Friday, October 30, 2009

Good News About the Economy

I know some fairly good news came out yesterday about the recovery of the economy, but I wanted to reassure you that, indeed, it really is true. The economy is getting better.

Last week I went to dinner at the Mullet House, my family's favorite, 1960s time warp of a seafood joint. The madam, Velva Haux joined us. I hadn't seen her in quite some time. Over the summer she showed up on our doorstep once, with a guy with spiked, black hair and several necklaces with various animal teeth strung around his thick neck. She wanted to know when my parents were coming back. Velva was very excited to see them again.

Last year Velva was forced to sell her enormous, waterfront, Key West style mansion with its professionally decorated, Marilyn Monroe themed interior. Business was terrible. When people are short on money the first thing they cut back on is hookers. Obviously, it's not as fun, but pleasuring yourself to internet porn can save you literally thousands. The economy got so bad that Velva's escort service almost went under. She had to lay off most of her girls, start servicing her clients personally and move into a small apartment. When Velva left the neighborhood, I feared we were entering into another Great Depression.

Velva arrived at the Mullet House dressed appropriately in her usual uniform - a spandex dress so small and tight that it practically rolled up upon itself. She wears her clothes so tiny that she constantly pulls and picks at her outfits to make sure no one can see her thong. I've never seen her wear pants. She also wears these itty-bitty numbers with big, furry, clonking Ugg boots, which makes no fashion sense whatsoever. Velva was newly blonde and freshly Botoxed. She brought with her a travel itinerary. The next day she was jetting off to Holland to meet a sheikh.

First she announced that she was building a new waterfront mansion for herself. Then, the entire time we tried to eat our fried fish and hush puppies, Velva took phone call after phone call, routing her girls to various clients around the country. Velva isn't just local. She's big time and works all over the country. Her normal dispatch girl is on maternity leave, so Velva, trusting no one else to do the job correctly, had all the calls routed to her cell phone and was filling in for the new mother, herself.

This is what our dinner sounded like:

"Well we really enjoyed wine country in the RV -"

"NOOO I said MADISON NOT LEXINGTON You dumbass!! Jesus can't you hear me??? MADISON!!!!!!!!"

Then we'd comment about how good the salad was over "OCEAN DRIVE AND 22ND!!! YES- IT'S A HOTEL!!!!!!"

The woman is loud. She shouts everything. I felt badly for our poor server. Most of the Mullet House's clientele is over eighty and none of them wear spandex, thank God. I bet they don't get a lot of madams in there. Then Velva ordered raw oysters (of course that's what madams eat) and she wanted some "minet" sauce when the Mullet House is a strictly cocktail sauce kind of establishment.

"MINET!" she kept repeating.

"Velva, it's actually mignonette and they don't have stuff like that here," I told her, but by then she had taken three more calls and routed girls to hotels in Vegas, LA and New York. The phone never stopped ringing.

At one point it did cross my mind how, umm, interesting a job it might be to serve as the dispatch girl for an escort service. Can you imagine the calls? The material? It would be priceless. The books I could write!! It was almost too tempting. I almost volunteered myself to be the regular girl's stand-in, but then I realized that this is probably not the best thing I could do for my teaching career and that really, my students need me more than a bunch of johns. The last thing I need in life is to get arrested for being involved in anything having to do with prostitution, although I'm sure I could score a book deal out of something like that and probably even get on Tyra. It's simply not worth that though. My goal is to go through life without a criminal record and also without ever having to utter the words: "Yes, of course Desiree does anal" to anyone.

But Velva has never been arrested. I asked her about this and she had an interesting, albeit I have no idea how true this could possibly be, explanation. Number one, no one pays for sex. They go on dates. Sex is optional and not a paid for service. Ok. Semantics. The women don't get paid. They get "gifts." More semantics. There's a lot of word play that goes on to make prostitution legal.

And then, more interestingly, there's Velva's story about how she helped the feds after September 11th, forever saving herself from any harassment by the authorities.

Velva's tale is that before September 11th, the terrorists, including Atta, were regulars and that she knew they were freaky and something bad was up. She just couldn't imagine what. The night before (or a couple nights before, I can't remember) the attacks they partied it up with some of her girls and were behaving oddly so Velva herself went in person to see what was going on. The terrorists paid Velva in cash, which had weird writing on it and she ending up keeping it because then September 11th happened and everything was closed and the last place she thought of going was the bank. As soon as she saw the faces of the attackers on the news, she recognized them as her clients and went straight to the authorities, handed over the cash with the weird writing and told them everything she could. This, she believes, put her in the FBIs good graces and they swore to let her operate in peace forever. I have no idea if any of this is true or not, but I do remember that the terrorists did live down here and I do remember something on the news back then about them consorting with hookers. This is the story that Velva is sticking to in any event.

But really, judging from the number of phone calls she got, prostitution is thriving. People are paying for sex again. The economy is getting better. So now you can go and buy a bunch of crap you can't afford again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big News!

Readers, I need to tell you something.

MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED!!!!!

Oh my effing Christ. My sister is getting married. Yes, that one. My only one. Seriously. My sister.

The whole thing started last week. Not even a week ago my sister called me and said she was getting married. She had discussed it with her boyfriend and they were doing it. I had lunch with the boyfriend. He had lunch with my parents. By Saturday we were drinking champagne and today, I kid you not, I spent my entire school holiday, day off in a bridal shop squeezing my boobs into a strapless gown that was a size too small because they didn't have my size and it made me happy I wasn't born in the times when women put these things on every single day of their lives. No wonder they all died in their thirties. By the end of the day my sister had a dress and I had a dress and we were off the get invitations.

You know why? The wedding is December 19th. That is seven weeks away. This is how my sister does things and demonstrates a fundamental difference between the two of us. My sister is more like my mother. My parents were married within ten months of meeting. They were engaged for like a week. If that. They got married in their apartment rather suddenly. My sister has known her fiance since May and decided upon a rather short engagement. She is not pregnant (and neither am I, yay!). I dated my husband for three years and was engaged for almost nine months and that even seemed whirlwindy and impulsive to me. I am just an extremely slow person. I am slow at everything. One could say I have a phlegmatic temperament. I take forever to do anything. I'm methodical. I like to think about things endlessly without actually doing anything. No one else in my family is like this, so I don't know where this came from.

In seven weeks we are going to have a wedding!! I am really excited. I wasn't shocked, surprisingly. You'd think this all would have shocked me, but nothing anyone in my family does shocks me at all anymore and since I've been getting acupuncture I've learned to practice joyful detachment (isn't that an oxymoron?). Really though. I'm happy. There's going to be a party! The best part is that the whole entire wedding is going to be at my parents' house. Seriously, do you all not even understand the writing material this event will provide?

Such as this:

Because my wedding was methodically planned well in advance, it took me eight months to get my wedding dress. I picked it out quickly but it had to be made and sent from Lord knows where and it took an eternity. Because this wedding is so fast we had to go to an "off the rack" store which is fine and way cheaper, but...they had red leopard bridesmaid dresses and there were people at the store actually admiring them. I should have taken a picture, but I was all beside myself at seeing my little sister in her wedding dress. Which was the hot pink leopard. No, not really. Her dress is stunning. I can't wait to see her in it. I know I am going to cry. I almost cried in the store today but I composed myself so as not to cause a scene. It was such a cliche moment. They put the veil on her and suddenly the whole thing looked for real and then my whole life with my sister flashed in front of me and I remembered things like dragging her by the arm to the bus stop in the mornings, making her a shitty Halloween costume one year when our parents weren't home and taking her trick or treating, the time she and my cousins pooped in a cardboard box not once, but a total of three times, when she got her nipples pierced in high school while my parents were on vacation, the time she ripped the ass out of a pair of white pants before we went out, the time we pathetically attempted to get high on Thanksgiving but neither of us really inhaled, going to Orlando with her one Christmas when we decided to wear matching angora sweaters that we were both allergic to... I could go on endlessly. And there she was. A bride. With a veil. It was too much for me, so I pretended I was cold and went outside.

My sister is getting married. I'm going to have a brother-in-law. Miraculously, I really like him. You would too. The man knows how to disarm land mines and bombs. It's like I'm getting Jack Bauer for a brother-in-law. We needed that in this family too. Not a one of us knows a thing about explosives.
Friday, October 23, 2009

The Senator

This morning I was sifting through the local news on the South Florida Daily Blog, when I noted the site's quote of the day from Charles Madigan. Among other things, Madigan, in this quote, talks about the problem of the staggering number of people in this country who know "nothing about nothing." And when I read this quote, I was in absolute, total agreement. Most people in this country have no clue about politics or current events outside of cheap celebrity gossip.

As a teacher, each week I am in the classroom with over a hundred young people (and a couple of middle-aged people as well). They know nothing about politics or current events. They're interested in sports, pop-stars and reality TV. I don't fault them for this. Their average age is about nineteen, so they're young yet. They don't know any better. I won't go into a speech on the apathy of youth these days. That's not it. They're just young and need to be made aware of the world around them and how it affects them. I make sure that happens as much as possible in my classroom. Then, when I give them some exposure to events and issues, they often become interested and concerned. We don't need to worry about college students being apathetic. They're learning. They're in college. Most of them, if they stick with their educations and watch The Daily Show every night, will be just fine. Sadly though, educated people of all ages are the minority and it's the majority of ignorant people who we need to worry about.

Outside of my few yearly visits to my hometown Millpond, I occasionally forget just how backward a large portion of our country actually is. Most of the US, I fear, is a big, sprawling trailer park punctuated occasionally by equally horrible urban 'hoods. There are moments of hope in many cities and suburbs of cities, as well as in lovely little university towns here and there, but overall America is a trailer park and it's in the middle of being obliterated by a tornado of ignorance.

Yet still, sometimes I forget this, being surrounded as I am by them university liberal elites all the dang time (yeah, please). Then, every now and then something will happen which will make me realize anew how most people really do know "nothing about nothing."

One thing you may not know about me is that I am the daughter of a US senator.

OK, ok. Not really. I kid. I really do. I am NOT the daughter of the US senator and far from it, but one evening, in a bizarre twist of events, I was mistaken for one. This situation showed me that pretty much no one knows who their state senators actually are, which is really a shame being that we should all be writing to them regularly (not in like a stalking way, but in a 'hey you work for us and this is what we want' kind of a way.) This evening also showed me that "Jay Walking" is definitely not scripted and it probably takes Jay Leno less than five minutes to find a clueless fool to say dumb things on camera whenever he goes looking for new material.

One night I was out at a very well known, fancy restaurant that is corporate owned. I was with my family and some of my dad's friends and we were celebrating. The celebrating became a bit rowdy and one of my dad's friends started teasing him about how friendly and diplomatic my dad is in every situation.

"You can talk anybody into anything!" the friend said, "You're like a politician!!"

Everyone agreed and laughed and had a few more martinis. My dad's friend, as a joke, started calling him "The Senator", which was hysterical because everyone was tipsy. You know how sometimes things seem much funnier than they actually are because of alcohol? It was like that.

Soon the waiter comes over and as drunk diners often do, my dad's friend began to engage the poor server in slurring conversation.

"You know who this guy is right here?" my dad's friend said pointing to my dad.

"Umm, no, I'm terribly sorry," the server replied.

"He's a Senator!! Senator Lawns!! State of Florida Senator. Right here. HAHAHAHAHA!!"

Everyone laughed and called my dad "The Senator" some more, but the server had disappeared.

The manager came with our bill and questioned us extensively on the food and service. We swore everything was fantastic. The manager even escorted us outside when we were done and comped our valet. We thought nothing of it other than that the service at this place was great and that we wanted to come back.

"Good night Senator!" the manager called as we left.

My dad laughed and waved.

A couple of weeks later my dad called the same restaurant to make another reservation. These types of restaurants keep a sort of database of all their diners with notes on special needs, who's a big spender, etc. so that the servers can give personalized service and create the illusion that each customer is so special that the server remembers everything about them.

"Mr. Lawns? 8pm, six people? Is this Florida Senator Lawns?" the hostess said over the phone.

My dad thought nothing of this. He thought she was referring to his new nickname and that the restaurant remembered him because our party had been kind of rowdy.

"Haha," he laughed, "Yeah, that's me. Look, I have to apologize for that night. It was a celebration. I hope we didn't get out of hand. We had a great time though."

"Absolutely not Senator. We were honored to serve you. We're thrilled you're returning. Will you need a private room?"

"Oh no. I promise we'll be quiet this time."

"Do you need extra tables?"

"Umm, no. There's just six of us."

"OK sir. You are confirmed. Thank you so much Senator. We'll see you at 8 for 6 people."

Again, he thought nothing of this. He thought the hostess was joking with him.

We arrived at the restaurant greeted by a full security detail staff. There must have been six or seven armed guards at least. They saluted my father and all shook his hand. The managers all came out to greet us immediately and whisked us away to a private table in a room off to the side where the security guards could stand at the door.

"Senator, we are so sorry that last time we weren't prepared for your visit. We had no idea and we hope you can forgive us," the manager said, "You see, Corporate has strict policies on how to handle political dignitaries visiting the restaurant and had we known last time, of course everything would have been arranged. You may have your office call anytime for reservations for now on and we'll never be unprepared again."

To say this was an awkward moment is a severe understatement. I was practically crapping in my pants thinking we were all going to get arrested for impersonating (however unintentionally) a politician and his family. I could tell my dad was equally as horrified. The restaurant had gone to a lot of trouble and expense to set this all up. My dad hadn't realized they didn't know it was all a silly, drunk joke. If he mentioned that he was in fact, NOT a senator then it would be horribly embarassing for everyone involved.

"Thank you," my dad said and that was that.

We ate quickly and got the hell out of there as fast as we could. We never went back to that restaurant, but my dad did call the next day before dinner service to speak with the manager and explain the whole situation. Everyone involved was deeply mortified.

Of course, all this could have been prevented if anyone had a clue who the real Florida Senators actually were. There are only two. No matter where you live, you should learn these two names. Even if you never write to your senators (which you should) at least by knowing their names you will never mistake my dad (or anyone else) for a dignitary and cause an embarassing fiasco.

If you live in Florida, please know that our senators are Bill Nelson and George LeMieux.

Here is a complete list of US senators with their Washington, DC contact information. Please note that no member of my family is on this list.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not Turning Into a Mommyblogger

Having just survived the biggest pregnancy scare of my entire life (turns out I just have a cold and an exhausting Fall schedule), please excuse me while I now go have a quadruple espresso, chased by an aspartame laden Diet Coke and a sugar-free Red Bull, while wearing perfume, getting acrylic nails, not taking vitamins, eating Advil like M&Ms with a side of unpasteurized brie as the appetizer to my tuna sandwich before painting a room with the windows closed. After that I'm going to huff Sharpies for good measure and eat something microwaved in plastic. And if I feel a little sweaty, I'm going to use extra aluminum deodorant. For fun.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One That I Hate, Two That I Love

My parents are going to be back home in a couple of hours. I'm all back in my apartment now, but I know I left something important over at their house. It's obviously not a big deal though because it's not that far away. The only danger is the potential for encounters with strange people wearing Ed Hardy shirts. My mom hates Ed Hardy shirts, yet she has a lot of friends who love them. I hate Ed Hardy anything. Apparently Ed Hardy even makes beer now. I hate that too.

In five minutes I have to go to school. I have decided to tell you two things that I inexplicably love, for no reason other than to get them off my chest.

1. I love in movies and TV shows (fictional only) when they show someone walk out into traffic and unexpectedly get hit by a bus or a car or some other moving vehicle. I love this. They did it on Lost a few times. I seem to be seeing it more and more often. It never fails to satisfy.

2. While I despise cigarettes, I love when at night, when it's very dark and I'm driving and the person in the vehicle in front of me tosses a burning cigarette out their window and it explodes into a shatter of orange cinders all over the asphalt. It's the strangest thing that I find beautiful. I hardly ever see it, so it's like seeing a falling star maybe.

What strange things do you love?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Hate Moving

In case you were wondering, I hate moving. I also hate moving when it's midterm week and when I keep forgetting things with each trip.

I'm glad to be back in my neighborhood though. This morning I was unpacking my car when a gay leather guy walking a blind dog stopped and introduced himself and helped me. He wore a patent fisherman's cap, a leather vest with nothing under it and really tight, black jeans. His ear lobes hung from the weight of fat, gold hoops and both he and the blind dog sported collars.

"HI!! I'M ROD!!!" he announced.

He was the happiest man in the world and of course his name was "Rod," wasn't it? He was so sweet, speaking all in capital letters like that. His blind dog's name was Diva Supreme and she looked to be about 119 in dog years with orange hair missing in large chunks, revealing scaly grey skin. But she was a Diva Supreme in her day I'm sure.

And this is my neighborhood, where at eight in the morning a gay leather guy will stop walking a blind dog to help you get a crock pot out of your Saturn. I love where I live. A lot of the time I say I wish I lived in San Francisco, but with neighbors like this, well, I'm pretty close. Plus we have a better beach.

I haven't seen beak nor feather of those pesky peacocks though.
Thursday, October 08, 2009

Where I Am

I am finally going to end the story very shortly. I swear. Because I have lost my mind, I keep taking on classes, mainly for the sole purpose of being able to shop online. This is my logic. Ok, one more class, 10 extra hours of work per week, ok, that means about four dresses at Anthropologie. OK! I'll do it! But as yet I haven't actually bought anything at Anthropologie, though I have considered it. My school realized that I won't say no to them when they ask me to teach more and more classes which they strangely keep adding on to the schedule although the semester is half over. Over-enrollment, they say. Yes, I will teach a 75th class, I say. Just yesterday they asked me to teach yet another class. This time I think they were messing with me. They were sitting around taking bets with one another in the admin office over whether or not I would say yes. Let's really test her limits, they said. They asked me to teach an early morning class that lasts for six hours, on a Saturday. I actually considered it. I really did. But no. I think I caused some of my co-workers to lose money on that one. But no. I could have probably bought ten dresses at Anthropologie and several cashmere cardigans from J. Crew but no no no.

So that's where I've been. I have been in my classroom teaching people how to write a complete sentence. I can't really write about my job further than what I've just told you. I don't really want to write about my job, but I would just like you all to know that you can thank me for at least attempting to pound some good sense into America's youth and for teaching them that it's not ok to write sentences like this: "I goin 2 the store wit u u can git sum sell phonz their." I find my job very rewarding, by the way, and I have tremendous fun with my students (they might disagree though) and I know I am doing the absolute right thing with my life. This is a good feeling. I have had some true "Stand and Deliver," "Dangerous Minds" kinds of moments. I have also felt very Hilary Swank in that movie where she taught her students about the Holocaust. A few times on my long commute back home I have thought to myself "I should take my class to Poland." This may be the result of sleep deprivation.

Did I mention that in my haste to buy Anthropologie dresses that I also said yes to an early morning class where I have to be at a school an hour away by 7:30 in the morning? Oh yes. I did that. I have learned my lesson because getting up at 5:45 in the morning IS NOT ENJOYABLE FOR ME AT ALL. And it will not be happening ever again in my entire life. I am very serious about this. I did not go to school for almost eight straight years of my life to get a job where I have to get up before the sun comes up.

In addition to all this teaching and not shopping, but fantasizing about shopping, I have also been moving back into my apartment, because guess who is coming home from five months in an RV across America? Yup, my parents. They should be back very shortly. No more bathtub for me. Unfortunately my grilling pleasures ended prematurely a few weeks ago because the stupid grill broke. It probably wore out because I used it too much. I'm definitely going to get cancer from all the grilled food I consumed this summer, though I'm hoping that the next six months in my apartment without a grill will even everything out. Can I just admit that I'm a little nervous about my parents coming home? I am. You just never know who they've picked up on these trips and who might be coming to live with them once they get home. I am actually frightened about what kinds of characters they may have met across America and invited to Thanksgiving dinner with us. The craziest part is that the people actually come!

Also, one of my 787 cousins, Fallon, has gotten engaged and has asked me to be in her wedding, which is very exciting. I've been trying to help her out with wedding planning.

The last thing I wanted to tell you is that as I've been moving back into my apartment, I have discovered a new crazy person is living in the blue crack house apartment building across the street from my apartment building. This man - well I can't even describe it honestly. He's definitely schizophrenic or something close to it. He wears a Xanadu-ish roller derby from 1980 silky shorts and cropped top kind of outfit, complete with a sparkly sweatband around his forehead and he does nothing but roller skate around town carrying a small, plastic cocktail tray with different sizes, shapes and colors of empty plastic cups glued to it. As he skates he balances the tray on his palm like a waiter and kind of weakly twirls it sometimes, but not exactly as if he's doing tricks with it. And it's not all that impressive because A. the cups are plastic B. the cups are empty and C. the cups are glued to the tray, so it doesn't take much skill to get them to stay on there while he skates. You just kind of have to see it for yourself. I will attempt to take a picture the next time I run into him.

And that's what I've been doing, you all.
Friday, October 02, 2009

The Gazpacho Recipe

I've been asked to provide the gazpacho recipe. I'm going to do my best to reinterpret it for home use. I have made it at home several times since with success, but the problem is that unless I'm baking I just can't cook with a recipe. I can't do it. I have no patience for measuring and when I cook I just tinker with the dish until it tastes right. So have patience and know there is room for interpretation, improvisation and flexibility. I'm going to tell you right now that The Pioneer Woman has a gazpacho recipe that is quite similar and hers has measurements, though after a certain point our recipes take a major departure from one another. Still, hers is good and is a good guide if you need more detail. Here it is.

What Goes In It

1 Box of Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
a real chopped tomato
half of a yellow pepper diced
half of a red pepper diced
half of a cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
a little less than half of a red onion diced
red Tabasco
lime juice
salt and pepper
cilantro to taste
toasted sesame oil to taste

Throw all of the above ingredients into a food processor and then pour a few good glugs of V8 over it. Then turn on the food processor and make sure this is finely pureed. Keep adding V8 until it looks like soup. You do not want salsa here. This is a soup. This is where the Pioneer Woman and I differ. Her soup is thick and chunky. In the hotel we made ours thin. I'll gladly eat both kinds, mind you, but I'm telling you the way we made it in the hotel. This is the authentic recipe that fell on my head.

Once you've got it pureed and looking like soup, start tasting it. It's always different because vegetables never taste exactly the same. You want a balance between all the flavors. You may need more salt and pepper, lime, tabasco or sesame oil. You may find that the flavor is too thin and acidic tasting. If this is the case, I round it out with a little agave nectar, which I use because it incorporates into food easily and quickly and has no intrusive flavor. A lot of times people's food tastes flat to them and they don't realize that they need to balance a dish with a subtle sweetness. You can also add a little sugar if you don't have agave, but you have to make sure it dissolves. Don't be a wuss with the Tabasco either. This recipe is supposed to be a little spicy. You don't want a bland, watery soup here.

So tinker with it until you like the taste. You may also add a little garlic, but I hate garlic like you can't believe. I just hate it. Garlic and green peppers are evil and I rarely cook with them in any large amount. I will sautee greens in garlic, olive oil and hot red peppers, but I always leave the garlic chunks big so I can remove them before serving. Anyway, I don't put garlic in the gazpacho, but you can if you're so inclined.

Ok, so now you have the soup base. You can put it in a glass bowl. Don't put it in metal. It will make it taste funny. Just trust me on this. Now take the other half of the cucumber, yellow pepper and red pepper and mince them up very finely and put them in the soup. The soup should not be chunky. Only put enough to add a small amount of texture. Think of it more as a garnish.

Now you're done with the soup, but you still need to garnish it. Here's what we put on top of it at the hotel:

Grilled shrimp. Pioneer Woman uses these too.
Diced avocado
more cilantro
cilantro lime sour cream (puree some lime juice, sour cream or greek yogurt with cilantro leaves in the blender)
tortilla chips

If we were feeling crazy we would grill some corn on the cobs, cut the grilled kernels off the cob and throw a handful of these on top of the gazpacho too. It was good and let me tell you, the whole thing with all the garnishes was one kick ass bowl of cold soup. It was very satisfying and made a filling lunch.

Now I am really in the mood for this. I may have to make a batch this weekend now. I'll post pictures if I manage to get it done and let me know if any of you try this and how it turned out.

Also, as a reminder, please be sure that you wrap the container tightly for storage and that you make sure the finished product is secured on a balanced, steady shelf. Cleaning it up is a real bitch.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

An Interlude, Because There's a BIG News Story

I need to briefly interrupt the story. We can call it a small intermission if you'd like. I just need to tell you this tid-bit of life in South Florida.

Yesterday there was a big news story here. We were having a cold front. I was on my way home from work and listening to the ridiculous ultra-right wing news radio because I wanted to know what the traffic situation was. They give the traffic and weather more frequently and reliably than the other stations that mostly just play songs about women's behinds and all the things they can do with them and how they look and shake and so on.

Well, you would have thought we were all going into the next Ice Age, the fuss they were making about this cold front. First they had some news teaser about someone who'd been arrested on corruption charges, then someone who'd been attacked by a pit bull, a child who'd accidentally been shot in a gang war and then a child who'd been locked in a hot car. You know the usual, boring, uneventful stuff that happens down here. Then the news reporter says this:

"But the BIG story today is the cold front that's pushing through our area."

And I get all excited thinking it will finally cool down. Finally Fall will be here and I can wear a short sleeve shirt instead of a tank top. Maybe I can sleep with the windows open. Maybe I won't burn alive on the walk from the parking lot to my classroom.

"Overnight," the reporter said with a dramatic pause, "temperatures will plummet into the mid to high 70s. We'll also see a major difference in daytime temperatures. Today's high of 89 will be replaced by tomorrow's high of 87."

I kid you not. People. Two degrees. I can't even feel the difference between 85 and 95, but come on. A difference in two degrees is a major news story? For real?

This is life in South Florida.

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