Author Archive

Pennebaker: Wendy Davis Needs to Take Back Her Story

Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis still has a powerful, inspiring life story—and I’d love to see her reclaim it loud and clear, without apology. She needs to wrench it back, in fact, and let the other side know it can’t tell her story for her… so get the hell out of her way.

Read full

Despair in Fashion

Justin Sewell isn’t perfect. He admires “outliers” like Ralph Nader (even after my insistence that Nader can never, ever be forgiven for helping to botch the 2000 presidential election). So what? Perfection is boring and overrated. After visiting Sewell’s office and warehouse, I’m convinced he and his business partners have diagnosed the malaise, disillusionment and […]

Read full

Edsel U.

Using a car analogy, [University of Texas System Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell] said a $10,000 degree would be more like a Chevrolet Bel Air, a midlevel vehicle from a generation ago, than a Cadillac. There’s nothing wrong with a Bel Air quality education, he said.–Austin American-Statesman DEAR PARENTS OF SELECTED MEMBERS OF THE […]

Read full

Shut My Mouth

In the immortal words of the great Tammy Wynette, sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Anyway, that’s the tune I’ve been humming — “Stand by Your Man,” to be precise — while a torrent of anti-female legislation sweeps across national and state capitols like an Old Testament pestilence. De-fund Planned Parenthood! Forget family planning! […]

Read full

Bringing Up Baby

On a wintry day in February, I went to the Texas Senate to hear citizens and medical and legal experts testify about the sonogram bill. You know, the bill we’ve all been hearing about that requires a doctor to give a woman both a sonogram and an oral description of the fetus she’s carrying before […]

Read full

Unearthing Aurora

Lost Books of Texas “Terms of Endearment is a book?” a well-read friend asked recently. “I didn’t know that. I thought it was just a movie.” Hell yes it’s a book, I said, and told her she should read it immediately. It’s one of my favorite Larry McMurtry novels, published in 1975. Terms of Endearment […]

Read full

What’s in a Nombre?

All you have to do is move and you get this question 600 times a day: “What’s your new address?” Funny they—the friends, the bankers, the credit-card callers, the movers, the shakers—should ask. Our new address is on San Jacinto Boulevard. San Jacinto! The name of the battle that won the Texas Revolution. The name […]

Read full

Home Soul

We’ve lived in our house in West Austin for almost 14 years—the longest we’ve ever lived anywhere. Our kids finished school here, brooding and backtalking through the sullen years of adolescence. We hosted annual holiday parties here, and almost always something memorable happened—like the year a poet tried to attack my husband with a butter […]

Read full

One Texan’s Xmas List

I’ve finally learned that you have to ask for what you want in this life. I know, I know—getting what you want is another matter. But it’s been a hard year, so leave me to my fool’s paradise. Here’s what you can get this Texan for Christmas this year:  1. A really great idea: no […]

Read full

Bloody Bloody Tea Party

When I wasn’t working on a migraine, when I wasn’t despondent about the future of the world, when I was feeling halfway brave, I occasionally tuned in to TV coverage of the elections this fall. I watched the Tea Partiers with their shrill denunciations and ragged signs. I listened to how they wanted to take […]

Read full