The rodeo. Two words to describe it: awe-some! When The Texan first told me about it, he said that we'd get there a few hours early to walk around and see the sights before the actual rodeo starteed. I was dubious about how much time we needed, as I figured what was there to see? Oh, was I wrong. I saw Elsie, the Borden brand cow, chickens the size of turkeys, cows cleaner than most socialites, and horsies. Lots and lots of horsies. The pigs, while clean, still had that pig stench. I tried to enjoy them, as I loved Charlotte's Web growing up, but no-go. Maybe if there was a spider communicating with the masses...

Plus there was a fair, complete with funnel cake. The Texan had never experienced the glory of the funnel cake before. He's a convert now.

The rodeo itself was a good compilation of various events, The Texan tells me. I enjoyed seeing it - those people (and there were women too) work HARD and are really talented. However, I did feel kinda sorry for the animals who were (literally) roped into competition. Often, it seemed like they were more interested in getting back to their stalls than bucking the cowboy (or whatever).

And finally:

7) A group of mulleted men talking about how they were going to get some fajitas, which they pronounced "fah-gee-tahs." I'm pretty sure they were kidding, because who in America, much less Texas, doesn't now how "fajitas" is pronounced, but their mullets may have affected their brains.

Friday, January 20, 2006

You KNOW you want to see it

A few of my colleagues were interviewed for a documentary on the arms trade that was created to be released with the DVD version of the Nicholas Cage movie, "Lord of War." You should all run out immediately to watch the special edition, as the makers of the movie apparently got everything right on how the arms trade functions and it's quite educational.

But an even better reason would be the following: I went on Amazon to see if they had a copy of it that I could buy. Here's the key words they listed for "The Lord of War":

Person On Fire Satire Prostitute Exploding Truck Shot In The Forehead Christmas Tree Shot To Death Blood Splatter

Admit it: aren't you just a *little* bit intrigued?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Death becomes her

When you're trundling by foot along a major street, with cars whizzing past you at 50+ mph, it really makes you face your own mortality. Let me tell you, the roads of San Antonio are not set up for pedestrians. I realize that this is common to the burbs, but wow is it scary out there.

The Texan recently started back up at school, forcing constant planning regarding our shared car. This morning, I decided, the hell with it - I live barely one minute's drive from the gym, I'm gonna walk it. I used to do it all the time in DC; I wouldn't even blink at hiking 30 minutes or more to get where I needed to go. Not so much any more.

In order to get to the shopping center where my gym is located (and NO, it's not a Curves, thankyouverymuch), you have to spend maybe 100 yards walking along a major thoroughfare for our neck of the woods. And of course, since no one apparently walks anywhere, why pay to have sidewalks put in? Sweet jesus, you feel like you're taking your life in your hands by becoming a pedestrian. This doesn't even mention dodging cars coming from what seems like all four dimensions in the parking lot.

The only people you see walking around here are those giving their dogs some exercise. This morning, a few drivers looked at me as if to say, Where's your pet, you non-leash-using asshole?

Of course, I have lived here for two months and this is the farthest I've walked that wasn't inside a mall. So I'm one to talk.


I also played with Death yesterday while doing a little B&E. Here in Texas, everyone has signs on their fences warning darkly that "We don't call 911" while a happy revolver scampers in the background. But I was playing with the dog and his ball, due to my sorry throwing arm, ended up in the neighbors' yard. The poor animal was going nuts, as he could clearly see the ball through the chain link fence but couldn't get at it. So I tried knocking on their door to do this legitimately, but they weren't home. That left me no option except to climb over the fence and retrieve the dog's ball before he did himself some major damage. I did, crossing my fingers that no sniper was sitting poised in an upstairs window, going, "Careful...careful...just finish crossing into my yard and everything I do to you is legal."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Good lord I suck

And not in the way that's guaranteed to make me some friends, either. When I started at this new gym, I was stoked (yes, I grew up in southern California; why do you ask?) to see that they offered a class that was a combination of pilates and yoga. I've been doing pilates for the past several years. I'm nowhere near being an expert, but I at least can recognize and approximate most of the moves.

Yoga, on the other hand, is a whole new and painful world for me.

I was a tomboy growing up. I played some pretty competitive team sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball) and individual sports (swimming, track and field). As an adult, besides playing on various intramural teams, I visit (hee. I don't stay there though) the gym and take dance classes. Suffice it to say I have put my body through a fair amount.

But out of everything I've done, yoga is the one activity that consistently makes me feel like I'm *thisclose* to puking.

My friend Grits assures me that yoga is something that you gain more from the more you do it. I sure as shit hope so. In the meantime, I'll continue struggling with it. At times, the only thing keeping me going during class is how much I actively hate my instructor. Which I understand is kinda against the concept of yoga, but you know, you do what you can with what you have.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

You just can't win

The other day, The Texan and I were at the grocery store, buying out the place. Between his having just read "Don't Eat This Book" (by the guy who did "Supersize Me") and both of us realizing that hmm, we're not as svelte as we used to be, we decided that our eating habits could use some cleaning up. First stop: less eating out, more home cookin'. To do that, though, one does need to have groceries.

We spent 90 minutes cruising up and down the aisles, carefully reading product labels and debating the merits of various products. Our trip ended with a visit to the freezer section where we each chose a healthy frozen treat. He got raspberry sorbet, while I got frozen strawberry juice bars.

A few minutes later, we're unpacking the billions and billions of bags in our kitchen. I get to the one containing our desserts and stop in confusion. There, nestled next to the sorbet and the juice bars, is a pint of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. I have no clue how it got there, as the Texan doesn't particularly like chocolate ice cream, and while I loooove it, I hadn't bought any this time around.

I swear it's like the healthy gods are tempting us. Get behind me, ye foule pint of B&J! I haven't opened it up...yet.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Growing pains

I started a new job this week. So far I have broken the photocopy machine not once, not twice, but thrice. I can't get my email log-in to work...except when I'm on the phone with IT support. And the bathroom is tucked way over on the other side of god's green creation.

So good times so far. Let's hope things pick up, real quick-like.

Friday, January 06, 2006

What we have is a failure to communicate

So today I had an unexpected surprise from the UPS guy. No, not like that. He dropped off a box from my aunt and uncle who live in Florida. I figured it was a late holiday gift, prompted by my mailing them one of the xmas cards The Texan and I sent out this year (featuring the pets in combat. Best. Christmas. Card. Ever).

Imagine my surprise to see a card with a very pregnant woman's belly on the front; the inside said something like, "Some miracles are immediate, while others take nine months. Congratulations!" I'm reading it, still trying to figure out how that could be taken as a xmas card. And then I saw the baby clothes and blanket tucked under a very sweet letter from my aunt, congratulating me and The Texan.

This was one of those times where you start to think, wait, did I forget about something? Am I actually pregnant and just blocked it out? Because if I am, this is news to me.

Compounding the situation was that while I like my aunt and uncle, I don't really know them that well. They lived on the other side of the country while we were growing up and I really only correspond with them a couple of times a year. So I didn't feel comfortable just calling them up to ask what the hell was going on with the package. Instead, like a mature adult, I passed the buck on to my dad.

Turned out that there was a sentence I'd written in my xmas card that both my aunt and uncle had read as "I am pregnant." Apparently my aunt is going to mail my dad a photocopy so he can see what they were talking about. He thanked them for the gift but assured them that I am not expecting. Which, just to make clear, I am not.

Those of you who know me are laughing right about now because this is totally my fault. "Chicken scratches" doesn't even begin to express how sloppy my handwriting is. I keep a journal that I leave in plain sight, secure in the knowledge that no one will ever be able to decipher it. Friends who I've known for decades still struggle with reading my postcards. So I've decided that I will have to really make an effort and work on my handwriting before I create any more rifts in the family.

That does raise the point: how do I thank them for this? They kindly told my dad I could just pass the gifts on to someone who could use them, which was very generous of them, so I feel I should write....something to them. I just don't know what - the usual thank you note wouldn't seem to apply here. Suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Yay Texas

So the Longhorns won the Rose Bowl. Hooray. A couple of people had asked me who I would root for, with the joke being of course now that I'm in San Antonio I'd cheer for Texas. Well, I did root for the Longhorns, but only because they were USC's opponents. Kind of like how I voted for Kerry, but only because he was running against Bush.

See, I did my undergrad at that august institution, UCLA. The University of Spoiled Children (or University of Second Choice - take your pick) was our mortal enemy. It was pounded into us at freshman orientation and kept at a mouth-frothingly high level the entire time we were there. I can still tell you the USC joke I learned my second day at school, but I won't. I have the distinct ability to kill any joke I get near. (I could also do the UCLA infamous "8-clap" cheer I learned at the same brainwashing session, but I'd need a helluva lot of alcohol to get in the mood.) And nearly a decade later, my bile for the school has no bounds. So suck it, Trojans!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Everything is topsy-turvy

Whattaburger is offering taquitos, while Subway is bragging about their pizzas. What is this world coming to? I'm scared; hold me.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Folger's crystals for the downwardly-mobile

We have secretly replaced our normal brand of toilet paper with Her Ladyship's much-beloved Scott single-ply 1000-sheet rolls (it's one fucking thousand sheets, people! how can that be beat?). Let's see if The Texan will notice.

{To be honest, I made the switch only because I was the one shopping and I couldn't remember his brand du choix. The hand that holds the grocery list rules the world.}

Monday, January 02, 2006

Back to the grind

Although it doesn't feel like it as everyone else I know is taking today off. Damn federal employees.

Anyways, our holiday was good, but 10 days is a long time to spend away from home. Scratchel was VERY happy to see me when I got back. We spent the first few days at my sister and brother-in-law's in Las Vegas, where we did the strip thing, but that's pretty Disneyfied. I liked the old strip much better; that's where you can stumble around, drinking an everclear and fruit slushee out of a plastic football. Er, if you wanted to, I would never do anything so crass. We also walked around a nature preserve called Red Rock (guess why) and saw some wild...donkeys or burros, I forget which. Either way, they were very fuzzy and cute enough that I wanted to go up and hug them, but I decided that was probably not a wise decision. LA was nice - my family gets along well with The Texan. The highight was seeing friends and family. Plus we actually did something of culture this time: we visited the Getty museum, where, not to sound like a dork, they had an amazing exhibit on books of hours (prayer books from the middle ages). It's in a beautiful location on a crest in West LA. To the right is the Pacific Ocean, to the left is all of LA in its smoggy glory.

But it's good to be back. On NYE we had a little shindig, which was small but fun. We damn near had to use the firehose to get the last of the guests out by 4:30 AM. And I learned my lesson: no glitter confetti. I foolishly handed it out at my last NYE party and lived to regret it. Weeks later, guests reported that they were still washing it out of their hair; by the time I moved, nearly two years after the fact, I was still coming across stray bits of confetti. So this time we all behaved with great decorum. Except for the clackers - the chance to drive the dog nuts was too great to pass up.