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Naughty? Nice? Let MC be the judge … 2009 in Review

Was this a year, or what? I’m a huge fan of settling down on New Year’s Eve, putting on my retro shades, and looking back at the crazy, sweet, and just plain foolish shenanigans of the prior 12 months. And this December 31st will find me, a shot of Sambucca at my side, staring out the window forgiving my myriad faux pas of 2009 and plotting to do better in 2010. But in the meantime, I’m handing out my first annual “Naughty & Nice” awards for the game-changers, newsmakers, do-gooders, and the notorious, vainglorious, and utterly inglorious of our fair city and beyond.

Lumps of coal and candy canes distributed on a scale of one to five.

THREE AND A HALF CANDY CANES
• Sam Snead’s Restaurant – absolutely to-die-for flatbread; and if the bartenders could ever nail down the Cosmo, I’d probably move in.

FOUR CANDY CANES
• Speaking of martinis … Broadway Bar. The bartenders at this neighborhood joint make the best Cosmos in town. Served icy cold and mixed for maximum merriment.

FIVE CANDY CANES
• Hurricane Season of 2009 — the season that never was and I’m damn glad for it.

ONE LUMP OF COAL and ONE CANDY CANE
• CL’s Scenestress columnist – she tells me stuff I might not need to know, but sometimes secretly want to know. On the other hand, if she was dishing serious dirt, I could see the need for anonymity … but for mostly giving free publicity to SRQ hotspots, does she really have to pull the Deep Throat routine?

Photo courtesy of Cliff Roles

Photo courtesy of Cliff Roles


FIVE CANDY CANES
• Sarasota County Parks & Rec Department and the Manasota Track Club – for their joint sponsorship of the Kids’ Summer Beach Fun Run series and runs like the recent Sandy Claws race. Not only do these events encourage kids to get off the couch, but they show that exercise can be fun. Adults of all ages participate too; and it’s just a cool thing for a community.

Photo from City website.

Photo from City website.


FIVE LUMPS OF COAL
• For Police Chief Peter Abbott for conduct unbecoming and leadership non-existing.

FOUR LUMPS OF COAL
• To City Manager Joe Bartolotta for failing to understand that if you want to kill the three-headed hydra of incompetence, corruption, and collusion, you don’t cut off the tail – those suckers just regenerate themselves. No, for permanent change, you’ve got to chop those nasty mothers off at the head, no matter how high up you have to reach.

TWO CANDY CANES
• Yeah, okay, Sarasota’s got baseball again, and the Baltimore Orioles gave us all a nice day in the park, but they’ve got a long way to go to score a home run with Sarasotans who’ve been burned more than a little by all the stadium contretemps.

FIVE LUMPS OF COAL
• The State of Florida – for continuing to utilize the death penalty.

FOUR CANDY CANES
• WSLR LPFM 96.5 Radio — for being the little community radio station that four years ago could — and now four years later can and does –provide smart, investigative community dialog on subjects ranging from UFOs to H1N1 to the arts and political hot topics. Plus, they’ve got some serious music mojo thanks to a diverse group of music aficionados spinning tunes you won’t hear anywhere else. This local beehive of 24/7 buzz is a must-listen day or night and – it’s totally commercial free.

FOUR LUMPS OF COAL
• T.K. Wetherell for the unceremonious dumping of Bobby Bowden.

FOUR LUMPS OF COAL
• People who don’t carry their own shopping bags. Really, how hard is it? You could save the life of a sea turtle or just be a more self-reliant, conscious human being on a planet that is being sucked slowly and surely into a cesspool of plastic.

FOUR AND A HALF LUMPS OF COAL
• To Sarasota City Commissioners for their would-be-hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-so-costly handling of every major issue from moorings, to on-again/off-again plans for parking meters, to park benches, the homeless, and who knows how much in excess of the $283,000 paid in 2008 on consultant fees for questionable roundabouts that make most of us dizzy just thinking about them.

Bruce Asbury strikes a pose.

Bruce Asbury strikes a pose.


THREE CANDY CANES
• Despite the unfortunate infomercials and the loss of the inimitable Bruce Asbury, I’ve got to give some sugar to SNN Local News 6. I’m addicted to checking in with Adrienne, Lauren, and Justin at least a couple times a day.

FOUR LUMPS OF COAL and a club to the head
• To Tiger Woods for being a bonehead with a boner, but not much of a brain, and definitely not enough balls to be a decent husband or father.

FIVE LUMPS OF COAL on layaway
• To Elin Nordegren, Tiger’s wife, if she stays. Believe me, honey, no bank account’s worth the bullcrap.

FIVE LUMPS OF COAL
• To the unwelcome winds of economic change that raged through this city over the past 11 months and left us without our beloved Sarasota News & Books, shuttered too many restaurants to name, whipped festivals off the calendars, tore jobs out from under way too many of us, flattened wallets, and deluged this city’s once sunny disposition. And that’s not even counting the loss of recently retired and damn near irreplaceable City Clerk Billy Robinson.

THREE AND A HALF LUMPS OF COAL
• For the in-their-own-little-bubble oafs and oafettes who keep their cell phones turned on during meetings, or who text or check messages during any kind of business or social interaction where a modicum of attention to others is the least amount of social grace to be expected.

COAL IN PERPETUITY (and a life sentence too)
• For the Nadels, Diamonds, and Morgans of the world –– for being lowdown, dirty, rotten, rats.

FIVE CANDY CANES and unlimited thank yous
• To the gazillion good-hearted Sarasotans who reach deep into their wallets and clear their calendars to donate money and time to helping others during the holidays and all throughout the year. I’m talking about the woman who hands a dollar to the homeless man on the street; the charitable organizations that deliver meals, services, and a safe place to rest to those in need; the churches and religious organizations that work through prayer and outreach to care for others; the businesses that provide food and dollars to sponsor fundraising events, the media who offer lots of free exposure to the good works of others, and the individuals and groups that pull together every day in countless ways to help people they don’t even know.

And, finally, CHRISTMAS KISSES AD INFINITUM
• To the readers who care enough about the written word to actually crack open a newspaper now and again and actually read or who visit this blog and read my work … everybody — meet me under the mistletoe!!!!

MC tries (tries being the operative word) to strike a cou-girrrrrl-icious pose.

MC tries (tries being the operative word) to strike a cou-girrrrrl-icious pose.

This column will appear in print next week in Creative Loafing newspaper.

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Posted on December 18th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
15 Responses to Naughty? Nice? Let MC be the judge … 2009 in Review
  1. Thanks MC. Great wrap-up of the year for us. Happy Holidays to you!

    Reply
  2. My pleasure, David. Thanks for reading and commenting and happy holidays and HAPPY NEW YEAR right back to you. MC

    Reply
  3. Great summary of the year MC …BTW JP was too shy to ask where the mistletoe might be sooooooooooooooooooo???? Have a great holiday season and keep smiling:-)

    Reply
  4. Thanks, Steve! Tell JP that the mistletoe is in that place where that party was (the one thrown by those people) that day that none of us can forget.

    Reply
  5. Man u can write !!!
    And write!!
    And write!
    Definately summa cum laude worthy
    hope u have a happy new year!

    Reply
  6. I did think of one great heartwarming story this year
    “miracle on the Hudson ”
    I guess that pilot gets 5 candy canes
    and a Christmas card for life from every passenger

    Reply
  7. FIVE CANDY CANES……to YOU! For keeping us informed and writing abut issues that really matter to all of us. Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Thanks for the invite to the party pal…….Now you went from 5 candy canes to 1.Hopefully Boomer wasn’t invited either.Oh well keep enjoying .:-(

    Reply
  9. hee hee, Steve — there was no party! 😉 just joshin’. Boomer would mos def have been on that invite list….

    Reply
  10. After leaving Sarasota for Minneapolis, I had the Pelican subscription to keep me informed. The parking structure was in talks alllll those years ago, and yet today nothing’s been built. Each time the P.P. arrives I wonder which city issue will be re-hashed yet again. Yes/no, yes/no, yes/no parking meters, ramp, Quay… . It’s downright laughable.

    Reply
  11. I see most people agree with ur comments
    I must differ with u In one count
    The death penalty
    what does the murderer/rapist of the 14 yo Carle Burcia deserve ??

    Reply
  12. Dont say the same cell with Nadal and Beau Diamond

    Reply
  13. Karen — thanks for visiting mccoolidge.com — and for commenting. I agree with you — it’s amazing to me how circuitous it all is here — seems like nothing much gets done except talk.

    Thanks for reading/checking in from the Twin Cities (that’s Minneapolis nickname, isn’t it?)

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year — come back anytime!

    MC

    Reply
  14. I’m laughing here, MC! Minneapolis and St. Paul have been called the Twin Cities by out-of-towners. For those who live here, it’s Mpls. or it’s St. Paul!

    Reply
  15. My bad. sorry, Karen! I think a Sarasota writer — Theresa Rose (www.theresarose.net) recently moved to Minneapolis….

    hope you’re not deluged with snow out there.

    Reply

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