Category Archives: I Am

Mama’s Got Some New Shoes

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine posted this picture of Tina Fey with Snow White at Disney. We zeroed in on her shoes.

Tina Fey. Awesome. Tina Fey's shoes? Awesomer.
Tina Fey. Awesome. Tina Fey’s shoes? Awesomer.

We wanted THOSE shoes. We wanted red, t-strap, open-toe, clog-style shoes. I eventually gave up searching on-line because I’m sure they were probably a pair of custom-made in Hollywood shoes and cost $5,000 so it really wouldn’t matter if I ever figured it out.

I wish I could remember what I was doing a couples weeks ago when I came across a post about some clogs: Sven Clogs. I landed on their home page. I had found Tina Fey’s clogs in above picture.

It took a little surfing on their page to find the exact style, but they only showed them in a denim suede color and that didn’t trip my trigger enough to spend that kind of money on them. The order set-up for their shoes is not set up in a way that a first-timer will immediately figure out so I’m here to help you out with that.

First step is to decide if you’re a low, medium or high heel kind of girl. I found the style above in both the medium and high heel, but I thought I better ease myself into it (plus they had a one-day sale on them. Bonus.).


Select your size, which is European based. I’m a solid 7 1/2 so I chose 38. You can mail an outline of your foot to the company if you want to make sure and have the patience. Now you need to select your “Base”: black, brown or natural. Here’s a snapshot of those colors, which I didn’t find on but on a different clog blog’s site. The other picture is an example of the bendable compared to the bendable base.


This is where things get fun because their leather and color options are phenomenal. Seriously. The only option you won’t have is vegan. Sorry. It’s all Moo, all the time, and I’m cool with that.

download5 download6 download7

I placed my order for a single pair (medium heel, brown base, red, smooth leather), and I’ll admit their shipping charges left me a tad cold, but they showed up a few days later and now I couldn’t be happier. I wore them last weekend even though it’s still too darn cold to really enjoy them. I love them. I’ve “Liked” their Facebook page, which provides discounts, examples, and notices of sales.


I’m not being compensated in any way by Sven Clogs, but if they wanted to throw a free pair at me, I wouldn’t say no. I just noticed that many of my friend’s (the one who I mentioned above) friends struggled with the web site’s options, and since I didn’t feel like “writing” a real post, I figured why not, right? By the way, there’s a less expensive version that Hannah Andersson sells (Ugglebo). I have my own thoughts about the bases being so strikingly similar, but I’m not going to stick my clog in my mouth.

P.S. My editor informed me this morning that the Disney character with Tina is most certainly NOT Cinderella, but Snow White. My editor is four. She did not take kindly to the mistake.

Will I Do Better the Next Time?

I went shopping yesterday in The Metro at a mall that has a Scheels sporting goods store. As I walked past the boy’s department, I overheard this exchange between two of its employees:

“Did you see this coat? It says it’s a Boys!” She held up a dark pink jacket. “What are we going to do with it??”

“Better put it in Girls”, she replied with what I interpreted as annoyance.

I thought I should have said something; called them out for gender stereotyping, but I didn’t. I replayed the exchange over and over again in my head, and I hated how it smacked of bullying by proxy. They made a judgement of gender simply based on the color of the coat. What if it had been an eight-year-old boy walking by wearing that coat? In the best case scenario, they wouldn’t have said anything, but they would have had those thoughts. Worst-case, they would have said something offhandedly, i.e. “That’s quite a coat you got on there, son!”, if not something totally ignorant along the lines of “Only girls wear pink!”

My son’s hair, since he’s no longer under a private school’s appearance policy, has grown long enough that he can almost sweep his bangs behind his ears. He has protested quite loudly when the topic of a trim comes up. However, a couple of weeks ago, he told me that a classmate had said that only girls grow their hair long. Doodicus suggested that maybe he should get his bangs trimmed. I said we could schedule something for the weekend. I knew he just needed time to get over the teasing words of his peer. He’s had to do it before because his grandparents and aunts and uncles have made similar comments. I always quickly vocalize my support of Doodicus’ hair, and I would have thought by now they would have stopped hassling him, but apparently it may require the more obvious approach by telling them to simply fuck off about the whole hair-thing already.

But I wonder why I didn’t come to the defense of the faceless and nameless boy who may have fallen in love with the pink jacket. I could have said something knowing that neither of the employees would have been able to defend themselves against the crazy customer, not to mention I was simply an anonymous person they could later describe with scathing detail to other like-minded employees on their next break or maybe even in their staff meeting (I have no idea which end of the spectrum their management falls under, but I couldn’t help but pick up on the VERY traditional Christmas music that was being piped over the speakers during my hour in the store), but I kept my head down, so to speak, and walked out of earshot. I had a chance to be an advocate for tolerance and I wonder if I had had my son with me, if I still would have failed to provide him the upstanding role model of what we expect from him as he matures.

It’s Been A Long Time Since I’ve Used “Penis” in a Post

I take an ambien every night. I have been for months. I fall asleep in a blink and then I sleep solidly until the alarm goes on in the morning. Even if I have to get up because I have to go to the bathroom or if Aitch is having a nightmare or if Doodicus is scared of a storm, I can always go right back to sleep. I love my ambien.

I recently had it refilled and while I dropped like a fly on Monday, Tuesday night I tossed and turned. I was awake more then I was asleep during the night. I ended up dropping Aitch off at school, coming home and sleeping for another three hours straight. Wednesday and Thursday (last night), I again struggled getting to sleep and woke with every snort, wheeze, and exhale from my husband, which eventually sent me to the silence of the couch. Still I tossed and turned. I also hadn’t been feeling well, waking with headaches and stomach cramps.

Last night, sometime around 3:00 a.m. I started wondering if I hadn’t got a bad batch of ambien with the recent refill. They couldn’t ALL be bad because Monday I had no problem with sleep. This morning I pulled the bottle of white pills from the cabinet and realized that for the past three nights I had been taking Paxil, an antidepressant and I had started and then stopped after a couple of months but hadn’t thrown out. It explained the headaches, cramping, even the jaw-clenching! Not to mention my inability to sleep.

Of course, it also explained how I was able to accept my mistake with little more than a “aw shucks!” kind of attitude, and why I am completely incapable of imagining a penis. Not that I’m always trying to imagine penises, but ADs really pulled the plug on my sex-drive and being unable to concoct any sexual imagery confirmed that I had been taking the wrong stuff. 

Thank goodness I had this week off from work or I’d be even a bigger wreck. I marked the Paxil lid and moved the bottle (I can’t bear the thought of disposing of them yet). Tonight, I will sleep.

Do You Smell That Smell?

Maybe it’s because I deal with the subject nearly every day, but I find it fascinating what others have for costs associated with healthcare, whether they are out of state of out of the country. I’m such a cynic though, that I know "free" healthcare isn’t actually free. We pay a hefty premium to have "free" vaccinations. Some countries pay incredibly high taxes for "free" health related services (see previous post and comments).

In the U.S., our healthcare’s system is amok. Personally, I blame Medicare. Not necessarily the program, but the system which controls it (the government through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), because if they determine a doctor’s visit is payable at $ .25 on the dollar, who do you think gets to make up for the other $ .75?? Providers jack up the price to make up for the growing Medicare population; CMS lowers what they pay again; providers raise their prices again. Something has got to give.

** SEGWAY **

This weekend I went clothes shopping with my son. I survived. Amen and The. End (oh, but there’s so much more!). I rewarded him for his patience by taking him to Toys R Us and as I strolled along the aisles, a woman with PERFECT hair (which my husband and I have dubbed Politician Wife Hair or more accurately, Helmet Hair), I felt envy. She didn’t have to wear her matchstick, cropped pants and little kitten heels. She didn’t have to press her immaculate blouse or airbrush on her make-up, but she did and then walked into what is certainly a Hell on Earth by not only looking good, but she smelled nice, too.

She breezed by me as she followed an staff employee, which made her the only adult there not being dragged from aisle to aisle by a cooing, sticky, whiny, commandeering kid, and her expensive perfume wafted past. I couldn’t entirely hate her because it was a nice scent that didn’t make my throat seize up and gag. Unlike my MIL’s Channel No. 5 that she must not be able to even smell because flies drop in her presence. Or maybe she thinks that since she hasn’t bathed in a couple of days, she’d better double-down on its use. Seriously, the woman uses so much, that if she joins us for dinner, I cannot taste my food. I taste No. 5, and for the record, it does not taste good.

Anyway, back to the Politician’s Wife. I took some care with my appearance, but I began to think that maybe the extra step of putting on a dab of perfume was the proverbial cherry. I normally top off with a healthy dollop of whip cream (my ass is thanking me). This morning I applied a light spritz, bearing in mind that my office is small and patients tend to be more sensitive to odors post-procedure, and headed out the door. I now feel conspicuous; like I’m trying too hard. On the other hand, I feel a touch more "worldly", too.

I remember my first real job.

Sure at 40-something, I now have morals and high standards and expectations, but 25+ years ago, I didn’t. I don’t know an 18 year-old that does. I flunked out of the first semester of college as a sophomore. I hated the new setting as I had moved from a community college sized town and campus to the University. Partying was what I wanted to do. My oldest sister got me my first "real"job working in clothing retail. Real meaning not scraping left-over food into gallon containers and washing an endless sea of dishes.

The shop was this hole in the wall store of a dying downtown shopping center. I remember it had wooden panel doors that had springs to pull them closed on the dressing rooms. The clothes were ugly and it was owned by a husband and wife couple who I suspect were trying to hold onto their youth by marketing to teens.

My transportation to work a Foxi moped. It was ridiculous. Rain, shine, snow, etc., that was how I got around. I even considered driving it to Kansas City, a four hour drive by car. That’s how stupid an 18 year old is, people. So one day I wore a skirt to work and who the hell wears a skirt on a moped?! Now it wasn’t a flowy skirt so it didn’t blow up and show the world my business. Oh no, it was tight. It was too tight. At the first stop I had to put my leg down to balance the moped, it ripped right up the center seam. It wasn’t an obvious tear, but still I didn’t want to make it worse by wearing it on the way home.

I did what any "sensible" 18 year old would do: I went through the store’s sales rack and picked out a pair of shorts and a matching shirt. After locking up the store, I walked across to the public bathrooms and changed clothes. This sounds like a rather obvious way to solve a problem except that I did not pay for the clothes. No, I did not forget to pay for them. I just didn’t buy them.

The next day I came into work and the owners were there. The husband pulled me aside and told me he had something to talk to me about and we headed to the storage room. Inside waiting was a police officer and a tiny television. I don’t remember thinking something was up until they turned it on and there recorded was a grainy black and white video of me walking over to the bathroom wearing the skirt outfit and walking out again a couple minutes later wearing the shorts. I didn’t realize there had even been a security camera.

Needless to say, I had been busted. They asked me if I was also responsible for a number of other inventory items that had gone missing (specifically some underwear), which I adamantly denied. Should I even mention they fired me on the spot? The most humiliating part of it all was realizing they would of course tell my sister who got me the job in the first place as they were friends, especially since they also pressed formal charges (even though I’m sure at the time the value of the two items was probably less than $20).

After I lost that job, I had to find another. That’s what led me to the dance studio a few weeks later: Now Hiring Dance Instructors. No Experience Necessary! The shorts? They were hideous. They brought back such horrible memories that I got rid of them soon afterwards. You would think I’d learned lesson, wouldn’t you? Except I was only 18…

I could give Bruno a run for his money.

In just little over a month, I turn another year older. I’ll be the age where I must accept I’m on the downhill slide of life. My husband’s 30th class reunion is this summer as well. Thirty Years. I take little comfort that I am younger. Twenty-five years ago, I was a supervisor in a ballroom dance studio trying to convince people that ballroom dancing will make you Confident! Beautiful! Sought-after on the Dance Floor! Healthy!

I can attest to the Healthy, but the rest? Not so much. First of all, dance lessons are easier if taken as a couple and even then the guy-half of your couple will most usually struggle to maintain a beat or feel relaxed enough so he doesn’t look like a cob was shoved up his backside.

This was not to say all the women who came to the studios had rhythm or grace. I remember one particular woman, an obstetrician (Dr. Gill), who had been taken lessons for years. The poor woman had the moves of a large cardboard box filled with rocks and she was at least that difficult to move around on the floor. At this point, I should tell you at the time, instructors were required to know how to both lead and follow, and each Friday at the end of the day we would have a “practice” dance and female instructors were expected to lead female students since they easily outnumbered male partners 6:1.

I dreaded dancing with Dr. Gill. The physical exertion required in moving her in a Tango was taxing even though she knew the steps. I also remember an incident with this student that did not involve dancing: I was holding a meeting in my office which was basically a glass-enclosed cubby with glass sliding door that enabled me to have a 135 degree (go ahead, I’ll wait for you to calculate it) of the studio. I had the door shut for the meeting and I stood shocked and powerless as she barreled up to my office entryway and ran face-on into the closed door thinking it was open. Thankfully only her pride was damaged. I still can see the image of her lipstick prints as if it was yesterday.

Once I became adept at the basic dance steps, many times I would join my fellow instructors and go to the clubs in town and dance. As long as there were a couple of male instructors in our group, it was fun. We were the annoying couple taking up the space of ten showing off with cha-chas and swings and twirling in your face and stomping on your feet with three-inch spiked heels. And you guys thought I am an attention whore NOW…

When I met Sparring Partner, I thought I could teach him how to dance. He might think I was teaching him how to dance better, but in all reality – a not-so-uncommon reality – playing Air Drumsticks does not equivalent rhythm. I gave up trying to teach him a sloppy, casual two-step-slash-foxtrot because it ain’t no fun trying to keep your partner on time by hissing “step, step, hold!” in his ear.

We haven’t gone dancing in years and years. But in my head, almost every song on the radio I think about in dance terms. Can I cha-cha to this? Is it a waltz? Oooh, I could so rumba to that…. I car dance if the song is particularly catchy and I’m driving solo. Admit it, you’ve Car Danced, too. Unfortunately, it’s been twenty years since I was a professional instructor and recently I’ve realized I’d forgotten the steps to a basic traveling Foxtrot box (a not so basic step lasting a total of 16 beats in 4/4 timing), and that bums me out.

Oh, those were some crazy days. Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll (and lots of Big Band). Back then I could have never imagined my life would become so provincial.


About 10 days ago I did something utterly selfish and vain: I got Botox and Radiesse injected into my face.

I’ve done the Botox before and this was probably about the sixth treatment for my brow. I remember my boss from Hospital Hell telling me that I always look like I’m angry because of the persistent frown lines. The first time I had it done was almost seven years ago and have a happy repeat customer.

It’s true what they say: while the effects do wear off, I can go longer between appointments before I really start to notice. Three treatments ago I had a not-so-good result and both my eyelids drooped. When I returned about six months after treatment and I explained this, the doctor said he would adjust for that in where he injected and since then there’s been no problem. The number 11 is no longer furrowed into my brow, but I can still give That Look to the kids or my husband when deserved.

Last winter when I had Botox I asked about skin peels. I think the skin on my face looks mottled from sun damage, hormones and scars. He suggested the Radiesse, which is a filler, as he really didn’t think I had that uneven of skin tone. I declined at the time, but it put a bug up my butt. Many times I would be at home looking in the mirror and pull the skin over my cheeks back to lift those “marionette” lines around my nose and mouth and think maybe it could be better. My mouth seemed to be permanently turned down and as I looked at pictures on the net and surfed for stories, I started talking myself into it.

Shortly before my appointment last week, I found a thread where a woman said she had it done and was VERY upset with the results, comparing herself to Marge Simpson’s upper lip area and I had second thoughts. If there was one celebrity I didn’t want to look like, that would be her. I went to my appointment anyway.

So what should you expect with either Botox or Radiesse injections? For me, the Botox treatments are a breeze. A half dozen or so pokes in my brow with a teeny-tiny needle while sitting on the exam table, a gauze to wipe out what oozes and away I go with instructions to occasionally exercise those muscles to help distribute the Botox and to not to lay down within the next few hours, which can cause it to gravitate into areas you don’t want it to gravitate. It takes about three days for me to notice it has taken affect.

As for the Radiesse…I had no idea what to expect. Well, except that it was injected. The nurse brought me a frozen pack to put over my mouth to numb up the area and that thing nearly frostbit my fingers trying to hold it. Eventually I reclined on the exam table to let gravity help while I was waiting, which was about 10 minutes. When we proceeded, he had me sit back up and before the first poke, he counted down, “3, 2, 1, here we go,” and the first injection took my breath away. It hurt like a mo-fo. So did the second, third, and fourth through the sixth injection, all into the lines that runs from the outside of my nose down past the lips on both sides.

“Before” (I look like hell on wheels!) March 2012

Not only was it more painful than the Botox, it feels incredible uncomfortable because it’s viscous, not at all like Botox which has the consistency of water. If you’ve ever done PIO, then yeah, it’s like that. In your face. (BOOyah!) I wondered what the hell I was doing and if I had to go a year before the stuff wore off feeling like lumps of ulcerated tissue under my skin. I thought I was screwed. He told me that in 24 hours, if it still felt lumpy, I could “massage” it out and work it into the areas I wanted. I left his office feeling like I looked like the aforementioned Marge Simpson. The lumping was bad enough; I was even worried I would accidently bite the inside of my cheeks because it physically invaded my oral cavity!

My doc said that it’s not uncommon to have bruising within a few hours and lasting for a few days. I was grateful I had the week off. By the time I got home (I did this in the city, a two hour drive, plus a little shopping), I was puffy around the mouth, but not bruised. I hadn’t told my husband I was doing this and he didn’t notice.

The next day felt much better. Not as lumpy, but sore. I noticed a very, very small bruise at the corner of my mouth. I thought it was some smutz on my face until I looked closely in the mirror. It never did hurt. The days after that, the filler evened out, the bruising and aching went completely away and now I think it looks pretty good.

The change in appearance is subtle but positive. Sparring Partner wouldn’t notice if I grew a horn out of my head, so this is definitely not something he’ll ever notice. No one has noticed in fact, or if they have, it hasn’t warranted a conversation. I have not told a soul, until now. *I* notice the difference and I like the results but I seriously disliked the actual procedure. The picture below is just from yesterday (LOVE the gray at the temples) (and I’m not wearing make-up). One of the reasons I wanted to document it is so I can remind myself of how much that part sucked.

“After” (Natural lighting is a godsend!) May 2012

As for the charge for the procedures, the Botox was $200 (up $25 from the last time I had had it done, but $100 cheaper then what it was 5 years ago). The Radiesse was $500. I did not have to pay that. I am lucky I work for a group of surgeons who have specialties in maxillofacial surgery, if you catch my drift. If I had to pay out of my pocket for it, I don’t know that I would have. The Botox, yes. The Radiesse? Meh. I don’t look 20 years younger, and not that I thought I would, but THAT would be worth $500!

Since I cannot recall any of you having had work done or finding a detailed description for Radiesse, I figured this might help someone else make a more informed decision.