Miz Shoes

It’s the It’s the End of the Century

Today started out badly, with me leaving my i-phone on the counter in the bathroom, and not noticing that it wasn’t in my purse until I was almost at the train station and it was too late to turn back and get it. That meant that I was subjected to the noise of the common crowd. And crowd it was, as the train was late, which meant it was also jammed to capacity.

Sooooo, about two stops in, some guy gets on the train and starts preaching, loudly. In Spanish.

Many years ago, when the then-boss at the then-job demanded I learn Spanish, I determined to learn only useful phrases. Hence, my conversational Spanish is limited to stuff like “go away, I have a gun” (vette, tengo una pistola), “what is your point” (qual es su punto), “another client from hell” (un otra cliente del infierno) and the ever popular “bite me.” Today, I had my vocabulary enhanced with this, which is possibly idiomatic, as the Cuban woman I tried it on didn’t get it, but the Venezuelan knew where I was going before I got there.

La ultima est circa.

The end is near.

Miz Shoes

Breaking the Law

The other night the RLA was out with his friend, and I was home on the couch watching a very good little documentary. Around a quarter to nine, the dogs started to bark like crazy and the phone rang at the same time. I answered the phone to find The Girl Cousin calling about family business and the dogs continued to bark. I tried to shush them, but they wouldn’t be shushed. Just as I got up to smack them on their butts, I saw that the RLA was standing in front of the house, and I figured that he’d been teasing them, or talking to a neighbor before he came in and they were just idiots. It’s a reasonable conclusion… particularly with JoJo, the dog of very little brain.

Except, when I got up the next morning and went outside to get the paper, I discovered that someone had ransacked Tweety McPeeps. I never lock the car when it’s in the driveway, and besides, it’s a convertible. Locking it seems pointless and maybe even a little stupid. If someone wants into a convertible badly enough, they will just slit the roof. Why tempt fate? Don’t lock it. So no windows were smashed, no rag tops were eviscerated, but the glove box was emptied out and the contents strewn around the interior.

Someone violated Tweety, and the only thing that stopped them from doing anything more was the return home of the RLA. And yes, the gate was closed, but not locked. I love my neighborhood, but this makes me uneasy.


Ming the Merciless woke up at four a.m. and demanded to go out. Not having opposable thumbs, he required my assistance in this matter to turn off the alarm, unlock the pool door and open same.

I tried to go back to sleep, and was just getting into a dream when my alarm clock rang. I managed to hit the snooze button and then slept through the second ringing. Which isn’t really ringing, it’s some electronic version of surf. Sounds more like broken glass rattling in a thermos, but whatever.

The RLA has been on duty up at my parent’s home, packing and sorting and dumping for the last week. He took the dogs, but let me bring JoJo home on Sunday. This has added a dog walk to my morning routine. This morning, since I was already dragging and late, JoJo refused to poop. Around the block, up and down, singing the doggie has to poop song. Nada. Nothing. No use.

Running really late, I zoomed to the train station, where the only available parking spots were those formed by the space left when two over-sized vehicles park in compact spaces, each with one set of tires over the line, thereby rendering the third, central space unusable for anything wider than a bicycle.

To the top of the parking garage, and back down, narrowly avoiding head-ons with the folks rushing up the ramp later than I. To the flat lot, where the person in front of me took the last remaining space. Back out onto Dixie Highway, back to the original parking garage, and up to the roof, where, hidden behind a giant pickup truck, I found a place to park Zelda Bleu.

The escalator to the train platform was undergoing repair, and so I made it to the platform as the train was leaving the station. But not before some asshat punched the elevator button six or seven times, reaching over me to do so. Cause, yeah, (and I said it loudly) I wouldn’t have thought to do that.

Finally made it to the office, where, in anticipation of our new hire, one of my co-workers “cleaned” the new kid’s work space. That is, if by clean you mean dumped all the old files in the trash, piled everything that might be useful or kept on the desk, emptied the bookshelves into piles on the chair, opened every box and left the whole thing looking worse than it did before she started. And left it there for me, no doubt, to make ready for the new kid.

Thanks. I needed something to keep myself busy with today. Other than my regular workload, I mean.

Miz Shoes

Yes, And How Many Times…

As often as I am wont to say that I hate the living, I don’t think the answer is locking the doors and shooting everyone else.

And as much as I’m a Yellow Dog strict constitutionalist, and all, I think that the intent of the founders regarding the 2nd amendment had more to do with protection of the citizenry in the face of no standing national army and less about the right to bear arms for the hell of it, or the day the silicon chip inside your head gets switched to overload.

For the POTUS to deliver some mealy-mouthed inanity like he did: “Oh, jeez, everyone should have the right to bear arms, but they should obey the law”* just makes me want to vomit.

You know what? In this day and age, there is no need for the average citizen to own a handgun. Or an assault rifle. Or any other small arms. And if you want to, then join the fucking military and go defend us from the world.

Or how about this? You can own all the guns you want, but you can’t own the ammunition. Or how about the British model, and the guns are locked up in gun clubs and the only time you get to play with your toys is when you are out with other killers hunters shooting at animals. And not like here, where there are hunting farms, where the animals are penned until you get there to kill them. That would be the kind of hunting done by that masterful asswipe, the Vice President of the United States, who shot 400 quail and his hunting companion. There were 500 quail released that day. Oh, I made the numbers up, so sue me, I can’t remember everything I read. But he did go out shooting live skeet, and he did shoot his buddy, so do the numbers really matter?

But no. This is America, land of the freely stupid and bravely stubborn in the face of all logic. How many more? How many more people will be shot for no reason by people with no reasoning but plenty of guns and ammunition? When will the neo-cons and NRA apologists figure out that guns don’t kill people, but people with guns do?

To quote the Rude Pundit, have you ever heard of a drive-by stabbing?

A long, long time ago I dated a man who used to dream about killing his ex-girlfriend. Not in an abstract way, but vivid and explicit dreams about shooting her in the head.** (No, I didn’t date him long after I heard about that, and when he wanted to see me suddenly after a year or so had passed, I would only meet him in a public place.) A therapist told me that we all dream about or can dream about killing people, but that only a person capable of doing it in real life could see it all in that kind of detail. But that was twenty-some years ago, before hyper-real FX in movies, and first-person shooter games on every PC and GameBoy and Wii.

We have not become, as our Moron-in-Chief says, a culture of life, America has become a culture of glorified violence. It is approved by our government when we dance around the definitions of torture re: the Geneva Conventions. It is approved by our government when we out-source our prisons to folks without the same delicacy of nature that America pretends, as a nation, to have.

How many more students will be shot down? How many more innocent folks, putting gas in their cars? How many children caught in the cross fire of gang wars? How many more gallons of blood will paint the hands of the NRA and their spineless puppets in Congress before we decide that maybe, just maybe, in the 21st century, in this place, we all don’t need to have a sidearm strapped on?

I hate the living, but that doesn’t mean I want to kill them.

* Especially since the POTUS and his entire administration seem unable to obey any laws theirownselves. You know, the little ones, like perjury, and destroying evidence, and doctoring evidence, and leading this country into an illegal war, and wiretapping, and illegal search and seizure, and spying on US citizens, and you know, the whole rest of the ten commandments and most of the US constitution.

** That boyfriend? Killed himself. I was never able to find out how, but there were hints… he’d watched Blue Velvet a hundred times, it involved massive amounts of drugs and, yes, a gun.


Miz Shoes

The First Cut is the Deepest

I have a brother, Biggus Dickus (he has a wife, you know). And regular readers of this blog know how rocky that relationship is. Love|Hate|Indifference|Resentment... and that's just how he feels about me! I also have a brother-in-law, the wonderful David Lee Roth clone, or as I like to call him, David Lee Cohen.

David Lee Cohen is in the hospital, having gone in exactly a week after his brother, the RLA, came home from one. He's been in there 6 days, and had at least 3 surgeries. Because of HIPAA, I can't get information from the hospital about him, and his poor wife is so fried by his hospitalization, her two little kids, and a currently invalided mother (who is also in residence) that I can't reach her to get any information, either.

The RLA and I are Very Nervous about David Lee Cohen. I keep calling the RLA and asking if he's heard anything, and that just makes everybody more nervous, because the answer is no.

I really don't know or care how you guys feel about prayer, but all the healthful, healing energy you can spare, I would appreciate you sending on to my brother-in-law. He's more of a brother to me than the one I was given by my parents, and I really want to see him up and around and yanking my chain again.

Miz Shoes

Down & Out in South Miami

(feeble little hand wave) I'm still here. Barely. Normally at this time of year I have a bad case of spring fever, and can hardly sit still. This year, though, I have a bad case of the flu, and can hardly stir from my sick bed.

Thank the powers that be for wireless web connections.

I've slowly been rebuilding my computer, loading programs, rewriting links and bookmarks and like that. Mostly, I've been sleeping, whining, and drinking gatorade. It is a sign of how lousy I feel that I can drink it and like it. I tried for a glass of wine with the Sopranos last night, and dumped it down the sink, instead.

Now you KNOW I'm sick as a dog.

I've exhausted myself with this entry.


Baseball season is upon us, so all is right with the world.
Miz Shoes

I’m Just Sayin’

If consistancy is the hobgobblin of little minds, then the editor I work with must be a fucking genius, because the bitch never copyproofs the same way twice. One week we're using en dashes in certain places and the next it's all about the em dash.

For six months, every time we use the word "noon" in a time (Noon - 2 p.m.) it's been capitalized. As of this morning, it isn't.


Because I:

a) bought a sweat suit

b) confronted my brother about his misbehavior and he admitted wrongdoing

c) did not have a martini Saturday or Sunday, although there was one waiting in the freezer

d) all of the above
And the answer is d.

But, just for the record, I bought the sweat suit because both pieces (hoodie and pants) were the same price as just a hoodie or just a pair of gym sweats. It's a lovely shade of teal. I also told the RLA that if I wore both parts at the same time anywhere other than to the gym, he had my full permission to divorce me, and I wouldn't contest it.

I'm wearing the hoodie now. I wore the sweat pants all day yesterday. I did change into my jeans for the grocery store run.

And another thing: the folks at Television Without Pity seem to have felt that my separated at birth: Osama and Santino — was somehow inappropriate and took down my post. This on a subject where not only did someone else say he was SAB from Rasputin, but linked to a photo of Rasputin's, uh... naughty bits in a jar of formaldehyde. And I hope that was a doctored photo. Or it was a horse named Rasputin. Ick.

Hmmph. No. A quick Google, and there it is, along with a story that seems to come from the Russian version of News of the Weird.

Stick a fork in me. I am done.
Miz Shoes

I Don’t Want To Be Here

And by here, I mean on Earth in the 21st century. I need new friends, because my old ones are fighting for the honor of shredding my last nerve and exploiting my last drop of human kindness and tolerance.
The old adage "you're only as old as you feel" seems to friend number one a challenge to see if, before he reaches the age of 60, he can make his heart and head feel older than Methuselah. He is drinking himself to death, and let me tell you, it isn't as romantic an image as he would like to believe.

When we were younger, it was an interesting conceit on his part to be a dissolute blade of the Belle Epoque. Now it is merely tiresome. Cognac doesn't make for as entertaining a drunk as absinthe may have done, and neither drunk is entertaining on this side of the glass.

Our long-standing Thursday night dates have become an ordeal that neither the RLA nor I anticipate with anything other than loathing and pity. Interventions have not worked. How do we ditch someone we used to love, and who, despite his pitiable state, still, in his own pathetic fashion, loves us?

Friend number two. Ah, friend number two. She is a workaholic in denial of her addiction. If, in fact, it isn't addiction, then it is a sorry example of the Peter Principle, and she is overworking in order to compensate for the fact that she can't do her work in a 40 hour week. She has no life, except work and her children. Unfortunately, two children have flown the nest, and the last one is a fledgling, eager to get her feathers and go.

When that happens, what will happen to my friend? There will be nothing to distract her from her lack of a personal life except more work, and, I am afraid, that old demon gin, to which she shows a particular fondness.

Friend number three has a place in the dictionary, right next to the words enabler and co-dependent. I can't listen to her anymore, either. Wrong choices about almost everything to do with her kids lead to more wrong choices and tragic consequences.

As I tell so many others, you can't fix anyone except yourself. My fix is coming, and I am sorry to see it on the horizon. But I can't take any more of any of my friends self-destructive behaviors when I have my own to tend to.

Still, even in the driest desert, some flowers bloom, and last night I went to a lovely flowering: young April was ordained a priest in the Episcopal church, and the RLA and I were priveleged to be at the ceremony.

I love ceremony and rite, and this was particularly lovely. Love being the operative word. She is a woman full of love, and the church was full of people who love her. I promised TL (the prettiest man in the room, always, but particularly last night) that I would blog about it (and about him) so here it is.

The sermon given likened April to McGiver, a charismatic fellow of infinite ability to conjure salvation from a paper clip and a need. I ask you, when was the last time you heard McGiver's name mentioned in church? And why not? The world needs more McGivers, and that was the gist of the sermon: that our friend is a McGiver, able to pull the rabbit of hope from the world's top hat of despair.

She is, and in the mood I've been in, it was a reminder I needed to hear.
Miz Shoes


This is a touchy entry. After all, we here at Girlyshoes try so very hard to be politically correct at all times, and the epithet JAP (referring to Jewish American Princesses) is so not PC.

On the other hand, being Jewish, and as the youngest grandchild on either side of my family and a little girl to boot, a certifiable princess in my own right, I feel that I can take liberties where others may not.
Having said that, let me also say that I am so not a JAP. Never have been. I cook, clean, enjoy relations with my husband and do not require massive amounts of jewelry in order to do so. I have always worked outside the home, and not as a charity volunteer, although I also do charity work. I do not shop as a competitive sport and I do not have a standing appointment for acrylic nails. I have never had plastic surgery, nor do I intend to. So there. Furthermore, my nose is my own, original model, as is my hair color.

Now that we have the ground rules, if you will, let me say that I have spent the last three days in the company of JAPS, and the last two weeks trying to pry information and money out of another set of same, and I can honestly say that I'd rather poke myself in the eye with the charred end of a sharp stick than do either ever again.

The three days at the bead expo were wonderful learning and shopping days, except for the time spent with a woman who can best be described as a Dowager Princess. She was needy, demanding, a know-it-all, requiring constant attention from either her co-students or teacher, engaged in extended one-up-manship and bragging and made me want to convert to Episcopalian, just so I could sigh and say "Not our kind, dear." She was dreadful. Her daughter was somewhat better behaved, but utterly clueless as to polite conversation.

In response to my question "You did recieve the thank you note I sent after my father died?" she said (and I fucking quote) "Yes. And it was such a sob story that I felt even worse after I read it."

Yeah. My life last year was pretty much a sob story, and if you think reading about it sucked, try living it, beyatch.

The Dowager and I actually shared a work table in our class on day three, and I was tempted to shove her Ott lamp down her throat. The first few hours she complained non-stop about the teacher's instructions to use double thread. The teacher kept saying that if you found it hard to work, use the thread and strand count you preferred. It was more entertaining for the DP to bitch, and so she did. I finally said to her, why don't you stop complaining and change threads? So she did, and the next three hours were spent gloating over how utterly fabulous her work was, and talking about how much better it was to work with her choice of material rather than the instructor's.

The second interaction with a company of JAPS involved my latest tallit commission. The little princess apparently did not like one piece of fabric that I used and it so upset her that her bat mitzvah was nearly ruined. She had to have a dress maker install a piece of fabric over the offending two and one half inch wide stripe, before she could go on. The matching tallit bag was salvagable only by turning it inside out, which she was able to do because I made it with no seams showing.

Not that she or her mother have had the courtesty, despite e-mails from me, to tell me any of this. I have it third hand, from a cousin who happens to be friends with the mother. I also have not been paid.

I am expected, I have been led to understand, to remedy this atrocity for them. It seems that't the princess doesn't like purple at all, and the fabric stripe in question was a strip of magenta silk brocade, the brocade pattern being leopard spots. She felt that the color was more correctly defined as purple, and she hated it. The leopard was more than she could bear, and she just broke down in tears and rage. Or so I've heard, third hand, as I said.

Check out the offending fabric

And here it is in place, so you can see the proportions

I'd also like to point out that the only direction I was given in making this, was that the girl was a princess, and as such needed some sparkle and glamor.

OK, fine, so their idea of sparkle and glamor and my own don't match. Is that any reason to stiff me on my fee, or to not contact me with complaints and concerns?

I didn't think so. Bite me. I'm off to work.
Miz Shoes

Terri and the Pirates

Yesterday the Herald featured yet another story about Terri Schiavo and her disfunctional family. Who knew that she had so many sisters and brothers? But there they are, fomenting civil disobedience and giving us such questionable quotes as this:

"If she is in fact dying so peacefully and easily, why not allow a camera in there to videotape it? This is heinous, what's happening, absolutely heinous. This is absolutely barbaric."
And you know what? I agree with him, except I would apply that statement TO him.

Who the fuck would want to allow cameras to film someone you love dying?

Let me tell you people, I was with my father when he drew his last breath. He was not alone. He was surrounded by family. We loved him. It was as peaceful a death as one could have under the circumstances. There is no way in hell or on earth that I or any of my family would have wanted it taped. It was not fucking beautiful. It was heart-wrenching. And private. Private. Maybe the Schindlers should go look that word up in a dictionary and take themselves out of the spotlight and grieve in private.

Then we have the assertion by her parents that she tried to say "I want to live." What she actually "said" (maybe) was "AHHHHH WAHHHHH".

I want to live. I want to die. Water....

AHHHH WAHHHH. Or maybe it was just ahhhwahh, the only verbalization a person who's merely got pinkish jello where their brain used to be can make.

Let me translate: I want you all to go away and leave me in peace.
Miz Shoes

Separation of Church and State

Would the state of Florida and the United States Congress please get the fuck out of the Terri Schiavo case and let her husband (sanctity of marriage) put her out of her misery?

Would her parents just let her go, already and quit fantasizing that she's gonna wake up? Her parents condemn their son-in-law for wanting to be able to marry his girlfriend with whom he has children. They want him to divorce her and let them keep her alive in her vegatative state until they die. They say he won't do that because he wants the million dollars from her malpractice decision.
Maybe, just maybe, and I'm really going out on a limb here, because I don't personally know any of the parties involved, maybe he won't divorce her because he really does care about her, he really does know what her choice was, and he insists on being her guardian so that he can follow her wishes and let her die.

But let me go back to the rant at hand, which isn't about the husband, or even really about those horrible parents. This is about the separation of church and state. This is about getting government out of the hospital room and out of the bedroom.

This is about the kind of faulty logic and inconsistancy that drives me the most wild.

The Republicans say that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. They say that government should endorse that institution and make it the law of the land. OK. Fine. If so, then any decision between those two parties, the man and the woman, should be sacred and above the reach of government. Which means that Michael Schiavo should have the last word here. He should, by Republican stated beliefs, have rights that her parents gave up when she married him.

But no. They are wringing their hands over what they consider murder. If it was me? I'd want them to pull the tubes out and put a freaking pillow over my face. ASAP, too.

If putting a vegetable out of her misery is murder, then what do you call sending able-bodied American youth to Iraq with inadequate supplies? What do you call it when that same American youth puts a bullet into a native Iraqi woman or child? Is that not state sponsored murder?

What about all those criminals on Death Row here in Florida? Some of them there for crimes they didn't commit, and we all know how frequently that happens: it's in the Miami Herald several times a year. Isn't that state-sponsored murder? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the death penalty in certain extreme cases. Ted Bundy? I would have pulled the lever on Old Sparky my own self.

For a party that is soooo concerned with the rights of the unborn and the undead, they play pretty fast and loose with the rights of the children once they are out of the womb. Cutting funds for education, health care and school lunch programs is good in the Republican creed.
They want to punish single mothers (but what about the fathers?). They are just beneath my contempt.

But they are not above trying to legislate my life according to their own beliefs.
I woke up to the bleeping of the heavy machinery's warning thingy.

Things went downhill from there.
The tiny, one-lane road in front of my house is being double laned because of the new construction in the empty lot across from me. They are building what I like to refer to as "Strip Mansions". This would be townhouses, but two- to three-thousand square foot townhouses going for more than $200 a square foot. Do the math. It's still only got windows on two sides, people. And less than six feet of grass between your back door and the wall that keeps the riff-raff like the neighbors out.

So, this being Florida, that meant that they had to dump crushed coral rock onto the road bed and then steam roller it into submission. Five or six times. Until there was a foot of substrata.

My house was rattling like there was an earthquake. I had to move all the glassware around. Then I walked past my miniature cabinet. Those items not previously shattered by falls were dancing around on the shelves like water on a hot griddle.

I trotted outside and asked the very nice driver if he would cease and desist for five minutes so I could empty the cabinet and make my tiny treasures safe. He said to come and get him when I was done.

It wasn't even lunchtime, yet.

I spent the rest of the day working on redesigning the rest of Girlyshoes. It amazes me how much I can forget about computers when I'm not writing code all day long.

I tried to watch De-Lovely. I've been trying to watch it for four days. No sooner do I drop it in the DVD then the phone rings, or an errand needs to be run, or the dogs need to go out, or the cat throws up. I finally saw the end. I should have stayed with Cole in Paris, because life definitely took a down turn after the horse fell on him.

Finally sat down to eat dinner, and the Drunk Neighbor came over with a dog he'd found in the street. Said dog had a collar with a phone number on it, but the Drunk Neighbor couldn't be bothered to call it himself. It would be more fun to drag the little dog over to our house so the Noble Dog Nails and Miss JoJo could work themselves into a tumultuous uproar over the sight and smell of a stranger in their yard. Besides, the Drunk Neighbor said that he couldn't call because his wife was drunk.*

So the RLA and I called the number. It turned out to be the people who live on the corner--next door to the Drunk Neighbor (and his mortal enemies). Of course, they couldn't be bothered to actually come and get the little dog. No. They left him with us, and my dogs barking non-stop for another hour. Until I called again (third time) and said if they didn't come get him, I'd walk him down to them. RIGHT. NOW.

Another ten minutes and they DROVE!!! out of their driveway, and two doors down. Except they are too lame for words, and parked in the driveway of the house between us. Lame. Lame. Lame.

Then there was the obligatory complaints about the construction, and the notes of who's selling now that the construction has started, and the damned woman would have stood in the neighbor's driveway all night and chatted except the RLA and I insisted that dinner was getting cold and left.

And that was life in Miz Shoes neighborhood.

* His wife is ALWAYS drunk. Ugly, stinking, screaming, channeling-the-snake-god drunk. She's not allowed in my house, anymore.
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

At Least I Have a Door

The office I'm in has four walls and a door. These are real walls, not wall-ettes: they go all the way to the ceiling, not nose level. There isn't a window, but hell, I have the real walls and the door.

Today, and for the last month or so, I've been particularly thankful for the door. I've mentioned before that my team shares office space with another team. Their work habits require me to use my door as a sound baffle.

The woman across the hall leaves her door open, and only uses speaker phone. All day. She also listens to particularly bad radio and sings, but that's a walk in the park compared to her speaker phone abuse.

The Toxic Manager manages by standing over his employees, way too close, and watching them work. And sits behind them and tells them what to click on with their mouses. And just hangs around pontificating in an unidentifiable accent that makes everything he says sound like Laurence of Arabia talking to his camel "hut hut hut".

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