Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Parts List Is NOT Instructions...

...or, Why I Am Taking This Shirt Back.

Now, I'm not the snazziest dresser in the world. But I do consider myself to be in the top 30% of my somewhat clueless gender. Said clues being specific to the idea of what looks good. Not the other side of clothing, the one most men get and many women don't. See, you don't need to explain to a man that you can't wear a Red Sox hat with a Yankee jersey, even though they are both baseball things...

No, I'm talking about colors and patterns, and more importantly how colors and patterns relate to the person wearing them. Because my biggest challenge in the fashion area is one of knowing the difference between "That shirt looks good" and "That shirt makes ME look good."

Now I have done some research. That is where the title of this post originates. For example, I have listened when a girlfriend/wife/female friend has made certain comments in the past about what colors or patterns look good on me. And I have noticed certain female reactions to certain garments and tried to then take the next step and extrapolate the characteristics of those garments to other purchases.

But sometimes I put them together in the wrong way. For example, this shirt I need to take back. It's blue... okay, I have been told multiple times that blue brings out my eyes and is a good color for me. It's a lighter blue, and this played a part because I know I have plenty of dark blue things so I don't need more dark shirts. It's a dress-style shirt, and I have received plenty of feedback that lets me know I look good in those. But here's where I made the disconnect and didn't realize that putting together a list of parts didn't equal instructions. It's plaid.

Now,I have green plaid and even a red/blue plaid shirt that I have gotten compliments on, I always get complimented on my kilt, and I remember that girlfriends always used to be fond of my flannel shirts.

So, I buy the plaid in varying shades of blue and bring it home. Along with a few other shirts, because I'm at a place where some old favorites have acquired a coffee stain or the collar is fraying, etc. And because I don't have a woman here locally, I get out the camera and snap some mirror photos to send to Alessia. Because one lesson that HAS stuck is that it is always good to get a female nod of approval.

And in this case, it's a good thing. Everything else I bought, she liked. Grey striped dress shirt, tan polo, blue polo... all good. But the blue plaid that I thought I did so well matching to the parts list? Not so much. Thankfully, I am getting better even at this part. Because when I put the shirt on to photograph it, I kinda went "blah."

Now, if only I could learn to make that jump without buying it first, then I might have something.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Song Remains The Same

In the month since I addressed anything political on this blog, many things have changed. John McCain has clinched the Republican nomination and Barack Obama has opened a delegate lead that some call insurmountable. But one thing that hasn't changed is the rhetoric of Obama's democratic opponent.

In comments today, Hilary Clinton once again trotted out her line about needing to do more than make speeches. Apparently, she is really worried about her oratory abilities compared to Obama's, because for the last six weeks she has been harping on this.

As I said in the post in mid-February, making speeches and the ability to do so well actually is very important for a President. No, it is not all that the job entails. But it is a crucial aspect of the position. If you were hiring someone to be President, it would be one of the major qualifications. Must be willing to relocate, able to work unusual hours, have strengths in networking and be an accomplished public speaker.

But today Hilary popped off about it again. "Senator Obama has said often that words matter. I strongly agree. But giving speeches alone won't end the war and making campaign promises you might not keep certainly won't end it," Clinton said.(Reuters)

The wonderful irony is in her other comments on the same day. For example, she promised if elected she would convene military advisers and ask them to develop a plan to begin bringing U.S. troops home within 60 days of her taking office next January.

Now, lets examine this statement from Ms. Empty Speeches Accusation. What is she actually promising? To bring the troops home in sixty days? No, that's what she wants you to hear. The only thing she's actually promising is to have a meeting on the subject of doing so. How wonderfully Washingtonian of her. Isn't this exactly what we want a change from?

She also made a point of talking about how the war is so bad for the economy (Duh!) and costly in human misery. Funny that she didn't think this way in September, 2002. Oh, but everybody voted for the war then, right? Wrong. The majority of Democrats in the House and twenty-one Democratic Senators did NOT vote for the war then. Of course, Hilary couldn't have afforded to vote against the war as the Senator from New York. I get that. But she could at least say so. I might respect that. No, she continues to paint that vote as the right thing to do at the time, basically refusing to admit that it is possible for her to make a mistake. Gee, sounds like the President we already have, not the one we want.

She also talks about how the war could cost a trillion dollars (Hey Hillary, get current. Recent estimates are double that number)and about how much that money could do here in the United States. Funny, I seem to have heard that before. Where? In speeches Obama made in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and most especially in Katrina ravaged New Orleans.

Her other big use for the money? Solving the housing crisis and making college affordable. Well, Hilary may not value Obama's speeches... but it sure sounds like she has been listening to them.

Refresh my memory, Hilary. What was all that about plagiarism?