May 3, 2008

Big Baby

Okay, as friends here will tell you I am a bit of a baby when it comes to tornadoes. After yesterday afternoon's marathon session as a doomsday meteorologist I was completely let down. The forecast of large hail, violent storms and potential twisters turned out to be a bust. As the storms sailed to the north and south of us, Annie and I were treated with some low, rumbling thunder and about three minutes of rain. And to think I was going to drive to a friend's parent's house, whom I've never met, and hide in their basement.

This morning was cool and crisp here in Shreveport, the high today was just 65, so the family spent the day downtown. Ha ha, I know, for anyone who lives here that is the equivalent of spending the day strolling on the moon. As with the last time we walked around downtown Shreveport, we were outnumbered by homeless people five to three. Now normally, five homeless people in a city of 200,000 is not a lot. However, when you are the only other folks walking around, the screaming political lectures can be a bit unnerving.

There were actually two reasons that we were there, the Cinco de Mayo celebration and a quilting exhibit at Artspace. As expected, both were sad in their meager turnouts and quiet venues. We were the only three people viewing the quilts if you don't include some guy painting a wall in the back of the gallery. Quilts aren't my thing, but they looked homey and all-American on the walls. I found myself mercifully wanting to buy one. I was more interested in the wacky space exhibition they were preparing downstairs. There were spinning, brightly colored planets, pop art inspired murals about aliens, and other things I pretended to understand. Annie and I are turning out to be quite similar in our tastes, she was enthralled with all the color.

The Cinco de Mayo festival was just as sad and only slightly better attended. Although to be fair, for most people this is a day of drinking, and since it didn't end until 11 there were bound to be more people at night. The wife and I both had great sandwiches from a little stand that offered no translation of what we were eating. So the best I can do is that they were chopped beef or pork on a roll covered in onions, parsley, tomatoes, avocados and a tasty, creamy, mystery sauce. I can't tell if that sounds good. You'll just have to trust me, they were delicious.

Sadly, the highlight of the day (because we were too late for the chihuahua races) was the karaoke contest. DJ and all around good guy, Lico Reyes, tried to keep the crowd pumped up, while the three lonely contestants did their best not to rupture Annie's eardrums. She was quite scared. In the end, we had to go home for a family nap and a winner had to be announced. She danced excitedly off the stage into the arms of her adoring fans, er, husband.


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