Seems like a lot of solid local blogs started in South Florida about 12 months ago, including Bleeding Palm, the Heat Lightning, and, uh, us. (Beached Miami in August!) Another online pub dedicated to the overlooked -- and often overly impressive -- ways of living life in South Florida is the FTL Collective.
Nurtured by several friends of County Grind, including our regular commenter Fat Hand, it's unsurprising that a ringing endorsement comes forth for the FTL Collective Backyard Birthday Bash at the Bubble on Saturday.
We pulled Fat Hand away from his "real job" for a few minutes to discuss the event, the first year of the blog, and the origin of his somewhat gag-inducing moniker.
What was the best story FTL Collective put out in the past year?
I only like my own stories, but... [laughs] I personally thought that my follow-up on the Jim Leyritz trial ("Sun-Sentinel Falls Asleep at the Wheel as Local Prosecutor Falls Asleep at the Wheel") was awesome. In all seriousness, the best things that we've done is just write about to support what's going on locally.
What's with all of the dinosaur imagery that ends up on all of your promotional material, including the flyer for Saturday's Birthday show?
The dinosaur imagery is between FTL Collective's Strawberry Jam and Mig, and kind of an inside joke.
Why do you use pen names?
Some of us have day jobs. Not all of us. I wish I was a journalist, but I'm not. I like to give my actual opinion on things. While I'd like to sign my name, that's not the world I live in.
How did you choose Fat Hand?
It's not that I'm particularly fat. At the time we were starting the blog, I had a spider bite on my hand and it was infected and abnormally large. It was disgusting and very large at the time. That's where it came from. It might have been a member of the New Times staff who coined the name, actually.
Why did you choose the Bubble to host the birthday show and how did you settle on the lineup?
The Bubble is downtown. It's a really cool spot with plenty of room, and it enables us to integrate everything we're trying to do with the blog: support local art, support local music, and drink beer. Mig has a new job working with the Green Room, and so he can take
the credit for booking the bands. They are going to use my cooler,
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What will year two of the FTL Collective bring?
We promise one more year of blogging, and hopefully more breaking news. That's difficult sometimes when you're not a real journalist.
FTL Collective Backyard Birthday Bash. With Lavola, Manifest Test Subject, the Goddamn Hustle, Ryan Alexander, Retrocities, and Travalonia. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Satuday, June 11 at the Bubble, 810 NE 4th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $10. Click here.