Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Worst Hair Day Ever

The CACA summit was a bust. My attorney was reluctant to make the trip in the face of the latest wild guess from the National Weather Service, which predicted lots of rain and was mostly correct.

I read a stack of Nero Wolfe novels from the Phoenicia library, fished a bit, and didn't watch a single film.

I also didn't stack that pile of wood.

Full report later on the Great Tattersall Experiment

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Heated Age

I am packing up summer clothing for winter storage in the family's palatial mountain retreat, located at the end of a dirt road next to a colony of atavistic dirt Buddhists somewhere in the Catskill Mountains.

The Buddhists keep an eye on things, and perform weird and unspeakable rites to ensure trespassers stay away. The occasional poacher gets through; there is a feast, and much rejoicing. (You figure it out.)

On one of the clothing boards there is currently a discussion of the favorite blazer, and it occurred to me as I shoved my oar in that the main reason I like my thrift shop Brooks Brothers model is that it has a 3/8 lining, or almost none at all, and is made of hopsack, a coarse weave that breathes well.

I can wear this jacket anywhere, any time, and not overheat. And the same cannot be said of many of my favorite jackets, especially the cold-weather stuff.

And this is because Americans think they have a constitutional right to be gently poached in the workplace.

I'm sorry, but 74 degrees inside is too damn warm. 70 is okay, 68 even better. Mr. Obama took a lot of heat for mouthing off on this topic a while back, but it was the only area where I agree with the radical socialist pinko Commie jug-eared freak.

I wonder if skyrocketing fuel prices will get Americans to turn the heat down.

And, inadvertently, contribute to the renaissance - men keeping their jackets on during the day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Thanks everybody - yesterday Coiled Pleasures broke the 500 readers mark. A good day used to be about 80 individual hits, most of which skedaddled immediately.

OK, Google, where's that big check?

Burn After Reading This Post; Time Out For CACA '08

In a rare departure from the norm I went to an actual movie theater to see
Burn After Reading (from the Bros. Coen) the other day.

The Bros. are in good form with this lightweight but decidedly weird little spy caper - which is one big MacGuffinfest.

No spoilers, just rest assured that nobody in the picture knows what the hell is going on.

It's very funny, and the mega-annoying Brad Pitt (playing what must be someone pretty close to his ownself) gets his.

No nekkidity, but excellent hatchet attack. Decent wardrobe department, too. John Malkovich is especially loopy, and George Clooney proves why he is the logical successor to Cary Grant in his ability to play nitwits.

This gets an Iron Coil, as I believe it has lasting value.

In other news, this blog will cease for a few days as I head to Phoenicia, N.Y. for a CACA event. Which means my attorney, Thos., is coming up for a few days of fishing, crock pot stews and bad movies. We might do the Deathstalker series again, or at least nos. I-III.


(If you are wondering what the hell CACA is, click here)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another blogger joins the fray

Giuseppe from Mass. has a new blog called An Affordable Wardrobe.

On his debut post he takes a swipe at the Trad bloggers, but that didn't prevent him from asking me to put up a link.

Which I did.

(It's not as if anybody reads these things.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Boardroom WTH Style

Lest you think that "What the Hell?" style is confined to Trad and/or casual clothing, here is "AQG" from the Film Noir Buff - Talk Ivy forum doing something splendidly obnoxious in what he calls a "Standard Vulture Capitalist" vein.

Tedious Errands WTH Style

Guys have been talking about the perfect sweatshirt; LL Bean's is about as close to the ones I remember being issued in high school gym class.

Paired with loafers makes it a "What the Hell?" moment.

I tire of ribbon strap watch bands, for today, anyway.

Again With the Jeans

These jeans fit. They are the "Faded Glory" brand sold at one of the gazillion Wal-Marts near you.

The non-blue Faded Glory models haven't been in evidence the last few times I've been in. I am leaning toward jeans in any color but blue.

Snapped hastily by perching the camera on top of the car on the way out last night. (Ralphus is visiting his mother in Perth Amboy, N.J.)

The skinny: Wal-mart "Faded Glory" off-white jeans; Clark's desert boots, waxed leather; thrifted tweed jacket frm Eljo's in Charlottesville, Va. - a two-button sack; BB sport shirt; RL pocket square.

And another one...

Yeesh, another Ivy site to check out - Ivy Style.

This one's from the guy at Dandyism.net and the notorious Russell Street, Super Troll.

The latter inveigled me into writing something about ties for this venture, so I have an interest in promoting it.

Return of a Trad Blogger

Heavy Tweed Jacket is back, and not a moment too soon, as The Long-Suffering Trad has folded his LL Bean tent.

These blogs are fun to read and allow for a more individual slant on the Ivy Look than can really be accomplished on the message boards.

So please keep clicking - we all really want that $3.69 check from Google.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Many of you (well, two) have asked, "Where is the incisive NFL commentary plus the mediocre against-the-spread picks?"

I am not going to even think about pro football until after the World Series.

I find, increasingly, that all televised sports irritate me. The hype and crapola quotient is alarmingly high, and I am tired of it.

Plus, living here in the Northwest Corner, I have to listen to sour grapes from Yankee fans, and lousy sportsmanship from Red Sox fans, who are now just Yankee fans with different accents and hats.

So we'll pick it up around Week Five or Six, if anybody still cares.


I don't have a happy history with blue jeans. They don't fit me.

And I have tried.

Until recently I usually had a good-sized gut, and continue to be spectacularly shortchanged in the fanny department. So wearing trousers of any kind that sit on the hips was just not going to be aesthetically pleasing.

But now that I am holding at 160 pounds, and improving slowly but steadily via running, sit-ups and a pretty good diet, I thought I would give the jeans wheeze another whirl.

Dressy casual is tricky to me. I am wary of looking like the clothing equivalent of a mullet haircut - business and party combined.

The skinny: Levis regular fit (with a zipper, I am not going to fiddle around with buttons, thanks); Ralph of Long Island oxford cloth buttondown in the coveted peach color (via eBay); J. Press tweed jacket from a guy at Ask Andy; pocket square from Sam Hober; watch strap from Central Watch; Dressabout chocolate nubuck shoes and Gold Toe argyles from the fine folks at J.C. Penney.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zombie Time

I am having a hell of a time getting off the Zombie schedule.

When I toiled at Space Camp from 4 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Saturday, I rarely hit the sack before 3 a.m., so heebied were my jeebies.

Instead of making a calming cup of chamomile tea and reading something intensely significant (read: boring) I would smoke four cigars and watch proto- exploitation films from the 1930s with titles like "Sex Madness" and "Cocaine Fiends."

So I have been trying to go to bed and get up at regular times, but here I am again, after 11 p.m., fiddling around on the computer.

I was up and about for a 7 a.m. gig with some friends, however. It's a regular weekday event and it will fit into my new schedule.

Here is Zombie Time Adjustment Trad Style:

The skinny: LE oxford cloth buttondown shirt (one of the averaged sleeve size shirts from Sears); LE chinos; Clark's desert boots (again)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


For those of you with far too much free time, Despair has a nifty little service where you can create motivational posters, and even order copies of them if they are especially brilliant.

Aspiration Exasperation

The men's clothing message boards occasionally get bogged down in what has to be the World's Stupidest Argument - one that is so dumb it can't even be defined adequately.

But here goes:

Do the guys who make a point of dressing as Trads (substitute Ivy, TNSIL, etc.) refer back to a mythical Golden Age, when men wore sacks, women stayed home and we were keeping the Commies at bay? Is a buttondown collar a sign of someone who is already in the country club, or of an aspirant? Does a 3-2 roll on the lapel guarantee goodness and decency on the part of the wearer?

And is anybody else as tired of this crap as I am?

So here's my last word on the subject:

Thanks to despair.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

MIA Style

Stands for "Massive Ivy Attack."

Got a new gig at the same old, the newspaper that is, but a more interesting beat, a little more money and a whole 'nother attitude.

I was trying, on this grey, muggy but slightly cool day, with the threat of rain looming, to mix up summer and fall elements. You tell me if I succeeded.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Great Loafer Hunt Marches On

"Hello, J.P.? Lissen, you tell those dumb bastids I won't take a goddamn nickel under the original offer!"

As if I didn't have anything better to do, such as find a job, I recently received two full strap loafers.

First up, a pair of seconds from Footjoy via an outfit called Golf Locker. Get on their email list, because every so often they have scads of Footjoy leather-soled dress shoes - seconds at around $120 and allegedly blemished shoes for around $90. A wide range of sizes and widths, too.

And hey - they are made in the USA. I think they give Allen Edmonds a run for the money, and even at full whack ($250 or so) beat the bejeesus out of poor old Johnston & Murphy, RIP.

Below, a pair of eBayed Allen Edmonds Randolphs. They will need new soles and heels in the near future. I love the heels on these.

This wraps up the Great Loafer Hunt for now. My quest is complete, and I have a loafer for every loafing-type occasion.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Unemployment and other matters

On the first full day of unemployment I got the news that it won't be for long.

This is good, since I won't have to make pizza. And bad, since I was looking forward to a minor period of loafing.

In the meantime, a couple of guys from the Ask Andy Trad forum have launched a new one called The Curriculum.

I need another clothing forum to fart around on, I really do. But they were nice enough to ask, so I signed up.

I continue to lose weight, and have punched new holes in all my belts.

I am listening to the following records, which tend to dictate the mood as I push along on my spring cleaning in the fall:

The Apples In Stereo, Discovery of a World Inside the Moone (upbeat)
Van Morrison, The Healing Game (introspective)
Elmore James, Best of (ballsy)
The Lonesome Brothers, Mono (rootsy)
Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat (decadent)

I continue to consider moving to Portland, Ore., which has the incredible virtue of being a town where nobody knows me besides my old college buddy and his wife. And they know how to keep a secret.

I read Jack Kerouac's On The Road for the first time in at least a decade. I don't believe I ever read it sober; it's pretty bad.

I might go upstate in New York in the next few days to fish for steelhead.

Life could be better, but it could really be a hell of a lot worse.

Here is Pensive Trad, caught at a moment of combined irritation and uncertainty. I think it was Kerouac that put me in this mood.

I don't do casual well. I hate not wearing a tie.

Bill's M2, old J and M rubber-soled beaters I found in a thrift shop, new LE tattersall, McGregor Drizzler jacket, NY Giants baseball cap (same as the Mets but with a black body) in reserve.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Counting Down

Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives...

Not to be crude, but

I had hoped to avoid the dreaded med room for the remainder of my tenure. Alas, it was not to be. At Space Camp there is nothing more discouraging than a sojourn in the med room, a smelly, airless little cupboard filled with futility and despair in pill form.

But as I once overheard a semi-sozzled softball player say to a cohort at The Dublin House, W. 80th and Broadway: "Hey, uh, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do, uh, and do it! Uh."

A blast of humidity and summery temps scotched my plans to trot out some fall stuff for my final week of The Caring Professions, but I kept it as prep-school as possible. I enlisted some co-workers to assist with the photography, as Ralphus adamantly refuses to enter the building - fearing, quite rightly, that once the Caring Professionals got their mitts on him he would never get away.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Weekend - Tennis

Our little community has a mixed doubles tennis tournament every Labor Day, on clay courts, no less.

My cousin Dan marched off Sunday before softball, saying that his drubbing would be so quick he'd be back in time for the third inning.

Instead he made the finals.

The men of our family all possess a peculiar grace on the tennis court. Part confused stork, part badly miscast Nijinsky, we leap about after the ball, often missing it completely but looking pretty damn cool in the process.

Dan has a particularly memorable repertoire of moves, some of which I managed to capture:

The Planets Are In Alignment:

Head, left hand, racket and ball appear perfectly lined up. However, zoom lens distortion and the camera angle fail to reveal the fact that the ball is several feet to Dan's left.

Stalag 17:

A little-known fact is that Dan and I were abducted by the Lizard People some years back. They experimented on us a bit, but were quite decent by way of providing recreational facilities. Here Dan recreates our method for disposing of the loose dirt from our tunnel. (While everyone is looking at the ball, the left hand is sprinkling the soil on the clay court.)

In the end we didn't escape; we were traded to the Red Chinese for two mid-level Halliburton execs and eventually abandoned, penniless, in Hong Kong. We pawned the chips the reptilians left in our necks and came home on a tramp steamer. I am not making this up.

Chairman Mao, Call the Chiropractor: A winning combination of odd posture and receding hairline make this a fan favorite.

Twelve O'Clock High: Dan is distracted by attacking Japanese Zeros.

Labor Day Weekend - Softball

We play an odd brand of softball. Batting orders are set by age - youngest to oldest - and we take liberties with the rules so the toddlers get on base once in a while.

Or maybe the first baseman simply can't handle the throw.

My cousin Henry is proving to be a natural athlete - his swing is nice and smooth, and he's getting some percentage of his power from his legs.