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If you haven't already contributed to the earthquake relief effort in Haiti, here are links to the donation pages of two reputable organizations that directly aid efforts on the ground in Haiti:

OXFAM:
https://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate/haiti-earthquake/index.php

AMERICAN RED CROSS:
http://tinyurl.com/y9l5zqu

Because every dollar makes a difference.
 
 
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I've been meaning to post the above photo for two weeks now.  It was taken at Mo's Diner, which is located inside Harrod's in Knightsbridge, London.

If you read this blog you probably know a few things about me.  I'm from America, I really dig good food, and I also really dig Harrod's.  Which is why I write this little item with some hesitation.  You see, I'm a huge fan of Jewish deli-style stuff (and I've had more than my share of such food in my life), so when I get some that's an utter disappointment, it's tough to shake off.

I had just returned to London from a long trip to the USA when I needed to do a bit of shopping at Harrod's.  While in Harrod's my partner and I thought it would be nice to see if we could find a hot Reuben sandwich somewhere.  First we went to their East Dulwich Deli restaurant, but alas, the menu had not a single cold-cut sandwich on the list, and definitely no hot Reubens (deli my ass)...  Then we checked the "American diner" themed restaurant called Mo's Diner.  We saw a Reuben on the menu and thought we'd scored big.

When the sandwich - which cost about $30 in U.S. dollars - arrived, it was smaller than my hand (see above photo for comparison).  I was shocked.  I'm all for reasonable portions and not wasting food, but when I order a REUBEN from a DINER I expect a beast of a sandwich - not some pathetic, over-priced piece of crap with spoiled carrot and raisin slaw on the side.

I mean REALLY.  Where do they even get bread that small? 

Best leave the art of the Jewish deli to the Americans - it's worth flying home for :)
 
 
I was reading an early chapter of Howard Zinn's book "A People's History of the United States" when I came across something that stuck in my mind.  It was about how native Americans (called "Indians" in the book) were held to new laws created by the invading Europeans, who thought the native Americans were lawless.

The "Indians" were told that the new punishment for the death of an Englishman was that the offender would be delivered to the English authorities and punished according to English law.  In 1635, Maryland's Indians responded to the governor's demand that they follow English law with the following (I've revised spelling only): 

"It is the manner amongst us Indians, that if any such accident happen, we do redeem the life of a man that is so slain with 100 arms length of beads and since that you are here as strangers, and come into our Country, you should rather conform yourselves to the Customs of our Country, than impose yours upon us..."

And I thought there was an excellent point in that.  "you are here as strangers, and come into our Country, you should rather conform yourselves to the Customs of our Country, than impose yours upon us".

This got me to thinking about myself, and the things I sometimes say about my (relatively new) home in the UK.  I am indeed a stranger here.  I have voluntarily come to live in England, and it would be right to try to fit into life here, instead of fighting it constantly just because I'm from America (where things are sometimes different and/or better).  Perhaps I've been a bit too harsh in some of my criticisms of British life and people over the past year and a half...

Does that mean I'm gonna stop writing about the things I encounter during my time in Great Britain?  Nope.  Am I going to lose my sarcasm or blunt manner of speaking?  Probably not.  I just wanted to mention the quote because I think it's interesting.  It's likely a good thing for everyone to think about - especially when one voluntarily travels to a foreign place.

There's a big difference between being different and being better.
 
STOP THE MADNESS 01/12/2010
 
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OK, ladies.  I've held-off from mentioning this for a long time, but upon seeing the above image of a current Alexander McQueen woman's shoe, I must say: STOP THE MADNESS.  This trend of un-wearable, over-priced extreme shoes for women is NUTS.  Are they creative and good fun to browse?  Yes.  Do they spice up a runway?  Yes.  Can REAL women incorporate the look into their existing closets?  No (unless your name is Victoria Beckham).

Stuff like this always leads me back to the same question: 

Why don't designers impose this sort of painful nonsense on MEN?