ShoesDay: Patricia Slides

Happy Tuesday, ShoesDay! We are having fun this summer reminiscing about our favorite pairs of shoes. It’s fun to remember the details, and the stories that go with them. Last week, guest writer Dani Lorta shared about her fave platform espadrilles here. Read about my pink Mary Janes here and my athletic Mary Janes here. And here is the sweet book that inspired this nostalgic journey: Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman (published posthumously).

I was on a family vacation in Hawaii when my baby girl was juust under two year old. She was free to fly as a lap child. Cute as a button. But she had developed an ear infection and lacked the language skills to tell me. So she remained awake all night and I made the executive decision to cancel our island-hopping excursion for the next day. My immediate family remained on-island, where dear son rode along with dear husband on the golf cart. Baby girl and I schlepped from medical facility to hotel business center to pharmacy while the extended family flew to Oahu to enjoy the Polynesian Cultural Center and Pearl Harbor. I’d had to cancel not only our inter-island flights, but also our Sea Life Park tickets and dolphin encounter. Low point. Toting around a sick and sleep-deprived toddler in a rental car and stroller is not how one envisions one’s Hawaiian vacation. I obtained doctor’s notes and faxed them to the airline and dolphin visit- getting my money back, at least. Yay. The family returned to me and said for dinner we could do anything I liked. I desperately chose pizza at the shopping center next door to the hotel.

I tell you all this because sometimes, beautiful colorful flowers grow through thick soil.

Walking around after dinner, I happened upon a Crocs store. This was the first tine I had seen an entire store fully dedicated to Crocs. And I am not really a shoe aficionado (though I play one on my blog) but I wasn’t a Birkenstock or crocs wearer either. Crocs were purchased for my kids! I did note that Hawaii sales tax was only four per cent, as compared to my home state’s near ten per cent sales tax.

It was there that I first happened upon the Patricia thin wedge slides. They were simple, yet somehow more sophisticated than flip flops (aka zori’s). The Z design in basic black elevated the crocs concept. As a slide, they lacked the annoying toe hook. They were textured in the footbed, and contoured to my parents foot shape, offering a micro-massage. The sole was textured to avoid slips. The heel was a thin, subtle wedge. #ZoriBliss

Soon after I bought these, so did my sister-in -law and mother-in-law. Mine lasted five years before I had to replace them– only after having worn out the tread. (I fell once in Guam, running across the street in the rain, wearing my red Royal Robbin Essential Dress- cap sleeve, v-neck, empire waist, fit and flare.)

My own mother brought hers to Ireland and wore them with stockings to a wedding. They are subtle enough to pass for an appropriate strappy sandal. But they are also perfect for trekking to the neighborhood pool, lounging in a hotel, or post mani-pedi’s. And because they are crocs, they clean easily, lasting longer.

Some of my other favorite shoes are a bit more whimsical– but these shine for subtlety. Sensible, slightly sophisticated, versatile.

Kinda how I see myself.

What’s your favorite shoe? What can they tell us about you?

Music Monday: I am not throwing away my shot!

Happy Monday, Friends! I started writing about music on Mondays, as music is so important to our lives. Join me as I reminisce on music and music-making.

Hamilton the Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda is returning to San Francisco. I’m in a virtual queue to buy tickets for the family as I write. There’s likely 100,000 persons in line waiting for a chance to buy up to 4 tickets. 30 weeks of 8 performances of hundreds of seats each. I’ve been in the queue for 90 minutes and there’s still 40.8 thousand people ahead of me. Wish me luck!

I was so lucky to catch the show last summer. Turns out, it was Pride Week in San Francisco. And you know what, it was the best time to see Hamilton. The cast is so diverse and inclusive. They brought out a rainbow Pride flag at final bows. I was moved to tears.

I hope to bring the family this time. Such a moving experience. My kids already know a lot of the music.

I hope that in the future, a filmed version will be shown in the theaters, as Allegiance has been shown on exclusive one night engagements.

But for now, I Wait for It!

For more on the Hamilton phenomenon,check out Who Tells Your Story? and The English Teacher’s Guide to the Hamilton Musical by Valerie Estelle Franklin.

Monday Music: Psalms & Olives

Happy Monday, Friends!   I started writing about music on Mondays, to get me blogging regularly again.  Music is such an important part of our lives.  And I always have something to say about music. Don’t you? 

This past weekend I had the opportunity to cantor, that is- songlead, at church. The Psalm setting of the day was one I had learnt last minute at my sister’s wedding, eighteen years ago.  Her friend and cantor had come down with the flu suddenly, and although I was also the Maid of Honor, I was called upon to sing for the entire wedding Mass.  I had heard the song one time only, during the wedding rehearsal.  But as it was also my profession as a church musician, I knew I could step up and sing.  It was like my entire life had prepared me for that moment.

I hadn’t heard it since.

As I sang the refrain from the ambo, I remembered singing at my sister’s wedding.  I had liked the psalm so much, I chose it for my own wedding which was only twelve weeks after.  As I sang the second verse, I looked out at the congregation and saw my two beautiful children sitting in the third pew.  And I realized, as I sang the blessing “Your children flourish like olive plants” that indeed, here are my children and how we’ve all flourished!  I saw my mother, and realized that as her child, we are all part of her olive branch.

I was so overwhelmed by this sensation that indeed, we have all been blessed.  I may have inadvertently changed the words at this point, I mean, who says “Olive plants” ?  Olives come from trees, with branches.  Right?  And then, I raised my arms to invite the congregation to sing along with me, and I sang “Happy those…” instead of “Blessed are those…” I guess I was happy.

That’s one thing I like about music ministry. The lyrics are prayers. The congregation is so forgiving. How can I keep from singing?

Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother-in-law! Olive you!

 

olive you

olive you

Monday Music: More Triangle

My family just loves this fun GEICO commercial depicting a classical triangle soloist gone wild.  Have you seen it?  Click here: Triangle Soloist Geico Commercial

I have a playlist entitled More Cowbell.  Sometimes I do wonder, though, if the guy playing triangle in Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” was paid by the ding.  Or maybe they were trying to make up for an underutilized percussion instrument in popular music.  I love castanets and cowbells in pop music, don’t get me wrong! But, every single measure seems a bit much. What do you think?

more triangle

more triangle

Last year I wrote a Monday Music post about the triangle solo in a Billy Joel song.  Check it out here. (Video link at the end of my post.)

And here’s that playlist- because I know you want it.

 *some songs featuring vibraslap may have snuck in  

more cowbell playlist

more cowbell playlist

B Street Mix is Back!

music

BOOM. BACK IN BLACK! BA-DA BOOM. I HIT THE SACK! BA-DA BOOM.

A HUMMA HUMMA HUMMA GLAD TO BE BACK!  

Did you really know all the words to your favorite songs on the radio back in the 80s?  Bonus points if you can tell me where this misheard lyric gem comes from: “Don’t switch the blade on the guy whose name is Ramon.”

Growing up in the 80s and going to school in the next town, B Street was the route my mom would take.  Later I drove myself to high school along the same route. I have such fond memories of listening to KFRC 610 AM radio in the family Pinto station wagon, and then popping in my cassettes for Wham! UK, Journey, and Saga in the “Plum” (read- Brown) Toyota Camry Sedan. And don’t get me started on my mix tapes.

Years later, as an adult, I found myself living in the same town and driving along the same street, after I dropped off my baby in my parents’ loving care. For twelve more years, B Street was my commute. And I popped in my 80s cassettes (or CDs) in my Honda CR-V.

Well, now I am back helping out at my old work location, and back on the B Street commute. I admit I wasn’t too thrilled with this change, at first. But my bestie reminded me that I could do the B Street Mix again, and that made me smile. I used to post on social media  the three 80s songs that made my playlist for that morning commute.  And my friends from all over would chime in about their happy  memories of the songs.

We are so lucky in the Bay Area to have an exclusively 80s music radio station, helmed by none other than MTV VJ Martha Quinn. And if you have Sirius XM satellite radio, there’s an 80s channel, as well as Classic Rewind, HairNation, and 1st Wave.  I also listen to Pandora.

Last Wednesday was my first day back on B Street. As I blasted Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger, I thought to myself, why don’t I  listen to this song every morning?

Today’s selections were “She’s Got the Look” by Roxette, “Wind Him Up” by Saga,  “Separate Ways” by Journey, and “More than a Feeling” by Boston.

What’s on your playlist?

#BStreetMix

PSA: Don’t Leave your Girl Scout Cookies in the Car

The following is a true story.

Girl Scout Cookies come out this time, every year.  In California, we start to see the sun again, around this time, also.  Once I had forgotten that I had Thin Mints in the trunk of my car.  I went to retrieve them in the afternoon, but they had already melted. That’s okay, I thought, I’ll just put them in the freezer at work. Thin Mints taste extra good when frozen, right?

The thing was, as the chocolate icing had already melted, it was now frozen into a log.

I tried slicing the log with the plastic knives available at work.  Nope.  Broke the knife.

I started whacking the sleeve on the side of my desk at work.  Nope.  People started looking at me funny.

I really wanted my cookies now, Dammit!

I brought them home. Using a steak knife, I separated the log into four chunks.

Put them in my Magic Bullet blender, and enjoyed the cookie crumbles over ice cream.

Because sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Am I Right?

mints

 

Denise Dwyer D’Errico is the author of Dee’s Dishes, stories and recipes, now available on Amazon.com