Saturday, October 30, 2010

Belgians—Wet Hair—Clogs

I’d never been on a cruise before and I’ve not been on one since. I’m not the cruise type. The idea of being captive on a vessel with a highly structured agenda amongst people from whom one can’t escape isn’t my idea of fun. Couple that with the hyper-caloric buffet orientation to cuisine and I’d always declared—“no thanks, my Spring Break days are long over.”
But my little baby wanted to go on the Disney Cruise so you can bet that we did—twice. Two summers in a row. Yep, the guy that still finds the general premise of a cruise vacation revolting, signed up for another round.  Regardless of what you think about the Disney Corporation…I believe Walt might be troubled to see the conglomerate that his vision has morphed into…the Disney Cruise is a well oiled operation and offers a delightful dose of all things Minnie and Mickey. All things Minnie and Mickey without having to go to the theme park—I dodged the bullet on Orlando and Anaheim…forever grateful for having done so. And four nights on the Disney Wonder was ample enough exposure to the Disney experience.
LFG used to wear little clogs all the time. Cute little things…some were appliquéd little vinyl ones like these and some were hand painted leather thingys that silly relatives paid way too much money for. Bottom line though, was that my little LFG tooled around in piccolo versions of clogs for several years…cute as a button every step of the way.
So here we are, fresh from the pool and the oh-so-spacious shower in our stateroom; wet heads, clogs and Belgians, headed to dinner. With a quick stop-off of course, for a photo with the evening’s host. Mouse ears are the commercial moniker for that uber-corporate contraption known as Disney. But who gives a damn when for a photo moment, your daughter’s giggly delight is equivalent to the cost of an Anderson and Sheppard sportcoat for five days on their boat.
Onward. To soccer…after having finding a fun little cache of photo memories this morning.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Black Tie

Here’s an excerpt from an email that I sent to a buddy two weeks ago when I was doing interviews and fieldwork for case studies…

“I’ve spent most of this week with Rheumatologists, Gastroenterologists and Dermatologists who treat immune deficient diseases like crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. I’ve been doing research for case studies that I’m writing for a client. Back at home right now feeling flush with gratitude for my health and good fortune. Everyone at your house understands the gift of health…more so than most of us. That’s why I felt compelled to share my week with you. I’m also gratified that biotech companies and caregivers are full-out focused on therapeutics and technologies that help people live longer, better quality lives amidst these dramatic chronic diseases. I know that you feel the same way.

So as I cobble this drivel to you, the $3,500.00 worth of clothes I have on from today seem like twee and superficial ornaments when compared to the good fortune of physical health that said wearer at least for now, possesses.”

So with that dose of “heavy” as context, let’s talk clothes. I realize that there are many of you who are steadfast in your belief that I only wear clown outfits. That’s fair. I mean the only peek you get into my sartorial realm is the one I allow through this venue. Trust me when I tell you that a longer—broader view of my realm sartorial would scare you. For example, I’m sitting at home right now—alone writing this story, wearing my favorite purple zebra patterned latex swim thong, cowboy boots and a wife-beater t-shirt. Be careful what you ask for.
 But I do own the requisite maturity and I lease the necessary gravitas to dress appropriately for specific duties. And so my opening day of interviewing clinicians saw me bring out the first suit that the Flusser boys made for me. It’s a nail-head double breasted contrivance, resplendent in the influences of its time. That’s fancy code for saying that back then, Flusser’s DB house model had a bit more shoulder padding than anything you could get them to concoct today. But the beauty of investing in traditional clothing still manifests—both in economics and aesthetics. That’s fancy code for saying that it still looks ok after a zillion years; therefore the investment was a sound one. Pass the hash pipe please.
 I remember discovering quite by accident, the Flusser townhouse here in DC. I’d darkened the Flusser shop in Gotham once, in 1989, nervously hoping that Alan would be there so that I could meet the sartorial master. Alas, the Flussman wasn’t there but a horizontal striped Gordon Gecko Flusser dress shirt was and I happily pounced on it. I think I wrote a story about buzzing through the Lincoln tunnel at lunchtime when I lived in Montclair N.J. … jockeying my 1987 Jetta to and fro in an attempt to arrive at the Flusser atelier to procure chemise horizontile … yet be back at work within an hour.
 Mark Rykken owned the Flusser Shop in D.C. and it was a well appointed little townhouse with all of the requisite trappings. PKZ posters, Apparel Arts books plopped down on a chintz ottoman. You know, Brideshead meets Mario Buatta on Savile Row and then invites The Brethren as a provisional member.

I loved just going there to hang out and have fellowship with Puerto Rykken and see the comings and goings of garments in work and the people who bought them. But alas, Rykken decamped to greener pastures after this sycophantic company town…ground zero for obsequious ass kissing…couldn’t manifest the satisfactory high-taste volume to make happy Mr. Rykken. And after being here since 1989, excepting two years in New Orleans, I can say unequivocally that D.C. lacks the élan, style and taste level to allow something as refined as Savilesque drapeyness to thrive herein—Beltway wise. This is a three button-sack coat-goofball company town. Washington D.C. –a soulless town. They don’t call K Street “Gucci Gulch” for nothin’. Shut up.
 So my first Flusser go was a stylish but utilitarian garment. I was at the time, still working for the Swiss and they required a level of sartorial correctness and fuzzy-restraint. All these years later…that would be two weeks ago, I paired this patinated battleship gray getup with a black tie and white broadcloth dress shirt.
 Britches of Georgetowne was a great store. And it hosted budding new sartorial talents including Ralph Lauren and Alan Flusser. Gentleman whose professional experiences at Britches included Chris-Elegantologist over at Easy and Elegant Life, designer Jeffrey Banks as well as Mark “Puerto” Rykken. Of course Britches is gone. I mean how could something that tasty survive in D.C.? And really, who could you get today to adorn your utilitarian white dress shirts with Astaire-isms like sleeve monogramming? Quiet please.
 Pin it. Through the shirt. Don’t argue this with me Mr. Damn Clip On. Clip on ties…clip on suspenders…clip on collar bars. All wrong. Just nip the clippin’ from now on. Nipple clips…that’s your business.
 And of course in Merkin homage I throw the tiniest of bricks by strapping, on the south end of this rig, my suede ghillies.
 Day two saw me with a lighter weight mini-houndstooth Flusser assemblage that I contrived when LFG was in utero. So we’ve now moved from twenty year old Flusserosity to crisp-new togs only a decade old. And the styling here is antithetical to the nail head double breasted number.
 Open patch pockets cast this suit in a more casual light. Three-two roll and peak lapels tart this thing up just enough to keep anyone from taking me too seriously.
 This fabric has an incredibly fine hand and would probably take nicely to whatever style you commissioned it in. But I think it really preens in its open patch portrayal. Shut up.
 I didn’t wear braces with the gray suit but I had to with this one. Thurston gut ends were de rigueur as the trouser length was originally set with braces in mind. Interestingly though, I think I manifested a bit of an Ed Grimley…up to your nipples pants outcome here. Sorry, I didn't intend for this post to be so nipple centric.
 And consistent with my inconsequentialness as well as my tendency to forget my initials, my blue end on end chemise sported the ADG brand opposite button number five.  
 Finish this aggregation with Alden Algonquin Monk Whisky Cordovans and a pair of LFG’s striped tights from last winter and I’m strong. Stronger than New Rope. Stronger than nine rows of Spring Onions.
 Onward. Having consumed half a bag of Snickers Halloween Candy. It’s none of your business what drugs I use to dull the obtuseness and pain of fatherhood phases amidst unparalleled sartorial capabilities. You pick your unguents. I'll pick mine.

A.D.Grimley, II

Matter of fact, why don't you take a moment and watch another high waisted--high minded little fella.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I’m amidst some healthy ones with LFG but I don’t have to like it. I’d rather purge my distaste here than bring such things up to my mom. My mom, the one who would always scoop me up and love me and kiss me and rub my crew cut little head when I’d bump it. She, the one who would spank inanimate objects like my tricycle or wagon or whatever I fell off of or bumped into that hurt me, and admonish them to not hurt me—her baby—anymore. She, the baby of ten sturdy farm kids, who if I told her that I wasn’t completely reveling in these transitions, would call me a p_ _sy and tell me to buck up and keep going. 
I knew the day would come when LFG would declare that the Bitty Baby Changing Table and the Bitty Baby Bubble Bath should go to Goodwill. But I don’t have to like it. Little girls are supposed to like and want to keep...little girl things.
I said…I DON’T have to like it.
I knew the day would come when LFG would declare that the little house we painted together…you know…the one that held HER collection of 19th century hand painted figures that WE collected together was no longer cool in her room. And that it too could go to Goodwill…and her figures stored away. But I don’t have to like it.
I knew the day would come when LFG would decide that building model cars with me was NOT cool and could I please move the ones from a shelf in her bedroom to somewhere—anywhere else. But I don’t have to like it. (And yes, that is a Cheetah—that LFG painted red and I put together—for US. She used to love looking at the Bill Thomas Cheetah pictures online. (I know this to be true...I'm NOT delusional. Shut up.)
I knew the day would come when LFG would ask me to just drop her off at dance and not watch her practice…“Come back and get me dad, and bring me something cold to drink.” But I don’t have to like it.
I knew the day would come when LFG would more precisely tell me what clothes NOT to wear when I pick her up… “Dad…DON’T wear those orange pants.” But I don’t have to like it.
“And Dad…DON’T wear the mustard-baby poop yellow cords either.”
I knew the day would come when LFG would do a one-eighty…hygiene-wise. I had seven good years of slumming it when WE deemed anything other than teeth brushing to be delightfully optional. SHE was the one who finally got me to shave the other week. And I didn’t mind that one actually.
I knew the day would come when LFG would offer mostly grunts and uh-huhs instead of full sentences. Only guttural signs of life when I, the ever so excited to talk to her on the phone—daddy who hasn’t touched his child in ten days gets his three minute audience. And you can bet your sweet ass I’m not liking this one—one bit.
My hallucination had all of these transitions manifesting with LFG at about age twelve. Why are we two years ahead of schedule? I’m never ahead of schedule and I don’t have to like it.

Onward. Embarrassingly blessed to have these as my obsessions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cuffs—Go Big or Go Home

Cuffs—Two inch ones. None of this inch and five-eighths business. I mean think about it…that extra eighth gets you over the inch and-a-half bar so you might as well peel it back and let the gnats at it.
And stop this nonsense about how cuff size should correlate with the wearer’s height. That’s as silly as saying that a shorter man shouldn’t wear a double breasted suit or blazer. Or that once you’ve been “color coded” you should never wear a white dress shirt again. Remember that craze in the 1980’s when the movement was afoot for testing everyone for their “season” and then you bought clothes accordingly? Don’t get me wrong, the Master Flusser does a great job of aligning apparel with tone, but every man requires a white dress shirt…I don’t care if it makes you look leukemic when you put it on. So cuff ‘em. Cuff ‘em big. Or not at all.
 Sleeve cuffs are about two inches. So cuff your trousers accordingly.
 Cuffed Jay Kos
Cuffed Cordings
Cuffed Bookster…with Sickert and Maîtres de l’affiche
Cuffed Green Heather
And cuff your flat fronts with NO break. Shut up.
Cuffs with Flusser Fish Socks. The toddler LFG lived off of Goldfish Crackers for at least a year.
Two inchers...Cuffed Linen this morning. Because the Mid-Atlantic can't decide what season it wants to be amidst.
 Cuff ‘em. With aplomb and relish your resultant swagger.

Onward. Of course I’m compensating.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Patriotic Mess

It didn’t dawn on me last Monday when I left the house that I’d essentially manifested a Fourth of July rehearsal kit. Our weather was unpredictable but it seemed that moleskin would be ok and a pair of Incotex rouge ones were yelping for release. Plus my buddy M.O. sent me a Union Jack pocket square that I’d been hankering to wear so Britannia and Italy fostered my patriotic boondoggle.
The classic tattersall is getting harder and harder to find. Don’t get me wrong, you can still find them but they all seem to be fiddled-with in some way. Brown buttons or some funky-ass pocket treatment or whatever. I couldn’t even score one in London during my last visit. But you can bespeak them if you wanna. And I wanna-ed so I threw redneck all over this one. This one-by the way-being 80 cotton 20 wool and very, very fuzzy. And we've gotta do something about this white chest hair. I'm open to suggestions...from girls only. Shut up.
Incotex. Nice enough trousers but I wouldn’t pay retail for a pair of them on a bet. I don’t need trousers that nice. Specially with so many women tugging at them. These tuggables are about fifteen years old by the way. Tug on—tug off—tug on—tug off. Shut the ____.
I never intended for the Hoof Pick belt to be a seasonal thing but it’s become one. And it’s back…happily.
There’s tons of good news in this photo but what I’d like to point out is that the iPhone 4g now has Paul Frank covers that fit. I had to sacrifice, much to LFGs frustration, my old Paul Frank cover when we switched to the 4g. LFG located this one for me. A new monkey from my Monkey. And trust me when I tell you that the day Verizon has access to the iPhone 4g, I’m dropping AT&T like a bad habit.
Onward. Manifesting a patriotic mess over here.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bernie's Slippers

From: D___ A____ 
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:47 PM 
To: D_____G______ 
Subject: More Bernard Madoff property going up for auction -

“Looks like those slippers are your size. You should bid. :-)”

My best childhood buddy DCA…always looking out for me. Bernie’s slips are a half size too big for me but I couldn’t have those devil shoddings in my house anyway. But word out is that AllieVonSummersBelgie sent a letter to Ruth Madoff, axking her what size Belgians she wore. Maybe there'll be a pair of Belgians in the auction as well. And "Butner, North Carolina" ...what an aptly named place for Bernie to spend the next 150 years. Trust me when I tell you that I wear sissy shoes with aplomb. But I also know that you don't wear a home jersey to an away game. And seems to me like Butner might be a place where an ass whuppin' may result if you roll in hot, sporting a pair of slips.

Here’s the USA Today story…

More Bernard Madoff property going up for auction

By Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — Bidders at a federal auction next month will have a chance to walk in the figurative footsteps of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.

A size 81/2 pair of black, velveteen slippers, with red quilted lining and Madoff's initials embroidered in gold thread, is scheduled to be among more than 400 pieces for sale during the latest in a series of auctions aimed at compensating the thousands of victims of Madoff's multibillion-dollar scam.

Other items going on the block during the Nov. 13 auction at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers include a Steinway & Sons grand piano and bench, a woman's engagement ring featuring a 10.54-carat emerald-cut diamond and an antique wooden desk.

And no Madoff auction would be complete without a miniature bronze rendering of the fallen financier's favorite symbol — a bull.

"These pieces are the last of what once occupied the homes and lives of Bernard and Ruth Madoff" at the couple's former Manhattan luxury apartment and onetime Montauk, N.Y., oceanfront home, said Joseph Guccione, the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York.

A November 2009 auction of hundreds of other personal items — including a New York Mets baseball jacket with Madoff's name stitched on the back, jewelry, watches, golf clubs and fishing gear — raised roughly $1 million.

A  separate auction of the fallen financier's former minifleets of yachts and luxury cars fetched an additional $1 million. Sales of the Manhattan and Montauk homes, plus Madoff's former Palm Beach, Fla., mansion, are projected to bring in more than $23 million.

While federal officials welcome the combined sales revenue, the total represents a fraction of what Madoff stole by victimizing charities, celebrities and average investors worldwide. As of Oct. 15, the court-appointed trustee seeking Madoff's assets had allowed nearly $5.7 billion in claims filed by thousands of those victimized by the disgraced former Nasdaq chairman.

Madoff won't be around to observe the upcoming auction in person. He's serving a 150-year prison term at a medium-security federal correctional facility in Butner, N.C., after pleading guilty last year.

Onward. With all the damn slippers I need.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Where Do You Keep Your Monkey?

It’s none of your damn business where I keep mine. But LFG perched hers on one of my bookshelves. He seems to be cheering on a unit of one hundred year old lead toy soldiers while being supervised by a Charvet collared Alberto Santos Dumont in the background. Pretty much sums up my world over here. And don’t start tisk-tisking so soon. You’d probably enjoy yourself here in the playhouse.
Stephen Ambrose Pegasus Bridge is plank one of the Monkey Perch. I’m still in awe of the brave men who went in the night before D-Day in those death trap Horsa Gliders. And you remember my story about Bill Millin piping Lord Lovat et al over Pegasus Bridge...right?
Porter’s Redefining Healthcare is next. And it should be required reading for anyone who wants to participate in the American healthcare dialogue. Hear me when I say with measured humility, that most of you and certainly most of America remain clueless regarding the complexities of the healthcare economic, or clinical for that matter, engine that runs seventeen percent of our economy. And Porter is the uber strategist. Played kick-ass golf at Princeton before going on and getting his advanced degrees at Harvard. He’s interested in the application of strategy in visual arts and music and he’s the father of two daughters. Probably a cool guy to have a cocktail with.
Listen, you can’t do something as heavy as Porter without then adding a dollop of whimsy to the pile. So yes, you can find randomanalia and esoterica as farfetched as a little picture book on Cricket Club ties. These long out of print books are going for crazy money these days. I’ll sell you this one for fifty bucks.
The MCC colours are rather fetching. Maybe in a tie only though. This bad boy, Sir Tintin, an MCC member in full, was obviously over damn whelmed by the enormity of his coat. His getup has gone.
In Carolina Clay, Leonard Todd shares the saga of his quest to uncover the story of a slave, once owned by his family, who made clay pots and jugs in South Carolina.
Warriors Rage gave me, the strategy guy, a renewed appreciation for tactics. The fire and maneuver skills of modern day tank soldiers are impressive on one hand and when assessed in tandem with their technology and ordnance…chilling on the other. One of my clients is featured in the individual...not a corporation.
And finally, my Daniel Silva novel that he signed for me and LFG at the book fair in 2009. I’ve just started his newest novel…having delayed beginning it since I finish them in about a day or so and he only writes one book per year.

Ok, that’ll do it for LFG’s monkey. If you don’t do anything else today, make sure you put your monkey where it belongs.