Miz Shoes

Die, Film Critic, Die

As I start this entry, I don't have a title for it. Eat the corn from my shit was my first thought, but that's the punchline, and I need to save it for later.

Another idea was "Threats Will Never Silence Me", because that's what this is all about. Over in the other part of my website, I have a short stack of rants. They are, or are not, in utter seriousness. I have, on occasion, been known to argue for the sake of argument and not because I feel strongly (or even weakly) about the topic at hand.

One of my rants is about how I despise Paul McCartney. It generates a fair ammount of hate mail. Another rant is about the nano-second people: you know, those folks who NEED to push ahead of you in any line, who honk their car horns the microt the light changes from red to green, and who merge ahead of you, rather than behind you when the highway narrows. Still another is based upon my disdain for the talent and reputation of the film maker David Lynch.

It is this last which has caused some asshole loser in Ottowa to come unhitched. For the last year or so he has been sending me death threats. I've reported him to my local authorities, his local authorities, and to every web mail service he uses (as you may imagine, that changes with some frequency). I have blocked him from my e-mail, but when I changed blog servers, my e-mail server changed as well, and sure enough, not a full week in, there is another threat from this one-handed typist. (Oh, come on, you know what I'm getting at there.)

I know, believe me, I KNOW that I'm not supposed to engage in dialogue with someone so unbalanced, but tonight... well, tonight, I'd had a drink, and there he was and I just replied without thought.

I quoted the late, great Leapin' Larry Greene. The complete text of my e-mail is below.

"You loser, you can, to quote my old pal Leapin' Larry, eat the corn from my shit."

I know that this is going to end badly. I don't think that he'll actually show up here and do as he threatens: put a bullet behind my ear, but the way this year is going? Who fucking knows.

Anyway, if any of you would like to entertain yourselves by sending hate mail to someone who must not get any other kind, feel free to address it to:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

And as far as I can tell, Mark Fleischhaker is his real name. He is a singer, it would seem, for some random punk rock band in Canada that doesn't have a web reference more recent than 2002. (XL Birdsuit, if you really care. I know that I don't.)

And that, except for a rather evil session with Nic Cage, was my night.
Miz Shoes

Technology: It’s Not For Idiots

Every now and then, the level of technology at this institution confounds the average user. It is of a level totally incomprehensible to the average moron on the street. Today, that would be the elevator at the train station.
Yes. The fucking elevator was beyond the ability of one of my co-passengers to deal with. This isn't a big elevator, or one that goes in unexpected directions, or even between more than two floors. It goes from the platform (2) to the street (1) and back. Period.

And yet, there we were, on two, when the doors closed. And there we remained, because the one person within reach of the control panel just stared at it in amazement and slack-jawed, mouth-breathing stupidity.

"Press the button, please" I requested from the back of the elevator, wedged against the wall by the vet in the wheelchair.

"Que? Aqui?" the bottle blonde with too much jewelry, too much makeup (for a 20-year-old, much less the 60+ this old crone had to be), knee-highs and black FMPs under a beige Pucci-print maxi skirt responded. And then pressed, wait for it, 2. Yes. The same floor we were on. With the doors closed. And not moving.

And it's not like these are even clean elevators. Due to their proximity to the Metro, the VA, and the county hospital, these elevators do double duty as moving urinals, and gawd knows what else.

So with a quick, but never the less pungent epithet of my own, I stretched across the chair-bound vet (who was looking daggers at me anyway, and for what I haven't a clue) and punched the ground floor button.

Once inside my office building, I was treated to a ride with a random loony, who cursed at the guy who got on at the ground floor to ride up only one stop to the second, and opined that the semi-tall female lawyer should take up basketball and make a lot of money, like, and I quote :"Kobe Bryant."

Great choice of role models, dude.

I am now ensconced in my office, door closed, headphones on and a 4-pack of CDs for today's enjoyment consisting of: The Rough Guide to Bhangra, The Rough Guide to Bollywood, The Rough Guide to the Music of India and The Rough Guide to the Asian Underground.

And tonight? Tonight is the Battle of the Garage Bands. Now, if I can only make it through the day.
Miz Shoes


On Friday, as the RLA and I were coming home, we missed getting T-boned by a teenager who was racing out of a cul-de-sac without paying attention to the stop sign. We didn't even see him in our rear view mirror, but our neighbor, who thought he was about to witness death and mayhem in his front yard, followed us home to tell us how lucky we were.

On Saturday, as we were parked in a lot behind the comic book store in South Miami, some asshat in a white vehicle parked next to us. Or, more accurately, parked in us. We didn't notice getting into the car, but getting out, at home, we found a deeply creased left front side panel on the PT Cruiser. We know that the asshat was in a white vehicle, because the crease and accompanying scrape on the running board was filled with white paint. A dent that bad should have made itself known with a metal shriek. I'm sure it did.

But this is the Naughts, where it's only what's in it for oneself, and putting a good grand of damage on a stranger's car is inconvenient to acknowledge. So one doesn't. And we, the RLA and myself, were happy and chatting and not paying any attention when we got in the car, and so didn't notice if the car parked next to us was the one that creased us or just an innocent bystander.

So the question is this: Coincidence? Fate? Was the damage to the car inevitable, and we had to make a sacrifice to the gods who protected us the day before? The truth is, if we had been mowed down by a reckless teen, the car has airbags and good side column impact resistance, so we would probably have escaped with minimal damage. But the dog, who rides free in the back cargo area, would have been killed.

The RLA says that kind of thinking is superstitious. Whatever. The universe will unfold as the universe will unfold. We dodged a bullet of one kind on Friday and took a hit, albeit very minor, on the next.

It was a crap day all around, anyway. It was rainy and windy. There were no bargains or fabulous styles at the shoe store, for either me or the RLA, and we left without making a purchase. The stretcher strips were all warped, at the art supply store. They had a sale on colored pencils, and I was able to find all the colors I wanted (I had had a dream about the luminous water in Biscayne Bay and wanted to work with the colors I'd seen) but then, they only had one clerk at the register, and she kept wandering off to check prices for the person three ahead of us in line, and there seemed to be no end in sight to her wandering, so we left there, too, without making a purchase.

But today the sky is clear, and there are farmer's markets to visit, and other art supply stores.
Miz Shoes

Bathroom Rant

Up front, I'm telling you this is a rant about bad bathroom behavior. If you don't want to read about nastiness in public places, come back tomorrow.

Item 1

Random young(ish) bum, pissing into the bike lockers at the train station, in broad daylight. The bike lockers are right on the main street, too, not buried behind the station, somewhere in the parking lot. OK, you're a drunk, or a junkie, or maybe just mentally ill, so the public pissing thing is a gimme. But pissing in the bike locker? On the bike locker? That's just nasty. Because he's doing it on the front side, on the door side of the lockers. Which means that there's going to be some pretty foul bikes in there. Thanks a fucking lot, pal.

Item 2

There is a huge difference between "ladies" and "women". I don't care what the sign on the door says, if you need to see a poster on the inside of the stall door with this bit of doggerel :

"If you sprinkle,
when you tinkle,
Please be neat,
and wipe the seat."

then you are not, and will never be, a lady. You are probably not even a dame. You are a pig.

One of the unforseen side effects of the office move is that I no longer have a private bathroom. I share with all the females on this floor, and let me tell you, I have no desire to ever set foot in any of their houses. Ever. If the way they use/abuse the public latrines are any indication of how they live, then the basest untouchable in the farthest reaches of inhabitable space could give them some lessons in manners.

There seems to be no knowlege of indoor plumbing, or the concept of a flush toilet. Every single stall has a reeking toilet, with evidence of numerous uses without the benefit of a single flush. Every seat is wet. The floors are wet. The sink surrounds are wet. There is dirt and filth every where. The room itself reeks. This isn't a matter of poor housekeeping, this is a matter of disgusting habits and a total lack of concern for other people. A blinding disregard for their own health and cleanliness.

I have never, and I mean never, in my twelve years at this institution, seen a more revolting sight than the ladies' loo on this floor. That includes the public access bathrooms in the main lobby.

This is a professional office floor. There aren't junkies wandering in from rehab here. You couldn't tell that by strolling into the loo.

I could just throw up. Except nobody would even be able to tell.
Miz Shoes


Okiedokie. I'm done weeping and rending my clothing. Well, I'm not, but it doesn't make for such a good read. Having come out of the shock and awe sadness of the past weekend, I am beginning to notice things like appallingly bad manners, bad style sense and stupidity disguised as management. Those are three separate things, although I do tend to notice a little bit of overlap now and then.
Bad Manners

For the last time, people: If you are standing in an elevator, and a total stranger is heading towards you, making eye contact all the way, the polite thing, the nice thing, the courteous and right thing to do is to hold the fucking door, not press the close door button. Not stand there next to the door or the door open button and let the door shut. What, it'll break your arm to hold a door? You might get to the next floor a nanosecond later than otherwise? Who cares? Hold the fucking door. It won't kill you to be polite. I, on the other hand, may cause your head to spontaneously combust through the sheer force of my will if you let that door close on me one more time.

And this is for the woman in the white lab coat at the Metrorail this morning: Hey! The people on the inside get off or out, then the people on the outside (that would have been you) get in. You don't strong arm your way into an elevator first, preventing the occupants from exiting. In any culture, that's just bad manners.

Bad Style Sense

Hey, Fab Five, do me a favor and take a minute to talk about the importance of clean, shiny shoes. You've taught men how to shave and open a bottle of wine, how about shining their shoes? Guy in cheap aftershave and the Armani suit sitting next to me on the train? It was all working (well, except for the cheap scent) but the shoes were scuffed and shineless. The heels were probably worn down, too. I didn't look. Men, (and women) shine your shoes. 'Nuff said.

Stupidity Disguised

The office move is back on. I am assigned a single office, but with two full desks in it. Not that there's another person going to sit at it, but the director who caved in to the Toxic Manager doesn't want to pay to have the furniture moved. The reason I have two desks and one person is because when the director split the rooms and told us all to play nice, the Boy Wonder and I were going to work in the same office. But Boy Wonder decided to be Boy Diva and copped an attitude, and moved down the hall to another set of offices (away from the rest of the team) where he could have his own space. My manager let him do it. The director let him do it. O.K. He has a private office now, and so do I, so could we get the extra desk out of my space and let me arrange the furniture so that I am not sitting in either the doorway or with my back to the door?

And the answer is: "No." I said, "well, that doesn't seem too equitable (grown-up, corporate speak for "That's not fair!") for everyone else to get what they want, when they want it, despite the repercussions to other team members, but I can't have a desk moved out." Too bad. The director refused the request.

So I did the only thing I could. I went to the new office and proceeded to draw a blueprint of how I want the furniture laid out and then told all the other workers in the three groups that all extra pieces of furniture are available to the first taker, but they have to move it themselves.

As all of us corporate drones know, it's easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission.

And so ends another episode of WWRanting.

Bite me.
Miz Shoes

What Makes You Think I Have Stress?

I forgot my bite plate last night and woke up with a clenched jaw and a blinding headache, halfway to a migraine.

To make things more interesting, I had to go to the pharmacy when I got to work. They've given me a personal representative, so the entering of refills is painless, and in return I've decided to try and pick up my scrips before I go to my office. It's a compromise on both our parts.

But the service quality was its usual abysmal self. The snotty clerk behind the glass refused to make eye contact with me at any point in our transaction. This included handing forms back and forth, asking for a pen, turning in new prescriptions and taking the drugs that were ready. I was there for at least ten minutes. Not once, not even for a nanosecond, did the bitch make eye contact. She spoke at me, or in my general direction, but she never looked at me.

This sort of thing just drives me wild. I'm a freaking customer. Take my money, look me in the eye and say Thank you.

And that goes for customers, too. Put the fucking cell phone down for a minute, look at the clerk and make your request. Do not point or wave vaguely at something and expect the clerk to know what you want or mean. Do not keep yapping about your inane and inconsequential crap to the invisible person at the other end of the line. Put the phone down. Be polite. It won't kill you to be polite to the worker bees of the world.

Can you break your teeth from grinding them too hard?
Miz Shoes

Alarming Trends

I guess that there are things more horrifying than watching a woman pluck her eyebrows down to fine lines during a morning public transit ride. Special thanks to the skank sitting next to me, who was using those tweezers that have handles like scissors, and who was quite ferocious in their application.

1. Pajamas as day wear

2. Milk containers as urinals (thanks to LaDiDa for the heads up on this one)

3. Tongue splitting as a fashion statement (Note: a google search for tongue "slitting" finds you all kinds of information on medieval torture. Tongue "splitting" which, as far as I can tell, is the exact same thing, takes you to news and body modification sites.... semantics)

4. Cosmetic foot surgery

On that last topic, I really must say something. My great-uncle was a cobbler: a man who made shoes. For three generations, my family made and/or sold clothing. Here's the sum of that collective clothing knowledge (ahem, clears throat for this pronouncement)


This is really a no-brainer, folks. If you have a big ole fat foot, buy big ole wide shoes. You don't need surgery to fit your size 9s into a size 7, just buy bigger fucking shoes. Shoe size is not a big deal. In fact, unless you are swapping them with your friends, nobody needs to know what size you wear. What is the big freaking deal?

Hey! I wear a size 9 shoe. Or an 8 1/2. Depends on the manufacturer and the cut. But you know what? Wearing a size 9 doesn't stop me from buying really pointy-toed shoes. So what if they look like something from the Florentine Renaissance? They are pointy shoes, you don't really think I'm cramming my toes all the way to the ends in them do you? No. My feet end somewhere around two inches in back of the point.

Here's a tip from someone who knows how to fit shoes. Put the shoe on. Stand up in it and put your weight on that foot. Then take your thumb and put it on the widest part of the front of the shoe. Press against your foot through the shoe. The widest part of your foot, the ball below the big toe, should be aligned with your thumb and the wide part of the shoe. If it isn't, then the shoe doesn't fit. If the wide part of your foot is forward of the wide part of the shoe, get a bigger size. It's that simple.

If you can't put your thumb between the end of your toe, and the end of the shoe (from the outside, of course, by pressing down gently on the toe of the shoe), then you need a larger size. Again, it is just that simple.

But carving off toes, in order to get a better fit? I'm sorry, but that is just fucking insane, and any doctor who would perform that surgery is immoral.
Miz Shoes

The Return of the Nano-Second People*

There was a little accident on the train today. Someone in a wheelchair fell on the tracks, thereby bringing mass transit to a mass stand still. Before you ask, no report yet on the guy who fell.

I was on the first train behind the accident, and so had first crack at the bus brought in to take us commuters on north. I got in the line, and watched in amazement as people streamed in from both sides, so that the woman in the purple leather jacket who started out directly in front of me, drifted further and further away, even though neither of us moved. While we had been in proximity, she commented to me about the man who pushed in front of her. The guy who pushed between us as she spoke was in a striped shirt and a beard. I last saw him getting on the bus.

By the time I managed to get to the bus doors, the driver shut them on me, saying this bus is full. The woman in the purple jacket was on board and seated. I backed out of the door well, and as I did, another five people pressed past me and on board.

That's when I lost it and said to the bus driver "If the bus was full, where did those five people fit?" Well, he asked, where are you going? To the hospital, I replied. OK, he said, where do you think you can ride?

As we have this conversation, another two people push past and cram their fat asses into the door well. The driver closed the doors and the bus left.

Now, I ask you, how did I end up missing the bus, when I was at the front of the line for so long? Because I refused to push, shove, cut, or otherwise exhibit rude behavior to my fellow humans during an inconvenience such as a transit failure.

I crossed the highway and flagged a cab. I also shared the cab with two other employees. We had a nice ride, thanks.

*read an earlier rant about the nano-second people.
Miz Shoes

Anarchy is Stupid

Damn, I hate these idiots running around my city. Carpet baggers. They claim to be anarchists, and yet they rely on the electronic media to advertise their protests and demands. Here's a little something to chew on: true anarchy would destroy the electric grid, bring down all media, stop running water and sewers, and leave us little better than cave dwellers (not that there's anything wrong with that).

True anarchy would allow the police you taunt to shoot you and damn the consequences, of which there would be none. Well, you may argue, they wouldn't be policemen. And you'd be right. They'd just be pissed off people with automatic weapons and riot gear. Sort of like the knights of old, in their armor, smacking the crap out of the little people wearing rags.

Here's another something to chew on, other than your grainy tofu from your community kitchens: if the average household income in a third-world nation is about five bucks a year, and a 10-year old, who has no chance of going to a non-existant school anyway, is making about 50 cents a week sewing Nike sneakers rather than being a child sex worker, what's the problem? You don't want to support sweat shops in Asia? Fine. Don't buy the products.

You need more? Here's more: You cannot have it both ways. You cannot pay $30 an hour to an American laborer who belongs to a union, and expect to pay bottom dollar for the product he makes. If you pay minimum wage, you can sell for minimum dollar. If you pay through the nose for your workers, their health care, their education benefits, their retirement benefits, and their union organization, then profit must be made somewhere along the line.

Finally, if you want to make changes in the world, don't go out in the streets with banners and jollies that look like a day at Fantasy Fest. Take a lesson from the French students of the 60s, and look like a fucking angry mob of serious people. Or, and here's a real hard thing to swallow: grow up and create change from within.

Vote in every election from Dog Catcher to President. Do volunteer work in your own back yards. Get jobs, and make policies that benefit everyone. You want to live on a commune? Move to Israel and live on a kibbutz. That'll let you get your fill of both politics and socialism.

But, please, take your idealized views of anarchy and get the fuck out of Miami. Thanks. Have a nice day.
Miz Shoes

What Can I Say?

I have this little ritual every morning. I read the paper. It's good for me, because there is usually something in those inky pages that starts my heart even better than a second cup of coffee. This morning it was a "style" article about the current hot trend: knitting.

The story featured a woman whose first project was described as an afghan for her living room. And I suppose it was her project. After all, she commissioned me to make it for her. She told me she was so inspired by my work that she was taking up knitting. I'd like to think that maybe, after she bought that first set of needles, she decided that she could knit better than me, and so made another afghan to replace the one she paid me $500 for. The article continued on to say that after the afghan she has knit several shawls and scarves and a purse with a beaded handle. How nice.

That led into a side bar about beading and other crafts. The featured artisan/teacher in that story is another woman I know. She learned to bead from another friend, a jeweler. She teaches alongside that same jeweler, as her assistant. Neither my name nor my jeweler friend's name were mentioned.

Apparently, you are only worthy of ink if you come to be a craftsman as a second career, after homemaking or trophy wife. Those of us with degrees and 20+ years in the field are just shit out of luck.

And so, just like the graphic design profession has been taken over by people with desktop computers and a couple boxes of software and clip art, artisans have been replaced by dilettantes with too much time and sufficient amounts of money to buy supplies. They have "house shows" and they sell to each other. It has become a status thing to touch the pearls at one's throat and murmur that it was purchased from a friend who has become "a jeweler." I guess that saying it came from a friend who has become proficient at bead stringing doesn't have quite the same cachet.

Sort of like saying that the gorgeous afghan tossed oh-so-casually- across one's tooled leather reading chairs was a commissioned piece rather than a knit of one's own.

Well, bite me. When do I get to have a second career? Although, to read my resume, I'm already on my fourth or fifth. I've been a graphic designer (print) and a web designer. I spent several years as a commercial photographer (product work, catalogs, like that) and color printer. I did a season as a political campaign advisor. (Word of advice: if you end up like I did, voting for the opposition, your candidate was no damn good.) I spent a couple of my earlier years in post-production for film. Non-theatrical release, primarily, but I did work on the titles for "Harlan County, USA" which took the Oscar that year for Best Documentary. Got to hold the little gold guy, too, when Barbara Kopple brought it over to the optical house to share.

I used to think my mid-life crisis would involve becoming a professional chef, but that field too, has become overrun with dilettantes and bored second-careerists, and I'll be damned if I follow that trend.
Miz Shoes

Public Display of Bare Feet

From the "Now I have heard everything" files.

My cousin reports this fesh new hell outrage: skeevy bare feet propped up on the chair back in front of the offender at a movie. Yes. Shoes are removed. Skeevy, stinky, poor hygiene-hampered men's feet are plopped on the head rest of the seat in front. And left thus for the entire movie.

Much relief when the lights went down and the feet were no longer visible.

Ewwww. That's just gross. My cousin noted that of course, the feet were foul, because anyone who had the good manners and good sense to NOT remove shoes and socks in public would also have had good foot hygiene. That leaves the swine with skanky feet and equally skanky public behavior free to do what he did.

Cousin points out that said skank had a female companion, which leads to the observation that there's someone for everyone.

My ex-husband, the anti-christ, used to pick his toe nails and then smell his fingers. I leave it to your imagination how many times I saw that little quirk before I started calculating what it would take to get the divorce finalized.

If you guessed one, you would be correct.

It's not like I have a thing about feet, I don't. I do have a thing about bad foot behavior. But then, I have a thing about all bad behavior, so feet just fall in under the general heading of "things not to do in public with your body." Regular readers will know where I'm going with this.

DO NOT: pick your stray facial hair, your nose, your toenails, your zits, your boyfriends zits. DO NOT play with your various pierced parts, especially those in your face.

Thank you.
Miz Shoes

The Annotated Wedding Announcement

The following wedding announcement is from the Miami Herald. The names have been abbreviated to prevent any lawsuits against your author. That everything I say is fact makes it hard to charge me with libel, but the new missus has a history of bogus and frivolous lawsuits, not to mention some heavy black arts. Nevertheless, it is with much joy that I present the annotated version.

B******n - E*****t

Ms. B***y B******n and Mr. M*****l S. E*****t were married, 5 September 2003, in an American Indian (this would be after Ms. B had burned through Judaism, Zen Buddhism, New Age Crystals, Witchcraft and Feng Shui. Mr. E is a former Jesuit.) ceremony at their mountain-top home in Ludow, Vermont. (This is at least the third marriage for Ms. B, and the second for Mr. E. Her first two ended in divorce, after she had drained the souls and pocketbooks of her victims husbands. Mr. E's first marriage ended with the death of his wife, of breast cancer. Her funeral was produced and hosted by his then-mistress, Ms. B.) They will honeymoon in Madrid and London in the fall. (Ms. B likes to honeymoon in Madrid. She's done it before, with number 2. Although the adjoining suites in the Plaza during the first Mrs. E's funeral was probably the "real" honeymoon for these two.) Mrs. E*****T is the former B***y (nee Bernyce) G*****n W*******n, daughter of Y****e and B******n G*****n (Aha! Now we know where the latest last name came from. It's important, when one is a grifter, to change names often. Don't know if she changes her social security number, too. It would help with that back taxes thing she was running from for the past dozen years, though.) of Forest Hills, New York, both deceased. (And, no doubt, spinning furiously at what their spawn has become) M*****l S. E*****t, son of M**y and the late M*****l J. E*****t of Bayonne, New Jersey, (and tell me that dad isn't doing some heavy spinning of his own) is the former Associate Vice President Medical Affairs, Executive Director, UM Hospital Division and Chief Information Officer, University of M**** School of Medicine. (Former being the operative word here. He was "asked" to leave rather suddenly, after an argument over the cooked books and the half million dollar make-over his office had, under the Feng Shui direction of his mistress. Marble floors, a five-foot fountain, crown moldings and custom office furniture as the hospital was bleeding red ink. There were reports of loud voices and the words "lying" and "horse shit" being bandied about. Ms. B was asked to leave shortly after her protector.) The couple reside in the Cayman Islands, BWI, where Mr. E*****t is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority. Mrs. E*****t is Director of Marketing for the Cayman Islands Hospital. (Gee, I wonder how she managed that? As the dearly departed Leapin' Larry Greene was wont to say: It ain't who ya know, it's who ya blow. Here in M***i, her skills at writing and promotion were, shall we say, uneven?) The E*****t's (yep, it was printed with the apostrophe. Herald misprint, or grammatical error from the author? Probably the latter. As I said, writing was never her strong point.) will retain their primary residence on Key B******e, Florida. (There is no mention of their combined five adult children. The bride's three are estranged from her, and have been for years. They are: the lesbian chef, the Hollywood sex worker, and the lawyer. The groom's children haven't spoken to him since their mother's funeral. Well, that's not quite true. His daughter was living with him, until Ms. B moved in within the week following his first wife's death. She was actually in the apartment before the body cooled. She couldn't abide having the daughter there, so she threw her out. The son quit speaking to the father shortly after, when Ms. B decided that the son could sell his car to pay for law school, since his veteran's benefits didn't quite make that nut, and Daddy needed all his money to pay for the remodeling of their home. The old Mrs. E's stuff had to be cleared out and her memory effaced as quickly as possible. There is no photo accompanying this announcement, one assumes because the bride -- and is it correct to call a thrice-married, 67-year-old hag a bride?-- does not show up in photographs, nor does she cast a reflection in mirrors. )
Miz Shoes

Did Ya Miss Me?

C'mon. Tell me that you did. Tell me that your day just was not complete without reading my whining and complaining and general all around bitching about the world. Tell me that you had a panic attack seeing that little page not found message.

And then I'll tell my brother in law, who switched servers without telling me, thereby sending this and my other sites into (say it with me a la Riffraff) O-blivion?

But a quick note to the geek gods of Register.com and here I am, 48 hours later. Happy to rag about just about any and everything that crosses my field of vision.

Item 1: Standing in front of the entrance to a small mall, a small boy. He is pissing in the hedge. His mother is standing nearby, encouraging him by telling him that if he will only face INTO the hedge, and not look back at her, nobody will notice that he's peeing. Except, of course, that we all do, and she looks me right in the eyes and smiles and explains that her boy "is making pee-pee." Really? No. I'd never have guessed. I reminded her, coldly, that there are public bathrooms in the mall.

Item 2: Did you know that the U.S. post office doesn't consider mail lost until it has not arrived at its destination after a full month? And that's for their PRIORITY mail. I shudder to think what a mere first class letter has to do to get itself declared missing. The exact response from my friendly mail clerk was "Well, it's the mail, it'll get there. Or not." Thank you.

Item 3: Oh. I guess there isn't an item three. How about this, then? I'm getting a mammogram at 2:30 this afternoon. I suggested to the service that they offer a glass of ice cold chardonnay afterwards to all their patients. While the lovely woman at the other end of the phone allowed as how that would be nice for us, she also noted that the staff would drink it all and there wouldn't be any for the patients anyway.

Tomorrow I have a date with my surrogate daughter. We're going out for dim sum and then I am going to teach her how to drive a stick. We are going in the Cabrio. She will not be learning how to leave a patch. She will benefit from the wisdom of my earliest college boyfriend, Steve Berger, who taught me two important things about cars.

The first thing was "It's just as easy to park your car correctly as it is to park like an asshole." I still hear that in my mind every time I pull into a space. It's why I'm the jerk taking time to position the car between the yellow lines, and not over them.

The second thing was "Always listen to your engine. It will never lie to you." Your tach can, but the engine cannot.

I hope it sounds as good coming from me as it did from Steve.
Here's a question for all of you: why is inane drivel spoken into a cell phone infinitely more irritating than that same inane drivel spoken to a physically present person? And why does the volume go up when delivered into a cell phone?

For the last time, I do not wish to be privy to every detail of strangers' lives. I barely tolerate being privy to those of my friends.

I don't want to know what is missing from your pantry, as you cruise the grocery store aisle with your cell phone attached to your head, asking your significant other if there is enough toilet paper under the sink. Use a pencil and make a list. Then take it with you and check the items off.

I don't want to know what kind of trouble your children gave the baby sitter, or any other thing you need to tell your mama at eight in the morning as we sit on the train going to work.

And here's something else: put your makeup on before you leave the house. Trim your child's fingernails after they get out of the bath, not as they sit next to me on the train. There is a lesson you are teaching them, and it isn't very pretty.

Private acts should be done in private. Don't floss your teeth in a restaurant. Don't piss on the side of a building. And don't teach your children to do it, when there is a public bathroom inside that very building: the lobby to the public hospital.

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite of Ms. Hepburn's movies was this:

"We're all barbarians."

It was from A Lion in Winter. Rent it. And the next time you feel like shouting into a cell phone, remember it.
Miz Shoes

A New Low in Public/Personal Grooming

I take the train to work every day (and, by extension, home) and there seems to be no low to which my fellow passengers will not sink. I'm almost immune to the shrieking into their cellphone people, and the packs of wild teenagers who go to the art school downtown. Truth be known, I'm fond of those kids: they make me smile.

But yesterday morning was just appalling. And me without my camera. There sat a young adult male in a business suit and his skanky girlfriend, and she was picking at his zits for him while he sat there and took it. On the train. In full view of all other passengers.

Once more, I must ask: Have you no dignity? Have you no concept of social proprieties? Have you no boundaries?

STOP THAT RIGHT NOW, before I vomit on your wingtips.

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