Willie Nelson and Lance Armstrong spent an afternoon on a golf cart

Lance Armstrong and Willie Nelson spend the afternoon playing golf. Photo via @lancearmstrong
Lance Armstrong and Willie Nelson spend the afternoon playing golf. Photo via @lancearmstrong

Lance Armstrong casually posed with Austin royalty Willie Nelson for a photo and posted it on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

In the photo, the duo appears to be spending the sunny day out and about at a golf course, driving around in a cart. Armstrong captioned the photo “Hangin’ with Willie.”

It’s common-knowledge the two Austinites are friends. Armstrong’s Twitter feed frequently mentions Nelson, whether it’s a birthday shoutout or about the current song he has on blast. And this isn’t the first time the world champion cyclist and musician have been pictured together.

In 2013, Armstrong posted a photo on Facebook with Nelson after they had dinner stating “Fun dinner with Annie and Willie Nelson. Lost my Mellow hat to Willie tho. Great man, great friend, great Texan.”

Lance Armstrong and Willie Nelson pose together after having dinner in 2013. Photo via @lancearmstrong
Lance Armstrong and Willie Nelson pose together after having dinner in 2013. Photo via @lancearmstrong

Recently, Armstrong’s life story was told in the film “The Program,” which was released in theaters and video on demand in March. It dramatizes his battle with testicular cancer, his seven times winning the Tour de France and his confession to doping.

Nelson, whose Twitter feed has been filled with his other numerous celebrity hangouts including actor Kevin Spacey, has been busy playing Austin stages and hosting parties at South By Southwest. He will be part of a new installment of PBS’ “American Masters,” which follows the story of country super group The Highwaymen. The documentary, featuring Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, will be releaed in May.

What we really want to know about their day out on the green: Who beat whom?

5 Lunchtime Links: Selena killed 21 years ago today

** FILE ** Selena performs at Hemisfair Plaza in San Antonio, TX, April 24, 1994.  Photo by Sung Park / The Austin American-Statesman. ORG XMIT:
Selena performs at Hemisfair Plaza in San Antonio, TX, April 24, 1994. Photo by Sung Park / The Austin American-Statesman. ORG XMIT:

1. The 21st anniversary of the killing of beloved Tejano superstar Selena is today.

“On March 31, 1995, Selena’s former fan club president Yolanda Saldivar fatally shot Selena at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi. For many Mexican-Americans, Latinos and people who followed her music, the memory of hearing this news resonates as much as the moment when President John F. Kennedy was shot did for an older generation.”

For the American-Statesman’s Nancy Flores’ and many fans like her, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, the renowned “Queen of Tejano,” served as a beacon of “hope to young Mexican-American girls.” Read Flores’ account of how the singer shaped her here. In April the singer would have celebrated her 45th birthday.

2. Ramen Tatsu-ya named America’s No. 1 ramen restaurant.

It seems Ramen Tatsu-ya is right to recommend customers “never share” their prized noodles. The restaurant has been named the No. 1 spot for ramen in the U.S. by Time Out, the American-Statesman’s Jackie Wang reports. Originally opened in 2012 by two former DJs, Ramen Tatsu-ya began drawing its infamously long line early on. Currently, the restaurant boasts two locations and now offers veggie options all day. The American-Statesman originally gave the creamy broth and noodles a glowing review.

3. Karlie Kloss to offer codingsummer program for young girls.

As a 23-year-old retired Victoria’s Secrets Angel Karlie Kloss is doing alright for herself. However, the supermodel is now learning to code, and wants a few select young women to join her in the endeavor. Kode with Klossy is a free summer program for girls between the ages of 13-18, which will focus on back end engineering and teach several programming languages, Wang reports. Last year’s program selected 21 girls (two of which were from Austin) out of hundreds of applicants. You can visit http://www.kodewithklossy.com/ to get more information about applying.

4. Ted Cruz admits new “Star Wars” movie made him cry.

What brings tears to Ted Cruz’s eyes? During his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” the U.S. senator admitted that the last movie he cried in was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” saying, “Han Solo was my hero.” Kimmel, who wasn’t the least bit surprised that the Republican presidential candidate’s favorite cereal is Mueslix, admitted that he experienced the same emotional reaction to the film. Let’s not forget Cruz’s real favorite movie, “The Princess Bride,” and the time Mandy Patinkin, who starred in the film, asked him directly to stop quoting it.

5. Cap10K scavenger hunt.

You’re going to have to keep your eyes open during next week’s Statesman Capitol 10K regardless. So why not see how many of the commonly seen race sights you can spot on your way to the finish line? Keep your eyes peeled for runners dressed as centipedes, neon shoes by the hundreds, live performers and, of course, signs equally intended to make you laugh and cheer you on. Some of the item’s included on the hunt serve as their own reward. We’re talking donuts, people.

Ted Cruz admits new ‘Star Wars’ movie made him cry

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Whether Ted Cruz is actually the U.S. senator he says he is, or one of the many alter-egos Internet users speculate he is, the man has feelings. Feelings about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The Republican presidential candidate appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” on Wednesday to answer a few of the comedian’s pressing questions. Among them, “What is your favorite cereal?” and “Who do you like better: Obama or Trump?” In choosing between Obama and Trump, Cruz suggested he wasn’t entirely confident he wouldn’t run over Trump if given the chance, but asserted, “I dislike Obama’s policies more.” Kimmel wasn’t wowed by Cruz’s cereal of choice: Mueslix. When Cruz agreed his choice was surprising, and Kimmel might have “expected Captain Crunch,” the late-night host assured him, “No, I was expecting Mueslix.”

It was Cruz’s answer to “Which is the last movie you cried in?” that had the two very different people seeing eye-to-eye.

“I would almost say the last ‘Star Wars’ movie,” Cruz said after only a second of hesitation. “I mean, I stood in line for two hours for ‘Empire Strikes Back.’ Han Solo was my hero — I’m not going to spoil it but I’ll just say there was an image in that movie that was traumatic at a level I never wanted to see.”

“I was almost embarrassed when the tears started to well up in my eyes,” Kimmel conceded.

We’re slightly surprised it wasn’t Cruz’s own rendition of “The Princess Bride,” the senator’s favorite movie, that got those brown eyes going; especially considering Mandy Patinkin, who starred in the film, asked him directly to stop quoting it.

You can watch Kimmel’s interview below:

Watch: Chick-fil-A worker jumps through window to chase car as cow dances

Dance like no one is watching. Even if a security camera is, in fact, watching.

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According to the San Antonio Express News, footage from an area Chick-fil-A captured a drive-thru employee leaping out of a window to chase down a customer who drove off without paying. As the employee, Kendall Compere, rockets himself after the car to claim the chicken chain’s due compensation, one of the restaurant’s cow mascots dances merrily.

Watch the footage below.

Compere eventually caught up with the customer, who paid for their food, the Express-News reports.

5 Lunchtime Links: Halle Berry joins social media

FILE - In this May 2, 2015 file photo, Halle Berry arrives at the 3rd Annual Kaleidoscope Ball on Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Culver City, Calif. The Oscar winner’s Scandale Paris line of $7 panties and $18 bras went on sale at Target stores last year. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Halle Berry arrives at the 3rd Annual Kaleidoscope Ball on Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Culver City, Calif. The Oscar winner’s Scandale Paris line of $7 panties and $18 bras went on sale at Target stores last year. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

1. Halle Berry or hallelujah?

Halle Berry made social media waves when she introduced herself to both Twitter and Instagram Tuesday with a very “natural” picture, Harper’s Bazaar reports. The topless photo taken from behind was simply captioned, “Hello everyone…” on Twitter, but Berry elaborated on her excitement for sharing her “world through images that reflect my emotions and perceptions” on Instagram where she shared the same picture. This might be one of the accounts you turn on push notifications for, guys.

2. Instagram introduces 60-second videos.

Instagram users will now have an extra 45 seconds when it comes to posting video to the photo-sharing app, 512 Tech’s Omar L. Gallaga reports. Instagram said the change was spurred by a jump in the number of users viewing and uploading video, which was previously capped at 15-second clips. Not all users will be able to post the longer videos immediately, but eventually the feature will be available to everyone. Instagram says this is just one of many small changes that will be made to the app this year to improve user experience, but a change that would alter the order in which pictures are displayed was met with widespread backlash from users.

3. Austin ranked No. 1 “worst city” for Chinese food.

According to a new survey by Estately that maps the restaurant preferences of different areas, Austin is the last place in the U.S. that you should go to eat Chinese food. Not necessarily because it’s bad, as the study is based off the number of different types of restaurants in a given area, but nonetheless discouraging for local fans of lo mein and cashew chicken. Unsurprisingly, the city ranked high in the food truck and Tex Mex categories, but outrageously Dallas ranked above Austin in Tex-Mex.

4. Watch Melissa McCarthy’s new Alamo Drafthouse “don’t talk” PSA.

Melissa McCarthy partnered with Alamo Drafthouse to remind moviegoers to keep it quiet for one of the theater’s infamous “don’t talk” PSAs, and there was quite a bit of muscle involved, the American-Statesman’s Eric Webb reports. In the PSA the “Bridesmaids” star takes a break from some heavy-lifting to ask viewers to treat the Drafthouse like the “holy temple to movies” that it is by ignoring texts, calls and partaking in unnecessary Facebook-ing. Of course there are a few colorful words thrown in; watch for yourself here.

5. Adele takes selfie with lookalike at concert.

Adele experienced many of her fans’ dream-come-true scenario when she essentially met herself at a recent concert in Birmingham, England Tuesday, People reports. During the middle of her concert the singer invited up a fan from the crowd who looked a lot like herself. Fan Emily Bamforth had a similar hairstyle and makeup to Adele, and wound up on stage alongside her to take a very important selfie.

Texas singer Selena Gomez shares her favorite meal at Whataburger

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2015 file photo, Selena Gomez arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Gomez has revealed that she’s battling the debilitating immune system disorder lupus. “I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” the 23-year-old singer told Billboard magazine in an interview published Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Selena Gomez arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles Aug. 30, 2015. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Though she is the newly-crowned Queen of Instagram, Selena Gomez stays relatively humble, especially with food. In a preview for a radio interview set to air Friday, Gomez captures every Texan’s heart by dishing on her favorite places to grab a bite to eat while in the Lone Star State.

Speaking to 103.7 KVIL in Dallas, Gomez listed her favorite places to eat when she’s back in the DFW metro area. Chain eats Taco Bueno and Pappasitos are a go-to for the Grand Prairie native, as well as Whataburger, of course. The singer said she likes to order the “No. 13 with a side of gravy,” also known as the orange and white box of chicken tenders, Texas toast and fries.

The interview prompted a response from the ever-so-topical Whataburger Twitter account, which dropped a line referencing the singer’s latest album, “Revival.”

Gomez is no stranger to sharing her love for junk food, sharing photos and videos of herself eating McDonald’s, In-N-Out and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in the past.

View this post on Instagram

-I had one last week tho

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

View this post on Instagram

Routine

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

View this post on Instagram

behind the scenes @taylorswift

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

Perhaps you’ll run into her at a fast-food joint this summer. The “Same Old Love” songstress is bringing her tour to Austin on June 17.

5 Lunchtime Links: Wentworth Miller fires back at body shaming

wentworth_miller
Actor Wentworth Miller attends ‘TrevorLIVE LA’ Honoring Robert Greenblatt, Yahoo and Skylar Kergil for The Trevor Project at Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Trevor Project)

1. Wentworth Miller responds to fat-shaming with tale of depression.

Wentworth Miller took to Facebook to fire back at a meme that has made its rounds online showing a picture of the actor’s body during the filming of “Prison Break” alongside a more recent picture showing a noticeable weight gain. Miller posted the pictures, which were captioned “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly…” and openly addressed his weight gain saying it was a byproduct of the depression he was suffering at the time. The actor said that during his struggle he turned to food instead of “Drugs. Alcohol. Sex.” and admitted that “There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal.” The site that posted the meme has since taken it down and posted an apology.

2. Patty Duke dies at 69.

Oscar winner Patty Duke has died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine at age 69, Duke’s agent told the Associated Press Tuesday. Duke’s children Sean Astin and Mackenzie Astin are also actors who took to social media to post about their celebration of “the infinite love and compassion she shared through her work and throughout her life.” It was Duke’s role in “The Miracle Worker” that won her her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, although she starred in numerous other movies and “The Patty Duke Show.” Duke was also known for her work advocating for mental health.

3. People of Zilker Park answer “Why Austin?”

As part of the new #whyaustin series, Cody McCrary headed out to Zilker Park searching for answers. More specifically, answers to the question, “What is your favorite thing about Austin?” Answers ranged from dog-friendly to kid-friendly to food-friendly. More than one person commented on the city’s “culture,” and just one mentioned the nice warm weather. Look out for our next installation in the series, and ask yourself: “Why Austin?”

4. Thirsty Planet’s new brewery to triple capacity.

Thirsty Planet Brewing will triple the amount of beer it produces with a new location on South Congress Avenue, the American-Statesman’s Arianna Auber reports. The space will increase the six-year-old brewery’s production capacity by 20,000 barrels, up from 10,000, per year. The move also means that Thirsty Planet will be able to expand its bottled offerings to include, Buckethead IPA and Yellow Armadillo Wheat. Currently it only offers its Thirsty Goat Amber in bottles. “The overwhelming local demand for our beer is very humbling, and we’re thrilled to keep contributing to the increasing enthusiasm for craft brewing here in Austin,” said Thirsty Planet’s founder Brian Smittle.

5. SXSW standout Kehlani hospitalized following suicide attempt.

Kehlani, a 20-year-old R&B singer who was a standout performer at this year’s SXSW, posted a photo to Instagram showing that she was hospitalized, possibly after a suicide attempt, the American-Statesman’s Deborah Sengupta Stith reports. The picture was posted after rumors spread online that she had cheated on boyfriend NBA player Kyrie Irving with singer PartyNextDoor, which Kehlani addressed in her photo’s caption saying, “No one was cheated on and I’m not a bad person.” The caption also read, “Today I wanted to leave this Earth. Being completely selfish for once. Never thought I’d get to such a low point.” You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

Burt Reynolds debuts modern version of ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ Trans Am

Trans Am Depot and Burt Reynolds debut new Bandit Trans Am. Photo courtesy of Trans Am Depot.
Trans Am Depot and Burt Reynolds debut new Bandit Trans Am. Photo courtesy of Trans Am Depot.

The year is 1977. Pontiac is preparing to release its latest model of the Firebird Trans Am and Burt Reynolds is about to make history on screen as Bo Darville in “Smokey and the Bandit.”  It’s the year that shot Reynolds and the car into outlaw, cool-guy stardom.

Now, 77 is the number of available Trans Am SE Bandit Edition cars, a recently released new line of vehicles inspired by its forefather. Each car is individually signed by the Bandit himself, who announced their release a few days ago along with Trans Am Depot, an automotive conversion company that redesigns and creates retro-styled muscle cars.

“It was hot,” Reynolds said in the Trans Am Depot’s video. “It was hot in every way. It’s a love story and most guys had a love story with their car.”

In the same fashion as the Bandit’s car, the upgraded model comes equipped with the Shaker hood, T-tops, white-letter tires and snowflake wheels. And of course, there’s the iconic firebird that stretches across the front of the car.

“If you only saw that bird you would say that’s the Trans Am,” said Tod Warmack, co-founder of the Trans Am Depot.

But unlike the original, the Bandit Edition’s seats are modeled after the ’78 Trans Am, has an 840 horsepower to the crank compared to the original’s 185, and a specially crafted Bandit logo that marks the inside.

“This is a class act here,” Reynolds said.

The special editions come in light of Reynold’s new documentary “The Bandit,” which takes a look at the cultural import of the ’77 action comedy. It premiered at this year’s South By Southwest at the Long Center where Reynolds and director Jesse Moss made an appearance. The film, which received a standing ovation, will air on CMT in August.

 

We ask people at Zilker Park – why do you love Austin?

By Cody McCrary — Special to the American-Statesman

During our gorgeous spring weather, Zilker Park is an Austin staple for locals and visitors of the nature-friendly city. We went out to Zilker to ask people what their favorite thing is about Austin in our new #whyaustin series.

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Taylor Skinner, a 22-year-old University of Texas student, takes her dog Tinsley to play at Zilker Park several times a week. Skinner, who was born and raised in Austin, said she enjoys the dog-friendly nature of the city and the food scene.

 

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Mia Foos was spending the day flying kites with her daughter and said she loves that Austin is so kid friendly. Foos, who is pregnant with her second child, was due the day after we spoke with her.

 

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Erin Beck and Macey Taylor said they like Austin because it is such a culturally diverse city that still maintains a small-town feel. Beck moved to Austin from Florida three years ago and works in sales at the Driskill Hotel. Taylor is an executive assistant at Kasasa, a wholesale financial services company headquartered in Austin.

 

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Spencer Young, who attends Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio, was in town taking in the sights and sounds of South by Southwest. The 17-year-old was enjoying the warm weather and playing guitar with some friends.

 

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Lilith Chenaux, who was visiting from Houston, said the Zilker Dog Park is her favorite thing about Austin. Chenaux works at an animal shelter and was spending her day with her sister and her dog Pixie.

 

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Amanda Costanzo was watching her sister’s dogs, Mabel and Ginger, while spending the day at Zilker. Costanzo, who works at the Whole Foods at the Domain, said she loves how cultured Austin has become in recent years.

 

 

5 Lunchtime Links: Jon Lovitz reveals relationship on social media

Jon Lovitz in Rat Race Credit: Doane Gregory
Jon Lovitz in Rat Race Credit: Doane Gregory

1. Comedian Jon Lovitz announces unlikely romance.

It seems not everyone believes in love. Although comedian Jon Lovitz and former “90210” star Jessica Lowndes took to social media to reveal their romantic relationship this weekend, the 31-year age difference between the two has many still skeptical, CBS reports. 27-year-old Lowndes and 58-year-old Lovitz posted several pictures to Instagram showing the pair presumably sharing twin ice creams together and celebrating Easter. In fact, the two might be doing more than just dating. One post by Lowndes shows a picture of a large diamond ring on her finger. Many Twitter and Instagram users have stated their disbelief.

2. How to make the Facebook Messenger basketball game less frustrating to play.

Of course you’re going to play Facebook Messenger’s new basketball game. So why not make the experience slightly less frustrating? The American-Statesman’s Jackie Wang has a few tips (read: cheats) for getting that tiny ball in that tiny hoop. Most of them involve using some sort of straight edge to better map out your shot. Options include, a ruler, a pencil and a sheet of paper. To get the game going send your friend one of the basketball emojis over chat, and then tap to shoot it!

3. The other side of Justin Bieber.

Justin Bieber showed us another side of himself in an Instagram post Saturday he posted while on a camping trip with friends. Literally, it was his backside, and not one we’re wholly unfamiliar with. The nude picture, shot from behind, shows Bieber wading into a lake. The revealing shot is captioned “Dat a– doe @johnny photo cred,” but another picture showing Bieber sleeping outside on the ground was more sentimentally captioned, “My soul breathing, I found my life when I laid it down.”

4. Getting your perfect bluebonnet shot.

You don’t want to go up against the beauty of a Texas bluebonnet unprepared. When you’re out in the fields taking your wildflower pictures, during what promises to be a wonderful season for doing so, keep in mind a few tips that are sure to get you a better shot. Maybe opt for a late afternoon or early morning light, when the sun won’t illuminate everything as harshly. It’s alright if your subject isn’t looking right at the camera; less posing will make for a more natural photo! Remember to stay safe out there by avoiding sides of highways and opting for comfortable but protective clothing. Check out some of our readers’ bluebonnet pictures here.

5. What to do with your hard-boiled eggs.

You hunted for and found all the hidden eggs. Now what? If you’re looking for something to do with leftover hard-boiled eggs try spicing up an egg salad sandwich with some of the suggestions offered by the American-Statesman’s Addie Broyles. Adding bacon, avocado and red onion, or jalapeño and cilantro can bring a whole new dimension to your lunch experience.