Laden in Red

Platypus-transparentAhhhh… I have the red shirt on as I write this, the demise of which has been urged by 50% of the harem since prior to the Remake experience. I am wearing it with new jeans, however, so I am not a complete affront to Kat’s teachings, still I feel somewhat naughty. She’s like, “Why don’t you wear the good stuff all the time?” and I’m like, “So it will last longer for when I inflict myself upon Other People.”

This is a reason why clothing has to be livable for me: I don’t think about it. If I get the not infrequent urge to make bread, I guarantee you I’ll be wearing black and I won’t consider that until the point where flour assures I am wearing grey. Yeah, I have a chef’s jacket. It’s black. Go figure. I was forever ruining dress shirts at work by jumping in to equipment repairs without putting a lab coat on first. Greasy pole in the neighbourhood? I’ll lean against it wearing a suit or a new jacket. Guaranteed.

Kathryn asked me if I’d ever wear the old relaxed fit jeans again and was surprised when I said yes. I have to preserve the good stuff. Put it down to lack of awearness.

P.S. Dating Site Status: Among those stating an interest, the average age has dropped to 46.75. Let’s see how close to my mental age (13) this gets.

Make Twitter work for me, or convince me it’s a hoax – @shpak60

Relaxed. My Ass.


  1. Go to Blue Chain Store
  2. Stand in front of Wall O’ Jeans
  3. Pretend to Read signs
  4. Look for cheapest price
  5. Fail to find appropriate size
  6. Look for next cheapest price
  7. Decide the word “Relaxed” is good
  8. Think about relaxing
  9. Realize you’re not
  10. Grab a pair of relaxed fit in correct(ish) size
  11. Try them on
  12. If they don’t hurt, buy them
  13. Get the hell out
  14. Wear ugly jeans until they disintegrate
  15. Repeat

And here’s what happens:



1. Shut up and put on the pants that Kathryn hands you

The result:


There was another pair of jeans. Even nicer than the ones pictured. So nice, in fact, that Kathryn could not hold the camera steady as she was incredibly moved by the glory of denim-clad Man-butt as well as her genius for discovering the right venue for showcasing. Needless to say, I have not taken those jeans off since Thursday.

The jeans are but (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) the beginning of the journey, not the end (HAHAHAH… oh forget it). It was odd, having my behind the subject of intense inspection. I understand, it’s a well-formed and shapely ass for a man of 50 (although not perfect – there’s a suspected issue with the right piriformis), well-worked as it is, hauling the rest of me from place to place. And really, in the grand scheme, improving my jean pool was probably the least significant of Kathryn’s accomplishments.

I’ll be back. With more pictures.

The Black Hole of Fashion

I fully expect, at some point in the image consult process, to be told that I am terminal, that there’s no hope for me. Perhaps it will come later this week when I get the results of my body analysis. Once everything is punched in to Kathryn’s computer program I expect that something will be spit out like the following:

  • You are not proportional unless you’re a platypus
  • No clothes in existence match your body type
  • You may not use the word “style” in a sartorial sense
  • “Colour”, as a concept, does not work for you, so;
  • Wear a lot of black, and,
  • Stand in the dark whenever possible. Alone.

I’m getting a little concerned for Kathryn. It’s all right for me to be an amorphous blob, as I have been one for a long time now. In her case, she quite innocently agreed to this idea prior to meeting me, assuming that I was not a grotesque and misshapen freak of nature. I imagine that she has been calling all her image consultant friends, who then express disbelief when she recites my body statistics. A partial list of their suspected comments:

  • “Kathryn, you’re such a kidder!”
  • “I think your measuring tape is broken”
  • “Were you drinking?”
  • “Is this a platypus?”
  • “Oh. My. God.”

Full on face transplant has not yet been discussed. I presume she imagines that attention to my hair will address the crime that is my visage. This is a head of hair that has sent many otherwise competent stylists weeping. I don’t know why. It seems like nice hair. I wash it daily and pretty much leave it alone otherwise, as it has proven to be uncooperative with my efforts, doing whatever it wants regardless of my persuasion to do something else. I pick my battles.

The sum total of my experiences so far have been thus (I wanted to do three bulleted lists today, and I will not be deterred):

  • Williams Coffee Pub has good takeout coffee
  • It’s been a nice, sunny day each time I’ve met with Kathryn
  • The view from her studio is great
  • There are improvements available to me to be made
  • Kathryn thinks she can make them
  • I have an unholy love for sleeveless t-shirts and bandannas
  • I’m afraid. I’m very, very afraid.
  • I can’t turn back. I need material.

Compelling? Perhaps not. But the juggernaut is in motion. All aboard the Platypus Express.

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 8:39 am  Comments Off on The Black Hole of Fashion  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Thrift Shopping With A Cheapass Bastard

Ironically, if I may start Monday Morning with irony, I have a clothes shopping date set up on Thursday.

No, this is not some new angle to meet women, nor is it designed to endear me to a woman already met. Nor either have I lost a bet, run out of underwear, discovered Hell has frozen over, found a sale on XXL Beatles t-shirts or discovered a heretofore unknown tie dye factory.

Kathryn, my Image Consultant (ironical in itself), is taking me shopping on Thursday, American Thanksgiving, and a day before the most storied shopping day of the year in the States.

edndax390_01Great, all I need a month before Christmas is another hole in my wallet. I am the Cheapass Bastard of the title, on the off chance there was doubt. I don’t care to spend a lot of money on myself, or dressing myself. It’s one of the things that caused core muscles to pucker when this image consultant idea first arose.

Kathryn approached it delicately – would I be averse to thrift store shopping? Excuse me? I presume I wasn’t making it clear early on about the Cheapness of my Ass Bastardy. Not only did I not care, but in a curious bit of reverse genetic succession, I’ve acquired a comfort in thrift stores passed up from my daughter to whom thrift stores are low budget wonderlands.

My issues have been covered in this blog previously. Big and Round, remember? A thrift store is a different beast. No rows of james bond photocall 240108comforting uniformity. The answer to the question, “Do you have this in a larger size?” is “No” accompanied by a look that suggests fundamental idiocy on my behalf. If they only knew.

So now Kathryn is even going to scout these places out for me, have stuff put aside. Her job is a particularly disturbing circle of hell, one I believe Dante missed (but he was from Florence, so perhaps shopping wasn’t a big deal for him), where she spends time in stores looking for things for Other People. As I can’t stand doing that when looking for myself, I am totally appalled at the idea.

Yet, her message from the get go is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to address image. I presume, though, it helps. That’s for another day.

I hope that there is more in my size than a yellow and brown plaid corduroy sport coat. It may not be much, but I DO have an image to maintain.

Time to put on my red t-shirt. I need security.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 9:04 am  Comments Off on Thrift Shopping With A Cheapass Bastard  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mr. Bad Example

I like my red shirt.

I have reached a level of age and maturity wherein I no longer require the sartorial input of relatives senior to me. TA&R Guyhat is, I am old enough to dress myself.

I am comfort driven. I am charitably described as burly. In the summer, it gets warm and shirts with no arms afford ventilation.

Bright colours are fun.

Something of a graphic designer every second Thursday, I designed a logo for a band to which I once belonged that was a combination of iconic images: Boris Karloff as Frankenstein and John Lennon playing at the Larry Parnes audition pre-Beatlemania, Liverpool. I am proud of the logo. It’s on the red shirt.

I am somewhat ornery, established within myself and I often (okay, mostly) don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks about me because I am convinced that I am basically all right, good, decent and in all an upstanding citizen, friend, father, member of society.

There’s some resistance to my red shirt from outside sources.

I feel, really, like I am being entrapped, lamb to slaughter, kickingly and screamingly dragged from the world of my design, of my comfort, of where I find myself after a five decades long battle for acceptance and self-acceptance into… well, I don’t know. If I could comprehend what I’m in for, it wouldn’t be scary now, would it?

Here’s the deal: LB (my friend) has this friend, Kathryn, of Katalyst Image Consulting, a consultancy that offers “males an opportunity to discreetly and confidentially address and conquer elements –appearance, behaviour, communication– that may be hindering their social or professional balance and excellence.”

I didn’t FEEL hindered this time last week. Now I’m not so sure. Charm school? At my age?