Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sartorial and Biblio Randomanalia

First day back day-errand day-missing my child palpably day-silence at home is deafening day-need to stay in and relax day. The intensity of my recent workdays...fully charged on all fronts-I’ve been “on” for three weeks and the downtime this weekend will do me good. It’s just such a rapid decrease in cycle speed and inputs than my previous three weeks have delivered. There was a time after my marriage ended that I would not under any circumstances come home until bedtime-I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts.

I travel a couple of days next week but the manic coast to coast barnstorming is over for 2009. What I really have missed more than anything these past three weeks is extended time with LFG. This is one of my favorite pictures. I love bald headed babies and LFG was such a sweet little lump at six months. Blue eyes wide open all the time. She remained a baldy until almost two.

LPC asked me to “deconstruct” the horizontal striped sock thing and I told her I would. I now need to say without equivocation that I cannot. All I can do is offer a couple of historical examples of horizontal hosiery cognoscenti and then cop out on further erudition regarding its genesis and rationale.

I can speak clearly to my dilettante-ish behavior that includes horizontal stripes mainly because my pathos’ aren’t complex and I’m a redneck. Pretty much splains why I have such items here in Casa Minimus. I like to be a bit edgy-dubious-obtuse and horizontal stripes just sweeten that mélange nicely.

G.K. Chesterton wore them as evidenced in his Vanity Fair caricature.  He was a renowned apologist but obviously didn’t apologize for wearing striped socks and slippers. Chesterton was a big boy too. Shhh…if anyone is “up-there” and listening-it’s Gilbert Keith. He and Jesus were tighter than a fat girl’s socks.

The world’s most famous house guest wore them as well. I think that woman-Mrs. Simpson-put some kind of Kama Sutra-Eleven Knob Back Buddy juju on him that precipitated the abdication. Why would you give up Buckingham Palace for that? Additionally-it wasn’t exactly a zero sum decision. He could have had Buckingham Palace and all of that Kama Sutra Back Buddy stuff too….. Ok, I’ll just stop right here. Jesus and Gilbert Keith are witnessing me write this. Shhhhh. Shut up.

Here’s a poorly captured photo of Gary Cooper wearing horizontal stripes. You should hear Alan Flusser tell stories about interviewing Cooper’s daughter and learning about Cooper’s sartorial habits. I think I’ve shared the story about Cooper buying cloth and taking it out to his beach house in Malibu to fade in the sun-then bespeaking creations from thusly sun-drenched textiles. Damn.

Ok…on to the latest delivery. I can rationalize anything but book buying has always been easy to equivocate. The acquisition of knowledge is the unending business of the soul and how the hell-pray tell do you expect me to perpetuate the unending business without books? Shut up.

So in order to keep the soul perpetuating efforts moving forward-three books awaited my arrival from Seattle. By the way, that “One-Click” option on Amazon is dangerous-and I love it. Kinda like the first girl that I dated after my marriage ended. Butcept I didn’t really love her dangerous ass-I just loved her…mind and the way she and that mind abetted my unending business of the soul-knowledge acquisition thang-efforts. Ok, ok I’ll leave that ramble right there. Shhhhh.

Book One- Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon. Mrs. Blandings suggested that I read it and that’s all I need for a recommendation. She’s rock solid and I’ve long since learned to do what I’m told when the orders come from women. I’ve not read any of Chabon’s fiction but his autobiographical essays, I can tell already, are going to be right down my alley. Our mutual friend Toad turned me on to Cutty-One Rock a couple of months ago and I knocked that one out in a few nights.

Book Two-The Queen Mother-the Official Biography by William Shawcross.
One thousand and ninety six pages including the bibliography and index. I’ll report back on this one sometime in the Spring of 2010-seriously.

I always loved the plucky Queen Mother. I liked the fact that she and her husband stayed in London during the blitz while Ambassador to the Court of St. James Joseph P. Kennedy when not hinting that appeasement woulda been a good idea was heading out to the country at night so to avoid any Nazi ordnance. When a bomb landed on the grounds of Buckingham Palace, then Queen Elizabeth said…. "I'm glad we've been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face."

I also liked the fact that she took a strong drink or three every day and that like me-she loved collecting Vanity Fair caricatures.

She covered the walls with them at Birkhall in Scotland.

Book Three-Horton Foote: America’s Story Teller by Wilborn Hampton.
I don’t know where to begin admiring Horton Foote. He was a Texan who told stories-through screenwriting and playwriting. He loved the same woman his entire adult life and raised a bunch of young’uns and enjoyed being with his family as much as anything and that’s enough right there to admire.

But mostly I’m envious. Envious that I can’t assemble a paucity of words in ways that create such poignant and sublime feelings. He wrote the screenplay-adaptation for Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The simplicity of this dialogue gives me goosebumps and makes me choke up a bit. How can anyone witness such gifts and not believe in God?

This is what I’m talking about. Here-read this:
Scout: Jem?
Jem: Yes?
Scout: How old was I when Mama died?
Jem: Two.
Scout: And how old were you?
Jem: Six.
Scout: Old as I am now?
Jem: Uh-huh.
Scout: Was Mama pretty?
Jem: Uh-huh.
Scout: Was Mama nice?
Jem: Uh-huh.
Scout: Did you love her?
Jem: Yes.
Scout: Did I love her?
Jem: Yes.
Scout: Do you miss her?
Jem: Uh-huh.



the architecturalist said...

I have a favorite photo of the Queen Mother, smiling brightly, unpretentiously sitting on a tatty sofa with the stuffing coming out of the cushions.

ilovelimegreen said...

Randomnalia is the newest runner up to my favorite word - unusalia. (And the previous runner up was kitchenalia!)

I love those green plaid carpeted stairs!

Gail, in northern California said...

The movie "To Kill a Mockingbird" spoke to me in so many ways, not the least of which was Atticus Finch...a beautiful father for any child. As I recall, he sat rocking in the porch swing as he listened to that late night exchange between his children before they drifted off to sleep.

Anonymous said...

The middle name of my son will be Atticus,after the most noble character I ever read in fiction. I am also starting to understand your love of caricatures.
If you like Chesterton, you will enjoy Dr. Tim Keller's writings.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - I feel some measure of gratitude towards Mrs Simpson for ostensibly precipitating Edward VII's abdication. His pro Nazi stance and burgeoning friendship with Hitler could have had disastrous ramifications for Britain and the Allies. He was admirable as a clothes horse but not cut out to be King. It's arguable his brother wasn't cut out to be King either, he certainly wasn't well prepared but fortunately he was married to a remarkable woman. Can't wait to get my teeth into the Shawcross and look forward to your review!

JRS said...

I'm buying a pair of suede tassels. Soon.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Feel free to blast me if you don't like it, I can take it, but I think you will. I'm mad for the Vanity Fair staircase and am feeling an increasing need for the Winston Churchill. Hard to find?

Kathy said...

I buy books like some people buy shoes. Just call me Imelda. Thanks for the recommendations. Btw, I think Greg Kinnear should be on the short list of who to play you in the movie.

James said...

I'm dying here, who made the two tone loafers ?

ADG said...

Architecturalist...she was one of a

Lime Green...the whole "alia" business with words is great fun.


Anon....Atticus is a sublime name.

AnonEngFem....I hear you. At a thousand plus pages-you better have some sharp incisors!

JRS...get 'em now! The economy needs your help.

Mrs. B. I have had thousands of V.Fair prints over the yeare. The Churchill is quite rare.

Kathy...there could be worse things to have an Imelda crisis over.And ...there ain't gonna be no movie.

James...the two tone loafers are from the Brethren Brooks...Peale.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

You've convinced me. Legare and Hank are both getting horizontal striped socks in their Christmas stockings.

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read this blog. Thank you for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.

pve design said...

So glad Mrs.Blandings sent me here. I am glad you are back.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

"Mockingbird" is a beaut of a picture in every way. Stand up Scout and Jem, your father's passin'...

Ooof. Sucker punched again. I never see the emotion that that film brings coming.

Now about the socks thing. I like to wear mine with chalk striped suits. Just because. Are you finding them over-the-calf and in wool? Please let me know where.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Forgot to mention the Coop thing. Hadn't heard that. Wow. That is commitment on a Brummelian level.

Hang in there LFG will be back soon. Enjoy a little r&r. Put some Frank on the hi-fi and turn it up.

p.s.original said...

Wow! You have great shoes. And socks!

ADG said... you shop at Grady-Ervin?



ElegantoMan....thanks as always.

PS...thanks. I'll sell them to ya.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

Yes, we do shop at Grady-Ervin. As a matter of fact, I'll be downtown on Monday afternoon.

Errant Aesthete said...

How could one not love something so magnificently entitled "Sartorial and Biblio Randomanlia" and profile the simple eloquence of Horton Foote and the always on-spot style of striped socks? The contrast, opposition and ambiguity of it all is just stunning. As is the legendary anecdote on what you might call the Coop fade.

New to your neighborhood at the suggestion of two of my esteemed blogging colleagues: Mrs. Blandings and Easy and Elegant. Wonderful to make your acquaintance.

ADG said...

ChristoEleganto-I've never found any over the calf wool horizontals. Now you have me on the hunt for the Holy Grail.

Belle...tell 'em I said hey.

Errant...the "Coop Fade"...great. Just checked out your great blog. Gonna add you to my list.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Brother, when you find them leave me a pair or two please (and send notification asap.) Those and OTC merino houndstooth...