Got It, Flaunt It

Those campaign donations aren't buying yard signs and pamphlets

Q. Well, it was something the senator said, and I wanted to give you a chance to respond.

A. I don't think I'll get into it. Thanks for calling.

While Hirschfeld seemed like a nice enough guy (before the subject turned to box turtles), and while records indicate he's married to a human being (and she's a female, too!), it must be noted that he did not explicitly deny any box-turtle nuptials.

An' Git Away From My Still! Revenooers, 
Treasury men and other such city slickers are advised 
to stay away from this house on Cortlandt in the 
Heights. Signs -- apparently from the noted boutique 
"Calligraphy By Jed" -- give fair warning that, unlike the 
rest of the neighborhood, this resident is in no hurry to 
gentrify. Whoever lives there didn't respond to our 
attempts to get an interview, and an official at the 
Houston Heights Association said his group was 
unaware of the house. Still, are a couple of signs 
enough to scare away someone determined to give 
Houston even more knockoff town homes?
An' Git Away From My Still!
Revenooers, Treasury men and other such city slickers are advised to stay away from this house on Cortlandt in the Heights. Signs -- apparently from the noted boutique "Calligraphy By Jed" -- give fair warning that, unlike the rest of the neighborhood, this resident is in no hurry to gentrify. Whoever lives there didn't respond to our attempts to get an interview, and an official at the Houston Heights Association said his group was unaware of the house. Still, are a couple of signs enough to scare away someone determined to give Houston even more knockoff town homes?

So maybe Cornyn wasn't pandering. Maybe he just lives in a strange neighborhood.

To Womb It May Concern

With the release of the Will Ferrell epic Anchorman, the Houston Chronicle felt the need to tell readers that unlike many local anchors nationwide, the folks reading the news in Houston are really, really smart, committed journalists who defy stereotypes.

They illustrated their piece with a giant photo of KHOU's Greg Hurst, which would seem to undermine their thesis. Hurst, after all, famously wrote a bizarre two-page rant a few years ago to a reporter who'd criticized him, a rant that was full of grammatical errors and passages in which Hurst described his "sagacity," "professional probity" and "journalistic acumen."

In the Anchormanstory, Chron reporter Andrew Guy Jr. also wrote of KTRK's Gina Gaston, who subjected Houstonians to stories and Web updates about the 2003 birth of her triplets.

Not that she wanted that kind of publicity, to be sure. "The only reason I did those stories," the Chron quoted her as saying, "was to put to rest the rumors that we used fertility drugs…I wanted to show that women could get pregnant without fertility drugs."

Women can get pregnant without fertility drugs? Who knew?

We guess Gaston meant to say "women my age" but just couldn't bring herself to do it.

Or maybe someone was confused. The next day a correction appeared saying that "Gaston did use fertility drugs to conceive twins." (Twins? She only has the triplets.) And one of the Web stories Gaston wrote last year about the triplets said, "In my case, fertility drugs helped us conceive…I'm sharing this otherwise private information to give hope to many couples who've tried for years to start a family."

Chron reporter Andrew Guy Jr. did not respond to questions about the story.

Gaston says she has no inkling how Guy came to the conclusion she had not used fertility drugs. "I'm not sure how he got it wrong," she says. "We were on a cell phone that was going in and out, but we were talking about it for some time, I thought."

And the ensuing correction that mentioned twins, not triplets? "How I ended up with one fewer children, I don't know that either," she says.

Kill the Wabbit

Star-crossed lovers, bruised feelings, brides left at the altar, a high-stakes showdown -- you could make an opera out of it. Or a lawsuit.

Houston Grand Opera is suing the English National Opera over this year's production of Jenufa, which as you Linkin Park fans know, is a Czech opera featuring a dead baby, an angry mob and a gal who can't choose between two stepbrothers.

HGO and ENO were supposed to collaborate on the January production -- and HGO spokeswoman Joy Partain says the companies were listed together in the program -- but apparently something went wrong.

Horribly, horribly wrong. Although on the bright side, no dead babies were involved.

HGO alleges ENO promised to pay $130,000 as part of its share of staging the event. "After ENO's repeated assurances that it would satisfy its obligation, however, ENO informed the Houston Opera that due to 'financial circumstances' ENO could not keep the original intentions described in the parties' agreement," says the state court lawsuit.

Geez, if you can't get along when it comes to a dead-baby opera, when can you get along?

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