She Said by Alex Nelson

If you don’t know who Alex Nelson is, you should. His album Everything You Wanted to Say But Didn’t resonates with all those awkward emotions that scream inside of us that we’re too bashful to say out loud when it counts.


This year, remember to Carpe Diem

Carol Ann Conover
She Said by Alex Nelson

Maybe the thing about New Year’s is that people seem more comfortable with deciding to make better decisions, to let go of past pains, redefine how close to their lives negativity is permitted to get. It’s a mass scale wiping-clean of the slate. It’s more palatable to our sensibilities to rage, rage into that good night with our best foot forward. Because, well, everyone is doing it.

Promises, promises.

Promises, promises.

On the mark of the New Year, we’ll strut around unabashedly airing our mistakes and failures and share our private itinerary for self-betterment with strangers, the world, and all of Facebookdom. But after all the confetti has fluttered to the ground, we retreat back into ourselves, maybe tend back toward old habits, trapping ourselves once again into terminal comfort zones. Perhaps all that smack talk of resolution is what is meant by pomp and circumstance, after all.

We all know the unspoken things we see in ourselves and in others. Many of us will say we’re going to do this or that, but we may fall short of our intent and where upon the stroke of midnight we were so eagerly transparent in our humanness, we then shy away from the scrutiny and judgement that’s just waiting for those champagne bubbles to go flat.

We even memes about it how we already know going in that resolutions won’t stick, and what is a meme but our leaky subconscious passively putting out there the thing most of us mean to say but avoid in polite conversation. Why is it more ok on January 1st to admit that we’ve maybe not gotten it all right? Say out loud that we want to do better? Forgive ourselves and step forward into a new version of a better self? Why are we so afraid to try transformation on any other day?

That arbitrary number on the calendar we keep changes a digit on a much more tangible daily scale that invites change than it does in the unseen banner of Big Time, in those four yearly digits that loom invisibly over us; for some pressing them down as if gravity hits them differently, and for others time is truly an enrichment in growth, an adventure that they embrace. Even so, nobody is perfect and there’s always room for improvement.

If you’re late like me in wanting to tick a bunch of stuff off your checklist (or inner guilt list) and you’d hoped to have had every room just so before the ball drops, floor swept, office organized and clutter-free, to give your life a shiny scrub of what you wish it looked liked every day to yourself and to others, then I give you permission to just punch out for now and relax.

Do whatever you feel like, or do a whole bunch of nothing and give yourself a damn break. Pour yourself a glass of wine, slice those yummy cheeses you thought you’d put out for the company you know isn’t coming, only because you hadn’t really gotten it together enough to invite anyone into your perpetual untidiness. It really is ok if the signs of working from home are spread all over the living room, that there are make-up smears around the sink and un-vacuumed pet hair on the ottoman

It’s all possible with just one decision coupled with action that brings it to life. Do it once and then do it again. Or don’t. It’s your day, too, dammit. It really can be the way you want it. I don’t need for the year to turn in order to feel I can love myself, or try better to do so. And neither do you.

You want to be a more patient person? Start with yourself. You’re with you all the time. You’re actually the person you’re closest to. So give yourself a break. I didn’t get it all done, and so what? I did Skype with my darling best friend in Fort Lauderdale, was treated to the most amazing fashion show and got to share smiles with faces that are dear to me. That is a good thing. I’ll never regret that I didn’t clean the stove in order to live that moment.
I sat and pet both my animals for, I’d say a solid 30 minutes today, too. That was nice. I’ll do what I can today. And I’ll do more tomorrow. But I will enjoy my minutes. And I will be kind to me. And I will make my world the way I want it with all the things that are in my power to do.
Tomorrow is still just a day away from today, even though separated by the changing of a digit from 5 to 6. Big whoop. We flipped a number on another year and hung a new calendar…but what did you do with you day?

Maybe we think about time as only being significant on a yearly scale…like it’s a hallmark of celebration, and yeah, it’s cool and all to talk about the year past as it will go down in history to be gazed back upon and studied, but ask me what I see myself doing in 5 years, I’d laugh at you. You think I have 2020 vision or something? Seems to me, the hyper-focus on the year increment of change and reflection is a waste of your days. The saying is Carpe Diem for a reason. A day can feel a year sometimes and you can live a lifetime in a single moment. Sunrises and sunset are perfect times for reflection and you get one of those every day.

Take it easy on yourself.  Take a nature appreciation break. We all need to realize that each of us is merely one of these strange beings in skin-coated vessels that do the most amazing array of odd and inexplicable things. Each of us has this oddness common and are operating these bodies on a huge chunk of rock that it amazingly hurtling through the cosmos in a universe in which we’re just a speck of stardust. So what’s it all for? All the stress, the worry, the guilt, the self-crucifixion, the ugliness of mind and heart? Just, why?

Decide now on the precipice of 2016 not to let yourself fall into thinking that vital and heartfelt change is only possible at the turn of year. If you miss the curve on New Year’s and don’t get it right out of the gate, then you have permission to be a kinder, better you on January 2. Or 3rd. Or February 8th or any damn day you want to, if that is in fact what you want to do. When is the last time you gave yourself permission rather than derision to make a mistake? Do it for auld lang syne.

So, Happy New year to you! And Happy New Day, too. I think you should fill it with your best intentions and best effort; all that good stuff you think about doing and being. And be a little more understanding that those around you are all trying to figure it out and get it right, too, and acknowledge that their journey is not the same as yours, no matter how close the relationship. I believe any day’s a good day to begin, but who cares what I think?


Original Poetry: Love, True and Terrible

Love is just evil. A liar. A thief.
It murdered my hopes, choked all my beliefs .
Love played a trick-it made me feel whole.
Now tears and great loss are all that I know.
Love can’t be trusted- it’s vicious and cruel.
It lifted me up, just to make me its’ fool.
It might build your foundations, but it breaks me anew-
Day after day I know I am doomed.

Nothing is sweet now-no color, no light.
I’m broken completely.
Love has stolen my fight.
It took what it needed and threw me away-
Disposed of me quickly and had little to say.
Love said at first, “It’s amazing. I feel this-
Yes, I’m sure…it’s you that I want.”
I was careful. I questioned, but from the first kiss I was caught.

Time and again Love convinced me- It sold and it sold

and I bought and I bought.
In the night Love would whisper
“I swear it…it’s you.”
It would hold me and kiss me until I said that I knew.
“Open up. Show yourself.”
And it grew and it grew-
Love told those lies and made me believe they were True.
Wait.. was that Love?

Perhaps, no.
It was you.


Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell


It’s time for Fort Lauderdale to cancel Marina Lofts

It’s been nearly two weeks since Asi Cymbal backed out of an opportunity to face Chris Brennan. By now you know the story- Rain Tree, Florida Fidelity video, Water Taxi, a marine job threatened and lost- it’s been broadcast far and wide and has gained national attention, and rightly so.

Our own Sun-Sentinel has even covered it a few times, first in a rambling, incoherent angle discussing what may or may not be considered ‘protected speech,’ which was then bent out of context to fit nicely into their Money section and sit atop an article about how formerly unoccupied developments are slowly attracting tenants in West Palm Beach, which in and of itself raises questions about who is pulling strings.

That article ran in several versions with two different bylines, Jim Saunders and  Brittney Wallman, leaving anyone who read it wondering, “what are they talking about?’ and ‘what does this have to do with a rain tree and over-development in Fort Lauderdale?”

Precisely. Whomever wrote the article, it’s clear they missed the point entirely and instead gave what seemed a very long term paper report full of speculative legal-speak punctuated with mere bits of the real issue and really made no valid points or reported anything at all. Michael Mayo of the Sentinel did a much better job capturing the essence of this issue and highlighting Brennan’s integrity regarding an issue he believes in and the dangers of speaking out.

In any case, the Slantinel, was just one media source to cover it and since then it’s lit up like wildfire around the globe and the heat is intensifying.

What you maybe didn’t know, however, is that on March 7th, a mere 12 days ago, there was a Marina Advisory Committee meeting during which Read the rest of this entry »


Wayward Souls Beware

{This one’s dedicated to Christopher Brennan. Don’t forget your sword tomorrow.} 


Wayward souls with wayward hearts

I wonder where they get their starts.

Is it in the womb where deceit takes seed

And makes the soul succumb to greed?


Or is it later with chums in school

Where they learn this ugly tool-

To twist and lie and deny the facts

While other liars `get their backs’?


Or when in business, they rise to power-

Is it this that makes them sour?

Their handshakes empty, their motives stacked,

Is it with the Devil they make their pact?


Wayward ones with wayward souls-

You know these ones who abuse their roles.

It’s in this moment, the here, the now

In which they plunder and disavow.


Honest souls of honest heart,

It’s left to you to stand apart-

To rise above and lead the pack-

It’s those with honor who’ve got your back.


Wayward souls with wayward deeds

In your plots you’ll n’er succeed.

For Honest souls who’ve goodness within

Will, with swords of truth reveal your sin.


Copyright- 2008



Developer plays dirty, gets Chris Brennan fired

You’ll recall from a previous segment that Chris Brennan, Florida native son and environmental activist, made a video to raise awareness about a proposed development project called Marina Lofts being considered for construction along the New River that intends to displace and likely kill the massive and protected, nearly 100-year-old rain tree that is the oldest of its kind in North America and stands on the property at 424 SW 24th avenue in Historic Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

That video has since circulated like wildfire and caught the attention of the developer, himself, Mr. Asi Cymbal, pictured here:

Asi Cymbal

“A real estate developer has a moral obligation to leave its environment better than it found it. It doesn’t take more money to produce a beautiful project. It merely requires sensitivity and thoughtfulness.”



He’s the chief chip at Cymbal Development who, rather than seek out Chris Brennan personally, did so via his employer, the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi, to complain about the video. The complaint, however, had little effect as Mr. Brennan’s boss indicated then that what his employees do in their own time was their own business.

Well, as it turns out, Asi Cymbal of Cymbal Development, the very developer trying to push Marina Lofts on Fort Lauderdale, happens to own the property on which the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi base operates, thus making the Water Taxi his property tenant.

It seems, Mr. Cymbal, displeased with the lack of interest Mr. Brennan’s boss seemed to have in his {Brennan’s} personal activities and with evident concern about the negative impact that the Florida Fidelity video is creating in his development efforts, made a second call to the Water Taxi, flexed his landlord muscle and forced the hand of Bill Walker, Water Taxi owner, to issue an ultimatum to Chris Brennan to back down or be terminated. Mr. Brennan refused the “offer”. Citing a “conflict of interest,” Erik Johnson, Water Taxi G.M. sent this email to his staff on Friday morning last:

Subject: Cymbal Development
Good afternoon all,

 As many of you are aware, the Water Taxi Base facility is owned by real estate developer Cymbal Development who plans to build a residential and commercial complex. The project is still in the planning phases at the city and county level and has a number of steps to go before construction begins.

Part of the project includes moving the rain tree from the empty lot west of our building to the southeast corner of the property. Moving this tree has been a controversial topic, one that Chris Brennan has publicly opposed.

Because Water Taxi is a tenant of Cymbal Development, Chris’ actions are in conflict with the company’s interest, and he was terminated today.

If you have any questions about this development project, please do not hesitate to contact Bill Walker or myself.


Erik Johnson
General Manager
Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale
Tel – (954) 467-0008
Fax – (954) 728-8417
Cell – (781) 864-6777


Chris Brennan will not back down, nor will he be swayed by threats.   Read the rest of this entry »


Oldest Rain Tree in North America under threat from developers

Check out this Florida Fidelity video segment, brought to you by Florida native son and environmental activist, Chris Brennan, to learn about the history of the oldest rain tree in North America and its latest plight.

Also known as the Albizia saman, this massive tree had previously been protected by Broward County but is now under siege to make way for a three-tower, 30-plus storied condo development in Historic Downtown Fort Lauderdale along the New River.

In a colossal effort of glossy pretermission, the developer, Asi Cymbal and designer, Bjarke Ingels, are touting the banner of progress to justify their monstrous Marina Loft project in a city already blighted with a more than 20% foreclosure rate in the downtown area alone, and an overall 17% foreclosure rate across the state, the highest in the country.

The majority of Broward County Commissioners, though it is seated well within their jurisdiction to continue to protect this aged and beautiful natural resource, have instead tucked tail behind Florida’s Home Rule status and its conflicting Dillon’s Rule status to let the city decide what the fate of the rain tree will be. They cite their concern that passing such a resolution to name this tree an historical site would possibly ‘impede future development’. There have been suggestions by developer to simply move the tree. Sure. Did I mention the tree is almost 100 years old?

It’s also interesting to note that this project is thumping ‘sustainability’ as its design mantra and seeks to earn an LEED certification, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized green building program.

Yes, you read that correctly; this project is promoting an ecologically sound and green agenda to win favor in the community while it actively seeks to destroy an historic and national treasure in order to be built. Illogical and contrary to the integrity of such a program, indeed.

After watching Brennan’s video, you’ll understand better why attempting to move this tree Read the rest of this entry »




The tempest comes with no warning

with winds that are much too strong

blowing in feelings all too much alarming

turning everything from right to wrong.


Trunks bend and branches sway,

leaves fall, clouds roll, and lightning breaks the sky.

Thoughts get muddled and love gets blown away

the knots that once held tight begin to untie.


Blood and scars show what once was there

the wings that once carried me are no more

The pain is more than too much to bear

Through time and space I no longer soar.


Whether it’s mended once, twice or thrice

like flying too close to the sun

you will always pay the final price

The wax that once held it all, soon be none.


Lavender Skies

Take me to where
there’s fireflies
a place lush and green
with lavender skies

Where sweet-scents of night-blooms
cling to my hair-
as we walk hand in hand
with nary a care

Strolling through dark wood
now, a corn-flower blue night
I dance barefoot in a circle
to the full moons’ delight

You slip strong arms around me-
I soar like a kite
at the taste of your kisses
and the flex of your might

As you lead me slowly
to a clearing of grass
This love of ours fills me
with its form and its mass

We lay in the meadow-
entangled, embraced
as my fingers, in shadow
trace the lines of your face

Our eyes, they speak timeless-
the Fates linked us on high
with a rumble of thunder
and a flash in the sky

Nothing now but cool mist
is moving between us
opposites, we are one-
your Mars to my Venus

With peace as our blanket
First light starts to break
as the sun peeks through treetops
I dream, awake

Sparrows are chirping-
our bed of grass is all dewy
while you sleep, I start counting
all the ways that you move me

My still waters are stirred
by your light and your heat-
with your sharp wit and sweet charm
there’s none who compete

I knew it first
and I’ll know it at last
the time we misspent
Is all in the past

Here we are now-
the way it should be
Me, here for you
and you, finally, for me

You infuse me with strength
and fill the blue of my eye
whenever you lead me
to lavender skies

Sun shining, no matter
or in the rain when it pours
wherever you go
please take me, I’m yours.


©Carol Ann Conover –Original Poetry 2008

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