Greetings From Paradise (On my next to last night)

As you all know, my sister came down for a few days and we had a good time, and this was apparently a surprise to my mother:

At any rate, I spent the next to last day here doing what I have done every day- get up, take the dogs for a drag, do some work, soak in the pool, take the dogs for a drag, soak in the pool some more, go to the grocery and pick up something for dinner, come home, cook, take the dogs for a drag, and then work and watch Hulu. I have watched no live tv, and I have to say it is super pleasant.

I had to say goodbye to Ruth, the doorlady who I have been bringing sweets every night, and she gave me her phone number and told me to call if I ever come back. I might just call her to chat even if I am not coming back, because she was so nice.

Last day tomorrow. BOOOO!

98 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    Take the dogs for a drag. LOL.

    They need skateboards.

    And your mom’s text is hilarious.

  3. 3
    SFAW says:

    Safe travels on your way home, John.

  4. 4
    MazeDancer says:

    Sounds like you had an exotic getaway and an old-fashoned FL vacation. May your drive back go smoothly,

  5. 5
    debbie says:

    Carol Burnett just won a special award on the Golden Globes. That curtain rod dress cracks me up every time!

  6. 6
    wvng says:

    A mother should never troll her son. But I’ll bet she laughed.

  7. 7
    sukabi says:

    You’re going to miss your dog drags…but I’m sure Thurston, Rosie and Steve will have something planned to welcome you home.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Sounds like you had an exotic getaway and an old-fashoned FL vacation.

    Clearly he did not. There was no mention of a good hearted stripper, alligators, face eating zombies, people driving the wrong way up the exits on the Dolphin, a gas station blowing up one block off of coconut grove, an AR15 and/or an AK 47.

  9. 9
    J R in WV says:

    So glad you had a great time, John. Tuck That door lady’s phone number away, and call her next spring, when it gets beautiful around here!

    Be careful driving home!

    First? Of course not!

  10. 10
    Punchy says:

    Thats one hell of a clowning by yer Parental Unit. I guess you know now where you sit in the Favorites Order within yo fam. Dead last and miles away.

    Enjoy your socks and friutcake Xmas gifts.

  11. 11
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Ya. Plus, it ain’t over till it’s over. Still gotta day to go.

    If the Iggles vs. the Osos suggests anything, it’s that icing the Fla. vacationer with premature well wishes is just asking for trouble.

  12. 12
    Nicole says:

    It’s been nice living vicariously through your Miami excursion. I’m so tired of rain. Safe travels back north. Bring dry weather with you, please.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: Anything could happen…

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    +1. She’s a once-in-a-lifetime performer, celebrity, human being.

  15. 15

    @Adam L Silverman: True, it almost makes you wonder if Cole really was in Floriduh.

  16. 16
  17. 17

    I don’t know quite how to put this gently, so I’ll just lay it right out. Your mother needs a good, hard slap.

  18. 18
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Especially Miami. The amount of insane stuff that happens in Miami by 9 AM every day is monumental. That none of that has seemingly intersected with Cole being in Miami is astronomically implausible.

  19. 19
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Adam L Silverman:


    In the Floriduh realm of volatile extremes, anything’s possible — even, dare one hope, falling in love.

    “Always look on the bright side of life!”

  20. 20
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Florida a paradise? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  21. 21
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I mentioned this only because it surprised me

    Woomp woomp

  22. 22
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    Your mother needs a good, hard slap.

    Have you been reading this blog? Cole’s mom deserves some kind of special award for not murdering him in his sleep!

    (Psst... glad you’re enjoying the vacation, Cole. Hope your last day is UNmemorable in all the right ways, and that your trip home is just interesting enough to keep you from nodding off on the road.)

  23. 23
  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    LOL taking the dogs for a drag. I hope Lily hasn’t gotten lazy via proximity.

    Meanwhile, yes to Ruth. She sounds lovely. Is she aware of Jackals?

  25. 25
    jl says:

    OK, I think I see the problem Cole has with his parents. He takes everything too personally. Did Mom say WHY she was surprised? No Mom did not.
    Could be she thought sis would not like the humidity. At the rate Cole gripes about everything, Mom probably heard about the curse of the odd and unique sloth of those two dachshunds, or that the place wasn’t stocked up so Cole had to schlep to the market every day.

    Cole is very welcome. I am happy to drop by from time to time and Solve All Problems for Cole.

    And BTW, I thought Cole promised hot pix of him imitating manatees in the pool. I am sure of it in fact. Full-service blog…

  26. 26
    FlyingToaster says:


    Enjoy your socks and friutcake Xmas gifts.

    You must have a terrible existence.

    I love getting good socks as presents. I make an okay Stollen, but I know a couple who candy their own fruit and those cakes are to die for! Though I agree with you on those things in the store: they seem to be all corn syrup, sawdust, and glue.

    One of the sadder things about ToasterMom’s decline is that the Hanukkah request “please get me 8 good pairs of cotton crew socks, in colors” turned into tube socks or polyester socks. Also, JoyofSocks appeared, so we stopped the socks as gifts to me.

  27. 27
    Jeffro says:


    I believe Christian Bale just thanked Satan on live TV for giving him the inspiration on how to play Dick Cheney in VICE.

    There is not enough aloe vera in the world for that burn. NOT THAT CHENEY CARES. But still…OUCH!

  28. 28
    CliosFanBoy says:


  29. 29
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @Anne Laurie:

    OT: Wondering, since a coupla FPers was in our midst, if anyone hadda post in the hopper on the poss. ramifications of Tucker “White-Power-Hour” Carlson’s alla sudden sounding like a Noam Chomsky critique? And Ann “Kill-Em-All-and-Let-Imperialism-Sort-It-Out” Coulter’s rollout of her accordance with AOC on tax policy?

    This sudden interest in actual vs. fake right-wing populism, to me, smells to high heaven (talk about inexplicably playing against type), but I ain’t just sure what to make of it. Was hoping someone would take a deep dive into them fetid waters and see what you make of it.

    fwiw, my best guess is the right-wing hive mind knows how thoroughly it has shit the bed and has deduced that the only lifeboat availabe (whether Trump gets on board or not), is to offer up a sort of herrenvolk populist socialism that talks a good game but only delivers for the “right” sort of people. (IYKWIMAITYD.)

    Think Poland. Or, for that matter, the South at any interval except, possibly, 1865-67 and 1964-1980.

    Any thoughts welcome, course, even that I’m fulla shit (which is allus a plausible conclusion).

  30. 30


    And BTW, I thought Cole promised hot pix of him imitating manatees in the pool. I am sure of it in fact. Full-service blog…

    Exactly how much are you paying for this “Full-service blog”, jl? You should have learned very early in your Economics education(survey level course) that you don’t get something of any quality for nothing.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m only watching bits and pieces because I have a nasty cold and I should be writing anyway. Darren Criss, the guy who starred in the version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch that we saw at the Pantages in 2017, just won a Golden Globe for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” He was really good in Hedwig, which was not at all what I expected.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: My understanding is that Carlson is, quite simply, a nihilist. As for Coutler, she’s spends far too much time with the box wine.

  33. 33
    OldDave says:

    On those expressing wonderment at Cole not having a South Florida moment – please remember that not every day here is one out of a Carl Hiaasen novel (just most of them).

    In any case, here’s hoping for an uneventful drive back to West (by Ghod) Virginia.

  34. 34
    Uncle Omar says:

    The Other Cole–Juan–has a great take on Rashida Tlaib and her characterization of His Orangeness at his place, Check it out.

  35. 35
    Gwangung says:

    @Mnemosyne: Both he and Sandra Oh gave heartfelt thanks to their parents.

    Which is going to set a pretty high bar for the rest of us.

    @Jeffro: Sick burn indeed. It beat out Emma Stone’s shouted out comment during the monologue.

  36. 36
    geg6 says:

    Jeff Bridges was the epitome of the Dude just now on the Golden Globes.

  37. 37

    @Uncle Omar: To add to the confusion, Juan Cole’s given name is John.

  38. 38
    cain says:

    good on you Cole, enjoy your time in Floriduh!

    Y’all I turn 50 this year, but not before Cole, I think. I’m planning on using the entire year to celebrate by a) getting in shape b) taking a shit ton of trips…

    for b) I have a remote job, I can work anywhere, I plan on being a vagabond and getting airbnb for a week and working there and go out during the evenings/weekends, and have some fun! :-) I’m hoping to hit Tahiti because I’ve never been there or maybe some other place near hte Indian Ocean. Stay in India for awhile etc. Greek island.. random thoughts.

    Also, I got a promotion, became Chief Marketing Officer, but I’m still being paid 60k a year, so I guess I am a Cheap Marketing Officer? :D 12 hour days, and weekends.. meh.

  39. 39
    Uncle Omar says:

    @poleaxedbyboatwork: Paul Campos took a look at that swamp at LGM and the commenters there offered some thoughtful responses in line with your surmises.

  40. 40
    Capri says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The day Ann Coulter is not in the news is the day a publicist gets fired. She’d do or say anything for a page view.

  41. 41
    patrick II says:

    Someone has said that Jeff Bridges is the only actor who, in real life, became the person he played in a movie. So I just watched The Dude receive his Golden Globe Lifetime Achievement award, and it was far out, dude.

  42. 42

    @cain: Tahiti’s ok, Moorea is just a puddle jumper ride away and is much nicer.

  43. 43
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Uncle Omar:

    Here’s the compilation of the fiend in the White House cussing in public (I couldn’t remember where I saw it the other day):

  44. 44
    geg6 says:


    Congrats on the promotion. And I feel your pain in the pay area. I, too, have been promoted in the past couple of years. Which was a small bump in pay but long days and many weekends. I turned 60 last November and have 20 years at my current employer and will be lucky to get close to $60K when I retire in five years. Oh well, I chose to be a financial aid professional in higher ed and it is what it is.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Anyone know when Cole adopted a tiger?

  46. 46
    CaseyL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think he managed the trick by hardly ever leaving his hotel room, and then only going as far you can drag a dachshund.

    Have a safe (and uneventful!) journey home, John.

  47. 47

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Anyone know when Cole adopted a tiger?

    Several years ago, his name is Steve.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: You need to do what the bursar at FIU used to do, which was financially aid himself off of the students’ financial aid.

  50. 50
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    OK, fair enough. But must say: Carlson usedta be your garden-variety bow-tie-wearin both-sides-damning “independent” conservo-libertarian douchebro. Then he went to Fox and found new life as a white-power-curious just-askin-questions! bilious apologist for failure, cruelty and, you know, autocracy. He’s allus been a shitheel twerp.

    But: even if one stipulates that’s Carlson is a nihilist (which I will agree with up to the point of saying he’s innit for the green and doesn’t give a shit about anything apart from shoveling spite to stoke his followers and prop up his wounded ego), conceding the point (nihilist) doesn’t really get you very far in determining why two prominent conservative mouthpieces have adopted a very public and very profound change of tack.

    And since Ann “BoxWhine” Coulter, to my knowledge, hasn’t walked back her tweet either, I guess I’m right back where I started.

    Their dramatic reversals might not portend anything. I dunno. But if it is fixing to become representative of shift in gooper rhetoric, describing who they are isn’t nearly as valuable as determining why they’re doing it.


  51. 51
    laura says:

    Mr. Cole, I’d be sure to bring a big ole grease proof sack of empanadas back to home base – to share with Christion. Your folks and friends, or to horde.
    Guava, many Cuban meats, veggie…
    Just sayin’

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: I’m really hoping that’s 1) photoshopped and 2) that tiger’s veterinarian isn’t named Dr. Jackson.

  53. 53
    J R in WV says:

    How ’bout them Iggles!?!?!?!

    That was a great ball game front to back. Seconds left when we knew who won that game, and the kick hit the upright, bounced onto the crossbar, bounced back into the field of play. Who can do that? To lose??

    Has a wild card team ever won the Superb Owl?

  54. 54
  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If I was the Bursar, I could do that. Unfortunately, I do not have that super power in financial aid or veterans benefits. I never get to touch fund transactions. Sad!

  56. 56
    zhena gogolia says:

    I’m just getting around to reading the Times — has anyone discussed David Leonhardt’s piece today (“The president must go”)?

  57. 57
    Gozer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think it’s from one of those nature parks where they allow visitors to throw food to the animals…live chickens and such.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: It appears the kick was partially blocked.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    cain says:

    Thank you! I’ll check that out.

  61. 61
    poleaxedbyboatwork says:

    @Uncle Omar:

    Adam gimme some homework, but thanks for the headsup. Will check it out.

  62. 62


    that’s true. most days are like a Tim Dorsey novel.

  63. 63
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Glad to see that you had a great time in Florida, John. Maryland has been kind of warm this winter so hopefully WV has some good weather waiting for you when you return.

  64. 64
    zhena gogolia says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    He says this about the Republicans:

    They know. They know he is unfit for office. They do not need to be persuaded of the truth. They need to be persuaded to act on it.

    It’s a powerful piece.

  65. 65
    Another Scott says:

    @Gozer: TinEye finds the first reference to it going back to TheOnion in 2017.

    Dunno where they got it, or if they made it.



  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: That Bursar stopped doing it when I, as a grad student, started screaming at him about it in front of the bursar’s office in the student union while there just happened to be a couple of reporters with TV cameras in the student union. After an investigation they stopped depositing and holding electronically transferred student loans for up to 3 weeks, meaning holding them for 3 weeks, in an interest bearing account that only he could access. Also, he resigned (it was this or be fired). And, I think, he might have been criminally charged at some point, but by then I’d graduated and moved on.

  67. 67
    cain says:


    Congrats on the promotion. And I feel your pain in the pay area. I, too, have been promoted in the past couple of years. Which was a small bump in pay but long days and many weekends. I turned 60 last November and have 20 years at my current employer and will be lucky to get close to $60K when I retire in five years. Oh well, I chose to be a financial aid professional in higher ed and it is what it is.

    Yeah.. the only reason I’m doing it is that it’s really aligned to my personal passioned. It’s a social purpose corporation, and I have a lot of flexibility. I haven’t been a marketing person for very long, maybe 3 years? I don’t really have any accomplishments in this role so I’m taking the low pay in exchange for the experience and hopefully jump into something else. Of course, if we make bank, then I’ll stay on. They want to pay me more, so I’m hoping that my efforts will pay off.

    Yeah, but I assume you love what you’re doing, if so, better to be happy than be stuck in some shit job. I’ve rebooted my life after my separation and laid off my job I had for 20 years and now doing something completely different. :shrug:

  68. 68
    Mike in NC says:

    @zhena gogolia: Disgussed, no. Agreed, yes.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gozer: That’s horrible.

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    :@patrick II:

    He was like that long before Lebowski.

  71. 71
    Gozer says:

    @Another Scott: Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s fake, but there are a couple of such places in China where live animals (chickens and donkeys) being fed to tigers is part of the show.

  72. 72
    Gozer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Tiger parks in have been routinely sanctioned by the Chinese government for violating domestic and international laws.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    G just came in to tell me that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did it again and awarded the Best Musical or Comedy award to Green Book, which is neither a musical nor a comedy.

  74. 74
    geg6 says:


    I do, mostly, love my job and my employer is quite a good one. But I am ready to retire. That five years I need to put under my belt can’t go by fast enough. I’m ready to to go and try something else less stressful and time consuming. I can’t imagine retiring completely but I’ve had enough of the 60/70 hour work weeks that come with being a one-woman department at a small branch campus. It’s exhausting sometimes. I do share an administrative assistant with Admissions and my boss can pick up some of the slack but I feeling burned out. 700 to 900 students may not sound like much but it’s a lot when all of them are your responsibility and you get get paid crap.

  75. 75
    gwangung says:

    @Mnemosyne: Black folks on twitter really not happy about that….

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:


    I didn’t see it because it didn’t look very appealing to me, even with that cast, plus I heard about the controversy. But I know it wasn’t meant to be a comedy, and it’s so annoying when the Golden Globes slots movies into places they don’t belong just to give them a better chance of winning.

  77. 77
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mnemosyne: Golden Globes are really a joke.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:


    I read surreally vitriolic reviews of that film. Basically, it came down to do we really need another white savior film at this point in time?

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    No shit. But this is definitely one of the years where they embarrassed themselves.

    Prediction with the show running in the other room: the one nominated drama that had two white leads will win for Best Drama. (No, not Bohemian Rhapsody — Freddy Mercury was South Asian.)

  80. 80
    Mnemosyne says:


    That reminds me, I need to see If Beale Street Could Talk. I trust Barry Jenkins.

  81. 81
    gwangung says:

    @geg6: Yeah, seriously. I said “Naw” from the start…because the Green Book is essentially a story of African American history. Crowbarring a white person into that is kinda distasteful from the start. And the character assaasination it did on the historical black character just moves this into Bad Taste. Perfect vehicle for virtue signalling, indeed.

    @Mnemosyne: Well, that was the minorest of the sins, but the cynical manipulation of the rules is kinda the cherry on top.

  82. 82
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ha! They just gave “Bohemian Rhapsody” the award for best drama.

  83. 83
    geg6 says:

    OMG, best actor and best film for Bohemian Rhapsody! I so loved that movie! Never expected that.

  84. 84
    geg6 says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    If you are a Queen fan, it was a great film and Malek was outstanding despite the dental prosthetics.

  85. 85
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Can’t take Golden Globes too seriously. We only tune-in for the silly acceptance speeches and the fashions. And Taylor Swift (D-TN) did not disappoint (photo)

  86. 86
    cain says:

    Good grief! Yeah, that’s a lot of work. Definitely should take it easy after 5 years under your belt. It’ll be fun to know what your next adventure will be!

  87. 87
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Sweet, so not all the kicker’s fault… The Eagles made that happen, amazing game.

  88. 88
    Mart says:

    I called it a couple nights back. Smitten with the door woman. Cole is a player.

  89. 89
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @geg6: I loved it.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:


    I can tell you right now what the pitch for the movie was: “It’s ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ but with the races reversed! The publicity even echoed that. So, yeah, it was a hard “no” from the start, no matter how sincere Peter Farrelly thought he was being. This isn’t the 1950s or even the 1980s when audiences could only see those stories if they were told by white directors.

    And, ironically, the majority of the movies in the Drama category demonstrated exactly that, which made putting Green Book into the other category even worse. After all, who was going to vote for, say, Mary Poppins Returns over a movie with a Serious Message By A White Director?

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Betcha none of their voters caught on that Mercury was Indian. 😈

    But I am a little surprised that ASiB didn’t win. People were talking about it as the front-runner for several months.

  91. 91
    lurker dean says:

    @Adam L Silverman: close and tough game. i couldn’t believe the eagles scored, and that the bears then missed the field goal. hopefully the field goal being tipped will spare the kicker parkey some grief, he kept the bears in the game because they couldn’t score TDs. saint nick (foles) is living up to his name!

    @J R in WV: i remember the giants winning as a wild card, that was 2007. apparently the packers did it in 2010. so it’s possible. the game against saints will be interesting, the saints blew the eagles doors off a few weeks ago, but that was before the eagles pulled it together. and before saint nick replaced the injured carson wentz. the saints are tough though, esp at home.

  92. 92
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    This blown field goal reminds of the time Ray Finkle lost the Super Bowl for Miami. (link)

  93. 93
    rikyrah says:

    Your mother is a hoot, Cole.😏😏
    Safe travels for you and Lily.😎

  94. 94
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Adam L Silverman: is that a liger by any chance? liger

  95. 95
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: The blog pays for itself. I see it up there in the rotating headers all the time.
    I see BillinSimiValleyCA has some reading comprehension problems, even though he is also an educated economister. Probably too much rocket fuel fumes in the air has him confused.

  96. 96
    Sebastian says:

    Looks like I am the only one noticing this, but hellooooo Ms/Mrs Ruth? A telephone number?

    Pray tell Mr Cole, how old is Ruth? I might be wrong of course but considering that you are ahem not really talented in spotting someone being romantically interested in you, is there something you want to tell us?

  97. 97
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendale CA

    that you don’t get something of any quality for nothing.

    Lots of dross in the play for free section there, it goes without saying, but if diligent there’s some pretty good games to be found on Steam.

  98. 98
    seaboogie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So true! I remember driving down the Dolphin and seeing a dude on a motorcycle doing a wheelie for about half a mile…assume he was an eventual organ donor. (During that time I was visiting a friend in the neuro ICU at Jackson Memorial – where organ donors pass through).

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