Jumping Rope at the Post Office

Remember when I spent a morning at the US. Post Office?

Well as it turns out, our little-slice-of-weird Post Office can be used for other purposes.

Purposes more athletic in nature.

I’ve seen boys skate boarding there after hours.

So yesterday I thought, maybe I’ll go jump rope in the parking lot. It’s after 5PM. Traffic in and out of the lot has slowed. The asphalt is a good surface to get my jump on.

So I ventured over.
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And low and behold I jumped rope for about 20 minutes (not without stopping, I’m not thaaaat good. YET).
jrope

No one bothered me, no cat calls, no cats. My land lord actually stopped by my new gym to say hi while walking his 2 small “water dogs”. This is when LL dropped the bomb that he sold our house……….
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BUT DON’T WORRY we don’t have to move. The new LLs seem pretty cool. I met them when they toured our house unannounced as they all do (To be fair, LL had sent a warning text THIS time but it was to Roy who was out of town, not me. He thinks we are the same person). Current LL says the new LLs were even talking about doing some repairs AKA we are about to be on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Can you imagine?

Anyways, I said bye to LL and continued jumping. No other interruptions.
jrpostoffice

Moral of the story: The Post Office can be used for more than just a sunset back drop.
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I think I’ll use the Post Office gym more frequently now. We could start a group jump rope class….any takers? My mom can mail me my boom box.

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The Historic St. Mary’s Strip Strut

Hello big world! The ‘Cullough is back after a nice holiday break. The last few weeks on McCullough Ave can be described in a few words: Guidos, champagne, cold, baking, Guidos.

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s talk about last Friday’s adventure.

Friday, January 10th, 2014 marked the first annual historic St. Mary’s Strip Strut. You know, that thing where you and your friends walk from one end of the St. Mary’s strip to the other, stopping at all* the bars on the way.

St. Mary’s Strip Strut Official Rules:
The strip strut must be completed by a minimum of 1 person. If in a group, not every group member has to buy a drink at each bar. Also, as long as you are inside a bar for longer than 57 seconds, that counts as an official strip strut stop. * Stopping at all the bars on N. St. Mary’s is not necessarily a requirement to successfully complete the strip strut. Places that make more than approximately 50% of their profit from food items, like Tycoon Flats and Candlelight, are not required stops on the strip strut and can be visited or not at the challengers discretion. Live music venues, like White Rabbit and Limelight, are also not required stops along the strut. Challenger discretion is advised. No matter the order of the bars, more than three-fourths of your group must order and consume pickle shots at Hi Tones. No Exceptions. Individuals who do not comply with the pickle shot rule will not receive their certificate of completion. 

We arrived at our first stop, Faust, at about 9PM.
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This place, as I always say, is very underrated. Our bartender semi-apologized for charging The Cake $3.50 for her gin and ginger because she wanted ginger beer and not ginger ale.  Never apologize for selling someone a mixed drink under $4. Rule number 1. Rule number 2: Faust is awesome.
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I recently read an article that ranked San Antonio as the #8 least hipster city in the United States (Portland was ranked most hipster, big surprise). But I think I know where SA’s tiny (but growing?) hipster sect hangs…Faust. Plaid Plaid Plaid, y’all.

Next, we said good-bye to cheap drinks and strut over to TBA, where the prices are higher but the drinks are weirder. Bingo got a drink that combined scotch, an IPA, and something else I forgot (blood?). It was OK.
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No, those aren’t my friends in the picture. But they looked fun.

TBA was busy as per usual. The lingering question remained: Why does everyone look so fancy? Did all these people come here after an event? OR is fancy the dress code here and they put blood in Bingo’s scotch + IPA drink because of his (our) violation?

Before I could really think about this too much, it was time to move on.

Next: The Mix. We stayed approximately 58 seconds. It was crowded. There was a band. It smelled like a wet towel that had fallen in the toilet. I don’t hate The Mix, but it just wasn’t our scene that night.
mix
Hiding in the room with the pool tables, we thought about hanging out in the TV/MakeOut room, but someone was reading in there so we decided not to disturb him/her.

Next: Joey’s. Joey’s is my personal favorite. No one looks fancy. No wet towel smell. Friendly bartenders, fried food, pizza. We got drinks, met up with a few other colleagues,  and strut up to our VIP lounge to look down upon our kingdom.
joeysJan
Love Joey’s. I could have stayed longer but we had to complete the strip strut.

Next: Hi Tones.

Yes, there was a cover. But the sweet-talking Froha got our group in for cheaper because it was Roy’s birthday eve! Big bouncers have big hearts.

Pickle shot time!!!!! We timed it perfectly that when we all got our pickle shots, the clock had just struck midnight, ringing-in a new year of magic and adventures for Roy!
hitones
Preforming at Hi Tones was a local hip hop group, Chisme. And they were great. Heads were bobbin’. I think I even “made some noise” when they asked us to. Note to self: investigate the SA hip hop scene.

After Hi Tones, our group split up. Half went to Limelight for a bit and half strut home. I had to wake up at 7:30AM the next day so I needed to hop on that ZZZ train.

All in all, the historic St. Mary’s Strip Strut was a success. It’s always good to take the pulse of the bars in the ‘Cullough area.

As the old saying goes,
Know bars, know you. No bars, no you

//

Buffalo Exchange Morphs into Buffalo Outlet

Hey all you ‘Cullough fashionistas out there!
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I routinely pass by the Buffalo Exchange on Olmos on my Sunday trips to HEB. You know Buffalo Exchange… the used clothing store where you can buy/sell/trade designer/high-ish quality clothes, shoes, and accessories. Every ‘Cullough fashionista knows about Buffalo Ex. 
buffaloACTUAL

But this past Sunday the Buffalo looked a little different.
buffalo
“Buffalo Outlet”?

What does this mean? What’s going on? How can BuffEx have an outlet store when it doesn’t even make its own clothes……isn’t it kind of already an outlet store? An outlet for someone’s old, cool clothes?

So I investigated on the Google,

And found this press release:
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“Buffalo Exchange has announced it will convert its existing San Antonio location into a Buffalo Outlet in December, 2013….Buffalo Outlet will offer used and new fashions for $7 or less, including markdowns from Buffalo Exchange stores nationwide.”

SEVEN DOLLARS OR LESS—-I’M SKEPTICAL, BUFF!

So $7 or less is pretty cheap. BUT what sorts of rejected clothes end up at the Buffalo Outlet. Think about all the items you roll your eyes at when shopping at the normal BuffEx? I’m imagining Lacoste polos only in throw-up green color and tons of bedazzled jeans.

“…including markdowns from Buffalo Exchange stores nationwide.” —–So does this mean we are receiving the rest of the country’s rejects? I don’t know whether to feel offended or excited. We get the last pick of all of the BuffaloEx inventory in the whole United States!!! Glass half empty? Glass half full? Buffalo half slain? Buffalo half alive?

I will have to drop in and see for myself. You should, too! buffalo2

Has our beloved BE downgraded so hard that we can’t shop their any more? Or will $7 or less make Buffalo Outlet THE place to get seXXXy for new year’s eve and still have $$$ left over for breakfast tacos the next morning?

Utilitarianism, Jack-Hammers, and My Orange Duvet

When I saw flashing lights outside my bed room window at approximately 7:35 PM Tuesday night, I had to investigate.
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No, it wasn’t a police car. It appeared to be some sort of block-traffic vehicle. Some construction workers were doing something to McCullough, maybe 30 yards from our house. Cute, I thought, with their lights and neon vests. I bet they are cold.

They were innocent enough, not making too much noise. I took this video:

Roy and I even did a drive by to check out the action. Just a couple of bro construction workers digging a hole or something. Nothing too outrageous for a Tuesday.
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Fast forward a few hours and I’m snuggled in my bed at about 10:01 PM. The flashing vehicle is still there, and there are some construction noises happening, but I wasn’t bothered by them. It was a steady humming sound, kind of like a sound machine that helps put you to bed. Kind of like waves of the ocean. How lovely, I thought , as I drifted off to dream world.

How naive I was…..
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I was shocked back awake at about 11:45PM to the sound of JACKHAMMERING happening in what sounded like MY BEDROOM. Hardly believing this could be happening, I knew it had to be those construction bros. It was like they were literally JACKHAMMERING INTO THE STREET. Because, well, I think that’s what they were doing. At 11:45PM. On a Tuesday night.

Now I know ‘the ‘Cullough area is no residential oasis like Alamo Heights. But people LIVE on ‘the ‘Coullough (HIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!). You can’t just decide to jackhammer in front of someone’s house at night like that. I get that they were trying to avoid shutting down McCullough during the day for fear of traffic. But what about fear of WAKING UP A SLEEPING CHILD (ME! HI!). My alarm was set for 5AM. I was panicked.

My mind was racing. Did Roy hear this? I didn’t want to leave the warmth of my bed, so I considered texting her. But didn’t. I considered tweeting at Diego Bernal, my faithful councilman. But I didn’t know what good that would do at this point. And I really wanted to focus on trying to fall back asleep. Hint: a duvet + a Heart of the Hills Camp for Girls knit blanket over your head will not block out the sound of JACK-HAMMERING.  Especially if it’s happening 20 yards from your bed.

Sigh.

Eventually it stopped sometime after midnight…I didn’t check the clock because I knew it would stress me out. And low and behold I woke up at 5AM feeling okay physically as I always do. Because I’m not a quitter. (Mentally I was still pissed)

John Stuart Mill just loves utilitarianism.

I find this whole situation very interesting. I often subscribe to the utilitarian philosophy that whatever provides the most good for the most people is an acceptable choice. Let’s go with the premise that this spot of McCullough needed immediate attention. Would shutting down a small section of McCullough for a few hours during the day have wrecked havoc on more people then people who’s sleep would have been ruined by the night time terrorizing? If so, then theoretically I should be OK with getting woken up because this is the choice that is the best for the largest group of people.

But being a human, I have to take my wants/needs into consideration.

What do you think? Should I be sacrificing my comfort for the good of the City? Or is it reasonable to ask decision-makers to jackhammer in the early afternoon? Or after the surrounding schools are out?

–x0x0x your everyday martyr

RIP Tenacious Tree: An Ode and Some Implications

It seems like only yesterday I was giving thanks for this tenacious tree that was holding on to life on the shores of the ‘Cullough.
tree
It was actually Monday.

So imagine my surprise and sorrow when I was greeted by this as I left for work this morning:
notreeI guess LANDLORD or some other vigilante decided that time was up for the floppy-leafed tree.
All we have left is a stump:
stumpOh, you blunt stump! You look peaceful there among the foliage  Who hacked off your branches and big green leaves? Was it LL? Surely not the Guidos—that would be too much to bear.

And to think I likened myself to that tenacious tree on Monday’s post. Is this an omen? Has my fate been interwoven with that of the butchered tree? Is the end near for me?

If so, I accept my fate with my head held high. I am not one to quarrel with destiny.

I may not be here tomorrow, friends.

If a Thursday evening is when I meet my end, I’d better march to Panchitos to go out with a bang.

The Laundry Games

cave

Keep your friends anonymous and your enemies anonymouser.

Tuesday morning came and I realized I was almost out of my top underwear and workout clothes. Also my favorite flannel smelled like the Caverns of Senora and my new scarf from Boysville may or may not have been purchased with a throw-up-like-substance on it. Naturally, it was time for laundry.

After work, I rolled up to my usual joint, Olmos Park Wash and Fold, THE laundry destination on The ‘Cullough. I whipped out my supplies and began to get er done.

Then the waiting.laundryINST

Bored with my People Magazine from 1997 and waiting for my turn on all of my games of Words With Friends (ADD ME: WOOF777), I decided to write beautiful poetry.

Specifically, “found” poetry. I challenged myself to write three haiku poems containing only words I could see from where I was sitting at the Laundromat. Without further ado, here’s what I found:

Olmos Wash and Fold: A Haiku Progression

Heavy soil, rinse
Absolutely no running
shirts and shoes be worn

Ready to unload
playing in the laundromat
extra rinse, cold, hot

For a better wash:
Gatorade, Cheetos, change, drain
Sit back and relax

*****

Time flies when you’re writing haikus, and before I knew it, my clothes were dry.
And I didn’t even have to think of a single word myself. lAzY wRiTeRs PaRadIcE.

Now, I’ll leave you with this song by a childhood favorite of mine, Hoku (not to be confused with the Japanese poetic form, Haiku).

Giving Thanks on the ‘Cullough: A Personal Top 5 List

I know many of us are OVER thanksgiving and all her bounty. But since Life On The ‘Cullough has been a little sparse these days, I thought it would be nice to kick off the holiday season by giving thanks to a few things that make our hood grand.

This list is subjective; feel free to add something you’re especially thankful for that’s related to the ‘Cullough. 

TOP 5 THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR ON THE ‘CULLOUGH

1. Main Street Pizza is back in business.  Reasonably priced, walkable, throw-(way)back jamz—God bless you, Main Street, may you never catch on fire again.

pizza

2. Quiet(er) Guidos. While they still appear every morning like clock work, the Guidos’ tasks lately have been a lot more serene. Basically they seem to just be looking at things and climbing in and out of the building they’ve almost built.
guiddec3. This tree. It’s hanging on but it’s bound to fall over soon. I’m thankful for its tenacity. 

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I really relate to this tree right now.

4. Panchitos.
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5. US Postal Service. The other day, they actually stuffed a book I had ordered online into my mailbox instead of holding it captive at their HQ as they usually do. Blessed to not have to wait till Saturday morning to go retrieve it from their lair.
postoffice
There you have it—I nailed it.

or did I? What did I miss?

Cold Front Comes to the ‘Cullough, Flock to Bars for Warmth

As you may be aware, a cold front rolled on to the ‘Cullough early Wednesday morning. People were freaked. The Guidos were wearing extra layers.

Wednesday after work I planned to meet Indiana Jones for a drink. We decided to meet at Faust, a place I had only been one other time but had wanted to go back.

In a bold move, I decided to walk. I was sure to bundle up:sweaterdog

Sometime I still get lost in the inter-workings of the ‘Cullough streets, whoops. I walked down Mistletoe in stead of Woodlawn, forgetting that Faust was on Woodlawn, not Mistletoe  Don’t worry…they had signs out that directed me:
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Who wouldn’t want to follow that sign?

I finally arrived. I was late, IJones was unimpressed:
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So Faust has a great patio!! Which is a big draw for me. But it was COLD. So we sat inside. It being Wednesday around 6, we were almost the only ones there and could sit wherever we wanted.
Happy hour is from 4-9 on weekdays and the deals are pretty happy. $2 wells, etc etc etc I don’t remember/didn’t take a pic. They had $4.50 “jose cuervo margs” said a sign so that sounded good. I wanted a marg, so that’s what I got.

IJones has had a rough week so she got a long island ice tea which was $4. This. Girl. Is. On. Fire.

Friendly bar tender, good and resonably volumed music, creepy Spanish movie on the tv. We were feeling good. Naturally, it became time for round deux:
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On the left, IJones’s cucumber margarita, on the right, my second marg.

Cucumber one tasted like a spa.

IJones got a slice of veggie pizza:
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Really contemplated not using this horrible picture. But whatevs.

I’ll quote IJones: “It tasted better when I was drunk, but it’s still good.”

There you have it, folks.
I can’t wait to be rumbling around St. Marys at 2AM and remember that Faust serves pizza till 3AM and prance up to that window and get er done. IF I can make it past the taco truck by Hardbodies. That’s a big IF.

So go to Faust. That’s all.

Reconsidering Bays

Last Sunday’s meanderings brought my colleagues and I to a familiar spot: Bombay Bicycle Club (Bays).

welcome to bombay
Now, Bays for me is synonymous with debilitating anxiety, mostly thanks to ye old Trinity tradition of going to Bays on Thursday night (“Thursbays”, I’ve heard some call it). The throngs of people, the crop tops, the bros—you may have seen me there hiding under a booth, if I went at all (and if I did it was because of that darn FOMO).

All you Trinipeeps know what I’m taking about. And if you are a non Trinipeep, please don’t close this tab just yet. Because this post is about why Bays has been reborn to me 12+ months after I said goodbye to that erect red-brick tower. Bays is a big contributor to the ‘Cullough’s richness. And, in my opinon, is best experienced during the day, while the sun is still up.

Let me continue my Sunday tale…

We walked into Bays at approximately 2:30 PM. Because we wanted bloody mary’s, y’all! And on Sundays they are $3.75 and DELICIOUS. I dont know how you feel when you drink a bloody mary, but I feel like a classy bitch.
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And that patio in the sunlight, amazing. We literally sat there and drank bloody marys and ate french fries for over an hour. Here’s another patio pick (not mine, from Bays Facebook but you get the idea).


There were no crop tops, no bros, I didn’t have to experience an anxiety-inducing entrance. Just me, the gals, the sun, my bloody mary. The lunch crowd was lingering so there were even some families inside. Love it.

I won’t lie to you, I really enjoy Bays these days. I went to watch football there a few weekends ago. They have pool which I’m getting better at in general. The inside looks crazy great. But I’m all about going during the day. After our last finals of college, my friends and I posted up at Bays for “Bays all Days” where we stayed there maybe from 1PM to 6PM. It was great.

Bottom line: If you live in ‘Cullough area, try out Bays on a weekend afternoon (or weekday, YoLo!) So laid back you’ll think you are in your own living room or kick-ass patio.

ALSO: If you haven’t read this article posted in the Atlantic, San Antonio’s Simple Appeal to Millennials: Diversity, Decent Jobs, and Cheap Living, you should check it out, be a little offended, and then read this and this, which are two great rebuttals about why San Antonio has more to offer Millenials than just $1 Tecate. Like “Bays all Days”!!