New Music and New Shoes

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(What did I tell you about that wacky spring weather and my lilacs??? Yes.  Blighted.   Grrr.)  

When that much anticipated Tax Return came in, I knew I would have to go out and buy a new pair of sneakers. 

I hate buying sneakers.





So I bought some music instead. 

I fell in love with Natalie Merchant's voice waaaaay back when In My Tribe was released.

I know - I was a latecomer to 10,00 Maniacs but, come on, we don't get very much good radio here in Upstate NY.  I didn't discover some of my favorite kinds of music until I moved to Tucson and found better Radio - thank goodness for NCPR.  I'd never hear any good music now if it weren't for our local programming and World Cafe.

Anyway, Ms. Merchant recently released a double disc album titled "Leave Your Sleep."  It is a compilation of nursery rhymes and children's poetry set to music composed by Natalie.

Each song is lovely.  Put together, the compilation is brilliant.  Some songs are fun, some are silly, some are nostalgic, some disturbing and all are set to music deeply rooted in American folk traditions.  There's nothing left untouched - klezmer, blues, Apalacian folk, Celtic - you name it - if a musical style has touched down in America and taken root somewhere, you'll hear echoes of it in one of these songs.   I'm just so impressed with what she has created here, with her sensitivity to both the poetic and musical traditions of our richly mixed culture.  You should definitely take a listen. 

There's an interview with Merchant on World Cafe that is worth hearing here.

Or you can click my Amazon link and buy a copy for yourself.  I was tempted to buy the mp3 album and just download it as soon as I could justify the expense but the actual disk is worth going to the store (or waiting for the smiley box) for because it comes in a beautifully constructed package, including a thick booklet with the original poetry and commentary about the process of creating the album and short bios for each poet whose works appear in the set.

Now back to shoes.

I hate buying shoes.

I have a neuroma in my Right foot thanks to a broken toe 22 years ago thanks to a boyfriend who shall remain unnamed.  I also have very small, narrow feet with extremely high arches.  In the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult to find shoes that fit without hurting.  Wide shoes slop around and give me blisters and trip me up.  Narrow shoes pinch and cause shooting pain up my leg and back.  Shoes without adequate arch support make my legs and back ache.  Sexy heels?  Forget it.

The last pair of sneakers I bought lasted about 2 months before the wide toe box began buckling and digging into the tops of my toes.  I have been wearing a battered and thrashed hand me down pair of Nikes for about 5 years now.  (thank you, Sophia!)  I keep buying new sneaks and going back to the old shoes because I can't find anything that fits as well.


Last week, MB and I went shoe shopping.  She got an awesome pair of red pumps for Prom and I got a pair of black Pumas.  When I put them on my foot, they felt like they had been made from a mold of my foot.  The arch was in the perfect place and  high enough.  They lace up snugly without squeezing my neuroma and have a very low profile on my feet - almost like climbing shoes - so that I don't trip over my own feet or the furniture.    My only complaint is that they are actually pretty hard.  Not a lot of cushioning or a lot of give.  I'm trying to break them in.  I've added a layer of soft insoles.  I'm hoping for the best.

But Sophia's old shoes are in a box under my bed just in case.

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