The nice thing about growing up in a place as big as Texas is that you develop road trip stamina. There are no road trips you can’t handle.
Takes two hours one way to get to Enchanted Rock from Austin? Easy day trip.
4.5 hours to Archer City to go to Larry McMurtry’s bookstore, then crash at your parents’ home near Dallas. Moderately difficult day trip.
Drive 5 or 6 hours to East Texas to visit Daniel’s grandma, cook her dinner, and return in the same day - totally doable.
Got two drivers? Take turns driving and start early and you can make it from Dallas to Tuscaloosa to visit University of Alabama in a day.
Fall of my sophomore year, my dad drove me and my sis from Dallas to Lubbock to drop her shit off at college (6 or 7 hours), and then I drove us most of the way from Lubbock to austin (another 6 hours) to drop my shit off at college and he went back to Dallas in the same day.
This map shows (roughly) how large the Lone Star State is. Points in the map’s red section are closer to somewhere in Texas than the opposite sides of Texas are to each other.
That’s right: You can be in Fargo, or Atlanta, or San Diego … and be closer to Texas than Texas is to itself.
That’s what the map above says. Texas is big.
why all texans I know are nonplussed by 5+ hour drives
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA THIS IS SO TRUE IT HURTS
Reasons why people who can drive like and hour or two and be STATES away from their home weird me the fuck out omg
US Route 290
The bodies of two Houston women, a lesbian couple, were discovered near a dumpster in Galveston County, Texas. Share this:
They had a 5 year old child together too.
Last Thursday, the former Executive Director of South Carolina’s Republican Party went on a “twitter rampage” against Wendy Davis, Huffington Post reports. The tweets were in response to news that Davis may have misrepresented her personal story - which has resulted in an endless barrage of sexist attacks on her character - but they were by far the most disgusting example of a Republican party that is relying on sexism and prejudice to tarnish Davis’ candidacy.
Along with calling Davis a “looker,” “hooker,” and “whore,” Kincannon claims Davis has done “even more damage to modern feminism than Monica Lewinsky,” and that she gets campaign contributions by performing sexual favors for her donors.
AUSTIN, Texas — In October, Susan, a woman who lives in Willacy County in Texas’ southernmost tip, found out she was pregnant. She is married and has three children, and for a few weeks last fall, she couldn’t afford her birth control. Her condition, to her, was not entirely good news.
“I weighed out the pros and cons,” she said. “But I didn’t want to have another baby.”
Susan asked her gynecologist about getting an abortion, but the doctor said she didn’t perform the procedure. For women in her area, there was only one place to go: Reproductive Services of Harlingen, where Dr. Lester Minto has been providing abortions since 1990. She made an appointment, sat anxiously in the packed waiting room, and got it over with quickly, she said.
By the time she came back for a follow-up visit two weeks later, Minto was no longer offering abortions. In fact, the entire Rio Grande Valley—an area with 275,000 women of reproductive age—is now without a single abortion provider.
Most maddening of all, perhaps, was a feeling of powerlessness. Playboy had asked no one in Marfa for input. The work was designed from afar—Phillips had never even visited—and executed without the artist’s presence or accountability. On June 12 Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun arrived for a dawn video shoot at Playboy Marfa; a week later, the installation had an opening—two thousand miles away, at the Standard Hotel on Manhattan’s High Line. “It was great,” Wakefield told me later. “There were Playmates there, and the most unlikely people—art-world people—were drawn to their magnetism.” Phillips also enjoyed the evening, though he acknowledged its unusual nature. “You know,” he noted, “it’s the first time I’ve done an off-site opening.”
The only fest Marfans were privy to was the media fest, as reporters called from all over the country to ask about a work the townspeople knew nothing about. “Playboy demonstrates their power in the world, which is a financial power, by putting this here,” said Tim Johnson, a poet and the owner of the Marfa Book Company. “And then the people who live here are made responsible for answering for it, which is not something any of us asked for.”
Author: Beeta BaghoolizadehBeeta Baghoolizadeh is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania and has her Master’s from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the co-editor in chief of the Ajam Media Collective at ajammc.com. You can follow her @beetasays.
On June 25th, State Senator Wendy Davis became a nationally and internationally recognized hero for standing up at the Texas Senate and filibustering her way through Texas Senate Bill 5 (SB5), an anti-abortion bill which imposed severe regulations on abortion clinics in Texas, permitting only five to continue operating in the second largest US state and criminalizing abortion after 20 weeks. This bill failed to pass at the filibuster, but was quickly reintroduced in another special session as House Bill 2 (HB2). Friday, July 12, was the last night of the special session, where the Texas State Senate debated and passed the atrocious bill.
Over the past few weeks, I have gone to the Texas Capitol twice: the first time was as a last minute decision to attend the anti-abortion filibuster, and second, just last Friday, was in solidarity with others who were attending in support of choice.
On the night of the filibuster, I had just arrived in Austin, and my friend suggested that we go straight from the airport. I was so ill-prepared that I showed up at the Capitol in a blue shirt, the color of the so-called ‘pro-life’ activists. Lest anyone assumed that I was another anti-choice activist -and a Muslim one no less- I quickly created a sign reading “PRETEND I’M WEARING ORANGE.” I wanted to make sure people didn’t conflate my blue outfit with Christian-centric religious arguments.
I didn’t need any #creepingsharia tweets with my picture on them.
Although some are pro-life, Muslims are not unequivocally against abortion the same way Christians can be. There is a difference of opinion in the permissibility of the abortion. For example, in cases where the woman’s life is in danger or she has been raped, many jurists will recommend an abortion, or even say it’s mandatory.
Regardless, for me, the bill wasn’t a religious issue. It was about a health issue, dangerously shrouded in religious rhetoric. Preventing safe abortions won’t decrease the number of abortions in Texas—it’d only limit the accessibility of safe clinics to desperate women. It’s not a safeguard against abortions in the state. But the conservative senate was too wrapped up in its own religious beliefs to understand this.
SB5 failed that night, and while we briefly celebrated our success, our state of euphoria dissipated quickly when Governor Rick Perry initiated an extended special session. Too long for anyone to filibuster, the bill would surely pass this time.
I found myself there again, two weeks later, getting ready to go back to the Capitol. It was the first Friday night of Ramadan and I had been fasting all day–no food, no water, from dawn till dusk. With almost no food in the house, I scrambled to make myself a bread and butter sandwich and grabbed half a muffin with which I would break my fast. A friend picked me up at around 8pm, almost an hour before I would be able to break my fast. I was prepared this time, in an orange scarf and dress that I had borrowed from my roommate.
When we got to the Capitol, officers from the Department of Public Security searched our bags, and we walked through a metal detector. One officer took my bag and pulled out my puny sandwich, wrapped in tinfoil.
“It’s a sandwich–I need it to break my fast.”
He shook his head. “No food.”
“But I need it…”
And with that, he walked around the security area and tossed my sandwich in the garbage. I was stunned, too weak from fasting to do anything. My friend, however, was livid. “What are you doing?! You could have let us taken it out.”
“You want it? Go get it,” he smirked.
All day I had been cracking jokes about the confiscation of tampons, saying that people were not only wondering if #creepingsharia allowed abortions, but now also lamented about an Islamist’s take on sanitary pads. The hysteria, however, which would deprive me of my food in the same space where only days before dozens upon dozens of pizzas had been delivered to nourish the hungry protesters, baffled me. This was the #creepingGOP: abortions, tampons and now food were threats to America.
We walked away from the security area and met up with other friends. About a half hour later, I was up on the highest level of the rotunda, sitting to the side with my back against the wall while everyone crowded against the ledges. I broke my fast with water and the half-eaten muffin, which thankfully had been overlooked in the security process. Various officers in uniform walked past me multiple times. When none of them cared about my food, it became clear that this wasn’t a security issue. It was just another way to make it more difficult for me to properly exercise my democratic rights.
I noticed that there were a lot more people wearing blue shirts. On the night of the filibuster, there were almost no people wearing blue, whereas now they seemed like a sizable contingent, even though those in orange still outnumbered them. Inside the rotunda, they swayed in prayer while the pro-choice activists protested loudly around them.
We were there for three hours. We wandered through the rotunda, watched some of the proceedings in the overflowing room, where we got to see the “Senate at Ease” while some women chained themselves to the room. The disruption was much more interesting than listening to State Senator Jane Nelson drone on about how she’s an expert on fetal pain because she’s had five pregnancies.
We left around 11pm because I simply didn’t feel like I could push my body further. I needed food. By the time I got home, the bill -as expected- had been passed.
It is more than likely that most of the Muslims who have shown up at the Capitol over the past two weeks were pro-choice. And yet, both times I had gone I had been greeted with fellow pro-choice supporters holding posters about the Sharia and Taliban taking over Texas. At the time being I had tried to ignore the petty metaphors, but the morning after I awoke to an image that baffled me altogether.
It was a picture of woman dressed in a black burqa with a “Miss Texas” sash around her inside the Capitol. It felt like a slap across the face. I had gone to the Capitol wearing an orange scarf–not a black burqa–and was forced to deal with a more intense fast than usual because of my decision to stand for women’s rights, health and engage in the democratic process. In return, I was met with a caricature of a “Muslim woman” to protest the GOP’s [non-Muslim] oppression.
No matter how orange my scarf was that night, people had managed to conflate the politics of the swaying, praying Christian right with “oppressed” Muslim women swathed in black. Suffice to say, this shallow, knee-jerk polemic both disappointed and infuriated me. Indeed, this atrocious bill has given birth to (no pun intended) a number of facile and unfortunate proclamations about the Muslim world.
As a Muslim and a believer in the right of a woman to make her choices for her own body, I felt that both those in orange and blue – and all those in between acting as referees - failed me and other Muslims in many ways, especially in the spirit of solidarity and inclusiveness.
Texas, I sincerely hope you take advantage of the next election and repeal the anti-abortion bill that sets back women’s health and rights.
I also sincerely hope that you leave your irrelevant posters and juvenile costumes at home so that the democratic space is a more inclusive space.
A jury in Bexar County, Texas just acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of charges that he murdered a 23-year-old Craigslist escort—agreeing that because he was attempting to retrieve the $150 he’d paid to Frago, who wouldn’t have sex with him, his actions were justified.
Gilbert had admitted to shooting Lenora Ivie Frago in the neck on Christmas Eve 2009, when she accepted $150 from Gilbert and left his home without having sex with him. Frago, who was paralyzed by the shooting, died several months later.
Gilbert’s defense argued that the shooting wasn’t meant to kill, and that Gilbert’s actions were justified, because he believed that sex was included as part of the fee. Texas law allows people“to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft.”
The 30-year-old hugged his defense attorneys after the “not guilty” verdict was read by the judge. If convicted, he could have faced life in prison. He thanked God, his lawyers, and the jury for being able to “see what wasn’t the truth.”
This afternoon, the Texas House voted down a proposed constitutional amendment, SJR 13, that would have imposed a two-term limit on statewide officeholders (other than judges).
The vote was 61-80 and was not on party lines.
The amendment had cleared the Texas Senate earlier this session by a vote of 27-4.
I’m making a deal with you guys. Once the news calms down we’re going to spend a day posting nothing but positive uplifiting stories. We’ve had too much stuff like this lately and I know it’s very heavy.
But this is one of the heavier news periods at the moment, and sometimes everything hits all at once. — Ernie @ SFB