I first met Phoebe Flowers when she was still a teenager (or at least looked like a teenager) and working as a clerk at the Herald's Broward bureau. She sent me a very polite instant message asking me if there was any way she could attend the press screening for Ang Lee's adaptation of The Ice Storm. Being the all-around nice and friendly guy that I am, I said sure and gave her the time and place.
A short time later, Phoebe started writing backup movie reviews for The Herald, then became the film critic for the now-defunct Street weekly and is now the film writer for some disreputable rag north of the county line.
Last week, Phoebe won the first-place prize for criticism in the Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eyeshade Awards contest. I am strangely proud of her, as if she were my little sister or something, even though she always speaks to me as if I were a 10 year-old boy and occasionally still berates me for having played certain games involving paladins and ogres as a kid or giving four stars and a year-end Top 10 spot to a certain movie she dismissed as geekboy fodder.