The market for homes across the nation has never been more challenging for homeowners trying to sell, nor more mind-boggling for buyers shopping among the historically overwhelming inventory of discounted listings.
Archive for April, 2008
Freddie Mac is turning to YouTube, a video-sharing Internet site, to educate homeowners about the dangers of losing their dwellings in foreclosure scams. Freddie Mac, one of the largest U.S. investors in residential mortgages, recently produced a two-minute video to dramatize some of the deceptive practices that are used to commit foreclosure fraud.
If your house, condo, or townhome doesn’t have central air, an oversized garage, or a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, you may have a long wait finding a buyer.
If you are one of those people who eats Freedom Fries or drinks only domestic Bordeaux, go ahead and turn to the next story, please. There’s nothing for you on this page.
Actress and bookworm Amber Benson is probably best known for her role as Tara Maclay, Willow’s girlfriend, on the then-WB’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since Buffy she has delved further into her acting career while also emerging in the industry as a filmmaker and writer. She has signed a book deal with a publishing powerhouse to write a series of three books, which she describes as The Devil Wears Prada mixed with a Neal Gaiman-esque sort of reality. She will be in Houston in May for a screening of her second film (as writer/producer/director), Lovers, Liars and Lunatics (2006). Alongside her many talents, Amber Benson leaves an impression of being quite a grand advocate for GLBT rights.
On March 6, Noel Furniture, located at 2727 Southwest Freeway, hosted an opulent cocktail reception featuring Sir Elton John’s stunning, red grand piano. Community music man, Jerry Atwood, provided accompaniment for the gathering, which benefited programs of Bering Omega Community Services. Details: www.noelfurniture.com.
DINNER AND BOWLING
Jewish Community Center Gay and Lesbian Social Group of Houston presents a Pot Luck Shabbat Dinner at the home of Jereme Scott. President of The Foundation for AIDS Israel, Scott will present a short informative talk about his work. Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m. The group goes bowling on May 2, 7:30 p.m. at Palace Lanes, 4191 Bellaire Blvd. Details: Danny Kallen, 281/773-6002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PITCH ‘N’ PUMP
The Montrose Softball League’s Pranksters In Pumps is an evening of “drinking, drag, and debauchery.” April 5, 6 p.m., with show at 7 p.m. Rich’s, 2401 San Jacinto. Tickets: $15–$20. Benefits Legacy Community Health Center, Houston GLBT Community Center, and the MSL. Details: www.montrosesoftballleague.com.
FOR THE CHILDREN
Houston Pride Band conductor emeritus Andy Mills leads the band in a free concert, for families and children of all ages, entitled Celebrating Families. Part of the band’s 30th anniversary Season of Celebration!, the performance is a whimsical introduction to the fascinating world of concert music, with an instrumental “petting zoo” where children will have the opportunity to meet the HPB musicians. April 12, 1 p.m. Spotts Park, 401 South Heights Blvd. Details: www.houstonprideband.org.
IT TAKES BALLS
When Aurora Picture Show presents its fifth annual Media Archeology festival April 17–19, a likely stand-out of the Live and Televised series will be Tara Mateik’s Putting the Balls Away . Staged at DiverseWorks ArtSpace April 19, 8 p.m., Balls weaves together pre-recorded video and audio as well as live performance to retell the story of the historic 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis showdown in Houston’s Astrodome between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. And get this: Mateik plays both roles. Aurora, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art and Rice University host additional performances for the three-day festival. Details: www.aurorapictureshow.org.
Laura Villagran, owner of Gay Yellow Pages and www.gayislander.com, has announced a weekend-long party on Galveston Island. “Wet Galveston,” scheduled April 25–27, begins with a kickoff party at the Pink Dolphin featuring DJ Chris Allen. Entertainers Marsha Mellow, KRBE DJ Special K, Josh Duffy, Laurel & The Edge, Paige Lewis, and Whitney Ann MacCray perform at the Balinese Room for the Saturday afternoon beach party; a dance party at Groove Bar follows. Sunday Funday begins at 11 a.m. at 3rd Coast Beach Bar. The event concludes with a Galveston cruise, April 28 through May 4. Details: www.wetgalveston.com.
FOR THE HAVES AND THE HAVE-NOTS
Theatre New West director Joe Watts is mounting concurrent presentations of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues (with an all-male-to-female trans cast) and Thomas O. Yewell’s The Penis Chronicles . Weekends, May 2–31, with benefit previews on May 1 and 8. Theatre New West’s The Loft, 436 Hawthorne. Details: 713/522-2204.
THERE WILL BE HATS
The Mr. and Miss Mint Julep Pageant, held each July , is one of Legacy Community Health Services’ campiest fundraisers. This year, organizers jumpstart the julep season with its kickoff party, on Kentucky Derby Day, complete with mint juleps, a hat contest, and watching the ponies on the big screen. May 3, 2–6 p.m. EJ’s, 2517 Ralph. Details: Sonna Alton, 713/830-3015.
When one of OutSmart ‘s favorite cover girls, Lily Tomlin, came to town to raise some cash for Houston Area Women’s Center, she told an enrapt group of journalists, including our own Blase DiStefano, that she’d been asked to play a lesbian in a new movie loosely based on the life of director Franco Zefferelli. The down side, Lily said, was that she’d have to leave her animals while she lived in Florence for three months while filming. DiStefano urged her to do the role, even offering to take care of Lily’s furry ones.
Avril tells her family’s story — and secrets — with a prose style that is very plain, almost dry. She lets the facts of the story land the many and considerable emotional punches, avoiding any easy tabloid sensationalism. A mother’s death from a rare cancer, a father’s death from AIDS, and the lies surrounding both make this is a page-turner of a memoir. — Review: Neil Ellis Orts
It sounded like a heartwarming, interesting read when I picked up the book and read the back-cover blurb: A white, Philadelphia Quaker, middle-aged lesbian couple offer a place to live, and even legal guardianship, to a couple of Black Muslim teenagers who are threatened with losing custody of their triplets. The government welfare establishment, in its compartmentalized wisdom, finds the teenagers economically and emotionally incapable of caring for the babies. The punchline: This is not fiction.