Wooooooooo!

My favorite nerd-in-creationists-clothing, Stephen Colbert, in his opening spiel tonight, finally attributed all his “Woooo”-ing to Ric Flair.

Well, finally in my world – if he had before, I missed it. I work a lot of nights.

Every time he did it, I thought to myself, “good Carolina boy – pullin’ a Nature Boy!”

This really made my day! My two favorite televisions events become one … kind of. I’m a geek of all genres.

Related note: I’m gonna miss all the time-wasting bits Colbert and Stewart + corespondents employed while having to do their own writing (or collaborating with gaffers, grips and *shriek* producers). They’ve proven it, though – they’ve proven just how good they are on their own and how worthy they are of our viewership.

My Stories

I’m finally sitting, watching and actually paying attention to, RAW.  I worked through most of the event so while I’ve heard all of it, I’ve only seen a little bit.

I did hear, though, that Finlay was going to be fired from the WWE for interfering with Mr. McMahon’s tough love.  It’s not like he wasn’t warned – but something inside of this man won’t allow him to see his little leprechaun (is he still supposed to be a leprechaun?) friend harmed.  I mentioned it last week but this time I’m saying with near certainty that it’s going to happen – Finlay is going to adopt Hornswoggle (I’m on the first page if you use Google to search the terms “Finaly” “Adopt” and “Hornswoggle”).  He can then reinstate him as his “finisher” and then, every now and then when Vince is angry with Finlay he can throw in his face that he’s his biological father and they can wrestle it out.  I truly feel that this is the only reasonable conclusion to this storyline.

Although, WWE storyline conclusions can hardly ever be called “reasonable.”

I’m, for the first time ever, sick of Ric Flair (not really him), which is a shame – but I do feel that this storyline has finally brought the character of Mr. Kennedy into it’s own.  Perhaps some would argue that he was already an interesting guy, worthy of every fan’s attention – but I never thought so.  I was always pretty bored when he came out.  I feel he’s only gotten better over the past couple of weeks, though, and perhaps it’s because this awful rivalry has allowed him to work with someone who has fun exploring this side of the job.  Kudos to Mr. K for finding himself!

Everyone knows, Jericho is my favorite – and I kind of enjoy this evil rage he exhibits whenever he faces JBL – but he’s not as high-flying as he used to be and, these days, my favorite part of his act is his mic work.  I really love hearing this guy ramble on about – well, about pretty much anything.  A face with a Canadian accent.  Love it!  None of that, tonight, though – and I thought the match was boring.  Perhaps it’s because I couldn’t watch every second as intently as I usually do but I think it’s because JBL is a slow fatty and (the true reason) because this feud is just not that interesting.  This is completely unfair to Chris Jericho who is not only fun to look at and listen to, but fun to imitate, which is really the key to WWE’s success.  Any kid can perform a half way decent Walls of Jericho.  VINCE McMAHON!  GIVE CHRIS A DECENT STORYLINE!

Please, Maria – don’t break up with Santino!  I want him out there rambling in that silly accent as much as possible!

This Jeff Hardy (meee-ow!) v. HBK match that just ended with a beautiful Swanton Bomb from the top rope – pretty nifty.  Like any good lemming, I hate the fact that they were fighting each other – but this match lasted forever, stayed pretty intense and ended with a high energy finisher.  I love seeing two guys like this keeping it fun and keeping the energy level up there.  A saving grace in this time of terrible storylines.  I just hate seeing them make each other bleed.

Another one down!

FREE TOM KOSTOPOULOS!

I think I should get at least ten extra minutes this week for this one.

Tom Kostopoulos and Ryan O’Byrne were arrested last night here in my beautiful Tampa, Fl. These two play for the Montreal Canadiens who made the wise decision to escape their frozen home and spend the three days prior to playing the Bolts melting in our 70°F winter.

Apparently, O’Byrne, who was just called up from the AHL this weekend, snagged a woman’s purse off the the bar at Whiskey SoHo and walked out with it. When confronted he insisted it was his girlfriend’s … which, as it turns out, it wasn’t. I have no first hand knowledge of the situation but I’m guessing you have to be pretty far gone to get arrested over something like that. I can imagine his being confronted by security and accused of stealing the purse. They probably wouldn’t be polite about it but I’m sure they would have gotten their point across. I can only guess how drunk I, personally, would have to be to continue insisting – without checking to confirm – that this item belonged in my possession. If I was told I’d stolen something I’d hope I’d be given the opportunity to prove otherwise before I was carted away by the authorities. I can also imagine that if he were cool with the cops he’d also get a chance to apologize, prove how stupidly wasted he was and walk away from the whole thing unscathed. Instead, he found himself in jail – booked on a charge of Grand Theft. I hope he was treated fairly – I think he probably was. Young, white, attractive and hanging out in an upscale area – it’s unfortunate that these stereotypes come into play in my imagination but they do and that’s that. I’m pretty sure he must have been quite the ass to land himself in the back of the cruiser.

Then there’s his boy – Tom Kostopoulos – one of my top producers in my PIM only league. Why on earth did he get involved? I’m guessing he had tied one on, as well – and there’s nothing wrong with that. They don’t travel with cars so I’m pretty sure none of them were driving and their next game isn’t until tomorrow. If they were feeling really frisky they could walk to their hotel from Hyde Park. So, I have no issue with his assumed insobriety. Still, though, you have to know when to back down and let your boy handle a situation himself – or call your Team Services director and let them speak for you. Why get yourself wrapped up in the whole mess? I’d hope he’s smart enough to stop – take 5 seconds and realize that, if he does something, his name will be in the paper – and STFU. There are better ways to help your boy out like procuring bail money, making the necessary phone calls and excuses, teaching the young man how to tell when he’s had enough and/or introducing him to something more his speed. Getting arrested helps no one.

I’m feeling pretty good about having Tom on my fantasy team, though. If he’s this desperate to show some sack off the ice, perhaps his current PIM tally is just the tip of the iceberg! Daniel Carcillo isn’t back in the majors yet so I’m in need of some fresh brawlers. C’mon, Tommy – let’s see that tough guy bravado where it counts!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

In other NHL-related news (or in cardiovascular-related news, depending on how you look at it): Clark brings up an excellent point – one I’d been pondering, myself. What does it take for ESPN, a network dedicated to reporting SPORTS NEWS, to report on the NHL? Well – we’ve tested it. A severed carotid artery will not suffice. Not even if it happens in the good old U.S.of A. and especially not if it happens to guy that plays for a team out of sunny Florida.

BTW: If you’re in need of some comedy, read the comments section under the O’Byrne/Kostploulos article. Tampa’s finest!

“Why Doesn’t Subway Make Egg Salad”

To the person who stumbled onto my site using the search term “why doesn’t subway make egg salad” – I don’t know why.  But I wish they did.

Publix, on the other hand, will gladly make you a delicious egg salad sandwich so, if you live around here (uh, Florida and the American Southeast) there’s always that option.

That’s kind of a strange thing to query utilizing a search engine, BTW.  It’s, like, an entire question.  Basically you’d find a bunch of sites were people are asking the same thing.  Hmph.

Tell Me A Story

It’s Monday night which, in this obviously extremely meaningful life of mine (sarcasm on top of sarcasm, friends), means one thing – I just watched Monday Night Raw.

I had a terrible week and a terrible weekend and a terrible day. I’ve been a sick, sore, sad teary eyed mess and, also, avoiding my precious Sierra Nevada Pale Ale thanks to a new med in my arsenal. Obviously, nobody needs beer but adding one more thing to the pile never helps. I’ve been an emotional, nostalgic, depressed baby in need of some good news and instead faced only with the added, unfair and extremely unwarranted sadness of those around me. This past week sucked and while I’m being dramatic I’ll insist that I’m sitting here waiting for someone/something to show up and make the prospect of another week seem appealing.

Enter: Monday Night Raw.

Of course, you and I both know how much I love WWE but even I had no idea that it could pull me out of this funk and into two hours of happiness. I spent my Monday night screaming and announcing the goings-on in the ring out-loud to my cats. I was going back and forth between doing my best Ric Flair – woooooooooooo – and telling my favorite cat, Laser, how much I hate Randy Orton. I was laughing and jumping on my sofa and … seriously … did you see Vince McMahon attempt to have Hornswoggle kiss his recently buffed, HD ass only to have Finlay save the day? Finlay should adopt Hornswoggle. He’s the only father figure he’s ever known.

So, WWE Monday Night Raw made me happy. The silliness made me giggle for a few hours and it made me Swanton-Bomb a sofa cushion … all of this during what I see as a terrible time for storylines – as in, there really aren’t any, anymore. There are so many great personalities in the “league” right now! Y2J is back, John Cena is back, Jeff Hardy is now something amazing on his own, HBK is channeling some Colbert style and putting everyone “on notice,” Vince McMahon is as funny and maniacal as ever – hell, even the tag team pair up of Santino and Carlito has amazing potential based on the massive amount of work that these two guys put into their in-ring characters. So much to work with and so much … blah. Right now it’s the guys themselves that are keeping me watching and not their pathetic rivalries based on absolutely nothing which spring from nowhere with no warning and fade into nothing with no resolve. I would love to be able to blame a writers strike but most people who closely follow WWE are aware that their writers are independent of any guilds and not permitted to unionize. The WWE is cross-promoting like crazy right now (Project Runway, Playboy) but the self-promoting of monthly pay-per-views during sponsorship-packed matches that consumers are already watching is allowing no time for stories to evolve. Thinking about all of this is making me sad again.

Let’s fix this before WrestleMania, OK, guys? I want to see this talented group of guys stick around for another season! Tell me a story.

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Some Asides:

  • I made a pretty happening mineola, spinach, avocado, red onion, feta, lettuce, walnut, cracked black pepper salad deal for dinner tonight. With Raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Sounded like a good idea (especially considering the number of mineolas I have left to consume) and was an even better tasting idea.
  • The Stephen Colbert-Jon Stewart-Conan O’Brien writer-less, time-waster match-up that went three shows deep tonight was not only hilarious but pretty much more entertaining than anything RAW had to offer besides Mr. McMahon’s ass. The fighting was even pretty well choreographed.
  • I really want to see the film Persepolis but cannot find a damn theatre in my area showing it.
  • Daniel Carcillo is still a PIM machine, even after is mid-season injury. Of course, he didn’t even get ice time tonight because :drumroll: he was reassigned. Tonight – Monday night – the first night of my third battle against Clark. I find myself in the middle of the pack in our PIM league and I keep making risky line-up decisions in hopes of eking out another win in the league where all time is crunch time.

On Terms Describing Modern Technology and Their Misuse

I know I’m a little snotty about some things. I know this without people reminding me, although, they do remind me. Perhaps that’s a result of our collective society letting etiquette fall into an existence as some antiquated concept that only southern belles and butlers still follow – but that’s a rant for another day (bitter much, Denise?). With knowledge that I can be a little uptight about certain things please, try to understand that my intentions here are good.

I’m am not, by any means, a cunning linguist. I’m a quick thinker and an intense storyteller but the language I use will be pretty pedestrian compared to that of others with the same education. I’m sure I’ll even misuse words or phrases as often as anyone and, just to bash my use of language in general, I know my written work is grammatically atrocious. Anyone seen a comma? How about on either side of any conjunction I use? I find it easier to write in the manner in which I speak – and I speak with a lot of hyphens, ellipses and commas, apparently. So, I’m aware and I admit that I’m both a verbal linguistics hack and a grammatical fuck-up. There’s got to be a level of suck, though, that is just too much. We’ve let certain words and phrases go mispronounced or misused for so long that it almost seems they’ve just taken on the incorrect pronunciation/originally intended meaning – and that everyone is OK with that! I’m not even talking about the old “couldn’t care less” example, even though that one still has me tasting blood every time I hear it (thanks, MCR).

There are terms so recent, especially ones pertaining to modern technology, that their users are familiar with the incorrect term before they’ve even heard the proper term because of the frequency of incorrect usage. There are misused recent terms that must sound like comic malapropisms to some who know what the speaker meant to say.

I know I’m being a little picky in deeming this a problem with peoples use of language instead of simply accepting that rapid advances in consumer technology lead to a misunderstanding and confusion of the jargon. I just can’t accept that excuse, though, as a reason for people that live with and make every day use of these things to continue using the incorrect language. At what point do you say that it’s been long enough – or do we just let every word, phrase and term be open to new meaning based on it’s current misuse?

The one that drives me absolutely batty – and was the maddening inspiration for my rant – will sound silly to some and there are some that will never have known there was a difference.

FLAT PANEL / FLAT SCREEN

These are not synonyms.

I have a CRT television in my bedroom and it has a flat screen. I hope I’m wrong but sometimes I feel that if I were to point to this set and tell the average consumer it was a a flat screen TV they would laugh and me and think I was making some backwards joke about my lack of wall mounted plasma. In this hypothetical envisioning I see myself taking their hand and running along the face of my television cabinet.

“See,” I would say to them, knowing that I’d proven my point, “it’s neither convex nor concave. It is flat!”

I’d be smiling broadly.

They’d look back at me, shake their head and, perhaps, even shed a tear for me. They’d feel badly for me because I just didn’t understand the terminology.

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Things I Hear Almost Every Day

Bluetooth is a short range radio communication protocol, not a thing you wear in your ear that enables you to walk around and look like you’re having a conversation with yourself.

There is no such thing as “High Definition” radio. HD Radio is something else entirely.

While we’re on radio technology, cellular is not an adjective for describing any communications device you can walk around with. It is does not mean the same thing as “mobile.”

That grey platter thing on your roof that enables you to receive too many television channels – that is NOT a satellite. I suppose it could fit the definition at some point in it’s physical lifespan but not in the manner in which we are now speaking.

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A Reason to Know Better or Why I’ll Never Forget You

If you hear me using a term or pronouncing a word incorrectly, please, let me know. I would rather not continue to do this only to remembered for it by people who don’t actually know me.

A lady once told me that I was having a hard time receiving a Sirius signal because a hurricane knocked down all the satellites. Sometimes, even though you’ll feel absolutely terrible if you hurt a persons ego, nature will not allow you to stop laughing hysterically. All I could imagine was a hurricane so massive that it created this terrible hole through all of our layers of atmosphere and started sucking down asteroids and space-junk. I’ll never forget her, though and, I’m sure, she’ll always think I’m an asshole.

I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to …

A box of mineolas landed on my doorstep yesterday. When I saw the big white box with the words “Fresh Florida Citrus” touted out in orange and green upon the side my first thought was “fuck.” As in, “what am I going to do with four trays of oranges?”

I’m a Florida farmer’s daughter – I may not be so great with the ‘rithmetic but I can figure up the contents of a “tray” of citrus dependent on size of the fruit contained near instantly. I figure fourteen/fifteen mineolas to a tray. So that’s ………… 4 trays of oranges that I have to figure out how to dispose of.

I opened the box and, man, that fruit looked beautiful. Mineolas are mid-sized, have somewhat loose skin, are seedless and heavy with juice – and if you grew up in a yard with lots of beautiful citrus tress just seeing them laying there gives you the urge to start shredding skin and peeling off slices.

At first I had this backwards urge to grab a knife and take the citrus that was already in a huge box on my counter out into my back yard and start eating them there. It wasn’t the fact that I was barefooted that stopped me (better that way, anyway!) but the fact that I was feeling sick. Such a weird first thought for a girl in a gated community, eh?

Growing up, oranges were food that were to be eaten outside and outside only. My yard had a huge, mature white grapefruit tree, a pink grapefruit tree, a little bitty navel tree, a pretty small tangerine tree, a tall, shady mandarin tree, a thick trunked, regular old sweet Florida Orange tree and to round it out the non-citrus way a big, bushy loquat tree. All of these trees bore messy food – even the loquat since it had a big seed in the middle that necessitated it’s being spit onto the ground.

The proper way, in my humble O, to eat an orange requires you to first properly pull it from the tree. To do this you want to leave a good chunk of the skin with the stem you pulled the hesperidia from. That way you already have a point at which to start peeling. Peeling is kind of a no-brainer. You should take caution, though, not to damage the flesh of the fruit which would just make the whole thing a lot messier than it already is. Once you’re done peeling it’s time to peel some more. Citrus comes pre-sliced by mother nature so there is no need to take a knife to an orange when you’re outdoors. I’m not against gnawing off a hunk like it’s an apple but that just leads to needless stickiness. Peeling the individual carpals from one another and eating them one at a time is the most enjoyable and least messy way to dine on an orange right off of the tree. Trust me, folks. I’m a Floridian.

So, as it turns out, I’m really enjoying this box of fruit. I haven’t taken one outside to eat yet but every time I engage in the ritual of peeling the skin off of one or smell the pungent oil from the rind squeezed onto my fingers I can see my little brother and I playing in front of mom’s greenhouse which was shaded by the the big orange tree. I can see my dad in a flannel shirt and jeans with juice dripping from his beard. I close my eyes and I still have my childhood dog, I still play barefooted in my treehouse, still pull my little brother around in our wagon, still climb the camphor trees, still live on farm land surrounded by orange groves and still haven’t the slightest inkling how much I should cherish this existence.

I had no idea a box of mineolas had such power – but I’m glad they do.

Randoms, 012908

  1. WWE Monday Night Raw – I’m seriously sick of mister-financial-tycoon, fatty JBL. He’s a cheating doo-doo face and someone needs to give him what-for (whatever the hell that means)! I’m also on the “I Despise Randy Orton” bandwagon but even a good lemming like me felt sorry for that schmuck after what JBL pulled last night. He said he’d have his back if Cena showed up to throw his weight around during what was supposed to be a tag-team duel against Jeff Hardy and Chris Jericho which, in wrestling language, of course, meant a) John Cena would be showing up and b) JBL would not be helping out. I almost feel heel myself admitting it – but I’m not a big Cena fan. Just not the style or type of personality I like to watch whereas Orton, in my humble O, is a technical genius. Every move he puts on and every bump, fall and jump look masterful – it is in his blood, after all. Based on skill – the Legend Killer Randy Orton is a superbly impressive wrestler. Based on storyline – I wanted to see Orton’s head ripped off after JBL bailed. Of course, the way he and JBL got together and CHEATED like big, fat (in JBL’s case) CHEATERS while Chris was laying down the Walls of Jericho – not cool. The funniest thing in the world of “Sports Entertainment” might just be the fact that there are “referees” in the ring.
  2. Iggy Pop – I’ve been involved in the entertainment industry a pretty fair amount of time, now, and I’ve read lots of artist riders – both the boring ones (financial, yuck) and the more interesting ones. I wish, though, with all of my heart that I had come across this one in the field. I would have had just as much fun fulfilling it as the author had writing it. Page 13 is my overall favorite but be sure to also read the last page. Comedy gold!
  3. I DYSLEXIA ♥ – I am dyslexic and while I feel I’m dealing rather nicely and would usually rather not discuss what “dealing” entails (imagine these tattoos: one on my right hand that says “RIGHT” ……… ) there is one thing that I am ready to own up to once and for all. I cannot read an analogue watch. OK, if I REALLY concentrate on it I can figure it out but I cannot simply glance down and see what time it is. I just don’t see it the same way you muggles do, I guess. Do I wear a watch, though? Of course! Can I read it – not so much. I’m going to try to get over the digital-watch-phobia that most people (including myself) seem to share and go out and purchase a timepiece that will actually communicate the time to me. Now to find one that doesn’t look like something a ten year old or a gym coach should wear …

Time to go to work.

“… and I’m hoping that they’ll ratify me!”

Florida Property Taxes – Analysis of Amendment #1 – this blog entry by an Orlando area Realtor offers a pretty simple and fair breakdown of Florida Amendment 1 which we in the Sunshine State are going to the polls on today. Unbiased property tax amendment review – and written by a REALTOR?!?! Props to that guy. If you’re already familiar with all this proposed amendment entails you may find this to be a little too simple – but if you just need a little help understanding the language this very easy to understand breakdown is for you.

As for me – my decision was actually not so easy. I had (have) all the same hypothetical concerns that were raised by Mr. Arnold in his entry. If this passes than the legislature – even though these folks know better – can use the excuse that they’ve already fixed the issues home owning Floridians face with this band-aid amendment. I also fear for the rural counties who are dependent on property taxes to maintain their infrastructure. I have always believed, though, that Save-Our-Homes needs to be portable. The people that have lived here long enough to be seeing substantial savings through this program are the people that have been and still are spending money here – contributing year round for a good length of time to the local economy. School taxes collected through property taxes are exempt and will still be paid in full by the property owner and I feel that’s safely covered in the language.

This isn’t something I felt like blabbing about at length – it’s obviously much more complex in it’s depth than it looks to be on the surface and all-in-all, in-the-end, when-it’s-all-said-and-done (and so forth) – this is simply a band-aid and until someone has the balls to truly propose a roll out of major reform we’re only taking baby steps towards fixing our flawed system here in the state where the sawgrass meets the sky.

“… permit us to be pirates.”

It’s no secret that I’m extremely nostalgic. My emotional-mind can bend almost any happening into a feeling of homesickness. So, as I sat on my living room floor making perfectly lovely flower arrangements for a party, I wasn’t at all surprised when tears welled in my eyes and a prickly lump formed in my throat.

It was the day the pirates invaded and I wasn’t in downtown to fight for my fair city.

Pirates invade Tampa every year and I suppose we’re fine with it. It’s been happening for over a hundred years, after all, and we’ve yet to need federal backup. Handling these things locally is much quicker, anyway. Every year these pirates let the Mayor know what’s going to happen if the city isn’t surrendered to them. In front of a crowd made up of both local media and concerned citizens the Mayor and a bunch of pirates hash out the important details in a manner that doesn’t seem at all scripted. They are always the same and run something along the lines of:

  1. We want your city.
  2. If you don’t give us your city we will take it.
  3. While forcefully attaining your city we’ll sway your citizens favor towards our reign by throwing a big party, showering them with cheap trinkets while deviously and manipulatively training your children in the pirate arts.

Pirates are crafty.

Every year, though, our Mayor tells them to shove off and every, single year Tampa is invaded by pirates. Scores of otherwise amateur seamen show up on the day of the invasion to defend the city. I’m not talking 20 or 30 boats – this is something massive that you have to see in person to understand. They crowd around the pirate’s vessel, the Jose Gasparilla, hoping to stop her from taking port behind the … well … the Tampa Convention Center, but never succeeding. When the pirates come ashore they begin a grand parade up Bayshore Boulevard and through downtown Tampa. Somehow, during this whole cluster of events, all the local sports teams, big businesses, civic organizations and high school marching bands have shown up in support of this seemingly horrific event to march with our pirate captors.

This all sounds terribly silly – and it is. It’s also the coolest local tradition this side of the prime meridian – oh, and I know that means either side.

Seriously, friends – I live in a city that is invaded by PIRATES every year.

Frikkin’ PIRATES!

This is our Running of the Bulls. This is our Mardi Gras – and just like all great traditions it’s based on a really good myth.

So, I missed it this year. I was busy with something that was actually much more important – and I wasn’t misty eyed because I was sad. It wasn’t sadness at all. It was part a longing for my own tradition: I’d been on a float in this parade for the last four years and attended pretty much my entire life. It was another part a longing for the past: I grew up in Tampa and when you grow up a pirate it’s a part of you forever – something you can’t wait to exercise. I was a Tampa kid that’s since grown into a Tampa adult – me and those like me get a chance, once a year, to be kids again. I know this event is special for transplants – and I want it to be dear to them as well – but there’s no denying the spell that a local tradition with this much imaginative flair casts on a child. It’s truly lasting. I’m one lucky buccaneer. So, I wasn’t sad. I was just feeling (lots of things) … and I’m a pretty emotional wench with some huge, often surfacing feelings.

Perhaps it’s just the lunacy of scurvy.

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“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain

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I watched the invasion on television and while it’s not the same (such a small phrase with some big implications) it turned out to be entertaining – and I learned some things, too.

The coverage has been on WFLA-TV for as long as I can remember and for, seemingly, that same length of time, Gayle Guyardo has been the hottest lady in Tampa Bay to spread a rumor about. Anyone remember that fax blast a whole bunch of years ago? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, too bad for you. Anyway – Gayle and Bill Ratliff were providing a play-by-play with commentary as the parade was taking place and while Bill was having a hard time reading his notes (far sightedness, anyone?), Gayle was having a hard time getting through a sentence coherently. It was getting so bad that she was disturbing the presentation, in my humble O. I was laughing to myself and thinking “this loon is drunk!” and, it turns out, a few friends who were watching were thinking the same thing. I don’t feel like hashing through all of the things she was slurring about as I feel it was one of those “you had to be there” events – but I really do love how much controversy this lady can stir and still stay on the air. At one point during the broadcast she disappeared. I was guessing that she was yanked … but, alas, I wasn’t there. I have no idea what truly happened. I’m just glad I wasn’t the only one thinking this way.

As for more wholesome entertainment – I love marching bands. They are one of the main reasons I love parades.

I learned, finally, there is a Krewe based out of the South Shore area. The Krewe of South Shore Marauders even have a good cause to fight for and a Sea Cow for a mascot. When I was a kid growing up in Ruskin (the Big Tomato), we didn’t have a pretty-pretty nickname for the area now known as “South Shore.” People called it “South County,” “South-of-Tampa” or “the sticks” – but we didn’t acknowledge that fact that we had shoreline. We had what seemed like a beautiful secret and didn’t want everyone to come and steal our waterfront property. Now the fact that Ruskin is on the Bay is not hidden – but celebrated – and they’ve even got their own native Krewe of pirates marching during the invasion. I’m so jealous that even my peg-leg is turning green. Just more to be homesick about and it’s not even like I’ve left behind the area! I’ve only moved from the south side up to the north side. When I was a kid I never thought I’d be homesick for Ruskin. Of course, when I was a kid I never thought anyone else would want to be there. Now I feel like those pirates have stolen my home. Boo-hoo for me.

Gasparilla sure brings a lot of things to the surface for a Tampa kid. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

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Edited to add: I found some online mention, not only of Gayle Guyardo’s 2008 Gasparilla coverage, but also of the infamous fax-blast! Wow! I haven’t heard anyone speak of that in years!