Miz Shoes

Buckets of Rain

I pre-ordered The Bob's new album this morning, before I even finished my coffee. The RLA himself drove me to the train this morning, the first day he's been out and about since last week's emergency appendectomy.

There were no disgusting people on the train, unless you count the Very Pregnant Woman in the belly-baring cropped, spaghetti-strapped t and those atrocious stretch-knit gaucho/capris that seem to be everywhere but the trash heap of fashion history, where they belong.

Then I got to work and everything went to hell in a hand basket. Yesterday I finished entering the data into the national hospice registry for all forty of our programs. Said data includes zip codes. All zip codes for all counties where we serve. We are in Los Angeles, and Phoenix, and Miami and Philadelphia and Chicago. We have 40 programs. They each serve multiple counties. Did you know that there are fifteen pages of zip codes for Los Angeles alone? It's been a fun three weeks.

Today I began the task of dropping cds, dvds and vhs tapes into envelopes for delivery to 150 people. That's 150 inter-office envelopes with the last name crossed out, the new name written in and a location if I have one. Some people get more than one copy of each format.

This mindless repetition is why I love my job. I know, you thought I was going to bitch about it, didn't you? But it isn't the endless pushing and pulling of paper that makes me wish I had another. No, it's the little things like the one person who won't take their phone off forward, making me trot down the hall every time someone calls for her. Or the power play of she won't gather information for another department her own self, she has me drop what I'm doing to pull the papers together for her. She's the person who talked to the other department. She's the one who knows what they want. She's the fucking media person, but I am the lowly dogsbody who gets to do the grunt work. All the grunt work. All the time. Sometimes even at the same time.
The year is half over? Or there is still another half of a year to go through.

Anyway, it wouldn't be the Fourth of July here at the Casita de Zapatas if we didn't crank up the old hi-fi and blast Springsteen's "Sandy" through the entire battery of speakers.

Today is the last day of my vacation. I was able to smooth the old brain wrinkles out to a marble for a while, but tomorrow I go back to the real world, which includes a major issue with the 'rent's estate.

Biggus Dickus (he has a wife, you know) and I are co-executors of said estate, and can do nothing independent of each other regarding same. This works out in real life to Biggus Dickus (he has a wife, you know) turfing everything to me to figure out.

The current issue came to light while I was on vacation. When I got home, there was a message on the answering machine from someone who said that they had discussed this with Biggus Dickus (he has a wife, you know) and that he told them that they had to speak to me about the issue. I now have less than 30 days to find a solution to this mess and Biggus Dickus (he has a wife, you know) still hasn't had the courtesy to give me a heads up.

But then, if he understood the situation, he wouldn't have turfed it to me. And I have an underlying and uneasy suspicion that it was his incompetence that brought this newest crisis to bear.

Have I ever mentioned that he's the older child? By six years and ten months, which has always been shorthanded in the family to seven years. His wife, Incontinentia Buttocks, very pertly corrected me about this matter the last time anyone mentioned it. "SIX YEARS older, really. He was born in '48 and you in '54."

Whatever. He's still the big brother (no holding company) but you'd never know it by the way things are around here.

Fuck it. I'm off to listen to Bruce, and tomorrow?

Well, tomorrow is another day, and I'll think about everything then.
Miz Shoes


And I'm not talking about the kind from Star Trek, that got into Ensign Chekov's head, or any of the other varieties that are always popping up in horror movies. No, I'm talking about the song that gets in there and attaches itself to your synapses and won't let go.

Thanks to Reecie, damn her,
is now stuck in my head and on a permanent loop on the i-pod.

Play at your own risk.
Miz Shoes

Miss Congeniality

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

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

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

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

I’m Just Saying

The RLA was playing some Dylan this morning as we were getting ready for work, and I have to say, no matter what The Bob did, if he'd written "Sara" for ME? I totally would have taken him back.

Also? The very best sandwich in the world, and especially yummy for breakfast, is a BLT on white toast with a fried egg in it. I had one at my desk, just this morning.
Miz Shoes

I Love The Bob

I love me that Bob Dylan. This week, with the release of Martin Scorsese's documentary, I've been in deep Bob mode. All Bob, all the time on the i-pod. Obscure releases, bootlegs, new stuff, old stuff. But something came to me as I was watching "No Direction Home", and that is this: if they ever make a bio-pic of the Bob, there is only one man who could play the part... Johnny Depp.

No. Really. Look at these two photos, and tell me that this isn't another case of separated at birth.
bob2.jpg depp.jpg

You see?

Or, failing that, Johnny could play Jack Barron in the film version (never to be made, I'm afraid) of "Bug Jack Baron" and Laurence Fishburne could play his friend who's the president of the Black United States. And Christopher Walken could play the creepy old guy who's using the pituitary glands from little kids to remain young for ever.
That's a misnomer, but in keeping with my own personal tradition of trying to name these posts using rock and roll lyics or references, it was the best I could do. Actually, it's two men I admire most and a massive in-human corporation.
Dear Steve Jobs, Bob Dylan, and Sony Music,

I'd like to suggest a colaboration between the three of you to raise money for the rebuilding of New Orleans: specifically whatever charity pops up to help the old bluesmen, or to rebuild sites like Preservation Hall.

Put Bob's version of "Down in the Flood" from the Masked and Anonymous soundtrack as a special download on i-tunes. All of the money, all ninety-nine cents per download, could go to that rebuilding fund.

It's a winner, and I think it's on-message for all of your interests.


Bob's biggest fan.
Miz Shoes

Blame Reecie

Reecie, damn her freckles and dimples, tagged me with this meme. Which I only do when she tags me. Because I like her, that's why. And when you read her answers, and my answers, then you'll see that we were clearly separated at birth, or at least share a part of a brain. So, when Reecie plays meme tag, I play along. Ready? Let's go.
7 things I plan to do before I die:
1) Take in a game in every major league baseball park.
2) Spend Bastille Day in France
3) Have a buckskin mare
4) Have a family reunion in Newport, Rhode Island
5) Eat my way across India
6) Publish my book
7) Make my living as a real artist*

7 things I can do:
1) Drive a stick shift, and actually, damn near anything with an engine and wheels
2) Curse fluently. Like a longshoreman. Or a sailor.
3) Drink you under the table.
4) Remember huge chunks of Firesign Theatre dialogue.
5) Bake. Pie crusts that float. Cakes that are moist. Bread that is crusty.
6) Swim like a fish.
7) Handwork. **

7 things I cannot do:
1) Vote Republican
2) Snow ski***
3) Suffer fools lightly.
4) Watch talk show television.
5) Speak French so that French people can understand me.
6) Stick to the speed limit
7) Forgive my first husband.

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1) A big, wrinkly brain
2) A dark/twisted sense of humor
3) Height (the taller, the better)
4) A slender build (the skinnier, the better)
5) Long legs
6) Musical/artistic talent
7) Big hands

7 things that I say most often:
1) What the fuck are YOU lookin' at?
2) Fuck me blue.
3) There is just not enough alcohol in the world.
4) What the fuck is WRONG with you people.
5) Hmmph. Darwin in action.
6) What a good dog.
7) I love you

7 celebrity crushes:
1) Bob Dylan (give it a rest. I don't care what you think.)
2) Tony Bourdain (he and I were in New York in the same years, hanging out in the same places. How I missed him --tall, skinny, bad attitude, junkie -- I'll never know.)
3) Little Steven
4) Crash Davis (the character that Kevin Costner played in Bull Durham)
5) Jeff Conine (the real-life version of Crash Davis)
6) Bruce Springsteen (what, you thought I'd leave him off this list? Huh. As fucking if.)
7) Johnny Depp.

7 people I want to do this (Dorothy's disclaimer applies here as well; anyone not on the list who'd like to play is invited, and no one I've tagged should feel obligated):
1) Jodi, even though she will never do a meme
2) Jules
3) The Manolo
4) Jennifer
5) Miss Bliss
6) Wrapped Up Like a Douche
7) Allie

* as opposed to a corporate hack

** Shut up. You have a dirty mind. Embroidery. Beading. Sewing. Knitting. THAT kind of handwork.

*** Nor do I want to: it's fucking cold, wet and hard work for little payoff.
Miz Shoes

An Assortment of Things

One of the things I learned at the mall was that, among the great unwashed, the plural form of the computer mouse is "mouses". Where are the mouses? Do you have wireless mouses? Like that. Don't ask me why, because I haven't a clue.
One of the last customers I had was adamant about finding a new Mighty Mouse.

Lame Ass Customer: "Do you have any of the new Mighty Mouses?"

Me: "Well, we have a couple on display that you can play with, but I'm afraid that we're out of stock."

LAC: "You don't have any?"

Me: "Uh, no... we are out of stock."

LAC: "I was here yesterday and you didn't have any. They told me that you were getting more in today."

Me: "Be that as it may, we are out of stock."

LAC: "I know what that means.* When do you expect another shipment?"

Me: "Well, every time a box comes in the back we all crowd around to see if there are any inside."

LAC: "Look, did you get any more today or not?"

Me (giving up): "Yes. We did. But we sold them all. We are out of stock."

* Thinking to self, if you DID know what that meant, this conversation would have been over two questions ago.

On a related note, when I was on the train yesterday, the guy in front of me had the telltale white cord of an i-pod trailing out of his ear. I poked him in the shoulder, held up the plug of my own headphones, reached over, unplugged his headset and swapped his for mine. Then I plugged him into my i-pod. We listened to each other's music for about ten seconds, showed each other our screens, and then swapped back. It was very cool. He was a khaki-clad, serious glasses-wearing sort of guy, and he was listening to Sting. I was dressed in a sensible work dress, in olive drab, and wearing scary-pointed toed shoes. I was listening to Tom Petty. I'm going to have to do that (swap i-pod jacks) more often with even more random folks.

Finally, here's a scary, scary photo for you.


Little Steven, baby, what happened to your neck? Please tell me that all that weight is for your role on the Sopranos. Eek.

The only good thing about this photo is that it accompanied a story that said that a judge in New York stayed the eviction of CBGB's saying that the landlord was just as culpable in not noticing for four years that the club was underpaying its rent as the club was for not noticing that the rent had increased. She even went on about what a landmark and historical site CBGB's is, which leads me to believe that she might have been walking around in the late seventies with purple hair, too, just like me.
Miz Shoes

My Personal Religious Holiday

Happy Birthday, Bob*. As usual, I baked a cake, and made a special dinner for you. As usual, you didn't show up. I suppose the fact that you haven't the faintest whiff of an inkling of a vague imagining that I exist is the reason you never come for your birthday dinner, but that doesn't stop me.

One day. One day I'll meet you outside my dreams. Not that I'm a stalker or anything. I'd never do that. Nosirree, Bob, not me.

But if you're ever in Miami and want a nosh, or a little drinkie, just give me a call. My door is always open.

*Dylan. Bob Dylan. Duh.
Miz Shoes

I Went, I Saw, I Screamed

No Mas Bush! and Four More Days!

It was a rainbow of colors, ages, genders. There were Veterans for Kerry, GLT for Kerry, Labor for Kerry, Jews for Kerry, Christians for Kerry, Latinas for Kerry, Women for Kerry, Unions for Kerry. I had a Florida is Kerry Country sign, my sister-girl was holding one that said something about Women's Votes. There were little kids and old folks and everything in between.

The energy was palpable when Kerry took the stage. Of course, having The Boss for your warm-up act makes it pretty hard to come onto a cold stage. Nevertheless, when Kerry made his appearance, the chant went up (and as far as I could tell, it really was spontaneous) "No Mas BUSH!!!"

I needed to see him, and as jaded an old politico as I am, I cannot, for the life of me, tell you why this year I needed to go out and participate in the young man's game. But I did. And I ran into a bunch of the old gang there, too.

Is there some subliminal Kennedy allure? Is Kerry our last, best hope? He was a good speaker. He showed fire, and humor, and passion. Maybe that's it. Maybe it's the feeling that this man does hold our country dear. Holds its ideals dear. And is passionate about the theory of America, about its promise, not just the rewards for those who hold the vested interest.

Despite my jaundiced heart, I believed John Kerry last night. Even though he had my vote, and my yard sign, and my permanently attached campaign button, and my endless prostletizing, I needed, at some deep level, to see him and have my faith confirmed.

It worked.

On the sidewalk, as Star and I walked in to Bayfront Park, I saw a playing card lying face down. There was just the single card, and never one to let a sleeping omen lie, I picked it up and turned it over.

It was the King of Hearts.
Miz Shoes

Friday Olio

For whatever reason, I woke up this morning in a great mood. Maybe the endorfins are still pumped from last night at the gym with my trainer, Nic Cage.

Maybe it was the cool, moist air, a harbinger of fall. Maybe it was the sausage biscuit hidden in my knitting bag as I rode the train.

Or maybe it was the random playlist that the l'il pink i-pod produced.
1. Fruitcakes, Jimmy Buffett
2. Summer Days, Bob Dylan
3. Scar Tissue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Don't Fence Me In, David Byrne (From Red, Hot and Blue)
5. Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone, Doug Sahm
6. Prince Charming, Adam & the Ants
7. Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
8. Because I Got High, Afroman

I couldn't have programmed that in a million years. Some sense or sensibility would have prevented me from mixing it up.

It's Friday, and today I'm going to research and write a white paper on targeted pop-up advertising for our web site, and content available for purchase. This will be the third time in six years that I've done it. The second time for the same guy. But this round, he seems to be winning control of the site, so maybe it isn't just wheel spinning.

Tomorrow, I'm going to begin work on my Halloween costume. The lovely RJ is hosting a fancy dress affair for the holiday, with an Alice In Wonderland theme. Come as a character from Through The Looking Glass or Alice. So I'm going to be a flamingo.

Oh, come on. She played croquet with the Red Queen, and they used flamingos as mallets and hedgehogs as balls. Don't you guys remember anything?

Miz Shoes

Nubbins of News

From Salon, a review of the first "Vote For Change" show in Philly, with the Springsteen, REM line-up.

"Hunched over a 12-string acoustic guitar, standing in the lone spotlight of an otherwise darkened Wachovia Center in Philadelphia Friday night, Bruce Springsteen began his tour sprint to help unseat President Bush with a bluesy, instrumental version of the “Star Spangled Banner.” “America is not always right -- that’s a fairy tale you tell your children,” Springsteen later commented from the stage. “But America is always true. And it’s in seeking this truth that we find a deeper patriotism. Remember, the country we carry in our hearts is waiting.” "

Read the entire review (well worth sitting through a commercial if this is premium content)
From RJ, a couple of quotes worth remembering:

"Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." : Hermann Goering

"The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men": Plato

And, finally, via my cousin, E.L. Doctorow's essay on President Bush. All the more worth reading since the debate, where the President allowed as how he knows how tough war is because he sees it on TV. Putz.

"I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty one year olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel inm the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be. They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and father or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life.... they come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq. How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his "mission-accomplished" a disaster.

He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did.

He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to. Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator.

He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you.

Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills -- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel. But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a- half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it. But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time. But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind.

It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble. Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

E.L. Doctorow
Miz Shoes

This, That and Another Thing

Item the first: I've got the flu. That'll teach me to discount the RLA's misery when he gets it first. I'm falling over in my chair, surrounded by OTC flu products and big honking box of tissues, spreading my disease to my co-workers because (despite my personal feelings about coming to work when sick) I have the web roll-out from hell in one week, and I have to be here to work. Hah! and Good Luck with what ever I produce today.

Item the second: Bruce Springsteen is 55 today. Happy birthday, Bruce. Read his most excellent interview in Rolling Stone. Here.

Item the third: Hurricane Ivan is back? And Jeanne just won't go away. She's bearing down on the Florida coast for the third time, after wandering in circles in the Atlantic for two weeks. Just beat us up, and go away, already.

Item the fourth: I'm preparing a rebuttal to the person who dropped a comment on my entry down below about the Bush family, and how she admires their family values. So far, I have found multiple arrests spanning multiple generations for crimes ranging from breaking and entering, to DUI, to drug abuse. I have located the reports of Neil's philandering and Poppy's. From personal friends, I have the story of Barbara's anti-Semitism that goes back to her childhood. And that's just the opening paragraph. I haven't even gotten to the high crimes and misdemeanors of the sitting president. However, with the roll-out from hell, and the flu from next door to hell, that rebuttal will have to wait.

Go read what Bruce has to say. It's worth the read.
Miz Shoes

Today’s Playlist

Maybe it's the funeral. Maybe it's the threat of Hurricane Ivan. Maybe it's my general indigo funk, malaise and bad attitude, but I put together a little playlist I call "Easy for me to listen to".

Sample tracks include Tom Waits' "Waltzing Matilda" (live), Bob Dylan & Paul Simon (live) "Sounds of Silence" and the Ramones "Sheena is a Punk Rocker."

In fact, the majority of the songs in this list are live tracks from the Bob, or Tom or any number of other male artists with terrible voices that I love so true.

But, in the ever wobbly balance of my life, I just ordered tickets to see the Indigo Girls in late October at a fabulous little jewel box of a Deco-era theater in downtown Miami.

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