Yesterday marked the ten year anniversary of my move to Texas so I thought I’d celebrate by doing an All-Texan revue. It’s Tuesday so let’s fine out what Miss Plumcake is…
Reading: O. Henry’s Short Stories. William Sydney Porter was a Carolina boy by birth, but did a the best part of his writing and embezzling here in Austin, Texas. My grandmother never read to me (unless by “read” you mean “accidentally putting her cigarette out on my arm, thereby fusing my horrible nylon sweater to the sweet delicate flesh of my forearm”) but she had a soft spot for The Ransom of Red Chief (I think she liked the torture scenes), which remains my favorite O. Henry short story.
Hearing: Lyle Lovett’s Natural Forces. I’ve had a one-sided love affair with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band for years, and it all started with this song. He consistently puts on the best live shows I’ve seen. He’s funny, droll and is completely at home with his, uh, unusual looks. Last night’s concert went into my top five shows of all time. Even if you think you won’t like him, give Lyle a little Youtube action and let him change your mind.
Watching:Giant. James Dean’s third and final film –it was released shortly after his death at 24– it is the definitive Texas Epic and worth a watch if only to see James Dean’s method acting play against Liz Taylor’s Tollywood traditional.
Smelling: Tauer Lonestar Memories. Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer isn’t Texan, but we might make him an honorary one after this. Lonestar Memories is a BIG scent –I have to put a teensy drop behind my knees the night before I want to wear it– but its bone-dry combination of wood smoke, brush fire and open skies make it a smart, untamed scent for men or women.
Loving: The Lance Armstrong Foundation I can’t say I just love Lance Armstrong as a person and I think those yellow rubber bands are dopey, but the LAF does great work, especially with providing support for young men like my brother who are testicular cancer survivors. He (Lance not my brother) made a surprise visit on stage last night with Lyle Lovett. To his credit he didn’t try to sing.
Hating: Well, I mean, really.
Wanting: Big obnoxious custom cowboy boots. Texans never mind a bit of vulgarity it’s “a nice splash of paprika” as Diana Vreeland would say. I own one pair of Western boots and they’re the most unassuming things on the planet, just regulation-issued brown ropers with a low heel and almond toe. They’re dead useful without being showy but secretly I yearn for a pair of enormously over-the-top boots inlaid with all sorts of craziness. You can drop a good $4000 on custom boots, and they’re truly works of art, but I’d settle for these at a mere $1800.
Buying: Bluebonnet seeds. In the spring, a few weeks after the droves of South by Southwest revelers vacate my fair city, the wildflowers bloom. In the Texas Hill Country, the roadways are just carpeted with bluebonnets. Millions and millions of the Texas state flower pop up along any place left untended, and while it is illegal to pick them, it IS every Texas woman’s birthright to trample as many as she sees fit just so she can sit daintily in a field and get her picture taken surrounded by a could of blue blossoms.
So what’s shaking in YOUR state today?