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Big hair, big gifts and big hearts

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By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2002

Your significant other is sitting in the office on Valentine's Day watching co-workers receive roses and tulips and boxes of candy and all the other usual romantic trappings.

Your gift, however, stands out. Accompanying her flowers is a CD with your name, your favorite love song and -- most important -- your voice.

Mike Muzio's Nebulous Records studio in Ybor City offers the chance for you to make your own CD single, even if you don't have the best voice.

Technology has come to the rescue. "We have auto tune," Muzio explained. "Even if you can't sing, you can sing."

Prices range from $40 for a basic session to $65 for a videotaped session. A catalog of more than 1,000 songs is available.

The do-it-yourself studio is just part of the scene at Nebulous, at 2021 E Seventh Ave. Specializing in progressive house, trance and break beat, Muzio boasts of a few artists who have had hits on the dance charts, including Plummet, which scored in 2001 with Damaged.

* * *

Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant has donated $18,000 to the Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute from his "Richard's Run For A Cure." Gonzmart, you may recall, asked friends to sponsor him for $1 a mile each for the Hops Half Marathon and the Tucson Marathon in Arizona.

He chose the two December marathons because they coincided with the anniversary of his father's death from cancer nine years ago. Gonzmart completed both races for a total of 39 miles.

* * *

This is not the FBI that employed Eliot Ness. In the wake of Sept. 11, the FBI is looking to hire 900 special agents by Sept. 30 -- and it's putting a premium on people with skills in computer science, engineering, physical sciences and foreign languages.

Qualifications for special agent include a four-year degree, three years of professional work experience and a closet with no skeletons. Call the Tampa recruiter at (813) 272-8010.

* * *

A four-hour reception for the annual Valentine peep show takes place tonight at 7 in the Hyde Park Fine Arts Gallery, at the corner of Morrison and S Howard. It sounds a tad risque because it is: More than 30 artists will have paintings, sculptures, photography and film reflecting the theme of nudes and erotic art.

* * *

Congressmen Jim Davis and Michael Bilirakis will tour MacDill Air Force Base today with dignitaries from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The group is in town to learn more about our efforts against terrorism.

* * *

Get out your giant curlers and the industrial-strength hairspray: The big hair style of the '80s is back. Elle magazine's Vanessa Penna wrote this month that models at the spring/summer fashion shows looked like they "might topple from the weight imbalance."

In Tampa, the trend has not exactly hit home yet. Guillermo Medina at Jorgeo Hair Salon said "maybe a year from now" big hair will be big time. Jose Mirabal at Belladonna said only a few women have expressed interest.

But if we already have an '80s radio station in town and That '80s Show on Fox, can big hair be far behind? With apologies to Whitesnake, here we go again.

That's all I'm saying.

-- Ernest Hooper can be reached at 226-3406 or

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