Just a quick hit...
Spent some time on Saturday talking to Ted McLaughlin, a blogger and friend from Texas. I was doing some research into a possible piece. It didn't work out for that piece, but it was great to talk to someone whose blog I've read for years.
Oh, and he's from a state where the politics and politicians are as crazy as they are in Arizona (though I think we've got Texas beat on a "crazy per capita" basis :) ), It's kind of hard to explain the politics here (and in TX) to someone who hasn't experienced them directly. People in other parts of the country hear about the "high points" (SB1070, Russell Pearce, Rick Perry) but have no clue what life out here is like on a day-to-day basis.
Anyway, while the conversation was easy - even though we had never actually spoken directly before, we didn't have to explain a lot to each other - the story I was going for just wasn't there. Hey, it happens.
However, the conversation was far from a total loss. I learned a couple of things.
1. Ted is as big a fan of the writing of the late Molly Ivins as I am. (Good taste, Ted!) Ivins blended humor, facts, and bluntness into a mix that tickled her readers' funny bones while stoking their outrage at injustice. Her voice is missed.
2. Per his recommendation, I checked out the Texas blog Juanita Jean's | The World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc. It's Texas-centered, but not exclusively so, and most importantly, when he said that Juanita Jean's was the closest thing to Molly that could be found, he was right. The site has been added to the blogroll at the right, and I recommend checking it out.