A while back I posted about band width poachers, and how they suck. I told the story of how I found out that I had some, and where they seemed to be coming from. A couple of folks offered sugestions on how to stop it. I let it pass.

Recent trolling through my stats showed that it wasn't just the photo of my glamorous red shoes (the ones in the comment window) that was being poached, but my masthead, other photos of shoes, even a photo of my dear, dead grandfather. That one was accompanied by snotty remarks about his "hotness" or lack thereof. Which, in all honesty, since the picture was taken around the turn of the last century, were probably justified.

That isn't what's got my knickers in a twist, though. It is the glee with which the poachers announced that I had discovered the theft and bitched about it. They encouraged each other to steal more images. They ridiculed me for caring. They thought they should "force" me to join their chat group.

And that's another thing. Their chat group, as far as I can figure, is comprised of teenage boys with penis size issues, an average IQ in the mere double digits, and an awful lot of time on their hands, which they use to post lame photos, make even lamer jokes, and beg and plead for someone of the opposite sex to fall into their site and stay. They come from all over the world, which makes me sad for women.

And then there is this: even though they are detestable little creatures, they are driving the stats up on my site. When you open your doors to the public, you can't complain when the public walks in.

AIDS Walk, Miami

First of all, you need to know this about me: I do not break a sweat for anybody. I despise "Walks". I don't walk for MS, for breast cancer, for the March of Dimes, for the zoological society.

But I do walk for AIDS. I walk because I have lost so very many friends to this disease. I walk as a member of the team comprised of Board Members of Care Resource. Care Resource is the oldest & largest HIV/AIDS service agency in Florida. Since 1983, more than 60 million people worldwide have become infected, including 28 million who have already died. 15 of those who have died were friends of mine.

The majority of those newly infected are under the age of 25. Florida continues to have the 3rd highest incidence of reported cases in the nation and Dade & Broward counties rank 1 & 2 respectively in the State. While new treatments allow people to live longer there is still no cure and Care Resource?s ability to meet the increased demands on its resources is strained.

I implore you to support me as I participate in the 15th Annual AIDS WALK MIAMI ? RUN, WALK, BLADE FOR THE CURE on April 13TH. You can do this by joining me on the walk or sponsoring my walk.

Through the support of volunteers and contributors like you, 86% of each dollar raised goes directly to our programs and services offered free of charge to the community affected by HIV/AIDS. The 15th Annual AIDS WALK MIAMI helps finance important programs that Care Resource offers like the Riccardia Family Program, YouthNet, Care Management and Partners in Faith Program.

Please follow this link to go to my Walk page, and make a pledge of support. Any amount is appreciated. Thank you for helping me honor my fallen friends.

Oh, all right. I'll make it interesting for you. The page has a photo of me. A racy! photo of me. And if you all pledge enough money, I will wear what I have on in the photo to actually walk. And if you help me reach DOUBLE my goal, I'll even post photos of me in this outrageous condition, actually walking!! In the Florida heat. On South Beach. In my flower-covered bustier.

Now. Click. Pledge. Raise money.


Spring Fever, Round 1

Yesterday was my Siamese cat, Ming's widdle birthday. He was 9. I gave him as much catnip as he wanted. I hope he enjoyed his birthday. I did. I like watching my cat do drugs. Did you know that catnip is more like kitty acid than kitty reefer? Most people don't know that.

That was stimulating, wasn't it? Made you glad you surfed over to Today's Shoes. OK, then, let's change the subject. Let's talk about the weather.

Here in Miami the storm clouds are starting to build up over the Everglades in the late afternoon. The rains haven't started just yet, but it's only a matter of weeks before we have afternoon showers every day. The oranges are just about done with their season, and we had just enough cold weather to set the sugar in the fruit. There are Hong Kong orchid trees in full, purple bloom and dryed up lawns. Every mango tree south of Orlando is in bloom. The wet season is almost upon us. And that means it is springtime.

And that means I have spring fever. I start the work week all chipper and eager and on time, and by Friday, the alarm goes for three snooze button resets. My hair is up, rather than loose, because I have to wash it and mousse it for down, and up doesn't require anything other than a rubber band. My wardrobe has made the transition from a business dress to khakis and a sweater. Hey, at least I took a shower and put on make up.

But I am just itching to go to the beach. To skip work and loiter aimlessly on Ocean Drive with the ladies who lunch. To drink Cosmos early and often. To read cheesy novels while idling in a hammock near the koi pond. Well, it is Thursday, so I only have to look busy for another day and then I can get in touch with my inner sloth.

Waiting on the Man

Or, in this instance, the machine.

Got an e-mail from an old client/acquaintance: Your recent e-mail contained a virus.

First, I didn't send her an e-mail. Second, I run Norton 24-7. Third, I NEVER open e-mail from people I don't know with subject lines like: "a good joke" and an executable file attached. For that matter, I routinely trash e-mail of a certain size: approximately 132K, because that seems like the standard size for the Klez virus.

But, being a responsible adult user of computer technology, I shut down all my programs and started a Norton scan. Well, it's been over an hour and a half, we are only half way through the scan, and not even to my second hard drive. But as I anticipated, there isn't so much as a hint of a virus.

Bah and humbug. No pun intended.

Raw Meat

Like every other sentient human in America, I've been hearing all about e-coli and samonella and how we need to eat our burgers and steaks well done. To which I have said: Feh. Well done meat ain't worth eating. And I have continued to eat my beef medium rare to rare. I even eat a lump of raw ground beef now and then, when I'm cooking something that uses ground beef. Which I did Tuesday night. And I spent the rest of the evening and Wednesday paying for it in ways that you truly do NOT want to hear about.

Today I'm a little less green. Will I stop eating raw meat? Um, yeah, probably. Will I start eating it well done? Never. I'd rather be a vegetarian. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

My New Look

Self absorbed as I am, several years ago I determined that I needed a new look. This realization was prompted by several things, all of them connected. The first was that my personal, quirky style was starting to show up on the runways and on much younger women. The gauzy, flowing aging hippie act was being co-opted by willowy young things like Jennifer Anniston and Gwyneth Paltrow. Hmmm. Not good. Also, the red hair, which had been quite shocking fifteen years ago was as common as dirt. Finally, there was the birthday that put me closer to 50 than to 40. Aging hippie chick chic had to go.

I thought on this for a while, and determined that mid-career Kate Hepburn, Georgia O'Keefe was the look that could take me into my next couple of decades. Man-tailored shirts and khakis. Long hair, let gone to grey and in a hefty braid down my back. I needed to pare down my jingly jewelry to single, large "statement" pieces. I needed to get a tan and loose weight. Aging beatnik chick.

To that end, I quit dying my hair and discovered that it's still browny-blondey: getting those white hairs throughout, but not in clumps. I let it grow long, too. And for someone with the sort of mop of Shirley Temple ringlets I have, is a mission and a half. For every inch of length I have to grow another three of spiral. And so, three years later, I have enough length to braid.

I tanned, I cleared out the closet. I started wearing solid colors. With great regret, I gave up the wire-rimmed bi-focals with the soap bubble pink and orange tint.

All was going well with the plan and then I started watching VH1 and saw way, way too many episodes of the Big Hair 80s retrospectives. Last week I went and got a David Lee Roth-when-he-was-fronting-Van Halen big hair shag. The really sorry thing is that it looks Totally Kick Ass on me. And my new glasses are Anna Sui tortoise shell cat-eyes. With a sort of ruffle.

Now, every time I see my reflection, I crack myself up.

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