Thursday, March 29, 2007

So This is Pinecrest

So I did a Google search for images of Pinecrest, Florida (sort of the home base for White Dade {the ethnic group, not me}) and this is what came up. Someone over there has a weird sense of humor. Either that or he meant to file it under "West Kendall." You can view the whole album by clicking on the link below, but it is perhaps the greatest show of what a house Party in Miami is like. It begins normally and ends with half-naked girls in the pool taking shots of Mustard. Random, completely random. But strangely hilarious if you are from here.

David's Birthday

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Tips for Someone Writing a Book About Miami

A novelist was writing a book set in Miami and put a post on a local message board asking if there was any specific Miami Slang she should use in the book. Her main character, surprisingly, was Hispanic, and the only slang she could think of was “ain’t” And she wasn’t even sure a Hispanic Thug Teen would say that. Actually, Miss Novelist, he would be a lot less likely to say “isn’t” although this is still making the massive assumption that the character, in fact, speaks English.

My #1 pet peeve about any pieces or literature, film or television that take place here is that anything not called “Cocaine Cowboys” is horribly, horribly inaccurate. Why? Because the overwhelming majority of their characters are not Hispanic. For some reason producers still seem to think this is some “melting pot of diversity,” like an LA west if you will, and that we have a lot of every ethnic group. No, this place is about as homogenous as Salt Lake City, the only difference is that instead of Mormon everyone here is Latino. So my first advice to you, Miss Novelist, is make sure there are no more than two white characters in your book and every peripheral character’s last name ends in a Z.

Another tip, for accuracy everywhere someone goes should be prefaced by “The.” The Beach (meaning Miami Beach,” The Gables, The Grove, The Pines, The Lakes. Hialeah is just Hialeah, since it needs no introduction. Biscayne Bay is often balled the Bay, but actually I would say 50% of the people here couldn’t tell you what that body of water between Miami and Miami Beach is.

The county we are in is called “Dade” even if all of our official documents say something different. Everything north of us is called “The United States.” Actually, it’s called “Lauderdale,” even if you are going 20 miles north of that particular city. Not “Fort Lauderdale” just “Lauderdale” We are all very lazy and typically assign one word designations to any city. The city of Orlando is known as “Disney.” For instance “Yeah, we’re going up to Disney this weekend to visit my sister in Altamonte Springs.” Perhaps it includes a trip to the theme park, but more than likely it’s just a 3 hour ride on Florida’s Turnpike.

Papi is a term women use for men, like “Oh, Papi, that shirt looks great on you.” But more often it is used after the word “Ay,” which roughly means “oh” and is used in exasperation. Like “Ay, Papi, fuck me harder.” “Mami” is a term men use for women, most often in strip clubs. As in “Oye, Mami, come here and let me see that ass.” “Oye” is like “Hey.” A lot of people also seem to think it is the name of any bartender, waiter or doorman at a nightclub. “Oye, lemme get two Johnny Black on the Rocks and a Vodka Red Bull.”

Cabron is popular as a sort of derogatory term among friends. “Oye, Cabron, hurry up we’re gonna be late.” Actually, Hispanics never concern themselves with punctuality, so that would be an improper usage.

Every Hispanic guy ends every sentence with “bro.” Regardless of whether or not he is addressing a male or not. Many girls use this term as well. A typical Miamian might say “Oye, Bro, I was down at the Ale House in Kendall, and Bro, you should have seen the asses in there Bro. There were like, chicks everywhere, bro. Unbelievable, bro.” This is not an exaggeration. Oh, yeah, and every guy in Miami is an ass man. Every street has at least four different names. SR-826 is called “The Palmetto,” SR-836 is called “The Dolphin.” Everyone hates both of them. All 27 of the White people live in a place called Pinecrest. Except the White Trash, who live in a place called “Cutler Ridge,” who have now renamed themselves “Cutler Bay.” But that is all that has changed.

Hopefully you can inject some accuracy into your books as even the likes of Elmore Leonard and Dave Barry, while both writers in the league above the league that is out of my league, still don’t quite get the essence of the overwhelming Hispanic population. Not that I do, but I try to help anyone writing about Miami understand that if you want to be accurate, you've gotta keep the American characters to an absolute minimum. I’d say no more than 11%, but that’s just a guess.

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You Want To Know About Sex on Spring Break, I'm the Guy to Ask

In case some of you missed it, I am doing some paid writing now. Probably why the content of this site has struggled of late. See, the thing is when someone is actually writing you a check as opposed to not, your creative energies and time are generally going to be spent on that end. My apologies to all of you for my less-frequent posting, but the good news is there are now not 1 but 3 different sites you can now find me on. If you include my other blog with the exact same content as this one. This seems to be something that happens to all successful bloggers as eventually a lot of us get paid offers and take them and the blogs begin to suffer. I've seen it happen before and I guess it's happening to me.

At any rate, my first major project for this other site was to do a visitor's guide to Miami Beach for Spring Breakers. Perfect for me, I think, because it is an area where I have more experience than most people, having done Spring Break for over 9 years now. And loving every minute of it. the first installment was linked by Gridskipper. The fourth installment, called "Spring Break Sex 101" is a guide co-written by myself and an ex-girlfriend (who, wisely, kept her name off the project) for guys and girls on the ins and outs of having sex on Spring Break. If you google "Sex on Spring Break" we are now the #3 result. Not to brag or anything. At any rate, if you'd like to read the entire guide or just check it out section by section, here is the link:


  • There is a link on the right hand side of the blog, too, in case you forget where this one is.

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    Monday, March 26, 2007

    To The Anonymous Commenter Who Actually Had Something Useful to Say

    A lot of people like to leave little anonymous piles of excrement in my comments box. And that is fine. The events of a year ago when every time I refreshed my inbox I had five more anonymous pieces of hate mail defending the FSU cowgirl was sort of my anonymous-comment baptism by fire. And I’m used to it by now. But occasionally, an anonymous commenter has something to say other than “Fuck off you racist piece of shit,” or “Someone as ugly as you shouldn’t be talking shit” or “You are a pathetic wannabe journalist with no life who is ignorant and stupid.” Occasionally someone takes exception to something I say and they actually are able to make me think about something in a different way. But, for whatever reason, they choose to not give any contact information. And one of those times was this weekend.

    In case you missed it I wrote a two-day rant about obnoxious patrons in bars and how much I dislike them. Basically venting on the internet, using a blog for the purpose it was created: To let out your anger in a manner that will not (usually) get you fired. A lot of people didn’t like it, some did. Like most of the stuff I write. The comments were rude and offensive and insulting, which is to be expected, but one person actually said something negative that makes sense. So you don’t have to go look for it, here is the important part…

    wow... i was going to put up a comment saying that this post was kinda whiny and pissy and reeks of insecurities associated with being a bartender at a bar where all your clientele are shorter, fatter, less attractive douchebags and tools with much higher paying jobs, but... apparently like 15 people already beat me to it.

    i see no need to pile on, so instead, lets try this... try putting yourself in your customer's shoes.

    for the most part these guys are gigantic tools who grind away at some gay office job which allows them little to no interaction with anything vagueley resembling an attractice female. they come out for happy hour on friday and just want to get a cold beer, but instead, have to deal with some self righteous bartender who, despite having a job where attractive women actually come to him, still finds something to bitch about and has to turn an ordinary unpretentious kinda bar into a southbeach like 'you'll get served when i feel like serving you because i am the bartender and you are at my mercy' kind of a scene.

    i know there are pricks galore out there, but try & remember that some of your customers just want a fucking beer after long week

    Whoever wrote this knows me better than he really should. Complimenting me is the first way to get my attention, and being the type of person I am I pretty much disregarded everything in the first paragraph aside from “all your clientele are shorter, fatter, less attractive douchebags and tools.” After that, Anonymous here makes some great points. Most of these people have miserable weeks and just want to cut loose and have fun for a night and my job is to facilitate that. Not to make their one night of fun as miserable as the rest of their week. And so I am making an effort to be nicer to my patrons. To treat them with respect and courtesy until they do the opposite. And I applied it this weekend.

    Instead of ignoring people who shout out, I tell them who has been here longer and I will get to them when it is their turn. And not in a mean way, but more an informative way. If someone orders a difficult drink, I simply make it and serve it and let the rest of the bar get mad at them for hogging all of my attention. If someone has a simple order, I often get it to them even if it is before their turn, since I can open two Heinekens in a matter of seconds and collect the cash while I’m doing something else. See, I tried to put myself in their shoes, and so far so good. As long as nobody makes problems, I’m not going to make any either. Did Anonymous change my attitude? Not wholly, but unlike a lot of you who just simply insulted me and walked away, this person actually tried, and succeeded in making me look at things in a different manner. And for that I say “Thanks, Anonymous.” Now if only you’d have had the balls/patience to leave your name.

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    Friday, March 23, 2007

    White Dade to Appear on Sabado Gigante

    One of the nice things about living in the capital of Latin Ameirca is that you have the opportunity to be on the most watched TV show in Latin America, And so it was, in perhaps the ultimate twist of Irony ever, I came to appear on “Sabado Gigante.” Never heard of it? You, my friend, are obviously A) Not Hispanic and B)Do not live in Miami. Because if you have ever been over to a Hispanic household on a Saturday night, I guarantee you you have seen this show. It is sort of a variety show where they have different people come on and do different weird stunts, Latin celebrity interviews, musical performances, and lots of scantily clad women. I would say it’s sort of like the Ed Sullivan show for Hispanics, but that would really be a poor analogy. As I’m sure Ed never had a segment where women in Teddy’s popped balloons on the laps of seemingly clueless “Gringos.”

    How I ended up on the show is a long story I’m not going to go into, but suffice to say during auditions I somehow miraculously remembered all the Spanish I managed to forget when dealing with incompetent workers at Publix. As a matter of fact, I spoke the best Spanish out of my four friends who auditioned, and as such was awarded a slot on the show. Originally it was to be me, my friend Steve and my other friend Todd who has had a Cuban girlfriend for 10 years and watches the show religiously. The segment we were to appear on was called “Gringos Plantinados,” which means “White Guys Something.” You see not even the producer of the show, nor 5 of my Dominican friends, nor the three Spanish models we were appearing with, knew what “Platinados” meant. This, friends, is pretty much indicative of how things run over at Univision. And while I find the term “gringo” to be mildly offensive and wonder what the outrage would be if we had a similar segment on “Good Morning America” called “Spics on Parade” I swallowed my pride for a chance at $5000 and a new Hyundai.

    So as Todd, Steve and myself waited to rehearse our choreographed dance numbers with three Latin models who I am sure are famous sex symbols in Latin America but rate about an 8 on my scale, in walks Tim. Tim, skinny and pale, balding and looking about as Hispanic as Conan O’Brien, comes in and starts conversing in fluent Spanish with the producers. We then find out that not only had Tim been married to a Cuban girl for 3 years, he has family in Ecuador and takes salsa lessons. So needless to say Todd got cut and me and Steve pretty much figured we were fucked.

    After three days of rehearsals, Tim was looking like a full-on salsero with his hot Latina partner. Steve looked shaky doing his raggaeton dance with another surgically-enhanced “sexy,” and I was doing some weird belly-dancing choreographed dance with the only model who did not have her husband in tow. And who had appeared in Playboy. Twice. During downtime we enjoyed teaching the girls derogatory terms for homosexuals (pirata del culo, por ejemplo) and tricking them into saying things like “You want fucky fucky?” Surprising as it may seem, this was mostly Steve’s doing.

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    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    My Love of American Girls Comes Back To Bite Me in The Ass on "Sabado Gigante"

    We taped the show Wednesday and I got to meet Don Franciso (real name Mario Kreutzberger-Blumenfeld, a German Jew) who has been hosting the show for 45 years. He is about the equivalent of the Hispanic Regis Philbin, and has pretty much the same hair. Except Don’s is Orange. So we each do our dances and at the end Don asks us some questions. Tim was asked about his Cuban wife and said hello to his family back in El Salvador. Steve didn’t understand a goddamn word Don Francisco said but somehow managed to convey that he liked Latin girls better than Americans because of their asses. I, of course, was asked a little about the Marines and my time serving in the war zone known as Hialeah, and then was asked about my history of girlfriends. Hispancs, it’s always about the sex with them, isn’t it? Somehow, I could not bring myself to lie and I told him all my girlfriends had been American except for one. And what was she, asked Don Francisco? Asian. A collective groan came up form the audience. Needless to say, me and Alexa were the first couple eliminated from competition. It may have been because of my extremely sub-par dancing, but Steve is not exactly Fred Astaire either. However, thanks to my “parting gift” and a pre-arranged agreement with Steve, I still got $700.

    Steve went on to the next round, which featured each couple in “pajamas” (I put this term in quotes because the outfits probably would not be allowed on any American channel not called Cinemax) popping balloons on each other. Like the guy sat in a chair and she sat on his lap either facing him or facing away from him and tried to pop a balloon. Or the guy bent over a chair and she tried to pop it on his ass (which led to a scene where Steve looked like a new inmate being violated by a skinny Mexican model) and finally the girl lying on top of the guy in bed trying to pop a balloon. It was described by the producer to me as “the most Hispanic thing you may ever do.” Sadly, I didn’t get to do it.

    But Steve did and he won and actually went on to win another $5000 and a car in the bonus round. Of course, Steve speaks about as much Spanish as the average Canadian, so when they told him he had won he had no idea. He just sat there looking mildly amused until an announcer came on in English and told him he’d won in English. At which point he lost his shit. Way to perpetuate the “clueless gringo” stereotype, Steve. I’ll remember that the next time my mechanic tries to rip me off by speaking rapid-fire Espanol. Steve doesn’t work and lives off his savings, and now he can afford to bum around like me for the next few months, so at least I am happy about that.

    We went out that night to celebrate, and sadly our models and their husbands could not join us. The driver for the girls came up to me during the taping and said “Hey, that girl you’re dancing with? She likes you. I heard her talking about it in the car. She’s here one night you need to ask her out.” I’m not sure if I believed him or not, but by the time me and Steve finished our celebration at the Doral Ale House Alexa had gone to bed as she had an early flight to Guadaljara the next day. Sad since she was the only one without a husband and that may have been my one chance to sleep with a Playboy model. But I’ll just tell myself it would never have worked out anyway. After all, I only like white girls, right? Maybe the good people at Sabado Gigante think I should reconsider.

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    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    What TO Do if you Want a Drink in A Crowded Bar

    And now, what you SHOULD do if you want to get served

    #1 – Wait your fucking turn. That’s right. Sit quietly and wait. Ladies, you know how when you go out and guys hit on you all night but the guy you end up hooking up with is the one who sat in the corner and didn’t talk to you all night until you approached him? Bartedners are the same exact way. The less you say the cooler we know you are and the better we know our tip will be. That guy screaming for 4 Irish Car Bombs like they were actual, real live Irish Car Bombs? He’s gonna leave me a buck fifty and I know it.

    #2 – Say something funny. Seriously, if someone makes a funny aside to me while I’m making drinks or gives me a compliment or just says something original, they are always next. I always need something to lighten up my day.

    #3 – Be polite. Thank me for the drinks and don’t mention how long it took you to get them. You don’t necessarily have to leave me a monster tip (although it helps) because in a busy bar I’m walking out of there with a lot of money so as long as your tip is reasonable I more appreciate your attitude. Your candor and respect is much more useful to me than your cash. However………

    #4 – If you tip me in advance, you will not regret it. And I’m not talking about a few bucks, but if you throw me a 20 at the beginning of the evening trust me: I will see you first when you come to the bar. Similarly, if you threw me a great tip last time you were in, I will probably remember you again.

    #5 – ASK for drinks. There is a huge difference in how you are perceived when you say “Yes, can I have three Grey Goose and Tonics and a Bud Light?” form “Yeah, lemme get 6 Patron shots and an Apple Martini.” In one case, you are respectfully asking, in the other case, you are telling me to give you something. People who ask may just get something bought for them. People who demand get ignored.

    #6 – Order simple drinks. If you come up and order 5 mojitos, I probably will ignore you when you come back. Is that right? No, not really, you should be entitled to order whatever you want. But some people don’t understand that mojitos are a pain in the ass and order them like it’s bottled beer. The guy ordering anything on the rocks or single mixed drinks? He’s getting helped first every time. Most people tip a dollar a drink whether it s a bottle of beer of a Long Island. Which leads me to my next point…

    #7 – Tip on degree of difficulty. For instance, say you order five Belvedere and Tonics and your bill is $55. A $5 tip on that is acceptable since the drinks were easy. Now say you order 5 Red Headed Sluts, or whatever stupid shot it is you and your friends want to try. And your bill in $45 dollars. $5 on that is a fucking joke. The MINIMUM on any drink that requires a good amount of extra work is $2 per drink. So that’s $10 on that bill. You see where I’m going? It’s not so much the price but how much work I have to do. If it’s busy and you order more than 2 mojitos, I’d better be seeing a 10 in your hand or that’s the last mojito you ever get at my bar.

    #8 – Pay Cash. That’s right. You may think we like tabs because you get drunk and we throw on an automatic gratuity, but the truth is that cash transactions take one-fifth the time and allow us to make more money by serving more people. It minimizes possible complications from broken computers and declined cards, and allows the whole bar-going experience to move a lot more smoothly. Tell me you have cash when I’m looking at you and I guarantee you are served before that guy waving his Amex in my face.

    So folks, remember all this next time you are out at a bar where it is hard to get a drink. It is not impossible, but you have to respect your bartenders or they will not respect you. Flirting doesn’t work, and neither do insults. Order simple drinks and pay in cash and tip ahead of time and you will find you bar-going experience to be much more pleasant than those jerkoffs screaming “Oye” at the tops of their lungs. Incidentally, if I ever hear anyone yell “White Dade” at me when I’m busy I may just lose my shit. Or quit blogging altogether. That’s when I know its just gotten TOO big.

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    What NOT to Do if you Want a Drink in A Crowded Bar

    After the St. Patrick’s Day weekend I had, I really don’t give a fuck if you all are tired of reading Service Industry rants. I know I did my own, and I know that guy who does has done it to death, and I know I got forwarded something from the Phat Phree a long time ago from some bartender talking about the assholes who come into his bar. But none of those guys (except me, obviously) live in this little shithole of a beach town we call Dade County. Because here on St. Paddy’s day, not only do we get the obscenely drunken Irish like everyone else, but we also get the obscenely drunken Hispancs. Not exactly two ethnicities known for their pacifist sensibilities. So it is only a matter of time before “West Side Story” erupts and the police are called. And guess who gets the brunt of the aggressions? The bartender.

    You know, we’re working as hard as we can, and as much as I hate waiting, I’m not going to stress myself out because you are getting impatient. Lets get some shit straight right now. There are ways of getting a drink from me, and ways of making sure you are not served until I have exhausted every other option up to and including walking into the men’s room to see if anyone needs anything. And being the negative, angry sonofabitch that I am, I am going to tell you all what the fuck NOT to do so you don’t piss me off and you get a drink. Tomorrow, I will blow some sunshine up your ass and tell you what you SHOULD do.

    #1 – My name is not “Oye.” That girl next to me, she is not “Mami.” Nor are we named Hey, Buddy, Baby, Pal, Chief, You and most definitely not Bro. Definitely not Bro. If I told you my name, use it and that might help. But calling me something other than the name Lois had the good sense to give me is not going to get you too far.

    #2 – You whistle at Dogs, not at people. I know in some places it may be the acceptable way of getting people’s attention, but here it is the fastest way to ensure you do not get served. Here it is about the most disrespectful way you can address someone, and as such I will treat you with the same respect you show me. And that is absolutely none.

    #3 – Flirting doesn’t work ladies. I’m tall and I have blue eyes and I’m a bartender. When I do my checkout I average 5 phone numbers on receipts a night. And these are from girls I don’t even remember talking to. I am not exaggerating. I’ve never used one, but your flirtation is about as useful to me as the $2 you are going to leave on 6 Mojitos. I’ll wait on you when it’s your turn, and that is that.

    #4 – If I want to serve you, I’ll ask you what you want. Otherwise you are invisible to me. So unless you are a friend, or at least amiable acquaintance of mine, don’t yell in my face. I work hard and I work fast and I work well but even the best bartender in the world can’t serve you immediately when the customer to bartender ration is about 300:1. Sorry.

    #5 – Insults will get your credit card cut. If you tell me I’m taking too long, I will take longer. If you tell me I suck, I won’t be able to find your credit card. Sorry. Insulting a busy, stressed-out bartender is about the quickest way to get fucked with. I am not really insulted, but what I am is irritated that you have the unmitigated gall to insult a guy working as hard as I am. So if you want to spend your Sunday on the phone with your bank, go ahead and tell me you don’t like my service. Otherwise, bite your tongue and don’t leave me a tip. I am making more tonight than you probably did all week so the tip on your $27 tab is pretty much irrelevant.

    #6 – I see a credit card, I see more work. Don’t flash your plastic like that means I’m gonna make more money. All it means is you are going to order two drinks and make me sit and wait while the computer runs your nearly-maxed-out Visa, possibly declining it, and meanwhile all those people behind you are waiting longer for drinks. And that means less drinks served and less tips made. I see plastic, I turn the other way. Unless its an Amex Black.

    #7 – The phrases “When You Get a Chance” “Excuse Me” or “Hey (fill in incorrect name from #1)” should never proceed a drink order. As soon as I hear that you are now officially Charlie Brown’s teacher.

    #8 – You get one order. Got that? One. So if you tell me five drinks to make, and I get them, then the girls behind you flirt with you and ask you to order for them and all of a sudden I’ve got four dudes ordering a round of Cosmos, I know they’re not for you. Its crowded and those dumb girls behind you can wait their turn like all the other girls I am summarily ignoring. So order your shit, get it, pay for it, and be gone. I have been known to tell people “One order at a time” and send them to the back of the line for such behavior.

    Thank you for letting me vent today. If you ever come into my bar just yell “Hey, White Dade,” and I’ll hook you up. Tomorrow, as promised, will be some tips on how to act to get served faster in a crowded bar. Those you many actually find useful.

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    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Telling the Credit Card Compaines to Fuck Off

    Like so many young college students, I racked up more than my share of credit card debt. Through four years of shopping at Bal Harbour and going out to South Beach, vacations home and to the Keys, I managed to rack up over 5 figures of debt. I have no idea how one would do this living in State College or Gainesville, but at a school like Miami, where the average student gets a bigger check from their parents than most people do from their employer, you can do it in just over a year. Like I did. And when I graduated and had to start paying my own rent, the first thing to go in the budget were credit card bills. After all, Citibank wasn’t going to come and break my thumbs if I didn’t pay.

    See, here’s the thing: I haven’t charged anything on any of those cards since 2002. Which means, as far as credit reporting goes, that is the last time I incurred a debt. So by 2009 I’m in the clear. That’s 7 years I could have spent paying money, or seven years I could have spent spending money. Guess which I chose. And what was the consequence? Well, my credit score is probably lower than my age, so that would then preclude me from large scale borrowing for a house or a new car. Neither of which I am in a financial position to do anyway. I can’t get any more credit cards, but at this point that’s kind of like telling a cokehead “Okay, since you abused that drug that almost ruined your life, you can’t have any more?” Really? Damn. And I was hoping you guys could ass-rape me with interest some more.

    Thanks to my transient lifestyle, Credit Card companies have a hard time tracking me down. Hell, the pizza guy has a hard time tracking me down since my address is actually on a street that doesn’t exist. I have had three different cell phone numbers and about nine different addresses since they last found me. I work for cash now and the IRS is lucky I fear them so much or they wouldn’t be seeing a dime either. Occasionally they call my mom and ask her if it bothers her that I am not making good on my obligations. And she basically tells them they are morons for giving credit to an 18-year-old and deserve what they get. And she is right.

    I have ZERO guilt taking money form Credit Card companies. They are loan sharks in suits and use every predatory practice on Earth to milk money from people who can’t afford it. Why I now boycott their services. They lobby congress to allow them to go after people in bankruptcy, charge exorbitant interest rates and switch billing cycles to three weeks instead of four so they can compound their 21.9% APR more often. And you have to make a minimum payment 5 more times every year. These are people who deserve to get stiffed ,and I suggest all American’s do the same.

    With the exception of perhaps buying a home sometime after I’m 35 or a new car, I do not plan on borrowing money from anyone I do not know personally again. It is a sham and I suggest everyone adopt my approach and just tell B of A to fuck off when they call you asking why you haven’t paid. Until they lobby congress enough to legalize corporate Goon Squads to come to your house (which is not out of the question given the outrageous shit they’ve already gotten) there is no reason to fear these people. When they call your house just do what I do: Tell them they are idiots if they ever think they are getting paid and say you will report them for harassment if they ever call you again. It miraculously stops until your debt is sold to another collection agency and you repeat the process. The debt retires eventually and you are in the clear. Just don’t get any more cards and you can spend all that money you would have given to the Credit Card companies on stuff you’d probably have to charge anyway, and the vicious cycle of debt sis over with the fat cats left holding the bag. And if any of you creditors have googled my name and found this blog through the Website I write for, I got a little message for you:


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    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Detroit With A Beach? What a Compliment!

    I had my first opportunity to make a trip to the much-maligned Motor City this week. At least the first one that involved something other than walking from Gate A4 to Gate A71. How I ended up there and what I did during my 21 hours in Detroit is a whole nother unbelievable blog post in and of itself, and the reason I haven’t spoken to you all in a while, but today I will stick to my commentary. And what I discovered after spending a day seeing more of Det-wah than I had ever planned is this: while certainly not an aesthetic beauty of a town, Detroit is actually a lot less disgusting than Miami.

    Now I have heard Miami referred to by many who have actually seen the city as “Detroit With A Beach.” But I think that is being a little harsh on Detroit. Because Detroit, they got nothing on us when it comes to nasty. Thanks to the fact that my host had a sense of direction about on par with a Vietnam POW who had been in solitary for 2 years, I ended up spending most of my downtime in the city driving through areas I probably shouldn’t have been driving through. And while they did feature all the Detroit staples of abandoned warehouses, tenements and run-down old houses, it was downright welcoming compared to some areas of Dade County. Including the area I call home. Sure, only an idiot would have visited these sections of town in a car with anything other than iron-clad locks, but at least there were no stray chickens walking down the street.

    There were scary looking liquor stores, but not nearly as uninviting as the one’s I frequent after 2. There were slums, but they looked more like areas that were once nice and went to crap, rather that areas that had always been crap and just started to smell worse. Their river didn’t smell like old sewage, their bus driver’s spoke English and their downtown featured actual nightlife. Other than a strip of clubs for people who just find 5 AM closings to be a bit too early. They had not one but two downtown stadiums and two downtown arenas, both with bars to go to within walking distance. And they had public transportation that people actually used. So, while I would still rather live just about anywhere other than Detroit, their seedy underbelly pales in comparison to ours.

    The thing about Miami is that we have a pretty picture to show the tourists and the media. When the world comes here for the Super Bowl, we can put them up in south Beach and on Biscayne Bay and make them think this is a bustling, cultural place. But take out the tourist centers and what do you have? Slums and suburban sprawl. And the Grove. But because we can show the Travel channel a good time when they come here, no one makes jokes about second prize being TWO weeks in Miami. Yes, Detroit, I’m sorry to say it but when it comes to nastiness, Miami has you beat. We just have a LOT better weather.

    So the next time you’re thinking of horrible, disgusting places you would never want to live, stop being cliché and ripping on Motown. Think of Miami. While they may Have Devil’s Night and perpetual rioting, what we lack in mass destruction we more than make up for in perpetual rot. I’m starting here and now a campaign to make Miami America’s new most disgusting place to live. Hopefully it’ll catch on before we’re all under water.

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    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    No Joke, I Take Miss America Seriously

    If you know me, or at least you know me through the blog, you would think that the only reason a guy like me would be involved in pageants would be for the girls. I mean, constant access to girls who are competing to look better than the others just begs for a pseudo-slimeball like me to swoop in and nail as many as possible, right? Well, folks, sadly for you and gladly for me, that is not the case. Because if there is one thing I take seriously that nobody around me expects me to, it is the Miss America system.

    The Miss America Scholarship pageant System is the world’s leading provider of scholarship money to young women. And unlike its Trump-owned counterpart Miss USA.

    In the Miss USA system, those few manage to attain the national crown. Or at least become Miss Nevada. IN Miss America the bad ones are weeded out early on, as by the time you get to the state level the girls are on such lockdown they can’t even leave to get themselves a bottle of self tanner. One year I had two contestants at Miss Florida here I was responsible for and I spent the good deal of my free time running around getting them shit since they couldn’t leave the hotel. Which was a real shame as many of them I met during rehearsals seemed like they would have fun girls to hang out with.

    But, again, I do not involve myself in pageants to meet women. I do it because I think it actually promotes positive things in girls like self-esteem and self-information. Most have platform issues that deal with problems relevant to young women, and they devote their titles to raising awareness and, more importantly, money for their causes. Admittedly, I got involved in this crazy world of Miss America by working as a Stage Hand at Miss University of Miami in 2000. I spent a good deal of the rehearsals walking to this girl named Melissa who ended up being the winner. So I got to take the Homecoming Queen to the Homecoming Ball, and it was then that I realized this was the single greatest undiscovered goldmine of women on Earth. After all the only other men involved were either 85 or more interested in me than the contestants.

    But when I volunteered to be the director of Miss UM the following year, I began to realize what an important event it was. It was more than telling girls who wouldn’t otherwise give you the time of day that their shoes were an “embarrassment,” it was a chance to make a difference in the lives of a lot of young women. And so I took the job seriously, never even flirting or using any sort of innuendo with any of the contestants. I did such a good job, the director of Miff Florida took me under her wing and had me help her with Miss Miami that Spring, and escort at Miss Florida that summer. I took the judges certification course and judges some local pageants before moving to California.

    I judged the Cinderella International Pageant in 2004 and that was my last foray into pageantry until this weekend. It was my single favorite activity I did in college, and I have missed it greatly. And so after running into some old acquaintances recently, this Sunday, I will be emceeing the Miss Miami Scholarship Pageant at the Historic Lyric Theater in Overtown at 6 PM. My co-host will be reigning Miss Florida and least year’s Miss Miami Allison Kreiger. I am fairly certain I judged her once a few years back, but I have yet to remember.

    Even better, it is being run by 2001 Miss Florida Kelly Gaudet, who I met when she held the title and I was running Miss UM. She was another one of those girls that completely made me forge what I was doing as she’d walk in as I was yelling at my contestants “Hey, why the fuck are you not on your X when the music hits? What the Hell is you…….Oh, Hi Kelly. How are you? Do you need some water?” What can I say? She was Miss Florida and I was starstruck. Anyway, I am excited to be working with both of them. If any of you would like to meet either of them, or me, in person, I strongly suggest you come out and watch the Pageant. The winner advances and could possibly, like Allison and Kelly, become Miss Florida or, like Miss Florida 2003 Erikah Dunlap (who I escorted during Evening Wear in 2002) Miss America. I hope to see some of you out there. It really is a good time. Or at the very least, give the event some plug on your blogs. I have a lot of stories from pageant land that I may share with you all at another time, and you can expect a full recap on Monday.

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    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    These Are Better Days

    Life is not always good, but when it is, you gotta enjoy the good times. Now, well now are the good times.

    I’m not gonna sit here and brag and tell you about how great my life is. Okay, who am I kidding, yes I am. Last year was an unmitigated disaster. So I think I’ve earned the right to sit here and talk about how good things are going for me right this very moment. I am at a point where I sit back every day and say to myself “Man, THESE are the days.” This year is going a lot like 2005 did: Everything that at first looked like it was going to go badly has turned out perfect.

    I am living almost-rent-free in Little Havana, for those who didn’t know. This has been a lifesaver of sorts during times of limited employment. Which are not now. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to hold onto this gig, but I have enough money saved now that even if it does end I’ll be just fine. I needed a place to move in less than a week when my lease ran out in Palmetto Bay, and a good friend of mine who manages apartment buildings was looking for a place for me in LH. As it happened, this pseudo-caretaker gig was opening up the same week and I took it. I owe that guy so big I don’t know if it can ever be repaid.

    I keep getting fired (or phased out) from bartending jobs and land better ones. My first dismissal led me from a slow-moving steakhouse bar in the Suburbs to a hotel on the beach. Where I still wouldn’t have made enough to survive had I had to pay full rent. My dismissal from that location led me to my new job, which pays me more, in cash, working two nights a week than any "real" job I ever had. I typically only have to work on Friday and am set for the week. That’s a lot of beach and blog time.

    I am getting paid to write some stuff now. Which is good, as I now have the time to commit to doing so. This also pays fairly well and between that and the bartending, money is not a problem. Even if I do have to pay rent.

    I'm surrounded by friends. There are always people around I like to go out with, and very rarely do I have a bad night out. We play on a softball team that, while not the best team, is a lot of fun. We call ourselves "The Tom Imanski All-Stars." But I know that on any given night I can call up somebody I actually enjoy hanging out with and not a "freinds of convenience." And if hes' not there, I have several others to choose from.

    The girls are coming easy, for whatever reason. I got dumped at work on Friday by one of the best looking girls I’ve ever dated and the next night another girl bought me a beer for no reason at all. We have been having non-stop animal sex ever since. Damn shame she’s leaving to go home tomorrow, I kinda like her and the sex is phenomenal. But it’s been like this for a while. One girl leaves, another walks in almost the same day.

    My future looks bright. There is one, massive, long-shot project in the works that will change my life forever if it materializes. But in the more-realistic short-term, I have learned that a project I undertook last fall has come to fruition and is going to make the next year and a half potentially even better than 2007 has been so far. Sorry for the cryptic details, but I don’t like to talk too much about other aspects of my life.

    You have to enjoy the good times, folks. Right now I work one or two days a week, am getting paid to do something I love, make great money and get laid with regularity and variety. Yeah, I know I said I hate bragging, but sometimes you just have to sit back and say “Damn, I have it good.” It won’t be long before I fuck it up and things go back to shit. But for, now, well, for now folks I can’t complain much. Life has dealt me a good hand this round, and I’m going to make the most of it that I can.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Like Being Back In Middle School

    Back when I was in 6th grade, we didn’t have email or sidekicks. Hell, the only person anyone knew with a cell phone was Zach Morris, and that thing was way too big to carry around in your book bag. So when we inexperienced and immature kids who had just discovered that weird, bizarre world of “dating” (which typically included sitting at the same table at lunch and occasionally having our parents take us to a movie) wanted to stop seeing someone, our options for dumping them were very limited. There was always the old pass-them-a-note-in-class option, or, if you were a little more “serious,” you might call their parents’ house and tell them over the phone. The best of all, however, was sending a friend to do your dirty work. Like when Susie sends her friend Jenny over to little Mikey’s table to tell him that Susie won’t be coming over after school to “play video games” anymore. Leaving Mikey to be duly ridiculed for the rest of lunch up to and including having chocolate milk dumped on his head and/or getting his French Fries stolen.

    Ah, but now we are in the 21st and century and kids are ass deep in MySpace, texts and IM’s. They have lightning-fast email so Susie can tell Mikey during 2nd period computers over email that she doesn’t want to “hang out” anymore and he can sit across the room and deal with it by himself as he reads his screen. Or she can send him a text at lunch. Or an IM at night. And while there really is no good way to break up with someone, the advent of technology has at least given us the ability to cut out the middle man, and no longer does Jenny have to be involved in any of Susie and Mikey’s affairs. Faceless, unilateral dumpings can be done with the push of a button, so the dumper doesn’t have to deal with any arguments from the dumpee, but said dumpee still at least knows that their presence is no longer appreciated. And oddly enough, since the kids can do it so can the adults.

    As I said, there is no good way to tell someone you will no longer be sleeping with them. There just isn’t. But once you are past a certain age, say, oh, 14, once you have had sex with someone multiple times you generally let them know directly when you don’t want it to happen anymore. You can use email, text, phone call, post-it note, whatever. What you do not do is this: You do not send a coworker into the job of the person you are dumping to say “Hey, you know so-and-so? Yeah, she just wanted to say she’s sorry she hasn’t called you back and that she is back with her ex-boyfriend. Have a good night.” At which point the female bartender working next to the guy who just got dumped says “Was that for real?” and he nods his head yes and she says “Wow, that’s really fucked up!” Yes, Kathy, yes it was.

    In this day and age, there are a number of ways to deliver that message. Sending your coworker to a busy Friday-Night bar during happy hour to do it right before the rush comes is not one of those ways. Fortunately, Kathy, my coworker, had a little more tact than my 6th Grade lunch buddies and did not dump a bottle of Grey Goose on my head leaving me soaked in alcohol for the rest of the night. And I was not at all surprised by this turn of events. But I had expected a little more out of someone with an advanced degree.

    By the end of the night, I was pretty much over it. I had worked my ass off and made a lot of money and was laughing about it with Kathy and the rest of the lady bartenders. Who all agreed with that it was, in fact, “Fucked up.” I have decided to invoke the wisdom of Dr. Alex Karev by telling myself “Stop moping around. You got to have sex with a hot chick. Quit being a little baby and enjoy it.” And so I leave myself not with the memories of being dumped at work by a third party, but rather with the memories of having sex with a tall, pretty blonde who drove a hot convertible and had a sweet apartment. About how tight she was and the face she made when she climaxed. Or pretended to. About the landing strip of pubic hair she had, and how she hated wearing clothes. About looking out her panoramic view of Biscayne Bay and Downtown as I fucked her from behind, thinking “This is a Miami Memory I will have forever.” About her dog jumping up on her white sheets and humping along with us, or her slender, lean body strolling naked through my apartment for my Cuban neighbors to see. About the way she grabs your head when you climax, and the way she strokes your shoulder as you collapse onto her. And the way she hates condoms. And how much better it feels because she does.

    So while last Friday will forever be remembered as the day I got dumped at work, I will choose to remember the sex and not the end. After all, its March for chrissakes. It’s a lot easier to bang spring breakers when you don’t have to lie about it.

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    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    Why I Don't Talk To Ex's

    For a long time, I thought everyone just pretty much let ex’s die. This may be because my parents are divorced and I have seen them in the same place at the same time exactly twice in my entire life, so my theory was that once a relationship was over, that person was pretty much dead save for a monthly child support check. But as I have gotten older I have realized that I am actually in the minority as far as avoiding ex’s like a leper with the ebola virus. And while most of my friends don’t quite understand it, I still hold firm to this policy. And here is why:

    Nothing good can ever come from hanging around with an ex. Ever. Good sex maybe, but that’s kind of like doing a line of cocaine after you’ve quit. Sure it feels good and is a lot of fun, but sooner or later you realized why you don’t do it anymore and stay the Hell away. Perhaps you can gain a good friend to have for the rest of your life, but more often than not what you have gained is a friend who will secretly be jealous and angry anytime you bring around anyone new you are trying to date. I had a lot of friends before I met you, I really don’t need any more. Those are really the only good things that can come from remaining in contact with an ex. And neither are all that great. Now let’s discuss the negatives.

    No matter how much you tell yourself you are over somebody, you never really are. So seeing them with somebody else, even if you have completely moved on, will still be a little tough. And do you really want to hear about the great sex your ex is having with someone else? Or the great times they are having? I mean, a good friend talks about those things, right? No, definitely not conversations I want to have. Its tough to move on with that person in your life, and right now my life is all about moving on.

    If you are keeping an ex around, it means there is a part of them you still want to hold on to. Sometimes that part is located inside their underwear. Now while sex with ex’s is a safe way to keep yourself from going crazy while you are single, what happens when you get into a new relationship and your ex does not? You think he or she is going to respect that? I’m guessing no. Chances are they will try and sabotage any new relationship you may want to start. This may be as simple as trying to cut down the new person in your life, or as drastic as making some thinly veiled attempt to “work things out” or maybe just “come over.” Not because they want you back, per se, but more because they don’t want to see you sleeping with anybody else. Then this may lead to you ruining a perfectly good relationship by trying to get back together with your ex who, as you may remember, you broke up with for a reason.

    I also tend to compartmentalize people. So if you fall into the “sex partner” category, whether you are a booty call or a full-blown girlfriend, once you are out of that category I can’t really see you as anything else. When I see you my natural instinct is going to be to try and have sex with you. If we are broken up, chances are we are not having sex anymore, and therefore it makes interactions awkward. Since they usually ended with us naked and now they do not.

    Don’t get me wrong. Even the worst of my ex’s I really harbor no ill will towards. Most I downright like and wish them the best in life. But feelings linger, and as long as I am in regular contact with an ex life cannot move on. I am not a jealous person in relationships, but afterwards I absolutely cannot handle seeing someone I’ve dated with anyone else. And so I know to just stay away as much as possible. There is no temptation to show off or look good, no inclination to try and “best’ your ex to look like the “winner” and no awkward moments when you have to meet their new significant other. I like my life ex-free, and I suppose it doesn’t hurt all but one live in LA. But after years of dating and minimal encounters with old girlfriends I have come to the conclusion that closure is overrated and friendship is reserved for people you haven’t slept with. Probably why I hang around so many dudes.

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