Archive for March, 2011

Beware the ties of March!

March 16, 2011

I guess Julius Caesar should have heeded the warning of the blind man (wasn’t he blind?) in the square, before he and his tunic and laurel sashayed into the Senate foyer. Hindsight rarely saves a man, though, especially when the business ends of a few daggers are headed your way. Such an interesting way to execute (literally) a recall vote…now political opponents just go to the media, and babble and tweet and post. Infinitely more legal, obviously.

Well, I’d be Brute-ish if I didn’t remind you that it’s March 15, which is but a day before the 1-year anniversary of starting 100 Days, 100 Ties. I’m sure I’ll mention it then, but for now let’s take a gander at Tie No. 243.

It’s rather staid, compared to the rest of my collection. It’s from the Claiborne line, which I was surprised to learn was entirely a JC Penney mark. Go, JC, go. I tried to pomp (or pimp works, too) it up with my blue shirt, but it didn’t really wake it up. Oh, well. I have mentioned recently (as I have before) that a quick glance at my tie rack makes it painfully obvious that there will be some painfully morose days coming up in the TdJ department. When I’ve had this problem before I’ve simply made a trip to the resale shop(s), but I gave up buying ties for Lent. Boring ties be damned, I may as well try to make a dent in the Unworn Collection, and 40 days won’t kill me.

Editor’s note: My Lenten penance only states that I cannot buy any ties; it doesn’t say anything about accepting gifts of ties. And, would you look at that, my birthday is coming up on April 8. I’ll be 42. For a whole year.

Thanks for reading…Brooke



March 16, 2011

Well, it’s just been a plethora of holiday-esque days lately. Last week was Mardi Gras and the ensuing Ash Wednesday, followed by Saturday the 12th, which of course was St. Patrick’s Day (observed, and paraded) around here, at least. Today (or yesterday, actually, at press time) was Pi Day. Get it? 3/14? 3.14 (plus a gazillion numbers) is π, of course, which is used in various mathematical formulas to make the SAT & ACT more fun. Or stressful.

I saw that there were lots of references to pie, in the social media stratosphere. That’s more sale-able, at least at places that serve pie.

Anyway. Back to ties.

My Pi Day Tie (or Tie du Jour du Gateau) hails from Italy, according to the labels. From the house of Zanzara, this silk TdJ is from the Carnaval de Venise collection. It’s blue with tiny red polka dots, and I can’t for the life of me remember where I got it. Sorry.

Well, there is something of a milestone coming up, I guess in keeping with Pi Day, and real St. Patrick’s, etc. Wednesday, March 16th will mark my 1-year anniversary of the first tie worn on the blog. Since today’s is Tie No. 242, that’ll make 244 different ties worn in a year. But who’s counting?

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tied Green Tomatoes

March 14, 2011

Even though my TdJ has a tiny bit of green in it, that’s not why I conjured one of the ultimate chick-flicks with my blog title du jour. Some more of my ties (A-W, or already-worn, of course) have graduated to bigger and better things. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Anna (aka Little Green Pixie), barista-extraordinaire at Other Brother Coffeehouse, had used about 4 of my ties to make a dress. Well, a few days later, she said she was looking for some strips in the brown and green families to make a skirt. I checked the new A-W hanger and found three that were fitting.

I will now saw this woman...and her half!!

This evening (it’s Sunday, at press time), she published the ‘Stage I’ section of her skirt-creation description. I feel so proud to say that one of my ties is depicted, after going under the knife. Or scissor or whatever. Either way, thanks Anna…it’s very fun seeing these ties go to some use.

My plaid, wool tie (which goes smashingly with the suspenders/braces, wouldn’t you agree?) was a wonderful gift from my wonderful friend Jenny. She was proud to say that it cost only $1.49 at a thrift store; I, in turn, am proud to say that I felt like a thousand bucks wearing it. It’s from Pendleton, the celebrated maker of woolen clothing. Celebrated may be a stretch, but they are very famous. Sheep know to avoid going to work for them.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Walk like an Egyptie-an

March 11, 2011

Unfortunately, this won’t be a treatise on the situation in Egypt, where thousands of citizens revolted against a reviled and revolting, multi-billionaire murdering dictator. I’m just not as informed as I’d like to be about that.

But, one of my friends, David Tognarelli, just went there for a few days and had a blast. He said the curfew made for some earlier nights than he’d planned, but, hey, I’d be willing to give up that last couple of beers if you’d get home safe and soundly un-bullet-riddled.

David works at the First Northern Credit Union, where my (lack of) money resides; he’s also on the board of the Young Professionals of Evanston. So, if you’re young, professional and are in or of Evanston, check it out.

Anyblahblah, David is a GWT alum, and has kept tabs on 100D100T since the early days. He found my Tie du Jour in Cairo, and thought it’d be a worthy addition to my collection (or addiction, as it turns out to have become). It’s brown and tan and warm gold, and it fits right in with this textured shirt I had. The label says Elenio, but the good part is on the tag. There is a small guide on how to tie ties, but the way it’s described is pretty funny: WEAR WAYS OF TIE. As in, these are the ways you can wear this tie. Loved that.

But, thanks David! Now that it is in the already-worn, just let me know if you need to borrow it.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie is on my side

March 11, 2011

My subject du jour alludes to one of my favorite Rolling Stones tunes, which is like asking which is your preferred child. Good thing Mick has been singing that song, because not only has time truly been on his side, but also there aren’t many vocalists who have the mouth to rock that song. Here’s an old video, when they’re too young to know they’ll be together for 40 years; nice to see Charlie and Brian (RIP) in ties, but I can’t tell if Keiff is wearing one. Here’s a newer one, and it’s 30 years old; listening to this may be harmful to your health. It is their drawn-out career in one song. The crowds will come runnin’ back…

My Tie du Jour was selected today for purely economical purposes. It’s the second of those Hermès ties that I found at the Salvation Army over the weekend. I decided to wear them quickly so I could put them up on eBay. My eBay presence is evanstoncajun; they should be on there by the end of the weekend, so check ’em out. Hard to believe that a used Hermès may go for north of $100; but then, when you look at the fact that you can find $75 thousand (yes, that’s correct, 75 k-burgers) purses, they may be a bargain.

Anyway, this strip is fairly simple…a pattern of buckled belts on a field of royal blue.

On Wednesday, we honored another rocker, Warren Zevon, by hosting our 10th (or thereabouts) Lawyers, Guns & Money networking event. I kept my crapiPhone camera on the bench for most of the night, but I did manage to snap one of David Frank, President of Somercor 504, who helps small businesses borrow money for capital expenditures (did I impress you with my coherent-thought paragraph, plocked with multisyllabic words?)…

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Fat Tiesday

March 8, 2011

Well, shoot if I didn’t think of that subject header earlier, when I was actually choosing my Tie du Jour. I had a 4-lane highway just waitin’ for a reason to be worn. Next time.

My Mardi Gras was pretty tame, by common New Orleans standards. I did not ask for, nor did I receive, any flashings of any body parts, and it was not because of my dearth of beads. My little girl was sick today–too much Cazzie P Day celebrating into the night, no doubt…so that made my TdJ more of a Tie du Couple du Hours.

I mentioned my found treasure trove the other day, thanks to the Salvation Army. My Hermès of Monday (which will be going up on eBay very soon) was followed by a sweet Lee Allison strip, which was only part of my SA bounty. And, gosh darnit, if that isn’t the most out-of-focus picture. I felt a little bad…I emailed Lee and Trideep over at Lee Allison, to tell them I’d be sporting one of their ties (and another very soon); Lee said it was slightly bittersweet since he had to think of his creations being shipped off to serve in the Salvation Army. I just think there’s an interesting story behind ‘donations’ like these: either someone exiled them because they were pissed off at the owner, or maybe someone got a new job and won’t ever need ties again. I mean, despite my crapiPhone camera, this is an absolutely A-1 quality tie. I would never in my right mind give it up unless it had soup on it (and even then, I’d make a pocket square out of it).

Before picking up Julia, I was able to make it to a couple of meetings, the first of which was with the guy who actually told me about Lee Allison and his tie company: Patrick Hughes (a GWT alum) is spending a month in a month-long intensive Executive MBA program at Kellogg. He’s basically at summer camp, except the riflery and canoeing are replaced by macroeconomics and marketing strategy. And there’s no poison ivy. Probably not, anyway.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell ‘Fast Eddie’ without T-I-E

March 7, 2011

During my last year at U of I (3 syllables are clinically proven to be much easier to say that than the 16 in its full name–the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), I lived in a rented, 7-bedroom house which had been called Rancho Destructo since…since, well, the Dawn of Man. The first semester there were 6 young men (John, Paul, Bob, Brooke, Dave and Don) living with 2 young ladies, who happened to be twin sisters. We all loved Kim and Kate like our own sisters, and they loved us like brothers…until they lived with us. When they moved out right before Christmas, I sincerely felt that they gave us a wonderful gift. The gift of life. They wanted to kill us. I think the only syllable that Kate said for the last two weeks of living there was “Pigs”. It was as 4-letter as any 4-letter word could be, as accusatory as any noun could be. Hmm, speaking of syllables, I notice (my brain just works this way) that all of our names were 1 syllable. Until Alfie replaced Kim and Kate, that is.

I'm back!

Anyway, I digress…since we also lived with a pool table, we loved the movie ‘Color of Money’, with Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. Being guys, we’d quote it all the time…sounds like fun, doesn’t it?! The flick was on tonight, and I caught an action scene of Fast Eddie Felson sporting a tie on his way to kicking some 9-ball ass in A-City.

As you probably know from reading 100 Days, 100 Ties, I have a tie-buying problem. I don’t spend a lot of money, maybe a buck or two…but, I may never run out of ties. My sister-in-law reminded me that it’s Mardi Gras tomorrow, so perhaps I’ll give up buying ties for Lent (not that I’ve given anything up in years). We’ll give it a shot, but if I see something like I saw on Saturday, I make no promises to the Holy Trinity.

The H stands for two things: HOLY SHIT! and HOW MUCH?!!

While at the new Salvation Army in Skokie, I ran across two Lee Allison ties, which I’ll sport in the next couple of weeks, I’m sure. But, another treasure was this Hermès tie, and another one just like it. Ties like these come from the land of Whatever-Price-You-Stamp-It-With-People-With-Boatloads-Of-Money-Will-Pay. I got mine for $2.56 apiece, before taxes. Somewhere, somebody is asking their wife, lover, husband or housekeeper where their Hermès strips are. Check eBay, bitches!

Thanks for reading…Brooke

A loaf of bread, a jug of tie, and thou…

March 7, 2011

I'm sure there's a tie in there

Just another crazy Pulaski Day Weekend! I mean, it’s an incredible weekend, celebrated the entire breadth of Cook County, honoring the life of Casimir Pulaski (or Cazzie P, as he was known around the pre-battle campsite), who saved the life of the Father of our Country. If he hadn’t, perhaps Peyton Randolph (Pres of 1st Continental Congress), would have been first president. We’d have Randolph DC, the Randolph Monument, Randolph Apples and the Randolph Redskins.

And, most importantly, Mortimer Duke might not have had a brother named Randolph, and he may not have worn a sweet bow tie. What category would these guys be in? TWT (Tycoons With Ties)? HWT (Humanitarians With Ties)? In all likelihood, I’d say MODWT (Manipulative Old Douchebags With Ties) would be best…

As for my Tie du Jour, it was a loaner from my friend David Colker. Every time he sees me in a tie, David gleefully informs me that he doesn’t have to wear them very much any more. So, last week, he gladly dropped off about a dozen or so, from his days as CEO of the Cincinnati Stock Exchange (which became the National Stock Exchange). This first one is from the house of [the brand name of this TdJ has been withheld, due to the fact that the author removed the tie at the office on Friday, and will not be able to retrieve the aforementioned brand name until he gets to the office around 11am], and it went really well with the houndstooth pants that aren’t seen in this picture. Trust me.

Thanks for trusting. Thanks for reading…Brooke



I get tie with a little help from my friends

March 4, 2011

At press time, I’m less than two weeks from the one-year anniversary of starting 100 Days, 100 Ties. It should have ended in August (I think it was), on Tie No. 100. But, with the help of my friends, and with the help of a seriously tie-acquiring problem, I’m now writing about Tie No. 234 or so. While there is an end in sight, finding 10 or 12 ties, left by my friend David Colker, at my office does not lead me to believe that the end is coming soon. More on that as we approach March 15…

Thursday I went back to high school. Kinda. After having our February gathering postponed due to the blizzard, my Leadership Evanston class finally met over at Evanston Township High School. It was an educational day, as we learned about local education. I have two new categories now, with three new WT members.

One of our daily activities was a visit to Washington School, where we met the principal, Kate Ellison, and the assistant principal, Erik Friedman. Erik (good thing I checked online for the proper spelling) was sporting a classic navy tie with white dots, and I just had to impose. And, lo, the PWT is born (Principals With Ties).

Witherspoon & Robey (sounds like a buddy cop movie)

Later on we were regaled with speeches by two big hitters in Evanston education. Eric (had to check again) Witherspoon is the superintendent of District 202, which oversees our high school, which has three or four thousand students, and hundreds of employees. In the same picture is the other charter member of the SWT (Superintendents With Ties) crew, Mike Robey, Assistant Superintendent of District 65, who is charged with our grade schools.

Okay, now even though it was a casual dress-type day, I decided to sport a tie, given the folks we’d be meeting. I wore another plain-ish strip, a red one this time, but I put it under a sweater, just so it would peek out a little bit. Voila! Casual.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Don’t tie over spilled milk

March 4, 2011

Is the word in that phrase ‘spilt’ or ‘spilled’? My handy-dandy WordPress spell-check seemed to underline (aka disapprove) ‘spilt’, but then again it underlined ‘WordPress’ so maybe it’s on strike.

Reminds me of Halloween my freshman year in college (oh, here we go again with one of Grampa’s stories!)…my soon-to-be roommate, Jason Anderson walked into a costume party, clad all in white, with a paper towel pinned to his chest. He had bent a coat hanger in such a way that it was wrapped around his neck with one end and hanging over his body with the other. On that hanging end was attached an open carton of milk. What the hell are you, we asked. Dude…I’m SPILLED MILK! he replied. Or maybe he said SPILT.

Anyway, enough 80s fun. On to the Topic du Jour, which is a Tie du Jour. It comes from the house of Nautica. It’s a lovely blue with a wavy, khaki-esque nautical (hey, they know what they’re doing) pattern. I still have several ties that aren’t the flashiest–a lot of somewhat plain reds and blues that rarely get asked to dance. This one was kinda the nicest of the blands, so to speak.

Captured a Guy With Tie, although now that I think about it, he may be a GWT alum. Scott Whitaker is head of the Kellogg Entrepreneurship Internship Program over at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Very hazy picture, very nice guy. My friend Chris and I ran into him before he was to judge an entrepreneur contest for NU students.

Thanks for reading…Brooke