Tag Archives: hardcore barefooter

Inane Insane

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(Barefoot) Justine Mara Andersen… barefoot outlaw!

(Barefoot) Justine Mara Andersen… barefoot outlaw!

Yep, it happened again, and under the usual circumstances, and from the usual sort of person. I was at Walmart (I know… shame on me… but if I want waffle batter, carpet tacks and the first season of Happy Days on DVD where else am I gonna go?), carefree in my bare feet thanks to my former victory there. See, last year I had been kicked out of a Walmart for being barefoot, so I called Corporate, because I knew Walmart didn’t have a “no bare feet” policy, unfortunately most of their employees are ignorant. It was confirmed by corporate that I was within my rights to live my life as I choose, so they called the manager and assistant manager, and I was called by both… and they apologized on behalf of the idiot security guard that had kicked me out. I, of course, took names, so that the next time I was kicked out I would be able to say: “Speak to manager so-and-so.” Problem solved… uh… unless you’re in a different Walmart.

The main reason I shop at Walmart (beside the fact that–thanks to Obamacare–I have NO insurance and my prescriptions are less than half what they would be anywhere else, and besides the fact that I am not traveling all over Florida looking for three different non-corporate shops just to pick up three items I could have just as easily found at Walmart, and besides the fact that a friend of mine once chastised me for bitching him out for shopping at Walmart by saying “It’s not the fault of poor people that they shop where the prices are lowest–and sister… am I ever poor!), but I digress, the main reason I shop at Walmart is because the freedom and right to go barefoot wherever I please is very important to me, and I prefer to shop in stores and visit restaurants that respect my right to choose.

The right to shoes, the right to choose, I choose barefoot!

But, as I was saying before, I had won this battle once at one Walmart, but I was now across town in the safer Walmart, minding my own business, shopping in my freshly cleaned and perfumed bare feet (see photo form today above) when a foul little troll of a woman in a blue vest came along with her very best Seven-Dwarves Grumpy face on and started with “Ma’am… you can’t be in here barefoot.” I told her that I could indeed, that I didn’t have to leave, and that I have called corporate about this once already, and Walmart has no policy regarding bare feet.

Well, not being willing to let it go at that she walked off bitching about how they have food at Walmart.

OK… see… now this is the part that set me off, and for many reasons. Firstly, she’s dead wrong, no matter of opinion here at all. I was 100% right and within my rights. There are NO codes with the Florida Department Of Health, nor with the DBPR, see quote below:

“Good day ,

Regarding your inquiry DBPR- Division of Hotels & Restaurants does not have any regulations regarding barefoot patrons at an establishment.

Best Regards,

Roger Xxxxx
Regulatory Consultant
Division of Hotels and Restaurants
Bureau of Sanitation and Safety Inspections”

Also, here is the letter from the Health Dept. stating that it is NOT a violation:
FL2009.pdf

So as she walked off continuing to bitch me out under her breath, I shouted back “And it is NOT against health code regulations, and it is in fact against the law to state and enforce laws that do not exist. You need to learn your company policies and do your research!” And that was that. I told her off, and frankly, felt pretty damn good about it, too. It’s about time I start coming out on top in these ridiculous situations.

But let’s leave the legalities aside and talk common sense about the absurd notion that somehow my bare feet are going to contaminate her can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli.

Let’s start with simple science (or, rather, basic common sense), how in any way are my feet going to spoil or contaminate anyone’s food? Are these people eating off the floor like dogs? Though I realize many of them are functioning at about the same intellectual level as a schnauzer, I doubt they actually are eating off the floor at Walmart. Besides that… any dirt on my feet is already on the floor in spades! Additionally, isn’t it obvious by any but the most pea-brained among us that shoes are not only no cleaner than bare feet… but far far filthier! Let’s face it, most foot-infecting bacteria worsen or are even caused by those little bacteria incubators we call shoes. Additionally, I had just walked out of the shower and gone shopping, my feet freshly cleaned. When was the last time you washed, scrubbed, exfoliated and perfumed your foul stinky shoes? Never… so, I ask… which are filthier… feet or shoes?

Let’s add to this that I, in my bare feet, have NOT been out back by the Dumpster, nor have I tread over the deli floor, nor the loading docks and trucks… I ask you again… are my feet or were her shoes filthier? See what I mean… there is NO logic to the concept that my feet are going to contaminate food (and shoes are not!)

Additionally, as this Walmart didn’t even carry produce… how in the fucking hell were my feet going to infect her or anyone’s sealed can of pumpkin spice Pringles? The whole idea is, at it’s core… utterly absurd. beyond the realization that these people are ignorant of their own policies and health codes, what they fear is so absurd as to be surreal. I can’t even wrap my head around how anyone would believe that my feet are a greater danger to their prepackaged foods anymore than I can figure out how they think my feet, as opposed to shoes, stand a greater chance of infecting a bag of EXtreme Cool Ranch Doritos?

It’s insane people, simply insane.

But, in the end, this little lamb scared off the troll, I bought my stuff and came home, and now I am sitting smugly in my room for having beaten the bullshit back for one more day.

“Justine… fighting for truth, justice… and (reluctantly) the American way!”

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Barefoot Justine Photo Galleries Updated

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Hey gang, I updated my photo galleries. I needed to streamline my site to showcase my artwork more than my… uh… body and personality, but fear not, lots of pics in there now, even some new ones, and I plan to rotate them and post more new ones as well as old favorites, so keep checking back in!

Here’s one new one just as a sample:

(Barefoot) Justine Mara Andersen - ruins2

(Barefoot) Justine Mara Andersen – ruins2

Barefoot Justine… Yes, Barefoot In the Snow, Too!

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Well… I dug around on my antique computer (a computer so old even the Amish would find it beneath them) and I found one last photo of me barefoot in the snow. I’m posting it alongside the other one from the same shoot.

I remember the day well. This was a park in Ohio that I used to hike barefoot in the winter, it took about 90 minutes to make the whole trail. The day these pics were taken it was uncommonly cold and the snow was brittle and hard… my feet had to break through a layer of hard sharp ice with every step. I remember that it was painful and sorta sucked… but I still had a lot of fun!

Barefoot Justine (Mara Andersen) In the Snow.

Barefoot Justine (Mara Andersen) In the Snow.

That day I had hoped to hike the whole trail, but the conditions were just too rough. I climbed a tree just to get up out of the snow for a few minutes.

Barefoot Justine (Mara Andersen) in a tree one snowy day!

Barefoot Justine (Mara Andersen) in a tree one snowy day!

I learned a lot of things about hiking barefoot in the snow, and one was that I would stop to gently warm my feet after the first 10 or 15 minutes, the blood would all flow to my toes after that, and they would stay pink and warm for a long time. Of course all along the way I would frequently stop and warm them. Another thing I learned was to bring an extra pair of gloves so that if the first pair got wet there would be a nice cozy second pair for my hands. Dry warm hands were essential for the long hikes. One of the most surprising things I learned was how important mind over matter was. On more than one occasion I would head out for a barefoot winter hike and turn around and go home if I wasn’t feeling good about it or couldn’t focus. I knew that if I started a hike while I was distracted or not feeling confident, that there would be a greater chance of it going badly. Mainly what I learned was that it’s totally possible to safely go barefoot all winter, and that our bodies and minds are far more powerful than we think.

This is not something anyone should try for too long without a lot of research, practice and focus. I have NO desire to return to Ohio and those dreadful winters… but at times I really miss sinking my bare feet into sugary soft-serve snow! What I don’t miss is that in Ohio winter starts in October and lasts until almost May… simply put… fuck that!

“Hardcore Barefooter”

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I typed in “Hardcore barefooter” just to see what would come up in a Google search… I found this old forgotten picture of my feet (it was the very first pic in the search) on someone else’s Tumblr feed with this accompanying quote: “Now this is HARDCORE BAREFOOTER FEET! When you wear this much jewelry on your feet, there is no need for shoes. Man I’m slackinnn”

And here’s the pic. For those of you foot freaks out there who were wondering who those feet belonged to… wonder no more, they belong solely (get it “Solely”) to me… Barefoot Justine!

Who is this mystery "Hardcore barefooter?" It's me...(Barefoot) Justine Mara Andersen.

Who is this mystery “Hardcore barefooter?” It’s me…(Barefoot) Justine Mara Andersen.

By the way, in the ensuing years… I have lost every single one of those toe rings… and I really miss a couple of ’em!

OK, it’s all coming back to me now… I was traveling then, sans shoes, and working events, long days, my feet used to get positively grubby. Dig that rainbow Band-Aid! I had Band-Aids on both big toes. It was HOT, August, and the blacktop had actually blistered the bottoms of my toes. No regrets, just bandage ’em up and keep ’em movin’!

My Birthday: 2 Years Barefoot! (with a splash of Paul)

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(This entry is a rant, a birthday barefoot McCartney rant with a certain random quality to it… but in my Maya it all makes perfect sense)

My birthday is upon me, January 14th. I am now 4; or in normally gendered years… 36; and in secret years…. well that secret is for God (and a few people who “know to much”) to know. That date also happens to coincide (roughly) with the day I stubbornly and absolutely abandoned “my” shoes, not that I had been wearing them anyhow. So, why is “my” in quotes? because shoes are never mine, they are THEIRS! Shoes are not of my spirit, they are something that had been forced upon me up to that point, rather like a prison sentence. Shoes are a part of their, or your, society, don’t try and convince me I need to stuff my feet into those culturally abhorrent suffocating torturous bacteria incubators. Two years ago this January 14th (yep, that’s 2 human years wholly committed to being barefoot) I decided to liberate myself from even the pragmatic arguments that persuade lesser barefooters to submit. Two years ago I said no, I will not submit. I will not conform. I will not be bullied, coerced, guilted or given “common sense” lectures. I am barefoot.

I had always loved being barefoot, had always done it, but had never committed to it. At this point I don’t even own shoes, nor socks, nor sandals, nor hose, nor slippers, nor even a Christmas stocking. I’ve saved a lot of money. Anklets and toerings outlast shoes big time! Funny, but poor as I am, I often feel guilty for “blowing my money” on anklets… but considering what I would have blown on shoes, from now on I’m just gonna shrug it off and buy whatever anklet I want. Take that Nike! Just do it, huh? Well, I done did it. Or as Ghoulardi said, “If you’re gonna do something… do it!”

I imagine there are a lot of questions… like… WHY? Why is it so important that I stay barefoot all the time? And here’s the thing, if you are asking the question at all, then I doubt any answer I could give would make sense to you, but I’ll go ahead and give a few.

Firstmost I suppose the answer is… ’cause I want to. This is my manifestation in Maya, you wear shoes through yours if you please.

But for a longer and more in depth firstmost: as far as I’m concerned, there’s not much difference between wearing shoes and going out every day with gloves on, or a blindfold on, or earplugs in. Being barefoot offers me a world of sensation, and I do not want such delicious sensations muted by shoes any more than I want my hearing muted by earplugs or my sight dulled by shades. Of course some might then ask, “aren’t you afraid of cutting your feet?” No more than I worry about something flying in my eye because I’m not wearing a blindfold; no more than I am worried about going deaf if there’s a loud noise ’cause I don’t have my earplugs in. I ironically, do have hearing damage, permanent, from when some bonehead at a Ren Faire set off a cannon… damn, shoulda been wearing my earplugs. Think on that, yes, indeed, I could hurt my feet, but is that a reason to wear shoes anymore than that single cannon blast that gave me permanent hearing damage is a reason to wear earplugs day in and day out? Nope. Seems like simple math to me. I do realize that if a corporation came along, say like the Nike or Purell people, and found a way to make billions on earplugs… everyone would be running about with earplugs in… and looking at me as if I were nuts for not wearing them. Shoes, like earplugs and shades, are a choice, not a necessity.

So, what’s the payoff for being barefoot? There are many, but it’s primarily a hedonistic if not fetishistic thing, as well as a spiritual exercise. Being barefoot demands that at every moment I be alive in the NOW and fully engaged and aware of where I am at every moment. It’s a way of shutting down the noise in my ears, the bullshit that drags me down. Being barefoot is a pure and simple pleasure that overrides bad moments. I can endure a lot of drudgery if I can do it barefoot. Quite simply, life is more fun barefoot! Look deep down… you know that to be true… no no… look deeper…. see it! Ah… there it is, the way the truth and the light: life is more fun barefoot.

Why did I choose to just do it? Why did I choose not to listen to that sensible self that would have me encased (against my will) in shoes? Blame some of that (like a whole lotta stuff in my life) on cancer in Korea and nearly drowning in Thailand. There came a time after that, after I had confronted my mortality in a very real way, when I thought to myself… fuck this! After all, isn’t “fuck this!” a major motivator… had Edison not said “fuck this working in the dark shit,” we wouldn’t have track lighting. There are things I want to do in this life, and I’m damn well going to do them! If I love being barefoot, then barefoot I will be. Nothing like facing your mortality–DEATH–twice in 6 months to set a person straight. That combined with the inspiring whiskey drenched misery of the period that followed the cancer and near drowning. I had worked as an illegal immigrant in Chile and had to spend all the money I’d made escaping the country. I came home to suffer through a divorce, foreclosure and bankruptcy. I was bitter, broken, and a whiskey drinking alcoholic. Why did I decide to commit to going barefoot 24/7? Because I had nothing to lose! I still have nothing to lose. Let me hip you to the real rub… none of us have anything to lose… there is NO security out there.

“We can do what we want
We can live as we choose
You see there’s no guarantee
We got nothing to lose”

Paul McCartney, New

When seeking truth I always turn to the sages.

Nothing to lose, so I do as I choose, and I choose to live without shoes. And it’s my right, the right to shoes, the right to choose, I choose barefoot! I choose to be free and brave in a land that promised I would be allowed to do so… it hasn’t worked out that way. Just like with the Native Americans, America breaks its grandest promises… ask ANY intelligent foreigner what they think of the myth of American freedom and bravery. Go ahead, ask ’em. One thing you learn when you are barefoot… we are not truly free. Our basic and simplest personal liberties are not granted to us under the great American God… the ONE TRUE God in America, and it ain’t greed… it’s FEAR! Sorry folks, not a lot of freedom and bravery here amongst the purple mountains majesty, but plenty of fear. We’re afraid of lawsuits, we’re afraid of germs, terrorists, glass, gays, gun control, socialism, and bare feet! Ever try going barefoot in restaurants? Here’s the deal… ain’t no health codes nowhere no-how, but everyone is so afraid that there is that they forbid it. Can’t go barefoot to the Top here in Gainesville, can’t go to Chopsticks Cafe, so you know where I can go? Foreign restaurants. See, the Vietnamese, Mexicans and Indians aren’t as uptight as we are, and evidently are far more educated in regards to healthcodes than their American counterparts. I love you Saigon Legend!

“There is a fine line, between recklessness and courage
It’s about time, you understood which road to take
It’s a fine line, your decision makes a difference
Get it wrong, you’ll be making a big mistake

Whatever’s more important to you
You’ve got to change what you wanna do
Whatever’s more important to be
That’s the view that you’ve gotta see”

Paul McCartney, Fine Line

Paul McCartney singing out, again, about being genuine, fearless, true to self. McCartney has been utterly true to his nature… hey folks, believe it or not, those poppy and old fashioned songs… he does them because he loves them and is fearless enough to mix them in with his darker and more experimental work. The man’s work gives me courage to stick to my convictions. The courage to be barefoot. The courage to, like Paul, be grossly misunderstood. Oh well, it’s not McCartney’s job to be understood by cynics, just as it’s not my job to be understood by the thoughtlessly shod.

How long do I plan on staying barefoot? Forever if I have my say. I guess this means I won’t be getting on any planes anytime soon, thank God. Airports, the one place Americans can go to have it rubbed in their faces that the terrorists won… who needs it! The things I can’t do barefoot don’t bother me much. The things I can do barefoot thrill me. It’s worth it. So I don’t get to go to an airport and have some flunkie tell me to take off my shoes and then put them on again… how fucking random is that anyway? OK… so explain to me why it’s OK to stand around barefoot in the airport when they want to rummage through your stuff… but not before or after then? What the hell is that? Random brothers and sisters, that’s what it is… random! I don’t do random. Well, I do MY random; your random, their random, not my bag.

Yep, 2 years barefoot, imagine that?

I imagined it, now I’m doing it. If you’re gonna dream it, you might as well do it. And THAT, my friends brings me to another point. I used to dream, I dreamt big, real stinking big. It turned out that the dreams I had been dreaming depended on others. Did you get that? That’s the trouble with a lot of dreams, they depend on others to be properly fulfilled, on others to judge you worthy, on others to buy your stuff, give you the job, choose you, make you famous and popular… those are not practical dreams. Any dream that requires another person, or many people, in order for it to be brought to fruition is not a dream I am willing to dream anymore. I am finished with dreams that are beyond my control. I dreamt of living barefoot… I am living barefoot, and no one, not the Top, not Chopsticks Cafe, not CFOP is going to control my dream, nor make me submit, nor make me conform. I dream things I can accomplish on my own now. Being barefoot, that is under my control, that is a dream that is self contained. I can choose to live that dream. If you’re gonna dream, learn the difference between dreams that leave you at the mercy of others and dreams that depend solely on you. It’s on you! It’s all on you. It always was and it always will be.

“There were rules you never told me
Never came up with a plan
All the stories that you sold me
Didn’t help me understand

But I had to get it worked out
Had nobody who could help
So then in the end it turned out
That I had to do it
By myself…

Lief’s a game rags from riches
Dogs and bitches hunt for fame
Difficult to know which way to turn

Lay the blame on the snitches
Wicked witches fan the flame
Careful what you touch in case you burn”

Paul McCartney, Queenie Eye

Thanks Paul, as for me, I won’t be touching anymore dreams that depend on others for their fulfillment. And that lesson the dogs, the bitches and I have learned through being burned. Barefoot… that is a dream I can fulfill, and no one is going to stop me.

Peace, Love and Bare Feet, (and a couple kisses if you want ’em…)
Justine

Addendum: Speaking of the whole barefoot birthday McCartney thing… I just got back from seeing the Beatle tribute band Rain with Miriam. Of course I went barefoot. It amused me that more than once people in the crowd responded enthusiastically over the seemingly apparent fact that I had dressed up for this thing. Funny thing is, as Miriam pointed out, these are just my clothes. I hadn’t dressed up for Rain at all… I dressed for Tuesday! I wore BIG bell bottoms with holes in the knees, plenty of toe rings, a beaded belt thingie, a dyed lace frilled blouse with breezy open sleeves, a denim vest, bangles and bare feet, a bindi, silver feather earrings, and my Ganesh medallion and Shiva choker; and over it all my fluffy freaking frizz-mop hair, a long purple knit duster (which is cool ’cause the sleeves of my blouse hang out the ends of it like something from Sade’s time), a denim purse, and well… isn’t that enough? I think people expect far too little of themselves when they get dressed. So, no, this wasn’t a costume, it was simply Tuesday.

Good thing this show wasn’t on Wednesday… they’d have gotten an eyeful then.