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Sunday, April 09, 2006


I got to see Carl, but unfortunately only in his cameo role on-screen. Both he and Jimmy, who had appeared at the Fort Lauderdale premier, were busy squeezing in a little fishing between writing deadlines and concert dates. Wil Shriner was there, and after Jorge and I wondered about the location of a particular Fort Lauderdale scene, my boss brought us over to meet him and solve the mystery. We spent some time with him talking about his brother, Kin, who appears briefly in the movie (remember Scotty from General Hospital?), the everpresent giant sharks off Elliot Key where there's a beautiful aerial in the film of Roy and Mulletfingers castnetting on the sandbar, and reminiscing about growing up in Fort Lauderdale in the Good Old Days. The movie is his homage to his childhood and I have to say, he did a pretty good job of evoking the sense of freedom and adventure we felt back then along with showing the wild beauty of the place before most of it was paved. As far as telling the story and building empathy for the little owls, eh, not so much, though maybe I was just distracted by the locations ("It's Boca, it's Lauderdale, it's Boca again, now it's West Hollywood, Biscayne Bay, back to Boca, where is that?...") Jorge, full of himself and maybe a Bombay Sapphire and soda or two, kindly told Wil that he thought it was a great team to collaborate on such a project and that they did a fine job on a fun, local movie. I almost stomped on his foot, but before Jorge lost a few toes, Wil laughed and said thanks, but he hoped it would be more of a national movie.

From there, my boss, life of the party, dragged us down to the one fun place on the island where everyone was forced to consume more liquor and dance to a lively reggae band. Did I ever tell you how much I hate dancing in public? Unless I'm completely drunk, which I never am. It all goes back to some humiliating episode in my childhood, I'm sure. Anyway, no wonder the man has had multiple knee replacements. He is a maniac with more than twice the energy of someone half his age. Afterward he needed a ride off-island to pick his car up from the repair shop, and since our office manager, and future catsitter, was heading in that general direction she would take him. But she had left her car at our house and ridden over with us after dropping her older son off with our girls after the kids saw the matinee. That meant we had to take the boss to our house first. The house he sold us. Naturally he had to come in and see what we had done with the place. Which is virtually nothing. Miraculously he did not wake up Gracie and Elle, and Sarabelle and the boy were treated to a fair dose of loud adult conversation and juicy island gossip before they headed off into the night.

So now I know the boss on a whole new level, because during the ride over to our house, someone, and I won't say who, sparked one up. And no one seemed to mind, because if you're of a certain age and lived around these parts, say, from the 70's to the mid 80's, you smoke. Or you if you ever ran a fishing boat or flew a plane or happened to be a fireman on duty lucky enough to stumble across a square grouper on the beach one night after a call or lived in the Keys or near the Everglades or in Everglades City where half the town was busted (and where Jorge's Grandmother was the one-time mayor), you made the most of the situation. It's part of our culture. Mr. Buffett is not hearkening back to the days of Spanish galleons when he sings of pirates. Nope, we grew up with real pirates who are now respected members of the community and know where all the skeletons are buried and tell fantastic tales. Especially when they've got a good buzz on.

(That reminds me, the other day, in the land of the vanity plates, the girls and I saw what we consider to be the best one yet: R MATEY.)

After all the festivities, and being verrrrry relaxed, I stretched out on my bed with Sarabelle, and we had a wonderful, giggly, grown-up conversation about all that had transpired that evening from the matinee on up to the late night home invasion. It was like talking to your best friend and definitely the best part of the whole night.

Jimmy Buffett

I come from where the rivers meet the sea
That's part of why I'm so wild and fancy free
I was early into crazy ways
My folks said, "It's just a phase"
They were hoping for better days

Now in my line of work I seem to see a lot more than most
Write 'em down, pass 'em around
It's the gospel from the coast
Reflections, not just replays
Takin' time to escape the maze
Lookin' for better days

I spent a year of my life one night
On the beaches in old Beirut
Seems that all they're aimin' for there
Is to hang around and shoot
Each others' lives away
Bloody winds on a distant bay
they're lookin' for better days

Looking to the left, looking to the right
Looking to the stars to shed some light
Hoping for a breath, hoping for break
Hopin' for the give without the take

The dreamers line the state road
Just to watch the runway show
Slouched behind their steering wheels
They just watch the big jets go
Streakin' through the morning haze
Focal point of a distant gaze
Lookin' for better days


Pale invaders and tanned crusaders
Are worshipping the sun
On the corner of "walk" and "don't walk"
Somewhere on US 1

I'm back to livin' Floridays
Blue skies and ultra-violet rays
Lookin' for better days

I'm back to livin' Floridays
Blue skies and ultra-violet rays
Lookin' for better days, lookin' for better days
Lookin' for Floridays

Better days, better days
Everybody's lookin' for better days
Somewhere beneath the shining star
Better days, won't you take me to better days
Better days, I sure could use a few better days

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