Tag Archives: Women

Oh, Those Shoes!

The little old lady had killer shoes on.  Grey high heel booties, sculptural and sleekly modern.  They weren’t stilettos, but I’m telling you, they were up there and I coveted them on the spot.  I couldn’t help but notice them because one, she was walking across the street right in front of me, and two, she also had on a pretty car coat and some sort of dress without stockings, so the booties stood out at the end of her legs.   She walked into the Tyler Florence kitchen/food store, and I was t-h-i-s close to parking the car and going in after her to ask for a photograph.

You see, I have a thing for shoes, but even more than that, I have a thing for people being interesting.  Going their own way.  Being lemmingless.  This was one interesting woman, I could just tell, because what kind of footwear she had chosen.

There are a few things in life that make you happy just by donning them, and shoes, my people, are one of those things.

I can’t help juxatapose another little old lady viewing in town, but this time she was sitting on the sidewalk, surrounded by young men in uniforms.  She was right there near the pedestrian walkway that links the Safeway to the Redwoods where a whole lot of interesting older people live.  Every Friday a whole heap of them come out with folding chairs and tambourines and drums and guitars and signs and ask people to honk for peace.  The split second snapshot I got of this woman (as I drove by in my car) was a frail little old lady looking relieved as a fireman cradled her head.  She either had wilted or fallen on the spot, and the siren from the approaching paramedics meant more help was on the way.

As I turned my car towards home, I had one of those moments when I considered what it would be like to be both the woman down on the street and then in the next moment, the stylish gal with the crazy boots on.  You can guess who I wanted to be.  And how, when I erased that vision and realized I have a lot of living between now and either of those two scenarios, that in homage to the one lady, I should always embrace wearing stylish shoes.

As if I needed another reason.

(And those shoes?  Why John Fluevog, my hero.)

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Cute. Really?

My soulful, piercing, disconsolate, smirking boy, Hans.

Having just witnessed the ball of fury that is this performance from Katie Makkai (yes, please click this link and watch the video first), I find myself wanting to give her a giant hug.  And not for the reason you might think.

Katie gets words like I get words.   She can, of course, also memorize a whole hell of a lot of them in a row, and deliver those words with such bravery and sincerity and force (and levity) that I can only sit here and wonder.

But her performance, combined with the mosh pit sample sale I visited this morning in the lobby of a business here in Mill Valley, has compelled me to write today about the word “cute”.

What a horribly overused little word.

Women shopping, no matter if they are responding to shoes or baby clothes or dishes, will nine times out of 10, utter the word when describing what they see.  Today I experienced a public bathroom that was being used as a dressing room for athletic wear, and right on cue, when a woman pulled on a top and turned to ask for feedback, the chorus would warble: “Oh, that’s so cute.”

You can hear it, can’t you?

I’d like to emphatically state that perhaps, just perhaps, a white cotton yoga top is not cute.  In fact, to my mind, precious few things are cute.  Baby animals might be the only true cute things in this world.    The yoga top in question was well-fitting.  I thought the design was unique, although it had a strange way of framing the woman’s boobs.  Her girlfriend did mention that, but still deemed it “cute.”

“Really?” said the wearer, doubtful.

How can a sex-kitten high-heel shoe be cute at the same time an Ugg boot is?  It can’t.  A sexy shoe is hot, or makes a woman look like a vixen.  It is fetching.  Or bad, said in a way that takes three seconds for that word to leave your mouth.  “Oh, girrl, that shoe is baaaad.”  Which means, of course, that the shoe is very good.

What I’m getting at is sometimes one word just won’t do it.  You need a good slew of them, to round out exactly how you feel.  As Hans is struggling to use interesting verbs to describe his writing, I am cheering for unique adjectives to seep into his storytelling.

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Seeing Things Differently

I was cut off this weekend.  Removed all the straight lines in my life.

The square box of the tv.  The computer screen.  I didn’t look through windows.  Or open a rectangular fridge.  Gone was the sexy  iPhone and the large  bathroom mirror.  I didn’t have a right-angled bed.  I never walked down an orderly hallway.  Or even opened a door.

I was in nature, in Yosemite.  Where straight lines hardly, if ever, occur.  And being so surrounded by the sensual curving of mother nature, I felt cradled (albeit a bit cold at night).

My girlfriend Paula, the one who always has the ideas for pushing outside of the comfort zone to do something ANYTHING different, invited me on a Balanced Rock backpacking trip.  Their motto?

Look inward.  Explore outward.

So 6 women (and two amazing guides), all connected through Paula and some connected with each other, strapped everything we needed for 3 days onto our backs and walked 6 miles in (and up) to a beautiful pristine alpine lake.   Yoga ensued.  So did amazingly delish food.  We slept under the shooting stars and learned the 7 D’s of proper poo-ing in the woods.   We adhered to a “leave no trace” mentality, down to the little itty bitty bits of food in the bottom of our always empty bowls.

And while doing all that, or perhaps because of it, we also paid attention to the things inside that were speaking to us.  Perhaps with a tiny little whisper.  Or, for some, with a howl that had been building and building over time.   We circled the wagons and open ourselves up to each other, and learned from collective wisdom.

What else did we have to do?  We had all the time in the world.  (We were reminded that we always have all the time in the world.)

So I’ve let go of the concern about “bothering” people to learn of my work, because all I’m doing is asking them to listen.  And offering something that is really quite beneficial.  And they are no different from me.   (Can I hear a “holla at cha girl?”)

And others put shape and form around ideas that I believe will make life more rich and interesting and full.

Let’s hear it for nature’s classroom.  May she only be a few steps away when we need to get things straight in our own heads.   Or just take some time out to chill.

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