Monday, 30 March 2009

For Me, It's all About the Sauce

The Husband and I are not real restaurant goers. Given the fact that we live in a city with literally thousands of dining choices running the gamut of every possible cooking style and ethnicity, this is probably to our culinary and cultural detriment, but it is a fact of our palate-challenged lives. Due to dietary restrictions (mine) and shlep-factor (usually his), we much prefer to eat at home or frequent a few local haunts nearby.  The North Jewish Ghetto is not known as a hotbed of fine cuisine, so we have become, for better or for worse, creatures of habit. One of our favourite joints has been a neighbourhood pizzeria called Dante's. (For regular readers of this blog, I would like to point out that I rarely, if ever, use real-life names for anything or anybody, but this time I feel the need to express myself fully. Who would have thought that pasta-sauce would aid in smashing this fourth wall of blogging?) 

Dante's could only minimally be described as a restaurant. The place was truly a "joint"! For over 30 years, this wholly family-operated dive has been a fixture in the area north of Toronto. It was small and cramped and there were garlic-oil stains on the threadbare carpet. The tables while clean, always rocked from one odd-sized leg and the chairs were grossly uncomfortable. Paper place mats with maps of Italy adorned the tables along with the requisite Parmesan cheese and hot chili flakes shakers. Because of its size, waiting became the norm at Dante's, so take-out was often a more palatable option. The Dante's vehicles became recognizable friends in the area and one of the big jokes about the place was that they had more delivery cars than tables. The ordering experience was something to behold or "hold". Here was a typical ordering experience at Dante's.

Dante's operator: "Thank you for calling Dante's. Please hold!"

The Husband: "I have been holding for 15 f%*&@^g minutes!!!"

Dante's operator: (15 minutes later)" Thank you for holding. How may I help you?"

The Husband: (after placing the order) "How long will that be?" 

Dante's operator: "Well we are extremely busy this evening. (They were extremely busy every evening!) I would guess anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours!"

The Husband: "Ok, then!"

Why would we wait for up to 2 hours for pizza and pasta from a joint that is less than 5 minutes from my house? It was all about the food and especially the ambrosial tomato sauce. The food was to die for. The pastas were heavenly, in portions large enough for a family of four, the pizza divine (The Ying to the Lil Bro's Yang would often trek 1/2 hour out of her way to the northern part of the city in order to retrieve a pizza for her family) and the salads and sandwiches out of some other-world recipe book. For me, it was all about the sauce. If I could have figured out how to mainline the stuff, I would have. And then, the unthinkable happened. Dante's went upscale.

A year ago, we in the neighbourhood became aware of a new and decidedly un-Dante's like menu. Gone were many of the take-out favourites, (although you can still get some of the pastas at the eat-in restaurant) every pasta came in platter sizes that were ridiculously priced, the salads were generic and the pizzas bland. The food began arriving cold and wilted and the sauce seemed to have lost its zing. The prices have gone up while the quality of the food has decreased. The money seems to have been spent on sprucing up the restaurant. Gone are the rug stains and paper place mats, only to be replaced by a wine menu, soft lighting and wooden flooring. They have also opened up a second location. Recognizing that change can be difficult, The Husband and I have attempted to remain loyal to our favourite joint, but our last meal there on Saturday was truly our last. The pasta was cold and the chicken greasy. The salad looked like it was 2 days old and the sauce so very disappointing. When The Husband attempted to send an e-mail complaint, he was greeted by an automated response that was obviously being re-directed to a corporate hack. They still have not responded to his concerns. We think that some larger restaurant entity has bought a huge chunk in the family business and is now controlling the show. How very sad. 

Dante's was one of those places that was a constant; a neighbourhood landmark that remained for decades despite bad economies, changing food tastes and diets. In their zeal to clean up the location, they forgot the basic tenet of running a successful restaurant-"IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD, STUPID!!!"

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Passover Seder Symbols Song

A little something to get us into the Pesach planning mood. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Gloria Steinem on Outrageous Acts

Happy 75th Ms Steinem. You continue to inspire, challenge and motivate women everywhere.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

We Canadians Can Take a Joke-When It is Funny!

There has been much made of the tasteless, wholly insensitive and grotesque segment that aired on Fox News' semi-satirical crapfest known as Red Eye. On the same day that we as a nation lost four more soldiers to the conflict in Afghanistan bringing the ignominious total to 116, some pinheads over at the "faux news" network decided that it would be a laugh riot to ridicule Canada's contribution to the military struggle in that hellhole of a country. Well, guess what Big Brother? We here in the Great White North aren't laughing. We find it difficult to laugh at the images of flag-draped coffins coming home. We tend not to chuckle when our contributions to aid our allies are lampooned. It is true that we are quiet, peace-loving, hockey rabid, and a bit pedantic, but we tend to get pissed off when such blind ignorance to our existence is shown by our nearest and supposedly dearest friends. While it may be true that we are not a country that is well-known for our military prowess, we have a long and proud history of  engagement that would make the morons at Red Eye blush with ignorance. 
  • Canada enter the fray in both World Wars ahead of the Americans. In World War I, we followed Great Britain (we were bound as a subservient) to arms in August of 1914. While we were not at liberty to refuse the call, we did have the independence to choose our level of involvement. The United States did not enter the war until April of 1917. The per capita death casualty rate for Canada during the Great War was approximately .9% while the US had a per capita loss rate of approximately .54%. During World War II, Canada declared war on Germany a mere week after Great Britain did following the invasion of Poland in 1939. This time, it was not incumbent upon us to follow the British, but we did and in huge numbers. 1.1 million Canadian men served with the allied forces, and more than 45,000 lost their lives. The Americans didn't come into the war until after Pearl Harbour in December of 1941. On June 6th, at the Battle of Normandy, Canadians landed on Juno Beach. Resistance was fierce and casualty rates were high, as much as 50% in the first waves. "By day's end, however, the Canadians had made the deepest penetrations inland of any of the five seaborne invasion forces."
  • We were a major part of the UN forces in Korea. Almost 27,000 troops were deployed to Korea and there were over 1,500 casualties. 
  • We have a long and proud history as participants in peace-keeping deployments from Somalia to The Balkans to the Middle East.
  • It is true that we did not actively provide military support in either Viet Nam or Iraq, but that was mostly because a case could not be adequately made to Parliament that our chief ally was being threatened by either country.
Canadian forces have been deployed in Afghanistan since the very early days of the mission. Our soldiers have been in one of the most dangerous regions of the country and have suffered 4 times the casualty rate of any country with troops there, including the Americans. We are sensitive about this war. Thinking and feeling people should be. So forgive us if we find it a wee bit difficult to laugh at the shit that was spewed on Fox. 

Monday, 23 March 2009

41 with 3 Kids and Apparently Over-the Hill!

I have never been a huge Julia Roberts fan. I have enjoyed a few of her movies and I have been bored by many others, but I certainly recognize that the woman has had a remarkable movie career. She broke through a glass ceiling in terms of compensation at a time when Hollywood was all about male action stars and adolescent testosterone-driven teen comedies. She was one of the first female stars to be recognized as having the ability to carry a film on her name alone, and she was one of the few female stars who carried enough clout to get pet projects to the screen. There was a time, not so long ago that Julia's name alone was enough to drive the numbers at the box office. But, that was so last century. 

You see, Julia has taken a couple of years off from the movie making business in order to attend to her personal life. Over the past several years she and her husband have had 3 children, and she has effectively scaled back her professional responsibilities to a few small roles and some voice-over work. She has done what millions of working women the world over have done-choose. Yes of course, Julia's financial situation makes her choices easier. She has options that most women can only dream of, but in Julia's business face time is money. She knowingly removed herself willingly from the public consciousness in order to parent, and she had to understand that there might be professional consequences. Hollywood is, after all, nothing if not amnesiac and cruel. 

This week marked Julia's return to the big screen. Her movie, Duplicity hit theatres this past weekend and in the minds of the Hollywood press, is a bit of a box-office disappointment. Despite fairly decent reviews, (Rotten Tomatoes has its average at 65% fresh!) the unbelievably hot Clive Owen and a smart and sexy plot, the flick finished third behind the universally panned Nic Cage stinker (A quick commercial message. Older Son saw that this was a piece of crap coming down the pike in his online column Trailer Trash) and the undoubtedly hysterical bromance I Love You, Man. There are probably many reasons as to why Julia and Clive finished third in this week's box-office. (Young men are the target audiences for most movies and a romantic thriller is probably not their idea of a cool 2 hours.) But, the most offensive and totally misogynistic theory  that I have heard today, is that she is too old, too maternal and no longer viewed by the public as available and sexy. Julia Roberts??? I get that the entertainment business is a youth-driven environment, but this is Julia Roberts! Angelina Jolie has six kids and she has never been accused of being viewed as maternal. Jennifer Aniston is 40 and she seems to have the sexy-thing going! Why is the Hollywood press feeling the need to justify perceived disappointment of a fairly decent 14 million dollar box office, by using Julia and her age as the apparent scapegoat? Maybe the not so ideal weather on the east coast kept women and the intellectual elite (we are way too smart to go out in the rain, snow and cold!) at home? Maybe the financial crisis has hit this target audience pretty hard and movies have become somewhat of a luxury? Maybe, just maybe (although I cannot fathom a reason why!) audiences don't like Clive Owen as opposed to Julia? 

I am so very weary of feeling that as a 46 year old woman, I am totally ignored by the media. I rarely see depictions of women like me in magazines, movies, TV shows, commercials and the like. I am tired of feeling like these images are what passes for some Hollywood mogul's skewed view of reality. But, if a woman like Julia Roberts is now feeling the heat, then I know that I am in some fairly respectable company. I am now making plans to see Duplicity, not because I have a burning desire to be entertained by Ms. Roberts, but because I feel a kindred need to add to her box-office totals. Come on girls! Show the assholes in the suits who is boss!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Making the Most of the Final Few Days

I am headed home to the north country tomorrow. It has been an interesting (to say the very least!) experience to spend an extended period of time in the southern part of the continent. I have regaled you all with stories of shopping, driving, politics, parking, dismal manners, behaviour and language that could make a sailor blush. I have enjoyed nature, strengthened relationships, forged new ones and attempted to clear my head and start anew. I thought that I had seen it all, but apparently the denizens of South Florida weren't quite done with me. 

Two separate incidents yesterday convinced me that, contrary to popular beliefs, this area is far from being God's waiting room. The dating, mating and social culture is alive and well, no matter how old the participants. In the first episode, I had the extraordinarily odd sensation of watching my father flirt. Now, please understand me. My father is so entirely clueless as to the machinations of the female psyche, that he had absolutely no idea that he was in fact flirting, but that is exactly what he was doing. Sitting at the pool yesterday, we were happy to make the acquaintance of 7 or so middle-aged nurses on vacation from Montreal. These women were laughing, drinking and having a grand old time. My dad, always the social butterfly and never able to harness his loquacious mouth, began to chat them up. By the end of the first quarter hour, he knew every name, job description, where they resided and had begun to play the "do you know" game. One 40-something was so taken with Dad, that she parked herself in an adjoining cot and spent the better part of the next hour with him. These ladies were so smitten, that they insisted on coming together for a group photo, with my father parked squarely in the centre. I should advise that my mother was sitting directly to his right, but was completely ignored throughout the entire spectacle. Mom turned to me and laughingly stated that it has become increasingly apparent to her that if, God forbid, she should go first, Dad won't even be out there on the market for the duration of shloshim, (thirty days!) so she has decided to make him sign a waiver ensuring a respectful period of time. Women will be pounding on his door with casseroles and cookies in hand. He is quite the operator, my father is. I honestly think that I could have done without the sexualization of my Dad, but it was funny.

But, turnabout is fair play. Later in the day, my parents (all four of them!) and I were doing some after-dinner shopping at a warehouse-style store called BJs. (In light of the topic of this post, I find the name slightly ironic.) Since I had absolutely nothing to purchase and because the store was freezing, Mom and I decided to wait out front in the warm evening air. We were just chatting when a 60-something man pushing a cart approached us and asked if we were ok. Assuring him that we were just fine, we joked with him about possible frostbite from the indoor air conditioner. He laughed and then, quite disturbingly commented on how beautiful my smile was. (Now, I haven't been hit on in years and here I am being approached by a man at least 20 years my senior. OY!) Mom and I doubled over in gales of laughter and when Dad joined us he thought that we were shitting him. As we walked to the car, the same guy pulled up next to me in his van and (I absolutely swear this is the God's honest truth!) called me over using the name "Beautiful Smile Girl,"(gag me!!) handed me his card and told me to call him to get together for a drink. My father was slightly horrified and my mother was laughing so hard she couldn't see straight. She grabbed the cards and made certain to dispose of them. (I am not quite certain as to what she thought that I might do with them, but she wasn't taking any chances!) I contacted The Husband to tell him of my potential suitor, stupidly thinking that he might like to defend my honour. He responded that sluts don't have any honour to defend and that picking up a guy in the BJs parking lot was certainly slut-like behaviour. That's my guy!!

It just goes to show that the battle of the sexes is alive, well and kicking it up here in Miami. Maybe it is all of that sunshine that gets the engines revving. In northern climates, we are quite content to hibernate. See you back in TO!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Dolphin Bubbles: Science Behind this Amazing Behavior

OK! So I haven't seen the dolphins in my cove again, but I thought that this might explain some of my fascination with these incredible animals. Beautiful, magnificent, breathtaking. Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 March 2009


I have just witnessed magic! I was sitting on my balcony, enjoying the sun, the sea and a yogurt, (lactose free!) when, much to my extreme delight, two dolphins surfaced right in front of me. They were playing, jumping, frolicking and just generally enjoying the sun, the sea and their version of a yogurt. They were having a grand old time! I jumped up out of my chair and ran for my camera, but trying to catch dolphins out of the water with a still camera requires a lot more skill as a photographer than I currently possess. I contented myself by simply enjoying the experience and realizing that this was turning into my favourite Shabbat. I will keep my camera and eyes peeled for a photo. 

Shabbat Shalom and Todah Rabbah, Flippper.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Who Let the Dogs Out?

I am not quite certain whether the following anecdote is disturbing, empowering, hilarious, or maybe a strange combination of all three. Maybe you all can help me decide.

Today is one of those days in the southern climate that makes me wonder what God was thinking when deciding to create snow. It is truly a day touched by the hand of the Almighty; warm temperatures, a slight salty breeze and a sky with more blues in it than a B.B King album. Since I am ardently and reverently procrastinating my learning of a new piece of music, I thought that I would spend a few hours reading and recreating by the pool. I was definitely in my element. I had my iPod tuned to James' latest and greatest, a new novel filled with southern comfort and, miraculously enough, an entire pool to myself. I was in snowbird heaven and feeling particularly blessed, given that the past several days have been filled with external challenges. 

Within a half an hour, I was joined in my reverie by two others wanting to enjoy the day. The elderly gentleman to my right was down for his daily swim, and after he was done soaking up the water, decided to soak up some sun. He came prepared with a novel the size of a doorstop and sun-blocking googles so as not to be distracted or disturbed. We greeted each other politely, but it was clear that neither of us was in a particularly chatty mood, and we left each other to our respective books. The elderly lady to my left was a different story. She made her way down to the pool area, struggling mightily with her four-post cane. She is obviously coming off of some kind of surgery and requires the cane for balance. She waved off my offers of help, determined to see herself over to a cot. It was only after she had settled herself, did I really take full notice of her. She is approximately 80-85 years of age with a shock of grey/white hair. She is small in stature, yet possesses an oddly shaped body that is strangely oblong around the middle, almost as if she swallowed a football. Far be it from me to comment on any other person's body type or shape, but this was quite out of the ordinary. Not only that, the lovely woman was wearing a low cut, high legged, white bikini! Ok, I thought. She is so very comfortable with her self-image, who am I to argue. Actually I was quite impressed. I wished I could be as relaxed in my own skin. But, then the unthinkable occurred. My cot-mate decided that she was far too hot to sit out any longer, and she made her way over to the pool steps. Only then did I notice that she had unfastened her top to avoid the dreaded tan lines. Holding onto her bikini top with one hand and her cane with the other, left her no hand to balance herself down into the water. She couldn't have cared less. The top was discarded and came to rest just underneath her two "girls".  Ladies, have you ever done the pencil test? You know the one, don't you? The test whereby we take notice of how gravity has played havoc with our bodies? Well, this woman's boobs were hanging down so low, she was able to sustain her bathing suit top underneath them. A multitude of expressive images came to mind immediately, but none that should be shared on this PG rated blog. The old guy beside me was a hoot. He tried to pretend that he wasn't looking, but he failed miserably. I was worried about his cardiac care and I wondered about the location of the defibrillator. He immediately flipped over onto his stomach so as to avoid eye contact. (I need to think that this was the reason. Viagra came into my head and I truly think that I need a bleaching of the brain and a retinal burn!!) 

Ok, folks! Disturbing? On many levels!! Empowering? It would be nice not to give a shit about one's body! Hilarious? Absolutely, but not because of the naked old lady with the droopy boobs, but because of the old guy who still gets turned on by them. Let me know your thoughts. I am fascinated to know what you think.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Happy International Women's Day

Why is International Women's Day relevant and necessary?  Perhaps, to properly understand that in many parts of the world women are chattel, forcibly uneducated, left to live in poverty and under the thumb of patriarchal regimes. Perhaps it is to bring attention to the fact that the fight for gender equality is a must. According to UN reports, women perform 2/3 of the world's work and earn 1/10 of the world's income. A report released this week by UNIFEM entitled "Who Answers to Women? Gender and Accountability" pointed to these vast gaps between men and women. 
In both national governments and multilateral organizations, accountability systems need to be changed and oriented to answer to women, if commitments to gender equality are to move from rhetoric to results, she stated.

“It is time to move from lip-service to real results,” she said, adding that commitments made by governments should be accompanied by funding and planning.

There is still a long way to go in that regard, she noted, given that women are outnumbered 4 to 1 in legislatures around the world; over 60 per cent of all unpaid family workers globally are women; and about one-third of women suffer gender-based violence during their lives.

Perhaps it is to bring to world attention the plight of women like the 9 year old Brazilian girl allegedly raped by her step-father. Victimized by a pedophile and ignored by her church, the child was pregnant with twins as a result of the sexual assault. Doctors, fearful for the girl's life, performed an abortion, which is illegal in Brazil. The Catholic Church, in its collective wisdom (?) excommunicated the girl, her doctors, her mother, but not her attacker. "“God’s law is above any human law,” regional archbishop, José Cardoso Sobrinho said Thursday. The outrage in Brazil and around the world is palpable.

Perhaps it is to remember girls like Nojoud Muhammad Nasser. She was the Yemeni child who was forced to marry at the age of 8 to a man three times her age. 
When she was less than 10 years old, the girl was forced to marry a man at least three times her age. After being raped and abused by him, she successfully filed for divorce and traveled abroad to talk about her ordeal.

Thursday evening, the girl will be commended for her courage at an awards gala in the Austrian capital. But she cannot attend because Yemeni authorities have confiscated her passport, saying she is too young to travel by herself.

Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said Yemen's ambassador in Vienna told him a 10-year-old was not allowed to travel alone within Yemen or anywhere else.
But Georg Kindel, the founder and organizer of the Women's World Awards, said the girl's father, brother and uncle had all offered to travel to Austria with her.
"We definitely don't understand this," Kindel told reporters. "She is with us in our hearts and we will watch very closely what will happen to this girl."

Perhaps, it is just to give pause to all of the women who came before; who stood up in the face of injustice. The women who worked outside of the home while keeping it together inside. The women who broke glass ceilings so that I am able stand on a religious pulpit in Canada without oddity. The women who said "no more" and continue to say "what's next". The women who fought and continue to fight the quotas, the stereotypes, the unabashed sexism and the assault on women's bodies. Perhaps, it is for all of this and so much more that I wish you all a Happy International Women's Day.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Rush Limbore

Rush Limbaugh is a bore! A mammoth-sized, cigar chewing, ego-maniacal, misogynistic, race-baiting, self-important, narcissistic, pompous gasbag! This man's radio show, which boasts 20 million listeners weekly, (according to Rush himself) has become a dumping ground for the ignorant; a group of people who are either unable or uninterested in forming thoughtful, concise and reasoned conservative thoughts. Rush affectionately calls his audience dittoheads; a term that I associate with a group of automatons that have no personal means of self-expression. Call me crazy, but isn't that an insult?

It is with incredible amusement that I have been watching Rush's recent, but not so meteoric, rise from blowhard to de-facto Republican leader. The mainstream media has been quick to jump all over his speech at CPAC and his recent ridiculousness about wanting the president to fail. Yesterday, in a typical flurry of megalomania, Rush actually challenged the president to a debate. The democrats are eating this stuff up and are pushing the idea of Rush as the leader of the Republican party, because it further banishes the elephants to the political wilderness in which they find themselves. If the right wing-nuts want to appoint this manufacturer of wind to lead them out of the political desert and back into the halls of power, who are we to argue? But, they should at the very least be acutely aware of the asshole to which they have hitched their wagons. Here is Rush in his own words.

“He’s trying to figure out how he can get involved in the deal down there at Duke where the lacrosse team…supposedly, you know, raped, some, uh, hos.” [31/3/06]

LIMBAUGH: "Hey, Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry. "As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry's support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans," Obama said.

He didn't say it, but -- anyway, there are those out there -- greetings."

Discussing Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) speech following her election as the country's first female speaker of the House, Limbaugh stated on January 5, 2007: "[L]ook at Ms. Pelosi. Why, she can multitask. She can breastfeed, she can clip her toenails, she can direct the House, all while the kids are sitting on her lap at the same time."

This is the man who consistently uses the term feminazis to describe feminists. This is a man who said that Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama simply because he is black. This is a man who says that African American contestants on Survivor are at a disadvantage because "blacks can't swim." This is a man who accused acclaimed actor and activist Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson's symptoms for political gain. (He then went on to actually demonstrate Mr. Fox's tremors and tics.) The late, great columnist Molly Ivins reported:
On his TV show, early in the Clinton administration, Limbaugh put up a picture of Socks, the White House cat, and asked, "Did you know there's a White House dog?" Then he put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 years old at the time and as far as I know had never done any harm to anyone.

This is a man who thinks sexism, racism, fraternity behaviour, multiple divorces, prescription drug addiction, and conspiracy theories are all just "entertainment". He is just a harmless, lovable scamp who won't play victim for the "female white new castrati" 

Are we having fun yet? 

Rush Limbaugh is an affront to conservatism, and this is coming from a dedicated liberal. A true two party system needs two healthy and viable options from which to intelligently choose. If this is the best that the Republicans can do, then enjoy the boondocks red voters. You will be there for a while yet.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Small Feet=No Shoes!

I have uncommonly small feet for an adult woman. I wear a size 4 1/2 shoe. Not a 5, not a 5 1/2-a 4 1/2! Depending on the style of the shoe, it is sometimes possible that I might even require a size 4 instead of the half size up. Yes, it is true that while I am slightly under 5  feet in height, my shoe size is still an anomaly. The entire female population of my undersized family wears a size 6 or higher. This little quirk in my genetic matter has proven to be a true albatross. I still have shoes in my closet that are 20 years old, because I can't bear to part with any pair that fits just in case they come back into style. There are 8 year old girls with bigger feet then mine. My twin nieces were handing down their old boots to me three years ago, when they were 11, and they were often too large!! Most shoe store employees look at me like I am from the outer reaches of the solar system when I inquire about the smallest sizes in the shop. Did you know that most shoe manufacturers don't even make sizes lower than a 5 1/2 and even those are becoming rare? The average size of a woman's shoe is a 6, and as such it is not economically feasible for designers, stores or manufacturers to trade in smaller sizes. There just aren't enough of us freaks out there for it to make sense.

It used to be, that if I went shopping early enough in the season, I could find the one "sample" size in a particular design that might (and I emphasize might) fit me. Of course this excursion precluded me from ever purchasing my footwear on sale. Today, the sample sizes are at least a 5 1/2, so even if I was interested in mortgaging my house for boots, it has become impossible. (Shoe warehouses like DSW and Broadway Shoes may be great for the average shoe shopper, but are instruments of torture for me. All those shoes and nary a one for me!! It is like taking me to Hershey Pennsylvania and telling me that they ran out of chocolate. Oh, the humanity!) The suggestion that I look in the children's department has been made to me on several occasions, and believe me, I have shopped in the "Kiddie Kobbler" section of the store more than once. The issues here are twofold. Firstly, kids shoes are designed less for style and more to encourage appropriate walking and posture in younger bodies. (Stunning that we should demand such things for our children, but be totally oblivious to them as we get older. I mean, no body was designed to be carried in 4 1/2 inch stiletto heels!) The square toe and wedge heel has a purpose and is probably far more comfortable, but the "Mary-Jane" patent leather party shoe isn't quite what I had in mind for my little black evening dress. Secondly, kids shoes look great in pink and hot green with maybe a bow here and a buckle there, but again, not really appropriate on this 46 year old foot.

I have also be directed to a wonderful Asian-run mall in the north part of my city. Asian women, I am told, tend to have smaller feet and this mall caters to the community. I did try it once or twice, but again, not quite my style. There used to be a wonderful store down here in the south called Marmi's and they dealt exclusively in petite sizes, but they have recently closed shop and I am back to square one. I have about reached my limit. I have ranted in this space before about the world ignoring those of us that don't conform with the average; those of us who are slightly outside of the box. My conclusion this time is that I will just go barefoot. So, if you see me traipsing around the city this summer without suitable footwear, understand that it is not my choice. I intend to challenge all of those establishments that state "No shirt, no shoes, no service!" I promise you all that I will wear a shirt. (Sorry to all of you who got too excited for a minute!) The shoes might a bit more difficult to come by.