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Personal Best Miami 2004 - Chris DeAngelis

A founding member of Miami pop music's adventuresome quartet The Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice (www.avenginglawnmowersofjustice.com), singer and bass player Chris DeAngelis takes a fun stand against product rock with songs such as "Female Telly Savalas" and "(In Hell With a) Cell Phone." This band is so great that its in-studio performance on the WLRN-FM (91.3) program Topical Currents once elicited a torrent of angry letters and phone calls from people demanding to know if "some crazy kids" had taken over the station.

It is, however, as an always genteel and exceedingly competent sound guy that DeAngelis melds technology with altruism. A cohort of other local luminaries, including DJ Le Spam of the Spam Allstars, trusts and reveres DeAngelis's way with knob-twiddling and crowd-gauging.

DeAngelis is also a very funny fellow and the driver of a "soccer-mom-style urban assault vehicle."

Best Local Landmark
The Miami Circle

Sure, I know it's not in the news much anymore, but the Miami Circle has been a local landmark for almost two thousand years. It's only been forgotten for the past couple centuries.

Best Month
August

I actually like August, because no one is left in town but the locals.

Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill
A Night On South Beach

A Tourist's Perspective:
1. Go to a trendy restaurant -- have your car valet parked. 2. You are attended to by an imperious homosexual Italian waiter who mocks your menu selection.
3. Your food arrives; it appears to be Fancy Feast Cat Food artfully arranged on a leaf of lettuce.
4. Pay the bill (fifteen percent gratuity automatically included in spite of the poor service).
5. Get your car back from the valet -- tip him out.
6. The public garage is full, so you take your chances parking in the "residential permit only" back streets six blocks from Washington Avenue.
7. Stand in line in front of a dance club until the big shave-headed guy in the black T-shirt lets you in when you slip him a twenty.
8. Max out your credit card on drinks and dance the night away with a statuesque blond woman until you determine that she's a drag queen.
9. Psychologically shaken, you return to where you parked the car -- it's been towed.
10. You can't get your car out of the tow yard because you spent your last bit of cash on the bag of bogus coke you bought from the drag queen at the dance club.
11. Catch the sunrise while walking across the Rickenbacker Causeway back to your hotel.
COST -- When you tell your friends back in Bean Blossom, Indiana, that you spent last night partying on South Beach: PRICELESS.

Best Reason to Live in Miami
Bragging rights

We?re number one! The blatant corruption of elected officials (and the election process in general), the sexy Latinas, the overblown reputation the city has for crime (which isn?t so bad unless you compare it to a place like, say, Peoria), the availability of a good cup of Cuban coffee or a good plate of Haitian lambi, the ?it?s okay to take a left on a red light? traffic rule which only exists here, the famous folks who move here when their careers have gone in the Dumpster. All this has cemented our reputation to the rest of the nation as a place where no one wants to be, but everyone secretly wants to go.

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