Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dear Diary,
  It’s been a pretty crazy week for me, and I swear it doesn’t look like things are going to slow down anytime soon. It’s a lot for a 313-year-old Port and/or Azalea City to handle, Diary.  I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. But all this talk of revitalizations, inaugurations and initiatives just has me plumb exhausted. Thrilled but exhausted.

  So last week, my Mayor comes back from Miami all hot and bothered about something. He couldn’t even wait to tell me what it was in person he was so excited. I had to learn about it via press conference with the rest of my citizens. #Rude! (I’m just getting into the whole hashtagging thing, Diary. Don’t be surprised! #youcanteachanoldbroadnewtricks)

  But I suppose I can forgive him, as he announced my cruise terminal will once again be used for its intended purpose, not just a place for drunken bridesmaids and groomsmen to drop that “Nae Nae” at wedding receptions. #watchmewhip

  Though the details are still unclear, Sandy says I will have a Carnival Cruise ship cozied back up to my terminal’s gangway in the near future. Though he didn’t say what the terms were, he did say we would all be pleased with the “contract,” so I am assuming that means there is in fact a contract and they can’t just pull out whenever they want to, like they did last time, leaving us supporting a building that has a $1.8 million annual debt payment.  #ouch #cantfindthatkindofchangeunderthesofa

  I can’t lie to you, Diary, I am still a little miffed they have only shacked up with me as an emergency booty (port of) call since they left me. Not that they would know that, like any good Southerner, I let them use me time and time again, always with a smile on my face. They probably felt like the owed me for helping them out during that whole “Turdtanic” debacle. #theydoodoo #sorry #badpoopjoke

  But hey, I am willing to let bygones be bygones, or should I say byproducts? #sorryagain #anotherbadpoopjoke #klassy

  So anyway, these so-called “cruise industry insiders” say it is going to be a year-long contract with one of Carnival’s older ships, and they will essentially just be testing the market. So basically, more than a booty call but less than a marriage. But it’s a step in the right direction. Anything is better than it just sitting there empty. I’m hoping since the economy is better than it was when they were here before, more folks will be willing to fork out some coin to take a ship out of my terminal. I hope so. I have just hated seeing that terminal sitting there sucking money out of my coffers when I have so many other things that need attention. #annstreet

  But still, I remain cautiously optimistic we are about to “embark” on a great new journey with Carnival, and we are “cruising” toward a brighter future in this industry. #thatwascheesy #badcruisingpuns

  Speaking of brighter futures, Diary, did I mention the inauguration of my new Airbus Manufacturing Facility is next week? Yippee! Can you believe, little ol’ Mobile, Alabama, is about to be an airplane manufacturer? I say we get rid of the Port City and the Azalea City monikers and adopt a new one, “Mobile, Alabama: Just Plane Awesome.” #okmaybenot

  I know we have been talking about this for a long time, my dearest D, but now it feels real, and this is going to be transformative for me and my citizens. #thisisreallyhappening

  Diary, if planes and cruise ships weren’t cool enough, I’m also hearing I may be getting an outdoor ice skating rink for two months, Nov. 12- Jan 12, at Cooper Riverside Park. #??????

  I realize I am not an engineer but it seems to me it would be harder to keep an outdoor ice rink from melting in the Deep South than building an Airbus A320 by hand or getting Carnival to stay more than a year. But I suppose they have some sort of easy, breezy, freezey technology that makes that happen. Or more likely, Santa is responsible, as this is supposed to make our civic holiday celebration the “biggest and better than ever before.”

  I think it could be really cool, as long as it can pretty much pay for itself like the administration says it can. My kiddies will love it.  It will cost a little north of $130,000 to operate this thing (without power), and they believe most of that will be made up in rentals. It should be very interesting to watch a bunch of people who have never really ice skated before in their lives,do so, which would be just about all Mobilians. And no, the one time you skated at Eastdale Mall on your fourth grade trip to Montgomery does not make you an ice skater, nor does the other time you skated on the Mysticks’ rink.  #hellobrokenankles #youarenotnancykerriganorbrianboitano

  Anyway, D, there are other good things happening to me as well. The I-10 bridge project is moving right along, as is the plan for the Three Mile Creek Trail, which is going to be cool too, and even though it had a heck of a time getting open, my GulfQuest Martime Museum is finally about to open its doors and I hear it is a top-notch facility in which we will all be proud. #braggingmorethandonaldtrump

  About the only thing I have been disappointed with and a little surprised by is the sporadic friction between my mayor and council. Don’t tell anyone, Diary, because it will make me seem like a naïve idealist simpleton, but I thought, or I guess I hoped they would all be singing “Cumbaya” and skipping hand in hand through meadows of daisies, I mean, azaleas. (Can you have an azalea meadow?) Let’s just say skipping down azalea-lined streets?

  Again, I know it sounds silly, and I have been around long enough to know all politicians are going to be well, political, at some point but I still hope the mayor and his administration can find a way to deal with the council that doesn’t piss them off routinely, and I hope the Councilors can do the same. #isthedoorstillopen?

  I know it’s a lot to ask, but if rednecks from Alabama can ice skate outside in early November, I’m beginning to think anything is possible.

With love,
Just Plane Awesome