I pulled a white-picket-fence job on datawhorevoyeur and Mr. Mathy. As Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do, the labor we did this weekend fell squarely into the "Play" category. We arranged oranges into neat rows on bleachers, we decorated tables, we, er, I flirted with cops, and then we sort of had to separate, since I had schmoozing to do with media. I felt bad, because I wanted them to have fun, and there they were off in a corner, with ice, and crushing machine, and syrups, and wait a second! they're having a blast making sno cones!! Most popular people at the party with the under seven year old set, and Mr. Mathy was a sno-cone pro. datawhorevoyeur was syrup girl. They even made their own wine flavored sno-cones. I ran into my sister at the party and gleefully informed her that there were sno-cones complete with (blue artificial bubblegum flavor), and Claudia gave me this sort of "so what" look, as if it was the least interesting thing she'd heard all day. Next thing I knew, she was walking away from the Mathy-Voyeur table, sno-cone in hand, proudly exclaiming that she got a rainbow sno-cone.
The sno-coning finished (for the day, though I suspect there may be more sno-coning in the Mathy-Voyeur household later on down the line) right before the parade started, so we found our seats and marvelled at this wildly Houston tradition.
Some of the cars were just beautifully painted, like the St. Arnold Brewery cars (an old Bentley and a new VW Beetle). Some of the cars were almost entirely reconstructed, like The Bat Wing, which was once a VW Cabriolet. Some of the cars were political statements, like The Pink Slip, which was a painted Chevy Pickup with a performance troupe. Starbucks' employees all over the city got together to make their art car, which didn't look commercial at all. Some were repeats from previous years, like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Car, which is made from broken CDs. There were beautifully painted low-riders, like "Shorty-P" here.. There were things like the Yarn Car, which made one wonder how much time was spent on any given project.
And let me spend more than a sentence on The Splinter. This was, believe it or not, a Honda Accord in a previous life. I have no idea how many hours were spent on this, but Jesus is it beautiful. I saw it a few weeks ago at an art car event, and it's polished, and meticulous, and it just feels like a sleek sanded piece of wood. It, along with its sister car, Lil' Splinter won the Mayor's Cup, the best prize available for the parade, and I don't think anyone would disagree.
So many cars. So many people. About 75,000 people watched the parade, and everyone had fun.
More cars. There's a group of little old ladies that like to play Bingo, so they decorated the van that picks them up and takes them to the bingo games. As far as I could tell, this car could be driven from either the front or the back, which probably made for some confusing times. It was confusing to watch. A car called US Foreign Policy just consisted of over 100,000 nails glued on. There were some bad punny cars too, like the Caldernental.
There were bikes and other contraptions too. The Mathy-Voyeurs nearly died laughing at the Star Trek: The Cycle Generation, as well as the Skate Generation. The crowd favorite, though, was Barrelling Down the Highway which was flanked by women wearing dresses made out of that orange mesh stuff that demarcates road construction and proclaimed that Houston was the "Orange Barrel Capitol of the World."
Finally, made for the 2000 Burning Man Festival, was the 112 foot long Draka the Dragon. Dear god that thing was big. I was worried that it wasn't going to fit under a tree that was hanging over the road, and I have no idea how they got it to turn on the parade route. Great googly moogly.
After the parade, we went home to the delighted Crianza and crashed briefly before going to get food and then sleep.