Bo Pelini is the current head football coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I say “current” because I do not believe his tenure there will last much longer. In the long history of the football school, the head coach of the team has always been a major center of attention and a major campus star.
Bo Pelini never really fit in at Nebraska. He was proud of being Northeast crass and rude in the middle of the mild Midwest. He didn’t respect the fans, tradition, or the media. He loved to throw embarrassing fits of purple rage on the sidelines during nationally televised games. His teams have played unevenly and unpredictably. He is incapable of getting his coaching staff to make in-game changes in response to how the other team is adjusting. Pelini has always appeared lost, and adrift — and furiously angry about being stuck in Nebraska.
Most of rural Portuguese households rely on buckets. Buckets for wood, water, pine cones, clothes pegs/pins – you name it there will be a bucket for it. We all use similar types of black buckets — ownership is usually interchangeable along with the contents. Occasionally, we halfheartedly say we will color code them with tape on the handles according to ownership — it lasts about a month before our buckets are everywhere again.
However, we have a special bucket — bright orange with a lid. This is for our kitchen waste. We do not compost our food waste here for several reasons. First, the smell, and the flies amplified by the heat and, second, composting encourages rats, mice and other vermin such as foxes. We feel most of our food waste to the chickens and they give us eggs in return.
Imagine the following — my wife, my son, and I were enjoying the Peter Pan ride, one of the featured rides at Walt Disney World which gets extremely lengthy lines and was considered worthy of getting the Fastpass feature. As our carriage came around to the end, the Walt Disney World cast member spotted us, smiles on our faces. He looked at my son and made eye contact and then asked, “How’d you like the ride, Princess?” I quickly chimed in, “Actually, he’s a prince.” He quickly apologized, but my speed in response came because he wasn’t the first person to mistake my son for a girl, nor would he be the last — although I thought we had done a good job of “boying” him up by putting him in blue jeans, R2D2 sneakers, and an R2D2 hooded sweatshirt.
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day, and there are many reports of today’s worldwide celebrations; there are lists of famous women who are remarkable for many reasons, women past and present who lead their chosen field in one way or another. I thought I would salute one particular woman of the now and the future and share a unique piece of Portuguese Culture at the same time.
Shortly after I arrived in Portugal I was invited to attend the “Ribbon Ceremony” for the final year students at ESCS- Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, to watch Mr Ps youngest daughter, Lara, having her “Ribbons” being blessed.
These hands. Strong and powerful. Soothing and gentle. As if these embody a complete character, the whole persona. A person engrossed in her life, fulfilling its duties religiously. Duties as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother, as a homemaker — as an epitome of tolerance, patience and acceptance as life comes.
Her hands do not have manicured fingers as an epitome of fashion; her hands are age ridden, filled with lines, time-worn yet experienced and comforting. You are seeing the hands of my 79 year old grandmother. Her hands are diligently working on an Indian cutting utensil.
It is fascinating to ponder history and discover how values change over time. Gold was, is, and likely ever-shall-be a valuable monetary standard while other, less precious, metals like aluminum began life as an exquisite expense only to end up at the bottom of the recycling bin as empty beer cans:
Applications of aluminum were limited to jewelry and other such luxury items: bars of aluminum were exhibited alongside the French crown jewels, and Emperor Napoleon III was said to have reserved aluminum dining sets for his most honored guests. In 1884, aluminum was used to cap the Washington Monument – at the time, the 100-ounce capstone was the single largest piece of cast aluminum ever created. It was not until the year 1886, when the first high-volume, low-cost smelting process for aluminum was discovered, that the age of aluminum was born.
Traditions are what we now call “memes” and the danger in the covenant of a tradition merely for “tradition’s sake” is the unfortunate blind adherence to a policy or an ideal that is made valid merely by its relational occurrences.