January 2000 Issue

On the Cover

The 2000 Bum Steer Awards

A year of asinine actresses, bare-bottomed bongos, curious car washes, dunderheaded deejays, elongated enchiladas, furious filmgoers, Gore goofs, huge hydrants, ice in demand, jettisoned Jagger, kooky Kansans, lecherous legislators, misinformed McDonald's, newsmaker nuts, odorous ocelots, promiscuous passengers, questionable quizzes, ridiculous recipes, speedy sports-team owners, traveling toilets, ubiquitous underwear, vapid vegetarians, wrong W-2s, x-ported x-ecutioners, Y2K y'all, and zaftig Zellweger.



Buy & Sigh

CUSTOMIZED DECORATED CASKETS, ranging from the “Return to Sender” model, painted to resemble a brown-paper package and stamped with the deceased’s final (earthly) destination, to the golfer’s choice (above), “Fairway to Heaven,” depicting an inviting green, from Dallas’ WhiteLight casket company ($3,000 and up).MECHANICAL BULL “for training, for fun, for


Swill & Fill

CINCINNATI CHILI, which contains unsweetened baking chocolate and is served over pasta, as detailed in an article in Texas Monthly’s sister magazine Cincinnati (about $4 a bowl).A SIX-HUNDRED-POUND PUMPKIN, auctioned on eBay to benefit the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children ($2,550).DOUGHNUTS from Donuts-4-U on Commerce Street in Dallas, located


Nail & Fail

Just as George W. Bush’s knowledge has been put to the test, so should that of Bum Steer readers. Answer these questions correctly and you can leave here with a million Bum Steer awards:Part A. World Leaders. How did George W. Bush answer these questions?1. Can you name the president


Scan & Ban

THE CHEATER’S HANDBOOK, by Southern Methodist University graduate Bob Corbett (Regan Press, $12), which explains how to cheat your way through college. “Go with an old beat-up pair of jeans with as many holes as reasonably possible . . . you can write answers directly on your legs and then


A Heavy Weight

In this corner, convicted rapist Tony Ayala of San Antonio—once a rising star of pro boxing, now an ex-convict on the road to redemption. And in this corner, his past—the toughest opponent he's ever faced.


Annie, Get Your Gals!

Various specimens of that celebrated species, the Texas woman, captured on film by photographer Annie Leibovitz, who used to be one herself.


A Murder on Campus

A fraternity, a bid-night party, a random act of violence, an unnatural end: the life and death of Southwest Texas State University junior Nick Armstrong.



Racks to Riches

Can Houston's SuperStand become the Barnes & Noble of magazines: an upscale national chain of superstores catering to affluent, educated consumers? Read all about it.


Mad About Madrid

For an ideal long-weekend destination, try this dusty artists colony 25 miles south of Santa Fe. It's a New Mexican version of Marfa—only a fraction of the size.


Set Piece

How the West was fun: Scenes from the making of Bull-Fighter, an independent film I produced in South Texas.


The Shootist

Dick Lane got to be the best pool player in Texas history by tirelessly honing his technique. Now he wants to improve the sport he loves—but it's a long shot.



Gun Fight

How a ruling by a Texas judge could put the issue of gun control back in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.


State Fare

State Fare

"Deer diary, tonight I had a wonderful venison stew from Hudson's on the Bend outside Austin . . . "

Around the State

Around the State

The Houston Grand Opera tells a long, long story about love, hate, and a problematic potion. Plus: Austin takes note of the state's hottest Latina performers; Dallas and San Antonio direct themselves into the film spotlight; Port Arthur sings "Happy Birthday" to its most famous daughter; and Dallas gets keyed

Book Review

Art of the Boot

Tyler Beard is Texas’—and thus the world’s—top authority on Western wear, and his latest tome is this kicky compendium on the sole of the American West. The author, who lives on a ranch near Goldthwaite, tracks the history of the cowboy boot, tips his hat to 28 custom bootmakers around

Book Review

The Last King of Texas

Raise your margarita to Rick Riordan for the authentic portrait of his hometown, San Antonio, in The Last King of Texas , his third Tres Navarre mystery. This time out, Navarre finds himself embroiled in an open-and-shut case that won’t stay closed. Engagingly cast with the likes of boss Erainya

Book Review

One Day’s Perfect Weather

Emotional worlds away, One Day’s Perfect Weather is a catalog of damage and loss among the cognoscenti. It’s a measure of Daniel Stern’s skill that his conceit of building urbane stories on the frames of well-known poetry and music is wholly successful. The U of H professor dispatches his protagonists

Book Review

Gypsy Songman

Gypsy Songman (Woodford Press) is the 57-year odyssey of Ronald Clyde Crosby from Oneonta, New York, to Austin, Texas, with whistle-stops for rowdy intoxication, music-making, and, ultimately, sobriety and happiness. You might know him as Jerry Jeff Walker. Précis: He lived it up, he’s living it down. by Mike Shea

Music Review

The Texas Trumpets

This one’s a groove thang. Except for the fact that four trumpets replace a full horn section, it recalls the classic black show bands that began with post-war jump-blues combos and ended with the breakup of James Brown’s early-seventies funk powerhouse. Back then, blues and R&B musicians had to be

Music Review


Contemporary vocal albums often prove to be the aural equivalent of televised political ads: slickly packaged and hollow to the core. Talented singers and producers strut their stuff in slavish fashion. They look and sound great, but . . . where are the songs? Houston’s Ideal are not immune to

Music Review

Live at the Austin Outhouse

One of Austin’s most intriguing musical tribes over the years is what can be best described as the folk outlaws—a fringe element that drinks and drugs too much and lives on the street just this side of homeless, all for the sake of the song. In this realm, where Townes

Music Review

You Know How It Is

There’s a looming spirituality that works its way through the cracks of the Barbers’ second release, You Know How It Is. Perhaps it’s because they recorded in a former Baptist church in Austin, perhaps it’s their Southern roots, as thick as kudzu, perhaps it’s the angelic plinking of Elaine Barber’s

Music Review

Tired of Adventures

Houstonians by way of Rhode Island, Peglegasus has been based in Austin for six of their ten years, though the group first took shape in 1979, when drummer Peter Voskamp and his guitarist sibling John acquired a stepbrother in guitarist Berke Marye. (Bryan Nelson, the unfortunate recipient of many parentheticals

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