poem tiff

remember last July in Miami
you – in your Lily Pulitzer dress
me in my Korn t-shirt
cargo shorts and
indigo flip-flops
sitting at a bayside table
…you smoking
like you’d never heard
the news about that
me drinking gin martinis
and both of us
talking about that
poetry reading
in Broward
a couple of weeks before
where the guy with the
glass eye killed it
with that poem

the poem you can’t remember the name of

and you said that it
was the finest poem
that you’d heard in
the past decade
and I said that if
that guy didn’t have a glass eye
that you wouldn’t
have regarded that poem
so highly

so we had a tiff over
the poem
…damn poem tiffs
three quarters of an hour later
the waiter comes back with
our check

saying to me that
my Visa card had been
some days there
is no easy way out.

the defiant

I watch them in the afternoon

when the days of spring

bend close to summer

and I see them, in banter

flocked together

at the Bamboo Bar

in scuffed sandals and

Bermuda shorts and

nondescript dark glasses

drinking rum punch from

pink plastic cups


unruffled and warming themselves

seeking relief from the worst sorts

of high end dislocation

and seeking solace in diluted drinks and

in the company

of those of a feather

they’re the last of the snowbirds

…the ones who hang on, far too long


for word from Grosse Pointe

from Upper Saddle River

from Cambridge

and the far shores

of the Delaware

to tell them that the final drabs of winter

have escaped

and cross-pollination is afoot

as the first daffodils of spring shoot

from the ground of

Chestnut Hill,

and Cherry Hill

and Beacon Hill.

and the pink dogwoods

are abloom in Brigantine,

and in Sea Gate, Brooklyn

And although the update is clear

it is unenforceable, and perchance

totally ignored

by these reluctant birds

the defiant and liberated.

Cold night in South Florida

I had only been up for about an hour today when I heard the news. I was sitting on my couch at about half past five, lights low, laptop humming on the coffee table, our golden retriever Bailey resting his head on my knee. I had both hands wrapped around my first mug of coffee, trying to steel myself for a day that would not see temperatures climb out of the  high 60s.  I had just turned the TV on to NBC 6 Miami, and I was waiting anxiously for local weather guy, Ryan Phillips,  to give me the ‘down low’ on the Polar Vortex. I always trust Ryan. He’s a native Midwesterner (Ohio) and he did three years as a weatherman in Nebraska. Those qualifications are enough for me.  If anybody can tell me when the Polar Vortex is going shift north of the Georgia border, it’s Ryan. (And to all of you reading in frigid northern climates, I know what you want to say to me. You want to tell me that it is 49 degrees below zero outside your house in Ice Slide Minnesota, and we whimpering Florida pansies don’t know what real cold is!!  Ha… to you I say, you don’t live in houses with heating systems that consist of two Yankee Candles and a wool scarf.)

So there I was…Bailey and I in front of the tube…when I heard that Justin Bieber had been arrested in Miami. The nineteen year old Biebs was arrested at about 4:09 AM (roughly the time I get up), drag racing down Pine Tree Drive in a yellow Lamborghini (great color choice when you’re trying to stay low key). By now it is old news that the inebriated Bieber was on an all day bender, smoking weed, drinking, taking prescription meds, and it is a testament to his age that he was still functioning at that late  hour, as I doubt that I should be in any condition to drag race at 4AM after a day like that, but that’s another matter.

Bieber has been cruising for trouble since he arrived in Florida. His controversial unauthorized escort from Opa-loka airport after his plane landed their earlier this week is being investigated, with local law enforcement officers likely to face disciplinary action. Then he shows up at a local strip joint, tossing around (allegedly) 75 grand in cash. Partying all night in South Beach clubs. Then, finally blocking off the streets for a drag race.

“What the f*** did I do? Why did you stop me?” he asked the first officer on the scene.

The profanity continues, no doubt exacerbated by the alcohol and drugs that the young man consumed in the hours leading up to his arrest. Alcohol and drugs do that to you. And you will be seeing more of Justin Bieber as time goes on. Already, local television has preempted late morning shows to provide live coverage of his arrival at the county courthouse. A mugshot of a smiling Bieber was released to the press and has certainly made its way around the world a dozen times by now. Not to be fooled by smiling celeb mugshots. Most of them are aware that their photos are going to live in infamy so they often make an extra attempt to look nonchalant, even happy. It is often not a sign of raw, finger in the air, arrogance.  In Justin Bieber’s case, however, it may actually be raw, finger in the air, arrogance.

But it will go on ad nauseum.  The tabloids are undoubtedly scandalizing the story further with possibly “Biebs Miami Meltdown” headlines to soon appear.  The requisite analysis, interviews, speculation and condemnation will begin.

Bieber’s bond has already been set at $2500. He should have little trouble raising it (the Lamborghini rented for about $1800/day), and already fabled super-lawyer Roy Black is on the case. Black, who has defended William Kennedy Smith, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Rodman, Marv Alpert and Carmen Electra, to  name only a few, is a legal magician extraordinaire, so I am guessing that Bieber’s Dade County charges are well on the way to the legal dustbin — after all, what can they do to him? He’s unlikely to receive jail time, any financial implications are paltry to say the most, and even though he will likely face suspension of his driving privileges, it’s not like he’s going to lose his job at Radio Shack or WalMart because they aren’t on the bus line.

Still…this isn’t L.A. The mighty have come here and gone, some never to return. Britney and Lindsey and Paris partied here, and the list of celebrity DUIs, car crashes and arrests would fill a phone directory (if anyone remembers what one of those is).  And don’t forget that The Juice came here – and left. And now sits in a Nevada prison waiting for the end. Justice can be slow coming, and it comes much slower for the powerful than for the rest of us. Yet it does come.

Tonight though, Justin Bieber is scheduled to attend the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat game at American Airlines Arena.

Thoughts on: Messin’ with stuff for the sake of messin’ with stuff

Okay, I’ll admit it. I got up on the wrong side of the keyboard today and I am not feeling my usual self. I think what is galling me today are people who want to change things just for the sake of changing them. Sometimes we like to have a little stability in this world – what’s wrong with that.

One guy who knows what I mean is right-wing webmaster, extraordinaire, Matt Drudge. Now I don’t buy into Matt’s particular brand of politics, in fact he and I are polar opposites in that arena. But one thing you have to say about the guy, he knows how to run a website. One look at the Drudge Report and you’ll think that it’s 1993 again and you’ve just logged onto the internets with your brand new Gateway 386 using a 300 baud dial up modem. He’s kept that same format for years and has been very successful with it. Oh I know, recently he’s been sneaking in some color glossies, but he’s still got the same gazillion links to every online newspaper and syndicated columnist in existence. Republican, Democrat, Tea Partier, or Earth Firster, we all end up at Drudge, and he’s taken it all the way to the bank.

Another guy who knew something about leaving things alone was Henry Ford. The famous Ford logo with the scripted company name ‘Ford’ was first devised back in 1912 and although it underwent numerous changes throughout the years, it remained very much the same. So much so that the logo on the 1927 Model A is almost identical to the logo on my 2006 F-150 truck. The logo was on a brief hiatus from the late 50’s until 1976. Since ’76, however, nobody has messed with that famous logo (although it was put up as part of the collateral needed to secure government funding back during the precarious auto bailout days, but that’s another story).

So there you go – two good reasons to leave stuff alone.  I could actually go on and on, and I probably would if I thought it would do any good, but it won’t. Now let’s talk about people who just cannot leave stuff alone — like the owners of the Miami Dolphins football team. They want to mess with stuff. Now EEOTPB is not a sports blog, not by any means. God knows there are enough of those out there. But as a Dolphins fan, I have always felt that one of the more endearing fan-facing elements of the team was its logo – the happy dolphin in a football helmet. It was well,…fun. And football is supposed to be fun isn’t it? It’s certainly not work, or why would we spend time and money attending the games.

The old helmeted dolphin that adorned everything team related, from players helmets to fans bar-b-q grills is being replaced by a sleek new dolphin. This new dolphin is not even wearing a helmet. A dolphin that looks sort of …logo-like. It looks like it was conjured up by some Madison Avenue ad guys who have no intention of venturing past New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to attend a football game.

Most notably missing, to me anyway, is the fact that the new dolphin doesn’t have any eyes. The eyes, with an ever so determined expression on the old dolphins face gave the logo its character. This new dolphin is sleek and fast looking and not to be trusted. It looks as slick and insincere as a New York used car salesman. So maybe putting eyes and a mouth on the dolphin was a bit too sappy for the ad guys. Maybe it was too cartoon-like. All I can say is that I personally liked the cartoon-like old dolphin, because he (or she, gender is not readily apparent when one is dealing with dolphins), painted a likeable face on the team – a team that needs all the likeability it can get in light of the past few disappointing seasons.

If you want, check out these links to the old logo, versus the new logo, and by all means feel free to weigh in on this virtually inconsequential issue.

I told you upfront I got up on the wrong side of the keyboard…now I gotta run…there are some kids walking on my lawn and I have to go yell at them…