Miz Shoes

Minor League

One would think, after all these years, that I would know better than to take my husband's recommendations for movies. But, no. I went with him last night to see "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

It blew. It blew large, frothy chunks. What unadulterated, misbegotten crap with a side order of dreck.

There was a plot... just less of one than the comic book on which it was based.

There were recognizable characters, but only by name, and only if you'd read a lot of Victorian-era literature, or at least had seen the movies based on those books. Having said that, only the names were familiar, because the characters were mere caricatures of the originals. And original this shlock was not.

How anyone with even a passing knowledge of "Tom Sawyer" would extrapolate that wild youth in to a "Wild, Wild West"-style government agent speaks to the theory of alcohol abuse or pre-frontal lobotomy.

Mina Harker, the widow of Jonathan Harker of "Dracula" fares no better. She has become a, uh, um, chemist? scientist of nebulous specificity. She is also a daylight-dwelling vampire with never-healing neck wounds. Mina also makes dubious wardrobe choices, appearing alternately in widow's weeds with a net veil (I'm guessing that passes for her sunscreen), a marvelously tooled black leather corset and an 1890's stenographer's white middy blouse and walking skirt -- worn with her long hair loose, which, as any indifferent student of the era can tell you, was acceptable only for young, un-married virgins.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the house: Jekyll with red-rimmed eyes and an ability to see (and talk to) Mr. Hyde in mirrors and other reflective surfaces. Hyde himself wears a top hat made to fit, despite the fact that the rest of his costume is shredded like the Hulk's clothes after a transformation. In one of the more jarring stylistic anachronisms, Mr. Hyde also looks like he was designed by Todd Mcfarlane. When one of the bad guys drinks the Hyde juice (an entire retort of it in one face-wetting, Gator-Aide style splash) he becomes more Hyde-like than Hyde, and his head and neck appear to be sprouting from somewhere around his sternum. That's when I started laughing and my husband had to poke me and tell me to be quiet, not everyone in the theater wanted to be informed as to the exact points of suckiness.

Alan Quartermain, Dorian Gray, Moriarty and Captain Nemo all make appearances, as does *an* invisible man, but not *the* Invisible Man. This invisible man even refers to "the franchise." Ugh. The dialogue, such as it is, relies heavily on late 20th century American slang.

The star of this mess is probably the Nautilus, Nemo's ship. (And remind me again how Nemo became an Indian, a pirate and a worshipper of Kali?) This is not the Nautilus from Disney's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." No, this a Nautilus the length of a 7th Fleet aircraft carrier and the width of an original VW bug. Except on the inside, in true fantasy film form, where it is incredibly spacious and impeccably white. Despite its size, the Nautilus is capable of navigating the canals of Venice, going so far as to be seen passing under the Bridge of Sighs.

That was when my mind overloaded from the impossibility of it all, and so I cannot explain how the League went from Venice to Inner Mongolia where they destroyed a lot of things and, uh, beat the bad guys (Moriarty and Gray) and lived (?) happily (?) ever after. Except for Gray, who saw his portrait and the evil transferred from it to him and caused him to spontaneously discorporate, and Moriarty who gets shot in the back from half a mile away and goes down, and Quartermain, who may be dead and buried (back in Africa), but who may not stay that way, because there's a witch doctor doing the hoodoo that he do so well over the grave and then thunder splits the sky and the credits roll.

And then so did my stomach, and not from the popcorn.
Miz Shoes

How Cool is This?

You know, every now and then something happens, randomly, that just makes you happy to be in this place and this time. It just happened to me, not five minutes ago. One of the guys from the office on the south side of the building wandered in and said "Manatee sighting." Huh? What do you mean? "I mean, manatees in the canal below our office."

I was out of my seat in a shot and across the hall, nose pressed against the window. Yep. There were two manatees, slowly cruising up stream. A larger and a smaller. I immediately identified them as a mother and calf. Of course, the calf was the size of a Volkswagen, but a calf, nonetheless.

They swam upstream for a while, and then they turned and headed back the way they came. There we were, half a dozen computer geeks, all lined up and smiling at the very randomness of nature in the tropics.

I have a mango in the refrigerator for lunch. I saw manatees. The sun is filtered and hazy today, but from my side of the building I can see the skyline of South Beach.

Hey... it's a great life, if you don't weaken.
Miz Shoes

Well, It’s Alright

One of my favorite Traveling Willbury's tunes. Played it on the way to the 'rents' house and found there a pleasant surprise.
Daddy is looking a little better, and eating a little better. Mummy could string a whole sentence together, coherently. Of course, it was totally delusional and angry, but it was a sentence. By the evening, we were back to disjointed words, strung out to sentence length.

I also got to go out to a movie with my brother and sister in law. I figure I haven't seen a movie with my brother since we were teenagers. He couldn't remember the last time, either.

We went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean." What a hoot. Now I love swashbucklers, anyway, and I'd watch Johnny Depp read the phone book, but this was just a delight.

There's humor, of course, and fabulous special effects, but it is Depp's movie.

What an underrated actor. Everyone talks about how he can play the odd characters, but nobody recognizes his gift for physical comedy. The opening scenes are reminiscent of Buster Keaton. (And I will never forget the compelling version of the "Oceania Rolls" (Charlie Chaplin, Gold Rush) he did in "Benny and Joon".)

Where was I? Right. Physical comedy. Depp's said that he fashioned the character of Jack Sparrow on Keith Richards and Pepe le Pew. It is clearly so. From the squared shoulder, lead-with-the-pelvis, I'm not-so-drunk-that-I-can't-walk walk, to the dangles of beads in his hair, to the smudgy eye-liner all the way to the squint and flopping wrists, Depp has Richards pegged. And it works, beautifully.

Orlando Bloom, the bleached blonde Legolam (whoops, sorry, Legolas) from "Lord of the Rings" makes a lovely, and I do mean lovely, straight man slash love interest. Geoffrey Rush does a fair turn as a skanky bad pirate. But the movie belongs to Johnny Depp. There are times he's not on the screen, and you just want those moments to end, so you can watch Depp some more.

Definitely a see-more-than-once flick.

And then, yesterday, I got to spend time with my cousin. We went shopping, which was more like an improv comedy routine as we trolled the clothes.

All in all, it was a good weekend. And I've been promised that this weekend coming up, I can just hang in my own home and not answer the phone. Can it get any better?
Miz Shoes

Insatiable Reader

That's me. I'm a book whore. If its got ink, I'll read it. Here's the summer reading list. It's incomplete, and some of them are already finished, but for the bookworms among you (and you know who you are) this is what's on the current stack.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling)
Fluke (Christopher Moore)
The Sweet Potato Queens' Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner (Jill Conner Browne)
Gramercy Park (Paula Cohen)
Absolutely American (David Lipsky)
Benjamin Franklin (Walter Isaacson)
Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd (Richard Zacks)
The South Beach Diet (Arthur Agatston)
Designing Web Usability (Jakob Nielsen)
Macromedia Dreamweaver MX Hands On Training
ColdFusion MX with Dreamweaver MX
Dreamweaver MX Killer Tips

In the case of the Sweet Potato Queens, I've already read all of the others. Ditto for all of Christopher Moore's books. Brilliant, spew coffee from your nose funny work.

The South Beach Diet is working for me, so I recommend it for anyone else who hates the concept of dieting but still needs to lower their cholesterol or drop a few pounds.

I am converting from Adobe GoLive to Dreamweaver/ColdFusion MX at the office, that explains the pile of code warrior texts.

But as you can see, my tastes are eclectic. Got any suggestions?
Miz Shoes

The Calla Lillies…

"The calla lillies are in bloom again, such a marvelous flower. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I carry them for another reason." Or something like that. It's the only impression I do of a famous person. And now, Miss Hepburn has joined the pantheon of the dead.

Well, the village theatre group where she and Greg Peck are now is just going to have the best season ever.

Actually, I do a fairly mean "I coulda been a contender." but that's another story.

I'm stalling here. I do not want to eat my oatmeal and fruit. I do not want to take my shower and dress, and I most certainly do not want to climb on the train and go back to work.

But since when has what one wants to do have anything at all to do with what one MUST do?
Miz Shoes

Aerobics Still Suck

My sistagirl dragged my sorry ass to an aerobics class Saturday morning. Early morning. 8:30 in the morning, to be exact. She got me by telling me about the music: "It's all, like, BeeGees, and disco and totally '80s. Just twist a bandana around your forehead and find some spandex and it'll be great." And I was all, like, yeah! That WILL be fun.

What drugs were flowing through my bloodstream? I hated aerobics classes in the 80s when I could still do them, before my knees just crumbled into bone meal inside some post-sell-date cartilage. I hated disco. I still hate disco. I spent the late 70s and early 80s pogoing at punk bars, and to this day have never once, not even for a minute done the Hustle.

And I went to an 80s revival aerobics class. Somewhere in the middle, as I was blowing like a aged cart horse trying to run the Preakness, and folding up with my head between my knees so I didn't pass out, I started cursing my friend. The disgustingly skinny, cute and preternaturally perky instructress kept bouncing past me and saying things like "Keepin' it movin', good work there in the back."

If I'd have been able, I would have cursed her, too. As it was I could barely lift my hands to shoulder lever to flip her the bird when her back was turned.

I'm going back tomorrow. But that class will be yoga. I am a master at the corpse pose.
Miz Shoes

Awww, Damn

This just came across the old ticker. Gregory Peck has died. I'm glad that he was able to see that his portrayal of Atticus Finch won AFI's number one slot as the all-time best movie hero. He was. The character was.

Just watched "Vanilla Sky" and Atticus as played by Gregory was the hero's archetype for fatherhood. Well, that just put me on the floor in a big ole pile of wet kleenex. And (this is for you, Lilly) so was the scene where Tom and Penelope re-enacted the cover of Dylan's "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan"

How come nobody ever re-enacts album covers with me, huh? I could do a mean "Whipped Cream and Other Delights."

And David Brinkley has died, too. But the truth is, David never did it for me. I had a crush on ole Chet. And to this day I can't hear Beethoven's 9th without getting all warm and fuzzy, thinking about the black and white nightly news. Of course, that was back in the day when men were men, and newscasters were really reporters and not talking heads. And the news was really news, and not some carefully crafted spin or the celebrity burn-out du jour.

Speaking of celebrity burn outs, I had an OJ spotting the other day. Well, I think it was an OJ spotting. It was a big white SUV with heavily tinted windows coming out of OJ's driveway, anyway. And it followed me for about a mile before I turned onto my own little street. Whee.
Miz Shoes

My Summer Reading List

I'm zooming through the trilogy from Mississippi's finest: The Sweet Potato Queens. This is wonderful stuff and I'm only jealous that I didn't think of it first. Instead, I will just have to become a Mango Queen. Big thanks to my sistagirl Jean Anne who turned me on to them and who is just all set to become the Boss Queen of the Mango Queens, it being her idea and all. For those of you not yet clued in, the books are: The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, God Save the Sweet Potato Queens and the Sweet Potato Queens' Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner.

Just finished the Damon Runyon Omnibus, from whence comes my new philosophy of life: "Nothing between humans is ever 3-1. All of life is 6-5 against, just enough to keep you interested."

Also on the just finished pile is an amazing, amazing first novel, "Cloud of Sparrows" by Takashi Matsuoka. I see over at Amazon that he has another book coming out in September, and I just can't wait.

But of course, the number one beach book will be released on the first day of my week-long beach vacation, so I am all ready for 7 glorious days on the white sands of the Gulf coast, with a suntan-oiled copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Life is good, no? Or at least better than the alternative.
Jun 9, 9:40 am ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Add "The Shoe Murder" to the chronicles of New York's crimes of passion.
A stormy relationship ended up on a Brooklyn street in the early hours of Saturday when a 220 pound woman sat on her ex-boyfriend's chest and clubbed him to death with her size 12 high heeled shoe, police said.

Anna Rhinehart, 40, told authorities she attacked Roosevelt Bonds, 51, in self-defense after he punched her in the mouth, knocking out her two front teeth.

The passionate struggle to the death began at 3 a.m. Saturday when Bonds saw Rhinehart at a restaurant with another man, police said.

"There was a dispute between them and the man was struck in the head and body with a blunt instrument," police spokeswoman Det. Carolyn Chew said.

Rhinehart was charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon. "It was her shoe," Det. Chew said.

Man, I love the city.
Miz Shoes

Baud Rate vs. Degrees

I had this dream last night where I was preparing dinner at someone's house: a dinner party. And I was roasting meat, or trying to. But the woman's husband had reset their oven to baud rate instead of degrees farenheit. So whereas I thought I was roasting at a certain temp, I was, instead only working at about 140 degrees.

Maybe I'm having these kinds of dreams because Marc and I have been listening to an audio book of Steven Hawking's "The Universe in a Nutshell."

Or not.
Miz Shoes

Baubles and Beads

I went to a huge bead show this weekend. In fact, I went twice. And I spent money. I wish I knew why little bits of glass and silver get me so hot. It seems that a LOT of women feel the same way. The joint was packed with women (and men) all fondling beads and buying beads and showing off their creations of beaded jewelry.

When you see some of these baubles, you understand why beads are currency in so many civilizations. Except for the part about you can make them yourself, I don't see why the custom of using beads as money ever went out of fashion. I told one vendor that if she needed a website, I could build one, not for money, but just for beads.

Seems a fair deal to me, because if she gave me money, I'd only blow it on more beads. Glass and gem stones, and silver and vermeil. Now, in your best Homer Simpson voice, repeat after me: "OOOOh, Garnets."
I'll make an exception. Here is yesterday's release from WhiteHouse.org (not to be confused with the official government site)

Statement by the President

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Today, virtually anyone and everyone who ever dared question the heft of my hairy war balls is standing in humiliated shock and humble awe now that I've effortlessly run roughshod over the ridiculous concept of Arab sovereignty. And while Shiite -


Hey, man, I'm just pronouncing it the way it looks. As I was saying, while Shiite Muslims make their loony pilgrimage to Karbala this week to ritualistically beat their chests bloody like a pack of orangutans that escaped from a CIA experiment to see what happens when you substitute methamphetamine for water over a two year period, our administration is engaging in our own mirror-like ritual of frantically running around in public patting ourselves on the back. Yes, it is an amazing feat to actually win a war when you only spend thirty billion dollars to defeat a country whose army has less fire-power than Jennifer Lopez's personal security detail.

But as I basked in the glow of press adulation this morning, I was slightly annoyed to find that I still have an adversary or two. Indeed, while I thought I had successfully squashed every last dissenting anti-death cockroach there was, it seems I missed a Beatle in the process - namely, Paul "the cute one" McCartney.

Yes, earlier today ? "Sir Paul," as those wig-wearing limeys still like to call their men who've been "honored" by being told to get down on their knees like a velvet-mouthed New Haven streetwalker while my totally relevant cousin Lizard the Queeny-Pops pretends to hack off their arms in slow motion with a jewel-encrusted girl-sword ? voiced his worthless opposition to the continued military use of cluster bombs. That's right, it seems Mr. McCartney, who became a minor cultural figure in the free-love, disease-swapping 60's by strumming backup guitar on a few forgettable elevator songs written by his long-haired commie partner who knocked up that screeching chinkazoid art freak Yuku-Duo, is all worried that a few thousand Arabiac children will benefit from free cosmetic amputations provided by one of the most benevolent implements of liberation in America's arsenal of mass freedom: the cluster bomb.

Now, don't get me wrong ? I haven't forgotten about the Walrus' patronizingly tedious, yet lyrically BRILLIANT post-Sept. 11 grandpa rock ballad "Freedom." No one appreciates opportunistic tragedy profiteering ? be it political or be it little bags with dollar signs on them ? more than yours truly. Mr. Eleanor Rigby did a smashing good job of milking America's bed-wetting terror and hard-wired affection for cheap, emotional crack rock from billionaire jingle writers from Liverpool. But then he had to go and get all high on his kidney pie farts ? he forgot that it's all about the money? well, it's all about the kids. Then the money. Talking trash about harmless mommy bombs that bloom mid-air and release their pink bonnet of little baby bombs that go POW and hurt the bad men is not in his financial interest. If Paul was smart, he'd write a song called "Happiness Is A Freedom-Protecting Cluster Bomb."

But no, clearly Mr. McCartney knows about as much about dispensing blissful freedom as my spirited twin daughters know about making a convincing fake I.D. card. And if he values the 1% of whatever's left of his career in the United States, he'd do well to just shut up. If he's still pissed off about his music catalog being stolen by someone transgender, just wait until he has to deal with having his balls lopped off by someone transatlantic.

You know, you'd think that by now, British pseudo-royalty would know better than to start flapping their snaggle-toothed mouths about small munitions that make their pansy-talking asses queasy just because they're still blowing the limbs off little sand negro babies decades after we drop them. I mean, first it was old ex-Princess Die, who the CIA was going to have live up to her name after she started moaning about land mines, but was spared the trouble when some zillionaire greaseball French Arabiac terrorist named "Mohammed" killed her for smearing those taut, pink Christian ta-ta's of hers all the scruffy face of his sexaholic, Viagra-mainlining Muslamian son "Doo-Doo." And now we have Sir Paul bellyaching about a few tens of thousands of unexploded cluster bombs around Iraqi and Afghani-Rican kindergartens! I mean, HELLO PAUL! Fate doesn't like to be tempted - especially by some Jurassic-era Rockasaurus whose accent makes him sound like Ronald Reagan mumbling about which unicorn he's gonna ride to the Depends? wholesaler today.

I'm not going to pretend to give a shit about Paul McCartney's notoriety just because a bunch of fat, still-idealistic baby boomers think that noise of his is music. Now sure, back when I was at Yale, there were tons of kids who were playing their Dung Beatles LP's in the dorms morning, noon, and night. And yeah, I heard it all: the "Magical Mushroom Trip Tour" and the "Sergeant Crouton's Lusty Tax Man's Polka." The Yalies said it was "groovy," "hip," and even "with it." Well, speaking as a life-long Lawrence Welk man myself, all I can say is that I rightly opted for buying the kind of records that weren't bound to leave me shampooing my crotch afro with pesticidal Breck.

In the end though, even though Mr. McCartney is proving himself to be nothing more than just another in a long string of detestably populist, pseudo-intellectual celebrities who are determined to chip away at my political armor, I will not begrudge him his foreigner false right to be utterly wrong about everything. Nor will I will surrender to the temptation to pray to Jesus that someone had had the sense to buy Mark David Chapman a trans-Atlantic plane ticket so he could have finished the job of permanently retiring the Fag Four back in the early 80's. No, I will not do any of these things, because I know that Sir Paul has been rendered effectively retarded by the same vegetarianoid diet that gave his tambourine-playing ex-wife cancer and killed her.

And on that note, I bid Sir Paul's pathetic self, and the rest of the world, a very magnanimous good day.

Thank you, and God Bless America.
Miz Shoes

Hell and What It Means to Me

OK. This entry was not going to be about hell, really, but then I read Mimi Smartypants and her new vision of existentialist hell. Laughed out loud, right here in the office. Just too damn funny. And that reminded me of the scene on the Sopranos when Christopher was shot and had a near death vision of hell, which he described as : An Irish bar where every day is St. Patrick's day. And that one always struck me as being close to true. But Mimi Smartypants has it all over Christopher.

What's your idea of a personal hell? I think mine would contain elements of a Paul McCartney concert where he and Linda were doing a duet of "Silly Love Songs" while my ex-husband kept kicking me in the ankle telling me to enjoy myself. My ex-assistant, the heinous Chihuahua, would have to be somewhere nearby, too.

I'll write what I meant to write later.
Miz Shoes

Open Toed Shoe Pledge

Alright ladies, gentlemen, drag queens and transgendered persons it's that time of the year again. Just a friendly reminder!!

Please raise your big toes and repeat after me:

MY SISTERS, BROTHERS, DRAG QUEENS & TRANSGENDERED PERSONS: (The Open Toed Shoe Pledge) As a member of the Cute Girl Sisterhood, I pledge to follow the Rules when I wear sandals and other open-toe shoes:

1. I promise to always wear sandals that fit. My toes will not hang over and touch the ground, nor will my heels spill over the backs. And the sides and tops of my feet will not pudge out between the straps.

2. I will go polish-free or vow to keep the polish fresh, intact and chip-free.

3 I will not cheat and just touch up my big toe. I will sand down any mounds of skin before they turn hard and yellow.

4. I will shave the hairs off my big toe.

5. I won't wear pantyhose even if my misinformed girlfriend, coworker, mother, sister tells me the toe seam really will stay under my toes if I tuck it there.

6. If a strap breaks, I won't duct-tape, pin, glue or tuck it back into place hoping it will stay put. I will get my shoe fixed or toss it.

7. I will not live in corn denial; rather I will lean on my good friend Dr. Scholl's if my feet need him.

8. I will resist the urge to buy jelly shoes at Payless for the low, low price of $4.99 even if my feet are small enough to fit into the kids' sizes. They're tacky.

9. I will take my toe ring off toward the end of the day if my toes swell and begin to look like Vienna sausages.

10. If I have been privy to the magic that is Foot Soap, I will share that knowledge and experience with the non-initiated.

11. I will be brutally honest with my girlfriend/sister/coworker when she asks me if her feet are too ugly to wear sandals. Someone has to tell her that her toes are as long as my fingers and no sandal makes creepy feet look good.

12. I will promise if I wear flip flops that I will ensure that they actually flip and flop, making the correct noise while walking and I will swear NOT to slide or drag my feet while wearing them.

13. I will promise to throw away any white/off-white sandals that show signs of wear...nothing is tackier than dirty white sandals...
Miz Shoes

This Is News?

So Paul McCartney lost his voice and had to cancel concerts? He lost his voice 20 years ago, did he just notice it today? Can he cancel his career retrospectively? Does he really have to reschedule? Can't he just go back to the countryside with the new wife and raise sheep or something?

I didn't think so. But a person can hope.

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