I've never been to Texas, but it's sure been in my face so far this year.
On New Year's Day, over my first cup of coffee of 2014, I started reading The Son by Philipp Meyer (who wrote American Rust, one of my favorite novels of recent years). Just finished it today, and can't quite decide how much I liked it.
On one hand, it's an epic western full of long, cinematic sequences about various tribes of people slaughtering each other. I was by turns grossed out and zoned out from boredom. BUT. Occasionally--frequently--I'd come across a sentence or passage that was so beautiful or insightful that I'd have to read it several times.
Anyway, The Son takes place in Texas, full of dust and oil, cattle barons and cowboy wannabes. Texas is basically a main character in the book.
So I'd been reading that, and meanwhile one day I got into a conversation with a friend about football, and this led to her reminding me that I never finished watching Friday Night Lights. Aaand then I binge-watched the last 30 or so episodes in the past two weeks.
When FNL was on the air, I paid no attention. It was on network TV and full of good-looking teenage characters, so I dismissed it as corny fluff for pre-pubescents. Eventually, I'd heard enough (grown) people rave about it that I started watching it on Netflix.
I'm so glad I did, because this show is just plain great story-telling. Set in a dead-end town--in, yes, TEXAS--whose biggest thrill is high school football, it could easily have turned into one big caricature. But instead, the writers and actors respected the humanity of their characters and created complex people and stories full of depth and subtext.
When not reading or Netflix-ing, I've had The Trishas' High, Wide & Handsome on heavy rotation all month. First hearing these ladies on WDVX last time we were in Knoxville, I instantly fell in love with their gorgeous harmonies and old-school songs of resourcefulness, heartache, and regret. Googled them the other day to learn more about them and oh, guess what--they're from TEXAS.
Meanwhile, in search of a new project, I dug into my yarn stash and found a yummy skein I bought several years ago at Stitches South. I vaguely remembered buying it from a small traveling vendor there, but didn't recall any details. The label said Brooks Farm Yarn, which didn't ring any bells, so I looked them up to figure out who they were. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this little company is based in TEXAS.
So weird! I didn't plan it this way, but I think I've had as many Texas references in the past three weeks than I normally do in a whole year. And all really interesting ones, too. Okay, Texas, I get it--YOU'RE STALKING ME. I'll visit you one day and we'll just see what happens, all righty? I'm intrigued, but I promise nothing.