When I was on the east coast in Oct., I talked to my friend M about starting a blog; I even had a title in mind: Shoes, Jews, Booze and News. I think it was there in the dog park that we decided it would be too much to cover in one blog, and so, I told her my second idea, which was the Rat's Nest, about my children leaving home. This, we agreed, would be more manageable.
But the idea of shoes and Jews still persisted, esp. after learning someone had actually edited a book on the subject, aptly named, Jews and Shoes, by Edna Nahshon. When we were assigned a final project, in my multi-media journalism class at UCLA, that topic was the first thing that jumped to mind. To help me out, my good-natured walking buddies contributed their own audio shoe stories as well.
The pressure of doing this final project over Thanksgiving weekend led me to buy a big bottle of Johnny Walker at my local market (on sale!). Thank G-d I didn't open it; I'd never have finished this project, which I present to you now.