Miz Shoes

She Moves Up, She Moves Back

In this case, and believe me, I am as sick of these entries about the trials and tribulations of code writing as you all are, I have achieved a small break through in the photo pages, i.e.: the formatting is displaying more or less correctly, and the categories are right, even though the photos themselves don’t actually display… yet…but now I’ve lost the customization of my technorati tag cloud.

I’m sick of this code war. I’m sick of not sewing.

The RLA is facing losing his two classes this semester because the full-time faculty’s classes didn’t fill, so they have the right to usurp his. Of course, his classes fill because they are advertised as being his classes, and students line up to study under him. Duh. That’s why his classes are full and the full-timers aren’t.

I went to visit my mother this weekend, and she was…not alert, to say the least. But the aides laughed and told me that she’s a good eater, and she’s gaining a little weight.

At work, there is a storm on the horizon and change in the air, and none of it is good.

But tomorrow? Tomorrow is another day, and Star and the Surrogate Daughters and I are going to go to a Marlins game after work. They are playing (in the miserable cement heat sink of Dolphins’ Stadium) the Atlanta Braves. It is one of those amusing quirks of baseball that no matter how deep in the cellar the Fish are, nor how high in the standings the Braves are, that more times than not, the Marlins will beat the Braves. And that, gentle readers, is Why I Love Baseball.

Miz Shoes

Orange Blossom Special

Well, the University of Miami has decided, after a long, hard look at the money, to abandon the historic Orange Bowl and move to Dolphin Stadium. While this sucks and is typical of the wanton disregard for history and tradition that is traditional in the Magic City (Miami), there is a silver lining here, maybe, and that is this: since the OB is certain to be fodder for redevelopment, maybe, just maybe, this centrally located space can be turned into a baseball stadium for my sorta-beloved Florida Marlins.

The Marlins are stuck playing in the nasty cement heat sink that is Dolphin Stadium, and while being a cement heat sink isn’t so bad if you are playing football in what passes for the winter, it is absolute death in August for baseball. Not to mention the fact that the stadium does not convert well, with wonky corners in left field.

A few years ago I had figured out the perfect place for the baseball stadium, but nobody would listen to me and today that spot is occupied by something called “Jungle Island”, but which used to be Parrot Jungle. Of course, and again, this being Miami, the original Parrot Jungle was located in a tropical paradise of banyan trees, lagoons and 50-year old native plantings, but the neighbors complained about the free range Macaws and the riff-raff who came from out of the neighborhood to have breakfast with the flamingos and cockatiels, so the Parrot Jungle moved to a barren fill island in Biscayne Bay and had to build a tropical jungle from scratch. And that caused a drop off in attendance (well, the heat, the lack of shade and foliage and the rise in entrance fee from $10 to $35) and so now the newly-renamed Jungle Island is sort of struggling, when it could have been a beautiful baseball stadium with boat dockage for the sky boxes, and a view of the downtown skyline, and the wet dream of the tourist industry: an aerial view of the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay surrounding the lush green of a real grass diamond, with the white cruise ships in the channel… telecast during a spring training day game while the snow is six feet deep in the rust belt.

Hey, I’m not bitter. Nobody listens to the prophet in his own time. Anyway. Now there is the very real possibility of a domed stadium in (almost) downtown. Will it happen? Not bloody likely, this IS Miami after all, and what better use for an obsolete (but not really) sports facility than overpriced housing in an over-saturated market?

I’ll give you odds that the Orange Bowl does not become the Marlins’ state of the art, retro-but-domed palace of play, but instead becomes Orange Bowl Towers, a state of the art condo tower with studios starting at $200,000.

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

Isn’t It Ironic?

Last night, on the train home, I sat in front of a gentle-looking soul with an acoustic guitar. He strummed and plucked quietly and well. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear him, because the asshole in front of me was shrieking into his cell phone the whole trip. The irony? The asshole was holding a copy of The New Times, with its headline: If Silence is a Virtue, Miami is Going to Hell.

Also, a special shout-out to Kathleen and Muv:

Miz Shoes

Back on the Train Gang

It's my first day at my (latest) newest job. I'm an executive assistant for a guy I've worked for twice before in the past 15 years. I hope that this one sticks. He's a great boss, and an intensely odd fellow. I absolutely adore him.
We once had a screaming match over whether or not he should have told me that Joe Dimaggio* was a patient at our hospital BEFORE he checked out. Our conversation was at top volume, held in the middle of the office, and went something like this.

Me: You should have told me. I would have prostrated myself on his floor and begged for an autograph.

Boss: No. He's a fucking Yankee pig.

Me: Hall of Fame Yankee pig. Joltin' Joe? Married to Marilyn? American icon? Worth prostrating for an autograph.

Boss: No. Fucking Yankee pig. And a real asshole.


Well, it went on like that at some length. How could you NOT want to work for a man who has no respect for one of the greatest of all baseball players ever, just because he played for the (Evil) New York Yankees.

The boss and I agree that the designated hitter rule is an abomination and only National League play is real baseball.

Anyway. I'm back on the train in the morning. There will be photos, of course, of unpardonable sins against sartorial reason, and other crimes, like putting on foundation while in public. But I'm so in love with the Overheard In New York site, that I may start putting up actual eavesdropped conversations.

It's late. I put in a ten-hour day, and I'm making dinner while I write this, so in the immortal words of S. Pepys, and so, to bed.

*face lift.
Miz Shoes

Today Is NOT Superbowl Sunday

A fact that everybody in the known universe seemed to know except me and the people who printed my calendar, where today has printed on it "Superbowl Sunday." This calendar has all kinds of holidays printed on it, and I am now wondering if any others of them are wrong.
So here I am planning a party and making menus and pestering the RLA to let me buy a widescreen, big screen, HDTV to watch the big game... a game where I am forced to admit I haven't a clue who's playing, but you need all that for the commercials.

It's next week. Next week. February. Since when does football season run all the way up to spring training?

Oh well, it just gives me that much more time to work on my menus.

I'm planning on making orange marmalade sometime this week, since the sour orange tree in the front yard has outdone itself with fruit this year, and I can only marinade so much chicken, and even my housekeeper is giving me the fish eye when I ask if she'd like any more sour oranges.
Miz Shoes

I, Running Dog

The worst epithet that could be hurled back in the day was that someone was a "Running Dog Capitalist" or the "Running Dog" of capitalism. It meant that you were capable of anything, as long as it proffited you, personally. It was similar, but not exactly the same as being called someone's lap dog.
Which brings up Alexander Pope's famous doggerel on a dog collar:

"I am my Highness' dog at Kew,
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?"

As of yesterday, I became the running dog of the division's Vice President. Yesterday, I was ordered to send out a department-wide call for volunteers to do a day of hard labor out in the fields (literally) for Hands on Miami Day.

Last year, I was happy to coordinate the effort, and put my all into it, and got about a 30% participation, not bad for a corporate culture of non-volunteerism.

This year, I stormed into the PHB's office and told him that after the shit that has been heaped on us over the past few months, the contemptible way we have been treated, and the way we are all in God's Waiting Room (job-wise) that this had to be the most morally reprehensible act I'd ever been asked to commit in the line of professional duty. He got all snotty back at me and said he'd send out the call. And I should tell him how to find the information about Hands on Miami.

To which I replied, "Fine. Just. Fucking. Fine. I'll do it, but, I. AM. NOT. PLEASED." All the while thinking, how do you find information on the web? You? The fucking manager of web services, the lord and master of all things web in this hospital? You? Well, I wouldn't think of opening Google and typing "Hands On Miami" into the search box, or anything. No. YOU will find information by ordering me to look for it and write you a report in single syllable words, and then read it to you, out loud, explaining what I mean every step of the fucking way. You moron.

And by the way, as of Monday? There will be no layoffs in this department, after all. Some small, very small, number of reassignments. But why lay some people off when you can outsource an entire department in one fell swoop?

And on another topic altogether, if you've read this far:

What the fuck is up with the Boston Red Sox? Don't they know there's a fucking curse on all their houses? Don't they know that the world will end if they win the World Series?

Dogs and cats together.

Bite me.
Miz Shoes


Well, kiddies, the New Shoes have fully propagated. Don't you just L-U-V them? I do.

On the other hand, the list of Things I Do NOT Love has expanded exponentially lately.

Last night, watching the Olympics on NBC, there was a color piece about the original games. It opened with these words:

"While the theory of evolution is highly controversial, there is no disputing evolution of sports..." or some similar tripe. But the reporter definitely said that the theory of evolution is highly controversial. To whom? Creationists, maybe, but I can't think of any other group of civilized humans who question the evidence. Are we going to have a new Scopes Monkey Trial in this century?

And for NBC to broadcast something so pandering and, well, flat out stupid... I'm speechless. For once.

Other things that I've seen on the Olympics that make me see stars (and not in a good way) include the new Corvette commercials that sexualize pre-pubescent children. Children, I may add, who are shown driving, and driving with wild, video-game abandon. Oh, yeah. Real fucking responsible.

Then we have the devotion to the stars and the hotties. I'm watching swimming, for example, and the sportscasters are talking (non-fucking-stop) about one athelete or another, and how they are expected to win, and how they're currently swimming behind the pack, and there, in some other lane, completely unremarked upon, is a dark horse tearing up the water, and winning the gold, which is just an apostrophe to the "real" story.

Another thing that I have lately come to detest is that stupid bright yellow rubber band that signifies Lance Armstrong's something or other. He won, OK. He beat cancer. He's got a cool girlfriend. He's got some charity. Fine. Do we all have to wear the yellow rubber bands?

I didn't think so.
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

Utterly Devoid of Humor

Yesterday the train was packed on the morning ride. It was a sea of teal and black as folks flocked downtown to grab a spot on the curb for the Marlins' tickertape parade. Parents with kids and old people and business women who just happened to have chosen to wear a black suit with a turquoise blouse to work that day.

From somewhere behind me came a voice, a judgmental and carrying voice. "Where are these people's priorities?" the woman whinnied. "Why should these men be called heroes just because they can hit a ball? Why have a parade? Those men dying in (pause as she struggles to remember exactly where we've sent our men and women to slaughter and be slaughtered) Iraq, they're heroes, because they didn't want to be there."

Forgive me as I stifle a yawn. Au contraire, my humorless worker bee, every single one of the men and women in Iraq signed up for the privilege of defending our right to have a parade for baseball players. Maybe not in so many words, but there you are. In case you don't remember, America has a totally volunteer military. Not one person is there because they were conscripted. They may not have actually wanted to serve in a hot war, but they chose a career where that was a possibility.

And that begs the question, Madame, did you, if you think that the war in Iraq is a bad thing, did you write or call your legislator and voice that opinion? Did you vote in the last presidential election? Do you ever vote? Do you ever voice an opinion to the men and women representing you in Washington, who have the power to send those young heroes to war? Or do you just yap on the train, hoping to convince the world of your moral superiority, because you don't think a World Series deserves a parade.

Here's another question, you-who-are-too-serious-for-sports: would you rather your child be honored as an athlete, or a dead soldier?

When, as a nation, did we become so humorless? Is this grim reality a product of September 11, which the pundits claimed would put an end to irony forever? Or is this an outgrowth of political correctness, where all people must be equal, dammit, even if it means putting ballerinas in lead boots, and athletes in vision-destroying glasses.

That was the premise of Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions", which, I recall, I found tedious when I read it. Perhaps Mr. Vonnegut was more of the visionary and less of the burned-out hack I thought him to be. Maybe it's time to re-read that book.

In the meantime, get over it. Tell a politically incorrect joke and smoke a cigarette while you drink a martini at lunch.
Miz Shoes


My team won that night. I was sitting in the middle of a clutch of Yankees fans. Hmmm, not particularly gracious in defeat, that bunch. But then, my motto has always been "Obnoxious in victory, bitter in defeat.", which actually could be the motto of both the New York Yankees and the University of Florida Gators.

On Saturday, I watched the game with my 85-year-old father. Daddy summed up the experience when he said "The only thing that would have made this sweeter would have been to have the TV cameras on George Steinbrenner when his head blew up. You know he won't be sleeping tonight. He'll be up figuring out who to fire and who he can buy."

To all of the so-called baseball fans out there who complained that this wasn't the series the fans deserved, that they should have seen the Red Sox and the Cubs, I'd like to say: Bite my teal blue ass.

This was a great, a fucking great, a fucking great, classic World Series. The Marlins came from behind to get into the wild card race, and beat Philllie. They were down against the Giants, and came back in three straight to beat Barry Bonds. They were down against the Cubs, and came back in three straight to beat Prior and Woods, back to back, in freakin' Wrigley Field. Something that hadn't been done in over a year. They were down against the New York Yankees, the dynasty, the mythology, the big honking money and egos, and popular opinion and what did they do? They came back and beat them, in the greatest baseball cathedral in the world. They beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium with Babe Ruth watching from Monument Garden. They played better, they played harder, and they played for the love of the game, because they were getting about 12 fans a game, and about minimum wage.

And I gotta say, too, and please don't make a liar out of me, Mr. Loria, that the owner, when he took the mic in the locker room after it was all over, sounded like an old time baseball guy. Like someone who loves the game. He thanked the fans, the coaches, the team, the manager, the staff. He grinned like a mule eating briars. He looked like a guy who isn't going to sell off the team so fast that by the time they get to the obligatory White House dinner, there won't be anyone left in a Marlins uniform who was on the field that night.

That's what Wayne Huizenga did, the bastard, and that's why the Marlins only get a handful of people in the park. Because we are STILL PISSED OFF.

And because it's a football stadium, dammit, no matter how many hot tubs you stick in the corners, and how many times you tell us it's really convertible to baseball. It isn't. It's hot. It's a cement funnel for heat. But that didn't matter to the fans at the end.

And what an end it was. That baby-faced, rocket-armed Beckett got the tag to end the game, the series, the season.

Damn, but I love this sport. And a thank you for some excellent reporting, Mr. Dan LeBatard, of the Miami Herald.
Miz Shoes


I'm going to my first World Series game tonight, and I am so psyched for this it's ugly. I'm wearing the lovely teal and black of my not-so-stinky Marlins. I have my official Marlins baseball cap. I'm wearing earrings best described as psycho-rainbow pirrahnas.

And I've made a sign to hold up as a shout out to all my friends in the Baseball Swap. It says, simply, GLUB!.

Why glub? Because the Tigers fan signs her e-mail with a roar. And what do fish say? Right.

I'll be in the right field foul corner, just above the Marlins' bullpen. Does life get any sweeter for a baseball fan? Yes, but only if we win.

Miz Shoes

Real Women Love Baseball

You know it and I know it. All women love baseball. It's outdoors, there are no stupid pads to distract from the players, uh, charms, and it's almost like ballet. It's a great sport, and when the cameras pan the stands, who's out there but women and lots of them.

So why, then, are all the World Series ads directed at men? Viagra, Levitra, Ford F150 trucks, Hummers, beer and jock itch powders. Oh. And that ratty Fran Drescher ogling a Carson Kressley look-alike commercial for Old Navy. Tell me that's aimed at straight women? I think not. I think not lesbians, either. In fact, I'm not really sure who that ad is for.

The last time I went to Shea, the Mets PR group had it figured out. They sold baby doll shirts for women, hair scrunchies, scarves. Like that.

I tell you, I'd like to see some chick ads during the world series. Victoria's Secret ads. Perfume ads. Sports car ads that show women driving. And speaking of women driving, has anyone ever seen a man drive a Hummer anywhere other than in the commercials? Not me. I only see the ubiquitous soccer moms, with cell phones up to their ears and no visible children. Which raises another question: since when is soccer the American Child's sport? What ever happened to baseball and softball? Or even kiddie football? What spin meister figured out that the most ear-catching sobriquet for that particular market sector should be "Soccer Mom"? Are the Soccer Moms married to the NASCAR dads?

Why can't there be Soccer Dads and NASCAR moms? Are there even NASCAR moms? What do they drive? Ford F150s? Rusted out beaters because the old man ain't paying child support like he's supposed to? Ick. I don't even want to think about this.

What I do want to think about is how those hot baby fish are going to bounce back tonight and beat the snot out of those overpaid, overexposed, over confident big, bad Yankees. And what I'm going to wear to the game tomorrow night.
Miz Shoes

Hell Will Have To Wait

I tried, I really tried. I went to the gym and worked out for an hour, to raise my tolerance for dumb. I got home, pulled some freshly-made guacamole out of the fridge, opened a bag of blue corn chips and collapsed on the couch.

I watched as the poor, dumb schmuck David was schooled in how to address the butler. He couldn't do it. Not a nice boy raised in the Southwest, he couldn't. Anybody older and/or in a position of authority is addressed as sir. Except, the butler kept trying to explain that David couldn't call him sir. David's response to this? "Yes, sir. Oops, sorry, sir, uh, Paul..." and it trailed off as he bit down on that last "sir."

The girls, on the other hand, had no problems ordering the staff around and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. And smoking, lord love 'em, they are smokers. They also sleep really late, and bitched and moaned about having to get up at 8 in the morning, hung over. They come down to breakfast in sunglasses, discussing how they look like rock stars.

At the meeting where the joke is set up, they fall for it, hook, line and sinker (fishing reference for people looking for a comment on the World Series and the Marlins). The chick hostess says, the guy who wants to meet you is an American cowboy. This pushes buttons like you cannot believe. Someone says something like "We are European women, we do not think this is funny." The hostess says, "An American cowboy with an 80 million dollar oil inheritance." The girls think that this is no longer a joke, and start getting all slitty-eyed at each other, calculating what it will take to win the cowboy's heart.

Cut to the cowboy getting to pick out his own horse for the next part of the scam. Ladies, I am here to tell you now that he is more attached to that horse than he will ever be to any of you. He took longer to pick it out, and felt better about it, than he will ever feel running this scam. The horse is real. You women are not.

And that was when I realized that I will not be able to watch this train wreck, no matter how much I wanted to. It just isn't fun to watch raw greed and unscrupulous behavior on display. Unless it's national politics, and then, well, it's a little bit slicker.

So, Jodi, don't worry. I just can't watch it. I'm going back to VH1, and the Independent Movie Channel, now.