My friends ZFF and G&T have an annual event that they call "Swanky Cocktails." They host a party where everyone has an excuse to wear old bridesmaid dresses (for the women) and honest-to-god suits (for the men). It's always a lot of fun and a good reason to put on something besides your black going-out shirt and jeans.
This year, of course, I couldn't make it as I live in Tejas and they live in our nations' capital. So instead, I went to the nearest equivalent: the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo. Okay, technically, we went to the livestock show, but the rodeo sold out. In fact, the whole thing seemed to be running on empty, as we went on the second-to-last night and thus all the vendors were running low on supplies. By god, if you advertise that you have corn dogs and sweet potato curly fries, you damn well better have said items. We still had fun drinking overpriced beer (probably the only time in my life you will see me paying $6.50 to drink Bud Lite) and cruising the vendors' area. If you ever want a skimpy tank-tank with a bejeweled cross on it, I know exactly where to get one.
Sunday I attended the Express-News "
Fine Wine and Cuisine Tasting." It cost $45 but I had high hopes for it. The Texan didn't come because he isn't a fan of wine and we weren't sure how much actual cuisine there would be. Next year, however, we are BOTH getting there right as soon as it opens.
As you walk in, they hand you a program with a listing of all the food suppliers and wineries present and a map of where they're positioned in the Alamodome. Plus they give you a glass wine glass - one of the more short-sighted things I've seen done - and a book of tickets. I thought at first that goddammit, each wine tasting is going to be a bunch of tickets and I'm going to get like three sips and a cracker. Instead, they give you roughly 20 tickets - it's all a bit hazy now - and each taste of wine, which is in reality half a glass, was one ticket. I'm sure it's done to keep people from getting blitzed, but ha ha ha too late. I was gone before I used up maybe half my tickets.
There were long lines for the furrin wines but I figured that time was of the essence and just hightailed it to any table where the corker was standing idle. I also skipped the chatting of the wines' bouquets etc and instead just pointed to whatever bottle of red wine was opened. They had stickers there for each wine they had on offer that I guess you were supposed to use to keep track of your sampling. Perhaps write yourself a little note too. Of course, if it were really that kind of wine tasting, they'd have spit buckets around, and they most certainly did not.
The food was quite good too, although seriously, Chipotle? Give it up, no one's ever going to associate you with wine or fine cuisine. The only food line I waited in was for HEB as they were the ones providing samples of fancy-pants cheeses. I ended up chatting with this very nice lesbian couple* who volunteered to hold my spot while I refilled my glass, as it took maybe 20 minutes to get to the front of the line and lo, my glass had run dry in the interim.
Since I was there solo I was able to dart around from wine station to wine station, unimpeded by any laggardly companions. This was good for the wine consumption but not so bad for my stomach. About 1.5 hours in, I felt a "sproing" in my stomach and an immediately cramping in my left side. I have never gotten a stitch in my side so spectacularly quick in my life. My body apparently decided that desperate times required desperate measures and it was going to stop me from consuming anything more, like it or not. I tried waiting a few minutes but the cramping didn't go away. So I gave up and called The Texan to come get me so I could go home and lie flat until my digestion caught up a bit.
What I was suprised about was how dressed up a lot of people were. I know I live in Texas but it's an event in the Alamodome - why would sequined cocktail dresses be warranted? I was wearing a t-shirt** and jeans and was glad that I could scoot around without having to worry about being crippled by my shoes.
* San Antonio's gay and lesbian community was out in full force last night. So THIS is where they hang out. I'd been wondering where they were.
** Specifically, I was wearing my Amazing Race t-shirt from TelevisionWithoutPity.com (the one that has a front that reads, "You're the first to arrive!" and the back that reads, "Sorry, you're the last to arrive." It was in honor of last night being the start of TAR 11: All-Star edition. And I think one word describes how I feel about this season: ecstatic! Or goofy. Take your pick.