January 2004 Issue



Jessica Simpson

TEXAS MONTHLY ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS/ Basic Overview Of Bum Steers NAME: Jessica Simpson Level 1 Reality Comprehension DIRECTIONS. Read the story. Then read each question and fill in the circle for the answer you choose. DITSY DOLLY Once upon a time there was a poor little Texas girl


What Kind of Year Was 2003?

THE ACCOMMODATIONS WEREN’T BAD, BUT THE ALPO WAS SERVED COLD Curtis Lee Robin, of Vidor, after being convicted of abusing his eleven-year-old stepson by locking him out of the house at night, thus forcing him to sleep in a doghouse, agreed to a plea bargain under which he would sleep



Tin Bush-in-the-box with lithographed scenes of the White House that plays “Hail to the Chief” when the crank is turned, from signals.com ($29.95).Clinger shooter, a tall shot glass with a comical cast-resin figure of the prez attached, from americastore.com ($6.50). Bush Cards, a deck of poker-size


Robert Durst

GEAGALVESTON EMPLOYMENT AGENCYDear Robert Durst,Recently, following your acquittal on charges of murder by shooting your neighbor, hacking up his body, and dumping his torso into Galveston Bay in a plastic bag, you applied for work at our office. Below, please find a list of jobs from our files that seem

McKenzie Mullins Has Cow

Which means she's an expert at reading bovine body language, and that makes her, at the absurdly young age of thirteen—only four years after overcoming her fear of horses—one of the world's best practitioners of the art of cutting.

Duke of Dunbar

That would be 75-year-old Robert Hughes, who has amassed more victories while coaching in Fort Worth than anyone in high school basketball history. For most people, that would be enough.

Showdown at Waggoner Ranch

It’s the nation’s biggest spread within the confines of a single fence—more than eight hundred square miles extending across six counties. So it’s fitting that the family feud over its future is big too. And mythic.


The 2004 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of altitude-adjusting actors, bird-flipping benevolences, chili charlatans, dastardly deejays, embattled educators, flying freighty-cats, gubernatorial gallivantings, hip-hop hostilities, insatiable Isoptera, Judaically jolting jamborees, Kloroxed Kings, loblolly Leatherfaces, methodological manure-men, neuterings non grata, olé-less objets d'art, piscatorial policemen, queso quarrels, rear-end rectifyings, showboating second bananas, trio-trashing tractors, unamused


Food and Drink

Stock Tips

After years of writing about chefs, I wanted to get a taste of what it’s like to be one—which is how I found myself browning veal knuckle bones at the fastest-growing cooking school in Texas.


Rio de Enero

When the San Antonio River’s downtown stretches are drained for a week each January, the crowds may ebb too. But it’s a perfect time to discover the waterway’s more natural side.

Don’t Look Yao

Led by the NBA’s most inadvertently colorful coach, this year's Houston Rockets are so much more than an excuse to see a certain ninety-inch-tall Chinese import.



Eternal Flame

What do you do if your university's administrators extinguish your Bonfire? If you're Aggies, you take the show on the road.


Season’s Eating

A Moment Of Epiphany After you’re done with turtledoves, maids-a-milking, and the other ten days of Christmas, you can celebrate el Día de Reyes (Epiphany) on January 6. Commemorating the day the magi arrived bearing gifts for the infant Jesus, the Day of the Kings is observed in Latin


Homemade Apple Butter

This recipe makes a tart, intensely flavored sauce that goes well with meats like pork chops.6 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced 2 1/2 cups red-wine vinegar 2 cups brown sugar, packed 1 tablespoon minced lemon zest 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/2 teaspoon

Web Exclusive

Aggie Land

Senior editor Pamela Colloff talks about the typical A&M student, chivalry, and Aggie spirit.

Web Exclusive

Bum Gifts

Twenty titter-producing trinkets and toys, from a Leatherface action figure and a Houston Texans Christmas Village to a Texas Shriner doll and a snap-on longneck top for boring ol' cans.

Web Exclusive

The Funnies

Senior executive editor Paul Burka and senior editor Anne Dingus discuss this year’s Bum Steer Awards.

Texas Tidbits

Texas Tidbits

San Antonio is home to the Alamo, which draws more than 2.5 million visitors a year, but did you know that the city also boasts the state's first modern art museum?

On The Road

CAT’S MEOW “Where the heck is that?” everybody said when I announced I was headed to Carol’s at Cat Spring. Good question. Physically, the historic German community (population: 76) is some fifty miles west of Houston. Spiritually, it’s in a world of its own. Winds rustle the live oaks,

Texas History 101

Texas History 101

The Alamo is a symbol of Texas’s independence, but it also was part of the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America.

Happy Trails

Happy Trails

Comfort is surprisingly different from other Hill Country towns. In fact, it has a cosmopolitan feel. Maybe that’s why it has attracted so many urban refugees.

Books That Cook

Books That Cook

Quite often, those of us in urban areas get so caught up in the race for trendy foodstuffs and recreating fancy restaurant meals that we forget about the simple things that taste great. The Junior League of Amarillo reminds us that the food we crave may start with a can




WOW TOWN It isn’t often that you find world-famous museums down the street from a high school football stadium. But that’s Fort Worth—it has something for everyone. And from January 22 through 25, the offerings are especially fine, beginning Thursday night with a concert by progressive-country rocker Jerry Jeff Walker



THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS Harvard law professor and criminal-defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, whose list of clients has included Patty Hearst, Michael Milken, Jim Bakker, Mike Tyson, and O. J. Simpson, will be speaking in Austin on January 15.There seem to be a lot of high-profile cases going on all at



PLAY DATE The last time I went to the theater? Well, that would have been for a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—four years ago. I can hear the collective rolling over of dead playwrights in their graves upon an admission of such neglect. So, in the spirit



POW! Funny that during the winter, when Austin’s famous colony of Mexican free-tailed bats has migrated to Mexico, allusions to the chiropterans take wing. On January 8, the Alamo Drafthouse, in Austin, will screen the original 1966 Batman movie, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. The Alamo hopes to show

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