This year Cinco De Mayo is celebrated a few days early and, as such, can be lovingly referred to as Dos De Mayo, but whatever because everyone was really on Cherokee Street to celebrate the birth of yours truly -- who turned 31 today.
For the last two weeks I've been doing some pre-birthday celebrating, watching a variety of awesome performances: NIL8, Jennifer Hudson (and Robin Thicke, who I think had two orgasms during his performance, but that's cool, just sayin'), the Toadies, and Flight of the Conchords. All were fantastic, but Cinco De Mayo was fun in a totally different way.
Because I didn't think to bring any sort of apparatus to keep track of what I was witnessing, I took record via text message. Gotta love technology... especially since I have one of the cheapest, crappiest phones offered by the ridiculously expensive AT&T (no linky-love; horrible customer service and over-priced go-phone packages, AT&T can SUCK IT. Oh wait, they already do).
My immediate observation, after visiting every dang booth, was that none of them had chorizo. What. The. Hell(O-Kitty)??? Seriously, they had an American Booth with corn dogs, funnel cakes, and other foods that totally did not belong at the event, plus there was a dude walking around selling cotton candy for one dollar. And no freaking chorizo! Which, was one of the main reasons I came to the celebration.
I visited with the ever so TwIsTeD Courtney and chatted with the lovely Diane while her husband was goofing around with the kids (or he was doing something educational with them, I wasn't really paying attention; but he did capture some cool breakdancing that I totally missed). I hoped these ladies had some insight into the depressing chorizo-drought of Cherokee Street. Neither of them seemed to care as much as I did.
So I went from booth to booth and complained, "No chorizo??? I'll pick some up at the market and just cook it myself, but dude, they are selling freaking CORN DOGS!" Every time I said this, I was met with the same response; they would roll their eyes, point and say, "Si, American Booth."
I asked a variety of people where I could go for some chorizo and was referred to one of the restaurants which had inflated prices for the event, but whatever, the food was damn good. I don't care if they charged me $3.50 for a taco with only two toppings, chorizo and guacamole, because those were the two reasons I came. I will definitely revisit Taqueria el Bronco.
What appeared at first glance to be a totally lame attraction, ended up being incredibly entertaining. I mean, a fake bull with a big "US Army" emblem painted on the side, and they're asking people to put their name on a list? How cool is this thing gonna be?
Really, it's run by a guy who looks like he might be in the Army - except he's wearing a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, a tourist shirt from Jackson Hole, WY and tight jeans - jeans that scream "pinch my ass, you know I want you to."
Sorry, ladies and gentlemen-who-are-into-that-sort-of-thing, I did not get a photo of the dude's ass. It didn't seem important until on my way out when I ran into a couple girls I used to work with and they were commenting, repeatedly, about the dude's ass and how they just wanted to touch it. I wasn't about to go back to get an ass photo.
So I'm sitting on the curb watching a crowd slowly gather around the bull. Like the entire street, there was a good mix of people - young and old, some with families, others with friends - though admittedly, I would've liked to see a few more weirdo folk. It turns out, they were all in the parade, but I did eventually bump into a few.
I'm watching the bull.
Kids are getting on, the bull-operator was totally taking it easy on them, giving them tips and letting their ride be fun and not get out of hand. After watching a variety of people ride, I start noticing that all the people yelling. It didn't matter who was riding that thing, the bull-operator is yelling pointers and tips; a group of Mexican guys were yelling all sorts of stuff in Spanish; and then this black guy starts yelling - to some kid (who he obviously knew) - HOLD ON TO THAT MOTHERFUCKER, CUZ!!! And he's just screaming it and screaming it. Over and over. Emphasizing every word a little differently each time, but making sure they all get equal attention.
And for the most part, nobody cared... unless they had young children who primarily spoke English. Those folks started scooping up their kids, stepping back, moving to the other side, anything to get away from that dude. But it was impossible to get away from it because his voice was carrying over the music, the crowd, everything.
It was awesome.
And then for just a short moment, everyone seemed to stop and slowly turn their heads toward this drunk biker guy groping his woman's booty. And by groping, I mean that in the politest sense of the word, the kind of groping you may see at the alter.
And the loud dude stopped screaming "MOTHERFUCKER" - he paused - his jaw dropped open, he pointed, then let out the best laugh I have ever heard. All his friends laughed, too, and the biker dude let go of his woman, they laughed and sat down, and the crowd began to disperse.
Now it's just families. I watch a few kids go around on the bull and just when I think the ride has lost its luster, a mom gets on. I've watched more than a dozen dudes ride it, at least half a dozen children, but this is the first mom.
She gets on, the bull operator is giving her some instructions, a few guys stop to watch... the ride starts - and the operator turns the bull toward the guys and does this maneuver where it just bounces her around. And her boobs are bouncing like crazy. These dudes are loving it, the operator is laughing his ass off, the woman is embarassed, but what the hell is she gonna do? Let go? She didn't have to wonder for too long because she bounced around for about 90 seconds and then was flipped off that thing.
The guy tricked a couple other moms and well, nothing else seemed relevant after this. I had my food, I had my entertainment, I had seen many chics with facial hair, what more can a girl ask for?
But I wanted to sit on the curb and do a little people watching. So I did. And I saw:
--Two mailmen delivering mail. Unexpected, cool, but not too surprising and not too eventful, but still noteworthy because you don't often see men delivering mail in the heart of the Cinco De Mayo activities.
--A variety of kids wearing a Mexican wrestler's mask, think Nacho Libre. I couldn't differ between the Technicos and Rudos (good guys and bad guys), but it was fun to see the kids dressed up.
--Oh, there was one woman who was scared of swine flu, or germs, or whatever, but she was wearing a mask and rubber gloves.
--At one point, a girl who seemed sorta, well, retarded, asked me if I had seen her mom. Before the conversation went any further the girl's mom yelled for her. It was at this moment when I thought, "I won't even be able to tell when things get out of control."
--And then I suddenly realized that, although I was sitting on a curb completely alone with fifteen feet of space to my left and easily ten feet to my right, a woman sat down right next to me to breast feed her son. Now, I am totally okay with breastfeeding in public. I think it's inappropriate for anyone to be offended by breastfeeding, (c'mon people, get real, there's so much sex and nudity on 'regular TV' that it's unfathomable that someone would get bent out of shape over a woman breastfeeding). I was just taken aback because she sat so close to me that I could've elbowed her son in the head whilst he ate. (And I didn't see a nipple, or skin, or anything that could possibly be offensive.)
And then her friend sat down on the other side and started feeding her baby, too. I thought, "Cool. These chics seem nice." So I asked, "Where are you ladies from?" I sat there BSing with them until I was ready to go. They were super-cool, friendly and fun. I just did not expect the first lady to sit down right next to me.
By mid-afternoon the street had transformed into some sort of weird parallel universe that might be perpendicular to the parallel universe everyone thinks of first.
Then suddenly everyone seemed drunk.
It was time for me to go.
I walked to my car, which, seemed to be parked in the most dangerous area I could possibly choose... hence all the boarded up windows, obviously-burned-out two and four family flats, and it explained the reason I had such an easy time finding a parking spot.
So I must give thanks to the small group of homeless guys who seemed to be on some sort of drug concoction that I don't even want to imagine, thanks for not robbing me or causing bodily harm when the five of you approached me as I was on the steps of a burned-out building trying to get a good photo.
Listening to: Gorillaz - Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head