Miz Shoes

Driver’s License Photo Follies

It was time for my driver's license to be renewed, so I did it the modern way: on the internet. Or at least, I tried to. Instead I received a letter from the State of Florida, very politely apologizing for having misplaced my photo, and asking me to "expeditiously" beat a path to the nearest Licensing Bureau and get a new one.

This concerned me, because, through some fluke of the universe, I have, or had, the world's best driver's license photo. It looked like me. It was, at the same time, a flattering picture of me. I have on make up. I have on a smile. I do not look like I just wandered in from some half-way house for the criminally insane.

Nevertheless, when the State asks one to make one's way in an "expeditious" manner to the license bureau on pain of losing your license if you don't, you go.

I made an appointment, thereby saving myself the agony of a three-hour wait. I took care with my makeup this morning, and dressed in a solid color with a simple neckline. I drove to the licensing office, and found the only open spot in the lot. There was still time on the meter. Things were going quite well, I thought. Then I got into the office. On my way in, I had to pass the line that, at 9 A.M. was already out the door, and past someone in the line who reeked of piss and beer.

There was only one person in the line for appointments. When she finished, I presented my letter from the State to the woman at the counter, and she looked at me and said: "I'm on break now. The man will take care of you." So I turned to the gentleman she indicated, and started again. "I have an appointment. I have a letter. I have my old license." "Right. Confirmed. Go stand in that line." So I did.

And stood, and waited, and stood, and waited. And finally got to talk to the next clerk. She couldn't get it. I have a license that needs to be renewed, but the computer is telling her that it's a duplicate. At no cost to me. Fine. Take the freaking photo and let's go. After much deliberation, and with two other people getting to put in their opinions, I was finally sent to the end of the room, to the photo guy.

First photo: He tells me to take off my glasses, without noticing that my license says I actually need to have them on to drive. I take them off. He shoots. I look scary, and he says: your hair is sticking up. I say: it always sticks up. It's curly. Let's take another one.

Second photo: I start to position myself to minimize my flaws maximize my better features, and as I do, the two women standing in the next line over start to shriek like magpies and point at me and carry on about how I'm "posing" for the photo. The guy snaps the shutter as I turn and stare daggers at the women. He refuses to let me see it and tells me we're going for three.

Third photo: I look at the camera, I think about attempting to smile and he says, there. This one is better. I look, and there on the computer screen is the vilest photo of me since my employee badge photo. It is in extreme close-up. I see the San Andreas Fault where I normally see crows feet. Although my forehead is powdered, it looks like a giant shining beacon of grease. I have jowls like Deputy Dawg, a feature not found on my face in real life. In fact, my new driver's license photo looks a lot like Michael Jackson's mug shot.

I don't know whether to cry or call a plastic surgeon.
Miz Shoes

FTAA Redux

There's a story in the paper this morning about the various groups that are planning to sue the Miami police over civil rights violations during the FTAA.

I'd like to refresh everyone's memories, if I might, about what a true violation of civil rights by military or civilian forces looks like.

Kent State victim, 1971

or maybe


That, my friends, is silencing dissent.

When you take to the streets to protest, you must understand the covenant that you are undertaking. Yes, it is your right to go in the streets, but it is the right of the government to keep you from rioting. In Kent State, the National Guard fired live rounds. In Miami, there was bruising from rubber bullets.

According to the protesters themselves, they were wearing black masks. You cannot wear a mask in a mob protest rally and expect there to be no repercussions. Think for a minute, son. If the police were in riot gear (which they were), masked and anonymous (which they were) would you feel safe, or like this was a confrontation doomed to end badly? Well, those guys behind the shields felt exactly the same about you. Masked, anonymous, and clearly up to mischief.

While I'm on the subject of rights, I'd like to revisit the Constitution of the United States. I've been reading it, and reading it, and I have yet to find the right to not be offended. In fact, as best as I can tell, that whole first amendment thing is pretty much the right TO BE offended. As in, I don't like what you say, I don't like what you stand for, but under the laws of this country, you can say and think pretty damn near anything you want, and it is everyone else's obligation to ignore you or agree as they see fit.

This is how that works, for those of you new to the whole concept: I say, for example that I think George W. Bush has the intellect of a shoe. You are free to agree, or to disagree. If you agree, you keep reading my blog. If you disagree, you send me e-mail calling me names. Or if you are the FBI, you open my dissident folder and start keeping track of all the times I say Dubya is a self-serving moron. Either way, though, I have the right to my opinion.

You do not have the right to silence my opinion because it offends you. I'm offended by plenty of stuff, as readers of my blog are well aware. Occasionally, I let the offender know that I am offended. But usually, I just bitch about it here, to my own amusement, and presumably, yours.

That's the bottom line of the first amendment, you see: Everyone has the right to their opinion, and the right to express that opinion. Nobody has the right to prevent you from expressing your opinion.

In theory, at any rate. I can ban your comments, because this is my private, personal press, and I don't have to let you blither if I don't want to. The Miami Herald can choose not to print some lunatic's single-brain-celled screed about making English the exclusive and mandatory language for all visitors to this community. Not because they wish to silence a dissenting opinion (that multi culturalism is bad), but because such letters are usually written in crayon and with no sense of grammar or literary elan. You can find me such a bleeding heart liberal pinko retard that you develop a tic every time you read me, and so choose not to read this blog, or even block it from your personal computer.

The one thing an individual in this republic cannot do, is prevent another individual's voice from being heard. Otherwise, believe me, I would prevent Rush Limbaugh from ever being heard on the radio again. It is not my job, nor my right, to silence him.

The only way offensive viewpoints can be made to disappear is to not listen to them. If everyone would quit buying Madonna's albums, eventually she would have to stop making them. Look at how well that worked in the case of her remake of "Swept Away." It stunk. Nobody went to the movies to see it. It never even made it to video. Now she's having a hard time getting roles.

Censorship doesn't work. Ignoring what offends you works better.
Miz Shoes


Yesterday's money quote was Kathy Griffin saying that watching celebrities come out and defend Michael Jackson's pedophilia was disgusting. Couldn't have said it better, myself.

In a fit of train-wreck watching, I got in about 45 minutes of EmJay before my brain tried to implode.

So, uh, not to see a conspiracy here, but how um, coincidental? Convenient? is it that Michael's celebrity defender du jour was Nicole-Lionel's-Daughter-Ritchie? She who "stars" with her best friend Paris-I-Am-SO-A-Serious-Intellectual-Damn-It-Hilton in Fox's newest reality show. You know, the one where the two rich girls go live for a month in West Mustache, FlyOverState, USA. The one that Paris is unable to hype on the talk show circuit because of her other video?

But, Nicole-Lionel's-Daughter-Ritchie could, if anybody would give her airtime to do it. It's just that, well, let's just say she doesn't have Paris' borzoi-like good looks.

Wait! She just happens to be EmJay's god-daughter. OHMIGAWD! Like, two celebrity birds with one set up and number two shot. Tell me some hot young producer didn't earn their pay this week figuring that out.
Miz Shoes

Anarchy is Stupid

Damn, I hate these idiots running around my city. Carpet baggers. They claim to be anarchists, and yet they rely on the electronic media to advertise their protests and demands. Here's a little something to chew on: true anarchy would destroy the electric grid, bring down all media, stop running water and sewers, and leave us little better than cave dwellers (not that there's anything wrong with that).

True anarchy would allow the police you taunt to shoot you and damn the consequences, of which there would be none. Well, you may argue, they wouldn't be policemen. And you'd be right. They'd just be pissed off people with automatic weapons and riot gear. Sort of like the knights of old, in their armor, smacking the crap out of the little people wearing rags.

Here's another something to chew on, other than your grainy tofu from your community kitchens: if the average household income in a third-world nation is about five bucks a year, and a 10-year old, who has no chance of going to a non-existant school anyway, is making about 50 cents a week sewing Nike sneakers rather than being a child sex worker, what's the problem? You don't want to support sweat shops in Asia? Fine. Don't buy the products.

You need more? Here's more: You cannot have it both ways. You cannot pay $30 an hour to an American laborer who belongs to a union, and expect to pay bottom dollar for the product he makes. If you pay minimum wage, you can sell for minimum dollar. If you pay through the nose for your workers, their health care, their education benefits, their retirement benefits, and their union organization, then profit must be made somewhere along the line.

Finally, if you want to make changes in the world, don't go out in the streets with banners and jollies that look like a day at Fantasy Fest. Take a lesson from the French students of the 60s, and look like a fucking angry mob of serious people. Or, and here's a real hard thing to swallow: grow up and create change from within.

Vote in every election from Dog Catcher to President. Do volunteer work in your own back yards. Get jobs, and make policies that benefit everyone. You want to live on a commune? Move to Israel and live on a kibbutz. That'll let you get your fill of both politics and socialism.

But, please, take your idealized views of anarchy and get the fuck out of Miami. Thanks. Have a nice day.
No, probably not. Like every other blogger on the planet, it seems, I use Blogrolling. Unlike every other blogger on the planet, I tried to recreate my bloglist during the Laura debacle, and so completely ruined any chance of getting my list back when the lists were replaced with backups.

I'm now waiting for Blogrolling to complete their roll over to new servers so that I can start over.

On the work side of life, my boss is on the other side of the planet for three weeks, leaving me to suffer the slings and arrows of stupidity by myself. Are you, my readers, as tired of the repetition of idiocy here at my office as I am? Today's stupid-o-gram from the PR office asked if I had put information on the web about the Free Trade crap going on down town. Well, no, I hadn't. Of course I hadn't, seeing as how the PR office is the freaking gate keeper of all content, and they hadn't asked for that to go up. They still aren't asking, as far as I can tell from this e-mail, because they only asked if it was up, and what did I think about putting something up if nothing was up already.

What I think, I can't put in an e-mail, and probably shouldn't put here. I think that what ever they want me to do, it's three days late and several dollars short. The damn conference is half over. The crap they're sending me is about street closures and alternate routes to get to work. Hey, genius! People have probably figured it out on their own by now, and what with your crack record for prompt and useful information they won't be looking on the hospital's website for that, anyway. They'll be going to the Miami Herald site, and how pathetic is that, considering that you wouldn't want to use the Herald to wrap fish, much less get information.

I must be depressed, because I'm starting to have accidents that leave marks. I've never been one of those people who intentionally cut themselves, or anything like that. I just get clumsy when I'm depressed. This means that I am currently walking around with a chunk of my left pinky missing (chopping garlic with a recently sharpened knife, and somehow managed to get the finger pad under the blade). I have a bruise the size of a tangerine on my right forearm from getting on an elevator. The woman standing in front of the control panel looked like she was holding the door open button as she watched me get in. She was not. She was merely watching people enter the elevator. Since I was the last one on, I was the one the doors shut on. Hence the bruise.

I'm also stressed, which is leading to a flare-up of perioral dermatitis. For the laymen, that means my face is breaking out around my mouth and chin. Causes? Stress, and being a middle-aged white woman. OK. Got anything in there I can actually do something about, Doc? Cause I can't change the white, aging, female part. And the stress? Well, fuck. Mummy has Alzheimer's and just fell, broke her hip and is in rehab with a bionic joint. Daddy has leukemia and is holding steady. Work sucks left nut. The economy is in the toilet, and Bush is in the White House riding roughshod over the world. The Dems are mounting one of the most pathetic panel of choices I've ever seen, leading me to believe that Bush will actually WIN the election this time and thereby get another four years in power, which leads me to view the world situation with something less than hope.

So there is my fucking life in a nutshell. Ennui or angst?
Miz Shoes

What Can I Say?

I have this little ritual every morning. I read the paper. It's good for me, because there is usually something in those inky pages that starts my heart even better than a second cup of coffee. This morning it was a "style" article about the current hot trend: knitting.

The story featured a woman whose first project was described as an afghan for her living room. And I suppose it was her project. After all, she commissioned me to make it for her. She told me she was so inspired by my work that she was taking up knitting. I'd like to think that maybe, after she bought that first set of needles, she decided that she could knit better than me, and so made another afghan to replace the one she paid me $500 for. The article continued on to say that after the afghan she has knit several shawls and scarves and a purse with a beaded handle. How nice.

That led into a side bar about beading and other crafts. The featured artisan/teacher in that story is another woman I know. She learned to bead from another friend, a jeweler. She teaches alongside that same jeweler, as her assistant. Neither my name nor my jeweler friend's name were mentioned.

Apparently, you are only worthy of ink if you come to be a craftsman as a second career, after homemaking or trophy wife. Those of us with degrees and 20+ years in the field are just shit out of luck.

And so, just like the graphic design profession has been taken over by people with desktop computers and a couple boxes of software and clip art, artisans have been replaced by dilettantes with too much time and sufficient amounts of money to buy supplies. They have "house shows" and they sell to each other. It has become a status thing to touch the pearls at one's throat and murmur that it was purchased from a friend who has become "a jeweler." I guess that saying it came from a friend who has become proficient at bead stringing doesn't have quite the same cachet.

Sort of like saying that the gorgeous afghan tossed oh-so-casually- across one's tooled leather reading chairs was a commissioned piece rather than a knit of one's own.

Well, bite me. When do I get to have a second career? Although, to read my resume, I'm already on my fourth or fifth. I've been a graphic designer (print) and a web designer. I spent several years as a commercial photographer (product work, catalogs, like that) and color printer. I did a season as a political campaign advisor. (Word of advice: if you end up like I did, voting for the opposition, your candidate was no damn good.) I spent a couple of my earlier years in post-production for film. Non-theatrical release, primarily, but I did work on the titles for "Harlan County, USA" which took the Oscar that year for Best Documentary. Got to hold the little gold guy, too, when Barbara Kopple brought it over to the optical house to share.

I used to think my mid-life crisis would involve becoming a professional chef, but that field too, has become overrun with dilettantes and bored second-careerists, and I'll be damned if I follow that trend.
Miz Shoes

Public Display of Bare Feet

From the "Now I have heard everything" files.

My cousin reports this fesh new hell outrage: skeevy bare feet propped up on the chair back in front of the offender at a movie. Yes. Shoes are removed. Skeevy, stinky, poor hygiene-hampered men's feet are plopped on the head rest of the seat in front. And left thus for the entire movie.

Much relief when the lights went down and the feet were no longer visible.

Ewwww. That's just gross. My cousin noted that of course, the feet were foul, because anyone who had the good manners and good sense to NOT remove shoes and socks in public would also have had good foot hygiene. That leaves the swine with skanky feet and equally skanky public behavior free to do what he did.

Cousin points out that said skank had a female companion, which leads to the observation that there's someone for everyone.

My ex-husband, the anti-christ, used to pick his toe nails and then smell his fingers. I leave it to your imagination how many times I saw that little quirk before I started calculating what it would take to get the divorce finalized.

If you guessed one, you would be correct.

It's not like I have a thing about feet, I don't. I do have a thing about bad foot behavior. But then, I have a thing about all bad behavior, so feet just fall in under the general heading of "things not to do in public with your body." Regular readers will know where I'm going with this.

DO NOT: pick your stray facial hair, your nose, your toenails, your zits, your boyfriends zits. DO NOT play with your various pierced parts, especially those in your face.

Thank you.
Miz Shoes

It’s Pouring

It's raining. It's hot and it's raining. The color of the sky belies the temperature. If you didn't know better, you'd think it was a Rochester sky. You'd expect it to be cold, biting through your sweater to soak deep into your bones. And you would be wrong.

This is the tropics. This is a hot, muggy rain. The sky, the rain, the Bay. They all blend into one another in a gray, gray drizzle.

The red lights on the chopper pad glow, but dimly. There is no frosty aura. There is only heat, and rain.

Perfect weather for staying in bed with the covers pulled up over one's head and the air conditioner set to nuclear winter.

I, of course, am at my office, writing this blog entry and trying to look like I have work to do, which I do not. My work life this week is being played out in Dilbert. I am dealing with the titanium bottleneck. No job is small enough to pass through the clog that is our PR department. They sit on information like nesting brood hens. Brood hens with dead eggs, because nothing ever hatches out.

So here I sit, pretending to update the organization's website, when really I'm just venting my frustration on my own, personal site.

Tomorrow, I take another road trip. Don't get excited, it's not anywhere anyone would want to be.
Miz Shoes

Reason #5287 Why I’m Going to Hell

I have been extremely rigorous in my avoidance of any and all "reality" TV. I am proud to say, that except for an occasional commercial, I've never seen a single minute of any of the Survivors. Ditto Joe Millionaire, the Bachelor, the Bachelorette (ugh, the very concept), Fear Factor, Amazing Race, Paradise Hotel or any of the several million knock-offs and variants thereof.


Since the playoffs (and if you have to ask which playoffs, you are utterly worthless) were on FOX, there were a lot, a lot, a lot of ads for the new season of Joe Millionaire in which they showed a dozen very pretty young Euro-trash women burbling on about how they could just so easily fall in love with this man they think is worth $80 million. "And now for the best part, he's riiich"

God help me. I have to watch. This is a train wreck I would PAY to watch. I don't want to. I won't respect myself at all. But I am going to be glued to this. It's ugly. It's cruel. It's going to be my personal must-see-TV.

Speaking of cruel, I am just appalled by the new Sprint commercials which show a young woman taking a photo with her voice and image cell phone of some poor schmuck having a bad day at the diner. She sends the photo to her girlfriend with the snidest, bitchiest singsong voice over of "Look at your new boyfriend, don't you l-u-v your new boyfriend?"

It is just mean spirited. Cruel. It gives me the heebiejeebies of highschool cliques and unpopularity contests. It's ugly. It's demeaning. It's awful.

And a lot like what I suspect will be my new favorite TV show of all time: Joe Millionaire goes to Europe to hose the unsuspecting gold diggers.
Miz Shoes

A Meditation Upon Trolls

I have a new troll. Or a new stalker, depending on your point of view.

He came to me the way they always do: he Googled the web, searching for someone who disagreed with his opinions. Then he sent an e-mail, calling me a pathetic loser with too much time on my hands. (This from someone who searches the web for dissenting opinions) Then he sent another, and another and another. The vitriol escalated slightly. He sent me a long e-mail that backed up his opinion and was contrary to mine.

I finally responded. I said: I don't care what you think. I don't care who agrees with you. I will be deleting all further mail from you.

That caused him to send me a storm of e-mails, suggesting that I kill myself, offering to help me do so.

I blocked his address. He took a new e-mail address and sent this chilling little item:

From: robert blake (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Date: 13 Oct 17:47 (EDT)
To: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Subject: no hard feelings. ok?


in the east - the far east - when a person is sentenced to death, they send them to a place where they can't escape - never knowing when an executioner may step up from behind and fire a bullet into the back of their head. it could be minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years from the time they are sentenced.

it's been a pleasure talking to you. have a nice day.


What was the catalyst for this? What had he Googled? Was it religion? War? Politics? What deep-held belief of his had I trampled and so condemned myself to death?

I think David Lynch is a second-rate film maker. I don't like Paul McCartney.

What kind of world do we live in, anyway?

So, for the record, I still don't think David Lynch is a genius.

But for all the rest of you trolls out there, try to think this through. I'm speaking to myself when I blog. I'm assuming that some people will read, and many more will not. I'm voicing an opinion, I am not attempting mind control or saying that my word is law. I'm just saying.

I do not send my opinion to you. You come to me. I do not spam the web. You search the web.

You are searching, you are spending time looking for something to argue about and take offense to. And you have the nerve to call me, and my brethren (or sister) bloggers people with too much time?

How small is your life? How insignificant do you feel, that you need to threaten and violate? Take a night class. Get another degree, or your first one. Move out of your parent's basement. Get a real job. Get a friend. Get a life. Try volunteer work. Try therapy. Watch fewer movies, play less x-box. Read the newspaper.

Because, and I'm sure you'll remember this: killing the president didn't work out so well for Travis Bickel, did it? Or even for John Hinkley.

Have a day.
Miz Shoes

Tell Me How You Really Feel

I'm standing around the temple yesterday morning, waiting for services to begin, feeling virtuous and all, and chewing the fat with a friend from my political life. I'm telling her about the Peaceblog Project, and asking her to write for it. She's enthused. I'm enthused. Her husband walks up.

Background interlude: I like her husband. I've known him for 20-some years, during which time he has declined to hire me on no less than three occasions, and we have both won awards for our work. He is now a nationally sought-after designer and conference speaker. His company has merged, grown, merged and grown again. Did I mention that I like and respect him? I do. A lot. I have a nagging feeling, though, that he doesn't much care for me at all, regardless of our mutual professional respect. And frankly, I'm only guessing and hoping that it is mutual.

So she tells him that I'm telling her about my blog project. He gets a look like he's just stepped in something that was left in the grass by a dyspeptic dog. He says: "Oh, no. Not a blog. People who write blogs have way too much time on their hands. The only thing more pathetic are the people who read them. Who wants to waste time reading someone else's virtual rants?"

OK. He told the unvarnished truth of his own opinion. I can respect that. I'd do the same. Usually do, and usually with the same results: seething resentment and hurt feelings on the part of the person so addressed.

The wife says that she likes reading them. I wander away, feeling like the thing that was stepped in.

I have this suspicion that the reason this man doesn't like me so much is that I'm too much like him. Our birthdays are a day apart. But he came from a prominent local family and is male. I suspect that he looks at me and thinks, there but for the grace of money and gender, go I. And that thought is unsettling. To him, at any rate. Not to me, because, as I said, I actually like this guy. A lot.

Which brings up the next question: Why? Why, if he is usually the same kind of prick that he was in temple yesterday morning, and why, if he continually interviews me, but then doesn't hire me, and why, if I can tell that he barely tolerates social discourse with me, DO I like him?

And that I can't answer. I think because he is so talented, and so funny, and so smart. All the things that make us similar. I think I like him for exactly the same reasons that he doesn't like me: we are very, very much alike. Except that he's real tall, and real good looking and a guy. And rich. And famous. And has his own very successful business. But, you know, except for that....
Miz Shoes

The Annotated Wedding Announcement

The following wedding announcement is from the Miami Herald. The names have been abbreviated to prevent any lawsuits against your author. That everything I say is fact makes it hard to charge me with libel, but the new missus has a history of bogus and frivolous lawsuits, not to mention some heavy black arts. Nevertheless, it is with much joy that I present the annotated version.

B******n - E*****t

Ms. B***y B******n and Mr. M*****l S. E*****t were married, 5 September 2003, in an American Indian (this would be after Ms. B had burned through Judaism, Zen Buddhism, New Age Crystals, Witchcraft and Feng Shui. Mr. E is a former Jesuit.) ceremony at their mountain-top home in Ludow, Vermont. (This is at least the third marriage for Ms. B, and the second for Mr. E. Her first two ended in divorce, after she had drained the souls and pocketbooks of her victims husbands. Mr. E's first marriage ended with the death of his wife, of breast cancer. Her funeral was produced and hosted by his then-mistress, Ms. B.) They will honeymoon in Madrid and London in the fall. (Ms. B likes to honeymoon in Madrid. She's done it before, with number 2. Although the adjoining suites in the Plaza during the first Mrs. E's funeral was probably the "real" honeymoon for these two.) Mrs. E*****T is the former B***y (nee Bernyce) G*****n W*******n, daughter of Y****e and B******n G*****n (Aha! Now we know where the latest last name came from. It's important, when one is a grifter, to change names often. Don't know if she changes her social security number, too. It would help with that back taxes thing she was running from for the past dozen years, though.) of Forest Hills, New York, both deceased. (And, no doubt, spinning furiously at what their spawn has become) M*****l S. E*****t, son of M**y and the late M*****l J. E*****t of Bayonne, New Jersey, (and tell me that dad isn't doing some heavy spinning of his own) is the former Associate Vice President Medical Affairs, Executive Director, UM Hospital Division and Chief Information Officer, University of M**** School of Medicine. (Former being the operative word here. He was "asked" to leave rather suddenly, after an argument over the cooked books and the half million dollar make-over his office had, under the Feng Shui direction of his mistress. Marble floors, a five-foot fountain, crown moldings and custom office furniture as the hospital was bleeding red ink. There were reports of loud voices and the words "lying" and "horse shit" being bandied about. Ms. B was asked to leave shortly after her protector.) The couple reside in the Cayman Islands, BWI, where Mr. E*****t is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority. Mrs. E*****t is Director of Marketing for the Cayman Islands Hospital. (Gee, I wonder how she managed that? As the dearly departed Leapin' Larry Greene was wont to say: It ain't who ya know, it's who ya blow. Here in M***i, her skills at writing and promotion were, shall we say, uneven?) The E*****t's (yep, it was printed with the apostrophe. Herald misprint, or grammatical error from the author? Probably the latter. As I said, writing was never her strong point.) will retain their primary residence on Key B******e, Florida. (There is no mention of their combined five adult children. The bride's three are estranged from her, and have been for years. They are: the lesbian chef, the Hollywood sex worker, and the lawyer. The groom's children haven't spoken to him since their mother's funeral. Well, that's not quite true. His daughter was living with him, until Ms. B moved in within the week following his first wife's death. She was actually in the apartment before the body cooled. She couldn't abide having the daughter there, so she threw her out. The son quit speaking to the father shortly after, when Ms. B decided that the son could sell his car to pay for law school, since his veteran's benefits didn't quite make that nut, and Daddy needed all his money to pay for the remodeling of their home. The old Mrs. E's stuff had to be cleared out and her memory effaced as quickly as possible. There is no photo accompanying this announcement, one assumes because the bride -- and is it correct to call a thrice-married, 67-year-old hag a bride?-- does not show up in photographs, nor does she cast a reflection in mirrors. )
Miz Shoes

Did Ya Miss Me?

C'mon. Tell me that you did. Tell me that your day just was not complete without reading my whining and complaining and general all around bitching about the world. Tell me that you had a panic attack seeing that little page not found message.

And then I'll tell my brother in law, who switched servers without telling me, thereby sending this and my other sites into (say it with me a la Riffraff) O-blivion?

But a quick note to the geek gods of Register.com and here I am, 48 hours later. Happy to rag about just about any and everything that crosses my field of vision.

Item 1: Standing in front of the entrance to a small mall, a small boy. He is pissing in the hedge. His mother is standing nearby, encouraging him by telling him that if he will only face INTO the hedge, and not look back at her, nobody will notice that he's peeing. Except, of course, that we all do, and she looks me right in the eyes and smiles and explains that her boy "is making pee-pee." Really? No. I'd never have guessed. I reminded her, coldly, that there are public bathrooms in the mall.

Item 2: Did you know that the U.S. post office doesn't consider mail lost until it has not arrived at its destination after a full month? And that's for their PRIORITY mail. I shudder to think what a mere first class letter has to do to get itself declared missing. The exact response from my friendly mail clerk was "Well, it's the mail, it'll get there. Or not." Thank you.

Item 3: Oh. I guess there isn't an item three. How about this, then? I'm getting a mammogram at 2:30 this afternoon. I suggested to the service that they offer a glass of ice cold chardonnay afterwards to all their patients. While the lovely woman at the other end of the phone allowed as how that would be nice for us, she also noted that the staff would drink it all and there wouldn't be any for the patients anyway.

Tomorrow I have a date with my surrogate daughter. We're going out for dim sum and then I am going to teach her how to drive a stick. We are going in the Cabrio. She will not be learning how to leave a patch. She will benefit from the wisdom of my earliest college boyfriend, Steve Berger, who taught me two important things about cars.

The first thing was "It's just as easy to park your car correctly as it is to park like an asshole." I still hear that in my mind every time I pull into a space. It's why I'm the jerk taking time to position the car between the yellow lines, and not over them.

The second thing was "Always listen to your engine. It will never lie to you." Your tach can, but the engine cannot.

I hope it sounds as good coming from me as it did from Steve.
Miz Shoes

Panhandling for Fun and Profit

This should probably go to the rants section of my site, and not linger here in the blog world, but you know, it's on my mind now.

What happened to car washes and bake sales and even those horrible candy sales and wrapping paper sales as a means of teaching children to work for their money?

Back in my day, which was, granted, somewhere along the year God invented dirt, if the school band needed money to go to a marching band competition (and lord knows, THAT wasn't very likely in my high school), all the band members got together with the sponsor/teacher and went to a gas station and held a car wash. The cute girls stood on the side of the road in their bikinis, holding hand made signs offering to wash your car for a buck or five.

There were plenty of dusty cars, and much more splashing and bonding and general horsing around and everyone had a great time and money was made. Earned.

Maybe the band mothers baked brownies and cookies and you held a bake sale on the school grounds or out side of the local grocery store.

In any event, the students did something to earn the money they were asking for. But no more. If I see one more group of kids standing in the middle of traffic, under the watchful eye of their personal Fagen, holding out a cup asking for spare change, I am going to just lose it.

I've already started offending little Boy Scouts when they hold their little mitts out at the grocery store and ask for change. (Not even the decency to sell yummy cookies like the Girl Scouts.) I'll squat down to get eye to eye with them, and then I'll tell them, that , no, they won't be getting change from me because the Boy Scouts of America don't allow little gay Boy Scouts and that kind of prejudice is unacceptable to me and my money. And the adult in charge just looks daggers at me and has to explain.

But this begging thing has gone too far. It was one thing when it was a bunch of hunky firemen holding out a big rubber boot. Gimmicky, clever and infrequent. But the weekly barrage of begging children, asking for money for new soccer balls, or uniforms, or what ever is just too much. And half of these aren't even school sponsored, they are community-based leagues.

Well correct my crabby ass if I'm wrong, but if Mommy and Daddy are putting their kids into an after school sports league, isn't it their responsiblity to buy the freaking soccer balls?

And what about standing in the middle of US-1? What responsible adult thinks sticking teenagers and even younger kids in a busy 6-lane intersection is a good idea? With their hands out, asking for spare change.

I say no. Even the bums under the bridges offer to wipe a filthy rag across my windshield in exchange for a quarter. You want to teach kids the value of money? Make them work for it, not beg for it.
Miz Shoes

National Security Precludes Photos

So there I am, Friday afternoon. I'm leaving the office and I think I look pretty sharp: wearing a silk dress, matte gold sandals and carrying my briefcase. I walk up to the turnstile at the train station and I see that one of the three 'stiles is wrapped in yellow and black police tape. It is clearly out of order. But the spider web of yellow tape is interesting to me, so I slip my pass into the slot, enter the station through another turnstile and then turn my trusty Nikon to the yellow web.

HOLD IT! You can't take pictures here. Put the camera away.

You gotta be kidding me. I look up to see the elite Wackenhut guard looking at me. He repeats his orders. There is no photography allowed on the trains, the Metromovers, the platforms or the stations.

I ask since when? And he gives me a look of pity, as though I am the simplest of the simple and smirks, "Since (and then there is a long pause, as he cannot recall the exact date of what he is about to cite) since 2001, when they had the September Nine One One terrorism."

And taking a photo of a broken turnstile is a security risk? I'M a security risk? Is this a new law, part of the Patriot Act? I ask him.

And he says, that no, it isn't a LAW, it's a POLICY.

Well, fair enough, I say. Where is it posted? Or printed? Or publicly noticed?

And that's when he threatened to call the Metro Dade Police to "explain it" to me better.

Gentle readers, you know me. A challenge like that? To call in the police to do what, arrest me? For violating a policy? I checked my watch. Too late, the husband is already on his way to pick me up from the station and I really don't want to get into it with him: No, honey, don't pick me up at the train, come and spring me from the slammer, I was taking photos of broken turnstiles and it turned into a dangerous breach of national security.

So I let the snaggle toothed Good Ole Boy win that round. But I'm still steamed.

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