Only in Houston
Rocks Off loves Houston's adorably scruffy, formerly sketchy hipster 'hood long ago known as "Neartown," but sometimes you just have to venture beyond Allen Parkway or 59. We asked our writers exactly when they know that.
• You envy the comparatively walkable sidewalks of Fallujah.
• You have five different pools to swim in, but don't know a soul who lives in any of the complexes.
• You've come up with approximately 700 viable business plans for the former Blockbuster space at Westheimer and Montrose.
• You've memorized precisely how long it takes to get to Baba Yega from your house so that you can sleep in as late as possible on Sunday.
• You don't actually have to walk inside of Catbirds, Boondocks or Royal Oak to be recognized and welcomed — just walking past their respective patios results in a chorus-like ovation of salutations and/or catcalls.
• You forget that pungent smell is actually marijuana.
• You remember when the mayor wouldn't be caught dead riding in the gay-pride parade.
• You know what La Casa del Caballo used to be. EVERYTHING it used to be.
• You've ended so many nights at T.K. Bitterman's you can now name the Chicago Cubs' pitching coach.
• You're shocked when you see a woman without tattoos.
• You remember when Mango's served Mexican food.
• You're saving up money because your girlfriend's tattoos are nicer than yours, and it's become a problem.
• You remember the original Late Night Pie, before Midtown existed.
• You know the difference and boundaries between Montrose and East Montrose.
• Your jeans are so skinny that your balls aren't touching one another.
• The cause of your neighborhood-wide power outage is a cat. Or a fixed-gear.
• You own more pairs of tights than socks.
• The homeless guy under the spur stops asking you for change.
• You quietly wish that your scooter had been stolen instead of your bike.
• Your favorite night of the week is Monday because of the $2 wells at Cecil's.
• You cried when Taki, the giant West Alabama Ice House dog, died.
• It bummed you out that they painted the Kool-Aid man white at Poison Girl.
• They know just how you like your Rudz burger.
• You actually read the Houston Press for the articles.
• You'd better leave in about ten more minutes. You've got to drive back to Katy tonight.
• You have a favorite pothole.
• Last week, you received a tattoo and a psychic palm reading simultaneously.
• You despise all of the new townhomes sprouting up on your street except your own.
• You think the "Washington Corridor" is some secret passage from National Treasure 2.
• You remember La Strada before it burned down.
• You went to Mary's.
• You know who the Mayor of Montrose, the Wizard of Montrose, the Numbers Parking Lot Bullwhip Guy and the Montrose Rollerblader are.
• You know exactly where to park around Poison Girl to avoid being towed.
• You call it the 'Trose, the Gayborhood or Mantrose.
• You know when Montrose ends and Midtown/Freedman's Town/Hyde Park begin.
• Anything outside the radius marked by Allen Parkway to the north, 59 to the south, Shepherd on the west and Taft on the east is easily and swiftly disregarded as the "suburbs."
• The media has dubbed your vinyl collection "too big to fail."
• You go to the Menil for a quiet read in the park and it ends up turning into a drunken picnic with ten of your friends. At 2 p.m. on a Thursday.
• You've waited in the Jack In the Box line for over a half-hour at 2 a.m. because Whataburger is too far.
• Both your cigarettes and your dietary staples are purchased by the carton.
• You've eaten at the Tacos Tierra Caliente trailer every day for a week at least twice.
• You've wasted more of your prime years in dives than Greg Louganis.
• You remember when Lola's refused to take credit cards.
• You've been at Lowbrow every day since it opened.
• You went to the Street Festival.
• You know every panhandler on Westheimer between AvantGarden and Kirby by his or her first name.
• You park at Lola's and no one even bothers to try to sell you coke.
• You've had more than one 3 a.m. dance party at Pak's.
• The bartenders at Poison Girl seem to really care about what you want to drink.
• You never leave home for a walk without a pocketknife.
Ask Willie D
Not one question for our Geto Boy columnist this week, but three.
Dear Willie D:
I just wanted to say hello and also thank you for all of the awesome Geto Boys and fantastic solo albums you put out. I hope everything is going great for you nowadays also. Have you considered putting out any other albums in the meantime, or are you concentrating on bigger and better things nowadays?
I try to avoid answering music-related questions because I think there are more important issues to address that people want answers to. But since I would not have this column if not for my music career and a number of people continue to inquire about my musical future, I would be remiss to remain silent.
As you know, with the market being saturated with everybody and his yard man rapping, record labels not investing in the long-term success of artists, fans pirating music and radio stations favoring booty music over substance, it's difficult for artists who have something to say to be heard, so that's why I haven't put out anything new. I'm put off by the politics.
I don't know about bigger and better, but I have moved on to other things. I'm doing some stuff in Hollywood and I'm writing a few books. I've never stopped recording, so eventually I will release new material. I can't give you a timeline as to when, but until then, hop into your car, turn your favorite Geto Boys or Willie D song all the way up, then roll up on a policeman and ask, "Excuse me, Bro, aren't you the cop from The Village People?"
Dear Willie D:
I have been in a relationship for 16 years with the same guy and I found a condom in his pocket. Is he cheating?
Out of Pocket:
Are thongs found between booty cheeks?
Dear Willie D:
How can I be a more responsible student and begin to write more effectively?
Becoming a good student is like being good at anything else in life: You have to put in work. Common attributes that successful people possess are focus, drive, commitment and follow-through. Apply these methods to your studies.
Get a decent amount of rest and start your day off with a healthy breakfast. Listen and don't be afraid to ask questions. Participate in class discussions and group projects. Complete your assignments on time. Keep a journal of completed tasks to gain a sense of accomplishment and reward.
Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.