Archive for the ‘Blue Tie Week’ Category

Tie be or not tie be…

August 7, 2010

…that is more of a statement.

So, I wasn’t much of a tie guy for this short jaunt to Milwaukee, even if it was slated to be day Nos. 98 & 99. I did just about everything totally ass-backwards. My planning was aces, at least whilst packing the evening before. I brought two ties and all the accoutrements—matching shirts, cufflinks, tie clip, etc.–to look my best. But things don’t always go so well when you’re getting out of your comfort zone. Why doth a one-hour train trip make for such comfort exodus? I haven’t a freakin’ clue, but it did.

Golf, anyone?

Yesterday morning, I donned my Tie du Jour, a nice, blue paisley. I don’t remember the label because, I actually changed it and don’t need to remember until when I wear it.. I didn’t like how the background gray was a little too close to my shirt’s tone…looked a bit Regis for me. So, I (sticking with the Blue Tie Week theme of course) switched to a different Tie du Thursday and, thus, probably threw off my tie mojo for the trip.

We hit downtown Milwaukee running at a quarter to eight. The Amtrak to Milwaukee, by the way, is fantastic. I don’t know if I’ll ever drive here. From downtown Chicago, it’s 90 minutes (only 65 from Glenview, where I got on) from smackdabinthemiddletown Milwaukee. The Frontier Airlines Center (formerly known as the Midwest Airlines Center…Frontier bought Midwest. Who knew?) was our destination, and we went straight into convention…stuff. I was pretty overdressed, even though I was not in a suit. Very few ties, because, well, duh, it’s in the middle of the day.

After a couple of seminars and an issues panel (oh, stewardess…I have issues!), during all of which I nodded asleep (getting up at 4am is not a good way to be well-rested) even though they were interesting and helpful, we went to the hotel to check in and get changed for the dinner. Since I had been gussied up, relatively speaking, all day I got casual. When we showed up at the awards presentation, I quickly realized that I went the wrong way: Everyone was rather formally dressed—mainly suits for the guys and little black dresses (give or take color and length) for the women. I, who had been easily the most formally (or close to tied) dressed person in whatever room I was in for the better part of a year, was now—by a landslide—the most casually-dressed schmuck in the room. I smirked at myself for the better part of three hours…some Mr. 100 Days, 100 Ties blahblahblah. As you will see below, I did get a couple of Guys With Ties (and even a couple of SWT), but my social faux pas destroyed my picture-taking mojo, as there was no way I was going to explain why I was taking everybody’s picture for a tie blog when I, Monsieur Schmuque, couldn’t even be bothered to sport one. Luckily, we ate dinner with some other Illinois chambers (Barrington, Highland Park, Bloomington) so it didn’t matter that I was so inadequately festooned.

Which brings me to today. Well, let’s jump back to Thursday evening…my cool, casual shirt came back in handy as we went to Lucille’s, an extraordinarily fun piano bar. Oh, the joy of Dueling Pianos! Well, at least the D.P. was fun last night with conventioneers and three or four bachelorette parties coinciding. Yee. Haa. Anyway, I highly suggest piano bars. And karaoke bars. Singing in general. Good for the soul.

Back to today. I was so flummoxed by my tie-less evening that I decided to swim along with the other salmon and eschew my chosen Tie du Friday, which was to have been Tie No. 99. Donc (French for, basically, “Sooooo, anywayyyyy”), my 100th celebration will officially begin on Tuesday, during Purple Tie Week. I’ll strive to regain my Tie-Pic-Taking mojo, I promise.

So, here are the SWTs…Statues With Ties. First we have a zoot suit sportin’ mannequin. Not exactly sure why he/it is wearing it, but it was supposed to draw attention to one of the booths at the convention’s exhibit hall.

This one is downright freaky. This fella, Syl Sijan, was immortalized in the corner of the lobby of the Frontier Airlines Center, for some reason that I may know in a second as soon as I google him. This statue is extremly lifelike, very nearly to the point of creepy. I seriously had to be 2 feet away to know it was not real…I thought it was performance art of some sort. I mean, come on, if you wish to honor the legacy of someone, bronze is lovely and it makes it obvious to kids that the statue isn’t going to say, “Boo!” So, an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel give some insight. Still freaky-deeky.

And here’s a last-minute entry, thanks to Paul Hletko, my buddy who found someone who wore a tie to Lollapalooza today. Not much else, as it turns out…hey, at least he doesn’t have to match it with a shirt.

I have to go to bed. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your patience…Brooke


I’m tied. Tied of playing ze game…

August 4, 2010

Ja, it IS a fwiggin’ shame. Oh, Lily von Shtupp, you are ze greatest. May ye rest in peace, Madeline Kahn.

Sorry, a little Blazing Saddles channeling, probably because I am really tired. It’s not very late, but I know I need to wake up a little after 4am, so I can get to the Amtrak, bound for Milwaukee. As I believe I mentioned, I’m heading for LaverneShirleyTown–we’re gonna do it!–for the ACCE convention. I believe the term “Par-tay” was invented at a prior ACCE convention.

My Tie du Jour is actually one of my favorites. It’s a Geoffrey Beene, and I really like the three different shades of blue in the stripes that seem to complement the gray/silver fields between the aforementioned stripes. It’s a worthy inclusion into Blue Tie Week.

Okay, I need to hit the rack…I just fell asleep at my desk.

Thanks for reading this most short post…Brooke

What, you bein’ a wisetie?

August 3, 2010

We need to talk.

I did something terrible. I only hope that you can forgive me. I started two-timing today. I started a new blog, ‘Evanston Chamber Echoes.’ There, I said it. I don’t love it the way I love ‘100 Days, 100 Ties’, I swear; it means nothing to me. It was for work, I had to; a bunch of the guys were doing it, too! I had to start another blog. Can’t you see, 100D100T? You mean everything to me, baby. Give me another chance!

And…Scene. [Exeunt]

Thank you, thank you, you’re a great audience. You’re too kind, really.

Okay, so my Tie du Jour is Tie No. 96 ( Tie No. 2, in the parlance of Blue Tie Week ties). I can’t believe I’m knocking on the door of 100 different ties in 100 workdays (although I think I wore one on a weekend, for my flat-warming).


The aforementioned, and herementionednow, TdJ becomes Tie II of Blue Tie Week…it’s from Bruno Piattelli, from his Versailles by Piattelli collection. It’s funny how things sometimes work out, or maybe it was just today. For some reason, I turned on Sopranos this morning (I don’t know, maybe I needed a good whacking to complement my caffeine today. Okay, alright, no ‘whacking’ jokes at my expense, please…), and they were having a guys’ meal with la famiglia–Tony, Bobby “Bacala”, Paulie “Walnuts”, Little Stevie from the E Street Band, Billy Batts/Phil Leotardo, and whoever had not died yet. A lot of the ties in that scene resembled this one, with the edges and the fancy stuff in the middle.

Sharp virtual suit, too

We have a new category today…TGWVT. Techie Guy With Virtual Tie. My main man, Mason Hoffman-Dana. Renaissance man. Barman at Nevin’s. Owner/Founder of Don’t Panic Chicago, a networking/technology consulting firm. Mason set up my wireless network here at The Flat (Lakeside, baby!), and then helped me buy my new laptop (this is its first blog entry! Mazeltov!). Mason set up the laptop with this lovely entryway into Microsoft 7, replete with tie. He gets a gazillion bonus points for putting a blue virtual tie smack dab into the middle of BTW.

Well, 100 Days, 100 Ties is headin’ outta Dodge on Thursday. I’m heading up to Milwaukee (bonus Alice Cooper linguistics lesson in that link) for the…are you ready for it?…Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) national convention. I must pick my blue ties wisely, so I am not thought to be a Brewers fan. Illinois, I bid you adieu, and I apologize for taking Tie Nos. 98 & 99 across the state line, thus depriving the state’s coffers of, what, tens of cents’ worth of tax revenue. And you thought Blago hurt this state!

Anyway, thanks for reading…Brooke

Don’t it make my brown ties blue?

August 2, 2010

No, I do not possess the power to change a tie, or any garment for that matter, from brown to blue. And my eyes are hazel, more on the greenish side than brown. I am simply using a cheesy 70’s tune by Crystal Gayle to call attention to the fact that it is time to celebrate Blue Tie Week, the second week of Tie Week Month here on 100 Days, 100 Ties. After being slightly disappointed with the offerings of Mad Men Tie Week, mainly due to poor photography, I will pull out the stops during BTW. You can’t stop me, you can only hope to contain me.

The Tie du Jour is from Claiborne, and it is a flowery affair. I picked it up last week at Hadassah House Resale Shop, along with another strip that will likely make the Blue Tie Week cut. I liked this hue of blue for some reason, and when I got home, I realized why: It’s nearly the same color that I painted my bedroom at the flat. So, after tonight I can pin it to the wall, and you’ll never know it’s there! Well, except for the flowers, that is. And the pins.

Still gearing up for ChariTIES Week next week, during Purple Tie Week. I’ll be a picture-takin’ fool (as opposed to just a normal fool), trying to get as many GWT (Guys OR Girls With Ties) as I can. Let me know if you can help out the Salvation Army and the Evanston Community Foundation, by donating a certain amount per PWT (sorry, forgot they will be Philanthropists With Ties) or by having a picture taken with one of my first 100 Ties.

Thanks for reading…Brooke