Bocci last night!

A spectacular evening!

We won all 3 games. 16-5, 16-5 and 16-7. A blowout!

Every one played well. Exceptionally well. We were all on!

Special mention to David and Jules.

David is our captain. He did not play the previous 2 weeks. He gave up bocci as one gives up golf. He had a few bad games and said screw it! But last night he decided to try again. And well he played! A star!

My partner Jules was absolutely the best! She has a hook shot that is hard to believe. She got that ball into places last night that were impossible! We all love you, Jules!

I continue reading The Forever Wars about Afghanistan and Iraq.

These people are nuts! If you ever had a question as to whether we should have invaded Iraq, read the book. We did not belong there. Additionally, we are different peoples. How can we talk with a people who slit throats and chop off heads of captives! We should have left them to be. We are different societies. One should not try to impose its way of life on the other. Either side. It goes both ways.

The book suggests the Iraqis are silently tolerating us. They take what we can give. They bide their time till we leave. Whenever that may be.

We were wrong to go in. We must get out. The sooner, the better. Curiously, what will our relationship with Iraq be after we are gone? I doubt a close one. They will not view us as benefactors. Rather as an invader. Who killed over a million of their people, maimed many more and left devestation.

Afghanistan is another story. One reason is Osama Bin Laden. That is where he lives. That is where he hides. And he we must get!

Election day is around the corner. It has been one wild ride getting to this point!

Putting aside my support for Obama, this has been one of the most exciting campaigns of my lifetime. Both men are excellent cxandidates! Another year may have been Mc Cain’s time. But not now. He is not the right person at this point in our history.

I sense the excitement that accompanies this election. People are talking. Many have become politically interested for the first time. And for good reason! We are in trouble! Big time!

Golf yesterday. I should have stayed home!

I played a game with Tino. Tino is about 10-15 strokes better than me.

We started even. After 6 holes, Tino said he would give me a stroke a hole on the back nine. One hole later, he kicked in with the stroke a hole. At the tee on 11 he said he would give me 2 strokes on the 3 tough holes on the back side.

All this was voluntary on Tino’s part. That was how bad I was playing!

Tino won 12 holes, I 2 and we tied 4. What a day!

I started the evening at Aqua. Bobby Nesbitt time!

The Hudsons were there. Bill and June have returned to their Sugarloaf home for a few weeks. Real people. I like them.

Bill is a leading divorce lawyer in Delaware. We have talked politics many times. A bit last night. I would describe Bill as a black hearted Republican. As he has related to me many times, his Daddy told him when he was young that a bad Republican is always better than a good Democrat.

I do not have to tell you who Bill is voting for.

I had dinner at Antonia’s. The Schufers are back. Bill was part of our foursome on the golf course. He and Linda dined at Antonia’s last night also. I love Linda! One of the best people I have met in my Key West years.

I stopped at the new Keys afterwards. A cocktail lounge in the old Alice’s Restaurant.

An interesting place. I don’t know if it will succeed. Why, I am not sure. A feeling. We shall see.

Entertainment is allegedly from New York. Two male singers last night. One particularly good.

I was home well before 11, the time for the Clinton-Obama lovefest. Never made it. I fell asleep. When I awoke, the show was over.

I thought this morning I would be able to see huge parts of it, as well as Obama’s earlier half hour telecast, on Morning Joe. No, only very short portions. I think we are getting sick of the political clatter. We have had two years of it. However, only 5 more days. Vote! This truly is the most important election of our lifetimes!

I voted yesterday. First time in Florida!

Interesting. Florida’s system of voting is still in the middle ages! No wonder the chad disaster of 2000!

I am told Key West was not part of the chad situation. The voting system here is different from the parts of Florida which had the chad problem. Here in Key West, the voter must fill in what appears to be an oblong circle. For everything! Candidates, resoulutions, questions, etc. Painstaking and slow. I felt like a little kid coloring and fearful of going outside the line.

While I was waiting in line for a compartment to vote in (mark my ballot), I could see those who were already marking their ballots in the compartments. Every one was taking forever. I thought this is one election where people are serious and are considering every item on the ballot with deliberation. No! It was the time it took to fill in the oblong circles!

I am originally from New York State. They still use the same machines there since my first vote in 1960. I have always thought they were antiquated. No way! Miles ahead of the Florida system! You walk in the booth, draw a curtain, pull a series of levers and walk out. All in less than a minute. At the end of the day, a box is removed from the back of the machine and the count taken. Simple. Short. Sweet. Easy.

Florida should enter the modern day in voting! It avoids problems.

All in all, I have always enjoyed voting. I feel patriotic in expressing my governmental desires. I believe most people do.

Obviously I voted early. This is the second week for early voting in Florida. In this respect Florida is miles ahead of New York. New York does not have early voting.

Even with early voting, there was a line. A constant 20-30 people waiting.

There were a few black people casting their votes. I thought how proud they must be. And rightfully so! It has been a long hard journey.

I voted for Obama. No secret. I have been talking about and supporting him since the beginning of the primaries.

The weather was oh! so cold yesterday! High was 69. But nice! You can tell I have become a Key Wester. I am enjoying the cold spell!

The cold spell also changes lifestyles here.

Up north when it is cold, people stay in. In Key West they go out! I lunched at the Yacht Club and dined at La Trattoria. Both places were packed!

Last night it dropped to 62. Cold! Not good to sleep alone on a cold night. I suffered. In the middle of the night, I was wandering around in the dark searching for a blanket.

Today the high is projected at 71. Still cold. I play golf this morning. I shall be wearing long pants. First time in months!

Wowie! Cold morning! High projected today at 69.

Wind blowing big time! At least 25-30 miles per hour.

I was told yesterday this is a nor’easter. The cold spell is anticipated to last about 2-3 days. Tomorrow will be a high of 71. Cold for the keys!

I received some interesting responses to yesterday’s blog. Church brings out the best in all of us.

Some one wrote and raised the question as to whether dogs go to Heaven. The consensus seemed to be no. No animals!

I don’t buy it. A good God is a good God. Dogs are man’s best friend. And in that other day, we are all going to be together with family and friends!

As you are aware, I am an Obama supporter. The campaign has raised some interesting points. One criticism of Mc Cain has been that he is not computer literate. Well, some one wrote and said, in response thereto, that Obama cannot land a fighter plane on a carrier at night. The night observation is immaterial. The contrast excellent. Touche! We all have short comings!

I am up early this morning. Just after 5. Going to be a long day.

I have a haircut appointment at 10:30. Always happy to see Lori. Think I will vote afterwards. This will be my first Florida vote. We do not have early voting in New York. I am excited by the fact this is my first Florida vote and even more excited that I shall be casting it for Obama.

The country is in terrible shape. We need a dramatic big time change. Obama respresents that dramatic change! Hopefully…..

The weather has changed. Cool and windy this morning. Not sure whether it is a nor’easter or nor’wester. But the wind is blowing! Whitecaps on the water!

Temperature is supposed to be in low 70s for the next few days. A drop of about 12 degrees. Cool days! Up north it would be a heat wave!

A nice Sunday yesterday! Nothing unusual occurred. And that is what made it A-ok! I like dependable.

I spent the afternoon at Don’s place watching pro football. All watching, including me, were derelicts from the parade the night before. And yet we all were in great shape!

Larry Smith was there. He told an interesting story which I would be remiss in not relating.

Larry’s wife Christine was at mass earlier in the day at St. Mary’s Catholic Church by the Sea. She was sitting near the first row. Sometime during the Mass, a homeless man entered the Church, came up the aisle and seated himself in the front row.

He participated in the Mass with the rest of the congregation. Sit, stand, kneel, sing and the like. At some point, he took out a ham sandwich and ate it. OK, so he was hungry.

When it was time for communion, he went to the alter rail to receive. Of course, he was first in line since he had been in the first row.

Communion in some Catholic Churches now involves the sipping of wine, as well as the taking of the host.

The homeless man took the chalice full of wine, tipped it up and drank the entire thing down. Left not a drop. Then he returned the chalice to the priest, turned and walked out of the Church. Satiated. Appeared he had to wash down the ham sandwich.

Apparently it was funny. The priest laughed, the congregation laughed.

The priest had to return to the alter to refill the chalice.

Only in Key West!

I had dinner at Lisa’s last night. Love my grandchildren! Lisa had made, with the help of the grandkids, cupcakes with pumpkin covered frosting. We had them for desert. Delicious! However Ally would only eat the frosting and leave the cupcake itself. Cute! Typical!

Talk with you tomorrow…..

Wow! I forgot to write my blog yesterday! First time!

I was up and out early to do some errands. Kept running around till 3. That is when I remembered. Too late to do it then. So…..

Last night was the Fantasy Fest parade. I was out and about and had a wonderful time!

Don had invited me to a party one of his distributor’s was throwing. So I met Don and some others at Don’s place around 5. An early start to what could be a long evening.

The party was upstairs at the old copa on Duval. On top of what is now Wyland Gallaries. A beautiful room with great facilities. And a large second floor balcony overlooking Duval! Perfect for parade watching!

We got there just after 6. The parade started at 7. By the time it reached us, it was about 8:30.

Our host was Premier Beverage Company, the local Bacardi distributor. Premier did itself proud! Good food! And, of course, good booze!

We obviously had a lot of time to eat and drink before the parade reached us.

I have only one complaint. And having been a free loader last night, I should not. But what the hell! I am a gin drinker. Bacardi makes every kind of drink except for… guessed it…..gin!
So I started with a shot of tequilla. Good! Very good! But I knew I would never make it through the night if I continued. I switched to beer. I hate beer! Two bottles were all I consumed.

Eat I did, however. A good selection of food.

I knew many at the partry. Met many more. Everyone was having a good time.

Most were costumed. The women especially went all out. Cindy Mc Cain and Sarah Palin were the most popular.

David’s Karen was one of the best Cindy Mc Cains. When I arrived at Don’s Place, I saw her standing outside. All dressed up! Not shorts or jeans. A formal maroon suit. And high heels. And blond hair pulled back tight.

I could not understand at first why Karen dressed for the party. I did not realize she was actually in costume. I told her how terrific she looked. Finally, at some point she let me know who she was. A terrific costume! A terrific look! Not everyone was as slow on the take up as me!

Karen is absolutely beautiful to begin with! And she added to it!

The suit and jewelry were fantastic! She even wore panty hose to make the appearance perfect. A big deal last night since it was 85 and humid. She topped it all off with a very fine blond wig. Karen is a blond, but she felt her own hair was not long enough. And it did not look like a wig. Even phony eye lashes!

Great job, Karen!

Michael was without doubt a winner on the male side!

Michael is Don’s early morning bartender. Last night he was Chiquita Banana. Ear rings, boobs and all! He told me he was up at 5:30 in the morning to dress. He had to be at the bar at 7. So he had been dressed all day! And partying all day!

At 2 in the afternoon he and his wife and Jules did Duval. They were out on the street partying and drinking till they showed up at the party at 7. So Michael was seven shades to the wind when he arrived.

He did well. He was still going strong when I left, though seated most of the time and complaining that he had had it.

Michael looked terrific! If you will excused the description, it took balls for him to dress as he did! You’ve got them Michael, contrary to the costume last night! Congratualations!

I could go on forever describing the people and their attire. Michael’s wife was a great Sarah Palin, even down to the baby! Don’s wife was another great Cindy Mc Cain, with an an absolutely fantastic wig! My bocci partner Jules was dressed as Joe the Plumber. Amazing!

I did not dress. Don and Dave did not dress. Next year maybe I will.

You notice I have not commented on the parade. I am sure it was its usual good stuff. However, between the socializing and watching the Penn State/Ohio State football game, I had little time to look over the rail onto Duval.

I left in the middle of the parade to walk to La Te Da. The sidewalks were jam packed. It was a trip! Good on the eyes however. Oh, so many women with painted or otherwise bare breasts. A voyeur’s fantasy come true!

I stayed only briefly at La Te Da. Said some hellos. And then I was on my way to retrieve my car. I had left it at Don’s parking lot. I did not want to get towed again. A long walk, however. Especially in the humidity.

Interestingly, I was home in bed before 10. And I am glad the night ended that way and that early. Otherwise I would be wiped out this morning.

I love Sundays! The papers, Don’s Place and dinner with Lisa and the grandkids.

Hope your day is as good!

I sucked at bocci! My car got towed!

Other than that, I had a wonderful evening!

For whatever reason, my bocci run came to an end last night. I did not have it! I even benched myself for the last game.

Still played better than golf though.

Afterwards I hurried over to a friend’s house for a dinner party. Eight persons total. Drinks, dinner and great table chatter. An absolutely marvelous evening!

The magnificent Donna was hosting. She had house guests, an ob/gyn and his wife from Detroit, a local husband and wife realtor team, Mary Jo and I can’t remember his name–a charming local gay guy.

Donna out did herself. Stone crabs! They have just come back into season. Delicious!

But even better than the stone crabs, if such is possible, were the conversations. A typical Key West round table. However for another day. Some strange tales!

It was close to midnight. I was the first to offer my thanks and leave. Parking had been difficult. Fantasy Fest time. Donna lives just 2 blocks off Duval. Last night was toga and Pretenders. I parked my car in the lot on the corner of Siminton and Eaton, across from the church. The lot was packed. I was happy to find an open spot. I have been free parking there off and on for 20 years.

When I got to the lot, there were no cars to be seen. Including mine!

It had been towed. There was a sign nearby with a number to call. I did. My car was sitting in a lot on Stock Island.

Note that it was raining at the time. Soon it was pouring non-stop.

I walked back to Donna’s. Being the good person she is, she agreed to drive me to Stoock Island to get the car. But first we had to kill 45 minutes. The tow guy told me over the phone he was busy towing other cars and was not at the yard. I had to make an appointment after midnight to recover my car!

Out we went. Stock Island is not the best of places, especially in the dark of night and pouring rain.

By this time, it was a monsoon downpour! Asshole, excuse the description, was sitting in his cab and I am standing in the street. The tow people had no office. He wanted $150. No problem. I gave him a credit card. They do not take credit cards. I only had a $100 in cash on me. He agreed to take the $100 in full settlement of my bill. Now I began to wonder what kind of a rip off was this!

Of course, there was paper work. He is doing it in the cab. I am standing nearby soaking wet and getting even wetter, in spite of the slicker I was wearing. I could not toss him the money and just leave. He had my license and registration for the paperwork.

I finally retrieved my car. Thanked Donna. And drove home. It was 2:30 in the morning!

Last night turned out to be like a sandwich. The bread on each side, bocci and the car towing, were not the best. But what was in between-the dinner party-was terrific!

Rain! Rain! Rain!

It did not stop yesterday. And it rained during the night also.

It is supposed to rain today and thru Saturday.

Not good. Key West is celebrating Fantasy Fest this week. The outdoor events, and there are many, will be a disaster!

Last night I ventured out in the pouring rain. First to Aqua. Bobby Nesbitt is back! And I am glad! He is one terrific performer!

Afterwards I was invited to Jerry Tinlan’s annual “bouffant” party at the Oasis. A drag party. About 150 guys dressed. As opposed to 3 males not. I am one of the 3. I wear my usual shorts and tee shirt. Just want to keep the record straight!

The rain however interfered with my going to the party. From past experience I knew this is a big bash held outdoors. The “bouffants” would not be able to handle the rain and wind last night. Nor could I. So I opted to have dinner instead with some friends I ran into at Aqua. We ate at Antonia’s. I generally eat fish. Michael Stewart advised they had no fresh fish. The fishing boats could not go out because of the weather. So I indulged myself with pasta.

I have not seen the local news yet this morning. My sister Joan e mailed me from Tampa to tell me Key West had 7 inches of rain yesterday. I told you it rained big time!

Seven inches is more water than Ike brought to the island.

I knew when I drove home last night the rain had been unusually heavy. My street was flooded. At least 6 inches. Perhaps more.

My garage door motor is broke. I have been parking in the street waiting for the replacement. Last night I was fearful of leaving my car in the street. The water was getting too high. Fortunately my home is built on 8 feet of fill. So I have a steep driveway. Very steep. I parked in the driveway.

I looked out the window this morning. The water level in the street has receeded, but water still covers the street.

Tonight is Pretenders at the Pier House and toga party time at Sloppy Joe’s. Pretender’s is an outdoor event and toga is partially outside. Both will be disasters if the rain continues as has been reported.

Sad. A lot of money and time have gone into planning these events. Pretenders was cancelled last year because of high winds. It may very well be cancelled this evening because of rain.

Larry Smith and Kathleen Peace have devoted much time to preparations for Pretenders. Last year their group was to preform a Beatles rendition. Cancelled. So they have been practicing to do it this year. Tonight. Questionable.

Yesterday was golf day. Obviously no golf. Tonight is bocci. I doubt it.

All is not lost however. Stone crabs are in season. I am invited to a dinner party this evening where they are to be served. What could be better!

I finally made it! Lisa permitted me to baby sit last night! First time!

The grandkids are 4 and 3. Lisa says my attention span has not been good enough up to this point. She claims the kids are too fast for me.

Last night therefore was a big test for me! And I passed with flying colors!

Why not? I had 4 children of my own and 9 other grandchildren!

Lisa had to work. At Headdress Ball. Corey was in Key Largo on business.

When I arrived, it was dinner time. Pizza. I had already eaten, but I joined in. Three pieces for me. Bad!

Robert and Ally were glad to see me. I stopped at K Mart on the way in and bought them a couple of pumpkins. Bribery always works!

Lisa left. I had specific instructions.. Only 1 cookie each. Nothing else. What movies to play. What to read. Etc.

We started with the movie. These movies today are terrific. I was bored. They were engrossed. Glued to the set.

At some point, they wanted me to read to them. A book about the Gruffy Goats. Both were sitting on my lap. The book reading went well. They knew every line before I read it.

We played a bit. Then Robert appeared tired. He lay down on the couch and was out in minutes.

Ally does not sleep! No way till her parents were home. She and I jousted a bit. However we made it.

Finally Corey was home. Robert was still asleep. Ally starting to doze. And I reading Newsweek.

A good evening!

And I think I proved my babysitting worth to Lisa. I am confident she will ask me to do it again. Something I want to do!

I stayed up late last night. Late for me! Till around midnight!

Fantasy Fest is upon us. I really have not been involved until this point. So I opted to walk Duval last night.

Interesting! But then again, it always is.

Duval is starting to fill. It will be more by the end of the week. However last night was healthy enough.

Everyone happy! Everyone having a good time!

All ages. Young and old alike. All body types. Short, tall, skinny and fat.

I thought I saw a bit more nudity than normal. A lot of women were bare chested. And not necessarily body painted! Just hanging there in all their natural beauty. Lightly bouncing with motion.

Every year I find the bare chested women interesting. Not only from the I am a male and like to look perspective. Many are middle aged ladies from middle America. Iowa, Minnesota and the like. They come to Key West’s Fantasy Fest to step outside their routine lives for a few days. And they do the risque thing from their perspectives!

Nothing bad. Just a bit of topless nudity. And they do it with pride! You can see it written all over their faces!

The only bar I stopped into was the Bull. The place was packed. Overflowing into the street.

I had a good time! Everyone was expectedly friendly!

Such was my night on the town. I was the quiet observor. In any other enviroment, I would have been considered a voyeur. Come to think of it, that is what I was!