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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Greetings folks, and many apologies for being absent for the past five-and-a-half days. I got busy trying to make deadlines, finish stories, etc. And then I had to take a break. That M.I.A. is not a shout-out for Miami. With respect to all our military veterans, that is definitely for Missing in Action.

For the past few days, Burnettiquette World Headquarters has been relocated to the southernmost point in the United States, lovely Key West, Florida. The pictures you see above are of a six-toed cat at Ernest Hemingway's house, Hemingway's writing studio above a converted carriage house, and me standing on the steps to the writing studio. I needed some creative inspiration. Between the freak cats and the very cool house Hemingway lived in during his years on the island, I think I got it.

I'm trying not to come off like a tourist, though technically I am, since we've never been to Key West, or any of the Florida Keys for that matter. But this place has been great - beautiful weather, nice breeze, no smokey skies. A few more hippies than I tend to prefer, but you can't win 'em all.

It's just as warm as Miami, maybe more. But there's less anger in the air, much less bad driving, and there's a more relaxed pace.

Seriously, I observed at least two locals voluntarily stop on the sidewalk to ask confused-looking tourists what they were looking for and if they needed help. Even though it's less than 200 miles away, I swear the odds are higher that I'd see a bright green alien on the sidewalk tap dancing in M.I.A. than a human offering such help.

Even the dolphins here look chill and relaxed. I've seen Dolphins swimming in the M.I.A. waters, but I'm pretty sure they were reckless swimmers, cutting off the other sea creatures without signaling first. And I know the M.I.A. dolphins were probably armed with handguns.

Enough yappin' though. For the rest of the weekend, this blog becomes largely a photo-driven thing. I'll post more tomorrow.

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  • good for you & mrs b! everyone needs a break/holiday...

    By Blogger savannah, at 8:01 PM  

  • That explains the dead animals on the walls. For some reason, I don't imagine you being much of a hunter.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 8:32 PM  

  • blue skies and blue water make Ms. Connecticut green. Enjoy your vacation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:53 PM  

  • It sounds lovely - better than my chilly 55°F here today. (where did my spring go?) and yes - we want more pictures.

    By Anonymous Karmyn R, at 11:14 PM  

  • dude, I'm sponging some of your new-found Hemingway mojo..!

    By Blogger dennis, at 12:00 AM  

  • Enjoy your holiday. I'm thinking about taking Mrs. Corky to Key West for our five year anniversary. I went once before and I loved it.

    By Blogger captain corky, at 12:10 AM  

  • I love Key West. When I was there, it seemed a lot of the people I talked to had come for vacation and never left.

    By Blogger Lee, at 8:11 AM  

  • Oh, I love Key West! The Keys in general really!! about escape from the rat race!

    By Blogger Claudia, at 12:29 PM  

  • That's so cool... I want to go on vacation!

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 1:25 PM  

  • Sounds like an interesting vacation. Hope it recharges your batteries.

    By Blogger BobG, at 2:00 PM  

  • Enjoy!

    By Anonymous Freddie, at 7:53 PM  

  • Wow, vacation, what a concept...

    Although I admit that when I saw the photos first, my reactions were (a) "MIA? Not his kitty!" (b) "I would never have figured James for the deer-head-on-the-wall kind of guy.", and (c) "Wait, why is his living room MIA? Was he robbed?"

    Glad to hear it's just so rest and recharge. Enjoy!

    By Blogger mkh, at 9:21 PM  

  • Have a great holiday, James. Wondered what you'd been up to.

    & I'm right there with mkh when I saw the first two pictures!

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 8:41 AM  

  • A college friend came back from a trip to the Keys once with photos of Hemingway's home. One picture revealed to me that I had a lamp (which has been around for a couple generations) in the same design as what Hemingway had around his house.

    That lamp was ordinary to me before. Now I guard it with my life. Funny, that.

    Anyway. Glad to hear (see) you're enjoying yourself.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 9:26 AM  

  • *writes down Key West as a possible future vaca spot* Can't wait to see more photos!

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 9:47 AM  

  • I swear the odds are higher that I'd see a bright green alien on the sidewalk tap dancing in M.I.A. than a human offering such help.

    I have personally observed bright green aliens tap dancing on Duval Street many times. That's one reason I return to KW annually. Make sure you visit the Green Parrot.

    By Blogger Steve ("Klotz" As In "Blood"), at 10:28 AM  

  • I love the writing studio. It looks warm and inviting. Not as stuffy as I thought Hemingway's study would look. Cool. : )

    p.s. why are folks in Miami so hostile?

    By Blogger Angie, at 10:55 AM  

  • I think with dolphins being the intelligent creatures that they are would be packing spear guns instead.

    I am currently rubbing up against your blog to get some of the Hemingway mojo too please don't be offended.

    By Blogger Wavemancali, at 11:40 AM  

  • Glad to hear it is such a relaxing place. My family and I will be going there for the first time this summer. Even though we have lived in Florida for generations, we have yet to visit our state’s southernmost point. Can’t wait.

    By Blogger Christina, at 12:11 PM  

  • I think the 6 toes on the cat means it's probably a maine coon? I love the way it's sprawled on the sidewalk like it just doesn't care.

    Enjoy your vacation - I bet it's gorgeous there. I thought Miami looked pretty good, so I can imagine that they keys must look like heaven.

    By Blogger fiwa, at 1:00 PM  

  • Thanks Savannah. It has been fun.

    Grizz, I eat everything I kill. And I wear the leftovers ;-)

    MyReflectingPool, I'm trying my best.

    Karmyn R, more pics this evening.

    Dennis, sponge away. There's plenty to go around.

    Captain, it's a great place for a romantic break. When they finish the construction, I recommend the Hyatt on Front Street. It's right on the water. And if you can, request a room that ends in "01," as in 1201, 1301, 1401. You get two balconies - one facing the gulf, and one facing the Atlantic, and both with a little overlap.

    Lee, it does feel laid back that way. I met a couple of folks who hinted that they came to lounge and just got used to the place.

    Claudia, it feels like it's a million miles away from the busyness that is Miami.

    Erica, come on down here. Plenty to do in KW. And even though I grudgingly admit it sometimes, there's plenty to do in M.I.A. also.

    Bob G., I have gotten a charge out of it for sure. Exactly what I needed.

    Freddie, will do.

    MKH, I posted those pics in a lazy fashion, I admit. It wasn't until I put them up that I realized between them and the title of this post you guys might think something was wrong. Sorry 'bout that. That's what relaxation will do to you ;-)

    Bronchitikat, just laying low. And I apologize to you too. I know you love kitties. I didn't mean to suggest through my poorly lettered title and the placement of the pics that there was something wrong with my cat. She's fine.

    ThirdWorst, I'll bet that's a cool lamp. I'm not into decorating stuff. I really don't care what furniture looks like, as long as it's functional and comfortable. But I really dug the look of Hemingway's place and his furnishings.

    Christina, definitely put KW on your list. More pics later.

    Steve, I saw the aliens too. And they were friendlier than M.I.A. aliens - no unwanted probing ;-) I'll check out the Green Parrot.

    Angie, that studio is cool, isn't it? Wish I had one like that. As for the hostility, I don't know. Maybe people are pissed off that we don't all live on the set of a music video.

    WavemanCali, no offense taken. Rub away. Like I told Capt. Corky, there's plenty of mojo to go around. And you're right about the spearguns. They'd make more sense in the water ;-)

    Christina, I've had a similar bad habit over the years: live near a cool place and never make the time to visit. I'm trying to break that trend these days. You guys should visit the Keys. Very relaxing. I'll be a fan for life now.

    Fiwa, we have a Maine Coon. At least she's half Maine Coon. But she doesn't have six toes. I wish she did. It could be it started with that breed though. I'm not sure. Some of the six-toed cats on the grounds looked like short-haired mongrels, not any specific breed. You have me curious now though. I'll look into it. And thanks I've squeezed every ounce of relaxation possible out of this trip.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 5:02 PM  

  • I've always wanted to see the Hemingway place and the descendants of the six toed cats that hang about. I feel like the world is moving in slow motion around here since I came back from London. Have you considered that the hippy population might be the reason for the strange feeling of calm? Peace and love to you man.

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 9:48 PM  

  • People being calm? And relaxed? And helpful? Oh holy cow, point me in the direction of this paradise!

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 8:05 PM  

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    By Blogger Omar Cruz, at 6:35 PM  

  • It's usually late at night or maybe you hear it in that short silence between songs on the cd. It's a scratching noise or a sound like tearing paper. You can't tell where it's coming from right away because it seems to have an illogical locus high in the air in the middle of the room. march madness Maybe you turned the music or the tv off a few times because you swore you heard it again, but you can't catch it when you're listening for it. Then when you're lying in bed, maybe holding a paperback propped on your extra pillow or just dozed off enough to get a little drool on your cheek, you hear the unmistakable sound of aliens ripping through the fabric of spacetime specifically seeking your lame corpus to bring you back to their world. Then you realize it sounds more like a cat.

    By Blogger Stivel Velasquez, at 3:58 PM  

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