Seven Reasons Apartment Hunting on a Budget in Dallas Sucks

Categories: Lists

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AVANT
In your dreams, entry level employee...

If you know much about Dallas, you've heard the affordability myth. We lure thousands of young professionals here each year with the promise of inexpensive rent. But if you're not in finance, oil, accounting or climbing the ladder of a technology company, you've probably spent time debunking this yourself. To find an affordable, centrally located apartment is a chore. I know, because until roughly one hour ago, I was still hunting. While I can't explain my eventual luck, I can share some of my frustration. Here are seven reasons apartment hunting on a budget in Dallas sucks.


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10 Songs from Animated Films that Are Better than "Let it Go"

Categories: Film and TV, Lists

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Walt Disney Pictures

It's everywhere. The horribly catchy Oscar-winning song from the cartoon film that everyone saw except you. Until last year, Disney hadn't made a movie anyone cared about in over a decade. When Frozen came out, no one could possibly have predicted its quick rise to ubiquity. But now you can't escape the masses of preteens, toddlers and adults belting in zombie-like unison, "The cold never bothered me anyway."

It's not even a very good song, the lyrics pander and the melody is one-note. Sure, I couldn't write it, but even the songwriters admit that some of the lyrics sound like they were written by a drag queen. Let's step back in time, shall we? To the days of Elton John writing the music to The Lion King or Alan Menken's stunning compositions for Beauty and the Beast. The next time you find yourself trapped in an icy vortex of "Let it Go" on repeat, here are 10 better songs from animated films to melt away the brain freeze.

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Five Internet Dates from Hell

Categories: Lists

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Really, this is all anyone is looking for in an Internet date. Is that too much to ask?
There was a dark period in my life a few years ago when my days consisted of work, classes, writing and not much else, and my nights were packed full of the saddest event known to modern humans: the Internet date. If you've never been on a dating website, if you have a spouse or a social life or self-respect, then let me set the scene for you. Internet dating websites are digital markets full of sad sacks trying to sell you on their "laid-back personalties" and "love of the outdoors." Seriously, according to these sites, everyone is constantly napping in a hammock somewhere.

You see people's pictures (behind several filters), read a few paragraphs about them (this is where "laid back" comes in) and see what they're looking for (it's never you). And underneath every profile lingers the sad truth that, hey, we're on a dating website; our lives are shit. But at the very least, those endless months of shitty first dates have given me some stories.

In order from "I really need to get my life together" to "I think I may try lesbianism," here are my five worst Internet dates.

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In Honor of the Day God Stood Up Garland, We Look at Five Texas-linked UFO Cults

Categories: Lists

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Another damn tour group crowds the streets of Garland.
As midnight approached on March 24, 1998, the residents of Garland tuned in to channel 18 to await God's television debut. If the predictions of new resident/cult leader Hon-Ming Chen proved accurate, the Lord would interrupt regularly scheduled programming at 12:01 a.m. to announce his impending descent on the Dallas suburb in a flying saucer.

After performing a series of arcane rituals in his backyard, Chen's disciples, known stateside as God's Salvation Church, filed inside to receive their holy orders. The 24th became the 25th and the mass of journalists, policemen and residents gathered on Ridgedale Drive fell silent, fixed their eyes on the screen and waited ...

This was not the first time UFOs and religion mingled in Texas. In the bright new future of mid-century America, science had begun to usurp the role of religion, and a savvy crew of regional quacks, con-men and would-be saviors began to give stale theologies a sci-fi makeover in an attempt to ensure relevance.

Yes, Brothers and Sisters, Earth was a failed science fair experiment and the contaminated planet was about to be disinfected like a petri dish in an autoclave. As the the new millennium dawned, the disenfranchised no longer needed to dream about escaping their miserable hometowns. They could become an initiate and leave the planet entirely.

To mark the 16th anniversary of the day God didn't show up on television in Garland, we've put together this short list of UFO religions that appeared in Texas during the latter half of the 20th century. Some burned themselves up in the atmosphere, some fizzled out quietly, but a few hearty mutants made it through the year 2000 unscathed and continue to offer salvation to anyone willing to come up with the membership fees.

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Seven Reasons Artists Shouldn't Work for Free

Categories: Lists

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A scant number of actors, painters, dancers, comedians, writers dancers, magicians, musicians or mimes (those are still a thing, right?) devote a full day to their crafts. Most have day jobs or night jobs. It's hard out there for an artist. Maybe there just isn't enough money to go around.

But when I hear an artist, musician or writer say they work for free, I wonder what's wrong with them. You mean zero money? Love of the craft, they might reply, besides my day job pays my bills. It's not about just the money because it's entirely about the money. I'm not talking community theater or passion projects. I'm talking real professionals who "volunteer" their time. I think it's a bad idea, and I have seven pretty logical reasons. Disagree? Comment below.

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6 People To Avoid at the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade

Categories: Lists

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Stephen Masker
What an asshole. Get it? Because asshole? Yeah, you get it. Asshole.

This Saturday, more than 125,000 people will stuff themselves into Greenville Avenue's taint to celebrate St. Patrick's Day exactly as one would in Ireland: with a beads parade, corn dogs and green beer. At 11 a.m., the 35th Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade will puke all-green-errything upon Blackwell Street and Greenville Avenue. You'll be there. Because it will be amazing. And in an effort to make your St. Patrick's-ing the most fun that it could possibly be, here's a list of people you should avoid while you're there.

1) Your Wasted Coworkers

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Stephen Masker
So many regrettable stories. Hanging out with your coworkers here only ends in bad.

If you're doing this parade right, your brain's only recollection of your time here will be a 30-second Ken Burns-style photo slideshow of regrets. For this reason, you should never attend this parade with coworkers. If you happen to see coworkers in the crowd, hide from them behind someone's giant green cowboy hat.


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Five Porn Stars Who Tried to Make the Leap from XXX to Recording Artist

Categories: Film and TV, Lists

Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights gets pulled out of the nightstand drawer this weekend as Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) gives it a 35-mm big-screen run this Friday through Sunday. Several of the film's funniest moments involve drug-addled cocksman Dirk Diggler's attempts to record "You Got The Touch" and "Feel My Heat," only to forfeit the master tapes when he's unable to pay off the studio.

Like much of Anderson's film, these cringe-inducing scenes resonate thanks to their basis in real-life events. Outside of cocaine addiction, there are two default pursuits for adult film actors chafing at the daily grind of pornography: roles in B movies and music. More specifically, dance music. Ever since XXX diva Andrea True struck porno chic gold with "More, More, More," countless hardcore stars have attempted to exchange one 12-inch for another, and -- with the notable exception of Throbbing Gristle's Cosey Fanni Tutti -- the results have remained embarrassingly flaccid.

Here are the five most notable forays into the medium. Although, if their performers had never had sex on screen, most of these songs would have sunk to the bottom of the musical hot tub ages ago.

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The Top 10 Mixmaster Photos from 2013

Categories: Lists, Photography

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Danny Hurley
2013 was an event-filled year for Dallasites with festivals, art shows, charity events and conventions galore. Here is a look at some of our favorite photos from the year. You can check out the entire year through thousands of photos in our slideshow section.


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10 Good Things That Came Out of Icepocalypse '13

Categories: Lists

Don't let the haters get you down, Cleon. Some of us loved you, baby. Here's why:

1. Price is Right
One whole hour of the Cliffhanger, PLINKO and debating who's creepier -- thin Drew
Carey or everyday Lara Flynn Boyle.

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Five Reasons Garrison Keillor's Stories are Better Than Your Grandpa's

Categories: Lists, Theater

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A Prairie Home Companion

On Saturday nights for a couple hours, the good old days still exist on National Public Radio. For nearly 30 years, Garrison Keillor's old-fashioned variety show A Prairie Home Companion has transported its listeners to a simpler time with musical performances from American folk musicians, celebrity guests from the literary world, and now iconic segments, like "Guy Noir, Private Eye" and "The Lives of the Cowboys." At 4:45 p.m. Saturday you can listen to the cast record the show live from the Music Hall at Fair Park. Here are five reasons it will be better than listening to your grandpa's stories about "back in the day."

Keillor made up an entire town.
All of the stories on A Prairie Home Companion take place in the true-to-life, but fictional Lake Wobegon, Minnesota -- "the little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve." He explained to a curious reader that the name was a fit of sudden inspiration at the keyboard. Keillor, who grew up in Minnesota, said that state had many Indian names. "They mask the ethnic heritage of the town, which I wanted to do, since it was half Norwegian, half German." Gifted storyteller that he is, he even made up the background of the fake town's residents.

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