In mathematics, my nose equals the uniqueness quantification. There is one and only one. That’s why I like schnozzles.  Unless you’re Heidi from the Hills, your button is probably pretty rare.  Do let your nose speak its own language.  Don’t pick or prod … in public.


drawing & story by Kira Zmuda

Moving beyond the world of beaks, I fancy a few other elements in life: imperfections, laughing, and playing with messy art supplies.  Really messy.  Combining all three is absolutely sublime.

Next time you complain about your frog legs, jiggly arms, frizzy mane, or big bootay, break out some crayons!  Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule (translation: 5 less minutes on Facebook), and create your own caricature.  Be brutal.  And be your best friend.

We all have an image of ourselves that we carry around.  It doesn’t mean it’s true.  I like to think that I have long mermaid waves.  Do I?  Sure, when I fry the hell out of my hair with my crimper on a rare occasion – like Cinco de Mayo.

I do not wear exotic flowers in my hair as I prance around the city, but I have always wanted to rock that look.  I’m searching for the right flower for my debut.

The curve of my mermaid hips erases all rigidness from my path.  Inflexibility – clear the way, fool.

Damn chicken legs.  I’ve been around them for a while so we’re no longer foes.  We’ve joined together amicably.  Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I see the splitting image of a rooster – minus the wattle.  I’ll have that one day too.

Doodle.  Draw.  Paint.  Play with mud.  Create yourself.  Good and bad.  Embellished, grotesque, minimal, flamboyant, etc.  If you can’t laugh about yourself, then what the hell is wrong with you? (kindly asked)

I’ll post any of your lovely art.  I’d love to share so please send.

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popeyeoliveoyl_cartoon2I’ve only dated a few men that are shorter than me. And when I say “a few”, I mean one. Maybe two if I really dig – deep into the Dead Sea perhaps. I have definitely dated a lot of guys that are within an inch or two of my own height.

Being in a relationship with a shorter man does not bother me one bit. In fact, I think there should be more couples with shorter men and taller women.  But if I have no problem at all, why do I usually find myself with those 6’2″ fellows?

Perhaps I’m a liar. A hypocrite sounds less harsh – I yam what I yam.

I pretend to be more open than I really am.  Or are shorter men not as attracted to me?  Maybe they don’t want to date taller women?  Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are plenty of men that love taller women, and there are oodles of online groups that advertise their passion for long legs and height. I get it. There’s a lot of love floating in cyberspace. It is appreciated.

But despite those select groups of men, would the majority of men date an Olive Oyl? Are there really oceans of Popeyes that are blind to height?  Maybe not even blind, but do these mysterious men find big feet, lanky bodies, and chicken-legs endearing?

Katie Holmes & Tom have nothing on Popeye & Olive Oyl’s chemistry. I don’t care if my favorite couple is based upon a cartoon, they work together.  Who tops them?

Mickey and Minnie: Exactly the same height = perfect for googly eyes and lots of floating hearts, but Minnie doesn’t have Olive’s sass, and Popeye could take down Mickey with his pipe.

Barney and Betty: I forgot the height disparity here, and I’d like to favor this couple, but I never saw the attraction as a kid, and I still don’t.  I always thought Wilma and Fred were the sexier couple.  Maybe I need to watch some Saturday cartoons and give the Rubbles another look.  Eh, probably won’t happen.

Homer and Marge: Out of the running by default.  Does hair really count as height?  Another topic, another time. Despite my warm affection for the humorous 40-year-old and his high school sweetheart, I can’t commit to this relationship.

Until I find a better couple, and I’m convinced otherwise, I’m sticking with my Popeye and Olive Oyl. And I’m considering an anchor tattoo or adding spinach to my diet. It’s a toss-up.


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It’s raining.  An aggressive pedestrian approaches you head-on.  Her/his height is within two inches of your own.  A collision is inevitable.

Tilt.  30 Degrees.  No more, No less.  If the dance motion is reciprocated on both ends, beauty will follow.  It’s magic in umbrellic form.

If it isn’t reciprocated, you still may avoid danger. And you may also feel like an idiot.

Tilt is the word.

Spread it to friends and foes.

What are your rules of Umbrella Etiquette?

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week1I’ve picked up speed.  I may be a mellow yellow Pisces, and I certainly never exhibit road rage, but when it comes to walking, I’m aggressive.

On average, I can whiz past 3 pedestrians per city block. In heels. Sporty heels. And I always pass on the left. Cutting-off is prohibited.

Adaptation is my new focus this month.

A scarecrow zoomed past me yesterday wearing some swanky sneakers. I couldn’t keep up with him. But it won’t happen again – I’ll trot if need be. I sound like a horse anyway. It’s the good ol’ competitive runner in me. That stuff just doesn’t fade easily.

I want it all. In the simplest form.

And I can have heels, height, and a hustle.

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Day 28 was a boisterous one – filled with my magical birthday boots (below), bubble blowing, bacon beer, and my new favorite spot: Barcade in Williamsburg, NYC. Who wouldn’t want to spend a day playing Gauntlet, Super Mario Bros, Frogger, and Tetris while burning through some high caliber Coney Island amber beer?


I’ve almost graduated from my month long high-heel challenge, but for some reason, even on day 28, I did not feel close to the finale. Perhaps summer school is needed before I toss the graduation cap in the air and receive my stiletto.

I’ll be honest, I might need more time in this challenge because I cheated a little. It was a dark day in February. It snowed. My feet found their way into sneakers. It didn’t mean anything, I swear. Thankfully, my roommate called me out on my bad behavior, and I took off the running shoes immediately.

I suggest that you get a friend, foe, or family member to be your bully during the challenge. It helps. Believe me.

But it’s spring now, and my excuses are finito. I’ve grown surprisingly comfortable wearing any heel up to 2″ which is a huge improvement. Once I get above the 2″ mark, I’m still a bit skiddish.  I’ve completely worn out a few of my reliable work heels.  You can do a lot of damage in 28 days!

Let me be frank. I’m still figuring out what I want to accomplish with these extra inches. I don’t know exactly what I want to feel, but I’ve felt really comfortable recently – it’s odd how the confidence level seems to rise with the foot pain. I’m slightly concerned about long-term damage to my feet. For now, I’m okay. This show will continue.

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The pump of the evening

The pump of the evening

I had originally planned to wait until Monday to start this month-long disaster of a challenge. But as I dressed myself up for a friend’s birthday celebration, and I made my hair as big as possible, I decided that there was absolutely no reason to avoid my new best friend, the high-heel.  Big hair, Big heels, Big night. Right?

I jumped into my 3-inch gold pumps which i had worn only once before in December. Immediately, as I left my apartment and walked towards the subway, I remembered how awkward I walk in heels. I’m a very fast walker, normally, and I was very frustrated as the pumps slowed me down. It made me wonder if women that wear heels usually just take taxi cabs everywhere in the city. I’ll start paying more attention to the shoes women are wearing in the subway system.  Homework.

I attacked the bar scene with my 6’2″ frame. Well, I don’t know if I attacked it, but that was the goal. Most of my friends were encouraging, and I even received a text message from my brother after I sent him, “Randy, I look like I just learned how to walk for the first time”.  His words of wisdom made me chuckle:  “Be Strong”.

Other than the physical pain of standing in the heels, I enjoyed the added attention. And there was definitely more attention compared to the usual night; I was glad my hair was extra big and wavy with lots of hairspray. I was not as comfortable with my height as I would like to be, though. I think I would be more confident if I felt more natural walking around. I have some things to work on this month. It will be an interesting experience.

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The High-Heel Challenge

February 17, 2009

black_high_heelA woman can add 3-inch pumps to any outfit and instantly look bold and sexy. What is it about the heightened heel that changes everything?

I’m intrigued by the concept and the design of a high-heel, particularly stilettos.  (I will wear stilettos by the time I’m 75 years old.) Maybe I’m fascinated with it because I hardly ever wear heels. And when I do wear them, I do not walk as cheeky as I would like. Some women glide; I stumble down the street laughing at myself the whole way. Practice and patience are very much a necessity.

I own a few pairs of 2-inch heels, but I rarely break them out. I usually don’t feel the need to tower over everyone a few more inches than I usually do.

But if I like the confident image the shoe portrays, shouldn’t I just wear it anyway? I need to own the extra inches as if they were part of my body. If I wear heels 6 out of 7 days a week, will I hate them forever or will I start gliding much like the petite women I see walking down the streets of Manhattan? It could go either way.

I like a challenge. Let’s add a new one to my life. I challenge myself to wear high-heels for one month. I’m pretty sure I’ll accumulate a few new bruises along the way.

I challenge all women that don’t feel comfortable wearing heels to push yourselves and push your height for a month. 6 out of 7 days in the week. One day is for absolute rest. Your feet will need some R&R.

If you’re addicted to heels, and your friends and family never see you in flats, I challenge you to do the reverse, and wear flats for a month. Can you handle losing the inches? What will change? Absolutely nothing? Your whole view?

Write down some notes about the added inches or the loss of the heel in your life and send me your story.

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