Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Because my husband is too gracious to say it

"I told you so:" A Play in Three Acts

Act I. Scene: our living room around midnight last night. Both of us sprawled out on our individual loungers.

Me: (yawning through the half-hour-plus documentary, "Making of Ferris Bueller" [note: seriously, what up with that? 10 minutes good, 15 okay. but 30+ and you are trying my patience] Man, I'm tired. I've got to go to bed - I have to get up and be coherent for a work phone call at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

The Texan: Okay, good night hon. *smooch*

Act II (our bedroom) Scene 1:

The Texan: Hey, it's 6:30 already, don't you need to get up?

Me: No-not-yet-must-sleep-zzzzz

The Texan: *shrug*

Act II, Scene 2:


Me: Oh I don't think so.

Act II, Scene 3:

Me: It's 7:30, guess I can't delay any more.

Act III: our office, 10 minutes later - the dog has been let out, I'm all coffee'd up and ready for work.

Me: Okay, who do I have to call in an hour.....[actually read the information that was sent to you yesterday about the phone call] WAIT - WAS THAT CALL FOR 8:30 EST OR CST? Aw, SHIT.

The End

The moral of this story? Freaking double-check when you have specific appointments with people in different time zones. Texas is one hour behind the East Coast - well, in regards to some social policies, it's decades behind it, but that's another post - and after having lived here going on three years, you'd think it would be second-nature to reconfirm these things.

Also, I am never going to sleep in again. Not at least for another month. Okay, maybe a week. Not until Friday at the very earliest.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

You're not cool anymore when...

...you schedule your whole day around heading out to the grocery store to turn in your masses of plastic bags for one! free! canvas! bag!!! Seriously, I got home Monday night around midnight from a work trip and immediately started hassling The Texan about the store, did we need anything at the store, don't take the car because I need to go to the store during very specific hours, hey remember the store trip, etc etc. Then when I got there, HEB got very clingy about its canvas bags and would only give one per customer. Suckers, I'm coming back every day you're running this so I can unload all the crappy plastic bags we've been saving for no apparent reason.

I don't know why the thought of a free canvas bag got me all atwitter - usually I reserve that level of excitement for an open bar - but hey, take your ups where you can. I'd like to say it's because I love Mother Earth, and I am very fond of her, but it's more the concept of freebies. I guess I'll never outgrow the broke college student mentality.

The work trip was to visit our northern brethren in the great state of Alaska. On the way there, I got delayed for another idiotic reason: our airplane's windshield wipers weren't working and they had to swap us to a plane who had working components. I had thought that at the speeds airplanes fly windshield wipers wouldn't be a dealbreaker, but apparently they are.

I had been worried about Alaska, as the last time I was there it was minus 20 degrees. Checking the weather on Thursday did little to assuage my fears, as it was 31 degrees and snowing. In April! But by the weekend, it had warmed up to the 50s and was, well, freaking gorgeous. I can see the attraction of living there. Sort of. I don't think I'm crunchy enough though. While I can appreciate in theory kayaking and hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, in reality I don't think it's meant for me.

And one more thing: Alaska Air's monopolistic control of the routes in/out of Alaska are a prime example of why monopolies should be discouraged. When I was buying my ticket, I spent literally an entire work day researching various routes. They kept wanting me to have five stops and fly all over Alaska before getting to my final destination; also, to fly in/out of the state costs at least $500, no matter if you're flying from Seattle or LA. I ended up buying two back-to-back tickets and crossed my fingers. Even with that preparation, I was surprised by an unmentioned stop in Ketchikan on the way from Juneau to Seattle. Bastards. Plus I've never seen such surly flight attendants.

I do realize that the opening title would imply that I had once been cool, an assertion that many who know me would dispute. Well, to that I say: my mom thinks I'm cool.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A giant serving of humble pie

When The Texan and I bought our scooter a little while back, we decided to go to motorcycle riding school. There are programs here that, once you pass them, relieve you of having to take the riding test for your motorcycle license. Plus, since I'd never driven a scooter or a motorcycle, I thought it would be wise to get proper habits established from the get-go.

So we called it an early night on Friday so that we could get up at 5am for motorcycle school. We'd chosen one that would be all day Saturday and Sunday, figuring it would be intense but over quickly.

The first hour was fine - I was the only female student in a class of 16, but we were in the classroom going over some basics and frankly it wasn't that hard.

Then we went out to the parking lot for our initial time on the motorcycles.

They provide you with a motorcycle, helmet, and gloves. They require you to wear long-sleeves, long pants, some sort of eye protection, and shoes with low heels on them. I'd worn my cowboy boots, since they work just fine for horse-riding. However, I didn't know that I needed rubber soles to be able to grip the pavement. As it was, I was scrabbling around, trying to make sure I didn't skid and take the 250-pound bike with me.

The school split us up into two groups: one that had had some prior motorcycle experience, and a bunch of newbies like myself. However, they still thought that we knew what we were doing. My instructor would tell us to check for the fuel line. Me: "Where's that?" Then she told us to move the choke. Me: "Where's that?" Then she told us to put our right hands on the throttle. Me: "Where's that?"

What I didn't know was that motorcycles are like stick shift cars - you have to kick the gears through from first to neutral to second etc. Scooters, however, are automatic. After seeing me struggle in finding neutral, my instructor asked if I wanted to learn on the scooter. Wounded, and sure I could get it eventually, I told her no. Big mistake.

I dragged that class down with me. I was the one who was always pointed the wrong direction, who was always a minute or so behind everyone else, who had the instructor barking at her that I needed to get it (really? I thought it was all optional) and that maybe I should get private lessons.

After the first hour, we broke for water and rest. I stalked over to where The Texan was smoking and chatting with his instructor, asked for the car keys, and went over to stand by the trunk and cry. I have never been so pissed in my life. I am of average intelligence and that class was designed for people who'd never been on a bike before - why couldn't I get it?

After hyperventilating for ten minutes, the break was over and The Texan went back to his class. I asked the instructor if I could switch to the scooter at that point. She dubiously said yes, but I'd have to play catch-up with the rest of the class. She started to tell me that everything I'd learned on the hand gears for the motorcycles was inapplicable to scooters. I was so mad and frustrated at that point I told her to forget it, I'd reschedule. Then she told me she'd known from the beginning that I'd have trouble, that my balance was awful and maybe I should focus on yoga or something to strengthen my core. OH MY GOD there were all these 50-year-old men in my class, I can GUARANTEE my balance was at least as good if not better than theirs. AND I ALREADY HAVE A STRONG CORE.


I took off, but had the humiliating task of having to come back at lunch for The Texan - since he didn't have a car to get around on - and then I had to wait for him since he was told his class would let out early.

The only up-side is that it was a gorgeous day and nice to be outside.

The Texan and I talked and decided that all I need to know how to do is learn how to drive a scooter. That's what we have, that's what I want a motorcycle license for. So I've got a call in to the school to see if a) I can reschedule, b) I can take the class on the scooter, and c) I can have a different instructor. I get along with most people but for some reason our personalities really clashed.

And now I can say I've joined an elite group of people: those who have been kicked out of motorcycle riding school for sheer incompetence.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This I vow:

I will stop putting "actually" in every other sentence I say, think, or write.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The highlights of my week so far

* The Texan is recovering from another bout with bronchitis. He has had a rough winter.

* I just got off the phone with my accountant. Good news: I owe $2000 less than last year. Now, hearing that, you might think that I make beaucoup bux and hence am in a very high tax bracket. Ha. Ha ha ha. HAHAHAHAHA. Ahem. I work as an a consultant to a non-profit, I don't think you can get much lower in the totem pole than me. Since I'm a consultant, I don't pay taxes when I get paid - that lovely moment comes April 15 every year. And because I got hitched last year, we owe less. I knew I married The Texan for a reason!

* The six-month probation period ended with my new bank account and they no longer hold part of every check I deposit aside for an arbitrary number of days. Why does this matter? See above. For some reason, as a consultant, I don't get direct deposit, but am paid via check. So every day of delay matters, and now I don't have to gnash my teeth and wail as I figure out how long the delay is before I can get access to my paycheck.

* I have a new go-to site whenever I have a few minutes: the Comics Curmudgeon (joshreads.com). I started reading him because he apparently loves/hates FBOFW as much as G&T and I do, but the entire site is hilarious. Even his take on comic strips like Mark Trail or Mary Worth, which I haven't read in years, is hysterical.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wearing the blue and gold, not so proudly

Saturday night a group of us met up to watch the two Final Four games. Of the eight of us, one had gone to UCLA, two had gone to UNC, and one had gone to Kansas, so we'd figured that someone would go home happy Saturday night. Alas, that wasn't me.

It's been a long time since I was a student at UCLA - well over a decade - a fact that came home to me when I was getting ready to show my Bruin pride Saturday and realized that the only Bruin paraphernalia that I still owned was a sweatshirt. So I wore the one baby blue t-shirt in my wardrobe - a Red Bull shirt I got in Thailand last summer with writing in Thai - and told everyone it was in honor of UCLA's Asian studies department.*

Watching the game was fun, but I'm glad I didn't cough up the money to see the games in-person. I kind of felt like I should, since how often will I be living in the city where the Final Four game is being held when UCLA makes it? Then I decided that I could do a lot more with the $300/ticket that was being asked of alumni...and that was the starting price.

Instead, we got to sit in an uncrowded sports bar, where the beer was cold and the cheese was melted, and have unrivaled views of the big screen TV and unfettered access to the women's bathroom. Call me an old fogey but that's how I'd rather see a game anyways.

* Back in my day, we didn't have an Asian studies department. In fact, they had to hold a hunger strike just to get a Chicano studies department. Kids today don't know how good they have it...