Archive for December, 2010

No better tie than the present!

December 27, 2010

Julia loves Christmas Day. Of course she does. What 9-year old doesn’t? She got some great presents, but this year was the first that I recall that she was really excited about what she gave other folks. She made it very clear that I would love my present from her, and I’m surprised she didn’t let the cat out of the bag.

So, of course it was a tie. Had to be a tie. Had to be a Christmas tie. Santa playing golf (the fat man has a pretty nice follow through!). Since it was Christmas Day, I had to wear it, right? Good thing my green shirt had a collar so I could put it on right away…

Thanks, my sweet little Julia. I do LOVE IT.

SWT - Stepson With Tie

My stepsons also received new ties for Christmas, and Josiah wanted a quick lesson on how to tie it. He is a natural (well, he was a Boy Scout, so knot-tying is easy for him), so he got it on the 2nd try. Wear it well, JT, and welcome to the GWT fraternity.

Today I’m leaving for the somewhat warmer climes of the Florida panhandle. A little sun, a little golf, a lot of oysters. I am NOT bringing a tie. Unless I borrow one from my Dad (a distinct possibility) on New Year’s Eve, I won’t be posting for the rest of the year.

I know that I always thank you at the end of each post, but I want to take a moment to tell you how much I have appreciated your readership, your comments, your encouragement–and YOUR TIES!–since March 16. I have worn, and written about, 194 ties since then, and it couldn’t have been done without your feedback and following. I look forward to reengaging with you on January 3 as 100 Days, 100 Ties nears the 200 mark. Please keep reading, as I will probably get to one year’s worth of ties before pulling the plug on this endeavor (British translation: endeavour).

Thanks for reading…Brooke



Tie-lent night, Holy night

December 27, 2010

I thought my holiday ties would be all used up by the time I got to Christmas Eve Eve, but I remembered that one of my remaining bow ties had failed to make the cut during Bow Tie Fortnight. So, I dusted it off and fired it up for Christmas Eve dinner, over at Diane’s.

This tie was a part of a bow tie / cummerbund set that my brother and I wore to high school formal dances. One of these days I’m going to find some of those formal pictures and be able to match some of the TdJs with actual events!

Speaking of bow ties and actual events, I unearthed this old photo of the Cotton Carnival scarabs, circa 1988 or ’89. Several times this month, I have featured the holiday ties of Chip Crain, who sent me about 10 or so pix of his festive collection. Well, that’s Chip on the far right, with yours truly next to him. From there we have Jay Keegan, Preston Dellinger, John Carter, Spence Wilson, Fred Schaefer and “Too Tall” Todd Adams. For ten straight summer nights, we got limoed around and generally did what we’re pictured here doing. We protected the queen (Chip’s sister, Kim) of Cotton Carnival and menaced the 40 or so carnival princesses and their escorts (who just wore plain tuxedos, not the tails).

Thanks for reading…Brooke

I-L-L! Tie-N-I!

December 27, 2010

This is my first post that I have written out of order. Oh, I’ve been late a few times, but I forgot that, on Wednesday, I changed my tie after work. Strange but true.

See, I was going to meet some college friends. No, not friends who are now in college, but guys I went to University of Illinois with. We are all Pikes (the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity) together. The Illini were playing Missouri in basketball, and we wanted to get together and watch on a large screen TV and have beers brought to us. Luckily, there are about 3,000 places in the greater Chicago area that can accommodate our wishes.


So, for John, Chuck, Erick and Jerry, I broke out my special U of I tie. It was given to me by Robert “Pops” Hartz, Diane’s grandfather, who passed away about 10 years ago. He lived in Champaign, worked for the university, and was an absolutely great man. I’m glad I was able to put him and his tie on here.

In this picture, he’s not wearing a tie. It’s ironic, because I only saw him a couple of times without one. But, whoa, with that bomber’s jacket (he was a Navy pilot after a short stint as a  barnstormer) and Culver sweater, he’s more stylish than I could ever be.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Grandma got run over tie a reindeer…

December 26, 2010

Kind of a fun day, Thursday. Woke up charged and ready to get to work, even though the week had but one day left in it. Of course, Christmas was upon us, so my work day was cut short with mini-celebrations throughout. Oddly enough, they all had ties involved in some way. They do seem to follow me, don’t they?

But first, let’s discuss the Tie du Jour. This Santa-adorned tie (the 2nd holiday tie sent to me by my friend Collyn, aka ModFruGal) has a couple of things that are slightly off, at least to me. First, we have the two American flags behind St. Nick. Now, I am not familiar with his workshop, or any other rooms in his North Pole, so perhaps there is a display of all of the world’s flags. But, for some tie maker to assume that Santa is a patriot is rather silly to me. Oh, sure, I imagine that Americans have sent more letters to him over the years, but come on.

Second, he seems to be enjoying a pull off of some sort of pipe. Now, he could be depicted smoking the reefer after his big trip, or perhaps he needs to freebase coke so his body can withstand the rigors of supersonic, open-air flight. My sources tell me that he is smoking a powerful narcotic distilled from frozen reindeer chips, available only to Lapplanders and elves. Ah, drugs.

Jeffy Flie

Natey Flie

Pauly Flie

So, on to the mini-celebrations. Most Fridays I have lunch with a group of friends…we call our appointment  FLIES, which stands for Friday Lunch Information Exchange Syndicate. The information we exchange is usually pretty puerile, what you’d expect when you get 3 to 8 guys eating a $6 meal together. Oh, and we had beer this time. Anyway, I found some musical ties at the dollar store and gave them to my FLIE-boys. Nate Lindsey, Jeff Trzaskus and Paul Hletko decorated theyselves to get some GWT fame coming their way. By the way, love Paul’s cheesy wink&point.


After lunch, I accompanied my dad to the Northwestern game, for about a half and a half. NU got out to a 20-0 lead to start the game, so there was to be no Christmas shocker for Mount St. Mary’s (they sounded like a Catholic junior high school, and played like one). Anyway, a juggler came out at halftime, and he was wearing a tie. Even though my sweet seats (thanks Jeff P. & Goose Island!) were only 13 rows off of the court, this pic is as good as it gets with the iPhone.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie’ll Be Home for Christmas

December 25, 2010

I am miserably behind, as it’s Christmas Day (can’t spell “Merry Christmas” w/o you know what) and I have the Ties du Wednesday et Thursday to write about. PLUS, I wore an extra tie on Thursday, and then ended up wearing a bow tie to Diane’s for Xmas Eve dinner. So, just a little preview there, as there will be a rapid-fire mentality for the next 24 hours or so. And then, I’m off of work next week, heading down to Destin to visit my parents (who are here, actually).

The aforementioned parents arrived on Tuesday evening, and it started getting all Christmas-y. Julia, of course, knew the big day was coming up, but MeMere and Pop’s presence meant presents were on the way. I just loved Julia’s attitude this year…she made a short attempt to reveal [ATTENTION: SANTA SPOILER ALERT] that she no longer believed in Santa Claus. However, after some soul-searching and soul-present-counting, Julia quickly recovered from her near fall from red-woolen grace and remained a staunch supporter of all things Nöel. Her excitement increased as the big day approached.

Okay, I need to remember that this post is for the Tie du Wednesday, and save some of the holiday spirit for later.

Tie No. 190

Well, I can’t give up all the Christmas cheer, as my TdJs are still of the holiday variety. Wednesday I pulled out the second tie sent to me by Dan Murrell (the oft-mentioned GWT alum). Adorned with dogs dressed in holiday getups, it’s a tie that was raising money for the Save The Children campaign. It was actually given to Dan by the chaplain at Trezevant Manor (a retirement community in Memphis, where Dan used to work). He describes her as “a wonderful woman who brought her dog to work.” Nice.

I just can’t keep this picture from you any longer. I decided to step up the decoration on our first Christmas tree at the Flat. I tried several different methods of incorporating ties into it, but couldn’t really figure out how to weave a garland. I didn’t put much time into it, to be honest, and thankfully I figured out I should just tie a bunch of ties (already worn, of course) and hang them under the big white angel. Voila, my tree tie.

Thanks for reading…Brooke



Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tie

December 22, 2010

I’ve forgotten a lot of things. Keys in a locked, running car. My batting helmet, twice in one inning. Keys, more times and ways that can be imagined. Had a new one today…forgot my suit jacket. Could’ve been the pants, I guess.

Well, after a day off downtown at Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderland with my friend Mark (we’ve been BFFs for about 25 years now…wow) and his family, I got back into the Christmas tie swing o’ things with this arboreally splendiforous (no, I’m not on crack) strip from Land’s End. Looked just fine, even without my suit jacket.

So, as Mark and his family depart, the rest of my family starts to gather for some Christmas. Mom and Dad flew in last night, and will be here through the weekend. We’ll all go to the airport together, fly separate airlines, through different connecting cities, and then to different airports. Then Julia and I (and my brother Grant and his wife, Mo) will somehow get to the parental abode, where we’ll hook up with them for 5 days of (hopefully) zero snow on the ground. Dare I say golf?

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Do You Hear What Tie Hear?

December 20, 2010

And with that subject, I remind you to get your ears checked. We only have two of them, and they’re supposed to last as long as you wish to listen to what your friends are saying to you. Thus ends the public service message portion of my Post du Jour.

As far as the other portions du Jour, let’s get right to it.

No Moon over the North Pole

My Christmas TdJ is the 5th in the series of 5 mystery ties that I received, under mysterious circumstances, from a mystery reader. As with the Tie du Thursday, it is doubly suited as a gift/Christmas tie. From the house of Mark Shale, along with stripes of garland, it depicts a series of happy, Santas who are not choosing to moon the general public (seems a reasonable request, wouldn’t you agree?). Stay classy, Christmas tie-Santa.

Well, since I’m waiting until (yikes) Monday to write this, I had the weekend to collect some pix. And, by the way, this Monday is a day off, so there will likely be no tie.

Friday night, before dinner at Gruppo Di Amici, I went to a wine-tasting at Taste Food & Wine down in Jarvis Square. Gordon Coy of Heritage Wine Cellars took us on our journey through a few delicious wines (even a delectable port).

Saturday night, Julia and I stayed at Evanston’s Hilton Garden Inn, thanks to a great stay-cation rate. It just so happens that it was their staff holiday party, so on the way back from dinner, we ran into a few of them in mid-party mode.

Here’s HGI’s Director of Sales, Barb Klein, with her husband Greg, who had a great blue tie.

And here are Amanda Spak (Reservations Coordinator) and Victoria Baran (Sales & Catering Mgr), who are helping GWT Beno feel better for missing the festivities. Beno, it seems, worked the front desk whilst staffters drank the eggnog. Yep, that’s right, all eggnog.

And, it’s time to start a new category…FWT. Figurines With Tie. This little Hummel guy, that was probably handed down to Diane by her late grandparents, is delivering Valentines, resplendent in his little bow tie. I will not be actively seeking new FWT, but you never know where they’ll pop up.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Tie Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

December 18, 2010

In the spirit of Christmas, I have fallen somewhat behind, as I now find myself on Saturday writing about the Tie du Thursday. Oh, well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

The Tie du Thursday is doubly fitting, as it is a gift tie, from my friend Dan Murrell, who has been a GWT a couple of times over, and is a regular contributor (Cats With Ties, the comic strip, etc) to 100D100T. He said a student (before starting his career in development, Dan was a French teacher) gave it to him a few years back. At first glance, it just seemed like a run-of-the-mill (that phrase seems more fitting in the clothing industry, now don’t it?) polyester tie with a bunch of Santas. At the second or third glance, however, the TdT reveals itself as cheekier than most. Yes, that is Old Saint Nick dropping some red woolen trou, giving a fond, bare-assed salute to the naughties on his list.

Thursday night was the holiday party for the Young Professionals of Evanston, held at the Evanston Golf Club (located actually in Skokie). As I’d been at another work event the night before, I didn’t really stay for very long, but I did manage to snap a couple of GWT alums in various states of tie-wearing.

David “D-Fish” Fisher is resplendent in an old school art deco (I don’t know if it’s art deco, it just felt right) strip. The headphones, I believe, are NOT attached to the tie, althought that may be a good accessory idea. Owner/founder of RockStar Consulting, D-Fish spun tunes for the YPE gang. No word yet on whether the eggnog was spiked.

And we actually have another DWT (David With Tie)…David Tognarelli, banquier extraordinaire at the Evanston branch of First Northern Credit Union, also attended the YPE feast wearing a tie. And, if you think that you recognize his tie, your thinking is right on track. I loaned my Tie du Tuesday to him. Ah, ’tis truly the season of lending.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


It’s the Most Wonderful Tie of the Year

December 16, 2010

Well, the Tie du Jour is pretty fantastic, I’ll assure you, but I don’t think it’s actually the wonderfullest of 2010. It is up there, but I’m not ready to give it the trophy just yet. I just went onto a Christmas carol lyric page and found a bunch of ways to put ‘tie’ in there. I’m pretty ill, when you get right down to it, and these tie-pun subjects are only further proof for the authorities to use when they lock me up in a nice, padded room.

Wednesday was the Chamber’s final Business After Hours, hosted at the Hilton Orrington. The December event always takes on a more festive feel, and the Orrington played their part in putting on a fantastic party. Santa visited, and gave out elf hats and shoes. 100D100T did participate in the curly-hat, jingle-shoed mayhem, and there may be pictures in upcoming posts. Stay tuned, elf fans.

I told you about my visit to the open house at Lee Allison‘s loft studio, and I decided to wear my newly-acquired Christmas tie to the BAH. When I saw it, I knew I’d be walking away with it that night. Oh, yes, I paid for it…I’m no thief. Vagabond, cad, scoundrel, perhaps…but not a thief. Anyway, descriptions of my moral self aside, the tie is just fantastic…Christmas trees in t’ree shades of pink.

Lots of GWT joined us last night at the X-BAH (Xmas Biz After Hrs), so let’s get to ’em.

Newly appointed Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Evanston, Steve Griffin came all the way from Virginia to attend our party. Well, actually, he’s been here for a few weeks, but we’re happy to have him, and happier still that he wore a tie festooned with candy canes. Not that my camera is good enough for you to actually see the canes. That would be just too much, now, wouldn’t it?


Next is Billy Cross, who’s with Country Financial…he actually did travel from his home to come to the BAH; it’s just the South Loop, but we appreciate his effort all the same.


And how could I not mention our skilled bartender, Simon. His tie is hard to see here, but it went perfectly with his all-dark attire.



Patrick here (I didn’t catch his last name) attended with Michael Karras, a GWT alum, who’s with Fordham Capital Partners.


And we have Tyler Drendel, who’s in the sales group at the Orrington.

Sorry for the quick and non-verbose descriptions of my GWTs, but I had to boogie.

Santa Claus is Coming to Tie…

December 15, 2010

Well, after receiving a couple of Christmas ties in the mail from my friend Dan Murrell, I figured out that I needed to start wearing my Christmas ties, warts and all. Speaking of Dan, he has become quite the contributor. He gave me the idea for another subject tie pun (I’m sure you’ll all be thanking him for that), and he also submitted this comic from Randy Glasbergen, which has a lot to do about ties. And, it could definitely be associated with Christmas ties in particular, as some of them run pretty high on the ugly scale (although not as bad as the Christmas sweater category).

Ho ho ho #1

My Tie du Jour is, fittingly, also a gift. A few months ago, my oldest friend Collyn, sent me three ties that she had picked up at the Nashville flea market. I wore one and saved the other two, seeing as they were Christmas ties. And voila, the first one is from the Fraser Thomson collection at Dillard’s (a department store chain, mainly in the south). It depicts a sack-toting Saint Nick, all full of mischief and, most likely, cookies. There will be more Saint Nicks…

My friend Chip Crain got back on the photography bandwagon, and submitted his next holiday strip. We’re gonna need a closeup for this one. Even though I was slightly off with my nomenclature for last week’s deer tie (it was an elk, which is technically a deer, but still), I will go out on a limb and aver that this is a reindeer tie. I can’t tell if it’s Rudolph, but I’m quite certain that it is indeed a reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

Sometimes I get numerical, and I realized that the 14th could actually be construed as the 1st of the 12 Days of Christmas. It reminded me of something I penned a few years back, so I went into the old archives (storage disk for my computer) and will whip this at you. And, lo, I am a cynical bastard.

Enjoy. Thanks for reading…Brooke

The Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Returns

Put a stick in your twelve drummers; I’m tone deaf, anyway;

And who needs eleven pipers, what with union scale today?

I proclaim that your ten coddled lords can go take a flying leap;

And tell your nine live ladies I’ve seen better dancing sheep.

Please inform your eight maids it’s just soy milk for me;

And, for all I care, your seven swans can just swim on out to sea.

Cage up your six honking geese with their egg-laying mess;

And melt down your five precious rings (I’ll keep the gold, I guess).

I’m afraid that your four phony birds aren’t in my calling plan;

And I won’t mind if your three hens get french-fried in a pan.

If I hunt down your two lovey doves,they’ll need a turtle shell,

And I’ll pick off the partridge, too; the pear tree we can sell.

What I’m trying to let you know, my dear, as you make out your list,

Just stick with toys for girls and boys, or else we’ll be quite pis…upset.