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Mellow artistry, moldy advice

All we need to rub salt in the wounds of our Northern neighbors is sunny weather today.

Pleasant January days are why we live here, and while yet another nor'easter ravages Philadelphia, New York and Boston, we'll be downtown today enjoying the sounds of the Shawn Brown Band at Lykes Gaslight Square _ weather permitting.

Dick Fletcher, WTSP's wizard of weather, tells me the overnight rains will have passed. So hopefully, the first concert in the Gasparilla NoonTime series will go off under blue skies. From today until March 2, a different band will bring entertainment to the park every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The series is sponsored in part by the Downtown Partnership and some of downtown's tallest skyscrapers (Bank of America Plaza, Park Tower, SunTrust Financial Centre, SouthTrust Bank Plaza and 100 North Tampa).

The building managers want a new amenity to offer their tenants, and the partnership wants to enliven the downtown lunch hour. The second year of the concert series has a few added amenities: $6 to-go specials from 15 restaurants ranging from Shalimar Indian Cuisine to Spain Restaurant and Lucky Dill Deli; linen-covered tables to encourage outdoor dining; and themed days. Today's theme is sports and entertainment and will include participation from the Lightning.

But the best thing will be just going outside. Few things about a Florida winter are better than looking at the television and seeing people bundled up in scarves and ski caps just before you venture out in short sleeves.

The Spanish Lyric Theater, now in its 45th year, perfectly embodied what local theater should be about in its production of the Copacabana Saturday. Not only did the show entertain, but it offered great experience for some fledgling thespians. The show's amazing dancers included three high school teens: Vinny Celeiro, Maggie Germann and Lindsay Walden.

Who said youth is wasted on the young?

The SLT's anniversary will be celebrated May 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center's Ferguson Hall with zarzuelas written by Carlos & Guillermo Fernandez-Shaw.

Making the rounds on the Internet these days is "The Good Wife's Guide," which apparently was clipped from a 1955 Good Housekeeping. The 18 tips are so insulting to women it is hysterical and a little unbelievable. Here's a sample:

+ Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.

+ Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

+ Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

And my favorite:

+ Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

Boy, I can't wait to share these with Florence.

That's all I'm saying.

_ Ernest Hooper can be reached at 226-3406 or