Austin, Pop Culture

How to Help People Affected by Harvey: An Updated List

I’m currently hundreds of miles away from my adopted home state of Texas. It feels weird. I feel helpless. However, I also know there is not much I can do right now other than donate money.

You might be feeling the same way too–helpless. And you may be wondering the best way to donate your time or money to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Since there are so many links being shared around on social media, I decided to compile a list. I’ll be updating throughout the coming days.

P.S. You may be itching to donate your physical being now, like I am, but this will be a long recovery. Remember: Our services will be needed weeks or months down the road when the threat has passed. 

9/5/17:

-Mayor Adler has updated the list of needs for evacuees which includes toys for kiddos. Read about it here.

Houston Food Bank is accepting volunteers for the next weeks and months.

Habitat for Humanity Houston has volunteer opportunities available over the next few months.

Sign (more…)

Hipstercrite Life, Pop Culture

35 Ways to Find Happiness From Someone Totally Unqualified

Follow these easy tips and you’ll have your shit together in no time.

I’m not an expert on anything, except for maybe naps (they’re really, really good for you), but because I’m a Writer on Medium, I’m actually an expert on everything and today I’m going to share with you 35 foolproof ways to find happiness.

  1. Stop being depressed, first and foremost.
  2. Stop dating bartenders.
  3. If you are a bartender, stop being one.
  4. Stop buying recycled toilet paper. (This is more so to make your butt happy.)
  5. Stop looking at your phone all of the time.
  6. Stop perusing the Internet all of the time.
  7. Stop comparing yourself to others.
  8. JUST.
  9. STOP.
  10. DOING THINGS.
  11. OK?
  12. Take a nap.
  13. Polish off a bottle of red and take a five-hour nap.
  14. Polish off a bottle of red and put Purple Rain on the record player.
  15. Wait, don’t. When you realize you can’t dance or sing like Prince, you’ll fall into deep funk. (Trust me.)
  16. Those $45 crystals aren’t going to work. Buy the $5 crystals. (more…)
Hipstercrite Life, Writing

Should We Punch Nazis?

Let me start off by getting this out of the way:

  1. I’m a liberal, an activist and a pacifist
  2. I’m also Jewish
  3. However, I admit that I don’t know the correct answer to “Should we punch neo-Nazis?”
  4. Therefore, this essay will have more questions than answers
  5. And it’s not about the ethics of punching a neo-Nazi, or if a neo-Nazi deserves to be punched or not (they do), but rather a study on whether or not punching them is the best method to bring about positive change
  6. P.S. I hate neo-Nazis

Inlight of the events in Charlottesville, I’ve seen a large uptick in support of punching neo-Nazis.

This support is coming from thoughtful, intelligent thinkers I respect on the left and it’s got me questioning whether or not we’ve arrived at violence being the only way to achieve peace.

But as a pacifist, writing the above sentence makes me cringe; it feels like the ultimate oxymoron.

How can violence be the answer to peace?

We hold up our non-violent leaders — Martin (more…)

Hipstercrite Life

Please Remember: Love Will Outnumber Hate

Words have escaped me lately.

This is, in part, due to the rapid fire of unfortunate, heartbreaking, terrifying events that have plagued America recently. Like many others, my brain is in a frenzied state and is having difficulty keeping up; every day is a fight not to go down a path of self-preservation numbness to what is going on. I know that inaction is not the answer, but damn, some days it just feels so unbearably hopeless.

The other reason words have trickled out of my brain, through my ears and down to the ground is because I’m tired of being told how I’m supposed to think and feel by the online masses in times of turmoil. As a writer on the web, I do not want to pretend I’m an expert on individual emotional reaction to catastrophe; I will not tell you how you’re supposed to act right now.

But with that being said, there is one thing I want to share in hopes of providing comfort, and as a reader, please feel free to take it or leave it.

During these times when I feel (more…)

Austin, Hipstercrite Life

I Will Trim Your Trees at Night

 

Once in awhile, when darkness falls, I will sling my trusty hedge trimmers over my shoulder and march up and down my street looking for neighbors whose brush encroaches on the sidewalk. I will snip, snip, snip as fast as I can and scurry off to the next offender.

Before you think I’m that one weird-ass neighbor every has, let me explain.

A handful of my neighbors do not regard their lawn as something that deserves care or maintenance. Fine and dandy. It’s their property to do what they see fit. However, when their overgrowth overtakes the sidewalk, it’s a slap in the face of all neighbors. When elderly people and children are forced to walk in the street, it’s downright villainous. VILLAINOUS, I SAY!

But day after day, no neighbor comes forward to speak to the offenders and the growth continues to expand.

Except for me.

I’m coming forward, mother f’ers.

I realized that in order to take care of business, there were a couple avenues I could pursue:
1.) I knock (more…)

Austin, Hipstercrite Life

Yesterday a Homeless Friend Gifted Me Lunch

 

I have a friend.

His name is Tyrone.

Tyrone is homeless.

We’ve been buddies for years now, and we have each other’s backs.

Our favorite pastime is to hang on my front porch, chewing the fat on the troubles and joys of this beautiful and sometimes hateful world.

I could write a novel on our relationship — like when he and I pooled our resources to buy him a van to sleep out of, or when he wanted to heal the stye on my eyelid with a needle and whiskey — but I don’t feel it’s appropriate or necessary to write about it in a public way. Maybe one day.

However, there is one thing I want to share:

Two days ago, my boyfriend mentioned to Tyrone that I lost my job.

Yesterday Tyrone came by my house to gift me lunch.

Tyrone, who has no home, no steady employment and who struggles to find healthy and satiating meals on a daily basis, brought me lunch because I lost my job.

I love Tyrone.

And I’m thankful for his friendship.

(Note: I used Prisma to obscure Tyrone’s face to respect (more…)

Austin

Unbarlievable, the new racist bar in Austin

This morning social media in Austin lit up with talk about a circus-themed bar on Rainey Street. However, the talk wasn’t about how kitschy the theme is, but rather about the plethora of cruel and hateful responses the establishment has left for customers, in addition to racist comments from the owner, Brandon Cash.

Here is just a sample.

 

 

Did someone hack the bar’s social media accounts? It’s doubtful considering that the Cash has a record of questionable behavior.

How does a business person like this become successful in Austin?

Update: For further reading on Unbarlievable, check out stories from Reddit, Statesman, Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly and Eater

Update 2/29/17: Owner Brandon Cash has released a statement on the bar’s website.

 

Writing

What Happened When I Went on a 4,000-Mile Road Trip with My Cat

Originally appeared on my Medium page

Last year, I took in a six-year-old feral cat with three teeth and mouth herpes. We named her FatFace, and she has become the center of my universe.

When I say she’s become the center of my universe, I mean I’m obsessed with her. Like, people keep telling me I should have a baby instead and I respond with “NO WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A BABY?!” and they say “I do have a baby” and I’m like “Whatever. At least I can leave my cat alone for a day and she won’t die.”

FatFace is a remarkably low-key cat considering she spent her entire life on the street. Though she’s still skeptical of most humans, she will not bite or scratch when handled and our vet constantly praises her passivity. It’s because of FatFace’s chill demeanor that I decided it was a smart idea to drive her to 18 states of America.

FatFace eating BBQ in Kansas City, MO.

                                              (more…)
Hipstercrite Life

The Little Cat That Could

                                                                 FatFace before and after

One year ago, everything changed.

A filthy, ragged feral moved into my home.

She was apprehensive at first, and so was I.

Having lived on the street for all of her life, I wasn’t sure how she’d take to her digs.

Would she shred my face while I slept?

Would she hide under the bed for the rest of her existence?

Would she beg to be released back into wild world she was used to?

None of those things happened. Instead, we began developing a bond so strong that I, a self-proclaimed cat non-enthusiast, found herself utterly and completely head over heels.

(I must tell you that as I type this, my cat’s head rests less than two inches away from the keyboard, her butt is under my chin, and she’s intently watching the letters dance across the screen. Dammit…she just put her claw on the space bar and keysaaqwjefprgn kbfldblhldf (more…)

Austin

Please Keep Your Implicit Racism Off NextDoor

joined NextDoor in September of 2015. At first, I was thrilled to have an additional resource to help me get more involved in my East Austin neighborhood. NextDoor was a great way for me to discover urgent matters, when the next neighborhood association meeting was, what volunteer opportunities & meet-ups were available and which neighbors needed support or assistance.

NextDoor has and continues to fulfill this role, but I quickly learned that it is also a dumping ground for people’s implicit racism. In my gentrifying neighborhood of East Austin — a historically black neighborhood — implicit racism and culture insensitivity is becoming so commonplace, that I deactivated my NextDoor account out of disgust and frustration.

This post written by a young white woman was the first red flag:

“I was walking — — – on — — – around 6pm as it was starting to get dark when a red sedan approached me, coming south. The front of the license plate read “Don’t Panic” but it was not like (more…)