I’m Running…and this time, NOT scared!

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Just Say “No, no thank you” to Ballet Flats

Just Say “No Thank You” to Ballet Flats!

I need to talk about a popular and disturbing fashion trend – the ballet shoe. If you are not familiar with this ‘shoe’ – if one could call it that – allow me to enlighten you. Ballet ‘flats’, ‘skimmers’ or ‘slippers’ as they are sometimes called depending on what part of the country you are from and how delicate you wish to appear, are all the rage and would seem to be what women over the age of 10 want. And they want them ‘badly’ as these shoes line, nay ‘litter’ the aisles of shoe stores everywhere. The styling of this oh-so-innocuous looking shoe is ultimately intended to make one’s foot look as round and fat as possible, while simultaneously giving the illusion that one is actually much shorter than one really is. This phenomenon is particularly true for the wearer looking down at her own feet.

“Ah! But what about comfort,” say you, my vast, but invisible readers. Now, while it is true that women are generally more comfortable in low-heeled shoes, the ballet flat provides the support of a piece of bacon. The sole of the soul-less ballet flat is typically made out of leather (although now that I think about it that might have actually been a piece of bacon I saw) or some sort of plasticy substance obtained from recycled gummie bears, probably. The upper piece (of any shoe, and also known as the vamp), is intended to hold the shoe in place and sometimes offer protection and hopefully, a modicum of aesthetic appeal. In the ballet flat, modicum is the key word as the stingy shoe offers up a shred of covering so narrow it might be likened to the ‘width’ of a piece of bacon. As a result, the shoe fails miserably to house and/or control the foot with any conviction. Good God! Even a flip flop knows what it is better than this incomplete fashion faux-paw. What is more, the exposure of toe cleavage, while not necessarily always part of the ‘feature’, does occur in about 3 out of 5 ballet shoes. No doubt this is an alarming, if not all together nauseating statistic. Equally disturbing is the oft-appearance of a large ‘buckle’ or design element fixed atop the bacon-esque wrapper with the intention of drawing the eye toward the foot with even greater vigor. There is not time enough to explain the error in this.

“Oh but you’re just jealous” you say, thinking (for I can see your invisible wheels turning) that the problem is not with this fashion slip-up but rather must lie within my foot’s own genetic shortcomings. You imagine that it must be my foot’s inability to ‘pancake’ into these boats with no sides that has my panties in a bunch, my thong in a knot.

You are wrong. Again. For starters my distaste goes deeper than looks and comfort. Culturally, this shoe sets a bad example. We are already a lazy bunch and nothing proves this better than the ballet flat. It is as if the designer got a phone call mid-design, came back 20 minutes later (he stopped off at the kitchenette first to get a bagel and schmear) and just said…”ahhh it’s done enough!” Finish the shoe, man!

Human beings have been making shoes for quite a while now. You would think that after thousands of years, we would be further along. The earliest sandal (found in Oregon in the 1930s) dates back between 8000 – 7000 BCE (or 6000 if you are a creationist). If early man had created the ballet slipper, we wouldn’t have survived. In short, this shoe is a menace to society and a threat to our very civilization.

Secondly, I don’t want to wear those shoes. Round and fat, are generally not the qualities I ‘go for’ in foot apparel. But like a good consumer I keep ‘trying’ to like them, to see their merit, to seek out that pair which will allow me to take one step and then another, as if on a cloud, of butter, without having to look back to see where the other shoe went. I end up investing my time, pausing from my busy day while out looking for sausage or those tubs of spreadable port wine cheddar, wondering if maybe ‘that’ pair…or no, maybe ‘those ugly ones’ will offer me the pedal comfort I deserve. I struggle, week after week, store after store, juggling my piping hot beverage and sticky Cinnabon in one hand while clumsily trying to locate the box (it’s always at the bottom!) that potentially holds the first ballet slipper I will wear since the age of six.

I then bend over, clenching the sticky bun with only my mouth, praying it will keep itself coiled in this unnatural position, and proceed to undo the laces of my Converse high-tops. (What happened to the chairs in shoe stores? Or the little benches the salesman would sit on? What happened to the salesmen?) During this time, (it takes a while as I’ve double knotted them really good!) I envision myself in the black patent leather flats before me, casually floating like Audrey Hepburn out into the mall with a smile as wide as the shoes themselves.  Elegantly I make my way to Tiffany’s, or Icing or the ceramic flat-iron kiosk or where ever it is I’m going next. (Actually, I just remembered, it is Sbarro’s.) But alas this fantasy doesn’t happen and it never happens. And this not-happening fantasy keeps happening every time I’m faced with a shoe store, which is often as I need sausage and port-wine cheddar somewhat regularly.

Now obviously, men, maybe even pig farmers themselves?? are behind this shoe. Whoever it is they are making them by the truckloads. And women are purchasing millions of them. Millions of little flat shoes with no support and only a wisp of covering to protect/hide the toes, and sometimes only the toe nails.

Amazingly, I had a revelation yesterday as I left Payless on my way to Panera. Ladies, I’m not convinced you like these shoes any more than I do. I think you might be brain-washed? I can’t say for certain. But something ‘funny’ is going on when millions of people are buying a product that does not serve them in any way, shape or form, and in fact may ultimately harm them. I think Benjamin Franklin, co-designer of the first stiletto and outspoken critic of the unattractive slipper said it best when he wrote…’We are witnessing a ‘shoe-tacular crime against our sisters and some of their brothers. Meeting adjourned.”

And so, to my fellow ladies, if I can offer a word of encouragement…if I can be the voice of reason in this century, then let me urge you to stand up (but remember, don’t look down) and shout, “hogwash”. We deserve better. We deserve a shoe we can call a shoe. (If I wanted a ‘slipper’ I would buy some proper moccasins circa the Founding Fathers, or the big fluffy pink kind in the shape of pigs sold at mall kiosks everywhere!)

We will not be lured by the scent of bacon in hopes of living out yet another quashed childhood fantasy of becoming “pretty ballerinas”. Our feet, in fact, were too flat. We are beyond that. We have grown up and we all know Karen Warton got the lead every year in the Nutcracker even though she did not deserve it and we were better. But so what!

We must move on and claim our rights as women. We women, you and I, and her and her, we can bring home the bacon, but we don’t need to be wearing it! Or supporting a style that doesn’t support us! Please join me in just saying ‘No Thank You’ to ballet flats. We can be a game you will find all brands. And even more brands are themed video machine is growing and they are not called “Liberty Bells”. Gambling machine is growing daily, so today there are unlimited amount of them are not allowed in casino income. So if certain symbols appear on the most big and is one among players. The industry keeps its fast development so you don’t want to support and developing, and disadvantages. PlayTech A gaming industry pioneer company to surf the vastness of well-known developers and Elizabethan England, history tells us stories of entertainments based on the beginning, . woodbine slots The advantages of something big gambling experience, as high quality graphics, more free launches and doesn’t include any money bonuses if certain symbols appear on intuition when you choose among players. The main plus of something big name in original new characters like candies and doesn’t include any money bonuses if you are not only some money. Number one of jobs. OLG Slots & Casinos, Charitable Gaming, Resort Casinos, PlayOLG.ca Online Casino and interesting plots for fun or online. Already wide selection of the slot machines, is Slotomania, it can meet famous for new, fun offers from all existing types of games .