Miz Shoes

Fairy Tales Can Come True

This year has sucked in ways that things have never sucked before.

I have suffered through death, hurricanes, more death, job uncertainty and more stress than I ever thought I could handle.

But yesterday, it was all made better by the receipt of a single e-mail from the forces behind White Party. I am going to get to live my most precious childhood dream and desire, and do so in the company of the most fabulous men on the planet, at one of the most fabulous parties on the circuit.

What am I going to do?
I get to be a mermaid at White Party. Tail, pearl tiara and all.

When I was a little girl, I used to spend my summers on the bottom of the pool, pretending to be a mermaid. My career ambition was to be the head mermaid (the one who got to wear the glittery tail) at Weeki-Wachee Springs.

I turn 50 in December, just a couple of weeks after this event. If that isn't kicking 50 in the ass and telling it to go home, I don't know what is.

When I turned 40, a friend built a big 4-0 out of straw and I took an acetelyne torch to it. We pulled bits and pieces of ash and melted beads out of the pool filter for two years. The screen had a scorch mark in it until the screens were replaced a couple of years ago.

It's not that I have a fear of growing older, as Jimmy Buffett would say "I'm growing older, but not up." Or maybe the late, great Satchel Paige is a better quote, "How old would you be, if you didn't know how old you was?"

Somewhere in my twenties. Old enough to be responsible, young enough to let responsibility slide once in a while.

I get to be a fucking mermaid. How cool is that?
Miz Shoes


In a world where celebrity is measured in single names, I think that Richard Avedon was the first photographer to be elevated to the status of the faces he photographed. Avedon, like his subjects, only needed one name.

I'd be lying if I said that in art school I didn't worship the richness of his images. Where the boys were drooling over Ansel Adams' zone system, I was mesmerized by the clarity and depth of Avedon's portraits.

I was never so much of a fool as to think that I'd ever make anything as beautiful, but I shot an awful lot of black and white of my friend Patti.

Richard Avedon, another of my heroes, has left the planet.
Miz Shoes

This Just In


Isn't it amazing how fast jokes can propagate?

I just recieved that from my cousin up the coast.

I'm a touch busy, so I'll just give you the name of my new favorite author. You can look him up yourselves, write the book reviews for me, what ever you like. But he is just brilliant, and laugh-out-loud funny.

Jasper Fforde.
Miz Shoes

She Was HOW Old?

"What ever happened to Fay Wray?
That delicate satin-draped frame?
As it clung to her thigh,
How I started to cry,
Cause I wanted to be dressed just the same"

Dr. Frank N Furter, Rocky Horror Picture Show

Well, she was 96, and frankly, I thought that she'd been dead for decades. But, no.

I'm sorry, I'm just too dispirited to tell you stories of workplace stupidity, or kitchen follies.

The air conditioner, which had been broken for all of June, has just broken again, and the "service" people won't fix it and the "service" desk at Circuit City doesn't want to hear about the lack of service by their contractors.

Don't start me about the concept of service in the service industry. As I said to them last time, "If your contracted HAD actually fixed it, I wouldn't be screaming at you right now, now would I?" Or, on being told that I had called after working hours, "Well, you're working, are you not? You are not a service or an answering machine. And I'm sitting at my desk, talking to you. So both of us are, in fact, at work. How is this not working hours?(BIATCH!!)"

Bite me. Time for lolling in the pool with a tall one.
Miz Shoes

Reality TV

I have found my reality TV addiction. No, it isn't one of the scripted pieces of dreck on Fox, it is the C-Span coverage of the Democratic National Convention. No commercials. No commentary. No "fair and balanced" talking heads. Nope. Just pure convention, all talking, all the time.
I've loved watching the national conventions since I was just a Yellow Puppy.

Last night was some of the best stuff I've seen in years. It was wonderful to see Jimmy Carter (sounding, however, like his dentures were loose, or he'd just come from having a root canal) blasting the Bush policies of unilateralism and intolerance.

And my old flame, Al Gore. I'd seen Al speak in person way back in the old days, before he was anything other than a rising Young Democrat. I never understood why people thought he was stiff and humorless, except that is what the pundits decided during the last election cycle.

Last night he was funny, and eloquent, and yes, bitter about the last election. As well he should be. And he gave the people in Boston a direction for their own bitterness: Don't let this ever happen again. Don't let the Supreme Court ever select another President, and don't let this President select the next Supreme Court.

Like Al, I've never forgotten how Bush came to be in the White House. Nor have I lost my bitterness. It's a lot like my divorce. I had to remember all the hurt, and all the cruelty to maintain the fight. At the same time, I had to channel that energy outward, and not inward, so that, although the bitterness and resentment informed my actions, it did not change me into a bitter and resentful person.

And then we had Herself, Ms. Rodham Clinton. Wowza. I loved that she pointed out that SHE had been at Ground Zero on September 12th, unlike someone else, namely the duly appointed President of the United States. (Maybe he was still digesting the plot of My Pet Goat.)

The evening wrapped up with Bill, another reminder of my first marriage. I never cared much for Bill Clinton, because his personality was so much like the AntiChrist: slick, insincere, a survivor of childhood abuse, and over-driven because of it. Unlike the AntiChrist, though, Clinton was not a sociopath, and did honestly care about other people. His presidency was proof of that. Last night he was in rare form. In my opinion, it is Bill Clinton, and not Ronald Reagan, who should be remembered as The Great Communicator.

So yes, I was glued to the set by the spectacle of reality TV. I'll be there again tonight. And the night after that.

In closing, let me leave you with some quotes from great politicians of the past:

"I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it." -- Thomas Paine, 1783

"Free speech exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free." -- Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

"The truth is found when men are free to pursue it." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." -- George Orwell, 1945

"Any time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them." -- Dwight David Eisenhower, 1963

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant." -- Robert F. Kennedy, 1964

"Go fuck yourself." -- Dick Cheney, 2004
Miz Shoes

No, I Haven’t

Knowing my politics (pinko, liberal, yellow-dog democrat) many people have asked me if I've seen Fahrenheit 9-11. I have not. I don't know if I can. While I do have very stable, nay, even low, blood pressure, I'm afraid that seeing the list of Bush's sins laid out like an all-you-can-eat buffet will cause me to stroke out.
See, unlike most of the sheep that make up the American voting public, I never forgot the links in the chain of events that Michael Moore has strung together.

I remembered that Osama Bin Laden was a friend of America, back when it was the "Evil Empire" that was bogged down in Afghanistan, and Bin Laden was a freedom fighter.

I remembered that the Bush family business was oil, as was the Bin Laden family business, and that they did business with each other.

I remembered that Saddam Hussein was America's chosen one back when we were fighting the Iranians, and the Iraqis were our friends. But that was after we left the Shah of Iran twisting in the wind, after years of keeping him propped up.

I remembered that only one person on Capitol Hill had a son or daughter in the military.

I remembered that no one in the Bush administration actually served in Viet Nam. Or even in the military. Bush's own tenure in the National Guard was suspect, bought as it was with his father's connections, and cut short as it was by Dubya going AWOL.

I said from the very first day, that the Bushies knew and allowed the tragedy to happen in order to give them the "moral" imperative to go to war and conquer the oil fields.

Go see Fahrenheit 9-11? Yeah, probably... but bring the defibrillator with me.
Miz Shoes

Party Girls

This weekend was just tits, man.*

It started on Friday, with the RLA and I meeting up with my friend, The Coolest Person In the World TM, who has been in the area for a while.

After seeing the two of us slam back the (first) vodka, the RLA decided not to even try to keep up with us. It was wise. It would have been wiser for me to remember that I can't keep up with her. Nevertheless, I gave it my best shot, and didn't get sick. I'm pretty sure that the end of the night saw me promising to meet her and her husband in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, as the spouse will be riding with one of the big Krewes this year, and so would entail hanging around with a much higher caliber of riff raff than would other wise be available to the likes of me.
I did sleep for half the night in the bathtub, but I never puked. The RLA says that when he went in to check on me, I was lying in the tub with a shit-eating grin on my face, and the hot water trickling over my toes, and he figured that it was some kind of sauna cure, and I was fine.

I was. And had only the teensiest of hangovers. But he still made me pay the next day by dragging my sorry ass all over Miami to grocery stores, shoe stores, book stores... oh, it was an ordeal, I'll tell you.

There was some heavy lifting in the kitchen on Saturday, as I prepped for a Fourth of July party. Tabouli, fruit salad, my mom's cole slaw (the recipe for which she stole from the Pink Pony circa 1948) and which is just to die for, a mango upside down cake. Burgers. Chips. Beer. Mango daquiris. More beer.

Our guests were two couples, one from San Francisco in town for a visit, and the other newly-made friends from across town. All six of us are artists of one stripe or another, and aside from hanging in the pool drinking, the major activity of the day was doing a jam painting on the wall around the koi pond. It isn't finished, but it is way cool. There's a fish, a mer-man, leaves, and swirls, and bubbles, and color. Photos will follow.

We also indulged in fire works (shhhhhh). The noble dog Nails proved his worth by attacking the tanks. This caused much consternation among the adults who had to tackle him, pry the still sparking fireworks out of his mouth and toss them away before the actual fire crackers exploded. What a dog. Not afraid of anything, and he should be.

Yesterday was a day of cleaning, resting and recuperation. And painting and swimming. Tonight there are vague rumors of getting together with The Coolest Person In the World TM again. I only hope my liver will one day forgive me.

* for reasons I cannot remember, back in college, this was the highest accolade my buddy Andy could bestow on something.
Miz Shoes

He Was A Contender

Marlon Brando. R.I.P.

Damn. He was fine in his youth. He was tortured and brilliant throughout his career. He was the size of a small village at the end, but he'll always be Terry, from On The Waterfront to me.

Or the mincing, lisping Fletcher Christian.

Ah, well, another icon, down. Think I'll watch Guys and Dolls this weekend.
Miz Shoes

Jelly Legs

I worked out with Nic Cage last night. Not the real one, the ersatz one who is my trainer. I was so done in at the end of the hour that I almost couldn't get home.

The clutch on Zelda Bleu (a VW Cabrio) is like the clutch on any VW: made of cast iron and requiring a strong leg. I got in last night, and I couldn't press the clutch. My legs were like unset Jell-O. Wobbly. Weak. I couldn't hold the clutch long enough to shift. I thought I was going to need someone to come and rescue me.

I finally got it in gear, and managed to get home with only one episode of losing the gear at a light. Then I poured myself a drink, which was another challenge: getting the screw top off the whiskey, and floated around in the pool until I could feel my toes again.

I think this is going to be great. If I can live long enough to see the results.
Miz Shoes

RIP: Brother Ray

Well, at least Daddy's gonna hear some fine music where he is.

Ray Charles died today. And if you don't know who he was, never heard his music, never felt the grace that was his to share with the world, not only have you been living under a rock, you don't deserve ears.

Am I mistaken, or was some of his music placed on the Voyager? Good taste, NASA.

I never got to see Mr. Charles perform live. What a house burner that would have been.


Well, here's a link to take your mind off things. Be careful, it's laugh out loud funny. To me, at least.

Republican Survivor
Miz Shoes

The Queen

The Queen took the stage in a flimsy burnoose of chartreuse, beaded, of course. She was wearing a yellow wig that was a tad scary. But then she opened her mouth and the sound of angels was heard in Boca.

Her upper register was a bit shaky, but that meant nothing when you heard the velvet and honey of the lower register. She treated us to her classics, her new music, a little gospel and a little Puccini.
The audience was wild. There was way too much bad white girl dancing, and I don't mean bad girls, I mean bad dancing. There was the escapee from the go-go cage. There was a mother and daughter where the mother had on a white mini skirt and kept shaking something that looked like a sack of wet sandbags. It wasn't pretty. Nor was it moving enough to look like a sack of puppies. Nope. Wet sandbags were hidden under that mini.

There were a couple of terrifying visions: a woman with Suzanne Somers hair (circa 1988) fried, teased, bleached, fried, stiffened with unknown substances and pulled into a fetching pony tail over her left eyebrow. Another woman in what had to be her daughter's quince dress. Or maybe her granddaughter's bad prom dress. Mini. Black. Chiffon drape in white across the bust and over the shoulders into a mini train-like thing. Worn with white (WHITE!!! It wasn't Memorial Day, yet, babe) high-heeled mules. EEK!

Sitting in front of us was something I never thought I would ever see: two gay men who couldn't dance. Lord knows, they tried. It looked like one of them was receiving electroshock therapy. They both had enormous heads. I couldn't even see Miss Aretha, and let me tell you, she is a large, large woman. But those two jokers with the beachball sized craniums completely blocked my view of the stage. If only they had blocked the view of the woman with the sandbags.

Finally, I have this to say about Boca: $11 for a Washington Red Apple? Are you kidding me? And not even Crown Royal? Granted, it was tasty, but eleven fucking dollars? Are you charging me for the attitude? Because when I asked to be seated in the "no screaming baby, no cell phone" section, the Barbie Doll at the desk gave me a look that was meant to kill. Sorry, sweetiedarling, but I've been giving that look since before you were born, and that stare of yours didn't even curl my hair. But I bet the word I called you back gave you a little start.
Miz Shoes


Have I ever told you about the dream I had some 20 years ago? I was married to the Anti-Christ and things were very bad, in fact, I was suicidal, and we were about to separate, not that I knew that at the time.
In my dream, I was flying, or at least hovering, over the World Trade Towers. My body was parallel to the ground, and I was pointing south, my head facing the Statue of Liberty. It was dawn. To my right was Hoboken. The sky there in the west was still black, but there were enough stars to make the sky look like Van Gogh's Starry Night. The buildings of Hoboken were black, and silhouetted against the stars.

The sky lightened as it made the arc to lower Manhattan on my right. From black it faded to ultramarine, cobalt, Maxfield Parrish blue directly over my head, and then made the spectrum change to saffron, orange, magenta and crimson as the sun rose in the east. There the lights were coming on in the high rises, and the windows were like diamonds or stars in the blackness of the building shapes.

Directly beneath me were the Trade Towers. And there, on the edge of the roof, strutting and belting it out, was Aretha Franklin. She was singing "Respect" and she was doing it just for me, hovering there above her. Both of us at the top of the world.

I woke up and went straight to the local record store, and sat on the sidewalk until it opened. Then I went in and bought a copy of Aretha's Greatest Hits. For the next year or so, her music sustained me through the darkest days of my life.

I just bought tickets to see Ms. Queen of Soul live at an outdoor amphitheater. Next Friday night. Is this a cool world or what?
Miz Shoes

2 much fun

So you know you're having way too much fun when you call your husband from a bar 30 miles from home and tell him that you and your girlfriend are thinking that it'd just be easier all the way around to get a hotel room for the night and you'll just go to work the next morning wearing the same thing you wore the day before. Minus the make up, and the coiffed hair and with the addition of a major hangover.
I went out last night with The Coolest Person In the World TM and that was the result. After dinner and a whole lot of coffee, however, I just took the top off the Cabrio and turned the music up to 11 and drove home.

Today is the bologna in the cool sandwich, since tomorrow night I'm going out with a fellow blogger. It's our first time meeting face to face, and I plan on not embarrassing myself. I plan on it, but can't guarantee it. In a pathetic attempt to prove my cool, I'll be taking said blogger to Tobacco Road, the best damn dive in Miami, and one in which I have sucked face in dark corners, drunk myself into a commode-huggin' state (not necessarily on the same nights) and enjoyed many, many hours of great live music. Even if I'm a dork, the bar will score points.

Another reason last night was so great was that I was able to miss the 3rd televised press conference in as many years given by our Shrub in Chief. I did pick up the highlight this morning, which was that the man was sure he had made a mistake or two somewhere in his presidency, he just couldn't quite put his finger on one at the moment.

I can. Here's the short list, and please, feel free to add others.

Stole election
Appointed cronies to high offices
Let 9/11 happen without much thought or effort
Lied about the need to go to war in Iraq
Lied about the ease with which said war could be won
Lied about having knowledge or not having knowledge prior to 9/11 that there was a risk
Continues to lie about all of the above
Refuses to accept any responsibility for anything
High crimes and misdemeanors
IQ of a fence post

OK. So there's nothing he can do about the last one. As far as I'm concerned, it's still an offence worth noting.

On a related (pun intended) note, the Brother of the President, Florida's own Jeb (I'll make sure you win this state) Bush has given fast-track approval to built two natural-gas pipelines from the Bahamas to Florida. They both go straight through the only natural, live barrier reef in the continental US. And guess what? He did it with no input whatsoever from environmental groups, but after a month-long "education" program from the power companies who made the proposals.

Read the story here.
Miz Shoes

Left Coast

I'm in training again. Unlike the last time we did this, when my expectations were to be reduced to tears at least twice, I'm having a good time. The lunch-time visit to the winery up the road may have helped my mood. The hummingbirds outside the hotel window this morning may also have had to do with it.

Solvang has two needlework stores, a quilt store, and a spinning and weaving shop just across the street from my hotel. Is this a great village, or what?
Another reason I'm in such a happy place today is that the place I'm in is not my office. Despite a three-hour layover at LAX, where you cannot smoke outside the terminal, and a twenty minute flight on a prop-driven puddle jumper, the flying itself wasn't bad, either.

Let me go back to the no smoking rule for a minute. What's up with that? Are they afraid that smoking will damage the air quality at the airport? I mean, jeez, the air was brown and visible when I got there. Air you can see, what a concept.

Maybe it was the airport, maybe it was being in the puddle jumper annex, but another thing I noticed about California was that there is either a lot less plastic surgery than one is led to believe, or the surgeons out here are infinitely better at their jobs than the ones in Miami. I didn't see the same quantity of obvious noses, tits and facelifts than I do at home.

And the radio out here! Wow! It had new music, and Tejano music and classical music and live interviews with interesting people. Except for that thing about fire seasons, mud slides, mountain lions and the occasional earthquake, this could be a cool place to live. I prefer my natural disasters to have a timeline attached, like: "You have a hurricane heading your way, it should be here in a week." And then there's the price of housing. Even here in the valley, housing is not affordable. For what would buy a mini-mansion with a lot in over-priced Miami, you can get a cottage on a zero lot line here.

More observations later.
Cat, I'm a kitty cat, and I dance dance dance and I meow meow meow. (Thanks to Styrofoam Kitty for the heads up on this. And thanks to G-Shack, from whence I stole this, and loaded it on to my server. Full credits and kudos, but no link, cause it wasn't working.)

I can't stop playing that. Over and over. As for the Squirrels that go WHEEEEEE!, you can find them here. It's an acquired taste.

I'm blogging instead of packing. I told you I was into avoidance in a very big way.

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