UH EMPLOYEES INDICTED ON FELONY CHARGES

by Roslyn Lang

Daily Cougar Staff

Deborah Davis had been a University of Houston employee since April 14, 1980. She was fired and escorted off campus by UHPD three weeks ago under suspicion of stealing funds from library copy card machines, said Geri Konigsberg, UH director of Media Relations.

That suspicion turned into an indictment Monday as she and Dionee Renee Landry, also a UH employee, were indicted on separate felony charges, said

District Attorney John Brook.

Davis was an accounting clerk for the copy center at M.D. Anderson Library, and was indicted for allegedly stealing $71,100 worth of deposits from copy card machines from June 1, 1987 through Aug. 31, 1994, Brook said.

Landry, an office manager for academic support services, was indicted for alleged fraudulent overtime payments totaling $2,724.78 from Oct. 21, 1992 to Nov. 15, 1994, he said.

UHPD Lt. John Heron said the women were indicted right before lunch. He said it takes a day or so for warrants to be issued, and the earliest the arrests would be made is today.

The sheriff's office notifies people by registered mail that a warrant has been issued for their arrest. The women could turn themselves in to the county sheriff's office to be processed (fingerprints and photos) and post

a "no arrest bond," Heron said.

Konigsberg said both incidents were discovered during routine operation of the departments. In the copy card machine case, it was obvious funds were missing from the decline in the amount of money being deposited, she said.

UHPD was called in to investigate possible ways the missing funds could have been taken, Konigsberg said.

The possibility that students were making fake copy cards was ruled out, and concentration on employees led to a lengthy process of examining bank records of the suspected employee, Konigsberg said.

Brook said people in the library had suspicions of theft by an employee, which prompted UHPD to monitor the situation by putting marked money into the machine.

 

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PROPOSED MOVING OF NASA ENGINEERS A THREAT TO HOUSTON

by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

The threat of moving the engineering component of the Johnson Space Center to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., could cost UH and UH-Clear Lake millions of dollars and, more importantly, some say, the needed intellectual interaction having the space center so close provides.

The proposed changes, which include moving shuttle program managers and engineers to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., could cost the Houston area 3,500 to 7,000 engineers and physicists, said UH-CL President Glenn Goerke. Some estimates claim that as many as 21,000 jobs may be lost should the proposed changes go through.

"If it's in Alabama, it's the University of Alabama who's got access," Goerke said.

UH has two ongoing projects that work directly with JSC: the Space Epitaxy Center and the Institute for Space Systems Operations Institute, which has recently initiated a post doctoral fellowship program with JSC.

"We've got a cooperative program we're just starting. A team of UH professors from five different departments and the energy lab will help choose JSC projects," said David Criswell, ISSO director.

The colleges of engineering, pharmacology, optometry, natural sciences and mathematics and the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management are participating in a program that will send five to six post-doctoral fellows to work at JSC 70 percent of the time, while they spend the remaining time on campus.

Criswell said the moving of JSC will not affect this program too much.

"This is not to downplay the seriousness of the proposals," he added.

Criswell said the major damage, should the move go through, will be in terms of research dollars lost both at UH and in the Houston area.

He said JSC is the largest research institution in the state, larger in fact, than any public university.

According to 1991 figures, JSC spent $250 million in research: one-quarter of combined public university expenditure in research for the same year.

Alex Ignatiev, director of the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center, said the major problem, should JSC move, is the lack of interaction between UH and JSC.

"We receive funds from JSC, but it's not the funding. They give us a lot of time and effort," he said.

Ignatiev said the moves are largely political. "It's political to an extent so NASA can say they've made the political changes and like, like nice guys."

But NASA needs to look at the long term, he added.

Georke said efforts are already under way to prevent the move.

"We began to put pressure to be absolutely sure we don't lose 7,000 jobs," he said.

"Texas has 32 votes; Alabama only has eight," he said with noted optimism.

UH President James H. Pickering said,"What you have is the intellectual infrastructure that put UH on the map. To have that taken away would be really unfortunate."

 

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NEW CONFERENCE NAME REVEALED AFTER LONG WAIT

BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL TELEVISION PACKAGES TO BRING $30 MILLION IN REVENUE

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Way back on September 23, the University of Houston officially announced it would join a new conference home.

This announcement came after more than seven months of pondering where the university was headed after the breakup of the Southwest Conference following the 1995-96 school year.

And now, after six months and one day of waiting, that new conference finally revealed its name Monday.

Conference USA was the name given to Houston's new 12-member league that begins play in Fall 1995, with UH joining it in 1996-97.

Houston will be affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Cincinnati, DePaul University, Marquette University, the University of Memphis, Saint Louis University, the University of Louisville, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of South Florida and Tulane University.

"This (announcement) represents an unprecedented good faith effort by university officials to developing a conference that will serve all our constituents, students, fans, alumni, athletes, coaches, faculty and staff," said University of Memphis President Lane Rawlins in a live press conference shown via satellite on the Prime Sports Network from Harry Caray's restaurant in Chicago.

Rawlins, who is also the chairman of the C-USA Board of Directors, said in order for the conference to succeed with its plans formulated over the last nine months, it was important that the league set forth some attainable objectives.

Topping the list was "building a conference that would capitalize on the current strength in the sport of basketball and providing opportunities to be even better," Rawlins said.

The NCAA sent 10 of C-USA's members to men's basketball postseason play last season, be it the NCAA or National Invitational Tournament.

"If this league had been together last year, we would've sent six men's teams to the NCAA Tournament and six women's teams to the NCAA Tournament," said current Great Midwest Conference and newly appointed C-USA commissioner Michael L. Slive.

"That figure would have tied the most for any other conference in the country," he said.

However, men's and women's basketball are just two of the 18 total sports (football will begin play when UH joins the league in 1996) that will be sponsored by the conference beginning next season.

And with the C-USA's abundance of sports for both men and women, the new sports coming to Houston will include men's soccer, men's tennis, women's golf and women's soccer. Rifle shooting will be a combined sport.

The conference is already eligible for NCAA participation via the automatic bid in four sports, which are women's basketball, volleyball, baseball and men's soccer.

Men's basketball will receive the automatic bid privilege in 1997.

Basketball is also the only sport in the conference which will be broken up into three separate divisions: red, white and blue.

Houston will be grouped in the white division with Louisville, Memphis and UNC-Charlotte.

The red division will team South Florida, Tulane, UAB and Southern Mississippi together.

Cincinnati, DePaul, St. Louis and Marquette will play in the blue division.

The three division champions and the non-division champion (wild card) with the best record will all receive byes for the March conference tournaments to be played in Memphis next season and in Louisville in 1997.

The league has also put together basketball and football television packages that account for more than $30 million in revenues over the next six years.

The C-USA reached a six-year agreement with Creative Sports in association with ESPN in March for basketball. The $13 million deal guarantees the conference a weekly spot on ESPN's Thursday night basketball and a telecast of both C-USA basketball tournament championship games.

ESPN2 has also added C-USA telecasts to its Sunday night broadcasts, which includes select other women's events.

"This package will pay great dividends for the league and it will pay great dividends for ESPN," said network college sports program director Dave Brown.

Football agreed on a five-year package with Liberty Sports, which guarantees the conference a Saturday appearance opposite teams in the Big-12 and Pacific-10 conferences as part of a college football weekly tripleheader.

"Conference USA is by far the best best of option for the university," said UH Athletic Director Bill Carr. "I have no second thoughts about other things that we may have been able to do (with finding another conference)."

 

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CONFERENCE USA SPECIAL

IT'S FINALLY TIME TO MOVE ON, COUGARS

IT TOOK A WHILE, BUT THE FUTURE HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN

By Daniel Scholl

 

Well, they finally did it. They gave the future of UH athletics a name: Conference USA.

How exciting.

I know I should read more excited than I do, but what can I say except, it's about time.

When I was about to become sports editor almost a year ago, there was much speculation about what would become of UH and its fledgling athletic program. The talk around the sports-reporting scene was that there would be a raid of the better schools of the Metro and Great Midwest conferences.

The Daily Cougar's own Chris Pena was the first person I know to suggest such a plan. For months, that was all anyone except UH officials would talk about. There was even a joke between a writer from the now-defunct Houston Post and myself that when everybody did decide where UH was headed, the entire press corps at the media conference would stand up and say, "We know," and leave.

I could never understand all the foot-dragging and secrecy surrounding the future of UH. Same thing with the name. Did it really take all this time to come up with Conference USA? I can't imagine that it did. Ditto for the logo.

If it didn't really take months to come up with the name, then that means the founders were doing the same thing UH did: Keeping everything wrapped up.

I sit here at my keyboard and try to imagine the reasons everybody might have for being so secretive about the new conference (sorry, I mean Conference USA). It seems to me that everyone would be proud of their new home. After all, there's going to be some bad-ass basketball played in the upcoming years. And UH will be right in the middle of it.

I have long maintained that this university needs to focus on basketball as its main sport. Everyone seems to think that because Houston is in the state of Texas, football has to be king.

Well, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Conference USA is going to be the premiere basketball league in the nation. And UH is not only part of it, but very closely related to the schools that form it.

Most of these schools have prestigious basketball backgrounds, and football takes second. Most of these schools also are located in a major city and could be considered urban universities.

So UH, together with these schools, should find a place in college sports that has never been occupied before: an all-sport conference that is dominated by basketball and is made up of nontraditional student bodies because of an inner-city location.

Wow, UH is actually on the cutting edge of something. It has taken bold strides to go where no conference has ever gone before. Because UH is a nontraditional school, it only makes sense that it should join a nontraditional conference – and it even has a name now.

So there is much for UH to jump for joy about, as well as the other schools in the C-USA. (Wow, again! That's the first time I've ever used the acronym. I feel goose bumps.)

Again, I find myself (after a long digression) wondering why it seems there has always been a shroud of mystery around the new league – I mean C-USA. (Old habits die hard; I may always think of it as the <I>new conference<P>.)

Maybe they should have called it the Mystery Conference (although the most intriguing thing about Conference USA are the possible sponsors).

It would have seemed appropriate that the USA Network could have gotten the television contract (although I guess ESPN was a little bit more lucrative) and of course the federal government is always another possible sponsor, what with all that USA stuff it does.

If sponsorship was the key to name (which seems to be a popular trend these days), they could have chosen something like the Big Middle-American Conference, called it the Big MAC and signed up some sort of fast-food chain as a sponsor.

Or maybe it could have been called the All-Sports Conference, since that seemed to be the key for these football independents, and let it be sponsored by a sports drink of some sort.

But all kidding aside, it's called Conference USA, and UH finally has a home with a name. Hoops are going to reign supreme as UH takes a fast break into the future of college athletics.

In case you haven't noticed, college basketball is very popular, and it seems to just keep on gaining popularity.

And in case you also haven't noticed, the Cougars' uniforms look really bad-ass. These two variables can combine to mean better recognition and higher enrollments, which could mean: Move over Duke, the Cougars are about to stir things up.

Scholl is a senior who used to think the new conference would never find a name.

 

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SCHEDULE-MAKERS GRANT UH 'SEEMINGLY EASY' DH VS. CRUSADERS

2-GAME SET STARTS

AT 3 P.M. TODAY

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

Maybe the schedule-makers for the Houston Cougars baseball team felt that this late in the season, the club was due a break from nationally ranked opponents and former College World Series champions.

Maybe the makers knew that the Cougars would have had enough ups and downs for one season enough to reward them with a seemingly easy game, especially after a heart-breaking, extra-inning 4-3 loss to No. 10 Oklahoma, last year's NCAA champion.

Regardless of why or how, the 21-25 Cougars will play a doubleheader against the little-known Incarnate Word College Crusaders today at the new Cougar Field at 3 p.m.

The Crusaders have had an excellent season this year, posting a 27-14 record, including a 5-5 record against Division I-A opponents.

The Cougars have experienced a sudden offensive flurry as of late with four starters now hitting at or above the .300 mark for the season.

Third baseman Tom Maleski leads the team with a .323 average, followed closely by first baseman Carlos Perez's .319 clip and powerful .546 slugging percentage.

Perez also has a team season-high nine-game hitting streak going into today's twin bill.

Shortstop Jason Smiga, who hit .271 last season at Sam Houston State and is known more for his defensive skills, has pulled his batting average up to .300, including 12 doubles. Smiga is tied for fourth on the team in average with Jason Farrow, who is also hitting .300.

To go along with teammate Perez's hitting spurt, Farrow, last week's Southwest Conference Player of the Week, has hit safely in six straight games.

Crusaders lefthander Colby Martin (2-4, 6.34 ERA) will be on the mound in the first game today and try and quiet those Cougars bats. The nightcap's starter has still yet to be determined by head coach Steve Heying.

The Cougars, however, will counter with senior righty Brad Towns (2-1, 5.34) in game one and freshman John McDonald (3-3, 5.40) in game two.

Both Houston pitchers should be challenged by a Crusaders team that has hit the ball well this season.

Right fielder Brady Fontenot comes into today's games with a .390 average, 41 runs and a team-leading 17 stolen bases while playing in the Heart of Texas Conference.

Nichols State transfer Ryan Gabriel has helped the Crusaders' infield this year with good defense at second base and a strong .344 batting average.

Shortstop Scott Heying (.350, 48 hits), son to the Crusaders' head coach, and catcher Phillip Vincent (.330, 28 RBIs) have also done well at the plate.

 

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UT LEADS GOLF CLASSIC AS FIVE PLAYERS TIED FOR TOP INDIVIDUAL SPOT

Cougar sports services

The No. 14 Houston golf team stands in a third-place tie with No. 8 Texas Christian behind No. 2 Texas and Texas A&M following Monday's first-day results of the Southwest Conference Championships played on the Old Orchard Golf Course in Richmond.

The Cougars and Horned Frogs shot a 588 to the Longhorns' 583 and the Aggies' 587.

However, the top five individual spots are all knotted in a first-place tie.

The Horned Frogs Deron Zinnecker, the Cougars' Lance Combrink and Anders Hansen, Texas' Brad Elder and A&M's Antony Rodriguez all tallied 143 strokes following first- and second-round action Monday.

"I felt I played pretty solid, Hansen said. "But I still could have done a couple of things better today.

"If I had made some must-make puts, I could have helped myself out and done better."

Houston coach Mike Dirks said that even though the Cougars' chances are still good on coming out on top of the meet, he wasn't satisfied with some of the things that panned out.

"It was kind of a feast or famine situation for us today, going from an even par to 12-over," Dirks said.

Houston's Chris Borgen, who had won the All-American Intercollegiate Invitational April 11 at the same course as Monday's championships, finished second-round competition in a tie for 18th with teammate Lawrence O'Neil (151 strokes).

The Cougars, Longhorns, and Horned Frogs led the way for the conference, placing four in the top 20 while A&M placed three.

Baylor, which stands in at last place (622 strokes) going into today's final day of competition, placed golfers only as high as 28th. Teammates Trey Watley and Graham Lynch both tied for that spot shooting a 156.

 

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A STORY OF WAR, WASTE AND WISDOM

by Sarah M. Myers

Contributing Writer

For the first time in the 22 years that I've known him, I saw my father cry last night.

He turned 72 this summer. His curly brown hair has finally begun to let the gray predominate. He is starting to walk with a bit of a bend and a shuffle of his feet. He is considered an "old" dad for someone my age.

Though in years he is old, he is "younger" in spirit than many of my friends' young dads. He still works every day. He still plays tennis every chance he gets. Most importantly, he lives a full life, while many of his peers have given up. He is strong, and I've never seen him in a weak moment.

He was in World War II. We have his Army photograph in a frame on a table in the living room. I've always known that he was in the war. Maybe I didn't care. Maybe I didn't listen. But mostly, he never talked about it. I've never heard a war story. I've never heard him reminisce. I've never heard those stories usually associated with old veterans.

With the 50th anniversary of the war, I decided that the time was appropriate. So I asked.

He started by telling me about when he joined up. My dad said that he didn't wait to be drafted. When the United States became involved in the war, he enlisted. "That was the thing to do. The thing to be was a soldier," he said.

He was a law student at the University of Chicago. He waited for the spring term to end, and then he went to boot camp.

His military service began at Army-Air Force basic training in St. Petersburg, Fla. From there, he was assigned to photo and aerial mapping school at Lowery Field in Denver, Colo.

When his training was through, he joined the 25th squadron as part of the Photo Reconnaissance Wing. He went on board the <I>New Amsterdam<P> and headed for Port Moresby, New Guinea. He recalls that there were 55,000 troops aboard the ship. He said, "They were jammed and packed in there like sardines."

On their approach to New Guinea, the air space was dominated by the Japanese air force. He remembered it was not safe for the ship to make it all the way to New Guinea.

Time seemed to escape his account completely. He said, "I was there two and a half years, three. I don't know." However, because he was a map-maker, he can give detailed accounts of where they were, where they stopped, and how they got there.

His job was to make maps of places for which there were no maps. "Originally, they did not have good maps when I was in New Guinea. In order to be able to have an army, you have to know the terrain, the depth of water for ships and all that kind of stuff. So they used photography -- low-light photography and color photography -- to determine all that," he explained.

He remembered that before the first marine division invaded the Admiralty Islands, part of his job was to photograph all of the islands. This allowed the United States the ability to find the safest place to land. "With scales and mathematics, we could map things very accurately -- probably within a quarter of a mile of accuracy," he remarked.

While he was in the Army, a plane (the P38) was developed that had three cameras attached to it. It could take three pictures simultaneously. "They could take pictures better than we could. We used to hang out of bombers and take the shots. They went much faster and did a better job," he said. Therefore, there was no longer a need for him to do that type of photography.

He was sent to a casual camp in Manila for a few weeks and then assigned to an air evaluation board. There he was made an aerial and still photographer in a photo team. Each team was made of three men. There was a cinematographer, a still photographer, and an officer who was in charge. The evaluation board had nine photo teams. Of the 27 men, only seven made it through the war unscathed.

He said, "The officers were usually ones who had failed in combat and weren't competent or something, so they had to be assigned somewhere. I felt that we had a lot of people who hadn't quite made it."

The groups would wait until the Army, Navy or Marines would bomb or attack somewhere. "We would get these photo assignments, maybe to go into the air strip before the troops got there, to take pictures of what the damage was," he explained. He said they had different assignments. Sometimes they would go on bombing missions and snap photographs. They would also go out with the troops. "Once they stopped bombing, then the troops would go forward. We would go with them to photograph the effectiveness of war power. What did it do? Did it kill people? Destroy people?" he said.

He recalls waiting on the beach at the Tacloban air strip in the Philippines. He and his partner were waiting to get dinner. He could see the Liberty ships bringing supplies in. Suddenly, the Japanese planes started flying in. This was the first time they had dealt with a Japanese kamikaze pilot attack.

His partner was an older man by the name of Clark Fear. "Clark was a Hollywood photographer. He was a real serious photo guy. I was just a kid; I wasn't too serious about it. He always had his cameras. Always took pictures," recollected my father.

Clark pulled out his camera and captured the planes diving into all the ships. His footage of that event was used for years. He remarked, "I stood right next to him as he took the clip."

He explained that the photographers' job was mainly to observe. However, if there was a battle and they were there, they had no choice but to be involved.

He remembers when they encountered the Japanese in a town called Umingan. The Japanese tanks, hidden in rice fields, opened fire on them. He remembered being called to retreat. Everyone ran for the ditch. He started crawling on his hands and knees. He remembered that he crawled for about a half-mile and then, he said, "I just said 'the hell with it.' " He stood up and started walking. "I thought, if they're gonna shoot me, let them shoot me. You get to that point; you don't care anymore."

"I had some experiences. You know, I was very frightened. You are away from home, you're away from everything. You want to stay alive. There is a time when you don't care if you live or die. You didn't know what you were doing."

He went on to say, "I don't know what the mental effects of all that were. The intellectual effect is (the idea) that armies are very inefficient. There are reasons that they do what they do, but there is a tremendous amount of stupidity and ignorance. There is a tremendous amount of unnecessary death. There should never be a war. It's just ignorant. These macho guys who want to go out there and fight just don't understand; they haven't experienced it."

When he returned from the war, he re-enrolled in the university. "I (spent) one day there and left. For whatever reasons, I couldn't go back," he said.

At the end of our talk, my dad told me a story about when he was in the Philippines. He said that, for a while, his commanding officer was a man named Fritz. Fritz would get alcohol from one of the medical units, under pretense of using it for developing pictures. Fritz mixed the alcohol with lemon juice and drank it all the time. Along with being drunk and not doing his job, my dad said that he was an anti-semitic.

My dad remembered, "He said something to me like 'Yeah, that's pretty good for a Jew boy.' I got so mad at him. I knew that he was pretty ignorant and dumb and wasn't a bad person, but ... I had a revolver. I took out the revolver and I took him and knocked him out. I put him in the back of the jeep and drove him to the cemetery. At gunpoint, I showed him every Star of David marker of the Jewish people who had died. Shortly after that, he died. I always felt bad about that."

I asked him how Fritz died. He said he was shot with a bullet. When I asked him if he was there, his voice started to crack, and he said, "Yes, a lot of people got killed. War is a terrible, terrible thing. A terrible thing."

Then he abruptly stood up, rubbed his eyes and said, "That's enough of this shit. Let's not talk about it anymore." Then he walked away.

What else he saw, and still remains in his mind and heart, I guess I will never know.

 

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<I>WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING<P> QUIRKY, NOT TOO SWEET

SANDRA BULLOCK PLAYS CHICAGO SUBWAY EMPLOYEE LUCY MODERATZ IN THE ROMANTIC COMEDY <I>WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING<P>.

Photo by Michael P. Weinstein

by Joey Guerra

Daily Cougar Staff

Whether you love 'em or loathe 'em, date movies are a force to be reckoned with in the film industry. Beginning with the $100 million-plus success of <I>Sleepless In Seattle<P>, directors have poured on the sweetness like syrup on a pancake. While a few of these movies push all the right romantic buttons, some of them leave a bitter taste in your mouth. (Remember <I>Made In America<P>?)

Luckily, the latest entry in the date movie category is a real sweetheart. Taking a cue from that other "sleep" movie, <I>While You Were Sleeping<P> is one of the more enjoyable romantic comedies in recent memory. The improbably quirky plot is kept moving by a number of favorable factors, including a refreshing absence of the sickeningly sweet factor that pervades many of these films. Appealing performances and sharp direction by John Turteltaub also make the film well worth the price of admission.

Sandra Bullock is the epitome of cuteness as Lucy Moderatz, a lonely woman who works as a subway token collector for the Chicago Transit Authority. Lucy's life is simple: her job, her apartment and her cat. The only excitement in her life is the handsome stranger she sees every day at work. While Lucy can't quite work up the nerve to actually speak to him, she is convinced that he is the man of her dreams. So, when he is mugged and falls into the path of an oncoming train one fateful morning, Lucy doesn't hesitate to save his life.

The trouble begins when she visits him at the hospital, where he is lying in a coma. Through a series of humorous mix-ups, Lucy is mistaken for the fiancee of the dream man, who has been identified by his family as Peter Callaghan (Peter Gallagher). Peter's family, including father Ox (Peter Boyle), mother Midge (Micole Mercurio) and mother-in-law Elsie (Glynis Johns, in a hilarious performance), immediately embraces Lucy and the opportunity to re-enter their estranged lawyer-son's life.

Suspicions arise when Peter's brother Jack (Bill Pullman) arrives. He is immediately wary of Lucy and tests her knowledge of Peter. ("What's his favorite ice cream? Favorite baseball team?") As Lucy attempts to ward off Jack's questions, she finds herself liking him more and more. He also feels a strong attraction, and as the two get to know each other better, Lucy begins to wonder if Mr. Perfect really is Mr. Right.

<I>While You Were Sleeping<P> takes a potentially corny premise and turns it into a lighthearted whim of a movie. That's not to say it is simple-minded. Rather, it deals with relationships not only between couples but within families, and the need we all have for belonging and being loved. While Peter's family becomes a part of his life through Lucy, it also becomes an integral part of Lucy's life -- she can finally belong and stop being alone. (Both her parents have passed away.) Like she tells the family in one of the final scenes, "I fell in love ... with all of you."

As Lucy, Bullock gives an appealing, star-making performance and proves her ability to carry a film. She makes Lucy a sweet, sympathetic character whom we root for throughout the story. Her acting is natural and relaxed. As Jack, Pullman is uncharacteristically motivated and gives one of his best performances. It's refreshing to see him in a likeable leading role. Gallagher's character is unconscious for most of the movie, but he makes the most of his spoken parts. His velvety voice and good looks make it easy to see why Lucy was smitten with him.

Another plus comes from the supporting players. As mentioned, Johns is comic perfection as Elsie, the wise-cracking mother-in-law. Her erratic quips provide for many laughs. Jack Warden is also good as Saul, an old family friend who sees Lucy as a good thing for the Callaghans, regardless of her true identity. Mercurio shines as Mr. Coma's mother, and Michael Rispoli is affectingly sweet and smarmy as Joe Jr., Lucy's seemingly slimy neighbor who is determined to win her heart (or cop a feel, whichever comes first).

When it comes down to it, this movie really has a whole lotta heart. Belonging, especially where you are wanted, is a great feeling, and <I>While You Were Sleeping<P> shows how one person can bring a host of others closer together.

Fueled by a great ensemble cast and Bullock's undeniable charm, this is great fun for anyone who loves date movies. Don't expect too many surprises, though. After all, this is a big, commercial, boy-meets-girl love story, and a happy ending is not only expected, it's required, damnit! Even if you're not a fan of comedic romances, give this one a chance. Be sure to stay awake, though, because your sweetie just might be swept away <I>While You Were Sleeping<P>.

<I>While You Were Sleeping<P>

Director: John Turteltaub

Stars: Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman

3 stars

 

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RISQUE <I>LA RONDE<P> A HILARIOUS SEXUAL COMEDY

by Ryan Carssow

Contributing Writer

Arthur Schnitzler wrote <I>La Ronde<P> in 1896, nearly 100 years before AIDS invaded society, but the domino effect of the play's characters' sexual promiscuity is a perfect example for modern viewers of how easily the disease can spread.

Actually, there isn't much time to ponder such things during the play, because so much time is spent laughing.

Set in 19th century Vienna, <I>La Ronde<P>, playing at the non-profit Curtains Theater through May 27, is full of subtle, wry humor. The Curtains cast does a decent, sometimes terrific job of portraying the multitude of promiscuous and adulterous characters, who are interwoven through a delightful series of interconnected two-character scenes. Two characters have an affair, after which one of the pair goes off with another in the next scene. This cycle runs throughout.

The play, and the sexual circle, starts and ends with a prostitute, played by 10-year local acting veteran Lori Johnson. She opens the first scene with a soldier (UH theater/RTV major Darrell Womack), looking for this particular lady of the night whom a barracksmate has told him about. Johnson's prostitute returns for the last scene, in which she wakes up after a night with a count (played by her real-life husband, Doug Johnson, who most Houstonians will recognize as the former Channel 2 weatherman).

In between is a collection of sometimes nameless characters, in various scenes, who continue the cycle. The best of these scenes is between a "young gentleman" named Alfred (Derek Cecil) and a "young (married) woman" named Emma. Cecil does an outstanding job as the sexually insecure Alfred. In the preceding scene, Alfred is constantly nagging his housemaid (Lise Liddell) because he finds looking at her arousing. His facial expressions, while trying to conceal his intentions from the housemaid, are hysterical. In the scene with Emma, who turns out to be an unfulfilled wife, Cecil again shows Alfred's angst with terrific facial expressions and body actions to complement well-delivered one-liners in the dialogue.

Throughout the play, dialogue takes a back seat to the characters' actions and expressions, which lead the audience to the one-liners at the end of somewhat meaningless conversations.

Productions of <I>La Ronde<P> were often protested around the turn of the century, and arrests of cast members for obscenity in Germany and Italy led to the banning of the play. However, the suggestiveness of the play is tame by today's standards.

But it is still funny.

 

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ALTERNATIVE ROCK BAND BARKMARKET SCORES WITH <I>LARDROOM<P>

by Frank San Miguel

Contributing Writer

For Barkmarket, New York City's pungent noise peddlers, obtuse is better. Crashing pots and pans, sampled lyrics, ferocious rhythms and 4-track-to-24-track recordings are the band's signature -- and it works.

Somehow, the band manages to stay obtuse but interesting on its new EP, <I>Lardroom<P>.

<I>Lardroom<P> is the oft-delayed follow-up to last year's lovely <I>Gimmick<P>. Before that, Barkmarket helped waylay a niche into the industrial/avant garde rock field with <I>Vegas Throat<P> and a few other obscure releases for industrial/dance labels.

The band's music is solidly alternative rock, but brings in elements of industrial and sampling to create something that is altogether different. Barkmarket's singer, songwriter and producer Dave Sardy coordinates the controlled exercise in musical chaos, and his guidance is what puts <I>Lardroom<P> over the top.

"I Drown" kicks off the five-song EP, summoning a bluesy guitar riff to create a rousing song, deceptively conventional for a band like Barkmarket. The weirdness gets started on cuts like "Pushin' Air," where sounds dart and pounce. Barkmarket is a safe sort of sound -- the music is almost always different yet familiar. "I Drown" is probably the most poignant example of this.

The record seems to go out with a whimper, as the mewling "Johnny Shiv" somehow seems out of place on the recording. Oh well, the record listeners get is still a good one. Score one for Barkmarket.

 

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DURAN DURAN RETURNS A WINNER WITH <I>THANK YOU<P>

by Jim Presnell

Daily Cougar Staff

Duran Duran has made quite a transformation in the past five years.

It has become cool, one of the reasons being the album <I>Notorious<P> and its James Bond movie theme, "A View to a Kill." No longer is the band the province strictly of teeny-boppers. It has grown up.

Such growth evidences itself on <I>Thank You<P>, a compilation of cover tunes that shows the band's true roots.

And these roots are quite eclectic, as only some might expect. There is the title cut, "Thank You," which also appears on the excellent Led Zeppelin tribute <I>Encomium<P> along with the works of artists like Sheryl Crow and Hootie & the Blowfish.

The version here of Elvis Costello's "Watching the Detectives" turns out quite spooky, melancholy and affecting, with strangely haunting keyboard effects.

There's a credible version of Iggy Pop's raucous sing-along, "Success," and a neat take on Bob Dylan's laid-back classic "Lay Lady Lay."

Something on this album will appeal to almost any rock fan. A winner. Roots this strong should be displayed for all to see.

 

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MCMURTRY PROPOSES NEW SA COMMITTEES

by Robert Schoenberger

News Reporter

Student Association senators will be more focused on specific student concerns if SA Senate Speaker Justin McMurtry's new committee system is approved.

The new proposed committees are Parking and Transportation, Information Technology, Facilities Maintenance and Planning, Campus Security, and Enrollment Services.

"What if a student comes in to our office and says, 'Hi, I take night classes and I'm worried about security at night; who can I talk to in SA?' well, we don't have anyone," said McMurtry at Monday's SA Senate meeting.

"In the past, we have not had ourselves organized in a way that we have people accountable for specific issues," said McMurtry. "There may be a problem with senators being all bark and no bite," countered Brad Castello, senator for Business Administration.

Castello argued that senators would not attend smaller committee assignments, and the extra student input would slow down Senate proceedings.

The proposal will be considered by the SA Senate Executive Committee and discussed by senators until next week's meeting, McMurtry said.

"My intention is to have the legislation prepared, introduced and approved at next week's meeting," he said.

The Senate elected new chairpersons to the four standing committees. Brad Castello will chair Internal Affairs. Andrew Becker will head the Committee on University Administration and Finance. Academic Affairs will be run by Andrea Rachiele, and Shane Schiermeier will lead the Committee on Student Life.

Clarissa Peterson urged the Senate to appoint more members to the Undergraduate Council. The council deals with core curriculum and graduation requirements. Up to four students can sit on the council, but now, Peterson is the only one.

In new business, the Senate unanimously approved naming the large conference room in the UC Underground the Consuelo Trevino Conference Room.

Trevino was director of Campus Activities at UH until her death Thursday, April 13.

The bill, UB 32001, was written by Jeff Fuller and sponsored by all senators present at the meeting.

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