Grits and Tamales

Life in the Deep South, by Gabriel Aguilera

Monthly Archives: January 2014

On MLK via

This is a fabulous essay. Do check it out. Another time I’ll read it with more care and will comment on it.

This one is good too.


I refuse to give up

I refuse to give up on running. The heel spur injury is mellowing. The physical therapy for it and my lower back have helped. It has provided a short battery of terrific exercises. I’ve packed on too much weight since August but I feel strong. My head is in the right place. Life is looking up.

LBJ — A TV Series

So I’ve been thinking of my LBJ mini series idea, to run around 10 seasons beginning with childhood to the day he leaves the Senate. We need the Madmen people to provide the artistic vision for the evolving times, taking us back and forth from Texas to DC and from Austin to the Hill Country. We need Breaking Bad’s cinematography. We need the House of Cards People to write the story, cast, and bring the characters to life. And we need Caro’s Path to Power (Seasons 1-5) and Master of the Senate (Seasons 6-10) as primary sources for building the series, dialogue, anecdotes, etc.

Someone should do this.

LBJ’s Path to Power: He teaches Mexican kids in Cotulla, TX

I’ve been reading Robert A. Caro’s Path to Power. I’m at the section now where LBJ has his first teaching gig in Cotulla, TX. Up to this point in this magnificent narrative history, it’s hard to warm to LBJ. He is narcissistic, vain, extravagant, and generally insufferable. To say he is a bad egg is hyporbole — he is a cruel, rotten and uncharitable wretch. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that he is more on the path to prison than he is on the path to becoming congressman, master of the senate, and president.

So in this job, LBJ’s first real one, he would make Mexican-American students who could barely speak/read English memorize poetry. One was O Captain! My Captain! That Walt Whitman is one of the poets he chose is as astonishing as it is ironic because throughout his life he showed little interest in reading anything not about business or politics. This is where we see first signs of his great compassion, where he first begins to demonstrate care for others even if it is hard to separate from his own ambition.

Something else we see by this point in the book is that Johnson had known poverty, humiliation, and hardship. He would forever understand the poor because of these experiences.

On my heel spur

My heel spur has a life and personality. It is temperamental and predictable, the latter only up to a point. Sans surgery, which is dicey at best, it seems likely to stay. This is too bad because I badly want to run a lot more and for longer distances. Heel spur is cooperative some days. On others, however, it is recalcitrant and petulant, as if being neglected while trying to converse with me on other matters.

Part of the message, I think, is that I have reached a certain age, one where I will have to learn to live with and manage certain defects in my physical character.

My achy foot also seems to say every day, that “You are just a man,” and “not everything heals,” and “it’s ok, be grateful for what you have, which is much and maybe more than you deserve.”

I am learning to listen.

What I am up to in 2014

In 2014 my goals are to better examine my life and dreams as they are and to examine these daily with patience, understanding, and exuberance. I hope to be kinder, less aloof, and more compassionate towards others.

My concrete goals are to improve my physical fitness, eat more fruits and vegetables, improve at my vocation, and forge stronger relations with loved ones, new and old.

“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us.” -Proust

House of Cards Season II.

Now that I have finished Breaking Bad I am ready for House of Cards.

Season one was devilishly fun. Ignore those who try to make it out to be more than what it is. It’s full of keen insights on power.

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