I didn't know until I just visited there that Miami was nicknamed "the Magic City." That seems a little strange when another city in Florida is already associated with one kind of magic and another, but whatever.

I just spent the better part of a week in Miami for work travel. It was my first visit there since I was little, and we barely had time to see much of the city outside of work events (although I had a good view from my hotel room), but I'm still glad that i went.

I'll skip over the boring work stuff and focus on the next most important part, the food! We ate a total of five meals of Cuban food, if you count the lunch served during the conference. The first meal was at a low-key casual restaurant described on their menu as "abuelita-style," which is the first time I have heard that phrase not applied to my driving. I got the mahi mahi, which a coworker freaked out about upon mistaking it for dolphin. The second meal was guava BBQ chicken at the same restaurant, revisited when another coworker heard us raving about it. The third meal was an Elena Ruz sandwich, which is the comfort food that I didn't know I needed in my life until now. And the last was best: We went to Gloria Estefan's restaurant and I got some Cuban risotto, accurately described in that article, and enjoyed a live band playing fantastic Cuban music. What a great experience.

My Cuban coworker goes to Miami every few weekends to see family, and he loves the city. He's proud of his Cuban heritage, often sharing jokes about his people. I think I'll ask him to lunch at a Cuban restaurant in Bradenton to have some further guidance exploring the menu, because so far I can't get enough.

Logical Operator

The creator of Funeratic, Scott Hardie, blogs about running this site, losing weight, and other passions including his wife Kelly, his friends, movies, gaming, and Florida. Read more »

Illinois 2015

Kelly just wrapped up a weeklong conference in Chicago. I flew in to join her for a few days afterwards to visit family and friends around Illinois. Trip highlights: - Adventurous food at the state fair in Springfield: Krispy Kreme donut cheeseburger, deep-fried cheesecake on a stick, Cuban barbecue pork nachos, mmm. Go »

Thorough Performance Reviews

I'm not around much this week because it's time for the annual performance reviews at work. I'm staying up till the wee hours each night writing the reviews so that the two-day marathon of face-to-face chats at the end of the week will go well. It's a win-win: For the employees doing a great job, it's my chance to offer serious praise without it sounding phony or arbitrary. Go »

Something Comes Along to Intervene

I've been enjoying "Meddle" and "Remedy" by Little Boots, two great electropop songs with catchy hooks, perfect for summer. But I didn't really take her seriously as an artist until I heard "Stuck on Repeat." It's pop music on acid, like Kylie Minogue produced by Captain Beefheart, and the unlikeliest hit song of the year. Go »

The Wedding

Kelly and I wed on March 15, an event that we've been looking forward to for a very long time. Despite keeping the wedding modest and casual, it still involved a great deal of planning and anxiety, occupying my attention for the last few months. (Kelly was in charge of her outfit; I planned everything else, with her approval at each stage.) Go »


If life is about simple pleasures, does the return of Taco Bell's chili cheese burrito qualify? I don't know if it's nationwide, but they've returned on a wave of marketing around here. It was my favorite menu item a decade ago, until lack of counter space in the kitchen eliminated chili from a supposedly "Mexican" restaurant. Go »

The Ten Best Films of 2010 That I Saw

10) The Other Guys - An offbeat and frequently hilarious comedy seemingly performed by the seats of the actors' pants. Its randomness may turn off some, but the jokes clicked for me. How nice to have a movie so reminiscent of The Naked Gun in the year of Leslie Nielsen's passing. Go »