Monday, February 16, 2009

February 12, 2009 If You Can't Read This, Please Keep Reading...

If you are at Burger King and you find yourself needing a picture menu, how exactly is this sign going to help you?

January 30, 2009 The Naked Cowboy Exposed

Tampa was fortunate enough during Super Bowl week to score a visit from one cool guy, the Naked Cowboy. And by cool, I mean really cold, since he was the only cat standing around in his tighty-whities on this chilly January night. Chilly for us Floridians, but probably pretty comfortable for this New York boy. His theme song, "I'm the Naked Cowboy" is Grammy worthy, and the fact that he insists that you grab his tushy, while he is grabbing yours, is a nice bonus. One thing you may not know about him: he is also an ordained minister, and performs marriages in Times Square for as little as $500. 

Sunday, February 8, 2009

February 5, 2009 A Fairly Good Combination

It's that time again... The 2009 Florida State Fair has arrived. Personally, this is one of my favorite times of the year (second only to the Hudson Beach Snail Festival). I mean, where else can mullets, midgets, "as seen on TV" gimmicks, and deep fried everything-under-the-sun exist is such harmony?

And if the question of "what will be this year's most absurd, artery-clogging fair food" has been keeping you awake at night since last March, like it has me... then you may want to try laying off the coffee before bedtime. 

What WILL the 2009 tasty treat be? Could anything be better than a fried Oreo, powdered up like a beignet? And, after all, what IS there left to fry...we've already seen the fried Twinkie, the fried PB&J Uncrustable, fried cookie dough, fried Pepsi, a fried Snickers bar and Reese's PB Cup.... what could possibly top these items? A fried margarita, maybe? 

Surprisingly, this year's delight isn't fried at all (sorta)...(insert drumroll) The 2009 most scrumptiously obnoxious fair treat is...
Bacon Dipped in Chocolate! (insert sound of angels singing)

Now I have to admit, I love bacon almost as much as I love chocolate... so this news did not make me grimace as it has with almost everyone else I know. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure how I lived this long without trying it (or maybe I lived this long because I didn't try it...) Regardless, this mouth-watering, taste sensation of a treat is deliciously wonderful, and you should definitely try it before writing it off as something that could, in theory, kill you on the spot.

You can thank the really nice folks at Mavric's Chocolate Barn located just inside Gate 2, for introducing us to this amazing treat. One order is $2.50. They have other wonderful chocolate creations there, as well.

That's all for now...I'm off to my cardiologist!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 12, 2009 Lights on Tampa

"Lights on Tampa is a public/private partnership that combines Tampa's commitment to the arts, technology, and education with excellence and free access. This biennial event puts the spotlight on Tampa through outdoor installations by major contemporary artists created from both "low" and "high" tech materials."

There is no better time to take a walk around Tampa at night then right now. Lights on Tampa will run through February 1st.

To print a map of the installations, click here.

To interact with the Tampa Public Mood Ring installation, click here.

Revamp Fort Brooke 
Ft. Brooke Parking Garage, South Facade

Ecstatic City (Tampa)
Tampa Convention Center and adjacent locations

St. Pete Times Forum (Parking Garage, East Facade)

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 3, 2008 An Interesting Christmas Perspective

Nativity Scene Checklist:

Manger - Check
Plastic Mary (in blue), Joseph (in pink) and baby Jesus - Check
Santa, on the manger's roof, looking perplexed, as he was told that there would be a chimney - Check
The wreckage of a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe in the background - Check
Card tables leaning against the side of the manger, in the event a game of bridge breaks out when the ladies from the church arrive - Check
Fire producing torches, two times the size of Joseph, located beneath the manger (A work of the devil, perhaps?) - Check
A tuxedo cat disguised as one of the three wise men, obviously bored and trying to sleep - Check

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 28, 2008 Angry Mop Haiku

Mop, might I suggest
Anger management classes?
You should lighten up.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 16, 2008 The Sky is Falling

Last weekend, my dear friend Paige Turner had to visit the ER at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. And as we were waiting in her room, a hospital worker passed by with a very tall cart. Just as he passed, a huge chunk of a ceiling tile fell from the drop ceiling. Initially, we thought something on his cart may have damaged the ceiling.

But then I saw it...the large, bare, hairy leg and foot retreating back into the ceiling. At first, my thought was "hey, a construction worker just accidentally put his foot through the ceiling." For some reason, it didn't occur to me at that moment that construction workers usually wear some type of shoe, along with pants, for that matter. In addition, as Paige pointed out, they also usually don't work at 10 pm on a Sunday night.

I stepped out of the room and took a much closer look up into the new hole in the ceiling, and saw TWO large, bare, hairy legs and feet coming from a hospital gown. So now I'm standing in the hallway inside the ER, saying somewhat loudly, "there is a patient in the ceiling with no shoes". (The "no shoes" part seemed important at the time. If it was just an ER patient crawling around in the ceiling wearing shoes, why, that would have been ok, I guess.) I continued... "seriously, there is a dude in the ceiling with no shoes." Now the ER doctors and nurses are starting to give me the "settle down, crazy woman, because we can take you out faster than you can say gurney" look. Thank goodness one of the doctors also spotted our ceiling crawler, which got me off the hook.

It was clear that we had a hospital escapee on our hands, and also clear that the ER drop ceiling was not going to support his weight for much longer. I was happy that he was, at least, crawling AWAY from Paige's room. I was safe, as I had taken the stand-under-a-door-frame-earthquake stance...however, Paige was in her hospital bed, and would not have been too pleased had the ceiling crawler dropped out of the sky onto her (unless, of course, he was very handsome and wealthy, and then it may have been ok).

He finally made his way down (thanks to gravity) and we heard later that he had travelled quite a distance via the drop ceiling. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get an iPhone photo of the situation, so I just took a photo of the outside of the ER (boring, I know). But, I have added another photo that should help with the visual. 

(P.S. I am happy to report that Paige is doing much better and is back at home. They were able to remove her hand from the bingo cage, and the puncture wounds from the giraffe bite are healing nicely.)


Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9, 2008 That's Hot

The Spice Girls and I headed out to today's Inaugural Crystal Beach Chili Cook-Off... and boy did we have a sizzling time. Some seagulls got into a heated argument, but overall everyone was very warm to us, and a festive time was had by all. Here are a few pics...and I must admit, they're pretty hot.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 4, 2008 Lockahart Celebrates Birthadays

Yesterday, Rocky Shore, Sandy Shore and I were driving around taking photos of election day festivities, when we spotted this sign on 17th St. in Tampa. According to the Lockhart Elementary Magnet School sign, they specialize in exposing Tampa's youth to "Arts, Culture, Language". Yes, language. Even the very popular Pig Latin-esque-ish language featured below. "Let's go to Walamart" or "Pass the panacakes" are just a few of the statements that can often be overheard on the playground of Lockhart. If you would like to learn more about this little gem of a language, please visit, and remember, if your little one is struggling with their upcoming national spelling bee competition, the folks at Lockhart might be able to help. Numnah!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 3, 2008 Pumpkin Buyer's Market/Patch

As we all know, right now...right this very minute the best time to buy a home. And the home featured below (located on E. Chelsea St., across from the old Middleton High School), may be the best deal going right now in Tampa. Sure, it may not be in the most prestigious neighborhood, but where else will you find this kind of offer? Do you know how many pumpkins you could buy with $6500? You betcha (wink)...about 1300 pumpkins. And why is that important you might ask? Well, because October happens to be my very, VERY favorite month of the year, and what better way to celebrate this special time than by having a few pumpkins sitting around. Pumpkins are to October what bottle rockets are to July, or what tambourines are to April (I know...I don't get it either). So load up some hay in your pick-up truck and head out to a Corn Maze, a haunted hotel, or the best October event around...the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival...but just remember, enjoy it while you can as there are only 7 weeks left 'til Thanksgiving*!

*Let me know if you would like to sign my "Let's-all-agree-to-move-Thanksgiving-to-May" petition.

October 4, 2008 Ideas for My Christmas Gifts Part 2

Please. Buy. Me. A. Pair. Of. These...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September 26, 2008 Is that a flesh-colored, gummi guitar in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

I have often wondered what happened to that artist that used to work for Disney. You know, the one that drew the Beefy McManstick into the castle that appeared on the cover of the original Little Mermaid VHS. Well, I may have found him...still working for the candy department. Did we learn nothing from the gummi lighthouses, people??? During a recent road trip to Cephas' Hot Shop in Ybor for some aloe smoothies, my dear friend Sue Flay offered me one of these beauties..."Disney's Hannah Montana Concert Candy, Sweet and Sour Gummies in Guitar and Microphone Shapes". I was as stunned as a kangaroo in a Radio Shack! Have you ever seen a flesh-colored guitar, I ask you? 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

August 22, 2008 Ideas for my Christmas Gifts Part 1

Many thanks to my dear friend Minny Van Gogh for sharing her "Dr. Phil fathered Lindsey Lohan" National Enquirer with me last week, where I found this delightful little collectible. Meet Monkey Cuddles. Described as... "an adorable doll ready for some tender loving care! You'll find him absolutely irresistible! Before you know it, he will steal your heart away! Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, he's too cute for words with his little banana, curly tail and tiny topknot tied up with strands of genuine mohair. He even wears a real fabric diaper! Treasure him forever or enjoy giving him as lovable collectible to a monkey-lover!" 

Well I'm not really a monkey-lover, per se ( I like to work "per se" in where I can), but a REAL FABRIC DIAPER?!?! Sweet fancy moses...I might need three or four of these.*

*Disclaimer: If you actually buy me one of these, not only will I discontinue my electronic friendship with you on My Face, but I will also remove you from my blog distribution emails, and we will NEVER go to dinner together at Circle K again. Ever.

August 26, 2008 Airstream Ranch: Art or Art?

Hands down...the Airstream Ranch* in Dover, FL is a brilliant work of art. Why there is even a debate is beyond my comprehension. As a kid, I vacationed in my grandmother's "silver pickle" and thought it was the coolest mode of transportation ever. I've always been attracted to bright, shiny things thanks to a bad case of ADHD, so the Airstream Ranch located here and owned by Frank Bates of Bates RV, is the very best eye candy that Interstate 4 has to offer. Some call it an eyesore. Ha! For a real eyesore along Interstate 4, please check out the huge, obnoxious, offensive, ignorant, and reprehensible rebel flag located at the interchange of Interstate 4 and Interstate 75.

*The photo below was taken while driving mean 70mph on I-4, heading west. Please do not try this at home.

August 29, 2008 Emergency!! Survival!! Furniture!!

Many thanks to my mom (no, not "your mom" this time) for showing me this little gem of a tent sale on the corner of Highway 60 and Lakewood in Brandon. It's the "Direct Emergency Survival Furniture Sale" and it's happening right now!! I know that when I need a new couch or piece of wall art, it is definitely an emergency. And if I can't find exactly what I want, when I want it ("Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa, NOW!") it becomes a matter of survival for those around me. So I was as delighted as a cantaloupe in overalls, when we came across this place. Unfortunately, I am all set right now in the couch department, but I sure hope this place is still around the next time I have a furniture crisis.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

August 9, 2008 Tampa Bay Derby Darlins...And the Silver Goes to...

Last night resulted in yet another wonderful installation of the Tampa Bay Derby Darlins skating, fighting and jamming their way into our hearts. And although the Tampa Tantrums did not come out victorious over the Detroit Derby Girls (ranked #8 in the nation), there was a bright spot in the evening. Very bright. And shiny. And silver. And gloriously skin-tight. Mr. Marv Illis, a guest referee for the event from Grosse Ile, Michigan, wore what some might describe as shorts that would make the Cloud Gate in Chicago look like a grief-stricken coffee bean. It was as though someone had hot-glued my pupils to his lower midsection. Here is a photo of my friend Carrie Oki posing with Mr. Illis...

In other Tampa Bay Roller Derby news...

My dear friend Ella Vader is trying out for the Darlins on Monday. We are very proud of her and can't wait to see her in her first bout!

If you missed the Darlins' very awesome Tampa Bay 2008 Red Bull Flugtag flight, you can catch it here.

The Home Championship Bout will take place on Sat., Sept. 6th @ 8pm (doors at 7pm) at Skateplex in Temple Terrace. The 2007 Champs, Cigar City Mafia, vs. the Switchblade Sisters. $10 in advance or $12 at the door (cash only).

And last, but not least, please check out Rick O'Shea's blogs here and here, you won't want to miss these two posts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 22, 2008 Paging Mr. I.P. Freely...

Maybe it's the Beavis and Butt-head in me, but I love inappropriate, funny names. Fake funny names are fun, but REAL funny names are the best. In Hillsborough County, all new teachers must go through a new teacher orientation, and the training manual that is used is co-written by...wait for it...Mr. Harry Wong! ROFLMMFAO (which translates to "Raise Our Flask! Look Ma...Mark Fetched An Ostrich!" for all of you who might be new to texting). Anyhoo, when my teacher friend, Anita Plummer, showed me this book, I was happier than a millipede in a DSW. As a Hillsborough County School System alumna, I now have a better understanding of why I had so many little wongs as teachers...

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 11, 2007 Bealls Outlet's Secret

At the Bealls Outlet located at the corner of Florida Ave. and Fletcher Ave., you can find some really great deals on clothing, shoes, candles, picture frames, and even lingerie...bras, panties, and, yes, the Naughty Nurse and French Maid outfits. Now given how snooty and J Byrons-esque the "real" Bealls stores usually are, I just can't imagine how these items ended up in the outlet store. Was it some tool's first (and last) day on the job in the Bealls' purchasing department, and he was asked to order scrubs for their uniform section? Has Bealls cut a deal with The Todd to distribute outlet items for them, too? Was this a Halloween costume order that went very bad? Who knows. But I tell ya, I was more shocked than a one-eyed farmer from Kansas using an Easy Bake Oven, when I saw them hanging there today...

Monday, June 30, 2008

June 25, 2008 Public Service Announcement

As much as I LOVE the Dollar Tree, there are three types of items that I just must take a moment to encourage you to steer clear of...

First --- The faux meat section (pictured below). Any ham meat treat that is spelled "Treet" is just not a good idea. And in general, the word "loaf" is just disgusting, wouldn't you agree? So a product called the "Luncheon Loaf" is about as disturbing as a kangaroo in a Alaskan Wal-mart. And to top it all off, they also carry "Potted Meat"... Sweet fancy Moses.

Second --- The feminine products section, which includes the pregnancy test, the disposable douche and the 7-day vaginal cream. Now ladies, this just isn't an area where we want to cut corners, is it? I'm just sayin'. 

Third --- Any electrical/battery operated device that is used on any part of your body (I'll wait while you retrieve your mind from the gutter....dum dee dum....good, you're back, let's continue...) This would include the nose hair trimmer. Just think, if something were to go terribly wrong, and that thing takes your entire nose off, then here's you in the ER, "Well, I was using my nose hair trimmer.... well, from the Dollar Tree....well, yes I do remember thinking that $1 was a good deal for a nose hair trimmer...". See my point.

So go ahead, drop by a Dollar Tree and splurge on those items that really are the best deals on the bags, holiday decorations, dish towels, wine glasses, and even the occasional bag of Pixy Stix. Just say "No!" to the items mentioned above and you'll be just fine. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

June 23, 2008 "God" Lucky Schmucky

This week "God" was arrested in Tampa for selling Cocaine. Funny? I think not. The deal went down in front of a church, of all places. To put this in perspective for you, this would be like Bill Gates selling "oranges" in front of the Apple headquarters in Cupertino. Or Ronald McDonald calling himself "The King" and selling Happy Meals to the Subservient Chicken in front of the Burger King in McDonald, OH. "What could be more absurd than this?", you might ask. "God's" middle name is "Lucky". Well he's not looking so lucky in his mug shot. And I'm pretty sure "God's" mom was hittin' the ole crack pipe when choosing a baby name. And to think, I always thought that "God" might be arrested for some stunt involving a great deal of wine, but never this.

Monday, June 23, 2008

June 23, 2008 Nessie Goes to College

For many years, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster has dreamed of going to school at USF. She was admitted in May after she was finally able to bring up her SAT scores. Below is a photo of her in her new dorm room, also known as Campus Lake or Lake Behnke (I always assumed it was spelled Lake Binkie, since it is in the shape of a foot). The artist is Cameron Gainer and you may see Nessie for yourself by visiting the USF Botanical Gardens or by pulling over on the side of the road here. I am also pleased to report that someone at USF has a sense of humor. Who knew? 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 15, 2008 Worth Repeating

This past Sunday, I found myself again passing through the same busy intersection in Orlando where the car below makes hundreds of u-turns every Sunday morning in an attempt (I assume) to spread the gospel. Mr." I Hot Glued Plastic Animals to My Camry for Jesus" Guy is still at it, even though gas prices have soared. I think I may use his technique to spread the word about the dying art of the Carnival Sideshow. This afternoon, I plan to hot glue millions of dwarfs, Chupacabras, bearded women, lobster pincers, and half people (replicas, of course, so that no sideshow performers are harmed) to my car, and drive back and forth through the intersection in front of the Showtown Restaurant and Lounge in Gibtown.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 3, 2008 Holy Luncheon Loaf, Batman!

It's really no secret that I like to shop. And dollar stores are great places to get the best bang for your buck. I was actually thinking that I might want to open my own dollar store. But just when I was about to call up Batman to see if he would like to go into business with me, I passed this store on Florida Ave. Oh well, just like most really great ideas, it has already been done...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 30, 2008 Jerry Meets Mary Jane

Jerry's Drive-Thru was a great little convenient store located in Forest Hills for many years, until Jerry and his wife retired. The store remained open for a short time under new ownership and then it closed for good a few months back. The marquee out front read "For Lease" on both sides... Until this week when some very creative folks played a game of Word Scramble with the letters...

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 28, 2008 Put a Cork in It

During a recent visit with my friend Eileen Dover (and husband Ben), we were discussing wine (I know, shocking) and how we both like to keep and preserve sentimental wine corks (by writing the date and who the bottle was shared with, etc.). About this time, Eileen says, "I actually keep all of my wine corks. They are all over." and points up to her planter shelf in the kitchen that has several baskets full of corks. "That's cool" I say, as baskets full of corks are a great way to decorate  a kitchen. It screams, "We have had a lot of wine here!", which is good news because that probably means there is some there now. And sure enough, about this time, Ben hands me a glass of wine. Sweet! She goes on to say that she thinks she might actually have OCD when it comes to keeping wine which I am about to say, "No you don't."...when she shows me this...                                                  

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

April 24, 2008 This Tree is Happy to See You!

Located near the beautiful Babe Zaharias Golf Course in fabulous Forest Hills, is a newly trimmed palm tree. And as my friend Harriet Potter so eloquently put it, "That's's tree shwing shwang!" 

Friday, May 23, 2008

April 26, 2008 Who Does Number Two Work For?

On my way to Jackson's one evening with Ella Mentry and Lou Tenant, we spotted some graffiti on the side of a building. Vandalism? I think not. And as I am sure you are aware, graffiti is considered by many (including myself) to be an art form, often seen in urban settings and used to convey social and/or political ideas and beliefs. As much as I would like to take credit for the lovely work you see below, I can't. However, I am paralyzed by its simplicity. It's beauty. Its depth of meaning. I think I need a moment... The artist that created this breathtaking work is unfortunately unknown to us. If you would like to see this spectacular, synergistic use of paint and aerosol in person, you may do so at the intersection of Nebraska Ave and E Walton St. in downtown Tampa.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

April 30, 2008 That's Soopa, Bietch!

As I was taking some "real" pictures for my Tampa Letters project, I visited the Ballast Point Park, one of my favorite Tampa water spots off of Bayshore Blvd. This is a great place to visit for a walk on the pier, an amazing view of the Tampa Skyline or to collect old sea glass. While there, I use the ladies room...or should I say the "Soopa Woman" room. When I saw the writing on the door, I had to question whether the person who wrote it was just retarded or if I am just getting too old to understand the cool phrases kids are using these days. Please feel free to enlighten me on what the below means if you know....or just make something up to entertain me, either way works.