A Kinder and Gentler New Year

Are we living in the “wild west?”  Seems every time I pick up a newspaper or listen to the news there has been a shooting somewhere in this country by some deranged person. 

Nothing was more heart wrenching this year than the senseless killing of innocent life in Newtown, Connecticut.  20 six-year olds were gunned down sitting in a classroom.  Their teachers and principal were also slaughtered.  Kindergarteners who were just beginning their future met their end instead.  How tragic and reprehensible is that?

A few days ago near Rochester, New York, firemen were lured  to a house  to put out a fire, but instead they were ambushed and fired at.  They responded to a call about a fire but their lives were snuffed out for their heroic efforts.  Firemen put their lives on the line every day knowing the danger they face from fire…. not bullets!

In July, in Aurora, CO, during a midnight screening of the sequel Batman movie a gunman entered the Cineplex and fired into the audience.  Some 70 people who attended the screening were shot.   What should have been an entertaining evening turned out to be a horror show.

These are but three events that took place this year alone.  There have been others that resulted in injury and deaths.  According to USA Today, four or more people are killed every two weeks in the United States. Is that what we can expect the norm to be in this country now?

What a sad commentary when classrooms are not safe; when our emergency responders are under fire; and when entertainment facilities turn into shooting galleries. 

All of these incidents were carried out by madmen with automatic or semi-automatic weapons.   And that is the issue at hand.  Guns, specifically assault weapons, that are in the hands of unstable individuals spells impending danger. 

Collectors and sportsmen take issue and pride in owning their guns of choice.  But here’s my question, is there any need for them to own assault weapons? They should be in the hands of soldiers, not private citizens. What hunter requires an automatic to shoot an Elk? What private citizen needs a semi-automatic to defend his home?

President Obama, when visiting Newtown, made a promise to that community that he would do everything in his power to stop this killing spree.  I hope he  will  put these words into action.  It’s all well and good to comfort those in pain for their loss but it’s another matter to get tough and get that job done. 

2012 is coming to an end in a few days. It has been a bloody year.  Not from fighting a war, but from stateside killers who pointed their guns at unsuspecting, innocent citizens, and killed or maimed them.  

Hopefully 2013  will be a kinder and gentler year!



I have marveled at how women, predominantly women younger than me, navigate walking in sky-high heels, especially on the streets of New York….. well on any street for that matter. 

Really, can heels get any higher?  Well yes they can! Shoe designers have inched up their designs by adding platform soles providing more height to the existing heel elevation. Black pump platform shoesI don’t know, I think I would suffer from altitude sickness just trying a pair on. 

I suppose every generation has their own fashion statement.  I remember when pointy shoes were the footwear of the times.  Long, narrow and pointy toed shoes, were fashion’s  ”must-haves” by anyone with any style sense.  Didn’t matter if they were comfortable as long as they were slim, trim, and most importantly “pointy.”  I don’t recall the shoes having very high heels though.  My favorite styles were reflective of the Louis XIV era designed by my friend Marda for Margaret Jerrold.  As much as I loved the way they looked, I couldn’t wait to take them off at the end of the day! They were pretty to look at but they scrunched my toes. By the time I finished work I couldn’t feel my extremeties.  I remember how relieved I was when I took them off.

To what heights will women go to be in fashion today? Obviously, the sky is the limit! As I love to walk rather than take public transportation, I have seen several elegantly dressed women take pratfalls on the street due to what they were wearing on their feet.  Some take the footwear in stride however there are a few who I see precariously teeter tottering as they walk. Even professional models to their embarrasment have taken falls as they sashayed down runways .  Just imagine, if a model has a hard time walking on these stilts, how can a woman traverse city streets without breaking something?  I would venture it would be especially hazardous to one’s health walking down pock marked sidewalks. 

But wait.  It seems fashion designers may have come to their senses. According to the latest reports from U.S. and European runways, heels have been cut down to size and now “flats” have become the shoes of preference by leading designers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that couture designers in the recent fashion presentations have accessorized their designs with flats when sending their models down the runway .   That’s right…”no heels!”  Talk about the highs and lows of fashion! Sort of makes you think of a roller coaster ride.  One minute it’s up; the next it’s down. Well, fashion can be an amusing phenomenon. 

I, as many women, love shoes.  I can never have enough in my closet.  So, I am very happy to hear that when I next visit my favorite shoe store I will have more styles to select from. Right now I have enough ballerina flats to dress a Nutcracker production.