Archive - zz top RSS Feed

Crimes against Fashion, Howdy Cloud and furry guitars

What do all these things add up to? The final day at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Silly! If you have never attended this extravaganza, people – YOU ARE MISSING OUT! As I type this post, I can almost guarantee that I will poke fun at many of the things I have observed this year and in years past, but before I do that, I want you to know I think this event does Houston proud each and every year. I am not a fan of country and western music (for the most part), nor am I a fan of the huge crowds that this event attracts every year. Even though people watching is a highlight: People watching at the rodeo is akin to people watching the at the mall a week before Christmas: you see a bit of everything.

The reason I support this event despite my slight distaste for some of the things it represents is this – The livestock show provides millions of dollars in college scholarship money for kids who have proven themselves responsible (and in financial need) by caring for and raising everything from chickens to cows – with every imaginable farm animal in between. Despite the pomp and circumstance associated with the event, it really is all about those kids. An event that actually rewards hard work and sacrifice. Go figure…

But enough about them. Let me tell you about my experience yesterday. I begin by telling you that we did not attend the carnival (with lots of very cool rides), the exhibition hall (with all the award winning livestock and cool educational stuff), or the shopping (with everything imaginable available for purchase – not just tacky, rhinestone encrusted clothing that most drag queens wouldn’t be caught dead in).

The doors to Reliant Stadium opened at 3:15 PM. Since we arrived early to beat the traffic (obviously, I was not driving), Ron found a bathroom while perused the gift shop; not to actually buy any of that tacky crap, but to take pictures with my camera phone. I’m always thinking of you, my dear reader. You’re welcome. Three guesses as to what this is:

(Hint – it is NOT the love child of Frosty the Snowman and The Berenstein Bears). Give up? It’s a sheep. Wha-huh? Apparently some sheep don’t have ears. That’s just weird. ($8.11)(?!) Okay, here’s another one:

Now, if you live in Houston, you probably know that this is Howdy, the ten gallon hat and boot wearing “H” present at every rodeo. ($2.99) Howdy, Howdy! Now here’s a news flash. Chuckie is alive and well, living in Houston as part of the Federal Witness Protection Program:
Oh, sure…he’s cleaned up his act a bit. But I never turned my back on him!
This post is already getting pretty long, so I’ll move on…
I could say much about the wide variety of um…fashion choices displayed at the rodeo. Most notably the more scantily clad cowgirls — imagine a hooker convention on “Go Texan” day. If I had to sum up the most disturbing outfits in two words, it would be this: Denim Cameltoe. Enough said (perhaps too much).
One of the perks of being in a position where you purchase oil and gas related equipment is that you get offered lots of free tickets — especially to the rodeo. The face value of the tickets we had were $77.00 each. This price covered a free parking pass right up front, the closest seats possible to the rodeo (we literally had dirt kicked on us by some of the horses), and access to an area that provided an open bar, free Hors d’oeuvres (pronounced “horse-doovers” by me or “whores-divores” by my dh), ice cream, candy, chips, peanuts, nachos, water and soft drinks. Even though my dh and I don’t drink, it was interesting to see how often people went back to the bar. (Hint – A LOT!)
The above picture was taken during what is called the “Grand Entry”. This is where major contributors mount horses and/or horse drawn carriages and parade around in the dirt in a big circle. I refer to this as the “People who could buy and sell you 3 times over wearing starched blue jeans and endangered species boots parade around on horses parade”. But in the interest of brevity, I suppose “Grand Entry” is a good choice.

On every day other than the closing day, you will see a bunch of rodeo stuff – calf roping, bareback riding, etc. But on the last day, there is only two events: the calf scramble:(This is awesome, btw. Kids running around attempting to tackle a bunch of calves, roping them, and then dragging them into a big square in the middle of the arena.) They might be baby cows, but they’re pretty doggone strong!

And the main event: Xtreme Bull Riding!

There is one thing that all these young men have in common: THEY ARE NUTS! But there are also some other similarities. To be a professional bull rider, your name is very important. Having a name that begins with “C” or the letter “J” is pretty important: Colin, Cody, Clayton, Cooper, Clayton, Cody, Chad, Colby, Cory, Jarrod, Jesse, Jake, Jason, Jay. or J.W. If you are not so fortunate, you should employ the use of your middle name: Danny Ted McDowell, Bobby Loren Welsh, Seth Thomas Glause, Michael Ray Moore or Tyler L. Johnston. If you have a child that you feel is destined to ride bulls, you should choose a name like B. J., Bandy, Stormy, Spud, Tate(r) and, of course Howdy Cloud. Would you buy life insurance from a guy named Howdy Cloud? Me thinks not. There were also some other guys named Steve, Fred, Douglas, Shawn and Wesley, but the bulls threw them off way before the 8 second buzzer. Favorite bull names: Funky Colemedina, Dirty White Bull, Snortin’ Horton, Hot Diggity Damn and The Geetus (love that!). The winner? B.J. Schumacher. But all those dudes were tough! Favorite line from the announcers? “Roping that bull was harder than getting Rosie O’Donnell to leave ‘The View'”.

I won’t bore you while I wax poetic about how fantastic ZZ Top was (they were). I dig those guys –especially considering the fact that jamming out to Jesus just left Chicago was the closest thing to worship music I knew in the 80’s, but I digress… I did want to share a picture that Todd Owyoung has graciously allowed me to use – check out Frank Beard’s drum kit! (By the way, you should totally check out his blog – his concert pictures are amazing.)Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard: All 59 years old Houston boys, and still rockin!