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Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It seems way too early for the "love bugs" to be out... but last week, I saw one, and today, I saw my first small swarm of the amourous little buggers.

If you've never had the joy of experiencing "love bugs," (and if you've never lived in the Southeastern US, you probably haven't), let me explain.

First of all, they're completely harmless. No, they're not the result of some bizarre scientific experiement gone bad, though that rumor runs rampant through the Sunshine State.

A "love bug" is a flying insect, bigger than a mosquito, but smaller than a housefly. And in the spring, they mate-- which, for most insects, is none of my business. "Love bugs" make it your business.

See, once they mate, they're stuck together. Not metaphorically, like "I got knocked up, so I guess I'm stuck with this loser." Literally stuck at their little buggy genitals.

Now, once again, none of my business, right? Wrong. Imagine, if you will, attempting to walk around and go about your daily business while stuck to your partner at the groin. Not a pretty picture, right? Kind of like a perverted three-legged race? You'd be bumping into things, tripping over one another, stumbling around like a drunken ox. Now, imagine trying to fly whilst stuck together in a similar fashion.

That's the problem with the "love bug." They fly. And because of their unusual situation, they don't fly particularly well. They seem to hover at right about car level. And their bug juices can strip the paint right off of your bumper. The picture to the right is not an exaggeration.

Even worse, by mid-May, the air is thick with aerial orgies of the little buggers, in clumsy flight. They get stuck in your hair, stuck to your clothes, and stuck in your food if you eat outside.

So, forgive my love-bug complaints. I don't mind their lewd and lascivious behavior-- really. I'd just prefer that they don't do it on my car, or in my hair, or on my hot dog. That's not too much to ask, right?

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Blogger's Block

It's funny-- during the week, I always think of things to blog about: Our first anniversary, Darren McCarty's return to the Red Wings, the absolute pain-in-the-arse that writing an annual report has become, seeing "Run, Fat Boy, Run," bad drivers, my trip to the world's largest trailer park... the list goes on and on.

Then, I have a little free time-- and I've lost my inspiration.

I did take a trip to the World's largest trailer park last week... it's actually just a mile from where I work. And while there are some "nice" manufactured homes in our area-- you won't find any of the nice ones there.

And here's what makes it particularly lovely. Because it's not close to any schools-- 1 in 10 residents of this happy little hamlet is a sex offender (I've actually heard that it's more than that... but I'm being generous).

Anyway, I had to take a trip out there for work this week. And my boss acted as if I was going into a war zone. "If you're not back in half an hour, you'd better call me."

Here's the funny thing. Nobody there was going to mess with me. For one thing... I only saw two cars crappier than mine... and neither of them were up on blocks.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kicking the Bucket

Seriously, how long ago did the movie "The Bucket List" come out? Every week, when Cory and I are looking for a Sunday morning matinee to go to, I see "The Bucket List" on the showtimes, and I usually say loudly, "That's still in the theaters???"

Ok... I just checked... and it came out on Christmas. That's damn near four months ago.

I get it. We live in Florida... "God's waiting room." A lot of our neighbors are nearing Death's door and trying to fulfill their own 'bucket lists.' It's probably a pretty popular flick in our neck of the woods.

But four months? For a movie that was number-one for maybe a week or two? Really?

I don't get it. I guess you could say that seeing the movie "The Bucket List" isn't on my personal "bucket list."

But then again, I'm only 38. Ask me again when I'm 70,Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman's age. And by the way, Morgan is little more than a month younger than Jack. And Jack's birthday is next week. And I still don't want to see his movie. Especially four months after its release.

So there.


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Sunday, April 13, 2008

How to Waste Time: a primer

1) You Have to Burn the Rope (the theme song is fantastic)
2) Dance, Dance, Dance (I heart dancing vikings)

You're welcome.


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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Flying Fish, Part II

(By the way, I'm not sure what's wrong with my blog at the moment. I'm assuming it looks as peculiar to you as it does to me. Sigh.)

So, we get to Matlacha, and the fish-flinging has already begun. The kids competition was underway, which was pretty funny. A lot of really little kids picking up dead fish and trying to chuck them... then wiping their hands on the emcee's pants.

Once the adult competition began, I kept trying to convince Cory to give it a whirl. After all, it's just five bucks a pop. It goes to a good cause. And I get to laugh at him.

He won't do it. At first, it's because he says he doesn't know the right technique. We got a good kick out of watching this guy and his friend debate whether to throw the mullet overhand or underhand (photo courtesy of the News-Press). One guy even threw his discus-style.

Later, when push came to shove, Cory admitted that he doesn't want to get embarrassed. It's not the fish-flinging that he's worried about. It's that he's a big dude-- and he feels that people would have expectations when they saw a 6'5" guy walk up there. If he wasn't good at mullet-tossing, the crowd would be dissappointed-- and he'd be embarrassed.

So, we settle for drinking beer and watching instead. It was a hot, sunny day, and we'd brought some folding lawn chairs with us. We found a spot under a tent (one of those tall tents like they have at art fairs-- you know-- with the pointy roof and no sides), ended up sitting next to some people from Clarkston and Troy, Michigan (very close to where I grew up), and watched the fish-flinging commence.

By the way, the Matlacha Mariners aren't wasteful. I guess a mullet isn't a one-toss fish. The same several fish would get tossed over and over again, so on occasion, a fish would hit the ground and spatter from one too many uses. Sometimes, you could actually see fish guts spray while the mullet was in midair. Gross, huh? Once a fish gets "retired" from circulation, the Mariners give it to crabbers, who use it as bait in their traps.

Gutty fish made for good entertainment. One of the most amusing parts of the mullet toss was watching people dodge those flying fish. See, not everyone there had the ability to throw fish with accuracy, and a lot of out-of-bounds tosses went into the crowd. We sat and laughed, relatively secure in the knowledge that we were under a tent, with more tents in front of and behind ours. A fish could hit the roof of the tent, but the odds of one sliding into the gap between the tents, hitting the ground, and bouncing five feet into one of our laps was pretty slim.

But lets face it-- I'm the type of girl that likes to defy the odds.

So, we'd been there for a couple hours-- enjoyed a few beers, had a few laughs, and were trying to decide when to leave. We agreed to stay until the next "intermission" and then go off to our next adventure. Shortly after we make the decision, I see a fish flying towards us, and even say, "Wow. That one's coming straight at us." But the loft of the throw goes over the tent, and out of our view. We hear a plop. And then the fish slips between the tent roofs, hits the ground, and bounces 4 1/2 feet in my direction until it slaps against my shin.


Cory, not paying attention, looks down, sees a gutty dead fish at my feet, and thinks I dodged a bullet. I, on the other hand, know better. I can feel cold fish blood trickling down my leg. I looked down, and my shin was red and streaked with silver scales. The spatter got on my pants and even on my shirt.

A very nice man brought me some napkins to wipe off the fish guts, and I did the rest I could, but I stunk for the rest of the day. I had some "moist towelettes" in my purse courtesy of a chicken-wing dinner a few nights earlier, and that helped,too, but even after we got home and I took a shower, I could still smell it.

So I guess it's a good thing that Cory didn't want to be embarrassed. I took care of that for him.

That said, I'll go back next year. And knowing my luck, I'll probably get hit by a stray fish again.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Beware Flying Fish (part one)

So, last Saturday, Cory and I had to one of those "Only in Florida" experiences: The Matlacha Mullet Toss. (Ok, technically, other states do "Mullet Tossing," too... but would you really be that surprised if I told you that they did in in Alabama? Of course not.) By the way, when I say "mullet," I'm referring to the fish-- and not the haircut so popular among rednecks and hockey players. However, we saw plenty of both kinds of mullet on Saturday.

Matlacha is a small fishing town just a few miles from here. It's on Pine Island-- and just about every business is either a bar, an art gallery, or a bait shop. And I'm not even joking.

So, for the better part of the last two decades, a local group called the Matlacha Mariners have hosted a fish-flinging competition. By the way, the Mariners are a nonprofit org who support music education in schools. And, more importantly, who like to fling fish.

As a side note, the Mariners are a men's group. There's an accompanying women's group, the "Matlacha Hookers." Nice, huh?

So, the Mariners and the Hookers were out in full force on Saturday. And after two years of hearing about how fun the Mullet Toss is, Cory and I finally got to experience it for ourselves.

Ok... so that's it for part one. I've got to get ready to go to a movie (Gotta love the $4 morning matinee!)


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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Only in Florida

This little gem comes from our hometown. You can file this under "Stupid Criminals." I just file it under "Typical Florida."

Just a thought: If you absolutely have to break into a strip club, hold its employees hostage, and rob the place, you might want to rob a strip club that you didn't work at. Oh-- and if you happen to have a very distinguishable speech impediment as the result of a harelip-- you might not want to be the guy barking out the orders to your former coworkers.

But what do I know?


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Notes from a crappy blogger

Wow. I've been a really crappy blogger lately. Sorry about that. This 8-4:30 schedule is quite seriously kicking my a$$. I don't know how you "normal" people do it. I get home from work, eat dinner with Cory before he has to get back to work for the night shift, and all I want to do after that is take a nap.

Work, so far, has been fun. Most of my coworkers are pretty cool-- I go out to lunch with a group of them at least twice a week. It's fun to be part of a "group" for once. Working in sports always made me a bit of a loner. Sports departments are often crammed into a little office, far away from the rest of the newsroom. I actually know people who worked on a different floor than the rest of the news department. When everyone else was going to dinner together or ordering pizza in the newsroom, that's when I always had to go rushing out to shoot a game.

One of these days, I'll take a picture of my office. It's larger (and much nicer) than the one I had when I was teaching... though back then, I had a window. I guess technically, I have a window now, too... but it faces another office, so I'm not sure it counts. Oh well.

So, what was my point here? I'm not sure. I think I originally planned to write about what I've been doing at work, but I don't think you'd find the annual report to be very interesting.

You want interesting? How about this... I promise, the next time I log on, I'll write about our adventure at the "mullet toss." How's that for a tease???

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