"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


have you ever seen dallas, texas from a dc-9?

Dallas was ridiculously fun this year. As it is every year. I drove up on Friday morning, had lunch in Waco with one of the former youths from my youth ministry intern days, said hi to my sister as she loaded up a van to go camping with 200 international students at a BSM-sponsored campout in Bastrop, and managed not not get pulled over by the highway patrol on the way into Dallas.

Dallas. Yuck. This is the only time of year I go to Dallas, and there's a reason. The city is just too ... Dallas. Too crowded, too uptight, too big-hair, too everything. It makes me nervous. But, being as I went to Baylor, lots of my friends live there. First, though, I stopped by to see my Connecticut friends Jason and Pamela, and to admire their adorable seven-week old son Liam. He's a cutie, and it was soooo much fun to catch up with Jason and Pam. They just moved to Dallas this summer, and since leaving Connecticut, I'd only seen Pam once (in CT) and Jason twice (both times in Kenya, go fig.). Jason is one of the smartest people I know, and Pamela is one of the funniest (on top of being a former Mississippi state Bible drill champion). We talked for ages about everything from learning how the BGCT works (can you imagine being an outsider and suddenly having to figure it out) to Liam's habits to emergent churches (Jason: "No one in emergent actually understands postmodernism." (Take it up with him, not me.)) to Africa, African churches in Texas (there are many), to the gossip out of Connecticut. It was a great conversation, and a perfect way to get the weekend started.

After that, I went out with a friend from Baylor, and tried to get some sleep before having to get up e-a-r-l-y to go pick up tickets from my dear aunt Becki.

Have I mentioned that Becki is the best? She gave my friends and I seats on the fifty-yard line. To the biggest game on UT's schedule. FOR FREE.

So it was worth it to get up early, go have a nice long chat with her and my uncle Steve, and then head over to Fair Park to meet the guys. For those of you Not From Texas, the Cotton Bowl is on the grounds of the State Fair of Texas. Your ticket gets you admission to the fair. We hung out at the fair for several hours; I'll post more pictures sometime later this week. Austin Austin and I were more interested in watching the Arkansas-Auburn game at the AT&T tent, but Patrick insisted on seeing a prize pig, so we went to the Hog Heaven "stage" as well. It was something. Let me tell you.

The State Fair of Texas is, apparently, the fried food capital of Texas. And, wow, do they have some crazy concoctions, mostly on sticks. We had the obligatory corny dog (originally created at the State Fair of Texas, thank-you very much), and we could not leave without trying out the newest fried creation: fried coke.

See, there's a contest. And whoever's creation is the craziest and best-tasting wins the contest, which means that your fried creation is sold at the state fair. Because of this, there's fried cheesecake and fried pickles and fried peanut butter, jelly, and banana sandwiches, and all kinds of heart-attacks-on-a-stick-type creations. But fried coke? How?

Ben called before we made it over to the fried coke tent. He said, "For what you're expecting fried coke to be, it's disappointing. But it's pretty tasty." Ben was right. The best way to describe fried coke is that it's a doughy thing with coke flavoring and some coke syrup on top. It tastes (and looks) like donut holes. Yeah.

The highlight of the day, though, was of course the game. If you've never been to Texas/OU, it's hard to describe the atmosphere. Dallas is halfway between Austin and Norman, and the stadium is literally split down the middle between Texas and OU fans. The atmosphere is electric. Everyone's excited, everyone's hyped up, and people who I'm sure are normally upstanding, church-going, good citizens somehow turn into trash-talking fanatics. Seriously. The profanity and general obnoxiousness is like nothing else.

We, of course, were lucky enough to have nearly perfect seats. (See that pole? That's the fifty.) I say "nearly," because the only way they could have been more perfect is if they had been in the Texas section. Becki and Steve are OU fans (box-holders, actually), and so the seats are in the OU section. Fortunately, the stadium splits between the sides right on the fifty yard line, so we were only a few seats away from the Texas section. Even more fortunately, the two guys on the other side of us were also Texas fans, so I was safe. But you can see how solidly red everyone around us was:

Anyway, the seats were awesome and so was the game. It was competitive in the first half, just enough to keep it interesting, and then turned into a rout by the end of the 3rd quarter. Exactly what you want to happen for a big rivalry game. Our boy Colt is the real deal, and he's only going to get better as time goes by.

Colt and our defense had subdued our section pretty well by the beginning of the 4th:

They cleared out not long after that. But not the Texas section. When you win this game, you stay to celebrate:

We made another round of the midway and then decided to head out. All in all, it was a great weekend in Dallas and a great day at Fair Park. Hook 'em horns!!!


Blogger mark said...

so does this- "people who I'm sure are normally upstanding, church-going, good citizens somehow turn into trash-talking fanatics" describe you pretty accurately?

Monday, October 09, 2006 9:12:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Absolutely not! :)

Monday, October 09, 2006 10:39:00 AM

Blogger Jess said...

1. fried coke? that is so ... odd. at the nebraska state fair they have fried twinkies, but that isn't nearly as impressive as fried coke.

2. did you see matthew mcconaughey at the game? it looks awesome.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 9:50:00 PM


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