Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tuesday's [Not so] Bad

Aha! Maybe you're seeing a pattern here. Just remember, the eagle flies on Friday.

It's still cold here. Yeah, I know it's all relative, but I've been in my hooded sweatshirt for three days now. There is sunshine, though and that will warm the day as it goes on.

[Watching the Condoleeza Rice confirmation hearing on C-SPAN]

I took the holiday off yesterday. After writing, I rode down to the Bight to see Red, who I hadn't talked to for some time. He's monitoring the parking at Waterfront Market for Buco. They built a high, lifeguard-style chair with a view of all the spaces, where he sits, wearing his safari helmet. "Can I help you, Ma'am?", he asks politely. "No, I'm OK", she says. "Are you shopping at the Waterfront Market today?", still polite. "Yes, I am", says she, a little stiffer this time. "Thanks, have a fine day." Red dismisses her and returns to our conversation. We're talking about the Jazz Festival, and whether there's a possibility that it can work. Tom, a bystander and regular at Schooner Wharf is nearby, and invites himself into the conversation. We go on for about 10 minutes on that and other topics. It's time for everyone to get back to work, whatever that means.

Well, since I was in the area anyway, I decided to stop at Schooner Wharf to see what was going on, and to see if I can still get internet on their wireless. (I can.) Lori gets me an Ultra as I settle in to the second picnic table under the roof. I hail Mary Anne as she's going by. We sit together for a few minutes. Mary Anne is the kitchen (galley) manager and has become a good friend to us.

There's a singer on stage, but I don't recognize him. He has a pleasing voice, strong and clear. Accompanies himself on guitar. He plays several songs that I recognize, standards from the past and present. I only discovered a couple of hours later that he's Neil Burton, husband of Laura, a friend who's a server at SWB. I met him once before, but not when he was playing. He performs at Billie's on Front St. also, and maybe elsewhere. I'll have to ask Laura.

We miss far more good music that we ever get to hear. Bubba was playing in a jazz combo at Virgilio's last night, but I went instead to the Tropic Cinema for the Friends of the Library weekly lecture there. The speaker was Diane Roberts, a commentator on NPR and a professor of English at the University of Alabama. Meanwhile, Janet was at an invitation-only yard sale on Elizabeth St with Roger, then went for pizza with Trevor and Joe.

I asked Roberts a question after the lecture last night: "How are we down here perceived by y'all up there in Tallahassee?" Her answer was that Tallahasseans and most northern Floridians think of Key West as somehow, not Florida. In fact, most Tallahasseans consider everything south of Orlando, or maybe even Ocala, as foreign, not of Florida, frequently not even Southern at all. As far as Key West goes, I guess that Conch Republic thing is working. It's sufficient for the state to ensure that nobody blows up the reef or builds out every last acre of mostly-dry land. Her answer only touched on Key West -- we are preceived as "different", but she spent more time talking about the north Florida/nouth Florida dichotomy.

[Now at the Coffee Plantation.]
Talking to Brian about the New Europe. He's considering a job opportunity in Turkey.

There are choices for entertainment every night of the week, and often during the day as well. I want to see it all -- the plays, the concerts, the art shows, the bar gigs, the films. It boggles the mind.

Biscuits and Gravy -- Jersey Slim, Little Boy, and the G-Man -- have two gigs lined up: Monday the 24th at Harbor Lights, and February 20th at Geiger Key. We'll try to catch them at Harbor Lights and let you know how it's working so far.

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