For 26 days now I have been in quarantine, staying home except for essential trips to the grocery store, post office, restaurant parking lots and, on one occasion, Twin Liquors.
My people and I are healthy. A cousin is a nurse in Columbus, Ohio. So far she is coronavirus-free, but her ears are chapped from constantly wearing masks. Another relative has been laid off. My grandmother, many years into her dementia diagnosis, is in a nursing home that is closed to visitors but otherwise safe.
Like everyone else, I've been mourning canceled events—a college friend's visit from London, a months-old reservation at Hamilton Pool, a party to celebrate a dog's baptism—and life before the pandemic. Weirdly, I miss wearing shoes.
I'm lucky to be only mildly inconvenienced, rather than afflicted or grieving or broke, and doubly lucky to have friends who take quarantine activities seriously.
Initially, I filled my planner with the basics. A virtual happy hour, which prompted the Twin Liquors trip. Some long phone calls with friends. Movie nights with my roommate featuring "9 to 5," "First Wives Club" and "Working Girl."
One Saturday morning I successfully wrangled my parents and siblings onto a FaceTime call. After explaining to my dad what "FT" means, we then moved on to explore effects. Even with animated shark faces, it was soothing to see them through the screen.
Then the events diversified.
One friend, a Ph.D. student, generously uses her University of Texas email address to underwrite weekly Zoom meetings. (After the first 40 minutes, charges apply.) With her screen shared to a New York Times crossword puzzle, she guides us through the clues. So far, it takes six to eight of us 45 minutes to complete a Saturday.
That same friend is known for her PowerPoint parties. Before the pandemic, she and her housemates hosted a few: about 12 people would prepare three- to five-minute PowerPoints on a topic of their choosing and present to the group. Go over four minutes and you have to take a sip. Go over five and you chug. A short Q&A follows each presenter.
Some past PowerPoints include "Pandas in Sino-American relations," "A close reading: The New York Times Magazine Gwyneth Paltrow cover story" and "Kristen Stewart's Journey to Queerness: A Timeline."
I attended PPPI and PPPII. The latest iteration is this Saturday: QPPP. "Zoom link forthcoming," promises the event description on Facebook.
All of this to say, I've been asked by my editor to report on how people fortunate enough to have free time during this pandemic are spending it. Let me know what's on your agenda at email@example.com.
In the meantime, I'll be working on my PowerPoint.
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Despite a 2-0 deficit, there was a pot of gold for Austin FC after all as it celebrated its annual Pride Night with rainbows and a 2-2 comeback draw to FC Dallas Saturday night.
After three FC Dallas losses last season, the Dallas derby draw marks the first time Austin FC has tied against its Copa Texas rival. Austin continues to edge over FC Dallas as it sits at 3rd in the MLS West.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the match:
A somber start
Decked out in colorful hues for LBGTQ+ Pride, Verde fans started the match on a somber note as they held up banners to take a stand against gun violence before the match.
As the national anthem began, fans held up banners with the names of each child that was killed in the Uvalde school shooting and a plea to "end gun violence."
The supporters' section was also dotted with Pride flags and a "Bans off Our Bodies" banner in protest of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
FC Dallas earns a 2-0 lead
That sober tone continued onto the pitch. With midfielder Daniel Pereira's absence due to a red card, the Verde and Black lost two goals to FC Dallas by the 70th minute of play.
FC Dallas played it sneaky for the first half of the match, giving Austin FC plenty of room to hold possession as it waited to strike on a Verde error. That mentality proved dangerous for Austin as Dallas' Paul Arriola took advantage of Brad Stuver's deflection to score the first goal of the night in the 57th minute of play.
Dallas struck once more as Brandon Servant pushed past the Verde line to score the second goal of the match.
Austin FC strikes back
But energy quickly returned to Austin's favor thanks to Designated Player Sebastian Driussi, who scooted past several FC Dallas defenders alongside Moussa Djitte to snag an unlikely first goal for Austin.
A full Verde comeback
Austin's subs proved deadly as momentum returned to the home team toward the end of the match. A well-placed cross from Nick Lima—and a diving header from a fresh-legged Danny Hoesen—helped the team secure the draw with a second Verde goal in the 84th minute of play.
Hoesen, who was Austin's first starting striker last season, has now scored two goals with the team after a yearlong injury stuck him on the bench.
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Hours following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, on Friday, about 1,000 people gathered in Republic Square with signs calling for change.
The rally, organized by the group Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Texas, started at the federal courthouse on Republic Square on Friday at 5 p.m. before the crowd marched to the Texas Capitol. More protests are expected to ensue over the weekend.
People showed up with all types of signs like Mindy Moffa holding up, "Keep your filthy laws off my silky drawers."
Austin joined cities across the country that saw protests for a women's right to an abortion after the ruling.
According to a recent UT poll, 78% of Texas voters support abortion access in most cases.
Sabrina Talghade and Sofia Pellegrini held up signs directed at Texas laws. A Texas trigger law will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization, starting 30 days after the ruling. When state legislators passed the trigger law last summer, it also passed laws for more protection of firearms, including the right to open carry without a permit.
Lili Enthal of Austin yells as around 1,000 Texans marched to the Texas Capitol.
From the Texas Capitol, Zoe Webb lets her voice be heard against the Supreme Court ruling.
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