And the Winners Are
1 percent short: I have been an avid reader of the Houston Press since its inception. I have very discriminating taste, and while I try the restaurants you review, I don't always agree with the review. Your Best of Houston edition [September 25] has finally earned my 99 percent approval -- up from about 50 percent five years ago.
Thank you for taking the time to create an excellent guide to Houston.
Donald Winston, MD
Make my day: So, that's pretty k-ass that you guys like our band name (Amish Acid Dealer). Thanks a lot.
We nearly Strom Thurmonded our pantaloons when we saw that you decided to pick our fucked-up-ass name. I was having a pretty shitty day and then I came home and saw your Web site. Yeah. Fuckin' rad.
Honor roles: I was flabbergasted to be recognized as Best Actor of 2003. It is quite an honor and one that I definitely share with Mark Ramont, the director of Syncopation, Sofia Gomez (my partner in the show) and Jonathan Charles, the choreographer. Without them, my work would've meant nothing in this highly collaborative art form.
Thanks for recognizing the show for what it is: a journey into the fragile but highly resilient human spirit.
Confirmations: While I'm sure some of your readers were offended by your cover depiction of Jesus Christ with tattooed forearms and wearing a sport shirt instead of the traditional robe, your story ["Doing Time," by Scott Nowell, September 18] confirms something I, as a lifelong Christian, have always believed: that accepting Christ as one's personal savior is the surest way to turn one's life around, whether in or out of prison.
I hope that the leaders of InnerChange will ignore the critics such as Professor Kleiman and continue their fine work among Texas inmates for many years to come.
Beware of the faith-based: Hey! I picked up the Press because of the rather arresting cover with Jesus as a prisoner. "Doing Time" was a good article and fairly well balanced. There are some real problems with these faith-based initiatives.
Ironically, prisons started out as a Christian institution -- people were either executed or thrown into horrible prisons for life, and Christians started intervening to make it more humane, and to prevent so many people from dying from the terrible conditions back then. Then the state took over, and now the pendulum seems to have swung back.
Regarding Mark Davidson as Best Civil Judge [Best of Houston, September 25]: I'm sure at least one person agrees, and that's Mark Davidson. I've been in his court and he has always been full of himself.
Name withheld by request
Walking the line: In our current bankrupting condition, I wonder if this program is not a way for the government to cut costs, since health care and other rising costs are hurting everybody. Put it back on the religious organizations to do it cheaper.
Never trust a study paid for by someone involved with the results. It's true of drug companies, and it sounds true of the study of InnerChange Prison Ministries. Why would you pay for a study unless it would help you? And yet it's used "scientifically."
I thought the cover did a nice job of "walking the line." It's not offensive, and it has some biblical overtones (in Matthew 25, Jesus says, I was in prison and you visited me to the sheep on the right side), but it also catches your attention. Glad it wasn't a religion-bashing article, which is what I feared.
AAccuracy: The "Doing Time" feature says that "InnerChange's AA meetings refer to Jesus rather than the traditional 'higher power' and that addiction is viewed as a sin and not a disease."
For clarification, AA is not allied with any sect or denomination, and if a meeting specifies Jesus rather than a "traditional higher power," it is not an AA meeting. Also, AA does not refer to addiction but to alcoholism, and AA literature does not refer to alcoholism as a sin.
Historically, AA has relied on many media professionals to provide consistent and accurate information about Alcoholics Anonymous. We offer this clarification because we want to reduce the chance that someone who could benefit from AA may misunderstand what AA does and be discouraged from approaching us.
We are grateful for your cooperation.
Name withheld by request
AA public information coordinator
New York, New York
Stage labor: I read your review of The Wild Party at Masquerade ["Party Time, Excellent," by Lee Williams, September 25]. I was always told if you believe the good reviews, you have to believe the bad reviews. So I do. Thank you for the kind words.
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I designed, decorated and built the set, even without a formal background in any of those areas. As you stated, the set might look like discards from past productions, but other than bed sheets and two bar stools (from City of Angels) and the pink plant, all of which I made earlier, everything else was made for this production. Maybe they don't look like they belong, but I did cut, hammer, screw, paint and sew everything with a staff of two (myself and my lover, who isn't paid or employed by the theater), other than priming the walls. Working with a budget of close to zero and a crew as small, using my own tools at home and buying as much as possible from a dollar store and the bargain material at Wal-Mart, I think it worked out okay.
I never write critics, but I worked night and day for six weeks straight on this set, along with being in it, and doing costume design and construction -- plus rehearsing for the traveling day show and teaching at the weekend classes, so I didn't want anyone to think it was all used things from past productions.
I understand if you didn't like the way it looked (since I myself always pick at the sets when I'm done). Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the show as much as I enjoy performing it.