Everything is Texas in Texas

The moment your wheels touch down, things begin to suck. It’s as though the air vents above you have reversed themselves, literally pulling all of the good, fresh, Portland air out into that big Texas sky. Your taxi to the gate is at least ten minutes long, a reflection of a culture that would rather spread wide than build up. When you arrive, you might depart the plane with a newspaper–like I did a few years ago–looking in earnest for a recycling bin for near a half hour before realizing that the other state philosophy is, “Fuck it. Toss that shit in the trash.”

You’re in for a long shuttle to the rental car counter and an even longer drive to civilization. DFW, in particular, is ridiculous in its inconvenient convenience. City planners figured that it’d be better to build the airport in between the encroaching suburbia of Dallas and Fort Worth than to give one the upper hand over the other. You’re at least thirty minutes from where you need to be, no matter where that is.

You follow google maps the smart way into town, and then realize a moment too late that you’ve landed on one of a few unmarked Texas Toll Roads. They’ve recently given up taking cash or credit at their toll booths, a sort of Texas-sized middle finger to out-of-town visitors. “What, y’all don’t have the Easy Pass?” As you approach a checkpoint, cursing under your breath for the last thirty seconds, you begin to envision a maneuver worthy of an action movie: a quick dart across three lanes and a powerslide through a dusty brown field to the service road and financial freedom, maybe spinning a 360′ on the way. Instead, you grit your teeth, pass under the arch, and await the penalty to come in the mail.

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WK12: Round 2 and Done

When I threw together my WK12 submission, I didn’t think I’d hit the mark. I submitted it a couple days late and figured that it’d be swept into cyberspace with hundreds of other submissions. It’s the reason I simul-posted it here on On the Hook.

Then last weekend came and went, and the @WK12 twitter feed let me know that “people moving on would be notified on Friday.” Wasn’t me, wasn’t too surprised. A little flare of excitement burnt out and fell back to earth.

On Monday night I was in Dallas, celebrating the end of a long work day with a shot and a beer, when I got an email from WK12: “Sorry for the delay. You have Thursday to submit if you wish to continue.” Apparently, my email address had been entered incorrectly, I’d unknowingly made the cut from 600 to 100, and I’d be spending the next two days of a busy work trip trying to answer one of three questions:

1. What would Gadhafi’s application to W+K12.8 look like?
2. What should the role of United States government be?
3. Make your favorite vegetable America’s favorite food.

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