I Survived the Alamo. Chapter Three

Earlier, I promised some exciting subsections to my tale of adventure and opportunity in San Antonio, TX. At the time, meaning closer to my return from that jewel of central Texas, they seemed pretty damn exciting, or at least witty, engaging or self-gratifying. However, as hind-sight gains corrective lenses, and the temperance of time slowly pulls me from the muck, mire and drama of my own little brain, I realize that we can do without much of the detail. In fact, my mind gave up on the detail four months ago, so there really isn't anything else to tell. I'll try and breeze through to get to something really interesting.

The End.


The San Antonio Riverwalk

Way cooler than it was in Cloak and Dagger, although fewer machine guns and three fingered old ladies.

We went for a walk shortly after breakfast to view the historic splendor that is the San Antonio Riverwalk. It's a river that winds its way through the heart of downtown San Anton. And yes, you walk along it. Along the way there are a variety of restaurants, and it all seems to dump you right into a mall. Convenient.

Out front was a group of Andean musicians playing traditional pipes and drums. You've seen them in every tourist district in the United States. I don't know how they became a major fascination. All I know is many years ago, I was walking through a swap meet in Hawaii. The pleasant and oh-so mystical sounds of pan flutes and guitars and drums wafted over the used goods. I was hooked. I bought all their CDs and though t I was soooooo worldly. Well, they've moved up in the world from the days of swap meets in Hawaii. They are now ubiquitous in the realm of tourist dollars. Good for them, I say. I highly doubt that anyone at an Anne Klein or Neiman Mark-up is really concerned with sending money back to their expansive families in undernourished nations. While it seems that they all always play the same songs, this group was doing something different. They were playing covers of popular artists like Eric Clapton, the Beatles and Milli Vanilli.

And still more to come after these commercial breaks of productivity!

*Monty's Guide to the Alamo
*Lyle Lovett
*More Andean Cover Bands, La Cucaracha at your First Communion and Santa Coming through the Roof
*Dolores Del Rio Ristorante - Italian Food, Mexican Decor, beatnik vibe, Chicago blues band and a bellydancer
*Joe's Crab Shack - Got Crabs? Hope not!
*Goodwill towards Blind Men, Cold tourists, and parking restrictions on the Governor's Palace. If this is a regular candy bar: "Mommy, mommy, can Ricky come out to play?" Then this is an O'Henry: "Hi, Rick. Busy tonight?"
*The Triple Threat: Davey (I mean, David) Crockett, Casket makers and the Museum of Texan History and Taxidermy.
*So Long, San Anton.

And then!

*Port Aransas, the "last undeveloped stretch of coastal real estate in the United States."
*The Sand Castle
*Talcum Powder, Black Goo and Salt
*Giant Sharks Eat Tourists, Maybe Santa
*The Ferry, don't feed the non-existent dolphins your vomit.
*The Prophetess
*What Are Mexicans Doing at a Mexican Restaurant!?

And finally!

*This Hitchhikers Guide to Ontario California


Lose Weight or Buy New Clothes

Married life will do it to you. Then again, so does quitting smoking or cutting methamphetamines from your daily diet.

I recently attended a friend's wedding. It was a lovely affair...um, no, wait, that is not supposed to sound that way. But no, my boyfriend didn't go.

At the reception, my friend (the groom) and I were talking. We coverd such lovely topics as the intoxicated state of his new mother-in-law and the fact that I travelled further than anyone to be there, and what he should do on his pre-honeymoon. Then he smiled, sat back in his chair and said, "Well, I'm married now. I can finally let myself go." He's a personal trainer.

As I was walking home from our neighbour's house (our bathroom is being remodelled and I couldn't wait another week to go), I realized that somehow I was bringing back the midriff for men. I know it has come back for women, and mostly for those who's mid or riff you would not care to look at. How about mine? I was wearing a tanktop that was cutting into my armpits and giving my navel some peek-a-boo rehearsal. Admittedly, it was a really old wife-beater that has seen more stains than a throng of GWAR fans. It's a good thing the nieghbours are so far away, and really don't care.

Maybe it's time to get some new clothes. Now I don't mean new new. I haven't bought brand new clothing in years (except for the time we hadn't done laundry in two months and I desparately needed socks that didn't talk back). I just mean a nice trip to a thift store with actual changing rooms where I can get a sense of whether the pants would fit comfortably even if they weren't being pulled on over another pair. I probably own more pants that can be pulled on or off while wearing hiking boots.

That would be lovely. Shopping...something I don't do much anymore, unless Fred pulls me into a second hand shop because there's an awesome desk that we can't live without. I'd be willing to bet that our other five desks couldn't live without it either. They're a growing family and we're the fertility clinic.

This all unfortunately brings to mind a very important point. Where to put it? I recently rearranged all the dressers (another client in our booming fertility clinic, although their growth rate compared to the desks is like Central America to Norway). There is an entire five-drawer unit filled to the brim with T-shirts. Don't tell me I don't know how to fold. It's one of the useful things I picked up in the military without actually enlisting (entirely different and less suitable for all audiences tale). One of the other dressers has another drawer for T-shirts. There are three drawers of socks. Two of underwear. Two closets are filled with shirts ranging from cowboy shirts that look like corsets on me to oversized sweaters that are good out here in the desert for about a twelfth of the year. An entire shelf the full length of a closet is stacked with folded pants.

You'd think we should get rid of some things. But we can't.

Many of the T-shirts are collector's items. Well worn collector's items, but memorabilia just the same. It's not unlike Fred's collections of coffee mugs, tikis and crucifixes, or my collections of broken toys, renderings of the Last Supper and disturbingly tacky snowglobes.

There are T-shirts for just about every company either of us has ever worked for. Add to that a comprehensive museum of every Dot-Bombed start-up that ever said "Free T-shirt" in a 400-mile radius of Fred. There are series, such as Fred's Southwest airlines credit card T-shirts for every airport they fly out of and some depicting comic books he has worked on. Then there's my collection of small, tattered tshirts printed with a variety of Picasso paintings.

There is an entire stack of pants that Fred hasn't been able to fit into since we moved in together. It's my fault we still have those. I keep telling him to try some on and decide whether they will ever grace his legs again. Then, I throw them in the middle of a stack of my pants that I'm currently wearing. I need to just set them on his keyboard and make him try them on in front of me. Tee hee.

My pants are a different story. They each have stories. Where I got them. When I got them. Who with. How much. It's like journalism 101. Who, what, where, why, when and how much. As I rooted through the stack the other day, I came upon a lovely pair of irredescent blue plaid corduroy pants. You don't come across those every day. They were in the women's section of a goodwill, but had ample butt-room for me. They had been only $4.00. I haven't worn them in probably a year or two. There's no way they would fit right now, and I don't seem to retain the commitment to get more exercise and gain some air space between my thighs. I live in the desert. Heavy corduory that's too tight just doesn't cut it.

But how can you part with irredescent blue plaid corduroy pants? You just don't. You don't just throw that in the red cross pile. You have to carefully consider who would give them a good home. Who would wear them proudly and pass on the oral trdition of this pair of pant's history and cultural identity? Someone who knows how cool they are despite not being able to match them with anything. Those who know that's the point. Those...who don't mind you passing off hand-me-downs and aren't your younger sibling (my younger brother rolls his eyes every time he sees what I wear...and he knows it's not my mother that dresses me funny).

Hell yes I'm vain. It may not look like it. But if you dig down, way past all my surface pretensions, I'm really very shallow. I love my clothes, perhaps more than breathing. I have bad taste, but at least it is taste.

Then comes a big hurricane and there are lots of people in need. I'm torn. So are half the crotches in my pants, armpits in my shirts, toes in my socks, and, um, my underwear.

Sex on a Ladder

That got your attention.

If you ever see images of a couple having sex on a ladder, don't trust them.

With the way most ladders are built, the only way those photos were taken without the models breaking bones is by posing. No actual love making or hot action. They woulc have to be completely motionless or otherwise the whole erotic affair would end up a pile of naked body parts and bent aluminum.

Either that, or they lead such a boring sex life that they don't actually disturb the balance of the ladder. In that case, the ladder is just there to make you think they are kinkier than they are.


Reading Two Each Other. What Is High-Brow?

When I was a child, back in the days when my brother and I shared a room, my parents, especially my mother would read to us. My dad did too, but at that age, mom was the stay-at-home, while dad was away at work all hours. Only later, when we were teenagers, did that role reverse, but by then your parents reading to you is super no bueno.

I loved it when my mother would read to us. She passionately believes in reading. This is a good thing since she is a language arts teacher...imagine if she lacked that zeal. I come from reading stock. I'm not voracious, but I enjoy books. She'd curl up with us, although the bunk bed was often asking a bit too much of the girl, and carry us along into imagination on the back of her voice. My brother and I could read. We'd been able to since well before kindergarten. But mom enjoyed the experience of shared reading, and bestowed that appreciation on my brother and me.

That was where I really got into two of my all-time favourite books: James and the Giant Peach and The Fattypuffs and Thinnifers. We ride the Great Glass Elevator and Wrinkle Time. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, as just about anything Judy Blume felt like wiping her nose with, was enjoyment and life-applicable.

Alright already! I liked it.

Well, my boyfriend was recently looking for something new to read. Despite his certifiable "voraciousness" for reading and amazing pace (I once dropped out of a speed reading class to enjoy the fleeting Wisconsin summer), I knew that there were still books under our roof that he had not read. These are, as he puts it, "too high-brow" for him to read...MY books. You'd think I was this amazingly intelligent, literate person, but no.

I have developed a taste in literature that finds very little comraderie in most circles today, especially in my age demographic. Rarely do I like many things written in the past 30 years. I tend to like Victorian literature, and anything else dark and nihilistic written since. Against the better and more perspicacious observations of those about me, I do NOT like the Beats.

Trash novels are just that, although I am currently reading a despicably trashy and completely made-up narrative biography of Omar Khayyam, written in the early thirties, and complete with all the attitudes of the day. An African slave is even referred to by the pronoun "it." Alright...I tend to the extremes.

If my literary taste (or lack thereof) was a novel itself, the dust jacket would be littered with the following quotes. My boyfriend once told me years back, "You're the only 21-year-old I know who reads George Bernard Shaw for kicks." A friend back in Chicago offered thanks for giving him the opportunity "to drop in casual conversation the fact that I know someone who 'enjoys the obscure Dickens'."

I can't help it. I have no real intention of reading any Steele, King or that guy who's name I forget but always writes about lawyers and thrillers. Give me Kobo Abe instead. I like reading Orwell. I LOVE sitting for a couple months with a good Dickens (Hey! He's long-winded and I have a short attention span). Kafka is always pleasant. I could rattle off titles and authors, but the unorthodoxy should be clear.

Anyways, I don't remember who brought it up, but a friend of mine and I were chatting over the romantic and potentially sensual aspects of couples reading to each other. She asked if my boyfriend and I did.

Her response to my response was that it would make a great piece. Hence...

We read in bed. We both read side by side. He takes it one step further and pretty much reads throughout the day as well. I read in bed at night, and it shuts off the "reality-sensitive" portion of my brain long enough to drift off to sleep.

I don't really remember how much we tried. I do remember climbing into bed with him, and for a while I was reading portions of David Sedaris stories to him. We'd lay in bed a giggle. Then, he'd start snoring, and my mouth would go dry.

"Honey, would you like me to read some more to us tonight."


I know he finds my voice soothing. Why, I don't, but I stopped questioning why he loves me in favour of soaking it up while it's there.

However, the act of reading out loud actually woke me up. I did not find myself drifting off to Sandmanland when reading aloud in bed.

Occassionally, we still read random passages to one another. I'm currently reading a bunch of Erma Bombeck and inflict it upon him. He's reading one of him many books on the origin of the conscience blah blah something involving the bicameral mind or the nature of cultural something or other in post-Christ society. MY taste in literature is too high brow!

He'll pull off a line from one of his boooks. I fling a line of Erma Bombeck (or for real fun, Lytton Strachey). Thus it becomes a little battle across the bed. He hits me with a paragraph about an alternative sociological view on Christ feeding the masses, and I respond with an anecdote about being a two car family. He smacks my slowly drifting consciousness with a passage on the emergence of the subconscious in ancient Greeks and its impact on modern democracy. I retaliate with a particularly witty late 19th Century put-down directed at an emerging Catholic Cardinal.

Romance. Oh yeah. Sensual? You bet.