Don't worry: The bender you're on isn't that bad. In fact, the giant bug, the motorized couch and the dinosaur made of confiscated airline spoons you see zooming up the street aren't figments of your debauched, crazed imagination after all. No, they're art cars -- also known as what creative people do with too much time on their hands. You've no doubt seen them rumbling about town. Maybe you even cursed a couple of too-big vehicles for taking up so much space or driving so slowly. But when 250 of these twisted hunks of metal -- from all across the country -- form a line for the Ev1.net Art Car Parade and head through the middle of downtown, they're transformed into majestic, awe-inspiring, drivable works of studied craftsmanship.
Art freaks, car geeks and other Ben & Jerry counterculture types will amass this weekend. Join them to be wowed, or to get ideas for that long-paid-for beige Toyota Celica rotting in your driveway. The parade gets motoring at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14. Allen Parkway, between Taft and Eleanor Tinsley Park. For information, call 713-926-6368 or visit www.orangeshow.org. Free. -- Brian McManus
She's a Man, Baby
Redbud Gallery and Art League Houston showcase a split personality
How can you be in two places at once? Houston art lovers can ponder this question at two local exhibitions. James Magee is a reclusive El Paso artist who dabbles in sketches and drawings, and Annabel Livermore is a retired Midwestern librarian who specializes in expressionistic paintings depicting life in Juárez, Mexico. Thing is, they're both the same person (Livermore is actually Magee's alter ego). Check out Magee's sketches in "Shop Drawings" at Redbud Gallery, and take a gander at Livermore's paintings in "Desert Dream Cities & Desert Mountains" at Art League Houston. Then contemplate why, when he could've picked anyone, Magee chose to be a librarian. And a lady. Redbud show through May 29. 303 East 11th Street. For information, call 713-854-4246 or visit www.redbudgallery.com. Free. Art League show through June 18. 1953 Montrose. For information, call 713-523-9530 or visit www.artleaguehouston.org. Free. -- Scott Faingold
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
I See Dead People
This place sure doesn't look haunted.
I'm in a cozy neighborhood in Cypress, Texas, where the trees are tall, the homes are quaint, the birds happily chirp, and every kid I see is on a bike. Supposedly, one of the homes in this borough has gone totally Poltergeist. A couple of years ago, the Zamora family began hearing footsteps around the house. Lights would flicker. Doors would open and close. Oh, and their daughter started having little chats with an invisible "friend."
Rather than run screaming, Harry Zamora, a lieutenant with HPD, started using video cameras with night vision to document the hundreds of brilliant orbs of light floating around his house. He called a ghost hunter, who said the place was -- you guessed it -- haunted. So Zamora and wife Lesli formed an investigation team.
In no time, a TV series about the family -- Phenomena Police-- was developed. Which is why I'm in the Zamoras' home, watching the first day of filming. Production trucks, tour buses and TV equipment are everywhere. The cast sits around in director's chairs eating pizza with some of the crew. I follow the commotion to the backyard, where they're filming a scene with a couple of kids. Boooring. Some "haunted house." I knew this paranormal stuff was bogus.
Suddenly, I come face-to-face with a barefoot, smiling woman. One side of her face is pristine, while the other is burned, oozing and dripping with blood. A little piece of flesh is hanging from her neck.
As I recover (and find myself wishing I'd worn a pair of Depends), she explains to me that she's playing the apparition of a woman murdered in the '50s by the KKK -- one of the ghosts who's appeared in the Zamora home. Ha, well, that explains it. I leave, unconvinced.
But I'm looking forward to seeing the show. Let's hope it has some scare factor. Other than sleeping with my lights on and nearly pissing myself when I bump into people, it hasn't affected me at all. -- Steven Devadanam
Their Cheatin' Hearts
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is hosting a new monthly series highlighting Asian-American cinema called "Cinevisions." Apparently, it's also highlighting infidelity. This week's lineup includes Days of Being Wild, which stars Leslie Cheung from Farewell, My Concubine as a conscienceless womanizer and Maggie Cheung from Hero as a scorned shopgirl. The playin' around continues with the 2003 Hong Kong sex comedy Men Suddenly in Black, about a quartet of wanna-be cheaters. So bring a friend, not a date. Films run from Friday, May 13, through Sunday, May 15. Brown Auditorium, Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet. For tickets and showtimes, call 713-639-7300 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $5 to $6. -- Scott Faingold
Some people who like beer just drink a lot of it. Others feel the need to place it on a shelf. If you fancy yourself a collector, join the local chapter of the Brewery Collectors Club of America, which is putting on the Big Ass Beer and Breweriana Bash at Saint Arnold's Brewery this weekend. Several hundred beer-crazed folks will be on hand to sell, buy and trade their collectibles. Swap your vintage Paulaner stein for that mid-'80s can of Jax, or just mingle with the beer brood. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14. 2522 Fairway Park Drive. For information, call 713-862-3322 or visit www.saintarnold.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam