The Bacchanalia, Tiresome Yet Congenial

[Old blog which should have been posted Friday night, March 7th.]

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours at Urban-15 working on their upcoming Josiah Youth Media Festival. I tinkered with the entry forms and fished the internet for some high schools with film programs to mail info to. And after trying my damnedest to find a government webpage that might list public high schools with film programs, I came up with nothing. I mean, zip. I had more luck with Wikipedia. There I was able to poach addresses for about two dozen high schools across the country with film programs. The problem is, these were the more prestigious ones. And I want regular kids, not just the rich ones. I'll have to keep digging.


Around six I headed home to pull my laundry off the line and grab some freshly recharged batteries for my little point-and-shoot camera.

Then I drove to the Centro Cultural Aztlan. I met Alston in the parkinglot. She has an art event coming up next week. When I get the time and date and address, I'll send it out. It's an event her mother is putting together. Several artists are involved. Including Alston. Those who haven't seen her stuff should amble over to her MySpace page to check it out. Here is a shot I took of her recent show at Tito's Tacos (where the food is as good as the art). It's my current computer wallpaper.


She said she plans to price her stuff to move. If I had disposable income, I'd buy a shitload. I already own one of her photographs, which I gladly bought a few years back when I had some extra money. And also, I guess I officially own the wonderful painting she did for the San Antonio 48 Hour Film Project. I'll be using it for promotional purposes again this year.

As you can tell, I'm a fan. Alston Cox. Remember that name.

“The Olvidate del Alamo” exhibit at the Centro was excellent. Twenty-one artists and eight poets. All those folks crowding into South Alamo for First Friday missed a great show with good food and plenty of wine and aguas frescas.

Here we have poet, musician, actor, et al, Eduardo Garza dancing with Malena Gonzalez-Cid, who runs the Centro Cultural Aztlan.


And Deborah talks with Russ. (From the jaunty angle of his extended middle digit, I can only assume he caught me with my camera from the corner of his eye.)


I had to snap a photo of Big Ramon and Little Ramon. That's Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez on the left, and beside him his eldest son, Ramon Juan Vasquez.


Alston left after the poetry readings ended. I stayed around with Deborah and Russ. We talked about moving the conversation to a more congenial place where we could enjoy a few drinks (not that the Centro isn't congenial, but they were trying to close down for the night). Deborah decided that she'd best head on home. And so me and Russ tried to think of a bar to go to. The problem is that on Friday night the bacchanalia that is San Antonio made the prospect quite tiresome. Where could we go that the crowds would be slight enough so that we could expect to get served?

I knew that my neighborhood would be a cluster fuck. I mean, First Friday brings massive crowds down to South Alamo. Oh, hell, I said, let's try the Bar America.

We found parking on Presa near Gemini Ink, and walked to Alamo Street. It looked crowded inside, but not insanely so. We pushed through the doors. Russ made some dismissive comment about the sign that said everyone must show a photo ID.

Inside, I tried to see if there was a viable path to the bar. But before I could move, a voice behind me shouted, “Gotta see that ID, man.”

I rolled my eyes and swiveled around so that this clown could see the ravages of age stamped upon my face and let me on by. It was Max!

Max Parilla's aunt runs the bar. And I had heard he worked the door during First Friday. But I have never been so foolish as to visited the Bar America during First Friday.

“How's it going Erik?” he asked. And he waved off Russ who was scrambling for his drivers license. I introduced Max and Russ.

Max, who is stage manager at Jump-Start theater, reminded me that he has a show which he has written coming up at the Jump-Start: “Irish / Chicano.” March 8-9, 14-16. It plays as a double feature with “The Case of the Neon Twins” (which is described as “a multimedia future-noir”). I think I'll try and make it this Sunday or next Sunday.

After a few drinks, me and Russ called it a night. We were camped out on a window ledge beside the warmth of a Dearborn gas heater. But when it got to be a serious gridlock, we knew it was our time to split.

Beside, I might have to shoot a video project in the morning, but I won't know until nine a.m. And, damn, with the time change, that means I'll have even less time to sleep right? That's spring forward, yeah? Not spring back? Because I'm pretty sure I've sprung back before. Well, recoiled in disgust. But surely they are the same.


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