Miz Shoes

Blogging Under the Influence

I wrote this last night, but upon sober reflection in the clear light of day, it's worthy of publication.

It was hardly Proust's madelaine, but after a Very Difficult Week, I poured a stiff apple martini. I poured a hot bath, and added some bath salts and a brand new sea sponge. I treated myself to a mud mask and a foot sanding by micro-bead glass "lava."

Drink in one hand, I sank beneath the water and with the other hand scrubbed my face with the wet sea wool.

And then...

"What IS that stench?" he asked, the first time he smelled it.

"Newport. In the summer." I replied, with absolutely no hesitation. "Isn't it wonderful?"

Mix two parts red seaweed, one part each of salt and mildew and hot summer grass, and you have Newport. At least the way it is in my memories.

And morning fogs. Salty. When my brother and I and our grandfather would go and pick wild mushrooms for our grandmother to fry in butter for our breakfasts.

And Daddy, taking me to the wharf, where he'd buy fried clams in little grease-stained paper bags. It was our secret, something we could never tell Grandma, who thought she kept Kosher. Or at least more kosher than anyone else (sharp look at my parents) in the family did.

And then I see my cousin Milton, from the vantage point of the front steps, looking down into the street. He is in his candy apple red Mustang convertible, with a white leather interior. There is blue hydranga in the immediate foreground, just at the lower left edge of my peripheral vision. He has come to take me to a horse show. I remember the pink and white ribbons. I didn't know that there were any colors besides blue, red and yellow. Who'd want to win anything below third place, anyway?

And of course, there are the gardens. And the raspberries. But that's another memory, and not one to be found in a sea sponge.
Miz Shoes

Classic Satire, or This Never Gets Old

One of the funniest things I read during my college years was the Deteriorata, a spoof of the Desiderata. It appeared in the National Lampoon, and was written by the great Tony Hendra. As my life slips out of my control, and I have to recite the Serentity Prayer over and over in my head, I thought the time had come to revisit something that is a little more relevant to me, and little more to my way of thinking.

Go placidly amid the noise and the waste and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Avoid quiet & passive persons unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself & heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys; know what to kiss & when.

Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted that in the face of all aridity & disillusionment & despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance. Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle & mutilate.

Know yourself; if you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you -- that lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face.

Gracefully surrender the things of youth, birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan; & let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 555-4311; ask for Ken. Take heart amid the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese; & reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee.

You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here, & whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back.

Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive Him to be -- Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin.

With all its hopes, dreams, promises, & urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. Give up.

Copyright © National Lampoon. Written by Tony Hendra.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; Many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful - Strive to be happy.

'The Desiderata of Happiness' by Max Erhmann, Copyright © 1948 by Bertha K. Erhmann
Miz Shoes


I have a raging sinus infection. Is it moldy air-conditioning vents? Is is brush fires? Is it something else?

Don't know, don't particularly care.

Want teeth to stop throbing. Want head to stop hurting. Want sinuses to stop bleeding into the back of my throat.

Yeah. Way too much information. On the other hand: I'm wearing the cutest little drag queen shoes today. For them, I even forego my usual rule about white shoes.

And here's a close up of the bling and matching toenail polish. Hey! I practice what I preach, people.

Miz Shoes

No Pun Too Low

This was yesterday's Savage Chicken cartoon.

Savage Chickens

I love me a bad pun.

A Very Long Time ago, when I was young enough to be president of the Dade County Young Democrats I went on a radio talk show to debate the president of the Dade County Young Republicans about a woman's right to choose. (That's abortion rights to you). He was sincere in his beliefs that women should have the right to consult with men who could make the decision for her. I was and am sincere in my belief that it ain't nobody's business but my own. (And by my, I mean each woman and her own conscience and her own body.)

The POTDCYR postulated thus: "What if you and I met at a party and went home together and made love and you got pregnant? Wouldn't I have some say in what happens next?" To which I replied, quicker than it took him to get through Part B of his sentence:


The host cracked up. I cracked myself up, and the poor Republican tool spent the rest of the hour trying to convince me that it was not totally out of the realms of possibility that I could ever find him attractive enough to go to bed with him.

Lost cause, even if he hadn't been a dweeb. I NEVER (knowingly) slept with a Republican.
Miz Shoes

The Lost Weekend

I spent the entire weekend in my pyjamas. Eeyore ones, in lavender, if you must know. I slept late, took naps, finished one quilt top and got a third of the way through another. I made a pan of brownies, roasted a turkey breast, had a couple of tangerine martinis, made a big bowl of tabouli, and a dinner of angel hair pasta with steamed rabe, sauced simply with the best olive oil and a little red wine vinegar and a handful of shaved parmesan cheese.

I watched another several episodes of Firefly (and how did I ever miss that when it was on?) and a couple of movies and the season finale of the Sopranos.

I did not answer the phone, or read my e-mail or work on my blog or my very overdue podcasts. I did not leave the house, not once, not even to get the mail or walk the dogs.

And you know what? It was fucking divine.

Here are some of the random thoughts that came to me over the past two days:
1. In a battle between fingernails and fabric, fabric will always win. Especially if it's silk.

2. I first saw my little house in the rain, and it is still at its best in the rain. It's snug, and the rain mists down through the screen over the pool, and seems like it's in the living room. I love this house in the rain.

3. I am the biggest dilletante I know. About pretty much everything.

4. The New York Times Sunday crossword is best done in bed, with a cup of coffee on a tray.

5. Just because you sleep in till 10 a.m., that doesn't preclude an afternoon nap, especially if there is a thunderstorm.

That is all.
Miz Shoes

In Which I Throw Out a Question

Leave your answer in the comments section, please, because I'm at work and don't have time to research the code for a real poll.

Do you have in your closet (or attic, or where ever) a pair of shoes which you no longer wear, for what ever reason, but which you absolutely cannot part with?

I have several, myself, including a pair of 80's post-modern pop, magenta suede pumps. Photo will come later.
Miz Shoes

Sticky Words

There's a little meme going on here and here and here, and for a while, I considered doing it here.

There are a couple of things that will stick with me forever, such as my grandfather saying to the room, upon the arrival of my girl cousin "Oh. Now the pretty one is here." Ouch. Thanks, Grandpa.

And then the ever popular comment by a former boss regarding my attendance at a meeting to discuss the hospital developing a web site: "Nobody wants to hear what you have to say: you're only going to tell us what we're doing wrong and it doesn't have to be done right, it only has to be done."
But those are such negative things. I thought I'd mix it up a little and tell you about other words...written words, that changed me and stayed with me and that I have to read now and again, just to make sure that they are forever etched on my soul.

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit."

"I saw this morning morning's minion"

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."

And this, which was later stolen (or adapted, whatever) for the greatest scene Kevin Costner ever played, and which I give you in its entirety.

From "The Bushwhacked Piano" by Thomas McGuane copyright 1971.

"What I believe in? I believe in happiness, birth control, generosity, fast cars, environmental sanity, Coor's beer, Merle Haggard, upland game birds, expensive optics, helmets for prizefighters, canoes, skiffs and sloops, horses that will not allow themselves to be ridden, speeches made under duress; I believe in metal fatigue and the immortality of the bristlecone pine. I believe in the Virgin Mary and others of that ilk. Even her son whom civilization accuses of sleeping at the switch." Missus Fitzgerald was seen to leave the room, Ann to gaze into her lap. "I believe that I am a molecular swerve not to be put off by the zippy diversions of the cheap-minded. I believe in the ultimate rule of men who are sleeping. I believe in the cargo of torpor which is the historically registered bequest of politics. I believe in Kate Smith and Hammond Home Organs. I believe in ramps and drop-offs." Fitzgerlad got out too, leaving only Payne and Ann; she, in the banishing of her agony and feeling she was possibly close to Something, raised adoring eyes to the madman. "I believe in spare tires and emergency repairs. I believe in the final possum. I believe in little eggs of light falling from outer space and the bombardment of the poles by free electrons. I believe in tintypes, rotogravures and parked cars, all in their places. I believe in roast spring lamb with boiled potatoes. I believe in spinach with bacon and onion. I believe in canyons lost under the feet of waterskiers. I believe that we are necessary and will rise agian. I believe in words on paper, pictures on rock, intergalactic hellos. I believe in fraud. I believe that in pretending to be something you aren't you have your only crack at release from the bondage of time. I believe in my own dead more than I do in yours. What's more, credo in unum deum, I believe in one God. He's up there. He's mine. And he's smart as a whip.

"Anyway," he said melifluously and with a shabbily urbane gesture, "you get the drift. I hate to flop the old philosophy on the table like so much pig's guts. And I left out a lot. But, well, there she is."

And it was too. Now and again, you have to check the bread in the oven."
Miz Shoes

Random Crap Floating to the Surface

I have a number of things on my mind today which I would like to share.

1. Again with the back pack strapped to the chest. No. No. No. Also, to quote the lovely POTES, if it's cold enough for a zipped-up, mock turtle neck jacket, it's probably cold enough for pants.


2. When entering a train, or bus, or other transportation device, one should move on to the center of the car, or take a seat or do something other than STAND IN THE FUCKING DOORWAY! Christ, people, it is not rocket science. It's barely more than breathing. Diagram to follow.

3. ANTM. Jade wins a challenge by kissing a giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Is anyone surprised? It looks like her brother. She also tortured the gently bewildered and speech impedimented Gina with the roach. And you guys got your knickers in a twist when Lisa peed in a diaper? Head shaking is all I can do.

4. Finally, who wants a t-shirt or a coffee mug? I'm thinking, what with my ability to master new things (Pandemonium Midnight Uploading podcasts are available on i-tunes, remember?) that maybe what this site needs is a Cafe Press offering.
Miz Shoes

T Minus One and Counting

I'm goofing around today, trying to find things to occupy my mind and hands before I go in for surgery tomorrow. I want to play in my sewing studio, but I'm afraid to handle needles and sharp objects like my sewing shears. I think the safest thing for me today is knitting and reading.

It is such a tourist-bureau-perfect day in Miami that I'm debating about going to see the Dale Chihuly exhibit, or make a run to an outdoor market. If the RLA drives, that should be safe, huh?

PS: I've nicknamed the offended digit "Frankenpinkie" and it must be said in the best, Gene Wilder "Young Frankenstein" accent, thusly:

Miz Shoes

What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits

I've been remiss in my blogging, in my off-line private journaling, in my correspondence, in my workout schedule, in my housework, in my banking, in pretty damn near everything in which I could possibly be remiss.

I have made up a short list of, not exactly resolutions, but things I want to be able to say, this time next year, that I have accomplished.
  • Podcasting. RJ and I have a library of sound files from our days in radio comedy, and I intend to put them on-line.

  • Skinning. Once and for all, I want to learn how to skin this site and make it work correctly.

  • Sales. Time to put some of my quilts and other hand-mades for sale, and on-line.

  • Finish. Anything, really, but specifically three or four quilts that are in various stages of completion, or non-completion.

  • Fit into the jeans I bought yesterday. They are way, way, way too small, and I don't buy clothes that don't fit, but they were also way, way, way too cool, and have given me an incentive.
  • Miz Shoes

    A Yiddish Mystery

    Back in the day, when the family still owned the store, all of us grandchildren were expected to be the sort of walking advertising you just can't buy. We were all clotheshorses, and we came from a family of clotheshorses, and the family business was clothing. There were tailors and ladies dressmakers and milliners up in the branches of our family tree, and that was that. There was no questioning the edict. We were to dress well whenever we appeared in public.
    This was particularly difficult for me, because I used to ride my bike twenty miles a day after school, and longer on the weekends, and it was cutoffs and tank tops on my bike. Daddy hated me to come to the store dressed like that, and, thirsty or not, it was in through the back door, and back out. No witnesses.

    And then, too, it was the 60s, and I was in the first incarnation of my hippydippy dress: granny boots, maxi skirts, ponchos, crocheted things. Whenever I appeared like that, my mother and father would look at me and announce with scorn, that I was wearing a (what sounded to me like) lopsedeckle, which, they assured me, was Yiddish for "shapeless horse blanket."

    Of course, my mother also swore to me that "keebebe und katchka feeder" meant pot roast. It does not. It means horse shit and duck feet, or something like that. But she always said that was what was for dinner on nights she made pot roast (which I thoroughly disliked) so, pot roast it was.

    Anyway, I have been thinking a lot lately about lopsedeckles, and how the current trend towards sweater coats seems to epitomize the image. They only look good on Uma Thurman, or Gwynneth Paltrow or any other excessively willowy thing. On short, plump secretaries, they look like, well, like a horse blanket. Especially when they are made of some lumpy acrylic yarn, and they either need to be washed or have been over-(machine)-washed and dried, been sat on for hours and gotten miserably stretched out over the ass.

    While I'm on the subject of acrylic, this fake fur thing has got to stop, and now. Real fur does not get matted, or nappy, doesn't look grimy and lasts and lasts and lasts. Fake fur cuffs and collars get ratty looking after the first wash, and go down hill from there.

    But I digress. Because I've been thinking about the infamous lopsedeckles of my youth, and I wanted to write about them for you, I hopped on board the internets and did a quick search of Yiddish terms. Even allowing for the spelling variations (Yiddish being basically an onomatopeoic language) there is no lopesedeckle.

    There is, however, this:

    "Leibtzudekel - Sleeveless shirt (like bib) with fringes, worn by orthodox Jews"

    That has to be it, yeah? But there must have been some sort of slang usage, because, well, because my mother and father never would have condemned me for looking like an orthodox yeshiva boy, would they?
    Miz Shoes

    Miss Congeniality

    Miss JoJo graduated from puppy school last night, and although she was smart enough to carry her biscuit back to her place in line before she ate it, she was hardly the valedictorian. True to herself, though, she was voted Friendliest Dog, or, as I like to call her, Miss Congeniality.

    What a hoot.
    In other bubbles of non-information that are rumbling around in my head, today is my cousin's birthday. He's a still photographer for major motion pictures, and thanks to him, I am three degrees of Kevin Bacon. This is good bar conversation fodder.

    The Bob has signed a contract with XM Radio to host a show starting in March 06. This means I now have to get xm radio in my car or house or some damn place.

    I have yet another new addiction now that ANTM is over for the season, (NIK WUZ ROBBED!!) and that is Project Runway. I somehow missed it last year, so I don't understand why I'm supposed to hate Daniel so much. Since he seems to be a neurotic mess with sloppy hair and meticulous tailoring skills, I, of course, love him and want him to win. And, seriously, what's up with the bitch who won't share her closest space?
    Miz Shoes

    It’s Full of Stars

    I've spent the last week powerless. Hurricane Wilma (who thinks up these names, anyway?) took out the power for most of Florida, topped my favorite mango tree, decapitated the grafted side of the avocado tree, and almost killed my koi.
    The RLA and I were out there with bicycle pumps, trying to keep the koi aereated while our generator was being repaired. The koi are troopers, though, and came through just fine, unlike the awning over them.

    For almost a week, I could go out at night and see the Milky Way, even though I live in an urban wasteland. The nights were cool and, except for the rattle and gasp of the generators, quiet. You could, if you were listening, hear the owl in the old tree next door, or the peeping of the tree frogs.

    We need to rethink our cities, the way we live, so that you can always see the stars.

    I rose with the sun, and went to bed with the sun. I knitted and read by candlelight. I took sponge baths with water that had been heated on the gas stove. The RLA and I were out in the yard all day, sawing up the downed trees with hand tools, because we don't own a chain saw.

    I made coffee in a French press, and we kept our milk cool with a block of ice.

    Everyone I know has been complaining of the horrors of being without electricity, but you know? I loved it. I loved being aware of the hours of the day by the location of the sun or the moon. I loved being able to walk in the street and talk to my neighbors who are usually in their own hermetically sealed cocoons. We shared ice, water, flashlights, stories, alcohol and the experience.

    I thought it was wonderful.

    Frankly, the biggest hardship for me was having to watch America's Next Top Model on a hand-held, battery-operated tv with a screen the size of a matchbox.

    Oh, there's more, of course. This was the first hurricane of my life where I actually felt fear. Well, what I felt was the roof lift. It is an indescribable sensation, but there was no doubt as to what the change in pressure was. The roof held. There are no leaks. The power is back on. People are started to be assholes to each other again.

    Life as we know it, is back to normal.
    Miz Shoes

    The Haircut



    The tail.


    The cut.

    It's been a busy weekend at Girlyshoes. The RLA and I had a road trip Saturday, partly on purpose and partly by accident. We had planned to go to Boca to pick up fireworks for the Fourth, added in a jaunt to Lake Worth to see a tattoo artist, and at the last minute rounded off the day with a chance to meet Dan.
    And the plan went off without a hitch, if, by without a hitch, you mean that the RLA got the name of the tattoo shop wrong, and copied their phone number wrong, and I read the map to the fireworks store wrong, and caused us to drive about ten miles east of where we needed to be, which in turn let us take the very scenic drive north to Lake Worth on Old Dixie Highway.

    Well worth the drive, however, was Altered State when we finally found it. I ended up with a new tattoo. I don't know why it is that the RLA, who WANTS a new tattoo, can go to a tattooist and leave with nothing, and I end up with ink. They (tattoos) are like potato chips: nobody can have just one.

    Scott is my newest ink idol. Not only is his color sense incredible, but he also has a wicked capacity to draw freehand, and his touch with the needle is very light.

    He added a flaming star to my existing angel cat. When he asked if the flames were a little too hotrodish for me, the RLA just snorted and said "Hell no. She's a gear head." Isn't he romantic? And he even paid for the work.

    After the star was done, we went back south on I-95 to Donny Aaron's Arsenal of Fireworks, a 6,000 square foot, air-conditioned palace of all things Black Cat. Smoking eyeballs, a case of bottle rockets and more things that blow up or emit smoke, flames, shooting balls of fire, or sparks later, we were ready to head even further south and east to meet up with Dan.

    In order for him to recognize me, I wore my "I'm blogging this" t-shirt. It worked. It also worked that I forgot to take along his cell phone number, and since we'd had a couple of unexpected extensions on our drive and were running late, I ended up calling the restaurant to tell them if a tall guy with glasses and a shaved head came in looking for someone, but he wasn't sure exactly who? that would be Dan-the-blogger and they should seat him at the bar and tell him that MizShoes-the-blogger would be along shortly. Dan was recognized as such, and was happily slapping back a bourbon and beer when we arrived. He did keep them separate, so it wasn't technically a boiler maker. Not wanting, ever, to let a guy drink alone, I had a shot of tequilla and a beer chaser. The RLA is always the designated driver, and I the designated drinker, so things worked out well.

    Dan is as wonderful in person as he is in pixels, and a fun time was had by all. I think. He wouldn't have lied about it, would he? No. Dan left with a bag of mangos, fresh off the tree. I hope they made it back to the other coast without getting impounded at the border.

    On Sunday night, I was in the kitchen when I heard Jojo chewing on something that didn't sound like a doggie toy. It was a box of safety matches. I pried it from her jaws and noted that the box was burned along one edge. Ever attentive to details like that, I went off looking for the matches. Yes. Yes, most of them were burned as well. It seems that she was somehow able to light the box of matches whilst chewing on them. Only I could have a dog that plays with matches. Luckily for all involved, her muzzle did not catch on fire, my kitchen cabinets did not catch on fire, her mouth was not burned by either fire or sulphur, and the tile floor only had a tiny scorch mark. She must have slobbered enough to put the spark out. That's why fire should be left to professionals, or at least persons with opposable thumbs.

    Yesterday we packed up the fireworks and headed over to the Rancho De M&RJ for a traditional bbq. There was beer, burgers, doggies, potato salad, grilled corn, grilled chicken and much hilarity among the participants. For desert there was red velvet cake with blueberry sorbet inside. Then fireworks at the park. Then more blowing things up at their house. There was even real fire, when the spinning flaming thing that we nailed to a tree in the back yard caught the dead leaves below the tree on fire. Luckily one of the gang had gone into the house for more beer, and saw the flames in the back yard when they were merely three feet high, and we were able to put the fire out with a garden hose.

    That's why fire should be left to professionals.

    Didn't stop us, though. Once the fire was out, we were all back in the front yard blowing up more stuff. Did you know that a six-foot pvc pipe makes a most excellent launch pod for an M-80 bottle rocket? Now you do.

    Happy fifth.

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