Fiesta fashion goes to the dogs

Yesterday, we went to the King William Fair, which is in one of the oldest and most expensive parts of town. Since it’s expensive to live there, it’s expensive to party there as well. The prices for food at King William fair are almost double what they are at other Fiesta events.

The King William District is a beautiful and historic part of town, though. The streets are lined with tall trees, and stately victorian homes. And yesterday, they were lined with people who dressed up their dogs, along with the usual Fiesta fashion.

And as a transition into more Fiesta What Not to Wear…the sign says it all…

Dude, like, you’re so, like, 1985! I love the flipped collar.

I think the woman at the table is thinking the same thing I was thinking…where can I get a dress like that?

Typical for Fiesta, and San Antonio in general…

‘Nuff said

This little guy has the right idea…after a hard day of Fiesta-ing, take a nap!

More Fiesta-ing

Believe it or not, I’ve managed to live in San Antonio for the better part of the last 10 years and never been to the “Battle of Flowers” parade. Monica and I didn’t actually plan on going to the parade today, because we know it gets crazy downtown, but we wanted to go to Market Square and hang out for a bit, and the parade route pretty much ends at Market Square, we happened to be there when the parade started, so we figured, what the hell?

The colorful flags (or whatever you call those things) in Market Square

More “What Not to Wear–Fiesta Edition”

Who knew? Maybe Rachel can be a dancer…

It’s all about the shoes: Since the parade is so long (well over 2 miles, I think) the queens on the floats wear comfy, funky shoes. All along the parade route, people shout, “Show us your shoes!” It’s hard to see, but this girl was wearing flippers!

My favorite float in the whole parade. Sit Ubu, sit. Good boy!

Fiesta Oyster Bake as viewed through the lens

This year was the 90th anniversary of the Fiesta Oyster Bake. We spent two hours hawking pizza, then wandered around for a couple of hours before heading home.

What not to wear, Fiesta edition. You can’t see the line in the picture, but this cowboy had pressed his Wranglers, as all good urban cowboys do.

Rachel at her first Fiesta…

And the sea of people…the main reason we don’t stay late.

In which I complain about work

Yes, I realize that people I work with read this. Yes, I realize that people in other places have been fired for talking about work on their blogs.

I’m not about to say anything here that I wouldn’t tell anyone I work with anyway, so I’m not that worried about it.

This week was TAKS testing, and the party line, the district mantra, the state mandate is that these tests are good for measuring student achievement. Maybe so, but they’re breeding a generation of anxiety attacks, and not just in the kids. When a third grader nervous because they might not pass third grade if they miss the test or don’t pass the test, something is wrong with the system. A single test should not be the determining factor for a child’s success.

What makes it worse is that my school district makes people in my position go out and monitor the test, meaning that we go out to the schools to make sure they’re not cheating. This just adds a bunch more stress on the teachers and students, and I don’t care what the testing director for the district says, every campus I’ve set foot on has had nervous teachers and counselors because they’re afraid I’m going to write them up for things they’re doing wrong.

I try my best to put the counselors, principals and teachers at ease and let them know that I understand what they’re going through. I remember what it was like to be a teacher, but there are test monitors who don’t remember, and who take the opportunity to strike fear in the people they’re supposed to be there helping. Each of the past two years I’ve heard horror stories on the campuses I’ve monitored about their last test monitor and how mean they were, or how they just made everyone feel uncomfortable.

It’s really a shame. It’s a long enough week as it is, especially for the teachers who have to sit for hours on end watching kids take a test. No reading, no grading, no email, nothing. It’s mind-numbing, and having someone there looking over your shoulder for a mistake that could cost you your teaching certificate makes it that much worse.

It’s the part of my job that I dislike the most, so I try to make sure the staff at the campus aren’t afraid of me. I do my job, but I make sure they know I’m in their corner. It’s too bad everyone doesn’t do that. We’ll all be glad when this week is over.

Take me out with the crowd…

Monica and I went to see a San Antonio Missions game last night with our friend Andy. The Missions are a double-A farm team for the Seattle Mariners. Last night was the home opener, and there were under 2000 people at the game. How do they think San Antonio is going to support a major league team if we can’t even support the minor league one we’ve got?

At any rate, it was fun to go to the game, and a beautiful night for baseball. Unlike Chicago, April is the perfect month to see a baseball game in the deep south. Almost all of the games are played at night (although I still prefer day baseball) and during June and July, it can still be in the upper 80′s well after 10 PM, making it really uncomfortable to watch baseball.

We left at the top of the 7th with the Missions leading, and they did end up winning. Here’s some pictures from the game…

I love the 100-300mm zoom lens I got off eBay…

This is Michael Garciaparra…yup, Nomar’s brother. He plays second base.

Evidently Steve Bartman’s mom moved to San Antonio…


Not much going on this week. The wonderful folks at Monica’s school had a very nice baby shower for us yesterday, and we got lots of great stuff for Rachel. Thank you all once again.

I did have to fix our kitchen faucet this week. Wait…fix would imply that the original is still there. I had to replace our faucet this week. It started spouting water out of the top Sunday night, so Monday I went and got a new one. The old one needed to go anyway. It had been leaking since we moved it, along with the hot water line that came from the wall. So now, new faucet, new hot water line, no leaks, and I’m 2 for 2 on plumbing projects in our house.

Monica’s new nickname for me is Bob Vila.


Can you believe that my wife, who grew up in San Antonio, and has spent all but 3 years of her life living here has never been inside the Alamo?

That’s like living in Chicago and never going to the Sears Tower.

Yeah, sure, we’ve been to the Alamo, but the one time we went, it was late on a Sunday afternoon and we couldn’t go inside.

People come from all over the world to see the Alamo. It’s the #1 tourist spot in the state of Texas. And yet, my wife, who grew up a mere 10 minute drive from it, had never been.

Until today.

We decided since we didn’t have anything to do, we’d go check it out. I’ve been a bunch of times, but it had been about 5 or 6 years since the last time I went, and they’ve changed a couple of things–opened up a couple of the rooms on the side so you can walk through them, and moved some exhibits around.

It was nice and cool inside, which is a good thing since we topped 90 today. We spend about 45 minutes walking around the grounds, through the gift shop and into the long barracks (also air conditioned). Afterward, Monica got a raspa–that’s a snow cone for all of you northerners–and headed home.


Last night, Monica and I were watching Deal or No Deal on NBC, and as I always do, went to the NBC website to play the lucky case game. I did my 10 entried just like I’m allowed, then we left to go over to Pete and Carol’s.

On our way over there, I got a phone call–it was from the show. I had been picked as the winner of the lucky case game! We won $10,000!

I almost drove right off the road. We had to pull over so I could catch my breath and let it sink in. Ten thousand dollars!

This couldn’t come at a better time…with the baby on the way, we can pay off some things and it will allow us to save more money for her college fund!

If only it weren’t April Fool’s Day, and all of that were true…