“One foot in the middle of the big road”

ladybird 65

It’s been my experience that discussing anything related to Texas in the ‘progressive’ blogosphere is all too often a complicated, fraught thing, as is discussing LBJ, and even, in the wake of her death, Lady Bird Johnson.

So, I’ll keep this simple, and focused on one thing. My love of this state, and I do love it, is based in my sense of place. And that sense of place is completely rooted in the natural geographic and environmental characteristics. It’s a physical connection that my intellect and my politics have little control over. It’s about where my feet meet the ground, what my eyes expect to see on the horizon.

There were times, when I was younger, that I actively sought to leave Texas behind, and I found out that this state of belonging to a place was, for me, not changeable, any more than my eye color was. As much as I was in love with New York City, I never once, in the entire decade I lived there, felt physically at home, connected, in the primal way I do here. I feel plugged in here and the environment speaks to me here. I am at home in it and my dedication to the naturalist cause and the global environment springs from this place and its lessons.

Whatever else may be said of her, it’s evident from the historical record and anecdotal evidence that Lady Bird Johnson felt that same connection. I think these things moved her, and I think she served them well.

LBJ Library Photo by Yoichi Okamoto, 1965, from the memorial at the LBJ Library site.

Friday the-big-cat blogging

Ira in deep snooze mode

Respect for the ingredients

Stumbled across a delightful surprise tonight: Anthony Bourdain posting at Michael Ruhlman’s blog – and yes that’s delightful in and of itself- but also because he’s dishing about about the guilty pleasures of The Next Food Network Star. I’ve also found myself more sucked into this season’s NFNS than previously, and also more than Top Chef, which A.B. is also guest-blogging about (if you can stand Bravo’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink website design). Aside from Amy’s comeback, my favorite moment this last week: when Flay told Rory he was personally upset at her lack of “respect for the ingredients.” I’m not a Flay fan but I had to agree with his Soprano-esque assessment.

But, back to Bourdain! I especially liked this one:

I LOVE this show! Its brutal (if often accidental) honesty.. its unflinching lifting of the rock and all the naked, wriggly, ugly and needy ambitions it reveals. Magnificent! And Bob Tushman is the Best Reality Show judge EVER. His face pulled, Bush-like, in two directions at once , as he delivers another crushing yet breathtakingly honest assessment of a contestant’s chances for FN success, one can actually see the eternal struggle between the decent human impulse to reward virtue, ability and goodness–and the more pragamatic business of Feeding the FN Beast. You know that look he gets as he deftly smashes the hopes and dreams of yet another wannabe? As the nitrous/ether mix that has taken them this far finally drains out of the contestant’s punctured space suit? You just KNOW Sara Moulton has seen that look.

I made myself a pitcher of Negronis, booted some crystal meth, ordered out for pizza and some take-out uni and setttled in for another exciting week of Slaughterfest.