Fried Pies

Faithful readers of this column (if there are any still alive after cooking and eating all the puffy tacos and corny dogs and queso) may have noticed a pattern: anything that’s good is better fried. And if you think pie is something that simply cannot be improved upon, you’ve obviously never held in your hand a warm half-moon of flaky pastry, its crimped edges barely containing a molten core of sweet fruit.

The Texanist

Q: During my boyhood years, I would spend time at my father’s family farm, near Sardis, in Ellis County. The main meal was at noon and often featured fried chicken, and we kids wound up with drumsticks, wings, or “second joints.” It wasn’t until later that I learned a second joint was also called a “thigh.” I assume the shift was meant to be more decorous, since we also NEVER said “breast” but only “white meat.” Were these circumlocutions widespread?

Peace Out

was attempting to navigate the bar crowd near the front door—feeling like a disoriented tuna swimming through a school of cocktail-crazed sharks—when the irony hit me and I almost burst out laughing: Pax Americana, the restaurant’s name, is Latin for, on a strictly literal level, “American peace.” Peace!!! Really?!! Maybe I was addled from the jostling, but the contradiction struck me as hilarious.

Linda Perez Ceramics

Growing up in San Antonio, Linda Perez envied the girls who left school on Fridays saying, “See you Monday. I’m headed to the ranch.” She vowed to one day have a ranch of her own, and even after she left her home state to travel the world, teaching students in rural Zambia and conducting health care research in Peru, her longing for a piece of Texas remained.

Reel Life

was about to make it past level 147 of Candy Crush when I discovered the Texas Archive of the Moving Image. Suddenly there was a powerful new contender in my distraction derby. It may have been hours passing, it may have been months, while I stared at my computer screen, clicking again and again on the “Random Film” tab of this confoundingly absorbing website.

On the Road Again

My first morning at the Holiday Inn Express in Pearsall, an hour or so south of San Antonio, I left my room just before six o’clock and rode the elevator down from the third floor. It was a Monday, and I shared the descent with four fellows carrying lunch boxes, hard hats clipped to their belts. They were strapping young men, and their red fire-retardant jumpsuits, with “Halliburton” stenciled across the back, made them appear intimidatingly huge, and me feel almost ancient. 

Wild in the Streets

To sound like a wild turkey, do the following: First, clear your throat. Next, hit a note near the top of your vocal range. Then, descend the scale while mimicking the action of gargling and waggle your tongue at the same time. Try not to feel ridiculous. Turkeys never feel ridiculous—of this I’m fairly certain.


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