Your weekend: Prettier than a coon dog with a tramp stamp

Mermaids, boobs and beer. That's just how we do things 'round here.

As Trump inches closer to a national disaster and Florida shrugs its collective sunny shoulders once again (hey, at least we didn't all vote for Rubio, although I'm not sure what we did was any better), remember how lucky we are to live in a place that, if Trump does become our next president, will still have sunshine while everyone else has snow, which is a real thing that happens in real places. Apparently. The only worse than having Trump as president would be having Trump as president and having to fight hypothermia.

Which is why we should revel in all our remaining Trump-free weekends, Loafers. Get outside, go see a show, appreciate this big, beautiful, almost-completely Trump-free world in which we live. No time like the present, amirite?

Before we launch right into Friday, it's worth mentioning that at some point this weekend, you should definitely go see Cirque du Soleil's Toruk- First Flight at Amalie Arena. Just do it. Thursday night audiences (of which I was one) loved it; these guys keep getting better and better at what they do. Squeeze it in somewhere, because the Cirquish is only in town through Mar. 20.

Shameless plug: Come hear me speak tonight at the Gulfport Historical Society's monthly porch party. It's kind of a long story, but I'll tell you somewhat funny and mildly historical stories about my travels retracing some musty old driving tours during my one-hour Manatee, Mermaids and Watermelon Queens talk. The Society has booze (donation only) or bring your own, and the same goes for food. (Full disclosure: I sit on the GHS board, so of course I think this is awesome, but still...) 

click to enlarge An old boat and crab traps are part of Fish's outdoor dining decor. - Cathy Salustri
Cathy Salustri
An old boat and crab traps are part of Fish's outdoor dining decor.
Before or after the talk, head downtown to Fish, Gulfport's newest addition to an already-stunning array of restaurants, and the only place serving peel-and-eats and raw oysters. Plus, the owner's getting mostly Florida seafood (those tuna nachos taste divine, but I've never seen a tuna in the Gulf, have you?)

Not feeling the porch party? I'll bite back the bitter tears of rejection as I suggest you head to the Palladium to hear the Backtrack Blues Band. Actually, I wouldn't blame you a bit. Now, if you blew off my talk to go hear, say, Nickelback, we'd have to talk, but otherwise, it's cool. The Palladium's one of the 'Burg's gems, and what better way to end the week? Pop over to Wine Madonna and unwind with some nibbles and a quiet glass of wine. 

Clearwater Public Library's hosting what may be the smallest ComicCon ever Saturday from noon until 6 p.m., so please go show it some love. Hey, you never know what you'll find. Clearwater Comic Con 2016 has comic writers, artists and local groups including Emerald City Comics, Pike’s Comics, Chuck Dixon, Austin Janowsky, Clark’s Comics, Fierce Comics and Big RedHead Comics.

Extend that St. Paddy's Day buzz Saturday. Round about 2 p.m., head to the Seminole Heights Library (4711 Central Ave., Tampa) for Improbable Athenaeum's There's Music in My Heart All Day. Katherine Tynan, a compatriot and correspondent of Yeats, wrote war-time poems taken to the hearts of soldiers’ mothers; thousands of copies were sold to benefit the Red Cross. Improbable Athenaeum will perform a selection of Tynan's beautiful poetry, filled with passion for her county, her faith, and her people. Several of her poems were set to traditional Irish airs and became popular songs; Ned Averill-Snell will sing!

click to enlarge Beer: It's what's for dinner. - Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Beer: It's what's for dinner.

It's all about the boobs at the Spring Beer Fling Saturday afternoon and evening. The Fling, held in Vinoy Park from noon until 10 p.m., benefits My Hope Chest, a local nonprofit that raises money for breast reconstruction for uninsured and under-insured breast cancer survivors. Rusted Root will play, and of course you can get beer and food. 

Beers and boobs not your thing, or perhaps you want to hang in Tampa? Cool. Here's something different: You can eat like military officer at Fort Foster's Dinner Under the Stars did in the 1830s, sans the food safety concerns (we hope).  The dinner takes place at inside the walls of Fort Foster. Think of it as chewy history. Dinner starts at 5:15 Saturday evening.

click to enlarge A real swamp angel. Think of the mosquitoes, though. - Lucky Cole
Lucky Cole
A real swamp angel. Think of the mosquitoes, though.
Before you drift back into that horrible weekly abyss, unwind Sunday afternoon at Studio@620. I'll be there to hear Swamp Stories (and other great stories, too)but storytellers of all ilk will tell stories during St. Petersburg Storyfest 2016. Florida’s premier weavers of words will celebrate World Storytelling Day with tall tales and compelling stories. The best part for me? Loop Road legend Lucky Cole, who ha great stories and also takes photos of mostly naked ladies, which is artsy and swampy all at once.
And, simple as that, dishes are done. Bob's your uncle. Whatever silly saying you use, consider your weekend hog-tied and ready to rumble. Now, get out there.


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Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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