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  • A better end to a bad day

    Posted on April 29th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-time-coasterIt’s been a rough day. Work wasn’t bad, but long. A lot of us have it not so good these days, with way the economy is, and sometimes it even gets ole Macky down. But I made it home in one piece, with the top down on the convertible and the radio blasting a string of Duke Ellington tunes (I gotta tell ya, I really like XM). Doing almost 80 down I-95 with the wind in your hair can really be a soothing experience.

    When I got home, my wife Colleen was already relaxing at the Tiki Bar. She asked me how my day went…then turned around and saw me with the bottle of Wild Turkey and a rocks glass, and said, “That good, huh?” Well, between her in her lovliness and the vintage bottle or bourbon (Thanks Forman!) things started looking up. So we sat and talked at under the ultraviolet lights, about the day, and the craziness of the world. And I finished off a bourbon and coke, then had another, and soon I didn’t feel so bad about work or the lack there-of, or about money, or Swine Flu, and just started to enjoy what I have while I’ve got it.

    After the second double Wild Turkey and Coke, I made my way into the study to play on the computer. I pet the cat. I drank some more. I sent a few messages to old friends. Then I picked up the sax and started to play, didn’t know what it was going to be, but it turned out to be “In a Mellow Tone”, probably because of all that Ellington I listened to on the way home. But it wasn’t very mellow. Well, the first chorus was, then I ripped into the solo as if I were playing to save my life. There’s something about that contrast that appeals to me…playing “In a mellow tone” like Sam Butera on some crazy bop tune. It sounded good. I was pleased. Then I had another drink, and sat down to write this, with nothing but the little paper lantern party lights for light, the cat by my side, and the sax on the other side. Colleen is in the kitchen making Fettucini Alfredo from scratch, her specialty. I still have a half a bottle of Turkey. Life is good at the Tiki Bar. (Please excuse any errors, I’m 2 1/2 sheets to the wind!)

  • If you don’t like the weather in Florida…walk across the street

    Posted on April 29th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    Plenty to do in Sunny Fort Lauderdale

    Plenty to do in Sunny Fort Lauderdale

    For those of you in parts of the world that are just experiencing spring, or the late part of winter, it’s probably difficult for you to understand how things work down here in South Florida. We’re actually in the subtropics, as far south as you can go in the continental United States (in Key West a sign marks the “Southernmost Point”). So the weather here is usually grand, sometimes horrific, and always unpredictable.
    Aside from hurricanes, weather in Fort Lauderdale is some of the best anywhere. Our “season”, basically September through early June, boasts moderate temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, with a handful of evenings going down to the 50’s (and eeek! two or three in the 40’s!). From June to mid September the temperatures rise into the high 90’s during the day, usually cooled off by mid-afternoon showers that roll in from the Everglades. These are generalities. Here’s the fun part…sometimes, in the middle of the day when the sun is shining, a cloud will come up out of nowhere and there’ll be a downpour on your head. But don’t worry, that cloud will probably pass in five minutes and it will be sunny again. And sometimes the sun is shining through the pouring rain…If you want, you can walk across the street to where it isn’t raining.
    Today when I got up the sun was shining, it was a cool 75°, and I almost put the top down on the ragtop. Good thing I didn’t, because half way to work on I-95 in Hollywood, the rain came down. Oh, it was still sunny, just wet. Good old Florida. Two miles later, I parked my Cruiser in a damp and sunny parking space, and didn’t need the umbrella.
    The really funny thing is, it’s still “Spring Break” (which seems to start in March and go through the end of May), so I’m sure there are a few hundred (thousand?) pasty-looking mid-western spring breakers on the beach right now, who are just about to get a taste of Florida weather for real! I can just see them gathering up their supplies, blankets, coke bottles filled with rum, radios etc. and running for the bars to stay dry. By the time they get across A-1-A to the Elbo room, the rain will have passed…and it’ll start all over again!