Friday, March 28, 2008


Florida can be gorgeous- sailboats docked in the sunset, pelicans, brazilian tunes, open air restaurants, little clothing necessary.

Spent the afternoon, after horrid chores and assignments, at the beach soaking up the last rays of the day.  The salty gulf calm and cool, clear - dolphins played off shore as birds swooped by - there must be a dozen different types of gulls here.

Big fat white families, skinny naked German kids, dark wrinkled Italians playing bocce on the sand, curvy teen girls and firm teen boys pose and point akwardly for each other on the fine white sand.

There is plenty to hate here too; unscrupulous alligator vendors that prey on the elderly, strip malls, mold, toothless dangerous backwoods types in their dusty pick up trucks and the leagues of under paid Mexicans polluting the air with the noise and fumes of the backpack blowers,  wild cats spotted and proud find themselves rotting in the sun after an ignomious death at the fender of a caddy.

Yet some strange confluence of energy occurs here.  Estuaries reconverge in wild color swamps with mangrove pillars and rosy color vaulted sunset skies.  Aged yuppies host second and third generation progeny at tennis and golf clubs, sail the gulf and give a taste of what life can be after corporate slavery or self employed drugery.   The sunsets over the gulf indulge themselves entirely in pinks too outrageous even for the English, purple too deep for prose, golden glows like Hollywood wished it could create.

It is tropical, and American and it has, after a decade of two week stints done twice a year, become strangely like home.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Japanese Toilet, note: control panel

This is the coolest. I have seen toilets all over the world, but this one my travelers is the best. Lift the lid and a subdued light glows from the back allowing you to guide yourself properly in the night. Flip the switch and the seat is warmed; it is best to do this in anticipation of that late night visit. One button cleans the bum, the other button cleans the entire underside, a dial allows this cleaning to be performed at different levels of water pressure intensity. The red button is "stop." Yes. I spent some time with this toilet. Fabulous.