Vote for Project Connect

Vote for Project Connect

Way back in 2014, I appeared in a commercial to oppose the light-rail plan then on the ballot. I don’t have a single regret about doing so. Much like belief in science has become a liberal thing, the desire to spend our tax dollars wisely has become a conservative thing, even though neither should have the slightest connection to politics. That’s a long-winded way of saying that I was against the 2014 proposal even though I’m in favor of mass…

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Operation Market Garden

Operation Market Garden

For all my travel these past few years, I’m much more of a homebody than you might think. I might judge the folks who never left their hometown after high school, but like a big ol’ hypocrite, I never left my hometown after college. In fact, I’ve never lived outside of Texas—let alone outside the US—in my entire life. Well… it’s a crazy year. Thanks to a very pretty, funny, and loving Dutch-Australian girl—and thanks to a country that would…

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Eat less beef. It’s pretty easy.

Eat less beef. It’s pretty easy.

I love beef. It’s soooo yummy. But a couple of years ago, I started cutting back on it, for reasons I’ll get to in a second. Here’s the really crazy part: it wasn’t hard. Now, there are probably some good health reasons to reduce your cow intake, which is fine and dandy. But I’m gonna skip that for the sake of your short attention span and get to some even better reasons why you can skip the beef stroganoff next…

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Lola

Lola

The name on her placard at Town Lake Animal Shelter was “Shannon.” SHANNON. There has never been a worse name given to a dog. I like to think I lifted that curse when I adopted her. I also got her on sale; the shelter wasn’t no-kill back in those days, and “Shannon’s” days were literally numbered. Best $20 I ever spent. She went nameless for a couple of weeks as my roommate Amalia and I sussed out her personality and…

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One Breath Around the World

One Breath Around the World

Guillaume Néry has a superpower you and I don’t have: flight. Thanks to his massive lung capacity and low regard for safety, he can take a breath and soar around underwater spaces with the casual ease of a superhero. Here’s a lovely 12-minute video that made me painfully jealous. …But not so jealous that I’m going to venture more than two inches underwater.

God Forgives, I Don’t

God Forgives, I Don’t

This is just a hair too important for a Facebook post. A year or more ago, I became enamored with a print that hangs next to the pool table at The Liberty in east Austin. It got to the point that I would specifically choose The Liberty over the other bars in the neighborhood, just to visit “my girlfriend.” I would even choose the table that faced the painting so I had a view of it. This doesn’t happen to…

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South Africa 3: Saturday

South Africa 3: Saturday

The last full day in Cape Town was the warmest. Mid-70s, sky so clear you’d think you could see the stars. I found myself back at my preferred local dive, slowly sipping a beer as the open windows allowed in the air and noise of the afternoon, and—weirdly—a six-year-old boy seated next to me nursed his hot chocolate and occasionally showed me drawings from his Shopkins book. I’ve had weirder barmates. I spent the afternoon with my fellow Americans festival-goers…

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South Africa 2: Wednesday

South Africa 2: Wednesday

I subjected myself to the second modern-art museum on this trip—the Zeitz, opened only last month—not least because of its startling architecture: it was carved from a grid of 100-foot concrete silos to create hypnotic geometric spaces. I liked the museum even better than the Tate in London. Maybe the fact that African culture is so unknown to me helped me to appreciate the enigmatic weirdness of its modern art. Next I walked a couple hundred meters to the famous V&A…

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South Africa 1: Flying There

South Africa 1: Flying There

To get from London to my stopover at Dubai, I boarded an Emirates Airlines Airbus A380, which felt like the biggest thing I’d ever seen. It’s two stories from tip to tail, like something a child might draw. As we rolled down the runway, I trusted they had done the math to ensure this monstrosity could actually take off. Take off it did. The cartoon airplane took us over the heart of Europe, then Turkey, then Iran (taking an awkward…

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London Blog

London Blog

(Get it? Like fog? Never mind.) My first-ever visit to London would have been a whirlwind even without extraneous factors. It was a mere 56 hours between my arrival from Austin on Saturday morning and my departure to Cape Town on Monday afternoon. That’s hardly enough time to visit a couple of museums, take a couple of selfies, and get hit by a bus cause you looked the wrong way while crossing the street. And yet, there *were* extraneous factors….

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