Skip to main content

Out With the Old, In With the New

Dear Members and Constituents,
This last day of 2010 finds me busy with last minute preparations for a traditional Ecuadorian Año Viejo celebration (you guessed it, I’m not in the office today). For the curious among you, Año Viejo (literally “Old Year” in Spanish), is a unique spin on the “out with the old, in with the new” theme surrounding this time of year. It involves building one or more mannequins anthropomorphizing the year which is about to expire. These mannequins range from the generic to very elaborate arrangements representing something old. The most frequent themes are self-effigies (for people who had a negative life-event), politicians (easy pickings) and negative world events. In Ecuador these dummies are set-up in displays and traffic blocked by “widows”, usually men in black dresses, mock-grieving the passing of 2010, asking for alms from the curious folks out to see the creative arrangements. Shortly before midnight, the last will and testament containing 2010’s mock-inheritance to those present will be read to the laughter of all recipients. At midnight, as the old year expires, the mannequin is burned, carrying with it all the negativity of the preceding 365 days and setting the stage for a clean start. Over the fire pit, folks will sometimes jump over the flames for good luck, the young leaping while the fire burns bright and the old stepping over the dying embers.

Año Viejo parties have been a staple of the González household for many years, however, this week I have embarked in my most ambitious project yet: I will be staging a new airport security checkpoint. Unfortunately, I am not done yet so I can’t show you the final product, however I can show you my progress. Pictured below are two security guards and a beautiful traveler at various stages of construction. I will leave the rest to your imagination.



What is complete is this morning’s donut delivery. Jay Leslie (donut boy) just sent me a note indicating LaMar’s is delivered. So, for those of you fortunate enough to be in the office today, weave your way through the tumbleweed and grab your last donut(s) of 2010.
Happy Friday!

P.S.
As a follow-up for those of you whose curiosity was peaked, imagine no more, here are four photos of the finished product.


With the new TSA security procedures in full effect, guests are greeted by a twist on the familiar 3-1-1 sign

As you might expect, a TSA agent guards the entry way

What better warm-up to fly the friendly skies, than a friendly pat-down by a TSA agent?…
Finally, at the stroke of midnight what started as an awkward experience ends as a flaming affair
Happy New Year!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Family and Friends

Friends,
I’m trying to maximize the time I spend with friends and family while in Ecuador. My dad had nine siblings, my wife’s dad 15. As you might imagine, my cousins and their families are fairly numerous (despite the fact five of my dad’s brothers didn’t marry or have children). Then there’s my wife’s family and my childhood friends. Needless to say, there is never enough time to see everyone, despite a valiant effort. Of course, I’m also working from “home”. Corny as it may sound, working half a world away, I realize I miss my Windstream “family” and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, there are donuts, here today courtesy of John Huddleston.  So, enjoy some comfort food with regards from my Cuenca family (pictured) to you!

White Flour Donuts of Color

Friends, As a whiteperson of color, I’ve always been somewhat irked by the compulsion to categorize people into neat boxes. Most people don’t fit neatly into boxes. When given a choice between “white” or “Hispanic” (check one), I realized these boxes provide a false choice.  Why does the government care what category I opt into? The way I see it, these questions on so many forms probably don’t cause division and social injustice, but they do keep the conversation going. I propose a write-in campaign (similar to elections). Most of these forms now contain an “Other” field where you can write-in your ethnic or racial background. What if we all wrote-in “Transracial”. If one or two of us do it, no big deal. If it catches-on, maybe someone will take notice and report on how silly this categorization variable is. Speaking of boxes, a dozen donut box is sitting in its usual spot, so come get your transracial self some sugar!
Happy Friday!

Of Mergers and Donuts

Friends, This week marked the completion of CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. This transaction combines my most recent former employers accounting for 17 years of my career. It gives Level 3 the opportunity to rid itself of the brackets in its logo (the universal symbol for negative financial results) and CenturyLink the opportunity to rid itself of Glen Post.  As the two companies work to integrate, they will have several considerations to make. A name. If recent history is any indication, the name will likely be CenturyLink. Still, we in the peanut gallery like to contemplate the possibilities. Since a century is 100 years, why not combine the numbers in both companies’ names. How about we call the company 300 (100 x 3) --a valiant, yet doomed group of people.Integration. Having unofficially coined the terms red and blue network when executives said we have to stop using the terms Level 3 and Global Crossing networks, I feel like the conventio…