Monday, March 29, 2010

1930’s Riviera Homeless…..Courtesy of Liberty-Target

I don’t think I could have contrived a better description of my Liberty of London inspired rig. That was the response I got when I emailed a picture of my contrivance to ….a girl…for an opinion. Girls. How much of what a guy does is tethered back to girls. Sounds like a topic for someone more grounded and sage in their blogging posits. I nominate Toad. Speaking of nominations-awards-contests etc. … I’ll be posting later this week about a rampant scandal-rip-off going on in the blogosphere. Don’t panic, your hard drive is not in peril but there are a few less than ethical things abounding out there right now.

So my LFG weekend begins with the usual fun and frolic. About an hour of it was spent at this photo caricature website. Go there-you know you want to. We endorse it and will go back again for sure. Here are our before and afters.
And her Liberty of London twenty four dollar Wellies….a home run of immense proportion. Do home runs have proportion?
Tell me that this isn't my child. The randomness of this contrivance seems to be compelling evidence to support that sartorial GTHeckness is inherited. I love you LFG.
To the movies and then Target, Jeeves!
Target. Am I the only one who says that regardless of the reason for walking in-there’s a one hundred dollar cover charge? I could go in there to buy one lightbulb and end up with a cart full of random shitake. It’s an ADD person’s nirvana-nightmare. So after LFG and I see the brilliant Alice in Wonderland in 3-ADG, we walk over to Target for some odds and ends. I have a cupboard full of delicious home made jam that my favorite Aunt makes but LFG prefers good ole Welch’s Grape. We also needed some ghastly non-butter spread, peanut butter and a new measuring cup. I blew my other one up-literally-when using it to boil the remote control. Amazing the germs that accumulate on the TV remote.
Now I’m not trying to get too far above my raising here folks but I’ve spent enough money on clothes since college to retire the national debt. I actually did a little projection a few years ago that looked at how much money I’d have today if I had dollar cost averaged my clothing spend into a couple of fairly aggressive funds…I threw up a little bit in the back of my throat-god forbid the emesis actually landing on the three hundred dollar Flusser shirt I was wearing. After boiling the calculator I swore I’d never do that again.
Howsoever-as my stepfather used to say, I never in my life thought that I’d be purchasing a shirt that in transition from being theirs to mine, would ride a rubber conveyor belt to bar code Ellis Island with peanut butter, jelly and a Pyrex measuring cup. Damn. Shut up. Damn again.
LFG and I looked at the Liberty of London 100% cotton shirts and at $19.95 LFG said “get one daddy”. And so I did.
Twenty minutes later and I’m figuring out the appropriate rig for this shirt-as if appropriate is ever a criteria for my sartorial assemblage. I know I promised to get rid of these linen trousers last summer but I just can’t. I can’t do it and nobody’s gonna make me.
I remember wearing these trou …drinking too much at The Columns one night in New Orleans with a date who later climbed through the little zip down window of my weekend car-a Miata-shut up…and scratched the sh_t out of the rear trunk lid I the process.
I remember also that her level of intake was such that further activities involving zippers and scratching were not in the cards that night. That’s how old these britches are. Stubbs and Rootin' Tootin' Wootton  needlepoint shoddings from at least as many years ago. When you could buy the things for a buck ninety five-before they got so proud of these cheaply produced girlie shoes from Spain and started axking three fifty for them. Please, that's the price of a pair of Belgians. Shut up.
So for $19.95…go get yourself one…if you can pull it off-after you put it on. Stay tuned for Spring Break antics with LFG…including the train to Gotham for almost front row seats to see Phantom of the Opera.

Adios…from my little Riviera. Homelessly ADG.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Liberty of London Wellies and Don Rickles

I figured it was time for some lighter fare and randomosity...but not too light. A bit of random sorbet after all the back and forth regarding GTH pants might be a nice alternative here in my little blog world...no?
Not sure what the Brits think of the new Liberty of London-Target relationship but I can tell you what LFG thought of these Liberty of London boots when she saw the ad in a magazine...."cool daddy".
So I trucked over to Target and snapped up a pair for her...good thing I went when I did because these babies-not surprisingly-are blowing out the door. My baby is working hard in school. She's a sweet and compliant little gal-for now. Her days are long...kinda breaks my heart a little bit that she doesn't go strait home after school like I did.
So twenty four bucks for Liberty of London flowerdy boots as a reward seems reasonable. She is getting older, more discerning and mature by the moment so it's slightly more difficult to elicit that impromptu glee from her. I'm positive though, that when she sees her "surprise boots" she'll be giggly and gleeful and that's worth twenty nine hundred dollars to me.
Now let's talk about Don Rickles for a moment. I love him and some of his best insult comic work can be seen on YouTube clips of the Johnny Carson Show as well as the Dean Martin Roasts. You remember Johnny Carson right? He was the tonight show host who with elegant reserve, restraint and aloofness, endeared himself to America. Unlike Jay Leno who just couldn't give it up.
But the reason that I bring Rickles to my randomelange is to show proof positive that you are never too young to start wearing a pocket square. If there's a breast pocket-put something in it. Here's Rickels at about age four.
And finally...consistent with my randomanalia...a word or two about the bracelets that I wear. Several folks have commented on them and asked questions about their origin-meaning-intent etc. Bottom line is this-LFG has been adorning herself and me with bracelets since I can remember. Cotton friendship bracelets are supposed to be worn till they fall off. I've been known to retie the ones from LFG simply because I don't want the memory of her giving it to me to be over. Shut up. The horsehair one is the only LFG exception. Rykken at the Flusser shop went to several South American countries with his family a few years ago and bought back some horsehair bracelets and I conned one out of him. The leather one is just a piece of leather lacing. LFG wears an identical one. The wooden beads...can't remember where she got that one for me.

Onwardish. ADG

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GTH or kiss my…

…socks.

".....There's one thing that he loves and that is flattery. 
One week he's in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes. 
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion. ..."
I’m truly grateful to the anonymous commenter who put the Davies brothers and their cohort Kinks back on my radar screen. Dedicated Follower of Fashion couldn't be more complementary to the GTH twaddle-echo that I continue to feed. It’s just too damned fun to cease. Shut up.
The skies and temperature belie any tease of spring where I’ve been lately but that didn’t quell my desire to further campaign my trad impertinence. Corduroy and moleskin will probably remain front and center for a few more weeks so I busted out in an old pair of Cordings orange cords. I bought these and a pair of similarly tinted moleskins many years ago and LFG calls them my “pumpkin pants”. Funny, I’ve never thought to wear them on Halloween.
Topping these off with a black ribbed cotton Ralph sweater circa 1997 seemed to de-GTH the rig too much so I threw on a pair of pink Ralph cotton socks-courtesy of my $25.00 gift certificate that the Lauren gang sent my way the other week. Soon as these pedal coverings manifested-I was back in the GTH game.
Intermittent rain evokes no fear in a pair of shell cordovan loafers so I sported these old Ralph babies on the southernmost end of this impertinent shroud. Just as well have them fend off the precip on my behalf because for the life of me I can’t keep a shine on these like I can on the Alden Number Eights. Wet shell cordovan needs to dry on its own accord as the exoskeleton of unvarnished wick worthy cedar shoe trees.
Our buddies over at J. Press have just a touch of GTH impertinentalia this season. I’m lost for words to capture how fortunate I feel that Aunt Tootie and I are to have a coat to match our GTH pants. 
Three button sack coat-all cotton-all trad-all Press-all GTH. I’ll have one in a 38 portly-short-extra arrogant.
And geez…can one possibly find socks that would evoke venom and vitriol to any greater degree than the polka dots and squares? I remain steadfast in my effort to trump these but for sure it will be a while before something emerges to dethrone this duo.
Look, I didn’t start this nonsense. Bud Collins did. Take it up with him.

Onward. Following Fashion. With the Kinks

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Some of us feel like saying GTH..." and Whistler Nocturnes

Commenting anonymously surely gives folks an extra bit of courage right? Strident assertions with a side order of hubris. I really don't get many ugly comments or personal attacks here at my little corner of the drivel depositing world and the ones I do get that call me out on things I do or wear usually make me laugh and declare touche'. I like the fact that when I'm aggravating my cousin TinTin over at The Trad-he knows the incoming SCUD is from little ole me. I wouldn't think of doing it sub rosa. Actually, I've never commented anonymously but after the fun I've had writing this post I might start doing so. 


This anonymous comment isn't that malicious but after I laughed at it's impertinence I decided it was worth an additional comment or two. Statements with this much depth-gravitas and relevance deserve  comment. I mean come on ... there can't be much in the world less pertinent than GTH pants so why would I expect anything but profundities such as....  


"Some of us feel like saying GTH to people who wear such things, I assure you, because that's precisely what you're saying to us."


Au contraire my overintellectual-underemployed Starbucks fancy coffee order caller outer. The fabric of your existence is just as provocative...just as impertinently GTH as my garish patterned togs.You know who you are-the guy whose parents are still wondering why they paid over a hundred grand for the private university experience that manifested the current you-the you subsequently adorned with a GTH undergraduate degree...something like Russian Lit. or  Pacific Rim Job Anthropolgy. Degrees that would have been fine if you'd gone on and become a full fledged academic. But no, that would have interfered with your Grunge Band-Garage Noise making practices. 


Wow that felt good! Now I know why anonymous commenters comment anonymously. You can mount baseless personal attacks that release a cascade of dopamine, GABA and other primal neurochemical goodies. I might get hooked on this because I've just thought of another round of personal attacks for our commenter. I could go on with a Janis Ian..."those of us with ravaged faces....names never called when choosing sides for basketball" kind of a thang about the guy/gal and his/her childhood but I won't. But if I did I'd comment about how they probably didn't get to be on the Safety Patrol or the Audio Visual Club in elementary school or damn...the Yearbook Staff in high school. But I won't because that just wouldn't be nice.
And all of this over a pair of britches. So in closing my anonymous reader, let me say that I hope that you'll always come back and leave a snarky comment or two between band practice and your Starbucks shift. You'll also be pleased to know that because I have you in mind specifically when I choose trousers, I've renamed my yellow corduroys in honor of you-just for you. They are my....Kiss My Ass pants.
J.A.M. Whistler, the American expat painter in London took on such anonymous commenters for sport. Nineteenth century London didn't afford anonymity when critics posited on the works of artists and Whistler fought them head-on...Often times to his detriment. He won his action against Ruskin but was awarded only a farthing damages. Ruskin in his dotage commented stridently and harshly about a Whistler Nocturne on display at the Grosvenor Gallery in New Bond Street. Ruskin's comment had something to do with impertinence and arrogance. Similar to the arrogance and impertinence manifest in wearing paisley or batik print cotton pants. With his pride restored and a farthing in his pocket-bankrupt as a result, Whistler decamped to Venice for the dual purposes of sulking and etching. Hell, Whistler was such a bellicose little scrapper that he wrote an entire book on the subject-not just a letter to the editor now and then. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies is Whistler's tome on the subject.


Now on to the Master....


Thanks to the original gifts of Charles Lang Freer and to your current Federal Tax dollars, I can get within twenty minutes from my nest... visual medicine...soothing salves to make my days less hectic and my life back in balance. I'm afraid I take our DC museums for granted and admit that we locals are spoiled. One of my favorite things to do is head over to the Freer and go directly downstairs where the gift shop and restrooms are located. For on a wall downstairs is always a slightly askew Whistler display. Usually not robust enough to warrant a showing upstairs but thematically meaningful to us Whistler fanatics. They had on display down there for years, the three paintings that Whistler requested be in his view as he lay dying in his Chelsea house. 
Currently, they have Nocturnes. Examples in drypoint-etching-oil and watercolour of Whistler's gift for creating the mood and ambiance of evening-of declining light. The oil above is from the Cremorne Gardens. A seedy amusement venue just a few minutes walk from Cheyne Walk/Lindsey Row where Whistler lived and frequently the subject of his work. His pigments-colors-shadings that in aggregate created the mood of his nocturnes was often so attenuated with spirits and thinners that he called it his "sauce". He was known to put the board or canvas flat on the floor in order for the watery layer of color to actually stay put.
I love many things about Whistler and one is his ability to create visual treats using diverse mediums. (I would love an anonymous round of venom taking me to task for not using "media" versus "medium"in the previous sentence) He could with needle and plate create a drypoint nocturne. When he decamped to Venice to create the etching series known as The Venice Set he also returned to London with scores of little oils and pastels. It is rumored that when it was a bit to chilly for his liking he would set aside his needle and plate while etching and instead would pick up paper and a box of pastels and do little drawings of sites until it suitably warmed up to accommodate the feel he needed from and etching needle.
And....the bravest medium of all. Watercolour. Artist using oil paints can literally take a palette knife and scrape off a mistake and go again. Fumble with watercolour and it's time to start the whole damn thing over.
The Thames....a favorite Whistler subject. The Greaves brothers...especially Walter...neighbors of Whistler...used to row him out on the Thames so that he could catch  his desired glimpses of the river and the Thames side villages. Often at night.


Have a blessed Sunday. I'm off to select for the day...a pair of trousers-provocative togs-pissy pantaloons. Then it's over to Starbucks to order one of those Oh-da-doo-dah-day lattes with an extra shot of E-I-E-I-O.


GTH....ADG

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Redux: Go To Hell ...

Update....it's almost time to wear this stuff again....


…Clothes that is. 

LFG is back with her mom. I loved every minute of my week with LFG and my mom but I’m ready for some selfish time. To that end, I’m headed to the shower and then into Old Town. There’s a Stoli-Dirty-Dry-Olives-Up with my name on it. Then it’s over for Sushi.

Ok…I can take all of your bullshit about my go to hell clothes but cut me a break on my picture takin’. This blog is a solo act. If you see me out tonight in Old Town-this is my rig. Nan. Red belt and black suede Gucci Bits. Shut Up.

I’m not certain that there is one truly correct answer regarding the origins of Go To Hell Clothes. Methinks that a big part of the genesis comes from two sources-the 19th Hole at the Club and the Fratty House. Whatever-I just like an element of GTH clothes in my closet. As I’ve said regarding other sartorial items that push the envelope, you’ve gotta have a healthy measure of don’t give a shitake to pull any of these looks off. Also, you have to know your terrain. You don’t want to wear a home jersey to an away game.

We even have a subtle-ish (shut up) version of GTH in khaki.

And we have the yin-yan. Day-Evening GTH trousers over here. Shut up.

You have to be able to stand the ridicule. I think the moment that closed the deal on my respect for Toad was when he referred to my winter GTH trousers as “looking like the seat covers on a 1973 Maverick”.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trad Tap In: Robert E. Lee and Elephants

On the road again-blessed to have the business but just too darn busy to post voluminously. Never have I claimed any of this to be substantive. And if you DON'T correctly guess the above airport carpet you have to send ME a hundred bucks. Shut up.
I'm tentatively optimistic that we will soon be shedding wool for linen in the DC area. The weekend looks good and we'll just hope that the reprieve from pasty is just around the corner. I don't know about you but I'm flat out tired of Allie VonSummersverb crowing over at Summer is a Verb about her Pancho Villa inspired sun tan. I'm ready for one my damn self.
I did bust my white ankles out the other day-just test driving the environment. And it seems that we can sit out on the south veranda of the Casa without getting frost bite.
So...this will just be an aggregate of random. A montage (pile-load) of verbal and visual drivel that'll just have to hold you till I can post some other things. Let's start with Elephants...ok? This past weekend was my LFG designated frolic and we did anything but. Her latest book report had to be non fiction and we had to make an oversized book with ten pages of unique facts. She also had to write a summary of the book as well as turn in all draft materials and outlines etc. The cool thing about this endeavour is that the big book will presented to First Graders tomorrow-by little Miss LFG. Who knows, perhaps she'll be inspired to be a teacher. I'd be ever so proud of her if she does become one.
Saturday saw us sequestered for the entire day working on said book project. My child never got out of her pajamas and didn't complain one moment.
I started melting down after about six hours of this rodeo and she had to keep me from getting spastic.
She wrote drafts and then verbally dictated them to me. We found clip art ...we pasted....we assembled...we did it...in ten hours.
Then I walked to the 7-11 to procure some medicine to provide unguent for the Big A_ s Elephant book project trauma. I know a lot about elephants now. I told my clients this week all sorts of stuff about elephants and they still paid me.
So Sunday we rewarded ourselves before I flew out. We picked up best friend D.G. and headed to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and then the National Gallery of American Art.
Here's Uncle Bob. A battle weary man no doubt.
Here's LFG telling Uncle Bob that it's time to give it up. Quit the fight.
 And here's an absurd JFK pocket square rig. almost swallowed my chew when I rounded the corner and saw this.
I HAD to tune the old boy up a bit.
Killed some time in Georgetown recently and pounced. Pounced on these J.McLaughlin horizontal cords. I've always been amused by them but not at the MSRP they wanted for them.
At such drastic reductions-I rescued them. They were a little bit large in the waist-being a 33 and everything but I've had them adjusted a bit. Washboard abs. Shut the_______.

That's all I have for now. And I don't promise much better anytime soon!

Onward. ADG and LFG.
Ps...Happy St. Pats.

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