PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION WORKER CHARGED WITH THEFT

 

Pullquote:

"We took a list of people that this particular parking assistance person had provided services to and attempted to contact all of those people.

 

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

A former University of Houston Parking and Transportation employee has been arrested and charged with theft by a public servant.

Arthur Hernandez Jr. was arrested Monday by UH Police Department officers after the Harris County District Attorney's Office filed charges in connection with three incidents in December involving fee charges for services the university provides free.

Hernandez was transported to Harris County Jail, where his bail was set at $500. He has since posted bail and has been released pending trial.

UH police began the investigation in December after a student reported being charged for a Dec. 15 jump start.

"We took a list of people that this particular parking assistance person had provided services to and attempted to contact all of those people. As a result of this, we located two other individuals. All three incidents occurred on the same date," UHPD Lt. John Heron said.

Heron said all three of the complainants identified Hernandez from a photo lineup.

The charge against Hernandez is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. According to Assistant District Attorney John Brook, Hernandez faces up to a year in county jail and a possible $4,000 fine if he is convicted.

A UH official said Hernandez allegedly accepted a check from one of the complainants.

The UH Parking and Transportation Department provides free jump-starts, tire changes, key retrievals from locked vehicles and shuttle service to and from local gas stations for students, faculty, staff and visitors to the university.

Gerald Hagan, UH director of Parking and Transportation, said Hernandez was suspended and terminated in January after the incidents first came to light.

UH students, faculty and staff are reminded that no money should be exchanged when dealing with Parking and Transportation employees in the parking lots.

Emergency call-boxes located across the campus can be used to access the free emergency services.

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WRITE-INS FOR ZUBER WILL NOT BE COUNTED

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

Robert Kramp, election commissioner for the Students' Association elections ending today, said any write-in votes cast for SA Sen. Jennifer Zuber will not be counted.

"She has been officially barred from the election," Kramp said.

Zuber, who had been running for vice president on the C.L.A.S.S. ticket, said she will file a complaint with the Election Commission today and file an appeal with the University Hearing Board if the commission's answer is not satisfactory.

"It's not how many votes it is," Zuber said. "If the students vote, and he doesn't count them, he's not doing his job."

Zuber was barred from the election, along with C.L.A.S.S. campaign manager Jeff Fuller, after being charged with forging signatures on applications for other candidates in her party. Both Zuber and Fuller deny that Zuber forged any signatures.

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SEN. GIO A NO-SHOW AS SA SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION

 

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

The Students' Association Senate barely made quorum, but the 12 senators present blazed through their workload, passing three resolutions and two bills unanimously.

Conspicuously absent was Sen. Gio Garibay, who is running for SA president in elections that conclude today.

The Senate approved $1,000 for a pilot carpooling program sponsored by Sens. Andrea Rachiele, Clarissa Peterson and Justin McMurtry. Rachiele said the three senators met with Gerald Hagan, director of Parking and Transportation, but that they had decided to have the Students' Association handle the project itself.

"The administration has to do nothing with this," she said. "They don't need to go back to their computers or anything."

The Senate also passed a resolution introduced by SA President Angie Milner urging the Texas Legislature to increase funding for student financial aid.

Milner expressed concern that the federal government planned to cut financial aid to students. "It's in the Contract with America, in the fine print that we forgot to read," she said.

Budget-cutting ideas being discussed in Congress include removing the interest exemption on student loans that applies while the student is still in school, as well as general cuts in the amount of grants and loans available.

Milner passed out fliers to the senators and encouraged them to write to Congress immediately to oppose the cuts. She said cutting the interest exemption would cost the average UH student $2,000 to $3,000, assuming the student was only in school for four years.

Gina Luke, of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., said there is no legislation in Congress, but that the idea is "being talked about."

The Senate also passed a bill to make the lot across from Entrance 1 handicapped-accessible, a resolution supporting an attempt to have U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, as graduation speaker, and another endorsing a "twinning ceremony" between UH and the University of Havana.

 

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LADY COOGS CLIP OWLS' WINGS IN VICTORY

Houston destroys Rice 77-48 to advance to second round of SWC Tourney

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS – Unlike the first two meetings with the Rice Owls this season, the outcome of this game was never in doubt.

After splitting two one-point decisions with Rice during the Southwest Conference regular season, the Houston Lady Cougars waited until Wednesday's first-round action of the Dr Pepper SWC Postseason Classic before they would finally let it all hang out against their cross-town nemesis.

Houston (14-13, 8-7 in the SWC) advanced into Friday's noon semifinals at Dallas' Reunion Arena with an almost-too-easy 77-48 waxing of the Owls in Southern Methodist's Moody Coliseum.

The Cougars, who broke a three-game losing streak, will now face No. 6 Texas Tech (28-3, 14-1), 87-36 winners over Texas Christian Wednesday night.

"The difference in the game was our defensive intensity," said Houston head coach Jessie Kenlaw. "We knew coming in that we were going to have to put two halves together, and we did."

Rice was limited to 40-percent shooting and committed 33 turnovers as the 29-point victory margin set a new UH Postseason Classic record.

"Obviously, the better team won today," said Rice coach Cristy McKinney. "Houston pressured us a lot and we couldn't handle that. And when you commit 33 turnovers, you're not going to win many ballgames."

Despite the fact that the two teams traded the one-point ballgames earlier this season, Kenlaw said that she wasn't really at all surprised with the point differential.

"We felt that, during both games, we didn't play with the level of defensive intensity that we showed today."

McKinney agreed.

"When we played Houston before, they showed us a zone defense," she said. "That may have benefitted us a little. So, yeah, I could see this (defeat margin) coming before the game."

Another key to the one-sided victory was that Houston was able to shut down Owls guard Lacey Guinn, who earlier this year hit a school-record-tying six 3-pointers during the Cougars' 69-68 victory at Autry Court Feb. 7.

Guinn was limited to 1-of-2 shooting from the floor, with no treys, Wednesday.

"From what I remember, we had a hard time getting over their pressure," Guinn said.

Houston's guards were not as unfortunate, however.

Cougars point guard Tanda Rucker continued her late-season surge with 14 points, the third consecutive game in which she has scored in double figures.

Rucker and backcourt mate Stacey Johnson combined for 31 points, while the latter also added six steals.

"We're not ready to go home yet," Rucker said. "We don't want to go back to class. This (tournament) is too much fun."

Houston actually trailed Rice 8-6 with 14:01 left to play in the first half before the Cougars went on a 12-0 run, spanning 3:36, to give them a 20-8 lead.

Houston then followed that up with a 10-0 streak over 2:14 to take a 31-13 advantage before settling for a 35-23 lead at the half.

 

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UH LOOKS TO TCU'S THOMAS FOR ANSWERS IN SWC TOURNAMENT

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

After five losses in their last six games, capped by a home defeat at the hands of Southern Methodist Saturday, the Houston Cougars will have a lot of questions to answer in the first round of the Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Postseason Classic today at 3 p.m. in Dallas' Reunion Arena.

But surely none will be bigger than the one which asks, "What about Kurt?"

The answer to that query, which, of course, refers to Texas Christian center and SWC Player of the Year shoo-in Kurt Thomas, could come in the form of a Cougar who has been a bit under wraps this year.

Freshman center Galen Robinson, a highly-touted recruit from Aldine MacArthur, will be a pivotal figure – pun intended –inside against TCU's big man.

"We've finally got him in the kind of shape where he can play a little bit more," Houston head coach Alvin Brooks said earlier in the week. "He's down to 239 now; that's a change from where he was, about 265."

Listed at 6-8, Robinson said simply, after a season-high nine rebounds vs. SMU Saturday, "I want to play Kurt. I want the challenge."

Robinson proved a big contributor in the Cougars' final regular-season game, recording 13 points in 19 minutes. In a tight contest, he was part of head coach Alvin Brooks' mix down the stretch.

"Galen, I think, had his best game," Brooks said. "His effort and intensity were the best they've been all year. He really ran the floor well, which gave us a new look out there."

That look – Robinson, the steady Tim Moore and Kirk Ford on the front line, with Tommie Davis at the point and 6-7 Jessie Drain moved out to shooting guard – pleased Brooks with its play in the waning minutes against SMU.

"Late in the game, we were able to do something with them (the Mustangs) defensively, because we had Jessie and Kirk playing their wing guys, which makes it a little tougher on them to shoot the three over (the top)," Brooks said.

The Cougars already know they will receive a bona-fide effort from forwards Moore and Ford. Moore has continued to lead the team in scoring, now at 20.1 points a game, and rebounding, at 10.4 a contest.

Ford has ended his late January and early February hot streak in which he proved himself a solid complement to Moore, but is still at 12.6 points and 5.5 boards, while shooting .456.

Of the rest, Jessie Drain, at small forward, has seen an incredible disparity in his pre-and-post-SWC numbers. Shooting only .293 coming into conference play, Drain has hit at a clip nearly 200 points higher (.484) afterwards.

His 3-point percentage has gone from .176 to .419. His rebounding rate has nearly doubled, up to 5.8 a game from only 3 a game beforehand. Naturally, his scoring has also increased, to 12.7 from 5.2.

Freshman guards Davis (6.8 points, 4.3 assists) and Damon Jones (10.2 points, 51-of-160 on treys) will start, but should senior experience be desired, Tyrone Evans sits ready and waiting on the bench.

Back to Robinson: He tied the SMU game at 73 with 2:46 to play on a fake and strong move to the hole, something he hasn't showcased often enough this year.

"I've been focusing on my turnaround jump shot (in practice)," he said after the game. "It fell some tonight, and most of my inside moves were there for me."

Indeed, the freshman demonstrated an aggressiveness that had been absent previous to Saturday. Hopefully, the new-found assertiveness will not wilt in the face of Thomas.

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ALL-SWC WOMEN'S LINEUP LACKS COUGAR RED

JOHNSON LONE WINNER OF ACCOLADES FOR 1994-95 SEASON

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS – Although Lady Cougar senior Stacey Johnson came away with the Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year Award Tuesday, not everyone at Houston's 77-48 romp over Rice Wednesday was as pleased with Houston's share of postseason handouts as she was.

"Being away from basketball the whole year made me realize how much it meant to me," said Johnson, who sat out the 1993-94 season due to NCAA rules after transferring from Arizona State.

"Just getting the chance to play in the (SWC) tournament and go out a winner is all the recognition I need."

Cougars head coach Jessie Kenlaw disagreed not only on that subject, but on another perceived snub.

After leading the SWC in rebounding, averaging 9.0 per game during the regular season, UH freshman forward Jennifer Jones was named the <I>co<P>-Freshman of the Year in the conference, along with center Angela Jackson of Texas and guard Carey Owens of Texas A&M.

Neither contributed nearly as much as Jones, who hit 46.7 percent of her shots, getting 11.5 points a game along with her boardwork.

In fact, neither Jackson (8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds a game) nor Owens (5.8 points, 1.0 assist) was even listed in her respective team's starting lineup when they clashed in Wednesday's first-round action. Jones has started 24 of the Cougars' 27 games, including the tourney opener.

"If you ask me, I thought she should have been the only one to win it," Kenlaw said of Jones. "She's the only freshman to lead the league in rebounding and averaged double-figure points.

"There was no doubt about it in my mind."

Jones, who fouled out with 11 points and five rebounds against the Lady Owls, had little to add, saying she was happy to receive the award.

Johnson and forward Pat Luckey were also tied for a spot on the All-SWC first team, making for a rather unrealistic starting six.

 

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BASEBALL TEAM HOLDS OFF RALLY TO EDGE OUT UTSA 5-4

by Jeff Holderfield

Daily Cougar Staff

Astros pitcher and the Houston Cougars newest volunteer coach, Doug Drabek, threw batting practice Wednesday and saw the Cougars edge out the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (11-7) in a 5-4 victory at home, where the Cougars (11-7) are 7-1.

"This is like a fountain of youth for me. The field is great. It will really help (the Cougars) recruiting," Drabek said.

Houston head coach Rayner Noble gave Brad Towns (2-1, 2.79 ERA), a right-handed senior, the starting nod.

Towns, who went six innings, gave up one run on four hits, walked five and fanned seven.

"Towns never let the game get out of his control. He pitched six great innings for us," Noble said.

The Cougars started the offensive attack in the first inning when Tom Maleski, who ended up going 3-4 with three RBIs, blasted UTSA starting pitcher Chris Woodard's (1-2, 4.50 ERA) fastball over the left-field fence.

The Cougars added two more runs in the third when Cougars catcher Brandon Milam opened the inning with a double.

Geoffrey Tomlinson drew a walk to put two Cougars on. Milam and Tomlinson each moved up on a Chris Scott sacrifice.

This brought Maleski up for his second at-bat, allowing him to get his thirteenth and fourteenth RBIs of the season, on a double hit into the gap in right center.

The Cougars offense went on to put two more runs on the board, making it 5-0.

The Roadrunners' bats finally woke up in the sixth inning, as they used two singles and a stolen base to make the score 5-1.

After starting the seventh inning by giving up a single to the Roadrunners' Clint Jensen, Cougars righthander Jason McClaughry (2-0, 2.70), who replaced Towns, gave up a two-run blast to UTSA senior second baseman Mickey Perez, making the score 5-3 through seven.

The Roadrunners would score another run in the top of the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

"We had a rough night. Because of all the rain, this is only the second game in two weeks that we have played," UTSA head coach Jimmy Shankle said after the loss to the Cougars.

 

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CITY STREETS PROVIDES ENTERTAINMENT VARIETY

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Just because your ski trip reservations didn't work out, don't fret. City nightlife awaits at Houston's new multi-concept entertainment center.

At City Streets, you and your date can go two-stepping and then dance to Village People under one roof, and it's not your class reunion.

When you tire from dance exhaustion, sing along with dueling pianists and then see live rhythm-and-blues and jazz musicians, (mock) gamble, and play air hockey and pool -- and it's not a gambling cruise trip.

City Streets provides the atmosphere for adult entertainment for all moods under one roof.

Mike Steinmann, managing partner of City Entertainment Concepts, Ltd., officially opened City Streets at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Galleria Chamber of Commerce February 9.

"Our appreciation goes out to the hundreds of workers, artists and managers who have created City Streets in just nine weeks of intense construction," Steinmann said.

"In early December we set the goal of opening before the 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and tonight we are proud to make that challenge come true."

The cornerstone of City Streets' six differently-themed clubs is the return of the Rose, one of the most popular and successful clubs in Houston.

Due to the popularity of country-and-western music in the local area, more floor space has been dedicated to the Rose than other venues.

The Rose features the latest in country-and-western music, videos and live performers. Center attraction is the 18-by-20-foot colossal video screen.

"We believe our video projection system is the biggest and brightest of any club in the country," Steinmann said.

The other clubs offer variable environments.

"After tiring of one scene, it is no longer necessary to get back into your car and drive from one club to another when everything you could imagine and more is right here under one roof,"Steinmann said.

The Blue Monkey is a blues club featuring the Blue Monkeys, a live house band, and the decor of old-style Chicago, with a 2700-pound concrete gorilla dressed in a tuxedo.

Stray Cats is home to dueling sing-a-long pianists in a Mardi Gras setting.

Atlantis, a futuristic, nautical-themed dance club, features music from the '70s and '80s.

The Green Room offers mock-gambling, billiards and a private-club atmosphere.

In addition, the Midway is a sports bar with television monitors, billiards, air hockey and electronic games.

Jim Cardenas, City Streets director of promotions, said customer feedback has been positive.

"I enjoy the country music that is played in the Rose," junior Noe Garza said. "But when I want a change, I can go to the Blue Monkey or watch the sing-a-longs in the piano bar."

"I also can go upstairs and dance to the disco."

The new multi-level, 30,000-square-foot entertainment center, which opened February 9, is located at Richmond Avenue and Post Oak Boulevard.

City Streets is open Tuesday through Sunday, with weekly specials on cover and drinks.

Dress is casual; patrons must be 21 to enter the club. A single cover charge allows customers to wander through the various clubs at City Streets.

For more information, call 840-8555.

 

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VOLUNTEER YOUR HANDS AND HEART OVER BREAK

by Roslyn Lang

Daily Cougar Staff

Are you looking for an alternative to partying, beaches, hangovers and traveling this spring break?

Grab some gloves, a sturdy pair of shoes and some old clothes, and volunteer to help build a house. Or donate some of your culinary skills to the soup kitchen downtown, said Andrea Frazier, the alternative spring break coordinator for the Metropolitan Volunteer Program.

Tools will be provided for those who want to volunteer their time and energy on either (or both) of two Saturdays during spring break, she said: March 18 and March 25.

"Hundreds of volunteer hours are needed to build houses for people who live at or near the poverty level," Frazier said. MVP is joining forces with the Houston Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that goes into the community to help build homes for those in need, she said.

If house-building is not for you, MVP volunteers can also sign up to prepare and serve food at the soup kitchen downtown, Frazier said. Volunteers will be working at the soup kitchen during the lunch hours Thursday, March 23, she said.

Frazier said MVP will be holding a safety orientation for students interested in the house-building project from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 16 in the large conference room in Campus Activities.

MVP asks that interested students commit to four or five hours volunteering for one or both activities. For more information on alternative spring break, call MVP at 743-5200.

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UH STUDENT RECOGNIZED FOR CLEVER COSTUME

by Christen Hanlon

Daily Cougar Staff

Laurie Sparks, a senior theater major, is very excited to have received both an award and a certificate of excellence from the Texas Educational Theatre Association this January for her costume design for this season's production of <I>Antigone<P>. Schools from all over Texas, such as St. Edwards, the University of Texas, Texas Tech, the University of Texas-El Paso and Sam Houston, competed with the University of Houston in this contest, which featured categories in costume design, sets and lighting.

The award is given each year to two high school students, two undergraduate and two graduate students from Texas. These students are rewarded with certificates for their accomplishments, as well as cash prizes for outstanding design.

Laurie began her design work as part of a costume-design class offered last year by Claremarie Verheyen, Professor of Costume and make-up at UH. Laurie designed one of the spring productions for the Edward Albee Workshops and was asked to design one of the mainstay productions this year for UH. "Considering it was the first time to have designed on this scale, it really inspired me, and the work was really good experience," Sparks said about what it meant to her to receive the awards.

Laurie's design was influenced by many factors. First and foremost, Carolyn Boone, director of <I>Antigone<P> and professor of acting and directing at UH, requested that costumes be both modern and reminiscent of traditional Greek styling. Ideas were taken from both Greek statues and the "M-TV" generation.

Another consideration was the need for the costumes to be movement-oriented. Finally, the use of the entire cast as a chorus, from which individual characters could be pulled out and differentiated while still remaining tied to the unit, was accomplished by uniformity of color and fabric with differences in individual styling and accessories. Because the costumes Sparks designed for <I>Antigone<P> were not set in any particular period, Sparks said she might like to try to design something from a slightly different perspective in the future. "I think it would be interesting to design something for a more specific time period, possibly the 30s or the Victorian era," Sparks said.

Sparks also added that many students are not aware that a costume-design specialization is offered at UH under the theater major. "Many people don't think of UH as a university that has a costume-design program. What people are beginning to realize is that we have one and it is a great one," Sparks said.

For those interested in seeing Spark's <I>Antigone<P> creations first-hand, a display is set up in the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre until March 10, but you'll have to wait until the summer to see what her future creations will hold. The theater major has been asked to design for the children's theater festival for the Renaissance Cultural and Performing Arts Center this summer at Texas Southern University.

Although <I>Antigone<P> is no longer showing at UH, the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre will soon be presenting its next play, <I>The Dining Room<P>, which will run from April 7 through April 15. Tickets are $8 for general admission, $7 for faculty and staff and $6 for students. For general information or tickets to the play, call 743-2929.

 

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MORON MADISON MAKES MIRTH

<I>Billy Madison<P>

Star: Adam Sandler

Director: Tamra Davis

Stars: 2 1/2

Stephen Stelmak

Daily Cougar Staff

Not bigger than life, but big enough for grade school, <I>Billy Madison<P> hits the big screen.

Billy Madison is a funny and surprisingly likeable character. More surprising is that the writers refrain from rehashing old <I>Saturday Night Live<P> characters in this film.

Adam Sandler plays a rich, childish brat who drinks all day by the pool with his perpetually intoxicated friends. For a little fun, they sometimes get a bag of doggie doo and set it on fire on an old man's porch. Billy's father and his business associates understandably think that Billy is an idiot and is unable to take over the family hotel business.

After finding out that he never passed school because his father paid off his teachers, Billy comes up with his solution to the problem. To prove to them that he is a competent individual, he decides to takes a crash course in the grades his father paid for. For this, Billy has to go all the way back to the first grade.

The premise of getting to go back to school from grade one and do things over is appealing and is executed surprisingly well. During his quest to repeat his schooling, Billy meets Miss Vaughn, who is his third-grade teacher. He develops a schoolboy crush on her, giving the movie a boy meets girl, boy irritates girl, subplot.

The cast of supporting characters in Billy Madison's life is somewhat stereotypical, but many characters are also diverse and bizarre, making the movie more interesting than one might suspect.

Because of Billy's attraction to Miss Vaughn, a lot of time is spent with the third-grade kids. The kids giggle at bad words and are pretty similar to real-life kids. In all the grades, the filmmakers surround Billy with kids who refrain from being sticky-sweet, which adds a lot to the movie.

A simple plot with a bit of humor is all one should expect, and <I>Billy Madison<P> will deliver. It's not a wholesome movie or a brain teaser, but the movie is not vulgar or offensive. A good movie to see with a date or anyone who went through grade school or high school in the 80s, <I>Billy Madison<P> is what you might expect and a little more.

 

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COLE A <I>HARBINGER<P> OF THINGS TO COME

Paula Cole will open for Sarah McLachlan on Sunday at the Music Hall to promote her debut album, <I>Harbinger<P>.

Photo by Michael Halsband/Imago

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

Like most musicians, Paula Cole does not like being compared to other singers and songwriters, but it is impossible to listen to her music without conjuring up images of Kate Bush or Sarah McLachlan, for whom Cole will be opening on Sunday at the Houston Music Hall.

On Sunday, Cole will be promoting her debut album, <I>Harbinger<P>.

"I love that word because it's full of possibilities," Cole said. "It's a symbol of something to come within myself."

If this is simply a symbol of more to come from Cole, watch out. Cole's red-velvet voice, combined with her lyrics of self-confession, makes an intensely emotional album.

Her voice seems to resonate as if she is singing at an opera house, and songs like "Watch the Woman's Hands" sound much like Bush did on her song "Running up That Hill." Interestingly enough, Cole's album was produced by Kevin Killen, the same person who produced Bush's album.

It is also obvious, when listening to Cole sing, that she had strong jazz influences. She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, listening to blues music or picking at a guitar. Cole attended Boston's Berklee School of Music where she studied jazz singing. However, the 26-year-old has moved away from jazz to her own style of musical revelation.

"I didn't want to be a keeper of (the) flame of a dying art form. (Jazz) was best when it was considered rebel music," Cole said. "I didn't want to be echoing something from 50 years ago and not doing it as well. The point is to say something fresh."

The freshness that Cole captures springs from her honest lyrics. "I've been waiting all my life to say these things; they're literally a diary entry," Cole said. "I looked at phrases, matched them to music and stretched them into a song."

Songs like "Happy Home" and "Black Boots" make the listeners feel like they are taking a peek at Cole's life -- at her innermost thoughts. "I remember the pain in my mother's eyes / I remember the pain of her compromise years ago. / I always wanted to help to make it go away, / I didn't know it was her freedom that she needed so," Cole sings in "Happy Home."

Cole tells of prejudice in songs such as "Hitler's Brothers," and songs like "I am so Ordinary" and "Garden of Eden" are a religious experience not just for Cole, but for the listener, too.

In several of Cole's songs, she sings about her mother and her childhood. In "Bethlehem," when Cole sings about living in a small town, we cannot help but feel sorry for this insecure teenager who sings, "Now I'm only 16 and I think I have an ulcer / I'm hiding my sex behind a dirty sweatshirt / I've lost five pounds these past few days / Trying to be class president and get straight A's, well / Who gives a shit anyway / I want to be a dog or a lump of clay."

Perhaps the best song on this album is "Chiaroscuro," which means the relationship of darkness and light in a painting or pictorial setting. With Erik Friedlander playing the cello and Mark Hutchins and Laura Seaton playing the violin, the listener can visualize the masterpieces by such artists as Van Gogh and Rembrandt, among others who Cole sings about.

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<I>SHALLOW GRAVE<P> FILLED WITH DARK HUMOR AND VIOLENCE

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by Deanna Koshkin

Daily Cougar Staff

<I>Shallow Grave<P>, playing at Landmark's River Oaks 3, defies the conventions of the artsy film genre with its black humor and violence.

The film begins as three roommates search for a fourth roommate to share their apartment. The three roommates -- Juliet, played by Kerry Fox; David, played by Christopher Eccleston; and Alex, played by Ewan McGregor -- have trouble finding a roommate who is not a "freak or loser." After interviewing a whole slew of people, they finally decide on a man named Hugo, who seems relatively down-to-earth.

The day after he moves in, the three roommates discover Hugo dead in his room. After searching his room, they find his drug stash. Juliet, a doctor, declares that he has apparently had a massive drug overdose.

Next, they discover underneath his bed a large suitcase overflowing with money and deduce that he was a mobster.

After a brief debate, they decide that they will keep the money; however, in order to keep the money, they must do away with the body.

They decide that, in order to dispose of the body, they must chop off his hands and feet and bash in his face and teeth so that he will be unrecognizable. They bury him in a shallow grave and take his hands and feet to an incinerator.

Shortly after his traumatic experience with Hugo, David moves into the attic, where he punches small holes into the floor so that he can see what is going on at all times. Soon enough, David becomes a raving lunatic as the roommates attempt to deal with the aftershock.

The story unfolds as the trio slowly grows more and more paranoid. Finally, the movie explodes in a fit of dismemberment and insanity as all the roommates try to get their hands on the money.

This movie definitely has an interesting storyline, but its sick and twisted path is sure to make your stomach turn. Though there is not much bloodshed, this movie has a very high element of horror and disgust. Directed by Danny Boyle, this British film has a bizarre, intriguing plot that you should definitely avoid if you have a weak stomach.

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