Kindred Spirits presents: The Judy Garland Christmas Show

Judy Garland Christmas ShowThere’s kitsch. There’s camp. Then there’s the Judy Garland Christmas Show, perhaps the single most absurdly divine thing to ever be produced by the 1960’s television industry. Kindred Spirits presents its 4th Annual Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along December 4th at Meteor (2306 Genesee St) at 5 pm.

In 1963 Garland found herself in trouble with the IRS for forgetting to pay taxes for a couple of years. Desperate for cash, she agreed to star in a weekly variety show for CBS, then proceeded to record 26 of the most gin-soaked hours in television history. Garland was remarkably cogent for the Christmas episode however, perhaps because her children were all on set as guest stars. Lorna Luft, Joey Luft and (almost unrecognizable with long hair) Liza Minnelli join fellow guests Jack Jones, Tracy Everitt, Mel Tormé and the true stars of the show, the chorus line of dancing Santas, for an hour of surreal delight.

With Nancy Ford emceeing, the Judy Garland Christmas Show & Sing-Along has become a Houston holiday tradition. In addition to the show and complimentary eats there’s also a raffle for a flat screen television. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and can be purchased at Proceeds benefit AssistHers, the Lesbian Health Initiative Houston, and Expert Nutrition.

After the break watch the opening number from the Judy Garland Christmas Show.

—  admin

DPD seeks help finding suspect shown on surveillance video burglarizing Sal’s Pizza

From DPD:

Dallas Police Burglary Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect that was caught on surveillance video burglarizing Sal’s Restaurant located at 2525 Wycliff, on January 9, 2011, at 8:00 AM.

Based on surveillance video, detectives have determined that the suspect pulled up to the front of the business in a 2002 red Ford Expedition. He exits his vehicle and is seen going up to the front door, only to return to his vehicle for a brief moment before returning to the front door of the business. He pried open the front door and attempted to take a flat screen T.V. before making off with the cash register.

The suspect is described as a Latin or white male in his 20’s or 30’s. Detectives are also looking into the possibility that this suspect and/or vehicle are associated with several other burglaries.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect or suspect vehicle is asked to contact the Northwest Investigative Section at (214) 671-6047.

—  John Wright

It Wouldn’t Be A Tom Ford Cover Without Screaming Sex Appeal

THE SHOT — I know fashion magazines Photoshop models to within centimeters of their lives, but Tom Ford on the cover of Vogue Korea, with model Karen Elson, hasn't looked this young since he … looked this young.

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—  admin

Zack Ford – We Made It Through: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “Repealed”

Crossposted on ZackFord Blogs.

 Rainbow FlagIf you haven't already heard, today was a very important victory in repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell provision. With an impressive 63 votes, the stand-alone bill achieved cloture in the US Senate this morning, and picked up 2 more Republican votes to pass this afternoon. It's a proud moment in LGBT history, and it's a credit to every individual and every organization who advocated for this change!

Still, I find myself not as excited as I thought I would. While many in the movement are rightfully celebrating a victory lap, my reaction feels a lot more like "It's about damn time." You might say that sounds ungrateful. I'd say you're right.

My point of view is that this is good, but it's still not good enough. My bar is high; nothing short of full equality is good enough. I look at this, and it's an important victory, but it also feels like the smallest possible victory we could have gotten. DADT isn't off the books yet. We took a compromise way back in the Spring (remember? when the President didn't want Congress to pursue any legislative repeal efforts) such that the bill doesn't actually repeal, it just allows for repeal. It'll still be a couple months (at least) before our LGB servicemembers can finally serve with integrity. We still have to advocate for that day to come, and then we have the long haul of education to diminish the prejudice throughout the ranks that made this such a tough obstacle.

I actually worry that the movement might be overly gracious. It certainly has a history of giving lots of credit to leaders when they grace us with every little accommodation or amount of visibility. I've heard plenty of folks ready to give President Obama credit for being so committed (and even spending political capital) to make this happen. I'm not sure I'm inclined to agree anymore than I gave him credit for signing the hate crimes bill last year. If he was actively calling Senators this month, it'd be nice to know about it. He didn't even make a public appearance to comment on today's passage.

Let's not forget the very cruel public condemnation we had to listen to before we could get to this point. I think Senator McCain sincerely believes that Marines are going to lose legs because they're so distracted by all the gay sex that's going to happen around them. How a servicemember's freedom to email their partner back home inhibits the capability of other troops to perform at 110% is beyond me. We also heard plenty of people say that DADT has "worked." It is impossible to defend DADT without defending homophobia, but that's what we heard. It's too much trouble to allow gays and lesbians to be honest because it's better that they suffer than to disturb the homophobia of some of the other troops. This is nasty, demonizing language that reminds us how inhuman many still find us to be. Even once we achieve full legal equality, we will have a LONG way to go.

Another disappointing reality of the day is how it feels that DADT repeal was passed on the back of the DREAM Act. It reminded me of how bittersweet I felt about the election of Barack Obama and the passage of Proposition 8. There are thousands of young people who are eager to give back to the only nation they've known, but because they are undocumented, they have no pathway to citizenship. They are being punished for doing nothing, which strikes me as being cruel and unusual. The DREAM Act would have been good for them, good for the military, good for education, and good for the economy. Unfortunately, xenophobia won out, and thanks to Republicans, these young people continue to exist without real options for their lives. There was incredible cross-support between DADT and DREAM, and the inability of DREAM to proceed is a crushing reminder of the overall ineffectiveness of the Senate, the potential for Republicans to politically obstruct, and the importance of us all advocating outside our own communities and issues.

We mourn the indefinite death of the DREAM Act.

Now more than ever is when we have to push forward. We can be grateful for every step of progress, but every step of progress should support the next. If our leaders are willing to say one form of discrimination against the LGBT community is wrong, then so too should they be ready to say the same of other forms. We must hold them to that and not permit a "that's enough for now" attitude.

Is it as likely to happen with a Republican-controlled House? No. But I don't think the movement is going to cave on ENDA or DOMA-repeal because of that alone.

I just feel like today's victory doesn't erase the conflicts and complaints that we've had. We won in the end, but the criticism from every step of the way is still warranted. The Democratic Party and Gay, Inc. still have to own and learn from their missteps. And ultimately, we all still have a lot of work ahead of us. I totally agree that some folks have worked incredibly hard and earned this victory and deserve a break, but that means they sub out and we press on.

Am I a Debbie Downer? Maybe. But we're not done, and I'd rather keep my eye on the ball.

Game on. 

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Best in SHO

Ford’s Taurus SHO updates the family car into one cool ride

CASEY WILLIAMS | Auto Reviewer

Taurus SHO

SPEED DEMON | Ford keeps the reliable muscle power behind the Taurus SHO but sweetens the inside.

Ford’s current Taurus is already a fantastic automobile that I called “the best Ford ever.” It seems I out-drove myself; the SHO is better.
Ford first conceived the Taurus SHO in 1989 as a sportier and more powerful version its most popular sedan. A high-revving Yamaha V6, connected to a Mazda-sourced 5-speed manual transmission, transformed the car. A second generation debuted after the Taurus’ 1996 re-design, boasting a Yamaha-engineered V8. More than 100,000 SHOs were sold in a decade.

To charm contemporary V8 levels of power out of the new SHO, engineers went for a twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 to summon 365-horsepower — 102 more than the already potent 3.5-liter V6 in the base Taurus, and five HP more than the Chrysler 300C’s 5.7-liter Hemi. The only available transmission (a six-speed automatic) can be left to its own mind or controlled via paddles behind the steering wheel.

A big advantage of turbos (and why you’ll see more as fuel economy rules rise) is excellent efficiency. This full-size sedan, with as much interior space as a Crown Victoria, achieves 17/25-MPG city/highway.

Twin-turbo power is different than traditional high-torque Detroit muscle. Power surfaces more smoothly, not necessarily bolting you to the seatbacks, but it just keeps coming, and coming, and coming. At Interstate speeds, the turbos are reeling for a run and surge at the first indication that you and the throttle are ready to go. Power comes in a surge from 1,500-5,250 rpm, but is never abrupt.

Not much from the outside clues you into the SHO’s inner voraciousness. This car is about trolling for munchies in stealth. Oh, there’s the optional 20-in. wheels with Michelin high-performance tires, subtle decklid spoiler and twin chrome exhaust outlets that tell others “Back off!” A unique grille, SHO-specific parking lamp bezels, and a full range of Taurus colors make sure you get a whiff.

Designers took a similar stance inside, making enhancements for the SHO but leaving everything else alone. Heated and cooled front leather seats with Miko suede inserts (made from recycled soda bottles), perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel (no wood here), aluminum pedals, aluminum-look dash finish and special logos are about the only ways to ping your ride. That’s fine, because the raked twin-dash design, large analog gauges, piano black console finish and large gear selector look great while connecting Taurus to the Mustang.
As Ford’s flagship, engineers ensured it comes with the latest gadgetry. Push button starting, capless fuel filling, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity and reversing camera are but a start. The SHO is also equipped with blind spot detectors, adaptive cruise control that monitors traffic ahead to adjust speed and “collision warning” with brake assist. The latter detects stopping traffic ahead and will apply brakes if the driver does not take action.

Sony audio with full USB connectivity thumps the plastic bits to bits with 390 Watts and 115 dB of max bass boost. Ford Sync, developed with Microsoft, enables voice-activated calling, audio selections, and navigation. You can find almost anything. If Apple’s iPhone is supposedly the “Jesus phone,” then Sync is an apostle. I could do without the powered multi-contoured seats that have a complete mind of their own.

The body structure is stiff and engineered to improve safety. It also insures the SHO rides firmly on its four-wheel independent suspension system, settles in comfortably on the highway, and carves up corners like no car this big should. All-wheel-drive, electronic stability control, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes can do to slick roads what a pair of turbos does to dry asphalt.

The 2010 SHO may not wear its balls on the outside, but is clearly displaying them in a tightly packed box. SHO has become one of Ford’s most-coveted brands, not for its all-out power and performance, but for its Euro-style grace and balance.

If you want a fun weekend toy that gets junior to school or the family to Florida, this is way better. Makes you wonder how your buddy is going to feel when his prestigious sportster gets whooped by a steel blue metallic Volvo-based American family sedan, doesn’t it? Prices start at $37,995.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 18, 2010.

—  Dallasvoice