Friday, February 27, 2009

Old Man: Quality Pt. 2

I was reading StyleForum's Streetwear and Denim forum last night. What the thread was about isn't really all that important here, and I really couldn't explain it anyway (read it here if you want to try). What is important is this quote.


old school teddy boys and mods usually only had one great suit that they wore the shit out of. i admire this mentality more than the buy all you can at a cheap price mindset that a lot of modern day consumers have. high fashion isn't about making your dollar go further, it's about holding yourself to a higher regard.
-ctrlaltelite

Also relevant was this recent post by Giuseppe. Here is a good quote from it:

Buying things that are "pre-worn" or "distressed" is downright silly, but getting something new and wearing the hell out of it yourself over the course of many years is just the opposite, a mark of character.
-Giuseppe

I haven't been wearing quality clothing long enough to beat anything to shit, but I do have a good number of things that I am eager to beat up.

Two pairs of RRL jeans
Florsiem Kenmoor longwings
AE loafers
LL Bean engineer boots (coming soon)
A bunch of tweed jackets
A bunch of khakis (thinking frayed ends here)
A bunch of OCBD's (frayed cuffs and collars)

Luckily I will work in a profession where I'll be able to wear beat up stuff like this.


Conor

Old Man: Having Little Patience For Young Upstarts Pt. 2

This afternoon I completed the observations for my Education Foundations 335 (Adolescent Growth and Development) class. Having to read the textbook for that class is a terrible exercise for me because the word "adolescent" bothers me to no end. Oh well.




As promised, I went with the bow-tie this time.

BB 3/2 sack blazer
Cutter and Buck wool cardigan vest
LE OCBD
Dockers khakis
J Press bow
Barbara Blank ps
Bass Weejuns


I got plenty of funny looks today. I'm sure I gave out just as many.

Conor

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Young Man: Working in a Pizza Place

Due to getting married this summer, I figured getting a job would be a good idea to help pay for good stuff like food, water, electricity, and, of course, thrift shop steals. I've been at Peppino's Pizzeria for about 10 months. I am a "slice guy," which basically means I need to be able to do anything in the restaurant: make pizzas, make everything else (pasta, subs, calzones, strombolis, etc.), take orders, clean everything, and mop up puke left by wasted college students on game-days. Ah, that's the life. There are four jobs in my pizzeria: register girl (almost never a girl), slice guy, manager, and driver. The driver delivers everything, does the dishes (sometimes...), generally slacks off when it is busy (and we need clean dishes), and takes over an hour to do a mediocre clean-up job in the back. When it is really buys the manager makes pizzas, the register girl takes orders (phone and in-store) and the slice guy does everything else. Otherwise, rule #1 applies: "everyone does everything."

It isn't a bad job. The people are all really cool and it is a very fun place to work. I also get a lot of free food. Home football game-days are hell though. It is eight hours of an endless line of super drunk people. To make it worse, there are usually 6-8 people up front (when there are usually only three) and with space at a premium, the front can get pretty clogged. But we usually make anywhere between $50 and $100 in tips on those days, which can go a long way at the Helping Hands thrift store.

One bad thing is the hours. Being in a college town, they are pretty late, especially since I only work nights. Monday through Wednesday the hours are 5-12, Thursday and Friday are 6:30-3, Saturday is 6-2, and Sunday (which I never work) is 4-10. There is nothing like getting home at 2:45 am on Saturday nights, only to get up at 7:30 and start getting ready for Church.

Not bad for a college student, but definitly not something I'll be doing for the rest of my life (fingers crossed).

Conor

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Old Man: Getting Sick as a Dog

Sorry I haven't posted in quite a while, but after my observation on Friday my wife and I went out to a nice dinner, during which I started feeling dead tired (6:30 pm?), feeling very sore, and nearly coughing my steak back up. All signs point to flu. I feel a little better, but not by too much. Unfortunately school does not stop for me and I get to endure nearly five hours of straight English classes today.

Come to think of it, I'm almost sure it was those miserable middle school kids who gave me this bug.

Anyways, I really don't feel like thinking right now (I need to save all I have for 2 pm), or anytime in the near future, so I probably won't have a new exciting post for a while. I should be back to showing what an old man I am in a few days.

Conor

Friday, February 20, 2009

Old Man: Having Little Patience For Young Upstarts

- No, it was a seven letter word.
- Oh yes. Upstart?
- That's it!
"Duck Soup"

I have mentioned before that I am 1/2 to 3/4 an English major. What makes up the other 1/4 to 1/2? Secondary education. That's right folks, I'm planning on entering the dangerous territory of high-school English.

In my quest to attain this vocation, I have had the opportunity to observe many middle and high-school classes. Yesterday and today I did some observing; yesterday at a middle-school and today at a high-school. I re-discovered why I never want to teach middle schoolers anything ever again. Wow, what a bunch of little jerks. The high schoolers were little better, but not quite as bad. Only one of the four teachers I observed differentiated themselves from the students by how they dressed. And that one was a Clemson grad who wore khakis and a ocbd. I, of course, went a little further.



Yesterday:
BB sack blazer
BB OCBD
LE khakis
M. Pendleton tie
one of the two aformentioned linen squares
Bass Weejuns




Today:
LE two-button sack
LL Bean OCBD
Old Navy sweater
thrifted tie
dockers khakis (not too bad)
Barbara Blank pocket square
Florsheim longwings




Because the most casually dressed teacher had worse behaving classes (although I'm sure it was correlation, not causation), I decided to go full out on these little monsters. I'll be going back next week and I'm think of wearing a bow-tie.


Conor

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Old Man: Pocket Squares

If you can't tell by my avatar, I really like pocket squares. And not just pocket squares. Crazy, loud pocket squares. On my last count, I had somewhere around twenty. Two linen and two cotton, and the rest silk. Most of the silk ones have some sort of paisley pattern. I just recently bought my first linen squares, knowing there would be times when I would want something a little more low-key than huge red paisleys. However, I love pairing a crazy pocket square with a somewhat conservative outfit. I think it can push a great outfit over the edge (either into awesome or aweful).

I think my affinity for pocket squares comes from the fact that they are probably what got me into dressing nicer. Last year, I dressed like a typical college student: ie, like a slob. Then I started getting into nasal snuff spring semester of last year. For that, you need a good, dark hankie to wipe/blow your nose (if you used a white one, it would look like you might have run out of toilet paper). So I somehow found The Tie Bar and ordered a few of their pocket squares to use for this. I soon found out that they don't work very well. But then I started wearing ties (the matching ones I got with the pocket squares!) to church. Soon I needed some kind of jacket to put my pocket squares in. I was searching for color coordination, found AAAC, and soon after found AAAT. And now I'm here, 18 pocket squares later.

What are your opinions on pocket squares?

Conor

Young Man: Demetri Martin

I love Demetri Martin. He is a comic. He has a new sketch comedy show on Comedy Central. 10:30 Wednesday nights. You should all watch and laugh along with me.

Conor

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Clarification and a Proposition

A post by Blake made me think of this. Just to clear something up that you might have been wondering about.

It is not my purpose to scientifically define an old man or a young man. I know that some old men play video games and some young men wear tweed. Most of these things that make me seem like an old man were common to young men in the past (suits and ties to class, pipes). Most of the things I'll post on won't be strictly old or young. And I'm fine with that.

However, there are some things which really don't fit into either (like roasting my own coffee), and so I'm going to create a new category called "Cool Guy" for things which really don't fit young or old. Not that I think I'm a cool guy, just that I might do some things that cool guys do.

Conor

Monday, February 16, 2009

Young Man: Crazy Music

I listen to a great amount of what I would term "weird" music (and my dad would term "insanity", even though he often likes it). I do listen to quite a bit of jazz and classical (a topic for another post), but most of my day-to-day listening is weird music.

Central to the "weird" label is my favorite genre of music, New Weird America (or Freak-folk). NWA is a pretty inclusive genre that combines American folk music with psychedelic lyrics (and sometimes music). I fell in love with folk music in early high school through the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young (both of whom I still listen to regularly). Then I started getting into all sorts of lyrical and poetic nonsense, and developed an appetite for interesting lyrics in music. Dylan's later work was influential in this, although now I much prefer his earlier stuff now. What is the perfect combination of folk music and awesome, sometimes nonsense lyrics? New Weird America.

Some of my favorites, in no particular order are:

Iron and Wine
Devendra Banhart
Castanets
Akron/Family
Bon Iver
Andrew Bird
M. Ward
She & Him
Joanna Newsom
Six Organs of Admittance


There are plenty of others, and some of these might not really belong to the NWA tag.

But don't think that NWA is the only weird music I listen to. I also like mewithoutYou. mwY is really the only band I like from "post-hardcore" or other such nonsense, because I love their lyrics and their music is beautiful and not oppressive like other hardcore stuff can be.

I also love David Bazan and all his various bands and projects (Pedro the Lion, Headphones, solo stuff). I was tempted to include him in the NWA, but I feel he deserves his own place because of his creativity and the huge degree to which I love his stuff.

There are plenty of other bands that I have forgotten. If you really want to know more about my music preferences, check out my last.fm page.

Conor

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Old Man: Quality

Over the past few months of getting into clothing, I have discovered the importance of quality. I always knew about it in other areas. When I bought lots of guitars, I knew that shelling out a little more money for a lot more quality was the smart move. Because while I would save money when I bought it, I'd be SOL when that guitar warped beyond recognition and couldn't hold its tune. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson with very expensive experience. Then, when I got into pipes, I knew that paying for a Peterson that would last so long my great-grandchildren could have it as a keepsake made more sense than settling. I do know that price doesn't always equal quality. But I also know that it is more intelligent and responsible to spend more for more quality than to skimp. Quality is especially important in clothing, things that gets used and more than guitars or pipes, and which are arguably more important than those (depending on your views of decency).

This post by all plaidout really sums up my views on the subject. I'm looking forward to wearing whiskers into my new RRL selvage jeans.

Conor

Old Man: Pipes and Tobacco

There is perhaps not one thing that makes me seem more like an old man than my pipe smoking hobby. I started my freshman year of college (two and a half years ago), interestingly because of the influence of my Bible study group buddies. I grew up in South Florida, which doesn't count at all as the south, and coming to Clemson, SC was sort of a shock at first. I still get shocks every once in a while, but seeing all these young men smoking pipes was something I didn't expect (especially in a Reformed Presbyterian group, although I have come to see it differently). But I got to thinking about it, and the more I thought, the cooler it seemed. I had this image of cool (mostly old) men writing poetry, fiction, and doing deep thinking while smoking pipes. See the picture of W. Faulkner a few posts back to see what I mean. Being 3/4 an English major, I am a big sucker for that kind of stuff, so I checked it out. I fell into it pretty deep. I now smoke once or twice a week, but last year it was 5-7 times a week. I don't only enjoy pipes, but smoke the occasional cigar, and do like nasal snuff. I don't smoke cigarettes, because that's what I did in ninth grade.

I could write for weeks on this stuff, but I actually already did, on the message board, The Curriculum. See this thread for my nearly three pages of rambling.

Conor

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Old Man: Cardigans

I absolutely love cardigans. I only have a few, because every time I wear one I'm not entirely sure I can pull it off, but I love to see it well done on other people. My wife shakes her head at me whenever I wear one, and my mom/sister sometimes refer to me as "Mitah Roger" (an Office joke). However, I clearly don't give a damn because I seem to have worn them a lot this past fall/winter.

My favorite (though conversely the one I wear the least) is a Irish patch cardigan from Orvis. Link



I have two other ones that I "thrifted" (I have lately been laughing at the interesting grammar of cyber-trad): one charcoal herringbone and another brown wool one from Pendleton. I wear the charcoal one all the time, but have yet to wear the Pendleton yet because it smells awful and I'm too lazy/cheap/poor to take it to the cleaners (it is much more the first two than the last one I'm sure).



I also have an awesome Brooks Brothers cardigan vest I thrifted (with original tags) for something outrageous like $2.50



I hope Guiseppe doesn't mind my using a post of his to demonstrate how awesome a cardigan can be.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Young Man: Being in College

A recent post by fellow blogger Sartre made me think of something about college (and being a young man) that I enjoy greatly: the absence of responsibility. I am married and I do have a job, but at this point the most I am responsible for is showing up for class prepared (something I often do not do), tossing pizza pies once a week and loving my wife. Not too bad I guess. I get stressed out when I have a lot to read or write for classes or when I stay an hour late at work because of the drunk rush, but that really isn't anything compared to what real people (being those who have to work to live) go through every day.

So thanks Sartre, for bringing some truth into the cyber-construction of trad. You certainly made me appreciate what I have now.

Conor

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Old Man: Roasting Coffee

This isn't really an old man thing I guess. I wasn't really sure what to label this one as.

Anyways, I started roasting my own coffee beans over the summer. I roast them in a Whirley Pop popcorn popper, modified with a thermometer to show how hot it is.




These are the green coffee beans. I buy from Sweet Maria's (http://sweetmarias.com/) Green beans are much cheaper than anything you would buy from a store.



Here are the beans when they first go in the roaster. You turn the handle so that the beans don't get scorched on one side.



The beans get darker as the roast goes on.



After the beans are roasted, they are put in a colander to separate the beans from the chaff. Chaff is the skin of the beans which comes off during the roast.


Throw them in a few mason jars and wait a few days for the CO2 to dissipate, throw 'em in the grinder and enjoy in a french press.




I'm a bit of a coffee snob. I will say that freshly roasted coffee tastes absolutely nothing like anything you buy in a store or in a coffee shop where they don't roast on-site. All that stuff is hopelessly stale by the time it gets to you. Coffee goes stale after two weeks. The best store bought coffee I've found is Dunkin' Doughnuts, which tastes like roasting coffee smells.

Anyways, the whole rig cost me around $50 (roaster and seven pounds of green beans). I'm just about to run out and should order some more soon.

Conor

Monday, February 2, 2009

Old Man: Mustaches

I have a fairly decent handlebar mustache going. I've only been at it for five months or so and I have a pretty thin beard, so I guess it isn't bad for me. I work with a guy who has one of the greatest handlebars I've ever seen. His has been growing for five years so it is an established mustache. He inspired me to start growing mine. I guess I am cheating since I keep a little growing on my chin, but I am considering chopping that off sometime. Anyways, I'll be showing you some pretty sweet mustaches I've found.

Faulkner (see below). It is a thin mustache, but very dignified. It looks a little like mine, but neater and grayer.

Charles Chesnutt. Great mustache, good size. Not too thin, but not so big that it covers his whole face.



Ferdinand de Saussure: Check out that mustache. Nothing arbitrary about that.



Wyatt Earp: The western handlebar. Enough said.



Rollie Fingers



William Taft



Frederic Nietzche: An angry mustache



My own: Not great quality in picture or mustache, but you get the idea. Zoom in to see better definition.




Sorry for all the pictures. Hope I didn't mess up anyone's computers too bad.


Conor

Young Man: Video Games

I'll admit it, I was just playing some video games. I figured I should stop pretending to do something I can't (play football on the college level) and do something I can (write about pretending to do something I can't).

I guess the reason I love video games is because of the time when I grew up. I never had a gaming console as a kid because my parents thought it would rot my brain. However, I did play a few online computer games. Mostly first person shooters (I was pretty into Counter Strike in high school) and real time strategy games (I love the Total War series). A year or so ago, however, my wife and I (before we were married) got an X-box 360 for just over a hundred bucks (her father owns a pawn shop). I mostly play sports games on this console. My favorites are the Madden and NCAA football games. Being as I am a Clemson student, I routinely take Clemson University all the way (not hard actually) even though in reality, Clemson rarely plays at a college level themselves.

Ah well, it is nice to pretend.

Conor

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Old Man: Tweed

Since I wore a tweed jacket to Church today, I figured my first real post should be on tweed.

Let me start off by saying that I love tweed. I bought my first tweed jacket sometime this past summer (July I'd guess), and I now have, on last count, seven tweed jackets, plus two tweed flat caps. This jacket number shot up from five over this past weekend, as I thrifted a very nice tweed on Friday, and JordanW (one of our gracious hosts over at The Curriculum) very graciously sent me a great brown herringbone Harris tweed sack yesterday.

Why do I love tweed so much? I'm not really sure. Maybe because its so itchy. Maybe because you can see and feel tweed in a way that you can't see or feel other fabrics. You can see it reaching out; you can feel it lifting off the jacket. Maybe I love tweed so much because of that brown tweed jacket my dad has always worn but I have never really noticed until the past few months. These are unnecessarily Romantic views of a fabric, but I don't give a damn. I know I love Donegal tweed so much because of that Hanna Hats Donegal tweed flat cap I bought in Galway, Ireland during two of the best weeks in my life.

I go into work (a pizza place) when I'm off sometimes wearing a tweed jacket. The other night I went in and one of my managers asked what fabric the jacket was (a Land's End 2 button h-bone sack). When I said "tweed" he said something like "Slumming a bit eh?" I was taken aback a little since I really see tweed as a wonderful fabric.

Show some love for tweed in the comments section.

Conor