Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Y'all Regrese Pronto, Y' Hear?

It's with the taste of bittersweet melon in our mouths that the SOL crew is moving on (up, North) from the Streets of Laredo.

What a year! We learned to like country; witnessed Mexican cowboys, wrestlers, gigantic flags and the country itself; got chased by stray dogs; cooked the third-best tripe in town; made sugar skulls; got creeped out by Santa Muerte; paraded; ate a ton of local food (especially tequila & pecans); got jamboozled; received a bikini car wash; floated in the pool; and found the Mayor of Laredo around - every - single - turn.

I'm guessing most of us are happy to be moving on, but we'll also miss some of the finer points of life on the border.

Hopefully, our replacements will be up to the task of keeping this blog (I'll still be blogging elsewhere). But even if not, I hope you enjoyed following our progress through all the Tex-Mexinsanity and the impressions we shared, dissected and served up in your RSS reader.

Take care, Laredo! I'd say don't ever change...but something tells me you won't.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

View from the Pool

Ok, so it's possible we're suffering a little Senioritis down here in SOL-land. Most of us are finishing up our tour of duty in Laredo in the next couple weeks and moving to various points north (and none too soon - killer bees!).

But really, there hasn't been a lot going on down here. Summer is in full swing, forcing us to loaf around, sweat, and occasionally crash the nicest apartment pools we can find (see above).

The only real excitement has been the addition of some much-needed culture. Last weekend, Laredo had it's first decent indie-rock show since we've been here (featuring Austin bands, natch), as well as a visit from performance artist (?) Jimmy Keuhnle, whose giant inflatable suit invaded the Laredo streets on Friday. Watch some video of Jimmy bouncing and...dancing with your favorite SOL blogger.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Beauty of Texas...

This weekend, Laredo played host to the prestigious Miss Texas pageant - basically the playoffs for Miss USA. Apparently 9 million Texans tuned in - and Miss Port of Laredo got third place. Miss Port of Laredo, always a bridesmaid.

Alex and I didn't feel like shelling out $20 for nosebleed seats to the coronation, so I did the next best thing - got a bikini car wash.

In my defense, I wasn't looking for a bikini car wash. All I know is that I desperately needed a car wash, any car wash, when all-of-a-sudden a skeezy looking dude appeared outside GW's Roadhouse with a "Bikini Car Wash" sign and the state of Texas tattooed on his chest.

How could I not?

GW's is a faux dive bar (think strategically placed bras and deer heads), and when I asked the skeezer about the price, he yelled something unintelligible about "fundraiser" and "titties." I figured this was probably my only chance to ever experience such a combination.

As it turned out, no one could tell me what the donation was for ("Maybe somebody got sick?" a biker volunteered), and there were no sightings of the aforementioned unmentionables. In fact, our car was washed by beardy drunk and a big old woman.

At this point I'd close by saying "only in Laredo," but does this really happen anywhere outside my feverish dreams?

And did I mention they did a terrible job?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Raul-Watch! - Pt. 2

When: Thursday, June 19, 3:30PM
Where: Departure lounge, Laredo "International" Airport
What was he doing?: Unclear. He appeared to be hobnobbing with airport staff, but he did have a small bag and was wearing a Panama hat.
What was he eating?: Nothing (saving room for salty peanuts?)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raul-Watch!

When was the last time you saw the Mayor of Laredo? What was he doing? What was he eating (if anything)?

I imagine this as a border version of "Where's Waldo." For example, my latest sighting...

When: Saturday, June 14th, 3:00PM
Where: The discount tie bin at Macy's
What was he doing?: Getting a great deal!
What was he eating?: Nothing apparent.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hizzoner

I agree with JC below: Happy was fairly funny, although I missed a lot of the jokes. Also, someone should tell him that not all white people are named Chad.

But after the show, I went to buy groceries at the store known locally as the "Gucci HEB." Who was there picking out peaches, but the mayor himself! Like me, he had just come from the fundraiser.

The Mayor agreed that Happy puts on a good show. He was a bit miffed that Happy couldn't remember whether the Mayor's first name was "Raul" or "Saul." (They rhyme in Spanish, tho not in English.)

All in all, the Mayor is affable and an easy guy to talk to. He said bye as he left the store and walked past me. As I walked to my car, it appeared to me that the Mayor was parked in a handicapped spot.

And that was my brush with the powers that be in the Gateway City!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy

Last night the SOL crew took in the bizarre, though not entirely unfunny spectacle of South Texas Humor, courtesy of comedian Efrian "Happy" Guerrero (old video here).

Guess what? Lots of ethnic jokes.

Admittedly, Happy's standard style
was a little hard for this Anglo to
follow (rapid English setup, nasal Spanish punchline), and I wasn't sure what to do with his impression of a Hispanic Mormon fundamentalist.

But the old adage holds - stand-up comedy is funnier in person. I'd be interested to know what everyone else thought.