Super Bowl Eyed Peas

imageI can’t believe I’m lonely for Janet and Justin. Are heads going to roll over the stage segments that didn’t light up? Is it just me or was the whole thing lame until Slash appeared, when it because a wee bit less lame? Granted, I preferred watching Fergie to Axl Rose on Sweet Child O’ Mine. Did this half time make The Who’s appearance seem almost relevant? Did it jump the shark, or perhaps a newer, even bigger shark? I wasn’t keeping track, but the celebrity-in-the-crowd rundown for the first half was John Madden, A-Rod and Cameron and John Travolta. Dubya and wife don’t count, as they live in the neighbourhood.

Also, I’m lonely for the Grey Cup.

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FAQ: WTF?

You know, I was feeling a lot better about understanding fashion particularly with regards to how it relates to me. I felt I had a bit more of a vocabulary and I didn’t seem as lost when surrounded by racks of choices. My eyes would even hone in on some item then the brain would follow critically, assessing my find against its practicality for moi.

It was therefore probably a mistake to click on the Style page of the NY Times today. Barely able to walk, I think they’re asking me to run. I was confronted with this:

21-brown-lapel-tmagSF

My first thought was of course the ubiquitous ‘WTF?” It’s such a perfect catchall, and unrevealing of the nature of one’s confusion/amusement/disdain etc. Such a reactionary response is indicative of curiosity on my part so I read further as to why a designer chose to add a bit of Rocky the Flying Squirrel to an otherwise ordinary suit.

It seems that the designer is attempting to evoke style reminiscent of military sashes. True, lapels did start from military tunics, with the ability to button over to perform the task of Keeping Warm. Trust the military to come up with such practical considerations. As we all know, looking good in high fashion has nothing to do with personal comfort (ask any university club hopper – see also ShpakBlog on the subject). Such is the case here, as the over-lapel buttons onto the jacket somehow.

I don’t want to know how, and I really don’t want, the next time I buy a suit or sport coat, to find extra buttons all over the thing for purposes of attaching hunks of chipmunk fur to me.

Here’s some things I already don’t understand about men’s clothing:

  • Why do they stitch suit pockets shut? If you don’t want to use it as a pocket, don’t use it as a pocket. Do you need stitching to save you from yourself? Really? If the designer wants a pocket flap as a design element, but Godforbid that anyone should use it to carry grapefruit, then why put a pocket behind it?
  • Sort of a corollary: The stitched lapel slot, for a boutonnière, well, they go around it with a buttonhole stitch, but then don’t bother to cut the thing open. You’re going to trust me with this, probably at the last minute when said boutonnière is sprung on me? It’s likely a borrowed pocket knife will do the honours. “Yes, it’s Armani, with Swiss Army Accents,” I might say, explaining away the hatchet job on the left lapel.
  • On the topic of buttonholes: dress shirts, and even a lot of casual shirts are showing up with the bottom hole horizontal, versus the vertical arrangement of the remainder. At first I thought this might be Moron Protection, aha, this must be the bottom button hole so I start here, thus avoiding an embarrassing misalignment, but there’s no guarantee I start with the bottom button, is there? And in fact the extra buttons sewn onto the shirt for replacements are down there so Lowest Button is ambiguous in some cases. In any event, if you can do up an entire shirt and are still oblivious to the fact you’re one buttonhole off, then it is your duty to entertain the rest of us. I, for one, need something to take my mind off wondering what the horizontal hole is for.
  • Lastly, can I just request industry standard agreement on the placement of the inner pocket on any men’s garment? Now, most of them are on the left to facilitate a right handed man. Okay, I get that. Yet every now and then there’s something with a pocket on the inner right. That’s okay, in itself, as I dress. In goes the wallet. Yet hours later, when needing to retrieve said wallet, there’s the moment of panic when I forget about this oddity of nature. Is somebody, 34661_1511927635155_1143301626_1477855_3849623_nsomewhere, laughing at me? No? Then pick a side, people, and stick with it.

And while you’re at it, lose the furry lapel thing. If I want to wear a sash, I’ll become a scout leader. Now, THIS is a man who can wear a sash ————————————->

The Irritable Man Remade

10551-485-500I was cruising around the net and came across something that made me laugh and go Oh Yeah at the same time: IMSIrritable Man Syndrome.

Did you hear that?

It was the noise of female eyes rolling combined with a little to the ceiling head movement. Probably there is a faction that opines IMS is a condition not unlike ADD. Sure, it has a name now, but in the old days it was just “fidgety”. Irritable man? Redundant.

Now, I THINK the article was sincere, but I just snickered and headed over here with a thought to write about it. I didn’t read the whole thing. If you want to, Go here.

I’m sure there are lots of scientific and medical justification. I don’t know any of that. I’m just a man, I’m irritated, and while some problems are caused by things like socks that are too constricting, stores inconveniently closed when I want to shop and cable television in general, nothing stirs the hornet’s nest like attributing all irritations to women, and so, reaching into the bottomless grab bag that is my life, I will now describe for you why everything that makes me remotely annoyed to insanely angry originates with women.

Now, if you are reading this, are in or have been in my life, and feel you recognize yourself in something I’ve written here, I assure you, it’s not you. It’s someone else.

    • Symptom: Chronic Fatigue – I used to sleep well. Very well. Late on Saturdays. Then I dated The Sleep Jackal. Settling down for the night, she’d listen for the tell-tale signs of my breath slowing and then just as I passed over into the Land of Nod, she’d ask me something. The first 40 or 50 times each evening I’d be polite and do my best to answer. After that I’d get irritable.
    • Symptom: Confusion – “Men are such pigs.” We hear that a lot. For those of us who aren’t, we hear it anyway, feel it imposed upon us like a toppling cinderblock wall and we become more piggish in a Can’t Beat ‘Em So May As Well Join ‘Em kind of reaction. And the next time a woman in a low cut top bends over to ask me a special favour in a little girl voice, if she has issue with my visual appreciation of her décolletage, I will get irritable.
    • Symptom: Depression – Nothing is worse than checking the balance of your joint account and finding it leaner than the Leaf’s playoff chances. Well, maybe it’s a little worse when you listen to boasts of restraint, of not spending more than $50, then seeing 10 separate purchases of $49.99. Irritating.
    • Symptom: Uncommunicative – I have never been literally blue in the face, but I frequently get there in a figurative manner. It doesn’t help that I have a compulsion to be clearly understood. That only makes the end result more frustrating. I take Great Pains to be clear. My ability to put it into writing probably stems from just this. So any time something diametrically opposed to my words and intent is presented starting with “Oh, I thought you meant…” I know, deeply and purely in my heart, that I was never listened to in the first place. Me? Not communicating? If I don’t, it’s because there is no point. And that is incredibly irritating.

With all the tribulations that women have rained down upon me it’s probably no wonder I’m single. Of more wonder is my dissatisfaction with being single, so there is likely a flip side to this story that I am conveniently ignoring here.

And true, if women get on my nerves so much, I could just hang out with men more often.

But you know what? They’re irritating.

In the Freezing Rain

iamtoocoldtoworkWhether or not I’ve recovered from the weekend road trip or not, time to drag myself back into the land of the living. I took The Remade Man on the road with me, resisting urges to wear typical stage apparel and sticking to Kathryn’s guidelines for me. This produced some interesting results.

I was in the city of Timmins, a rather remote mining town of about 44,000 people. It’s very spread out so it has a feel of a smaller place, and though currently it is doing okay economically due to high gold prices, it doesn’t have a pretentious sheen of affluence. People seem to be who they are without apology.

Wandering the streets was a good thing for unfolding my back from the 10 hour drive to the place. I had a good lead on an affordable restaurant with good home cooked food just a few blocks from the bar I was playing, and it was sort of my basis. Breakfasts were a couple hours long as I would eat then work on my laptop. That got more than a couple glances, giving me the impression this was not a common sight. Then I started to notice, wandering through the town, looks and double takes coming at me. Normally it’s the other way, I’m the observer, and I tend to blend into surroundings somewhat. It felt unusual to be spotted, but in the approximate demographic of 30 to 60 year old women, my presence seemed to be notable. Probably opinion was evenly split between “What the hell is THAT?” and “That sure ain’t no miner”.

It’s weird for me, being some sort of eye candy, and of course I got caught up in it, meeting, dating, getting engaged, marrying and leaving town without new wife in about a 60 hour period (I don’t kiss and tell, so don’t even ask), so it was not the usual On The Road With The Band weekend, but it was enjoyable enough.

Oh, and in the minus 20 degree temps, I really did appreciate the warmth that the layered look delivers. Now, onto the annulment on grounds of non-consummation…

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 10:27 am  Comments Off on In the Freezing Rain  
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North to Alas-k-k-k-ka

kenny_south_parkReports of an early spring are gone from Timmins, where I’m heading later this week. Still light on the snow side, but temperatures were down to –20° Celsius (near California-like conditions to some readers), so looks like the tight packing situation of the trip up just got tighter with the addition of  The Parka.

The Parka is an addition to my wardrobe that dates back to my time in Winnipeg, where Men are Men and testicles are retracted to prevent Brass Monkey incidents. Minus 40° is the same in Celsius and Fahrenheit, an interesting bit of trivia that so fascinates Mother Nature that she leaves the thermostat there frequently in Manitoba. Apologies to Johnny Horton and the title of the blog, but Winnipeg’s average temperature in winter is quite a bit lower than Alaska. It just seems colder with all that extra dark to stumble around in.

The Parka is a very efficient warming device, so much so that it has seen use in Ontario only when skiing, and even that was a mistake as the exertion to get myself up off my ass had me sweating before I could say “bunny hill”. I don’t know that it remained zipped that day. I seriously doubt it. It has not been zipped since, and we are talking about 9 years. I recall shoveling snow in The Parka in Winnipeg, unzipped, no mitts, no hat, then coming in and realizing it was –15°C.

The garment itself, despite its 12+ years of tenure with me, is in great shape, two tone blue, very little wear and tear, mostly just from being shoved around in the closet around other less insulating garments. I thought briefly of consulting with Kathryn about how to incorporate The Parka with the rest of my wardrobe, but then it occurred to me.

At –20, everything goes with everything. Preferably at once.