Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What are they trying to say, do you think?

In going through all the emails that had built up while I was gone, I noticed two from the local branch we go to of the San Antonio public library system. I was a bit puzzled at first, as I didn't remember putting any books on reserve (the normal reason for email correspondence is to let patrons know that their books are ready). Turns out I hadn't. It was a reminder that I had books due soon - not that they were due, or late, or anything like that, but that they would be.

Perhaps this is related to the fact that every single book I've checked out this year has been turned in late. It's to the point where I don't like to check out books on The Texan's card, even if he's standing right there with me, because I don't want to sully his record. I swear with all the fines I've paid, I should get a plaque or some acknowledgement as a major funder for their recent renovation. Sigh. The sad part is that I probably still will turn in the books late.

Part of that is because the books aren't actually in my possession. The Texan and I, despite having mailed gifts directly to my parents' house, still were at (respectively) 45 and 47.5 pounds for our luggage on the way over. As frequent fliers know, this is a bottle of lotion away from the weight limit and thus fines. So since we were so close, we decided to mail back a bunch of the gifts that we'd received and also a few other things to lighten the load for the return trip, including library books. I'm hoping they actually show up soon.

It was a good holiday. We spent the first couple of days in the San Fran area visiting friends and taking the BART into the city for a day. Our trip should've taken 45 minutes but ended up being nearly an hour and a half, as all trains were delayed due to "a police action in West Oakland." Of course there was.

We did a harbor cruise as neither of us had done one before. For some reason, the baby waves were killing me - I spent the whole time huddled in the back of the boat, popping ginger pills. Then we were going to walk up to a trolley to go to Union Square so that we could buy a KNGY CD (available only in Bay Area Best Buys!), but we got derailed into a bar where the bartender not only listened to KNGY in the morning but loved to talk about the DJs as much as we did. We spent fully 40 minutes going, "And then remember the time when Greg said...And remember their stupid intern who claimed...And then Fernando left the event early..." which was enough to keep us on a track to stay for a couple of hours, leaving only to get Indian food and stagger back to the BART.

The drive down to LA wasn't that bad, especially after we stopped somewhere in the San Joaquin valley to get Burger King for lunch (where, I shit you not, they had a special seating section reserved solely for bus drivers, and where presumably said bus drivers could share war stories).

Seeing the family was fun and a little tiring as trips always are. It wasn't helped that I came down with an annoying cold - nothing serious, but which seriously zapped my energy. The thing about my parents' house was that it was set up for 5 people - us three kids and my parents. Now, when everyone's there for the holidays, we need to find a way to sit 8 people down for dinner/TV/etc, which can be challenging. We eventually found a buffet style seating worked the best.

Anyways, it was great seeing the family and then it was great to be back home. Shrapnel hasn't left my side since we got here and even as I type is meowing inconsolably at my feet. (We had someone come hang out with him twice a day while we were gone, mind you, so it's not like he was neglected. Give him a couple of days and this affection will have worked itself out of his system.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some holiday cards to write. My thinking is, as long as they get postmarked with Dec. 31, I'm cool.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

In the days of yore

Last night, I was driving home from the gym and skipping idly through the radio, searching for a station that doesn't suck, when I came across a weird ad. It was a mother and her four wholesome-sounding children playing in the snow. I was trying to figure out what it was for and something struck as the whole thing being off, so I listened further, instead of continuing to scan the dial.

Turned out it was an old-fashioned radio play. I can't even begin to think of any other time I've heard something like that. And of course it was espousing good old-fashioned values. Turned out the family was that of a minister of a struggling church and the richest church elder was going to close the church (DUN DUN DUNNNN), leaving the town without one. I think it had something to do with him owning the land that the church was on and wanting to turn it into a heathenish spa and resort.* The whole thing was very "7th Heaven".**

Anyways, The Texan and I head out to California tomorrow. We're going to be in San Francisco for a couple of days, then we get to experience the beauty and glory that is the 5 driving down central California to LA. I've tried to express to The Texan exactly how ugly central California is but I don't think I've been able to do it justice. I just want to make sure we stop in Gilroy and get some garlic.

Then we're staying, not in the house where I grew up, but in a hotel one town over for the holidays and visiting my parents. This was decided for a variety of reasons, and mostly due to the fact that Mama Ladyship is still in weak health. So me, The Texan, my sister Dust Bunny, and her husband Road Runner are all staying at the local La Quinta.*** Par-tay!!

Anyways, happy holidays to all! Hope the baby Jebus brings you everything on your list.

* If given the option between staying at a four-star spa or going to church, um, no contest. Please don't strike me down!

** The last time I was in London, I spent a lot of time at in Camden Yard, and much of that was spent snickering and taking pictures of everything that had Camden in its name. If you have to ask why I thought that was funny, that means that you have a life.

*** The local La Quinta became the Ladyship family's hotel of choice a few years ago when Dust Bunny and Roadrunner were sent to another, lesser chain. Let's call it, oh, the Smotel 7. They walked in to see that the front desk person was separated from the clientele with a thick plate of glass. As they checked in, they were handed their towels. They went up to the room and were treated to heavy drafts of pot from the surrounding rooms. And the less that's said about the cleanliness of the room (or lack thereof), the better. I think they lasted about 10 minutes before deciding, "Oh HELL no" and skedaddling for La Quinta's greener pastures.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Did you know...

...that they make Big & Tall office chairs now? Swear to god, that's an actual, searchable category in all the major office supply chains. I can think of no thing more American than that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Getting decrepit

It used to be I could fly all over (um, in an airplane, of course) and not really suffer any undue consequences. Not any more. I went to Korea last week and my god that flight knocked me flat. I guess the difference between going to Asia for fun and for work is that if you're going for fun, you have the option of taking naps. Work, not so much. (Except for that one afternoon, where it was like 85 degrees in the room and someone was droning on and on. I couldn't help nodding off, although I tried my damnedest to stay awake.) I got back late last week, immediately had to work on a deadline due Monday, and am just now feeling human again.

Of course, it wouldn't be a trip without me bitching about it. So allow me to honor tradition and tell you the latest fuckwittery I experienced. I'd bought The Texan a bottle of fancy rum while in duty-free in Seoul - in our house, we show love via purchases of alcohol - and thus I had it with me in my carry-on in the plane. When I got to Dallas, I had to do the usual and claim my bag and recheck it. I'd forgotten that when you do that, you are officially out of the security zone. So I am exhausted after 12 hours on the plane and my feet are swollen so I can barely walk in my boots. I go over to the security check-point and manage, after much struggle, to get my boots off so they can go through the x-ray machine. As I go through, they stop the machine and tell me - to be fair, regretfully - that my bottle of rum is much more than three ounces of liquid and I'll have to recheck it.

At that point, I was this close to handing it to them and wishing them a merry xmas, but I did have time before my flight to go do it correctly. However, there was no way I was going to stuff my feet back into those boots and then have to pull them out again in the course of just a few minutes. So I grabbed my boots and my booze and padded over to the check-in in my socks. Classy, but at that point, I was just NOT IN THE MOOD. Luckily, the airline agent was very nice and pulled out a box to stuff the rum in and we got it checked in okay.


Seoul was great. I love Korea, I grew up in a city with a large Korean population and it reminds me of home. It wasn't as cold as it was the only other time I was there, for which I was grateful. Plus the hotel was quite nice. They took a lot of steps to make your stay more comfortable. One of them was to put some sort of agent on the mirror in the bathroom so that a square wouldn't fog up during your shower. Of course, the square was at about my clavicle - I'm a bit taller than the norm for that part of the world, I guess - but it was still thoughtful.

I'd thought that I'd get my xmas shopping done in Seoul, as they have a lot of really beautiful crafts and the like. Heh. Not even close. I got myself a bunch of cool things, my favorite being hot pepper chocolates (which do have a bit of a kick). My friends and family get my good wishes from Korea. Sorry, folks.