Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A note to my fellow San Antonians

Driving in the left lane on the freeway is not a right, it's a privilege. If you don't want to go at least the speed limit, then for god's sake get your ass over in the right lane. The rest of us would like to get to where we're going.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Grey no more

When I lived in DC, I bounced around various stylists until I finally found one who I just loved. One of the first things I did when I finalized my moving arrangements to SA was booking one (sniff) last appointment with her. We laughed, we cried, she gave me the exact formula that she used to make up my hair dye. It was a wonderful good-bye.

Here in SA, I have not had that kind of connection with anyone else. I've tried everything you're supposed to: ask people whose hair you like who they go to, search up Aveda concept salons, read reviews, etc. It's not that I've had bad experiences per se, they just haven't really left me a-twitter. And given how expensive a cut and color runs these days (fellas, it's well into three digits, FYI), I didn't feel like I was getting my money's worth.

So when the white hairs began to become far too numerous for me to talk away ("Oh, it's just the light hitting my head at that angle"), I figured what the hell, I'll try out the Aveda school and have a student work on my hair. They have different scales for fees depending on whether a "sophmore," "junior," or "senior" doing it, but no matter how you slice it, it's dirt-cheap.

Of course, there is a caveat to all this: namely, a student will be the one doing the cutting and coloring. But I have a fairly easy cut and only do a single-process color (I have a lot of hair, and if I ever tried to highlight it, I would probably have to clear out a week), so I figured what did I have to lose and booked the appointment.

They have an "educator" (who presumably is someone who has actually passed the board exam) come over and look you over before anything irrevocable is done, and one comes by after it's all over to make sure the cut is even, but other than that, the student does it all.

Turned out that the student working on my hair did a pretty good job. The cut is good, the color hasn't rubbed off yet. Best of all, my hair no longer has that purple tint that it did in certain lights from the last dye job it got (from a licensed professional who really should know better). And it was under a third of what it would have cost me to get it done at a salon. SOLD.


My other big adventure this weekend was riding the scooter down to the Aveda school and back. It's 22 miles round-trip, by far my longest jaunt to date. But it was a lot of fun - gorgeous sunny weather, perfect for riding. The only sour note was that thanks to an unusally wet end of summer, we have been inundated with butterflies. They're quite pretty but when you hit one going 45 mph, it feels like an icy hot stick has poked you in the neck (or wherever it was unfortunate enough to plow into you).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drunk on my own power

Or is it residual from last night's vodka and Diet Dr. Pepper? Nope, my power.

A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that it is dark outside our house at night. Now, I know there's this thing called the "sun" which provides light, and when it goes away, it takes the light with it. I accept that. But it just seemed unduly dark to me. The Texan, when asked about it, sighed and said, "The streetlight across from our house has been out for weeks." My keen powers of observation kick in yet again.

What I perhaps lack in observation, though, I can make up via my writing. Namely, a strongly-worded letter to our property management slipped in with the September rent check letting them know that hey, the light's out on our block. For all I knew, they were just as oblivious as I was about the situation and would leap at the chance to do some expensive upkeep.

That was on the 5th. Today, I was hanging out on the front porch enjoying the thirty seconds of fall that San Antonio gets every year when a truck with a cherry-picker pulled up opposite our house. Sure enough, it was there to replace the lightbulb. Evidently the management fears, nay, TREMBLES at the thought of my wrath and retribution! Or everyone on this block has been involved in a writing campaign for weeks and my letter just happened to be one of many. Either way, this should make it a little less perilous at night.

Friday, September 12, 2008


But not for the usual reasons. I mean, sure, I'm glad the week is over, but I have to work this weekend (and pretty much every weekend for the forseeable future, thanks my inability to spread out work before a deadline).

No, the real reason I am so glad that today is Friday is that it means tomorrow is Saturday, and I can finally roll down the windows on the car.

See, when I lived in DC, I didn't have a car (okay okay, I didn't even have a license, I had to take the test before I moved to Texas). So in moving here, I became a driver of The Texan's car, a Ford Escort whose windows were tinted. When I first saw that, I snickered because come on, pimping out a Ford Escort? But after seeing school buses here with tinted windows, I got it: it's hot, tinted windows keep out the sun.

They also give you a modicum of privacy, so when we got the Neon after our Escort went to the big junkyard in the sky, I felt nekkid to be in a car without any tinting. Plus there was, you know, the heat (today, for example, the heat index is 104 degrees oh my god will summer ever end).

Hence The Texan's trip on Monday to get the windows tinted on the Neon. They are DARK now. As in, I have no need for the night-version of the rear-view mirror any more. The only thing we needed to do was to not roll down the windows until Saturday so that the tinting could set. The Texan told me repeatedly, as I'm the primary driver of the car (until I get my motorcycle license, he has primary custody of the scooter), don't roll down the windows. Keep the windows up. Better hope you don't get pulled over by a cop because you cannot roll down the windows.

Of course, Tuesday morning, with the tinting not even 24 hours old, I went to go deposit a check at the drive-through ATM and got half-way through a crank (we're kicking it old skool here and have manual windows) before I realized GODDAMMIT THOSE ARE SUPPOSED TO STAY UP. There was a big scratch down the entire length of the driver's side window. $160 out the window. So to speak.

Fortunately, The Texan was able to determine that no harm had been done to the window by my ineptitude - that scratch had been there before, but no one had noticed because the glass was clear. Off by a technicality!

Since then, I've been driving while doing the mantra, keep the windows up. Tomorrow, even with the advent of Hurricane Ike, I think I'm going to go nuts and roll down the windows, just because I can.


Along those lines, here's hoping the storm surge doesn't reach SA. And that our power holds up. I don't mind hunkering down for a couple of days, but take away my electricity and all the shows waiting for me on our DVR and all bets are off.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Man, I am out of practice of getting up early. Working from home you do need to follow a schedule, but it's one thing to roll out of bed and into your chair; it's another to have to be groomed and at an outside location by a certain time. Yikes.

To make it worse, I have to get up REALLY EARLY twice a week now. Like, oh-dark-thirty early. So early that when I leave the house, I can't see the front door to lock it and I have to turn on our porch light. It really makes you rethink doing anything crazy the night before, like going to bed as late as 10PM.

I didn't use to have this problem. Back in high school, I spent four years getting up at 6AM so I could do my hair for 45 minutes. WTF. Talk about youthful folly. Those days are gone. Now I have to talk myself into spending the five minutes blow-drying my hair so it won't freeze in the winter (in the summer? Forget about it).

When I went to college, I thought it was super-awesome-frabulous that we could start classes as late as 9AM. Keep in mind, this was someone who had to be at high school for a start at 7:18 AM. (Why the weird time? Ours is not to ask, but to accept. In other words, no clue.) 9AM? That was sleeping in! Until I actually had to go through with it, when I found out that for a college student living in the dorms, it was not a good idea. I truly hit my stride my third quarter in college when I arranged it so that my earliest class was at 11AM. Ah, the good old days.

Right now, I am debating slogging through the day or taking a quick nap. Responsible or slothful? Lady or the tiger? TBD.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Move along, nothing to see here

School started last week and things have been a bit hectic. New schedules are always a bitch to get used to. Really, only a few things of note to speak of:

1) I taught the cat how to high-five me. Sure, he may be using his claws to try to take off my hand, which technically may be against the esprit de corps that a high-five is supposed to engender. But he's still doing it.*

2) The Texan has started to learn French, so we've been practicing pretty much every night. It's fun for me, as I get to feel smart that after, god, eight years of studying French, I know more than someone who started last week. Yes, I clutch at small victories.

3) Last night, The Texan and I went to San Antonio's "art district" (I use that term loosely), the Blue Star**, to go see a photo exhibit by Patrick Zeller. Two years ago, he and a few other people took a motorcycle tour of Iran and he wrote about it in the Express-News, which was one of the best pieces of travel writing I've ever seen. Seriously. So I was curious to see his pictures. They were really interesting, but The Texan (despite being a photographer) was more intrigued by the motorcycles themselves, which were also on display. I told him not to get any ideas, as I am NOT about to ride 2000 miles on the back of a bike.

4) While watering our tree out front just now, I somehow put my left hand in a red ant nest. OUCH. Those motherfuckers hurt, and when they bite, they do not let go. I tried spraying them with the hose, but they didn't budge. I finally was able to swipe them off, but not before they left me with multiple welts up and down my left side. Assholes.

* When I told The Texan of the cat's amazing new ability, he immediately set about to teach the dog how to high-five too. Of course Che can do it without his claws. Show-off.

** At the art show, since it was the opening, they had wine on tap for the low low price of $2/glass. I noticed that a lot of people were walking around with what looked like wooden coaster-holders imprinted with the name of a local sushi chain. I couldn't figure out what sort of drink they were serving in them. I finally figured out that these were intended for people who were drinking water - apparently it's more environmentally friendly than just disposing of plastic glass after plastic glass?