Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Burlington Carnival Time

Happy Thanksmas: Paisanos, Posadas and Party People

(from the archives)The following article was first found on the now defunct DeLaredo.Net, but its subject matter is still relevant today. Initially, I wrote it several days after Thanksgiving 2007. Please keep that in mind as you read the short opinion piece.

Happy ThanksMas: Paisanos, Posadas and Party People
by DeLaredo

Another holiday season is here upon us, and with it have arrived the long lines at the international bridges and the jam-packed crowds at the mall that makes shopping unbearable. Also, it's the season of endless posadas and a flooding of champurrado that brings smiles to even the most hardened Scrooges. Still, as much as I love this season of joy and giving, it seems that every year the Christmas season is extended and exploited further and combined into a two month extravaganza.

All around my subdivision, some of my eager neighbors have already put up their Christmas decorations right after Halloween. Turkey Day has not even passed and they are already looking forward to Santa. To them, it seems as if Thanksgiving and Christmas have been combined and intertwined into one mega-sized holiday that I call "Thanksmas". Even retail stores, in their greed and savvy business tactics begin to push all their Christmas items in mid-November. But what is all the hurry? Why don't we take it one holiday at a time? That way we can savor each holiday for what it is. They are not interchangeable and both have wonderful elements within themselves.

Still, things such as "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" seem to turn the season into nothing more than an empty and soulless materialistic grab-bag in which we, as consumers, seem to be bamboozled by the big media, into robotically attacking the malls in hordes like the zombies in Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Surely there is more to the holidays than buying senseless gadgets and spending hours of dead time in a mall and running around like ants in a rainstorm. But, don't get me wrong, I understand fully the need of buying and selling for our economy to remain robust and healthy, still, it seems that in the process we have to sell our souls to corporate giants that turn the importance of Christmas (xmas?) into sales, receipts, gift cards and mark-down prices.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Missouri-Pacific Station circa 1978

Looking on Google, for old Laredo pics, I ran across this sweet gem of a picture, of the Missouri Pacific station, taken sometime in 1978. The scene just looks so tranquil, even with the locomotive zooming by, noisily in the background. What I would give to have experienced Laredo, in all its glory, that year.

Pare de Sufrir

(photo: Church on Guadalupe and Bartlett)

Faith can sometimes be expensive and in these trouble times, remedies to all our ills are just a couple of bucks away. This church, Pare de Sufir, called a quasi-Christian sect by a Baptist friend of mine, has always captured my attention. I've never belittled someone else's beliefs, but the 'infomercials' done by this particular denomination are quite intriguing. I've been meaning to walk in to a service, just to experience the place. Maybe one of these days I just will. I don't frequent 'maquinitas', but these days church is even a bigger gamble.

West Express Video

One of the last remaining local video stores, West Express, located on Guadalupe St, has an excellent selection of movie titles available. Check out their great selection next time you are staying in for a movie night.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Karmic Law Gone Awry: Sport Column

Karmic Law Gone Awry
by Clark Kent
for DeLaredo Blog

Green Bay’s favorite son, Brett Favre, returned to the Packers Lambeau Field this past Sunday as a member of the dreaded rival Minnesota Vikings. The equivalent to Cowboy fans, as Troy Aikman returning to Texas Stadium in a hated Redskins uniform.
Green Bay is by far the smallest market in the NFL, with a population of a little over 100,000 and this traditional old fashion mid-western city was a community torn on Sunday. Torn between their loyalty to a Brett Favre that helped to bring back the Green Bay Packers from complete NFL obscurity, that had existed since the era of Vince Lambardi in the 60’s and a Brett Favre that had, in the eyes of some Packers fans, turned his back on Green Bay.
Now whether Favre turned his back on Green Bay by his own accord or he was run off by the front office, is still uncertain. What is for sure is that Favre plays this game with a boyish charm and passion not seen in many of today’s modern athletes. Favre plays the game to have fun and that’s the way it should be, playing the game for the simple reason of enjoying it. Much like the town he played in for 16 years, Favre is a throwback quarterback to simpler times. So it is for this reason that it was odd that he appears to have used his current stint with the Minnesota Vikings as a form of revenge on his former team, better said against his former front office personnel for losing faith in the now 40 year old quarterback, a move that has now come back to haunt Packer management and consequently their very own fan base. A white haired Brett Favre marched onto Lambeau field this past Sunday and convincingly beat the team that had lost confidence in him, placing the Packer fans in quite a loyalty conundrum.
They say revenge is a plate best served cold, but in a world ruled by karmic law, this recent turn of events in the Favre saga seemed inappropriate for the everyday, simple, down to earth and loyal mid-western Packer fan to have to endure.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"un besito pa' todas las haters"

I first saw this video about two months ago after it became something of a mini, local viral hit among the high school teen crowd. I didn't really see a point to it, other than the two protagonists in the video, show a strong command of local Spanglish street talk. My younger cousins, in their teens, love to imitate the young ladies in this video. I offer no judgement on their behavior or their free use of profanity. To each his own. The video caused such a stir, it was parodied by several local kids. Watch below: "Dale shine"

This is the original video

This is a short parody

Another short parody

The video parodies aren't really SNL like quality, but you have to admire their creative output.

Soon we won't have a bookstore but...

I don't mean to sound like a yuppie, go green, tree hugging, Starsucks drinking, anti-gun, liberal, snobby elitist, BUT...

Laredo has something like 5 gun shops, 8 Liquor stores, 2 porn shops, 5 beer runs, over 25 "maquinitas" but...

pretty soon we won't have a bookstore in this town. I'm just saying.

Laredo has never really been a place for culture and knowledge. We prize our carne asada, Bud Light drinking, Little Joe listening pastimes (not that it's necessarily wrong). Reading is not really our forte. I'm just saying...we won't have a bookstore pretty soon in this city. But, honestly, looking around me and glancing around at the population, I'm not that surprised. I'm just saying...

Are you surprised? Leave your comments regarding the pending closure of our only true bookstore.

South Side boy in Box

Driving around Laredo, I spotted a little boy playing carelessly in a box, having the time of his life. I drove by, just wishing, that I could have as much fun with something as simple as a cardboard box.

South Side View

I took these pics from outside of a friend's house somewhere in the south side.

The Spurs-Lakers Dominance

DeLaredo Sports Columnist: Clark Kent

"The Spurs Lakers Dominance"

The Spurs and the Lakers have combined to win 8 of the last 11 NBA championships. Even a casual observer can easily see that these two NBA franchises have dominated the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the past decade; even more impressive is that these two teams do not show any signs of fading. This year the Spurs have their deepest team to date, even more so than in their championship years. With the main additions of Jefferson, McDyess and Blair “The Beast”, the Spurs are sporting their toughest team to date. This is a group of new additions, to go with a healthy and rested big 3 of Duncan, Parker and Ginobli looks to be a team that even the defending Lakers could have difficulty overcoming in a 7 game series.

The Lakers were not dormant in the off season either. As if the “Black Mamba” Kobe Bryant needed anymore help on the court, the Lakers added Ron Artest a player straight out of the mold of the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys” era. This Bad boy addition along with the further maturation of their big man Andrew Bynum the Lakers look equally as improved as the Spurs and both look primed to dominate this year yet again.

The Lakers have historically had championship teams as the lure of L.A., movie stars cheering in the stands, along with the rest of the glitz of Hollywood has attracted top NBA players for many years. A trend that will likely continue as the legacy of the Lakers continues to grow. The Spurs on the other hand have had recent success under the coaching of Greg Popovich and the Keen eye for talent of R.C. Bufford, which have combined to catapult the Spurs to the Lakers level as one of the upper echelon franchises in the NBA. Their success does not halt in the NBA; ESPN currently rated the San Antonio Spurs as the best Sports Franchise of all the major sports teams, a franchise known for adding not only talented players, but more importantly character players, much like the “character formula” followed by the New England Patriots in the NFL. The Spurs have used this “character formula” successfully to the tune of 4 world championships to date.

Can anybody from the east compete with these two western forces? The Shaq experiment in Cleveland looks like it will fail and the Magic are a very good team, but not quite championship caliber. The Celtics might be the only team capable of keeping these two western forces from continuing their championship dominance. The main question for the Celtics lies around Kevin Garnet’s knee and if it can hold up through 82 regular season games and through the post season. The rest of the Celtics team seems intact, but they cannot win without a healthy Garnett. So will the Celtics roar back into the championship? Will the Lakers win back to back championships like the Magic Johnson team of the late 1980’s and the three-peat of the Shaq-Kobe era or will the Spurs win their 5th Championship in 10 years? Or will the sports world be completely shocked by this years champ? Tune in……

Forbidden Dances, Blackface, and Tantangelo: The 1990 WBCA Parade (part 1)

Updated: Link to video here : 1990 WBCA Parade Laredo, TX I have finally been able to upload at least a small portion of the footage of th...