This 'n that

Not much to report in the last week or so. Had a cold. Went to Miami, with said cold. Don't worry, you'll be spared long, overly-descriptive entries about Miami. Similarly, you will be spared a host of photos of Miami, as my camera -- which has successfully made it on countless trips, abroad and cross-country -- somehow cracked its LCD display while sitting on my desk just before we left. Weird, huh? Chris was scheduled to appear on a panel at the Off Shore Due Diligence Conference in Miami on Wednesday morning and somehow convinced me to go along. Now, I should say that I am not, as a general rule, a fan of Florida. Not as a state, just as a general concept. I'm pale and sensitive to the heat, I don't like pastels or high-rise condos. Or alligators. So what's the point?

However, I do have a couple of friends in the Miami area and Chris did have us booked in a fancy hotel with a nice soaking tub...and you know how that can sway this girl. So, despite being sick with a rotten cold on Sunday, I went with him on Monday. At first things looked good -- we were upgraded to first class on the non-stop flight out there. Not just first class, but first ROW in first class. Does it get much better than that?

Yes, actually. It does. Like, most other places in the plane. While I am getting good at being a brave little flyer, things feel verrrry different in the first row of the airplane, where you are about one flight attendant and a narrow bathroom away from sitting in the pilot's lap. The cabin tends to shimmy and shake more than usual. Say you weren't feeling all that grand to begin with -- perhaps a bit jittery and grumpy -- and it might not make for a lovely ride.

Miami is for certain people. It is for women in tight pants and high, sparkly heels. It is for people who tan, as opposed to bubble, in the sunlight. It is for those who find heat charming and invigorating. It is for people who drive rented Bentleys and drink giant rainbow-colored drinks from plastic glasses in the cafes along South Beach. It is not, as you might suspect, for me.

But that's okay. Miami doesn't need me to buy it. Judging by the miles upon miles of giant concrete high rises that obscure the views on the drive between Miami and Fort Lauderdale (where we flew in and out), there are TONS of people who are just dying to live the dream. There must be thousands of condos and apartments in various stages of construction and renovation, all empty boxes muddying up the scenery, billboard after billboard promising paradise with an ocean view.

It was, however, delightful to see our friend, former Knight-Wallace Fellow Vanessa Bauza on her home turf. Didn't think it was possible, but she looks even more beautiful than ever. And I had a great time Wednesday afternoon catching up with my friend Lauren, who I met at the Iowa Writer's Workshop three summers ago and with whom I have kept up a semi-regular e-palship.

I can't say, however, I was reluctant to leave or that I'd be eager to return. It's a perfectly amicable separation between me and Miami. We just have irreconcilable differences.

Back in Ann Arbor, a couple of days of rain finally gave way today to a beautiful crisp spring Saturday, perfect for today's graduation. Chris and walked into town for lunch then spent the better part of the afternoon doing the kinds of chores summer's onset inspires -- putting away thermal gear, cleaning out the fireplace, sorting through winter clothes and making stacks for the Salvation Army.

We may not have the beach here in Ann Arbor and I'll still need to keep a few sweaters handy to keep me warm when a chill sets in. You won't see nearly as much skin as you would over coffee at the News Cafe on Ocean Drive in South Beach, probably not a man in a bikini singing for his cappucino. I'll stick with Michigan anyway. J. Lo and Gloria Estefan can hold down the fort in Florida for me.