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

Laugh While You Can, Monkeyboy

Lots of new photos over in the photo blog. Check them out. Or not.

I'm off to watch Eureka, on the Sci-Fi channel. It's no Firefly, but it'll do.
Miz Shoes

Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out

My favorite annual writing contest, the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest, has announced this year's winners. While the winner is, in fact, kind of humorous, the runner-up's entry had me on the floor.

The 2006 runner-up, Stuart Vasepuru from Scotland, played with one of the most famous pieces of dialogue from the Clint Eastwood movie "Dirty Harry."

"I know what you're thinking, punk," hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, "you're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' -- and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement; but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' -- well do you, punk?"

Oh, come on. You know you want to laugh and you know that you're jealous that you didn't write that first.

At least I am.
Miz Shoes

Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville

Tequilla should come with a warning other than the one about not drinking if you are pregnant. Like, maybe, don't drink in the sun or don't consume if you wish to remain conscious for longer than it takes to consume three of these.

But then, where would the fun or challenge be in that. Star drank me under the beach chair yesterday and she claims that she wasn't even trying. Of course she says that now, but the last clear memory I have is of a story wherein she told a co-worker that she could drink him under the table and he didn't believe her, but the bartender did and told the kid if he wanted to see the morning through clear eyes, he wouldn't try to prove Star wrong.

Brrrrrrrr. At least I passed out in the cool dark of my room and not the beach, which means only that I slept for 15 straight hours and not that I have the sort of sunburn one associates with German tourists and French Canadians.

Limetree was as good as their word, and did, in fact get a wireless network up and running. The best part of it is that the only place to get a good connection is out here on the lanaii, overlooking the Gulf. "Tough life," says Star, from her chair next to me. Those are my feet, and that is the adorable little tote that the equally adorable Jade brought as gifts when she came up to meet us.

Jade is just a stitch, and if she lived in Miami, she would be one of the regulars at the Casita de Zapatos, that's for sure. She's already mentioned this multi-tasking monstrosity, but sweeties, words (and even pictures) cannot do it justice (?).


This dress... this dress... is a sweet little faux-wrap in the most hideous of shiny, slippery, synthetic knit fabric that you know will be cursed with static cling every nanosecond of its miserable life. It will stick to you and crawl around on you no matter what you try to make it stop. And then there is the print. It is a photo-real print of crocheted granny squares in some of the most unfortunate colors since they showed up in kitchens in the 50s.

Star says that if you made this dress in real granny squares it would be unwearable, because it would be heavy and it wouldn't drape correctly. I say: your point is? Because if it wouldn't be wearable if it were real, then why would anyone think that it would be wearable as a simulacrum?

I present the dress. That's Jade's arm.

Miz Shoes

Mother Mother Ocean

Tomorrow, the RLA, Star and I head over to the Gulf Coast for a week of serious laying around doing nothing. Except laying around and drinking and eating. And Star and I have sworn to drag our sewing machines and make a few quilt tops while we're there. That remains to be seen. I may drag some yarn and knitting needles, instead, because they're lighter and take up less room. Or not.

While we're there, I've made a date to meet up with the crafty (as in fiber arts, and not as in sly and devious, but then, I don't really know that, do I?) Jade of Unfinished Object. We've agreed to meet in a bar. It was that or a shoe store.

Jade has expressed some reservations about meeting me, saying that she didn't know if any of her footwear was fabulous enough. I told her that contrary to popular belief, there's more to me than just shoes. There's snark and sloth. And a large percentage of alcohol.

While the Limetree swears that it has added a wireless internet service, we'll see if I update while I'm gone.

Stay cool, wear things that fit, and I'll see you all next week.

P.S. The Miami Heat victory lap will be going right past my office building. I'll try to get some pics to share.
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

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."
Not that she reads my blog, she's too cool for that.

But she is one of my best friends in the world (despite that she IS The Coolest Person In The World) and I can't let the day go by without wishing her a happy birthday.

Of course, if she is actually turning 50 this year, and I can't remember if she is or if it's next year, and she's having a party without me, I'll just have to slit my wrists.
Why is she The Coolest Person In The World?

One night, many many many years ago, she came over to my apartment in a rare snit. Her friend Woody was in town, and wanted to take her to dinner, but not out, just over to his friend's apartment. But his friend's wife was on a health food kick at the time, so all that she could expect for dinner would be brown rice, bean sprouts and a bottle of water. This was totally unacceptable, so she told Woody if he couldn't cough up for a steak and a bottle of wine somewhere, she wasn't going out with him.


Woody was Ron Wood, the friend was Mick Jagger, and the health-conscious wife was Bianca Jagger.

I told her I L-U-V ed brown rice, water and bean sprouts and that I'd be happy to go in her place.

I recieved a look of scorn for being so easy.

Happy Birthday, Girlfriend.
Miz Shoes

Oleg Cassini, RIP

I was really shocked to note that Mr. Cassini's death went virtually unnoticed by fashion bloggers such as Manolo and the lovely Dress A Day.

Of course, his obituary was buried below the fold on an internal page in a secondary section in the Herald, not even featured in the celebrity obits.

But, people. Oleg Cassini? He invented Jackie O's style. The coronation inauguration gown? The Nobel Prize dinner gown?
check out this draping!

That, people is Style, with a capitol (pun intended) S.

Do you remember the 1974 Matador? Do you even remembe the Matador? It was an incredibly fashion-forward auto design. I don't know of anyone who actually had one, but it was sleek, and racy, and just so so so ahead of its time. Oleg Cassini did a designer edition of that car.

Cool, huh?

Here's more about the Matador.

Earlier this year, a couple of retrospective books came out about Cassini and the Kennedy years. Every fashion junkie should own them.

There. I feel better now.
Miz Shoes

RJ and I Have a Conversation

I'm on the Metromover (which is a Disneyworld-style light elevated rail with no drivers) heading toward the train. I have on my headphones and I'm listening to Meat Loaf (Everything Louder Than Everything Else)* Even through that racket, I somehow manage to hear my cell phone ring (The Ramones: Sheena Is a Punk Rocker). I pull one earplug out, and answer the phone. It's RJ.

Here is our conversation, more or less in its entirety.**
RJ: Where are you?

Me: On the shuttle, we're at (looks out the window) Knight Center. Are you at the station?

RJ: Yeah. The southbound train is delayed. I think it's stuck in Overtown.

Me: Where are you on the platform? I'll catch up with you.

RJ: Hmmm. It looks like the train is coming now.

Me: Are you going to get on, or are you going to wait for me?

RJ: Ummmmmm. I'm getting on. Why?

Me: Well, if you waited, we could talk about the Oscars.

RJ: (pause) I didn't watch them.

Me: WHAT??? How could you not watch them? It's like the movie lovers' religious holiday. Child, how can you NOT watch the Oscars, I mean, other than that it's boring, nobody looked too good and Jon Stewart totally sucked as the host?

RJ: Well, that. And I didn't see any of the movies.

Me: Me, neither. Does it really matter? (Sees train heading south) (Suspiciously) Are you on that train?

RJ: Yes.

Me: Bitch.

Both: Raucous laughter, then hang up.

I meant it, too. Not that. The part about Jon Stewart sucking. I don't get it. The guy is brilliantly funny. How he could have slipped into such mealy-mouthed, poor man's version of the very UN-funny Billy Crystal, I just don't know.

Isaac Misrahi was tamed down to boring. The clothes the women stars were wearing were black, black, chocolate brown, navy blue, beige, ecru, sand and black. Except for the handful of women in various shades of Kodak yellow, which, I have to say, was flattering on exactly none. As for the men, nobody even tried to pull a Johnny Depp and dress with a little out-there flair. Boring. Boring. Boring. Face it, the highlight of the evening was Sandra Bullock showing that her dress had pockets. And she was with Keanu...who just keeps getting stiffer and stiffer and thicker and thicker. It's sad.

Speaking of sad, how sad was it that the message last night was "DVDs bad. Multiplexes good." I could have bought that argument, that movies are an art form best enjoyed on a big screen, in the dark with strangers, if there were still big screens in the dark. But there aren't. There are screens slightly larger than a two-car garage door, in a dimly-lit space with strangers yammering on cell phones, playing with Blackberries and not minding their kids. Even though my big tv is smaller than a one-car garage door, I still prefer to watch movies there.

I do go to the multimegaplex on occasion, I went (with RJ, as a matter of fact) to see the latest Harry Potter movie. We went on a week night, during the dinner hour, and were rewarded with great seats, and nobody but our husbands there with us. If all movie experiences could be like that, I might go more often. Honestly, though, ever since they made movie theater popcorn healthier by not popping it in palm oil, the bloom is off the rose for me.

But I digress. I watched the Oscars, but I didn't enjoy it.

*(Go ahead, have a laugh at my pathetic musical tastes. I'll tell you something else, I love Diamond Dave. Yes. Oh yes, I said it. I love David Lee Roth.)

** My god, but we amuse ourselves. It's sad, really.
Miz Shoes

Me? I WON Something? Me?

Yes. I did. When the RLA and I signed our contract with the new storage company, we also entered to win a home theater sound system. Damn. They called me today to tell me to come get it. You all know how many movies I watch at home (all of them). And the RLA is a total, certifiable audiophile, and the son of another. He's got more speakers hooked up to the tv than I can count, no two pairs alike, and one pair was his father's Acoustic Research from the 60s.

This is just too cool.
Miz Shoes

And You Are There

I was in fourth grade when John F. Kennedy was assasinated. We had come in from lunch, and I was staring out the window at the Catholic School across the street and saw someone come out and lower the flag to half-staff. I asked Mrs. McSweeney who had died, because we had learned flag etiquette and knew that was what the lowering signified.

She didn't know, yet. It was announced across the school intercom shortly thereafter. I remember sitting on the floor watching his funeral on our black and white tv. I guess my mother kept me home, or, good Southern Democratic town that it was, school was suspended for the occasion.
I was sitting on a hotel bed in Kingston, New York, right off the NY State thruway, when Howard Cosell broke into the Miami Dolphins game to tell us all that John Lennon had been shot. I called The Coolest Person in the World, and we cried together.

Howard Cosell? That's who broke the news to me that my idol was gone? How much did that suck. And the Dolphins were winning? Losing? Winning, I think. I think it was an important game, maybe one that determined if they went to the Superbowl that year. I don't remember anything about the game, just that I'd come down out of the top of the Catskills where I was holed up, to Kingston, so that I could see the game on cable. All I remember is Howard Cosell and the horrible, horrible news.

Yesterday, there was a photo of some old geezers in their uniforms, the handful of survivors of Pearl Harbor. It was buried in the Herald, somewhere in section A, but not on the front page. Not even a banner over the title, like they do for the first day of Kwanzaa. The most horrible throwing of the gauntlet of war of the last generation, and it doesn't even get a nod.

Today, there's a little something on the wires about it being the 25th anniversary of John's death at the hands of "a deranged fan". Huh. Yeah. Sort of obvious, isn't it? I mean, a normal fan isn't going to kill the person they adore, are they? But it has become part of the myth, part of his name: Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan.

And back in November, on the 23rd, to be precise, there was no mention in the Herald at all of what anniversary of a national nightmare we were recognizing.

Time heals all wounds, they tell us. But I think that sometimes, we need to pick at the scabs, and never let the hurt heal altogether.

PS: CBGBs is safe until next year. They got a year's extension on the lease. At least I don't have to go into mourning over that.
Miz Shoes

Grammar Is Important

I've been saving this story for a while. The other day, the RLA and I were coming home around dusk, and we pulled up to our gate, put the car in park, and the RLA got out to unlock the gate. It's not that we're Luddites, but we rely on a lot of old-fashioned technology: manual can openers, a gate troll instead of an electric gate, a chain-link fence to keep the dogs in the yard instead of zapping them with electroshock... like that. So, the RLA gets out to unlock the gate, and as he does, a big-ass SUV (a Cadillac, I think) driven by a guy with a blue light in his ear goes whizzing past at a much-too-rapid-for -a-one-lane-road clip... almost clipping the side mirror off our car.
Well, it's a small neighborhood, and we know everybody in it, and what they drive, so we knew that this guy was probably lost. And he was, evidenced by his hitting the end of the street, making a u-turn and coming back up the one-lane road, still at a clip, and still almost removing my side mirror.

Well, the RLA lost it, and yelled at the driver that he was a jerk, and that we live here, and he doesn't and we're unlocking our gate, and he can just wait a second, because the RLA is NOT moving the car.

The Cadillac SUV screeched to a halt. The middle-aged driver threw it in reverse and stopped next to us. He reached under his seat (I'm thinking... oh, fucking great. A gun. Now we're in for it.) but only to roll down the window.

He proceded to yell at the RLA and called HIM a jerk and a few other names before coming to the crescendo of his response:

"You," he shouted at us, "are like a spaz!"

Well, that just set us back on our heels. Was blue light man saying that the RLA is a spaz, or was he saying that the RLA is merely spaz-like?

We debated this for several minutes, with me offering the opinion that maybe the word like was just an interjection, as in; "it's, like, you know", even though there was no audible comma or pause. We also opined that the driver was like a Borg, in that he had a piece of electronics embedded in his ear and it was lit up with a blue light. We never did get a definitive answer from the SUV driver, because once we started parsing out his sentence, he seemed to loose interest in us entirely.

But this phrase has crept into our vocabulary, so that everything is now "like". It's like a bridge. You know, it's sort of bridge-like, in that it spans a body of water, but maybe it's not totally a bridge.

I'm like hungry. I could eat, but I'm not ravenous, so I'm hungryish. I'm close to hungry, but I'm not exactly hungry, so I'm only like hungry.

We have been entertaining ourselves and our friends with this for like a month. It may not be a real month, or a whole month. Maybe it has been longer than a month, in which case it is only like a month, not exactly a month, but sort of a month. Similar in time to an exact month and yet, not.

This entry is like done.
Miz Shoes

What Am I Not Getting?

I pass this sign every day. I know enough Spanglish to understand that the show is called "Ground Zero" and that these guys talk about sex and drugs and rock and roll and sex. But is it just me, or is Javier really Jay (Jason Mewes)?

Miz Shoes

You Gotta Have Friends

I'm the happiest girly in the world these past couple of days, because my favorite human in the world (except of course for the RLA) has been visiting us from the wilds of Gallofornia. This would be our friend Paul, the genius behind my mermaid costume.
Paulie and I have been designing a web site for him, talking trash, drinking like fish and eating like pigs. We also worked out this morning with Nic Cage. It was muy swell. I know that the description of fun with Paulie sounds an awful lot like the fun I have with The Coolest Person In The World (TM), but that could just be a coinkydink. Or it could be indicative of my ideas of fun.

Anyway, it's been a lot more fun than I had last week, when in the space of four hours, I was (almost) in two car accidents. The first was after the RLA and I had lunch at the Ale House. Some random woman in a VW came barreling out from between two parked cars and nearly t-boned me. I stood on the brakes, and we avoided impact. She turned in front of us and proceeded to the stop sign at the end of the parking row.

And then, without rhyme or reason, she backed up. I was right behind her. I leaned on the horn, and I watched in horror and disbelief as she continued to back straight into me. I was right behind her. I was clearly in her rear view mirror. I wasn't on her bumper, I was a good few feet behind her and she, without so much as a glance in her mirrors or out her windows, threw her car into reverse and plowed into me, all the while my horn was bleating.

She jumped out of her car and said "I didn't mean to hit you!" No shit. I should fucking hope you didn't mean to do it, asshat. "I didn't see you," she continued. Really? I sort of guessed that from the fact that you ran directly into my front bumper with your rear bumper. That and when you came racing through the lot, turning between cars instead of at intersections and nearly t-boned me. Yeah. That was a clue that you aren't a particularly observant driver. Asshat.

There was no damage to Zelda Bleu, and so off I drove to work. Where I was almost involved in a head on collision as some moron decided to pass a car coming toward me. He passed, and in order not to hit me head on, turned left across my lane and into a driveway on my right. Once more, I found myself standing on the brakes and screaming "HOLY SHIT".

And then I got to work, and had a lovely day straightening up the stock and trying not to apply discipline to undisciplined and unaccompanied children.

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