Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 2.12 - Hanging around by the Alamo...

Friday at lunch, my husband was apparently wandering around the internet when he discovered that our favorite podcast, Welcome to Night Vale, was hosting a live show in San Antonio on Saturday night, and what was more important--there were tickets left.  (Given that this show typically sells out within hours of tickets being posted, this was nothing less than a small miracle.  Apparently, though, the show in San Antonio did not sell out, which says something, I think, about Texas.  More on that in a second.)  I'd already been horribly jealous of the BFF and her husband, who had gotten to see the show in Nashville last week. 

So I bought tickets, made some hotel reservations, and when DH got home, we packed up and headed for San Antonio, which is about two and a half hours away.  Mostly, this was to see the show, but I'd also always wanted to see the Alamo, and San Antonio has some very nice things to do, including a zoo and aquarium, and the river walk, so Saturday morning, we got up and headed into downtown.

The first thing we did, naturally,was visit the Alamo.  My mother had always told me that the Alamo was somewhat underwhelming, and I begin to understand what she meant.  The Alamo is literally in downtown San Antonio, on a fairly small plot of land.  That said, we were there during a very interesting exhibit about firearms, which delighted DH to no end.  Also, Santa Anna was a bastard, but I wonder if Travis could have made some better decisions himself.

One thing did irritate me a lot at the Alamo, and that had nothing to do with the Alamo itself, but everything to do with the anti-abortion protestors who showed up as we were leaving, with signs and rather descriptive shouting that turned my stomach. (There were children there at the Alamo.  I pity the parents that had to explain why these people thought Boko Haram and abortion clinics were the same.)  DH pointed out that engaging with them only meant that they won, but I was very angry.  (Again, asking myself What Would Jesus Do? I was reminded that flipping tables was not outside the realm of possibility.)  Passing judgment on passers-by and declaring that no one there wanted to repent (I assume they also meant me, the very obviously pregnant woman) also irritated me beyond belief.  I am against abortion--any one who knows me knows this.  But I also know that there are a lot of women out there who feel they have no other choice, and until you've made it so these women don't have to make that choice, you need to lay off.  What I wanted to do was to go up to them and ask them, point blank, what they were doing to help women in circumstances where they might be thinking about an abortion.  

I calmed down when we went to visit the river walk and got away from them.  The river winds its way through the city, and walking along it is very pleasant.  There are tons of restaurants--we had lunch at an Irish pub, and it was rather lovely.  We stopped at the Hard Rock Cafe and got me the requisite T-shirt.  I used to have quite a collection in college--I could go almost two weeks and wear a different Hard Rock shirt every day until I eventually wore them out and made them into a quilt.  Most of the river walk--at least on the river level itself, was restaurants, but there are some kitschy shops.  The Five and Dime amused me the most, though, because it was where I found an entire kiosk selling sequined hats. Naturally, I thought of my Mamaw Loretta and her sequined hats, so I took a photo and sent it to Dad, which he liked.  I had one of those sudden waves of--not grief, exactly--but of definitely missing her when I saw them. 

We saw some other interesting things, including this massive glass sculpture in an art glass store, which I promptly took a picture of for Mom. We passed by it again on our way out, as by about 1:30, we had walked several miles.  At that point, I was exhausted, my feet were swelling, and it was starting to rain (which incidentally chased away the anti-abortion protesters, and I'll let you make your own joke there), so we went back to the hotel for a while, and I promptly fell asleep.  Afterward, we indulged in the free dinner from the hotel, then headed back out to the show. 

The experience of the show was odd.  And I mean that in a way that was odd for me, not the normal oddity that is Welcome to Night Vale (which, if you're unfamiliar with it, is a podcast that basically combines NPR with H.P. Lovecraft and is delightful).  I had, naturally, brought my Night Vale t-shirt that my in-laws bought for me last year, so I was ready for the show in my "All Hail the Glow Cloud" t-shirt. My geek colors were flying, and I've never had a problem with that before, so why would I now?

At the same time, I've never had the experience of getting to a geek event...and being the most normal person there.  I am a person who goes to Star Trek conventions in uniform.  We got into line to get into the theater, and I realized that DH and I were the oldest non-chaperoning people there.  There were a lot of teeny boppers, usually with strange hair-dos, and drawn on third eyes and tattoos (which only makes sense if you've been part of the online fandom of Night Vale, and even if you are--as I have been--is still somewhat irritating).  One girl came in with a Glow Cloud umbrella, and half the audience called out "ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD" in unison.  I had on my Glow Cloud t-shirt, and had people pointing at me and calling "All Hail" at me, which was somewhat disconcerting (particularly since I was not the only person there with this t-shirt).  We felt quite out-numbered.  Welcome to fandom after 30, I suppose.

The show itself was excellent.  It's neat to be able to put faces to the voices I've been hearing for all this time, and it was very entertaining to be, somewhat, part of a Night Vale story.  The musical guest was not terrific--DH kept cringing.  The baby, who had danced halfway to San Antonio to the music her daddy was playing (and singing along with), moved once during the entire musical performance, and was apparently equally unimpressed.

We'd thought about going to the zoo today, but I was sore and tired when I woke up and it was pouring the rain, so we came on home, which was fine.  San Antonio is close enough that you can make a day trip to the zoo if you want, so we may do that at another time.  We got home, and I promptly fell asleep--so soundly that when DH came to try to wake me up, I was completely unresponsive and he decided just to let me sleep.  I overdid this weekend, but we had a lot of fun.

I have an appointment with maternal-fetal medicine tomorrow to have the anatomy scan for the baby, to ensure that everything's okay.  I'm more than a little nervous about this, so say a prayer that everything is just fine, and that I don't completely freak out between now and then.  (This was probably a good weekend for a trip, as it kept my mind off things.)  Other than that, I have quite a bit of grading to do that I would have (maybe) done this weekend, and a meeting on Thursday.   The semester is drawing to a close--thank goodness--because I am definitely looking forward to some time off.

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