Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Girly Girls and Kick-Ass Shoes

by Jo Robertson

Reporting to you LIVE from the Twenty-eighth National Conference of Romance Writers of America in San Francisco.

Word on the streets is that the women are beautiful and the men . . . well, largely the men are absent. This is pretty much Estrogen City this week, aka the City by the Bay.

San Francisco.

The city of little cable cars that climb halfway to the stars.

The city that features Alcatraz and Lombard Street.

Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.

The city where you just might leave your heart.

And you know what? In all those movies set in New York where working girls wear tennis shoes with their designer suits and dresses, then change into their designer shoes when they get to work?

Not so much in The City. People are still crazy enough to drive their cars in San Francisco, one of the cities with the highest insurance rates in the nation. And tourists wear shorts or jeans, sweat shirts and, you got it, some kind of walking shoes.

In fact, I’m not even sure people actually WORK in San Francisco.

Maybe they just buy beautiful shoes and ship them to New York.

Tonight the Banditas gathered at Annabelle's, a charming bistro across from the hotel and later assembled in the baaaarrrr for their first annual mee . . . uh, part . . . uh, oh hell, let’s call a spade a spade.

The First Annual Wild Bash of Girly Girls and Kick-Ass Shoes.

Our Aussie, English, and Canadian Banditas are here, weathering distance and airline food -- or the lack thereof -- to join our congregation. We have our Southern Banditas, our native Californians, and our Midwesterners. But the thing we all have in common (besides a whoop-ass attitude and a love of reading and writing romance) is . . .

Drum roll please . . .


Okay, some of the smarter Banditas wore tennies to negotiate the streets of San Fran, but others wore something like the ones below and to the right.

These shoes are a few of my favorites. Now, I don't actually OWN any of these shoes; the Manola Blahnik eyelet shoes and the Mary Jane double straps below are darling, aren't they? The Naughty Monkeys -- the pink and gray plaid -- are fairly inexpensive, but the Manola Blahniks are pricey.

As you know, it’s all about the shoes. Just ask Vrai Anna and Tawny! If we can’t wear them ourselves, we gawk at them and admire them on the b
eautiful feet of the stylish women who can wear them.

No outfit is complete without the proper pair of shoes, including jeans and walking shorts, dresses and suits.

And for that reason we’ve posted what three Banditas are wearing tonight on their feet tonight. Excuse the fuzzy piccies.

Can you match each correct Bandita w
ith the pair of shoes she’s wearing?

ile, we’re kicking back, taking in a little wine, seeing the beautiful sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge, and

enjoying our gal pals and their kick-ass shoes!

So, do you have a favorite shoe experience? That perfect pair with the five-inch heels that killed your feet but were so worth it? Your wedding shoes that wore a blister on your heel? The most comfortable pair of shoes that you cried over when they finally fell apart? Tell us all!


Helen said...

Is he back in Australia

Have Fun

Helen said...

Sounds like everyone is having fun in the bar have a drink or two for me Ladies.

Great post Jo and they really are beautiful shoes, unfortunatley I have really big feet and getting nice shoes that are comfortable is really hard I also have bad ankles and cannot wear heels.
I love my slippers and thongs(flip flops) and I have a pair of flat black closed in shoes for work I do have a nice black sandal with a very small heel on them which are really comfortable and will be very upset when they have to be thrown out I have already had them repaired once.
In the 70's platform shoes were all the rage and I had lots of them with big chunky cork heels and I am sure that is what wrecked my ankles in the first place all that dancing at discos in them.
I have no idea who is wearing the shoes in the pictures but they are really nice shoes I will think on it.

Have Fun All

Natalie Hatch said...

I just think it's interesting that women can be soo gaga over shoes, as a HPE teacher most of my working career has been spent in joggers. And I must confess to not being able to walk in heels bigger than two inches. I once tried on a pair of 6inch heels and fell over, how do you balance on those things? I think it's all a conspiracy to make women suffer more than they have to.

Carol said...

Helen, Well done!
Is he peeved...or would there be too much estrogen in that fair city even for the GR.(g)

Now the odds here are pretty high to get this majorly wrong
16 out of 19 are going to be wrong!!
Top Red Shoes = Maybe goes nice with her hair!

X strap red Shoes = could not leave her out of the photo..cos she is crazy about shoes!and they would go nice with her hair!

Black and white ones = I think these are Caren's - Very stylish...and they would go nice with her hair!
Regards the's as good a reason as any other when the odds are 19/3 (lol)

Regards a pair of boots I once had,
my old riding boots...(sob) they fell into disrepair with lack of use through the 80's and went to the great boothill!

Oh...ladies the drink for today is:

Archers Slingback
(for obvious reasons)

2 Shot(s) Gin
1 1/2 Shot(s) Peach Puree
2 Shot(s) Apple Juice
1 Shot(s) Archers (Archers is sweet-tasting peach schnapps.)
1/2 Shot(s) Lime Juice
1 Bar Spoon Sugar Syrup

A long glass,
Shake and strain method.

Enjoy BB!
Cheers (clinking glass)

Helen said...

Carol it is still really cold down here in Sydney they say it will go down to zero tonight in the western suburbs where I live so I am keeping him warm he isn't too sulky although I think he misses all the Bandits and the gossip he could get on them in SF. You never know he maybe of to SF tomorrow !!

Another fantastic drink for us the Cabana Boys and Gladiators are going to be top knotch barmen within a couple of days I am loving it.
Great guesses on the shoes Carol I didn't even try although I think one of them may be Anna Sudgen.

Have Fun

PJ said...

Yoo-hoo, Cabana Boy! I'll take one of those slingbacks, please, and would you mind passing this tray of my homemade cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls around to the other ladies in the lair this morning? There's a good boy. Excuse, me? No, I'm sure patting that lovely behind of yours is definitely in the rules. Right, ladies?

Oh! Sorry, got off track there for a moment. So. Shoes. Well, here's the deal. For 30 years I carried on a love affair with shoes. My closet was filled with box after box of gorgeous high heels and I wore them to work day after day after day. They made me feel sexy. They made my legs look terrific. They ruined my feet. Yep, afraid so. No more gorgeous shoes for me. A podiatrist told me sometime in my 30's that it would happeen if I continued to wear them and he was oh so right. Now I mostly wear tennies with orthotic inserts (sad, but true) and admire the hot, sexy, gorgeous high heels on the feet of others.
I have no idea who those gorgeous shoes in the pics match up with but I'd guess two of them are Tawny and VraiAnna. Can't wait to see what you come up with for RITA night if those are your knockin' around town shoes!

Helen said...

love the cinnamon and pecan rolls and patting the lovely behinds of the boys is definitely in the rules.
Chunky high wedge shoes during my younger years did my ankles and feet in as well now I admire other peoples shoes.

Have Fun

Carol said...

Helen, it's freezing here too!
Hey maybe we need Hot toddies...

Or a few clinches (strictly for the purpose of warming up!)...with the gladiators!!!

Helen try one of these yummy warm cinnamon rolls...mmmmyum
Oh! here try these pecan ones...they are to die for!

PJ Yum...I've never really been into gorgeous high heel to look at them... But always felt a bit of a dill wearing them!

I do like boots though! now I come to think of colour) suede boots would be so cool...
Cheers Carol

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats on the GR Helen, is he pouting?

Oh yes, a bun and a Slingback for me, as for the other buns pj, I think it is allowed, nay, even expected obviously.

I used to have a love affair with shoes, that is over now of course but life goes on. I had so many that I loved I don't know if I can pick just one.

I had one pair of 4 inch heels that was nothing but straps, multi-colored. Yellow, orange, green and a very hot pink. I even had jewelry to match. Earrings and a necklace of wooden beads in the same colors.

My second favorite pair were 3 inch red pumps that did a crossover thing on the toe and had a jaunty little bow on the heel.

Carol said...

Dianna, those shoes sound so lovely
oh boy...young and colourful!
I have never had a red pair of shoes...
bit late now I think...
Still never too late is it...
maybe red thongs (flip flops)...

Here have another bun....errr peekin!
Cheers Carol

Helen said...

Hot toddies sound wonderful Carol and with PJ's rolls it is going to be a great party in The Lair

Dianna love the sound of those shoes I have never had red shoes either although I do have a pair of red thongs (flip flops) and purple ones as well.

Carol I love the sound of blue suede boots just the thing to wear with jeans

Have Fun

Buffie said...

Mmmm, lovin' those rolls and the yummy drink too! Thanks ladies! So let me see if I have this right, we can only pat the lovely bums of the cabana boys? And here I was rubbing them!

Anyhoo, I'm awful at matching games and have absolutely no idea who belongs with which shoes! So I guess I'll wait for the big reveal.

As far as my shoes -- I'm a sensible kind of gal. Never been much of a fashionista. But my wedding shoes were a different story. Beautiful satin white shoes with three inch heels!!! Yep, three inches darling! My feet were killing by the time the ceremony and our two receptions were over. But I looked great in them :)

Carol said...

Buffie, I would have been scared I'd fall flat on my face in 3" heels...I had a tightish Wedding dress and that was bad enough for me!!! You were Brave!

But really ladies you have to have a go here in this Competition...
I can't win by default as the only guesser...(which is what I've done!)

Gosh, put names in a wine cooler and pull out 3...or ask the Gladiators and Cabana boys for clues!!!
Hey Helen surely the GR has checked out the ladies shoe closets...youve got an accomplice there....LOL

Hey Whats the prize! maybe a bunch of signed books...
hey on second thoughts Don't Enter
Cheers Carol
BTW... these Slingbacks pack a punch!

jo robertson said...

Ah, Helen, you lucky girl. Well, we wined and dined the GR last night at Annabelle's. I think Tawny will be posting pictures of him later, sans mask and with! He had quite the time, so please give him aspirin and plenty of rest today.

We raised a glass or two to you, Helen, along with our Bandita Buddies and Bandita Christie who couldn't be with us.

jo robertson said...

I remember platform shoes well, Helen. And now they've made a come-back, in fact several times, I believe. I know what you mean about having large feet. My daughter Kennan wears a size 11!! She has a terrible time finding cute shoes. That's what happens when you marry a giant of a man like Dr. Big.

jo robertson said...

LOL, on the six-inch heels, Natalie. I never wear ones over four inches and not even those so much any more. I prefer being anchored to the ground. But I do sooooo admire the pretty shoes. I think the whole SEX AND THE CITY revolution made us more aware of costly shoes. Honestly, I'd never HEARD of Manola Blahniks until then and I had to look up the spelling on the internet. I've probably spelled it wrong too!!!

jo robertson said...

Carol, you are keeping us well armed with delicious-sounding recipes for the baaaaaarr! Good thing none of us is driving around San Francisco!

You got ONE out of the three correct, Carol! I'll post who belongs to which pair later!

jo robertson said...

Hehehehehe, you may be correct about Vrai Anna, Helen. But the big question is WHICH ONE?????

jo robertson said...

PJ, how could you tempt us with cinnamon rolls!! We have to be able to fit into our outfits for the Golden Heart/RITA ceremony Saturday night.

I believe you're right about the shoes causing orthopedic problems later on. I see youngish women walking all around this city with five-inch heels on. Really, now how can you work in those things?

When I bought new shoes for the trip, the saleswoman gave me the same warning about damaging feet. She said she warns everyone who purchases shoes with over three-inch heels because she had surgery when she was in her thirties.

jo robertson said...

Dianna, those multi-colored strappy shoes sound heavenly. But I'll admit to not being able to totter around on those heels any more. Still, they're soooo much fun to gaze adoringly at!

jo robertson said...

Uh, ladies, I really think you'd better leave the bums of the cabana boys alone. I saw Aunty Cindy last night and she was wielding her crop pretty snappily on anyone who messed around with the wait staff. Our chef came out and said hi and took pictures. I'm just saying . . . sexual harrassment and all that.

Hehehehe, but it might be worth it!

jo robertson said...

Oooooh, Buffie, white satin pumps? I'm so jealous. My wedding shoes were a mere white patent.

Buffie said...

Jo, I'm really not concerned with the whole sexual harrassment thing. One of the things you all don't know about me is I have testified in a sexual harrassment hearing involving the Federal Government. So, that doesn't bother me at all.

Christie Kelley said...

Love the post, Jo. I haven't had a really great pair of shoes in ages. The last time was probably BC (before children).

I won't be on much today. My mom is coming in on Friday and I have to get those gladiators working. The house needs to be clean--no easy task when we're still working on it. I'll check in later.

Don't have too much fun without me!!

Buffie said...

Alrighty, here are my guesses!

First pair -- Tawny

Second pair - Christine

Third pair - Susan

PJ said...

My guesses are:

1. Donna
2. Christine
3. VraiAnna

jo robertson said...

Christie, thank goodness you have the cabana boys and gladiators to clean for you. Make them work, put a little sweat on those muscles!

Dr. Big and I are off to ride the trolley to the Wharf so we'll talk to you folks later.

So far, no one has guess ALL THREE of the shoe wearers. I'll give some hints -- one is Tawny, another is Vrai Anna. No one's guessed the third one correctly.

PJ said...

How about...

1. Vrai Anna
2. Kate
3. Tawny

shannon said...

Oh this subject is right up my alley! I LOVE shoes! I have many pairs (pair?) and I have been known to buy shoes and then try and find an outfit to go with them vs. the other way around. This man in my church (the husband of a friend) always notices my shoes and comments on them and I find myself thinking "Hmmm... would Jeff like these?" instead of my husband! Is that cheating? My husband has no interest in my shoes so he isn't jealous in the least. The problem with shoes for ME is that I cannot afford (and even if I could, refuse to buy) really expensive shoes. I just like having a LOT of shoes. I often wear them once or twice before I give them away. SO my favorite place to get them is Ross, Marshalls and TJ Maxx because they have lots of cute styles for pretty cheap. The problem is they aren't as comfortable as the pricey ones I imagine. But I suffer for fashion. Always have. I just know which ones to wear when I travel and which ones to wear when I am only gonna be standing for an hour at the most. That is when I wear my killer sling-back stilletos with the open toes in fire engine red. HOT! Did I mention my husband is only 5 feet 7? I am also 5'7... so I tower over him in most of my super hot shoes. Perhaps that is why he withholds the compliments... hmmm?

MsHellion said...

I have a pair of red strappy CFM stilettos that I adore, but don't get to wear. (What do you wear red shoes with? AND why would I ever wear them to work?)

My current faves are a pair of Candies' heels (4 in heels), "mules" criss-cross across the toe of my foot and a square rhinestone on each side. Very Daisy Duke and sassy. I LOVE THEM. I don't get to wear them often enough.

And I have a pair of 4 1/2 in heels, Mary Janes with a strap around the ankle which are falling apart but I love wear them with "everything". It's going to be hard to part with them.

Pat Cochran said...

I like shoes, but never have "loved" them! In the BC days, I wore mostly 3" pumps or sling-back sandals. And I did own (and still have) a pair of red sling-back, peep-toe sandals. Can't wear them because I don't want to have to pick my almost-72 y/o self off the floor if I were to try gadding
about in heels!

Congrats, Helen, on the GR! Is he
behaving himself for you?

Ladies in the lair and in SF, have
a great day!!

Pat Cochran

limecello said...

My favorite favorite favorite shoes ever... were flip flops from Target. I got them on sale, and bought more pairs. They discontinued them without notice [I can't remember the brand - not Mossimo... meh] and I could have cried. The straps were terrycloth, so they were SO comfortable. No blisters, cuts, scars, or skin rubbed raw. And they were made from that super foamy material - that made it feel like you could walk on water. [They definitely floated and gave that impression.] They were also HIGH - possibly 3" - platforms, really, because your entire foot was that high. I'm super short so I love tall shoes. But more importantly, I had them in college, and they were high enough that my feet actually didn't get wet in the rain. And stepping in puddles was no big deal because my shoes were tall enough to prevent even the bottom of my feet from getting wet. Sadly, all 3 pairs I owned met with untimely deaths one way or another. :(
[Otherwise I have nice shoes, but none that stand out as much.]

jo robertson said...

Shannon, if Mrs. Cruise can tower over her husband, so can you!! I've seen your shoes and they are darling, every single pair -- every fifty pair. Should we call you Imelda Marcos?

jo robertson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jo robertson said...

Uh, yes, Ms Hellion, wearing those red shoes might give your boss a message you probably don't want to give LOL. Hmmm, or do you??

Limecello, finding the perfect pair of shoes is like finding the perfect jeans. How can you ever part with them?

jo robertson said...

Pat, I'm with you. I wore these four-inch heels today for all of about 15 minutes and said forget about it. They were comfortable, but I was sure I'd fall down the escalator!

jo robertson said...

Hey, ladies, I'm off to another meeting, but I'll check back in tomorrow. Have a great day wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Susan will have something intriguing up tomorrow, maybe some "incriminating" piccies of the Banditas with the GR. I saw Tawny snapping away with her camera last night.

And I'll post the Bandita wearers of those shoes!

Helen said...

My Guesses
1. Joan
2.Anna Sudgen

Sounds like heaps of fun in SF Jo enjoy your meeting.
My wedding shoes had half inch heels and my hubby's had 3 in platforms thank God it was the 70's and mens platforms were all the rage he is about 1 in shorter than me and I really wanted him to be taller on our wedding day LOL.

The GR is enjoying himself although he still misses all the Bandits we will see where he is tomorrow.

Have Fun

catslady said...

I've had a few in my lifetime but I have very skinny feet and usually buying shoes is torture. I remember some gold heels with 4 inch heels, a pair of white go-go laced up boots and a mauve pair of boots (all with 4 inch heels or more) and lately I just bought 2 pair of silver shoes for my daughter's wedding. I couldn't make up my mind and figured if one hurt too much I could switch. Luckily one of our friends from out of state forgot her shoes and wanted silver - and they fit - how lucky was she lol.

Joan said...

One...two...three...HEY! Where's Suz's cabana boy? The one with the cowboy hat and boots....yes, just the hat and the boots.


Well of course I have a favorite pair of moccasins!

{thunk, thunk}

Sigh. Pick Tawny and Anna S up off the floor.

We had a blast at Anabelle's I swear, I've never seen 19 sisters be SO happy to see each other.

And while I'm flattered beyond belief that I was guessed as wearing the strappy red heels, I actually had on a rather sedate pair of peep toe black heels. But hey, for a nurse that's pretty darn good!

Oops, gotta go...the conference is calling...

Ronald said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.