We want pumpkin muffins because we remember living in the place of crispy macintoshes and ribbed globes of deep orange, and because we miss the teasing bite of sweet spice. Mostly, it's because commercialized seasonal offerings make up all of the Autumn we now know.

This is the second time our Starbucked paths have crossed today, so I take notice. He's taking his muffin outdoors, letting it carefully balance on a perch of ceramic plate decorated with paper lace. Creamy ivory clangs once as he sets his dish on a table, followed by the distinct rattle of a bouncing fork. His other hand wraps around a throw-away plastic cup that's much better suited for outdoors. Later I'll realize that in positioning the plate, he has precisely calculated the length of his arm's reach. I will understand why his feet are so stiffly planted in front of him to create a perfectly shaped lap.

He's making last minute seating adjustments with a small bit of ceremony, and he begins to try out his snack.

I'm engaged in conversation but remain aware of the images on the periphery. It's windy, and rather than lift the entire muffin to trap a bite in his mouth, he insists on delicately partitioning it with his fork. I take note of this because he's dropping bites that bounce from his lap whenever a strong gust pushes through and the accidental bounty is attracting what look like finches. He tries to catch but misses two forkfuls, then fills the stainless steel with a third and new portion.


Because I move to a different table to escape some of the strongest breezes, my new seat allows a view of the still pink and deep damage that draws a wide scar around his jawbone. I take in the artificial aid tucked halfway behind his ear and then begin to actually see him even as I'm trying not to look. He takes another forkful and lifts it to a mouth and jaw that can't open wide enough. There's a small and dignified struggle, and a new bite of the pumpkin muffin he has spent his good time waiting for threatens to follow earlier bits and tumble with the next gust.

But he's insisting that he most certainly will harvest this bite of pumpkin and I'm happy to watch as he does just that.


When I move, you move.

This town has a facade of sleepy, or quaint. It's called a Village in the "hip" sense of the word. And so it was that Friday night had me stepping through the glass and arched front door of a home built in 1925. It's now a bar where every wall is painted the color of rich and warm red velvet, and black and white photographs don't hang, they're set into the wall and are lit from ethereal light behind.

The 80 year old hardwood floors vibrate under the influence of a state of the art sound system. Vibrations transfer to the barstools, and to me, perched on the edge. Up through the bar, vibrations pump my Amstel. If a place can have a vibe, this one's got it.

I'm looking forward to going back.

Chinese Curse

The other day I got one of those fortunes in a cookie. You know the type.

"You will inherit land or money."

This upsets me. Tricky little fortune cookie, isn't it? It's not a fortune. It's a curse. The damned cookie tried to curse me. It's much like wishing me an interesting life. On one hand, if my life were of interest, lots of folks would flock to this little space to see what's transpired. The problem is that it comes at a price.

And so does an inheritance.

Damned cookie. I don't want it.

2 minute warning

The thought has occurred to me that I will mark my 45th year on the planet Earth come Christmastide.


Pardon the expletive, but wouldn't you be upset? There's no more room for cute in my world, folks. The low rise jeans I bought at Hollister are about to go all comic on me. I've been able to pull them off with some grace, but soon it's all going to start looking like I'm reaching and stretching just a hair too thin.

Warn me when it starts to happen.

Until then, carry on.


"There truly is a Method to His Madness, you know."

"Yes, yes, I'm aware of that. It's that his motto is Always Write, and Bomit, half the time his posts have the courage and soul of good street Graffiti. Graffiti writen by some Chairborne Stranger or maybe even a Defective Yeti."

"I'm not sure, but it can be disturbing. I'm hoping Dr. Jayne 2 B lends an academic point of view. "

"True. She does seem to hold a good sense of balance driven, in part, by the "Everything's Relative" philosopy."

"Nice observation. Come on, sit down. Have a Cuppa with this Industry Whore."

"Listen Id love a stiff drink but, I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Wino, you know what I mean?"

"True, but after our last outing last Friday night, you had no trouble with the Kiss & Blog. You wrote about your escapades so vividly. Have you been visiting Language Log?"

"No, not at all. I've just been thinking... you know... reflecting. That's how it is for a girl with a Life in Forsyth. The kind of life that never truly wears it off, but just smears your Lip Schtick. By the way, is it smeared right now?"

"No Pasa Nada, my friend. You look good. Everything's in place. Right as Rain, because you comply and follow THE motto, don't you? Obey."

"Yeah, I know that social virus. What do you say we hit the Pie-N-Monkey for martini's and dessert? And you know what they say, Whatever Happens at Pie-N-Monkey, stays at Pie-N-Monkey."

"Either that or you end up sending a card to PostSecret, complete with a photo of your Sinister Bedfellows which may or may not include that hot hipster you know and love."

"Who? The Assimilated Negro?"

"Duh. Yeah, isn't that just The Blinding Glare of the Obvious?"

"Oh, Shit... Here goes The Daily Rant..."

"No rant. I'm going to chill with The Daly Blog and get a dose of some Visual Narcotics."

"ummm... yeah. Yummy."

When Kunta Met Kinte

I've recently discovered that I'm apparently Black.

Shuttup! I've seen my profile picture.

Don't be alarmed. It's not that I was struck blind before realizing my race or anything so simple as that. It's that my birth certificate has changed. It used to say that I was Cape Verdean, and when I last ordered a copy, my friendly local government office had changed it to Black.

This discovery has been further complicated by the fact that my mother of 44 years has recently also informed me that I am Black. I've always suspected, but there she was, just the other day, confirming it and making things so clear. The conversation in which I stumbled upon this discovery went like this:

"HAHAHAHA... Remember when I asked your brother if there were any other Black kids in his new school and he said he didn't know? How could he not know!" I did not remember this, and wondered when she'd changed races, but I digress...

"Um, Mom... You never told us we were Black. Have you recently decided?"

"What?! What do you mean? You kids didn't know?!"

"No. Why would we? You and dad never discussed it. Our neighbors were interacial couples, or hispanic, or Asian. Blacks in our neighborhood had afros and dark skin. We didn't fit any of those molds."

"Oh yeah.... I guess you kids wouldn't have known." I could hear the bright rays of dawn cracking over her pretty gray head.

I've really got to congratulate my parents on that one, intentional or otherwise. They just plain forgot to put us into a convenient little category and box.

Grace, Charm, and... er... Poise.

Shortly after moving to Daytona Beach, Florida, a woman approached me in a local restaurant and asked if I was Cape Verdean. Since there wasn't a Creole in sight, I figured she was either clairvoyant or knew me from somewhere back in New England. Turns out it was neither.

"I can tell by the way you walk.” she said. "You've got that Cape Verdean walk."

Hmpf. That got me thinking. What she'd said is true. Lots of Cape Verdean women have a slow stride and walk with shoulders back and chin up. It's a proud walk, and maybe sometimes it's a bit too proud. It was my mom who taught me the stride, and without realizing it, I'd apparently taken her lessons to heart.

"Walk on your toes. Don't stomp!" That was the first lesson. "Pick up your feet!" Second lesson.

"Pull your stomach in." came at around the same time as "Point your toes slightly inward and place one foot slightly in front of the other. Slow down a little. Don't clop around in a hurry."

"Are you kidding me, Mom?!" That was usually my whiney protest, but I did as I was told, partly to make her nagging stop and partly because I thought my graceful and slim mother held the power to transform a chubby and awkward me into a glamorous young swan. I became a Suck In The Stomach expert.

But then came the Book. At the time she pulled out a book with the intent of showing me how to balance it on my head, I was around 15 or 16 years old, still sporting 25 extra pounds, and yet very interested in lessons on how to walk like a fashion model. My mom and her sisters had lots of old photos of themselves playing around in my grandfather's yard, modeling the latest fashions and striking poses out of a March, 1959 Glamour magazine. It looked like fun, and so I studied hard.

The lessons on how to properly sit while wearing a dress came at around the same time. I mastered the art of sitting up straight, knees together and tilted to the left, while ankles were pressed together and slightly out to the right. She had me practice this pose on the countless Sunday visits to relatives where we'd sit in a mausoleum of a room called a Parlor and sip coffee, or in my case, Coke. Between sips I sat still, shoulders back, palms resting in my lap.

"Smile." That was the next instruction. "Don't scowl. It looks awful. Trashy." It also highlighted my pudgy cheeks. I couldn't remember all of the instructions all of the time, and slipped a bit. She'd notice and wouldn't hesitate to remind me. Most of the time, I hated the constant nagging. It's not that I didn't like the idea of walking like a model or sitting as if I were posing for a portrait. I just didn't like having to be constantly aware of sucking in my gut and placing a soft smile on my lips. What if I wasn't in the mood to smile in public?

"Smile anyway." She said it with a smile, of course.

My friends, especially the younger ones, don't remember getting these lessons and never knew the chubby and awkward girl, but they inevitably comment on my posture. Lots of little old ladies comment, too. There have been several occasions when I've been walking down the street absorbed in some fluffy and girly thought, obviously relishing in the glory of all that is female, only to have someone's grandmother stop me in my perfectly placed, ball-of-the-foot, never-heel-first footfall.

"You have such great posture!"

That's when the smile my mom trained me to wear is genuine, and the chubby little girl in me gives her a call just to say hello.

Here I am

"See? Told you you'd give this blogging thing up."

"Sit down, Alter Ego. Have a muffin."

I'm having thoughts. Oh yeah, a few of them, too.

It's about the trees here in South Florida. First, let me tell you about the brave little six-footer that hung on for dear life through hours of last year's Wilma lashing only to be snapped in half during the very last 30 minutes of that beeatch's fury. While 30 and 40 footers passed out all around him/it, this young one tried its best. Or maybe it was just stubborn.

So a few months later when an orange band was found wrapped around the trunk, I was pissed. The tree was marked for removal even though it had sprouted new branches and was making a lopsided comeback. He'd been deemed unworthy of adorning the Homeowner Association's common area. A pockmark on the face of a manicured lawn.

Me? A Tree-hugger you say? Mebbe.

And yesterday, while driving my usual route to work, I noticed a line of stumps and timber along the edge of a corporate park where very large, shady, and beautiful trees had been.

Is this how South Florida prepares for hurricane season?

The oddest thing I've seen is a news report in the hours before an oncoming hurricane in which the reporter carried on about the very large trees which could down powerlines. As he spoke, a 40 footer swayed in the increasing breeze, then dropped onto the ground in what seemed like a dead faint. Poor tree had apparently been overcome while listening to the report.

And That's All.


It's rare that I'm struck dumb. Wordless. But lately, I just can't help watching the news. I'm waiting and wondering as is a good part of the world. We're just wondering what news will come from the middle east.

This game's been played for years, but this time it seems more real. Maybe it's a post-9/11 kind of thing, or maybe it's just Time.


Last night's fireworks were gorgeous, exploding like tinsel over the Atlantic ocean.

And I couldn't help but wonder what war sounds like. What happens when those sounds continue for weeks and don't signal a celebration?


As I parked the car and headed to my downtown Starbucks today for my Sunday morning coffee and tourist-watching, I saw police cars and fire apparatus parked on both sides of the street. Lights were flashing.

I noticed they were right in front of Starbucks. Lord, it looked like there might have been a Latte overdose.

As I got closer I could see boots sticking up out of a storm drain and lots of emergency personnel shouting things down into the hole. There were questions.

"GOT IT?!!"

Voices came up from down the hole.


Holy shit, I was about to witness a rescued kitten. Someone call the local news because this is a heartwarming story right here in the middle of our cute little tourist town.

The firefighter pulled himself up out of the muck of the hole and held his hand up high. The bulldozer operator who'd removed the grate stood by looking hopeful, and so did the man who looked like he had a vested interest. We all looked at the hand, held out for everyone to see and caught sight of shiny metal.

Yup. They'd rescued the Ferrari-driver's keys.

What a piece of work. I hope the city sends him a bill.

Been Missing Me

I've missed my time here, but life itself has been happening and I should consider that both a blessing and curse. It would seem that when things get boring in the world of Everyday, I come here to write about observations, but when life takes a toll, I can't quite find the words or tone to inject anything of meaning.

Who cares about my little dramas? Two things occur to me. One is that nothing I write about is of consequence, but the second thought is that everything in my life is this... and therefore of little consequence. This kind of thinking can lead to a bout of whiny depression if I let it, but seriously, my ego's not that big.

Besides, this blog was started for me. I've got three others, but none have this voice. This is my rant and sarcasm space, but I do have to learn to fill it during times when I'm humbled and don't have much piss and vinegar.

Blog Angels Write Among Us

As I stared at this blog, wondering what in Sam Hill I'd write about next, I decided to click on "comments". Lo, and yes Behold, I'd been tagged. Blog Angels are among us, folks.

I SAID: It would happen and it did. Makes me believe in voodoo.

I WANT: My husband to be with me for a long, long time.

I WISH: My parents had given me the gift of confidence.

I HATE: Seeing a man kicked when he's down. My heart's with the underdog. Always.

I MISS: Opportunites for everyday happiness.

I HEAR: You, Dad. "Eleven", you said.

I WONDER: What my children would have looked like.

I REGRET: Not learning how to lose.

I AM NOT: Going to give up.

I DANCE: With abandon.

I SING: Only in my car.

I CRY: Streaks of black mascara.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: An attentive lover.


I WRITE: To purge and to understand. Sometimes just to record.

I CONFUSE: Myself and therefore those around me.

I NEED: To believe in our future.

I SHOULD: Give more hugs. Birthday cards. Thank you's.

I START: Hard and fast, then fade out.

I FINISH: Things that hurt.

I TAG: I suddenly feel too new to tag. You do it. I saw you reading.

Da Vinci, Round 3

I've read The DaVinci Code years ago and did so because I'd already read most of the "research" it's based on. Specifically, I've read nearly every book written by the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. There are quite a few books.

So when "The Code" came along, I knew exactly when Dan Brown's idea had come from and thought that he'd pretty much ripped everything from HBHG and spun it into something the mainstream will swallow. Good for him. Holy Blood, Holy Grail is some fascinating stuff. Theoretical, but with just enough "evidence" to give pause. It had been a controversial and popular book in its own right when published in the 1980's.

We're up on Round 3 of the mainstream wave, and the release of the DVD will probably become the last and final Round. Anyone who's averse to reading will flock to the movie over the coming weeks and "discover" that there's an alternate version of Jesus' life that is titillating and for some, scandalous. I initially expected to see more protests from Christians as the movie's premier approaches, but in considering the notion of Jesus having a bloodline and lineage, I've realized that it probably gives a lot of folks more hope than insult.

How many people, after reading the books HBHG or DVC, wondered if Jesus blood runs through their own veins?

Palm Beach

The funny thing about living with coconut palms and turquoise oceans is that you feel a lot of pressure to be happy. I mean, if you can't find happiness here, then I'm guessing that you're pretty much screwed.

People pay plenty of money to sit by this ocean and under these palms, so who am I to complain about the heat, or even the trying events of plain daily living. Other people have to put up with the same drudgery I do, except they've got bad weather to contend with.

Beach for lunch?

The fact is that no matter where you live, everything becomes part of the routine. Eventually you have to remind yourself to Be Happy, to take a good look at the scenery, or the cultural richness, or whatever it is that's drawn you to a place. When things start to look good on the other side of the fence, it's just boredom settling in. Boredom lives everywhere and isn't partial. Its what robs most people of a good time, and if you give it some leeway, it'll eventually steal happiness from your whole life, one minute at a time.

Bye and Bye

It's Wednesday and Friday is my last day here at work. On Monday I start a new and similar gig, and hope it's got a better work atmosphere. We'll see.

I've got people coming over to pout at me and cry "noooooo." I had no idea, and it makes me feel good, but also a little bad at the same time. Wish I'd known.

Big Bro's Deaf, Apparently

No. No. No, Silly. The NSA is not listening to our calls. And I guess that's (technically) the truth.


I hit the dancefloor hard Friday night, and as Sean Paul would say, "it was wid me baeksaeed".

Horrors. I wasn't even drunk enough not to remember it. Now, from what I hear falling while dancing is not an uncommon occurrence. I've seen it at least once in my clubbing career, and have heard tell, but seriously, how many people have actually lived that humbling experience for themselves?

::cricket chirp::

I thought not.

The Moon, It Hit My Eye

Dear God,

No disrespect, and I admit that you and I haven't been close lately, so yesterday evening while shopping in our busy little downtown area, I became concerned when I saw groups of people on the street staring up into the sky and pointing. I saw those servers and hostesses at sidewalk cafes stop work to gaze up, then calling other workers over to do the same. I'll bet you noticed that patrons began doing it too. Did you see me obediently looking up to stare? Then, like the Chicken Little that I am, begin calling everyone I know to see if they could confirm what I saw?

Yup. They saw it too. Seems what we saw was one of your sure signs of the Apocalypse.

The moon was turning to blood. And it was daytime. And it was on the wrong side of the sky. You scared the crap out of me.

Of course, some people offered an explanation for all of this... about how the Florida brushfires sent a cloud of smoke and haze high into the atmosphere and it moved between us and the New Moon, refracting light or some such drivel. blah, blah... I know better. I think you're pretty ticked about how we messed up the last two elections. It's a warning, isn't it? You can tell me. Are you mad about George endorsing Jeb? C'mon. I'm getting a little nervous.

Looking for another sign that doesn't say "Exit",

Indiana Jonesing

American Idol-ized

I've never watched a single episode of American Idol, and it's mostly because the show is so popular that it's the subject of morning radio shows. Once you make it to the morning drive, you've become about as mainstream and whitebread as you can get. That status puts you right about at the tipping point, when most freethinking people lose interest.

It's true that the morning drive shows do a lot of catering to those desiring "shock value", but most of the time it's just drivel with topics including one of three things: Sex, Farts, and American Idol's latest vote. Morning radio's been reduced to discussing suburban America's unoriginal pasttimes, and "reality television" has taken the forefront in filling those times. Truthfully, there's nothing more false than the reality portrayed in the shows. It's just the reality we'd rather see.

Am I the only one who leaves the radio on Scan during the entire morning commute?

Why I Loves Me Some Starbucks

I know, I KNOW! I have a problem. But yo, how can I not love my latest daytime haunt when I get to witness latte-making for actors like this!

Sheep Herding

I've never had my land scaped or my hair dressed, but that doesn't stop me from repeated use of the terms. That's because I play follow my leaders like a good Sheep.Sheep.Sheep.

I don't want to celebrate birth days every year because they happen only once in a lifetime.

I've seen a lot of moons since my wedding but not a single one made of

Words paint the promise of a completely different world than the one I've seen and I ought to, but almost never, cry Wolf.

Tinkle Tinkle Little Worry

In the times and spaces I have to remind myself to breathe, my life speeds up. For those minutes or seconds of worry or fear, little chunks in the only lifespan I know fall to the ground and crash with a pretty tinkling sound. There's no glue and no way to repair what's lost.

Anxious minutes waste good time, but I don't stop.