Summer Shoe-fari Surprise

May 09 2013 Published by under Fashion (or not)

Only $69.99

Only $69.99
(Click to enlarge)

I clicked on an ad recently, and I could not believe my eyes. Look at this cute sandal.

Substantial wedge with arch support...Check.

Heel height 2.5 inches, well in the range the orthopedic surgeon recommended...Check.

Reasonable price...Check.

So what's the surprise?


Someone finally noticed that traditional Croc clogs are many things, but "attractive" is not one of them. I have a couple of pairs of their flip flops that I live in during the summer. Their molded sole supports and cushions. I wore them the day we walked 11.5 miles (measured by FitBit) up and down the Vegas strip last week. I also keep a pair of Croc ballet flats in my office in case I need to dash across campus on a day when I have made a fashionable but unfortunate heel choice.

I am delighted that I can get that comfortable engineering in something that looks like a normal sandal. They have other models with leather uppers and some strappier wedges on cork soles. Click the shoe photo or this link to see more at the Croc web site. 

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End of an Era

Apr 29 2013 Published by under Fashion (or not)

Several years ago, as a social media newbie, I received a link to a blog post written by Isis the Scientist. The post on science rang true, and I dug through her site.

How had I missed this place? There's another woman out there who does science and loves shoes?

Seriously, wedding Uggs?

Apparently, Isis has found the end of this road, if her blog can be believed.

Who will save the world from Uggs?

After tweeting that thought, I realized that those of us who remain in this bloggy world of #FWDAOTI must step up to fill her shoes, fabulous as they are. To that end, I offer my latest acquisition:

Me Too Kaden Flats (Click for DSW)

Me Too Kaden Flats
(Click for DSW)

These shoes truly go with everything, especially the ankle lengths pants that were all over the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center at Experimental Biology last week. Unlike typical ballet flats, these have a bit of padding and arch support. I picked them up at my local DSW for $49.95, and you can get them online if you click the pic.

I will miss our domestic and laboratory goddess and her bloggy hijinks. I will miss dinner challenges. I may even miss some of the fitness douchery she has promoted lately! I wish her well, and I hope she finds time to continue on twitter.

I mean, really, how long does it take to generate 140 witty characters?

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What I Am Reading: Shoes!

Oct 02 2012 Published by under Fashion (or not), What I'm Reading

Latest object of lust

Marilyn sang about diamonds, but I firmly believe shoes are a girl's best friend. Even on a frumpy, bloated, bad-hair-day, I can still rock excellent shoes that make me feel sexy, pretty, and even powerful.

When I saw Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us, I knew I had to read that book. Rachelle Bergstein's book begins at the start of the 20th century with an Italian boy named Salvatore Ferragamo. It proceeds to the present day (with occasional flashbacks to European courts and Chinese women with bound feet), exploring what the shoes of each era said about women.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

The chapter on the original power pump and the femme fatale highlighted how many films about these bad girls begin with a shot that pans from their naughty shoes up to their face. Can there be any doubt of Barbara Stanwyck's intentions when she trods down those stairs in pom-pom trimmed heels in Double Indemnity? Lana Turner may be wearing virginal white, but those peep-toed pumps scream "sex." No wonder men make bad choices around her. No wonder the postman keeps ringing...

Another chapter covers boots, specifically those of Nancy Sinatra, the ones made for walking. The backstory behind the song almost makes you forget how grating it can be.

The book is not just for high fashion; it includes the story behind athletic shoes. Another chapter explores Vans, Chuck Taylors, and Doc Martens, the shoes of the grunge cool kids.

No book about shoes would be complete without referencing Sex and the City. In the show, shoes became a symbol of a woman's power: "I don't need a man to buy these for me, thank you very much. I make my own money and my own choices." Stilettos as a symbol of female empowerment? Why not?

The boys get some attention, too. Not as iconic as the white suit, Tony Manero's loafers from Saturday Night Fever still rank discussion. After all, Tony window-shops for shoes to the beat of Stayin' Alive less than a minute into the film. Maybe shoes are not just a "girl thing" after all.

If you want a fun look at women and shoes through the 20th century, this book is for you. I had difficulty putting it down, but it was time to put on my big-girl-shoes and go to work. After all, I need more money to buy shoes ūüėČ



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Another Hypothesis Shot Down

May 29 2012 Published by under Fashion (or not)

I used to believe that a bit of bling could make everything better.

Then I saw these:

Ugg Classic Sparkles

Step away from the Bedazzler now, please. You can click the image to purchase these boots, but why would you?

Why would anyone?

One response so far

Packing for #EB2012

Apr 13 2012 Published by under Fashion (or not), Travel

Many of us will travel to San Diego in a week for Experimental Biology. You have spent time registering, picking a hotel, making travel arrangements, and considering sessions. Now it is time to consider your packing.

San Diego makes it easier; most of the year the temperature runs about 70 and the sun usually shines. Could we get rain? Sure, but really bad weather is not a strong possibility. You should have a fold-able pocket umbrella in your suitcase anyway. Check the weather forecast right before you finish packing; they don't get particularly predictive until the 5-day time-frame.

Conference travel involves at least 3 types of activities. These include travel, attendance, and presentation. With a bit of planning, you can get appropriate apparel for a 5-day trip into a case that fits in the overhead compartment of an airplane. What do you sacrifice? Shoes. If you need more than 2 pair (one to wear on the plane and one to ride in the case) it's unlikely that you will get by with just the roll-aboard.

On travel days, comfort may be the primary consideration; however, you should also consider what happens if checked luggage does not immediately make it to your final destination. Having a clean set of underwear and all personal necessities available can make that delay tolerable. Also consider wearing something you could wear to a session; nice jeans with a shirt and jacket can work for almost any meeting session and can be just as comfortable as sweats. OK, not sweats, but you know what I mean. Also, wearing a jacket avoids taking up valuable suitcase room. Nice slip-on shoes also work well. You want something that won't slow you down too much when you hurry for a connection, but not something so complicated it will take you half-an-hour to redress in security. The people behind you in line will be more of a threat if you wear above-the-knee lace-up boots (trust me, I have seen this happen) than any terrorist.

The rest of the meeting you have two things to avoid: looking sloppy or slutty. You are meeting potential colleagues and reviewers; if I receive your next manuscript, do you really want me to remember the girl with the dragon tattoo or your unusual navel piercing? When you present, a suit-like ensemble is ideal, especially if you are young or female. Like it or not, dressing professionally will make you seem more authoritative. Pissed that people may judge you by your clothing? It happens whether you like it or not.

Finally, remember all the chargers for your gizmos and never let anyone check your presentation. Posters should only enter the luggage compartment if pried from your cold, dead fingers.

This advice has been compiled into a brief slideshow below. Enjoy, and may you and your luggage always arrive together. See you in San Diego!


7 responses so far

Weekend Musings

Mar 23 2012 Published by under [Etc], Beauty, Fashion (or not)

This time of year, I usually glue myself to a television to watch college basketball. Disillusioned after the first-round loss by my Missouri Tigers, I have just lost interest. This leaves me tie to get some stuff done, like preparation for Experimental Biology. More about sessions and science later; this weekend I will prepare  my wardrobe.

When I accepted the panel invitation, I knew which dress I would wear. It is pretty and comfortable and it makes me feel great.

But it needs shoes.

I have multiple DSW coupons in my bag, and I am heading for the store tomorrow morning. Of course, our DSW lies in the same shopping center as Beauty Brands, so my first pedicure of 2012 is scheduled as well (I may lose a pound or two after they trim cuticles and callus). Then more shopping may occur.

At some point, I have to put together a few slides for the social media outreach panel. I can always do that on the plane.

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A Formal Commitment

Dec 06 2011 Published by under [Etc]

Last summer I wrote about my trial of standing work. Throughout that month I performed most writing and office work standing at my kitchen counter. Standing up straight engages your core muscles more than you notice - until you do it for a few days.

As we moved in August, my commitment to blogging and computing, let alone doing it upright, got challenged. Now that I am settling into the new job, I wanted to resume this novel computing posture. With several risers on the desk I could get the laptop keyboard and screen to a reasonable height, but the desk was way too low for comfortable  use of a mouse.

My Standing Desk (Click to enlarge)

At left you will see my new standing desk, the flexible workspace laptop stand by realspace(R). I found mine for $102 at my local Office Depot (for some reason the online price is more). This stand places the laptop keyboard 42 inches from the ground, about the same height as a shopping cart handle. A slide-out mouse surface is available 4 inches below the keyboard, and it can be pushed to either side. A USB-powered fan is built in to keep your device cool (its cord hangs loose in the photo), and a cupholder can be swung out from the bottom level of the deck.

The height adjusts lower, so I could use this sitting as well. For example, sometimes I keep references open on my laptop while working on my Windows desktop; dropping the stand would facilitate this function. Up till now, I placed the laptop on the desk next to my other computer, a perfectly miserable height for my arms.

My bad knee tolerates the standing posture reasonably well. I use the Pomodoro technique while writing, so I stand in 25 minute blocks. My 5 minute break between pomodoros may involve sitting or walking around. As anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows, I often wear shoes that are not made for standing (but they look gorgeous). Underneath the stand you will notice a pair of "leopard" ballet flats. These are actually Crocs (like these but more fun), and they feel like I am walking on clouds.

It would be nice to have a monitor at a slightly higher level, so I did not have to work with my head bowed; however, that sort of workspace gets expensive fast. Perhaps if I ever make the jump to a treadmill desk I will take that leap as well.

In the meantime, this set-up works great.

4 responses so far

Autumn in the Air

Sep 20 2011 Published by under Fashion (or not)

Really, I bookmarked a couple of sites for a post today on a serious topic. Really.

But a cold front will be moving through, and the high tomorrow will only be 74 if the weather dudes are to be believed. Still warm, but a clear sign that mild fall weather wants to visit us.

A paycheck will be deposited soon. I could justify a new pair of shoes...

Jobst Loafer $85 (Click for NineWest Site)

This lovely grown-up loafer from NineWest comes in black or brown leather. The 3 inch heel is sturdy and stacked, not a wobbly stiletto. These look more grown-up than a penny loafer, but not overly formal for the office, especially an office where spit-up may land on my shoes at any moment.

The fashion gurus say high-heel loafers are making waves this fall, and this pair featured in a recent issue of People Stylewatch.

OKC has a NineWest store. That's like a sign from the deity. OK, a sign from my deity!

3 responses so far

Never Say Never: That Gator Will Bite Your Butt

Jun 22 2011 Published by under Fashion (or not)

The past two days passed by in a whirl of air travel, beginning with 4 am alarms on Monday to catch a series of flights ending in Oklahoma City.

At 3 pm my hubby and I became the proud owners of two houses. We hope this proves a fairly temporary condition, at least for the house in Omaha.

After briefly visiting my new campus, I realized how spread out it was. Given that everywhere I need to be is on "a campus," I will need to hoof it a bit more than I do now. A pair of walking shoes in my desk will be in order.

After chatting with several flight attendants, I found these:

Yes, they are Crocs

Yes, they are Crocs, the brand I swore I would never buy. Each shoe weighs in at, perhaps, an ounce, yet they have cushy insoles that provide way more support than any ballet flat I have ever tried. True, they lack the style of a regular shoe, but to stroll to a meeting a mile away they seem just fine. They can also provide a closed toe on those pesky OR days.

As I wrote this post, I found another pair on the Crocs web site that may be "necessary" as well.

Click for link



I really need to see them in real life before I decide, though. Leopard prints can cross the line from fashion-forward to tacky in the blink of an eye.

I am off again tomorrow for the diabetes meetings in San Diego. I will be tweeting from those sessions with occasional blog posts. Stay tuned - there are kidney sessions!

4 responses so far

Winding Down

Jun 17 2011 Published by under Fashion (or not)

My office looks somewhat bare. Oh, I still have stuff on the walls because I keep forgetting my putty knife (don't ask), but the books and papers and trinkets have been mostly wrapped and packed.

This weekend I cover the inpatient service here for the last time in the present locale. Yesterday I completed my final outpatient clinic.

One of my patients brought me a gift that I want to share.

Yup, that girl knows me well. This plaque will find a place of honor in the new home or office.

I spend most of next week on the road, closing on the new homestead and attending the annual American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego. I return to the "Big O" for the last two days of June and some farewell festivities.

All of these "final moments" are bittersweet. Much as I am pumped to move on to my next adventure, the past 13 years and 5 months have included my children growing up, my career evolution, and a slew of new friends and colleagues.

Walkstar III in Bronze; $63.90 at Zappos

I will end this post with my primary shoe for the month of July, the FitFlop.

Once I stop the full-time day job, much of my time will be devoted to the upcoming move and American Legion baseball. When footgear becomes necessary, my FitFlops will protect my tootsies. A summer without legs will not know what to do!

If you know anyone who wants a great house in Omaha, send them this link!

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