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Pure Imagination - "Joan of Arc" Part 1

The following is part one of the new story “Joan of Arc,” concerning the temporal displacement and inebriated escapades of a womanizing retirement community activities director.

Sat. April 21, 2012 — Petit Dejeuner

This morning I woke up in bed with Joan of Arc. Who knows how she got there. Who knows how I got there. The previous night was a highball/Heineken haze. I thought old Joan had been burned at the stake five or six hundred years ago—I had watched her die in a TV miniseries and two different History Channel reenactments—but there she was, sleeping beside me, hogging all the covers, her milk-white skin unclothed and uncharred, her tunic, sword, and plate mail on the floor with my jeans and lucky boxers. When she woke she was not excited to see me. She rubbed her eyes, muttered quietly in French, then got out of bed and quickly dressed herself. It was really something, how fast she could put on that plate mail. I asked her if she wanted any breakfast—I had some waffles and sausage links in my freezer—but she didn’t answer me. I think her English might not have been too good. Also, it turned out I didn’t actually have any waffles or sausage links left, just really cold empty boxes. Not that it mattered. By the time I remembered how to say breakfast in French, Saint Joan, the Maid of Orléans, was gone.

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Jenna Balfe's Adventures at Shoot The Lobster's 20th Street Art Lot

An art exhibition in an abandoned lot on NW 20 Street, off of Second Avenue, popped up on May 17, not the best part of town. New York artist Ryan Foerster primarily works in photography but also makes zines, films, and installations incorporating found objects. It was his art that was displayed at the site. The show was put on by Shoot The Lobster, a gallery in New York, curated by Bob Nickas. His vision for this ongoing curatorial project is to have outdoor exhibitions in hot and strange places… That’s Miami alright!

I approached a bunch of art weirdos hanging around a large tamarind tree that was a bit off-center in the lot. A lot inhabitant (a homeless gentleman) was casually mixing with the crowd. Before touring the grounds, I noticed that some people had booklets in their hands. I asked to see one and discovered that it was a zine also made by the artist, very simple, beautiful, and clear. There were images of his girlfriend, his garden, and a few decaying things.

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On Being a College Radio Station Music Director in 2001
Scenes from College Radio Volume 3

truly a simpler time

I was chosen/elected/whatever to be Music Director my Junior year of college due mostly to possessing the position’s most necessary trait: tenacity.

WVUM’s executive board was made up of different people with responsibilities over the station’s moving parts. Among these were positions such as station engineer that fixed stuff that got broken, production engineer who recorded anything that was neither music nor the droning monotone of our DJs, and an Underwriting Director whose responsibility it was to go out and find our equivalent of advertisers.

The three top positions were as follows in order of importance: General Manager, Program Director and Music Director. These could not be halfassed though finding the time to do them well was hazardous to your GPA and/or sanity. To offset this somewhat, the top two came with scholarship bonuses that unfortunately had the side effect of being the actual reason most people sought the positions rather than any real love of the station or its work. Contrast this with the benefits to being Music Director, specifically free CDs, tickets to the occasional show, and undeserved swagger. Oh, and severe and nearly instantaneous burnout.

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Pure Imagination - "Minimum Security" Conclusion

The following is the sixth and final portion of the story Minimum Security, a tale concerning loneliness, insomnia, incarceration, Burmese Pythons, and Dadeland Mall. Previous episodes are here.

Madhouse / O Holy Night

It was Christmas Eve, and Dadeland Mall was a madhouse. Procrastinating shoppers were sprinting from store to store and lugging their own weight in gift-wrapped Macadamia nuts and waiting refugee-faced in endless, serpentine checkout lines. At noon we commenced the Dadeland Holiday Minimum-Security Spectacular, a thrice-convicted cockfight impresario singing “Little Drummer Boy” in a sweet falsetto, but no one stopped to listen. Everyone had somewhere to be. No one had time for a spectacular.

The warden didn’t seem to care that no one was paying attention to us, though. He was enthralled. He was clapping his hands and jumping around and sucking on his grapefruits like no one’s business. We reenacted the Nativity and sang Handel’s “Messiah” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and danced to “Santa Baby” in a chorus line and performed pivotal scenes of Home Alone and It’s a Wonderful Life. For the Spectacular’s grand finale, each of the inmates lit a white candle and sang “O Holy Night” as a compulsive public masturbator in swaddling clothes placed a glittering gold star on the top of an artificial Douglas fir. Boy did the warden get a big ’ol kick out of the grand finale. He was crying like a baby. The gold star glinting and gleaming on the tree, we finished off the final chorus of “O Holy Night” and then the prison guards retrieved all of our costumes and choir robes and extinguished and collected our candles. Some of us were in for arson. You never could be too careful.

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Pure Imagination - "Minimum Security" Part 5

The following is the fifth portion of the story Minimum Security, a tale concerning loneliness, insomnia, incarceration, Burmese Pythons, and Dadeland Mall. Previous episodes are here.

Finals Week

It was finals week for all of us enrolled in educational courses in the food court. Prison lecturers sipped on celebratory mocachinos and Johnny Rockets milkshakes and TAs passed out number two pencils, teacher evaluations, and ominously heavy stapled exams. I had been hoping that somehow my survey of post-war Soviet literature final would be in English rather than Russian, but of course it was in Russian. A guy like me couldn’t catch a break. As my classmates diligently tackled post-war Soviet literature’s most pressing questions, I scribbled my favorite Cyrillic symbols in the white spaces of my exam, handed my test to my professor, and shook his hand. He stared at me warily. Who knows what I had been writing on all my tests and papers. Not me. That was for sure.

I had never been a particularly good test taker. In high school that’s what all the dumb kids would say when they didn’t want to say they were dumb—I’m just not a good test taker—but in my case I really wasn’t all that dumb. I was just absolute shit at taking tests. Lots of times I knew the right answer, but I’d bubble in the wrong oval, or I’d second-guess myself, or I’d accidentally skip a page and leave a quarter of the test questions blank. It was really something. I must have been the worst test taker of all time. School wouldn’t have been so bad if all you had to do was learn stuff, but of course they had to go and make school one big competition. People were always doing that, ruining perfectly nice things by making them competitions. They were always telling me, Why can’t you dress as good as so-and-so or cook as well as so-and-so or smell as nice as so-and-so? Boy did that make me feel lousy. My whole life I was constantly losing competitions I didn’t even know I’d entered.

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Misael would like to share a towel with you. He’ll tell you more over at Artepillar.

by , posted May 22, 10:00 AM


by , posted May 18, 09:55 AM

Pure Imagination - "Minimum Security" Part 3

The following is the third portion of the story Minimum Security, a tale concerning loneliness, insomnia, incarceration, Burmese Pythons, and Dadeland Mall. Previous episodes are here.

Hierarchy / Pájaro Libre / Julian(n)a

Even after four months at Dadeland I still wasn’t sure where I fit into the prison hierarchy. At a maximum-security prison the social pyramid would have been clearly delineated: the bank robbers and drug kingpins were on top and the rapists and child molesters were fending off shank attacks at the bottom, but we didn’t have any drug lords or pedophiles, no sex offenders of any kind, and the closest thing we had to a bank robber was Cedar Rapids Brinkley, who blew out the engine of his mom’s Oldsmobile Cutlass dragging an ATM down Kendall Drive.

At Johnny Rockets my position in the doo-wop singing hierarchy was better established. I was the bass, by virtue of my being the only one on staff who could hit the low E flat on “Blue Moon.” The eldest of the hedge fund-embezzling tenors sang lead, but you could tell the younger hedge fund-embezzling tenor wasn’t happy about it. His harmonies were always spiteful. The codeine-trafficking baritone, on the other hand, was a consummate professional. He had sung backup vocals in an all-Cuban Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band before the Feds caught wind of his improprieties with cough syrup. His band was called Pájaro Libre. They were planning on doing a reunion show when the baritone got out of prison and their original Ronnie Van Zant look-alike recovered from injuries suffered in a mango tree-climbing accident. Possible venues included a quinceañera, a corporate awards dinner, and a middle school dance.

For incarcerated felons, the embezzlers, the codeine-trafficker, and I were pretty decent doo-woppers. We sang all the standards: “Sh-Boom,” “Book of Love,” “Earth Angel,” “Duke of Earl.” But we also did originals—the younger embezzler, when not managing or mismanaging hedge funds, had been a quite prolific composer. All of his songs were about girls who had spurned his advances in high school, in alphabetical order. He was currently writing “Juliana.” “Julianna” was next.

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Pure Imagination - "Minimum Security" Part 2

The following is the second portion of the story Minimum Security, a tale concerning loneliness, insomnia, incarceration, Burmese Pythons, and Dadeland Mall. Part one is here.

Doo-wop / The Yard / Optimistic

At Dadeland our days were highly regimented. We showered at the same time every day, ate our meals at the same time every day, worked and shaved and Bible studied at the same time every day, became puppets of the ticking hands of Macy’s wall clocks and designer wristwatches …

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The Fun World of Florida Law Enforcement Patches

Most of the patches Law Enforcement Officers wear show off Florida in all it’s sunlit splendor and likely give those wearing them some degree of pride in serving the public. They can point to the idyllicysm embroidered on their shoulder and say “this is what I am here to protect.” Herons, sunsets, sailboats, and swaying palm trees are all common themes.

These however are not those patches. These are the patches that make you ask yourself what’s in the drinking water.

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WVUM’s Radiothon is on! Donate to the best college radio station in the known universe!

by , posted Apr 24, 10:48 AM


The City of Miami is planning to “re-do” the Coconut Grove waterfront and Scotty’s Landing is unlikely to make the cut.

by , posted Apr 23, 12:19 PM

Rachel [G/H]oodrich's "Apple Juice & Whiskey"

Possibly the most awesome/most weird way you can spend 50 cents. Ever.


Pure Imagination - "Minimum Security" Part 1

The following is the first portion of his story Minimum Security, a tale concerning loneliness, insomnia, incarceration, Burmese Pythons, and Dadeland Mall.

Dying Art / The Boys of Summer

Everyone kept telling me mail fraud was a dying art. Who the hell reads their mail anymore? they said. All the real suckers are on Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo!, Tumblr, OkCupid, Chatroulette. But I didn’t listen. I hated computers, and I liked licking stamps. Teach a man to phish and you feed him for a lifetime, they said. But still I didn’t listen.

Next thing I knew, I was emptying my pockets and being tested for TB and venereal disease during intake at the Federal Prison Camp at Dadeland Mall.

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I too vote for cloning Lolo, at a minimum, one hundred times.

by , posted Apr 19, 09:21 AM

Fashion Tips For Repping Miami when Abroad

image courtesy some moron at Zazzle

NO: I <3 305 t-shirt
YES: I Survived Hurricane Andrew t-shirt
HELL NO: “Taking My Talents to South Beach” t-shirt.

NO: University of Miami windbreaker
YES: University of Miami gothic M baseball hat
HELL NO: Anything that says “It’s All About the U” on it

YES: Alonzo Mourning throwback Heat jersey
MAYBE: Current LeBron or Wade Miami Heat jersey
NO: Latin Nights “El Heat” jersey, any player

NO: Golden Panthers t-shirt
NO: Golden Panthers Hat
YES: You are forbidden from mentioning FIU outside of South Florida
ALSO YES: Miami Dade College lacrosse jerseys

NO: White jacket over t-shirt à la Miami Vice
MAYBE: T-shirt with Don Johnson on it
YES: Don Johnson’s skin à la Buffalo Bill.


The Miami Booty Club Presents "Super Sucia"

I think this video just about sums up everything I love about Miami.


Songs from College Radio Volume Two: Winter 1999 through Summer 2000

truly a simpler time

Notable album releases around this time include In An Aeroplane Over The Sea, The Soft Bulletin, Terror Twilight, Kid A, and The Moon and Antarctica. Part one of this series is here.

So our story opens in Winter of 1999. I’m not going to recount most of the experience of applying for a show again. People who have actually worked in College Radio or spent any time in a comic book store will have an idea of the snobbish air that permeates things that can otherwise be called “hobbies.” Fleshing out the ways that independent music has changed and covering the general oddness of working at WVUM are both later subjects. For now though let’s delve into the hoops and pitfalls involved in getting your very own radio show and trying not to screw up on it every 10 minutes.

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