Back in the dawn of time, when I was living in NYC, the Village Voice had a contest to name Fran Leibowitz's first collection of essays. I read Fran in the Voice and I loved her. So I entered the contest.
"Joyce Maynard Is A Drip & Other Tales of the New Jazz Age" was the title of my submission, and surprising to no one but me, didn't win.

I hated Joyce Maynard, although I never read her first book, nor any of her subsequent ones, either, to tell the truth, but I have read any number of her essays, and despised them all. Ms. Maynard's claim to fame in those days, and it's a toss up as to whether that or her current one is more offensive to me, was that she was the precocious daughter of Harvard professors, who got a publishing contract at an absurdly early age, to write her memoirs of growing up in the 60s.

As David Crosby once said, if you remember the 60s you really weren't there. Neither was I, and if that punk bitch could bullshit her way into a contract, I didn't see why I couldn't, seeing as how I was funnier, smarter, and seemed to have done more drugs.

I bring this up because today I'm pissed about another annoying "celebrity" who has a publishing contract for a "humorous" autobiography. Paris Hilton. I know she's a cheap shot, but that's the point exactly.

I'm smarter, funnier, and about an infinity less a skank. So how come I can't get a contract to be a paid smartasscommenter on the state of the universe? I need to send some samples to Jon Stewart.... or at least my manuscript to an agent....

Any suggestions?
Miz Shoes

The Tale of the Tail

I was a mermaid at White Party, and according to the buzz, I was "fabulous." The photos don't do me justice, probably because I photograph like an overweight, wrinkled old hag, whereas in real life (or at least in my mind and mirror, I am none of those things.
People, let me tell you, life is worth living when you are swimming in the warm seas of admiration from gorgeous men who tell you things like "you are so working it, girl".

Yas, yas.

I was wearing the most glamorous gown in the history of me. My sweetie, Paul Gallo, of the fabulous house of Gallofornia, made a silver lamé halter dress with a tail, and fringes of kelp in silver and white and seafoam. I had on yards of faux pearls (also known as Christmas tree garlands) and an Art Nouveau crown of beads and mylar sequins (also Christmas tree garland). There were fake eyelashes with glitter, and glitter all over my exposed parts. There was way too much eye shadow in silver and teal and teal with glitter eye liner.

Opera length gloves. Silver shoes. (Sensible flats, of course, because it is just exhausting being fabulous.) I perched (ha, fish joke) around on things and flapped my tail.

I had a million photos taken with a million beautiful men. I took a tumble down a flight of stairs (bump, bump, bump on my butt) and allowed as how it was only my dignity which was damaged, whereas I have a bruise the size of a grapefruit on my ass. Hokie smokes, Bullwinkle, it hurts like a booger.

And most fabulous of all, I got to meet, shake hands with, talk briefly to and be photographed with the most fabulous Miss Yoko Ono.

She is tiny, tiny, tiny. She was wearing this fantastic straw hat, which I would have bet money was a Phillip Treacy, but which she swore was not. Her skin is absolute egg-shell porcelain, and let me tell you, she has not had any work done. She is just that delicate and flawless.

I said hello, as part of the Board contingent, and couldn't help myself... I had to swing right around and go back and gush admiration, devotion and outright awe for her works, art and philanthropic and then told her it was an unexpected honor to meet her. She looked me in the eyes, said thank you and shook my hand, and didn't make me feel like Wayne before Alice Cooper, sobbing "I'm not worthy", but in my heart, I felt that stupid. Didn't matter, I do adore the woman, and had enough presence of mind not to say "I never believed you broke up the Beatles, it was that skank Linda."

Probably would have made more of an impression, I imagine. (Ha, John Lennon joke.)

I promise that I'll post photos as I find/get them. And more stories as I make them up remember them.
Miz Shoes

Off the Soapbox

Yeah, so you know how I feel about politics. Time to rant about something else for a while, I think.

Today I'd like to talk about this article. An artist was commissioned to create a mural for a library in California. The concept was enlightenment. The artist is a former school teacher here in Florida. The finished mural contains 11 misspelled names, including Shakespeare, Van Gogh and Einstein.

The artist is furious with the public for focusing on the mistakes, and not the big picture, which, she says, is that if you follow the words into the library, you can learn something.

Huh? A mural advertising enlightenment and education has eleven mistakes (a mural, I need to remind you, that was produced by a former school teacher) and the public (who paid for that artwork) is supposed to just say: OK. Kewl.?

I just want to bitch slap that woman into next week. And I can't even tell you what makes me crazier: that she can't spell, that she didn't even think to look up the names if she wasn't sure of the spelling, that she thinks her mistakes are negligable, that she is so arrogant in her ignorance, or that her whole attitude buys into the popular myth that artists are inferior intellectually.

Mistakes don't matter? I shouldn't have to correct them, because someone else should have seen them? (Well, she has a point there, someone should have seen them, but that doesn't relieve her of her own responsibility.) The point isn't about spelling, but about art?

Am I the last person in America with a sense of pride in my work?
Miz Shoes

Fairy Tales Can Come True

This year has sucked in ways that things have never sucked before.

I have suffered through death, hurricanes, more death, job uncertainty and more stress than I ever thought I could handle.

But yesterday, it was all made better by the receipt of a single e-mail from the forces behind White Party. I am going to get to live my most precious childhood dream and desire, and do so in the company of the most fabulous men on the planet, at one of the most fabulous parties on the circuit.

What am I going to do?
I get to be a mermaid at White Party. Tail, pearl tiara and all.

When I was a little girl, I used to spend my summers on the bottom of the pool, pretending to be a mermaid. My career ambition was to be the head mermaid (the one who got to wear the glittery tail) at Weeki-Wachee Springs.

I turn 50 in December, just a couple of weeks after this event. If that isn't kicking 50 in the ass and telling it to go home, I don't know what is.

When I turned 40, a friend built a big 4-0 out of straw and I took an acetelyne torch to it. We pulled bits and pieces of ash and melted beads out of the pool filter for two years. The screen had a scorch mark in it until the screens were replaced a couple of years ago.

It's not that I have a fear of growing older, as Jimmy Buffett would say "I'm growing older, but not up." Or maybe the late, great Satchel Paige is a better quote, "How old would you be, if you didn't know how old you was?"

Somewhere in my twenties. Old enough to be responsible, young enough to let responsibility slide once in a while.

I get to be a fucking mermaid. How cool is that?
So there I was, climbing down from the train this morning, listening to the racket of traffic and leaf blowers and random loonies, and unbidden, this came into my head.

The world is too much with us

The World is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours
And are up-gather'd now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn,
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

W. Wordsworth

Thank you very much, Professor Newman. Still with me thirty years later.
Miz Shoes

If You Don’t Want An Audience…

Don't perform in front of one. It's pretty simple really.

To the stupid bitch sitting across from me on the train this morning, whispering into her cell phone, behind her hand: Hey! If you don't want other people to hear you, then don't use the phone on a crowded train.

But then, she also put on her make up in the train. So what can I expect?
To paraphrase Rodney King: "Can't we all just shut the fuck up?"

What ever happened to internal silence and thought? Huh? How come we all have to have a fucking soundtrack to everything and every moment of our lives? I admit that with my addiction to my i-pod, I'm guilty of this, too. Except, I turn the damn thing off now and then. But all I see are people with head sets: telephones, talking to the invisible other; music delivery systems, rocking to something only they hear. In their cars, walking on sidewalks, on treadmills at the gym, on the trains, buses: everywhere. People are separating themselves from the rest of humanity at the expense of our humanity.

Instead of saying that we need to stop and smell the roses, I think we need to turn off the noise and savor the silence.
Miz Shoes

Today’s Playlist

Maybe it's the funeral. Maybe it's the threat of Hurricane Ivan. Maybe it's my general indigo funk, malaise and bad attitude, but I put together a little playlist I call "Easy for me to listen to".

Sample tracks include Tom Waits' "Waltzing Matilda" (live), Bob Dylan & Paul Simon (live) "Sounds of Silence" and the Ramones "Sheena is a Punk Rocker."

In fact, the majority of the songs in this list are live tracks from the Bob, or Tom or any number of other male artists with terrible voices that I love so true.

But, in the ever wobbly balance of my life, I just ordered tickets to see the Indigo Girls in late October at a fabulous little jewel box of a Deco-era theater in downtown Miami.
Miz Shoes

The Three Little Pigs of War

This is what was driving through the hospital campus today while I was at lunch.

You can't see the writing on the side, so I'll include the literature they were handing out of the head pig.
"The largest pig shows the financial cost ($200 billion)1 of America's attack on Iraq, including the projected minimum cost of reconstruction.

The smaller pig illustrates the annual federal spending on K-12 education ($34 billion)2.

The wee little pig shows annual federal spending on reducing world hunger and poverty ($10 billion).3

For the same amount of money that we're spending on the war in Iraq, we could:
  • provide Head Start for all elibible kids,
  • provide Healthcare for all uninsured kids,
  • build 2,500 new elementary schools, and
  • reduce grades 1-3 class size to 15 students

    for the next 5 years.

    1) Eric Schmitt and Robert Pear, New York Times, Feb. 3, 2004. Also see Congressional Budget Office, "Estimated Costs of a Potential Conflict with Iraq," September 2002.
    2) U.S. Budget, FY 2004
    3) U.S. Budget, FY 2004

    For more information, visit"

    And just think, this was going to be a post about the lousy customer service offered up by Circuit City.
  • Miz Shoes

    Heading West

    Since I live here on the East Coast of Florida, when I head due west, it only takes me a couple of hours to reach the other side. And friends, the other side is where I am going today.

    I'm pretty sure that there's no DSL in the little beach hut I'll be inhabiting for the next week, so you'll have to entertain yourselves while I'm gone.

    Here's a handy little guide to seeing the world through my eyes:
    1. the world is made up of idiots
    2. they are all on this earth to torment me, personally
    3. stupidity is a gift others like to share
    4. oooooh, stop and smell the roses, pet the doggies, pull off the road to stare at a double rainbow
    5. my job sucks and the people I work with suck worse (not my immediate team, maybe ... except my boss)
    6. go to the gym and work off the excess anxiety and stress
    7. drink
    8. appreciate the friends and family I love and who love me, especially the RLA
    9. create art
    10. watch Deadwood, the Sopranos, 6 Feet Under, CNN, America's Next Top Model, Dead Like Me
    11. complain with scathing wit, sarcasm, a fine vocabulary, and liberal use of the word fuck

    That's pretty much it. You can randomly rearrange the elements. And you'll have to get your own to fill in the blanks on number eight. Most of my tv addictions are in reruns.

    I'm off to the other coast, taking with me mangos, beach reading, an assortment of sun screens, and my brand new, pink mini i-pod.

    Have fun while I'm gone.
    Miz Shoes

    No Thanks, None For Me

    So the Republicans want to put Reagan on the ten dollar bill? Thanks, but, no.

    Here's an idea, though, if they ramrod it through and make it so: boycott the ten.
    Refuse to use it, sort of like the giant snore heard round the world (or at least the USA) when the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin tanked. Or the Sacagawea "gold" (colored) coin did likewise.

    No, thanks, you'll say to cashiers and bank tellers. I'd rather have ten singles than a single Ronnie. I'll take my change in fives, please. Anything, a bag of fucking nickels rather than have that murdering, lying, xenophobic, two-bit actor in my pocket.

    Or, if the Republicans insist on putting him on our currency, how about a denomination appropriate to the millionaire-courting man of the people (hah!) he was: the ten thousand?

    Hmmm. A quick search on the US Treasury site reveals that the largest circulating bill is the $100. OK. Make the largest circulating bill the $500 and put Ronnie's mug on that. Works for me. I'll never see one.
    Miz Shoes


    The front page of today's Herald features two photos, in color, above the fold. They are two frames from the video of the murder of Nick Berg. The first shows him sitting on the floor, surrounded by masked men. The second shows one of the men holding Berg's head to one side as he applies the edge of his knife to Berg's throat.

    Thank you. I think we all needed to see that. Mr. Berg's family surely needed to see that. Like hell.
    The US government prevents us from seeing photos of our military coffins, citing security (hah!) and sensitivity to the families. But a civilian (Whom authorities now say was advised to leave Iraq, and if that isn't a case of the buck stops with the victim, I don't know what is.) being murdered as payback for a photo of a prisoner wearing a dog collar (Oh, yeah. That's a fucking eye for an eye, I'll tell you. I can surely see the corollary there, boy howdy.) well, that's just perfect fodder for the insatiable American viewing public.

    Fuck me. I don't think so. And if I were the least bit paranoid, I would say that Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg had one thing in common other than having their cold-blooded murders paraded through the American press: they were both Jews.

    If I were the least bit paranoid, I would say that one thing is what makes it acceptable to show their deaths.

    But I'm not that paranoid. I think that the reason these brutal slayings are shown ad nauseum is because we need images like that to keep the determination to stay in Iraq alive in the hearts of the American people. This is just propaganda for the Bush mill. Bush and his lousy, filthy cadre of chickenhawks. Not a one of the high-ranking men in his administration served in the Viet Nam war. Not a one of them has a son or daughter in the military, at risk for the kind of death they allow to be broadcast nightly. They condone the demonization of the enemy, and then react with faux horror when the citizen soldiers of our own republic are found to have committed "atrocities" against the enemy.

    A person cannot commit an atrocity against an enemy who looks like them, or has the same values as them. You need to create a demon in order to be able to maintain the fight. Our government is creating a demon in fact by its actions in Iraq, and a demon in the popular imagination by what they chose to allow to be shown to the American people.

    And I for one, have had enough.
    Miz Shoes


    I'm always hearing people say that the one thing they hate about Florida (aside from the utter incivility of our drivers) (and our dinosaur-sized cockroaches) (and the humidity) (and the heat), the Number One thing that they hate about Florida is that there is no change of season.

    To those people I say: "Open your eyes, and your ears, and your noses." (I also say, "Shut your yap and go home then, and while you're at it, take all of your friends, too.)
    It is spring here in my home, and it screams its presence at me as much as the cherry blossoms along the Potomac does to the folks up north. There are baby mangos clinging to the trees, and the branches are starting to droop from the weight. Orchids are blooming. There are Surinam cherries everywhere.

    One of my favorite childhood foraging foods, I used to love to watch the looks on the other student's faces when I'd eat the cherries from the bush in front of the art studios at the University of Miami. To anyone born outside of their range, they look like the poster child for your parent's warning to never eat red berries from strange plants, it's probably poisonous.

    There are sandhill cranes along the highway. I hear the metallic "Cheek" of the cardinals nesting out in the cherry hedges. The rare, or at least isolated population of Red-Whiskered Bulbuls has come back to my yard to eat the mulberries. The mulberries are staining my dog purple when he goes out to play in the back yard. Possums and raccoons are starting families, and so are out at night, looking for cat food, or at least garbage cans or bugs.

    The air is starting to get heavy and moist, more palpable against your skin. Soon the rains will come, and every afternoon the storms will build up out west, over the Everglades, and move across to the sea. With that comes the smell of wet and salt and rotting foliage.

    And that, my dear blind and deaf friends, is how you know that spring has come to South Florida.
    Miz Shoes

    Lying Sack of Shit Day

    In honor of it being the birthday of my ex-husband (the Antichrist), I'd like to present you all with some excellent examples of the Lying Sacks of Shit that we have in power today. But I'd like to begin with what I've been assured is a quote from the lovely and admirable James Carville:

    "Back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know what? I did vote for Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all those things didn't come true!"

    I gave up on trying to format the rest of this post, which was up for the past day or so, and looking like shit. Suffice to say, it was a loverly screed against the lying sacks of shit in office, and came to you courtesy of

    If you really want to read it, try the archives, or just go here.
    Miz Shoes

    Why Ask Why

    So. Today was my first day back in my office. Or would have been, had I not been locked out. First, the outer door had the combination changed. Once in the hall, I discovered that during my absence someone had shut my door. The self-locking door to which no one has a key. Not one person. Not security, not the building managers, not the key shop. While I was at lunch (what? what else was I supposed to do? Sit in the hallway, on the floor? I tried that. It annoyed me more than anyone else.) someone managed to move a ceiling tile, and drop a hook over the inside door handle.
    Also high on the incompetence-in-my-life list is American Airlines, which managed to somehow send my suitcase to Chicago, while I was flying home to Florida. It arrived a mere 23 hours later than I did. My husband had to pick me up, but the suitcase got a limo to my door.

    Such is life. Once I had a suitcase go to Bogota while I was on a puddle jumper to Tallahassee. The baggage handlers told me I should take my old tags off of my suitcase before traveling. I had never been further south than Jamaica, and couldn't figure that out at all. Not six months later the same airline's baggage handlers were indicted (and later convicted) of smuggling cocaine. In people's luggage. People like me, whose suitcases disappeared and then reappeared. Nothing stolen, so no report filed. Missing luggage, so went straight on through customs, not searched. Clever, but not clever enough.

    I always said that my teddy bear came back from that trip with a new scar and a knowing smile.
    Miz Shoes

    Chrissie’s Vision of Hell

    A few seasons ago on the Sopranos, when Chris was shot and had a near-death experience he described his vision of hell to the rest of the boys. "Hell," he said, "is an Irish bar where it is always St. Patrick's Day."

    Don't start sending me hate mail, but I think he's right.
    Another reason to love this little town is that it is 99.99% Danish. Guess what? None of that kiss me I'm Irish for today crap. No wearin' o' the green by people who have no relationship to Ireland other than that they think Kathy was a pretty hot model in her day. No hostile glares for wearing orange. No green beer, no green bagels, or green cream cheese or green rivers. No nada. And I couldn't be happier.

    And my cousin, who I have never met, but who lives just up the coast, is going to come down tomorrow after my training session ends to get together. Has this been a great trip or what?

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