Ah, Florida. I have to admit, when I heard that my father and brother had been seduced by your siren song, I was a little more than miffed. Why not Alabama, boys, Alabama? Where Collin was born and raised!
But as I stood on your lovely beaches, strolled along your boardwalks and marveled at your "winter" weather- I began to understand the appeal. Mostly it was the beach- being a child of the moon and a water sign, of course I felt spiritually whole while wiggling my toes in the gulf waters. But there is a charm, I suppose, to all of Pensacola (where my family now resides).
However, I couldn't escape the two things I expected upon my arrival. Old folks and sleaze. Anytime you took a car ride, you were guaranteed to hear at least four separate ads that proclaimed to have the "Finest entertainment in the South!".My personal favorite was Sugar, located in Mobile- and appearing this weekend: Ice! Brown Sugar! Innocence! Jizzy! Crabby! Issues and Pop-Pop! (By the by, should the bottom ever totally fall out and I have to become a dancer, A private dancer. Dancer for money. Do what you want me to do. - then I am laying claim to the name Issues. Back off, girls.)
That being said, despite the retirement village atmosphere and occasional run in with walking STD's, it was rather nice. Even the Flora/Bama area- bless it's heart; You just have to know how to play the game. For example, your trip through most of Flora/Bama would be best accompanied by boiled peanuts (or as the gentlemen in their trailers on the beach would say - "Bauhhhl Pehuuuus."), cheap cigarettes, and anything on the classic rock station; lots of Rush and "Stairway to Heaven" or, "Steerwherrh- aw hell, Dan, I keep tellin' ya, I ain't touched yer wife!".
But here comes my secret shame, the element that brought me to my knees and tears to my eyes: Television. I swear I have not watched tv, with total remote control (puns!), in at least 6 0r 7 months. But what did I end up watching mostly on tv? Movies, of course. Batman, Goodfellas, Elf, Addams Family Values (which was a pleasant surprise, after discussing it so recently); I tried to get to the extended cable to catch up on anything I may have missed on Showtime, BBC America (and yes, IFC), but I was denied. Most un-triumphant.
Now I'm back home, twiddling my thumbs when I'm not at work, enjoying and at the same time resenting the total silence of my apartment. I have the rest of the holidays to contend with, which it seems no matter how hard I try to make them just as special as they used to be in my heart, something always happens that keeps them fairly miserable. It is so out of my hands, each year, that this time around I release control. If the holidays turn out happy, it truly would be a Christmas miracle- simply because they haven't been in so long.
But enough Scrooging around, I still plan on getting a tree and making cookies and all that gloriousness. Let's just say I've set the bar really low and will try to not be disappointed by the time 2010 rolls around.