Miz Shoes

The Endeavor Begins

Having gotten Tante Leah's Handmades on the web, and having printed up some business cards, today I went to the store where I buy all my high-end silks, and asked to put up a sample and my cards.

The proprietor said yes. Now all I have to do is hope that the commissions start to roll in.

In the meantime, the two I have in hand are sitting on my sewing table. Tomorrow I plan to start cutting and sewing.

I'm excited. This could be the start of something big. It is certainly the start of something new. I've always wanted to be "just an artist" and not a corporate hack, and I'm stepping out on that path.

Wish me luck.
Miz Shoes

Check It Out!

I did it. I put up the new, improved Girlyshoes. There are new links over there on your left. One goes to the RLA's portfolio where you can look at his work, or even (GASP!) purchase some. Ditto for the link to Tante Leah's Handmades.
Off the front page you can even visit my photo blog, where in I ridicule people in a manner like that of the Fug Girls, and post photos of (what else?) shoes and other stuff that I see and tell you all about, and you all think I make this shit up.

Oh, the humanity.
Miz Shoes

My Brain Hurts

Although I'm not working for the man anymore, I am still working at my computer, trying to write code for this website.

Last week, when I was buying fabric for the two commissions I have, I started talking to the owner of the fabric shop. One thing led to another, as it always does, especially when I'm one half of the converstion, and he offered to put my business cards out.
Which is all very well and good, but this is hardly the place to send nice Pinecrest Princesses looking for tallitsim for their princelings and princessettes. I need to create a new site, or at least a new look and feel for this site, and move some things around, or hide them or just jetison them completely.

All of which means that I need to redesign this site. In DreamWeaver. And MT. Using all sorts of crap that I never needed to know when I was working for the hospital.

I have spent the past week and a half buried in tech books, cruising how-to websites and forums, going back and forth with my pages. I add something, it doesn't work. I research and redo until I get the thing (whatever that thing is) to work, and then I move on to the next part. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I am learning more than I ever did before and I knew that there was a problem when I walked into Borders looking for more references and the clerk in the computer section asked me if I needed help and I said "Well, I have a problem and I don't know if it's an IIS issue or a JavaScript problem so I'm looking for information." And she gave me a deer in the headlights look and I said "I know. Pathetic, itsn't it? I actually knew what I meant by that sentence."

I am the uber-geek. And I can't take my cards and sample to the fabric store until I get all of this sorted out and working right.

Ugh. I need a drink, a bath and a meal, and not necessarily in that order. I think a martini in the bathtub is on tonight's schedule. A martini the size of the tub is what I want, and what that previous statement sounded like I meant, but it really. No. Just a long, hot bath and a long, cold drink.

If you've read this far, then let me ask one last question:

Is it just me, or do you think that the judge should have requested a drug test today for Michael Jackson instead of threatening to have him arrested for showing up late. In his pajamas. He's gone from his sartorial delusions of kinghood to an almost normal suit to his pjs.
Miz Shoes

Today’s My Father’s Birthday

And it's the first one we've had without him here. I remember so much about my father every day. Today is special, though.
The first story is about my father, his friend and my brother. It was the summer of 1966 and my mother and I were abroad, my brother had just graduated high school. One afternoon, Daddy and his friend started talking about great food, and one thing led to another, and the upshot was that they all took a road trip to Miami for scrambled eggs with kosher salami at Pumpernick's up on 63rd and Collins.

Except, remember that this was 1966, and a 100-plus mile road trip for scrambled eggs was hardly a thing to be embarked upon on a whim. But that's just what they did.

When I came home from Europe and heard that story, I would have given it all up for having been able to be home for that. What a lark it must have been. Mr. Rickmann and my old man gassing away in the front seat, and smoking nasty pipes or cigars. I don't know what they drove, I imagine it was Daddy's '53 two-tone Chevy. Powder blue on the bottom and white on top. Sigh.

And then there's the one about the time Daddy was at a party and calmly swallowed a tablespoon of Tabasco Sauce on a five buck bet. Didn't turn a hair, either.

Of course there are the other stories, too. The ones that are too personal even for me to relate. The ones that make me cry and miss the old fart so much. There is nothing in the world, I always told my male college friends as they became fathers to daughters, as deep and as pure and as everlasting as a little girl's love of a good father: they will worship the water you walk on until the day that they die. Don't fuck it up.

My father didn't.
Miz Shoes

Danger, Warning: Meme Ahead

Blame Reecie for this, because she listed me first in the last question, and heaven forfend I not answer...
Q) What was the last movie you went to see in a theatre?
Hmmmm. Shrek 2, maybe? I hate theatres these days. Too loud, too small a screen, too many other people, and the popcorn isn't as good now that they made it healthier.

Q) What is the last movie you watched at home?
The Vampire Effect.

Q) How many movies do you own?
Hahahahahahaha. Oh. You were serious. Over 100?

Q) What was the last movie you bought?
Hmmm. We bought the entire second season of Kung Fu. Does that count?

Q) Got Netflix (or a similar service)?
Oh, yeah. Just got it and have never been happier. I already have way too many films in my queue.

Q) List five movies you adore or that mean a lot to you.
Galaxy Quest

Q) Name your guilty pleasure film?
Easy: Malibu's Most Wanted. It just makes me howl. And any Pauly Schorr or Adam Sandler comedy.

Q) What's your favorite quote from a film?
Only one?

"I hate the living." — Men In Black

"See, that's your problem, Jason. You were never serious about the craft." - Galaxy Quest

"She's my sister. She's my daughter. She's my sister and my daughter." — Chinatown

"I'm thinking with sand here." — Bubba Ho-Tep

"There's nothing in that little black bag for me." — The Wizard of Oz

"Look, mother, I want to go to work in one hour. We are the Pros from Dover and we figure to crack this kid's chest and get out to golf course before it gets dark. So you go find the gas-passer and you have him pre-medicate this patient. Then bring me the latest pictures on him. The ones we saw must be 48 hours old by now. Then call the kitchen and have them rustle us up some lunch. Ham and eggs will all right. Steak would be even better. And then give me at least ONE nurse who knows how to work in close without getting her tits in my way. " — MASH

Q) Name three people to whom you will pass these questions.
Miss Bliss
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

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?
Miz Shoes

Blue Monday

I haven't been sleeping well. Too depressed. I stare at the ceiling, then at the glowing lights on the clock. When I finally get to sleep, I have anxiety dreams, with my own pantheon of archetypes. The unattainable lover, the high school clique that does not include me, being lost, trying to run and not being able to.

On the plus side, if there is one, I have no appetite. I've always made jokes about the High Stress diet, and how it is my only successful one. I ought to be in negative sizes by the end of the year.

I'm off to build a new web site from an old one. Chicken salad from chicken shit, speciality of this house.
Miz Shoes

I’m Home, Dammit

As if I needed any proof to points 1,2 and 3 below, I came home from my little vacation to discover that my e-mail had been rendered null and void by the simple expedient of my brother (who has his undergraduate degree in computer science, by the way) sending me a 3mg file of photos...
My in-box being filled by that largesse, there was no room for any other communication. A fact I discovered upon my return, because, as I told everyone, I would not could not pick up my mail while I was on the other coast.

Thanks a lot. I was only expecting communications from a commission, an update from Blog Moxie on the new, secret redesign, my usual riff raff of friends, meeting agenda and papers for Tuesday's board meeting, and like that.

All bounced. All lost. All requiring re-registration to mail lists, no doubt.

The irony is that the same thing happened to me last year, when my friend known as the King Geek (because that is his actual job in life) sent me a 5mg photo of his son. Like I don't see the kid on a regular basis.

And both he and my brother did this on the first day of my vacation.

In any event, I am rested, tanned, well fed and even got in a baseball game. Florida Marlins lost to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But it was another ball park in my life list, and a nice, albeit domed one, at that.
Miz Shoes

What I Said

"In-duh-vidual's name removed: in order for me to be able to use this (thing that she sent me)in the site, and have it be a part of the site, not a static window opening in a separate program, I need the original art/format.

I cannot use a PDF. I cannot pull the art out of it, I cannot embed it in the HTML. When you have a graphic image that you want to use as an element on a page, I need it in jpg, or gif, or as an original Photoshop file, or Illustrator or Freehand, or even as a bmp or tiff.

Just to reiterate: I cannot use a PDF."
What I Wanted to Say:

You stupid fucking git, how many times must I tell you that a PDF is not an acceptable format for me to use on this site? Obviously, at least once a fucking week, since no matter how many times I tell you that a PDF is not a graphic format (OK, well, it is, but not one that can be used as part of HTML), you insist on sending me PDFs and telling me to add them to the hospital's site.

Just in case you were in a coma for the last couple of years, and haven't actually used the fucking internet for anything other than passing lame ass jokes around, the whole fucking point of this endeavor is to be interactive, not fucking brochure ware. Which means, to sum up: I cannot use a PDF, I cannot use a PDF, I cannot use a fucking PDF.

I need the graphics sent to me in a graphic format: Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, gif, jpg, bmp, or any other kind of image openable by the first three programs listed. I can use animations, Flash or Fireworks. The one thing that is absolutely pointless to send me is a three fucking megabyte PDF file and expect me to do anything with it.

Thanks for letting me vent.
Miz Shoes

I’m NOT Lovin’ It

I haven't been able to FTP to the hospital's site since the middle of last week. That means changes have been piling up. I have told the server guys at least 5 times that my access is dead, but they have more urgent things to attend to. Like the zilliontythree viruses that seem to be living in our servers. Despite the firewalls.
This morning I deleted 230 messages that were merely the husks of deleted virus hosts. For some reason this makes me think of the Roach Motel slogan:

Bugs get in, but they can't get out. Like viruses on our servers, huh?

At home, I spent the whole weekend dodging phone calls and laying around in my bathrobe. But it was a good thing, and not the messy depression it sounds like. I also put away a month's worth of laundry, cleared out my closet of all the dark, shapeless schmatas I've gotten too small to wear, and cleared out my studio so that I can start working in it again.

And I finished the bottle of Crown Royal that I'd bought to make Washington Red Apples. That was scary fast work. Maybe I shared a lot, huh?

Well, despite the fact that I can't upload the changes, I still have a lot of them to make. So off to work. Hi-ho, and like that.
Miz Shoes

All Ya Can Do Is Do What Ya Must

The Bob said it best in "Buckets of Rain"

"Life is sad, life is a bust
all you can do, is do what you must
You do what you must do
and you do it well."

But then, when doesn't, or didn't, the Bob say it best?
Today is crazy, hectic, madhouse, insane, busy. Tomorrow, I go back on the road north. With a box full of Dylan and Bruce to keep me company in the car.

I have a commission to finish, and I can't because I'm never home long enough to sew a seam. I have a tree full of mulberries, or it was before the rains came, and I can't pick them to make a pie. Assuming I'd have the time to bake one.

My office is in full-tilt boogie mode, meaning that my boss has left, but not before giving me a stack of work to do. Actually, he's been handing me stuff a page at a time all day, and asking where I am on the stuff he gave me before each time he hands me something new.

Not where I would be if you weren't handing me new crap and asking me how it's going... How's that for an answer?

Unacceptable, most likely. I must run, sweeties, there was someplace on the other side of campus I was supposed to be 15 minutes ago.
Miz Shoes

Anyone? Anyone?

Yeah. I got a question for ya. I got it right here.

If the filter on our server can detect and delete viruses, then why the fuck can't it just delete the whole damn thing? Why the fuck do I have to spend my day deleting 200 freaking messages with the subject line of "Important" "Re: Your document" "Hello" "Pictures of You?"
Hello. It was a virus. I don't need to see the spam bot that sent it. And our own fucking servers are infected, or being highjacked, because the new spam is a photo of "lonely girl" who wants to be my friend. And no matter who she is, no matter what first name is used, the mailing address is a hospital server.

Proof Reading: something to be done before a document is approved. Is that so hard? Could that little rule of thumb be taught to the freaking head secretaries at this institution? Huh? Could it? Ya think? Because I have to say that I am really fucking over the whole, "Put this document on line as a PDF (which I am too fucking stupid to be able to create myself, as a head secretary, so you need to do it for me) ASAP and less than 24 hours later, I get the new document with the typos corrected repeat the PDF and ASAP process." I'm just saying.

Here's another tip: if you don't want to spend half an hour sobbing uncontrollably into your napkin, don't watch "Big Fish" if you have either lost a father, or are in the process of losing one. Other than that, the movie is a delight and a wonder.

Ewan McGregor. He can do anything, can't he? I love the smile he used in "Big Fish." It wasn't just a smile, it was, um... Well, every time he flashed it, in my minds eye I could see the big animated star-burst shiny twinkle off his teeth. It was a work of art. It was "ACTING" in all caps. It was brilliant and completely articulated the character.

Well, it's been fun, kiddies, but believe it or not, I actually have some content to post on the hospital's site. I'm sure it's inane, and out of date, and thoroughly pointless, but it is content, so there you are. I'm going to do some "real" work.
Miz Shoes

Poetry de Spam

awaken lawn banish buzzsaw
rink it knoxville fieldwork
mouthpiece bootstrapping bacterium fermi quote
millinery coplanar clergyman foolhardy
alpenstock condominium hades rode
poignant affine earphone
sci posit albert

lovely. as always.

and by request, the Pale Green Salad, with annotations

The recipe came from FabulousFoods.com which in turn, has this credit:

"This recipe was given to us by Joan Kekst, author of the fabulous book Passover Cookery. Whether you are new to preparing a Seder or an exeprienced cook, this is best, most well organized guide we have seen.

Pale Green Salad:
2 tart green apples, core and thinly slice (and since I didn't have any, I used Bartlett pears)
juice of 2 limes
grated zest of one lime
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
6 scallions, sliced
2 large cucumbers, sliced lengthwise, peel, seed and cut crosswise
2 stalks celery hearts, thinly sliced
8 pitted green olives, sliced (pimento stuffing removed)
salt and freshly ground white pepper (The mill was filled with a blend of white, green, pink and black)
1 teaspoon horseradish grated
2 tablespoons light olive oil (don't use light, only use extra virgin, first press)
4 tablespoons cilantro or parsley, minced (I always use cilantro, for contrast, taste-wise)
2 peeled avocados, sliced (and mine, once I cut them open, were bad, so I added one can of hearts of palm, drained and sliced thin)
1 cup seedless green grapes

Lime Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (right. I didn't have white, red worked just fine, thanks)
salt and white pepper to taste
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced scallions

Serves 8 (and there were 11 at the table, we had a small amount of left overs, even after seconds)

For dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar, mix well, use on salad.

For salad, coat sliced apples in a large bowl with lime juice to prevent discoloring. Add next 8 ingredients. Coat well with olive oil, cover and chill 1 hour.

To serve, coat avocado slices with lemon or lime juice or the lime vinaigrette. Arrange over salad with the grapes and sprinkle with cilantro. Pass dressing. (We tossed the dressing over the salad in the serving bowl.)

Leg of Lamb

Take a whole head of garlic. Separate the cloves, peel and slice into matchstick sized slivers. Take the leg of lamb, bone in or boned (cook's preference. mine is bone in) and make small incisions over the entire surface in a 1-2 inch grid. Insert garlic sliver into each incision. (I do it one at a time, since the little nub of garlic sticking out makes it easier to see the grid.)

Set a rack in the bottom of a shallow roasting pan, large enough to hold the leg of lamb. Cover the rack with fresh thyme and rosemary, reserving some to spread over the lamb leg. Place the leg on the rack, fatter side up. Grind a generous amount of pepper and salt onto the lamb. I had a lavender/herb salt at hand, and used it. Strew surface with more rosemary and thyme.

Roast as preferred until done as preferred.

Little Red Potatoes

You need the smallest, freshest little potatoes you can find, in a quantity sufficient to feed your guests (please note, however, that what ever you think is sufficient, it won't be -- these are that good)

Peel the potatoes, or peel just a strip from the middle, or don't peel them at all. Half or quarter them, depending on how small they are.

Pour a quantity of EVOO in a roasting pan, large enough for the potatoes to fit in one layer

Roll the potatoes around in the oil, until they are well coated. If you want to live wild, add a little garlic powder.

Grind fresh pepper and salt to taste. I used pink sea salt this time.

Place in a moderately hot oven (375?) and roast, undisturbed until they are golden and slightly crisped. Stand back as the hordes descend like locusts on these.

This concludes today's cooking lesson.
Miz Shoes

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Spam, wonderful spam....

squishy nebulae
itinerant shrink
minuend arsine floyd
hydrology fallout competent midwinter
gadgetry gilt bradley quadruple feminism
estes doubleday juno gregory contiguous
client frail frizzle indochinese

And yet, despite the wonderful alliteration of some of those subject lines, the mystery they promise, the cosmic quandaries they profess to ponder, all of them are selling the same thing: male sexual enhancement drugs.

To which I can only yawn.

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