Wednesday, September 3, 1997
hat do Debbie Gibson
Howard Stern and Rupaul
have in common?
Absolutely nothing - except for the
ct that, in the past year, I have come
ce to face with each of them and felt
ighly intimidated by all three stars.
So you may not agree that Debbie
ibson is a star, but I think of her as
aving a strong place in my childhood. I
ad he black bowler hat, and I knew
single song of hers by heart, even
e ones on the "Electric Youth" album.
Yet this past summer, I saw her sit-
ng in the audience of a movie screen-
ig in small-town New Jersey: darker
air, no hat, but still the same Debbie
espite the fact that she calls herself
eborah now). I was so starstruck that
couldn't even ask her for her auto-
raph. Intimidated by Debbie Gibson?
aer that summer, I ran into Howard
t as I was walking to a job inter-
iew in New York City. He was deep in
while he was
walking into a
building on 40th
Street. A million
launched into my
N mind -about
. NSK "Private Parts,"
his radio show
TATE OF and if he'd sign an
HE ARTSautograph for my
father, The Fan of
11 Fans - yet I was paralyzed.
We walked right past each other.
A year ago, Rupaul was signing his
ook, "Letting It All Hang Out" in a
ew Jersey mall. I went with my friend,
ho happens to be a huge fan of
1te. My friend bought the book and
t y schmoozed with Rupaul, while
e/she was signing, as if they'd been
st friends their entire lives. Although I
idn't buy the book, I thought because I
as with someone who bought it, that
upaul would be kind enough to sign
y dollar bill. I asked her (from now on
this column, Ru is a "she") like a
ttering, cowering, blushing fool, if
e would sign it.
ao sweetie, but I'll shake your
a ' was the response. This was my
ne chance to have a confident inter-
ction with a star and I was dissed.
Three encounters gone bad; three
pportunities to be assertive and
ngage in normal conversation with
ree famous, but, let's not lose sight
f this, human people.
Some say, when you are afraid to
k with people, you should picture
Snaked and that will make you
o n up. Since I'd rather not see
ese three completely naked, I'll just
ake up my own exercise.
Imagine, if you will: Debbie,
oward and Rupaul are in a laundro-
at, of which I am the manager. (Hey,
may not be the most powerful posi-
on in the world, but these stars will
e in my store, where I am in charge.)
They are doing their
derwear/sock load. Debbie is hum-
"Lost In Your Eyes," as she
atches her sunshine underwear in the
ry cycle; Rupaul proceeds to try on
er favorite leopard-skin pair, con-
inced it has shrunk; Howard is look-
g at both like they're crazy. At the
ame time, he is folding his underwear
iscreetly, trying to hide the cotton
ome of his small genitalia.
DEBBIE: (humming) Iget weak..
a lance. Isn' this what called
RUPAUL: Girlfriend. eveybody say
vel Tell Ru about your romance.
DEBBIE: What are you? My mother
kld me never to talk to transves - I
ean, strangers. It s electric.
RU: Girl, I ain't getting a message
Vpure love from you. You've got sun-
hines on your undies, yet you aren't
be accepting flower child you appear
o be. You better work on that.
ii WARD: Can you fruitcakes can it
Ie? Jesus, if I wanted a headache I
ould've stayed home and watched
athie Lee on a Christmas special.
RU: (to Debbie) You gonna let him
alk to us like that, sugar?
HOWARD: I refuse to take anything
eriously who is prancing around a
sundromat in its lingerie. Gimme a
eal woman and that's a diferent story.
RUPAUL: Real woman, huh? I'm
woman. Brush that mop hair out
fyour eyes and check it out.
DEBBIE: (to "Electric Youth') Feel
er power; see her energy, comin 'up,
oming up strong.
See? Wasn't that fun? Now Howard,
)bbie and Rupaul don't seem so
ntouchable - at least to me they don't.
to feel that
Sand to make
it's not my
xfife to take
y on the huge
From 'Beavis' to 'The
Godfather,' movie fans
find their favorites
- Charles Baxter
Acclaimed writer and English Prof. Charles Baxter stands outside Angell Hall in
March. Baxter is one of many high-profile writers in the Ann Arbor area.
Local literary scene sparkles
By Joshua Rich
Daily Arts Writer
Taking time out from watching the
big game or avoiding the typical keg
party may not always be the most
popular social activity.
But for those students daring
enough to try, for those willing to put
down their remote controls and part
from Beavis and Kramer and Chris
Berman for a short while, going to
the movies might just be the thing to
And Ann Arbor offers plenty of
choices for the film-loving fanatic.
Indeed, our small college town is
home to six major movie houses: the
Ann Arbor 1 & 2 Theaters on Fifth
Street, the Fox Village Theatre on
Maple Road, the Michigan Theater
on Liberty Street, Showcase Cinemas
on Carpenter Road, the State Theatre
on State Street and the United Artists
Theaters at Briarwood Mall.
Nobody can miss the ostentatious
theater marquees that tower over
State and Liberty Streets, sporting
various titles like "Beavis and
Butthead Do America" and "The
Godfather" lighting up the evening
sky. Just a short walk from the dorms
are the Michigan and State theaters,
which match their unbeatable conve-
nience with reasonable student ticket
"I love the atmosphere of the
Michigan Theater," said RC junior
Sara Bursac, who regularly attends
movies at the grand, restored movie
house on Liberty Street. "I like the
comfortable red seats and the organ
player (who performs before some
movies begin). The theater has great
Ann Arbor's quintessential art cin-
ema also offers University students
some of the most diverse and excit-
ing movie options around - all for
just $5 with a student ID.
The Michigan is home to the annu-
al Ann Arbor Film Festival, which
has showcasedindependent movies
every March for more than 30 years.
It also features interesting programs
like silent movies with live orchestral
accompaniments (particularly creepy
old horror movies usually pop up
around Halloween), and visits by
famous filmmakers including
"Leaving Las Vegas" director Mike
Figgis and hometown Hollywood
journeyman Jeff Daniels. In fact, last
fall Daniels presented the world pre-
miere of his film "Fly Away Home"
at the Michigan.
Half a block away at the State
Theater, students find a similar
reduced admission fee of $4.
In that cramped movie house you
can see primarily first- and second-
run Hollywood movies like "The
English Patient" and "Scream."
Regular movie events like "The
Rocky Horror Picture Show" have
also been known to do the "Time
Warp" at the State every now and
By Elizabeth Lucas
Weekend, Etc. Editor
One often-overlooked aspect of Michigan's history is
the many famous writers the state has produced
Ernest Hemingway, Elmore Leonard, Theodore Roethke
and Jim Harrison, to name a few. But contrary to what
this might suggest, Michigan's writers are not only
found in Detroit or in the northern Michigan country-
side. Many of them reside in Ann Arbor.
Indeed, the city has plenty of wonderful features, but
one especially striking one is its diverse and
University campus, surprising as it may seem. The
Washtenaw County area boasts several potentially
famous writers as well.
For example, Chelsea native Laura Kasischke has
published several books of poetry and a chilling sus-
pense novel, "Suspicious River." Just this spring, Ann
Arborite Joshua Henkin published "Swimming Across
the Hudson," a novel that has won favorable reviews.
Ann Arbor's poetry world is especially vibrant, fea-
turing frequent spoken-word performances and open-
omnipresent literary community.
There are almost too many well-
known, highly respected authors here
to count - not to mention those with
the potential to become well-known.
Just take a look around: Your profes-
sor could be a writer. The guy at the
next table in Espresso Royale could
too m anydwell
MI'!A-_JM~h0% E&Of tfMC~
The Ann Arbor Poetry
Slams at The Heidelberg, on
North Main Street, are proba-
bly the most exciting of these.
Their competitive atmosphere
lures both those who love
hearing poetry, and those who
just want to see who wins.
But back within the ivy-cov-
ered walls of the University,
there is still another hotbed of
literary activity: student writ-
BOHOAN DAMIAN CAP/Daily
The towering sign outside the State
Theater glows as a prominent.beacon
near campus. The theater is located on
the corner of State Street and Uberty
Also in downtown Ann Arbor, just
three blocks away from campus, is
the Ann Arbor l & 2 with its smallish
screens and $5 discounted student
admission. Home to art flicks and
Hollywood blockbusters alike, this
theater has a little something for
Truly, displaced Floridian and new
Ann Arbor resident Joyce
Masongsong finds the Ann Arbor I
& 2 most desirable among local
"Even though it's kind of expen-
sive and smaller than other theaters, I
love going there because they have
herbal teas, which I like to drink in
the freezing theaters," Masongsong
Some of the larger off-campus the-
aters may not have herbal teas, but
they certainly feature the biggest and
most popular Hollywood block-
The catches: you'll need a car to
get to them, and they sport very high
The United Artists Theaters in
Briarwood Mall offer students the
convenience of movies-when-you-
shop, and some of the best sound
quality in the city. But you have to
shell out $7 to enjoy Briarwood's
Likewise, it costs $7.25 to get into
the Showcase Cinemas on Carpenter
Road near Ypsilanti.
Such high rates don't please students.
See CINEMA, Page 8D
Inside: Late-night film screenings draw
dedicated movie fans. Page 3D.
be a writer. And so could you. I
Probably the best-known local
authors are University faculty mem- e
bers. Preeminent among these is
English professor Charles Baxter, the
author of several novels and short-story collections. His
books "Believers" and "First Light," in particular, are
highly worthwhile reading.
"I've come to feel that the real challenge to me as a
writer is to take ordinary experiences and to make them
interesting again," Baxter said in an interview with The
Michigan Daily. "Apparently it's not my mission in life
to take the huge subjects - war and peace - and deal
with them. What I do is to take some of these more day-
to-day events and make them compelling."
Novelist Nicholas Delbanco, and poets Alice Fulton,
Richard Tillinghast and Thylias Moss also teach at the.
Of course, there is life in Ann Arbor beyond the,
The Rackham graduate school offers a Master of Fine
Arts degree in a program that trains many aspiring
authors, and a large number of collegiate writers set
their sights here.
However, undergraduate writers can definitely keep
busy while waiting for their acceptance letters from
Rackham. The University offers numerous venues for
young writers to be published.
Xylem, an LSA journal, and the Residential College
Literary Magazine both publish once a year. They
accept poetry, fiction and nonfiction submissions.
See WRITERS, Page 80
Inside: Acclaimed writer Charles Baxter discusses his stories
and the craft of writing. Page 9D.
....te e ... .. v..
The surf is up, at
top-notch Web sites
Ride the magic bus
By Anitha Chalam
Daily Arts Writer
The World Wide Web.
It's the most high-tech way to put off
your homework for another day.
Though some sites have age or pass-
word restrictions, security, for a sea-
soned surfer, is rather low-key. So
those willing to buy and lie,
or even those who aren't,
will discover that the infor-
mation superhighway is one "
As an experienced surfer, I
have seen the best, as well as
the worst, of the Web. It is a pretty big
virtual world out there, and if you don't
know your way around, you could get
lost. Since I hang 10 with the best of
them, allow me to give you a virtual
ASoW for short (1 = not cool, 10 =
radical, dude!). So keep your feet on
the boogieboard and get ready to
U Since this is college, it seems most
logical to begin with that hallmark of
collegiate life, alcohol. For the secrets of
running your own dorm-room bar and
more, I recommend
The Virtual Bar
(www TheVirtualBar com,
ASoW: 9.4). The Virtual
Bar has close to 3,000
mixed-drink recipes on file,
as well as hangover reme-
dies, drinking games and a
recipe retriever, wherein you can check
off all of the alcohol you have in your
room, and the retriever prints up a list of
every drink that you can make using
only those ingredients.