Today we ventured out to Lake Travis, where I stupidly believed we could spontaneously rent jet skis rather than reserve them in advance. Spoiler alert: We did not find available jet skis in the middle of the afternoon on a 90-degree Texas Saturday. WHOEVER WOULD HAVE THUNK.

But, we scoped out the area and grabbed a couple of beers at a few different locations on the water, walked around a park, took a dunk and got the lay of the land. It was lovely, and I’m very excited to go back after having gone through the appropriate reservation channels so I can jet ski around that lake like I’m Kenny Powers.

On the way in to one of the places we stopped, there was a huge piece of art that perfectly illustrated what I talked about in my previous post regarding Texas pride. I mean… it really IS a thing, you guys.


I found this brand of smug, willful ignorance and “us vs. them”-ness on the tacky end of this particular spectrum, and certainly one of the most on the nose. I’m sure there are a lot of pieces of memorabilia similar to this, and I need to just get over it. (Again, mostly I just feel validated.)

But I guess at the end of the day, I can’t be too aggrieved. Because no matter the size of your Texan pride, wherever you are in the state, you’ll never be able to get over being home to the worst high school ever.

Only 107 characters. Definitely a Tweet.

Well, nobody ELSE is stressed, that’s for sure.

This afternoon I’m coming at you from a kolache restaurant and drinking a Topo Chico. So basically feeling very Austin.

When I was in line to order my vegetarian sausage kolache (also very Austin), I was standing behind a woman wearing a bracelet that said “She’s so Texas” and another bracelet with a charm of the state of Texas on it. I see that type of stuff a whole lot.

I’ve only lived in places with very serious city or regional pride. Pittsburghers bleed black and gold and will seek each other out around the world. Same goes for Chicagoans. A solid one quarter of my friends have that “Midwest is Best” shirt. And, southerners love it down there. (Or, over there, I guess.)

But I’ve never really experienced state pride like this; Texans looooove to be Texan. I mean, there are songs about it. I’ve seen dozens of bumper stickers and t-shirts and accessories about being a Texan.

I guess I’m not the only one a little mystified: Just google “Texan pride” and the first results are articles and listicles and forum questions asking, basically, what the deal with these people is.

In fourth grade we all did “state reports,” which were exactly what they sound like, and I don’t know why I put that term in quotes. But for some reason I chose Texas. I remember being stoked about that choice, but I don’t remember why. Was it the size? Was it the mystery of it? That my parents watched Dallas?

Whatever it was: Perhaps my decision to spend six weeks exhaustively researching the state for my multiple-pronged project (hahaha just kidding, I believe this was, at 10, one of my first all-nighters) was prophetic. Who knew that 25 (!!!!) years later, I’d be just as Texan as the hat I made to wear in our state parade – huge, red and covered in a giant, glittering star.

I’m not there yet, but give me a minute. I just need to find one that will fit over my bouffant.

Same, Google. Same.

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and obviously this includes football fandom

The football team I have seen play the most games in person is the Northwestern Wildcats. On Saturday we went to the UT game. Let’s just say they operate on a much different scale.

So. Much. Orange.

You guys. I even wore a hat. (It looked super awkward.) I’m not really used to a lot of sports gear, but apparently neither are UT Longhorns fans. There were so many burnt orange outfits and accessories. Like, all I could think of was how much money some enterprising Etsy seller makes from offering a stadium-sanctioned clear plastic purse with an orange and white paisley strap. (This is a real thing I saw.)

They also fire off an actual cannon. And fireworks. I jumped miles and miles into the big Texas blue sky the first time that took place. And there is an actual bull, named Bevo, who came with his own team of wranglers. I asked if they were an a cappella group.

Even Bevo wears team colors.
The Bevo singers (actually handlers)
All right, all right, all right.

Oh, and Matthew McConaughey was there, on something called the “McConaughCam.” YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS SHIT UP, MY FRIENDS.

I’d also never been to a college stadium that served booze. I’d like to thank the University of Texas for slaking my Miller Lite Tall Boy thirst. That sure does make football better.

Anyway, it was so funny and so weird. And I SUPER can’t wait to go back.

McConaughey out.