Editor's Note: This column is part of a dating series where an anonymous Austinite shares a personal story about a date. This one was written by a 22-year-old active dater in Austin.
Dating is an ever-changing roller coaster ride. I like to think I was so conceived in the wrong generation. Or have times just really evolved? I'm talking about back in the day in my parents' generation, without cell phones, when there was no such thing as "sliding into the dm's." If a man wanted to date a woman, his options were to approach her in person and get her landline digits in hopes that no one would eavesdrop on the same line.
That right there is what I consider more of a traditional start to a relationship that I just don't see nowadays.
To preface my date in Austin this week, working 40 hours at a breastaurant (think Hooters or Twin Peaks) can leave you with a wonky schedule and a small amount of time to plan a hot date. In an environment like that, it's hard to tell what a man's true intentions are when he asks for your number and claims that he'd like to see the "real you" in a different atmosphere.
Meet Bobby. While working one day, this man, a manager at a local brewery, said he'd been seeing me around lately and wanted to ask if I had a boyfriend. My status? Single.
This next part was the first sign that this man asking me out could truly be doing so in what I call: the chivalrous way.
He asked if I would like to join him and a small group at an Austin FC game in September.
He was already checking off the boxes that I found to be sweet and I had just met the guy. Those boxes?
- Asking me a month in advance so I could arrange time off with work
- It was a sporting event—a fun, rowdy type of getting-to-know-the-real-you-because-we're-getting-drunk-together night out
- He kindly told me he was buying me an Austin FC jersey
I was getting some man vibes at this point. Yum. And was he hot? Hell yeah. Not once has a male asked me out with a smooth approach like that before through my time at the restaurant. It's always been more of a, "When can we link mamas?" sort of conversation. Was this finally going to be a good one?
With the plans for the game a month out, he wanted to take me out first which was a telltale sign that this man—who hardly knew me—wanted to do things the traditional way. Doesn't that point in the direction of… "the long haul?" Gulp.
A week ago today, we finally went out for our first time: some friendly competition playing arcade games and a few drinks after. I felt like I was Eleven from "Stranger Things" hanging at The Palace for a second.
I was also surprised when he FaceTimed me to let me know that he sent me his location because Google Maps was a little tricky. He went out of his way to arrive first to scope out the place. That was another box to check off my list.
Man, was it actually really fun? Fuck a dinner and a movie, let's see who can win a game of air hockey. Bobby let me spend all of our glamorous 420 points from games on prizes for me. Good sign there. He also covered over $50 of expenses there for us both too. The signs continued to add up. Chivalry.
Finally time for some drinks! I was ready to let loose and see how Bobby did too. One round of beer, four shots and a seltzer to finish off the night.
Lucky for Bobby, I lived a whole three minutes away from the Domain bar we were at. So I invited him over because I had such a fun night. I was really feeling myself because of the alcohol and had planned to give him my usual test for the night: Would he make any first moves?
I felt comfortable with him and that kind of surprised me—I have my walls up higher than the Great Wall of China. But I needed to use the opportunity to get a feel for his intentions, being that we were now alone at my apartment.
Do I ever make the first move? Hell no, but I did this time. His response was exactly what I was looking for and that made me pretty fucking happy. He didn't make a single touchy-feely move on me until I did and said that he wanted to do things the right way. He told me he shouldn't stay over.
There it was. He earned my stamp of approval because he was going to pass up sex. I had my answer!
He was so unprepared to do anything with me that night, he didn't even have a condom on deck. But that didn't mean he didn't want to—and I was giving him full permission. I could tell he was going to be different. A quick drive to the convenience store around the corner for that much-needed protection and I got the happy ending that I had hoped for.
Sometimes guys leave after the deed is done, but he stayed the night with me. The sex was fucking great. I guess chivalry isn't dead.
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The Austin woman suspected of killing star cyclist visiting from out of town, Moriah "Mo" Wilson, has now been captured after evading arrest for more than a month.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, an Austin yoga instructor, is believed by officials to be the killer of Wilson, who was found with gunshot wounds in a friend's house on May 11. The murder is being investigated as a crime of passion after Wilson met up with Armstrong's ex-boyfriend.
According to the U.S. Marshals, Armstrong was located at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Officials said she may have been using her sister's name after fleeing Austin on May 14, the day after police questioned her. She was last identified at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18.
Federal authorities say they plan on returning Armstrong to the U.S., where she'll face charges of murder and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Here's a timeline of events since the night of Wilson's murder.
- The night of her death, Wilson met with Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend Colin Strickland, a fellow pro cyclist. According to an affidavit, the pair went swimming, then to dinner, before he dropped Wilson off at her friend's home where she was staying in East Austin at around 8:30 p.m.
- While Wilson and Stickland had previously had a romantic relationship, Stickland said the two were friends. The affidavit says Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that evening.
- Video footage shows Armstrong’s Jeep pulled up nearby the home within a minute of Wilson arriving home.
- At around 10 p.m., Wilson's friend called Austin police after finding her in a pool of blood. Wilson had been staying with the friend ahead of the upcoming bike race in nearby Hico, Texas.
- Armstrong was brought in for questioning the day after the murder and released after appearing “very still and guarded” when confronted with video evidence.
- The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force said her black Jeep Cherokee was sold to a South Austin CarMax dealership on May 13 for $12,200.
- She leaves from the Austin airport on May 14.
- Shell casings found on the scene matched a gun belonging to Armstrong.
- Austin police obtained an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17.
- She took a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to San Jose, Costa Rica on May 18 using a fraudulent passport, according to the Marshals.
- On May 25, another warrant was obtained for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
- On June 29, she was captured by the U.S. Marshals
On Thursday, the Supreme Court limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority in regulating greenhouse gases, a move that comes at a time when experts have warned about the need to take action on climate change.
The ruling was brought after a challenge to a lower court opinion brought by Texas and more than a dozen other states.
Vaibhav Bahadur, an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin called the SCOTUS decision significant, noting that Texas is the biggest energy producer in the U.S., and produces more energy than the United Kingdom.
“Power generation accounts for a significant fraction of U.S. carbon emissions, and the EPA loses its ability to control what's happening in about half of that sector,” Bahadur said. “And it's not just the U.S., I think people and environmentalists on pretty much anywhere on the planet will be disappointed because this is going in the wrong direction. We know we want to be decarbonizing, and this is essentially putting a roadblock on progress toward decarbonization.”
So, we’re going to need some insurance, Bahadur says. He’s carrying out work that’ll act as such through his research on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), the process of sucking carbon from the air and burying it.
For the past five years, he’s been working on a novel approach to storing carbon. It involves supercharging the formation of carbon dioxide-based crystal structures and storing billions of tons of carbon under the ocean floor.
“If all of this is successful, then we will have another option for safely and responsibly storing carbon at the bottom of the seabed for essentially eternity,” Bahadur said.
Still, Bahadur talked about a different approach to responsibly cutting down emissions in the next decade, and doing so in a meaningful and substantial way, then the environment will eventually heal itself and we might not need CCS.
But that’s not the path we’re headed down.
“We're already starting to see temperature records being shattered this year, and we're still to hit peak summer,” Bahadur said. “All of this just makes me think that we need CCS to a larger extent, and possibly sooner than what a lot of scientists anticipate, especially if we can't keep our emissions in check.”
Gary Rochelle, a professor in the department of chemical engineering at UT, thinks CCS was ready to be deployed in 2010 and those 12 years have made a difference.
“But now we've emitted all that CO2,” Rochelle said. “And unfortunately, unlike other pollutants, when you emit CO2, it's there. It's not going away.”
Gary Rochelle and Vaibhav Bahadur are both researching technology to address carbon emissions. (UT)
Still, the delay is good in that now researchers like him have had time to learn about and improve the technology, allowing for fewer problems once it's deployed.
In December, UT announced a licensing agreement with advanced technology company Honeywell. The technology from that is targeted at power, steel, cement and other industrial plants to lower emissions.
Rochelle has been working on the technology since 2000 as part of an international collaborative effort. When he talked to Austonia on Thursday, he had just had calls with collaborators in Germany and Norway. Currently, he’s working with some Ph.D. students on addressing a chemical reaction that can happen with the technology known as oxidation that could lead to ammonia emissions and cause problems for a large-scale commercial unit.
Rochelle says he’s driven to this work because he wants to make a contribution.
“We're trying to develop this technology so that we can make a difference,” Rochelle said. “It's a nice problem to work on. The students are motivated and those are the primary things which drive us.”
Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott celebrated the high court’s decision which acted as a blow to President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce emissions.
“Today’s landmark victory against an out-of-control administration is also a big win for Americans who worry about skyrocketing energy costs due to expensive federal regulations that threaten our energy industry,” Abbott said. “President Biden cannot keep attacking the energy industry and the hardworking men and women who power our nation.”
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