January 2008 Issue

On the Cover

The 2008 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of angry Aggies, Baptist bravado, confused Cheney, death row drollery, enemas in evidence, fetid feet, ghetto gobbledygook, helicopter hunts, insurance idiocy, jerk judges, kin kidnappers, lawbreaking Longhorns, meshuggener misfires, NASA nimrods, Oswald online, pooped-on presidents, quick quarrels, requested roaches, scrotum-scarring Sooners, taped teenagers, unhinged urinators, visible Virgins, weaselly Whole Foods, X-rated x-classmates, yuletide yikes, and zeroed-out zebras.


The Fabric of Our Lives

I know her as my mother, whose womb I emerged from more than fifty years ago. They—the million or so quilting fanatics, mostly women, who spend hours a day with needle, thread, fabric, and sewing machine—know her as a celebrity. She can’t believe it either.


The Unpublished Dan Winters

As one of the country’s top photographers, he’s captured on film hundreds if not thousands of people over the past quarter of a century. These ten portraits have never before been seen, but they’re among his favorites. Ours too.



Dan Bartlett

“We were wrong about the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. That’s far different from saying that we purposely manipulated or intentionally lied to the American people.”

Kathy L. Patrick

This boisterous bookseller runs a Jefferson hair salon/bookstore, Beauty and the Book, that is a bastion of independent literary thinking—and egalitarian fun. She shares her Texas joie de vivre in The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life.What exactly is a Pulpwood Queen?The Pulpwood Queens are the largest

The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy

We’ll take Robert Leleux at his word when he declares in The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy that, growing up in tiny Petunia, he didn’t know he was gay until he was seventeen and unexpectedly googly-eyed over his dance instructor at a community theater. Literary license or not,

How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move?

Austinite Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay became a poster boy for the learning potential of autistic children with his first book, The Mind Tree, a collection of stories and poems he wrote between the ages of eight and eleven. In How Can I Talk If My Lips Don’t Move: inside

The Struggle Continues

The best music has always been made by those who defy easy categorization, as exemplified by not one but two posthumous releases from Texas jazz giants. Fort Worth’s Dewey Redman was a glass-half-empty kind of guy who saw his career accomplishments as merely wins in a long battle—so the

Little Grey Sheep

There’s a quality—an easygoing, lyrical storytelling manner that eschews stridency or pretension—that all folksingers strive for and few attain. But Danny Schmidt has it in abundance: With seductive simplicity, his music demands your attention. Schmidt is a native Austinite who honed his craft amid the music scene in Charlottesville,

Live From Austin TX

Now on DVD: Ghostland ObservatoryMaybe you love sequencers and robotic electronic dance beats. Maybe you don’t. Yet how you feel about this Austin electro-rock duo, a budding national phenomenon whose ferocious energy explodes on Live From Austin TX (New West)—originally a July 2007 Austin City Limits taping—really comes down

Fred Garza, Tick Rider

Garza was born and raised in Webb County. For the past fifteen years, he has been an inspector with the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, a mounted patrol started by the USDA in 1906.A tick rider patrols the border, the Rio Grande River, on horseback every day. Our job is

Jesse Dayton

The talented Beaumont-born singer has just released Holdin’ Our Own and Other Country Gold Duets (Stag), a joint album with Austin’s Brennen Leigh. Though it recalls a Nashville of yesteryear, it comprises mostly new material. He also recently scored big as the creative force behind a fictional country band,



Chopped Chicken and Gorgonzola Salad

Recipe from North, Austin1 pound pulled chicken (recipe below) 8 ounces baby tomatoes 2 ounces toasted pine nuts 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola 1 pound mixed greens 4 ounces gorgonzola dressing (recipe below)Place greens, tomatoes, and chicken into a large mixing bowl. Add dressing and toss ingredients together until it has


Bear with me—I’m trying to remember the olden days when a restaurant with more than two locations was by definition terrible. Nope, chains have changed. Sure, we’ll always have mass feeders like Chili’s and the Black-eyed Pea, but upscale chains are a different proposition altogether. And as much as I


Bum Rap

The bar was set pretty high even before last year’s Bum Steers cover was named one of seven winners in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ annual Best Cover Contest. I mean, honestly: How to top Dick Cheney with a scowl and a shotgun? It’s not as if there was

Roar of the Crowd

Twin Peaks

Finally someone sees Jenna Bush as she is today [“Girl Gone Mild,” November 2007]. She did nothing in her younger years that many other girls have not done—they just weren’t the daughter of a president. Jenna has grown up. People who are critical of her should do the same.

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