I've been in Fort Lauderdale for the past week for work... work work work. Actually, I didn't really do anything all that cool. And also actually, strictly speaking, I was in Coral Springs, about a 15 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale. Coral Springs is in Trivial Pursuit as the answer to the question: What is the only American city which forbids McDonald's to put up their Golden Arches sign? They have very strict zoning laws there. There is next to no advertising, no billboards, and even shop signs are generally hidden by the lines of palm trees crossing right in front of them which apparently is a zoning requirement for every commercial building here. I'm ambivalent about this: On the one hand I really like it because I hate billboards and obnoxious advertising... anyone who has been to the Poconos knows how ugly that sort of commercial behavior can make a place. But on the other hand, everything winds up looking exactly the same; buildings all look the same, streets all look the same... and I am not a fan of characterless uniformity.
I did take a quick afternoon jaunt to the Everglades for another airboat ride... It was kind of junky looking though because apparently there's a drought going on, so there wasn't much water. St. John's river up by Orlando was actually a lot prettier. But at least now I can say that I've been to the Everglades, and anyway alligators there are quite used to tourists, so we were able to get much closer to them than I had on that other trip. I made it down to Fort Lauderdale beach one afternoon, but it was too cold to swim, like only 76° or so. Brr. So I just sat and read a book for a while. It's a nice beach. A bit overrun, and right next to a busy highway, but it's clean and well kept.
Other than that, I got not much. I saw Cloverfield and Sweeny Todd at the local Regal Cinema when I got too bored to live with myself in the hotel. Cloverfield, GOOD. Loved it. But if you were too cool to enjoy The Blair Witch Project, you're probably too cool to like Cloverfield. Actually I have a theory about that: I think that in a weird way, enjoying those two films requires a certain kind of imagination in order to get involved in that shaky cam "This is really happening, no for real I swear" style; You have to allow the film to kind of suck you in, suspend your disbelief even more than usual, and fill in the blanks yourself in order to get that “There” feeling; They don’t give you all of the visuals and answers that a typical film does, so you kind of have to fill in that missing information yourself. And also, you have to sit in the back of the theater to avoid nausea from the shaky cam. Or maybe that's just too much work, I don't know.
Sweeny Todd was odd, it had everything I hate in a movie; it was a musical, and it was gory. BUT it was gory in that macabre Tim Burton way, only more so than usual for him and it's a fun if highly disturbing story. I probably never need to see it again, but I'm not sorry I did.
Anyway, I feel like I've been in Florida far too often for this job. I hope I get another cool new location to go to, soon.