From there, trolling through nightlife alumni and rumor land -- Yuca apparently looking to open on Lincoln Road -- and taking in Cruz's show, one of the wonders of Miami. Who do that voodoo like you do, the first lady of salsa and psychic hotlines dolled up in a glittering gown and post-Tina Turner wig. A classic trouper in every sense of the word, plugging every El Nuevo Herald reporter in attendance ("I need to keep my name in the paper") and covering all the musical bases, from the Gipsy Kings to the classics: "Let them burn him, let him cook in his own juice." Hell hath no fury like a legend on a roll, and with any luck, we'll still be around in our seventies, churning out all the news that's not fit to print.

Home alone on Saturday night, bliss beyond measure. The supermodel Vendela receiving the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Rose Award at Glam Slam and hosting a Hepburn-inspired fashion show: a far cry from ordinary model district pageants, normally the equivalent of wet T-shirt/skin-to-win contests. Weary of the whirl, taking a high-road jaunt to Books & Books in Coral Gables, Bradford Morrow reading from his new novel, Trinity Fields, a nicely rendered tale of assorted national horrors. Struck dumb, yet again, by the local underground, the quirky, atavistic, right-thinking moles who actually read real books. Hopefully, our own Dostoyevskian opus in progress, a searing indictment of America's dark underbelly, will become a cult rage among supermodels and six-footers. Morrow, bless him, slightly cheerier than Ethan Canin, the star attraction on our last visit to culture central. A young, good-looking doctor who managed to earn literary acclaim with Emperor of the Air in his spare time, Canin bleak beyond belief, a novelist after our own heart: "I can't bear to read my work after it's published; each word, every sentence, fills me with shame and loathing." But then we've all had that experience in one way or another.

Switching tracks to the evil empire of television, Ivana Trump and the Donald doing Pizza Hut commercials, a friend hailing the former Mrs. Trump as the "Madonna of Palm Beach -- she shows up everywhere, people make a fuss, and she'll sell anything. Even a jeanswear collection now, although she doesn't wear them. Of course they're lined with silk -- Ivana also doesn't wear underwear." Another squandered evening gaping at the boob tube, all lathered up for a Hard Copy profile of South Beach, having been interviewed and handsomely rewarded for some ruminations regarding the culture of renown. Alas, the segment taking a sex-rules approach instead, focusing on our second favorite gene pool -- the young, attractive, and anonymous -- celebrity pioneer Mickey Rourke, God help us all, serving as a voice of spiritual authority: "I'm trying to stay away from South Beach and get back my soul; you can really get lost down here." If Rourke's given up on this town, the apocalypse may well be at hand.

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