Rainy Days and Mondays…..And why does no one know about Fukushima?

Karen Carpenter’s death happened before I was of an age to be affected by the loss of great talent. Prince and George Michael however made me sad. Its odd to morn the loss of people we didn’t personally know. (Plus I was totally expecting to marry one of them when I was in High School— yes I know—but I was in High School, don’t judge)

But in a way we do know great artists, they spoke to us with music. You must have an ice cube for a heart not to hear Karen Carpenter sing “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down… “ and not feel at least a bit mellon collie.  I heard this song this last week and I admit I teared up.  I think our collective sadness over the death of talent is in part being deprived of what they might have shared with the world in the future.  And the other part of how they made us feel human, connected and not alone through their music.

It has been raining in SoCal, and based on the News coverage you think the apocalypse was upon us. Now granted Sothern Californian’s don’t do well in the rain. We can’t drive in it. It messes up our hair, melts our Botox and ruins outdoor activities.  For which we have come to expect as available for our enjoyment 365 days of the year. The rest of the world knows better; sunny days, great songs, good friends, happiness and love… all should be cherished because rain and Mondays are inevitable.

What I really don’t understand with all the news coverage about rain and Trump’s latest tweet, why no one knows about the Fukushima nuclear disaster?  I like to think I’m somewhat informed about current events, but when a friend mentioned it, I had no idea what he was talking about.

So here you go…. There was an accident at Fukushima nuclear plant initiated primarily by the tsunami following the Tohoku earthquake in March 2011. There is tons of details online if you want be more informed and alarmed. But basically the plant had a complete meltdown, the damage has yet to be contained and has been leaking 300 tons of radiation into the Pacific since 2011 every eight days. It is estimated that the radiation would take 3-5 years to hit the west coast. So now.

It is stated by the ‘experts’ the radiation levels would be low and highly diluted by the time it gets to the west coast. And this might be comforting if the damage was contained and the radioactive material was not still constantly dumbing into the Pacific, but they don’t know when this might stop, it is completely uncontained.

Anyone wanna borrow my Geiger counter? And I hope these goulashes are more than waterproof.

Apparently I’m Wonder Women and I Love Shoes

We’ve all done it—admit it.

Those silly online quizzes that let you know how old you look. How long you will live. And really who don’t want to know what super hero they are?

(Wonder Women by the way)

I’m sure I’ve sold my soul to the devil every time I press the key that links me to one of those prompts – but they are such silly fun timewasters, designed to entice us.  Yes, I’m sure something evil is happening every time I succumb to one of these quizzes.

Since on some level we all want love and to be loved, I was curious who I was in a relationship with, with Brad Pitt newly single and all, I was thinking– maybe?

But I should have guessed.

It was a Dorothy at the end of The Wizard of OZ moment –I have known all along—it’s my shoes!  They are always there carrying me through life.  Supporting me through good times and bad. Only draw back, we have gone to dinner many many times—they aren’t much for conversation and they never pick up the check. But with all relationships they is an ebb and flow.

Laura

Mood Boost? Chocolate and New Shoes

I would be lying to say I have never used retail therapy to soothe my soul. Sometimes positive affirmations are not enough to get you past a bad day… week…month.

‘I’ll buy a pair of red pumps and dance ‘…. and if needed depending on the situation ‘on your grave.’

I know this is not how the quote goes but this is my version.

Unfortunately, there are a few situations that a new pair of heels doesn’t quite do the trick.  Fancy shoes have always lifted my sprits, and make me feel like I can conquer the world.  But sadly sometimes when we get kicked in the chest (figuratively) we need more.

That’s why there is chocolate.

Yes, I know chocolate is fattening. But guess what? It’s also good for you. Just try not to eat a whole pound. It has tremendous antioxidant potential when consumed with the higher-level cocoa content.  It can help lower cholesterol levels; again avoid scarfing down a pound.  And it also helps prevent cognitive decline. Who doesn’t what to remember where the M&M are hidden?

And most important chocolate is a comfort food and helps boost your mood. Again avoid the entire box of Godiva, or then you will be depressed for other reasons. Why does it boost your spirits? Chocolate contains carbohydrates. Foods high in carbohydrates but low in protein boost the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is thought to be in short supply in the brains of depressed people. Chocolate also contains small amounts phenyl ethylamine, which affects the brain in a similar but smaller way as cannabis.

Chocolate is also believed to help release endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the brain, which act like opiates to increase pleasure and reduce pain. Again don’t munch down the entire bag of Fun Sized Snickers. And I will try to do the same.

Laura

 

Camp vs. Cute

Truly it should be camp verses cute, verses kitschy verses cheesy. And yes there is a difference.

Camp is so extreme that it has an amusing and sometimes perversely sophisticated appeal. Over the top and farcical, intentionally exaggerated so as not to be taken seriously.  Think the movies ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’ and ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’.

Camp is often confused with kitsch. But kitsch is more single items not an entire work of art per say.

Camp sometimes is also described as cheesy, to confuse things. To make things even more confusing cheesy and cute are often bantered about together. Might as well throw in tacky for good measure.

I figure some examples might help.

RuPaul, Liberace, Paul Lynde all camp

Meg Ryan in her famous roles, so cute.

Kitschy is harder to define think lava lamps, trucker hats and Thomas Kinkaid paintings.

Cheese is many many horror movies and also RomComs and how we love both. No judgment, cheese it is highly entertaining and a cheap guilty pleasure.

And lastly tacky, when all these ideals can blend into something horrible like Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem.

Still confused?

Not to worry, I saw these shoes and almost bought them home, but somehow the kitsch, camp verses cute; tacky didn’t work for me personally. Maybe if I was a 17-year-old girl or a drag queen I could of made it work. Besides sharks are vicious and aggressive, I’m a more honey badger meets Labrador.

Laura

 

 

Come Sail Away…

Some people are drawn to the desert, some to the mountains, and others to the sea. I certainly enjoy all these types of terrains but its water that restores me.

I have lived my entire life in California and gratefully 20+ years minutes from the Pacific Ocean. Whether driving or walking if the ocean is in view, I will always take the opportunity to look at it.  It never disappoints.

Every New Year since I was 19 I make a new goal for the year. Its not so much a resolution as it is a proclamation. Instead of trying to give up something, I try something new. This year was belly-dancing. I’m by no means any good, but I did learn a new appreciation for those who are experts at this dance form. And maybe I burned a few calories. Bonus.

The previous year I set my intentions on the ability to do one pull up. It’s a very challenging exercise for women. And I must confess I’m still trying to achieve this goal. Along with speaking French. AGH.

Fifteen years ago I could not decide between sailing lessons or a stand up class. I flipped a coin, heads came up and well I have been doing stand up comedy ever since. And I am eternally grateful. Comedy has been the most amazing, magical journey more than I could have ever expected. It has given me the opportunity to travel the world, meet wonderful people and most of all help the world including myself laugh more. And trust me, we all need to laugh more. A lot more!

Since that coin toss somehow sailing has always still been lurking in the back of my brain waiting for its turn.  Life has a way of circling back to the things we need. Life has presented me with the opportunity to sail weekly with not just one but two sailing instructors. Looks like the stilettoes will have to sit on the dock while more sea worth footwear takes me around the harbor.

New Years showed up early this year for me.

Laura

 

Can’t Leave Behind

Some things refuse to be left behind.  Friendships, jobs, love interests etc… that keep circling back into our lives. Why?  I’m sure based on your personal belief system, your thoughts on fate, karma and destiny this discussion could go on for years—

My thoughts on this vary. Maybe we still have something to be gleaned from the past? Maybe it’s to show us how much we have grown and to remind us where we once were?  Maybe that person/ thing can’t let go of you? Again big discussion topic that could go on and on, but if its toxic and you found a way to push past—leave it in the past! Or maybe it’s because this thing should be in your life?

I really don’t need a new pair of shoes. I have plenty. I do love to peruse a shoe store I admit. It’s the only shopping I truly enjoy. However, these days I mostly look; I have shoes of every color and design. It is a challenge for me to find anything that I don’t already own— I’m serious.

Recently I saw this lovely strappy pair in the Heathrow airport. If my travels had gone according to my plan I would have never been in London and delayed 5 hours.  Travel woes. They popped up again while I was visiting Scotland. I still thought they were very appealing, but I have several pairs of black strappy sandals, I really don’t need another.

Then this tenacious pair of heels showed up again in Dublin.  They really know how to wear a girl down. I’ve had boyfriends that weren’t this persistent.  I’m sure there is something to be learned from that as well. I still didn’t purchase these beauties but I did try them on, which was a mistake. I loved them. But I still left them behind.

Back stateside not even a day and this scrappy determined pair of shoes showed up as a pop up ad on my computer. Ok, you win sexy strappy sandals I’m bringing you in. Maybe these persistent pumps know that I will need them in the near future? How exciting to think what our future together might bring. Dear Future– I have the shoes—I’m ready –bring it!

Laura

 

 

All That Wander Are Not Lost… My Luggage’s Latest Adventure

The last six consecutive summers I have left sunny SoCal to venture to the often cold and rainy Edinburgh Scotland for the International Fringe Festival. Initially, performing at the Edfringe (the short hand title) was somewhat of a bucket list quest. I’m a huge Eddie Izzard fan and he was an Edfringer for many years. He more or less stated that the Edinburgh Fringe was a must for any self-respecting comic. It’s not an exact quote. But you get the idea. If Eddie said it—then by golly I must do the Fringe.

For my first Fringe I brought my one-woman show, “I Didn’t Mean to Be a Virgin in the 80s”. It was a huge learning curve for me as a performer and it was also the first time my luggage went on a walk about. Thankfully I was reunited with my case in less than 24 hours. However, it was a teary stressful day. I had a very specific costume for the show, and of course that was the suitcase that was missing.

Edinburgh and the Fringe is a magical maniacal experience. I could share in detail all the fun crazy adventures I’ve had here and it would fill a novel, but until you experience it yourself —you will truly never understand. It’s a drug. It cost most/all performers a lot of out of pocket money to get here, performing everyday; often multiple times a day (my record is 11 shows in one day) is brutal. You will eat loads of unhealthy food, drink too much, sleep too little, arrive back to your flat as the sunrises more times than you did when you were in college and be completely wrecked by the end of the month. But by the end of the last week you will be talking about your grand show plans for next year. Its complete insanity, addictive and wonderful. Nothing- truly nothing like it in the world. I have made dozens of life long friends who also make the trek to performance mecca every year. It’s like coming home to a loving nutty family.

My travels getting to Edinburgh this year was an adventure in its own right. And I knew even before I left the United States (many airline snafus) that I would again arrive in Edinburgh without my suitcase. Gratefully,  I didn’t have to worry about a very important costume this year—so I just got very Zen with the retrieval process. I knew in time we would be reunited. In the interim I purchased a new pair of shoes, compliments of British Airlines. Thanks British and American Airlines for the adventures in travel, not smooth, but memorable and of course I love the shoes.

Laura

 

 

Feet, Feet, Feet!

“In the house, and on the street, how many, many feet you meet.”

—The Foot Book by Dr. Suess

We really don’t give our feet enough love. I’m serious. A little anatomy lesson from the Doc; the human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons and the 52 bones in your feet make up about 25% of all the bones in your body. Show some respect. Feet support the entire body all day whenever you’re standing, walking or running. They even have their own chakras if you wanna get into metaphysical and biophysical ideals. And feet are the keystone to the massage technique of reflexology, which I love, one of the true great affordable luxuries. Want to open up your foot chakras? Walk bare foot on grass. It’s that easy but how often to we do that? Ah never.

Feet have hundreds of religious and social significances in many many cultures. I could write an encyclopedia on this topic, but I won’t. You wouldn’t read it, admit it. Also I’m not going to discuss the practice of foot binding—it’s a horrible painful procedure that leaves/left women in excruciating pain and unable to walk more than a few feet and never without pain.

I like the practices in India much better where feet are honored. The feet of older people are revered by youth. How nice is that? And lovers show their affection for each other by caressing each other’s feet. I’m definitely on board with this as well. Men, women, and children in India wear anklets and toes rings, they are not only decorative but have social and religious meaning. Women in some regions of India wear anklets to show their marital status.  And women often decorate feet with henna and dye the soles of their feet red particularly for their wedding day, Lovely.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ii decide where to go.”

—The Foot Book by Dr Suess

Let your feet take you some place good—walk on some grass—your toes will love it.

Laura

 

 

Shoes- Cars, Both Transportation

 

If a woman can live in a shoe, then why can’t I drive one?

Sadly, I’m gonna need a new ride in the next year or so. My road warrior SUV has 242K miles. I would love nothing more than for it to continue running-forever. It has been by far the best car I have ever owned. And I have had a few doozies; many had made it to stage as comedy.

My mechanic who has been caring for my sidekick has even told me likes a doctor breaking the news about a terminal disease—you need to start planning for the end.

Thinking about a new car is fun, actually having to shop for one and then pay for it—not fun, more nightmare.

I can tell you right now I would rock a Maserati! I love beautiful cars! To quote a movie we all know “ I have a need for speed!” Anyone who has even driven with me knows I can pull out the Mario Andretti when needed to get where we need to be—in lets say a timely manner. I love high performance cars. I also have a passion for late 60s muscle cars—so fabulous in style. Sadly neither is practical for my wallet or current driving needs. Yes I need a hybrid—which is hilarious for those who know my “love” of Prius drivers. I jest in fun. So maybe we can start a crowd funding for a New Lauramobile.  The worst part of all this—the current shoe budget is at zero as I save for a car. Shoes- cars they are both forms of transportation and in my life both need to be sexy. Fingers crossed for the Tesla ;o)

Laura

Gold Boots and other Reasons to Love Turkey

My heart is heavy hearing of the troubles in Turkey.  Actually not just Turkey —sadly, the world is mad. But this is a shoe blog and I wanna entertain you with pleasant tales of my travels to Turkey. (I like alliteration)

I am fortunate; I have visited Turkey a half dozen times, various cities. Istanbul is a fascinating city and has the best airport lounge I have ever crashed, including the 1st class Concorde lounge at JFK –that was pretty sweet I admit, but Istanbul wins. Yes you will need a fancy airline card to get in—but so worth it. It has been a place of many layovers for me. I am truly grateful for the oasis of peaceful luxury when on a hellish commute. Masseuses, 24 hours chefs, a movie theater, private sleeping areas, its all there in style. Truth be told I permanently barrowed one of the cute little porcelain coffee cups on my last past through—they are so adorable I took one home. And did I mention boundless amount of Turkish delight? Yum!

Turkey is modern, but not. You will see plenty of women still covered head to toe even in the summer, while the men sport shorts and tank tops. Don’t get me started on double standards.

On one of my visits while working a cruise ship we stopped to go to the Grand Bazaar. I can assure you nothing in your life will prepare you for the Grand Bazaar. If you think you have seen aggressive sales techniques and haggling in Mexico – I can assure you its preschool compared to the sales approaches in Turkey. They will follow you down the street, pull you out of another store, pull the ear buds from your ears, and the whole time “ Lady, lady, lady, what you need? I have for you. I make good price. Lady, lady, lady.” Really it is exhausting but interesting. Luckily for me there were these two women traveling on the ship who by their attire everyday were seeking lots of attention. I called them lovingly “sex on a stick”. They were attractive women with rockin’ bodies, so good for them. But they might have wanted to read up on the cultural norm for walking the streets of Turkey before heading out to the Grand Bazaar.  They were dressed for Rio, not old world Turkey. Short, tight, low cut and heels- Bam! The sales force of the Grand Bazaar were on high alert—and for me it was fabulous. I followed these ladies all day, no one bothered me or a least a lot less because you can’t complete with sex on a stick walking in front of you ;o)

‘But Laura, what’s all this have to do with gold boots?”

On another visit to Turkey— In the above-mentioned Istanbul airport a women had these- yes this exact pair of fabulous gold boots on and I had on bedazzled Uggs. I complimented her on the boots and she told me she loved my Uggs. Chat chat chat—we traded shoes. Yup, just like we were in primary school. I thought how wonderful. She is from Israel, I’m from American and we traded footwear in Turkey. I love how the world works and the fun you can have it you are open to it. International relations at it best—it’s all about the shoes.

Laura