Archive for September, 2010

Simple Simon met a tieman…

September 30, 2010

I promise I won’t mention my–well, it rhymes with croprastination–any more. I write when I write.

I can’t believe that I am up to Tie No. 135 (this particular TdJ is actually No. 134, but my “can’t believe” moment is up-to-date). As we head into October, that’ll mean I’m a bit over half a year into this project. Fun doesn’t come close to describing what it’s meant to me to write this. While it has been great to monitor the page views and other blog stats, it has been even better to experience the attention, albeit minor and localized, that I have garnered. The former speaks to my geeky, quantitative side, while the latter screams to the much more dominant extroverted Brookie. When it is no longer fun, it will no longer be written; I am far from that moment, tie fans. Thank you, honestly, for reading.

Alors, the Tie du Jour. It is one of those tagless ties that provoke no memories of where or how I acquired it. It is very possible that it came from my Dad’s collection, which would mean it could have been worn by my brother and I years ago to CBHS; or, it could have been purchased recently. Either way, it was on the tie rack, and it needed to get onto the worn hanger somehow. It’s a pretty dark paisley, with a dark blue field with mainly red amoebae. It went pretty well with this pink and white shirt (a very cool vintage Marshall Field’s with HUGE collars).

What I especially like in this picture is the stain from my Edzo’s patty melt that graces the shirt just a couple of inches above the tie clip. Stay classy, San Diego.

A little preview of the Tie du Today: I wore my tie that I bought online from Lee Allison. You only have a short time (unless they haven’t shut it off yet) to get 25% off of your order. Just type in 100TIES in the promotion code field on the order form.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Let’s go tie a kite…

September 29, 2010

Lateness rules. Or, if there’s a word for last-minute-ness, that rules even more.

Nice rak.

My Tie du Yesterday (will I get back to the Tie du Jour?) was another from the Tie Rak, which is un-googlable, but seems like it was a tie kiosk from the 60s or 70s, judging by the style. I love the blue and silver sheen that comes off of this tie–no natural fabrics could produce that back then, so you know it’s some great orlon, or dacron, or moron or some other lab creation that was hanging on my person.

Yesterday we held the Chamber’s monthly Networking Breakfast. Our host, Mark Allegretti of Allegretti Rug Masters, was sporting this great repp tie, and was kind enough to pause for a pose.

Greg Foster joins his UPS colleage, Tony Perrino, in the annals of Guy With Tie fame. He attended the NeBr, in advance of their Growth Through Global Trade seminar, to be held here in Evanston next week.

Russell Vilt, from the Best Western University Plaza, is a GWT twice around, as he sported a coolly autumnal strip.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Just tying to meet you

September 28, 2010

Even though it’s Tuesday afternoon, I will pretend that I am writing about my Tie du Monday on Monday. And, a real quick shout-out to Jay Bulev, who suggested the subject for today’s post. Made me think about one of my favorite Rolling Stones lyrics:

We’re gonna come ’round at twelve with some Puerto Rican girls that’s just dyyyyyyyyin’ to meetchoooooo! — ‘Miss You’, Richards/Jagger

Bloodbuzz O-tie-o

Last night, I headed down to the Riviera Theatre to get me some rock. Got me some roll, too, for my trouble. A package deal, usually, which is nice. Those rocker/rollers were The National, and let me tell you, the show was amazing. And, as an added bonus, frontman Matt Berninger was sportin’ a tie! Of course, from my shitty iPhone camera (that actually is a google-able phrase), you can barely tell that the subject of this photo is human, much less clothed. But, clad he was, and very well accessorized, I might add. Even rocked a vest, so he deserves to be the inaugural RWT (Rocker With Tie) here on 100 Days, 100 Ties. And, judging from his on-stage histrionics, he qualifies for inaugural SWT (Spaz With Tie) status, as well.

Grey or gray?

So, let’s march on to the Tie du Jour (TdY, actually, I know). Once again, I realize that, even though I have over 60 remaining unworn ties, a large majority are pretty dull. Dull, dull, boring and dull. This Christian Dior, while very nice, is pretty staid, especially if you compare it to the lion’s share of my ties. It’s a nice (NOOOO! Don’t use the word ‘nice’! It’s the kiss of death, at least in terms of blind date set-ups and 100 Days, 100 Ties ties) tie. Be ready for a nice run of nice ties.

I had a great comment the other day, from a fella named Brent Wiescamp, a fellow tie-wearer who took the time to read a bunch of my 100D100T posts. I contacted him, and asked him to send in a shot of himself with one of his ensembles. So, I guess we have another inauguration…I present the first SPGWT (Self-Portrait Guy With Tie)…

Yesterday, Diane left on a 3-week business trip, so I get to hang out with my little munchkin Julia (she’s so not a little munchkin anymore…POP! there’s another gray hair…perfect with today’s gray tie, I guess). I picked her up at soccer practice, and a fellow dad from the team, Doug Hood, who works at AIROOM, was kind enough to pose with his tie.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell Burgess Meredith without T-I-E

September 24, 2010

You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder! — Mick, Rocky

Grumpy Young Old Man

It’s hard to pick the greatest line out of a great movie full of them, but Burgess Meredith threw out a good one there in that training scene, thanks to his writer/muse, Sly Stallone. Before his turn as the gnarly, surly, Irishly boxing manager, Burgess out-acted, as the Penguin, Adam West in Batman. Well, everyone did, really, except maybe for the fist-punching foolish sidekick, Robin (Burt Ward). So, in honor of his waddling self, Mr. Meredith becomes the inaugural DGWT (Dead Guy With Tie)…

An army of penguins

I pay homage because of my Tie du Jour, from Penguin. I am a HUGE fan of the Penguin polo shirts from Munsingwear. I must have about 6 or 8 (which means 8-12, in Brooke-speak) and I am always on the lookout at my resale shop stops. When I saw this tie at TJMaxx, I couldn’t resist. It’s black with white penguins, and it has a little mod going for it, especially with the tie clip.

Once again, I realize that I have put a tie that I really like onto the Friday Freebie chopping block. So, come on, bring it…best comment gets it.

Next week’s highlights: my Lee Allison tie (remember, 25% off if you use 100TIES in promo code box until Sept 30), donating an ugly bow tie to a poker dealer, getting some [yawn!] boring ties on the board with fun shirts and, well, just surprising myself as I usually do with my selection of the Tie du That Day.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

A good tie was had by all…

September 24, 2010

My Leadership Evanston program has begun in earnest. We had a 5 1/2-hour workshop last night, and I met the 30 other folks with whom I’ll be spending the next 10 months. The participants are from all walks of Evanston life–educators, non-profit directors, ministers, etc–and it’s very easy to tell that I will get a lot out of this. As you’ll see below, I even got a new GWT out of last night’s meeting. AND, we even went to Pensiero Ristorante for dinner, where I got a GWT alum to show off another tie.

Paisley Park

My Tie du Jour (Tie du Yesterjour, to be precise) is another from Liberty of London, but I’m pretty sure it’s my first paisley from them that I’ve sported. I chose this one because there was a pep rally in downtown Evanston, in advance of Northwestern’s game against mighty Central Michigan. It’s Evanston Day at the game tomorrow, and local businesses have used the rallying cry “Paint Evanston Purple” while offering specials to people wearing purple on game day.

I really like that the colors in this particularly pretty paisley pattern seem to be so far off from each other. I have other paisleys that basically stick to one color scheme, be it blue or green or what-have-you. It took some creativity, and a supremely talented silk-screen artisan, to put this one together.

My new member of the Guys With Ties clan is Gary Millman, who works right here in the Rotary Building for Rotary International. Every year, the new Rotary President chooses a tie that becomes a sort of fundraiser for Rotary Clubs worldwide. His Tie du Yesterday, which depicts the inside of an abalone shell, was from a few years back, when the president was from New Zealand. I met Gary yesterday, as he and I will go through the Leadership Evanston program together. I have worked with his wife Lucy on some Northwestern-Evanston initiatives, so it was great to make this connection.

Adam, the mixologist extraordinaire from the new Pensiero, makes it in again, with another very-cool vest-tie combination. I need to get back over there and get me another Sazerac. Delicious.

So clever, no?

Next week I’ll be sporting my new tie from Lee Allison Company, which I ordered using the special promo code that they gave me on my field trip this week. Remember, you can get 25% off of your total order if you enter 100TIES on the checkout page. Here’s a picture of the gift card that I sent to myself.

Thanks for reading (my blog AND my note to myself)…Brooke

The Prince of Tieds

September 23, 2010

“For the love of books and the language” — Pat Conroy

That is my inscription that Mr. Conroy signed into my copy of Prince of Tides about 20 odd years ago, after I stammered something about really liking the way he wrote. Yeah, like he’d never heard that before. Then we plotted the violent overthrow of Barbra Streisand’s directorial dictatorship of the movie version. “She will taste her own blood,” is how that lover of books and the language (English?) detailed his plans.

Ohhhh, come on! Like YOU’ve never been loopy on a late night! Yes, of course, I made up the stuff about the blood of Barbra, but my autograph is real.

So, yes, the only thing this has ANYthing to do with ties is that the title was used in my ridiculous attempt to keep the ‘ties’ rhyme/sound-alike puns going. It’s all about the ties here at 100D100T HQ.

And, so, thus, hence, therefore-over, let us take a look at the Tie du Jour. It’s an actively striped number from the house of Brooks Brothers, and I like the different textures that exist in the different stripes. I acquired it just over the weekend at the house of Emanuel, the Classy Closet Consignment Shop. Emanuel Wilder, you may recall (he’s a GWT alum after all), is the proprietor of this resale shop that sells many of its offerings on consignment. They were having their clear-out sale before putting their fall stuff out, and I picked up a handful (neckful?) of ties.

Well, today (yesterday, officially) I just wasn’t up for putting this strip with one of my normally abnormal shirts, so I matched it with a plain old white shirt. I actually like it when someone says I’m dressed on the conservative side, because that means I’m accomplishing a look that I’m going for on the other days.

Last night, while our post-Mash Up euphoria still raged, we hosted our monthly Business After Hours at Hilton Garden Inn, and I added a couple of Guys With Ties to the fold.


Marty Adelberg, of Electronic Merchant Systems, is a semi-regular attendee of our networking events. We’re actually a client of his, too, which is why he got the memo about the striped ties.

What can Brown do for Tony?

Tony Perrino, even though he wasn’t sporting a brown suit and tie, works for UPS. They were there to deliver (get it?) information to our members about an upcoming seminar that we’re co-hosting in October: “Growth Through Global Trade.” I liked the arrow-themed tie that Tony had on display.

And, hey, we even have a new GWB! Yes, I had coffee with a Guy With Bowtie. Joshua Sachs is a defense attorney who just recently re-hung his shingle at his own Evanston practice. He was so cool…before I took his pic, he was telling me he had even better ties to wear. Nope, sorry, Joshua, I takes what you got.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

My, oh tie, what a wonderful day.

September 22, 2010

Today was my first field trip in decades. Didn’t need a permission slip, though, so maybe it wasn’t a real field trip. And no kids threw up on the bus…so, yeah, not really a field trip.

I believe I mentioned this, but I visited the Lee Allison Company. They design, create, market and sell ties. It was fun, and very educational. And, I have to say, my hosts, Lee Allison himself and Trideep Das, have got to be the nicest guys in the tie biz.

OK, let me get my Tie du Jour out of the way, and then I’ll give you the play-by-play of my Trip du Field. It’s branded Apt. 9, which is a label in the house of Kohl (see, that’s something I learned today). I have to say I was pretty nervous when I chose my shirt/tie ensemble, because of where my field trip was going to be…so, of course, I went with one of my remaining ties that has a little spark to it. This multi-oranged strip, with just a touch of blue & white, seemed to fit the bill–last day of summer, field trip to see guys who KNOW great-looking ties…you know the drill.

So, on to the field trip.

The Lee Allison Company

I was greeted at the door by Trideep Das, who answered my original email and invited me to visit. He led me up to their 3rd floor loft studio, which was just an eye-full of really cool stuff as decor–shirts, ties, cool furniture, antiques and these huge silk screens hanging from the ceiling. In one window they had a step-by-step diagram of how to tie a four-in-hand (at least I think it was a four-in-hand) knot. He introduced me to Lee Allison, and they were so generous to give me such a great deal of their time. I was really like a kid in a candy shop–I had no idea what to ask them, and everything they told me was new to me.

I had read the history of Lee’s exodus from the corporate and advertising world, but I was so star-struck I had to ask him to explain the details again. Lee brought out 3 or 4 rolls of woven silk that were ready to be cut into ties, and they explained their process of making the ties. There is a local seamstress who can create [shh, trade secret…but it’s SEVERAL dozen] ties per day.

A phalanx of Lee Allison ties

Ready for shipment to the necks of the world

Then they walked me over to the magic table. I’m pretty sure that’s not the name for it, but that’s what I’m calling it. Check these pictures out…I was in awe. There is no way I could have picked a favorite–they all looked so cool to me.

They saved the coolest surprise for last. They said that they’d love to offer a special promotion code for y’all. If you order from their website––add 100TIES to the promotion code box on the shopping cart page, and you’ll get 25% off of your whole order. I’ve already utilized this offer, which will be good until the end of September. They have some really fun ties, not to mention great-looking ones, made from the best silk on earth.

There is a Lee Allison connection that I missed. When I told the story a couple of weeks back about my cousin Beaux’s experience at Aidan Gill for Men in New Orleans, THAT was a Lee Allison tie. I had the picture of the special message on the tipping, and totally missed their logo in the photo. Trideep caught it, of course, when he read the entry, and mentioned Beaux.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but what I don’t want to forget is to thank Trideep and Lee for a great tour. They were so enthusiastic about 100 Days, 100 Ties, and so complimentary about my quest, I just can’t help being their newest, biggest fan. Please check out their selection online if you get a chance.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Turning a blind tie…

September 20, 2010

I attended the Michelle Shocked concert last night at SPACE, here in Evanston. If you’ve never seen a show there, you simply must. They have a wonderfully varied (can I use the word ‘eclectic’ here?) calendar, chock full of expert musicians from several different genres and decades. The intimacy attached to shows is priceless, and it really adds to every chord, strum and lyric. Even for songs I don’t know, I feel that by the middle of it, it becomes a part of my mental songlist.

As for a critique of Michelle’s performance, I must say that I had never seen her before, and my ‘songlist of M. Shocked songs’ inluded those from one single album, “Short Sharp Shocked.” A great album, by the way. Between songs, she told a few stories, which is fine because it fits perfectly into her modus operandi. But, I wish she had cut down on the footnote-like storytelling during the songs. I wanted to sing with her, to have my voice mingle with hers, just like it did in the late 80s when I listened to her CD. But, I must say, her playing fit right into SPACE’s location…her guitar work is top-notch, and her singing voice is still incredible. Less tangent, more rock.

Dior Maker

My Tie du Jour was rescued from the Unique Thrift Store a few weeks back. From Christian Dior, it’s a pretty interesting pattern, perhaps drug-induced, featuring eyeball-looking spheres centered with fingerprint-looking whorls. To me, this type of tie was a bit more fashionable in years gone by, but this one still has legs, so to speak.

Tomorrow I’ll be taking a field trip to the Lee Allison Company, a designer of fine ties, at their worldwide headquarters. I will have to be wearing one of my finest (remaining, of course) strips…already getting a little nervous about it.

'Tis but a scratch!

Oh, and I forgot about a new category, the ever-important KAWT (Kitchen Accessory With Tie). Last night my stepson Steven and his girlfriend Sarah hosted a family dinner in their new apartment. Sarah has an amusing knife block called “The Ex”, so named because the knives all strategically stab thru part of his body. He was wearing a tie, so he is now the inaugural (and I imagine, the only) KAWT.

Well, thanks for reading…Brooke

Chicken Tied Steak

September 17, 2010

Not many things better than chicken fried steak; chicken fried chicken comes to mind, but I’m not 100% sure that it’s a real menu item. Pretty sure, but I guess it’s possible that I dreamt it.

So, obviously, I’m hungry for some Southern food. Wonder if Buntyn Cafe in Memphis delivers this far north…probably not this late at night. It is, after all, an 8-10 hour drive.

Item next for my Shit to Learn to Do: Make chicken-fried [insert meat] and three or four unhealthy-but-so-goldarn-delicious-it-don’t-matter side dishes.

mustangs and madras!

Well, we’re back to the Friday Freebie, not that anyone is going to comment to claim it. The Tie du Jour–yes, actually from this jour!–is a classic madras strip from Land’s End. My friend (and one of the original Guys With Ties) Dr. Vince “VJ” Roberts saw it this morning at Brothers K and exclaimed, “Is that a Land’s End? I HAD THAT TIE!” Well, if he comments, he can have it again…hint, hint.

Sorry about this terrible photo…completely out of focus, AND the color of my blue shirt is totally warped. It looks like a plain blue oxford, but it’s actually a nice aqua blue number. Oh, well…one day I’ll have a decent camera with an average flash.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Easy as tie

September 17, 2010

Now that the Mash Up is over, my brain has apparently started to mush up. I’m a day late on the Tie du Thursday, and then will probably be late for the Friday Freebie. But, no matter…

My TdJ is from Claiborne, for men, I presume. I love the stripes in here; this is another tie from the giftbag of Joe Smith, who dropped off 8 ties at my office last week.

If anyone has any ties that they’d like to see on the wide, wide world of worldwide web (I would like to advocate that URLs begin with wwwwww. instead of just www.), just get ’em to me and I’ll sport ’em and send ’em back.

My main Thursday activity was an orientation session for the 19th Leadership Evanston program, put on by the Evanston Community Foundation. Our class is 31 strong (well, 30 strong, and then me) and it’s going to be a great year.

I found some more Guys With Ties on Thursday…

Ted Perez is a brand new friend with a very cool hobby. Ted brews beer, and it’s mighty tasty, from what I hear. He actually brought me  a couple of bottles several weeks ago, but I was heading out so I couldn’t take it with me. Can’t wait to sample some.

Swim, Todd, Swim.

Todd Paul here brews a little beer, as well. He’s a GWT alum, and just started Leadership Evanston with me. Todd is a man who wears many hats (and ties): he owns a cycling team and a cycling shop, he is soon to be the Evanston Chamber’s property manager, he is a partner in the Mecafresh restaurant and he once swam across the English Channel. Oh, and that was just a year after he learned to swim. Underachiever.

Thanks for reading…Brooke