Friday, September 6, 2013

Last Days of Linen

…and Seersucker too while we’re at it.
I’m known and prone to bend break the rules and and amidst these remaining shards of  post-Labor Day heat, I’ll be extending my use of linen till probably Halloween. Your Seersucker (yes, I capitalize Seersucker. I’m from the South. South and Seersucker deserve to be capitalized and I don’t have to explain it. Shut up.) however, must now be gone. At least around these parts.

I have a buddy in South Carolina—we coulda been blood brothers…our proclivities-quirks and other idiodamnsyncrasies are almost identical…kinda like me and LFG’s Uncle Toad…butcept I still have abs and those guys don’t—who uses the “85 Degree Rule” and it makes sense for South Carolina. According to my Sandlapper cousin, it makes no difference what month it happens to be, if it’s 85 degrees, everything in the closet, including Seersucker remains fair game. I’ll go with that—but only in climes like the Carolinas or that tropical place where I lived for a couple of years—New Orleans. (The punctuation in this paragraph has the makings for a Goat Rodeo. Shut up.)
My cadet blue linen togs barely arrived in time for any 2013 use but they managed to eke their way to me a week ago. And I’m still all about frog mouth-top pockets and flat fronts on my casual trousers. I don’t wear navy blue trousers. They just don’t seem to go with any of my jackets and even if they did, the stark contrast is too much for me. So the cadet blues offered an alternative to a twelfth pair of tan linen trousers and enough contrast that I can pull these off with a navy blazer.
Figured I’d get ‘em in Seersucker while I was at it. And for winter 2013? Light gray flannel—top pockets—flat front—BUT with belt loops. I need a canvas from which my Orange Fuzzy Coffman’s Crocodile belt will preen. You laugh now. You’ll be jonesin’ later. Be quiet.
Two inch cuffs, too…and a dress extension front closure on flat fronts. These are enough of a folly, design-wise, to keep me interested and others curious. If only I could manage that in my romantic endeavors. Where’s that neighbor lady this morning. I've suddenly got a cravin’ flung on me.
My other quirky-fuzzy trouser experiment over these recent years was thanks to Bookster (R.I.P.) and my ideation of a flat-front, dress extension, split back—fishtail waistband tog—reminiscent of cavalry officer trews. Dark green corduroy above.
Got ‘em in grey flannel, Seafield tweed, and tan linen too.I wonder if Bookster will rise again. Anybody know?
Ok, I digress…back to linen and seersucker. Of all my potential follies in 2013, my M. Dumas—Vineyard Vines seersucker jeans…aren’t one of ‘em. Home run. Period. And for some crazy reason, I can make ‘em work. Shut up.
Light as a feather yet substantial enough to keep all the bits secure when going commando. Seersucker Commando. Now that’s something.
Since I’m down to writing two stories a month, let me really digress and offer an update on my move and LFG and everything else. I drug dragged  my feet for months on end regarding pulling the trigger on a place in Bethesda. I’ve got great excuses but they are excuses nonetheless. One of my business partners had a second heart surgery in January so we were all doing extra duty, my mother’s high drama health saga began in March and has kept me pretty much consumed during every bit of free time I’ve had to break away and go to South Carolina and assist. But I promised LFG that I’d be in Bethesda when the new school year started—and I barely made the deadline.
And when she and I found this quaint little cottage we both knew that this would be a great nest for me/us. As I explained to her; even though I’d only be five minutes away, I would still be spending more time in my Bethesda nest without her than not. Therefore it was crucial that the place felt right and good for me. I signed a two-year lease on this house and my hope is that I’ll be inclined to stay here till LFG graduates from high school.
It’s been humbling to learn how much sh_t one person can accumulate in ten years. My marriage ended a decade ago and I’ve happily added more books and toy soldiers and caricatures and clothes and other irreleventia to my holdings during this epoch. And I swear that I’ve given tons of stuff to Goodwill and have shed at least two hundred books.
But this move has shed light on the fact that I’m a borderline hoarder. Tasty hoards but hoards none the damn less. And to exacerbate the issue I closed my office in Old Town and now all of the caricatures and other goodies that swathed those walls are here in Bethesda too. It’s all good but I’ve gotta have a purge of sorts rather soon.
So it is all good, right? You bet. Moving is one of the top stressors in life…right up there with divorce, marriage, loss of a loved one etc. But some stress can be good and I’d define this move as positive tension. I’m going to be very happy here and can even co-parent the pooch now. However.
The renovation of my Old Town digs is another story. I’m on the record admitting that I’m a terrible investor but my saving grace has been the rental properties that I’ve owned in Old Town. I moved back into one when I divorced and began to half-ass evolve it into my own little Anglophilic Redneck Ass Deliverance Meets Sir John Soan with a splash of Hollister Hovey while babysitting Honey Boo Boo  pad.
And unbeknownst to me, it was a hot mess when I began to create the punch list of stuff that needed to be done to revert it back to the updated neutrality that rental properties need to convey. To say that I bit off more than I could chew…to say that there have been moments when I was teetering on being in over my head is an understatement.
But when the quotes started to roll in I declared that I could save ten grand by handling everything myself. And I will ultimately save the ten grand but methinks I’ve at least vanquished two of my years. I’ve been working twelve-hour backbreaking days and until yesterday, I couldn’t see that I’d made any progress. 
Never say never…but I’m pretty sure the next time around I’ll at least hire someone to do a few of the more aggravating jobs.
Aggravating? Ten years’ worth of half-ass do it yourself endeavors creates a pile of onerous revisions and I wasn’t gonna let someone else discover my previous “hell, it looks good enough for me” shortcomings while I was standing there. 
Drywall that came off in chunks when I removed prefab wainscoting…chair rail moulding nails that hadn’t been properly countersunk with a nail punch and had three different coats of paint slopped on them…

Crown moulding that needed recaulking but only after the old, cheap silicone caulk had been stripped. Bathroom fixtures, carpet and appliances that were installed in 1989. Damn.
And dark colors? Barney Purple LFG bedroom with Day-Glo orange outlet covers and lime green doors? I’ve used ten gallons of primer on one door. Never. Again.
Here's the Barney Purple bedroom after a zillion hours of .....
I did remove and replace the door facing with LFG's measurements on it.
And the new appliances are installed in the kitchen but I still can't muster the juice to erase LFG's chalk scribbles just yet. And no, I won't have the drywall cut out and replaced. I just need to suck it up and...erase it.
Bold striped walls with black and white photos in the half-bath. Brilliant, right?
I'll have all of that particular brilliance vanquished this weekend.
Ok. I’m gonna close this drivel and roll the refuse carts to the street. I live in the suburbs now and that’s what we do. And since I'm still getting to know my neighbors and first impressions are so important, I'm gettin' dolled up in linen before I step out.

Onward. With Aleve and Icy Hot--I've got Paint Roller Elbow.

ADG II--Bethesda


Turling said...

Good God, 10 posts in one. The home improvement is never fun. I can only imagine it being ten times worse for a house that you won't even live in.

And, we have the 85 degree rule in Southern California, as well. I have modified it though to include the naked rule. Meaning if it hits triple digits between Christmas and New Year like it did two years ago, I'm allowed to walk around naked. If that happens, everyone in Southern California may want to leave for a week...or two.

Anonymous said...

Loved Sir John Soane's house. Yes, he was a hoarder, but of sarcophagi, not suede loafers!

NCJack said...

On the tweed reload:

Apparently they were doing most if not all of Bookster's work anyway.

Wish I could give some helpful hints on remodeling, fixing up, and the like, but my place will have to be "fixed up" with a bulldozer if I leave it.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Theragesic my good friend. You can wash off the scent.

Thanks for the inspiration.


Anonymous said...

Madras Highlander sez:

The Queen's Own Seersucker commandos (amalgamated) including the An't & Hon'ble GTHellions, the 69th volunteers, and O'Connor's Linguists (Eire). Join us in the ballroom.

NCJack said...

BTW, your past-post line's Union Jack reminded me: my first trip to London starts the 24th. Can't really afford most of the "good stuff", but I'll by St. George show 'em what a SwampHome tourist looks like!

Nick said...

Thanks for the fun post, as ever.

What's happened to your chum Toad, d'you know?

ADG said...

Nick...Toad is still posting on tumblr and liking/forwarding things over there. So I know that he's ok. He too, is amidst a move and getting settled--after he and the Missus sold their sprawling chunk of property.

NCJackie...Have fun! There's nothing like the excitement of traipsing through London for the first time. Even though you might not afford the high end stuff, you can still snag one pair of moleskins from David Saxby or Cordings and a pair of socks from New and Lingwood and a Vanity Fair print from Cecil Court and a toy soldier or to off of Portobello Road. There. I just spent your 400 dollar play money for you. And go to Rules on Maiden Lane for dinner. Tell 'em I said hey.'s a shame that they integrated all of those quirky regiments but I reckon hits a sign of the times.

ChrisEleganto...thanks. I had me some IcyHot but the scent is...scenty.

NCJack...that bespoke mears site is not really friendly. last procurement wasn't suede. I scared my damnself.

TripleDigitTurling...if it hits triple digits between Christmas and New Years, I'll go naked in your honor. Oh...and the home improvements in one that I don't reside? But I own it and as long as it isn't "renter-ready" I'm missing out on 2500 per month.

Johnny HOG said...

You're off your damned rocker I tell you. OFF IT.

ADG said...

Johnny HOG...

1. Get a job.
2. Stop hatin'
3. Or I'll cut you.

Scale Worm said...

My favorite personal punch in the gut line that hits ME very close to home in your autobio photojournalistic post here is:

"But this move has shed light on the fact that I’m a borderline hoarder. Tasty hoards but hoards none the damn less."

Tasty Hoarder.

I love this.

I am one as well. I have too damned many items, all truly treasures, but none-the-less too many.

As that line in "Fight Club" sucker punched me with years ago...

... “The things you used to own, now they own you.” -Chuck Palahniuk

I'm rebuilding a fence and entry way in addition to the bathroom now, drywall is done.

Keep on keepin' on.

Young Fogey said...

I see you need help reducing your hoard. I will be happy to volunteer, even though it will cause me distress. Since we wear the same size shoe, I will, with reluctance, accept any and all shoddings you need to divest yourself of. Because this generous offer on my part will increase the size of my shoe wardrobe, it will also increase the unhappiness of my long-suffering wife. However, that's a sacrifice I am willing to make—for you.

I suggest you send me the alligator tassels, the dark brown suede penny loafers, the speck-taters, a pair of monks, and a pair of Belgians. That would be A Good Start. In case that's not enough, you can add as many more as you wish. However, you should keep the shoes that Uncle Alan gave you, as well as your own bespoke boondoggles, because of the emotional connection (see? I'm thinking of you).

But seriously. I thought I had a workout when I prepped and painted interior walls, but I haven't done squat next to you. Floors? Carpets? Drywall? Oy vey! Good luck—we'll be praying for you.

Magnaverde said...

I had already put away all my seersucker & linen for the season when the temperature in Chicago spiked up to 96, so said WTH and got everything back out again. It's either endure the rolling eyes--assuming there are any, these days--and be comfortable, or just cancel all engagements and stay home till the weather improves. And I'd be fine with staying in, but I still have to for out for Pepsi.

As far as your former place goes, yes, it was cluttered before--no comment on 'hoarding' since I do it, too--but what's important is that even with the artwork stacked against the walls, it was warm & welcoming anyway, and watching as you strip away all its character & style is like watching Bach erase a concerto, one note at a time.

ADG said...

Magnaverdemon...Same thing happened here. Almost 100 degrees two days ago. Crazy. Thanks for the warm and welcoming comment re my Old Town digs. After reading your blog, I'm especially flattered. And the strip-away has been anything but joyful. I'll be happy when it's all done--maybe by tonight--so that I can focus on the good bones of my new place.

FogeyMon-Mon-Mon...I had carpet guys lay their stuff--otherwise, I've done 100% of it. But never again.

Sit tight. I'll send you some shoes.

yoga teacher said...

Just think, after all that manual labor your butt will look even better in those pants with the v-back waist :-)

poloist12 said...

Forgive me for not reading the entire post; its late and have a very full day tomorrow. But i have to agree with you about your list of stresses. As you know i just myself went through a divorce and that was stressful enough on its own; still dealing with some of those stresses. And as i mentioned in another post, i have just moved as well. Relocation and staying in a hotel for a month is no picnic and i never want to do it again. Found the right place, then had to wait until they put the finishing touches on the property, so more hotel time. Try living with a loved one in hotel room for a month, its taxing. Good news is she and i are now in our new digs as we speak. Best part of it all is that i have the bigger closet space; well for now that is. Two clothes horse under one roof, hum how is that going to work? Oh and i'm sure you will scan thid post carefully for any mistakes in my spelling. Hence that is why i spelled the word "this" incorrectly to give you something to gripe about.