heart-in-texas

SOUTH TEXAS GOTHIC

·         They drain the San Antonio Riverwalk once a year. They tell you it’s shallow, only three feet deep, but no matter how much you stare you cannot see the bottom. They’ve found prosthetic limbs in the annual dredging.

·         You’ve been driving for hours. Surely you’re out of state lines by now, you tell yourself. But the scenery hasn’t changed at all, and the sky has long turned dark. You can’t remember the last town you went through.

·         There are lights above Marfa. People come from far and wide to see them, but we don’t talk about them. We don’t talk about the lights above Marfa- they listen. We don’t want them to hear us.

·         We don’t sing “Deep in the Heart of Texas” because it’s a tradition. We sing it to keep it sated. Because deep in the hill country, if you stand still enough, you can feel a deep, steady throb beneath your feet.

·         You hear screams in the heavy heat of summer nights. Your mother tells you that it’s nothing but the wind, but you don’t believe her. There hasn’t been wind in months.

·         The heat is sticky and heady against your skin, even in the dead of night. “Sure is hot this summer,” your mother says. Her eyes are glassy, and her teeth grind together as she stares out into the distance. “Sure is hot.”

·         There are tunnels beneath San Antonio. They connect the missions to San Fernando Cathedral. They’ve long been closed off- no one goes in the tunnels. No one wants to go in the tunnels.

·         The grackles are waiting in the grocery store parking lot. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of them- they scream into the sky and watch you as you pack away your groceries.

·         The ground has cracked into dusty plates. There are children that have never seen rain. You don’t remember the last time it rained. A lot of people say it never will again.

·         Basements are banned. The ground is too dry, they say. It’ll crack your foundation. But you know why they’re banned. Everyone knows why. But we must forget.

·         The forest is deep, so very deep. You walk on, but all you find is a roofless hut filled with shotgun shells. There are claw marks on the wall, on the ground. You scuff at them with your shoe.

·         Off the highway, decaying farmhouses stand like gray smudges against the blue sky. The cattle graze around them, away from them. The grass around them is dead.

·         Don’t Mess with Texas. Texas remembers. Texas is vengeful.

·         You don’t watch the heat waves that rise off of the gravel. Look forward. Look forward. Keep driving.

Seven reasons to visit Austin

Austin might be shifting shape from a laid-back, hippy town to a booming tech hub, but it still retains all of its character. Austin local Caitlin M. Ryan shares the best reasons to visit.


Hot sounds

When you’re officially known as the Live Music Capital of the World®, the bar is set high. You can catch scores of talented bands any day of the week here – even at the airport. Two-step to local, lauded honky tonk bands such as Mike and the Moonpies at The White Horse, or for a litany of indie rock try hip haunts Mohawk and Emo’s

Also, always pop your name into the digital draw to try and win tickets to live tapings of the Austin City Limits TV show; it’s featured the likes of the late, great Johnny Cash and Etta James, plus current big-hitters Radiohead.


A frenzy of festivals

Photo by Andy Forde 

Beyond the dive bars, black box theatres and music halls is a roster of now-iconic music festivals. Austin City Limits Festival, held in leafy Zilker Park across the first two weekends in October, is always a magnet for international heavyweight talent. In March, the world’s creative elite congregate for SXSW, a heady fusion of talks and performance spanning film, music and digital innovation. If camping’s your thing, make for Old Settler’s or Euphoria where impromptu jam sessions reign supreme.


Great sports

Music might be what it’s famed for, but there’s a thriving sport culture in the heart of Texas too. Petrolheads must visit the state-of-the-art Circuit of The Americas™ track for adrenaline-fuelled competitions such as MotoGP and the United States Grand Prix. For a true Austin experience, join the crowds at a sporting event hosted at the University of Texas. The most buzzy atmosphere is found during the autumn’s football season. As the weather cools down, tailgate parties pop up, and Longhorn fans and students  dressed in the team’s burnt orange kit descend upon the stadium just north of the state capitol building.


Foodie heaven

Tex-Mex is, of course a must, and Matt’s El Rancho is one of the best joints to try it. But Austin’s culinary scene is about so much more than just tamales and tacos. Uchi serves top-notch sushi; ask the chef for their special recommendations. For the best meat this side of the Mississippi, join the snaking lines outside Franklin’s Barbecue. Tasting carts at Emmer & Rye are stacked high with gourmet bites, crafted from the best seasonal and local produce. Cap off the lot with a sweet something at mod bistro Launderette overseen by acclaimed pastry chef Laura Sawicki.


The great outdoors

To cut to the chase, Austinites are fit. There’s nothing they love more than hiking, biking, and rowing their way across the city. Zilker Park is the best patch for throwing down a picnic blanket and tossing a Frisbee with friends. Take a dip in Barton Springs, a refreshing spring-fed pool in the centre of the city, or catch some gnarly waves (albeit artificial ones), out of town at NLand Surf Park. You can choose from bay or reef swells, dependent on your skills.

Or, work off all that Tex-Mex with a jog around peaceful Lady Bird Lake, on summer nights at sunset you’ll find crowds at the Congress Avenue bridge – all gathered to watch the largest urban bat colony in North America take flight. Seeing some 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats spiral into the sky is quite something.


Bed down in style

Music lovers won’t find a cooler spot to snooze than the W Hotel in downtown’s 2ND Street District. It not only adjoins Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, but also draws a cool crowd to its vinyl-packed records room. If boutique hotels are more your cup of tea, check in to South Congress Hotel, which has a clutch of neighbourhood restaurants next door; sip on rainbow-coloured cold-press juices at Mañana then feast on Japanese grub at Otoko. A hotel to watch out for is the Fairmont Austin, which opens this autumn. At 1.4 million square feet, it will be the largest Fairmont hotel in the world.


Find your style

Photo by skeeze on Pixabay

The crowd here dresses snappily no matter what the season; locals are known for their bold sartorial statements and love of vintage threads. Find old-school stonewash Levi’s, leather vests, quirky boots and prairie dresses at Feather’s Boutique and Prototype Vintage Design. Over on the east side at Charm School Vintage stocks colourful, eclectic garb from the 1890s to 1990s.

Plan your trip to Austin with British Airways


Words by Caitlin M. Ryan

Header Photo by KBaucherel on Pixabay

FrnkIero AndThe Cellabration
Deep In The Heart Of Texas Festival
Houston, Tx 3/22/15

2

Georgetown, Texas, is a conservative town in a conservative state. So it may come as something of a surprise that it’s one of the first cities in America to be entirely powered by renewable energy.

Mayor Dale Ross, a staunch Republican who attended President Trump’s inauguration, says that decision came down to a love of green energy and “green rectangles” — cash.

When Georgetown’s old power contract was up in 2012, city managers looked at all their options. They realized wind and solar power are more predictable; the prices don’t fluctuate like oil and gas. So, a municipality can sign a contract today and know what the bill is going to be for the next 25 years.

That’s especially appealing in a place like Georgetown, where a lot of retirees live on fixed incomes.

Wind Energy Takes Flight In The Heart Of Texas Oil Country

Images: Ari Shapiro/NPR (top) and Joy Bonala for NPR (2)

Aftermath

Alright friends, it’s headcanon time again! This time going right for the feels.

This will go in the “Headcanon” category. If you want to take this idea and expand upon it, please do! Tag me so I can see what you create! And HERE are my other headcanons!

  • When all’s said and done, Zarkon is defeated and the universe is saved, the paladins would return home.
  • And there are questions. ESPECIALLY from the World Space Government (which I’m sure there must be?). We see in Episode 1 that humans haven’t discovered alien life yet, and they just brought back two sentient, very intelligent, human-like creatures with super advanced technology. Not to mention a successful human-galra hybrid (seemingly) without huge biological problems.
  • (And aliens have a concept of a mall? And what on Earth is ‘Quintessence’? It’s a castle and a ship?)
  • So there is a long period of time before Team Voltron is actually free to do what they want. And once they’re free, the questions start to come from within the group.
  • What’s going to happen with Coran and Allura? Where are they going to go? If anywhere? There’s no Altea to return to. Is Allura still considered the princess if she only rules over one person, who’s her caretaker? What if the universe needs Voltron again? 
  • What about Keith’s relationship with the Blade of Marmora? Would he go back to be a part of them? Would he pursue his mother?
  • Now that the Holts are back, will they complete the Kerberos Mission? Would Shiro dare go back there, considering what a traumatic experience that was? Would Pidge join them?
  • Could Lance and Hunk go back to the Garrison to actually get pilot’s licenses? Even though they’re pro lion pilots? Where does being a paladin rank in the military?  What about their families? How would they explain any of this?
  • No one really wants to think about any of that. So in the meantime, the paladins decide they should show the Alteans Earth, both in terms of natural wonders and the culture of humans. They take turns deciding where to go and make a long road trip out of it.

Keep reading

“Hi, I’m Daryl, I fix bikes. This is my wife, Carol, she teaches art at the college. And these are our kids, Enid and Jesus - Nah, really his name is Paul, but he went to college and grew his hair and thinks he knows the secrets of the universe now, so I call him Jesus. He still has to ask his old Dad how to fix the carburetor on MY BIKE he rides round town like a smart ass, though. Oh Enid? Just like her mother, sharp as a tack, and heart the size of Texas. Don’t have to worry about her, she keep the boys on their toes. Carol’s taught her well on that one, don’t take up with losers like yer old man… ha ha ha no Carol doesn’t say that, I do. But, yeah I know I lucked out there. Almost 30 years later I’m still thinking Carol’s gonna wake the fuck up and think what am i doing with this dork? But there she is, smiling at me with the bluest eyes you ever saw. Glad she’s the artist in the family, if it was me I’d just be painting those eyes over and over the rest of my life. Anyways, yeah, nice to meet ya.”

The Man Without A Heart

Doctors from the Texas Heart Institute have successfully replaced a patient’s heart with a device that keeps the blood flowing, thereby allowing him to live without a detectable heartbeat or even a pulse. 

The turbine-like device, that are simple whirling rotors, developed by the doctors does not beat like a heart, rather provides a ‘continuous flow’ like a garden hose. 

Craig Lewis was a 55-year-old, dying from amyloidosis, which causes a build-up of abnormal proteins. The proteins clog the organs so much that they stop working. When doctors put a stethoscope to his chest, no heartbeat or pulse can be heard (only a ‘humming’ sound).