Archive for October, 2010

Can’t spell ‘Trick or Treat’ without T-I-E

October 30, 2010

It’s a rare, weekend-edition tie. Happy Hallowe’en (Eve). It’s the big party night, the Saturday before T-or-T day, and Julia and I did not miss out. We were hosted graciously by Jean & Joel Freise, our neighbors on the next (former, for me) block. So many amazing parties going on this evening, so I’m glad we were able to partake in one.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Dr. Tony Breitbach, the chiropractic owner of the Wellness Revolution, gave me a really cool tie. It depicted an x-ray of a spine. When he gave it to me, I thought it would be perfect for Hallowe’en. Lucky for me, my brain remembered this self-pledge, and I made a costume out of it. I wore all black–suit, shirt, socks, top hat…even my underwear is black–with this Tie du Jour. The label says Spine, and that’s where you can order one.

This afternoon, when I went to pick up Julia, she and Diane asked me to carve one of their pumpkins. Gladly, I obliged, especially since I had an idea. Tie-related, of course. There was an old Jos. A. Bank tie up in one of the boys’ room, so I nailed it to this pumpkin to give it a more formal look. However, he must be feeling a bit choked. I’ll try to get a shot of it, all lit up, on Sunday. Behold, the first (and likely only) Pumpkin With Tie.

I have to admit that I have felt completely recharged, blogging-wise, during the past week or so. I made some new connections, bought a few new (to me) ties at some new (to me) resale shops, and had some really excellent and touching feedback from some really good friends. I quickly went from wishing the blog could end to trying to figure out ways to energize it. I can’t tell my friends and readers enough what you mean to me, so I’ll just keep writing, in the hopes that one day, some way, you’ll know…

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Pumpkin Tie

October 29, 2010

Okay, I know that I said that I’d be taking the day off, given that the Chamber would be moving into our new offices. But, hey, we hired union guys to do union work, so why should I get casual when they’ll only smirk at me for trying to lug stuff across the room. Plus, I had a couple of work-ish appointments today, so I at least got got-up in a casual biz get-up.

Rhymes with...

As you may recall, this summer I was the guest of the Mather Place of Wilmette, a retirement community. I moderated their Gentlemen’s Breakfast, and discussed my tie blog. I took pictures. I ate breakfast. They gave me cookies and a tie. I ate the cookies and have saved the tie until today. As you can see, it is solid orange. The Mather’s primary color is orange. With the textured fabric, it really takes on extra life, unlike that spate of boring prose.

Egads, this is the 2nd time this week that I’ve had to recreate my tie-shirt combination. The other day I even had to do it a day later! You’d think that after 152 post-tie-tying mini-photo sessions that I’d have it down pat. Uh, no, you would think again.

Anyway the Tie du Jour is from The Tie Bar, and it is most certainly worn in celebration of Halloweekend.

As I mention my emceeing the Gent’s Breckie, it reminds me of another opportunity for me to utilize my H-List celebrity status, and it tied in (get it…tied?) nicely with today’s event. The 500 Davis building hosts a pumpkin-carving contest for its tenants; for the 2nd year in a row, I was a Celebrity (H-List, but hey, whatchagonnado?) Judge.

I managed to get a new GWT at the contest. Richard Similio, who manages the property, is my friend who invited me to partake in the bribery…I mean, detailed & honorable judging of the entrants.

As luck would have it, we now have a new member of the other GWT club…Girls With Ties! Marsha Hagney, who is the Government Relations Manager at the American Massage Therapy Association, sported this awesome purple tie (from Bruno Piatelli) as part of her mayoral costume. There was a good story behind her acquiring the tie, but perhaps we should leave that for her to tell (in a comment).

Wind-blown citizen

This is why I love my chamber members, my readers and my chamber members who are readers. Jeff Semler, who works at Heil, Heil, Smart & Golee here in Evanston, sent me this pic of his Halloween costume. Given our recent “Storm of the Century”…which may not actually be the storm of the year, to tell you the truth…Jeff created a new category: WGWT (Windy Guy With Tie). Very creative…notice the tie.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Lucy in the Tie with Diamonds…

October 29, 2010

Picture yourself in a train in a station / With plasticine porters with looking glass ties

With an assist from Kim Pierceall of Grotto Communications, we break off from my two-day Stones jones and turn to the Beatles for a hit of inspiration. And it even had Guys With Ties hidden amongst the lyrics. These guys looked good in everything, even their matchy-matchy dark ties…

My Tie du Jour (wow, how long has it been since I’ve actually written about a TdJ on the actual Jour?) is a salmon pink strip (yes, Dan, I realize the iPhone camera didn’t capture the color, and no, Dan, I haven’t gotten my Flip video camera yet) with differently-sized and -textured blue and gray stripes complementing. From Ermenegildo Zegna (remember, it’s pronounced air-men-eh-HEEL-dough), this tie has great changes in the grain of the fabric.

I am sorry I am wearing pink so late in the month, but I would like to honor those who have taken the time to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You have walked, run, biked, talked, shared, cried, cheered–all for your friends, your family, yourselves. Football players have worn pink shoes, gloves, hats (on the sidelines) as a token of their request for women everywhere to fight the good fight, so that we can dream the good dream of a world where cancer kills only in the history books.

My newest and bestest buddy, Lee Allison, is offering a special promotion codes on a selection of pink ties, through his Lee Allison Company site, until the end of the month.

Speaking of new buddies, I recently discovered (because one of them discovered me) a couple of blogs that have been focusing on the ties that they wear. One of the cool things about using WordPress is that they track the web links via which users arrive at 100D100T. Through this avenue, I found the dimpledfourinhand, which mentions 100 Days, 100 Ties, as well as a very similar blog called 100 Days of Ties. They could both teach me a lot in terms of blog presentation, as their designs both kick mine’s derrière. Check them out if you get a chance…

Well, this may be the end of the week for ties. The Chamber moved office today, with a marathon packing event this evening. Tomorrow will be an unpacking event, and I’ve been advised to wear jeans. Jeans to work is all fine and dandy, but I need to make an appearance, as a local G-list celebrity, so I may opt to wear something a little less casual. For the second year in a row, I’ll be judging a pumpkin-carving contest amongs the tenants of the 500 Davis Building. Let the bribing begin!

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Get a girl, with faraway ties…

October 28, 2010

Well, why don’t we stick with the Rolling Stones song theme (by the way, I loveloveLOVE the opening segment of “Faraway Eyes”, with Mick doing his redneck impression) for at least another day. Who knows, could be their last…you never know when being a 240-year old rock-n-roller will catch up to you. That Grim Reaper is one vindictive son-0f-a-bitch, and I think he’s been pissed that Keith has been dressing like him all these years.

My Tie du Jour is, at first glance, a fairly simple TdJ from Paul Fredrick. Big blue stripe. Big brown stripe. Little light blue stripe dividing the aforementioned big brown and big blue stripes. But it’s the texture that gets me. It’s a quality fabric all around that catches different lights in different ways.

Yesterday I was sitting in the cozy new Other Brother Coffeehouse, and a someone walked in wearing a bow tie. I had just been telling my coffee colleague about 100D100T, so of course I felt obliged to ask him if I could take a picture. Steve, who works for Rotary International, was kind enough to agree to become the newest Guy With Tie.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Goodbye, Ruby Tiesday…

October 28, 2010

…Who could hang a name on you? / When you change with every new day / Still I’m gonna miss you

Do I really need to write down that this lyric is attributed to “M. Jagger; K. Richards”? Despite the fact that I will be smirk-shrugging in the months leading to their scheduled concert here next year (Do they really need to keep touring?), the Rolling Stones are one of my pantheon-level rock groups. None of the others are truly surprising: Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. Although I don’t presently own the majority of their catalog (Brit. translation: catalogue), I just know that listening to them takes me back somewhere in my own timeline. Sure, there are other bands, some from that same era even, that I reach for when I want to listen to something, but love for these bands are shared across generations and regions. I love that WXRT still fires them up on a regular basis.

Guess I’ve been on a rock kick lately. Since I moved, I’ve been spending a lot more time listening to music, both here and live. That feeling was missed; luckily, one can never really be too old (or, rather, one should never feel too old) to let it loose and turn the volume up one too high.

So, after the thin, fairly weak Tie du Monday, I wore a much better crafted Tie du Jour on Tuesday. The label says Rosa, which googles to the Rosa Custom Ties shop in Midtown New York City. Wow, I didn’t realize that this wassuch a valuable ($95-$125) strip. It’s extremely well-made, and it knotted beautifully. The pattern is a green/yellow/white flower on a red field. Gorgeous, and I didn’t pay nearly as much. Another treasure, I guess.

Tuesday we held the Chamber’s monthly Networking Breakfast. We were hosted graciously by the Piccolo Theatre/Evanston Arts Depot. If you haven’t been to a production in the Main Street Metra train station, you need to go do that. It’s a truly interactive experience…there are perhaps 30-40 seats, and you’re right in the performers’ collective grill. Their holiday pantos are a blast, and this year’s version, Robin Hood, promises to be the same. Get on their site and get tix! The director of the Arts Depot organization (they are also responsible for the Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts–aka Custer Street Fair), John Szostek, was wearing a SWEET purple paisley tie that I simply had to snap a shot of. John, welcome to Guys With Ties.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Curl up and tie…

October 26, 2010

It’s Halloween week, which means it’s just about the time that the major department stores are putting up Christmas decorations. It also means scary things, like death, full-force gales, Terry Bradshaw’s bulbous head in HD and talking politics ahead of the elections.

A lot of people would add board meetings to that list, but the one on Monday kicked off the week quite well. The night ended with a double celebration of sorts. The Celebrate!Evanston gala affair, put on by the Evanston Community Foundation, was, as its name (and strategically-placed, though grammatically-incorrect, exclamation point) suggests, a celebration of the ECF’s commitment to Evanston non-profits and programs.

At the event, I did manage to recruit one new members of the Guys With Ties clan: Joe Flanagan. In addition to being one of Evanston’s most generous philanthropists, he’s Chairman & CEO of Evanston-based Acquirent, one of the star companies of the local business scene. He will also soon be a neighbor of ours, as the Chamber is moving office later this week (more on that later).

My Tie du Jour left a little to be desired (especially given Joe’s sweet Ferragamo tie). It’s dark dark navy or perhaps even black, with some nice paisley going on. The label says ‘Jet-Set’ which is I’m sure an English-worded label that the cheap-ass tie designer decided to use to shill his cheap-ass wares in Italy. My parents brought this back, years and years ago, from a trip to Europe. It was in the regular rotation between my brother and me, during high school tie-wearin’ days, and then it kind of stayed in cold-storage in Dad’s closet before making its way back to Evanston. It is not very well-made, and so I avoided it for a while. When I took it off it fell on the floor, and now it’s beyond repair because it is so thin. Oh, and it was stepped on a couple of times. Now, look at it…despite its ruffled, tousled appearance, it will forever be Tie No. 150.

Thanks for reading…Brooke!Saucier

Tieway to Hell

October 23, 2010

When I was in junior high, I loved AC/DC. At one time, they represented 50% of my entire music library. In these days of iPods and other libraries holding thousands of songs, I actually remember my first 8 cassette tapes, and how they filled just over half of the wooden crate purchased especially for them.

  1. AC/DC – Back In Black
  2. AC/DC – For Those About To Rock, We Salute You
  3. AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  4. AC/DC – Highway To Hell
  5. Devo – Freedom of Choice
  6. REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity
  7. Styx – Paradise Theater
  8. .38 Special – Wild Eyed Southern Boys

Yes, that’s quite a mix, I agree. The reason I bring this up is that the song ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ was being played somewhere or other this past week. I was amazed that I still knew every verse (“42-39-56”), note and grunt, perhaps 27 or 28 years after I last played that song on a crappy turntable (oh, yes, I had albums, too), dozens of times over. I love that my brain has reserved…no, PREserved…that stuff (or garbage, as my dad probably put it) up in the old gray matter. May have to invest in the CD versions of some of that good ol’ AC/DC. And, would you look at that? ‘E’s wearin’ a tie! Angus Young–Rocker With Tie!

I went with the road theme for the title because I actually found my Tie du Jour in the street. Over the summer it caught my eye as I walked to my car to head to an appointment. It didn’t register with me that my life actually has something to do with ties until my return trip. So, I picked it up, and it looked remarkably clean for having been run over a couple dozen times. It’s not particularly good looking, but it went fine with my outfit yesterday–ironically it may befit an AC/DC concert (nahhh!). It’s very dark, with black and red diamond shapes, from Dockers, of all places. By the way, their tagline (“If you’re not wearing Dockers, you’re just wearing pants”) always kinda bugged me; does that mean, logically speaking, that, If you ARE wearing Dockers, you’re NOT wearing pants? Kinda creepy, especially if you’re wearing Dockers around children or unchaperoned young ladies. Aaanyway, I’ll leave the logic discussions to the logicians…and the pants discussions to the, um, pants-wearing people (of which I am one).

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie Left Foot

October 23, 2010

After a few days straight of a lot of goings on, it was nice to have a Thursday to hunker down at work, and get to some catching up. Of course, that meant getting behind on the blog again. But, it’s not as drastic as last week’s lateness felt. I was really thinking it was the end–my ties were all looking like the same tie, and I wasn’t even realizing that I was putting off the blog. Now, as I mentioned, I acquired a few new ties last week. I got some ties in the mail from a dearly beloved, recently deceased friend of my parents (my parents mailed me the ties, not the dead friend); a friend bought a very fun bow tie at a resale shop; another friend bought me a bolo tie on a trip down in Texas; I went to that Fashion Focus Chicago event, and got some great GWTs and made some fantastic connections; and, finally, I stopped at an out-of-the-way resale shop today (well, on Friday, at least) and found 8 new (to me), unique ties.


Do not adjust your set


Little bit of a casual Thursday, as I opted to go suitless. Not to say that I was pantsless or shirtless; au contraire, I was quite pantsful. Just wanted to put this tie with this shirt, and thought it would look better with a pants/sportcoat get-up. So, what do I go and do? Take the most out-of-focus picture I think I ever have. Crap, look at that thing! I have half a mind to go home and recreate this shot. But, alas…

I’m glad I took a closeup shot of the little design on my Tie du Jour, which is from Tie Rak. This, I think, is my 3rd entry from Tie Rak, which may have been an old tie store. I really like that name, Tie Rak. Very simple, but it has some connotation of a well-stocked closet.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


O Brother, Where Art Tie?

October 21, 2010

After a whirlwind early workweek that included a very fashionable Fashion Party, followed by a very fashionable Economic Breakfast (I know, you want my job, don’t you?), it was time to settle in somewhere in the middle and get down to some Chamber business.

Pumpkins brought to you by Bar Louie. And Mother Nature.

I love connecting people. Love love love it. I did it before my job at the Chamber, and I do it still. I am happy if, when someone tells me they need something, I can help them move toward that end. Sometimes that goes awry, like yesterday when I set up a lunch between some folks who I figured would be interested in each other’s businesses. On Monday, I set up a Wednesday lunch at 11:30 to meet these 3 guys, put it into my calendar and done. Wednesday rolls around, and at, oooohhhh, 12:07 I get a phone call from one of the attendees. I am not yet, at this time, an attendee, as I had set my lunch appointment for 11:30 PM. Smooth move, Ex-Lax. Lucky for me, these are good-natured guys, and had already ordered lunch by the time I screeched up, 45 minutes late. One of the nice guys is Michael Karras, of Fordham Capital Partners…he’s a tie guy, and his polka-dotted number from Thomas Pink is a great one.

Not my brother

My Tie du Jour is from the “346” collection from Brooks Brothers. It’s black with tiny, baby blue paisleys. I think it jumped off of my blue and white shirt pretty darn well, if I say so mydarnself. This tie is a good example of one that looks pretty boring up on the tie rack, but put it on and it gets to another level. I received a few compliments, one of them very nice and surprising to me, on this tie, and it just goes to show that you need to get these ties out for a spin once in a while.

Before I started 100 Days, 100 Ties, I know that I had 15-20 ties that I went back to, over and over. The above-mentioned Michael was saying a similar thing about his collection. I hear similar things, that guys have a bunch of ties that they don’t use, and are looking for a spark. I have been kicking around the idea of having a Tie Exchange; I’ll do it locally at first, but then expand it online, hopefully. If someone got 3-5 new ties, and knew that they have 2-4 weeks to wear them, I think it would liven up a wardrobe. So, in early- to mid-November, I’ll set up a lunch, and folks can bring ties and get some new (to them) ones.

Last night was our monthly Business After Hours, held at Buffalo Wild Wings Evanston. If you haven’t been there, you should. 74 TVs (including 2 in the men’s room) festoon the walls, and there are all kinds of sports going on. There were a few GWTs…some new ones, and some alums.

Vince Roberts was one of the first two GWTs…and he looks so young! As I may have mentioned, he made a great donation to the Evanston Community Foundation, based on the number of PWTs (Philanthropists With Ties) that I got on camera during 100th Tie Week. His purple tie kicekd ass.

John Harris is with Koenig & Strey, and I loved his tie. Perfect for a party.

Chris Tierney is working out of our office for a few weeks, selling space in the Evanston Community Map. Information about how to advertise can be found here.

And, then, we have David Blake, who is with Just For Fun Entertainment, a company with sets themes for (mainly) kids’ parties and then throws them for you. Or, actually, for your kid.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell “Ticker Tape” without T-I-E…

October 21, 2010

So, I’m not sure how many attendees of Monday’s Fashion Focus kickoff event had an economic speech on their schedule, but I can’t imagine the number was much more than 1. Oh, life, you are crazy and you are polar.

Yes, I followed up the local fashion debut of 100 Days, 100 Ties with an early wake-up call to attend the Economic Outlook Breakfast, hosted by the Evanston Chamber, Evanston Inventure, Downtown Evanston and the City of Evanston. Did you just yawn? Yes, I think you did just stifle a yawn! What about economics would make you…oh. Yeah. Yawn away. I understand…I got a D in my sole Econ endeavor at the University of Illinois. Guns and butter, is all I remember.

Dais brought to you by the Hilton Garden Inn

Podium brought to you by the Hilton Garden Inn

Anyway, we’ll start out with the inaugural EWT (Economist With Tie), Charles “Charlie” Evans, who is President of the Federal “Fed” Reserve Bank of Chicago. The gentlemen accompanying him in these pictures are: Bob Yohanon of First Bank & Trust (left to the left) and Ron Kysiak of Evanston Inventure (left to the right).

Mr. Evans spoke about the present state of the economy, and I’m proud of myself for staying awake (I did NOT during my U of I Econ 100 experience…thus the D). Just kidding, he was very engaging, and quite forthright in the face of a difficult-to-discuss topic. Forgive me for getting up on my soapbox here, but one thing from this session (which had about 100-120 people in attendance) forces my hand. If I could change one life, or one minute in a life, by saying this, that is worth it, so here goes: If you’re chosen to ask a question to a featured speaker, and if there are others with questions, please please pleasePLEASEfortheloveofGodandallthatisHolyPlease refrain from using 700 words, 5 minutes or both to ask your stupid question. Your oratory self-fellatio is/was groan-inducing, and no one likes hearing your voice nearly as much as you. Oh, and your shirt/tie combo sucked.

Ah, that’s better. Let’s see, I did get another GWT from the event. It’s actually kind of silly that I just got one other GWT, as the ties were out in full force. Kent Swanson, CFO of the John Buck Company, wore a tie with shooting stars, which he said were definitely symbolic of the day’s message.

I, too, wore a tie that fell into the theme of the economic day. It’s from Alynn, and, at first glance, looks like a pit of vipers (which kind of symbolizes the day as well). But, actually, it’s a ticker tape…yes, yes, that’s how I chose the subject. See, it’s not rocket science. Anyway, this is another tie from my friend (and GWT alum) Joe Smith; I think it’s the 3rd or 4th of his 8 that he gave me.

Thanks for reading…Brooke