Archive for the ‘Shoes’ Category


May 19, 2023

Return with me now to the patio scene from yesterday’s posting “The clitic t-shirt and its companion book”:

(#1) Previously commented on: my PUT YOUR CLITICS IN SECOND POSITION t-shirt, the Halpern & Zwicky book Approaching Second, and the beautiful still-blooming cymbidium orchids

But wait! There’s more! Look down at my feet, In shearling-lined moccasins. (I have other shoes, but I wear these most of the time, because they keep my poor feet warm and comfortable and because they are easy for me to slip on and off  — my damaged hip makes reaching down painful, and reaching all the way to the ground impossible.) And without any socks. (I have very nice socks, but putting them on is difficult, painful, and time-consuming — that hip again — so I’ve taken to going sockless.)

I go sockless everywhere, but the only places I go are to medical appointments and to get the mail at the mailboxes in the back of my condo. Everything else is out because I need to whizz every 20 or 25 minutes. (Yes, it’s an odd life, but I’ve adapted to it.) And hardly anyone comes by except caregivers of one sort or another. So there aren’t many people who might look askance at the eccentricity of my footwear.

The moccasins. From my 11/23/22 posting “The news from my house”:

The magic slipper / moccasins from L.L. Bean. … the indoor / outdoor shearling-lined suede shoes (from the Wallin company) I mostly live in pretty much fell apart and had to be replaced. I geared up to replace them, did a Google search on them, got a page showing what were surely those very shoes, but from L.L. Bean, went to my LLB account and was immediately presented with the catalog page for those shoes, without having to search through the catalog; no magic there, but a good thing …

But, eerily, the page was already filled out with all the details of my Wallin shoes (which were a knockoff of LLB’s, and came to me as a present from my daughter): size, width, color, all just perfect. I have no idea how they worked that, but the whole transaction took, like 10 minutes from my Google search to the shipping information.

The shoes arrived late yesterday afternoon. They are perfect.

The shoe:

(#2) The LLB Wicked Moc

In the end, I didn’t throw away the old Wallin mocs, so I had them to wear in rain and when I had to step in messy places; ratty old shoes can be useful to have around.

Stilettoed on the balcony

August 3, 2022

The killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by a targeted U.S. drone strike (taking him down as he stood on a balcony) over the weekend in Afghanistan was described by an MSNBC commentator yesterday morning as

a stiletto strike:  with the N1 + N2 compound N stiletto strike ‘sudden (military) attack resembling a stiletto (in being very narrowly focused lethal weaponry)’; the sense of the N2 strike here is NOAD‘s 2 [a] a sudden attack, typically a military one

Possibly it was stiletto airstrike; it went by very fast, I haven’t seen another broadcast of it, and it’s not yet available on-line, so I can’t check — but I am sure of the N stiletto and the N strike and the intent of the commentator to commend the pinpoint accuracy of the operation.

It seems that the metaphor has been used occasionally in military circles for some years, but very rarely outside these circles, so that it came with the vividness of a fresh, rather than conventional, metaphor — but while it worked well for me (evoking the slim, pointed, lethal daggers of assassins), it might not have been so effective with others, whose mental image of a stiletto is the heel of a fashionable women’s shoe (slim and pointed,  but alluring rather than lethal).

Yes, the two senses (plus a few others that I won’t discuss here) are historically related, with the dagger sense the older and, in a series of steps, the source of the shoe sense. But of course ordinary speakers don’t know that, nor should they be expected to (such information is the province of specialists, historical linguists and lexicographers); what they know is how stiletto is used in their social world, and that’s likely to involve trendy footwear rather than medieval weaponry.


Pride feet!

June 12, 2022

So announced Gwendolyn Alden Dean on Facebook yesterday, as she modeled her astonishing new Teva Rainbow Pride platform sandals (black straps, rainbow soles):

(#1) The platforms are 2.5ʺ  in the back, and those stripes are separate laminated layers, not just dye jobs; these particular sandals are “all-gender”; meanwhile, I note that Gwendolyn has definitely shapely feet (something I notice because no one would ever say such a thing about my feet; I’ll spare you the details)


Woolly mammoths in Birkenstocks

May 27, 2022

Knowing that the woolly mammoth is my primary totem animal, Anneli Meyer Korn has pointed me to this little slice of the University District in Seattle:

(#1) The Woolly Mammoth shoe store, 4303 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105: “Comfortable, high quality, good-looking shoes and excellent customer service”

And from Wikipedia, on the excellent qualities of Mammuthus primigenius, the original woolly mammoth:

The woolly mammoth coexisted with early humans, who used its bones and tusks for making art, tools, and dwellings, and hunted the species for food.

M. primigenius provided humans with comfort, offering up its huge bones  to form into shelter, and beauty, in ivory carvings. Plus useful tools and life-sustaining meat. The Woolly Mammoth store’s shoes provide comfort and good looks, but can they be used as needles or stave off hunger? I thought not.

Still, those are damn fine shoes. Especially the Birkenstocks:


Three cartoons for 4/12/22

April 12, 2022

(Warning: as is my way, a soupçon of smart-ass street talk.)

Two on gendered topics, plus another cartoon that’s incomprehensible unless you recognize one of its elements (and only incidentally has a gendered bit in that element).

Masculine identity for young teens in a One Big Happy (a re-play from 4/26/10 in my comics feed today); a display of femininity in today’s Rhymes With Orange; and then, in today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro, on the equipment needed for a night lighthouse (with an incidental display of maleness).