Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Do you like sandwiches and jokes?

Thursday, September 3rd
223 S. Howard Ave.


Clark Brooks
Amanda Jordan
Rio Paris 
Ashley Strand
Jared Waters

Monday, August 31, 2015

What a Best year it has been!

Oh my goodness!
You have just over a week (September 8!) to go (Go! Go, Go, Go!!) file your grievances votes for Creative Loafing's 2015 Best of the Bay awards! It's the 25th anniversary, so kind of a big deal. Now, I am nominated in the following categories:

  • Best local sportswriter (me)
  • Best local blogger (me)
  • Best local personality to follow on Twitter (me)
  • Best local podcast (mine)
  • Best book by a local author (mine)
  • Best local stand-up comic (me)

I also have a rooting interest in a couple of other categories:

But I'm not here to campaign for your votes. I already did that.

I haven't voted yet, which is a lie, but when I do, I will be making the following selections and not voting for myself in those previously mentioned categories (that is not a lie) because that would be tacky.

















Friday, August 28, 2015

Neighborhood feud

Apparently, my neighbors hate each other. Here's how I know.

  • A few weeks ago, my mailbox fell (or was knocked) off its post. I went out later to fix it and my neighbor from across the street (we'll call him Mr. Across-the-street) came over and said, "I fixed that for you already". I thanked him and he said, "yeah, I did it because he said he was gonna run it over with his car", indicating my next door neighbor, the guy who mows my lawn and removes the clippings for free because he's into composting (we'll refer to him as Mr. Mower). "Really?", I asked incredulously. "Why would he do something like that?". "Oh, he's a bad guy. Him and his wife. They're swingers. And drug dealers. And they steal. They have wife swapping parties where they deal drugs and they go to California." I'm not sure what going to California has to to do with anything but Mr. and Mrs. Mower have always been very nice to me. They have dogs and last year, they gave me a plate of Christmas cookies. So without acknowledging his claims, I thanked him for fixing my mailbox and went inside.
  • A few weeks later, Mr. Across-the-street posted these signs in his yard:

  • The next morning, there was a City of Tampa code enforcement truck in Mr. Across-the-street's driveway and the signs were down.
  • This past Saturday, I saw a small wooden structure near my mailbox and found out it was housing a camera pointed at Mr. Across-the-street's house. I saw Mrs. Mower outside and asked her what was the deal. "We're having real problems with them and we're trying to protect ourselves. We can move it if it's on your property and you don't want it there." She told me that Mr. Across-the-streets follows them when they walk their dogs, calls Mrs. Mower all kinds of horrible names and once showed up in their garage carrying a baseball bat! I told her, "by all means, do whatever you need to do to be safe."
  • The next day, Mrs. Across the street knocked on my front door. I answered it and she proceeded to give me the lowdown, according to her. She basically said it was a disagreement between the two men of the respective houses and that her hope was that it would die down eventually. Nothing too crazy about that, I thought. "But they are drug dealers and this whole thing started when they asked me to have sex with them and I refused. They've hated us ever since." Umm... "Have you noticed the parties they have over there?", she asked. "I see them eating on their back porch sometimes", I replied. "No, they're always having these big, wife-swapping drug parties." Oh.
Of course, the ideal thing would be to not involved in any way, including not ever hearing about it ever, at all. I guess I have to take a side here. And after taking all of this into account, I think I'm going to side with the people who mow my lawn for free, give me cookies at Christmas time and are probably not kind of insane. Sorry, Across-the-streeters.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Problem: solved

"‘The Goonies’ house goes off limits"

"For 14 years, homeowner Sandi Preston has let fans — within reason — approach, photograph, gawk at and geek out on her property in Uppertown. On occasion, she has even opened up her house to them.
“Sandi ... has been very, very accommodating,” City Councilor Russ Warr said.
But, with an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 visitors swarming around the house almost every day this summer, Preston and her neighbors near 38th and Duane streets are experiencing fan fatigue.
“The tourism at the Goonies house has, over the last three or four years, absolutely exploded,” Warr said at Monday’s City Council meeting.
Preston recently asked the chamber and the city to do whatever they can to limit public access to her home." -- The Daily Astorian
Simple solution...

"Fayette County house from 'The Silence of the Lambs' up for sale"
"Home for sale, dungeon not included.
The owners of a Fayette County house that appeared in the 1991 thriller “The Silence of the Lambs” are looking to sell.
Scott and Barbara Lloyd's three-story Victorian near Perryopolis was the home of a serial killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill in the Academy Award-winning film.
The couple, both 63, put the house up for sale Sunday. The asking price is $300,000.
“The house is just so cool,” said Dianne Wilk, a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, which listed the home.
In the film, Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, and Anthony Hopkins is Dr. Hannibal Lecter, an imprisoned cannibalistic psychiatrist.
Starling seeks Lecter's help in finding Buffalo Bill, who skins his victims' corpses." -

Sandi moves and then we'll find out how she likes her new visitors.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Check it out: I got interviewed

My friend Sandi interviewed me on the topic of social media (and some other stuff) for her podcast "Making ALL the Right Connections" at her web site Go listen to it, eat some lunch, listen to it again five or six times and then check out her other podcasts. Then go to iTunes, subscribe and leave her several five-star reviews, especially this one because I'm a big deal.

I also say very nice things about the person I'm addressing with a hand-held voice amplification device in this photo, because I'm a sweetheart.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Seeing Red

Recently, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the launch of "RED: The Buccaneers Women's Movement"...
"A bold, new movement aimed at changing the way female fans connect with their home team and own their individual football experience is sweeping across the Bay Area and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are leading the charge. RED is a movement that will be led by the women of Tampa Bay, alongside the Buccaneers, to become innovators and leaders in changing the way football is enjoyed by women. All women of the Tampa Bay Area are invited to join the movement and help usher in an exciting, new era for female fans across the region. RED will provide female Buccaneers fans with year-round educational experiences focused on providing a better understanding of the game, along with unprecedented access to their favorite team. In addition, RED will re-invent the female fan experience by providing insight into topics such as: what goes on behind the scenes on gamedays at Raymond James Stadium; how to maximize their gameday experience; how to blend personal Buccaneer pride with the latest NFL fashions; as well as tips on sharing their experiences and ideas via social media platforms such as Pinterest.
RED members will also have access to exclusive networking events throughout the year designed to encourage interaction while providing practical advice on how to express their love for the Bucs into original design projects, fashion-forward team apparel and creative culinary creations."
Squeeee! Football!! Right, gals? Let the Bucs "re-invent" you and your silly girl-brain by enhancing your "fan experience" with wine, fashion tips, recipes and, if time allows, football!

Taking you from this...
Pictured: Actual woman preparing to throw actual football
To this...
"Um, like, we were promised wine?"
And ultimately to this...
"Bitch better have my casserole"
If, as a female football fan, this is not what you're looking for when it comes to "changing the way football is enjoyed by women", I am offering an alternative program and here it is, in its entirety (sorry, no articles on what a "play clock" is)...

Rouge: Getting The Ladies Up To Our (Men's) Level
(in terms of NFL football only, of course)
Here's all you ladies need to do to in order to be as knowledgeable on NFL football as any male fan:

Level 1, During the preseason *:

  1. Pick a player (doesn't matter who or what position)
  2. Proclaim "(Player you picked) looks good out there" or "...looks like crap out there" (Doesn't matter which. Alternate between them on a daily basis if you want)
  3. Refer to what you just said as a "break-down".
  4. Level 1 complete!

Level 2, During the regular season *:

  1. At some point, say "This defensive unit isn't playing as well as it can but they're showing signs of coming together". You can say this at any point during the season, regardless of your team's record at the time.
  2. Level 2 complete!
Level 3, During the postseason *:
  1. Whether your team makes the playoffs or not, say "I think we're really set up to make a serious title run next season".
  2. At a Super Bowl party, say "Who cares who wins? The commercials are the best part of the whole thing"
  3. Follow that immediately with "Of course, the commercials aren't nearly as good as they used to be"
  4. Level 3 complete!
Level 4, during the off-season, prior to the draft *:
  1. While discussing the upcoming draft strategy for your team (or every team, for that matter), say "I know they have pressing needs elsewhere, but they gotta look at an offensive lineman"
  2. Level 4 complete!
* = Whatever you do, do not post this on Pinterest. In fact, don't even mention that you have a Pinterest account.

Congratulations! Welcome to male-level NFL expert fandom!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On a mission for Mel

I've seen David Byrne in concert. I've seen Wayne Gretzky play hockey. I've been face-to-face with a Beatle. I've seen Prince in concert (three times). I'll never get a chance to see Richard Pryor do stand-up, but I did catch George Carlin live. And last week, I learned that Mel Brooks is coming to town on October 14 to host a screening of "Blazing Saddles", plus a Q and A session with the audience.

I have to be there. Not just in the audience; I need the $300 VIP meet-and-greet ticket.

Okay, first, for the "$300?!? That's absurd!" crowd; the 'value' of event tickets is totally subjective. Depending on what the event offers to whom, it's anywhere from 'absurd' to 'a drop in the bucket'. Actually, it's not a drop in the bucket, at least for me, but it is money I'm willing to spend. Not that I need to justify that to anyone, but...

  • Let's start with the fact that it's "Blazing Saddles" on the big screen. It's in the top ten (maybe top five, or even three) of my all-time favorite movies. It's a movie I will stop and watch any time it's on TV, even when it's the dirty-words-bleeped-out version shown on AMC. It's "BLAZING SADDLES", fer cryin' out loud, a movie that could never be made today and almost wasn't back in the 70's!!
  • Secondly, the great Mel Brooks himself is going to be there and talk about it. Yes, I already know that Pryor was the first choice to play Bart. Yes, I already know that they asked John Wayne to be in it and he politely refused in just about the coolest way possible. Yes, I already know that it was the first movie with a fart scene. But I've never listened to Mel Brooks tell me all of that in person.
  • Third, the $300 ticket allows me to meet Mel Brooks in person. A friend asked me, "What are you going to say to him? What do you think you could possibly say that he hasn't heard 100 times already?". That doesn't matter. His movies have given me an impossible-to-measure amount of joy during my life (nobody else ever had the guts to tell me that not only is it okay to make fun of Nazis, but that it's a moral obligation to do so). If I just get the chance to say thanks for that, it's enough.

Somebody suggested I set up a Kickstarter or GoFundMe page. Someone else suggested that I reach out to Mr. Brooks somehow and play up the tenuous "Brooks Family" connection. Another person suggested I just suck it up and shell out $300 of my own. I'm not above doing any or all of those. But whatever it takes, I'm going to be there.