Intestate on the Interstate

[ No Comments ] Posted on 04.29.08 under The Everglades Room

Sitting in a miles-long traffic jam in a rented car, I’m trying to figure out the satellite radio, scanning the stations, way too many stations. When we start rolling again, I let go, somewhere in the news/talk end of the band. They’re in a commercial.

“All across America, people can feel it,” says the announcer.

“Feel what?” I ask, never shy about talking to the radio, or myself. “Hunger? Heartburn? Hemorrhoid pain?” I figure it’s a commercial for all you can eat something, or what to take afterward.

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My Saturday Feeling

[ No Comments ] Posted on 04.21.08 under The Everglades Room

I want every day to be Saturday. It’s the first day of the weekend, when it’s natural to feel entitled to an unburdening from whatever happened during the week. For me, it’s always been better than Sunday, with work or school looming on the horizon, telling me my free time is running out. Only that rarest of rare birds, the cheery-throated warbler (every family has one), seems immune to Sunday afternoon’s bittersweet monitoring of sands running out in the hourglass, managing to act as if it’s been just turned over. Then again, maybe I’m just a crank.

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Don’t Move and No One Gets Hurt

[ No Comments ] Posted on 02.02.08 under The Everglades Room

“Don’t move and no one gets hurt!” Always loved that line when I was a kid, whether delivered by a bank robber, burglar or generic bad guy, no matter the context or medium. I loved it so much it stayed in my head without my knowing it, falling out years later onto the lead sheet for the only dance song I ever wrote, a wry little number called “Do the Nothing.” It was the mid-Seventies and disco was refusing to die, obstructing my band’s progressive rock career (we were recording songs like “U Thant, the Beatles and Me,” while everybody else was bumming a ride to Funkytown).

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Novelty Tunes Under the Big Sky

[ No Comments ] Posted on 01.25.08 under The Everglades Room

I’ve got nothing against Philadelphia, let me make that clear. I’ve also never lived there, but did spend a few years there on several weekends, to paraphrase W.C. Fields. And even though cold, grey, rainy days could remind me of New York or Baltimore, where I actually have lived, they always make me think of Philadelphia in wintertime. Like today, when Southern California is anything but sunny, where intimidated drivers creep through rivers of standing water while daredevils swerve around them, wheels deep in the muck, throwing up rooster tails like offshore power boats, just before they lose control and start sliding sideways down Ventura Boulevard. Thank God it doesn’t snow here. I’m eager to get back to Miami.

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An Open Letter To All Historic Buildings Nearing Retirement Age

[ No Comments ] Posted on 01.14.08 under The Everglades Room

If you’re a historic building looking for a nice place to spend your golden years, Miami might not be it. Quite apart from the subtropical sun beating down your finish to a dull suggestion of what you once looked like, you’ll be subjected to a vicious cycle of heat, humidity, rain and (sometimes very big) wind that will leave you old before your time. And, if you survive all that, good luck surviving developer’s fever. No, it’s not a disease you can catch, but it can kill you just the same. As soon as the dirt under your footers becomes valuable enough, they’ll start fitting you for the wrecking ball, and you won’t be getting a corsage.

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