Monday, January 31, 2011

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Inauguration 2010

Right as we end the month of January (and I also wish a Happy Birthday to my sister), I should add a few pictures in relation to my being present at the Maryland Governor's Inauguration. I had an enjoyable time sitting out in the cold (for the ceremony and speeches), talking history and politics with people in line, and meeting the governor and lt. governor again. Best thing, is that he remembers my connection to the Mordecai Gist portrait. :)

Maryland State Seal

Initially, I was sitting back here, but then they moved us up closer :)

Everyone was in their uniforms... or otherwise appropriately dressed for the weather and/or the occasion...

It's hard to see, but through that tree is where the speakers were standing at the podium. Unfortunately, not really useful for taking pictures.

After the Governor was officially inaugurated, there was a fly over and cannon shots were fired to salute him!

And here's a closeup of me in front of the stage after the event was over :)

I waited in line for a half hour or so to shake hands with the Governor, at the Government House in Annapolis. This is the Governor's official residence. It's gorgeous inside and I might post some of those pictures later.

For those who wish to see the pictures of me with the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, please follow this link here. The pictures in question are djb_2832.jpg and djb_2834.jpg
These are the preview images, from the Governor's website:

Maryland Statehouse as seen from Government House grounds... 

The Maryland Statehouse is has a lot of interesting history, which I may relate in a future blog post as well.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dress Pumps, Light Khaki Trousers, and Izze...

I was shopping for a dinner suit this evening and as a result wore dress pumps to the store for sizing purposes. Now I was thinking, though today they are expected to be worn in conjunction with black silk hose and the appropriate suit for black or white tie evening dress, they were actually a creation of the Regency.

Based on court shoes, which had silver buckles... Beau Brummell replaced the buckles with bows, creating what are now known as dress pumps. Now, these pumps would have been worn with white stockings and likely tan or black breeches originally, in formal settings. With this in mind, I thought, maybe this might be an interesting way to bring them back, since it's not every day we wear black or white tie attire.

Do you think these would work for an elegant night at dinner or whatnot?

The only problem with the pumps, is that due to the fact I had to mail-order them from the United Kingdom (they were incidentally a really good price), I didn't end up getting quit the right size, despite measuring my feet. As a result, I've had to pad the end with cotton, which isn't always enough, as my sister can attest... they came off while dancing once, which was rather amusing. Do any of you have better ways of tricking shoes into fitting?

Here's a picture of the full outfit:
 (Sadly my phone camera did a terrible job and I was really too far from the mirror!)

After I got home, I decided to try some blueberry flavored Izze, a very interesting and rather tasty drink found oftentimes at Starbucks, but also as it turns out, at Whole Foods. Of course, I didn't like the idea of drinking it straight from the bottle, so I went into my kitchen and got a flute glass. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tuesday's Ice Storm

I'm behind with my posts!

On Tuesday we got what appeared to be a solid half inch of ice... notice in crushed form it looked like snow! As this is weather, I do not have much to say here, except that ice storms are more rare than snow storms, which makes this eventful. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Meditation on Emotion in The Young Victoria

I find this quote by King William IV in The Young Victoria is brilliant:

I have been insulted - grossly and continually insulted! She has kept her daughter, my brother’s child, from my Court! But from now I’d have her know that I am King! And I will not be flouted or disobeyed by her or by that jackanapes she keeps about her!

At times I feel that the ways people will go to hurt others and manipulate others (sometimes using them as tools to hurt others) is so terribly uncalled for. Let us all remember to be more sane in the future and do our best to be respectful no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in. There are times when even I find this difficult, but it becomes no less necessary as a consequence.  I hope that sometimes the insults that people make aren't intentional or are done against the person's wishes by those who control them. At least then, I can preserve my good opinion of people, even if they refuse to do me justice. I should hate to think ill of anyone, because of another person's fault. And when insults are intentional, I shall in time learn to accept and to ignore, even when they are undeserved.

In the film, The Young Victoria, Princess Victoria is managed and controlled by her mother and her mother's adviser. Their real goal is to usurp her and use the power that is rightfully Victoria's for their own ends. Instead of allowing her to use her mind and communicate with the outside world, they construct a scheme in defiance of William IV to shelter Victoria. And they prevent her from being capable, or so they hope, from making good, well informed decisions. Thankfully, Victoria is strong-willed and able to see through their deceptions and manipulations, but can you imagine how history would have been different had she not succeeded?

Sometimes I find myself in the shoes of William IV, being extremely upset about things people do to defy both myself and reason. And I'm tempted to launch into flame wars that don't end up mending anything. My hope is to be more like Prince Albert and be the mediator who can bridge misunderstandings and still not fan the flames in the process. What I am trying to learn, is to discern where I may find ways to help others understand me better and when to stop before it's too late, when my words are having the opposite effect. Remarkably, Albert was not only able to help Victoria in her political endeavors; he also helped restore her relationship with her mother, which had been terrible when she was growing up... he was absolutely indispensable to her. This is what I want to be more like, a peace maker, not a fighter battling for an impossible cause. The loss of Albert for Victoria was a terrible blow, not solely because he truly loved her, but he was arguably one of the best things that happened to her, particularly at the beginning of her reign.

Despite the temptation to be depressed and give up in trials, I am deciding to choose not to. That's because this year, I have resolved, will be a good year. I will not allow my life to be derailed by anyone who expects me to fail or by anyone who wishes to burden me with things that I have not done. I will not allow myself to be discouraged by the whims of evil whether spiritual or by human proxy. Every time I feel like giving up, I need to choose to prove the naysayers wrong, rather than to become a self-fulfilling prophecy and putting into actions the thoughts that others incite in me. Daring to be brave and prove oneself has always been a most honored and esteemed quality in those whom history regards with kindness.

As I am not a king, I shall learn to be content with knowing the real truth about everything I do and think. Knowledge is power, the power to free oneself from lies which would hold one down. To build up ones' internal strength is to protect oneself from the onslaught of the world and all that would fight against good. Do not let anyone convince you of what you know is not true, be strong and persevere!

Like Jesus says at the end of John 8:32, "...the truth will set you free."

Let us remember the message of The Young Victoria: Do not give up, be stronger than you appear.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!! Bonne Année!!!!

For my friends in both the new and old worlds, I wish a lovely new year!

I remember my friends and family in Maryland, France, Virginia, Sweden, England, The Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Ontario, Kentucky, West Virginia, New York, Corsica, Texas, Washington DC, Arizona, China, Oregon, etc. and all those who live places I don't presently remember!

I hope in this new year to be a better person, and to discover many new things! :)

I also hope that Debout La République and Nicolas Dupont Aignant will have much success gearing up for the 2012 French Presidential Elections. (I would love to be there for some of the excitement!)

Also, my wishes include the European bureaucrats not getting ideas for new ways on how to remove our liberties and tread over our traditions and everything good. Same thing goes for the self-important people in the Federal Government of these United States, and for those who have lost touch with common sense in Maryland. May those in Europe never forget their national identities like the citizens of the Sovereign and Independent States have here.

Additionally, I hope to see many of my friends again over the course of this year and to enjoy the time we have while placed on this earth.

Happy New Year everyone! :D

Image source for arms of Royal France and Maryland: Wikipedia; for those of Mordecai Gist,
Christopher Gist of Maryland and Some of His Descendants, 1679-1957 by Dorsey and Dorsey.All images edited by Justin Gist Preuninger for