Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What do you want to be when you grow up?

My little girl’s class is finishing up a unit on community helpers. From what she has told me and what I have seen come home in her backpack, the community professions have been well represented. To finish off the unit, there is a career fair this week and the students are encouraged to ‘dress up’ as what they want to be when they grow up.

So, a note came home asking for volunteers that would be willing to showcase (more or less) what they do for a living. I volunteered. Now my task is to create a booth that presents what I do in an entertaining fashion that is understandable to 5 year olds. I work in one of the financial bureaus of the Federal Executive Branch. So, at least I work with money (kind of) but other interesting facts for a kindergartener may be hard to come by.

I’ll do my best and probably stick to the more historical aspect of the system. But then again it is difficult to make a group of mostly accountants, economists, and auditors look appealing in any setting. Oh well, maybe the firemen will bring their truck.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost and Found

I am a crazy lovesick man. So many people go through life alone or at least feeling alone. I am so lucky not to be numbered among them. I have a beautiful woman for a wife; with whom I enjoy spending my time and sharing our lives; she is where I stand. A day doesn’t pass when I don’t think about how lucky I am. The song Green Eyes by Coldplay has really been on my mind, but in my case it should be Blue Eyes. Take a listen or read the lyrics below. I love you Babe.

Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand
And I come here to talk
I hope you understand

That green eyes, yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
And how could, anybody, deny you

I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, now I’ve met you
And honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes

Honey you are the sea
Upon which I float
And I came here to talk
I think you should know

That green eyes, you’re the one that I wanted to find
And anyone who, tried to deny you must be out of their mind

Cause I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, since I met you
Honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes
Green eyes



Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taste it! If you can.

What is freedom? It is one of those questions that is always asked and has as many answers as the people to whom it is asked. I know that it is something that we, as Americans, take for granted having never lived without it. Like other answers that I have heard, my answer would be a list of those things that I know others are deprived of.

In the book that I am currently reading (Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon), one of the characters has an interesting perspective on Freedom. A true story taken from journals and public records, Henry Cottinham was a slave; that is until the Union troops decimated the Confederate forces in the part of Alabama where he lived. In the period of a few years’ time, Henry had gone from a slave permanently indentured to a cotton plantationeer, to a leased slave at an iron foundry, to a ‘free man’; able to work for wages and move about without the permission of any master. I’m not so na├»ve as to assume that emancipated slaves were free of opposition and persecution from their former ‘owners’, but the change was nevertheless great.

Henry was secretly courting Mary, of a neighboring plantation, under the cloak of darkness. His freedom was tangible. He was no longer forced to meet behind closed doors at all hours of the night with the one he loved. They were among the first freed slaves to be legally married in Alabama during the antebellum era. Beyond that, his choice was his; the sweat of his brow, his; his family…his.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Must it all match?

So, I am rather new to the world of fashion. Well, kind of. I have been wearing clothes for most of my life and I know that some things just don’t look good on me or anyone else for that matter. But there are specific fashion ‘rules’ that I was previously unaware of or at least blatantly ignored. My wife is definitely ‘in the know’ when it comes to what to wear, how to wear it, and what looks good with it. I am still learning.

For example, I now know that your leathers should match; belt and shoes should be of the same hue. Your metals should match. I got lucky on this one because my wedding ring is white gold and my watch polished silver; a near match, right? This is one that could be more involved for women as they may have necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and buckles to contend with. I know about the obvious such as no stripes and polka dots. And should you decide to do stripes, know that horizontal ones tend to make you look wider and vertical ones longer. And recently I came to find out that it is not appropriate for a man to wear a button down collar shirt with a jacket or suit. Why? Because it simply isn’t done. And then there is the whole discussion you could have on when it is okay or not okay to do a brown-black or black-blue combination. It is all rather confusing for someone who normally decides what he is going to wear that day by pulling something off its hanger and performing a quick smell-check before putting it on.

Now, obviously fashion is what the designer and Hollywood tells us it is. Or at least that is what I hear. But can you do your own thing? Is it alright to wear something that isn’t quite right? I ask because I just broke (another story) the brown belt that I normally wear with my brown boots. So today I snubbed time tested tradition and wore a black belt. And I may have to continue doing so unless I wish to purchase a new brown belt. I feel okay, and don’t think that anyone looked despairingly at me any more that usual. So, do I have to match everything?