Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. —Soren Kierkegaard
Life gets incredibly busy, doesn’t it? There is always an abundance of activities available and one has to pick and choose carefully which gets our attention. Well, at least we try to pick and choose. At this particular moment, there is a kitten on my desk. His name is Fred Fredburger. Two weeks ago we weren’t sure this little guy was going to make it. Now, not only is he healthy, he has decided to join “guy time” with me, the dog, and the older male cat we call Fat Guy. Fat Guy and the dog are sound asleep, as is their usual activity for 5:00 in the morning. Fred, on the other hand, is on my desk, peeking over the top of the computer, and batting pens onto the floor. He’s rather insistent that I give him my attention.
I am wholly consumed by fashion weeks this time of year. Even as I’m writing now, I’m waiting for the Jasper Conran runway presentation to start in London. I’ve already walked the dog (in the rain), cleaned the kitchen counter, and am well into my second pot of coffee. The fashion schedule from this point forward is packed and keeping up with the elements of life transpiring outside the fashion world is challenging.
So,we took a few moments this morning to look through some headlines and, with Fred’s help, we’re going to take a moment to consider things that probably should be full articles in themselves, and would be if time was more in our favor. Any strange words you see are Fred’s.
Happy Birthday, Zach
Talk abut full schedules. 25 years ago today we welcomed our first baby boy into the world. He didn’t make it easy on his Mother. Me, I sat there and ate cheeseburgers until he finally got around to showing up. He changed our world, turned it upside down in the most wonderful ways, and managed to survive despite the fact we really didn’t know what we were doing.
Zach is at that age now where giving him any advice is rather trepidatious. He is at that core Millennial age and as such life is a very different experience for him than it was for his parents at that age. I was engaged and married his mother when I was 25. He’s taking a more non-traditional path in no small part because the choices that were easily available to me are simply not there for him and I can’t change that. College doesn’t look so good when his peers are graduating thousands of dollars in debt and still not able to find decent jobs. I don’t blame him for taking a different path.
In a lot of ways, Zach has a better head on his shoulders than I did at his age. Sure, he makes mistakes, those are inevitable; but any errors he’s made are understandable and reasonable for who and where he is. He’s carving out a path for himself in a world that isn’t all that welcoming. He’s doing well for 25 and I hope he has a wonderful day.
A Bit Of Good News
Cancer rates in children have declined by one-fifth since 1999. This is a good statistic. Sure, we’d rather there not be any childhood cancers at all, but the fact that the overall numbers are going down mean we’re doing a better job of preventing this horrible disease from affecting our children. The numbers are down across the board regardless of race or gender, which is even better news. Boys are still at more risk than girls, but the rate of decline was similar for both.
Especially promising is the fact that Leukemia is no longer the leading cause of death among children. Those numbers have decreased substantially. This can be attributed to a number of things such as improvement in infant health care, fewer parents (and grandparents) smoking, and better overall living conditions. If ever there were an argument for spending more federal funds on early childhood healthcare, this would be it.
Of course, when one disease leaves the top spot another takes its place. In this case, brain cancers have taken over as the leading cause of death in children 19-years-old and younger. Causation for this one is a lot more difficult to diagnose. Hereditary conditions play into some forms of brain cancer, but so do things like environment and mother’s nutrition. There is still so much about brain cancer we don’t know that putting a dent in its numbers is extremely difficult. No one wants to think about children dying, but they do. We need to make this a priority.
Light ‘Em Up
I know, it seems rather counterproductive to talk about smoking anything after mentioning that Leukemia rates are down, but this is important. The LA Times editorial board published a piece yesterday supporting the legalization of recreational marijuana use. The question is on California’s ballot in November as proposition 64. This comes six years after an unsuccessful attempt that the Times opposed.
A couple of quotes from the editorial caught my eye:
It is ultimately better for public health, for law and order and for society if marijuana is a legal, regulated and controlled product for adults.
By sending mixed messages, the federal government has effectively ceded its role and left it to states to create a new national marijuana policy that legalizes marijuana with minimal harm and meaningful protections.
There a lot of untested claims about marijuana and THC that deserve legitimate study, not shady articles from questionable magazines. There are a lot of young black and Latino men in prison unjustly who this law would benefit. Four other states in addition to California are voting on similar measures. The time has come to legalize recreational use of marijuana and set a new national policy toward use of the plant. Even if you don’t smoke, this makes sense.
Oh, And Football
This afternoon is the Oklahoma/Ohio State football game. The season is still young and the fact that OU dropped its first game against Houston shouldn’t be taken as any indication that the Sooners won’t be ready when the Buckeyes show up in Norman. I wish I could say I will be awake for every moment of the game, but I probably won’t. As much as I love college football, I’ve already been up long enough to be needing a nap. By game time, I’ll be looking for a bed.
At least I’m not at the University of New Hampshire where anger against their new scoreboard could make their game this evening against Dartmouth actually worth watching. Okay, maybe not the game itself, which is likely to be a snoozefest for anyone who’s not an alumni. There’s more spirit in Durham surrounding that damn scoreboard. Why? A very frugal library employee died and left his entire $4 million estate to the university. Now, one might think that the university would spend the majority of that on the library. Nope. They bought a new scoreboard for the football field at a cost of $1 million. The library got $100,000. I can see where the alumni might be pissed.
I enjoy college sports and consider them an important part of university life. They give thousands of young people the chance at an education they would otherwise not receive. At the same time, though, the fact that college football, specifically, has become the strongest revenue source for almost every Division I school is disgraceful. The list of moral wrongs in that situation is wrong and the fact that UNH could justify spending a million dollars on a scoreboard while academic programs suffer says very bad things about us as a society.
But, There’s Still Fashion
So very much fashion. Three shows have walked in the span of time it has taken me to write this article. The parade is never ending and the more I try to ignore it the more fashion makes itself unavoidable. I mean, I just saw a model nearly hog tied by her own skirt as she attempted to walk. How the hell am I supposed to ignore that?
So, let’s just leave it with Happy Birthday, Zach, glad you don’t have brain cancer, and GO SOONERS! We now return you to all the reviews on Pattern.