Recently in tampa Category

i'm the rainmaker

At this very moment, on the front page of the St. Petersburg Times website, there are no fewer than TWO stories involving former students of mine.

Here’s the good story.

Here’s the sad one (though obviously happy in a way since my student, Nick Schuyler, is the one who survived).

a truly great commercial

Quaker Steak & Lube is a popular wings establishment. It used to be based in Pennsylvania (hence “Quaker”) but has spread across the country, drawing people who love wings but hate sports (and hence avoid the superior BW3’s). There’s one in Pinellas Park, and thus this ad ran at 3am on Fox Sports Florida one night after a Rays game. It’s priceless, and features Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson.

Soon after this commercial premiered, Jackson went down with a season-ending injury.

Chris Landry plagiarism update

620 WDAE’s Steve Duemig, Monday:

The final question was: ‘Did you plagiarize or not?’ His answer was ‘No.’ As the weekend went on, more evidence came across my desk, and on Saturday afternoon I decided to terminate our relationship — our show, our station, our sponsor for the show, with Chris Landry.

I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I gave him the opportunity to come clean, and every time he said he didn’t do it. I said I would defend Chris until the end, and the end has come.

When you think you’ve been lied to directly, it tends to get you between the eyes.

I congratulate and recognize Steve Duemig for doing the right thing, for once.


I’m currently holed up at my folks’ winter place trying to get my decades of life in order. I can, fortunately, pick up the ol’ hometown 620 WDAE in Tampa in order to listen to the Jim Rome Show.

I’ve written elsewhere about 620’s PM Drive host Steve Duemig. I’m not fond of the dude, to say the least. On Friday afternoons, he features a guest named Chris Landry. Landry’s a pro football expert and is very popular with Duemig’s listeners.

As Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio discovered this week, he’s also an alleged plagiarist. And not even a very good one. For months, he’s been allegedly lifting content word-for-word from the National Football Post. Cleverly, he’s changed a word here and there to try and pass it off as his own — which only makes him look more guilty.

Why am I posting about it? Because I’m incensed by the reaction from Duemig’s listeners. Now, I have a lot of things to love about Tampa Bay, but the intellectual capability of its’ average resident is not one of them. Every single caller this afternoon is asking why this is such a big deal; “why should we care?” and “I don’t see the problem here” is a common thread.

Last night, I was tripped up by a 1941 copy of The Works of Gilbert and Sullivan. The book was a collaboration between a music professor and a master arranger and both provides an accurate choral and orchestral representation of the music in the duo’s operatta collaborations and an academic description of the origination and execution of each work. It was striking to realize that 120 years ago, intellectual property law in the United States was still in its infancy. The rabid popularity of early works like H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance led to copycat productions across the United States, mere weeks after the shows opened in London. Gilbert and Sullivan were unable to stop these productions, inaccurate as they may have been, because there were no laws in place to protect their work.

How did they end up winning the IP war? They simply prepared the work on both continents simultaneously (difficult given Sullivan’s tendency toward procrastination and the fact air travel, let alone intercontinental air travel, had yet to be invented) and opened on the same night.

Fortunately (with some reservations), the courts and Congress caught up with the times. Yet now we live in an age where Command-C and Command-V (that’s Control to you PC/Linux users) make plagiarism so easy anyone can do it. The ease and pervasiveness of filesharing make intellectual property rights even less meaningful.

Is the overall American trend toward defending plagiarism? Do we no longer feel a person’s work belongs to them, in some fashion? Or are we just not informed about what constitutes intellectual property theft?

(This post is published under a Creative Commons License, the details of which can be found at the bottom of the page.)


It's called the FDIC, you idiots.

My bank failed today. It could have been taken over by the FDIC, but it wasn't. Chase bought it. So now I don't have money with WaMu, it's with Chase. That is to say, if I had money. Which I don't.

But I am amused and angered by the number of people who are storming to WaMu (it's a major bank down here) to get their money out.


Unless you have more than $100 grand in the bank, you don't need to get it. It's insured by the FDIC. If the bank fails, the FDIC takes it over immediately and guarantees your deposits. Your ATM card still works, your checks still work, everything works as normal. If you aren't near your bank, you can get your money sent to you in a Treasury check. It takes about one business day.


too busy

so the Olympics happen between about 7:30pm EDT and noon EDT. NBC would have you think otherwise, and their online live offerings have dwindled compared to earlier in the Olympics (NBC has decided not to air any track & field events online, meaning following events of interest comes down to a self-refreshing results page) ... but there's still plenty to watch.

Sleep is easily had during the daylight hours. Or it was, until something new came around to track.

Get ready for Fay, suckas! This blog wasn't in action last time storms came rumbling through Tampa Bay (I was posting on LiveJournal back then) so we'll see how this goes. If the site disappears, assume we've lost power. And nothing of value was lost.

this is why has a FLORIDA tag

to all former, current, and future students

I may not be the best teacher at USF, but I most certainly am the one to have the most students appear on the front page of Tampa's daily tabloid TBT*. So I advise the addressed to avoid doing things in the future that land you on the front page of tabloids.

okay seriously this is absolutely ridiculous

Scientology has responded to Anonymous regarding their planned protests worldwide on Sunday, February 10.

The entire thing is ridiculous and clearly the result of the kind of mind necessary to believe the universe is 75 trillion years old, but here's the best part:

"Anonymous" has publicly proclaimed its guiding materials to be the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.

*head asplode*

You'd think Scientology could hire a PR agent who knows anything about anything. It's pretty much an impossible feat to both be guided by Marx and Hitler. The philosophies are exact opposites! It's like saying "We believe in running an uptempo game, just like the Princeton offense." Or like saying "I'm a strong supporter of Alan Keyes and Dennis Kucinich."


Sometimes we agree

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Tim Fasano is an interesting guy. We tend to butt heads politically a lot, but I've met him in person and overall think he's a pretty cool dude. The intarweb needs more hack bloggers (as opposed to blogger hacks like yours truly) because I've long felt taxi drivers know more about the world than anyone other than priests. And they're pretty much the same thing.

Tim really hit the nail on the head today, when discussing Polk County sheriff Grady Judd:

Redneck Grady Judd said the man - who is now facing LIFE IN PRISON - was "Hiding behind the First Amendment." What? You cannot hide behind something that is your right dumb-ass. Consenting adults looking at what you described as "dirty pictures" is not a crime. You cannot even define what a "dirty picture" is.

Judd is a registered Republican, but make no mistake, is not one. Republicans believe in reduced government involvement in peoples lives.

Always charming, always opinionated. That's your local cabbie at work, and his appreciation for the First Amendment is always commendable.

A surprising find in my newspaper today

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Who might that be? Only my one true Tampa crush.

From today's St. Pete Times article on business students doing improv.

Adventures at Best Buy

I had to stop by Best Buy to look for something today, and while walking through the Latin music section, this CD caught my eye.

I saw it, and immediately said out loud and to no one in particular,

"Shouldn't it be ¡ahora!?"


SunTrust building, downtown Tampa, Thursday night.

1. Broken air conditioner

*sweats, has pink elephant hallucinations*

Fort Lauderdale sucks

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I have been here at the Fort Lauderdale airport for four hours. I have three more hours before I get to leave. That may seem odd to you, and it is, but it is the very nature of travel in today's day and age. To get to Las Vegas for this weekend's canceled wedding, I had the option of either flying straight from Tampa for $700, or from Tampa to FLL to Las Vegas for $350. For what it's worth, the fact that I have such a long layover and a change in airlines has led me to be informed there is a "strong chance" my luggage will not be accompanying me to Las Vegas. Terrific.

Furthermore, FLL is about the worst airport in the history of man. The air conditioning is shut off, thus it is sweltering in here. I want to kill myself or my fellow traveler purely as a function of the heat. The wireless internet is spotty and doesn't work from inside the only bar in the terminal, thus I have to keep my stuff outside the bar and then go in when I need a drink, which is often. There are no restaurants in the terminal, only a Nathan's Hot Dog stand. The bar doesn't serve food.

I have been here for hours, and thus I've been able to observe my fellow travelers in their shared disgust at this pathetic joke of an airport. People are openly enraged that you CANNOT GET FOOD (you could leave, and go somewhere else to get food, but then you'd have to go through the 45 minutes of security all over again). In all, I'm absolutely miserable here, and soon I get to get on an airplane for five hours of fun fun travel.



In the Sticks


Tampa blogger extraordinaire Tommy Duncan's invited me to join the staff of Sticks of Fire, your premier Tampa Bay Area blog site.

I happily accepted, and will mainly be focusing on USF news and events. I knew having it tops on my blogroll would lead to good things!

Even if you don't live down here, you should add it to your blogroll, because we're all sorts of cool. Thanks, Tommy!

My weekend (abridged)

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Ate fried ravioli at Jackson's with my parents
Attended one of the funniest shows in history, Jobsite's production of All The Great Books (abridged) and got awfully intimate with Mr. David Jenkins.

No, really, see? (Crappy scan upcoming)

Had breakfast at Perkins served to me by my adorable roommate Jennifer
Spent the day at Honeymoon Island with my parents
Nutted it up to go in the porn shop to buy Ralph & Meagan a home bondage kit
Ate lots of shrimp, drank lots of beer, plus some brandy, at the wedding shower
Lost in poker -- again -- to Ralph's cousin Alexis
Spent six hours at Ferg's watching football with Tina, A.J., and their temporary work friends Ellen and Cynthia (two of the funniest women I've ever met)
Talked to Rhiannon
Got absolutely no work done

It was a good weekend.

Seriously, if you haven't seen the latest (abridged) show, you have to go. It's that f*cking hilarious. My parents loved it.

TPA is great!!!!

Despite, or perhaps because of, long lines I was not groped by TSA today.

Thus TPA is off the shitlist.

They're calling my name. See y'all in Tejas.

!!!111 TPA on the shitlist!


Previously my #2 airport in the country, TPA has now entered shit-list territory. I loved this airport, but after what happened five minutes ago, I have to lower my opinion of it considerably.

See, I used to love the TSA people. They were happy and made jokes. Tampa has apparently replaced the nice TSA people with TSA thugs. They are not funny. They are not nice. They give you unwilling handjobs.

No, really.

I am not looking particularly terroristy today. Here's a live shot. I look angsty, but not terroristy.

Anyway, I set off the metal detector.

"What's metal on you," the man who resembles Mr. Magoo asks.

"Nothing," I reply.

"What's your deal? Don't argue with me," he answers.

"Seriously, man, no metal on me."

"MALE ON FIVE!" He yells over his shoulder.

A husky man arrives and asks me to come with him. We don't really go anywhere, just away from the opening of the metal detector. We're wide open in public.

I have an issue, of course, with the assumption that a male ought to be searching me. What is the premise behind this? That I am more comfortable with a man searching me than a woman? Is this an assumption that all people are heterosexual? Why can we not get over the idea that BEING SEARCHED IS NOT A SEXUAL ACT. IT IS LIKE GOING TO THE DOCTOR. THUS, MEN AND WOMEN CAN INTERACT IN THE SEARCH PROCESS WITHOUT SEX BEING A FACTOR.

Except in my case, where the dude, whose wand only went off on the button of my jeans, asked me to unbutton them.

So with little kids and their families walking by, I unbutton my jeans. Husky dude who looks like the guy from Alias who's now on Heroes slides his hand down the front of my pants. He reaches junk. HE REACHED JUNK!

A dude handled my junk!

In the Tampa airport!

Anyway, they didn't find anything, and nor would they, as I didn't HAVE anything, just a pair of jeans I've worn through this airport at least four times before without any problems. I go back to collect my stuff near the metal detector. Mr. Magoo calls out to husky Alias guy.

"What's this guy's deal?" he yells, pointing at me.


Mr. Magoo scowls at me.

Willie Nelson arrested on Dale Mabry?

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Willie Nelson has been arrested on charges of drug possession.

Trooper Willie Williams says troopers smelled a strong odor of marijuana when the driver opened the bus door.

During a search of the bus, Williams say approximately 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana and approximately 2/10 of a pound of mushrooms were located on the bus.


Something tells me Trooper Willie Williams was also responsible for my favorite local traffic sign.

Things that should not happen in Florida

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I was woken up this morning by an earthquake.

Yes, an earthquake. In Clearwater.

Click "Main" above (or the banner) for the most recent Lonelygirl15 news.

Before Lonelygirl15, a short rant.

While with some friends at Al Lopez Park on Saturday afternoon, my car was broken into (through the roof!) with dozens of witnesses, my new iPod stolen, et cetera, the Tampa Police took hours to come, and all the witnesses informed me "no hablo ingles." Fantastic. This is why I don't live in Hillsborough County. It sucks, and is full of criminals.

Yet my server stats (and emails -- hi Kyle! Hi Steve!) tell me you're more interested in Lonelygirl15. Fine. Here's the latest -- and it gets awfully juicy.

Virginia Heffernan, always on the ball with this stuff, points to Brian Flemming's analysis which she calls "too excellent." Flemming is a controversial filmmaker and is, apparently, A Satanist.

Flemming has some ideas about what we might be seeing soon:

I'm imagining the creators of this project scrambling right now to get the Bree actress back on the set and do some damage control. But who knows what has changed since the first series of videos was shot? Does the Bree actress look the same? Is the bedroom available? Does it look the same? I'm half-expecting Bree to show up, suddenly referencing current events and responding to YouTubers -- but she has a new haircut and her family has moved to a new house.

It's particularly creepy how after several months no one has come forward who claims to know Bree or Daniel. Certainly, Bree being "homeschooled" makes her a bit of an isolated individual, but Daniel allegedly is not homeschooled. Has no one recognized him yet? I've always thought he looks a bit old for his age....

Anyway, Heffernan fired back with accusations that Flemming himself is behind Lonelygirl15. Let's look at the evidence:

Flemming is a Satanist.
Flemming has made films questioning Christianity.
Flemming made a film about a young girl discovering Satanism. The film, formerly known as The Beast (relation to Danielbeast?), is now known as Danielle.

(The above is really courtesy Jon Fine at BusinessWeek. Fine's been chasing this case a long way, and had an interesting clue given to him: I got a very brief email in response to messages I sent to lonelygirl15 on youtube, which was signed Bree and very politely declined my request for an interview. Which came from an email address that had Bree in its name--but showed up in my email box as coming from Jane Jones. Jane Jones is very close to being a totally ungoogle-able name, and couldn't sound more like an alias if it was Jane Doe. This may mean nothing, but there's at least one major theatrical credit to a Jane Jones. )

Meanwhile, the kid who is responsible for making these connections, some Myspacer named Snoop, or Xerxes, or Bill Cosby depending on who he's talking to, alleges also that the woman found kicking off the trailer to Flemming's The God Who Wasn't There is OUR OWN BREE!!! See for yourself... I think he's nuts.

Maybe there's a relation, but I don't think "Joy" is "Bree." The doe-eyes aren't there.

Snoop/Xerxes/Bill Cosby's posts to the already-dubious are being deleted, so let your imagination run wild with this one, kiddos. For what it's worth, Flemming posted this a few days ago, after his first investigation into Lonelygirl15:

Adapting the epistolary novel form to YouTube still has some promise, however. I'm certainly ready to be fooled by another one. Or perhaps to perpetrate one.

Unless I really did perpetrate this one and I'm just trying to distance myself from it because it's now failing.

Just kidding.

You know me. I'd never try to fool anybody like that.

Anyway, I'd like to take this in a different direction. It's my opinion that the video of the hiking trip can reveal a whole bunch about where we're going with this. I need an expert horticulturist or botanist. I believe that anyone with significant background in plants can take one look at this video and determine in what geographic location it was recorded. I'm not a plants guy... usually. So I'm not the one to ask. Find your plant-expert friends and have them watch this clip. I really want to know where this was recorded.

With a few exceptions, I hate contemporary rap music. I hesitate to use the word "music," considering it more along the lines of noise created by unintelligent thugs. I come from a much stronger hip-hop background than any of my friends, who refuse to listen to the genre on face. My favorite record of 2004, The Perceptionists' Black Dialogue, is hip-hop, and I have dozens of rap and R&B records in my CD case. Yet the music I listened to in the mid-90s is gone, and the music I listen to now isn't mainstream. It's unfortunate pop music went in this direction, but the truth of the matter is that contemporary rap promotes murder, drug use, and the abuse of women. That's not a generalization; after all, let's sample some of the lyrics from the #1 song on Billboard's R & B and Rap charts, "It's Goin' Down" by Yung Joc.

Catch me in the hood posted at the sto
Pistol in my lap on the phone countin dough

I suppose you could argue his dough was acquired while in the legitimate job as store security guard.

Bitches in the back
Black beamer coups
Girls like girls time to recruit

It's not nice to call women "bitches," or to make them sit in the back of two-door cars. Do you know how hard it is to climb in back of a coupe while wearing heels? Do you? (I don't, so I really am curious to know.)

I ride real slow no need to speed
I keep my hands clean cuz I never touch dope

Here we go aga... wha? You mean he's serving as a traffic-law-abiding, anti-drug role model? Maybe I should rethink my position on contemporary rap. It sounds like Joc doesn't affiliate himself with the kind of crowds that suggest to young Americans that brazenly shooting people is okay.

Block/Bad Boy Entertainment rapper Yung Joc appeared on an Atlanta radio station Wednesday (May 3) to set the record straight regarding a recent shooting that left one member of Atlanta rapper T.I.’s entourage dead and three others wounded. [...] Gunfire was exchanged as two dark SUV’s chased the rapper’s van on Interstate 75, where the van blew a tire and came to a stop. Johnson was killed, while two members of the rapper’s entourage suffered minor wounds. One woman remains hospitalized.

Erm... whoops.

Anyway, this all has a point, because last night up in Gainesville, Tampa rapper Plies and his entourage whipped out handguns and fired into the audience during a show. Why? Let's go to the story.

A brief picture post

A few camera phone snapshots from the first few weeks... LJ people, your friends page asplode. Sorry.

First, this is a screen my mother made for my Dad using some of his old Sports Illustrated covers he's collected all his life. While y'all weren't too fond of her fireplace made from my Wurlitzer I think you'll find her screen a lot cooler -- I know I did.

It's a découpage so the surface is really flat and the covers all sort of blend together. I wish my photos did it justice... there are three portions, each with a back and front panel. There's a Cleveland panel, a tennis panel, a golf panel, basketball, baseball, and football. Take a look:

And some pics from the pub, first of the kickoff of the Czech game (trust me, that's what it is) and then Tina and Charles, and some Sweden fans wearing Viking helmets.

New digs

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Hello from Wrencrest, home of [info]tinafizz and her wonderful husband Charles. Jenn's dad came over today to look things over, and while the house isn't completely empty (my sofa, bed, wine rack, and armoire are still in the garage, along with my router and the kate.entertainmentweakly server you're reading this on) I've officially departed from the Blackwater Drive domicile after 672 days. My room is small, but sufficient, and my worries about not having internet access were diminished after a quick scan revealed not one but two list items named "linksys."

I have a paper to be writing, but I'm going to tackle the bulk of it tomorrow afternoon. Pressing my luck against my ever-increasing attention issues, but I'm a gambler at heart.

I was able to watch the Indians game tonight in beautiful 60" HDTV glory, except what I saw was far from anything I'd call "glorious." Down 7-0 after three innings is.. just depressing.

Anyway, the important news of the evening is that Jenn's sister, the troubled one whose drama has made the past two months quite interesting around here, has already exited the premises of their new house over in Clearwater. After the walkthrough this afternoon, their father realized he could fill the vacancy with... a tenant he already trusts. Of course, this is contingent on whether Jenn wants to live with me again or not (despite his insistence that her opinion is of little consequence; I'm not going to live with someone who doesn't want me living with them) so I'll give her a call tomorrow and maybe check out the place. Clearwater's a haul from here, but it's five minutes from the beach, and there's a whole hell of a lot more to do out there. Plus, their house is only ten minutes from Tropicana Field, so my journeys down for baseball would become much easier.

Funny to find this opportunity the day I finally move all my crap into Charles and Tina's house, but hey, whatcha gonna do.

K, time to write.

Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk


So I've been in a really nasty funk lately, the worst I've been in in years. And I feel guilty, because as my friend watches his father die, I'm all worked up over whether or not a girl likes me. Meh.

Last night was a blast... crazy... and I hope I get to see the photos soon. Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a story janked from Sticks Of Fire.

Maybe this was on Fark, too, it certainly should have been.

A 92-year-old man was subdued with a stun gun after he severely beat his 81-year-old roommate at an assisted living facility, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said early today. Olin Holcombe is in custody for a psychological evaluation. Deputies said he repeatedly hit Roland Casanova with his aluminum cane.

Just down the road from me, even! I love Pasco County. We have murderous Nazis, wildfires, and dead bodies out by the Flying J truck stop.

Now, death and destruction are nothing to laugh at. But the way we do it in Pasco is a wee bit different than the rest of y'all. I mean, come on. The dude was BEATING A GUY NAMED CASANOVA WITH HIS CANE. Maybe he thought the guy was one of those nasty things from beyond the dead.

I'll lube my own crankshaft from now on. You treat me like a baby again I'll wrap this goddamn walker right around yer head!

That's debatable


Tampa is allegedly the nation's 36th best city for singles

This is down from 26th in 2004. I fail to see, really, how either ranking is really suitable. Then again, Forbes isn't exactly a publication with its finger to the pulse of Young America. Yet reflecting back on my social life here in Tampa, I really have to question what I think is so fabulous about this city in general, as far as being single goes at least. (Sports, Theater, and other entertainment activities are great, of course.)

I suppose it's okay to be single in Tampa if:

a) You're wealthy.
b) You live in South Tampa. [see "a)"]
c) You drive a nice car. I have been asked what kind of car I drive an amazing number of times; never once in Ohio was anything even resembling that query addressed to me.
d) You're really really ridiculously good looking. I am really good looking, but not ridiculously so.
e) You're female.

In all seriousness, I can count on my ten fingers the number of single women in Tampa with whom I've had extended conversations. It's not like up north, where women are happy to be single. Here, EVERYONE is involved, engaged, or married. It blows my mind, sometimes, but it's the honest truth.

I realize I'd meet more single women if I hit up the trendy nightspots. Yet this isn't really an option, because I don't fit into the qualifications noted above. I suppose I could save up for a month to go to HPC or sommat, but... for what?

The key, of course, is the chance encounter at Target with someone who rejects all the bullshit expected of the young professionals in this town, and just enjoys hanging out and being crazy. Best of luck that she enjoys your company and doesn't lose interest after a while.

More to come.

I never posted this?

Remember LB? If you're at all new here, you don't. She's mentioned in this post and in a lot of friends-locked ones back over on the LJ side. LB is my bartender, put simply. A few nights ago, Jose Canseco started hanging around the L.A. Hangout and got her number. From that point on, he was, in her words, "blowing up" her phone, calling constantly, coming by, and basically not leaving her alone, at all. Finally, Ed had to take matters into his own hands:


I thought this was funny

Made this while watching the Outback Pro-Am over at the TPC yesterday. Hale Irwin went and choked away his lead, possibly because of my friend's dog barking loudly. Click the video linky to see. (LJ people, you'll probably have to click the link below to go view this at the EW site).

Sometimes, it all comes together

Last night was one of the better evenings I've had in a while.

On the advice of David Jenkins, I tripped down to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center for Ayinde Hurrey's one-man show Nappy Journeys, an outgrowth of his MFA project while at UF. I'm always up for cheap entertainment, especially when Jenn and Chris are staying in. As it turns out, a few of my favorite Jobsite theatre folks made the trip, too: in addition to David, in attendance were his wife and Jobsite regular Summer Bohnenkamp-Jenkins and the truly fabulous Katrina Stevenson. I said my hellos and settled in for, well, whatever I was about to see.

As it turned out, Ayinde's show is quite worthy of being dubbed off the hook, y'all. He's a pure riot, taking us through his lifelong relationship with hair, specifically of the nappy type. Nappy, the other "N" word. In the midst of it all, I ended up onstage, and while I won't get into details, I'll just say I received several compliments for my performance :-) Actor's equity, here I come!

Seriously, folks, it's a blast, and he's running the show two more times; Saturday (today) at 8pm and Sunday at 4pm. Make your way down to the PAC if you can, because it's worth it, and only $7.75 if you have a student ID.

Afterward, I joined the Jobsite folks and Ayinde, his crew, and his mom at The Hub, which has always been my favorite bar I never get to go to. While there, I ran into The Nemesis, who conveniently reminded me of her name when she sheepishly admitted she didn't remember mine. (I've always called her The Nemesis, or, here, "Sally." Her name is Alyssa, or Elissa). David, Summer, and Katrina really are as fantastic as you might imagine, and I really had a good time talking through so many things with them.

So everyone went home, and I stopped by the Hangout on my way home, where Rachel, Paul, and Ashley were rockin' it. I stayed for a few beers, and then made my way home... only to find Ian, my next door neighbor, had some people over. I don't exactly recall much of what went down there except that I hung out with Ian's sister Danelle for all sorts of time on the back porch.

Long story short, I got home at 5:30 and am rockin' a nasty hangover that bears witness to a pretty slayer evening. If you live in the Bay area, go see Ayinde. He's awesome. I love living here.

Reno felches

Reno is the guy who runs Team Trivia on Wednesdays at the Hangout. That's how we were greeted on our arrival to the bar a few weeks ago.

Why I love living in the big city

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The last two evenings, I have had the luxury of motoring downtown to the beautiful Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Jobsite Theater is pulling double-duty right now, with a front end of Suzan-Lori Parks' Topdog/Underdog and a nightcap of Michael Blieden's Phyro-Giants!.

Thursday was Topdog/Underdog. A darkly comic look at two brothers in a ramshackle apartment in some unnamed metropolis, it's the story of an ex-hustler of three-card monte and his younger sibling, a petty thief who dreams of a future dealing the same game. It's been reviewed in several places by people much more talented than I at theatre criticism, so I won't go into details. There's really only one word to describe Jobsite's production: intense. The script, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, is rapid-fire and gorgeous poetry. The actors, longtime spoken word artist and comic "ranney" and young actor/2nd grade teacher Derek Lance Jefferson, are amazing at bringing Parks' words to life, and the sparse set's masterfully done by USF grad Brian Smallheer. I was fortunate to talk to the director, Paul Potenza, at intermission and briefly after the show, where he expressed his gratitude for my support. Support is not a strong enough word to describe what this performance deserves. It's really, really, really good, folks. I have to urge you to check it out before it closes next weekend. Tickets are 50% off with a college ID, so there's really no excuse for you to miss it. Please, please, please do yourself a favor and see this show. We really don't deserve stuff this good in a town like ours.

Last night, after a boring meeting, an impromptu happy hour, USF basketball game, and dinner with my friend Jillian, her husband, brother, and his wife, I again ran down I-275 to the TBPAC. Upon arriving, I saw "ranney" and Jefferson talking to friends outside the theater, and I spoke with each briefly about the previous night's performance. I'm not a starf*cker by any means, but I love that I was able to impress upon these gentlemen my appreciation for their craft. I made it a point to bring up [info]obetz to Jefferson, an alum of Morehouse College's drama program.

I then headed into the theatre for Phyro-Giants!. Paul Potenza had introduced me the night before to Ryan McCarthy, who plays Melvin in this show about four... we'll call them friends... finishing dinner at a restaurant. It's a short show, 70 minutes with no intermission, and again there are myriad reviews so I won't go into all that. [info]maladr1n showed up to introduce the show, and I tried to stick around afterward to see if he was around but it was raining and so I went home. Director Kari Keller was standing in for the waitress role (and did a great job) so I didn't get to talk to her, either, but I must impress upon you all that this show is breathtaking in the sense that you'll laugh so hard you won't have any breath yet. Shawn Paonessa, who did a phenomenal job in co-writing and starring in this past summer's March of the Kitefliers (about which a little bird told me some news might be coming) is hilarious himself, but it's really McCarthy who steals the show. He's the kind of actor I'd like to be someday. Kat Stevenson and Summer Bohnenkamp-Jenkins are crisp and endearing.

It's the directing, though, that keeps this show together. I've coached plays for a long time, and I know how difficult it is to keep dialogue coming quickly yet still have it appear natural. Jobsite's Phyro-Giants! is phenomenal in this aspect. It's particularly important with the different audience reactions I'm sure they're getting every night. I grew up in the theater, my mom being a director and occasional actor, so I have a weird appreciation for it. I've now seen two shows directed by Kari Keller, and I pretty much have a huge crush on her because of it. I wonder if she's single.

There's a week left of both shows. Do yourself a favor and find a night to see both. Check your times at the Jobsite Theater web site and make a evening of it. For half the price of a ticket to Wicked you can see two great shows from right-up-close. Bring some friends. You won't be disappointed, and if you are, I'll personally refund your money. We're amazingly fortunate to have people who work this hard in the Bay area.

Joe Redner is gay

I have always been a fan of Larry Flynt. While the manner in which he makes a business can be a bit revolting at times, the man has fought -- more successfully than not -- for First Amendment causes around the country. In that, I consider him one of my heroes, and would like to meet him some day.

Thus Mr. Joe Redner is also a hero of mine. While I do not patronize strip clubs (I shun the fantasy that a stripper will go home with me; instead, I embrace the one where a single woman will one day walk into the L.A. Hangout), Mr. Redner has tirelessly fought for First Amendment issues here in Hillsborough County. (I say "Here" even though technically I live in Pasco. Go with me on this one.)

Anyway, for Mr. Redner, a man with a family whose career has been made in catering to straight men, to admit he's gay shows a certain strength that might not accompany other outings -- though the first major male athlete to come out will probably take the cake in the "heaviest door out of the closet" award. That Redner came out in order to further the case against Ronda Storms and the other bigots of the Hillsborough County Commission is even more impressive.

If I went to strip clubs, I'd drop a few [insert whatever the current argot for hundred dollar bills] at Mons tonight to show this man I'm on his side. As you can see from the story above, nobody really cares that he's gay. And isn't that the direction our country ought to be going?

Cookie Christine puts it much more eloquently:

Whether you agree with his politics or not, one thing is for sure. Joe Redner is not a liar and he's not a hypocrite. It seems these coming out of the closet thingys are only fun if the new openly-gay person has been hypocritical or has bashed guys himself/herself for personal or political gain. And Joe has done none of that.
I wish Joe the best of luck in both his private affairs and his legal affairs.

In other news

My beloved Sunshine Skyway Bridge has a new name: the Bob Graham/Sunshine Skyway Bridge. I am not sure how I feel about this (or how I missed the news), but I do know that according to, 2005 is a record year for suicides from it.

Meanwhile, the family of the man whom the former Skyway -- the one that 25 years ago collapsed into Tampa Bay taking 25 lives with it -- was named after is complaining.

"My father saved the state a lot of money going with the prestressed concrete over conventional construction, and he would have enjoyed seeing his name on the Skyway," Dean said. "I'd like to see his name on it again."

Dude, maybe if your father hadn't cut corners on the old bridge it wouldn't have fallen down like Lindsay Lohan after a few Coronas... maybe 35 people would still be alive. So, no, you don't get the bridge name anymore.

Sweet November

non sequitur link: Tampa has another teacher-student relationship, only this time it's a 28-year-old teacher and her female student. More notably? It's Wharton, the high school down the street and inspiration for my lyric, "I looked down at her T-Shirt, it said Wharton High ought-six. What the hell is it with these jailbait chicks?" What the hell, indeed?

non sequitur #2: tonight's Law & Order: SVU is "ripped" from the game Ethnic Cleansing, one I came across many years ago and about which I worked on several projects with Miss Ryan J. Donaghy. I swear, I could write episodes of these shows simply by reading the newspaper.

It's November.

The month of turkey, snowfall (if you're lucky), and nose-to-the-grindstone hard work. Of course, I'm shirking that right now, watching an old Law & Order episode and drafting my NBA fantasy league, but we'll get to work eventually. Especially since I cracked open the Evan Williams Single Barrel and am liberally partaking of its smooth caramelly flavor. Thank god for the fine decisions made that day of 24 January, 1994 when this product was encased in a new, charred barrel and stored away for ten years.

More importantly, November means an utter lack of free time due to deadlines and assignments. If I'm not finishing reading 400 pages for a Thursday assignment, I'm typing up the seven pages I already finished but are stored away on my no-longer-operating "work" computer. Those days of wantonly lounging on the sofa, watching Veronica Mars? Over, replaced with theoretical implications of identity in a postmodern society. To put it simply.

Nevertheless, I'm two weeks away from leaving for Boston and my national convention, the events surrounding which generally constitute my favorite week of the year. Now, 2005 has been an exception; it's not reasonable to expect anything to top the NCAA Tournament experience in Nashville back in March. But NCA's always a trip, and since we're 1337 due to our beloved faculty member winning election to the hierarchy that will eventually land him in the NCA presidency, we'll be partying harder than ever. Last year, I didn't have this facility, but I wrote a hell of a story about my trip -- one I'd put online for y'all to read, if it wasn't ... wait ... it's starting to look like I never finished writing that story. Perhaps it's best left to itself. I can't seem to find any of my stories from NCA 2001-2003, either. I'm thinking I wrote them from work, which means... they're on the other hard drive.

Anyway, I have to finish, and by "finish" I mean start, my paper for NCA. Conveniently and by design, the paper I have due tomorrow is on the same topic, so I should be able to accomplish these things with certain shrift. More due in short time, and my head's about to asplode. I'll get through this. I think. If Jenn keeps bringing me boxes full of Perkins muffins, my chances are WAY better. As are the chances of my getting fat as hell after six months of keeping things at 155. Sometimes, you have to take the bad with the worse.

Freaking bizarre

Shootout at a motel on East Hillsborough this morning. Not just any shootout though...

TAMPA - A suspect and the woman he held hostage were both killed following a gun battle by police early Friday at a Tampa motel, police said.

First of all, let's rewrite that lede to fix the misplaced modifier.

TAMPA - A suspect and the woman he held hostage were both killed by police following a gun battle early Friday at a Tampa motel, police said.

Actually, they were probably killed in the gun battle, but we'll leave the lede alone for a while.

Officers arrived, peered inside the room and saw Brewer with the shotgun, a woman and a dog.

Gosh, I hope the dog survives.

Officers heard a shot inside, which turned out to be Brewer shooting the dog.


Multiple officers fired at Brewer, killing him and wounding the woman, McElroy said. She was taken to a hospital and died later Friday morning, police said. The dog survived but was in serious condition.

THANK GOD. Er, wait. They killed the woman?

The captive woman was caught in the cross fire, and later died at Tampa General Hospital. Police apparently did not intend to hit her.

APPARENTLY? You mean there's debate over whether or not they intended to shoot her?

That whole "shoot the hostage" thing? THAT WAS JUST A MOVIE. And they never advocated KILLING the hostage!

McElroy said the officers were forced to return fire to defend themselves, regardless of the hostage situation.

Last time I checked, bullets don't protect you from shotgun blasts very well. Taking cover behind things works WAY better.

She said the officers were "just sick" that an innocent person was also hurt.

Uh, no. "Just sick" is how you feel about Chad Pennington being out for the season. "Just sick" is how you feel when you accidentally eat the last piece of pizza when someone hasn't had a slice yet. "Just sick" is not how you feel when you SHOOT AND KILL THE HOSTAGE.
Current Mood: angry

Getting a little sick of this

Got home five minutes ago. Took an hour to get home -- raining like hell out there and traffic's backed up for miles. Now I have to leave again in about a half hour, and I won't get home until who-knows-when. The problem with having a summer spent blowing entire days on other people's sofas playing video games (or more accurately, watching them play video games) is that it makes everyone else's lifestyle seem hectic when you have to start living it yourself. And I still need my back cracked. I'm taking applications.

Congratulations to:


...and others on their recognition in the annual Best of the Bay.


Today's Tampa Bay Times features, well, just about everyone Tampa-related who is linked to your right (you know, under "links") in a cover story... all about Tampa blogs. So congrats to Tommy, Rachel, Sarah, Dave, Lisa, David/Jim/Patrick, & Daryl. You're making us all look good!

Time to fix dinner and hit the road, getting gas along the way. You know, because those damned criminals running the oil companies will use every excuse to rip you off.

I fucking hate Florida


I swear, the Bay area is the most bigoted, hateful place in the entire country.,0,4207003.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

Yeah, that's just down the road, in Lakeland. I guess some wouldn't call that the Bay area, but they're in our TV market, so I will.

This shit just pisses me off to no end. I really find it amazingly appalling that it is 2005 and this kind of shit still happens in America. I want to know what kind of fucked-up thinking leads people to do shit like that -- and how people are being raised to think that way. And is there a chance to fix bigotry? I know that seems like a tall order, but we've made fair progress on sexism and racism (not enough, but progress) -- we seem stuck solid on heterosexism though. Augh. I'm just so pissed about all this.

Play update: I'm not Pharaoh. The guy playing Pharaoh magically acquired the ability to sing. He'll actually end up being okay, I think. I'm cool with it. If he falters anywhere along the way, I'm the next best thing.


Today is the 25th anniversary of the Sunshine Skyway disaster.

The 35 who died:

Michael Curtin, 43, of Apollo Beach | Duane Adderly, 21, of Miami | Louis Lucas, 62, of Birmingham, Ala. | Yvonne Johnson, 22, of Miami | Monisha McGarrah, infant, of Tallahassee | Wanda McGarrah, 24, of Tallahassee | Sharon Dixon, 21, of Miami | Myrtle Brown, 58, of St. Johns, Newfoundland | Willis Brown, 57, of St. Johns, Newfoundland | Phyllis Hudson, 58, of St. Johns, Newfoundland | Aubrey Hudson, 62, of St. Johns, Newfoundland | Horace Lemmons, 47, of Kings Mountain, N.C. | Gerda Hedquist, 92, of Charlotte Harbor | Louise Johnson, 59, Cataula, Ga. | Melborn Russell, 38, of Chicago | Robert Harding, 63, Glen Falls, N.Y. | Alphonso Blidge, 22, of Miami | Marguerite Mathison, 82, of St. Petersburg | Delores Smith, 50, of Pennsville, N.J. | Harry Dietch, 68, of St. Petersburg | Hildred Dietch, 73, of St. Petersburg | John Carlson, 47, of Pinellas Park | Doris Carlson, 42, of Pinellas Park | Tawana McClendon, 20, of Palmetto | Charles Collins, 40, of Tampa | Leslie Coleman, 52, of St. Petersburg | James Pryor, 42, of Seminole | Woodrow Triplett, 33, of Bainbridge, Ga. | Sandra Davis, 35, of Boardman | Lillian Loucks, 69, of Winnipeg, Manitoba | Ann Pondy, 57, of Winnipeg, Manitoba | Brenda Green, 19, of Miami | John Callaway, 19, of Miami | Robert Smith, 37, of Pennsville, N.J. | Lavern Daniels, 20, of Miami

In happier news, I cleaned out the garage today. It looks spectaculler. I am fixing a lamb roast tonight. Wish me luck.

Edit: the lamb roast might be the greatest thing I have ever cooked, ever. Wow, wow, wow. Either I got really lucky or I am a master chef


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