Women share why they value birth control with #ThxBirthControl

In this August 1974 file photo, a woman holds a birth control pill dispenser in New York. America's favorite birth control method turns 50 on Sunday, May 9, 2010. The pill is now widely acknowledged as one of the most important inventions of the last century. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)
In this August 1974 file photo, a woman holds a birth control pill dispenser in New York. America’s favorite birth control method turned 50 on Sunday, May 9, 2010. The pill is now widely acknowledged as one of the most important inventions of the last century. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)

The election of Donald Trump prompted people to stock up on birth control pills or consider long-term birth control options, such as IUDs, as women weigh the possibility of birth control access becoming restricted after Trump becomes president.

While the president-elect has not pledged to restricting birth control access, he included repealing the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to provide birth control for free, in his 100-day plan. Women took his stance on the Affordable Care Act as a step towards restricting birth control access; hours after the election, Google searches for intrauterine devices spiked dramatically.

Through all the dialogue and worry over contraception access, people have taken to Twitter to voice their support for birth control using the hashtage #ThxBirthControl. Some have been sharing generic posts praising birth control for giving women control over their bodies:

Others shared stories of their health issues that were addressed with birth control:

And women who have or have had periods chimed in on the benefits of a regular period:

As hashtags are accessible to all, a few #ThxBirthControl posts joined the conversation with messages against contraception use.

#ThxBirthControl stems from an official event started by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Every year, the organization celebrates birth control throughout November. This year, #ThxBirthControl day fell on Nov. 16. The National Campaign’s website explains the ability to plan and prevent pregnancies benefits all of society. Birth control is a normal part of life, the campaign argues.

“The vast majority of single, young adults say they don’t want a pregnancy right now, yet four in 10 of those who are having sex are not using contraception consistently,” the National Campaign’s website reads. “More than half of sexually active college-age women say they would be more comfortable using contraception if more people talked about it in a positive way.”

Even after the official #ThxBirthControl day, women continue to use the hashtag to share their stories and opinions.

 

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day should be celebrated by all

Still have old Kerbey queso tucked in the back of your fridge? Did you forget about that half-finished smoothie you promised yourself you would drink? Today’s the day to throw it away and start fresh.

According to National Day Calendar, a website dedicated to honoring every possibly holiday on the calendar, Nov. 15 is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. The day originated in 1999 from Whirlpool Home Appliances’ home economists, the website said.

“It is said that they created the holiday to encourage people to clean out their refrigerator in advance of the upcoming holidays,” the site reads. “At that time, the company even had a toll-free hotline that people could call into for cleaning tips.”

Observing the holiday can be done as thoroughly or easily as you want. Take the time to care for your overworked refrigerator. Empty the entire thing, wipe down the sides and the shelves, and toss any moldy or expired food. If you’re feeling really fired up, try vacuuming under the fridge too and clean out all those crumbs you surreptitiously kicked under there.

Or you can give your extra food to this guy:

Happy cleaning and organizing! Here’s to a fresh start in the kitchen.

Evil Kermit meme allows your dark side to have a voice

What’s the devil on your shoulder telling you?

There’s always some sort of internet joke that everyone can get on. This year, memes have taken on a political role. Pepe the Frog was co-opted by the alt-right movement for their own purposes, and the original creator of Pepe fired back with positive memes.

In this undated photo provided by Disney Enterprises, Kermit the Frog realizes that he is short one last act to fill the time for the live and televised Muppet Telethon in a scene from "The Muppets," opening in theaters on Nov. 23. (AP Photo/Disney Enterprises, Scott Garfield)
In this undated photo provided by Disney Enterprises, Kermit the Frog realizes that he is short one last act to fill the time for the live and televised Muppet Telethon in a scene from “The Muppets,” opening in theaters on Nov. 23. (AP Photo/Disney Enterprises, Scott Garfield)

Right now, people are venting their frustrations with last Tuesday’s election results with some excellent imagined conversations between Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. But others are using Kermit talking to evil Kermit (i.e. Kermit wearing a black hood) to show their inner conflicts, in an internet version of the classic angel on your shoulder vs. devil on your shoulder battle.

https://twitter.com/404memes/status/795761464602750976

A few people used evil Kermit to be the voice that tells you to indulge yourself:

and to poke fun at our weakness for fast food:

Others used the meme for some light-hearted political commentary:

While others got real serious.

A twist on the meme showed the real sides of one Twitter user:

Though the meme has been around for a few days now, not everyone is ready to say goodbye.

Thanks for helping our dark sides see the light, evil Kermit.

Wall Street Journal praises Austin breakfast tacos, limits list to five taco places

Photo by Matthew Odam
From Rosita’s Al Pastor. Photo by Matthew Odam

It’s always interesting to get an outsider perspective on Austin classics.

The Wall Street Journal gave Austin a shout-out in a piece titled “Breakfast Tacos: The 5 Best Places to Find Them in Austin, Texas.” The five places? Veracruz All Natural, Tamale House East, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Delicious and Rosita Al Pastor.

Because we take tacos very seriously in Austin, none of these discoveries are new to us. This is the city that birthed Torchy’s Tacos (which did not make the Wall Street Journal’s list, unfortunately). This is a place where newspaper staff eats Tacodeli instead of pizza on Election Night.

From Austin’s perspective:

  • Veracruz All Natural has made our critics’ picks list two years in a row, and even was named the nation’s No. 11 best taco spot. The Statesman’s food critic Matthew Odam praised the tacos for their delicious tortillas and perfect blend of salt and pepper, writing, “If there’s a better trailer taco in Austin than the migas taco ($2.50) from Veracruz All Natural, I’ve yet to come across it.”
  • Tamale House East is an extended legacy; the owners’ grandparents owned the original Tamale House that fed Austinites in 1958. The restaurant recently added 16 beer taps, and even offer advice on which beer to pair with which tamale. Tamale House East is the only remaining Tamale House branch still operating; Bobby Vasquez opened another branch of Tamale House on Airport Boulevard in 1977, but the restaurant closed after his death in 2014.
  • Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ does have killer brisket tacos, and the Violet Taco (the owner’s second food truck) has the same great style, just dedicated to tacos.
  • Rosita’s Al Pastor holds its own in a town full of al pastor tacos.
  • And Fact Check: though Delicious is, well, delicious, calling it a taco joint is a bit of a stretch. The majority of the menu is “sandos” (sandwiches) and brunch items.

Please don’t limit yourself to only five breakfast taco places. Try every Austin taco you encounter. If that sounds intimidating, take this comprehensive list of the best breakfast tacos in Austin as a guide.

El Arroyo gets in one last joke before Election Day is over

Austin restaurant El Arroyo is celebrating Election Day with yet another punny sign.

This is hardly the first time El Arroyo has weighed in on politics. During the recent clown scare, the sign was updated to put the Mexican restaurant’s two cents into the conversation.

And after the final presidential debate of 2016, the restaurant put up a silent message.

El Arroyo has had its share of generic election jokes:

And summed up the complex feelings everyone has about internet commenters:

While El Arroyo loses a steady stream of comedic fodder with the end of the 2016 election, its classic jokes live on forever on the internet.

Thank you for your tacos and for the smiles during these trying times, El Arroyo.

Internet finds meme-worthy material as Election 2016 draws to a close

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking at a rally Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Leesburg, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking at a rally Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 in Leesburg, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

As we near the end of the 2016 election season, the internet is squeezing every last meme it can out of it.

Donald Trump was photographed voting in New York next to his wife Melania, when his eyes wandered.

People took the image and ran with it:

https://twitter.com/AliR_Ahmadi1/status/796040245091401729

Melania did tweet out a supportive campaign button before she voted:

Twitter also found a photo of son Eric Trump doing the same when voting with his wife.

Goodbye, Election 2016. Thanks for the memes.

ModCloth is opening its first brick-and-mortar, and it’s in Austin

Purveyor of snazzy outfits ModCloth has come to Austin before on its Modcloth IRL tour, but instead of a pop-up shop, we’re getting the brand’s first permanent storefront.

Photo via ModCloth
Photo via ModCloth

The new store opens Nov. 12 on Second Street, according to CultureMap Austin.

“Austin’s style is quirky and a bit retro, but still of-the-moment and centered on creating new trends … it’s very congruent with our styling POV,” CultureMap quotes ModCloth CEO Matt Kaness as saying in a press release. “It’s no surprise that Austin is one of our top online markets and that the local ModCloth community there made our earlier pop-up a huge success, voting resoundingly ‘Yes!’ for us to come back.”

The vintage-inspired women’s clothing brand has come through Austin before, but only temporarily. The pop-up shop in Austin stayed on Second Street from April 8 to May 30, and was ModCloth’s first stop. Apparently ModCloth loved us so much it wants to stay forever. The new store will feature their signature styles as well as their bridal line. Customers can also book an appointment with a ModStylist to help them choose the right fit.

Beyoncé performed with the Dixie Chicks at the CMAs, gave shoutout to Texas

Beyoncé’s Texas roots showed up in full force at the Country Music Awards last night.

Beyoncé took over the CMA stage with the Dixie Chicks to sing “Daddy Lessons” — a country-tinged song from Bey’s latest album “Lemonade” — which any self-respecting Beyhiver could have predicted. As soon as Bey’s appearance was confirmed, there could only be one song. The Dixie Chicks have also covered the song on their tour, so the collaboration was hardly a surprise.

Beyonce (2nd R) performs onstage with Emily Robison, Natalie Maines, and Martie Maguire of Dixie Chicks at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Bey and the Dixie Chicks all lay claim to the Lone Star State, so the beginning of their performance felt even more appropriate as each woman declared “Texas” into their respective microphones, the first words of “Daddy Lessons.” Backed by brass and violins, the blend of Beyonce’s powerful vocals and the Dixie Chicks’ enthusiastic twang came together to make a beautiful performance, worthy of a 50th anniversary awards show.

The team also wove in a 40-second bit of the Chicks’ 2002 Grammy-winning hit “Long Time Gone,” a possible nod to their absence from country music in the past years. Beyond the quick homage to past glory days, the Dixie Chicks kept their set light and without commentary on their status in the country music scene.

Beyoncé fans who ordinarily wouldn’t have watched the CMAs did so for Queen B:

Others saw Bey’s appearance as unnecessary:

https://twitter.com/ohlookitsamber/status/793870350475890688

The Dixie Chicks offered a studio version of their collaboration with Beyoncé on Soundcloud to stream and to download for free.

While the possibility of this collaboration probably wasn’t on too many people’s radars before, it undoubtedly stole the show at the CMAs.

tumblr_inline_og1pg8hde61t3jouv_500

Twitter overflows with congratulations, jokes about Cubs’ World Series victory

Carl Edwards Jr. #6 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Carl Edwards Jr. #6 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Cubs won the World Series last night, ending their 108-year drought. Fans everywhere exploded (including Bill Murray), but Twitter captured the world’s excitement and humor perfectly.

President Obama invited the team to the White House:

Sideline reporter Craig Sager: “You gotta think positive.”

A new meme was proposed:

A few people cracked dinosaur jokes:

And made “then and now” comparisons, from 1908 to 2016:

Non-Cubs fans put the victory into terms they understood:

The National Zoo congratulated the team appropriately:

A dad voiced his concern for his child:

The Chicago Tribune gave a fitting full, front-page tribute to the team’s win:

Marty McFly mused over a small error:

But no worries, “Back to the Future” explained why the movie was one year off:

 

 

Celebrate World Vegan Day with these tasty recipes

JuiceLand's features an array of tasty vegan options. Matthew Odam/American-Statesman
JuiceLand’s features an array of tasty vegan options. Photo by Matthew Odam

Happy World Vegan Day! In the land of Tex-Mex and barbecue, it might seem impossible to move away from animal products. But Austin’s restaurant scene always offers up vegan-friendly options, like the Beer Plant‘s dedication to serving vegan-only food and beverages or Juiceland‘s convenient pre-packaged vegan lunches.

Vegan Day was established in 1994 to commemorate the UK Vegan Society’s founding and the first usage of the word “vegan” 50 years prior. 72 years later, the society would probably be astounded by Texas residents committing to a plant-based diet.

Austin offers so many vegan dining options, but it’s nice whipping up home-cooked meals. H-E-B even sells evaporated and condensed soy milk for avid vegan bakers! Even if you’re not vegan, these recipes are sure to sate.

For breakfast: Kale and caramelized onions enchiladas

These kale and almost-caramelized onion enchiladas are made with a salsa verde and topped with avocado, cilantro and feta cheese, but you could make it vegan by leaving off the cheese. Photo by Addie Broyles.
These kale and almost-caramelized onion enchiladas are made with a salsa verde and topped with avocado, cilantro and feta cheese, but you could make it vegan by leaving off the cheese. Photo by Addie Broyles.

Remember when four Austin residents invented the taco cleanse? Where you replaced every meal with a taco for a month? The creators offered up this recipe (skip the feta cheese sprinkled on top and substitute with vegan cheese).

For lunch: Vegan “tuna” salad sandwiches

Chickpeas are not tuna, but they can be used to make a vegan Waldorf salad sandwich. This one comes from "Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking: Recipes Inspired by Rural Life in Alaska" by Kathleen Henry. Photo by Kathleen Henry.
Chickpeas are not tuna, but they can be used to make a vegan Waldorf salad sandwich. This one comes from “Pure & Beautiful Vegan Cooking: Recipes Inspired by Rural Life in Alaska” by Kathleen Henry. Photo by Kathleen Henry.

An easily customizable recipe that lets you put your own twist on it without compromising quality. Because tuna salad already has many veggie options, it’s a snap replacing the fish with chickpeas. Pickles are optional.

For dinner: Vegan chili

Photo by Addie Broyles
Photo by Addie Broyles

Instead of textured vegetable protein, this recipe uses mushrooms to thicken the chili. Lots of veggies, lots of flavor. Serve with whatever garnish your heart desires.

For dessert: Chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream

Overripe bananas can be used in all kinds of dishes, including this chocolate peanut butter ice cream that only has three ingredients. Photo by Addie Broyles.
Overripe bananas can be used in all kinds of dishes, including this chocolate peanut butter ice cream that only has three ingredients. Photo by Addie Broyles.

Bananas ripen quickly, which is a downside of having bananas. But the upside is their versatility in healthy-but-fun desserts. Banana “ice cream” is one of the easiest things to make in the world. All you need are frozen bananas, chocolate sauce and peanut butter for this recipe.

Go forth and experiment in the kitchen with plant-based materials!