Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random lyric of the day

Cooter schooled me to the game,
now I know my duty
Stay humble stay low
blow like Hootie goes mainstream

Congrats to my colleagues at and Laredospeaks among others for their frontpage publicity in the Laredo Morning Times' article on local blogs. Keyrose, of, has gone mainstream. Next month you will see him on the cover of GQ and RollingStone. He has hit the bigtime like George Jefferson. In all seriousness, sweet bread! I'm glad that the hard work of the local bloggers is getting noticed.

Keyrose and others were present at the screening of 80's movie, Eddie Macon's Run, over at Candela's Restuarant, this past Saturday. Due to urgent business matters, I was unable to be present, however, I heard the turnout was really good. Next time we have another screening I hope to be there for sure. I'll take a 12 pack of Schlitz. Any ideas for another Blogger's event?? I'm open to suggestions (I'm also open to donations jejeje.)

Laredo Broncos in last place

Don't look now Laredo baseball fans, but your local team is in last place. As of June 28, their record of 4 wins and 12 losses is dismal. They have lost nine straight road games. Is it time to call for the head of Ricardo Cuevas? Something's got to give. Their next home stand starts on July 2nd, so let's all go out there and support the home team. If you see me, go ahead and buy me a beer. Support your local blog too!

Random Laredense pics

(photos courtesy of, even though I just took em without permission. Y Que!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lame 80s movie of the week review (Invasion USA)

With North Korea ready to go all ballistic on us, it reminded me of a braindead movie I saw in the 80's featuring Chuck Norris at the height of 80s Cold War Hollywoodish cinema (Red Dawn, Rocky 4, Born American etc)titled Invasion USA. The movie is violent, cold, senseless and downright silly. In short, its my sort of movie. Here below is a movie review. If you care to see, again, I can lend you my vhs copy, sweet.

(note: If you really want to enjoy this film, drink a six pack of Schlitz beer first. Then sit back and laugh.)

Think Chuck Norris, think Invasion USA. Well, I do anyway. Perhaps it’s the snappy, rhythmical catchiness of the title that makes it so memorable. Perhaps it’s because it came out when Chuck was top of his game, fully graduated with a Master’s Degree in 80’s mindless, gung-ho action gibberish following his Batchelor of (Martial) Arts days of the late 70’s-early 80’s chop-socky action thriller fare. The interesting thing about The Norris is his credibility. You may think he doesn’t have any, but he does. Anyone who trains with Bruce Lee, befriends Bruce Lee, and then cast by Lee to be his ultimate opponent in Way of the Dragon, deserves some credibility. And then of course there’s his numerous kung fu qualifications, one of which is being the first ever Westerner to be awarded an eighth-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Steve McQueen was blown away by Norris’ skills and famously said to him “If you can’t do anything else, there’s always acting”, after which Norris went on to incorporate his martial arts skills in much the same way that Bruce Lee (who had a hell of a lot more to prove) had done before him; the world of fight-based thriller motion pictures.

Unfortunately however, by the time of Invasion USA, something different had happened. Norris picked up guns and shot the baddies instead of bashing them about with his karate skills. That’s the mid 80’s for you. Invasion USA is big, bad, and brainless. I can imagine the producers and screenwriters in a pre-production meeting: “Ok, let’s not make this too complicated, ok? This isn’t about plot, it’s about action, violence, revenge, heroism and we want LOADS of explosions and Chuck Norris with guns.” That’s exactly what you get. The movie starts with a boat full of Cubans trying to make it to the Florida coast until obvious impostor / bad guy Mikhail Rostov, pulls up alongside with the coastguard, says “Welcome to America”, then proceeds to gun down every last one of them, running off with all their Charlie. He then goes to sell the coke to a very dangerous looking man whose ladyfreind is snorting away at it, than is until Rostov bashes her face of the surface she is snorting from, puts his gun down the dealer’s pants, pulls the trigger and throws him out the window. He’s badass, this guy, and he has nightmares about when Matt Hunter (yeah, that’s Chuck Norris, in case you hadn’t guessed) caught him, said “It’s time to die” and then let him get away. He hates Norris and vice versa, but Norris will only kill him if he’s asked too, because he’s a good guy you know, just like one of us. When Rostov isn’t hating Norris, he’s hatching a plan to invade USA with his army of extras landing on the beaches off Miami, piling into trucks bound for Chicago, Las Vegas, etc, to wage war on ordinary America.

What follows is a full-scale (well in Miami anyway) attack on ordinary folk as Rostov’s troops take to the streets with guns aplenty, while their favoured choice of human destruction is the trusty take-no-prisoners rocket launcher. Chaos ensues, as the National Guard take over to bring some kind of control to the civil unrest that sees police officers staying at home to protect families and armed citizens take to the streets. Matt Hunter is no ordinary civilian though – he’s an agent, asked by the “agency” to take Rostov and his men down following a routine “We really need you this time” scene. No one else, just one man against hundreds, but that’s fine because this is 1985 - the time of Stallone, the time of Schwarzenegger, the time of the one-man army, because dontcha know that’s all it took back in 1985. One man, one truck, attitude, two Uzis and optional beard.

A prerequisite of the one-man army is a hero who remains not only calm and confident under pressure, but one who must be careful not to demonstrate a confusing array of facial expressions. One will do nicely, and two at a push. The only times Norris smiles in Invasion USA is 1) when he sees his pet armadillo acting stupid, and 2) when he’s watching an old B&W sci-fi movie on TV which is, I should point out, a 1953 movie called…wait for it...Invasion USA! The rest of the time he exemplifies the Charles Bronson portfolio of facial expression, which is to say that it never really changes – one expression fits all situations. Steve McQueen had a lot to answer to. Strange as it is to find myself thinking this, I believe that there is a place for lame, shortsighted action movies like this. They’re reminders of a time when the intellectual appetites and expectations for Hollywood action films was at an all-time low, while forecasting how bigger, better and louder would eventually rule the roost. There really isn’t any plot here at all: a bad Russian guy is killing Americans, and then Norris is sent on assignment to kill him. They are arch enemies. Cue explosions, dumb-ass dialogue, and the token nosey female journalist (who is not only incredibly annoying but seems to have clairvoyance skills for every single attack because she’s ALWAYS there), and then wrap it all up with a massive yet dull gun battle while our hero offs the villain by firing a rocket launcher at him point blank, sending him out the window and all over the street.

The plot’s straightforwardness is mirrored by Norris’s wardrobe. Picture this: A bearded Norris, dressed in tight blue jeans, low-buttoned denim shirt, double brown leather shoulder holsters, black leather gloves and, most important of all, an Uzi for each hand, pumping out bullets faster than thrash metallers Slayer. He’s a nice regular guy, just don’t push him – you know the sort. Norris is actually a Christian in real life and apparently refused to play characters who were morally unsound. That’s why you have to push him before he pushes you but when he does you’ll feel liked Jesus himself has booted you in the face. Ouch. And there you have it. Not the greatest action flick ever made. Not a complete waste of time if you’re in the mood for what it offers.

Now, where did I put my denim shirt...

The Ram Inn

Apparently, subtlety has gone out of fashion in Laredo. In this town we say it like it is with no reason to hide behind a false facade of dumbness. I normally try to keep my blog PG family rated, but I just couldn't pass up this picture of a sleazy motel out by Mines Rd. area. The place is called the "Ram Inn" where I guess for $29 dollars a night, a person can 'ram it in' all night along, at their own leisure. Am I reading too much into it? Is it my own twisted mentality? You decide. Better yet, go down to SanBer pick up a lady of the evening and take her down to the Ram Inn to ram it in. On second thought, don't do that. That's immoral and illegal. Better yet, stay home and watch the ballgame.

Hard Work

My father always told me that with a little hard work I could accomplish almost anything. By and large, most people in Laredo are honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizens. Most of us are not like the media portray us; deceitful, uneducated, lazy drug lords. Unfortunately, the hard-working people of this city will have to keep toiling hard under the sun to try and erase that negative image.

It reminds me of the picture below. I took it several years ago as I caught construction worker taking a smoking break after a long day. He seems to want a better future and his eyes seem to scream with hope that that 'better future' is just around the corner and within grasp. That's the way it is with Laredo. Better days are definitely up ahead. Don't despair. Keep the faith Laredo.

Random Lyric of the week

Alone between the sheets
Only brings exasperation
Its time to walk the streets
Smell the desperation

Drunk and dragged

Sometimes people in in this town drink too much. This here is one sweet, short video a partygoer shot outside of some silly nightclub. Notice the drunk woman almost getting run over as she tries to, undoubtedly, continue the party at someone's house. Lesson learned, Laredo people can't drive and they don't know when to say when. View the youtube video.

(posted by BB)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picture of the blogger as a young kid

Feast your eyes on this. The year was 1993 and I felt as if I was on top of the freaking world. Life was alot more fun at 14, and Laredo seemed to be just so much more innocent. Of course, it was all just my own naive perspective. In the upcoming week I shall tell you the twisted story behind this picture. So come back and read it, if you dare....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Maquinitas and Texas Lotto

Recently, local maquinintas establishments have made the news once again and equipment has been seized from certain places. According to local law enforcement, laws and regulations were being broken so these places had to be shut down. To me, that's all fine and dandy for the reason that I'm not much of a gambler. However, my question is this. How are maquinitas and their gambling nature different from the state sponsored lottery? Both seem to prey on the elderly and the least economically-viable. Both seem to be impulsive and addictive. Both seem to be a tremendous waste of money to be person playing, but a great source of revenue for the person selling. If we go after maquinitas, why not go after the Texas Lottery as well. Someone please enlighten me. I'm such an ignoramus.
(Update: Comment found on forum at LMT. Copy and pasted on here.)
1stepforward2stepsback wrote on Jun 17, 2009 5:01 PM:
" 1970's Las Vegas in Laredo. Crime has infiltrated our City. 8-liners are breeding grounds for crime. Money laundering comes to mind. Get rid of them. They are sucking the retirees money away. Let's tell the 8-lners owners that the taxpayer owns Laredo. Send a strong message to our elected officials. Vote them all out in the next election. We don't want maquinitas. Remember the 1970's and early 80's. The mob nearly destroyed Vegas. The mob will destroy Laredo because Laredo is no Vegas. "
Maybe this person is on to something here. Maybe.

Laredo Broncos Baseball

*Correction* (thanks for my new "Editor")

According to their website, opening day at Veteran's Field for the Laredo Broncos will be on Monday the 15th of June at 7pm. Hopefully some of us can make it out to the ballgame. If I make it out, I will surely post some pics and comments before the weekend.

On another note, here are some comments I found online by a baseball follower that has an annual roadtrip and goes from town to town watching independent baseball teams. Here is what he had to say. His comments are more about Veterans Field than the Broncos team.

Disclaimer: These comments and opinions are not my own.

Veterans Field, and the team playing there in 2007, epitomize the often negative attitude some fans have toward independent baseball.
On the day I showed up for a 7:30 game, the start was not until 8:20 because the ground crew had failed to cover the field with even the small mound and plate tarps when a sudden rainstorm came through in mid-afternoon. Field maintenance pushed the start back by nearly an hour, and then both pitchers complained about the mound as the game went on, resulting in further delays.
The Laredo Broncos failed to provide a line-up board. An attempt to buy a program resulted in no visiting team roster and an outdated home team roster. The public address system was clear for music, but the microphone was muffled, so announcements, such as they are, were difficult to decipher.
On top of that, the stadium is nothing great. There is one main grandstand, set far back from the playing field, with seven rows of �box seats� in front of it. Aluminum grandstands flank the main stand. The view of the game isn�t horrible, but it would be improved if the grandstand were closer to the field.
Finally, when I went to complain about the lack of consideration for the true baseball fan, the person I spoke with concluded the conversation with, "I hope you enjoy the show." Excuse me, sir, but I didn't come for the show, I came for a baseball game.
This was by far the worst baseball experience of my annual road trip in 2007.

Ouch! Eso duele. Be back soon with more on the Broncos.
Ouch! That hurts.

Laredo Downtown 1940-50s

Cool picture I came across of downtown back in the late 1940s, maybe early 50s. This town must have been cool back then.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

La Sanbe and Mexican imports

San Bernardo used to attract a heavy traffic of outside tourists for both the legal and illegal trades. Now however, Sanber is pretty much dead. A quick drive down that road will reveal that business has been suffering for the past few years now. Many stores that used to cater to people from other states and cities, and that would specialize in Mexican imports, have now closed down or seriously downsized. It's a tough business world out there. Maybe soon the imports business will make a comeback. Maybe not.

Mall del Norte at Sunset

The mall can be one neat place, especially at sunset. This lady, in the picture above, was having too much fun at the mall. In any case, its one neat picture.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lapis or Lapiz

Over on the north side in the Tiarra Subdivision is a street that inexplicably changes spelling from one corner to the other. The street goes from Lapis Ln. to Lapiz Ln. for no apparent reason. Does the name of the street change, or is it just a simply misspelling of the word? I vote for the latter. We all know Laredoans can't spell.

Moreno's Cash Carry Meat Market

Sign found behind LCC main campus. Not exactly sure what is advertised here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer VHS Movie Review (Xmas in June).

Stay out of the heat this summer and stay cool indoors and watch a good ol' slasher film. I recommend "Silent Night, Deadly Night". Review is found below. If you can catch a VHS 1984 version, even better. It is found on DVD so netflix it. Or drop me a line I can lend you my copy!

Of all the slasher movies to meet controversy in the 1980’s, perhaps the most loathed of these was the festive tale Silent Night, Deadly Night, which was picketed by angry parents and pulled by the studio. Still unreleased in several countries, this tale of a homicidal Santa Claus was not the first festive slasher (there had already been the likes of Christmas Evil) but was by far the most loathed, released in North America just six weeks before Christmas. Whether or not it was the sight of a Santa raping a woman or the comments it makes on Catholic punishment, the movie touched a nerve and was subsequently banned outright or simply removed from cinemas one Tri-Star, the distributors, buckled under the pressure.

Surprisingly, Silent Night, Deadly Night does have some depth and is not just a series of gruesome gags. The story sees Billy, emotionally scarred after witnessing his parents’ murder (and mother’s sexual assault) at the hands on a drunken Santa Claus, sent to a strict Catholic boarding school, where he is eventually brainwashed into associating all forms of reckless pleasure (pre-marital sex, fun-loving partying) with punishment. When he is foolishly given a job of as a Santa Claus in a store over Christmas, Billy slowly loses his mind, before marching to each of his co-workers and hacking them to death, all the while shouting ‘Naughty!’ Once done, he sets his sights on the rest of the town as the police desperately try to find out what is happening.

This was not the first Christmas horror, others that came before it include Black Christmas, To All a Goodnight and the aforementioned Christmas Evil (aka You Better Watch Out), but it was the one that, for some reason or another, managed to get under the skin of the moral majority, who seemed more sensitive than usual during the early eighties. The two-headed critic known as Siskel and Ebert seemed to take more offence than most, singling out each of the filmmakers on their television show and repeatedly declaring ‘Shame on you!’ This was all due to the marketing campaign, which resulted in young children being subjected to images of Santa Claus with an axe, hacking his way through the family festivities.

Silent Night, Deadly Night runs with the moral implications of Friday the 13th and Halloween and takes them to extremes, with Billy’s sole justification for his actions being that he is punishing the immoral. Whether or not this could be seen as a morality tale or a social comment on Catholic punishment is down to the individual viewer, as when all is said and done this movie’s main purpose is to entertain, not preach. And while it may not be a masterpiece it is certainly a perfect example of how slasher movies did not have to be accepted by the mainstream, after all, this is a genre that has been loathed by critics since day one. Followed by one pointless sequel (which would re-use footage from the first movie), there would in all be five Silent Night, Deadly Night movies, the latter two having no direct connection to this film.

(Thanks to CS for the movie review)

Friday, June 5, 2009

AYP haunts Laredo schools.

LISD had an article on AYP and how local schools in both districts are failing according to the federal government. These schools included Martin, LBJ, Alexander High and Cigarroa Middle among others. It is important to note that some of these schools only failed to meet federal AYP guidelines because of its subgroups (namely Special Ed and Limited English Proficiency students) and not because of its main, English Speaking, at grade level students. Below are some comments found on the LMT reader comments board. (reader opinions not my own)

Laredo proud wrote on Jun 5, 2009 7:28 AM:
" I am a Mexican proud of my heritage and upbringing...however, I am sick of all these people from Nuevo Laredo bringing thier kids here for an education. I am tired of being addressed in Spanish when I go to the store. LAREDO IS NOT MEXICO. The schools could be better if some teachers and employees would teach and strive for excellence instead of collect a paycheck. We need to get rid of doing the minimum to get by attitude and strive to do better. Education begins at home so parents get your kids to read some books this summer. "

Embarrased wrote on Jun 5, 2009 8:08 AM:
" What a shame, Laredo will never progress. Just go to any major department store in town. You are lucky if you can find someone who speaks English. This is America you should be able to speak the language. If you don't, then learn it. It starts at home, but the schools need to do their part and them some. Heck you go to any school and you will see that some of the teachers have difficulty speaking English themselves. What a shame!!!!!!!!!! "

MARIACHI wrote on Jun 5, 2009 7:15 AM:
" I have many friends in these schools who are teachers. They keep telling that the reason Laredo doesn't do very good on anything academic is because of all the Mexicans from Nuevo Laredo attending such schools. They know not how to speak/understand/write English well and therefore bring the scores down in all areas. Laredo is starved for money and since they get extra funds for allowing such ignoramus, they fail to understand that such shall keep them from ever meeting standards; in fact, if they keep this up, they might even be history. "

Sometimes things are more complicated than they seem at first.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Six pack before the fire

Recently, this drive thru in south Laredo burned down. Here is a picture before its downfall as taken from an online website ( I believe.) It was nice to look at but it lacked the female attendants in their skimpy attire a la Papi Chulos. In any case, it will be missed.

Nursing Professional Skilled Services

One of Laredo's best companies of skilled nurses. (No, I didn't get paid for this free plug.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Things that outsiders should know

Laredo is both a vast swampland of nothing as well as a treasure chest of everything you will ever need. Gone are the days, for good or for bad, of the Laredo as a dusty one-horse town, a convenient rest stop for people on their way to grand places like Houston and San Antonio. Now, Laredo is its the destination with events, attractions and endless charms that place it smack dab in the middle of a true international market.

Still, Laredo isn't for everyone. Outsiders have to comprehend that there exits invisible yet powerful traditions that will not disappear, cannot be replaced and are pretty much indestructible. These traditions are not meant to bog one down, but instead they are for one's nourishment, aid, and the fulfillment of our border destiny.

Family is key in Laredo. Without our familia, and by that we mean our extended family, Laredo collapses on itself like a borrachito staggering outside of La Frontera Bar. Outsiders must understand that our family is at the very core, the nucleus of everything Laredo represents. We follow traditions because we love our family, we respect our past, we desire to continue that which for centuries and generations has helped our forefathers thrive in this dry and desolate land of nothing, this desert-like utopia where the sun is eternally smiling.

Outsiders should know there is a reason why we speak so much Spanish and why we intermingle and dabble in Spanglish. As a clash of two cultures, two worlds coming together in a linguistic explosion, it is only natural that we would represent the best of those contradictory cultures. Outsiders should understand that Spanish has been spoken in this part of the country for decades before English was introduced. It is not unpatriotic, un-American, undignified or uneducated to speak Spanish (or Spanglish) in everyday conversations, rather its a matter of fact what Laredenses have been doing for centuries. Outsiders should expect to be greeted in Spanish at stores around town. If they talk to a store clerk in English, 80% of the time that clerk will respond in Spanish. It's just the way things are in Laredo and outsiders shouldn't try to change it. Accept it and move on.

Outsiders should know that they need to embrace the sun. There is no winter in this part of the world. We have summer and two months of Spring. Laredo is a scaldingly-hot city. There is no use in complaining about it. Get used to it.

We are never on time for anything in this city. In fact, being on time is just rude. Outsiders need to pick up rather quick on that one. If the party starts at 7pm, show up at 8pm. If you show up at seven, people will be upset at you for being 'early'.

One last thing that outsiders should know is about food. Laredo takes its food very seriously. We don't eat donuts and coffee for breakfast. If anything its going to be pan dulce but more likely be mariachis. And when we say mariachis dont expect a guy in a charro suit blowing on a trumpet. Hungry outsiders will learn that faster than they can say, “Los Mariachis de mi Abuela ”. We take our breakfast tacos very seriously in Laredo. Taco Palenque, TacoTote, and Stripes aren't restaurants and stores but rather places of worship that should be revered. Outsiders shouldn't come down here talking about high cholestoral and counting calories. If they can't eat two mariachis de papa con huevo at one sitting, then they need to get out of town immediately. They need to go back to Austin and take their stinking green tea with them!

(Feel free to leave your comments and disagree with me. Shout out to Double Shots for the idea about the post. Also, forgive me for the misspelled words. Ouch!)

Coming from Us To Mex on Old Bridge

Monday, June 1, 2009

Un Domingo sin 'carne asada'

This past Sunday was a very hungry and sad day for me. The most unusual part about it was that it was a 'carne-asada-less' Sunday. No one that I knew was having any sort of carne cook-out. Not my siblings, not my parents, not my neighbors, not the ex-in laws, not my cousins; no one, and I was left having to savor some PB & J's. Times are hard and the recession is effecting us all.

Lagrimas de mi Barrio (pa llorar)

Joy Cometh in the Morning: Kismet When you least expect it

(Sometimes, Laredo surprises me. There are 250,000 stories in this naked city, and this here is just one of them.)  The encounter I had ...