Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Kicking it while it's down

I hate to pile on the newspaper industry, because god knows it has enough on its plate these days in remaining relevant and all that. But wow does the new revamp of the San Antonio Express-News suck.

They launched it a few weeks ago and I tried not to judge. But seriously it's like reading my college newspaper. In fact, I think my college newspaper might be thicker than the Express-News. They fired a ton of people, including 75 reporters, so obviously budget was an issue. But the powers that be shrunk it down and slimmed it so it's like reading the freebie paper that only has real estate listings. Plus they cut back on a lot of the features (wherefore art thou, food section?), yet somehow the comics pages went from two to three pages.

The funny thing, if that can be said about this, was what happened with the comics. They got rid of a few that I really liked ("My Cage" is actually fairly clever) and also a few of the columns that regularly run in that section, including the bridge column, Billy Graham's column, and Dr. Phil Donahue's column (who answers medical questions that seemed geared primarily toward seniors). The last three were gone, no exaggeration, for three days. Apparently San Antonio's retirement communities went up in FLAMES about these being missing and inundated the paper's mailbox with complaints. You do not mess with the bridge column, is what I learned from all this.

Yet "Peanuts" still staggers on...albeit in a greatly reduced form. I have great vision when it comes to reading and even I find the font on it nearly impossible to read. Talk about a hearty fuck-you to the people who insisted that it continue to moulder away on the comics pages.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The gods must be angry

That can be the only explanation for that liquid coming out of the sky. At least, that must be how most San Antonians explain rain to themselves, because otherwise there is no explanation for how SA drivers freak the fuck out every time there's water on the roads. Now, I am all for safe driving, particularly in my 1995 Neon which loves to skid given the slightest opportunity. But there is NO NEED to drive 20 mph below the speed limit in a light drizzle. Trust me on this.

The rain appears to have stopped, leaving a lovely amount of mud in its wake. Our poor dog has been exiled outside, as every time he comes in, his paws have to be washed, a job that The Texan and I both studiously try to avoid. (Oh, he comes in several times a day, and of course at night, we're not monsters. Just lazy.)

I can only imagine how the rain affected Oyster Bake. For the uninitiated, Oyster Bake kicks off San Antonio's biggest party of the year, Fiesta, which goes on for 10 days and basically shuts the city down (seriously, they even close down schools for the latter part of it). It started this weekend and I feel for the organizers who have drunken revelers stumbling through mud on their way to the portapotties. At least it isn't actively raining, although I'm not sure that would stop people from going out to Fiesta parties. True conversation I had with a native San Antonian the first week of April:

Her: Wow, it's already April!
Me: Yeah, I know, that's nuts. I can't believe taxes are due soon.
Her: *I* can't believe it's almost time for Fiesta! Are you ready for it?
[Editor's note: I wasn't aware that any prep time was needed for Fiesta, other than lining up a designated driver.]

Thursday, April 09, 2009

90 degrees in the shade

You know, driving home today, I thought it was a mite warm out. But I figured that it was largely because I was wearing a black suit. Well, that didn't help, but my god - 90 degrees in the shade? It's barely the first week of April. What madness will this summer bring?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Digging myself out of this nice rut

Postings have been sparse this past month because things have been a-changing around here. I officially started a new job this week, after having spent the better part of a decade in my last job. I am very excited about this new job and think it will be terrific, but it requires changing how I think and go about my day and it will take some doing before it becomes more natural. It's bad enough that the San Antonio Express-News had to pick this week to shrink the size of its pages AND its font, now I have to deal with this work change too.

I am trying to look at this as a way in which I can establish shiny new and responsible habits. Also, sometimes you become a hostage to your routine, so a shake-up can be healthy. I'm trying right now to figure out what habits I can bring with me to my new job and which ones should be shit-canned. And I'm also working out exactly how many questions/requests I can make of my new colleagues before they lose their patience and tell me to shut my pie-hole. It's a fine line, I'm sure.

On a completely different note, The Texan and I were visiting our favorite bartender/turned chef on Wednesday so that The Texan could take pictures of the kitchen for a school project. While there, we had to eat (of course), and were presented with some artisan cheeses that the chef's dad had brought back from Europe. One of them still had HAY on the outside. Now that, my friends, is Authentic. It also was delicious, although we're not sure what it was that we ate; best I could fathom was some sort of pecorino.

Time to go wake up The Texan from his nap so that we can watch Evil Dead 2. We are both fans of USA's "Burn Notice," where Bruce Campbell plays the jocular best friend, and so I rented "Bubba Ho-Tep" which he starred in a few years ago (and for the uninformed, where he plays Elvis in a retirement home, gearing up forces with JFK [Ossie Davis][I KNOW] to fight off an evil Egyptian mummy)(by the way, Bruce Campbell does a helluva good Elvis impression). But it got the Texan talking about the Evil Dead series, and when I admitted I'd never seen it (my childhood was almost entirely devoid of R-rated movies), he immediately put them all on his Netflix queue.* We watched the first one last night, which was dated and campy and had subtle misogynistic tones (why did only evil dead women get chopped up? plus, a tree rape scene? wtf?) yet it had us both jumping at times. I hear the second one is deliberately campy and funny, which is exactly what I'm in the mood for.

* Secret to a happy marriage: separate Netflix queues.