Litmus Industries & Horse Head deserve a little John Waters

As owner of Groovee Fortune web /print design, I am proud to present 2 new web pages for some old friends. Because I have known these people for many years and have lived thru many fun and sometimes bizarre situations w/ these folks, I feel a John Waters’ intro is in order. It just seems to fit perfectly and profoundly.

Visit John Waters Dreamland
Cheers to Litmus Industries and Horse Head!

If you don’t  know who John Waters is, I wouldn’t really know where to start. He’s a filmmaker of the darkest kind because he rips the face of June and Ward Cleaver right off America and shoves all the tragic, harsh, real parts of life down your throat. He doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously but he’s really fucking good at what he does! Just brillant.  Drag queens, creepy folks, bizzare, absurd, ugly and tragic events…. You’ll just have to watch USA’s “Night Flight” on John Waters’ “Polyester” – 1982.

All I know is we have all lived thru some events together that make our lives eligible for a scene in a John Waters’ movie.

horse head

Kevin Holden, my dear old college friend, is part of the new Horse Head Theatre in Houston, Tx. My first 2 years at UT I probably spent most of my time with Kevin going to football games, drinking beer, playing racquetball, playing drinking games, etc… I miss racquetball! We used to play a crazy drinking game called Cardinal Puff…”For the first time tonight I drink to the Cardinal Puff.” While there are many occurences at UT vs OU and on 6th street, I think events at a What-a-Burger on the drag with a homeless man named Bucky who believe he was being followed by the CIA is one of our most Waters’ moment. I can best describe our relationship as a Strange Brew.

litmus industries


Tony and Lori Linder are the masterminds behind Litmus Industries. I can’t even count the numerous John Waters’ moments I’ve live thru with these two! I’ve always loved Lori’s sense of style and Tony’s art. Together they offer all kinds of fantastic creations. Beautiful glass work, vinyl signs, multimedia art, fantastic drawings, business signs, ironwork, etc. You’ll have to come back to this web page to see what ends up in the catalog for you to buy. As for Lori, I think mostly of our many trips to swimming holes in her dad’s old mint green buick which made me feel like we were The Muppets, a wild trip on the train trip to visit her in Seattle and a hunt to defend my honor against the bitchiness of one of the Donnas. Lori dressed me in fantastic Waters’ worthy clothes obtained around the country. The Linder  house looks like a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, perfect for the set of any Divine movie.

One of my funniest memories with Tony, I left the apartment he lived in with Bob Ray carrying my bike. I had to step down one step to the garage, slipped and end up trapped under my bike that was wedged into the step and a car. I begin yelling but the music was really loud. After about 15 minutes, Tony emerged and rescued me. I had sprang my ankle. Having much experience with twisted ankles, my best remedy was a 6 pack of Pearl bottles. About the time I finished my last beer, unexpectedly the police chased our friend, the neighbor,  thru the apartment. Having lost their hot pursuit,  who jumped out the second story and later called the police on the phone, the APD turned on us. My ankle, swollen like a catalope, was impossible to walk on and I was surrounded by beer bottles. The policeman walked up to me and asked me if I’d drank all that beer and I pointed at my ankle and he didn’t ask anymore quuestions. They threaten to take us all to jail, but luckily we were set free and left to our own devices. There are many live music stories I could tell about Red River and our trip to the Vegas Shakedown, but you can’t handle the truth. HA!

I’m very proud of Kevin, Tony and Lori. Despite our many adventures that might leave some in a straight jacket, we have grown up enough to do some things we can be really proud of! I am also working on new web pages for 2 of my college roommates (one is a Cardinal) but you can see those once they are ready! Enjoy and thanks for reading! XXOOO Beth Been

Imagine . . . “creating a theatre that to this point only exists in
dreams.” – Robert Edmond Jones

Way to Hook ‘Em Horns

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - Texas v Ohio State

TEXAS! TEXAS!!! YEEEEEE HAWWWWW!!!! You gave ’em HELL, gave ’em HELL and made them eat SHIT! Go Horns Go!!!

First off, here’s a big FU to all the folks who didn’t let the Texas Longhorns play in the big game. Oklahoma’s quarterback better shoot fire out of his ass to show up UT’s performance at the Fiesta Bowl. But what else would you expect since the fellows making all the crucial college ball decisions are as likely to make the worst decision possible on any controversy as the Longhorns are going to make you hang on the edge of your seat till the final moment of any game. As a UT Alumni and a former Hook ‘Em Mascot, I can’t really remember things being any other way, except sometimes you get your ass kissed royally because you are a Longhorn. That’s always a lot more fun and sometime there are free drinks.

Congratulations to the Texas Longhorns!!!!

And also to Mr. Beau Been, owner of the Rockstars, for winning the 2008 Waterloo Crew Fantasy Football League title for the FOURTH time in 11 years, while simultaneously starting a new catering company!! Beau, you rock as hard as Colt McCoy running for his own touchdown!

Texan Beau Been

R.I.P. Elizabeth ‘B.J.’ Warnock Fernea

Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

Professor BJ Fernea had a huge impact on my life. I probably wouldn’t have gotten a degree in Middle Eastern Studies without her presence at the University of Texas Center for Middle Eastern Studies. I will try to continue passing on the lessons she taught me about a multitude of things. I tried to sum up Elizabeth Fernea’s impact on my life in a recently post: Googling My Mother. My condolences to her family and friends.

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

In Remembrance: Elizabeth Fernea

Hillary, queen for one more day

Day 2


bill and hillary clintonDamn It! I wanted Hilary Clinton to be President!!!!  Some time in the early 90s, I saw Hillary Clinton speak at the University of Texas with Ann Richards (proud Governor of Texas replaced by George W. Bush), Barbra Jordan (first Black woman elected to the Texas Senate) and Lena Guerrero (the first woman & the first person of ethnic minority background to have served on the Texas Railroad Commission). A mousy, nerdy bookworm looking lady, she really impressed me with her confidence and love of politics.  

That was almost 20 years ago and she’s still at it. Ann, Barbra and Lena have unfortunately left us but Hillary has continued on in their spirit as a mother; a wife; an attorney twice voted one of the most influential in America; a First Lady of Arkansas who helped transform the schools; a bestselling author; a First Lady for America who helped transform that role, becoming a champion for health care and families at home and a champion of women’s rights and human rights around the world.

Day 2

When I voted for Hillary in the primaries, I almost cried. I couldn’t believe a woman’s name was on the ballot. It was beautiful and I had hoped to see her cross the finish line. Should have known what wouldn’t happen after electing GW, who owed a baseball team; his dad was director of the CIA & President, over Al Gore who was Vice President and a Senator for many years. Al went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental efforts, his film An Inconvient Truth won 2 Oscars and his web page even won a Webby Award, while George W stepped up to handle our country like a privately owned company with some real doozies on the Board of Directors. Bush told everyone Jesus told him to be President and it was a sealed deal.

hillary clinton 1960sI will support Barack Obama in his efforts to become President. I’m proud to know a black man is able to take the Democratic nomination. Amazed by the pop icon status, all the Obamaisms and the enthusiasm of his supporters is fantastic. I hope Obama will carry us into a new AGE OF HOPE; a time historians will recount as an amazing reformation similar to the genius of the New Deal, something that will leave it’s mark on generations to come and drag us out of these fearful, expensive times. I believe hope spreads just like a plague.  I believe both Hillary and Barrack can do the job, it’s just Hillary wouldn’t even have to figure out where to stash her underwear or where they keep the stapler in the White House. She already knows how to operate the red phone!

Maybe Hillary can’t be President because she needs to win the Nobel Prize for reforming education or traveling the world as an ambassador like Jimmy Carter. Who knows. I do have to say, Barrack Obama selecting Joe Bidden for his running mate is just as stupid and perplexing as Green Bay passing on Brett FavreAt least, she could be queen for one more day at the Democratic National Convention!


Googling my mother, not Elizabeth Fernea

Curious if my meta tags and html text were correctly being indexed on Google, I did a search for my mother’s name “Liz Lobban” and was happy to see one of my web pages came up first in the search. As I scanned the page in the 10th or 11th spot, I found the entry below.

Middle Eastern Women and the Invisible Economy: women and … – Google Books Result

by Richard Lobban, Elizabeth Warnock Fernea – 1998 – Social Science – 302 pages. This collection examines the “invisible” women of the Middle East and their vital economic activities.

My life is full of surreal occurrences so this is just par. The universe brings me some interesting bits. You see above that my mother’s name is listed above created by the combo of Richard Lobban and Elizabeth Warnock Fernea. I don’t know Richard, but Elizabeth Fernea was the college professor at the University of Texas in Austin who deeply influenced me towards a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. Her books told stories of an American woman being dropped in the middle of the East and she survived. Her teaching style involved always allowing you to try for a better grade. I tried to take every class she offered and remember her being kind and serious, but really hoping to teach you something. I took her words with me to the Middle East and survived living in the West Bank, Syria and Jordan and took her teaching style to many of my own teaching experiences with children and adults.

Elizabeth Warnock FerneaI’ve search for her name a couple of times in the last 15 years, but Google fate would send me her way and yield a fantastic article from further searches reminding how positively she affected my life. How high she raised my standards by just giving me a chance to do better and not acting like the only person in the world who knew about the middle east. She was humble and fascinating and I believe she was the director of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies with only aB.A. She inspired me and motivated me with her gentle ways.

The most cherished thing I share with Elizabeth Fernea is her love of the Arab people and this area of the world. The Middle East is old school and serious and dangerous and spiritual and amazing. At many stopping points, it can be completely opposite of America but so often exactly the same thing. We all want safety and prosperity for our families. Food on the table. Bills paid. Someone to love. Music to dance. Something to be happy about. Some people care about the past, others the future. Some are good. Some bad. Some happy, some angry. Separated by space, language, the spices in the food and the sewing of the clothing, there are uncles and aunts, grandmothers, secret loves and forbidden taboos. Often the evil practices of rulers and military/government brand a whole culture withthat set of values. I don’t particularly want anyone to think President George W. Bush’s affairs represent my beliefs or life choices. Hell, I don’t want anyone to think they know be because I live in Texas, but I don’t have to tell any of that to Elizabeth Fernea. In fact, she is one of the people at UT who taught me to embrace the rest of the world without all the “give peace a chance” hippie stuff.

So if you think the towel headed, camel jockeys of the Middle East are all looking to blow up a building you should read one of Fernea’s books or try to catch find one of her films. Especially if the only info you get about this part of the world is on CNN or the nightly news. You’d get a more accurate account from the Daily Show. Elizabeth Fernea deals in real lives and history and the richness that makes the East so fascinating.

Cheers Elizabeth Fernea! You continue to inspired me.


Elizabeth Warnock Fernea: Part of it all
She slips between countries and cultures with ease, never fully belonging but always at home

Furries are REAL

I was the Hook ‘Em Mascotat the University of Texas in Austin 1992-93. I LOVE cartoons and mascot suits, but any time I hear the word “furries,” I think of an episode of  CSI, Fur & Loathing. Everyone dressed up in their cutie animal outfit and had anonymous sex! That was a a shock & new idea to my extremely, full of much dirty information mind. This clip is just cute!


Some of the best outfits EVER! Of course, Beau Been showed me this!!!!

Thanks for reading & watching & laughing along with me! Beth Been


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