31 October 2012

Clet Purcel

This short description of a James Lee Burke character, Clet Purcel, might well put you off Lee Child  for the rest of your days.

30 October 2012

Mad for Plaid Window Reveal

Here's the video for the Mad for Plaid event. Also, the jazzy mid-twentieth century furniture used in the windows is up for auction here. If your furniture consists of cinder blocks, milk crates and particle board  from Ikea, this is your chance to score some grown up stuff at huge discount and help some charities out as well. 

You have until November 12th to get your bids in. If I don't see any bids by Nov. 5th,  I'm gonna tell the Keno brothers. 

29 October 2012

Don't Forget Nothing

Batteries, check. Canned food, check. Fill the tub, check. I'm getting all this good advice but no one has mentioned toilet paper. What we so lovingly called ass wipe in the army. And I can promise you this... it comes in pretty darned handy during an emergency. You don't wanna be going through your wallet looking for the small bills. Stay safe. Don't do nothing stupid.  Don't forget nothing.

26 October 2012

25 October 2012

Get Ready for Hell... and Kettle Corn

I have this reoccurring nightmare whenever I get a cold.  I'm walking across an attic in an old Victorian house when a Vampire reaches up from under the floor boards, grabs my ankle and tries to pull me down.  I look down at my feet and I can see him between the cracks of the floor.  He looks like Richard Nixon, is fluorescent green instead of pale white and he's laughing while I scream my ass off.  Then I wake up.

That nightmare might well stem from a 1974 viewing of Jack Palance in a made for TV movie of Bram Stoker's, Dracula. (Trailer Here)  I've never been a fan of horror but I watched this alone and very late one night -- strictly as a fan of Palance.  It scared the shit outta me.  Or, I should say Palance scared the shit outta me. 38 years later, I'm thinking of suing for pain, suffering and loss of consortium.

Boxer, WWII B-24 pilot, sportswriter, painter and poet, Palance, who also scared the shit outta me as Jack Wilson in Shane, was always worth watching.  If, for no other reason than -- you never knew what he was gonna do. This early observation was later confirmed by a buddy who worked with Palance on Young Guns.  Still, I think that's an actor's penchant for being a little crazy to begin with.

When I was married and living in the suburbs, I liked to play scary music in the house and hand out full size Hershey bars or Reese's Cups.  FULL SIZE.  I may have been the poorest bastard in the neighborhood but I wasn't gonna let some seven year old know it. There's some nice howling going on in the first part of Dracula here.  If I wasn't living in NYC, I'd play this opening scene over and over while I handout popcorn to the kids.

That's right. I said popcorn. Or, should I say Kettle Corn.

I'm not talking about the handful of stale and unsalted popcorn - wrapped in saran wrap - from the little old lady who lived alone and on the fringes of the parent prescribed area of trick or treating.  I'm talking about kettle corn and I can't stop eating it.  Angie's sent over a 24 package bag, especially created for Halloween, and I hoovered the whole thing in a couple days. This stuff is cooked up in cured kettles (I see Macbeth's witches) with a little corn oil, sugar and sea salt resulting in a sweet - saltiness that I swear -- pairs nicely with red wine. Just don't tell the children.

Angie's Kettle Corn (where to find it) is gluten free (whatever), Kosher certified (I can dig that) and the 24 pack sells for $7.99 at selected Target stores.  The bags are only 0.5 ounces each so you may wanna give the kid a couple bags. I know I would if I still lived in the suburbs. Buy more than you need because you'll have no problem taking care of the surplus -  with, I suggest, a nice Pinot Noir, chilled in the fridge for just 10 minutes to give it that vampire cellar temp.

Finally, there's my favorite and often overlooked Dracula. Ian McKellen is looking like a cross between Richard Nixon and Ed Sullivan but he gets the girl -- from Neil Tennant -- Which is really strange now that I think about it. 

24 October 2012

No Horses - No Bayonets - One Bird

From left, MSG Ridout & Sgt Tinseth, Solid Shield, 1980

23 October 2012

Swedish Sea Salt Soap is the Seashore

NYC is lousy with old pharmacies crammed to the squeaking gunwales with Pakistan toothpaste, Greek banana shampoo and soap from all over the world.  Sometimes you hit the lotto and sometimes you don't.  Banana shampoo sounds great but not so much...

I thought I was buying a Swedish soap.  It was only $6 and the packaging lured me in -- Unlike the banana shampoo which I can still smell when I'm trying to sleep at night.  Sea Salt Soap is made in Rhode Island  by Kala (website here) and they designed the packaging as well. 

It's amazing stuff.  First, you get a huge smell of ocean.  Not screwed up with tacky scents but pure, clean, honest to God ocean.  This stuff turns a shower into an early morning swim in the buff. Or, my favorite, a midnight ocean swim in the buff -- but that's another story. It's gritty, so you get the luffa effect, but not at all rough. Actually, and I don't believe I'm gonna say this,  you'll feel softer afterwards. Not a bad thing if you have a lotta scar tissue; physical and mental.   

You can also shave with this stuff and that's the best part.  Take your razor into the shower, try not to drop it on your foot and lather the cake between your hands.  No need for a brush.  Slather the stuff on your face and if you get some in your mouth - all the better.  It'll taste like the sea. You don't even need a mirror. Just shave by feel but wait to trim your sideburns in front of a mirror. 

So...what's not to like?  Affordable. Made in the US.  Crazy cool packaging.  And it comes with an ersatz ocean.  A cake lasts about a month.  That includes shaves as well.  That does not include the midnight ocean swim in the buff although, I can't see why one or two people couldn't fake it.

22 October 2012

Growing Up in Paul Stuart

Photos for The Trad by Alice Olive

Clinking glasses, smooth conversation, easy sophistication. All that was missing was a cloud of cigarette smoke and it could have been the Pershing in Chicago with Ahmad Jamal playing Poinciana. Cue the video while you scroll down the slides and you'll get the vibe of the night. Elegant, but not stuffy. Cool, but not hip.

From 1992 to 1997, I worked in the Chicago Hancock and would step through the lobby Paul Stuart store on my way to lunch. I always felt like a grown up in Paul Stuart. I still do. When I felt the need to pull the trigger on a serious suit for a first meeting with George Steinbrenner, I chose a Paul Stuart navy, two button, side vent. It's a standard. Like Paul Desmond's, Take Ten. It gave the cocky confidence I needed  and like the insurance I was selling, it gave me peace of mind. 

It was an honor to do a window (Video here)  as well as meet some folks who read The Trad.  Young and old were there last Thursday night without a flip flop in sight.  Many thanks to Cain, Mona and Tom for making me look good...despite having misplaced my lips somewhere between 1999 and 2002.  Also, to the best photographer, in or out of Australia. 

16 October 2012

Ever Have One of Those Days?

I've always thought horror was all about putting a bad day in perspective. Just when you think it can't get any worse...Someone takes a crap all over your tee shirt. 

15 October 2012

Edgar Allen Poe's, Go To Halloween Pant

My inspiration for my 'Halloween' pant
is dear friend, Michael Rowe.
Horror writer extraordinaire,
he's kicks my ass
to write serious prose.

A 'Go To Halloween' pant
doesn't make much sense,
since wearing is limited to a day.
But there's a lady I know,
she can be quite cold,
but with her - there's little to pay.

She has a little place,
all alone by the sea.
She's starving for attention you see.
Tell her you're in the business,
and she'll knock half off,
my dear friend, Annabel Lee.

13 October 2012

Get Plaid

Come on by and say, "Oh, hey."

12 October 2012

Bespoke Drawers - Not In Any Stores

I like to match my boxers to my shirts.  It's just a thing I do. Call David Mercer for details. Not about my boxers but about his boxers.  

11 October 2012

Paul Stuart's Mad for Plaid

Six bloggers & editors kick Simon Doonan's ass in the Fall windows at Paul Stuart. 

09 October 2012

Leif Ericson Day

Isn't this holiday thing gettin' a little outta hand?

08 October 2012

Brenda Patimkin, I love you...

Goodbye, Columbus

I only watch on it on Columbus Day. Otherwise, I might watch it every day just for my favorite line, "Ain't that the fucking life."

05 October 2012

Belly Dancing & Plaid in 1980

Fayetteville, NC, 1980

It was a strange day.  I was about 30 days short from getting out of the Army.  I had just bought a plaid sport coat for college at the PX with the help of a buddy in G-2 who had worked in a haberdasher somewhere in Alabama.  I was asked to take pictures of my Sergeant Major's wife's belly dancing class.  I suppose they're all still waiting for prints.

One of the dancers, who was married to a huge MP, was having an affair with a buddy of mine. But he didn't have a plaid sport coat. It helps to have a plaid sport coat on a strange day.