May 31, 2009


I didn't know whether she'd bloom again this year, or ever again. Divided, trimmed back, and struggling with a double infestation of mealy bugs and scale, she was looking pretty ragged when she put out what looked like three possibly viable bud sheaths this year. But the intrepid lass would come through once again, this time with a half-dozen perfect flowers. Same as when she bloomed for the first time in my home, and her young life, a half-decade ago. A new beginning.

May 30, 2009

I had a counter

at Hooky Beach, but I stopped checking the data a long time ago. I decided not to implement one at Chez Jeaux. Somewhere in the Old Testament, God forbade Israel to take a census of the nation. I get that.

May 29, 2009

Wednesday at Hemingway's

Pam Aries and I met for drinks, the best margaritas of all time, at Hemingway's a couple days ago. Of course I drank her under the table, or in this case through the onions. Halfway through margaritaville we ordered what was listed on the menu as an appetizer of shredded batter dipped onions. It arrived on a platter in a mound about the size of a small watermelon.
We offered to trade some of it to the couple at the next table for one of their pina coladas which we noticed came garnished with toasted coconut, but they were content.
Good thing it came with that yummy mustard lime sauce.

May 24, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

Robert van Winkle, aka Vanilla Ice, entertained a mostly young crowd of about eight hundred at the big Memorial Day "block party" in the local town square Saturday night. Sorry about the image quality... the stage lighting was abysmal and I was positioned standing on a curb outside the event fence shooting at maximum reach. He was set to go on at 10. I got there at 10:15, and told Bob, a business acquaintance I ran into, that I doubted he'd take the stage before 10:30. Make that 11. But the party atmosphere diffused any potential disquiet, and by the time the dry ice clouds boiled up from the stage, the crowd was giddy. He was introduced by Robert van Winkle, a local weatherman with the same name.

Vanilla Ice (named by his black middle school friends) flashed across the cultural radar a few years ago. Wikipedia credits "Ice Ice Baby", which he wrote at age 16, with being "...the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts and has been credited with helping to diversify hip hop by introducing it to a mainstream white audience." His first major album, "To The Extreme" became the "fastest selling hip hop album of all time, peaking at #1 on the Billboard 200. The album spent 16 weeks on the charts and sold eleven million copies." He's had a very colorful life and career. Though relentlessly panned by critics Van Winkle has maintained a dedicated and upbeat fan base.

He put on a pretty good show Saturday night, raucous, irreverent, good-natured, and energized despite the modest venue. Ice was shadowed on stage by a wicked-looking clown, seemingly a refugee from Insane Clown Posse with whom I think he's done some work. Lots of splash and bling. He can still dance. There is something about his intrepid buoyancy that is impossible to dislike. Van Winkle was born to rap like Dumbo was born to fly. The boy can't help it. The crowd ate it up.

May 22, 2009

Slice / 6

click image

May fly... on my lanai.

May 8, 2009

Feral carts 2

Fascinated by traffic, feral carts have been observed loitering at bus stops for days at a time.

Some carts have been kidnapped and pressed into a life of servitude.

Dereliction, a junk food diet, and intoxication are all too common among the feral cart population.

Separation from their former community and feelings of isolation lead shame-based ferals to withdraw.

Some adjust to feral life with exuberance. Having lost their taste for supermarket fare, many have been seen stalking small game.

After having been returned to their former stores, some ferals self-ostracize.

Bonding among feral carts can be intense. Many remain by their fallen until they are rounded up by supermarket recovery teams.

May 5, 2009

Hazel Gravy

It was a more than twenty years ago today. Pat was the girl in the movie.

That's Pat (aka Hazel Gravy, aka Toots) at 5:30

We'd stayed in touch, but hadn't seen one another for some seventeen of those twenty 
something years ago. We were practically inseparable, except for those couple of times when we were done with each other, all those years ago on Staten Island. She came to visit me in Florida on my birthday. Part of me came back to life.

Pat was executive editor for True Romance magazine. I was plying a fledgling public access TV at Staten Island Cable, in our outrider days. Now she has a portfolio, and I have a condo in Florida, but we're still the same rebels... on the inside. Pat works for the state of New York now, booking concerts for Riverbank state park in Harlem, and edits Riverbank Up Close, the park newsletter. She has a way with words.

Boggle on the beach. Tramping around ubermall Coconut Point where Pat bought for me a birthday present of Christopher Buckley's Boomsday at Barnes & Noble. Then it was on to a place called Hemingway's where we lingered over lunch, and some of the most 
brilliant Margaritas of all time, for a couple hours. But mostly we filled the days at Chez Jeaux with what John Lennon said was his favorite thing to do... sit around and talk. There was a lot of catching up to be do. Old friends. New horizons. Time lost and recovered. And I love her.

Extreme wide-angle lenses, held at arm's length, always make you look kinda goofy. 
This was at a sweet local park on a lake where we'd gone to watch the sunset on my birthday.

May 1, 2009


The frangipani are out, the air is sugared with their sumptuous perfume. 
So sweetly volatile that one suspects that if touched with a match they'd light up like votive candles.