Saturday, May 29, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
This matter led me to consult the only volume containing answers on how to handle this situation, Etiquette. Here is what it says: "All the rules of table manners are made to avoid ugliness. To let anyone see what you have in your mouth is offensive; to make a noise is to suggest an animal; to make a mess is disgusting." Emily Post's Etiquette, p.g. 485, 1955 edition. This week, I could take it no more. I had to address the situation with the culprit. They have since endeavored, due entirely to my indefatigable correction, to chew with their mouth closed in near silence. Indeed, I, like Mr. Jefferson, tremble for my country if this is the condition in which the mass majority of parents release their children into society.
Thanks to The Modern Traditionalist for the quote. When we visited Charlottesville back in February, she purchased this vintage copy of Etiquette, which happens to be the last edition edited by Emily Post.
Take a look at the first 25 seconds of the clip below and you'll get a good sense of the issue with which I dealt.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
The Modern Traditionalist and I have a new addition in our ranks. Meet Lord Quincy. I am not one to extol those, who treat their animals as children. I am here proving that "dog people" can be "cat people".
Formerly named Bones, we adopted Q, as we have come to call him, just over two weeks ago from a local shelter. He was at one time living on his own and was recovered alone from a parking lot. Quincy has certainly adjusted from life on the street as seen below resting on his favorite cashmere throw after reading about WWI with me.
Quincy is proving to be a delightful addition to our lives. I've always been a real "dog person". Here it seems, Q is cat for a "dog person". He sees you off in the morning and greets you upon return in the evening. Q aims to please from the moment you arrive. What cat greets you with a wagging tail and a wet tongue? He does. His favorite activity is rolling on his back while receiving belly rubs. Q enjoys showing off his hunting skills when chasing his toys around the apartment.
He simply does not act like a conventional cat. For instance, when you call, he comes to you. I believe he fancies himself a bird dog, a faithful labrador. In this respect, he is picking up exactly where his predecessor, Rudy, left off. Rudy - AKA the Furry Eccentric - was a unique feline in much the same way. We are happy to have little Q. He is a dog in a cat's body.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Upon Reflection of recent days reserved for restoration of mind and body, I've come to realize that has not actually happened. Days have been filled with endless list making and box checking. I must be doing something wrong. The particulars have amassed tremendous proportions from neglect. We have all been overworked or busy to the point of letting things fall by the wayside.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I should premise this with the disclosure that I have no children. The above picture is representative of how I remember the "fear" that governed my childhood behavior. I was a fairly mature youth and did not require much discipline (Mom: if you are reading this...no comments please;-). I remember one time I stuck one of my prized Matchbox cars into my dress sock before heading out to church. Having found out who was giving the homily (I was raised Roman Catholic), I went straight for the concealed car. It entertained me, while the oration went far beyond its apportioned period. There was no punishment in this case because no one noticed what I was doing. It is that simple skill children today rarely exhibit: discretion. Well behaved tomfoolery is hardly cause for concern.
During my time off, I've seen quite a few parents with small children running about town for errands and adventures alike. Why is it that so many children are so badly behaved...or is it that they are very badly parented? Perhaps it's just the memory of my own childhood that arouses these questions. For those of you reading, this is not meant to be a condemnation of all parents, only the parents who let their children run amok.
A tantrum in public was simply unacceptable in my household. Children today seem to throw tantrums for minuscule motives. I feared the worst should I get out of hand. One small child recently threw a fit in the middle of the post office for the reasons completely imperceptible. The young boy was running all around the post office without any supervision. Worse yet, the mother did not notice at all. How did she not notice the lout disturbing patrons by bumping into them and screaming all the while? Once she realized he was missing, probably from a lack of piercing shrieks, she ventured to find him. He had just made a run for the exit and nearly got away with it. He then threw a tantrum. I was appalled. Yet the mother let it continue.
Suffice it to say that it would not have flown under my supervision. This brings me to my next question. Why, as Americans, do we seemingly put up with it rather than speaking out? In France it would have been completely acceptable for an adult to drag the child to his parent and deliver a stern reprimand to each. The reason must be the state of our highly national consciousness. The thought of such a lawsuit makes me immeasurably happy that I left the idea of law school in the past (more on that another time).
I welcome your thoughts, stories and even your opposition.
"Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them."-P. J. O'Rourke
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Few things start a morning better than a wonderful cup of espresso. It is not a mere caffeine delivery mechanism, but rather the impetus for a better state of mind. The experience of brewing an espresso clears my mind and perks my senses. This prepares me for the day and all life will require of me. Above is a quality example with perfect crema accompanied by one of The Modern Traditionalists delightful madeleines. Cheers to a great day!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"Difficulties are things that show a person what they are."
"It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death."
"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."
"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."
"You may be always victorious if you will never enter into any contest where the issue does not wholly depend upon yourself."
"Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them."
"First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak."
Apologies for the delay in posting.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Nothing enlightens the mind and refuels the soul faster.
Here are ten bloggers who add to my happiness daily:
Monday, February 15, 2010
While in Charlottesville with MT over the weekend, we visited Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Among the items procured during our stay was the delightful book for youth on some of the Founding Fathers. The subjects include John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson - despite the title. Lane Smith has created the exemplar publication for the education of youth on matters of history.
The book highlights each of the aforementioned characters with anecdotes about both their contribution to the forming of America as well as their individual personality. A true work of art this. The Modern Traditionalist, who gets full credit for actually finding the book, and I were laughing as we read. In addition to the physical volume there are online extensions of the experience, which as a marketing professional delights me. The extra elements include an online game, a video trailer and a theater script.
Suffice it to say, if more children's books were of this likeness, then I would not tremble for my country.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
"We are lovers of beauty without extravagance, and lovers of wisdom without unmanliness. Wealth to us is not mere material for vainglory but an opportunity for achievement; and poverty we think it no disgrace to acknowledge but a real degradation to make no effort to overcome."
"But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it."
"We secure our friends not by accepting favors but by doing them."
Thucydides, Peloponnesian War II, 40
Wise words of motivation of assorted variety offered in the hope to cause fewer words written or said without prior profound cerebration.
I am working from home today due to the blizzard conditions in the DC area. Working at home from the sofa, chair and dinner table really has me thinking a desk would be a practical investment. It's been making me fancy this particular desk I've been eyeing. Restoration Hardware's 1920's French Drafting Table has old world charm and modern functionality. The ability to tilt the table offers a host of convenient uses. Given this is from RH, it is likely excellently crafted as well. This is certainly on the wish list.