Saturday, June 28, 2008

Seersucker 'n' Spectator WTH Style, or the Last Exercise in Unbridled Narcissism (For the Time Being)

I dug out the Brooks Bros. vintage seersucker suit tonight, and gave these Allen Edmonds McClain spectators their first public showing. With all that going on I opted for a navy knit tie and a fishing tie clip.

Plus the "Mayberry RFD" haircut from Mario the barber for extra un-hipness.

Back to fishing and movies for a while.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Low-Key WTH Style

After yesterday's excesses I went very low-key today, with the WTH aspect being the lilac shirt (which looks white in the pics) and the funky old Paul Stuart knit I found at the thrift shop.

The exasperated expression was free.

Thrifted BB sack blazer, Bill's poplins, Sebago black pennies, BB shirt, thrifted tie, Hober square, Central strap on a Timex EZ Reader.

What the hell.

Align Center

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Olive Drab WTH Style

It's hard to imagine anything duller to look at than an olive suit, so I tried to jazz it up with a ground stripe shirt, tie with leaping trout, and a pocket square shoved in any old which way.

Brooks Bros. olive poplin sack, tie, shirt and square from J. Press, and Footjoys.

I am pleased to report that we had a lady come in for admission who was a little on the rickety side, emotionally speaking, and she said my duds made her feel like she was in good hands.

And one of the fine lads said something unintentionally funny when he commented that I dress like a "Catholic pimp."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Tony V points out the link to the latest fishing epic requires a password, which in turn requires registration, so here's the copy from last week's Lakeville Journal:


Returning to the river after long, tick-infested time off
Patrick Sullivan

It was a long winter, an indifferent spring, and it took me forever to find a groove as I began fishing after a lengthy absence from my favorite rivers and streams. I lost most of last summer to a tick-borne illness, and the first couple of times out this year I realized I had underestimated the ehrlichiosis tick, which not only makes you feel like hell but causes angling-related amnesia.

“How does this knot work? Where are those flies? Whose feet are these?”

I caught two surprised-looking largemouth bass in mid-May. They were cruising around in about 10 feet of water, wondering if it would warm up enough for the spawning season, like a couple of sailors on their first shore leave in months, finding to their dismay that the town is in the grip of a temperance movement and all the young ladies have downed tools, as it were, and joined up.The old ladies, too.

And I stumbled around my nearby small trout stream a few times, trying to find my own balance and stealthy approach, which is difficult in full chest waders, which I am now wearing all the time because I don’t want to get attacked by ticks again.

Two weekends ago, though, during the first summery weather, I got to my home waters in the Catskills. Perhaps the familiar setting did the trick, but I stopped falling over my feet and dropping things and began catching fish.

The Esopus Creek, in Ulster County, has three distinct sections — the first, from the headwaters on Panther Mountain to the hamlet of Big Indian, is small, squirrelly and mostly posted; the second, from Big Indian to Allaben, is a medium-sized trout stream with good public access; and the third, from The Portal at Allaben down to the Ashokan Reservoir, is muscle fishing: The water releases from the Schoharie Reservoir come through the Portal (a tunnel under the mountains) and provide a constant source of cold water releases, which makes this lower section of the Esopus a heaven for trout. There are tens of thousands of trout in this 16-plus mile run.

Good public access, too. The only drawbacks are the other recreational users: kayakers and other white-water enthusiasts, who require releases of water higher than the norm, and tubists, overpadded people from outposts of civilization like Perth Amboy, N.J., and painfully thin folks from the hip sections of Brooklyn.

Anglers can work around the kayakers, who only do their thing a couple of weekends a year, but the tubists are another story, as they throw garbage everywhere and generally behave like louts.

So for two days, with bright sun, high winds and temperatures in the 80s, I worked the sections of the middle and lower Esopus I know best, using the tried-and-true patterns, and caught a bunch of trout. The lower Esopus is a wet fly river; I use a two-fly rig most of the time, and one of the patterns is always the Leadwing Coachman.

And a big rod is a good idea here, too. You’ll want to cover water that is some distance away and a tough wade, and there are some legitimate lunkers that will tax a 3- or 4-weight. I use rods that are either 8.5 or 9 feet long, for line weights of 5 up to 8, depending on the water level.

Nothing truly spectacular came to the net, but there’s something about consistently catching respectable trout over the course of a two-day period that is reassuring.

Especially if you’ve been wondering uneasily if the Bite of the Tick has destroyed the angling part of the brain.

From Lakeville, take Route 44 throught Millerton to Route 199 west. Continue on 199 to the Kingston-Rhinebeck Bridge. The road on the other side of the bridge is Route 209; continue on that to the turnoff for Route 28 west. Public access to the Esopus begins above the Ashokan Reservoir in Boiceville.

© Copyright 2008 by

Zombie Kickball - Another Good Reason to Visit Maine

Someone on Ask Andy posted this link to a zombie event in Portland.

I am very tempted to go, observe, and write about it.

But I probably won't. Another $60 in gas, even in the Subaru, and so on.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Cinema - Pam Grier's Shining Moment

Jack Hill's 1974 blaxploitation epic Foxy Brown is completely dominated by the great Pam Grier, who didn't do anything this good again until 1997, in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown.

Foxy's boyfriend, an undercover federal agent, must undergo radical plastic surgery so he doesn't get rubbed out by the drug and prostitution gang he helped finger, but unhappily Foxy's useless brother, the shiftless Link (played with spastic intensity by Antonio Fargas) figures it out and spills the beans. The boyfriend gets rubbed out, and Foxy goes on the warpath.

She signs up with the bug-eyed madam who provides the financial cover for the drug ring, and her first gig is a tag team deal with a fat judge who is supposed to go easy on a couple of street dealers the next day - if he has a good time that evening.

Well, the judge winds up with no pants on in the hotel hallway, with grim women hacking at him with their umbrellas. Must have been rainy in southern California that day.

The bad guys twig to her activities, kidnap her and send her off to some crappy rural outpost in the care of two goobers who tie her to the bed and get her addicted to heroin. This does not faze Foxy, who blows them up and then seduces the pilot of the drug plane, so she can wipe out the rest of the gang (with the help of some righteous brothers from the neighborhood).

This is no way to treat a lady, as the goobers discover a few minutes later

And to add insult to injury, she cuts off a particularly personal part of the anatomy of Steve, the sleazy drug kingpin and reluctant lover of the bug-eyed madam. She then busts in and gives the jar containing the unit to the bug-eyed m., prior to shooting her.

Steve thinks he has the upper hand, but Foxy and her two friends get their revenge

Pam Grier is in terrific form in this one. Not only does she have world-class chestal appendages, but the girl can act.

And for once the dialogue isn't completely cringe-inducing. Neither is anything else. It's actually a pretty good film by normal, non-CACA standards.

By CACA standards it is stellar: Bazooms galore; plenty of soul brother dialogue; not too much plot to get in the way of the story; non-elective surgery; kung fu; brawl in lesbian bar; airplane propeller meets bad guy's head; a terrific soliloquy by Antonio Fargas while wearing gaudy pants.

This one will endure, so it receives the coveted Iron Coil.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shameless Promotion

I am often asked, "Hey, how come your fishing pieces aren't in The Lakeville Journal anymore?"

And the answer is, frankly, because I have been too lazy to write any, and they don't pay very much.

But it's important to keep one's hand in, even at rock-bottom rates, so here is a link to my latest effort:

Click here

New England Funeral Style

It was my sad duty to attend a funeral Friday, in the southern Maine town of York.

York is too close to Boston for comfort. The town is very Ye Olde - quaint, no doubt, and it would be fun to have a place there, but still.

Anyway, the bulk of the attendees were from York or suburban Boston, and while we waited for things to get underway I surveyed the crowd, checking on what the men deemed appropriate for the grim occasion.

(It beat dwelling on the untimely death of my friend.)

So my highly unscientific survey results are:

  • Buttondown collars outnumbered all others ten to one.
  • About half the men wore dark suits. A couple of them looked like Brooks or Press sacks.
  • The men that weren't in suits wore blazers and trousers ranging from standard chinos to grey wool.
  • One iconoclast wore a black 6 x 1 double-breasted suit, a black long-sleeve t-shirt, and some sort of rubber-soled black shoe like a Rockport. He was about 6' 4" with grey hair, hawk-like profile, and a pronounced limp (which might explain the shoes). Not my style at all, but he looked pretty good. The suit fit well, which always helps.
  • Another sport wore what appeared to be a green linen blazer and very light blue trousers with a Weejun-style loafer. He also had a sort of magenta-ish pocket square. My friend was a bit of a nut; I think he would have appreciated this blaze of color in the otherwise drab landscape.
  • Half the men, whether in suits or more casual rigs, wore tassel loafers. I have never seen so many in one place - not even a shoe store.
  • I was decked out in my Official Funeral Suit, which is an Oxxford charcoal pinstripe with a 3/8 lining (helps in the summer); and is a bit of an oddity with the jacket being a two-button undarted model and the trousers with double forward pleats. I have thrifted or eBayed several Oxxfords and their cut really seems to work for me. I found this one in a thrift shop.
Mike was a hell of a nice guy who struggled mightily with alcoholism, which is how I came to know him - first as his counselor, and later as a friend. When he left our friendly confines at the treatment center he had a solid plan. I was as optimistic as I ever get about these things.

Alas, the wreckage of his past (and, perhaps, his inability to acknowledge and accept his role in creating the situation) led him back to the sauce. The hotel maid found him in the bathtub. He basically exploded inside, and bled out through his nose and rectum.

He was 50.

One thing that cheered me up a little was the report from his wife that Mike had enjoyed a peaceful and happy Father's Day with both his children - his daughter had been very reluctant to even speak with him a few weeks ago, so Mike must have been doing something right.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Largemouth Bass - A Mouth with Fins

I have been spending a lot of time on the mountain, where there is no electricity, minimal plumbing, and a great deal of peace and quiet.

It does play hell with blogging, though.

Today is a trout fishing day - overcast, cooler, with thunderstorms in the forecast - but the last few days have been terrific for largemouth bass in the lake up there.

I forgot to bring the camera down so I will finish this post later.

Or anon, a word that drives some of the clothing forum guys nuts...

Several days later...

The bass have been entirely cooperative, and I am playing around with ever-lighter tackle, trying to see just what is possible in the way of bringing four or five pounds of irritated fish to the net with something meant for trout that are measured in inches, not pounds.

This fatty was hauled in with a four weight Orvis rod, designed for small nymphs in freestone streams. Fair bent the thing in half.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot Weather WTH Style

I began Saturday inauspiciously, cooling my heels at the emergency room waiting for one of our clients to get de-panicked. There's nothing like a country hospital waiting room at 1 in the morning to make a guy wonder if perhaps there isn't a less onerous way to make a living.

At the stroke of 9 the yutz who allegedly "manages" my building woke me up with the old Weedwhacker Under the Window Trick.

Which was okay, as I had to shower, shave and don the least hot of my funeral suits (an Oxxford that really fits well, pure chance that, got it on eBay) and attend a memorial service for a kid who overdosed on heroin.

Then back to the house for a nap and the regular day.

It was flat-out HOT today - sticky, low 90s, yecch, so I thought "Hey, What the Hell" and went to work garbed in a linen blazer from the Bros.; nice subtle checked buttondown, ditto; exceptionally baggy Bill's pleated poplins; obnoxious socks and bucks, and the Republican Nose Ring (aka the madras bow tie)...

...I think I solidified my reputation at work today, that being of a man who absolutely does not give a shit.

Is a wooden spatula Trad?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Forsaking the Trad part two

This pose is called "Ready For Ignition." It is frequently seen in the self-timed photography genre, and also in the "photographed by a malignant dwarf who lives in the crawl space" genre.

This suit has working buttons on the sleeves and flat-front trousers. Also twin vents. I have paired it here with a larger checked shirt and links from Charles Tyrwhitt and a Kent Wang pocket square, plus a bold striped tie from somewhere or another.

All these patterns jockeying for position in the viewer's perception is not my usual M.O., but I grow weary of the same Tradly things over and over.

It is a mood that will pass, especially later this morning, when I have to go into work early and will have no time to be creative. If I can find a shirt that works with my bloodshot eyes it will be enough.

The shoes are Edward Greens I found in the Torrington, Conn. Goodwill and had refurbished by NuShoe.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Forsaking the Trad

There are days when doing the same old Tradly thing just isn't happening. Plus I have a bunch of stuff that fails the usual Trad litmus test in one way or another, and these garments need either to be worn or moved along to someone else.

This Brooks Brothers suit is a nice open weave that is light and airy for the sticky weather we are just now starting to experience. And with the twin vents, darts, pleats and moderate shoulder padding it's more John Steed than John Bolton.

And why the hell not? I like being a traditionalist, but I won't be pigeonholed. Plus, let's face it, to most Americans I'm just the guy in the suit.

Particulars: BB suit (eBayed); BB shirt (clearance); Kent Wang links and pocket square (actually paid retail here); Footjoy seconds from Golf Locker; Waltham automatic from eBay; thrifted Harve Benard tie. Cost for the whole shebang, probably about $250, but who knows what it would be new. Lots more.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Cinema - Zombie Voodoo Plus Bayou Equals Doo-Doo

Rule Number One of bayou life: Never leave a nightclub floozie alone with your dead brother

Blood of the Zombie and the uncredited bonus feature Voodoo Swamp are early 60s films by the immortal Barry Mahon. Cheap, amateurish, and ridiculous, they nonetheless take the viewer back to a simpler time, when men wore coats and ties, women Capri pants, and traditional slow-moving zombies abounded.

In Blood of the Zombie, some idiot inherits the rights to an old plantation, so he gets married, drags the girl around to series of juke joints and strip clubs on their wedding night, and then, when she is clearly getting tired of him clicking his fingers on the wrong beat, he stops to rescure one of the nightclub floozies, whose car has broken down.

So the gang gets to Kenilworth, only to get a frosty reception from cousin Monica, who has been running the joint as her own personal voodoo camp, with the assistance of her recently deceased but still mobile brother, Jonas.

"It was very... inconsiderate of you to arrive so late. Just for that, you get an extra zombie."

Jonas looks like Alice Cooper minus the top hat and moves like Cinderella's stepmother after a five-day drunk, but that doesn't prevent him from killing the floozie.

Voodoo drumming by the Rhythmless Nation. Zombie that resembles an early-70s Glam Rock star. The absolute worst jazz ever heard in any film anywhere. Bored voodoo slaves. Mean blonde cousin Monica. No hooters (this was 1961). Absurd, and the DVD purchase only redeemed by...

The extra flick, Voodoo Swamp, in which Barry saved money by omitting any titles at all. (The "The End" at the film's finale is clearly a video addition. It would have been funnier in the middle somewhere.) Miss Ryan comes to New Orleans to find her sister Vicki, who hasn't been heard from in a month. Alas, Vicki's been kidnapped and turned into the "Before" picture for a psoriasis treatment by the evildoers who live at the Slave Camp in the middle of Voodoo Swamp.

So Miss Ryan and Jack the Private Eye set out in a teeny little canoe with only one paddle. Of course she shoots it with the machine gun by mistake and it sinks.

A hulking bad guy follows them, but he turns out to be okay later. Oh, and gets his head chopped off and thrown in a pit of snakes.

Eventually everything comes to a head 'round the voodoo fire and the good guys win.

If she actually took something off this really would be a horror movie

Many scenes of snakes with their mouths open. Snake eating frog, and apparently enjoying the experience. More bad stripteasing. Many sequences have no sound, a technical difficulty that in retrospect is a blessing. Girl in Capri pants. Girl in wet Capri pants. Girl putting Capri pants back on when dry. Please bring back Capri pants - this low-rider jeans thing has gone on way too long.

Miss Ryan looks demure here, but wait until you get a load of her in Capri pants

Taken together, these films are so horrible, yet entertaining, that I am introducing a new rating category, just to deal with the "So Bad It's Good" phenomenon.

Ladies and gents, I give you:

The Iron Coil

A Poem

Lament of an Angler (part one)

A plantar's wart befouls my foot
Each step is fraught with pain
I do not leap from rock to rock
But hobble down the lane

To stubbornly cast dry fly to trout
And still my footly lament
Until I trip and fall about
And bruise my fundament.

Catskills 2008 - Next Trip

"Trip" is right. I have a plantar's wart buried deep in the ball of my left foot, and no amount of padding and tape can keep it from hurting like a mamma-tamma.

Which makes for clumsy wading. "Whose feet are these?" he asked as his fundament met solid rock.

The loose confederation of fly rodders who stock about two and half miles of "our stream" were at work over Memorial Day, and there are now a lot of confused brown trout to supplement the wiry and wary wild rainbows.

(Read that last bit like Elmer Fudd, or Barbara Walters.)

I didn't get going Sunday until mid-afternoon, so I used a combo of an elk hair caddis ties as a Royal (flash of red) as the top/indicator fly and a green soft-hackled wet fly on a short dropper - about a foot of mono separated the two.

This is because a) it was windy and I didn't want a lot of stuff blowing around and tangling b) a foot was all the 3X I had left.

The soft-hackle wet is a great pattern for the sunlight. It causes fish to emerge from their hidey holes while other flies get the brush-off.

The new stocked fish are still pretty stupid - I suspect a fly tied to imitate a liver pellet would be a big hit - but the Grandpa in the photo came out of nowhere and grabbed the caddis, not the soft hackle.

That fish has been in the river a while. He measured up at about 16 inches, give or take. A good trout for this little creek.

(All fish returned unharmed.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Coming this week...

The teaser again.

Off for a fishing weekend in the Land That Time Forgot and a visit to the podiatrist Tuesday. Oh! What an exciting life I lead!


An intensely bad early Sixties zombie/voodoo/jazz flick got my attention - confused zombie, inept zombie manipulation, a-rhythmic voodoo drumming, and really atrocious jazz - and it's about time to send a volley in the direction of Senator Obama-Lama-Ding-Dong. Plus photos of confused trout! It all starts Wednesday or thereabouts.