Sneaking in the Back Way of Alamo Heights

I have no projects lined up for the foreseeable future. True, my money’s running thin, and I really should be concerned. But, dammit, I’m going to enjoy a week or three of sweet slack, relativity free of obligations.

My two big projects Friday was to return a library book and get a part for my bike. Actually, it was something of a bicycle-intensive day. Just look at this picture of some poor wretch’s bike in the parking garage of the downtown public library.

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He thought he’d be safe locking it up. But someone stole his fucking inner tube. That’s low, really low.

After the library I tried my local bike shop to see if they had a disc brake rotor. The bike dude took in his breath like I’d asked him if he had any of Lance Armstrong’s old athletic cups. “Oh, we don’t have anything like that,” he croaked, backing away to help a tattooed girl looking for some handlebar streamers.

Okay. Here’s the skinny. A brake rotor is just a round piece of metal. It looks like this.

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In a civilized country I’d just pop down to the local machine shop and have one cut and ground down. While I waited.

The next place I thought I’d try was Bike Village way up on West Avenue. A bit of a drive, but the place seemed al full of useful stuff. I walked up to the guy at the counter. “You have a rotor for a disc brake?”

He stopped texting and looked up at me. He squirmed like a stoolie in a cop show. “Don’t think we have anything like that. Um, let me call our other store.” As he dialed, I saw two rotors. On the wall. Just behind him.

He hung up. “They don’t have any. Um, we could order some for you.” I looked over his shoulder. The rotors looked just the right size. They weren’t in a package. No price. Were they some sort of decorations? Left over Christmas wreathes? “That what you wanna do?” he asked, riffing the index of a parts catalogue. “Order them … um, and what was that you called it? A radiator?”

“Don’t worry,” I said, and headed out.

Eventually all roads lead to Bike World. They’ve got everything. A bit superior, and a bit pricey. But they know their shit and are always well-stocked. The problem is, Bike World is in the nexus of affluent evil — Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, and Terrell Hills; three sleepy and snooty hamlets surrounded by the proper grit of San Antonio. This is where the under-worked cops keep an eye out for scofflaws such as myself, you know, motoring around with expired inspection and registration. I used the GPS on my iPhone to select the most low-profile and circuitous route through the wilds of Olmos Basin Park.

What an ordeal. But, sure enough, they had that little thin circle of metal. Forty fucking bucks! I should have scavenged one off that bike at the library.

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I’ve been plodding my way through a tight and stultifying tunnel — seemingly endless — for several months. It seems that everything I set off to do fizzles, mostly through my own fecklessness and internal torpor. It’s been at least three months since my water heater crapped out on me, and I’m still having to boil water to do the dishes. And the frame of my futon broke some months earlier and I’m still sleeping on my little sectional sofa. But, still, I do my best to keep in motion until it passes. Soon, I hope.

A perfect example was the SAL (San Antonio Local Film Festival) summer event — the Summer Remake Challenge. I had planned to participate, but I stalled out. However, I dragged myself out to Friday night’s screening at the Radius Center. There were six pieces in total.

Huge turnout. Maybe a hundred and fifty people.

Our MC was Ann Gerber. She’s been out of the local acting scene for so long that I suspect her mother no longer reads my blog in hopes of catching a glimpse of Ann’s acting work. I guess that’s what motherhood will do to one. Ann instructed the audience to vote on our two favorite films.

My choices were Pete’s version of Psycho were it a Clint Ruin music video (Carlos Pina’s collaboration kept things authentically dark, though I assume Pete was responsible for the pornier elements); and also, Andy Miller’s Cliffs Notes version of Blade Runner — that’s right, the entire damn story arc in only ten minutes (a great performance by Brant Bumpers and some damn fine shooting by Travis Thomsen).

The winner was Erick Cantu and Co.’s version of Dirty Dancing … with men in dresses and wigs. When I was helping Veronica count up the scores (well, she did most of the work), all she could say was “audiences love camp.”

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Saturday night was the premiere of Dora Pena’s first feature film Dream Healing. It was at the Palladium, a swanky multiplex on the ghastly far north edge of Bexar County where the Republicans hide behind their gate codes and guardhouses.

It was a huge theater. Maybe 600 seats. And Dora’s Blue-Ray disc looked great on their digital projector. It was a sold-out crowd. (Here we see Nikki and Chadd of PrimaDonna Productions alongside the red carpet.)

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Below is a photo I took with my phone of two of my favorite actors. Louisette Zurita and Gabi Walker. They were great in the film.

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Dream Healing looks slick. Congrats Dora! The acting is all impressive. Jesse Borrego does a great job. But I think the real standout is Evie Armstrong as the evil aunt. I wonder if Russ still wants to make that dominatrix movie? Cruel should always be as sexy as Evie.

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2 thoughts on “Sneaking in the Back Way of Alamo Heights

  1. Hey… we live just a couple miles from the Palladium… behind a gate with a code and I’m happy to say we’re not Republican. (okay, well… maybe a little Republican)

  2. Enjoyed reading about your bicycle drama and enjoyed your descriptions of the film events too. Very entertaining, as usual.

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