By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
One of the services offered by Martin Markowitz, according to his business card, is "fact or fiction analysis." The Bitch has a lot of trouble distinguishing between the two, so she called him.
Turns out the fiftyish Kendall resident is the inventor of a machine he calls the K-Bar Electronic Generator. With the aid of this device, Markowitz claims he can detect deception and determine veracity. "I'm only dealing with the issue of honesty. Is this person being honest or dishonest in the way they remember things," says Markowitz, who adds he has put his machine to work for police investigators, district attorneys, insurance companies, philanderers, and the occasional tabloid reporter.
According to Markowitz, the K-Bar is used to analyze fluctuations and tremors in a person's voice (the K-Bar, fortunately, does not measure barks, whines, growls, or howls). The Bitch, highly skeptical, found a human subject to put to the test.
Though no stranger to tricks with collars and other doggie-style antics, the keen hound is aware the discussion of such deeds often elicits extreme levels of dishonesty and hyperbole. Without revealing to him the intent of the experiment, The Bitch tapped and taped John Frank -- some guy she met at the Kendall Ale House who gave unconditional consent in the name of research -- for lab work. Better still, Frank, who's 32 years old, says he works as a bartender at strip club called La Bare.
When Markowitz and the K-Bar broke down Frank's recorded statement -- which included a wild tale about seducing a chica when he was of a very young, perhaps physically impossible, age -- the inventor called falsehood.
Asked by The Bitch -- who can spot a prosti-dude at twenty paces -- if he had ever been paid for sex, Frank responded, "I've been offered." Markowitz deduced this was not true.
The Bitch was a little disturbed when she asked Frank how he gets the ladies to go home with him, but was relieved to find out, at least according to Markowitz, that the response of "Rohypnol" was also untrue.
Try a Shot with Salt, Lime, and a Brow WaxThe Bitch will just go ahead and say it: When it comes to female surrealist painters from Mexico, she prefers Remedios Varo's mysterious nightscapes of sorceresses and birds. Frida Kahlo's trademarks vex the sensitive hound: There's the fascination with monkeys and facial hair; the perverse romantic triangle involving Kahlo, her sister, and her husband (abusive, portly muralist Diego Rivera); and the artist's obsessive self-portraiture.
There's no arguing though, that in the half-century since her death, Kahlo has evolved into a Latin American icon surpassed only by Che Guevara. When Rivera wasn't smacking around the morphine-shooting Kahlo -- already consigned to a life of anguish owing to a bus accident she barely survived as a teen -- the revolutionary-minded painters were known to party excessively with the likes of Jacqueline Lamba and Leon Trotsky. During these grand fetes, legendary quantities of painkillers along with the purest tequila distilled in Mexico were consumed -- now that's the type of artistic movement The Bitch supports.
Inspired by the alcohol part of the Kahlo mystique, Bay Harbor Islands-based liquor importer Dorado, Pizzorni & Sons will soon distribute Frida Kahlo Tequila. Each bottle will bear her name and likeness.
Dorado President Jorge Gutierrez says the tequila, manufactured with the consent of Kahlo's family estate, is made with blue agave and processed in adobe ovens in the highlands of Jalisco, a central-western state of Mexico. "[Jalisco is] the best place to make tequila," Gutierrez boasted. "It's really a high-quality product."
Gutierrez's company is manufacturing three different types of FKT: blanco, reposado, and añejo. During a recent visit to his office, The Bitch downed three sample shots.
The blanco, which retails for $50 a bottle, was yank-your-uterus-out-and-nail-it-to-a-canvas bad. But the reposado, which will set you back $65, was one simian a drinking dog wouldn't mind having on her forequarters. The añejo, aged in American oak casks for three years, had a superb cognac-y quality to it; yet somehow, after further consideration of Self-Portrait with Monkeys, The Bitch thinks she'll stick with Hypnotiq. Make sure not to drive (though you can still take the bus) after imbibing this product.
Gore TextHerschell Gordon Lewis made cinematic history in Miami. Specifically, the director (now a Fort Lauderdale resident) revolutionized the gory exploitation flicks of the Sixties with Blood Feast, now a cult classic. The movie was filmed in 1963 in Miami and prominently featured the pyramid and sphinx from the Suez Motel, a landmark that stood at 18215 Collins Ave. until it was torn down last year to make way for luxury condos. Lewis's film also prominently featured bloody dismemberment in color, most of it performed by an insane Egyptian caterer named Fuad Ramses, who sacrificed hot chicks to his cannibalistic god.
So Lewis isn't Dario Argento. But Blood Feast put Lewis on the map in 1963, and from there he was off and running, garnering more infamy with splatter flicks such as Two Thousand Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red.
Filmmaker and musician Jimmy Maslon obsessed over Lewis's body of work in the Seventies, when he was a teenage regular of the midnight movie circuit in Los Angeles, where he still lives. Lewis's films were shown with those of Richard Flink (Love Goddesses of Blood Island) and Doris Wishman (Nude on the Moon).
Since 1987, Maslon has been buying and restoring prints of Lewis's films, and now he's working on a documentary about the exploitation film king. Maslon is in town this week filming interviews with onetime cast members, trying to locate any vestige of the Miami that existed when Lewis made it the setting for his seminal work.
"Well, the Suez was torn down last year, but we'll probably do some beach shots," Maslon says. "I think it's important to make a film about this guy, because he's fascinating and he's an intelligent and funny man. Actually, humor, intentional or not, is sort of a critical component to appreciating his movies. They're definitely campy, even when they're disgusting. And a lot of the actors took their roles very seriously at the time, which makes it even funnier."
Stretching the Limo LawIs the limousine industry in Miami-Dade controlled by some well-oiled syndicate like the one in Cuba? Or to put it another way, cannot a Marielito with an entrepreneurial spirit and a nice 2005 GMC Yukon SLT catch a break in this county a quarter of a century after the historic 1980 boatlift from the island? These are questions Emilio Izquierdo, Jr., is asking.
Izquierdo alleges that Miami-Dade's Consumer Services Department, which issues the permits to operate a limousine business in el condado, is running the industry like a "hybrid of state-run government" and only "certain designated big companies" are allowed to operate.
He has eight years of experience, a proper driver's license, and a Florida-registered corporation called Emilio Miami Limo. But to roll, he needs a "luxury sedan" limousine permit. With that, he'd be a free man, tooling to pick up Shakira or Kanye West as Workinforthemanville disappears in his rear-view mirror.
But no. This past April, CSD director Cathy Grimes Peel wrote a letter to Izquierdo telling him he could participate in a July lottery for about 40 new luxury sedan licenses. Or he could obtain one from a current holder.
She also told him the county cannot allow him to operate his one-vehicle service from his home. Since that is precisely what Izquierdo wants to do, he opted for none of the above. Instead, he sent a letter to all the Miami-Dade commissioners chronicling the bureaucratic gridlock he had encountered. The county offers only two avenues to a limo permit, he wrote. "You have to become ... a big company with huge expenses," he submitted. "Or you have to work for some of the existent companies, without [health] insurance or other benefits, with irregular schedules and labor conditions that destroy your social and family life, [all] for the benefit of special interests." He added, "In a democratic society we are all entitled to benefit from the progress of the community that we live in. The main objective of the government of this county, regarding limousine service, should be the excellence in the quality of this service, not indulging special interests."
Izquierdo is not opposed to special interests when it comes to squelching the visas of Cuba-based musicians who want to perform in Miami. In 2001, he helped convince the U.S. State Department to cancel visas for several bands that had planned to attend the Latin Grammys at the American Airlines Arena. The rambling 57-year-old is also founder and public relations director for the Asociación de Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción, a group of ex-political prisoners from Cuba. Izquierdo says, "Castro is like Saddam Hussein."
The Bitch caught up with him via cell phone last week as he sat in his Yukon outside the University of Miami Convocation Center. He was waiting for Colombian belly dancer Shakira, who appeared on Premios Juventud, an awards show televised on Univision. Izquierdo met her "three or four" years ago while he was working for Padrino Limousine. He now drives for two companies, Exclusive Limousine, which has a county permit, and for his own one-vehicle venture, Emilio Miami Limo, from his home, without a permit. Isn't he afraid the authorities will hunt him down? "No. They don't want any fights," he declares.
But the county is going to get one. Izquierdo and several other members of the chauffeur-proletariat will be organizing FILDA, the Florida Independent Limo Drivers Association. In the coming weeks, they hope to drive their way into the county bureaucracy, or at least make a racket by driving around the Stephen P. Clark Government Center.