Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A tip of the hat....

...to the unsung heroes of Feb. 29: wedding planners in Las Vegas chapels. My sister, Dustbunny, and her colleagues have been preparing feverishly for this, Leap Year Day. Why people would especially want to get married on a day that only officially comes around every four years is beyond me. It's like they need a hook to make their marriage interesting.

Be that as it may, Dustbunny informs me that they have more weddings booked for today than they did for Valentine's Day, and they were frantically busy on VD. I guess everyone's reallly excited about Leap Year. Or something.

BTW: The next big date for weddings: August 8, which this year will be 8.8.08. Again, not sure why this is so appealing to people, but apparently it is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The biggest thing my 34-year-old self wishes her 33-year-old self knew


Consider this a PSA, folks! Computer crashes can happen to you too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Soon I'll have a whole set

The Texan, GI Jane, and I went to the annual Express-News wine and "fine food" festival on Sunday. I went last year solo and had an absolute blast, so I knew I could not miss it this year.

I think that they were pouring less generous tastes of the wine this year - and listening to other people grumble, I was not alone in this assessment - as I worked my way through all my drink tickets this year, something I couldn't do last year. And come on, people go to this to get toasted - we already know what most of those wines taste like.

This year I tracked down the cheese booth early, so I was able to get my, and many other people's, fill. Most of the other food items were some variation of a taco. You might be wondering why tacos are thought to go with wine. In which case, I would answer, this is San Antonio - tacos go with EVERYTHING. GI Jane and I spent most of our time scoping out short lines for food and all three of us took turns holding spots in line for each other. Now, that's teamwork.

A good time was had by all: even The Texan, who is not much of a wine drinker, found quite a few varietals he liked. And we were able to build up our wine glass collection. They give you one per person, so if we go again next year, I will finally have a matching set. What? Don't look at me like that, I know many people purchase complete sets. But I have managed to break three sets of wine glasses, most of which were not my fault (Scratchel, I'm looking your way), so I'm kinda leery to spend real money on a decent set. Plus, didn't you have those big gas station glasses growing up? Came with a full tank of gas? I can continue that legacy but I'll class it up with wine glasses.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The alternative universe me

Today, when I was taking the dog for a walk, a woman and her toddler approached us from a distance. As they got closer, I noticed that the child was on the exact same leash as my dog. And the woman was having just about as much luck as I was at keeping her leashed being up with her.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Visiting the aminals* at the zoo

So The Texan, GI Jane, and I went to the SA Zoo on Saturday. The Texan has had to clock in quite a few hours watching the lemurs for a class project, and I'd never been to the zoo but wanted to, so it was a good excuse to tag along. We got there at 10AM and already there was a howling mob at the front gates. It reminded me of why I used to avoid the Woodley Park metro stop on weekends. It's the one most people used for the National Zoo, and I was tired of parents using their strollers as battering rams through the crowds. San Antonians are not any different when it comes to using their young to knock heedless pedestrians aside.

We walked through to the lemur** exhibit and watched them do....pretty much nothing. To be fair to them, they are nocturnal animals and thus can't really be expected to be doing backflips (not like the black spider monkeys, who were nonstop balls of action. Sigh). GI Jane caught up with us there and we meandered around the zoo together.

Overall, it's an old zoo - seriously, there was one exhibit that had a WPA stamp on it - and it shows. The pens are small and rather run-down. The zoo was making much of its new Africa exhibit, and it *was* bigger than the rest, but that was it. I guess being in SA you're stuck with a desert climate, but it still blows for the animals, a lot of whom had hard-packed dirt and little else to sit on. One in particular I felt bad for, as the exhibit card said it lived in moist environments (I forget what it was, but it looked like a mix between an anteater and a pig), but its pen was bone-dry.

GI Jane wouldn't go with us in the aviary exhibits, claiming she didn't want to get crapped on. I laughed at her...until I got hit by a vile reddish liquid and skidded into a wooden post courtesy of a yellow one.

By 1PM, we were all getting tired and ready to refresh ourselves with $5 Icees (fortunately, they had the only flavors for true Icee enthusiasts: cherry and cola). The Texan went back to see if the lemurs were doing anything noteworthy and GI Jane and I went off to go ride the train that goes around the zoo and through Breckinridge Park (which the zoo is a part of).

I was far too excited about this, and yes, we were the only adults riding the train without any kids. So I felt a little foolish, but also grateful, as apparently every child in the place had decided to hit its self-destruct meltdown button at 1PM. And riding around on the train was quite refreshing -it was the only breeze I felt all day. I don't feel like it's something I'm going to be rushing off to do every weekend though.

What I wish I could do weekly is get a massage. After the zoo, I went to The Texan's cousin, who's a massage therapist, for some work on my back. Sweet sweet bliss - it's 99% better now.

* Sorry, the title was an inside joke to my siblings, one of who as a young tyke had trouble saying "animal" and "cinnamon" - aminal, obviously, and cimmanon. To this day I still think of them that way.

** Did anyone see The Simpsons where Lisa is trying to break Maggie out of the barnyard rut that most kids are put in when learning their animals and instead was showing her flashcards of other types of animals? No? Well, one of them was a lemur, and Lisa said something along, "Look, Maggie. A lemur. LEEE-MUUR." The whole time we were at the zoo, I kept using excuses to say the word "LEE-MUUUR". Where would my conversations be without the Simpsons?

Friday, February 08, 2008

The horsey set

Age 12: When I was growing up, despite having quite a few "My Little Ponies" strewn around my room, I somehow managed to duck the love affair little girls are supposed to have for horses. And living in a suburb of LA meant that you didn't get access to horses unless you consciously sought them out. So the first time I sat on a real live horse was at Girl Scout camp. We went on a trail ride, and I somehow managed to get the only yellow helmet when everyone else's was blue or pink. This allowed the instructor an easy hook to constantly shout at "girl in the yellow helmet" to "get your horse moving!" Something a novice horserider is apparently innately supposed to know how to do. It, like many things at that Girl Scout camp, was not much fun.

Age 24: A bunch of my grad school classmates are hanging around DC post-graduation and pre-starting jobs. Someone gets the idea of going on a trail ride in the mountains of Virginia - its horsey area was maybe an hour and a half from DC - so a couple of dozen of us head out. Now, a lot of my classmates were extremely wealthy Europeans (seriously - there was one who was closely related to his country's royalty) and clearly had grown up doing the equestrian thing. I however had not. So the trail ride was far beyond my capabilities and well within all of theirs. Not the most exciting trip for all concerned.

Age 24, again: A few of us decide that by god, we WILL enjoy ourselves on horseback. Along those lines, we go back for another horse ride. Despite our having warned the horse stable people that we were all newbies and had no idea what we were doing, we got yelled at for riding the horses incorrectly.

Age 33: Hey, can you guess what I did yesterday?

I am a little leery around horses now, as they are very large animals and let's face it, I have scant experience in getting animals to do what I want (the plight of a cat owner). But I figure that I live in Texas, and hence I *should* learn how to ride a horse. The Texan agrees, but suggested that we get lessons in English saddle, as Western saddle requires little of a rider. He's got quite a lot of experience of the latter and none of the former, so this was supposed to be something fun for us to do together.

We arrived at the stable last night and The Texan got right on his horse to start immediately working on trotting. I however need a little more help. Like, in getting on the horse.

I had watched other people doing it and it seemed pretty obvious. Climb up the steps, put your left foot in the stirrup, swing your right leg over. Easy-peasy. Unless, of course, you swing a little too vigorously and the momentum carries you over the horse and right onto your unsuspecting instructor. I had feared I would fall off the horse but I honestly didn't expect it to be the first thing I did. I did try it again, a little more cautiously this time, and managed to stay on, much to my instructor (who was very sweet about the whole thing)'s relief. But I'd twisted my back first-off, which made the straight posture horse-riding entails quite difficult. I was happy to get off the horse at the end of the 30-minute lesson.

We will be going back, though, as I am sure that this is something that will get less scary and painful with experience. Or if it doesn't, I will at least know I tried.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Packing it in

I guess I am officially an old wizened woman now. I always thought I'd have more than one cat when it happened though.

Saturday morning I was getting ready to go to the gym. As I bent over to pick up my shoes, I felt a tweak go down my spine. Hmm, I thought, that's not good. Then, another one. And another one. I sat down to debate whether I should actually go work out, and at the end of that thought process, whether I should work out became moot, as there was no goddamned way I could work out. I had a muscle spasm in my back that was so bad I couldn't even bend over to flip up the toilet lid.

I'd hoped that it would've blown through by Sunday afternoon, but no such luck. Two days later, I can hobble around the house, but that's about the extent of my mobility. So instead of going to get sloshed at a Superbowl party, I....taped the Puppy Bowl specifically so I could watch the Kitty Half-Time Show on Animal Planet. The Texan did make me brownies and pizza though so I could enjoy in the snacking aspect of SuperBowl Sunday.

And the puppies were so cute! I want a Bernese Mountain Dog. I read an online chat with one of the producers of the Puppy Bowl last week and she said that they get tons of requests for outsiders to come watch it, which they have to turn down. Primarily, that's because of a lack of room, but there also is the very real concern that people will not be able to quell their urges to hug the puppies. They film it in October - just put the puppies out on a pseudo-field and have them play, then dub in an announcer later. They even had a referee, who would occasionally decreee unnecessary roughness and a penalty, or, less often, tweet his whistle when a "touch-down" was scored.

The Kitty half-time show was along those same lines: kittens playing on a ginormous playset. Quite a few looked like Scratchel, but that's not unusual, as he's a grey stripey cat, like 99% of the feline population. They had a "grand finale" which turned out to be a lot of confetti raining down on some very confused looking kittens.

So, to sum: bad back + slavish dovotion to puppies and kittens playing on TV = *thisclose* to embroidering my own kitten sweatshirts.