Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

And furthermore....

....it's always the days that you have no source of caffeine that you are grievously hungover. The Texan accidentally managed to break the carafe of our coffee maker last night....BEFORE the drinking began, I might add. And we have managed to hoover up all soda in the house. I think the coffee kiosk near my house is going to be my new best friend.

We were out last night in our quest to break out of old habits and try new places around the city. I'd found a taco place located a mere three blocks away from a tequila bar, so that seemed like an auspicious place to start. We had a delicious dinner at the Taco Garage (it used to be a Texaco station, but now they serve tacos. Geddit? Haw haw). It was also reasonably priced, unlike other meals I've eaten lately, Acenar.

Then we meandered over to Salud! I rush to add that the exclamation point is part of the title. Despite that, it's a very cool place and has an owner who knows her tequila. Just because it comes out of the prettiest! bottle! ever!, I had a few shots of Los Azulejos Anejo (pretend there's a squiggle over the "n"). Muy smooth. And if you don't believe me, here's the bottle: http://www.tequilasource.com/bottles/pics/losazulejostalavera_1886_r2.jpg. The owner told me some dangerous information, that if you buy the last shot of a bottle, they'll give you the bottle. Sounds like a challenge to me!

The ONE time...

....I don't wear shoes outside, I step in a steaming pile of fresh dog shit. Goddammit.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Two degrees of separation

DC is such a small and incestuous town that I used to think that six degrees of separation was too much, that maybe two degrees would be more accurate. Now I'm starting to think that it may be true for the world in general.

To whit: Friday, The Texan and I were sitting in his favorite bar, Applebee's (what? it's the burbs)(and due to weird zoning restrictions, it's one of the few places where you can smoke and enjoy fried concoctions at the same time). I got up to use the facilities and came back to find that he'd started chatting with the guys sitting on the barstools next to us. Somehow, school came up, and the older gentleman to my left volunteered that he'd gone to college in Schenectady, NY. My ears perked up because I've been there, as it's not too far from my mom's wee little hometown in the middle of the Catskill Mountains.

So I asked if he'd ever been there. Turns out that not only had he lived there until he was 10, but he'd been good friends with my uncle, my grandparents were his godparents, and his parents were my uncle's godparents.

I think "flabbergasted" just about describes how I felt when we made that connection. And he was able to give me some good gossip about various people we knew in common (or, more accurately, people who had featured widely in my mom's stories). What are the chances that two people with that kind of weird connection would a) end up in SA? b) sit next to each other in bar? and c) talk long enough to be able to figure out there was a connection? It really makes me wonder what I'm missing out on and if I talked to random strangers all the time (and I kind of already do), who I would run into.

Anyways, the best part was knowing I knew how thrilled my mom would be to hear of this connection. Most of her family is gone now and she has no one to reminisce about ye olde tymes with. I ended up chatting with the guy for a couple of hours and got his contact information to give to my mom. I think my dad was feeling a bit left out, as he emailed me to say that if I ever ran into anyone from *his* hometown to let him know. Sure thing.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

So very sleepy

While G&T is off watching horsemen play with a headless goat - for real - I am living the rock and roll lifestyle here in SA. Namely, struggling to stay up until midnight so I can watch The Amazing Race, which CBS in its infinite wisdom bumped because of the goddamned Spurs game. There. I said it. I hate the Spurs. Anyone who fucks with TAR has made...THE LIST. Of course, there are no ramifications whatsoever for getting on the list, which may ameliorate the terror undoubtedly struck in listees' souls when they hear that they're on it.

Anyways. Back to me! Tired. But as always TAR was worth it. They were in Oman this week, which surprised me and apparently all the contestants as to how gorgeous it was. Seriously, it was all blue water and yellow rock/sand and white lights and domes. Outstanding. One of the things I love about this show is that while yes, they go to tired tourist destinations like the Spanish Steps in Rome, they also send people digging in fish villages on the coast of Oman. I can't believe how in the past two weeks we've seen what have heretofore been the strongest teams struggling to keep out of last place. Guess everyone's getting hit with a bad case of Killer Fatigue.

I like to envision myself on it. Of course, I'd be the contestant that behaved with grace under pressure, was always polite to the locals, and would wow the viewing audience with my masterful collection of helpful phrases in a smattering of languages. Ahem. Well, I can tell you one thing I *wouldn't* do, no matter how tired I was: decide that while driving around the desert of Oman, it would be a good idea to take shortcut and use an unmarked dirt road, ERIC AND JEREMY. Dumbasses.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

We're #1!

In temperatures, at least. San Antonio has been the hottest place in the country with temperatures up over 100 degrees. WTF, Death Valley? That's your job.

It's been so bad that yesterday, when I took my normally buoyant puppy outside to play, he kind of half-assed batted the ball and looked at me as if to say, "Do I really have to do this?"

A cool wave of 90 degrees is supposed to hit today. Brrr, bust out the parkas.


Yesterday, we met a gun shop owner who warned us against the federal government, sported a diamond-encrusted cross around his neck, and spoke of the End Times as being on its way. Despite all that, he was a nice fellow and we had an interesting conversation.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stuck in between gears

My work's email has been down this week - I say "this week," as if it weren't just barely Tuesday morning - and lemme tell you, this has thrown me off my game. How did people function without being able to forward horoscopes? Beats the hell out of me.

Frankly, I think that the web problems of my office are my fault. I had decided that by gum I was NOT going to check my email or work on Sunday in honor of the Easter Bunny. And of course the server immediately goes down the crapper.

At least we had a nice Easter. The Texan and I went out for brunch at Las Ramblas, the restaurant in the Hotel Contessa, which is located on the Riverwalk (like everything downtown). It's a gorgeous hotel - very Spanish (as in Spain)-looking, and the restaurant reminded me of Barcelona. I guess it was hinted to by the name, but they had a Gaudi-looking pillar in the middle of the room and ochre paint and dark wood spread out through the rooms. [I've been to Barcelona exactly once - while on the way to a friend's wedding in Basque country. It reminded me a lot of LA, what with the hills, ocean, and beautiful climate. I was flying solo then, so I entertained myself by taking one of the city buses up to the Gaudi park that overlooks the city. It was there that I took a nap in the sun. It was quite refreshing but HORRIFIED my European friends. One, apparently, does *not* sleep in public.]

Anyways, the food was delish, the company delightful - The Texan even put on one of his lovely new suits - and most importantly, the cava was free-flowing. You know, some places that have champagne brunches act like you're trying to get their first-born child when you want refills. This place, on the other hand, kept my glass filled to the brim. Now that's what I call a champagne brunch.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Catholic Town, USA

You know, I grew up Catholic in an area with a lot of Catholics, but I have never seen a place shut itself down so thoroughly for Easter as San Antonio does. My god. My boyfriend goes to a Catholic university here, so I can see why they have Good Friday off. (The Texan: "Even the food places on campus are closed on Good Friday. Where are the students who live on campus supposed to eat?" Me: "Hey, didn't you know you're supposed to fast on Good Friday? They shouldn't be eating anyways." I bet a lot of hungry Rattlers were scouting for any place that would serve them food yesterday, poor things.) Why they have Monday off, I'm less clear about.

What I find even more perplexing is the vast amount of regular businesses who are closed not only for Easter but for Good Friday too. WTF? Even our garbage and recycling guys didn't come yesterday as planned. I hope they have no qualms about working on Saturday because otherwise we are going to buried in our own filth.

In DC, the only way you'd know it was Easter would be by the vast amount of restaurants offering gorge-until-you-explode brunches. Nothing else was different. Speaking of, another difference between DC and SA is that here, you can realize the day before Easter that you forgot to make brunch reservations, get on the horn, and have the situation rectified in minutes with your top eatery choice. In DC, you either make reservations weeks ahead of time or reconcile yourself to dining at McDonald's.

Anyways, hope that the Easter bunny is good to everyone. Happy Easter. (bock bock!)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I know this much is true

San Antonians are nuts about the Spurs. NUTS I tell you. God help me during the playoffs. I already get enough shit from people due to my undying allegiance to the Lakers. Hey, I can't help it: I grew up in LA in the 80s, when Magic and Kareem headed their back-to-back winning teams. (During an 8th grade trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, I distinctly remember kids running through Disneyland with Walkmen earpieces trailing along behind them, all wild-eyed and screaming "WE WON WE WON WON!" A formative experience, indeed.)

So I can understand the love for a good basketball team. But this is out of control. A little while back, a friend had a very important first date with a woman he liked a lot. He wanted to impress her and make sure she had a good time, so he bought ballet tickets. Now, my friend is, to put it simply, not the type to sit through a ballet performance, even if you had a gun pointed at his head, so that should indicate the extent of how much he was trying for this woman. Afterwards, I asked him how it went. His eyes shining, he started enthusing about how much fun it was and that he'd had a great time. Certain that he was taking a piss, I asked him what exactly he liked about it. Turns out they'd done a tribute to the Spurs and even had the ballerinas wearing Spurs jerseys. Talk about playing to your audience.

Monday, April 10, 2006

A fun fact I learned recently

While attempting to suck the marrow out of my "Arrested Development" Season 2 DVD set, I turned on the cast's comments for one of the episodes. They were actually pretty funny - they had the whole cast except for Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, and Portia de Rossi.

Anyways, one of the commentators said that Fox wouldn't let them bleep out swear words but show someone's mouth forming the words. So instead, what they'd have to do is either swing around the camera or have someone turn their head slightly or something of that nature. It's done very subtly, as the whole show has a handheld camera sort of look, but now that you know they're doing it, you can see it. Ironic that Fox, of all networks, draws the line at that.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A sad week for Westwood

I'm sure many bitter tears were shed in Westwood this week when UCLA lost the NCAA finals to those damn Gators. As a former Bruin - or can such a thing exist? Just like once you're a Marine, you're always a Marine, maybe once you're a Bruin, you'll be writing checks to the UCLA alumni association for the rest of your life - I can empathize.

When I was but a young lass, way back before the internet age (true story: first time I heard about email from a college buddy, I couldn't figure out what the catch was. How is it that you can write letters free to anyone anywhere?), the men's basketball team at UCLA made to the finals...AND WON. My roommates and I had been hosting a viewing party that spilled outside once the results were in. At that point, I was living in an area known as "the apartments" in that wedge of land between the campus and Bel Air. Trust me when I say the residents of Bel Air made damn sure that none of the students spilled over into their territory, either. It was block after block of shitty high-rise apartments stuffed to the gills with UCLA students. So the whole area was in an uproar about the win.

Eventually, word passed around that there was a rally going on down in Westwood, which is minutes away by foot from the apartments. So we all duly trundled down there to celebrate. What we ended up seeing were a couple of hundred drunk college kids standing around, doing UCLA's cheer, the eight-clap. A few enterprising souls climbed up lightpoles to get a better view of events, but that was pretty much it.

Until the police in the riot gear arrived.

My friends and I weren't in the thick of things, but you could tell the atmosphere darkened drastically when the cops showed up. People started moving away from them and that's where the jostling started. The kids got nervous, which got the cops nervous, which got the kids even more nervous, and so forth. We decided to head back up the hill to our apartment, a sentiment echoed by many as there was a mass movement that direction. Soon, it snowballed into a bunch of people running up a hill and starting to panic, a situation that was not helped when the cops moved into the crowd that was left and started shooting rubber bullets to dispense it.

We got back to our apartment safe and sound and, being typical Angelenos, turned the TV on immediately to watch the news reports come rolling in. Even back then, Fox was spinning things wildly out of reason; "RIOTS IN WESTWOOD" screamed across their newscasts. It was my first lesson in the fundamental shakiness of the media and the volatility of large groups of people: both can get ugly very quickly.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Turning into a Texan despite myself

Saturday, we had the most Texan of activities: a BBQ. We launched our brand-new BBQ, the kind with charcoal brickettes and all that. No gas/electric grills here. (Although I grew up with a gas grill, and of course they're heartily endorsed by Hank Hill, I have been informed that charcoal BBQs are the only thing that can give you that sooty, er, smoky taste.) The Texan even managed to put the BBQ together in under an hour. I'd like to say I helped, but really my help consisted of staying out of the way.

The BBQ was fun. Everyone was well-behaved, and outside of the person who was responsible for bringing plates and flatware thinking that the party was on Sunday, it went off really smoothly. The Texan had loaded up on water balloons at the Dollar Tree last week. I didn't realize how important those are for keeping you cool. Of course, they also allow you to release pent-up hostility. It's all fun and games until the dog gets wet, poor little guy. The cat stayed inside, as we prefer (he would disagree), but the party was brought to him as there were a few little girls there who were just deee-lighted at the thought of a real! live! cat! and kept asking to go inside to pet him. I was a bit concerned about his patience because people, this is a 15-year-old cat who can still beat up a dog twice his size and a fraction of his age, but Shrapnel ate all that attention up with a spoon and acted with great decorum.

And I made Cowboy Cookies, a recipe sent to me from a friend who works at the White House. Oh. My. God. These cookies are unbelievably delicious. Of course, they have three sticks of butter, three cups of sugar, and three cups of chocolate chips, so they damn well better be good. But still. We're down to just one sad little cookie fragment which I am striving heroically to save for The Texan, but I can't make any promises here.