Outfit # 75: Vices/Virtues

The podcast Death, Sex and Money has an episode titled “The NFL Made Me Rich. Now I Watch It… Sometimes.” In it, host Anna Sales talks to Domonique Foxworth, former NFL player, Harvard Grad, rich dude.

The interview is great. Foxworth is honest without hesitation and explicit about the one thing he really wanted: money. Sales and Foxworth talk about football, its danger, losing friends, his experience in high school and college. The girls he met and what kind of man he had to become to convince his wife to marry him.

But the idea that stuck with me was his complete candidness about wanting money. A want I always thought of as a sin or vice. But Foxworth wasn’t evil. He was honest. He knew what he wanted and took an incredible path to get it. One that wasn’t evil at all, but hard work.

This got me thinking.

I felt as though we’re supposed to bury any negative aspect of our personalities. Ignore those inclinations, hope they evaporate. So to hear someone admit to something that I grew up th…

Travel: Downtown Mobile

A colorful downtown corridor shadowed by iron-railed porches hanging overhead makes Mobile, Alabama look like New Orleans’ copy-cat cousin. But upon further research, it turns out the Mobile was the first capital of French Louisiana and the birthplace of Mardi Gras – and everyone wants you to know it. Signs and brochures around the city reaffirm this long lost fact.  
Mobile is also home to many secret societies, some dating back to 1700s. Modern Mobile celebrates its rich heritage through colorful displays, the Mardi Gras museum and art of every corner. The day we visited there was an artist market open downtown.
Artists decorate the downtown buildings and open courtyards house easels and gardens for visitors and residents to enjoy. The downtown area has the same relaxed atmosphere as New Orleans. Shop windows frame eccentric tchotchkes and vibrant masks and fluffy feather boas. Greens, golds and purples echo throughout the city, a frequent reminder of the celebration that originated h…

Outfit # 74: Desire, self-improvement and other buzz words

The first time I heard a lecture by Alan Watts was in The Incredible True Story by Logic. Once on a radio show, a fan called in and asked why Logic used the desire lecture, where Watts inquires simply: What do you desire? Logic explained that Watts said in a few minutes what took him an entire album to communicate.
I listened to it most carefully one day walking to class. It made my brain ring, thumping a deep inner chord. The way Watts can for anybody who decides to listen.
We were assigned his book in class, The Wisdom of Insecurity. (Although, to be honest, I haven’t finished reading it. It was a little overwhelming. Every page was a gosh darn revelation. Exhausting! But I do plan on finishing it.) Then, more recently, I read a quote by him that suggested that the self, who you are, is unchangeable. So stop trying to improve it. What a relief! And he says the same thing. It is a relief knowing that I’m stuck with my lot.
It’s like a poem with a set rhyme scheme. The rules can either s…

Travel: Bellingrath Gardens

I want to make the world better and brighter by my being here. - W. Bellingrath

These Gardens were my wife’s dream, and I want to live to see that dream come true.  - W. Bellingrath
"As the economic depression worsened, friends quietly kept Mrs. Bellingrath aware of families in need. She would appear, checkbook in hand, begging for an azalea, camellia or whatever bloom she saw in the family yard. She would convince the stunned homeowner that Bellingrath Gardens had been unable to locate one and then offer hundreds of dollars in an era when the U.S. Government declared that $25 per week was a comfortable income. She told a flower shop owner that her crocheted afghans were the most handsome she had seen and offered her $100 each for a dozen, knowing the money would put the woman’s niece in college, which it did."
"I shall always think of you wandering through a lovely garden, Like that which you fashioned with your own hands, Where flowers never fade and no cold wind of sorr…

Outfit # 73: How do you like them apples?

Since graduating, writing assignments seem less daunting. I don’t dread working and I don’t feel this constant lingering pressure. I realized how hard I worked in school, but now I’m wondering why. I knew grades didn’t matter post-grad, but I needed HOPE scholarship to help cover cost and I needed to graduate with honors for my own satisfaction.
And I did it.
I made it Magnum Cum Laude. During school I lessened my work load by taking 12 hours per semester. The first year I took 12 so I could devote as much time as possible to math and science classes, subjects I’ve always struggled with. Then I kept it at 12 so I could work for the school newspaper without having a nervous breakdown. My last two semesters I upped my hours, 15 and 18, so I could graduate “on time.”
Every day I would devote my attention to classes and give 110% of my effort to every assignment. I didn’t worry about my grades because my professors knew the standards I held for myself. They knew I wouldn’t turn in shoddy …