Monthly Archives: November 2012

My Fingernails My Waterloo

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My fingernails.

I quit. Yes, I will fuss, fix, and demand perfection from my make-up. Yes, every outfit must be carefully chosen, maintained, coordinated, and sensational. My hair (as much as I can do with the frizz-mop) I will tame and control. My weight and belly I will maintain with arduous self denial and diet… well, most of the time. My bare feet will be properly polished, lovingly buffed, lotioned, and perfumed. But, my fingernails…

I give up.

Yes, ratty, tatty, chipped, and poorly polished. I accept defeat. The world has proven to me once and for all that my fingernails will look like those of a prepubescent girl. Chipped polish, patch jobs… and you know what… I don’t care.

Actually, I do care, but I still give up.

Don’t look at my fingernails. They are no longer under my power.

Get On the Right Thing 2.0

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Gearing up to return to the booth at Grow Radio I am once again delighted and bothered. Delighted ’cause I get to share all these Paul McCartney treasures with you, and bothered ’cause my favorite artist still seems to be a punching bag to hipster critics and aging dino-rockers. At least with my show, for the people who listen, I can change hearts and minds about who McCartney is and what he is about as an artist.

For a start, an open letter to ALL critics: I have noticed a number of worn-out cliches and tired redundancies when it comes to McCartney albums, so here are a few ground rules for ALL future critiques, articles, blogs, opinions, etc.

Rule #1: We no longer have to open each review with “his best album since Band On the Run.” perhaps it’s in your contracts or something that this inane statement must be made, but it is inane, and it has been stated relentlessly for nearly 40 years. Let’s all just move on together, please.

Rule #2: Even in positive to lukewarm reviews of other albums we no longer have to follow “his best album since Band On the Run” with a lengthy diatribe about how his other albums suck. First of all, they don’t, and second of all, didn’t you just say a couple years back that the album you are now dissing was “his best album since Band On the Run?” No one will think you are uncool or take away your hipster or pathetic aging rocker badges if you just start in liking the album, you do not have to justify yourselves to maintain your image as a cool guy. McCartney kicks ass and always has.

Rule #3: We no longer need to us the words “lightweight,” “bubblegum,” “sugary” or “poppy” dismissively. The adjectives usually only apply to one song per album and dismissing whole albums or stages of his career only reveals that you have not been paying attention. Take the wads of attitude out of your ears and make room for the music. but, be warned, you have to meet McCartney half way, he’s not going to hold your hand as he genre-hops. People, you are up to it, you can keep up with McCartney! He’s left most of you in the dust for years, get your shit together.

Rule #4: Let’s stop being so shocked every time he does something experimental or loud and heavy… every time you say how this doesn’t sound like McCartney you are again revealing that you have not been paying attention for the last 50 years. So, the next time Macca rocks out (which is often) and you say “I didn’t know McCartney had it in him,” I’m gonna say what McCartney does, “Where have you been?”

And remember, the only time everyone is entitled to their own opinions is when their opinions are not misinformed or based on willful ignorance.

Now, let’s all just let go, become mindful, and enjoy the next batch of Paul McCartney music every Thursday at 11am on “Get On the Right Thing, McCartney Reconsidered with Barefoot Justine” on growradio.org.

Saigon Legend

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Well, we all know how I felt about Chopstix Cafe rudely kicking me out over a law that DOES NOT EXIST, so as a case in point, let’s talk about Saigon Legend, also in Gainesville.

I have eaten at Saigon Legend numerous times, and have not only found the food to be fresh and tastefully prepared, but I have also found the staff to be not only friendly, but welcoming, kind, and obviously interested in me (a customer), the food, and their place in the community. Every time I have gone in there they have been welcoming and have treated me like a neighbor… like another member of the community in which we all live.

Today they were particularly kind and attentive. I don’t know why exactly, but they were not only professional, not only did they serve up their food with love and care, but they were outwardly enthusiastic about having me there. To my amusement, they really gave me the Princess treatment today… and what woman wouldn’t love that? Of course, I eat there frequently, and as a regular customer this is the sort of treatment that goes a long way towards keeping me a regular customer. The service today was even more caring and lovely than usual. I don’t go there just for the food, but also for the people. I will be happy to spend my money there for years to come. And, I might add, never once have I been disappointed in the food, it has always been just right. The sauces they use are perfect, never drowning the flavor of the vegetables in “brownness,” but always highlighting the natural flavor of the other ingredients. In particular their Vietnamese salad is always just right, tart, just sharp and just sweet enough to make my mouth water.

Saigon Legend most definitely is a business that is steeped in the spirit of Gainesville. Not only do they show no signs of trying to control my clean, legal, and harmless barefoot lifestyle, they are always, instead, simply delighted to have a smiling regular customer. Saigon Legend is one of the many places I can go to with comfort knowing that I will be fed well and treated respectfully and enthusiastically.

Monkey My Ass!

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Joe claims he saw the monkey again today, booking across the lawn. This is the very monkey he says he’s seen two other times out here at the lakehouse.

Out of mere envy and frustration (I have been on monkey-watch here for months… without so much as a single monkey crossing my path) I have decided that not only did he not see a monkey, but that I no longer believe a word he says.

There, problem solved! There are no monkeys here.

Durga’s Blessings

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I have, as of late, been so demoralized by “pronoun trouble” that I had fallen into grim acceptance and an impenetrable hopelessness about my identity. My whole sense of identity had, in fact, been, so I feared, hopelessly crushed forevermore. I, simply put, had given up. I had accepted that I am not nor will ever be compleat–not merely physically, but in my heart.

This evening, and I had no idea why, I have caught glimpses of myself in the mirror, my hair tamed into curls, my face fleshed out sweetly, my makeup just right, and thought… “Justine… you are SEXY!” Hell, even “FOXY.” And it felt good. No, it felt like salvation, so far down in my sense of self had I fallen.

And I recalled, just recalled moments ago, that just yesterday I pleaded with Goddess Durga to fill me with strength and pull me out of this black sense of self. I had forgotten my prayer. And not thinking once about that, not intending it, I had, on a whim, gone out today and bought a Durga murti for my altar.

Furthermore, my faith as of late has been hanging by a slender strand. I have felt distant from my Deities, but today, Durga once again, made it clear that She and They are forever with me. She listens and she sends me signs and strength.

And just as she sent the white snake to me, so she sends me this. And I know–cynics be damned–in this clarity, that my Gods are real, far more real than words and the science the tiny puddle of trifling pudding in our skulls devises to explain away the divine.

Durga is real, more real to me than constructs from the pudding will ever be. And I must leave flowers at her altar.

Chopstix Cafe Tries To Tell Me What To Do

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Chopstix Cafe
3500 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608

I for one am sick of being bullied by people who are flatly wrong.

I had a very bad experience at Chopstix Cafe (Chopstix Cafe
3500 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608) today, and I wanted to take the time to let them know that they crossed someone who leads a public life and that they made a mistake on a number of levels.

I was rudely (VERY rudely) kicked out of Chopstix today for being barefoot under the false pretense that it is a violation of Florida health-code. First of all, it is NOT and has never been a violation of health-code, and secondly the man who confronted me with this misinformation was rude and obstinate about it, which was doubly embarrassing for him as he was 100% wrong. By the end of my attempts to fill him in on the laws he should know as a restaurateur, he was, rather like a bratty child, just barking the word “SHOES!” over and over again. A friend who was along for this as a witness was embarrassed for him.

Fact: (see enclosed letter below) It is, in fact, NOT a health-code violation of any kind to go barefoot into restaurants in Florida. Secondly, the individual was obnoxious about it and rigid in his determination to kick me out even though he was so totally in the wrong and ignorant of the law.

There are dozens of restaurants in town that I can go into freely, where the staff is educated in regards to Florida Department of Health codes, are friendly towards me, and don’t feel some perverse need to dictate my lifestyle and behavior. As a person who eats out frequently, and often with others, I will not be returning to Chopstix. Why they don’t want my money and my word of mouth business I can not imagine.

So, if you are a freedom loving person who enjoys your personal liberties and the right to choose, I suggest you eat elsewhere. But, if you are a Gainesvillian who enjoys having a business tell you what personal liberties you can and can not choose to enjoy, then Chopstix is for you… bon appetit!

Here is a link to the download of the OFFICIAL statement from the Florida Department Of Health:

http://www.barefooters.org/health-dept/FL.html

If you do not want to download that official letter, the information below should settle the issue:

“The Department of Health does not have any laws, codes, or regulations requiring patrons in restaurants, retail establishments, grocery stores and the like to wear shoes or other footwear.”

So, as you can see, Chopstix Cafe, 3500 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608 had no legal reason to deny me entry, and they were wrong in doing so.

Link to download of Health Dept. letter below:

FL2009

P.S. To ward off other arguments or comments that are erroneous, for one, bare feet do NOT stink, feet stink because people keep them trapped in bacteria incubators (shoes). Additionally, the “cleanliness” argument falls flat as I know my clean and perfumed bare feet are far cleaner than that of the average busboy who goes out to the dumpster in his shoes then walks through the kitchen. As a barefoot person, I am very conscious of what I step in, people who wear shoes are not. So far as liability goes… I, for one, do not want to live in a society where we limit our personal liberties for what is, frankly, an absurd legal system. Additionally this blog is not about whether or not he had a right to kick me out, it is over the fact that he had no right to do so under the flatly false pretense that it was a health code violation, and being as flatly wrong as he was, he certainly had no right to be obnoxious about it as well.

So We All Hate Concept Albums Now?

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I keep reading about Serge Gainsbourg, and EVERY article, ad, or critique has some hipster bullshit about how we all shudder at the mere thought of a concept album.

Well, Fuck you!

Ain’t nothing wrong with concept albums and hopefully people will get over this trendy silliness of feeling the need to disregard them. When did this random line of thought start, and when will it end?

I’ve had my say.