Motto of the day

Live so that if your life were turned into a book, Florida would ban it.
Thanks to Adam Hill for the find!

Words to live by, especially in these DipShantis times.

Florida Florida of the Day

Florida job application

Tap to view at full size.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for this Florida job candidate’s candor and swagger.

Florida Music

“Margaritaville” is now in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry!

I’ve been saying it for decades and finally Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden agrees with me. On Wednesday, she included Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville as one of 25 recordings to be listed as “audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”

As you might have guessed, the band I play with — The Tropical Sons — play Margaritaville, and we’ll definitely be including it in tomorrow’s sets in Downtown Clearwater.

Florida The More You Know...

The difference between “watch” and “warning,” explained with tacos

Lecturer pointing to a slide explaining the difference between “watch” and “warning” using tacos. Watch means “we have the ingredients to make tacos,” while “warning” means “We’re having tacos. RIGHT NOW!”

Attention newly-arrived Floridians! The weather may be sunny and pleasant right now (today it’s a mix of sun and clouds, with temperatures going up to 30°C / 86°F), but this will come in handy in a few months when hurricane season returns.

Also: I feel a Taco Warning coming on.

Florida Tampa Bay The Current Situation

An idea that we should try in Florida

Banner: “Let's turn an old school bus into a mobile library, fill it with banned books, drive to conservative areas and give them to the kids. We could call it "Banned on the Run" (their parents might get it).”

…and hey, it’s easy to buy buses here in Tampa!

Need some context? See this New Yorker article, Why Some Florida Schools are Removing Books from Their Libraries.

Florida Internet Finds It Happened to Me The Good Fight

Black History Month in Florida under DeSantis, captured in a single painting

Joey deVilla poses with his framed print of Jonathan Harris’ painting, “Critical Race Theory.”

Last year, I heard about a painting by Jonathan Harris, titled Critical Race Theory, pictured below:

The original “Critical Race Theory” painting on canvas.

It depicts Black people, led by Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X, being covered up with white paint by an unidentified White man with a roller.

It’s the perfect painting for the present moment, when Florida under Governor Ron DeSantis is:

Jonathan Harris with his painting Critical Race Theory (2021).
The artwork and the artist, Jonathan Harris.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Harris.

Here’s Jonathan Harris’ bio, taking from his site:

Jonathan Harris (b. 1988) is a visual artist who was born and raised in the city of Detroit. After attending the Detroit School for the Fine and Performing Arts, he attended Henry Ford Community College, Antioch College, and Oakland University, where he majored in Graphic Design and minored in Studio Art. Oil paints, acrylics and charcoal are his media of choice. He has perfected and become known for an oil enamel technique, resulting in graphic, high contrast portraits, without the use of a brush.

Jonathan’s work is emotive, with a focus on current events and the African American experience. Bringing awareness to social and world issues, in addition to instilling pride in the Black community, are goals that he strives to accomplish through his visual and curatorial work. Harris and his works have recently been featured extensively in the press, including on PBS American Black Journal, PBS One Detroit, CBS Local, and in the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Chronicle and Oakland University Post. One of the artist’s latest paintings, Critical Race Theory, created in response to recent controversy over the same subject matter, has garnered responses and sparked conversations across social media platforms around the world.

Harris’ art currently resides in prominent collections, including the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts, David and Linda Whitaker, and Michigan State Representative Shri Thanedar. He served as a juror for Canvas Pontiac 2022, and his work has been exhibited at Swords to Plowshares Gallery. He has shown in and curated special exhibitions at Irwin House Gallery, as well as the BONDED exhibit at Beacon Park, along with a team of distinguished Detroit arts professionals.

In 2022 Jonathan Harris was named one of 2022’s Influential Artists To Watch by the Detroit News, and received The Spirit of Detroit Award from the City Council of Detroit, Michigan.

I ordered a signed print, framed it, and hung it up proudly in my home office:

My office, looking towards The Desk Where it Happens.
Tap to view at full size.

Want to know more about the painting?

Want to order a print?

You can order one (prices range from US$125 – US$200) on Jonathan Harris’ ecommerce site.

Florida The Current Situation

Happy National Florida Day!

“Florida Man” comic book cover featuring the titular character riding an alligator as it jumps over a convertible.
There’s plenty more of this at Florida Man Comics’ site!

As far as I’m concerned, every day is National Florida Day, but in the official sense, that day happens today and every January 25th.

Joey deVilla and Anitra Pavka smiling in front of the Henry B. Plant Museum building and its silver minarets and palm trees.
Me and Anitra last Sunday.

For the past nine years — yes, it’s been that long since I moved here — the Sunshine State has also been the Accordion Guy State. I’ve made a home and found my place here, and I’ve somehow managed to not become a “Florida Man” news story (I still have time…).

“This is Florida” promotional map graphic.

Florida became a state on March 3, 1845, but “for reasons” — a perfectly legal defense in Florida — National Florida Day is celebrated on January 25 each year.

I am now legally required to present a list of Florida facts, so here you go:

  • Wherever you are in Florida, you are never more than 60 miles (100 km) away from the ocean.
  • The average Florida temperature ranges from 65° to 70° F (18° to 21° C) in the northern region and 74° to 77° F (23° to 25° C) degrees in the southern region.
  • No dinosaur fossils have ever been found in Florida. [Joey’s note: Clearly whoever wrote this fact has never been to The Villages.]
  • The only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live together is in the Florida Everglades.
  • Every public building in Florida has an outward opening door due to strong winds during hurricane season.
  • Florida is the flattest state in the United States of America. Florida is so flat in fact that its highest point is the lowest high point of any state in the USA. At just 345 feet (105 meters), Britton Hill, Florida’s highest peak, is lower than many of Miami’s skyscrapers.
  • Florida got its name from Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who named it ‘La Florida’, meaning “land of flowers”.
  • Florida has the longest coastline in the continental US.
  • Florida is the only state that borders the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Florida is the southernmost point in the USA. Technically Hawaii is the southernmost state in the country, but geographically, Florida is the southernmost point.
  • Greater Miami is the only metropolitan area in the country with two national parks. Miami is home to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
Joey deVilla in a lei and aloha shirt holding an oversized beer stein.
Livin’ it up Florida style.

How do I plan on celebrating National Florida Day? The Florida Way, of course: golf and drinks! Anitra and I both won a raffle that gets us a free session at Top Golf this evening!

The patio at Top Golf.
The deck at Top Golf.

I may also have to pick up some Florida Man comics…